[Sir] Charles Gavan Duffy: Commentary & Quotations


Commentary

Commentary
Dublin University Magazine, remarks on Duffy’s ‘National Library of Ireland’: ‘The object of the publications before us is to represent the rebellion of ’98 as a justifiable resistence to British oppression; the men who figured in it, and who were exiled or executed, as heroes, patriots and martyrs; the law processes, by which they were brought to justice, as hellish contrivances for the destruction of innocent men; the juries by whom they were convicted as perjured traitors; the judges by whom they were sentenced, as ruthless instruments of oppression, upon whose head rested the guilt of innocent blood; and the whole machinery of adminstration as contrived for the torture, pillage, proscription, and massacre of an unoffending population! such are the lessons which the masses are now expecged to learn from ‘The National Library of Ireland’! It is a species of reading which may be called “treason made easy”’ (Dublin University Magazine, XXXIX, 169, Jan. 1847, pp.81-82; quoted in Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English: The Romantic Period 1789-1850, Vol 1 Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980, Vol. 1, p.146.)

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James Fintan Lalor: ‘When Mr Duffy expected arrest, he drew up his profession of principles, “The Creed of the Nation”. Under influences of similar feelings [...].’ (Cited in Justin McCarthy, Irish Literature, 1904, Vols. V-VI; p.1862n.)

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John Mitchel, Jail Journal [1854], ed. Arthur Griffith (Dublin: M. H. Gill 1913) —
[...] But what now will my Lord Clarendon do? He cannot, and dare not, allow himself to be beaten in this case: and I think he will boldly pack on the next trial, and secure this one conviction at all hazards; for Duffy is not only editor of the Nation, but is the very man who urged poor O’Brien upon his Tipperary war. If they even stay proceedings against him now, they are finally vanquished, and he can drive Government into the sea. He can: but will he? dare he? Alas! the unfortunate man is too evidently cowed and prostrated to the earth - he produced on his trial evidence of character - literally, people to bear witness of his good moral character in private life - and not only that, but of his legal and constitutional character. I read that Father Mathew and Bishop Blake were brought forward to prove that Mr. Duffy is not only a very amiable and religious person, but also far from being the sort of a man to meditate illegal violence, or the disturbance of “social order” - not he. Carleton, too, is produced to give his testimony to the prisoner’s general character- of which Carleton is an admirable judge. And, what is almost worse than all, the poor man tries to evade the responsibility of some of the prosecuted articles, by proving that they were not written by himself. This is all very wretched work ; yet still, unless there be some utterly ignominious concession, “Government “ will not be reheved from the difficulty. He is led back to prison; and try him they must at the next Commission; and they must pack the jury, and that very closely, or - oh! it is a fine thing to see a “liberal,” a “progressive, a “conciliatory” British Government brought to this.
 I shall be very anxious to hear the result of the next trial. Would to God there were someone foimd in Ireland to press the enemy hard now! Would to God it were in this man to do his duty ! He this Duffy, might now win to himself the immortal honour of abolishing [129] English law in Ireland, if his fine private character would but allow him. It is absolutely necessary to try out this legal controversy - a drawn battle will not do; all constitutional rubbish must be swept away, and the ground cleared for the trial of the final issue. The battle of the (Irish) Constitution must be fought, in the jury-box first, then in the streets, lastly in the fields.
(p.129-30.)
I have seen extracts from the new Nation. Mr. Duffy can hardly find words for his disgust, his contempt, “his utter loathing” of those who will say now that Ireland can win her rights by force. I thought so. The Times praises the new Nation, and calls its first article “a symptom of returning sense in Ireland.” The Ballingarry folly, this Nation calls “an utterly unsuccessful revolution” Young Ireland calls upon his countrymen to accept the defeat of Ballingarry. Ireland's strength, he thinks, was tested at Ballingarry. If the country (says Young Ireland) could have been saved by human prowess, hoc dextra fuisset, at Ballingarry. Therefore, Mr. Duffy is for the system of Irishmen growing individually independent, energetic, and truthful men (under British rule) - and then when they shall feel, after stern self-examination, that they are fit to manage their own affairs, then dissolve the Union with England. Thus blasphemes this traitor: thus snivels, rather, this most pitiable sinner.
 The Cork Southern Reporter echoes the new Nation, and even tries to go beyond it in treason. Mr. Barry quarrels with Mr. Duffy for keeping the independence of Ireland before men's eyes even as an ultimate and far-distant object; he is for “putting it in abeyance,” that is, dropping it altogether. Mr. Barry, therefore, is stupid and cowardly, but not half so dishonest as Mr. Duffy. These poor creatures will soon have few readers among the country people.
 One number of the Irishman [207] has come to my hands: it is published at No. 4 D’Olier Street, and by Fulham; and the editor is Joseph Brennan. This appears to be the true representative of the old Nation [...]
(p.207-08.)

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Matthew Russell (‘Poets I have Known’: Sir Charles G. Duffy, in Irish Monthly, 31, 1903): Duffy ‘struck the keynote of poetry in The Nation’; his poems are ‘inspired journalism’ (q. source).

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W. P. Ryan, The Irish Literary Revival (1894; rep. Lemma 1970), Sir Charles Duffy came prominently before a new generation as the historian of Davis and Young Ireland [8]. 21st Sept 1887, Justin McCarthy lectured on ‘The Literature of ‘48’ [with] Sir Charles Gavan Duffy in the chair ... it almost seemed as if the dead had arisen to study the present. For Sir Charles was essentially a figure of a dead generation. The Irish Phoenix had arisen many times from its ashes since, on his turning in despair from Ireland, he had used the most imaginative phrase of his life, telling of a national corpse on the dissecting table [… T]o the young students his later life was all but unknown - he was to them the colleague of Thomas Davis, who had worked for ideals like their own in bouyant days before the Great Famine had buried a whole Irish world of hope, pride, and pleasantry; or [26] before the remnants of a broken race went down to the sea in coffin ships. He had stepped into a little world that would have charmed Thomas Davis - though, curiously enough, amongst those who were there to greet him was the representative of a movement with which Young Ireland could have had no sympathy; - the very head centre of aestheticisim himself - more curious still, that this same representative should be the son of Speranza. [26-8]. [Michael Macdonagh lecture on ‘Irish Graves in England’ lead to the repair of John Francis O’Donnell’s grave, and the publication his his poetry; his receipt of this volume] prompted Gavan Duffy to write from Villa Marguerite, Nice, saying ‘I have often thought of forming a small Limited Liability Company for this purpose [of ‘publishing the verse and prose of men and women who have helped the national cause for the last generation’] [32-33]. ... Sir Charles did not, however, move as fast as we did, and towards the end of 1891 we saw little prospect of a new Irish Library unless it could be started upon our own independent lines [35]. Mr Gerald C Pelly inspired to form what became the Pan-Celtic Society, in 1888 by Gavan Duffy’s exhortation in The Nation that young Irish writers should study to history of their country in order that their works might ‘treasure her legends, eternalise her traditions, people and her scenery’ [39].

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W. P. Ryan (The Irish Literary Revival, 1894; Lemma 1970), cont.: Sir Charles Gavan Duffy made president [of the newly formed Irish Literary Society, London], but Yeats and company subsequently publish independent books which ‘to put it mildly, challenge comparison with the best in the old Library of Ireland’ [59]. Charles Gavan Duffy arrives in London, June 1892; much aged; his pamphlet, A Fair Constitution for Ireland, not warmly received; [62]; his paper mostly concerned with ‘the old idea of helping on the industrial and national life of Ireland’; he could name, he said, few writers worthy to succeed the men of ‘43 [?sic] ..he preferred to say that if there were not one man of genius left of the Irish race, there were already materials sufficient to furnish useful and delightful books for half-a-dozen [63] years. Duffy orated, ‘In that mystic clime on the verge of the Western horizon, where the more debased current of European civilization only visit at high tide, there is place for a great experiment for humanity.’ [Ryan avers] This was a high key to strike, but the Irish Literary Society regarded it as the right one [64]. Edmund Downey, co-founder of Downey and Ward, assists Gavan Duffy [66] In Dublin, Duffy find that ‘a section in its councils (including W. B. Yeats, who had gone over) was more disposed to criticise Sir Charles scheme and its proposed working than their brethern in London. They were representative of a new Irish generation, [66] keenly conscious of intellectual wants and wishes of its own, with pronounced ideas ... they wanted more control ... Rolleston and Downey laboured with the old zeal ... A Dublin element still remained irreconcilable. [67] Mr Yeats opened a correspondence in the Freeman’s Journal in which exception was taken to ... the one-man management of CG Duffy. Some hard words were said on both sides ... Sir CG Duffy decided to postpone [68] ... Early in 1893 it became known that the plan of a Publishing Company had been definitely abandoned; that Sir Charles was in treaty with a London publisher for the issue of his long-promised series of Irish books for the people. ... Sir Charles lectured to the Irish Literary Society in June, on ‘The Prospects of Irish Literature for the People’ ... the first volume appeared in September [69].

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W. P. Ryan (The Irish Literary Revival, 1894; Lemma 1970), cont. [Ryan concludes]: in truth he is rather a figure from an old movement, who has been fascinated by and drawn to the present one. In Irish literary matters he is still essentially a Young Irelander; and the present movement, as we shall see, is by no means a later edition of Young Ireland. [Ryan offers a potted life of Charles Gavan Duffy, largely mitigating his failure to comprehend the spirit of the new Ireland of the 1890s, and excusing the narrowness of his exclusively political and industrial outlook as that of an autodidact and a strictly nationalist litterateur of The Nation type, 77-83.] Though in some respects a stranger to the New Ireland, his long years’ social and administrative experience in other lands gives his views a weight and an authority that are seldom called in question. / The dream of an Irish revival has haunted him for years. His idea of that revival is one whose effects would be largely industrial and social [81] ... works of history and literature, tending to clear up the difficulties of the past and sharpen and train man’s energies in the present, would also be part of the scheme. [Ryan quotes Duffy], ‘It is to begin another deliberate attempt to make of our Celtic people all they are fit to become - to increase knowledge among them, and lay its foundations deep and sure; to strengthen their convictions and enlarge their horizon; and to tend the flame of national pride, which with sincerity of purpose and fervour of soul, constitute the motive power of great enterprises’ [83]. In August, 1892, the inaugural lecture was delivered by Dr Sigerson at the Ancient Concert Rooms, Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, then on his visit to Ireland (already noticed) being in the chair [129]. A member of the Irish Society of East Anglia (est. Aug 1890) [174]. Sir Gavan Duffy’s wise purpose and desire of bringing technical lore to our peasants, showing them the riches of the soil, the homely world about them [179]. [Note that Richard Ellmann draws up this pp.53 and 127 of account for his narrative of the founding of the Irish National Society in Dublin, in Ellmann, Yeats: The Man and The Mask, 1948, pp.107ff.]

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Martin MacDermott, Introduction, Spirit of the Nation (Dublin: Duffy 1894): ‘It was not poetry he [Charles Gavan Duffy] brought to the party so much as the power of initiation and organisation, without which, notwithstanding Davis’ splendid talents, there never would have been a Nation newspaper, or a Young Irieland Party, anymore than there would have been the old Library of Ireland or the new …’ (Cited in Cyril Pearl, Three Lives of Charles Gavan Duffy 1979, pp.227-28.)

