April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO C. G. DUFFY; 26 June 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490626-TC-CGD-01; CL 24: 82-83


Chelsea, 26 june, 1849—

Dear Duffy,

I had to go deep into the City yesterday in quest of precise information; did not see the Steamer itself after all; but found authentically that its name was “The Athlone, Captn Williams,” and the hour “10, on Saturday morning next,”1—with expected arrival in Dublin on the morning of Wednesday following. Even this bit of information I did not get till the Post-hour was gone; so could not write till now.

On Wednesday, by the Athlone, or by something else and better if I fail in the Athlone (of which you shall have notice), expect me, therefore; not later than that day: and so let one point, the preliminary of all, be fixed, at last.

A stock of Letters, to be used or not, for Dublin and other places, especially for the ruined West, is accumulating on me: in Dublin I have a Dr Stokes, Dr Kennedy, Chambers Walker,2 and various military and official people;—certainly longer than “two days” will be needed in Dublin, if I am to get much good of these people; but I will make what despatch proves possible.

You, have your “routes” in a state of readiness; that we may be able at once to get to business. At present Maynooth, Kildare Town, and then some march across to Glendalough, or through Wicklow Gap, is figuring in my imagination; after which Wexford, Ross, Waterford &c— But in my present state of insight all hangs in the clouds. I wish only I were fairly among the Hills and Green Places, with the summer breeze blowing round me, and a friendly soul to guide and cheer me in my pilgrimings. Kildare I respect for St Bridget's sake,—Bridekirk (her Kirk, I suppose) was almost the place of my birth; and Bridget herself, under the Oaks 1400 years ago, is for her own sake beautiful to me.3 One Fitzgerald, a Suffolk Irish friend of long standing, offers me introduction to some specifically Irish family of his kindred in that region,—on the Curragh itself, if I remember.4 We shall see.

All kinds of business yet remain for me; and not a minute to spare. People say the Queen is coming to look at Ireland, foolish creature!5

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle