The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 23 November 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18401123-TC-MAC-01; CL 12: 333-334


Chelsea, Monday, 23 Novr, 1840—

My dear Mother,

Here is your kind and good little Letter come to hand this morning; a thing long-looked-for, bringing good news; one of the welcomest things! I return you many thanks. You too, I think, would get a little Note from me this morning: we must have been writing to one another at the same time.— I like well to hear of your spinning on the big wheel;1 you always like to see yourself doing something; that will be a good dry employment in the dark weather;—only I hope you will not overdo it: three cuts2 a-day, I think, in such a dark season, will be an abundant task. You ask, How I sleep? Better, than I have often done; better, I doubt, than you sometimes do. Besides, now they get me my breakfast with altogether amazing despatch, even if I do get up too early: this is a great accommodation to me; for I can then begin work, and do not mind having risen early.

This is not to count as a Letter from me; it is only a chance word,—the day is rapidly declining; I shall get no walking if I make it more! But Jack's new Note3 arrived along with yours; intimating that his travel was already about as good as done: this I thought would be a penniworth for you; so here it goes, and this poor poor word along with it. You need not make yourself anxious, therefore, about Jack's journey, for it is already accomplished. The place he dates from (Weymouth) is a town on the Southern Coast (all the Devonshire and other Hills fairly behind it), and not above fifty miles or so from the place he aimed at. They must be resting somewhere today about Lymington or that neighbourhood; which is almost within sight of Ryde. The next Letter, we may fairly hope, will tell us that this years travel has fairly managed itself, and there is now to be a little rest.

Yesterday was a clear brisk day, a considerable breeze of wind from the North, and many paths tolerably dry. I had a solitary walk of three hours, which has done me good. I have a good enough brown great-coat, with other apparel, in which I button myself more to my mind than usual,—for the Cockney Snips [tailors] do not often satisfy me well: I am very warm as I go about, and yet not overloaded with clothes.

I have to go and dine to-day with the old Poet Rogers, of whom you have perhaps heard me speak: a pale, baldheaded, sagacious kindly old man, whom I like to see sometimes, in spite of all his flunkies. He does not build upon his wealth, indeed; yet is very rich.— I have refused all dinners for the last six weeks or more.

In a day or two, some of you will, likely, hear from me again.— No more at all now,—lest the daylight entirely vanish!

Ever your affectionate Son T. Carlyle

The Queen has got a little bit “Princess”4 on Saturday. Poor little thing!—