January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 12 July 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450712-TC-MAC-01; CL 19: 96-97


CHELSEA, 12th July, 1845.

MY DEAR MOTHER,—My hurry is indeed great, but it ought to be greater than it is before I neglect writing you a little word this week as I did last. I am whipt about from post to pillar at a strange rate in these weeks.

Jack's visit to you was a welcome piece of news here. The good account he gave of you was much wanted. We are very sorry indeed to hear of poor Isabella. It seems as if nothing could be done for her, and her own weakness and suffering must be very great. Jamie is kind and patient, you may assure him of our sympathies.1 A sudden turn for the better may take place, I understand, as of its own accord all at once. Let us keep hoping the best.

The back of this sorrowful Book is now broken. I think another month of stiff labour will see it well through. They are printing away at the second volume—about half done. I have to go along amid endless confusions, the way one has to do in all work whatsoever. The Book will, on the whole, be better than I hoped, and I have had some honest thoughts in the writing of it which make me the more careless what kind of reception the world gives it. The world had better try to understand it, I think, and to like it as well as it can! Here is another leaf of a proof sheet to be a token to you of our progress. So soon as ever it is over I am off for Annandale. The heat has never been very oppressive to me, never violent beyond a day or two at a time, then rain comes and cools it again. I get considerable benefit of my horse, which is a very darling article, black, high, very good natured, very swift—and takes me out into the green country for a taste of that almost every day. I sometimes think of riding it up into Annandale, but that will be too lengthy an operation.2

Jane is going to Liverpool to her Uncle's in a fortnight. She will stay with them a week, then another week with some country friends in that quarter. I wished her to go to Scotland and see old friends there at Haddington and elsewhere, but she is rather reluctant to that. She is not very strong and has many sorrows of her own, poor little thing, being very solitary in the world now. In summer however she is always better.

I have heard nothing from Jack of late days. I suppose him to be still at Mr. Raine's.3 Perhaps uncertain whitherward he will go next. At any rate country is better than town at present,—free quarter than board-wages. I expect he will come back to you again before the season end.

We were out at a place called Addiscombe last week among great people, very kind to us, but poor Jane could sleep only about an hour each night—three hours in all. I stayed but one night, came home on my black horse again. Some peace and rest among green things would be very welcome to me—and it is coming soon, I hope. Adieu, dear Mother—my kind love to you and to all of them. I am in great haste and can speak but a few words to mean much by them. My blessings with you.

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