January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JOHN FORBES ; 11 February 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590211-TC-JFO-01; CL 35: 30


Chelsea, London, 11 feby 1859

Dear Sir,

I am much obliged to you & to your young friends in Marischal College1 but there are two reasons why, as appears to me, you ought not to proceed with your Nomination. The first is, That you have no good likelihood, so far as I can guess, of carrying your election.2 This is a very important preliminary reason!—The second is, That, being extremely busy in these months, and otherwise averse to travel, and in truth an enemy rather than a friend to Public Haranguing, as at present practiced,—I do not think it likely I could get to Aberdeen on such an errand, even if you were unexpectedly successful.

Pray desist, therefore. To me the honour is without importance at this stage of my life3—and in fact has no value at all, except as testifying your regard to me, of which I can now otherwise hold myself assured. And to you have not I already ‘spoken,’—to such of you as cared to listen,—and, with a great deal of deliberation, given you the truest advice I had!—

Accept many thanks from me; and believe, all of you, voters for and voters against, that nobody, elected or eligible,4 can wish you more truly than I do, continual increase of intelligence and of all the nobleness that should go along with it. And so, with sincere regards and thanks, I remain / Yours faithfully, / T Carlyle