April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 3 July 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490703-TC-JWC-01; CL 24: 93-94


Imperial Hôtel, Dublin 3 july, 1849— (8½ p.m.)

My dearest little Goody and friend of friends!— Here I am since about an hour, right glad to be off the boisterous deep, to be in clean linen with a shaven chin, and writing to my little Jeannie again. I have just had one great disappointment, however: I have run over to the Post-Office, and find that it all shut, (except the receiving offices) at 7 o'clock! So that Letters of yours and perhaps of Jack are perhaps there, and not obtainable till tomorrow morning. Patience, patience: I made sure of finding something, and found only that.

Our voyage has been boisterous, adventurous to a degree, and worst of all, has been nearly sleepless; yet I find it to have been successful: I have seen the Coast, seen many curious persons, objects and oddities, which will serve us many a night for talk, I hope,—or in some future Letter I may write them; but I must hurry and not write just now. Oh me, after all!— Ventnor,1 to which we hung close for about an hour on Sunday morning, you may well believe, was interesting to me. So was Looe in Cornwall2 the next morning. I left a card for Barclay Fox at Falmouth,—for the curiosity of the thing. Not that I landed myself (I durst not risk for time), but I sent my card ashore by a clerk that had to land. We staid all night in Plymouth Harbour: O unforgettable night, supreme in wretchedness, a heavy rain falling, our little cabin a-choke of foul air, and a huge porpoise of a fellow-passenger snoring, next berth to us, like a walrus! I rose to write to thee, the thought occurring to me that I could; what I made of it, at the cabin table, amid a crowd of people talking and twaddling,—here is the paper itself still sticking in the blottingbook, and I will send it for a sign. It was after that that the Walrus (a fat one-eyed man, of dreadful eating powers) who came in while I was writing, had resumed his snoring practice,—unexampled, I believe, in the world. God help us—I fled from him into the wet in despair, then into the dark main cabin, and at length found a Corner where on a sofa I was out of hearing of him, and then (in my clothes, with some rubbish thrown over me) I actually did get some sleep. O Jeannie, Jeannie, be wae for me:—I know thou wilt. The figure of my poor Goody at the end of Cadogan Pier3 has been often with me since Saturday last. Your chicken did serve me well for dinner two days; I also found the leather drinking-caup [bowl] do excellent duty: I sank the salt-box in the sea about the Land's End— You shall have a description of the Land's End one day— To conclude: from the Land's End to “Tuscar Light” on the Coast of Wexford 130 miles, all last night,4 and thence to Dublin all this day, we had wild blowing weather, and a wild tumbling ship, with discomforts enough but with no injury to any one of us,—I was right glad to get into Dublin River, and thence in a car up to this place, where in a very quiet-looking bedroom I am now writing to you. Enclosed is a letter which Duffy had left for me: what on Earth to do with it? For Duffy has not left the smallest address:— Eu, eae [Bravo]! I had just, after deliberation, decided to write a little Note to Duffy by the Post-Office Address, when John O'Hagan enters; explains to me (on being questioned) that Mrs Dr. Callan5 does not let lodgings at all at all,—but will be proud to take me as guest &c. So adieu forevermore to that—if I can sleep here (as I think I can), and know what is to be paid, it will be infinitely freer here than there!

But Duffy is appointed to come in “half an hour,” and I have still a Letter to write to my Mother. Enough therefore Dearest— Tomorrow I will write a word more;—and in the meantime, address, as before, “Post-Office” (it is just across the street from this), and I will take care to call again before 7 in the evening. Letters come in 13 or 14 hours. Adieu, dear Jeannie. God bless thee now and ever. Your affectionate

T. Carlyle