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Irving [he says] was four years my senior, seems to please every person that hears him, the facile princeps for success and reputation and indeed he is well attended every day. The among the Edinburgh students, famed mathe- sacrament is to be the first Sabbath of March, matician, famed teacher, first at Haddington, and he is visiting his people, but has not then here a flourishing man whom cross for reached Mainhill. Your mother was very tune was beginning to nibble at. He received anxious to have the house done before he me with open arms, and was a brother to me came, or else she said she would run over the and a friend there and elsewhere afterwards - hill and hide herself. Sandy (Alexander Carsuch friend as I never had again or before in lyle, the second son) and I got to work soon this world, at heart constant till he died. after you went away, built partitions, and

ceiled I am tempted to fill many pages

with

- a good floor laid - and indeed it is

very dry and comfortable at this time, and we extracted pictures of the Kirkcaldy life as

are very snug and have no want of the necesCarlyle has drawn them. But they can saries of life. Our crop is as good as I exbe read in their place, and there is much pected, and our sheep and all our cattle living else to tell; my business is to supply and doing very well. Your mother thought what is left untold, rather than give again to have written to you ; but the carrier stopped what has been told already.

only two days at home, and she being a very

slow writer could not get it done, but she will Correspondence with his family had write next opportunity. I add no more but commenced and was regularly continued half the cheese that she was telling you about.

your mother's compliments, and she sends you from the day when Carlyle went first to Say in your next how your brother is coming college. The letters, however, which are

on, and tell us when it is done and we will preserved begin with his settlement at send you more. Write soon after you receive Kirkcaldy. From this time they are con- this, and tell us all your news and how you are stant, regular, and, from the care with coming on. I say no more, but remain, which they have been kept on both sides,

Dear son, your loving father, are to be numbered in thousands. Father,

JAMES CARLYLE. mother, brothers, sisters, all wrote in their various styles, and all received

Thomas Carlyle to Mrs. Carlyle (Mainhill). answers. They were

Kirkcaldy, March 17, 1817. a clannish folk" holding tight together, and Carlyle was

My dear Mother, - I have been long in. looked up to as the flower of the whole tending to write you a line or two in order to flock. Of these letters I can give but a ing nothing worth writing to communicate I

let you know my state and condition, but have few here and there, but they will bring have put it off from time to time. There was before the eyes the Mainhill farm, and all little enjoyment for any person at Mainbill that was going on there in a sturdy, pious, when I was there last, but I look forward to and honorable Annandale peasant's house- the ensuing autumn, when I hope to have the hold. Carlyle had spent his Christmas happiness of discussing matters with you as holidays 1816-17 at home as usual, and we were wont to do of old. It gives me pleashad returned to work.

ure to hear that the bairns are at school.

There are few things in this world more valu. James Carlyle to Thomas Carlyle. able than knowledge, and youth is the period

Mainhill, Feb. 12, 1817. for acquiring it. With the exception of the Dear Son, I embrace this opportunity of religious and moral instruction which I had writing you a few lines with the carrier, as I the happiness of receiving from my parents, had nothing to say that was worth postage, and which I humbly trust will not be entirely having written to you largely the last time. lost upon me, there is nothing for which I feel But only I have reason to be thankful that I more grateful than for the education which can still tell you that we are all in good health, they have bestowed upon me. Sandy was getblessed be God for all his mercies towards us. ting fond of reading when he went away. I Your mother has got your stockings ready hope he and Aitken * will continue their now, and I think there are a few pairs of very operations now that he is at home. There good ones. Times is very bad here for labor- cannot be imagined a more honest way of

work is no brisker and living is high. employing spare hours. There have been meetings held by the Lairds My way of life in this place is much the and farmers to assist them in getting meal. same as formerly. The school is doing pretty They propose to take all the meal that can be well, and my health through the winter has sold in the parish to Ecclefechan, for which been uniformly good. I have little interthey shall have full price, and there they sign course with the natives here; yet there is no another paper telling how much money they dryness between us. We are always happy to will give to reduce the price. The charge is meet and happy to part; but their society is given to James Bell, Mr. Miller, and William not very valuable to me, and my books are Graham to sell it.

Mr. Lawson, our priest, is doing very well, * John Aitken Carlyle, the third son, afterwards and has given us no more paraphrases; but | known as John.

