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mother tongue, who can doubt the intelligence-the fine feeling which must then have pervaded the body politic? In respect to religion, the blessedness is said to be-There is no 'Methodism; Religion is not yet a horrible wrestling Doubt; 'still less a far horribler composed Cant, but a great heaven'high Unquestionability.'- Past and Present, p. 90. Yes, good reader, mark that! no Cant-nothing of that in all those cantos,'' cantings,' or 'chauntings,' as the word now is, which were then so much like the beginning and the end of everything religious. No Doubt' either, religion a great Unquestionability'! Happy times, when to be great in the virtue of believing was not to believe in the face of doubt, but because to do other than believe was not possible! Fortunate era, when religion came to men, not as a something to be studied, thought out, and to be believed for a reason, but as a smooth, puddingfaced Unquestionability,' and when it rose thereby to the palmy state that may be fittingly described as godlike! Enviable times, moreover, must they have been, when men who themselves believed at such small cost, could send the man or woman showing signs of inability to do likewise, to the dungeon, the rack-burning the flesh of the doubter, and sending the horrors of many deaths through the heart of all his kindred!

But in sober seriousness this is too bad, and Mr. Carlyle should know that if there were nothing beside to prevent the great majority of men of matured thinking in this country from placing more than a very limited confidence in his judgment, his ill-founded declamation on this topic would be enough to force such distrust upon them. We wish to look to the past with all the worshipful feeling it may claim from us, but whether looking to past or present, we are concerned to do so with discrimination and fairness. Burke's Vindication of Natural Society' did well enough as a joke, but that Mr. Carlyle should attempt something so much like it as no joke at all, is a little astounding.

How to account for it in the case of such a man we know not, unless it be that the Understanding, that it may avenge itself upon him for the many sad libels he has cast upon that faculty, does sometimes leave him to do his best wholly without its assistance. That there are certain capabilities of our nature which have been otherwise, and it may be more forcibly directed, among our rude progenitors than among ourselves, no man will deny-it being strictly natural that your North American Indian should evince a sharpness of perception in some respects which you will seek in vain among the dwellers in Threadneedle-street. But it has been left to Mr. Carlyle to

seem to say that, for this reason, it would be well to see the banks of the Thames again overshadowed with their primeval forests; and that to free the country from the cockneyism of Epsom on the Derby-day, it would be good to reduce it once more to the dominion of such naked sentimentalists as were addressed by queen Boadicea. It is a truth that our civilization is far from what it should be, but it is not true that the civilization of the present is, in reality, a deterioration from the rudeness of the past.

We e are aware that passages might be extracted from Mr. Carlyle's works of a showing somewhat different from the passage just cited. But our answer is, that if such more rational statements are to be taken as meaning what they seem to mean, then some nine-tenths of what the author has written on the same subject should never have been written. In the great majority of cases, when such comparative references to the past are made, the only reasonable inference is, that Mr. Carlyle regards the civilization of the present as being in the main a lamentable deterioration from the general state of things in remote times. That our civilization is not all that it should be, is half the truth on this question; but that the barbarism of the past is something better is not the other half—it is an error.


Similar is the tone of onesidedness and exaggeration of our author in reference to another favourite topic-the mission of the Worker.' On this theme his utterances, up to a certain point, are most truthful, healthy, breathing the soul of manhood. He is no admirer of the 'greatest happiness' principle; he would substitute for it the greatest doing' principle. He believes in the happiness of the doer, not at all in the happiness of the non-doer. Men he regards as sent into the world to devise schemes of labour, and by every true labourer happiness is left to come in the wake of labour or not, as the case may be.

'Work is Religion, and whatsoever Religion is not Work may go and dwell among the Brahmins, Antinomians, Spinning Dervishes, or where it will; with me it shall have no harbour. Older than all preached Gospels was this unpreached, inarticulate, but ineradicable, for ever enduring, Gospel: Work, and therein have well-being. All true work is sacred; in all true work, were it but true hand-labour, there is something of divineness. Labour, wide as the earth, has its summit in heaven. Sweat of the brow, and up from that to the sweat of brain, sweat of the heart; which includes all Kepler calculations, Newton meditations, all Sciences, all spoken Epics, all acted Heroisms, Martyrdoms-up to that 'Agony of bloody sweat,' which all men have

called divine. O brother, if this is not worship,' then I say the more pity for worship; for this is the noblest thing yet discovered under God's sky.'-Past and Present, pp. 271, 272.


