January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 20 July 1830; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18300720-TC-MAC-01; CL 5:123-125.


Craigenputtoch, 20th July, 1830—

My Dear Mother,

Had I not partly promised to Jamie that I would write tonight, I should hardly have taken up the pen at present; for it is late, and my daily Task is far from done; as I have been very stupid today, and plagued with a dirty little rheumatism in one of my shoulders. However, I should tell you that this is one of my worse sort of days: in general, I get thro' my required number of pages handsomely enough; am in better health than when you saw me; and on the whole have reason rather to be thankful than to complain.

I hope, if this poor scrawl do no other good, it may induce Jane, or some other of you, to write me a line about your own condition; especially how my Father and you are. We feel somewhat uneasy about my Father, especially as he seems so disheartened himself. It seems his cough is about gone, yet he is little better. I hope it is nothing more than a weakness of digestion, which is bad enough, but not dangerous: I and you know by sad experience how dispiriting it is. Very probably his common mode of diet, so much on milk and the like, may be against him; animal food, fresh soups, eggs &c are in general far wholesomer: I think also, a little brandy and water, especially before meals, would have a good chance to help him. Would the weather but mend too! But it is still wet and threatening: such a day as last Saturday I have scarcely seen in any July.

I enclose you a short rag of a Letter from Jack: I have reproved him for his hurried brevity to you and to me; and hope he will amend in that particular. When I hear next from him, I will take the first chance of letting you know. As to that delay in the printing of my Book, I care nothing about it; I have already written to the man Gleig,1 to see if he will purchase the article from me; and will write to one or two others if need be; being minded, unless Fraser2 instantly bestir him and get on with printing, to take it out of his hands altogether, tho' I should lay it by here in my drawer, and not publish it at all. I will finish it too, now that I have begun it, let a' come to a': if they and their parliamenteering take their own way, I too will take mine.

Mary has not time to write, she says; but thanks you for the scissars. She is for Dumfries tomorrow with Alick, who is going to bring up Peter Robertson and his large saw.— We also have to thank you for a prime cheese, quite according to my heart, and th[at?] tempts me to eat of it daily.

But now, my Dear Mother, I must close this poorest of Letters, which only by the will not by the act can be of any value to you. I am coming down so soon as I have done with this second volume (the exact date I cannot say, but it will not be long), and stay a day or two with you. Do not let sad thoughts settle on your mind. Her who is gone we cannot recal[l], but, as we trust, shall again meet with, in a clearer country, where is no parting any more. If it so please God! Nay, our Margaret too is with God, as we are; and He is Father and All-good Ruler both of them that are Yonder and them that are Here. His will be done! Other refuge have we none; need we none.—— Ever Your affectionate Son——

T. Carlyle

Mary delivered me your message about the New Testament, which, you may relie on it, shall not be forgotten. No subject in the world occupies me so often, or should so often occupy me.

I have written to Jack that he is not wanted here at all; but must proceed forthwith and take lodgings, and practice with all his might. Ere long he must begin, one would think.