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all about. O, shame on us! We are seized by the bones which, like South-sea Islanders, we have stuck thrö our noses, and are led by children! Because of a peculiar use of words—because his native thoughts seek native and peculiar utterance--we will blind ourselves to all this amazing insight into the Time and the wants of the Time; we will close up our ears against this eloquence and truth of God;—this last emanation of the will of the Supernals. I tell you that there is here once more a man of the highest order—a man whose intellect has seized all the meaning of the past and all the meaning of the present—a man who, in things admitted and allowed, has manifested and made evident to all, faculty of such rare truth and trenchancy of stroke, as compels a credence to him in things remoter-a man of the most overflooding and overwhelming honesty-a man of the fiercest, keencst indignation against wrong and injustice-a man 'with fire enough in his belly to burn up' all the shams in the world: I tell you this, once for all; and I tell you, you must believe in him—believe in him, and follow him : for, just as sure as there is a sun in heaven, such a man as this can only be, must be, and is, a Messenger from the unseen Father to the erring and rebellious children !
But one heat remains for us now to cast up the sum of; and it is of such a nature that it can be done at once.
The gist of the two former heats is reducible to one negative and one affirmative proposition : 'in the majority there is no help'; 'in the minority, there is': the latter must again rule, the former must again obey. Of the last heat, however, the result is altogether affirmative-altogether practical. It is, in fact, a proposed commencement of the New; an attempt actually to begin the reduction of the foolish many under the wise few. Take
your millions of starving paupers, he says-draft them into regimentsput them under these Foremen and Mastermen, these Captains of Industry that have of late turned up as almost the only realities alive---drill them—subject them to the word of command—and lead them to your English and Irish and Scotch waste-lands to work—and to obtain, in exchange for work, food, clothes, lodgings, instruction, and a regulated life. Well, few of us will quarrel with that, I should think: surely there is nothing very impracticable in that proposal!
This heat, dear A., is a very short one, and its drift is very obvious: do, for any sake, just take up your Pamphlet again, and read it thrö at a bui Never mind the words ; let them be invisible to you; get into the element--the stream itself--and on with it: and, when you come to the end of it, lift up your eyes and tell me again what you think of it!
O me, surely that is eloquence! Surely these are compact, full, whole, accurately descriptive sentences; surely, his words strike here at the very roots of what he means; surely they cut out and put down his thoughts, like a piece of crystal, before your eyes.--I have taken up the Pamphlet to pick you out an example or two; but I see it is needless: these sentences are all the same; nor can I conceive of any that more sharply and decidedly solidify thought. I have simply to say again-read it-read it at a burst-break thrö the surface and get into it. Do so, and you will understand the man—do so, and, ten to one, you will agree with him even when he says: “Here is work for you; strike into it, with manlike, soldierlike obedience and heartiness, according to the methods
here prescribed,—wages follow for you without difficulty; all manner of just remuneration, and at length emancipation itself follows. Refuse to strike into it; shirk the heavy labor, disobey the rules, I will admonish and endeavor to incite you; if in vain, I will flog you; if still in vain, I will at last shoot you, and make God's Earth, and the forlorn-hope in God's Battle, free of you.”--For I, for my part, must say that, demurring only to the flogging, I accept this; and cannot concur at all with some disciples of Carlyle who think such expressions owing to 'a complaint he is at times subject to. On the contrary, I believe him to have set down this in simple and good faith; and that his head was never clearer, nor his heart warmer, nor his soul more in earnest, than when he did set it down. Dignified and appropriate and effective chastisements, are, in his scheme, absolutely necessary: his whole plan and proposal would be moonshine else.
With this I finish what I think necessary to say in regard to the first of these Pamphlets; and you will observe my dear A., that my object has not been to argue the subjects proposed in them, but simply to drill you into them-simply to make them go down with you. If I can accomplish thiş by you, I shall have accomplished it also by many others; and shall have done service, tho small, yet not unworthy.
In sending me the second pamphlet, dear A., the naive dislike you express to strong speech, amuses me much: "No, Mr. Carlyle ; it will be a long time Lefore you get us round Cape Horn. Rough, low language will not do: Búlingsgate ladies try that, and don't succeed. Impious ejaculations, yea, by the folio, will not do it: sailors try that—" Simple Jack! have you been allowing yourself all this time to encounter so many hardships, when you could so easily have ended them ? Profane swearing it is that unties the winds against you. Cease rough swearing, and accept soft sailing. Poor Jack! Unfortunate Jack! 'Tis a fearful night! tempest and storm and the blackness of darkness ! Your good ship tosses like a cork; while, ever and anon, the great seas tear over her, like a rout of furies. The wind blows as if it took a church with it. Yet there, Jack, there you are aloft—there you are, at the very extremity of that yard-arm, sheer over the surge, amid the war and wrack of sails and ropes that beat on you with the strength of sledge-hammers. There you are, tough heart; that sail must be taken in; and you have seized it manfully. Two men already has it struck off, drifting far away into the deep; and even you yourself, stunned, stupefied, bleeding, have once or twice saved yourself only by a single grip. But there you are still, my gallant fellow, clinging on with claw and tooth and nail. Bravely, my boy, bravely! the huge sail bellows and blows and beats on you, and flings from you with the strength of a mammoth, yet bravely, bravely! Ay, down with it! now, with victorious knot-tight!-down with it!
