April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO C. G. DUFFY; 24 June 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490624-TC-CGD-01; CL 24: 79-81


Chelsea, 24 june, 1849—

Dear Duffy,

Your Dublin Agent for Ships is right, and I am wrong: the big “Thursday” with a constant “10 a.m,” which figures on the Bill, I now find is applicable only to Cork &c,—while for Dublin the days of sailing are “Wednesday and Saturday”1 (if one look narrowly, with spectacles, into the corners of the thing); and what is more, their hour of sailing seems to be variable, sometimes so early in the morning as would not suit me at all! So that what to do I now know not,—for the hour of my day (either Wedy or Saturday next) does not stand on this Bill, and is still a matter of investigation for me up in Town. Add to which, I am sunk over head and ears in a new avalanche of Cromwell rubbish all this day (the last, I do hope, of that particular species of employment!)—and I have barely time to save the Post, and send you a word postponing the exact decision. About Thursday, since not on that day, it shall still be: Saturday following would suit, if the hour of the morning suited, but that is yet sub lite [pending].— On the whole, Holyhead2 and the Railway still survive. My attraction for the other route was partly that I might see once the Southern Shores of England; also that I might be left entirely alone which, for two days in a returning Dublin Steamer, calculated might well be my lot. Alone, and very miserable, it will beseem me to be, a good deal, in this the most original of my “Tours.”— Brief, on Monday will try to settle it, and then tell you.

Forster does not come with me; will join me where I like after &c &c. I mean that you shall initiate me into the methods of Irish Travel, and keep me company (perhaps parting for a day or two, here and there) so far as our routes, once fixed upon, will go together. Your friendly cheerfulness, your knowledge of Ireland, all your goodness to me, I must make available. Define to yourself what it is you specially aim towards in travelling; that I may see how far without straining I can draw upon you.

People are giving me Letters &c; Aubrey de Vere has undertaken for “Six good Irish Landlords,”—vehemently protesting that “Six” (suggested by me) is not the maximum number. He wishes to send me across direct to Kilkee (Clare Coy) where his friends now are. A day or two of pause at some nice bathing-place, to swim about, and then sit silent looking out on the divine salt-flood, is very inviting to my fancy; but Kilkee all at once will not be the place, I find.

Twistleton brought his successor Power down with him last night; I hoped Power might have been an Irishman, but I do not think he is. Tn is decidedly a loss to Ireland, I reckon, as matters now stand: a man of much loyalty, pious affection, stout intelligence, and manful capability every way.

I have read a good many of your friend Ferguson's Irish Counties, which is slow work, if one hold fast by the Map, but is very instructive: I wish these Articles existed as a separate Book; I would take them with me as the best Vademecum on such a journey. Have you got the Book Facts from Gweedore?3 I never could see it yet, but consider it well worth seeing. Irish Songs you also remember.4

A Mr Miley,5 a Catholic Priest of your City, was to have come to me one day; but I think the unfortunate Painter6 must have deterred Lucas and him; at all events, they did not appear.

Enough for this day; on Monday a more definite prophecy, as to time at least.

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle