The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO C. G. DUFFY ; 13 February 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500213-TC-CGD-01; CL 25: 21-22


Chelsea, 13 feby, 1850—

Dear Duffy,

As you seem to take an interest in the Latter-Day Pamphlets, I have directed the Publisher to send you a Copy of No 2 and the others that follow: I also gave him your admonition about speed on the Irish side of his affairs. The “edited” is a mere figure of speech, I am afraid. Alone under the stars, with nothing but all the dogs of the parish barking for accompaniment: this is once more like to be my history, in the present ugly feat of walking against time! I should be infinitely gratified, and delivered at once from a variety of very ghastly emotions, if any true brother out of Adam's general Posterity could join himself to me, and write a “Pamphlet” in the orthodox vein; but there is nowhere, that I know of, any prospect or probability of such; so we must try to do without him, as in former cases. In myself I seem to see some dozen or so of Pamphlets; which if I can get fairly uttered (a doubtful point in the state of health, state of &c &c I am in), it will be an extraordinary relief to my own inner man; and the dogs of the parish, and even the parish itself, and the universe to boot, shall be right welcome to do whatever is their part in the concert, according to their own judgement of that. Pray for me therefore, and wish me well thro' this adventure: I mean to speak more plainly than is usual upon a good many things The world, I think, had better be burnt than stand as it at present does. God help it, and us!

The Nation does not yield me much that I entirely approve of,1 except your own Articles, which run like a rivulet of light and human sense thro a great continent of very turbid incondite and dim materials. Do not let that patriot abuse poor Clarendon2 and his cigars any more! His Lordp is not a crapulous man by any means or in any sense: he learned to smoke in Spain,3 and is glad to solace himself with an innocent whiff in the middle of his troubles:—really the style of that censure is canine; not by any means above the vice-regal phantasm of a govt, but below it, and incapable of mending it. Also don't rejoice over the “breaking up of the British Empire”;4 the Brit. Empire is nothing like “broken up” yet,—nor like to be for a thousand years to come, I may prophesy. Nor is it dishonourable to you to be an Englishn, but honourable, if you had even been born a Roman or a Spartan, withal. Believe me—— Alas, I find this is only a half sheet; so must say adieu.

Yours always truly

T. Carlyle.

You talked of coming over “about Newyearsday”; but have not come.