Изображения страниц



through it."

unnamed. We have only to fall on Let the scales drop from our eyes, and our knees before this veiled face; won- let us look : der and adoration are our true atti. tude :

Then sawest thou that this fair Universe, were it in the meanest province thereof, is in

very deed the star-domed City of God; thai “ The man who cannot wonder, who does not through every star, through every grass-blade, habitually wonder (and worship), were he Pres and most through every Living Soul, the glory ident of innumerable Royal Societies, and of a present God still beams." ** carried the whole Mécanique Celeste and Hegel's

“ Generation after generation takes to itself Philosophy, and the epitome of all Laboratories the form of a Body; and forth-issuing from and Observatories, with their results, in his Cimmerian Night, on Heaven's mission ap single head,-is but a Pair of Spectacles behind PBARS. What Fórce and Fire is in each he which there is no Eye. Let those who have expends : one grinding in the mill of Industry ; Eyes look through him, then he may be useful. one, hunter-like, climbing the giudy, Alpire

* Thou wilt have no Mystery and Mysticism; heights of Science ; one madiy dashed in pieces wilt walk through thy world by the sunshine of on the rocks of Strife, in war with his fellow :what thou callest Truth, or even by the hand and then the Heaven-sent is recalled ; his lamp of what I call Attorney-Logic: and .ex. earthly Vesture falls away, and soon even to plain' all, .account' for all, or believe nothing Sense becomes a vanished Shadow. Thus, like of it. Nay, thou wilt attempt laughter ; whoso some wild-flaming, wild-thundering train of recognises the unfathomable, all-pervading do- Heaven's Artillery, does this mysterious MANmain of Mystery, which is everywhere under

KIND thunder and flame, in long-drawn, quick. our feet and among our hands ; to whom the succeeding grandeur, through the unknown Universe is an oracle and Temple, as well as a Deep: Thus, like a God-created, fire-breathing Kitchen and Cattle-stall,-he shall be a delir. Spirit-host, we emerge from the Inane ; haste ious Mystic ; to him thou, with sniffing charity, stormfully across the astonished Earth, then wilt protrusively proffer thy Hand-lamp, and plunge again into the Inane. But whence ? shriek, as one injured, when he kicks his foot-0. Heaven, whither? Sense knows not ;

Faith knows not; only tha. 't is through Mys“ We speak of the Volume of Nature ; and tery to Mystery, from God and to God." + truly a Volume it is,—whose Author and Writer is God. To read it ! Dost thou, does man, so

II. much as well know the Alphabet thereof? With its Words, Sentences, and grand descriptive This vehement religious poetry, Pages, poetical and philosophical, spread out charged as it is with memories of Mil

. through Solar Systems, and Thousands of Years, we shall not try thee. It is a Volume ton and Shakspeare, is but an English written in celestial hieroglyphs, in the true transcription of German ideas. There Sacred-writing; of which even Prophets are is a fixed rule for transposing,--that is, happy

that they can read here a line and there for converting into one another the a line. As for your Institutes, and Academies of Science, they strive bravely, and from amid ideas of a positivist, a pantheist, a the thick-crowded, inextricably, intertwisted spiritualist, a mystic, a poet, a head hieroglyphic writing, pick out, by dexterous given to images, and a head given to combination, some Letters in the vulgar formulas. We may mark all the steps Character and therefrom put together this and the other economic Recipe, of high avail in which lead simple philosophical conPractice." +

ception to its extreme and violent

state. Take the world as science On we believe, perhaps,

shows it ; it is a regular group or series Sual Nature 18 more than some boundless which has a law; according to science, Volunie ut such Recipes, or huge, well-nigh in- it is nothing more. As from the law exhaustible Domestic-Cookery Book, of which we deduce the series, we may say that the who'e secret will in this manner one day the law engenders it, and consider evolve itself ?" 1. “ And

what is that Science, which the scien- this law as a force. If we are an ardific head alone, were it screwed of, and (like tist, we will seize in the aggregate the She Doctor's in the Arabian tale) set in a basin, force, the series of effects, and the fine to keep it alive, could prosecute without shadow menial handicrafts, for which the Scientific duces the series. To my mind, thiş of a heart, but one other of the mechanical

and regular, manner in which force pro Head (having a soul in it) is too noble an organ? sympathetic representation is of all I mean that Thought without Reverence is bar the most exact and complete: know!ren, perhans poisonous."

edge is limited, as long as it does not

arrive at this, and it is complete when • Sartor Resartus, bk. i. ch. 1. ; Pure it has arrived there. But beyond, Reason. | Ibid. br. ii. ch. viii.; Natural Super

there commence the phantoms which wstwralism

1 Ibid.

Ibid. bk. i. ch. viii.; Natural Super Ibid. bk. l. ch. s.; Pure aceason.


1 lbid.





the mind creates, and by which it (wohlgemuth), spend much of his time in fid. dupes itself. If we have a little imag- grinder, who in thy Logicmill hast an earthly

dling? Foolish Word-monger and Motive ination, we will make of this force a mechanism for the Godlike itself, and woulda distinct existence, situated beyond the faiu grind me out Virtue from the husks of reach of experience, spiritual, the prin- pleasure, -I tell thee, Nay?" ciple and the substance of concrete There is an instinct within us which things. That is a metaphysical exist- says Nay. We discover within us

Let us add one degree to our something higher than love of happi. imagination and enthusiasm, and we ness,-the love of sacrifice. That is will say that this spirit, situated beyond the divine part of our soul. We pertime and space, is manifested through ceive in it and by it the God, who these, that it subsists and animates otherwise would continue ever every thing, that we have in it motion, known. By it we penetrate an un existence, and life. When carried to known and sublime world. There is an the limits of vision and ecstasy, we will extraordinary state of the soul, by which declare that this principle is the only it leaves selfishness, renounces picas. reality, that the rest is but appearance: ure, cares no more for itself, adores pain, thenceforth we are deprived of all the comprehends holiness.t means of defining it, we can affirm This obscure beyond, which the nothing of it, but that it is the source senses cannot reach, the reason cannot of things, and that nothing can be af. define, which the imagination figures firmed of it ; we consider it as a grand as a king and a person ; this is holi. unfathomable abyss; we seek, in order ness, this is the sublime. “ The hero to come at it, a path other than that of is he who lives in the inward sphere of clear ideas; we extol sentiment, ex- things, in the True, Divine, Eternal, altation. If we have a gloomy tem- which exists always, unseen to most, perament, we seek it, like the secta. under the Temporary, Trivial; his berians, painfully, amongst prostrations ing is in that. : . . His life is a piece and agonies. By this scale of transfor- of the everlasting heart of nature itmations, the general idea becomes a self.” | Virtue is a revelation, heropoetical, then a philosphical, then a ism is a light, conscience a philosophy; mystical existence; and German meta- and we shall express in the abstract physics, concentrated and heated, is this moral mysticism, by saying that changed into English Puritanism. God, for Carlyle, is a mystery whose

only name is the Ideal. III. What distinguishes this mysticism

IV. from others is its practicality. The Puritan is troubled not only about This faculty for perceiving the inner what he ought to believe, but about sense of things, and this disposition to what he ought to do; he craves an an- search out the moral sense of things, swer to his doubts, but especially a rule have produced in him all his doctrines, for his conduct; he is tormented by and first his Christianity. This Christhe notion of his ignorance, as well as tianity is very broad: Carlyle takes reby the horror of his vices; he seeks ligion in the German manner, after a God, but duty also. In his eyes the symbolical fashion. This is why he is two are but one; moral sense is the

* Sartor Resartus, bk. ii. ch. vii. ; The promoter and guide of philosophy:

Everlasting No. “ Is there no God, then : but at best an ab- † “ Only this I know, If what thou namest entee God, sitting idle, ever since the first Sab- Happiness

be our true aim, then are we all astray. bath, at the outside of his Universe, and secing With Stupidity and sound Digestion man may it go? Has the word Duty no meaning; is front much. But what, in these dull, unimagina. what we call Duty no divine Messenger and tive days, are the terrors of Conscience to the Guide, but a false earthly Fantasm, made-up of diseases of the Liver! Not on Morality, but Desire and Fear, of emanations from the gal- on Cookery, let us build our stronghold: here lows and from Dr. Graham's Celestial-Bed ? brandishing our frying-pan, as censer, iet us Happiness of an approving Conscience! Did offer sweet incense to the Devil, and live at eam not Paul of Tarsus, whom a-miring men have on the fat things he has provided for his Elect' since named Saint, feel that he was the chief Sartor Resartus, bk. ii. ch. vii af sinners ; ' and Nero of Rome, jocund in spirit 1 Lectures on Heroes.


