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[1262]

Carlyle's book I have, in some sense, read. It is witty, full of pictures, as usual. I would have gone through with it, if only for the sketch of Samson, and two or three bits of fun which happen to please me. No doubt it may be of use to rouse the unthinking to a sense of those great dangers and sorrows. But how open is he to his own assault. He rails himself out of breath at the short-sighted, and yet sees scarce a step before him. There is no valuable doctrine in his book, except the Goethean, Do to-day the nearest duty. Many are ready for that, could they but find the way. This he does not show. His proposed measures say nothing. Educate the people. That cannot be done by books, or voluntary effort, under these paralyzing circumstances. Emigration! According to his own estimate of the increase of population, relief that way can have very slight effect. He ends as he began; as he did in Chartism. Everything is very bad. You are fools and hypocrites, or you would make it better. I cannot but sympathize with him about hero-worship; for I too, have had my fits of rage at the stupid irreverence of little minds, which also is made a parade of by the pedantic and the worldly. Yet it is a good sign. Democracy is the way to the new aristocracy, as irreligion to religion. By and by, if there are great men, they will not be brilliant exceptions, redeemers, but favorable samples of their kind.

Mr. C.'s tone is no better than before. He is not loving, nor large; but he seems more healthy and gay.

We have had bad weather here, bitterly cold. The place is what I expected: it is too great and beautiful to agitate or surprise: it satisfies: it does not excite


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