The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO C. G. DUFFY ; 6 February 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530206-TC-CGD-01; CL 28: 33-35


Chelsea, 6 feby, 1853—

Dear Duffy,

You never came to see me again; whh was not well done altogether; but I am not writing of that at present. The time approaches when you will return, and then probably we may do better.1

I remember hearing you speak, when here, about shelves for your Books in your Pimlico Lodging— Now it strikes me I have, lying in this garret, and of no use to anybody but the moths, a portion of my own old Book-case, complete all but the nails; a couple of standard sides, namely, and perhaps 6 or 7 shelves of 4 or 5 feet long; a thing which any carpenter with sixpence worth of nails, can knock together for you in an hour or two; which might hold 150 or 200 volumes;—and which it would be a small but real comfort for me to know doing service for some friendly Christian in this manner! Pray think of it, if you still want such a thing; and pray determine to have it. It is lying here, safe tho' dusty in the garret, tied together with ropes; and can be brought to you in a barrow; and will be proud to assist in your Parliamentary career; and when that is ended, or changed, will cheerfully serve as firewood, & make itself generally useful! The2 another couple of “standards” here; but, before I saved them for such a purpose, the headlong joiner had cut up the shelves of these.— So stands it; and will stand for you. In the name of the Prophet!

Some one of your Clerks is falling asleep at his post, I think. The Nation, which did not fail once in seven weeks to reach London on Saturday night, now (this good while) does not, above once in 7 weeks, come till Monday morning,—often not till Monday at 11 o'clock (which latter mistake I know is not yours);—whereby, of course, my use of it, and much more important uses it has to serve in London, is much obstructed. A thing that should be remedied if it easily can.

One “Thomas Mulock, Dublin,” sends me an acrid little Pamphlet, the other morning, solemnly denouncing and damning to the Pit, really in a rather sincere and devout manner, “both the Irish Churches” (Protestant and Catholic), in the name of Jesus, and of any instalment of Salvation to Ireland, of which native country he is a passionate lover.3 I fear the poor man is maddish. But I have thought a thousand times, since seeing Ireland, to much the same effect, in the “name” of still higher entities and considerations,—tho' virtuously holding my peace on the subject. The “Churches,” alas, alas! Of all preachers and prophets and divine men wanted in Ireland (and in England, and Scotland, and all the other wretched lands, where Hypocritical Palaver reigns and rules and makes the world fetid and accursed) is the “Divine Drill-Serjeant” (as I often say), who, with steel whips, or by whatever method, wd teach poor canting slaves to do a little of the things they eloquently say (and even know) everywhere, and leave undone. Poor Mulock! Really, is there any such totally accursed sin as that (with no redeeming side at all);—or even such general, nay universal one, in this illustrious thrice-hopeful epoch of Free-Press, Emancipation, Toleration, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the rest of it?—

Adieu, dear Duffy: you need not write about that sublime question of deal shelves; only send for them if fit to be accepted—— I have been all this winter, if not idle, terribly obstructed, terribly unsuccessful in regard to getting any work done! That really is the one thing “terrible” in this universe.—— Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle