On the Choice of Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 136 pages of information about On the Choice of Books.

“I much regret that a valedictory speech from me, in present circumstances, is a thing I must not think of.  Be pleased to advise the young gentlemen who were so friendly towards me that I have already sent them, in silence, but with emotions deep enough, perhaps too deep, my loving farewell, and that ingratitude or want of regard is by no means among the causes that keep me absent.  With a fine youthful enthusiasm, beautiful to look upon, they bestowed on me that bit of honour, loyally all they had; and it has now, for reasons one and another, become touchingly memorable to me—­touchingly, and even grandly and tragically—­never to be forgotten for the remainder of my life.  Bid them, in my name, if they still love me, fight the good fight, and quit themselves like men in the warfare to which they are as if conscript and consecrated, and which lies ahead.  Tell them to consult the eternal oracles (not yet inaudible, nor ever to become so, when worthily inquired of); and to disregard, nearly altogether, in comparison, the temporary noises, menacings, and deliriums.  May they love wisdom, as wisdom, if she is to yield her treasures, must be loved, piously, valiantly, humbly, beyond life itself, or the prizes of life, with all one’s heart and all one’s soul.  In that case (I will say again), and not in any other case, it shall be well with them.

“Adieu, my young friends, a long adieu, yours with great sincerity,



At a meeting of the Senatus Academicus of Edinburgh University, a few weeks after his decease, a deed of mortification by Thomas Carlyle in favour of that body, for the foundation of ten Bursaries in the Faculty of Arts, was read.  The document opens as follows:—­

“I, Thomas Carlyle, residing at Chelsea, presently Rector in the University of Edinburgh, from the love, favour and affection which I bear to that University, and from my interest in the advancement of education in my native Scotland, as elsewhere, for these and for other more peculiar reasons, which also I wish to record, do intend, and am now in the act of making to the said University, a bequest, as underwritten, of the estate of Craigenputtoch, which is now my property.  Craigenputtoch lies at the head of the parish of Dunscore, in Nithsdale, Dumfriesshire.  The extent is of about 1,800 acres; rental at present, on lease of nineteen years, is L250; the annual worth, with the improvements now in progress, is probably L300.  Craigenputtoch was for many generations the patrimony of a family named Welsh, the eldest son usually a ‘John Welsh,’ in series going back, think some, to the famous John Welsh, son-in-law of the reformer Knox.  The last male heir of the family was John Welsh, Esq., surgeon, Haddington.  His one child and heiress was my late dear, magnanimous, much-loving, and, to me, inestimable wife, in memory of whom, and of her constant nobleness and piety towards him and

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