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W. B. Yeats, Autobiographies (London: Macmillan 1955): ‘[…] I heard an alarming rumour. Old Sir Charles Gavan Duffy was coming from Australia to start an Irish publishing-house, and to publish a series of books, and I did not expect to agree with him, but knew that I must not seek to quarrel’ (“Ireland After Parnell”, Autobiographies, p.200); ‘I thought with alarm of the coming of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy’ (p.203.) Yeats associates Duffy with ‘many who at that time found it difficult to refuse if anybody offered for sale a pepper-pot shaped to suggest a round tower with a wolf-dog at its feet [and] who would have felt it inappropriate to publish an Irish book that had not harp and shamrock and green cover.’ (Ibid., p.203.) ‘One imagined his youth in some gaunt little Irish town, where no building or custom is revered for its antiquity; and there speaking a language where no word, even in solitude, is ever spoken slowly and carefully because of emotional implication; and of his manhood in practical politics, of the dirty piece of orange-peel in the corner of of the stairs as one climbs up to some newspaper office; of public meetings where it would be treacherous amid so much geniality to speak or even think of anything that might cause a moment’s misunderstanding in one’s own party. (Ibid., p.225.) ‘Sir Charles Gavan Duffy arrived. He brought with his much manuscript, the private letters of a Young Ireland poetess, a dry but uninforming unpublished historical essay by Davis, and an unpublished novel by William Carleton, into the middle of which he had dropped a hot coal, so that nothing remained but the borders of every page [...; see further under Thomas Carlyle, q.v., supra.]

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W. B. Yeats (Autobiographies, 1955), cont.: J. F. Taylor compared him to Odysseus returning to Ithaca, and every newspaper published his biography. He was a white-haired old man who had written the standard history of Young Ireland, had emigrated to Australian, then been the first Australian Federalist, and later Prime Minister, but, in all his writings, in which there is so much honesty, so little rancour, there is not one sentence that has any meaning when separated from its place in the argument or narrative, not one distinguished because of its thought or music. On imagined his youth in some little gaunt Irish town, where no building or custom is revered for its antiquity ... no argument of mine was intelligible to him ... he had attacked ... Mitchel ... ‘How dare he be in the right if Mitchel is in the wrong?’ (“The Trembling of the Veil”, Chap. VIII &c., pp.224- 226.) ‘He died a few months ago, and it would have surprised and shocked him if any man had told him that he was unforgiven; had he not forgotten all about it long ago?’ (p.228.)

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W. B. Yeats: ‘One imagined his [Duffy’s] youth in some gaunt little Irish town [...] his manhood in practical politics, of the dirty piece of orange-peel in the corner of the stairs as one climbs up to some newspaper office [...] No argument of mine was intelligible to him.’ (Quoted in P. J. Kavanagh ‘O all the Instruments Agree’, a review of R. F. Foster, W. B. Yeats: The Apprentice Mage, in Times Literary Supplement, [q.d., 1997]. Note further, Yeats found Duffy ‘not an assistant on equal terms as I had expected [but possessed of] a domineering obstinacy and an entire lack of culture that I could recognise’ (cited in Frank Tuohy, Yeats, 1976, p.73).

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W. B. Yeats: ‘I have just read in a newspaper that Sir Charles Gavan Duffy recited upon his death-bed his favourite poem, one of the worst of the patriotic poems of Young Ireland, and it has brought all this to mind, for the opposition to our school claimed him as its leader.’ (“Poetry and Tradition”, in The Cutting of the Agate [1912], rep. in Essays and Introductions, Macmillan 1961, p.257.)

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David Cairns & Shaun Richards, Writing Ireland, colonialism, nationalism and culture (Manchester 1988), who make a chapter title from his question, “What Do We Hope to Make of Ireland?”, in ‘What Irishmen May Do for Irish Literature’ (1894; see supra.), ‘The fundamental question was ... What do we hope to make of Ireland?’ (p.19); ‘literary garbage’ destroying the defining qualities of the Irish, a people of ‘purity, piety, and simplicity’ (pp.12-13); English ‘debased social system’; Duffy envisaged a race marrying ‘the fine qualities of the Celtic family’ with ‘the sterner strength of the north’ and the disciple of the ‘norman genius of Munster’ in an agrarian society ‘not needing or desiring great wealth, but enjoying free, simple lives; (pp.19-20) [65-66].

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Roy Foster, Paddy and Mr Punch (1993), quoting Duffy (‘Unionist and nationalist could meet without alarm’ on the neutral grounds of ‘ancient history and native art’), comments, ‘this was not, however, the case; and it is a disingenuous statement, reflecting the opposition of Gavan Duffy the federalist and ex-Colonial Governor in 1880 and Gavan Duffy the ardent Young Irelander in 1840.’ (p.5.); Further, Duffy cheerfully admits that Irish history of the ‘cautious, sober strain’ was the reserve of middle-class scholars, gentry and Protestant dilettantes (Young Ireland, p.75n.; Foster, p.7).

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Leon Ó Bróin, Protestant Nationalists in Revolutionary Ireland (1985), writes: ‘That same year Hyde on his honeymoon visited in Nice Charles Gavan Duffy, another of the Young Irelanders and one-time editor of The Nation, spent the whole day with him, and kept his children breatheless as he told them the folk story of the King of Ireland’s son. Duffy told an intriguing story too, how as a child he had pressed his mother to tell him just one story more only to be told that she had no more stories unless she turned to Irish and that was a closed book to Charles. She had not passed her Irish on to him, and he in turn, had not seem fit to have it taught to his children. Louise, his youngest daughter, one day came across a reference to O’Growney’s Simple Lessons in Irish in a catalogue of second-hand books. It was the first time she had heard of an Irish language. She quizzed her father about it. Yes, there was such a thing; his mother knew it, he didn’t, and Davis was the only one of his Irish political colleagues who was interested in the subject. (pp. 10-11.)

