July 1836-December 1837

The Collected Letters, Volume 9


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 25 November 1836; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18361125-TC-MAC-01; CL 9:90-92.


Friday, noon [25 November 1836].

My dear [Mother]— The inclosed1 has lain these four days; for I was unwilling to send it off till the Cold I spoke of in it, and [tear in page with missing words] relapsed the next day, was got recovered again. I missed sleep the night I wrote; then li[ke a] fool, I went out next day, tho' it was frost-fog (one of the ugliest atmospheres in the world)[. T]he consequence was, my disorder came back, in the shape of face-ake &c, and I had to attack again with medicine, and keep in the house. I [am] now nearly thro' it again, and will take better care. Yesterday was sunny, and I [went] for a long walk: today being fog, I don't think I shall go out but send this by post. Bile is the root of it all.

[W]e are very sorry for a certain Cavaignac, an interesting very clever kind of Frenchman that [com]es here sometimes. He has escaped hither, out of Prison; being one of Louis Philippe's enemies. He had his Mother and a Sister2 over to see him, while Jack was at Scotsbrig: the Sister in very poor health, coughing much; a fine intelligent, honest-looking young woman. They returned to Paris; the Sister still very unwell. The Doctors all along wrote that there was no danger; the poor Mother had bid them do it, thinking her Son would come back at all risks, and be clapt hold of. And now all at once comes the news that the poor Sister is dead. We hear, the fiery Cavaignac is almost out of his wits; his poor Mother, to avoid his flying to her, is coming over hither: she has now nothing else left, another Son only, who is far from her, an officer with the Army in Algiers.3 She has nursed this poor Daughter for two years; like a true Mother: a most shifty, cheery-looking brave little woman. Sorrow is no stranger in any Country.

The Diamond Necklace I think is all4 to be printed this time; you will perhaps get it sooner, therefore, than I expected. My Task advances, tho' slowly; and has advanced in spite of face-akes. There are not now forty pages in all to write!— Jane joins me in love to you all; in advice to you all to keep yourselves warm. You shall soon hear again, I hope. God be with you always, dear Mother!

T. Carlyle.

The Ham [joints] are on daily duty. I wish much they had [put in a bottle] of Jamie Ewart's5 [whiskey, b]ut they durst not, the faint hearts.6 “Probably it i[s as well.”] Isabella's butter [tastes as] good as can be,—tho' the firkin altogether refused [to open]; bite that it was!7