-!" With the sound of thunder it has blown off again; and it is all in vain now, Jack. For hear you not the departing wail of the sea god who stood by you? No god could stand that curse of yours: he had to flee. Brave, honest, sound-hearted, you are, Jack-sound as a biscuit: but which of all the
gods will countenance you in such indecorous emphasis of speech ? What are honesty and bravery and manliness to the vicious habit of profane swearing ?
Well now, I, for my part, dear A., am not so fastidious as either the sea-god or yourself. I love my hearty Jack; and take no exception to his peculiar phraseology. Words are to me but words: their meaning at the bottom I regard, not that at the surface. I do not mean to defend or excuse such a vile practice as that of swearing; which is the disgusting decoration of base hearts who have no other cleverity. Loathsome to me, as to you, is that vulgar vernacular of the lowest, meanest, and obscenest; yet I am bold enough to say that I have heard an oath, that I have heard a curse, even in tolerably high communion, which had zest and emphasis and force and decision of meaning, such as no word but itself could have conveyed just then.
It will not surprize you then, dear A., that I positively like Carlyle's 'roug!, low language'; that I positively roll over and over and wallow in it. I honor bis slang: I like a man that dare drop the honey of the lip, and dash you down the rough, rude truth, unclothed. “Official holy of holies, Histrionic Kings, Universal-Sluggard-and-Scoundrel-Protection-Societies, Devil's regiments of the line, supreme quacks, solemn shams, gigantic hucksters, Charity and Rosewater, shops of red-herrings and tobacco-pipes, Benevolent-Platform-Fever, Devil's cloaca :” in such slang as this I take as grim a delight as its own originator can. There is something, indeed, very truly grimly delightful to me in this rude horseplay--this husky humor-this ungainly gamboling, as of an elephant's cub. Those huge, uncouth figures of his—those allegorical Cape Horns and Phantom Captains, and nudging Privy Councilors of Icebergs, gratify me amazingly. I see in them our rough old forefathers again, unwieldily at play; our bluff old Vikings, Brobdingnagianly disporting themselves. It is Thor (or who else) running off with the enormous kettle on his head, amid the hoarse laughter of the unlicked, unkempt, red-beard deities of Asgard. And as in them, as in these great, rugged Norsemen, there was a kind of primitive Titanic innocence-a Sacropante and Gorbuduc simplicity-an elephantine naivete-an Ogre-ose infantism, as of the giants in Pulci: so is there something similar to be found in Carlyle. For instance, an ingenuousness, infantile yet ogre-like, appears in these 'emancipated horses' of his. As Euclid's propositions were enough for Newton, and his demonstrations superfluous; so, to the majority of the reading world at present, the mere statement of these 'emancipated horses' would have been sufficient; but not so to Carlyle. He never thinks of letting go so easily, so racy an idea. It just comes up to his giganto-infantile conception of the ludicrousit just suits the Thor and Freya-like humor of the man, hoarse, husky, ungainly and uncouth, but true, genuine, hearty, and unmistakeable : and so he throws himself with such naive zeal and simple good faith upon it; and gives us it all so chucklingly, so huggingly, in extenso. How minutely he pictures to himself the whole transaction : Farmer Hodge—the sieve of oats—the dry spring morning-Black Dobbin-Bay Darby—and Grey Joan, his beautiful, broad-bottomed mare.' With what gusto he takes up their dubious ‘Hlunh' into his own nose! and with what an equine toss of the dilated nostril he snorts out the recusant ‘No thank! Well, dear A., do you quarrel with this Gargantuan laughter -this Jotan-like simpleness of smile—this Brobdingnagian pleasantry? I, for
my part, know it to be a true trait of the man, and rejoice in it. Carlyle, in fact, can laugh and shake his sides at things which most of us have forgotten the way to laugh at-at which we can only complaisantly whinny and snigger and show teeth ;-witness his laugh to the very core over Richter's cast-iron king. That he can do so, evidently depends on his earnestness: these questions of Governor and Governed, of Right and Wrong, which, to most of us, are only interesting speculations, are to him vital as food, real as death.
Possessing then this channel from the very deep of being, shall we mislead ourselves by enquiries into its mere shape and structure ? Shall we waste ourselves in hatred of the husk, while within it lies the fruit, which eaten, our eyes shall be opened, and we shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.
Nor are we the only clever fellows who can discern his failings; Carlyle very good humoredly can do that himself. He knows that his voice is cracked; he knows that he is (as we say) timmer : he says himself that he has unhappily no voice for singing.' Feeling himself to be a genuine poet, he is yet aware that he is somehow a prosebound one. But we will not blame him for that: the inner accord shall absolve the outer discord. We will be glad that he can speak; we will accept his accent even; we will bathe rejoicingly in that rich river of a mind to which, after all, such speech and accent not unfitly lead us.
