The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON ; 21 February 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520221-TC-LA-01; CL 27: 50


Chelsea, Saturday [21 February 1852]—

Dear Lady,—I have not a moment left, and not a word of good news (or indeed of bad) to tell you: nevertheless I cannot let the week end without an audible sign of recollection,—which, inaudible, I suppose you know continues thro' most weeks and days. If it were good for anything: but for what is it good? Alas, alas!—

I sit sulkily and silently over my Books (all of Frederic and his Donnybrook Fair, ah me!)—reading not to be commended for lucidity or geniality;—I know not what will come of it, but always rather guess, nothing. Never mind; hold on!— I transact an immense quantity of sulky reflexion too, every day, and try at lowest to “burn my own smoke” withal.—

On Monday, I think it was, I left a Card for the petit coquin [little rascal];1 whom I suppose you have seen since that. Poor little fellow, a kind of natural human pity siezes one to think of such a fatal turn of the game for him, after all. It is possible enough he may now be hors de combat, actually forever and a day. The French have had 35 years of stump-oratory; and surely that has done as little for them as even Louis Napn and the Despotism of the Bayonet can do. Unhappy sons of men!— — Yesterday I met poor little Lord John, too; pensively balancing his stick, and looking very mild and resigned,—or let us say, resigning.2 All ends one day or other.— — Enough, enough: instead of sphere-harmonies which you deserve, take these few notes of Bear's growlings,—forgive them, and think kindly of me if you can or will. The 28th is coming soon.3 Adieu O noble woman.