July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 16 July 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470716-TC-MAC-01; CL 22: 18-20


Chelsea, 16 july, 1847—

My dear Mother,

It is a while since you heard directly of me, and I do not even know when Jack wrote; I will write you a line this day, tho' I am languid and stupid enough, and there are no news to tell. We have had a beautiful summer all this while, and at present it is still beautiful for all the essential purposes of a Summer, for growing of a good harvest namely;—but the heat within this week has grown so powerful that it lames us all! I have no flannel on, and almost no clothes but mere cobwebs, and pretences of clothes: one would wish to strip almost one's skin if one could, for the heat of these baked pavements is very great! Jane takes rather ill with it, and cannot go out except after sunset; as for me I am not so very badly off (tho' rendered utterly lazy), and Jack, I think, does not suffer by it at all. We rejoice, as we are bound, all of us, in the prospect of an abundant crop of every kind of grain; in which advantage all mortals will partake. The potatoes, they say again, are likely to be all rotted.

I have been very busy, so far as I could, for the last week or more, with an Index for the new F. Revolution they are printing. A poor man, called Christie, had done the Index for me, as well as he could; but it was wrong in every direction, and difficult to correct: I got done with it yesterday.— I send you a review, which came this morning, of your friend D'Aubigné's new Book on Cromwell; a poor dud of a Book, I am everywhere told, which he has cabbaged altogether out of me,—the impertinent little snaffle [weakling] that he is!1 This is all the news about Literature I have to send.

We have had a great many movements, and much jumbling to and fro of people about us, in this “heat of the season”; but have needed them as little as might be: and now happily the “season” is about ending, and our poor City is fast emptying itself again. Here is a Letter from New Orleans (the farthest nook of America), which a thickset very honest-looking Yankee Minister brought me some days ago; he a man unknown, introduced by a man equally unknown!2 I used him civilly; and soon got him away. There come to me many letters and persons of that vague description, whom I, have to get away in some handsome manner: “di' tha neither ill na' guid.”3

What will please you best is that we are still thinking of a journey to the North! Jane I have persuaded to go and see Haddington, if the Donaldsons be quite alone: she wrote yesterday to ascertain whether it was so. If they answer Yes, I will take her to Haddington, and run down for a few days to Annandale;—any way I still vaguely calculate that I at least must see you for a few days. Before long, very shortly indeed, I hope to write you more precise predictions on this subject.— Somebody ought to send me a word of news about you, dear Mother! I got only a little word from Jean since Isabella's Note, and am again worrying. I hope Jenny is now with you, and that you do not suffer much from the heat. Sleep with the door open; I think that would be useful in such nights as these. And do not go out in the blaze of the Sun; sit in the big room with the window up. May all blessings be with you, dear good Mother. I write again soon / T. Carlyle