The Project Gutenberg Ebook on Heroes and Hero Worship by Thomas Carlyle This eBook can be used for free by anyone, anywhere, with almost no restrictions. You may copy, gift, or reuse it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License that accompanies this eBook, or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Heroes and Hero Worship Author: Thomas Carlyle Publication Date: July 26 2008 [EBook #1091 ] Last Updated: Nov 30, 2012Language: EnglishCharacter Set Encoding: ASCII*** START THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG HEROES AND HERO WORSHIP EBOOK ***Produced by Ron Burkey and David Widger
Von Thomas Carlyle
Text is from the printed "Sterling Edition" of Carlyle's Collected Works, in 20 volumes, with the following changes from the electronic text version: Text in italics is delimited by underscores,For this reason. The footnote (there is only one) has been incorporated directly into the text, enclosed in square brackets, [see above]. The Greek text has been transcribed in Latin characters, with the notation [Gr.] placed alongside. Otherwise, the punctuation and spelling of the printed version have been retained.
CONFERENCES ON HEROES.
LESSON I. THE HERO AS DEITY. ODIN. PAGANISM: SCANDINAVIAN MYTHOLOGY.
CONFERENCE II THE HERO AS PROPHET. MAHOMET: ISLAM.
CONFERENCE III. THE HERO AS POET. DANTE: SHAKSPEARE.
LESSON IV THE HERO AS PRIEST. LUTERO; REFORM: KNOX; PURITANISM.
Lesson V. The hero as a man of letters. JOHNSON, ROUSSEAU, BURNS.
LESSON VI. THE HERO AS KING. CROMWELL, NAPOLEON: MODERN REVOLUTIONISM.
LESSON I. THE HERO AS DEITY. ODIN. PAGANISM: SCANDINAVIAN MYTHOLOGY.
[5. May 1840.]
We decided to discuss here a little about great men, how they appeared in the business of our world, how they appeared in world history, what ideas people formed about them, what work they did; about the heroes, i.e. and about their reception and execution; what I call hero worship and the heroic in human affairs. Obviously this is a broad subject; deserves a very different treatment than we can currently expect. A great topic; indeed an unlimited; as broad as universal history itself, because, in my view, universal history, the history of what man has accomplished in this world, is basically the history of the great men who worked here. They were the leaders of men, these great ones; the designers, models, and, in the broadest sense, creators of everything the general mass of men could do or achieve; All the things we see accomplished in the world are actually the external material result, the practical realization and embodiment of the thoughts that dwelt in the great men who were sent into the world: the soul of all the world's history can make it be just, the history of this was very clear, this is a topic we will not do justice to at this point!
One consolation is that great men are a profitable business anyway. We cannot look at a great man, however imperfect, without gaining something from him. He is the source of living light, which is good and pleasant to be near. The light that illuminates, that illuminated the darkness of the world; and that not just like a lighted lamp, but like a natural lamp shining by the bounty of heaven; a source of light that, as already stated, emanates from innate primal intuition, masculinity and heroic nobility; in whose splendor all souls are at home. Either way, you won't mind wandering around this neighborhood for a while. These six hero classes, chosen from distant lands and times and totally different in appearance, should, if we examine them closely, clear things up for us. If we could see them well, we should look into the heart of the world's history. In moments like these, with what joy could I reveal to you the meaning of heroism; the divine relationship (for I may call it that) which unites a great man with other men all the time; and thus not exhausting my topic, but making room for it! I definitely have to try.
It is well said in all respects that a person's religion is the most important fact about him. By one man or by a nation of men. By religion, I do not mean here the creed of the professing church, the articles of faith which she will subscribe to and enforce by word or other form; not exactly, in many cases not at all. We see people of all kinds of professed creeds reaching almost every level of worth or unworthiness under any one of them. I don't call this religion, this confession and confession; that it is often but a confession and affirmation of man's outward works, his mere argumentative region, though so profound. But what a man believes in practice (and that is usually enoughsineven asserting himself, let alone others); what a man does practically in earnest and knows with certainty in regard to his vital relations with this mysterious universe and his duty and destiny there, that is in every case the main thing for him and determines everything else creatively. this is hisReligion; or, it may be, your utter skepticism andwithout religion: the way you feel spiritually connected to the unseen or non-world; and I mean, if you tell me what that is, you tell me in a big way what the man is, what sorts of things he will do. The first question we ask a person or a nation, therefore, is what was the religion? Was it pagan, a multitude of gods, a mere sensual representation of this mystery of life, and recognized as the main element in it, physical strength? It was Christianity; belief in something invisible, not just as real, but as the only reality; Time rests on eternity in each of its most insignificant moments; Pagan reign of power replaced by a nobler supremacy, that of holiness? Was it skepticism, uncertainty and wondering if there is an unseen world, a mystery of life that wasn't madness, doubt about it all, or maybe disbelief and outright denial? The answer to this question gives us the soul of man's or nation's history. The thoughts they thought were the parents of the actions they did; his feelings were the parents of his thoughts: what was invisible and spiritual in them determined what was external and real; their religion, as I say, was the great fact about them. In these discourses, limited as we are, it will be well to focus our investigation chiefly on this religious phase of the subject. That once known, all is known. As the first hero of our series, we chose Odin, the central figure of Scandinavian paganism; an emblem to us of a greater province of things. Let's look a little at the hero as a deity, the oldest primary form of heroism.
Certainly this paganism seems a very strange thing; hardly imaginable for us today. A disconcerting and inextricable jungle of mistakes, confusions, untruths and absurdities that cover the whole field of life! Something that fills us with astonishment, almost disbelief if possible, because in fact it is not easy to understand that reasonable people could never believe and live calmly and with their eyes open by such a set of teachings. That people should have worshiped their poor neighbor as a god, and not him only, but also logs and stones and all kinds of animate and inanimate objects; and they have forged such a scattered chaos of hallucinations as a theory of the universe: it all sounds like an incredible fable. However, the plain fact is that they did. Such a horrible, inextricable jungle of bad worship, unbelief, people made like us, really kept and lived at home. This is weird. Yes, we can dwell in pain and silence over the depths of darkness within man; while we delight in the heights of the purest vision he reached. Such things were and are in man; in all men; also with us.
Some speculators have a short way of explaining heathen religion: mere quackery, priesthood, and fraud, they say; no sane person ever believed this, he just managed to convince other people who didn't deserve the name "healthy" to believe it! It will often be our duty to protest against such assumptions about human activity and history; and I protest against it here, on the threshold, regarding paganism and all that.Nominallyby which man has long striven to walk in this world. They all have a truth within them, otherwise people wouldn't accept them. Quackery and fraud abound; in religions, especially in the later stages of the decline of religions, they were fearfully numerous: but quackery was never the original influence in such things; it was not the health and life of such things, but their disease, the sure omen that they would die! We will never forget this. It seems to me a very sad hypothesis, that of quackery, which inspires all beliefs even in wild men. quackery gives birth to nothingness; kills all things. We will not see the true heart of anything if we only look at their quackery; if we do not wholly reject quackery; as mere diseases, corruptions with which our only duty and that of all men is to put an end to them, to wipe them out of our minds and our practices. Man everywhere is the born enemy of lies. I think that Grand Lamaism itself has a kind of truth. Read the candid, far-sighted, and rather skeptical Mr. Turner.embassy accountto this country and you will see. They believe, these poor people of Tibet, that providence always sends an incarnation of itself to each generation. Deep down, some belief in some kind of Pope! Deep down, even better, the belief that there is ato improveMan; OANDit is detectable; that once discovered, we must treat it with an obedience that knows no bounds! This is the truth of Grand Lamaism; "Detectability" is the only flaw here. The priests of Tibet have their own methods of discovering which man is best suited to be above them. Bad methods: but are they much worse than our methods of always understanding him as the firstborn of a given genealogy? Unfortunately, it's hard to find good methods to do this! We will have a chance of understanding paganism when we admit for the first time that it was once genuinely faithful to its followers. Let us consider it quite true that men believed in heathenism; Men with open eyes, sane minds, men like us; that if we had been there, we would have believed him. Now ask what could paganism have been?
Another, somewhat more respectable theory attributes such things to allegory. It was a poetic mind game, these theorists say; a shadow, in allegorical fable, in personified and visual form, of what such poetic spirits knew and felt in this universe. Which, they add, is consistent with a basic law of human nature, still observed everywhere, though in less important ways, that man strives to express, in form, visually, what a man feels intensely and how if contemplating had a kind of life and historical reality in it. Well, no doubt there is such a law, and it is one of the deepest in human nature; Nor should we doubt that it fundamentally worked in this business. The hypothesis that heathenism ascribes wholly or principally to this agency I call something more respectable; but I still cannot call it a true hypothesis. I think it would beusbelieve and take with us an allegory, a poetic sport as a guide to life? Not sport, but seriousness is what we must demand. It is a very serious thing to live in this world; Dying is not a man's sport. The man's life was never a sport to him; It was a harsh reality, even a serious matter, to be alive!
So I think that while these allegory theorists are on their way to the truth on this subject, they haven't quite reached it either. Pagan religion is really an allegory, a symbol of what humans felt and knew about the universe; and all religions are symbols of it, ever changing as they change: but it seems to me a radical perversion and even an inversion of the matter to represent it as the origin and motive cause, when before it was the result and the end. . To obtain beautiful allegories, a perfect poetic symbol, was not the desire of men; but to know what they had to believe about this universe, what course they should take in it; what they had to look forward to and fear, what to do and what not to do in their mysterious life. Hepilgrim's progressit is a beautiful, fair, and serious allegory: but consider whether Bunyan's allegory could have done itprecededthe faith it symbolizes! Faith should already be there, standing, believed by all; of which the allegory couldThenbecome a shadow; and in all seriousness we can say aalegreThe shadow, a mere play of the imagination compared to that terrible fact and scientific certainty which it poetically tries to symbolize. Allegory is the product of certainty, not its producer; neither in Bunyans nor in any other case. For paganism, therefore, we must still ask: whence came this scientific certainty, the mother of so bewildering bundle of allegories, errors and confusions? How was it, what was it?
Surely it would be a foolish attempt to pretend to "explain" in this place or any other such phenomenon as this distant, cloudy, distracted mixture of paganism, more like a field of clouds than a distant land, and facts! It is no longer a reality, but it was. We must understand that this apparent field of clouds was once a reality; that not poetical allegory, and still less fraud and deceit, were its origin. People, I say, never believed empty songs, never risked their soul's lives on allegories: at all times, especially in the early serious days, people have had an instinct to track down charlatans, to abhor charlatans. Let us try whether, laying aside the charlatan theory and allegory, and listening with loving attention to this widely confused rumor from heathen ages, we cannot at least be so sure that there was some fact in their hearts; that they, too, were not lying and absent-minded, but true and reasonable in their poor way.
Do you remember Plato's fantasy of a man who grew up in a dark distance and was suddenly carried away to see the sun rise? What would be his amazement, his ecstatic amazement at the spectacle that we daily observe with indifference! With the open and free mind of a child, but with the mature fortune of a man, his whole heart would burn at the sight of it, he would know very well that he is like God, his soul would fall down in adoration at the sight of it. Well, such childlike greatness was in primitive nations. The first pagan thinker among coarse men, the first man who began to think, was precisely this boy of Plato. Simple, open like a child, but with the depth and strength of a man. Nature still didn't have a name for it; had not yet gathered under a single name the infinite variety of sights, sounds, shapes and motions which we now collectively call the universe, nature or the like, and so discarded it under a single name. To the deep-hearted savage everything was still new, not veiled under names or formulas; it was naked, shining there above him, beautiful, terrible, indescribable. Nature was to this man what it is forever, supernatural to the thinker and prophet. This green and flowery land built on rocks, trees, mountains, rivers, seas with many sounds; that great deep blue sea that swims over our heads; the winds that cross it; the black cloud forming, pouring now fire, now hail and rain; OesHe? O? Deep down we still don't know; we can never know anything. It is not by our superior intuition that we escape the difficulty; is because of our superior ease, our inattention, ourto wantthe perception is goneNOThinking we cease to marvel. Hardened around us, completely enveloping all the notions we form, it is a veil of tradition, hearsay, mereWords. This fire of the black storm-cloud we call "electricity," and we have wisely dissected and crushed it into glass and silk: butOThat's it? He did that? Where does it leave from? Where is it going? Science has done a lot for us; but it is bad science, which would hide from us the great sacred and profound infinity of ignorance, which we can never penetrate, on which all science floats like a mere superficial film. This world is still a wonder after all our science and science; wonderful, unfathomable,Magicand anyone else who wantsthinkfor this
This great mystery of TIME, if there were no other; boundless, still, incessant named time, rolling, running, swift, still, like an all-encompassing ocean tide in which we and the whole universe float like exhalations, like appearances that are and then are.NO: that is forever literally a miracle; something that leaves us speechless because we don't have the words to talk about it. This universe, alas, what could wild man know about it? What else can we know? Which is a force and a complexity of forces a thousand times greater; a force that isNOus. That is all; it's not us, it's totally different from us. Power, power, power everywhere; ourselves a mysterious force at the core. “No leaf rots in the street that does not contain power; how else could it rot?” No, of course, for the atheist thinker, if that were possible, it must also be a miracle, this mighty and limitless whirlpool of power that is here enveloping us; Cyclone that never rests, big as immensity, old as eternity. What is it? God's creation, the religious answer; It is from Almighty God! Atheistic science babbles it out badly, with scientific nomenclature, experiments and so on, as if it were a poor dead thing ready to be bottled in Leyden flasks and sold over the counter: but man's natural sense will always prevail. honestly, his sense proclaims that he is a living thing, alas, an ineffable divine thing; before whom the best attitude for us, after so much knowledge, is astonishment, reverent prostration and humility of soul; Worship, if not in words, then in silence.
But now I comment further: What, in a time like ours, does a prophet or a poet need to teach us, namely, to cast off these poor pious coverings, nomenclature and scientific hearsay, that, the serious old soul that still is free of these are things he made to himself. The world, which today is divine only to the gifted, was then divine to all who saw it. He stood naked in front of her face to face. "Everything was like God or God:" - Jean Paul still thinks so; the giant Jean Paul, who has the power to escape rumors: but there were no rumors. Canopus, shining over the desert, would pierce with his diamond-blue glow (that fierce, spirit-like blue glow, far brighter than we ever see here) the heart of the fierce Ishmaelite man whom he led alone through the desert. . To your wild heart, with all the feelings inside, withoutNetworkfor all feelings it may look like a little eye, that Canopus looking at him from eternity; reveal the inner splendor. We cannot understand how these menreveredcanopus; become what we call Sabaeans worshiping the stars? That, to me, is the secret of all forms of paganism. Worship is a transcendent miracle; miracle for which there is no limit or measure; that's worship. For these primitive peoples, everything they saw next to them was an emblem of the divine, of a god.
And see what an eternal thread of truth there was in him. If we open our minds and our eyes, does not a God become visible to us through every star, through every blade of grass? We do not worship in this way now: but it is not yet considered a merit, an evidence of what we call 'poetic nature', that we recognize that every object bears within itself a divine beauty; How does each object truly remain "a window through which we can look into infinity itself"? He who can recognize the beauty of things, we call him a poet! Painter, genius, talented, lovely. These poor Sabeans, in their own way, did even what he did. It certainly was to their credit that they did it: better than the utterly stupid man did, what the horse and the camel did, which was nothing!
But now, if all the things we behold are symbols to us of the Most High God, I add that man is such a symbol more than any other. Have you heard among the Hebrews the famous phrase of St. Chrysostom concerning the Shekinah, or Ark of the Covenant, God's visible revelation: "The true Shekinah is man!" Yes, that's right: it's not an empty phrase; it really is like that. The essence of our being, the mystery within us that is called 'I', what words we have for such things, is a breath of heaven; the Supreme Being manifests in man. This body, these abilities, this life of ours, are they not all like a cloak for this nameless? “There is only one temple in the universe,” says the pious Novalis, “and that is the human body. Nothing is more sacred than this sublime form. Bowing before the people is a reverence to that revelation in the flesh of heaven when we lay our hand on a human body!" This sounds very much like a mere phrase of rhetoric; it will turn out to be a scientific fact; the expression, in the words that can be obtained, the real truth of the matter. We are the wonder of wonders, the great unfathomable mystery of God. We cannot understand it, we do not know how we should talk about it, but we can feel it and know if we want it to be real.
Good; these truths were once more easily felt than now. The new generations of the world, who had in them the freshness of little children and yet the depth of serious men, who didn't think they had done away with all things in heaven and earth simply by giving them scientific names, but had to look directly at them there, with astonishment and amazement: they better felt what divinity there is in man and nature; they could do it without being crazyLegalNature and man more than anything else in nature. To adore, that is, as I said above, to admire without limits: they could do this to the extent of their abilities, with all sincerity of heart. I consider hero worship the great modifying element of this ancient system of thought. What I have called the confused jungle of paganism grew out of, shall we say, many roots: every admiration, star-worship, or object in nature was root or fiber-root; but hero-worship is the deepest root of all; the taproot from which all others have fed and largely grown.
And now, if the worship of a single star had any meaning, how much more could that of a hero! Hero worship is the transcendent admiration of a great man. I say great men are still admirable; I say basically there is nothing more admirable! No nobler feeling lives in a man's breast than this admiration for someone superior to him. It is the life-giving influence in man's life at this hour and at all times. The religion I find is based on that; not only paganism, but much higher and truer religions, all religions hitherto known. Hero worship, sincere and downcast admiration, submission, boundless zeal for the noblest and most divine form of man, is this not the germ of Christianity itself? The greatest of all heroes is the one we won't name here! May Holy Silence meditate on this sacred matter; You will find in it the ultimate perfection of a principle that has existed throughout human history.
Or, less indescribably, entering the lower provinces, does not all loyalty also involve religious belief? Faith is loyalty to an inspired teacher, a spiritual hero. And what is loyalty, the lifeblood of every society, if not an outpouring of hero worship, submissive admiration for the truly great? Society is based on hero worship. All the categories on which human society rests are what we may callSustainedarchy (hero government), - or a hierarchy, because it is "holy" enough! the duke thinksDux, Leader; the king isMining,Kann-ning, face whathe knowsÖcans. Society everywhere is a not intolerably inaccurate depiction of gradual hero worship: reverence and obedience to truly great and wise men. Not unbearably inaccurate, I say! They are all like banknotes, these social dignitaries, they all represent gold; and some of them, unfortunately, always arefalseNotes We may get some counterfeit notes; with many same; but not with all, nor with most counterfeits! No: then revolutions must come; Shouts of democracy, freedom and equality, and I don't know what: the tickets are all fake and there is no gold to buy them.they, people start crying desperately that there is no gold that never existed! "gold", hero worship,eshowever, as always and everywhere, and cannot cease until man himself ceases.
I am well aware that nowadays hero worship, which I call hero worship, is said to have died and eventually ceased. This is for reasons which will be worth investigating for some time to come, a time which, as it were, denies the existence of great men; denies the attractiveness of tall men. Show our critics a great man, a Luther for instance, start with what they call "accountability"; not to worship him, but to measure him and bring him out a little man! It was the "creature of time", they say; Time called him, time did everything, he nothing, but what we little critics could have done too! This strikes me as nothing more than a melancholy work. The call of the times? Sadly, we used to knowFinancial helpstrong enough for your big man; but couldn't find it when they called! He wasn't there; Providence had not sent him; Time,vocationas his strongest, he had to get into confusion and perdition because he didn't come when he was called.
Because if we think about it, time wouldn't need to be spoiled, right?founda man great enough, a man wise and good enough: wisdom to really see what the times wanted, courage to lead them there in the right way; these are the salvation of all ages. But I compare the ordinary lazy times with their disbelief, their fear, their confusion, with their sluggish, doubtful characters and their embarrassing circumstances, helplessly collapsing in ever-increasing fear towards the final destination; I compare everything to dry, dead fuel waiting for the flash to go off. of the sky that will light it. The great man, with his free power direct from the hand of God, is a thunderbolt. His word is the wise word of healing that everyone can believe. Everything around him now, since he'd beaten her, burns with a fire like his own. It is believed that the dry and crumbling sticks called him. They loved him very much; but call it—! These are, I think, myopic critics shouting, "Look, didn't the sticks make the fire?" A man cannot prove his own littleness more sorrowfully than disbelief in great men. There is no sadder symptom of a generation than such a general blindness to spiritual flashes, trusting only in heaps of dead and fruitless fuel. It is the final consummation of unbelief. In all ages of world history we find the great man as the indispensable savior of his time: the flash, without which the fuel would never have burned. The history of the world, as I said, has been the biography of great men.
These petty critics do what they can to encourage disbelief and general mental paralysis: but, fortunately, they are not always wholly successful. At any moment it is possible for a person to grow up enough to feel that he and his teachings are chimeras and cobwebs. And what is remarkable, they can in a short time completely eradicate from the hearts of living men a certain very peculiar reverence for great men; genuine admiration, loyalty, adoration, however obscure and perverted they may be. Hero worship lasts forever as long as man exists. Boswell adores his Johnson, rightly so, even in the eighteenth century. The unbelieving French believe in their Voltaire; and a very strange hero worship erupted around him in that last act of his life, when he was "suffocating under the roses." This Voltaire thing has always struck me as very strange. Indeed, if Christianity is the highest example of hero worship, here in Voltaireism we find one of the lowest! He, whose life was a sort of antichrist, again shows a curious contrast on this side. No one was less apt to admire him than Voltaire's Frenchman.mockeryit was the character of his whole spirit; Worship had no place anywhere. But look! Ferney's old man arrives in Paris; an old, shaky, sickly man of eighty-four. You get the feeling that he's also something of a hero; that he spent his life resisting error and injustice, freeing Calases and exposing hypocrites in high places; anyway whatANDalso, though in a strange way, he fought like a brave man. Do you also feel that whenmockerybe the big deal, there was never anything like itpersiflage. He is the realized ideal of each of them; what everyone wants to be; the most French of all French. He is indeed their god, the god for which they are suited. So don't all the people adore him, from Queen Antoinette to the Douanier at Porte St. Denis? Good people dress up as tavern waiters. The maitre de poste commands his postilion with a great oath: "go well; you direct M. de Voltaire”. In Paris, his carriage is “the nucleus of a comet whose train fills entire streets”. prettier, nobler.
Yes, from the Norse Odin to the Englishman Samuel Johnson, from the divine founder of Christianity to the withered Pope of the Encyclopedia, in all times and places the hero has been adored. It will always be like this. We all love tall men; to love, adore, and bow to great men: may we not honestly bow to something else? Alas, is not every true man lifted up by fear of what is really above him? No nobler or more blessed feeling dwells in the heart of man. And it is very encouraging to me to consider that no amount of skeptical logic or common platitudes, insincerity and aridity of any age and its influences can destroy that noble innate loyalty and adoration which is in man. In times of unbelief, which will soon become times of revolution, much collapse, painful decay, and ruin are visible to all. It seems to me today that I see in this indestructibility of hero worship the lowest eternal diamond from which the confused end of revolutionary things cannot fall. The tangled death of things collapsing and even collapsing and collapsing around us in these revolutionary ages will go so far;NOfurther. It is an eternal foundation on which to build anew. This man loves heroes in one form or another; that we all adore great men and must always adore: this is to me the living rock in the midst of all breakdowns; the only fixed point in the most recent history of the revolution, otherwise as if it had no base or margin.
Much of the truth only under an old-fashioned cloak, but the spirit of it remains true which I find in the heathenism of the old nations. Nature remains divine, the revelation of God's works; the hero remains lovable: all pagan religions, in incipient, poor, and narrow forms, have tried to bring this out as best they can. I think Scandinavian paganism is more interesting to us here than any other. On the one hand, it's the youngest; lasted in these regions of Europe until the 11th century: eight hundred years ago, the Norse were still worshipers of Odin. It is also interesting as our fathers' creed; the men whose blood still runs in our veins, whom we no doubt still resemble in many ways. Stranger: They believed that while we believed the opposite. Let's take a look at this poor Nordic creed for many reasons. We have tolerable funds for it; for there is another interesting point about these Scandinavian mythologies: they are so well preserved.
On that strange island of Iceland, geologists say, fire erupted from the bottom of the sea; a wild land of waste and lava; it swallowed up many months of each year in black storms, but wildly beautiful and bright in summer; grim, dismal heights out there in the Northern Ocean, with their jokuls of snow, roaring geysers, pools of sulfur, and hideous volcanic canyons, like the chaotic and desolate battlefield of ice and fire; where we of all people look for literature or written monuments, the record of these things has been written. On the seashore of this wild country is a grassy edge of land where cattle may live, and men for them, and what the sea produces; and it seems that these were poetic men, men who had deep thoughts in their hearts and expressed their thoughts in music. Much would have been lost if Iceland hadn't been ripped out of the sea if the Norse hadn't discovered it. Many of the Old Norse poets came from Iceland.
Saemund, one of the first Christian priests there, who perhaps had a lasting taste for paganism, collected some of his old, then almost obsolete, pagan songs, poems or chants of a mythical, prophetic character, mainly all religious: this is what Os Nordic critics call it thatmayorthe poeticEdda.Edda, a word of uncertain etymology, is believed to meanancestry. Snorro Sturleson, an Icelandic gentleman, a remarkable personality, brought up by this grandson of Saemund, undertook nearly a century later, among several other books he wrote, to compile a sort of prose synopsis of all the mythologies; illustrated by new fragments of traditional verse. A work really built with a lot of ingenuity, innate talent, what could be called unconscious art; Overall, a manageable and clear job, but still a pleasure to read: that's itYoungerin proseEdda. For these and many othersTo say, mostly Icelandic, with the commentary, Icelandic and otherwise, avidly continued in the North to this day, it is still possible to get a direct glimpse; and take a face-to-face look at this Old Norse belief system, so to speak. Let's forget that it's a false religion; Let's see it as an old thought and try to empathize with it in some way.
The main feature of this ancient Norse mythology seems to me to be the personification of the visible effects of nature. Serious and simple recognition of the functioning of physical nature as something totally wonderful, amazing and divine. What we are now expounding as a science they marveled at and admired as a religion. The dark and hostile forces of nature present themselves as "Jotun"Giant and huge furry beings with a demonic character. frost, fire, sea storm; these are jotuns. The friendly powers, such as summer heat, the sun, are gods again. The realm of this universe is divided between these two inhabitants, in perpetual internal struggle. The gods dwell in Asgard, the garden of the Æsir or deities; A distant, dark and chaotic land, Jotunheim is the home of the Jotuns.
Strange all this; and not lazy or foolish when we look at the basis of it! the power offogo, Öfogo, whom we call, for example, by a trivial chemical name, and thus conceal from ourselves the essential character of wonder inherent in him, as in all things Loke is, with these old men of the North, the most subtle.Devil, the offspring of the Jotuns. Also the savages of the Ladrones Islands (some Spanish navigators say) thought that fire, which they had never seen before, was a demon or a god, that it bites you strongly if you touch it, and that it is made of dry wood. . Neither does chemistry on our part, if she didn't have the stupidity to help her, she would hide that the flame is a miracle. Oes¿Fuego?-frostThe Norseseer realizes that it is a monstrous, gray-haired jotun, the giantDifficult,rima; Öfrost, the old word is almost obsolete here, but still used for frost in Scotland.frostit was then, as now, not a dead chemical thing, but a living jotun or demon; the monstrous jotunfrostat night he led his horses home, sat down to "comb the manes", the horses that were therehail clouds, a fleeticy winds. His cows: no, not his, but a relative, the giant cows of Hymiricebergs: this Hymir "looks at the rocks" with the devil's eye, and theyto sharein her gaze.
Back then, thunder wasn't just electricity, glassy or resinous; He was the god Donner (thunder) or Thor, also god of beneficial summer heat. The thunder was his wrath: the gathering of the black clouds is the descent of Thor's angry brow; the fiery bolt from heaven is the all-rending hammer hurled from Thor's hand: he rides his chariot roaring over the mountain tops, this is the rumbling; angry, "blows his red beard", this is the whisper of the storm before the onset of thunder. Again Balder, the White God, the Beautiful, Just, and Benevolent (whom the first Christian missionaries found to be like Christ), is the Sun, most beautiful of all visible things; also wonderful and still divine, after all our astronomies and almanacs! But perhaps the most notable god we hear about is the one that Grimm, the German etymologist, finds traces of: the godTo want, or desire. the godTo want; Who could give us all we havewanted! Is this not the most sincere and at the same time the harshest voice of the human spirit? HeindelicateIdeal that man once formed; which still manifests itself in the newest forms of our spiritual culture. Higher considerations should teach us that GodTo wantnot the true god.
Of the other gods or jotuns, I will only mention that the sea storm is the jotun for etymological reasons.To act, a very dangerous jotun; and now, even to this day, on our river Trent, as I learned, Nottingham boatmen call it when the river is in a certain state of flood (a sort of backwater or eddies it has, very dangerous for her). Fearful; They scream, "Look, there he isfearfulCome!" Strange; that word survives, like the pinnacle of a sunken world!olderNottingham boatmen believed in the god Aegir. In fact, our English blood is also mainly Danish, Nordic; nay, Danes, Norsemen, and Saxons basically have no differences, save a superficial one, like that of heathens and Christians or the like. But throughout our island we are largely mixed up with the native Danes on account of the incessant raids which have taken place: and this, of course, in greater proportion along the east coast; and the biggest one, I think, in the North Country. From the Humber upwards, throughout Scotland, the language of the common people remains Icelandic to a unique degree; its Germanness still has a peculiar Nordic tinge. They are also "Normans", Nordics, if that is great beauty!
About the main god Odin we will talk little by little. currently brand both; What is the essence of Scandinavian paganism, and indeed of all paganism: a recognition of the forces of nature as personal, powerful, divine agents, as gods and demons. It's not unthinkable for us. It is man's childish thought that opens with admiration and astonishment in this universe that is always surprising. For me there is something very real, very grand and human about the Nordic system. A broad simplicity, rusticity, so different from the easy grace of ancient Greek paganism, characterizes this Scandinavian system. You think; the genuine thinking of deep, raw, sincere minds, quite open to the things around them; a face-to-face and heart-to-heart inspection of things, the first mark of all good thoughts at all times. Not graceful, half athletic lightness, as in Greek paganism; a certain homespun truthfulness and peasant strength, a great raw sincerity is revealed here. It is strange, after our beautiful statues of Apollo and our bright and smiling myths, to descend on the Norse gods who "brew beer" to celebrate their feast with Aegir, the sea-jotun; send Thor to find the cauldron for them in the land of Jotun; Thor, after many adventures, knocked the pot on his head, like a giant hat, and walked with it, totally lost in it, the pot's ears tapping his heels! A kind of empty space, great uncomfortable gigantism characterizes this Nordic system; Enormous power, yet completely raw, lurking helplessly with unsteady steps. Just consider your primary creation myth. After the gods killed the giant Ymer, a giant created from the conflict of ice and fire by "hot wind" and a lot of tangled work, they decided to build a world with him. His blood made the sea; his flesh was the earth, the rocks his bones; from his eyebrows they formed Asgard, the abode of their gods; Their skulls were the great blue vault of immensity and their brains became clouds. What an exaggerated case! Untamed thinking, big, huge, huge; to be tamed in due time into compact size, not gigantic, but divine and stronger than Shakespeare's, Goethe's gigantism! Both mentally and physically, these men are our ancestors.
I also like your depiction of the Igdrasil tree. All life is represented by them as a tree. Igdrasil, the ash tree of existence, has its roots deep in the realms of Hela or Death; its trunk reaches the sky, it spreads its branches throughout the universe: it is the tree of existence. At his feet, in the realm of death, sit threeas nornas, destinations, – the past, present, future; pour your roots from the Holy Well. Its "branches", with its shoots and leaves? – Events, things suffered, things that happened, catastrophes – scattered across all countries and times. Is not each page a biography, each thread an action or a word? Its branches are histories of nations. Its whisper has been the sound of human existence since time immemorial. It grows there, the breath of human passion whispers through it; or the storm's fury, the storm wind howls through him like the voice of all the gods. It is Igdrasil, the Tree of Existence. It is the past, present and future; what was done, what is being done, what is being done; "the infinite conjugation of the verbAgain"Considering how human things circulate, each inseparable in communion with all, like the word I speak to you today, not only of Ulfila the Mesogoth, but of all humans since the first man began to speak, I see no resemblance. as true as a tree. Cool, all nice and big.machineof the universe," oh, consider that in contrast!
Well, it's quite strange, this Old Norse view of nature; very different from what we imagine nature to be. You don't want to have to say exactly where you came from! One thing we can say: it came from the thinking of Nordic men, from thinking above them all.FirstNordic man with original thinking powers. The first Nordic "man of genius", as we should call him! Countless men have walked through this universe with a mute and vague wonder, such as the same animals can feel; or with a painful and fruitless curiosity, as only men feel; until the great thinker came alongOriginalthe man, the seer; whose formed spoken thoughts awaken the dormant thinking capacities of all. It is always so with the thinker, the spiritual hero. What does it say, all men were not far from it, they wanted to say it. Everyone's thoughts surge around your thought like a painful enchanted dream; answering him: Yes, just like that! Happy for people like dawn from day to night;esIs it not really for them the awakening from non-being to being, from death to life? We still honor such a man; Call him a poet, genius, etc.: but to these wild men he was a true sorcerer, a workman of wonderful and unexpected benefit to them; a prophet, a god! Once awake, thought does not go back to sleep; it develops into a thought system; grows, man after man, generation after generation, until it reaches its full size, andsimilarThe thought system cannot grow any more; but must evoke another.
To the Norse people, the man now called Odin and the supreme Norse god, let's imagine, was such a man. master and captain of soul and body; a priceless hero; Admiration for the one who transcends known boundaries to worship. You don't have the power of articulate thought; and many other powers, still wonderful? So would the raw Nordic heart feel with infinite gratitude. The riddle of the sphinx of this universe has not been solved for you; Were they sure about their own destiny there? Because of him they now know what they must do here and what they must watch for in the future. For him, existence became articulate, melodious; He gave his life first! We can call this Odin, the origin of Norse mythology: Odin, or whatever name the first Norse thinker had when he was a man among men. Once your vision of the universe is realized, a similar vision begins to exist in everyone's mind; grows, continues to grow as long as it is credible there. It was written in every mind, but invisible, as in sympathetic ink; Word of it is starting to become visible to everyone. No, in all times of the world the great event, father of all others, is not the coming of a thinker into the world -!
Another thing that we must not forget; This will explain somewhat the confusion of these Norse Eddas. They are not a coherent system of thought; but right theadditiveof several consecutive systems. All this old Norse belief, presented to us in the Edda on a distant plane as a picture painted on the same canvas, does not stand up to reality at all. On the contrary, it is found in all possible distances and depths of successive generations since the beginning of the faith. All Scandinavian thinkers, from earliest times, contributed to this Scandinavian system of thought; it is the joint work of all in ever new elaboration and complementation. What history it had, how it was changed from one form to another by the contribution of thinker after thinker, until it reached the final complete form we see in the Edda, no one now knows:esCouncils of Trebizond, Councils of Trent, Athanasius, Dantes, Luthers, sink without echo in the dark night! Only he had a story that we all can know. Wherever a thinker appeared, there was a contribution, an entrance, a change or a revolution in what he thought. Unfortunately, the greatest "revolution" of all, made by the man Odin himself, is not to be sunk like the others! What story of Odin? I miss thinking more than himtivea story! That this Odin, with his wild Norse dress, with his wild beard and eyes, his rough speech and Norse ways, was a man like us; with our sorrows, joys, with our members, factions; in fact, all like us: and he did such a job! But the work has largely perished; the worker, all in his name. "Wednesday, "Tomorrow people will say: Odin's day! There is no history of Odin; no record of him; no conjecture about it worth repeating.
Snorro, indeed, in the quietest, almost terse business style, he writes in hispretzels of the world, as Odin was a heroic prince in the Black Sea region, with twelve equals and a large people who needed space. how he drove themArsenic(Asians) of them from Asia; he installed them in the northern parts of Europe by conquest by war; he invented letters, poetry, and so on, and gradually came to be worshiped by these Scandinavians as the supreme god, his twelve peers made twelve his children, gods like himself: of that Snorro has no doubt. Saxo Grammaticus, a very curious Norseman of the same century, hesitates even less; he is careful not to find historical fact in every myth and record it as an earthly event in Denmark or elsewhere. Torfaeus, learned and careful, assigns by calculation a few centuries laterGivenfor this reason: Odin, he says, arose around the year 70 BC. for the Europe. I don't need to say anything about everything that is based on mere uncertainties and is now unsustainable. Way, way beyond the year 70! The date, adventures, all earthly history, form and surroundings of Odin are forever lost in unknown millennia.
No, Grimm, the German antiquarian, denies the existence of Odin. He proves it by etymology. The wordWuotan, which is the original form ofOdin, a word which spread as the name of their chief deity through all the Germanic nations everywhere; this word, which according to Grimm is related to the LatinPaiswith englishfortesand the like, principally means motion, source of motion, force; and it is the proper name of the Most High God, not of any man. The word means deity, he says, among the ancient Saxons, Germans, and all Germanic nations; Adjectives formed from it mean divine, exalted, or something belonging to the supreme god. Probably! We must submit to Grimm on etymological questions. Let's consider this fixedWuotanhalfwalk, the power ofMovement. And now what prevents it from being a heroic man's name andMotorjust like a god? As for the adjectives and words that are formed with it, the Spaniards, in their general admiration for Lope, are not used to saying "a flower of Lope", "a Lope".shake off, "if the flower or the woman were of incomparable beauty?Racewould have become an adjective meaning in SpaindivineAlso. Indeed, Adam Smith, in his Essay on Language, conjectures that all adjectives were formed in exactly this way: something very green, chiefly distinguished by its verdure, was given the appellative nameVerde, and so the closest thing to notable for this feature was named a tree, for example, whichVerdetree, as we still say "thevaporchariot", "four-horse chariot" or the like. All primary adjectives, according to Smith, were formed in this way; they were first nouns and things. We cannot kill a man because of such etymologies! reach of den Sense, not an adjective, but a real hero of flesh and blood!, the voice of every tradition, history or echo of history, agrees with what to think to teach someone about it, to guarantee it.
How did the man Odin come to be considered aBom, the main god? - this is certainly a question that no one wants to dogmatize. I said your people didn't knowLimitsto her admiration for him; they still didn't have a scale to measure admiration. Imagine the love of your own generous heart from a greater man reaching out to you.exceededall limits until it fills and floods the whole field of your thought! Or if that man, Odin, who is a great and deep soul, with the onslaught and mysterious deluge of visions and impulses from which he knows not whence they rush towards him, always a mystery, a kind of terror and amazement to himself is, he should have realized thatANDit was divine; EITHERANDwas an output of "Wuotan", "Movement", Supreme Power and Divinity, of which to his ecstatic vision all nature was the horrible image of the flame; that some effusion of Wuotan dwelt here in him! He was not necessarily wrong; he was wrong to tell the truth he knew. A great soul , every sincere soul, doesn't know what it is, alternates between the greatest height and the smallest depth, can of all things make the smallest measure: herself! These two elements have a strange effect on each other with every person she respects -him admire, with his own wild soul full of noble embers and affection, swirls of chaotic darkness and glorious new light, a divine universe unfurling around him in divine beauty, and no human being he faces happened that he himself could think he was? "Wuotan?" All the men answered: "Wuotan!"
And then consider what mere time will do in such cases; As if a man were big while he lived, he becomes ten times bigger when he dies. how bigdarkroomThe magnifying glass is tradition! How does something grow in human memory, in human imagination, when love and adoration and everything that is in the human heart is there to animate it. And in the dark, in total ignorance; no date or document, no book, no Arundel marble; just a silent monumental landmark here and there. Why would a great man grow in thirty or forty years if there were no books?mythical, contemporaries who had seen him were all dead once. And in three hundred years and in three thousand years...! To trytheorizein such things he would be of little use: they are things that refuse to betheorizedand represented graphically; this logic must know that theyI can'ttalk about it. It is enough for us to notice a flash in the distance, as if a small real light were shining in the middle of this huge dark photo taken by the camera; realizing that the center of it all wasn't madness and nothing but sanity and stuff like that.
That light, lit in the great dark vortex of the Nordic spirit, dark but alive, just waiting for the light; that's the center of it all for me. How that light will then shine and expand into shapes and colors with a thousandfold wonderful expansion does not depend on that.AND, as well as in the National Mind that receives it. The colors and shapes of your light will be those ofcut glassit must shine. - Curious to think how for each man every truest fact is shaped by the nature of man! I said: The sincere man who talks to his brothers must always have explained what seemed to him adone, a true natural spectacle. But the way such a phenomenon or fact was formed, what kind ofdoneit became for him, was and is modified by his own laws of thought; profound, subtle, but universal laws that are always at work. For every human being, the world of nature is his own fantasy, this world is the "image of his own dream" multiplex. Who knows to what nameless intricacies of spiritual law all these heathen fables owe their form! The number twelve, the most divisible of all, which could be halved, in quarters, in threes, in sixes, the most remarkable number, which sufficed to determine whichSign, odin's numberKinder, and countless other twelve. Any vague rumors as to the number tended to settle at twelve. So for all other things. And also unconsciously, without the slightest idea of \u200b\u200b"allegory"! But the fresh and clear eye of those First Ages would quickly discern the secret relationships of things and openly obey them. Schiller finds inbreast of venusan eternal aesthetic truth about the nature of all beauty; curious: but beware of insinuating that the ancient Greek myths had any idea of giving lectures on the "philosophy of criticism"! In general, we should leave these regions unbounded. Can we not imagine that Odin was a reality? Error indeed, error enough: but mere lies, idle fables, obstinate allegories, we shall not believe what our fathers believed.
by Odinset upthey are an important feature of it. Runes and the wonders of "magic" that worked with them are a big feature of the lore. Runes are the Scandinavian alphabet; Suppose Odin was among these people the inventor of letters and "magic"! It is the greatest invention man has ever made! This means to mark the invisible thought contained therein with written characters. It's a kind of second speech, almost as wonderful as the first. Remember the astonishment and disbelief of King Atahualpa of Peru; How did he scratch the Spanish soldier protecting him?Bomon his thumbnail so that he could test the next soldier with him to see if such a miracle was possible. If Odin brought letters among his people, he could do enough magic!
Runic writing among Scandinavians has a certain originality: it is not a Phoenician alphabet, but a native Scandinavian alphabet. Snorro goes on to tell us that Odin invented poetry; the music of human speech, as well as its wonderful runic sign. Let yourself be transported to the early childhood of nations; The first beautiful morning light of our Europe, when everything was in a fresh and youthful glow, as if it were a great dawn, and our Europe began to think of it! miracle, hope; Infinite radiance of hope and wonder, like the thoughts of a little child, in the hearts of these mighty men! strong children of nature; and here there was not only a captain and fierce fighter; knowing what to do with your eyes bright and wild, with your wild lion heart daring and doing; but also a poet, whatever we mean by poet, prophet, great pious thinker and inventor, as the truly great man always is. A hero is a hero in every way; in the soul and thought of him first. This Odin in his brutish, semi-articulated form had his say. A big open heart to welcome this big universe and people's lives here and speak a big word about it. A hero, as I said, in his rough way; a wise, talented and noble man. And now, if we still admire such a man above all others, what did these wild Nordic souls, newly awakened to thought, make of him! To her, even nameless, he was more and more noble; Hero, Prophet, God;Wuotan, The biggest of all. Thought is thought, but it speaks or spells itself. I suppose this Odin must have been of the same race as the greater class of men. A great thought in his wild and deep heart! Are not the harsh words he articulated the rudimentary roots of those English words we still use? So he worked on this dark element. But he was like aluzlit in it; a light of intellect, rude nobility of heart, the only kind of light we have so far; a hero, as I say: and he had to shine there, and make his dark element a little lighter, as is still the work of all of us.
We'll think he's a Scandinavian type; the best German this breed has produced so far. The rough Norse heart has invadedunlimitedadmiration around you; in worship. He is like the root of so many great things; the fruit of it grows from the depths of thousands of years into the whole field of Germanic life. As said, isn't our own Wednesday Odin's day yet? Wednesbury, Wansborough, Wanstead, Wandsworth: Odin too became England, still leaves of that root! He was the chief god of all the Germanic peoples; its Scandinavian pattern; so he didSheadmire the Norseman pattern; that was the fortune he had in the world.
So if the man Odin himself is completely gone, there's this huge shadow of him that still casts itself across the history of his people. Since this Odin once admitted to being God, we can understand that the whole Scandinavian scheme of nature, or the weak non-scheme, whatever it was before, now evolves quite differently and subsequently grows out of it. a new species. . What this Odin saw and taught with his runes and rhymes, all the Germanic tribes took seriously and passed on. His way of thinking became their way of thinking: this, under new conditions, is the story of every great thinker left. Is not this Scandinavian mythology, in its gigantic and indistinct features, like an enormous camera obscura shadow cast from the dead depths of the past and covering the whole northern sky, in a way the portrait of this man Odin? The gigantic image ofThey arenatural face, readable or unreadable there, so expanded and confused! Ah, thinking, I say, is always thinking. No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is nothing more than the biography of great men.
This archetype of heroism touches me deeply; in such a naive, helpless, but heartfelt reception of a hero by those around him. Never so impotent in form, it is the noblest of feelings and a feeling one way or another as enduring as man himself. the soul of human history here in our world, that would be the main objective of this speech today. Now we don't call our great men gods or admire themsinBorder; Oh no,swindlerborder enough! But if we don't have great men, or don't admire them, that would be even worse.
This poor Scandinavian hero cult, this whole Nordic way of looking at the universe and adapting to it, has an indestructible value for us. A crude and childish way of acknowledging the divinity of nature, the divinity of man; very rude but sincere, robust, giant; To announce to the giants of a man that this child was yet to grow! – It was true and it is not. It is not like the half-silent and muffled voice of the long-buried generations of our own fathers, who call out to us from the depths of centuries, in whose veins their blood still runs: "So this is what we made of the world: this is the whole picture and conception we could form of this great mystery of a life and a universe. Do not despise it. You are lifted above it, to a wide field of free vision, but you are not yet in the no, even your imagination, so expanded, is only partial , imperfect: this matter is something that no human being will ever, in time or out of time, understand; after thousands of years of ever-new expansion, that man will strive to understand again part of it: the thing is greater than man , not to be understood by him; an infinite thing!”
We found that the essence of Scandinavian mythology, like all pagan mythologies, is the recognition of the divinity of nature; heartfelt communion of man with the mysterious invisible forces that visibly act in the world around him. I must say this is truer of Scandinavian mythology than of any other mythology that I am aware of. Sincerity is your great quality. Superior (far superior) sincerity consoles us for the utter lack of ancient Greek grace. Sincerity is better than grace in my opinion. I have the feeling that these old northerners looked at nature with open eyes and soul: the most serious, the most honest; childish but manly; with great simplicity and depth and freshness, in a true, loving, admiring and fearless way. A true race of brave and ancient men. Such recognition of nature is considered the main element of paganism; recognition of man and his moral duty, though not wanting either, becomes the main element only in the purest forms of religion. Here, indeed, is a great distinction and epoch in human faith; a great milestone in the religious development of mankind. Man first relates to nature and its forces, admires and reveres them; only later does he realize that all power is moral, that the great point for him is the distinction between good and evil.You needjyou are not going.
In relation to all these fabulous demarcations in theEddaI will also point out, as already suggested, that they are very likely to have been much more recent; probably they were comparatively idle to the ancient Scandinavians from the beginning, and as it were a kind of poetic sport. Allegory and poetic representation, as I said above, cannot be religious beliefs; Faith itself must be there first, then the allegory will gather around it like body in form around its soul. I suppose it's safe to assume that the Norse faith, like other religions, was most active while mostly remaining in a silent state and still not having much to say about itself, let alone sing.
among these darkEddaQuestions, amid all that fantastic mass of claims and knowledge in his Musical Mythologies, the most important practical belief a man could have was probably little more than this:Valkyriesit's atPara Odin Hal; an adamantdetermination; and that the only thing a man needed wasbe brave. ANDValkyriesthey are the voters of the dead: an inexorable fate, meaningless to bend or mitigate, has indicated who must be slain; this was a fundamental point for the Nordic believer, as for all serious men everywhere, for a Mohammed, a Luther, even a Napoleon. It underlines this for each of these men; it is the stuff out of which your entire thought system is woven. HeValkyries; and after theseselectorstake the brave to paradisePara Odin Hal; only the vile and submissive being is taken elsewhere, to the realms of Hela, the goddess of death: this I consider the soul of all Norse beliefs. They understood in their hearts that it was important to be brave; that Odin would have no favors for them, but would despise them and cast them out if they were not brave. Also consider whether there is something to it! It is an eternal duty, as valid today as then, the duty to be courageous.bravurais stillbravura. Man's first duty remains to submittemer. We must get rid of fear; until then, we cannot act in any way. A man's actions are submissive, are they not, but deceitful; his own thoughts are wrong, he too thinks like a slave and a coward until he has fear under his feet. Odin's creed, if we uncover its true essence, is true to this hour. A man must and must be brave; he must march forward and behave like a man, trusting unswervingly in the appointment andSelectionof higher powers; and in general nothing scary. Now and forever, the fullness of his victory over fear will determine how much of a man he is.
This courage of the Old Norse is certainly very wild. Snorro tells us that they thought it shameful and miserable not to die in battle; and when it seemed that natural death was imminent, they cut wounds in his flesh for Odin to receive as slain warriors. The old kings who were about to die had their bodies deposited in a ship; the ship took off, its sails open and the slow fire burning them; That once at sea he could burst into flames, burying the ancient hero with dignity, both in the sky and in the ocean! Wild and bloody bravery; but value of its type; better, I say, than none. Also in the ancient kings of the seas, what indomitable and hard energy! Silent, withdrawn, as I imagine them, unaware that they were particularly brave; face the wild ocean with its monsters and all the people and things; Parents of our own Blakes and Nelsons! No Homer sang of these northern sea kings; but Agamemnon was of little boldness to some of them, and of little fruit in the world; to Hrolf of Normandy, for example! Hrolf or Rollo, Duke of Normandy, the savage king of the seas, is involved in the government of England at this time.
It was also nothing, not even wild enough to roam the sea and fight for so many generations. It was necessary to establish what wasbut strongclass of men; who should rule over whom. I also find some among the rulers of Nordland who received the titlelumberjack; Lumberjack Kings. There's a lot to it. I suppose many of them were woodcutters and fighters at heart, though the skalds mostly speak of the latter, which misleads some critics not a little; for no nation of men could ever live fighting alone; couldn't produce a sufficient result with it! I suppose the right good fighter has always been the right good lumberjack, the right good breeder, the shrewd, breeder, and worker of all kinds; for true courage, as opposed to savagery, is the foundation of everything. A more legitimate value type than; He takes on the untamed forests and the dark, brutal forces of nature to conquer nature for us. Have descendants of his not taken you in the same direction since then? May this courage stay with us forever!
That the man Odin, speaking with a hero's voice and heart, as with a mighty effusion from heaven, told his people the infinite meaning of courage, how man became a god; and that his people, feeling a response in their own hearts, believed this message of his, and they believed it to be a message from heaven, and he a deity, because he told them so: this seems to me the original germ of the Norse religion would be , from which all would naturally arise, types of mythologies, symbolic practices, speculations, allegories, songs and sagas. Growing up, how strange! I called it a small light that shines and shapes itself in the vast vortex of Nordic darkness. But it was the darkness itselfvivacious; think about it, it was the anxious, inarticulate and uninformed mind of all the Nordics that yearned to be able to articulate, articulate more and more! The living Teaching grows, it grows like a banyan tree; the firstTogetherit is the essence: each branch sinks into the earth, becomes a new root; and so in infinite complexity we have a whole forest, a whole jungle, a seed, the father of everything. Wasn't every Nordic religion therefore somehow what we call "the huge shadow of this man's image"? Critics see a certain affinity of some Norse and related creation myths with those of the Hindus. The Adumbla cow that "licks the ice off the rocks" has a kind of Hindu appearance. An Indian cow transported to frozen lands. Probably enough; indeed, we can say without a doubt that these things will have an affinity with the most distant lands, with the earliest times. Thought doesn't die, it just changes. The first person to start thinking about our planet started it all. And then the second man and the third man; no, every true thinker hitherto is a kind of Odin, teaches peopleThey areway of thinking, it casts a shadow of its own image over parts of world history.
I cannot speak here of the distinctive character or poetic merit of this Norse mythology; I don't care either. Some wild prophecies we have, like thisVoluspainsideold; of a remote, grave, and sibylline kind. But they were comparatively an idle addition to the matter, men who only trifled with the matter, as it were, these last skalds; forksThey areThe songs mostly survive. Centuries later, I suppose, they would still sing and poetically symbolize as our modern painters paint, when it no longer came from the heart itself, or from the heart. This is good to take into account everywhere.
At any rate, Gray's remarks on the Norse tradition will give no hint of it, any more than Pope Homer will. It is not a gloomy palace, built in square form of masonry black marble, shrouded in wonder and terror, as Gray tells us: no; rough as the rocks of the north, like the deserts of Iceland, he is; with warmth, simplicity, even a touch of good humor and robust joy in the midst of these scary things. The strong hearts of the Old Norse were not swayed by theatrical grandeur; they didn't have time to tremble. I like its robust simplicity; its veracity, openness of conception. Thor "lowers his brows" in true Norse fury; "Take his hammer from theThe knuckles turn white." Fine traits of piety too, honest piety. Balder, "the white god," dies; the handsome, good-natured; he is the sun-god. They search all over nature for a remedy; but he is dead. Frigga , his mother, sends Hermoder to seek or see him: Nine days and nine nights he rides through deep and dark valleys, a labyrinth of darkness; he comes to the bridge with its golden roof: the watchman says, "Yes, Balder went this way; but the realm of the dead is beyond, far to the north." sees Balder and says to him: Balder cannot be freed. Inexorable! Hela will not. He will, by Odin or any god, deliver you to him. The beautiful and gentlemen must remain there. His wife volunteered to be with him to go, to die with him. They will stay there forever. He sends his ring to Odin; Nanna, his wife, he sends her.thimbleto Frigga as a souvenir. "Oh me!"
For courage is also the source of godliness; of truth and of all that is great and good in man. The rugged, down-home potency of the Nordic heart goes a long way in these demarcations. It's not a fair and honest quality of strength, says Uhland, who has written an excellentIn the endin Thor, that the Norse heart finds its friend in the god of thunder? who is not afraid of his thunder; but find that the heat of summer, beautiful and noble summer, must and will also have thunder! nordic heartorthis Thor and his hammer; sports with him. Thor is summer heat: the god of peaceful industry and thunder. He is a friend of the farmer; his real henchman and assistant is Thialfi,work manual. Thor himself is engaged in all kinds of rough manual work, he does not disdain any business for his citizen; He travels to the jotun lands from time to time, harassing, subduing, or at least restraining and damaging these chaotic ice monsters. There's great, broad humor in some of this stuff.
As we saw above, Thor goes to the Jotun land to look for the Cauldron of Hymir so the gods can brew beer. Enter Hymir, the great giant, with his gray beard covered with ice; breaks pillars at the sight of his eye; Thor, after much bitter turmoil, seizes the pot and strikes it on the head; whose "straps reach to the heels". The Norse skald has something of a love sport with Thor. This is the Hymir whose livestock critics discovered icebergs. Huge untrained Brobdignag genius who just needs to be tamed; in Shakespeare, Dante, Goethe! It's all over now, that Norse work Thor the god of thunder has turned into Jack the giant slayer: but the mind that created him is still here. How strange things grow and die and not die! There are branches of this great tree of Norse belief that are strange to trace. That poor nursery Jack, with his wonderful quick shoes, cloak of darkness, sharp sword, he is one.Etin-Kissen, and even more decidedlyRed Eighteen da Irlanda,Emthe Scottish ballads, both from Nordland;your meatis obviously aJotunNo, ShakespeareDorfit is also a branch of that same world tree; there seems to be no doubt about it. village,SeveralI think he's really a mythical figure; and his tragedy, the father poisoned, poisoned asleep by drops in the ear, and the rest, is a Norse myth! Old Saxo, as was his wont, turned it into a Danish story; Saxo's Shakespeare did what we see. This is a branch of the world tree that hasgrown up, to believe; by nature or by chance it grew!
In fact, these Old Norse songs have aTRUEin them an inward and eternal truth and grandeur, as they certainly must have all that can only be long preserved through tradition. It is a greatness that consists not only of body and gigantic protuberance, but of a gross greatness of soul. There is a sublime melancholy that does not complain in these old hearts. A great free look into the depths of thought. They seem to have seen, these brave northerners, what meditation has taught all people for all time, that after all this world is but a spectacle, a phenomenon or apparition, nothing real. All deep souls see in him, the Hindu mythologist, the German philosopher, the Shakespearean, the serious thinker, wherever he may be:
"We are made of the same stuff that dreams are made of!"
One of Thor's expeditions to Utgard (theForaGarden, the headquarters of the country of Jotun) is notable in this regard. Thialfi was with him and Loke. After several adventures, they entered the giant land; He wandered across plains, wild and desolate places, among rocks and trees. At nightfall they noticed a house; and as the door, which was really the whole side of the house, was open, they entered. It was a simple room; a large room, completely empty. They stayed there. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, loud noises startled them. Thor grabbed his hammer; He was at the gate ready for battle. His companions ran to and fro in terror, looking for a way out of that inhospitable space; Eventually they found a small closet and took refuge there. Nor did Thor fight: for behold, in the morning it was discovered that the noise had been only thatsnoringof a certain huge but peaceful giant, the Skrymir giant, sleeping peacefully nearby; and what they thought was a house was simply theirsGlove, set aside there; the door was the wrist of the glove; the little cupboard they fled to was the thumb! What a glove! I also notice that it didn't have fingers like ours, just a thumb and the rest: a very old rustic glove!
Skrymir carried his suitcase all day now; However, Thor had his own suspicions, he didn't like Skrymir's behavior; Determined at night to finish him off in his sleep. He raised the hammer and slammed his right hand across the giant's face, hard enough to break stone. The giant has just woken up; he rubbed his cheek and said: did a leaf fall? Thor attacked again just as Skrymir fell asleep again; a better beat than before; but the giant only murmured: Was that a grain of sand? Thor's third strike was with both hands (the 'white knuckles' I think) and seemed to sink deep into Skrymir's face; but he only muffled his snoring and remarked: I think the sparrows must perch on this tree; What did they drop? At the Utgard Gate, a place so high that "you have to crane your neck and lean back to see the top", Skrymir continued on his way. Thor and his companions were admitted; invited to participate in the ongoing games. Thor, in turn, received a drinking horn; it was a common feat, he was told, to drink it dry in one gulp. Three times long and hard Thor drank; but it made little impression. He was a weak child, they told him: could he catch the cat he saw there? Small as the feat seemed, Thor, with all his godly strength, failed; he arched the creature's back, it couldn't lift its feet off the ground, it could only lift one foot. You are not a man, said the people of Utgard; There is an old woman who will fight you! Thor, deeply ashamed, grabbed this emaciated crone; but he could not throw it away.
And now, as they were leaving Utgard, the chief Jotun, escorting them politely a little way, said to Thor: 'Then you are defeated: but do not look so ashamed; there lies a deception of appearances. That horn you tried to drink was DieDamage; you stumbled him; but who could drink this, the bottomless! The jack you would have raised, well that's himMidgardschlange, the Great Serpent of the World, encircling and sustaining the entire created world with its tail in its mouth; if you had broken it, the world would have fallen into ruins! As for the old woman, it was herTempo, age, duration: what to fight against? No man and no god with her; Gods or men, she rules all! And then those three hits you took, look at thesethree valleys; three strikes from him did it!” Thor looked at his Jotun companion: It was Skrymir; was, say the Nordic critics, the old messy and rockyTerrapersonally, and this glove-casait was a cave in the earth! But Skrymir is gone; Utgard, with its towering gates, exploded as Thor swung his hammer to strike them; only the giant's mocking voice could be heard: "Better not come to Jötunheim anymore!"
This, we see, is of the allegorical period, and half-represented, not of the prophetic, and entirely pious: but, as a myth, is there no real Old Norse gold in it? More genuine metal, harder and more rigid than in many famous Greek myths.tightto improve! On this Skrymir is a big, wide Brobdignag smile of true humor; Joy rests in seriousness and sadness, like the rainbow in the black storm: only a sincere and courageous heart can do that. It's the dark humor of our own Ben Jonson, weird old Ben; it's in our blood, I suppose; because you catch shadows of him, in yet another guise, from the American backwoods.
This is also a very appropriate idea of theRagnarok, consumption thatTwilight of the Gods. This is inVoluspaSong; apparently a very ancient prophetic idea. The gods and jotuns, the divine powers and the chaotic beasts, after a long struggle and a partial victory of the former, finally meet in a universal battle and duel that embraces the whole world; World Serpent vs Thor, Power vs Power; mutually extinguished; and doom, the "dawn" sinking into darkness, swallows up the created universe. The old universe with its gods has disappeared; but it is not a final death: there will be a new heaven and a new earth; a supreme supreme god and justice to rule among men. Strange: this law of mutation, which is also a law written in man's innermost thoughts, had been deciphered by these serious old thinkers in their crude style; and how, though all die, and even the gods die, yet every death is but a phoenix-fire death and a new birth into the greatest and best! It is the basic law of being for a creature of time living in this place of hope. All serious men have seen it; you can still see inside.
And now, with that in mind, let's take a look at thesespanmyth of the appearance of Thor; and it ends there. I imagine it is the last of these fables; a sad protest against the encroachment of Christianity, censured by a heathen conservative. King Olaf was heavily blamed for his overzealousness in introducing Christianity; Surely I should have blamed him a lot more for his lack of diligence! He paid dearly for it; died at the hands of his pagan people in rebellion at the Battle of Stickelstad near Drontheim in 1033, where the main cathedral in the North stood for many centuries and is dedicated to him in remembranceWe are.Olaf. The myth about Thor follows this line. King Olaf, the king of the Christian Reformation, sails from port to port along the Norwegian coast with a suitable escort; Jurisdiction or other real work: When leaving a certain port, it is verified that a stranger with a serious appearance and expression, with a red beard, robust and handsome figure, has entered. Courtiers address him; His answers are surprising in their relevance and depth: he is finally brought before the king. The foreigners' enjoyment here is no less remarkable as they sail along the beautiful coastline; but after a while he addresses King Olaf thus: “Yes, King Olaf, everything is beautiful, the sun is shining there; green, fertile, fair and fair home for you; and many sad days had Thor, many savage battles with the rock-jotuns before he could succeed. And now you seem determined to take Thor down. King Olaf, be careful! said the stranger, lowering his eyebrows, and when they looked again, he was nowhere to be seen. nowhere. This is Thor's last appearance on the world stage!
Can't we see how the fable can happen without anyone lacking truth? It is the form in which most of the gods appeared among men: so if, in the time of Pindar, "Neptune was once seen at the Nemean Games", what was it that Neptune also served to be a "noble-looking stranger"? and solemn, "to be seen!"! To me there is something pathetic, tragic in this last voice of heathenism. Thor is gone, all the Norse world is gone; and I will never return. what was in this world, everything that is or will be in it, must disappear: we must give them our sad farewell.
This Nordic religion, a crude but serious religion, very impressiveconsecration of courage(however we can define it), enough for these brave old Norsemen. The consecration of courage is not a bad thing! We'll take this forever as far as we can. It's no use eitherSabersomething about that ancient paganism of our fathers. Unconsciously and combined with higher things, this ancient belief is still within us! Knowing it consciously brings us into a closer and clearer relationship with the past, with our own past possessions. For, as I keep repeating, all the past is the property of the present; the past always had somethingTRUE, and it is a precious commodity. Another time, another place, it's always someone elsePageour common human nature that evolved. The true truth is the sum of all these; none of them, taken in isolation, constitute what human nature has so far developed. It's better to know them all than to misunderstand them. "To which of these three religions do you belong in particular?" the Master asks his master. "For all three!" The other replies, "To the three, because by their union they first form the true religion."
CONFERENCE II THE HERO AS PROPHET. MAHOMET: ISLAM.
[8. May 1840.]
From the early days of paganism among the northern Scandinavians, we are advancing to an age of a very different religion among a very different people: Mohammedanism among the Arabs. A big change; What a change and progress are here indicated in the general condition and thinking of men!
The hero is no longer considered a god among his kind; but as animated by God, as a prophet. It is the second phase of hero-worship: the first, or older, we might say, passed without return; In the history of the world there will never again be a man, never so great, that his fellow men consider a god. Furthermore, we may rationally ask: Did any group of people really think that the man whoSerrawas there a god beside them, the creator of this world? Perhaps not: it was usually some man they remembered, wasn't it?tivevisa. But this can no longer be. The Great Man is no longer recognized as God.
It was a gross error to regard the Great Man as God. Let's assume, however, that it's hard to know all the time.Ohe is, or how to account for and receive him! The most significant thing in the history of an era is the way it welcomes a great man. For men's true instincts, there is always something divine in him. Do they consider him God, a prophet, or why do they consider him? this is always a good question; As he answers, we will be looking through a small window into the heart of these men's spiritual condition. For, at bottom, the Great Man, as he leaves the hand of nature, is always the same sort of thing: Odin, Luther, Johnson, Burns; I hope it looks like this all originally came from one thing; that they are so immeasurably diverse precisely because of the way the world absorbs them and the forms they take. Odin worship surprises us by prostrating to the Great Manbad equipmentfilled with love and admiration for him, and felt in their hearts that he was an inhabitant of heaven, a god! That was very imperfect: but, for example, getting a Burns like we did, is that what we would call perfect? The most precious gift heaven can give to earth; a man of “genius”, as we call him; the soul of a man truly sent from heaven with a message from God for us to waste like artificial fireworks sent for a little fun and bury it in ashes, ruin and inefficiency:similarReception from a great man, which I wouldn't call too perfect either! To get to the bottom of the matter, perhaps Burns could be described as an even uglier phenomenon, indicating even sadder imperfections in the human way of life than the Scandinavian method itself! Fall into pure irrationalitybad equipmentof love and admiration, it was not good; but such an unreasonable lack of love, even more so, irrational, arrogant, is perhaps even worse! This thing about hero worship is always changing: different in each era, hard to get right in each era. In fact, the core of all business today is doing it well.
We did not choose Muhammad as the supreme prophet; but as the one about whom we can most freely speak. He is by no means the truest of prophets; but I believe it to be true. Also, since there is no danger of us Muslims being converted, I want to say all the good things I can say about this. It's the way to get to its secret: let's try to understand whatANDmeaning with the world; what the world meant and means to him will then be a more answerable question. Our current assumption about Muhammad, that he was a scheming deceiver, a lie incarnate, that his religion is a mere mass of charlatanism and stupidity, is really beginning to be untenable for anyone. The lies that well-meaning zeal has spread around this man are dishonorable only to us. When Pococke asked Grotius where is the evidence for this story of the dove being trained to pluck peas from Mohammed's ear and posing as an angel dictating to him? Grotius replied that there was no evidence! It really is time to discard all that. The word this man spoke was the way of life for 180 million people these 1200 years. These one hundred and eighty million were made by God just like we are. More of God's creatures believe the word of Muhammad than any other word at this time. Are we to assume it was some pathetic spiritual trick by which so many of the Almighty's creatures have lived and died? For my part, I cannot make such an assumption. Before that, I will believe most things. No one would know what to think of this world if quackery were on the rise and sanctioned here.
Unfortunately, such theories are very unfortunate. If we want to gain knowledge of anything in God's true creation, we stop believing in it! They are the product of an age of scepticism: they point to the saddest spiritual paralysis and the mere death of men's souls: the most impious theory, I believe, has never been promulgated on this earth. Did a fake man find a religion? Well, a false man cannot build a house of bricks! If you don't know and follow the properties of mortar, fired clay, and everything else you work with, you're not building a house, you're building a pile of rubbish. It will not last twelve centuries and house one hundred and eighty millions; is about to fall. A man must obey the laws of nature,to bereally in communion with nature and with the truth of things, or nature will answer: No, not at all! Details are misleading, alas! One Cagliostro, many Cagliostro, prominent world leaders, thrive on their quackery for a day. It's like a false note; you cross the lineThey areuseless hands: others, not they, have to pay for it. Nature bursts into flames of fire, French revolutions and the like, proclaiming with startling truth that counterfeits are counterfeits.
But of one great man in particular, I dare say it is unbelievable that he should deviate from the truth. It seems to me that the first base of this and all that can be in it is this. No Mirabeau, Napoleon, Burns, Cromwell, no man who can do anything, but most of all he really means business; what i call a sincere man. I should saysincerity, a deep, great and genuine sincerity, is the first characteristic of all human beings in all heroic forms. Not the sincerity that claims to be sincere; oh no, that is really a very poor thing; a superficial, arrogant, conscientious sincerity; frequent imagination mostly. The Great Man's sincerity is such as he cannot speak of, he has no conscience: I suppose he is really aware of insincerity; for what man can walk exactly one day according to the law of truth? No, the Great Man does not boast of being sincere, quite the contrary; perhaps he does not ask himself whether this is so: I would rather say that his sincerity does not depend on himself; I can't help but be honest! The great fact of existence is great for him. No matter how he flies, he cannot escape the terrifying presence of this reality. His mind is made that way; For that, he's great in the first place. Terrible and wonderful, real as life, real as death, is this universe for him. Though all people must forget his truth and walk in vain, he cannot. Meanwhile, the image of the flame stares at him; undeniably, there, there! I want you to consider this my primary definition of a great man. A little man may have it, he is competent for all men that God has made: but a big man cannot do without it.
Such a man we call oneOriginalMan; He comes to us firsthand. A messenger he sent from Unknown Infinity with news for us. We can call him poet, prophet, god; In one way or another, we all feel that the words he utters are like the words of no other human being. Straight from the inner fact of things; he lives and must live in daily communion with her. Rumors cannot hide it from you; he is blind, homeless, miserable, follows rumours;ANDlook at him. Really, aren't her statements some kind of "revelation", as we have to call it for lack of another name? It comes from the heart of the world; it is part of the original reality of things. God made many revelations: but did not God also make them to this man, the last and youngest of all? The "inspiration of the Almighty gives him understanding": above all, we must listen to him.
Therefore, by no means should we regard this Muhammad as a fool and a showman, as an ambitious and conscientious conspirator; we cannot imagine so. The crass message he conveyed was genuine throughout; a sincere and confused voice from the deep unknown. Man's words were not wrong, nor his works here below; without stupidity and drill; a fiery mass of life thrown from the great womb of nature itself. FORLichtthe world; the Creator of the world so ordained it. Neither Muhammad's faults, imperfections, nor even his insincerity, if they were never so well proved to him, can shake this primordial fact about him.
In general, we attach great importance to mistakes; the details of the business hide its true core. failures? The biggest mistake, I would say, is not being aware of it. One would think that Bible readers in particular would know better. Who is called “the man after God's own heart”? David, the Hebrew king, had committed many sins; blackest crimes; there was no lack of sins. And then the unbelievers mock and ask: Is this your husband after God's own heart? The mockery, I must say, seems superficial to me. What are the flaws, what are the external details of a life; when the inner mystery of it, the regrets, the temptations, the real, often bewildering, never-ending struggle is forgotten? "It does not belong to a man who walks to direct his steps." Of all actions for a man is notbusthe most divine? The deadliest sin, I say, was the same arrogant conscience of not sinning; this is death; the heart so conscious is separated from sincerity, humility and reality; he is dead: he is "pure" as dead and dry sand is pure. The life and history of David written for us in his Psalms, I believe to be the truest type ever given of one man's moral progress and warfare here. All fiery souls will always recognize in him the faithful struggle of a fiery human soul for good and better. Struggle often confused, painfully confused, sunk as if it were a total wreck; However, a fight never ended; always, with tears, regrets, true invincible goal, started over. Poor human nature! In fact, isn't a person's gait always "the result of falls"? Man cannot do otherwise. In this wild element of a life he must fight; now fallen, deeply humiliated; and always, with tears, regrets, with a bleeding heart, he has to get up again, fight again and move on. that your fightto bean invincible believer: that is the question of questions. We will endure a lot of sad details if the soul was true. Details alone will never teach us what it is. I think we underestimate Muhammad's mistake even as a mistake: but his secret is never obtained by living there. All this we will leave behind; and to be sure he meant something true, let us frankly inquire what it was, or could be.
These Arabs, among whom Muhammad was born, are certainly a remarkable people. Your own country is remarkable; the right room for such a breed. Wild and inaccessible rocky mountains, great desolate deserts, alternating with beautiful strips of green: Where there is water, there is green, beauty; fragrant balsamic bushes, date palms, frankincense trees. Contemplate this vast, empty, silent horizon of sand, like a sea of sand separating the habitable from the habitable. You are alone there, alone with the universe; a bright sun during the day, hitting him with an unbearable glare; at night the big deep sky with its stars. Such a land is suited to a race of men with quick hands and deep hearts. There is something more agile, active and even more thoughtful and enthusiastic about the Arab character. The Persians are called the French of the East; we will name the eastern Italian Arabs. A noble and talented people; a people of strong wild feeling and iron reserve about it: the quality of noble spirit, of genius. The wild Bedouin receives the stranger in his tent as if he had a right to everything there; even if he were his worst enemy, he would kill his colt to treat him, he would serve him with holy hospitality for three days, he would set him on his right path; and then, by some other law so sacred, he would kill him, if he could. Both in words and in deeds. It is not a chatty people, but a taciturn one; but eloquent, gifted when they speak. A class of serious and honest men. As we know, they are of Jewish descent: but with that terribly deadly seriousness of the Jews, they seem to combine something elegant and ingenious which is not Jewish. They had "poetic contests" with each other before the time of Muhammad. Sale says that there were annual fairs at Ocadh, in southern Arabia, and there, when the trade ended, the poets sang for prizes: The wild folk gathered to hear this.
A Jewish quality these Arabs manifest; the result of many or all of the high qualities: what we may call religiosity. Since ancient times they have been zealous worshipers according to their light. They worshiped the stars as you know them; he worshiped many natural objects, recognizing them as symbols, direct manifestations of the Creator of nature. He was wrong; and yet not entirely wrong. All of God's works are still, in some way, symbols of God. Do we not still consider it a merit, as I have emphasized, to recognize a certain inexhaustible sense, "poetic beauty" as we call it, in all natural objects, whatever they may be? A man is a poet and honored to do that and speak or sing, a kind of diluted worship. They had many prophets, these Arabs; Masters, each according to his tribe, each according to the light he had. But do we not have, from antiquity, the noblest and most tangible proof of the devotion and nobility that inhabited these rural and contemplative cities? Bible critics seem to agree with thiswork folderit was written in that region of the world. I call it one of the best things ever written, despite all the theories about it. He really feels that he is not a Hebrew; such a noble universality reigns in him, distinct from noble patriotism or sectarianism. A noble book; All men's book! It is our first and earliest statement of the never-ending problem: the fate of man and God's dealings with him here on earth. And it's all in these free-flowing contours; great in its sincerity, in its simplicity; in its epic melody and rest of the reconciliation. There is the eye that sees, the easily understanding heart. ThenTRUEall the senses; true vision and vision for all things; material things no less than spiritual: the horse "with which you adorned your neckdonner?"-AND "riWaving the spear!" Such vivid resemblances were never drawn. Pain exalted, reconciliation exalted; Choral melody as old as the heart of mankind; as gentle and grand; as summer's midnight, as the world with its seas! And stars I believe there is nothing written, either in the Bible or outside it, of equal literary value.
For the idolatrous Arabs, one of the oldest objects of universal worship was the Black Stone, which is still kept in the building called the Kaaba in Mecca. Diodorus Siculus unmistakably mentions this Kaaba as the oldest and most revered temple of its time; that is, half a century before our era. Silvestre de Sacy says that there is a certain probability that Pedra Negra is a meteorite. In this case, a man couldverfall from the sky! It is now located next to the Zemzem Pit; the Kaaba is built on both. A fountain is everywhere a beautiful moving object, rising like life from the hard earth; even more in those hot and dry countries where it is the first condition of being. Zemzem Well takes its name from the gurgling sound of water,earth earth; They think it's the well Hagar found in the desert with her little Ishmael: it and the meteorite are now sacred and have had a Kaaba above them for thousands of years. A strange object, this Kaaba! There he is at this hour, wrapped in the black cloth the sultan sends him every year; "twenty-seven cubits high"; with a circle, with a double circle of columns, with garlands of lamps and picturesque ornaments: the lamps will shine againThat's itnight to shine again under the stars. An authentic fragment of the most ancient past. It's himKeblaof all Muslims: from Delhi to Morocco, the eyes of countless men of prayer are fixed on him, five times, today and every day: one of the most remarkable centers of the Abode of Men.
From the sanctity of this stone of Kaaba and the well of Hagar, from the pilgrimages of all Arab tribes there, Mecca emerged as a city. Once a great city, though now very run down. It has no natural advantage to a people; it stands in a sandy depression amid bare hills, some distance from the sea; their provisions, their own bread, have to be imported. But many pilgrims needed shelter: all pilgrimage sites became trading posts early on. On the first day that pilgrims meet, merchants also meet: where men gather for one object, they discover that they can fulfill other objects depending on the meeting. Mecca became the fair of all Arabia. And therefore it was actually the main food and storehouse for whatever trade there was between the Indian and Western countries, Syria, Egypt and even Italy. It had a population of 100,000 at one time; Buyers, carriers of these eastern and western goods; Own food and corn importers. The government was a kind of irregular aristocratic republic, not without a touch of theocracy. Ten roughly selected men from a main tribe were governors of Mecca and guardians of the Kaaba. Koreans were the main tribe in Mohammed's time; his own family came from this tribe. The rest of the nation, divided and torn apart by deserts, lived under similarly crude patriarchal governments of one or more: shepherds, muleteers, merchants, and in general also thieves; more often at war with each other, or with all: connected by no open bond, were it not for this gathering in the Kaaba, where all forms of Arab idolatry met in common worship; carried out mainly byInternalindissoluble bond of common blood and common language. In this way, the Arabs lived for a long time unnoticed by the world; a people of great qualities who unconsciously looked forward to the day when they would become outstanding before the whole world. Their idolatry seems to be in an unstable state; A lot was mixed between them and fermented. Grim tidings of the most momentous event ever to take place in this world, the life and death of the divine man in Judea, at once a symptom and cause of immeasurable changes to all the people of the world, also reached Arabia over the centuries. ; and could not fail to produce fermentation there.
Among these Arab people, under these circumstances, in the year 570 CE, the man Mohammed was born. He was of the family of Hashem, of the Koreish tribe, as we have said; although poor, connected to the leaders of his country. He lost his father almost at birth; at the age of six his mother, a woman known for her beauty, valor and intelligence, also fell under the care of his grandfather, a man of one hundred years. A good old man: Mohammed's father, Abdallah, was his favorite youngest son. He saw in Mohammed, with his old eyes worn by life, a century, the lost Abdallah returning, all that was left of Abdallah. He loved the orphan boy very much; He always said: You must take care of this beautiful boy, nothing in his family was more precious than him. On his death, when the boy was two years old, he left him in the care of Abu Thaleb, the eldest of the uncles, as the one who was now the head of the family. By this uncle, a fair and reasonable man, it seems, Muhammad was brought up in the best of Arab customs.
Growing up, Muhammad accompanied his uncle on trading trips and the like; At eighteen, he is considered a combatant following his uncle into the war. But perhaps the most important of all his trips is the one recorded a few years earlier: a trip to the fairs of Syria. The young man here first came into contact with a rather strange world, with an element of an endless moment alien to him - the Christian religion. I don't know what to make of this "monk Sergius the Nestorian" with whom he and Abu Thaleb are said to have stayed; or how much a monk might have taught a youth. That of the Nestorian monk is probably greatly exaggerated. Muhammad was only fourteen years old; he had no other language than his own: much in Syria must have been a strange and incomprehensible turmoil to him. But the boy's eyes were open; no doubt many things would be contemplated, and still very enigmatic, which would one day, strangely enough, mature into opinions, beliefs and perceptions. These trips to Syria were probably the beginning of many things for Muhammad.
Another fact that we must not forget: that he had no schooling; of what we call school learning, none. The art of writing had just been introduced into Arabia; seems to be the true opinion that Mohammed could never write! Life in the desert with its experiences was all his education. What he could perceive of this infinite universe from his dark place with his own eyes and mind, that and nothing else he needed to know. Weird, if we think about it, this thing about not having books. He knew nothing beyond what he could see for himself or hear through a faint whisper in the dark Arabian desert. The wisdom that had been in the world before him or far from him was there for him as well as if it weren't. Of the great sister souls, lighthouses in so many countries and times, none communicates directly with this great soul. He is there alone, in the middle of the desert; he has to grow up like that, with just nature and his own thoughts.
But from an early age he drew attention as a thoughtful man. His colleagues called him "Al-Amin, The Faithful One.” A true and faithful man, faithful in what he did, what he said and what he thought. They pointed it outANDit always meant something. A rather taciturn man; silent when there was nothing to say; but pertinent, wise, sincere when he spoke; always brings light to the subject. This is the only kind of speechWertSpeech! Throughout his life, we find that he was considered a rock solid, brotherly and genuine man. Serious and sincere character; however friendly, cordial, sociable and even good-natured; besides, he laughs a lot: there are men whose laughter is as wrong as everything else about them; who cannot laugh One hears of Mohammed's beauty: his fine, intelligent, honest face, his bronzed and flowery complexion, his shining black eyes; I also like that vein on his forehead that turns black when he's angry: like the "horseshoescott veinred glove. It was kind of a Hashem family trait, that swollen black vein on the forehead; Mohammed, it seems, had this prominently. A spontaneous, passionate but fair man with real meaning! full of wild, fire and light skills; of wild courage, all uncultivated; there to complete his life's task in the depths of the desert.
How he was installed as his butler with Kadijah, a wealthy widow, and traveled back to the fairs of Syria on his business; how, understandably, he handled everything faithfully, with skill; in gratitude from him, her respect for him grew: The story of their marriage is very elegant and understandable, told to us by Arab authors. He was twenty-five; she forty, though still pretty. He seems to have lived with this married benefactor in a most loving, peaceful, and sane manner; to really love her, and only her. This largely goes against the impostor's theory that he lived in this utterly innocent, utterly calm and ordinary way until the heat of his years had passed. He was forty years old before he spoke of a heavenly mission. All his irregularities, real and imagined, date back to his fifties, when good Kadija died. His whole "ambition" apparently was to live an honest life; His "fame," the mere opinion of neighbors who knew him, sufficed for that. It was only when she grew old that his lustful heat of life subsided.pazGrowing up to be the most important thing this world could give him, he embarked on the "career of ambition"; and belying all his former character and existence, he became a miserable and empty charlatan to appropriate what he could no longer enjoy! For my part, I don't believe that.
Oh no: this deep-hearted son of the desert, with his bright black eyes and open, social soul, had other thoughts than ambition. A great silent soul; I was one of those people who can'tButbe serious; that nature itself destined to be sincere. While others walk in formulas and rumours, content enough to dwell there, this man could not hide in formulas; he was alone with his own soul and the reality of things. As I said, the great mystery of existence faced him with its terrors, with its splendor; no rumor could hide this unspeakable fact: "Here I am!" Similarsincerity, as we call it, does indeed have something divine about it. The word of such a man is a direct voice from the heart of nature. Men hear and must hear it as nothing else; everything else is wind in comparison. A thousand thoughts have been in this person in his pilgrimages and wanderings since ancient times: What am I? OesThis unfathomable thing I live in that people call the universe? What is life; What is death, what should I believe? What I'll do? The grim rocks of Mount Hara, of Mount Sinai, the harsh sandy deserts did not respond. The great sky, with its bright blue stars rolling silently over it, did not respond. There was no answer. Man's own soul and that which dwelt in it by inspiration of God had to answer!
All people must ask themselves this question; that we too must ask and answer. This wild man felt he was outinfiniteTime; all other things are unimportant in comparison. The jargon of the quarrelsome Greek sects, the vague traditions of the Jews, the stupid routine of Arab idolatry—there was no answer. A hero, again, has that first distinction, which we can certainly call the first and last, the alpha and omega of all his heroism, looking through the lens of things.Things. Usage and custom, decent hearsay, decent formula: all these are good or bad. Behind and beyond all this is something to which all this must correspond, be or be an image -idolatry; "pieces of black wood pretending to be God"; to the mockery and abomination of the sincere soul. Idolatry like never before, accompanied by Koreish chiefs, will do nothing for this man. Though all men pass by them, what's the use? The Great Reality is dazzling up therehe. He must answer there or die miserably. Now, by the way, or forever! reply;Ofhe must find an answer. What could all Arabia do for this man? with the crown of the Greek Heraclius, of the Persian Chosroes, and of all the crowns of the earth; what could they do for him? It wasn't the land he wanted to hear about; it came from heaven above and hell below. All crowns and sovereignties whereverSheyears from now the time will come to be a sheik of Mecca or Arabia and hold a piece of golden staff, will that be your salvation? I definitely don't think so. We will leave this impostor hypothesis totally uncertain; not even very tolerable, above all worthy of being dismissed by us.
Muhammad retired into solitude and silence every year during the month of Ramadan; as was indeed the Arab custom; a commendable custom, which such a man, above all else, would find natural and useful. Communicate with your own heart in the stillness of the mountains; yourself in silence; open to "little low voices": it was a natural habit! Muhammad was forty years old when he retired to a cave on Mount Hara near Mecca during this Ramadan to spend the month in prayer and meditation on these great questions, he said one day to his wife Kadija, who was at or near her house with him. of him this year, who by Heaven's unspeakable special favor had already discovered everything; He was no longer in doubt and darkness, but he saw everything. That all these idols and formulas were nothing, miserable pieces of wood; that there was a God within and above all; and we must leave all idols and look to Him that God is great; and that there is nothing greater! He is reality. Wooden idols are not real; he is real He made us in the beginning, He still sustains us; we and all things are but His shadow; a fleeting cloak that covers the eternal splendor. "allah is the best, God is great;" – and then also”Islam“That we should submit to God. That all our strength is in resigned submission to Him, no matter what He does with us. For this world and beyond! What He sends us, even if it is death and worse than death, it will be good, it will be the best; we give ourselves to God. - "If soIslamsays Goethe, we don't all live in itIslam“Yes, all of us who have a certain moral life, we all live like that. It has always been asserted that the supreme wisdom for a man is not simply to submit to necessity - necessity will make him submit - but to know and believe. he wanted there, to give up his frantic pretense of examining this great world of God in his tiny fraction of his brain, to know that it was sotiveindeed, though beyond his tones, a just law that his soul was good; that his part was to conform to the Law of All and obey it in pious silence; do not question, obey as indisputable.
I mean, that's still the only true morality known. A man is upright and invincible, virtuous and on the path of certain conquest, only by aligning himself with the great profound law of the world, defying all surface laws, temporary appearances, profit and loss accounts; he is victorious so long as he co-operates with this great central law, he is not victorious otherwise: and certainly your first opportunity to co-operate with it, or enter its course, is to know with all your soul that it is so; this is good, and only good! This is the soul of Islam; it is actually the soul of Christianity, as Islam can be defined as a complicated form of Christianity; if Christianity did not exist, it would not exist either. Christianity also commands us to surrender to God first. We are not to consult flesh and blood; Do not listen to vain reflections, vain worries and desires: know that we know nothing; that the worst and cruelest in our eyes is not what it seems; that we should receive everything that happens to us as sent by God and say: It is good and wise, God is great! "Even if he kills me, I will trust him." Islam, in its own way, means self-denial, self-annihilation. This is still the highest wisdom that heaven has revealed to our earth.
This light came to illuminate the darkness of this wild Arab soul. A dazzling splendor confused as of life and heaven, in the great darkness that threatened death: he called her the Revelation and the angel Gabriel; who among us knows what it is called? It is the "inspiration of the Almighty" that gives us understanding. FORsabre; penetrating the truth of anything is always a mystical act of which the best logic can only babble on the surface. "Is not faith the true God who announces miracles?" says Novalis. – That all of Muhammad's soul, inflamed by this great truth that I bestowed on him, felt it important and the only important thing was very natural. This providence inexpressibly honored him, revealing and protecting him from death and darkness; that he was therefore bound to make the same known to all creatures: it meant "Muhammad is the prophet of God"; this also has its true meaning.—
The good Kadija, we can imagine, listened to him, astonished, doubtful: finally she replied: Yes, what she said was true. One can also imagine Muhammad's boundless gratitude; and as of all the kindnesses she had shown him, this one, believing the earnest and fighting word he now spoke, was the greatest. "It is true," says Novalis, "my conviction increases infinitely as soon as another soul believes it." It's an unlimited favor. He never forgot that good Kadijah. Much later, Ayesha, his favorite young wife, a woman who throughout her long life was noted for all kinds of qualities among Muslims; This bright young Ayesha asked him one day: "Am I not better than Kadijah now? She was a widow, old and had lost her looks: Do you love me more than she does?" - "No, by God! ' Muhammad replied, 'No, by Allah! She believed in me when no one else would. In all the world I had only one friend, and that was her!" these, along with his young cousin Ali, son of Abu Thaleb, were his first converts.
He talked about this and that of his teachings; but the majority treated him with scorn, with indifference; in three years I believe he only gained thirteen followers. His progress was quite slow. Encouragement from him to continue was, in general, the usual encouragement a man finds in such a case. After about three unsuccessful years, he invited forty of his main relatives for an interview; and there he arose and told them what his claim was: that he had to announce this to all the people abroad; who was the highest, the only thing: which one would help him in this? Amidst all the doubts and silences, young Ali, still a boy of sixteen, impatient for silence, arose and cried out in passionate and violent language: He would! The assembly to which Abu Thaleb, Ali's father, belonged could not be hostile to Muhammad; but the sight there of an illiterate old man with a boy of sixteen deciding such an undertaking against all mankind struck them as ridiculous; the assembly roared with laughter. However, it turned out to be no laughing matter; It was a very serious matter! As for this young Ali, you can't help but like him. A noble-minded creature, as he shows himself, now and forever; full of affection, full of daring. Something chivalrous about him; brave as a lion; but with a grace, truth, and affection worthy of Christian chivalry. He was murdered in the Baghdad Mosque; a death caused by his own generous justice, trusting in the justice of others: He said: If the wound is not mortal, they should forgive the murderer; but if so, they should slay him at once, that both might appear before God at once, and see which side of this dispute was the just one.
Mohammed, of course, insulted the coreish, guardians of the Kaaba, overseers of idols. One or two influential men joined him: the thing was spreading slowly, but it was spreading. Of course, he insulted everyone: who is it that claims to be smarter than all of us; who censures us all as fools and worshipers of wood! Abu Thaleb, the good uncle, said to him: Couldn't he keep everything a secret? believe everything for yourself and do not upset others, upset the most important thing, endanger yourself and everyone if you talk about it? Muhammad replied: If the sun were on his right and the moon on his left and ordered him to be quiet, he would not be able to obey! Nay, there was something in that truth which he attained which was of nature itself; equal in rank to the sun, the moon, or anything that nature has created. He would speak there as long as the Almighty allowed, despite the sun and the moon and all the coreish and all the people and things. She has to do this and she can't help it. So Muhammad replied; and they say, "they start to cry". He began to cry: he felt that Abu Thaleb was good for him; that the task entrusted to him was not easy, but difficult and great.
He kept talking to anyone who would listen; publication of his teachings among pilgrims arriving in Mecca; Fans win in this place and that. Constant contradiction, hatred, open or secret danger lurked in front of him. Powerful relatives of his protected Muhammad himself; but by degrees all his followers, following their own advice, had to leave Mecca and take refuge across the sea in Abyssinia. Koreans grew angrier and angrier; they conspired and swore among themselves to kill Muhammad with their own hands. Abu Thaleb was dead, good Kadijah was dead. Muhammad does not seek our sympathy; but the prospect of him at that moment was one of the most depressing. He had to hide in caves, escape in disguise; he flies here and there; homeless, in constant mortal danger. More than once it seemed that it was all over with him; More than once he would fall, a rider's horse would be startled or something like that, if Muhammad and his teachings had not ended it, and he would not have been heard at all. But that's not how it should end.
In the thirteenth year of his mission, when Muhammad found that all his enemies had gathered against him, forty sworn men, one from each tribe, waiting to take his life and could no longer remain in Mecca, Muhammad fled from the place then called Yathreb, where he gained some followers; the place they now call Medina, or "Medinat al-Nabi, the Prophet's city," of this circumstance. He was about two hundred miles away, over rocks and deserts; not without great difficulty, in the frame of mind we can imagine, he escaped thither, and was welcomed there. the East dates its era from that flight,for the skinas they call it: Year 1 of this Hegira is 622 of our era, the fifty-third of Muhammad's life. Now he was getting old; his friends collapsed around him one by one; his path was dark, full of dangers: if he could not find hope in his own heart, the outside of things was hopeless to him. So it is with all men in the same case. Until now, Muhammad had declared that he would only spread his religion through preaching and persuasion. But now, grimly banished from his native land, when the unjust not only heeded his earnest heavenly message, the deep cry of his heart, but would not even let him live if he spoke any longer, the wild child of the desert He resolved to make his own a man and an Arab defend. If Koreans want it, they will have it. The news, seen as an endless moment for her and for everyone else, didn't want to hear it; he would crush them with brute force, steel and murder: now let steel try! This Muhammad was ten years older; all the struggle of weariness and the impetuous, breathless struggle; with which result we know.
Much has been said about Muhammad spreading his religion with the sword. Undoubtedly, it is much nobler that we can be proud of the Christian religion which has peacefully spread in the form of preaching and persuasion. However, if we take this as an argument for the truth or falsity of a religion, there is a radical error. The sword yes: but where do you get your sword? Every new opinion begins at exactly oneminority of one. Only in a person's head, that's where it still lives. Only one man in all the world believes this; there is one man against all men. OANDPicking up a sword and trying to open it won't do much good. First you must get your sword! In general, a thing will spread as it can. Even in the Christian religion, which has always rejected the sword, we do not find it once having one. Charlemagne did not convert the Saxons by preaching. I care little for the sword: I will let a thing in this world fight for itself with whatever sword, tongue, or instrument I have or can hold. We let him preach and write pamphlets and fight and attack and do, beak and claw, all that is in him; pretty sure you won't achieve anything in the long run that isn't worth achieving. He cannot discard what is better than him, but only what is worse. In this great duel, nature itself is the arbiter and cannot err: what is most ingrained in nature is what we calltruer, this thing and not the other will finally grow up.
Here, however, in connection with much of Muhammad and his success, we must remember what is the nature of an umpire; what greatness, what serenity, depth and tolerance there is in it. You take the wheat to throw into the bosom of the earth; Your wheat may be mixed with chaff, chopped chaff, barn rubbish, dust, and all sorts of rubbish; it doesn't matter: you play in the gentle and beautiful land; she grows the wheat, devours all the garbage she silently ingestsANDInside does not say anything about garbage. There grows the yellow wheat; The good earth is silent about everything else, it has also tacitly put everything else to some use, and it doesn't complain about it! So in all of nature! It is true and not a lie; and yet so great and fair and motherly in her truth. She only asks for one thingto begenuine at heart; she will protect you if so; I won't go if you don't. There is a true soul in all the things he has always taken refuge in. Ah, is this not the story of every ultimate truth that is to come or has come into the world? HeBodythey are all imperfections, an element of light in darkness: for us they must be embodied in mere logic, in some merelyscientificwhole of the universe; whichI can'tbe complete; that can only be found one day incomplete, flawed, and so it dies and disappears. The body of all truth dies; and yet, I say, in everyone there is a soul that never dies; who lives immortal in a new and ever nobler incarnation as a human being! That's how it is with nature. The very essence of truth never dies. That it is real, a voice from the great depths of nature, that is what the Court of Nature is all about. Ouscall it pure or impure is not the last question. Not how much chaff is in you; but if you have some wheat. Pure? I could say to many people: Yes, you are clean; pure enough; but you are straw, insincere hypotheses, rumours, formality; They have never been in touch with the great heart of the universe; you are not properly neither pure nor impure; YouSohnNothing, nature has nothing to do with you.
We call Mohammed's creed a kind of Christianity; and indeed, if we look at the unbridled fervor with which it was believed and taken seriously, I would say that it was better than that of those wretched Syrian sects with their vain tinkling.homeopathyjhomousion, head full of useless noise, heart empty and dead! Its truth is embedded in errors and fatal falsehoods; but her truth makes her believe, not the lie: she has triumphed by her truth. bastard Christianity, but alive; with a heart of life in it; Undead that simply cut through sterile logic! Of all the garbage of Arab idols, argumentative theologies, traditions, subtleties, rumors and hypotheses of Greeks and Jews, with their vain designs, this wild man of the desert, with his wild and sincere heart, serious as life and death, with With his big, bright natural eyesight, he had seen the heart of the matter. Idolatry is nothing: these wooden idols of yours, "you anoint them with oil and wax and the flies cling to them", they are made of wood, I tell you! They can't do anything for you; they are an impotent and blasphemous presence; a terror and an abomination if anyone knew them. Only God is; Only God has power; He made us, can kill us and keep us alive:"allah is the best, God is great." Understand that His will is best for you; however grievous he may be to flesh and blood, you will find him the wisest, the best: you must take him that way; in this world and in the world to come you have nothing else to do!
And now, if wild idolaters believed it, and seized it with burning hearts to do it, in whatever form it came to them, I say it was very believable. In one way or another, I am saying that it remains the only thing worth believing for all people. Man thus becomes the high priest of this world temple. He is in accordance with the decrees of the Author of this world; cooperate with them, do not resist them in vain: I know of no better definition of duty than this to this day. all that isINTESTINEhe closes himself to work with the true world trend: you are working (the world trend will work), you are good and you are on the right path there.homeopathy,homousion, futile logical jingle, so either before or at any time, he can jingle himself and go where he likes and how he likes: that's theEraeverything strives for a meaning, if it means anything at all. If it doesn't mean that, it means nothing. It's not that the abstractions, the logical propositions, are written well or badly; but that the concrete living children of Adam take it to heart: that is the important point. Islam has devoured all these vain and noisy sects; and I think he had a right to do so. It was a reality straight out of the great heart of nature. The Arab idolaters, the Syrian formulas, everything that was not immediately real had to go up in flames - sheer death.flammable, in more ways than one, because that wasfogo.
During these wars and cruel struggles, especially after he fled to Mecca, from time to time Mohammed dictated his holy book, which they call thequran, Öreading, "thing to be read". This is the work he and his disciples did so much for, asking everyone: Is this not a miracle? Mohammedans regard their Koran with a reverence few Christians show to their Bibles. It is everywhere accepted as the norm of all laws and practices; what is to be followed in speculation and in life; the message sent straight from heaven to which this earth must adapt and transform; the thing to read Your judges decide; every Muslim is obliged to study it, to seek in it the light of his life. They have mosques where everything is read daily; Thirty squadrons of priests take turns completing it every day. There, for twelve hundred years, the voice of this book has resounded in the ears and hearts of so many people at all times. We hear of Mohammedan doctors who have read it seventy thousand times!
Very curious: if you were looking for "inconsistencies in national taste", this was certainly the most striking example! We can also read the Quran; our translation of Sale is known to be very fair. I have to say, it's the most tedious read I've ever done. An irritating, confused mess, raw, whole; infinite iterations, prolixity, entanglement; rough, uncontaminated; unbearable stupidity, in a word! Nothing but a sense of duty can guide any European through the Koran. We read in it, as we would in the State Paper Office, unreadable piles of wood, perhaps to see a remarkable man. It is true that this puts us at a disadvantage: the Arabs see more method in this than we do. Muhammad's followers found the Qur'an in fragments, exactly as it was written when first read; much of it, they say, on the shoulder blades of the Lamb, thrown haphazardly into a chest: and they placed it in no verifiable chronological order; It just seems to try, and not too strictly, to put the longest chapters first. So the real beginning is near the end: because the first parts were the shortest. Read its historical sequence, maybe it's not so bad. Much, they say, is also rhythmic; a kind of wild singing, in the original. That might be a good point; perhaps much has been lost in translation. With all allowances made, however, it is hard to imagine how any mortal could regard this Qur'an as a book written in heaven and too good for earth; like a well-written book, or even like abuchabsolutely; and not a muddled rhapsody;written, as far as writing goes, as bad as almost any book ever was! Until now, national differences and the norm of taste.
However, I must say that it was not incomprehensible how much the Arabs liked it. Once you take that confused scroll of the Qur'an from your hands and place it some distance behind you, its essential nature begins to reveal itself; and in this there is a merit very different from that of literature. If a book comes from the heart, it will reach other hearts; all the arts and crafts of authorship are of little importance. Someone would say that the main character of the Quran is hisauthenticity, a beingwith good intentionsA book. Prideaux, I know, and others have portrayed him as a mere band of jugglers; Chapter after chapter has sprung up to excuse and cover up the author's successive sins, to promote his ambitions and his charlatanism: but really it is time to end it all. I am not asserting Muhammad's enduring sincerity: who is enduringly sincere? But I confess that in these times I have nothing to do with the critic who accuses him of cheating.intentional; of deliberate deceit in general, or perhaps not; nay, to live in a mere element of conscious deceit and write this Qur'an as a forger and juggler would have done! I think that each open eye will read the Quran differently. It is the confused leaven of a great raw human soul; rude, uneducated, who can't even read; but fervent, earnest, vehemently striving to express himself in words. With a kind of breathless intensity, he struggles to express himself; Thoughts run wildly in his head: no matter how much he wants to say, he cannot utter a word. The meaning contained therein is not configured in any form of composition, it is expressed in any order, method or coherence; they are nottightnot at all, these thoughts about you; Tossed without form as they fight and fall there in their chaotic, inarticulate state. We said "stupid": But natural stupidity is by no means the character of the Book of Muhammad; on the contrary, it is a natural decultivation. Man has not studied speech; In the rush and pressure of constant fighting, he doesn't have time to mature in a proper language. The breathless rush and vehemence of a man fighting for life and salvation in the midst of a struggle; he's in that mood! An unbridled rush; it cannot be put into words simply because of the magnitude of its importance. The successive declarations of a soul in this state of mind, colored by the various vicissitudes of twenty-three years; sometimes well said, sometimes worse: such is the Qur'an.
Because during those twenty-three years we must consider Muhammad as the center of a world in absolute conflict. Battles with the Koreans and heathens, feuds among his own people, relapses of his own wild heart; all this kept him in perpetual turmoil, his soul knows no rest. On waking nights, as might be imagined, the wild soul of man, wallowing amid these eddies, would greet any light of decision for it as a true light from heaven;anyDecision making, so blessed, essential for him there, seems to be an inspiration for Gabriel. Forger and juggler? No no! This big burning heart, boiling and boiling like a great furnace of thought, was not that of a juggler. His life was given to him; This universe of God is a terrible fact and reality. It has some flaws. Man was a semi-barbaric and uncultured child of nature, many Bedouins still clung to him: we have to take him for that. But for a pathetic simulacrum, a starving impostor without eyes and heart, practicing such blasphemous fraud for a plate of lentils, falsifying heavenly documents, engaging in high treason against his Creator and his being, we will not and cannot accept it.
Sincerity seems to me to be the merit of the Qur'an in every respect; what made it so valuable to the wild Arabian men. It is, after all, the first and last merit of a book; it produces merits of all kinds, moreover, it alone can produce merits of all kinds. Interestingly, throughout this primitive mass of wisdom, abuse, lamentation and ejaculation in the Qur'an there is spread a vein of true direct perception, of what we might almost call poetry. The body of the book is pure tradition and spontaneous, enthusiastic, vehement preaching. Go back forever to the ancient stories of the prophets as they became present in Arab memory: as prophet after prophet after prophet Abraham, prophet Hud, prophet Moses, Christians and other prophets real and fabulous for this and came to warn the people of their sin; and he was received by them in the same way as Muhammad, which is a great comfort to him. He repeats these things ten, perhaps twenty times; again and again, with tiresome iterations; He never repeated them. A brave Samuel Johnson in his deserted attic could fool author biographies! This is the great fundamental element of the Qur'an. But, strangely enough, in all this, every now and then, a look like that of the true thinker and seer appears. He really has an eye for the world, this Muhammad: with a certain frankness and a blunt verve, he still brings into our hearts what his own heart was open to. I make very few of his praises to Allah, so many praises; they are chiefly borrowed, I suppose, from the Hebrew, where at least they are much superseded. But the eye that shines straight into the heart of things, andeutheir truth; this is a very interesting object for me. Great Nature's Own Gift; who gives them all; but this only one in a thousand does not dismiss with sadness: it is what I call sincerity of vision; proof of a sincere heart.
Muhammad cannot perform miracles; he often responds impatiently: I can't work miracles. YES? "I am a public preacher"; appointed to preach this doctrine to all creatures. However, as we see, since ancient times, the world was really a great wonder for him. Look at the world, he says; Isn't it wonderful, the work of Allah; quite "a sign for you" if your eyes were open! God made this land for you; "paths marked on it"; you can live in it, come and go in it. – The clouds in dry Arabia are very wonderful to Muhammad: great clouds, he says, born in the deep bosom of the Upper Immensity, where do they come from? in! There they hang, the great black monsters; They pour out their torrents of rain "to revive a dead land", and fountains of grass and "tall leafy palms, with their clumps of hanging dates. Is this not a sign?" Your cattle too, Allah made them; stupid creatures useful; turn grass into milk; you have your clothes from them, very strange creatures; they come home at night, "and," he adds, "and they give you credit!" Ships also, he often speaks of ships: mountains huge and moving, they spread their cloth wings, they leap over the water, the heavenly wind drives them on; then they lie motionless, God pulled the wind back, they lie dead and cannot move Wonderful? he cries out, "What miracle would you have? Aren't you there? God made you, "formed out of a little clay." You were once small; A few years ago, you were nothing. They have beauty, strength, thoughts : "They have compassion on one another." Old age and gray hair will come upon you; your strength fades into weakness; you are sinking, and again you are not. "Ye pity one another": it struck me with strength: Allah could have made you not to be pitied as it was then This is a great direct thought, a first-hand view of the facts of things. Gross traces of poetic genius, of all that is best and truest, are visible in this man. A strong and ignorant intellect; Vision, heart: a strong and fierce man, he could have been a poet, a king, a priest, any kind of hero.
In her eyes, it is forever clear that this world is absolutely wonderful. He sees what, as we said, all the great thinkers, even the rough Scandinavians, could see in one way or another: that this seemingly solid material world is really nothing at bottom; it is a visible and real manifestation of the power and presence of God, a floating shadow of Him in the bosom of the infinite void; Nothing else. The mountains, he says, those great rocky mountains, will dissolve "like clouds"; merge with the blue like clouds, and not be! The land represents, in the Arabic manner, as Sale tells us, a vast plain or flat land on which the mountains are based.stableHe. On the Day of Judgment they will disappear "like clouds"; the whole earth will spin, spin in doom and disappear like dust and mist into nothingness. Allah takes his hand away from him and he ceases to exist. The universal reign of Allah, the omnipresent presence of indescribable power, nameless splendor and terror, as the true power, essence and reality in all things, was constantly clear to this man. What does a modern man talk about, natural forces, natural laws; and does not appear as something divine; not even as one thing, but as a collection of things, impious enough, salable, picturesque, good for propelling steamships! With our sciences and encyclopedias, we tend to forget thatdivinity, in our laboratories. We must not forget it! Forgetting that once, I don't know what else would be worth remembering. Most of science, I think, was a pretty dead thing back then; withered, quarrelsome, empty; – a thistle in late autumn. The best science without it is like the deadmadera; Isn't the tree and the growing forest which, among other things, always give new wood! man can'tsabrenor unless I canLegalsomehow. His knowledge is pedantry and dead thistle.
Much has been said and written about the sensuality of Muhammad's religion; it was more than fair. The indulgences he allowed, criminal to us, were not his purpose; he found it indisputably practiced in Arabia from time immemorial; what he did was cut them down, reduce them, not in one place but in many places. His religion is not easy: with rigorous fasting, washing, rigid and complicated formulas, praying five times a day and not drinking wine, “it did not manage to be a simple religion”. As if any religion or cause supporting a religion could really succeed! It is a slander for men to say: consolation, hope of pleasure, reward impels them to exploits, sweets of every kind, in this world or the next! There is something nobler in the lowliest of mortals. The poor soldier who swears and is hired to be shot has his "soldier's honor" distinct from training regulations and the daily shilling. It is not a matter of savoring sweet things, but of doing noble and true things, and justifying himself under God's heaven as a God-made man, which the poorest of Adam's children vaguely craves. Show him how it's done, the dullest worker of the day becomes a hero. You are very much mistaken about the man who says he must be easily seduced. Difficulties, self-denial, martyrdom, death are thoseattractiveaffecting the human heart. Ignite the radiant life within him, you have a flame that will burn all lesser reflections. Not luck, but something superior: you can also see this in frivolous classes, with their "point of honor" and the like. Not coaxing our appetites; No, the awakening of the heroic that sleeps in every heart, every religion can gain followers.
Muhammad himself, from what can be said about him, was not a sensual man. We are greatly mistaken if we think that this man is a voluptuous vulgarian, devoted chiefly to base pleasures, still more to pleasures of any kind. His house was very frugal; their shared food: barley bread and water: sometimes not a single fire was lit in their hearth for months. They proudly report that he would mend his own shoes, he would mend his own cloak. A poor, industrious, ill-provided man; without caring what vulgar men crave. He's not a bad man, I must say; something better in it thanFomeor those fierce Arab men who fought and fought by his side for twenty-three years, always in close contact with him, would not have adored him so much! They were wild men who occasionally started fights with all kinds of wild sincerity; without the right courage and masculinity, no man could command them. They called him a prophet, you say? Well, he came face to face with them; naked, not shrouded in any mystery; visibly patting his own robe, mending his own shoes; fighting, advising, commanding among them: they must have seen what kind of a man he was.eras, Let it becalledwhat do you like! No emperor in his tiaras was obeyed like this man in a mantle of his own hand. For twenty-three years of real torture. I think that in itself takes something of a true hero.
His last words are a prayer; broken cries of a heart struggling with trembling hope for its Maker. We can't say their religion did itworse; he fared better; Good, not bad generosity is reported about him: when he lost his daughter, he replied in his own dialect very sincerely and still equal to that of Christians: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord". He reacted like Seid, his beloved emancipated slave, the second of the believers. Seid had fallen in the Tabuc War, the first of Muhammad's battles against the Greeks. Muhammad said: It was good; Seid had done his master's work, Seid had now gone to his master: Seid was fine. However, Seid's daughter found him crying over the dead body; the gray-haired old man was in tears! "What I see?" she said. - "You see a friend crying for his friend." -He last went to the mosque two days before his death; He asked: Had he hurt someone? Let your own back wear the stripes. What if she owed a man? A voice replied: "Yes, I three drachmas", borrowed on one of these occasions. Muhammad ordered them to be paid: "Better to be ashamed now," he said, "than on the Day of Judgment." Qualities of this kind show us the real man, the brother of us all, made visible over twelve centuries, the true son of our common mother.
I also like Mohammed for his complete freedom from hypocrisy. He is a tough, self-help child of the desert; he does not pretend to be what he is not. There's no obvious pride in him; but neither is he much inclined to humility: he is there as he may be, with a cloak and shoes of his own clothes; he plainly tells all kinds of Persian kings, Greek emperors what they are compelled to do; he knows very well about himself, "the respect you deserve". In a life-or-death war with the Bedouin, cruel things could not fail; but neither does it lack mercy, noble natural piety, and generosity. Muhammad does not apologize for the one, nor does he boast about the other. Each of them were the free dictates of his heart; everyone asked there and then. He is not a mealy man! A sincere ferocity, when the case calls for it, is in him; He doesn't mince his words! The Tabuc War is something he often talks about: his men, many of them, refused to march on that occasion; He claimed the heat of the climate, the harvest, etc.; can you never forget that your harvest? It lasts a day. What will become of your harvest for all eternity? Hot climate? Yes, it was hot; "But hell is getting hotter!" Sometimes severe sarcasm is raised: he says to unbelievers, “You will have the just measure of your works in that great day.” They will burden you; you will not lack weight! — Everywhere he fixes the thing in his eye; Heeuhim: his heart is from time to time mute before his greatness. "Surely," he says: this word is sometimes written as a separate phrase in the Qur'an: "Surely."
NOdilettantismin this Muhammad; he is concerned with rejection and redemption, with time and eternity: he is dead serious! Amateurism, hypotheses, speculations, a kind of amateurish search for truth, jokes and flirting with the truth - this is the gravest sin. The root of every other conceivable sin. Is that the heart and soul of man were neverOpenthe truth; - "live in vain spectacle." Such a man not only utters and produces untruths, but is himself an untruth. The rational moral principle, spark of divinity, is immersed in it, in a silent paralysis of life and death. Muhammad's falsehoods are truer than the truths of such a man. He is the insincere man: polite, respectable in some times and places; harmless, does not say anything harsh to anyone; majoritysauber, — like carbonic acid, which is death and poison.
We will not extol Muhammad's moral precepts as always of the most refined kind; yet it may be said that there is always a tendency to good in them; these are the true dictates of a heart that point to what is just and true. The sublime forgiveness of Christianity, turning the other cheek when hurt, is not here: youSohnto avenge him, but let it be in moderation, not too much or beyond justice. On the other hand, Islam, like every great faith and insight into the nature of man, is a perfect leveler of men: the soul of a believer surpasses all earthly realms; All men are equal, even according to Islam. Muhammad does not insist on the advisability of almsgiving, but on the necessity of it: He lays down the law about how much you should give, and you run the risk of failing to do so. A tenth of a man's annual income, whatever it may be, isPropertythe poor, the needy and the needy. Well, all of this: speaks the natural voice of humanity, mercy and justice that dwells in the heart of this wild child of nature.Then.
Mohammed's paradise is sensual, his hell sensual: true; in the one as in the other there is enough to shake all spiritual feelings in us. But we must remember that the Arabs already had it that way; that in all that changed from him, Muhammad softened and lessened all that. Even the worst sensualities are the work of doctors, his followers, not his work. Very little is said in the Quran about the joys of Paradise; they are suggested rather than insisted upon. Nor is it forgotten that the supreme joys there will also be of a spiritual nature; the pure presence of the Most High, that will infinitely surpass all other pleasures. He says: "Your greeting will be peace."salamHave peace! which all sane souls crave and seek in vain here below as the only blessing. "You will sit in seats facing each other: all grudges will be removed from your hearts." All grudges! You will love each other freely; There will be heaven enough for each of you in the eyes of your brothers!
Much could be said about this, for us, the most painful chapter of Mohammed's sensual paradise and sensuality; you shouldn't come in here. I'll just make two comments and let you be frank. The first was given to me by Goethe; It's a casual tip of yours that's worth noting. In one of its delimitations, inmaster's travelsIn doing so, the hero finds a company of people of very strange shapes, one of which was this: "We demand," says the master, "that every one of our people holds in one direction," goes directly against their wishes. . in one case, andAgainhimself to do what he doesn't want to, "we should give him as much freedom as possible anywhere else". It seems to me great justice in that. Enjoy the things that are pleasant; this is not bad: it is the reduction of our moral nature to slavery. Let a man profess with all that he is king over his ways; that he could and would shake them, for reason proved: that is an excellent law. The month of Ramadan for the Muslim, much in Muhammad's religion, much in his own life, points in that direction; if not from the intention or clear intention to improve oneself morally, then from solid male instinct, which is just as good.
But there is something more to say about Mohammedan heaven and hell. That is, however crude and material they may be, they are emblematic of an eternal truth not always so well remembered elsewhere. That raw sensual paradise of yours; this terrible burning hell; the great and tremendous Day of Judgment, on which he constantly insists: what is all this in the gross imagination of the Bedouin, but a gross shadow of this great spiritual fact and the beginning of all facts, which is bad for us too, if not for all? and feel: the infinity of duty? The actions of this man here areinfinitetime for it, and never die or even end; this man of his little life rises like heaven, rises like hell, and preserves in his sixty years a terrible and wonderfully hidden eternity: all this burned like a flame in the wild Arab. Soul. It is written there as in fire and lightning; terrible, indescribable, ever present to him. With a burst of seriousness, with wild, wild sincerity, half articulate, unable to articulate, he struggles to say it, says it in this heaven and hell. In any embodied form, it is the first of all truths. It is venerable among all incarnations. What is man's main task down here? Muhammad answered that question in a way that might put some of us to shame! He does not take, like a Bentham, a Paley, right and wrong, and calculate gains and losses, the ultimate pleasure of one and the other; and adding everything to a net result by addition and subtraction, I ask her if the law doesn't significantly trump everything. NO; It is notto improvedo one than the other; one is to the other what life is to death, as heaven is to hell. One thing should never be done and the other should never be neglected. You will not measure them; they are immeasurable: one is eternal death for man, the other eternal life. Benthamee Utility, under Profit and Loss; He reduces this world of God to a crude and dead steam engine, the infinite heavenly soul of man to a kind of hay scale to weigh hay and thistles, joys and pains: If you ask me who gives, Muhammad or they, the most wretched and false persons and their fates in this universe, I will reply, it is not Mohammed!
Overall, we will reiterate that this religion of Muhammad is a type of Christianity; it has a real element of what is spiritually superior when viewed through which it cannot be hidden by all its imperfections. the scandinavian godTo want, the god of all rude men, was expanded to heaven by Muhammad; but a heaven symbolizing sacred duty, to be won by faith and good deeds, by courageous action and an even more courageous divine patience. It is Scandinavian paganism and a truly heavenly element added. Don't call it wrong; Don't look for falsehood, look for truth. During these twelve centuries he was the religious and life leader of one-fifth of the entire human family. Above all, it was truly a religion.believed. These Arabs believe in their religion and try to live up to it! No Christian since the earliest times, or perhaps only the English Puritans of modern times, have held their faith like the Muslims, believing perfectly and thus facing time and eternity. Tonight, the watchman on the streets of Cairo as he shouts, "Who's leaving?" You will hear from the passenger along with his answer: "There is no god but God".allah is the best,Islam, reverberates in the souls and daily lives of these dark millions. Diligent missionaries preach it among the Malays, the Black Papuans, the brutal idolaters; repress the worst, nothing better or good.
For the Arab nation, it was like being born out of darkness into light; It was through them that Arabia first came to life. A people poor of shepherds, wandering unnoticed in their deserts since the creation of the world: A heroic prophet was sent to them with a word they could believe: Behold, what passes unnoticed is made remarkable in the world, the small become if great for the world; a century later, Arabia is in Grenada on the one hand and Delhi on the other; shining with prowess and splendor and the light of genius, Arabia shines for long ages on much of the world. Faith is great, life-giving. The history of a nation becomes fruitful, edifying, great as soon as it is believed. These Arabs, the man Muhammad and this century, it is not as if a spark fell, a spark, into a world of seemingly imperceptible black sand; but lo and behold, the sand turns out to be explosive dust that will burn in the sky from Delhi to Grenada! I said the Great Man was always like a bolt from the sky; the rest of the men were waiting for him as fuel, and then they too would burn.
CONFERENCE III. THE HERO AS POET. DANTE: SHAKSPEARE.
[12. May 1840.]
The hero as a deity, the hero as a prophet are signs of old age; lest it be repeated in the new one. They presuppose a certain crudeness of conception, which is brought to an end by the progress of mere scientific knowledge. There must be a world, as it were, empty or nearly empty of scientific ways for people, in their amorous amazement, to imagine their fellow man as a god, or to speak with the voice of a god. The deity and the prophet are dead. Now we will see our hero in the less ambitious but also less objectionable character of the poet; a character that never disappears. The poet is a heroic figure belonging to all ages; that all ages have, once begotten, that both the youngest and the oldest age can and will produce whenever nature wills. May nature send a hero's soul; at no age is it more than possible for him to become a poet.
Hero, prophet, poet, many different names, in different times and places, we give to great men; according to the variety we notice about them, according to the sphere in which they were used! We could give many other names based on this same principle. However, I would like to emphasize once again that the fact that the differencesShe wasconstitutes the great origin of such a distinction; that the hero can be a poet, a prophet, a king, a priest or whatever, depending on what kind of world he was born into. I confess that I have no idea of a really great man who cannot benoclasses of men. The poet who could just sit in a chair and compose verse would never attach much importance to a verse. He could not sing the heroic warrior unless he was at least a heroic warrior himself. I imagine that in him is the politician, the thinker, the legislator, the philosopher; to some extent it could have been, that's all. In the same way, I cannot understand how a Mirabeau with that great radiant heart, with the fire that was in him, with the tears that flow in him, could not write verses, tragedies, poems and touch all hearts with him, his curriculum and his education got him there. The great basic character is that of the great man; Let the man be big. Napoleon has words that are like the Battles of Austerlitz. Louis XIV's marshals are also a kind of poets; the things Turenne says are full of wisdom and genius, like the words of Samuel Johnson. The big heart, the clear eye that sees deeply: there it is; no man, no matter what province, can prosper without them. Petrarch and Boccaccio apparently made good diplomatic messages: it's easy to believe; They made things a little more difficult! Burns, a gifted songwriter, could have made an even better Mirabeau. Shakespeare, you don't know whatANDcould not have done it in the highest degree.
True, there are also natural abilities. Nature does not make all great men, any more than all other men, in the same mould. fitness varieties, no doubt; but infinitely more than circumstance; and much more often it is thespanThis is what it looks like But it's like common men learning trades. They accept any man, nor any vague ability of a man, who might be some kind of craftsman; and make him a blacksmith, a carpenter, a mason: he is then and henceforth that and nothing else. And if, as Addison laments, you sometimes see a street urchin staggering under his burden on the handles of a spindle, and close by you a tailor of Samson's stature, handling a piece of cloth and a small Whitechapel needle, might not to be. I thought that only here the aptitude of nature was consulted too! Also the Great Man, what will he be obliged to do as an apprentice? Will your hero become a conqueror, king, philosopher, poet? It is an inexplicably complex and controversial calculation between the world and him! he will read the world and its laws; the world with his laws will be there to be read. what the hell, insideThat's itMatter, will, and supply are, as I say, the most important fact in the world.—
Poet and prophet differ greatly in our vague modern conceptions of them. Also in some ancient languages titles are synonymous;Cottonmeans prophet and poet: and certainly prophet and poet, rightly understood, have many related meanings in all times. In fact, they basically remain the same; especially in that so important respect that they both penetrated the sacred mystery of the universe; what Goethe calls "the open secret". "What's the big secret?" question one. - "OOpensecret", open to all, seen by almost no one! That divine mystery which is everywhere in all beings, "the divine idea of the world, that which is behind the appearance", as Fichte calls it; of everything the appearance from the starry sky to the grass of the field, but mainly the appearance of man and his work is, but thatClothes, the incarnation that makes it visible. this divine secretesalways and everywhere; it's really. Most of the time and in most places it is largely neglected; and the universe, always defined in one dialect or another as the realized thought of God, is seen as a trivial, inert, vulgar affair, as if, says the satirist, it were a dead thing put together by some upholsterer. ! It couldn't be of any use at the moment, becauseto speakmuch about; but it is a pity for each of us, if we do not know, to live forever in the knowledge of it. Really a shame; a lack of life if we live otherwise!
But now, I say, who forgets this divine secret, theCotton, whether prophet or poet, penetrated them; he is a man sent here to make us more impressively known. That's always his message; he must reveal to us this sacred mystery with which, more than others, he lives ever present. While others forget, he knows; he can say that he was compelled to know; without being asked for consent, he finds himself in it, forced to live in it. Again, there are no rumours, only direct perception and belief; this man couldn't help but be a sincere man too! For those who live in the spectacle of things, it is a natural necessity to live in the fact of things. Another man who took the universe seriously even though everyone else was playing it up. He is oneCottonMostly through honesty. Until now, poet and prophet, participants in the "open secret", are one.
Again to your distinction: TheCottonProphet, we might say, he looked at this sacred mystery more from the moral side, as good and bad, duty and prohibition; HeCottonPoets from what the Germans call the aesthetic side, like Bello and the like. The one may be called revealing what we ought to do, the other what we ought to love. But in fact these two provinces meet and cannot be separated. The prophet also has an eye on what we should love: otherwise how would he know what we should do? The loudest voice ever heard on this earth said, “Behold the lilies of the field; they neither work nor spin; A look into the depths of beauty. "The lilies of the field," better dressed than earthly princes, spring up there in the lowly furrow of the field; a handsomeojolook at you from the great inland sea of beauty! How could the raw earth do this when its essence, however rough it looked and was, was not beauty within? Also from this point of view, a sentence by Goethe, which shocked many, makes sense: “Beauty”, he insinuates, “is superior to good; the beautiful includes the good in itself”. HeTRUECool; but what, I said somewhere, "differs fromINCORRECTjust like Vauxhall Heaven!” So much for the distinction and identity of poet and prophet.—
Both in antiquity and in modern times we find some poets who consider themselves perfect; whom to criticize would be a kind of betrayal. This is remarkable; that's right, but strictly speaking it's just an illusion. Deep down it is very clear, there is no perfect poet! There is a vein of poetry in every man's heart; no human being consists entirely of poetry. We are all poets, thoughfilea good poem. Isn't "Imagination Trembling Before Dante's Inferno" the same ability weaker than Dante's own? No one but Shakespeare can embody outsideSaxo Grammaticus, The history ofDorfas Shakespeare did: but everybody models some kind of story after it; all embody it better or worse. We don't need to waste time on the definition. Where there is no specific difference, as B. between round and square, each definition must be more or less arbitrary. a man who hasThenmuch more of the poetic element developed in him than he showed himself, he will be called a Poet by his neighbors. The world's poets too, whom we must consider perfect poets, are also noted by critics. the one who goes upThenfar above the general rank of poets, he will appear to such and such critics as a universal poet; how you should do it And yet it is and must be an arbitrary distinction. All poets, all people have something universal; no man is wholly made of it. Most poets are soon forgotten: but the noblest of them, Shakespeare or Homer, are not remembered.forever;—the day will come when it won't be either!
Yet, you will say, there must be a difference between true poetry and true non-poetic language: what is the difference? Much has been written on this point, especially by later German critics, some of whom are not very understandable at first glance. They say, for example, that the poet has aquiteinside; communicates aquite, a certain "infinite" character to everything he draws. Although this is not very precise, on such a vague subject it is worth remembering: if you meditate well, you will gradually find meaning in it. For my part, I find considerable significance in the old vulgar distinction that is poetry.metric, have music in it, be a song. Indeed, when pressing for a definition, one can say as quickly as anything else: if your definition is authenticMusical, musical not only in word, but in heart and substance, in all its thoughts and expressions, in all its conception, then it will be poetic; if not, no. – Musically: how much there is in it! FORMusicalThinking is what a mind that has penetrated into the depths of matter says; discovered her innermost secret, namely thatSongwhich is hidden in him; the inner harmony of coherence that is your soul, through which you exist and have a right to exist here in this world. All intimate things, we may say, are euphonious; pronounce naturally when singing. The meaning of chanting is profound. Who can put into logical words the effect music has on us? A kind of inscrutable and inarticulate discourse that takes us to the edge of infinity and allows us to contemplate for a moment!
Furthermore, every speech, even the most common one, has something of singing: there is no church in the world that does not have a parochial accent; the rhythm orSongwhat the people theresingwhat they have to say! The accent is a kind of singing; All men have their own accent, even ifobservationthose of others. Observe also how every impassioned speech becomes musical of itself, with music more beautiful than mere accent; even in jealous rage a man's speech turns into a chant, a song. All deep things are singing. It seems to be our essence, Song; as if everything else were but cloaks and helmets! The primary element of us; of us and of all things. The Greeks spoke of the harmony of the spheres: it was the sensation they had of the internal structure of nature; that the soul of all their voices and expressions was perfect music. Let us therefore call it poetrymusical thought. The poet is the onethinkThis way. At its core, it's still about the power of the intellect; It is the sincerity and depth of a man's vision that makes him a poet. Look deep and musically you will see; the heart of natureto beMusic everywhere, if you can get it.
ANDCottonThe poet, with his euphonious apocalypse of nature, seems to rank poorly among us compared to the Germans.CottonProphet; your position and our appreciation of your position are equally low. The hero taken as a deity; the hero assumed as a prophet; then the hero taken only as a poet: does it not seem that our esteem for the great man diminishes more and more from one age to another? We think of him first as a god, then as an inspired god; and now, in the next step, his most wonderful word gains from us only the recognition that he is a poet, a fine writer of verse, a man of genius, or something like that! It looks like this; but I am convinced that in itself it is not so. If we think about it, it may seem that it still exists in manThe same thinga very special admiration for the heroic gift, whatever it is called, that has always existed.
I must say that if today we do not take a great man literally as divine, it is because our ideas about God, the supreme and unattainable source of glory, wisdom and heroism, are always expanding.higher; not so much that our reverence for these qualities, as they manifest themselves in those around us, diminishes. It's worth thinking about. Skeptical dilettantism, the curse of these times, a curse that does not last forever, is doing a sad work in this supreme province of human affairs, as in all provinces; and our reverence for great men, all crippled, blind, paralyzed as they are, comes out in a wretched, almost unrecognizable condition. Men love big men's shows; more incredulous that there are even great men to worship. The most boring and deadly faith; If you believed that, you would literally despair over human things. But look at Napoleon, for example! A Corsican artillery lieutenant; this is the showheYet he is not obeyed, honored after his own kind, how could not all the diadems and diadems in the world be together? High duchesses and innkeepers gather around Burns, Scottish rustic; in each of them is the strange feeling that they have never heard of such a man; that this is generally the man! It is still vague in these people's secret hearts, though there is no credible way to pronounce it today, that this rustic, with his black eyebrows and eyes that shine like the sun, and strange words that evoke laughter and tears, comes from a dignity far superior and incommensurable with all others. Don't we feel that way? But now, when amateurism, scepticism, triviality, and all that sad breed have been driven from us, as by God's blessing they will ever be; where the belief in the glass of things has been completely eliminated, replaced by a clear belief in theThings, so that one man acted only on impulse, believing that the other did not exist; What a new and livelier feeling for this Burns!
Furthermore, in these times as they are, do we have here not only two poets, if not deified, but can we say beatified? Shakespeare and Dante are poetic saints; actually, if we think about it,canonized, so it is impious to interfere with them. The unguided instinct of the world, making its way through all these wicked obstacles, arrived at this result. Dante and Shakespeare are two peculiar ones. They live apart, in a kind of true solitude; no one is like them, no one is inferior to them: in the general feeling for the world these two have a certain transcendence, a glow like complete perfection. SheSohncanonized even though no pope or cardinal was involved! Such is our unshakable reverence for heroism, despite all perverse influences in less heroic times. Let us look a little at these two, the poet Dante and the poet Shakespeare: what little we can say here of the hero as a poet will do just fine.
Many volumes have been written as commentaries on Dante and his book; however, usually without great results. His biography is irretrievably lost to us, so to speak. An insignificant, wandering, troubled man who didn't get much attention during his lifetime; and most of it disappeared in the long space which now intervenes. He stopped writing and living here five centuries ago. Of all the reviews, the book itself is mostly what we know of it. The book; and it may be added that the portrait is generally ascribed to Giotto, and on seeing it one cannot help believing that the person who made it is genuine. For me it is a very touching face; perhaps the most of all the faces I know. Alone there, as if painted in the void, wrapped in the simple laurel; immortal sorrow and pain, the known victory that is also immortal; significant to the whole Dante story! I think it's the darkest face of reality ever painted; a wholly tragic and touching face. In it, as a basis, is the sweetness, the tenderness, the tender affection of a child; but all this is frozen in a sharp contradiction, in selflessness, loneliness, pride and hopeless pain. A soft, ethereal soul that looks stern, unforgiving, fierce and biting, as if trapped in thick ice! But it is also a silent pain, a silent and despicable pain: the lips pursed in a kind of divine contempt for the thing that gnaws at his heart, as if it were something vile and insignificant at the same time, as if everyone who had the power to torture and strangling, was bigger than her. The face of someone utterly protesting and waging an unwavering struggle for life against the world. Affection turned to indignation: implacable indignation; slow, balanced, mute, like that of a god! Also the eye looks like a kindSurprise, kind of question, why was the world of such a class? This is Dante: look, this "voice of ten silent centuries", and he sings us "his mystical, unfathomable song."
What little we know of Dante's life agrees very well with this portrait and this book. He was born in Florence in 1265 into the upper class of society. His education was then the best; much scholastic divinity, Aristotelian logic, some Latin classics, not insignificant intuition in certain provinces of things: and Dante, with his intelligent and serious nature, learned, we must not doubt, better than almost anything that could be learned. He has a clear and cultivated understanding and is of great subtlety; this best fruit of education he could obtain from these Scholastics. He knows exactly what is around him; but in such a time, without printed books or free trade, he could not know well the distant: the little clear light, brighter for the nearer, divides into the singularBright darkknow what is far away. This was Dante's learning about schools. In life he had traversed the usual pursuits; he was twice on campaign as a soldier of the Florentine State, he was at the embassy; at the age of thirty-five, through a natural gradation of talent and service, he became one of the leading magistrates in Florence. He had known in childhood a certain Beatrice Portinari, a pretty girl of his age and position, and since then he had grown up in her eyes in a distant relationship with her. All readers know his elegant and moving account; and after their separation; of her marriage to another and of her death soon after. She figures prominently in Dante's poem; she seems to have made quite a figure in her life. Of all beings it seemed that, separated from him, separated at last in the darkness of eternity, she was the only one he had loved with all the strength of his affection. She died: Dante himself was married; but he doesn't look happy, far from it. I imagine the serious, stern man with his acute excitability was not easy to please.
We will not complain about Dante's misery: if everything had gone well for him as he wished, he could have been Prior, Podesta, or whatever is called, of Florence, well accepted by the neighbors, and the world would have one of them wanted the most remarkable words already spoken or sung. Florence would have another wealthy mayor; and the ten silent centuries passed without a voice, and the other ten centuries that are listening (because there will be ten and more) had no voice.Divine Comedyto hear! We are not going to complain about anything. A nobler destiny was assigned to this Dante; and he strove like a man brought to death and crucifixion, and could not help doing it. To givehethe choice of your happiness! He didn't know any more than we do what was truly happy and what was truly miserable.
In Dante's priory the Ghibelline Guelphs, Bianchineris, and other confused riots reached such a climax that Dante, whose party seemed to be stronger, was unexpectedly exiled with his friends; subsequently condemned to a life of affliction and wandering. His property was increasingly confiscated; he had the keenest sense that he was utterly unjust and disgraceful in the sight of God and man. He tried to use what was in him again; tempted even by martial surprise, weapons in hand: but it was useless; the evil only got worse. There is, I believe, another record in the Florence archives which condemns this Dante to be burned alive wherever he is captured. burned alive; So it remains, they say: a very strange bourgeois document. Another curious document, a considerable number of years later, is a letter from Dante to the Florentine judges, written in response to a milder suggestion by them that he return on condition of an apology and a fine. He replies with firm, stern pride, "If I can't go back without pleading guilty, I'll never go back,I will never go back."
There was no longer a home for Dante in this world. He wandered from employer to employer, from place to place; demonstrated in his own bitter words: "How hard is the waytaste and hard roadThe wretched are not happy company. Dante, poor and exiled, with his proud and serious character, with his bad moods, was not a man to appease men. Petrarch relates that he was accused at the court of Can della Scala of not responding with courtesy on account of his melancholy and taciturnity. Della Scala was among his courtiers, with mimes and buffoons (villains and players) makes you happy with all your heart; Turning to Dante, he said, "Isn't it strange that this poor fool is enjoying himself while you, a wise man, sit around day after day with nothing to amuse us?" Dante bitterly replied, "No, it is not strange; Your Highness must remember the sayingI like I like;" - there must also be something amusing! Such a man, with his proud and quiet ways, with his sarcasms and worries, was not made for success at court. Gradually he realized that he was no longer a place of rest or hope there was any usefulness on this earth, the earthly world had thrown him to wander, to wander, without a living heart to love him now, for his sore misery there was no solace here.
Naturally, how much more deeply would the eternal world impress itself upon him; that terrible reality over which this age with its Florentines and exiles looms but an unreal shadow. You will never see Florence: but you will see Hell, Purgatory and Heaven! What is Florence, Can della Scala and the world and life as a whole? ETERNITY: there, indeed, not elsewhere, you and all things are linked! Dante's great soul, homeless on earth, found more and more of its home in this terrible other world. Of course, his thoughts circled about the only important fact for him. With or without a body, that is the only important fact for all men: but for Dante he had a body then in a firm certainty of a scientific way; I don't doubt it anymoremale bulbsTeich that everything was there with your dark circles, with yourbig problem, and which he himself should see, which we doubt we would see Constantinople if we went there. Dante's heart, long filled with this, hovers over him in mute, wondering thoughts, finally bursting into "unfathomable mystical song"; and that's yoursDivine Comedy, most remarkable of all modern books, is the result.
It must have been a great comfort to Dante, and, as we see, it was sometimes a proud thought for him to be able to do this work here in exile; that neither Florence nor any man or men could stop him or even help him much. In part he also knew that he was big; the greatest thing a man can do. "If you follow your star,When you follow your star' the hero could say to himself in his solitude, in his extreme need: 'Follow your star, you will not lack a glorious harbor! On the contrary, it was big and painful for him, he says: this book "which made me thin for many years." as is the case with most good books, it was in many respects written with the blood of the heart. It's your whole story, this book. He died after finishing it; not very old yet, at fifty-seven." six, quite inconsolable, as they say, lies buried in his dying city, Ravenna:Here I shut up Dantes blackmailing his compatriots. The Florentines asked for his body a century later; the people of Ravenna would not exist. "Here I am, Dante, isolated from my native shores."
I said that Dante's poem was a song: it is Tieck who calls it "an inscrutable mystical song"; and that's literally his character. Coleridge somewhere correctly observes that wherever there is a musically phrased phrase, with true rhythm and melody in the words, there is also something deep and good in the meaning. Well, body and soul, word and idea walk strangely here as everywhere else. Song: We said before that it was the Heroic of Speech! AlloldPoems, Homer and others, are really songs. I would say, strictly speaking, that they are all appropriate poems; that nothing issungit is not a poem proper, but a piece of prose wrapped in strident lines, much to the detriment of grammar, much to the reader's pain! What we're getting at is theThoughtthe man had, if he had any: why should he let it ring when heit couldspeak clearly? Only when his heart is carried away by the true passion of melody, and when his own tones, Coleridge's observation, are made musical by the grandeur, depth, and music of his thoughts, can we give him the right to rhyme and sing. sing; let us call him a poet and hear him as the hero of orators whose language is song. Contenders are many; and for a serious reader, I doubt that reading rhymes is, for the most part, a very melancholy, not to say insufferable, affair! A rhyme that had no intrinsic need to rhyme; he should have told us clearly, without a jingle, what he was doing. I would advise all men to do this.it couldspeak your thoughts, don't sing them; understand that in a serious moment between serious men there is no call to sing it. Just as we love real music and are fascinated by it as if it were something divine, we will also hate false music, thinking it to be mere wooden sound, a hollow, superfluous thing, totally false and offensive.
I give Dante my highest praise when I talk about himDivine Comedythis is real music in every way. In the same sound there is astill song; runs like a song. The language is simplethird time, certainly helped him. Reads naturally with a kindrhythmic lied. But he adds that it could not be otherwise; for the essence and material of the work are themselves rhythmic. His depth, ecstatic passion and sincerity make him musical;deepEnough, there's music everywhere. There is a true inner symmetry in it, what is called architectural harmony, it offers everything: architectural; which also adds to the character of the song. the three kingdoms,inferno,purgatory,Paradise, look like compartments in a large building; a great cathedral world of the supernatural piled there, austere, solemn, terrible; Dante's soul world! is basically thesincerelyof all poems; Here, too, we find that sincerity is a measure of worth. It came from the bottom of the author's heart; and penetrates deep and across long generations into ours. The people of Verona said when they saw him in the street: "Here's the man who went to hellLook, there is the man who was in Hell!” Oh yes, he has been in Hell, Hell often enough, in severe and prolonged fights and pain; as almost certainly happened to someone like him. he. comedy is coming outdivinethey are not achieved in any other way. Is not thought, the true work of all kinds, the highest virtue in itself, the child of pain? Born of a black whirlwind; TRUEeffort, yes, like a prisoner struggling to break free: this is thinking. In all respects, we must “become perfect throughLeiden.”—ButAs I said, no work that I know of is as complex as this one by Dante. Everything seemed melted in the hottest furnace of his soul. He made you "skinny" for years. Not just the general whole; Each of his themes is crafted with intense passion, indeed in clear visuality. Each reacts to the other; Each one clicks into place like a precisely polished and carved marble stone. It is Dante's soul, and in it the soul of the Middle Ages, made visible there rhythmically forever. Not easy tasks; an intense right: but a duty that isdone.
maybe someone would sayintensity, with all that depends on it, is the predominant character of Dante's genius. Dante doesn't strike us as a great Catholic spirit; more narrow-minded and even sectarian: partly because of his age and position, but also partly because of his very nature. His greatness was concentrated in ardent emphasis and depth in every aspect. It is world wide not because it is world wide but because it is world wide. Through all objects he penetrates, as it were, to the heart of being, I know of nothing so penetrating as Dante. For example, let's look at his outermost intensity development first, let's see how she paints: he has great eyesight; he understands the nature of a thing; He presents this and nothing more. Do you remember the first look at the Dite Room:RedPointed cone of red-hot iron shining through the grim immensity of darkness; so alive, so clear, visible once and for all! It's like an emblem of all Dante's genius. There is a brevity about it, an abrupt precision: Tacitus is not shorter, more condensed; and then in Dante it seems to be a natural, spontaneous condensation for man. An offensive word; and then it is quiet, nothing more is said. Your silence is more eloquent than words. It is strange with what sharp, resolute grace he snatches away the true image of matter: he cuts through matter as with a fiery feather. Plutus, the haughty giant, swoons at Virgil's scolding; is "when the sails sink, the mast suddenly breaks". Or poor Brunetto Latini with thatbought look, "Facecooked, parched and thin; and the "burning snow" falling on them there, a "windless burning snow," slowly, unhurriedly, endlessly! Or the lids of these tombs; square sarcophagi in that silent twilight. hall of fire, each with his soul in torment, the lids open there must be closed on the Day of Judgment, for eternity, and as Farinata rises and as Cavalcante falls, when he heard of his son, and time passed"Guerra"! Only Dante's movements have something short, quick, decisive, almost military. It is the innermost essence of his genius, this type of painting. The fiery, quick Italian nature of the man, so still, passionate, with his quick, jerky movements, their silent "pale outbursts of rage" speak for themselves in these matters.
For though this thing with painting is one of a man's outermost developments, it comes, like everything else, from his essential faculty; it is the physiognomy of the whole man. Find a man whose words are like yours, you have found a man of worth; marks his manner of doing so as very characteristic of him. First, he could not have recognized the object or seen its vital type unless he had what we might call asympathizedWith him he had sympathy in himself to give objects. must have beensincerelyabout that too; sincere and understanding: a worthless person cannot give you an image; lies in vague apparitions, errors, and trivial rumors about all objects. And indeed, may we not say that the intellect fully expresses itself in this capacity to know what an object is? Any skill a man's mind can have will come out of here. Is it really a business, a matter to be done? The gifted man is the one whoeuwhat is essential, and everything else he leaves aside as surplus: it is also his fortune, that of the merchant, who recognizes the trueresemblance, not the superficial faking of the thing you need to work on. and how much ofMoralit's in the way we perceive everything; "the eye that sees in all things that brought with it the ability to see"! To the common eye all things are trivial, as surely as to the jaundiced eye they are yellow. Raphael, painters say, is the best of all portraitists. No gifted eye can exhaust the meaning of any object. There is more to the more ordinary human face than Rafael would accept.
Dante's painting is not only graphic, brief, true and alive like fire in the dark night; In the broadest sense, it is noble in every way and the fruit of a great soul. Francesca and her lover, what qualities in him! A thing woven like a rainbow in a land of eternal darkness. A little flute voice with an endless moan speaks there, deep in our heart. There is also a touch of femininity in it:of the beautiful person that was taken from me; and how, even in the abyss of sadness, it is a comfort thatANDI will never part with her! The saddest tragedy in thesebig problem. And the stormy winds in itbrunoCast them out again to groan forever! It's strange to think: Dante was a friend of poor Francesca's father; It is possible that Francesca herself sat on the poet's lap like an intelligent and innocent girl. Infinite grace, but also infinite severity of law: this is how nature is made; That's how Dante realized she was created. What a puny idea is hisThe divine Comedyto be a poor earthly slanderer, an impotent splendid; take to hell those whom he could not take revenge on earth! I suppose if mercy, tender as a mother's, was ever in a man's heart, it was in Dante's heart. But a man who does not know rigor cannot sympathize either. Pity him will be cowardly, selfish, sentimental or better. I don't know any love in the world like Dante's. It is a tenderness, a tremulous, yearning, compassionate love: like the groan of wind harps, soft, smooth; like a child's heart; and then this stern and sad heart! His longing for his Beatrice; their meeting atParadise; her look in his eyes pure and transfigured, she who was so long purified by death, hitherto separated from him: - is like the singing of angels; it is one of the purest expressions of affection, perhaps the purest that ever emanated from a human soul.
For himintensiveDante is intense in all things; He got into the essence of it all. His intellectual intuition as a painter, and sometimes as a thinker, is nothing more than the result of all the other intensities. Above all, morally great, we must call it; it's the beginning of everything. Your contempt, your pain are as transcendent as your love; because what are they but thatgo backÖto speakyour love"I feel sorry for God and his enemies., Hated by God and the enemies of God: "high contempt, contempt and silent, insatiable disgust";let's not talk about themlet's not talk about ittheyjust look and pass.” Or think about it, "You don't have thatesperanzato die,You have no hope of death.One day it rose with benevolence over Dante's wounded heart, which he, wretched, restless, exhausted as he was, would surely fill.to die; "that fate in itself could not condemn him not to die." Such words are in this man. For severity, seriousness, and depth, it has no parallel in the modern world; To find its parallel, we must go to the Hebrew Bible and live there with the ancient prophets.
I disagree with many modern critics, as I prefer theminfernoto the other two parts of the divinecomedy. Such a preference belongs, I believe, to our general Byronism of taste, and seems to be a passing sentiment. HepurgatoryjParadise, especially the former, one might almost say, is even more excellent than he. this is something noblepurgatory, "mountain of purification"; a symbol of the noblest conception of the time. If sin is so fatal and hell is and should be so severe and terrible, in repentance man is also purified; Repentance is the great Christian act. It's cool how Dante solves that. Heshake from where, this "tremor" of the waves of the sea in the first pure dawn, dawning in the distance in the wandering two, is like the kind of altered state of mind. Hope is high now; Hope that never dies if it still suffers great pain in society. The dark abode of demons and the damned is underfoot; a light breath of penance rises higher and higher, to the very throne of mercy: "Pray for me", all the inhabitants of the Mount of Sorrows tell him. “Tell my Giovanna to pray for me”, my daughter Giovanna; "I think your mother doesn't love me anymore!" They laboriously climb this winding cliff, "bent like the corbels of a building," some of them pressed together "by the sin of pride"; yet in years and ages and ages they will have reached the summit, which is the gate of heaven, and by mercy they will have been admitted. Everyone's joy when one prevails; The whole mountain trembles with joy, and a song of praise rises when a soul consummates repentance and leaves its sin and misery behind. I call all this a noble embodiment of true noble thought.
But the three departments really support each other, they are indispensable to each other. HeParadise, for me a kind of inarticulate music, is the redeeming side ofinferno; ANDinfernowithout her it would not be true. The three form the true Invisible World as it appears in medieval Christianity; something forever memorable, forever true to all human beings at their core. Perhaps in no human soul has it been so deeply delineated in truth as in Dante's; a manpostedsing it, remember it for a long time. Very remarkable with what brief simplicity he passes from everyday reality to the unseen; and in the second or third stanza we find ourselves in the spiritual world; and dwells there as among tangible and indubitable things! to give themguerraThen; the real world, as it is called, and its facts were but the threshold of an infinitely superior fact of a world. Deep down, he likedsupernaturallike the other. Doesn't everyone have a soul? It won't just be a ghost, but it is one. For the serious Dante, everything is visible fact; he believes, he sees; he is the poet of it by virtue of it. Sincerity, I repeat, is the saving grace, now as ever.
Hell, purgatory, Dante's paradise is also a symbol, an emblematic representation of his belief in this universe: any critic of a future age, like the Scandinavians of yore, who completely ceased to think like Dante, you can find it as "allegory". , perhaps an idle allegory! It is a sublime or more sublime incarnation of the soul of Christianity. It expresses, as in the great architectural emblems of the world, how the Christian Dante felt good and evil as the two polar elements of that creation around which everything revolves; that these two differ not in preference one over the other, but in absolute and infinite incompatibility; one is excellent and high as light and heaven, the other terrible, black as Gehenna and the abyss of hell! Eternal justice, but with penitence, with eternal mercy, the whole of Christianity, as Dante and the Middle Ages had it, is represented here. Emblem: and yet, as I insisted the other day, with all truth on purpose; How unconscious of an emblem! Hell, purgatory, paradise: these things were not made as emblems; In our modern European thinking, some thought they were badges! If these were not terrible and indubitable facts; Does the whole human heart hold it practically true, does all nature everywhere confirm it? It's always like that with these things. People don't believe in an allegory. The future critic, whatever his new thinking, which considers Dante an allegory, will make a serious mistake: we recognize paganism as a true expression of man's sincere admiration for the universe; true, for the first time true, and yet not worthless to us. But notice here the difference between Heathenism and Christianity; a big difference. Heathenism chiefly represented the operations of nature; the aims, efforts, combinations, vicissitudes of things and people in this world; Christianity pocketed the law of human duty, the moral law of man. One age for sensual nature: a crude and impotent expression of man's first thought, most recognized virtue, courage, superiority to fear. The other was not of a sensible nature, but of a moral nature. How much progress has been made here, if only in this respect...!
And so, in a very strange way, Dante found a voice in these ten silent centuries, as I said. HeDivine Comedycomes from Dante's writing; but it actually belongs to ten Christian centuries, only the end is Dante's. So always. The craftsman there, the blacksmith with his metal, with these tools, with these ingenious methods, how little of everything he does is right.They areto work! All the inventive men of old work there with him, as surely with all of us, in all things. Dante is the mouthpiece of the Middle Ages; the thought they lived by is here, in the eternal music. These lofty, terrible and beautiful ideas of yours are the fruit of the Christian meditation of all the good men who preceded you. Precious she; but isn't it beautiful too? Much if he had not spoken, he would have been mute; not dead, but alive without a voice.
Taken together, is this mystical song not an expression of both one of the greatest human souls and the highest that Europe has ever achieved? Christianity, as Dante sings about it, differs from paganism in the harsh Norse spirit; except for "Bastard Christianity" which was half-developed in the Arabian Desert seven hundred years ago!IdeadonerealUntil now it is constantly sung and proclaimed among men by one of the noblest men. Aren't we glad to have it, on the one hand and on the other? According to my calculations, it could still take many thousands of years. For what is said of the innermost parts of the human soul is quite different from what is said of the outside. The exterior is contemporary, in the grip of fashion; the outside passes in rapid and endless changes; the most intimate is the same yesterday, today and forever. The true souls of all generations of the world who look to this Dante will find a brotherhood in him; the deep sincerity of your thoughts, your worries and your hopes will speak equally of your sincerity; will feel that this Dante was also a brother. Napoleon in Santa Elena marvels at the brilliant truthfulness of old Homer. The oldest Hebrew prophet, under a robe very different from ours, yet because he speaks to the hearts of men, he speaks to the hearts of all men. It is the only secret that is remembered for a long time. Dante is also like an ancient prophet because of the depth of his sincerity; His words, like hers, come from his own heart. No wonder his poem was prophesied to be the most enduring thing our Europe has ever done; for nothing lasts so long as a word truly spoken. All cathedrals, pontificates, bronze and stone, and everlasting grounds are short compared with an unfathomable song of the heart like this: one feels it might survive, still matters to the people when all this is new would have sunk. unrecognizable combinations and were no longer unique. Europe has done a lot; great cities, great empires, encyclopedias, creeds, opinions and practices: but it did little of Dante's kind of thinking. homer yetesto be really present face to face with each of our open souls; and Greece where is itAND? Devastated for thousands of years; away, gone; a jumbled heap of stones and rubbish, the life and existence of everything gone. Like a dream; like the dust of King Agamemnon! Greece was; Greece, except inWordssaid, it is not.
The use of this Dante? We won't talk too much about its "uses". A human soul that once entered this primordial elementlied, and sang some of them properly, has been working on itdepthour existence; long feeding the vital roots of all excellent human things, in a way that the "utilities" will not well calculate! We will not judge the sun by the amount of gaslight it saves us; Dante will be either priceless or useless. I can make one observation: the contrast between the heroic poet and the heroic prophet in this regard. Within a hundred years, as we have seen, Mohammed had his Arabs in Granada and Delhi; Dante's Italians still seem to be where they were. Shall we then say that Dante's impact on the world was small in comparison? Not so: his arena is much more restricted; but it is also much nobler, clearer; maybe not less, but more important. Muhammad speaks to large crowds of people in the adapted vulgar dialect; a dialect full of inconsistencies, coarseness, follies: it can only have an effect on the masses, and then with a strange mixture of good and evil. Dante speaks to the noble, the pure, and the great in all times and places. It won't even go stale like the other one is doing. Dante burns like a pure star, fixed there in the firmament where the great and great of all times shine: he is the possession of all the elect of the world for countless ages. Dante, it is calculated, could long outlive Muhammad. In this way, balance can be restored.
But, in any case, it is not because of what you call the effect on the world thatusYou can see by his effect that a man and his work are being measured. It is made? Influence? Utility? leave a manAgainHis job; the fruit of it is the care of others than his own. It will bear fruit on its own; and when it is included in the caliph's thrones and Arab conquests, so that "it fills all the morning and evening papers," and all the stories which are a kind of distilled newspapers; or not so incarnated; Does not matter? That's not the true fruit of it! The Arab caliph was something insofar as he did something. If the great cause of mankind and the work of man on God's earth did not gain support from the Arab Caliph, then no matter how many scimitars he drew, how many piastres of gold he pocketed, and what uproar and noise he made in the world,ANDit was nothing but noisy stupidity and futility; in the background theerasYou are welcome. Let's honor the great empireStay quiet, once again! The boundless treasure that we don't jingle in our pockets, or count and present in front of people! It is perhaps of all things the most useful thing for each of us in these noisy times.—
Just as Dante the Italian was sent into our world to embody in music the religion of the Middle Ages, the religion of our modern Europe; So we can say that Shakespeare personifies for us the outer life of our Europe as it developed, its chivalry, courtesy, humour, ambition, what a practical way of thinking, acting, seeing the world, people had at that time. As in Homer, we can still interpret ancient Greece; in Shakespeare and Dante it will still be readable, even after thousands of years, what our modern Europe was in belief and practice. Dante gave us the faith or the soul; Shakespeare, no less noble, gave us practice or body. We also wanted the latter; a man was sent to fetch her, the man Shakespeare. Just when that chivalrous life was drawing to an end and about to dissipate, slowly or quickly, as we now see everywhere, that other sovereign poet, with his discerning eye, with his ever-singing voice, was sent to take note of him, in order to prove it consistently. Two fit men: Dante, deep, fierce as the world's central fire; Shakespeare, broad, calm, clairvoyant, like the sun, supreme light of the world. Italy produced the only voice in the world; we English had the honor of producing the other.
It's strange how this man came to us by accident, so to speak. I always think this Shakespeare is great, calm, complete and self-sufficient, if the Warwickshire Squire had not accused him of deer stealing we might never have heard of him as a poet! The forest and the sky, that man's farm life in Stratford there, had been enough for that man! But did not this strange explosion of our whole English existence, which we call the Elizabethan age, really come about by itself? The "Igdrasil Tree" buds and withers according to its own laws, too deep for our sweep. And yet it buds and withers, and every branch and leaf is there, by fixed eternal laws; he is not Sir Thomas Lucy, but it comes at the right time for him. Curious, I say, and without thinking enough: how everything works together with everyone; it is not a leaf that rots in the street, but an indissoluble part of the solar and stellar system; No human thought, word, or action has come out of all human beings and has had an effect, sooner or later, recognizable or unrecognizable, on all human beings! Everything is a tree: circulation of sap and influences, mutual communication of each little leaf with the lowest claw of a root, larger and smaller parts of the whole with each other. The Igdrasil tree, which has its roots in the realms of Hela and Death and whose branches reach the highest heavens -!
In a sense, it can be said that this glorious Elizabethan age, with its Shakespeare, must be attributed to medieval Catholicism as the result and culmination of all that preceded it. The Christian faith that was the subject of Dante's song had produced this Practical Life that Shakespeare was to sing. Because religion was then, as it is now and ever, the soul of practice; the main vital fact in people's lives. And notice here, curiously enough, that the Catholicism of the Middle Ages was abolished, so far as the Acts of Parliament could abolish it, before Shakespeare, its noblest product, appeared. However, he performed. Nature sent in her time with Catholicism or whatever was necessary; they care little for the Acts of Parliament. King Henrys and Queen Elizabeths go their separate ways; and nature goes from her too. Acts of Parliament are usually small, despite the noise they make. What act of Parliament, debates in St. Stephen's, on elections or elsewhere, brought this Shakespeare to life? No Masonic dinners, no opening of subscription lists, no stock sales and countless other true or false jingles and ventures! This Elizabethan age and all its nobility and blessedness came without proclamation, our preparation. Priceless Shakespeare was a free gift of nature; given very calmly; - received very quietly, as if it were a matter of little importance. And yet it is priceless in the truest sense of the word. You should also take a look at this page.
Of this our Shakespeare, perhaps the opinion sometimes rather idolatrically expressed is indeed correct; I think that better judgment, not only in this country, but in Europe generally, is slowly leading to the conclusion that Shakespeare is the best of all poets hitherto; the greatest intellect that has left a record of itself in the way of literature in our recorded world. In general, I don't know any other human being with so much power of vision, so much power of thought, if we take all his characters together. Such a deep calm; calm and cheerful power; All things incarnated in your great soul as truly and clearly as in a still and unfathomable sea! It has been said that in the construction of Shakespeare's plays, in addition to all the other "faculties" as they are called, there is a manifest understanding on a par with Bacon's.new organThat's right; and it is not a truth that affects everyone. It would be more obvious if we experienced each of us for ourselves, as in Shakespeare's dramatic material.uscould form such a result! The built house looks so suitable, in all respects as it should be, as if it had got there by its own law and the nature of things, that we forget the rough and untidy quarry out of which it was fashioned. The perfection of the house, as if nature itself made it, hides the merit of the builder. Perfect, more perfect than any other human being, we can call him Shakespeare in him: he recognizes, he instinctively knows, what conditions he works in, what his materials are, what his own strength is and his relation to them. A glimmer of insight is not enough; it is a deliberate illumination of everything; it's quietSeherEye; a great intellect, in short. How a man builds a narrative out of something great he has seen, what kind of picture and description he will give of it, is the best measure of what is intellect in man. Which circumstance is crucial and will remain prominent; what is not essential can be suppressed; where is the truthStart, the true sequence and the ending? To discover this, all the power of intuition that exists in man is examined. He mustto understandthe thing according to the depth of your understanding will be the adequacy of your answer. They will try like this. It combines taste with taste; Does the spirit of method stir in this confusion, so that order emerges from its tangle? man can saythere is luxury, Let there be light; and make a world out of chaos? As the light is in himself, he will achieve this.
Or, indeed, we can again say that it is what I called portraiture, the depiction of people and things, especially men, that Shakespeare is great. All the greatness of man comes decisively to the fore here. I think Shakespeare's silent creative vision is second to none. The thing he looks at reveals not this or that face, but its innermost heart and generic mystery: it dissolves as in the light before him, so that he sees its perfect structure. Creative, we said: poetic work, what is it butSeherthat's enough? Hemustwhat purports to describe the subject arises from such a clear and intense consideration of the subject. And it's not from ShakespeareMoral, your courage, your openness, tolerance, truthfulness; all his power and victorious greatness, able to overcome such obstacles, visible there too? Big as the world. NOdistorted, poor convex-concave mirror, reflecting all objects with their own convexities and concaves; perfectebenMirror; that is also, if we understand it, a man who is just with all things and with all people, a good man. It is truly a majestic spectacle how this great soul welcomes all kinds of people and objects, a Falstaff, an Othello, a Julia, a Coriolanus; He explains them all to us in their round fullness; loving, just, the same brother as everyone.new organ, and all the intellect you will find in Bacon is of an entirely secondary order; earthly, material, poor, on the other hand. Strictly speaking, among modern humans there is almost nothing of the same level. Only Goethe has reminded me of this since the days of Shakespeare. You also say of him that heSerrathe object; one can say what he himself says of Shakespeare: “His characters are like clocks with transparent glass dials;
The eye that sees! This reveals the inner harmony of things; what nature meant, what musical idea nature put into these often crude incarnations. Something she wanted to say. Something was perceptible to the seeing eye. Are they base and miserable things? You can laugh at them, you can cry for them; you can really identify with them in one way or another; you can be a little silent about them, turning your face and others away from them, until the time comes to eradicate and practically eliminate them! Deep down, the poet's first gift, like everyone else's, is to have a lot of intellect. He will be a poet if he has: poet of the word; or else, perhaps even better, a poet in action. If you write at all; and if so, whether in prose or in verse, it will depend on the coincidences: who knows what highly trivial coincidences, perhaps because of having had a singing teacher, having learned to sing in childhood! But the ability to discern the inner heart of things and the harmony that resides within (for everything that exists has a harmony at its heart, otherwise it would not hold together and exist) is not the result of habit or chance, the gift of nature itself; the main outfit for a heroic man of any type. To the poet, as to everyone else, we say above all:ver. If you can't do that, there's no point in continuing to add rhymes, mixing sensibilities andNamehimself a poet; There is no hope for you If you can, there is all kinds of hope in prose or verse, in action or speculation. The grumpy old teacher would always ask when a new student was brought to him, "But are you sure it's like that?do not deceive"Well, actually, you could ask the same question of any man proposed for any role, and see it as the only question you need: Are you sure he's not a fool? There's no one else in this world who is. is a totally mortal person.
For indeed I say that the level of vision that inhabits a man is a right measure for man. If I were asked to define Shakespeare's abilities, I would say superiority of intellect and think I included everything under that. What are the faculties? We talk about skills as if they were separate, separable things; as if a human being had intellect, imagination, fancy, etc., just as he has hands, feet, and arms. That's a big mistake. On the other hand, we hear of a person's "intellectual nature" and "moral nature" as if both were divisible and existed separately. Language needs may dictate such forms of expression; we have to talk, I know that if we want to talk. But words must not harden into things for us. It seems to me that more often than not this radically distorts our view of the matter. We must also know and always keep in mind that these subdivisions are basically butnames; man's spiritual nature, the life force residing within him, is essentially one and indivisible; that what we call imagination, fancy, reason, etc., are but different forms of the same intuitive power, all inseparably connected, physiognomically related; that if we knew one of them, we could know them all. Morality itself, what we call a person's moral quality, but what else is itPagethe only life force by which he exists and works? Everything a man does is physiognomic of him. You can tell by the way he sings how a man would fight; his courage or lack of courage is shown in the word he utters, in the opinion he forms, as well as in the blow he deals. He isas; and in all these ways it preaches the same to be abroad.
Without hands a man may have feet and still walk: but remember, without morals reason would be impossible for him; totally immoralMannhe couldn't know anything! To know something, what we may call knowledge, a man must firstamarthe thing to sympathize with him: that's beingvirtuosorelated to her. If you don't have the justice to leave your own selfishness behind at all times, the courage to stand up for the dangerous truth at all times, how will you know? All your virtues will be engraved in your knowledge. Nature with its truth forever remains a sealed book for the wicked, the selfish and the fearful: what they can know about nature is petty, superficial, small; just for daily use. But doesn't Fox himself know something about nature? That's right: you know where the geese are! The human Reynard, very common in all parts of the world, what does he know besides this and so on? No, it must also be taken into account that the fox would not have a certain vulpineMoral, he couldn't even find out where the geese were, or get to the geese! He passed the time in soft and excited reflections on his own misery, the abuses which nature, fortune, and other foxes had done him, etc.; and unless he had courage, speed, practicality, and other appropriate vulpine gifts and grace, he would not hunt geese. We can also say of Zorro that his morals and intelligence are of the same dimension; different faces of the same inner unit of vulpine life! — These things are worthy of mention; for their opposite works at this time with various very fatal perversions: whatever restrictions, modifications are necessary, their own openness will provide them.
So when I say that Shakespeare is the greatest intellect, I've already said everything about him. But there's more to Shakespeare's intellect than we've seen so far. It's what I call the unconscious intellect; there is more virtue in it than he himself realizes. Novalis wonderfully remarks about him that his dramas are also products of nature, as deep as nature itself. I find great truth in this proverb. Shakespeare's art is not artificial; whose nobler value does not exist through prior design or invention. It grows from the depths of nature through this noble and sincere soul that is the voice of nature. The last generations of men will find in Shakespeare new meanings, new explanations of their own humanity; "new harmonies with the infinite structure of the universe; correspondences with later ideas, affinities with the superior powers and senses of man". It's worth thinking about. It is nature's greatest reward for a truly simple great soul to become so.a part of yourself. Such a man's works, whatever he accomplishes with the greatest conscious effort and foresight, unconsciously grow within him from unknown depths; how the oak grows from the womb of the earth, how mountains and waters are formed; with a symmetry based on the laws of nature, in accordance with all truth. How much is hidden in Shakespeare; its sorrows, its silent struggles known to him; Much that was not known could not be said: howstate, like sap and forces working under the earth! The speech is great; but the silence is greater.
What is remarkable, however, is this man's cheerful calm. I won't blame Dante for his misery: it's like a no-win fight; but the real fight, the first, the indispensable. However, I consider Shakespeare greater than Dante in the sense that he really fought and won. Do not doubt that he had his own problems: thesesonnetsof his willingness to explicitly witness the deep waters he waded and swam in in the fight for his life, what did a man like him ever have to do? It seems to me a frivolous idea, our commonplace, perched like a bird on a branch; and he sang, free and carefree, oblivious to the concerns of others. not so; not so with any man. How could a man go from hunting wild deer to writing such tragedies and not suffer in the process? Or better yet, how could a man sketch a Hamlet, a Coriolanus, a Macbeth, so many suffering heroic hearts, if his own heroic heart had never suffered? - And now, in contrast to all this, your joy, your genuine love, bursting with laughter! Would you say he never didexaggeratebut just laugh. Incantations of fire, words that pierce and burn, are found in Shakespeare; but here it is always in moderation; never what Johnson would describe as a special "good enemy". But his laughter seems to flow from him; he piles all sorts of ridiculous nicknames up the ass of whoever is pulling a prank, twirls around and plays all sorts of shenanigans at them; You'd say he laughs his heart out. And then, if not always the best, it's always a great laugh. Not to mere weakness, wretchedness, or poverty; Never. No man whoit couldLaughter, what we call laughter, will laugh at these things. He's just a bad characterto wishlaugh and get the joke merited, that's what he does. Laughter means sympathy; good laughter is not "the crackling of thorns under the pot." Even in the face of stupidity and hypocrisy, this Shakespeare just laughs gently. Dogberry and Verges tickle our hearts; and we sent them away full of laughter: but we like the poor fellows best for our laughter alone; and I hope you make it there and continue to be the head of the city guard. I find that laughter, like sunlight in the depths of the sea, very beautiful.
We have no place to discuss Shakespeare's individual works; though perhaps much more could be said about it. For example, if we had reviewed all of his works like this oneDorf, EmMestre Guilherme, AND! Something that could be done one day. August Wilhelm Schlegel has a commentary on his historical works,Henry Fifthand the others are worth remembering. He calls it a kind of national epic. Marlborough, you will remember, said that he knew no more about the history of England than he learned from Shakespeare. There really are few stories as memorable if we look closely. The large salient points are admirably captured; everything rounds out, in a kind of rhythmic coherence; it is, as Schlegel says, epic; as surely any description of a great thinker will be. There are really beautiful things about these pieces that actually form a beautiful thing together. This battle of Agincourt seems to me one of the most perfect things of this kind that we have from Shakespeare. The description of the two hosts: the exhausted and exhausted Englishman; the dreadful hour of doom when the battle will begin; and then that immortal courage: "You good husbandmen, whose limbs were made in England!" There is a noble patriotism in him very different from the "indifference" sometimes attributed to Shakespeare. A true English heart breathes easy and strong throughout the affair; not boisterous, insistent; much better for it. There is a sound in it like the steel ring. This man would pack quite a punch if it came to that too!
But I will say of Shakespeare's works in general that we do not have a complete impression of him; even as full as we have of many men. His works are so many windows through which we glimpse the world that was within him. All his works seem comparatively superficial, imperfect, written under difficult circumstances; just giving a note here and there of the man's full pronunciation. There are passages that descend upon you like the splendor of heaven; Bursts of lightning illuminating the heart of the matter: You say, "That'sTRUE, said once and for all; wherever and wherever there is an open human soul, it will be recognized as true!” Such explosions, however, make us feel that the surrounding matter is not radiant, that it is partly transitory, conventional. Alas, Shakespeare had to write this for the Globe Playhouse: his great soul had to be pressed into this form and no other in the best possible way. So it was with him as it is with all of us. No man works except under conditions. The sculptor cannot set before us his own free thought, but his thought of how to translate it into the stone given to him, with the tools given to him.cut endsthey are all we find of a poet or a man.
Anyone who looks at this Shakespeare sensibly will see that he is also aProphet, your way; an intuition similar to the prophetic, though in a different tone. Nature also seemed divine to this man; indescribable, deep as Tophet, high as the sky; "We are made of the same stuff that dreams are made of!" This parchment in Westminster Abbey, which few read with understanding, is of the depth of every seer. But the man sang; he did not preach except musically. We call Dante the euphonious priest of Catholicism in the Middle Ages. Can't we call Shakespeare an even more euphonious priest in a way?TRUECatholicism, the "universal church" of the future and of all times? No narrow-minded superstition, austere asceticism, bigotry, fanatical savagery, or perversion: a revelation, so far as it goes, that a thousand times hidden beauty and divinity dwell in all nature; May all men worship as best they can! We can say without offense that a kind of universal psalm also emanates from this Shakespeare; it is not unworthy to be heard among the still holier psalms. Not out of harmony with them, if we understand them, but in harmony! I cannot, like some, call this Shakespeare a "sceptic"; their indifference to the creeds and theological disputes of their day misleads them. No: it is not unpatriotic either, though it says little about your patriotism; still skeptical, although he says little about his faith. Such "indifference" was the fruit of his greatness: his whole heart was in his own great sphere of worship (we might call it that); those other controversies which were vital to other people were not vital to him.
But call it worship, call it what you will, isn't it a truly glorious thing and set of things that Shakespeare brought to us? For my part, I feel that there is really a kind of sanctity in the fact that such a man is being sent to this earth. He is not an eye to us all; a blessed light-bearer sent from heaven? And basically it wasn't much better that this was Shakespeare, an unconscious human being in all respects.consciouslyno heavenly message? Did he not feel like Muhammad because in those inner splendours he saw that he was especially the "Prophet of God": and was he not greater than Muhammad in this? Bigger then; and also, if we calculate strictly, as we did with Dante, more precisely. This conception of Muhammad, his supreme prophecy, was in itself an error; and to this day it seems inextricably shrouded in error; carries with it such a roll of fables, impurities, bigotry that it becomes a questionable step for me here and now to say, as I have done, that Muhammad was a true orator and not an ambitious charlatan, perversity and pretense. ; not talkative but a gossip! Even in Arabia, I think, Mohammed will have worn himself out and gone as long as this Shakespeare, this Dante may be young; while this Shakespeare may continue to pretend to be a priest of mankind, of Arabia as elsewhere, for indefinite periods of time!
Compared with any known orator or singer, even Aeschylus or Homer, why shouldn't he be as true and universal as they are? He issincerelyas; he gets to the bottom like them, to the general and permanent. But as for Mohammed, I think it would have been better for him.NOBe aware! Ah, poor Mohammed! everything that happenedconsciouslyde was a mere mistake; a meaninglessness and a triviality, as indeed it always is. What was really great about him was also the unconscious: that he was a wild lion of the Arabian desert and spoke with his great thundering voice, not with the words he himself had spoken.Thoughtbe great, but through actions, through feelings, through a story thatguerragreat! Their Koran has become stupid, wordy nonsense; We do not believe like him that God wrote this! The Big Man is, as always, a force of nature. Everything really good about him springs from that.Emarticulated depths.
Well: this is our poor Warwickshire farmer, who became a theater director so that he could live without begging; to whom the Earl of Southampton cast a few friendly glances; to whom Sir Thomas sent Lucy, many thanks to him, to the mat! We did not consider him a god like Odin while he lived with us, about which much could be said. But I'd rather say it or repeat it: despite the sad state hero worship is in, consider what this Shakespeare among us really became. What English have we ever made in our country, what million Englishmen would we not give for the Stratford farmer? There's no regiment of high dignitaries we'd sell it for. He's the best thing we've ever done. For our honor among foreign nations, as an adornment to our English home, what article would we not give in its stead? Now consider, if we were asked, would you give up your Indian Empire or your Shakespeare, your Englishman; never had an Indian empire or never had a Shakespeare? It was really a serious question. The official people would no doubt respond in the official language; but we, for our part, must not be compelled to answer: Indian Empire or no Indian Empire; It doesn't work without Shakespeare! the Indian Empire will one day disappear anyway; but this Shakespeare does not perish, he remains with us forever; We can't give up our Shakespeare!
No, outside of spiritualities; and regard it only as a real, marketable, and tangibly useful possession. England, this island of ours, will soon have but a small fraction of Englishmen: in America, in New Holland, in the east and west as far as the antipodes, there will be a Saxony, which will cover large tracts of the globe. . And now, what can practically keep everyone together in one nation, not quarreling and quarreling, but living in peace, in brotherly relations and helping each other? This is rightly seen as the biggest practical problem that all kinds of sovereignties and governments are here to achieve: what will it achieve? Ministers Presidents of Administration cannot pass parliamentary laws. America is as much separated from us as Parliament can separate it. Call it not fantastic, for there is much reality in it: here, I say, is an English king whom neither time, nor chance, nor Parliament, or any combination of Parliaments, can dethrone. This king Shakespeare, he does not shine in crowned sovereignty over us all, as the noblest, the kindest, and yet the strongest of all collectibles; indestructible; From this point of view, is it really more valuable than any other medium or device? We can imagine it shining over all the English nations in a thousand years. From Paramatta, from New York, from anywhere, under any kind of police in any parish, English men and women will say to each other, 'Yes, this Shakespeare is ours; we produce it, speak it and think it; we are of the same blood and goodness as he.” Even the most sensible politician can think about this if he wants to.
Yes, it is indeed a great thing for a nation to have an articulate voice; May she produce a man who speaks melodiously what the heart means! Italy, for example, poor Italy, is fragmented, dispersed, without appearing as a unit in any protocol or treaty; but noble Italy is indeedas: Italy produced its Dante; Italy can talk! The Tsar of all Russians is strong with so many bayonets, Cossacks and cannons; and it is a great achievement to hold such a part of the world together politically; but I still can't speak. Something big about him, but it's a quiet size. He did not have the voice of genius to be heard by all peoples and ages. You must learn to speak. He's been one big dumb monster so far. Your weapons and Cossacks will rust as long as Dante's voice is still audible. The nation that has a Dante is as united as no stupid Russia can be. We must finish here what we had to say about thempoet hero.
LESSON IV THE HERO AS PRIEST. LUTERO; REFORM: KNOX; PURITANISM.
[15. May 1840.]
Our present discourse must be on the great man as a priest. We've repeatedly tried to explain that all types of heroes are basically made of the same stuff; that if someone has a great soul, open to the divine meaning of life, then a man able to talk about it, sing about it, fight for it and work for it in a grand, victorious and lasting way; he is given a hero whose physical form depends on the climate and environment in which he finds himself. Also, the priest is, as I understand it, a kind of prophet; There must also be in him a light of inspiration, as we should call it. He directs the worship of the people; He is their unifier with the invisible saint. He is the spiritual captain of the people; as the prophet is their spiritual king with many captains: he leads them to heaven, with wise guidance through this land and its work. His ideal is that he should also be what we might call an invisible voice from heaven; let him interpret as the Prophet did, and, in a more familiar manner, reveal the same to the people. The invisible sky, the "open secret of the universe" that few pay attention to! He is the prophet stripped of his most abominable splendor; burning with a soft, even glow, like the illuminator of everyday life. This, I say, is the ideal of a priest. So in the old days; so in these and at all times. It is well known that reducing ideals to practice requires a great deal of freedom of tolerance; very good. But a priest who is not, who no longer aspires or tries to be, is a character we prefer not to talk about at this point.
Luther and Knox were expressly called priests, and faithfully discharged this function in their good sense. But here it will be better to consider them primarily in their historical character, more as reformers than as priests. There were other priests who, in quieter times, were perhaps equally notable for their faithful exercise of the office of worship leader; for faithful heroism in this genre to cause a light to descend from heaven in the everyday life of your people; to lead them onward, as under the guidance of God, along the way they should go. but if the sameformIt was an arduous struggle, confusion and danger, the spiritual captain who led through it becomes more remarkable than anyone, especially to us who live under the fruit of his leadership. He is the warrior and fighter priest; that he led his people, not to quiet and faithful work as in good times, but to faithful and courageous struggle, in times of violence and dismemberment: a more dangerous and memorable service, greater or no. We will consider these two men our best priests as they were our best reformers. No, may I ask, is not every true reformer by nature apadreFirst? He appeals to the invisible justice of heaven against the visible power of earth; he knows that it, the unseen, is strong and only strong. He believes in the divine truth of things; ForSeher, see through the lens of things; worshippers, in one form or another, of the divine truth of things; a priest who is. Unless he is a priest first, he will never be of much use as a reformer.
Just as we saw great men in various situations building religions, heroic forms of human existence in this world, theories of life worthy of a Dante, practices of a Shakespearean life, we must now reverse the process, see; which it is also necessary that it can also be performed heroically. It's funny how this should be necessary: but it is necessary. The soft glow of the poet's light must give way to the wild glare of the reformer: alas, the reformer too is a figure who cannot fail in history! The poet, indeed, with his meekness, what is he but the product and final adaptation of the Reformation, or of prophecy with its savagery? Not the wild Santo Domingo, nor the hermits of Thebaid, nor the melodic Dante; Great practical efforts, Scandinavian and otherwise, from Odin to Walter Raleigh, from Ulfila to Cranmer, let Shakespeare speak. Furthermore, as I sometimes remark, the finished poet is a symptom that his own age is over and done with; that there will soon be a new age, new reformers are needed.
Surely it would be better if we could always go the same wayMusic; to be tamed and taught by our poets like the brute creatures by their ancient Orpheus. Or if that's not so rhythmicMusicalBy the way, how nice would it be if we could get as far as in theautoForm; I mean yespeacefulThe priests who reformed day by day would always be enough for us! But it's not like that; even the last one has yet to be realized. Unfortunately, the struggling reformer is also a necessary and unavoidable phenomenon from time to time. Obstacles are never lacking: the same things that were once indispensable supports become obstacles; and we must be shaken off and left behind, often with tremendous difficulty. It is indeed remarkable how a spiritual theorem, or exposition, as we may call it, once encompassed the whole universe, and was perfectly satisfactory in every part of it to Dante's keen and highly discursive intellect, one of the greatest of all. in the world, in the course of another century, it has become doubtful to ordinary intellectuals; become deniable; and now it is unbelievable to every one of us, obsolete as Odin's theorem! For Dante, human existence and God's dealings with human beings were well represented by them.malebolges,purgatory; Luther is not very good. How it was? Why Dante's Catholicism could not persist; but shall Luther's Protestantism follow? unfortunately nothing willContinue.
I don't attach much importance to the "progress of the species" managed in our times; I don't think he's interested in knowing much about it. The talk on this subject is often of the wildest and most confused kind, but I may say that the fact itself rings true enough; yea, we can trace its inevitable necessity in the nature of things. Every human being, as I have said elsewhere, is not only a learner but also a doer: he learns with the mind given to him; but in the same spirit he continues to discover, invent and invent something of his own. Absolutely without originality there is no human being. No man believes or can believe what his grandfather believed: he expands somewhat, through new discoveries, his view of the universe, and consequently his theorem of the universe, the a.infiniteuniverse, and can never be fully or definitively understood by any point of view or theorem to any conceivable extent: enlarge it a little, I say; finds something that was believable to his grandfather, unbelievable to him, wrong to him, inconsistent with something new he discovered or observed. It's everyone's story; and in the history of humanity we see them summarized in great historical masses, revolutions, new epochs. Dante's Mount of PurgatoryNOto be "in the ocean of the other hemisphere" when Columbus once sailed there! People don't find anything like it in the other hemisphere. Not here. You have to stop believing it's there. The same is true of all beliefs in this world, all belief systems and practice systems that arise from them.
If we now add the sad fact that, as belief becomes uncertain, practice also becomes faulty, and error, injustice, and misery spread far and wide, we have enough fodder for a revolution. At any time, a man whoAgainfaithful, you must firmly believe. If at every step you have to ask for the right to vote in the world; if he cannot renounce the suffrage of the world and make his own suffrage a servant, he is a poor servant; the work entrusted to you will bemaldone. Each of these men contributes daily to the inevitable destruction. Any work you do for the outside world is a new offense, the father of new misery to one or the other. The crimes pile up until they become unbearable; and then they break violently, they are extinguished as if by an explosion. Dante's high Catholicism, now unbelievable in theory and tainted even worse by infidel, doubtful and dishonest practices, must be shattered by a Luther, Shakespeare's noble feudalism, beautiful as it looked and was, must end in a French Revolution. . The accumulation of crimes is, as we say, too literalexploded, volcanically blasted to pieces; and there are long turbulent periods before agreement is reached again.
Surely it would be sad enough just to look at this side of the question, and find in all human opinions and dispositions simply the fact that they were uncertain, temporary, subject to the law of death! Deep down it is not like that: all death, here we also find it, is only of the body, not of the being nor of the soul; any destruction, by violent revolution or otherwise, is nothing more than a recreation on a larger scale. Odinism wasbravura; Christianity wasmodesty, a nobler kind of bravery. No thought that honestly dwelt in the heart of man buterasan honest perception by man of the truth of God, andhatan essential truth in him that endures all changes, an eternal possession to us all. And, on the other hand, what a melancholy notion is this that must portray all men in all lands and times, except ours, as having spent their lives in blind and accursed error, only lost heathens, Scandinavians, Mohammedans, only us we could do the real thing has ultimate knowledge! All generations of people were lost and wrong just so that this current small part of a generation would be saved and right. They've all marched there, every generation since the world began, like the Russian soldiers in the ditch at Fort Schweidnitz, only to fill the ditch with their dead bodies so we can march in and take the place! It's an incredible hypothesis.
We've seen such an incredible hypothesis vigorously supported; and this or that poor individual with his sect of individuals, as if he marched over the corpses of all people towards certain victory, but when he too sank into the ditch with his hypothesis and his last infallible belief and turned himself into a corpse, what did you say? However, it is an important fact of human nature that they tend to see and regard their own intuition as final. I suppose it always will be, one way or another; but it has to be somehow broader and smarter than that. Are not all true people who live or ever live soldiers in the same army, enlisted under the captaincy of heaven to fight the same enemy, the kingdom of darkness and evil? Why should we know each other badly, fight not the enemy but ourselves just because of the different uniforms? All uniforms must be good to contain true brave men. All weapon mods, the Arabian turban and swift scimitar, Thor's mighty hammer blowJotun, will be welcome. Luther's battle voice, Dante's marching melody, all that is real is with us, not against us. We are all under one captain, soldiers of the same army. - Let's see now a little Luther's fight; what fight was that and how he behaved in it. Luther was also one of our spiritual heroes; a prophet for his country and his time.
As a prelude to the whole, a comment on idolatry might be appropriate here. One of Muhammad's qualities, shared by all prophets, is boundless and relentless zeal against idolatry. It is the great theme of the prophets: idolatry, the worship of dead idols as the deity, is something which they cannot lay aside, but which they must constantly denounce and brand with an implacable censure; it is the chief of all the sins you see committed under the sun. This is noteworthy. We will not enter here into the theological question of idolatry. idol isEidolon, a thing seen, a symbol. It is not God, but a symbol of God; and perhaps one wonders whether any of the most ignorant mortals ever thought of it as more than a symbol. I suppose he didn't think the bad image his own hands had madeerasGod; but that God was symbolized by her, that God was in her in one way or another. And now it may be asked along these lines: not all worship is worship by symbols, for exampleEidola, or seen things? Yesto view, made visible to the physical eye as an image or image; or visible only to the inner eye, the imagination, the intellect: that makes a superficial but not a substantial difference. It is still a visible thing, significant to God; an idol. The strictest Puritan has his creed and his intellectual representation of divine things, and therefore he worships; this is how worship becomes possible for him. All creeds, liturgies, religious forms, conceptions that adequately invest religious sentiments are, in this sense,Eidola, things seen. All worship, whatever it may be, must be done through symbols, through idols: we may say that all idolatry is comparative, and the worst idolatry onlyadvanceidolaters.
So where's the harm in that? There must be some fatal evil in this, otherwise sincere prophetic men would not blame him at all. Why is idolatry so despicable to prophets? It seems to me that in worshiping these poor wooden symbols, what most provoked the Prophet and filled his innermost being with indignation and disgust was not exactly what entered his mind and left him. he in words to others as the subject. The rudest heathen who worshiped Canopus or the Blackstone Kaaba, as we have seen, was superior to the horse, who worshiped nothing at all! No, there was some sort of lasting merit in that poor deed of his; analogous to what remains meritorious in poets: the recognition of a consciencedivineBeauty and meaning in the stars and in all natural objects in general. Why would the Prophet judge him so cruelly? The poorest mortal, who worships his fetish while his heart is full of it, may be pitied, despised, and, as it were, shunned; but surely he cannot be an object of hatred. leave your heartto behonestly full of it, the whole space of his dark and narrow mind lit up with it; in a word, leave it wholeto believein his fetish, then he does it well, I would say, even if not well, but as well as he can, and you leave him alone undisturbed.
But here enters the fatal circumstance of idolatry, which never occurred to anyone in the age of the prophets.eshonestly full of your idol or symbol. Before the prophet, who sees right through him and knows he is but wood, can rise again, many must have begun vaguely to doubt that he is any more. The cursed idolatry isinsinceroidolatry. Doubts gnawed at his heart: a human soul clutches convulsively at an ark of the covenant, which now looks like half a spirit. This is one of the most threatening sights. Souls are no longer filled with their fetishes; but they just pretend to be full and want to feel full. "You don't believe it," said Coleridge; "You just believe what you believe." It is the final scene in all forms of worship and symbolism; the sure sign that death is near. It is synonymous with what we now call formulaism and the cult of formulas. No immoral act can be committed by a human creature; because it is the beginning of all immorality, or rather it is the future impossibility of all morality: the innermost moral soul is paralyzed by it, cast into a deadly magnetic sleep! Men are no longersincerelyMen. It is not for nothing that the serious man denounces it, marks it, processes it with an indelible disgust. He and she, okay and she, fight to the death. The reprehensible idolatry isIt cannot, and even what might be called Sincere-Cant. Sincere-Cant: Worth considering! All forms of worship end at this stage.
I do not consider Luther any less idolatrous than any other prophet. The wooden gods of the Koreans made of wood and beeswax were no more hated by Muhammad than Tetzel's forgiveness of sins made of sheepskin and ink was Luther. It is the property of every hero to return to reality at any time, in any place and in any situation; written on things and not on demonstrations of things. As he loves and adores the awful realities of things, articulated or with profound dumb thought, so the hollow manifestations of things, however regular and decent they may be, attested by koreishes or conclaves, will be intolerable and contemptible to him. Protestantism is also the work of a prophet: the prophetic work of that sixteenth century. The first honest stroke at an old thing that has become false and idolatrous; distant preparation for something new that will be truly and authentically divine!
At first glance, it might seem that Protestantism completely destroys what we call hero worship and presents it as the basis of every kind of good, religious or social, for humanity. One often hears that Protestantism ushered in a new era radically different from anything the world has ever seen: the era of what they call "private judgment." Through this rebellion against the pope, every man has become his own pope; and he learned, among other things, that he should never again trust a pope or a spiritual hero-captain. So isn't spiritual unity, all hierarchy and subordination among people impossible from now on? That's what we heard. Now I need not deny that Protestantism was a revolt against ecclesiastical authorities, popes and more. No, I admit that English Puritanism, the rebellion against earthly sovereignties, was her second act; that the mighty French Revolution was itself the third act by which all sovereignties, earthly and spiritual, were abolished, or caused to be abolished, it may seem. Protestantism is the great root from which all our later European history branches. Because the spiritual will always manifest itself in people's temporal history; the spiritual is the beginning of the temporal. And now, indeed, everywhere there is a clamor for liberty and equality, independence and so on; instead ofreis, Electoral Ballot Boxes, and Suffrage: It seems a fact that every heroic sovereign or loyal obedience of men to man in worldly or spiritual matters is forever gone from the world. If so, I would despair of the world. One of my deepest beliefs is that this is not the case. Without rulers, true rulers, temporal and spiritual, I see only possible anarchy; the most hateful things. But I think Protestantism, whatever lawless democracy it has produced, is the beginning of a real new sovereignty and order. It seems to me that it is a rebellion against himINCORRECTsovereigns; the painful but indispensable initial preparation forTRUERulers that happen among us! It is worth explaining a little about this.
So let's first state that this "private judgment" is basically nothing new in the world, but just new at this point in the world. There is nothing generally new or special about the Reformation; it was a return to truth and reality as opposed to falsehood and appearances, as all kinds of genuine correction and teaching are and were. Freedom of private judgment, if we think about it, must have existed at all times in the world. Dante hadn't gouged out his eyes or tied himself up; he was at home in his Catholicism, soulless to see when many poor Hogstrates, Tetzel and Dr. Eck had now become their slaves. freedom of judgment? No iron chain or external force of any kind could ever compel a man's soul to believe or disbelieve: it is his own invincible light, this judgment of his; he will reign and believe there, by the grace of God alone! The saddest and most sophistic of Bellarmine, who preaches blind faith and passive obedience, must first by some kind ofconviction, renounced the right to be persuaded. Your "private judgment" suggested this as a wiser moveANDI could drink The right of private judgment will be in full force wherever there are real people. a real mancreewith all his insight, with all the enlightenment and insight that's in him, and he always believed that. A fake man who seeks only to "believe that he believes" will, of course, achieve it in other ways. To these, Protestantism said: Ah! and well done! Deep down, it wasn't a new saying; it was a return to all the old sayings that have ever been said. Be real, be sincere: that was the point, again. Muhammad believed with all his heart; Odin with all his thoughts, he and allTRUEsupporters of Odinism. They had "judged" by their personal judgment -Then.
And now I venture to assert that the exercise of private judgment, if consciously done, does not necessarily result in selfish independence, isolation; but it inevitably turns out to be the other way around. It is not honest research that breeds anarchy; but it is error, insincerity, half-belief, and falsehood that do it. A man who protests error is on his way to join all men who believe the truth. There is no communion possible between men who only believe in rumours. Everyone's heart is dead; has no power of sympathy even withThings,—or he would believetheyand without rumours. No sympathy even with things; how much less with your kind! He cannot bond with humans; He is an anarchic man. Only in a world of sincere people is unity possible; and it's only as good in the long runTRUE.
For notice one thing which has often been overlooked, nay, lost sight of in this controversy: that it is not necessary for a human being to have it himself.uncoveredthe truth you must believe, and nevercarefullywhat to believe A great man, we said, is always sincere, as his first condition. But a man doesn't have to be big to be honest; this is not the necessity of nature and of all times, but only of certain corrupt and unhappy ages. A man may believe what he has received from another, and make it his own in the truest way; And with infinite gratitude to this other! the merit oforiginalityIt's not new; it's sincerity. The believing man is the original man; what he believes, he believes for himself, not for others. In that sense, every child of Adam can become a genuine man, an original man; No mortal is doomed to be a dishonest human being. Entire eras that we call eras of faith are original; all the men in it, or most of the men in it, honestly. These are the great and fertile ages: every worker in every field is not a worker in appearance, but in substance; all work leads to a result: the general sum of that work is great; for all this, as real, tends to an end; everything isadditive, none of this is subtractive. There is true union, true royalty, loyalty, all things true and blessed, so long as the poor land can produce happiness for the people.
hero worship? Sadly, self-sufficient, original, true, or whatever we call it, is surely the furthest thing for a human being to stop him from worshiping and believing other people's truth! It disposes, needs and irresistibly compels you not to believe in the dead formulas, rumors and untruths of others. Does a man embrace the truth with open eyes, and because his eyes are open, must he close them before he can love his Master of truth? Only he can love, with due gratitude and true devotion, the Master Hero who brought him out of darkness into light. He is not a real hero and snake slayer; worthy of all respect! The black monster's falsehood, our only enemy in this world, prostrated itself for its prowess; It was he who conquered the world for us! — See, then Luther himself was not revered as a true pope or spiritual father,to bereally like that? Napoleon became king amid the boundless revolt of Sanscultism. Hero worship never dies and cannot die. Loyalty and sovereignty are eternal in the world: and there is this in them, that they are not founded on fancies and appearances, but on realities and sincerity. Don't close your eyes, your "private judgment"; No, but they open and have something to do! Luther's message was deposition and abolition to all false popes and rulers, but life and strength, however distant, to the new and genuine.
All this freedom and equality, suffrage, independence, etc., we will therefore consider as a temporary phenomenon, by no means definitive. Long as it is likely to be, with sad enough implications for all of us, we must welcome it, as a punishment for past sins, the promise of inestimable benefits to come. In any case, it was up to men to abandon simulacra and return to facts; Whatever the cost, it was easy to do. With false popes and believers who have no judgment of their own, charlatans trying to dominate the deceived, what can you do? Just misery and misery. You cannot associate with dishonest men; a building cannot be built but perpendicular and level, at right angles to each other! In all this wild revolutionary work, from Protestantism onwards, I see the most beneficial result in preparation: not the abolition of hero worship, but what I would call a whole heroic world. If the hero sayssincere manWhy can't we all be heroes? All an upright world, a believing world: so it was; the same will be again, it cannot be otherwise. That was the right kind of hero worshiper: the true best could never be worshiped as where everyone was true and good! But we must hurry to Luther and his life.
Luther's birthplace was Eisleben in Saxony; he was born there on November 10, 1483. It was a coincidence that gave Eisleben this honour. His parents, poor miners from a small town in the region called Mohra, came to the Eisleben winter festival: Mrs. MARTIN LUTHER. Strange enough to think about. This poor Mrs. Luther had gone with her husband to do her little wares; perhaps to sell the yarn he had spun, to buy the little things needed for his little house or little house for the winter; in all the world there was not a more insignificant human couple on that day than this miner and his wife. And yet, what were all emperors, popes and potentates in comparison? Here again a mighty man was born; whose light shall burn like a beacon through the world's long ages and ages; the whole world and its history were waiting for this man. It's weird, it's great. It takes us to another hour of birth, to an even more miserable environment, eighteen hundred years ago, to whichto saynothing we just think about in particular; Well, what words are there! Is the Age of Miracles over? The Age of Miracles is here forever—!
I consider him perfectly suited to Luther's office on this earth, and doubtless wisely appointed for that purpose by the providence which ruled over him, over us, and over all things, born poor and brought up poor, one of the poorest of men. He had to beg like school kids used to; Singing for alms and bread, from door to door. Misery, severe want were the poor boy's companions; no man or thing would put on a false face to flatter Martin Luther. Between things, not between shows of things, he had to grow up. A rough boy, but of fragile health, with his great greedy soul, full of all faculties and feelings, he suffered a lot. But it was his job to familiarize himself with it.realities, and keep in touch with them, whatever the cost: her job was to bring everyone back to reality, as she had been living on appearances for a long time! A young man raised in winter hurricanes, in desolate darkness and misery, to finally emerge from his stormy Scandinavia, strong as a true man, as a god: a Christian Odin, again a true fool with his thunder. -hammer, very ugly dismembererJotunand huge monsters!
Perhaps the pivotal event in his life, as we can imagine, was the death of his friend Alexis by lightning on the Erfurter Tor. Luther struggled through his childhood, better and worse; He showed the highest intellect despite all obstacles and was eager to learn: his father, having no doubts that he could get ahead in the world, took him to study law. Luther, obstinate one way or another, had consented: he was now nineteen. He and Alexis had gone to see the old Lutherans in Mansfeldt; they were returning near Erfurt when a storm broke out; Lightning struck Alexis, he fell dead at Luther's feet. What is this life of ours? Vanished in a moment, burned like a scroll, void for all eternity! What are all earthly promotions, Chancellor, Reigns? There they are, curled up! The earth opened up about them; in a moment they are not, and eternity is. Luther, with a moved heart, decided to dedicate himself to God and only to the service of God. Despite all the warnings of his father and others, he became a monk at the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt.
This was probably the first ray of hope in Luther's history, his purest will now expressed for the first time decisively; but at the moment it was still like a point of light in an element of all darkness. He says he was a devout monkI was a devout monk; striving faithfully and hard to discover the truth of this great deed of his; but it was of little use. His misery had not lessened; on the contrary, it had increased, as it were, to infinity. The hard work he had as a novice in his monastery, all kinds of slave labor, was not a grudge against him: the man's deep and serious soul had fallen into all kinds of black scruples, doubts; he believed that he would probably die soon and it would be much worse than dying. He is heard with renewed interest by poor Luther, who at this time was living in fear of unspeakable misery; he imagined that he was doomed to eternal damnation. Was it not the humble and sincere nature of man? What was he to be exalted to heaven! He who only knew misery and petty slavery: the news was too blessed to be believable. He could not see how fasting, vigils, formalities and mass work could save a man's soul. He fell into the blackest misery; He had to stagger as if on the brink of bottomless despair.
It must have been a most blessed discovery, that of an old Latin Bible which he found in the Erfurt library at this time. I had never seen the book before. He taught him a different lesson in fasting and watchfulness. A monk brother with pious experience also helped. Luther now learned that a man is not saved by singing Masses, but by the infinite grace of God: a most credible hypothesis. Little by little it was cemented, as if it were in the rock. No wonder he loved the Bible, which brought him such blessed help. He treasured it up as the word of the Most High should be treasured up by such a man. He decided to go through with it; as through life, and even death, he steadfastly did so.
So this is your deliverance from darkness, your final victory over darkness, what we call your conversion; for you the most important of all times. Which now has to grow daily in calm and clarity; That now, displaying the great talents and virtues instilled in him, he should excel in his monastery, in his country, and feel himself more and more useful in all honest matters of life, is a natural consequence. He was sent on a mission by his Augustinian order, a man of talent and loyalty, to do his business well: the Elector of Saxony, Frederick, called the Wise, a prince truly wise and just, set his sights on a person of worth. ; he made him a professor at his new university in Wittenberg and also a preacher in Wittenberg; In both these offices, as in all his offices, this Luther increasingly won the respect of all good people in the peaceful sphere of common life.
At twenty-seven he saw Rome for the first time; as it has been said, he was sent thither on a mission from his monastery. Pope Julius II and what happened in Rome must have surprised Luther. He came to the Holy City, the throne of God's High Priest on earth; and he found what we know! The man must have given this a lot of thought; Many of them are not known to us, and perhaps he himself did not know how to pronounce them. This Rome, this scene of false priests, dressed not in the beauty of holiness, but in a very different guise, isINCORRECT: but why does Luther care? An ordinary man, how will he reform a world? That was far from his thoughts. A humble and lonely man, why would he meddle in the world? It was the task of men far superior to him. His job was to guide his own steps wisely through the world. May he do his dark duty well; the rest, bleak and dismal as it may seem, is in God's hands, not his.
It is curious to think what the problem would have been if the Roman papacy had neglected this Luther; stay in its big luxurious orbit and don't cross its little path and force it to ambush you! It is conceivable that in this case he might have kept silent about Rome's abuses; He left Providence and God on high to take care of them! A humble and quiet man; do not incite him to disrespectfully attack authority figures. As I said, his clear task was to do his own duty; walk wisely in this world of confused evil and save your own living soul. But the Roman high priesthood survived: far away in Wittenberg he, Luther, could not honestly live for it; he protested, fought, went to extremes; he was beaten, beaten again, and then they fought! This is worth paying attention to in Luther's history. Perhaps never has such a humble and peaceful man filled the world with discord. We cannot help noticing that he would have liked the privacy, the quiet diligence in the shade; that he became famous against his will. Notoriety: What would that do for him? The goal of his march through this world was the endless sky; an indisputable goal for him: in a few years he should have achieved it or lost it forever! Let's say nothing about what I believe to be the most painful theory, which was the resentment of a small trader, the monk Augustine, against the Dominican that first aroused Luther's ire and brought about the Protestant Reformation. We will say to the people who defend him, if there is such a thing now: First, enter the sphere of thought by which Luther or a man like Luther can be judged to be absent-minded; then we can talk to you.
The monk Tetzel, carelessly sent to the trade route by Leo Zehnter, who only wanted to raise a little money and, for the rest, seems to have been more pagan than Christian, so far as he was anything, came to Wittenberg and there he pursued his scandalous trade. Luther's flock bought indulgences; In the confessional of his church, people asked him if their sins were already forgiven. Luther, if he were not considered too weak at his own post, a false lazy coward in the middle of the little piece of land that belonged to him and no one else, had to oppose the indulgences and declare it aloudShewere vanity and painful contempt, whose sins could not be forgiventhey. It was the beginning of the whole Reformation. We know how it went; from this first public challenge to Tetzel, on the last day of October, 1517, through protests and skirmishes, spreading higher and higher, rising higher and higher; until it became indelible and enveloped the whole world. Luther's heart's desire was that this pain and other pains should be assuaged; It was a far cry from his idea to introduce separation into the Church or to rebel against the Pope, the father of Christianity. -The elegant pagan pope paid little attention to this monk and his teachings; However, he wanted to stop: after about three years, after trying several milder methods, he found it good to deal with it.fogo. He condemns the monk's writings to be burned by the executioner and his body sent to Rome, presumably for a similar purpose. In the previous century they had ended with Hus, with Jerome. A brief discussion, fire. Poor Huss: he came to this Council of Constance with every possible promise and safe-conduct; a serious, non-rebellious type of man: he was immediately placed in a stone dungeon "five feet wide, six feet high, six feet long";burnedhis true voice from this world; she drowned him in smoke and fire. that wasNOgood job!
For my part, I forgive Luther for now completely rebelling against the Pope. The elegant heathen, by this fiery decree, kindled the just and noble wrath of the bravest hearts then living in this world. The bravest, though one of the humblest, the most peaceful; now it was on. These words of mine, words of truth and sobriety, faithfully aiming, as human inability permits, to promote the truth of God on earth and save the souls of men, you, God's vicegerent on earth, do you answer them? through the executioner and the fire? Will you burn me and them in response to the message from God they were trying to bring you? You are not God's steward; you belong to someone other than him I guess! I'll take your bull like a cobbled together lie and burnAND.OfThen I'll do what you see fit: that's what I do. It was December 10, 1520, three years into the business, when Luther took this indignant step "in the midst of a great crowd". burn the Pope's arson decree "at the Elster Gate in Wittenberg". Wittenberg watched "with screams"; the whole world was watching. The Pope should not have provoked this "cry"! It was the awakening cry of the nations. The quiet German heart, humble, patient with many things, ended up getting more than it could bear. Shamism, pagan papacy, and other untruths and corrupt appearances reigned for a time: and here was found once more a man who dared to tell all men that God's world was not based on appearances, but on facts; that life was a truth and not a lie!
Finally, as stated above, we must regard Luther as an idolatrous prophet; a return of people to reality. It is the work of great men and teachers. Muhammad said: These idols of yours are made of wood; you grease them with wax and oil, flies cling to them: they are not God, I tell you, they are black wood! Luther said to the Pope: What you call the forgiveness of sins is a piece of paper with ink on it. It's nothing more; he, and whatever else he is, nothing else is. Only God can forgive sins. Is the papacy, the spiritual fatherhood of the Church of God, a vain thing of cloth and parchment? It's a terrible fact. The Church of God is not an appearance, heaven and hell are not an appearance. I remain in it because you take me there. Standing over her, I, a poor German monk, am stronger than all of you. I am alone, without friends, but in the truth of God; you with your diadems, triple hats, with your treasures and weapons, spiritual and worldly thunder, stay in the devil's lie and be not so strong -!
The Diet of Worms, Luther's appearance there on April 17, 1521, may be considered the greatest scene in modern European history; indeed, the point from which all subsequent cultural history springs. After several negotiations, disputes, it came to this. The young emperor Charles V is assembled there with all the German princes, papal nuncios, and ecclesiastical and secular dignitaries: Luther will appear and answer for himself, whether or not to recant. The splendor and power of the world are in this hand: in it is a man, the son of poor miner Hans Luther, who represents the truth of God. Friends had reminded him of Hus, discouraging him from going; he would not be warned. A large company of friends came to meet him with still more serious warnings; he replied, "If there were as many devils in Worms as there are bricks in the roof, I would." The next day, when he went to the Salon de la Dieta, people crowded to the windows and roofs of houses, and some of them solemnly shouted at him not to resign: "Whoever told me before denied having men!" they shouted. to him, as if it were a kind of solemn appeal and exhortation. Wasn't it really our plea either, the plea of the whole world lying in dark bondage of the paralyzed soul under a black ghostly nightmare and a Chimera with three hats, calling himself Father in God and all: "Deliver us; rest ; do not leave us!"
Luther did not leave us. His two-hour speech was characterized by a respectful, wise and honest tone; anything submissive could rightfully claim submission, subservient to nothing else. His writings, he said, were partly his own and partly derived from the Word of God. What was his was human weakness; unprepared rage, blindness, many things that I'm sure it would be a blessing for him to completely get rid of. But what was based on sound truth and the Word of God he could not take away. How could I? “Refut me,” he concluded, “with evidence from Scripture, or with clear and fair arguments: otherwise I cannot retract my words. Because it is neither safe nor sensible to do something against my conscience. Here I am; I can do nothing else: God help me!” – It is, as we say, the greatest moment in the history of modern mankind. English Puritanism, England and her Parliaments, America and her mighty work in these two centuries; today: the germ of everything was there: if Luther had done something different at that moment, everything would have been different! Or with each attack cast lies from me and heal and live?
Great wars, strife, and discord followed this reformation; that continue to this day and are far from over. Much has been said and criticized about this. They are pathetic, undeniably; but after all, what does Luther or his cause have to do with it? It seems odd to blame the Reformation for all of this. When Hercules turned the purifying river into the stables of King Augeas, I have no doubt that the confusion that followed was considerable on all sides: but I think it was not Hercules' fault; It was someone else's fault! The Reformation could bring what it wanted if it came, but the Reformation simply could not fail to come. To all the popes and defenders of popes who protest, complain and accuse, the world's answer is: once and for all your pope was wrong. No matter how good it was, no matter how good you say, we can't believe it; the light of all our spirit, given to us to go from heaven above, henceforth finds something incredible. Let's not believe, let's not try to believe, let's not dare! the thing isINCORRECT; we would be traitors to the giver of all truth if we dared to pretend it was true. Away with it; let what he wants to take his place: withANDwe can no longer negotiate! – Luther and his Protestantism are not responsible for wars; the wrong exercises that forced him to protest, they are responsible. Luther did what every man created by God has not only a right but also a sacred duty: he answered a lie when asked, Do you believe me? NO! At any cost, not counting costs, this must be done. Union, spiritual and material organization, far nobler than any papacy or feudalism in its truest days, which I never doubt, comes into the world; It's coming for sure. But in fact alone, not in appearances and simulacra, it can come or stay when it comes. We will have nothing to do with a union founded on falsehood, commanding us to speak and act in a lie. Peace? A brutal torpor is peaceful, the noisy grave is peaceful. We hope for a living peace, not a dead one!
And yet, if we rightly value the indispensable blessings of the new, we must not be unjust to the old. The former was true when it is no longer true. In Dante's day, it didn't take sophistry, self-blindness, or any other dishonesty to be considered true. It was good then; moreover, there is immortal good in his soul. The cry "No to the Papacy" is pretty silly these days. Speculation that the papacy is on the rise, building new chapels and the like, may pass for one of the idlest of all time. Very strange: count some papal chapels, listen to some Protestant logic tricks, a bunch of sleepy, monotonous stupidity that still calls itself Protestant, and say, look, Protestantism isuntil; The papacy is more alive than he, it will live after him! Sleepy nonsense, not a few who call themselves Protestants are dead; ButProtestantismAs far as I know, he's not dead yet! If we look at it, Protestantism has produced its Goethe and its Napoleon in these days; German Literature and the French Revolution; quite remarkable signs of life! No, deep down, what is still alive?ButProtestantism? The lives of most other people you know are just galvanic lives, not comfortable or permanent!
The papacy can build new chapels; Welcome to it, in every way. Papacy cannot return, nor paganism -whichalso persists in some countries. But really, these things are like the ebb of the sea: you see the waves swaying here and there on the beach; forProtocolone cannot tell how to do it; see where he is in half an hour, see where his papacy is in half a century! Ah, if there were no greater danger for our Europe than the rebirth of the poor Pope! Thor might try to revive soon. And yet this vibration has a meaning. The poor old papacy won't completely disappear for some time, like Thor; nor should it. We can say that the old man never dies until he dies, until all the good soul that was in him has passed into the new practitioner. Though good work can still be done the Roman way; or, which includes everyone, while a devoteeLifeit remains the bearer of it so long as, when we consider it, this or another human soul will accept it, walk as a living witness to it. In the meantime, it will present itself to those of us who reject it until we, too, have appropriated the truth it contains into our practice. Then, but only then, she has no charm for any man. She lasts here with a purpose. Let it last as long as you can.—
Of Luther I will now add, in regard to all these wars and bloodshed, the remarkable fact that none of them began while he was alive. Controversy didn't come to the fight while he was there. For me, this fact is proof of his greatness in every way. How seldom do we find a man who has caused a great uproar who has not himself perished in it! This is the usual way of revolutionaries. Luther remained largely sovereign in this great revolution; all Protestants, whatever their position or function, looked to him for their leader; and he kept him in peace, he stood firm in his midst. A man who can do this must have real ability: he must have the gift of discerning at any moment where the real heart of the matter lies, and standing bravely a strong and true man, for other true men to join in. there around you. Otherwise, he will not continue as the leader of men. Luther's clear and profound power of judgment, his power of all kindsStay quiet, of tolerance and moderation, are very remarkable under the circumstances.
tolerance, I say; a very real tolerance: it distinguishes the essential from the non-essential; Non-essentials can go as far as you like. A complaint comes to him that this or that Reformed preacher "will not preach without a cassock." Well, Luther replies, what harm does a cassock do a man? "Let him have one cassock to preach in; let him have three cassocks if he finds them useful!" His behavior in relation to the brutal damage to Karlstadt's image; the Baptist; of the Peasants' War shows a noble force very different from convulsive violence. With quick and sure intuition he knows what is what: a strong and just man proclaims the wise way, and all men follow it. Luther's writings bear similar testimony to him. The dialect of these speculations has now become obsolete to us; but still reads them with a unique appeal. And, indeed, mere grammatical diction is still quite readable; Luther's merit in the history of literature is the greatest: his dialect became the language of all writings. These twenty-four rooms of yours are not well written; written in a hurry, with themes very different from literary ones. But in no book have I found a more robust, honest, I may say nobler skill in a man than in this one. A raw honesty, simplicity, simplicity; a strong feel and sterling strength. He releases light from him; his scathing rhetoric seems embedded in the secrecy of the matter. Add to that good humour, tenderness, nobility and depth: this man could have been a poet! he had toto workan epic poem, don't write one. I call him a great thinker; as the size of his heart already indicates.