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John F. Frayne, ed., Uncollected Prose of W. B. Yeats, Vol. I (1970), Pref., gives an account of the conflict between Yeats and Duffy in connection with the New Irish Library: ‘Some members, such as Rolleston, thought that Duffy would make a splendid head of the publishing company. Yeats was not alarmed at first since he thought that Duffy would serve as a figurehead. He soon learned that Duffy had his own ideas on what books to publish - books which Yeats felt sure would be publishing disasters. Yeats made anguished appeals tot he projected publisher, T. Fisher Unwin, to his friend Richard Garnett, Unwin’s publisher, and to his protector, John O’Leary [...] Yet all was in vain. [... &c.]’ (p.40). Frayne remarks that Yeats though Duffy’s reissued of Davis’s pamphlet on the Patriot Parliament of 1689 so dull that the peasantry would have nothing to do with it, but that the book sold well, and that Yeats later conceded that later issues in the series were praiseworthy. [ftn.18.] Note, bibl. of Yeats’s letters on the subject, incl. Freeman’s Journal, 6 Sept. 1892, and letter to United Ireland, 1 Sept. 1894. Further, Frayne appraises Yeats‘s review of Duffy’s Young Ireland, in Bookman, Jan. 1897: for Young Ireland literature was ‘an exposition of certain opinions about which they were agreed and hoped to make others agree, and of a certain type of character which all men might be expected to admire’, while for Yeats it was ‘a capricious inspiration coming with an unforeseen message out of the dim places of the mind.’ (Uncoll. Prose of W. B. Yeats, Vol. 1, 1970, p.63.)

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Richard Ellmann, Yeats: The Man and the Masks (1948): ‘Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, a leader of the Young Ireland movement of the ’forties, who had published in his youth an anthology of poetry by Irish writers called The Spirit of the Nation, and during forty-five years had never altered his conviction of the greatness of the poems he had chosen ...’ (p.108); Ellmann goes on to give an account of ‘the kind of battles that had to be fought’ by Yeats, beginning with the Irish libraries when Yeats protested the number of books on Irish oratory, to the effrontery of J. F. Taylor. (This section of Ellmann’s narrative is largely drawn from an unpublished ‘First Draft’ of Yeats’s Autobiography, presum. the Memoirs); ‘Yeats knew [...] that Duffy’s tastes [...] would destroy the enterprise, and so fought savagely and with youthful tactlessness to regain control. But Duffy was stubborn, and as had been feared carried the new Irish Library to disaster’ (p.109).

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Cyril Pearl, Three Lives of Charles Gavan Duffy 1979, p.226-27: ‘For many years, Duffy had contemplated the publication of a new series of the “Library of Ireland” of the 1840s. Yeats claimed to have conceived a similar idea independently, and in his later reminiscences, made little [226] attempt to conceal his contempt for the outworn romanticism of Duffy and his followers “who would have felt it inappropriate to publish an Irish book that had not harp and shamrock and green cover, so completely did their mind move amid Young Ireland images and metaphors [...]” Yet in 1890, he wrote to Duffy asking him to chair the inaugural meeting of the publishing committee, adding “the young men which greatly that you would”. […] But passions ran high when the publishing committee met, and the inevitable split took place. Yeats admitted that he “was too full of the impatience of youth to be touched [...] by the spectacle of an old man coming back at the end of his life to take up again the patriotic work of his youth”. After many heated discussions, it was decided that the books should be printed in Dublin and published in London, and Duffy and Yeats formed an uneasy alliance to carry out the project. Instead of finding in Duffy “an assistant upon equal terms”, Yeats says he found ‘a domineering obstinacy and an entire lack of any culture that I could recognise’. There was a long quarrel over the editorship of the series, which was resolved when Yeats’ nominees, Douglas Hyde and T. W. Rolleston, were appointed assistant editors under Duffy. “But”, says John McGrath, a member of the publishing committee, “it was a Pyrrhic victory for the young men. When it came to business, Duffy carried out his original idea, and selected and edited, for the most part, I believe, just as he pleased”. Yeats resented this, especially when Duffy insisted on publishing books which Yeats thought were out-of-date and irrelevant. One of these was Thomas Davis’ unpublished The Patriot Parliament of 1689, which Yeats considered unreadable by the general public. “We sold ten thousand copies before anyone found time to read it”, he wrote with unconcealed malice. “Unhappily, when they read it, they made up their minds to have nothing more to do with us and our books”. / But the book was generally praised by reviewers. The Pall Mall Gazette described Duffy’s introduction as “a brilliant and powerful indictment of the government of Ireland under the Stuarts”, adding, “It is impossible to mistake the accent of sincerity that runs through his pages, and very few have written history with such eloquence and force”. / Duffy’s affection for Thomas Davis remained undiminished. One day when he began to talk about Davis, he burst into tears. Apologising for his weakness, he said that nobody could understand his feelings towards that most beautiful character. He paid a moving tribute to Davis in his Thomas Davis: the Memoirs of an Irish Patriot, published in 1890. More than anyone, Duffy was responsible for the revival of interest in Davis, now revered above all Irish patriots.’ (pp.226-227). Further, Pearl reports that David Alec Wilson in his five-vol. life of Carlyle alleged that Duffy had ceased to be a Christian before 1849 but had kept up the pretence for his children’s sake; when Susan Duffy protested, he promised to revise this view as too extreme, but did not live to do so; Duffy himself delcares, ‘I was always a Catholic of the school of Newman and Montalembert, not at all of the school of Dr. Cullen […]’ (p.231).

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Dominic Daly, The Young Douglas Hyde (1974); Hyde gives a full account of Charles Gavan Duffy’s account of his own publishing history and the launching of his New Irish Library project. Yeats’s account of the same events - or rather his rival plans to establish a literary library with help from Edward Garnett, the Unwin reader and ‘a personal friend of mine’ - is given in Autobiographies. [154] There is a footnote here citing an account of the fracas outrageously antipathetic to Duffy, given in the New Ireland Review. [n., 219] Hyde was installed as sub-editor of the series; The first vol. of the New Irish Library was The Patriot Parliament of 1689 by Thomas Davis, ed. [with lengthy introduction] by Charles Gavan Duffy, a rep. of a series of articles in the Dublin Monthly Magazine in 1843 - just what Yeats had feared. [155] The Library of Ireland, a series of 22 vols. of history and literature written by Young Irelanders and published by James Duffy. See ‘The Library of Ireland’, P. S. O’Hegarty, in Thomas Davis and Young Ireland (Dublin: Stat. Off. 1945). [218n.] Charles Gavan Duffy, Young Ireland (London 1880); Dublin ed., in Irish People’s edition, 1884., also 2 vols. [n., 218]. Daly reports in a footnote that Hyde had lunch with Charles Gavan Duffy and his three daughters at Nice, that Duffy looked fit and well, and that, in the midst of his Irish narrative, he [Hyde] quotes the old man as remarking on the current political scene, ‘By God, if this bill passed, we’d have a new Tipperary Government.’ [221n.]

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A. N. Jeffares, W. B. Yeats: A New Life (London: Hutchinson 1988), gives an account of the dispute over the Irish National Library and other differences arising from the foundation of the Irish Literary Society in London; his Ballad Poetry of Ireland had made him a household word in Ireland: ‘Yeats rightly thought that Duffy’s literary taste was likely to ruin the library [...] controversy erupted.’ (pp.70ff.)

George-Denis Zimmerman, ‘Thematique de l’amour dans les ballades traditionelle irlandaises’, in Études irlandaises (Lille 1979): ‘L’ensemble des chanson considerées comme des ballades en Irlande constitue donc un repertoire relativement heterogène, pas ses sources sociales et ses [modes] de creation, et on peut s’attendre a ce qu’un thême soit traité selon des points de different en fonction de milieu ou telle ballade a êté conçue. Il n’est reste pas moins que l’on a affaire à un veritable corpus, puisque chanteurs et auditoire perçoivent ce repertoire comme formant un tout. / Qu’en est-il la nationalité de ce corpus? La persistance a l’acuité des passions nationalistes en Irlande a compliqué cette question. Le premier écrivain en Irlande qui, a ma connaissance, ait utilisé la formule “Irish ballad” dans un sens laudatif est Charles Gavan Duffy en 1845. Influencé par les écrits de Walter Scott sur les vertus nationales des ballades écossaises et par les idéees du mouvement Young Ireland dont il était en train de devinir l’un des leaders [sic], Gavan Duffy estimait qu’une ballade méritait l’appellation d’irlandaise si quelque chose en elle (décors, personnages, attitudes) proclaimait l’originalité et l’unicité de la nation: le programme patriotique exigeait qu’il y aut une nette différence entre les chanson irlandaises en anglais et les chanson anglaises.En realité les choses son loin d’etre claires si l’on ne [s’entient] pas aux textes traitant de sujets historiques ou topgraphiques. De nombreuses chanson considereés comme traditionelles sont également répandues en Grande Betagne et en Irlande. Il n’est pas toujours possible de prèciser de quel [18] coté de la mer elles sont nées, et meme si l’on peut prouver qu’une chanson a existé en Irlande, cela n’empêche pas forcément cette chanson de faire aussi légitimement partie [integrante] de la tradition populaire irlandaise, dans le mesure ou, s’etant acclimatisé en Irlande, elle y a été transmise oralement pendant plusieurs générations et a pu acquérir des qualités particularières, en tout cas dans la forme sinon dans les thèmes. La culture traditionaelles du monde européen tout entier a un air de parenté, et les charactéristiques d’un groupe apparaissant surtout dans la manière de traiter ce fonds commun. On ne voit pas il en irait autrement de l’Irlande’. (pp.18-19.)

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Benedict Kiely, Poor Scholar: A Study of the Works and Days of William Carleton 1794-1869 [1947] (Dublin Talbot Press 1972 Edn.), remarks that Gavan Duffy’s phrase, ‘there is no more hope for the Irish cause than for the corpse on the dissecting-table’, was coined in his retiring address to his constituents of New Ross in 1855; goes on to note that the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin ‘who was foremost and loudest to pronounce for the principle of independent opposition, lends all the weight of his authority to its opponents’; and the majority of the Irish bishops followed suit so that the remaining uncorrupted patriots were ‘disparaged from popular hustings, and in pastoral letters, for no sin that I know of but because we will not sell ourselves to the enemies of our country’; while ‘the boldest of the patriot priests had been banished from public life, and remain banished’ Sadleir and Keogh had made their own party within the part, and won the ironic title of Pope’s Brass Band by noisy opposition to Ecclesiastical Titles Bill; ‘Quitting public life, I will quit at the same time, my native country. I cannot look on in dumb inaction at her ruin. I cannot sit down under the system of corruption and terrorism established among us’. Further, Duffy wrote to Carleton from Australia: ‘Do not dream of Canada, my friend; an oak of the forest will not bear transplanting. Even a shrub like myself does not take kindly all at once to the new climate and oil. I never for a moment regretted having left Ireland where Judge Keogh and Archbishop Cullen predominate; but the slopes of Howth, the hills of Wicklow, and the friends of manhood are not things to be matched in this golden land’; speaks of yearning for the Irish farmhouse of ‘with all the rude plenty of thirty years ago revived’; ‘But it would need the author of the Traits and Stories to describe the strange hybrid, an Australian-Irish farmer with the keenness and vigour of a new country infused into his body. I am just returned from my election where they fought for me like lions in the name of the poor old country; and to do them justice, Protestants as well as Catholics. we have no bigots here, but the love of country is a stronger passion than bigotry in the heart of the exile.’ (Quoted in O’Donoghue, Life of William Carleton, Vol. II; cited in Kiely, op. cit., 1972, p.151.)

