The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 28 August 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510828-TC-MAC-01; CL 26: 144-146


Malvern, Thursday morng 27 [28] Augt, 1851—

My dear Mother,—I hardly know where to hit you at present; but fancy you are still at Dumfries till about Saturday, so I will try in that direction. The night before last, I had a Note from John (all well at London) enclosing Jean's, and what must have been a very precious one to you, Jenny's from her new home in America.1 The poor little body seems altogether full of happiness at reaching her destination in such circumstances, and reuniting her poor household which has been split so long. I never read anything like so cheery a Letter from her. Let us hope this change, which was at any rate inevitable, will turn out greatly for her good as things go on! Rob is much fitter for being some wise person's servant than his own master; Jenny's presence beside him may help to steady the poor soul. We will hope all may go well over there. As I know not whether they saw the Letter at Scotsbrig, I think of sending it thither to Jamie today.

As for me I am coming off on the set day; Saturday first, day after tomorrow; my “water-cure” having then run its course. So at nine in the morning we go in a coach to Worcester, only 7 miles; then we find a train for Birmingham and Liverpool; at 4 p.m. if all go right we shall be in 20. Maryland Street, where the House is very quiet I daresay, there being nobody but one of the young damsels in it by herself. Jane will stay there, or can run across to Manchester, till we see farther. But on Monday morning I intend to leave it, and to be at Scotsbrig that same afternoon, and see you all once again! I will write to Jamie, explaining by what train and whether at the Galls2 or Ecclefechan.— I daresay my “water-cure” has really done me good; but at present I am so out of sleep, I feel weaker than I ought to do: I expect to be very much stronger after one week of Scotsbrig. I have walked, and do still walk immensely: this morning, for example, I have had an hour-and-half of it, after my “packings” and slaisterings:—a beautiful bright windy morning, after a night of heavy rain, the first effectual rain we have yet seen here. Two other walks or rides remain for me in the course of the day. Tomorrow there must be settling of accounts, and getting up of trunks; then take the road again, and adieu to water (in such quantities) for some time.

How long I am to be at Scotsbrig seems very uncertain. We had a visit to pay in Cheshire (20 or 30 miles from Manchester) to “the Stanleys,” Lord and Lady Stanley, old friends of mine; but their Daughter is about marrying a young Scotchman (Earl of Airly), and of course all is hurry and bustle,—and perhaps that visit will blow over altogether, which I shall like as well and better. In that case I shall be free till the 10th of Septr, and of course intend to keep quiet at Scotsbrig all the while. We shall see how it goes, and need not bother ourselves at present. If all go right I shall hope to see my dear old Mother again, and have tea with her at Scotsbrig, on Monday afternoon.

James Aitken and Jean will be at home, I dare say; give my love to them, and hopes of a happy meeting soon. And so adieu dear Mother. I have various little Notes to scribble, and this is by no means the best of employments for me just now.—— N. b. I have never pretended in the least to renounce my tobacco; but it has, of its own accord, shrunk to about half the quantity since I got into the water-puddles here.

Enough, dear Mother, for this day. With my best regards to all, I am ever

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle