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civilization. No other institution is lest standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, and when camelopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre. The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday when compared with the line of the Supreme Pontiffs. That line we trace back in an unbroken series from the Pope who crowned Napoleon in the nineteenth century to the Pope who crowned Pepin in the eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the august dynasty extends till it is lost in the twilight of fable. The republic of Venice came next in antiquity. But the republic of Venice was modern when compared with the Papacy; and the republic of Venice is gone, and the Papacy remains. The Papacy remains, not in decay, not a mere antique, but full of life and youthful vigour. The Catholic Church is still sending forth to the farthest ends of the world missionaries as zealous as those who landed in Kent with Augustine, and still confronting hostile kings, with the same spirit with which she confronted Attila. The number of her children is greater than in any former age. Her acquisitions in the New World have more than compensated for what she has lost in the Old. Her spiritual ascendency extends over the past centuries which lie between the plains of the Missouri and Cape Horn, countries which, a century hence, may not improbably contain a population as large as that which now inhabits Europe. The members of her communion are certainly not fewer than a hundred and fifty millions; and it will be difficult to show that all other Christian sects united amount to a hundred and twenty millions. Nor do we see any sign which indicates that the term of her long dominion is approaching. She saw the commencement of all the governments and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all. She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain, before the Frank had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's."
Specimens such as these testify to the greatness of the writer. Although rich in rhetorical embellishment, no captious critic can cavil at an unnecessary number of words. There is no verbiage : the words are only used for conveying a distinct idea. Besides, this is quite consistent with the charming novelty, the extreme freshness, and the expressive mode of reasoning with which the whole is compacted. No wonder, then, that Macaulay's writings impress the mind with a sense of their merit. They kindle enthu. siasm in the breast of the reader; a feeling of intense pleasure and admiration rushes across the mind, and the intellect is fascinated with the literary feast. A gleam of the holiest and most lasting joy flashes over our faculties; the fire of literary inspirations, as it were, glows and burns with matchless brilliancy, as the whole mind revels in the delight given by the illustrious Macaulay. The power whic!i Macaulay exercises ofer the soul clearly shows that he is a great writer, of which this power must be considered as a very important element. When we read a few pages of Macaulay's productions, do we get wearied or wish that we were done? The perusal of his works brings no weariness or irksomeness ; the only fear looked at is that we are getting too near the end of what we are reading. Macaulay certainly gives pleasure; and a great writer must please as well as instruct. Sound teaching, no doubt, produces profit; and every body knows that in the ordinary sense pleasure is sure to follow what is profitable, just as sure as that cause is foilowed by effect in the physical world.
There is another quality which must be taken into consideration that has something to do with good writing, and that is usefulness. There may be some vagueness about the import of this word; but the meaning is quite clear to our mind. It is no more or less than that the services which any object renders for good are valuable, whether appreciated or not. It is well known that many useful things which are very common are not thought valuable. But this we know, that after a little reflection anything of advantage to ourselves will be estimated at its proper value. Besides, a thing can only be valuable and useful when it can be realized, that is, tested and experienced. That which is plausible and probable without being practically carried out can be of no benefit. Inventions, without putting them to some purpose, wili be of no utility. Suggestiveness, without some realizing equivalent, can establish no foundation upon which any system will stand. So it is with Macaulay and Carlyle. The former discourses upon no subject except what he has realized and experienced ; the latter, on what may or may not be on the conditions of man, of which no definite knowledge is given. The one wrote what he believed would be useful, the other what suited his own whimsical fancy. You can ascertain the end the one has in view, but that of the other is obscure and vague. It may be said by some that they both searched for and investigated facts to ascertain truth. But what may be true to one man may be untrue to another. In like manner, Macaulay never wrote unless he knew that which he wrote about was thoroughly true—he was practically truthful. On the other band, Carlyle has written much of what may be probably true, but of which there is no sufficient evidence to place it beyond doubt. Of course we do not mean Carlyle's historical works, as the opposite side has not extracted much from them. Macaulay's choice appears to us, therefore, the more preferable.
Carlyle's “ French Revolution" has been founded on by H. K. as being one of the rarest and grandest historical works ever published. It may be what people call a splendid poem-a wonderful epic ; but by a history we think is meant that a description of a particular event or events is given, so that when it is read one can tell what they have been reading about. Suppose that no one had ever read or heard anything about the French revolution; we ask, could any one give an explanation or detailed narrative of the French revolution from his work? We unhesitatingly aver that they could not. It is evident to all who read his “French Revolution,” that without a previous knowledge of the subject we could form no distinct idea of what the work contained. It may be all very well to give us thrilling accounts of certain personages who figured greatly, such as Mirabeau, Danton, &c. But what we want is a distinct and intelligible account of the whole revolution. What is conceived to be a wonderfully, wise extract from the work in question is after the flight of Louis XVI. from Paris : “ Stars fade out and galaxies ; street lamps of the city of God.” What do we understand by this collocation of words? We may infer the meaning, but is the language at all appropriate? Is it not quite possible to narrate the fact in a clearer manner P Let the whole paragraph from which that sentence is taken be read, until we ascertain how we can relish "the slumbering Wood of Bondy, where Long-haired Childeric Donothing was struck through with iron; not unreasonably in a world like ours. These pealed stone towers are Raincy-towers of wicked D’Orleans.” Even the contents of the work go beyond what we would recommend, for we are grated with such wonderful chapters as these,-“ Astræa Redux,”
Windbags," Contrat Social,” “Inertia," &c. How different, on the other hand, does Macaulay write! and let us take for a specimen the commencement of his celebrated “ History of England," in which we will find reasonable thought and language.
"I purpose to write the History of England from the accession of King James the Second down to a time which is within the memory of men still living. I shall recount the errors which in a few months alienated a loyal gentry and priesthood from the House of Stuart. I shall trace the course of that revolution which terminated the long struggle between our Sovereigns and their Parliaments, and bound up together the rights of the people and the title of the reigning dynasty. I shall relate how the new settlement was, during many troubled years, successfully defended against foreign and domestic enemies; how, under that sett lement, the authority of law and the security of property were found to be compatible with a liberty of discussion and of individual action never before known; how, from the auspicious union of order and freedom, sprang a prosperity of which the annals of human affairs had furnished no example ; how our country, from a state of ignominious vassalage, rapidly rose to the place of umpire among European powers; how her opulence and her martial glory grew together; how, by wise and resolute good faith, was gradually established a public credit fruitful of marvels, which to the statesman of any former age would have seemed incredible; how a gigantic commerce gave birth to a maritime power, compared with which every other maritime power, ancient or modern, sinks into insignificance,” &c.
Carlyle is set up as a man who has enunciated a principle, and that is telling the truth ; but we nowhere find that Mactulay ever encouraged what was false or dishonest. In whatever way Carlyle has enunciated the principle of telling what is genuine, we believe that the enunciation of that principle is held by every honest and decent man in the kingdom as well as Carlyle. Carlyle lives in obscurity, and can therefore, without any timidiiy, give any ideas he may please to the public, without the public ever knowing if he would adhere to these ideas were he tested as to his belief.
What we mean is this,-that Carlyle was never in a position from which we are able to judge if he was honest to his convictions or not. He has not been publicly and practically tested. We do not attach much importance to those who create a buzz about truth. To write about it is very easy and commendable; but to realize and act it is a rather difficult task. We have, however, some acquaintance with Macaulay's estimate of the value of truth, or what he conceived to be such. His conscience told him that he should support the Roman Catholic College at Maynooth; and, as a matter of course, he obeyed the dictates of his conscience. Because he would not act against his principle of right in this question, he was driven by sectarian and sanctimonious Edinburgh from his seat in Parliament. In concluding a speech once on the subject, he said,
“To every bill which shall seem to me likely to promote the real union of Great Britain and Ireland I will give my support, regardless of obloquy, regardless of the risk which I may run of losing my seat in Parliament. For such obloquy I have learned to consider as true glory; and as to my seat, I am determined that it shall never be held by an ignominious tenure ; and I am sure that it can never be lost in a more honourable cause."
Was not that manly, outspoken conduct? Was it not a stand for individual truth? No sooner had Edinburgh degraded the high-souled champion than she was struck with remorse for her conduct. She felt grief; but she honoured herself once more by electing him without solicitation, without expenses, without trouble, to be her favoured and honoured representative. Whatever may be said about his polity with regard to the Maynooth question, it must be honoured for sincerity and conscientiousness. He believed that the Church of Rome had rights-that she was misrepresented. The natural sympathies that subsist between man and man are stronger than every religion and creed in the universe. Such being our convictions on Macaulay with regard to the Catholic Church, we certainly make no apology for following in the same train.
We have not a solitary instance in Carlyle's life to show that he ever clung so tenaciously to truth; and if truth be one of the elements that form a great writer, we think that Macaulay is greater than Carlyle. The former had to stand or fall from being the parliamentary representative of the “ Modern Athens" for the sake of bis beliefs, and he nobly chose the latter alternative.
We hear much talk now-a-days regarding hero-worship; and when an author condescends to portray the character of a public man, he generally selects a hero-the beau idéal of his own mind. If the hero chosen is or has been a virtuous man, one who contributed largely to the prosperity of his countrymen, who has avoided all unnecessary and aggressive acts, having the least tendency towards being oppressive in his character, then we admit that such a hero is worthy of admiration and deserving of praise, Bat a ho is Carlyle's beau idéal? No less than the selfish and cruel Frederick the Great, whose conduct and reputation have been well summed up by the negative opener. Macaulay's hero was the stern
yet loving, the daring yet intrepid man, the philosophic, wise, and prudent king, William of Orange. Even the selection of a noble hero gives Macaulay the pre-eminence for choosing so virtuous and exemplary a man as his beau idéal, for his beau idéal he undoubtedly
All the considerations that we have adduced will, in our opinion, show, at least, that Macaulay is the greater writer--that he has the elements which compose good writing on his side. We may state that our space has prevented us from giving more copious extracts to est:blish our view of the question, as extracts are the best means to explicate the matter. We will just make one quotation yet, and that the concluding paragraph of his address to the Philosophical Institution of Edinburgh :
“I have been requested to invite you to fill your glasses to the 'Literature of Britain ;' to that literature, the brightest, the purest, the most durable of all the glories of our country; to that literature so rich in precious truth and precious fiction; to that literature which boasts of the prince of all poets and of the prince of all philosophers; to that literature which has exercised an influence wider than that of our commerce and mightier than that of our arms; to that literature which has taught France the principles of liberty, and has furnished Germany with models of art; to that literature which forms a tie closer than the tie of consanguinity between us and the commonwealths of the valley of the Mississippi ; to that literature before the light of which impious and cruel superstitions are fast taking flight on the banks of the Ganges; to that literature which will, in future ages, instruct and delight the unborn millions who will have turned the Australasian and Caffrarian deserts into cities and gardens. To the literature of Britain, then! And wherever British literature spreads, may it be attended by British virtue and British freedom.”
We quote no more, as we believe our task is completed, although at greater length than we at first intended. We claim a verdict in favour of Macaulay. His literary life formed only a fractional part of his labours, and his life, as a whole, was short in comparison to that of Carlyle. In conclusion, therefore, we maintain that Macaulay is a greater writer than Carlyle.
G. M. S. CARLYLE.-III. No man has impressed bis age more than Mr. Thomas Carlyle ; and no one has deligbted while instructing it so much as Lord Macaulay. This is because the former is a man of genius, while the latter is a man of talent only. Genius is the great source of original thought; talent is the subtle adapier of thought to use and time. We have only to look at facts to see and know that Carlyle is a great original force in the world, and that Macaulay is only a receptive and applying intellect. No man thinks of Macaulifying his English ; but few men who have ever perused a page of Carlyle have been free from the fascination of his very expression, and have, without strong resistiveness, been able to avoid feeling inclined to imitate his pbraseology. Carlyle sees and realizes,