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of rabid Imbecility, and all that has rendered Literature on that side a perfect "Babylon the mother of Abominations," in very deed, making the world "drunk" with the wine of her iniquity; forgetting all this, let us look only to the regions of the upper air; to such Literature as can be said to have some attempt towards truth in it, some tone of music, and if it be not poetical, to hold of the poetical. Among other characteristics, is not this manifest enough: that it knows itself? Spontaneous devotedness to the object, being wholly possessed by the object, what we can call Inspiration, has wellnigh ceased to appear in Literature. Which melodious Singer forgets that he is singing melodiously? We have not the love of greatness, but the love of the love of greatness. Hence infinite Affectations, Distractions; in
But leaving this, let us rather look within, into the Spiritual condition of Society, and see what aspects and prospects offer themselves there. For, after all, it is there properly that the secret and origin of the whole is to be sought: the Physical derangements of Society are but the image and impress of its Spiritual; while the heart continues sound, all other sickness is superficial, and temporary. False Action is the fruit of false Speculation; let the spirit of Society be free and strong, that is to say, let true Principles inspire the members of Society, then neither can disorders accumulate in its Practice; each disorder will be promptly, faithfully inquired into, and remedied as it arises. But alas, with us the Spiritual condition of Society is no less sickly than the Physical. Examine man's internal world, in any of its social relations and performances, every case inevitable Error. Consider, for one here too all seems diseased self-consciousness, example, this peculiarity of Modern Literature, collision, and mutually-destructive struggle. the sin that has been named View-hunting. In Nothing acts from within outwards in undi- our elder writers, there are no paintings of vided healthy force; every thing lies impotent, scenery for its own sake; no euphuistic gallamed, its force turned inwards, and painfully lantries with Nature, but a constant heart-love listens to itself." for her, a constant dwelling in communion To begin with our highest Spiritual function, with her. View-hunting, with so much else with Religion, we might ask, whither has Reli- that is of kin to it, first came decisively into gion now fled? Of Churches and their estab- action through the Sorrows of Werter; which lishments we here say nothing; nor of the wonderful Performance, indeed, may in many unhappy domains of Unbelief, and how innu- senses be regarded as the progenitor of all that merable men, blinded in their minds, must has since become popular in Literature; "live without God in the world;" but, taking the whereof, in so far as concerns spirit and tenfairest side of the matter, we ask, What is the dency, it still offers the most instructive image; nature of that same Religion, which still lin- for nowhere, except in its own country, above gers in the hearts of the few who are called, and all in the mind of its illustrious Author, has it call themselves, specially the Religious? Is it yet fallen wholly obsolete. Scarcely ever, till a bealthy Religion, vital, unconscious of itself; that late epoch, did any worshipper of Nature that shines forth spontaneously in doing of the become entirely aware that he was worshipWork, or even in preaching of the Word? ping, much to his own credit, and think of Unhappily, no. Instead of heroic martyr Con- saying to himself: Come let us make a deduct, and inspired and soul-inspiring Elo-cription! Intolerable enough: when every quence, whereby Religion itself were brought puny whipster draws out his pencil, and insists home to our living bosoms, to live and reign on painting you a scene; so that the instant there, we have "Discourses on the Evidences," you discern such a thing as "wavy outline," endeavouring, with smallest result, to make it "mirror of the lake," "stern headland," or the probable that such a thing as Religion exists. like, in any Book, you must timorously hasten The most enthusiastic Evangelicals do not on; and scarcely the Author of Waverley himpreach a Gospel, but keep describing how it self can tempt you not to skip. should and might be preached; to awaken the sacred fire of Faith, as by a sacred contagion, is not their endeavour; but, at most, to describe how Faith shows and acts, and scientifically distinguish true Faith from false. Religion, like all else, is conscious of itself, listens to itself; it becomes less and less creative, vital; more and more mechanical. Considered as a whole, the Christian Religion, of late ages has been continually dissipating itself into Metaphysics; and threatens now to disappear, as some rivers do, in deserts of barren sand.
Nay, is not the diseased self-conscious state of Literature disclosed in this one fact, which lies so near us here, the prevalence of Reviewing! Sterne's wish for a reader "that would give up the reins of his imagination into his author's hands and be pleased he knew not why, and cared not wherefore," might lead him a long journey now. Indeed, for our best class of readers, the chief pleasure, a very stinted one, is this same knowing of the Why; which many a Kames and Bossu has been, ineffectually enough, endeavouring to teach us: till at last these also have laid down their trade; and now your Reviewer is a mere taster, whe tastes, and says, by the evidence of such palate, such tongue, as he has got-It is good; it is bad. Was it thus that the French carried out certain inferior creatures on their Algerine Expedition, to taste the wells for them, and try
Of Literature, and its deep-seated, widespread maladies, why speak? Literature is but a branch of Religion, and always participates in its character. However, in our time, it is the only branch that still shows any greenness; and, as some think, must one day become the main stem. Now, apart from the subterranean and tartarean regions of Literature;— whether they were poisoned? Far be it from leaving out of view the frightful, scandalous us to disparage our own craft, whereby we statistics of Puffing, the mystery of Slander, have our living' Only we must note these Falsehood, Hatred, and other convulsion-work things. that Reviewing spreads with strange
igour; that such a man as Byron reckons the Reviewer and the Poet equal; that at the last Leipsic Fair, there was advertised a Review of Reviews. By and by it will be found that "all Literature has become one boundless selfdevouring Review; and as in London routs, we have to do nothing, but only to see others do nothing "Thus does Literature also, like a sick thing, superabundantly "listen to itself." No less is this unhealthy symptom manifest, if we cast a glance on our Philosophy, on the character of our speculative Thinking. Nay, already, as above hinted, the mere existence and necessity of a Philosophy is an evil. Man is sent hither not to question, but to work: "the end of man," it was long ago written, "is an Action, not a Thought." In the perfect state, all Thought were but the Picture and inspiring Symbol of Action; Philosophy, except as Poetry and Religion, had no being. And yet how, in this imperfect state, can it be avoided, can it be dispensed with? Man stands as in the centre of Nature; his fraction of Time encircled by Eternity, his handbreadth For truly, if we look into it, there is no more of Space encircled by Infinitude: how shall fruitless endeavour than this same, which the he forbear asking himself, What am I; and Metaphysician proper toils in: to educe ConWhence; and Whither? How too, except in viction out of Negation. How, by merely slight partial hints, in kind asseverations and testing and rejecting what is not, shall we ever assurances, such as a mother quiets her fret-attain knowledge of what is? Metaphysical fully inquisitive child with, shall he get answer Speculation, as it begins in No or Nothingness, to such inquiries? so it must needs end in Nothingness; circulates and must circulate in endless vortices; creating, swallowing-itself. Our being is made up of Light and Darkness, the Light resting on the Darkness, and balancing it; everywhere there is Dualism, Equipoise; a perpetual Contradiction dwells in us: "where shall I place myself to escape from my own shadow?" Consider it well, Metaphysics is the attempt of the mind to rise above the mind; to environ, and shut in, or as we say, comprehend the mind. Hopeless struggle, for the wisest, as for the foolishest! What strength of sinew, or athletic skill, will enable the stoutest athlete to fold his own body in his arms, and, by lifting, lift up himself? The Irish Saint swam the Channel "carrying his head in his teeth :" but the feat has never been imitated.
The disease of Metaphysics, accordingly, is a perennial one. In all ages, those questions of Death and Immortality, Origin of Evil, Freedom and Necessity, must, under new forms, anew make their appearance; ever, from time to time, must the attempt to shape for ourselves some Theorem of the Universe be repeated. And ever unsuccessfully: for what Theorem of the Infinite can the Finite render complete! We, the whole species of Mankind, and our whole existence and history, are but a floating speck in the illimitable ocean of the All; yet in that ocean; indissoluble portion thereof; partaking of its infinite tendencies; borne this way and that by its deep-swelling tides, and grand ocean currents-of which what faintest chance is there that we should ever exhaust the significance, ascertain the goings and comings? A region of Doubt, That this is the age of Metaphysics, in the therefore, hovers for ever in the background; proper, or skeptical Inquisitory sense; that in Action alone can we have certainty. Nay. there was a necessity for its being such an properly, Doubt is the indispensable, inexhaus-age, we regard as our indubitable misfortune. tible material whereon Action works, which From many causes, the arena of free Activity Action has to fashion into Certainty and Re- has long been narrowing, that of skeptical Inality; only on a canvas of Darkness, such is quiry becoming more and more universal, more man's way of being, could the many-coloured and more perplexing. The Thought conducts picture of our Life paint itself and shine. not to the Deed; but in boundless chaos, selfdevouring, engenders monstrosities, fantasms, fire-breathing chimeras. Profitable Specula tion were this: What is to be done; and How is it to be done? But with us not so much as the What can be got sight of. For some generations, all Philosophy has been a painful, captious, hostile question towards every thing in the Heaven above, in the Earth beneath: Why art thou there? Till at length it has come to pass that the worth and authenticity of all things seems dubitable or deniable: our best effort must be unproductively spent, not in working, but in ascertaining our mere Whereabout, and
Thus if our oldest system of Metaphysics is as old as the Pook of Genesis, our latest is that of Mr. Thomas Hope, published only within the current year. It is a chronic malady that of Metaphysics, as we said, and perpetually recurs on us. At the utmost, there is a better and a worse in it; a stage of convalescence, and a stage of relapse with new sickness: these for ever succeed each other, as is the nature of all Life-movements here below. The first, or convalescent stage, we might also name of that Dogmatical or Constructive Metaphysics: when the mind constructively en
deavours to scheme out, and assert for itself an actual Theorem of the Universe, and therewith for a time rests satisfied. The second or sick stage might be called that of Skeptical or Inquisitory Metaphysics; when the mind having widened its sphere of vision, the exist ing Theorem of the Universe no longer answers the phenomena, no longer yields contentment; but must be torn in pieces, and certainty anew sought for in the endless realms of Denial All Theologies and sacred Cosmogonies belong, in some measure, to the first class: in all Pyrrhonism from Pyrrho down to Hume and the innumerable disciples of Hume, we have instances enough of the second. In the former, so far as it affords satisfaction, a temporary anodyne to Doubt, an arena for wholesome action, there may be much good; indeed in this case, it holds rather of Poetry than of Metaphysics, might be called Inspiration rather than Speculation. The latter is Metaphysics proper; a pure, unmixed, though from time to time a necessary evil.
so much as whether we are to work at all. Doubt, which, as was said, ever hangs in the back-ground of our world, has now become our middle-ground and foreground; whereon, for the time, no fair Life-picture can be painted, but only the dark air-canvas itself flow round us, bewildering and benighting.
wellnigh vanished from the world. The youth on awakening in this wondrous Universe, no longer finds a competent theory of its wonders. Time was when, if he asked himself: What is man; what are the duties of man? the answer stood ready written for him. But now the ancient "ground-plan of the All" belies itself Nevertheless, doubt as we will, man is when brought into contact with reality; Mother actually Here; not to ask questions, but to do Church has, to the most, become a superanwork in this time, as in all times, it must be nuated Stepmother, whose lessons go disrethe heaviest evil for him, if his faculty of Ac-garded; or are spurned at, and scornfully gainsayed. For young Valour and thirst of Action no ideal Chivalry invites to heroism, prescribes what is heroic: the old ideal of Manhood has grown obsolete, and the new is still invisible to us, and we grope after it in darkness, one clutching this phantom, another that; Werterism, Byronism, even Brummelism, each has its day. For contemplation and love of Wisdom no Cloister now opens its religious shades; the Thinker must, in all senses, wander homeless, too often aimless, looking up to a Heaven which is dead for him, round to an Earth which is deaf. Action, in those old days, was easy, was voluntary, for the divine worth of human things lay acknowledged; Speculation was wholesome, for it ranged itself as the handmaid of Action; what could not so range itself died out by its natural death, by neglect. Loyalty still hallowed obedience, and made rule noble; there was still something to be loyal to; the Godlike stood embodied under many a symbol in men's interests and business; the Finite shadowed forth the Infinite; Eternity looked through Time. The Life of man was encompassed and overcanopied by a glory of Heaven, even as his dwelling-place by the azure vault.
How changed in these new days! Truly may it be said, the Divinity has withdrawn from the Earth; or veils himself in that wide-wasting Whirlwind of a departing Era, wherein the fewest can discern his goings. Not Godhead, but an iron, ignoble circle of Necessity embraces all things; binds the youth of these times into a sluggish thrall, or else exasperates him into a rebel. Heroic Action is paralyzed; for what worth now remains unquestionable with him? At the fervid period when his whole nature cries aloud for Action, there is nothing sacred under whose banner he can act; the course and kind and conditions of free Action are all but undiscoverable. Doubt storms in on him through every avenue: inquiries of the deepest, painfullest sort must be engaged with; and the invincible energy of young years waste itself in skeptical, suicidal cavillings; in passionate "questionings of Destiny," whereto no answer will be returned. For men, in whom the old perennial principle of Hunger (be it Hunger of the poor Day-drudge who stills it with eighteenpence a day, or of the ambitious Place-hunter who can nowise still it with so little) suffices to fill up existence, the case is bad; but not the worst. These men have an aim, such as it is; and can steer towards it, with chagrin enough truly; yet, as their hands are kept full, without des peration. Unhappier are they to whom a higher instinct has been given; who struggle to be persons, not machines; to whom the Universe
tion lie dormant, and only that of skeptical Inquiry exert itself. Accordingly, whoever looks abroad upon the world, comparing the Past with the Present, may find that the practical condition of man, in these days, is one of the saddest; burdened with miseries which are in a considerable degree peculiar. In no time was man's life what he calls a happy one; in no time can it be so. A perpetual dream there has been of Paradises, and some luxurious Lubberland, where the brooks should run wine, and the trees bend with ready-baked viands; but it was a dream merely, an impossible dream. Suffering, Contradiction, Error, have their quite perennial, and even indispensable, abode in this Earth. Is not Labour the inheritance of man? And what Labour for the present is joyous, and not grievous? Labour, Effort, is the very interruption of that Ease, which man foolishly enough fancies to be his Happiness: and yet without Labour there were no Ease, no Rest, so much as conceivable. Thus Evil, what we call Evil, must ever exist while man exists: Evil, in the widest sense we can give it, is precisely the dark, disordered material out of which man's Freewill has to create an edifice of order, and Good. Ever must Pain urge us to Labour; and only in free Effort can any blessedness be imagined for us.
But if man has, in all ages, had enough to encounter, there has, in most civilized ages, been an inward force vouchsafed him, whereby the pressure of things outward might be withstood. Obstruction abounded; but Faith also was not wanting. It is by Faith that man removes mountains: while he had Faith, his limbs might be wearied with toiling, his back galled with bearing; but the heart within him was peaceable and resolved. In the thickest gloom there burnt a lamp to guide him. If he struggled and suffered, he felt, that it even should be so; knew for what he was suffering and struggling. Faith gave him an inward Willingness; a world of Strength wherewith to front a world of Difficulty. The true wretchedness lies here: that the Difficulty remain and the Strength be lost; that Pain cannot relieve itself in free Effort; that we have the Labour, and want the Willingness. Faith strengthens us, enlightens us, for all endeavours and endurances; with Faith we can do all, and dare all, and life itself has a thousand times been joyfully given away. But the sum of man's misery is even this, that he feel himself crushed under the Juggernaut wheels and know that Juggernaut is no divinity, but a dead mechanical idol.
Now this is specially the misery which has fallen on man in our Era. Belief, Faith has
is not a warehouse, or at best fancy-bazaar, | dream.-Thou, Eternal Providence, wilt cause
but a mystic temple and hall of doom. For the day to dawn!"*
such men there lie properly two courses open. The lower, yet still an estimable class, take up with worn-out Symbols of the Godlike; keep trimming and trucking between these and Hypocrisy, purblindly enough, miserably enough. A numerous intermediate class end in Denial; and form a theory that there is no theory; that nothing is certain in the world, except this fact of Pleasure being pleasant; so they try to realize what trifling modicum of Pleasure they can come at, and to live contented therewith, winking hard. Of these we speak not here; but only of the second nobler class, who also have dared to say No, and cannot yet say Yea; but feel that in the No they dwell as in a Golgotha, where life enters not, where peace is not appointed them. Hard, for most part, is the fate of such men; the harder the nobler they are. In dim forecastings, wrestles within them the "Divine Idea of the World," yet will nowhere visibly reveal itself. They have to realize a Worship for themselves, or live unworshipping. The Godlike has vanished from the world; and they, by the strong cry of their soul's agony, like true wonder-workers, must again evoke its presence. This miracle is their appointed task; which they must accomplish, or die wretchedly this miracle has been accomplished by such but not in our land; our land yet knows not of it. Behold a Byron, in melodious tones, "cursing his day:" he mistakes earthborn passionate Desire for heaven-inspired Freewill; without heavenly loadstar, rushes madly into the dance of meteoric lights that hover on the mad Mahlstrom; and goes down among its eddies. Hear a Shelley filling the earth with inarticulate wail; like the infinite, inarticulate grief and weeping of forsaken infants. A noble Friedrich Schlegel, stupified in that fearful loneliness, as of a silenced battle-field, flies back to Catholicism; as a child might to its slain mother's bosom, and cling there. In lower regions, how many a poor Hazlitt must wander on God's verdant earth, like the Unblest on burning deserts; passionately dig wells, and draw up only the dry quicksand; believe that he is seeking Truth, yet only wrestle among endless Sophisms, doing desperate battle as with spectre-hosts; and die and make no sign!
To the better order of such minds any mad joy of Denial has long since ceased: the problem is not now to deny, but to ascertain and perform. Once in destroying the False, there was a certain inspiration; but now the genius of Destruction has done its work, there is now nothing more to destroy. The doom of the Old has long been pronounced, and irrevocable; the Old has passed away: but, alas, the New appears not in its stead; the Time is still in pangs of travail with the New. Man has walked by the light of conflagrations, and amid the sound of falling cities; and now there is darkness, and long watching till it be morning. 'The voice even of the faithful can but exclaim: "As yet struggles the twelfth hour of the Night: birds of darkness are on the wing, spectres uproar, the dead walk, the living
Such being the condition, temporal and spiritual, of the world at our Epoch, can we wonder that the world "listens to itself," and struggles and writhes, everywhere externally and internally, like a thing in pain? Nay, is not even this unhealthy action of the world's Organization, if the symptom of universal disease, yet also the symptom and sole means of restoration and cure? The effort of Nature, exerting her medicative force to cast out foreign impediments, and once more become One, become whole? In Practice, still more in Opinion, which is the precursor and prototype of Practice, there must needs be collision, convulsion; much has to be ground away. Thought must needs be Doubt and Inquiry, before it can again be Affirmation and Sacred Precept. Innumerable "Philosophies of Man," contending in boundless hubbub, must annihilate each other, before an inspired Poesy and Faith for Man can fashion itself together.
From this stunning hubbub, a true Babylonish confusion of tongues, we have here selected two voices; less as objects of praise or condemnation, than as signs how far the confusion has reached, what prospect there is of its abating. Friedrich Schlegel's Lectures, delivered at Dresden, and Mr. Hope's Essy, published in London, are the latest utterances of European Speculation: far asunder in external place, they stand at a still wider distance in inward purport; are, indeed, so opposite and yet so cognate that they may, in many senses, represent the two Extremes of our whole modern system of Thought; and be said to include between them all the Metaphysical Philosophies, so often alluded to here, which, of late times, from France, Germany, England, have agitated and almost overwhelmed us. Both in regard to matter and to form, the relation of these two Works is significant enough.
Speaking first of their cognate qualities, let us remark, not without emotion, one quite extraneous point of agreement; the fact that the Writers of both have departed from this world; they have now finished their search, and had all doubts resolved: while we listen to the voice, the tongue that uttered it has gone sient for ever. But the fundamental, all-pervading similarity lies in this circumstance, well worthy of being noted, that both these Philoso phies are of the Dogmatic, or Constructive sort: each in its way is a kind of Genesis; an endeavour to bring the Phenomena of man's Universe once more under some theoretic Scheme; in both there is a decided principle of unity; they strive after a result which shall be positive; their aim is not to question, but to establish. This, especially if we consider with what comprehensive concentrated force it is here exhibited, forms a new feature in such works.
Under all other aspects, there is the most irreconcilable opposition; a staring contrariety, such as might provoke contrasts were there
* Jean Paul's Hesperus. Vorrede.
far fewer points of comparison. If Schlegel's "Austrian Pensions," and the Kaiser's crown, Work is the apotheosis of Spiritualism; Hope's and Austria altogether, were but a light matter again is the apotheosis of Materialism: in the to the finding and vitally appropriating of one, all matter is evaporated into a Phenome- Truth. Let us respect the sacred mystery of non, and terrestrial Life itself, with its whole a Person; rush not irreverently into man's doings and showings, held out as a Disturbance Holy of Holies! Were the lost little one, as (Zerrüttung) produced by the Zeitgeist, (Spirit we said already, found "sucking its dead moof Time;) in the other, Matter is distilled and ther, on the field of carnage," could it be other sublimated into some semblance of Divinity: than a spectacle for tears? A solemn mournthe one regards Space and Time as mere forms ful feeling comes over us when we see this last of man's mind, and without external existence Work of Friedrich Schlegel, the unwearied or reality; the other supposes Space and Time seeker, end abruptly in the middle; and, as if to be "incessantly created," and rayed in he had not yet found, as if emblematically of upon us like a sort of "gravitation." Such is much, end with an "Aber-," with a "But-!" their difference in respect of purport; no less This was the last word that came from the striking is it in respect of manner, talent, suc- Pen of Friedrich Schlegel: about eleven at cess, and all outward characteristics. Thus, night he wrote it down, and there paused if in Schlegel we have to admire the power of sick; at one in the morning, Time for him Words, in Hope we stand astonished, it might had merged itself in Eternity; he was, as we almost be said, at the want of an articulate say, no more. Language. To Schlegel his Philosophic Speech is obedient, dexterous, exact, like a promptly-ministering genius; his names are so clear, so precise and vivid, that they almost (sometimes altogether) become things for him: with Hope there is no Philosophical Speech; but a painful, confused stammering, and struggling after such; or the tongue, as in dotish forgetfulness, maunders low, longwinded, and speaks not the word intended, but another; so that here the scarcely intelligible, in these endless convolutions, becomes the wholly unreadable; and often we could ask, as that mad pupil did of his tutor in Philosophy, "But whether is Virtue a fluid, then, or a gas?" If the fact, that Schlegel, in the city of Dresden, could find audience for such high discourse, may excite our envy; this other fact, that a person of strong powers, skilled in English Thought and master of its Dialect, could write the Origin and Prospects of Man, may painfully remind us of the reproach, "that England has now no language for Meditation; that England, the most Calculative, is the least Meditative, of all civilized countries."
Still less can we attempt any criticism of Mr. Hope's new Book of Genesis. Indeed, under any circumstances, criticism of it were now impossible. Such an utterance could only be responded to in peals of laughter; and laughter sounds hollow and hideous through the vaults of the dead. Of this monstrous Anomaly, where all sciences are heaped and huddled together, and the principles of all are, with a childlike innocence, plied hither and thither, or wholly abolished in case of need; where the First Cause is figured as a huge Circle, with nothing to do but radiate "gravitation" towards its centre; and so construct a Universe, where in all, from the lowest cucumber with its coolness, up to the highest seraph with his love, were but, "gravitation," direct or reflex," in more or less central globes,"
It is not our purpose to offer any criticism of Schlegel's Book; in such limits as were possible here, we should despair of communicating even the faintest image of its significance. To the mass of readers, indeed, both among the Germans themselves, and still more elsewhere, it nowise addresses itself, and may lie for ever sealed. We point it out as a remarkable document of the Time and of the Man; can recommend it, moreover, to all earnest Thinkers, as a work deserving their best regard: a work full of deep meditation, wherein the infinite mystery of Life, if not represented, is decisively recognised. Of Schlegel himself, and his character, and spiritual history, we can profess no thorough or final understanding; yet enough to make us view him with admiration and pity, nowise with harsh contemptuous censure; and must say, with clearest persuasion, that the outcry of his being "a renegade," and so forth, is but like other such outcries, a judgment where there was neither jury, nor evidence, nor judge. The candid reader, in this Book itself, to say nothing of all the rest, will find traces in his heart the knowledge that a God made of a high, far-seeing, earnest spirit, to whom this Universe, and a Demon not! And shall
what can we say, except, with sorrow and shame, that it could have originated nowhere save in England? It is a general agglomerate of all facts, notions, whims, and observations, as they lie in the brain of an English gentleman; as an English gentleman, of unusual thinking power, is led to fashion them, in his schools and in his world: all these thrown into the crucible, and if not fused, yet soldered or conglutinated with boundless patience; and now tumbled out here, heterogeneous, amorphous, unspeakable, a world's wonder. Most melancholy must we name the whole business; full of long-continued thought, earnestness, loftiness of mind; not without glances into the Deepest, a constant fearless endeavour after truth; and with all this nothing accomplished, but the perhaps absurdest Book written in our century by a thinking man. A shameful Abortion; which, however, need not now be smothered or mangled, for it is already dead; only, in our love and sorrowing reverence for the writer of Anastasius, and the heroic seeker of Light, though not bringer thereof, let it be buried and forgotten.
For ourselves, the loud discord which jars in these two Works, in innumerable works of the like import, and generally in all the Thought and Action of this period, does not any longer utterly confuse us. Unhappy who, in such a time, felt not, at all conjunctures, ineradicably