April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 17 July 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490717-TC-JAC-01; CL 24: 129-130


Cork (Imperial Hôtel) 17 july, 1849—

Cork 17 july

Thanks, dear Brother; I got your Letter1 here last night, and was very glad of it as you may fancy. One from Jane too, and several others waited: all my Letters seemingly have hitherto gone right, notwithstanding some confusion in the posts in this quarter just now. Your Newspaper I returned last night,2 for a sign; probably you will get it along with this,—tho' it is now next day, 2 p.m., & there are 2 daily posts from Cork. Limerick is the next “Post-Office,” pray be smart:—I will leave notice to forward at the several stations. “Galway” follows next, at the interval probably of some 6 days from this: “Sligo” is then next in view; and certainly I will send to, if not visit, the Post-Office there; but my motions in that quarter depend a little on Lord George Hill, to whom I have written this day, expecting answer at Limerick or Galway.

Duffy and I have been parted since Friday night at Cappoquin, till last night again here. I was at Dromana (Lord Stuart de Decies, an amiable intelligent man, whose mild manners and big grey mansion over the Blackwater is pleasantly memorable to me), then at Lismore nearby, with the Duke of Devonshire's man, an instructive, assiduous, polite and even excessively hospitable gentn named Currey (Scotch, Corrie), who brought me down to Youghal (pronounced “Yo'al” or even “Yachal”), the “Yougal Harbour” of a song of poor Alick's out of old years,—ah me!— where I lodged in a “College” (queer old habitation, very clean and quiet) of Sir Walter Raleigh's, and thanked the D. of Devonshire, the old Earls of Cork, and the beneficent upperpowers. An excellent night's sleep was vouchsafed me there; of which I had some need. Everywhere I got beautifully along; have nothing to complain of, except that the people are too assiduous about me, and that I cannot well manage to secure enough of sleep in my various quarters. Cork is a beautiful bright City, wearing more an air of business than any I have yet seen in Ireland: all white, rough cast &c, built at the bottom of woody hills, close by the shore of meandering creeks and tideways, with many quays and bridges, “by the pleasant waters of the river Lea.” We are to sail down this afternoon, and dine and sleep, with an admiring Samaritan,3 in some Cottage on the banks of the beautiful gulflet, or gut of the sea called Cork Harbour. So be it; for I slept ill again last night.— The next day we go towards Killarney, or to it, a 60 or 70 miles by Mail-Car, where a “Shine Lawlor,” repeal Landlord, is to, not lodge us, but lionize us. Then comes another, a Tory Landlord, before whom Duffy will abscond. Limerick follows, as I said, and Galway, and—?— In fifteen minutes hence (for Duffy has lost me all morning, happily, and only now discovered me in my bedroom), we are to be off to our Samaritan's, and have still to pack: therefore I must needs be brief:—alas, here is the Samaritan himself, a lusty effectual sagacious gallant-looking fellow! So I must even break off, and finish at once. O dear Mother, dear Brother and you all,—I will tell you so many things, everything when once we meet, which I surely trust will be soon.

The crops are excellent all round and round; immense quantities of potatoes all flourishing too—tragical to behold. They are not blighted yet; men wait as upon the cast of the die, Yes or No; keep obstinately hoping. Beggary, tho' abated, continues rife and great; rags, even in this City, abundant. Ireland however will surely improve; seeds of great improvement are germinating visibly everywhere.— To Limerick then, and next to Galway; do not let me want for a line of writing. Adieu, dear Brother,—dear good Mother, my blessing be with you and them all! Ever affectionately,

T. Carlyle

I got Jean's Letter; you can send her this forward, by way of thanks and acknowledgement, till better come— We are respited till 11 (hour and 1/4 hence) and come up again tonight, as the better way. Once more adieu. My Samaritan is “Denny Lane.” “Father Shea” too is here, the earliest admirer of Sartor in this Empire, a worthy Shea!—