April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO LORD ASHBURTON; 14 October 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18481014-TC-LOA-01; CL 23: 132-133


Chelsea, 14 Octr, 1848—

Dear Lord Ashburton,

Here is a stick fit to fight the very French with, if you ever came to try that operation with such an implement!1 I hope you could hardly anywhere be better suited with a civilised Hercules' Club; and I wish you may long wield it in an adequate manner,—on the hygienic side, what more need I wish?

Certain Books, of given quality but indefinite name, were to be provided for her Ladyship: you will find two Packets, the best I could lay hold of, waiting at Bath House, under your address;—I fear much I am redundant in bulk, but in all other respects defective! However, pray carry them all, if you can, and let herself choose. If you cannot, then you must open the Packets at your own risk; reject what you think least promising, and let these be sent hither straightway to their doom. The biggest Book of all,—in the London-Library Packet,—is a volume of Montfaucon, containing nothing to order except a very poor account of the Bayeux Tapestry, which in case of need you might reject without much scruple.2— The other Packet is all of borrowed Books, except one (Goldsmith) which is my own;3 they are much at the service of The Grange for a six-weeks to come.

Tomorrow, if not again tonight, I will make an attempt to see you. Of her Ladyship we hear today,—in a favourable tone. A bad day for her journey home, this. She ought to take care of herself, especially at this season.

I hope you have seen Cavaignac and Co under good auspices; and enjoyed “the abomination of desolation” he presides over,4 since you elect to enjoy it! By all appearance we shall have something of the like within our own coasts before very long, if mere hidebound Pedantry and parliamentary Palaver (as is likely) continue to “govern” us!

Yours ever truly, /

T. Carlyle