April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 20 June 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490620-TC-MAC-01; CL 24: 75-76


Chelsea, 20 june, 1849—

My dear Mother,

I hope you got Alick's Letter, thro' John, the other day; and also that Jean, as I requested her, forwarded a Note of mine,—which would give you some light as to our situation and intended movements here, and satisfy you that at least nothing had gone wrong. Has your cold gone completely away yet? We have beautiful westerly weather, not too hot either, and I have quite shaken off a wretched snivelling ailment of the same kind, which had affected me during the easterly winds.— I am, as you may fancy, exceedingly busy in these days; but I could not think of going out again today, without sending a salutation and assurance to my dear good mother, who is generally in my thoughts all days.

Jean's Note would inform you I am still bent for Ireland; appointed to go this day week. Various friends are waiting to see me, in parts of that country; my speculations too are all pointing towards remedy of the horrible misery which discloses itself more there than anywhere else, but which exists everywhere, in all countries, in these unhappy days: I calculate that I have a kind of secret obligation to go and look at it with own eyes, and ask myself, What can be done with it? I too have a kind of duty laid on me to speak out, and say, if I at all know!— Besides I am fallen dreadfully torpid (quite dazed and dull in the inner man of me) this long while, and feel that I shall be much better for a thorough stirring up for 2 or 3 weeks. The Country is wholesome beyond others, and safe for travelling, as Middlebie Parish itself:—nay, as I said, I have more than one friend in it, who personally likes me well. So let me go and look. I will write again before I go; and regularly while there. And the end of my Irish Tour, I calculate, will be far the nicest part of it all: a voyage across from the North to poor old Scotland and poor old Annandale again; where some time (perhaps early) in August, I may hope to see my dear old Mother, and kind Scotsbrig with its friends, once more! Amen.

We heard from John today;1 he is well, hearty, and well-lodged; there is talk from his Landlord about his staying there “till Jane come and join them,” that is, after my departure on her way northward; but how that may be is uncertain yet! Meanwhile Jack is well, and we may leave him to his2 Courses.— Jane too is well for her: she is gone out today; sitting “to a Painter,” who has been bothering me too in that way, but is now done with me.3

Thank Jenny very much for her welcome little Letter: I could like well to get another before I went.— We have a Barrel of new Indian Corn from Emerson; but cannot get it ground here,—the mill-stones are too soft and fill it with sand. He sent a Bag of Meal too (which is good,—but unhappily of small size): I eat that daily (boiled for hours) instead of potatoes and find it the best substitute.— Excuse this scandalous paper, dear Mother! My haste is very great indeed. My best love to Jamie and Isabella; my blessings with one and all. Your affectionate Son

T. Carlyle