August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO LADY HARRIET BARING; 11 January 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470111-TC-LHB-01; CL 21:131-132.


Chelsea, 11 jany, 1847—

You are good and wise, and beautiful and brave; and in fact have no fault to speak of,—except a tendency to sore-throat; which I hope you will abandon by and by! Your letter is here: and we are to hope to come, both of us, next monday, this day week. That is the prophecy at present. My Wife hopes she will be well enough by that time; is really anxious to come, if able; and indeed I think it might actually do her good. By myself I could not get away till Saturday; and then, it seems, I should have to retire again on Tuesday, owing to the course of Political Affairs.1 Better wait till Monday, and then come altogether!— If my wife be not able for the expedition on Monday, then I am to wait till Mr Baring's “two or three days” are over, and come down along with him. You shall put me away again, when it becomes necessary?—will not that do? What a pity we could not all serve God, and be “happy” in this world (as Miss Martineau and the Unitarians prescribe); instead of partly serving the Devil, and being unhappy! Really it were cheap at the money, one would say. Alas, Alas!

Today there is sunshine; which, tho coupled with hoarfrost, looks far cheerfuller. Take care of yourself; be not you unwell! This, we can hope, will be the last frost of the Season; be patient with this.

The maid at Stanhope-Street, I think, will not send the Book till you send for it.— I have nailed up a map of Ireland on the wall here; and today am busy with St Patrick's Purgatory2 and the ancient Annals of that country. Once a week also I have to read an Irish Newspaper.3 There never was, surely, under the Sun such a spectacle as that wretched Island now exhibits! The Land, it seems to me inevitable, will all or nearly all be confiscated; the whole frame of society is not unlike tumbling to pieces. The Potatoe breaking down,4 all manner of Impostures tumble rapidly together; and Nature, very audibly indeed, declares to that People: “Wretched People, unless you can find more sense and faithfulness among you, you shall not any longer subsist on the Earth! Your Imposter Aristocracy shall go and beg, your Imposter Populace shall starve to death: of you at last the world shall be quit!” — Is not this an awful Prophecy to terminate with?— —Adieu, best Lady.