“too crowded”; whereupon Teufelsdröckh bursts out thus :

A TOO-CROWDED EARTH. "Too crowded, indeed! Meanwhile, what portion of this considerable terraqueous globe have ye actually tilled and delved till it will grow no more? How thick stands your population in the pampas and savannas of America, round ancient Carthage and in the interior of Africa, on both sides of the Altai chain and in the central plateau of Asia, in Spain, Greece, Turkey, Crim-Tartary, and the Curragh of Kildare? One man in one year, as I understand it, if you give him earth, will feed himself and nine others. Where now are the Hengists and Alarics of our still-growing, still-expanding Europe, who, when their home is grown too strait, will enlist, and like fire-pillars guide onward those superfluous masses of living valor, equipped not now with the battle-axe and the war-chariot, but with the steam-engine and the ploughshare ?—Preserving their game.”

Few paragraphs have been so often quoted, and fewer still deserve to be so often quoted, as the following, which purports to have been scrawled by Teufelsdröckh upon a blank cover of Heuschrecke’s pamphlet :

ORAFTSMAN AND THINKER. “Two men I honor, and no third. First, the toil-. worn Oraftsman that with Earth-made implement laboriously conquers the Earth, and makes her Man's. Venerable to me is the hard Hand; crooked, coarse; wherein notwithstanding lies a cunning virtue, indefeasibly royal, as of the Sceptre of this Planet. Venerable too is the

rugged Face, all weather-tanned, with its rude intelligence; for it is the face of a Man living manlike. Oh, but the more venerable for thy rudeness, and even because we must pity as well as love thee! Hardly-entreated Brother! For us was thy back so beut; for us were thy straight limbs and fingers so deformed: thou wert our Conscript, on whom the lot fell, and fighting our battles wert so marred. For in thee too lay a Godcreated Form, but it was not to be unfolded; encrusted must it stand with the thick adhesions and defacements of Labor; and thy body, like thy soul, was not to know freedom. Yet toil on, toil on ; thou art in thy duty be out of it who may; thou toilest for the altogether indispensable--for daily bread.

“A second man I honor, and still more highly : Him who is seen toiling for the spiritually indispensable ; not daily bread, but the Bread of Life. Is not he in his duty; endeavoring toward inward Harmony; revealing this by act, or by word, through all his outward endeavors, be they bigh or low ? Highest of all, when his outward and his inward endeavor are one: when we can name him Artist ; not earthly Craftsman only, but inspired Thinker, who with Heaven-made implement conquers Heaven for us! If the poor and humble toil that we may have Food, must not the high and glorious toil for him in return, that he may have Light, Freedom, Immortality ?_These two, in all their degrees, I honor: all else is chaff and dust, which let the wind blow whither it listeth.

“ Unspeakably touching is it, however, when I find both dignities united; and he that must toil outwardly for the lowest of man's wants, is always toiling inwardly for the highest. Sublimer in this world know I nothing than a Peasant Saint, could such now anywhere be met with. Such a one will take thee back to Nazareth itself; thou wilt see the splendor of Heaven spring forth from the humblest depth of Earth, like a light shining in great darkness."

And yet again-following out the same line of thought—with which we conclude what we have to say of “Sartor Resartus,” the fine outgrowth of Carlyle's earlier manhood, before, somewhat as his friend Irving had done, he betook himself to the great Babylon of our modern centuries :

SCIENCE AND NESCIENCE. " It is not because of his toils that I lament for the poor. We must all toil, or steal (howsoever we name our stealing), which is worse. The poor is hungry and athirst; but for him also there is food and drink; he is heavy-laden and weary; but for him also the Heavens send Sleep, and of the deepest; in his smoky cribs, a clear dewy heaven of Rest envelopes hiin, and fitful glimmerings of cloud-skirted Dreams. But what I do mourn for is, that the lamp of his soul should go out; that no ray of heavenly, or even of earthly knowledge should visit him; but only, in the haggard darkness, like two spectres, Fear and Indignation. Alas, while the Body stands so broad and brawny, must the Soul lie blinded, dwarfed, stupefied, almost annihilated ? Alas, was this too a Breath of God; bestowed in Heaven, but on Earth never to be unfolded ?—That there should one Man die Ignorant who had capacity for Knowledge, this I call a tragedy, were it to happen more than twenty times in the minute, as by some computations it does. The miserable fraction

of Science which our united Mankind, in a wide Universe of Nescience, has acquired, why is not this with all diligence, imparted to all ?”



CARLYLE, as we have said, took up his permanent residence in London in the spring of 1834. For the ensuing three years he furnished few contributions to reviews and magazines, being mainly engaged upon his “History of the French Revolution.” A considerable portion of this had been prepared, ready for the printers, when the manuscript was accidentally burnt up. In one of his table-talks he thus characteristically narrated the circumstances to Milburn :

BURNING OF THE “FRENCH REVOLUTION.” “A sad story enough, Sir; and one that always makes me shudder to think of. I had finished the second volume of the book called 'The French Revolution, a History'; and as it lay in manuscript, a friend desired that he might have the reading of it; and it was committed to his care. He professed himself greatly delighted with the perusal, and confided it to a friend of his own, who had some curiosity to see it as well. This person sat up, as he said, perusing it far into the wee hours of the morning; and at length recollecting himself, surprised at the flight of time, laid the manuscript carelessly upon the library table, and hied to bed. There it lay, a loose heap of rubbish, fit only for the waste-paper basket or for the grate. So Betty, the houseinaid, thought when she came to light the library fire in the morning. Looking round for something suitable for her purpose, and finding nothing better than it, she thrust it into the grate, and applying the match, up the chimney, with a sparkle and roar, went 'The French Revolution': thus ending in smoke and soot, as the great transaction itself did, more than a half century ago.

“At first they forbore to tell me the evil tidings; but at length I heard the dismal story, and I was as a man staggered by a heavy blow. Ah, Sir, it's terrible when you have been •struggling for months and years with dim confusion and wild anarchy; when all about you is weltering Chaos and unbroken darkness; and you have at length gained some victory, and built a highway that will bear the pressure of your own foot, and perhaps the feet of generations yet to come; and the morning has dawned, and you can see some way at least into the realm of Limbo--suddenly to find that you are in the centre of pitchy darkness, in the whirl of commingling elements, and that Chaos has come again.

“I was as a man beside myself, for there was scarcely a page of manuscript left. I sat down at the table and strove to collect my thoughts and to commence the work again. I filled page after page, but ran the pen over every line as the page was finished. Thus was it, Sir, for many a weary day, until at length, as I sat by the window, balf-hearted and dejected, my eye wandered along over acres of roofs, I saw a man standing upon a scaffold engaged in building a wall—the wall of a house. With his trowel he'd lay a great splash of mortar upon

« VorigeDoorgaan »