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a like duration and destiny. We thus succeed in fixing with some precision our place in the endless stream of events and things. We know that we are almost in the midst of one of the partial currents which compose it. We can perceive the form of mind which directs it, and seek beforehand the ideas to which it conducts us.


which, having renewed the form of races. We may then conjecture, with. man's thought, slowly and infallibly out too much rashness, that it will have renews all his thoughts. All minds which seek and find are in the current; they only advance through it: if they oppose it, they are checked; if they deviate, they are slackened: if they assist it, they are carried beyond the rest. And the movement goes on so long as there remains any thing to be discovered. When art has given all its works, philosophy all its theories, science all its discoveries, it stops; 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 hundred years, having polished Europe and raised the French Revolution. Thus at the end of the last century arose the philosophic German genius, which, having engendered a new metaphysics, theology, poetry, literature, linguistic science, an exegesis, erudition, descends now into the sciences, and continues its evolution. No more original spirit, more universal, more fertile ir. consequences of every scope and species, more capable of transform ing and reforming every thing, has appeared for three hundred years. It is of the same order as that of the Renaissance and of the Classical Age. It, like them, connects itself with the great works of contemporary intelligence, appears in all civilized lands, is propagated with the same inward qualities, but under different forms. It, like them, is one of the epochs of the world's history. It is encountered in the same civilization and in the same

it, they vivified dry studies, which seemed only fit to occupy pedants of the academy or seminary. By it, they divined the involuntary and primitive. logic which created and organized languages, the great ideas which are hidden at the bottom of every work of art, the secret poetic emotions and vague metaphysical intuitions which engendered religions and myths. By it, they perceived the spirit of ages, civilizations, and races, and transformed into a system of laws the history which was but a heap of facts. By it, they rediscovered or renewed the sense of dogmas, connected God with the world, man with nature, spirit with matter, perceived the successive chain and the original necessity of the forms, whereof the aggregate is the universe. By it, they created a science of linguistics, a mythology, a criticism, an æsthetics, an exegesis, a history, a theology and metaphysics, so new that they continued long incomprehensible, and could only

their decay and their limitation, com posing by their union an indivisible whole, which, sufficing for itself, exhausting all possibilities, and connecting all things, from time and space to ex

harmony and its magnificence some omnipotent and immortal god. If we apply it to man, we come to conside. sentiments and thoughts as natural and necessary products, linked amongst themselves like the transformations of an animal or plant; which leads us to conceive religions, philosophies, literatures, all human conceptions and emotions, as necessary series of a state of mind which carries them away on its passage, which, if it returns, brings

be expressed by a special language. And this bent was so dominant, that it subjected to its empire even art and poetry. The poets by it have become erudite, philosophical; they constructed their dramas, epics, and odes after pre-istence and thought, resembles by its arranged theories, and in order to manifest general ideas. They rendered moral theses, historical periods, sensible; they created and applied esthetics; they had no artlessness, or rade their artlessness an instrument of reflection; they loved not their characters for themselves; they ended by transforming them into symbols; their philosophical ideas broke every instant out of the poetic shape in which they tried to enclose them; they have been all critics,* bent on constructing or re-them back, and which, if we can repro constructing, possessing erudition and method, attracted to imagination by art and study, incapable of producing living beings unless by science and artifice, really systematical men, who, to express their abstract conceptions, employed, in place of formulas, the actions of personages and the music of verse.


duce it, gives us in consequence the means of reproducing them at will. These are the two doctrines which run through the writings of the two chief thinkers of the century, Hegel and Goethe. They have used them throughout as a method, Hegel to grasp the formula of every thing, Goethe to obtain the vision of every thing; they steeped themselves therein so thorough ly, that they have drawn thence their inner and habitual sentiments, their morality and their conduct. We may consider them to be the two philo sophical legacies which modern Ger many has left to the human race.


But these legacies have not been unmixed, and this passion for aggregate views has marred its proper work by its excess. It is rarely that the mind can grasp aggregates: we are imprisoned

From this aptitude to conceive the aggregate, one sole idea could be produced the idea of aggregates. In fact, all the ideas worked out for fifty years in Germany are reduced to one only, that of development (Entwickelung), which consists in representing all the parts of a group as jointly responsible and complemental, so that each necessitates the rest, and that, all combined, they manifest, by their succession and their contrasts, the inner quality which assembles and produces them. A score of systems, a hundred dreams, a hun-in too narrow a corner of time and dred thousand metaphors, have various ly figured or disfigured this fundamental dea. Despoiled of its trappings, it merely affirms the mutual dependence which unites the terms of a series, and attaches them all to some abstract property within them. If we apply it to Nature, we come to consider the world as a scale of forms, and, as it were, a succession of conditions, having in themselves the reason for their succession and for their existence, containng in their nature the necessity for

• Goethe, the greatest of them all.

space; our senses perceive only the sur face of things; our instruments have but a small scope; we have only been experimentalizing for three centuries; our memory is short, and the docu ments by which we dive into the past are only doubtful lights, scattered over an immense region, which they show by glimpses without illuminating them To bind together the small fragments which we are able to attain, we have generally to guess the causes, or to em ploy general ideas so vast, that they might suit all facts; we must have re

course either to hypothesis or abstrac- | every nation has its original 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 French 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 1 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 once 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 correctfolly 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 gainerrors. If to-day we behold the working 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. hands 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 must carry them back to the forge, purify them, temper them, recast them, and extract the pure metal from the rough mass.


But every mind will re-forge them according to its own inner warmth; for


The growth in England is more difficult; for the aptitude for general ideas is less, and the mistrust of general ideas is greater: they reject. at once all that remotely or nearly seems capable of injuring practical morality or estab lished dogma. The positive spirit

* M. Renan.

seems as if it must exclude all German comprise general conceptions of ran ideas; and yet it is the positive spirit and the universe. Carlyle's mystica a which introduces them. Thus theo- is a power of the same kind. He translogians, having desired to represent|lates into a poetic and religious style to themselves with entire clearness and German philosophy. He speaks, like certitude the characters of the New Fichte, of the divine idea of the world 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. He shades of emotion of their style, with borrows their metaphors, only he takes the species of imagination which their them literally. He considers the god 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 painthey 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 analnot 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 imagination: these are the four routes by which the human mind is now proceeding to reconquer the sublime heights to which it believed itself carried, and which it has lost.

But there is another wholly Germanic route by which German ideas may become English. This is the road which Carlyle has taken; by this, religion and poetry in the two countries are alike; by it the two nations are sisters. The sentiment of eternal things (insight) is in the race, and this sentiment is a sort of philosophical divination. At need, the heart takes the place of the brain. The inspired, impassioned man penetrates into things; perceives the cause by the shock which he feels from it; he embraces aggregates by the lucidity and velocity of his creative imagination; he discovers the unity of a group by the unity of the emotion which he receives from it. For as soon as we create, we feel within ourselves the force which acts in the objects of our thought; our sympathy reveals to us their sense and connection; intuition is a finished and living analysis; poets and prophets, Shakspeare and Dante, St. Paul and Luther, have been systematic theorists, without wishing it, and their visions

* In particular, Stanley and Jowett.


These routes all conduct to the same summit but with different prospects. That by which Carlyle has advanced, being the lengthiest, has led him to the strangest perspective. I will let him speak for himself; he will tell the reader what he has seen.

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"However it may be with Metaphysics, and other abstract Science originating in the Head (Verstand) alone, no Life-Philosphy (Lebens to be, which originates equally in the Character philosophie), such as this cf Clothes pretendi (Gemüth), and equally speaks thereto, can attain its significance till the Character itself is known and seen."

Carlyle has related, under the name of Teufelsdroeckh, all the succession of emotions which lead to this Life-Phi losophy. They are those of a modern * Sartor Resartus, bk. i. ch xi.; Prosper tive.


Puritan; the same doubts, despairs, | is not all that he does symbolical revelation inner conflicts, exaltations, and pangs, 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 forms. With him, as with them, the spiritual and inner man frees himself from the exterior and carnal; perceives duty amidst the solicitations of pleasure; discovers God through the appearances of nature; and, beyond the world and the instincts of sense, sees a supernatural world and instinct.


