The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 21 June 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530621-TC-MAC-01; CL 28: 176-177


Chelsea, 21 june, 1853, / (Tuesday)

My dear Mother,

Yesterday, being detained at Addiscombe till after Post-time, I sent you forward a Spectator, which I hope would arrive, and prevent any uneasy imaginations about us. We expected to come home in the morning of Monday; but, by hospitable pressing &c, it was not till nine at night that we got away:—I had a very pretty ride outside, thro' the summer air, Jane inside; and we found all safe here on our return about 11. One of our days at Addiscombe was wholly wet till towards evening; but even that was not unpleasant in the beautiful green silent country; and all the rest of the time was sunny weather, or fine grey which I like better. We were a small quiet party, and did very well; a little breath of pure country very agreeable after these months of town. Yesterday we had a drive to a place called Hayes, some four or five miles away; a House worth looking at, for it was the dwelling place of a great man called Lord Chatham, and the birthplace of Pitt his son! I was the discoverer of this fact; not a soul knew anything about such a thing, or would believe it, till we went and found that the people in the House itself were familiar with it,—knew Pitt's birthroom, Chatham's bedroom &c &c. The latter, a truly remarkable person, had new-built the place, according to his own plans; a terrible “capon [hypochondriac]” for nervous ill health, horror of noises &c &c:1 we were all very glad to have seen it, and the thick shady woods that are round it.

Coming home, I found, among other things, a Canada Newspaper from Alick; of which I clip off the date and title for you, and send the cover with its three strokes. Three, I suppose, mean that a small packet I had sent for Alick,—consisting of my own Portrait and Jane's (like what you got),—had arrived safe, and that otherwise too all was well. This will serve my poor Mother for a Letter from Canada, or some thing almost as good; and, I need not doubt, will be very welcome.

Jamie's Herald Newspaper has never yet come; I send you off the Examiner; I myself read another copy of it at Addiscombe.

Our Painters are here; but we keep the door strictly shut upon them; and they do not do us much ill. Besides we hope they will be away in a few days,—and that we shall never see their faces again (or almost never)!—

I am in treaty with some “dud of a body,” who wishes to be “clerk” to me, to copy for me, go to the Museum &c; but I rather fear he will not answer after all; so shall hardly engage him. He lives too far off, that is the worst fault (nearly 10 miles from me)2; and writes but an indifferent hand.

All about Addiscombe, and in Pitt's park at Hayes, the people are busy mowing; and have a most sappy and heavy swath of hay;—all natural grass, as usual. The crops generally look extremely well. On the top of the height (near Pitt's place) I remember nothing [but]3 rye in ear.

But I must go, my dear good Mother! Ah me, ah me; I had, and have always, so many things in my heart that long to be spoken to you:—but you understand the best of them without any speaking. May blessings be on you, dear Mother, I send my love to all. Your affectionate

T. Carlyle