January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 19 July 1831; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18310719-TC-MAC-01; CL 5:308-309.


Craigenputtoch, 19th July (Tuesday Night) [1831]

My Dear Mother,

Will you be content with the shortest Letter I ever wrote you? For, literally, I have not, these some weeks, had any half minute of deliberate time.

My Book is drawing to a close, and I must be off to London by the end of the month (Jack says)—of which month there are now eleven days remaining! Thus you see how I am hurried; and work what is in me, and almost more.

Nevertheless it shall go hard but I will see you before I go. I hope the writing will be pretty well over by perhaps the middle of next week; after which I will set about harnessing the old Gig, and drive off—if I am done; and can get a horse, for Harry will not ride yet, for blister-wounds. You may partially expect me then next week: if I cannot come, I will write on Wednesday. But be sure that it will be close on the verge of an absolute impossibility (which I do not anticipate), if I do not come sometime before setting out. On Wednesday next, then, you will get a Letter; or get none—which you will like better.— Jane talks of coming with me; wishing to see “all of me that she can.”

Meanwhile, dear Mother, understand that we are all on foot, in the old way; no broken hearts or bones among us. Alick is busy with his potatoes—ploughing (the second time): I heard him gee-hoe-ing in his Cattle, not long ago. Jenny labours within doors, and without as it may chance: is always cheerful-looking, but (to us ward) highly incommunicative.

Jane is complaining somewhat of her old ailments: the summer weather never agrees well with her.

Jack is to take Lodgings for me and him in London. He has had an interview with Jeffrey, and seems to have behaved well, even nobly. He is not without money for his wants: and is to wait till I see him before he resolve on what is to be done. I rather conjecture this training he is getting in London will teach him more than he has ever learnt elsewhere. I have great confidence in him: neither is he now without help. Jeffrey thinks well of him, and that employment may be got: but “we must have patience!”

How are you all? Yourself, my Father, and all the Branches? It is in vain to ask; for there is none to answer me, but the Echo. I will hope and pray for the best; and hasten down to see.

Here then I end.— I forgot to say that I was [not] at all in a bad way of health: very high in the humour, and defiant both of the Devil and the World. I think I have look[e]d into the worst that is in them both; and, thro' God's grace, no longer fear it.1 Our misery is even as you say, when God hides himself; there is no other misery.

Good Night, my dear Mother! May He, thro' whom, and in whom we all are, ever guide us all; and grant us this only; Submission to Him, which is the beginning and end of good! Amen!

Your Affectionate Son, /

T. Carlyle