August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO EDWARD STRACHEY; 10 May 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470510-TC-ES-01; CL 21:207-208.


CHELSEA, May 10, 1847

MY DEAR SIR,—I am much pleased to hear of your return to England safe, and if not recovered, yet improved in health, and at all events fitter to enjoy again the blessings which your country still holds out to you. My brother is in Chelsea again (15 Cadogan Terrace), within a short mile of us, for some two months past. I gave him your letter last night,—not having myself received it until the day before, owing to a short absence from home.

The melancholy message which reached me last winter1 has not even yet produced its whole effect upon me! New days and new events turn up ever new remembrances, sad and sacred. I had not, and cannot again expect to have, any such friend. Her life was a noble struggle; and it has ended,—has left us still to struggle yet a little farther. Inexorable time sweeps on, all-producing, all-devouring; and they that are departed return not to us any more. It is a law as old as the world; and yet it is ever new,—comes upon us with strange originality, as if it had never been before. We are “sons of time,”2 fearfully and wonderfully made,3 in very truth; but, as I often say, the Living and the Dead are equally with God; and properly there is nothing more to be said. Surely the remembrance of your noble mother will never leave me while I live in this world.

Bath or Clifton promises to be the eligible residence for you; accompanied, let us hope, with occasional visits to London, when friends here, too, may now and then get a sight of you. If I ever come into the west again, which is possible in time, certainly I will not forget what possession I have there.

When you see Mr. Hare, your brother-in-law, could you ask him if he knows whence that copy of the Cromwell letter which he sent me came to him? The original itself has just now turned up, “saved from the fire by an old land-steward of the Haselrigs, long since,”4—a very curious salvage ofone of the most remarkable letters in existence; if indeed the steward is the one exclusive saviour of it,—which is the point to be ascertained. Mr. Hare can at least guess at the age of his copy, which would be one little indication? I suppose, on the whole, there is no doubt but the old steward has the merit all to himself.

With many kind regards to Mrs. Strachey,5 Yours ever truly,