April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 15 October 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18441015-TC-MAC-01; CL 18: 241-243


Chelsea, 15 Octr, 1844—

My dear Mother,

Here is a Letter just arrived which will be very welcome to you; I send it off without a moment's delay, after we have both read it. Our good Alick seems to be well, with all his Household; digging his Potatoes, on the other side of the Ocean, and sowing his winter corn, as we are doing on our side. Let us be very thankful that we get such good news from him.

I did not know, till I saw in this Letter, that you had sent him £10 out of your poor Purse,—my dear generous Mother! I suppose it would do yourself good withal; and so we must not complain of it; we ought rather to rejoice at it: “a cheerful giver” is loved in High Quarters;1 and a generous Mother's-heart is beautiful to see, whether it give away pounds or kingdoms!—

Jack had a very hasty Letter from me on Saturday afternoon:2 I have gone thro' nothing new since that;—busy always at the old labour; the more mechanical part of which is well forward in this quarter of it. If ever I get you these Letters of Cromwell printed, you will be delighted to read them: a man who in all his ways acknowledges the Great Creator and Sender of him; looking to do His will here on Earth as the first and last of all objects. It is beautiful to see,—tho' the like is all but totally forgotten now among men like him, and indeed among all kinds of men. I seem to myself as if working towards a good object, in trying to make such a man memorable and credible once more among my fellow-creatures.—

We have terribly wet weather these three days after long-continued dry: “long fair, long foul” is the proverb,—but we are seldom oppressed with wet in this country, and far oftener suffer from drought and the dirt it is sure to bring with it,—the very air at last getting full of dirt.——— My own health keeps very tolerable, better, I might say, than usual: but poor Jane, since the wet began, has got a “stiff neck,” kind of rheumatism in the back of the head which entirely lames her: she thinks she is a little better today and yesterday, but I do not expect she will be free for a few days yet. It will therefore be impossible for me to send off my Package of old Duds for Annandale this week yet; that important adventure must be delayed a little longer!

We hope Jamie is getting into his Potatoes by this time, having got the stockyard nearly regulated. I wish we heard some news of the Lease of Scotsbrig. He will of course be somewhat anxious, till he see clearly what is to become of him in that respect; there or elsewhere some reasonable up-putting for a reasonable man is still discoverable. Courage!—

I send you a Note I had today from a Berkshire Member of Parliament, whom Jack knows about.3 The first man, I suppose in England, who has abolished the preserving of Game! An old gentleman to whom I was reporting it this afternoon said almost with tears: “May the Almighty bless him!” This Pusey is elder Brother to the Clergyman Pusey, of whom as head of the Puseyites you hear so much.

Will you tell the Doctor to write for Jamie a set of Addresses to John Carlyle, Brantford &c or to Alick, whichever is judged the suitabler—write them on slips of paper fit for wrapping up Newspapers in; and then by the aid of two wafers weekly, Jamie may easily do kind thing[s] to one of his Brothers: the Newspaper, old Herald4 or any Newspaper, needs only to be thrown into the Post-Office, and it will go, free of charge to any one. Or perhaps Jamie would rather undertake to send the Address in his own hand? That of course would be still welcomer, as a sign of good tidings direct from Annandale.— I wish the Doctor would write to Alick this time; I am so very busy.

I send another Note* here, of some kind of Invitation to be a Steward at a great Scotch Dinner, with which I am totally unacquainted; I understand only that it is meant as a bit of honour done me: but I think it will not suit.——— I have a Letter too from Emerson tonight, who has sent me £30 of American Book-produce: this also I may as well inclose; Jack will return it to me.5

And now, dear Mother, I must see if I can catch a dry half hour, to stride out under cloud of night for a little walking, of which in the day time I have had decidedly too little. I will bid you all a right good night; and hope to hear good news from you before long. Keep out of the way of this wild weather, and take all care of yourself, dear Mother. My blessing with you all.

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle

*I find there is not admittance for that without an additional 2 pence,—so we will let it wait; the worth of it not being above a farthing (at highest)!