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PAST AND PRESENT, BY CARLYLE. Mr Carlyle—an astute and tren- formula of religion, which helps to chant critic might, with show of jus- keep men sober and orderly, Mr Cartice, remark-assumes to be the re- lyle despises, ridicules; "old clothes!" former and castigator of his agema he cries, empty and ragged. It is reformer in philosophy, in politics, in not till a man has risen into frenzy, religion-denouncing its mechanical or some hot fanaticism, that he demethod of thinking, deploring its utter serves his respect. An Irving, when want of faith, and threatening politi. his noble spirit, kindled to fever heat, cal society, obstinately deaf to the is seized with delirium, becomes worvoice of wisdom, with the retributive thy of some admiration. A Cromhorrors of repeated revolutions; and well is pronounced emphatically to yet neither in philosophy, in religion, have believed in a God, and therefore nor in politics, has Mr Carlyle any to have been “ by far the remarkdistinct dogma, creed, or constitution ablest governor we have had here for to promulgate. The age is irreligious, the last five centuries or so." Meanhe exclaims, and the vague feeling of while, is it the faith of an Irving, or the impenetrable mystery which en- the God of a Cromwell, that our compasses us, is all the theology we subtle-minded author would bave us can gather from him; civil society, adopt, or would adopt himself? If with its laws and government, is in a he scorn the easy, methodical citizen, false and perilous position, and for all who plods along the beaten tracks of relief and reformation, he launches life, looking occasionally, in bis deforth an indisputable morality-pre- mure, self-satisfied manner, upwards cepts of charity, and self-denial, and to the heavens, but with no other re.. strenuous effori-precepts most excel. sult than to plod more perseveringly lent, and only too applicable ; appli- along his very earthy track, it follows cable, unfortunately, after an à priori not that there is any one order of fashion-for men would but obey fanatic spirits with whom he would them, there had been need of few associate, to whose theology he would laws, and of no remedial measures. yield assent. Verily, no. He demands

This man of faith-our critic might faith—he gives no creed. What is it continue-has but one everlasting note; you teach? a plain-speaking man and it is really the most sceptical and would exclaim; where is your church? melancholy that has ever been heard, have you also your thirty-nine articles ? or heard with toleration, in our litera- have you nine? have you one stout ture. He repeats it from his favourite article of creed that will bear the rubs apostle Goethe; “ all doubt is to be of fortune-bear the temptations of cured only—by action." Certainly, prosperity or a dietary system_stand if forgetting the doubt, and the sub- both sunshine and the wind_which ject of doubt, be the sole cure for it. will keep virtue steady when disposed But that other advice which Mr Car- to reel, and drive back crime to her lyle tells us was given, and in vain, penal caverns of remorse? What to George Fox, the Quaker, at a time would you answer, O philosopher! if when he was agitated by doubts and a simple body should ask you, quite perplexities, namely, “to drink beer in confidence, where wicked people and dance with the girls,” was of the very same stamp, and would have Were it not better for those to operated in the very same manner, to whom philosophy has brought the sad the removing of the pious Quaker's necessity of doubt, to endure this also doubts. Faith! ye lack faith! cries patiently and silently, as one of the this prophet in our streets; and when inevitable conditions of human exis. reproved and distressed scepticism en. tence ? Were not this better than to quires where truth is to be found, he rail incessantly against the world, for bids it back to the loom or the forge, a want of that sentiment which they to its tools and its workshop, of what have no means to excite or to authorever kind these may be-there to for. ize? get the enquiry.

The same inconsequence in politics. The religion, or, if he pleases, the We have Chartism preached by one

go to :

not a Chartist-by one who has no wise men, the enlightened lovers of more his five points of Radicalism their kind, who appeared generally as than his five points of Calvinistie di- moralists, poets, or priests, did, withvinity-who has no trust in demo. out neglecting the mechanical procracy, who swears by no theory of vince, deal chiefly with the dynamical; representative government-who will applying themselves chiefly to regu. never believe that a multitude of men, late, increase, and purify, the inward foolish and selfish, will elect the dis- primary powers of man; and fancying

1; interested and the wise. Your con- that herein lay the main difficulty, and stitution, your laws, your "horse. the best service they could undertake." haired justice" that sits in Westmin. -Misc. vol. ii. p. 277 ster Hall, he likes them not; but he In such Dynamics it is that Mr propounds himself no scheme of po- Carlyle deals. To speak in our own lity. Reform yourselves, one and all, plain common-place diction, it is to the ye individual men! and the nation elements of all religious feeling, to will be reformed; practise justice, the broad unalterable principles of mocharity, self-denial, and then all mor- rality, that he addresses himself; stir. tals may work and eat. This is the ring up in the minds of his readers most distinct advice he bestows. Alas! those sentiments of reverence to the it is advice such as this that the Chris- Highest, and of justice to all, even to tian preacher, century after century, the lowest, which can never utterly utters from his pulpit, which he makes die out in any man, but which slumthe staple of his eloquence, and which ber in the greater number of us. It is he and his listeners are contented to by no means necessary to teach any applaud; and the more contented peculiar or positive doctrine in order probably to applaud, as, on all hands, to exert an influence on society. After it is tacitly understood to be far too all, there is a moral heart beating at good to be practised.

the very centre of this world. Touch In fine, turn which way you will, it, and there is a responsive movement to philosophy, to politics, to religion, through the whole system of the world. you find Mr Carlyle objecting, de- Undoubtedly external circumstances nouncing, scoffing, rending all to rule in their turn over this samo central pieces in his bold, reckless, ironical, pulsation : alter, arrange, and modify, manner-but teaching nothing. The these external circumstances as best most docile pupil, when he opens his you can, but he who, by the word he tablets to put down the precious sum speaks or writes, can reach this central of wisdom he has learned, pauses—finds pulse immediately-is he idle, is he his pencil motionless, and leaves his profitless ? tablet still a blank.

Or put it thus : there is a justice beNow all this, and more of the same tween man and man-older, and more kind, which our astute and trenchant stable, and more lofty in its requisicritic might urge, may be true, or tions, than that which sits in ermine, very like the truth, but it is not the

or, if our author pleases, in “ horsewhole truth.

hair," at Westminster Hall; there is a " To speak a little pedantically," morality recognized by the intellect says our author himself, in a paper and the heart of all reflective men, called Signs of the Times, "there is a higher and purer than what the prescience of Dynamics in man's fortune sent forms of society exact or render and nature, as well as of Mechanics. feasible-or rather say, a morality of There is a science which treats of, and more exalted character than that which practically addresses, the primary, un. has hitherto determined those forms modified, forces and energies of man, of society. No man who believes that the mysterious springs of love, and the teaching of Christ was authorized fear, and wonder, of enthusiasm, poe- of heaven-no man who believes this try-religion, all which have a truly only, that his doctrine has obtained vital and infinite character; as well as and preserved its heavenly character a science which practically addresses from the successful, unanswerable, the finite, modified developments of appeal which it makes to the human these, when they take the shape of heart-can dispute this fact. Is he immediate motives,' as hope of re- an idler, then, or a dreamer in the ward, or as fear of punishment. Now land, who comes forth, and on the highit is certain, that in former times the road of our popular literature, insists on it that men should assume their full devising an effectual remedy, is a moral strength, and declares that herein most unsatisfactory business ; neverlies the salvation of the world ? But theless, this also must be added, that what can he do if the external circum. to forget the existence of this misery stances of life are against him ?—if would not be to cure it-would, on the they crush this moral energy ?--if contrary, be a certain method of perpethey discountenance this elevation of tuating and aggravating it ; that to try character? Alone-perhaps nothing. to forget it, is as little wise as it is He with both hands is raising one humane, and that indeed such act of end of the beam; go you with your oblivion is altogether impossible. If tackle, with rope and pulley, and all crowds of artizans, coming forth from mechanical appliances, to the other homes where there is neither food nor end, and who knows but something work, shall say, in the words that our may be effected ?

