, in his quaint, characteristic style, says of the American
war that it is ‘ "the dirtiest chimney which has been on fire this century and should be permitted to burn itself out."’
We can tolerate the acerbity of the sarcasm for its candor and plainness.
Men who speak their minds are so rare in this world, the human face has become so commonly a mask, and the tongue an instrument of guile and hypocrisy, that we thank Heaven when we see an honest man, even if he looks as if he would bite our head off when we say ‘"Good Morning."’ A candid and outspoken bull-dog, who has no affectation of feeling the slightest interest in any man except to pull him down and throttle him, and even a snarling wolf or hyena, are agreeable objects compared with the whited sepulchres of dissimulation and hypocrisy of which modern society is in great part composed.
We are therefore disposed to regard with composure the hyena-like grin with which Carlyle
regards the horrible sufferings of humanity upon this continent.
But whilst applauding the honesty of the brute, which follows its ferocious instincts amidst the carnage of the battle- field, we cannot refrain from asking who built the chimney, who supplied the fuel, and who made the flue the dirtiest of this century, which everybody should permit to burn itself out?
As part of the American
chimney, we come in for half of the hyena's ghastly grin, and have a natural desire to reciprocate the compliment.
Human nature on this continent is, we suppose, neither more nor less than human nature in general, and British human nature in particular.
was settled mainly by Mr. Carlyle
's countrymen, the Puritans, of whose valor and virtues he has been an ardent enologist, and the South
mainly by the Cavaliers, whom, if we mistake not, he never admired so much, probably because they were gentlemen.
Such as they are, North and South, they were all Englishmen; the ‘"American chimney,"’ as originally built, was an English chimney, built by English hands, made of English bricks, and, until some thirty years ago, was as cleanly a chimney and burnt as well as any in Great Britain
.--In fact, it had so fine a draft that it began to draw the whole world to it; but, from that moment, when it seemed in the best condition, it began to become foul, for reasons which Mr. Carlyle
ought to understand as well as any man. No one knows better than he that the abolition crusade, which he has so often denounced, was begun by the British Government
about the time we have indicated, for the purpose of crippling the commercial, manufacturing and political power of America
, and for fomenting and bringing about division and civil war in the United States
The eternal agitation of slavery was the instrumentality by which Mr. Carlyle
's country made our chimney ‘"the dirtiest chimney of the century;"’ so dirty that now that it is on fire, every one should permit it to burn itself out.
We have no disposition to retort upon our worthy friend, the hyena.
The British chim- ney has been on fire several times, and, judging from the increasing distress in the manufacturing districts, it may, ere long, be on fire again.
But, as we said before, we forgive the man the entire absence of all human feeling which his sarcasm involves, on account of the honesty of its confession.
That the American
chimney is the dirtiest chimney of the century, which everybody in Europe
rejoices is on fire, and is willing to see it burn itself out, is in few, ferocious, truthful words, the real, universal feeling of England
, beyond all cavil or dispute Inspite of all the honeyed phraseology of friendship, sympathy, and condolence, the genuine sentiment of that Europe
which has instigated the civil convulsions in which she delights, and whose offscourings are now engaged in this work of devastation and death is that ‘"The dirtiest chimney of the century is on fire, and should be permitted to burn itself out."’