Just one scene more. When I told Carlyle how I had made some twenty-five hundred pounds in the year and told him besides how a banker offered me almost the certainty of a great fortune if I would buy with him a certain coal-wharf at Tunbridge Wells (it was Hamilton's pet scheme), he was greatly astonished. "I want to know", I went on, "if you think I'll be able to do good work in literature; if so I'll do my best. Otherwise I ought to make money and not waste time in making myself another second-rate writer."
"No one can tell you that", said Carlyle slowly, "You'll be lucky if you reach the knowledge of it yourself before ye die! I thought my Frederic was great work; yet the other day you said I had buried him under the dozen volumes and you may be right; but have I ever done anything that will live?—"
"Sure", I broke in, heartsore at my gibe, "Sure, your French Revolution must live and the "Heroes and Hero Worship", and "Latter Day Pamphlets" and, and—"
"Enough", he cried, "You're sure?"
"Quite, quite sure", I repeated. Then he said, "You can be equally sure of your own place; for we can all reach the heights we are able to oversee."