author puts into their mouths, “ BeIt is not by teaching this or that hold us here—we ask if you mean to dogma, political, philosophical, or re- lead us towards work; to try to lead ligious, that Mr Carlyle is doing his us? Or if you declare that you can. work, and exerting an influence, by no not lead us? And expect that we are means despicable, on his generation. to remain quietly unled, and in a comIt is by producing a certain moral posed manner perish of starvation ? tone of thought, of a stern, manly, What is it that you expect of us ? energetic, self-denying character, that What is it that you mean to do with his best influence consists. Accord. us?"-if, we say, such a question is ingly we are accustomed to view his asked, we may not be able to answer, works, even when they especially re- but we cannot stifle it. Surely it is gard communities of men, and take the well that every class in the communiname of histories, as, in effect, appeals ty should know how indissolubly its into the individual heart, and to the mo- terest is connected with the wellral will of the reader. His mind is being of other classes. However renot legislative; his mode of thinking mote the man of wealth may sit from is not systematic; a state economy he scenes like this—however reluctant he has not the skill, perhaps not the pre- may be to hear of them-nothing can tension, to devise. When he treats of be more true than that this distress is nations, and governments, and revo- his calamity, and that on him also lies lutions of states, he views them all as the inevitable alternative to remedy or a wondrous picture, which he, the ob- to suffer. server, standing apart, watches and It accords with the view we have apostrophizes; still revealing himself here taken of the writings of Mr Carin his reflections upon them. The lyle, that of all his works that which picture to the eye, he gives with mar. pleased us most was the one most com. vellous vividness; and he puts forth, pletely personal in its character, which with equal power, that sort of world- most constantly kept the reader in a wide reflection which a thinking being state of self-reflection. In spite of all might be supposed to make on his first its oddities and vagaries, and the chaovisit to our planet; but the space be. tic shape into which its materials have tween-those intermediate generaliza- been thrown, the Sartor Resartus is a tions which make the pride of the phi- prime favourite of ours—a sort of losophical historian-he neglects, has volcanic work; and the reader stands no taste for. Such a writer as Mon- by, with folded arms, resolved at all tesquieu he holds in manifest antipa.. events to secure peace within his own thy. His History of the French Re- bosom. But no sluggard's peace ; volution, like his Chartism, like the his arms are folded, not for idleness, work now before us, his Past and only to repress certain vain tremors Present, is still an appeal to the con- and vainer sighs. He feels the calm sciousness of each man, and to the of self-renunciation, but united with high and eternal laws of justice and no monkish indolence. Here is a of charity-lo, ye are brethren! fragment of it. How it rebukes the

And although it be true, as our cri. spirit of strife and contention ! tic bas suggested, that to enlarge upon “ To me, in this our life,” says the the misery which lies low and wide Professor, “ which is an internecine warover the whole ground-plot of civiliz- fare with the time-spirit, other warfare ed society, without at the same time seems questionable. Hast thou in any

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not a Chartist-by one who has no wise men, the enlightened lovers of more his five points of Radicalism their kind, who appeared generally as than his five points of Calvinistic di- moralists, poets, or priests, did, withvinity-who has no trust in demo. out neglecting the mechanical procracy, who swears by no theory of vince, deal chiefly with the dynamical; representative government-who will applying themselves chiefly to regu. never believe that a multitude of men, late, increase, and purify, the inward foolish and selfish, will elect the dis- primary powers of man ; and fancying interested and the wise. Your con- that herein lay the main difficulty, and stitution, your laws, your "horse- the best service they could undertake." haired justice" that sits in Westmina -Misc. vol. ii. p. 277. ster Hall, he likes them not; but he In such Dynamics it is that Mr propounds himself no scheme of po- Carlyle deals. To speak in our own lity. Reform yourselves, one and all, plain common-place diction, it is to the ye individual men! and the nation elements of all religious feeling, to will be reformed; practise justice, the broad unalterable principles of mocharity, self-denial, and then all mor- rality, that he addresses himself; stirtals may work and eat. This is the ring up in the minds of his readers most distinct advice he bestows. Alas! those sentiments of reverence to the it is advice such as this that the Chris- Highest, and of justice to all, even to tian preacher, century after century, the lowest, which can never utterly utters from his pulpit, which he makes die out in any man, but which slumthe staple of his eloquence, and which ber in the greater number of us. It is he and his listeners are contented to by no means necessary to teach any applaud; and the more contented peculiar or positive doctrine in order probably to applaud, as, on all hands, to exert an influence on society. After it is tacitly understood to be far too all, there is a moral heart beating at good to be practised.

the very centre of this world. Touch In fine, turn which way you will, it, and there is a responsive movement to philosophy, to politics, to religion, through the whole system of the world. you find Mr Carlyle objecting, de- Undoubtedly external circumstances nouncing, scoffing, rending all to pieces in his bold, reckless, ironicati, pule in their turn over this same central

pulsation : alter, arrange, and modify, manner-but teaching nothing. The these external circumstances as best most docile pupil, when he opens his you can, but he who, by the word he tablets to put down the precious sum speaks or writes, can reach this central of wisdom he has learned, pauses—finds pulse immediately—is he idle, is he his pencil motionless, and leaves his profitless ? tablet still a blank.

