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the squire, giving him a nudge. And he put his arm round the clergyman, and led him gently to a seat in the shade. There, I think, Walter Jones prayed that he might not be thankful. Man is weak. Conventional man very weak.
Once a gentleman always a gentleman, was the squire's motto. There was no attempt at concealment. The poor man, whose life had been so unlovely, lay at peace at last in the best room at the vicarage, and was presently, with some tears of pity shed by gentle eyes, laid in a quiet corner of the churchyard. There was talk, of course, but the talk was confined to the village, where the possession of a drunken father was not uncommon, or uncharitably considered. The worst of the dead man was known only to Jim Foley, and he kept it close even from his wife; while any Spartan thoughts which the squire might otherwise have entertained, any objections he might have been led to raise to his daughter's match, were rendered futile-seeming and quixotic by the strange mode in which the denouement had been reached in his presence. He consented, and all-after an intervalwent well. But the vicar will sometimes, I think, in the days to come, when prosperity laps him round, wander to the churchyard and recall the hot summer noon when he walked the roads haunted by that strange sense of forlornness and
From The Contemporary Review. CONVERSATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE
WITH THOMAS CARLYLE.
IT is nearly half a century since I made the acquaintance of Thomas Carlyle. In the only fragment of her diary saved from the flames, and published with her "Letters and Memorials," Mrs. Carlyle describes the visit of three Irish law students, who were, moreover, decisive Nationalists, to her husband in April, 1845. She had seen Italian, German, and Polish patriots beyond count, but Irish specimens of the genus were altogether new to her; and here were, as she says, "real hot and hot live Irishmen, such as she had never sat at meals with before." On the whole they did not displease her, and one of them had afterwards the good fortune to be admitted by the lady to a frank and cordial friendship lasting to the
day of her death. Her description of her visitors may still have an interest for inquisitive readers. Mr. Pigot, mentioned first, was son of the Irish chief baron, and afterwards became a successful advocate at the Indian bar; the person whose name she could not recall was John O'Hagan (afterwards Mr. Justice O'Hagan, recently head of the Land Commission in Ireland); and the third visitor was the present writer. They were introduced to the Chelsea recluse by Frederick Lucas, then editor of the Tablet, afterwards member of Parliament for the County Meath, and one of the leaders of the first Irish party of Independent Opposition.
The youngest one, Mr. Pigot [says Mrs. Carlyle, a handsome youth of the romantic cast, pale-faced, with dark eyes and hair, and an Emancipation of the Species" melancholy spread over him, told my husband, after having looked at and listened to him in comparative silence for the first hour, with "How to observe" written in every lineament, that now he (Mr. Pigot) felt assured he (my husband) was not in his heart so unjust towards Ireland as his writings led one to suppose, and so he would confess, for the purpose of retracting it, the strong feeling of repulsion with which he had come to him that night.
"Why, in the name of goodness, then, did you come?" I could not help asking, thereby producing a rather awkward result. Several awkward results were produced in this "nicht wi' Paddy." They were speaking of the Scotch intolerance towards Catholics, and Carlyle as usual took up the cudgels for intolerance. "Why," said he, "how could they do otherwise? If one sees one's fellow-creature following a damnable error, by continuing in which the devil is sure to get him at last, and roast him in eternal fire and brimstone, are you to let him go towards such consummation? or are you not rather to use all means to save him?",
"A nice prospect for you to be roasted in fire and brimstone," I said to Mr. Lucas, the red-hottest of Catholics.
