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Carlyle's idea of God and man's destiny Farquharson, Robert Howard 1956

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CARLYLE1S IDEA OF GOD AND MAN'S DESTINY by ROBERT HOWARD FARQUHARSON A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of English We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the standard required from candidates for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS. Members of the Department of English THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1956 CARLYLE'S IDEA OF GOD AND MAN'S DESTINY ABSTRACT Among c r i t i c s there has been considerable divergence of opinion on almost a l l aspects of Carlyle's writings. This contradiction and con-fusion can be traced i n part to the fact that Carlyle's stand has an emotional and personal basis which makes an objective assessment of the man d i f f i c u l t , and i n part to the fact that most c r i t i c s have taken Carlyle's theories singly with no understanding of the one central theory upon which a l l others depend. This thesis i s an attempt to draw together the scattered parts of this central theory and to show that Carlyle had a unified and con-sistent philosophy with i t as a core. Basic to Carlyle's philosophy i s the concept of a God (or Divine Idea) who has infused the physical universe with moral force. The physical universe i s therefore a complex of forces, moral force originating with God, and immoral or amoral forces arising from the material nature of the universe. The tendency i n the resultant struggle of these forces i s always towards good and God since only acts which agree with the divine Laws of Nature can survive. Man, too, i s a physical being imbued with a divine soul. It i s the nature of the soul to worship God i n a l l his mani-festations and to seek truth and justice. A Selbst-todtung, that i s , a p a r t i a l annihilation of self, i s required to free man from his material desires and to turn his energies to the service of his s p i r i t u a l self and of God. Because a l l men are joined by a common brotherhood i n God, i i intercourse between them i s marked by a sense of justice and affectionate loyalty. And i n society man finds scope for the f u l l development of him-self. The.core of a society i s a hierarchy on which a l l men are ranked, their position on the hierarchy being determined by the extent to which they understand God's plan for the universe and work to further that plan. Those who see the plan most clearly and work most effectively are the Heroes. Work here means acting according to the Divine Plan to bring order out of chaos, and i s , i n this sense, a form of worship. In our universe the struggle of the ideal to manifest i t s e l f i n the actual results i n constant change, but throughout the change, whatever of good has been discovered by one generation i s preserved and passed on to the next because the soul of man prefers good and abhors e v i l . Thus man i s the agent of historical change, but God, acting through the soul of man, i s the f i r s t cause. The study of history must therefore begin with the study of the men involved, but f i n a l explanation of history l i e s with God. It i s the office of the artist-historian to show how order has been created out of chaos and how ideals have gradually got themselves recognized. Some c r i t i c s have changed that i n later l i f e Carlyle made judge-ments and held opinions completely contradictory to his earlier opinions. Particularly, i t i s charged that he took an i l l i b e r a l p o l i t i c a l stand, that he became an admirer of successful power, and that he turned against the common man. whether these charges are true or not, the opinions upon which they are based are derived from the same philosophy which Carlyle delineated i n Sartor Resartus. It i s the claim of this thesis that Harrold was right when he said that, "By the autumn of 1834, the struggling, self-torturing young man of 181? had fashioned for himself a f a i r l y consistent philosophy i i i of l i f e , " 1 and, furthermore, that Carlyle persisted i n this philosophy to the end. 1 Carlyle and German Thought, New Haven, Yale University Press, 193k, p.2 Table of Contents Chapter I Introduction page 1 Chapter II Carlyle's Cosmic View page 22 1. Carlyle's God or Divine Idea and the Laws of Nature 2. The relation of the physical universe to God 3. The relation of man to God Chapter III Man i n the World and Among his Fellows page 6 1 , 1. The relationship of man to man 2. The relationship of man to society 3. Carlyle's hierarchy of human worth U. The doctrine of Heroworship 5. The doctrine of Work Chapter IV Carlyle's View of History page 1 0 0 1. The dualism of Ideal and Actual 2. The nature of historical change 3. Man as the agent of change U. History as the record of a divine process Chapter V Conclusion - The Question of the Two page 1^ 8 Carlyles 1. Charges of i l l i b e r a l ! t y and misanthropy i n the later Carlyle 2. Consistency i n Carlyle's philosophy Bibliography page 1 5 7 Chapter I Introduction Throughout the winter of 1880-1881 the 85 year o l d Thomas Car l y l e had been s t e a d i l y f a i l i n g . On February 5, 1881, he died. There was an immediate o f f e r of b u r i a l i n Westminster Abbey, but Froude, respecting Carlyle's own wishes, declined and made the long, sad t r i p to Ecclefechan to bury h i s f r i e n d beside h i s father and mother. Then he returned to London to begin his-work as l i t e r a r y executor to one of the most vigorous men i n the-history of English l i t e r a t u r e . Shortly thereafter the Reminiscences appeared, and with t h e i r publication broke a storm of controversy. The issue i n the quarrel that followed b o i l e d down to a question of Carlyle's personality and character. To some of Carlyle's admirers Froude's editing overstressed the i r r i -t a b i l i t y of the man and h i s defects as a husband. Froude, i n the quiet f a i t h that he was presenting the truth, and that the truth could not hurt a true man, refused to recant, but set about h i s next work, the L i f e of C a r l y l e . The more ardent Carlyle admirers, however, unable to t o l e r a t e the thought of any blemish i n t h e i r hero, would not.rest. C.E. Norton pub-l i s h e d a r i v a l version of the Reminiscences. gravely noting that he had corrected i n the f i r s t f i v e pages of the Froude edi t i o n more than 130 errors i n punctuation, use of capitals,' 2 quotation marks, and the l i k e . Alexander C a r l y l e came from Canada to spend a good part of h i s l i f e trying to c l e a r h i s uncle of the stigma Froude had put upon him. And D.A. Wilson wrote a long and rambling biography, putting C a r l y l e always i n the most favourable possible l i g h t and s l y l y refuting what-ever of Froude he could. The argument was, i n i t s way, petty, and i t was 2 c a r r i e d on i n a petty fashion. In the end, Froude*s f a i t h i n C a r l y l e and i n h i s own e d i t o r i a l judgment was j u s t i f i e d . Most people were w i l l i n g to accept that i n a man so devoted to an i d e a l of j u s t i c e , i r r i t a b i l i t y was merely the flaw that proved him human. Yet, petty as i t at f i r s t may seem, the issue be-comes a v i t a l one, f o r at bottom i t i s a question of person-a l i t i e s — the personality of the c r i t i c i n reaction to the personality of C a r l y l e , or rather, with what the c r i t i c imagines x C.E. Norton, "Introduction", i n Thomas Carlyle , Reminscences. London, Macmillan, 1887, v o l . 1, p. v i i . 2 To r e a l i z e the pettiness of the method of argument, we need consider only the h i s t o r y of the phrase "gey i l l to deal wi'". I t was a phrase often used by C a r l y l e i n h i s family l e t t e r s with reference to himself. Froude picked out the phrase, amended i t to "gey i l l to l i v e wi'", and used i t to substantiate h i s claim that even the C a r l y l e family found Thomas a d i f f i c u l t person. Norton objected that Froude, i n changing "deal" to " l i v e " had completely changed the meaning of the phrase; he also objected that Froude harped on the i n c o r r e c t version, "repeating i t at l e a s t s i x times i n the course of h i s narration." (Letters of  Thomas C a r l y l e . Macmillan, 1888, v o l . I, pp. 44-45n75 Later D.A. Wilson made a cunning attack on the same point. Without mentioning the controversy centering around the phrase, he de-voted a page of h i s Carlyle biography to an explanation of i t s o r i g i n and i t s place as a family joke among the C a r l y l e s , con-cluding with the remark that i t would be "... misleading to a stranger." (Carlyle t i l l Marriage. London, Kegan Paul, 1923, p. 198.); 3 Carlyle's personality to have been. So much of Carlyle's power and persuasion was personal and so much of h i s appeal emotional that a c r i t i c ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n depends greatly on how he personally f e e l s about the man C a r l y l e . As a r e s u l t , few c r i t i c s have been able to write objec t i v e l y about C a r l y l e . Thus, though the Froude controversy died away, i t had the effect of s h i f t i n g i n t e r e s t from the works to the man. Moreover, i t foreshadowed i n the f e r o c i t y of i t s partisanship the pattern of much of the subsequent c r i t i c i s m of C a r l y l e , a pattern wherein a c r i t i c v o l u n t a r i l y or i n v o l u n t a r i l y finds himself taking sides either f o r or against C a r l y l e . John MacCunn has succinctly summed up the r e s u l t of t h i s partisan-ship: . . . when f r i e n d l y [ h i s readers] are content to take Ca r l y l e as a man of i n t u i t i o n s — i n t u i t i o n s as abrupt and unconsecutive as those of the Hebrew prophets to whom, and not without j u s t i f i c a t i o n , they are wont to l i k e n him; and when unfriendly they are not without a leaning towards that c r i t i c of The Sun who wrote down , 'Sartor Resartus' as 'a heap of c l o t t e d nonsense'. To see to what extremes of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n either of these ;two:. views can lead we need only compare two estimates of the Latter-Day Pamphlets. The f i r s t i s by Henry Larkin, a man who knew Car l y l e personally: And so we leave the Latter-Day Pamphlets. The sincerest utterances of a compassionate, storm-f u l , and courageous heart, since Luther stood before the Diet of Worms. As the days r o l l on, and our troubles increase, they w i l l become more and more credible. They w i l l work the i r own appointed work, i n spite of a l l gainsaying. They "The Anti-Democratic Radicalism of Thomas Ca r l y l e " , i n Six Radical Thinkers, London, Edward Arnold, 1910, p. 141-. A w i l l carry t h e i r God's message as f a r as i t w i l l go, — 'and, what i s a great advantage too, no f a r t h e r ' . The following, representative of the a n t i - C a r l y l e view, was written i n 1927 by Norwood Young: So ended Latter-Day Pamphlets. They began with inhumanity and concluded with the narrowest Puritanism. They denounced a l l mankind, from Black Quashee to Jenny Lind.*-To one man, a f r i e n d , the Latter-Day Pamphlets mean courage, s i n c e r i t y , compassion. To another they are inhuman. Both judgments are extreme, and they are so opposed that i t i s d i f f i -c u l t to believe that these two men are attempting an assessment of the same work. We can only take i t that the two opinions are completely subjective, more h e l p f u l f o r that they reveal about Henry Larkin and Norwood Young than f o r what they t e l l about Thomas C a r l y l e . Most l i t e r a r y figures have been the centre of some sort of controversy, but few have been interpreted i n so completely a contradictory manner on a l l points of t h e i r w r i t i n g . With C a r l y l e , so many opposing views have been put forward with regard to what he was and what he wrote that i t i s impossible to get from a c r i t i c a l work a true picture of the man or of h i s meaning. A b r i e f glance at a few opinions reveals the ex-tent to which i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and assessment of C a r l y l e are con-fused and contradictory. Carlyle and the Open Secret of h i s L i f e . London, Kegan Paul, 1886, p.278-Ca r l y l e . His Rise and F a l l . London, Duckworth, 1927, p. 255-5 On such a seemingly simple question as "Does Ca r l y l e believe i n a l i f e a f t e r death?" we can f i n d E r i c Bentley stating c a t e g o r i c a l l y : "As a mature man £Carlyle] had no b e l i e f i n the immortality of the human soul''.^ Larkin, on the other hand, writes with equal assurance that C a r l y l e had ". . . a n i n a r t i c u l a t e b e l i e f i n the i n f i n i t e l y just 'Most 2 High God' . . . and i n an Individual Immortality". Norwood Young notes that C a r l y l e expressed many times i n h i s l e t t e r s the b e l i e f that members of h i s family would meet again a f t e r 3 death. Young also quotes Masson, who knew Carlyle w e l l , as saying: "He l i k e d to think that there i s a l i f e beyond the grave". 4 Obviously the c r i t i c s cannot help us here. I f we would know how Carlyle f e l t about immortality we must go to Carlyle's works and discover the answer f o r ourselves. Carlyle's work i n German l i t e r a t u r e was once con-sidered one of h i s main contributions to the development of English l i t e r a t u r e and philosphy. But was he r e a l l y England's discoverer and grand patron of Goethe and the German transcen-dental! sts? Hensel, a German author, thinks he was: 1 The Cult of the Superman. London, Robert Hale, 1947 (1944-), p. 39. 2 Larkin, op_. c i t . . p. 355* ^ Cf D.A. Wilson, C a r l y l e to the French Revolution. London, Kegan Paul.1924, p. 1557 From a l e t t e r to h i s s i s t e r Jean on the death of a favourite s i s t e r Margaret: "I t r u s t that the Almighty may one day restore here to us and us to v her . . . ." 4 David Masson, Ca r l y l e , Personally and i n h i s Writing. 1885, p. 92. Quoted i n Young, op., c i t . . p. 314. 6 E i n grosser T e i l seiner Wirkasmkeit bestand ja darin, seine Landesleute auf die grossen deutschen Geisteshelden aufmerksam zu machen, ihnen zu zeigen, dass i n diesem udeutschen Mystikern" Schatze verborgen seien, ohne die auch England nicht weiter fortleben kbnne. Er war der Wegweiser i n das gelobte Land. 1 Larkin claims that C a r l y l e , deprived of h i s German masters, could never have r i s e n to h i s true i n t e l l e c t u a l stature and 2 moral strength. On the other hand, C.E. Vaughan claims Carlyle's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Kantian philosophy was a ". . . travesty of the o r i g i n a l " ^ , while Bentley c a l l s C a rlyle ". . . a mere expropriator i n t h i s t e r r i t o r y " 4 , and Young asserts C a r l y l e neither understood Goethe nor had the i n t e l -l e c t u a l sympathies necessary to understanding him. H i l l Shine states baldly that Ca r l y l e ' s acquaintance with German philosophy was almost s o l e l y second-hand: The more one studies Carlyle's connection with German philosophy, the more evident i t becomes that C a r l y l e read l i t t l e i n the primary sources and that he derived much of t h i s philosophy from secondary or popular sources. 0 During Ca r l y l e ' s l i f e - t i m e there had been consider-able t a l k of the superior n o b i l i t y and morality of l i f e i n the -L Paul Hensel, Thomas C a r l y l e , Stuttgart, Frommann, 1902, p.210. 2 Open Secret, p.9. •3 Carlyle and h i s German Masters. 1910, quoted In Young, ap_. c i t . p. 100. 4 Cult, p.49. Rise and F a l l , pp. 64-65' 6 ''Carlyle and the German Philosophy ftob&em during the Year 1826-27", Publications of the Modern Language A s s o c i a t i o n v o l . 50 (1935), p.812-7 days before the advent of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n had brought upon the world the hypocrisy and materialism of present-day c i v i l i z a t i o n . C a r l y l e himself wrote a good deal about the e a r l i e r periods of h i s t o r y and made much of the times of Odin, Mohamet, and Abbot Samson. Did he then j o i n the Romantics i n yearning for the return of those e a r l i e r days? One writer answers t h i s question with a p o s i t i v e "Yes" accounting f o r h i s answer by saying; Carlyle* s preference f o r the past to the present i s connected with h i s hero-worship. The past was the time of heavy f i s t s , and i t was also the time of i n d i v i d u a l predominance, while the tendency of • progress i s to rai s e the general l e v e l of human-i t y . 1 The contrary view i s expressed by Paul Hensel, among others: Es ware aber durchaus verkehrt, wollte man nach solcher A'usserungen Ca r l y l e zu einem blinden Bewunderer des M i t t e l a l t e r s stempeln. Fur inn war die Vergangeheit hiemals Gegenwart i n dem Sinn, dass er an S t e l l e der Gegenwart gewunscht hatte, die Vergangeheit zu setzen. Man kann ihn insofern a l l e r d i n g s einen Romantiker nennen, a l s er sich k l a r bewusst war, dass vergangene Weltanschauung, vergangene Ideale wohl im Geist wJeier( lebendig gemacht werden k&mien, und dies war fur ihn sogar. eine der Hauptaufgaben der - Geschinhtsschreibung. Doch b l i e b er ein Mann der W i r k l i c h k e i t i n dem Sinn, dass er aXT'e? Versuche, eine vergangene Weltanschauung ins wirkliche Leben wieder zuruckzufiihren f u r einen Anachronismus, fur die schlimmste Versundigung wider den Geist der Geschichte hlelt. Once again there i s no agreement among the men who write books. To answer t h i s question too, we must trust our own resources "Carlyle's Early Kings of Norway", The Nation, v o l . 23 (21 September, 1376), p. 185. Hensel, Thomas C a r l y l e . p. 14-2. 3 rather than c r i t i c s . I t has been common to c a l l C a r l y l e a prophet — an Old Testament prophet according to many.1 . Yet as ear l y as 1897 H.D. T r a i l i n the Introduction to the Centenary E d i t i o n of Carlyle's works maintained that he was n . . . a prophet who had perished" 2 while on the other hand David Gascoyne, writing i n 1952,called Carlyle " . . . our great national prophet, . . . a writer who i s s t i l l f u l l of import to l i v i n g men and women." Turning to a broader and more important aspect of the man, we might ask where h i s s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l sympathies l a y . "With Labour'." cry the Labourites, remembering h i s b i t t e r f i g h t s with L a i s s e z - f a i r e , h i s impassioned plea f o r those i n the poor-houses, and h i s famous slogan, "A f a i r day's wages f o r a f a i r day's work." 4 Yet, a generation e a r l i e r , Mr. Larkin had been Cf. J u l i a n Symons, Thomas C a r l y l e . London, Gollancz, 1952, p.160. ". . . the mantle of an Old Testament prophet worn by a man with.the V i s u a l sense of a great painter." Also, John MacCunn, pja. c i t . . p .141. See u l t r a , p.2>r ^ In Past and Present, London, Chapman H a l l , 1897, p. 14-, 3 Thomas C a r l y l e . Supplement to B r i t i s h Book Mews; No. 23, London, Longmans, Green, 1952, p.84 A Thomas C a r l y l e , Past and Present. London, Chapman and H a l l , 1897, p.18. In t h i s thesis a l l reference to Carlyle's works i s to t h i s , the Centenary e d i t i o n , except that the MacMechan edi t i o n of Heroes has been used. The following quotations are representative of those who stress Carlyle's a f f i n i t y with the ide a l s of the Labour Movement; "More t r u l y than Ruskin i s C a r l y l e the parent of B r i t i s h Socialism and the forerunner of the Labour Movement." (Mary Agnes Hamilton, Thomas C a r l y l e . 1926, quoted i n Young, Rise andJEall. p.370) ""Almost a l l English S o c i a l i s t s have received t h e i r f i r s t decisive impetus towards Socialism from the writings of Carlyle, M i l l , Ruskin, Henry George." (Bernstein, My Years of  ExlUftS. 1920, quoted i n Young, Rise and F a l l , p.370). : 9 sure that "Carlyle was the best and truest f r i e n d [our landed and i n d u s t r i a l a r i s t o c r a c i e s j had ever had..1 MacCunn, trying to f i t C a r l y l e into the Nineteenth century p o l i t i c a l scene, finds that "he i s neither Tory, nor Whig, nor Radical ( i n the ordinary sense of the word), except indeed as he may be made to f i l l o f f i c e admirably i n a l l these parties as 'Devil's advocate'." 2 The one thing that emerges here i s that C a r l y l e was c e r t a i n l y not orthodox i n h i s p o l i t i c a l thinking. In recent years there has been considerable d i s -cussion of the relationship of Carlyle's thought to F a s c i s t and Nazi theories. H.J.C. Grierson was the f i r s t to point out the d o c t r i n a l s i m i l a r i t i e s when, as early as 1933, he chose as h i s topic f o r the Adamson Lecture to the University of Manchester "Carlyle and H i t l e r " . Shortly thereafter there appeared i n the Saturday Review of L i t e r a t u r e an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "Carlyle rules the Reich", wherein Joseph Baker E l l i s stated baldly: "We need an i n t e r n a t i o n a l interpreter to introduce us to H i t l e r and the movement H i t l e r represents. C a r l y l e i s the man."3 And. C. Wright, writing i n the Roman Catholic journal Commonweal a decade l a t e r gives h i s a r t i c l e on "Carlyle and the Present C r i s i s " the s u b - t i t l e "Another God f o r the Nazi Pantheon". 4 1 0?en Secret, p. 361. 2 Six Radical Thinkers, p. 14,2. 3 Vol. 10, no. 9 (November, 1933), p. 291. 4 Vol. 38 (18 June, 194-3), pp. 219-220. 10 Bertrand Russel i n h i s essay "The Ancestry of Fascism" finds both Nietzsche and C a r l y l e i n the Nazi family tree.^" This charge Carlyle's d i s c i p l e s cannot allow to go unanswered. David Gascoyne strikes out against those who would put Carlyle on the Nazi roster when he says: One of the most frequent of modern misunderstand-ings of C a r l y l e i s the idea that, because he was one of the c r i t i c s of Democracy and an admirer of Heroes, he must have been one of the thinkers who prepared the way f o r T o t a l i t a r i a n -ism, along with Houston Stewart Chamberlain and the Comte de Gobineau. This i s a disgraceful misunderstanding and could only have grown so common i n a society which had ceased to know any longer what i t means to believe i n anything higher than^self-interest and the necessity f o r compromise. A similar opinion i s offered by E r i c Bentley: C a r l y l e and Nietzsche i n twentieth-century p o l i t i c s have been useful to the German govern-ments i n search of authorities to impress the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . . . [but) i f H i t l e r himself i s indebted to l i t e r a t u r e i t i s more probably to the paranoiac wild-west stories of K a r l May . . . than to the rather more advanced thought of Carlyle and Nietzsche. A l f r e d Rosenberg has, of course, been close to H i t l e r , but h i s debt to Carlyle and Nietzsche i s amost n i l . ^ Ernst Cassirer also objects to the attempt to make Carlyle a prophet of Nazism: . . . I cannot accept the judgment I f i n d i n recent l i t e r a t u r e on the subject. What Carlyle meant by 'heroism* or 'leadership' was by no means the 1 See Bentley, Cult, p. 250. 2 Gascoyne, op_. c i t . . p. 11. 3 Cult, p. 247. 11 same as what we f i n d i n our modern theories of fascism. And one f i n a l opinion on the subject, t h i s one s u r p r i s i n g l y enough from the man who f i r s t pointed out the a f f i n i t y between Carlyle and H i t l e r : ... i t i s absurd or unjust to suggest that Carlyle ever came to such an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of ri g h t with might as i s frankly accepted by a Nietzsche or a H i t l e r for a S t a l i n . 2 One of Carlyle's admirers, Frederick Roe, f a r from seeing him as a prophet of t o t a l i t a r i a n i s m , finds i n passages of Carlyle " . . . the very essence of democratic doctrine, — f a i t h i n the worth of the i n d i v i d u a l i r r e s p e c t i v e of rank and i n the power of education to awaken and develop that worth. Roe goes on to develop t h i s l i b e r a l vein of thought i n the following manner: Carlyle's democracy goes even further. He was a vigorous and l i f e - l o n g champion of three great p r i n c i p l e s which underlie modern progress and which were established only a f t e r prolonged popular struggle; — the r i g h t of private judg-ment as won by the Protestant Reformation, the r i g h t of a people to revolt against prolonged opression, and the r i g h t of tools to him who can use them . . . ."4-The well-known p o l i t i c a l s c i e n t i s t , F.J.C. Hearnshaw, would not only deny that C a r l y l e had any sympathy f o r democratic govern-1 The Myth of State. Doubleday, New York, 1955 (copyright 194-6), p.270. 2 H.J.C. Grierson, "Thomas C a r l y l e " , i n Proceedings of the  B r i t i s h Academy. 194-0, London, Oxford University Press, p.321 T 3 The S o c i a l Philosophy of C a r l y l e and Ruskin. New York, Harcourt Brace, 1921, p.75, 4 Loc. c i t . 12 ment — "He [Carlyle) ardently believed i n government of the people f o r the people but not by. the people" 1 — but would also deny that Carlyle had any understanding of democratic doctrines, f o r he wrote quite bluntly: "Carlyle did not believe i n l i b e r t y at a l l . " 2 E a r l i e r an anonymous writer i n The Nation had gone much further than t h i s and said " I t was impossible f o r him to be a l i b e r a l , f o r he had a profound d i s b e l i e f i n man."3 The charge here i s more than i l l l b e r a l i t y , i t i s complete mis-anthropy. Yet Leigh Hunt once said of Car l y l e : "I believe that what Mr. C a r l y l e l i k e s better than h i s f a u l t f i n d i n g , with a l l i t s eloquence, i s the face of any human creature that looks suffering and loving and s i n c e r e . " 4 In the l a s t two quotations at l e a s t , we have a d e f i n i t e r e f l e c t i o n of personal prejudice, antipathy on the part of the writer i n The Nation — the tone of h i s entire a r t i c l e i s very b i t t e r — sympathy on the part of Leigh Hunt who for years was a neighbour of the Carlyles i n Chelsea. We may well conclude t h i s survey of C a r l y l e c r i t i c i s m with an examination of judgments of Carlyle as an h i s t o r i a n . History was very important to C a r l y l e . He devoted much of h i s energy to the study and writing of i t . Moncure 1 "Thomas C a r l y l e " , i n The S o c i a l and P o l i t i c a l Ideas of Some  Representative Thinkers of the V i c t o r i a n Age. London, Harrap, 1932, p.4-7. 2 Loc. c i t . 3 "Thomas C a r l y l e " , v o l . 32 (17 February, 1881), p.110. 4 Quoted i n Gascoyne, op., c i t . . p.8. 13 Conway c a l l e d Carlyle ". . . a great h i s t o r i a n — one who, of a l l l i v i n g men, perhaps, has most profoundly studied the r e l a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l minds and characters to events of world-wide import.""*' We must remember, however, that Conway ( a l -though he sided with Froude i n the Reminiscences controversy) was a thoroughgoing C a r l y l e d i s c i p l e . Norwood Young, whom we have by t h i s time come to recognize as a man not psychologically or p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y i n tune with the Car l y l e s p i r i t , makes t h i s sweeping condemnation of Carl y l e ' s History of the French  Revolution; Carlyle's view of the Revolution i s mistaken from beginning to end, because he was incapable of freeing himself from acquired convictions, and was therefore unable to see the facts as 3 they were . . . . The reader who desires to obtain a true account of what act u a l l y occurred^ should avoid Carlyle's dramatic moving picture. Quite the opposite view i s taken, however, by G.M. Trevelyan. Writing on the occasion of the opening of the Car l y l e house i n Chelsea he said: I t i s , s i g n i f i c a n t that Mr. Morse Stephens, who has spent years i n studying the l a t e s t material of French Revolution h i s t o r y , who knows as intimately as any man the exact nature of the mistakes into which C a r l y l e f e l l , s t i l l consents to speak of him as 'a great h i s t o r i a n , ' and as one who, when he erred, erred 'not w i l f u l l y but from the scantiness of the information at h i s disposal!'» 3 1 "Thomas Ca r l y l e " , Harpers, v o l . 23 (May, 1881), p.888. 2 Rise and F a l l , p.147, 3 "Carlyle as an Hi s t o r i a n " , Nineteenth Century, v o l . 66 (1899), p.4-93J At the same time, however, Trevelyan has to admit that " . . . there are h i s t o r i a n s who consider him no h i s t o r i a n . " ^ C F . Harrold, though perhaps himself no h i s t o r i a n , i s among those who would bar Carlyle from the brotherhood, h i s view being that, "Instead of considering C a r l y l e as a s c i e n t i f i c h i s t o r i a n we may more properly regard him as an a r t i s t * " 2 By " s c i e n t i f i c h i s t b r i a n " I take i t Harrold means one of two things — eit h e r an h i s t o r i a n who accepts the cause-and-effect philosophy of Newtonian physics and applies i t to h i s study of h i s t o r y , or an h i s t o r i a n who does h i s research i n a s c i e n t i f i c a l l y thorough manner and who presents h i s facts with s c i e n t i f i c o b j e c t i v i t y . Since " h i s t o r i a n " i n the l a t t e r sense i s more nearly the opposite of " a r t i s t " , I suppose Harrold's objection to c a l l i n g C a r l y l e a " s c i e n t i f i c h i s t o r i a n " i s based on the b e l i e f that C a r l y l e d i d not carry out proper research or present h i s f a c t s o b j e c t i v e l y . But with regard to the research, Harrold himself has admitted that "every para-graph £in the French Revolution] containing an h i s t o r i c a l f a c t i s the product of a number of mutually confirming sources."3 John Nichol, too, speaks of the "admirable conscientiousness" with which Carlyle undertook " . . . the accumulation of d e t a i l s , the wearisome compilation of f a c t s , weighing of previous 1 Nineteenth Century, v o l . 66 (1899), p. 493. 2 "Carlyle's General Method i n the French Revolution," PMLA. v o l . 63 (1928), p.1150. 3 I b i d . , p.1152. 15 c r i t i c i s m , the s i f t i n g of grains of wheat from the bushels of chaff."1 Carlyle himself did much to propagate t h i s b e l i e f , fo r he spoke often of the drudgery of h i s h i s t o r i c a l labours. But Norwood Young scoffs at such protestations, saying: The complaints [of tedious research] are ex-travagant and the statements erroneous. C a r l y l e 1 s claim to be the f i r s t actual reader of Cromwell's speeches i s ri d i c u l o u s unless, indeed, there i s some magic i n the word ' a c t u a l . ' 2 I f we turn to the great and f i n a l question: What was C a r l y l e trying to say? we f i n d the same uncertainty. A f t e r Carlyle's death o v e r a l l assessments of him appeared with every eulogy. I t i s in t e r e s t i n g to see how f a r apart some of these assess-ments are. To the obituary-writer i n the Annual Register the kernel of h i s philosophy was " . . . that l e g i s l a t i o n , Reform or B a l l o t B i l l s , statutory measures of s o c i a l improvement of any kind would do of themselves next to no good . . . . " 3 True, Carlyle l a i d about often and with heavy sword against the f u t i l i t y of parliamentary reform as a cure f o r a l l our i l l s , but i t i s going too f a r — and neglecting too many other l i n e s of h i s thought — to c a l l t h i s b e l i e f the kernel- of h i s philosophy. And beyond t h i s assessment there s t i l l l i e s un-answered the question as to why he di s t r u s t e d b a l l o t boxes and electi o n s . 1 Thomas C a r l y l e . i n The English Men of Letters Series. London, Macmillan, 1909, p. 166. 2 Rise and F a l l , pp.207-208. 3 Annual Register. 1881, London, Rivington, p.101. 16 Dean Stanley, the Canon of Westminster Abbey who had proposed that C a r l y l e be buried i n the Abbey and who now had to be s a t i s f i e d with a funeral oration instead of a funeral, delivered h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the whole purpose of C a r l y l e ' s l i f e from h i s p u l p i t on Sunday, February 6, 1888: The whole framework and f a b r i c of h i s mind was b u i l t up on the b e l i e f that there are not many wise, not many noble minds, not many destined by the Supreme Ruler of the universe to rule t h e i r fellows . . . . This was h i s doctrine of the work of heroes; t h i s , r i g h t or wrong, was the mission of h i s l i f e . * Once again, as i n the opinion j u s t given above, there i s some truth i n t h i s assessment. The doctrine of Heroes i s indeed basic to Carlyle's thought. But i t i s not the whole frame-work and f a b r i c of h i s mind nor the mission of h i s l i f e . I f i t were, where should we f i n d place for the other C a r l y l e "doctrines", those of Silence, of Work, of Might and Right? And Dean Stanley's mention of a "Supreme Ruler" h i n t s that there i s i n C a r l y l e something or some one beyond the heor, some one more ultimate. J u l i a n Symons takes quite a d i f f e r e n t approach. According to him, Carlyle's work was ". . . a l i f e - l o n g struggle to expel with the magic of dogma the hydra-headed monster of doubt." This sort of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , an attempt to explain the man i n terms of a psychological c o n f l i c t , has been very common with respect to C a r l y l e . I t begins with an examination of the stern r e l i g i o n of C a r l y l e ' s childhood and goes on to a 1 Quoted i n Henry J . N i c o l l , Thomas C a r l y l e . London, Ward and Lock, n.d., p.249. 2 Thomas C a r l y l e . p.31.. 17 catalogue of the doubts and torments that beset a one-time believer who i s exposed to the cold l o g i c of agnosticism. Here Symons stops. To him, a l l that C a r l y l e did throughout h i s l i f e was done i n an attempt to resolve these doubts and torments. Apparently J u l i a n Symons does not take the Ever-l a s t i n g Yea of Sartor Resartus to be f i n a l . I f t h i s i s h i s view he cannot of course f i n d anything p o s i t i v e i n C a r l y l e at a l l , and he must regard a l l that came a f t e r Sartor either as v a l i a n t attempts at self-conversion or as out-and-out hypocrisy. In such a view there i s l i t t l e of worth to be found i n C a r l y l e , unless the reader himself be troubled by the "hydra-headed monster of doubt" and seek here personal solace. A l l three of these evaluations have some truth i n them, but none contains the whole truth — nor do a l l of them taken together. We must have some broader basis f o r judgment, one that takes i n t o account more than only the p o l i t i c a l ideas, or the doctrine of heroes, or C a r l y l e 1 s personal re-ligous problems. H.J.C. Grierson comes nearer to the whole meaning of Carlyle when he says: Whatever one may think of C a r l y l e 1 s conclusions, the aberrations of h i s l a s t angry pamphlets, hi s passion f o r order at ehe expense of l i b e r t y , h i s v i n d i c a t i o n of might by some ultimate be-l i e f i n r i g h t i n the long run, one w i l l do him an i n j u s t i c e i f one ignores the f a c t that t h i s , j u s t i c e , was h i s goal. "Thomas C a r l y l e " , Proceedings of the B r i t i s h Academy. 19AO. p. 312, 18 J u s t i c e was indeed Carlyle's goal throughout h i s l i f e and i n a l l he wrote. Yet how much i s here unsaid*. What sort of j u s t i c e i s i t that the negroes of America should be enslaved? That Governor Eyre should be rewarded f o r executing the blacks who opposed him? These are things C a r l y l e approved of. What i s then justice? I t would seem to be a thing of a thousand shapes, and Grierson o f f e r s us no help i n finding the Carlyfean form of i t . Here, too, there are questions l e f t unanswered. How can we recognize justice? Why should we week justice? Or i s i t the ultimate thing f o r which there i s no why? Taken a l l i n a l l , then, we can f i n d only confusion i n the c t i t i c i s m of C a r l y l e . What one man has to say about h i s r e l i g i o n i s f l a t l y contradicted by another. One authority would c a l l him a misanthrope, another a philanthropist. To some h i s t o r i a n s he i s an h i s t o r i a n , to others, an a r t i s t . I f we read i n one place that he i s a prophet our age cannot a f f o r d to neglect, we read i n another that the value of h i s message has vanished u t t e r l y . As f o r h i s s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l ideas — here we have wide choice. He i s eithe r a Labourite or an a r i s t o c r a t , a humanist or a Nazi, depending upon the personal prejudice or p a r t i a l i t y of the c r i t i c . C a r l y l e ' s friends, i n attempting to inv a l i d a t e the accusations of h i s foes, usually make the charge that the foes have not read C a r l y l e . To some extent t h i s i s probably true, and the reasons for the neglect are not hard to f i n d . The size of the Ca r l y l e canon i s i t s e l f frightening and much i n i t deals with matters no longer of current i n t e r e s t . Carlyle's unusual style probably plays a part as well i n the reluctance 19 of present-day readers to tackle him. But a more important reason stems from the Froude controversy. From the time that Froude hinted at Carlyle's i r a s c i b i l i t y and impotence the study of the man became more important than the works. David Gascoyne has t h i s to say with regard to both C a r l y l e and Ruskin: "What int e r e s t s modern c r i t i c s seems to be f a r l e s s what they had to say than the unsuccessful nature of t h e i r marriages." 1 Along with the charge of not having read C a r l y l e goes the charge of not having understood him. Thus, John MacCunn, defending C a r l y l e against those who scoff that he preached a gospel of work and did nothing himself, advises that " . . . h i s c r i t i c s should learn to i n t e r p r e t that 2 gospel aright." Good advice, too, i f understanding can be achieved by one who i s not i n t e l l e c t u a l l y or psychologically i n the Carlylean camp. But i s i t possible f o r one who i s completely out of tune with the semi-mystical morality and r e l i g i o u s earnestness of C a r l y l e to i n t e r p r e t any Carlylean gospel aright? Surely there i s some neutral ground where an observer can stand and take an objective look at C a r l y l e . Surely i t i s possible f o r even a h o s t i l e c r i t i c to comprehend i n t e l l e c t u a l l y what he does not emotionally accept. But the c o r o l l a r y must also stand. The ardent follower must be equally w i l l i n g to make concessions, to recognize i n h i s hero both weaknesses and errors of judgment whenever an impartial l o g i c detects them. What i s needed then i s an unbiased, objective Gascoyne, op. c i t . . p. 8. Six Radical Thinkers, p. 161 r 20 approach to C a r l y l e . As yet, no one has provided t h i s . One thing more i s needed — an approach which treats C a r l y l e as a whole, not as a number of unrelated theories or doctrines. Too much of Carlylean c r i t i c i s m has been focussed only on one aspect of the man — the hero theory has been a favourite topic f o r t h i s type of approach. 1 I t is.not f a i r to Carlyle to consider, say, h i s theory of the hero apart from his theory of might and r i g h t . Nor i s i t f a i r to consider either of them apart from h i s doctrine of work or of silence, nor to consider any other aspect of h i s work apart from his t o t a l philosophy. Small wonder that c r i t i c s who look at C a r l y l e i n this piecemeal fashion come to as l i t t l e agreement as the s,ix- b l i n d men who investigated the elephant. C a r l y l e , cut up i n t h i s manner, bears as l i t t l e resemblance to the true C a r l y l e as the quartered "beef does to the beast from which i t came. The blood and sinews of the parts may be the same as those of the whole, but the form, and con-sequently the meaning, are e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t . We can only come to a true understanding of C a r l y l e through an objective view of h i s t o t a l philosophy. In t h i s thesis I propose to attempt just such an approach. In the i n t e r -ests of o b j e c t i v i t y I w i l l disregard as much as possible the Among the books which deal s p e c i f i c a l l y with t h i s aspect of Carlyle's philosophy may be l i s t e d : E r i c Bentley, A Century of Hero-Worship The Cult of the Superman H.J.C. Grierson, Carlyle and H i t l e r B.H. Lehman, Carlyle's Theory of the Hero 21 man himself and concentrate upon his writings, drawing from them with as much l o g i c and as l i t t l e p a r t i a l i t y as the mysticism and the emotionalism of h i s work w i l l allow an outline of the cosmic plan which i s the oasis for a l l Carlyle's other philosophical tenets and f o r a l l h i s judgments and opinions. I t w i l l be the f u l l purpose and scope of t h i s thesis to go on from an outline of Carlyle's cosmic view to an examination of the various theories that grow out of i t — the theory of might and r i g h t , the theory of love and worship, the theory of work and si l e n c e . I w i l l then turn to the h i s t o r i e s and examine them i n the l i g h t of "--arljile's philosophy, showing how t h e i r content and tone are governed by the a p p l i c a t i o n of the Carlylean scheme of the universe. F i n a l l y I w i l l consider the weakness of the whole system, attempting to explain i n terms of the system and of i t s weaknesses those judgments and opinions which h i s friends consider to be aberrations and which to h i s enemies are examples of h i s sourness and misanthropy. Chapter II Ca r l y l e ' s Cosmic View In dealing with Carlyle 1we must r e a l i z e from the outset that he had, i n h i s own mind at l e a s t , a complete and harmonious view of the universe. He was a man of considerable i n t e l l e c t and extreme earnestness, and i t i s therefore i d l e to imagine that he made his judgments l i g h t l y and spontaneously or that he uttered opinions i n a hasty, i l l - c o n s i d e r e d manner. There i s one standard against which he measures a l l problems and makes a l l judgments, one unifying idea which t i e s together a l l that he wrote. Unfortunately this unifying idea was never f u l l y and e x p l i c i t l y set out, but was scattered i n pieces throughout his work. Sartor Resartus i s p a r t i c u l a r l y useful i n helping us grasp C a r l y l e ' s philosophy since i t i s both an account of the evolution of Carlyle's thinking and a delineation of the broad outline of h i s thought. C a r l y l e himself remarked of t h i s book: I t contains more of my opinions on Art, P o l i t i c s , Religion, Heaven, Earth, and A i r , than a l l the things I have yet written. And the opinions expressed i n Sartor i n 1830 were s u b s t a n t i a l l y the opinions of the weary sage of Chelsea i n 1870. Only i n d e t a i l or i n application does the philosophy of the mature Carlyle d i f f e r from that of Sartor Resartus. 1 In a l e t t e r to Mr. Fraser quoted i n C.E. Norton, ed., Letters  of Thomas Ca r l y l e . London, Macmillan, 1888, v o l . 2::, p. 105. 22 23 Without an awareness of Carlyle's cosmic view and without an understanding of i t no true i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of him or of anything he wrote i s possible. The reader must always bear i n mind that a l l judgments he utters have been arrived at, not through pragmatic consideration of the immediate facts of the case, but through consideration of these facts i n r e l a t i o n to Carl y l e ' s idea of the ultimate destiny and purpose of mankind and of the universe. One of C a r l y l e ' s schoolmasters once said of him that he loved earnestness more than truth and to some extent this i s true. So earnest i s he that he looks at a matter as small as the renting of a farm or as large as the making of a constit u t i o n with the same ponderous reference to h i s idea of universal good and j u s t i c e . Thus when he supports Governor Eyre i t i s not s u f f i c i e n t that we examine the fac t s of the Jamaica case and condemn or condone Ca r l y l e i n the l i g h t of these facts alone. We must consider that he was think-ing i n terms that f a r outreached the shores of the colony of Jamaica. He was thinking of the e f f e c t of the Governor's actions on the physical well-being of the natives, but he was thinking too of the e f f e c t on the s p i r i t u a l well-being of the whole universe. I t was not that C a r l y l e had no sympathy f o r the blacks of Jamaica, but that t h i s sympathy was subordinated to a v i s i o n of mankind as a noble and heroic creature of God rather than as the p i t i a b l e ward of a sweetly benign government. An explanation of t h i s v i s i o n must begin with an examination of Carl y l e ' s concept of God. C r i t i c s have often t r i e d to f i n d the roots of 24 C a r l y l e ' s thought i n Fichfe, i n Kant, i n Novalis, i n Richter. Undoubtedly each of these has done something to bring to the surface an understanding and a sympathy that was la t e n t i n ^ C a r l y l e , but there i s a cert a i n f u t i l i t y i n t h i s game of seeking sources. C a r l y l e himself wrote i n 1830: I have now almost done with the Germans. Having seized t h e i r opinions, I must now turn me to inquire how true are they? That truth i s i n them, no lover? of Truth w i l l doubt; but how much? And a f t e r a l l , one needs an i n t e l l e c t u a l Scheme (or ground plan of the Universe) drawn with one's own instruments. On the basis of t h i s statement I dare to overlook influences and sources. At best, opinions reached i n this matter are mere speculation. And what does i t matter whether Carlyle's moral bent comes from h i s reading i n Kant, from reading about Kant, or from his C a l v i n i s t i c home-background, as long as we r e a l i z e that i t i s there? For an understanding of C a r l y l e i t i s not important that we trace h i s philosophy to i t s sources, but i t i s important that we know what h i s philosophy was. C a r l y l e himself proposed (through Teufelsdrockh) a "high Platonic mysticism" as "perhaps the fundamental element 2 of h i s nature." The mysticism i s perhaps questionable, but the platonism i s not. Carlyle's philosophy begins with the concept of some Supreme Being to whom a l l mankind, a l l worlds, owe t h e i r being. Sometimes C a r l y l e borrows Fichte's term "Divine Idea" to name thi s concept; more often he prefers the term Quoted from Carlyle's Two Notebooks i n H i l l Shine, C a r l y l e and the b a l n t Simonians. Baltimore, John Hcjkins Press, 194-1, P»7. Sartor, p. 52 • 25 he learned at the Ecclefechan f i r e s i d e , God. In t h i s l a t t e r case, however, i t i s the name only that he prefers. Carlyle's God has neither the savagely r e t r i b u t i v e j u s t i c e of the Old Testament God, the forgiving benevolence of the New Testament one, nor the anthropomorphism of e i t h e r . Carlyle's God i s true s p i r i t and true idea. As s p i r i t he cannot be f u l l y grasped by a f i n i t e mind, but only dimly perceived through f i n i t e manifestations. In C a r l y l e ' s speculative system th i s God or Divine Idea i s the ultimate r e a l i t y which l i e s behind a l l appearances. Our Here and Now are only small circumscribed f r a c t i o n s of an i n f i n i t u d e of spaee and an e t e r n i t y of time, and are therefore of no great importance i n the t o t a l scheme of things. The entire physical world i s merely an imperfect manifestation at the human l e v e l of the ultimate r e a l i t y , that i s , of God. "Where now," asks C a r l y l e , dismissing our centuries with a magnificent sweep of his hand, i s Alexander of Macedon: does the s t e e l Host that y e l l e d i n f i e r c e battle-shouts at Issus and Arbela, remain behind him; or have they a l l van-ished u t t e r l y even as perturbed Goblins must? Napoleon too, and his Moscow Retreats and A u s t e r l i t z Campaigns! Was i t a l l other than the v e r i e s t Spectre-hunt; which has now, with i t s howling tumult that made night hideous, f l i t t e d away? We must recognize that our minds, incapable of comprehending I n f i n i t y or E t e r n i t y , much les s God, the creator of Time and Space, come to look upon the l i m i t s of a few thousand square 1 Sartor, p. 211-26 miles of space and a few thousand years of time as r e a l i t y . To C a r l y l e , our Here and Now are merely " s u p e r f i c i a l t e r r e x t i a l adhesions to thought .... the Canvas ... whereon a l l our Dreams and L i f e - V i s i o n s are painted." 1 God, however, exi s t s i n a universal Here, and everlasting Now. There i s l i t t l e that can he said i n words about a s p i r i t and therefore C a r l y l e can t e l l us very l i t t l e about the nature of h i s God. God i s , of course, perfect, and . . . throughout the whole world of man, i n a l l manifestations and performances of h i s nature, outward and inward, personal and s o c i a l , the Perfect-the Great, i s a mystery to i t s e l f , knows not i t s e l f . Despite this mystery, however, Ca r l y l e i s sure of one thing — God i s aware of his universe and takes an active i n t e r e s t i n i t s welfare: " The ALMIGHTY MAKER i s not l i k e a clockmaker that once, i n the o l d immemorial ages, having made h i s Horologue 3 of a Universe, s i t s ever since and sees i t go." Moreover, God's i n t e r e s t i n h i s universe i s marked by an extreme morality. In "C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " , C a r l y l e i d e n t i f i e s morality with the Divine Idea, saying, " . . . the name of the I n f i n i t e i s GOOD, i s GOD'.'.'4 As f a r as we and our world are concerned, the moral Sartor, pp. 42-4-3. ^"Chartism", C r i t i c a l and Miscellaneous Essays, v o l . 4-> P. 16. 3 Past and Present, p. 14-7. ^ " C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " , Essays, v o l . 3> p. 43. 27 nature of the I n f i n i t e i s set out i n what Carlyle i s pleased to c a l i the "Laws of Nature". 1 When Ca r l y l e finds something to he condemned, i t i s because i t i s contrary to the Laws of Nature, and conversely, whatever he commends i s commended because i t agrees with the Laws of Mature. These laws are therefore central to h i s theory, the touchstone f o r a l l h i s judgments. Yet he cannot t e l l us what they, are, f o r they are contained i n "... a Volume written i n c e l e s t i a l hieroglyphs, i n the true Sacred-writing; Prophets are happy that they can 2 read here.a l i n e and there a l i n e . " Since the Laws of Nature are so d i f f i c u l t to discover i t i s only natural that from century to century a d i f f e r e n t interpretation of the Laws w i l l be common among men. Even the ablest prophet w i l l inadvertently allow h i s own experience and t r a d i t i o n to colour h i s reading of the sacred r u l e s . And t h i s i s as i t should be; that small portion of God's i n f i n i t e truth which roughly s a t i s f i e d the Arab tribesman and enabled him to l i v e w> u l d not s u f f i c e f o r a polished European city-dweller. But the truth that i s discovered by one generation i s passed on to the next, and the truth that i s d i s -covered i n one culture spreads to another so that slowly and iF o r a f u l l study of Carlyle's use of the "Laws of Nature" see Wm. Taggart, Carlyle's Handling of the 'Laws of Nature' Concept, unpublished thesis, Montreal, M c G i l l ^University, 1952. Sartor, p. 204-205. 28 imperfectly man comes to know h i s allotment of eternal truth. But never can he know i t p e r f e c t l y , f o r "Truth',' i n the words of S c h i l l e r , 'Immer wird, nie 1st, never i s , i s always a-being." 1 That i s , truth as man knows i t i s always a-being. In God, truth and the Laws of ^ature are unalterable and permanent. One h i n t Carlyle does give us about the Laws of Nature, and that i s that they are at bottom moral precepts of the highest order. In Past and Present he states that "Justice and Reverence are the everlasting central law of 2 t h i s Universe." In other places he often equates j u s t i c e to goodness, but he i s s t i l l faced with the task, i f he w i l l do i t , of t e l l i n g us what j u s t i c e i s . Reverence i s a rather d i f f e r e n t matter, f o r i t requires someone to do the revering as well as someone to be revered. Discussion of t h i s r e l a t i o n -ship must be postponed u n t i l we come to examine the place of man i n the Carlylean scheme. A fundamental part of Carlyle's cosmic view Is the theory that these Laws of Mature cannot be contravened with impunity. Everywhere throughout h i s works C a r l y l e re-peatedly asserts that "The Laws of Nature w i l l have themselves f u l f i l l e d . That i s a thing c e r t a i n to me."3 The f a c t that t h i s " C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " , Essays, v o l . 3, p. 38 Throughout t h i s thesis i t a l i c s within quotations from C a r l y l e are Carlyle's and not mine. 2 Past and Present, p. 110. 3 I b i d . . p. 274-29 aspect of Carlyle's t o t a l theory i s repeated and stressed indicates i t s importance. Here i s the p i v o t a l point of C a r l y l e ' s speculation — on this earth, j u s t i c e must be done, w i l l have i t s e l f done. That i t w i l l be done at once, we cannot expect; that i t w i l l be done eventually, we cannot doubt. I t i s possible to contravene the Laws of Mature — C a r l y l e i s continually warning about forged notes and f a l s e kings — but f o r the offender and f o r h i s schemes there i s eventual floom and o b l i v i o n : "This Universe has i t s Laws. I f we walk according to the Law, "1 the Law-maker w i l l befriend us, i f not, not. I t i s as simple as that. The Laws of Nature are the w i l l of God, not only with respect to the behaviour of a man, but also with respect to the behaviour of a society. Just as the i n d i v i d u a l person who acts contrary to the Laws w i l l eventually be forced to return to the r i g h t way or. to disappear, so a society must also conduct i t s e l f i n accordance with; the Laws, or i t too w i l l disappear; Nature's Laws, I must repeat, are eternal; her s t i l l small voice speaking from the innermost heart of us, s h a l l not, under t e r r i b l e penalties be disregarded. No man can depart from the truth without danger to himself; no ong m i l l i o n of men; no twenty-seven M i l l i o n s of men. C a r l y l e does not generally emphasize the " t e r r i b l e penalties" mentioned i n t h i s passage. Usually when he speaks of the purg-ing of a man or a society of those elements which offend the Laws of Mature he indicates that God i s not interested i n 1 Past and Present, p. 25. 30 punishing the transgressor, but only i n putting h i s universe back i n order. He sets about doing t h i s i n exalted i n d i f f e r -ence. In the process the v i o l a t o r w i l l c e r t a i n l y disappear; perhaps society as a whole may s u f f e r , perhaps some innocents may be hurt — Carlyle's usual symbol fo r the purging element i s f i r e and f i r e i s notoriously insensible to g u i l t and innocence — but society as a whole benefits. In terms of a universal scheme t h i s b e l i e f i n an inexorable purging and corrective agent leads to a sense of melioration and optimism that few have previously connected with C a r l y l e . J u s t i c e must p r e v a i l because the Carlylean God i s i n h i s Carlylean heaven. "How i n d e s t r u c t i b l y the Good grows and propagates i t s e l f , " writes Carlyle i n Sartor, "even among the weedy entanglements of E v i l . " 1 And, of course, there i s accompanying the growth and propagation of good the destruction and disappearance of e v i l . Since what i s unjust does not meet the requirements of the Laws of Nature, i t w i l l have to go. A l i e i s doomed from the day of i t s b i r t h . A f a l s e act w i l l show i t s e l f to be f a l s e and w i l l eventually perish. A sham r u l e r or a hollow system of government w i l l one day reveal i t s emptiness and w i l l fade from the earth. Not only are whole systems doomed i f they do not conform to the just laws of the universe, but every system i s continuously subject to a gradual s i f t i n g and sorting whereby a l l that i s dead, e v i l , or unjust i n i t i s c u l l e d out. In t h i s manner a system which grew up to f i t one s i t u a t i o n i s adapted 1 Sartor, p. 79* 31 to f i t a d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n , and thus i t i s kept a l i v e as long as i t conforms to the Laws of Nature. C a r l y l e repeat-edly c i t e s C h r i s t i a n i t y as a system which, because of the truth i n i t , has persisted for two thousand years, a l l the while, shedding those accidents of i t s being which proved f a l s e . "Truth and J u s t i c e alone are capable of being 'conserv-ed' and preserved," wrote C a r l y l e , meaning that only those philosophies, customs, t r a d i t i o n s , and i n s t i t u t i o n s which held truth and j u s t i c e i n them could carry on from age to age. This gradual and continual purging i s a slow and quiet business. I t goes on mystically, almost automatically, as long as Truth and J u s t i c e have the upper hand i n the running of universal a f f a i r s . I f , however, sham, hypocrisy, unveracity, i n j u s t i c e should seriously threaten to gain control and to break through Nature's laws at every point, then swift and vi o l e n t measures are necessary, and "Nature burst up i n f i r e -flames, French-revolutions and such-like, proclaiming with t e r r i b l e v e r a c i t y that forged notes are forged." 1 I t should be noted that i n the Carlylean system i n j u s t i c e and unveracity cannot possibly gain control of anything for more than l i m i t e d periods of time. Their attempts to do so have a l l the f u t i l i t y of Satan's was against God. In both cases the protagonist i s , by d e f i n i t i o n , almighty. And so i t i s that however gloomily Carlyle painted 1 Thomas C a r l y l e , On Heroes. Hero-Worship. and the Hoeroic i n  History, ed. A. MacMechan, Boston, Ginn, 1901, p. 58. A l l future references to Heroes are to t h i s e d i t i o n . 32 V i c t o r i a n England and i t s p l i g h t , he could nevertheless see a l i g h t of hope burning at the end of the dark corridor. He be-lie v e d that men were slowly learning to read the volume of nature and were therefore slowly improving t h e i r l o t . More-over, since only the i n s t i t u t i o n s and ideas survived which were i n harmony with the Laws of Nature, there was i n the very passing of time a process tending to betterment and improve-ment. I t i s on t h i s note of optimism that the otherwise dismal book, Past and Present, ends: As dark misery s e t t l e s down on us, and our refuges of l i e s f a l l i n pieces one a f t e r one, the hearts of men, now at l a s t grown serious, w i l l turn to refuges of truth. The eternal stars shine out again, so soon as i t i s dark enough. 1 " C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " too — i n the main a gloomy essay wherein i s painted a thoroughly depressing picture of V i c t o r i a n England and i t s future — contains a s i m i l a r note of hope: Deep and sad as i s our fee l i n g that we stand yet i n the bodeful Night; equally deep, i n -destructable i s our assurance that Morning w i l l not f a i l . Nay, already, as we look round, streaks of a day spring are i n the east; i t i s dawning; when the time s h a l l be f u l f i l l e d , i t w i l l be day.2 I t was on the basis of these confident and sanguine prophecies that M i l l once wrote to a f r i e n d about C a r l y l e : . . . he d i f f e r s from most men, who see as much as he does into the defects of the age, 1 Past and Present, p. 294. 2 Essays, v o l . 3, p. 37. 33 by a circumstance greatly to h i s advantage i n my estimation, that he looks f o r a safe landing before and not behind; he sees that i f we could only replace things as they once were, we should only retard the f i n a l issue, as we should i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y go on just as we then did, and arrive at the very place where we now stand. 1 Two objections to Carlyle's theory of melioration come immediately to mind. F i r s t , i f this i s God's universe and i f God i s Good, why i s e v i l allowed? Second, i f the e v i l that i s abroad among us i s doomed no matter what i s done or not done against i t , why should we worry about i t ? Why should a dyspeptic Scot write thousands of words about a world tottering on the brink of Niagara i f he i s convinced that the world cannot i n any event plunge into the whirlpool below? We can turn at once to consideration of the f i r s t objection, deferring consideration of the second t i l l the time when we are ready to look at the place of man i n the universe. The f i r s t question above came from the assumption that t h i s i s God's world and that i t should therefore be per-f e c t . C arlyle's answer to t h i s objection i s that while t h i s i s God's world, i t i s not God. God i s s p i r i t and ideaj the physical world i s merely a t a c t i l e manifestation of t h i s s p i r i t , a complex of s p i r i t u a l forces at work i n a material medium. I t should be noted here that while Carlyle uses the term "physical universe" to denote t a c t i l e and v i s i b l e objects of 1 Quoted i n Roe, Carlyle and Ruskin. p. 45n 2 Sartor, pp. 43, 150. 34 the world about us, he includes within the term such non-physical phenomena as t r a d i t i o n s , i n s t i t u t i o n s , philosophies, and r e l i g i o n s , since they are also human attempts at express-ion of the Qivine Idea. Because the world i s physical i t i s imperfect, chaotic, and, i n part, e v i l . There i s nothing pantheistic i n Carlyle's view. The world i s not God, but merely a phenomenon i n time and space which at once reveals to us and v e i l s from us the nature of the fiivine, Idea i t bodies f o r t h . More than once Ca r l y l e quotes the E a r t h - S p i r i t of Goethe's Faust: t h i s earth i s the l i v i n g v i s i b l e garment of God. 1 Through the magnificence and beauty of our world, God's goodness i s re-vealed. The s u p e r f i c i a l i t i e s , p r a c t i c a l i t i e s , and shows of our world conceal — from common eyes p a r t i c u l a r l y — the real-i t y that l i e s beneath them. Man must himself be worshipful and loving i n order to see that: . . . through every star, through every grass-blade, and most through every Li v i n g Soul, the glory of a present God s t i l l beams. But Nature, which i s the Time-vesture of God, and reveals Him to the wise, hides Him from the f o o l i s h . 2 Such a view as t h i s leads n a t u r a l l y to a scorn of material things. "The world Is not REAL," says C a r l y l e , "Is at bottom Nothing." 3 S i m i l a r l y , to Teufelsdrockhr, a drawing room with i t s Brussels carpets and p i e r glasses i s only a section of i n f i n i t e space, and the star of a l o r d has f o r him 1 Sartor, pp. 43, 150. 2 I b i d . . p. 210. 3 Heroes, p. 79. 35 no greater i n t r i n s i c worth than the buttons on a clown* s frock, f o r he has " . . . the humour of looking at a l l material things as s p i r i t . " 1 The highest duchess i s to be honoured, not for her Malines laces, but f o r the goodness that i s within her. The lord's star, the duchess's laces — these things C a r l y l e consigns to h i s Sham world. They are part of the "Show of Things" but are no r e a l things, just as the papal procession i s a form of worship but i s no true worship. C a r l y l e considers i t the besetting s i n of h i s generation that i t i s turning from s p i r i t u a l to material values and that a consequent f a l s i t y i s pervading a l l l i f e . Cant, "speech for the purpose of con-cealing thought," has replaced the rude, true language of one heart talking to another; dilleitan.tis.m has replaced devotion; cash-wages have replaced personal l o y a l t i e s . Yet much as C a r l y l e despises the physical world because i t obscures man's recognition of r e a l i t y , he must also honour i t f o r what i t reveals. Much as he scorns the physical world f o r i t s shams, he must yet revere i t f o r the d i v i n i t y i t contains. The world about us i s the only book wherein we poor f i n i t e creatures can read what God i s and what he would have us do. I t behoves us, therefore, to look c a r e f u l l y to t h i s world, to study i t , and to learn from i t God 1s lesson. By looking at the past and comparing i t with the present we can d i s t i n g u i s h good and e v i l , j u s t i c e and i n j u s t i c e , f o r good and j u s t i c e are perpetuated i n the systems that survive, while e v i l and i n -1 Sartor, p. 23• ( 36 j u s t i c e are i n those things that have passed away. I t i s from t h i s part of h i s theory that C a r l y l e got h i s deep respect f o r hi s t o r y and the study of h i s t o r y . One more point must he brought out i n considering God's r e l a t i o n to the universe. According to C a r l y l e , our world i s chaotic — a Phantasmagoria i s h i s usual word f o r I t . In t h i s world, forces seem to be acting at cross-purposes, lightness and darkness are i n e x t r i c a b l y intertwined so that i t seems impossible to separate them. Good and e v i l , the sham and the r e a l , j u s t i c e and i n j u s t i c e — a l l are juinbled together into a r o l l i n g swelling mass, a wild and desolate waste-land of semi-darkness. Yet God's plan i s one of order, says C a r l y l e . Remember that the enlightened administration of the University of Weissnichtwo had appointed Teufelsdrockh'' Pro-fessor of Things i n General i n the hope that " . . . the task of bodying somewhat fo r t h again from such Chaos might be, even s l i g h t l y , f a c i l i t a t e d . " ! His own age and h i s own country were p a r t i c u l a r l y chaotic, thought C a r l y l e , and he f e l t i t h i s duty as a prophet and as one that saw the Divine Plan to steer h i s people back to the path of God and order. The chaffls comes only from the imperfection of the material medium i n which the s p i r i t makes i t s e l f known to the senses. To prove that God's w i l l towards order i s making i t -s e l f f e l t , Carlyle points f i r s t to the c i t i e s , bridges, and roads that men have brought to the desolate land; then he 1 Sartor, p. i.3-37 points to the laws and parliaments which have taken over from the club and strong-right-arm rule of the cave-man day; f i n a l l y he points to the worship of good that has grown strong-er and more recognizable from the days of Odin to the time of Chri s t . The tendency, says C a r l y l e , has been, from the beginn-ing of the universe, toward order, away from chaos. But we must be ever wary to see these buildings, i n s t i t u t i o n s , and fa i t h s as signs and symbols f i t f o r our day, though i n no way f i t f o r ete r n i t y . They are not to be considered permanent — only the Divine Idea i s permanent. We must be w i l l i n g to d i s -card any plan or arrangement i f the s p i r i t goes out of i t . There i s ever the danger that man w i l l set up a parliament and then l i e i d l y back expecting, h i s machinery to take from h i s shoulders a l l the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for l i v i n g . In the physical world we have continual change — the r e s u l t of the e f f o r t s of the i d e a l to manifest i t s e l f i n the actual. I t need not bother us, however, that the things about us are a l l transient and mutable; the true s p i r i t that i s i n them i s immutable and has an existence apart from the physical object that, at t h i s moment and i n t h i s place, bodies i t f o r t h : . . . Where does your accumulated A g r i c u l t u r a l , Metallurgic, and other Manufacturing SKILL l i e warehoused? I t transmits i t s e l f on the atmospheric a i r , on the sun's rays (by Hearing and V i s i o n ) ; i t i s a thing aeriform, impalpable, of quite s p i r i t u a l sort. In l i k e manner, ask me not, Where are the LAWS; where i s the GOVERN-MENT? In vain w i l t thou go to Schonbrunn, to Downing Street, to the Palais Bourbon: thou 38 findest there nothing but brick or stone houses, and some bundles of Paper t i e d with tape. Where, then, i s that same cunningly-devised almighty GOVERNMENT of the i r s to be l a i n hands on? Every-where, yet nowhere: seen only i n i t s works, t h i s too i s a thing aeriform, i n v i s i b l e ; or, i f you w i l l , mystic and miraculous. So s p i r i t u a l (geistig) i s our whole d a i l y L i f e . i So s p i r i t u a l indeed i s our whole d a i l y l i f e that C a r l y l e can f i n d no cause to mourn the passing of any of the v i s i b l e things i n our world. They are merely emblems of the s p i r i t and force of the Diving Idea. What though Greek c i v i l i z a t i o n and Roman culture have disappeared? I t i s merely t h e i r external g l o r i e s that have gone; t h e i r true glory l i v e s on forever: The true Past departs not, nothing that was worthy i n the Past departs; no Truth or Goodness r e a l -i zed by man ever dies, or can die; but i s a l l s t i l l here, and recognized or not, l i v e s and works through endless change. 2 In C a rlyle's scheme the physical world i s important only because i t i s the medium through which the s p i r i t s t r i v e s to manifest i t s e l f i n a sensory manner. Matter i n i t s e l f i s unimportant, f o r i t ". . . e x i s t s only s p i r i t u a l l y , and to represent some Idea and to body i t f o r t h . " 3 Often enough Ca r l y l e disregards entirely those things which we see about us and considers the universe to be ". . . but an i n f i n i t e Complex of Forces; thousandfold, from G r a v i t a t i o n up to Thought and W i l l . " 4 I t i s a curious use of the term "force", t h i s one. 1 Sartor, p. 137. 2 " C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , " Essays, v o l . 3, p. 38. 3 Sartor, p. 57. 4 French Revolution, v o l . 2, p. 102. See also "Diamond Necklace", Essays, v o l . 3, p. 338. 39 Force, according to C a r l y l e , pervades every object of the physical universe. I f a drop of water f a l l s to the ground, i t does not l i e there, but i s whisked mysteriously away to a t r o p i c ocean or the North Pole. The withered l e a f i s not dead, but has a force i n i t , " . . . else hc-vi- could i t r o t ? " 1 T r a d i t i o n and memory each have a force that causes us to act i n a cer t a i n way and i t i s through the a c t i v i t y of these forces, that the goodness and j u s t i c e of the past continue to exert t h e i r influences. Disregarding the external accidents i n which these a c t i v i t i e s are clothed we have a view of the universe as a Shoreless Fountain-ocean of Force, of power to  do: wherein Force r o l l s and c i r c l e s , b i l l o w i n g , many-streamed, harmonious; wide as Immensity, deep as E t e r n i t y ; b e a u t i f u l and t e r r i b l e , not to be comprehended: t h i s i s what man names Existence and Universe; t h i s thousand-tinted Flame-image, at once v e i l and revelation, r e f l e x such as he, i n his, poor brain and heart, can paint of One Unnameable, dwelling i n inaccessible l i g h t l From beyond the Star-galaxies, from before the Beginning of Days, i t billows and r o l l s . 2 Even as the physical world i s a complex of forces working out an eternal design, so man i s an apparition made by God and through which God's plan w i l l be furthered. Each of us i s a s p i r i t i n a corporeal form, a soul rendered v i s i b l e . Each of us can say: "I have the miraculous breath of L i f e i n me, breathed into me by Almighty God. I have af f e c t i o n s , thoughts, a god-given c a p a b i l i t y to be and to do." 3 The f i r s t proof of Sartor, p. 56. French Revolution, v o l . 2, p. 102. "Chartism", Essays, v o l . 4, p. 163. 40 the divine o r i g i n of man Car l y l e finds i n the a f f e c t i o n that one man holds f o r another. He discovers among a l l men a shared or universal anthropomorphism, a love that binds one human to h i s fellows. "Ye have compassion on one another. . . . This i s a great d i r e c t thought, a glance at f i r s t hand into the very f a c t of t h i n g s . " 1 I t i s from our common' parentage i n God that t h i s a f f e c t i o n springs; we are indeed a l l brothers. I t w i l l be appreciated that t h i s aspect of Carlyle's philosophy moulded h i s view of biography. Because he thought that the compassion that one man showed f o r another was proof of the divine o r i g i n of mankind, C a r l y l e looked upon small acts of compassion and a f f e c t i o n as revelatory of the man himself, or rather, and t h i s i s i n the end the same thing, as revelatory of the amount of godhead i n the man. As a r e s u l t , i n a l l h i s biographies, he tends to give unusual stress to such small and seemingly unimportant incidents as reveal i n h i s subject an open and a loving heart. He i s much impressed with Boswell's chronicle of Johnson's d a i l y a c t i v i t i e s and i t i s therefore relevant to look f o r a moment at the incident from Boswell's L i f e of Johnston that he chooses to quote i n h i s essay on biography: Boswell re l a t e s t h i s i n i t s e l f smallest and poorest of occurrences: 'As we walked along the Strand tonight, arm i n arm, a woman of the town accosted us i n the usual enticing manner. "No, no, my g i r l , " said Johnson, " i t won't do." He, however, did not treat Buer with harsh-ness; and we talked of the wrteched l i f e of 1 Heroes, p. 7 9 . 41 such women.* Strange power of R e a l i t y l Not even t h i s poorest of occurrences, but now, a f t e r seventy years are come and gone, has a meaning f o r us. 1 I t may be charged that C a r l y l e i n h i s own biographies l a i d undue emphasis on just such incidents as t h i s , but i t must also be admitted that h i s theory of biography l e d him to be one of the f i r s t to recognize the worth of Boswell as a bio-grapher. A second and a stronger demonstration of the d i v i n i t y that i s within us Carlyle finds i n the fac t that we worship. In Heroes C a r l y l e makes much of the f a c t that men have from the beginning of time f e l t and unconsciously known that there i s something above and beyond themselves, a some-thing mysteriously connected with themselves. And, just as mysteriously, they have f e l t moved to worship th i s something. God made himself known to the rude pagans of the north as to the wold Arabs of the south. True he was known to each i n a .X d i f f e r e n t way, but he was at bottom the same God. An elevated and exalted version of that universal anthropomorphism which enables one man to recognize another as h i s brother, enables man to perceive h i s God and to worship him. Man i s properly, then, a s p i r i t whose home i s i n God and who, f o r the b r i e f period of h i s sojourn upon earth, i s connected by i n v i s i b l e bonds to a l l other men. But just as the s p i r i t contained i n the physical world i s obscured by the matter enclosing i t , so man finds h i s s p i r i t trammeled and "Biography", Essays, v o l . 3, p. 56«-42 confined by the needs and desires of h i s physical s e l f . Most d i s t r a c t i n g — and therefore most d i s t a s t e f u l since i t leads the s p i r i t away from the worship of i t s maker — i s the human yearning for happiness on t h i s earth. Happiness i s not possible because true happiness can be found only i n the per-f e c t i o n and completeness of God. Searching f o r happiness i s f u t i l e and leads only to greater unhappiness, since the search must end i n f a i l u r e . Moreover, searching f o r happiness i n t h i s earth i s immoral since i t i n t e r f e r e s with the search f o r God. Here i s the basis f o r Carlyle's great contempt f o r the Benthamites and t h e i r doctrines. The emphasis that Bentham put upon the attainment of happiness was anathema to C a r l y l e . He f e l t that the whole Benthamite theory was aimed only at securing through material comfort and well-being the greatest possible measure of happiness and contentment on t h i s earth. Repeatedly Carlyle explodes against t h i s view: W i l l the whole Finance Minsters and Upholsterers and Confectioners of modern Europe undertake, i n joint-stock company, to make one Shoeblack HAPPY? They cannot accomplish i t , above an hour or two; f o r the Shoeblack also has a Soul •quite other than h i s Stomach; and would require, i f you consider i t , f or h i s permanent s a t i s f a c -t i o n and saturation, simply t h i s allotment, no more, and no l e s s : God's i n f i n i t e Universe a l -together to himself, therein to enjoy i n f i n i t e l y , and f i l l every wish as f a s t as i t r o s e . l This i s merely a restatement of the age-old precept that man does not l i v e by bread alone, but with C a r l y l e i t takes on greater than usual si g n i f i c a n c e because of the earnestness of 1 Sartor, p. 152. A3 h i s view. I t i s not enough that man should be aware of h i s soul; Carlyle would have him continually f i l l e d with reverence and awe before t h i s d i v i n i t y that i s within him, with torment and fear that he i s not treating i t as i t would be treated, with love and gladness that i t i s there at a l l . Worse to Carlyle than the unhappiness of searching for s a t i s f a c t i o n i s the stagnation of imagining that we have found i t . Nothing i s more despicable than the smugness and complacency of s e l f - s a t i s f a c t i o n . "To me," says C a r l y l e , through the mouth of TeufelsdrSckhn, nothing seems more natural than that the Son of Man, y/hen such God-given mandate f i r s t p r o p hetically s t i r s within him, and the Clay must now be vanquished or vanquish, — should be c a r r i e d of the s p i r i t into grim Solitudes, and there fronting the Tempter to grimmest ba t t l e with him; d e f i a n t l y setting him at naught, t i l l he y i e l d and f l y . Name i t as we choose: with or without v i s i b l e D e v i l , whether i n the natural Desert of rocks and sands, or i n the populous moral Desert of selfishness and baseness, — to such Temptation are we a l l c a l l e d . Unhappy i f we are not! Unhappy i f we are but Half-men, i n whom that divine handwriting has never blazed f o r t h , all-subduing, i n true . sun-splendour; but quivers dubiously amid meaner l i g h t s ; or smoulders i n d u l l pain, i n darkness, under earthly vapoursi1 I f , i n a s u r f e i t of worldly goods, we l i e back and imagine that we have everything we want and need, we are no longer men, but half-men, stomachs bereft of souls. (For C a r l y l e the stomach i s the usual symbol f o r human desires which can be f u l f i l l e d by the physical world, just as cookery i s h i s symbol f o r a l l 1 Sartor, p. 147 » 44 the life-processes which contribute to the s a t i s f a c t i o n of these desires.) God only i s perfect and complete. I t i s man's l o t to seek ever the perfection of God though he knows f u l l well that, he can never f i n d i t . To C a r l y l e i t i s immoral f o r any man to stop searching f o r God and struggling to do h i s w i l l . Are we then to conclude that C a r l y l e would allow no happiness i n thi s world? He once exclaimed that man had more ri g h t to a gallows-noose about h i s neck than to happiness. Yet Carl y l e does allow a degree of happiness. Since discontent and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n come from looking to t h i s world f o r happiness, s a t i s f a c t i o n and contentment w i l l come from looking away from t h i s world. For thi s "looking away" C a r l y l e has a term — borrow-ed i n t h i s instance from Geothe and Novalis — Selbsttffdtung or s e l f - a n n i h i l a t i o n . Selbsttodtung C a r l y l e c a l l s the f i r s t pre-liminary moral act, the act from which a l l morality springs. Thus, f o r example, does Teufelsdrockh, tortured and toaanented by that f o o l i s h precept "Know thyself", forget himself, annihilate h i s S e l f , and with " . . . mind's eye now unsealed, and i t s hands ungyved," 1 r i s e from the Everlasting No to the Everlasting Yea. He throws o f f the egoism of concern with s e l f , of inqu i r i n g as to his own existence, of seeking h i s own happiness, and finds there-by a measure of comfort and assurance, and at the same time, that great moral truth, that t h i s i s God's world: Sweeter than Dayspring to the Shipwrecked i n Nova Zerabla: ah, l i k e the mother* s voice to her l i t t l e c h i l d that strays, bewildered, weeping, i n un-known tumults; l i k e soft strainings of c e l e s t i a l music to my too-exasperated heart, came that 1 Sartor, p. 149. 45 Evangel. The Universe i s not dead and demoniacal, a charnelhouse of spectres, but godlike, and my Father' s'.l A l l that i s self-regarding and s e l f i s h l y personal i n our l i v e s must be put away so that the s p i r i t can soar free above the c i r c u l a t i o n s of every-day l i f e that have hitherto bound i t . With the a n n i h i l a t i o n of s e l f we are freed from envy, anger, hatred, jealousy — a l l those personal emotions which t h r o t t l e the soul of man. We are freed too from the use-l e s s , self-conscious scrutiny of ourselves and can turn our attentions to the world and to God. The soul can then penetrate, to the extent which i t i s freed, beyond the phantasmagoria and gloom that surround i t and can perceive, though s t i l l dimly, the Laws -of Nature. Proportional to the penetration and perception — and to the subsequent r i g h t a c t i v i t y — i s the happiness that r e s u l t s from the denial of s e l f . I t can, of course, at best be only a p a r t i a l happiness, for the Selbst-todtune can be only p a r t i a l . Perfect denial of s e l f , though i t would mean f u l l r e a l i z a t i o n of the s p i r i t within, would also mean the end of l i f e f o r the body without. Thus i t follows l o g i c a l l y that: . . . the Dead are a l l holy, even they that were base and wicked while a l i v e . Their baseness and wickedness was not They, was but the heavy and unmanageable Environment that lay round them, with which they fought unprevailingly: they (the ethereal god-given force that was i n them, and was. t h e i r Self) have now shuffled o f f that heavy Environment and are now free and pure.2 Sartor, p. 150. "Biography", Essays, v o l . 3, p. 56.. 46 More important than the degree of happiness obtained through Salbsttodtung i s the degree of perception i t gives i n t o the Laws of Nature. The more completely the work and purpose of our l i v e s are turned from the s e l f i s h and.the petty, the more f u l l y we come i n t u i t i v e l y to an awareness of God and h i s plan. This awareness i s dependent upon not only the degree to which the s p i r i t has been freed from physical entanglement, but also to the amount of i n t u i t i o n with which the person has been en-dowed. Carlyle uses the word " i n t u i t i o n " to designate a mystical a b i l i t y to recognize what one should do. I t i s the s p i r i t u a l communication system between God and man and as such i t i s a human f a c u l t y f a r more important to C a r l y l e than the f a c u l t y of reason: . . . Often by some winged word, winged as the thunderbolt, of a Luther, a Napoleon, a Goethe, s h a l l we see the d i f f i c u l t y s p l i t asunder and i t s secret l a i d bare; while the Irrefragable, with a l l h i s l o g i c a l tools, hews at i t , and hovers round i t , and finds i t on a l l hands too hard f o r him.l B r i e f l y , succinctly, Carlyle's motto i n t h i s matter i s : ". . . i t i s the heart always that sees, before the head can see . . . ." 2 I f we accept that God i s s p i r i t and that man i s a physical manifestation of t h i s s p i r i t , , we must of course accept that there w i l l be some mysterious and unseen agency l i n k i n g the two. Since God i s ultimate and all-knowing, i n -t u i t i o n sent by him i s superior to reason which i s only the 1 "C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " , Essays, v o l . 3, p. 6. 2 "Chartism", Essays, v o l . A, p. I48. 47 product of a f i n i t e mind dealing with f i n i t e experiences. Just as Carlyle believed that the objects of the v i s i b l e world had t h e i r r e a l existence only i n the s p i r i t and force which they harboured, so he considered man to have h i s true being only i n the spark of d i v i n i t y which was h i s soul. We would expect, then, that C a r l y l e would l a y l i t t l e worth upon human beings, just as he put l i t t l e store by the treasures of the physical world. To some extent t h i s i s indeed the case. Once, commenting on Dr. Johnson sea-Etching among c o f f i n s f o r a ghost, C a r l y l e remarked: "The good Doctor was a ghost, as actual and authentic as heart could wish." 1 To Car l y l e we are a l l ghosts and spectres who appear for ah instant i n body form, then fade again into a i r and i n v i s i b i l i t y . And though there be a .thousand m i l l i o n of us ". . . walking the Earth openly at noontide; some half-hundred have vanished from i t , some h a l f -hundred arisen i n i t , ere thy;" watch t i c k s once." 2 Thus, to Ca r l y l e , thinking i n terms of eternity and i n f i n i t y , i t meant l i t t l e that Governor Eyre should murder a few blacks or that ten thousand or a hundred thousand should perish i n the French Revolution as long as the Universe - was brought somewhat back to order i n the procjess. However, Carlyle does not always hold t h i s l i g h t opinion of the value of the i n d i v i d u a l . Just as he revered the physical world as a revelation of the divine w i l l , so he reveres Sartor, p. 211' Loc. c i t . 48 the human body as the receptacle of the s p i r i t of God. Speak-ing of the worship and awe with which Abbot Samson uncovered the body of St. Edmund, Car l y l e asks: Who knows how to reverence the Body of Man? I t Is the most reverend phenomenon under t h i s Sun. For the highest God dwells v i s i b l e i n that mystic unfathomable V i s i b i l i t y , which c a l l s I t s e l f »I» on the Earth. He then goes on to quote Novalis: Bending over men . . . i s a reverence done to th i s Revelation i n the Flesh. We touch Heaven when we lay our hand on a human Body. 1 Greatly as Ca r l y l e reveres the human body, note that the reason always i s that i t i s a "Revelation i n the Flesh" and that the highest God dwells v i s i b l e i n i t ; never does he worship or honour the human body or the human l i f e f o r i t s e l f and as a thing apart from the godhead i t contains. So f a r we have considered Selbsttodtung only as the process by which a man who i s tormenting himself with ques-tions as to the purpose of h i s own existence i s turned from thi s useless introversion through recognition of h i s in s i g n i f i c a n c e and unimportance r e l a t i v e to the universe and to God. But consider how the Promethean or Faustian man, the man who w i l l recognize no bounds qr l i m i t s to h i s freedom. He w i l l not acknowledge that he i s subservient to any God or Divine Idea, and therefore he denies the s p i r i t u a l part of Past and Present, p. 124f 49 himself, what to C a r l y l e i s the only r e a l and l i v i n g part of himself. Here there must he a pruning back of thi s s e l f that i s growing anarchically i n a l l di r e c t i o n s , ^here must be recognition that man cannot measure himself with the gods. And i f our Prometheus ask "Why not?' What distinguishes men from gods?" we can f i n d the answer where Car l y l e found i t , i n Goethe: Was unterscheidet G6tter von Menschen? Dass v i e l e Wellen Von jenen wandeln, Ei n ewiger Strom: Uns hebt die Welle, Verschlingt die Welle, Und wir versinken. E i n k l e i n e r Ring Begrenzt unser Leben, Und v i e l e Geschlechter Reinen sic h dauernd An ihres Daseins Unendliche Kette. (Die Grenzen der Menschheit.) With Goethe C a r l y l e i n s i s t s repeatedly that there are bounds to human existence, and with Goethe he sees as the f i r s t proof of t h i s the f a c t that upon a l l humans i s l a i d the necessity to die. Here i s the most unavoidable and undeniable proof that man i s not a free agent. Having forced acceptance of t h i s l i m i t upon the Promethean man, Car l y l e then goes on to outline other l i m i t s of mankind. Foremost among these i s the l i m i t set by man's God-given sense of duty. Carlyle postulates that each man has, as a basic component of the d i v i n i t y which he i n h e r i t s , a sense 50 of r i g h t and wrong, together with a compelling urge to do what i s ri g h t and to avoid what i s wrong. Each man does not, of course, see h i s duty with the same c l a r i t y , hut each, whether he be enmeshed i n introverted contemplation or blown up with a Faustian sense of his own importance, f e e l s that mysterious power urging him to look to what he should do. Thus, Teufelsdrttckh, caught i n the scepticism and denial of the Everlasting No, writes that: . . . i n spite ©f a l l Motive-grinders, and Mechanical Profit-and-Loss Philosophies, with the sick ophthalmia and h a l l u c i n a t i o n they had brought on, was the I n f i n i t e Nature of Duty s t i l l dimly present to me: l i v i n g without God i n the world, of God's l i g h t I was not u t t e r l y bereft; i f my as yet sealed eyes, with t h e i r unspeakable longing, could nowhere see Him, nevertheless i n my heart He was present, and His heaven-written Law s t i l l stood l e g i b l e and sacred there. 1 Later, i n Past and Present. C a r l y l e picks up the very words of Teufelsdrockh to declare that " t h i s same 'sense of the I n f i n i t e Nature of Duty' i s the central part of a l l with us; a ray as of E t e r n i t y and Immortality, immured i n dusky many-2 coloured Time." I t i s because we are connected s p i r i t u a l l y to the Divine and the I n f i n i t e that we recognize unconsciously what we should do and f e e l compelled to do I t . And insofar as we obey our sense of duty our freedom i s again l i m i t e d . A further l i m i t a t i o n of mankind l i e s i n the imperfection of human i n t e l l e c t . To understand why Carlyle Sartor, p. 131. Past and Present. jS. 109. 51 f e l t as v i o l e n t l y as he did on t h i s point we must f i r s t look a b i t at the philosophical background of h i s time. C a r l y l e s generation and the one preceding i t had pushed the boundaries of human understanding a long way. Laplace i n h i s MecHanique  Celeste had charted the stars and was able to predict t h e i r courses with unerring accuracy. Moreover, i n h i s Exposition  du Systerne du Monde he had attempted an explanation of the o r i g i n s of our planetary system. Adam Smith, David Ricardo, amd t h e i r d i s c i p l e s had put forward theories of p o l i t i c a l economy which explained with i r r e f u t a b l e l o g i c why the peasants of Ireland were starving and the poor of England i n r e v o l t . Lamarck, with his theorytbat l i f e may have originated spontane-ously from the i n t e r a c t i o n of heat and e l e c t r i c i t y , had dealt a sore blow to the r e l i g i o u s view of creation; while at the same time, Erasmus Darwin was preparing the minds of thinkers f o r the even more h e r e t i c a l ideas of h i s b r i l l i a n t grandson. In consequence of these apparent v i c t o r i e s of the human i n t e l l e c t , and bolstered i n i t s optimism by the sight of f a c t o r i e s and railways — symbolic of man's conquest of h i s environment — the nineteenth century was well on the way to overthrowing i t s s p i r i t u a l gods and accepting physical ones. The question of whether a thing was good or bad, true or f a l s e i n an absolute sense, was becoming one of whether, i n a p r a c t i c a l sense i t worked or not. I t was this switch i n point of view which caused Albert Schweitzer to condemn the nineteenth-52 century completely: Responsibility for the decay of c i v i l i z a t i o n l i e s at the door of nineteenth century p h i l o -sophy. I t did not understand how to keep a l i v e the coraern for. c i v i l i z a t i o n which existed i n the period of the Enlightenment. I t should have recognized i t s task as being the continua-t i o n of the work i n elemental thinking about ethics and attitude toward l i f e , which was l e f t incomplete by the eighteenth century. Instead of that, i t l o s t i t s e l f during the nineteenth century more and more deeply i n the unelemental. I t renounced i t s connection with man's natural search f o r a view of l i f e , and became merely a science of the history of philosophy. I t provided . i t s e l f with a point of view out of a combination of history and natural science. This, however, turned out to be quite l i f e l e s s , and,failed to preserve any concern f o r c i v i l i z a t i o n . I t i s not true, of course, that everyone i n £he nine-teenth century f a i l e d i n t h i s concern. C a r l y l e , f o r one, concerned himself almost s o l e l y with t h i s trend. He exploded v i o l e n t l y against science and the mechanistic view of the world. He was not at a l l impressed that Laplace had plotted every star. What does i t p r o f i t us, he c r i e d , " . . . that we can now prate of t h e i r Whereabout; t h e i r How, t h e i r Why, t h e i r What being h i d 2 from us i n the signless Inane?" P o l i t i c a l economy he named a dismal, gloomy science which t r i e s to explain the deep a f f e c t i o n by which one heart feeds on another through dry s t a t i s t i c s . Bentham's theories he c a l l e d a profit-and-loss philosophy which attempted to reduce l i v i n g to bookkeeping. "There i s no longer any God for us." c r i e d C a r l y l e , God's Laws are become a Greatest-Happiness P r i n c i p l e , a Parliamentary Expedience: the Albert Schweitzer, The ^ecay and Restoration of C i v i l i z a t i o n , quoted: i n Out of My L i f e and Thought. New York, Mentor, 1953, p. 154--155. Sartor, p. 205. 53 Heavens overarch us only as an Astronomical Time-Keeper; a butt f o r Herschel-telescopes to shoot science at, to shoot sentimentalities at; — i n our o l d and old Jonson's d i a l e c t , man has l o s t the soul out of him; and now, a f t e r the due period, — begins to f i n d the want of i t I For C a r l y l e , no human explanation of the universe was possible, nor should any be attempted1. "Doth not thy cow calve, doth not thy b u l l gender?" he asked, "Thou, thyself, wert thou 2 not born, w i l t thou not die? Explain me a l l t h i s . . . ." Car l y l e was sure that, while man's reason could not unravel a l l the l a s t secrets of the universe, h i s f a i t h could accept them a l l . F a i t h and believing are therefore more important to Carlyle than knowledge and reason. On t h i s point he i s most emphatic. In Heroes he wrote: A man l i v e s by believing something, not by debating and arguing about many things. A sad case for him when a l l he can manage to believe i s something he can button i n h i s pocket, and with one or the other organ eat and digest! Lower than that he w i l l not get.-* Believing i s intended by C a r l y l e to be the supreme act of F a i t h , the Everlasting Yea. I t i s i n fac t the e t h i c a l acceptance of the world and affirmation of the creed that a divine and moral w i l l i s at work within i t — indeed, rules i t wholly. According to the C a r l y l e way of thinking, l i f e with-out this f a i t h i s impossible. A man who trusts his reason alone and seeks through i t l o g i c a l explanations for the mysteries 1 Sartor, p. 136-137. 2 I b i d . . p. 55. 3 Heroes, p. 201. 54 of l i f e and death, good and e v i l , freedom and necessity, f a l l s at once into doubt, and from there into scepticism, and eventually into denial. At t h i s point, denying what for C a r l y l e i s the purpose of l i f e , he has no motive to l i v e and w i l l no longer l i v e — that i s , w i l l no longer work a t what he should work at. A l a t e r discussion of C a r l y l e 1 s theory of work w i l l j u s t i f y our equating working with l i v i n g . Carlyle's fear of scepticism i s at the back:of many of h i s prejudices and opinions. Thus he hated Methodism because he considered i t to be ". . . a diseased introspection and h o r r i b l e r e s t l e s s doubt ... . with i t s eyes turned forever on i t s own na v e l . " 1 Methodism could not o f f e r the guidance a r e l i g i o n should because i t was too busy with i t s agonizing i n q u i r i e s about i t s e l f . S i m i l a r l y Carlyle d i s l i k e d V o l t a i r e because the l a t t e r ' s free-thinking philosophy denied God. Vo l t a i r e ' s a n t i - C h r i s t i a n rationalism was ". . . only a torch f o r burning, no hammer for bui l d i n g . " Metaphysical theorizing, since i t i s an attempt to f i n d explanations for what C a r l y l e considers to be inex p l i c a b l e , i s also on h i s l i s t of suspicious a c t i v i t i e s . A l l speculative thinking which does not s t a r t from the premise "This i s God's world" i s useless and negative'. To be f a i r to Ca r l y l e , we must recognize that he does not completely deny the power of the human mind. Even i n considering metaphysics he admits that ". . . i f they have 3 produced no Affirmation, they have destroyed much Negation." 1 Past and ^resent, p. 117* 2 Sartor, p. 154-155. ^"C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " , Essays, v o l . 3 , p. 40>. 55 S t a t i s t i c a l i n q u i r i e s into the state of labourers i n England ". . . wisely gone into . . . w i l l y i e l d results worth some-thing, not nothing." 1 He even makes a show of approving Laplace's astronomical studies by claiming that the lecanique Celeste 2 ". . . i s as precious to me as to another." But we are ever counselled to remember* .one thing: "Logic i s good, but i t i s not the best." 3 Carlyle the i d e a l i s t i s always part r e a l i s t . He does not suggest that a l l s c i e n t i f i c i n q uiry and metaphysical speculation should be stopped, but only that t h e i r l i m i t s be recognized, and that there be no e f f o r t to have them supplant f a i t h i n the Divine Idea. While the man of no f a i t h i s l i m i t e d and confined always to dealing with petty things i n the physical world, the man of f a i t h gains by his acceptance of God a power almost unlimited. Secure i n the knowledge that there i s an absolute right and wrong and that he i n t u i t i v e l y knows them, he can work f r e e l y and with fervour at what he recognizes as h i s duty. He cannot read the ultimate secrets of the universe, but he can accomplish much, for none of h i s energy i s wasted i n useless argument or cringing doubt; a l l of i t i s working with the power of God i n accordance wilh the Laws of Nature. More than that, he acquires through h i s acceptance of God a power beyond l o g i c a l comprehension. "Faith i s the one thing needful," says C a r l y l e , . .. . with i t martyrs, otherwise weak, can cheerfully ensure the shame and the cross; L "Chartism", Essays. vol.. .4* P..J-.26, 2 Sartor, p. 205*. 3 " C h a r a c t e r i s e " P- 6, 56 and without i t Worldlings puke-up t h e i r sick existence, by suicide, i n the midst of l u x u r y . 1 Once we have made a confession of f a i t h and accept-ed the l i m i t s of mankind we immediately face the question of f r e e w i l l . Surely freedom l i e s with the man who has not, i n e f f e c t , taken an oath of subservience to a Divine Idea, but who w i l l rather remain a law unto himself; and to say that necessity i s l a i d upon a man to do thus and so i s surely to deny h i s f r e e w i l l ? Carlyle recognized the problem and brought i t up himself. In Sartor. Teufelsdrockh, s o l i l o q u i z i n g on h i s childhood, humorously notes that ". . . F r e e w i l l came often i n p a i n f u l c o l l i s i o n with Necessity, so that my tears flowed." 2 A few chapters l a t e r C a r l y l e himself succinctly sets out the problem: ' Our l i f e i s compassed round with Necessity; yet i s the meaning of L i f e no other than Freedom, than Voluntary Force: thus we have a warfare. 3 The problem i s a perennial one, and one which has probably been at the root of more theological disputes than any other. The C h r i s t i a n church has solved i t with the formula "In Thy service perfect freedom, God." Carlyle solves i t i n a very similar way. "Love not pleasure; love God," says he. "This i s the Everlasting Yea, wherein a l l contradiction i s solved; wherein whoso walks and works, i t i s well with him."4 1 Sartor, p. 129• 2 I b i d - , P. 78. 3 I b i d . . p. 153. 4 I b i d . , p. 153, 57 For Carlyle i t i s no paradox that freedom comes with the acceptance of divine authority. He who i n s i s t s upon being a free-thinker, who denies that there i s any force or power set above him, i s a c t u a l l y the slave of a thousand gods — h i s own whims and desires — and above a l l of an agonizing doubt and a continual unsatisfying s t r i v i n g which w i l l not l e t him r e s t . On the other hand, he who believes and recognizes the l i m i t s of mankind has freedom within those l i m i t s . And, since as a mortal man he cannot escape those l i m i t s whatever h i s b e l i e f s , he has what amounts to perfect and absolute freedom. A further aspect of the d i v i n i t y i n man i s r e f l e c t -ed i n the f a c t that he wonders about the world around him. Wonder, as C a r l y l e uses the term, i s not mere c u r i o s i t y , but i s rather the awe one f e e l s when one sees a beautiful'sunset and r e a l i z e s that some force ordered i t to be — and to repeat i t -s e l f nightly with glorious v a r i e t y . Wonder, l i k e f a i t h , opposes a mechanistic view of the world or any theory which does not allow for mystery. With C a r l y l e , as with Teufelsdr'6ckh, ". . . that progress of Science which i s to destroy Wonder, and i n i t s place substitute Mensuration and Numeration, finds small favour." 1 Wonder i n this sense, f a r from being a l i m i t i n g f a c t o r i n the existence and development of man, i s rather the beginning of a delimiting process. I t plays an important r o l e i n establishing the r e l a t i o n s h i p of God to man, f o r i t enables man to perceive the divine idea a work i n the physical world. Sartor, p. 53. 58 Without wonder man i s no better than a machine. ttThe man who cannot wonder", says C a r l y l e , who does not h a b i t u a l l y wonder (and worship), were he President of innumerable Royal S o c i e t i e s , and c a r r i e d the whole M^canique  Celdste and Hegel's Philosophy, and the epitome of a l l Laboratories and Observatories with t h e i r r e s u l t s i n h i s single head — i s but a pair of spectacles behind which there i s no Eye. 1 Wonder i s , of course, no end i n i t s e l f , nor does the process i t begins stop here. From the wonder and awe aroused by the sight of a l l that i s b e a u t i f u l and awful i n heaven and earth we are moved f i r s t to fear from whence we come to a humble reverence, not of the phenomenon i t s e l f , but of the power that caused i t : and so wonder becomes "the basis of worship". 2 Wonder i s the soul's mysterious recognition of i t s a f f i n i t y with the divine: force l y i n g behind natural phenonomena. Worship i s the sensible utterance of t h i s non-sensible recognition. To primitive man worship came e a s i l y and n a t u r a l l y . The shining f o r t h of a star was to him a great and un-under-standable thing and he f e l l i n supplication before Canopus. To modern man, worship i s more d i f f i c u l t f o r the shining f o r t h of a star has become a matter of s c i e n t i f i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n and i s no longer a bold miracle. Our eyes no longer look d i r e c t l y upon the universe, but look rather f o r explanation i n theories 1 Sartor, p. 54* 2 I b i d . , p. 53. 59 of l i g h t propagation and evolution, while "To the wild deep-hearted man a l l was yet new, not v e i l e d under names and formulas; i t stood flashing i n on him there, b e a u t i f u l , awful, unspeakable." 1 Religion i s to Ca r l y l e a formalized, dogmatized v a r i e t y of worship. I t begins because man, s t r i v i n g to a l i g n himself with the divine, yet l i m i t e d by h i s f i n i t e nature, found himself forced to choosle a part as representative of a whole and to worship a symbol i n place of the greatness which he could not name. The choice of a symbol i s not so important as the act of worshipping: The rudest heathen that worshipped Canopus, or the Caabah Black-stone, he . . . was superior to the horse that worshipped nothing. 2 Yet symbols are important too, f o r they, being more idea than object, are the highest attempt of man to express the i n f i n i t e through the f i n i t e . The truest symbol of a man i s h i s l i f e and works, f o r here i s ". . . a symbolic Representation, and making v i s i b l e , of the C e l e s t i a l i n v i s i b l e Force that i s i n him." 3 In the beginning, says C a r l y l e , "Religion was everywhere".^ Pagan r e l i g i o n s worshipped s p i r i t s i n every wind and tree and saw the w i l l of God i n the f l i g h t of birds . A l -though to us Paganism i s " . . . a bewildering, i n e x t r i c a b l e 1 Heroes, p. 7. 2 I b i d , p. 139. 3 French Revolution, v o l . 2, p. 4-7. 4 "Characte ristics", Essays, v o l . 3, p. 15* 60 jungle of delusions, confusions, falsehood, and absurdities, covering the whole f i e l d of L i f e , " 1 i t did have t h i s superior-i t y , that i t looked with wonder, reverence, and worship on the world. Carlyle believes that a l l r e l i g i o n s i n t h e i r beginnings have t h i s s i n c e r i t y of b e l i e f . Gradually the form of worship becomes more complex — a sure sign that the r e l i g i o n has be-gun to think about i t s e l f and not about God — and herein are the symptoms of decay. While C a r l y l e holds that the C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n i s nobler than Paganism because i t has substituted holiness and morality f o r force, he nevertheless f e e l s that the C h r i s t i a n i t y of h i s day was showing signs of decay. Philosophy had set to work upon r e l i g i o n , s p l i t t i n g i t into sects, setting up channels of worship, and eventeully obscuring the primitive f a i t h with such terms as Puseyism and Thirty-nine A r t i c l e s , t i l l the s p i r i t o r i g i n a l l y worshipped was quite forgotten. R i t u a l and symbols came to be venerated for themselves and the animus which they once represented was neglected. In tracing Carlyle's system of philosophy we have now brought ourselves to the point of understanding Carlyle's view of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of h i s own generation to God. God, who i s the maker of the universe and of us, has implanted i n each human a soul that f o r i t s proper nourii shment and growth requires that i t s host acknowledge and worship God and s t r i v e to act according to h i s w i l l . But two things come between man and the f u l f i l l m e n t of the needs of h i s soul — h i s bodily desire, which 1 Heroes, p. 4. 61 he must renounce, and the vain s t r i v i n g s of h i s i n t e l l e c t , which he must acknowledge to be imperfect. With respect to h i s own generation Carlyle f e l t that humanity had never been so f a r from God. A c e r t a i n doctrine of "enlightened selfishness" was coaxing man to seek s a t i s f a c t i o n of h i s physical desires while the progress of science was o f f e r -ing him more and more opportunity for luxurious g r a t i f i c a t i o n of those desires. At the same time, s c i e n t i s t s were suggesting e l e c t r i c i t y as the progenitor of the world, and Chartists were, offe r i n g the b a l l o t box as i t s saviour. Man was on the very . point of grasping these material luxuries, these r a t i o n a l explanations, and these universal panaceas, and of turning h i s back on God. To C a r l y l e , man was on the brink of Niagara, and Carlyle made i t h i s l i f e ' s work to t r y to prevent humanity from going over the edge. Chapter I I I Man i n the World and among h i s Fellows What Ca r l y l e could do i n a general way to t r y to avert the danger that he saw, he did. That i s , he preached incessantly f o r the recognition of s p i r i t u a l values. But he t r i e d as well to o f f e r more p r a c t i c a l help. He applied the philosophy outlined i n the preceding chapter to l i f e and came up with c e r t a i n d i c t a which he intended should help guide those who did not see as c l e a r l y as he did what was required of them. C r i t i c s and commentators since Carlyle have given these d i c t a names — the doctrine of silen c e , the doctrine of work, f o r example — and have spoken of them as though Carlyle had developed them f u l l y and set them out formally, something which he never did. I t w i l l be the purpose of t h i s chapter to out-l i n e the two most important of these theories, the theory of heroes and the theory of work, and to show how they derive from the basic Carlyle philosophy. But before t h i s i s begun, i t w i l l be necessary f o r us to look b r i e f l y at Carlyle's concept of the place of the i n d i v i d u a l i n society. Carlyle's view of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of man to other men goes back to his concept of man as a s p i r i t bound by i n -v i s i b l e s p i r i t u a l bonds to a l l other men. Because of t h i s , the p r a c t i c a l arrangement by which one man binds another to him i s not very important to C a r l y l e . Only i n recognition of how un-important he considered these p r a c t i c a l arrangements can 62 C a r l y l e ' s attitude towards slavery, reflected i n the following commentary on the American C i v i l War, be understood: Peter of the North (to Paul of the South) "Paul, you unaccountable scoundrel, I f i n d you h i r e your servants f o r l i f e , not by the month or year as I do'. You are going straight to H e l l , you !" Paul. "Good words, Peter*, the r i s k i s my own; I am w i l l i n g to take the r i s k . Hire you your servants by the month or day, and get straight to Heaven; leave me to my own method." Peter. "No, I won't. I w i l l beat your brains out f i r s t ! " (And i s trying dreadfully ever since, but cannot yet manage i t . ) 1 I t i s the s p i r i t u a l r elationship of man to man, the i n t e r a c t i o n of souls, that counts fo r C a r l y l e . I f the heart of the slave-owner i s properly disposed toward h i s slaves, then i t matters l i t t l e that t h e i r physical freedom i s c u r t a i l e d . Carlyle f e l t that Gurth's leather c o l l a r represented no slavery, f o r I t i n no was imprisoned h i s s p i r i t . Just as C a r l y l e objected that h i s generation looked at the physical world only as a machine to be investigated s c i e n t i f i c a l l y , so he f e l t that i t was putting a l l i t s f a i t h i n science i n i t s approach to personal r e l a t i o n s h i p s . He considered the view that " . . . a l l goes by s e l f - i n t e r e s t and the checking and balancing of greedy knaveries, and that there i s nothing divine whatever i n the association of men"2 a modern error more despicable than that of ascribing divine r i g h t to people c a l l e d kings. 1 "The American I l i a d i n a Nutshell", Macmillan's Magazine, v o l . 8 (August, 1863), p. 301. 2 ' Heroes, p. 228* 63 The emotional tone of the rel a t i o n s h i p of man to man i s , when the s p i r i t i s allowed to express i t s e l f t r u l y , one of a f f e c t i o n and spapathy, since ". . . a c e r t a i n orthodox Anthropomorphism connects my Me with a l l - Thees i n bonds of Love". 1 I t i s understood, of course, that i n our imperfect world, baser impulses i n t e r f e r e and other emotional tones r e s u l t , but i n Past and Present Carlyle set out h i s i d e a l view of the bond between man and man: . . . men.' s hearts ought not to be set against one another; but set with one another, and a l l against the E v i l thing only. Men's souls ought to be l e f t to see c l e a r l y ; not jaundiced, blinded, twisted a l l awry, by revenge, mutual abhorrence, and the l i k e . 2 C a r l y l e does not greatly stress h i s idea of love, nor does he expand i t or explain i t . I t i s obvious, however, from what we can see i n h i s writings and from what we have a l -ready seen i n h i s philosophy, that i t i s an impersonal form of love that he means — and there i s a certa i n hardness i n i t . Moreover, love i s not the only emotion involved i n the r e l a t i o n -ship of .•.•man to--man. - 'There are other facets of the r e l a t i o n s h i p , p a r t i c u l a r l y duty and obedience, to be considered, so that C a r l y l e does not advocate .pure human!tarianism or philanthropy. Thus while he repeatedly pleads the cause of the starving peasants of Ireland and the unemployed labourers of England, he does not show the same sympathy for the slaves of the West Indies. The I r i s h peasants and the English labourers are w i l l -1 Sartor, p. 107. 2 Past and Present, p. 17. 64 ing to do t h e i r duty i f only t h e i r leaders w i l l allow i t , while the black slaves refuse to' do the work that i s provided f o r them. Although love as an emotion i s not greatly emphasiz-ed i n the Carlylean system, as an attitude which colours man's view of the world around him i t i s very important. Since love i s the outward recognition of the s p i r i t u a l bond which binds man to man, i t determines how he w i l l act toward h i s fellow man. In t h i s sense, then, i t i s the beginning of morality. We do good, not because we are trying to provide happiness f o r our-selves (as Bentham would have i t ) , but because the man with whom we are dealing i s our brother, a part of ourselves. Morality thus understood i s a personal thing, yet I t i s the beginning of a l l morality f o r i t leads us to act i n a s p i r i t of love f o r the good of a l l mankind, and the good man i s ". . . he who works continually i n well-doing".1 Thus does f a i t h , the p o s i t i v e acceptance of a world d i v i n e l y directed, move through fear and reverence to worship and love, and emerge eventually as morality. The process i s l o g i c a l , r a t i o n a l once we have taken the i n i t i a l step, that of believing i n the Divine Idea and the Laws of Nature. For Carlyle there i s no achievement possible except through t h i s process: I say t h i s i s yet the only true morality "known. A man i s r i g h t and i n v i n c i b l e , virtuous and on the road towards conquest, p r e c i s e l y while he joins himself to the great deep Law of the World, i n spite of a l l s u p e r f i c i a l laws, temporary appearances, profit-and-loss calculations; he i s "Characteristics", Essays, v o l . 3, p. 7« 65 v i c t o r i o u s while he co-operates with that great central Law, not vic t o r i o u s otherwise. 1 In the Carlylean scheme i t i s not only a c t i v i t y — of which we s h a l l have more to say l a t e r — that derives from man's f a i t h and love. In h i s essay on "Biography" he wrote: "A loving, heart i s the beginning of a l l knowledge", 2 and l a t e r , i n .Heroes, he expanded th i s idea: . . . without morality, i n t e l l e c t were im-possible f o r [man]: a thoroughly immoral man could not know anything at a l l . - To know a thing, what we can c a l l knowing, a man must f i r s t love the thing, sympathize with i t : that i s , be v i r t u o u s l y related to i t . I f he have not j u s t i c e to put down h i s own s e l f i s h -ness at every turn . . . how s h a l l he know? . . . Nature, with her truth, remains to the bad, to the s e l f i s h and the pusillanimous f o r -ever a. sealed book. What such can know of Nature i s mean, s u p e r f i c i a l , small; f o r the uses of the day merely . . . We can see here more c l e a r l y what C a r l y l e means when he says knowledge without love i s impossible. Remembering that he has c a l l e d h i s philosophy a "Platonic mysticism", we w i l l r e a l i z e that Carlyle's concept of knowing means the recognition i n the material and actual world of the i d e a l world that l i e s behind i t . Without t h i s recognition there can be no cognition. And the recognition can come only as a consequence of the entire f a i t h - l o v e process, so that the knower i s i n moral sympathy with whatever he would know. Any attempt at knowledge which does not begin with 1 Heroes, p. 65*-2 Essays, v o l . 3, p. 57. 3 Heroes, p. 122, 66 acceptance of the Divine Idea and the Laws of Nature i s doomed to f a i l u r e . The great douhter, Descartes, who started from himself with the f i r s t premise "Cogito ergo sum", was complete anathema to Ca r l y l e , f o r "thought without reverence i s barren, perhaps poisonous". 1 Thus, f o r example, H i t l e r , beginning with the dictum "I am God", went on to devise a philosophy completely 2 lacking i n morality; and the poison that h i s e g o t i s t i c a l , irreverent thought generated we a l l know. The influence of love and of the knowledge that i t brings i s not, however, l i m i t e d to the i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t i e s of man. A l l that a man does or thinks, a l l that he hopes to do, i s dependent upon h i s sympathetic awareness of the r e a l i t y that l i e s hidden within a c t u a l i t y . The poet or a r t i s t , attempting to portray i n a p a r t i c u l a r experience something of universal significance must be able to see through to r e a l i t y , must have ". . . a n open loving heart . . . that opens the whole mind, quickens every f a c u l t y of the i n t e l l e c t to do i t s f i t work, that of knowing; and therefrom, by sure consequence, of v i v i d l y uttering f o r t h . " ^ When the a r t i s t f e e l s imspired i n t h i s manner, when he f e e l s i n harmonious and sympathetic union with 1 Sartor, p. 54, 2 See Herman Rauschning, H i t l e r Speaks. London, Thornton Butter-worth, 1939. "Where should we be i f we had formal scruples. I simply disregard these things." (p. 107) "I have no scruples." (p. 15) "There i s no such thing as Truth, eith e r i n the moral or the s c i e n t i f i c sense . . . . Conscience i s a Jewish invention. I t i s a blemish, l i k e circumcisib:n." (p. 220) 3 "Biography", Essays, v o l . 3, p. 57. 67 h i s subject, then h i s work becomes a symbol i n which we " d i s -cern E t e r n i t y looking through Time". 1 An a r t i s t lacking t h i s a f f i n i t y with nature can do nothing worthy of the name of a r t . "How can we sing and paint." c r i e s C a r l y l e , "when we do not yet see and b e l i e v e ? " 2 Because Ca r l y l e often expressed extravagant admir-ation f o r the a r t i s t , p a r t i c u l a r l y the poet, i t i s worthwhile to digress here f o r a moment to examine h i s attitude towards the poet. To Carlyle the duty of the poet i s to present the i d e a l i n terms of the actual, that i s , to reveal to the common man the divine mystery which l i e s at the bottom of appearances. I t was a poet, says C a r l y l e , who f i r s t looked i n awe at the beauty of the stars, divined t h e i r secret, and passed i t on to h i s weak-eyed fellow. In t h i s view, " . . . l i t e r a t u r e i s but a branch of r e l i g i o n " , - and the poet i s a prophet. This l a t t e r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n Carlyle delights to reinforce with the observa-t i o n that " i n some o l d languages . . . the t i t l e s are synonymous; Vates means both Prophet and Poet."& He has recourse again to t h i s doubtful procedure of arguing etymologically when he points 1 Sartor, p. 178• 2 Froude, L i f e , v o l . 2, p. 299. Quoted i n Roe, op. c i t . , p. 61. Roe uses the quotation to support h i s statement that "Poetry, l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , a r t , and philosophy must give way to more pressing issues" — the more pressing issues being the problems of society. Here i s a good example of an author completely misinterpreting C a r l y l e because he does not understand Carlyle's philosophical system. Seeing and believing are the prerequisites for singing and painting, not demands f o r p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y . 3 "Characteristics", Essays, v o l . 3, p. 23. 4 Heroes, p. 91» 68 out the .Scots word f o r poet i s "maker" and the Anglo-saxon scop (from gcyppan - to create) — both words which prove to C a r l y l e that the rude shap.ers of our language recognized the poet's close connection with the c r e a t o r . 1 I f a l l poets were as aware of theernrrnaaiesy of t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s are Carlyle i s , how l i t t l e of our poetry would have been writtenl For, despite the f a c t that Carlyle. quotes Goethe: "The B e a u t i f u l i s higher than the Good; the B e a u t i f u l o includes the Good", i t i s obvious that C a r l y l e would never approve of a work of a r t , however beautiful' i t might i n i t s e l f be, unless he considered i t to be to some extent a bodying f o r t h of the divine Idea. Carlyle's monumental and moral idea of beauty partakes of l i t t l e of the grace and delicacy of a Goethe l y r i c . Since the poet or a r t i s t puts into h i s work a l l of r e a l i t y that he can grasp and express, so h i s work reveals to the observer how deeply the poet or a r t i s t has penetrated beyond the external appearance of things. But t h i s i s true, not only x Carlyle frequently uses etymological argument to support h i s case, but often i n a manner more sentimental than s c i e n t i f i c , as when he rel a t e s Kcoaig (king) to kpnnen (to be able) to prove that royalty was o r i g i n a l l y i d e n t i f i e d with a b i l i t y . The two words have, i n f a c t , no etymological connection. Upon another occasion, C a r l y l e derives " l o r d " from "law-ward" to show that n o b i l i t y was o r i g i n a l l y bestowed upon those who were protectors of the s p i r i t u a l good of the community. Actually, t h i s reasoning proves the l o r d to be the guardian of the most basic of material objects, f o r the term i s deriv-ed from the Anglo-saxon h l a f o r d . guardian of the l o a f . 2 Heroes, p. 93. 69 of the poet or the a r t i s t , but of every man. Everything that a man does, every thought, he utters, reveals something of him-s e l f and of h i s v i t a l r e l a t i o n to the universe. You may see how a man would f i g h t , by the way i n which he sings; h i s courage or h i s want of courage, i s v i s i b l e i n the word he utters, i n the opinion he has formed, no l e s s than i n the stroke he s t r i k e s . He i s one; and preaches the same S e l f abroad i n a l l these ways. 1 Note the harmony that i s here. The love that a man shows when he sings w i l l also be evident when he cooks a meal or tends h i s garden. The man who looks with open loving heart on the world about him and penetrates i t s secrets can develop h i s f u l l s e l f i n a l l i t s aspects. Love and knowledge have, i n some mysterious way, tempered a l l h i s habits, making i t possible f o r him to grow harmoniously and to expand h i s being f u l l y into a l l corners. But there i s a l i m i t , and a rather narrow one,to the development of man alone. Man was not meant to l i v e alone, nor can he express h i m s e l f f u l l y unless he have the f r a t e r n i t y of his fellows to spark h i s e f f o r t s . The duties of man are not to him-s e l f alone. That says C a r l y l e , makes but the f i r s t table of the laws, and to the f i r s t Table i s now superadded a Second, with the duties of man to Neighbour; whereby also the significance of the F i r s t now assumes i t s true importance. 2 I t i s i n society, not i n the s o l i t a r y state of man, that morality has i t s f u l l play. Only when a man's actions exert t h e i r force Heroes, p. 122 * 2 "Characteristics", Essays, v o l . 3, p. 11» 70 on another man can the good or bad of them be judged. The hermit, be he ever so devout, cannot complete himself. His actions, be they good or bad, have l i t t l e mean-ing. His thoughts and meditation, be they ever so pious, r a t t l e empty i n h i s hut, and i n the end evaporate into the a i r . But i n socjefcy a man's thoughts f i n d acceptance i n other minds. "The lightning-spark of Thought", say C a r l y l e , generated, or say rather heaven-kindled, i n the s o l i t a r y mind, awakens i t s express likeness i n another mind, i n a thousand other minds, and a l l blaze-up together i n a combined f i r e ; reverberated from mind to mind, fed also with fresh f u e l i n each, i t acquires i n c a l c u l a b l e new l i g h t as Thought, in c a l c u l a b l e new heat as converted into Action. By and by a common store of thought can accumulate, and be transmitted as an everlasting possession: L i t e r a t u r e . . . P o l i t i e . . . R e l i g i o n . 1 What one man has thought, whatever good he has done, what small piece of God's truth he has been able to divine — t h i s a l l i s preserved, i n degree as i t merits preservation, i n the minds and hearts of h i s neighbours and of the generations that follow. Thus i s society a receptacle f o r truth, a storehouse and guardian of good. Whatsoever of untruth i t meets i t w i l l soon d';iS:0:a;;r.d.". The i n d i v i d u a l not only contributes to society, but he receives from i t as well. When man joins himself to man, soul reacts with soul to provide i n s p i r a t i o n f o r thought^ and guidance f o r a c t i v i t y , {n some mysterious way the good that has 1 " C h a r a c t eristics", Essays, v o l . 3, p. l i -71 Issued from one soul i s taken up by the next so that: . . . the l i g h t spreads; a l l human soulsL, never so bedarkened, love l i g h t ; l i g h t once kindled spreads t i l l a l l i s luminous.1 Darkness may, of course, spread i n l i k e manner, but we have seen e a r l i e r that i t cannot l a s t , f o r the soul of man i n t u i t i v e l y recognizes good and prefers i t . Because society i n i t s l i t e r a t u r e , p o l i t i e s , and re l i g i o n s preserves and perpetuates whatever i t s members have contributed to i t , i t soon takes on a character and s p i r i t of i t s own, wherein i s r e f l e c t e d a l l the truth i t has accumulated, as well as whatever of untruth i t f o r the moment holds. Thus, every Society, every P o l i t y , has a s p i r i t u a l p r i n c i p l e , i s the embodiment, tentative and more or l e s s complete of an Idea . . . . This Idea . . . i s properly the Soul of the State, i t s L i f e ; mysterious, as other forms of L i f e , and l i k e these working secretly, and i n depth beyond that of consciousness. 2 Society has become a new, a c o l l e c t i v e i n d i v i d u a l . Each member of society shares the corporate soulc of the state to which he belongs and enters into the larger, all-embracing l i f e of society. In so doing he enlarges h i s i n d i v i d u a l soul, gives meaning to h i s a c t i v i t i e s , and doubles and trebles the scope and value of h i s l i f e . So f a r i n t h i s chapter we have concerned ourselves with the place of the i n d i v i d u a l i n society and with h i s personal development within i t s bounds. Let us turn now to consideration 1 Past and Present, p. 36. 2 "Characteristics", Essays, v o l . 3, pp. 13-14, 72 of the relationship of man to man. Here Carlyle puts one rule above a l l others: Nakedness, hunger, d i s t r e s s of a l l kinds, death i t s e l f , have been che e r f u l l y suffered when the heart i s r i g h t . I t i s the fee l i n g of i n j u s t i c e that i s insupportable to a l l men. The brutalest black A f r i c a n cannot bear that he should be used unjustly. No man can bear i t , or ought to bear i t . A deeper law than any parchment law what-soever, a law written d i r e c t by the hand of God i n the inmost being of man, incessantly protests against i t . 1 To the question "What i s thi s insupportable i n j u s t i c e ? " he answers merely that i t i s another name fo r disorder, for the unveracity that veracious nature rejects and disowns. This i s not much help. A better clue to Carlyle's meaning l i e s i n the phrase "when the heart was r i g h t " . Physical pain, unhappiness, sorrow we can bear. These are not i n j u s t i c e s , but merely the sorrows that go to make up l i f e , f o r , as Carlyle once wrote to h i s brother Alex: . . . there i s a root of bitterness i n the bottom of our cup which a l l the honey i n the Earth cannot hide from an experienced palate. Happy he who can learn to drink i t without wincing'. Happier and wiser who can see that i n t h i s very bitterness there i s a medicine f o r h i s Soul, f a r better than the bitterness of gentian or bark or any of Jack's many b i t t e r s f o r h i s body. 2 .Man i s formed f o r sorrow. Unhappiness i s the sign of greatness i n him. The drooling i d i o t i s happy. The purblind, smug, complacent f o o l i s happy. But the i n t e l l i g e n t and a l e r t man who f e e l s the s p i r i t within him hampered and hindered s t r i v e s 1 "Chartism", Essays, v o l . 4 , pp. I 4 4 - I 4 5 . 2 Quoted i n Letters of Thomas C a r l y l e . ed. C.E. Norton, London Macmillan, 1888, v o l . 1, p. 22. Lett e r dated January 11, 1827. 73 ever to bring h i s own b i t of d i v i n i t y to perfection, knowing f u l l well from the outset that perfection i s not possible i n th i s world. There can be no s a t i s f a c t i o n or happiness f o r him on thi s earth. He w i l l bear h i s unhappiness with s t o i c resignation and with what comfort he can draw from the thought that i t i s nobler and better to be unhappy with a soul than to be happy without one. But the pain of the soul, the smart and stigma of the moral s e l f cannot and ought not to be borne q u i e t l y . The honest man accused of dishonesty, the loving heart accused of misanthropy, the wise man forced to obey the f o o l , the w i l l -ing labourer denied the ri g h t to work — these are i n j u s t i c e s to bring angry tears to the eyes. For these the sufferer must have h i s revenge; the entire world grants him that, f o r i t i s a v i n d i c a t i o n of h i s own worth and of a l l human dig n i t y . J u s t i c e to Car l y l e does not include the idea that a l l men are equal, or even born equal. In f a c t , quite the opposite i s , i n the Carlylean view, a just arrangement. Ca r l y l e postulates that tfeere i s a complete hierarchy i n mankind with the most godlike of men on top and leading down to the primitive, uncultured men of native t r i b e s — 'black Quashee' i s Carlyle's symbol f o r t h i s class — on the bottom. "Recognized or not", says C a r l y l e , "a man has h i s superiors, a regular hierarchy above him; extending up, degree above degree, to Heaven i t s e l f and God the Maker . . . .'!l The p r i n c i p l e upon which arrangement of men within 1 "Chartism", Essays, v o l . 4 , p. 189-74 the hierarchy i s dependent w i l l become cle.ar i f we examine the hierarchy and comment on the classes occupying the various l e v e l s of i t . At the bottom of the ladder we have a class whom we can c a l l "slaves". By slaves, C a r l y l e does not mean slaves to men, but rather slaves to the d e v i l . He who does not believe that there i s a moral w i l l at work i n the universe and ?/ho does not act accordingly i s a slave. Within t h i s category f a l l a l l the felons and criminals imprisoned i n the country's g'eo.ls. They have demonstrated that they cannot walk according to the laws of Nature. Their souls are enslaved, are not free to j o i n i n harmony with the souls of other men, or to enter the l i g h t -giving communion of society, f a r l e s s to penetrate the mysteries of the Divine Idea. When Ca r l y l e considers criminal offenders his C a l v i n i s t i c upbringing comes to the fore and he shomrs no sympathy or understanding f o r them. In "Model Prisons" he wrote: Does the C h r i s t i a n or any other r e l i g i o n prescribe a love of scoundrels then? I hope i t prescribes a healthy hatred of scoundrels . . . . Just hatred of scoundrels, I say; f i x e d , i r r e c o n c i l a b l e , i n -exorable enmity to the enemies of God: t h i s , and no:t. love f o r them, and incessant whitewashing, and dressing and cockering of them must, i f you look into i t , be the backbone of any human r e l i g i o n whatsoever.! Despite the harshness of t h i s passage, i t s t i l l holds that C a r l y l e consigns these felons to the dungeon of h i s tower to God, not because they have offended h i s C a l v i n i s t i c conscience, but because they of a l l men are farthest from God. 1 Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 70. 75 We have already hinted that Carlyle had a new d e f i n i t i o n of slave and slavery. In "Parliaments", number VI of the Latter-Day Pamphlets, he wrote: "Slave or free i s s e t t l e d i n Heaven for a man."! Some of Carlyle's attackers took t h i s l i t e r a l l y and understood C a r l y l e to mean that the blacks of Jamaica were predestined to wear chains and the labourers of England denied by heaven the ri g h t to vote. That no i n t e r -pretation could be farther from the mark we can see by reading the rest of the sentence: "Slave or free i s sett l e d i n Heaven fo r a man; acts of parliament attempting to s e t t l e i t on earth for him, sometimes make a sad work of i t . " We have already seen that the term 'slave' as used by Car l y l e must be understood as a form of s p i r i t u a l , not physical slavery. Parliaments^ attempt-ing to l a b e l t h i s man slave or that man free, look to a man's pocket-book or h i s parentage and declare him free i f he has property to the extent of so many thousand pounds, slave i f h i s parents were black and indentured. But heaven, looking to a man's soul, gives knowledge to the 1'ov.ing heart and freedom to the man who believes. From the man who does not believe these g i f t s are withheld. His thought i s narrow and h i s attainments petty. Thus does heaven s e t t l e the matter of slave or free. Carlyle could well imagine a man worth a m i l l i o n pounds as the lowest slave of a l l and the negro, bound for l i f e , as a free man. In the discussion of hierarchy we have used the term 'class' and spoken of these classes as occupying the various 1 Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 248. 76 rungs of a ladder or l e v e l s of a tower leading up to God. Okctually the hierarchy concept ought to he understood as a continuum wherein slave merges into free with a continuous gradation upward without d i s t i n c t brackets to accommodate classes. Thus among the free souls there are those who are f r e e r than others, t h e i r rank i n the hierarchy depending i n each case upon the knowledge they have, the a b i l i t y they possess, the morality of t h e i r actions — i n short, upon the degree i n which they revere God and follow the Laws of Nature. At the top of the hierarchy -Carlyle places an aristocracy. In t h i s class he includes those who most c l e a r l y see God's plan f o r the universe and work most e f f e c t i v e l y to carry i t out. Just as some c r i t i c s interpreted C a r l y l e ' s use of the term 'slavery' l i t e r a l l y , so they have understood him to mean by 'aristocracy' the peerage of England, or, what i s l i t t l e better, those who have been successful i n the a c q u i s i t i o n of material wealth or of temporal power. Noble t i t l e s C a r l y l e respects only i f the bearers of the t i t l e s prove themselves to be noble. Mere possession of the t i t l e means l i t t l e to C a r l y l e . In the pamphlet 'Downing Street' he wrote: "Lord Tommy and the Honourable Jack are not a whit better q u a l i f i e d f o r Parliament-ary duties, to say nothing of Secretary duties, than p l a i n Tom and Jack."! N o b i l i t y did, of course, at one time coincide with a b i l i t y , so that the feudal lords of England " . . . were 'a V i r t u a l i t y perfected into an A c t u a l i t y ' r e a l l y to an astonishing extent". 2 In feudal days a rough lawlessness pervaded the 1 Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 117« 2 Past and Present, p. 245. 77 land, and a chivalrous soul coupled with a strong r i g h t arm was needed to fashion order from the chaos. The man who j u d i c i o u s l y exercised h i s strong right arm was the true a r i s t o -crat of his day and he j u s t l y earned h i s t i t l e . But i n the mid-nineteenth century a new i l l beset the nation and a new form of chaos was threatening God's ordered universe. Whereas the symptoms of disorder had once been plundering and p i l l a g i n g , now they were rick-burnings, Manchester insurrections, and Peterloos. To combat these disorders a d i f f e r e n t kind of aristocracy w i l l have to be found. In Past and Present. C a r l y l e suggests where i t should be sought: The main substance of this immense Problem of Organizing Labour, and f i r s t of a l l of Managing the Working C l a s s e s , w i l l , i t i s very clear, have to be solved by those who stand p r a c t i c a l l y i n the middle of i t , by those who themselves work and preside over work.l In t h i s new era the leaders of industry must replace the leaders of armies. But f i r s t the captains of industry, as Carlyle dubs them, must look into t h e i r souls and discover there something other than " . . . vulturous hunger, f o r f i n e wines, v a l e t reputation and g i l t carriages". They must become imihued with the c h i v a l r y of work, f a r nobler, says C a r l y l e , than the older c h i v a l r y of f i g h t i n g . They must bind t h e i r workers to them, not with six-penny contracts which are broken as soon as a seven-penny one i s offered, but with a feudal l o y a l t y which connects heart with heart. I f they do a l l t h i s , they are true members of 1 Past and Present, p. 271 , 2 I b i d . . p. 272. V 78 the aristocracy. But the new aristocracy i s not l i m i t e d to captains of industry — they are to be responsible i n the main fo r en-suring that the thousands now unjustly enslaved i n workhouses are given work to do and food to eat. There i s as well a general aristocracy whose r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s to lead a l l men and i n turn to be l e d by God. This Carlyle names the 'Aristocracy of Talent', a c o l l e c t i o n of the wisest and noblest men i n a l l the land, ". . . a corporation of the Best,, of the Bravest". 1 The problem of finding the members of t h i s a r i s t o -cracy, indeed of finding one's own place i n the hierarchy, i s a d i f f i c u l t one. Yet i t i s a problem that must be solved; other-wise a man does not recognize who i s better than he i s and can-not know what example he ought to follow or whom he ought to lead. Fortunately, just as the souldof man n a t u r a l l y worships God, s o ' i t n a t u r a l l y worships the godlike i n man. " I t i s of the nature of men, i n every time", C a r l y l e holds, "to honour and love t h e i r Best; to know no l i m i t s i n honouring them".*" We recognize the godlike i n other men i n s t r i c t proportion to the godlike that we have i n ourselves. Jane Welsh C a r l y l e , In a l e t t e r written to Carlyle i n one of the uncertain moments of t h e i r courtship, expressed t h i s idea more c l e a r l y than her hus-band ever did: One loves you, as Madame de Stael said of Wecker, i n proportion to the ideas and sentiments which "Chartism", Essays, v o l . 4, p. 160. Loc. c i t . 79 are i n oneself; according as my mind enlarges and my heart improves, I become capable of comprehend-ing the goodness and greatness which are i n you, and my a f f e c t i o n f o r .you increases.1 Since the heroes a man chooses are a d i r e c t express-. ion of h i s own ambitions and i d e a l s , we can t e l l a good deal about a man by looking at the things he honours. "Show me the man you honour", says Carlyle to the population of England. "I know by that symptom, better than by any other, what kind of a man you are y o u r s e l f . " 2 Just as a man's choice of the symbols he w i l l worship reveals h i s rel a t i o n s h i p to God, so h i s choice of the men he w i l l worship reveals h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to society. And thus i s h i s place i n the hierarchy set. Those who reverence true greatness above a l l else are themselves j u s t short of true greatness, whereas " . . . people capable of being carried away by quacks are themselves of p a r t i a l l y untrue s p i r i t " . 3 Coming down the ladder from God, a man finds h i s niche exactly at that point where he ceases to give honour. I t i s the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of a l l men sometimes to lear. and at other times to be l e d . "Man _is forever the 'born t h r a l l ' of c e r t a i n men, born master of c e r t a i n other men, born equal of c e r t a i n others . . . . "^ Just how i t i s that a man recognizes that t h i s c e r t a i n man i s h i s leader or what i t i s 1 Quoted i n D.A. Wilson, C a r l y l e t i l l Marriage. London, Kegan Paul,' p. 374-. 2 "Hudson's Statue", Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 255. 3 "Chartism", Essays, v o l . 4> P« 151* 4 Past and Present, p. 251. 80 that makes him give honour to h i s leader C a r l y l e cannot say, f o r " . . . a l l authority i s mystic i n i t s condition, and comes 'by the grace of God.' Yet we do s ± recognize our lead-er and follow him. Carlyle sees::his hierarchy as a chain of command, each member of i t obeying the man above him and demanding obedience from the man below him. On the matter of obedience Car l y l e i s emphatic. In 'Chartism' he stated: "No man but i s 2 bound indefeasibly with a l l forces of obligation,to obey," and again i n Past and Present: "Man, l i t t l e as he may suppose i t , i s necessitated to obey h i s superiors." 3 This rule of obedience applies throughout the hierarchy. The lowest man on earth must obey, or be made to obey, a l l above him, and the highest man on earth must bow down, " . . . with awe unspeakable, before a Higher one i n Heaven."^ The lowest man can be forced by chains and gaols to obey, and since h i s i s an i n f e r i o r soul, no great harm i s done. But i t i s most important that the "highest man i n the hierarchy reverence and obey h i s superior, that i s , God, f o r ". . . whoso cannot obey, cannot be free, s t i l l l ess bear r u l e : he that i s the i n f e r i o r of nothing, can be the superior of nothing, the equal of nothing."^ I t i s by making h i s w i l l subservient to the w i l l of God that our noble leader receives d i r e c t i o n , and 1 French Revolution, v o l . 2, p. 2 # 2 Essays, v o l . 3, p. 189» 3 Past and Present, p. 24I, 4 Sartor, p. 79. 5 I h l d . . p. 200. 81 i t i s through h i s f a i t h i n a divine morality that he receives his freedom and h i s mystic a b i l i t y to command. There i s i n a l l that has been said a c e r t a i n flavour of predestination — man i s the born t h r a l l of c e r t a i n man, man must obey others. C a r l y l e recognizes t h i s In h i s system but he does not see i t as a f a u l t . Each of us i n h i s niche i n the hierarchy i s doing God 1s w i l l to the best of h i s a b i l i t y ; each, having recognized h i s general l i m i t a t i o n s , that i s , those common to a l l mankind, as well as h i s own p a r t i c u l a r l i m i t a t i o n s , w i l l s t r i v e to do the work given him to do. Such i s the order God has ordained f o r the world; I f p r e c i s e l y the Wisest Man were at the top of society and the next-wisest next, and so on t i l l we reached the Demerara Nigger (from whom downwards, through the horse, etc., there i s no question h i t h e r t o ) , then were t h i s a perfect -world, the extreme maximum of wisdom produced i n i t . In such a perfect world i t i s no hardship for a man to obey. Indeed, since he loves and honours h i s betters, then i t follows that he w i l l obey them, not only w i l l i n g l y , but j o y f u l l y , with h e a r t - f e l t l o y a l t y . C a r l y l e holds that " I t i s not by Mechanism, but by Religion; not by S e l f - i n t e r e s t , but by 2 Loyalty, that men are governed or governable." Herein l i e s C arlyle's great antipathy f o r what he has named the "cash-nexus." I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n has brought to Carlyle's England a new kind of employer, a new kind of employee, and an e n t i r e l y new kind of employer-employee r e l a t i o n s h i p . "Nigger Question", Essays, v o l . 4 , p. 361. "Characteristics", Essays, v o l . 3, p. 4 l » 82 Once the swineherd had l o y a l l y tended h i s master's pigs, g r a t e f u l f o r the food, clothing, and shelter provided for him. The stonecarver w i l l i n g l y worked overtime, indeed, did not know the word overtime, to fashion another g l e e f u l gargoyle f o r a Gothic cathedral. But now, says C a r l y l e : . . . a l l human dues and r e c i p r o c i t i e s have been f u l l y changed Into one great due of cash payment; and man's duty to man reduces i t s e l f to handing over to him c e r t a i n metal cojtois or covenanted money-wages, and then shoving him out of doors; and man's duty to God becomes a cant, a doubt, a dim inanity, a 'pleasure of vir t u e ' or suchlike; and the thing a man does i n f i n i t e l y fear (the r e a l H e l l of a man) i s , 'that he do not make enough money and advance h i m s e l f . . . . 1 , 1 The workers of England are no longer happy to serve t h e i r masters. And Carlyfe is. sure that no increase i n wages can make them happy, fo r "love of man cannot be bought by cash-payments; and without 2 love men cannot endure together." As a solution to the problem of unrest among the workers Carlyle i n s i s t s that employers must act j u s t l y toward t h e i r employees so that the employees' l o y a l t i e s are to their employers and t h e i r sympathies with the work that i s given them to do. Then t h e i r hearts w i l l work with t h e i r hands i n a j o y f u l performance of duty. The way i n which a man performs his work, or refuses to perform i t , marks a further d i s t i n c t i o n between the free man and the slave. The free man C a r l y l e defines as: he who i s l o y a l to the ^aws of this Universe; who i n h i s heart sees and knows across a l l contradictions, that i n j u s t i c e cannot b e f a l l Past and Present, p. 67, 2 I b i d . . p. 272, 83 him here; that except by sloth and cowardly f a l s i t y e v i l i s not possible here. The f i r s t symptom of such a man i s not that he r e s i s t s and rebels, but that he obeys. When a man desires to do what he has to do, he i s a free man. But the slave r e s i s t s and rebels. Because he lacks manful worship he i s denied wisdom and understanding. He i s con-demned never to understand the Laws of Nature; he i s p appointed "not to command, but to obey i n t h i s world."" And since he w i l l not obey cheerfully, he must be forced to obey, that i s , he must be enslaved. I t happens, of course, i n t h i s imperfect world of ours, that power f a l l s into the hands of men who are not f i t to command, '^hls state of a f f a i r s i s one of the saddest that.man can know. In "Jesuitism", the l a s t of the L a t t e r -Day Pamphlets, he wrote: "Obedience i s good and indispensable; but i f i t be obedience to what i s wrong and f a l s e , — good Heavens, there i s no name f o r such a depth of human cowardice 3 and calamity . . . ." Or again, i n Heroes, we f i n d the same idea: "There i s no act more moral between men than that of rule and obedience. Woe to him that claims obedience when i t i s not due . . . . "^ Neither God nor man w i l l suffer a sham leader to hold o f f i c e for long. 1 "Parliaments", Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 251. 2 I b i d . . p. 249. 3 "Jesuitism", Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 308, 4 Heroes, p. 228, 84 The f a l s e a r i s t o c r a t or the forged king offends God because he brings not order but disorder, and he offends man because he puts an unjust claim upon hi s allegiance. In such cases, resistance to the leader becomes a deeper law of order than obedience, and French Revolutions r e s u l t . The men a t the very top of the hierarchy, those who s i t at the feet of God, C a r l y l e c a l l s heroes. The hero i s the greatest of great men. In a l l aspects of h i s being he approaches perfection. He i s : the wise man, the man with the g i f t of method, of f a i t h f u l n e s s and valour, a l l of which are the basis of wisdom; who has i n s i g h t into what i s what, into what w i l l follow out of what, the eye to see and the hand to do; who i s f i t to administer, to d i r e c t , and guidingly command: he i s the strong man. His muscles and bones are no stronger than ours; but his soul i s stronger, h i s soul i s wiser, clearer, — i s better and nobler, f o r that i s , has been and ever w i l l be, the root of a l l clearness worthy of the name. F i r s t among the attributes of the hero i s i n t e l l e c t or insight — they are the same thing to C a r l y l e . This quality he defines as ". . . the discernment of order i n d i s -order . . . . the discovery of the w i l l of Nature, of God's wi l l ; - the beginning of the c a p a b i l i t y to walk according to 2 that." In other words, i n t e l l e c t i s the f a c u l t y of the hero that puts him i n vita, rapport with the Divine idea and reveals to him God's plan f o r the Universe. The hero i s not misled by f a l s e theories, nor do formulas, names, or customs 1 "Chartism", Essays, v o l . 4, p. 147, 2 I b i d . . p. 194^  85 hide r e a l i t y from him. Always he looks through appearances and sees what i s true. Any man may, at odd moments, have clear i n s i g h t into God's plan, may perform here and there cert a i n acts with the burning conviction that he i s doing r i g h t ( which conviction does not necessarily make them r i g h t though i t w i l l excuse many er r o r s ) , but to the great man t h i s conviction i s always present, pushing i t s e l f i n upon him with an earnestness that w i l l n ot be denied. With t h i s v i v i d consciousness of what has to be done i n this world, the hero i s not merely a man who can lead, he i s one who must lead. Necessity i s l a i d upon a lesser man to recognize h i s duty; necessity i s l a i d upon the hero to do h i s duty. And he does i t j u s t l y , commanding without favour, showing no p a r t i a l i t y , rewarding acts which a re good, but swift to punish when punishment i s required. The truehero cannot w i l l i n g l y do wrong, for ". . . a l l talent, a l l i n t e l l e c t , i s i n the f i r s t place moral. . ." But since the t r u l y heroic i s i n God alone, we can expect our human heroes to make some mistakes. This i s not too important, however. "On the whole", says C a r l y l e , "we tend to make too much of 2 f a u l t s . " I f remorse and repentance follow the hero's sins, the hero i s then greater for haying f a l l e n . And i t i s a further mark 1 "Chartism", Essays. v o l . 4-> p. 14-7. 2 Heroes, p. 53. 86 of the hero that he i s always sincere, that he always acts i n good f a i t h , even when he er r s . Speaking of Mohammed, Car l y l e says: We w i l l not praise [his] moral precepts as always of the superfinest sort; yet i t can he said there i s always a tendency to good i n them; that they are the true dictates of a,heart aiming toward what i s just and true. Only love and you can do as you please, said St. Augustine, and Carlyle's heroes are heroic p r e c i s e l y because they do love. A further quality of the hero i s that he i s humble with respect to his own desires: " . . . your true hero, your true Roland, i s ever unconscious that he i s a hero; t h i s i s a condition of a l l greatness." Humility i s what we shou Id expect of the hero, f o r he r e a l i z e s more c l e a r l y than any other that h i s strength i s not t r u l y h i s , but God's. Moreover he i s humble because he has given over h i s s e l f , and conse-crated himself to the service of God. His greatness began with hi s Selbsttodtung. As Carlyle once wrote to his mother: "There never was a wiser doctrine than that of C h r i s t i a n humility, considered as a corrective for the coarse unruly 3 selfishness of men's natures." The man who i s motivated by s e l f i s h ambition i s not great, but small. He l i v e s i n misery because he i s not everywhere acknowledged and adored. He i s anxious, insecure, and jealous. Eagerly he t r i e s to push h i s works forward, but because they were done to further, not the Divine Plan, but their wretched author, they are petty and Heroes, p. 84, 2 "Diamond Necklace", Essays. vols3, p. 327» 3 Quoted i n D.A. Wilson, C a r l y l e t i l l Marriage. London, Kegan . p a u l . 192/.. n. inc. 87 of no use. There i s , however, another kind of ambition, one that Carlyle has c a l l e d laudable and indispensable. I t arises i n great men from their recognition of the f a c t that they can do cert a i n things that other.men cannot do. The hero i s , a f t e r a l l , God 1s most honoured emissary, and he has the r i g h t to be proud, though without haughtiness, of h i s worth. Such ambition i s an i n t e g r a l part of the great man, f o r i t forces him to move forward and take up the work he can do. To decide about ambition, says Carlye, . . . whether i t i s bad or not, you have two things to take into view. Not the coveting of place alone, but the f i t n e s s of the man f o r the place withal.:! that i s the question. Perhaps the place was h i s ; perhaps he had a natural r i g h t , and even obl i g a t i o n , to seek the p l a c e ! 1 This r i g h t f u l ambition i n great men i s another aspect of the sense of duty that a l l men have. I t i s moreover the source of the d i g n i t y which lends weight to h i s commands, and the con-fidence which assures of t h e i r being obeyed. I t enables him to take up h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s secure i n the humble confidence that, with God's help, he w i l l discharge them well. When i n I84O C a r l y l e delivered h i s series of lectures on Heroes and Heroworship he put a pagan d i v i n i t y , a non-Christian prophet, two poets, two reforming p r i e s t s , three l i t e r a r y men, and two revolutionaries into one bag and l a b e l l e d them 'Heroes'1 He saw nothing outrageous i n bringing so diverse a c o l l e c t i o n of men into one category because he saw them a l l as being e s s e n t i a l l y the same man. In the lecture "Hero as Poet" he Heroes, p. 258 » 88 stated: The Hero can be Poet, Prophet, King, P r i e s t , or what you w i l l , according to the kind of world he finds himself born i n t o . I confess I have no notion of a t r u l y great man who could not be a l l sorts of men. C a r l y l e means this to be taken quite l i t e r a l l y . He fi r m l y believes that Wolfe could have written Gray's Elegy, that Burns might have been as successful a p o l i t i c i a n as Mirabeau, that Napoleon would have been a deep-striking poet. And as for Shakespeare, "one knows not what he could not have made, i n 2 the supreme degree." I t seems to be a f a c t that there i s no true great-ness which does not somewhere a l l y i t s e l f mysteriously with the Divine. In the Carlylean scheme th i s a l l i a n c e with the Divine means that the great man looks with open loving heart upon the world around him and f i n d s the secret plan of Divine Nature revealed to him. From this revelation he draws strength and acquires knowledge which are then turned to the doing of whatever duty l i e s next to hand. Thus i t i s not the great man's p a r t i c u -l a r talents that determine h i s future, but the circumstances i n which he finds himself. Carlyle does admit that there are aptitudes, and that a l l great men are not made i n the same mould. But he argues that although there are v a r i e t i e s of aptitudes, there are i n f i n i t e l y more of circumstances, and i t i s usually the circumstances that decide how a great man's, or any man's, Heroes, p. 90. 2 Loc. c i t . 89 talents w i l l be used. In support of t h i s argument he gives a neat analogy: . . . i f , as Addison complain, you sometimes see a street porter staggering under h i s load on spindle-shanks, and near at hand a t a i l o r with the frame of Samson handling a b i t of clo t h and a small Whitechapel needle-, — i t cannot be con-sidered that aptitude of Nature alone has been consulted here either! So f a r we have had a good deal to say about the hero, but what of the worship of heroes? We have already seen that C a r l y l e holds worship to be an at t i t u d e natural to man, and one that distinguishes him from beasts. Whether a man i s struck s i l e n t by the beauty of a flower or awed by the f e r o c i t y of a stormy sea, i t i s the same thing — he i s reverent before some revelation of God. When to the power and beauty of God as revealed i n nature we add the morality, humility, s i n c e r i t y , and wisdom of the hero we have t r u l y the object on this earth most worthy of our worship. Here i s d i v i n i t y a r t i c u l a t e and active, as nearly f i n i t e as our f i n i t e senses can ever know. Therefore the true hero i s to be worshipped with a fervour almost equal to that demanded i n the worship of God himself. Nor can th i s worship be denied. For C a r l y l e i t i s the very essence of heroworship that i t ".. . endures forever while men endure." Heroworship, because i t i s everlasting, i s the foundation of society. However decadent or dissipated Heroes, p. 91» 2 I b i d . . p. 16 . a state may become, however mean and base i t s f a i t h may i n sick times be, yet i t i s eventually saved and brought to health again by this one f a c t , the common man w i l l seek out and worship the man of superior talents. "In no time whatsoever", says C a r l y l e , "can they e n t i r e l y eradicate out of l i v i n g men's hearts a ce r t a i n altogether peculiar reverence f o r Great Men; genuine admiration, l o y a l t y , adoration, however dim and perverted i t may be." 1 Man has not only the inborn, i n d e s t r u c t i b l e desire to worship great men and to be led by them, but also the undeniable r i g h t to heroic leadership. Because the leader ship of the hero means not only good government, but also the way to God, Car l y l e f e e l s that: Surely, of a l l 'rights of man', thi s r i g h t of the ignorant man to be guided by the wiser, to be, gently or f o r c i b l y , held i n the true course by him, i s the indisputablest . . . . I f Freedom*>have any meaning, i t means enjoyment of t h i s r i g h t , wherein a l l other r i g h t s are enjoyed. In positing the 'right' of the ignorant to be guided ' f o r c i b l y by the hero and i n giving even q u a l i f i e d praise to 'perverted' heroworship. C a r l y l e played into the hands of those who would make him an apostle of fascism. Total d i c t a t o r s h i p i n the H i t l e r fashion i s a danger C a r l y l e could not have foreseen; yet even i f he had, i t i s u n l i k e l y that he would have revised h i s opinions. For the heroic and heroworship, properly understood, have i n them a strong core of morality and j u s t i c e Heroes, p. 16* "Chartism", Essays, v o l . 4, p. 157-158. 91 which would exclude the Nazi movement wholly. I t i s not given to every man to know how r i g h t l y to reverence a hero. The ordinary man who has never f e l t himself tortured with doubts can never understand how much of himself Luther had to put down, had' to annihilate, before he found the courage to stand sweating before the Diet at Worms and say: "I cannot and I w i l l not recant anything, f o r to go against conscience i s neither r i g h t nor safe. God help me. Amen."1 Nor can the i n d u s t r i a l i s t who counts h i s worth i n f a c t o r i e s and d o l l a r s of p r o f i t understand properly the reverence f o r l i f e which enabled, nay, forced Albert Schweitzer to give up a successful musical and academic career i n order to serve i n the loneliness of A f r i c a . We have seen previously that C a r l y l e f e e l s that "Only the man of worth can recognize o worth i n men." But to the man whose soul i s not completely b l i n d and dark, i n whom some small -Idea of worth s t i l l glows, there w i l l come, perhaps slowly, the r e a l i z a t i o n that: Great men are the F i r e - p i l l a r s i n t h i s dark pilgrimage of mankind [who] stand as heavenly Signs, e v e r l i v l n g witnesses of what has been, prophetic tokens of what may s t i l l be, the revealed, embodied P o s s i b i l i t i e s of human nature. 3 In consequence of recognizing the greatness of the hero, the lower man i s himself elevated. "Does not every true man", asks C a r l y l e , " f e e l that he i s himself made higher by doing reverence Roland H. Bainton, Here I stand. New York, Mentor, 1955 (Copyright 1950) p. "New Downing Street", Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. I4I, " S c h i l l e r " , Essays, v o l . 2, p. 166-167. 92 to what i s r e a l l y above him? 1 1 The common man takes i n s p i r a t i o n and example from the hero and, though he i s not himself capable of greatness, he i s joined i n r e l i g i o u s l o y a l t y to the great man, and thus i s made greater himself. In giving homage to a hero he becomes himself to some degree heroic. A l l goodness, a l l greatness that i s inthe hero, or i n any other man for that matter, i s traceable to the fac t that he believes. But merely to believe, or to make a declaration of b e l i e f , i s not enough. The test and measurement of b e l i e f l i e s in. the willingness to act; or, as C a r l y l e puts i t , " . . . Conviction, were i t never so excellent, i s worthless t i l l i t convert i t s e l f into Conduct." A man's tongue can l a y claim to a l l noble b e l i e f s , but i t i s h i s deeds that revea}. h i s true convictions. Even C h r i s t i a n doctrine with i t s creed of j u s t i f i c a -t i o n by f a i t h i n s i s t s upon the overt act to give meaning to the inner b e l i e f : What doth i t p r o f i t , my brethren, though a man say he hath f a i t h , and have not works? can f a i t h save him? I f a brother or s i s t e r be naked and destitute of d a i l y food, And one of you say unto them, Depart i n peace, be ye warmed and filled;notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth i t p r o f i t ? Even so f a i t h , i f i t has not works, i s dead, being alone. (James, I I , 14 -17) 1 Heroes, p. 17• 2 Sartor, p. 156 » 93 S i m i l a r l y Goethe's Faust, attempting a t r a n s l a t i o n of the B i b l e , discards i n turn 'word', 'thought', and 'power', as t r a n s l a t i o n f o r the Greek logos, and s e t t l e s f i n a l l y and firm-l y upon 'deed': In the beginning was the deed. 1 We have come, of course, to Carlyle's doctrine of work-Bssk. Man must work, says C a r l y l e , to show what kind of man he i s . He cannot by introspection or by anguished searching of hi s soul come to know himself. But h i s works " . . . are the mirror wherein the s p i r i t f i r s t sees i t s natural lineaments", 2 and by working, doing what he i s best able to do, a man comes to know himself and to show himself to others. Moreover, i t i s only i n acting out what i s i n him that a man develops himself f u l l y : 1 J.W. Goethe, Faust, ed. Calvin Thomas, New York, Heath, 1892, pp. 56-57. Geschrieben steht: nim Anfang was das WortI" Hier stock' i c h schonii Wer h i l f t mir weiter fort? Ich kamdas Wort so hoch unm8glicih schatzen, Ich muss es anders libersetzen, Wennich vom Geiste recht erleuchtet bin. Geschrieben steht: im Anfang war der Sinn. Bedenke wohl die erste Z e i l e , Dass deine Feder sich night u b e r r e i l e ! 1st es der Sinn, der a l l e s wirkt and schafft? Es s o l l t e stehen: im Anfang war die KraftI Doch, auch indem i c h dieses •niederschreibe, Schon warnt mich was, dass i c h dabei nicht bleibe. Mir h i l f t der Geist! Auf einmal seh'ich Rath Und schreibe getrost: im Anfang war die That! 2 Sartor, p. 132, 94 A man perfects himself hy working. Foul jungles are cleared away, f a i r seedfields r i s e instead, and s t a t e l y c i t i e s : and withal the man himself ceases to be a jungle and .a f o u l unwholesome desert thereby.I In the Carlylean scheme, however, the doctrine:, of work Includes implications and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s much broader than merely the development of the i n d i v i d u a l . E a r l i e r we raised — and did not answer — the question as to why man should.fret himself with the f i g h t against e v i l i f , as C a r l y l e believed, good was, i n the very nature of things, bound to triumph. We get a h i n t of the answer to t h i s question i n the colloquy from Rushworth which Carlyle set on the title-page of the Latter-Day Pamphlets: Then said h i s Lordship, 'Well, God mend a l l ' . ' — 'Way, by God, Donald, we must help him to mend i t I ' said the other. To expand t h i s h i n t into a f u l l explanation of Carlyle's theory of work we must go back to hisi concept of the universe as a chaos wherein d i v i n i t y l i e s hidden. I t i s God's plan that the chaos be ordered so that the d i v i n i t y be revealed. And the ordering i s done, not through the d i r e c t intervention of God, but by man, h i s missionary of order. The creation of order out of chaos i s important work, i s , i n f a c t , the only work a man has to do. I t i s urgent work and perennial. Therefore C a r l y l e exhorts h i s fellowmen with impassioned earnestness to take up t h e i r tools: 1 Past and Present, p., 196. 95 Be no longer a Chaos, but a World, or even World-ki n . Produce! Produce! Were i t but the p i t i -f u l l e s t i n f i n i t e s i m a l f r a c t i o n of a Product, produce i t i n God's name! 'Tis the utmost thou hast i n thee: out with i t , then. Up, up! What-soever they hand findeth to do, do i t with thy whole might. Work while i t i s c a l l e d Today; f o r the Night cometh, wherein no man can work.l Wheresoever thou findest Disorder, there i s they eternal enemy; attack him s w i f t l y , subdue him; make Order of him, the subject not of Chaos, but of I n t e l l i g e n c e , D i v i n i t y and Thee! . . . But above a l l , where thou findest Ignorance, Stupid-i t y , Brute-mindedness . . . smite i t wisely, un-weariedly, and res t not while thou l i v e s t and i t l i v e s . 2 As to what terms 'disorder' and 'order' mean i n a p r a c t i c a l sense, Carlyle i s for once quite d e f i n i t e . On the lowest l e v e l disorder can be symbolized by a weed. In clearing i t to make way for a blade of grass, order has been created. Disorder gives way to order when a jungle i s cleared and a c i t y erected. On a much higher l e v e l there i s the f i g h t against s p i r i t u a l disorder. In t h i s realm, doubt, scepticism, and egoism are chaotic. He who shows the way to b e l i e f i n God and to l o y a l devotion to the godlike i n men i s bringing divine, l i g h t to the chaotic darkness. Teufelsdr&ckh gives recognition to the two categories of work, and indicates which i s the more worthy, when he says: Two men do I honour and no t h i r d . F i r s t the t o i l -worn Craftsman that with earth-made Implement labo r i o u s l y conquers the Earth, and makes her man's . . . . A second man I honour, and s t i l l more highly: Him who i s seen t o i l i n g f or the 1 Sartor, p. 157# 2 Past and Present, p. 200., 96 s p i r i t u a l l y indispensable: not d a i l y bread, but the bread of L i f e ; . . . not earthly Craftsman only, but inspired Thinker, who with heaven-made Implement conquers Heaven f o r usI . . . These two, i n a l l t h e i r degrees, I honour.1 In the scheme of things that t h i s view of the world proposes e v i l plays an important part. I t i s only i n the wide f i e l d of e v i l that the good of man gets a chance to show i t s e l f . In a world of imperfection doubt and disorder are necessary as the raw materials with which a man works to show h i s worth.-C a r l y l e , f a r from casting doubt out of the world, c r i e s that i t i s the sine qua non of human existence: . . . properly, Doubt i s the indispensable, i n -exhaustible material whereon Action works, which Action has to fashion into Certainty and Reality; only on a canvas of Darkness, such i s man's way of being, could the many-coloured picture of our L i f e p a i n t i t s e l f and shine. 2 More than that, e v i l and chaos provide scope f o r man to exercise h i s f r e e w i l l : . . . E v i l , what we c a l l E v i l , must exist*while man e x i s t s : E v i l , i n the widest sense we can give i t , i s p r e c i s e l y the dark, disordered material out of which man's F r e e w i l l has to create an e d i f i c e of order and Good.3 Man can choose f o r himself whether he disregard the stern Yioice of duty that i s i n him and wallow i n useless pleasure, or whether he elect to seek the good which i s hidden i n the universe. I f he chooses the f i r s t way of l i f e , he has no f r e e -1 Sartor, pp. 181-182. 2 "Characteristics", Essays, v o l . 3, p. 26. 3 I b i d . , p. 28-, 97 dom more. His l i f e , as we have seen e a r l i e r , w i l l he bound by-vagrant whims or wasted i n useless doubt. I f he chooses the second, he can work f r e e l y at whatever he i s able to do. As a ditcher and delver he can " . . . extinguish many a t h i s t l e and puddle; and so leave a l i t t l e order where he found the opposite;" 1 or he can, i f h i s c a p a b i l i t i e s l i e there, work i n the s p i r i t u a l realm and do things of unspeakable greatness. In either case, the man who has laboured to bring order out of ohaos has done true work. I t i s one of the attributes of true work that i t can never perish or be destroyed. On the other hand, f a l s e work, l i k e a l l f a l s e things, w i l l l i v e out i t s appointed hour then vanish u t t e r l y from t h i s earth. I t follows, then, that the universe i s slowly being changed from a chaos to a kingdom of order. C a r l y l e believes that such a change has a c t u a l l y been taking place throughout the course of h i s t o r y . Let him describe himself the progress that man's labours have thus f a r wrought — i t cannot be said better: Sovereigns die and • Sovereig„n-t.l.e-s: a l l dies and i s for a time only . . . . And yet withal has there not been r e a l i z e d somewhat? Consider (to go no further) these strong Stone-edifices, and what they hold! . . . Stone towers frown a l o f t ; long-lasting, grim with a thousand years. Cathedrals are there, and a Creed (or a memory of a Creed) i n them; Palaces and a State and Law. Thou seest the Smoke-vapour; unextinguished Breath as of a l i v i n g thing. Labour's thousand hammers ring on an v i l s : also a more miraculous Labour works n o i s e l e s s l y , not with the Hand, but with the Thought. How have cunning workmen i n 1 Sartor, p. 95. 98 a l l c r a f t s , with t h e i r cunning head and r i g h t -hand, tamed the four elements to he th e i r ministers; yoking the Winds to the i r Sea-chariot, making the very stars t h e i r n a u t i c a l Timepiece; — and written and collected a Bibliotheque du Roi; among whose hooks i s the Hebrew Book! A wondrous race of creatures: these have been realized, and what a s k i l l i s i n these. C a l l not the Past Time, with a l l i t s confused wretchedness, a l o s t one.l And looking into the future, Carlyle sees that the continued increase of order, together with the concomiltlant f a l l i n g away of disorder, can eventually bring about a minor millennium: Sooty H e l l of mutiny and savagery and despair can, by man's energy, be made a kind of Heaven; cleared of i t s soot, of i t s mutiny, of i t s need to mutiny. 2 One l a s t thought on Carlyle's philosophy of work. Carl y l e considers the work a man does to be the most sincere expression of h i s b e l i e f . The worker who acts to bring about f u l f i l l m e n t of the Divine Plan, insofar as that i s possible i n t h i s imperfect material world, i s looking up to God and follow-ing, h i s w i l l . Therefore, "True work i s worship," 3 and every worker becomes, i n part, a poet and a p r i e s t . In Carlyle's solemn view the right of every man to worship through working i s a sacred one and cannot be denied him. I t grieved C a r l y l e that thousands of workers are i d l e i n England, deprived of th e i r r i g h t to work and so to worship. He seldom refers to a work-house without c a l l i n g i t a b a s t i l l e to indicate that those within are imprisoned, a c t u a l l y enslaved, because they are not given French Revolution, v o l . 1, pp. 7-8. Past and Present, p. 298. Ibid . . p. 205. 99 work to do. Work i n the Carlylean system i s not merely what a man does f o r eight hours a day i n order to earn h i s d a i l y bread; i t i s h i s r e l i g i o n . Chapter IV C a r l y l e ' s View of H i s t o r y In considering the worth of work, C a r l y l e makes a d i s t i n c t i o n between s p i r i t u a l work and mater ia l work, always se t t ing the former above the l a t t e r . But though there i s a d i f ference i n value or degree, there i s no d i f ference i n k i n d . Energy expended i n e i ther the s p i r i t u a l or the mater ia l realm i s dedicated to one cause, the attempt to mould the a c t u a l world according to the i d e a l one; and true work, whatever i t s nature, i s concerned with two th ings , man and God, that i s , the needs of p r a c t i c a l i t y and the necess i ty of i d e a l i t y . The philosophy of Hinduism focuses a l l i t s a t t e n t i o n upon a s p i r i t u a l world . So vehemently and with such conv ic t ion does the Hindu mystic deny the existence of the a c t u a l world that he eventual ly becomes ob l iv ious 6f i t . When he s i t s upon h i s spiked bed he i s conscious nei ther of spikes nor of h i s body. 0n the other hand, r a t i o n a l i s m , u t i l i t a r i a n i s m , and pragmatism ignore or deny the existence of the s p i r i t u a l world . These phi losophies have no time for heaven-sent d i c t a . To them, funct ion i s the t e s t of worth, and whatever works, i n a s t r i c t l y p r a c t i c a l sense, i s 100 101 r i g h t . C a r l y l e ' s philosophy denies ne i ther the s p i r i t u a l nor the m a t e r i a l world . Despite the fac t that he i n s i s t s that the r e a l *Jch' i s the s p i r i t u a l ' i c h 1 , he never denies the existence of the a c t u a l one, and never begrudges i t the bread and milk needed to keep i t a l i v e . The p h y s i c a l s e l f i s necessary, not only as a receptacle for the s p i r i t u a l s e l f , but a l so as the protagonist which keeps the s p i r i t u a l s e l f a l i v e . The p h y s i c a l world i s an equal ly indispensable part of the C a r l y l e a n system. C a r l y l e , l i k e TeufelsdrBckh, " . . . though a S a n s c u l l o t i s t , i s no A d a m i t e . . . . " 1 He sees a l l too c l e a r l y the necess i ty of c lo thes . A summary of the C a r l y l e a n system might w e l l be that i t postulates the existence of an i d e a l world, recognizes the existence of the a c t u a l world, and has . as i t s en t i re purpose cons iderat ion of how these two can co-ex i s t — with the a l l - impor t ant r i d e r that the a c t u a l world must always be g iv ing way to the i d e a l . A l l i n a l l , C a r l y l e shows a remarkable tolerance for the imperfections of the a c t u a l . He holds the i d e a l to be " . . . a n impossible s tate of be ing, yet ever the goal towards which our a c t u a l state of being Sar tor , p . 47. s t r i v e s . n A Matter i s not a medium conducive to the growth of s p i r i t , yet " . . . t h e Ideal always has to grew i n the H e a l , and to seek i t s bed and board there, of ten i n a very sorry way." 2 The i d e a l , independent of bed and board, i s found only on the stage or i n f i c t i o n , and he who expects to f i n d pure, unconfined s p i r i t i n t h i s world i s bound to be d isappointed. To avoid disappointment we must r e a l i z e that the a c t u a l and the i d e a l rub along together i n an uncer ta in , ever-changing way. Much as C a r l y l e esteems the s p i r i t u a l side of l i f e , he i s p r a c t i c a l enough to r e a l i z e that; Ideas must ever l i e a long way o f f ; and we w i l l r i g h t thankfu l ly content ourselves with any not i n t o l e r a b l e approximation thereto]3 This world i s not God's i n f i n i t e world . Here we must limp along, suf fer ing the shortcomings inherent i n f l e s h and matter, yet s truggl ing ever to r i d the world of Imperfections and approximations. Above a l l , man must not be disheartened when he discovers that the i d e a l he i s s t r i v i n g for i s unatta inable . The struggle must continue, for " . . . i m p e r f e c t Human Soc ie ty holds i t s e l f together, and f inds i t s place under the Sun, i n v i r t u e 1 " C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , " Essays, v o l . 3» P« ®« Past and Present , p . 57. 3 Heroes, p . 226. 103 simply of some approximation to p e r f e c t i o n being a c t u a l l y made and put in to p r a c t i c e . n l C a r l y l e i s genera l ly thought of as a man of v i o l e n t op in ion , one whose l i k e s and d i s l i k e s were seldom tempered with patience or to lerance . The t r u t h i s that h i s r e a l i s t i c view of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the i d e a l and the a c t u a l often l ed him to express a moderate opinion with regard to i n s t i t u t i o n s and t r a d i t i o n s of which he d id not wholeheartedly approve. Thus, for example, as v i o l e n t l y as he attacked the s o c i a l condit ions of nineteenth-eentury England, he d id notgotothe extreme of a French Revolut ion as the best way of putt ing things r i g h t . The s i t u a t i o n was not so bad that a l l must be done away with: S o c i a l anomalies are ' th ings to be defended, things to be amended; and i n a l l places and things , short of the P i t I t s e l f , there i s some admixture of worth and good. Room for extenuation, f or p i t y , for p a t i e n c e . 2 He i s w i l l i n g to give man-made i n s t i t u t i o n s t h e i r due. He admits that "Parliaments and the Courts of Westminster are venerable . . .."3 C a r l y l e i s w i l l i n g to put up with some approximations as the best compromise between i d e a l and a c t u a l poss ib le at t h i s time, but he l i v e s almost - Past and Present , p . 20. 2 "Chartism,* 1 Essays, v o l . 4, pp. 136-137. 3 Past and Presents p . 9. 104 In t e r r o r of man forgetting that as time moves on his compromises mast he revised. In considering the actual world, C a r l y l e takes into account i t s temporal as well as i t s s p a t i a l imperfections. The problems of one generation are not the problems of the next, and the solutions of one generation w i l l not do f o r the next. Thus each gener-a t i o n must fashion i t s own approximation to the i d e a l * Moreover, the ideals recognized by each generation w i l l change f o r : By the Laws of Nature... a l l manner of Ideals have t h e i r f a t a l l i m i t s and l o t ; t h e i r appointed periods of youth, of maturity, or perfection, of decline, degradation, and f i n a l death and disappearance• 1 The very Truth has to change i t s vesture from time to time; and be born again. 2 Note that i t i s not t r u t h that changes, but the vesture of truth. God's tr u t h i s immutable, but " . . . i n every new generation i t w i l l manifest i t s e l f i n a new d i a l e c t " ^ conformable to the understanding of that generation. The struggle of truth to get i t s e l f recognized i n spite of the machinations of i t s arch-enemies time and space r e s u l t s i n a world of constant change and adjustment. " A l l things are i n revolution," says C a r l y l e , Past and Present, p. 57 • French Revolution, v o l . 1, p. 228. Heroes, p. 180. 105 1 1 In change from moment to moment, which becomes sens ib le from epoch to epoch ." 1 From the moment of i t s f i r s t incept ion a work of a r t , a system of p o l i t y , or a doctr ine of r e l i g i o n grows towards i t s death. This change, f a r from being a sorry matter, i s a c t u a l l y the s ign of progress , for i t i s " . . . t h e product simply of increased resources which the o ld methods can no longer a d m i n i s t e r . " 6 In i t s youth a system i s spreading i t s t r u t h and d i s p e l l i n g darkness. When the t r u t h that i s i n i t has been accepted by a l l who have eome i n contact with i t the system i s at i t s f u l l power. Yet at that very ins tant i t begins to lose poteney, for i t can no longer make a p o s i t i v e c o n t r i b u t i o n to that soc i e ty . The state now has a p o r t i o n of God's t r u t h equal to that i n the system; i t i s i n consequence a more perfect age than the one which produced the system, and i t must now evolve a system conformable,.to i t s more enlightened ideas . An epoch, when i t no longer answers to the Ideas of an age, gradual ly gives way to the next. But the death of an epoch may a l so come, not because the system no longer measures up to the t r u t h of i t s French Revolut ion , v o l . 1, p . 211 " C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , " Essays, v o l . 3, p . 39. 106 generat ion, bat because I t no longer measures up to God's t r u t h , to the Laws of Nature. Consider a system wherein the r i g h t to r u l e has somehow f a l l e n , not to the wisest and nobles t , but to the f a l s e and i n s i n c e r e . The leaders become e g o t i s t i c a l and r u l e for the greater g l o r y of themselves rather than for the furtherance of God's p l a n . The r e l a t i o n s h i p of man to master, Instead of being marked by l o y a l obedienee, i s marred by fee l ings of I n j u s t i c e . At some point fciere the God In man r e b e l s , w i l l t o l e r a t e i n j u s t i c e no longer, and i n one convulsive move, with force and bloodshed i f necessary, makes an end of one system and i n s t a l l s a new. C a r l y l e sees the t r a n s i t i o n from one epoeh to the next, whether i t be abrupt or gradual , as a pal ingenes is or 'Phoenix D e a t h - B i r t h . 1 The death of one system i s simultaneously the b i r t h of the next. But when we speak of the 'death' of an epoch or system, we must not understand thereby i t s complete o b l i t e r a t i o n . " L i t t l e knowest thou of the burning of a World - Phoenix," says C a r l y l e , "who fanc ie s t that she must f i r s t burn-out, and l i e as dead as a cinereous heap; and therefrom the young one s tart -up as by a mirac l e , and f l y heaven-w a r d . " 1 Pal ingenesia i s the rejuvenat ion of the o l d system, a metempsychosis whereby the sou l ,of the o ld Sar tor , pp. 194-195. 107 system i s taken over by the new and i s re - incarnated as a f a i r e r r e v e l a t i o n of the t r u t h . Thus do the epochs of h i s t o r y fo l low one another. When gunpowder rendered the feudal l o r d and h is cas t l e obsolete, feudalism as a system had to go. But that par t of i t that accorded with the Laws of Nature d id not go. Feudalism l e f t behind idea l s of bravery, l o y a l t y , n o b i l i t y , honour, c h i v a l r y , and courtesy. These th ings , because they were the God-approved par t of feudal ism, d id not d i e . C h r i s t i a n i t y superseded paganism because i t offered a mora l i ty more attune to the needs of the world . I t subst i tuted worship of hol iness for worship of foree , but i t absorbed and perpetuated the true part of paganism* that i s , the concepts of reverence and worship. I f , i n the realm of p o l i t i e s , monarchy prove i t s e l f u n f i t to govern, then i t too w i l l have to go — perhaps i n the f i r e of a French Revolut ion . But once, again , what i s jus t and true w i l l surv ive , for "Sanscullotism w i l l burn much; but what i s incombustible i t cannot b u r n . " 1 These unburnable elements of a system are designated by C a r l y l e as "select adoptab l i t i e s" or "organic f i laments ." The terms are meant to express those tenuous, i n v i s i b l e connections which l i n k man French Revolut ion , v o l . 1, p . 213. 108 to man and generation to generation. From the time when p r e h i s t o r i c man grunted h is f i r s t s y l l a b l e a t h i n thread has run unbroken through a l l the f i r e s and cataclysms of h i s t o r y , gathering and guarding each improvement i n the a r t of communication up to the moment when a wire less apparatus sent a voice around the wor ld . Without that f i r s t grunt, preserved and improved, rad io would be impossible; Had not some savage made a hammer, Wren could never have b u i l t S t . P a u l ' s . Or consider the development of our laws. From the f i r s t crude code of the t r i b e , through Mosaic law to Roman law to the common law of today, what a h i s t o r y i s there! Each generation se lects from i t s l e g a l heri tage whatever i t can adopt, re f ines and improves upon th i s nucleus, then passes i t on. Thus i s our store of s tatutory good slowly increased. I t i s as impossible for these organic f i laments to be broken as i s for one man to cut himself o f f from his f e l lows . The E n g l i s h men who came to the New World put two thousands miles of water between themselves and t h e i r compatriots . They c a l l e d themselves Americans and t r i e d to cut with a sword every t i e that bound them to the E n g l i s h . Despite a l l t h i s , they s t i l l l i v e d i n houses instead of caves, and ate with a k n i f e and fork instead of with t h e i r f i n g e r s . Some l i t t l e memory of another time and place remained. 109 And how much more of the s p i r i t u a l memory remained, of Magna C a r t a , Habeas Corpus, and freedom of every s o r t , of j u s t i c e and G o d - f i l l e d worship? Fol lowing out h i s theory of se l ec t adopt-a b i l i t i e s and organic f i laments C a r l y l e comes to the b e l i e f that " . . . t h e true Past departs n o t , " 1 By ' true past ' C a r l y l e means a l l that i s good, good i n the moral as w e l l as i n the p r a c t i c a l sense. I t i s easy enough to be l ieve that man preserves and passes on any knowledge that serves him i n the p r a c t i c a l manner. There are very few l o s t a r t s i n the h i s t o r y of the wor ld . That the same i s true of moral good i s a rather more doubtful c la im. Yet th i s i s C a r l y l e ' s stand: "No Truth or Goodness r e a l i z e d by man ever d i e s , or can d ie ; but i s a l l s t i l l here, and, recognized or not , l i v e s and works through endless changes." 2 In the course of h i s t o r y the accidents and t r i v i a l i t i e s whieh attended upon the discovery of a e e r t a i n p o r t i o n of t r u t h drop away, but the t r u t h i t s e l f , d i s t i l l e d , r e f i n e d , ed i ted , continues i n a l l i t s e s s e n t i a l being in to a l l future generations. At the same time, the bad, having proved i t s e l f to be useless and unadoptable, Is discarded by the next generat ion. In eonsequence of th i s evolut ionary " C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , " Essays, v o l . 3» p« 38. Loc . c i t . 110 process, present-day England can be considered "... the summary of what has been found of wise, and noble, and accordant with God's Truth, i n a l l the generations of English Men."1 Not only i s the p o s i t i v i s t i c theory of his t o r y outlined above o v e r t l y expressed both i n Past and Present and i n " C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , " but i t i s the covert theme of each of Carlyle's h i s t o r i c a l w ritings. Nevertheless, Norwood Young quotes Wickstead: "To the medieval thinker ... there was r e a l l y no progressive development of the world as we conceive i t . History was rather a hi s t o r y of corruption and a f a l l i n g away than a h i s t o r y of progress," and remarks that "These were the doctrines of C a r l y l e who remained a c h i l d of the Middle Ages.'12 To anyone who has read C a r l y l e , even without the 'loving heart' that he i n s i s t s i s necessary f o r understanding, there i s no hope of comprehending t h i s opinion. C a r l y l e sees h i s t o r y as an evolution and progress, a constant melioration. One wonders i f Young ever read the concluding thought of the "Inaugural Address:" "Work, and despair not: Wir helssen eucfa hoffen, 'We bid you be of hope!' — l e t that be my l a s t word."^ And these are, apart 1 Past and Present, p. 133. 2 Rise and" F a l l , p. 109. 3 Essays, v o l . 4, p. 482. I l l from two short essays and the E a r l y Kings of Norway fragment, the l a s t words of C a r l y l e , Moreover, they represent the earnest counsel of a seventy-one-year:? o ld man to a new generation about to take up the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s he i s l ay ing down. At such a time, and i n such a case, sure ly Young would not maintain that the pess imist was merely mouthing o p t i m i s t i c sentiments? Because C a r l y l e takes h i s t o r i c a l change to be the r e s u l t of the i d e a l attempting to manifest I t s e l f i n the a c t u a l , he must always face the quest ion as to "how far such idea l s can be introduced in to p r a c t i c e , and at what po int our impatience with t h e i r n o n - i n t r o -duct ion ought to b e g i n . " 1 Although he i s genera l ly on the s ide of change and berates those who mourn the past , at the same time, he counsels against overhasty a c t i o n i n the d iscarding of any i n s t i t u t i o n or custom. Caught as he always i s i n the dualism of the i d e a l and the a c t u a l , he warns the world to ' c a 1 canny:' A l l great Peoples are conservative; slow to be l ieve i n nove l t i e s ; pa t i ent of much error i n actualities;•*:: deeply and forever c e r t a i n of the greatness that i s i n Law, i n Custom once solemnly es tab l i shed , and now long recognized as j u s t and f i n a l . True , © R a d i c a l Reformer, there i s no Custom that can, proper ly speaking, be f i n a l ; none. And yet thou seest Customs which i n a l l c i v i l i z e d countr ies , are accounted f i n a l ; nay, under the Old-Roman name of Mores, are accounted M o r a l i t y , Heroes, p . 176. 112 V i r t u e , Laws of God Himsel f . Such, I assure thee, not a few of them are; such almost a l l of them once w e r e . l God- inspired laws have been e m p i r i c a l l y discovered by past generations and have, for very good reason, become the custom for human behaviour. What a waste i t would be i f each generation turned i t s back on a l l the wisdom the previous generation had p a i n f u l l y c o l l e c t e d and began to b u i l d up i t s mora l i ty again from the crudest beginnings. I t would be as i f the Eastcheap c l e r k spent a l l h i s time checking the ready-reckoner provided by the f i rm and never got around to doing his accounts. I t i s most important that we go slowly with the immediate past for we are too close to i t to see i t c l e a r l y . I t i s only with the o b j e c t i v i t y and perspect ive acquired through. time that soc iety sorts out the good from the bad, the true from the t r i v i a l , and discovers the organic f i laments of the pas t . In the C a r l y l e a n view of h i s t o r y there i s a p e r i o d i c i t y d i s c e r n i b l e very s i m i l a r to .that proposed by the Saint-Simonians. Saint-Simony's, philosophy of h i s t o r y regards s o c i a l development as a ser ies of p e r i o d i c mutations, each marked* by two epoehs — an organic epoch, which i s character ized by b e l i e f i n an e s s e n t i a l l y r e l i g i o u s d i r e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e , and a c r i t i c a l Past and Present , p i 163 113 epoch) characterized by d i s b e l i e f and attacks upon the d i r e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e . T r a n s i t i o n between epochs i s gradual and r e s u l t s i n thepalengenetic emergence of a new organic epoch which carr i e s forward a l l the per-f e c t i o n of previous epochs and increases t h i s per-f e c t i o n as i t can, t i l l i t i n turn, being no longer able to contribute p o s i t i v e l y to society, i s attacked, and f i n a l l y denied. 1 During the years I83O-I834 Gustave d'Elehthal, a Saint-Simom d i s c i p l e , had supplied C a r l y l e with copies of the movement's tracts and pamphlets. C a r l y l e was s u f f i c i e n t l y Interested i n the group to undertake a t r a n s l a t i o n of the Nouveau Christianlsme, Saint-Simone's l a s t work, but he asked that the t r a n s l a t i o n not appear under his name. He objected Increasingly to the movement's r e l i g i o u s bent, and by 1834 he was no longer i n touch with the group. Even though C a r l y l e approved of the Saint-Simonian concept that periods of firm b e l i e f and p o s i t i v e a c t i v i t y alternate with periods of d e n i a l and anarchic, negative a c t i v i t y , he does not himself accept more than the s u p e r f i c i a l framework of t h i s view — and that only 1 For a succinct summary of the Saint-Simonian theory of h i s t o r i c a l p e r i o d i c i t y see H i l l Shine. C a r l y l e  and the Saint-Simoniaris. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1941, pp. 39-40. 114 i n a general way. The Saint-Simonians i n s i s t e d upon an organic epoch being organized about one cen t r a l idea which i s accepted by the entir e state. C a r l y l e pays l i t t l e a t tention to the delineation of organic or c r i t i c a l epochs, and consequently does not hold that the l i f e t i m e of a b e l i e f i s confined to a set h i s t o r i c a l period. Catholicism has lasted two mdjllenhfta, says C a r l y l e , and w i l l l a s t another two, or two thousand, so long as there i s truth i n I t . World history, f a r from being a neat sequence of epochs, i s By very nature ... a labyrinth and chaos; ... an abatis of trees and brushwood, a , world-wide jungle, at, onee growing, and dying. Under"the green f o l i a g e and blossoming f r u i t - t r e e s of Today, there l i e , r o t t i n g slower or fa s t e r , the forests of a l l other Years and Days. Some have rotted f a s t , plants of annual growth, and are long since gone to inorganic mould; others are l i k e the aloe, growths that l a s t a thousand or three thousand years. You w i l l f i n d them i n a l l stages of decay and preservation; down deep to the beginnings of the History of Man.+ Despite the ca r e f u l argument of H i l l Shine i n his book Ca r l y l e and the Saint-Simonians. we must agree with Rene Wellek that to the question "Is there a fundamental a f f i n i t y between Carlyle's theory of hi s t o r y and that of the Saint-Slmonians?" the answer "...must be wholly i n the negative." 2 . < .  1 "Anti-Dryasdust," Introduction to Cromwell, p. 7» 2 " C a r l y l e and the Philosophy j © f History," P h i l o l o g i c a l Quarterly, v o l . 2 3 , no. 1 (January, 1944), p. 56. 115 C a r l y l e does not see h i s t o r y as a process as simply explained or as r i g i d l y bound as the c y c l i c a l theory of the Saint-Simonians would have i t . For the same reason he does not hold with the n a r r a t i v e or cause-and-effect philosophy of h i s t o r y . Narrat ive views h i s t o r y as one occurrence fo l lowing another, while the a c t u a l event probably consisted of a group of simultaneous and i n t e r a c t i n g i n c i d e n t s . Even the attempt to see h i s t o r y as a narrat ive with one event connected to the next as cause and e f fec t i s not enough, for _ Actual events are nowise so simply r e l a t e d to each other as parent and o f f spr ing are; every s ing le event i s the o f f spr ing not of one, but of a l l other events, p r i o r or contemporaneous, and w i l l i n i t s t u r n combine with a l l others to give b i r t h to new . . . . 1 In C a r l y l e ' s philosophy the f i n a l explanation of an h i s t o r i c a l event, as far as explanat ion i s p o s s i b l e , l i e s not i n the event,, but i n the man. The course of h i s t o r y as he sees i t i s the r e s u l t of men act ing according to the Laws of Nature. Thus, when the world system departs from the Laws of Nature a man or mob of men acts to correet the aberrat ion because men cannot bear i n j u s t i c e . Cont inua l change takes place because the sou l of man i s duty-bound to s t r i v e c o n t i n u a l l y 1 "On H i s t o r y , " Essays, v o l . 2, p . 88. 116 af t er t r u t h and the f u l f i l l m e n t of God's p l a n . The change i s evolut ionary and marked by a cont inua l increase of good because men's souls love good and abhor e v i l . An epoch ends because men have absorbed a l l the t r u t h that the epoch has to o f f e r . In short , man acts and h i s t o r y i s made. Here in l i e s the basis of C a r l y l e ' s view of h i s t o r y as " . . . t h e essence of innumerable Biographies ." In any h i s t o r i c a l event a man i s concerned, and the event can be understood only i n terms of the man or men who engineered i t . We ought not to understand from t h i s that everything a man does i s h i s t o r i c a l l y important. I t i s not biography but the essence of biography that goes to make up h i s t o r y . Ordinary biography consis ts of a r e c i t a l of the ex terna l fac ts of a man's l i f e — date and place of b i r t h , childhood and e a r l y years , and so on, t i l l our subject be l a i d under a s lab of l o c a l limestone i n the north-west corner of the p a r i s h church-yard . The essence of biography concerns i t s e l f with none of these facts except as they d i r e c t l y enter in to the true biographic quest ion, how d id he comport him-s e l f i n that b a t t l e of l i g h t against darkness which i s l i f e ? 1 "Biography," Essays, v o l . 3, p.4-7. 117 I t i s obvious that h i s t o r y i n human terms i s a complex matter. C a r l y l e has a lready t o l d us that we cannot know ourse lves . How much more d i f f i c u l t i s i t to know another person, perhaps a man of another century? The facts that are to be known about him are endless , and the forces that are at work wi th in him are devious and deeply hidden. Yet to understand the event we must understand the man as f u l l y as p o s s i b l e . We must know, not only whether his breakfast egg was cooked to his l i k i n g on that day, but a l so with what reverence or lack of reverence he looked upon his fellowmen, upon the world, and upon God. In order to understand the man i t w i l l be necessary " . . . n o t only to see in to him, but even to see out of him to view the worid al together as he views i t . " 1 No less an author i ty than G. M. Trevelyan a t tes t s to the fac t that t h i s i s a c t u a l l y C a r l y l e ' s method of approaching h i s t o r y and to the success with which he does i t : I t i s indispensable that ^the h l s t o r i a s ? should understand the prime motive force that caused the act ions of which he takes account. Now C a r l y l e has an u n r i v a l l e d i n s t i n c t for the detect ion of men's inmost motives. His pecu l iar method i s to wri te h i s t o r y from the ins ide of the a c t o r s . 2 • "Biography," Essays, v o l . 3, p . 44. 2 "Car ly l e as an H i s t o r i a n , " Nineteenth Century, v o l . 66 (1899), p . 499. 118 The v iv idness of C a r l y l e 1 s h i s t o r i e s stems d i r e c t l y from his anthropocentric approach to h i s t o r y . He r e a l i z e s that i n order to make h is readers under-stand the h i s t o r i c a l event, he must hr ing the h i s t o r i c a l man hack to l i f e . He r e a l i z e s , too, how d i f f i c u l t i t i s to overcome the time and distance that separate even one generation from i t s f a t h e r s . "How pa le , t h i n , i n e f f e c t u a l do the great f igures we would"fain summon from H i s t o r y r i s e before us 111 he once exclaimed, "Scarcely as palpable men does out utmost e f f o r t body them f o r t h . . . . " 1 To r e v i t a l i z e these pale shapes, he s l i p s i n revea l ing anecdote, turns now and again to d i r e c t speech, or dwells on personal appearance. Above a l l , he attempts to overcome time by using the common elements of humanity to l i n k the past to the present . To C a r l y l e , h i s t o r y i s not a dry r e c i t a l of what happened long ago, but a drama acted out by people who ate and s lept and worked much as we do today. I t i s by emphasizing the human side of the scene that he recreates the monastery l i f e of Bury S t . Edmund's: Dim, as through a long v i s t a of Seven Centuries , dim and very strange looks that monk-l i fe to us; the e v e r - s u r p r i s i n g circumstance t h i s , That I t i s a f ac t and no dream, that we see i t there, . and gaze i n t o the very eyes of It? I Smoke r i s e s d a i l y from those c u l i n a r y chimney-throats; there are l i v i n g human beings there, who chant, " S c h i l l e r , " Essays, v o l . 2 , p . 166 119 l oud-bray ing , t h e i r matins, nones, vespers; awakening echoes, not to the b o d i l y ear a l o n e . . . . B e l l s clang out: on great occasions, a l l the b e l l s . We have Process ions , Preachings, F e s t i v a l s , Christmas P lays , Mysteries shown i n the Churchyard, at which l a t t e r the Townsfolk sometimes q u a r r e l . 1 Again, i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of the v i s i t of King John to the Abbey, there i s the same awe and d e l i g h t i n the r e a l i z a t i o n that h i s t o r y i s the s tory , not of dead th ings , but of l i v i n g people: For King Lackland was there , v e r i l y he; and d id leave these tredecim s t e r l i n g ! ! , i f nothing more, and d id l i v e and look i n one way or the other, and a whole world was l i v i n g and looking along with him!"2 A king with his en t i re r e t i n u e , c leaning out the l a r d e r , emptying the c e l l a r — and leave t h i r t e e n pence s t e r l i n g to say a mass for him! J o c e l i n , C a r l y l e , and reader, a l l are outraged. However, "We of course sa id our mass for him, having covenanted to do i t , — but l e t i m p a r t i a l p o s t e r i t y judge with what degree of f ervour ."3 Even when we have sa id that C a r l y l e ' s approach to h i s t o r y i s anthropocentr ic , we have not sa id a l l . I f h i s t o r y were nothing more than the s tory of the human race , then the course of h i s t o r y could be explained, as Past and Present , pp. 6 2 - 6 3 . 2 I b i d . , p . 4 6 . 3 i b i d . , p . 4 5 . 120 Toynbee has done I t , In terms of economic and s o c i o -l o g i c a l pressures . C a r l y l e Is aware of these pressures and of t h e i r e f fec t on h i s t o r y . For example, he often states that the economic oppression of the lower classes was one of the main causes of the French Revo lu t ion .^ And c e r t a i n l y i n h i s own day, he recognizes that " . . . the new omnipotence of the steam-engine i s hewing asunder quite other mountains than the p h y s i c a l . m 2 He i s more aware than most of h i s contemporaries of the depth of the unrest that expanding i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n has brought to B r i t a i n . Yet s o c i a l unrest i s to C a r l y l e merely symptomatic of a hidden disease and a deeper wrong, and i s not i n i t s e l f the a l l - i m p o r t a n t force i n the forming of h i s t o r y . To him, England i n the mid-nineteenth century stands on the br ink of Niagara. I f he considered that s o c i o l o g i c a l pressure might be the force that would push her over, would he not welcome any e f f o r t to meliorate that force? There were moves afoot to improve the l o t of the wage-earner — chart ism, r e f o r m - b i l l s , and the New Lanark M i l l s of Robert Owen. Of a l l these moves C a r l y l e was contemptuous. There was for him a deeper p r i n c i p l e at work i n h i s t o r y than the plaeat ing of a mob. His philosophy of h i s t o r y i s 1 "Chartism," Essays, v o l . 4, p . 149. Freneh Revolut ion , v o l . 3» PP. H5» 202. 2 " C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , " Essays, v o l . 3, p . 39. 121 s o c i o l o g i c a l only insofar as acts whieh seem to improve the l o t of humanity co inc ide with acts which further the Div ine P l a n . Sometimes the two do co inc ide , as i n the French Revolut ion , where the perverseness of the system has been purged by the a c t i o n of the mob. At other times, for example, i n the f o r c i b l e que l l ing of the Jamaica upr i s ing by Governor Eyre , i t i s the mob that i s purged. In the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , C a r l y l e ' s concept of h i s t o r y discards both l o g i c a l cause-and-effect explan-a t i o n and s o c i o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n — though I t uses both when i t sees f i t — i n favour of a d i v i n a t o r y theory. While examination of causes and study of the men concerned may throw some l i g h t on an event, mystery s t i l l remains. Even the simplest inc ident of h i s t o r y , no matter how thoroughly i t has been inves t iga ted , has s t i l l an element of the unknown about i t . And there in l i e s , for C a r l y l e , proof that God has been at work, not by d i r e c t i n t e r v e n t i o n , but nonetheless myster iously , through h is agent man. The true explanat ion of h i s t o r y l i e s with God. C a r l y l e r e a l i z e s that th i s i s r e a l l y no explanat ion. Indeed, that i s the very po int he wishes to make — that h i s t o r y i s an inscrutab le book which " . . . ean be f u l l y in terpreted by no man." 1 A worthwhile "On H i s t o r y , " Essays, v o l . 2, p . 90 122 h i s t o r i a n w i l l go as f a r as he can with h i s s tory , then he w i l l acknowledge that no human knows the f u l l cause or meaning of the event. Attempts have been made to wri te h i s t o r i e s without taking God i n t o account. Against these C a r l y l e warns earnest ly: You may read very ingenious and very elever /History / b o o k s , by men whom i t would be the height of insolence i n me to d© other than express my respect f o r . But t h e i r p o s i t i o n i s e s s e n t i a l l y s c e p t i c a l . God and the Godl ike , as our fathers would have s a i d , has f a l l e n asleep for them, and plays no part i n t h e i r h i s t o r i e s . . . . A man unhappily i n that condi t ion w i l l make but a temporary explanation of anything: — i n short , you w i l l not be ab le , I be l i eve , by a i d of these men, to understand how t h i s Is land came to -by what i t i s . 1 Just as he shook h is head at the s c i e n t i s t s who would exp la in the wonder out of the universe , so he re jec ted 2 those "cause and e f f ec t speculators" who would exp la in the mystery out of h i s t o r y . In h i s own h i s t o r i e s C a r l y l e tended to de-emphasize the most apparent explanations and to emphasize or even, exaggerate the Inexpl icable element i n the case. In consequence of th i s tendency he de l ights i n showing how from some s l i g h t cause a d i r e event can spr ing , or how a strange concatenation l i n k s one a c t i o n "Inaugural Address," Essays, v o l . 4, pp. 462-463. 2 "On H i s t o r y , " Essays, v o l . 2, p . 90. 123 to another to produce an unforeseeable r e s u l t . "Might i t not be," C a r l y l e once speculated, "that because Father Noah took the l i b e r t y of , say, r i n s i n g out h i s wine-vat, h i s Ark was f loated o f f and a world drowned?" 1 He sees the f l i g h t of the King of France thwarted by an odd ser ies of acc idents . A new carr iage and a m i l i t a r y escort l i m i t the entourage to a f l i g h t of only s i x ty -n ine miles a f ter twenty-two hours of continuous t r a v e l l i n g ; at Sainte-Menehould Postmaster Drouet happens to be on the s tree t , happens to be suf fer ing from cholera so that his f a c u l t i e s are sharpened, happens to recognize the r o y a l party and happens to be the man who w i l l do something about i t ; and young B o u l l l e , who was to have provided the r e l i e f horses at Varennes, happens to have f a l l e n as leep. But for t h i s unexplainable sequence of coincidences , says C a r l y l e , King Louis would have got away, and the whole course of French h i s t o r y would have been d i f f e r e n t . 2 Or again, a f t er the Tennis Court Oath has been given the King dismisses the Sta tes -Genera l . The King and h i s re t inue , the nobles and c l ergy f i l e out. The T h i r d Estate stands i r r e s o l u t e and uncer ta in , and they too, " . . . m i g h t very n a t u r a l l y have g l ided o f f : * "Diamond Necklace," Essays, v o l . 3, p . 363. 2 French Revolut ion , v o l . 2, pp. 169-181. 124 and the whole course of European h i s t o r y have been d i f f erent" had not G a b r i e l l e Honore Mlrabeau been there and l i f t e d up h is l i o n - v o i c e . 1 The r o l e of chance and coincidence i n h i s t o r y holds an inordinate f a s c i n a t i o n for C a r l y l e . I t i s genera l ly held that the growth of the parl iamentary system received greater impetus from the fac t that a man came to the throne of England who d id not speak E n g l i s h ; and that man came to be king merely by v i r t u e of " . . . being born under such and such a bedtester."2 An Austr ian archduke i s assassinated i n Serbia and the world i s plunged in to war. C a r l y l e , before looking further for the cause of i t a l l , would probably shake h i s head i n wonder and muse, "On what Damocles ha irs does the judgement-sword hang over t h i s d i s t r a c t e d E a r t h ! " 3 In the "Diamond Necklace" C a r l y l e examines an even more mysterious area of h i s t o r i c a l concatenation, one wherein the connection i s not apparent, but devious and hidden. His whole purpose i n th i s short s tory , essay, or novel — one hardly knows how to term i t — i s to show how a f o o l i s h ambassador i n Vienna and a f o o l i s h French Revolut ion , v o l . 4, p . 165* 2 Sar tor , p . 38. 3 "Diamond Necklace," Essays, v o l . 3, p , 362, 125 jeweler i n P a r i s , " . . . a l l uncommunicating, wide asunder as the Poles , are hourly forging for each other the wonderfulest hook-and-eye; which w i l l hook them together, one day, — in to a r t i f i c i a l Siamese-Twins, for the astonishment of mankind, 1 1 1 Harking hack to his idea that the world i s a chaos of i n t e r a c t i n g forces , C a r l y l e maintains that the jeweler Boehmer's work i s taken in to th i s chaos, by odd coincidence f inds there a f f i n i t y with the work of two r a s c a l l y c o u r t i e r s , two d e c e i t f u l women, a l o v e - s i c k c a r d i n a l , and a phi lander ing queen, and emerges eventual ly as a piece of v i l l a i n y which foreshadows the French Revolut ion . No amount of l o g i c or cause-and-effect speculat ion can exp la in the mystery out of th i s s l i g h t event. How much less chance, then, has the godless h i s t o r i a n of get t ing to the bottom of a greater h i s t o r i c a l event. Because C a r l y l e regards h i s t o r y as d i v i n e l y d i r e c t e d , the study of h i s t o r y i s f or him almost as sacred as the study of the B i b l e to a p r i e s t . His ult imate d e f i n i t i o n of h i s t o r y he set f o r t h r h e t o r i c a l l y i n Sar tor : "Is not Man's H i s t o r y , and Men's H i s t o r y , a perpetual Evangel?" 2 We can consider t h i s to be his ult imate d e f i n i t i o n of h i s t o r y because i t includes i n 1 "Diamond Necklaae" Essays, v o l . 3, PP- 338-339. 2 Sar tor , p . 202. 126 I t h is other d e f i n i t i o n s , the phrase 'man's h i s t o r y ' representing the d e f i n i t i o n of h i s t o r y as the essence of innumerable biographies , and the phrase 'men's h i s t o r y ' represent ing the view that we have yet to examine, that i s , that h i s t o r y Is the biography of great men. And what i s the ' evange l , ' the glad t i d i n g s , that h i s t o r y brings? I t i s simply t h i s : t h i s world under God's guidance and by man's e f for t s i s p e r f e c t i b l e . C a r l y l e saw i n the study of h i s t o r y corroborat ion of h i s complete phi losophy. In his "Inaugural Address" at Edinburgh U n i v e r s i t y , C a r l y l e enjoins the students to be d i l i g e n t , above a l l , to f i n d an area of study which they could make t h e i r own. And the only area he s p e c i f i c a l l y recommends to them i s h i s t o r y , " . . . the most p r o f i t a b l e of a l l s t u d i e s . " ! H i s t o r y i s the study of paramount v i r t u e to the young because i t i s "the Le t ter of I n s t r u c t i o n s , which the o ld generations wri te and post -humously transmit to the new. . . ." While other h i s tor ians turn to the past to draw morals from the mistakes man has made, C a r l y l e looks to the past to draw guidance from the progress that God has made. In h i s t o r y he sees "Philosophy teaching by experience."^ i n the opening • "On H i s t o r y Again," Essays, v o l . 3> P« 167. 2 Loc . c i t . 3 "On H i s t o r y , " Essays, v o l . 2 , p . 85. 127 pages ©f h i s f i r s t h i s t o r i c a l work, C a r l y l e t e l l s exact ly what the reader ought to l e a r n from h i s t o r y : How . . . Ideals do r e a l i z e themselves; and grow wondrously, from amid the incongruous, ever - f luc tuat ing chaos of the Actua l : th i s i s what World-h i s t o r y , i f i t teach anything, has to teach u s , 1 In C a r l y l e ' s view, the h is tor iographer takes on the formidable task of t rac ing that wondrous growth of i d e a l s . A c t u a l l y C a r l y l e d iv ides h i s tor iographers in to two categories , the h i s t o r i a n - a r t i s a n and the h i s t o r i a n - a r t i s t . The a r t i s a n i s a pedant and a dryasdust , an h i s t o r i a n only i n the narrow, vulgar sense. He i s a mere chron ic l er of occurrences, a man who " . . . l a b o u r s mechanical ly i n a department without an eye for the Whole, not f e e l i n g that there i s a Whole ," 2 He w i l l measure up Stonehenge, ca lcu la te the t o t a l tonnage of stone brought to the p l a i n , and reconstruct for you, i n t h i r t y quarto pages with working drawings, the methods by which men without machines managed i t s e r e c t i o n . The a r t i s t - h i s t o r i a n however, a man who " . . . informs and ennobles the humblest department with an Idea of the Whole, and h a b i t u a l l y knows that only i n French Revolut ion , v o l . 1, p . 10. "On H i s t o r y , " Essays, v o l . 2, p . 90. 128 the Whole Is the P a r t i a l to be t r u l y d i s c e r n e d , " ! w i l l see the one faet about Stonehenge that i s s t i l l meaningful, that i s , that men centuries ago worshipped something above themselves with a devotion so strong that they sweated and even died to erect a symbol of t h e i r worship. Save th i s one f a c t , a l l e lse about Stonehenge deserves to be forgotten — must be forgot ten , so that " . . . t h e Present i s not needless ly trammelled with the Past; / b u t 7 only grows out of i t , l i k e a Tree , whose roots are not in ter tang led with i t s branches, but 2 l i e peaceable underground." Continuing his :&ma'ge: - of h i s t o r y being a tree rooted i n the past , C a r l y l e defines the a r t i s t -h i s t o r i a n as one who has t h e . a b i l i t y . . . to d i s t i n g u i s h w e l l what does s t i l l reach to the surface , and i s a l i v e and frondent for us; and what reaches no longer to the surface , but moulders safe underground, never to send f o r t h leaves or f r u i t for mankind any more.- 3 The whole business of the true h i s t o r i a n l i e s i n se l ec t ing c e r t a i n things to be forgotten and c e r t a i n others to be remembered. His i s therefore a twofold r o l e . Not only must he f e r r e t out the organic f i laments that run throughout soc ie ty and do his b i t to preserve them, but + "On His tory" Essays, v o l . 2, p . 90. 2 Sar tor , p . 3 6 . 3 Cromwell, p . ?• 129 also he must decide what Is mere accident and dead t r i v i a l i t y . And th i s he must decently bury. In th i s view, forget t ing as much as remembering i s part of the ta l ent of the a r t i s t - h i s t o r i a n , for forge t t ing and remembering, l i k e Bay and Night , and indeed l i k e a l l other Contradict ions i n th i s strange d u a l i s t i c L i f e of ours, are necessary for each other 's existence: O b l i v i o n i s the dark page, whereon Memory writes her l ight-beam characters , and makes them l e g i b l e ; were i t a l l l i g h t nothing could be read there , any more than i f i t were a l l d a r k n e s s . 1 I t i s only by pruning away the unnecessary and unimportant fo l i age that the h i s t o r i a n can revea l the strong main trunk. Working i n the immediate past the h i s t o r i a n w i l l cut spar ing ly , for he cannot judge too w e l l whether or not a branch be dead to us. But i n the d i s tant past he w i l l prune heav i ly so that , although the h i s t o r y of George the Fourth w i l l occupy volumes, a few pages w i l l su f f i ce to t e l l a l l that i s a l i v e to us from the time of A l f r e d the Great . Since the c r i t e r i o n C a r l y l e uses for de ter -mining whether an occurrence should be remembered or forgotten i s whether i t i s a l i v e to us, i t w i l l be worthwhile to look for a moment to the things C a r l y l e himself marks for forge t t ing or remembering to see i f a "On H i s t o r y Again," Essays, v o l . 3 , P» 173 130 clearer understanding of the criterion emerges. The things consigned to oblivion are the things historians once doted on, lists of battles, catalogues of prime ministers and their cabinets, accounts of their debates. "What good is i t to me," cried Carlyle, ...that a man named George the Third was born and bred up, and a man named Geroge the Second died; that Walpole, and the Pelhams, and Chatham, and Rockingham, and Shelburne, and North, with their Coalition or their Separation Ministries, a l l ousted one another.1 Battles and war-tumults . . . pass away like tavern-brawls....Laws themselves, political Constitutions, are not our Life, but only the house wherein our Life is led. 2 These are representative of the dead facts that have no place in a true history. What Carlyle wants to see preserved in history are the accounts of how our life came to be what i t is today. To do this, history must tel l the story of: Phoenician mariners, of Italian masons and Saxon metallurgists, of philosophers, alchymists, prophets, and a l l the long-' forgotten train of artists and artisans; who from the first have been jointly teaching us how to think and how to act, how to rule over spiritual and over physical Nature.3 We recognize these things as Carlyle's organic filaments. The historian, in showing how our present has grown out 1 "Boswell's Life of Johnson," Essays, vol. 3 , p. 80. See also "On History," Essays, vol. 2, pp. 91-92. 2 "On History," Essays, vol. 2, p. 86. 3 Ibid., pp. 86-87. 131 of the past, has traced the gradual growth of ideals i n the actual; and he teaches, by showing us the experiences of the past, how the Carlylean philosophy has been f u l f i l l i n g i t s e l f and how i t can continue to do so. Cariyle's biographical approach to h i s t o r y coupled with his theory of hist o r y as the tracing of the growth of ideas leads him to define h i s t o r y as being ".. but the Biography of Great Men."1 I t i s unfortunate that e r i t i c s who understand neither Cariyle's theory of heroes nor his philosophy of h i s t o r y have made a good deal of t h i s d e f i n i t i o n . These people have understood C a r l y l e to mean that a c o l l e c t i o n of biographies — and by t h i s they do not mean a c o l l e c t i o n of biographies i n the Ca r l y l e manner — should supplant a l l h istory texts. Actually, C a r l y l e , s t i l l intent upon tracing the growth of id e a l s , i s interested i n great men because they have been the guardians of ideas and the sources of ideals for th e i r generation. In Sartor C a r l y l e stated: Great Men are the Inspired (speaking and acting) Texts of that divine :Book of Revelations, whereof a Chapter i s completed from epoch to epoch, and by some named H i s t o r y . 2 The great man has been more important than his fellows Heroes. p. 33* Sartor, p. 142. 132 in the moulding of his times. His thoughts have formed its philosophy and his actions have guided its course. He is the spirit of his age in microcosm. In him the essence of the times is most available, clustered about one central core and relatively uncluttered with extraneous activity. It Is in consideration of this that Carlyle claims that " . . . the history of what man has accomplished in this world, is at bottom the History of the Great Men who have worked here;"1 and this view is an extension, not a contradiction, of Cariyle's larger view of history as the story of the development of ideals. A very brief glance at Cariyle's French  Revolution and Cromwell will, show how his philosophy directly affected his efforts as an historian. He saw the French Revolution as a. God-inspired re-routing of an aberrant world. To justify this view Carlyle had to show the Ancieri Regime as being wicked, hollow, specious, 2 and false, and the lower classes as being naked, hungry, and oppressed.3 in Cariyle's interpretation, the revolution arose entirely from this single cause — the system of France had strayed from the Divine Plan and was Heroes, p. 1. 2 French Revolution, vol. 1, pp. 10-11; vol. 3, p. 202. 3 ibid., vol. 3, p. 115, passim. Cf. "Chartism," Essays, vol. 4, p. 149. 133 now being purged and set right. Because the revolu-tionaries were God's missionaries of order, Carlyle has to show them as honest, just, and sincere, " . . . a genuine outburst of nature."1 He therefore glosses over the brutality of the mob, and emphasizes its morality. He makes no comment when the revolutionaries, having promised DeLaunay, commandant of the Bastille, immunity, butcher him; he shakes his head sadly over the guilotining, but claims that i t was necessary. On the other hand, he takes considerable time to tel l how the mob returns three sacks of money taken from the Hotel-de-Ville during a mob raid, and how the patriots, having rescued eleven gardes"francaise imprisoned for not firing on the crowd,, and finding they have inadvertently brought out a twelfth imprisoned for a civi l offence, return him to prison. There is some justification, then, for calling the French Revolution Carlyle's didactic novel. It is didactic because it frankly sets out to show that hypocrisy and injustice will be set down by sincerity and justice; i t is a novel because i t adjusts history to make i t f i t this moral. Carlyle has to write his novel as a history because "fiction . . . partakes of the nature of lying"2 and Carlyle could not l ie . 1 French Revolution, vol. 1, p. 251. 2 "Biographyi" Es~says. vol. 3, p. 49. 134 A s i m i l a r philosophical flavouring i s detectable i n Cromwell's Letters and Speeches. The Puritan Revolt C a r l y l e sees as "... the armed Appeal of Puritanism to the I n v i s i b l e God of Heaven against many very v i s i b l e D e v i l s , " 1 and an attempt "... to bring the Divine Law of the Bible into actual practice o i n men's a f f a i r s on the Earth...." Like the French Revolution, i t has divine sanction, and thus can do no wrong — or, at le a s t , whatever wrong i t does i n excusable on the double count of being necessary to r i d the world of a greater wrong, and of being done i n a s p i r i t of ju s t i c e and r i g h t . Thus Carlyle's e d i t i n g of the l e t t e r s and his commentary must show that, i f Cromwell's conduct i n Ireland i s b r u t a l , i t i s nevertheless necessary and just. Cromwell himself was persuaded that the v i o l e n t a c t i o n he took to quiet Ireland was: ... a righteous judgement of God upon these barbarous wretches, who have imbrued t h e i r hands i n so much blood; and that i t /Would7tend to prevent the effu s i o n of blood for the f u t u r e . 3 To which persuasion C a r l y l e gives approving emphasis: T e r r i b l e Surgery t h i s : but i s i t Surgery and"Judgement, or atrocious murder merely? That i s a question which should be asked Cromwell, v o l . 1, p. 41. 2 Ibid., v o l . 2, p. 169. 3 Cromwell, v o l . 2, p. 60. 135 and answered. Oliver Cromwell did believe i n God's Judgements; and did not believe i n the rose-water plan of Surgery; — which, i n f a c t , i s t h i s Editor's case t o o . l And just as he shows the mob i n the French Revolution to be f i t agents of the divine w i l l , so he shows Cromwell to be a true hero. F i r s t we must be shown that Cromwell has the humility required of a hero. "I c a l l e d not myself to t h i s place," says Cromwell; whereupon C a r l y l e i n t e r j e c t s , "Do you mark that, and the a i r and nammer of i t , my honourable friends J'"1 And upon one of the numerous occasions when Cromwell gives a l l c r e d i t f o r his success to God, C a r l y l e pointedly remarks: "There i s a Selbsttodtung. a k i l l i n g of S e l f , as my f r i e n d Novalis e a l l s i t . . . . " 3 Cromwell, l i k e a l l true heroes, though humble before God, i s capable of decisive a c t i o n among men. To demonstrate t h i s C a r l y l e must make much of Cromwell's vigorous administrative reforms, his a b i l i t y to make d i f f i c u l t decisions and to carry them out with c e l e r i t y and determination. When C a r l y l e i s f i n i s h e d describing the f i n a n c i a l reforms of Cromwell, the stern dismissal of the Rump Parliament, not to mention Cromwell, v o l . 2, p. 51• Cromwell, v o l , 3» >P» 132. 3 Ibid., p. 121. 136 the m a r t i a l successes In Ireland, we are thoroughly convinced that i n the Lord Protector we have a hero that knows his work and does i t . Cariyle's Cromwell has as w e l l the high moral sense of a true hero. In the name of God he has stormed the garrison at Tredah and k i l l e d almost every defender. Then, with a sense of j u s t i c e almost i r o n i c , he hangs two of his own men f o r plundering against his orders. Or again, as busy as the Lord Protector i s , he s t i l l has time to ensure that the amnesty granted Humphrey Hooke i s honoured, 1 or to remonstrate against the harsh judge-ment passed on one James Nayler, whose only crime was that he imagined himself to he the re-incarnation of C h r i s t . 2 I t i s just by r e l a t i n g such l i t t l e incidents as these that C a r l y l e puts his readers inside the man, looking out with the eyes of the man, so that i n the end the reader i s convinced by the sum of a l l the incidents that the man was as C a r l y l e has portrayed him. To prove that Cromwell, though he could use force when i t was necessary, was i n t r u t h a moderate man who d i s l i k e d violence, C a r l y l e never omits a l e t t e r which offers quarter or treaty to a besieged town. Cromwell, v o l . 2, p. 175. Ibid., v o l . 4, pp. 17ff. 137 Indeed, in telling of the siege of Wexford, Carlyle prints, one after the other, six letters from Cromwell offering terms to the beleaguered garrison.1 From beginning to end, Carlyle is Intent upon making his reader see Cromwell as Carlyle sees him. And though none of his historical heroes were perfect, i t seems to be Cromwell who is nearest perfect. "I have asked myself," says Carlyle, i f anywhere in Modern European History, or even in Ancient Asiatic, there was found a man practising this mean World's affairs with a heart more filled by the Idea of the Highest?2 Carlyle holds that during the Protectorate England came close to setting up the rule of God on earth, for " . . . nothing that was contrary to the laws of Heaven was allowed to live by Oliver."3 Holding also that an artist-historian has the right to select his facts according to his philosophy, he feels himself justified in arranging Cromwell's experiences to preach the Carlylean scheme. Cromwell, vol. 2, pp. 66ff. 2 Ibid., vol. 2, p. 175. 