October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO WILLIAM DOUGAL CHRISTIE ; 9 November 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18451109-TC-WDC-01; CL 20: 48-49


Chelsea, 9 Novr, 1845—

Dear Christie,

My recollection of the matter is not very perfect; but I think the best Copyist I ever had, some two years ago, received at the rate of three-pence per 100 words (which is perhaps 1½ d for a common folio page), and was well satisfied with the bargain.1 Another very stupid-looking man, from the British Museum, proposed, I think, two-pence per 70 words; but I did not employ him. This is about the highest rate they get when working by the piece. Last year, I had for a long time a very useful man, who could work with his head as well as his fingers when you shewed him the way: his rate was 6 hours a-day of any kind of labour for a guinea a week. His name is Dr Christie; an Aberdeen Scotchman; a very faithful industrious and intelligent young man: I think he has got, or is about getting, some permanent appointment since I had done with him.

I know no Letters or Documents of the time of Charles II that are worth publishing; I know huge masses of putrid rubbish, already published about him and his affairs, which are worth eternal suppression; which call earnestly for the aid of fire, to deliver the air from the smell of them! I beseech you have a strict and even stern regard to that great and for the present forgotten truth!— In the old editions of Collins's Peerage (about 1760 or earlier,—2d editn is of 1741), you will fall in with various things; generally very correct, which is a great distinction to them.2

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle

“Dr Christie 21.
University Street
Russell Square”:

that is the Address of my man, if you think farther of him; and the mention of me would sufficiently introduce you.