Complete Prose Works (1892)

It will be difficult for the future—judging by his books, personal dis-sympathies, &c.,—to account for the deep hold this author has taken on the

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present age, and the way he has color'd its method and thought. I am certainly at a loss to account for it all as affecting myself. But there could be no view, or even partial picture, of the middle and latter part of our Nine-teenth century, that did not markedly include Thomas Carlyle. In his case (as so many others, literary productions, works of art, personal identities, events,) there has been an impalpable something more effective than the palpable. Then I find no better text, (it is always important to have a definite, special, even oppositional, living man to start from,) for sending out certain speculations and comparisons for home use. Let us see what they amount to those reactionary doctrines, fears, scornful analyses of democracy—even from the most erudite and sincere mind of Europe.


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