January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO THOMAS STORY SPEDDING ; 13 February 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420213-TC-TSS-01; CL 14: 42


Chelsea 13 feby 1842

The Legation-Secretary, just disappearing over the Western horizon, waves me this satirical farewell.1 The old man, there as here! Good go with him, the true soul!—

For the last three months I have charitably been supposing that in the Rt Hon. Sir R. Peel, Conservative Minister in these times, there might lie some elements, long concealed, of a great man; at lowest, of a rational man, meaning something by becoming Tory Minister, not meaning nothing. He speaks; and audibly calls himself Windbag, pitifullest pettifogging Quack; ignorant that God's Universe stands on anything but electioneering majorities and Parliamentary “cases well dressed up.” He, too, will have to march before long, with new troubles at his heels.2 The times do really grow ominous. Except perhaps there be some hope in Gladstone,3 Conservatism so far as one can see it in Parliament is rushing swiftly to its ruin; and then—?—

As for me, I am sick; swimming in chaos these many weeks, nigh drowning—towards no visible shore. Ordered by all the gods to write; forbidden by all the devils! Ora pro me [Pray for me].

Did that majestic Christmas Pie which astonished the world here come from Cumberland? Such was the guess of some; not mine. The address is in none of your hands; I am known by all of you for a man that cannot eat pies!

Blessings on you all, /

T. C.