Letter from James Armour, Glasgow to W. Mackenzie, London

Scope and Content

Complains about the meagre content of Mackenzie’s letters. “But to be sure you are a Lecturer, an oculist and a great man and in London and therefore cannot afford time to be particular to your friends.” Comments on Mackenzie’s Essays and thinks he should change their name. Armour does not feel qualified to comment on the content but feels the style “to be much tinged with foreign idioms and to be not a little stiff.” Have you seen all the things you describe - if you have and are correct in all your minute details upon the subject, you have seen, treasured up and thought upon a great deal….If they are merely, or nearly so, translations from German authors and Lecturers, it is very well but say so more decidedly.” Armour advises Mackenzie from publishing too soon “Is there not something very bold, I had almost said presumptuous, in one who was the other day a student, writing for the public, finding faults with and instructing men of experience & who have grown old in their profession.” Rainy is reading the Essays at the moment and Mackenzie should take “a good deal of his advice.” Mr Russell Ruan was here in August and has gone to Copenhagen for 8 to 9 months and then on to St. Croix.

Armour declined the situation with Sir W. Adams and has charge of part of the Fever Hospital.