August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 5 September 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460905-TC-MAC-01; CL 21:43.


Imperial Hotel, Dublin 5 Septr (Saturday Night) 1846—

My dear Mother,

Here I am safe and sound, sooner than I expected; and I will not lose a post in putting you out of your anxieties about me: I cannot better end the day than doing so. Last night I wrote you on the Counter of an Ayr Bookseller's shop; tonight I am in my own bedroom high up here in Jack's Hôtel1 (which I find to look very well hitherto), and have nothing to disturb me except the Cries of Dublin, which are many and musical, and come up to me much softened at this height!

I left Ayr directly after putting in your Letter; such a Train as I never saw in any Railway,—apparently about two thousand drunk and half-drunk men, the last Train from Ayr Races: right glad was I, for one, to get out of such a dusty hurly-burly. I did not go to Burns's Monument2 or anywhere; all was one boiling whirlpool of noise, drunkenness and dust; I quietly withdrew to the Seashore and looking at the rocks of Arran, smoked a cigar till my hour came,—or rather till I thot of running to a remote shop-counter and there writing you a Letter.— However, we got safe out of it all; safe to Ardrossan, and on board the Irish Steamer; which sailed in about 2 hours after (near 11 at night), and proved to be an excellent Steamer, and under far superior management to the Victoria concern. I even slept in it,—about as much as my average, when you are taking all the care a mother and kind Friends could of me,—about five hours, namely,—such a perverse creature am I. When I awoke we were getting into Belfast Lough; about six we got ashore at Belfast itself; and after much tumbling, I got adjusted for a Coach and Railways that would take me to Drogheda; walked about an hour up and down Belfast, and finally at 8 was fairly under way, with my goods all right (nothing lost but the poor old cap, which I think some of the younger shoeblacks had stolen,—no great prize for him!)—breakfast too, after a sort, had not been forgotten. And so till 4 o'clock we rolled along, with much talk from all descriptions of people, gentle and simple, who were all more or less strange and entertaining to me; thro' a beautiful day; thro various Towns, Newry, Dundalk &c; and drew up at last on the street of Drogheda, which too was all simmering with a market-day. I ran over to the Post-Office, found no Letter, or news of any kind, from