August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO JOHN ROBERTSON; 16 May 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470516-TC-JRO-01; CL 21:210-211.


Chelsea, 16 May, 1847—

Dear Robertson,— Thanks for the Newspaper; which I return. It appears to me the Edinburgh Critics have jumped, upon a most questionable warrant, to a conclusion which closely approaches the incredible! I have seen Burns's handwriting, which to Miller is so “deep-mouthed,” so &c. &c.1—and it much resembles that of any practical substantial Scotchman who learned to write about the year 1770; that of my own Father, for example, and of my Wife's Grandfather. Totally unable to carry (without much additional support) any such speculation as this!— I think they had better try their old Paraphrase Manuscript (if indeed it is worth trying, or minding) with the handwriting of Logan, Blair,2 or with almost any other revd Native, than with that of a poor Ayrshire peasant lad, scarcely turned of 20 at that date,—and much more like cutting a dark [day's work] of peats than trying his hand at Assembly Psalmodies!

I go out daily to walk, a little before 3 o'clock,—often with a rather vague aim: if I came athwart you anywhere, it would certainly tend to lighten my steps; and improve the summer breezes for me.

In haste / Yours ever truly / T. Carlyle