The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON ; 28 November 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531128-TC-LA-01; CL 28: 327-328


Chelsea, 28 Novr, 1853—

Froude came in, and has stolen away every minute of my time. Heretic Froude; he has quitted Wales and intellectual solitude; is out seeking a fit habitation, uncertain whether town or country;—will, for the rest, write a History of Queen Elizabeth, and stand by his heterod[ox]ies.1

I have very bad news from Scotsbrig—alas, alas, and I know not what to do. A great sorrow, which has hung over me as a terror all my life, is now preparing for me there; may be near; cannot be distant.

As to my scheme of working at The Grange, I really find that, except what was already said, I have properly nothing definite to say. Certainly I am very miserable, for most part, except when working. Highly desirable and essential that I shd try to work in the forenoons: but as to the means and conveniences I will, and should, entirely refer myself to your goodness and inventive genius, so often exercised on my behalf. My old bedroom, one of the best in the world, I by no means want to quit: but the maids never had done with it, I think, till towards noon; neither was it very private if any thing was going on about the door. A vague tradition dwells with me of some garret room, where Bingham Mildmay2 and Co have (on a rare occasion, under deep secrecy) had their bit of innocent jollity——?— If this has for me no feasibility in it (as very probably it has not), then please forget it altogether, O noble Lady; and let me take my chance, chance just [as]3 it happens to fall. Before the Queen, so bounteous, gracious in all things, my rash wishes and surmises fall dumb,—as they ought to do. And so no more of it. I kiss the hem of your garment;4 and am ever / Yours T.C.

I think you will hear again before Monday. Your 13 sportsmen must be a jolly regt: may they destroy all the game, root and branch; and leave you alive & well.