July-December 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 30


TC TO JAMES HANNAY ; 5 September 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550905-TC-JAHA-01; CL 30: 54-55


Addiscombe Farm, Croydon 5 Septr, 1855—

Dear Hannay,

Some short time ago I received a Circular, with Mr Whitty's signature, on the same subject as your Note; and was well pleased to learn that such a project was in agitation on behalf of Duffy,—to which I wished all success very sincerely, tho' myself unable to take part in it.1 I have a real regard and even affection for Duffy, whose fine truthful intellect and ardent humane character were always recognisable to me, in the worst tumult of Irish confusions. His course there, which I never could applaud for wisdom, nor rebuke without pity and respect, has all along seemed to me one of the most tragical;—and truly it has been troublous enough, tumbling in the wake of that monster of Blarney, Big O and his “justice for Ireland”2 (the ugliest Imposter generated in my time),—and, alas, it ends in a sufficiently mournful manner, tho' in a manful and pathetic one on my poor friend Duffy's part!— I would gladly go and testify these feelings on his behalf, whenever it might be useful or suitable: but, on the other hand, I can perceive this Dinner will not be the place for me to do it; but for others differently related to it than I, and who probably have somewhat other feelings to express. In short, there are multifarious reasons admonishing absence on my part,—two reasons were there no others: Permanent wish to steer clear to windward of O'Connellism, and of Anti-do, in all their branches; and 2dly, the horror and misery I undergo in all “Public Dinners” whatsoever! I pray you therefore let me be excused, and be believed at the same time to wish the Enterprise heartily well, as I do.

About a week ago, after some little movements elsewhither, I came out to this place, in the hope of shaking some of the accumulated dust out of me, by silence and industrious riding and walking in the solitary lanes and woods;—which I am diligently endeavouring, for perhaps yet another ten days. After which I am at home in permanence; and shall hope to see you again, the first time you can get so far.

Yours ever truly / T. Carlyle