« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
which, having renewed the form of races. We may then conjecture, with. wan's thought, slowly and infallibly out too much rashness, that it will have renews all his thoughts. All minds a like duration and destiny. We thus which seek and find are in the current; succeed in fixing with some precision they only advance through it: if they our place in the endless stream of oppose it, they are checked; if they events and things. We know that we deviate, they are slackened: if they are almost in the midst of one of the assist it, they are carried beyond the partial currents which compose it. We
And the movement goes on so can perceive the form of mind which long as there remains any thing to be directs it, and seek beforehand the discovered. When art has given all ideas to which it conducts us. its works, philosophy all its theories, science all its discoveries, it stops;
II. another form of mind takes the sway, or man ceases to think. Thus at the Wherein consists this form ? In the Renaissance appeared the artistic and power of discovering general ideas. No poetic genius, which, born in Italy and nation and no age has possessed it in carried into Spain, was there ex- so high a degree as the Germans. This tinguished after a century and a half in is their governing faculty; it is by this the universal extinction, and which, power that they have produced all that with other characteristics, transplanted they have done. This gift is properly into France and England, ended after a that of comprehension (Begreifen). By hundred years in the refinements of it we find the aggregate conceptions mannerists and the follies of sectarians, (Begriffe); we reduce under one ruling having produced the Reformation, con- idea all the scattered parts of a subfirmed free thought, and founded ject; we perceive under the divisions science. Thus with Dryden in Eng- of a group the common bond which land, and with Malherbe in France, unites them; we conciliate objections ; was born the oratorical and classical we bring down apparent contrasts to a spirit, which, having produced the profound unity. It is the pre-eminent literature of the seventeenth century philosophical faculty; and, in fact, it is and the philosophy of the eighteenth, the philosophical faculty which has imdried up under the successors of Vol. pressed its seal on all their works. By taire and Pope, and died after two it, they vivified dry studies, which hundred years, having polished Europe seemed only fit to occupy pedants of and raised the French Revolution. the academy or seminary. By it, they Thus at the end of the last century divined the involuntary and primitive arose the philosophic German genius, logic which created and organized which, having engendered a new meta- languages, the great ideas which are physics, theology, poetry, literature, hidden at the bottom of every work of linguistic science, an exegesis, erudition, art, the secret poetic emotions and descends now into the sciences, and vague metaphysical intuitions which continues its evolution. No more engendered religions and myths. By original spirit, more universal, more it, they perceived the spirit of ages, fertile ir, consequences of every scope civilizations, and races, and transformed and species, more capable of transform into a system of laws the history which ing and reforming every thing, has ap- was but a heap of facts. By it, they peared for three hundred years. It is rediscovered or renewed the sense of of the same order as that of the Re- dogmas, connected God with the world, aaissance and of the Classical Age. It, man with nature, spirit with matter, like them, connects itself with the great perceived the successive chain and the works of contemporary intelligence, original necessity of the forms, whereaf appears in all civilized lands, is propa- the aggregate is the universe. By it, gated with the same inward qualities, they created a science of linguistics, a but under different forms. It, like mythology, a criticism, an æsthetics, an them, is one of the epochs of the exegesis, a history, a theology and world's history. It is encountered in metaphysics, so new that they continued the same civilization and in the same long incomprehensible, and could only
be expressed by a special language. I their decay and their limitation, com And this bent was so dominant, that it posing by their union an indiv.sible subjected to its empire even art and whole, which, sufficing for itself, expoetry. The poets by it have become hausting all possibilities, and connecting erudite, philosophical; they constructed all things, from time and space to ex their dramas, epics, and odes after pre- istence and thought, resembles hy its arranged theories, and in order to harmony and its magnificence some manifest general ideas. They rendered omnipotent and immortal god. If we moral theses, historical periods, sen- apply it to man, we come to considci sible; they created and applied sentiments and thoughts as natural and esthetics; they had no artlessness, or necessary products, linked amongst race their artlessness an instrument of themselves like the transformations oí reflection; they loved not their charac- an animal or plant; which leads us to ters for themselves; they ended by conceive religions, philosophies, literatransforming them into symbols; their tures, all human conceptions and emophilosophical ideas broke every instant tions, as necessary series of a state of out of the poetic shape in which they mind which carries them away on its tried to enclose them; they have been passage, which, if it returns, brings all critics,* bent on constructing or re- them back, and which, if we can repro constructing, possessing erudition and duce it, gives us in consequence the method, attracted to imagination by art means of reproducing them at will. and study, incapable of producing líving These are the two doctrines which run beings unless by science and artifice, through the writings of the two chiel really systematical men, who, to express thinkers of the century, Hegel and their abstract conceptions, employed, Goethe. They have used them throughin place of formulas, the actions of per- out as a method, Hegel to grasp the sonages and the music of verse. formula of every thing, Goethe to ob
tain the vision of every thing; they III.
steeped themselves therein so thorough
ly, that they have drawn thence their From this aptitude to conceive the inner and 'habitual sentiments, their aggregate, one sole idea could be pro- morality and their conduct.
We may duced—the idea of aggregates. In fact, consider them to be the two philo all the ideas worked out for fifty years sophical legacies which modern Gerin Germany are reduced to one only, many has left to the human race. that of development (Entwickelung), which consists in representing all the
IV. parts of a group as jointly responsible and complemental, so that each necessitates the rest, and that, all combined, mixed, and this passion for aggregate
But these legacies have not been unthey manifest, by their succession and views has marred its proper work by its their contrasts, the inner quality which
It is rarely that the mind can assembles and produces them. A score of systems, a hundred dreams, a hun grasp aggregates : we are imprisoned
in too narrow a corner of time and dred thousand metaphors, have variously figured or disfigured this fundamental face of things ; our instruments have
space; our senses perceive only the suridea. Despoiled of its trappings, it but a small scope ; we have only been mere'y affirms the mutual dependence experimentalizing for three centuries; whic'a unites the terms of a series, and our memory is short, and the docuattaches them all to some abstract
ments by which we dive into the past property within them. If we apply it are only doubtful lights, scattered over to Nature, we come to consider the an immense region, which they show wuild as a scale of forms, and, as it by glimpses without illuminating them were, a succession of conditions, having To bind together the small fragments in themselves the reason for their suc- which we are able to attain, we have cession and for their existence, contain-generally to guess the causes, or to em 'ng in their nature the necessity for ploy general ideas so vast, that they
• Goethe, the greatest of them all. might suit all facts; we must have to
course either to hypothesis or abstrac- every nation has its originai genius, in tion, invent arbitrary explanations, or which it moulds the ideas elsewhere be lost in vague ones. These, in fact, derived. Thus Spain, in the sixteenth are the two vices which have corrupted and seventeenth centuries, renewed in German thought. Conjecture and for a different spirit Italian painting and mula have abounded. Systems have poetry. Thus the Pu itans and Janmultiplied, some above the others, and senists thought out in new shapes prim broken out into an inextricable growth, itive Protestantism; thus the Frer ch nto which no stranger dare enter, hav- of the eighteenth century widened and ing found that every morning brought put forth the liberal ideas, which the a new budding, and that the definitive English had applied or proposed in discovery proclaimed over-night was religion and politics. It is so in the about to be choked by another infallible present day. The French cannot at discovery, capable at most of lasting önce reach, like the Germans, lofty till the morning after. The public of aggregate conceptions. They can only Europe was astonished to see so much march step by step, starting from conimagination and so little common sense, crete ideas, rising gradually to abstract pretensions so ambitious and theories so ideas, after the progressive methods hollow, such an invasion of chimerical and gradual analysis of Condillac and existences and such an overflow of use Descartes. But this slower route leads less abstractions, so strange a lack of almost as far as the other; and, in addiscernment and so great a luxuriance dition, it avoids many wrong steps. It is of irrationality. The fact was, that by this route that we succeed in correct. folly and genius flowed from the same ing and comprehending the views of source; a like faculty, excessive and Hegel and Goethe; and if we look all-powerful, produced discoveries and around us, at the ideas which are gain
If to-day we behold the work ing ground, we find that we are already shop of human ideas, overcharged as it arriving thither. Positivism, based on is and encumbered by its works, we all modern experience, and freed since may compare it to some blast-furnace, the death of its founder from his social a monstrous machine which day and and religious fancies, has assumed a night has flamed unwearingly, half dark new life, by reducing itself to noting ened by choking vapors, and in which the connection of natural groups and the raw ore, piled heaps on heaps, has the chain of established sciences. On descended bubbling in glowing streams the other hand, history, novels, and into the channels in which it has be- criticism, sharpened by the refinements come hard. No other furnace could of Parisian culture, have made us achave melted the shapeless mass, crust- quainted with the laws of human ed over with the primitive scoriæ; this events ; nature has been shown to be obstinate elaboration and this intense an order of facts, man a continuation heat were necessary to overcome it. of nature; and we have seen a superior Now the heavy castings burden the mind, the most delicate, the most lofty earth; their weight discourages the of our own time, resuming and modify. ha:ads which touch them; if we would ing the German divinations, expound. turn them to some use, they defy us or ing in the French manner every thing break: : as they are, they are of no use ; which the science of myth, religion, and yet as they are, they are the ma- and language had stored up, beyond terial for every tool, and the instrument the Rhine, during the last sixty years. of every work; it is our business to cast them over again. Every mind
VI. aust carry them back to the forge, The growth in England is more purify them, temper them, recast them, difficult; for the aptitude for general and extract the pure metal from the ideas is less, and the mistrust of general rough mass.
