January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 3 November 1829; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18291103-TC-MAC-01; CL 5:e1.


Craigenputtoch 3rd Novr 1829

We have a gay noisy time of it at Craigcrook,1 dining and seeing dine. For me such things have of old done little; and I heartily rejoiced when it was over. Pleasant I have found it, and wholesome to see so many people kindly disposed to me, and thinking well of me; useful also to observe how the busy world is moving, and on what side one is to attack it and address it from his hill-top; but for the rest I find little benefit in Edinburgh talk. At best it is but a shallow matter. Even Jeffrey's, however well-meant, is but an attempt to take from me my highest principles and advise me to exchange them for a piece of perishing money. A vain attempt; for as my Father says, “Did he talk till the tongue turned sma' in his head,[”] it were to no purpose for convincing me. As soon, says poor Werner, could a soul in Heaven return back to the dark damp of the Grave, as one that has found Truth return into the Error it has left.2 I know that worldly wise philosophy too well, and what it can do for me. Shall I not get food and raiment while they are needed for me? and if God give me light to see my way what matters it whether I walk on smooth greens, or over thorns and rugged crags. So I will hold fast my integrity let the people chatter as they will. After all, Edinburgh is Edinburgh and the Universe is the Universe. The vote of the Outer-house3 may be one thing, and that of Eternal Truth another and far better.