August 1843-March 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 17


TC TO EDWARD FITZGERALD ; 10 February 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440210-TC-EF-01; CL 17: 259-260


Chelsea 10 feby 1844—

Dear FitzGerald,

Your Irish Lord's Cromwellian Letter does seem, by your title of it, to be an unpublished one:1 it will be in excellently good time for me still, when he arrives here in the Spring; and I shall be right glad to see the face of it. The first result I have yet made out by many applications of that kind!

Artemidorus, I learn, is a person that does not pay debts, or perhaps in still worse ways declines to reverence meum [mine] and tuum [thine]; and has accordingly in his old days got into a questionable repute in his neighbourhood,—poor old man! Happily he is no descendant of Oliver's; only married to a descendant, by the Richard-Cromwell branch, who it appears was, or still is, a very estimable old lady. The handwriting, I suppose, is by one of the young ones.2 Nothing will come of that.

Since my last writing, I have employed myself, on favourable occasions, in looking more minutely into the Lincolnshire affairs.3 If you will actually go to that quarter, and explore it with eye and mind, you will do a most acceptable feat,—and I am now prepared with all documents for you. But alas there has such a veil of stupid oblivious darkness settled over the whole business, that unless you are to go at any rate, no just man could advise such an enterprise! The best Topographical Books know nothing, and indeed less than nothing of it; so likewise the best Lives of Cromwell: I used to think Kimber's Life of Cromwell4 a kind of respectable Book, not entirely stuffed with falsehoods as all the others are: but on examining it here, I can convict it of almost as many errors as lines. Eheu [Alas]!—