April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 3 July 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490703-TC-JAC-01; CL 24: 95-96


Imperial Hôtel Sackville Street Dublin / Tuesday Evg 3 july 1849 / (10 p.m)

My dear Brother,

If Mother and you as proposed went to Dumfries today, as I often on the “high seas” fancied you doing, the directest way of hitting you, and her, and Jean and everybody will be Dumfries; to that therefore I address this small single word.1

According to Program I went off on Saturday (from Chelsea at 8 a.m.), and after many adventures none of them detrimental (except want of sleep), tho' several were very stirring to my stagnancy, I arrived here about 7 this Evg,—right glad indeed to get myself cleaned, and a Christian meal to eat on the firm land! They have put me into an excellent-looking bedroom—(the qu[ietest] I think will really prove tolerable in that respect), and on the whole in no respect have I not made an excellent change since my late berth on board the Athlone!— Yet I believe it was a really successful voyage. It has awakened me, as if you had flung me over a precipiece2 into the sea!—

Duffy to whom I had hinted something of my fears about sleep, and “aspirations” after a quiet “lodging,” has a Letter waiting me here, offering rooms at his sister-in-law's (Dr Callan's); but she does not let lodgings by any means,—and that therefore I decline; and indeed shall stick here, if I do not find it impossible to sleep. Duffy is to call (as one O'Hagan comes to intimate) in “two or 3 minutes”; therefore I must end.— Whether you wrote or not I cannot say tonight, for the Post-Office (all but the receiving boxes) ceases at 7 p.m., but we will try again tomorrow. Address “Post-Office” as before till [MS torn]. Reassure my mother, comfort and be [MS torn] on you all. I will write again


I saw Ventnor and the South side of the Isle of Wight very beautifully; indeed we saw almost all the coast from Battersea Bridge to the Land's End extremely well;—and the Land's End itself, which is the strangest memorablest Cape I ever saw, of which you shall have a description one day— We had few passengers in the Cabin, only 3 or 4, and they characters, but one a dreadful snorer;—the deck was filled with a Miscellany of common soldiers, recruits, invalids, a perfect Donybrook;3 into which I looked from the gangways above, and read off many strange Irish physiognomies.— One of the wretched persons (an old Irish soldier, a lean man of 40: whom I had seen struggling on the quarter-deck, insisting that he would and should continue there too), fell overboard (it was supposed) that same night, and was never more seen! An invalid gentleman from Devonshire, paralytic in the lower extremities, was conveyed on board in a wicker cradle, what old Spalding4 calls a “wand bed,” and came on the deck all the way—a most affecting sight. In short I shall not soon forget this voyage of mine;—I wish the rest were all ended in this Ireland as happily.

Dublin looked ourie [gloomy] and idle, compared with London, in the streets I came along. There has been a high wind by land too, all day, I find,—as perhaps you also had.

From moment to moment I now expect Duffy—and shall end again; for in fact why shd I have begun a second time. Of course Jean too will get the contents of this, and take it as a message to her too. Adieu. It is now 10½ p.m. nearly.