Letter 38



Zurich March 4th 1835

I SUPPOSE it is only a joke of Mr. Bourne’s that he hints of having heard from some acquaintance of mine that I had taken a house here was become professor &c stories which I only request you to contradict if you should happen to meet with gossipers on so insignificant subjects, because the latter assertion might tend to awaken expectations which the degree of my scientific knowledge could only ultimately disappoint. As I can conceive nothing more hostile to honest success, it is utterly contrary to my intention; if any one should imagine that I am more than I am, and it would be much more ingenious if such as have leisure to speculate on my merits would endeavour to turn the telescope of their imaginations and try to think me less–excuse my dear sir this egotism but no one likes to be written down an ass in golden capitals.

[Gosse, 1894]