October 1833-December 1834

The Collected Letters, Volume 7


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 17 May 1834; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18340517-TC-MAC-01; CL 7:156-158.


4. Ampton Street, Grey's Inn Road / London, 17th May (Saturday) [1834]

My Dear Mother,

I am arrived safely here, and living in my old quarters. I got in on Tuesday, having suffered no damage; had good weather all the way, but the last twelve hours, when it rained, but could not wet me. I have great cause of thankfulness: friends are all kind to me; I seem to meet nothing but friends. Mrs Strachey too is here, and gave me a most kind reception; I told her I had bidden you not fear about my waygoing, for that my prayer was if I went not with God, He might not send me hither; under which guidance, no evil could come of it. To which she answered, with the kindest emphasis, “No, none.” I often also repeat to myself: “They cannot hinder thee of God's Providence”;1 no, they cannot. These few words, which I write in extreme haste, in momently expectation of the Postman, will be a great comfort to you.

As yet there is no house got; only abundance examined; and a certainty of getting one. We have been all wrong; there is no Whitsunday in London, the people flit [move] at any time! I might as well, had I known, have staid at home, till Jane too went.

There is the Postman's Bell, and then my frank will be lost! I have written at great length to Jane, who will read it all to you, when she comes.

Many times my dear Mother has your image come over me; but I let it not be with sadness. Nay what will you think if I often hummed “fairest Phillis”2 on the Coach-roof, and actually when I first saw the great smokey immeasurable London sung to myself with a kind of real defiance, and the right tune, “th'ere seven foresters in yon forest, and them I want to see”!3

You shall have plenty of news from me were we settled, a frank every two or at farthest every three weeks; the newspaper weekly: and remember I am very punctual.

Finally, my dear Mother, commit me in your prayers to God, by whose will I desire to live and to die. With whom are we not all present?

My health is good, rather better even.— You must learn to write; you must try to write, let me rather say, and you can already do it.— There is no fair chance here for reading: but I will write plainer the next time.

My love to Jenny to Jamie, to Mary when you see her. She had a bit nice breakfast for us, and I shall yet eat more with her.

Send me a Newspaper directed hither.

May God's blessing be with you, my dear Mother, and with you all!

Ever your affectionate /

T. Carlyle.

You shall very soon hear more of me.