August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 1 November 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18461101-TC-MAC-01; CL 21:84-85.


The Grange Alresford 1 Novr, 1846—

My dear Mother,

There is nothing but haste, derangement, and confusion of all one's time and plans in this Establishment: so I must write to you with much more brevity than I intended; but if I do not write at all, you might think, after my promise, something bad had befallen,—which I am thankful to tell you is not at all the case. Nay something good has befallen: we found, this morning, on the big breakfast-table here, the Doctor's last Letter with good news from Scotsbrig and you, which was as welcome a message as could have arrived. Tell the Doctor I am much obliged to him, and will answer soon. In the meantime I think his decision about Dante altogether right, and was glad he had taken that view of it. The rest I will write to himself.—

We got here; according to our project, on Wednesday; a nasty cold foggy day in London; here all bright and sunshiny as today again is (for we stand on chalk soil which is averse to fogs): we found a large party here, a warm welcome (so far as any welcome in a place like this can be warm), and have been struggling along ever since amid the whirl of flunkeys and general turmoil of things to do the best we could,—not at all with bad success hitherto. Such a life for long would be insupportable to me; but till Thursday when it has to end we can make it do very well. Old Rogers (whom John will tell you about if you like) is here; and to me one of the most tiresome of men.—

Dear Mother, the day before going off I sent you a woollen gown,—a nice bit of modest small tartan, which Jane chose for you in the biggest London shop; she says you may wear it very well with a black shawl, and that it is very warm and very pretty. I sent it to James Aitken's care; I fancy it will be there now in a day or two. I wish you to get it made well, by somebody that understands the job; and I will pay for it. Pray do that for me.— Yes, dear Mother, surely I will send an autograph with right good will for your sake. Here it is!— Ever yours T. Carlyle

I sent Jenny a Letter lately; and expected an answer, but have not yet got any.