The Collected Letters, Volume 10


TC TO JOHN WILLIAM DONALDSON ; 17 December 1838; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18381217-TC-JWD-01; CL 10: 244-245


Chelsea, 17th December, 1838.

My dear Sir,

A Frenchman of my acquaintance has requested me to take some charge of the inclosed Paper of Questions, proceeding from a Paris Erudite, who seems to sign himself “Aimé Guillon de Montléon.”1 I apply to you as the fittest friend I have in this case.

M. Cousin, it appears, in publishing an Edition of Abelard's works,2 has omitted these 89 sections of the celebrated Eunuch's3 Sic et Non; and is even thought to have destroyed the Manuscript:—for what reason Heaven alone knows; neither man nor beast, one would think, could fear injury or hope for profit from the amplest discussion, and decision either Sic or Non, of these 89 things.4 Aimé Guillon, however, is not of that opinion; but requests you, thro' me, to stir a little in the matter,—to prevent manuscripticide at least.

Would you therefore be so good as ascertain first whether both or either of these Mss. he indicates, with the 89 suppressa, exist in your Libraries; and then secondly at what cost a copy of the 89 could be got out of them and sent to him? I have promised that he shall have some kind of answer before long.

I write today, but shall perhaps not get a frank today. When you come to Babylon again, pray let me see you.

Excuse this trouble, and believe me always,

My dear Sir, / very truly your's /

T. Carlyle.