think kindly, but they will also fill him with admiring esteem for the qualities, character, and family life, as there delineated, of the Scottish peasant.
Well, the Carlyle family were numerous, poor, and struggling.
, the eldest son, a young man in wretched health and worse spirits, was fighting his way in Edinburgh
One of his younger brothers talked of emigrating.
“The very best thing he could do!”
we should all say. Carlyle
dissuades him. “You shall never,” he writes, “you shall never seriously meditate crossing the great Salt Pool
to plant yourself in the Yankee-land.
That is a miserable fate for any one, at best; never dream of it. Could you banish yourself from all that is interesting to your mind, forget the history, the glorious institutions, the noble principles of old Scotland
— that you might eat a better dinner, perhaps?”
There is our word launched — the word interesting
. I am not saying that Carlyle
's advice was good, or that young men should not emigrate.
I do but take note, in the word interesting
, of a requirement, a cry of aspiration, a cry not sounding in the imaginative Carlyle
's own breast only, but sure of a response in his brother's breast also, and in human nature.
Amiel, that contemplative Swiss whose journals