The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 11 January 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400111-TC-MAC-01; CL 12: 13-14


Chelsea, Saturday 2 o'clock [11 January 1840]

My dear Mother,

As my first penny-letter, and a specimen of what penny-letters may henceforth be, I fling off three words to you before the week be done;—in the greatest haste imaginable.

We are all stirring about, Jane very tolerably strong; Jack just gone out on his rambles. He expects in 7 or 8 days some news from Londonderry about his proposed engagement there. He means either to reject it altogether, or to have a trial of it for a month before bargaining permanently. I think it was wise to stipulate so; I think they will likely let him try,—and also that it may prove a situation very fit for him. You shall hear.

Chartism I conclude is come into your hands before now. Lay out a penny some of you, and let me know!— It goes along at a brisk rate here; greatly to Fraser's satisfaction. I send a review of it today, the reasonablest I have yet met with, round by Jean and Dumfries indicating that they are to forward it to you. All is right on that side;—but I expect abusive reviews too by and by; which also will do good in the selling way.— We have got the first sheet of the Miscellanies put into type; a great feat, like the first stone of a house actually laid down, and the workers all gathered round it. I must not complain of the fash [trouble] it gives me; but it is very fashious when one wants to be doing something better.

Your right good Letter came just the day after mine went.1 Thanks, many thanks, dear Mother! Thanks to you first; then also to Jamie whom I mean to write perhaps my next pennyworth to.— Keep the Spencer on; put a bottle of hot water at your feet! It is venomously cold here,—so damp withal.

I have been obliged to swallow Castor today, having caught a whiff of snifterings yesterday morning. The sun is bright; I must out and walk before mist sink, and cold rime envelope all things. We keep a blazing fire, in spite of dear coals. Do you likewise. Tell Isabella to wrap little Tom well

Adieu dear Mother, and all of you, for this day!

Ever your affectionate /

T. Carlyle

You saw I suppose the review of me in the Spectator?2 That other that is coming to you by Dumfries I suppose to be by William Hone,3 whom Alick will recollect about. It came to me last night, addressed by an unknown hand.