The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO C. G. DUFFY; 2 December 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18501202-TC-CGD-01; CL 25: 300-302


Chelsea, 2 Decr, 1850—

Dear Duffy,

Will you send me the exact name and address of Shine Lalor,1—is he not John, or something else, besides Shine? As to the Address, I suppose Killarney itself will do, if he is still resident in his Castle thereabouts. Item the Christian name of Dr Cane,2 Kilkenny?— I am to send (as you perhaps guess) a certain volume to each of these gentn, by way of testifying, in a most imperfect manner, what a remembrance I have of them. Ay de mi!

You seem to make rapid way with your Tenant Association: indeed, I see clearly, that is the direct road into the centre of the Abyss;—facilis descensus AVERNI [the descent into hell is easy],3 if you will take the metaphor in good part; for surely, if the World-Cloaca have any bottom, I do clearly perceive it lies there.

Our poor old friend the Pope has committed a sad blunder in sending his pasteboard Cardinals with their Bull thunder over to us just now! All men think it an impertinence and futile infatuation on the part of the old gentn; and among the general mass of the English people there is such an uproar as I have not seen for twenty years past. Of which I cannot say, for my own part, that I altogether disapprove. The Pope may depend upon it, we will by no means come back to him; never, thro' all Eternity, to him! We may find worse fellows too (nay I expect far worse,4 on occasion); but we are travelling, these three centuries now, quite in the opposite direction, and ha[ve] not, I think (for all our bleeding feet and bad weather), the smallest vestige of a notion to turn back!— In brief, it will not surprise me at all if, when the Parlt meets, a Law (after infinite jargon) is passed, to send Wiseman a[nd] Co about their business again, and prohibit any British Subject henceforth from importing ware of that kind into this Country. The beautiful “principles of toleration,”—in which I myself do not believe a jot,—will receive some illustration in this business; and to me, sure enoug[h] (if I could have patience with the vile temporary dus[t] this beating of Humbug against Humbug, is the destruction of nonsense to such and such extent, and ought to be regarded as a gain. For the rest, I warn you in any case to take no offence agt us, you in Ireland; for we do not in the least mean you! That is truth; and I am very glad to see the Nation teaching that, and hope you will all along keep it well in mind.

The Nation, in point of real talent ('bating perhaps a little worldly wisdom, and savoir-faire, whh is not quite its forte), seems to me the cleverest Weekly Paper I read. Really on Saturday nights there is none of them that (spite of the exotic colour) has so much the ring of the real metal in it. Go on and prosper!— — I have had some difficulty to defend you, to myself and others, for voting against “the Godless Colleges.”5 Beware of that; look on both sides of that! What if this that poor dark angry mortals now call “Godless Colleges,” were actually the beginning of the real Religion of the Future for Ireland and for us all;—destined to live, and rise ever higher heavenward (I grant you it is not very high just yet!) when Papism, Lutherism, and so many other isms had rotted fairly into Ragfair in minds of all men!— Heaven love you always, Dear Duffy; I meant only to write a word, and you see—!— Yours always

T. Carlyle