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´╗┐Title: Past and Present
Author: Carlyle, Thomas, 1795-1881
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Past and Present" ***

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PAST AND PRESENT
            By Thomas Carlyle

Appreciation by Ralph Waldo Emerson


First published 1843



THOMAS CARLYLE, born in 1795 at Ecclefechan, the son of a
stonemason.  Educated at Edinburgh University.  Schoolmaster for
a short time, but decided on a literary career, visiting Paris
and London.  Retired in 1828 to Dumfriesshire to write.  In 1834
moved to Cheyne Row, Chelsea, and died there in 1881.



INTRODUCTION
  Being an appreciation from "The Dial" (July 1843)
            by Ralph Waldo Emerson


Here is Carlyle's new poem, his _Iliad_ of English woes, to
follow his poem on France, entitled the _History of the French
Revolution._  In its first aspect it is a political tract, and
since Burke, since Milton, we have had nothing to compare with
it.  It grapples honestly with the facts lying before all men,
groups and disposes them with a master's mind, and, with a heart
full of manly tenderness, offers his best counsel to his
brothers.  Obviously it is the book of a powerful and
accomplished thinker, who has looked with naked eyes at the
dreadful political signs in England for the last few years,  has
conversed much on these topics with such wisemen of all ranks and
parties as are drawn to a scholar's house, until, such daily and
nightly meditation has grown into a great connection, if not a
system of thoughts;  and the topic of English politics becomes
the best vehicle for the expression of his recent thinking,
recommended to him by the desire to give some timely counsels,
and to strip the worst mischiefs of their plausibility.  It is a
brave and just book, and not a semblance.  "No new truth," say
the critics on all sides.  Is it so?  Truth is very old, but the
merit of seers is not to invent but to dispose objects in their
right places, and he is the commander who is always in the mount,
whose eye not only sees details, but throws crowds of details
into their right arrangement and a larger and juster totality
than  any other.  The book makes great approaches to true
contemporary history, a very rare success, and firmly holds up to
daylight the absurdities still tolerated in the English and
European system.  It is such an appeal to the conscience and
honour of England as cannot be forgotten, or be feigned to be
forgotten.  It has the merit which belongs to every honest book,
that it was self-examining before it was eloquent, and so hits
all other men, and, as the country people say of good preaching,
"comes bounce down into every pew."  Every reader shall carry
away something.  The scholar shall read and write, the farmer and
mechanic shall toil, with new resolution, nor forget the book
when they resume their labour.

Though no theocrat, and more than most philosophers, a believer
in political systems, Mr. Carlyle very fairly finds the calamity
of the times, not in bad bills of Parliament, nor the remedy in
good bills, but the vice in false and superficial aims of the
people, and the remedy in honesty and insight.  Like every work
of genius, its great value is in telling such simple truths.  As
we recall the topics, we are struck with force given to the plain
truths;  the picture of the English nation all sitting enchanted,
the poor, enchanted so that they cannot work, the rich, enchanted
so that they cannot enjoy, and are rich in vain;  the exposure of
the progress of fraud into all arts and social activities;  the
proposition that the labourer must have a greater share in his
earnings;  that the principle of permanence shall be admitted
into all contracts of mutual service;  that the state shall
provide at least schoolmaster's education for all the citizens;
the exhortation to the workman that he shall respect the work and
not the wages;  to the scholar that he shall be there for light;
to the idle, that no man shall sit idle;  the picture of Abbot
Samson, the true governor, who "is not there to expect reason and
nobleness of others, he is there to give them of his own reason
and nobleness;"  the assumption throughout the book, that a new
chivalry and nobility, namely the dynasty of labour, is replacing
the old nobilities.   These things strike us with a force which
reminds us of the morals of the Oriental or early Greek masters,
and of no modern book.  Truly in these things is great reward.
It is not by sitting so at a grand distance and calling the human
race _larvae,_ that men are to be helped, nor by helping the
depraved after their own foolish fashion;  but by doing
unweariedly the particular work we were born to do.  Let no man
think himself absolved because he does a generous action and
befriends the poor, but let him see whether he so holds his
property that a benefit goes from it to all.  A man's diet should
be what is simplest and readiest to be had, because it is so
private a good.  His house should be better, because that is for
the use of hundreds, perhaps of thousands, and is the property of
the traveler.  But his speech is a perpetual and public
instrument;  let that always side with the race and yield neither
a lie nor a sneer.  His manners,--let them be hospitable and
civilising, so that no Phidias or Raphael shall have taught
anything better in canvas or stone;  and his acts should be
representative of the human race, as one who makes them rich in
his having, and poor in his want.

It requires great courage in a man of letters to handle the
contemporary practical questions;  not because he then has all
men for his rivals, but because of the infinite entanglements of
the problem, and the waste of strength in gathering unripe
fruits.  The task is superhuman;  and the poet knows well that a
little time will do more than the most puissant genius.  Time
stills the loud noise of opinions, sinks the small, raises the
great, so that the true emerges without effort and in perfect
harmony to all eyes;  but the truth of the present hour, except
in particulars and single relations, is unattainable.  Each man
can very well know his own part of duty, if he will;  but to
bring out the truth for beauty, and as literature, surmounts the
powers of art.  The most elaborate history of today will have the
oddest dislocated look in the next generation.  The historian of
today is yet three ages off.  The poet cannot descend into the
turbid present without injury to his rarest gifts.  Hence that
necessity of isolation which genius has always felt.  He must
stand on his glass tripod, if he would keep his electricity.

But when the political aspects are so calamitous that the
sympathies of the man overpower the habits of the poet, a higher
than Literary inspiration may succour him.  It is a costly proof
of character, that the most renowned scholar of England should
take his reputation in his hand and should descend into the ring;
and he has added to his love whatever honour his opinions may
forfeit.  To atone for this departure from the vows of the
scholar and his eternal duties to this secular charity, we have
at least this gain, that here is a message which those to whom it
was addressed cannot choose but hear.  Though they die, they must
listen.  It is plain that whether by hope or by fear, or were it
only by delight in this panorama of brilliant images; all the
great classes of English society must read, even those whose
existence it proscribes.  Poor Queen Victoria--poor Sir Robert
Peel--poor Primate and Bishops--poor Dukes and Lords!  There is
no help in place or pride or in looking another way;  a grain of
wit is more penetrating than the lightning of the night-storm,
which no curtains or shutters will keep out.  Here is a book
which will be read, no thanks to anybody but itself.  What pains,
what hopes, what vows, shall come of the reading!  Here is a book
as full of treason as an egg is full of meat, and every lordship
and worship and high form and ceremony of English conservatism
tossed like a football into the air, and kept in the air, with
merciless kicks and rebounds, and yet not a word is punishable by
statute.  The wit has eluded all official zeal;  and yet these
dire jokes, these cunning thrusts, this darning sword of Cherubim
waved high in air, illuminates the whole horizon, and shows to
the eyes of the universe every wound it inflicts.  Worst of all
for the party attacked, it bereaves them beforehand of all
sympathy, by anticipating the plea of poetic and humane
conservatism, and impressing the reader with the conviction that
the satirist himself has the truest love for everything old and
excellent in English land and institutions, and a genuine respect
for the basis of truth in those whom he exposes.

We are at some loss how to state what strikes us as the fault of
this remarkable book, for the variety and excellence of the
talent displayed in it is pretty sure to leave all special
criticism in the wrong.  And we may easily fail in expressing the
general objection which we feel.  It appears to us as a certain
disproportion in the picture, caused by the obtrusion of the
whims of the painter.  In this work, as in his former labours,
Mr. Carlyle reminds us of a sick giant.  His humours are
  expressed with so much force of constitution that his
fancies are more attractive and more credible than the sanity of
duller men.  But the habitual exaggeration of the tone wearies
whilst it stimulated.

It is felt to be so much deduction from the universality of the
picture.  It is not serene sunshine, but everything is seen in
lurid   storm lights.  Every object attitudinises, to the very
mountains and stars almost, under the refraction of this
wonderful humorist;  and instead of the common earth and sky, we
have a Martin's Creation or Judgment Day.  A crisis has always
arrived which requires a _deus ex machina._  One can hardly
credit, whilst under the spell of this magician, that the world
always had the same bankrupt look, to foregoing ages as to us--as
of a failed world just re-collecting its old withered forces to
begin again and try to do a little business.  It was perhaps
inseparable from the attempt to write a book of wit and
imagination on English politics, that a certain local emphasis
and love of effect, such as is the vice of preaching, should
appear, producing on the reader a feeling of forlornness by the
excess of value attributed to circumstances.  But the splendour
of wit cannot out--dazzle the calm daylight, which always shows
every individual man in balance with his age, and able to work
out his own salvation from all the follies of that, and no such
glaring contrasts or severalties in that or this.  Each age has
its own follies, as its majority is made up of foolish young
people;  its superstitions appear no superstitions to itself;
and if you should ask the contemporary, he would tell you, with
pride or with regret (according as he was practical or poetic),
that he had none.  But after a short time, down go its follies
and weakness and the memory of them;  its virtues alone remain,
and its limitation assumes the poetic form of a beautiful
superstition, as the dimness of our sight clothes the objects in
the horizon with mist and colour.  The revelation of Reason is
this of the un-changeableness of the fate of humanity under all
its subjective aspects;  that to the cowering it always cowers,
to the daring it opens great avenues.  The ancients are only
venerable to us because distance has destroyed what was trivial;
as the sun and stars affect us only grandly, because we cannot
reach to their smoke and surfaces and say, Is that all?

And yet the gravity of the times, the manifold and increasing
dangers of the English State, may easily excuse some over-
colouring of the picture;  and we at this distance are not so far
removed from any of the specific evils, and are deeply
participant in too many, not to share the gloom and thank the
love and the courage of the counselor.  This book is full of
humanity, and nothing is more excellent in this as in all Mr.
Carlyle's works than the attitude of the writer.  He has the
dignity of a man of letters, who knows what belongs to him, and
never deviates from his sphere;  a continuer of the great line of
scholars, and sustains their office in the highest credit and
honour.  If the good heaven have any good word to impart to this
unworthy generation, here is one scribe qualified and clothed for
its occasion.  One excellence he has in an age of Mammon and of
criticism, that he never suffers the eye of his wonder to close.
Let who will be the dupe of trifles, he cannot keep his eye oft
from that gracious Infinite which embosoms us.

As a literary artist he has great merits, beginning with the main
one that he never wrote one dull line.  How well-read, how
adroit, what thousand arts in his one art of writing;  with his
expedient for expressing those unproven opinions which he
entertains but will not endorse, by summoning one of his men of
straw from the cell,--and the respectable Sauerteig, or
Teufelsdrockh, or Dryasdust, or Picturesque Traveler, says what
is put into his mouth, and disappears.  That morbid temperament
has given his rhetoric a somewhat bloated character;  a luxury to
many imaginative and learned persons, like a showery south-wind
with its sunbursts and rapid chasing of lights and glooms over
the landscape, and yet its offensiveness to multitudes of
reluctant lovers makes us often wish some concession were
possible on the part of the humorist.  Yet it must not be
forgotten that in all his fun of castanets, or playing of tunes
with a whip-lash like some renowned charioteers,--in all this
glad and needful venting of his redundant spirits, he does yet
ever and anon, as if catching the glance of one wise man in the
crowd, quit his tempestuous key, and lance at him in clear level
tone the very word, and then with new glee return to his game.
He is like a lover or an outlaw who wraps up his message in a
serenade, which is nonsense to the sentinel, but salvation to the
ear for which it is meant.  He does not dodge the question, but
gives sincerity where it is due.

One word more respecting this remarkable style.  We have in
literature few specimens of magnificence.  Plato is the purple
ancient, and Bacon and Milton the moderns of the richest strains.
Burke sometimes reaches to that exuberant fullness, though
deficient in depth.  Carlyle in his strange, half mad way, has
entered the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and shown a vigour and
wealth of resource which has no rival in the tourney play of
these times--the indubitable champion of England.  Carlyle is the
first domestication of the modern system, with its infinity of
details, into style.  We have been civilising very fast, building
London and Paris, and now planting New England and India, New
Holland and Oregon--and it has not appeared in literature;  there
has been no analogous expansion and recomposition in books.
Carlyle's style is the first emergence of all this wealth and
labour with which the world has gone with child so long.  London
and Europe, tunneled, graded corn-lawed, with trade-nobility, and
East and West Indies for dependencies, and America, with the
Rocky Hills in the horizon, have never before been conquered in
literature.  This is the first invasion and conquest.  How like
an air-balloon or bird of Jove does he seem to float over the
continent, and stooping here and there pounce on a fact as a
symbol which was never a symbol before.  This is the first
experiment, and something of rudeness and haste must be pardoned
to so great an achievement.  It will be done again and again,
sharper, simpler;  but fortunate is he who did it first, though
never so giant-like and fabulous.  This grandiose character
pervades his wit and his imagination.  We have never had anything
in literature so like earthquakes as the laughter of Carlyle.  He
"shakes with his mountain mirth."  It is like the laughter of the
Genii in the horizon.  These jokes shake down Parliament-house
and Windsor Castle, Temple and Tower, and the future shall echo
the dangerous peals.  The other particular of magnificence is in
his rhymes.  Carlyle is a poet who is altogether too burly in his
frame and habit to submit to the limits of metre.  Yet he is full
of rhythm, not only in the perpetual melody of his periods, but
in the burdens, refrains, and returns of his sense and music.
Whatever thought or motto has once appeared to him fraught with
meaning, becomes an omen to him henceforward, and is sure to
return with deeper tones and weightier import, now as threat, now
as confirmation, in gigantic reverberation, as if the hills, the
horizon, and the next ages returned the sound.



BIBLIOGRAPHY

Life of Schiller (Lond. Mag., 1823-4), 1825, 1845.  (Supplement
published in the People's Edition, 1873)  Wilhelm Meister's
Apprenticeship, 1824.  Elements of Geometry and Trigonometry
(from the French of Legendre), 1824.  German Romance, 1827.
Sartor Resartus (Fraser's Mag., 1833-4), 1835 (Boston) 1838.
French Revolution, 1837,1839.  Critical and Miscellaneous Essays,
1839, 1840, 1847, 1857.  (In these were reprinted Articles from
Edinburgh Review, Foreign Review, Foreign Quarterly Review,
Fraser's Magazine, Westminster Review, New Monthly Magazine,
London and Westminster Review, Keepsake, Proceedings of the
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Times.)  Chartism, 1840.
Heroes, Hero-worship, and the Heroic in History, 1841.  Past and
Present, 1843.  Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches;  with
Elucidations, 1845.  Thirty-five Unpublished Letters of Oliver
Cromwell, 1847 (Fraser).  Original Discourses on the Negro
Question (Fraser, 1849), 1853.  Latter-day Pamphlets, 1850.  Life
of John Sterling, 1851.  History of Friedrich II. of Prussia,
1858-65.  Inaugural Address at Edinburgh, 1866.  Shooting
Niagara; and After? 1867 (from Macmillan).  The Early Kings of
Norway;  also an Essay on the Portraits of John Knox, 1875.

There were also contributions to Brewster's Edinburgh
Encyclopaedia, vols. xiv. xv., and xvi.;  to New Edinburgh
Review, 1821, 1822;  Fraser's Magazine, 1830, 1831;  The Times,
19 June, 1844 (Mazzini);  28 November, 1876;  5 May, 1877;
Examiner, 1848;  Spectator 1848.

First Collected Edition of Works, 1857-58 (16 vols.)

Reminiscences (ed. J.A. Froude), 1881;  (ed. C.E. Norton, 1887,
and preprinted in Everyman's Library;  1932, with an added
article on Professor John Wilson--"Christopher North")
Reminiscences of my Irish journey in 1849, 1882.  Last Words of
Thomas Carlyle, 1882 (ed. by J.C.A.)  Last Words of Thomas
Carlyle, 1892.  Rescued Essays (ed. P. Newberry) 1892.
Historical Sketches of Notable Persons and Events in the Reign of
James I. and Charles I. (ed. A. Carlyle), 1898.

Sir Leslie Stephen's article on Carlyle in the Dictionary of
National Biography gives a list of his occasional writings which
have never been collected or reprinted.



Contents

Book I--Proem

I. Midas.
II. The Sphinx
III. Manchester Insurrection
IV. Morrison's Pill
V. Aristocracy of Talent
VI. Hero-Worship


Book II--The Ancient Monk

I. Jocelin of Brakelond
II. St. Edmundsbury
III. Landlord Edmund
IV. Abbot Hugo
V. Twelfth Century
VI. Monk Samson
VII. The Canvassing
VIII. The Election
IX. Abbot Samson
X. Government
XI. The Abbot's Ways
XII. The Abbot's Troubles
XIII. In Parliament
XIV. Henry of Essex
XV.  Practical-Devotional
XVI St. Edmund
XVII  The Beginnings


Book III--The Modern Worker

I. Phenomena,
II. Gospel of Mammonism
III. Gospel of Dilettantism
XV. Happy
V. The English
VI. Two Centuries
VII. Over-Production
VIII. Unworking Aristocracy
IX. Working Aristocracy
X. Plugson of Undershot
XI. Labour
XII  Reward
XIII. Democracy
XIV  Sir Jabesh Windbag
XV. Morrison Again

Book IV--Horoscope

I. Aristocracies
II. Bribery Committee
III. The One Institution
IV Captains of Industry
V. Permanence
VI. The Landed
VII. The Gifted
VIII  The Didactic

Summary



Book I--Proem


Chapter I

Midas


The condition of England, on which many pamphlets are now in the
course of publication, and many thoughts unpublished are going on
in every reflective head, is justly regarded as one of the most
ominous, and withal one of the strangest, ever seen in this
world.  England is full of wealth, of multifarious produce,
supply for human want in every kind;  yet England is dying of
inanition.  With unabated bounty the land of England blooms and
grows;  waving with yellow harvests;  thick-studded with
workshops, industrial implements, with fifteen millions of
workers, understood to be the strongest, the cunningest and the
willingest our Earth ever had;  these men are here;  the work
they have done, the fruit they have realised is here, abundant,
exuberant on every hand of us:  and behold, some baleful fiat as
of Enchantment has gone forth, saying, "Touch it not, ye workers,
ye master-workers, ye master-idlers;  none of you can touch it,
no man of you shall be the better for it;  this is enchanted
fruit!"  On the poor workers such fiat falls first, in its rudest
shape;  but on the rich masterworkers too it falls;  neither can
the rich master-idlers, nor any richest or highest man escape,
but all are like to be brought low with it, and made 'poor'
enough, in the money-sense or a far fataller one.

Of these successful skillful workers some two millions, it is now
counted, sit in Workhouses, Poor-law Prisons;  or have 'out-door
relief' flung over the wall to them,--the workhouse Bastille
being filled to bursting, and the strong Poor-law broken asunder
by a stronger.*  They sit there, these many months now;  their
hope of deliverance as yet small.  In workhouses, pleasantly so
named, because work cannot be done in them.  Twelve hundred
thousand workers in England alone; their cunning right-hand
lamed, lying idle in their sorrowful bosom;  their hopes,
outlooks, share of this fair world, shut in by narrow walls.
They sit there, pent up, as in a kind of horrid enchantment;
glad to be imprisoned and enchanted, that they may not perish
starved.  The picturesque Tourist, in a sunny autumn day,
through this bounteous realm of England, describes the Union
Workhouse on his path.  'Passing by the Workhouse of St. Ives
in Huntingdonshire, on a bright day last autumn,' says the
picturesque Tourist, 'I saw sitting on wooden benches, in front
of their Bastille and within their ringwall and its railings,
some half-hundred or more of these men.  Tall robust figures,
young mostly or of middle age;  of honest countenance, many of
them thoughtful and even intelligent-looking men.  They sat
there, near by one another;  but in a kind of torpor, especially
in a silence, which was very striking.  In silence:  for, alas,
what word was to be said?  An Earth all lying round, crying, Come
and till me, come and reap me;--yet we here sit enchanted!  In
the eyes and brows of these men hung the gloomiest expression,
not of anger, but of grief and shame and manifold inarticulate
distress and weariness;  they returned my glance with a glance
that seemed to say, "Do not look at us.  We sit enchanted here,
we know not why.  The Sun shines and the Earth calls;  and, by
the governing Powers and Impotences of this England, we are
forbidden to obey.  It is impossible, they tell us!"  There was
something that reminded me of Dante's Hell in the look of all
this;  and I rode swiftly away.

---------
* The Return of Paupers for England and Wales, at Ladyday, 1842,
is, "In-door 221,687, Out-door 1,207,402, Total 1,429,089."--
(_Official Report_)
---------

So many hundred thousands sit in workhouses:  and other hundred
thousands have not yet got even workhouses;  and in thrifty
Scotland itself, in Glasgow or Edinburgh City, in their
dark lanes, hidden from all but the eye of God, and of rare
Benevolence the minister of God, there are scenes of woe and
destitution and desolation, such as, one may hope, the Sun never
saw before in the most barbarous regions where men dwelt.
Competent witnesses, the brave and humane Dr. Alison, who speaks
what he knows, whose noble Healing Art in his charitable hands
becomes once more a truly sacred one, report these things for us:
these things are not of this year, or of last year, have no
reference to our present state of commercial stagnation, but only
to the common state.  Not in sharp fever-fits, but in chronic
gangrene of this kind is Scotland suffering.  A Poor-law, any and
every Poor-law, it may be observed, is but a temporary measure;
an anodyne, not a remedy:  Rich and Poor, when once the naked
facts of their condition have come into collision, cannot long
subsist together on a mere Poor-law.  True enough:--and yet,
human beings cannot be left to die!  Scotland too, till something
better come, must have a Poor-law, if Scotland is not to be a
byword among the nations.  O, what a waste is there;  of noble
and thrice-noble national virtues;  peasant Stoicisms, Heroisms;
valiant manful habits, soul of a Nation's worth,--which all the
metal of Potosi cannot purchase back;  to which the metal of
Potosi, and all you can buy with _it,_ is dross and dust!

Why dwell on this aspect of the matter?  It is too indisputable,
not doubtful now to any one.  Descend where you will into the
lower class, in Town or Country, by what avenue you will, by
Factory Inquiries, Agricultural Inquiries, by Revenue Returns, by
Mining-Labourer Committees, by opening your own eyes and looking,
the same sorrowful result discloses itself:  you have to admit
that the working body of this rich English Nation has sunk or is
fast sinking into a state, to which, all sides of it considered,
there was literally never any parallel.  At Stockport Assizes,--
and this too has no reference to the present state of trade,
being of date prior to that,--a Mother and a Father are arraigned
and found guilty of poisoning three of their children, to defraud
a 'burial-society' of some _31.8s._ due on the death of each
child:  they are arraigned, found guilty;  and the official
authorities, it is whispered, hint that perhaps the case is not
solitary, that perhaps you had better not probe farther into that
department of things.  This is in the autumn of 1841;  the crime
itself is of the previous year or season.  "Brutal savages,
degraded Irish," mutters the idle reader of Newspapers;  hardly
lingering on this incident.  Yet it is an incident worth
lingering on;  the depravity, savagery and degraded Irishism
being never so well admitted.  In the British land, a human
Mother and Father, of white skin and professing the Christian
religion, had done this thing;  they, with their Irishism and
necessity and savagery, had been driven to do it.  Such instances
are like the highest mountain apex emerged into view;  under
which lies a whole mountain region and land, not yet emerged.  A
human Mother and Father had said to themselves, What shall we do
to escape starvation?  We are deep sunk here, in our dark cellar;
and help is far.--Yes, in the Ugolino Hungertower stern things
happen;  best-loved little Gaddo fallen dead on his Father's
knees!--The Stockport Mother and Father think and hint:  Our poor
little starveling Tom, who cries all day for victuals, who will
see only evil and not good in this world:  if he were out of
misery at once;  he well dead, and the rest of us perhaps kept
alive?  It is thought, and hinted;  at last it is done.  And now
Tom being killed, and all spent and eaten, Is it poor little
starveling Jack that must go, or poor little starveling Will?--
What an inquiry of ways and means!

In starved sieged cities, in the uttermost doomed ruin of old
Jerusalem fallen under the wrath of God, it was prophesied and
said, 'The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own
children.'  The stern Hebrew imagination could conceive no
blacker gulf of wretchedness;  that was the ultimatum of degraded
god-punished man.  And we here, in modern England, exuberant with
supply of all kinds, besieged by nothing if it be not by
invisible Enchantments, are we reaching that?--How come these
things?  Wherefore are they, wherefore should they be?


Nor are they of the St. Ives workhouses, of the Glasgow lanes,
and Stockport cellars, the only unblessed among us.  This
successful industry of England, with its plethoric wealth, has as
yet made nobody rich;  it is an enchanted wealth, and belongs yet
to nobody.  We might ask, Which of us has it enriched?  We can
spend thousands where we once spent hundreds;  but can purchase
nothing good with them.  In Poor and Rich, instead of noble
thrift and plenty, there is idle luxury alternating with mean
scarcity and inability.  We have sumptuous garnitures for our
Life, but have forgotten to _live_ in the middle of them.  It is
an enchanted wealth;  no man of us can yet touch it.  The class
of men who feel that they are truly better off by means of it,
let them give us their name!

Many men eat finer cookery, drink dearer liquors,--with what
advantage they can report, and their Doctors can:  but in the
heart of them, if we go out of the dyspeptic stomach, what
increase of blessedness is there?  Are they better, beautifuller,
stronger, braver?  Are they even what they call 'happier?  Do
they look with satisfaction on more things and human faces in
this God's Earth;  do more things and human faces look with
satisfaction on them?  Not so.  Human faces gloom discordantly,
disloyally on one another.  Things, if it be not mere cotton and
iron things, are growing disobedient to man.  The Master Worker
is enchanted, for the present, like his Workhouse Workman;
clamours, in vain hitherto, for a very simple sort of 'Liberty:'
the liberty 'to buy where he finds it cheapest, to sell where he
finds it dearest.'  With guineas jingling in every pocket, he was
no whit richer;  but now, the very guineas threatening to vanish,
he feels that he is poor indeed.  Poor Master Worker!  And the
Master Unworker, is not he in a still fataller situation?
Pausing amid his game-preserves, with awful eye,--as he well may!
Coercing fifty-pound tenants;  coercing, bribing, cajoling;
doing what he likes with his own.  His mouth full of loud
futilities, and arguments to prove the excellence of his
Corn-law;*  and in his heart the blackest misgiving, a desperate
half-consciousness that his excellent Corn-law is indefensible,
that his loud arguments for it are of a kind to strike men too
literally _dumb._

-------------
[* Digital transcriber note:  The "corn-law" that Carlyle
repeatedly refers to was an English sliding-scale tariff on
grain, which kept the price of bread artificially inflated.]
-------------

To whom, then, is this wealth of England wealth?  Who is it that
it blesses;  makes happier, wiser, beautifuller, in any way
better?  Who has got hold of it, to make it fetch and carry for
him, like a true servant, not like a false mock-servant;  to do
him any real service whatsoever?  As yet no one.  We have more
riches than any Nation ever had before;  we have less good of
them than any Nation ever had before.  Our successful industry is
hitherto unsuccessful;  a strange success, if we stop here!  In
the midst of plethoric plenty, the people perish;  with gold
walls, and full barns, no man feels himself safe or satisfied.
Workers, Master Workers, Unworkers, all men, come to a pause;
stand fixed, and cannot farther.  Fatal paralysis spreading
inwards, from the extremities, in St. Ives workhouses, in
Stockport cellars, through all limbs, as if towards the heart
itself.  Have we actually got enchanted, then;  accursed by
some god?--

Midas longed for gold, and insulted the Olympians.  He got gold,
so that whatsoever he touched became gold,--and he, with his long
ears, was little the better for it.  Midas had misjudged the
celestial music-tones;  Midas had insulted Apollo and the gods:
the gods gave him his wish, and a pair of long ears, which also
were a good appendage to it.  What a truth in these old Fables!



Chapter II

The Sphinx


How true, for example, is that other old Fable of the Sphinx, who
sat by the wayside, propounding her riddle to the passengers,
which if they could not answer she destroyed them!  Such a Sphinx
is this Life of ours, to all men and societies of men.  Nature,
like the Sphinx, is of womanly celestial loveliness and
tenderness;  the face and bosom of a goddess, but ending in claws
and the body of a lioness.  There is in her a celestial beauty,--
which means celestial order, pliancy to wisdom;  but there is
also a darkness, a ferocity, fatality, which are infernal.
She is a goddess, but one not yet disimprisoned;  one still
half-imprisoned,--the inarticulate, lovely still encased in the
inarticulate, chaotic.  How true!  And does she not propound her
riddles to us?  Of each man she asks daily, in mild voice, yet
with a terrible significance, "Knowest thou the meaning of this
Day?  What thou canst do Today;  wisely attempt to do?"  Nature,
Universe, Destiny, Existence, howsoever we name this grand
unnameable Fact in the midst of which we live and struggle, is as
a heavenly bride and conquest to the wise and brave, to them who
can discern her behests and do them;  a destroying fiend to them
who cannot.  Answer her riddle, it is well with thee.  Answer it
not, pass on regarding it not, it will answer itself;  the
solution for thee is a thing of teeth and claws;  Nature is a
dumb lioness, deaf to thy pleadings, fiercely devouring.  Thou
art not now her victorious bridegroom;  thou art her mangled
victim, scattered on the precipices, as a slave found treacherous,
recreant, ought to be and must.

With Nations it is as with individuals:  Can they rede the riddle
of Destiny?  This English Nation, will it get to know the meaning
of _its_ strange new Today?  Is there sense enough extant,
discoverable anywhere or anyhow, in our united twenty-seven
million heads to discern the same;  valour enough in our
twenty-seven million hearts to dare and do the bidding thereof?
It will be seen!--

The secret of gold Midas, which he with his long ears never could
discover, was, That he had offended the Supreme Powers;--that he
had parted company with the eternal inner Facts of this Universe,
and followed the transient outer Appearances thereof;  and so was
arrived _here._  Properly it is the secret of all unhappy men and
unhappy nations.  Had they known Nature's right truth, Nature's
right truth would have made them free.  They have become
enchanted;  stagger spell-bound, reeling on the brink of huge
peril, because they were not wise enough.  They have forgotten
the right Inner True, and taken up with the Outer Sham-true.
They answer the Sphinx's question wrong.  Foolish men cannot
answer it aright!  Foolish men mistake transitory semblance for
eternal fact, and go astray more and more.

Foolish men imagine that because judgment for an evil thing is
delayed, there is no justice, but an accidental one, here below.
Judgment for an evil thing is many times delayed some day or two,
some century or two, but it is sure as life, it is sure as death!
In the centre of the world-whirlwind, verily now as in the oldest
days, dwells and speaks a God.  The great soul of the world is
_just._  O brother, can it be needful now, at this late epoch of
experience, after eighteen centuries of Christian preaching for
one thing, to remind thee of such a fact;  which all manner of
Mahometans, old Pagan Romans, Jews, Scythians and heathen Greeks,
and indeed more or less all men that God made, have managed at
one time to see into;  nay which thou thyself, till 'redtape'
strangled the inner life of thee, hadst once some inkling of:
That there is justice here below;  and even, at bottom, that
there is nothing else but justice!  Forget that, thou hast
forgotten all.  Success will never more attend thee:  how can it
now?  Thou hast the whole Universe against thee.  No more
success:  mere sham-success, for a day and days;  rising ever
higher,--towards its Tarpeian Rock.  Alas, how, in thy soft-hung
Longacre vehicle, of polished leather to the bodily eye, of
redtape philosophy, of expediencies, clubroom moralities,
Parliamentary majorities to the mind's eye, thou beautifully
rollest:  but knowest thou whitherward?  It is towards the
_road's end._  Old use-and-wont;  established methods, habitudes,
once true and wise;  man's noblest tendency, his perseverance,
and man's ignoblest, his inertia;  whatsoever of noble and
ignoble Conservatism there is in men and Nations, strongest
always in the strongest men and Nations:  all this is as a road
to thee, paved smooth through the abyss,--till all this _end._
Till men's bitter necessities can endure thee no more.  Till
Nature's patience with thee is done;  and there is no road or
footing any farther, and the abyss yawns sheer--

Parliament and the Courts of Westminster are venerable to me;
how venerable;  grey with a thousand years of honourable age!
For a thousand years and more, Wisdom and faithful Valour,
struggling amid much Folly and greedy Baseness, not without most
sad distortions in the struggle, have built them up;  and they
are as we see.  For a thousand years, this English Nation has
found them useful or supportable;  they have served this English
Nation's want;  _been_ a road to it through the abyss of Time.
They are venerable, they are great and strong.  And yet it is
good to remember always that they are not the venerablest, nor
the greatest, nor the strongest!  Acts of Parliament are
venerable;  but if they correspond not with the writing on the
Adamant Tablet, what are they?  Properly their one element of
venerableness, of strength or greatness, is, that they at all
times correspond therewith as near as by human possibility they
can.  They are cherishing destruction in their bosom every hour
that they continue otherwise.

Alas, how many causes that can plead well for themselves in the
Courts of Westminster;  and yet in the general Court of the
Universe, and free Soul of Man, have no word to utter!
Honourable Gentlemen may find this worth considering, in times
like ours.  And truly, the din of triumphant Law-logic, and all
shaking of horse-hair wigs and learned-sergeant gowns having
comfortably ended, we shall do well to ask ourselves withal, What
says that high and highest Court to the verdict?  For it is the
Court of Courts, that same;  where the universal soul of Fact and
very Truth sits President;--and thitherward, more and more
swiftly, with a really terrible increase of swiftness, all causes
do in these days crowd for revisal,--for confirmation, for
modification, for reversal with costs.  Dost thou know that
Court;  hast thou had any Law-practice there?  What, didst thou
never enter;  never file any petition of redress, reclaimer,
disclaimer or demurrer, written as in thy heart's blood, for thy
own behoof or another's;  and silently await the issue?  Thou
knowest not such a Court?  Hast merely heard of it by faint
tradition as a thing that was or had been?  Of thee, I think, we
shall get little benefit.

For the gowns of learned-sergeants are good:  parchment records,
fixed forms, and poor terrestrial justice, with or without
horse-hair, what sane man will not reverence these?  And yet,
behold, the man is not sane but insane, who considers these alone
as venerable.  Oceans of horse-hair, continents of parchment, and
learned-sergeant eloquence, were it continued till the learned
tongue wore itself small in the indefatigable learned mouth,
cannot make unjust just.  The grand question still remains, Was
the judgment just?  If unjust, it will not and cannot get harbour
for itself, or continue to have footing in this Universe, which
was made by other than One Unjust.  Enforce it by never such
statuting, three readings, royal assents;  blow it to the four
winds with all manner of quilted trumpeters and pursuivants, in
the rear of them never so many gibbets and hangmen, it will not
stand, it cannot stand.  From all souls of men, from all ends of
Nature, from the Throne of God above, there are voices bidding
it:  Away, away!  Does it take no warning;  does it stand, strong
in its three readings, in its gibbets and artillery-parks?  The
more woe is to it, the frightfuller woe.  It will continue
standing, for its day, for its year, for its century, doing
evil all the while;  but it has One enemy who is Almighty:
dissolution, explosion, and the everlasting Laws of Nature
incessantly advance towards it;  and the deeper its rooting, more
obstinate its continuing, the deeper also and huger will its ruin
and overturn be.

In this God's-world, with its wild-whirling eddies and mad
foam-oceans, where men and nations perish as if without law, and
judgment for an unjust thing is sternly delayed, dost thou think
that there is therefore no justice?  It is what the fool hath
said in his heart.  It is what the wise, in all times, were wise
because they denied, and knew forever not to be.  I tell thee
again, there is nothing else but justice.  One strong thing I
find here below:  the just thing, the true thing.  My friend, if
thou hadst all the artillery of Woolwich trundling at thy back in
support of an unjust thing;  and infinite bonfires visibly
waiting ahead of thee, to blaze centuries long for thy victory on
behalf of it,--I would advise thee to call halt, to fling down
thy baton, and say, "In God's name, No!"  Thy 'success?'  Poor
devil, what will thy success amount to?  If the thing is unjust,
thou hast not succeeded;  no, not though bonfires blazed
from North to South, and bells rang, and editors wrote
leading-articles, and the just thing lay trampled out of sight,
to all mortal eyes an abolished and annihilated thing.  Success?
In few years, thou wilt be dead and dark,--all cold, eyeless,
deaf;  no blaze of bonfires, ding-dong of bells or leading-articles
visible or audible to thee again at all forever:  What kind of
success is that!--

It is true all goes by approximation in this world;  with any not
insupportable approximation we must be patient.  There is a noble
Conservatism as well as an ignoble.  Would to Heaven, for the
sake of Conservatism itself, the noble alone were left, and the
ignoble, by some kind severe hand, were ruthlessly lopped away,
forbidden ever more to skew itself!  For it is the right and
noble alone that will have victory in this struggle;  the rest is
wholly an obstruction, a postponement and fearful imperilment of
the victory.  Towards an eternal centre of right and nobleness,
and of that only, is all this confusion tending.  We already know
whither it is all tending;  what will have victory, what will
have none!  The Heaviest will reach the centre.  The Heaviest,
sinking through complex fluctuating media and vortices, has its
deflexions, its obstructions, nay at times its resiliences, its
reboundings;  whereupon some blockhead shall be heard jubilating,
"See, your Heaviest ascends!"--but at all moments it is moving
centreward, fast as is convenient for it;  sinking, sinking; and,
by laws older than the World, old as the Maker's first Plan of
the World, it has to arrive there.

Await the issue.  In all battles, if you await the issue, each
fighter has prospered according to his right.  His right and his
might, at the close of the account, were one and the same.  He
has fought with all his might, and in exact proportion to all his
right he has prevailed.  His very death is no victory over him.
He dies indeed;  but his work lives, very truly lives.  A heroic
Wallace, quartered on the scaffold, cannot hinder that his
Scotland become, one day, a part of England:  but he does hinder
that it become, on tyrannous unfair terms, a part of it;
commands still, as with a god's voice, from his old Valhalla and
Temple of the Brave, that there be a just real union as of
brother and brother, not a false and merely semblant one as of
slave and master.  If the union with England be in fact one of
Scotland's chief blessings, we thank Wallace withal that it was
not the chief curse.  Scotland is not Ireland:  no, because brave
men rose there, and said, "Behold, ye must not tread us down like
slaves;  and ye shall not,--and cannot!"  Fight on, thou brave
true heart, and falter not, through dark fortune and through
bright.  The cause thou fightest for, so far as it is true, no
farther, yet precisely so far, is very sure of victory.  The
falsehood alone of it will be conquered, will be abolished, as it
ought to be:  but the truth of it is part of Nature's own Laws,
cooperates with the World's eternal Tendencies, and cannot
be conquered.

The _dust_ of controversy, what is it but the _falsehood_ flying
off from all manner of conflicting true forces, and making such a
loud dust-whirlwind,--that so the truths alone may remain, and
embrace brother-like in some true resulting-force!  It is ever
so.  Savage fighting Heptarchies:  their fighting is an
ascertainment, who has the right to rule over whom;  that out of
such waste-bickering Saxondom a peacefully cooperating England
may arise.  Seek through this Universe;  if with other than owl's
eyes, thou wilt find nothing nourished there, nothing kept in
life, but what has right to nourishment and life.  The rest, look
at it with other than owl's eyes, is not living;  is all dying,
all as good as dead!  Justice was ordained from the foundations
of the world;  and will last with the world and longer.


From which I infer that the inner sphere of Fact, in this present
England as elsewhere, differs infinitely from the outer sphere
and spheres of Semblance.  That the Temporary, here as elsewhere,
is too apt to carry it over the Eternal.  That he who dwells in
the temporary Semblances, and does not penetrate into the eternal
Substance, will _not_ answer the Sphinx-riddle of Today, or of
any Day.  For the substance alone is substantial;  that is the
law of Fact:  if you discover not that, Fact, who already knows
it, will let you also know it by and by!

What is justice? that, on the whole, is the question of the
Sphinx to us. The law of Fact is, that justice must and will be
done.  The sooner the better;  for the Time grows stringent,
frightfully pressing!  "What is justice?" ask many, to whom cruel
Fact alone will be able to prove responsive.  It is like jesting
Pilate asking, What is Truth?  Jesting Pilate had not the
smallest chance to ascertain what was Truth.  He could not have
known it, had a god shewn it to him.  Thick serene opacity,
thicker than amaurosis, veiled those smiling eyes of his to
Truth;  the inner _retina_ of them was gone paralytic, dead.  He
looked at Truth;  and discerned her not, there where she stood.
"What is justice?"  The clothed embodied justice that sits in
Westminster Hall, with penalties, parchments, tipstaves, is very
visible.  But the unembodied justice, whereof that other is
either an emblem, or else is a fearful indescribability, is not
so visible!  For the unembodied Justice is of Heaven;  a Spirit,
and Divinity of Heaven,--invisible to all but the noble and pure
of soul.  The impure ignoble gaze with eyes, and she is not
there.  They will prove it to you by logic, by endless Hansard
Debatings, by bursts of Parliamentary eloquence.  It is not
consolatory to behold!  For properly, as many men as there are in
a Nation who _can_ withal see Heaven's invisible Justice, and
know it to be on Earth also omnipotent, so many men are there who
stand between a Nation and perdition.  So many, and no more.
Heavy-laden England, how many hast thou in this hour?  The
Supreme Power sends new and ever new, all _born_ at least with
hearts of flesh and not of stone;--and heavy Misery itself, once
heavy enough, will prove didactic!--



Chapter III

Manchester Insurrection


Blusterowski, Colacorde, and other Editorial prophets of the
Continental Democratic Movement, have in their leading-articles
shewn themselves disposed to vilipend the late Manchester
Insurrection, as evincing in the rioters an extreme backwardness
to battle;  nay as betokening, in the English People itself,
perhaps a want of the proper animal-courage indispensable in
these ages.  A million hungry operative men started up, in utmost
paroxysm of desperate protest against their lot;  and, ask
Colacorde and company, How many shots were fired?  Very few in
comparison!  Certain hundreds of drilled soldiers sufficed to
suppress this million-headed hydra's and tread it down, without
the smallest appeasement or hope of such, into its subterranean
settlements again, there to reconsider itself.  Compared
with our revolts in Lyons, in Warsaw and elsewhere, to say
nothing of incomparable Paris City past or present, what a
lamblike Insurrection!--

The present Editor is not here, with his readers, to vindicate
the character of Insurrections;  nor does it matter to us whether
Blusterowski and the rest may think the English a courageous
people or not courageous.  In passing, however, let us mention
that, to our view, this was not an unsuccessful Insurrection;
that as Insurrections go, we have not heard lately of any that
succeeded so well.

A million of hungry operative men, as Blusterowski says, rose
all up, came all out into the streets, and--stood there.  What
other could they do?  Their wrongs and griefs were bitter,
insupportable, their rage against the same was just:  but who are
they that cause these wrongs, who that will honestly make effort
to redress them?  Our enemies are we know not who or what;  our
friends are we know not where!  How shall we attack any one,
shoot or be shot by any one?  O, if the accursed invisible
Nightmare, that is crushing out the life of us and ours, would
take a shape;  approach us like the Hyrcanian tiger, the Behemoth
of Chaos, the Archfiend himself;  in any shape that we could see,
and fasten on!--A man can have himself shot with cheerfulness;
but it needs first that he see clearly for what.  Shew him the
divine face of justice, then the diabolic monster which is
eclipsing that:  he will fly at the throat of such monster, never
so monstrous, and need no bidding to do it.  Woolwich grapeshot
will sweep clear all streets, blast into invisibility so many
thousand men:  but if your Woolwich grapeshot be but eclipsing
Divine justice, and the God's-radiance itself gleam recognisable
athwart such grapeshot,--then, yes then is the time come for
fighting and attacking.  All artillery-parks have become weak,
and are about to dissipate:  in the God's-thunder, their poor
thunder slackens, ceases;  finding that it is, in all senses of
the term, a _brute_ one!--

That the Manchester Insurrection stood still, on the streets,
with an indisposition to fire and bloodshed, was wisdom for it
even as an Insurrection.  Insurrection, never so necessary, is a
most sad necessity;  and governors who wait for that to instruct
them, are surely getting into the fatallest courses,--proving
themselves Sons of Nox and Chaos, of blind Cowardice, not of
seeing Valour!  How can there be any remedy in insurrection?  It
is a mere announcement of the disease,--visible now even to Sons
of Night.  Insurrection usually 'gains' little;  usually wastes
how much!  One of its worst kinds of waste, to say nothing of the
rest, is that of irritating and exasperating men against each
other, by violence done;  which is always sure to be injustice
done, for violence does even justice unjustly.

Who shall compute the waste and loss, the obstruction of every
sort, that was produced in the Manchester region by Peterloo
alone!  Some thirteen unarmed men and women cut down,--the number
of the slain and maimed is very countable:  but the treasury of
rage, burning hidden or visible in all hearts ever since, more or
less perverting the effort and aim of all hearts ever since, is
of unknown extent.  "How ye came among us, in your cruel armed
blindness, ye unspeakable County Yeomanry, sabres flourishing,
hoofs prancing, and slashed us down at your brute pleasure;
deaf, blind to all _our_ claims and woes and wrongs;  of quick
sight and sense to your own claims only!  There lie poor sallow
workworn weavers, and complain no more now;  women themselves are
slashed and sabred, howling terror fills the air;  and ye ride
prosperous, very victorious,--ye unspeakable:  give us sabres
too, and then come-on a little!"  Such are Peterloos.  In
all hearts that witnessed Peterloo, stands written, as in
fire-characters, or smoke-characters prompt to become fire again,
a legible balance-account of grim vengeance;  very unjustly
balanced, much exaggerated, as is the way with such accounts;
but payable readily at sight, in full with compound interest!
Such things should be avoided as the very pestilence.  For men's
hearts ought not to be set against one another;  but set _with_
one another, and all against the Evil Thing only.  Men's souls
ought to be left to see clearly;  not jaundiced, blinded, twisted
all awry, by revenge, mutual abhorrence, and the like.  An
Insurrection that can announce the disease, and then retire with
no such balance-account opened anywhere, has attained the highest
success possible for it.

And this was what these poor Manchester operatives, with all the
darkness that was in them and round them, did manage to perform.
They put their huge inarticulate question, "What do you mean to
do with us?" in a manner audible to every reflective soul in this
kingdom;  exciting deep pity in all good men, deep anxiety in all
men whatever;  and no conflagration or outburst of madness came
to cloud that feeling anywhere, but everywhere it operates
unclouded.  All England heard the question:  it is the first
practical form of our Sphinx-riddle.  England will answer it;
or, on the whole, England will perish;--one does not yet expect
the latter result!

For the rest, that the Manchester Insurrection could yet discern
no radiance of Heaven on any side of its horizon;  but feared
that all lights, of the O'Connor or other sorts, hitherto
kindled, were but deceptive fish-oil transparencies, or bog
will-o'-wisp lights, and no dayspring from on high:  for this
also we will honour the poor Manchester Insurrection, and augur
well of it.  A deep unspoken sense lies in these strong men,--
inconsiderable, almost stupid, as all they can articulate of it
is.  Amid all violent stupidity of speech, a right noble instinct
of what is doable and what is not doable never forsakes them:
the strong inarticulate men and workers, whom _Fact_ patronises;
of whom, in all difficulty and work whatsoever, there is good
augury!  This work too is to be done:  Governors and Governing
Classes that _can_ articulate and utter, in any measure, what the
law of Fact and Justice is, may calculate that here is a Governed
Class who will listen.

And truly this first practical form of the Sphinx-question,
inarticulately and so audibly put there, is one of the most
impressive ever asked in the world.  "Behold us here, so many
thousands, millions, and increasing at the rate of fifty every
hour.  We are right willing and able to work;  and on the Planet
Earth is plenty of work and wages for a million times as many.
We ask, If you mean to lead us towards work;  to try to lead us,
--by ways new, never yet heard of till this new unheard-of Time?
Or if you declare that you cannot lead us?  And expect that we
are to remain quietly unled, and in a composed manner perish of
starvation?  What is it you expect of us?  What is it you mean to
do with us?"  This question, I say, has been put in the hearing
of all Britain;  and will be again put, and ever again, till some
answer be given it.

Unhappy Workers, unhappier Idlers, unhappy men and women of this
actual England!  We are yet very far from an answer, and there
will be no existence for us without finding one.  "A fair
day's-wages for a fair day's-work:"  it is as just a demand as
Governed men ever made of Governing.  It is the everlasting
right of man.  Indisputable as Gospels, as arithmetical
multiplication-tables:  it must and will have itself fulfilled;
--and yet, in these times of ours, with what enormous difficulty,
next-door to impossibility!  For the times are really strange;
of a complexity intricate with all the new width of the
ever-widening world;  times here of half-frantic velocity of
impetus, there of the deadest-looking stillness and paralysis;
times definable as shewing two qualities, Dilettantism and
Mammonism;--most intricate obstructed times!  Nay, if there
were not a Heaven's radiance of justice, prophetic, clearly
of Heaven, discernible behind all these confused worldwide
entanglements, of Landlord interests, Manufacturing interests,
Tory-Whig interests, and who knows what other interests,
expediencies, vested interests, established possessions,
inveterate Dilettantisms, Midas-eared Mammonisms,--it would
seem to everyone a flat impossibility, which all wise men
might as well at once abandon.  If you do not know eternal
justice from momentary Expediency, and understand in your
heart of hearts how justice, radiant, beneficent, as the
all-victorious Light-element, is also in essence, if need be,
an all-victorious _Fire_-element, and melts all manner of vested
interests, and the hardest iron cannon, as if they were soft wax,
and does ever in the long-run rule and reign, and allows nothing
else to rule and reign,--you also would talk of impossibility!
But it is only difficult, it is not impossible.  Possible?  It
is, with whatever difficulty, very clearly inevitable.

Fair day's-wages for fair-day's-work! exclaims a sarcastic man;
alas, in what corner of this Planet, since Adam first awoke on
it, was that ever realised?  The day's-wages of John Milton's
day's-work, named _Paradise Lost_ and _Milton's Works,_ were Ten
Pounds paid by instalments, and a rather close escape from death
on the gallows.  Consider that:  it is no rhetorical flourish;
it is an authentic, altogether quiet fact,--emblematic, quietly
documentary of a whole world of such, ever since human history
began.  Oliver Cromwell quitted his farming;  undertook a
Hercules' Labour and lifelong wrestle with that Lernean
Hydracoil, wide as England, hissing heaven-high through its
thousand crowned, coroneted, shovel-hatted quackheads;  and he
did wrestle with it, the truest and terriblest wrestle I have
heard of;  and he wrestled it, and mowed and cut it down a good
many stages, so that its hissing is ever since pitiful in
comparison, and one can walk abroad in comparative peace from
it;--and his wages, as I understand, were burial under the
gallows-tree near Tyburn Turnpike, with his head on the gable of
Westminster Hall, and two centuries now of mixed cursing and
ridicule from all manner of men.  His dust lies under the
Edgeware Road, near Tyburn Turnpike, at this hour;  and his
memory is--Nay, what matters what his memory is?  His memory, at
bottom, is or yet shall be as that of a god:  a terror and horror
to all quacks and cowards and insincere persons;  an everlasting
encouragement, new memento, battleword, and pledge of victory to
all the brave.  It is the natural course and history of the
Godlike, in every place, in every time.  What god ever carried it
with the Tenpound Franchisers;  in Open Vestry, or with any
Sanhedrim of considerable standing?  When was a god found
agreeable to everybody?  The regular way is to hang, kill,
crucify your gods, and execrate and trample them under your
stupid hoofs for a century or two;  till you discover that they
are gods,--and then take to braying over them, still in a very
long-eared manner!--So speaks the sarcastic man;  in his wild
way, very mournful truths.

Day's-wages for day's-work? continues he:  The Progress of Human
Society consists even in this same.  The better and better
apportioning of wages to work.  Give me this, you have given me
all.  Pay to every man accurately what he has worked for, what he
has earned and done and deserved,--to this man broad lands and
honours, to that man high gibbets and treadmills:  what more have
I to ask?  Heaven's Kingdom, which we daily pray for, _has_ come;
God's will is done on Earth even as it is in Heaven!  This _is_
the radiance of celestial justice;  in the light or in the fire
of which all impediments, vested interests, and iron cannon, are
more and more melting like wax, and disappearing from
the pathways of men.  A thing ever struggling forward;
irrepressible, advancing inevitable;  perfecting itself, all
days, more and more,--never to be _perfect_ till that general
Doomsday, the ultimate Consummation, and Last of earthly Days.

True, as to 'perfection' and so forth, answer we;  true enough!
And yet withal we have to remark, that imperfect Human Society
holds itself together, and finds place under the Sun, in virtue
simply of some _approximation_ to perfection being actually made
and put in practice.  We remark farther, that there are
supportable approximations, and then likewise insupportable.
With some, almost with any, supportable approximation men are
apt, perhaps too apt, to rest indolently patient, and say, It
will do.  Thus these poor Manchester manual workers mean only, by
day's-wages for day's-work, certain coins of money adequate to
keep them living;--in return for their work, such modicum of
food, clothes and fuel as will enable them to continue their work
itself!  They as yet clamour for no more;  the rest, still
inarticulate, cannot yet shape itself into a demand at all, and
only lies in them as a dumb wish;  perhaps only, still more
inarticulate, as a dumb, altogether unconscious want.  _This_ is
the supportable approximation they would rest patient with, That
by their work they might be kept alive to work more!--_This_ once
grown unattainable, I think, your approximation may consider
itself to have reached the insupportable stage;  and may prepare,
with whatever difficulty, reluctance and astonishment, for one of
two things, for changing or perishing!  With the millions no
longer able to live, how can the units keep living?  It is too
clear the Nation itself is on the way to suicidal death.

Shall we say then, The world has retrograded in its talent of
apportioning wages to work, in late days?  The world had always a
talent of that sort, better or worse.  Time was when the mere
_hand_worker needed not announce his claim to the world by
Manchester Insurrections!--The world, with its Wealth of Nations,
Supply-and-demand and such like, has of late days been terribly
inattentive to that question of work and wages.  We will not say,
the poor world has retrograded even here:  we will say rather,
the world has been rushing on with such fiery animation to get
work and ever more work done, it has had no time to think of
dividing the wages; and has merely left them to be scrambled for
by the Law of the Stronger, law of Supply-and-demand, law of
Laissez-faire, and other idle Laws and Un-laws,--saying, in its
dire haste to get the work done, That is well enough!

And now the world will have to pause a little, and take up that
other side of the problem, and in right earnest strive for some
solution of that.  For it has become pressing.  What is the use
of your spun shirts?  They hang there by the million unsaleable;
and here, by the million, are diligent bare backs that can get no
hold of them.  Shirts are useful for covering human backs;
useless otherwise, an unbearable mockery otherwise.  You have
fallen terribly behind with that side of the problem!  Manchester
Insurrections, French Revolutions, and thousandfold phenomena
great and small, announce loudly that you must bring it forward a
little again.  Never till now, in the history of an Earth which
to this hour nowhere refuses to grow corn if you will plough it,
to yield shirts if you will spin and weave in it, did the mere
manual two-handed worker (however it might fare with other
workers) cry in vain for such "wages" as _he_ means by "fair
wages," namely food and warmth!  The Godlike could not and cannot
be paid;  but the Earthly always could.  Gurth, a mere swineherd,
born thrall of Cedric the Saxon, tended pigs in the wood, and did
get some parings of the pork.  Why, the four-footed worker has
already got all that this two-handed one is clamouring for!  How
often must I remind you?  There is not a horse in England, able
and willing to work, but _has_ due food and lodging;  and goes
about sleek-coated, satisfied in heart.  And you say, It is
impossible.  Brothers, I answer, if for you it be impossible,
what is to become of you?  It is impossible for us to believe it
to be impossible.  The human brain, looking at these sleek
English horses, refuses to believe in such impossibility for
English men.  Do you depart quickly;  clear the ways soon, lest
worse befall.  We for our share do purpose, with full view of the
enormous difficulty, with total disbelief in the impossibility,
to endeavour while life is in us, and to die endeavouring, we and
our sons, till we attain it or have all died and ended.

Such a Platitude of a World, in which all working horses could be
well fed, and innumerable working men should die starved, were it
not best to end it;  to have done with it, and restore it once
for all to the _Jotuns,_ Mud-giants, Frost-giants and Chaotic
Brute-gods of the Beginning?  For the old Anarchic Brute-gods it
may be well enough, but it is a Platitude which Men should be
above countenancing by their presence in it.  We pray you, let
the word _impossible_ disappear from your vocabulary in this
matter.  It is of awful omen;  to all of us, and to yourselves
first of all.



Chapter IV

Morrison's Pill


What is to be done, what would you have us do? asks many a one,
with a tone of impatience, almost of reproach;  and then, if you
mention some one thing, some two things, twenty things that might
be done, turns round with a satirical tehee, and, "These are your
remedies!"  The state of mind indicated by such question, and
such rejoinder, is worth reflecting on.

It seems to be taken for granted, by these interrogative
philosophers, that there is some 'thing,' or handful of 'things,'
which could be done;  some Act of Parliament, 'remedial measure
or the like, which could be passed, whereby the social malady
were fairly fronted, conquered, put an end to;  so that, with
your remedial measure in your pocket, you could then go on
triumphant, and be troubled no farther.  "You tell us the evil,"
cry such persons, as if justly aggrieved, "and do not tell us how
it is to be cured!"

How it is to be cured?  Brothers, I am sorry I have got
no Morrison's Pill for curing the maladies of Society.  It
were infinitely handier if we had a Morrison's Pill, Act of
Parliament, or remedial measure, which men could swallow, one
good time, and then go on in their old courses, cleared from all
miseries and mischiefs!  Unluckily we have none such;  unluckily
the Heavens themselves, in their rich pharmacopoeia, contain none
such.  There will no 'thing' be done that will cure you.  There
will a radical universal alteration of your regimen and way of
life take place;  there will a most agonising divorce between you
and your chimeras, luxuries and falsities, take place;  a most
toilsome, all but 'impossible' return to Nature, and her
veracities, and her integrities, take place:  that so the inner
fountains of life may again begin, like eternal Light-fountains,
to irradiate and purify your bloated, swollen, foul existence,
drawing nigh, as at present, to nameless death!  Either death or
else all this will take place.  Judge if, with such diagnosis,
any Morrison's Pill is like to be discoverable!

But the Life-fountain within you once again set flowing,
what innumerable 'things,' whole sets and classes and continents
of 'things,' year after year, and decade after decade, and
century after century, will then be doable and done!  Not
Emigration, Education, Corn-Law Abrogation, Sanitary Regulation,
Land Property-Tax;  not these alone, nor a thousand times as much
as these.  Good Heavens, there will then be light in the inner
heart of here and there a man, to discern what is just, what is
commanded by the Most High God, what _must_ be done, were it
never so 'impossible.'  Vain jargon in favour of the palpably
unjust will then abridge itself within limits.  Vain jargon, on
Hustings, in Parliaments or wherever else, when here and there a
man has vision for the essential God's-Truth of the things
jargoned of, will become very vain indeed.  The silence of here
and there such a man, how eloquent in answer to such jargon!
Such jargon, frightened at its own gaunt echo, will unspeakably
abate;  nay, for a while, may almost in a manner disappear,--the
wise answering it in silence, and even the simple taking cue from
them to hoot it down wherever heard.  It will be a blessed time;
and many 'things' will become doable,--and when the brains are
out, an absurdity will die!  Not easily again shall a Corn-Law
argue ten years for itself;  and still talk and argue, when
impartial persons have to say with a sigh that, for so long back,
they have heard no 'argument' advanced for it but such as might
make the angels and almost the very jackasses weep!--

Wholly a blessed time:  when jargon might abate, and here and
there some genuine speech begin.  When to the noble opened heart,
as to such heart they alone do, all noble things began to grow
visible;  and the difference between just and unjust, between
true and false, between work and sham-work, between speech and
jargon, was once more, what to our happier Fathers it used to be,
_infinite,_--as between a Heavenly thing and an Infernal:  the
one a thing which you were _not_ to do, which you were wise not
to attempt doing;  which it were better for you to have a
millstone tied round your neck, and be cast into the sea, than
concern yourself with doing!--Brothers, it will not be a
Morrison's Pill, or remedial measure, that will bring all this
about for us.


And yet, very literally, till, in some shape or other, it be
brought about, we remain cureless;  till it begin to be brought
about, the cure does not begin.  For Nature and Fact, not Redtape
and Semblance, are to this hour the basis of man's life;  and on
those, through never such strata of these, man and his life and
all his interests do, sooner or later, infallibly come to rest,--
and to be supported or be swallowed according as they agree with
those.  The question is asked of them, not, How do you agree with
Downing-streets and accredited Semblance? but, How do you agree
with God's Universe and the actual Reality of things?  This
Universe _has_ its Laws.  If we walk according to the Law, the
Law-Maker will befriend us;  if not, not.  Alas, by no Reform
Bill, Ballot-box, Five-point Charter, by no boxes or bills or
charters, can you perform this alchemy:  'Given a world of Knaves
to produce an Honesty from their united action!'  It is a
distillation, once for all, not possible.  You pass it through
alembic after alembic, it comes out still a Dishonesty, with a
new dress on it, a new colour to it.  'While we ourselves
continue valets, how can any hero come to govern us?'  We are
governed, very infallibly, by the 'sham-hero,'--whose name is
Quack, whose work and governance is Plausibility, and also is
Falsity and Fatuity;  to which Nature says, and must say when it
comes to _her_ to speak, eternally No!  Nations cease to be
befriended of the Law-Maker, when they walk _not_ according to
the Law.  The Sphinx-question remains unsolved by them, becomes
ever more insoluble.

If thou ask again, therefore, on the Morrison's-Pill hypothesis,
What is to be done? allow me to reply:  By thee, for the present,
almost nothing.  Thou there, the thing for thee to do is, if
possible, to cease to be a hollow sounding-shell of hearsays,
egoisms, purblind dilettantisms;  and become, were it on the
infinitely small scale, a faithful discerning soul.  Thou shalt
descend into thy inner man, and see if there be any traces of a
_soul_ there;  till then there can be nothing done!  O brother,
we must if possible resuscitate some soul and conscience in us,
exchange our dilettantisms for sincerities, our dead hearts of
stone for living hearts of flesh.  Then shall we discern, not one
thing, but, in clearer or dimmer sequence, a whole endless host
of things that can be done.  _Do_ the first of these;  do it;
the second will already have become clearer, doabler;  the
second, third and three-thousandth will then have begun to be
possible for us.  Not any universal Morrison's Pill shall we
then, either as swallowers or as venders, ask after at all;  but
a far different sort of remedies:  Quacks shall no more have
dominion over us, but true Heroes and Healers!


Will not that be a thing worthy of 'doing;'  to deliver ourselves
from quacks, sham-heroes;  to deliver the whole world more and
more from such?  They are the one bane of the world.  Once clear
the world of them, it ceases to be a Devil's-world, in all fibres
of it wretched, accursed;  and begins to be a God's-world,
blessed, and working hourly towards blessedness.  Thou for one
wilt not again vote for any quack, do honour to any edge-gilt
vacuity in man's shape:  cant shall be known to thee by the sound
of it;--thou wilt fly from cant with a shudder never felt before;
as from the opened litany of Sorcerers' Sabbaths, the true Devil-
worship of this age, more horrible than any other blasphemy,
profanity or genuine blackguardism elsewhere audible among men.
It is alarming to witness,--in its present completed state!  And
Quack and Dupe, as we must ever keep in mind, are upper-side and
under of the selfsame substance;  convertible personages:  turn
up your dupe into the proper fostering element, and he
himself can become a quack;  there is in him the due prurient
insincerity, open voracity for profit, and closed sense for
truth, whereof quacks too, in all their kinds, are made.

Alas, it is not to the hero, it is to the sham-hero that, of
right and necessity, the valet-world belongs.  'What is to be
done?'  The reader sees whether it is like to be the seeking and
swallowing of some 'remedial measure!'



Chapter V

Aristocracy of Talent


When an individual is miserable, what does it most of all behove
him to do?  To complain of this man or of that, of this thing or
of that?  To fill the world and the street with lamentation,
objurgation?  Not so at all;  the reverse of so.  All moralists
advise him not to complain of any person or of any thing, but of
himself only.  He is to know of a truth that being miserable he
has been unwise, he.  Had he faithfully followed Nature and her
Laws, Nature, ever true to her Laws, would have yielded fruit and
increase and felicity to him:  but he has followed other than
Nature's Laws;  and now Nature, her patience with him being
ended, leaves him desolate;  answers with very emphatic
significance to him:  No.  Not by this road, my son;  by another
road shalt thou attain well-being:  this, thou perceivest is the
road to ill-being;  quit this!--So do all moralists advise:  that
the man penitently say to himself first of all, Behold I was not
wise enough;  I quitted the laws of Fact, which are also called
the Laws of God, and mistook for them the laws of Sham and
Semblance, which are called the Devil's Laws;  therefore
am I here!

Neither with Nations that become miserable is it fundamentally
otherwise.  The ancient guides of Nations, Prophets, Priests, or
whatever their name, were well aware of this;  and, down to a
late epoch, impressively taught and inculcated it.  The modern
guides of Nations, who also go under a great variety of names,
journalists, Political Economists, Politicians, Pamphleteers,
have entirely forgotten this, and are ready to deny this.  But it
nevertheless remains eternally undeniable:  nor is there any
doubt but we shall all be taught it yet, and made again to
confess it:  we shall all be striped and scourged till we do
learn it;  and shall at last either get to know it, or be striped
to death in the process.  For it is undeniable!  When a Nation is
unhappy, the old Prophet was right and not wrong in saying to it:
Ye have forgotten God, ye have quitted the ways of God, or ye
would not have been unhappy.  It is not according to the laws of
Fact that ye have lived and guided yourselves, but according to
the laws of Delusion, Imposture, and wilful and unwilful
_Mistake_ of Fact;  behold therefore the Unveracity is worn out;
Nature's long-suffering with you is exhausted;  and ye are here!

Surely there is nothing very inconceivable in this, even to the
Journalist, to the Political Economist, Modern Pamphleteer, or
any two-legged animal without feathers!  If a country finds
itself wretched, sure enough that country has been _mis_guided:
it is with the wretched Twenty-seven Millions, fallen wretched,
as with the Unit fallen wretched:  they as he have quitted the
course prescribed by Nature and the Supreme Powers, and so are
fallen into scarcity, disaster, infelicity;  and pausing to
consider themselves, have to lament and say, Alas, we were not
wise enough.  We took transient superficial Semblance for
everlasting central Substance;  we have departed far away from
the _Laws_ of this Universe, and behold now lawless Chaos and
inane Chimera is ready to devour us!--'Nature in late centuries,'
says Sauerteig, 'was universally supposed to be dead;  an old
eight-day clock, made many thousand years ago, and still ticking,
but dead as brass,--which the Maker, at most, sat looking at, in
a distant, singular, and indeed incredible manner:  but now I am
happy to observe, she is everywhere asserting herself to be not
dead and brass at all, but alive and miraculous, celestial-
infernal, with an emphasis that will again penetrate the thickest
head of this Planet by and by!--

Indisputable enough to all mortals now, the guidance of this
country has not been sufficiently wise:  men too foolish have
been set to the guiding and governing of it, and have guided it
hither;  we must find wiser,--_wiser,_ or else we perish!  To
this length of insight all England has now advanced;  but as yet
no farther.  All England stands wringing its hands, asking
itself, nigh desperate, What farther?  Reform Bill proves to be a
failure;  Benthamee Radicalism, the gospel of 'Enlightened
Selfishness,' dies out, or dwindles into Five-point Chartism,
amid the tears and hootings of men:  what next are we to hope or
try?  Five-point Charter, Freetrade;  Church-extension, Sliding-
scale;  what, in Heaven's name, are we next to attempt, that we
sink not in inane Chimera, and be devoured of Chaos?--The case is
pressing, and one of the most complicated in the world.  A God's-
message never came to thicker-skinned people;  never had a God's-
message to pierce through thicker integuments, into heavier ears.
It is Fact, speaking once more, in miraculous thunder-voice, from
out of the centre of the world;--how unknown its language to the
deaf and foolish many;  how distinct, undeniable, terrible and
yet beneficent, to the hearing few:  Behold, ye shall grow wiser,
or ye shall die!  Truer to Nature's Fact, or inane Chimera will
swallow you;  in whirlwinds of fire, you and your Mammonisms,
Dilettantisms, your Midas-eared philosophies, double-barreled
Aristocracies, shall disappear!--Such is the God's-message to
_us,_ once more; in these modern days.

We must have more Wisdom to govern us, we must be governed by the
Wisest, we must have an Aristocracy of Talent! cry many.  True,
most true;  but how to get it?  The following extract from our
young friend of the _Houndsditch Indicator_ is worth perusing:
'At this time,' says he, 'while there is a cry everywhere,
articulate or inarticulate, for an "Aristocracy of Talent," a
Governing Class namely which did govern, not merely which took
the wages of governing, and could not with all our industry be
kept from misgoverning, corn-lawing, and playing the very deuce
with us,--it may not be altogether useless to remind some of the
greener-headed sort what a dreadfully difficult affair the
getting of such an Aristocracy is!  Do you expect, my friends,
that your indispensable Aristocracy of Talent is to be enlisted
straightway, by some sort of recruitment aforethought, out of the
general population;  arranged in supreme regimental order;  and
set to rule over us?  That it will be got sifted, like wheat out
of chaff, from the Twenty-seven Million British subjects;  that
any Ballot-box, Reform Bill, or other Political Machine, with
Force of Public Opinion never so active on it, is likely to
perform said process of sifting?  Would to Heaven that we had a
sieve;  that we could so much as fancy any kind of sieve, wind-
fanners, or ne-plus-ultra of machinery, devisable by man, that
would do it!

'Done nevertheless, sure enough, it must be;  it shall and will
be.  We are rushing swiftly on the road to destruction;  every
hour bringing us nearer, until it be, in some measure, done.  The
doing of it is not doubtful;  only the method and the costs!  Nay
I will even mention to you an infallible sifting-process whereby
he that has ability will be sifted out to rule among us, and that
same blessed Aristocracy of Talent be verily, in an approximate
degree, vouchsafed us by and by:  an infallible sifting-process;
to which, however, no soul can help his neighbour, but each must,
with devout prayer to Heaven, endeavour to help himself.  It is,
O friends, that all of us, that many of us, should acquire the
true eye for talent, which is dreadfully wanting at present!  The
true _eye_ for talent presupposes the true reverence for it,--O
Heavens, presupposes so many things!

'For example, you Bobus Higgins, Sausage-maker on the great
scale, who are raising such a clamour for this Aristocracy of
Talent, what is it that you do, in that big heart of yours,
chiefly in very fact pay reverence to?  Is it to talent,
intrinsic manly worth of any kind, you unfortunate Bobus?  The
manliest man that you saw going in a ragged coat, did you ever
reverence him;  did you so much as know that he was a manly man
at all, till his coat grew better?  Talent!  I understand you to
be able to worship the fame of talent, the power, cash, celebrity
or other success of talent;  but the talent itself is a thing you
never saw with eyes.  Nay what is it in yourself that you
are proudest of, that you take most pleasure in surveying
meditatively in thoughtful moments?  Speak now, is it the bare
Bobus stript of his very name and shirt, and turned loose upon
society, that you admire and thank Heaven for;  or Bobus with
his cash-accounts and larders dropping fatness, with his
respectabilities, warm garnitures, and pony-chaise, admirable in
some measure to certain of the flunkey species?  Your own degree
of worth and talent, is it of _infinite_ value to you;  or only
of finite,--measurable by the degree of currency, and conquest of
praise or pudding, it has brought you to?  Bobus, you are in a
vicious circle, rounder than one of your own sausages;  and will
never vote for or promote any talent, except what talent or sham-
talent has already _got_ itself voted for!'--We here cut short
the _Indicator;_ all readers perceiving whither he now tends.


'More Wisdom' indeed:  but where to find more Wisdom?  We have
already a Collective Wisdom, after its kind,--though 'class-
legislation,' and another thing or two, affect it somewhat!  On
the whole, as they say, Like people like priest;  so we may say,
Like people like king.  The man gets himself appointed and
elected who is ablest--to be appointed and elected.  What can the
incorruptiblest _Bobuses_ elect, if it be not some _Bobissimus,_
should they find such?

Or, again, perhaps there is not, in the whole Nation, Wisdom
enough, 'collect' it as we may, to make an adequate Collective!
That too is a case which may befall:  a ruined man staggers down
to ruin because there was not wisdom enough in him;  so, clearly
also, may Twenty-seven Million collective men!--But indeed one of
the infalliblest fruits of Unwisdom in a Nation is that it cannot
get the use of what Wisdom is actually in it:  that it is not
governed by the wisest it has, who alone have a divine right to
govern in all Nations;  but by the sham-wisest, or even by the
openly not-so-wise if they are handiest otherwise!  This is the
infalliblest result of Unwisdom;  and also the balefullest,
immeasurablest,--not so much what we can call a poison-_fruit,_
as a universal death-disease, and poisoning of the whole tree.
For hereby are fostered, fed into gigantic bulk, all manner of
Unwisdoms, poison-fruits;  till, as we say, the life-tree
everywhere is made a upas-tree, deadly Unwisdom overshadowing all
things;  and there is done what lies in human skill to stifle all
Wisdom everywhere in the birth, to smite our poor world barren of
Wisdom,--and make your utmost Collective Wisdom, were it
collected and elected by Rhadamanthus, AEacus and Minos, not to
speak of drunken Tenpound Franchisers with their ballot-boxes, an
inadequate Collective!  The Wisdom is not now there:  how will
you 'collect' it?  As well wash Thames mud, by improved methods,
to find more gold in it.

Truly, the first condition is indispensable, That Wisdom be
there:  but the second is like unto it, is properly one with it:
these two conditions act and react through every fibre of them,
and go inseparably together.  If you have much Wisdom in your
Nation, you will get it faithfully collected;  for the wise love
Wisdom, and will search for it as for life and salvation.  If you
have little Wisdom, you will get even that little ill-collected,
trampled under foot, reduced as near as possible to annihilation;
for fools do not love Wisdom;  they are foolish, first of all,
because they have never loved Wisdom,--but have loved their own
appetites, ambitions, their coroneted coaches, tankards of heavy-
wet.  Thus is your candle lighted at both ends, and the progress
towards consummation is swift.  Thus is fulfilled that saying in
the Gospel:  To him that hath shall be given;  and from him that
hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.  Very
literally, in a very fatal manner, that saying is here fulfilled.

Our 'Aristocracy of Talent' seems at a considerable distance yet;
does it not, O Bobus?



Chapter VI

Hero-Worship


To the present Editor, not less than to Bobus, a Government of
the Wisest, what Bobus calls an Aristocracy of Talent, seems the
one healing remedy:  but he is not so sanguine as Bobus with
respect to the means of realizing it.  He thinks that we have at
once missed realising it, and come to need it so pressingly,
by departing far from the inner eternal Laws and taking up
with the temporary outer semblances of Laws.  He thinks that
'enlightened Egoism,' never so luminous, is not the rule by
which man's life can be led.  That 'Laissez-faire,' 'Supply-and-
demand,' 'Cash-payment for the sole nexus,' and so forth, were
not, are not, and will never be, a practicable Law of Union for a
Society of Men.  That Poor and Rich, that Governed and Governing,
cannot long live together on any such Law of Union.  Alas, he
thinks that man has a soul in him, _different_ from the stomach
in any sense of this word;  that if said soul be asphyxied, and
lie quietly forgotten, the man and his affairs are in a bad way.
He thinks that said soul will have to be resuscitated from its
asphyxia;  that if it prove irresuscitable, the man is not long
for this world.  In brief, that Midas-eared Mammonism, double-
barreled Dilettantism, and their thousand adjuncts and corollaries,
are not the Law by which God Almighty has appointed this his
Universe to go.  That, once for all, these are not the Law:
and then farther that we shall have to return to what is
the Law,--not by smooth flowery paths, it is like, and with
'tremendous cheers' in our throat;  but over steep untrodden
places, through stormclad chasms, waste oceans, and the bosom of
tornadoes;  thank Heaven, if not through very Chaos and the
Abyss!  The resuscitating of a soul that has gone to asphyxia is
no momentary or pleasant process, but a long and terrible one.


To the present Editor 'Hero-worship,' as he has elsewhere named
it, means much more than an elected Parliament, or stated
Aristocracy, of the Wisest;  for, in his dialect, it is the
summary, ultimate essence, and supreme practical perfection of
all manner of 'worship,' and true worships and noblenesses
whatsoever.  Such  blessed  Parliament and, were it once in
perfection, blessed Aristocracy of the Wisest, god-honoured and
man-honoured, he does look for, more and more perfected,--as the
topmost blessed practical apex of a whole world reformed from
sham-worship, informed anew with worship, with truth and
blessedness!  He thinks that Hero-worship, done differently in
every different epoch of the world, is the soul of all social
business among men;  that the doing of it well, or the doing of
it ill, measures accurately what degree of well-being or of ill-
being there is in the world's affairs.  He thinks that we, on the
whole, do our Hero-worship worse than any Nation in this world
ever did it before:  that the Burns an Exciseman, the Byron a
Literary Lion, are intrinsically, all things considered, a baser
and falser phenomenon than the Odin a God, the Mahomet a Prophet
of God.  It is this Editor's clear opinion, accordingly, that we
must learn to do our Hero-worship better;  that to do it better
and better, means the awakening of the Nation's soul from its
asphyxia, and the return of blessed life to us,--Heaven's blessed
life, not Mammon's galvanic accursed one.  To resuscitate the
Asphyxied, apparently now moribund, and in the last agony if not
resuscitated:  such and no other seems the consummation.

'Hero-worship,' if you will,--yes, friends;  but, first of all,
by being ourselves of heroic mind.  A whole world of Heroes;  a
world not of Flunkeys, where no Hero-King _can_ reign:  that is
what we aim at!  We, for our share, will put away all Flunkeyism,
Baseness, Unveracity from us;  we shall then hope to have
Noblenesses and Veracities set over us;  never till then.  Let
Bobus and Company sneer, "That is your Reform!"  Yes, Bobus, that
is our Reform;  and except in that, and what will follow out of
that, we have no hope at all.  Reform, like Charity, O Bobus,
must begin at home.  Once well at home, how will it radiate
outwards, irrepressible, into all that we touch and handle, speak
and work;  kindling ever new light, by incalculable contagion,
spreading in geometric ratio, far and wide,--doing good only,
wheresoever it spreads, and not evil.

By Reform Bills, Anti-Corn-Law Bills, and thousand other bills
and methods, we will demand of our Governors, with emphasis, and
for the first time not without effect, that they cease to be
quacks, or else depart;  that they set no quackeries and
blockheadisms anywhere to rule over us, that they utter or act no
cant to us,--that it will be better if they do not.  For we shall
now know quacks when we see them;  cant, when we hear it, shall
be horrible to us!  We will say, with the poor Frenchman at the
Bar of the Convention, though in wiser style than he, and 'for
the space' not 'of an hour' but of a lifetime:  _"Je demande
l'arrestation des coquins et des laches."_  'Arrestment of the
knaves and dastards:'  ah, we know what a work that is;  how long
it will be before _they_ are all or mostly got 'arrested:'--but
here is one;  arrest him, in God's name;  it is one fewer!  We
will, in all practicable ways, by word and silence, by act
and refusal to act, energetically demand arrestment,--_"le
demande cette arrestation-la!"_--and by degrees infallibly
attain it.  Infallibly:  for light spreads;  all human
souls, never so bedarkened, love light;  light once kindled
spreads, till all is luminous;--till the cry, "_Arrest_ your
knaves and dastards rises imperative from millions of hearts, and
rings and reigns from sea to sea.  Nay, how many of them may we
not 'arrest' with our own hands, even now;  we!  Do not
countenance them, thou there:  turn away from their lackered
sumptuosities, their belauded sophistries, their serpent
graciosities, their spoken and acted cant, with a sacred horror,
with an _Apage Satanas._--Bobus and Company, and all men will
gradually join us.  We demand arrestment of the knaves and
dastards, and begin by arresting our own poor selves out of that
fraternity.  There is no other reform conceivable.  Thou and I,
my friend, can, in the most flunkey world, make, each of us,
_one_ non-flunkey, one hero, if we like:  that will be two heroes
to begin with:--Courage! even that is a whole world of heroes to
end with, or what we poor Two can do in furtherance thereof!

Yes, friends:  Hero-kings and a whole world not unheroic, there
lies the port and happy haven, towards which, through all these
stormtost seas, French Revolutions, Chartisms, Manchester
Insurrections, that make the heart sick in these bad days, the
Supreme Powers are driving us.  On the whole, blessed be the
Supreme Powers, stern as they are!  Towards that haven will we, O
friends;  let all true men, with what of faculty is in them, bend
valiantly, incessantly, with thousandfold endeavour, thither,
thither!  There, or else in the Ocean-abysses, it is very clear
to me, we shall arrive.


Well;  here truly is no answer to the Sphinx-question;  not the
answer a disconsolate Public, inquiring at the College of Health,
was in hopes of!  A total change of regimen, change of constitution
and existence from the very centre of it;  a new body to be got,
with resuscitated soul,--not without convulsive travail-throes;
as all birth and new-birth presupposes travail!  This is sad news
to a disconsolate discerning Public, hoping to have got off by
some Morrison's Pill, some Saint-John's corrosive mixtures and
perhaps a little blistery friction on the back!--We were prepared
to part with our Corn-Law, with various Laws and Unlaws:  but
this, what is this?

Nor has the Editor forgotten how it fares with your ill-boding
Cassandras in Sieges of Troy.  Imminent perdition is not usually
driven away by words of warning.  Didactic Destiny has other
methods in store;  or these would fail always.  Such words
should, nevertheless, be uttered, when they dwell truly in the
soul of any man.  Words are hard, are importunate;  but how much
harder the importunate events they foreshadow!  Here and there a
human soul may listen to the words,--who knows how many human
souls? whereby the importunate events, if not diverted and
prevented, will be rendered _less_ hard.  The present Editor's
purpose is to himself full of hope.

For though fierce travails, though wide seas and roaring gulfs
lie before us, is it not something if a Loadstar, in the eternal
sky, do once more disclose itself;  an everlasting light, shining
through all cloud-tempests and roaring billows, ever as we emerge
from the trough of the sea:  the blessed beacon, far off on the
edge of far horizons, towards which we are to steer incessantly
for life?  Is it not something;  O Heavens, is it not all?  There
lies the Heroic Promised Land;  under that Heaven's-light, my
brethren, bloom the Happy Isles,--there, O there!  Thither
will we;

     There dwells the great Achilles whom we knew.*

-------------
* Tennyson's _Poems_ (Ulysses)
-----------

There dwell all Heroes, and will dwell:  thither, all ye heroic-
minded!--The Heaven's Loadstar once clearly in our eye, how will
each true man stand truly to _his_ work in the ship;  how, with
undying hope, will all things be fronted, all be conquered.  Nay,
with the ship's prow once turned in that direction, is not all,
as it were, already well?  Sick wasting misery has become noble
manful effort with a goal in our eye.  'The choking Nightmare
chokes us no longer;  for we _stir_ under it;  the Nightmare has
already fled.'--

Certainly, could the present Editor instruct men how to know
Wisdom, Heroism, when they see it, that they might do reverence
to it only, and loyally make it ruler over them,--yes, he were
the living epitome of all Editors, Teachers, Prophets, that
now teach and prophesy;  he were an _Apollo_-Morrison, a
Trismegistus! and _effective_ Cassandra!  Let no Able Editor hope
such things.  It is to be expected the present laws of copyright,
rate of reward per sheet, and other considerations, will save him
from that peril.  Let no Editor hope such things:  no;--and yet
let all Editors aim towards such things, and even towards such
alone!  One knows not what the meaning of editing and writing is,
if even this be not it.

Enough, to the present Editor it has seemed possible some
glimmering of light, for here and there a human soul, might lie
in these confused Paper-Masses now intrusted to him;  wherefore
he determines to edit the same.  Out of old Books, new Writings,
and much Meditation not of yesterday, he will endeavour to select
a thing or two;  and from the Past, in a circuitous way,
illustrate the Present and the Future.  The Past is a dim
indubitable fact:  the Future too is one, only dimmer;  nay
properly it is the same fact in new dress and development.  For
the Present holds in it both the whole Past and the whole
Future;--as the LIFE-TREE IGDRASIL, wide-waving, many-toned, has
its roots down deep in the Death-kingdoms, among the oldest dead
dust of men, and with its boughs reaches always beyond the stars;
and in all times and places is one and the same Life-tree!



Book II--The Ancient Monk



Chapter I

Jocelin of Brakelond


We will, in this Second Portion of our Work, strive to penetrate
a little, by means of certain confused Papers, printed and other,
into a somewhat remote Century; and to look face to face on it,
in hope of perhaps illustrating our own poor Century thereby.  It
seems a circuitous way;  but it may prove a way nevertheless.
For man has ever been a striving, struggling, and, in spite of
wide-spread calumnies to the contrary, a veracious creature:  the
Centuries too are all lineal children of one another;  and often,
in the portrait of early grandfathers, this and the other
enigmatic feature of the newest grandson shall disclose itself,
to mutual elucidation.  This Editor will venture on such a thing.

Besides, in Editors' Books, and indeed everywhere else in the
world of Today, a certain latitude of movement grows more and
more becoming for the practical man.  Salvation lies not in tight
lacing, in these times;--how far from that, in any province
whatsoever!  Readers and men generally are getting into strange
habits of asking all persons and things, from poor Editors' Books
up to Church Bishops and State Potentates, not, By what
designation are thou called;  in what wig and black triangle dost
thou walk abroad?  Heavens, I know thy designation and black
triangle well enough!  But, in God's name, what _art_ thou?  Not
Nothing, sayest thou!  Then if not, How much and what?  This is
the thing I would know;  and even _must_ soon know, such a pass
am I come to!--What weather-symptoms,--not for the poor Editor of
Books alone!  The Editor of Books may understand withal that if,
as is said, 'many kinds are permissible,' there is one kind not
permissible, 'the kind that has nothing in it, _le genre
ennuyeux;'_  and go on his way accordingly.

A certain Jocelinus de Brakelonda, a natural-born Englishman, has
left us an extremely foreign Book,* which the labours of the
Camden Society have brought to light in these days.  Jocelin's
Book, the 'Chronicle,' or private Boswellean Notebook, of
Jocelin, a certain old St. Edmundsbury Monk and Boswell, now
seven centuries old, how remote is it from us;  exotic,
extraneous;  in all ways, coming from far abroad!  The language
of it is not foreign only but dead:  Monk-Latin lies across not
the British Channel, but the ninefold Stygian Marshes, Stream of
Lethe, and one knows not where!  Roman Latin itself, still
alive for us in the Elysian Fields of Memory, is domestic
in comparison.  And then the ideas, life-furniture, whole
workings and ways of this worthy Jocelin;  covered deeper than
Pompeii with the lava-ashes and inarticulate wreck of seven
hundred years!

----------
* _Chronica Jocelini de Brakelonda, de rebus gestis Samsonis
Abbatis Monasterii Sancti Edmundi: nunc primum typis mandata,
curante Johanne Gage Rokewood._  (Camden Society, London, 1840)
----------

Jocelin of Brakelond cannot be called a conspicuous literary
character;  indeed few mortals that have left so visible a work,
or footmark, behind them can be more obscure.  One other of those
vanished Existences, whose work has not yet vanished;--almost a
pathetic phenomenon, were not the whole world full of such!  The
builders of Stonehenge, for example:--or alas, what say we,
Stonehenge and builders?  The writers of the _Universal Review_
and _Homer's Iliad;_  the paviers of London streets;--sooner
or later, the entire Posterity of Adam!  It is a pathetic
phenomenon;  but an irremediable, nay, if well meditated, a
consoling one.

By his dialect of Monk-Latin, and indeed by his name, this
Jocelin seems to have been a Norman Englishman;  the surname de
Brakelonda indicates a native of St. Edmundsbury itself,
_Brakelond_ being the known old name of a street or quarter in
that venerable Town.  Then farther, sure enough, our Jocelin was
a Monk of St. Edmundsbury Convent;  held some _'obedientia,'_
subaltern officiality there, or rather, in succession several;
was, for one thing, 'chaplain to my Lord Abbot, living beside him
night and day for the space of six years;'--which last, indeed,
is the grand fact of Jocelin's existence, and properly the origin
of this present Book, and of the chief meaning it has for us now.
He was, as we have hinted, a kind of born _Boswell,_ though an
infinitesimally small one;  neither did he altogether want his
_Johnson_ even there and then.  Johnsons are rare;  yet, as has
been asserted, Boswels perhaps still rarer,--the more is the pity
on both sides!  This Jocelin, as we can discern well, was an
ingenious and ingenuous, a cheery-hearted, innocent, yet withal
shrewd, noticing, quick-wilted man;  and from under his monk's
cowl has looked out on that narrow section of the world in a
really _human_ manner;  not in any _simial,_ canine, ovine, or
otherwise inhuman manner,--afflictive to all that have humanity!
The man is of patient, peaceable, loving, clear-smiling nature;
open for this and that.  A wise simplicity is in him;  much
natural sense;  a _veracity_ that goes deeper than words.
Veracity:  it is the basis of all;  and, some say, means genius
itself;  the prime essence of all genius whatsoever.  Our
Jocelin, for the rest, has read his classical manuscripts, his
Virgilius, his Flaccus, Ovidius Naso;  of course still more, his
Homilies and Breviaries, and if not the Bible, considerable
extracts of the Bible.  Then also he has a pleasant wit;  and
loves a timely joke, though in mild subdued manner:  very amiable
to see.  A learned grown man, yet with the heart of a good
child;  whose whole life indeed has been that of a child,--St.
Edmundsbury Monastery a larger kind of cradle for him, in which
his whole prescribed duty was to _sleep_ kindly, and love his
mother well!  This is the Biography of Jocelin;  'a man of
excellent religion,' says one of his contemporary Brother Monks,
_'eximiae religionis, potens sermone et opere.'_

For one thing, he had learned to write a kind of Monk or Dog-
Latin, still readable to mankind;  and, by good luck for us, had
bethought him of noting down thereby what things seemed notablest
to him.  Hence gradually resulted a _Chronica Jocelini;_  new
Manuscript in the _Liber Albus_ of St. Edmundsbury.  Which
Chronicle, once written in its childlike transparency, in its
innocent good-humour, not without touches of ready pleasant wit
and many kinds of worth, other men liked naturally to read:
whereby it failed not to be copied, to be multiplied, to be
inserted in the _Liber Albus;_  and so surviving Henry the
Eighth, Putney Cromwell, the Dissolution of Monasteries, and all
accidents of malice and neglect for six centuries or so, it got
into the _Harleian Collection,_--and has now therefrom, by Mr.
Rokewood of the Camden Society, been deciphered into clear print;
and lies before us, a dainty thin quarto, to interest for a few
minutes whomsoever it can.

Here too it will behove a just Historian gratefully to say that
Mr. Rokewood, Jocelin's Editor, has done his editorial function
well.  Not only has he deciphered his crabbed Manuscript into
clear print;  but he has attended, what his fellow editors are
not always in the habit of doing, to the important truth that the
Manuscript so deciphered ought to have a meaning for the reader.
Standing faithfully by his text, and printing its very errors in
spelling, in grammar or otherwise, he has taken care by some note
to indicate that they are errors, and what the correction of them
ought to be.  Jocelin's Monk-Latin is generally transparent, as
shallow limpid water.  But at any stop that may occur, of which
there are a few, and only a very few, we have the comfortable
assurance that a meaning does lie in the passage, and may by
industry be got at;  that a faithful editor's industry had
already got at it before passing on.  A compendious useful
Glossary is given;  nearly adequate to help the uninitiated
through:  sometimes one wishes it had been a trifle larger;
but, with a Spelman and Ducange at your elbow, how easy to have
made it far too large!  Notes are added, generally brief;
sufficiently explanatory of most points.  Lastly, a copious
correct Index;  which no such Book should want, and which
unluckily very few possess.  And so, in a word, the _Chronicle of
Jocelin_ is, as it professes to be, unwrapped from its thick
cerements, and fairly brought forth into the common daylight, so
that he who runs, and has a smattering of grammar, may read.

We have heard so much of Monks;  everywhere, in real and
fictitious History, from Muratori Annals to Radcliffe Romances,
these singular two-legged animals, with their rosaries and
breviaries, with their shaven crowns, hair-cilices, and vows of
poverty, masquerade so strangely through our fancy;  and they are
in fact so very strange an extinct species of the human family,--
a veritable Monk of Bury St. Edmunds is worth attending to, if by
chance made visible and audible.  Here he is;  and in his hand a
magical speculum, much gone to rust indeed, yet in fragments
still clear;  wherein the marvelous image of his existence does
still shadow itself, though fitfully, and as with an intermittent
light!  Will not the reader peep with us into this singular
_camera lucida,_ where an extinct species, though fitfully, can
still be seen alive?  Extinct species, we say;  for the live
specimens which still go about under that character are too
evidently to be classed as spurious in Natural History:  the
Gospel of Richard Arkwright once promulgated, no Monk of the old
sort is any longer possible in this world.  But fancy a deep-
buried Mastodon, some fossil Megatherion, Ichthyosaurus, were
to begin to speak from amid its rock-swathings, never so
indistinctly!  The most extinct fossil species of Men or Monks
can do, and does, this miracle,--thanks to the Letters of the
Alphabet, good for so many things.

Jocelin, we said, was somewhat of a Boswell;  but unfortunately,
by Nature, he is none of the largest, and distance has now
dwarfed him to an extreme degree.  His light is most feeble,
intermittent, and requires the intensest kindest inspection;
otherwise it will disclose mere vacant haze.  It must be owned,
the good Jocelin, spite of his beautiful childlike character, is
but an altogether imperfect 'mirror' of these old-world things!
The good man, he looks on us so clear and cheery, and in his
neighbourly soft-smiling eyes we see so well our _own_ shadow,--
we have a longing always to cross-question him, to force from him
an explanation of much.  But no;  Jocelin, though he talks with
such clear familiarity, like a next-door neighbour, will not
answer any question:  that is the peculiarity of him, dead these
six hundred and fifty years, and quite deaf to us, though still
so audible!  The good man, he cannot help it, nor can we.

But truly it is a strange consideration this simple one, as we go
on with him, or indeed with any lucid simple-hearted soul like
him:  Behold therefore, this England of the Year 1200 was no
chimerical vacuity or dreamland, peopled with mere vaporous
Fantasms, Rymer's Foedera, and Doctrines of the Constitution, but
a green solid place, that grew corn and several other things.
The Sun shone on it;  the vicissitude of seasons and human
fortunes.  Cloth was woven and worn;  ditches were dug,
furrowfields ploughed, and houses built.  Day by day all men and
cattle rose to labour, and night by night returned home weary to
their several lairs.  In wondrous Dualism, then as now, lived
nations of breathing men;  alternating, in all ways, between
Light and Dark;  between joy and sorrow, between rest and toil,
between hope, hope reaching high as Heaven, and fear deep as very
Hell.  Not vapour Fantasms, Rymer's Foedera at all!  Coeur-de-
Lion was not a theatrical popinjay with greaves and steelcap on
it, but a man living upon victuals,--_not_ imported by Peel's
Tariff.  Coeur-de-Lion came palpably athwart this Jocelin at St.
Edmundsbury;  and had almost peeled the sacred gold _'Feretrum,'_
or St. Edmund Shrine itself, to ransom him out of the Danube Jail.

These clear eyes of neighbour Jocelin looked on the bodily
presence of King John;  the very John _Sansterre,_ or Lackland,
who signed _Magna Charta_ afterwards in Runnymead.  Lackland,
with a great retinue, boarded once, for the matter of a
fortnight, in St. Edmundsbury Convent;  daily in the very
eyesight, palpable to the very fingers of our Jocelin:  O
Jocelin, what did he say, what did he do;  how looked he, lived
he;--at the very lowest, what coat or breeches had he on?
Jocelin is obstinately silent.  Jocelin marks down what interests
_him;_  entirely deaf to _us._  With Jocelin's eyes we discern
almost nothing of John Lackland.  As through a glass darkly, we
with our own eyes and appliances, intensely looking, discern at
most:  A blustering, dissipated, human figure, with a kind of
blackguard quality air, in cramoisy velvet, or other uncertain
texture, uncertain cut, with much plumage and fringing;  amid
numerous other human figures of the like;  riding abroad with
hawks;  talking noisy nonsense;--tearing out the bowels of St.
Edmundsbury Convent (its larders namely and cellars) in the most
ruinous way, by living at rack and manger there.  Jocelin notes
only, with a slight subacidity of manner, that the King's
Majesty, _Dominus Rex,_ did leave, as gift for our St. Edmund
Shrine, a handsome enough silk cloak,--or rather pretended to
leave, for one of his retinue borrowed it of us, and we never got
sight of it again;  and, on the whole, that the _Dominus Rex,_ at
departing, gave us 'thirteen _sterlingii,'_ one shilling and one
penny, to say a mass for him;  and so departed,--like a shabby
Lackland as he was!  'Thirteen pence sterling,' this was what the
Convent got from Lackland, for all the victuals he and his had
made away with.  We of course said our mass for him, having
covenanted to do it,--but let impartial posterity judge with what
degree of fervour!

And in this manner vanishes King Lackland;  traverses swiftly our
strange intermittent magic-mirror, jingling the shabby thirteen
pence merely;  and rides with his hawks into Egyptian night
again.  It is Jocelin's manner with all things;  and it is men's
manner and men's necessity.  How intermittent is our good
Jocelin;  marking down, without eye to _us,_ what _he_ finds
interesting!  How much in Jocelin, as in all History, and indeed
in all Nature, is at once inscrutable and certain;  so dim, yet
so indubitable;  exciting us to endless considerations.  For King
Lackland was there, verily he;  and did leave these _tredecim
sterlingii_ if nothing more, and did live and look in one way
or the other, and a whole world was living and looking along
with him!  There, we say, is the grand peculiarity;  the
immeasurable one;  distinguishing, to a really infinite degree,
the poorest historical Fact from all Fiction whatsoever.  Fiction,
'Imagination,' 'Imaginative Poetry,' &c. &c., except as the
vehicle for truth, or _fact_ of some sort,--which surely a man
should first try various other ways of vehiculating, and
conveying safe,--what is it?  Let the Minerva and other Presses
respond!--But it is time we were in St. Edmundsbury Monastery,
and Seven good Centuries off.  If indeed it be possible, by any
aid of Jocelin, by any human art, to get thither, with a reader
or two still following us?



Chapter II

St. Edmundsbury


The _Burg,_ Bury, or 'Berry' as they call it, of St. Edmund is
still a prosperous brisk Town;  beautifully diversifying, with
its clear brick houses, ancient clean streets, and twenty or
fifteen thousand busy souls, the general grassy face of Suffolk;
looking out right pleasantly, from its hill-slope, towards the
rising Sun:  and on the eastern edge of it, still runs, long,
black and massive, a range of monastic ruins;  into the wide
internal spaces of which the stranger is admitted on payment of
one shilling.  Internal spaces laid out, at present, as a botanic
garden.  Here stranger or townsman, sauntering at his leisure
amid these vast grim venerable ruins, may persuade himself that
an Abbey of St. Edmundsbury did once exist;  nay there is
no doubt of it:  see here the ancient massive Gateway, of
architecture interesting to the eye of Dilettantism;  and farther
on, that other ancient Gateway, now about to tumble, unless
Dilettantism, in these very months, can subscribe money to cramp
it and prop it!

Here, sure enough, is an Abbey;  beautiful in the eye of
Dilettantism.  Giant Pedantry also will step in, with its huge
_Dugdale_ and other enormous _Monasticons_ under its arm, and
cheerfully apprise you.  That this was a very great Abbey, owner
and indeed creator of St. Edmund's Town itself, owner of wide
lands and revenues;  nay that its lands were once a county of
themselves;  that indeed King Canute or Knut was very kind to it;
and gave St. Edmund his own gold crown off his head, on one
occasion:  for the rest, that the Monks were of such and such a
genus, such and such a number;  that they had so many Carucates
of land in this hundred, and so many in that;  and then farther
that the large Tower or Belfry was built by such a one, and the
smaller Belfry was built by &c. &c.--Till human nature can stand
no more of it;  till human nature desperately take refuge in
forgetfulness, almost in flat disbelief of the whole business,
Monks, Monastery, Belfries, Carucates and all!  Alas, what
mountains of dead ashes, wreck and burnt bones, does assiduous
Pedantry dig up from the Past Time, and name it History, and
Philosophy of History;  till, as we say, the human soul sinks
wearied and bewildered;  till the Past Time seems all one
infinite incredible grey void, without sun, stars, hearth-fires,
or candle-light;  dim offensive dust-whirlwinds filling universal
Nature;  and over your Historical Library, it is as if all the
Titans had written for themselves:  DRY RUBBISH SHOT HERE!


And yet these grim old walls are not a dilettantism and dubiety;
they are an earnest fact.  It was a most real and serious purpose
they were built for!  Yes, another world it was, when these black
ruins, white in their new mortar and fresh chiseling, first saw
the sun as walls, long ago.  Gauge not, with thy dilettante
compasses, with that placid dilettante simper, the Heaven's-
Watchtower of our Fathers, the fallen God's-Houses, the Golgotha
of true Souls departed!

Their architecture, belfries, land-carucates?  Yes,--and that is
but a small item of the matter.  Does it never give thee pause,
this other strange item of it, that men then had a _soul,_--not
by hearsay alone, and as a figure of speech;  but as a truth that
they knew, and practically went upon!  Verily it was another
world then.  Their Missals have become incredible, a sheer
platitude, sayest thou?  Yes, a most poor platitude;  and even,
if thou wilt, an idolatry and blasphemy, should any one persuade
_thee_ to believe them, to pretend praying by them.  But yet it
is pity we had lost tidings of our souls:--actually we shall
have to go in quest of them again, or worse in all ways will
befall!  A certain degree of soul, as Ben Jonson reminds us, is
indispensable to keep the very body from destruction of the
frightfullest sort;  to 'save us,' says he, 'the expense of
_salt.'_  Ben has known men who had soul enough to keep their
body and five senses from becoming carrion, and save salt:--men,
and also Nations.  You may look in Manchester Hunger-mobs and
Corn-law Commons Houses, and various other quarters, and
say whether either soul or else salt is not somewhat wanted
at present!--

Another world, truly:  and this present poor distressed world
might get some profit by looking wisely into it, instead of
foolishly.  But at lowest, O dilettante friend, let us know
always that it was a world, and not a void infinite of grey haze
with fantasms swimming in it.  These old St. Edmundsbury walls, I
say, were not peopled with fantasms;  but with men of flesh and
blood, made altogether as we are.  Had thou and I then been, who
knows but we ourselves had taken refuge from an evil Time, and
fled to dwell here, and meditate on an Eternity, in such fashion
as we could?  Alas, how like an old osseous fragment, a broken
blackened shin-bone of the old dead Ages, this black ruin looks
out, not yet covered by the soil;  still indicating what a once
gigantic Life lies buried there!  It is dead now, and dumb;  but
was alive once, and spake.  For twenty generations, here was the
earthly arena where painful living men worked out their life-
wrestle,--looked at by Earth, by Heaven and Hell.  Bells tolled
to prayers;  and men, of many humours, various thoughts, chanted
vespers, matins;--and round the little islet of their life rolled
forever (as round ours still rolls, though we are blind and deaf)
the illimitable Ocean, tinting all things with _its_ eternal hues
and reflexes;  making strange prophetic music!  How silent now;
all departed, clean gone.  The World-Dramaturgist has written:
_Exeunt._  The devouring Time-Demons have made away with it all:
and in its stead, there is either nothing;  or what is worse,
offensive universal dustclouds, and grey eclipse of Earth and
Heaven, from 'dry rubbish shot here!'--


Truly, it is no easy matter to get across the chasm of Seven
Centuries, filled with such material.  But here, of all helps, is
not a Boswell the welcomest;  even a small Boswell?  Veracity,
true simplicity of heart, how valuable are these always!  He that
speaks what _is_ really in him, will find men to listen, though
under never such impediments.  Even gossip, springing free and
cheery from a human heart, this too is a kind of veracity and
_speech;_--much preferable to pedantry and inane grey haze!
Jocelin is weak and garrulous, but he is human.  Through the thin
watery gossip of our Jocelin, we do get some glimpses of that
deep-buried Time;  discern veritably, though in a fitful
intermittent manner, these antique figures and their life-method,
face to face!  Beautifully, in our earnest loving glance, the old
centuries melt from opaque to partially translucent, transparent
here and there;  and the void black Night, one finds, is but the
summing up of innumerable peopled luminous _Days._  Not parchment
Chartularies, Doctrines of the Constitution, O Dryasdust;  not
altogether, my erudite friend!--

Readers who please to go along with us into this poor _Jocelini
Chronica_ shall wander inconveniently enough, as in wintry
twilight, through some poor stript hazel-grove, rustling with
foolish noises, and perpetually hindering the eyesight;  but
across which, here and there, some real human figure is seen
moving:  very strange;  whom we could hail if he would answer;--
and we look into a pair of eyes deep as our own, _imaging_ our
own, but all unconscious of us;  to whom we for the time are
become as spirits and invisible!



Chapter III

Landlord Edmund


Some three centuries or so had elapsed since _Beodric's-worth_*
became St. Edmund's _Stow,_ St. Edmund's _Town_ and Monastery,
before Jocelin entered himself a Novice there.  'It was,' says
he, 'the year after the Flemings were defeated at Fornham St.
Genevieve.'

-------------
* Dryasdust puzzles and pokes for some biography of this Beodric;
and repugns to consider him a mere East-Anglian Person of
Condition, not in need of a biography,--whose [script] _weorth_
or _worth,_ that is to say, _Growth,_ Increase, or as we should
now name it, _Estate,_ that same Hamlet and wood Mansion, now St.
Edmund's Bury, originally was.  For, adds our erudite Friend, the
Saxon [script], equivalent to the German _werden,_ means to
_grow,_ to _become;_  traces of which old vocable are still found
in the North-country dialects, as, 'What is _word_ of him?
meaning 'What is become of him?' and the like.  Nay we in modern
English still say, 'Woe _worth_ the hour' (Woe _befall_ the
hour), and speak of the _'Weird_ Sisters;'  not to mention the
innumerable other names of places still ending in _weorth_ or
_worth._  And indeed, our common noun _worth,_ in the sense of
_value,_ does not this mean simply, What a thing has _grown_ to,
What a man has _grown_ to, How much he amounts to,--by the
Threadneedle-street standard or another!
--------------

Much passes away into oblivion:  this glorious victory over
the Flemings at Fornham has, at the present date, greatly
dimmed itself out of the minds of men.  A victory and battle
nevertheless it was, in its time:  some thrice-renowned Earl of
Leicester, not of the De Montfort breed, (as may be read in
Philosophical and other Histories, could any human memory retain
such things,) had quarreled with his sovereign, Henry Second of
the name;  had been worsted, it is like, and maltreated, and
obliged to fly to foreign parts;  but had rallied there into new
vigour;  and so, in the year 1173, returns across the German Sea
with a vengeful army of Flemings.  Returns, to the coast of
Suffolk;  to Framlingham Castle, where he is welcomed;  westward
towards St. Edmundsbury and Fornham Church, where he is met by
the constituted authorities with _posse comitatus;_  and swiftly
cut in pieces, he and his, or laid by the heels;  on the right
bank of the obscure river Lark,--as traces still existing
will verify.

For the river Lark, though not very discoverably, still runs or
stagnates in that country;  and the battle-ground is there;
serving at present as a pleasure-ground to his Grace of
Newcastle.  Copper pennies of Henry II are still found there;--
rotted out from the pouches of poor slain soldiers, who had not
had _time_ to buy liquor with them.  In the river Lark itself was
fished up, within man's memory, an antique gold ring;  which fond
Dilettantism can almost believe may have been the very ring
Countess Leicester threw away, in her flight, into that same Lark
river or ditch.*  Nay, few years ago, in tearing out an enormous
superannuated ash-tree, now grown quite corpulent, bursten,
superfluous, but long a fixture in the soil, and not to be
dislodged without revolution,--there was laid bare, under its
roots, 'a circular mound of skeletons wonderfully complete,' all
radiating from a centre, faces upwards, feet inwards;  a
'radiation' not of Light, but of the Nether Darkness rather;  and
evidently the fruit of battle;  for 'many of the heads were
cleft, or had arrow-holes in them.  The Battle of Fornham,
therefore, is a fact, though a forgotten one;  no less obscure
than undeniable,--like so many other facts.

----------
*Lyttelton's _History of Henry II._ (2nd Edition), v. 169, &c.
----------

Like the St. Edmund's Monastery itself!  Who can doubt, after
what we have said, that there was a Monastery here at one time?
No doubt at all there was a Monastery here;  no doubt, some three
centuries prior to this Fornham Battle, there dwelt a man in
these parts, of the name of Edmund, King, Landlord, Duke or
whatever his title was, of the Eastern Counties;--and a very
singular man and landlord he must have been.

For his tenants, it would appear, did not complain of him in the
least;  his labourers did not think of burning his wheatstacks,
breaking into his game-preserves;  very far the reverse of all
that.  Clear evidence, satisfactory even to my friend Dryasdust,
exists that, on the contrary, they honoured, loved, admired this
ancient Landlord to a quite astonishing degree,--and indeed at
last to an immeasurable and inexpressible degree;  for, finding
no limits or utterable words for their sense of his worth, they
took to beatifying and adoring him!  'Infinite admiration,' we
are taught, 'means worship.'

Very singular,--could we discover it!  What Edmund's specific
duties were;  above all, what his method of discharging them with
such results was, would surely be interesting to know;  but are
_not_ very discoverable now.  His Life has become a poetic, nay a
religious _Mythus;_  though, undeniably enough, it was once a
prose Fact, as our poor lives are;  and even a very rugged
unmanageable one.  This landlord Edmund did go about in leather
shoes, with _femoralia_  and bodycoat of some sort on him;  and
daily had his breakfast to procure;  and daily had contradictory
speeches, and most contradictory facts not a few, to reconcile
with himself.  No man becomes a Saint in his sleep.  Edmund, for
instance, instead of _reconciling_ those same contradictory facts
and speeches to himself;  which means _subduing,_ and, in a
manlike and godlike manner, conquering them to himself,--might
have merely thrown new contention into them, new unwisdom into
them, and so been conquered _by_ them;  much the commoner case!
In that way he had proved no 'Saint,' or Divine-looking Man, but
a mere Sinner, and unfortunate, blameable, more or less Diabolic-
looking man!  No landlord Edmund becomes infinitely admirable in
his sleep.

With what degree of wholesome rigour his rents were collected we
hear not.  Still less by what methods he preserved his game,
whether by 'bushing' or how,--and if the partridge-seasons were
'excellent,' or were indifferent.  Neither do we ascertain what
kind of Corn-bill he passed, or wisely-adjusted Sliding-scale:--
but indeed there were few spinners in those days;  and the
nuisance of spinning, and other dusty labour, was not yet so
glaring a one.

How then, it may be asked, did this Edmund rise into favour;
become to such astonishing extent a recognised Farmer's Friend?
Really, except it were by doing justly and loving mercy, to an
unprecedented extent, one does not know.  The man, it would seem,
'had walked,' as they say, 'humbly with God;'  humbly and
valiantly with God;  struggling to make the Earth heavenly, as he
could:  instead of walking sumptuously and pridefully with
Mammon, leaving the Earth to grow hellish as it liked.  Not
sumptuously with Mammon?  How then could he 'encourage trade,'--
cause Howel and James, and many wine-merchants to bless him, and
the tailor's heart (though in a very short-sighted manner) to
sing for joy?  Much in this Edmund's Life is mysterious.

That he could, on occasion, do what he liked with his own is,
meanwhile, evident enough.  Certain Heathen Physical-Force Ultra-
Chartists, 'Danes' as they were then called, coming into his
territory with their 'five points,' or rather with their five-
and-twenty thousand _points_ and edges too, of pikes namely and
battleaxes;  and proposing mere Heathenism, confiscation,
spoliation, and fire and sword,--Edmund answered that he would
oppose to the utmost such savagery.  They took him prisoner;
again required his sanction to said proposals.  Edmund again
refused.  Cannot we kill you? cried they.--Cannot I die? answered
he.  My life, I think, is my own to do what I like with!  And he
died, under barbarous tortures, refusing to the last breath;  and
the Ultra-Chartist Danes _lost_ their propositions;--and went
with their 'points' and other apparatus, as is supposed, to the
Devil, the Father of them.  Some say, indeed, these Danes were
not Ultra-Chartists, but Ultra-Tories, demanding to reap where
they had not sown, and live in this world without working, though
all the world should starve for it;  which likewise seems a
possible hypothesis.  Be what they might, they went, as we say,
to the Devil;  and Edmund doing what he liked with his own, the
Earth was got cleared of them.

Another version is, that Edmund on this and the like occasions
stood by his order;  the oldest, and indeed only true order of
Nobility known under the stars, that of just Men and Sons of God,
in opposition to Unjust and Sons of Belial,--which latter indeed
are _second_-oldest, but yet a very unvenerable order.  This,
truly, seems the likeliest hypothesis of all.  Names and
appearances alter so strangely, in some half-score centuries;
and all fluctuates chameleon-like, taking now this hue, now that.
Thus much is very plain, and does not change hue:  Landlord
Edmund was seen and felt by all men to have done verily a man's
part in this life-pilgrimage of his;  and benedictions, and
outflowing love and admiration from the universal heart, were his
meed.  Well-done!  Well-done! cried the hearts of all men.  They
raised his slain and martyred body;  washed its wounds with fast-
flowing universal tears;  tears of endless pity, and yet of a
sacred joy and triumph.  The beautifullest kind of tears,--indeed
perhaps the beautifullest kind of thing:  like a sky all flashing
diamonds and prismatic radiance;  all weeping, yet shone on by
the everlasting Sun:--and _this_ is not a sky, it is a Soul and
living Face!  Nothing liker the _Temple of the Highest,_ bright
with some real effulgence of the Highest, is seen in this world.

O, if all Yankee-land follow a small good 'Schnuspel the
distinguished Novelist' with blazing torches, dinner-invitations,
universal hep-hep-hurrah, feeling that he, though small, is
something;  how might all Angle-land once follow a hero-martyr
and great true Son of Heaven!  It is the very joy of man's heart
to admire, where he can;  nothing so lifts him from all his mean
imprisonments, were it but for moments, as true admiration.  Thus
it has been said, 'all men, especially all women, are born
worshipers;'  and will worship, if it be but possible.  Possible
to worship a Something, even a small one;  not so possible a mere
loud-blaring Nothing!  What sight is more pathetic than that of
poor multitudes of persons met to gaze at King's Progresses,'
Lord Mayor's Shews, and other gilt-gingerbread phenomena of the
worshipful sort, in these times;  each so eager to worship;
each, with a dim fatal sense of disappointment, finding that he
cannot rightly here!  These be thy gods, O Israel?  And thou art
so _willing_ to worship,--poor Israel!

In this manner, however, did the men of the Eastern Counties take
up the slain body of their Edmund, where it lay cast forth in the
village of Hoxne;  seek out the severed head, and reverently
reunite the same.  They embalmed him with myrrh and sweet spices,
with love, pity, and all high and awful thoughts;  consecrating
him with a very storm of melodious adoring admiration, and sun-
dyed showers of tears;--joyfully, yet with awe (as all deep joy
has something of the awful in it), commemorating his noble deeds
and godlike walk and conversation while on Earth.  Till, at
length, the very Pope and Cardinals at Rome were forced to hear
of it;  and they, summing up as correctly as they well could,
with _Advocatus-Diaboli_ pleadings and their other forms of
process, the general verdict of mankind, declared:  That he had,
in very fact, led a hero's life in this world;  and being now
_gone,_ was gone as they conceived to God above, and reaping his
reward _there._  Such, they said, was the best judgment they
could form of the case;--and truly not a bad judgment.
Acquiesced in, zealously adopted, with full assent of 'private
judgment,' by all mortals.


The rest of St. Edmund's history, for the reader sees he has now
become a _Saint,_ is easily conceivable.  Pious munificence
provided him a _loculus,_ a _feretrum_ or shrine;  built for him
a wooden chapel, a stone temple, ever widening and growing by new
pious gifts;--such the overflowing heart feels it a blessedness
to solace itself by giving.  St. Edmund's Shrine glitters now
with diamond flowerages, with a plating of wrought gold.  The
wooden chapel, as we say, has become a stone temple.  Stately
masonries, longdrawn arches, cloisters, sounding aisles buttress
it, begirdle it far and wide.  Regimented companies of men, of
whom our Jocelin is one, devote themselves, in every generation,
to meditate here on man's Nobleness and Awfulness, and celebrate
and shew forth the same, as they best can,--thinking they will do
it better here, in presence of God the Maker, and of the so Awful
and so Noble made by Him.  In one word, St. Edmund's Body has
raised a Monastery round it.  To such length, in such manner, has
the Spirit of the Time visibly taken body, and crystallised
itself here.  New gifts, houses, farms, _katalla_*--come ever in.
King Knut, whom men call Canute, whom the Ocean-tide would not be
forbidden to wet,--we heard already of this wise King, with his
crown and gifts;  but of many others, Kings, Queens, wise men and
noble loyal women, let Dryasdust and divine Silence be the
record!  Beodric's-Worth has become St. Edmund's _Bury;_--and
lasts visible to this hour.  All this that thou now seest, and
namest Bury Town, is properly the Funeral Monument of Saint or
Landlord Edmund.  The present respectable Mayor of Bury may be
said, like a Fakeer (little as he thinks of it), to have his
dwelling in the extensive, many-sculptured Tombstone of St.
Edmund;  in one of the brick niches thereof dwells the present
respectable Mayor of Bury.

---------
* Goods, properties; what we now call _chattels,_ and still more
singularly _cattle,_ says my erudite friend!
---------

Certain Times do crystallise themselves in a magnificent manner;
and others, perhaps, are like to do it in rather a shabby one!--
But Richard Arkwright too will have his Monument, a thousand
years hence:  all Lancashire and Yorkshire, and how many other
shires and countries, with their machineries and industries, for
his monument!  A true _pyr_amid or _'flame_-mountain,' flaming
with steam fires and useful labour over wide continents, usefully
towards the Stars, to a certain height;--how much grander than
your foolish Cheops Pyramids or Sakhara clay ones!  Let us withal
be hopeful, be content or patient.



Chapter IV

Abbot Hugo


It is true, all things have two faces, a light one and a dark.
It is true, in three centuries much imperfection accumulates;
many an Ideal, monastic or other, shooting forth into practice as
it can, grows to a strange enough Reality;  and we have to ask
with amazement, Is this your Ideal!  For, alas, the Ideal always
has to grow in the Real, and to seek out its bed and board there,
often in a very sorry way.  No beautifullest Poet is a Bird-of-
Paradise, living on perfumes;  sleeping in the aether with
outspread wings.  The Heroic, _independent_ of bed and board, is
found in Drury Lane Theatre only;  to avoid disappointments, let
us bear this in mind.

By the law of Nature, too, all manner of Ideals have their fatal
limits and lot;  their appointed periods, of youth, of maturity
or perfection, of decline, degradation, and final death and
disappearance.  There is nothing born but has to die.  Ideal
monasteries, once grown real, do seek bed and board in this
world;  do find it more and more successfully;  do get at length
too intent on finding it, exclusively intent on that.  They are
then like diseased corpulent bodies fallen idiotic, which merely
eat and sleep;  _ready_ for 'dissolution,' by a Henry the Eighth
or some other.  Jocelin's St. Edmundsbury is still far from this
last dreadful state:  but here too the reader will prepare
himself to see an Ideal not sleeping in the nether like a bird-
of-paradise, but roosting as the common woodfowl do, in an
imperfect, uncomfortable, more or less contemptible manner!--


Abbot Hugo, as Jocelin, breaking at once into the heart of the
business, apprises us, had in those days grown old, grown rather
blind, and his eyes were somewhat darkened, _aliquantulum
caligaverunt oculi ejus._  He dwelt apart very much, in his
_Talamus_ or peculiar Chamber;  got into the hands of flatterers,
a set of mealy-mouthed persons who strove to make the passing
hour easy for him,--for him easy, and for themselves profitable;
accumulating in the distance mere mountains of confusion.  Old
Dominus Hugo sat inaccessible in this way, far in the interior,
wrapt in his warm flannels and delusions;  inaccessible to all
voice of Fact; and bad grew ever worse with us.  Not that our
worthy old _Dominus Abbas_ was inattentive to the divine offices,
or to the maintenance of a devout spirit in us or in himself;
but the Account-Books of the Convent fell into the frightfullest
state, and Hugo's annual Budget grew yearly emptier, or filled
with futile expectations, fatal deficit, wind and debts!

His one worldly care was to raise ready money;  sufficient for
the day is the evil thereof.  And how he raised it:  From
usurious insatiable Jews;  every fresh Jew sticking on him like a
fresh horseleech, sucking his and our life out;  crying
continually, Give, Give!  Take one example instead of scores.
Our _Camera_ having fallen into ruin, William the Sacristan
received charge to repair it;  strict charge, but no money;
Abbot Hugo would, and indeed could, give him no fraction
of money.  The _Camera_ in ruins, and Hugo penniless and
inaccessible, Willelmus Sacrista borrowed Forty Mares (some
Seven-and-twenty Pounds) of Benedict the Jew, and patched up our
Camera again.  But the means of repaying him?  There were no
means.  Hardly could _Sacrista, Cellerarius, or any public
officer, get ends to meet, on the indispensablest scale, with
their shrunk allowances:  ready money had vanished.

Benedict's Twenty-seven pounds grew rapidly at compound-interest;
and at length, when it had amounted to One hundred pounds, he, on
a day of settlement, presents the account to Hugo himself.  Hugo
already owed him another One hundred of his own;  and so here it
has become Two hundred!  Hugo, in a fine frenzy, threatens to
depose the Sacristan, to do this and do that;  but, in the mean
while, How to quiet your insatiable Jew?  Hugo, for this couple
of hundreds, grants the Jew his bond for Four hundred payable at
the end of four years.  At the end of four years there is, of
course, still no money;  and the Jew now gets a bond for Eight
hundred and eighty pounds, to be paid by installments, Four-score
pounds every year.  Here was a way of doing business!

Neither yet is this insatiable Jew satisfied or settled with:  he
had papers against us of 'small debts fourteen years old;'  his
modest claim amounts finally to 'Twelve hundred pounds besides
interest;'--and one hopes he never got satisfied in this world;
one almost hopes he was one of those beleaguered Jews who hanged
themselves in York Castle shortly afterwards, and had his usances
and quittances and horseleech papers summarily set fire to!  For
approximate justice will strive to accomplish itself;  if not in
one way, then in another.  Jews, and also Christians and
Heathens, who accumulate in this manner, though furnished with
never so many parchments, do, at times, 'get their grinder-teeth
successively pulled out of their head, each day a new grinder,
till they consent to disgorge again.  A sad fact,--worth
reflecting on.


Jocelin, we see, is not without secularity:  Our _Dominus Abbas_
was intent enough on the divine offices;  but then his Account-
Books--?--One of the things that strike us most, throughout, in
Jocelin's Chronicle, and indeed in Eadmer's _Anselm,_ and other
old monastic Books, written evidently by pious men, is this, That
there is almost no mention whatever of 'personal religion' in
them;  that the whole gist of their thinking and speculation
seems to be the 'privileges of our order,' 'strict exaction of
our dues,' 'God's honour' (meaning the honour of our Saint), and
so forth.  Is not this singular?  A body of men, set apart for
perfecting and purifying their own souls, do not seem disturbed
about that in any measure:  the 'Ideal' says nothing about its
idea;  says much about finding bed and board for itself!  How
is this?

Why, for one thing, bed and board are a matter very apt to come
to speech:  it is much easier to _speak_ of them than of ideas;
and they are sometimes much more pressing with some!  Nay, for
another thing, may not this religious reticence, in these devout
good souls, be perhaps a merit, and sign of health in them?
Jocelin, Eadmer, and such religious men, have as yet nothing of
'Methodism;'  no Doubt or even root of Doubt.  Religion is not a
diseased self-introspection, an agonising inquiry:  their duties
are clear to them, the way of supreme good plain, indisputable,
and they are traveling on it.  Religion lies over them like an
all-embracing heavenly canopy, like an atmosphere and life-
element, which is not spoken of, which in all things is
presupposed without speech.  Is not serene or complete Religion
the highest aspect of human nature;  as serene Cant, or complete
No-religion, is the lowest and miserablest?  Between which two,
all manner of earnest Methodisms, introspections, agonising
inquiries, never so morbid, shall play their respective parts,
not without approbation.


But let any reader fancy himself one of the Brethren in St.
Edmundsbury Monastery under such circumstances!  How can a Lord
Abbot, all stuck over with horse-leeches of this nature, front
the world?  He is fast losing his life-blood, and the Convent
will be as one of Pharaoh's lean kine.  Old monks of experience
draw their hoods deeper down;  careful what they say:  the monk's
first duty is obedience.  Our Lord the King, hearing of such
work, sends down his Almoner to make investigations:  but what
boots it?  Abbot Hugo assembles us in Chapter;  asks, "If there
is any complaint?"  Not a soul of us dare answer, "Yes,
thousands!" but we all stand silent, and the Prior even says that
things are in a very comfortable condition.  Whereupon old Abbot
Hugo, turning to the royal messenger, says, "You see!"--and the
business terminates in that way.  I, as a brisk-eyed, noticing
youth and novice, could not help asking of the elders, asking of
Magister Samson in particular:  Why he, well-instructed and a
knowing man, had not spoken out, and brought matters to a
bearing?  Magister Samson was Teacher of the Novices, appointed
to breed us up to the rules, and I loved him well.  _"Fili mi,"_
answered Samson, "the burnt child shuns the fire.  Dost thou not
know, our Lord the Abbot sent me once to Acre in Norfolk, to
solitary confinement and bread and water, already?  The Hinghams,
Hugo and Robert, have just got home from banishment for speaking.
This is the hour of darkness:  the hour when flatterers rule and
are believed.  _Videat Dominus,_ let the Lord see, and judge."

In very truth, what could poor old Abbot Hugo do?  A frail old
man;  and the Philistines were upon him,--that is to say, the
Hebrews.  He had nothing for it but to shrink away from them;
get back into his warm flannels, into his warm delusions again.
Happily, before it was quite too late, he bethought him of
pilgriming to St. Thomas of Canterbury.  He set out, with a fit
train, in the autumn days of the year 1180;  near Rochester City,
his mule threw him, dislocated his poor kneepan, raised incurable
inflammatory fever;  and the poor old man got his dismissal from
the whole coil at once.  St. Thomas a Becket, though in a
circuitous way, had _brought_ deliverance!  Neither Jew usurers,
nor grumbling monks, nor other importunate despicability of men
or mud-elements afflicted Abbot Hugo any more;  but he dropt his
rosaries, closed his account-books, closed his old eyes, and lay
down into the long sleep.  Heavy-laden hoary old Dominus Hugo,
fare thee well.

One thing we cannot mention without a due thrill of horror:
namely, that, in the empty exchequer of Dominus Hugo, there was
not found one penny to distribute to the Poor that they might
pray for his soul!  By a kind of godsend, Fifty shillings did, in
the very nick of time, fall due, or seem to fall due, from one of
his Farmers (the _Firmarius_ de Palegrava), and he paid it, and
the Poor had it;  though, alas, this too only _seemed_ to fall
due, and we had it to pay again afterwards.  Dominus Hugo's
apartments were plundered by his servants, to the last portable
stool, in a few minutes after the breath was out of his body.
Forlorn old Hugo, fare thee well forever.



Chapter V

Twelfth Century


Our Abbot being dead, the _Dominus Rex,_ Henry II, or Ranulf de
Glanvill _Justiciarius_ of England for him, set Inspectors or
Custodiars over us;--not in any breathless haste to appoint a new
Abbot, our revenues coming into his own Scaccarium, or royal
Exchequer, in the meanwhile.  They proceeded with some rigour,
these Custodiars;  took written inventories, clapt-on seals,
exacted everywhere strict tale and measure:  but wherefore should
a living monk complain?  The living monk has to do his devotional
drill-exercise;  consume his allotted _pitantia,_ what we
call _pittance,_ or ration of victual;  and possess his soul
in patience.

Dim, as through a long vista of Seven Centuries, dim and very
strange looks that monk-life to us;  the ever-surprising
circumstance this, That it is a _fact_ and no dream, that we see
it there, and gaze into the very eyes of it!  Smoke rises daily
from those culinary chimney-throats;  there are living human
beings there, who chant, loud-braying, their matins, nones,
vespers;  awakening echoes, not to the bodily ear alone.  St.
Edmund's Shrine, perpetually illuminated, glows ruddy through
the Night, and through the Night of Centuries withal;  St.
Edmundsbury Town paying yearly Forty pounds for that express end.
Bells clang out;  on great occasions, all the bells.  We have
Processions, Preachings, Festivals, Christmas Plays, _Mysteries_
shewn in the Churchyard, at which latter the Townsfolk sometimes
quarrel.  Time was, Time is, as Friar Bacon's Brass Head
remarked;  and withal Time will be.  There are three Tenses,
_Tempora,_ or Times;  and there is one Eternity;  and as for us,

     'We are such stuff as Dreams are made of!'

Indisputable, though very dim to modern vision, rests on its hill-
slope that same _Bury,_ _Stow,_ or Town of St. Edmund;  already a
considerable place, not without traffic, nay manufactures, would
Jocelin only tell us what.  Jocelin is totally careless of
telling:  but, through dim fitful apertures, we can see
_Fullones,_ 'Fullers,' see cloth-making;  looms dimly going,
dye-vats, and old women spinning yarn.  We have Fairs too,
_Nundinae,_ in due course;  and the Londoners give us much
trouble, pretending that they, as a metropolitan people, are
exempt from toll.  Besides there is Field-husbandry, with
perplexed settlement of Convent rents:  comricks pile themselves
within burgh, in their season;  and cattle depart and enter;  and
even the poor weaver has his cow,--'dung-heaps' lying quiet at
most doors (_ante foras,_ says the incidental Jocelin), for the
Town has yet no improved police.  Watch and ward nevertheless we
do keep, and have Gates,--as what Town must not;  thieves so
abounding;  war, _werra,_ such a frequent thing!  Our thieves, at
the Abbot's judgment bar, deny;  claim wager of battle;  fight,
are beaten, and _then_ hanged.  'Ketel, the thief,' took this
course;  and it did nothing for him,--merely brought us, and
indeed himself, new trouble!

Every way a most foreign Time.  What difficulty, for example, has
our Cellerarius to collect the _repselver,_ 'reaping silver,' or
penny, which each householder is by law bound to pay for cutting
down the Convent grain!  Richer people pretend that it is
commuted, that it is this and the other;  that, in short, they
will not pay it.  Our _Cellerarius_ gives up calling on the rich.
In the houses of the poor, our _Cellerarius_ finding, in like
manner, neither penny nor good promise, snatches, without
ceremony, what _vadium_ (pledge, _wad_) he can come at:  a joint-
stool, kettle, nay the very house-door, _'hostium;'_  and old
women, thus exposed to the unfeeling gaze of the public, rush out
after him with their distaffs and the angriest shrieks:
_'vetulae exibant cum colis suis,'_ says Jocelin, 'minantes
et exprobrantes.'_

What a historical picture, glowing visible, as St. Edmund's
Shrine by night, after Seven long Centuries or so!  _Vetulae cum
colis:_  My venerable ancient spinning grandmothers,--ah, and ye
too have to shriek, and rush out with your distaffs;  and become
Female Chartists, and scold all evening with void doorway;--and
in old Saxon, as we in modern, would fain demand some Five-point
Charter, could it be fallen in with, the Earth being too
tyrannous!--Wise Lord Abbots, hearing of such phenomena, did in
time abolish or commute the reap-penny, and one nuisance was
abated.  But the image of these justly offended old women, in
their old wool costumes, with their angry features, and spindles
brandished, lives forever in the historical memory.  Thanks to
thee, Jocelin Boswell.  Jerusalem was taken by the Crusaders, and
again lost by them;  and Richard Coeur-de-Lion 'veiled his face'
as he passed in sight of it:  but how many other things went on,
the while!

Thus, too, our trouble with the Lakenheath eels is very great.
King Knut, namely, or rather his Queen who also did herself
honour by honouring St. Edmund, decreed by authentic deed yet
extant on parchment, that the Holders of the Town Fields, once
Beodric's, should, for one thing, go yearly and catch us four
thousand eels in the marsh-pools of Lakenheath.  Well, they went,
they continued to go;  but, in later times, got into the way of
returning with a most short account of eels.  Not the due six-
score apiece;  no, Here are two-score, Here are twenty, ten,--
sometimes, Here are none at all;  Heaven help us, we _could_
catch no more, they were not there!  What is a distressed
_Cellerarius_ to do?  We agree that each Holder of so many acres
shall pay one penny yearly, and let go the eels as too slippery.
But alas, neither is this quite effectual:  the Fields, in my
time, have got divided among so many hands, there is no catching
of them _either_;  I have known our Cellarer get seven and twenty
pence formerly, and now it is much if he get ten pence farthing
(_vix decem denarios et obolum_).  And then their sheep, which
they are bound to fold nightly in our pens, for the manure's
sake;  and, I fear, do not always fold:  and their _aver-
pennies,_ and their _avragiums,_ and their _foder-corns,_ and
mill-and-market dues!  Thus, in its undeniable but dim manner,
does old St. Edmundsbury spin and till, and laboriously keep its
pot boiling, and St. Edmund's Shrine lighted, under such
conditions and averages as it can.


How much is still alive in England;  how much has not yet come
into life!  A Feudal Aristocracy is still alive, in the prime of
life;  superintending the cultivation of the land, and less
consciously the distribution of the produce of the land, the
adjustment of the quarrels of the land;  judging, soldiering,
adjusting;  everywhere governing the people,--so that even a
Gurth born thrall of Cedric lacks not his due parings of the pigs
he tends.  Governing;--and, alas, also game-preserving, so that a
Robert Hood, a William Scarlet and others have, in these days,
put on Lincoln coats, and taken to living, in some universal-
suffrage manner, under the greenwood tree!

How silent, on the other hand, lie all Cotton-trades and such
like;  not a steeple-chimney yet got on end from sea to sea!
North of the Humber, a stern Willelmus Conquestor burnt the
Country, finding it unruly, into very stern repose.  Wild fowl
scream in those ancient silences, wild cattle roam in those
ancient solitudes;  the scanty sulky Norse-bred population all
coerced into silence,--feeling that, under these new Norman
Governors, their history has probably as good as _ended._  Men
and Northumbrian Norse populations know little what has ended,
what is but beginning!  The Ribble and the Aire roll down, as yet
unpolluted by dyers' chemistry;  tenanted by merry trouts and
piscatory otters;  the sunbeam and the vacant wind's-blast alone
traversing those moors.  Side by side sleep the coal-strata and
the iron-strata for so many ages;  no Steam-Demon has yet risen
smoking into being.  Saint Mungo rules in Glasgow;  James Watt
still slumbering in the deep of Time.  _Mancunium,_ Manceaster,
what we now call Manchester, spins no cotton,--if it be not
_wool_ 'cottons,' clipped from the backs of mountain sheep.  The
Creek of the Mersey gurgles, twice in the four-and-twenty hours,
with eddying brine, clangorous with sea-fowl; and is a _Lither_-
Pool, a _lazy_ or sullen Pool, no monstrous pitchy City, and
Seahaven of the world!  The Centuries are big;  and the birth-
hour is coming, not yet come.  _Tempus ferax, tempus edax rerum._



Chapter VI

Monk Samson


Within doors, down at the hill-foot, in our Convent here, we are
a peculiar people,--hardly conceivable in the Arkwright Corn-Law
ages, of mere Spinning-Mills and Joe-Mantons!  There is yet no
Methodism among us, and we speak much of Secularities:  no
Methodism;  our Religion is not yet a horrible restless Doubt,
still less a far horribler composed Cant;  but a great heaven-
high Unquestionability, encompassing, interpenetrating the whole
of Life.  Imperfect as we may be, we are here, with our litanies,
shaven crowns, vows of poverty, to testify incessantly and
indisputably to every heart, That this Earthly Life, and
its riches and possessions, and good and evil hap, are not
intrinsically a reality at all, but _are_ a shadow of realities
eternal, infinite;  that this Time-world, as an air-image,
fearfully _emblematic,_ plays and flickers in the grand still
mirror of Eternity;  and man's little Life has Duties that are
great, that are alone great, and go up to Heaven and down to
Hell.  This, with our poor litanies, we testify and struggle
to testify.

Which, testified or not, remembered by all men, or forgotten by
all men, does verily remain the fact, even in Arkwright Joe
Manton ages!  But it is incalculable, when litanies have grown
obsolete;  when _fodercorns,_ _avragiums,_ and all human dues and
reciprocities have been fully changed into one great due of _cash
payment;_  and man's duty to man reduces itself to handing him
certain metal coins, or covenanted money-wages, and then shoving
him out of doors;  and man's duty to God becomes a cant, a doubt,
a dim inanity, a 'pleasure of virtue' or such like;  and the
thing a man does infinitely fear (the real _Hell_ of a man) is
'that he do not make money and advance himself,'--I say, it is
incalculable what a change has introduced itself everywhere into
human affairs!  How human affairs shall now circulate everywhere
not healthy life-blood in them, but, as it were, a detestable
copperas banker's ink;  and all is grown acrid, divisive,
threatening dissolution;  and the huge tumultuous Life of Society
is galvanic, devil-ridden, too truly possessed by a devil!  For,
in short, Mammon _is_ not a god at all;  but a devil, and even a
very despicable devil.  Follow the Devil faithfully, you are sure
enough to _go_ to the Devil:  whither else _can_ you go?--In such
situations, men look back with a kind of mournful recognition
even on poor limited Monk-figures, with their poor litanies;  and
reflect, with Ben Jonson, that soul is indispensable, some degree
of soul, even to save you the expense of salt!--

For the rest, it must be owned, we Monks of St. Edmundsbury are
but a limited class of creatures, and seem to have a somewhat
dull life of it.  Much given to idle gossip;  having indeed no
other work, when our chanting is over.  Listless gossip, for most
part, and a mitigated slander;  the fruit of idleness, not of
spleen.  We are dull, insipid men, many of us;  easy-minded;
whom prayer and digestion of food will avail for a life.  We have
to receive all strangers in our Convent, and lodge them gratis;
such and such sorts go by rule to the Lord Abbot and his special
revenues;  such and such to us and our poor Cellarer, however
straitened.  Jews themselves send their wives and little ones
hither in war-time, into our _Pitanceria;_  where they abide
safe, with due _pittances,_--for a consideration.  We have the
fairest chances for collecting news.  Some of us have a turn for
reading Books;  for meditation, silence;  at times we even write
Books.  Some of us can preach, in English-Saxon, in Norman
French, and even in Monk-Latin;  others cannot in any language or
jargon, being stupid.

Failing all else, what gossip about one another!  This is a
perennial resource.  How one hooded head applies itself to the
ear of another, and whispers--_tacenda._  Willelmus Sacrista, for
instance, what does he nightly, over in that Sacristy of his?
Frequent bibations, _'frequentes bibationes et quaedam tacenda,'_
--eheu!  We have _'tempora minutionis,'_ stated seasons of
bloodletting, when we are all let blood together;  and then
there is a general free-conference, a sanhedrim of clatter.  For
all our vow of poverty, we can by rule amass to the extent of
'two shillings;'  but it is to be given to our necessitous
kindred, or in charity.  Poor Monks!  Thus too a certain
Canterbury Monk was in the habit of 'slipping, _clanculo_ from
his sleeve,' five shillings into the hand of his mother, when she
came to see him, at the divine offices, every two months.  Once,
slipping the money clandestinely, just in the act of taking
leave, he slipt it not into her hand but on the floor, and
another had it;  whereupon the poor Monk, coming to know it,
looked mere despair for some days;  till, Lanfranc the noble
Archbishop, questioning his secret from him, nobly made the sum
_seven_ shillings, and said, Never mind!


One Monk of a taciturn nature distinguishes himself among these
babbling ones:  the name of him Samson;  he that answered
Jocelin, "_Fili mi,_ a burnt child shuns the fire." They call him
'Norfolk _Barrator,'_ or litigious person;  for indeed, being of
grave taciturn ways, he is not universally a favourite;  he has
been in trouble more than once.  The reader is desired to mark
this Monk.  A personable man of seven-and-forty;  stout-made,
stands erect as a pillar;  with bushy eyebrows, the eyes of him
beaming into you in a really strange way;  the face massive,
grave, with 'a very eminent nose;'  his head almost bald, its
auburn remnants of hair, and the copious ruddy beard, getting
slightly streaked with grey.  This is Brother Samson;  a man
worth looking at.

He is from Norfolk, as the nickname indicates;  from Tottington
in Norfolk, as we guess;  the son of poor parents there.  He has
told me, Jocelin, for I loved him much, That once in his ninth
year he had an alarming dream;--as indeed we are all somewhat
given to dreaming here.  Little Samson, lying uneasily in his
crib at Tottington, dreamed that he saw the Arch Enemy in person,
just alighted in front of some grand building, with outspread
bat-wings, and stretching forth detestable clawed hands to grip
him, little Samson, and fly off with him:  whereupon the little
dreamer shrieked desperate to St. Edmund for help, shrieked and
again shrieked;  and St. Edmund, a reverend heavenly figure, did
come,--and indeed poor little Samson's mother, awakened by his
shrieking, did come;  and the Devil and the Dream both fled away
fruitless.  On the morrow, his mother, pondering such an awful
dream, thought it were good to take him over to St. Edmund's own
Shrine, and pray with him there.  See, said little Samson at
sight of the Abbey-Gate;  see, mother, this is the building I
dreamed of!  His poor mother dedicated him to St. Edmund,--left
him there with prayers and tears:  what better could she do?  The
exposition of the dream, Brother Samson used to say, was this:
_Diabolus_ with outspread bat-wings shadowed forth the pleasures
of this world, _voluptates hujus saeculi,_ which were about to
snatch and fly away with me, had not St. Edmund flung his arms
round me, that is to say, made me a monk of his.  A monk,
accordingly, Brother Samson is;  and here to this day where his
mother left him.  A learned man, of devout grave nature;  has
studied at Paris, has taught in the Town Schools here, and done
much else;  can preach in three languages, and, like Dr. Caius,
'has had losses' in his time.  A thoughtful, firm-standing man;
much loved by some, not loved by all;  his clear eyes flashing
into you, in an almost inconvenient way!

Abbot Hugo, as we said, has his own difficulties with him;  Abbot
Hugo had him in prison once, to teach him what authority was, and
how to dread the fire in future.  For Brother Samson, in the time
of the Antipopes, had been sent to Rome on business;  and,
returning successful, was too late,--the business had all misgone
in the interim!  As tours to Rome are still frequent with us
English, perhaps the reader will not grudge to look at the method
of traveling thither in those remote ages.  We happily have, in
small compass, a personal narrative of it.  Through the clear
eyes and memory of Brother Samson, one peeps direct into the very
bosom of that Twelfth Century, and finds it rather curious.  The
actual _Papa,_ Father, or universal President of Christendom, as
yet not grown chimerical, sat there;  think of that only!
Brother Samson went to Rome as to the real Light-fountain of this
lower world;  we now--!--But let us hear Brother Samson, as to
his mode of traveling:

'You know what trouble I had for that Church of Woolpit;  how I
was despatched to Rome in the time of the Schism between Pope
Alexander and Octavian;  and passed through Italy at that season,
when all clergy carrying letters for our Lord Pope Alexander were
laid hold of, and some were clapt in prison, some hanged;  and
some, with nose and lips cut off, were sent forward to our Lord
the Pope, for the disgrace and confusion of him (_in dedecus et
confusionem ejus_).  I, however, pretended to be Scotch, and
putting on the garb of a Scotchman, and taking the gesture of
one, walked along;  and when anybody mocked at me, I would
brandish my staff in the manner of that weapon they call
_gaveloc,_* uttering comminatory words after the way of the
Scotch.  To those that met and questioned me who I was, I made no
answer but:  _Ride, ride Rome;  turne Cantwereberei._ ** Thus did
I, to conceal myself and my errand, and get safer to Rome under
the guise of a Scotchman.

----------
* Javelin, missile pike.  _Gaveloc_ is still the Scotch name for
_crowbar._

** Does this mean, "Rome forever;  Canterbury _not"_ (which
claims an unjust Supremacy _over_ us)!  Mr. Rokewood is silent.
Dryasdust would perhaps explain it,--in the course of a week or
two of talking;  did one dare to question him!
----------

'Having at last obtained a Letter from our Lord the Pope
according to my wishes, I turned homewards again.  I had to pass
through a certain strong town on my road;  and lo, the soldiers
thereof surrounded me, seizing me, and saying:  "This vagabond
(_iste solivagus_), who pretends to be Scotch, is either a spy,
or has Letters from the false Pope Alexander."  And whilst they
examined every stitch and rag of me, my leggings (_caligas_),
breeches, and even the old shoes that I carried over my shoulder
in the way of the Scotch,--I put my hand into the leather scrip I
wore, wherein our Lord the Pope's Letter lay, close by a little
jug (_ciffus_) I had for drinking out of;  and the Lord God so
pleasing, and St. Edmund, I got out both the Letter and the jug
together;  in such a way that, extending my arm aloft, I held the
Letter hidden between jug and hand:  they saw the jug, but the
Letter they saw not.  And thus I escaped out of their hands in
the name of the Lord.  Whatever money I had they took from me;
wherefore I had to beg from door to door, without any payment
(_sine omni expensa_) till I came to England again.  But hearing
that the Woolpit Church was already given to Geoffry Ridell, my
soul was struck with sorrow because I had laboured in vain.

'Coming home, therefore, I sat me down secretly under the Shrine
of St. Edmund, fearing lest our Lord Abbot should seize and
imprison me, though I had done no mischief;  nor was there a monk
who durst speak to me, nor a laic who durst bring me food except
by stealth.

Such resting and welcoming found Brother Samson, with his worn
soles, and strong heart!  He sits silent, revolving many
thoughts, at the foot of St. Edmund's Shrine.  In the wide Earth,
if it be not Saint Edmund, what friend or refuge has he?  Our
Lord Abbot, hearing of him, sent the proper officer to lead him
down to prison, clap 'foot-gyves on him' there.  Another poor
official furtively brought him a cup of wine;  bade him "be
comforted in the Lord."  Samson utters no complaint;  obeys in
silence.  'Our Lord Abbot, taking counsel of it, banished me to
Acre, and there I had to stay long.'

Our Lord Abbot next tried Samson with promotions;  made him
Subsacristan, made him Librarian, which he liked best of all,
being passionately fond of Books:  Samson, with many thoughts in
him, again obeyed in silence;  discharged his offices to
perfection, but never thanked our Lord Abbot,--seemed rather as
if looking into him, with those clear eyes of his.  Whereupon
Abbot Hugo said, _Se nunquam vidisse,_ he had never seen such a
man;  whom no severity would break to complain, and no kindness
soften into smiles or thanks:--a questionable kind of man!


In this way, not without troubles, but still in an erect clear-
standing manner, has Brother Samson reached his forty-seventh
year;  and his ruddy beard is getting slightly grizzled.  He is
endeavouring, in these days, to have various broken things
thatched in;  nay perhaps to have the Choir itself completed, for
he can bear nothing ruinous.  He has gathered 'heaps of lime and
sand;'  has masons, slaters working, he and _Warinus monachus
noster,_ who are joint keepers of the Shrine;  paying out the
money duly,--furnished by charitable burghers of St. Edmundsbury,
they say.  Charitable burghers of St. Edmundsbury?  To me Jocelin
it seems rather, Samson and Warinus, whom he leads, have privily
hoarded the oblations at the Shrine itself, in these late
years of indolent dilapidation, while Abbot Hugo sat wrapt
inaccessible;  and are struggling, in this prudent way, to have
the rain kept out!--Under what conditions, sometimes, has Wisdom
to struggle with Folly;  get Folly persuaded to so much as thatch
out the rain from itself!  For, indeed, if the Infant govern
the Nurse, what dexterous practice on the Nurse's part will
not be necessary!

It is regret to us that, in these circumstances, our Lord the
King's Custodiars, interfering, prohibited all building or
thatching from whatever source;  and no Choir shall be completed,
and Rain and Time, for the present, shall have their way.
Willelmus Sacrista, he of 'the frequent bibations and some things
not to be spoken of;'  he, with his red nose, I am of opinion,
had made complaint to the Custodiars;  wishing to do Samson an
ill turn:--Samson his _Sub_-sacristan, with those clear eyes,
could not be a prime favourite of his!  Samson again obeys
in silence.



Chapter VII

The Canvassing


Now, however, come great news to St. Edmundsbury:  That there is
to be an Abbot elected;  that our interlunar obscuration is to
cease;  St. Edmund's Convent no more to be a doleful widow, but
joyous and once again a bride!  Often in our widowed state had we
prayed to the Lord and St. Edmund, singing weekly a matter of
'one-and-twenty penitential Psalms, on our knees in the Choir,'
that a fit Pastor might be vouchsafed us.  And, says Jocelin, had
some known what Abbot we were to get, they had not been so
devout, I believe!--Bozzy Jocelin opens to mankind the floodgates
of authentic Convent gossip;  we listen, as in a Dionysius' Ear,
to the inanest hubbub, like the voices at Virgil's Horn-Gate of
Dreams.  Even gossip, seven centuries off, has significance.
List, list, how like men are to one another in all centuries:

_`Dixit quidam de quodam,_ A certain person said of a certain
person, "He, that _Frater,_ is a good monk, _probabilis persona;_
knows much of the order and customs of the church;  and though
not so perfect a philosopher as some others, would make a very
good Abbot.  Old Abbot Ording, still famed among us, knew little
of letters.  Besides, as we read in Fables, it is better to
choose a log for king, than a serpent, never so wise, that will
venomously hiss and bite his subjects."--"Impossible!" answered
the other:  "How can such a man make a sermon in the chapter, or
to the people on festival days, when he is without letters?  How
can he have the skill to bind and to loose, he who does not
understand the Scriptures?  How--?"'

And then `another said of another, _alius de alio,_ "That
_Frater_ is a _homo literatus,_ eloquent, sagacious;  vigorous
in discipline;  loves the Convent much, has suffered much for
its sake."  To which a third party answers, "From all your
great clerks good Lord deliver us!  From Norfolk barrators, and
surly persons, That it would please thee to preserve us, We
beseech thee to hear us, good Lord!"'  Then `another _quidam_
said of another _quodam,_ "That _Frater_ is a good manager
(_husebondus_);"  but was swiftly answered, "God forbid that a
man who can neither read nor chant, nor celebrate the divine
offices, an unjust person withal, and grinder of the faces of the
poor, should ever be Abbot!"'  One man, it appears, is nice in
his victuals.  Another is indeed wise;  but apt to slight
inferiors;  hardly at the pains to answer, if they argue with him
too foolishly.  And so each _aliquis_ concerning his _aliquo,_--
through whole pages of electioneering babble.  `For,' says
Jocelin, `So many men, as many minds.  Our Monks at time of
blood-letting, _tempore minutionis,_' holding their sanhedrim of
babble, would talk in this manner:  Brother Samson, I remarked,
never said anything;  sat silent, sometimes smiling;  but he took
good note of what others said, and would bring it up, on
occasion, twenty years after.  As for me Jocelin, I was of
opinion that `some skill in Dialectics, to distinguish true from
false,' would be good in an Abbot.  I spake, as a rash Novice in
those days, some conscientious words of a certain benefactor of
mine;  `and behold, one of those sons of Belial' ran and reported
them to him, so that he never after looked at me with the same
face again!  Poor Bozzy!--

Such is the buzz and frothy simmering ferment of the general mind
and no-mind;  struggling to `make itself up,' as the phrase is,
or ascertain what _it_ does really want:  no easy matter, in most
cases.  St. Edmundsbury, in that Candlemas season of the year
1182, is a busily fermenting place.  The very clothmakers sit
meditative at their looms;  asking, Who shall be Abbot?  The
_sochemanni_ speak of it, driving their ox-teams afield;  the old
women with their spindles:  and none yet knows what the days will
bring forth.


The Prior, however, as our interim chief, must proceed to work;
get ready 'Twelve Monks,' and set off with them to his Majesty at
Waltham, there shall the election be made.  An election, whether
managed directly by ballot-box on public hustings, or indirectly
by force of public opinion, or were it even by open alehouses,
landlords' coercion, popular club-law, or whatever electoral
methods, is always an interesting phenomenon.  A mountain
tumbling in great travail, throwing up dustclouds and absurd
noises, is visibly there;  uncertain yet what mouse or monster it
will give birth to.

Besides it is a most important social act;  nay, at bottom, the
one important social act.  Given the men a People choose, the
People itself, in its exact worth and worthlessness, is given.  A
heroic people chooses heroes, and is happy;  a valet or flunkey
people chooses sham-heroes, what are called quacks, thinking them
heroes, and is not happy.  The grand summary of a man's spiritual
condition, what brings out all his herohood and insight, or all
his flunkeyhood and horn-eyed dimness, is this question put to
him, What man dost thou honour?  Which is thy ideal of a man;  or
nearest that?  So too of a People:  for a People too, every
People, _speaks_ its choice,--were it only by silently obeying,
and not revolting,--in the course of a century or so.  Nor are
electoral methods, Reform Bills and such like, unimportant.  A
People's electoral methods are, in the long-run, the express
image of its electoral _talent;_  tending and gravitating
perpetually, irresistibly, to a conformity with that:  and are,
at all stages, very significant of the People.  Judicious
readers, of these times, are not disinclined to see how
Monks elect their Abbot in the Twelfth Century:  how the St.
Edmundsbury mountain manages its midwifery;  and what mouse or
man the outcome is.



Chapter VIII

The Election


Accordingly our Prior assembles us in Chapter;  and, we adjuring
him before God to do justly, nominates, not by our selection, yet
with our assent, Twelve Monks, moderately satisfactory.  Of whom
are Hugo Third-Prior, Brother Dennis a venerable man, Walter the
_Medicus,_ Samson _Subsacrista,_ and other esteemed characters,--
though Willelmus _Sacrista,_ of the red nose, too is one.  These
shall proceed straightway to Waltham;  elect the Abbot as they
may and can.  Monks are sworn to obedience;  must not speak too
loud, under penalty of foot-gyves, limbo, and bread and water:
yet monks too would know what it is they are obeying.  The St.
Edmundsbury Community has no hustings, ballot-box, indeed no open
voting:  yet by various vague manipulations, pulse-feelings, we
struggle to ascertain what its virtual aim is, and succeed better
or worse.

This question, however, rises;  alas, a quite preliminary
question:  Will the _Dominus Rex_ allow us to choose freely?  It
is to be hoped!  Well, if so, we agree to choose one of our own
Convent.  If not, if the _Dominus Rex_ will force a stranger on
us, we decide on demurring, the Prior and his Twelve shall demur:
we can appeal, plead, remonstrate;  appeal even to the Pope, but
trust it will not be necessary.  Then there is this other
question, raised by Brother Samson:  What if the Thirteen should
not themselves be able to agree?  Brother Samson _Subsacrista,_
one remarks, is ready oftenest with some question, some
suggestion, that has wisdom in it.  Though a servant of servants,
and saying little, his words all tell, having sense in them;
it seems by his light mainly that we steer ourselves in this
great dimness.

What if the Thirteen should not themselves be able to agree?
Speak, Samson, and advise.--Could not, hints Samson, Six of our
venerablest elders be chosen by us, a kind of electoral
committee, here and now:  of these, `with their hand on the
Gospels, with their eye on the _Sacrosancta,'_ we take oath that
they will do faithfully;  let these, in secret and as before God,
agree on Three whom they reckon fittest;  write their names in a
Paper, and deliver the same sealed, forthwith, to the Thirteen:
one of those Three the Thirteen shall fix on, if permitted.  If
not permitted, that is to say, if the _Dominus Rex_ force us to
demur,--the Paper shall be brought back unopened, and publicly
burned, that no man's secret bring him into trouble.

So Samson advises, so we act;  wisely, in this and in other
crises of the business.  Our electoral committee, its eye on the
Sacrosancta,_ is soon named, soon sworn;  and we striking up the
Fifth Psalm, _'Verba mea,_

     `Give ear unto my words, O Lord,
     My meditation weigh,'

march out chanting, and leave the Six to their work in the
Chapter here.  Their work, before long, they announce as
finished:  they, with their eye on the Sacrosancta, imprecating
the Lord to weigh and witness their meditation, have fixed on
Three Names, and written them in this Sealed Paper.  Let Samson
Subsacrista, general servant of the party, take charge of it.  On
the morrow morning, our Prior and his Twelve will be ready to get
under way.

This then is the  ballot-box and electoral winnowing-machine they
have at St. Edmundsbury: a mind fixed on the Thrice Holy, an
appeal to God on high to witness their meditation:  by far the
best, and indeed the only good electoral winnowing-machine,--If
men have souls in them.  Totally worthless, it is true, and even
hideous and poisonous, if men have no souls.  But without soul,
alas what winnowing-machine in human elections, can be of
avail?  We cannot get along without soul;  we stick fast, the
mournfullest spectacle;  and salt itself will not save us!


On the morrow morning, accordingly, our Thirteen set forth;  or
rather our Prior and Eleven;  for Samson, as general servant of
the party, has to linger, settling many things.  At length he too
gets upon the road;  and, 'carrying the sealed Paper in a leather
pouch hung round his neck;  and _froccum bajulans in ulnis'_
(thanks to thee Bozzy Jocelin), 'his frock-skirts looped over his
elbow,' skewing substantial stern-works, tramps stoutly along.
Away across the Heath, not yet of Newmarket  and horse-jockeying;
across your Fleam-dike and Devil's-dike, no longer useful as a
Mercian East-Anglian boundary or bulwark:  continually towards
Waltham, and the Bishop of Winchester's House there, for his
Majesty is in that.  Brother Samson, as purse-bearer, has the
reckoning always, when there is one, to pay;  'delays are
numerous,' progress none of the swiftest.

But, in the solitude of the Convent, Destiny thus big and in her
birthtime, what gossiping, what babbling, what dreaming of
dreams!  The secret of the Three our electoral elders alone know:
some Abbot we shall have to govern us;  but which Abbot, O which!
One Monk discerns in a vision of the night-watches, that we shall
get an Abbot of our own body, without needing to demur:  a
prophet appeared to him clad all in white, and said, "Ye shall
have one of yours, and he will rage among you like a wolf,
_saeviet ut lupus."_  Verily!--then which of ours?  Another Monk
now dreams:  he has seen clearly which;  a certain Figure taller
by head and shoulders than the other two, dressed in alb and
_pallium,_ and with the attitude of one about to fight;--which
tall Figure a wise Editor would rather not name at this stage of
the business!  Enough that the vision is true:  that Saint Edmund
himself, pale and awful, seemed to rise from his Shrine, with
naked feet, and say audibly, "He, _ille,_ shall veil my feet;"
which part of the vision also proves true.  Such guessing,
visioning, dim perscrutation of the momentous future:  the very
clothmakers, old women, all townsfolk speak of it, 'and more than
once it is reported in St. Edmundsbury, This one is elected;  and
then, This one and That other.'  Who knows?


But now, sure enough, at Waltham 'on the Second Sunday of
Quadragesima,' which Dryasdust declares to mean the 22d day of
February, year 1182, Thirteen St. Edmundsbury Monks are, at last,
seen processioning towards the Winchester Manorhouse;  and in
some high Presence-chamber, and Hall of State, get access to
Henry II in all his glory.  What a Hall,--not imaginary in the
least, but entirely real and indisputable, though so extremely
dim to us;  sunk in the deep distances of Night!  The Winchester
Manorhouse has fled bodily, like a Dream of the old Night;  not
Dryasdust himself can skew a wreck of it.  House and people,
royal and episcopal, lords and varlets, where are they?  Why
_there,_ I say, Seven Centuries off;  sunk so far in the Night,
there they _are;_  peep through the blankets of the old Night,
and thou wilt seel King Henry himself is visibly there, a vivid,
noble-looking man, with grizzled beard, in glittering uncertain
costume, with earls round him, and bishops and dignitaries, in
the like.  The Hall is large, and has for one thing an altar near
it,--chapel and altar adjoining it;  but what gilt seats, carved
tables, carpeting of rush-cloth, what arras-hangings, and a huge
fire of logs:--alas, it has Human Life in it;  and is not that
the grand miracle, in what hangings or costume soever?--

The _Dominus Rex,_ benignantly receiving our Thirteen with their
obeisance, and graciously declaring that he will strive to act
for God's honour, and the Church's good, commands, 'by the Bishop
of Winchester and Geoffrey the Chancellor,'--_Galfrides
Cancellarius,_ Henry's and the Fair Rosamond's authentic Sons
present here!--commands, "That they, the said Thirteen, do now
withdraw, and fix upon Three from their own Monastery."  A work
soon done;  the Three hanging ready round Samson's neck, in that
leather pouch of his.  Breaking the seal, we find the names,--
what think _ye_ of it, ye higher dignitaries, thou indolent
Prior, thou Willelmus _Sacrista_ with the red bottle-nose?--the
names, in this order:  of Samson _Subsacrista,_ of Roger the
distressed Cellarer, of Hugo _Tertius-Prior._

The higher dignitaries, all omitted here, 'flush suddenly red in
the face;'  but have nothing to say.  One curious fact and
question certainly is, How Hugo Third-Prior, who was of the
electoral committee, came to nominate _himself_ as one of the
Three?  A curious fact, which Hugo Third-Prior has never yet
entirely explained;  that I know of!--However, we return, and
report to the King our Three names;  merely altering the order;
putting Samson last, as lowest of all.  The King, at recitation
of our Three, asks us:  "Who are they?  Were they born in my
domain?  Totally unknown to me!  You must nominate three others."
Whereupon Willelmus Sacrista says, "Our Prior must be named,
_quia caput nostrum est,_ being already our head."  And the Prior
responds, "Willelmus Sacrista is a fit man, _bonus vir est,"_--
for all his red nose.  Tickle me Toby, and I'll tickle thee!
Venerable Dennis too is named;  none in his conscience can say
nay.  There are now Six on our List.  "Well," said the King,
"they have done it swiftly, they!  _Deus est cum eis."_  The
Monks withdraw again;  and Majesty revolves, for a little, with
his _Pares_ and _Episcopi,_ Lords or _'Law-wards'_* and Soul-
Overseers, the thoughts of the royal breast.  The Monks wait
silent in an outer room.

--------
* or "Lawyers"--digital editor
--------


In short while, they are next ordered, To add yet another three;
but not from their own Convent;  from other Convents, "for the
honour of my kingdom."  Here,--what is to be done here?  We will
demur, if need be!  We do name three, however, for the nonce:
the Prior of St. Faith's, a good Monk of St. Neot's, a good Monk
of St. Alban's;  good men all;  all made abbots and dignitaries
since, at this hour.  There are now Nine upon our List.  What the
thoughts of the Dominus Rex may be farther?  The Dominus Rex,
thanking graciously, sends out word that we shall now strike off
three.  The three strangers are instantly struck off.  Willelmus
Sacrista adds, that he will of his own accord decline,--a touch
of grace and respect for the _Sacrosancta,_ even in Willelmus!
The King then orders us to strike off a couple more;  then yet
one more:  Hugo Third-Prior goes, and Roger _Cellerarius,_ and
venerable Monk Dennis;--and now there remain on our List two
only, Samson Subsacrista and the Prior.

Which of these two?  It were hard to say,--by Monks who may get
themselves foot-gyved and thrown into limbo, for speaking!  We
humbly request that the Bishop of Winchester and Geoffrey the
Chancellor may again enter, and help us to decide.  "Which do you
want?" asks the Bishop.  Venerable Dennis made a speech,
'commending the persons of the Prior and Samson;  but always in
the corner of his discourse, in _angulo sui sermonis,_ brought
Samson in.'  "I see!" said the Bishop:  "We are to understand
that your Prior is somewhat remiss;  that you want to have him
you call Samson for Abbot."  "Either of them is good," said
venerable Dennis, almost trembling;  "but we would have the
better, if it pleased God."  "Which of the two _do_ you want?"
inquires the Bishop pointedly.  "Samson!" answered Dennis;
"Samson!" echoed all of the rest that durst speak or echo
anything:  and Samson is reported to the King accordingly.  His
Majesty, advising of it for a moment, orders that Samson be
brought in with the other Twelve.

The King's Majesty, looking at us somewhat sternly, then says:
"You present to me Samson;  I do not know him:  had it been your
Prior, whom I do know, I should have accepted him:  however, I
will now do as you wish.  But have a care of yourselves.  By the
true eyes of God, _per veros oculos Dei,_ if you manage badly, I
will be upon you!"  Samson, therefore, steps forward, kisses the
King's feet;  but swiftly rises erect again, swiftly turns
towards the altar, uplifting with the other Twelve, in clear
tenor-note, the Fifty-first Psalm, _'Miserere mei Deus,_

     'After thy loving-kindness, Lord,
     Have mercy upon _me;'_

with firm voice, firm step and head, no change in his countenance
whatever.  "By God's eyes," said the King, "that one, I think,
will govern the Abbey well."  By the same oath (charged to your
Majesty's account), I too am precisely of that opinion!  It is
some while since I fell in with a likelier man anywhere than this
new Abbot Samson.  Long life to him, and may the Lord _have_
mercy on him as Abbot!


Thus, then, have the St. Edmundsbury Monks, without express
ballot-box or other good winnowing-machine, contrived to
accomplish the most important social feat a body of men can do,
to winnow out the man that is to govern them:  and truly one sees
not that, by any winnowing-machine whatever, they could have done
it better.  O ye kind Heavens, there is in every Nation and
Community, a _fittest,_ a wisest, bravest, best;  whom could we
find and make King over us, all were in very truth well;--the
best that God and Nature had permitted _us_ to make it!  By what
art discover him?  Will the Heavens in their pity teach us no
art;  for our need of him is great!

Ballot-boxes, Reform Bills, winnowing-machines:  all these are
good, or are not so good;--alas, brethren, how _can_ these, I
say, be other than inadequate, be other than failures, melancholy
to behold?  Dim all souls of men to the divine, the high and
awful meaning of Human Worth and Truth, we shall never, by all
the machinery in Birmingham, discover the True and Worthy.  It is
written, 'if we are ourselves valets, there shall exist no hero
for us;  we shall not know the hero when we see him;'--we
shall take the quack for a hero;  and cry, audibly through
all ballot-boxes and machinery whatsoever, Thou art he;  be
thou King over us!

What boots it?  Seek only deceitful Speciosity, godlike Reality
will be forever far from you.  The Quack shall be legitimate
inevitable King of you;  no earthly machinery able to exclude the
Quack.  Ye shall be born thralls of the Quack, and suffer under
him, till you hearts are near broken, and no French Revolution or
Manchester Insurrection, or partial or universal volcanic
combustions and explosions;  never so many, can do more than
'change the _figure_ of your Quack;'  the essence of him
remaining, for a time and times.--"How long, O Prophet?" say
some, with a rather melancholy sneer.  Alas, ye _un_prophetic,
ever till this come about:  Till deep misery, if nothing softer
will, have driven you out of your Speciosites _into_ your
Sincerities;  and you find there either is a Godlike in the
world, or else ye are an unintelligible madness;  that there is a
God, as well as a Mammon and a Devil, and a Genius of Luxuries
and canting Dilettantisms and Vain Shows!  How long that will be,
compute for yourselves.  My unhappy brothers!--



Chapter IX

Abbot Samson


So then the bells of St. Edmundsbury clang out one and all, and
in church and chapel the organs go:  Convent and Town, and all
the west side of Suffolk, are in gala;  knights, viscounts,
weavers, spinners, the entire population, male and female, young
and old, the very sockmen with their chubby infants,--out to have
a holiday, and see the Lord Abbot arrive!  And there is
'stripping barefoot' of the Lord Abbot at the Gate, and solemn
leading of him in to the High Altar and Shrine;  with sudden
'silence of all the bells and organs,' as we kneel in deep prayer
there;  and again with outburst of all the bells and organs, and
loud _Te Deum_ from the general human windpipe;  and speeches by
the leading viscount, and giving of the kiss of brotherhood;  the
whole wound up with popular games, and dinner within doors of
more than a thousand strong, _plus quam mille comedentibus in
gaudio magno._

In such manner is the selfsame Samson once again returning
to us, welcomed on _this_ occasion.  He that went away with his
frock-skirts looped over his arm, comes back riding high;
suddenly made one of the dignitaries of this world.  Reflective
readers will admit that here was a trial for a man.  Yesterday a
poor mendicant, allowed to possess not above two shillings of
money, and without authority to bid a dog run for him, this man
today finds himself a _Dominus Abbas,_ mitred Peer of Parliament,
Lord of manorhouses, farms, manors, and wide lands;  a man with
'Fifty Knights under him,' and dependent swiftly obedient
multitudes of men.  It is a change greater than Napoleon's;  so
sudden withal.  As if one of the Chandos daydrudges had, on
awakening some morning, found that he overnight was become Duke!
Let Samson with his clear-beaming eyes see into that, and discern
it if he can.  We shall now get the measure of him by a new scale
of inches, considerably more rigorous than the former was.  For
if a noble soul is rendered tenfold beautifuller by victory and
prosperity, springing now radiant as into his own due element and
sunthrone;  an ignoble one is rendered tenfold and hundredfold
uglier, pitifuller.  Whatsoever vices, whatsoever weaknesses were
in the man, the parvenu will shew us them enlarged, as in the
solar microscope, into frightful distortion.  Nay, how many mere
seminal principles of vice, hitherto all wholesomely kept latent,
may we now see unfolded, as in the solar hothouse, into growth,
into huge universally-conspicuous luxuriance and development!


But is not this, at any rate, a singular aspect of what political
and social capabilities, nay let us say what depth and opulence
of true social vitality, lay in those old barbarous ages, That
the fit Governor could be met with under such disguises, could be
recognised and laid hold of under such?  Here he is discovered
with a maximum of two shillings in his pocket, and a leather
scrip round his neck;  trudging along the highway, his frock-
skirts looped over his arm.  They think this is he nevertheless,
the true Governor;  and he proves to be so.  Brethren, have we no
need of discovering true Governors, but will sham ones forever do
for us?  These were absurd superstitious blockheads of Monks;
and we are enlightened Tenpound Franchisers, without taxes on
knowledge!  Where, I say, are our superior, are our similar or at
all comparable discoveries?  We also have eyes, or ought to have;
we have hustings, telescopes;  we have lights, link-lights and
rushlights of an enlightened free Press, burning and dancing
everywhere, as in a universal torch-dance;  singeing your
whiskers as you traverse the public thoroughfares in town and
country.  Great souls, true Governors, go about under all manner
of disguises now as then.  Such telescopes, such enlightenment,--
and such discovery!  How comes it, I say;  how comes it?  Is it
not lamentable;  is it not even, in some sense, amazing?

Alas, the defect, as we must often urge and again urge, is less a
defect of telescopes than of some eyesight.  Those superstitious
blockheads of the Twelfth Century had no telescopes, but they had
still an eye:  not ballot-boxes;  only reverence for Worth,
abhorrence of Unworth.  It is the way with all barbarians.  Thus
Mr. Sale informs me, the old Arab Tribes would gather in
liveliest _gaudeamus,_ and sing, and kindle bonfires, and wreathe
crowns of honour, and solemnly thank the gods that, in their
Tribe too, a Poet had shewn himself.  As indeed they well might;
for what usefuller, I say not nobler and heavenlier thing could
the gods, doing their very kindest, send to any Tribe or Nation,
in any time or circumstances?  I declare to thee, my afflicted
quack-ridden brother, in spite of thy astonishment, it is very
lamentable!  We English find a Poet, as brave a man as has been
made for a hundred years or so anywhere under the Sun;  and do we
kindle bonfires, thank the gods?  Not at all.  We, taking due
counsel of it, set the man to gauge ale-barrels in the Burgh of
Dumfries;  and pique ourselves on our 'patronage of genius.'

Genius, Poet:  do we know what these words mean?  An inspired
Soul once more vouchsafed us, direct from Nature's own great
fire-heart, to see the Truth, and speak it, and do it;  Nature's
own sacred voice heard once more athwart the dreary boundless
element of hearsaying and canting, of twaddle and poltroonery, in
which the bewildered Earth, nigh perishing, has _lost its way._
Hear once more, ye bewildered benighted mortals;  listen once
again to a voice from the inner Light-sea and Flame-sea, Nature's
and Truth's own heart;  know the Fact of your Existence what it
is, put away the Cant of it which it is not;  and knowing, do,
and let it be well with you!--

George the Third is Defender of something we call 'the Faith' in
those years;  George the Third is head charioteer of the
Destinies of England, to guide them through the gulf of French
Revolutions, American Independences;  and Robert Burns is Gauger
of ale in Dumfries.  It is an Iliad in a nutshell.  The
physiognomy of a world now verging towards dissolution, reduced
now to spasms and death-throes, lies pictured in that one fact,--
which astonishes nobody, except at me for being astonished at it.
The fruit of long ages of confirmed Valethood, entirely confirmed
as into a Law of Nature;  cloth-worship and quack-worship:
entirely _confirmed_ Valethood,--which will have to unconfirm
itself again;  God knows, with difficulty enough!--

Abbot Samson had found a Convent all in dilapidation;  rain
beating through it, material rain and metaphorical, from all
quarters of the compass.  Willelmus Sacrista sits drinking
nightly, and doing mere _tacenda._  Our larders are reduced to
leanness, Jew Harpies and unclean creatures our purveyors;  in
our basket is no bread.  Old women with their distaffs rush out
on a distressed Cellarer in shrill Chartism.  'You cannot stir
abroad but Jews and Christians pounce upon you with unsettled
bonds;'  debts boundless seemingly as the National Debt of
England.  For four years our new Lord Abbot never went abroad but
Jew creditors and Christian, and all manner of creditors, were
about him;  driving him to very despair.  Our Prior is remiss;
our Cellarers, officials are remiss, our monks are remiss:  what
man is not remiss?  Front this, Samson, thou alone art there to
front it;  it is thy task to front and fight this, and to die or
kill it.  May the Lord have mercy on thee!

To our antiquarian interest in poor Jocelin and his Convent,
where the whole aspect of existence, the whole dialect, of
thought, of speech, of activity, is so obsolete, strange, long-
vanished, there now superadds itself a mild glow of human
interest for Abbot Samson;  a real pleasure, as at sight of man's
work, especially of governing, which is man's highest work, done
_well._  Abbot Samson had no experience in governing;  had served
no apprenticeship to the trade of governing,--alas, only the
hardest apprenticeship to that of obeying.  He had never in any
court given _vadium_ or _plegium,_ says Jocelin;  hardly ever
seen a court, when he was set to preside in one.  But it is
astonishing, continues Jocelin, how soon he learned the ways of
business;  and, in all sort of affairs, became expert beyond
others.  Of the many persons offering him their service 'he
retained one Knight skilled in taking _vadia_ and _plegia;'_  and
within the year was himself well skilled.  Nay, by and by, the
Pope appoints him Justiciary in certain causes;  the King one of
his new Circuit judges:  official Osbert is heard saying, "That
Abbot is one of your shrewd ones, _disputator est;_  if he go on
as he begins, he will cut out every lawyer of us!"

Why not?  What is to hinder this Samson from governing?  There is
in him what far transcends all apprenticeships;  in the man
himself there exists a model of governing, something to govern
by!  There exists in him a heart-abhorrence of whatever is
incoherent, pusillanimous, unveracious,--that is to say, chaotic,
_un_governed;  of the Devil, not of God.  A man of this kind
cannot help governing!  He has the living ideal of a governor in
him;  and the incessant necessity of struggling to unfold the
same out of him.  Not the Devil or Chaos, for any wages, will he
serve;  no, this man is the born servant of Another than them.
Alas, how little avail all apprenticeships, when there is in your
governor himself what we may well call _nothing_ to govern by:
nothing;--a general grey twilight, looming with shapes of
expediencies, parliamentary traditions, division-lists, election-
funds, leading-articles;  this, with what of vulpine alertness
and adroitness soever, is not much!

But indeed what say we, apprenticeship?  Had not this Samson
served, in his way, a right good apprenticeship to governing;
namely, the harshest slave-apprenticeship to obeying!  Walk this
world with no friend in it but God and St. Edmund, you will
either fall into the ditch, or learn a good many things.  To
learn obeying is the fundamental art of governing.  How much
would many a Serene Highness have learned, had he traveled
through the world with water-jug and empty wallet, _sine omni
expensa;_  and, at his victorious return, sat down not to
newspaper-paragraphs and city-illuminations, but at the foot of
St. Edmund's Shrine to shackles and bread and water!  He that
cannot be servant of many, will never be master, true guide and
deliverer of many;--that is the meaning of true mastership.  Had
not the Monk-life extraordinary 'political capabilities' in it;
if not imitable by us, yet enviable?  Heavens, had a Duke of
Logwood, now rolling sumptuously to his place in the Collective
Wisdom, but himself happened to plough daily, at one time, on
seven-and-sixpence a week, with no out-door relief,--what a
light, unquenchable by logic and statistic and arithmetic, would
it have thrown on several things for him!

In all cases, therefore, we will agree with the judicious Mrs.
Glass:  'First catch your hare!'  First get your man;  all is
got:  he can learn to do all things, from making boots, to
decreeing judgments, governing communities;  and will do them
like a man.  Catch your no-man,--alas, have you not caught the
terriblest Tartar in the world!  Perhaps all the terribler, the
quieter and gentler he looks.  For the mischief that one
blockhead, that every blockhead does, in a world so feracious,
teeming with endless results as ours, no ciphering will sum up.
The quack bootmaker is considerable;  as corn-cutters can
testify, and desperate men reduced to buckskin and list-shoes.
But the quack priest, quack high-priest, the quack king!  Why do
not all just citizens rush, half-frantic, to stop him, as they
would a conflagration?  Surely a just citizen _is_ admonished by
God and his own Soul, by all silent and articulate voices of this
Universe, to do what in _him_ lies towards relief of this poor
blockhead-quack, and of a world that groans under him.  Runs
swiftly;  relieve him,--were it even by extinguishing him!  For
all things have grown so old, tinder-dry, combustible;  and he is
more ruinous than conflagration.  Sweep him _down,_ at least;
keep him strictly within the hearth:  he will then cease to be
conflagration;  he will then become useful, more or less, as
culinary fire.  Fire is the best of servants;  but what a master!
This poor blockhead too is born for uses:  why, elevating him to
mastership, will you make a conflagration, a parish-curse or
world-curse of him?



Chapter X

Government


How Abbot Samson, giving his new subjects seriatim the kiss of
fatherhood in the St. Edmundsbury chapterhouse, proceeded with
cautious energy to set about reforming their disjointed
distracted way of life;  how he managed with his Fifty rough
_Milites_ (Feudal Knights), with his lazy Farmers, remiss
refractory Monks, with Pope's Legates, Viscounts, Bishops, Kings;
how on all sides he laid about him like a man, and putting
consequence on premiss, and everywhere the saddle on the right
horse, struggled incessantly to educe organic method out of
lazily fermenting wreck,--the careful reader will discern, not
without true interest, in these pages of Jocelin Boswell.  In
most antiquarian quaint costume, not of garments alone, but of
thought, word, action, outlook and position, the substantial
figure of a man with eminent nose, bushy brows and clear-flashing
eyes, his russet beard growing daily greyer, is visible, engaged
in true governing of men.  It is beautiful how the chrysalis
governing-soul, shaking off its dusty slough and prison, starts
forth winged, a true royal soul!  Our new Abbot has a right
honest unconscious feeling, without insolence as without fear or
flutter, of what he is and what others are.  A courage to quell
the proudest, an honest pity to encourage the humblest.  Withal
there is a noble reticence in this Lord Abbot:  much vain
unreason he hears;  lays up without response.  He is not there to
expect reason and nobleness of others;  he is there to give them
of his own reason and nobleness.  Is he not their servant, as we
said, who can suffer from them, and for them;  bear the burden
their poor spindle-limbs totter and stagger under;  and in virtue
_thereof_ govern them, lead them out of weakness into strength,
out of defeat into victory!


One of the first Herculean Labours Abbot Samson undertook, or the
very first, was to institute a strenuous review and radical
reform of his economics.  It is the first labour of every
governing man, from _Paterfamilias_ to _Dominus Rex._  To get the
rain thatched out from you is the preliminary of whatever
farther, in the way of speculation or of action, you may mean to
do.  Old Abbot Hugo's budget, as we saw, had become empty, filled
with deficit and wind.  To see his account-books clear, be
delivered from those ravening flights of Jew and Christian
creditors, pouncing on him like obscene harpies wherever he
shewed face, was a necessity for Abbot Samson.

On the morrow after his instalment, he brings in a load of money-
bonds, all duly stamped, sealed with this or the other Convent
Seal:  frightful, unmanageable, a bottomless confusion of Convent
finance.  There they are;--but there at least they all are;  all
that shall be of them.  Our Lord Abbot demands that all the
official seals in use among us be now produced and delivered to
him.  Three-and-thirty seals turn up;  are straightway broken,
and shall seal no more:  the Abbot only, and those duly
authorised by him shall seal any bond.  There are but two ways of
paying debt:  increase of industry in raising income, increase of
thrift in laying it out.  With iron energy, in slow but steady
undeviating perseverance, Abbot Samson sets to work in both
directions.  His troubles are manifold:  cunning _milites,_
unjust bailiffs, lazy sockmen, he an inexperienced Abbot;
relaxed lazy monks, not disinclined to mutiny in mass:  but
continued vigilance, rigorous method, what we call 'the eye of
the master,' work wonders.  The clear-beaming eyesight of Abbot
Samson, steadfast, severe, all-penetrating,--it is like _Fiat
luxe_ in that inorganic waste whirlpool;  penetrates gradually to
all nooks, and of the chaos makes a _kosmos_ or ordered world!

He arranges everywhere, struggles unweariedly to arrange, and
place on some intelligible footing, the 'affairs and dues,
_res ac redditus,'_ of his dominion.  The Lakenheath eels
cease to breed squabbles between human beings;  the penny of
_reap-silver_ to explode into the streets the Female Chartism of
St. Edmundsbury.  These and innumerable greater things.
Wheresoever Disorder may stand or lie, let it have a care;  here
is the man that has declared war with it, that never will make
peace with it.  Man is the Missionary of Order;  he is the
servant not of the Devil and Chaos, but of God and the Universe!
Let all sluggards and cowards, remiss, false-spoken, unjust, and
otherwise diabolic persons have a care:  this is a dangerous man
for them.  He has a mild grave face;  a thoughtful sternness, a
sorrowful pity:  but there is a terrible flash of anger in him
too;  lazy monks often have to murmur, _"Saevit ut lupus,_ He
rages like a wolf;  was not our Dream true!"  "To repress and
hold-in such sudden anger he was continually careful," and
succeeded well:--right, Samson;  that it may become in thee as
noble central heat, fruitful, strong, beneficent;  not blaze out,
or the seldomest possible blaze out, as wasteful volcanoism to
scorch and consume!


"We must first creep, and gradually learn to walk," had Abbot
Samson said of himself, at starting.  In four years he has become
a great walker;  striding prosperously along;  driving much
before him.  In less than four years, says Jocelin, the Convent
Debts were all liquidated:  the harpy Jews not only settled
with, but banished, bag and baggage, out of the _Bannaleuca_
(Liberties, _Banlieue_) of St. Edmundsbury,--so has the King's
Majesty been persuaded to permit.  Farewell to _you,_ at any
rate;  let us, in no extremity, apply again to you!  Armed men
march them over the borders, dismiss them under stern penalties,
--sentence of excommunication on all that shall again harbour them
here:  there were many dry eyes at their departure.

New life enters everywhere, springs up beneficent, the Incubus of
Debt once rolled away.  Samson hastes not;  but neither does he
pause to rest.  This of the Finance is a life-long business with
him;--Jocelin's anecdotes are filled to weariness with it.  As
indeed to Jocelin it was of very primary interest.

But we have to record also, with a lively satisfaction, that
spiritual rubbish is as little tolerated in Samson's Monastery as
material.  With due rigour, Willelmus Sacrista, and his bibations
and _tacenda_ are, at the earliest opportunity, softly, yet
irrevocably put an end to.  The bibations, namely, had to end;
even the building where they used to be carried on was razed from
the soil of St. Edmundsbury, and 'on its place grow rows of
beams:'  Willelmus himself, deposed from the Sacristry and all
offices, retires into obscurity, into absolute taciturnity
unbroken thenceforth to this hour.  Whether the poor Willelmus
did not still, by secret channels, occasionally get some slight
wetting of vinous or alcoholic liquor,--now grown, in a manner,
indispensable to the poor man?  Jocelin hints not;  one knows not
how to hope, what to hope!  But if he did, it was in silence and
darkness;  with an ever-present feeling that teetotalism was his
only true course.

Drunken dissolute Monks are a class of persons who had better
keep out of Abbot Samson's way.  _Saevit ut lupus;_ was not the
Dream true! murmured many a Monk.  Nay Ranulf de Glanville,
Justiciary in Chief, took umbrage at him, seeing these strict
ways;  and watched farther with suspicion:  but discerned
gradually that there was nothing wrong, that there was much the
opposite of wrong.



Chapter XI

The Abbot's Ways


Abbot Samson shewed no extraordinary favour to the Monks who had
been his familiars of old;  did not promote them to offices,--
_nisi essent idonei,_ unless they chanced to be fit men!  Whence
great discontent among certain of these, who had contributed to
make him Abbot:  reproaches, open and secret, of his being
'ungrateful, hard-tempered, unsocial, a Norfolk _barrator_
and _paltenerius.'_

Indeed, except it were for _idonei,_ 'fit men,' in all kinds, it
was hard to say for whom Abbot Samson had much favour.  He loved
his kindred well, and tenderly enough acknowledged the poor part
of them;  with the rich part, who in old days had never
acknowledged him, he totally refused to have any business.  But
even the former he did not promote into offices;  finding none of
them _idonei._  'Some whom he thought suitable he put into
situations in his own household, or made keepers of his country
places:  if they behaved ill, he dismissed them without hope of
return.  In his promotions, nay almost in his benefits, you would
have said there was a certain impartiality.  'The official person
who had, by Abbot Hugo's order, put the fetters on him at his
return from Italy, was now supported with food and clothes to the
end of his days at Abbot Samson's expense.'

Yet he did not forget benefits;  far the reverse, when an
opportunity occurred of paying them at his own cost.  How pay
them at the public cost;--how, above all, by _setting fire_ to
the public, as we said;  clapping 'conflagrations' on the public,
which the services of blockheads, _non-idonei,_ intrinsically
are!  He was right willing to remember friends, when it could be
done.  Take these instances:  'A certain chaplain who had
maintained him at the Schools of Paris by the sale of holy water,
_quaestu aquae benedictae;_--to this good chaplain he did give a
vicarage, adequate to the comfortable sustenance of him.  'The
Son of Elias, too, that is, of old Abbot Hugo's Cupbearer, coming
to do homage for his Father's land, our Lord Abbot said to him in
full court:  "I have, for these seven years, put off taking thy
homage for the land which Abbot Hugo gave thy Father, because
that gift was to the damage of Elmswell, and a questionable one:
but now I must profess myself overcome;  mindful of the kindness
thy Father did me when I was in bonds;  because he sent me a cup
of the very wine his master had been drinking, and bade me be
comforted in God."'

'To Magister Walter, son of Magister William de Dice, who wanted
the vicarage of Chevington, he answered:  "Thy Father was Master
of the Schools;  and when I was an indigent _clericus,_ he
granted me freely and in charity an entrance to his School, and
opportunity of learning;  wherefore I now, for the sake of God,
grant to thee what thou askest."'  Or lastly, take this good
instance,--and a glimpse, along with it, into long-obsolete
times:  'Two _Milites_ of Risby, Willelm and Norman, being
adjudged in Court to come under his mercy, _in misericordia
ejus,'_ for a certain very considerable fine of twenty shillings,
'he thus addressed them publicly on the spot:  "When I was a
Cloister-monk, I was once sent to Durham on business of our
Church;  and coming home again, the dark night caught me at
Risby, and I had to beg a lodging there.  I went to Dominus
Norman's, and he gave me a flat refusal.  Going then to Dominus
Willelm's, and begging hospitality, I was by him honourably
received.  The twenty shillings therefore of _mercy,_ I, without
mercy, will exact from Dominus Norman;  to Dominus Willelm, on
the other hand, I, with thanks, will wholly remit the said sum."'
Men know not always to whom they refuse lodgings;  men have
lodged Angels unawares!--


It is clear Abbot Samson had a talent;  he had learned to judge
better than Lawyers, to manage better than bred Bailiffs:--a
talent shining out indisputable, on whatever side you took him.
'An eloquent man he was,' says Jocelin, 'both in French and
Latin;  but intent more on the substance and method of what was
to be said, than on the ornamental way of saying it.  He could
read English Manuscripts very elegantly, _elegantissime:_  he was
wont to preach to the people in the English tongue, though
according to the dialect of Norfolk, where he had been brought
up;  wherefore indeed he had caused a Pulpit to be erected in our
Church both for ornament of the same, and for the use of his
audiences.'  There preached he, according to the dialect of
Norfolk:  a man worth going to hear.

That he was a just clear-hearted man, this, as the basis of all
true talent, is presupposed.  How can a man, without clear vision
in his heart first of all, have any clear vision in the head?  It
is impossible!  Abbot Samson was one of the justest of judges;
insisted on understanding the case to the bottom, and then
swiftly decided without feud or favour.  For which reason,
indeed, the Dominus Rex, searching for such men, as for hidden
treasure and healing to his distressed realm, had made him one of
the new Itinerant judges,--such as continue to this day.  "My
curse on that Abbot's court," a suitor was heard imprecating,
_"Maledicta sit curia istius Abbatis,_ where neither gold nor
silver can help me to confound my enemy!"  And old friendships
and all connexions forgotten, when you go to seek an office from
him!  "A kinless loon," as the Scotch said of Cromwell's new
judges,--intent on mere indifferent fair-play!

Eloquence in three languages is good;  but it is not the best.
To us, as already hinted, the Lord Abbot's eloquence is less
admirable than his ineloquence, his great invaluable 'talent of
silence!'  _'"Deus, Deus,"_ said the Lord Abbot to me once, when
he heard the Convent were murmuring at some act of his, "I have
much need to remember that Dream they had of me, that I was to
rage among them like a wolf.  Above all earthly things I dread
their driving me to do it.  How much do I hold in, and wink at;
raging and shuddering in my own secret mind, and not outwardly at
all!"  He would boast to me at other times:  "This and that I
have seen, this and that I have heard;  yet patiently stood it."
He had this way, too, which I have never seen in any other man,
that he affectionately loved many persons to whom he never or
hardly ever shewed a countenance of love.  Once on my venturing
to expostulate with him on the subject, he reminded me of
Solomon:  "Many sons I have;  it is not fit that I should smile
on them."  He would suffer faults, damage from his servants, and
know what he suffered, and not speak of it;  but I think the
reason was, he waited a good time for speaking of it, and in a
wise way amending it.  He intimated, openly in chapter to us all,
that he would have no eavesdropping:  "Let none," said he, "come
to me secretly accusing another, unless he will publicly stand to
the same;  if he come otherwise, I will openly proclaim the name
of him.  I wish, too, that every Monk of you have free access to
me, to speak of your needs or grievances when you will."'

The kinds of people Abbot Samson liked worst were these three:
_`Mendaces, ebriosi, verbosi,_ Liars, drunkards, and wordy or
windy persons;'--not good kinds, any of them!  He also much
condemned 'persons given to murmur at their meat or drink,
especially Monks of that disposition.  We remark, from the very
first, his strict anxious order to his servants to provide
handsomely for hospitality, to guard 'above all things that there
be no shabbiness in the matter of meat and drink;  no look of
mean parsimony, in _novitate mea,_ at the beginning of my
Abbotship;'  and to the last he maintains a due opulence of table
and equipment for others:  but he is himself in the highest
degree indifferent to all such things.

'Sweet milk, honey, and other naturally sweet kinds of food, were
what he preferred to eat:  but he had this virtue,' says Jocelin,
'he never changed the dish (_ferculum_) you set before him, be
what it might.  Once when I, still a novice, happened to be
waiting table in the refectory, it came into my head' (rogue that
I was!) `to try if this were true;  and I thought I would place
before him a _ferculum_ that would have displeased any other
person, the very platter being black and broken.  But he, seeing
it, was as one that saw it not:  and now some little delay taking
place, my heart smote me that I had done this;  and so, snatching
up the platter (_discus_), I changed both it and its contents for
a better, and put down that instead;  which emendation he was
angry at, and rebuked me for,'--the stoical monastic man!  'For
the first seven years he had commonly four sorts of dishes on his
table;  afterwards only three, except it might be presents, or
venison from his own parks, or fishes from his ponds.  And if, at
any time, he had guests living in his house at the request of
some great person, or of some friend, or had public messengers,
or had harpers (_citharoedos_), or any one of that sort, he took
the first opportunity of shifting to another of his Manor-houses,
and so got rid of such superfluous individuals,'--very prudently,
I think.

As to his parks, of these, in the general repair of buildings,
general improvement and adornment of the St. Edmund Domains, 'he
had laid out several, and stocked them with animals, retaining a
proper huntsman with hounds:  and, if any guest of great quality
were there, our Lord Abbot with his Monks would sit in some
opening of the woods, and see the dogs run;  but he himself never
meddled with hunting, that I saw.'


'In an opening of the woods;'--for the country was still dark
with wood in those days;  and Scotland itself still rustled
shaggy and leafy, like a damp black American Forest, with cleared
spots and spaces here and there.  Dryasdust advances several
absurd hypotheses as to the insensible but almost total
disappearance of these woods;  the thick wreck of which now lies
as peat, sometimes with huge heart-of-oak timber logs imbedded in
it, on many a height and hollow.  The simplest reason doubtless
is, that by increase of husbandry, there was increase of cattle;
increase of hunger for green spring food;  and so, more and more,
the new seedlings got yearly eaten out in April;  and the old
trees, having only a certain length of life in them, died
gradually, no man heeding it, and disappeared into _peat._

A sorrowful waste of noble wood and umbrage!  Yes,--but a
very common one;  the course of most things in this world.
Monachism itself, so rich and fruitful once, is now all rotted
into peat;  lies sleek and buried,--and a most feeble bog-grass
of Dilettantism all the crop we reap from it!  That also was
frightful waste;  perhaps among the saddest our England ever saw.
Why will men destroy noble Forests, even when in part a nuisance,
in such reckless manner;  turning loose four-footed cattle and
Henry-the-Eighths into them!  The fifth part of our English soil,
Dryasdust computes, lay consecrated to 'spiritual uses,' better
or worse;  solemnly set apart to foster spiritual growth and
culture of the soul, by the methods then known:  and now--
it too, like the four-fifths, fosters what?  Gentle shepherd,
tell me what!



Chapter XII

The Abbot's Troubles


The troubles of Abbot Samson, as he went along in this
abstemious, reticent, rigorous way, were more than tongue can
tell.  The Abbot's mitre once set on his head, he knew rest no
more.  Double, double, toil and trouble;  that is the life of all
governors that really govern:  not the spoil of victory, only the
glorious toil of battle can be theirs.  Abbot Samson found all
men more or less headstrong, irrational, prone to disorder;
continually threatening to prove ungovernable.

His lazy Monks gave him most trouble.  'My heart is tortured,'
said he, 'till we get out of debt, _cor meum cruciatum est.'_
Your heart, indeed;--but not altogether ours!  By no devisable
method, or none of three or four that he devised, could Abbot
Samson get these Monks of his to keep their accounts straight;
but always, do as he might, the Cellerarius at the end of the
term is in a coil, in a flat deficit,--verging again towards debt
and Jews.  The Lord Abbot at last declares sternly he will keep
our accounts too himself;  will appoint an officer of his own to
see our Cellerarius keep them.  Murmurs thereupon among us:  Was
the like ever heard?  Our Cellerarius a cipher;  the very
Townsfolk know it:  _subsannatio et derisio sumus,_ we have
become a laughingstock to mankind.  The Norfolk barrator
and paltener!

And consider, if the Abbot found such difficulty in the mere
economic department, how much in more complex ones, in spiritual
ones perhaps!  He wears a stern calm face;  raging and gnashing
teeth, _fremens_ and _frendens,_ many times, in the secret of his
mind.  Withal, however, there is noble slow perseverance in him;
a strength of 'subdued rage' calculated to subdue most things:
always, in the long-run, he contrives to gain his point.


Murmurs from the Monks, meanwhile, cannot fail;  ever deeper
murmurs, new grudges accumulating.  At one time, on slight cause,
some drop making the cup run over, they burst into open mutiny:
the Cellarer will not obey, prefers arrest on bread and water to
obeying;  the Monks thereupon strike work;  refuse to do the
regular chanting of the day, at least the younger part of them
with loud clamour and uproar refuse:--Abbot Samson has withdrawn
to another residence, acting only by messengers:  the awful
report circulates through St. Edmundsbury that the Abbot is in
danger of being murdered by the Monks with their knives!  How
wilt thou appease this, Abbot Samson?  Return;  for the Monastery
seems near catching fire!

Abbot Samson returns;  sits in his _Thalamus_ or inner room,
hurls out a bolt or two of excommunication:  lo, one disobedient
Monk sits in limbo, excommunicated, with foot-shackles on him,
all day;  and three more our Abbot has gyved 'with the lesser
sentence, to strike fear into the others!'  Let the others think
with whom they have to do.  The others think;  and fear enters
into them.  'On the morrow morning we decide on humbling
ourselves before the Abbot, by word and gesture, in order to
mitigate his mind.  And so accordingly was done.  He, on the
other side, replying with much humility, yet always alleging his
own justice and turning the blame on us, when he saw that we were
conquered, became himself conquered.  And bursting into tears,
_perfusus lachrymis,_ he swore that he had never grieved so much
for anything in the world as for this, first on his own account,
and then secondly and chiefly for the public scandal which had
gone abroad, that St. Edmund's Monks were going to kill their
Abbot.  And when he had narrated how he went away on purpose till
his anger should cool, repeating this word of the philosopher, "I
would have taken vengeance on thee, had not I been angry," he
arose weeping, and embraced each and all of us with the kiss of
peace.  He wept;  we all wept:'--what a picture!  Behave better,
ye remiss Monks, and thank Heaven for such an Abbot;  or know at
least that ye must and shall obey him.


Worn down in this manner, with incessant toil and tribulation,
Abbot Samson had a sore time of it;  his grizzled hair and beard
grew daily greyer.  Those Jews, in the first four years, had
'visibly emaciated him:'  Time, Jews, and the task of Governing,
will make a man's beard very grey!  'In twelve years,' says
Jocelin, 'our Lord Abbot had grown wholly white as snow, _totus
efficitur albus sicut nix.'_  White, atop, like the granite
mountains:--but his clear-beaming eyes still look out, in their
stern clearness, in their sorrow and pity;  the heart within him
remains unconquered.

Nay sometimes there are gleams of hilarity too;  little snatches
of encouragement granted even to a Governor.  'Once my Lord Abbot
and I, coming down from London through the Forest, I inquired of
an old woman whom we came up to, Whose wood this was, and of what
manor;  who the master, who the keeper?'--All this I knew very
well beforehand, and my Lord Abbot too, Bozzy that I was!  But
'the old woman answered, The wood belonged to the new Abbot of
St. Edmund's, was of the manor of Harlow, and the keeper of it
was one Arnald.  How did he behave to the people of the manor? I
asked farther.  She answered that he used to be a devil
incarnate, _daemon vivus_, an enemy of God, and flayer of the
peasants' skins,'--skinning them like live eels, as the manner of
some is:  but that now he dreads the new Abbot, knowing him to be
a wise and sharp man, and so treats the people reasonably,
_tractat homines pacifice.'_  Whereat the Lord Abbot _factus est
hilaris,_--could not but take a triumphant laugh for himself;
and determines to leave that Harlow manor yet unmeddled with, for
a while.

A brave man, strenuously fighting, fails not of a little triumph,
now and then, to keep him in heart.  Everywhere we try at least
to give the adversary as good as he brings;  and, with swift
force or slow watchful manoeuvre, extinguish this and the other
solecism, leave one solecism less in God's Creation;  and so
_proceed_ with our battle, not slacken or surrender in it!  The
Fifty feudal Knights;  for example, were of unjust greedy temper,
and cheated us, in the Installation-day, of ten knights'-fees;--
but they know now whether that has profited them aught, and I
Jocelin know.  Our Lord Abbot for the moment had to endure it,
and say nothing;  but he watched his time.

Look also how my Lord of Clare, coming to claim his undue 'debt'
in the Court at Witham, with barons and apparatus, gets a Rowland
for his Oliver!  Jocelin shall report:  'The Earl, crowded round
(_constipatus_) with many barons and men at arms, Earl Alberic
and others standing by him, said, "That his bailiffs had given
him to understand they were wont annually to receive for his
behoof, from the Hundred of Risebridge and the bailiffs thereof,
a sum of five shillings, which sum was now unjustly held back;"
and he alleged farther that his predecessors had been infeft, at
the Conquest, in the lands of Alfric son of Wisgar, who was Lord
of that Hundred, as may be read in Domesday Book by all persons.
--The Abbot, reflecting for a moment, without stirring from his
place, made answer:  "A wonderful deficit, my Lord Earl, this
that thou mentionest!  King Edward gave to St. Edmund that entire
Hundred, and confirmed the same with his Charter;  nor is there
any mention there of those five shillings.  It will behove thee
to say, for what service, or on what ground, thou exactest those
five shillings."  Whereupon the Earl, consulting with his
followers, replied, That he had to carry the Banner of St. Edmund
in war-time, and for this duty the five shillings were his.  To
which the Abbot:  "Certainly, it seems inglorious, if so great a
man, Earl of Clare no less, receive so small a gift for such a
service.  To the Abbot of St. Edmund's it is no unbearable burden
to give five shillings.  But Roger Earl Bigot holds himself duly
seised, and asserts that he by such seisin has the office of
carrying St. Edmund's Banner;  and he did carry it when the Earl
of Leicester and his Flemings were beaten at Fornham.  Then again
Thomas de Mendham says that the right is his.  When you have made
out with one another, that this right is thine, come then and
claim the five shillings, and I will promptly pay them!"
Whereupon the Earl said, He would speak with Earl Roger his
relative;  and so the matter _cepit dilationem,'_ and lies
undecided to the end of the world.  Abbot Samson answers by word
or act, in this or the like pregnant manner, having justice on
his side, innumerable persons:  Pope's Legates, King's Viscounts,
Canterbury Archbishops, Cellarers, _Sochemanni;_--and leaves many
a solecism extinguished.

On the whole, however, it is and remains sore work.  'One time,
during my chaplaincy, I ventured to say to him:  _"Domane,_ I
heard thee, this night after matins, wakeful, and sighing deeply,
_valde suspirantem,_ contrary to thy usual wont."  He answered:
"No wonder.  Thou, son Jocelin, sharest in my good things, in
food and drink, in riding and such like;  but thou little
thinkest concerning the management of House and Family, the
various and arduous businesses of the Pastoral Care, which harass
me, and make my soul to sigh and be anxious."  Whereto I, lifting
up my hands to Heaven:  "From such anxiety, Omnipotent Merciful
Lord deliver me!"--I have heard the Abbot say, If he had been as
he was before he became a Monk, and could have anywhere got five
or six mares of income,' some three pound ten of yearly revenue,
'whereby to support himself in the schools, he would never have
been Monk nor Abbot.  Another time he said with an oath, If he
had known what a business it was to govern the Abbey, he would
rather have been Almoner, how much rather Keeper of the Books,
than Abbot and Lord.  That latter office he said he had always
longed for, beyond any other.  _Quis talia crederet,'_ concludes
Jocelin, 'Who can believe such things?'

Three pound ten, and a life of Literature, especially of quiet
Literature, without copyright, or world-celebrity of literary-
gazettes,--yes, thou brave Abbot Samson, for thyself it had been
better, easier, perhaps also nobler!  But then, for thy
disobedient Monks, unjust Viscounts;  for a Domain of St. Edmund
overgrown with Solecisms, human and other, it had not been so
well.  Nay neither could _thy_ Literature, never so quiet, have
been easy.  Literature, when noble, is not easy;  but only when
ignoble.  Literature too is a quarrel, and internecine duel, with
the whole World of Darkness that lies without one and within
one;--rather a hard fight at times, even with the three pound ten
secure.  Thou, there where thou art, wrestle and duel along,
cheerfully to the end;  and make no remarks!



Chapter XIII

In Parliament


Of Abbot Samson's public business we say little, though that also
was great.  He had to judge the people as justice Errant, to
decide in weighty arbitrations and public controversies;  to
equip his _milites,_ send them duly in war-time to the King;--
strive every way that the Commonweal, in his quarter of it, take
no damage.

Once, in the confused days of Lackland's usurpation, while Coeur-
de-Lion was away, our brave Abbot took helmet himself, having
first excommunicated all that should favour Lackland;  and led
his men in person to the siege of _Windleshora_, what we now call
Windsor;  where Lackland had entrenched himself, the centre of
infinite confusions;  some Reform Bill, then as now, being
greatly needed.  There did Abbot Samson 'fight the battle of
reform,'--with other ammunition, one hopes, than 'tremendous
cheering' and such like!  For these things he was called 'the
magnanimous Abbot'

He also attended duly in his place in Parliament _de arduis
regni;_  attended especially, as in _arduissimo,_ when 'the news
reached London that King Richard was a captive in Germany.'  Here
'while all the barons sat to consult,' and many of them looked
blank enough, 'the Abbot started forth, _prosiliit coram
omnibus,_ in his place in Parliament, and said, That _he_ was
ready to go and seek his Lord the King, either clandestinely by
subterfuge (_in tapinagio_), or by any other method;  and search
till he found him, and got certain notice of him;  he for one!
By which word,' says Jocelin, 'he acquired great praise for
himself,'--unfeigned commendation from the Able Editors of
that age.

By which word;--and also by which _deed:_  for the Abbot actually
went 'with rich gifts to the King in Germany;'  Usurper Lackland
being first rooted out from Windsor, and the King's peace
somewhat settled.

As to these 'rich gifts,' however, we have to note one thing:  In
all England, as appeared to the Collective Wisdom, there was not
like to be treasure enough for ransoming King Richard;  in which
extremity certain Lords of the Treasury, _Justiciarii ad
Scaccarium,_ suggested that St. Edmund's Shrine, covered with
thick gold, was still untouched.  Could not it, in this
extremity, be peeled off, at least in part;  under condition, of
course, of its being replaced, when times mended?  The Abbot,
starting plumb up, _se erigens,_ answered:  "Know ye for certain,
that I will in no wise do this thing;  nor is there any man who
could force me to consent thereto.  But I will open the doors of
the Church:  Let him that likes enter;  let him that dares come
forward!"  Emphatic words, which created a sensation round the
woolsack.  For the Justiciaries of the _Scaccarium_ answered,
'with oaths, each for himself:  "I won't come forward, for my
share;  nor will I, nor I!  The distant and absent who offended
him, Saint Edmund has been known to punish fearfully;  much more
will he those close by, who lay violent hands on his coat, and
would strip it off!"  These things being said, the Shrine was not
meddled with, nor any ransom levied for it.

For Lords of the Treasury have in all times their impassable
limits, be it by 'force of public opinion' or otherwise;  and in
those days a Heavenly Awe overshadowed and encompassed, as it
still ought and must, all earthly Business whatsoever.



Chapter XIV

Henry of Essex


Of St. Edmund's fearful avengements have they not the
remarkablest instance still before their eyes?  He that will go
to Reading Monastery may find there, now tonsured into a mournful
penitent Monk, the once proud Henry Earl of Essex;  and discern
how St. Edmund punishes terribly, yet with mercy! This Narrative
is too significant to be omitted as a document of the Time.  Our
Lord Abbot, once on a visit at Reading, heard the particulars
from Henry's own mouth;  and thereupon charged one of his monks
to write it down;--as accordingly the Monk has done, in ambitious
rhetorical Latin;  inserting the same, as episode, among
Jocelin's garrulous leaves.  Read it here;  with ancient yet with
modern eyes.


Henry Earl of Essex, standard-bearer of England, had high places
and emoluments;  had a haughty high soul, yet with various flaws,
or rather with one many-branched flaw and crack, running through
the texture of it.  For example, did he not treat Gilbert de
Cereville in the most shocking manner?  He cast Gilbert into
prison;  and, with chains and slow torments, wore the life out of
him there.  And Gilbert's crime was understood to be only that of
innocent Joseph:  the Lady Essex was a Potiphar's Wife, and had
accused poor Gilbert!  Other cracks, and branches of that
widespread flaw in the Standard-bearer's soul we could point out:
but indeed the main stem and trunk of all is too visible in this,
That he had no right reverence for the Heavenly in Man,--that far
from shewing due reverence to St. Edmund, he did not even shew
him common justice.  While others in the Eastern Counties were
adorning and enlarging with rich gifts St. Edmund's resting-
place, which had become a city of refuge for many things, this
Earl of Essex flatly defrauded him, by violence or quirk of law,
of five shillings yearly, and converted said sum to his own poor
uses!  Nay, in another case of litigation, the unjust Standard
bearer, for his own profit, asserting that the cause belonged not
to St. Edmund's Court, but to _his_ in Lailand Hundred, 'involved
us in travelings and innumerable expenses, vexing the servants of
St. Edmund for a long tract of time:  In short, he is without
reverence for the Heavenly, this Standard-bearer;  reveres only
the Earthly, Gold-coined;  and has a most morbid lamentable flaw
in the texture of him.  It cannot come to, good.

Accordingly, the same flaw, or St.-Vitus' _tic,_ manifests itself
ere long in another way.  In the year 1157, he went with his
Standard to attend King Henry, our blessed Sovereign (whom _we_
saw afterwards at Waltham), in his War with the Welsh.  A
somewhat disastrous War;  in which while King Henry and his force
were struggling to retreat Parthian-like, endless clouds of
exasperated Welshmen hemming them in, and now we had come to the
'difficult pass of Coleshill,' and as it were to the nick of
destruction,--Henry Earl of Essex shrieks out on a sudden
(blinded doubtless by his inner flaw, or 'evil genius' as some
name it), That King Henry is killed, That all is lost,--and
flings down his Standard to shift for itself there!  And,
certainly enough, all _had_ been lost, had all men been as he;--
had not brave men, without such miserable jerking _tic-
douloureux_ in the souls of them, come dashing up, with blazing
swords and looks, and asserted That nothing was lost yet, that
all must be regained yet.  In this manner King Henry and his
force got safely retreated, Parthian-like, from the pass of
Coleshill and the Welsh War.*  But, once home again, Earl Robert
de Montfort, a kinsman of this Standard-bearer's, rises up in the
King's Assembly to declare openly that such a man is unfit for
bearing English Standards, being in fact either a special
traitor, or something almost worse, a coward namely, or universal
traitor.  Wager of Battle in consequence;  solemn Duel, by the
King's appointment, 'in a certain Island of the Thames-stream at
Reading, _apud Radingas,_ short way from the Abbey there.  King,
Peers, and an immense multitude of people, on such scaffoldings
and heights as they can come at, are gathered round, to see what
issue the business will take.  The business takes this bad issue,
in our Monk's own words faithfully rendered:

----------
*See Lyttelton's _Henry II.,_ ii: 384.
----------

'And it came to pass, while Robert de Montfort thundered on him
manfully (_viriliter intonasset_) with hard and frequent strokes,
and a valiant beginning promised the fruit of victory, Henry of
Essex, rather giving way, glanced round on all sides;  and lo, at
the rim of the horizon, on the confines of the River and land, he
discerned the glorious King and Martyr Edmund, in shining armour,
and as if hovering in the air;  looking towards him with severe
countenance, nodding his head with a mien and motion of austere
anger.  At St. Edmund's hand there stood also another Knight,
Gilbert de Cereville, whose armour was not so splendid, whose
stature was less gigantic;  casting vengeful looks at him.  This
he seeing with his eyes, remembered that old crime brings new
shame.  And now wholly desperate, and changing reason into
violence, he took the part of one blindly attacking, not
skillfully defending.  Who while he struck fiercely was more
fiercely struck;  and so, in short, fell down vanquished, and it
was thought, slain.  As he lay there for dead, his kinsmen,
Magnates of England, besought the King, that the Monks of Reading
might have leave to bury him.  However, he proved not to be dead,
but got well again among them;  and now, with recovered health,
assuming the Regular Habit, he strove to wipe out the stain of
his former life, to cleanse the long week of his dissolute
history by at least a purifying sabbath, and cultivate the
studies of Virtue into fruits of eternal Felicity:


Thus does the Conscience of man project itself athwart whatsoever
of knowledge or surmise, of imagination, understanding, faculty,
acquirement, or natural disposition he has in him;  and, like
light through coloured glass, paint strange pictures 'on the rim
of the horizon' and elsewhere!  Truly, this same 'sense of the
Infinite nature of Duty' is the central part of all with us;  a
ray as of Eternity and Immortality, immured in dusky many-
coloured Time, and its deaths and births.  Your 'coloured glass'
varies so much from century to century;--and, in certain money-
making, game-preserving centuries, it gets so terribly opaque!
Not a Heaven with cherubim surrounds you then, but a kind of
vacant leaden-coloured Hell.  One day it will again cease to be
opaque, this 'coloured glass.'  Nay, may it not become at once
translucent and uncoloured?  Painting no Pictures more for us,
but only the everlasting Azure itself?  That will be a right
glorious consummation!--

Saint Edmund from the horizon's edge, in shining armour,
threatening the misdoer in his hour of extreme need:  it is
beautiful, it is great and true.  So old, yet so modern, actual;
true yet for every one of us, as for Henry the Earl and Monk!  A
glimpse as of the Deepest in Man's Destiny, which is the same for
all times and ages.  Yes, Henry my brother, there in thy extreme
need, thy soul _is lamed;_  and behold thou canst not so much as
fight!  For justice and Reverence _are_ the everlasting central
Law of this Universe;  and to forget them, and have all the
Universe against one, God and one's own Self for enemies, and
only the Devil and the Dragons for friends, is not that a
'lameness' like few?  That some shining armed St. Edmund hang
minatory on thy horizon, that infinite sulphur-lakes hang
minatory, or do not now hang,--this alters no whit the eternal
fact of the thing.  I say, thy soul is lamed, and the God and all
Godlike in it marred:  lamed, paralytic, tending towards baleful
eternal death, whether thou know it or not;--nay hadst thou never
known it, that surely had been worst of all!--

Thus, at any rate, by the heavenly Awe that overshadows earthly
Business, does Samson, readily in those days, save St. Edmund's
Shrine, and innumerable still more precious things.



Chapter XV

Practical--Devotional


Here indeed, perhaps, by rule of antagonisms, may be the place to
mention that, after King Richard's return, there was a liberty of
tourneying given to the fighting men of England:  that a
Tournament was proclaimed in the Abbot's domain, 'between
Thetford and St. Edmundsbury,'--perhaps in the Euston region, on
Fakenham Heights, midway between these two localities:  that it
was publicly prohibited by our Lord Abbot;  and nevertheless was
held in spite of him,--and by the parties, as would seem,
considered 'a gentle and free passage of arms.'

Nay, next year, there came to the same spot four-and-twenty young
men, sons of Nobles, for another passage of arms;  who, having
completed the same, all rode into St. Edmundsbury to lodge for
the night.  Here is modesty!  Our Lord Abbot, being instructed of
it, ordered the Gates to be closed;  the whole party shut in.
The morrow was the Vigil of the Apostles Peter and Paul;  no
outgate on the morrow.  Giving their promise not to depart
without permission, those four-and-twenty young bloods dieted all
that day (_manducaverunt_) with the Lord Abbot, waiting for trial
on the morrow.  'But after dinner,'--mark it, posterity!--'the
Lord Abbot retiring into his _Thalamus,_ they all started up, and
began caroling and singing (_carolare et cantare_); sending
into the Town for wine;  drinking, and afterwards howling
(_ululantes_);--totally depriving the Abbot and Convent of their
afternoon's nap;  doing all this in derision of the Lord Abbot,
and spending in such fashion the whole day till evening, nor
would they desist at the Lord Abbot's order!  Night coming on,
they broke the bolts of the Town-Gates, and went off by
violence!'  Was the like ever heard of?  The roysterous young
dogs;  caroling, howling, breaking the Lord Abbot's sleep,--after
that sinful chivalry cock-fight of theirs!  They too are a
feature of distant centuries, as of near ones.  St. Edmund on the
edge of your horizon, or whatever else there, young scamps, in
the dandy state, whether cased in iron or in whalebone, begin
to caper and carol on the green Earth!  Our Lord Abbot
excommunicated most of them;  and they gradually came in
for repentance.

Excommunication is a great recipe with our Lord Abbot;  the
prevailing purifier in those ages.  Thus when the Townsfolk and
Monks-menials quarreled once at the Christmas Mysteries in St.
Edmund's Churchyard, and 'from words it came to cuffs, and from
cuffs to cuttings and the effusion of blood,'--our Lord Abbot
excommunicates sixty of the rioters, with bell, book and candle
(_accensis candelis_), at one stroke.  Whereupon they all come
suppliant, indeed nearly naked, 'nothing on but their breeches,
_omnino nudi praeter femoralia,_ and prostrate themselves at the
Church-door.'  Figure that!

In fact, by excommunication or persuasion, by impetuosity of
driving or adroitness in leading, this Abbot, it is now becoming
plain everywhere, is a man that generally remains master at last.
He tempers his medicine to the malady, now hot, now cool;
prudent though fiery, an eminently practical man.  Nay sometimes
in his adroit practice there are swift turns almost of a
surprising nature!  Once, for example, it chanced that Geoffrey
Riddell Bishop of Ely, a Prelate rather troublesome to our Abbot,
made a request of him for timber from his woods towards certain
edifices going on at Glemsford.  The Abbot, a great builder
himself, disliked the request;  could not however give it a
negative.  While he lay, therefore, at his Manorhouse of Melford
not long after, there comes to him one of the Lord Bishop's men
or monks, with a message from his Lordship, "That he now begged
permission to cut down the requisite trees in Elmswell Wood," so
said the monk:  Elm_swell,_ where there are no trees but scrubs
and shrubs, instead of Elm_set,_ our true _nemus,_ and high-
towering oak-wood, here on Melford Manor!  Elmswell?  The Lord
Abbot, in surprise, inquires privily of Richard his Forester;
Richard answers that my Lord of Ely has already had his
_carpentarii_ in Elmset, and marked out for his own use all the
best trees in the compass of it.  Abbot Samson thereupon answers
the monk:  "Elmswell?  Yes surely, be it as my Lord Bishop
wishes."  The successful monk, on the morrow morning, hastens
home to Ely;  but, on the morrow morning, 'directly after mass,'
Abbot Samson too was busy!  The successful monk, arriving at Ely,
is rated for a goose and an owl;  is ordered back to say that
Elmset was the place meant.  Alas, on arriving at Elmset, he
finds the Bishop's trees, they 'and a hundred more,' all felled
and piled, and the stamp of St. Edmund's Monastery burnt into
them,--for roofing of the great tower we are building there!
Your importunate Bishop must seek wood for Glemsford edifices in
some other _nemus_ than this.  A practical Abbot!

We said withal there was a terrible flash of anger in him:
witness his address to old Herbert the Dean, who in a too thrifty
manner has erected a wind-mill for himself on his glebe-lands at
Haberdon.  On the morrow, after mass, our Lord Abbot orders the
Cellerarius to send off his carpenters to demolish the said
structure _brevi manu,_ and lay up the wood in safe keeping.  Old
Dean Herbert, hearing what was toward, comes tottering along
hither, to plead humbly for himself and his mill.  The Abbot
answers:  "I am obliged to thee as if thou hadst cut off both my
feet!  By God's face, _per os Dei,_ I will not eat bread till
that fabric be torn in pieces.  Thou art an old man, and shouldst
have known that neither the King nor his Justiciary dare change
aught within the Liberties, without consent of Abbot and Convent:
and thou hast presumed on such a thing?  I tell thee, it will not
be without damage to my mills;  for the Townsfolk will go to thy
mill, and grind their corn (_bladum suum_) at their own good
pleasure;  nor can I hinder them, since they are free men.  I
will allow no new mills on such principle.  Away, away;  before
thou gettest home again, thou wilt see what thy mill has grown
to!"--The very reverend, the old Dean totters home again, in all
haste;  tears the mill in pieces by his own _carpentarii_, to
save at least the timber;  and Abbot Samson's workmen, coming up,
find the ground already clear of it.


Easy to bully down poor old rural Deans, and blow their windmills
away:  but who is the man that dare abide King Richard's anger;
cross the Lion in his path, and take him by the whiskers!  Abbot
Samson too;  he is that man, with justice on his side.  The case
was this.  Adam de Cokefield, one of the chief feudatories of St.
Edmund, and a principal man in the Eastern Counties, died,
leaving large possessions, and for heiress a daughter of three
months;  who by clear law, as all men know, became thus Abbot
Samson's ward;  whom accordingly he proceeded to dispose of to
such person as seemed fittest.  But now King Richard has another
person in view, to whom the little ward and her great possessions
were a suitable thing.  He, by letter, requests that Abbot Samson
will have the goodness to give her to this person.  Abbot Samson,
with deep humility, replies that she is already given.  New
letters from Richard, of severer tenor;  answered with new deep
humilities, with gifts and entreaties, with no promise of
obedience.  King Richard's ire is kindled;  messengers arrive at
St. Edmundsbury, with emphatic message to obey or tremble!  Abbot
Samson, wisely silent as to the King's threats, makes answer:
"The King can send if he will, and seize the ward:  force and
power he has to do his pleasure, and abolish the whole Abbey.  I
never can be bent to wish this that he seeks, nor shall it by me
be ever done.  For there is danger lest such things be made a
precedent of, to the prejudice of my successors.  _Videat
Altissimus,_ Let the Most High look on it.  Whatsoever thing
shall befall I will patiently endure."

Such was Abbot Samson's deliberate decision.  Why not?  Coeur-de-
Lion is very dreadful, but not the dreadfulest.  _Videat
Altissimus._ I reverence Coeur-de-Lion to the marrow of my bones,
and will in all right things be _homo suus;_  but it is not,
properly speaking, with terror, with any fear at all.  On the
whole, have I not looked on the face of 'Satan with outspread
wings;'  steadily into Hellfire these seven-and-forty years;--and
was not melted into terror even at that, such the Lord's goodness
to me? Coeur-de-Lion!

Richard swore tornado oaths, worse than our armies in Flanders,
To be revenged on that proud Priest.  But in the end he
discovered that the Priest was right;  and forgave him, and even
loved him.  'King Richard wrote, soon after, to Abbot Samson,
That he wanted one or two of the St. Edmundsbury dogs, which he
heard were good.  Abbot Samson sent him dogs of the best;
Richard replied by the present of a ring, which Pope Innocent the
Third had given him.  Thou brave Richard, thou brave Samson!
Richard too, I suppose, 'loved a man,' and knew one when he
saw him.

No one will accuse our Lord Abbot of wanting worldly wisdom, due
interest in worldly things.  A skillful man;  full of cunning
insight, lively interests;  always discerning the road to his
object, be it circuit, be it short-cut, and victoriously
traveling forward thereon.  Nay rather it might seem, from
Jocelin's Narrative, as if he had his eye all but exclusively
directed on terrestrial matters, and was much too secular for a
devout man.  But this too, if we examine it, was right.  For it
is in the world that a man, devout or other, has his life to
lead, his work waiting to be done.  The basis of Abbot Samson's,
we shall discover, was truly religion, after all.  Returning from
his dusty pilgrimage, with such welcome as we saw, 'he sat down
at the foot of St. Edmund's Shrine.'  Not a talking theory that;
no, a silent practice:  Thou St. Edmund with what lies in thee,
thou now must help me, or none will!

This also is a significant fact:  the zealous interest our Abbot
took in the Crusades.  To all noble Christian hearts of that era,
what earthly enterprise so noble?  'When Henry II., having taken
the cross, came to St. Edmund's, to pay his devotions before
setting out, the Abbot secretly made for himself a cross of linen
cloth:  and, holding this in one hand and a threaded needle in
the other, asked leave of the King to assume it!'  The King could
not spare Samson out of England;--the King himself indeed never
went.  But the Abbot's eye was set on the Holy Sepulchre, as on
the spot of this Earth where the true cause of Heaven was
deciding itself.  'At the retaking of Jerusalem by the Pagans,
Abbot Samson put on a cilice and hair-shirt, and wore under-
garments of hair-cloth ever after;  he abstained also from flesh
and fleshmeats (_carne et carneis_) thenceforth to the end of his
life.'  Like a dark cloud eclipsing the hopes of Christendom,
those tidings cast their shadow over St. Edmundsbury too:  Shall
Samson Abbas take pleasure while Christ's Tomb is in the hands of
the Infidel?  Samson, in pain of body, shall daily be reminded of
it, admonished to grieve for it.

The great antique heart:  how like a child's in its simplicity,
like a man's in its earnest solemnity and depth!  Heaven lies
over him wheresoever he goes or stands on the Earth;  making all
the Earth a mystic Temple to him, the Earth's business all a kind
of worship.  Glimpses of bright creatures flash in the common
sunlight;  angels yet hover doing God's messages among men:  that
rainbow was set in the clouds by the hand of God!  Wonder,
miracle encompass the man;  he lives in an element of miracle;
Heaven's splendour over his head, Hell's darkness under his feet.
A great Law of Duty, high as these two Infinitudes, dwarfing all
else, annihilating all else,--making royal Richard as small as
peasant Samson, smaller if need be!--The 'imaginative faculties?'
'Rude poetic ages?'  The 'primeval poetic element?'  O for God's
sake, good reader, talk no more of all that!  It was not a
Dilettantism this of Abbot Samson.  It was a Reality, and it is
one.  The garment only of it is dead;  the essence of it lives
through all Time and all Eternity!


And truly, as we said above, is not this comparative silence of
Abbot Samson as to his religion, precisely the healthiest sign of
him and of it?  'The Unconscious is the alone Complete.' Abbot
Samson all along a busy working man, as all men are bound to be,
his religion, his worship was like his daily bread to him;--which
he did not take the trouble to talk much about;  which he merely
ate at stated intervals, and lived and did his work upon!  This
is Abbot Samson's Catholicism of the Twelfth Century;--something
like the _Ism_ of all true men in all true centuries, I fancy!
Alas, compared with any of the _Isms_ current in these poor days,
what a thing!  Compared with the respectablest, morbid,
struggling Methodism, never so earnest;  with the respectablest,
ghastly, dead or galvanised Dilettantism, never so spasmodic!

Methodism with its eye forever turned on its own navel;  asking
itself with torturing anxiety of Hope and Fear, "Am I right, am I
wrong?  Shall I be saved, shall I not be damned?"--what is this,
at bottom, but a new phasis of _Egoism,_ stretched out into the
Infinite;  not always the heavenlier for its infinitude!
Brother, so soon as possible, endeavour to rise above all that.
"Thou art wrong;  thou art like to be damned:"  consider that as
the fact, reconcile thyself even to that, if thou be a man;--then
first is the devouring Universe subdued under thee, and from the
black murk of midnight and noise of greedy Acheron;  dawn as of
an everlasting morning, how far above all Hope and all Fear,
springs for thee, enlightening thy steep path, awakening in thy
heart celestial Memnon's music!

But of our Dilettantisms, and galvanised Dilettantisms;  of
Puseyism--O Heavens, what shall we say of Puseyism, in comparison
to Twelfth-Century Catholicism?  Little or nothing;  for indeed
it is a matter to strike one dumb.

     The Builder of this Universe was wise,
     He plann'd all souls, all systems, planets, particles:
     The Plan He shap'd His Worlds and Aeons by
     Was--Heavens!--Was thy small Nine-and-thirty Articles?

That certain human souls, living on this practical Earth, should
think to save themselves and a ruined world by noisy theoretic
demonstrations and laudations of _the_ Church, instead of some
unnoisy, unconscious, but _practical,_ total, heart-and-soul
demonstration of _a_ Church:  this, in the circle of revolving
ages, this also was a thing we were to see.  A kind of
penultimate thing, precursor of very strange consummations;  last
thing but one?  If there is no atmosphere, what will it serve a
man to demonstrate the excellence of lungs?  How much profitabler
when you can, like Abbot Samson, breathe;  and go along your way!



Chapter XVI

St. Edmund


Abbot Samson built many useful, many pious edifices;  human
dwellings, churches, church-steeples, barns;--all fallen now and
vanished, but useful while they stood.  He built and endowed 'the
Hospital of Babwell;'  built 'fit houses for the St. Edmundsbury
Schools:  Many are the roofs once 'thatched with reeds' which he
'caused to be covered with tiles;'  or if they were churches,
probably 'with lead.'  For all ruinous incomplete things,
buildings or other, were an eye-sorrow to the man.  We saw his
'great tower of St. Edmund's;'  or at least the roof-timbers of
it, lying cut and stamped in Elmset Wood.  To change combustible
decaying reed-thatch into tile or lead, and material, still more,
moral wreck into rain-tight order, what a comfort to Samson!


One of the things he could not in any wise but rebuild was the
great Altar, aloft on which stood the Shrine itself;  the great
Altar, which had been damaged by fire, by the careless rubbish
and careless candle of two somnolent Monks, one night,--the
Shrine escaping almost as if by miracle!  Abbot Samson read his
Monks a severe lecture:  "A Dream one of us had, that he saw St.
Edmund naked and in lamentable plight.  Know ye the
interpretation of that Dream?  St. Edmund proclaims himself
naked, because ye defraud the naked Poor of your old clothes, and
give with reluctance what ye are bound to give them of meat and
drink:  the idleness moreover and negligence of the Sacristan and
his people is too evident from the late misfortune by fire.  Well
might our Holy Martyr seem to be cast out from his Shrine, and
say with groans that he was stript of his garments, and wasted
with hunger and thirst!"

This is Abbot Samson's interpretation of the Dream;--
diametrically the reverse of that given by the Monks themselves,
who scruple not to say privily, "It is we that are the naked and
famished limbs of the Martyr;  we whom the Abbot curtails of all
our privileges, setting his own official to control our very
Cellarer!"  Abbot Samson adds, that this judgment by fire has
fallen upon them for murmuring about their meat and drink.

Clearly enough, meanwhile, the Altar, whatever the burning of it
mean or foreshadow, must needs be reedified.  Abbot Samson
reedifies it, all of polished marble;  with the highest stretch
of art and sumptuosity, reembellishes the Shrine for which it is
to serve as pediment.  Nay farther, as had ever been among his
prayers, he enjoys, he sinner, a glimpse of the glorious Martyr's
very Body in the process;  having solemnly opened the Loculus,
Chest or sacred Coffin, for that purpose.  It is the culminating
moment of Abbot Samson's life.  Bozzy Jocelin himself rises into
a kind of Psalmist solemnity on this occasion;  the laziest monk
'weeps' warm tears, as _Te Deum_ is sung.

Very strange;--how far vanished from us in these unworshiping
ages of ours!  The Patriot Hampden, best beatified man we have,
had lain in like manner some two centuries in his narrow home,
when certain dignitaries of us, 'and twelve grave-diggers with
pulleys,' raised him also up, under cloud of night;  cut off his
arm with penknifes, pulled the scalp off his head,--and otherwise
worshiped our Hero Saint in the most amazing manner!  Let the
modern eye look earnestly on that old midnight hour in St.
Edmundsbury Church, shining yet on us, ruddy-bright, through the
depths of seven hundred years;  and consider mournfully what our
Hero-worship once was, and what it now is!  We translate with all
the fidelity we can:

'The Festival of St. Edmund now approaching, the marble blocks
are polished, and all things are in readiness for lifting of the
Shrine to its new place.  A fast of three days was held by all
the people, the cause and meaning thereof being publicly set
forth to them.  The Abbot announces to the Convent that all must
prepare themselves for transferring of the Shrine, and appoints
time and way for the work.  Coming therefore that night to
matins, we found the great Shrine (_feretrum magnum_) raised upon
the Altar, but empty;  covered all over with white doeskin
leather, fixed to the wood with silver nails;  but one panel of
the Shrine was left down below, and resting thereon, beside its
old column of the Church, the Loculus with the Sacred Body yet
lay where it was wont.  Praises being sung, we all proceeded to
commence our disciplines (_ad disciplinas suscipiendas_).  These
finished, the Abbot and certain with him are clothed in their
albs;  and, approaching reverently, set about uncovering the
Loculus.  There was an outer cloth of linen, enwrapping the
Loculus and all; this we found tied on the upper side with
strings of its own:  within this was a cloth of silk, and then
another linen cloth, and then a third;  and so at last the
Loculus was uncovered, and seen resting on a little tray of wood,
that the bottom of it might not be injured by the stone.  Over
the breast of the Martyr, there lay, fixed to the surface of the
Loculus, a Golden Angel about the length of a human foot;
holding in one hand a golden sword, and in the other a banner:
under this there was a hole in the lid of the Loculus, on which
the ancient servants of the Martyr had been wont to lay their
hands for touching the Sacred Body.  And over the figure of the
Angel was this verse inscribed:

     _Martiris ecce zoma servat Michaelis agalma_ *

At the head and foot of the Loculus were iron rings whereby it
could be lifted.

--------------
* This is the Martyr's Garment, which Michael's Image guards.
--------------

'Lifting the Loculus and Body, therefore, they carried it to the
Altar;  and I put-to my sinful hand to help in carrying, though
the Abbot had commanded that none should approach except called.
And the Loculus was placed in the Shrine;  and the panel it had
stood on was put in its place, and the Shrine for the present
closed.  We all thought that the Abbot would shew the Loculus to
the people;  and bring out the Sacred Body again, at a certain
period of the Festival.  But in this we were woefully mistaken,
as the sequel shews.

'For in the fourth holiday of the Festival, while the Convent
were all singing _Completorium,_ our Lord Abbot spoke privily
with the Sacristan and Walter the Medicus;  and order was taken
that twelve of the Brethren should be appointed against midnight,
who were strong for carrying the panel-planks of the Shrine, and
skillful in unfixing them, and putting them together again.  The
Abbot then said that it was among his prayers to look once upon
the Body of his Patron;  and that he wished the Sacristan and
Walter the Medicus to be with him.  The Twelve appointed Brethren
were these:  The Abbot's two Chaplains, the two Keepers of the
Shrine, the two Masters of the Vestry;  and six more, namely, the
Sacristan Hugo, Walter the Medicus, Augustin, William of Dice,
Robert, and Richard.  I, alas, was not of the number.

'The Convent therefore being all asleep, these Twelve, clothed in
their albs, with the Abbot, assembled at the Altar;  and opening
a panel of the Shrine, they took out the Loculus;  laid it on a
table, near where the Shrine used to be;  and made ready for
unfastening the lid, which was joined and fixed to the Loculus
with sixteen very long nails.  Which when, with difficulty, they
had done, all except the two forenamed associates are ordered to
draw back.  The Abbot and they two were alone privileged to look
in.  The Loculus was so filled with the Sacred Body that you
could scarcely put a needle between the head and the wood, or
between the feet and the wood:  the head lay united to the body,
a little raised with a small pillow.  But the Abbot, looking
close, found now a silk cloth veiling the whole Body, and then a
linen cloth of wondrous whiteness;  and upon the head was spread
a small linen cloth, and then another small and most fine silk
cloth, as if it were the veil of a nun.  These coverings being
lifted off, they found now the Sacred Body all wrapt in linen;
and so at length the lineaments of the same appeared.  But here
the Abbot stopped;  saying he durst not proceed farther, or look
at the sacred flesh naked.  Taking the head between his hands, he
thus spake groaning:  "Glorious Martyr, holy Edmund, blessed be
the hour when thou wert born.  Glorious Martyr, turn it not to my
perdition that I have so dared to touch thee, I miserable and
sinful;  thou knowest my devout love, and the intention of my
mind."  And proceeding, he touched the eyes;  and the nose, which
was very massive and prominent (_valde grossum et valde
eminentem_);  and then he touched the breast and arms;  and
raising the left arm he touched the fingers, and placed his own
fingers between the sacred fingers.  And proceeding he found the
feet standing stiff up, like the feet of a man dead yesterday;
and he touched the toes, and counted them (_tangendo numeravit_).

'And now it was agreed that the other Brethren should be called
forward to see the miracles;  and accordingly those ten now
advanced, and along with them six others who had stolen in
without the Abbot's assent, namely, Walter of St. Alban's, Hugh
the Infirmirarius, Gilbert brother of the Prior, Richard of
Henham, Jocellus our Cellarer, and Turstan the Little;  and all
these saw the Sacred Body, but Turstan alone of them put forth
his hand, and touched the Saint's knees and feet.  And that there
might be abundance of witnesses, one of our Brethren, John of
Dice, sitting on the roof of the Church, with the servants of the
Vestry, and looking through, clearly saw all these things.


What a scene;  shining luminous effulgent, as the lamps of St.
Edmund do, through the dark Night;  John of Dice, with vestrymen,
clambering on the roof to look through;  the Convent all asleep,
and the Earth all asleep,--and since then, Seven Centuries of
Time mostly gone to sleep!  Yes, there, sure enough, is the
martyred Body of Edmund landlord of the Eastern Counties, who,
nobly doing what he liked with his own, was slain three hundred
years ago:  and a noble awe surrounds the memory of him, symbol
and promoter of many other right noble things.

But have not we now advanced to strange new stages of Hero-
worship, now in the little Church of Hampden, with our penknives
out, and twelve grave-diggers with pulleys?  The manner of men's
Hero-worship, verily it is the innermost fact of their existence,
and determines all the rest,--at public hustings, in private
drawing-rooms, in church, in market, and wherever else.  Have
true reverence, and what indeed is inseparable therefrom,
reverence the right man, all is well;  have sham-reverence, and
what also follows, greet with it the wrong man, then all is ill,
and there is nothing well.  Alas, if Hero-worship become
Dilettantism, and all except Mammonism be a vain grimace, how
much, in this most earnest Earth, has gone and is evermore going
to fatal destruction, and lies wasting in quiet lazy ruin, no man
regarding it!  Till at length no heavenly _Ism_ any longer coming
down upon us, _Isms_ from the other quarter have to mount up.
For the Earth, I say, is an earnest place;  Life is no grimace,
but a most serious fact.  And so, under universal Dilettantism
much having been stript bare, not the souls of men only, but
their very bodies and bread-cupboards having been stript bare,
and life now no longer possible,--all is reduced to desperation,
to the iron law of Necessity and very Fact again;  and to temper
Dilettantism, and astonish it, and burn it up with infernal fire,
arises Chartism, _Bare-backism,_ Sansculottism so-called!  May
the gods, and what of unworshiped heroes still remain among us,
avert the omen.--


But however this may be, St. Edmund's Loculus, we find, has the
veils of silk and linen reverently replaced, the lid fastened
down again with its sixteen ancient nails;  is wrapt in a new
costly covering of silk, the gift of Hubert Archbishop of
Canterbury:  and through the sky-window John of Dice sees it
lifted to its place in the Shrine, the panels of this latter duly
refixed, fit parchment documents being introduced withal;--and
now John and his vestrymen can slide down from the roof, for all
is over, and the Convent wholly awakens to matins.  'When we
assembled to sing matins,' says Jocelin, 'and understood what had
been done, grief took hold of all that had not seen these things,
each saying to himself, "Alas, I was deceived." Matins over, the
Abbot called the Convent to the great Altar;  and briefly
recounting the matter, alleged that it had not been in his power,
nor was it permissible or fit, to invite us all to the sight of
such things.  At hearing of which, we all wept, and with tears
sang _Te Deum laudamus;_  and hastened to toll the bells in
the Choir.

Stupid blockheads, to reverence their St. Edmund's dead Body in
this manner?  Yes, brother;--and yet, on the whole, who knows how
to reverence the Body of a Man?  It is the most reverend
phenomenon under this Sun.  For the Highest God dwells visible in
that mystic unfathomable Visibility, which calls itself "I" on
the Earth.  'Bending before men,' says Novalis, 'is a reverence
done to this Revelation in the Flesh.  We touch Heaven when we
lay our hand on a human Body.'  And the Body of one Dead;--a
temple where the Hero-soul once was and now is not:  Oh, all
mystery, all pity, all mute awe and wonder;  Supernaturalism
brought home to the very dullest;  Eternity laid open, and the
nether Darkness and the upper Light-Kingdoms;--do conjoin there,
or exist nowhere!  Sauerteig used to say to me, in his peculiar
way:  "A Chancery Lawsuit;  justice, nay justice in mere money,
denied a man, for all his pleading, till twenty, till forty years
of his Life are gone seeking it:  and a Cockney Funeral, Death
reverenced by hatchments, horsehair, brass-lacker, and
unconcerned bipeds carrying long poles and bags of black
silk:--are not these two reverences, this reverence for Death
and that reverence for Life, a notable pair of reverences among
you English?"

Abbot Samson, at this culminating point of his existence, may,
and indeed must, be left to vanish with his Life-scenery from the
eyes of modern men.  He had to run into France, to settle with
King Richard for the military service there of his St.
Edmundsbury Knights;  and with great labour got it done.  He had
to decide on the dilapidated Coventry Monks;  and with great
labour, and much pleading and journeying, got them reinstated;
dined with them all, and with the 'Masters of the Schools of
Oxneford,'--the veritable Oxford _Caput_ sitting there at dinner,
in a dim but undeniable manner, in the City of Peeping Tom!  He
had, not without labour, to controvert the intrusive Bishop of
Ely, the intrusive Abbot of Cluny.  Magnanimous Samson, his life
is but a labour and a journey;  a bustling and a justling, till
the still Night come.  He is sent for again, over sea, to advise
King Richard touching certain Peers of England, who had taken the
Cross, but never followed it to Palestine;  whom the Pope is
inquiring after.  The magnanimous Abbot makes preparation for
departure;  departs, and--And Jocelin's Boswellean Narrative,
suddenly shorn through by the scissors of Destiny, ends.  There
are no words more;  but a black line, and leaves of blank paper.
Irremediable:  the miraculous hand that held all this theatric-
machinery suddenly quits hold;  impenetrable Time-Curtains rush
down;  in the mind's eye all is again dark, void;  with loud
dinning in the mind's ear, our real-phantasmagory of St.
Edmundsbury plunges into the bosom of the Twelfth Century again,
and all is over.  Monks, Abbot, Hero-worship, Government,
Obedience, Coeur-de-Lion and St. Edmund's Shrine, vanish like
Mirza's Vision;  and there is nothing left but a mutilated black
Ruin amid green botanic expanses, and oxen, sheep and dilettanti
pasturing in their places.



Chapter XVII

The Beginnings


What a singular shape of a Man;  shape of a Time, have we in this
Abbot Samson and his history;  how strangely do modes, creeds,
formularies, and the date and place of a man's birth, modify the
figure of the man!

Formulas too, as we call them, have a _reality_ in Human Life.
They are real as the very _skin_ and _muscular tissue_ of a Man's
Life;  and a most blessed indispensable thing, so long as they
have _vitality_ withal, and are a living skin and tissue to him!
No man, or man's life, can go abroad and do business in the world
without skin and tissues.  No;  first of all, these have to
fashion themselves,--as indeed they spontaneously and inevitably
do.  Foam itself, and this is worth thinking of, can harden into
oyster-shell;  all living objects do by necessity form to
themselves a skin.

And yet, again, when a man's Formulas become _dead;_  as all
Formulas, in the progress of living growth, are very sure to do!
When the poor man's integuments, no longer nourished from within,
become dead skin, mere adscititious leather and callosity,
wearing thicker and thicker, uglier and uglier;  till no _heart_
any longer can be felt beating through them, so thick, callous,
calcified are they;  and all over it has now grown mere calcified
oystershell, or were it polished mother-of-pearl, inwards almost
to the very heart of the poor man:--yes then, you may say, his
usefulness once more is quite obstructed;  once more, he cannot
go abroad and do business in the world;  it is time that
_he_ take to bed, and prepare for departure, which cannot now
be distant!

_Ubi homines sunt modi sunt._  Habit is the deepest law of human
nature.  It is our supreme strength;  if also, in certain
circumstances, our miserablest weakness.--From Stoke to Stowe is
as yet a field, all pathless, untrodden:  from Stoke where I
live, to Stowe where I have to make my merchandises, perform my
businesses, consult my heavenly oracles, there is as yet no path
or human footprint;  and I, impelled by such necessities, must
nevertheless undertake the journey.  Let me go once, scanning my
way with any earnestness of outlook, and successfully arriving,
my footprints are an invitation to me a second time to go by the
same way.  It is easier than any other way:  the industry of
'scanning' lies already invested in it for me;  I can go this
time with less of scanning, or without scanning at all.  Nay the
very sight of my footprints, what a comfort for me;  and in a
degree, for all my brethren of mankind!  The footprints are
trodden and retrodden;  the path wears ever broader, smoother,
into a broad highway, where even wheels can run;  and many travel
it;--till--till the Town of Stowe disappear from that locality
(as towns have been known to do), or no merchandising, heavenly
oracle, or real business any longer exist for one there:  then
why should anybody travel the way?--Habit is our primal,
fundamental law;  Habit and Imitation, there is nothing more
perennial in us than these two.  They are the source of all
Working and all Apprenticeship, of all Practice and all Learning,
in this world.

Yes, the wise man too speaks, and acts, in Formulas;  all men do
so.  In general the more completely cased with Formulas a man may
be, the safer, happier is it for him.  Thou who, in an All of
rotten Formulas, seemest to stand nigh bare, having indignantly
shaken off the superannuated rags and unsound callosities of
Formulas,--consider how thou too art still clothed!  This English
Nationality, whatsoever from uncounted ages is genuine and a fact
among thy native People, and their words and ways:  all this, has
it not made for thee a skin or second-skin, adhesive actually as
thy natural skin?  This thou hast not stript off, this thou wilt
never strip off:  the humour that thy mother gave thee has to
shew itself through this.  A common, or it may be an uncommon
Englishman thou art:  but good Heavens, what sort of Arab,
Chinaman, Jew-Clothesman, Turk, Hindoo, African Mandingo, wouldst
_thou_ have been, thou with those mother-qualities of thine!

It strikes me dumb to look over the long series of faces, such as
any full Church, Courthouse, London-Tavern Meeting, or miscellany
of men will shew them.  Some score or two of years ago, all these
were little red-coloured pulpy infants;  each of them capable of
being kneaded, baked into any social form you chose:  yet see now
how they are fixed and hardened,--into artisans, artists, clergy,
gentry, learned sergeants, unlearned dandies, and can and shall
now be nothing else henceforth!

Mark on that nose the colour left by too copious port and viands;
to which the profuse cravat with exorbitant breastpin, and the
fixed, forward, and as it were menacing glance of the eyes
correspond.  That is a 'Man of Business;'  prosperous
manufacturer, house-contractor, engineer, law-manager;  his eye,
nose, cravat have, in such work and fortune, got such a
character:  deny him not thy praise, thy pity.  Pity him too, the
Hard-handed, with bony brow, rudely combed hair, eyes looking out
as in labour, in difficulty and uncertainty;  rude mouth, the
lips coarse, loose, as in hard toil and lifelong fatigue they
have got the habit of hanging:--hast thou seen aught more
touching than the rude intelligence, so cramped, yet energetic,
unsubduable, true, which looks out of that marred visage?  Alas,
and his poor wife, with her own hands, washed that cotton
neckcloth for him, buttoned that coarse shirt, sent him forth
creditably trimmed as she could.  In such imprisonment lives he,
for his part;  man cannot now deliver him:  the red pulpy infant
has been baked and fashioned so.

Or what kind of baking was it that this other brother-mortal got,
which has baked him into the genus Dandy?  Elegant Vacuum;
serenely looking down upon all Plenums and Entities, as low and
poor to his serene Chimeraship and _Non_entity laboriously
attained!  Heroic Vacuum;  inexpugnable, while purse and present
condition of society hold out;  curable by no hellebore.  The
doom of Fate was, Be thou a Dandy!  Have thy eye-glasses, opera-
glasses, thy Long-Acre cabs with white-breeched tiger, thy
yawning impassivities, pococurantisms;  fix thyself in Dandyhood,
undeliverable;  it is thy doom.

And all these, we say, were red-coloured infants;  of the same
pulp and stuff, few years ago;  now irretrievably shaped and
kneaded as we see!  Formulas?  There is no mortal extant, out of
the depths of Bedlam, but lives all skinned, thatched, covered
over with Formulas;  and is, as it were, held in from delirium
and the Inane by his Formulas!  They are withal the most
beneficent, indispensable of human equipments:  blessed he who
has a skin and tissues, so it be a living one, and the heart-
pulse everywhere discernible through it.  Monachism, Feudalism,
with a real King Plantagenet, with real Abbots Samson, and their
other living realities, how blessed!--


Not without a mournful interest have we surveyed this authentic
image of a Time now wholly swallowed.  Mournful reflections crowd
on us;  and yet consolatory.  How many brave men have lived
before Agamemnon!  Here is a brave governor Samson, a man fearing
God, and fearing nothing else;  of whom as First Lord of the
Treasury, as King, Chief Editor, High Priest, we could be so glad
and proud;  of whom nevertheless Fame has altogether forgotten to
make mention!  The faint image of him, revived in this hour, is
found in the gossip of one poor Monk, and in Nature nowhere else.
Oblivion had so nigh swallowed him altogether, even to the echo
of his ever having existed.  What regiments and hosts and
generations of such has Oblivion already swallowed!  Their
crumbled dust makes up the soil our life-fruit grows on.  Said I
not, as my old Norse Fathers taught me, The Life-tree Igdrasil,
which waves round thee in this hour, whereof thou in this hour
art portion, has its roots down deep in the oldest Death-
Kingdoms;  and grows;  the Three Nornas, or _Times,_ Past,
Present, Future, watering it from the Sacred Well!

For example, who taught thee to _speak?_  From the day when two
hairy-naked or fig-leaved Human Figures began, as uncomfortable
dummies, anxious no longer to be dumb, but to impart themselves
to one another;  and endeavoured, with gaspings, gesturings, with
unsyllabled cries, with painful pantomime and interjections, in a
very unsuccessful manner,--up to the writing of this present
copyright Book, which also is not very successful!  Between that
day and this, I say, there has been a pretty space of time;  a
pretty spell of work, which _somebody_ has done!  Thinkest thou
there were no poets till Dan Chaucer?  No heart burning with a
thought, which it could not hold, and had no word for;  and
needed to shape and coin a word for,--what thou callest a
metaphor, trope, or the like?  For every word we have, there was
such a man and poet.  The coldest word was once a glowing new
metaphor, and bold questionable originality.  'Thy very
ATTENTION, does it not mean an _attentio,_ a STRETCHING-TO?'
Fancy that act of the mind, which all were conscious of, which
none had yet named,--when this new 'poet' first felt bound and
driven to name it!  His questionable originality, and new glowing
metaphor, was found adoptable, intelligible;  and remains our
name for it to this day.


Literature:--and look at Paul's Cathedral, and the Masonries and
Worships and Quasi-Worships that are there;  not to speak of
Westminster Hall and its wigs!  Men had not a hammer to begin
with, not a syllabled articulation:  they had it all to make;--
and they have made it.  What thousand thousand articulate, semi-
articulate, earnest-stammering _Prayers_ ascending up to Heaven,
from hut and cell, in many lands, in many centuries, from the
fervent kindled souls of innumerable men, each struggling to pour
itself forth incompletely as it might, before the incompletest
_Liturgy_ could be compiled!  The Liturgy, or adoptable and
generally adopted Set of Prayers and Prayer-Method, was what we
can call the Select Adoptabilities, 'Select Beauties' well-edited
(by Oecumenic Councils and other Useful-Knowledge Societies) from
that wide waste imbroglio of Prayers already extant and
accumulated, good and bad.  The good were found adoptable by men;
were gradually got together, well-edited, accredited:  the bad,
found inappropriate, unadoptable, were gradually forgotten,
disused and burnt.  It is the way with human things.  The first
man who, looking with opened soul on this August Heaven and
Earth, this Beautiful and Awful, which we name Nature, Universe
and such like, the essence of which remains forever UNNAMEABLE;
he who first, gazing into this, fell on his knees awestruck, in
silence as is likeliest,--he, driven by inner necessity, the
'audacious original' that he was, had done a thing, too, which
all thoughtful hearts saw straightway to be an expressive,
altogether adoptable thing!  To bow the knee was ever since the
attitude of supplication.  Earlier than any spoken Prayers,
_Litanias,_ or Leitourgias;_   the beginning of all Worship,--
which needed but a beginning, so rational was it.  What a poet
he!  Yes, this bold original was a successful one withal.  The
wellhead this one, hidden in the primeval dusks and distances,
from whom as from a Nile-source all _Forms of Worship_ flow:--
such a Nile-river (somewhat muddy and malarious now!) of Forms of
Worship sprang there, and flowed, and flows, down to Puseyism,
Rotatory Calabash, Archbishop Laud at St. Catherine Creed's, and
perhaps lower!

Things rise, I say, in that way.  The _Iliad_ Poem, and indeed
most other poetic, especially epic things, have risen as the
Liturgy did.  The great _Iliad_ in Greece, and the small _Robin
Hood's Garland_ in England, are each, as I understand, the well-
edited 'Select Beauties' of an immeasurable waste imbroglio of
Heroic Ballads in their respective centuries and countries.
Think what strumming of the seven-stringed heroic lyre, torturing
of the less heroic fiddle-catgut, in Hellenic Kings' Courts, and
English wayside Public Houses;  and beating of the studious
Poetic brain, and gasping here too in the semi-articulate
windpipe of Poetic men, before the Wrath of a Divine Achilles,
the Prowess of a Will Scarlet or Wakefield Pinder, could be
adequately sung!  Honour to you, ye nameless great and greatest
ones, ye long-forgotten brave!

Nor was the Statute _De Tallagio non concedendo,_ nor any
Statute, Law-method, Lawyer's-wig, much less were the Statute-
Book and Four Courts, with Coke upon Lyttleton and Three Estates
of Parliament in the rear of them, got together without human
labour,--mostly forgotten now!  From the time of Cain's slaying
Abel by swift head-breakage, to this time of killing your man in
Chancery by inches, and slow heart-break for forty years,--there
too is an interval!  Venerable justice herself began by Wild-
justice;  all Law is as a tamed furrowfield, slowly worked out,
and rendered arable, from the waste jungle of Club-Law.  Valiant
Wisdom tilling and draining;  escorted by owl-eyed Pedantry, by
owlish and vulturish and many other forms of Folly;--the valiant
husbandman assiduously tilling;  the blind greedy enemy _too_
assiduously sowing tares!  It is because there is yet in
venerable wigged justice some wisdom, amid such mountains of
wiggeries and folly, that men have not cast her into the River;
that she still sits there, like Dryden's Head in the _Battle of
the Books,_--a huge helmet, a huge mountain of greased parchment,
of unclean horsehair, first striking the eye;  and then in the
innermost corner, visible at last, in size as a hazelnut, a real
fraction of God's justice, perhaps not yet unattainable to some,
surely still indispensable to all;--and men know not what to do
with her!  Lawyers were not all pedants, voluminous voracious
persons;  Lawyers too were poets, were heroes,--or their Law had
been past the Nore long before this time.  Their Owlisms,
Vulturisms, to an incredible extent, will disappear by and by,
their Heroisms only remaining, and the helmet be reduced to
something like the size of the head, we hope!--

It is all work and forgotten work, this peopled, clothed,
articulate-speaking, high-towered, wide-acred World.  The hands
of forgotten brave men have made it a World for us;  they,--
honour to them;  they, in _spite_ of the idle and the dastard.
This English Land, here and now, is the summary of what was found
of wise, and noble, and accordant with God's Truth, in all the
generations of English Men.  Our English Speech is speakable
because there were Hero-Poets of our blood and lineage;
speakable in proportion to the number of these.  This Land of
England has its conquerors, possessors, which change from epoch
to epoch, from day to day;  but its real conquerors, creators,
and eternal proprietors are these following, and their
representatives if you can find them:  All the Heroic Souls that
ever were in England, each in their degree;  all the men that
ever cut a thistle, drained a puddle out of England, contrived a
wise scheme in England, did or said a true and valiant thing in
England.  I tell thee, they had not a hammer to begin with;  and
yet Wren built St. Paul's:  not an articulated syllable;  and yet
there have come English Literatures, Elizabethan Literatures,
Satanic-School, Cockney-School, and other Literatures;--once
more, as in the old time of the _Leitourgia,_ a most waste
imbroglio, and world-wide jungle and jumble;  waiting terribly to
be 'well-edited,' and 'well-burnt!'  Arachne started with
forefinger and thumb, and had not even a distaff;  yet thou seest
Manchester, and Cotton Cloth, which will shelter naked backs, at
two-pence an ell.

Work?  The quantity of done and forgotten work that lies silent
under my feet in this world, and escorts and attends me, and
supports and keeps me alive, wheresoever I walk or stand,
whatsoever I think or do, gives rise to reflections!  Is it not
enough, at any rate, to strike the thing called 'Fame' into total
silence for a wise man?  For fools and unreflective persons, she
is and will be very noisy, this 'Fame,' and talks of her
'immortals' and so forth:  but if you will consider it, what is
she?  Abbot Samson was not nothing because nobody _said_ anything
of him.  Or thinkest thou, the Right Honourable Sir Jabesh
Windbag can be made something by Parliamentary Majorities and
Leading Articles?  Her 'immortals!' Scarcely two hundred years
back can Fame recollect articulately at all;  and there she but
maunders and mumbles.  She manages to recollect a Shakspeare or
so;  and prates, considerably like a goose, about him;--and in
the rear of that, onwards to the birth of Theuth, to Hengst's
Invasion, and the bosom of Eternity, it was all blank;  and the
respectable Teutonic Languages, Teutonic Practices, Existences
all came of their own accord, as the grass springs, as the trees
grow;  no Poet, no work from the inspired heart of a Man needed
there;  and Fame has not an articulate word to say about it!  Or
ask her, What, with all conceivable appliances and mnemonics,
including apotheosis and human sacrifices among the number, she
carries in her head with regard to a Wodan, even a Moses, or
other such?  She begins to be uncertain as to what they were,
whether spirits or men of mould,--gods, charlatans;  begins
sometimes to have a misgiving that they were mere symbols, ideas
of the mind;  perhaps nonentities, and Letters of the Alphabet!
She is the noisiest, inarticulately babbling, hissing, screaming,
foolishest, unmusicalest of fowls that fly;  and needs no
'trumpet,' I think, but her own enormous goose-throat,--measuring
several degrees of celestial latitude, so to speak.  Her 'wings,'
in these days, have grown far swifter than ever;  but her goose-
throat hitherto seems only larger;  louder and foolisher than
ever.  _She_ is transitory, futile, a goose-goddess:--if she were
not transitory, what would become of us!  It is a chief comfort
that she forgets us all;  all, even to the very Wodans;  and
grows to consider us, at last, as probably nonentities and
Letters of the Alphabet.

Yes, a noble Abbot Samson resigns himself to Oblivion too;  feels
it no hardship, but a comfort;  counts it as a still resting-
place, from much sick fret and fever and stupidity, which in the
night-watches often made his strong heart sigh.  Your most sweet
voices, making one enormous goose-voice, O Bobus and Company, how
can they be a guidance for any Son of Adam?  In _silence_ of you
and the like of you, the 'small still voices' will speak to him
better;  in which does lie guidance.

My friend, all speech and rumour is shortlived, foolish, untrue.
Genuine WORK alone, what thou workest faithfully, that is eternal,
as the Almighty Founder and World-Builder himself.  Stand thou
by that;  and let 'Fame' and the rest of it go prating.

    "Heard are the Voices,
     Heard are the Sages,
     The Worlds and the Ages:
     "Choose well, your choice is
     Brief and yet endless.

     Here eyes do regard you,
     In Eternity's stillness;
     Here is all fulness,
     Ye brave, to reward you;
     Work, and despair not."
                          --Goethe



Book III--The Modern Worker



Chapter I

Phenomena


But, it is said, our religion is gone:  we no longer believe in
St. Edmund, no longer see the figure of him 'on the rim of the
sky,' minatory or confirmatory!  God's absolute Laws, sanctioned
by an eternal Heaven and an eternal Hell, have become Moral
Philosophies, sanctioned by able computations of Profit and
Loss, by weak considerations of Pleasures of Virtue and the
Moral Sublime.

It is even so.  To speak in the ancient dialect, we 'have
forgotten God;'--in the most modern dialect and very truth of the
matter, we have taken up the Fact of this Universe as it _is
not._  We have quietly closed our eyes to the eternal Substance
of things, and opened them only to the Shews and Shams of things.
We quietly believe this Universe to be intrinsically a great
unintelligible PERHAPS;  extrinsically, clear enough, it is a
great, most extensive Cattlefold and Workhouse, with most
extensive Kitchen-ranges, Dining-tables,--whereat he is wise who
can find a place!  All the Truth of this Universe is uncertain;
only the profit and loss of it, the pudding and praise of it, are
and remain very visible to the practical man.

There is no longer any God for us!  God's Laws are become a
Greatest-Happiness Principle, a Parliamentary Expediency:  the
Heavens overarch us only as an Astronomical Time-keeper;  a butt
for Herschel-telescopes to shoot science at, to shoot
sentimentalities at:--in our and old Jonson's dialect, man has
lost the _soul_ out of him;  and now, after the due period,--
begins to find the want of it!  This is verily the plague-spot;
centre of the universal Social Gangrene, threatening all modern
things with frightful death.  To him that will consider it, here
is the stem, with its roots and taproot, with its world-wide
upas-boughs and accursed poison-exudations, under which the world
lies writhing in atrophy and agony.  You touch the focal-centre
of all our disease, of our frightful nosology of diseases, when
you lay your hand on this.  There is no religion;  there is no
God;  man has lost his soul, and vainly seeks antiseptic salt.
Vainly:  in killing Kings, in passing Reform Bills, in French
Revolutions, Manchester Insurrections, is found no remedy.  The
foul elephantine leprosy, alleviated for an hour, reappears in
new force and desperateness next hour.

For actually this is _not_ the real fact of the world;  the world
is not made so, but otherwise!--Truly, any Society setting out
from this No-God hypothesis will arrive at a result or two.  The
Unveracities, escorted, each Unveracity of them by its
corresponding Misery and Penalty;  the Phantasms, and Fatuities,
and ten-years Corn-Law Debatings, that shall walk the Earth at
noonday,--must needs be numerous!  The Universe _being_
intrinsically a Perhaps, being too probably an 'infinite Humbug,'
why should any minor Humbug astonish us?  It is all according to
the order of Nature;  and Phantasms riding with huge clatter
along the streets, from end to end of our existence, astonish
nobody.  Enchanted St. Ives' Workhouses and Joe-Manton
Aristocracies;  giant Working Mammonism near strangled in the
partridge-nets of giant-looking Idle Dilettantism,--this, in all
its branches, in its thousand thousand modes and figures, is a
sight familiar to us.


The Popish Religion, we are told, flourishes extremely in these
years;  and is the most vivacious-looking religion to be met with
at present.  _"Elle a trois cents ans dans le ventre,"_ counts M.
Jouffroy;  _"c'est pourquoi je la respecte!"_--The old Pope of
Rome, finding it laborious to kneel so long while they cart him
through the streets to bless the people on _Corpus-Christi_ Day,
complains of rheumatism;  whereupon his Cardinals consult;--
construct him, after some study, a stuffed cloaked figure, of
iron and wood, with wool or baked hair;  and place it in a
kneeling posture.  Stuffed figure, or rump of a figure;  to this
stuffed rump he, sitting at his ease on a lower level, joins, by
the aid of cloaks and drapery, his living head and outspread
hands:  the rump with its cloaks kneels, the Pope looks, and
holds his hands spread;  and so the two in concert bless the
Roman population on _Corpus-Christi_ Day, as well as they can.

I have considered this amphibious Pope, with the wool-and-iron
back, with the flesh head and hands;  and endeavoured to
calculate his horoscope.  I reckon him the remarkablest Pontiff
that has darkened God's daylight, or painted himself in the human
retina, for these several thousand years.  Nay, since Chaos first
shivered, and 'sneezed,' as the Arabs say, with the first shaft
of sunlight shot through it, what stranger product was there of
Nature and Art working together?  Here is a Supreme Priest who
believes God to be--What in the name of God _does_ he believe God
to be?--and discerns that all worship of God is a scenic
phantasmagory of wax-candles, organ-blasts, Gregorian Chants,
mass-brayings, purple monsignori, wool-and-iron rumps,
artistically spread out,--to save the ignorant from worse.

O reader, I say not who are Belial's elect.  This poor amphibious
Pope too gives loaves to the Poor;  has in him more good latent
than he is himself aware of.  His poor Jesuits, in the late
Italian Cholera, were, with a few German Doctors, the only
creatures whom dastard terror had not driven mad:  they descended
fearless into all gulfs and bedlams;  watched over the pillow of
the dying, with help, with counsel and hope;  shone as luminous
fixed stars, when all else had gone out in chaotic night:  honour
to them!  This poor Pope,--who knows what good is in him?  In a
Time otherwise too prone to forget, he keeps up the mournfulest
ghastly memorial of the Highest, Blessedest, which once was;
which, in new fit forms, will again partly have to be.  Is he not
as a perpetual death's-head and cross-bones, with their
_Resurgam,_ on the grave of a Universal Heroism,--grave of a
Christianity?  Such Noblenesses, purchased by the world's best
heart's-blood, must not be lost;  we cannot afford to lose them,
in what confusions soever.  To all of us the day will come, to a
few of us it has already come, when no mortal, with his heart
yearning for a 'Divine Humility,' or other 'Highest form of
Valour,' will need to look for it in death's-heads, but will see
it round him in here and there a beautiful living head.

Besides, there is in this poor Pope, and his practice of the
Scenic Theory of Worship, a frankness which I rather honour.  Not
half and half, but with undivided heart does _he_ set about
worshiping by stage-machinery;  as if there were now, and could
again be, in Nature no other.  He will ask you, What other?
Under this my Gregorian Chant, and beautiful wax-light
Phantasmagory, kindly hidden from you is an Abyss, of black
Doubt, Scepticism, nay Sansculottic Jacobinism;  an Orcus that
has no bottom.  Think of that.  'Groby Pool _is_ thatched with
pancakes,'--as Jeannie Deans's Innkeeper defied it to be!  The
Bottomless of Scepticism, Atheism, Jacobinism, behold, it is
thatched over, hidden from your despair, by stage-properties
judiciously arranged.  This stuffed rump of mine saves not me
only from rheumatism, but you also from what other _isms!_  In
this your Life-pilgrimage Nowhither, a fine Squallacci marching-
music, and Gregorian Chant, accompanies you, and the hollow Night
of Orcus is well hid!

Yes truly, few men that worship by the rotatory Calabash of the
Calmucks do it in half so great, frank or effectual a way.
Drury-lane, it is said, and that is saying much, may learn from
him in the dressing of parts, in the arrangement of lights and
shadows.  He is the greatest Play-actor that at present draws
salary in this world.  Poor Pope;  and I am told he is fast
growing bankrupt too;  and will, in a measurable term of years (a
great way _within_ the 'three hundred'), not have a penny to make
his pot boil!  His old rheumatic back will then get to rest;  and
himself and his stage-properties sleep well in Chaos forevermore.


Or, alas, why go to Rome for Phantasms walking the streets?
Phantasms, ghosts, in this midnight hour, hold jubilee, and
screech and jabber;  and the question rather were, What high
Reality anywhere is yet awake?  Aristocracy has become Phantasm-
Aristocracy, no longer able to _do_ its work, not in the least
conscious that it has any work longer to do.  Unable, totally
careless to _do_ its work;  careful only to clamour for the
_wages_ of doing its work,--nay for higher, and _palpably_ undue
wages, and Corn-Laws and _increase_ of rents;  the old rate of
wages not being adequate now!  In hydra-wrestle, giant
_'Millo_cracy' so-called, a real giant, though as yet a blind one
and but half-awake, wrestles and wrings in choking nightmare,
'like to be strangled in the partridge-nets of Phantasm-
Aristocracy,' as we said, which fancies itself still to be a
giant.  Wrestles, as under nightmare, till it do awaken;  and
gasps and struggles thousandfold, we may say, in a truly painful
manner, through all fibres of our English Existence, in these
hours and years!  Is our poor English Existence wholly becoming a
Nightmare;  full of mere Phantasms?--

The Champion of England, cased in iron or tin, rides into
Westminster Hall, 'being lifted into his saddle with little
assistance,' and there asks, If in the four quarters of the
world, under the cope of Heaven, is any man or demon that dare
question the right of this King?  Under the cope of Heaven no man
makes intelligible answer,--as several men ought already to have
done.  Does not this Champion too know the world;  that it is a
huge Imposture, and bottomless Inanity, thatched over with bright
cloth and other ingenious tissues?  Him let us leave there,
questioning all men and demons.

Him we have left to his destiny;  but whom else have we found?
From this the highest apex of things, downwards through all
strata and breadths, how many fully awakened Realities have we
fallen in with:--alas, on the contrary, what troops and
populations of Phantasms, not God-Veracities but Devil-Falsities,
down to the very lowest stratum,--which now, by such
superincumbent weight of Unveracities, lies enchanted in St.
Ives' Workhouses, broad enough, helpless enough!  You will walk
in no public thoroughfare or remotest byway of English Existence
but you will meet a man, an interest of men, that has given up
hope in the Everlasting, True, and placed its hope in the
Temporary, half or wholly False.  The Honourable Member complains
unmusically that there is 'devil's-dust' in Yorkshire cloth.
Yorkshire cloth,--why, the very Paper I now write on is made, it
seems, partly of plaster-lime well-smoothed, and obstructs my
writing!  You are lucky if you can find now any good Paper,--any
work really _done;_  search where you will, from highest Phantasm
apex to lowest Enchanted basis!

Consider, for example, that great Hat seven-feet high, which now
perambulates London Streets;  which my Friend Sauerteig regarded
justly as one of our English notabilities;  "the topmost point as
yet," said he, "would it were your culminating and returning
point, to which English Puffery has been observed to reach!"--The
Hatter in the Strand of London, instead of making better felt-
hats than another, mounts a huge lath-and-plaster Hat, seven-feet
high, upon wheels;  sends a man to drive it through the streets;
hoping to be saved _thereby._  He has not attempted to _make_
better hats, as he was appointed by the Universe to do, and as
with this ingenuity of his he could very probably have done;  but
his whole industry is turned to persuade us that he has made
such!  He too knows that the Quack has become God.  Laugh not at
him, O reader;  or do not laugh only.  He has ceased to be comic;
he is fast becoming tragic.  To me this all-deafening blast of
Puffery, of poor Falsehood grown necessitous, of poor Heart-
Atheism fallen now into Enchanted Workhouses, sounds too surely
like a Doom's-blast!  I have to say to myself in old dialect:
"God's blessing is not written on all this, His curse is written
on all this!"  Unless perhaps the Universe be a chimera;--some
old totally deranged eightday clock, dead as brass;  which
the Maker, if there ever was any Maker, has long ceased to
meddle with?--To my Friend Sauerteig this poor seven-feet
Hat-manufacturer, as the topstone of English Puffery, was
very notable.

Alas, that we natives note him little, that we view him as a
thing of course, is the very burden of the misery.  We take it
for granted, the most rigorous of us, that all men who have made
anything are expected and entitled to make the loudest possible
proclamation of it;  call on a discerning public to reward them
for it.  Every man his own trumpeter;  that is, to a really
alarming extent, the accepted rule.  Make loudest possible
proclamation of your Hat:  true proclamation if that will do;  if
that will not do, then false proclamation,--to such extent of
falsity as will serve your purpose;  as will not seem too false
to be credible!--I answer, once for all, that the fact is not so.
Nature requires no man to make proclamation of his doings and
hat-makings;  Nature forbids all men to make such.  There is not
a man or hat-maker born into the world but feels, at first, that
he is degrading himself if he speak of his excellencies and
prowesses, and supremacy in his craft:  his inmost heart says to
him, "Leave thy friends to speak of these;  if possible, thy
enemies to speak of these;  but at all events, thy friends!"  He
feels that he is already a poor braggart;  fast hastening to be a
falsity and speaker of the Untruth.

Nature's Laws, I must repeat, are eternal:  her small still
voice, speaking from the inmost heart of us, shall not, under
terrible penalties, be disregarded.  No one man can depart from
the truth without damage to himself;  no one million of men;  no
Twenty-seven Millions of men.  Shew me a Nation fallen everywhere
into this course, so that each expects it, permits it to others
and himself, I will shew you a Nation traveling with one assent
on the broad way.  The broad way, however many Banks of England,
Cotton-Mills and Duke's Palaces it may have!  Not at happy
Elysian fields, and everlasting crowns of victory, earned by
silent Valour, will this Nation arrive;  but at precipices,
devouring gulfs, if it pause not.  Nature has appointed happy
fields, victorious laurel-crowns;  but only to the brave and
true:  _Un_nature, what we call Chaos, holds nothing in it but
vacuities, devouring gulfs.  What are Twenty-seven Millions, and
their unanimity?  Believe them not:  the Worlds and the Ages, God
and Nature and All Men say otherwise.

'Rhetoric all this?'  No, my brother, very singular to say, it is
Fact all this.  Cocker's Arithmetic is not truer.  Forgotten in
these days, it is old as the foundations of the Universe, and
will endure till the Universe cease.  It is forgotten now;  and
the first mention of it puckers thy sweet countenance into a
sneer:  but it will be brought to mind again,--unless indeed the
Law of Gravitation chance to cease, and men find that they can
walk on vacancy.  Unanimity of the Twenty-seven Millions will do
nothing:  walk not thou with them;  fly from them as for thy
life.  Twenty-seven Millions traveling on such courses, with gold
jingling in every pocket, with vivats heaven-high, are
incessantly advancing, let me again remind thee, towards the
_firm-land's end,_--towards the end and extinction of what
Faithfulness, Veracity, real Worth, was in their way of life.
Their noble ancestors have fashioned for them a 'life-road!'--in
how many thousand senses, this!  There is not an old wise Proverb
on their tongue, an honest Principle articulated in their hearts
into utterance, a wise true method of doing and despatching any
work or commerce of men, but helps yet to carry them forward.
Life is still possible to them, because all is not yet Puffery,
Falsity, Mammon-worship and Unnature;  because somewhat is yet
Faithfulness, Veracity and Valour.  With a certain very
considerable finite quantity of Unveracity and Phantasm, social
life is still possible;  not with an infinite quantity!  Exceed
your certain quantity, the seven-feet Hat, and all things upwards
to the very Champion cased in tin, begin to reel and flounder,--
in Manchester Insurrections, Chartisms, Sliding-scales;  the Law
of Gravitation not forgetting to act.  You advance incessantly
towards the land's end;  you are, literally enough, 'consuming
the way.'  Step after step, Twenty-seven Million unconscious
men;--till you are at the land's end;  till there is not
Faithfulness enough among you any more:  and the next step now is
lifted _not_ over land, but into air, over ocean-deeps and
roaring abysses:--unless perhaps the Law of Gravitation have
forgotten to act?

O, it is frightful when a whole Nation, as our Fathers used to
say, has 'forgotten God;'  has remembered only Mammon, and what
Mammon leads to!  When your self-trumpeting Hatmaker is the
emblem of almost all makers, and workers, and men, that make
anything,--from soul-overseerships, body-overseerships, epic
poems, acts of parliament, to hats and shoe-blacking!  Not one
false man but does uncountable mischief:  how much, in a
generation or two, will Twenty-seven Millions, mostly false,
manage to accumulate?  The sum of it, visible in every street,
marketplace, senate-house, circulating-library, cathedral,
cotton-mill, and union-workhouse, fills one _not_ with a
comic feeling!



Chapter II

Gospel of Mammonism


Reader, even Christian Reader as thy title goes, hast thou any
notion of Heaven and Hell?  I rather apprehend, not.  Often as
the words are on our tongue, they have got a fabulous or
semifabulous character for most of us, and pass on like a kind of
transient similitude, like a sound signifying little.

Yet it is well worth while for us to know, once and always, that
they are not a similitude, nor a fable nor semi-fable;  that they
are an everlasting highest fact!  "No Lake of Sicilian or other
sulphur burns now anywhere in these ages," sayest thou?  Well,
and if there did not!  Believe that there does not;  believe it
if thou wilt, nay hold by it as a real increase, a rise to higher
stages, to wider horizons and empires.  All this has vanished, or
has not vanished;  believe as thou wilt as to all this.  But that
an Infinite of Practical Importance, speaking with strict
arithmetical exactness, an _Infinite,_ has vanished or can vanish
from the Life of any Man:  this thou shalt not believe!  O
brother, the Infinite of Terror, of Hope, of Pity, did it not at
any moment disclose itself to thee, indubitable, unnameable?
Came it never, like the gleam of preternatural eternal Oceans,
like the voice of old Eternities, far-sounding through thy heart
of hearts?  Never?  Alas, it was not thy Liberalism then;  it was
thy Animalism!  The Infinite is more sure than any other fact.
But only men can discern it;  mere building beavers, spinning
arachnes, much more the predatory vulturous and vulpine species,
do not discern it well!--

'The word Hell,' says Sauerteig, 'is still frequently in use
among the English People:  but I could not without difficulty
ascertain what they meant by it.  Hell generally signifies the
Infinite Terror, the thing a man is infinitely afraid of, and
shudders and shrinks from, struggling with his whole soul to
escape from it.  There is a Hell therefore, if you will consider,
which accompanies man, in all stages of his history, and
religious or other development:  but the Hells of men and Peoples
differ notably.  With Christians it is the infinite terror of
being found guilty before the just Judge.  With old Romans, I
conjecture, it was the terror not of Pluto, for whom probably
they cared little, but of doing unworthily, doing unvirtuously,
which was their word for un_man_fully.  And now what is it, if
you pierce through his Cants, his oft-repeated Hearsays, what he
calls his Worships and so forth,--what is it that the modern
English soul does, in very truth, dread infinitely, and
contemplate with entire despair?  What is his Hell;  after all
these reputable, oft-repeated Hearsays, what is it?  With
hesitation, with astonishment, I pronounce it to be:  The terror
of "Not succeeding;"  of not making money, fame, or some other
figure in the world,--chiefly of not making money!  Is not that a
somewhat singular Hell?

Yes, O Sauerteig, it is very singular.  If we do not 'succeed,'
where is the use of us?  We had better never have been born.
"Tremble intensely," as our friend the Emperor of China says:
_there_ is the black Bottomless of Terror;  what Sauerteig calls
the 'Hell of the English!'--But indeed this Hell belongs
naturally to the Gospel of Mammonism, which also has its
corresponding Heaven.  For there is one Reality among so many
Phantasms;  about one thing we are entirely in earnest:  The
making of money.  Working Mammonism does divide the world with
idle game-preserving Dilettantism:--thank Heaven that there is
even a Mammonism, anything we are in earnest about!  Idleness is
worst, Idleness alone is without hope:  work earnestly at
anything, you will by degrees learn to work at almost all things.
There is endless hope in work, were it even work at making money.

True, it must be owned, we for the present, with our Mammon-
Gospel, have come to strange conclusions.  We call it a Society;
and go about professing openly the totalest separation,
isolation.  Our life is not a mutual helpfulness;  but rather,
cloaked under due laws-of-war, named 'fair competition' and so
forth, it is a mutual hostility.  We have profoundly forgotten
everywhere that _Cash-payment_ is not the sole relation of human
beings;  we think, nothing doubting, that it absolves and
liquidates all engagements of man.  "My starving workers?"
answers the rich Mill-owner:  "Did not I hire them fairly in the
market?  Did I not pay them, to the last sixpence, the sum
covenanted for?  What have I to do with them more?"--Verily
Mammon-worship is a melancholy creed.  When Cain, for his own
behoof, had killed Abel, and was questioned, "Where is thy
brother" he too made answer, "Am I my brother's keeper?"  Did I
not pay my brother _his_ wages, the thing he had merited from me?

O sumptuous Merchant-Prince, illustrious game-preserving Duke, is
there no way of 'killing' thy brother but Cain's rude way!  'A
good man by the very look of him, by his very presence with us as
a fellow wayfarer in this Life-pilgrimage, _promises_ so much:'
woe to him if he forget all such promises, if he never know that
they were given!  To a deadened soul, seared with the brute
Idolatry of Sense, to whom going to Hell is equivalent to not
making money, all 'promises,' and moral duties, that cannot be
pleaded for in Courts of Requests, address themselves in vain.
Money he can be ordered to pay, but nothing more.  I have not
heard in all Past History, and expect not to hear in all Future
History, of any Society anywhere under God's Heaven supporting
itself on such Philosophy.  The Universe is not made so;  it is
made otherwise than so.  The man or nation of men that thinks it
is made so, marches forward nothing doubting, step after step;
but marches--whither we know!  In these last two centuries of
Atheistic Government (near two centuries now, since the blessed
restoration of his Sacred Majesty, and Defender of the Faith,
Charles Second), I reckon that we have pretty well exhausted what
of 'firm earth' there was for us to march on;--and are now, very
ominously, shuddering, reeling, and let us hope trying to recoil,
on the cliff's edge!--

For out of this that we call Atheism come so many other _isms_
and falsities, each falsity with its misery at its heels!--A SOUL
is not like wind (_spiritus,_ or breath) contained within a
capsule;  the ALMIGHTY MAKER is not like a Clockmaker that once,
in old immemorial ages, having _made_ his Horologe of a Universe,
sits ever since and sees it go!  Not at all.  Hence comes
Atheism;  come, as we say, many other _isms;_  and as the sum of
all, comes Valetism, the _reverse_ of Heroism;  sad root of all
woes whatsoever.  For indeed, as no man ever saw the above-said
wind-element enclosed within its capsule, and finds it at bottom
more deniable than conceivable;  so too he finds, in spite of
Bridgewater Bequests, your Clockmaker Almighty an entirely
questionable affair, a deniable affair;--and accordingly denies
it, and along with it so much else.  Alas, one knows not what and
how much else!  For the faith in an Invisible, Unnameable,
Godlike, present everywhere in all that we see and work and
suffer, is the essence of all faith whatsoever;  and that once
denied, or still worse, asserted with lips only, and out of bound
prayerbooks only, what other thing remains believable?  That Cant
well-ordered is marketable Cant;  that Heroism means gas-lighted
Histrionism;  that seen with 'clear eyes' (as they call Valet-
eyes), no man is a Hero, or ever was a Hero, but all men are
Valets and Varlets.  The accursed practical quintessence of all
sorts of Unbelief!  For if there be now no Hero, and the Histrio
himself begin to be seen into, what hope is there for the seed of
Adam here below?  We are the doomed everlasting prey of the
Quack;  who, now in this guise, now in that, is to filch us, to
pluck and eat us, by such modes as are convenient for him.  For
the modes and guises I care little.  The Quack once inevitable,
let him come swiftly, let him pluck and eat me;--swiftly, that I
may at least have done with him;  for in his Quack-world I can
have no wish to linger.  Though he slay me, yet will I despise
him.  Though he conquer nations, and have all the Flunkeys of the
Universe shouting at his heels, yet will I know well that _he_ is
an Inanity;  that for him and his there is no continuance
appointed, save only in Gehenna and the Pool.  Alas, the Atheist
world, from its utmost summits of Heaven and Westminster Hall,
downwards through poor sevenfeet Hats and 'Unveracities fallen
hungry,' down to the lowest cellars and neglected hunger-dens of
it, is very wretched.

One of Dr. Alison's Scotch facts struck us much.*     A poor
Irish Widow, her husband having died in one of the Lanes of
Edinburgh, went forth with her three children, bare of all
resource, to solicit help from the Charitable Establishments of
that City.  At this Charitable Establishment and then at that she
was refused;  referred from one to the other, helped by none;--
till she had exhausted them all;  till her strength and heart
failed her:  she sank down in typhus-fever;  died, and infected
her Lane with fever, so that 'seventeen other persons' died of
fever there in consequence.  The humane Physician asks thereupon,
as with a heart too full for speaking, Would it not have been
_economy_ to help this poor Widow?  She took typhus-fever, and
killed seventeen of you!--Very curious.  The forlorn Irish Widow
applies to her fellow-creatures, as if saying, "Behold I am
sinking, bare of help:  ye must help me!  I am your sister, bone
of your bone;  one God made us:  ye must help me!"  They answer,
"No;  impossible:  thou art no sister of ours."  But she proves
her sisterhood;  her typhus-fever kills _them:_  they actually
were her brothers, though denying it!  Had man ever to go lower
for a proof?

------------
* _Observations on the Management of the Poor in Scotland:_ By
William Pulteney Alison, M.D. (Edinburgh, 1840)
------------

For, as indeed was very natural in such case, all government of
the Poor by the Rich has long ago been given over to Supply-and-
demand, Laissez-faire and such like, and universally declared to
be 'impossible.'  "You are no sister of ours;  what shadow of
proof is there?  Here are our parchments, our padlocks, proving
indisputably our money-safes to be _ours,_ and you to have no
business with them.  Depart!  It is impossible!"--Nay, what
wouldst thou thyself have us do? cry indignant readers.  Nothing,
my friends,--till you have got a soul for yourselves again.  Till
then all things are 'impossible.'  Till then I cannot even bid
you buy, as the old Spartans would have done, two-pence worth of
powder and lead, and compendiously shoot to death this poor Irish
Widow:  even that is 'impossible' for you.  Nothing is left but
that she prove her sisterhood by dying, and infecting you with
typhus.  Seventeen of you lying dead will not deny such proof
that she was flesh of your flesh;  and perhaps some of the living
may lay it to heart.

'Impossible:'  of a certain two-legged animal with feathers, it
is said if you draw a distinct chalk-circle round him, he sits
imprisoned, as if girt with the iron ring of Fate;  and will die
there, though within sight of victuals,--or sit in sick misery
there, and be fatted to death.  The name of this poor two-legged
animal is--Goose;  and they make of him, when well fattened,
_Pate de foie gras,_ much prized by some!



Chapter III

Gospel of Dilettantism


But after all, the Gospel of Dilettantism, producing a Governing
Class who do not govern, nor understand in the least that they
are bound or expected to govern, is still mournfuler than that of
Mammonism.  Mammonism, as we said, at least works;  this goes
idle.  Mammonism has seized some portion of the message of Nature
to man;  and seizing that, and following it, will seize and
appropriate more and more of Nature's message:  but Dilettantism
has missed it wholly.  'Make money:'  that will mean withal, 'Do
work in order to make money.'  But, 'Go gracefully idle in
Mayfair,' what does or can that mean?  An idle, game-preserving
and even corn-Jawing Aristocracy, in such an England as ours:
has the world, if we take thought of it, ever seen such a
phenomenon till very lately?  Can it long continue to see such?

Accordingly the impotent, insolent Donothingism in Practice, and
Saynothingism in Speech, which we have to witness on that side of
our affairs, is altogether amazing.  A Corn-Law demonstrating
itself openly, for ten years or more, with 'arguments' to make
the angels, and some other classes of creatures, weep!  For men
are not ashamed to rise in Parliament and elsewhere, and speak
the things they do _not_ think.  'Expediency,' 'Necessities of
Party,' &c. &c.!  It is not known that the Tongue of Man is a
sacred organ;  that Man himself is definable in Philosophy as an
'Incarnate _Word;'_  the Word not there, you have no Man there
either, but a Phantasm instead!  In this way it is that
Absurdities may live long enough,--still walking, and talking for
themselves, years and decades after the brains are quite out!
How are 'the knaves and dastards' ever to be got 'arrested' at
that rate?--

"No man in this fashionable London of yours," friend Sauerteig
would say, "speaks a plain word to me.  Every man feels bound to
be something more than plain;  to be pungent withal, witty,
ornamental.  His poor fraction of sense has to be perked into
some epigrammatic shape, that it may prick into me;--perhaps
(this is the commonest) to be topsyturvied, left standing on its
head, that I may remember it the better!  Such grinning inanity
is very sad to the soul of man.  Human faces should not grin on
one like masks;  they should look on one like faces!  I love
honest laughter, as I do sunlight;  but not dishonest:  most
kinds of dancing too;  but the St.-Vitus kind not at all!  A
fashionable wit, ach Himmel, if you ask, Which, he or a Death's-
head, will be the cheerier company for me? pray send _not_ him!"

Insincere Speech, truly, is the prime material of insincere
Action.  Action hangs, as it were, _dissolved_ in Speech, in
Thought whereof Speech is the shadow;  and precipitates itself
therefrom.  The kind of Speech in a man betokens the kind of
Action you will get from him.  Our Speech, in these modern days,
has become amazing.  Johnson complained, "Nobody speaks in
earnest, Sir;  there is no serious conversation."  To us all
serious speech of men, as that of Seventeenth-Century Puritans,
Twelfth-Century Catholics, German Poets of this Century, has
become jargon, more or less insane.  Cromwell was mad and a
quack;  Anselm, Becket, Goethe, _ditto ditto._


Perhaps few narratives in History or Mythology are more
significant than that Moslem one, of Moses and the Dwellers by
the Dead Sea.  A tribe of men dwelt on the shores of that same
Asphaltic Lake;  and having forgotten, as we are all too prone to
do, the inner facts of Nature, and taken up with the falsities
and outer semblances of it, were fallen into sad conditions,--
verging indeed towards a certain far deeper Lake.  Whereupon it
pleased kind Heaven to send them the Prophet Moses, with an
instructive word of warning, out of which might have sprung
'remedial measures' not a few.  But no:  the men of the Dead Sea
discovered, as the valet-species always does in heroes or
prophets, no comeliness in Moses;  listened with real tedium to
Moses, with light grinning, or with splenetic sniffs and sneers,
affecting even to yawn;  and signified, in short, that they found
him a humbug, and even a bore.  Such was the candid theory these
men of the Asphalt Lake formed to themselves of Moses, That
probably he was a humbug, that certainly he was a bore.

Moses withdrew;  but Nature and her rigorous veracities did not
withdraw.  The men of the Dead Sea, when we next went to visit
them, were all 'changed into Apes;'* sitting on the trees there,
grinning now in the most _un_affected manner;  gibbering and
chattering _complete_ nonsense;  finding the whole Universe now a
most indisputable Humbug!  The Universe has _become_ a Humbug to
these Apes who thought it one!  There they sit and chatter, to
this hour:  only, I think, every Sabbath there returns to them a
bewildered half-consciousness, half-reminiscence;  and they sit,
with their wizened smoke-dried visages, and such an air of
supreme tragicality as Apes may;  looking out, through those
blinking smoke-bleared eyes of theirs, into the wonderfulest
universal smoky Twilight and undecipherable disordered Dusk of
Things;  wholly an Uncertainty, Unintelligibility, they and it;
and for commentary thereon, here and there an unmusical chatter
or mew:--truest, tragicalest Humbug conceivable by the mind of
man or ape!  They made no use of their souls;  and so have lost
them.  Their worship on the Sabbath now is to roost there, with
unmusical screeches, and half-remember that they had souls.

Didst thou never, O Traveler, fall in with parties of this tribe?
Meseems they are grown somewhat numerous in our day.

---------
* Sale's _Koran_ (_Introduction_).



Chapter IV

Happy


All work, even cotton-spinning, is noble;  work is alone noble:
be that here said and asserted once more.  And in like manner too
all dignity is painful;  a life of ease is not for any man, nor
for any god.  The life of all gods figures itself to us as a
Sublime Sadness--earnestness of Infinite Battle against Infinite
Labour.  Our highest religion is named the 'Worship of Sorrow.'
For the son of man there is no noble crown, well worn, or even
ill worn, but is a crown of thorns!--These things, in spoken
words, or still better, in felt instincts alive in every heart,
were once well known.

Does not the whole wretchedness, the whole _Atheism_ as I call
it, of man's ways, in these generations, shadow itself for us in
that unspeakable Life-philosophy of his:  The pretension to be
what he calls 'happy?'  Every pitifulest whipster that walks
within a skin has his head filled with the notion that he is,
shall be, or by all human and divine laws ought to be, 'happy.'
His wishes, the pitifulest whipster's, are to be fulfilled for
him;  his days, the pitifulest whipster's, are to flow on in
ever-gentle current of enjoyment, impossible even for the gods.
The prophets preach to us, Thou shalt be happy;  thou shalt love
pleasant things, and find them.  The people clamour, Why have we
not found pleasant things?

We construct our theory of Human Duties, not on any Greatest-
Nobleness Principle, never so mistaken;  no, but on a Greatest-
Happiness Principle.  'The word _Soul_ with us, as in some
Slavonic dialects, seems to be synonymous with _Stomach._  We
plead and speak, in our Parliaments and elsewhere, not as from
the Soul, but from the Stomach;--wherefore, indeed, our pleadings
are so slow to profit.  We plead not for God's justice;  we are
not ashamed to stand clamouring and pleading for our own
'interests,' our own rents and trade-profits;  we say, They are
the 'interests' of so many;  there is such an intense desire for
them in us!  We demand Free-Trade, with much just vociferation
and benevolence, That the poorer classes, who are terribly ill-
off at present, may have cheaper New-Orleans bacon.  Men ask on
Free-trade platforms, How can the indomitable spirit of
Englishmen be kept up without plenty of bacon?  We shall become a
ruined Nation!--Surely, my friends, plenty of bacon is good and
indispensable:  but, I doubt, you will never get even bacon by
aiming only at that.  You are men, not animals of prey, well-used
or ill-used!  Your Greatest-Happiness Principle seems to me fast
becoming a rather unhappy one.--What if we should cease babbling
about 'happiness,' and leave _it_ resting on its own basis, as it
used to do!

A gifted Byron rises in his wrath;  and feeling too surely that
he for his part is not 'happy,' declares the same in very violent
language, as a piece of news that may be interesting.  It
evidently has surprised him much.  One dislikes to see a man and
poet reduced to proclaim on the streets such tidings:  but on the
whole, as matters go, that is not the most dislikable.  Byron
speaks the _truth_ in this matter.  Byron's large audience
indicates how true it is felt to be.

'Happy,' my brother?  First of all, what difference is it whether
thou art happy or not!  Today becomes Yesterday so fast, all
Tomorrows become Yesterdays;  and then there is no question
whatever of the 'happiness,' but quite another question.  Nay,
thou hast such a sacred pity left at least for thyself, thy very
pains once gone over into Yesterday become joys to thee.
Besides, thou knowest not what heavenly blessedness and
indispensable sanative virtue was in them;  thou shalt only know
it after many days, when thou art wiser!--A benevolent old
Surgeon sat once in our company, with a Patient fallen sick by
gourmandising, whom he had just, too briefly in the Patient's
judgment, been examining.  The foolish Patient still at intervals
continued to break in on our discourse, which rather promised to
take a philosophic turn:  "But I have lost my appetite," said he,
objurgatively, with a tone of irritated pathos;  "I have no
appetite;  I can't eat!"--"My dear fellow," answered the Doctor
in mildest tone, "it isn't of the slightest consequence;"--and
continued his philosophical discoursings with us!

Or does the reader not know the history of that Scottish iron
Misanthrope?  The inmates of some town-mansion, in those Northern
parts, were thrown into the fearfulest alarm by indubitable
symptoms of a ghost inhabiting the next house, or perhaps even
the partition-wall! Ever at a certain hour, with preternatural
gnarring, growling and screeching, which attended as running
bass, there began, in a horrid, semi-articulate, unearthly voice,
this song:  "Once I was hap-hap-happy, but now I'm _mees_-erable!
Clack-clack-clack, gnarr-r-r, whuz-z:  Once I was hap-hap-happy,
but now I'm _mees_-erable!"--Rest, rest, perturbed spirit;--or
indeed, as the good old Doctor said:  My dear fellow, it isn't of
the slightest consequence!  But no;  the perturbed spirit could
not rest;  and to the neighbours, fretted, affrighted, or at
least insufferably bored by him, it _was_ of such consequence
that they had to go and examine in his haunted chamber.  In his
haunted chamber, they find that the perturbed spirit is an
unfortunate--Imitator of Byron?  No, is an unfortunate rusty
Meat-jack, gnarring and creaking with rust and work;  and this,
in Scottish dialect, is _its_ Byronian musical Life-philosophy,
sung according to ability!


Truly, I think the man who goes about pothering and uproaring for
his 'happiness,'--pothering, and were it ballot-boxing, poem-
making, or in what way soever fussing and exerting himself,--he
is not the man that will help us to 'get our knaves and dastards
arrested!'  No;  he rather is on the way to increase the number,
--by at least one unit and _his_ tail!  Observe, too, that this is
all a modern affair;  belongs not to the old heroic times, but to
these dastard new times.  'Happiness our being's end and aim' is
at bottom, if we will count well, not yet two centuries old in
the world.

The only happiness a brave man ever troubled himself with asking
much about was, happiness enough to get his work done.  Not "I
can't eat!" but "I can't work!" that was the burden of all wise
complaining among men.  It is, after all, the one unhappiness of
a man.  That he cannot work;  that he cannot get his destiny as a
man fulfilled.  Behold, the day is passing swiftly over, our life
is passing swiftly over;  and the night cometh, wherein no man
can work.  The night once come, our happiness, our unhappiness,--
it is all abolished;  vanished, clean gone;  a thing that has
been:  'not of the slightest consequence' whether we were happy
as eupeptic Curtis, as the fattest pig of Epicurus, or unhappy as
job with potsherds, as musical Byron with Giaours and
sensibilities of the heart;  as the unmusical Meat-jack with hard
labour and rust!  But our work,--behold that is not abolished,
that has not vanished:  our work, behold, it remains, or the want
of it remains;--for endless Times and Eternities, remains;  and
that is now the sole question with us forevermore!  Brief
brawling Day, with its noisy phantasms, its poor paper-crowns
tinsel-gilt, is gone;  and divine everlasting Night, with her
star-diadems, with her silences and her veracities, is come!
What hast thou done, and how?  Happiness, unhappiness:  all that
was but the _wages_ thou hadst;  thou hast spent all that, in
sustaining thyself hitherward;  not a coin of it remains with
thee, it is all spent, eaten:  and now thy work, where is thy
work?  Swift, out with it, let us see thy work!


Of a truth, if man were not a poor hungry dastard, and even
much of a blockhead withal, he would cease criticising his
victuals to such extent;  and criticise himself rather, what
he does with his victuals!



Chapter V

The English


And yet, with all thy theoretic platitudes, what a depth of
practical sense in thee, great England!  A depth of sense, of
justice, and courage;  in which, under all emergencies and world-
bewilderments, and under this most complex of emergencies we now
live in, there is still hope, there is still assurance!

The English are a dumb people.  They can do great acts, but not
describe them.  Like the old Romans, and some few others, _their_
Epic Poem is written on the Earth's surface:  England her Mark!
It is complained that they have no artists:  one Shakspeare
indeed;  but for Raphael only a Reynolds;  for Mozart nothing but
a Mr. Bishop:  not a picture, not a song.  And yet they did
produce one Shakspeare:  consider how the element of Shakspearean
melody does lie imprisoned in their nature;  reduced to unfold
itself in mere Cotton-mills, Constitutional Governments, and such
like;--all the more interesting when it does become visible, as
even in such unexpected shapes it succeeds in doing!  Goethe
spoke of the Horse, how impressive, almost affecting it was that
an animal of such qualities should stand obstructed so;  its
speech nothing but an inarticulate neighing, its handiness mere
_hoof_iness, the fingers all constricted, tied together, the
fingernails coagulated into a mere hoof, shod with iron.  The
more significant, thinks he, are those eye-flashings of the
generous noble quadruped;  those prancings, curvings of the neck
clothed with thunder.


A Dog of Knowledge has _free_ utterance;  but the Warhorse is
almost mute, very far from free!  It is even so.  Truly, your
freest utterances are not by any means always the best:  they are
the worst rather;  the feeblest, trivialest;  their meaning
prompt, but small, ephemeral.  Commend me to the silent English,
to the silent Romans.  Nay, the silent Russians too I believe to
be worth something:  are they not even now drilling, under much
obloquy, an immense semi-barbarous half-world from Finland to
Kamtschatka, into rule, subordination, civilisation,--really in
an old Roman fashion; speaking no word about it;  quietly hearing
all manner of vituperative Able Editors speak!  While your ever-
talking, ever-gesticulating French, for example, what are they at
this moment drilling?--Nay, of all animals, the freest of
utterance, I should judge, is the genus Simia:_  go into the
Indian woods, say all Travelers, and look what a brisk, adroit,
unresting Ape-population it is!


The spoken Word, the written Poem, is said to be an epitome of
the man;  how much more the done Work.  Whatsoever of morality
and of intelligence;  what of patience, perseverance,
faithfulness, of method, insight, ingenuity, energy;  in a word,
whatsoever of Strength the man had in him will lie written in the
Work he does.  To work:  why, it is to try himself against
Nature, and her everlasting unerring Laws;  these will tell a
true verdict as to the man.  So much of virtue and of faculty did
_we_ find in him;  so much and no more!  He had such capacity of
harmonising himself with _me_ and my unalterable ever-veracious
Laws;  of cooperating and working as _I_ bade him;--and has
prospered, and has not prospered, as you see!--Working as great
Nature bade him:  does not that mean virtue of a kind;  nay, of
all kinds?  Cotton can be spun and sold, Lancashire operatives
can be got to spin it, and at length one has the woven webs and
sells them, by following Nature's regulations in that matter:  by
not following Nature's regulations, you have them not.  You have
them not;--there is no Cotton-web to sell:  Nature finds a bill
against you;  your 'Strength' is not Strength, but Futility!  Let
faculty be honoured, so far as it is faculty.  A man that can
succeed in working is to me always a man.

How one loves to see the burly figure of him, this thick-skinned,
seemingly opaque, perhaps sulky, almost stupid Man of Practice,
pitted against some light--adroit Man of Theory, all equipt with
clear logic, and able anywhere to give you Why for Wherefore! The
adroit Man of Theory, so light of movement, clear of utterance,
with his bow full-bent and quiver full of arrow-arguments,--
surely he will strike down the game, transfix everywhere the
heart of the matter;  triumph everywhere, as he proves that he
shall and must do?  To your astonishment, it turns out oftenest
No.  The cloudy-browed, thick-soled, opaque Practicality, with no
logic-utterance, in silence mainly, with here and there a low
grunt or growl, has in him what transcends all logic-utterance:
a Congruity with the Unuttered!  The Speakable, which lies atop,
as a superficial film, or outer skin, is his or is not his:  but
the Doable, which reaches down to the World's centre, you find
him there!

The rugged Brindleys has little to say for himself;  the rugged
Brindley, when difficulties accumulate on him, retires silent,
'generally to his bed;'  retires 'sometimes for three days
together to his bed, that he may be in perfect privacy there,'
and ascertain in his rough head how the difficulties can be
overcome.  The ineloquent Brindley, behold he _has_ chained seas
together;  his ships do visibly float over valleys, invisibly
through the hearts of mountains;  the Mersey and the Thames, the
Humber and the Severn have shaken hands:  Nature most audibly
answers, Yea!  The man of Theory twangs his full-bent bow:
Nature's Fact ought to fall stricken, but does not:  his logic-
arrow glances from it as from a scaly dragon, and the obstinate
Fact keeps walking its way.  How singular!  At bottom, you will
have to grapple closer with the dragon;  take it home to you, by
real faculty, not by seeming faculty;  try whether you are
stronger or it is stronger.  Close with it, wrestle it:  sheer
obstinate toughness of muscle;  but much more, what we call
toughness of heart, which will mean persistance hopeful and even
desperate, unsubduable patience, composed candid openness,
clearness of mind:  all this shall be 'strength' in wrestling
your dragon;  the whole man's real strength is in this work, we
shall get the measure of him here.

Of all the Nations in the world at present we English are the
stupidest in speech, the wisest in action.  As good as a 'dumb'
Nation, I say, who cannot speak, and have never yet spoken,--
spite of the Shakspeares and Miltons who skew us what
possibilities there are!--O Mr. Bull, I look in that surly face
of thine with a mixture of pity and laughter, yet also with
wonder and veneration.  Thou complainest not, my illustrious
friend;  and yet I believe the heart of thee is full of sorrow,
of unspoken sadness, seriousness,--profound melancholy (as some
have said) the basis of thy being.  Unconsciously, for thou
speakest of nothing, this great Universe is great to thee.  Not
by levity of floating, but by stubborn force of swimming, shalt
thou make thy way.  The Fates sing of thee that thou shalt many
times be thought an ass and a dull ox, and shalt with a god-like
indifference believe it.  My friend,--and it is all untrue,
nothing ever falser in point of fact!  Thou art of those great
ones whose greatness the small passer-by does not discern.  Thy
very stupidity is wiser than their wisdom.  A grand _vis
inertiae_ is in thee;  how many grand qualities unknown to small
men!  Nature alone knows thee, acknowledges the bulk and strength
of thee:  thy Epic, unsung in words, is written in huge
characters on the face of this Planet,--sea-moles, cotton-trades,
railways, fleets and cities, Indian Empires, Americas, New-
Hollands;  legible throughout the Solar System!

But the dumb Russians too, as I said, they, drilling all wild
Asia and wild Europe into military rank and file, a terrible yet
hitherto a prospering enterprise, are still dumber.  The old
Romans also could not _speak,_ for many centuries:--not till the
world was theirs;  and so many speaking Greekdoms, their logic-
arrows all spent, had been absorbed and abolished.  The logic-
arrows, how they glanced futile from obdurate thick-skinned
Facts;  Facts to be wrestled down only by the real vigour of
Roman thews!--As for me, I honour, in these loud-babbling days,
all the Silent rather.  A grand Silence that of Romans;--nay the
grandest of all, is it not that of the gods!  Even Triviality,
Imbecility, that can sit silent, how respectable is it in
comparison!  The 'talent of silence' is our fundamental one.
Great honour to him whose Epic is a melodious hexameter Iliad;
not a jingling Sham-Iliad, nothing true in it but the hexameters
and forms merely.  But still greater honour, if his Epic be a
mighty Empire slowly built together, a mighty Series of Heroic
Deeds,--a mighty Conquest over Chaos;  _which_ Epic the 'Eternal
Melodies' have, and must have, informed and dwelt in, as it sung
itself!  There is no mistaking that latter Epic.  Deeds are
greater than Words.  Deeds have such a life, mute but undeniable,
and grow as living trees and fruit-trees do;  they people the
vacuity of Time, and make it green and worthy.  Why should the
oak prove logically that it ought to grow, and will grow?  Plant
it, try it;  what gifts of diligent judicious assimilation and
secretion it has, of progress and resistance, of _force_ to grow,
will then declare themselves.  My much-honoured, illustrious,
extremely inarticulate Mr. Bull!--

Ask Bull his spoken opinion of any matter,--oftentimes the force
of dulness can no farther go.  You stand silent, incredulous, as
over a platitude that borders on the Infinite.  The man's
Churchisms, Dissenterisms, Puseyisms, Benthamisms, College
Philosophies, Fashionable Literatures, are unexampled in this
world.  Fate's prophecy is fulfilled;  you call the man an ox and
an ass.  But set him once to work,--respectable man!  His spoken
sense is next to nothing, nine-tenths of it palpable _nonsense:_
but his unspoken sense, his inner silent feeling of what is true,
what does agree with fact, what is doable and what is not
doable,--this seeks its fellow in the world.  A terrible worker;
irresistible against marshes, mountains, impediments, disorder,
in civilisation;  everywhere vanquishing disorder, leaving it
behind him as method and order.  He 'retires to his bed three
days,' and considers!

Nay withal, stupid as he is, our dear John,--ever, after infinite
tumblings, and spoken platitudes innumerable from barrelheads and
parliament-benches, he does settle down somewhere about the just
conclusion;  you are certain that his jumblings and tumblings
will end, after years or centuries, in the stable equilibrium.
Stable equilibrium, I say;  centre-of-gravity lowest;--not the
unstable, with centre-of-gravity highest, as I have known it done
by quicker people!  For indeed, do but jumble and tumble
sufficiently, you avoid that worst fault, of settling with your
centre-of-gravity highest;  your centre-of-gravity is certain to
come lowest, and to stay there.  If slowness, what we in our
impatience call 'stupidity,' be the price of stable equilibrium
over unstable, shall we grudge a little slowness?  Not the least
admirable quality of Bull is, after all, that of remaining
insensible to logic;  holding out for considerable periods, ten
years or more, as in this of the Corn-Laws, after all arguments
and shadow of arguments have faded away from him, till the very
urchins on the street titter at the arguments he brings.  Logic,
--[Greek] the 'Art of Speech,'--does indeed speak so and so;
clear enough:  nevertheless Bull still shakes his head;  will see
whether nothing else _illogical,_ not yet 'spoken,' not yet able
to be 'spoken,' do not lie in the business, as there so often
does!--My firm belief is, that, finding himself now enchanted,
hand-shackled, foot-shackled, in Poor-Law Bastilles and
elsewhere, he will retire three days to his bed, and _arrive_ at
a conclusion or two!  His three-years total stagnation of trade,
alas, is not that a painful enough 'lying in bed to consider
himself?'  Poor Bull!

Bull is a born Conservative;  for this too I inexpressibly honour
him.  All great Peoples are conservative;  slow to believe in
novelties;  patient of much error in actualities;  deeply and
forever certain of the greatness that is in LAW, in Custom once
solemnly established, and now long recognised as just and final.
--True, O Radical Reformer, there is no Custom that can, properly
speaking, be final;  none.  And yet thou seest _Customs_ which,
in all civilised countries, are accounted final;  nay, under the
Old Roman name of _Mores,_ are accounted _Morality,_ Virtue, Laws
of God Himself.  Such, I assure thee, not a few of them are;
such almost all of them once were.  And greatly do I respect the
solid character,--a blockhead, thou wilt say;  yes, but a well-
conditioned blockhead, and the best-conditioned,--who esteems all
'Customs once solemnly acknowledged' to be ultimate, divine, and
the rule for a man to walk by, nothing doubting, not inquiring
farther.  What a time of it had we, were all men's life and trade
still, in all parts of it, a problem, a hypothetic seeking, to be
settled by painful Logics and Baconian Inductions!  The Clerk in
Eastcheap cannot spend the day in verifying his Ready-Reckoner;
he must take it as verified, true and indisputable;  or his Book-
keeping by Double Entry will stand still.  "Where is your Posted
Ledger?" asks the Master at night.--"Sir," answers the other, "I
was verifying my Ready-Reckoner, and find some errors.  The
Ledger is--!"--Fancy such a thing!

True, all turns on your Ready-Reckoner being moderately correct,
--being _not_ insupportably incorrect!  A Ready-Reckoner which has
led to distinct entries in your Ledger such as these:
_'Creditor_ an English People by fifteen hundred years of good
Labour;  and _Debtor_ to lodging in enchanted Poor-Law Bastilles:
_Creditor_ by conquering the largest Empire the Sun ever saw;
and _Debtor_ to Donothingism and "Impossible" written on all
departments of the government thereof:  _Creditor_ by mountains
of gold ingots earned;  and _Debtor_ to No Bread purchasable by
them:'--_such_ Ready-Reckoner, methinks, is beginning to be
suspect;  nay is ceasing, and has ceased, to be suspect!  Such
Ready-Reckoner is a Solecism in Eastcheap;  and must, whatever be
the press of business, and will and shall be rectified a little.
Business can go on no longer with _it._  The most Conservative
English People, thickest-skinned, most patient of Peoples, is
driven alike by its Logic and its Unlogic, by things 'spoken,'
and by things not yet spoken or very speakable, but only felt and
very unendurable, to be wholly a Reforming People.  Their Life as
it is has ceased to be longer possible for them.

Urge not this noble silent People;  rouse not the Berserkir-rage
that lies in them!  Do you know their Cromwells, Hampdens, their
Pyms and Bradshaws?  Men very peaceable, but men that can be made
very terrible!  Men who, like their old Teutsch Fathers in
Agrippa's days, 'have a soul that despises death;'  to whom
'death,' compared with falsehoods and injustices, is light;--'in
whom there is a range unconquerable by the immortal gods!'
Before this, the English People have taken very preternatural-
looking Spectres by the beard;  saying virtually:  "And if thou
_wert_ 'preternatural?'  Thou with thy 'divine-rights' grown
diabolic wrongs?  Thou,--not even 'natural;'  decapitable;
totally extinguishable!"--Yes, just so godlike as this People's
patience was, even so godlike will and must its impatience be.
Away, ye scandalous Practical Solecisms, children actually of the
Prince of Darkness;  ye have near broken our hearts;  we can and
will endure you no longer.  Begone, we say;  depart, while the
play is good!  By the Most High God, whose sons and born
missionaries true men are, ye shall not continue here!  You and
we have become incompatible;  can inhabit one house no longer.
Either you must go, or we.  Are ye ambitious to try _which_ it
shall be?

O my Conservative friends, who still specially name and struggle
to approve yourselves 'Conservative,' would to Heaven I could
persuade you of this world-old fact, than which Fate is not
surer, That Truth and justice alone are _capable_ of being
'conserved' and preserved!  The thing which is unjust, which is
not according to God's Law, will you, in a God's Universe, try to
conserve that?  It is so old, say you?  Yes, and the hotter haste
ought _you,_ of all others, to be in to let it grow no older!  If
but the faintest whisper in your hearts intimate to you that it
is not fair,--hasten, for the sake of Conservatism itself, to
probe it rigorously, to cast it forth at once and forever if
guilty.  How will or can you preserve _it,_ the thing that is not
fair?  'Impossibility' a thousandfold is marked on that.  And ye
call yourselves Conservatives, Aristocracies:--ought not honour
and nobleness of mind, if they had departed from all the Earth
elsewhere, to find their last refuge with you?  Ye unfortunate!

The bough that is dead shall be cut away, for the sake of the
tree itself.  Old?  Yes, it is too old.  Many a weary winter has
it swung and creaked there, and gnawed and fretted, with its dead
wood, the organic substance and still living fibre of this good
tree;  many a long summer has its ugly naked brown defaced the
fair green umbrage;  every day it has done mischief, and that
only:  off with it, for the tree's sake, if for nothing more;
let the Conservatism that would preserve cut _it_ away.  Did no
wood-forester apprise you that a dead bough with its dead root
left sticking there is extraneous, poisonous;  is as a dead iron
spike, some horrid rusty ploughshare driven into the living
substance;--nay is far worse;  for in every windstorm
('commercial crisis' or the like), it frets and creaks, jolts
itself to and fro, and cannot lie quiet as your dead iron
spike would!

If I were the Conservative Party of England (which is another
bold figure of speech), I would not for a hundred thousand pounds
an hour allow those Corn-Laws to continue!  Potosi and Golconda
put together would not purchase my assent to them.  Do you count
what treasuries of bitter indignation they are laying up for you
in every just English heart?  Do you know what questions, not as
to Corn-prices and Sliding-scales alone, they are _forcing_ every
reflective Englishman to ask himself?  Questions insoluble, or
hitherto unsolved;  deeper than any of our Logic-plummets
hitherto will sound:  questions deep enough,--which it were
better that we did not name even in thought!  You are forcing us
to think of them, to begin uttering them.  The utterance of them
is begun;  and where will it be ended, think you?  When two
millions of one's brother-men sit in Workhouses, and five
millions, as is insolently said, 'rejoice in potatoes,' there are
various things that must be begun, let them end where they can.



Chapter VI

Two Centuries

The Settlement effected by our 'Healing Parliament' in the Year
of Grace 1660, though accomplished under universal acclamations
from the four corners of the British Dominions, turns out to have
been one of the mournfulest that ever took place in this land of
ours.  It called and thought itself a Settlement of brightest
hope and fulfilment, bright as the blaze of universal tar-barrels
and bonfires could make it:  and we find it now, on looking back
on it with the insight which trial has yielded, a Settlement as
of despair.  Considered well, it was a settlement to govern
henceforth without God, with only some decent Pretence of God.

Governing by the Christian Law of God had been found a thing of
battle, convulsion, confusion, an infinitely difficult thing:
wherefore let us now abandon it, and govern only by so much of
God's Christian Law as--as may prove quiet and convenient for us.
What is the end of Government?  To guide men in the way wherein
they should go;  towards their true good in this life, the portal
of infinite good in a life to come?  To guide men in such way,
and ourselves in such way, as the Maker of men, whose eye is upon
us, will sanction at the Great Day?--Or alas, perhaps at bottom
_is_ there no Great Day, no sure outlook of any life to come;
but only this poor life, and what of taxes, felicities, Nell-
Gwyns and entertainments, we can manage to muster here?  In that
case, the end of Government will be, To suppress all noise and
disturbance, whether of Puritan preaching, Cameronian psalm-
singing, thieves'-riot, murder, arson, or what noise soever, and
--be careful that supplies do not fail!  A very notable
conclusion, if we will think of it;  and not without an abundance
of fruits for us.  Oliver Cromwell's body hung on the Tyburn-
gallows, as the type of Puritanism found futile, inexecutable,
execrable,--yes, that gallows-tree has been a fingerpost into
very strange country indeed.  Let earnest Puritanism die;  let
decent Formalism, whatsoever cant it be or grow to, live!  We
have had a pleasant journey in that direction;  and are--arriving
at our inn?

To support the Four Pleas of the Crowns and keep Taxes coming in:
in very sad seriousness, has not this been, ever since, even in
the best times, almost the one admitted end and aim of
Government?  Religion, Christian Church, Moral Duty;  the fact
that man had a soul at all;  that in man's life there was any
eternal truth or justice at all,--has been as good as left
quietly out of sight.  Church indeed,--alas, the endless talk and
struggle we have had of High-Church, Low-Church, Church-
Extension, Church-in-Danger:  we invite the Christian reader to
think whether it has not been a too miserable screech-owl
phantasm of talk and struggle, as for a 'Church,'--which one had
rather not define at present!

But now in these godless two centuries, looking at England and
her efforts and doings, if we ask, What of England's doings the
Law of Nature had accepted, Nature's King had actually furthered
and pronounced to have truth in them,--where is our answer?
Neither the 'Church' of Hurd and Warburton, nor the Anti-church
of Hume and Paine;  not in any shape the Spiritualism of England:
all this is already seen, or beginning to be seen, for what it
is;  a thing that Nature does _not_ own.  On the one side is
dreary Cant, with a _reminiscence_ of things noble and divine;
on the other is but acrid Candour, with a _prophecy_ of things
brutal, infernal.  Hurd and Warburton are sunk into the sere and
yellow leaf;  no considerable body of true-seeing men looks
thitherward for healing:  the Paine-and-Hume Atheistic theory, of
'things well let alone,' with Liberty, Equality and the like, is
also in these days declaring itself naught, unable to keep the
world from taking fire.

The theories and speculations of both these parties, and, we may
say, of all intermediate parties and persons, prove to be things
which the Eternal Veracity did not accept;  things superficial,
ephemeral, which already a near Posterity, finding them already
dead and brown-leafed, is about to suppress and forget.  The
Spiritualism of England, for those godless years, is, as it were,
all forgettable.  Much has been written:  but the perennial
Scriptures of Mankind have had small accession:  from all English
Books, in rhyme or prose, in leather binding or in paper
wrappage, how many verses have been added to these?  Our most
melodious Singers have sung as from the throat outwards:  from
the inner Heart of Man, from the great Heart of Nature, through
no Pope or Philips, has there come any tone.  The Oracles have
been dumb.  In brief, the Spoken Word of England has not been
true.  The Spoken Word of England turns out to have been trivial;
of short endurance;  not valuable, not available as a Word,
except for the passing day.  It has been accordant with
transitory Semblance;  discordant with eternal Fact.  It has been
unfortunately not a Word, but a Cant;  a helpless involuntary
Cant, nay too often a cunning voluntary one:  either way, a very
mournful Cant;  the Voice not of Nature and Fact, but of
something other than these.

With all its miserable shortcomings, with its wars,
controversies, with its trades-unions, famine-insurrections,--it
is her Practical Material Work alone that England has to shew for
herself!  This, and hitherto almost nothing more;  yet actually
this.  The grim inarticulate veracity of the English People,
unable to speak its meaning in words, has turned itself silently
on things;  and the dark powers of Material Nature have answered:
Yes, this at least is true, this is not false!  So answers
Nature.  Waste desert-shrubs of the Tropical swamps have become
Cotton-trees;  and here, under my furtherance, are verily woven
shirts,--hanging unsold, undistributed, but capable to be
distributed, capable to cover the bare backs of my children of
men.  Mountains, old as the Creation, I have permitted to be
bored through:  bituminous fuel-stores, the wreck of forests that
were green a million years ago,--I have opened them from my
secret rock-chambers, and they are yours, ye English.  Your huge
fleets, steamships, do sail the sea:  huge Indias do obey you;
from huge _New_ Englands and Antipodal Australias, comes profit
and traffic to this Old England of mine!  So answers Nature.  The
Practical Labour of England is _not_ a chimerical Triviality:  it
is a Fact, acknowledged by all the Worlds;  which no man and no
demon will contradict.  It is, very audibly, though very
inarticulately as yet, the one God's Voice we have heard in these
two atheistic centuries.


And now to observe with what bewildering obscurations and
impediments all this as yet stands entangled, and is yet
intelligible to no man!  How, with our gross Atheism, we hear it
not to be the Voice of God to us, but regard it merely as a Voice
of earthly Profit-and-Loss.  And have a Hell in England,--the
Hell of not making money.  And coldly see the all-conquering
valiant Sons of Toil sit enchanted, by the million, in their
Poor-Law Bastille, as if this were Nature's Law;--mumbling to
ourselves some vague janglement of Laissez-faire, Supply-and-
demand, Cash-payment the one nexus of man to man:  Free-trade,
Competition, and Devil take the hindmost, our latest Gospel
yet preached!

As if, in truth, there were no God of Labour;  as if godlike
Labour and brutal Mammonism were convertible terms.  A serious,
most earnest Mammonism grown Midas-eared;  an unserious
Dilettantism, earnest about nothing, grinning with inarticulate
incredulous incredible jargon about all things, as the
_enchanted_ Dilettanti do by the Dead Sea!  It is mournful
enough, for the present hour;  were there not an endless hope in
it withal.  Giant LABOUR, truest emblem there is of God the
World-Worker, Demiurgus, and Eternal Maker;  noble LABOUR, which
is yet to be the King of this Earth, and sit on the highest
throne,--staggering hitherto like a blind irrational giant,
hardly allowed to have his common place on the street-pavements;
idle Dilettantism, Dead-Sea Apism, crying out, "Down with him, he
is dangerous!"

Labour must become a seeing rational giant, with a soul in the
body of him, and take his place on the throne of things,--leaving
his Mammonism, and several other adjuncts, on the lower steps of
said throne.



Chapter VII

Over-Production


But what will reflective readers say of a Governing Class, such
as ours, addressing its Workers with an indictment of
'Overproduction!'  Over-production:  runs it not so?  "Ye
miscellaneous, ignoble manufacturing individuals, ye have
produced too much!  We accuse you of making above two-hundred
thousand shirts for the bare backs of mankind.  Your trousers
too, which you have made, of fustian, of cassimere, of Scotch-
plaid, of jane, nankeen and woollen broadcloth, are they not
manifold?  Of hats for the human head, of shoes for the human
foot, of stools to sit on, spoons to eat with--Nay, what say we
hats or shoes?  You produce gold-watches, jewelleries, silver-
forks and epergnes, commodes, chiffoniers, stuffed sofas--
Heavens, the Commercial Bazaar and multitudinous Howel-and-
Jameses cannot contain you.  You have produced, produced;--he
that seeks your indictment, let him look around.  Millions of
shirts, and empty pairs of breeches, hang there in judgment
against you.  We accuse you of over-producing:  you are
criminally guilty of producing shirts, breeches, hats, shoes and
commodities, in a frightful overabundance.  And now there is a
glut, and your operatives cannot be fed!"

Never surely, against an earnest Working Mammonism was there
brought, by Game-preserving aristocratic Dilettantism, a stranger
accusation, since this world began.  My lords and gentlemen,--
why, it was _you_ that were appointed, by the fact and by the
theory of your position on the Earth, to 'make and administer
Laws,'--that is to say, in a world such as ours, to guard against
'gluts;'  against honest operatives, who had done their work,
remaining unfed!  I say, _you_ were appointed to preside over the
Distribution and Apportionment of the Wages of Work done;  and to
see well that there went no labourer without his hire, were it of
money-coins, were it of hemp gallows-ropes:  that function was
yours, and from immemorial time has been;  yours, and as yet no
other's.  These poor shirt-spinners have forgotten much, which by
the virtual unwritten law of their position they should have
remembered:  but by any written recognised law of their position,
what have they forgotten?  They were set to make shirts.  The
Community with all its voices commanded them, saying, "Make
shirts;"--and there the shirts are!  Too many shirts?  Well, that
is a novelty, in this intemperate Earth, with its nine-hundred
millions of bare backs!  But the Community commanded you, saying,
"See that the shirts are well apportioned, that our Human Laws be
emblem of God's Laws;"--and where is the apportionment?  Two
million shirtless or ill-shirted workers sit enchanted in
Workhouse Bastilles, five million more (according to some) in
Ugolino Hunger-cellars;  and for remedy, you say, what say you?--
"Raise _our_ rents!"  I have not in my time heard any stranger
speech, not even on the Shores of the Dead Sea.  You continue
addressing those poor shirt-spinners and over-producers, in
really a _too_ triumphant manner:

"Will you bandy accusations, will you accuse us of
overproduction?  We take the Heavens and the Earth to witness
that we have produced nothing at all.  Not from us proceeds this
frightful _over_plus of shirts.  In the wide domains of created
Nature, circulates no shirt or thing of our producing.  Certain
fox-brushes nailed upon our stable-door, the fruit of fair
audacity at Melton Mowbray;  these we have produced, and they are
openly nailed up there.  He that accuses us of producing, let him
shew himself, let him name what and when.  We are innocent of
producing;--ye ungrateful, what mountains of things have we not,
on the contrary, had to 'consume,' and make away with!  Mountains
of those your heaped manufactures, wheresoever edible or
wearable, have they not disappeared before us, as if we had the
talent of ostriches, of cormorants, and a kind of divine faculty
to eat?  Ye ungrateful!--and did you not grow under the shadow of
our wings?  Are not your filthy mills built on these fields of
ours;  on this soil of England, which belongs to--whom think you?
And we shall not offer you our own wheat at the price that
pleases us, but that partly pleases you?  A precious notion!
What would become of you, if we chose, at any time, to decide on
growing no wheat more?"

Yes, truly, here is the ultimate rock-basis of all Corn-Laws;
whereon, at the bottom of much arguing, they rest, as securely as
they can:  What would become of you, if we decided, some day, on
growing no more wheat at all? If we chose to grow only partridges
henceforth, and a modicum of wheat for our own uses?  Cannot we
do what we like with our own?--Yes, indeed!  For my share, if I
could melt Gneiss Rock, and create Law of Gravitation;  if I
could stride out to the Doggerbank, some morning, and striking
down my trident there into the mudwaves, say, "Be land, be
fields, meadows, mountains and fresh-rolling streams!" by Heaven,
I should incline to have the letting of _that_ land in
perpetuity, and sell the wheat of it, or burn the wheat of it,
according to my own good judgment!  My Corn-Lawing friends, you
affright me.


To the 'Millo-cracy' so-called, to the Working Aristocracy,
steeped too deep in mere ignoble Mammonism, and as yet all
unconscious of its noble destinies, as yet but an irrational or
semirational giant, struggling to awake some soul in itself,--the
world will have much to say, reproachfully, reprovingly,
admonishingly.  But to the Idle Aristocracy, what will the world
have to say?  Things painful and not pleasant!

To the man who _works,_ who attempts, in never so ungracious
barbarous a way, to get forward with some work, you will hasten
out with furtherances, with encouragements, corrections;  you
will say to him:  "Welcome, thou art ours;  our care shall be of
thee."  To the idler, again, never so gracefully going idle,
coming forward with never so many parchments, you will not hasten
out;  you will sit still, and be disinclined to rise.  You will
say to him:  "Not welcome, O complex Anomaly;  would thou hadst
staid out of doors:  for who of mortals knows what to do with
thee?  Thy parchments:  yes, they are old, of venerable
yellowness;  and we too honour parchment, old-established
settlements, and venerable use and wont.  Old parchments in very
truth:--yet on the whole, if thou wilt remark, they are young to
the Granite Rocks, to the Groundplan of God's Universe!  We
advise thee to put up thy parchments;  to go home to thy place,
and make no needless noise whatever.  Our heart's wish is to save
thee:  yet there as thou art, hapless Anomaly, with nothing but
thy yellow parchments, noisy futilities, and shotbelts and fox-
brushes, who of gods or men can avert dark Fate?  Be counselled,
ascertain if no work exist for thee on God's Earth;  if thou find
no commanded-duty there but that of going gracefully idle?  Ask,
inquire earnestly, with a half-frantic earnestness;  for the
answer means Existence or Annihilation to thee.  We apprise thee
of the world-old fact, becoming sternly disclosed again in these
days, That he who cannot work in this Universe cannot get existed
in it:  had he parchments to thatch the face of the world, these,
combustible fallible sheepskin, cannot avail him.  Home, thou
unfortunate;  and let us have at least no noise from thee!"

Suppose the unfortunate Idle Aristocracy, as the unfortunate
Working one has done, were to 'retire three days to _its_ bed,'
and consider itself there, what o'clock it had become?--

How have we to regret not only that men have 'no religion,' but
that they have next to no reflection;  and go about with heads
full of mere extraneous noises, with eyes wide-open but
visionless,--for most part, in the somnambulist state!



Chapter VIII

Unworking Aristocracy


It is well said, 'Land is the right basis of an Aristocracy;'
whoever possesses the Land, he, more emphatically than any other,
is the Governor, Viceking of the people on the Land.  It is in
these days as it was in those of Henry Plantagenet and Abbot
Samson;  as it will in all days be.  The Land is _Mother_ of us
all;  nourishes, shelters, gladdens, lovingly enriches us all;
in how many ways, from our first wakening to our last sleep on
her blessed mother-bosom, does she, as with blessed mother-arms,
enfold us all!

The Hill I first saw the Sun rise over, when the Sun and I and
all things were yet in their auroral hour, who can divorce me
from it?  Mystic, deep as the world's centre, are the roots I
have struck into my Native Soil;  no _tree_ that grows is rooted
so.  From noblest Patriotism to humblest industrial Mechanism;
from highest dying for your country, to lowest quarrying and
coal-boring for it, a Nation's Life depends upon its Land.  Again
and again we have to say, there can be no true Aristocracy but
must possess the Land.

Men talk of 'selling' Land.  Land, it is true, like Epic Poems
and even higher things, in such a trading world, has to be
presented in the market for what it will bring, and as we say be
'sold:'  but the notion of 'selling,' for certain bits of metal,
the _Iliad_ of Homer, how much more the _Land_ of the World-
Creator, is a ridiculous impossibility!  We buy what is saleable
of it;  nothing more was ever buyable.  Who can, or could, sell
it to us?  Properly speaking, the Land belongs to these two:  To
the Almighty God;  and to all His Children of Men that have ever
worked well on it, or that shall ever work well on it.  No
generation of men can or could, with never such solemnity and
effort, sell Land on any other principle:  it is not the property
of any generation, we say, but that of all the past generations
that have worked on it, and of all the future ones that shall
work on it.  Again, we hear it said, The soil of England, or of
any country, is properly worth nothing, except the labour
bestowed on it:  This, speaking even in the language of
Eastcheap, is not correct.  The rudest space of country equal in
extent to England, could a whole English Nation, with all their
habitudes, arrangements, skills, with whatsoever they do carry
within the skins of them, and cannot be stript of, suddenly take
wing, and alight on it,--would be worth a very considerable
thing!  Swiftly, within year and day, this English Nation, with
its multiplex talents of ploughing, spinning, hammering, mining,
road-making and trafficking, would bring a handsome value out of
such a space of country.  On the other hand, fancy what an
English Nation, once 'on the wing,' could have done with itself,
had there been simply no soil, not even an inarable one, to
alight on?  Vain all its talents for ploughing, hammering, and
whatever else;  there is no Earth-room for this Nation with its
talents:  this Nation will have to keep hovering on the wing,
dolefully shrieking to and fro;  and perish piecemeal;  burying
itself, down to the last soul of it, in the waste unfirmamented
seas.  Ah yes, soil, with or without ploughing, is the gift of
God.  The soil of all countries belongs evermore, in a very
considerable degree, to the Almighty Maker!  The last stroke of
labour bestowed on it is not the making of its value, but only
the increasing thereof.

It is very strange, the degree to which these truisms are
forgotten in our days;  how, in the ever-whirling chaos of
Formulas, we have quietly lost sight of Fact,--which it is so
perilous not to keep forever in sight!  Fact, if we do not see
it, will make us _feel_ it by and by!--From much loud controversy
and Corn-Law debating there rises, loud though inarticulate, once
more in these years, this very question among others, Who made
the Land of England?  Who made it, this respectable English Land,
wheat-growing, metalliferous, carboniferous, which will let
readily hand over head for seventy millions or upwards, as it
here lies:  who did make it?--"We!" answer the much-_consuming_
Aristocracy;  "We!" as they ride in, moist with the sweat of
Melton Mowbray:  "It is we that made it; or are the heirs,
assigns and representatives of those who did!"--My brothers, You?
Everlasting honour to you, then;  and Corn-Laws as many as you
will, till your own deep stomachs cry Enough, or some voice of
human pity for our famine bids you Hold!  Ye are as gods, that
can create soil.  Soil-creating gods there is no withstanding.
They have the might to sell wheat at what price they list;  and
the right, to all lengths, and famine-lengths,--if they be
pitiless infernal gods!  Celestial gods, I think, would stop
short of the famine-price;  but no infernal nor any kind of god
can be bidden stop!--Infatuated mortals, into what questions are
you driving every thinking man in England?

I say, you did _not_ make the Land of England;  and, by the
possession of it, you _are_ bound to furnish guidance and
governance to England!  That is the law of your position on this
God's-Earth;  an everlasting act of Heaven's Parliament, not
repealable in St. Stephen's or elsewhere!  True government and
guidance;  not no-government and Laissez-faire;  how much less,
misgovernment and Corn-Law!  There is not an imprisoned Worker
looking out from these Bastilles but appeals, very audibly in
Heaven's High Courts, against you, and me, and every one who is
not imprisoned, "Why am I here?"  His appeal is audible in
Heaven;  and will become audible enough on Earth too, if it
remain unheeded here.  His appeal is against you, foremost of
all;  you stand in the front-rank of the accused;  you, by the
very place you hold, have first of all to answer him and Heaven!


What looks maddest, miserablest in these mad and miserable Corn-
Laws is independent altogether of their 'effect on wages,' their
effect on 'increase of trade,' or any other such effect:  it is
the continual maddening proof they protrude into the faces of all
men, that our Governing Class, called by God and Nature and the
inflexible law of Fact, either to do something towards governing,
or to die and be abolished,--have not yet learned even to sit
still, and do no mischief!  For no Anti-Corn-Law League yet asks
more of them than this;--Nature and Fact, very imperatively,
asking so much more of them.  Anti-Corn-Law League asks not, Do
something;  but, Cease your destructive misdoing, Do ye nothing!

Nature's message will have itself obeyed:  messages of mere Free-
Trade, Anti-Corn-Law League and Laissez-faire, will then need
small obeying!--Ye fools, in name of Heaven, work, work, at the
Ark of Deliverance for yourselves and us, while hours are still
granted you!  No:  instead of working at the Ark, they say, "We
cannot get our hands kept rightly warm;"  and _sit obstinately
burning the planks._  No madder spectacle at present exhibits
itself under this Sun.


The Working Aristocracy;  Mill-owners, Manufacturers, Commanders
of Working Men:  alas, against them also much shall be brought in
accusation;  much,--and the freest Trade in Corn, total abolition
of Tariffs, and uttermost 'Increase of Manufactures' and
'Prosperity of Commerce,' will permanently mend no jot of it.
The Working Aristocracy must strike into a new path;  must
understand that money alone is _not_ the representative either of
man's success in the world, or of man's duties to man;  and
reform their own selves from top to bottom, if they wish England
reformed.  England will not be habitable long, unreformed.

The Working Aristocracy--Yes, but on the threshold of all this,
it is again and again to be asked, What of the Idle Aristocracy?
Again and again, what shall we say of the Idle Aristocracy, the
Owners of the Soil of England;  whose recognised function is that
of handsomely consuming the rents of England, shooting the
partridges of England, and as an agreeable amusement (if the
purchase-money and other conveniences serve), dilettante-ing in
Parliament and Quarter-Sessions for England?  We will say
mournfully, in the presence of Heaven and Earth,--that we stand
speechless, stupent, and know not what to say!  That a class of
men entitled to live sumptuously on the marrow of the earth;
permitted simply, nay entreated, and as yet entreated in vain, to
do nothing at all in return, was never heretofore seen on the
face of this Planet.  That such a class is transitory,
exceptional, and, unless Nature's Laws fall dead, cannot
continue.  That it has continued now a moderate while;  has, for
the last fifty years, been rapidly attaining its state of
perfection.  That it will have to find its duties and do them;
or else that it must and will cease to be seen on the face of
this Planet, which is a Working one, not an Idle one.

Alas, alas, the Working Aristocracy, admonished by Trades-unions,
Chartist conflagrations, above all by their own shrewd sense kept
in perpetual communion with the fact of things, will assuredly
reform themselves, and a working world will still be possible:--
but the fate of the Idle Aristocracy, as one reads its horoscope
hitherto in Corn-Laws and such like, is an abyss that fills one
with despair.  Yes, my rosy fox-hunting brothers, a terrible
_Hippocratic look_ reveals itself (God knows, not to my joy)
through those fresh buxom countenances of yours.  Through your
Corn-Law Majorities, Sliding-Scales, Protecting-Duties, Bribery-
Elections and triumphant Kentish-fires a thinking eye discerns
ghastly images of ruin, too ghastly for words;  a handwriting as
of MENE, MENE? Men and brothers, on your Sliding-scale you seem
sliding, and to have slid,--you little know whither!  Good God!
did not a French Donothing Aristocracy, hardly above half a
century ago, declare in like manner, and in its featherhead
believe in like manner, "We cannot exist, and continue to dress
and parade ourselves, on the just rent of the soil of France;
but we must have farther payment than rent of the soil, we must
be exempted from taxes too,"--we must have a Corn-Law to extend
our rent?  This was in 1789:  in four years more--Did you look
into the Tanneries of Meudon, and the long-naked making for
themselves breeches of human skins!  May the merciful Heavens
avert the omen;  may we be wiser, that so we be less wretched.


A High Class without duties to do is like a tree planted on
precipices;  from the roots of which all the earth has been
crumbling.  Nature owns no man who is not a Martyr withal.  Is
there a man who pretends to live luxuriously housed up;  screened
from all work, from want, danger, hardship, the victory over
which is what we name work;--he himself to sit serene, amid down-
bolsters and appliances, and have all his work and battling done
by other men?  And such man calls himself a _noble_-man?  His
fathers worked for him, he says;  or successfully gambled for
him:  here _he_ sits;  professes, not in sorrow but in pride,
that he and his have done no work, time out of mind.  It is the
law of the land, and is thought to be the law of the Universe,
that he, alone of recorded men, shall have no task laid on him,
except that of eating his cooked victuals, and not flinging
himself out of window.  Once more I will say, there was no
stranger spectacle ever shewn under this Sun.  A veritable fact
in our England of the Nineteenth Century.  His victuals he does
eat:  but as for keeping in the inside of the window,--have not
his friends, like me, enough to do?  Truly, looking at his Corn-
Laws, Game-Laws, Chandos-Clauses, Bribery-Elections and much
else, you do shudder over the tumbling and plunging he makes,
held back by the lappelles and coatskirts;  only a thin fence of
window-glass before him,--and in the street mere horrid iron
spikes!  My sick brother, as in hospital-maladies men do, thou
dreamest of Paradises and Eldorados, which are far from thee.
'Cannot I do what I like with my own?'  Gracious Heaven, my
brother, this that thou seest with those sick eyes is no firm
Eldorado, and Corn-Law Paradise of Donothings, but a dream of thy
own fevered brain.  It is a glass-window, I tell thee, so many
stories from the street;  where are iron spikes and the law
of gravitation!

What is the meaning of nobleness, if this be 'noble?'  In a
valiant suffering for others, not in a slothful making others
suffer for us, did nobleness ever lie.  The chief of men is he
who stands in the van of men;  fronting the peril which frightens
back all others;  which, if it be not vanquished, will devour the
others.  Every noble crown is, and on Earth will forever be, a
crown of thorns.  The Pagan Hercules, why was he accounted a
hero?  Because he had slain Nemean Lions, cleansed Augean
Stables, undergone Twelve Labours only not too heavy for a god.
In modern, as in ancient and all societies, the Aristocracy, they
that assume the functions of an Aristocracy, doing them or not,
have taken the post of honour;  which is the post of difficulty,
the post of danger,--of death, if the difficulty be not overcome.
_Il faut payer de sa vie._  Why was our life given us, if not
that we should manfully give it?  Descend, O Donothing Pomp;
quit thy down-cushions;  expose thyself to learn what wretches
feel, and how to cure it!  The Czar of Russia became a dusty
toiling shipwright;  worked with his axe in the Docks of Saardam;
and his aim was small to thine.  Descend thou:  undertake this
horrid 'living chaos of Ignorance and Hunger' weltering round thy
feet;  say, "I will heal it, or behold I will die foremost in
it."  Such is verily the law.  Everywhere and everywhen a man has
to _'pay_ with his life;'  to do his work, as a soldier does, at
the expense of life.  In no Piepowder earthly Court can you sue
an Aristocracy to do its work, at this moment:  but in the Higher
Court, which even it calls 'Court of Honour,' and which is the
Court of Necessity withal, and the eternal Court of the Universe,
in which all Fact comes to plead, and every Human Soul is an
apparitor,--the Aristocracy is answerable, and even now
answering, _there._


Parchments?  Parchments are venerable:  but they ought at all
times to represent, as near as they by possibility can, the
writing of the Adamant Tablets;  otherwise they are not so
venerable!  Benedict the Jew in vain pleaded parchments;  his
usuries were too many.  The King said, "Go to, for all thy
parchments, thou shalt pay just debt;  down with thy dust, or
observe this tooth-forceps!"  Nature, a far juster Sovereign, has
far terribler forceps.  Aristocracies, actual and imaginary,
reach a time when parchment pleading does not avail them.  "Go
to, for all thy parchments, thou shalt pay due debt!" shouts the
Universe to them, in an emphatic manner.  They refuse to pay,
confidently pleading parchment:  their best grinder-tooth, with
horrible agony, goes out of their jaw.  Wilt thou pay now?  A
second grinder, again in horrible agony, goes:  a second, and a
third, and if need be, all the teeth and grinders, and the life
itself with them;--and _then_ there is free payment, and an
anatomist-subject into the bargain!

Reform Bills, Corn-Law Abrogation Bills, and then Land-Tax Bill,
Property-Tax Bill, and still dimmer list of _etceteras;_  grinder
after grinder:---my lords and gentlemen, it were better for
you to arise, and begin doing your work, than sit there and
plead parchments!


We write no Chapter on the Corn-Laws, in this place;  the Corn-
Laws are too mad to have a Chapter.  There is a certain
immorality, when there is not a necessity, in speaking about
things finished;  in chopping into small pieces the already
slashed and slain.  When the brains are out, why does not a
Solecism die!  It is at its own peril if it refuse to die;  it
ought to make all conceivable haste to die, and get itself
buried!  The trade of Anti-Corn-Law Lecturer in these days, still
an indispensable, is a highly tragic one.

The Corn-Laws will go, and even soon go:  would we were all as
sure of the Millennium as they are of going!  They go swiftly in
these present months;  with an increase of velocity, an ever-
deepening, ever-widening sweep of momentum, truly notable.  It is
at the Aristocracy's own damage and peril, still more than at any
other's whatsoever, that the Aristocracy maintains them;--at a
damage, say only, as above computed, of a 'hundred thousand
pounds an hour!'  The Corn-Laws keep all the air hot:  fostered
by their fever-warmth, much that is evil, but much also, how
much that is good and indispensable, is rapidly coming to life
among us!



Chapter IX

Working Aristocracy


A poor Working Mammonism getting itself 'strangled in the
partridge-nets of an Unworking Dilettantism,' and bellowing
dreadfully, and already black in the face, is surely a disastrous
spectacle!  But of a Midas-eared Mammonism, which indeed at
bottom all pure Mammonisms are, what better can you expect?  No
better;--if not this, then something other equally disastrous, if
not still more disastrous.  Mammonisms, grown asinine, have to
become human again, and rational;  they have, on the whole, to
cease to be Mammonisms, were it even on compulsion, and pressure
of the hemp round their neck!--My friends of the Working
Aristocracy, there are now a great many things which you also, in
your extreme need, will have to consider.


The Continental people, it would seem, are 'exporting our
machinery, beginning to spin cotton and manufacture for
themselves, to cut us out of this market and then out of that!'
Sad news indeed;  but irremediable;--by no means the saddest
news.  The saddest news is, that we should find our National
Existence, as I sometimes hear it said, depend on selling
manufactured cotton at a farthing an ell cheaper than any other
People.  A most narrow stand for a great Nation to base itself
on!  A stand which, with all the Corn-Law Abrogations
conceivable, I do not think will be capable of enduring.

My friends, suppose we quitted that stand;  suppose we came
honestly down from it, and said:  "This is our minimum of
cottonprices.  We care not, for the present, to make cotton any
cheaper.  Do you, if it seem so blessed to you, make cotton
cheaper.  Fill your lungs with cotton-fuzz, your hearts with
copperas-fumes, with rage and mutiny;  become ye the general
gnomes of Europe, slaves of the lamp!"--I admire a Nation which
fancies it will die if it do not undersell all other Nations, to
the end of the world.  Brothers, we will cease to _under_sell
them;  we will be content to _equal_-sell them;  to be happy
selling equally with them!  I do not see the use of underselling
them.  Cotton-cloth is already two-pence a yard or lower;  and
yet bare backs were never more numerous among us.  Let inventive
men cease to spend their existence incessantly contriving how
cotton can be made cheaper;  and try to invent, a little, how
cotton at its present cheapness could be somewhat justlier
divided among us!  Let inventive men consider, Whether the Secret
of this Universe, and of Man's Life there, does, after all, as we
rashly fancy it, consist in making money?  There is One God,
just, supreme, almighty:  but is Mammon the name of him?--With a
Hell which means 'Failing to make money,' I do not think there is
any Heaven possible that would suit one well;  nor so much as an
Earth that can be habitable long!  In brief, all this Mammon-
Gospel, of Supply-and-demand, Competition, Laissez-faire, and
Devil take the hindmost, begins to be one of the shabbiest
Gospels ever preached on Earth;  or altogether the shabbiest.
Even with Dilettante partridge-nets, and at a horrible
expenditure of pain, who shall regret to see the entirely
transient, and at best somewhat despicable life strangled out of
_it?_  At the best, as we say, a somewhat despicable, unvenerable
thing, this same 'Laissez-faire;'  and now, at the worst, fast
growing an altogether detestable one!

"But what is to be done with our manufacturing population, with
our agricultural, with our ever-increasing population?" cry
many.--Aye, what?  Many things can be done with them, a hundred
things, and a thousand things,--had we once got a soul, and begun
to try.  This one thing, of doing for them by 'underselling all
people,' and filling our own bursten pockets and appetites by the
road;  and turning over all care for any 'population,' or human
or divine consideration except cash only, to the winds, with a
"Laissez-faire" and the rest of it:  this is evidently not the
thing.  'Farthing cheaper per yard:'  no great Nation can stand
on the apex of such a pyramid;  screwing itself higher and
higher;  balancing itself on its great-toe!  Can England not
subsist without being _above_ all people in working?  England
never deliberately purposed such a thing.  If England work better
than all people, it shall be well.  England, like an honest
worker, will work as well as she can;  and hope the gods may
allow her to live on that basis.  Laissez-faire and much else
being once well dead, how many 'impossibles' will become
possible!  They are 'impossible,' as cotton-cloth at two-pence an
ell was--till men set about making it.  The inventive genius of
great England will not forever sit patient with mere wheels and
pinions, bobbins, straps and billy-rollers whirring in the head
of it.  The inventive genius of England is not a Beaver's, or a
Spinner's or Spider's genius:  it is a _Man's_ genius, I hope,
with a God over him!

Supply-and-demand?  One begins to be weary of such work.  Leave
all to egoism, to ravenous greed of money, of pleasure, of
applause:--it is the Gospel of Despair!  Man is a Patent-
Digester, then:  only give him Free Trade, Free digesting-room;
and each of us digest what he can come at, leaving the rest to
Fate!  My unhappy brethren of the Working Mammonism, my unhappier
brethren of the Idle Dilettantism, no world was ever held
together in that way for long.  A world of mere Patent-Digesters
will soon have nothing to digest:  such world ends, and by Law of
Nature must end, in 'over-population;'  in howling universal
famine, 'impossibility,' and suicidal madness, as of endless dog-
kennels run rabid.  Supply-and-demand shall do its full part, and
Free Trade shall be free as air;--thou of the shotbelts, see thou
forbid it not, with those paltry, _worse_ than 'Mammonish'
swindleries and Sliding-scales of thine, which are seen to be
swindleries for all thy canting, which in times like ours are
very scandalous to see!  And Trade never so well freed, and all
Tariffs settled or abolished, and Supply-and-demand in full
operation,--let us all know that we have yet done nothing;  that
we have merely cleared the ground for doing.

Yes, were the Corn-Laws ended tomorrow, there is nothing yet
ended;  there is only room made for all manner of things
beginning.  The Corn-Laws gone, and Trade made free, it is as
good as certain this paralysis of industry will pass away.  We
shall have another period of commercial enterprise, of victory
and prosperity;  during which, it is likely, much money will
again be made, and all the people may, by the extant methods,
still for a space of years, be kept alive and physically fed.
The strangling band of Famine will be loosened from our necks;
we shall have room again to breathe;  time to bethink ourselves,
to repent and consider!  A precious and thrice-precious space of
years;  wherein to struggle as for life in reforming our foul
ways;  in alleviating, instructing, regulating our people;
seeking, as for life, that something like spiritual food be
imparted them, some real governance and guidance be provided
them!  It will be a priceless time.  For our new period or
paroxysm of commercial prosperity will and can, on the old
methods of 'Competition and Devil take the hindmost,' prove but a
paroxysm:  a new paroxysm,--likely enough, if we do not use it
better, to be our _last._  In this, of itself, is no salvation.
If our Trade in twenty years, 'flourishing' as never Trade
flourished, could double itself;  yet then also, by the old
Laissez-faire method, our Population is doubled:  we shall
then be as we are, only twice as many of us, twice and ten
times as unmanageable!


All this dire misery, therefore; all this of our poor Workhouse
Workmen, of our Chartisms, Trades-strikes, Corn-Laws, Toryisms,
and the general downbreak of Laissez-faire in these days,--may we
not regard it as a voice from the dumb bosom of Nature, saying to
us:  Behold!  Supply-and-demand is not the one Law of Nature;
Cash-payment is not the sole nexus of man with man,--how far from
it!  Deep, far deeper than Supply-and-demand, are Laws,
Obligations sacred as Man's Life itself:  these also, if you will
continue to do work, you shall now learn and obey.  He that will
learn them, behold Nature is on his side, he shall yet work and
prosper with noble rewards.  He that will not learn them, Nature
is against him;  he shall not be able to do work in Nature's
empire,--not in hers.  Perpetual mutiny, contention, hatred,
isolation, execration shall wait on his footsteps, till all men
discern that the thing which he attains, however golden it look
or be, is not success, but the want of success.

Supply-and-demand,--alas!  For what noble work was there ever yet
any audible 'demand' in that poor sense?  The man of Macedonia,
speaking in vision to an Apostle Paul, "Come over and help us,"
did not specify what rate of wages he would give!  Or was the
Christian Religion itself accomplished by Prize-Essays,
Bridgewater Bequests, and a 'minimum of Four thousand five
hundred a year?''  No demand that I heard of was made then,
audible in any Labour-market, Manchester Chamber of Commerce, or
other the like emporium and hiring establishment;  silent were
all these from any whisper of such demand;--powerless were all
these to 'supply' it, had the demand been in thunder and
earthquake, with gold Eldorados and Mahometan Paradises for the
reward.  Ah me, into what waste latitudes, in this Time-Voyage,
have we wandered;  like adventurous Sindbads;--where the men go
about as if by galvanism, with meaningless glaring eyes, and have
no soul, but only a beaver-faculty and stomach!  The haggard
despair of Cotton-factory, Coal-mine operatives, Chandos Farm-
labourers, in these days, is painful to behold;  but not so
painful, hideous to the inner sense, as the brutish god-
forgetting Profit-and-Loss Philosophy, and Life-theory, which we
hear jangled on all hands of us, in senate-houses, spouting-
clubs, leading-articles, pulpits and platforms, everywhere as the
Ultimate Gospel and candid Plain-English of Man's Life, from the
throats and pens and thoughts of all but all men!--

Enlightened Philosophies, like Moliere Doctors, will tell you:
"Enthusiasms, Self-sacrifice, Heaven, Hell and such like:  yes,
all that was true enough for old stupid times;  all that used to
be true:  but we have changed all that, _nous avons change tout
cela!"_  Well; if the heart be got round now into the right side,
and the liver to the left;  if man have no heroism in him deeper
than the wish to eat, and in his soul there dwell now no Infinite
of Hope and Awe, and no divine Silence can become imperative
because it is not Sinai Thunder, and no tie will bind if it be
not that of Tyburn gallows-ropes,--then verily you have changed
all that;  and for it, and for you, and for me, behold the Abyss
and nameless Annihilation is ready.  So scandalous a beggarly
Universe deserves indeed nothing else;  I cannot say I would save
it from Annihilation.  Vacuum, and the serene Blue, will be much
handsomer;  easier too for all of us.  I, for one, decline living
as a Patent-Digester.  Patent-Digester, Spinning-Mule, Mayfair
Clothes-Horse:  many thanks, but your Chaosships will have the
goodness to excuse me!



Chapter X

Plugson of Undershot


One thing I do know:  Never, on this Earth, was the relation of
man to man long carried on by Cash-payment alone.  If, at any
time, a philosophy of Laissez-faire, Competition and Supply-and-
demand, start up as the exponent of human relations, expect that
it will soon end.

Such philosophies will arise:  for man's philosophies are usually
the 'supplement of his practice;'  some ornamental Logic-varnish,
some outer skin of Articulate Intelligence, with which he strives
to render his dumb Instinctive Doings presentable when they are
done.  Such philosophies will arise;  be preached as Mammon-
Gospels, the ultimate Evangel of the World;  be believed, with
what is called belief, with much superficial bluster, and a kind
of shallow satisfaction real in its way:--but they are ominous
gospels!  They are the sure, and even swift, forerunner of great
changes.  Expect that the old System of Society is done, is dying
and fallen into dotage, when it begins to rave in that fashion.
Most Systems that I have watched the death of, for the last three
thousand years, have gone just so.  The Ideal, the True and Noble
that was in them having faded out, and nothing now remaining but
naked Egoism, vulturous Greediness, they cannot live;  they are
bound and inexorably ordained by the oldest Destinies, Mothers of
the Universe, to die.  Curious enough:  they thereupon, as I have
pretty generally noticed, devise some light comfortable kind of
'wine-and-walnuts philosophy' for themselves, this of Supply-and-
demand or another;  and keep saying, during hours of mastication
and rumination, which they call hours of meditation:  "Soul, take
thy ease, it is all _well_ that thou art a vulture-soul;"
--and pangs of dissolution come upon them, oftenest before they
are aware!

Cash-payment never was, or could except for a few years be, the
union-bond of man to man.  Cash never yet paid one man fully his
deserts to another;  nor could it, nor can it, now or henceforth
to the end of the world.  I invite his Grace of Castle-Rackrent
to reflect on this;--does he think that a Land Aristocracy when
it becomes a Land Auctioneership can have long to live?  Or that
Sliding-scales will increase the vital stamina of it?  The
indomitable Plugson too, of the respected Firm of Plugson, Hunks
and Company, in St. Dolly Undershot, is invited to reflect on
this;  for to him also it will be new, perhaps even newer.
Bookkeeping by double entry is admirable, and records several
things in an exact manner.  But the Mother-Destinies also keep
their Tablets;  in Heaven's Chancery also there goes on a
recording;  and things, as my Moslem friends say, are 'written on
the iron leaf.'

Your Grace and Plugson, it is like, go to Church occasionally:
did you never in vacant moments, with perhaps a dull parson
droning to you, glance into your New Testament, and the cash-
account stated four times over, by a kind of quadruple entry,--in
the Four Gospels there?  I consider that a cash-account, and
balance-statement of work done and wages paid, worth attending
to.  Precisely _such,_ though on a smaller scale, go on at all
moments under this Sun;  and the statement and balance of them in
the Plugson Ledgers and on the Tablets of Heaven's Chancery are
discrepant exceedingly;--which ought really to teach, and to have
long since taught, an indomitable common-sense Plugson of
Undershot, much more an unattackable _un_common-sense Grace of
Rackrent, a thing or two!--In brief, we shall have to dismiss the
Cash-Gospel rigorously into its own place:  we shall have to
know, on the threshold, that either there is some infinitely
deeper Gospel, subsidiary, explanatory and daily and hourly
corrective, to the Cash one;  or else that the Cash one itself
and all others are fast traveling!


For all human things do require to have an Ideal in them;  to
have some Soul in them, as we said, were it only to keep the Body
unputrefied.  And wonderful it is to see how the Ideal or Soul,
place it in what ugliest Body you may, will irradiate said Body
with its own nobleness;  will gradually, incessantly, mould,
modify, new-form or reform said ugliest Body, and make it at last
beautiful, and to a certain degree divine!--O, if you could
dethrone that Brute-god Mammon, and put a Spirit-god in his
place!  One way or other, he must and will have to be dethroned.
Fighting, for example, as I often say to myself, Fighting with
steel murder-tools is surely a much uglier operation than
Working, take it how you will.  Yet even of Fighting, in
religious Abbot Samson's days, see what a Feudalism there had
grown,--a 'glorious Chivalry,' much besung down to the present
day.  Was not that one of the 'impossiblest' things?  Under the
sky is no uglier spectacle than two men with clenched teeth, and
hellfire eyes, hacking one another's flesh;  converting precious
living bodies, and priceless living souls, into nameless masses
of putrescence, useful only for turnip-manure.  How did a
Chivalry ever come out of that;  how anything that was not
hideous, scandalous, infernal?  It will be a question worth
considering by and by.

I remark, for the present, only two things:  first, that the
Fighting itself was not, as we rashly suppose it, a Fighting
without cause, but more or less with cause.  Man is created to
fight;  he is perhaps best of all definable as a born soldier;
his life 'a battle and a march,' under the right General.  It is
forever indispensable for a man to fight:  now with Necessity,
with Barrenness, Scarcity, with Puddles, Bogs, tangled Forests,
unkempt Cotton;--now also with the hallucinations of his poor
fellow Men.  Hallucinatory visions rise in the head of my poor
fellow man;  make him claim over me rights which are not his.
All Fighting, as we noticed long ago, is the dusty conflict of
strengths each thinking itself the strongest, or, in other words,
the justest;--of Mights which do in the long-run, and forever
will in this just Universe in the long-run, mean Rights.  In
conflict the perishable part of them, beaten sufficiently, flies
off into dust:  this process ended, appears the imperishable, the
true and exact.

And now let us remark a second thing:  how, in these baleful
operations, a noble devout-hearted Chevalier will comfort
himself, and an ignoble godless Bucanier and Chactaw Indian.
Victory is the aim of each.  But deep in the heart of the noble
man it lies forever legible, that, as an Invisible just God made
him, so will and must God's justice and this only, were it never
so invisible, ultimately prosper in all controversies and
enterprises and battles whatsoever.  What an Influence;  ever-
present,--like a Soul in the rudest Caliban of a body;  like a
ray of Heaven, and illuminative creative _Fiat-Lux,_ in the
wastest terrestrial Chaos!  Blessed divine Influence, traceable
even in the horror of Battlefields and garments rolled in blood:
how it ennobles even the Battlefield;  and, in place of a Chactaw
Massacre, makes it a Field of Honour!  A Battlefield too is
great.  Considered well, it is a kind of Quintessence of Labour;
Labour distilled into its utmost concentration;  the significance
of years of it compressed into an hour.  Here too thou shalt be
strong, and not in muscle only, if thou wouldst prevail.  Here
too thou shalt be strong of heart, noble of soul;  thou shalt
dread no pain or death, thou shalt not love ease or life;  in
rage, thou shalt remember mercy, justice;--thou shalt be a Knight
and not a Chactaw, if thou wouldst prevail!  It is the rule of
all battles, against hallucinating fellow Men, against unkempt
Cotton, or whatsoever battles they may be which a man in this
world has to fight.

Howel Davies' dyes the West Indian Seas with blood, piles his
decks with plunder;  approves himself the expertest Seaman, the
daringest Seafighter:  but he gains no lasting victory, lasting
victory is not possible for him.  Not, had he fleets larger than
the combined British Navy all united with him in bucaniering.
He, once for all, cannot prosper in his duel.  He strikes down
his man:  yes;  but his man, or his man's representative, has no
notion to lie struck down;  neither, though slain ten times, will
he keep so lying;--nor has the Universe any notion to keep him so
lying!  On the contrary, the Universe and he have, at all
moments, all manner of motives to start up again, and desperately
fight again.  Your Napoleon is flung out, at last, to St. Helena;
the latter end of him sternly compensating the beginning.  The
Bucanier strikes down a man, a hundred or a million men:  but
what profits it?  He has one enemy never to be struck down;  nay
two enemies:  Mankind and the Maker of Men.  On the great scale
or on the small, in fighting of men or fighting of difficulties,
I will not embark my venture with Howel Davies:  it is not the
Bucanier, it is the Hero only that can gain victory, that can do
more than seem to succeed.  These things will deserve meditating;
for they apply to all battle and soldiership, all struggle and
effort whatsoever in this Fight of Life.  It is a poor Gospel,
Cash-Gospel or whatever name it have, that does not, with clear
tone, uncontradictable, carrying conviction to all hearts,
forever keep men in mind of these things.

Unhappily, my indomitable friend Plugson of Undershot has, in a
great degree, forgotten them;--as, alas, all the world has;  as,
alas, our very Dukes and Soul-Overseers have, whose special trade
it was to remember them!  Hence these tears.--Plugson, who has
indomitably spun Cotton merely to gain thousands of pounds, I
have to call as yet a Bucanier and Chactaw;  till there come
something better, still more indomitable from him.  His hundred
Thousand-pound Notes, if there be nothing other, are to me but as
the hundred Scalps in a Chactaw wigwam.  The blind Plugson:  he
was a Captain of Industry, born member of the Ultimate genuine
Aristocracy of this Universe, could he have known it!  These
thousand men that span and toiled round him, they were a regiment
whom he had enlisted, man by man;  to make war on a very genuine
enemy:  Bareness of back, and disobedient Cotton-fibre, which
will not, unless forced to it, consent to cover bare backs.  Here
is a most genuine enemy;  over whom all creatures will wish him
victory.  He enlisted his thousand men;  said to them, "Come,
brothers, let us have a dash at Cotton!"  They follow with
cheerful shout;  they gain such a victory over Cotton as the
Earth has to admire and clap hands at:  but, alas, it is yet only
of the Bucanier or Chactaw sort,--as good as no victory!  Foolish
Plugson of St. Dolly Undershot:  does he hope to become
illustrious by hanging up the scalps in his wigwam, the hundred
thousands at his banker's, and saying, Behold my scalps?  Why,
Plugson, even thy own host is all in mutiny:  Cotton is
conquered;  but the 'bare backs'--are worse covered than ever!
Indomitable Plugson, thou must cease to be a Chactaw;  thou and
others;  thou thyself, if no other!

Did William the Norman Bastard, or any of his Taillefers,
_Ironcutters,_ manage so?  Ironcutter, at the end of the
campaign, did not turn off his thousand fighters, but said to
them:  "Noble fighters, this is the land we have gained;  be I
Lord in it,--what we will call _Law-ward,_ maintainer and
_keeper_ of Heaven's _Laws:_  be I _Law-ward,_ or in brief
orthoepy _Lord_ in it, and be ye Loyal Men around me in it;  and
we will stand by one another, as soldiers round a captain, for
again we shall have need of one another!"  Plugson, bucanier-
like, says to them:  "Noble spinners, this is the Hundred
Thousand we have gained, wherein I mean to dwell and plant
vineyards;  the hundred thousand is mine, the three and sixpence
daily was yours:  adieu, noble spinners;  drink my health with
this groat each, which I give you over and above!"  The entirely
unjust Captain of Industry, say I;  not Chevalier, but Bucanier!
'Commercial Law' does indeed acquit him;  asks, with wide eyes,
What else?  So too Howel Davies asks, Was it not according to the
strictest Bucanier Custom?  Did I depart in any jot or tittle
from the Laws of the Bucaniers?

After all, money, as they say, is miraculous.  Plugson wanted
victory;  as Chevaliers and Bucaniers, and all men alike do.  He
found money recognised, by the whole world with one assent, as
the true symbol, exact equivalent and synonym of victory;--and
here we have him, a grim-browed, indomitable Bucanier, coming
home to us with a 'victory,' which the whole world is _ceasing_
to clap hands at!  The whole world, taught somewhat impressively,
is beginning to recognise that such victory is but half a
victory;  and that now, if it please the Powers, we must--have
the other half!

Money is miraculous.  What miraculous facilities has it yielded,
will it yield us;  but also what never-imagined confusions,
obscurations has it brought in;  down almost to total extinction
of the moral-sense in large masses of mankind!  'Protection of
property,' of what is _'mine,'_ means with most men protection of
money,--the thing which, had I a thousand padlocks over it, is
least of all _mine;_  is, in a manner, scarcely worth calling
mine!  The symbol shall be held sacred, defended everywhere with
tipstaves, ropes and gibbets;  the thing signified shall be
composedly cast to the dogs.  A human being who has worked with
human beings clears all scores with them, cuts himself with
triumphant completeness forever loose from them, by paying down
certain shillings and pounds.  Was it not the wages I promised
you?  There they are, to the last sixpence,--according to the
Laws of the Bucaniers!--Yes, indeed;--and, at such times, it
becomes imperatively necessary to ask all persons, bucaniers and
others, Whether these same respectable Laws of the Bucaniers are
written on God's eternal Heavens at all, on the inner Heart of
Man at all;  or on the respectable Bucanier Logbook merely, for
the convenience of bucaniering merely?  What a question;--whereat
Westminster Hall shudders to its driest parchment;  and on the
dead wigs each particular horsehair stands on end!

The Laws of Laissez-faire, O Westminster, the laws of industrial
Captain and industrial Soldier, how much more of idle Captain and
industrial Soldier, will need to be remodelled, and modified, and
rectified in a hundred and a hundred ways,--and _not_ in the
Sliding-scale direction, but in the totally opposite one!  With
two million industrial Soldiers already sitting in Bastilles, and
five million pining on potatoes, methinks Westminster cannot
begin too soon!--A man has other obligations laid on him, in
God's Universe, than the payment of cash:  these also
Westminster, if it will continue to exist and have board-wages,
must contrive to take some charge of:--by Westminster or by
another, they must and will be taken charge of;  be, with
whatever difficulty, got articulated, got enforced, and to a
certain approximate extent, put in practice.  And, as I say, it
cannot be too soon!  For Mammonism, left to itself, has become
Midas-eared;  and with all its gold mountains, sits starving for
want of bread:  and Dilettantism with its partridge-nets, in this
extremely earnest Universe of ours, is playing somewhat too high
a game.  'A man by the very look of him promises so much:'  yes;
and by the rent-roll of him does he promise nothing?--


Alas, what a business will this be, which our Continental
friends, groping this long while somewhat absurdly about it and
about it, call 'Organisation of Labour;'--which must be taken out
of the hands of absurd windy persons, and put into the hands of
wise, laborious, modest and valiant men, to begin with it
straightway:  to proceed with it, and succeed in it more and
more, if Europe, at any rate if England, is to continue habitable
much longer.  Looking at the kind of most noble Corn-Law Dukes or
Practical _Duces_ we have, and also of right reverend Soul-
Overseers, Christian Spiritual _Duces_ 'on a minimum of four
thousand five hundred,' one's hopes are a little chilled.
Courage, nevertheless;  there are many brave men in England!  My
indomitable Plugson,--nay is there not even in thee some hope?
Thou art hitherto a Bucanier, as it was written and prescribed
for thee by an evil world:  but in that grim brow, in that
indomitable heart which _can_ conquer Cotton, do there not
perhaps lie other ten times nobler conquests?



Chapter XI

Labour


For there is a perennial nobleness, and even sacredness, in Work.
Were he never so benighted, forgetful of his high calling, there
is always hope in a man that actually and earnestly works:  in
Idleness alone is there perpetual despair.  Work, never so
Mammonish, mean, is in communication with Nature;  the real
desire to get Work done will itself lead one more and more to
truth, to Nature's appointments and regulations, which are truth.
The latest Gospel in this world is, Know thy work and do it.
'Know thyself:'  long enough has that poor 'self' of thine
tormented thee;  thou wilt never get to 'know' it, I believe!
Think it not thy business, this of knowing thyself;  thou art an
unknowable individual:  know what thou canst work at;  and work
at it, like a Hercules!  That will be thy better plan.

It has been written, 'an endless significance lies in Work;'  a
man perfects himself by working.  Foul jungles are cleared away,
fair seedfields rise instead, and stately cities;  and withal the
man himself first ceases to be a jungle and foul unwholesome
desert thereby.  Consider how, even in the meanest sorts of
Labour, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real
harmony, the instant he sets himself to work!  Doubt, Desire,
Sorrow, Remorse, Indignation, Despair itself, all these like
helldogs lie beleaguering the soul of the poor dayworker, as of
every man:  but he bends himself with free valour against his
task, and all these are stilled, all these shrink murmuring far
off into their caves.  The man is now a man.  The blessed glow
of Labour in him, is it not as purifying fire, wherein all
poison is burnt up, and of sour smoke itself there is made
bright blessed flame!

Destiny, on the whole, has no other way of cultivating us.  A
formless Chaos, once set it _revolving,_ grows round and ever
rounder;  ranges itself, by mere force of gravity, into strata,
spherical courses;  is no longer a Chaos, but a round compacted
World.  What would become of the Earth, did she cease to revolve?
In the poor old Earth, so long as she revolves, all inequalities,
irregularities disperse themselves;  all irregularities are
incessantly becoming regular.  Hast thou looked on the Potter's
wheel,--one of the venerablest objects;  old as the Prophet
Ezechiel and far older?  Rude lumps of clay, how they spin
themselves up, by mere quick whirling, into beautiful circular
dishes.  And fancy the most assiduous Potter, but without his
wheel;  reduced to make dishes, or rather amorphous botches, by
mere kneading and baking!  Even such a Potter were Destiny, with
a human soul that would rest and lie at ease, that would not work
and spin!  Of an idle unrevolving man the kindest Destiny, like
the most assiduous Potter without wheel, can bake and knead
nothing other than a botch;  let her spend on him what expensive
colouring, what gilding and enamelling she will, he is but a
botch.  Not a dish;  no, a bulging, kneaded, crooked, shambling,
squint-cornered, amorphous botch,--a mere enamelled vessel of
dishonour!  Let the idle think of this.

Blessed is he who has found his work;  let him ask no other
blessedness.  He has a work, a life-purpose;  he has found it,
and will follow it!  How, as a free-flowing channel, dug and torn
by noble force through the sour mud-swamp of one's existence,
like an ever-deepening river there, it runs and flows;--draining
off the sour festering water, gradually from the root of the
remotest grass-blade;  making, instead of pestilential swamp, a
green fruitful meadow with its clear-flowing stream.  How blessed
for the meadow itself, let the stream and _its_ value be great or
small!  Labour is Life:  from the inmost heart of the Worker
rises his god-given Force, the sacred celestial Life-essence
breathed into him by Almighty God;  from his inmost heart awakens
him to all nobleness,--to all knowledge, 'self-knowledge' and
much else, so soon as Work fitly begins.  Knowledge?  The
knowledge that will hold good in working, cleave thou to that;
for Nature herself accredits that, says Yea to that.  Properly
thou hast no other knowledge but what thou hast got by working:
the rest is yet all a hypothesis of knowledge;  a thing to be
argued of in schools, a thing floating in the clouds, in endless
logic-vortices, till we try it and fix it.  'Doubt, of whatever
kind, can be ended by Action alone.'


And again, hast thou valued Patience, Courage, Perseverance,
Openness to light;  readiness to own thyself mistaken, to do
better next time?  All these, all virtues, in wrestling with the
dim brute Powers of Fact, in ordering of thy fellows in such
wrestle, there and elsewhere not at all, thou wilt continually
learn.  Set down a brave Sir Christopher in the middle of black
ruined Stoneheaps, of foolish unarchitectural Bishops, redtape
Officials, idle Nell-Gwyn Defenders of the Faith;  and see
whether he will ever raise a Paul's Cathedral out of all that,
yea or no!  Rough, rude, contradictory are all things and
persons, from the mutinous masons and Irish hodmen, up to the
idle Nell-Gwyn Defenders, to blustering redtape Officials,
foolish unarchitectural Bishops.  All these things and persons
are there not for Christopher's sake and his Cathedral's;  they
are there for their own sake mainly!  Christopher will have to
conquer and constrain all these,--if he be able.  All these are
against him.  Equitable Nature herself, who carries her
mathematics and architectonics not on the face of her, but deep
in the hidden heart of her,--Nature herself is but partially for
him; will be wholly against him, if he constrain her not!  His
very money, where is it to come from?  The pious munificence of
England lies far-scattered, distant, unable to speak, and say, "I
am here;"--must be spoken to before it can speak.  Pious
munificence, and all help, is so silent, invisible like the gods;
impediment, contradictions manifold are so loud and near!  O
brave Sir Christopher, trust thou in those, notwithstanding, and
front all these;  understand all these;  by valiant patience,
noble effort, insight, by man's strength, vanquish and compel all
these,--and, on the whole, strike down victoriously the last
topstone of that Paul's Edifice;  thy monument for certain
centuries, the stamp 'Great Man' impressed very legibly on
Portland-stone there!--Yes, all manner of help, and pious
response from Men or Nature, is always what we call silent;
cannot speak or come to light, till it be seen, till it be spoken
to.  Every noble work is at first impossible.  In very truth, for
every noble work the possibilities will lie diffused through
Immensity;  inarticulate, undiscoverable except to faith.  Like
Gideon thou shalt spread out thy fleece at the door of thy tent;
see whether under the wide arch of Heaven there be any bounteous
moisture, or none.  Thy heart and life-purpose shall be as a
miraculous Gideon's fleece, spread out in silent appeal to
Heaven;  and from the kind Immensities, what from the poor unkind
Localities and town and country Parishes there never could,
blessed dew-moisture to suffice thee shall have fallen!

Work is of a religious nature:--work is of a _brave_ nature;
which it is the aim of all religion to be.  'All work of man is
as the swimmer's:'  a waste ocean threatens to devour him;  if he
front it not bravely, it will keep its word.  By incessant wise
defiance of it, lusty rebuke and buffet of it, behold how it
loyally supports him, bears him as its conqueror along.  'It
is so,' says Goethe, with all things that man undertakes in
this world.'

Brave Sea-captain, Norse Sea-king,--Columbus, my hero, royalest
Sea-king of all!  It is no friendly environment this of thine, in
the waste deep waters;  around thee mutinous discouraged souls,
behind thee disgrace and ruin, before thee the unpenetrated veil
of Night.  Brother, these wild water-mountains, bounding from
their deep bases (ten miles deep, I am told), are not entirely
there on thy behalf!  Meseems _they_ have other work than
floating thee forward:--and the huge Winds, that sweep from Ursa
Major to the Tropics and Equators, dancing their giant-waltz
through the kingdoms of Chaos and Immensity, they care little
about filling rightly or filling wrongly the small shoulder-of-
mutton sails in this cockle-skiff of thine!  Thou art not among
articulate-speaking friends, my brother;  thou art among
immeasurable dumb monsters, tumbling, howling wide as the world
here.  Secret, far off, invisible to all hearts but thine, there
lies a help in them:  see how thou wilt get at that.  Patiently
thou wilt wait till the mad Southwester spend itself, saving
thyself by dexterous science of defence, the while;  valiantly,
with swift decision, wilt thou strike in, when the favouring
East, the Possible, springs up.  Mutiny of men thou wilt sternly
repress;  weakness, despondency, thou wilt cheerily encourage:
thou wilt swallow down complaint, unreason, weariness, weakness
of others and thyself;--how much wilt thou swallow down!  There
shall be a depth of Silence in thee, deeper than this Sea, which
is but ten miles deep:  a Silence unsoundable;  known to God
only.  Thou shalt be a Great Man.  Yes, my World-Soldier, thou of
the World Marine-service,--thou wilt have to be _greater_ than
this tumultuous unmeasured World here round thee is:  thou, in
thy strong soul, as with wrestler's arms, shalt embrace it,
harness it down;  and make it bear thee on,--to new Americas, or
whither God wills!



Chapter XII

Reward


'Religion,' I said;  for properly speaking, all true Work is
Religion:  and whatsoever Religion is not Work may go and dwell
among the Brahmins, Antinomians, Spinning Dervishes, or where it
will;  with me it shall have no harbour.  Admirable was that of
the old Monks, _'Laborare est Orare,_ Work is Worship.'

Older than all preached Gospels was this unpreached,
inarticulate, but ineradicable, forever-enduring Gospel:  Work,
and therein have well-being.  Man, Son of Earth and of Heaven,
lies there not, in the innermost heart of thee, a Spirit of
active Method, a Force for Work;--and burns like a painfully
smouldering fire, giving thee no rest till thou unfold it, till
thou write it down in beneficent Facts around thee!  What is
immethodic, waste, thou shalt make methodic, regulated, arable;
obedient and productive to thee.  Wheresoever thou findest
Disorder, there is thy eternal enemy;  attack him swiftly, subdue
him;  make Order of him, the subject not of Chaos, but of
Intelligence, Divinity and Thee!  The thistle that grows in thy
path, dig it out, that a blade of useful grass, a drop of
nourishing milk, may grow there instead.  The waste cotton-shrub,
gather its waste white down, spin it, weave it;  that, in place
of idle litter, there may be folded webs, and the naked skin of
man be covered.

But above all, where thou findest Ignorance, Stupidity, Brute-
mindedness,--yes, there, with or without Church-tithes and
Shovel-hat, with or without Talfourd-Mahon Copyrights, or were it
with mere dungeons and gibbets and crosses, attack it, I say;
smite it wisely, unweariedly, and rest not while thou livest and
it lives;  but smite, smite, in the name of God!  The Highest
God, as I understand it, does audibly so command thee;  still
audibly, if thou have ears to hear.  He, even He, with his
_un_spoken voice, awfuler than any Sinai thunders or syllabled
speech of Whirlwinds;  for the SILENCE of deep Eternities, of
Worlds from beyond the morning-stars, does it not speak to thee?
The unborn Ages;  the old Graves, with their long-mouldering
dust, the very tears that wetted it now all dry,--do not these
speak to thee, what ear hath not heard?  The deep Death-kingdoms,
the Stars in their never-resting courses, all Space and all Time,
proclaim it to thee in continual silent admonition.  Thou too, if
ever man should, shalt work while it is called Today.  For the
Night cometh, wherein no man can work.

All true Work is sacred;  in all true Work, were it but true
hand-labour, there is something of divineness.  Labour, wide as
the Earth, has its summit in Heaven.  Sweat of the brow;  and up
from that to sweat of the brain, sweat of the heart;  which
includes all Kepler calculations, Newton meditations, all
Sciences, all spoken Epics, all acted Heroisms, Martyrdoms,--up
to that 'Agony of bloody sweat,' which all men have called
divine!  O brother, if this is not 'worship,' then I say, the
more pity for worship;  for this is the noblest thing yet
discovered under God's sky.  Who art thou that complainest of thy
life of toil?  Complain not.  Look up, my wearied brother;  see
thy fellow Workmen there, in God's Eternity;  surviving there,
they alone surviving:  sacred Band of the Immortals, celestial
Bodyguard of the Empire of Mankind.  Even in the weak Human
Memory they survive so long, as saints, as heroes, as gods;  they
alone surviving;  peopling, they alone, the unmeasured solitudes
of Time!  To thee Heaven, though severe, is _not_ unkind;  Heaven
is kind,--as a noble Mother;  as that Spartan Mother, saying
while she gave her son his shield, "With it, my son, or upon it!"
Thou too shalt return _home_ in honour;  to thy far-distant Home,
in honour;  doubt it not,--if in the battle thou keep thy shield!
Thou, in the Eternities and deepest Death-kingdoms, art not an
alien;  thou everywhere art a denizen!  Complain not;  the very
Spartans did not _complain._

And who art thou that braggest of thy life of Idleness;
complacently shewest thy bright gilt equipages;  sumptuous
cushions;  appliances for folding of the hands to mere sleep?
Looking up, looking down, around, behind or before, discernest
thou, if it be not in Mayfair alone, any _idle_ hero, saint, god,
or even devil?  Not a vestige of one.  In the Heavens, in the
Earth, in the Waters, under the Earth, is none like unto thee.
Thou art an original figure in this Creation;  a denizen in
Mayfair alone, in this extraordinary Century or Half-Century
alone!  One monster there is in the world:  the idle man. What is
his 'Religion?'  That Nature is a Phantasm, where cunning,
beggary or thievery may sometimes find good victual.  That God is
a lie;  and that Man and his Life are a lie.--Alas, alas, who of
us _is_ there that can say, I have worked?  The faithfulest of us
are unprofitable servants;  the faithfulest of us know that best.
The faithfulest of us may say, with sad and true old Samuel,
"Much of my life has been trifled away!"  But he that has, and
except 'on public occasions' professes to have, no function but
that of going idle in a graceful or graceless manner;  and of
begetting sons to go idle;  and to address Chief Spinners and
Diggers, who at least _are_ spinning and digging, "Ye scandalous
persons who produce too much"--My Corn-Law friends, on what
imaginary still richer Eldorados, and true iron-spikes with law
of gravitation, are ye rushing!


As to the Wages of Work there might innumerable things be said;
there will and must yet innumerable things be said and spoken, in
St. Stephen's and out of St. Stephen's;  and gradually not a few
things be ascertained and written, on Law-parchment, concerning
this very matter:--'Fair day's-wages for a fair day's-work' is
the most unrefusable demand!  Money-wages 'to the extent of
keeping your worker alive that he may work more;'  these, unless
you mean to dismiss him straightway out of this world, are
indispensable alike to the noblest Worker and to the least noble!

One thing only I will say here, in special reference to the
former class, the noble and noblest;  but throwing light on all
the other classes and their arrangements of this difficult
matter:  The 'wages' of every noble Work do yet lie in Heaven or
else Nowhere.  Not in Bank-of-England bills, in Owen's Labour-
bank, or any the most improved establishment of banking and
money-changing, needest thou, heroic soul, present thy account of
earnings.  Human banks and labour-banks know thee not;  or know
thee after generations and centuries have passed away, and thou
art clean gone from 'rewarding,'--all manner of bank-drafts,
shoptills, and Downing-street Exchequers lying very invisible, so
far from thee!  Nay, at bottom, dost thou need any reward?  Was
it thy aim and life-purpose to be filled with good things for thy
heroism;  to have a life of pomp and ease, and be what men call
'happy,' in this world, or in any other world?  I answer for thee
deliberately, No.  The whole spiritual secret of the new epoch
lies in this, that thou canst answer for thyself, with thy whole
clearness of head and heart, deliberately, No.

My brother, the brave man has to give his Life away.  Give it, I
advise thee;--thou dost not expect to _sell_ thy Life in an
adequate manner?  What price, for example, would content thee?
The just price of thy LIFE to thee,--why, God's entire Creation
to thyself, the whole Universe of Space, the whole Eternity of
Time, and what they hold:  that is the price which would content
thee;  that, and if thou wilt be candid, nothing short of that!
It is thy all;  and for it thou wouldst have all.  Thou art an
unreasonable mortal;--or rather thou art a poor _infinite_
mortal, who, in thy narrow clay-prison here, _seemest_ so
unreasonable!  Thou wilt never sell thy Life, or any part of thy
Life, in a satisfactory manner.  Give it, like a royal heart;
let the price be Nothing:  thou _hast_ then, in a certain sense,
got All for it!  The heroic man,--and is not every man, God be
thanked, a potential hero?--has to do so, in all times and
circumstances.  In the most heroic age, as in the most unheroic,
he will have to say, as Burns said proudly and humbly of his
little Scottish Songs, little dewdrops of Celestial Melody in an
age when so much was unmelodious:  "By Heaven, they shall either
be invaluable or of no value;  I do not need your guineas for
them!"  It is an element which should, and must, enter deeply
into all settlements of wages here below.  They never will be
'satisfactoy' otherwise;  they cannot, O Mammon Gospel, they
never can!  Money for my little piece of work 'to the extent that
will allow me to keep working;'  yes, this,--unless you mean that
I shall go my ways _before_ the work is all taken out of me:  but
as to 'wages'--!--

On the whole, we do entirely agree with those old Monks,
_Laborare est Orare._  In a thousand senses, from one end of it
to the other, true Work is Worship.  He that works, whatsoever be
his work, he bodies forth the form of Things Unseen;  a small
Poet every Worker is.  The idea, were it but of his poor Delf
Platter, how much more of his Epic Poem, is as yet 'seen,'
halfseen, only by himself;  to all others it is a thing unseen,
impossible;  to Nature herself it is a thing unseen, a thing
which never hitherto was;--very 'impossible,' for it is as yet a
No-thing!  The Unseen Powers had need to watch over such a man;
he works in and for the Unseen.  Alas, if he look to the Seen
Powers only, he may as well quit the business;  his No-thing will
never rightly issue as a Thing, but as a Deceptivity, a Sham-
thing,--which it had better not do!

Thy No-thing of an Intended Poem, O Poet who hast looked merely
to reviewers, copyrights, booksellers, popularities, behold it
has not yet become a Thing;  for the truth is not in it!  Though
printed, hot-pressed, reviewed, celebrated, sold to the twentieth
edition:  what is all that?  The Thing, in philosophical
uncommercial language, is still a No-thing, mostly semblance, and
deception of the sight;--benign Oblivion incessantly gnawing at
it, impatient till chaos to which it belongs do reabsorb it!--

He who takes not counsel of the Unseen and Silent, from him will
never come real visibility and speech.  Thou must descend to the
_Mothers,_ to the _Manes,_ and Hercules-like long suffer and
labour there, wouldst thou emerge with victory into the sunlight.
As in battle and the shock of war,--for is not this a battle?--
thou too shalt fear no pain or death, shalt love no ease or life;
the voice of festive Lubberlands, the noise of greedy Acheron
shall alike lie silent under thy victorious feet.  Thy work, like
Dante's, shall 'make thee lean for many years.'  The world and
its wages, its criticisms, counsels, helps, impediments, shall be
as a waste ocean-flood;  the chaos through which thou art to swim
and sail.  Not the waste waves and their weedy gulf-streams,
shalt thou take for guidance:  thy star alone,--'Se to segui tua
stella!'  Thy star alone, now clear-beaming over Chaos, nay now
by fits gone out, disastrously eclipsed:  this only shalt thou
strive to follow.  O, it is a business, as I fancy, that of
weltering your way through Chaos and the murk of Hell!  Green-
eyed dragons watching you, three-headed Cerberuses,--not without
sympathy of their sort!  "Eccovi l'uom ch'e stato all'Inferno."
For in fine, as Poet Dryden says, you do walk hand in hand with
sheer Madness, all the way,--who is by no means pleasant company!
You look fixedly into Madness, and her undiscovered, boundless,
bottomless Night-empire;  that you may extort new Wisdom out of
it, as an Eurydice from Tartarus.  The higher the Wisdom, the
closer was its neighbourhood and kindred with mere Insanity;
literally so;--and thou wilt, with a speechless feeling, observe
how highest Wisdom, struggling up into this world, has oftentimes
carried such tinctures and adhesions of Insanity still cleaving
to it hither!

All Works, each in their degree, are a making of Madness sane;--
truly enough a religious operation;  which cannot be carried on
without religion.  You have not work otherwise;  you have eye-
service, greedy grasping of wages, swift and ever swifter
manufacture of semblances to get hold of wages.  Instead of
better felt-hats to cover your head, you have bigger lath-and-
plaster hats set traveling the streets on wheels.  Instead of
heavenly and earthly Guidance for the souls of men, you have
'Black or White Surplice' Controversies, stuffed hair-and-leather
Popes;--terrestrial _Law-wards,_ Lords and Law-bringers,
'organising Labour' in these years, by passing Corn-Laws.  With
all which, alas, this distracted Earth is now full, nigh to
bursting.  Semblances most smooth to the touch and eye;  most
accursed nevertheless to body and soul.  Semblances, be they of
Sham-woven Cloth or of Dilettante Legislation, which are _not_
real wool or substance, but Devil's-dust, accursed of God and
man!  No man has worked, or can work, except religiously;  not
even the poor day-labourer, the weaver of your coat, the sewer of
your shoes.  All men, if they work not as in a Great Taskmaster's
eye, will work wrong, work unhappily for themselves and you.


Industrial work, still under bondage to Mammon, the rational soul
of it not yet awakened, is a tragic spectacle.  Men in the
rapidest motion and self-motion;  restless, with convulsive
energy, as if driven by Galvanism, as if possessed by a Devil;
tearing asunder mountains,--to no purpose, for Mammonism is
always Midas-eared!  This is sad, on the face of it.  Yet
courage:  the beneficent Destinies, kind in their sternness, are
apprising us that this cannot continue.  Labour is not a devil,
even while encased in Mammonism;  Labour is ever an imprisoned
god, writhing unconsciously or consciously to escape out of
Mammonism!  Plugson of Undershot, like Taillefer of Normandy,
wants victory;  how much happier will even Plugson be to have a
Chivalrous victory than a Chactaw one.  The unredeemed ugliness
is that of a slothful People.  Shew me a People energetically
busy;  heaving, struggling, all shoulders at the wheel;  their
heart pulsing, every muscle swelling, with man's energy and
will;--I Shew you a People of whom great good is already
predicable;  to whom all manner of good is yet certain, if their
energy endure.  By very working, they will learn;  they have,
Antaeus-like, their foot on Mother Fact:  how can they but learn?

The vulgarest Plugson of a Master-Worker, who can command Workers
and get work out of them, is already a considerable man.  Blessed
and thrice-blessed symptoms I discern of Master-Workers who are
not vulgar men;  who are Nobles, and begin to feel that they must
act as such:  all speed to these, they are England's hope at
present!  But in this Plugson himself, conscious of almost no
nobleness whatever, how much is there!  Not without man's
faculty, insight, courage, hard energy, is this rugged figure.
His words none of the wisest;  but his actings cannot be
altogether foolish.  Think, how were it, stoodst thou suddenly in
his shoes!  He has to command a thousand men.  And not imaginary
commanding;  no, it is real, incessantly practical.  The evil
passions of so many men (with the Devil in them, as in all of us)
he has to vanquish;  by manifold force of speech and of silence,
to repress or evade.  What a force of silence, to say nothing of
the others, is in Plugson!  For these his thousand men he has to
provide raw-material, machinery, arrangement, house-room;  and
ever at the week's end, wages by due sale.  No Civil-List, or
Goulburn-Baring Budget has he to fall back upon, for paying of
his regiment;  he has to pick his supplies from this confused
face of the whole Earth and Contemporaneous History, by his
dexterity alone.  There will be dry eyes if he fail to do it!--He
exclaims, at present, 'black in the face,' near strangled with
Dilettante Legislation:  "Let me have elbow-room, throat-room,
and I will not fail!  No, I will spin yet, and conquer like a
giant:  what 'sinews of war' lie in me, untold resources towards
the Conquest of this Planet, if instead of hanging me, you
husband them, and help me!"--My indomitable friend, it is _true;_
and thou shalt and must be helped.

This is not a man I would kill and strangle by Corn-Laws, even if
I could!  No, I would fling my Corn-Laws and Shotbelts to the
Devil;  and try to help this man.  I would teach him, by noble
precept and law-precept, by noble example most of all, that
Mammonism was not the essence of his or of my station in God's
Universe;  but the adscititious excrescence of it;  the gross,
terrene, godless embodiment of it;  which would have to become,
more or less, a godlike one.  By noble _real_ legislation, by
true _noble's_-work, by unwearied, valiant, and were it wageless
effort, in my Parliament and in my Parish, I would aid,
constrain, encourage him to effect more or less this blessed
change.  I should know that it would have to be effected;  that
unless it were in some measure effected, he and I and all of us,
I first and soonest of all, were doomed to perdition!--Effected
it will be;  unless it were a Demon that made this Universe;
which I, for my own part, do at no moment, under no form, in the
least believe.

May it please your Serene Highnesses, your Majesties, Lordships
and Law-wardships, the proper Epic of this world is not now 'Arms
and the Man;'  how much less, 'Shirt-frills and the Man:'  no, it
is now 'Tools and the Man:'  that, henceforth to all time is now
our Epic;--and you, first of all others, I think, were wise to
take note of that!



Chapter XIII

Democracy


If the Serene Highnesses and Majesties do not take note of that,
then, as I perceive, _that_ will take note of itself!  The time
for levity, insincerity, and idle babble and play-acting, in all
kinds, is gone by;  it is a serious, grave time.  Old long-vexed
questions, not yet solved in logical words or parliamentary laws,
are fast solving themselves in facts, somewhat unblessed to
behold!  This largest of questions, this question of Work and
Wages, which ought, had we heeded Heaven's voice, to have begun
two generations ago or more, cannot be delayed longer without
hearing Earth's voice.  'Labour' will verily need to be somewhat
'organised,' as they say,--God knows with what difficulty.  Man
will actually need to have his debts and earnings a little better
paid by man;  which, let Parliaments speak of them or be silent
of them, are eternally his due from man, and cannot, without
penalty and at length not without death-penalty, be withheld.
How much ought to cease among us straightway;  how much ought to
begin straightway, while the hours yet are!

Truly they are strange results to which this of leaving all to
'Cash;'  of quietly shutting up the God's Temple, and gradually
opening wide-open the Mammon's Temple, with 'Laissez-faire, and
Every man for himself,'--have led us in these days!  We have
Upper, speaking Classes, who indeed do 'speak' as never man spake
before;  the withered flimsiness, the godless baseness and
barrenness of whose Speech might of itself indicate what kind of
Doing and practical Governing went on under it!  For Speech is
the gaseous element out of which most kinds of Practice and
Performance, especially all kinds of moral Performance, condense
themselves, and take shape;  as the one is, so will the other be.
Descending, accordingly, into the Dumb Class in its Stockport
Cellars and Poor-Law Bastilles, have we not to announce that they
also are hitherto unexampled in the History of Adam's Posterity?

Life was never a May-game for men:  in all times the lot of the
dumb millions born to toil was defaced with manifold sufferings,
injustices, heavy burdens, avoidable and unavoidable;  not play
at all, but hard work that made the sinews sore, and the heart
sore.  As bond-slaves, _villani, bordarii, sochemanni,_ nay
indeed as dukes, earls and kings, men were oftentimes made weary
of their life;  and had to say, in the sweat of their brow and of
their soul, Behold it is not sport, it is grim earnest, and our
back can bear no more!  Who knows not what massacrings and
harryings there have been;  grinding, long-continuing, unbearable
injustices,--till the heart had to rise in madness, and some _"Eu
Sachsen, nimith euer sachses,_ You Saxons, out with your gully-
knives then!"  You Saxons, some 'arrestment,' partial 'arrestment
of the Knaves and Dastards' has become indispensable!--The page
of Dryasdust is heavy with such details.

And yet I will venture to believe that in no time, since the
beginnings of Society, was the lot of those same dumb millions of
toilers so entirely unbearable as it is even in the days now
passing over us.  It is not to die, or even to die of hunger,
that makes a man wretched;  many men have died;  all men must
die,--the last exit of us all is in a Fire-Chariot of Pain.  But
it is to live miserable we know not why;  to work sore and yet
gain nothing;  to be heart-worn, weary, yet isolated, unrelated,
girt in with a cold universal Laissez-faire:  it is to die slowly
all our life long, imprisoned in a deaf, dead, Infinite
Injustice, as in the accursed iron belly of a Phalaris' Bull!
This is and remains forever intolerable to all men whom God
has made.  Do we wonder at French Revolutions, Chartisms,
Revolts of Three Days?  The times, if we will consider them,
are really unexampled.

Never before did I hear of an Irish Widow reduced to 'prove her
sisterhood by dying of typhus-fever and infecting seventeen
persons,'--saying in such undeniable way, "You see, I was your
sister!"  Sisterhood, brotherhood was often forgotten;  but not
till the rise of these ultimate Mammon and Shotbelt Gospels, did
I ever see it so expressly denied.  If no pious Lord or _Law-
ward_ would remember it, always some pious Lady (_'Hlaf-dig,'_
Benefactress, _'Loaf-giveress,'_ they say she is,--blessings on
her beautiful heart!) was there, with mild mother-voice and hand,
to remember it;  some pious thoughtful _Elder,_ what we now call
'Prester,' _Presbyter_ or 'Priest,' was there to put all men in
mind of it, in the name of the God who had made all.

Not even in Black Dahomey was it ever, I think, forgotten to the
typhus-fever length.  Mungo Park, resourceless, had sunk down to
die under the Negro Village-Tree, a horrible White object in the
eyes of all.  But in the poor Black Woman, and her daughter who
stood aghast at him, whose earthly wealth and funded capital
consisted of one small calabash of rice, there lived a heart
richer than _'Laissez-faire:'_  they, with a royal munificence,
boiled their rice for him;  they sang all night to him, spinning
assiduous on their cotton distaffs, as he lay to sleep:  "Let us
pity the poor white man;  no mother has he to fetch him milk, no
sister to grind him corn!"  Thou poor black Noble One,--thou
_Lady_ too:  did not a God make thee too;  was there not in thee
too something of a God!--


Gurth born thrall of Cedric the Saxon has been greatly pitied by
Dryasdust and others.  Gurth with the brass collar round his
neck, tending Cedric's pigs in the glades of the wood, is not
what I call an exemplar of human felicity:  but Gurth, with the
sky above him, with the free air and tinted boscage and umbrage
round him, and in him at least the certainty of supper and social
lodging when he came home;  Gurth to me seems happy, in
comparison with many a Lancashire and Buckinghamshire man, of
these days, not born thrall of anybody!  Gurth's brass collar did
not gall him:  Cedric _deserved_ to be his Master.  The pigs were
Cedric's, but Gurth too would get his parings of them.  Gurth had
the inexpressible satisfaction of feeling himself related
indissolubly, though in a rude brass-collar way, to his fellow-
mortals in this Earth.  He had superiors, inferiors, equals.--
Gurth is now 'emancipated' long since;  has what we call
'Liberty.'  Liberty, I am told, is a Divine thing.  Liberty when
it becomes the 'Liberty to die by starvation' is not so divine!

Liberty?  The true liberty of a man, you would say, consisted in
his finding out, or being forced to find out the right path, and
to walk thereon.  To learn, or to be taught, what work he
actually was able for;  and then, by permission, persuasion, and
even compulsion, to set about doing of the same!  That is his
true blessedness, honour, 'liberty' and maximum of wellbeing:  if
liberty be not that, I for one have small care about liberty.
You do not allow a palpable madman to leap over precipices;  you
violate his liberty, you that are wise;  and keep him, were it in
strait-waistcoats, away from the precipices!  Every stupid, every
cowardly and foolish man is but a less palpable madman:  his true
liberty were that a wiser man, that any and every wiser man,
could, by brass collars, or in whatever milder or sharper way,
lay hold of him when he was going wrong, and order and compel him
to go a little righter.  O if thou really art my _Senior,_
Seigneur, my _Elder,_ Presbyter or Priest,--if thou art in very
deed my Wiser, may a beneficent instinct lead and impel thee to
'conquer' me, to command me!  If thou do know better than I what
is good and right, I conjure thee in the name of God, force me to
do it;  were it by never such brass collars, whips and handcuffs,
leave me not to walk over precipices!  That I have been called,
by all the Newspapers, a 'free man' will avail me little, if my
pilgrimage have ended in death and wreck.  O that the Newspapers
had called me slave, coward, fool, or what it pleased their sweet
voices to name me, and I had attained not death, but life!--
Liberty requires new definitions.

A conscious abhorrence and intolerance of Folly, of Baseness;
Stupidity, Poltroonery and all that brood of things, dwells deep
in some men:  still deeper in others an unconscious abhorrence
and intolerance, clothed moreover by the beneficent Supreme
Powers in what stout appetites, energies, egoisms so-called, are
suitable to it;--these latter are your Conquerors, Romans,
Normans Russians, Indo-English;  Founders of what we call
Aristocracies:  Which indeed have they not the most 'divine
right' to found;--being themselves very truly [greek], BRAVEST,
BEST; and conquering generally a confused rabble of WORST, or at
lowest;  clearly enough, of WORSE?  I think their divine right,
tried, with affirmatory verdict, in the greatest Law-Court known
to me, was good!  A class of men who are dreadfully exclaimed
against by Dryasdust;  of whom nevertheless beneficent Nature has
oftentimes had need;  and may, alas, again have need.

When, across the hundredfold poor scepticisms, trivialisms, and
constitutional cobwebberies of Dryasdust, you catch any
glimpse of a William the Conqueror, a Tancred of Hauteville or
such like,--do you not discern veritably some rude outline of a
true God-made King;  whom not the Champion of England cased in
tin, but all Nature and the Universe were calling to the throne?
It is absolutely necessary that he get thither.  Nature does not
mean her poor Saxon children to perish, of obesity, stupor or
other malady, as yet:  a stern Ruler and Line of Rulers therefore
is called in,--a stern but most beneficent _Perpetual House-
Surgeon_ is called in, by Nature, and even the appropriate fees
are provided for him!  Dryasdust talks lamentably about Hereward
and the Fen Counties;  fate of Earl Waltheof;  Yorkshire and the
North reduced to ashes;  all which is undoubtedly lamentable.
But even Dryasdust apprises me of one fact:  'A child;  in this
William's reign, might have carried a purse of gold from end to
end of England.  My erudite friend, it is a fact which outweighs
a thousand!  Sweep away thy constitutional, sentimental and other
cobwebberies;  look eye to eye, if thou still have any eye, in
the face of this big burly William Bastard:  thou wilt see a
fellow of most flashing discernment, of most strong lionheart;--
in whom, as it were, within a frame of oak and iron, the gods
have planted the soul of 'a man of genius!'  Dost thou call that
nothing?  I call it an immense thing!--Rage enough was in this
Willelmus Conquestor, rage enough for his occasions;--and yet the
essential element of him, as of all such men, is not scorching
_fire,_ but shining illuminative _light._  Fire and light are
strangely interchangeable;  nay, at bottom, I have found them
different forms of the same most godlike 'elementary substance'
in our world:  a thing worth stating in these days.  The
essential element of this Conquestor is, first of all, the most
sun-eyed perception of what is really what on this God's-Earth;--
which, thou wilt find, does mean at bottom 'Justice,' and
'Virtues' not a few:  _Conformity_ to what the Maker has seen
good to make;  that, I suppose, will mean Justice and a Virtue
or two?--

Dost thou think Willelmus Conquestor would have tolerated ten
years' jargon, one hour's jargon, on the propriety of killing
Cotton-manufactures by partridge Corn-Laws?  I fancy, this was
not the man to knock out of his night's-rest with nothing but a
noisy bedlamism in your mouth!  "Assist us still better to bush
the partridges;  strangle Plugson who spins the shirts?"--_"Par
la Splendeur de Dieu!"_--Dost thou think Willelmus Conquestor, in
this new time, with Steam-engine Captains of Industry on one hand
of him, and Joe-Manton Captains of Idleness on the other, would
have doubted which _was_ really the BEST;  which did deserve
strangling, and which not?

I have a certain indestructible regard for Willelmus Conquestor.
A resident House-Surgeon, provided by Nature for her beloved
English People, and even furnished with the requisite 'fees,' as
I said;  for he by no means felt himself doing Nature's work,
this Willelmus, but his own work exclusively!  And his own work
withal it was;  informed _'par la Splendeur de Dieu.'_--I say, it
is necessary to get the work out of such a man, however harsh
that be!  When a world, not yet doomed for death, is rushing down
to ever-deeper Baseness and Confusion, it is a dire necessity of
Nature's to bring in her ARISTOCRACIES, her BEST, even by
forcible methods.  When their descendants or representatives
cease entirely to _be_ the Best, Nature's poor world will very
soon rush down again to Baseness;  and it becomes a dire
necessity of Nature's to cast them out.  Hence French
Revolutions, Five-point Charters, Democracies, and a mournful
list of _Etceteras,_ in these our afflicted times.

To what extent Democracy has now reached, how it advances
irresistible with ominous, ever-increasing speed, he that will
open his eyes on any province of human affairs may discern.
Democracy is everywhere the inexorable demand of these ages,
swiftly fulfilling itself.  From the thunder of Napoleon battles,
to the jabbering of Open-vestry in St. Mary Axe, all things
announce Democracy.  A distinguished man, whom some of my readers
will hear again with pleasure, thus writes to me what in these
days he notes from the Wahngasse of Weissnichtwo, where our
London fashions seem to be in full vogue.  Let us hear the Herr
Teufelsdrockh again, were it but the smallest word!

'Democracy, which means despair of finding any Heroes to govern
you, and contented putting up with the want of them,--alas, thou
too, _mein Lieber,_ seest well how close it is of kin to
_Atheism,_ and other sad _Isms:_ he who discovers no God
whatever, how shall he discover Heroes, the visible Temples of
God?--Strange enough meanwhile it is, to observe with what
thoughtlessness, here in our rigidly Conservative Country, men
rush into Democracy with full cry.  Beyond doubt, his Excellenz
the Titular-Herr Ritter Kauderwalsch von Pferdefuss-Quacksalber,
he our distinguished Conservative Premier himself, and all but
the thicker-headed of his Party, discern Democracy to be
inevitable as death, and are even desperate of delaying it much!

'You cannot walk the streets without beholding Democracy announce
itself:  the very Tailor has become, if not properly
Sansculottic, which to him would be ruinous, yet a Tailor
unconsciously symbolising, and prophesying with his scissors, the
reign of Equality.  What now is our fashionable coat?  A thing of
superfinest texture, of deeply meditated cut;  with Malineslace
cuffs;  quilted with gold;  so that a man can carry, without
difficulty, an estate of land on his back?  _Keineswegs,_ By no
manner of means!  The Sumptuary Laws have fallen into such a
state of desuetude as was never before seen.  Our fashionable
coat is an amphibium between barn-sack and drayman's doublet.
The cloth of it is studiously coarse;  the colour a speckled
sootblack or rust-brown grey;--the nearest approach to a
Peasant's.  And for shape,--thou shouldst see it!  The last
consummation of the year now passing over us is definable as
Three Bags:  a big bag for the body, two small bags for the arms,
and by way of collar a hem!  The first Antique Cheruscan who, of
felt-cloth or bear's-hide, with bone or metal needle, set about
making himself a coat, before Tailors had yet awakened out of
Nothing,--did not he make it even so?  A loose wide poke for
body, with two holes to let out the arms;  this was his original
coat:  to which holes it was soon visible that two small loose
pokes, or sleeves, easily appended, would be an improvement.

'Thus has the Tailor-art, so to speak, overset itself, like most
other things;  changed its centre-of-gravity;  whirled suddenly
over from zenith to nadir.  Your Stulz, with huge Somerset,
vaults from his high shopboard down to the depths of primal
savagery,--carrying much along with him!  For I will invite thee
to reflect that the Tailor, as topmost ultimate froth of Human
Society, is indeed swift-passing, evanescent, slippery to
decipher;  yet significant of much, nay of all.  Topmost
evanescent froth, he is churned up from the very lees, and from
all intermediate regions of the liquor.  The general outcome he,
visible to the eye, of what men aimed to do, and were obliged and
enabled to do, in this one public department of symbolising
themselves to each other by covering of their skins.  A smack of
all Human Life lies in the Tailor:  its wild struggles towards
beauty, dignity, freedom, victory;  and how, hemmed in by Sedan
and Huddersfield, by Nescience, Dulness, Prurience, and other sad
necessities and laws of Nature, it has attained just to this:
Grey Savagery of Three Sacks with a hem!

'When the very Tailor verges towards Sansculottism, is it not
ominous?  The last Divinity of poor mankind dethroning himself;
sinking _his_ taper too, flame downmost, like the Genius of Sleep
or of Death;  admonitory that Tailor-time shall be no more!--For
little as one could advise Sumptuary Laws at the present epoch,
yet nothing is clearer than that where ranks do actually exist,
strict division of costumes will also be enforced;  that if we
ever have a new Hierarchy and Aristocracy, acknowledged veritably
as such, for which I daily pray Heaven, the Tailor will reawaken;
and be, by volunteering and appointment, consciously and
unconsciously, a safeguard of that same.'--Certain farther
observations, from the same invaluable pen, on our never-ending
changes of mode, our 'perpetual nomadic and even ape-like
appetite for change and mere change' in all the equipments of our
existence, and the 'fatal revolutionary character' thereby
manifested, we suppress for the present.  It may be admitted that
Democracy, in all meanings of the word, is in full career;
irresistible by any Ritter Kauderwalsch or other Son of Adam, as
times go.  'Liberty' is a thing men are determined to have.


But truly, as I had to remark in the meanwhile, 'the liberty of
not being oppressed by your fellow man' is an indispensable, yet
one of the most insignificant fractional parts of Human Liberty.
No man oppresses thee, can bid thee fetch or carry, come or go,
without reason shewn.  True;  from all men thou art emancipated:
but from Thyself and from the Devil--?  No man, wiser, unwiser,
can make thee come or go:  but thy own futilities, bewilderments,
thy false appetites for Money, Windsor Georges and such like?  No
man oppresses thee, O free and independent Franchiser:  but does
not this stupid Porter-pot oppress thee?  No Son of Adam can bid
thee come or go;  but this absurd Pot of Heavy-wet, this can and
does!  Thou art the thrall not of Cedric the Saxon, but of thy
own brutal appetites, and this scoured dish of liquor.  And thou
pratest of thy liberty?  Thou entire blockhead!

Heavy-wet and gin:  alas, these are not the only kinds of
thraldom.  Thou who walkest in a vain shew, looking out with
ornamental dilettante sniff and serene supremacy at all Life and
all Death;  and amblest jauntily;  perking up thy poor talk into
crotchets, thy poor conduct into fatuous somnambulisms;--and art
as an 'enchanted Ape' under God's sky, where thou mightest have
been a man, had proper Schoolmasters and Conquerors, and
Constables with cat-o'-nine tails, been vouchsafed thee:  dost
thou call that 'liberty?'  Or your unreposing Mammon-worshipper,
again, driven, as if by Galvanisms, by Devils and Fixed-Ideas,
who rises early and sits late, chasing the impossible;  straining
every faculty 'to fill himself with the east wind '--how merciful
were it, could you, by mild persuasion or by the severest tyranny
so-called, check him in his mad path, turn him into a wiser one!
All painful tyranny, in that case again, were but mild 'surgery;'
the pain of it cheap, as health and life, instead of galvanism
and fixed-idea, are cheap at any price.

Sure enough, of all paths a man could strike into, there is, at
any given moment, a _best path_ for every man;  a thing which,
here and now, it were of all things wisest for him to do;--which
could he be but led or driven to do, he were then doing 'like a
man,' as we phrase it;  all men and gods agreeing with him, the
whole Universe virtually exclaiming Well-done to him!  His
success, in such case, were complete;  his felicity a maximum.
This path, to find this path and walk in it, is the one thing
needful for him.  Whatsoever forwards him in that, let it come to
him even in the shape of blows and spurnings, is liberty:
whatsoever hinders him, were it wardmotes, open-vestries,
pollbooths, tremendous cheers, rivers of heavy-wet, is slavery.

The notion that a man's liberty consists in giving his vote at
election-hustings, and saying, "Behold now I too have my twenty-
thousandth part of a Talker in our National Palaver;  will not
all the gods be good to me?"--is one of the pleasantest!  Nature
nevertheless is kind at present;  and puts it into the heads of
many, almost of all.  The liberty especially which has to
purchase itself by social isolation, and each man standing
separate from the other, having 'no business with him' but a
cash-account:  this is such a liberty as the Earth seldom saw;--
as the Earth will not long put up with, recommend it how you may.
This liberty turns out, before it have long continued in action,
with all men flinging up their caps round it, to be, for the
Working Millions a liberty to die by want of food;  for the Idle
Thousands and Units, alas, a still more fatal liberty to live in
want of work;  to have no earnest duty to do in this God's-World
any more.  What becomes of a man in such predicament?  Earth's
Laws are silent;  and Heaven's speak in a voice which is not
heard.  No work, and the ineradicable need of work, give rise to
new very wondrous life-philosophies, new very wondrous life-
practices!  Dilettantism, Pococurantism, Beau-Brummelism, with
perhaps an occasional, half-mad, protesting burst of Byronism,
establish themselves:  at the end of a certain period,--if you go
back to 'the Dead Sea,' there is, say our Moslem friends, a very
strange 'Sabbath-day' transacting itself there!--Brethren, we
know but imperfectly yet, after ages of Constitutional
Government, what Liberty is and Slavery is.

Democracy, the chase of Liberty in that direction, shall go its
full course;  unrestrainable by him of Pferdefuss-Quacksalber, or
any of _his_ household.  The Toiling Millions of Mankind, in most
vital need and passionate instinctive desire of Guidance, shall
cast away False-Guidance;  and hope, for an hour, that No-
Guidance will suffice them:  but it can be for an hour only.  The
smallest item of human Slavery is the oppression of man by his
Mock-Superiors;  the palpablest, but I say at bottom the
smallest.  Let him shake off such oppression, trample it
indignantly under his feet;  I blame him not, I pity and commend
him.  But oppression by your Mock-Superiors well shaken off, the
grand problem yet remains to solve:  That of finding government
by your Real-Superiors!  Alas, how shall we ever learn the
solution of that, benighted, bewildered, sniffing, sneering,
godforgetting unfortunates as we are?  It is a work for
centuries;  to be taught us by tribulations, confusions,
insurrections, obstructions;  who knows if not by conflagration
and despair!  It is a lesson inclusive of all other lessons;  the
hardest of all lessons to learn.

One thing I do know:  Those Apes chattering on the branches by
the Dead Sea never got it learned;  but chatter there to this
day.  To them no Moses need come a second time;  a thousand
Moseses would be but so many painted Phantasms, interesting
Fellow-Apes of new strange aspect,--whom they would 'invite to
dinner,' be glad to meet with in lion-soirees.  To them the voice
of Prophecy, of heavenly monition, is quite ended.  They chatter
there, all Heaven shut to them, to the end of the world.  The
unfortunates!  O, what is dying of hunger, with honest tools in
your hand, with a manful purpose in your heart, and much real
labour lying round you done, in comparison?  You honestly quit
your tools;  quit a most muddy confused coil of sore work, short
rations, of sorrows, dispiritments and contradictions, having now
honestly done with it all;--and await, not entirely in a
distracted manner, what the Supreme Powers, and the Silences and
the Eternities may have to say to you.

A second thing I know:  This lesson will have to be learned,--
under penalties!  England will either learn it, or England also
will cease to exist among Nations.  England will either learn to
reverence its Heroes, and discriminate them from its Sham-Heroes
and Valets and gaslighted Histrios;  and to prize them as the
audible God's-voice, amid all inane jargons and temporary market-
cries, and say to them with heart-loyalty, "Be ye King and
Priest, and Gospel and Guidance for us:"  or else England will
continue to worship new and ever-new forms of Quackhood,--and so,
with what resiliences and reboundings matters little, go down to
the Father of Quacks!  Can I dread such things of England?
Wretched, thick-eyed, gross-hearted mortals, why will ye worship
lies, and 'Stuffed Clothes-suits, created by the ninth-parts of
men!'  It is not your purses that suffer;  your farm-rents, your
commerces, your mill-revenues, loud as ye lament over these;  no,
it is not these alone, but a far deeper than these:  it is your
Souls that lie dead, crushed down under despicable Nightmares,
Atheisms, Brain-fumes;  and are not Souls at all, but mere
succedanea for _salt_ to keep your bodies and their appetites
from putrefying!  Your cotton-spinning and thrice-miraculous
mechanism, what is this too, by itself, but a larger kind of
Animalism?  Spiders can spin, Beavers can build and shew
contrivance;  the Ant lays up accumulation of capital, and has,
for aught I know, a Bank of Antland.  If there is no soul in man
higher than all that, did it reach to sailing on the cloud-rack
and spinning sea-sand;  then I say, man is but an animal, a more
cunning kind of brute:  he has no soul, but only a succedaneum
for salt.  Whereupon, seeing himself to be truly of the beasts
that perish, he ought to admit it, I think;--and also straightway
universally kill himself;  and so, in a manlike manner, at least,
_end,_ and wave these bruteworlds _his_ dignified farewell!--



Chapter XIV

Sir Jabesh Windbag


Oliver Cromwell, whose body they hung on their Tyburn Gallows
because he had found the Christian Religion inexecutable in this
country, remains to me by far the remarkablest Governor we have
had here for the last five centuries or so.  For the last five
centuries, there has been no Governor among us with anything like
similar talent;  and for the last two centuries, no Governor, we
may say, with the possibility of similar talent,--with an idea in
the heart of him capable of inspiring similar talent, capable of
coexisting therewith.  When you consider that Oliver believed in
a God, the difference between Oliver's position and that of any
subsequent Governor of this Country becomes, the more you reflect
on it, the more immeasurable!

Oliver, no volunteer in Public Life, but plainly a ballotted
soldier strictly ordered thither, enters upon Public Life;
comports himself there like a man who carried his own life itself
in his hand;  like a man whose Great Commander's eye was always
on him.  Not without results.  Oliver, well-advanced in years,
finds now, by Destiny and his own Deservings, or as he himself
better phrased it, by wondrous successive 'Births of Providence,'
the Government of England put into his hands.  In senate-house
and battle-field, in counsel and in action, in private and in
public, this man has proved himself a man:  England and the voice
of God, through waste awful whirlwinds and environments, speaking
to his great heart, summon him to assert formally, in the way of
solemn Public Fact and as a new piece of English Law, what
informally and by Nature's eternal Law needed no asserting, That
he, Oliver, was the Ablest-Man of England, the King of England;
that he, Oliver, would undertake governing England.  His way of
making this same 'assertion,' the one way he had of making it,
has given rise to immense criticism:  but the assertion itself in
what way soever 'made,' is it not somewhat of a solemn one,
somewhat of a tremendous one!

And now do but contrast this Oliver with my right honourable
friend Sir Jabesh Windbag, Mr. Facing-both-ways, Viscount
Mealymouth, Earl of Windlestraw, or what other Cagliostro,
Cagliostrino, Cagliostraccio, the course of Fortune and
Parliamentary Majorities has constitutionally guided to that
dignity, any time during these last sorrowful hundred-and-fifty
years!  Windbag, weak in the faith of a God, which he believes
only at Church on Sundays, if even then;  strong only in the
faith that Paragraphs and Plausibilities bring votes;  that Force
of Public Opinion, as he calls it, is the primal Necessity of
Things, and highest God we have:--Windbag, if we will consider
him, has a problem set before him which may be ranged in the
impossible class.  He is a Columbus minded to sail to the
indistinct country of NOWHERE, to the indistinct country of
WHITHERWARD, by the _friendship_ of those same waste-tumbling
Water-Alps and howling waltz of All the Winds;  not by conquest
of them and in spite of them, but by friendship of them, when
once _they_ have made up their mind!  He is the most original
Columbus I ever saw.  Nay, his problem is not an impossible one:
he will infallibly _arrive_ at that same country of NOWHERE;  his
indistinct Whitherward will be a _Thither_ward!  In the Ocean
Abysses and Locker of Davy Jones, there certainly enough do he
and _his_ ship's company, and all their cargo and navigatings, at
last find lodgement.

Oliver knew that his America lay THERE, Westward Ho;--and it was
not entirely by _friendship_ of the Water-Alps, and yeasty insane
Froth-Oceans, that he meant to get thither!  He sailed
accordingly;  had compass-card, and Rules of Navigation,--older
and greater than these Froth-Oceans, old as the Eternal God!  Or
again, do but think of this.  Windbag in these his probable five
years of office has to prosper and get Paragraphs:  the
Paragraphs of these five years must be his salvation, or he is a
lost man;  redemption nowhere in the Worlds or in the Times
discoverable for him.  Oliver too would like his Paragraphs;
successes, popularities in these five years are not undesirable
to him:  but mark, I say, this enormous circumstance:  _after_
these five years are gone and done, comes an Eternity for Oliver!
Oliver has to appear before the Most High judge:  the utmost flow
of Paragraphs, the utmost ebb of them, is now, in strictest
arithmetic, verily no matter at all;  its exact value _zero;_  an
account altogether erased!  Enormous;--which a man, in these
days, hardly fancies with an effort!  Oliver's Paragraphs are all
done, his battles, division-lists, successes all summed:  and now
in that awful unerring Court of Review, the real question first
rises, Whether he has succeeded at all;  whether he has not been
defeated miserably forevermore?  Let him come with world-wide
_Io-Paens,_ these avail him not.  Let him come covered over with
the world's execrations, gashed with ignominious death-wounds,
the gallows-rope about his neck:  what avails that?  The word
is, Come thou brave and faithful;  the word is, Depart thou
quack and accursed!

O Windbag, my right honourable friend, in very truth I pity thee.
I say, these Paragraphs, and low or loud votings of thy poor
fellow-blockheads of mankind, will never guide thee in any
enterprise at all.  Govern a country on such guidance?  Thou
canst not make a pair of shoes, sell a pennyworth of tape, on
such.  No, thy shoes are vamped up falsely to meet the market;
behold, the leather only _seemed_ to be tanned;  thy shoes melt
under me to rubbishy pulp, and are not veritable mud-defying
shoes, but plausible vendible similitudes of shoes,--thou
unfortunate, and I!  O my right honourable friend, when the
Paragraphs flowed in, who was like Sir Jabesh?  On the swelling
tide he mounted;  higher, higher, triumphant, heaven-high.  But
the Paragraphs again ebbed out, as unwise Paragraphs needs must:
Sir Jabesh lies stranded, sunk and forever sinking in ignominious
ooze;  the Mud-nymphs, and ever-deepening bottomless Oblivion,
his portion to eternal time.  'Posterity?'  Thou appealest to
Posterity, thou?  My right honourable friend, what will Posterity
do for thee!  The voting of Posterity, were it continued through
centuries in thy favour, will be quite inaudible, extra-forensic,
without any effect whatever.  Posterity can do simply nothing for
a man;  nor even seem to do much, if the man be not brainsick.
Besides, to tell thee truth, the bets are a thousand to one,
Posterity will not hear of thee, my right honourable friend!
Posterity, I have found, has generally his own Windbags
sufficiently trumpeted in all market-places, and no leisure to
attend to ours.  Posterity, which has made of Norse Odin a
similitude, and of Norman William a brute monster, what will or
can it make of English Jabesh?  O Heavens, 'Posterity!'

"These poor persecuted Scotch Covenanters," said I to my inquiring
Frenchman, in such stinted French as stood at command, _"ils
s'en appelaient a"_--_"A la Posterite,"_ interrupted he, helping
me out.--_"Ah, Monsieur, non, mille fois non!_  They appealed to
the Eternal God;  not to Posterity at all!  _C'etait different."_



Chapter XV

Morrison Again


Nevertheless, O Advanced Liberal, one cannot promise thee any
'New Religion,' for some time;  to say truth, I do not think we
have the smallest chance of any!  Will the candid reader, by way
of closing this Book Third, listen to a few transient remarks on
that subject?

Candid readers have not lately met with any man who had less
notion to interfere with their Thirty-Nine, or other Church-
Articles;  wherewith, very helplessly as is like, they may have
struggled to form for themselves some not inconceivable
hypothesis about this Universe, and their own Existence there.
Superstition, my friend, is far from me;  Fanaticism, for any
_Fanum_ likely to arise soon on this Earth, is far.  A man's
Church-Articles are surely articles of price to him;  and in
these times one has to be tolerant of many strange 'Articles,'
and of many still stranger 'No-articles,' which go about
placarding themselves in a very distracted manner,--the numerous
long placard-poles, and questionable infirm paste-pots,
interfering with one's peaceable thoroughfare sometimes!

Fancy a man, moreover, recommending his fellow men to believe in
God, that so Chartism might abate, and the Manchester Operatives
be got to spin peaceably!  The idea is more distracted than any
placard-pole seen hitherto in a public thoroughfare of men! My
friend, if thou ever do come to believe in God, thou wilt find
all Chartism, Manchester riot, Parliamentary incompetence,
Ministries of Windbag, and the wildest Social Dissolutions, and
the burning up of this entire Planet, a most small matter in
comparison.  Brother, this Planet, I find, is but an
inconsiderable sandgrain in the continents of Being:  this
Planet's poor temporary interests, thy interests and my interests
there, when I look fixedly into that eternal Light-Sea and Flame-
Sea with _its_ eternal interests, dwindle literally into Nothing;
my speech of it is--silence for the while.  I will as soon think
of making Galaxies and Star Systems to guide little herring-
vessels by, as of preaching Religion that the Constable may
continue possible.  O my Advanced-Liberal friend, this new second
progress, of proceeding 'to invent God,' is a very strange one!
Jacobinism unfolded into Saint-Simonism bodes innumerable blessed
things;  but the thing itself might draw tears from a Stoic!--As
for me, some twelve or thirteen New Religions, heavy Packets,
most of them unfranked, having arrived here from various parts of
the world, in a space of six calendar months, I have instructed
my invaluable friend the Stamped Postman to introduce no more of
them, if the charge exceed one penny.


Henry of Essex, duelling in that Thames Island, near to Reading
Abbey, had a religion.  But was it in virtue of his seeing armed
Phantasms of St. Edmund 'on the rim of the horizon,' looking
minatory on him?  Had that, intrinsically, anything to do with
his religion at all?  Henry of Essex's religion was the Inner
Light or Moral Conscience of his own soul;  such as is vouchsafed
still to all souls of men;--which Inner Light shone here 'through
such intellectual and other media' as there were;  producing
'Phantasms,' Kircherean Visual-Spectra, according to
circumstances!  It is so with all men.  The clearer my Inner
Light may shine, through the _less_ turbid media;  the _fewer_
Phantasms it may produce,--the gladder surely shall I be, and not
the sorrier!  Hast thou reflected, O serious reader, Advanced-
Liberal or other, that the one end, essence, use of all religion
past, present and to come, was this only:  To keep that same
Moral Conscience or Inner Light of ours alive and shining--which
certainly the 'Phantasms' and the 'turbid media' were not
essential for!  All religion was here to remind us, better or
worse, of what we already know better or worse, of the quite
_infinite_ difference there is between a Good man and a Bad;  to
bid us love infinitely the one, abhor and avoid infinitely the
other,--strive infinitely to _be_ the one, and not to be the
other.  'All religion issues in due Practical Hero-worship:  He
that has a soul unasphyxied will never want a religion;  he that
has a soul asphyxied, reduced to a succedaneum for salt, will
never find any religion, though you rose from the dead to preach
him one.

But indeed, when men and reformers ask for 'a religion,' it is
analogous to their asking, 'What would you have us to do?' and
such like.  They fancy that their religion too shall be a kind of
Morrison's Pill, which they have only to swallow once, and all
will be well.  Resolutely once gulp down your Religion, your
Morrison's Pill, you have it all plain sailing now;  you can
follow your affairs, your no-affairs, go along money-hunting,
pleasure-hunting, dilettanteing, dangling, and miming and
chattering like a Dead-Sea Ape:  your Morrison will do your
business for you.  Men's notions are very strange!--Brother, I
say there is not, was not, nor will ever be, in the wide circle
of Nature, any Pill or Religion of that character.  Man cannot
afford thee such;  for the very gods it is impossible.  I advise
thee to renounce Morrison;  once for all, quit hope of the
Universal Pill.  For body, for soul, for individual or society,
there has not any such article been made.  _Non extat._  In
Created Nature it is not, was not, will not be.  In the void
imbroglios of Chaos only, and realms of Bedlam, does some shadow
of it hover, to bewilder and bemock the poor inhabitants _there._

Rituals, Liturgies, Creeds, Hierarchies: all this is not
religion;  all this, were it dead as Odinism, as Fetishism, does
not kill religion at all!  It is Stupidity alone, with never so
many rituals, that kills religion.  Is not this still a World?
Spinning Cotton under Arkwright and Adam Smith;  founding Cities
by the Fountain of Juturna, on the Janiculum Mount;  tilling
Canaan under Prophet Samuel and Psalmist David, man is ever man;
the missionary of Unseen Powers;  and great and victorious, while
he continues true to his mission;  mean, miserable, foiled, and
at last annihilated and trodden out of sight and memory, when he
proves untrue.  Brother, thou art a Man, I think;  thou are not a
mere building Beaver, or two-legged Cotton-Spider;  thou hast
verily a Soul in thee, asphyxied or otherwise!  Sooty
Manchester,--it too is built on the infinite Abysses;
overspanned by the skyey Firmaments;  and there is birth in it,
and death in it;--and it is every whit as wonderful, as fearful,
unimaginable, as the oldest Salem or Prophetic City.  Go or
stand, in what time, in what place we will, are there not
Immensities, Eternities over us, around us, in us:

     'Solemn before us,
     Veiled, the dark Portal,
     Goal of all mortal:--
     Stars silent rest o'er us,
     Graves under us silent'

Between _these_ two great Silences, the hum of all our spinning
cylinders, Trades-Unions, Anti-Corn-Law Leagues and Carlton Clubs
goes on.  Stupidity itself ought to pause a little, and consider
that.  I tell thee, through all thy Ledgers, Supply-and-demand
Philosophies, and daily most modern melancholy Business and Cant,
there does shine the presence of a Primeval Unspeakable;  and
thou wert wise to recognise, not with lips only, that same!

The Maker's Laws, whether they are promulgated in Sinai Thunder,
to the ear or imagination, or quite otherwise promulgated, are
the Laws of God;  transcendant, everlasting, imperatively
demanding obedience from all men.  This, without any thunder, or
with never so much thunder, thou, if there be any soul left in
thee, canst know of a truth.  The Universe, I say, is made by
Law;  the great Soul of the World is just and not unjust.  Look
thou, if thou have eyes or soul left, into this great shoreless
Incomprehensible:  in the heart of its tumultuous Appearances,
Embroilments, and mad Time-vortexes, is there not, silent,
eternal, an All-just, an All-beautiful;  sole Reality and
ultimate controlling Power of the whole?  This is not a figure of
speech;  this is a fact.  The fact of Gravitation known to all
animals, is not surer than this inner Fact, which may be known to
all men.  He who knows this, it will sink, silent, awful,
unspeakable, into his heart.  He will say with Faust:  "Who
_dare_ name HIM?"  Most rituals or 'namings' he will fall in with
at present, are like to be 'namings'--which shall be nameless!
In silence, in the Eternal Temple, let him worship, if there be
no fit word.  Such knowledge, the crown of his whole spiritual
being, the life of his life, let him keep and sacredly walk by.
He has a religion.  Hourly and daily, for himself and for the
whole world, a faithful, unspoken, but not ineffectual prayer
rises, "Thy will be done."  His whole work on Earth is an
emblematic spoken or acted prayer, Be the will of God done on
Earth,--not the Devil's will, or any of the Devil's servants'
wills!  He has a religion, this man;  an everlasting Loadstar
that beams the brighter in the Heavens, the darker here on Earth
grows the night around him.  Thou, if thou know not this, what
are all rituals, liturgies, mythologies, mass-chantings, turnings
of the rotatory calabash?  They are as nothing;  in a good many
respects they are as _less._  Divorced from this, getting half-
divorced from this, they are a thing to fill one with a kind of
horror;  with a sacred inexpressible pity and fear.  The most
tragical thing a human eye can look on.  It was said to the
Prophet, "Behold, I will shew thee worse things than these:
women weeping to Thammuz."  That was the acme of the Prophet's
vision,--then as now.

Rituals, Liturgies, Credos, Sinai Thunder:  I know more or less
the history of these;  the rise, progress, decline and fall of
these.  Can thunder from all the thirty-two azimuths, repeated
daily for centuries of years, make God's Laws more godlike to me?
Brother, No.  Perhaps I am grown to be a man now;  and do not
need the thunder and the terror any longer!  Perhaps I am above
being frightened;  perhaps it is not Fear, but Reverence alone,
that shall now lead me!--Revelations, Inspirations?  Yes:  and
thy own god-created Soul;  dost thou not call that a
`revelation?'  Who made THEE?  Where didst Thou come from?  The
Voice of Eternity, if thou be not a blasphemer and poor asphyxied
mute, speaks with that tongue of thine!  _Thou_ art the latest
Birth of Nature;  it is 'the Inspiration of the Almighty' that
giveth thee understanding!  My brother, my brother!--

Under baleful Atheisms, Mammonisms, Joe-Manton Dilettantisms,
with their appropriate Cants and Idolisms, and whatsoever
scandalous rubbish obscures and all but extinguishes the soul of
man,--religion now is;  its Laws, written if not on stone tables,
yet on the Azure of Infinitude, in the inner heart of God's
Creation, certain as Life, certain as Death!  I say the Laws are
there, and thou shalt not disobey them.  It were better for thee
not.  Better a hundred deaths than yes.  Terrible 'penalties'
withal, if thou still need 'penalties,' are there for disobeying.
Dost thou observe, O redtape Politician, that fiery infernal
Phenomenon, which men name FRENCH REVOLUTION, sailing, unlooked-
for, unbidden;  through thy inane Protocol Dominion:--far-seen,
with splendour not of Heaven?  Ten centuries will see it.  There
were Tanneries at Meudon for human skins.  And Hell, very truly
Hell, had power over God's upper Earth for a season.  The
cruelest Portent that has risen into created Space these ten
centuries:  let us hail it, with awestruck repentant hearts, as
the voice once more of a God, though of one in wrath.  Blessed be
the God's-voice;  for _it_ is true, and Falsehoods have to cease
before it!  But for that same preternatural quasi-infernal
Portent;  one could not know what to make of this wretched world,
in these days' at all.  The deplorablest quack-ridden, and now
hunger-ridden, downtrodden Despicability and _Flebile Ludibrium,_
of redtape Protocols, rotatory Calabashes, Poor-Law Bastilles:
who is there that could think of _its_ being fated to continue?--

Penalties enough, my brother!  This penalty inclusive of all:
Eternal Death to thy own hapless Self, if thou heed no other.
Eternal Death, I say,--with many meanings old and new, of which
let this single one suffice us here:  The eternal impossibility
for thee to _be_ aught but a Chimera, and swift-vanishing
deceptive Phantasm, in God's Creation;--swift-vanishing, never to
reappear:  why should it reappear!  Thou hadst one chance, thou
wilt never have another.  Everlasting ages will roll on, and no
other be given thee.  The foolishest articulate-speaking soul now
extant, may not he say to himself:  "A whole Eternity I waited to
be born;  and now I have a whole Eternity waiting to see what I
will do when born!"  This is not Theology, this is Arithmetic.
And thou but half-discernest this;  thou but half-believest it?
Alas, on the shores of the Dead Sea on Sabbath, there goes on
a Tragedy!--

But we will leave this of 'Religion;'  of which, to say truth, it
is chiefly profitable in these unspeakable days to keep silence.
Thou needest no 'New Religion;'  nor art thou like to get any.
Thou hast already more 'religion' than thou makest use of.  This
day, thou knowest ten commanded duties, seest in thy mind ten
things which should be done, for one that thou doest!  Do one of
them;  this of itself will skew thee ten others which can and
shall be done.  "But my future fate?"  Yes, thy future fate,
indeed?  Thy future fate, while thou makest _it_ the chief
question, seems to me--extremely questionable!  I do not think it
can be good.  Norse Odin, immemorial centuries ago, did not he,
though a poor Heathen, in the dawn of Time, teach us that, for
the Dastard there was and could be no good fate;  no harbour
anywhere, save down with Hela, in the pool of Night!  Dastards,
Knaves, are they that lust for Pleasure, that tremble at Pain.
For this world and for the next, Dastards are a class of
creatures made to be 'arrested;'  they are good for nothing else,
can look for nothing else.  A greater than Odin has been here.  A
greater than Odin has taught us--not a greater Dastardism, I
hope!  My brother, thou must pray for a _soul;_  struggle, as
with life-and-death energy, to get back thy soul!  Know that
'religion' is no Morrison's Pill from without, but a reawakening
of thy own Self from within:--and, above all, leave me alone of
thy 'religions' and 'new religions' here and elsewhere!  I am
weary of this sick croaking for a Morrison's-Pill religion;  for
any and for every such.  I want none such;  and discern all such
to be impossible.  The resuscitation of old liturgies fallen
dead;  much more, the manufacture of new liturgies that will
never be alive:  how hopeless Stylitisms, eremite fanaticisms and
fakeerisms;  spasmodic agonistic posturemakings, and narrow,
cramped, morbid, if forever noble wrestlings:  all this is not a
thing desirable to me.  It is a thing the world _has_ done once,
--when its beard was not grown as now!


