August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 14 March 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470314-TC-MAC-01; CL 21:178-180.


Chelsea, 14 March, 1847—

My dear Mother,— Last time I wrote, my ending was somewhat abrupt, a benevolent man having suddenly arrived with a led horse to take me riding. I went out, and had an excellent long ride; found, however, that I must soon write to you again,—one essential thing being still omitted. That essential thing I now enclose: the bit of paper accompanying this; which James Aitken, on or after Tuesday, will take to the Bank, and change for you into a £5 Note. Part of this, if you find it to be needful,—I do not know how much, according to your own good judgement,—you may give to Jenny (as your gift, according as you see good): with the remainder you are to buy yourself some little thing while you are in Dumfries, and take it home with you as my poor gift, and affectionate remembrance of my good old Mother, whom I rank always, and ought to rank, among my chief blessings in this world. Now get yourself some nice little object that will do you good;—or lay out the money in any way you like, dear Mother, and let me think I have given you a moment's pleasure with it!— Jean, I think, was to let me know if Jenny's small income was like to be too small for this dear season; she has not yet spoken; but I suppose it will be handiest to put the thing altogether under your charge who are upon the spot, and enable you to do with it according to the law of wisdom, as your own kind heart may interpret that.— I suppose there is no risk whatever, this time, of the money's coming safe; so that there need be no haste about replying for a day or two.

Jean wrote to me long ago, and I still remember my debt, and will pay it,—as you may tell her. Tonight there is another Newspaper sent for James, on trial; but it seems a very decidedly inferior one; and accordingly have already given orders that the former one, the Weekly Times,1 be furnished me regularly; and he shall get that at the beginning of every week, until he send contrary orders. My chief objection to the thing is its painful small print, which I take to be ill for the eyes: do not you read it, dear Mother. The Newspapers, I find, to be mostly or all a very idle kind of reading (the “common clatter of the Country” put in types); and accordingly make very little of them serve me in general.

We have got bright Spring weather here; and hope the wretched cold is quite gone. Jane continues well; Jack is very well, and we see him often, as usual. I am still going mainly idle! Today I saw Peel walking in Kensington Gardens with a little Daughter;2 I thought, “My lad, you will have a shot at things by and by again!” He looked across very kindly at me; whom I believe he knows by face: “a jolly goodlike man.”— Tell Jean, if she would write me again, I should take it very well! Some of them must tell me how you are without delay. We heard from Scotsbrig the other day: well. Good night, dear Mother

Son Tom