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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (March 1, 1876)
University of .Yclnutska.
Qui non Prollcll-.Doflolt:.
tloimt to nie, 'J NlK'it!
Pule nnil fleet nro tliu steeds, mill lilt,
That lice before thy darkening throng.
Through gloomy -diailes In silence dread,
A fur I hi'ur their dying tread,
Ilrtrcathig from thy columns strong.
Yes, doubtful long tho ImttU' waged,
Anil death came met to tlmo engaged,
Hut charge uncharge on charge ihy forces won,
Ami routi'il fur the burtiliiu mm.
Ami now tin- calm mid gallant slatn
An- -catton-il oVr thu reeking plain;
With pallorcd fliwk anil hollowed eyes,
Tln' grin anil mock thu laughing skies,
Ami "till ami strotchud they llu apicc,
While cold ilark sweat now bathes each ram.
A few it keep tin" rnnipurt heights,
Where oft they tloo In coward lights.
Ami there awatt thu lulling b'ows.
Ami now each castled height they suom
To crowd with burnished arms, that gleam,
Ami on oah straying, glancing beam,
Send challenges to pressing foe.
Charge their strongholds, Night I
None can stand to resist thy might,
When once thy rolling thrusts they feel.
Allow n In gorge- bottom ess,
They Headlong plunge, where fathomless
Tiny quiver tr.im thy cooling stool.
Now larnnii.t they swarming dec,
Where o'er lint hills u-west I hup
Their gloaming s pours mid nnnor bright
Defending tboie Ihu aw nulling Light,
As westward on they crowd ihtdr way,
Nor wait nor wish their tllght to may.
Tiune tlmvicfiy. N'Uht!
Cow 'img Day will now grant thee right
To hold tin' sway from sea lo r-oa;
icr I In- nut Unix, far and wldo.
The it led land, from tide lo tide.
Tliv empire now, alone, slmli bo.
Then softly there Ihy darkened hall.
Tin cutle's gloom and liimry walls.
In ileiu d ep and dark. I'll gain,
While oft some heavenly limiting strain
1 II loisefrnmofl' the burdunod wind.
That tliere tho Midnight' couch will llnd,
Ami wake tlio etilluu there alone,
And King ..nil pniNo thy silent throno,
While stars will eoom to catch the tunc,
And laugh to rouse the droamy moon.
.uard m then. O 'ighU
Strange the cliarm.and tho fair delight.
Alone I gain from wateh so rare.
Though shawduwy cast thy martial rorm.
Yet mill and calm and friendly warm
Tliv anxious lend and uiiurdlng care.
Tlien bonrmo on. alt I bear mo on
To where the great utcrnul Dawn
First lifts his banner o'er the sky,
When all bin hunts draw nigh, draw nigh,
Where brilliant corps come strong, como fining.
With equal tread mi farilong,
While lonesomely the weary life
Plays well the last retreat of I.lfo.
And bugles break eternal air.
Then leave m there, ah I loavo mo there.
BIeros and Hero
This work is n scries of lectures embrac
ing, supposedly, Mr. Carlyio's rcprescnta
live heroes. Either that, or ho has stooped
to common subjects for the novelty to
him of pleasing. They arc more evi
dently milestones in his theory of the
intellectual and moral dcvelopcmenl of
the world: divinity, prophet, poet, priest,
man of letters, King. Properly, wc should
take them in tho order ho lias written, ami
explain, and exclaim against each one in
turn. But I shall prefer getting at tho
truth of tho book, and of tho author's
slyli' as best I may, taking the rhanci's of
being disposed of myself.
II hud always run in my mind (hat Car
lylo and Emerson wore two cornels, us il
were, of tho same quality, bill of unequal
magnitude like two Messina oranges
always ruling our American author us the
lesser. This opinion came partly, I sup.
poso, from the second-hand review-gossip
of tho newspapers, but was settled into an
imaginary fact by a sentence of Poo's, ar
raigning Emerson us un imitator of Cur
lyio's mysticism. Now although I could
see none of -the mystic in Emerson, I
rested for the time on this authority. Hut
how dillerently experience settles tilings.
The very essence of poetry, under Poe's
definition, "that which exciles by eleva
ting the soul," hangs like costly di apery
upon tne arms of Emerson's philosphy
Even thai ethereality is there which
Poo reckoned was incarnate only in Ten-
nyson. tint Emerson's poetry is uoneii
cent in its moral grandeur, which moral
sentiment Poo could only acknowledge
as tho source of poetry, as the rose is of hon
ey. Carlylo ho could never endure. In
the hook bulb re us we can only byglimps.
os catch the drift of Curly le's.gospel Ac
tion. His preface prepares us somewhat
for the incompleteness of the sketches,
but thee is a lack that tliere is no apology
for. He write, from pure deiiionism and
insight, and not from any special phil
osophical reductions. But 1 must not be
gin attempted criticism here, lest I deserve
Apollo's rebuke to Zoilus, who drought
him a critic'sin upon a choice work of art.
Apollo asked what were tho beauties ol
tho work. Zoilus answered that he had
only found the faults. Thereupon Apollo
gave him a bushel of wheat, tellinghim to
pick out the chaff as his reward. For Car-
lylo was a terror to all critics. Ho will
not bo disposed of by a curt page in thy
host Review. 1-ct us acknowledge at onco
thai his beatitudes are from the gods.
Grand, epical, giauMuaking, prophet-seeing,
all these at times. Uul there are
weaknesses. Tliere are a thousand-and
one "dog-cared proverbs" in his books,
hat every mother's son of us uses on oc
cusion; and yolhc must inoculate them
with Carlyloism, that makes them more
than ever mere mannerisms. "Virtue is
its own reward" acquires no special sig
nificance at this ago ot the world by Cur
ly le's scaling it with his seal. Still we
like his whirlwind of god-talk, whenever
he approaches ono of these. Soul-thun-
How ho dandles tho Norseman's gods!
Rut It is only to set us fairly on our feet to
see original man more plainly. You can
not help liking his dissertations on tho
Jotun ; and Unit tree of Igdrasil. That
oue picture Is a life lived before we aro
half into it. "Is not every leaf of it a bi
ography, every fibre tliere on act or word ?
Tts boughs aro histories of nations." "Tho
tree of existence." Ho has u rare faculty
for hunting out all these beautiful symbols
from tho far-hidden beliefs of the past.
I rind his essay on this divinity as alto
gctherbiautiful. By far tho most celes
tial of all the essays. But his sketch of
Mohamet is noticeably concise and bril
liant. Rugged, too, as its author or the
subject. Its chimes aie of the heart
strings of Mohamet. And again, his nar
ration of Luther's "turning point" between
law and religion: "Alexis (his friend) and
lie hut' been to see the old Luther people
at Mansfeldt ; were got back again near
Erfurt, when a thunder-storm came on;
the bolt struck Alexis, he fell dead at Lu
ther's feet. "What is this liTc of ours?
gone in a moment, burnt up like a scroll,
i.il.i llu. l.l.ii I.- l.'li.i'iiilv " Tlii-illinir lli.il I
""" '"- " .....,.. (,i
Is there any charlatanry there V Yes; but
what thunderstrokes his empirical pills
are! What a chasm in chaos he sets us
blinking over, by tho suddenness of tho
query : "What is this life of oursV" us if it
had come with a lightning Hash from Lu
ther's eyes. Cnrlylc's reverence for Chris
tianity is generally rendered most proini.
nent by his entire silence upon the sub-
ject. He might cant about it but will not.
Neither will ho deny it. There is too
much of the prophet in him. Ho sees
God. "The age of ln'raelos is lorever
here." Luther is a symbol, Knox is a
symbol; so are Republicanism and Liber,
tv till symbols of the progress towards
God's equality of souls. Even Napoleon
aids it. All are necessary; all bearing a
proportion of divinity; but not to be idol
ized; for what are they more than mental
symbols of a deity, while a heathen's sym
bol is only one step lower, a mateiial one.
a block. Literature, lie finds ever rolling
on vn tho boundlessness of God's perfect
ing, which plan we can hope only occa
sionally to see as in a dream. Cromwell
and "Washington are swollen streams driv
lug frantically to the river of Reform.
How he catches tho drift of the centimes!
Trulli-dovelopement, ultimately. First,
man as God; then as prophet; then pool;
then priest; then writer; then King; and
then Eternity. This is his progioss of
the world. Not bad, either. Only, he
plainly has not seen the world well rid of
King as sovereign, and instead, govern
But his King is
no Nero, though his hero-kings are queer
selections. But his Kingisinastorof him.
self, under God. How he llings w ind-wido
the corpulent dissertations of historians
and Review writers upon his favorite
Cromwell. Treats the matter in a wonder
fully common-sense way. Will not allow
that any man, much less a follower of the
plough, plans and follows out twenty years
of life ahead of time a plan so brilliant
ly practical too. Even the staid old farm
ers must make allowance ior the seasons.
And the Man of Letters is after the
Gorman Ficlito's ideal, "n priest, continu
ally unfolding the God-like to men." And
of this definition ho finds Burn's rollick-
ing madness and inspiration tho incarna
tion. Carlylo was evidently confined and
cramped in his rendering of this volume,
else ho would not go so far astray as to ac
cept of either Rosseau or Burns in place
of Goethe, of whom ho confesses ho will
not speak, leal there should be no end."
But let us see what his hero is: "He who
lives in the inward sphere of things, in
the True. Divine. Eternal: his being is in
that; ho declares that abroad, by act or
speech, as it may be, in declaring himself
abroad." Still, Napoleon a hero! Like
palming our best pen picture of Socrates'
good-humor as being Unit of Diogenes
with his surliness. How ho snail meta
morphose his (Napoleon's) "little gleam of
time between two eternities" so thai it
shall appear of Jove's quality, not mock
ery of Jove, should be entertainment
enough. But ho cannot, nor can any man,
make selfishness heroic. No more than
magnanimity can bo make out of envy.
Bonaparte was born selfish. Selfishness
was born in him. His earliest days wero
solitary and gloomy, always thinking, mid
over pondering of Bonaparte Perhaps it
is because he has somewhat of the world
will of tho hero, that Carlylo stamps him
so. somewhat that will not be con
quered. Makes too much of bis silent ac
tivity, of his non-querulousiiess. Now
read Mr. Eu.erson's analysis of Napoleon,
which 1 take on account of tho unhandL
nc&s of Carlyle's own, and sec how it
mates with tho hitter's idea of thu hero:
"Bonaparte was singularly destitute of
generous sentiments. He was a boundless
liar. Like all Frenchmen he had a pas
sion for stage effect. Every action that
breathes of generosity is poisoned by this
calculation. His star, his love of glory,
his doctrine of the immortality of the
soul, are all French. 'I must dazzle and
astonish.' To make a great noise is his
favorite design. His doctrine of immor
tality is simply fame. His theory of in
ilueneo is not Haltering interest and four.
Love is a silly infatuation. Friendship is
but a nnnie.' He was thoroughly unscru
pulous. He would steal, slander, assassi
nate, drown and poison, as interest dicta
ted." This is by far the best picture of
the man over written. And how lofty a
conception of the heroic is Unit? Not up
to Nr. Curly lye's standard, certainly "ho
who lives in the inward sphere of things."
Every man has a touch of heroism in him.
But the world makes heroism where is on
ly a largo individualism, Carlylo litis al
lowed himself to err, so us to reach down
to this ideal-hero-worship, for every man
lias his hero, in a manner.
We like particularly, the lectures in this
book concerning divinity, priest, poet as
to Dante, and king us lo Cromwell. At
our first reading of Emerson's lecture on
Shakspoare, ourhoart throbbed back part
of our youthful-enthusiasm; but the mea
groness of Carlyio's essay on the same
made us heart-sick. Not that it was not a
truthful insight into the man, but it waa
not volumnious enough ; for Shakspcaro
Is a second Nature to nil Saxons. "With all
Mr. Carlyio's giant-making, there is some
thing still unsatisfactory about him. In
philosophy ho is almost a Cagliostro now
reasonable, now prophetic, now stark mad
ns any poet. Al ono of his. prophetic mo
ments, you say, "now tlifs Cagliostro ia
Grand Master of all the known metaphys
ical and moral lodges," but the next turn
ing of a paragraph ho sends you spinning
nfci.iV ", JUUlJI
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