"For all of us,"
said poor Lucas, laughing good-naturedly;
66 we are all Catholics." Nevertheless the
evening was got over without bloodshed; at blood was shed involuntarily. While they least, malice prepense bloodshed, for a little were all three at the loudest in their defence of Ireland against the foul aspersions Carlyle had cast on it, and "scornfully" cast on it, one of their noses burst out bleeding. It was the nose of the gentleman whose name we never heard. He let it bleed into his pockethandkerchief privately till nature was relieved, and was more cautious of exciting himself
The third, Mr. Duffy, quite took my husband's fancy, and mine also to a certain extent. He is a writer of national songs, and came here to "eat his terms. With the
coarsest of human faces, decidedly as like a horse's as a man's, he is one of the people that I should get to think beautiful, there is so much of the power both of intellect and passion in his physiognomy. As for young Mr. Pigot, I will here, in the spirit of prophecy, inherited from my great great ancestor, John Welsh, the Covenanter, make a small prediction. If there be in his time an insurrection in Ireland, as these gentlemen confidently anticipate, Mr. Pigot will rise to be a Robespierre of some sort; will cause many heads to be removed from the shoulders they belong to; and will eventually" have his own head removed from his own shoulders. Nature has written on that handsome but fatal-looking countenance of his, quite legibly to my prophetic eye, "Go and get thyself beheaded, but not before having lent a hand towards the great work of 'immortal smash.'"'*
The young Irishmen were greatly impressed by the philosopher and his wife. They did not accept his specific opinions on almost any question, but his constant advocacy of veracity, integrity, and valor touched the most generous of their sympathies, and his theory that under the divine government of the world right and might are identical as right infallibly became might in the end, was very welcome teaching to men struggling against enormous odds for what they believed to be intrinsic justice. The letter of one of the visitors to his wife written next day sufficiently indicates their state of enthusiasm: We dined at Hampton Court yesterday, and spent the evening at Thomas Carlyle's. I have much to tell you of him, but more of his wife. She is one of the most natural, unaffected, fascinating women I ever encountered, and O'H. and P. declare they would rather cultivate her acquaintance than the philosopher's. She is no longer handsome, but full of intellect and kindness blended gracefully and lovingly together. Among a hundred interesting things which she told us, one was that Alfred Tennyson does not, as you supposed, tell his own story in "Locksley Hall; that he is unmarried, and unlikely to marry, as no woman could live in the atmosphere of tobacco-smoke which he makes about him from morn till night. Of Miss Barrett she has a low-in my mind, altogether too low - an opinion. She says she could not read her, and that Carlyle (so she pronounces his name) advised the poetess to write prose! Oh, misguiding philosopher, to tell a dove not to fly, or a swan not to swim! We had a long talk about Ireland, of which he has wrong notions, but not unkindly feelings, and we came away at eleven o'clock at night, delighted with the man and woman. She bantered the
Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle. Prepared for publication by Thomas Carlyle. Edited by J. A. Froude.
philosopher in the most charming manner, but philosophers I fear do not like to be ban tered. He knows next to nothing, accurately or circumstantially, of Irish affairs. He has prejudices which are plainly of Scotch origin, but he intends and desires to be right, and when he understands the case, where could such an advocate be found before England and the world!
A month later I had my first letter from Carlyle, and I am moved to publish it and a selection from those which followed, because they may help to realize for others the picture of that eminent man which remains in my own memory. It has been a personal pain to me in recent times to find among honorable and cultivated people a conviction that Carlyle was hard, selfish, and arrogant. I knew him intimately for more than an entire generation, as intimately as one who was twenty years his junior, and who regarded him with unaffected reverence as the man of most undoubted genius of his age, probably ever did. I saw him in all moods and under the most varied conditions, and often tried his impatient spirit by dissent from his cherished convictions, and I found him habitually serene and considerate, never, as so many have come to believe of his ordinary mood, arrogant or impatient of contradiction. I was engaged for nearly half the period in the conflict of Irish politics, which from his published writings one might suppose to be utterly intolerable to him; but the readers of these letters will find him taking a keen interest in every honest attempt to raise Ireland from her misery, reading constantly, and having sent after him wherever he went the journal which embodied the most determined resistance to misgovernment from Westminster, and throwing out how the work, so far as he approved of it, friendly suggestions from time to time might be more effectually done. This is the real Carlyle; a man of generous nature, sometimes disturbed on the surface by trifling troubles, but never diverted at heart from what he believed to be right and true.
This was the first letter:
CHELSEA, May 12, 1845. MY DEAR SIR, -I am happy to hear that there is at last a prospect of seeing your book, which I have been in expectation of since the night you were here. Certainly I will look into it; my distinct persuasion is that you must mean something by it a very considerable distinction for a book or man in these days.
I have likewise to thank you for your kind purpose of sending me the Nation, the first
number of which, indeed, I find has safely in- | troduced itself through the Rowland Hill slit in the door this day. As I have very little time, and especially at present hardly read any newspaper, it would be a further kindness if you now and then marked such passages as you thought would be most illuminative for
I can say with great sincerity I wish you well; and the essence of your cause, wellalas! if one could get the essence of it extracted from the adscititious confusions and impossible quantities of it, would not all men wish you and it right well?