Work, then, is both worship and well-being. True-unquestionably true, certain other things being understood. But it will be seen that it is not enough that our author should thus stoutly rebuke the people, who trust more to the articles they have believed, or to the prayers they have repeated, than to the works they have done. It does not satisfy him that a man's work should be declared to be a good, or even a great good, it must be the only good. To place it abreast with the direct acts of worship will not suffice-it must supplant such worship -it must be all that such worship can be only in semblance. 'Work, never so Mammonish, mean,' is described as the great purifier of humanity, as having a divineness in it;' while worship in the ordinary and formal sense drops wholly out of sight, as possessing nothing beyond a fictitious value. more heroic, the more godlike men are in their labours, the better; but the fair conclusion from the general language of our author on this subject is, that the man whose course has never risen above that of honest industry, has therein lived the life of a true worshipper, and that from the review of such a life he may look with confidence to that which is to follow. Thus, from being in danger of supposing ourselves religious in proportion to the number of beads we have counted, we come to be in danger of supposing ourselves religious in proportion to the pelf we have realized. That religious formalism may cease to be mischievous, a worldly formalism is so belauded that in effect the counting-house comes into the place of the churchpew, the ledger into the place of the Bible; it being clear that these, in common with the plough and the loom, must have a 'divineness' in them. In language conducting us to such results, every dispassionate man must see a spirit of exaggeration, bespeaking great confusion of thought, and tending strongly to beget such confusion. That all the lawful work of man is a kind of worship, is a truth never denied; but that many actions not usually comprehended under that term are also worship, is no less a truth; and by restricting the meaning of the term worship, as he has done, Mr. Carlyle has again given us half a truth in the place of the whole truth. Nor is the error here one of mere negation. As usual, it leads to mischiefs sufficiently positive. For one of its effects is, that men are virtually taught to think that the only preparation really necessary to fit them for the next world, is that they should have acquitted themselves with a fair degree of honesty and industry in the labour or traffic of the

present. Whatever Mr. Carlyle may intend by his discoursings on this subject, it is within our own knowledge that this is the interpretation put upon his teaching by not a few of his disciples. The heaven they expect-certainly the only heaven for which they make any preparation, is one in which all reputable people, accustomed to the earnest and thrifty occupations of the present life, will be sure to find congenial occupation. In vain does he rail at mere mammonism, so long as scorn like the following is put on the self-knowledge and self-culture, which can alone lead to a higher worship:

The latest Gospel in this world is, Know thy work and do it. Know thyself;' long enough has that poor 'self' of thine tormented thee; thou wilt never get to 'know' it, I believe! Think it not thy business, this of knowing thyself; thou art an unknowable individual: know what thou canst work at; and work at it, like a Hercules! That will be thy better part.'-Past and Present, p. 264.

We could multiply illustrations of this tendency very largely, did our limits permit. The work at the head of this article, intitled 'Chartism,' for example, would furnish rich material for this purpose. We can imagine Mr. Carlyle as dealing with such a book, so as to furnish from the resources of his sarcasm no little merriment to a large class of his admirers, by contrasting the promise of such a publication with the performance. In the course of this argument, the reader finds that here, as elsewhere, he

'—never is, but always to be blest.'

Everybody in turn is censured as not understanding this subject, and as not dealing with it aright; while from the author himself, nothing comes beyond the slightest hints and vestiges of thought in relation to it, leaving the main facts in the vast and complex problem as far from solution as ever. Everywhere you see him sorely tried by the stupidity of the people about him, by the stupidity of parliamentary people among the rest; and everywhere you see him as if conscious that he is himself well supplied with the sort of wisdom which these dullards so greatly need, but somehow his wisdom is slow in getting utterance, and you reach the end of the book without discovering it. To the most urgent demand made upon him by the 'practical man,' who at length entreats him to descend from the clouds, and to deign to be intelligible, his answer is-Tell your parliament folk to send the people you cannot employ as emigrants where they may find employment; and tell them to see to it that the rest learn reading, writing, and summing! Some fresh sunny

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bits of truth, and some good artistic sketches may be found even in this treatise; but had a book of the same substance, purporting to be an exposition of Chartism, proceeded from another man, we think we know the kind of designation our author would have given it.

On the whole, from this peculiarity in the manner of Mr. Carlyle, he is by no means a safe author to put into the hands of young men who do not bring some power of independent thinking to what they read. His half-truths, and his truths exaggerated so as to become untruths, are thrust upon you so capriciously, that the uninitiated, and such as consult him only by snatches, are in danger of carrying away some new crudity at every new reading.

VI. The Politics of Mr. Carlyle are somewhat peculiar. In fact, they are no politics at all; they consist only of the raw material from which politics are made. Judging from the language in which the powers that be' are commonly described by him, you would class him with the most ferocious of Radicals. That such a man should write a book about Chartism, will appear to you as one of the most natural things in the world. In reality, however, there is hardly a man in the three kingdoms at a further remove from Chartism, Radicalism, or anything of that sort than our brave author. In his view, the five points' would be no remedy, but an implement of destruction of destruction to the hands that should wield them. The need of this multitude is, that they should be well governed by their betters, not that they should be allowed to try their ''prentice hand' at the work of governing themselves. Of the competency of the multitude anywhere to such a work, Mr. Carlyle has the meanest possible opinion. On the contrary, in the virtues of aristocratic and monarchical authority he believes with a firmness not second to that of Burke or Pitt, of Eldon or Lyndhurst. Before an aristocracy of iron, or before a despotism wrought up from material still more irresistible, he would, upon occasion, bow down and worship, saying-Thou, too, art from Heaven! The good for which he calls, and for which his calls are earnest and unceasing, is good government. Whether this government shall come from the individual, the few, or the many, is a mere circumstance; his concern is that it should come-come in such power as to compel the fools to obey the wise, the bad to stand in awe of the good. His wrath against kings is not that each of them is the first man in his dominions, but that he is this by institution and accident, not by certain essentials of manhood lifting him thus high above his fellows.

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