April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO GERALDINE E. JEWSBURY; 13 December 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18481213-TC-GEJ-01; CL 23: 175-177


Chelsea, 13 decr, 1848—

Dear Geraldine,

I hope this Note will find you by such address as I can remember: your help is wanted again,—in the matter of Cigarettes, in a private way!

We can get no proper Paper here for the making of those invaluable appendages to domestic life. Paltry little Books of Cigarette-paper are on sale here, manufactured in France; but they do not fit the Cigarette-mould at all, require to be huddled together by hand merely; and are, in brief, a distressing undeniable failure,—unless help of yours intervene.1

By some honest method or other, I flatter myself, you can procure a proper stock of the kind of Paper we once before had from you, in sheets; pray do so, a stock of fair quantity, of right quality; note accurately the cost; and let me have the Article, and the account, in my hand on Christmas Eve at latest;—keeping a due depth of silence in regard to the whole transaction! I love to believe that you can do this for me, and that you will, beneficent being as you are. France being all busy electing its sublime Napoleon (one of the grandest achievements these latter ages have seen, surely),2 we cannot apply to France; and if Manchester, aided by Dalbereglew,3 cannot help us, what in the world are we to do?

The Gospel according to your friend George is getting itself put in action in these days;4 and certainly, so far as I can judge, the Heavens never saw the like before! I am glad, however, they are getting it tried to the uttermost. If that really is the eternal law of the gods for us, we ought to do that, and to denounce and detest whatever is not that.— Other such high noon of Human Stupidity, and prurient Apehood charged with a “mission” in this universe, one might wait long centuries, and not see. The bets are, that France, if it do not shew more sense than we yet see symptoms of, will become a big Ireland, and may look out for some fate like that of Poland5 at the close of the account! But we hope better things; having a kind of love for these beautiful unhappy little fools, after all. The poor old Pope too6— On the whole, why should I sit in sorrowful disgust over the brutal falsity and stupor of my poor fellow man: is it not something to have lived to see Imposture everywhere fall bankrupt; to have witnessed the universal palpable Bankruptcy of Humbug,—effects sold off by auction, and all the little scrubby apprentices laughing? God mend it;—and he will, he and we, in some centuries!

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