October 1833-December 1834

The Collected Letters, Volume 7


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 11 February 1834; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18340211-TC-MAC-01; CL 7:94-96.


Craigenputtoch, 11th Feby (Tuesday Night, late) 1834

My Dear Mother,

I am not coming just yet, as you shall hear: but I send you, what is about as good, a Letter from our Roman Doctor. He is as well as ever, and doing well; expects to pass the summer on this side the Alps again, in Switzerland; which besides being the finest country to look upon in the whole Earth, is some seven or eight hundred miles nearer us than Rome, and has a good honest German people that I like far better than the Romans.

Jean told us with consummate brevity that you were no worse for the journey; this was so far good and best; but it is all I have heard. Some of them coming up next week to the Candlemas fair (is it not next week?)1 must bring me a Letter. I fear there is nothing in the farm way to be done this year; and I begin to feel very anxious about what should be resolved on. You may give Alick this Magazine (when you have read it), and say I shall very probably write him a Letter of some kind, next Wednesday: if he can throw any light on matters, in the meanwhile, let him write and do it.

Mrs Welsh came home, by Coach, last Thursday;2 so she will not be my excuse for coming down this time. We went over to Templand the night before to welcome her: she seemed most particularly glad to get home again, and sick, sick of the racket she had been living in. She had brought a marriage-present for Jean &c &c.

Nothing has happened here since I wrote; nothing but reading and rain. I got some new Books from Paris about the Necklace: I find I have been wrong in some particulars, and must blot out and renew accordingly. This will occupy me more time than I wish: but there is nothing else pressing.— Glen goes on quite handsomely; seldom or never troubles us with any janners [foolish talk], indeed with very little talk; but comes here with his Mathematics and his Greek, as if he were the wisest in the parish,—which indeed in some respects, one might almost say he is. He likes Carstammon perfectly well, and they profess themselves much attached to him. We confidently trust he will get well in time.

There have been new Letters from Jeffrey; but no increase of favour for him: indeed, no answer has been returned; and I see symptoms that there will be no hurry with one. He is no bad man, poor little fellow; and truly if one would think of it deserves pity and no harsher feeling.

When I will come? I cannot yet decide upon it; not, in any case, till I have got the weary Necklace a second time off my hands, a second and last time. Perhaps I shall be able to say something more definite when I write to Alick.— Meanwhile, my dear Mother, keep yourself easy about me, as I strive to do about you. Fancy me as neither idle nor hurtfully busy; striving to do what I can of the Task given me, and with no deep personal care but for my Task. I am more content of late, I hope, than I was wont to be.— Now, can you read this with the aid of your Alphabet? I doubt it: but you will learn.— Good night! Good night, dear Mother! Be well when I come and till I come. Ever your affectionate Son,

T. Carlyle

That Note is for a poor fellow at Annan (a schoolfellow and Scholar of mine), who has sent me an unhappy Volume of Poems, and word that he is very unfortunate.3 He is a Cousin of Charlie Rae's.4

And now again my best good night to all of you; I have you all before me at this hour. Jane who sits reading here sends you all her love. The Examiner threatens to come not so regularly, I think: I wi[ll do th]e best I can.