ideas is greater : they rejeci. at once all
that remotely or nearly seems capable V.
of injuring practical morality or estabBut every mind will re-forge them lished dogma. The positive spirit according to its own inner warmth ; for
• M. Renan.
seems as if it must exclude all German comprise general conceptions of rian ideas; and yet it is the positive spirit and the universe. Carlyle's mysticis a which introduces them. Thus theo is a power of the same kind. He trans logians,* having desired to represent lates into a poetic and religious styie to themselves with entire clearness and German philosophy. He speaks, like certitude the characters of the New Fichte, of the divine idea of the worla Testament, have suppressed the halo the reality which lies at the bottom of and mist in which distance enveloped every apparition. He speaks, like them; they have figured them with Goethe, of the spirit which eternally their garments, gestures, accent, all the weaves the living robe of D.vinity. Ile shades of emotion of their style, with borrows their metaphors, only he takes the species of imagination which their them literally. He considers the gode age has imposed, amidst the scenery which they consider as a form or a law, which they have looked upon, amongst as a mysterious and sublime being. the remains of former ages before which He conceives by exaltation, by pain. they have spoken, with all the circum- ful reverie, by a confused sentiment of stances, physical or moral, which learn the interweaving of existences, that ing and travel can render sensible, with unity of nature which they arrive at by all the comparisons which modern dint of reasonings and abstractions. physiology and psychology could sug. Here is a last route, steep doubtless, gest; they have given us their precise and little frequented, for reaching the and demonstrated, colored and graphic summits from which German thought idea; they have seen these personages, at first issued forth. Methodical anal. not through ideas and as myths, but ysis added to the co-ordination of the face to face and as men. They have positive sciences; French criticism applied Macaulay's art to exegesis ; refined by literary taste and worldly and if the entire German erudition observation; English criticism supcould pass unmutilated through this ported by practical common crucible, its solidity, as well as its value, and positive intuition ; lastly, in a niche would be doubled.
apart, sympathetic and poetic imagina. But there is another wholly Ger- tion: these are the four routes by which manic route by which German ideas the human mind is now proceeding to may become English. This is the road reconquer the sublime heights to which which Carlyle has taken; by this, re- it believed itself carried, and which it ligion and poetry in the two countries has lost. These routes all conduct are alike; by it the two nations are to the same summit but with different sisters. The sentiment of eternal prospects. That by which Carlyle has things (insight) is in the race, and this advanced, being the lengthiest, has led sentiment is a sort of philosophical him to the strangest perspective. I divination. At need, the heart takes will let him speak for himself; he will the place of the brain. The inspired, tell the reader what he has seen. impassioned penetrates into things; perceives the cause by the $ 3.—PHILOSOPHY, MORALITY, AND shock which he feels from it; he em
CRITICISM. braces aggregates by the lucidity and velocity of his creative imagination; he “ However it may be with Metaphysics, and discovers the unity of a group by the other abstract Science originating in the Head unity of the emotion which he receives Verstand) alone, no Life-Philos phy (Lebens from it. For as soon as we create, we philosophie, such as this of Clothes pretende feel within ourselves the force which (Gemith), and equally speaks thereto, can
to be, which originates equally in the Character acts in the objects of our thought; our attain its significance till the Character itself is sympathy reveals to us their sense and known and seen.” connection; intuition is a finished and Carlyle has related, under the name of living analysis ; poets and prophets, Teufelsdroeckh, all the succession of Shakspeare and Dante, St. Paul and emotions which lead to this Life-Phi Luther, have been systematic theorists, losophy. They are those of a modent without wishing it, and their visions
* Sartor Resartus, bk. i. ch xi.; Prosper * In particular, Stanley and Jowett.
