The Collected Letters, Volume 2


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 10 April 1822; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18220410-TC-MAC-01; CL 2:87-88.


Edinr, Wednesday-Afternoon [10 April 1822].

My dear Mother,

The box came to me last night with notice that Garthwaite would leave town to-day; so that I have not been without time enough to send you many and ample letters by this conveyance: but having been engaged or tired this morning & the preceding evening, and also having listened too much to the foul thief Procrastination,1 I have as usual narrowed myself greatly in point of space, and I have now only a few words that I can say to you; being engaged to appear at Dr Flemings (two miles off) within forty minutes.

I can still, however, find room to express my thankfulness to the Giver of all good for continuing a measure of health & happiness to you, and I am enabled to add a little to the latter by again assuring you that the same blessings are still vouchsafed to me. I beg my good Mother not to be anxious or uneasy about me. I have been long habituated to indifferent fortune, and have proved it so well, that even if it should return, it would affect me little in comparison with many. There is nothing on Earth indispensable but a good conscience—and if possible, steady health. The first I do trust never altogether to forfeit; and the last I make no doubt will be granted me completely ere long. So be at ease about me.

The stockings and other things you have sent me are of additional value in my eyes, as proofs of the unwearied care with which, tho so much embarrassed on your own account, you continue to watch over me. I still hope to see the day when I may acknowledge all this more effectually. I think you wanted a bonnet when I was at home: Do not buy any till after the box returns. I have always forgotten to ask at the shops about it; and I write this by way of pledge to force me to ask.

Edward Irving is come into this country again. He has been over in Fife, and the day before yesterday, he went away to Haddington to see his friends in that quarter: I expect his return ere long. The arrangements about his London journey are not yet completed; indeed it seems a little doubtful when he may go, or whether he may go at all. He is a good man, go where he will.

But my time is done, even before I have got fairly commenced. Excuse my brevity; write to me whenever you can; present my love to all the brethren & sisters—forge[t] no-one—not even little Jane & Jenny; and believe me to be,

My dear Mother, / Your affecte Son, /

Thomas Carlyle—

You need not send nearly so many eggs—or any butter.