January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO SAMUEL AITKEN; 28 June 1831; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18310628-TC-SAI-01; CL 5:293-294.


Craigenputtoch, 28th June, 1831—

My Dear Sir,

I learn with very great satisfaction that our Friend of Minto1 has come home so much stronger and heartier; and hope the improvement will continue with him and increase.

To you also I am obliged for letting me know about his Candidateship: I need not say that no such important enterprise on his part can be indifferent to me; that no little service I could conscientiously render him, here or elsewhere, should be wanting. It will always be a most pleasant duty to bear testimony of all that I know concerning him (wherein is much good) whensoever or wheresoever I am called upon.

I must warn you, however, that as matters stand, my writing specially to the Lord Advocate can hardly do much good. In the first place, I myself am very ignorant of Church History, and of who would be a good Professor of it; secondly, I do not know whether our Friend is the best that will present himself, but only that I believe him better than most Scotch Clergymen; thirdly, I should fondly trust that with a Russel-Purge Administration,2 Crown preferments will be distributed on public views only, the old Dundas System3 having become noisome in the nostrils of all men; so that the circumstance of Mr Aitken's being my Friend, tho never so emphatically stated, could have no weight here.

On these grounds, more especially as the matter cannot be decided for a good while, I think it will be better at all events to wait. If in the course matters take, I see any prospect of doing Mr A. an honest service (which will be doing Justice herself one), then depend upon it, no one will more zealously endeavour. Will you, as anything decisive occurs, of a promising sort, be so good as let me know: a Letter, (perhaps an old Newspaper), always welcome, will show me how it stands.— It is not impossible that I may be in London before the thing is settled and see the Lord Advocate—

We are well here; and send our best regards to George Sq:4 Many thanks for your punctuality in all Business matters.— In great haste with both a Wife and Maidservant calling on me to Tea, I remain,

My Dear Sir, / Faithfully Your's, /

Thomas Carlyle