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not; though it has too many double words, and shows more passion than is desirable. But the spirit and tone of it cannot be mistaken. It is thoroughly morbid, and manifestly pantheistic in its morbidness. Nothing in Werther could teach more clearly that our true wisdom is in committing suicide. We may admit, as Carlyle, no doubt, thought while writing the passage, that it is “grand;” but we are constrained to add that it is “ gloomy and peculiar.” One would not like a friend, in a melancholy state of mind, to read much of that sort of sentimentalizing. It makes us“ such stuff as dreams are made of,” in a sense not intended by Shakespeare. Its God, the beginning and end of the whole “ appearance,” is not a living Father, whose hand we may grasp in sweet hope when we step off the stage, but simply the “inane," the pantheist's blank and dark immensity. That human history, considered as a single movement, is divine so far as it has any reality, seems to be assumed in the following: “The life-tree Igdrasil, wide-waving, many-toned, has its roots down deep in the death-kingdoms, amongst the oldest dead dust of men, and with its boughs reaches always beyond the stars; and in all times and places it is one and the same life-tree.” 1 There is but one life, that is, by which all the parts of the universal frame are forever filled.

But Carlyle finds this one absolute essence in the indi. vidual man, as really as in the race. “The highest God

dwells visibly in that mystic, unfathomable visi

bility which calls itself I on the earth. - Bendvidual.

ing before men,' says Novalis, “is a reverence

Of the indi

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1 Past, Present, and Chartism (Harpers, 1858), p. 36.

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6 I


done to this revelation in the flesh. We touch Heaven when we lay our hand on a human body.””i Speaking of the man of letters, Carlyle says, “ His life is a piece of the everlasting heart of nature herself: all men's life is, - but the weak many know not the fact, and are untrue to it, in most times; the strong few are strong, heroic, perennial, because cannot be hidden from them. The unspeakable divine significance, full of wonder and terror, that lies in the being of every man, of every thing, is the presence of God who makes every man and thing." find it written within, and not without, the order of nature; and that all things, like all men, are blood-relations to one another." “In this point of view I consider that, for the last hundred years, by far the notablest of all literary men is Goethe. To that man there was given what we may call a life in the divine idea of the world; vision of the inward divine mystery; and strangely, out of his books, the world rises imaged once more as godlike, the workmanship and temple of God." 4

In his views of nature, too, of which he thus makes every man a part, Carlyle shows the same pantheistic habit of thought.

“ All nature and life are but one garment, a living garment, woven and ever a-weaving in the loom of time.” 5 “ Then sawest thou that this fair Universe, were it in the meanest province thereof, is in very deed the star-domed city of God; nature panthat through every star, through every grass



Views of

1 Past, Present, and Chartism (Harpers, 1858), p. 123.
2 Hero-worship (John Wiley, New York, 1859), pp. 139, 140.
3 New Essays (Phillips, Sampson & Co., Boston, 1855), p. 416.
4 Hero-worship, p. 141.
6 Sartor Resartus (Harpers, New York, 1858), p. 158.

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blade, and most through every living soul, the glory of a present God still beams. But nature, which is the timevesture of God, and reveals him to the wise, hides him from the foolish.” 1 Beautiful, nay solemn was the sudden aspect to the wanderer. He gazed over those stupendous masses with wonder, almost with longing desire; and never till this hour had he known nature, that she was one, that she was his mother and divine. And as the ruddy glow was fading into clearness in the sky, and the sun liad now departed, a murmur of eternity and immensity, of death and life, stole through his soul; and he felt as if death and life were one, as if the earth were not dead, as if the spirit of the earth had its throne in that splendor, and his own spirit were therewith holding communion.”2 6 The world of nature for every man is the fantasy of himself; this world is the multiplex “image of his own dream."" 6 There is one God, in and over all. He is the reality. We and all things are but the shadow 'of him; a transitory garment veiling the eternal splendor." 4 " This so solid-looking

“ material world is at bottom in very deed nothing; is a visible and tactual manifestation of God's power and presence, a shadow hung out by him on the bosom of the void infinite; nothing more." 5 “ What is the mystery of the universe -- Goethe's open secret,' seen almost by none? that divine mystery which lies everywhere in all beings, from the starry sky to the grass of the field, which is but the vesture, the embodiment that renders it visible? This divine mystery is, in all times and places; veritably is. In most times and places it is greatly overlooked, and the

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1 Sartor Resartus, p. 207.

2 Ibid., p. 120. 3 Hero-worship, p. 23.

4 Ibid., p. 50.

5 Ibid., p. 62.


universe, definable always in one or the other dialect, as the realized thought of God, is considered trivial, inert, commonplace matter, - as if, says the satirist, it were a dead thing, which some upholsterer had put together.” 1 “ Creation lies before us like a glorious rainbow; but the sun that made it lies behind us, hidden from us. Then, in that strange dream, how we clutch at shadows as if they were substances; and sleep deepest while fancying ourselves most awake. Which of your philosophical systems is other than a dream theorem ; a net quotient confidently given out, whose divisor and dividend are both unknown? What are all your national wars, with their Moscowretreats, and sanguinary hate-filled revolutions, but the somnambulism of uneasy sleepers ? This dreaming, this somnambulism is what we on earth call life ; wherein the most indeed undoubtingly wander, as if they knew right hand from left; yet they only are wise who know that they know nothing." 2

If Carlyle means what these latter sentences plainly imply, then why, in the name of that wisdom which he so strangely defines, has he spent all his life trying to tell kingdoms, and republics, and society in general, how much he knows about their true nature and the best ways of perpetuating them ? Some of his voluminous advice is of so absurd a nature as to go no little way towards establishing his theory of universal nescience, though it certainly excludes him from his own category of the “wise,” who, knowing that they know nothing, are precluded from any attempt to teach. I will give but one other quotation under this head, showing that Carlyle, in full sympathy

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1 Hero-worship, p. 72.

2 Sartor Resartus, p. 41,

with pantheism, looked on all things as making up a single and living whole. “Detached, separated! I say there is no such separation : nothing hitherto was ever stranded, cast aside ; but all, were it only a withered leaf, works together with all; is borne forward on the bottomless, shoreless flood of action, and lives through perpetual metamorphoses. The withered leaf is not dead and lost; there are forces in and around it, though working in inverse order, else how could it rot ? Despise not the rag from which man makes paper, or the litter from which the earth makes corn. Rightly viewed, no meanest object is insignificant; all objects are as windows, through which the philosophic eye looks into infinitude itself.” 1

The fatalism of the pantheist, as well as his unreality of history, of the individual, and of nature, appears in

Carlyle. He speaks of the ring of necessity of necessity. whereby we all are begirt ;” and adds, “happy

he for whom a kind heavenly sun brightens it into a ring of duty, and plays round it with beautiful prismatic diffractions; yet ever, as basis and as bourn for all. our being, it is there."? Carlyle shows a pantheistic habit,

2 too, in his treatment of the subjects of space and time. He does not regard them as objective realities in his metaphysics, but as purely subjective notions, which the mind imagines in certain processes of thinking. “Think well,”

says he, “thou too wilt find that space is but a mode of our human sense, so likewise time;

there is no space and no time : we are we know not what, - light-sparkles floating in the æther of Deity." 3

, “ Is the past annihilated, then, or only past? is the future

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Of space

and time.


1 Sartor Resartus, p. 56.

2 Ibid., p. 78.

3 Ibid., p. 42.

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