The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO THOMAS AIRD ; 1 May 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400501-TC-TA-01; CL 12: 129-130


5 CHEYNE ROW, CHELSEA, 1st May 1840.

DEAR MR AIRD,—Accept many thanks for your long kind letter;1 a welcome proof of your remembrance of us. When you read the inclosed Program, and think that my day of execution (‘Do not hurry, good people; there can be no sport till I am there!’)2 is fixed for Tuesday first, you will see too well the impossibility of writing any due reply. Alas, I am whirling; the sport of viewless winds! It is the humour I always get into, and cannot help it. Some way or other in four weeks more we shall be through the business; and hope not to resume it in a hurry. For lecturing, as indeed for worldly felicity in general, I want two things, or perhaps one of them, either of them would bring the other with it and suffice: Health and impudence. We must do the best we can; and ‘be thankful’ always, as an old military gentleman used to say, ‘that we are not in Purgatory.’3 We noticed Gordon's promotion, with pleasure, in the ‘Herald.’4 I have never heard a word from the man himself; he will suit the business well, and the business him;—a good honest soul as is in all Scotland or any other land. You are happy to be in green quiet places; for me, ah me! I am here in the whirlwind of every kind of smoke, dust, din, and inanity; ‘I can't get out!’ We shall meet if we can this summer; but it is uncertain, like all things.— Yours always,


P.S.— My wife is now pretty well; improving always with the progress of the sun. We had the coldest March and the hottest April I can remember. I say nothing of Ithuriel5 at present, tho' so much were to be said! You will write a right Prose Book one day! I always hope that Poetry is out;—is not the very Bible in prose?