candlestick

August 1846-June 1847


The Collected Letters, Volume 21


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TC TO C. G. DUFFY; 6 August 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460806-TC-CGD-01; CL 21:4-5.


TC TO C. G. DUFFY

SEAFORTH HOUSE, LIVERPOOL, Aug. 6, 1846.

Your hospitable and most friendly message found me here the day after my arrival. Travelling suits me very ill, only the fruit of travelling is of some worth to me. Heaven, I think, among other things, will be a place where one has leave to sit still.

The Belfast steamer, it turned out on inquiry, sailed only once a fortnight; the first day too early for my limits, the second too late. Belfast therefore was out. There remained then Dublin, and perhaps a run to Drogheda, and back again to Liverpool; which did for some days seem possible; but new perversities arose from another side, unforeseen or but half foreseen; and on the whole I have to decide that Ireland for the present is impossible; that I must embark for my mother's this night. Tomorrow morning my address, if I prosper, will be “Scotsbrig, Ecclefechan, N.B.,” to which place, if you can again trouble your clerk to direct my copy of the Nation, or failing that, to return to his old Chelsea address, it will be a kind of saving of trouble. I by no means give up my notion yet of seeing you and a glimpse of Ireland before returning home, but I must attack it now on the other side, and after a variety of Scotch movements, which are still much in the vague for me. My wife stays here for a few days longer with some relations in the neighbourhood,1 and after that, I hope, will join me in Scotland; but her health at this moment is far from good, and her movements are and must be a little uncertain. She still remembers you with true interest, and is far enough from standing between me and Ireland: she rather urges me thither, did not laziness and destiny withstand. This with many real regards and regrets, and with real hopes too, is all I can say of my Irish travels at present. You shall certainly hear of me again before I return.

For the present (though this was not one of my motives) it has struck me you might be as well not to have me or any stranger near you! A crisis, and, as I augur, perhaps a truly blessed one, is even now going on in your affairs.2 For the first time I read a Conciliation Hall debate last week; the veracity and manfulness, the intelligence and dignity seemed to me to be all on one side, and the transaction, though beneficent, was to me a really tragic character. But the divorce of earnest valour from blustering and incoherent nonsense is a thing that did behove to come.3 May a blessing follow it! Much may follow. —Yours always,

T. CARLYLE.