Or put it thus : there is a justice beNow all this, and more of the same tween man and man-older, and more kind, which our astute and trenchant stable, and more lofty in its requisicritic might urge, may be true, or tions, than that which sits in ermine, very like the truth, but it is not the

or, if our author pleases, in " horsewhole truth.

hair," at Westminster Hall; there is a “To speak a little pedantically," morality recognized by the intellect says our author himself, in a paper and the heart of all reflective men, called Signs of the Times, "there is a higher and purer than what the prescience of Dynamics in man's fortune sent forms of society exact or render and nature, as well as of Mechanics. feasible-or rather say, a morality of There is a science which treats of, and more exalted character than that which practically addresses, the primary, un. has hitherto determined those forms modified, forces and energies of man, of society. No man who believes that the mysterious springs of love, and the teaching of Christ was authorized fear, and wonder, of enthusiasm, poe- of heaven-no man who believes this try-religion, all which have a truly only, that his doctrine has obtained vital and infinite character; as well as and preserved its heavenly character a science which practically addresses from the successful, unanswerable, the finite, modified developments of appeal which it makes to the human these, when they take the shape of heart-can dispute this fact. Is he immediate motives,' as hope of re- an idler, then, or a dreamer in the ward, or as fear of punishment. Now land, who comes forth, and on the highit is certain, that in former times the road of our popular literature, insists on it that men should assume their full devising an effectual remedy, is a moral strength, and declares that herein most unsatisfactory business ; neverlies the salvation of the world? But theless, this also must be added, that what can he do if the external circum. to forget the existence of this misery stances of life are against him ?-if would not be to cure it-would, on the they crush this moral energy?--if contrary, be a certain method of perpethey discountenance this elevation of tuating and aggravating it ; that to try character ? Alone--perhaps nothing. to forget it, is as little wise as it is He with both hands is raising one humane, and that indeed such act of end of the beam; go you with your oblivion is altogether impossible. If tackle, with rope and pulley, and all crowds of artizans, coming forth from mechanical appliances, to the other homes where there is neither food nor end, and who knows but something work, shall say, in the words that our may be effected?

author puts into their mouths, “ BeIt is not by teaching this or that hold us here—we ask if you mean to dogma, political, philosophical, or re- lead us towards work; to try to lead ligious, that Mr Carlyle is doing his us? Or if you declare that you can. work, and exerting an influence, by no not lead us? And expect that we are means despicable, on his generation to remain quietly unled, and in a com, It is by producing a certain moral posed manner perish of starvation ? tone of thought, of a stern, manly, What is it that you expect of us ? energetic, self-denying character, that What is it that you mean to do with his best influence consists. Accordus?”—if, we say, such a question is ingly we are accustomed to view his asked, we may not be able to answer, works, even when they especially re- but we cannot stifle it. Surely it is gard communities of men, and take the well that every class in the communi. name of histories, as, in effect, appeals ty should know howindissolubly its into the individual heart, and to the mo- terest is connected with the wellral will of the reader. His mind is being of other classes. However repot legislative; his mode of thinking mote the man of wealth may sit from is not systematic; a state economy he scenes like this.however reluctant he has not the skill, perhaps not the pre- may be to hear of them—nothing can tension, to devise. When he treats of be more true than that this distress is nations, and governments, and revo- his calamity, and that on him also lies lutions of states, he views them all as the inevitable alternative to remedy or a wondrous picture, which he, the ob- to suffer. server, standing apart, watches and It accords with the view we have apostrophizes ; still revealing himself here taken of the writings of Mr Carin his reflections upon them. The lyle, that of all his works that which picture to the eye, he gives with mar. pleased us most was the one most com. vellous vividness; and he puts forth, pletely personal in its character, which with equal power, that sort of world- most constantly kept the reader in a wide reflection which a thinking being state of self-reflection. In spite of all might be supposed to make on his first its oddities and vagaries, and the chaovisit to our planet; but the space be- tic shape into which its materials have tween-those intermediate generaliza. been thrown, the Sartor Resartus is a tions which make the pride of the phi- prime favourite of ours-a sort of losophical historian-he neglects, has volcanic work; and the reader stands no taste for. Such a writer as Mon- by, with folded arms, resolved at all tesquieu he holds in manifest antipa.. events to secure peace within his own thy. His History of the French Re- bosom. But no sluggard's peace; volution, like his Chartism, like the his arms are folded, not for idleness, work now before us, his Past and only to repress certain vain tremors Present, is still an appeal to the con- and vainer sighs. He feels the calm sciousness of each man, and to the of self-renunciation, but united with high and eternal laws of justice and no monkish indolence. Here is a of charity-lo, ye are brethren! fragment of it. How it rebukes the

And although it be true, as our cri. spirit of strife and contention ! tic has suggested, that to enlarge upon “ To me, in this our life,” says the the misery which lies low and wide Professor, “ which is an internecine warover the whole ground-plot of civiliz- fare with the time-spirit, other warfare ed society, without at the same time seems questionable. Hast thou in any

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