January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON ; 20 May 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560520-TC-LA-01; CL 31: 98-99


Chelsea, 20 Augt [May], 1856— —

Well, I hope you are getting better, dear Lady, and meaning to come home to us soon? This is a day to amend you of itself.

You were very beautiful, in spite of your cold and your chagrins:—I perceive clearly you will continue beautiful so long as I live to judge you; this I think certain, and this should be enough to me on that head.

All was so beautiful, in spite of the rains and winds; and my Bedroom—Ach Gott! I reminded myself of a banished soul (Satan without the devilry) taking a walk thro' Paradise:—and yet that was but a sickly thought. The Paradise still in many respects belongs to us all; and all of us too (the beautifullest as the ugliest) get our share of Purgatory, each according to his softness of nerve.— Be not too sad; be serious if you like: that it well becomes all of us to be. And hope, hope; we will never quit hope!

That day I was absent Jane had some Honourable extremely fascinating Welsh Lady (whom she has fallen in love with)1 to lunch with her: honble Lady looking up saw your Picture (it now hangs downstairs, on one side of the mantlepiece, I on the other), honable Lady said, “There is a beautiful woman: who is that?” They told her; she then said: “And he yonder, is that her Husband?” They smiled. “Rather hers than mine!” added this good judge of mankind and womankind,—did not like the cut of that second Portrait;2 whh indeed is very bad. (n.b. she is a Welshwoman this; six feet 2 in stature, and has great possessions, it wd seem, spiritual and other. Her name I do not remember, nor intend to;—n.b. further say nothing of this!)

I got perceptible benefit from my Expedition; from the furious walk to and from, as from other things, tho' it was rather rough to do. The benevolent George3 insisted on giving me a cup of tea. I slept only about 2 hours;—shd have been off soon after 4, had my shoes been in the room. Better not.

Here has a Card just come, directed “Brompton” (probably by Rous)4 : invites me to dinner for the 4th of June;—surely, yes.

And here likewise has the ill-fated Chorley5 been (the first time these two months); all the time I have been writing, he sits on thorns (well-deserved) down on the ground floor.— I will try tomorrow, and perhaps find you. Adieu, best Lady.

T. C.