August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO EDWARD STRACHEY; 14 May 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470514-TC-ES-01; CL 21:209-210.


CHELSEA, MAY 14, 1847

DEAR MR. STRACHEY,—I have no influence or connection now with any magazine or periodical whatever, but I can readily submit your paper on Hamlet to the publisher of Fraser's Magazine,1 with whom I have some acquaintance, and get him at least to have it examined, and to send you an answer. And this, on the whole, is all that can be done by anybody. If the paper please the man's own dim judgment, he will take it; if it do not, of course nothing can or should induce him. I fear the subject is not likely to be very popular at present.

Pray thank Mr. Hare for the pains he takes. I will not trouble him to bring the Cromwell autograph, but hope to see it some time at Clifton. The only point of inquiry for me (and that is by no means very weighty) is concerning the copy of the letter to Haselrig, written just before the battle of Dunbar (letter 126 of 2nd edition, letter 91 of 1st), as to where this copy came from,—whether in fact it proceeds from the Haselrig establishment at Nosely Hall, or from that of Mr. Ormston, an old steward of theirs (whose grandson now possesses the original), by whom it and three others were “snatched from the fire,” once upon a time.2 The Haselrigs, some sixty or seventy years ago, it appears, had brought this letter, among many others, to the fire to be destroyed, and old Ormston saved it; whereupon the question has arisen with me (a small, but not quite uninteresting question) whether this letter, certainly one of the remarkablest we have that relate to English history, would have been abolished and quite destroyed out of memory had not old Ormston intervened. If Mr. Hare's copy be anterior to that of Ormston's interference, of course it at once decides against him; if posterior, it will not decide anything; but if its date and history were known, it might help us to decide. This is the small question which, when Mr. Hare has opportunity, I will recommend to him. In great haste,

Yours very truly,