The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 8 November 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18521108-TC-MAC-01; CL 27: 351-353


Chelsea, 8 Novr, 1852—

My dear Mother,

I intended well to write to you on Saturday; but people came in, at exactly the wrong moment, and there was no time more. You would gather by the Newspapers sent last week that I had got home again; and that really was the most of what I had to say. I had bundled up a Book for you (the Westmr Review), which goes off at last today; the Fraser I have sent to Jean at the same time: but she is instructed to send it over to you if you care in the least to see it. Jack, I think somehow, told me when in Annandale that you never looked into Fraser: is that so? If it be (which I can well enough understand), the shortest way is evidently what I have now followed, to send it on to Dumfries direct. There is but little benefit to be had in any of these trashy Books, or indeed in most Books going at present!

I came home on Tuesday evening last, the wet weather, and futile arrangements otherwise, delayed me a day. Jane had this place all clean of workers at last; clean, as her wont is, and shining with gas at the door, and other lights, to welcome me to tea. I have had a weary struggle every day since, and am not thro' it yet, arranging my things in their new places; an operation rather sad than hopeful to me in my present dull humour: but I must persist till it is done, and then by and by there will be a real improvement. The house is clearly very much bettered; this room of mine, in particular, and my bedroom upstairs, are or will clearly be perfect beauties of rooms in their way: let us be patient, “canny as eggs”; and the better day will come at last!— I am terribly brashed with all these tumblings about, in fact; and have not yet fairly recovered my feet: but, with quiet, with pious endeavour, I shall surely do so; and then, it will be joyful to see the black tempest lying all behind one, and the “bright side” of the “cloud” attained, for one! All clouds have their bright side too: that also is a thing we should remember. On the whole, I hope to get to a little work again; and that is the consolation which surpasses all for me.

Isabella's Note with Sandy's1 Letter came this morning: I have already forwarded it to Jean, with direction to send it on to the Doctor where he now is. The Butter Packages came, all safe, on Friday night. Report that all is right there, accordingly. We tried the Butter on Saturday; found even the top surface very fair; and now, this morning, the criticism is, “excellent butter indeed!” The straw had got wet, Jane told me; but neither had the Pitcher got hurt, nor was anything in the least out of joint in the one package or the other. Carriage for both 6 /,—which is cheap surely for such a distance! All right, therefore on that hand.

On friday about 2 p.m. Jack plunged in here upon me, as he will probably have told you; drove me off to the Station where his Wife was: in all, we were near an hour together. He was full of flaffing laughter at his new unexpected position and “altogether happy according to circumstances” was the definition of both so far as I could see. I liked Mrs John too; a very comely sonsy honest-looking lady of her sort: in a word, one could augur well of the poor Dr in this adventurous enterprise, and hope with some confidence that it wd turn out to be a great improvement in his way of life, poor soul! They are gone towards Ryde in the Isle of Wight, as I suppose is known to you by this time; and are to be here again, going northward, we expect, within a fortnight hence.

Thank Isabella many times for all her goodness,—not forgetting the good news she sends of our dear old Mother; for which too Another and Higher must be thanked Oh take care of yourself, dear Mother; and let us all take care of you, and help to bear your burden now that you are weak: surely God himself commands us that,—and it brings & will bring its own reward. My blessings are with you, dear Mother, and with them all. Ever your affectionate,

T. Carlyle 2