Page images
PDF
EPUB

treated as a dilettantism, we may see! The wild horse bounds homeless through the wilderness, is not led to stall and manger; but neither does he toil for you, but for himself only.” It is only then when these under classes have not a government which they respect, or when society treads upon them, deals rudely with them, treats their members as boors and not as men, that the injustice of unequal conditions comes home to their hearts, and they rebel against wrongs which they feel and know. Then indeed a blaze is kindled which threatens universal destruction. And can we condemn this as wrong? The purpose, whatever we may say of the manner in which it is displayed, or however much we may condemn the means which are used to gain the end--the purpose is right.

Most truly and eloquently, does Mr. Carlyle say: “ It is not what a man outwardly has or wants that constitutes the ppiness or misery of him. Nakedness, hunger, distress of all kinds, death itself have been cheerfully suffered, when the heart was right. It is the feeling of injustice that is insupportable to all men. The brutallest black African cannot bear that he should be used unjustly. No inan can bear it, or ought to bear it. A deeper law than any parchment-law whatsoever, a law written direct by the hand of God in the inmost being of man, incessantly protests against it. What is injustice? Another name for disorder, unveracity, unreality; a thing which veracious created Nature, even because it is not Chaos and a waste-whirling baseless Phantasm, rejects and disowns. It is not the outward pain of injustice; that, were it even the laying of the back with knotted scourges, the severing of the head with guillotines, is comparatively a small matter. The real smart is the soul's pain and stigma, the hurt inflicted on the moral self. The rudest clown must draw himself up into the attifude of battle, and resistance to the death, if such be offered him. He cannot live under it; his own soul aloud, and all the universe with silent continual beckonings, says, it cannot be. He must revengo himsell; revancher himself, make himself good again,--that so meum may be mine, tuum thine, and each party standing clear on his own basis, order be restored. There is something infinitely more respectable in this, and we may say universally respected; it is the common stamp of manhood vindicating itself in all of us, the basis of whatever is worthy in all of us, and through superficial diversities, the same in all.

Injustice, according to Mr. Carlyle, is the cause of Chartism, and for the cure of that, putting aside all narrow feelings and low faith, forgetting statistics and poor laws, and all mere party palliatives, and casting away all slothful feeling and selfish indifference, there must be, on the part of Government and the upper classes, larger views, and disinterested action. The question is one of life. If they do not remember that the whole country is concerned in this Chartist agitation, and that the first and great matter is for them to do justice-full justice to one and all-if they have not faith in the people, and in truth, the spirit of quackery and imposture, and rebellion-a phrenzied spirit,—will rack society; and in huge battle and wrestle do its deed most fearfully.

“ Alas, in such times it grows to be the universal belief, sole accredited knowingnless, and the contrary of it accounted puerile enthusiasm, this sorrowfullest disbe

lief that there is properly speaking any truth in the world; that the world was, has been, or ever can be guided, except by simulation, dissimmulation, and the sufficiently dexterous practice of pretence. Tho faith of men is dead: in what has guineas in his pockel, beefeaters riding behind it, and cannons lrundling before ite they can believe; in what has rone of these things they cannot believe. Sense for the true and false is lost; there is properly no longer any true or false. It is the heyday of Imposture; of Semblance recognising itself, and getting itself recognised for Substance. Gaping multitudes listen; unlistening multitudes see not but that it is all right, and in the order of Nature. Earnest men, one of a million, shut their lips; suppressing thoughts, which there are no words to utler. To them it is too visible that spiritual life has departed; that material life, in whatsoever figure of it, cannot remain long behind. To the n it seems as if our Europe of the Eighteenth Century, long hag-ridden, vexed with foul enchanters, to the length of gorgepus Domdaniel Parcs-aurcerfs and • Peasants living on meal husks and boiled grass,'hail verily sunk down to die and dissolve; and were now, with its French Philosophisms, Hume Scepticisms, Diderot Atheisms, maundering in the final delira: tion; writhing, with its Seven-ycars Silesian robber-wars, in the final agony. Glory to God, our Europe was not to die but to live! Our Europe rose like a frienzied giant; shook all that poisonous magician trumpery to right and left, trampling it stormfully under foot: and declared aloud that there was strength in him, not for life only, but for a new and infinitely wider life. Antaeus-like the giant had struck his foot once more upon Reality and the Earth; there only, if in this universe at all, lay strength and healing for him. Heaven knows, it was not a gentle process this same • Phænix fire-consumination!' But the alternative was it or death; the merciful Heavens, merciful in their severity, sent us it rather.”

And now what has been done? What have Government or the upper classes done to relieve the under? Chartism answers, nothing. The action of Government, and the under classes answer, nothing. Well says Mr. Carlyle:

“For, alas, on us too the rude truth has come home. Wrappages and speciosis ties all wom off, the haggard naked fact speaks to as: Are these inillions taught? Are these millions guided? We have a Church, the venerable embodiment of air idea which may well call itself divine; which our fathers for long ages, feeling it to be divine, have kept embodied as we see: it is a Church well furnished with equipments and appurtenances; educated in universities; rich in money; set on high places that it may be conspicuous to all, honoured of all. We have an Aristocracy of landed wealth and commercial wealth. in whose hands lies the law-making and the law-administering; an Aristocracy rich, powerful, long secure in its place; an Aristocracy with more facully put free into its hands than was ever before, in any country or time, put into the hands of any class of men. This Church answers: Yes, the people are taught. This Aristocracy, atonishment in every feature, answers: Yes, surely the people are guided! Do we not pass what Acts of Parliament are needíul; as many as thirty-nine for the shooting of the partridges alone? Are there not treadmills, gibbets; even hospitals, poor-rates, New Poor Law? So answers Church; so answers Aristocracy, astonishment in every feature. — Fact in the meanwhjle, takes his lucifer box, sets fire to wheat-stacks; sheds an all-too strong light on several things. Fact searches for his third-rate potatoe, not in the meekest humour, sixand-thirty weeks each year; and does not find it. Fact passionately joins Messiah Thom of Canterbury, and has himself shot for a new fifth-monarchy brought in by Bedlam. Fact holds his fustian-jacket Femgericht in Glasgow City. Fact carts his Petition over London streets, begging that you would simply have the goodness to grant him universal suffrage, and the five points', by the way of remedy. These are not symptoms of teaching and guiding.

As a means to remove this injustice, and “ to bring in content,” and secure it, Mr. Carlyle advocates two measures

emigration and education-universal education. The former, as a remedy, seems to us ineffectual. It is at least a poor way to wrong a man and then tell him that he may rid himself of injustice by emigration! We do not feel the force of Mr. Carlyle's reasoning in this point; but as to the lattereducation-there ought to be no difference of opinion among honest men. It is the great instrument of good. It will cure the worst of diseases. Evil, it is said, once manfully fronted, ceases to be evil ; there is generous active hope in place of dead passive misery: the evil itself has become a kind of good. This courage—this inspiring hope—this power to shake off ignorance and vice, and the spirit of revenge and revolt, on the one hand, and usurpation, and oppression in the other-education will give. It is society's life. Only let all classesresolve to have it, and gird themselves for the work, and a balm will be found which will allay passion, silence discontent, and bring peace on earth. Thus nobly does Mr. CarTyle utter himself on this point;

6+ Who would suppose that Education were a thing which had 10 be advocated on the ground of local expediency, or indeed on any ground? As if it stood not on a basis of everlasting duty, as a prime necessity of man. It is a thing that should need no advocating ; much as it does actually need. To impart the gift of thinking to those who cannot think, and yet who could in that case think: this, one would imagine, was the first function a government had to set about discharging. Were it not a cruel thing to see, in any province of an empire, the inhabitants living all mutilated in their limbs, each strong man with his right arm lamed? How much crueller to find the strong soul, with its eyes still sealed, its eyes extinct so that it sees not! Light has come into the world, but to this poor peasant it has come in vain. For six thousand years the Sons of Adam, in sleepless effort, have been devising, doing, discovering ; in mysterious infinite indissoluble communion, war, ring, a little band of brothers, against the great black empire of Necessity and Night ; they have accomplished such a conquest and conquests: and to this man it is all as if it had not been. The four-and-lwenty letters of the Alphabet are still Runic enigmas to him. He passes by on the other side; and that great Spiritual Kingdom, the toil-won conquest of his own brothers, all that his brothers have conquered, is a thing non-extant for him. An invisible empire; he knows it not, suspects it not.

And is it not his withal; the conquest of his own brothers, the lawfully acquired possession of all men ? Baleful enchantment lies over him, from generation to generation; he knows not that such an empire is his, that such an einpire is at all. O, what are bills of rights, emancipations of black slaves into black apprentices, lawsuits in chancery for some short usu-fruct of a bit of land? The grand seedfield of time' is this man's and you give it him not. Time's seedfield, which includes the Earth and all her seedfields and pearl-oceans, nay her sowers too and pearl-divers, all that was wise and heroic and victorious here below; of which the Earth's centuries are but as furrows, for it stretches forth from the Beginning onward even unto this day!

• My inheritance, how lordly wide and fair;

Time is my fair seedfield, to Time I'm heir!' Heavier wrong is not done under the sun. It lasts from year 10 year, from century to century; the blinded sire slaves himself out, and leaves a blinded son; and men, made in the image of God, continue as two-legged beasts of labour; and in the largest empire in the world, it is a debate whether a small fraction of the Revenue o.

one Day (30,0001. is but that) shall, after thirteen Centuries, be laid out on it, Have we Governors, have we Teachers; have we had a Church these thirteen hundred years? What is an Overseer of souls, an Arch-overseer, Archiepiscopus ? Is he something? If so, let him lay his hand on his heart, and say what thing!

But quitting all that, of which the human soul cannot well speak in terms of civility, let us observe now that Education is not only an eternal duty, but has at length become even a temporary and ephemeral one, which the necessities of the hour will oblige us to look after. These twenty-four million labouring men, if their affairs remain unregulated, chaotic, will burn ricks and mills; reduce us, theme selves and the world into ashes and ruin. Simply their affairs cannot remain unregulated, chaotic; but must be regulated, brought into some kind of order. What intellect were able to regulate them? The intellect of a Bacon, the energy of a Luther, if left to their own strength, might pause in dismay before such a task; a Bacon and Luther added together, to be perpetual prime minister over us, could not do it. No one great and greatest intellect can do it. What can? Only twentyfour million ordinary intellects, once awakened into action; these, well presided over, may. Intellect, insight, is the discernment of order and disorder; it is the discovery of the will of nature, of God's will; the beginning of the capability to walk according to that. With perfect intellect, were such possible without perfect morality, the world would be perfect: its efforts unerringly correct, its results continually successful, its condition faultless. Intellect is like light; the chaos becomes a world under it: fiat lux. These twenty-four million intellects are but common intellects; but they are intellects; in earnest about the matter, instructed each about his own province of it: labouring each perpetually, with what partial light can be attained, to bring such province into rationality. From the parrial determinations and their conflict, springs the universal. Precisely what quantity of intellect was in the twenty-four millions will be exhibited by the result they arrive at; that quantity and no more. According as there was intellect or no intellect in the individuals, will the general conclusion they make out embody itself as a world-healing Truth and Wisdom, or as a baseless fateful Hallucination, a Chimera breathing not fabulous fire.

We close our extracts here. There are some things in Mr. Carlyle's work which we do not think altogether correct. But the spirit of it is truly noble. It proves him to be the friend of his race; for to all classes does he speak in tones which well become a man. We shall not then, attempt to refute or criticise. We want to see here and everywhere, a truer faith, a nobler trust—a warmer sympathy between man and man-a feeling of brotherhood, which shall teach us to toil and struggle for each other—to live for others as well as ourselves—for Eternity as well as for Earth. Nothing short of this can ensure perpetuity to a republic. It is essential to man's growth and happiness everywhere. We would recommend this work, then, not on account of its style, for that is objectionable; not for its completeness, for it does not appear to us to be as full and clear as it ought to have been; but because it overflows with that kindling, generous love of liberty, and of man, which is the basis and hope of all nations.

N.

ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE PHI DELTA

SIGMA SOCIETY OF CINCINNATI COLLEGE.

BY J. H. PERKINS.

GENTLEMEN AND FRIENDS :- Many ages since a distinction was made between those arts which it became a freeman to practise, and those which should be left to the slave ; the former were called Liberal Arts, and the latter Servile; and the education which gave a knowledge of the former was named a Liberal Education, i. e. an education becoming a Freeman. Since those days every thing has changed; not only do we now deem the Mechanical and other Servile Arts, worthy of a freeman's devotion, but even the very meaning of the word “ Freeman” is altering. Then it meant one who was politically free, as in this state all men are; but now it is coming to mean vastly more. Men are learning to see that Political freedom is but a medium whereby to gain true Spiritual freedom; they are beginning to believe that Satan is a greater Tyrant than George the III; and that even the slavery of the poor

African is less degrading than the slavery to vicious habit. Slavery to sin is an idiom of our language; and the idea of servitude is familiarly connected with many mere social and personal practices; thus, a poor woman said to me the other day, “Sir, I have been for ten years a slave to the snuff-box.”

We have then still the distinction of freeman and slave here in Ohio, as truly as across the river. There are still servile arts as well as liberal arts practised in our midst: the man of business, for instance, whose aim it is to hit with mathematical exactness the line which separates Dishonesty from Crime, practises a servile art, one which he who had been made free through the Truth, never would have stooped to.

Among the many interesting points suggested by the views of Freedom and Servitude just alluded to, I have chosen the following for my topic this evening: “ The duties of those attached to the Liberal Professions in these United States at this day.” It is a topic worthy the thought of all men, and peculiarly deserving of examination by those young men who will soon leave their studies, and go abroad to act.

Let us, then, briefly inquire, what those should be and do, who assume the Liberal Professions. I say let us inquire, for any good result must be reached by inquiry on your part, not by teaching on mine. My views may be wrong, and

Vol. VIII.-22.

« PreviousContinue »