The Collected Letters, Volume 12


JWC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 5 May 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400505-JWC-MAC-01; CL 12: 133


Tuesday night [5 May 1840]

Dear Mother of him.

You complained of my last “That the words were sawin on the paper”! You cannot in conscience Expect much better of me, tonight with my nerves “all dadded abreed,” by the First Lecture,—but as it is better he should be hiding than writing, and as you will be anxious to know how we have got through, I send you a line according to ability,— He has been very tormented for several days back, but to-day when it was to come to the point, he held his peace, and behaved so well, that I was almost frightened, and would like to have heard him growling again, to be sure it was himself, it reminded me of my mother's consternation once on hearing her only child tumble downstairs, and roar never a bit!, she had been lecturing me on the propriety of taking such accidents quietly, and so I bit my lips and was as quiet as a lamb, whereupon she ran to me in the greatest terror—told me that the next time I fell that I might as well give some sign of life at least?!