The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON ; 3 December 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531203-TC-LA-01; CL 28: 332-333


London, 3 decr 1853

We come on Monday, as you doubtless know already pretty well: Monday Waterloo-station at 1 o'clock, all in a body; Brookfields, Taylors and all; so it was settled; and so I, with some mild but ineffectual hesitation (on the score of wives, little ones and miscellaneous tagraggery, which might have been safer at a distance from me), did cheerfully comply. One o'clock at Waterloo Station means, I suppose, something like 3 at Andover Road; and from that, in carriages, omnibuses, baggage-waggons and what vehicles are needful, we shall arrive, if all go well, in your royal precincts about the dusk of the evening.1 I wish we were well there, and well adjusted; indeed I do, and have cause!—

Yesterday was brisk weather with a dash of frost: today we have damp fog, dark as Egypt;2 a vile wet blanket (of mist, soot and the sweepings of the universe) half a mile thick perhaps,—beyond which the sun is shining, as he ever does, quite quietly, as if nothing had happened.

With such a pen (contrived by Satan, who invented these machine scissors, instead of old pen knives)—with such a pen I will write no more. I fled in hither to write so much,3 if it shd be needful.— That is one of the uses of this Athenaeum to me. “Better not, you may get into trouble!”—well that was a cunning turn of yours; and I will not forget that on occasion!

God bless you, dear Lady; I hope to smoke a silent pipe at Notre Dame de Tabac4 on Monday evening perhaps (if the weather be fair) and on Tuesday if it even rain.

Jane is very poorly at home; sleepless &c &c: you will be as soft to her as you can.

Adieu /