The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 28 September 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410928-TC-MAC-01; CL 13: 263-264


Chelsea, 28 Septr, 1841—

My dear Mother,

Since I wrote last nothing material has altered with us, nothing at all for the worse; but Jenny's welcome letter, with its good news, arriving last night, reminds me to answer by a word.

We have kept perfectly quiet ever since our return; are getting “window-blinds” and other necessary etceteras ready,—let me hope, for a strenuous winter campaign! I have been too long idle; and shall know no right peace at all till I get handsomely to work again.——— We have continual rains here; I hardly remember a wetter week in London than this last. It began raining when we reached our own door; and daily and nightly there has been frequent pouring ever since. The [wind]1 is from the South; we have not here the satisfaction of seeing the wet cloudfields gathering in between Criffel and the Cumberland Hills; we see only the fruits of the commotion in torrents out of the black sky. I fear Jamie's good weather does not last! We were greatly surprised by Jenny's intelligence that the weather was at all good there.

On friday night last, we heard a brisk rap at the door; and presently afterwards the Doctor entered! Hale and fresh, with cigars in his pocket; as lively as ever. I explained by word of mouth how you had not written. He seemed well satisfied with Jenny's resolution, with the course Hanning had now adopted; his feelings towards Jenny are, like those of the rest of us, affectionate sympathy, desire to help her by all ways possible.— We made Jack some tea; I walked with him to Hyde Park Corner (half-way to his “Hôtel”) when it became time to go; and there kindling each a cigar we parted. Next day we saw no more of him; they had returned to Brighton. A railway has just been opened thither: with plenty of money people can fly to and fro that way at a great rate; they do the journey in less than two hours, by the best trains, tho' the distance is about sixty miles. Jack said he thought they might stay there some three weeks, and then probably come up to London for the winter. His Patient, he said, got a little more uncomfortable in the country, as the daylight left them, especially if the weather were rainy.

Miss Martineau writes Jane that a celebrated London Doctor,2 passing thro' Tynemouth, has examined her case, and pronounces it hopeless no use in any “operation,” such as was expected hitherto! Poor Harriet affects to take it quite cheerfully; but who can be other than cut to the heart by such an announcement? Our comfort is that perhaps this celebrated London Doctor knows almost nothing about it!— —

We wish Jamie had done with his harvest. Are the Gill people3 actually burning coal-cinders in the place that is to be Jenny's? Be good to her, poor Jenny! Our love to Isabella; to Alick, and all the rest. Adieu, dear Mother

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle