July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 13 December 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471213-TC-MAC-01; CL 22: 175-177


Chelsea, 13 decr, 1847—

My dear Mother,

We are very sorry to find your trouble still continues, tho' now in a less degree. It is a sad thought to me in the mornings: My poor Mother is lying confined, unable to walk, at this time! But we must not be impatient: we have had much health among us; and often has good news come to us from Scotsbrig on your behalf: let us be patient, let us be grateful. Jack still persists in imputing your illness to mere common derangements of the stomach, by sitting too long over your Books &c; and assures us we shall have you in your usual way again shortly: let us hope that it will be even so. Isabella is very good in writing to us.— I suppose this business must be part of the general ill-health that is over all the country at present. In London, and from all quarters, within seas and beyond, we hear of nothing but Influenza and other bodily ailments: there never was, they say, as much sickness in London;1 at Chelsea too, many persons are ill, young and old laid hold of by distempers of one kind or other. In our house here, unlike many of our acquaintance, we have escaped altogether as yet.

With regard to the stockings and spinning, Jane bids me tell you that it is “mere nothing”:2 you are not, any of you, to make the smallest bustle about the affair, concerning which there is no hurry at all: only when some right wool does turn up, and our dear old Mother is in a case for spinning again, Jane will be very proud to wear a pair of stockings or two of her manufacture. That is really all:—and we will hope to see its accomplishment yet in good time.

The Miscellanies are at Dumfries, I suppose; getting bound for you. The F. Revolution is now out too; but I think you are all provided with that. I have got part of the payment for these two Books; £250; and £350, I believe, will be paid before long: so that I am pretty well in funds at present,—not chased about, as I used to be, by the haggard shad[ow]3 of Beggary; which is a great relief to me, now when I am growing old! I am very thankful for my poverty; and for my deliverance from it in good time.— They have also paid me for the Cromwell Paper in Fraser £17 and odds. Which is all right, in its way.

Tell Jamie, as to the Satter, I do not see any likelihood for me there at present: of course if they sell Cushathill and it together,4 that is final; moreover the price is beyond my present capabilities. However, let him keep his eye on the thing; and if there do seem any chance, we will not neglect it.

Here is a Letter from good Thomas Erskine, just come; you may read it, and then burn it: a good man; whose word it does one good to hear now and then.— — Jack was with us yesterday, as he often is; very busy, very brisk and well. Our weather is unusually warm and bright for the season; often moist, too, and indeed Jane has gone out to enjoy the sunshine; and so will I.— — Keep yourself still, dear Mother; and let us hear soon, if it bless Heaven, that you are fairly on foot again! My blessing with you, dear Mother; and with one and all.

Ever your affectionate

T. Carlyle