January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO ROBERT CHAMBERS ; 23 July 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420723-TC-RC-01; CL 14: 236-238


Chelsea, 23 july, 1842—

My dear Sir,

As the season here is drawing to a close, Mr Milnes and I thought good to wind up our Begg-Subscription affairs, and transmit you the amount. We have made out the sorriest pittance, as you will see by the particulars on the annexed sheet: but indeed, after the conquest of the pension, we did not think it right, in the present awful time, to press charitable people, or even to apply at all to such as were not decidedly rich Mr Milnes took the Fashionables in his own hand,—and truly they have not proved too exuberant upon him: I had an agent in the City, of whom I expected something; but when applied to he responded that some other party or parties had been among his friends for the same object, and in his hand there was nothing. I sent off the Amount, thirty-three pounds and sixpence, yesterday afternoon, and it will be paid, when asked for, at the British Linen Company Bank, to “Robt Chambers Esq., Athol Place,1 Edinr:”—and so herewith ends my Stewardship in this piece of Benevolence. I am right glad we got the little Pension; otherwise I fear the Subscription would have been rather a lame affair.

Yesterday, on my way homewards, I received another sovereign; and a certain acquaintance of mine in Lincoln's Inn Fields professes to have some three pounds and odd already in his hand, and to be able to gather a few pounds more if he had Circulars; for which element of furtherance he long ago applied to me, but got none, my stock being out. If you have any Circulars left, pray be so kind as address half a dozen to that worthy man: “John Forster Esq, 58. Lincoln's Inn Fields”: the result of his labours together with this new sovereign of mine, and any other dripping that may fall into my dish, shall shortly in some good way be transmitted to you.— Much more money might be gathered if one became pressing: indeed there has been properly no pressure here at all; Peel having once yielded, the matter elsewhere was left very much to take its course.2

We are all much pleased with the figure Miss Begg makes in these transactions: her Letters are full of modest sense and propriety; one asks along with you Whether no better task than sewing clothes at Tranent could be discovered for her? You, if you see a possibility will not fail to lay hold of it for the poor girl. In the meanwhile, I suppose she is safe at Tranent, and not unhappy;—rather well off, one may say, as welfare goes in this world. I reckon it one of the best features of this Begg business that your conquest for them is not one that lifts them out of their old state at all; but simply renders soft and light for them a set of conditions they were from the first used to. You have seen Isabella Begg, and can judge her and her circumstances and capabilities: we will leave you to do you[r] wisest and kindest.

And so adieu, my dear Sir; and thanks to you in the name of all good Scotchmen and men: and according to the old Proverb, May ne'er worse be among us!

Yours very sincerely, / T. Carlyle

The Duchess of Sutherland. 5£.
Lord Francis Egerton 5£.
Mr Aldam. M.P. 1
Mr Pusey. M.P. 1
Sir Thos. Acland M.P. 2.2
Hon. Sidney Herbert M.P. 1
Mr Dickinson M.P. 1
Hon Dawson Damer. M.P. 1
Mr Milnes. M.P. 1

(2 shillings seem to have been lost!)4

Turn over

Subscription for Mrs Begg

Mr Macready for himself £5.5.0 £ S D
———— his children 4.15.6 10. 0. 6
Mr Kenyon —— —— 2. 0. 0
Mrs Gaskill ———— 1. 0. 0
Mrs Reid5 1. 0. 0
Mr Carlyle 1. 0. 0
——— ——— ———
15. 0. 6
recd from Mr Milnes 18. 0. 0
——— ——— ———
£33. 0. 6

which sum £33. 0. 6 was yesterday despatched by the British Linen Company Bank to Mr Chambers.

T. Carlyle

Chelsea, 23 july, 1842—