October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 13 March 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460313-TC-MAC-01; CL 20: 142-144


Chelsea, Saturday (13 March) 1846—

My dear good Mother,

I am getting on better here than, I suppose, you sometimes apprehend by my blameworthy silences. In fact, it is not strenuous heavy labour at all that I have to do with; it is rather infinite fash and fikery [concern with detail], writing innumerable Notes to stupid people &c &c, which provokes me much, and consumes all my time.1 However, the Printer is now fairly done with the First Volume; and I have, this moment, got done with the Second, and have it all ready for him; and as for the Third Volume, it is a much lighter job, and requires very little in comparison. So about ten days hence, I expect really to have only the Appendix to do;—and in no great length of time to be free of that also; and have only Proofsheets to read; which will give me a deal more of leisure, and be a very welcome change!— I have added some 45 Letters or more;2 and done the Book no ill. Some of the new Letters you will like much: indeed I am not sure but you will have to read the whole Book again!— Considering the frivolous humour of most men, it is matter of great surprise to me how so many have taken to read this Book; and how very universally my char[acter of the man] has been recognised as actually [correct.] So I must not grudge my labour upon it. In all probability this is the usefullest business I shall ever get to do in the world; this of rescuing the memory of a Noble and Thricenoble Man from its disfigurement, and presenting him again to a world that stands much in need of the like of him: I do not know any worthier work a poor Son of Adam that pretends to write at all could do, in the writing way!—

We have beautiful Spring weather here, tho' occasionally dim: I stay much within doors, and heed little the external babblements of Corn-Law and the like. Indeed I [do not think of] them. I go up to visit the [Baring family] once a week and that is almost my only outgoing.— Jane is going with the Lady Harriet out to the Country, next week, about ten miles off; to stay for a month, going and coming: I too am to go and come occasionally. It is a very pleasant place, and will do her good. You can tell John: The Paulets have about done with their Eye-doctor; are to go “next Tuesday.”

Dear Mother, I wish you would write me a little line, were it never so shaky. I wish at least somebody would tell me specifically how you are! Take care of the cold East winds; they are not good at this season; take care of yourself, dear Mother!— I will write again soon. Thank John for his Letter; and bid him send another. My blessing to you all. Jane is out, and cannot send her regards. Ever your affectionate

T. Carlyle