[ Alexander Bain, Scottish philosopher. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('A Bain') to 'Miss M' [sister of David Masson?], on topics including his view on the writing of an autobiography, and John Stuart Mill.

Alexander Bain (1818-1903), Scottish philosopher, and friend and biographer of John Stuart Mill [ David Masson [ David Mather Masson ] (1822-1907), Scottish literary critic]
Publication details: 
Aberdeen. 10 January 1874.
SKU: 16847

4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, on aged paper, with strip of mount adhering to one margin and light smudging to signature. He writes playfully, expressing his gratification at the thought that his 'handiwork' has been so well received, and that she has 'at last conquered the doctrine of "Relativity." This will set you above the "erring crowd" for the remainder of your days.' Her brother David is 'not what we should wish: of all things, I hate debility.' After some personal news he turns to the reasons why he has not written an autobiography. He is 'trusting like other weak mortals to having many days before me yet. Nevertheless, I am well aware, how far from the truth would be the description, by any other hand, of my life outer or inner: and how disgusted I should be if I could see what people would say after I am gone.' He feels that before he says anything about himself, he wishes to 'get out my mind about Mill; a good deal has yet to be said about him, even after his own story'. (Mill's celebrated autobiography was published in 1873; Bain's book on Mill would appear in 1882.) He ends with news of Masson in Edinburgh, and 'Findlater'.