The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO C. G. DUFFY ; 30 January 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520130-TC-CGD-01; CL 27: 23-25


Chelsea, / January 30, 1852.

Dear Duffy,—I will cheerfully do all I can for Dr. Murray; and indeed have already as good as done so, of which I hope to communicate to you the issue in a day or two. I have described Dr. Murray and his project to the editor in question this morning, and put the question to him: Will you deliberately read his paper if he send one? By this means, taking part of the risk upon myself, I think the problem may perhaps be a little abridged, and the risk of the other parties less. You shall hear at once what answer there is; till then, keep silence, please. My conviction is that any deliberate essay of Dr. Murray's would decidedly deserve the trouble of reading by an editor; and doubtless I could so have managed it in general, and perhaps with this entangled blue and yellow in particular; but, as I said, it will be surer, and may probably be briefer, to proceed as now.

Can you send me, one of these days, Dr. Kennedy's address—the doctor of whom I saw so much in Dublin, who is Pitt Kennedy's brother,1 and who lives somewhere in the southern outskirts, I think—a well-known man? No haste about it, only don't quite forget.

I am truly sorry to hear that your land scheme has come to ruin in so provoking and paltry a way.2 There can nothing be done, then, for the poor Irish people at present! Nothing by express enactment or arrangement; but they must follow the dumb law of their positions, and sink, sink, till they do come upon rock! I rather judge so; nothing considerable, either for them or for any people or object whatsoever; all objects having got so frightfully enigmatic (hideous and unintelligible, as the old official masks drop off them), and our chief interpreter of enigmatic realities being Lord John3 at this moment—an interpreter that probably defies the world for his fellow, if we consider where he is and when he is! Well, there is no help; we must all get down to the rocks; we are in a place equivalent to Hell (for every true soul and interest) till we do get thither; there, and there only, on the eternal basis, can there be any “heaven” and land of promise for the sons of Adam (sons of Hudson, millionaire and penniless alike, I exclude). Thither must we, as God live—and God knows many of us will have a good bit to go before we arrive there, and will need considerable thrashing and tossing before the chaff be well beaten off us, I guess. It is the dismallest epoch, and yet one of the grandest—like a putrid Golgotha with immortality beyond it; I do verily believe (in figurative language) comparable to “resurrection from the dead.” It is in such way I look at it, in silence generally, and welcome even a Brummagem Cromwell of the French as a clear step forward. Five-and-thirty years of Parliamentary stump oratory, all ending in less than nothing; now let us try drill-sergeantry a little even under these sad terms! I find the talk of France to be, and to have been, much madder than even their silence is like to be. God is great.

You are dreadfully unjust to what you call “England” in almost all you say about Ireland, and in general your interpretation of the former hated entity is altogether mistaken, too often (I swear to you) at once lamentable and absurd! I forgive it, as before, but pray always it might alter. There seems to me no possibility of profit in that direction. I had a letter from a brother of Mitchel the other day, who dates Washington, an inquiring, struggling, ingenuous, and ambitious kind of nature, to whom, for John's sake, I made some reply. Adieu, I hope only for a few days.— Yours always,