August 1843-March 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 17


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 27 August 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430827-TC-JF-01; CL 17: 86-87


Scotsbrig, Ecclefechan N.B. 27 August, 1843—

Dear Forster,

Here is a Letter waiting me from a Mr Leitch;1 of whom ransack my poor memory as I may I cannot find the slightest vestige, either in this or any prior state of existence! What in these singular circumstances is to be done?— Pray read his Letter nevertheless; pray look at him with humanity when he presents my card: examine his credentials and proposals with gentleness tempering caution,—for I do certify that Nickisson speaks of him as an actually extant man not unknown to me, that Sir Wm Hamilton's and Glasgow Lushington's2 testimonials are those of competent men; and that—on the whole you ought to let Chapman & Hall have a look at him in that state of matters!

He cannot be Leitch Ritchie? O Mnemosyne!3

My wayfarings hitherward have been of chequered character, with as many rests intervening as I could effect, with as much of silence as was possible for me. I begin to long for Chelsea again; and know not whether I can undertake “to return by Edinburgh” or not. Returning whatever way, I hope to see you again before long, and hear good news of the whole world from you. Let that be enough.

Getting home to my Mother's here last night, I found some twelve Letters, all about as momentous as this of Ritchie Leitch's; all requiring some answer or other. May the Devil confound it!

I add not another word at present; except to bid you call at Chelsea for my Wife as you ride past, and to prosper and be of good cheer always.

Yours, dear Forster, in immense haste

T. Carlyle