“ While a

Is not

called a Pantheist, which in plain lan. They are no quacks imposture of guage means a madman or a rogue. poet's dream. They are an existence In England, too, he is exorcised. His more or less troublec by the mystery friend Sterling sent him long disserta august and infinite, which is at the tions, to bring him back to a personal bottom of the universe : God. Every moment he wounds to the quick the theologians, who make its blue diamond brightness (that wild blue

Canopus shining down over the desert, with of the prime cause an architect or an spirit-like brightness, far brighter than we ever administrator. He shocks them still witness here), would pierce into the heart of the more when he touches upon dogma ; through the solitary waste there. To his wild

wild Ishmaelitish man, whom it was guiding he considers Christianity as a myth, of heart, with aụ feelings in it, with ou speech for which the essence is the Worship of any feeling, it might seem a little eye, that Sorrow:

Canopus, glancing-out on him from the great

deep Eternity; revealing the inner Splendour to “Knowest thou that. Worship of Sorrow phim."* The Temple thereof founded some eighteen “Grand Lamaism,” Popery itself, in centuries ago, now lies in ruins, overgrown with jungle, tne habitation of doleful creatures: terpret after their fashion the sentinevertheless, venture forward ; in a low crypt, ment of the divine ; therefore Popery arched out of falling fragments, thou findest the itself is to be respected. Altar still there, and its sacréd Lamp peren- pious life remains capable of being led nially burning." But its guardians know it no more.

by it, • . let it last as long as it can.” 1 A

What matters if people call it idolatry? frippery of conventional adornments hides it from the eyes of men. The Prot- “ Idol is Eidolon, a thing seen, a symbol. It estant Church in the nineteenth cen- is not God, but a symbol of God. tury, like the Catholic Church in the all worship whatsoever a worship by Symbols,

by eidola, or things seen? The most rigor sixteenth, needs a reformation. We ous Puritan has his Confession of Faith, and want a new Luther :

intellectual Representation of Divine things, “ For if Government is, so to speak, the out. gies, religious forms, conceptions that fitly in

and worships thereby. . . . All creeds, liturward skin of the Body Politic, holding the

vest religious feelings, are in this sense eidola, whole together and protecting it; and if all things seen. All worship

whatsoever must proyour Craft-Guilds and Associations for Industry, ceed by Symbols, by idols : --we may say, all of hand or of head, are the Fleshly Clothes, Idolatry is comparative, and the worst Idolatry the muscular and osseous Tissues (lying under. is only more idolatrous.” 1 such SKIN), whereby Society stands and works; --then is Religion the inmost Pericardial and The only detestable idolatry is that Nervous Tissue which ministers Life and warm from which the sentiment has departed, Circulation to the whole. . “ Meanwhile,

in our era of the World, those which consists only in ceremonies learn| same Church Clothes have gone sorrowfully ed by rote, in mechanical repetition of

out-at-elbows: nay, far worse, many of them prayers, in decent profession of formu. have become mere hollow Shapes, or Masks, las not understood. The deep venera under which no living Figure or Spirit any longer dwells ; but only spiders and unclean tion of a monk of the twelfth century, beetles, in horrid accumulation, drive their prostrated before the relics of St. Ed. trade ; and the mask still glares on you with mund, was worth more than the con. its glass-eyes, in ghastly affectation of Life,– some generation and half after Religion has ventional piety and cold philosophical quite withdrawn from it, and in unnoticed nooks religion of a Protestant of to-day. is weaving for herself new Vestures, where Whatever the worship, it is the senti with to reappear and bless us, or our sons or ment which gives it its whole valua grandsons.'

