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. “I always fancy there might much be done in the way of military drill withal. Beyond all other schooling, and as a supplement or even as succedaneum for all other, one often wishes the entire population could be thoroughly drilled into coöperative movement, into individnal behavior, correct, precise; not military drill only, but human in all its kinds; so that no child or man might miss the benefit of it. I would begin with it, in mild soft forms, so soon almost as my children were able to stand on their legs; and I would never wholly remit it till they had done with the world and me.
“This outwardly combined and plainly consociated discipline, in simultaneous movement and action, is one of the noblest capabilities of man; one he takes the greatest pleasure in unfolding, not to mention at all the invaluable benefit it would afford him if unfolded. I believe the vulgarest Cockney crowd, flung out millionfold on a Whit-Monday, with nothing but beer and dull folly to depend on for amusement, would at once kindle into something human, if you set them to do almost any regulated act in common. Here is a mine hitherto as good as never opened, worked only for the fighting purpose. Assuredly I would not neglect the fighting purpose. No, from sixteen to sixty, not a son of mine but should know the soldier's function, too, and be able to defend his native soil and self in best perfection when need came. But I should not begin with this; I should carefully end with this after careful travel in innumerable fields by the way leading to this. ...
“These are the kind of enterprises, hypothetical as yet, but possible evidently more or less, and in all degrees of them tending toward noble benefit to one's self and to all one's fellow-creatures. ... More of such divine possibilities I might add: That of Sanitary regulation,' for example; to see the divinely appointed laws and conditions of Health at last humanly appointed as well; year after year more exactly ascertained, rendered valid, habitually practiced in one's own dominion; and the old adjective Healthy' once more becoming synonymous with 'Holy'—what a conquest there! But I forbear, feeling well enough how visionary these things look, and how high and spiritual they are ; little capable of seriously tempting, even for, moments, any but the highest kinds of men.”
With such brave words should have closed-indeed, save for two or three pages, does in fact close—this “Shooting Niagara : and After,” the latest of Carlyle's utterances upon the high and lofty themes to the contemplation of which he had devoted almost threescore thoughtful years. They are, in a sense, his latest written words.
HAIL AND FAREWELL.
For five years after the publication of “ Shooting Niagara : and After," Carlyle preserved an almost unbroken silence; the most notable exception to this being a letter to the London “ Times” at the close of 1870, upon the “ Later Stage of the French-German War.” The siege of Paris was then going on, and public opinion in England was almost wholly in favor of the French. The annexation of Alsace-Lorraine by the Germans and the want of magnanimity toward France were bitterly denounced. Carlyle affirms that the French acquisition of Alsace-Lorraine had been effected by fraud and violence, and says :
THE FRANCO-GERMAN WAR. “There is no law of Nature that I know of, no Ileaven's Act of Parliament, whereby France, alone of terrestrial beings, shall not restore any portion of her plundered goods when the owners they were wrenched from have an opportunity upon them. . . . No nation ever had so bad a neighbor as Germany has had in France for the last four hundred years; bad in all manner of ways-insolent, rapacious, insatiable, unappeasable, continually aggressive. Germany, after four hundred years of ill usage, and generally of ill fortune, from that neighbor, has had at last the great happiness to see its enemy fairly down in this manner. And Germany, I do clearly believe, would be a foolish nation not to think of raising up some secure boundary-fence between herself and such a neighbor, now that she has a chance. I believe it to be perfectly wise that Germany should take these countries home with her from her unexampled campaign, and by well fortifying her own old Wasgau (Vosges '), Hundsrück ('Dog's Back '), three Bishoprics, and other military strengths, secure herself in time coming against French visits."
. In 1875 Carlyle, now eighty years old, published several historical sketches of the “Early
Kings of Norway,” and a paper on “The Portraits of John Knox,” which were collected into a small volume of which nothing more need be said than they do him no special credit, and would have done no special discredit to any other man. It is indeed to be regretted that he did not at some time-say after the completion of the “History of Frederick ”—seriously set about writing the life of John Knox. Such a work, which for him need not have been a very laborious task, could not have failed to be worthy a place by the side of the “Speeches and Letters of Oliver Cromwell,” and would have been a fitting close to bis career as a “Writer of Books.” Lacking this, we must content ourselves with a few noble paragraphs upon the great Scottish Reformer, extracts from the lectures upon “Heroes and Hero-Worship.” They show Carlyle at his best :
JOIN KNOX. “Our primary characteristic of a Hero, that he is sincere, applies emphatically to Knox. It is not denied anywhere that this, whatever might be his other qualities or faults, is among the truest of men. With a sincere instinct he holds to the truth and fact; the truth alone is there for him, the rest a mere shadow and deceptive nonentity. However feeble, forlorn the reality may seem, on that and that only can he take his stand.
“In the galleys of the River Loire, whither Knox and others, after their Castle of St. Andrew's was taken, had been sent as Galley-slaves,-some officer or priest, one day presented them an Image of the Virgin Mother, requiring that they, the blasphemous heretics, should do it reverence.—Mother ? Mother of God said Knox, when the turn came to him; this is no Mother of God: this is 'a pented bredd,'-a piece of wood, I tell you, with paint on it! She is fitter for swimming, I think, than for being worshipped, added Knox: and flung the thing into the river. It was not very cheap jesting there: but come of it what might, this thing to Knox was and must continue nothing other than the real truth: it was a pented bredd: worship it he would not.
“He told his fellow-prisoners, in this darkest time, to be of courage; the Cause they had was the true one, and must and would prosper; the whole world could not put it down. Reality is of God's making; it is alone strong. How many pented bredds, pretending to be real, are fitter to swim than to be worshipped! This Knox cannot live but by fact: he clings to reality as the shipwrecked sailor to the cliff. He is an instance to us how a man, by sincerity itself, becomes heroic: it is the grand gift he has.
“We find in Knox a good honest intellectual talent, no transcendent one; a narrow inconsiderable man, as compared to Luther: but in heartfelt instructive adherence to truth, in sincerity, as we say, he has no superior; nay, one might say, What equal has he? The heart of him is of the true prophet cast. “He lies there,' said the Earl of Morton at his grave, who never feared the face of man.' He resembles more than any other of the moderns, an Old-Hebrew Prophet. The same inflexibility, intolerance, rigid narrow-looking adherence to God's truth, stern rebuke in the name of God to all that forsake truth: an Old-Hebrew Prophet in the guise of an Edinburgh Min