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surrounded as it is by the ever-encroaching suburbs, it has an old-fashioned look about it. One who approaches Chelsea by way of the Thames can not fail to be struck by the antique appearance of a long terrace of houses overlooking the river and screened by a row of venerable trees. This is the “ Cheyne Walk,” so named after Lord Cheyne, who owned the manor house of Chelsea some two centuries ago. The houses of this row are mostly of dark-red brick, with heavy windowframes. No. 5 of this row is the house which for four-and-forty years has been the home of Carlyle. The style of the architecture indicates that it was built in the days of Queen Anne, about the beginning of the last century. In one of his later books Carlyle makes incidental mention of this house, by way of hit at the sham work of modern builders as contrasted with the sound honest work of the olden time. The wall at the head of his garden, he says, “is made of bricks burned in the reign of Henry the Eighth-well-nigh three centuries ago—and is still quite sound ; whereas bricks of London manufacture, in our day, are used up in about sixty years.” This wall, however, is no part of the house itself, but is a part of the boundary wall of the park or garden belonging to the old Chelsea manor house. Carlyle's house is of three stories, and rather narrow. A flight of three steps leads from the pavement to the modest parlor floor. The upper stories are Carlyle's workshop, into which few visitors have ever penetrated; but those few tell us of the great stores of books, pamphlets, and newspapers laid away and piled up in apparently inextricable confusion.
The neighbors of Carlyle, who seem to be altogether of the common sort of people, know next to nothing of the man. Still, one can pick up from them a few anecdotes and reminiscences of him. They tell how he kept his horse, which he always groomed himself, in a stable on a piece of waste ground, among donkeys, cows, and geese. How he has been seen to rush out upon an organgrinder, who was disturbing his meditations, and, seizing him by the collar, deposit him and his instrument of torture upon the door-step of a neigh-. bor who had made himself conspicuous by writing in favor of the noisy nuisance. How he bitterly complained of his neighbor's fowls, who would never hatch in peace, nor let him. How he one day found himself short of threepence to pay his omnibus fare, whereupon the suspicious conductor sent a boy home with him to make sure of not being bilked out of his lawful dues. And how the candy-woman, hard by his house, found him an excellent customer for her wares, with which he was wont to fill his capacious pockets for the benefit of the poor urchins whom he encountered in his walks.
Leigh Hunt, who was for a time his neighbor
at Chelsea, and who had good reason to speak of Carlyle's kindness in pecuniary and other matters, thus writes of him in his Autobiography: “I believe that what he loves better than his fault-finding, with all its eloquence, is the face of any human creature that looks suffering, and loving, and sincere ; and I believe, further, that if the fellow creature were suffering only, and neither loving nor sincere, but had come to a pass of agony in this life which put him at the mercies of some good man for some last help and consolation toward his grave, even at the risk of loss to repute, and a sure amount of pain and vexation, that man, if the groan reached him in its forlornness, would be Thomas Carlyle.”
Having thus, by way of Proem, endeavored to set forth somewhat of the personality of the man, we propose to consider his successive works ; for it is in these, after all, that the true Biography of Carlyle is written.
APPRENTICESHIP AND JOURNEY-WORK.
At fourteen Carlyle, having studied at what we should call the academy or grammar school at Annan, entered the University of Edinburgh, where he remained seven or eight years. Edward
Irving had been his schoolfellow at Annan, ard the intimacy was renewed at Edinburgh. Upon leaving the University Irving was appointed master of the school at Kirkaldy, and he invited his friend to become his assistant. In one of his talks with Milburn, Carlyle thus speaks of Irving:
“I had gone through the University of Edinburgh, and had been invited by an old friend to become associated with him in the conduct of a school at Kirkaldy. It was Edward Irving—my old friend Edward Irving. Together we talked, and wrought, and thought; together we strove by virtue of birch and book to initiate the urchins into what is called the rudiments of learning; until, at length, the hand of the Lord was laid upon him, and the voice of his God spake to him, saying, "Arise, and get thee hence, for this is not thy rest.' And he arose and girded up bis loins, and, putting the trumpet of the Almighty to his lips, he blew such a blast as that men started up with surprise, and said that the like of it had not been seen since the days of the Covenant itself.
"And from Scotland he came to this great Babel; and he stood up in the pulpit of the Hatton Garden Chapel, the eyes of him blazing and the herculean form of him erect. And the great and the learned, the high and the titled, the gifted and the beautiful, came round about him, and sat mute and spell-bound listening to his wonderful words. And they thought—for fools will ever think according to their folly, which is the law of their being—they thought that, because they were looking at him, he was looking at them. He was not look
ing at them at all. He was trying to do what no man can do and live-trying to see God face to face.
“I have heard that the eagle's eye suffers eclipse; that the curtain of darkness falls over the pupil of his eye by the steadfast gazing at the brightness of the sun. It was thus with my poor friend Irving. The fools said - let the fools have their own way; they know no better—the fools said that Irving was daft—that his head was turned with the popular applause. He was not daft: he was DAZED. The curtain of darkness fell over the pupil of the eagle's eye by too steadfast gazing at the sun. In blindness and loneliness he sobbed the great heart of him to sleep."
After two years Irving and Carlyle returned from Kirkaldy to Edinburgh : Irving to enter upon the ministry, to which he felt himself called of God ; Carlyle to do he knew not what. He had been destined by his father and his father's minister to be himself a minister of the Kirk of Scotland ; “but now,” he says, “that I had gained the years of man's estate, I was not sure that I believed the doctrines of my father's Kirk, and it was needful that I should settle it." He settled it by determining that he could not become a minister. Forty years afterward he described the struggle through which he went. Milburn once said to him : “You seem to be the victim of dyspepsia—I had almost said a martyr. How does it come? Did you inherit it, or have you acquired it ?" To which Carlyle made reply :