January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 4 June 1830; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18300604-TC-MAC-01; CL 5:111-112.


Craigenputtoch, Friday Night [4 or 11 June 1830].

My Dear Mother,

I have just learned that Elliott1 is going off tomorrow morning; so that I have an opportunity of sending down Mag's drugs,2 which I have been keeping with regret these two days. I think you must try a Powder of them tomorrow night, with a little spoonful of Salts next morning: I am almost sure it will do some good. If so you may without scruple repeat the dose; the operation of the second is easier than that of the first: indeed, I rather incline to think, had some such thing been used months ago, this painful bout of sickness might have been escaped.

I shall look eagerly for Waugh's Letter; which, however, I am well aware, may fail to come: nay, if it do come, may fail to throw any clear light on the matter.3 I am to write to Jack tomorrow,4 and he will perhaps give us a better opinion: if he have any advice specially for you, he will write direct to Scotsbrig: perhaps about this day week. But for myself, I incline to hope that Doctors will soon be superfluous: Mag was evidently growing fresher: she has still much of her strength, and the Summer weather is all before her. Tell her not to be disheartened; for thousands of people have come thro' innumerable things with their Bowels,5 the diseases of which are the least dangerous, in proportion to their pain, of any other. They also lie, when one has a certain degree of strength, very much under our own management.

Has Jamie got the Chair ready? That, it appears to me, would be a decided improvement: tell him that it should and must be done.

I got along very fairly that morning; was in Dumfries at half-past seven, on the road again in an hour, and home before eleven. Nancy6 I met just leaving home, and paid her out her wages. They had had a rather dryish day on Wednesday; but guessed what had detained me. I have had a sleep now, and am no worse for my journey: I hope Jane too has got a sleep in the legal way; she was very excusable for that oversight; which did me no harm whatever.

The Tax-office was not open as I passed thro' Dumfries: but I will send down the money with Elliott, and he will deliver you the Receipt from the Tax-man, or at worst return the money. He is also to get you a Sponge (value received) from some Saddler.

They are all well here: Alick, whom I saw two minutes ago, is at his turnips, and the weather good. The Farmer of Sandy-wells has sent up a gig for sale here (at £12); but we will not have it: it seems no great bargain, and money is not overflowing.— I saw my Uncle John7 on the street that morning, and talked with him while the drugs were getting ready: he seemed perfectly well.

Now Jane, or some of you, will be sure to [write on] Tuesday: mention also how my Father feels himself; if he is not well, I am nearly sure a dose of Castor-oil will recover him. He must keep dry feet, and be careful of his diet.

Take good care of yourself, my dear Mother, and look forward to better times. Right good times, as we would have them, will never come in this world: yet once more, let us trust, we shall all be on our feet to front the mixture of good and evil Mother. With kindest love to all! T. Carlyle

I am in some haste, as you may see.— I hope to begin writing again on Monday or so.— Jack sent a Newspaper.