Justice to Ireland-justice to all lands, and to Ireland first as the land that needs it the whole English nation (except the quacks and knaves of it, who in the end are men of negative quantities and of no force in the English nation) does honestly wish you that. Do not believe the contrary, for it is not true; the believing of it to be true may give rise to miserable mistakes yet, at which one's imagination shudders.
Well, when poor old Ireland has succeeded again in making a man of insight and generous valor, who might help her a little out of her deep confusions-ought I not to pray and hope that he may shine as a light instead of blazing as a firebrand, to his own waste and his country's! Poor old Ireland, every man of that kind she produces, it is like another stake set upon the great Rouge-et-Noir of the Destinies: "Shall I win with thee, or shall I lose thee too blazing off upon me as the others have done?" She tries again, as with her last guinea. May the gods grant her a good issue!
I bid you, with many kind wishes, good speed. And am, very truly yours, T. CARLYLE.
From madame also there came pleasant greetings:
5, CHEYNE ROW, CHELSEA, Sept. 14, 1845. MY DEAR SIR, Thank you emphatically for the beautiful little volume you have sent me, "all to myself" (as the children say). | Besides the prospective pleasure of reading it, it is no small immediate pleasure to me as a token of your remembrance; for when one has " sworn an everlasting friendship" at first sight, one desires, very naturally, that it should not have been on your Irish principle, "with the reciprocity all on one side."
The book only reached me, or rather I only reached it, last night, on my return home after an absence of two months, in search of what shall I say? -a religion? Sure enough, if I were a good Catholic, or good Protestant, or good anything, I should not be visited with those nervous illnesses, which send me from time to time out into space to get myself rehabilitated, after a sort, "by change of air."
When are you purposing, through the strength of Heaven, to break into open rebellion? I have sometimes thought that in a civil war I should possibly find my "mis
sion"-moi! But in these merely talking times, a poor woman knows not how to turn herself; especially if, like myself, she "have a devil" always calling to her, "March! march!" and bursting into infernal laughter when requested to be so good as specify whither.
If you have not set a time for taking up arms, when at least are you coming again to "eat terms "" (whatever that may mean)? I feel what my husband would call "a real, genuine, healthy desire" to pour out more tea for you.
My said husband has finished his "Cromwell" two weeks ago, then joined me at a place near Liverpool, where he remained a week in a highly reactionary state; and then he went North, and I South, to meet again when he has had enough of peat-bog and his platonically beloved "silence"-perhaps in three weeks or a month hence. Meanwhile I intend a great household earthquake, through the help of chimney sweeps, carpet-beaters, and other like products of the fall of our first parents. And so you have our history up to the present moment.
Success to all your wishes, except for the destruction of us Saxons, and believe me,
Always very cordially yours,
JANE W. CARLYLE.
CHELSEA, Oct. 25, 1845. MY DEAR SIR, Will you accept of this book [Past and Present] from me, which probably you have already examined, but may put now on your shelves as a symbol of regards that will not be unwelcome to you?
For a good while past, especially in late weeks, during a rustication in Scotland, I have read punctually your own part, or what I understand to be such, of the Nation newspaper, and always with a real sympathy and assent. There reign in that department a manfulness, veracity, good sense, and dignity, which are worthy of all approbation. Of the much elsewhere that remains extraneous to me, and even afflictious to me, I will here say nothing. When one reflects how, in the history of this world, the noblest human efforts have had to take the most confused embodiments, and tend to a beneficent eternal goal by courses they were much mistaken in-why should we not be patient even with Repeal! You I will, with little qualification, bid persevere and prosper, and wish all Ireland would listen to you more and more. The thing you intrinsically mean is what all good Irishmen and all good men must mean; let it come quickly, and continue forever. Your coadjutors also shall persevere, under such conditions as they can, and grow clearer and clearer according to their faithfulness in these.
My wife, while I was absent, received a little book from you with much thankfulness, and answered with light words, she says, in profound ignorance of the great affliction just then lying heavy on you, which had made such a tone very inappropriate. Forgiveness for this you may believe always that there is a true sympathy with you here, a hearty good-will for you here.
