The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 11 December 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18521211-TC-MAC-01; CL 27: 364-365


Chelsea, 11 Decr, 1852—

My dear Mother,

I sent you yesterday a poor couple of Pamphlets, Fraser and another; not because I could hope you would get any good of them, or perhaps read at all in either of them; but simply as a remembrance, and because I had nothing better to send. The second Pamphlet, which was about farming, went purely because it came within weight, and the Post would take it for nothing! The poor American “Coleman”1 that wrote it is now dead: I thought Jamie perhaps might find in it something worth looking at;—let him take it, and try!—

We are again very damp here, rain breaking out anew, and our street all sloppy and muddy: I understand all the low grounds over this south of England are actually under water; such a rainy time never seen before in these parts. Some say, it will have a chance to cure sick vegetation; to take the poison (which has killed potatoes, turnips &c in late years) out of the Earth, by thoroughly washing it in this manner. Well, if it do so, it will be useful; but in the mean time we cannot praise it as very comfortable;—tho' on the whole, we have to take it as it comes; and may say truly, “Better than we deserve!”

Such weather, I am sure, is not wholesome: nevertheless none of us here has suffered materially by it, tho' grumbling & complaining, as is the habit of us both. Poor Jane often cannot get out, and sleeps ill at night, which is the parent of other ill effects. As for me, I go on as heretofore; and struggle away. Five or six days ago, one morning after bathing, I was struck thro' the back with a vile, troublesome, tho' highly contemptible stroke of rheumatism; which is not yet quite gone, tho' it is now much abated: I respected it so far as to stay one whole day (which was rainy, and the first of the affair) within doors; every day since, I have gone out walking as usual,—and have now (in Tom Garthwaite's language) pretty well “worked out the streen.” I live, for most part, utterly alone; am busy over my Books and reflexions here; and try to be not idle, but to get a little work done while time is running on: that is, as heretofore, the grand rule if one could but follow it. Of Parliamentary or other nonsense, at present going, I take no notice at all: why should I, however loud it be?2 “What's ta use on't?” as Dick of Paddick-Ha'3 said: “When the flames o' Hell will burn it all up before long” (as I perceive)! A more scandalous knave than this new Jew Minister I have not often seen: but it was not I that brought him; nor can I send him off again: he must “fight his own battle” for me!— — Jack wrote us a little word the other day, how he had seen you: I hope soon to get another bulletin from somebody. Ah me! But paper and time are both done. Blessings on you all

T. Carlyle

Neuberg the German has come to this Country again, my old travel-mate. We have only seen him once yet; and fancy he has pitched his tent at Hampstead, far enough away.