October 1831-September 1833

The Collected Letters, Volume 6


TC TO ROBERT JEFFREY OF GIRTHON; 18 September 1832; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18320918-TC-RJ-01; CL 6:e3.


Craigenputtoch, Dumfries, / 18th Septr, 1832—

My Dear Sir,

Your Book-Parcel reach[ed] me in safety yesterday: worthy Taggart1 could not know that there was a “M'Knight, Glenessland Carrier,” who would have taken it from him, and delivered it that same evening. Pray, remind him of this, next time; especially if you are in haste. But the Dunscore Conveyance too is safe enough, tho' a little circuitous.

I had got the last Number of the Westminster, and the last three of Tait,2 some days before; I return of yours what I have otherwise, that there be no confusion. The Saint-Simonianism3 and some other things, I shall read with eagerness. Tait I must take the liberty to consider a most sandy concern; hard and barren as Sahara itself. I am sorry for it, on the worthy man's account. If he cannot change his structure, surely one would think the circulating libraries will cast him out;—unless indeed Radicalism be sauce for all, and your true Reformer have a stomach equal to John Hawkins,4 who (we well know) could dine comfortably on a “horse-stump5 pudding.”

In exchange for a sand Magazine I send you two Numbers of a mud one, Fraser's.6 That of Samuel Johnson was done by a friend of yours.7— There are next two Numbers of the Foreign Q. Review. The last Edinburgh, one of my Brothers has in Annandale; or I would have sent it. Finally there is Lessings Nathan the Wise,8 one of the likeliest German Books I can see for you: after it, you will find a Schillers Wilhelm Tell9 (one of the most interesting Plays ever written, and the most poetical too; Schillers best); this you can take next, you will not find it too hard. Obscurities doubtless will occur; but the remedy is: read on. If indeed you would take the trouble to mark your difficulties down, and send them over hither, I would most gladly act as your Oedipus.10—— You shall have abundance more of the German sort, if you will. Various foreign Curiosities lie here did I know your taste: the best way will be to come over and see them.

This is our account then:

I have, M'Crie,11 Symson,12 a Review, a Magazine. I return a Review & a Mgne; I send two (of each kind) and two Books.

If you write to Murray,13 will [you give] him my regards. The same a fortiori to [your] Brother,14 my still older Comrade.—— I am in infinite haste. With kind wishes to Mrs J.15

Ever faithfully, /

T. Carlyle—