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Seamus Heaney, ‘A Tale of Two Islands: Reflections on The Irish Literary Revival’, in P. J. Drury, ed., Irish Studies, I (Cambridge UP 1980), pp.1-20: quotes Duffy, ‘Good books makes us wider, manlier, more honest and whist is less than [1] any of these, more prosperous’, and comments: ‘The utilitarian soul that lay behind such sentiments could never please the romantic poet, whose vision of Ireland was at this time magical and legendary, and not at all in sympathy with the kind of economic realism that made Duffy’s mind tick and his pen deliver sentences like the following, one of my favourite declarations by an Irish writer. “When I met in France, Italy and Egypt the marmalade manufactured in Dundee, I felt it as a silent reproach.” [quotes Yeats’s allusion to ‘the dirty piece of orange-peel in the corner of the stairs as one climbs up to some newspaper office’, and further remarks: ‘Gavan Duffy, in other words, was represpresantative of the philistine middle classes, who hunted in packs, thought in slogans and survived in a milieu that was at least vulgar when it was not vicious; and was, of course, almost certainly Catholic.’ (Heaney, p.2; citations from Malcolm Brown, Politics of Irish Literature, 1972, p.357, and Yeats’s Autobiogs., p.225); Further, ‘Duffy was disqualified […] by that “gaunt little Irish town” which was so architecturally and linguistically deprived as to be a symbol of all that wa unremembering, moblike, quoidian, at enmity with imagination.’

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Quotations
Quotations
‘There were now few Irish gentlemen [in the 1840s] who did not sympathise with the desire of the Young Irelanders that these men would do for the country what Adam Smith, Hume and Robertson, and in later times, Dugald Stewart and Brown had done for Ireland’ (My Life in Two Hemispheres [rep. edn. 1969, Vol. 1, p.91n.; quoted in Eve Patten, Samuel Ferguson and the Culture of Nineteenth-Century Ireland (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2004), p.21.)
 
‘To make our people politically free, yet leave them bondslaves of some debasing social system like that which crowds the mines and factories of England with squalid victims, or makes the artisans of France so often godless scoffers, would be a poor result of all Ireland’s labours and sacrifices.’ (What Irishmen may do for Irish Literature, 1894; quoted in Bridget O’Toole, ‘Famine and Faery’, review of Irish Literature: The Nineteenth Century, Vol. II, ed. Peter van de Kamp & A. Norman Jeffares, in Books Ireland (Feb. 2008), p.14.


Young Ireland: A Fragment of Irish History 1840-59 (1880): ‘To teach a people emerging from this long servitude to appreciate public rights at a just value, and to assert them, not with the fury and fickleness of slaves, but with moderation and firmness, was not an easy task. To many self-complacent persons, and to all the fanatics of major force, it will seem plain indeed that it is a task which never ought to have been undertaken; the duty of a good citizen being to exhort the people to be content with their lot. But there are surely some who will better understand the premises. / A man has but one mother country; if he sees her in rags and tears while her next neighbour is in comfort and splendour, it is scarcely good to be content or preach contentment. If he knows that she is living under the lash of unequal laws, that the sword of justice has long been turned against her bosom as a weapon of assault, that she was made poor and kept poor by perverse legislation, it would be base to be content for “nations are not called on like private persons when smitten on one cheek to turn the other”. [Aubrey de Vere] The first and hardest step was to revive self-reliance and self-respect, which the system passed in review had nearly extinguished in the mass of the people. The next, to familiarise them with rights and duties long in abeyance. A man with clear convictions and exact knowledge is a greater power than ten men wanting these endowments, and force and tension of character may be increased in a community in the same proportion. / If Ireland was to rely on opinion alone in her contest with England, the need was great that opinion should not only be organised as [Daniel] O’Connell proposed to organise it, but that it should be informed and disciplined. The most disheartening of the popular errors were assailed one after another, and week after week, with a fullness of knowledge new in Irish journalism, and a fire of conviction which was contagious [...] Week after week the names and services of the spiritual warriors who carried the cross into Pagan lands were made familiar to the people [...] Nor did the middle ages, or modern times want their notable men. The chiefs who had made alliances, on behalf of Ireland, with France and Spain, the soldiers who had fought in later times against foreign rule, and the patriots who had conspired against it, were rescued from under mounds of misrepresentation, and the people taught, in ballad and essay, that these were not men to be ashamed of, but the flower of their race. / To forget her martyrs and confessors would be folly as well a baseness; laborious and unprofitable days awaited all who turned from the pleasant paths of corruption to the service of Ireland; they must not be further disheartened by feeling that the labourers who went before them had not had their reward. The services of Irishmen in the armies of France and Austria, in the diplomacy of Spain and Italy, in the wars of liberation in North and South America were described. Irishmen had won conspicuous places in every country where a career was open to them; even in England where an Irishman was treated as a foreigner, and an inferior, how many of the successes in the arts, arms, statesmanship, and literature, recorded as British successes were won by Irishmen? / The English books most familiar to France and Germany were the books of Irishmen, the Vicar of Wakefield and the Sentimental Journey. The insular names best known between the Straits of Gibraltar and the Gulf of Bothnia were Wellington and O’Connell. Their own history was a chart of perils to be avoided and of paths that might safely be pursued, of which they knew nothing; for to the untaught the Past is a region as blank as the Future; but from the Past the veil might be lifted by knowledge [...] But the true lesson they [The Nation’s writers] taught was that Irishmen were enslaved because they were divided. Their Protestant forefathers were often pampered and protected by England, as her garrison, and their Catholic forefathers reduced to slaves because they were dangerous to the English ascendancy. If they forgot hereditary feuds they might create a noble future for their common country. Ireland must aim to be Irish, not Anglo-Irish; because vigour, and health, and great achievements belong to men and nations which follow their nature, not to those broken by a foreign mould. But Irish must no longer mean Celtic; from whatever stock they sprung, Celtic, Norman or Saxon, if men loved and served the country they were Irish. Hereditary party spirit was an ignis fatuus in a country where the lineal descendants of the O’Neills, O’Briens, and O’Connors were Unionists, and where Philpot Curran, Wolfe Tone, and Theobald Matthew sprang from Cromwellian soldiers. The pursuit of knowledge was incited not with the zeal of a schoolmaster but with the fevour of a lover’ (Quoted in Searc’s Web Guide [link].)