The speciality of Carlyle as of every mystic, is to see a double meaning in every thing. For him texts and objects are capable of two interpretations: the one gross, open to all, serviceable for ordinary life; the other sublime, open to a few, serviceable to a higher life. Carlyle says:

"To the eye of vulgar Logic, what is man? An omnivorous Biped that wears Breeches. To the eye of Pure Reason what is he? A Soul, a Spirit, and divine Apparition. Round his mysterious ME, there lies, under all those woolrags, a Garment of Flesh (or of Senses), contextured in the Loom of Heaven. . . . Deephidden is he under that strange Garment; amid Sounds and Colours and Forms, as it were, swathed-in, and inextricably over-shrouded: yet it is skywoven, and worthy of a

"For Matter, were it never so despicable, is Spirit, the manifestation of Spirit : were it never so honourable, can it be more? The thing Visible, nay, the thing Imagined, the thing in any way conceived as Visible, what is it but a Garment, a Clothing of the higher, celestial, Invisible, unimaginable, formless, dark with excess of bright?'" +

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"All visible things are emblems; what thou Beest is not there on its own account; strictly taken, is not there at all: Matter exists only spiritually, and to represent some Idea, and body it forth."‡

Language, poetry, arts, church, state, are only symbols:

"In the Symbol proper, what we can call a Symbol, there is ever, more or less distinctly and directly, some embodiment and revelation of the Infinite; the Infinite is made to blend itself with the Finite, to stand visible, and as it were, attainable there. By Symbols, accordingly, is man guided and commanded, made happy, made wretched. He everywhere finds himself encompassed with Symbols, recognised as such or not recognised: the Universe is but one vast Symbol of God; nay, if thou wilt have it, what is man himself but a Symbol of God;

* Sartor Resartus, bk. i. ch x.; Pure Rev son. ↑ Ibid. t Ibid. bk. i. ch. xi.; Prospective.

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Let us rise higher still and regard Time and Space those two abysses which i seems nothing could fill up or de stroy, and over which hover our life and our universe. They are but forms of our thought. There is neither Time nor Space; they are but two grand fundamental, world. enveloping appearances, SPACE and TIME. These as spun and woven for us from before Birth itself, to clothe our celestial ME for dwelling here, and yet to blind it,—lie all embracing, as the universal canvas, or warp and woof, whereby all minor illusions, in this Phantasm Existence, weave and paint themselves."† Our root is in eternity; we seem to be born and to die, but actually, we are.

"Know of a truth that only the Time-shad ows have perished, or are perishable; that the real Being of whatever was, and whatever is, and whatever will be, is even now and for ever Are we not Spirits, that are shaped into a body, into an Appearance; and that fade away again into air and Invisibility?" "O Heaven, it is mysterious, it is awful to consider that we not only carry each a future Ghost within him; but are, in very deed, Ghosts! These Limbs, whence had we them; this stormy Force; this life-blood with its burning Passion? They are dust and shadow; a Shadow-system gathered round our MB; wherein, through some moments or years, the Divine Essence is to be revealed in the Flesh.

"And again, do we not squeak and gibber (in our discordant, screech-owlish debatings and recriminatings); and glide bodeful, and feeble, and fearful; or uproar (poltern), and revel in our mad Dance of the Dead,-till the scent of the morning air summons us to our still Home; and dreamy Night becomes awake and Day?"§

What is there, then, beneath all these empty appearances? What is this motionless existence, whereof nature is but the "changing and living robe?" None knows; if the heart divines it, the mind perceives it not. "Creation, says one, lies before us like a glorious rainbow; but the sun that made it lies behind us, hidden from us." We have only the senti ment thereof, not the idea. We fee! that this universe is beautiful and te rible, but its essence will remain ever

* Sartor Resartus, bk. iii. ch. iii.; Symbols ↑ Ibid. bk. iii. ch. viii.; Natural Super naturalism. Ibid. Ibid.

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