The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON ; 14 November 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18501114-TC-LA-01; CL 25: 278


Chelsea, 14 Novr, 1850—

Best Lady,—That unhappy Book has not got to you; nay I think it will never now get, unhappy that it is! The Clerks at St Martin's1 have confiscated it,—found pencil-marks (annotations of mine) what they call “writing” in it;—and now there is a negociation, with remonstrances, going on; which may end any way it likes for me, since we are got so far ahead of it in this perverse fashion! Oh forgive me; pity me, and be as good to me as you can.— I may truly say I am not well; my Life is not well,—my poor nervous-system tattered all to pieces; which is sad preliminary in whatever battle otherwise one has to fight. Nine-tenths of all the battle, I often say. What fools are modern Moralists, compared to our old rude fathers. Holy in old days was Healthy, as you have heard me often say: Gott der Heilige equivalent to “God the Healthy“;—fie upon this vile canting putrid era of the world; overloaded with such scandalous Old-Clothes, pestiferous and choking, from the Hebrew and other quarters!—

Well, but we shall see you by and by? And may the soul of man not hope that, one day, I may be allowed to write you a Letter without offence to the gods or their creatures? Good Heavens!— But we will murmur at nothing. Victory, after all (in one sort or other) is for them that deserve victory! Don't write about that Book, if you have not written today. But indeed if you have, or do, it surely will be bearable! A halycon time here at present; can it not be made to last? Bright journey, swift return to you, Lady dear.

Yours ever /