October 1831-September 1833

The Collected Letters, Volume 6


JWC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 12 November 1831; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18311100-JWC-MAC-01; CL 6:44-45.


Ampton Street, London [November 1831]

My dear Mother,

I have still leisure to write you a few lines “with my own hand”;1 to thank you for your kind messages and kind thoughts, which are infinitely precious in this land of strangers. Many people here shew a disposition to be kind to me as this world goes; but that sort of dinner-giving speech-making kindness is but frothy unsatisfactory food for the heart, compared with the kindness one experiences in the bosom of one's own family: and I have now been so long and so intimately connected with you and yours that I cannot but look upon you all as my own Mother and Brothers and Sisters.

I should find myself very pleasantly situated here if I enjoyed my usual health, and could avail myself of the various invitations that are held out to us.

Carlyle has tolerable health and spirits, and abundant prospects of employment. There is much to see and wonder at, even in a solitary walk along the streets; and enough of people come about us to talk, or rather to listen, among whom there are several whom I really like.

The little Dear is well again, and as gay as a lark; and trudges over to us twice a week, without women or equipage. Always losing himself by the way, and needing Carlyle to take him home.2

I have at last seen Mrs Austin; and, so far as one could judge by a forenoon call, I think her the best woman I have yet found here. In appearance she is extremely like our Nancy,3—but drawn out to a considerable length, and her countenance refined and spiritualized. Her talk is all about books; and, tho' I should not imagine her a much cleverer person than myself, her command of what talent she has will I find give her quite the upper-hand in any intercourse we may have.

Of the “Noble Lady” least said is soonest mended— God keep you all—My love to all of you down to the prattler over the way.

Ever your affectionate /

Jane W. Carlyle