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friends that never fail me. Sometimes I see and tell us all your news. I am glad you are the minister and some others of them, with so contented in your place. We ought all to whom I am very well satisfied, and Irving and be thankful for our places in these distressing I are very friendly; so I am never wearied or times, for I dare say they are felt keenly. We at a loss to pass the time.

send you a small piece of ham and a minding I had designed this night to write to Aitken of butter, as I am sure yours is done before about his books and studies, but I will scarcely now. Tell us about it in your next, and if any. have time to say anything. There is a book thing is wanting. for him in the box, and I would have sent him Good-night, Tom, for it is a very stormy the geometry, but it was not to be had in night, and I must away to the byre to milk. the town. I have sent you a scarf as near the Now, Tom, be sure to tell me about your kind as Aitken's very scanty description would chapters. No more from allow me to come. I hope it will please you.

Your old It is as good as any that the merchant had.

MINNIE. A shawl of the same materials would have

The letters from the other members of been warmer, but I had no authority to get it. the family were sent equally regularly Perhaps you would like to have a shawl also, whenever there was an opportunity, and If you will tell me what color you prefer, I will send it you with all the pleasure in the give between them a perfect picture of world. I expect to hear from you as soon as healthy rustic life at the Mainhill farm you can find leisure. You must be very the brothers and sisters down to the lowminute in your account of your domestic est all hard at work, the little ones at affairs. My father once spoke of a threshing school, the elders ploughing, reaping, machine. If twenty pounds or so will help tending cattle, or minding the dairy, and him, they are quite ready at his service. in the intervals reading history, reading I remain, dear mother, your affectionate Scott's novels, or even trying at geometry, THOMAS CARLYLE.

which was then Carlyle's own favorite Mrs. Carlyle could barely write at this study. In the summer of 1817 the mother time. She taught herself later in life for had a severe illness, by which her mind the pleasure of communicating with her was affected. It was necessary to place son, between whom and herself there ex- her for a few weeks under restraint away isted a special and passionate attachment from home - a step no doubt just and of a quite peculiar kind. She was a severe necessary, but which she never wholly Calvinist, and watched with the most af- forgave, but resented in her own humor. fectionate anxiety over her children's ous way to the end of her life. The disspiritual welfare, 'her eldest boy's above order passed off, however, and never all. The hope of her life was to see him returned. a minister priest” she would have Meanwhile Carlyle was less completely called it and she was already alarmed contented with his position at Kirkcaldy to know that he had no inclination that than he had let his mother suppose. For way.

one thing he hated schoolmastering; he

would, or thought he would, have preMrs. Carlyle to Thomas Carlyle. ferred to work with his hands, and except

Mainhill, June 10, 1817. Irving he had scarcely a friend in the Dear Son, I take this opportunity of place for whom he cared. His occupa. writing you a few lines, as you will get it free. I tion shut him out from the best kind of I long to have a craik,* and look forward to August, trusting to see thee once more, but in society, which there, as elsewhere, had its hope the mean time. Oh, Tom, mind the exclusive rules. He was received for Irv. golden season of youth, and remember your ing's sake, in the family of Mr. Martin, Creator in the days of your youth. Seek God the minister, and was in some degree of while he may be found. Call upon him while intimacy there, liking Martin himself, and

We hear that the world by wis to some extent, but not much, his wife dom knew not God. Pray for his presence and daughters, to one of whom Írving had with you, and his counsel to guide you. Have

perhaps too precipitately become engaged. you got through the Bible yet? If you have, There were others also — Mr. Swan, a read it again. I hope you will not weary, and Kirkcaldy merchant, particularly – for may the Lord open your understanding.

I have no news to tell you, but thank God whom he had a grateful remembrance ; we are all in an ordinary way. I hope you are but it is clear, both from Irving's letters well. I thought you would have written be- to him and from his own confession, that

I received your present and was he was not popular either there or any. very proud of it. I called it“ my son's veni- where. Shy and reserved at one moment, son." Do write as soon as this comes to hand at another sarcastically self-asserting,

with forces working in him which he did • Familiar talk.