And this sentiment is that of morality: Christianity once reduced to the sentiment of abnegation, other religions re- “ The one end, essence, ard use of all relig sume, in consequence, dignity and im- ion past, present, and to come, was this only:

To keep that same Moral Conscience or Inner portance. They are, like Christianity, Light of ours alive and shining. . . . All reforms of universal religion. . "They ligion was here to remind us, better or worse, have all had a truth in them, or men of what we already know better or worse, of the would not have taken them up." I | Good man and a Bad ; to bid us love infinitely

quite infinite difference there is between a • Sartor Resartus, bk. ii. ch. ix.; The Ever. the one, abhor and avoid infinitely the other, lasting Yea.

strive infinitely to be the one, and Ibid. bk. iü. ch. ii. ; Ckurch Clothes. Lectures on Horors i. ; The Hero as Die


t Ibid. iv.; The Hero as Priest. pinity.

1 lbid.

ot to be the



* All religiot issues in due Practical picture of his face and of his time Hero-worship. “ All true Work is religion ; and whatsoever

This discovery has renewed criticism. religion is pot Work may go and dwell among Carlyle owes to it his finest views his the Brahmins, Antinomians, Spinning Dervish- lessons on Shakspeare and Dante, his es, or where it will ; with me it shall have no studies on Goethe, Dr. Johnson, Burns, harbour." +

and Rousseau. Thus, by a natural Though it has “no harbor” with enthusiasm, he becomes the herald of Carlyle, it has elsewhere. We touch German literature ; he makes himself here the English and narrow feature the apostle of Goethe ; he has praised of this German and broad concep ion. him with a neophyte's fervor, to the There are many religions which are not extent of lacking on this subject skill moral ; there are more still which are and perspicacity; he calls him a Herg not practical. Carlyle would reduce presents his life as an example to al. che heart of man to the English senti- the men of our century; he will not ment of duty, and his imagination to see his paganism, manifest as it is, and the English sentiment of respect. The so repellent to a Puritan. Through half of human poetry escapes his grasp. the same causes, he has made of JeanFor if a part of ourselves raises us to Paul Richter, an affected clown, and abnegation and virtue, another part an extravagant humorist, “a giant,” a leads us to enjoyment and pleasure. sort of prophet; he has heaped euloMan is pagan as well as Christian; gy on Novalis and the mystic dream. nature has two faces : several races, ers; he has set the democrat Burns India, Greece, Italy, have only compre- above Byron; he has exalted Dr. hended the second, and have had for Johnson, that honest pedant, the most religions merely the adoration of over- grotesque of literary behemoths. His Alowing force and the ecstasy of grand principle is, that in a work of the imagination; or otherwise, the admira- mind, form is little, the basis alone is tion of harmonious form, with the cul- important. As soon as a man has a ture of pleasure, beauty, and happi- profound sentiment, a strong convic

tion, his book is beautiful. A writing, be it what it will, only manifests the

soul : if the soul is serious, if it is in. His criticism of literary works is of timately and habitually shaken by the the same character and violence, and grave thoughts which ought to preochas the same scope and the same lim cupy a soul ; if it loves what is good, its, the same principle and the same is devoted, endeavors with its whole conclusions, as his criticism of relig- effort, without any mental reservation ious works. Carlyle has introduced of interest or self-love, to publish the the great ideas of Hegel and Goethe, truth which strikes it, it has reached and has confined them under the nar: its goal. We have nothing to do with row discipline of Puritan sentiment. I the talent; we need not to be pleased He considers the poet, the writer, the by beautiful forms; our sole object is artist, as an interpreter of the Divine to find ourselves face to face with the Idea of the World, that which lies at sublime ; the whole destiny of man is the bottom of Appearance ; '

to perceive heroism ; poetry and art vealer of the infinite, as representing We see how far and with what excess

have no other employment or merit. his century, his nation, his age: we recognize here all the German formulas. Carlyle possesses the Germanic senThey signify that the artist detects timent, why he loves the mystics, hu. and expresses better than any one, the morists, prophets, illiterate writers, salient' and durable features of the and men of action, spontaneous poets, world which surrounds him, so that we all who violate regular beauty through might draw from his work a theory of ignorance, brutality, folly, or deliberate man and of nature, togethes with a thetoric of Dr. Johnson, because John

ly. He goes so far as to excuse the * Fast and Present, bk. iii. sh. tv.; Mor- son was loyal and sincerr.; he does no: Ison Again. 1 Ibid. t«. iii. ch. xii.; Reward.