When you come to London again, fail not to let us see you. If I ever visit Ireland, yours is a house I will seek out. With many wishes and regards,
Yours, very sincerely,
Though Carlyle wrote his letters spontaneously I have seen hundreds of them without a correction or erasure he was as painstaking with his proofs as Burke or Macaulay. The next letter was suggested by a desire for accuracy in the topography of Cromwell's Irish campaign:
CHELSEA, Jan. 19, 1846.
I am about to do what to another kind of man than you I should myself regard as a very strange thing. I am sending you the "Curse of Cromwell" to get it improved for me! The case is, I am very busy preparing a second edition of that book; and am anxious, this being the last time that I mean to touch it, to avoid as many errors as may be avoidable. In the Irish part of the business I could not, after considerable search and endeavor, procure any tolerable Irish atlas; and in spelling out the dreadful old newspaper letters from that scene, which are nearly indecipherable sometimes, I felt now and then my footing by no means secure. Other errors there may be which an intelligent, punctual man, acquainted with the localities, might put me on the way of rectifying; but those of the names of places and such like he would himself rectify. For geographical corrections I see nothing that 1 can do so wise as depend upon you and your help. . . . Excuse all this. I would like much to talk weeks with you on these subjects; for it seems to me, as I have said already, Ireland, which means many millions of my own brethren, has again a blessed chance in having made a man like you speak for her, and also (excuse the sincerity of the word) that your sermon to her is by no means yet according to the real gospel in that matter. This service having been duly performed was graciously acknowledged :
March 12, 1846.
I have received the annotated sheets this day, and am abundantly sensible of the trouble you have taken, in reference especially to such a matter, which many good feelings in you, in the twilight we yct look at it under, call upon you to hate and not to love! In spite of all obstructions my fixed hope is that just men, Irish and English, will yet see it as God the Maker saw it, which I think will really be a
point gained for all of us, on both sides of the water. It is not every day that the Supreme Powers sent any missionary, clad in light or clad in lightning, into a country to act and speak a True Thing there: and the sooner all of us get to understand, to the bottom, what it was that he acted and spoke, it will most infallibly be the better every way. Nations and men that cannot understand Heaven's message, because (which very often happens) it is not agreeable to them-alas! the sum of all national and human sins lies there, and our frightful doom is "to follow the message of the other place then." I believe you to be a good man and one of the chosen of Ireland, Certainly if you could abolish the scene of or I would not write these things to you. Portnadown Bridge and other such out of my mind, you would do me a real kindness; and indeed it is mostly gone, or altogether gone, out of the memory of England, fierce as it once stood there; but out of the memory of Ireland it ought never to go. Oh no, not till Ireland be very much other than it yet is. And a just and faithful son of Ireland has something quite other to do with it than tell his countrymen to forget it. You by much meditating might understand what it was that Cromwell (a man also lifted far away above all "rubbish" in his time) did mean, and the eternal Heaven along with him in Ireland. If you cannot, there is no other Irishman yet born, I suppose, that can; and we shall have to wait for him perhaps with terrible penalties for his not being here.
Some friendly critic upbraids me, on one of these sheets, that I do not admit the Irish to be a nation. Really and truly that is the fact. I cannot find that the Irish were in 1641, are now, or until they conquer all the English, ever again can be a "nation," anything but an integral constituent part of a nation-any more than the Scotch Highlands can, than the parish of Kensington can. Alas! the laws of Nature in regard to such matters (what used to be called God's laws) are very different indeed from those written down in books of sentiment, as many a poor Polander and the like finds to his cost. Nay, do not stamp this note under your feet, or at least pick it up again and read my thanks, my real regard for you, and best wishes in all things.
The printer, I believe, has most of the "Irish Campaign " in type, but I will profit carefully by your corrections still.
HIS FIRST VISIT TO IRELAND. CARLYLE had long desired to visit Ireland, and in the summer of 1846 promised that he would soon carry out this design. Here is his letter:
CHELSEA, July 22, 1846.