3 "Inaugural Address," Essays, vol. 4, p. 460. Chapter V The Question of the Two C a r l y l e s In 1919 G. M. Trevelyan published his Recreations of an H i s t o r i a n , i n one chapter of which, e n t i t l e d "The Two C a r l y l e s , " he wrote: We who t r u l y loved him have long ago eleven our C a r l y l e i n twain and thrown away the worser h a l f of h i s doc tr ine , have s trongly d i f f e r e n t i a t e d S a r t o r , the French Revolut ion , and Past and  Present from those most enter ta in ing but immoral works of h is o ld age, , Freder i ck and Latter-Day Pamphlets. From 1919 on the idea that the success ful and admired Sage of Chelsea was, as thinker and as man, completely apart from the rude but s incere Ecelefeehan peasant 2 gained favour with many C a r l y l e s cho lars . Though the x London, Nelson, 1919, pp. 192-193. o • Norwood Young i n 1927: "The mystic had become an exponent of R e a l p o l l t l k . The Craigenputtbck s p i r i t u a l i s t was transformed in to a Cheyne Row m a t e r i a l i s t . Love was thrown aside for Power." (Rise and F a l l , p . 367.) E r i e Bent ley i n 1944: "It i s n a t u r a l that C a r l y l e should at f i r s t be at home with men l i k e Cromwell who combined worldly power with s p i r i t u a l f a i t h , but i n c r e a s i n g l y we have seen, C a r i y l e ' s heroes were of another kidney: Governor E y r e , Bismarck, and Freder i ck the Great ." (Cult of the Superman, p . 53.) David Gascoyne i n 1952: "There'are two C a r l y l e s almost as indubi tab ly as there are two Hegels, two Wordsworths." (Thomas C a r l y l e , p . 9.) J u l i a n Symons i n 1952: " C a r i y l e ' s views changed from . . . a generous view of human p o t e n t i a l i t i e s into the v i c a r i o u s , s a d i s t i c l u s t for power of a disappointed 138 139 date for the supposed metamorphosis i s set by some as 1845, others imagine i t to have occurred when he l e f t Scotland (1834), and s t i l l others put i t around the date of the Latter-Day Pamphlets (1850). The exact date does not matter; there i s s u f f i c i e n t general agreement that we may s e t t l e on the per iod between Past and Present (1843) and the Latter-Day Pamphlets as marking the death of one C a r l y l e and the b i r t h of the other . The explanations for the complete change are given v a r i o u s l y as C a r l y l e ' s s u c c e s s , 3 his disappointment and 4 S f a i l u r e , or merely that he l e f t S c o t l a n d . ? But the disagreement with regard to dates and causes i s unimportant, i f there i s agreement on the more important part of the matter, that i s , on the d i s t i n c t i o n s of character that mark the new C a r l y l e from the o l d . And there i s , genera l ly speaking, such agreement. The f i r s t charge i s that C a r l y l e a f t er 1843-1850 i s p o l i t i c a l l y i l l i b e r a l i n that he opposes a l l l e g i s l a t i o n that would improve the l o t of the labourer man." (Thomas C a r l y l e . London, Gol lanez , p . 295.) Times L i t e r a r y Supplement i n 1956: "It i s of course true that a f t er 1845 . . . Car ly l e . . .became an apolog is t for the mailed f i s t . " (London, 3 February, 1956, p . 61.) 3 Trevelyan, pj>. c i t . . p . 195. 4 Symons, op_. c i t . . p . 295. ^ Young, op,, c i t . . p . 367. 140 and the wage-earner. The second charge is that he has become a champion of the aristocracy and an admirer of physical force. The final charge is that he has exchanged a generous and loving view of mankind for a sour and misanthropic hatred of every human face. Bisecting a man so that you can explain ©pinions or actions that are not accounted for by your understanding of the man as a whole Is a very neat solution to the problem. All the good things are the work of Dr. Jekyll, 'the very pink of proprieties,' and a l l the bad things the work of the 'really damnable' Mr. Hyde. It is, as I say, a very neat solution, but It Is most unnatural. So few men are truly schizophrenic. In Cariyle's case the affair is complicated by the fact that the simple and loving Carlyle of Ecclefeehan, having been killed off to make way for' the embittered author of the Latter-Day Pamphlets, must be revived to write the Life of Sterling, put away again while the second Carlyle produces.' Frederick.' then exhumed to give his 'Inaugural Address' at Edinburgh. Really, i t remains a problem to know which Carlyle died on February 5, 1881. There is nevertheless sufficient evidence in support of a moderate version of the Trevelyan dichotomy to warrant its being examined. Since most followers of the two-Carlyles school take Latter-Dav Pamphlets as 14-1 representative of the new Carlyle, i t were well to start the examination there. Latter-Day Pamphlets is a series of discourses upon topical and occasional matters. The pamphlets appeared in 1850 when Carlyle was fifty-five years old. Thus it cannot he considered that these are the peevish opinions of an old man, although it is well to remember that Carlyle, not knowing that he had thirty-one years of life ahead of him, probably had in mind that he was entering upon his own latter days. It is far more likely that he saw his pamphlets as exhortations of the prophet of doom. They must have been written immediately after the year of revolutions, at a time when it seemed, to Carlyle at least, that mob rule, i f not complete anarchy, was on the march in Europe. What better time to cry with Job: I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth? The day of judgement was drawing ever nearer. Throughout the seventeen years since Sartor Carlyle had been pleading with the people of England to follow God and godlike men. Thus far his words seemed to have had no effect. Latter-Da v Pamphlets is going to be one last plea. To be heard now in this desperate hour it must be louder and more startling than a l l the other exhortations. It must say something that will make even the dullest-witted sit 142 up and listen. And i t did. Even Carlyle, who ordinarily delighted in his own hyperbole and chuckled at the extravagance of his own opinions, was sufficiently distressed about this plea to call i t "...an alarming set of pamphlets."1 The tone of the Latter-Dav Pamphlets is earnest and anxious with a violence born of despair. But what of their content and their relation to the new Carlyle? The first charge, that of political illiberality, arises from the denunciation of democracy found scattered throughout the pamphlets, particularly in "Present Time" and "Parliaments." In opposing the reform bills and other liberal and radical movements, Carlyle was being true to the philosophy ©f life outlined in the preceding chapters. Since the end of government is " . . . to guide men in such a way, and ourselves in sueh a way, as the Maker of men, whose eye is upon us, will sanction at the Great Day," therefore the selection of leaders is " . . . the most important social feat a body of men can do.. . ." 3 But Carlyle has no faith in the ballot-box as»a method of selecting our leaders. Since a x "Jesuitism," Latter-Day Pamphlets. ,p. 295. Past and Presents p. 167. 3 ibid., p. 82. 143 man gives honour to others only as he has honour i n himself, each man w i l l tend to choose as his leader the one next above him i n Carl y l e ' s hierarchy. In a demo-c r a t i c e l e c t i o n where each man's vote has equal worth regardless of the worth of the man, the majority of the votes w i l l f a l l upon that man who stands at the point just above f i f t y percent of his fellowmen. But since the bulk of humanity i s on the lower l e v e l s of the hierarchy with proportionally fewer men i n the upper degrees, the leader chosen by democratic b a l l o t w i l l be, measured against the absolute scale of the hierarchy, less than mediocre. " I f of ten men nine are recognizable as f o o l s , " c r i e s C a r l y l e , "... how, i n the name of wonder, w i l l you ever get a ballot-box to grind you out a wisdom from the votes of these teii men?"-1- Often enough the weakness of the democratic system has been demonstrated by the v i c t o r y at the p o l l s of a dog, a horse, or a non-existent human, but Car l y l e adds the clinching example when he t e l l s of a c e r t a i n people who, asked to e l e c t which of two condemned" prisoners should be set free, "... clamorously voted by overwhelming majority, 'Not he; Barabbas, not heJ i l l To the gallow and the cross with himJ Barabbas Is our manj" 2 D i s t r u s t of the vox populi and of government "Parliaments," Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 238. "Present Time," Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 33. 144 by the mob i s not unique to the new C a r l y l e . Said S i r Thomas Browne i n 1642, " I f there be any among those common objects of hatred I do contemn and laugh at, i t i s that great enemy of Reason, Virtue, and Religion, the Multitude... ."•L More recently, and i n our own country we have heard the opinion: Democracy, as A r i s t o t l e knew, i s a dangerous kind of government. The society that supports i t l i v e s always on the brink of dictatorship from which i t i s saved only by c u l t i v a t i n g a kind of f l u i d and voluntary aristocracy; an admission that freedom and equality are best maintained by the f u l l e s t recognition of natural differences and the most complete u t i l i z a t i o n of natural g i f t s . 2 Well, S i r Thomas, Dr. Neatby, and the new C a r l y l e are e n t i t l e d to t h e i r opinions, and we are not trying to discover how much r i g h t there i s i n them. Rather we are Interested to know whether the denunciation of democracy i n the Latter-Dav Pamphlets i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c which distinguishes the new C a r l y l e from the o l d . To that end, l e t us l i s t e n to one more voice on the subject: "Democracy, take i t where you w i l l i n our Europe,.is found but as a regulated method of r e b e l l i o n and abrogation ...."3 Since t h i s i s the voice of C a r l y l e i n 1839 we .can "Religio Medici," In Works of S i r Thomas Browne, ed. Geoffrey Keynes, London, Faber and Gwyer, 1928, v o l . 1, p. 73. 2 Hilda Neatby, So L i t t l e f o r the Mind, Toronto, Clarke and Unwin, 1953, pp. 48-49. 3 "Chartism," Essays, v o l . 4, p. 159. 145 hardly accept that p o l i t i c a l i l l i h e r a l i t y i s a t r a i t unique to C a r l y l e a f t e r the 1843-1850 period. Nor i s i t based on a philosophy e s s e n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t from the philosophy of the e a r l i e r C a r l y l e . The second d i f f e r e n t i a which marks the new C a r l y l e from the old arises i n part from the claim that the l a t e r C a r l y l e forsook his own class i n favour of the a r i s t o c r a t s with whom he was now on intimate terms. The thinking behind t h i s claim goes something l i k e t h i s : as a young and unknown scholar suffering from an empty purse and a common ancestry, Carlyle i s envious of the wealthy and t i t l e d , and allows his envy to show as contempt; but once he has gained fame and has become intimate with the a r i s t o c r a t i c he switches his allegiance from his peasant peers to his new and t i t l e d f r i e n d s . As evidence to back t h i s claim some c r i t i c s make much of the f a c t that i n his t r a i n of heroes from Burns through Cromwell and on to Frederick a gradual ascent i n power, s o c i a l influence, and b i r t h i s to be seen. "His circumstances," says Osbert Burdett, "... had altered, and so his heroes, being projections of himself, were s i m i l a r l y transformed." 1 I t i s true that i n the "Inaugural Address" and i n "Hudson's Statue" C a r l y l e puts forward the idea x The Two C a r l v l e s . London, Faber and Faber, 1930, p. 28?. 146 that the nobility of England had a right to their exalted position, but he bases this claim on the theory that " . . . real heroic merit more or less was actually the origin of peerages,"1 and that heroic breeding through the centuries has to some extent preserved the valiant wisdom of the first baron. But at the same time, and in that same essay on Hudson's statue, his cry is that England needs " . . . a new real Aristocracy of fact, instead of the extinct imaginary one of title." 3 The one point of the Chartist programme that Carlyle supports is the abolition of the property qualification for members of parliament, and his reason for this stand is that he feels that "In the lowest broad strata of the population, equally as in the highest and narrowest, are produced men of every kind of g e n i u s . T h e Carlyle of Chelsea is choosing his heroes just as he did in Ecclefechan, purely by reference to their heroic qualities, to their powers of intellect, their degree of understanding of the Laws of Nature, and without regard to their social position or rank. The second charge against Carlyle includes 1 "Hudson's Statue," Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 283. 2 "Inaugural Address," Essays, vol. 4, p. 463. 3 "Hudson's Statue," Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 263. * "Downing Street," Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 119. 147 a l so the accusat ion that , a f t er desert ing the cause of the common man, he has turned to a worship of success fu l power. The evidence offered i n support of th i s charge l i e s i n the c laim that increas ing ly C a r i y l e ' s heroes — Cromwell, Governor E y r e , F r e d e r i c k , Bismarck — had become men of success ful force and that h i s wr i t ings had become a panegyric of power. I f th i s be t rue , then here i s indeed an aberrat ion from the philosophy we have o u t l i n e d . As for the charge that C a r i y l e ' s heroes become i n c r e a s i n g l y success fu l , the answer can only be that th i s i s what we should expect. I t i s f o o l i s h to think that C a r l y l e should wri te a six-volume h i s t o r y of an heroic but unknown butter-merchant. For one th ing , no one would be in teres ted; what A r i s t o t l e had to say about the t r a g i c hero appl ies to the C a r l y l e a n hero too. The hero must have s u f f i c i e n t stature and p o s i t i o n to warrant the a t t ent ion that i s being paid him. Moreover, no butter-merchant could be a true hero, for possession of heroic q u a l i t i e s i s not enough. The possessor must do something with his g i f t s . And i f the heroic b u t t e r -merchant acted h e r o i c a l l y — w e l l , he would not die a butter-merchant. I t was thus unavoidable that C a r i y l e ' s heroes should be success ful men. But i t cannot be t r u t h f u l l y sa id that C a r l y l e honoured these men because they were success fu l exponents 148 of Realpolitik. Carlyle supported Governor Eyre because he felt the Governor was " . . . a just, humane and valiant man, faithful to his trust everywhere, and with no ordinary faculty for executing them."1 Rightly or wrongly, he thought Governor Eyre's position to be analogous to that of a ship's captain who, discovering a fire in his powder-room, puts in one or two buckets of water too many to quench i t . The extra water may have 2 damaged some of the cargo, but it has saved the ship. Carlyle saw Eyre as a second Warren Hastings, and his work on the Eyre Committee was undertaken, not in defence of a' brutal colonial policy, although he would not in some instances shrink from that, but to prevent the Government from persecuting one of its faithful servants. Just as Carlyle saw Cromwell and the French revolutionaries as emissaries of God sweeping an accumulation of chaos from the world, so he saw Frederick the Great in the same way. Let one quotation from that massive work testify to this fact: Readers ask rather: 'And had Friedrich no feeling about Poland itself, then, and this atrocious partitioning of the poor country?' Apparently none whatever; — unless i t might be that Deliverance from Anarchy, Pestilence.', Famine, and Pigs eating your dead bodies, would be a x Henry J . Nicoll, Thomas Carlyle. p. 204. 2 J . A. Froude, Thomas Carlyle. A History of  his Life in London. London, Longmans Green, vol. 2, p. 328. 149 manifest advantage to Poland, while i t i s the one way of saving Europe from War. I I t i s prohahle that the h i s t o r i c a l Frederick and the heroic Frederick of C a r l y l e are not i d e n t i c a l . C a r l y l e himself seems to have eventually come to the conclusion that "... he had been mistaken about Frederick the Great." 2 Whether he was mistaken or not, the f a c t remains that i n his h i s t o r y he i s glossing over rather than g l o r i f y i n g Frederick's show of p h y s i c a l force, and presenting the King as an agent of Divine W i l l rather than as a p r a c t i t i o n e r of Machiavellian power. On t h i s point the stand of Frederick Roe i s moderate and wholly tenable: ".ii i t i s to be remembered i n the f i r s t place that he never claimed p e r f e c t i o n f o r any of his h i s t o r i c a l heroes, whose strength suffered, he thought, by just _ i n so much as i t was an ignoble strength. J C a r l y l e may be emphasizing more than previously the a b i l i t y of his heroes to do the work that l i e s at hand, but his frame of reference i s s t i l l the Divine Plan and the Laws of Nature. The f i n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c which marks the new Carlyle from the old i s that whereas the C a r l y l e of • Frederick, v o l . 8, p. 115. 2 quoted from M 0ncure Conway i n Young, Rise and F a l l , p. 311 . 3 C a r l y l e and Ruskin. p. 98 . 150 Sartor and Past and Present has a sincere sympathy f o r the common man, the C a r l y l e of Latter-Day Pamphlets has not. The charges under th i s heading are that he defended slavery, that he was contemptuous of the negroes of Jamaica, and that he was u t t e r l y without sympathy for the imprisoned criminals of England. We have already seen that the concept of slavery that he defends i s wholly a s p i r i t u a l one. With regard to ph y s i c a l slavery his attitude i s : I f buying Black war-captives i n A f r i c a and bringing them over to the Sugar Islands f o r sale again be, as I think i t i s , a contradiction to the Laws of t h i s Universe, l e t us h e a r t i l y pray Heaven to end the pra c t i c e ; l e t us ourselves help Heaven to end i t , , wherever the opportunity i s , g i v e n . x F u l l y understood i n terms of his hierarchy theory and his eoncept of s p i r i t u a l freedom, Car l y l e ' s view's on slavery are not nearly as harsh as they would at f i r s t seem. A similar understanding of his attitude towards Jamaican negroes and English prisoners would go f a r to v i t i a t e the claim that Latter-Day Pamphlets i s a heartless attack <on humanity. However, i t i s not our purpose here to defend the ideas of the pamphlets, but only to show that these ideas have t h e i r roots i n the same phil o s o p h i c a l "Nigger Question," Essays, v o l . 4, p. 381. 151 system as the ideas of the e a r l i e r C a r l y l e , Although C a r l y l e has often held out for a community of men held together by t i e s of love and l o y a l t y , he denies th i s view when he considers the c r i m i n a l : To guide scoundrels by ' l o v e ' ; that i s a f a l s e woof, I take i t , a method that w i l l not hold together; hardly for the flower of men w i l l love alone do; and for the sediment and scoundrelism of men i t has not even a chance to d o . l These prisoners have had a chance to choose what r o l e they w i l l p lay i n the world . Because they have chosen to work, not f or God and order, but for the D e v i l and chaos, they have put themselves outside the community of love . In his essay "Model Prisons" C a r l y l e objects that John Howard's 'rose-water phi lanthropy' i s being wasted on r o t t e n mater ia l while th ir ty- thousand honest needlewomen go hungry and i d l e . He advises prevent ion father than cure: "Let us to the wel l -heads, I say; to the ch ie f fountains of these waters of b i t t e r n e s s ; and there s t r i k e home and d i g . " 2 In adv is ing that the energy and money spent to make l i f e pleasanter for agents of the d e v i l he used Instead to provide work for workers who are i d l e because no work i s g iven them to do, the new C a r l y l e cannot be sa id to be dev iat ing "Model P r i s o n s , " Latter-Day Pamphlets, p . 56 2 I b i d . , p . 86. 152 from the philosophy of the old C a r l y l e . His contempt f o r the negroes turns out to be r e a l l y no contempt at a l l . To the question whether he hates Quashee, the black slave of Jamaica, he answers, "No; except when the soul i s k i l l e d out of him, I decidedly l i k e poor Quashee." 1 The criminal of England, who has already denied himself the sacred r i g h t to work, Ca r l y l e did a c t i v e l y hate. But for Quashee there i s s t i l l hope. The d e v i l i s at his elbow, and the negro i s very tempted to j o i n the i d l e r s and watch "... the f r u i t f u l e s t region of the earth going back to jungle round him." 2 To rescue these blacks from the d e v i l , and Jamaica from chaos there i s only one hope now: "... the divine r i g h t of being compelled ( i f 'permitted 1 w i l l not answer) to do the work they are appointed f o r . . . " 3 Once again, Carlyle's j u s t i f i c a t i o n for his opinions l i e s i n his theory of work and his philosophy of a Divine Plan. But although the decisions made by C a r l y l e i n his l a t e r years are s t i l l made with reference to his one philosophical system, i t may well be that the judgements turn out to be somewhat sterner because of 1 "Nigger Question," Essays, v o l . 4, p. 357. 2 Ibid., p. 356. 3 i b i d . , p. 357. 153 a d i f f e r e n t emphasis i n applying the system. When he was younger Carlyle dwelt longer on the gentler side of his b e l i e f s . The world was f a r from perfect, but, with love, God and man would eventually improve i t . And yet, within his l i f e t i m e he had seen dishearteningly l i t t l e progress, so that he began to emphasize more the p r i v i l e g e force has of taking over t i l l love be strong enough. Old age, poor health, and the earnest f e e l i n g that things were closing i n , combined to make him more crotchety and more b i t t e r i n the a p p l i c a t i o n of his theories. The chief f a u l t of Cariyle's system, as of any i d e a l i s t i c system, i s that i t presupposes the-ideal a r b i t e r . C a r l y l e r e a l i z e d t h i s , of course, and that Is why he sets Teufelsdr&ckh apart from the actual world. There i s symbolic s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the f a c t that young Diogenes does not know his parents or where he came from, i n the fact'that the everlasting yea comes to him high on a mountain with Blumina and Towgood (symbolic of TeufelsdrBckh's one personal c o l l e c t i o n with mankind) and a l l the farm houses of the d i s t r i c t spread out l i k e toys below him, and i n the f a c t that the old professor f i n a l l y s e t t l e s i n a garret i n the t a l l e s t building of that Everyman-town of Weissnichtwo, from whence he looks down aloof on a l l the world. A l l t h i s i s w e l l and good i n the i d e a l i t y of l i t e r a t u r e , but i n l i f e 154 the world i s always with us, and C a r l y l e cannot be expected to be as aloof and objective as Teufelsdrockh. The personal and subjective are bound to creep i n . Thus, while the goal C a r l y l e had i n view was always marked by the highest morality, as Ernst Cassirer r e a l i z e d when he said that, "Heroworship always meant to him the worship of a moral f o r c e , " 1 we are nevertheless l e f t with the question as to what i s a 'moral force.' C a r l y l e would answer that he knows i n t u i t i v e l y whether a force i s moral or immoral. And i f we are suspicious of i n t u i t i o n , he gives us his theodicy as guide: a moral force i s one that pr e v a i l s i f we 'await the issue.* And how long must one wait? C e r t a i n l y longer than C a r l y l e waits before he decides that Bismark ... i s not a person of 'Napoleonic ideas' but of ideas quite superior to Napoleonic, shows no i n v i n c i b l e 'lust f o r t e r r i t o r y 1 nor i s tormented with vulgar ambition, , e t c , but has aims very f a r beyond that sphere; i n f a c t seems to be s t r i v i n g with strong f a c u l t y , by patient, grand and successful steps, towards.an object b e n e f i c i a l to Germans and to a l l other men.2 He finds some time l a t e r that his ' i n t u i t i v e ' recognition of Bismark as a moral force has been quite i n e r r o r . 3 Carlyle's philosophy i s a l l the more prone to Myth of State, p. 278. 2 In a l e t t e r to the Times. London, 18 November, I87O, c i t e d i n Young, Rise and F a l l , p. 309. 3 Young, Rise and F a l l * p. 312. 155 error because i t i s a personal subjective one, the product of his feelings rather than of his i n t e l l e c t . His system banned polemics and l o g i c and i n s i s t e d upon the acceptance on f a i t h of c e r t a i n basic premises: God and the Divine Idea, the Laws of Nature and t h e i r concomitant absolutes of morality and j u s t i c e , and i n each man a soul or s p i r i t characterized by the a b i l i t y to d i s t i n g u i s h r i g h t from wrong, i n t u i t i v e preference for r i g h t , arid a sense of duty which leads man to work and develop himself. Pressed for a d e f i n i t i o n of his terms or explanation of his concepts, C a r l y l e shrugs his shoulders. w l have no pocket d e f i n i t i o n of j u s t i c e , "••-he says blandly. And i n his old age he adds, "If- the truth i s i n my books i t w i l l be found out i n due time." 2 C a r l y l e did not set out his philosophy as a formal system because he conceived i t p o e t i c a l l y rather than s c i e n t i f i c a l l y or l o g i c a l l y . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that a l l his ' t e c h n i c a l 1 philosophical terms are borrowed: palingenesia from Herder 3 or from the Saint-Simonlans, 4" Divine Idea from Fich t e , Entsagung 1 "Model Prisons," Latter-Day Pamphlets, p. 73. 2 C. E. Norton, "Recollections of C a r l y l e , " The New Princeton Review. July, 1886, Quoted i n D. A. Wilson, Carlyle t i l l Marriage, p. 315. 3 Wellek, P h i l o l o g i c a l Quarterly, v o l . 23, no. 1 (January, 194-4), p. 5T. 4 Shine, C a r l y l e and the Saint-Simonians. p. 75, n. 24. 156 from Goethe, SelbattSdtung from Novalis; while his own terms are non-technical — symbolic, not exact: Hero, Dryasdust, Sanscullotism, Rose-water philanthropy. His genius lay, not i n accurate and exact analysis of a s i t u a t i o n , hut i n dramatic generalization. Carlyle's l i v e l y d e s c r i p t i o n of l i f e i n Bury St. Edmund's, f o r example, so engages the reader that he soon swallows Carl y l e ' s idea that Abbot Samson i s an i d e a l administrator, and, what i s more, that the entire past has a s i n c e r i t y of s p i r i t that the present has l o s t . While i t cannot he denied that C a r l y l e some-times erred i n his judgements, i t should be noted that the errors can never be imputed to a base or s e l f i s h desire i n the man himself. His f a u l t s are chargeable* not to the petty f a i l i n g s of ordinary humanity, hut to an over-earnest zeal i n the cause of God. Torquemada, too, was over-zealous i n the cause of God, hut for him God was the Catholic Church, and perhaps, Torquemada too. For C a r l y l e , God i s pure s p i r i t bound by no mortal doctrine, and the cause of God, which Ca r l y l e has made his cause, i s always good i n the highest and broadest sense. o Bibliography Primary Sources C a r l y l e , Thomas, "The American I l i a d i n a Nutshell," ^Macmillans Magazine, v o l . 8 (August, I863), p. 301. ........ C r i t i c a l and Miscellaneous Essays. London, Chapman and H a l l , 1899, 4 vo l s . (H. D. T r a i l l , ed., The Works of Thomas C a r l v l e . Centenary e d i t i o n , v o l s . 26-30.) , The French Revolution. London, Chapman and H a l l , 1896, 3 v o l s . (Centenary ed i t i o n , v o l s . 2-4.) , History of Frederick the Second. London, Chapman and H a l l , 1899, 8 vols-. (Centenary e d i t i o n , v o l s . 12-19.) , Latter-Day Pamphlets. London, Chapman and H a l l , 1898. (Centenary e d i t i o n , v o l . 20.) , Letters of Thomas Carlyle'. ed. C. E. Norton, London, Macmillan, 1888, 4 vols• ........ Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches with Elucidations. London. Chapman and H a l l . 1897. 4 v o l s . (Centenary ed i t i o n , v o l . 6-9.) , On Heroes, Heroworship and the Heroic i n History. ed. Archibald MacMechan, Boston, Ginn, 1901. , Past and Present. London, Chapman and H a l l , 1897. (Centenary ed i t i o n , v o l . 10.) , Reminiscences, ed. J. A. Froude, London, Longmans, Green, 1881, 2 vols. , Reminiscences, ed. C. E. Norton, London, Macmillan, 1887, 2 vol s . , Sartor Resartus. London, Chapman and H a l l , 1896. (Centenary edition, v o l . 1.) Secondary Sources Books Allingham, William, A Diary, London, Macmillan, .1907. Bainton, Roland H., Here I Stand. New York, Mentor, 1955 (Copyright 1950). 157 158 Benda, J u l i e n , Kant. London, C a s s e l l , 1942. Bentley, E r i c , The Cult of the Superman. London, Robert Hale, 1947 (Copyright 1944) Browne, Thomas, " R e l i g i o Medici," i n Works of Thomas  Browne, ed. Geoffrey Keynes, London, Faber and Gwyer, 1928, v o l . 1, pp. 1-98. Burdett, Osbert, The Two CarIvies. London. Faber and Faber, 1930. Gassirer, Ernst, The Myth of State. New York,. Doubleday and Company, 1955. Flehte, Johann Got t l i e b , Die Bestimmune des Menschen. Leipzig, P h i l l i p Reelam Verlag, 1879. " Frpude, J . A., Thomas C a r l y l e : a History of the F i r s t ' Forty Years of his L i f e . London, Longmans, Green, ....... Thomas C a r l y l e : his L i f e i n London. London, Longmans, Green, 1884. Garnett, Richard, L i f e of Thomas C a r l y l e . London, --.-Walter Scott, 1887. Harrold, C. F.. C a r l y l e and German Thought. New Haven. Yale University Press. 1934 (Yale Studies In * --English, no. 82). Hearnshaw, F. J . C , "Thomas C a r l y l e , " i n The S o c i a l - a n d " P o l i t i c a l Ideas of Some Representative Thinkers  of the V i c t o r i a n Age, London, Harrap, 193 2, pp. 31-52. Senselj Paul, Thomas C a r l y l e , Stuttgart, F r . 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Taggart, William. C a r l y l e ' s Handling of the 'Laws of Nature' Concept, unpublished thesis, Montreal, Mc G i l l University, 1952. "Thomas C a r l y l e , " Annual Register. London, Rivington, 1881, pp. 99-101. Vietor, K a r l , Goethe. Bern, A. Francke AG Verlag, 1949. Wilson, David-Alec, L i f e of Thomas C a r l y l e . London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Company, 1923-1934, 6 v o l s . Young,'Norwood, Ca r l y l e , His Rise and F a l l , London, Duckworth, 1927. A r t i c l e s i n Per i o d i c a l s and Journals Bentley, E r i c , "Modern Hero-worship; Notes on C a r l y l e , Nietzsche, and Stefan George," Sewanee Review, Summer, 1944, pp. 441-456. "The Carlylean V i s i o n , " Times L i t e r a r y Supplement f London, 3 February, 1956, pp. 61-62. "Cariyle's Early Kings of Norway." The Nation, v o l . 23 (May, 1881), pp. W^%W. Conway, Moneure, "Thomas C a r l y l e , " Harpers, v o l . 23, (May, 1881), pp. 888-912. 160 Grierson, H. J . 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" ' Murphy, E l l a M . , "Carlyle and the Saint-Simonians," Studies i n Philology, vo l . 33, no. 1 (January, 1936), pp. 93-118. Schapiro, J . S. , "Thomas Carlyle , Prophet of Fascism," Journal of Modern History, vo l . 17, no. 2 (June, 1945), pp. 97-115. Shine, H i l l , "Carlyle and the German Philosophy Problem During the Year 1826-27," Publications of the  Modern Language Association, vo l . 50. no. 3 (September, 1935), PP. 8O7-827. Stewart, H. L . , "Carlyle's Conception of History," P o l i t i c a l Science Quarterly, vo l . 32, no. 4 (December, 1917), pp. 570-5o9. "Thomas Carlyle ," The Nation, vo l . 32, no. 8l6 (17 February, 1881), pp. 109-110. Trevelyan, G. M . , "Carlyle as an Historian," Nineteenth Century; vo l . 46, no. 271 (September, 1899), pp. 493-503. Venables, G. S., "Carly l e i n Society and at Home," Fort n i g h t l y Review, v o l . 33, no. 197 (1 May 1883), PP. 622-642. 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