16 September 2013

Dignified Oblivion

Thomas Carlyle, letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson (January 27, 1867), in The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1834-1872, Vol. II (Boston: Ticknor & Co., 1888) p. 339:
To set about writing my own Life would be no less than horrible to me; and shall of a certainty never be done. The common impious vulgar of this earth, what has it to do with my life or me? Let dignified oblivion, silence, and the vacant azure of Eternity swallow me; for my share of it, that, verily, is the handsomest, or one handsome way, of settling my poor account with the canaille of mankind extant and to come.
Volume I here.