January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO HENRY INGLIS; 17 June 1829; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18290617-TC-HI-01; CL 5:16-17.


Craigenputtoch, 17th June [1829]

My Dear Sir,

Having an opportunity by my worthy neighbour Dr Anderson (who, however, allows me only five minutes) I write to thank you for your kind Letter, and kind promise of visiting us, which promise when you fulfil I shall have many things to hear from you and tell you. Come rather as you go to France than as you return; for in the end of August, it is possible we may be in Edinr, at least from home.1 And see you do not neglect to come: the ‘Leddy’ and I are both very anxious to see you again in this wilderness; and feel I believe a true interest in your prosperity outward and inward. For my own share, I must say, as I have often said, that I have great hopes of you, and almost no fear that with more or less of suffering to yourself you will realize them, or do better. Meanwhile let me conjure you to Patience, which is the mother of every virtue; and above all to abandon the smallest thought of relinquishing or neglecting your Profession for the sake of Literature. Oh no! That were the head and summit of all folly. We are to be ‘diligent in business’ as well as ‘fervent in spirit’;2 neither does wisdom lie in reading or writing of Books; but in the faithful discharge of duties how irksome soever these may be. And what of Law, even of Scotch Law, in regard to Literature itself? Was not Lord Kames a Scotch Lawyer, and one of the busiest? Is not Roscoe a Merchant in Liverpool; was not Hans Sachs a Shoemaker in Nürnberg, and Robert Burns a Gauger in Dumfries?3— But on all these things I hope to produce conviction in you vivâ voce when you come hither. Come at all events, and let me try.

Dr Anderson returns from Edinr on Monday Night, and volunteers to bring me Books down with him to any extent. I am miserably ill off in that respect in these solitudes; and Dumfries, where I tried yesterday, seems to be nearly bookless. Have you any means of sending me any of the following:

Quarterly Review (any Nos. since this time twelvemonth—or all Nos. since then)

Westminster Review (do. do.)

These two I should like much to see, but can get them in London at worst.

Sir W. Scott's Tales of a Grandfather (first and second series—or either series)

Tytler's History of Scotland (vol 1 & 2, or either of the two).— Keightley's (?) Fairy Mythology.— Tytler's Life of Admirable Crichton.— Hailes' Annals.— Anderson's Life of Smollett.— Brande's Antiquities of Newcastle.— Ritson's Works (any of them).— Pinkerton's Ancient Scottish Ballads.— Pitscottie's History of Scotland.— Wishart's Life of Montrose.— Shenstone's works.4—— I could increase my list but it is needless; and I have not time. I must rather warn you not to take too much trouble in regard to any one of these works; for, as you see, they are mostly ornamental or agreeable rather than essential.— Dr. A. is to lodge with one Dr Spence Dentist, in Gt King-street; and if he do not will mark his address on the back of the Letter.5 As I said, he will not leave Edinr till Monday night by the Dumfries Mail.— At all events, write; and send us all manner of news about yourself and the whole world. I am always,

Affectionately your's, /

T. Carlyle