1824- 1825

The Collected Letters, Volume 3


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 2 July 1824; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18240702-TC-MAC-01; CL 3:100-101.


Kew Green, Friday— [2 July 1824]

Dearest Mother,

It is within ten minutes of the time for the Post's departure; otherwise believe me I would not have put you off with this meagre scribble, which short as it is, you will scarcely ever make out. Yet it and not go without taking my kindest wishes to you along with it, health my assurances from my own hand1 of being in my usual state of health and comfort, which I know will please you more than any other tidings you can hear.

Are you well, my dear Mother? Make them tell me instantly: Jack might have written ere now; tell him to lose no instant of time. The address is Mr Page's, Kew-Green, London. It is my earnest prayer that you may all be as you ought to be—

Since leaving you, tho' travelling jades and deranges me, I have not been below my usual degree of health and comfort. In the last respect I have in general been far above it: I have seen many interesting people many whom you would like as well as I. I was at a place called Walthamstow on the other side of London at a meeting of a Bible Society. The people seem to me the best taking them as a whole that I have ever seen. Most of them are merchants and persons of fortune: there is perhaps two or three millions of annual revenue in that and the adjoining parish; and all the surplus of it, or very nearly all, is expended on works of benevolence; in Bible societies, Missionary societies, and Charities of every conceivable sort. It was quite delightful to me to see the honest kind hearted, portly old Englishmen. There were about ten or a dozen clergymen among them, some of whom I liked very much. The priest of Walthamstow is himself one of the best people I ever looked on.2 He looks somewhat like Duncan of Ruthwell,3 but he is taller and more noble in his aspect. Do but think—the man has £25,000 annually besides £500 from his parish, and he spends £15,000 in works of pure benificence! His brother in law and curate has £10,000 a year and spends in proportion. I assure you my dear Mother, there are a multitude of worthy persons of a similar stamp among us: I mention it because I know it will give you pleasure as it surely does myself.

“But dost thou read any in thy Book thou knave?” Yes, I assure you without-exaggeration I have read in it very of[ten] of late and now that I am settled I propose to read still oftener. But the hour is come! Adieu my good Mother! Make them write to me quick, quick!

I am ever, your true son /

Th: Carlyle