Famous Reviews eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 678 pages of information about Famous Reviews.

Is it not then strange that in such a world, in such a country, and among those light-hearted Edinburgh Reviewers, a man should rise and proclaim a creed; not a new and more ingenious form of words, but a truth to be embraced with the whole heart, and in which the heart shall find as he has found, strength for all combats, and consolation, though stern not festal, under all sorrows?  Amid the masses of English printing sent forth every day, part designed for the most trivial entertainment, part black with the narrowest and most lifeless sectarian dogmatism, part, and perhaps the best, exhibiting only facts and theories in physical science, and part filled with the vulgarest economical projects and details, which would turn all life into a process of cookery, culinary, political, or sentimental—­how few writings are there that contain like these a distinct doctrine as to the position and calling of man, capable of affording nourishment to the heart, and support to the will, and in harmony at the same time with the social state of the world, and with the most enlarged and brightened insight which human wisdom has yet attained to?

We have been so little prepared to look for such an appearance that it is difficult for us to realize the conception of a genuine coherent view of life thus presented to us in a book of our day, which shall be neither a slight compendium of a few moral truisms, flavoured with a few immoral refinements and paradoxes, such as constitute the floating ethics and religion of the time; nor a fierce and gloomy distortion of some eternal idea torn from its pure sphere of celestial light to be raved about by the ignorant whom it has half-enlightened, and half made frantic.  But here, in our judgment—­that is, in the judgment of one man who speaks considerately what he fixedly believes—­we have the thought of a wide, and above all, of a deep soul, which has expressed in fitting words, the fruits of patient reflection, of piercing observation, of knowledge many-sided and conscientious, of devoutest awe and faithfullest love....

The clearness of the eye to see whatever is permanent and substantial, and the fervour and strength of heart to love it as the sole good of life, are, in our view, Mr. Carlyle’s pre-eminent characteristics, as those of every man entitled to the fame of the most generous order of greatness.  Not to paint the good which he sees and loves, or see it painted, and enjoy the sight; not to understand it, and exult in the knowledge of it; but to take his position upon it, and for it alone to breathe, to move, to fight, to mourn, and die—­this is the destination which he has chosen for himself.  His avowal of it and exhortation to do the like is the object of all his writings.  And, reasonably considered, it is no small service to which he is thus bound.  For the real, the germinal truth of nature, is not a dead series of physical phenomena into the like of which all phenomena are cunningly to be explained

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Famous Reviews from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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