January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO C. G. DUFFY ; 12 May 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450512-TC-CGD-01; CL 19: 68-69


Chelsea, 12 May, 1845—

My dear Sir,

I am happy to hear that there is at last a prospect of seeing your Book,1 which I have been in expectation of since the night you were here. Certainly I will look into it; my distinct persuasion is that you must mean something by it:—a very considerable distinction for a Book or Man in these days.

I have likewise to thank you for your kind purpose of sending me the Nation Newspaper;—the first No of which, indeed, I find, has safely introduced itself thro' the Rowland-Hill2 slit in the door this day. As I have very little time, and especially at present hardly read any Newspaper, it would be a farther kindness if you now and then marked such passages as you thought would be most illuminative for me.

I can say with great sincerity I wish you well; and the essence of your Cause well,—alas, if one could get the essence of it extricated from the adscititious confusions and impossible-quantities of it, would not all men wish you and it right well! Justice to Ireland,—justice to all lands, and to Ireland first as the land that needs it most,—the whole English Nation (except the quacks and knaves of it, who in the end are mere negative quantities, and of no force in the English Nation) does honestly wish you that. Do not believe the contrary, for it is not true! The believing of it to be true, may give rise to horrible mistakes yet; at which one's imagination shudders!3

Well, when poor old Ireland has succeeded again in making a man of insight and generous valour, who might help her a little out of her deep confusions,—ought I not to pray and hope that he may shine as a light, instead of blazing as a firebrand, to his own waste and his Country's! Poor old Ireland, every man of that kind she produces, it is like another stake set upon the great Rouge-et-Noir of the Destinies: “Shall I win with thee, or shall I lose thee too,—blazing off upon me as the others have done?” She tries again, as with her last guinea. May the gods grant her a good issue!

I bid you, with many kind wishes, good speed. And am

Very truly yours /

T. Carlyle