April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON; 17 October 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18481017-TC-LA-01; CL 23: 133-134


Chelsea, 17 Octr, 1848—

I have not forgotten you; I do not think I shall forget you,—not till next week, or later. If that were but of any benefit! But of what is it, or can it be, to any but my foolish self alone?— God is great!

Thanks, at any rate, for the good punctual Letter. You are always good and best; and will always be so, if it please Heaven. To me your goodness—if I could but repay it, were I not the richest of all men?—

I called thrice on Lord Ashburton,—as if I had somehow expected to find great treasures there:—the third time, yesterday, he was come (utterly wearied, as I guessed) and gone. And now your Company is all coming;—and you are not to expose yourself, and take to coughing again, in this wretched weather: that is the charge I lay on you; we cannot have you ill again! There is enough wrong otherwise, in my opinion; quite enough.

The borrowed Books are mine, and yours, “for any length of time”: if you want more or other tell me. I fancy a written List came with the borrowed Parcel: you have but to keep it, and bid Mason1 be punctual at last,—and no hurry at all with that “last.” Enough of that.

I have taken to scribbling on paper; but have to burn it all, so soon as scribbled. Woe is me! How can I write on Ireland, or on any earthly thing, when day and night my poor head is in a welter of bewilderments, and the highest is mingled for me with the lowest, and in a too sad sense “Chaos is come again”?2 That must alter, that must end, if there be any life left me at all.

You will write to my Wife some day? If I know that you are well, I will believe all the rest,—even I the doubter. And pray observe again, this is “not received,”—the more is the pity!

God bless you evermore, my Beautiful Lady.— “Beauty and the Beast”;—the Beast undeliverable?

Yours /