August 1843-March 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 17


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 29 September 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430929-TC-MAC-01; CL 17: 144-145


Chelsea, Friday 29 Septr 1843—

My dear Mother,

Tho' I am very much hurried again today, I really must not let the Post go without a small word of notice from me. You got a most brief Letter from [me]1 almost directly after my arrival; and since then you have heard nothing. Jack shewed me your kind little Letter in the beginning of this week: it really is our duty to make some answer, were it all the shorter!

Jack and I both wrote to Alick, one of us to Clow's, the other to John Carlyle's Care. We hope he will get both the Letters: the places they were directed to, it seems, are not far distant. The Letter to you, which had been so long missing, did not arrive here, unfortunately, till the evening post-time,—till our Letters to Alick were both gone; so that he will have to continue for another fortnight in uncertainty about its arrival. We were all much pleased with the tone and style of his writing from that new country; and take it for a good augury of his speculations and procedure there.

As to me I was terribly wearied with my long travels; I have not yet mustered energy to begin any decisive labour at all since my return. London is totally quiet, free from all interruption of visitors, or nearly so; and the weather, which was at first hot, is now sufficiently cool: I remain therefore resting myself, with all the composure that I can;—my Conscience, ever as I get clearer, loudly summoning me to get to some employment! I have a long hard work lying ahead of me; and must actually embark upon it before many days pass. Jane has made all the house bright as a new guinea, a most beautiful little drawingroom here:—but my unfortunate neighbour of the Piano starts playing at the same time; and so I believe, once for all, I shall have to shift my writing desk to a back room, which I at present occupy as a bedroom, at the top of the house; and there defy the foolish creature to annoy me any more! The joiner has been here today, all morning, and we have entered upon plans about it. Alas, they say, “a bad workman never had good tools!” I must really try to make some kind of result out, not unworthy of all these preparations. I solicit all your good wishes;—well do I know I have them all!

Jack seems very lucky and happy in his new lodgings; much quieter he is in manner than we have seen him heretofore. He will gradually get into some useful course of industry, I doubt not, and do very well.

Poor Mary! But we hope she has got the worst of it over now. The poor M'Kinnow Cousin too has made but little of her journey; poor thing, it is very sad what Jean says of her. I send you Jean's Letter which came the other day. We are much gratified to hear of Isabella's improvement;—of Scotsbrig and Gill being all shorn in this fine weather.— O my dear Mother, surely I will write again, a better Letter than this, before many days go! I seem to have a thousand things to say, and none of them is said. By degrees I shall get to work, and be more composed. My heart's blessing with you always!

T. Carlyle