October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


TC TO DAVID LAING ; 8 April 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570408-TC-DL-01; CL 32: 123-124


Chelsea, 8 April, 1857—

My dear Sir,

Many thanks for all your goodness to me. I received the little Portrait affair1 duly by return of post; a very seasonable help. And a day or two after, there arrived a much more valuable Gift, also right welcome to me, the Fifth Vol. of Knox's Works,—which now make a goodly row on the shelf here; and must be near completion, I should think.2 Except the History of the Reformation,3 which has much attra[c]tion4 even at present, and found me more at leisure for it than the others did, I have got no deliberate study made (as I full surely design) of these utterances of the Great Scottish Man; some cursory skimmings are all I have yet got from them. But certainly it is a real pleasure to me, and I think it a real honour to you, that you sort them up into purity in this manner, and get them all ready for the perusal of mankind. A truly patriotic and pious labour, that, beyond all dispute;—which should not have been neglected so long, but which you still find waiting for you to do it. Therein you stand between Scotland and a great shame; all men must wish you honourably thro’ with it. I hope, and indeed confidently expect, you will take care to have a really good Index, and proper elucidations appended (clear statement, done with brevity and exactitude, of the times, the circumstances &c in which these several Treatises & Pamphlets were printed, reprinted; so that everybody that wishes it, to all time coming, may be able to read them with clearness of intelligence, and thank the Editor as he goes along.5

With many thanks on my own score, I remain

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle