Title: On the Choice of Books
Author: Thomas Carlyle
Release Date: September 11, 2004 [EBook #13435]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK on the choice of books ***
Produced by Malcolm Farmer, S.R.Ellison and the Online
On the choice of books
WITH A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR
[Illustration: No. 5 Great Cheyne Row.
The Residence of Mr. Carlyle from_ 1834 until his Death]
A NEW EDITION
CHATTO & Windus, Piccadilly
Contents. Page biographical introduction 7
Address delivered to the
students of Edinburgh
University, April 2, 1866 125
The moral philosophy chair
Farewell letter to the students 192
Bequest by Mr. Carlyle 195
There comes a time in the career of every man of genius who has devoted a long life to the instruction and enlightenment of his fellow-creatures, when he receives before his death all the honours paid by posterity. Thus when a great essayist or historian lives to attain a classic and world-wide fame, his own biography becomes as interesting to the public as those he himself has written, and by which he achieved his laurels.
This is almost always the case when a man of such cosmopolitan celebrity outlives the ordinary allotted period of threescore years and ten; for a younger generation has then sprung up, who only hear of his great fame, and are ignorant of the long and painful steps by which it was achieved. These remarks are peculiarly applicable in regard to the man whose career we are now to dwell on for a short time: his genius was of slow growth and development, and his fame was even more tardy in coming; but since the world some forty years ago fairly recognised him as a great and original thinker and teacher, few men have left so indelible an impress on the public mind, or have influenced to so great a degree the most thoughtful of their contemporaries.