not himself understand, and which still

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less could be understood by others, he of her, she continued, for perhaps three years, could neither properly accommodate him- a figure hanging more or less in my fancy, on self to the tone of Scotch provincial draw- the usual romantic, or latterly quite elegiac and ing-rooms, nor even to the business which silent terms, and to this day there is in me a he had specially to do. A man of genius good will to her, a candid and gentle pity, if can do the lowest work as well as the Gordons. Margaret Gordon, born, I think in

needed at all. She was of the Aberdeenshire highest; but genius in the process of de- New Brunswick, where her father, probably in veloping, combined with an irritable nerv- some official post, had died young and poor; ous system and a iercely impatient but her accent was prettily English, and her temperament, was not happily occupied voice very fine. in teaching stupid lads the elements of An aunt (widow in Fife, childless with limLatin and arithmetic. Nor were matters ited resources, but of frugal cultivated turn; mended when the town corporation, who lean proud elderly dame, once a Miss Gordon were his masters, took upon them, as herself; sang Scotch songs beautifully, and sometimes happened, to instruct or re- talked shrewd Aberdeenish in accent and buke him.

otherwise) had adopted her and brought her Lise, however, even under these hard pupil

, she now, cheery though with dim out

hither over seas; and here, as Irving's ex. circumstances, was not without its ro- looks, was. Irving saw her again in Glasgow mance. I borrow a passage from the one summer's touring, etc.; he himself accom" Reminiscences:

panying joyfully not joining, so I under

stood, in the retinue of suitors or potential The Kirkcaldy people were a pleasant, solid, suitors; rather perhaps indicating gently“ No, honest kind of fellow-mortals, something of I must not.” A year or so after we heard the quietly fruitful, of good old Scotch in their fair Margaret had married some rich insignifiworks and ways, more vernacular, peaceably cant Mr. Something, who afterwards got into fixed and almost genial in their mode of life, Parliament, thence out to “Nova Scotia" (or than I had been used to in the border hoine so) as governor, and I heard of her no more, land. Fife generally we liked. Those ancient except that lately she was still living childless little burghs and sea villages, with their poor as the “dowager lady,” her Mr. Something little bavens, salt-pans and weather-beaten bits having got knighted before dying. Poor Marof Cyclopean breakwaters, and rude innocent garet! I saw her recognizable to me here in machineries, are still kindly to me to think of. her London time, 1840 or so, twice ; once with Kirkcaldy itself had many' looms, had Baltic her maid in Piccadilly promenading - little trade, whale fishery, etc., and was a solidly altered ; a second time that same year, or next, diligent and yet by no means a panting, puff- on horseback both of us, and meeting in the ing, or in any way gambling “Lang Town.” gate of Hyde Park, when her eyes (but that Its flax-mill machinery, I remember, was turned was all) said to me almost touchingly, yes, yes, mainly by wind; and curious blue-painted that is you. wheels with oblique vans rose from many roofs for that end. We all, I in particular, always

Margaret Gordon was the original, so rather liked the people, though from the dis- far as there was an original, of Blumine tance chiefly, chagrined and discouraged by in “Sartor Resartus." Two letters from the sad trade one had. Some hospitable hu- | her remain among Carlyle's papers, which man friends I found, and these were at inter- show that on both sides their regard for vals a fine little element; but in general we each other had found expression. Cirwere but onlookers, the one real society our cumstances, however, and the unpromis, books and our few selves. Not even with the ing appearance of Carlyle's situation and bright young ladies (whice was a sad feature) were we generally on speaking terms. By far tween them, and acquit the aunt of need

prospects, forbade an engagement bethe brightest and cleverest, however, an expupil of Irving's, and genealogically and other-less harshness in peremptorily putting an wise, being poorish and well-bred, rather an end to their acquaintance. Miss Gordon alien in Kirkcaldy, I did at last make some took leave of him as a “sister" in lanacquaintance with at Irving's first, I think, guage of affectionate advice. A single though she rarely came thither and it might passage may be quoted to show how the easily have been more, had she and her aunt young, unknown Kirkcaldy schoolmaster and our economics and other circumstances appeared in the eyes of the high-born liked. She was of the fair.complexioned, lady who had thus for a moment crossed softly elegant, softly grave, witty and comely his path. type, and had a good deal of gracefulness, intelligence, and other talent. Irving, too, it And now, my dear friend, a long long adieu ; was sometimes thought, found her very inter. one advice, and as a parting one consider, esting, could the Miss Martin bonds have value it. Cultivate the milder dispositions of allowed, which they never would. To me, who your heart. Subdue the more extravagant had only known her for a few months, and who visions of the brain. In time your abilities within a twelve or fifteen months saw the last must be known. Among your acquaintance

