July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 8 October 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471008-TC-MAC-01; CL 22: 121-122


Mirehouse, Keswick, Friday Night (8 octr 1847)—

My dear Mother,

Let me, before going to bed, write you a little word to set your kind anxieties about me to rest. I prospered today in every particular of my journey, and have nothing but thankfulness to feel in all respects, along with my sad mood at parting with friends so dear to me.— Jamie, I think, must have been about the East-moor again (except he staid at Garthwaite's) before our Train came forward so far: I tried hard, after we had passed the Westgill Burn &c to get a sight of Scotsbrig, but never could; you, I supposed, were looking at me. I had a carriage all to myself, which was a great comfort. Got well to Carlisle at the due hour; bought an umbrella price half a crown; could not think of breakfast,—did not in fact eat any breakfast today except my tea and egg with you. The waiting during two hours (spent in wandering about and smoking) was rather wearisome; but at last it ended, and I got to Wigton, still in a carriage all to myself,—where James Spedding (the London Spedding), with a fine hooded carriage and a pair of swift horses, was duly waiting,—a cheerful sight to see,—and so we instantly dashed away; and, after a pleasant enough drive, arrived here shortly after one o'clock. We had no rain at all almost after leaving Wigton, and on the whole got on very well. I could eat no lunch either, nothing but a bit of nice bread and butter and a glass of brandy-and-water: however, I made amends at dinner; and indeed am very well off now in regard to the eating part of it. I am very tired truly, and much in want of sleep; but having an excellent room and bed, I am like to get rid of that ailment too. In fact I am very well, dear Mother; and therefore do not trouble your kind heart concerning me any more.

The Painter Laurence is here, a very good little man with much sense; also two Lady Cousins of James's; and Thomas Spedding (the other Brother) with his Wife1 came over to dinner, and have lately gone away: tomorrow we are all to go to “Tom's” (this Thomas's house),2 and dine there; at least all the men of us are to go, which will please me quite as well, as likely to be quieter.— A Letter from Jane is here too, a very short one, enclosing two others of no consequence: she is continuing well.

Whether I shall get off on Monday seems to be a controversy here; but I mean to insist on it, unless staying be really pleasanter to me, that is unless sleep &c go all extremely well, which perhaps I can hardly calculate on in the present humour I am in. Monday I still look forward to. It seems, if one leave Keswick at 9 in the morning, one can be in London at 11 in the evening; which will answer extremely well.

Dear good Mother, my eyes are falling together: I hope you, for your poor old frail nerves, have got some sleep during the day! You had need enough of it. Thanks to you dear Mother for all your goodness to me; thanks to all of them: they were all good to me. To part from you is sad: but what can we say? God, that made us both, is great, is good: His will be done for this world and for all worlds! Your old age is very beautiful to me, dear Mother; I thank God for you under all conditions I have ever had you in! Good night. Isabella will be tired of reading this long scrawl,—or Jenny who, I suppose rather, is performing. My kind good night to one and all. God's blessing be on you.

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle