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596

CARLYLE

the extent of her sacrifices. The position was gradually Many readers hold it to be the best, as it is certainly the becoming untenable. In the autumn of 1831 Carlyle was most characteristic, of Carlyle’s books. The failure of forced to accept a loan of £50 from Jeffrey and went in Sartor Resartus to attract average readers is quite intellisearch of work to London, whither his wife followed him. gible. It contains, indeed, some of the most impressive He made some engagements with publishers, though no expositions of his philosophical position, and some of his one would take Sartor Resartus, and returned to Craigen- most beautiful and perfectly written passages. But there puttock in the spring of 1832. Jeffrey, stimulated is something forced and clumsy, in spite of the flashes of perhaps by his sympathy for Mrs Carlyle, was character- grim humour, in the machinery of the Clothes Philosophy. istically generous. Besides pressing loans upon both The mannerism which has been attributed to an imitation Thomas and John Carlyle, he offered to settle an annuity of Jean Paul appeared to Carlyle himself to be derived of £100 upon Thomas, and finally enabled John to support rather from the phrases current in his father’s house, and himself by recommending him to a medical position. in any case gave an appropriate dialect for the expression Carlyle’s proud spirit of independence made him reject of his peculiar idiosyncrasy. But it could not be appreciJeffrey’s help as long as possible; and even his acknowledg- ated by readers who would not take the trouble to learn a ment of the generosity (in the Reminiscences) is tinged new language. In the French Revolution Carlyle had diswith something disagreeably like resentment. In 1834 he covered his real strength. He was always at his best when applied to Jeffrey for a post at the Edinburgh Observatory. his imagination was set to work upon a solid framework of Jeffrey naturally declined to appoint a man who, in spite fact. The book shows a unique combination : on the one of some mathematical knowledge, had no special qualifica- hand is the singularly shrewd insight into character and the tion, and administered a general lecture upon Carlyle’s vivid realization of the picturesque; on the other is the arrogance and eccentricity which left a permanent sense of “mysticism” or poetical philosophy which relieves the events against a background of mystery. The contrast is marked injury. In the beginning of 1833 the Carlyles made another by the humour which seems to combine a cynical view trial of Edinburgh. There Carlyle found materials in the of human folly with a deeply pathetic sense of the sadness Advocates’ Library for the article on the Diamond Necklace, and suffering of life. The convictions, whatever their which is one of his most perfect writings, and which led value, came, as he said, “flamingly from the heart.” It of course, impossible for Carlyle to satisfy modern him to study the history of the French Revolution. Sartor was, Resartus was at last appearing in Fraser's Magazine, requirements of matter-of-fact accuracy. He could though the rate of payment was cut down, and the not in the time have assimilated all the materials even publisher reported that it was received with “ unqualified then extant, and later accumulations would necessitate a dissatisfaction.” Edinburgh society did not attract him, complete revision. Considered as a “ prose epic,” or a and he retreated once more to Craigenputtock. After vivid utterance of the thought of the period, it has a another winter the necessity of some change became permanent and unique value. The book was speedily successful. It was reviewed by obvious. The Carlyles resolved to “burn their ships.” They went to London in the summer of 1834, and took a Mill in the Westminster and by Thackeray in the Times, and house at 5 (now 24) Cheyne Row, Chelsea, which Carlyle Carlyle, after a heroic struggle, was at last touching land. inhabited till his death; the house has since been bought In each of the years 1837 to 1840 he gave a course of for the public. Irving, who had welcomed him on former lectures, of which the last only (upon “Hero Worship”) occasions, was just dying,—a victim, as Carlyle thought^ to was published; they materially helped his finances. By fashionable cajoleries. A few young men were beginning Emerson’s management he also received something during to show appreciation. J. S. Mill had made Carlyle’s the same period from American publishers. At the age of acquaintance in the previous visit to London, and had forty-five he had thus become independent. He had also corresponded with him. Mill had introduced Emerson, established a position among the chief writers of the day. who visited Craigenputtock in 1833. Carlyle was charmed Young disciples, among whom John Sterling was the most with Emerson, and their letters published by Professor accepted, were gathering round him, and he became an Norton show that his regard never cooled. Emerson’s object of social curiosity. Monckton Milnes, who won interest showed that Carlyle’s fame was already spreading universal popularity by the most genuine kindliness of in America. Carlyle’s connexion with Charles Buller, nature, became a cordial friend. Another important intia zealous utilitarian, introduced him to the circle of macy was with the Barings, afterwards Lord and Lady “philosophical Radicals.” Carlyle called himself in Ashburton. Carlyle’s conversational powers were extrasome sense a Radical; and J. S. Mill, though not an ordinary ; though, as he won greater recognition as a intellectual disciple, was a very warm admirer of his prophet, he indulged too freely in didactic monologue. In friend’s genius. Carlyle had some expectation of the his prophetic capacity he published two remarkable books . editorship of the London Review, started by Sir W. Moles- Chartism (1829), enlarged from an article which Lockhart, worth at this time as an organ of philosophical Radicalism. though personally approving, was afraid to take for the The combination would clearly have been explosive. Quarterly; and Past and Present (1843), in which the Meanwhile Mill, who had collected many books upon the recently published Mediaeval Chronicle was taken as a text French Revolution, was eager to help Carlyle in the history for the exposure of modern evils. They may be regarded which he was now beginning. He set to work at once and as expositions of the doctrine implicitly set forth in the finished the first volume in five months. The manuscript, French Revolution. Carlyle was a “ Radical as sharing while entrusted to Mill for annotation, was burnt by an the sentiments of the class in which he was born. He had accident. Mill induced Carlyle to accept in compensation been profoundly moved by the widely-spread distresses in £100, which was urgently needed. Carlyle took up the his earlier years. When the yeomanry were called out to task again and finished the whole on 12th January 1837. suppress riots after the Peace, his sympathies were with the “I can tell the world,” he said to his wife, “you have people rather than with the authorities. So far he was in not had for a hundred years any book that comes harmony with Mill and the “ philosophical Radicals. A more direct and flamingly from the heart of a loving fundamental divergence of principle, however, existed and was soon indicated by his speedy separation from the paxty man. Do what you like with it, you The publication, six months later, of the French and alienation from Mill himself. The Revolution, acRevolution marks the turning-point of Carlyle’s career. cording to him, meant the sweeping away of effete beliefs