The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 27 May 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530527-TC-MAC-01; CL 28: 154-156


Chelsea, 27 May, 1853

My dear Mother,

A little Note from John, two little Notes, confirmed what young Jamie had reported of you; and gave me great satisfaction, and relief from many anxieties. I still flatter myself you are now a good bit fresher, in this fine summer weather: for now at last we have got summer and no mistake,—the weather warm enough, and almost too warm! We have laid off all our winter clothes &c here, and are stripping ourselves barer and barer every day. I suppose there will be some new plunge of rain before long (whh indeed is much needed) and the temperature will fall again when the sun is hid: but in the meanwhile there is not likely to be any defect of heat again for some time. I hope you profit by it, dear Mother; tho' I cannot say it has yet done much for me; but indeed here in the Town, in these dusty circumstances, it has not yet had a fair chance.

The Navvies &c are never away out of our street yet; and we are now getting heartily tired of them. They work by the day, I have often thought, and not by the piece! Such trailing and wheeling to and fro, and ploutering and puddling! Their big chasm is all filled in, to the top of the street, or at least a great way past our door; but no wheel-carriage yet gets into us, and mounds of gravel &c lie about everywhere. Our next neighbour is up in Town, this very day, pricking them into greater speed.— — I have myself been rather busier of late; and have every day got something done; which indeed is the one solid comfort I have in the world. When nothing will go forward with me, as has been too often the case this long while, I get very disconsolate, and am disposed to say, What is the use of me at all!—My present job is no great things: only getting ready some bits of “Reprints” which the Booksellers are about making from my Essays: “Reading for Railways,” or some such title, they call the bits of Pamphlets,—1/ each;—of which I think I told you last time. The poor job is pretty well on now.

No certain news about Mrs Glen's case yet: her son wrote to me the other day again; but there was little to be answered: only I know the thing is not sleeping; and I still pretty confidently hope some little result will come out of it.

Poor Maccall has started lecturing; Jane has been twice to hear him. The Lectures, she declares, were excellent,—eloquent and what not:—but, alas the audiences hitherto are of the smallest, and no money at all can lie in them! Jane raised some forces to go and hear, last time; and has got two people to send notices to the Newspapers (Examiner & Leader), whh we hope will help a little. You will see the Examiner one (by a Mr Newman, brother of the Pusey Newman), last week: the one for the Leader was by Neuberg, and I am not sure it was not too late for insertion.1 Poor Maccall deserves considerable sympathy; I wish only he were not so rashly heterodox as he is! I do not see a smooth road ahead of him at all; but he must scraffle along.

Jane came back no worse from her Sterling jaunt: I was very glad to see her again; being lonely enough in the interim, and my Irish maid not the best of Housemothers. We were a good deal concerned to heart2 of poor Jean's adventure, and do not like these repeated mischances: however, she seems to be doing well herself, this time again; and that is a great relief to my imagination for the present.— Yesterday was “Whitsunday” in Scotland, and there would be a great topsyturvying there! Here it is no term;3 and all goes on as on another day,—except indeed Horse-races (drunken “Whitsun Holidays”), and some noise in the streets leading in from Epsom.4 Indeed London gets noisier and noisier in these months.— — Dear Mother, I did not bathe this morning, having got up too early; so I have it now to do, as well as my walk. And so—and so—I must stop here; and this beggarly dud is all I can send my good old Mother at present. Ah me, ah me! My blessings on you, dear Mother & them all

Your affectionate

T. Carlyle