October 1831-September 1833

The Collected Letters, Volume 6


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 17 April 1832; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18320417-TC-MAC-01; CL 6:146-148.


Craigenputtoch, Tuesday Night [17 April 1832]

My Dear Mother,

Mary was very urgent with me to write you a word or two; and now when at the eleventh hour I set about complying, I find my hand in such a state that I dare promise it will puzzle all Scotsbrig to read me. I have been rooting out docks, and otherwise resolutely working all afternoon: hence this trembling and quirling [whirling] which astonishes even myself.

However, I have still steadiness left to assure you in writing, what Mary will state in speech, that we are here safe, and as well as usual; only in the midst of natural hubbub, all things lying “braid-band [higgledy-piggledy],” and the struggle of a re-settlement in full progress. On the whole, we found things in a wonderful degree of order and can expect to be on our feet again in a comparatively short period. Betty,1 at her own request, goes home again; being too weak in the arms for such rubbing as is wanted. She has managed very well, I think; and may be useful in the same way again. We have got another stronger woman; but she also only lasts a week; and this night, Jane is writing off to Templand for some more permanent character that her Mother was speaking of. We shall be rid of the Gardener in a day or at most two; and then if this strong-armed woman has carried us over the first tumult, things will run smoother: at all events, it is not long till whitsunday.

Mean while I have got my writing-table mounted again, and am trying to do a little. I have got some more work2 since I saw you: so that I cannot promise myself still to be done in less than three weeks: that time, however, I think will see me thro',—if I luck.

The grand question, when am I coming to Scotsbrig? is thus answered of itself. I shall be ready, and very willing to come at that time: and Alick and I seemed to have made some arrangement about getting some conveyance then also: so that this seems to be the present state of the matter, I think. I shall send you a little Line, by Notman, some Wednesday between us [now] and then, say this day fortnight, sooner if anything particular occur: so give your heart, dear Mother, no uneasiness about us.

I told Macdiarmid yesterday to send the COURIER hither in future: I mean to send it on to Alick, and the Examiner to you (for I think you liked it best); and I shall be as punctual as possible; only you know how we are situated here; besides I am not yet quite absolutely sure that my London C[orres]pondent3 will despatch the Examiner, just like [clock]-work: so you must pardon irregularity, should such occur.

Pray explain also to Alick that if any day I have but one Newspaper to send, it will be natural that I give you the preference, even tho' it were the Paper he usually gets.

I have nothing to tell Jamie about horses. Alick went with me yesterday to look after one we had heard of at Dumfries, but it and its owner were absent; so I got my journey for my pains; except only learning, as we did to a certainty, that it was “actually for to sell.” Alick is to return the first leisure day; probably tomorrow week, and [try] to buy it for me; there seems a likelihood th[at it] will be got cheap; at or under £15. It shall go to Scotsbrig and harrow, if you like. I think, I am off with Farries;4 he is too dear for me: if no better may be, I can get Alick's black, and give up the idea of riding, which however would be very wholesome for me.— And now enough! The Paper is done: hardly room for my love to you all. Take care of yourself, my dear Mother, and be long well for a blessing to us all. Give us your Prayers; the Prayer of a devout, God-fearing heart is precious. God keep you all! Your affectionate son,

T. Carlyle

I still imagine I have some more papers for you: but they are all out of sight for the present: I will look, in time[.] I must write to Jack; but know not yet when. Al[ick] is to write to me, if not first Wednesday, then next.