The Collected Letters, Volume 10


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 12 April 1838; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18380412-TC-MAC-01; CL 10: 68-69


Chelsea, Thursday 12th April / 1838—

My dear Mother,

Two days ago you had a Letter from me, explaining what a game of cross-purposes it had been between us: yesterday this Letter of Jack's came, and so now I am already writing to you again. As I shall get a frank tonight (for I am to dine with one Milnes a Yorkshire member),1 it is better to send off the message to you without delay.

All seems to be going well with Jack; he is still coming home, only not altogether so soon as he once talked of. I expect to be perhaps nearly done with my Lecturing before he come; an arrangement I shall not regret. About “the longest day [21 June],” one may hope, it will all be right—so far!

This is the crowded season here; such dinnering and partying, dancing and deraying [disorderly merriment] as it is weariness to think of! The kind of creature they call “a lion” goes about every day and night into such meetings to be stared at. I go out not once in the ten days; and I find it far too much. “Never am better,” as old Tom White2 said, “than when there's not a drop of it in me!” I have refused this little member I am going to tonight, and again refused him; till at last I must go,—and dine at seven o'clock!

My Lectures are to be vehemently set about tomorrow morning.3 Today I have been writing to Jack; talking to foolish visiters, for poor Jane has taken a headache, and been in bed ever since noon. It is now between five and six, and she is not better.

Yesterday, going thro' one of the Parks, I saw the poor little Queen. She was in an open carriage, preceded by three or four swift red-coated troopers; all off for Windsor just as I happened to pass. Another carriage, or carriages, followed; with maids of honour &c: the whole drove very fast. It seemed to me the poor little Queen was a bit modest nice sonsy [cheerful] little lassie; blue eyes, light hair, fine white skin; of extremely small stature: she looked timid, anxious, almost frightened; for the people looked at her in perfect silence; one old liveryman alone touched his hat to her: I was heartily sorry for the poor bairn,—tho' perhaps she might have said as Parson Swan4 did, “Greet [weep] not for me brethren; for verily yea verily I greet not for myself.” It is a strange thing to look at the fashion of this world!

I meant to write a word to poor Mary today; but these visiters coming in have belated me. I am sorry for it. And yet, at bottom, I had nothing to say to her, poor thing, except that I was very wae for her.

I insert here one of the Lecture Prospectuses: you will see what a thing it is! I must warsle [struggle] thro' it. Above all things, I must try to keep myself quiet. I should like well to be on Creca Moor5 at present!— Speaking of Creca, they have let Craigenputtoch again, to Macadam, whose offer was the best.6 Our house stands vacant, I understand. I sometimes think I shall go and hid[e] there for a while.

But enough dear Mother: my time is out and my paper. My love to all of you. Be as snug as you can. Take care of yourself. I am ever

Your affectionate son /

T. Carlyle—