Puritan ; the same doubts, despairs, is not all that he does symbolical, revelatiou inner conflicts, exaltations, and pangs, him?".
to Sense of the mystic god-given force that is in by which the old Puritans arrived at faith: it is their faith under other Let us rise higher still and regard Time forms. With him, as with them, the and Space those two abysses which i spiritual and inner man frees himself seems nothing could fill up or de from the exterior and carnal ; perceives stroy, and over which hover our life duty amidst the solicitations of pleas- and our universe. “ They are but ure; discovers God through the ap- forms of our thought.
There pearances of nature; and, beyond the is neither Time nor Space; they are world and the instincts of sense, sees a but two grand fundamental, world. supernatural world and instinct.
enveloping appearances, SPACE and
TIME. These as spun and woven for I.
us from before Birth itself, to clothe The speciality of Carlyle as of every our celestial ME for dwelling here, and mystic, is to see a double meaning in yet to blind it---lie all embracing, as every thing. For him texts and ob- the universal canvas, or warp and jects aä capable of two interpreta- woof, whereby all minor illusions, in tions: the one moss, open to all, ser. this Phantasm Existence, weave and viceable for ordinary life; the other paint themselves.” | Our root is in sublime, open to a few, serviceable to eternity ; we seem to be born and to a higher life. Carlyle says :
die, but actually, we are. “То eye of vulgar Logic, what is man? “ Know of a truth only the Time-shad. An omnivorous Biped that wears Breeches. To ows have perished, or are perishable; that the the eye of Pure Reason what is he? A Soul, rea! Being of whatever was, and whatever is a Spirit, and divine Apparition. Round his and whatever will be, is even now and for ever, mysterious Me, there lies, under all those wool- Are we not Spirits, that are shaped into a rags, a Garment of Flesh
(or of Senses), con- body, into an Appearance; and that fade away textured in the Loom of Heaven. ...
Deep again into air and Invisibility?" I "O Heaven, hidden is he under that strange Garment; it is mysterious, it is awful to consider that we amid Sounds and Colours and Forms, as it pot only carry each a future Ghost within him; were, swathed-in, and inextricably over-shroud- but are, in very deed, Ghosts! These Limbs, ed: yet it is skywoven, and worthy of a whence had we them; this stormy Force ; this God."
life-blood with its burning Passion? They are " For Matter, were it never so despicable, is dust and shadow; a Shadow-system gathered Spirit, the manifestation of Spirit : were it never round our MB; wherein, through some moments 80 honourable, can it be more? The thing or years, the Divine Essence is to be revealed Visible, nay, the thing Imagined, the thing in in the Flesh. any way conceived as Visible, what is it but a “ And again, do we not squeak and gibber Garment, a Clothing of the higher, celestial, (in our discordant, screech-owlish debatings and Invisible, unimaginable, formless, dark with recriminatings); and glide bodeful, and feeble, excess of bright?
and fearful ; or uproar (poltern), and revel in “ All visible things are emblems; what thou our mad Dance of the Dead,-till the scent of Beest is not there on its own account ; strictly the morning, air summons us to our still taken, is not there at all: Matter exists only Home; and dreamy Night becomes awake and spiritually, and to represent some Idea, and Day ?" body it forth.” 1
What is there, then, beneath all Language, poetry, arts, church, state, these empty appearances? What is are only symbols:
this motionless existence, whereof na" In the Symbol proper, what we can call a ture is but the “changing and living Symbul, there is ever, more or less distinctly robe ?" None knows; if the heart aud directly, some embodiment and revelation divines it, the mind perceives it not of the Infinite; the Infinite is made to blend itself with the Finite, to stand visible, and as it
“Creation, says one, lies before us were, a:tainable there. By Symbols, accord-like a glorious rainbow ; but the sun ingly, is man guided and commanded, made that made it lies behind us, hidden happs, made wretched. He everywhere finds from us." himself encompassed with Symbols, recognised
We have only the senti as such or not recognised: the Universe is but ment thereof, not the idea. We fee! one vast Symbol of God; nay, if thou wilt have that this universe is beautiful and te it, what is man himself but a Symbol of lod; rible, but its essence will remain eves * Sartor Resartus, bk. i. ch ..; Pure Rete * Sartor Resartros, bk. iü. ch. iii.; Symbols.
Ibid. bk. üi. ch. viii.; Natural Super 1 lbid. bk. i. ch. xi. ; Prospective
1 Ibid. $ Ibida