April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 23 October 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18491023-TC-MAC-01; CL 24: 268-269


Chelsea, 23 octr, 1849—

My dear Mother,

Last night was a night of good news: Jenny reports really well of you, and our hope (if you take good care of yourself) is rationally that her nursing will soon set you up again. The Dr also sent a Note; and Jamie appears to be doing every way well, and has the prospect of soon getting handsomely home again. Surely, surely, we should all be thankful!

But take care of yourself, and be very cautious, dear Mother. The weather here is fiercely cold; grim strong northwind blowing on us: and from Scotland we hear, what was to be expected, that you have hard winter days too. Today there is some rain; and doubtless the weather will moderate itself before real winter come: but in the meanwhile it is evidently most unwholesome weather for all weak creatures; and for your particular complaint, more directly than for any. Lie still in bed; keep reading: and see that the room is well warmed and well shut in before you venture to put on your clothes! We owe many thanks to Jenny; tell her so; and that she must not fail to write again or two,1 whether there is anything special to be said or not. If any “special” were to be said, we should expect a line from her instantly. Let her remember this.

We here are well, and busy, and have no news at all. Jane seems quite got round into her old way again; reading, sewing, writing (copying some of my rough papers); and few of our friends being yet come to Town, tho' some of them are, we have more composure, and the day more to ourselves, than at other seasons. I too am scribbling away,—my fingers are quite sore today with what I have scribbled;—which, alas, will turn to little account: yet it needs to be done, and is perhaps on the road to what will turn to account. The Bookseller is getting Cromwell 3d edition nearly ready; will send it out, I suppose, about the end of this month: but I have not seen him, or made any inquiry of my own about his procedure.

Last night, by a kind of accident, we had Mr Spedding with us,—him that lives over in Cumberland, you recollect,—a pleasant worthy man; and one or two other people came accidentally in, so that it was rather a stirring night till they went away. I had my usual sufficient walk along the pavements afterwards; and have taken little or no harm by the little bit of stir we had. A curious German called the other day too; an old acquaintance, as it turned out, of John's at Rome.2 And this morning there has been an afflicted rather wearisome young Brother from Brighton: terribly ill off about his “spiritual state,” his doubts, trials, &c &c: I counselled him earnestly to stick to his tools, and work diligently, leaving all that of “trials,” “spiritual state” &c to shift very much for itself!—— —— Isabella will get her two Jamies back again soon: our affectionate regards to her, poor Isabella. Now you are to take right good care of yourself, you dear Mother, and be well again soon. And Jenny will not fail to write.— My blessings with you all, evermore

T. Carlyle