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Bird’s-Eye View (1882): Preface [May, Nice 1882]:‘conveniently read in a single evening ... tolerably complete flying survey of our history’. Chp. One, introductory sentence, ‘Many men refrain from reading Irish history as sensitive and selfish persons refrain from witnessing human suffering. But is is a branch of knowledge as indispensable to the British statesman or politician as morbid anatomy to the surgeon’ [1]. Gerald Barry [sic], one of the ‘official libellers’; ‘one of the family, being a descendant of the same courtesan who was ancestress of so many of the invaders’; Giraldus ‘wrote an elaborate Latin treatise designed to prejudice the Irish race with the Holy SEE and justify their subjugation’ [19-22] ‘In every generation an attempt was made to throw off the foreign yoke’ [cf. Patrick Pearse]; Duffy quotes Sir John Davies in answer to Froude’s remarks regarding the attempt to ‘extend the forms of English liberty ... to the Irish people’, against which Davies, ‘The mere Irish ... it was no capital offence to kill them’ [ftn., 32]; gives ‘specimen’s of Pacata Hibernia ‘to indicate its character [ftn, 62], also quotes ‘have the killing of some Irish’ [as sport] [73]; Froude’s History of England [sic] quoted on English brutalities [69]. NOTE that much of this material is clearly derived from O’Connell’s Memoir and Cary’s Hibernia Vindiciae; Note also, the sentences from p.1 (supra), also cited in Roy Foster as coming from Young Ireland, A Fragment [where the text was interpolated as a chapter], in Paddy and Mr Punch, 1993, Notes, p.310.)

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My Life in Two Hemispheres, 2 vols. (1898), records: b. Good Friday, son of shopkeeper with houses and townparks; after Quin, educated at Rev. John Bleckley’s Classical Academy; read Blackwood’s Magazine, Comet, Dublin Penny and Irish Penny journals; in Blackwood’s read Maginn’s ‘wild drolleries’ [1.22]; secretary of Liberal Club that greeted Lord Musgrave in Monaghan, then viceroy; Col Blacker’s contemporaneous Orange ballad [‘Cromwell’s Advice’], stanza inspired by these events [viz, ‘forth start the spawn of treason, the ’scaped of ’98/To bask in courtly favour and sway the helm of state/He comes the open rebel fierce, he comes the Jesuit sly/But put you trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry’], the persons mentioned being the parish priest and Charles Hamilton Teeling [25]; friends with J. C. Mangan, ‘I got less pleasure, I believe, from his racy translations than from the mad antics, banter, and burlesque, which he sometimes broke [into] [35]; ‘I went to Belfast to be a Catholic journalist among an unfriendly majority’ [Chapter opening]. J. Sheridan Knowles cited [216]. Carlyle writes to Duffy, ‘Well, when poor old Ireland has succeeded again in making a man of insight and generous valour, who might help her a little out of her deep confusions - ought I not to pray and hope that he might shine as a light, instead of blazing as a firebrand to his own waste and his country’s!’ (12 May 1845) [78] T. F. Meagher’s “Sword Speech” is quoted, 171-72 [‘The soldier is proof against an argument but he is not proof against a bullet ... Abhor the sword and stigmatise the sword? No, my Lord ...’] Smith O’Brien’s vindication of the speech and the moral intentions of Meagher, stated before John O’Connell before withdrawing from the Association, quoted [172]. Split with O’Connell, imprisonment and trial, &c. [as biographical sketch, above; check this title, poss. err. for work of 1886.]

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The Revival of Irish Literature’ [“What Irishmen May Do For Irish Literature”], in The Revival of Irish Literature (1894): ‘A group of young men, among the most generous and disinterested in our annals, were busy digging up the buried relics of our history, to enlighten the present by a knowledge of the past, setting up on their pedestals anew the overthrown statues of Irish worthies, assailing wrongs which under long impunity had become unquestioned and even venerable, and warming uas with strong wine the heart of the people, by songs of valour and hope; and happily not standing isolated in their pious work, but encouraged and sustained by just such an army of students and sympathisers as I see here today.’ (Quoted in Gregory Castle, Modernism and the Celtic Revival, Cambridge UP 2001, p.4.) Further, ‘To be wise and successful, the proper development of Ireland [...] must harmonise with the nature of the people, and correct it where correction is needful.’ (Ibid., p.20; Castle, idem.) ‘What writers ought to aim at, who hope to benefit the people, is to fill up the blanks which an imperfect education, and the fever of a tempestuous time, have left in our knowledge, so that their lives might become contented and fruitful.’ (Ibid., p.47; Castle, idem.) [Cont.]

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The Revival of Irish Literature’, in The Revival of Irish Literature (1894) - cont.: speaks of tolerating no ‘literary garbage’, and further: ‘I have made inquiries and I am assured that the books chiefly read by the young in Ireland are detective or other sensational stories from England and America, and vile translations from the vile French originals.’ (p.12); ‘the mind of Ireland has not grown barren, nor can I believe that it has grown indifferent, though public cares have diverted it away from intellectual pursuits’ (p.12); proposes instead a literature ‘of wonder, the story of transcendent achievements, the romance of history, the “fairy tales of science”’ (p.13); ‘there is no doubt the deficiencies of the national character may be reparied by discipline’ (p.20); ‘But moral sentiments, generous impulses, religious feelings, still survive in the Irish race, and they give assurance that in that mystic clime on the verge of the Western Ocean, where the more debasing currrnts of European civilisation only reach it at high tide, there is place for a great experiment for humanity. There within our circling seas we may rear a race in which the fine qualities of the Celtic family, fortified with the sterner strength of the North, and disciplined by the Norman genius of Munster may at last have fair play; where, at the lowest a pious and gallant race may after long struggles and nameless sufferings poss their soil and their own souls in peace.’ (p.21); ‘England holds the sympathies of all the communities who share her blood, less by obeying the same laws than by loving the same books.’ (p.33; all quoted in Chris Corr, ‘English Literary Culture and Irish Literary Revival’, PhD Thesis, UUC 1995, p.32.)

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Davis, Dillon, & Young Ireland: ‘Davis desired a national existence for Ireland that an old historic state might be raised from the dust, and a sceptre placed in her hand, that she might become the mother of a brave and self-reliant race. Dillon desired a national existence primarily to get rid of social degradation and suffering, which it wrung his heart to witness without being able to relieve.’ (Quoted in Stephen Gywnn, Irish Literature and Drama, 1936, p. 90; also in F. S. L. Lyons, John Dillon, 1968, p.60-61.)

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Educate, that you may be free. [...] The practice of speaking and acting only the truth, more than military or commercial or intellectual eminence, makes a country great and happy; while contempt for obligations and authority does not make citizens, but banditti. The slave’s vice of paltering with the truth clings to our people like the rust of chains. They must unlearn the practice of boasting and exaggeration; they must learn - hard task to a demonstrative, imaginative people - to be direct and literal.’ (Quoted in William J. Maguire, Irish Literary Figures, Dublin 1945, Pref., n.p.)

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Irishmen who love Ireland: ‘We regard all Irishmen who love their country, whatever their creed or pedigree, as equally near and dear to us. We rejoice in the splendid record of success in arms, arts, literature, and diplomacy which the Irish minority can exhibit … and we cannot look on the noble edifices which adorn the Irish capital, without thankfully remembering how much our country owes to the cultivated genius of the minority … (Address to Irish Literary Society, Chiswick, 1892); It would be vain to deny that national quarrels are the most intractable of our troubles. The Celt is placable and generous in private transactions, but for public conflicts he has an unsleeping memory … surely no people ever were more emphatically exhorted by the circumstances in which they stand, to close their ranks and end their feuds. Our efforts here, will, I trust, indirectly promote that end. (Quoted in Cyril Pearl, The Three Lives of C. G. Duffy, q.d.; p.226; quoted in Cyril Pearl, Three Lives of Charles Gavan Duffy [q.d.], p.220.)

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Letter to W. E. H. Gladstone [P.M.]: ‘There is only one way, it seems to me, to obtain the necessary light, to prepare opinion for a great change, and to bring the leading men of hostile parties to some approximation of agreement. That way is a Select Committee authorised to take evidence and report the result to Parliament. [...] A final settlement of this quarrel between the two nations is possible if the pride of a sensitive race be not offended by a half measure. You see only the militant Irish in the House of Commons. You will deal with quite a different class by giving them their own country to govern and raise up from the dust.’ (Quoted in Cyril Pearl, Three Lives of Charles Gavan Duffy [q.d.], p.220; the above from photocopy supplied by Shelley Rose, March 1998.)

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Effect of Irish poetry: ‘The ordinary effect of native poetry is to cherish love of home and homely associations, which, elevated and spiritualised becomes love of country […]. In preparing the volume for the press all ballads on Irish subjects written by Englishmen, and all ballads on English or Foreign subjects written by Irishmen, have been omitted. The subjects and the authors are exclusively national.’ (Duffy, Ballad Poetry of Ireland, 1845, pp.xxvii, xli; cited in Selina Guinness, ‘“To Ireland in the Coming Times”: Exorcising Influence’, in That Other World: The Supernatural and the Fantastic in Irish Literature [Transactions of Princess Grace Irish Library Conference; Monaco, Whitsun 1998], Colin Smythe 1998.)

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Faugh-a-Ballagh”: ‘As your fears are false and hollow / Slaves and dastards stand aside - / Knaves and traitors, Faugh-a-Ballagh …’ (quoted in Thomas Keneally, The Great Shame: A Story of the Irish in the Old World and the New, London: Chatto & Windus 1999, 730pp),

Sassenachs: ‘Now Sassenach and Cromweller, take heed what I say, / Keep down your black and angry looks that scorn us night and day; / For there’s a just and wrathful Judge that every action sees, / And He’ll make strong, to right our wrong, the faithful Rapparees.’ (See further under William Carleton.)

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