January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO ISOBEL BEGG ; 7 June 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420607-TC-IBE-01; CL 14: 200-201


5. Cheyne Row, Chelsea / London, 7 june, 1842—

Dear Madam,

As it is pity that good news should not travel with what speed they can, I give myself the pleasure of writing this to you today, of which you will probably hear from Mr Chambers, more at large, in a day or two.

The Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, has agreed to bestow on you a small Pension of Twenty Pounds a-year, with reversion of Ten Pounds each to your two worthy Daughters should they survive you. Or perhaps it may be so arranged, owing to the official necessities of the case, that your Daughters should be marked down for the Pension at once: but the meaning is, that you are to have Twenty Pounds a year during life, and they Ten Pounds a year each afterwards. Sir Robert will also add, from some other Public Fund, a present donation to you of Fifty Pounds.1 The details of the matter, first date of payment &c, are not yet settled but you may take the fact as sure; I saw the promise yesterday under his own hand.

The chief agent in this good work has been Mr Milnes, a Yorkshire Member of Parliament, himself a Poet, and generous-hearted man to whom it is no burden to owe kindness.

Properly, however, you do not owe this to anybody but to your own illustrious Brother; whose noble life, wasted tragically away, pleads now aloud to men of every rank and place for some humanity to his last surviving Sister. May God give you all good of this gift, and make it really useful to you!

There are other small presents from private persons still to be collected; which process Mr Milnes and I are of opinion ought still to go on; and we are in hopes of thereby getting something more for your benefit.

You need not answer this Letter: it is a mere luxury that I give myself, the writing of it.2

With many good wishes to you and yours, with much satisfaction at such a result,

I remain, / Yours very truly / Thomas Carlyle

to Mrs Begg, Tranent.