The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 20 May 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400520-TC-MAC-01; CL 12: 147-149


Chelsea, Wednesday / 20 May, 1840—

My dear Mother,

Take a single word from me today to say that all goes well here. I delivered my fifth Lecture yesterday, with as much acceptance as ever;1 and now there is but one more, which also I hope to get honourably thro'. Jane says, and indeed I rather think it is true, that these two last Lectures are among the best I ever gave (she says, the very best, but I do not think that); and certainly they have not done me nearly so much mischief as the others were wont; I feel great pain and anxiety till I get them done, on the day when they are to be done; but no excessive shattering of myself to pieces in consequence of that: the thing seems a thing I could learn to stand by and by. Besides I am telling the people matters that belong much more to myself this year; which is far more interesting to me. I fancy myself to be perhaps offending this man today, and that man another day; but I say, “No help for it, friends; you must just wait, see how it will turn, and adjust yourselves if it do not turn well for you; the story must be told!” And so it goes along, really very tolerably well.

I sent Jean a Newspaper,2 containing a report of my First Lecture; with order to send it forward to you without delay. Probably it will arrive just along with this. You are then to forward it to Jack. The Editor was for going on with his reports; but I cut him short. I am getting no fewer than two separate reports drawn up for my own behoof; so the thing will not be lost, but come out farther in some way or other.

Our hot weather is all off again: plenty of Northwind now, sometimes without sun, and copious wettings of rain. It is fine for riding; but it agrees ill with poor Jane, who has been in a poorish kind of way all this while; as indeed the lecturing agrees with her almost rather worse than it does with me, I think. I tell her that when I go to lecture in America, she shall not go with me; there is no use in having two persons made miserable by it instead of one!

We had a Letter last night from Jack;3 the first for these ten days. He said, he was to write to you, and probably to Jean. He had had a cold for a day or two, but had doctored himself well out of it again. He is to stay for one month more at least. It seems to be a very curious situation that of his; but he throws no light on it for us.

You have covers, have you not, dear Mother? Take one of them, and write by it three words merely to say you are well,—if indeed it be so, as I am forced to content myself with hoping. Surely you may send me a pennyworth as often as you like!— How is poor little Tom with his leg? I wish he were better poor little fellow. My love to the whole household, the whole kindred. Good be with you, dear Mother, and with one and all of them.—

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle