Irving, John to Catherine Irving (née Caddell) (1844/02/24)

H.M.S. “Volage,”
Cove of Cork, February 24, 1844.

My dear Kate,—We were eight days coming round from Plymouth, the weather being very bad; in fact, a succession of gales, with rain and snow. We got here on the 9th, and have every prospect of remaining until summer. Our life is monotonous in the extreme. The large ships have been withdrawn, and the “Volage” is again the flag-ship; and our principal occupation is boarding all vessels entering the harbour, and reporting particulars to the Admiral, who lives on shore.

There is very little doubt we shall remain here till our period of commission expires, about August next, when I hope to be able to come and stay with you a little time.

You know as much as I do about the State trials. Those Irish I have conversed with seem to think that the priests will never let the people alone until they either get the repeal or have a rebellion. It is universally looked upon as a religious question. One idea seems common among the lower classes, that if they should rise, they will immediately receive assistance from America, who could attack all our Canadian possessions at the same time. They consider it certain they will get repeal, and have Ireland for the Papists before long, by some means or other. If Sir Robert Peel is supported, he will weather them all; but I was sorry to see the cordial reception given to O’Connell by the Whigs in Parliament. As long as they increase the difficulties of the Government they don’t care.—Your affectionate brother,

John Irving.

It is just one year since I sailed from Sydney for the last time, and I have only received one letter from David, which you saw.

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