1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON; 13 November 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18541113-TC-LA-01; CL 29: 200-201


London, 13 Novr, 1854

Dear Lady,—I have come up hither with the Twisleton Note; a week ago I learned “he had been here that very day,” while at the Oxford and Cambridge they “saw him rarely”: so that I infer this must be the Club for an Address;1—but in passing thro' the lobby, the real servant was out, and only a blockhead in his place; so that I as yet cannot positively say till I go down again. Anyway I will take charge of getting the Note to him, if the common wit of man be (as we may suppose it) adequate to that function. Twn has never been to see me; so that it is possible he may have gone to the country again. He and his Wife, I heard, had pledged themselves not to leave Town this time till they had secured a House.2 Which shall be well,—for me, among others.

Item, on friday last the Paper actually got to Neuberg; and so all is right in that quarter,—and was always, nothing wrong, except that Lord Clarendon's Clerk seems to have a 14 days arrear on hand, in this busy time. Magnanimous Neuberg goes with me tomorrow to the State-Paper Office; there to be initiated and will save me a great deal of work— Thanks again to your noble Ladyship, never wearied of helping a poor wretch when it is possible.

My cold is a little gone, still very troublesome after its sort; my attempts at work are equal to Ld Raglan's Siege3 in point of progress hitherto,—and I (as well as he) am in very bad spirits continually. Perhaps if the outworks were done,4 we shall get on better!

Seriously, it is a dreadful business that Sebastopol, that War in general, and people everywhere are beginning to be very pensive about it. To me it becomes a platitude daily more tragic,—1000 men lost in one sortie, they say,5 &c &c,—and daily I wish more fervently we had done with our Turk Allies and also our French do, and were well out of that affair; out of it upon any tolerable terms whatever. Fergus, a large Fife linen man, tells me the other night, he has had to dismiss 500 of his 1000 people; Peto is dismissing;6 everybody is falling into sixes & sevens in his trade, owing to “that poor body that has so many wives.”7

On Wednesday you can tell Lord An, the sight of my beard wd cut him to the heart, if he have any heart in respect of beards, which is doubtful. The fact is, it and I grow uglier and uglier, in every way, daily; and apparently there is no return or hope of amendment to either of us. In the meanwhile, one of us (perhaps both) continues ever faithful to your Ladyship;—and hopes bad times may mend!— Adieu dear Lady, seriously enough. / T.C.