January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 10 August 1830; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18300810-TC-MAC-01; CL 5:139-141.


Craigenputtoch, Tuesday Night [10? August 1830]—

My Dear Mother,

Tho' I have nothing worth writing, and scarcely a moment's time, I must send you a word or two before going to sleep.

We are all well here, and longing very much to hear from Scotsbrig. We hope for some word about my Father, and your general state, last week: perhaps tomorrow we shall be more fortunate. What to think about my Father's state of health we know not rightly, but still trust the best.

From Jack I have got no more word; but expect to hear tomorrow that he is settled in his own lodgings, and begun practice, which, were it not that necessity compels him, he seems so loth to do. Neither have I heard anything definite about the disposal of my German History: I have now some thoughts of stopping in it soon after where I am, and perhaps for the present cutting it up into Review Articles, and publishing it first in that way. It will be the readiest method of sale; and I wish much that I were done with it, one way or other; for the task never pleased me. I could write, and will write something infinitely better, ere long.

The Jeffreys are all coming hither in the end of the month; but I will try to take a run into Annandale before that time. Our peats we have not yet begun to bring home, so the large horse will be busy; but Harry is always forthcoming.

I forget whether I mentioned last week that we had a parcel from Goethe, with pictures of his House &c; and a still stranger parcel from Paris, addressed to the Author of the Signs of the Times.1 The people there seem to think me a very promising man, and that some good will come of me. Thus, a prophet is not without honour, save in his own country.2 Poor prophet! However, in my present solitude, I am very glad of these small encouragements.

Grace Shaw3 returns to Dumfries tomorrow; apparently little to Mary's regret, who seems to think her a fool, and that in the way of health, little ails her. Mary has not spirits for her giggling; and the details of her wonderful achievements with ‘pretty lads’ ‘within the ports of Dumfries,’ matchless tho' they be, are comparatively unimportant here.

Alick has done with his clover hay, and, I suppose tho' today I did not ask him, is falling upon his [?] They also have no Peats home.— The poor Stroquhan people have no tidings of their Brother yet,4 and do not expect to know till September whether he is dead or living.— You will soon see by the papers that there is to be disturbance in France, the King and his People having quarrelled.5 We are well out of it all, tho' toiling, here in our own old Scotland.— Jane seems to be gone to bed, for all is quiet; and I have another little scribblement to manage, before retiring. I will write next week, and perhaps tell you when I am coming. Good night, dear Mother! Commend me to my Father, and do make some of them write us word how he is. God keep you all, and us all! He is near to every one of us.— I am ever Your affectionate Son,

T. Carlyle—