The Collected Letters, Volume 1


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; June 1821; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18210600-TC-MAC-01; CL 1:358-359.


Edinr, Satu[r]day (candle-lit)? June 1821].

My dear Mother,

I have studied it and find you must again be contented with a half-sheet: my time is short, and my task is great in proportion to it. I read over your little letter1 with such feelings as all your letters inspire in me, enlivened in the present case by the assurance that your health is tolerable and your mind comfortable. My dear Mother, I trust Providence will long bountifully continue those blessings to us—for it is to us more than to yourself that they are valuable.

You need not doubt that I shall find employment for your generous anxiety to serve me:2 indeed you can hardly require more employment, I think, than what you find in those lots of clothes and stuff that I am ever sending home to busy you with. These are bra' [fine] white socks, but really I needed them not. And what shall I say of the cakes? What but that I have mumbled over fragments of them all the afternoon? I suppose you put liberal allowances of butter in the dough—they are so much preferable, not to the last sample, but to the one before it. As for the butter, it is most welcome. I have been, not on short but precarious allowance for some time. Once my fortune was to get a good sweet article—more frequently since, it has been tasteless or tasting only of the various intermediate flavours between sourness and stench. I am in funds now.— Many thanks also, my good Mother, for your bundles of camomile.3 I have laid it by in my trunk, and whether it help the stomach or not, it cannot fail to help the heart every time I look at it. My disorders are not, however, in general severe: and when they do appear (it is only from carelessness), they arise from bile and trash—over which herbs have no power. In fact tho' I work on with Doctors' stuff yet occasionally, I cannot complain; I am what you would call ‘no that ill ava’ [not so ill at all]. I tried the bathing three times with good effect; but the stormy weather has intervened for a week. The sea will cure me doubtless. But alas! see how soon our little chit-chat is over—and I must take my leave. We shall meet in August— Pray that it be in peace and comfort. Good night, my dear Mother

Your affectionate Son, /

Thos Carlyle