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they are already bebeld with wonder and de- l it "better die than be a schoolmaster light. By those whose opinion will be val. for one's living” — and would seek some uable, they hereafter will be appreciated. other means of supporting themselves. Genius will render you great. May virtue ren-Carlyle had passed his sunimer holidays der you beloved ! Remove the awful distance between you and ordinary men by kind and as usual at Mainhill (1818), where he had gentle manners. Deal gently with their infe perhaps talked over his prospects with riority, and be convinced they will respect yone in September he wrote to his father ex;

his family. On his return to Kirkcaldy as much and like you more. conceal the real goodness that flows in your heart? I have plaining his situation. He had saved ventured this counsel from an anxiety for your about gol., on which, with his thrifty hab. future welfare, and I would enforce it with all its, he said that he could support himself the earnestness of the most sincere friendship. in Edinburgh till he could “fall into some Let your light shine before men, and think other way of doing.” He could perhaps them not unworthy the trouble. This exercise get a few mathematical pupils, and mean, will prove its own reward. It must be a pleas: time could study for the bår. He waited ing thing to live in the affections of others. Again adieu. Pardon the freedom I have only for his father's approval to send in used, and when you think of me be it as of a his resignation. The letter was accomkind sister, to whom your happiness will panied by one of his constant presents to always yield delight, and your griefs sorrow. his mother, who was again at home, though Yours, with esteem and regard, not yet fully recovered.

M. I give you not my address because I dare John Carlyle to Thomas Carlyle. not promise to see you.

Mainhill, September 16, 1818.

Dear Brother, — We received yours, and it Carlyle bad by this time abandoned the “ministry” as his possible future profes: mother has grown better every day since you

told us of your safe arrival at Kirkcaldy. Our sion — not without a struggle, for both

left us.

She is as steady as ever she was, has his father's and his mother's hearts had been upon haystacks three or four times, and been set upon it; but the “grave, prohib- has been at church every Sabbath since she itive doubts" which had risen in him of came home, behaving always very decently. their own accord had been strengthened | Also she has given over talking and singing, by Gibbon, whom he had found in Irv- and spends some of her time consulting Ralph ing's library and had eagerly devoured. Erskine. She sleeps every night, and hinders Never at any time had be “the least in- no person to sleep, but can do with less than clination for such an office, and his the generality of people. In fact we may confather, though deeply disappointed, was She has none of the hypocritical mask with

clude that she is as wise as could be expected. too wise a man to remonstrate.* The

which some people clothe their sentiments. “schoolmastering” too, after two years' One day, having met Agg Byers, she says: experience of it, became intolerable. His “Weel, Agg, lass, I've never spoken t’ye sin disposition, at once shy and defiantly ye stole our coals. I'll gie ye an advice : proud, had perplexed and displeased the never steal nae more.” Kirkcaldy burghers. Both he and Irving fell into unpleasant collisions with their

Alexander Carlyle to Thomas Carlyle.

September 18, 1818. employers, and neither of them was suffciently docile to submit to reproof. An

My dear Brother, - We were glad to hear opposition school had been set up which of your having arrived in safety, though your drew off the pupils, and finally they both prospects were not brilliant. My father is at

Ecclefechan to-day at a market, but before he concluded that they had had enough of

went he told me to mention that with regard

to his advising you, he was unable to give you • “With me," he says in a private note, never much in favor, though my parents silently much any advice. He thought it might be necessary wished it, as I knew well. Finding I had objections, to consult Leslie before you gave up, but you my father, with a magnanimity which I admired and might do what seemed to you good. Had my admire, left me frankly to my own guidance in that advice any weight, I would advise you to try matter, as did my mother, perhaps still more lovingly, the law. You may think you have not money though not so silently; and the theological course which could be prosecuted or kept open by appearing enough to try that, but with what assistance annually, putting down your name, but with some we could make, and your own industry, I think trifling fee, in the register, and then going your way, there would be no fear but you would succeed. was, after perhaps two years of this languid form, al. The box which contained my mother's bonnet lowed to close itself for good. I remember yet being on the street in Argyll Square, Edinburgh, probably in came a day or two ago. She is very well 1817, and come over from Kirkcaldy with some intent, pleased with it, though my father thought it the languidest possible, still to put down my name and too gaudy; but she purposes writing to you fee. The official person, when I rung, was not at home, and my instant feeling was, “ Very good, then, very

herself, good ; let this be Finis in the matier,” and it really

The end was, that, when December

was. -T. C.'