distinguish in him the literary man Lectures on Horoes: Miscellanies, passim. from the practical ; hr av vids seeing



[ocr errors]

as a re

the classic declaimer, a strange com- | lifetime to þuild, could be unbuilt by one made pound of Scaliger, Boileau, and La man, in a single hour."* Harpe, majestically decked out in the These are big words; we will not employ Ciceronian gown, in order to see only a the like. I will simply say, that if a man of faith and conviction. Such a man were to judge Carlyle, as a French habit prevents a man seeing, one half man, as he judges Voltaire as an Eng of things. Carlyle speaks with scorn- lishman, he would draw a different ful indifference * of modern dilettan-picture of Carlyle from that which ] tism, seems to despise painters, admits am trying here to draw. no sensible beauty. Wholly the side of the authors, he neglects the

VI artists; for the source of art is the This trade of calumny was in vogue sentiment of form; and the greatest fifty years ago ; in fifty more it will artists, the Italians, the Greeks, did probably have altogether ceased. The not know, like their priests and poets, French are beginning to comprehend any beauty beyond that of voluptu. the gravity of the Puritans; perhaps ousness and force.

Thence also it the English will end by comprehending comes that he has no taste for French the gayety of Voltaire : the first are literature. The exact order, the fine laboring to appreciate Shakspeare ; proportions, the perpetual regard for the second will doubtless attempt to the agreeable and proper, the harmoni

appreciate Racine. Goethe, the mas ous structure of clear and consecutive ter of all modern minds, knew wel ideas, the delicate picture of society, how to appreciate both.f The critic the perfection of style,-nothing which must add to his natural and nationa. moves us, has attraction for him. His soul five or six artificial and acquirea mode of comprehending life is too far souls, and his flexible sympathy must removed from ours. In vain he tries introduce him to extinct or foreign to understand Voltaire, all he can do

sentiments. The best fruit of critiis to slander him :

cism is to detach ourselves from our“We find no heroism of character in him, selves, to constrain us to make allowfrom first to last ; nay, there is not, that we ance for the surroundings in which we know of, one great thought in all his six-and-live, to teach us to distinguish objects thirty quartos. ... He sees but a little way into Nature ; the mighty All, in its beauty and themselves through the transient apinfinite mysterious grandeur, humbling the small pearances, with which our character me into nothingness, has never even for mor and our age never fail to clothe them. ments been revealed to him ; only this

that Each person regards them through other atom of it, and the differences and discrepancies of these two, has he looked into and glasses of diverse focus and hue, and noted down. His theory of the world, his pic no one can reach the truth save by ture of man and man's life is little; for a poet taking into account the form and tint and philosopher, even pitiful... The Divine which his glasses give to the objects idea, that which lies at the bottom of appearance,' was never more invisible to any man.

which he sees. Hitherto we have been He reads history not with the eyes of a devout wrangling and pummelling one another, seer, or even of a critic, but through a pair of --this man declaring that things are mere anticatholic spectacles. It is not a mighty drama enacted on the theatre of Infinitude, green, another that they are yellow; with suns for lamps and Eternity as a back others, again, that they are red; each ground, but a poor wearisome debating- accusing his neighbor of seeing wrong, Club dispute, spun through ten centuries, beo and being disingenuous. Now, at last, tween the Encyclopédie and the Sorbonne... God's Universe is a larger patrimony of St.

we are learning moral optics; we are Peter, from which it were well and pleasant to finding that the color is not in the ob hunt out the Pope. . The still higher praise jects, but in ourselves; we pardon our of having had a right or noble aim cannot be neighbors for seeing differently from corceded him without many limitations, and may, plausibly enough, be altogether denied. ... us; we recognize that they may see The force necessary for him was nowise a great red what to us appears blue, green and noble one ; but small, in some respects a what to us appears yellow; we can mean one, to be nimbly and seasonably put into even define the kind of glasses which use. The Ephesian temple, which it had employed many wise heads and strong arms for a * Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, 4 vols.

ii. Voltaire. Life of Sterling.

+ See this double praise in Wilhelm Maistas

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »