Imatges de pÓgina
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vigour, is "the Physically Strong." These all play considerable parts in the drama, but characters that only appear to vanish are similarly treated. Thus, for instance, a former Elector of Brandenburg, three hundred years ago, had a sister who had a husband called Christian :

"His wife was a Danish Princess,

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Sister of poor Christian II., King of that Country: dissolute Christian, who took-up with a huxter-woman's daughter, mother sold gingerbread,' it would appear, at Bergen in Norway,' where Christian was Viceroy; Christian made acceptable love to the daughter Divike (Dovekin, Columbina),' as he called her. Nay he made the gingerbread mother a kind of prime-minister, said the angry public, justly scandalised at this of the 'Dovekin.' He was married, meanwhile, to Karl V.'s own Sister; but continued that other connection. He had rash notions, now for the Reformation, now against it, when he got to be King; a very rash unwise, explosive man."

The Bohemian Zisca appears to Mr Carlyle as a "human rhinoceros driven mad" henceforth he is "Rhinoceros Zisca." Waldemar, a Markgrave, died, and a false Waldemar, pretending to be him, afterwards appeared-he is "post-mortem Waldemar," or 66 post-obit Waldemar."

Events are treated in the same

grotesque fashion. The Emperor wishes the maritime powers to join him against France :

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"The astonished Kaiser rushes forward to fling himself into the arms of the Sea-Powers, his one resource left: Help! Moneys, subsidies, ye SeaPowers!' But the Sea-Powers stand obtuse, arms not open at all, hands buttoning their pockets: Sorry we cannot, your Imperial Majesty. Fleury engages not to touch the Netherlands, the Barrier Treaty; Polish Elections are not our concern!' and callously decline. The Kaiser's astonishment is extreme; his big heart swelling even with a martyr-feeling; and he passionately appeals : Ungrateful, blind Sea-Powers! No money to fight France, say you? Are the Laws of Nature fallen void?' Imperial astonishment, sublime martyrfeeling, passionate appeals to the Laws of Nature, avail nothing with the blind Sea-Powers: No money in us,' answer they we will help you to negotiate.'

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"Would the reader wish to look into this Nosti Grumkow Correspondence at all? I advise him, not. Good part of it still lies in the Paper-Office here, likely to be published by the Prussian Dryasdust in coming time; but a more sordid mass of eavesdroppings, kitchenashes and floor-sweepings, collected and interchanged by a pair of treacherous Flunkeys (big bullying Flunkey and little trembling cringing one, Grumkow and Reichenbach), was never got together out of a gentleman's household. To no idlest reader, armed even with barnacles, and holding mouth and nose, can the stirring-up of such a dustbin be long tolerable. But the amazing problem was this Editor's, doomed to spell the Event into clearness if he could, and put dates, physiognomy, and outline to it, by help of such Flunkey-Sanscrit ! — That Nosti-Grumkow Correspondence, interpretable only by acres of British as we now have it in the Paper-Office,Despatches, by incondite, dateless, helpless Prussian Books (printed Blotches of Human stupor,' as Smelfungus calls them): how gladly would one return them all to St Mary Axe, there to lie through Eternity! It is like holding dialogue with a Rookery; asking your way (perhaps in flight for life, as was partly my own case) by colloquy with successive or even simultaneous Rookeries. Reader, have you tried such a thing? An adventure never to be spoken of again, when once done!"

We heartily wish that we could speak more of solid merits as a setoff against such passages as these. But the truth is, that with a strong wish to discover historical excellence in this memoir of an eminent king and soldier, we have been driven to the reluctant conclusion that in no

previous production of Carlyle's has the halfpenny worth of bread borne so small a proportion to the intolerable deal of sack. Formerly we took his guineas, notwithstanding the fantastic image and superscription,

for the sake of the genuine gold. But when he takes to giving us gilt farthings of the same pattern - excuse us, Thomas-think of the police and the laws against counterfeit coin. This painful circumstance of writers abandoning their strong points and carefully cultivating their weak ones, we always attribute to the influence of indiscreet foolish admirers. Oh those admirers, how they ruin our distinguished men! They seize on a peculiarity, and laud it as if it were the essence of the man-they tell him an accidental wart is his most expressive feature-till he actually grows proud of his wart, and parades it instead of decently hiding it with sticking-plaster, or at any rate ignoring it. We figure to ourselves Thomas, pen in hand, wearing a saturnine smile which broadens into a sardonic grin as he jots down an extraordinary prank of language which will astonish Moddle, or a verbal antic which he rather thinks will amuse Noddle-taking Moddle and Noddle for the critical world. Here are a few of the gilt farthings we speak of :

"He that was honest with his existence has always meaning for us, be he king or peasant. He that merely shammed and grimaced with it, however much, and with whatever noise and trumpet-blowing, he may have cooked and eaten in this world, cannot long have any. Some men do cook enormously (let us call it cooking, what a man does in obedience to his hunger merely, to his desires and passions mere

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ly), roasting whole continents and populations, in the flames of war or other discord;-witness the Napoleon above spoken of. For the appetite of man in that respect is unlimited; in truth, infinite; and the smallest of us could eat the entire Solar System, had we the chance given, and then cry, like Alexander of Macedon, because we had no more Solar Systems to cook and eat. It is not the extent of the man's cookery that can much attach me to him; but

only the man himself, and what of strength he had to wrestle with the mud-elements, and what of victory he got for his own benefit and mine."

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wise; we have all to accept our Fate!" Another

"All things end, and nothing ceases changing till it end." This is a double imposture-it is not even an original sham, coming as it does from the well-known mint of Mrs Gamp, “Vich likeways is the hend of all.” Here is a very magnificently gilded farthing

"Just about threescore and ten years ago, his speakings and his workings came to finis in this World of Time; and he vanished from all eyes into other worlds, leaving much inquiry about him in the minds of men." The plain copper is that Frederick died-the gilding therefore is rather thick.

But it is at the most interesting point of his narrative that he gives us what may be considered the climax of his profound reflections. The king has imprisoned his son, and thinks of putting him to death-and Thomas, winding up his chapter impressively, remarks," Here has a business fallen out, such as seldom occurred before!'

Formerly his images, however abwhich rendered their effect decisive. surd, always preserved a consistency Now we frequently have the absurdity without the consistency. Frederick, we are told, is "a man of infinite mark," whatever distinction that may imply. He also, we are told, has a "snuffy nose rather flung into the air, under its old cocked hat-like a snuffy old lion on the watch." A lion in a cocked hat, and addicted to snuff, gives a new impression of the animal; but he subsequently figures still more strangely as a vocalist. "Friedrich Wilhelm's words, in high clangorous metallic plangency, and the pathos of a lion raised by anger into song, fall hotter and hotter." This may have been suggested by some recollection of Bottom acting the lion-"I will roar you gently as any nightingale." The "high clangorous metallic plangency," however, is undoubtedly original.

It is said that Carlyle's style is easily imitated. Not certainly his best style; for to imitate that, a man must have an equal gift of imagination. But the style we have been

commenting on is not difficult. Our friend Herr Botherwig (an Anglicised German, brought up from his cradle upon mystical and transcendental food) imitates it passably. Take this excerpt from Botherwig:

"Thomas, knowing well that greedy Cormorant-Public is apt to take what

grains of wheat are offered to it thanklessly, and with small thought or care for the labour of the winnower, does, with frequent iteration (lest said public should think that writing history were task light and blithesome as going a-Maying), bewail piteously, and not without lachrymose Suflication, the painful obscuration of his philosophic spirit, while wallowing amid the inane ponderosities

of the Mud-demons or Prussian chronicle-writers, where is to be found much of the raw material of our PrussianJargonic-History. Wherefore, in revenge, Thomas calls them hard names, of which Prussian Dryasdust is the chief opprobrious epithet-name mysterious haply to Cormorant - Public, but explainable thus:- Northern-magician Scott (magician conceivably akin some way, or shall we say by left-handed relationship to the Sphere-Harmonies) did, in sportive preamble to certain fictitious narrative, introduce supposititious antiquarian friend, under the name of Doctor Dryasdust which cognomen, tickling the capricious Midriff of Thomas, does for him ever after officiate as Generic appellation for all of that brotherhood; and Dryasdust is forthwith stereotyped and enrolled in that singular Lexicography (not perusable by living man without wonder), along with the Py: thons, Veracities, Foam - Oceans, and

other Indigestions and Dire Chimæras. Whence arises also this other question -Is there not, in the masses of Historical rubbish, some quality worse than bewildering?-is there not, moreover, something contagious!"

Botherwig agitates this further question, "Whether, in the composition of Thomas, there be not, haply, as much of prig as genius? whether he have not unconscious charlatanism mixed with not-unconscious veracity. What," exclaims Botherwig, what if thou, the sworn foe of shams, have deserted to the Enemy What if thou, the Denouncer of Windbags, art also thyself a Professor of Flatulence! O heavens!"-Enough of Botherwig, who certainly could

not, with anything like equal success, attempt to imitate those inferior writers, Clarendon and Gibbon.

The

In a former part of this paper we said that, considering the style in which Carlyle's thinking is done, the popularity it has attained is marvellous. One distinguishing feature renders it especially so. It is probably body who did not profess to believe the most arrogant style that anyhimself inspired ever wrote in. author seems to look down on us as if from some skyey eminence-much as Jove, seated on Olympus, may have looked down on mortal doings by the banks of the Scamander, sometimes in wrath, sometimes in contemptuous compassion. One might suppose from his invariable tone, that the only veracious, the only sincere, the only clear-sighted individual, who surveyed this terrestrial scene, was Thomas Carlyle; that no one else had a conscience, knew good from bad, was able to exert himself to any purpose whatever, or had the smallest sense of "the Divine Significance of Life." The human race is adrift in a fog, above which he sits serene, and marks their futile efforts to blunder through with a grim smile for some, a condescending pity for others, while for general guidance and encouragement, he exclaims with Puck, "Lord, what fools these mortals be!" Even his favourite heroes he patronises as if they were good little boys-patting them on the back, pinching their ears, and calling them nicknames as Cromwell and Napoleon did with their generals. But take comfort, Thomas-be assured you are not the sole excellence hitherto produced, or producible, by this despicable nineteenth century. Other men have appeared, and will appear in it, sounder in philosophy, clearer of vision, more original in genius, of no less pure, though less uproarious rectitude, and of more commendable modesty than yourself. People who know nothing of Fichte or his "Sensuous Appearances " have led and will lead very good lives, and do their duty in this world- and some day admiring readers will get tired of your oppressive virtue, and begin to inquire what singular hap has befallen you, that you should be

so contemptuous and impatient of your brother insects.

It is this arrogance of tone, of which the History of Frederick contains many examples, that now induces us to speak our opinion so plainly of the book. Yet we would much rather have found it worthy of all praise, or at least such praise as former experience led us to expect we should think it entitled to-no stinted share. With all his obtrusive faults we, like most careful readers of Carlyle, feel grateful to him for two things. First, for his suggestiveness; starting, as he so often does, ideas high or deep, productive of trains of thought in other minds; secondly, because he has always successfully opposed the vile Utilitarian spirit, whether manifesting itself in the methodic plainness of Bentham, or the specious worldliness of Macaulay. And most sincerely should we rejoice to see his great gifts, freed from crotchet and affectation, as nobly employed as heretofore.

We sometimes think that if he had begun his career by a plain statement of his belief, instead of leaving it to be inferred from the dark hints of prophecy and denunciation, his influence would have been more lasting, and his course far clearer. All his aberrations seem traceable to his habit of thinking in metaphor, which is putting the flower in place of the root. For the purposes of illustrating and adorning, there is nothing like metaphor; but to begin with it-to make your foundation of painted glass-this is bad architecture; and the fact that edifices have been built so, only proves that they are more specious than solid. We do not think it would have been so difficult to state the premises of his creed in plain Engfish. We are called to this visible world from another unseen one, whither we shall return; and we walk here furnished with what we

find and with what we bring. We find bodily senses and capacities of pain and pleasure; we bring spirit with its light of conscience. Thus equipped, humanity divides itself into three grand classes. There are those who make what they bring from the eternal unseen subservient to what they find in the temporary visible; these are the Devil's messengers and Beelzebub-worshippers of Carlyle. There are those who, though feebly bound to this world, yet bear but a faint impress of the other to whom life is but a picture, having no earnestness or reality-the Shams, Ineptitudes, and Phantasm-Captains. And there are those to whom this life is intensely earnest, not because of what they find in it, but because of what they bring to it; who, in their passage across this bridge of time, walk always environed by the laws which belong to no time, linked to what is above by reverence, and to what is akin by justice; to whom pleasure is pleasant, and pain suffering, but to whom right is better than pleasure, wrong less endurable than pain;-these are the Heroes. And, as the men, so are their works. Everything produced or producible by the two first classes is essentially a thing of time-a thing either evil and an injury, or futile and a hindrance, bearing in itself the element of decay; while all that the others, the salt of the earth, do is vital and beneficent, because mingled with something that is divine. This is intelligible-this is noble; it is incontrovertible, because it is in unison with every man's conscience when conscience is permitted to be heard. Apply it to any of Carlyle's doctrines, and we think it will illustrate their course and indicate their variations. Out of this simple theory grows in practice the multiform aspect of humanity, and out of the metaphors which encumber it grow the cloud-castles of Carlyle.

HOW WE WENT TO SKYE.

WHILE tarrying at Inverness, a note reached Fellowes and myself from Fitz-Tartan, to the effect that a boat would be at our service at the head of Loch Eishart, on the arrival at Broadford of the Skye mail; and that six sturdy boatmen would therefrom convey us to our destination. This intelligence gave satisfaction to both of us, and we made our arrangements accordingly. The coach from Inverness to Dingwall- at which place we were to catch the mailwas advertised to start at four o'clock in the morning, and to reach its bourne two hours afterwards; so, to prevent all possibility of missing it, we resolved not to go to bed. At that preposterous hour we were in the street with our luggage, and in a short time the sleepy coach came lumbering up. For a while there was considerable noise: bags and parcels of various kinds were tumbled out of the coach-office; mysterious doors were opened in the body of the vehicle, into which these were shot. We clambered up into the front beside the driver, who was enveloped in a drab greatcoat of many capes; the guard was behind. "All right;" then, with a cheery chirrup, a crack of the whip, a snort and toss from the gallant roadsters, we were off. There is nothing so delightful as a stage-coach, when you start in good condition, and at a reasonable hour. For myself, I never tire of the varied road flashing past, and could dream through a country in that way from one week's end to the other. On the other hand, there is nothing more horrible than starting at four A.M., half awake, breakfastless, the chill of the morning playing on your face as the dewy machine spins along. Your eyes close in spite of every effort, your blood is thick with sleep, your brain full of dreams; you wake, and sleep, and wake again; and the Vale of Tempe itself, with a Grecian sunrise burning into day ahead, could not rouse you into interest, or blunt the keen edge of your misery. I recollect nothing of this part of our journey,

save its disagreeableness; and I alit at Dingwall, cold, wretched, and stiff, with a cataract of needles and pins falling down my right leg, and making locomotion anything but a pleasant matter. However, the first stage was over, and that was something.

Alas! we did not know the sea of troubles into which we were about to plunge the Iliad of misfortune of which we were to be the heroes. We entered the inn, performed our ablutions, and sat down to breakfast with appetite. Towards the close of the meal Fellowes suggested that, to prevent accidents, it might be judicious to secure places in the mail without delay. Accordingly, I went in quest of the landlord, and after some difficulty discovered him in a small office littered with bags and parcels, turning over the pages of a ledger. The man did not deign to lift his eyes when I entered. I intimated my wish to procure two places to Broadford. He turned a page, lingered on it with his eye as if loth to leave, and then inquired my business. I repeated my message. He shook his head: "You are too late; you can't get on to-day."- "What! can't two places be had?"-" Not for love or money, sir. Last week, Lord Deerstalker engaged the whole mail for his servants. Every place is took."

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"The deuce! do you mean to say we can't get on?" The man, whose eyes had returned to the page, which he held all the while in one hand, nodded assent. Come, now; this sort of thing won't do. My friend and I are anxious to reach Broadford to-night. Do you mean to say that we must either return, or wait here till the next mail comes up, some three days hence?". "You can post if you like; I'll provide you with a machine and horses." "Ah!" said I, as a thought of the meditated extortion shot through my soul like a bolt of ice.

I returned to Fellowes, who replied to my recital of the interview with a long whistle. When the mail was gone, we formed ourselves into a

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