The Collected Letters, Volume 4


TC TO JOHN TAYLOR; 30 December 1827; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18271230-TC-JTA-01; CL 4:300.


Edinburgh, 21. Comley Bank Row, / 30th December, 1827—

My Dear Sir,

After so long an absence, I am happy to present myself again to you, tho' on a matter of mere business.

There is some talk here of publishing my Life of Schiller a second time, and in a more cheap and popular form. As an indispensable preliminary it becomes necessary to inquire whether your interest in the little Book has expired; whether the first Edition is all off your hands; and if so, whether a second would be of any value to you. I might now enlarge and improve it, in some minute points, by means of my readier communication with Germany.

May I request you to give me information on these matters by your earliest convenience? It will be interesting to me as a mere piece of news; for I begin to have some touch of sympathy for that unhappy first-born of my brain, which certainly I left in a most ostrichlike fashion; never having heard one syllable good bad or indifferent respecting it, except once or twice that here it was out of print, at least not to be had in any bookshop, many months ago.

I have been living for a year and a half here in the outskirts [of] Edinr—wedded and what not—happy enough in all respects, save only th[at] like Juan's Father I “was born bilious.”1 Mr De Quincey is here also; a[nd] what may seem still stranger, he and I, the Reviewer and the Reviewed, ar[e] very good friends! Do not such instances of magnanimity ennoble the history of Letters? Your Opiumeater is in truth a most interesting man and must awaken a respectful sympathy go where he may.

Expecting soon to hear from you; and heartily wishing you in the meanwhile all happiness, both of “New-years” and other desirable things, I remain,

My Dear Sir, / very truly your's, /

Thomas Carlyle—2