Of Many Men

Cover of book Of Many Men
Categories: Fiction » Literature

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CARLYLE. December


, 1884. Messrs. Scribner will soon publish the two concluding volumes of " Carlyle's Life and Letters," edited by Froude, bringing the copious Carlylean biographical series to a close. They serve to confirm the unpleasant impression produced by the publication of the earlier volumes, and present their illustrious subject in the light of one displeased with most things in the scheme of God's universe : with institutions past and present; with men, contemporaneous or historical (save his scanty list of heroes whom he erected into demigods and called on all the world to fall down and worship) ; with himself, assailed from without by the spectacle of a world nodding toward chaos and from within by rooted discontents, intrenched against all sorceries of exorcism that tore and rent him at their will. Genius is not always bland and companionable, and that of Carlyle was neither, but one of the most stormy and denunciatory which, in our time, has launched its message on the world. '' There is none that doeth good ?no, not one," he reiterates forever, clothing the affirmation in high, piercing phrase never divorced from pedantry, and in the sweep of his denunciation he includes all things? parliaments, revolutions, reforms, systems of philosophy, of religion, of law ; schemes of economy, institutes of government (believing as to the latter, it would seem, only in the handcuff and the knout as efficient instruments), sothat, as Emerson says, finding nowhere under the stars any sign of wholesome growth, he addresses his shrill eloquence to the celebration of the majestic laws of decay. The world is perishing all around him, generation follows generation in the same devil's dance of death, and all their pirouettings, gestures, and grimaces between the old stars and t...

Of Many Men
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