January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO DAVID LAING ; 17 January 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420117-TC-DL-01; CL 14: 12-14


Chelsea, 17 jany, 1842—

My dear Sir,

I am very glad you get on with Baillie; I hope soon to see the worthy man in a complete state.1

Of Dr Thomas Young, the “Puritan in Essex who cutte his haire short,” I can tell you nothing except what stands in Books already well known to you.2 Todd in his Life of Milton refers to Aubrey; but does not say what part of Aubrey: most likely it will be the Letters of Eminent Persons, or some extract in Wood's Athenae; for there is no hint about Young in the Miscellanies.3 The “ty” in Smectymnuus4 undoubtedly belongs to him. He seems to have left England in 1623, to have been a Chaplain at Hamburg;—from which I suppose he would return about the time when his old Pupil was coming back from the South: “where the carcase is the eagles gather!”5 I find no Sermon of Young's among a considerable Collection I have of Commonwealth-Parliament Sermons; but he must have been a man of mark, beyond many Assembly men, to be appointed by Cromwell Master of Jesus College Cambridge. Neale, as you will find, has little to say of him; but refers you to Clarke's Lives, where most probably there will be found some kind of modicum of intelligence that will suffice you.6

It gives me great pleasure to understand that you mean to do a pious duty to Knox.7 Surely such a thing is wanted; it is a disgrace to us not to have such a thing. I would recommend a complete chronological collection, with diligent not too abundant commentary,—in modern spelling. When you come hither I shall be very glad to see you.

The passage of AEneas Sylvius was at once discovered by your indication; unluckily I found almost nothing there except what Camden had already given me.8 I cannot at all make out what “large village” (on the Cumberland Coast, for I judge he speaks of the Solway Firth) the worthy Legate had been lodging in: his “rundlet of wine and stock of bread” he might have got about Sweetheart Abbey:9 but how or where or when the rest all was remains an enigma. Yet the passage is very curious; fact, and yet like some fraction of a fairy tale. I wish some really intelligent Scotch Antiquary would take it as a text, and give a right credible exposition of it!

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle