The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 17 June 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530617-TC-MAC-01; CL 28: 173-174


Chelsea, 17 june 1853

My dear good Mother,—It is far longer than I intended it should be since I wrote; and today again I am in a heap of hurries, and sadly tumbled hither and thither! I hoped to have written a more deliberate letter, than I now can; but some letter I will write before going out: alas, that is all I can do for my good old Mother, and I ought not to neglect that. Thro' Jean and others, I suppose, you would hear in general how we were; and not be uneasy in your imagination about us since you last heard.

I get on very ill with my work; in fact, do not get on at all: but I must be perpetually trying; unless I stand to it, thro' good success and ill, there will evidently nothing come of it. Some day or other one does reap all the fruit of all the real work one has done; that is one's comfort. The unreal and mistaken work [which]1 must all be blown away is chaff; and one will then be thankful for the little handful of true wheat that remains.

Summer is now here in all its force and splendour; really beautiful weather, I hardly remember finer for many years back. Nor is it yet intolerably hot: at the beginning of this week (Monday chiefly) we had a most copious drenching of thorough rain; soft brisk southwest wind blows ever since; and all Nature, living and inanimate, rejoices in the brightness. I hope my good Mother gets the benefit of it; a great change indeed from the dreary harsh element we had not many weeks ago. John, I understand, is to be down with you today or tomorrow: I hope to hear good accounts by him before we are much older.— — Heat does not ever suit me very well; but in general I am no worse than formerly, better rather: only last night (that is the truth) I had a baddish sleep; and have been much bothered with “daundering individuals” who (on false tho' plausible pretences!) have got in to me, and interrupted my bits of affairs!— Jane, poor thing, did not sleep well either and we have the joiners and painters once more in our premises. Happily this is the “last time”; they are painting &c my new library-room (which will be very nice there);—and it will be a marvellous fact, I think, if I engage in the business of “Repairs” again for a while! I am banished upstairs today and yesterday,—to the “new Bedroom” (in the third story, in the front of the house), which is a large place, very neat and trim, with window blinds &c and the carpet off, where I am very snug, considering, and fully quieter than down below.— One of my visitors today was a man2 I thought of engaging as a clerk, to help me in the Museum &c, in this business: I did not quite engage him; but have a kind of notion that I shall, so soon as I have got it well schemed out.— Jane is still clear for Moffat about the end of this month or beginning of next: a few weeks of country Scotland will almost certainly do her good. Of the Glen affair there is yet no news to be had; but I am somehow led to believe it will be as I said before,—some small result got out of it. It seems now, however, the decision is not to be in the “end of june, ” but “some time in july”; so much belated are the Parliamentary Affairs this year.— We are going out to Addiscombe (10 miles off), Jane and I, tomorrow, with the Ashburtons, to stay till Monday: a beautiful place, where one might get some benefit; but alas—! Dear good Mother, I will be a better Bairn; and write again very soon. My blessings on you all. Your affectionate T. Carlyle