October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


TC TO DAVID LAING ; 28 March 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570328-TC-DL-01; CL 32: 113-114


Chelsea, 28 March 1857

My dear Sir,

You would oblige me very much if, in your Antiquarian Society1 or otherwise, you could procure me a Copy of that Letter I once wrote to you (and read in a very correctly printed state) about the Scottish Exhibition of Historical Portraits.2 I got 5 or 6 copies of it from you, and sent them about; one (incorporated in the Transactions) I kept for myself: but a kind of semi-official amateur3 has borrowed it from me almost two years ago; and now when I want it very much (for printing in certain “Miscellanies” of mine, which are going to press),4 my Amateur “has never received it,”—Post-Office must have lost it, for it went by post! Lost it sure enough is; and I have no resource but to apply to you.

If you could cut out the leaf or two, occupied by the Letter, in the little Pamphlet of Transactions; and mark for me on the margin the correct Title of that Pamphlet (year and place Edinr! included), it would come more easily and safely to hand, and there wd be nothing more wanted for my present objects.

If you cannot possibly get the thing for me in this or some other easy way, have the goodness to let me know directly, and I will contrive some other effort. But I hope it will be possible for you.

We have got a thing called “National Portrait Commission” here; but that need not slacken your Scottish efforts, if there ever were any:5—I reckon it may be a very long time indeed before there be a “Gallery” got together by the present hands and methods! I am extremely occupied, and in the most miserable manner I have heretofore ever had experience of,—nigh choked, soul and body, in beggarly whirlwinds of Prussian sand!

No more therefore at present.

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle

David Laing Esq &c &c