The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 1 September 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410901-TC-MAC-01; CL 13: 236-237


Greta Bank, Keswick, / 1 Septr (Wednesday morng[)]

My dear Mother,

I think your affectionate anxieties could hardly contrive to give you much misery about me yesterday, especially after Jamie's safe arrival; the day was so fine! I hope he did arrive safe, about 7 o'clock, and poor Jenny with him.1

It was one of the beautifulest days; our voyage was slow, but pleasant and prosperous: I often saw Burnswark and all Dumfriesshire as on a map, when we got to the tops of hills. I smoked plenty of cigars; I could have had another luncheon of food about 5 o'clock, but had no appetite for any: at Cockermouth, where the Sun was just setting and the great round Moon rising over the Mountains, I put on my shawl and mackintosh; we had still 13 miles; it was about 9 o'clock when we arrived: I had suffered nothing from cold or the like; and the good Spedding was waiting when I arrived, to whirl me off in his gig. I dined then; I had a capital bed, and four hours of deep sleep: the whirl of my head will have settled, I hope, before tomorrow;—I am to have some riding today were these Letters of mine done. Our day is again bright: it is by far the beautifullest country this to look upon I ever saw; the prospect from my bedroom windows, where I now am, is up that hollow space which you observe immediately to the right of Skiddaw, a mass of wild ragged hills and mountains, fringed with woods, with grassy sides, with the strangest gnarls of tops and edges. If the day keep fair, we may perhaps ride to look at some of them close at hand.

But I have still a Letter to write to Jack; I have already written a Note to Jane and another short one to a Lady in this quarter,2 whom I had to apprise of my arrival here. I should be better riding than writing!

All things lay right in my trunks and bags; thanks to Isabella and the rest of you. I must endeavour to get a pipe or set of pipes today; I am getting quite tired of cigars, independently of the price of them. I hope you have news from Jean, and favourable news. Jamie undertook that it was to be conveyed hither to me. I rather fear we are almost as far off (by post) as at London here! It is another reason for our losing no time to write.

Dear Mother, I will write to you again in a few days, whether I hear from you or not. I pray you, if it were possible give up those never-resting anxieties which do you great mischief: Jenny's misfortunes, and all our misfortunes, are we not taught that they can all become the material of good, of profit and joy? Is not that a truth?

God be with you, dear Mother; with you and them all! I am greatly privileged to have you still here on Earth. Your affectionate

T. Carlyle