Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/37

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CARLYLE


ADDRESS AS LORD RECTOR OF EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY[1]

(1866)


Born in 1795, died in 1881; lived in Scotland until 1834, when he settled in Chelsea, London; Lord Rector of Edinburgh University in 1866, his wife dying in the same year; received the Prussian Order of Merit in 1874; his complete works, in thirty-seven volumes, published in 1872-74.


Your enthusiasm toward me, I must admit, is in itself very beautiful, however undeserved it may be in regard to the object of it. It is a feeling honorable to all men, and one well known to myself when I was of an age like yours, nor is it yet quite gone. I can only hope that with you, too, it may endure to the end—this noble desire to honor those whom you think worthy of honor; and that you will come to be more and more select and discriminate in the choice of the object of it—for I can well understand that you will modify your opinions of me and of many things else, as you go on. It is now

fifty-six years, gone last November, since I first

  1. Delivered on April 2, 1806, and described by Tyndall in a telegram to Mrs. Carlyle, as "a perfect triumph." Abridged. Carlyle went from Edinburgh to his old home in Scotland, and there received news on April 21 of his wife's death while she was driving in Hyde Park, London. By kind permission of Messrs. Chapman and Hall.