I am just about escaping out of London, for a little movement and for summer air, of which I have rather need at present for more reasons than one; to-morrow afternoon I ex. pect to be in Iancashire with some friends,
where my wife now is; the sea breezes and the instantaneous total change of scene will be good so far as they go. My next goal, for another rest of longer or shorter continuance, must be my native place, Dumfriesshire on the other side of the Solway Frith, where I must aim to be about the first week in August. One of my intermediate projects was a short flight over to Ireland, upon which I wish to consult you at present. A swift steamer, know, takes one over any evening (or, I believe, morning) with the mail-bags; there is Dublin to be looked at for a day or two, there is "Conciliation Hall" to be seen, once; then you are to be seen and talked with, oftener than once if you like; many other things no doubt; but this is nearly all of definite that rises on me at present, and this, if other things go right, will abundantly suffice. In Dublin and all places I get nothing but pain out of noise and display, and insist, even at the expense of some breaches of politeness, on remaining altogether private-strictly incognito if there is any need of putting an "in" to it, which sometimes (for poor mortals are very prurient, and run after Pickwicks and all manner of rubbish) I have found there was. From Dublin I could get along, by such route as seemed pleasantest, to Belfast, and then on the proper day a steamer puts me down at Annan, on the Scotch Border, my old school-place; within six miles of the smoke of my mother's cottage; very well known to me, all dead and a few living things, when once I am at Annan.
Chaos, their fated inevitable way; but the
I welcomed the project cordially, and received further details when he had already set out on his summer excursion.
SEAFORTH HOUSE, LIVERPOOL, Aug. 6, 1846. Your hospitable and most friendly message found me here the day after my arrival. Travelling suits me very ill, only the fruit of travelling is of some worth to me. Heaven, I think, among other things, will be a place where one has leave to sit still.
The Belfast steamer, it turned out on inquiry, sailed only once a fortnight; the first day too early for my limits, the second too late. Belfast therefore was out. There remained then Dublin, and perhaps a run to Drogheda, and back again to Liverpool; which did for some days seem possible; but new perversities arose from another side, unforeseen or but half foreseen; and on the whole I have to decide that Ireland for the present is impossible; that I must embark for my mother's this night. To-morrow morning my address, if I prosper, will be "Scotsbrig, Ecclefechan, N. B.," to which place, if you can again trouble your clerk to direct my copy of the Nation, or failing that, to return to his old Chelsea address, it will be a kind of saving of trouble. I by no means give up my notion yet of seeing you and a glimpse of Ireland beThis is the extent of my project, which may fore returning home, but I must attack it now or may not become an action, though I do on the other side, and after a variety of hope and wish in the affirmative at present. Scotch movements, which are still much in What part of it chiefly depends on you is, to the vague for me. My wife stays here for a say whether or not you are in Dublin, how a few days longer with some relations in the sight of Conciliation Hall (I want nothing neighborhood, and after that, I hope, will join more but a sight with somebody to give me me in Scotland; but her health at this moment the names) in full work is to be obtained; is far from good, and her movements are and and what else, if anything, you could recom- must be a little uncertain. She still rememmend to the notice of a very obtuse and lone-bers you with true interest, and is far enough some stranger taking a two days' glimpse of such a place. Do this for me if you please, so soon as you find an hour of leisure; my address is "Mrs. Paulet's, Seaforth House, Liverpool," whither also, if you could make your people send the Nation till new notice, it would save a little time and trouble to certain parties. But that latter point is, of course, not important.
Mr. O'Connell, I am not much concerned to find, is somewhat palpably deserting "Repeal," and getting into a truer relation, I suppose, towards the earnest men of Ireland who do mean what they talk. I cannot say any man's word that I hear from your side of the water gives me anything like an unmixed satisfaction, except for most part your own: there is a candid clear manfulness, simplicity, and truth in the things you write for your people (at least I impute them to you) which seems to me the grain of blessed unnoticed wheat among those whirlwinds of noisy chaff, which afflict me as they pass on their way to
from standing between me and Ireland; she rather urges me thither, did not laziness and destiny withstand. This, with many regards and regrets, and with real hopes too, is all I can say of my Irish travels at present. You shall certainly hear of me again before I return.
For the present (though this was not one of my motives) it has struck me you might be as well not to have me or any stranger near you! A crisis, and, as I augur, perhaps a truly blessed one, is even now going on in your affairs. For the first time I read a Conciliation Hall debate last week; the veracity and manfulness, the intelligence and dignity seemed to me to be all on one side, and the transaction, though beneficent, was to me a really tragic character. But the divorce of earnest valor from blustering and incoherent nonsense is a thing that did behove to come. May a blessing follow it! Much may follow. Yours always,