And yet there is, at worst, one Liturgy which does remain forever
unexceptionable:  that of _Praying_ (as the old Monks did withal)
_by Working._  And indeed the Prayer which accomplished itself in
special chapels at stated hours, and went not with a man, rising
up from all his Work and Action, at all moments sanctifying the
same,--what was it ever good for?  'Work is Worship:'  yes, in a
highly considerable sense,--which, in the present state of all
'worship,' who is there that can unfold!  He that understands it
well, understands the Prophecy of the whole Future;  the last
Evangel, which has included all others.  Its cathedral the Dome
of Immensity,--hast thou seen it? coped with the star-galaxies;
paved with the green mosaic of land and ocean;  and for altar,
verily, the Star-throne of the Eternal!  Its litany and psalmody
the noble acts, the heroic work and suffering, and true Heart-
utterance of all the Valiant of the Sons of Men.  Its choir-music
the ancient Winds and Oceans, and deep-toned, inarticulate, but
most speaking voices of Destiny and History,--supernal ever as of
old.  Between two great Silences:

     'Stars silent rest o  o'er us,
     Graves under us silent!'

Between which two great Silences, do not, as we said, all human
Noises, in the naturalest times, most preternaturally march
and roll?--

I will insert this also, in a lower strain, from Sauerteig's
_Aesthetische Springwurzel._   'Worship?' says he:  'Before that
inane tumult of Hearsay filled men's heads, while the world lay
yet silent, and the heart true and open, many things were
Worship! To the primeval man whatsoever good came, descended on
him (as, in mere fact, it ever does) direct from God;  whatsoever
duty lay visible for him, this a Supreme God had prescribed.  To
the present hour I ask thee, Who else?  For the primeval man, in
whom dwelt Thought, this Universe was all a Temple;  Life
everywhere a Worship.

'What Worship, for example, is there not in mere Washing!
Perhaps one of the most moral things a man, in common cases, has
it in his power to do.  Strip thyself, go into the bath, or were
it into the limpid pool and running brook, and there wash and be
clean;  thou wilt step out again a purer and a better man.  This
consciousness of perfect outer pureness, that to thy skin there
now adheres no foreign speck of imperfection, how it radiates in
on thee, with cunning symbolic influences, to thy very soul!
Thou hast an increase of tendency towards all good things
whatsoever.  The oldest Eastern Sages, with joy and holy
gratitude, had felt it so,--and that it was the Maker's gift and
will.  Whose else is it?  It remains a religious duty, from
oldest times, in the East.--Nor could Herr Professor Strauss,
when I put the question, deny that for us at present it is still
such here in the West!  To that dingy fuliginous Operative,
emerging from his soot-mill, what is the first duty I will
prescribe, and offer help towards?  That he clean the skin of
him.  _Can_ he pray, by any ascertained method?  One knows not
entirely:--but with soap and a sufficiency of water, he can wash.
Even the dull English feel something of this;  they have a
saying, "Cleanliness is near of kin to Godliness:"--yet never, in
any country, saw I operative men worse washed, and, in a climate
drenched with the softest cloud-water, such a scarcity of
baths!'--Alas, Sauerteig, our 'operative men' are at present
short even of potatoes:  what 'duty' can you prescribe to them!

Or let us give a glance at China.  Our new friend, the Emperor
there, is Pontiff of three hundred million men;  who do all live
and work, these many centuries now;  authentically patronised by
Heaven so far;  and therefore must have some 'religion' of a
kind. T his Emperor-Pontiff has, in fact, a religious belief of
certain Laws of Heaven;  observes, with a religious rigour, his
'three thousand punctualities,' given out by men of insight, some
sixty generations since, as a legible transcript of the same,--
the Heavens do seem to say, not totally an incorrect one.  He has
not much of a ritual, this Pontiff-Emperor;  believes, it is
likest, with the old Monks, that 'Labour is Worship.'  His most
public Act of Worship, it appears, is the drawing solemnly at a
certain day, on the green bosom of our Mother Earth, when the
Heavens, after dead black winter, have again with their vernal
radiances awakened her, a distinct red Furrow with the Plough,--
signal that all the Ploughs of China are to begin ploughing and
worshipping!  It is notable enough.  He, in sight of the Seen and
Unseen Powers, draws his distinct red Furrow there;  saying, and
praying, in mute symbolism, so many most eloquent things!

If you ask this Pontiff, "Who made him?  What is to become of him
and us?" he maintains a dignified reserve;  waves his hand and
pontiff-eyes over the unfathomable deep of Heaven, the 'Tsien,'
the azure kingdoms of Infinitude;  as if asking, "is it doubtful
that we are right _well_ made?  Can aught that is _wrong_ become
of us?"--He and his three hundred millions (it is their chief
'punctuality') visit yearly the Tombs of their Fathers;  each man
the Tomb of his Father and his Mother:  alone there, in silence,
with what of 'worship' or of other thought there may be, pauses
solemnly each man;  the divine Skies all silent over him;  the
divine Graves, and this divinest Grave, all silent under him;
the pulsings of his own soul, if he have any soul, alone audible.
Truly it may be a kind of worship!  Truly, if a man cannot get
some glimpse into the Eternities, looking through this portal,--
through what other need he try it?

Our friend the Pontiff-Emperor permits cheerfully, though with
contempt, all manner of Buddhists, Bonzes, Talapoins and such
like, to build brick Temples, on the voluntary principle;  to
worship with what of chantings, paper-lanterns and tumultuous
brayings, pleases them;  and make night hideous, since they find
some comfort in so doing.  Cheerfully, though with contempt.  He
is a wiser Pontiff than many persons think!  He is as yet the one
Chief Potentate or Priest in this Earth who has made a distinct
systematic attempt at what we call the ultimate result of all
religion, _'Practical_ Hero-worship:'  he does incessantly, with
true anxiety, in such way as he can, search and sift (it would
appear) his whole enormous population for the Wisest born among
them;  by which Wisest, as by born Kings, these three hundred
million men are governed.  The Heavens, to a certain extent, do
appear to countenance him.  These three hundred millions actually
make porcelain, souchong tea, with innumerable other things;  and
fight, under Heaven's flag, against Necessity;--and have fewer
Seven-Years Wars, Thirty-Years Wars, French-Revolution Wars, and
infernal fightings with each other, than certain millions
elsewhere have!


Nay, in our poor distracted Europe itself, in these newest times,
have there not religious voices risen,--with a religion new and
yet the oldest;  entirely indisputable to all hearts of men?
Some I do know, who did not call or think themselves 'Prophets,'
far enough from that;  but who were, in very truth, melodious
Voices from the eternal Heart of Nature once again;  souls
forever venerable to all that have a soul.  A French Revolution
is one phenomenon;  as complement and spiritual exponent thereof,
a Poet Goethe and German Literature is to me another.  The old
Secular or Practical World, so to speak, having gone up in fire,
is not here the prophecy and dawn of a new Spiritual World,
parent of far nobler, wider, new Practical Worlds?  A Life of
Antique devoutness, Antique veracity and heroism, has again
become possible, is again _seen_ actual there, for the most
modern man.  A phenomenon, as quiet as it is, comparable for
greatness to no other!  'The great event for the world is, now as
always, the arrival in it of a new Wise Man.'  Touches there are,
be the Heavens ever thanked, of new Sphere-melody;  audible once
more, in the infinite jargoning discords and poor scrannel-
pipings of the thing called Literature;--priceless there, as the
voice of new Heavenly Psalms!  Literature, like the old Prayer-
Collections of the first centuries, were it 'well selected from
and burnt,' contains precious things.  For Literature, with all
its printing-presses, puffing-engines and shoreless deafening
triviality, is yet 'the Thought of Thinking Souls.'  A sacred
'religion,' if you like the name, does live in the heart of that
strange froth-ocean, not wholly froth, which we call Literature;
and will more and more disclose itself therefrom;--not now as
scorching Fire:  the red smoky scorching Fire has purified itself
into white sunny Light.  Is not Light grander than Fire?  It is
the same element in a state of purity.

My ingenuous readers, we will march out of this Third Book with a
rhythmic word of Goethe's on our tongue;  a word which perhaps
has already sung itself, in dark hours and in bright, through
many a heart.  To me, finding it devout yet wholly credible and
veritable, full of piety yet free of cant;  to me joyfully
finding much in it, and joyfully missing so much in it, this
little snatch of music, by the greatest German Man, sounds like a
stanza in the grand _Road-Song_ and _Marching-Song_ of our great
Teutonic Kindred, wending, wending, valiant and victorious,
through the undiscovered Deeps of Time!  He calls it _Mason-
Lodge,_--not Psalm or Hymn:

     The Mason's ways are
     A type of Existence,
     And his persistance
     Is as the days are
     Of men in this world.

     The Future hides in it
     Good hap and sorrow;
     We press still thorow,
     Nought that abides in it
     Daunting us,--onward.

     And solemn before us,
     Veiled, the dark Portal,
     Goal of all mortal:--
     Stars silent rest o'er us,
     Graves under us silent.

     While earnest thou gazest,
     Comes boding of terror,
     Comes phantasm and error,
     Perplexes the bravest
     With doubt and misgiving.

     But heard are the Voices,--
     Heard are the Sages,
     The Worlds and the Ages:
     "Choose well, your choice is
     Brief and yet endless:

     Here eyes do regard you,
     In Eternity's stilness;
     Here is all fulness,
     Ye brave, to reward you;
     Work, and despair not."



Book IV--Horoscope



Chapter I

Aristocracies


To predict the Future, to manage the Present, would not be so
impossible, had not the Past been so sacrilegiously mishandled;
effaced, and what is worse, defaced!  The Past cannot be seen;
the Past, looked at through the medium of 'Philosophical History'
in these times, cannot even be _not_ seen:  it is misseen;
affirmed to have existed,--and to have been a godless
Impossibility.  Your Norman Conquerors, true royal souls, crowned
kings as such, were vulturous irrational tyrants:  your Becket
was a noisy egoist and hypocrite;  getting his brains spilt on
the floor of Canterbury Cathedral, to secure the main chance,--
somewhat uncertain how!  "Enthusiasm," and even "honest
Enthusiasm,"--yes, of course:

     'The Dog, to gain his private ends,
     _Went_ mad, and bit the Man!'--

For in truth, the eye sees in all things 'what it brought with it
the means of seeing.'  A godless century, looking back on
centuries that were godly, produces portraitures more miraculous
than any other.  All was inane discord in the Past;  brute Force
bore rule everywhere;  Stupidity, savage Unreason, fitter for
Bedlam than for a human World!  Whereby indeed it becomes
sufficiently natural that the like qualities, in new sleeker
habiliments, should continue in our time to rule.  Millions
enchanted in Bastille Workhouses;  Irish Widows proving their
relationship by typhus-fever:  what would you have?  It was ever
so, or worse.  Man's History, was it not always even this:  The
cookery and eating up of imbecile Dupedom by successful
Quackhood;  the battle, with various weapons, of vulturous Quack
and Tyrant against vulturous Tyrant and Quack?  No God was in the
Past Time;  nothing but.  Mechanisms and Chaotic Brute-gods:--how
shall the poor 'Philosophic Historian,' to whom his own century
is all godless, see any God in other centuries?

Men believe in Bibles, and disbelieve in them:  but of all Bibles
the frightfulest to disbelieve in is this 'Bible of Universal
History.'  This is the Eternal Bible and God's-Book, 'which every
born man,' till once the soul and eyesight are distinguished in
him, 'can and must, with his own eyes, see the God's-Finger
writing!'  To discredit this, is an _infidelity_ like no other.
Such infidelity you would punish, if not by fire and faggot,
which are difficult to manage in our times, yet by the most
peremptory order, To hold its peace till it got something wiser
to say.  Why should the blessed Silence be broken into noises, to
communicate only the like of this?  If the Past have no God's-
Reason in it, nothing but Devil's-Unreason, let the Past be
eternally forgotten:  mention it no more;--we whose ancestors
were all hanged, why should we talk of ropes!

It is, in brief, not true that men ever lived by Delirium,
Hypocrisy, Injustice, or any form of Unreason, since they came to
inhabit this Planet.  It is not true that they ever did, or ever
will, live except by the reverse of these.  Men will again be
taught this.  Their acted History will then again be a Heroism;
their written History, what it once was, an Epic.  Nay, forever
it is either such;  or else it virtually is--Nothing.  Were it
written in a thousand volumes, the Unheroic of such volumes
hastens incessantly to be forgotten;  the net content of an
Alexandrian Library of Unheroics is, and will ultimately shew
itself to be, _zero._  What man is interested to remember _it,_
have not all men, at all times, the liveliest interest to forget
it?--'Revelations,' if not celestial, then infernal, will teach
us that God is;  we shall then, if needful, discern without
difficulty that He has always been!  The Dryasdust Philosophisms
and enlightened Scepticisms of the Eighteenth Century, historical
and other, will have to survive for a while with the
Physiologists, as a memorable _Nightmare-Dream._  All this
haggard epoch, with its ghastly Doctrines, and death's-head
Philosophies 'teaching by example' or otherwise, will one day
have become, what to our Moslem friends their godless ages are,
'the Period of Ignorance.


If the convulsive struggles of the last Half-Century have taught
poor struggling convulsed Europe any truth, it may perhaps be
this as the essence of innumerable others:  That Europe requires
a real Aristocracy, a real Priesthood, or it cannot continue to
exist.  Huge French Revolutions, Napoleonisms, then Bourbonisms
with their corollary of Three Days, finishing in very unfinal
Louis-Philippisms:  all this ought to be didactic!  All this may
have taught us, That False Aristocracies are insupportable;
that No-Aristocracies, Liberty-and-Equalities are impossible;
that True Aristocracies are at once indispensable and not
easily attained.

Aristocracy and Priesthood, a Governing Class and a Teaching
Class:  these two, sometimes separate, and endeavouring to
harmonise themselves, sometimes conjoined as one, and the King a
Pontiff-King:--there did no Society exist without these two vital
elements, there will none exist.  It lies in the very nature of
man:  you will visit no remotest village in the most republican
country of the world, where virtually or actually you do not find
these two powers at work.  Man, little as he may suppose it, is
necessitated to obey superiors.  He is a social being in virtue
of this necessity;  nay he could not be gregarious otherwise.  He
obeys those whom he esteems better than himself, wiser, braver;
and will forever obey such;  and even be ready and delighted to
do it.

The Wiser, Braver:  these, a Virtual Aristocracy everywhere and
everywhen, do in all Societies that reach any articulate shape,
develop themselves into a ruling class, an Actual Aristocracy,
with settled modes of operating, what are called laws and even
_private-laws_ or privileges, and so forth;  very notable to look
upon in this world.--Aristocracy and Priesthood, we say, are
sometimes united.  For indeed the Wiser and the Braver are
properly but one class;  no wise man but needed first of all to
be a brave man, or he never had been wise.  The noble Priest was
always a noble Aristos to begin with, and something more to end
with.  Your Luther, your Knox, your Anselm, Becket, Abbot Samson,
Samuel Johnson, if they had not been brave enough, by what
possibility could they ever have been wise?--If, from accident or
forethought, this your Actual Aristocracy have got discriminated
into Two Classes, there can be no doubt but the Priest Class is
the more dignified;  supreme over the other, as governing head is
over active hand.  And yet in practice again, it is likeliest the
reverse will be found arranged;--a sign that the arrangement is
already vitiated;  that a split is introduced into it, which will
widen and widen till the whole be rent asunder.

In England, in Europe generally, we may say that these two
Virtualities have unfolded themselves into Actualities, in by far
the noblest and richest manner any region of the world ever saw.
A spiritual Guideship, a practical Governorship, fruit of the
grand conscious endeavours, say rather of the immeasurable
unconscious instincts and necessities of men, have established
themselves;  very strange to behold.  Everywhere, while so much
has been forgotten, you find the King's Palace, and the
Viceking's Castle, Mansion, Manorhouse;  till there is not an
inch of ground from sea to sea but has both its King and
Viceking, long due series of Viceking, its Squire, Earl, Duke or
whatever the title of him,--to whom you have given the land that
he may govern you in it.

More touching still, there is not a hamlet where poor peasants
congregate, but by one means and another a Church-Apparatus has
been got together,--roofed edifice, with revenues and belfries;
pulpit, reading-desk, with Books and Methods:  possibility, in
short, and strict prescription, That a man stand there and speak
of spiritual things to men.  It is beautiful;--even in its great
obscuration and decadence, it is among the beautifulest, most
touching objects one sees on the Earth.  This Speaking Man has
indeed, in these times, wandered terribly from the point;  has,
alas, as it were totally lost sight of the point:  yet, at
bottom, whom have we to compare with him?  Of all public
functionaries boarded and lodged on the Industry of Modern
Europe, is there one worthier of the board he has?  A man even
professing, and never so languidly making still some endeavour,
to save the souls of men:  contrast him with a man professing to
do little but shoot the partridges of men!  I wish he could find
the point again, this Speaking One;  and stick to it with
tenacity, with deadly energy;  for there is need of him yet!  The
Speaking Function, this of Truth coming to us with a living
voice, nay in a living shape, and as a concrete practical
exemplar:  this, with all our Writing and Printing Functions, has
a perennial place.  Could he but find the point again,--take the
old spectacles off his nose, and looking up discover, almost in
contact with him, what the _real_ Satanas, and soul-devouring,
world-devouring _Devil,_ now is!  Original Sin and such like are
bad enough, I doubt not:  but distilled Gin, dark Ignorance,
Stupidity, dark Corn-Law, Bastille and Company, what are they!
_Will_ he discover our new real Satan, whom he has to fight;  or
go on droning through his old nose-spectacles about old extinct
Satans;  and never see the real one, till he _feel_ him at his
own throat and ours?  That is a question, for the world!  Let us
not intermeddle with it here.

Sorrowful, phantasmal as this same Double Aristocracy of Teachers
and Governors now looks, it is worth all men's while to know that
the purport of it is and remains noble and most real.  Dryasdust,
looking merely at the surface, is greatly in error as to those
ancient Kings.  William Conqueror, William Rufus or Redbeard,
Stephen Curthose himself, much more Henry Beauclerc and our brave
Plantagenet Henry:  the life of these men was not a vulturous
Fighting;  it was a valorous Governing,--to which occasionally
Fighting did, and alas must yet, though far seldomer now,
superadd itself as an accident, a distressing impedimental
adjunct.  The fighting too was indispensable, for ascertaining
who had the might over whom, the right over whom.  By much hard
fighting, as we once said, 'the unrealities, beaten into dust,
flew gradually off;'  and left the plain reality and fact, "Thou
stronger than I;  thou wiser than I;  thou king, and subject I,"
in a somewhat clearer condition.

Truly we cannot enough admire, in those Abbot-Samson and William-
Conqueror times, the arrangement they had made of their Governing
Classes.  Highly interesting to observe how the sincere insight,
on their part, into what did, of primary necessity, behove to be
accomplished, had led them to the way of accomplishing it, and in
the course of time to get it accomplished!  No imaginary
Aristocracy would serve their turn;  and accordingly they
attained a real one.  The Bravest men, who, it is ever to be
repeated and remembered, are also on the whole the Wisest,
Strongest, every way Best, had here, with a respectable degree of
accuracy, been got selected;  seated each on his piece of
territory, which was lent him, then gradually given him, that
he might govern it.  These Vicekings, each on his portion of
the common soil of England, with a Head King over all, were
a 'Virtuality perfected into an Actuality' really to an
astonishing extent.

For those were rugged stalwart ages;  full of earnestness, of a
rude God's-truth:--nay, at any rate, their _quilting_ was so
unspeakably _thinner_ than ours;  Fact came swiftly on them, if
at any time they had yielded to Phantasm!  'The Knaves and
Dastards' had to be 'arrested' in some measure;  or the world,
almost within year and day, found that it could not live.  The
Knaves and Dastards accordingly were got arrested.  Dastards upon
the very throne had to be got arrested, and taken off the
throne,--by such methods as there were;  by the roughest method,
if there chanced to be no smoother one!  Doubtless there was much
harshness of operation, much severity;  as indeed government and
surgery are often somewhat severe.  Gurth born thrall of Cedric,
it is like;  got cuffs as often as pork-parings, if he
misdemeaned himself;  but Gurth did belong to Cedric:  no human
creature then went about connected with nobody;  left to go his
ways into Bastilles or worse, under _Laissez-faire;_  reduced to
prove his relationship by dying of typhus-fever!--Days come when
there is no King in Israel, but every man is his own king, doing
that which is right in his own eyes;--and tarbarrels are burnt to
'Liberty,' 'Tenpound Franchise' and the like, with considerable
effect in various ways!--

That Feudal Aristocracy, I say, was no imaginary one.  To a
respectable degree, its _Jarls,_ what we now call Earls, were
_Strong-Ones_ in fact as well as etymology;  its Dukes _Leaders,_
its Lords _Law-wards._  They did all the Soldiering and Police of
the country, all the judging, Law-making, even the Church-
Extension;  whatsoever in the way of Governing, of Guiding and
Protecting could be done.  It was a Land Aristocracy;  it managed
the Governing of this English People, and had the reaping of the
Soil of England in return.  It is, in many senses, the Law of
Nature, this same Law of Feudalism;--no right Aristocracy but a
Land one!  The curious are invited to meditate upon it in these
days.  Soldiering, Police and Judging, Church-Extension, nay real
Government and Guidance, all this was actually _done_ by the
Holders of the Land in return for their Land.  How much of it is
now done by them;  done by anybody?  Good Heavens, "Laissez-
faire, Do ye nothing, eat your wages and sleep," is everywhere
the passionate half-wise cry of this time;  and they will not so
much as do nothing, but must do mere Corn-Laws!  We raise Fifty-
two millions, from the general mass of us, to get our Governing
done,--or, alas, to get ourselves persuaded that it is done:  and
the 'peculiar burden of the Land' is to pay, not all this, but to
pay, as I learn, one twenty-fourth part of all this.  Our first
Chartist Parliament, or Oliver _Redivivus,_ you would say, will
know where to lay the new taxes of England!--Or, alas, taxes?  If
we made the Holders of the Land pay every shilling still of the
expense of Governing the Land, what were all that?  The Land, by
mere hired Governors, cannot be got governed.  You cannot hire
men to govern the Land:  it is by a mission not contracted for in
the Stock-Exchange, but felt in their own hearts as coming out of
Heaven, that men can govern a Land.  The mission of a Land
Aristocracy is a sacred one, in both the senses of that old word.
The footing it stands on, at present, might give rise to thoughts
other than of Corn-Laws!--

But truly a 'Splendour of God,' as in William Conqueror's rough
oath, did dwell in those old rude veracious ages;  did inform,
more and more, with a heavenly nobleness, all departments of
their work and life.  Phantasms could not yet walk abroad in mere
Cloth Tailorage;  they were at least Phantasms 'on the rim of the
horizon,' pencilled there by an eternal Light-beam from within.
A most 'practical' Hero-worship went on, unconsciously or half-
consciously, everywhere.  A Monk Samson, with a maximum of two
shillings in his pocket, could, without ballot-box, be made a
Viceking of, being seen to be worthy.  The difference between a
good man and a bad man was as yet felt to be, what it forever is,
an immeasurable one.  Who _durst_ have elected a Pandarus Dog-
draught, in those days, to any office, Carlton Club, Senatorship,
or place whatsoever?  It was felt that the arch Satanas and no
other had a clear right of property in Pandarus;  that it were
better for you to have no hand in Pandarus, to keep out of
Pandarus his neighbourhood!  Which is, to this hour, the mere
fact;  though for the present, alas, the forgotten fact.  I think
they were comparatively blessed times those, in their way!
'Violence,' 'war,' 'disorder:'  well, what is war, and death
itself, to such a perpetual life-in-death, and 'peace and peace
where there is no peace!'  Unless some Hero-worship, in its new
appropriate form, can return, this world does not promise to be
very habitable long.

Old Anselm, exiled Archbishop of Canterbury, one of the purest-
minded 'men of genius,' was traveling to make his appeal to Rome
against King Rufus,--a man of rough ways, in whom the 'inner
Light-beam' shone very fitfully.  It is beautiful to read, in
Monk Eadmer, how the Continental populations welcomed and
venerated this Anselm, as no French population now venerates
Jean-Jacques or giant-killing Voltaire;  as not even an American
population now venerates a Schnuspel the distinguished Novelist!
They had, by phantasy and true insight, the intensest conviction
that a God's Blessing dwelt in this Anselm,--as is my conviction
too.  They crowded round, with bent knees and enkindled hearts,
to receive his blessing, to hear his voice, to see the light of
his face.  My blessings on them and on him!--But the notablest
was a certain necessitous or covetous Duke of Burgundy, in
straitened circumstances we shall hope,--who reflected that in
all likelihood this English Archbishop, going towards Rome to
appeal, must have taken store of cash with him to bribe the
Cardinals.  Wherefore he of Burgundy, for his part, decided to
lie in wait and rob him.  'In an open space of a wood,' some
'wood' then green and growing, eight centuries ago, in Burgundian
Land,--this fierce Duke, with fierce steel followers, shaggy,
savage, as the Russian Bear, dashes out on the weak old Anselm;
who is riding along there, on his small quiet-going pony;
escorted only by Eadmer and another poor Monk on ponies;  and,
except small modicum of roadmoney, not a gold coin in his
possession.  The steelclad Russian Bear emerges, glaring:  the
old whitebearded man starts not,--paces on unmoved, looking into
him with those clear old earnest eyes, with that venerable
sorrowful time-worn face;  of whom no man or thing need be
afraid, and who also is afraid of no created man or thing.  The
fire-eyes of his Burgundian Grace meet these clear eye-glances,
convey them swift to his heart:  he bethinks him that probably
this feeble, fearless, hoary Figure has in it something of the
Most High God;  that probably he shall be damned if he meddle
with it,--that, on the whole, he had better not.  He plunges, the
rough savage, from his warhorse, down to his knees;  embraces the
feet of old Anselm:  he too begs his blessing;  orders men to
escort him, guard him from being robbed, and under dread
penalties see him safe on his way.  _Per os Dei,_ as his Majesty
was wont to ejaculate!

Neither is this quarrel of Rufus and Anselm, of Henry and Becket,
uninstructive to us.  It was, at bottom, a great quarrel.  For,
admitting that Anselm was full of divine blessing, he by no means
included in him all forms of divine blessing:--there were far
other forms withal, which he little dreamed of;  and William
Redbeard was unconsciously the representative and spokesman of
these.  In truth, could your divine Anselm, your divine Pope
Gregory have had their way, the results had been very notable.
Our Western World had all become a European Thibet, with one
Grand Lama sitting at Rome;  our one honourable business that of
singing mass, all day and all night.  Which would not in the
least have suited us!  The Supreme Powers willed it not so.

It was as if King Redbeard unconsciously, addressing Anselm,
Becket and the others, had said:  "Right Reverend, your Theory of
the Universe is indisputable by man or devil.  To the core of our
heart we feel that this divine thing, which you call Mother
Church, does fill the whole world hitherto known, and is and
shall be all our salvation and all our desire.  And yet--and yet
--Behold, though it is an unspoken secret, the world is _wider_
than any of us think, Right Reverend!  Behold, there are yet
other immeasurable Sacrednesses in this that you call Heathenism,
Secularity!  On the whole I, in an obscure but most rooted
manner, feel that I cannot comply with you.  Western Thibet and
perpetual mass-chanting,--No. I am, so to speak, in the family-
way;  with child, of I know not what,--certainly of something far
different from this!  I have--_Per os Dei,_ I have Manchester
Cotton-trades, Bromwicham Iron-trades, American Commonwealths,
Indian Empires, Steam Mechanisms and Shakspeare Dramas, in my
belly;  and cannot do it, Right Reverend!"--So accordingly it was
decided: and Saxon Becket spilt his life in Canterbury Cathedral,
as Scottish Wallace did on Tower-Hill, and as generally a noble
man and martyr has to do,--not for nothing;  no, but for a divine
something, other than _he_ had altogether calculated.  We will
now quit this of the hard, organic, but limited Feudal Ages;  and
glance timidly into the immense Industrial Ages, as yet all
inorganic, and in a quite pulpy condition, requiring desperately
to harden themselves into some organism!


Our Epic having now become _Tools and the Man,_ it is more than
usually impossible to prophesy the Future.  The boundless Future
does lie there, predestined, nay already extant though unseen;
hiding, in its Continents of Darkness, 'good hap and sorrow:'
but the supremest intelligence of man cannot prefigure much of
it:--the united intelligence and effort of All Men in all coming
generations, this alone will gradually prefigure it, and figure
and form it into a seen fact!  Straining our eyes hitherto, the
utmost effort of intelligence sheds but some most glimmering
dawn, a little way into its dark enormous Deeps:  only huge
outlines loom uncertain on the sight;  and the ray of prophecy,
at a short distance, expires.  But may we not say, here as
always, Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof!  To shape the
whole Future is not our problem;  but only to shape faithfully a
small part of it, according to rules already known.  It is
perhaps possible for each of us, who will with due earnestness
inquire, to ascertain clearly what he, for his own part, ought to
do:  this let him, with true heart, do, and continue doing.  The
general issue will, as it has always done, rest well with a
Higher Intelligence than ours.

One grand 'outline,' or even two, many earnest readers may
perhaps, at this stage of the business, be able to prefigure for
themselves,--and draw some guidance from.  One prediction, or
even two, are already possible.  For the Life-tree Igdrasil, in
all its new developments, is the selfsame world-old Life-tree:
having found an element or elements there, running from the very
roots of it in Hela's Realms, in the Well of Mimer and of the
Three Nornas or TIMES, up to this present hour of it in our own
hearts, we conclude that such will have to continue.  A man has,
in his own soul, an Eternal;  can read something of the Eternal
there, if he will look!  He already knows what will continue;
what cannot, by any means or appliance whatsoever, be made
to continue!

One wide and widest 'outline' ought really, in all ways, to be
becoming clear to us;  this namely:  That a 'Splendour of God,'
in one form or other, will have to unfold itself from the heart
of these our Industrial Ages too;  or they will never get
themselves 'organised;'  but continue chaotic, distressed,
distracted evermore, and have to perish in frantic suicidal
dissolution.  A second 'outline' or prophecy, narrower, but also
wide enough, seems not less certain:  That there will again _be_
a King in Israel;  a system of Order and Government;  and every
man shall, in some measure, see himself constrained to do that
which is right in the King's eyes.  This too we may call a sure
element of the Future;  for this too is of the Eternal;--this too
is of the Present, though hidden from most;  and without it no
fibre of the Past ever was.  An actual new Sovereignty,
Industrial Aristocracy, real not imaginary Aristocracy, is
indispensable and indubitable for us.

But what an Aristocracy;  on what new, far more complex and
cunningly devised conditions than that old Feudal fighting one!
For we are to bethink us that the Epic verily is not _Arms and
the Man,_ but _Tools and the Man,_--an infinitely wider kind of
Epic.  And again we are to bethink us that men cannot now be
bound to men by _brass-collars,_--not at all:  that this brass-
collar method, in all figures of it, has vanished out of Europe
forevermore!  Huge Democracy, walking the streets everywhere in
its Sack Coat, has asserted so much;  irrevocably, brooking no
reply!  True enough, man _is_ forever the 'born thrall' of
certain men, born master of certain other men, born equal of
certain others, let him acknowledge the fact or not.  It is
unblessed for him when he cannot acknowledge this fact;  he is in
the chaotic state, ready to perish, till he do get the fact
acknowledged.  But no man is, or can henceforth be, the brass-
collar thrall of any man;  you will have to bind him by other,
far nobler and cunninger methods.  Once for all, he is to be
loose of the brass-collar, to have a scope as wide as his
faculties now are:--will he not be all the usefuler to you, in
that new state?  Let him go abroad as a trusted one, as a free
one;  and return home to you with rich earnings at night!  Gurth
could only tend pigs;  this one will build cities, conquer waste
worlds.--How, in conjunction with inevitable Democracy,
indispensable Sovereignty is to exist:  certainly it is the
hugest question ever heretofore propounded to Mankind!  The
solution of which is work for long years and centuries.  Years
and centuries, of one knows not what complexion;--blessed or
unblessed, according as they shall, with earnest valiant effort,
make progress therein, or, in slothful unveracity and
dilettantism, only talk of making progress.  For either progress
therein, or swift and ever swifter progress towards dissolution,
is henceforth a necessity.


It is of importance that this grand reformation were begun;  that
Corn-Law Debatings and other jargon, little less than delirious
in such a time, had fled far away, and left us room to begin!
For the evil has grown practical, extremely conspicuous;  if it
be not seen and provided for, the blindest fool will have to feel
it ere long.  There is much that can wait;  but there is
something also that cannot wait.  With millions of eager Working
Men imprisoned in 'Impossibility' and Poor-Law Bastilles, it is
time that some means of dealing with them were trying to become
'possible!'  Of the Government of England, of all articulate-
speaking functionaries, real and imaginary Aristocracies, of me
and of thee, it is imperatively demanded, "How do you mean to
manage these men?  Where are they to find a supportable
existence?  What is to become of them,--and of you!"



Chapter II

Bribery Committee


In the case of the late Bribery Committee, it seemed to be the
conclusion of the soundest practical minds that Bribery could not
be put down;  that Pure Election was a thing we had seen the last
of, and must now go on without, as we best could.  A conclusion
not a little startling;  to which it requires a practical mind of
some seasoning to reconcile yourself at once!  It seems, then, we
are henceforth to get ourselves constituted Legislators not
according to what merit we may have, or even what merit we may
seem to have, but according to the length of our purse, and our
frankness, impudence and dexterity in laying out the contents of
the same.  Our theory, written down in all books and law-books,
spouted forth from all barrel-heads, is perfect purity of
Tenpound Franchise, absolute sincerity of question put and answer
given;--and our practice is irremediable bribery;  irremediable,
unpunishable, which you will do more harm than good by attempting
to punish!  Once more, a very startling conclusion indeed;
which, whatever the soundest practical minds in parliament
may think of it, invites all British men to meditations of
various kinds.

A Parliament, one would say, which proclaims itself elected and
eligible by bribery, tells the Nation that is governed by it a
piece of singular news.  Bribery:  have we reflected what bribery
is?  Bribery means not only length of purse, which is neither
qualification nor the contrary for legislating well;  but it
means dishonesty, and even impudent dishonesty;--brazen
insensibility to lying and to making others lie;  total oblivion,
and flinging overboard, for the nonce, of any real thing you can
call veracity, morality;  with dexterous putting on the cast-
clothes of that real thing, and strutting about in them!  What
Legislating can you get out of a man in that fatal situation?
Nonce that will profit much, one would think!  A Legislator who
has left his veracity lying on the door threshold, he, why verily
_he_--ought to be sent out to seek it again!

Heavens, what an improvement, were there once fairly, in Downing-
street, an Election-Office opened, with a Tariff of Boroughs!
Such and such a population, amount of property-tax, ground-
rental, extent of trade;  returns two Members, returns one
Member, for so much money down:  Ipswich so many thousands,
Nottingham so many,--as they happened, one by one, to fall into
this new Downing-street Schedule A!  An incalculable improvement,
in comparison:  for now at least you have it fairly by length of
purse, and leave the dishonesty, the impudence, the unveracity
all handsomely aside.  Length of purse and desire to be a
Legislator ought to get a man into Parliament, not with, but if
possible _without_ the unveracity, the impudence and the
dishonesty!  Length of purse and desire, these are, as intrinsic
qualifications, correctly equal to zero;  but they are not yet
less than zero,--as the smallest addition of that latter sort
will make them!

And is it come to this?  And does our venerable Parliament
announce itself elected and eligible in this manner?  Surely such
a Parliament promulgates strange horoscopes of itself.  What is
to become of a Parliament elected or eligible in this manner?
Unless Belial and Beelzebub have got possession of the throne of
this Universe, such Parliament is preparing itself for new
Reform-bills.  We shall have to try it by Chartism, or any
conceivable _ism,_ rather than put up with this!  There is
already in England 'religion' enough to get six hundred and
fifty-eight Consulting Men brought together who do _not_ begin
work with a lie in their mouth.  Our poor old Parliament,
thousands of years old, is still good for something, for several
things;--though many are beginning to ask, with ominous anxiety,
in these days:  For what thing?  But for whatever thing and
things Parliament be good, indisputably it must start with other
than a lie in its mouth!  On the Whole, a Parliament working with
a lie in its mouth, will have to take itself away.  To no
Parliament or thing, that one has heard of, did this Universe
ever long yield harbour on that footing.  At all hours of the day
and night, some Chartism is advancing, some armed Cromwell is
advancing, to apprise such Parliament:  "Ye are no Parliament.
In the name of God,--go!"

In sad truth, once more, how is our whole existence, in these
present days, built on Cant, Speciosity, Falsehood, Dilettantism;
with this one serious Veracity in it:  Mammonism!  Dig down where
you will, through the Parliament-floor or elsewhere, how
infallibly do you, at spade's depth below the surface, come upon
this universal _Liars_-rock substratum!  Much else is ornamental;
true on barrel-heads, in pulpits, hustings, Parliamentary
benches;  but this is forever true and truest:  "Money does bring
money's worth;  Put money in your purse."  Here, if nowhere else,
is the human soul still in thorough earnest;  sincere with a
prophet's sincerity:  and 'the Hell of the English,' as Sauerteig
said, 'is the infinite terror of Not getting on, especially of
Not making money.'  With results!


To many persons the horoscope of Parliament is more interesting
than to me:  but surely all men with souls must admit that
sending members to Parliament by bribery is an infamous solecism;
an act entirely immoral, which no man can have to do with, more
or less, but he will soil his fingers more or less.  No Carlton
Clubs, Reform Clubs, nor any sort of clubs or creatures, or of
accredited opinions or practices, can make a Lie Truth, can make
Bribery a Propriety.  The Parliament should really either punish
and put away Bribery, or legalise it by some Office in Downing-
street.  As I read the Apocalypses, a Parliament that can do
neither of these things is not in a good way.--And yet, alas,
what of Parliaments and their Elections?  Parliamentary Elections
are but the topmost ultimate outcome of an electioneering which
goes on at all hours, in all places, in every meeting of two or
more men.  It is _we_ that vote wrong, and teach the poor ragged
Freemen of Boroughs to vote wrong.  We pay respect to those
worthy of no respect.

Is not Pandarus Dogdraught a member of select clubs, and admitted
into the drawingrooms of men?  Visibly to all persons he is of
the offal of Creation;  but he carries money in his purse, due
lacker on his dog-visage, and it is believed will not steal
spoons.  The human species does not with one voice, like the
Hebrew Psalmist, 'shun to sit' with Dogdraught, refuse totally to
dine with Dogdraught;  men called of honour are willing enough to
dine with him, his talk being lively, and his champagne
excellent.  We say to ourselves, "The man is in good society,"--
others have already voted for him;  why should not I?  We
_forget_ the indefeasible right of property that Satan has in
Dogdraught,--we are not afraid to be near Dogdraught!  It is we
that vote wrong;  blindly, nay with falsity prepense!  It is we
that no longer know the difference between Human Worth and Human
Unworth;  or feel that the one is admirable and alone admirable,
the other detestable, damnable!  How shall _we_ find out a Hero
and Viceking Samson with a maximum of two shillings in his
pocket?  We have no chance to do such a thing.  We have got out
of the Ages of Heroism, deep into the Ages of Flunkeyism,--and
must return or die.  What a noble set of mortals are we, who,
because there is no Saint Edmund threatening us at the rim of the
horizon, are not afraid to be whatever, for the day and hour, is
smoothest for us!

And now, in good sooth, why should an indigent discerning Freeman
give his vote without bribes?  Let us rather honour the poor man
that he does discern clearly wherein lies, for him, the true
kernel of the matter.  What is it to the ragged grimy Freeman of
a Tenpound-Franchise Borough, whether Aristides Rigmarole Esq. of
the Destructive, or the Hon. Alcides Dolittle of the Conservative
Party be sent to Parliament;--much more, whether the two-
thousandth part of them be sent, for that is the amount of his
faculty in it?  Destructive or Conservative, what will either of
them destroy or conserve of vital moment to this Freeman?  Has he
found either of them care, at bottom, a sixpence for him or his
interests, or those of his class or of his cause, or of any class
or cause that is of much value to God or to man?  Rigmarole and
Dolittle have alike cared for themselves hitherto;  and for their
own clique, and self-conceited crotchets,--their greasy dishonest
interests of pudding, or windy dishonest interests of praise;
and not very perceptibly for any other interest whatever.
Neither Rigmarole nor Dolittle will accomplish any good or any
evil for this grimy Freeman, like giving him a five-pound note,
or refusing to give it him.  It will be smoothest to vote
according to value received.  That is the veritable fact;  and he
indigent, like others that are not indigent, acts conformably
thereto.

Why, reader, truly, if they asked thee or me, Which way we meant
to vote?--were it not our likeliest answer:  Neither way!  I, as
a Tenpound Franchiser, will receive no bribe;  but also I will
not vote for either of these men.  Neither Rigmarole nor Dolittle
shall, by furtherance of mine, go and make laws for this country.
I will have no hand in such a mission. How dare I!  If other men
cannot be got in England, a totally other sort of men, different
as light is from dark, as star-fire is from street-mud, what is
the use of votings, or of Parliaments in England?  England ought
to resign herself;  there is no hope or possibility for England.
If England cannot get her Knaves and Dastards 'arrested,' in
some degree, but only get them 'elected,' what is to become
of England?

I conclude, with all confidence, that England will verily have to
put an end to briberies on her Election Hustings and elsewhere,
at what cost soever;--and likewise that we, Electors and
Eligibles, one and all of us, for our own behoof and hers, cannot
too soon begin, at what cost soever, to put an end to
_bribeabilities_ in ourselves.  The death-leprosy, attacked in
this manner, by purifying lotions from without, and by rallying
of the vital energies and purities from within, will probably
abate somewhat!  It has otherwise no chance to abate.



Chapter III

The One Institution


What our Government can do in this grand Problem of the Working
Classes of England?  Yes, supposing the insane Corn-Laws totally
abolished, all speech of them ended, and 'from ten to twenty
years of new possibility to live and find wages' conceded us in
consequence:  What the English Government might be expected to
accomplish or attempt towards rendering the existence of our
Labouring Millions somewhat less anomalous, somewhat less
impossible, in the years that are to follow those 'ten or
twenty,' if either 'ten' or 'twenty' there be?

It is the most momentous question.  For all this of the Corn-Law
Abrogation, and what can follow therefrom, is but as the shadow
on King Hezekiah's Dial:  the shadow has gone back twenty years;
but will again, in spite of Free-Trades and Abrogations, travel
forward its old fated way.  With our present system of individual
Mammonism, and Government by Laissez-faire, this Nation cannot
live.  And if, in the priceless interim, some new life and
healing be not found, there is no second respite to be counted
on.  The shadow on the Dial advances thenceforth without pausing.
What Government can do?  This that they call 'Organising of
Labour' is, if well understood, the Problem of the whole Future,
for all who will in future pretend to govern men.  But our first
preliminary stage of it, How to deal with the Actual Labouring
Millions of England? this is the imperatively pressing Problem of
the Present, pressing with a truly fearful intensity and
imminence in these very years and days.  No Government can longer
neglect it:  once more, what can our Government do in it?


Governments are of various degrees of activity:  some, altogether
Lazy Governments, in 'free countries' as they are called, seem in
these times almost to profess to do, if not nothing, one knows
not at first what.  To debate in Parliament, and gain majorities;
and ascertain who shall be, with a toil hardly second to Ixion's,
the Prime Speaker and Spoke-holder, and keep the Ixion's-Wheel
going, if not forward, yet round?  Not altogether so:--much, to
the experienced eye, is not what it seems!  Chancery and certain
other Law-Courts seem nothing;  yet in fact they are, the worst
of them, something:  chimneys for the devilry and contention of
men to escape by;--a very considerable something!--Parliament too
has its tasks, if thou wilt look;  fit to wear out the lives of
toughest men.  The celebrated Kilkenny Cats, through their
tumultuous congress, cleaving the ear of Night, could they be
said to do nothing?  Hadst thou been of them, thou hadst seen!
The feline heart laboured, as with steam up-to the bursting
point;  and death-doing energy nerved every muscle:  they had a
work there;  and did it!  On the morrow, two tails were found
left, and peaceable annihilation;  a neighbourhood _delivered_
from despair.

Again, are not Spinning-Dervishes an eloquent emblem, significant
of much?  Hast thou noticed him, that solemn-visaged Turk, the
eyes shut;  dingy wool mantle circularly hiding his figure;--
bell-shaped;  like a dingy bell set spinning on the _tongue_ of
it?  By centrifugal force the dingy wool mantle heaves itself;
spreads more and more, like upturned cup widening into upturned
saucer:  thus spins he, to the praise of Allah and advantage of
mankind, fast and faster, till collapse ensue, and sometimes
death!--

A Government such as ours, consisting of from seven to eight
hundred Parliamentary Talkers, with their escort of Able Editors
and Public Opinion;  and for head, certain Lords and Servants of
the Treasury, and Chief Secretaries and others, who find
themselves at once Chiefs and No-Chiefs, and often commanded
rather than commanding,--is doubtless a most complicate entity,
and none of the alertest for getting on with business!  Clearly
enough, if the Chiefs be not self-motive and what we call men,
but mere patient lay-figures without self-motive principle, the
Government will not move anywhither;  it will tumble
disastrously, and jumble, round its own axis, as for many years
past we have seen it do.--And yet a self-motive man who is not a
lay-figure, place him in the heart of what entity you may, will
make it move more or less!  The absurdest in Nature he will make
a little _less_ absurd;  he.  The unwieldiest he will make to
move;--that is the use of his existing there.  He will at least
have the manfulness to depart out of it, if not; to say:  "I
cannot move in thee, and be a man;  like a wretched drift-log
dressed in man's clothes and minister's clothes, doomed to a lot
baser than belongs to man, I will not continue with thee,
tumbling aimless on the Mother of Dead Dogs here:--Adieu!"

For, on the whole, it is the lot of Chiefs everywhere, this same.
No Chief in the most despotic country but was a Servant withal;
at once an absolute commanding General, and a poor Orderly-
Sergeant, ordered by the very men in the ranks,--obliged to
collect the vote of the ranks too, in some articulate or
inarticulate shape, and weigh well the same.  The proper name of
all Kings is Minister, Servant.  In no conceivable Government can
a lay-figure get forward!  _This_ Worker, surely he above all
others has to 'spread out his Gideon's Fleece,' and collect the
monitions of Immensity;  the poor Localities, as we said, and
parishes of Palace-yard or elsewhere, having no due monition in
them.  A Prime Minister, even here in England, who shall dare
believe the heavenly omens, and address himself like a man and
hero to the great dumb-struggling heart of England;  and speak
out for it, and act out for it, the God's-justice it is writhing
to get uttered and perishing for want of,--yes, he too will see
awaken round him, in passionate burning all-defiant loyalty, the
heart of England, and such a 'support' as no Division-List or
Parliamentary Majority was ever yet known to yield a man!  Here
as there, now as then, he who can and dare trust the heavenly
Immensities, all earthly Localities are subject to him.  We will
pray for such a Man and First-Lord;--yes, and far better, we will
strive and incessantly make ready, each of us, to be worthy to
serve and second such a First-Lord!  We shall then be as good
as sure of his arriving;  sure of many things, let him arrive
or not.


Who can despair of Governments that passes a Soldiers'
Guardhouse, or meets a redcoated man on the streets!  That a body
of men could be got together to kill other men when you bade
them:  this, _a priori,_ does it not seem one of the impossiblest
things?  Yet look, behold it: in the stolidest of Donothing
Governments, that impossibility is a thing done.  See it there,
with buff-belts, red coats on its back;  walking sentry at
guardhouses, brushing white breeches in barracks;  an
indisputable palpable fact.  Out of grey Antiquity, amid all
finance-difficulties, _scaccarium_-tallies, ship-monies, coat-
and-conduct monies, and vicissitudes of Chance and Time, there,
down to the present blessed hour, it is.

Often, in these painfully decadent and painfully nascent Times,
with their distresses, inarticulate gaspings and
'impossibilities;'  meeting a tall Lifeguardsmans in his snow-
white trousers, or seeing those two statuesque Lifeguardsmen in
their frowning bearskins, pipe-clayed buckskins, on their coal-
black sleek-fiery quadrupeds, riding sentry at the Horse-
Guards,'--it strikes one with a kind of mournful interest, how,
in such universal down-rushing and wrecked impotence of almost
all old institutions, this oldest Fighting Institution is still
so young!  Fresh-complexioned, firm-limbed, six feet by the
standard, this fighting-man has verily been got up, and can
fight.  While so much has not yet got into being;  while so much
has gone gradually out of it, and become an empty Semblance or
Clothes-suit;  and highest king's-cloaks, mere chimeras parading
under them so long, are getting unsightly to the earnest eye,
unsightly, almost offensive, like a costlier kind of scarecrow's-
blanket,--here still is a reality!

The man in horsehair wig advances, promising that he will get me
'justice:'  he takes me into Chancery Law-Courts, into decades,
half-centuries of hubbub, of distracted jargon;  and does get
me--disappointment, almost desperation;  and one refuge:  that of
dismissing him and his 'justice' altogether out of my head.  For
I have work to do;  I cannot spend my decades in mere arguing
with other men about the exact wages of my work:  I will work
cheerfully with no wages, sooner than with a ten-years gangrene
or Chancery Lawsuit in my heart!  He of the horsehair wig is a
sort of failure;  no substance, but a fond imagination of the
mind.  He of the shovel-hat, again, who comes forward professing
that he will save my soul--O ye Eternities, of him in this place
be absolute silence!--But he of the red coat, I say, is a success
and no failure!  He will veritably, if he get orders, draw out a
long sword and kill me.  No mistake there.  He is a fact and not
a shadow.  Alive in this Year Forty-three, able and willing to do
his work.  In dim old centuries, with William Rufus, William of
Ipres, or far earlier, he began;  and has come down safe so far.
Catapult has given place to cannon, pike has given place to
musket, iron mail-shirt to coat of red cloth, saltpetre ropematch
to percussion cap;  equipments, circumstances have all changed,
and again changed:  but the human battle-engine, in the inside of
any or of each of these, ready still to do battle, stands there,
six feet in standard size.  There are Pay-Offices, Woolwich
Arsenals, there is a Horse-Guards, War-Office, Captain-General;
persuasive Sergeants, with tap of drum, recruit in market-towns
and villages;--and, on the whole, I say, here is your actual
drilled fightingman;  here are your actual Ninety-thousand of
such, ready to go into any quarter of the world and fight!

Strange, interesting, and yet most mournful to reflect on.  Was
this, then, of all the things mankind had some talent for, the
one thing important to learn well, and bring to perfection;  this
of, successfully killing one another?  Truly you have learned it
well, and carried the business to a high perfection.  It is
incalculable what, by arranging, commanding and regimenting, you
can make of men.  These thousand straight-standing firm-set
individuals, who shoulder arms, who march, wheel, advance,
retreat;  and are, for your behoof, a magazine charged with fiery
death, in the most perfect condition of potential activity:  few
months ago, till the persuasive sergeant came, what were they?
Multiform ragged losels, runaway apprentices, starved weavers,
thievish valets;  an entirely broken population, fast tending
towards the treadmill.  But the persuasive sergeant came;  by tap
of drum enlisted, or formed lists of them, took heartily to
drilling them;--and he and you have made them this!  Most potent,
effectual for all work whatsoever, is wise planning, firm
combining and commanding among men.  Let no man despair of
Governments who looks on these two sentries at the Horse-Guards,
and our United-Service Clubs!  I could conceive an Emigration
Service, a Teaching Service, considerable varieties of United and
Separate Services, of the due thousands strong, all effective as
this Fighting Service is;  all doing _their_ work, like it;--
which work, much more than fighting, is henceforth the necessity
of these New Ages we are got into!  Much lies among us,
convulsively, nigh desperately _struggling to be born._

But mean Governments, as mean-limited individuals do, have stood
by the physically indispensable;  have realised that and nothing
more.  The Soldier is perhaps one of the most difficult things to
realise;  but Governments, had they not realised him, could not
have existed:  accordingly he is here.  O Heavens, if we saw an
army ninety-thousand strong, maintained and fully equipt, in
continual real action and battle against Human Starvation,
against Chaos, Necessity, Stupidity, and our real 'natural
enemies,' what a business were it!  Fighting and molesting not
'the French,' who, poor men, have a hard enough battle of their
own in the like kind, and need no additional molesting from us;
but fighting and incessantly spearing down and destroying
Falsehood, Nescience, Delusion, Disorder, and the Devil and his
Angels!  Thou thyself, cultivated reader, hast done something in
that alone true warfare;  but, alas, under what circumstances was
it?  Thee no beneficent drill-sergeant, with any effectiveness,
would rank in line beside thy fellows;  train, like a true
didactic artist, by the wit of all past expedience, to do thy
soldiering;  encourage thee when right, punish thee when wrong,
and everywhere with wise word-of-command say, Forward on this
hand, Forward on that!  Ah, no:  thou hadst to learn thy small-
sword and platoon exercise where and how thou couldst;  to all
mortals but thyself it was indifferent whether thou shouldst ever
learn it.  And the rations, and shilling a day, were they
provided thee,--reduced as I have known brave Jean-Pauls,
learning their exercise, to live on 'water _without_ the bread?'
The rations;  or any furtherance of promotion to corporalship,
lance-corporalship, or due cato'-nine tails, with the slightest
reference to thy deserts, were not provided.  Forethought, even
as of a pipe-clayed drill-sergeant, did not preside over thee.
To corporalship, lance-corporalship, thou didst attain;  alas,
also to the halberts and cat:  but thy rewarder and punisher
seemed blind as the Deluge:  neither lancecorporalship, nor
even drummer's cat, because both appeared delirious, brought
thee due profit.

It was well, all this, we know;--and yet it was not well!  Forty
soldiers, I am told, will disperse the largest Spitalfields mob:
forty to ten-thousand, that is the proportion between drilled and
undrilled.  Much there is which cannot yet be organised in this
world;  but somewhat also which can, somewhat also which must.
When one thinks, for example, what Books are becoming for us,
what Operative Lancashires are become;  what a Fourth Estate, and
innumerable Virtualities not yet got to be Actualities are become
and becoming,--one sees Organisms enough in the dim huge Future;
and 'United Services' quite other than the redcoat one;  and
much, even in these years, struggling to be born!


Of Time-Bill, Factory-Bill and other such Bills the present
Editor has no authority to speak.  He knows not, it is for others
than he to know, in what specific ways it may be feasible to
interfere, with Legislation, between the Workers and the Master-
Workers;--knows only and sees, what all men are beginning to see,
that Legislative interference, and interferences not a few are
indispensable;  that as a lawless anarchy of supply-and-demand,
on market-wages alone, this province of things cannot longer be
left.  Nay interference has begun:  there are already Factory
Inspectors,--who seem to have no _lack_ of work.  Perhaps there
might be Mine-Inspectors too:--might there not be Furrowfield
Inspectors withal, and ascertain for us how on seven and sixpence
a week a human family does live!  Interference has begun;  it
must continue, must extensively enlarge itself, deepen and
sharpen itself.  Such things cannot longer be idly lapped in
darkness, and suffered to go on unseen:  the Heavens do see them;
the curse, not the blessing of the Heavens is on an Earth that
refuses to see them.

Again, are not Sanitary Regulations possible for a Legislature?
The old Romans had their Aediles;  who would, I think, in direct
contravention to supply-and-demand, have rigorously seen rammed
up into total abolition many a foul cellar in our Southwarks,
Saint-Gileses, and dark poison-lanes;  saying sternly, "Shall a
Roman man dwell there?"  The Legislature, at whatever cost of
consequences, would have had to answer, "God forbid!"--The
Legislature, even as it now is, could order all dingy
Manufacturing Towns to cease from their soot and darkness;  to
let in the blessed sunlight, the blue of Heaven, and become clear
and clean;  to burn their coal-smoke, namely, and make flame of
it.  Baths, free air, a wholesome temperature, ceilings twenty
feet high, might be ordained by Act of Parliament, in all
establishments licensed as Mills.  There are such Mills already
extant;--honour to the builders of them! The Legislature can say
to others:  Go ye and do likewise;  better if you can.

Every toiling Manchester, its smoke and soot all burnt, ought it
not, among so many world-wide conquests, to have a hundred acres
or so of free greenfield, with trees on it, conquered, for its
little children to disport in;  for its all-conquering workers to
take a breath of twilight air in?  You would say so!  A willing
Legislature could say so with effect.  A willing Legislature
could say very many things!  And to whatsoever 'vested interest,'
or such like, stood up, gainsaying merely, "I shall lose
profits,"--the willing Legislature would answer, "Yes, but my
sons and daughters will gain health, and life, and a soul."--
"What is to become of our Cotton-trade?" cried certain Spinners,
when the Factory-Bill was proposed;  "What is to become of our
invaluable Cotton-trade?"  The Humanity of England answered
steadfastly:  "Deliver me these rickety perishing souls of
infants, and let your Cotton-trade take its chance.  God Himself
commands the one thing;  not God especially the other thing.  We
cannot have prosperous Cotton-trades at the expense of keeping
the Devil a partner in them!"--

Bills enough, were the Corn-Law Abrogation Bill once passed, and
a Legislature willing!  Nay this one Bill, which lies yet
unenacted, a right Education Bill, is not this of itself the sure
parent of innumerable wise Bills,--wise regulations, practical
methods and proposals, gradually ripening towards the state of
Bills?  To irradiate with intelligence, that is to say, with
order, arrangement and all blessedness, the Chaotic,
Unintelligent:  how, except by educating, _can_ you-accomplish
this?  That thought, reflection, articulate utterance and
understanding be awakened in these individual million heads,
which are the atoms of your Chaos:  there is no other way of
illuminating any Chaos!  The sum-total of intelligence that is
found in it, determines the extent of order that is possible for
your Chaos,--the feasibility and rationality of what your Chaos
will dimly demand from you, and will gladly obey when proposed by
you!  It is an exact equation;  the one accurately measures the
other.--If the whole English People, during these 'twenty years
of respite,' be not educated, with at least schoolmaster's
educating, a tremendous responsibility, before God and men, will
rest somewhere!  How dare any man, especially a man calling
himself minister of God, stand up in any Parliament or place,
under any pretext or delusion, and for a day or an hour forbid
God's Light to come into the world, and bid the Devil's Darkness
continue in it one hour more!  For all light and science, under
all shapes, in all degrees of perfection, is of God;  all
darkness, nescience, is of the Enemy of God.  'The schoolmaster's
creed is somewhat awry?'  Yes, I have found few creeds entirely
correct;  few light-beams shining white, pure of admixture:  but
of all creeds and religions now or ever before known, was not
that of thoughtless thriftless Animalism, of Distilled Gin, and
Stupor and Despair, unspeakably the least orthodox?  We will
exchange it even with Paganism, with Fetishism;  and, on the
whole, must exchange it with something.

An effective 'Teaching Service' I do consider that there must be;
some Education Secretary, Captain-General of Teachers, who will
actually contrive to get us _taught._  Then again, why should
there not be an 'Emigration Service,' and Secretary, with
adjuncts, with funds, forces, idle Navy-ships, and ever-
increasing apparatus;  in fine an _effective system_ of
Emigration;  so that, at length, before our twenty years of
respite ended, every honest willing Workman who found England too
strait, and the 'Organisation of Labour' not yet sufficiently
advanced, might find likewise a bridge built to carry him into
new Western Lands, there to 'organise' with more elbow-room some
labour for himself?  There to be a real blessing, raising new
corn for us, purchasing new webs and hatchets from us;  leaving
us at least in peace;--instead of staying here to be a Physical-
Force Chartist, unblessed and no blessing!  Is it not scandalous
to consider that a Prime Minister could raise within the year, as
I have seen it done, a Hundred and Twenty Millions Sterling to
shoot the French;  and we are stopt short for want of the
hundredth part of that to keep the English living?  The bodies of
the English living;  and the souls of the English living:--these
two 'Services,' an Education Service and an Emigration Service,
these with others will actually have to be organised!

A free bridge for Emigrants:  why, we should then be on a par
with America itself, the most favoured of all lands that have no
government;  and we should have, besides, so many traditions and
mementos of priceless things which America has cast away.  We
could proceed deliberately to 'organise Labour,' not doomed to
perish unless we effected it within year and day;--every willing
Worker that proved superfluous, finding a bridge ready for him.
This verily will have to be done;  the Time is big with this.
Our little Isle is grown too narrow for us;  but the world is
wide enough yet for another Six Thousand Years.  England's sure
markets will be among new Colonies of Englishmen in all quarters
of the Globe.  All men trade with all men, when mutually
convenient;  and are even bound to do it by the Maker of men.
Our friends of China, who guiltily refused to trade, in these
circumstances,--had we not to argue with them, in cannon-shot at
last, and convince them that they ought to trade!  'Hostile
Tariffs' will arise, to shut us out;  and then again will fall,
to let us in:  but the Sons of England, speakers of the English
language were it nothing more, will in all times have the
ineradicable predisposition to trade with England.  Mycale was
the _Pan-Ionian,_ rendezvous of all the Tribes of Ion, for old
Greece:  why should not London long continue the _All-Saxon-
home,_ rendezvous of all the 'Children of the Harz-Rock,'
arriving, in select samples, from the Antipodes and elsewhere, by
steam and otherwise, to the 'season' here!--What a Future;  wide
as the world, if we have the heart and heroism for it,--which, by
Heaven's blessing, we shall:

'Keep not standing fixed and rooted,
Briskly venture, briskly roam;
Head and hand, where'er thou foot it,
And stout heart are still at home.

In what land the sun does visit,
Brisk are we, whate'er betide:
To give space for wandering is it
That the world was made so wide?' *

--------
* Goethe, _Wilhelm Meister_
--------

Fourteen hundred years ago, it was by a considerable 'Emigration
Service,' never doubt it, by much enlistment, discussion and
apparatus, that we ourselves arrived in this remarkable Island,--
and got into our present difficulties among others!


It is true the English Legislature, like the English People, is
of slow temper; essentially conservative.  In our wildest periods
of reform, in the Long Parliament itself, you notice always the
invincible instinct to hold fast by the Old;  to admit the
minimum of New;  to expand, if it be possible, some old habit or
method, already found fruitful, into new growth for the new need.
It is an instinct worthy of all honour;  akin to all strength and
all wisdom.  The Future hereby is not dissevered from the Past,
but based continuously on it;  grows with all the vitalities of
the Past, and is rooted down deep into the beginnings of us.  The
English Legislature is entirely repugnant to believe in 'new
epochs.'  The English Legislature does not occupy itself with
epochs;  has, indeed, other business to do than looking at the
Time-Horologe and hearing it tick!  Nevertheless new epochs do
actually come;  and with them new imperious peremptory
necessities;  so that even an English Legislature has to look up,
and admit, though with reluctance, that the hour has struck.  The
hour having struck, let us not say 'impossible:'--it will have to
be possible!  'Contrary to the habits of Parliament, the habits
of Government?'  Yes:  but did any Parliament or Government ever
sit in a Year Forty-three before?  One of the most original,
unexampled years and epochs;  in several important respects,
totally unlike any other!  For Time, all-edacious and all-
feracious, does run on:  and the Seven Sleepers, awakening hungry
after a hundred years, find that it is not their old nurses who
can now give them suck!

For the rest, let not any Parliament, Aristocracy, Millocracy, or
Member of the Governing Class, condemn with much triumph this
small specimen of 'remedial measures;' or ask again, with the
least anger, of this Editor, What is to be done, How that
alarming problem of the Working Classes is to be managed?
Editors are not here, foremost of all, to say How.  A certain
Editor thanks the gods that nobody pays him three hundred
thousand pounds a year, two hundred thousand, twenty thousand, or
any similar sum of cash for saying How;--that his wages are very
different, his work somewhat fitter for him.  An Editor's
stipulated work is to apprise thee that it must be done.  The
'way to do it,' is to try it, knowing that thou shalt die if it
be not done.  There is the bare back, there is the web of cloth;
thou shalt cut me a coat to cover the bare back, thou whose trade
it is.  'Impossible?'  Hapless Fraction, dost thou discern Fate
there, half unveiling herself in the gloom of the future, with
her gibbet-cords, her steel-whips, and very authentic Tailor's
Hell;  waiting to see whether it is 'possible?'  Out with thy
scissors, and cut that cloth or thy own windpipe!



Chapter IV

Captains of Industry


If I believed that Mammonism with its adjuncts was to continue
henceforth the one serious principle of our existence, I should
reckon it idle to solicit remedial measures from any Government,
the disease being insusceptible of remedy.  Government can do
much, but it can in no wise do all.  Government, as the most
conspicuous object in Society, is called upon to give signal of
what shall be done;  and, in many ways, to preside over, further,
and command the doing of it.  But the Government cannot do, by
all its signalling and commanding, what the Society is radically
indisposed to do.--In the long-run every Government is the exact
symbol of its People, with their wisdom and unwisdom;  we have to
say, Like People like Government.--The main substance of this
immense Problem of Organising Labour, and first of all of
Managing the Working Classes, will, it is very clear, have to be
solved by those who stand practically in the middle of it;  by
those who themselves work and preside over work.  Of all that can
be enacted by any Parliament in regard to it, the germs must
already lie potentially extant in those two Classes, who are to
obey such enactment.  A Human Chaos in which there is no light,
you vainly attempt to irradiate by light shed on it:  order never
can arise there.

But it is my firm conviction that the 'Hell of England' will
_cease_ to be that of 'not making money;'  that we shall get a
nobler Hell and a nobler Heaven!  I anticipate light _in_ the
Human Chaos, glimmering, shining more and more;   under manifold
true signals from without That light shall shine.  Our deity no
longer being Mammon,--O Heavens, each man will then say to
himself:  "Why such deadly haste to make money?  I shall not go
to Hell, even if I do not make money!  There is another Hell, I
am told!"  Competition, at railway-speed, in all branches of
commerce and work will then abate:--good felt-hats for the head,
in every sense, instead of seven-feet lath-and-plaster hats on
wheels, will then be discoverable!  Bubble-periods, with their
panics and commercial crises, will again become infrequent;
steady modest industry will take the place of gambling
speculation.  To be a noble Master, among noble Workers, will
again be the first ambition with some few;  to be a rich Master
only the second.  How the Inventive Genius of England, with the
whirr of its bobbins and billy-rollers shoved somewhat into the
backgrounds of the brain, will contrive and devise, not cheaper
produce exclusively, but fairer distribution of the produce at
its present cheapness!  By degrees, we shall again have a Society
with something of Heroism in it, something of Heaven's Blessing
on it;  we shall again have, as my German friend asserts,
'instead of Mammon-Feudalism with unsold cotton-shirts and
Preservation of the Game, noble just Industrialism and Government
by the Wisest!'

It is with the hope of awakening here and there a British man to
know himself for a man and divine soul, that a few words of
parting admonition, to all persons to whom the Heavenly Powers
have lent power of any kind in this land, may now be addressed.
And first to those same Master-Workers, Leaders of Industry;  who
stand nearest, and in fact powerfulest, though not most
prominent, being as yet in too many senses a Virtuality rather
than an Actuality.


The Leaders of Industry, if Industry is ever to be led, are
virtually the Captains of the World;  if there be no nobleness in
them, there will never be an Aristocracy more.  But let the
Captains of Industry consider:  once again, are they born of
other clay than the old Captains of Slaughter;  doomed forever to
be no Chivalry, but a mere gold-plated _Doggery,_--what the
French well name _Canaille,_ 'Doggery' with more or less gold
carrion at its disposal?  Captains of Industry are the true
Fighters, henceforth recognisable as the only true ones:
Fighters against Chaos, Necessity and the Devils and Jotuns;  and
lead on Mankind in that great, and alone true, and universal
warfare;  the stars in their courses fighting for them, and all
Heaven and all Earth saying audibly, Well-done!  Let the Captains
of Industry retire into their own hearts, and ask solemnly, If
there is nothing but vulturous hunger, for fine wines, valet
reputation and gilt carriages, discoverable there?  Of hearts
made by the Almighty God.

I will not believe such a thing.  Deep-hidden under wretchedest
god-forgetting Cants, Epicurisms, Dead-Sea Apisms;  forgotten as
under foulest fat Lethe mud and weeds, there is yet, in all
hearts born into this God's-World, a spark of the Godlike
slumbering.  Awake, O nightmare sleepers;  awake, arise, or be
forever fallen!  This is not playhouse poetry;  it is sober fact.
Our England, our world cannot live as it is.  It will connect
itself with a God again, or go down with nameless throes and
fire-consummation to the Devils.  Thou who feelest aught of such
a Godlike stirring in thee, any faintest intimation of it as
through heavy-laden dreams, follow it, I conjure thee.  Arise,
save thyself, be one of those that save thy country.

Bucaniers, Chactaw Indians, whose supreme aim in fighting is that
they may get the scalps, the money, that they may amass scalps
and money:  out of such came no Chivalry, and never will!  Out of
such came only gore and wreck, infernal rage and misery;
desperation quenched in annihilation.  Behold it, I bid thee,
behold there, and consider!  What is it that thou have a hundred
thousand-pound bills laid up in thy strong-room, a hundred scalps
hung up in thy wigwam?  I value not them or thee.  Thy scalps and
thy thousand-pound bills are as yet nothing, if no nobleness from
within irradiate them;  if no Chivalry, in action, or in embryo
ever struggling towards birth and action, be there.

Love of men cannot be bought by cash-payment;  and without love,
men cannot endure to be together.  You cannot lead a Fighting
World without having it regimented, chivalried:  the thing, in a
day, becomes impossible;  all men in it, the highest at first,
the very lowest at last, discern consciously, or by a noble
instinct, this necessity.  And can you any more continue to lead
a Working World unregimented, anarchic?  I answer, and the
Heavens and Earth are now answering, No!  The thing becomes not
'in a day' impossible;  but in some two generations it does.
Yes, when fathers and mothers, in Stockport hunger-cellars, begin
to eat their children, and Irish widows have to prove their
relationship by dying of typhus-fever;  and amid Governing
'Corporations of the Best and Bravest,' busy to preserve their
game by 'bushing,' dark millions of God's human creatures start
up in mad Chartisms, impracticable Sacred-Months, and Manchester
Insurrections;--and there is a virtual Industrial Aristocracy as
yet only half-alive, spellbound amid money-bags and ledgers;  and
an actual Idle Aristocracy seemingly near dead in somnolent
delusions, in trespasses and double-barrels;  'sliding,' as on
inclined-planes, which every new year they _soap_ with new
Hansard's-jargon under God's sky, and so are 'sliding' ever
faster, towards a 'scale' and balance-scale whereon is written
_Thou art found Wanting:_--in such days, after a generation or
two, I say, it does become, even to the low and simple, very
palpably impossible!  No Working World, any more than a Fighting
World, can be led on without a noble Chivalry of Work, and laws
and fixed rules which follow out of that,--far nobler than any
Chivalry of Fighting was.  As an anarchic multitude on mere
Supply-and-demand, it is becoming inevitable that we dwindle in
horrid suicidal convulsion, and self-abrasion, frightful to the
imagination, into _Chactaw_ Workers.  With wigwam and scalps,--
with palaces and thousand-pound bills;  with savagery,
depopulation, chaotic desolation!  Good Heavens, will not one
French Revolution and Reign of Terror suffice us, but must there
be two?  There will be two if needed;  there will be twenty if
needed;  there will be precisely as many as are needed.  The Laws
of Nature will have themselves fulfilled.  That is a thing
certain to me.

Your gallant battle-hosts and work-hosts, as the others did, will
need to be made loyally yours;  they must and will be regulated,
methodically secured in their just share of conquest under you;--
joined with you in veritable brotherhood, sonhood, by quite other
and deeper ties than those of temporary day's wages!  How would
mere redcoated regiments, to say nothing of chivalries, fight for
you, if you could discharge them on the evening of the battle, on
payment of the stipulated shillings,--and they discharge you on
the morning of it!  Chelsea Hospitals, pensions, promotions,
rigorous lasting covenant on the one side and on the other, are
indispensable even for a hired fighter.  The Feudal Baron, much
more,--how could he subsist with mere temporary mercenaries round
him, at sixpence a day;  ready to go over to the other side, if
sevenpence were offered?  He could not have subsisted;--and his
noble instinct saved him from the necessity of even trying!  The
Feudal Baron had a Man's Soul in him;  to which anarchy, mutiny,
and the other fruits of temporary mercenaries, were intolerable:
he had never been a Baron otherwise, but had continued a Chactaw
and Bucanier.  He felt it precious, and at last it became
habitual, and his fruitful enlarged existence included it as a
necessity, to have men round him who in heart loved him;  whose
life he watched over with rigour yet with love;  who were
prepared to give their life for him, if need came.  It was
beautiful;  it was human!  Man lives not otherwise, nor can live
contented, anywhere or anywhen.  Isolation is the sum-total of
wretchedness to man.  To be cut off, to be left solitary:  to
have a world alien, not your world;  all a hostile camp for you;
not a home at all, of hearts and faces who are yours, whose you
are!  It is the frightfulest enchantment;  too truly a work of
the Evil One.  To have neither superior, nor inferior, nor equal,
united manlike to you.  Without father, without child, without
brother.  Man knows no sadder destiny.  'How is each of us,'
exclaims Jean Paul, 'so lonely, in the wide bosom of the All!'
Encased each as in his transparent 'ice-palace;'  our brother
visible in his, making signals and gesticulations to us;--
visible, but forever unattainable:  on his bosom we shall never
rest, nor he on ours.  It was not a God that did this; no!

Awake, ye noble Workers, warriors in the one true war:  all this
must be remedied.  It is you who are already half-alive, whom I
will welcome into life;  whom I will conjure in God's name to
shake off your enchanted sleep, and live wholly!  Cease to count
scalps, gold-purses;  not in these lies your or our salvation.
Even these, if you count only these, will not long be left.  Let
bucaniering be put far from you;  alter, speedily abrogate all
laws of the bucaniers, if you would gain any victory that shall
endure.  Let God's justice, let pity, nobleness and manly valour,
with more gold-purses or with fewer, testify themselves in this
your brief Life-transit to all the Eternities, the Gods and
Silences.  It is to you I call;  for ye are not dead, ye are
already half-alive:  there is in you a sleepless dauntless
energy, the prime-matter of all nobleness in man.  Honour to you
in your kind.  It is to you I call:  ye know at least this, That
the mandate of God to His creature man is:  Work!  The future
Epic of the World rests not with those that are near dead, but
with those that are alive, and those that are coming into life.

Look around you.  Your world-hosts are all in mutiny, in
confusion, destitution;  on the eve of fiery wreck and madness!
They will not march farther for you, on the sixpence a day and
supply-and-demand principle:  they will not;  nor ought they, nor
can they.  Ye shall reduce them to order, begin reducing them.
To order, to just subordination;  noble loyalty in return for
noble guidance.  Their souls are driven nigh mad;  let yours be
sane and ever saner.  Not as a bewildered bewildering mob;  but
as a firm regimented mass, with real captains over them, will
these men march any more.  All human interests, combined human
endeavours, and social growths in this world, have, at a certain
stage of their development, required organising:  and Work, the
grandest of human interests, does now require it.

God knows, the task will be hard:  but no noble task was ever
easy.  This task will wear away your lives, and the lives of your
sons and grandsons:  but for what purpose, if not for tasks like
this, were lives given to men?  Ye shall cease to count your
thousand-pound scalps, the noble of you shall cease!  Nay the
very scalps, as I say, will not long be left if you count only
these.  Ye shall cease wholly to be barbarous vulturous Chactaws,
and become noble European Nineteenth-Century Men.  Ye shall know
that Mammon, in never such gigs and flunky 'respectabilities,' is
not the alone God;  that of himself he is but a Devil, and even
a Brute-god.

Difficult? Yes, it will be difficult.  The short-fibre cotton;
that too was difficult.  The waste cotton-shrub, long useless,
disobedient, as the thistle by the wayside,--have ye not
conquered it;  made it into beautiful bandana webs; white woven
shirts for men;  bright-tinted air-garments wherein flit
goddesses?  Ye have shivered mountains asunder, made the hard
iron pliant to you as soft putty:  the Forest-giants, Marsh-
jotuns bear sheaves of golden grain;  Aegir the Sea-demon himself
stretches his back for a sleek highway to you, and on Firehorses
and Windhorses ye career.  Ye are most strong.  Thor red-bearded,
with his blue sun-eyes, with his cheery heart and strong thunder-
hammer, he and you have prevailed.  Ye are most strong, ye Sons
of the icy North, of the far East,--far marching from your rugged
Eastern Wildernesses, hitherward from the grey Dawn of Time!  Ye
are Sons of the _Jotun_-land;  the land of Difficulties
Conquered.  Difficult?  You must try this thing.  Once try it
with the understanding that it will and shall have to be done.
Try it as ye try the paltrier thing, making of money!  I will bet
on you once more, against all Jotuns, Tailor-gods, Double-
barrelled Law-wards, and Denizens of Chaos whatsoever!



Chapter V

Permanence


Standing on the threshold, nay as yet outside the threshold, of a
'Chivalry of Labour,' and an immeasurable Future which it is to
fill with fruitfulness and verdant shade;  where so much has not
yet come even to the rudimental state, and all speech of positive
enactments were hasardous in those who know this business only by
the eye,--let us here hint at simply one widest universal
principle, as the basis from which all organisation hitherto has
grown up among men, and all henceforth will have to grow:  The
principle of Permanent Contract instead of Temporary.


Permanent not Temporary:--you do not hire the mere redcoated
fighter by the day, but by the score of years' Permanence,
persistance is the first condition of all fruitfulness in the
ways of men.  The 'tendency to persevere,' to persist in spite of
hindrances, discouragements and 'impossibilities:'  it is this
that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak;
the civilised burgher from the nomadic savage,--the Species Man
from the Genus Ape!  The Nomad has his very house set on wheels;
the Nomad, and in a still higher degree the Ape, are all for
'liberty;'  the privilege to flit continually is indispensable
for them.  Alas, in how many ways, does our humour, in this
swift-rolling self-abrading Time, shew itself nomadic, apelike;
mournful enough to him that looks on it with eyes!  This humour
will have to abate;  it is the first element of all fertility in
human things, that such 'liberty' of apes and nomads do by
freewill or constraint abridge itself, give place to a better.
The civilised man lives not in wheeled houses.  He builds stone
castles, plants lands, makes lifelong marriage-contracts;--has
long-dated hundred-fold possessions, not to be valued in the
money-market;  has pedigrees, libraries, law-codes;  has memories
and hopes, even for this Earth, that reach over thousands of
years.  Life-long marriage-contracts:  how much preferable were
year-long or month-long--to the nomad or ape!

Month-long contracts please me little, in any province where
there can by possibility be found virtue enough for more.  Month-
long contracts do not answer well even with your house-servants;
the liberty on both sides to change every month is growing very
apelike, nomadic;--and I hear philosophers predict that it will
alter, or that strange results will follow:  that wise men,
pestered with nomads, with unattached ever-shifting spies and
enemies rather than friends and servants, will gradually,
weighing substance against semblance, with indignation, dismiss
such, down almost to the very shoeblack, and say, "Begone;  I
will serve myself rather, and have peace!"  Gurth was hired for
life to Cedric, and Cedric to Gurth.  O Anti-Slavery Convention,
loud-sounding long-eared Exeter-Hall--But in thee too is a kind
of instinct towards justice, and I will complain of nothing.
Only, black Quashee over the seas being once sufficiently
attended to, wilt thou not perhaps open thy dull sodden eyes to
the 'sixty-thousand valets in London itself who are yearly
dismissed to the streets, to be what they can, when the season
ends;'--or to the hunger-stricken, pallid, _yellow_-coloured
'Free Labourers' in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Buckinghamshire, and
all other shires!  These Yellow-coloured, for the present, absorb
all my sympathies:  if I had a Twenty Millions, with Model-Farms
and Niger Expeditions, it is to these that I would give it!
Quashee has already victuals, clothing;  Quashee is not dying of
such despair as the yellow-coloured pale man's.  Quashee, it must
be owned, is hitherto a kind of blockhead.  The Haiti Duke of
Marmalade, educated now for almost half a century, seems to have
next to no sense in him.  Why, in one of those Lancashire
Weavers, dying of hunger, there is more thought and heart, a
greater arithmetical amount of misery and desperation, than in
whole gangs of Quashees.  It must be owned, thy eyes are of the
sodden sort;  and with thy emancipations, and thy twenty-
millionings and long-eared clamourings, thou, like Robespierre
with his pasteboard _Etre Supreme,_ threatenest to become a bore
to us, _Avec ton Etre Supreme tu commences m'embeter!--

In a Printed Sheet of the assiduous, much-abused, and truly
useful Mr. Chadwick's, containing queries and responses from far
and near, as to this great question, 'What is the effect of
Education on workingmen, in respect of their value as mere
workers?' the present Editor, reading with satisfaction a
decisive unanimous verdict as to Education, reads with
inexpressible interest this special remark, put in by way of
marginal incidental note, from a practical manufacturing Quaker,
whom, as he is anonymous, we will call Friend Prudence.  Prudence
keeps a thousand workmen;  has striven in all ways to attach them
to him;  has provided conversational soirees;  playgrounds, bands
of music for the young ones;  went even 'the length of buying
them a drum:'  all which has turned out to be an excellent
investment.  For a certain person, marked here by a black stroke,
whom we shall name Blank, living over the way,--he also keeps
somewhere about a thousand men;  but has done none of these
things for them, nor any other thing, except due payment of the
wages by supply-and-demand.  Blank's workers are perpetually
getting into mutiny, into broils and coils:  every six months,
we suppose, Blank has a strike;  every one month, every day
and every hour, they are fretting and obstructing the short-sighted
Blank;  pilfering from him, wasting and idling for him, omitting
and committing for him.  "I would not," says Friend Prudence,
"exchange my workers for his _with seven thousand pounds to boot."_

------------
*Report on the Training of Pauper Children (1841), p. 18.
------------

Right, O honourable Prudence;  thou art wholly in the right:
Seven thousand pounds even as a matter of profit for this world,
nay for the mere cash-market of this worrd!  And as a matter of
profit not for this world only, but for the other world and all
worlds, it outweighs the Bank of England!--Can the sagacious
reader descry here, as it were the outmost inconsiderable
rockledge of a universal rock-foundation, deep once more as the
Centre of the World, emerging so, in the experience of this good
Quaker, through the Stygian mud-vortexes and general Mother of
Dead Dogs, whereon, for the present, all swags and insecurely
hovers, as if ready to be swallowed?


Some Permanence of Contract is already almost possible;  the
principle of Permanence, year by year, better seen into and
elaborated, may enlarge itself, expand gradually on every side
into a system.  This once secured, the basis of all good results
were laid.  Once permanent, you do not quarrel with the first
difficulty on your path, and quit it in weak disgust;  you
reflect that it cannot be quitted, that it must be conquered, a
wise arrangement fallen on with regard to it.  Ye foolish Wedded
Two, who have quarrelled, between whom the Evil Spirit has
stirred up transient strife and bitterness, so that
'incompatibility' seems almost nigh, ye are nevertheless the Two
who, by long habit, were it by nothing more, do best of all
others suit each other:  it is expedient for your own two foolish
selves, to say nothing of the infants, pedigrees and public in
general, that ye agree again;  that ye put away the Evil
Spirit, and wisely on both hands struggle for the guidance of
a Good Spirit!

The very horse that is permanent, how much kindlier do his rider
and he work, than the temporary one, hired on any hack principle
yet known!  I am for permanence in all things, at the earliest
possible moment, and to the latest possible.  Blessed is he that
continueth where he is.  Here let us rest, and lay out
seedfields;  here let us learn to dwell.  Here, even here, the
orchards that we plant will yield us fruit;  the acorns will be
wood and pleasant umbrage, if we wait.  How much grows
everywhere, if we do but wait!  Through the swamps we will shape
causeways, force purifying drains;  we will learn to thread the
rocky inaccessibilities;  and beaten tracks, worn smooth by mere
traveling of human feet, will form themselves.  Not a difficulty
but can transfigure itself into a triumph;  not even a deformity
but, if our own soul have imprinted worth on it, will grow dear
to us.  The sunny plains and deep indigo transparent skies of
Italy are all indifferent to the great sick heart of a Sir Walter
Scott:  on the back of the Apennines, in wild spring weather, the
sight of bleak Scotch firs, and snow-spotted heath and
desolation, brings tears into his eyes.*

-----------
*Lockhart's _Life of Scott_
-----------

O unwise mortals that forever change and shift, and say, Yonder,
not Here!  Wealth richer than both the Indies lies everywhere for
man, if he will endure.  Not his oaks only and his fruit-trees,
his very heart roots itself wherever he will abide;--roots
itself, draws nourishment from the deep fountains of Universal
Being!  Vagrant Sam-Slicks, who rove over the Earth doing
'strokes of trade,' what wealth have they?  Horseloads, shiploads
of white or yellow metal:  in very sooth, what are these?  Slick
rests nowhere, he is homeless.  He can build stone or marble
houses;  but to continue in them is denied him.  The wealth of a
man is the number of things which he loves and blesses, which he
is loved and blessed by!  The herdsman in his poor clay shealing,
where his very cow and dog are friends to him, and not a cataract
but carries memories for him, and not a mountain-top but nods old
recognition:  his life, all encircled as in blessed mother's-
arms, is it poorer than Slick's with the ass-loads of yellow
metal on his back?  Unhappy Slick!  Alas, there has so much grown
nomadic, apelike, with us:  so much will have, with whatever
pain, repugnance and 'impossibility,' to alter itself, to fix
itself again,--in some wise way, in any not delirious way!


A question arises here:  Whether, in some ulterior, perhaps some
not far-distant stage of this 'Chivalry of Labour,' your Master-
Worker may not find it possible, and needful, to grant his
Workers permanent _interest_ in his enterprise and theirs?  So
that it become, in practical result, what in essential fact and
justice it ever is, a joint enterprise;  all men, from the Chief
Master down to the lowest Overseer and Operative, economically as
well as loyally concerned for it?--Which question I do not
answer.  The answer, near or else far, is perhaps, Yes;--and yet
one knows the difficulties.  Despotism is essential in most
enterprises;  I am told, they do not tolerate 'freedom of debate'
on board a Seventy-four!  Republican senate and _plebiscita_
would not answer well in Cotton-Mills.  And yet observe there
too:  Freedom, not nomad's or ape's Freedom, but man's Freedom;
this is indispensable.  We must have it, and will have it!  To
reconcile Despotism with Freedom:--well, is that such a mystery?
Do you not already know the way?  It is to make your Despotism
_just._  Rigorous as Destiny;  but just too, as Destiny and its
Laws.  The Laws of God:  all men obey these, and have no
'Freedom' at all but in obeying them.  The way is already known,
part of the way;--and courage and some qualities are needed for
walking on it!



Chapter VI

The Landed


A man with fifty, with five hundred, with a thousand pounds a
day, given him freely, without condition at all,--on condition,
as it now runs, that he will sit with his hands in his pockets
and do no mischief, pass no Corn-Laws or the like,--he too, you
would say, is or might be a rather strong Worker!  He is a Worker
with such tools as no man in this world ever before had.  But in
practice, very astonishing, very ominous to look at, he proves
not a strong Worker;--you are too happy if he will prove but a
No-worker, do nothing, and not be a Wrong-worker.

You ask him, at the year's end:  "Where is your three-hundred
thousand pound;  what have you realised to us with that?"  He
answers, in indignant surprise:  "Done with it?  Who are you that
ask?  I have eaten it;  I and my flunkeys, and parasites, and
slaves two-footed and four-footed, in an ornamental manner;  and
I am here alive by it;  _I_ am realised by it to you!"--It is, as
we have often said, such an answer as was never before given
under this Sun.  An answer that fills me with boding
apprehension, with foreshadows of despair.  O stolid Use-and-wont
of an atheistic Half-century, O Ignavia, Tailor-godhood, soul-
killing Cant, to what passes art thou bringing us!--Out of the
loud-piping whirlwind, audibly to him that has ears, the Highest
God is again announcing in these days:  "Idleness shall not be."
God has said it, man cannot gainsay.

Ah, how happy were it, if he this Aristocrat Worker would, in
like manner, see _his_ work and do it!  It is frightful seeking
another to do it for him.  Guillotines, Meudon Tanneries, and
half-a-million men shot dead, have already been expended in that
business;  and it is yet far from done.  This man too is
something;  nay he is a great thing.  Look on him there:  a man
of manful aspect;  something of the 'cheerfulness of pride' still
lingering in him.  A free air of graceful stoicism, of easy
silent dignity sits well on him;  in his heart, could we reach
it, lie elements of generosity, self-sacrificing justice, true
human valour.  Why should he, with such appliances, stand an
incumbrance in the Present;  perish disastrously out of the
Future!  From no section of the Future would we lose these noble
courtesies, impalpable yet all-controlling;  these dignified
reticences, these kingly simplicities;--lose aught of what the
fruitful Past still gives us token of, memento of, in this man.
Can we not save him:--can he not help us to save him!  A brave
man he too;  had not undivine Ignavia, Hearsay, Speech without
meaning,--had not Cant, thousandfold Cant within him and around
him, enveloping him like choke-damp, like thick Egyptian
darkness, thrown his soul into asphyxia, as it were extinguished
his soul;  so that he sees not, hears not, and Moses and all the
Prophets address him in vain.

Will he awaken, be alive again, and have a soul;  or is this
death-fit very death?  It is a question of questions, for himself
and for us all!  Alas, is there no noble work for this man too?
Has he not thick-headed ignorant boors;  lazy, enslaved farmers;
weedy lands?  Lands!  Has he not weary heavy-laden ploughers of
land;  immortal souls of men, ploughing, ditching, day-drudging;
bare of back, empty of stomach, nigh desperate of heart;  and
none peaceably to help them but he, under Heaven?  Does he find,
with his three hundred thousand pounds, no noble thing trodden
down in the thoroughfares, which it were godlike to help up?  Can
he do nothing for his Burns but make a Gauger of him;  lionise
him, bedinner him, for a foolish while;  then whistle him down
the wind, to desperation and bitter death?--His work too is
difficult, in these modern, far-dislocated ages.  But it may be
done;  it may be tried;--it must be done.

A modern Duke of Weimar, not a god he either, but a human duke,
levied, as I reckon, in rents and taxes and all incomings
whatsoever, less than several of our English Dukes do in rent
alone.  The Duke of Weimar, with these incomings, had to govern,
judge, defend, every way administer _his_ Dukedom.  He does all
this as few others did:  and he improves lands besides all this,
makes river-embankments, maintains not soldiers only but
Universities and Institutions;--and in his Court were these four
men:  Wieland, Herder, Schiller, Goethe.  Not as parasites, which
was impossible;  not as table-wits and poetic Katerfeltoes;  but
as noble Spiritual Men working under a noble Practical Man.
Shielded by him from many miseries;  perhaps from many
shortcomings, destructive aberrations.  Heaven had sent, once
more, heavenly Light into the world;  and this man's honour was
that he gave it welcome.  A new noble kind of Clergy, under an
old but still noble kind of King!  I reckon that this one Duke of
Weimar did more for the Culture of his Nation than all the
English Dukes and _Duces_ now extant, or that were extant since
Henry the Eighth gave them the Church Lands to eat, have done for
theirs!--I am ashamed, I am alarmed for my English Dukes:  what
word have I to say?

_If_ our Actual Aristocracy, appointed 'Best-and-Bravest,' will
be wise, how inexpressibly happy for us!  If not,--the voice of
God from the whirlwind is very audible to me.  Nay, I will thank
the Great God, that He has said, in whatever fearful ways, and
just wrath against us, "Idleness shall be no more!"  Idleness?
The awakened soul of man, all but the asphyxied soul of man,
turns from it as from worse than death.  It is the life-in-death
of Poet Coleridge.  That fable of the Dead-Sea Apes ceases to be
a fable.  The poor Worker starved to death is not the saddest of
sights.  He lies there, dead on his shield;  fallen down into the
bosom of his old Mother;  with haggard pale face, sorrow-worn,
but stilled now into divine peace, silently appeals to the
Eternal God and all the Universe,--the most silent, the most
eloquent of men.

Exceptions,--ah yes, thank Heaven, we know there are exceptions.
Our case were too hard, were there not exceptions, and partial
exceptions not a few, whom we know, and whom we do not know.
Honour to the name of Ashley,--honour to this and the other
valiant Abdiel, found faithful still;  who would fain, by work
and by word, admonish their Order not to rush upon destruction!
These are they who will, if not save their Order, postpone the
wreck of it;--by whom, under blessing of the Upper Powers, 'a
quiet euthanasia spread over generations, instead of a swift
torture-death concentred into years,' may be brought about for
many things.  All honour and success to these.  The noble man can
still strive nobly to save and serve his Order;--at lowest, he
can remember the precept of the Prophet:  "Come out of her, my
people;  come out of her!"


To sit idle aloft, like living statues, like absurd Epicurus'-
gods, in pampered isolation, in exclusion from the glorious
fateful battlefield of this God's-World:  it is a poor life for a
man, when all Upholsterers and French-Cooks have done their
utmost for it!--Nay, what a shallow delusion is this we have all
got into.  That any man should or can keep himself apart from
men, have 'no business' with them, except a cash-account
business!'  It is the silliest tale a distressed generation of
men ever took to telling one another.  Men cannot live isolated:
we _are_ all bound together, for mutual good or else for mutual
misery, as living nerves in the same body.  No highest man can
disunite himself from any lowest.  Consider it.  Your poor
'Werter blowing out his distracted existence because Charlotte
will not have the keeping thereof:'  this is no peculiar phasis;
it is simply the highest expression of a phasis traceable
wherever one human creature meets another!  Let the meanest
crookbacked Thersites teach the supremest Agamemnon that he
actually does not reverence him, the supremest Agamemnon's eyes
flash fire responsive;  a real pain, and partial insanity, has
seized Agamemnon.  Strange enough:  a many-counselled Ulysses is
set in motion by a scoundrel-blockhead;  plays tunes, like a
barrel-organ, at the scoundrel-blockhead's touch,--has to snatch,
namely, his sceptre cudgel, and weal the crooked back with bumps
and thumps!  Let a chief of men reflect well on it.  Not in
having 'no business' with men, but in having no unjust business
with them, and in _having_ all manner of true and just business,
can either his or their blessedness be found possible, and this
waste world become, for both parties, a home and peopled garden.

Men do reverence men.  Men do worship in that 'one temple of the
world,' as Novalis calls it, the Presence of a Man!  Hero-
worship, true and blessed, or else mistaken, false and accursed,
goes on everywhere and everywhen.  In this world there is one
godlike thing, the essence of all that was or ever will be of
godlike in this world:  the veneration done to Human Worth by the
hearts of men.  Hero-worship, in the souls of the heroic, of the
clear and wise,--it is the perpetual presence of Heaven in our
poor Earth:  when it is not there, Heaven is veiled from us;  and
all is under Heaven's ban and interdict, and there is no worship,
or worthship, or worth or blessedness in the Earth any more!--


Independence, 'lord of the lion-heart and eagle-eye'--alas, yes,
he is a lord we have got acquainted with in these late times:  a
very indispensable lord, for spurning off with due energy
innumerable sham-superiors, Tailor-made:  honour to him, entire
success to him!  Entire success is sure to him.  But he must not
stop there, at that small success, with his eagle-eye.  He has
now a second far greater success to gain:  to seek out his real
superiors, whom not the Tailor but the Almighty God has made
superior to him, and see a little what he will do with these!
Rebel against these also?  Pass by with minatory eagle-glance,
with calm-sniffing mockery, or even without any mockery or sniff,
when these present themselves?  The lion-hearted will never dream
of such a thing.  Forever far be it from him!  His minatory
eagle-glance will veil itself in softness of the dove:  his lion-
heart will become a lamb's;  all is just indignation changed into
just reverence, dissolved in blessed floods of noble humble love,
how much heavenlier than any pride, nay, if you will, how much
prouder!  I know him, this lion-hearted, eagle-eyed one;  have
met him, rushing on, 'with bosom bare,' in a very distracted
dishevelled manner, the times being hard;--and can say, and
guarantee on my life, That in him is no rebellion;  that in him
is the reverse of rebellion, the needful preparation for
obedience.  For if you do mean to obey God-made superiors, your
first step is to sweep out the Tailormade ones;  order them,
under penalties, to vanish, to make ready for vanishing!

Nay, what is best of all, he cannot rebel, if he would.
Superiors whom God has made for us we cannot order to withdraw!
Not in the least.  No Grand-Turk himself, thickest-quilted
tailor-made Brother of the Sun and Moon can do it:  but an Arab
Man, in cloak of his own clouting;  with black beaming eyes, with
flaming sovereign-heart direct from the centre of the Universe;
and also, I am told, with terrible 'horse-shoe vein' of swelling
wrath in his brow, and lightning (if you will not have it as
light) tingling through every vein of him,--he rises;  says
authoritatively:  "Thickest-quilted Grand-Turk, tailor-made
Brother of the Sun and Moon, No:--_I_ withdraw not;  thou shalt
obey me or withdraw!"  And so accordingly it is:  thickest-
quilted Grand-Turks and all their progeny, to this hour,
obey that man in the remarkablest manner;  preferring _not_
to withdraw.

O brother, it is an endless consolation to me, in this
disorganic, as yet so quack-ridden, what you may well call hag-
ridden and hell-ridden world, to find that disobedience to the
Heavens, when they send any messenger whatever, is and remains
impossible.  It cannot be done;  no Turk grand or small can do
it.  'Skew the dullest clodpole,' says my invaluable German
friend, 'shew the haughtiest featherhead, that a soul higher than
himself is here;  were his knees stiffened into brass, he must
down and worship.



Chapter VII

The Gifted


Yes, in what tumultuous huge anarchy soever a Noble human
Principle may dwell and strive, such tumult is in the way of
being calmed into a fruitful sovereignty.  It is inevitable.  No
Chaos can continue chaotic with a soul in it.  Besouled with
earnest human Nobleness, did not slaughter, violence and fire-
eyed fury, grow into a Chivalry;  into a blessed Loyalty of
Governor and Governed?  And in Work, which is of itself noble,
and the only true fighting, there shall be no such possibility?
Believe it not;  it is incredible;  the whole Universe
contradicts it.  Here too the Chactaw Principle will be
subordinated;  the Man Principle will, by degrees, become
superior, become supreme.

I know Mammon too;  Banks-of-England, Credit-Systems, worldwide
possibilities of work and traffic;  and applaud and admire them.
Mammon is like Fire;  the usefulest of all servants, if the
frightfulest of all masters!  The Cliffords, Fitzadelms and
Chivalry Fighters 'wished to gain victory,' never doubt it:  but
victory, unless gained in a certain spirit, was no victory;
defeat, sustained in a certain spirit, was itself victory.  I say
again and again, had they counted the scalps alone, they had
continued Chactaws, and no Chivalry or lasting victory had been.
And in Industrial Fighters and Captains is there no nobleness
discoverable?  To them, alone of men, there shall forever be no
blessedness but in swollen coffers?  To see beauty, order,
gratitude, loyal human hearts around them, shall be of no moment;
to see fuliginous deformity, mutiny, hatred and despair, with the
addition of half a million guineas, shall be better?  Heaven's
blessedness not there;  Hell's cursedness, and your half-million
bits of metal, a substitute for that!  Is there no profit in
diffusing Heaven's blessedness, but only in gaining gold?--If so,
I apprise the Mill-owner and Millionaire, that he too must
prepare for vanishing;  that neither is _he_ born to be of the
sovereigns of this world;  that he will have to be trampled and
chained down in whatever terrible ways, and brass-collared safe,
among the born thralls of this worrd!  We cannot have _Canailles_
and Doggeries that will not make some Chivalry of themselves:
our noble Planet is impatient of such;  in the end, totally
intolerant of such!

For the Heavens, unwearying in their bounty, do send other souls
into this world, to whom yet, as to their forerunners, in Old
Roman, in Old Hebrew and all noble times, the omnipotent guinea
is, on the whole, an impotent guinea.  Has your half-dead
avaricious Corn-Law Lord, your half-alive avaricious Cotton-Law
Lord, never seen one such?  Such are, not one, but several;  are,
and will be, unless the gods have doomed this world to swift dire
ruin.  These are they, the elect of the world;  the born
champions, strong men, and liberatory Samsons of this poor world:
whom the poor Delilah-world will not always shear of their
strength and eyesight, and set to grind in darkness at _its_ poor
gin-wheel!  Such souls are, in these days, getting somewhat out
of humour with the world.  Your very Byron, in these days, is at
least driven mad;  flatly refuses fealty to the world.  The world
with its injustices, its golden brutalities, and dull yellow
guineas, is a disgust to such souls:  the ray of Heaven that is
in them does at least pre-doom them to be very miserable here.
Yes:--and yet all misery is faculty misdirected, strength that
has not yet found its way.  The black whirlwind is mother of the
lightning.  No _smoke,_ in any sense, but can become flame and
radiance!  Such soul, once graduated in Heaven's stern
University, steps out superior to your guinea.

Dost thou know, O sumptuous Corn-Lord, Cotton-Lord, O mutinous
Trades-Unionist, gin-vanquished, undeliverable;  O much-enslaved
World,--this man is not a slave with thee!  None of thy
promotions is necessary for him.  His place is with the stars of
Heaven:  to thee it may be momentous, to him it is indifferent,
whether thou place him in the lowest hut, or forty feet higher at
the top of thy stupendous high tower, while here on Earth.  The
joys of Earth that are precious, they depend not on thee and thy
promotions.  Food and raiment, and, round a social hearth, souls
who love him, whom he loves:  these are already his.  He wants
none of thy rewards;  behold also, he fears none of thy
penalties.  Thou canst not answer even by killing him:  the case
of Anaxarchus thou canst kill;  but the self of Anaxarchus, the
word or act of Anaxarchus, in no wise whatever.  To this man
death is not a bugbear;  to this man life is already as earnest
and awful, and beautiful and terrible, as death.

Not a May-game is this man's life;  but a battle and a march, a
warfare with principalities and powers.  No idle promenade
through fragrant orange-groves and green flowery spaces, waited
on by the choral Muses and the rosy Hours:  it is a stern
pilgrimage through burning sandy solitudes, through regions of
thick-ribbed ice.  He walks among men;  loves men, with
inexpressible soft pity,--as they _cannot_ love him:  but his
soul dwells in solitude, in the uttermost parts of Creation.  In
green oases by the palm-tree wells, he rests a space;  but anon
he has to journey forward, escorted by the Terrors and the
Splendours, the Archdemons and Archangels.  All Heaven, all
Pandemonium are his escort.  The stars keen-glancing, from the
Immensities, send tidings to him;  the graves, silent with their
dead, from the Eternities.  Deep calls for him unto Deep.

Thou, O World, how wilt thou secure thyself against this man?
Thou canst not hire him by thy guineas;  nor by thy gibbets and
law-penalties restrain him.  He eludes thee like a Spirit.  Thou
canst not forward him, thou canst not hinder him.  Thy penalties,
thy poverties, neglects, contumelies:  behold, all these are good
for him.  Come to him as an enemy;  turn from him as an unfriend;
only do not this one thing,--infect him not with thy own
delusion:  the benign Genius, were it by very death, shall guard
him against this!--What wilt thou do with him?  He is above thee,
like a god.  Thou, in thy stupendous three-inch pattens, art
under him.  He is thy born king, thy conqueror and supreme
lawgiver:  not all the guineas and cannons, and leather and
prunella, under the sky can save thee from him.  Hardest
thickskinned Mammon-world, ruggedest Caliban shall obey him, or
become not Caliban but a cramp.  Oh, if in this man, whose eyes
can flash Heaven's lightning, and make all Calibans into a cramp,
there dwelt not, as the essence of his very being, a God's
justice, human Nobleness, Veracity and Mercy,--I should tremble
for the world.  But his strength, let us rejoice to understand,
is even this:  The quantity of Justice, of Valour and Pity that
is in him.  To hypocrites and tailored quacks in high places, his
eyes are lightning;  but they melt in dewy pity softer than a
mother's to the downpressed, maltreated;  in his heart, in his
great thought, is a sanctuary for all the wretched.  This world's
improvement is forever sure.

'Man of Genius?'  Thou hast small notion, meseems, O Mecaenas
Twiddledee, of what a Man of Genius is!  Read in thy New
Testament and elsewhere,--if, with floods of mealymouthed
inanity, with miserable froth-vortices of Cant now several
centuries old, thy New Testament is not all bedimmed for thee.
_Canst_ thou read in thy New Testament at all?  The Highest Man
of Genius, knowest thou him;  Godlike and a God to this hour?
His crown a Crown of Thorns?  Thou fool, with _thy_ empty
Godhoods, Apotheoses _edgegilt;_  the Crown of Thorns made into a
poor jewel-room crown, fit for the head of blockheads;  the
bearing of the Cross changed to a riding in the Long-Acre Gig!
Pause in thy mass-chantings, in thy litanyings, and Calmuck
prayings by machinery;  and pray, if noisily, at least in a
more human manner.  How with thy rubrics and dalmatics, and
clothwebs and cobwebs, and with thy stupidities and grovelling
baseheartedness, hast thou hidden the Holiest into all
but invisibility!--

'Man of Genius:'  O Mecaenas Twiddledee, hast thou any notion
what a Man of Genius is?  Genius is 'the inspired gift of God.'
It is the clearer presence of God Most High in a man.  Dim,
potential in all men;  in this man it has become clear, actual.
So says John Milton, who ought to be a judge;  so answer him the
Voices of all Ages and all Worlds.  Wouldst thou commune with
such a one,--_be_ his real peer then:  does that lie in thee?
Know thyself and thy real and thy apparent place, and know him
and his real and his apparent place, and act in some noble
conformity therewith.  What!  The star-fire of the Empyrean shall
eclipse itself, and illuminate magic-lanterns to amuse grown
children?  He, the god-inspired, is to twang harps for thee, and
blow through scrannel-pipes;  soothe thy sated soul with visions
of new, still wider Eldorados, Houri Paradises, richer Lands of
Cockaigne?  Brother, this is not he;  this is a counterfeit, this
twangling, jangling, vain, acrid, scrannel-piping man.  Thou dost
well to say with sick Saul, "It is naught, such harping!"--and in
sudden rage grasp thy spear, and try if thou canst pin such a one
to the wall.  King Saul was mistaken in his man, but thou art
right in thine.  It is the due of such a one:  nail him to the
wall, and leave him there.  So ought copper shillings to be
nailed on counters;  copper geniuses on walls, and left there for
a sign!--

I conclude that the Men of Letters too may become a 'Chivalry,'
an actual instead of a virtual Priesthood, with result
immeasurable,--so soon as there is nobleness in themselves for
that.  And, to a certainty, not sooner!  Of intrinsic Valetisms
you cannot, with whole Parliaments to help you, make a Heroism.
Doggeries never so gold-plated, Doggeries never so escutcheoned,
Doggeries never so diplomaed, bepuffed, gas-lighted, continue
Doggeries, and must take the fate of such.



Chapter VIII

The Didactic


Certainly it were a fond imagination to expect that any preaching
of mine could abate Mammonism;  that Bobus of Houndsditch will
love his guineas less, or his poor soul more, for any preaching
of mine!  But there is one Preacher who does preach with effect,
and gradually persuade all persons:  his name is Destiny, is
Divine Providence, and his Sermon the inflexible Course of
Things.  Experience does take dreadfully high school-wages;  but
he teaches like no other!

I revert to Friend Prudence the good Quaker's refusal of 'seven
thousand pounds to boot.'  Friend Prudence's practical conclusion
will, by degrees, become that of all rational practical men
whatsover.  On the present scheme and principle, Work cannot
continue.  Trades' Strikes, Trades' Unions, Chartisms;  mutiny,
squalor, rage and desperate revolt, growing ever more desperate,
will go on their way.  As dark misery settles down on us, and our
refuges of lies fall in pieces one after one, the hearts of men,
now at last serious, will turn to refuges of truth.  The eternal
stars shine out again, so soon as it is dark _enough._

Begirt with desperate Trades' Unionism and Anarchic Mutiny, many
an Industrial _Law-ward,_ by and by, who has neglected to make
laws and keep them, will be heard saying to himself:  "Why have I
realised five hundred thousand pounds?  I rose early and sat
late, I toiled and moiled, and in the sweat of my brow and of my
soul I strove to gain this money, that I might become
conspicuous, and have some honour among my fellow-creatures.  I
wanted them to honour me, to love me.  The money is here, earned
with my best lifeblood:  but the honour?  I am encircled with
squalor, with hunger, rage, and sooty desperation.  Not honoured,
hardly even envied;  only fools and the flunkey-species so much
as envy me.  I am conspicuous,--as a mark for curses and
brickbats.  What good is it?  My five hundred scalps hang here in
my wigwam:  would to Heaven I had sought something else than the
scalps;  would to Heaven I had been a Christian Fighter, not a
Chactaw one!  To have ruled and fought not in a Mammonish but in
a Godlike spirit;  to have had the hearts of the people bless me,
as a true ruler and captain of my people;  to have felt my own
heart bless me, and that God above instead of Mammon below was
blessing me,--this had been something.  Out of my sight, ye
beggarly five hundred scalps of banker's-thousands:  I will try
for something other, or account my life a tragical futility!"

Friend Prudence's 'rock-ledge,' as we called it, will gradually
disclose itself to many a man;  to all men.  Gradually, assaulted
from beneath and from above, the Stygian mud-deluge of Laissez-
faire, Supply-and-demand, Cash-payment the one Duty, will abate
on all hands;  and the everlasting mountain-tops, and secure
rock-foundations that reach to the centre of the world, and rest
on Nature's self, will again emerge, to found on, and to build
on.  When Mammon-worshippers here and there begin to be God-
worshippers, and bipeds-of-prey become men, and there is a Soul
felt once more in the huge-pulsing elephantine mechanic Animalism
of this Earth, it will be again a blessed Earth.

"Men cease to regard money?" cries Bobus of Houndsditch:  "What
else do all men strive for?  The very Bishop informs me that
Christianity cannot get on without a minimum of Four thousand
five hundred in its pocket.  Cease to regard money?  That will be
at Doomsday in the afternoon!"--O Bobus, my opinion is somewhat
different.  My opinion is, that the Upper Powers have not yet
determined on destroying this Lower World.  A respectable, ever-
increasing minority, who do strive for something higher than
money, I with confidence anticipate;  ever-increasing, till there
be a sprinkling of them found in all quarters, as salt of the
Earth' once more.  The Christianity that cannot get on without a
minimum of Four thousand five hundred, will give place to
something better that can.  Thou wilt not join our small
minority, thou?  Not till Doomsday in the afternoon?  Well;
_then,_ at least, thou wilt join it, thou and the majority
in mass!

But truly it is beautiful to see the brutish empire of Mammon
cracking everywhere;  giving sure promise of dying, or of being
changed.  A strange, chill, almost ghastly dayspring strikes up
in Yankeeland itself:  my Transcendental friends announce there,
in a distinct, though somewhat lankhaired, ungainly manner, that
the Demiurgus Dollar is dethroned;  that new unheard-of
Demiurgusships, Priesthoods, Aristocracies, Growths and
Destructions, are already visible in the grey of coming Time.
Chronos is dethroned by Jove;  Odin by St. Olaf:  the Dollar
cannot rule in Heaven forever.  No;  I reckon, not.  Socinian
Preachers quit their pulpits in Yankeeland, saying, "Friends,
this is all gone to a coloured cobweb, we regret to say!"--and
retire into the fields to cultivate onion-beds, and live frugally
on vegetables.  It is very notable.  Old godlike Calvinism
declares that its old body is now fallen to tatters, and done;
and its mournful ghost, disembodied, seeking new embodiment,
pipes again in the winds;--a ghost and spirit as yet, but
heralding new Spirit-worlds, and better Dynasties than the
Dollar one.

Yes, here as there, light is coming into the world;  men love not
darkness, they do love light.  A deep feeling of the eternal
nature of justice looks out among us everywhere,--even through
the dull eyes of Exeter Hall;  an unspeakable religiousness
struggles, in the most helpless manner, to speak itself, in
Puseyisms and the like.  Of our Cant, all condemnable, how much
is not condemnable without pity;  we had almost said, without
respect!  The inarticulate worth and truth that is in England
goes down yet to the Foundations.

Some 'Chivalry of Labour,' some noble Humanity and practical
Divineness of Labour, will yet be realised on this Earth.  Or why
_will;_  why do we pray to Heaven, without setting our own
shoulder to the wheel?  The Present, if it will have the Future
accomplish, shall itself commence.  Thou who prophesiest, who
believest, begin thou to fulfil.  Here or nowhere, now equally as
at any time!  That outcast help-needing thing or person, trampled
down under vulgar feet or hoofs, no help 'possible' for it, no
prize offered for the saving of it,--canst not thou save it,
then, without prize?  Put forth thy hand, in God's name;  know
that 'impossible,' where Truth and Mercy and the everlasting
Voice of Nature order, has no place in the brave man's
dictionary.  That when all men have said "Impossible," and
tumbled noisily elsewhither, and thou alone art left, then first
thy time and possibility have come.  It is for thee now:  do thou
that, and ask no man's counsel, but thy own only and God's.
Brother, thou hast possibility in thee for much:  the possibility
of writing on the eternal skies the record of a heroic life.
That noble downfallen or yet unborn 'Impossibility,' thou canst
lift it up, thou canst, by thy soul's travail, bring it into
clear being.  That loud inane Actuality, with millions in its
pocket, too 'possible' that, which rolls along there, with
quilted trumpeters blaring round it, and all the world escorting
it as mute or vocal flunkey,--escort it not thou;  say to it,
either nothing, or else deeply in thy heart:  "Loud-blaring
Nonentity, no force of trumpets, cash, Long-Acre art, or
universal flunkeyhood of men, makes thee an Entity;  thou art a
_Non_entity, and deceptive Simulacrum, more accursed than thou
seemest.  Pass on in the Devil's name, unworshipped by at least
one man, and leave the thoroughfare clear!"

Not on Ilion's or Latium's plains;  on far other plains and
places henceforth can noble deeds be now done.  Not on Ilion's
plains;  how much less in Mayfair's drawingrooms!  Not in victory
over poor brother French or Phrygians;  but in victory over
Frost-jotuns, Marsh-giants, over demons of Discord, Idleness,
Injustice, Unreason, and Chaos come again.  None of the old Epics
is longer possible.  The Epic of French and Phrygians was
comparatively a small Epic:  but that of Flirts and Fribbles,
what is that?  A thing that vanishes at cock-crowing,--that
already begins to scent the morning air!  Game-preserving
Aristocracies, let them 'bush' never so effectually, cannot
escape the Subtle Fowler.  Game seasons will be excellent, and
again will be indifferent, and by and by they will not be at all.
The Last Partridge of England, of an England where millions of
men can get no corn to eat, will be shot and ended.
Aristocracies with beards on their chins will find other work to
do than amuse themselves with trundling-hoops.

But it is to you, ye Workers, who do already work, and are as
grown men, noble and honourable in a sort, that the whole world
calls for new work and nobleness.  Subdue mutiny, discord,
widespread despair, by manfulness, justice, mercy and wisdom.
Chaos is dark, deep as Hell;  let light be, and there is instead
a green flowery World.  O, it is great, and there is no other
greatness.  To make some nook of God's Creation a little
fruitfuler, better, more worthy of God;  to make some human
hearts a little wiser, manfuler, happier,--more blessed, less
accursed!  It is work for a God.  Sooty Hell of mutiny and
savagery and despair can, by man's energy, be made a kind of
Heaven;  cleared of its soot, of its mutiny, of its need to
mutiny;  the everlasting arch of Heaven's azure overspanning _it_
too, and its cunning mechanisms and tall chimney-steeples, as a
birth of Heaven;  God and all men looking on it well pleased.

Unstained by wasteful deformities, by wasted tears or heart's-
blood of men, or any defacement of the Pit, noble fruitful
Labour, growing ever nobler, will come forth,--the grand sole
miracle of Man;  whereby Man has risen from the low places of
this Earth, very literally, into divine Heavens.  Ploughers,
Spinners, Builders;  Prophets, Poets, Kings;  Brindleys and
Goethes, Odins and Arkwrights;  all martyrs, and noble men, and
gods are of one grand Host:  immeasurable;  marching ever forward
since the Beginnings of the World.  The enormous, all-conquering,
flame-crowned Host, noble every soldier in it;  sacred, and alone
noble.  Let him who is not of it hide himself;  let him tremble
for himself.  Stars at every button cannot make him noble;
sheaves of Bath-garters, nor bushels of Georges;  nor any other
contrivance but manfully enlisting in it, valiantly taking place
and step in it.  O Heavens, will he not bethink himself;  he too
is so needed in the Host!  It were so blessed, thrice-blessed,
for himself and for us all!  In hope of the Last Partridge, and
some Duke of Weimar among our English Dukes, we will be patient
yet a while.

     The Future hides in it
     Gladness and sorrow;
     We press still thorow,
     Nought that abides in it
     Daunting us,--onward.


THE END

-------------------


Summary


Book I--Proem

Chap. I  _Midas_

The condition of England one of the most ominous ever seen in
this world:  Full of wealth in every kind, yet dying of
inanition;  Workhouses, in which no work cane be done.
Destitution in Scotland.  Stockport Assizes.  England's
unprofitable success:  Human faces glooming discordantly on one
another.  Midas longed for gold, and the gods gave it him.


Chap. II.  _The Sphinx_

The grand unnamable Sphinx-riddle, which each man is called upon
to solve.  Notions of the foolish concerning justice and
judgment.  Courts of Westminster, and the general High Court of
the Universe.  The one strong thing, the just thing, the true
thing.  A noble Conservatism, as well as an ignoble.  In all
battles of men each fighter, in the end, prospers according to
his right:  Wallace of Scotland.  Fact and Semblance.  What is
justice?  As many men as there are in a Nation who can _see_
Heaven's justice, so many are there who stand between it
and perdition.


Chap. III.  _Manchester Insurrection_

Peterloo not an unsuccessful Insurrection.  Governors who wait
for Insurrection to instruct them, getting into the fatalest
courses.  Unspeakable County Yeomanry.  Poor Manchester
operatives, and their huge inarticulate question:  Unhappy
Workers, unhappier idlers, of this actual England!  Fair day's-
wages for fair day's-work:  Milton's 'wages;'  Cromwell's.  Pay
to each man what he has earned and done and deserved;  what more
have we to ask?  Some not _in_supportable approximation
indispensable and inevitable.


Chap. IV.  _Morrison's Pill_

A state of mind worth reflecting on.  No Morrison's Pill for
curing the maladies of Society:  Universal alteration of regimen
and way of life:  Vain jargon giving place to some genuine Speech
again.  If we walk according to the Law of this Universe, the
Law-Maker will befriend us;  if not, not.  Quacks, sham heroes,
the one bane of the world.  Quack and Dupe, upper side and under
of the selfsame substance.


Chap. V.  _Aristocracy of Talent_

All misery the fruit of unwisdom:  Neither with individuals nor
with Nations is it fundamentally otherwise.  Nature in late
centuries universally supposed to be dead;  but now everywhere
asserting herself to be alive and miraculous.  That guidance of
this country not sufficiently wise.  Aristocracy of talent, or
government by the Wisest, a dreadfully difficult affair to get
started.  The true _eye_ for talent;  and the flunky eye for
respectabilities, warm garnitures and
larders dropping fatness:  Bobus and Bobissimus.


Chap. VI.  _Hero-worship_

Enlightened Egoism, never so luminous, not the rule by which
man's life can be led:  A _soul,_ different from a stomach in any
sense of the word.  Hero-worship done differently in every
different epoch of the world.  Reform, like Charity, must begin
at home.  Arrestment of the knaves and dastards, beginning by
arresting our own poor selves out of that fraternity.  The
present Editor's purpose to himself full of hope.  A Loadstar
in the eternal sky:  glimmering of light, for here and there
a human soul.


Book II--The Ancient Monk


Chap. I.  _Jocelin of Brakelond_

How the Centuries stand lineally related to each other.  The one
Book not permissible, the kind that has nothing in it.  Jocelin's
'Chronicle,' a private Boswellean Note-book, now seven centuries
old.  How Jocelin, from under his monk's cowl, looked out on that
narrow section of the world in a really _human_ manner:  A wise
simplicity in him;  a _veracity_ that goes deeper than words.
Jocelin's Monk-Latin;  and Mr. Rokewood's editorial helpfulness
and fidelity.  A veritable Monk of old Bury St. Edmunds worth
attending to.  This England of ours, of the year 1200:  Coeur-de-
Lion:  King Lackland, and his thirteenpenny mass.  The poorest
historical Fact, and the grandest imaginative Fiction.


Chap. II.  _St. Edmundsbury_

St. Edmund's Bury, a prosperous brisk Town:  Extensive ruins of
the Abbey still visible.  Assiduous Pedantry, and its rubbish-
heaps called 'History.'  Another world it was, when those black
ruins first saw the sun as walls.  At lowest, O dilettante
friend, let us know always that it _was_ a world.  No easy matter
to get across the chasm of Seven Centuries:  Of all helps; a
Boswell, even a small Boswell, the welcomest.


Chap. III.  _Landlord Edmund_

'Battle of Fornham,' a fact, though a forgotten one.  Edmund,
Landlord of the Eastern Counties:  A very singular kind of
'landlord.'  How he came to be 'sainted.'  Seen and felt to have
done verily a man's part in this life pilgrimage of his.  How
they took up the slain body of their Edmund, and reverently
embalmed it.  Pious munificence, ever growing by new pious gifts.
Certain Times do crystallise themselves in a magnificent manner;
others in a rather shabby one.


Chap. IV.  _Abbot Hugo_

All things have two faces, a light one and dark:  The Ideal has
to grow in the Real, and to seek its bed and board there, often
in a very sorry manner.  Abbot Hugo, grown old and feeble.  Jew
debts and Jew creditors.  How approximate justice strives to
accomplish itself.  In the old monastic Books almost no Mention
whatever of 'personal religion.'  A poor Lord Abbot, all stuck-
over with horse-leeches:  A 'royal commission of inquiry,' to no
purpose.  A monk's first duty, obedience.  Magister Samson,
Teacher of the Novices.  The Abbot's providential death.


Chap. V.  _Twelfth Century_

Inspectors of Custodiars;  the King not in any breathless haste
to appoint a new Abbot.  Dim and very strange looks that monk-
life to us.  Our venerable ancient spinning grandmothers,
shrieking, and rushing out with their distaffs.  Lakenheath eels
too slippery to be caught.  How much is alive in England, in that
Twelfth Century;  how much, not yet come into life.  Feudal
Aristocracy;  Willelmus conquaestor:  Not a steeple-chimney yet
got on end from sea to sea.


Chap. VI.  _Monk Samson_

Monk-Life and Monk-Religion:  A great heaven-high
Unquestionability, encompassing, interpenetrating all human
Duties.  Our modern Arkwright Joe-Manton ages:  All human dues
and reciprocities, changed into one great due of 'cash-payment'
The old monks but a limited class of creatures, with a somewhat
dull life of it.  One Monk of a taciturn nature distinguishes
himself among those babling ones.  A Son of poor Norfolk parents.
Little Samson's awful dream:  His poor Mother dedicates him to
St. Edmund.  He grows to be a learned man, of devout grave
nature.  Sent to Rome on business;  and returns _too_ successful:
Method of traveling thither in those days.  His tribulations at
home:  Strange conditions under which Wisdom has sometimes to
struggle with folly.


Chap. VII.  _The Canvassing_

A new Abbot to be elected.  Even gossip, seven centuries off, has
significance.  The Prior with Twelve Monks, to wait on his
Majesty at Waltham.  An 'election' the on important social act:
Given the Man a People choose, the worth and worthlessness of the
People itself is given.

Chap. VIII.  _The Election_

Electoral methods and manipulations.  Brother Samson ready
oftenest with some question, some suggestion that his wisdom in
it.  The Thirteen off to Waltham, to choose their Abott:  In the
solitude of the Convent, Destiny thus big and in her birthtime,
what gossiping, babbling, dreaming of dreams!  King Henry II in
his high Presence-chamber.  Samson chosen Abbot:  the King's
royal acceptation.  St. Edmundsbury Monks, without express ballot
box or other winnowing machine.  In every nation and Community
there is at all times _a fittest,_ wisest, bravest, best.  Human
Worth and human Worthlessness.


Chap. IX.  _Abbot Samson_

The Lord Abbot's arrival at St. Edmundsbury:  The self-same
Samson yesterday a poor mendicant, this day, finds himself a
_Dominus Abbas_ and mitred Peer of Parliament.  Depth and
opulence of true social vitality in those old barbarous ages.
True Governors go about under all manner of disguises now as
then.  Genius, Poet;  what these words mean.  George the Third,
head charioteer of England;  and Robert Burns, gauger of ale in
Dumfries.  How Abbot Samson found a Convert all in dilapidation.
His life-long harsh apprenticeship to governing, namely obeying.
First get your Man;  all is got.  Danger of blockheads.


Chap. X.  _Government_

Beautiful, how the chrysalis governing-soul, shaking off its
dusty slough and prison, starts forth winged, a true royal soul!
One first labour, to institute a strenuous review and radical
reform of his economics.  Wheresoever Disorder may stand or lie,
let it have a care;  here is a man that has declared war with it.
In less than four years the Convent debts are all liquidated, and
the harpy Jews banished from St. Edmundsbury.  New life springs
beneficent everywhere:  Spiritual rubbish as little tolerated
as material.


Chap. XI.  _The Abbot's Ways_

Reproaches, open and secret, of ingratitude, unsociability;
Except for 'fit men' in all kinds, hard to say for whom Abbot
Samson had much favour.  Remembrance of benefits.  An eloquent
man, but intent more on substance than on ornament.  A just clear
heart the basis of all true talent.  One of the justest of
judges;  His invaluable 'talent of silence.'  Kind of people he
liked worst.  Hospitality and stocism.  The country in those days
still dark with noble wood and umbrage;  How the old trees
gradually died out, no man heeding it.  Monachism itself, so rich
and fruitful once, now all rotted into _peat._  Devastations of
four-footed cattle and Henry-the-Eighths.


Chap. XII.  _The Abbot's Troubles_

The troubles of Abbot Samson more than tongue can tell.  Not the
spoil of victory, only the glorious toil of battle, can be theirs
who really govern.  An insurrection of the Monks:  Behave better,
ye remiss Monks, and thank Heaven for such an Abbot.  Worn down
with incessant toil and tribulation:  Gleams of hilarity too;
little snatches of encouragement granted even to a Governor.  How
my Lord of Clare, coming to claim his _un_due 'debt,' gets a
Roland for his Oliver.  A Life of Literature, noble and ignoble.


Chap. XIII.  _In Parliament_

Confused days of Lackland's usurpation, while Coeur-de-Lion was
away:  Our brave Abbot took helmet himself, excommunicating all
who should favour Lackland.  Kind Richard a captive in Germany.
St. Edmund's Shrine not meddled with:  A heavenly Awe
overshadowed and encompassed, as it still ought and must, all
earthly Business whatsoever.


Chap. XIV.  _Henry of Essex_

How St. Edmund punished terribly, yet with mercy;  A Naratice
significant of the time.  Henry Earl of Essex, standard-bearer of
England:  No right reverence for the Heavenly in Man.  A traitor
or coward.  Solemn Duel, by the King's appointment.  An evil
Conscience doth make cowards of us all.


Chap. XV.  _Practical-Devotional_

A Tournament proclaimed and held in the Abbot's domain, in spite
of him.  Roystering young dogs brought to reason.  The Abbot a
man that generally remains master at last:  The importunate
Bishop of Ely outwitted.  A man that dare abide King Richard's
anger, with justice on his side.  Thou brave Richard, thou brave
Samson!  The basis of Abbot Samson's life truly religion.  His
zealous interest in the Crusades.  The great antique heart, like
a child's in its simplicity, like a man's in its earnest
solemnity and depth.  His comparative silence as to his religion
precisely the healthiest sign of him and it.  Methodism,
dilettantism, Puseyism.


Chap. XVI.  _St. Edmund_

Abbot Samson built many useful, many pious edifices:  All
ruinous, incomplete things an eye-sorrow to him.  Rebuilding the
great Altar:  A glimpse of the glorious Martyr's very Body.  What
a scene;  how far vanished from us, in these unworshipping ages
of ours!  The manner of men's Hero-worship, verily the innermost
fact of their existence, determining all the rest.  On the whole,
who knows how to reverence the Body of man?  Abbot Samson, at the
culminating point of his existence:  Our real-phantasmagory of
St. Edmundsbury plunges into the bosom of the Twelfth Century
again, and all is over.


Chap. XVII.  _The Beginnings_

Formulas the very skin and muscular tissue of a Man's Life:
Living Formulas and dead.  Habit the deepest law of human nature.
A pathway through the pathless.  Nationalities.  Pulpy infancy,
kneaded, baked into any form you choose:  The Man of business;
the hard-handed Labourer;  the genus Dandy.  No Mortal out of the
depths of Bedlam but lives by Formulas.  The hosts and
generations of brave men Oblivion has swallowed:  Their crumbled
dust, the soil our life-fruit grows on.  Invention of Speech;
Forms of Worship;  Methods of Justice.  This English Land, here
and now, the summary of what was wise and noble, and accordant
with God's Truth, in all the generations of English Men.  The
thing called 'Fame.'



Book III.--The Modern Worker


Chap. I.  _Phenomena_

How men have 'forgotten God;'  taken the Fact of this Universe as
it is _not;_  God's Laws become a Greatest-happiness Principle, a
Parliamentary Expediency.  Man has lost the _soul_ out of him,
and begins to find the want of it.  The old Pope of Rome, with
his stuffed dummy to do the kneeling for him.  Few men that
worship by the rotatory Calabash, do it in half so great, frank
or effectual a way.  Our Aristocracy no longer able to _do_ its
work, and not in the least conscious that it has any work to do.
The Champion of England 'lifted into his saddle.'  The hatter in
the Strand, mounting a huge lath-and-plaster Hat.  Our noble
ancestors have fashioned for us, in how many thousand sense, a
'life-road;'  and we their sons are madly, literally enough,
'consuming the way.'


Chap. II.  _Gospel of Mammonism_

Heaven and Hell, often as the words are on our tongue, got to be
fabulous or semi-fabulous for most of us.  The real 'Hell' of the
English.  Cash-payment, _not_ the sole or even chief relation of
human beings.  Practical Atheism, and its despicable fruits.  One
of Dr. Alison's melancholy facts:  A poor Irish widow, in the
Lanes of Endinburgh, _proving_ her sisterhood.  Until we get a
human _soul_ within us, all things are _im_possible:  Infatuated
geese, with feathers and without.


Chap. III.  _Gospel of Dilettantism_

Mammonism at least works;  but 'Go gracefully idle in Mayfair,'
what does or can that mean?--Impotent, insolent Donothingism in
Practice and Saynothingism in Speech.  No man now speaks a plain
word:  Insincere Speech the prime material of insincere Action.
Moslem parable of Moses and the Dwellers by the Dead sea:  The
Universe _become_ a Humbug to the Apes that thought it one.


Chap. IV.  _Happy_

All work noble;  and every noble crown a crown of thorns.  Man's
pitiful pretension to be what he calls "happy;"  His Greatest-
Happiness Principle fast becoming a rather unhappy one.  Byron's
large audience.  A philosophical Doctor:  A disconsolate Meat-
jack, gnarring and creaking with rust and work.  The only
'happiness' a brave man ever troubled himself much about, the
happiness to get his work done.


Chap. V.  _The English_

With all thy theoretic platitudes, what a depth of practical
sense in thee, great England!  A dumb people, who can do great
acts, but not describe them.  The noble Warhorse, and the Dog of
Knowledge:  The freest utterances not by any means the best.  The
done Work, much more than the spoken Word, an epitome of the man.
The Man of Practice, and the Man of Theory:  Ineloquent Brindley.
The English, of all Nations the stupidest in speech, the wisest
in action:  Sadness and seriousness:  Unconsciously this great
Universe is great to them.  The silent Romans.  John Bull's
admirable insensibility to Logic.  All great Peoples
conservative.  Kind of Ready-Reckoner a Solecism in East-cheap.
Berserkir rage.  Truth and Justice alone _capable_ of being
'conserved.'  Bitter indignation engendered by the Corn-Laws in
every just English heart.


Chap. VI.  _Two Centuries_

The 'Settlement' of the year 1660 one of the mournfulest that
ever took place in this land of ours.  The true end of Government
to guide men in the way they should go:  The true good of this
life, the portal of infinite good in the life to come.  Oliver
Cromwell's body hung on the Tyburn gallows, the type of
Puritanism found futil, inexecutable, execrable.  The
Spiritualism of England, for two godless centuries, utterly
forgettable:  Her practical material Work alone memorable.
Bewildering obscurations and impediments:  Valiant Sons of Toil
enchanted, by the million, in their Poor-Law Bastille.  Giant
Labour yet to be King of this Earth.


Chap. VII.  _Over-Production_

An idle Governing Class addressing its Workers with an indictment
of 'Over-production.'  Duty of justly apportioning the Wages
of Work done.  A game-preserving Aristocracy, guiltless of
producing or apportioning anything.  Owning the soil of England.
The Working Aristocracy steeped in ignoble Mammonism:  The Idle
Aristocracy, with its yellow parchments and pretentious futilities.


Chap. VIII.  _Unworking Aristocracy_

Our Land the _Mother_ of us all:  No true Aristocracy but must
possess the Land.  Men talk of 'selling' Land:  Whom it belongs
to.  Our much-consuming Aristocracy:  By the law of their
position bound to furnish guidance and governance.  Man and
miserable Corn-Laws.  The Working Aristocracy, and its terrible
New-Work:  The Idle Aristocracy, and its horoscope of despair.  A
High Class without duties to do, like a tree planted on
precipices.  In a valiant suffering for others, not in a slothful
making others suffer for us, did nobleness ever lie.  The pagan
Hercules;  the Czar of Russia.  Parchments, venerable and not
venerable.  Benedict the Jew, and his usuries.  No Chapter on the
Corn-Laws:  The Corn-Laws too mad to have a Chapter.


Chap. IX.  _Working Aristocracy_

Many things for the Working Aristocracy, in their exteme need, to
consider.  A national Existence supposed to depend on 'selling
cheaper' than any other People.  Let inventive men try to invent
a little how cotton at its present cheapness could be somewhat
justlier divided.  Many 'imposibilities' will have to become
possible.  Supply-and-demand:  For what noble work was there ever
yet any audible 'demand' in that poor sense?


Chap. X.  _Plugson of Undershot_

Man's Philosophies usually the 'supplement of his practice:'
Symptoms of social death.  Cash-Payment:  The Plugson Ledger, and
the Tablets of heaven's Chancery, discrepant exceedingly.  All
human things do require to have an Ideal in them.  How murderous
fighting became a 'glorious Chivalry.'  Noble devout-hearted
Chevaliers.  Ignoble Bucaniers and Chactaw Indians:  Howel
Davies, Napoleon flung out, at last, to St. Helena;  the latter
end of him sternly compensating for the beginning.  The
indomitable Plugson, as yet a Bacanier and Chactaw.  William
Conqueror and his Norman followers.  Organisation of Labour:
Courage, there are yet many brave men in England!


Chap. XI.  _Labour_

A perennial nobleness and even sacredness in Work.  Significance
of the Potter's Wheel.  Blessed is he who has found his Work;
let him ask no other blessedness.  A brave Sir Christopher, and
his Paul's Cathedral:  Every noble work at first 'impossible.'
Columbus royalest Sea-king of all:  a depth of Silence, deeper
than the Sea;  a silence unsoundable;  known to God only.


Chap. XII.  _Reward_

Work is worship:  Labour, wide as the earth, has its summit in
Heaven.  One monster there is in the world, the idle man.  'Fair
day's-wages for a fair day's-work,' the most unrefusable demand.
The 'wages' of every noble Work in Heaven, or else Nowhere:  The
brave man has to _give_ his Life away.  He that works bodies
forth the form of Things Unseen.  Strange mystic affinity of
Wisdom and Insanity:  All Work, in its degree, a making of
Madness sane.  Labour not a devil, even when encased in
Mammonism:  The unredeemed ugliness, a slothful People.  The
vulgarist Plugson of a Master-Worker, not a man to strangle by
Corn-Laws and Shotbelts.


Chap. XIII.  _Democracy_

Man must actually have his debts and earnings a little better
paid by man.  At no time was the lot of the dumb millions of
toilers so entirely unbearable as now.  Sisterhood, brotherhood
often forgotten, but never before so expressly denied.  Mungo
Park and his poor Black Benefactress.  Gurth, born thrall of
Cedric the Saxon:  Liberty a divine thing;  but 'liberty to die
by starvation' not so divine.  Nature's Aristocracies.  William
Conqueror, a resident House-Surgeon provided by nature for her
beloved English People.  Democracy, the despair of finding Heroes
to govern us, and contented putting-up with the want of them.
The very Tailor unconsciously symbolising the reign of Equality.
Wherever ranks do actually exist, strict division of costumes
will also be enforced.  Freedom from oppression, an indispensable
yet most insignificant portion of Human Liberty.  A _best path_
does exist for every man;  a thing which, here and now, it
were of all things _wisest_ for him to do.  Mock Superiors and
Real Superiors.


Chap. XIV.  _Sir Jabesh Windbag_

Oliver Cromwell, the remarkablest Governor we have had for the
last five centuries or so:  No vulunteer in Public Life, but
plainly a balloted soldier:  The Government of England put into
his hands.  Windbag, weak in the faith of a God;  strong only in
the faith that Paragraphs and Plausibilities bring votes.  Five
years of popularity or unpopularity;  and _after_ those five
years, an Eternity.  Oliver has to appear before the Most High
Judge:  Windbag, appealing to 'Posterity.'


Chap. XV.  _Morison Again_

New Religions:  This new stage of progress, proceeding 'to invent
God,' a very strange one indeed.  Religion, the Inner Light or
Moral Conscience of a man's soul.  Infinite difference between a
Good man and a Bad.  The Great soul of the World, just and not
unjust:  Faithful, unspoken, but not ineffectual 'prayer.'
Penalities:  The French Revolution;  cruelest Portent that has
risen into created Space these ten centuries.  Man needs no "New
Religion;"  nor is like to get it:  spiritual Dastardism, and
sick folly.  One Liturgy which does remain forever
unexceptionable, that of _Praying by Working._  Sauerteig on the
symbolic influences of Washing.  Chinese Pontiff-Emperor and his
significant 'punctualities.'  Goethe and German Literature.  The
great event for the world, now as always, the arrival in it of a
new Wise Man.  Goethe's _Mason-Lodge._



Book IV.--Horoscope


Chap. I.  _Aristocracies_

To predict the Future, to manage the Present, would not be so
impossible, had not the Past been so sacrilegiously mishandled:
a godless century, looking back to centuries that were godly.  A
new real Aristocracy and Priesthood.  The noble Priest always a
noble _Aristos_ to begin with, and something more to end with.
Modern Preachers, and the _real_ Satanas that now is.  Abbot-
Samson and William-Conqueror times.  The mission of a Land
Aristocracy a _sacred_ one, in both senses of that old word.
Truly a 'Splendor of God' did dwell in those old rude veracious
ages.  Old Anselm traveling to Rome, to appeal against King
Rufus.  Their quarrel at bottom a great quarrel.  The boundless
future, predestined, nay already extant though unseen.  Our
Epic, not _Arms and the Man,_ but _Tools and the Man;_  an
infinitely wider kind of Epic.  Important that our grand
Reformation were begun.


Chap. II.  _Bribery Committee_

Our theory, perfect purity of Tenpound Franchise;  our practice,
irremediable bribery.  Bribery, indicative not only of length of
purse, but of brazen dishonesty:  Proposed improvements.  A
parliament, starting with a lie in its mouth, promulgates strage
horoscopes of itself.  Respect paid to those worthy of no
respect:  Pandarus Dogdraught.  The indigent discerning Freeman;
and the kind of men he is called upon to vote for.


Chap.  III.  _The One Institution_

The 'Organisation of Labour,' if well understood, the Problem of
the whole Future.  Governments of various degrees of utility.
Kilkenny Cats;  spinning-Dervishes;  Parliamentary eloquence.  A
prime-Minister who would dare believe the heavenly omens.  Who
can despair of Governments, that passes a Soldier's Guardhouse?--
Incalculable what, by arranging, commanding and regimenting, can
be made of men.  Organisms enough in the dim huge Future;  and
'United Services' quite other than the red-coat one.  Legislative
interference between Workers and master-Workers increasingly
indispensable.  Sanitary Reform:  People's Parks:  A right
Education Bill, and effective Teaching Service.  Free bridge for
emigrants:  England's sure markets among her colonies.  London
the _All-Saxon-Home,_ rendezvous of all the 'Children of the
Harz-Rock.'  The English essentially conservative:  Always the
invincible instinct to hold fast by the Old, to admit the
_minimum_ of New.  Yet new epochs do actually come;  and
with them new peremptory necessities.  A certain Editor's
stipulated work.


Chap. IV.  _Captains of Industry_

Government can do much, but it can in nowise do all.  Fall of
Mammon:  to be a noble Master among noble Workers, will again be
the first ambition with some few.  The Leaders of Industry,
virtually the Captains of the world:  doggeries and Chivalries.
Isolation, the sum-total of wretchedness to man.  All social
growths in the world have required organising;  and work, the
grandest of human interests, does now require it.


Chap. V.  _Permanence_

The 'tendency to persevere,' to persist in spite of hindrances,
discouragements and 'impossibilities,' that which distinguishes
the Species Man from the Genus Ape.  Month-long contracts, and
Exeter-Hall purblindness. A practical manufacturing Quaker's care
for his workmen.  Blessing of permanent Contract:  Permanence in
all things, at the earliest possible moment, and to the latest
possible.  Vagrant Sam-Slicks.  The wealth of a man the number of
things he loves and blesses, which he is loved and blessed by.
The Worker's _interest_ in the enterprise with which he is
connected.  How to reconcile Despotism with Freedom.


Chap. VI.  _The Landed_

A man with fifty, with five hundred, with a thousand pounds a
day, given him freely, without condition at all, might be a
rather strong Worker:  The sad reality, very ominous to look at.
Will he awaken, be alive again;  or is this death-fit very
death?--Goeth's Duke of Weimar.  Doom of Idleness.  To sit idle
aloft, like absurd Epicurus'-gods, a poor life for a man.
Independence 'lord of the lion-heart and eagle-eye:'  Rejection
of sham Superiors, the needful preparation for obedience to
_real_ Superiors.


Chap. VII  _The gifted_

Tumultuous anarchy calmed by noble effort into fruitful
sovereignty.  Mammon, like Fire, the usefulest of servants, if
the frightfulest of masters.  Souls to whom the omnipotent guinea
is, on the whole, an impotent guinea:  Not a May-game is this
man's life;  but a battle and stern pilgrimage:  God's justice,
human Nobleness, Veracity and Mercy, the essence of his very
being.  What a man of Genius is.  The Highest 'Man of Genius.'
Genius, the clearer presence of God Most High in a man.  Of
intrinsic Valetism you cannot, with whole Parliaments to help
you, make a heroism.

Chap. VIII.  _The Didactic_

One preacher who does preach with effect, and gradually persuade
all persons.  Repentant Captains of Industry:  A Chactaw Fighter
becomes a Christian Fighter.  Doomsday in the afternoon.  The
'Christianity' that cannot get on without a minimum of Four-
thousand-five-hundred, will give place to something better that
can.  Beautiful to see the brutish empire of Mammon cracking
everywhere:  A strange, chill, almost ghastly dayspring in
Yankeeland itself.  Here as there, Light is coming into the
world.  Whoso believes, let him begin to fulfil:  'Impossible,'
where Truth and Mercy and the everlasting Voice of Nature order,
can have no place in the brave man's dictionary.  Not on Ilion's
or Latium's plains;  on far other plains and places henceforth
can noble deeds be done.  The last Partridge of England shot and
ended:  Aristocracies with beards on their chins.  O, it is
great, and there is no other greatness:  To make some nook of
god's Creation a little fruitfuler;  to make some human hearts a
little wiser, manfuler, happier:  It is work for a God!





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