August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 16 November 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18461116-TC-MAC-01; CL 21:92-93.


Chelsea, 16 Novr, 1846—

My dear Mother,

Here is a Letter received this morning, which I must make no delay in sending to you. It will be welcome, as good news from our good Alick always is. He seems to be doing still well in his far home; thrashing, joinering, and busily arranging; putting his own establishment under his own mind's command, which I think is the truest enjoyment a man can have. The Liverpool Box had not yet reached him; but I suppose will have arrived about this time, or will soon arrive.

I am still leading a very peaceable life here; not fixed to any job, yet not totally idle either: jobs I do believe lie ahead of me, if I last long. I am reading a great many Books, thinking now and then, in a more or less vague manner, of a great many things. In point of health I have not been better for a long while. I have got warm winter clothing; I walk a reasonable space every day, sometimes twice a day; and sleep considerably beyond what my average has been for some years past. For a crazy machine such as this body of mine, now growing an old machine too, this is very well.— Jane also maintains a fair condition of health; walks more than I have almost ever known her do; seems to grow stronger, as well as more serious, as she gets older. We have cold dry weather; do not go out to seek company, and see only a few persons, yet still a few, occasionally drop in upon us here.— I believe they are printing some of my Books very busily; but even this I have never yet inquired into the progress of: tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it seems all one to me, so far as that goes! For these things let us be thankful.

Thomas Erskine is here, with his Sister,1 at present: just returned from Rome, where they have been these two years for the sake of health: apparently not much improved, for poor Thomas is again under the Surgeons, and nearly confined to his house ever since he came. We are to visit them tomorrow evening; in the most quiet and private way.— Miss Martineau, perhaps you have heard, is off to Egypt, with some very rich, benevolent, and very stupid Liverpool people: we saw her here some time ago as she passed thro';—certainly one of the most wearisome of all human beings, if I were judge!2 Blown up with self-conceit, till she