The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON ; 18 January 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500118-TC-LA-01; CL 25: 3-5


Chelsea, 18 jany, 1850—

Dear Lady,—There is no improvement here! Alas, I am still overwhelmed with printers and their litter, and in the worst case for dealing with it:—this morning, for example, not being able to sleep, I was out walking soon after six; enjoying my meditations such as they might be in the cold fog. Hyde-Park looked grey and respectable;—Stanhope Street did not now know me at all.1 It is a waste chaos of a world!

After much counsel it seems now to be actually settled that these Pamphlets are to go forth; the first of them at the beginning of Feby, I suppose: terrible stuff, alas, alas! About a dozen perhaps lie in my poor inner man; it will be a great relief to get quit of them,—that is the one good I can count upon in regard to them. Bad, bad; sure to shock and enrage great quantities of people, for I really cannot manage to dress my talk at present, and besides there is no dressing of it on such a set of topics! Pity me:—at any rate the thing is now no secret, and you may speak of it as you like.

Shall I not get to The Grange,2 then? I am still cherishing the thought, as about the only pleasant one I have, this long while; but I dare not yet say certainly that it shall be! Cut me off, if you must do it.— But in the course of next week, I shall really have quite done with the First of these Pamphlets;3—if I could get away? But you have no idea how ill I am; what obstacles there are without and within! I fancy a week of your Park might do me good too:—I will still hope, and try my very best: what other can I do?

Your Laurances came yesterday, I suppose.4 There is a new small Book of Emerson's,5 which I meant to send you; but Jane unexpectedly began reading it,—she gets along very slowly. It will keep for your behoof, and be pleasant reading for you some day or other.

We are nearly all frozen to death; I seldom saw such vile weather. Bitter tempest of North wind it was for two days: now there is wet snow, and mud ad libitum. I walked to Fulham one of these tempestuous days; had the whole country to myself, which was one comfort: the Bishop's place6 looked very tattery; the iron sky, and Old Father Thames tumbling along with his ice-cargo, in the howl of the winds, were goodish company for a fellow like me. I am inexpressibly solitary sometimes; but in general have ‘company’ enough when left well alone.

Oh Lady, dear Lady, adieu. I am due out of doors, some time ago; I must get waterproofs, my big stick, and say Adieu. God bless you evermore. You will perhaps write to me, what you are doing, how you are. But if I hear nothing, I shall think you have not cut me off, but can still let me come if Ican. Adieu then; and unless you are very strong, keep out of this rude weather. Ever yours

T. Carlyle