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himself,” with such narrative and elucidation as would make them intelligible in these later days. “I have gathered them,” he says, “from far and near; fished them up from foul Lethean quagmires where they lay buried. I have washed, or endeavored to wash, them clean from foreign stupidities, and the world shall now see them in their own shape.” The following is Carlyle's description of the person of Cromwell as he appeared in 1653, not long after he had become Lord High Protector of the Commonwealth :
OLIVER CROMWELL'S APPEARANCE.
" " His Highness,' says Whitelocke, 'was in a rich but plain suit-black velvet, with cloak of the same; about bis hat a broad band of gold.'-Does the reader see him? A rather likely figure, I think. Stands some five feet ten or more; a man of strong, solid stature, and dignified, now partly military carriage; the expression of him valor and devout intelligence-energy and delicacy, on a basis of simplicity. Fifty-four years old, gone April last; brown hair and mustache are getting gray. A figure of sufficient impressiveness—not lovely to the manmilliner species, nor pretending to be so. Massive stature; big massive head, of somewhat leonine aspect; wart above the right eyebrow; nose of considerable blunt-aquiline proportions; strict yet copious lips, full of all tremulous sensibilities, and also, if need were, of all fiercenesses and rigors; deep, loving eyes—call them grave, call them stern-looking from under those craggy brows as if in lifelong sorrow, and yet not thinking it sorrow, thinking it only labor and endeavor; on the whole, a right noble lion-face and hero-face; and to ine royal enough.”
CROMWELL AND HIS WORK.
“Working for long years in these unspeakable historic provinces, it now becomes more and more apparent to one that this man, Oliver Cromwell, was, as the popular fancy represents him, the soul of the Puritan revolt, without whom it never had been a revolt transcendently memorable, and an epoch in the world's bistory. And then further, altogether contrary to the popular fancy, it becomes apparent that this Oliver was not a man of falsehoods, but a man of truths; whose words do carry a meaning with them, and above all others of that time are worth considering. His words and still more his silences, and unconscious instincts, when you have spelt and lovingly deciphered these also out of his words—will in several ways reward the study of an earnest man. An earnest man, I apprehend, may gather from these words of Oliver's, were there no other evidence, that the character of Oliver and the affairs he worked in is much the reverse of that mad' jumble of hypocrisies, etc., etc., which at present passes current as such. ...
“We have had our 'Revolutions of eighty-eight,' officially called 'glorious,' and other revolutions not yet called glorious; and somewhat has been gained for mankind. Men's ears are not now slit off by rash officiality: Officiality will, for long henceforth, be more cautious about men's ears. The tyrannous Star-chamber branding-irons, chimerical Kings and Surplices at Allhallowtide, they are gone, or with immense velocity going. Oliver's works do follow him!--The works of a Man, bury them
under what guano mountains and obscene owl-droppings you will, do not perish, cannot perish. What of Heroism, what of Eternal Light was in a Man and his Life, is with great exactness added to the Eternities: remains for ever a new divine portion of the Sum of Things; and no owl's voice, this way or that, in the least avails in the matter."
Of the England which followed the death of the great Lord Protector—the England of the Restoration and of the House of Hanover; the England which has overrun India, and upon whose subject provinces the sun never sets-Carlyle uttered this jeremiad four-and-thirty years ago. Who, looking at the England of to-day, will not say that the words should not now be reiterated with added emphasis ?
ENGLAND AFTER THE COMMONWEALTH. “Oliver is gone, and with him England's Puritanism, laboriously built together by this man, and made a thing memorable to all the centuries, soon goes. Puritanism, without its King, is kingless, anarchic; falls into dislocation, self-collision; staggers, plunges into even deeper anarchy. King, Defender of the Puritan Faith, there can none now be found; and nothing can be left but to recall the old discrowned Defender, with the remnants of his Four Surplices, and two centuries of Hypocrisia, and put up with all that as best we may. The Genius of England no longer soars Sunward, world-defiant, like an Eagle through the storms 'mewing its mighty youth,' as John Milton saw her do: the Genius of England, much like a greedy Ostrich intent on provender and a whole skin mainly, stands with its other extremity Sunward;
with its Ostrich-head stuck into the nearest bush, of old Church-tippets, King-cloaks, or what other “Sheltering Fallacy' there may be, and so awaits the issue. The issue has been slow ; but it is now seen to have been inevitable. No Ostrich intent on gross terrene provender, and sticking its head into Fallacies, but will be awakened one day in a terrible à posteriori manner, if not otherwise. Awake before it comes to that; gods and men bid us awake! the voices of our Fathers, with a thousandfold stern monition to one and all, bid us awake!”
THE LIFE OF JOHN STERLING.
The publication of the “Letters and Speeches of Cromwell ” marks an important epoch in the career of Carlyle. With it closed the first half century of his life, and the first quarter century of his life's work. By this time, if ever, he must have been able to “ bring the ends of his thoughts together,” and to gain some fixed principles of social and political ethics. Such he seemed to have gained. Social well-being, in his view, consisted in every man's finding, or having found for him, some honest work to do, and doing that work honestly. The pervading idea of his philosophy had come to be that the things of prime necessity are education, the organization of labor, emigration, if needful; and, above all things, that some
how or other, men must find, or have found for them, somebody to govern them. His whole theory of life and duty, as we shall have sorrowfully to show, came to stand on a very much lower plane. From an optimist he rapidly came to be the pessimist of his later years—the years of the “ Latter-Day Pamphlets” and the “ Life of Frederick.” Frugality and Force—well enough in their way in the lower niches of his Pantheoncame to occupy the highest pedestals, to be worshiped by him and all men. His ideal of a world's Hero sank so low that Frederick of Prussia came to be its best exponent: that Frederick of whom he had once written, as we have already seen, that the net result of his famous Seven Years' Warwhich seven years are really the life of Frederick, without which he would have figured as a not over-brilliant and nowise heroic man; a war which cost the lives of nigh upon a million of human beings—natives of innumerable Prussian and Austrian and French and English and Russian Dumdrudges ; men who had not the slightest quarrel, nor cause for quarrel, with each other—that the net result of this war was just this, as stated by Carlyle : “Did not the great Fritz wrench Silesia from the great Theresa, and a Pompadour, stung by epigrams, satisfy herself that she could not be an Agnes Sorel ? "
That this “Life of Frederick” has high merits of its own we shall have occasion to say more