The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON ; 14 March 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500314-TC-LA-01; CL 25: 48-49


Chelsea, 14 March, 1850

What a sad affair is this you are making of it at Addiscombe? 1 Confined to head, headaches &c,—it will never do! I concluded you were out under the silent stars; and holding some kind of soirées with the stars, since not with others. I pray you get better again.

Here we have two days of grim steel grey, and then one of sun,—very bright, yet still with a venom of frost in it, which I cannot pretend to call agreeable. Today (a steel gray one) I am very busy, quite hunted indeed; for three days before, I was good for absolutely nothing; went walking in my desperation, long courses to Hampstead, to Wimbledon,2 tho' horribly unfit for walking too: Oh, the miserable liver of men! That condition, were there no other, and there are several others, would be enough to justify—what shall I say, sacred right of Insurrection?—no, but sacred holding of one's peace; and learning of the severe lessons cut out for one in this Earth!— — The result however is, I am sadly behind with my work; and like to be in a new peck of troubles if I don't mind.

The Aberdeen Rectorage—alas, it was decided weeks ago, and I never heard till the other day. A “sheriff Gordon” elected, re-elected rather (on the principle that everybody shd stay two years), and so I was disallowed, and his Grace ditto.3 And I have not heard the smallest sigh of condolence from you, to assist me in this aggravating issue of matters!

The right Revd of Oxford is getting up a Committee to “interest the working man” in Prince Albert's Exhibition.4 Probably that “interest” will be a little difficult to get up? “Lord Ashley and Mr Milner5 have consented to serve”: will you? I answered, “No with a thousand thanks, O soapy!”

Likewise Sir Peter Laurie has written to me; thankful exceedingly for my Anti-Scoundrelism in the Model Prisons; and a Major Smith6 came rushing in, one day, with a divine scheme of employing all Convicts on a railway across the Hudson's Bay Territory,—4000 miles, ending towards the Oregon and California region. Ay de mi!7

We are to dine with Darwin this evening in the most mild manner, and go to see the Nile Panorama afterwards; a small, quite tolerable adven-ture.8— About our dinner on the 23d, I suppose Jane will answer; I for myself intend Yes.9 Good b'ye, dear Lady; a hundred farewells. I pray for blessings on you always; and shall hope to catch some glimpse of you on Tuesday. Take care of the Cold.— T.C.