The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON ; 23 August 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500823-TC-LA-01; CL 25: 173-174


Boverton, 23 augt 1850—

Dear Lady,—I am in the agonies of packing; and cannot go without a word (whh might be a moan or howl, so sad is it!) of farewell to you,—of indication to you whither I am bound. I wrote, the other day, to Alverstoke; but perhaps there may be delay in the arrival of that: perhaps with this too there may be delay; for I am in the vague a little as to your whereabout in these current days: but I love to fancy it as at The Grange; I will hope it may be there. You will be better lodged there than you were this time twelvemonth, blowing wet peats at Glen Truim! Why should one so wander in this world, which is itself such a wanderer? It seems to me, if I had such a Home as The Grange, I wd try to get my implements about me, and steadfastly proceed with my trade there; stationary as if I were chained like the old ram,—in fact, constituting myself a “chained ram”; refusing to be like unto a wheel any more!1 Alas, alas, we cannot manage it. Rest is not appointed to the son of Adam; we must go our journies, we shall get to rest, and plenty of it, by and by. How often have I thot here, were I in one of the Cottages of your Park (say the Gate-keeper's cottage, with some dumb and nearly deaf old woman to look after me an hour each day), how much happier cd I be among the Hampshire trees! And then the next thot is, Thou hast already a cottage of thy own, two cottages, a Town one at Chelsea (made very habitable by a dextrous hand) and a country one among the Nithsdale moors; and in neither of them canst thou abide,—O Censor of the World! Well, well; the world, it seems, is full of possibilities which never can become actualities; we see such every hour of the day: let us be peaceable then; and go our rounds at least without kicking!—

My route tomorrow lies by Chepstow, Glo'ster, where probably I shall stay over Sunday: after that to Liverpool; and home to my Mother's early next week, there again to lie down, and beg for some sleep if it be attainable. “Scotsbrig, Ecclefechan, n.b.”: that is the Address;—and I once knew a Lady,—bountiful she to me as the skies,—who wd have written a word thither! To know where she is; that is the burden of my request; that she will not deny me. As to France (Oh Heavens, shall I not keep mind of that!) and other things, I will write again soon after Thursday next. God bless you. T.C.