Hellenic deities shall abash the gods of Asgard never; nor Grecian man, the Teuton. To fair Olympus lift these Aser of the North: and, in the blue Ionian, all rugged incrustations of the frost thaw; splendor enwraps them from the middle seas; grace from the pipe and lute Æolian re-forms their majesty and re-grands their mien : Odin glows great Jupiter supreme, and Thor is Phæbus. Nor less, so shone upon, the Saxon Carlyle were Athenian Plato; but not for that will we abate him or reject, assured that what in melody is lost, is won in honesty.
Taking up this second Pamphlet, however, at length and in effect, let me now do my best to follow my author. I enter the Model-Prison with him; I gaze round me on the enormous apparatus provided here to supply healthy air and healthy food-exercise, sleep, instruction—to the scoundrel-species. Comfort there is here such as no Duke in the land knows; and it is for these scoundrels, not for the virtuous and true, but for these wicked and false. And is it effective ? does it send these rascals to the world again, regenerate and redeemed ? Look at them! See 'their imp-faces, ape-faces, angry dog-faces, heavy sullen ox-faces !! By the method of love do you expect to lead these irreclaimables—and whither? By the method of love, is it nowhither that you expect to lead them ? Then I look again at the vast machinery for their comfort; and I direct my eyes to the dingy, miserable, and unwholesome hovels that surround this Prison Elysium; and I admire the ways of mankind! In these crowded huts, amid squalor and disease, are wretched mortals striving to be honest; and these you only crushingly tax to build this Palace for Rascaldom. Strange! by striving to be honest you gain that, while by striving to be dishonest you gain this. Methinks, so many of my trees require the Gardener, that not on the dead will I begin my surgery, but rather on the dying. Scientific Drillers, Cooks, Ventilators, Schoolmasters, would have a better chance, I think, with those who may be saved, than with those who are lost. Save first the perishing, and, having succeeded in that,
try your hand on the perished, and welcome: but do not try the latter first; do not begin at the wrong end.
Such, in brief, are Carlyle's reflections on the Model-Prison : and their practical esult
an earnest summons to his fellows to abandon this · Pat Treacle' of Benevolence, and return again to the old and eternal Justice to believe once again in the duty of chastisement—to believe once again that love of the right and True means also hatred of the Wrong and False. The whole paper is written with the usual blunt-spoken vigor and raciness; and there are incidental topics, here and there, of great interest and force. The excellence of the delineation of the Governor of the Prison, and of those of the two Chartists, you at once subscribe to. What can be more felicitous and distinct than that of the first of the two ? -The unlovely voracious look of him, his thick oily skin, his heavy dull-burning eyes, his greedy mouth, the dusky potent insatiable animalism that looked out of every feature of him.' I am not sure but that this word-painting shows even the external man more vividly than any brush-painting could. Who but a perfect Master could write thus ? Not in all Shakespere is there a passage of more perfect wording. Again, is not dull, solid John Howard very happily bit off'; and the 'Benevolent-Platform Fever' caught from him? I quite chuckle over the single but sufficient hammer-stroke he deals to Modern French Sentimentalism—the strange new religion, named of Universal Love, the new astonishing Phallus-worship with its great satisfying loves, with its Sacraments mainly of Divorce, with Balzac, Sue, and Company for Evangelists, and Madam Sand for Virgin.' How a word—rough, low language,' dear A., --can trenchantly cut down and quash Falsehood and Wrong, however hugely grown they be! Certainly these phrases will open, to their own surprize perhaps, the eyes
of some good friends and disciples of Carlyle's own; for I believe them to be the very words that many required. Balzac I know nothing of; and perhaps the less, the better. Madam Sand,
. whom I have met only in extracts, I have always felt inclined to eschew and look askance upon. In regard to her, however, I had been rather staggered of late: for was there not a good friend of ours, in these very pages, writing warmly of her, and quoting in her favor from Miss Barrett two Sonnets, splendid but something ram's horn-like in their twist ? And, more, was there not Emerson, the other day, with upraised moral dexter, gravely rebuking Goethe, and for his Meister, by exemplar of this very Virgin Sand, and of her Consuelo? What was I to think? Carlyle, however, has clenched my thinking.
As for Sue, whom I know best of the three, I have never hesitated in opinion. It was with amazement, indignation, and disgust, that, in that harmless, and, indeed, otherwise, pleasing and praiseworthy publication, the penny 'Herald,' I saw work after work of this Frenchman's translated, to be introduced into the bosom of almost every family in the kingdom, and be devoured by our sons, and daughters especially, just at that age when the senses are most prurient, and least can bear the administration of a stimulant. The species of excitement in them has ever appeared to me as vulgar and coarse as dram-driuking—as heating and material as the most gross and criminal cordials : and I would only name them to myself - Moral Cantharides.
Now, what on earth, dear A., can set you against such writings and subjects