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James Nayler

You will here read the true story of that much injured, ridiculed man, James Nayler; what dreadful sufferings, with what patience he endured, even to the boring of the tongue with hot irons, without a murmur; and with what strength of mind, when the delusion he had fallen into, which they stigmatized as blasphemy, had given place to clearer thoughts, he could renounce his error in a strain of the beautifullest humility. Essays of Elia.

‘would that Carlyle could now try his hand at the English Revolution!’ was our exclamation, on laying down the last volume of his remarkable History of the French Revolution with its brilliant and startling word-pictures still flashing before us. To some extent this wish has been realized in the Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell. Yet we confess that the perusal of these volumes has disappointed us. Instead of giving himself free scope, as in his French Revolution and transferring to his canvas all the wild and ludicrous, the terrible and beautiful phases of that moral phenomenon, he has here concentrated all his artistic skill upon a single figure, whom he seems to have regarded as the embodiment and hero of the great event. All else on his canvas is subordinated to the grim image of the colossal Puritan. Intent upon presenting him as the fitting object of that ‘hero-worship,’ which, in its blind admiration and adoration of mere abstract Power,

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James Nayler (2)
French Revolution (1)
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