April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 2 October 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18491003-TC-MAC-01; CL 24: 262-264


Chelsea, Wednesday 4 [3] Octr 1849—

My dear Mother,

I have been writing all day, day very wet too and dismal-looking; but before going out in my waterproof, I will still write you a small word. May it find you out of bed; removed from that sad imprisonment. How glad we were of the Dr's note last night!1 It was late in coming; I thought the Postman must surely be past, and no Letter coming; which was a fine field indeed to one's sick imagination! But Jack has been punctual,—thank him much for his good letter;—and so all is better than we had fancied it. I shall not soon forget the scene when I left you that morning. Oh take care, and be obedient to his doctoring; for you have no strength to throw away, dear Mother; and get well again, and let us hear that all is as it used to be. At this Autumn season you have cause to be doubly careful, especially with such wild weather as accompanies it just now. I will hope for good news, next time Jack writes too,—and tell him to write soon, whatever the news be.

I am getting pretty well round again, myself; and hope to accomplish some more result with what health I may have than lately. A good deal of rubbish, outward and inward, will require to be cleared away first! I have got the pen in my hand, however; and will try harder than usual not altogether to quit it till I do get down to the right vein.— Jane is better than when I wrote last, has got some tolerable sleep twice; but is still as weak as water, poor thing; and very irritable and sad; and needs all the good treatment I can manage, in my own poor state, to give her. She goes out almost daily,—not today in such blustery wet weather,—to Charing Cross and back again in an omnibus; that is pretty nearly all the exercise she gives herself, not being able for almost any walking. She sews, reads &c; and is clearly growing stronger. We are very quiet at this season; left mostly to ourselves hitherto; which is far the wholesomest condition. I hope to send you better news, as well as to get better news, before much time go by.

I was yesterday in the City, getting money: I saw nobody yesterday: on other days I have met acquaintances up and down; all people are coming back to London during this month; Forster (Jack knows him) had some “Hungarian Patriot” to give a dinner to;2 sent over his Boy yesterday,—but it was no work for me just now! At the Library, the day before, I found a Magazine Parcel left: in it an “Article,” which I have clipt out for you (nobody else will or need look at it),—the writer describes himself as a son of one David Hannay,3 an old schoolfellow of mine, who, has plaid but a bankrupt part in this world, but has now a son reviewing people, it would seem.4 Poor young creature, after all! I wrote three words to him; and so he ends. Item a poor man from Hampshire, “mechanic” there, writes to me with piteous request that I would lend him a Cromwell: I send it off today, and so end him too. Enough of botherations such as these.

Jamie's ricks and stooks, I much fear, must be taking ill with this weather. Tell not to fret or over-fatigue himself: I shall not be easy till I hear he is come home from Edinr,—that, I hope, will be a great relief to him; and good management afterwards may make all better than before. I sent Jack the Nation yesterday; thank him, as I said. My regards to the good Isabella. Blessings with you all, dear good Mother! / T. Carlyle