The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 17 February 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410217-TC-JAC-01; CL 13: 37-38


Wednesday, 1 p.m. [17 February 1841]

Dear Brother,

No Letters from you: I hope nevertheless nothing is wrong. Here are the two next sheets; they came late last night. I have corrected into the beginning of the Fifth Lecture now; that is the length we are got. The Pressman follows always at a few days distance.

All well in this house: but next door there is a mournful tragedy. Poor Mrs Marshall had a child some weeks since;1 never recovered; grew worse and worse lately; and, this morning about 4 o'clock, departed for ever! You know what a mad household it is: poor Marshall (besides his African business)2 has had to watch, with little sleep, for a fortnight,—none other to do it. Every time I have met him these two or three days, he has squeezed my hand and wept. The poor woman awoke out of her languor once again, just before Eternity received her, and said, “He was not to grieve or weep; she was going to Christ.”— Good God! I cannot help weeping too.— The poor man, nearly mad, flung himself on the bed, and has lain with the dead body in his arms,—till half an hour ago when Jane went in, and spoke something to him. She too is very weak; she returned back to me all dissolved in misery. She is now doing what she can to help this poor distracted household; writing Notes &c: The Infant is deformed in the feet; will, if it live, in all human probility be an ideot:3 Marshall's Mother is mad; he himself hardly sane: his Mother-in-law, also a madwoman, is coming.4— You can conceive it all.

Yesternight there was an American Scotch man here; a fine old man, who had been to Crail in Fife, taking a ‘last look of his cradle’; he had been five and thirty years away; was grown ‘a great nation’ in S. Carolina.5— I am not yet recovered of my Jury.

Yours ever /

T. Carlyle