April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 26 July 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490726-TC-MAC-01; CL 24: 145-146


Lisnagry near Limerick, 26 july 1849—

My dear Mother,

I got Jack's two Newspapers at Limerick the night before last, and returned one of them to him; I wish I had found a Letter too,—but there was none! I heard from Jane however; who, I think, is now on the last stage of her road towards Auchtertool, if not arrived there by this time. Tell Jack my next “Post-Office” after Galway is Sligo; but this I think will be too late now for a Letter: however, if he will bestir himself within a day or two after receipt of this, and address “Post-Office, Londonderry,” I could hope to find it there after getting out of Gweedore and the Donegal wildernesses; which would be a great pleasure to me at the end of my pilgrimings! For this Irish Tour of mine is now looking towards its close; I have been travelling ever since Killarney with my face rather homewards; and once at Derry I shall have only to look out for some Steamer towards Scotland, there or at some other Northern Port, and so come home to you after all! Belfast I think is the only Port that communicates with Annan: it will depend purely on the days, whether I shall go on to Belfast, or take the sea at Derry for Glasgow, and so arrive upon you by rail. Bid the Doctor ascertain if he can what are the Belfast and Annan days; that I may see at Derry what is to be aimed at.— Everything is very uncertain in this region; everybody seems to answer your question, not according to what the fact is, but according to what he thinks will please you: you cannot till you see it, in general, ascertain any point, even the sailing of a Steamer or the hour of a Coach-departure. Woe is them that do not stand by the truth: truth forsakes them (very naturally), and they come at last to be in want of all that truth gives,—even of a morsel of food!

I forget where it was I wrote to you last; was it at Killarney, my next stage after Cork? Or perhaps I only wrote to Jane there? I was much hurried, and had nothing but galloping to and fro while in those regions. I wrote to Jean, to Dumfries, three days ago; which news she may perhaps have forwarded to Scotsbrig. I was there reposing for two days (Saturday till Monday morning) at a beautiful place called Ballygiblin near Mallow; the Lady of which was the once celebrated Actress Miss O'Neil (ask John about her), now a most strict religious Lady, of very high paces indeed; with a sumptuous well-ordered House, and the stamp of her own rigorous correct character impressed on all her people and possessions. A woman worth seeing once and away. Her husband, Sir W. Beecher, an excellent elderly gentn, brought me strongly in mind of Johnstone of Grange:1 I also found other good people there, went to (Protestant) Church &c; but next door to them in both cases is an “Absentee,” whose tenants are all in ruin; whose very lands are now lying desolate, nothing growing on them but a wood of dockens [weeds]— The potatoes are said to be now declaring themselves blighted again in whole or in part is yet uncertain. Unhappy people!

I sent a Newspaper once to Mary at Gill; tell Jamie I hope to see him soon, at Annan or otherwise. Blessings on you all! T. Car[lyle]