The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON ; 8 June 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530608-TC-LA-01; CL 28: 164-165


Chelsea, 8 june, 1853

My greetings to you, dear and noble Lady. You are in a better climate than I today; and I hope are happier in various ways,—which you may easily be, without losing head under the skies. This is the perfection of summer weather, bright sun, clear light airs from the Northern quarter, and all things green and leafy, even Chelsea is green. At the Grange (or in the Bog of Allen)1 it must be beautiful: but here? I love it not; the coldest of the year suits me better. In fact one generally “is sorrowful all the same”; and it is really a great shame, if one thought well of it!

But I have sat these 5 days (today all shutters in action, and no waistcoat on) actually making an index to the Fritz correspondences &c; one of the saddest drudgeries an African could be set to in such weather; but actually indispensable, so have these Berlin friends of mine arranged it. What is ever to become of this Fritz, the gods only know: to me he is and has been a sore Fritz,—better almost have shot me at the Battle of Leuthen when his hand was in! O pity me, pity me,—but not for that alone!

We were to have gone to Mrs Milnes last night; but couldn't muster resolution. With a dull Book even, one has more sovreignty, a royaller time. I finished Wraxall, and staid at home, in grim protest agt many things.2 No word from Clough yet? I suppose within a week there will be. A strange Pamphlet (by our old friend Sleeman; whom you remember at Alverstoke?) was sent me last night: on Indian children stolen by wolves, and not always eaten, but sometimes recaught.3 They are then (thinks Sleeman) grown wolfish to the very soul,—yet I perceive, tho' they bite, run on all fours (very swift), eat raw offal &c, they are not inhuman altogether, only dreadfully misbred! Nothing can be more horrid than the thots all this gives rise to; yet there is a strange fascination in it; and till I actually saw Sleeman, the rumour abt his statements was perfectly bewildering to me.— — I intend to make you read the Pamphlet (for your sins) some evening.

On Sunday little Highland Dr Wilson came hither;4 I had met him one day in Regent Street; been assailed to do a Life of Ld Hastings (Moira)5 from “the family papers” &c—alas, it could not answer to me at all, at all! If the great Duke6 were proposed, I might pause, and ask what terms? but the Lord Charles Grandison Moira7— Nay it seems Lady Bute had already got hold of somebody called Kay (an Indian Captain, of great merit),8 with him let it rest. Little Wilson astonished me farther with news that Ld A. was going with him to the North,—to look at an Estate! Adieu, adieu, O noblest of women. Blessings on you always.