The Collected Letters, Volume 1


TC TO THOMAS MURRAY; 16 March 1819; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18190316-TC-TM-01; CL 1:170.


Edinr16th March, 1819—

Dear Sir,

I wrote a letter to you, some time ago, enquiring after the fate of a certain poor Italian dictionary, which I had the pleasure of lending you, last year. As the letter contained (if I recollect rightly) a sufficiently explicit statement of the case, I am tempted to impute your not having answered it instantly, to some neglect of the postmaster. If my present sheet should reach its destination prosperously, it will inform you that I have been in want of the dictionary for two weeks; and that I wish, without any delay, either to receive it, or to hear that it is not to be had—in which case I may purchase another. Between friends such a matter is a trifle: but it must appear very unaccountable, if upon this second application, you do not, by the very first post, put my doubts on that head to rest.

I shall be much gratified to get intelligence of your fortune: I might send you some details about my own, but it has nowise altered since I wrote last; and has therefore a most indefinite and wavering aspect. Your road through life seems to be separating from mine, perhaps never more to meet. During the five years, that have elapsed since we lived together, each must have acquired principles and predilections, in which the other cannot be expected to participate. Yet I trust for the sake of both, that neither of us will cease to remember, with a meek and kindly feeling, that pleasant period which we spent together— Betide us what will; whenever we meet again, may each see, in the friend of his youth, a man unsullied by any thing that is paltry or degrading!— With every wish for your happiness,

I remain, / My Dear Sir, / Yours faithfully, /

Thomas Carlyle.1

Scott's lodgings

15. Carnegie street