er

came, Carlyle amd Irving “ kicked the to be benefited by them. In the mean time, I schoolmaster functions over," removed to shall endeavor to be a good girl, to be kind Edinburgh, and were adrift on the world. and obedient to my parents, and obliging to Irving had little to fear: he had money, my brothers and sisters. You will write me a friends, reputation; he had a profession, long letter when the carrier comes back. and was waiting only for" a call” to enter The mother was unwearied in her affecon his full privileges. Carlyle was far tionate solicitude solicitude for the more unfavorably situated. He was poor, eternal as well as temporal interests of unpopular, comparatively unknown, or, if her darling child. known, known only to be feared and even shunned. In Edinburgh

Mrs. Carlyle to Thomas Carlyle. “ from my fel

Mainbill, January 3, 1819. low-creatures,” he says, “ little or nothing but vinegar was my reception when we and was glad to hear you were well. I hope

Dear Son, - I received yours in due time, happened to meet or pass near each oth

you will be healthier, moving about in the city, - my own blame mainly, so proud, shy; than in your former way. Health is a valuable poor, at once so insignificant-looking, and privilege ; try to improve it, then. The time so grim and sorrowful. That in . Sartor? is short. Another year has commenced. Time of the worm trodden on and proving a tor- is on the wing, and flies swiftly. Seek God pedo is not wholly a fable, but did actu- with all your heart; and oh, my dear

son, cease ally befall once or twice, as I still with a not to pray for his counsel in all your ways. kind of small, not ungenial malice can Fear not the world; you will be provided for remember.” He had, however, as was

as he sees meet for you. said, nearly a hundred pounds, which he dear to, I beg you do not neglect reading a

As a sincere friend, whom you are always had saved out of his earnings; he had a consciousness of integrity worth more open your eyes to see wondrous things out of

part of your Bible daily, and may the Lord than gold to him. He had thrifty, self- his law! But it is now two o'clock in the denying habits which made him content morning, and a bad pen, bad ink, and I as bad with the barest necessaries, and he reso- at writing. I will drop it, and add no more, lutely faced his position. His family, but remain though silently disapproving the step

Your loving mother, which he had taken, and necessarily anx

PEGGIE CARLYLE. ious about him, rendered what help Carlyle had written a serion on the they could. Once more the Ecclefechan salutary effects of “affliction,” as his first carrier brought up the weekly or monthly exercise in the Divinity School. He was supplies of oatmeal, cakes, butter, and, beginning now, in addition to the problem when needed, under-garments, returning of living which he had to solve, to learn with the dirty linen for the mother to what affliction meant. He was attacked wash and mend, and occasional presents with dyspepsia, which never wholly left which were never forgotten; while Car- him, and in these early years soon aslyle, after a thought of civil engineering, sumed its most torturing forın like“ a rat for which his mathematical training gave gnawing at the pit of his stomach;" his him a passing inclination, sate down seri. natural irritability found escape in expresously, if not very assiduously, to study sions which showed that he was already law." Letters to and from Ecclefechan attaining a mastery of language. The were constant, the carrier acting as post- noises of Edinburgh drove him wild and man. Selections from them bring the opened the sluices of his denunciatory scene and characters before the reader's eloquence. eyes. Sister Mary, then twelve years old, after he was settled in his lodgings]. An hour

I find living here very high [he wrote soon writes :

ago I paid my week's bill, which, though 155. I take the opportunity of sending you this 2d., was the smallest of the three I have yet scrawl. I got the hat you sent with Sandy discharged, This is an unreasonable sum [brother Alexander], and it fits very well. It when I consider the slender accommodation was far too good; a worse would have done and the paltry, ill-cooked morsel which is my very well. Boys and I are employed this win- daily pittance. There is also a schoolmaster ter in waiting on the cattle, and are going on right overhead, whose noisy brats give me at very well at present. I generally write a copy times no small annoyance. On a given night every night, and read a little in the “Cottagers of the week he also assembles a select number of Glenburnie,” or some such like ; and it shall of vocal performers, whose music, as they be my earnest desire never to imitate the charitably name it, is now and then so clamorabominable slutteries of Mrs. Maclarly. The ous that I almost wished the throats of these remarks of the author, Mrs. Hamilton, often sweet singers full of inolten lead, or any other bring your neat ways in my mind, and I hope I substance that would stop their braying.

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