Richter says of Luther's words: "His words are half battles." They can be called that. His essential quality was that he could fight and conquer; that he was a true piece of human bravery. There is no braver man, there is no mortal heart to invokebraver, of which there are records, once lived in that Germanic clan whose character is courage. His opposition to the "Demons" in Worms was not mere boast, as it might be if it were spoken of now. Luther believed that there were demons, spiritual inhabitants of the pit, who constantly harassed people. It often appears in his writings; and some count on the mockery of the little ones. In the room at Wartburg where he sat and translated the Bible you can still see a black stain on the wall; the strange memorial of one such conflict. Luther sat down and translated one of the psalms; he was exhausted from long labor, from illness, from going without food: a hideous and indefinable image was before him, which he assumed to be the evil one, in order to forbid him to work: Luther was terrified of a diabolical challenge; he threw his inkwell at the ghost and he disappeared! The place is still standing; a strange monument of several things. Any apothecary's apprentice can now tell us what to make of this apparition in the scientific sense: but the heart of man who dares defiantly face Hell itself cannot produce greater proof of bravery. The thing that will make you shudder doesn't exist on this earth or below. Very daring! "The devil knows", he once wrote, "that this is not my fear. I have seen countless demons and defied them. Duke George" of Leipzig, a great enemy of his, "Duke George is not the same as a demon", far below a demon! "If I were in Leipzig on business I would ride to Leipzig, although it is on the Duke George nine days in the morning It rained a little.” What a reservoir of Dukes to ride!
At the same time, those are mistaken who believe that this man's courage is savagery, mere stubbornness, and the savagery of disobedience, like many others. Far from it. There may be an absence of fear arising from the absence of thought or affection, the presence of hate and mindless anger. We do not appreciate the courage of the tiger very much! With Luther it was quite different; no charge could be more unjust than mere cruel violence against him. A humble heart, full of compassion and love, as always is the truly courageous heart. The tiger in front of abut strongFoe Flies: The tiger is not what we call brave, but fierce and ferocious. I know few things more moving than those gentle touches of affection, gentle as a child or a mother, in that great wild heart of Luther. So honest, untainted by any hypocrisy; homely, rude in expression; pure as water flowing from the rock. Indeed, what was all that downcast mood of despair and disapproval which we saw in his youth but the result of outstanding thoughtful sweetness, very keen and delicate affection? It is the course on which men like the poor poet Cowper fall. Luther may have appeared to a casual observer to be a timid and weak man; Modesty, shrinking tenderness is his main characteristic. It is noble courage to awaken in such a heart as this, once stirred to defiance and all resplendent with celestial splendour.
in Luthertable talk, a posthumous book of anecdotes and sayings collected by his friends, at present the most interesting of all books written by him, we have many beautiful unconscious specimens of the man and what kind of nature he was. His behavior at his little girl's deathbed, so quiet, so big and loving, is one of the most moving things. He has accepted the death of his little Magdalena, but he yearns unspeakably for her life; He reverently follows the flight of his little soul through these unknown realms. Worried; more sincerely, we can see; and sincerely, because after all creeds and dogmatic articles he feels that nothing is what we know or can know: his little Magdalene will be with God as God wills; for Luther, too, that is all;Islamthat is all.
Once he sees from his lonely Patmos, Coburg Castle, in the middle of the night: The great vault of infinity, long bands of cloud pass over it - mute, emaciated, mighty: - who can bear it all? "No one has ever seen its pillars, and yet it is held up." God supports you. We must know that God is great, that God is good; and trust where we do not see. - When he returns home from Leipzig one time, he is struck by the beauty of the harvest fields: how tall he stands, this golden yellow corn, on its beautiful conical stem, its golden head bowed, all rich and undulating there, - the the gentle land brought them again by God's gracious command; human bread! — In the garden of Wittenberg, one evening, at sunset, a little bird sat for the night: The little bird, says Luther, above are the stars and the deep sky of the worlds; however, it folded its wings; went to rest there as confident as at home: the Creator also gave him a home! – There is no lack of cheerful phrases: there is a great and free human heart in this man. His common speech has a rough, idiomatic, expressive, genuine nobility; it shines here and there with beautiful poetic tones. You feel like an older brother. Isn't his love for music the epitome of all these tendencies in him, so to speak? He uttered more than wild inexpressibility in the tones of his flute. The demons fled from his flute, he says. On the one hand, defying death, on the other hand, a great love for music; I could call these two opposite poles a great soul; between these two, all the great things happened.
Luther's face is expressive to me; I find the real Luther in Kranach's best portraits. The face of a rude commoner; with its huge eyebrows and rocky bones, the emblem of stalwart power; at first almost a repulsive face. But especially in the eyes there is a wild, silent pain; an indescribable melancholy, the element of all tender and subtle affections; giving the rest the true seal of nobility. Laughter was in this Luther, as I said; but there were also tears. Tears were also shown to him; tears and hard work. The basis of his life was sadness, seriousness. In his last days, after all the triumphs and victories, he sincerely expresses suicidal tendencies; He is of the opinion that only God can and will regulate the course of things and that perhaps the day of judgment is not far off. As for him, he longs for one thing: that God would release him from his work and let him go and rest. You understand little of the man citing this to discredit him! I will call this Luther truly great; great in intellect, courage, affection and integrity; one of our dearest and most valuable men. Tall, not like a carved obelisk; but like an alpine mountain, so simple, honest, spontaneous, not ready to be big; there for another purpose than being cool! Ah yes, unyielding granite piercing the length and breadth of the sky; but in the crevices of its springs beautiful green valleys with flowers! A true spiritual hero and prophet; once again a true child of nature and fact, for whom these centuries and many to come will thank Heaven.
The most interesting phase which the Reformation everywhere assumes, especially to us Englishmen, is that of Puritanism. In Luther's homeland, Protestantism soon became a rather sterile affair: not a religion or creed, but now a theological cliché of argument whose proper place is not the heart; the essence of his skeptical claim: that it did indeed find more and more resonance, even Voltaireism itself, through Gustave-Adolf's claims right up to those of the French Revolution! But on our island arose a Puritanism which even established itself as Presbyterianism and the national church among the Scots; that it was a matter of the heart; and it bore remarkable fruit in the world. In a way, it can be said that it is the only phase of Protestantism that has ever risen to the level of a faith, a true connection of the heart with heaven, and has shown itself as such in history. We must dedicate a few words to Knox; himself a brave and remarkable man; but more important as high priest and founder, what can be considered, of the faith that became that of Scotland, that of New England, that of Oliver Cromwell. History will have some time to tell about it!
We can censure Puritanism all we like; and none of us, I suppose, would fail to find it very coarse and needy. But we and all people can understand that it was a real thing; because nature took it and it grew and it grows. Sometimes I say this world is a struggle; Ofortaleza, of course, is the measure of all values. Make time for one thing; if it succeeds, it's the right thing. Now look at American Saxonism; and in this little fact about the Mayflower sailing from Delft Haven in Holland two hundred years ago! If we had an open meaning like the Greeks, we would have found a poem here; one of nature's own poems, as she usually writes facts about the great continents. Because it was actually the beginning of America: there were previously scattered settlers in America, some material like a body was there; but the soul of it was first that. Expelled from their own country and unable to live well in Holland, these poor men decide to settle in the New World. Untamed black forests are there and wild wild creatures; but not as cruel as the executioners in the Star Chamber. They thought the land would give them food if they farmed it honestly; the eternal sky would stretch over us there too; they must be left alone to prepare for eternity by living well in this world of time; Worship in what they believed to be the truth, not in an idolatrous way. They pooled their little resources; chartered a ship, the small Mayflower, and prepared to put to sea.
e do NealHistory of the Puritans[Neal (London, 1755), i. 490] is an account of the ceremony of his departure: we may call it a solemnity because it was a true act of worship. Their minister went with them to the shore, and their brethren, whom they had to leave behind; all united in solemn prayer: May God have mercy on his poor children and go with them into this desolate wilderness, for he also did that, he was there and here. - There is! These men, I believe, had a job! The weak, weaker than a child, will one day become strong, if that is true. Puritanism was then contemptible, ridiculous; but no one can laugh about it now. Puritanism has arms and sinews; He has firearms, weapons of war; he has cunning in his ten fingers, strength in his right arm; he can steer ships, cut down forests, cut down mountains; It's one of the noisiest things under the sun right now!
In Scottish history, too, I can find but one epoch: it may be said to contain nothing of world interest beyond the Knox Reformation. A poor and barren land, full of constant strife, dissent and massacres; a city in its last state of savagery and misery; a little better perhaps than Ireland that day. Wild and hungry barons unable to come to terms with each other.how to sharewhat they plundered from these poor slaves; but compelled, as the Colombian republics are today, to turn every change into a revolution; There is no other way to change a ministry than by hanging the former ministers on the gallows: it is a historical spectacle of not very singular importance! "Courage" enough, I have no doubt of that; fierce battles aplenty: but no braver or fiercer than those of their ancient Scandinavian ancestors, the sea kings;whoseAchievements we don't think are worthy of consideration! It is still a soulless country in which nothing has developed except the raw, the external, the semi-animal. And now, at the Reformation, the inner life flares up, as it were, under the ribs of this external material death. One thing, the noblest of causes, shines like a beacon on high; high as the sky, but reachable from the earth; by which the humblest man becomes not only a citizen, but a member of the visible Church of Christ; a real hero when he proves to be a real man!
Good; that's what I mean by a whole "nation of heroes"; Forto believeNation. It doesn't take a great soul to make a hero; it needs a God-made soul that remains true to its origin; this will be a great soul! The same thing was seen, we found. The same will be seen again, in broader forms than the Presbyterians: Until then no lasting good can be done. Impossible! say what is possible? It's not like this?Illness, in this world, as a practiced fact? Did hero worship fail in the Knox case? Or are we made of a different clay now? Did the Westminster Creed add new qualities to the soul of man? God created the soul of man. He has condemned no human soul to live as hypothesis and rumour, in a world full of such and with their fateful labors and fruits -!
But back: that thing that Knox did for his nation, I mean, can we really call it the resurrection of the dead. It wasn't an easy deal; but it certainly would have been welcome and cheap at this price if it had been a lot tougher. Generally cheap at any price!, as life is. people startedlive: They had to do it in the first place, at what cost and at what cost. Scottish Literature and Thought, Scottish Industry; James Watt, David Hume, Walter Scott, Robert Burns: I find Knox and the Reformation at work in the heart of each of these people and phenomena; It seems to me that they would not have existed without the Reformation. Or what about Scotland? The Puritanism of Scotland became that of England, New England. A riot in Edinburgh High Church turned into a universal struggle and conflict in all these areas; After fifty years fighting what we all die"SplendidRevolution" youHabeas corpusTrade, free parliaments and much more! Unfortunately, what we said is not entirely true, that many men in the truck, like Russian soldiers, always march towards the Schweidnitz trench and fill it with their corpses, so that the rearguard can step over it with dry shoes and overcome the honor battle? How many Cromwells, Knoxes, Cromwells poor and fervent and hard, covenant farmers who fight, fight for their own lives in wild and muddy places, must fight, suffer and fall, very guilty,admiredBefore a beautiful eighty-eight revolution, you can walk on them in official high heels and silk stockings with the universal three by three!
It seems to me a hard measure that this Scotsman should now, after three hundred years, plead guilty before the world; indeed for being, as was then possible, the bravest of all Scotsmen! Had he been a poor half and half, he might have cowered in a corner like so many others; Scotland had not been liberated; and Knox was not at fault. He is the only Scotsman to whom, along with everyone else, his country and the world owe something. He must ask Scotland for forgiveness for being worth it to a million 'innocent' Scots who don't need forgiveness! He bared his chest to fight; he had to row the French galleys, wandering helplessly in exile, in clouds and storms; he was censored, filmed through his windows; He's had a fair and painful life of struggle: if this world was his place of reward, he's had nothing but a bad adventure. I can't apologize for Knox. He is very indifferent to what people say about him during these two hundred and fifty years or so. But we, having left behind all these details of his fight and now vividly witnessing the fruits of his victory, must, for our own sake, filter out the rumors and controversies that surround the man, the man himself.
On the one hand, I will point out that this position as a prophet of his nation was not in his interest; Knox lived in the dark for forty years before coming to his senses. He was the son of poor parents; he had received a university education; become a priest; He embraced the Reformation, and seemed quite content to direct his own steps in the light of it, without undue interference with others. He had lived as a tutor in master families; Preaching when any group of people wanted to hear teaching from him: determined to walk after the truth and speak the truth when called upon; not overly ambitious; Don't trust yourself anymore. In this utterly obscure manner he lived to be forty; He was with the small company of reformers besieged in the Castillo de San Andrés when one day in his chapel, having finished his exhortation to these desperate hopeful fighters, the preacher suddenly said: There should be other orators than all men who have a heart and the gift of a priest shall speak now; what gifts and heart one of them had, John Knox, his name was: isn't it? said the preacher, appealing to the whole audience: what's the matterThey areObligation? The people answered in the affirmative; it was a criminal abandonment of his office for such a man to silence the word that was within him. Poor Knox had to get up; he tried to answer; he couldn't say a word; She started to cry and ran away. This scene is worth remembering. He was in trouble for a few days. He felt what little talent he had for this great work. He felt with what baptism he was called to be baptized. He "began to cry".
Our main characteristic of a hero, who is sincere, emphatically applies to Knox. It is nowhere denied that this, whatever its other qualities or faults, is among the truest human beings. With a unique instinct, he sticks to truth and facts; only the truth exists for him, the rest is mere shadow and a deceptive nothing. As dim and bleak as reality may seem, it is there and only there.it couldTake a position. On the Loire galleys, to which Knox and the others were sent as slaves after their castle of St. Andrew, an official or priest one day presented them with an image of the virgin mother that they, the blasphemous heretics, desire to see themselves to bow before him. Mother? Mother of God? said Knox when it was his turn: This is not the Mother of God: this is "uncreated cornered, —APiece of wood, I tell you, with paint! "I think she's better suited for swimming than worshiping," Knox added; and threw the thing into the river. This was not a very cheap joke: but come what may, to Knox it was and must remain no more than the true truth; Was agrew up in prison: love that I would not.
He urged his fellow prisoners in this darkest time to take heart; the thing they had was the real thing, and it should and would prosper; the whole world could not leave him. Reality is God's work; it's just strong. How manycaged racesthat pretend to be real, they are more suitable for swimming than for worship! This Knox can only really live: he clings to reality like a castaway to a cliff. He is an example for us of how a man becomes a hero by the same sincerity: it is the great gift he has. We found in Knox a good honest intellectual talent, not transcendent; a narrow and insignificant man compared with Luther: but in sincere instinctive fidelity to the truth, insincerity, as we say, has no superior; one may also ask, what is the same? The heart of it stems from the true cast of the Prophet. "He lies there," said the Earl of Morton at his tomb, "who never feared the face of man." He resembles an ancient Hebrew prophet more than any modern one. The same inflexibility, intolerance, rigid and narrow adherence to God's truth, stern rebuke in God's name to all who abandon the truth: an ancient Hebrew prophet posing as a sixteenth-century preacher from Edinburgh. For this we must take it; he doesn't ask to be someone else.
Knox's behavior towards Queen Mary, the harsh visits he made to scold her in her own palace, were the subject of much comment. So much cruelty, so much vulgarity fills us with indignation. Reading the actual narrative of the deal, what Knox said and what Knox meant, I have to say that its own tragic humor is quite disappointing. These speeches are not so vulgar; You look as good to me as circumstances allow! Knox wasn't here to play courtier; He came with another message. Anyone who reads these conversations of yours with the Queen and thinks that they are the vulgar cheeks of a simple priest to a delicate high lady, is completely mistaken as to their meaning and nature. Unfortunately, it was not possible to be courteous to the Queen of Scots unless she was unfaithful to the Nation and the Cause of Scotland. A man who would not see the land of his birth was a hunting ground for intrigues and ambitious disguises, and the cause of God, trampled underfoot by untruths, formulas, and the devil's cause, could not be made sympathetic! "It is better for women to cry," said Morton, "than to make bearded men cry." Knox was the constitutional opposition party in Scotland: the nobles of the country appointed by his rank to hold that office did not belong to him; Knox had to go, or no one. The unhappy queen; but the country even more unhappy, yesshethey were happy! Among other things, Mary herself was not lacking in intelligence: "Who are you," she once said, "that you intend to teach the nobles and rulers of this kingdom?" - "Lady, a subject born in him," he replied. He. Reasonably answered! If the "subject" is telling the truth, it is not the "subject's" balance that will fail him here.—
We blame Knox for his bigotry. Well, it's certainly good for each of us to be as forgiving as possible. But deep down, after all that has been said and discussed, what is tolerance? Tolerance must tolerate the insignificant; and see what it is. Forbearance must be noble, measured, even in her own anger, when she can no longer bear it. But in general we are not tolerating much here! We are here to resist, control and win. We do not “suffer” falsehoods, robberies, injustices when they cling to us; we tell them: you are wrong, you are unbearable! We are here to erase untruths and end them wisely! I won't fight so much with the street; the production of the thing is our biggest concern. In that sense, Knox was undoubtedly bigoted.
A man who is sent to row the French galleys and the like, to teach the truth in his own country, cannot always be in the mildest of moods! I'm not ready to say that Knox was educated; I also don't know if he was in what we call a bad mood. A bad nature she definitely didn't have. Kind and honest affections resided in the very resistant, exhausted and always fighting man. that heit couldblame the queens, and it carried so much weight among these proud and tumultuous nobles, as proud as they were; and he was able to maintain to the end a sort of presidency and virtual sovereignty in that wild kingdom, he who was but "a subject born within it": this alone will prove to us that he was found at close range that he was no sour little man ; but basically a healthy, strong, intelligent man. Only such can govern in this way. They accuse him of demolishing cathedrals, etc., as if he were a boisterous and troublesome demagogue: the fact is just the opposite, with regard to cathedrals and all the rest, if we look! Knox didn't want to demolish stone buildings; he wanted leprosy and darkness to be driven out of people's lives. Riots were not in his element; It was the tragedy of his life that he was forced to think about it so much. Each of these men is the born enemy of disorder; hates being in it: but so what? Gentle falsehood is not order; is the sum total of the disorder. the order isTRUE,—everything rests on the associated foundation: order and falsehood cannot coexist.
But, unexpectedly, this Knox has a talent for jokes; which I like a lot, in combination with your other qualities. He has an eye for ridicule. To beHistory, with his hard seriousness, is strangely encouraged by her. As the two prelates argue over precedence in entering Glasgow Cathedral; marching quickly, pushing each other, twisting their ratchets and finally making their staves bloom like quarter staves, that's quite a show for him anyway! Not just mockery, contempt, bitterness; although there are enough of them. But a true, loving, enlightening laugh rises above the grave face; no laughter; would you say a laugh atEyesabove all a fraternal man with an honest heart; brother of the big ones, brother also of the little ones; sincere condolences to both. We found out that he also had his Bordeaux pipe in his old house in Edinburgh; a cheerful, gregarious man with faces that loved him! Anyone who thinks that this Knox was a melancholy, spasmodic, screaming fanatic is greatly mistaken. Not at all: he is one of the most solid men. Practical, cautious and hopeful, patient; a very intelligent, thoughtful and quietly insightful man. Indeed, he has a similar character to what we now attribute to the Scotsman: he has a certain sardonic taciturnity; sufficient discernment; and a braver heart than he himself knows. He has the power to remain silent about many things that do not concern him vitally: "They? What are they?" But he will speak of what is vitally important to him; and in one tone the whole world will be heard: the more emphatic for its long silence.
This prophet of the Scots is no hateful man to me! He had a hard fight for existence; battles with popes and principalities; in defeat, the struggle, the struggle of a lifetime; Row like a galley slave, wander like an exile. A painful fight: but he won. "Do you have hope?" they asked him in his last moment, when he could no longer speak. He held up his finger, “pointed his finger up,” and that's how he died. Glory to him! His works did not die. His handwriting dies like that of all men; but his spirit never.
A word about the lyrics of Knox's work. His unforgivable offense is that he wanted to put priests on the heads of kings. In other words, he sought to make the Scottish government aTheocracy. This is really the sum total of your offenses, the essential sin; for whom can there be pardon? It is true that deep down, consciously or unconsciously, he was referring to a theocracy or government of God. He meant that kings and prime ministers and all kinds of people, whether public or private, diplomats or whatever they do, must walk according to the gospel of Christ and understand that this is His law, which is above all. all laws. . I once expected to see something like this completed; and the petitionyour kingdom comes, is no longer an empty word. He was very sad to see how the greedy and worldly barons confiscated the Church's goods; when he revealed that it was not secular property, but intellectual property that would be converted intoTRUEchurch uses, education, schools, religious services; and Regent Murray had to reply with a shrug: "It's a dedicated imagination!" This was Knox's scheme of right and truth; this he eagerly endeavored. If we think that his scheme of truth was too narrow, that it wasn't true, we can be glad he didn't see it; which has remained unattainable after two hundred years of effort, and is still a "godly presumption." But how can we blamehefight for it? Theocracy, the government of God, is the very thing to fight for! All prophets, jealous priests exist for this purpose. Hildebrand wanted a theocracy; Cromwell wanted it, he fought for it; Muhammad did. More than that, isn't this what all zealous people, whether called priests, prophets or whatever, essentially want and should want? That right and truth, or the law of God, prevail among men, this is the heavenly ideal (fitly called in Knox's day, and at all times possible, a revealed "will of God") to which the Reformer will insist, everything becoming closer. As already stated, all true reformers are priests by nature and strive for a theocracy.
To what extent such ideals can be put into practice, and when our impatience with their non-implementation should begin, is always a question. I think it's safe to say: let them go as far as they can! If it is people's true beliefs, then all people must be more or less impatient until they are introduced. You'll never miss Regent Murray long enough to shrug your shoulders and say, "A devoted imagination!" Rather, we will praise the priest-hero who does what is in him to bring them about; and in labor he applies slander, contradiction, a noble life, to make this earth a kingdom of God. The earth does not become too divine!
Lesson V. The hero as a man of letters. JOHNSON, ROUSSEAU, BURNS.
[19. May 1840.]
Hero-gods, prophets, poets, priests are forms of heroism that belong to ancient times, appear in the most remote times; some of them are no longer possible and can no longer be shown in this world. the hero asWriterAgain, what we are going to talk about today is entirely a product of these new eras; and while the wonderful art ofTo write, or ready-write which we callPrint, is likely to remain one of the main forms of heroism for all ages to come. It is a unique phenomenon in many ways.
It's new, I say; lasted just over a century in the world. Until about a hundred years ago, no Great Soul form had been seen living apart in such an anomalous way; He aspired to express the inspiration that was within him through printed books and to find a place and a livelihood for whatever the world gave him for it. Much has been bought and sold and left for your own trade in the market; but the inspired wisdom of a heroic soul has never hitherto been thus naked. Him, with his copyrights and his copyright errors, in his dirty attic, in his rusty coat; He rules (because that's what he does) from his grave entire nations and generations who would or would not give him bread in life, it is a strange spectacle indeed! Few forms of heroism can be more unexpected.
Unfortunately, the hero of yore has had to shrink into strange shapes: the world never really knows what to think of him, so strange is his appearance in the world! It seemed absurd to us that men, in their gross admiration, should take a great sage Odin for their god, and worship him as such; a great sage Muhammad for someone inspired by God and following his law religiously for twelve centuries; but that a great sage Johnson, a Burns, a Rousseau must be confused with some anonymous idlers who exist in the world to amuse idleness, and to whom a few coins were thrown and applauded that he might live on it;That's itperhaps, as already insinuated, it will one day appear to be an even more absurd phase of things! As it is always the spiritual that determines the material, the same literary hero must be considered our most important modern man. He, whatever he is, is the soul of everything. What he teaches everyone will do and do. The way the world deals with him is the most significant feature of the world's general position. If we look closely at his life, we can look as deeply as possible into the lives of those unique centuries that produced him, in which we ourselves live and work.
There are authentic and inauthentic writers; as with all species, there is a true and a false. YesSustainedif it is taken as real, then I say that the hero, as a man of letters, will fulfill for us an always honorable, always supreme function; and he was once known to be the greatest. He expresses his inspired soul the way he did; anything a man can definitely do. I sayinspired; for what we call "originality", "sincerity", "genius" means the heroicity for which we have no good name. The hero is the one who lives in the interior of things, in the true, divine and eternal that always exists, invisible to the majority, under the transitory, trivial: there is his essence; it is declared abroad by action or word, as declared abroad. His life, as we have already said, is part of the eternal heart of nature itself: the life of all men is, but many of the weak know not the fact, and are most often unfaithful to it; the strong few are strong, heroic, persistent because they cannot be hidden. The man of letters, like any hero, is there to announce it in whatever way he can. Indeed, it is the same function that ancient generations called man prophet, priest, deity; that all kinds of heroes will be sent into the world, by word or deed, to do this.
Fichte, the German philosopher, gave a remarkable series of lectures on the subject at Erlangen some forty years ago: "On the nature of the scholar, On the nature of literati.” Fichte, in keeping with the transcendental philosophy of which he was a noted teacher, first explains: That all things we see on this earth or with which we work, especially ourselves and all people, as a kind of clothing or sensuality is the appearance: that beneath everything as its essence is what he calls the "divine idea of the world", this is the reality which "underlies all appearance". the mass of people do not see such a divine idea in the world, they simply live, says Fichte, among the superficial, practicalities and spectacles of the world, without dreaming that there is anything divine among them. But the man of letters is sent here. especially that he may recognize for himself this same Divine Idea and reveal it to us: in each new generation it will manifest itself in a new dialect, and he is there to do this. This is Fichte's mode of expression, with which we need not quarrel, it is his way of naming what, in other words, I am imperfectly trying to name here; what is currently nameless: the unspeakable divine meaning, full of splendor, wonder, and terror, which resides in the very nature of every man and thing, the presence of the God who made every man and thing. Muhammad taught this in his dialect; Odin in his: It's what all thinking hearts are here to teach in one dialect or another.
Fichte therefore calls the scholar a prophet, or as he prefers to say, a priest who constantly reveals the divine to men: scholars are an eternal priesthood teaching all men from age to age that there is a god still present in his life. that all "appearance" whatever we see in the world is but a cloak for the "divine idea of the world", for "that which is behind the appearance". In the true man of letters, recognized by the world or not, there is always a sanctity: he is the light of the world; the priest of the world - who guides them like a holy pillar of fire in their dark pilgrimage through wasting time. Fichte discriminates with pointed zealTRUELiterary man, as we call him hereSustainedthan a man of letters, by a multitude of false non-heroes. Whoever does not live wholly or partly in this Divine Idea, let him not strive to live fully with a view to the only good, but let him live wherever he likes, with whatever pomp and prosperity he likes, no man of letters; he is, says Fichte, a "cheater,stumps." Or, at best, if he belongs to the prosaic provinces, a "Hodman"; Fichte elsewhere calls him "nothing", and, in short, does not pity him, does not want toANDYou must remain satisfied with us! This is Fichte's idea of the literary man. In his way it means exactly what we mean here.
From this point of view, of all the writers of the last hundred years, I consider Fichte's compatriot Goethe the most remarkable. Strangely enough, this human being also received what we might call an idea of life in the divine world; Vision of the inner divine mystery: and strangely the world resurfaces from his books as divinely presented, work and temple of a God. He illuminated everything, not with a wild and impure fire like that of Muhammad, but with a soft heavenly glow; really a prophecy in these unprophetic times; in my opinion by far the greatest, though one of the quietest, of all the great things that happened in them. Our chosen example of a hero as a writer would be this Goethe. And it would be a very convenient plan for me to talk about his heroism here: because I think he's a real hero; heroic in what he said and did, and perhaps even more heroic in what he didn't say and do; a noble sight to me: a tall, heroic old man speaking and silent as an old hero, disguised as a very modern, well-born, highly educated scholar! We have never experienced such a spectacle; no man who could afford it in the last one hundred and fifty years.
But at present, according to the general state of knowledge about Goethe, it would be more than useless to want to talk about him in this case. No matter how much he talks, Goethe, for most of you he would remain problematic, vague; It just might give the wrong impression. We must leave it for future times. Johnson, Burns, Rousseau, three great figures of earlier times, from much lower origins, suit us best here. Three Men of the 18th Century; the circumstances of his life are much more similar to those in England than to Goethe's in Germany. Sadly, these men didn't win like he did; they fought valiantly and fell. They were not heroic light bearers, but heroic light seekers. They lived in irritating conditions; struggled under mountains of obstacles and failed to develop a clear or victorious interpretation of this "divine idea". it's more like thatgravesof three literary heroes that I must show you. There are the monumental mounds under which three spirit giants are buried. Very sad, but also great and full of interest for us. Let's stick with them for a while.
Often in these times he complains about what we call the disorganized state of society: how badly many forces in society are doing their work; How many powerful people are wasteful, chaotic, and utterly disorganized to look at. It's too much just a complaint as we all know. But perhaps, if we look at this from books and writers, we will find here, as it were, the summary of all other disorganizations; kind ofherz, from where and to where all the other messes in the world circulate! Considering what book authors are doing in the world and what the world is doing to book authors, I must say this is the most anomalous thing the world has to show right now. to consider it: but we must consider it on account of our subject. The worst thing in the lives of these three literary heroes was that they found their business and position in such confusion. Off the beaten path there is a bearable journey; but it is hard work, and many must perish making their way through the impassable!
Our pious fathers, well aware of the importance of people talking to people, founded churches, made endowments, ordinances; Everywhere in the civilized world there is a pulpit, surrounded by all kinds of dignified and complex paraphernalia and paraphernalia, whence a man can best address his fellow men with his tongue. They considered it the most important thing; that without it there is no good. It is a righteous and pious work, ye; beautiful to see! But now, with the art of writing, with the art of printing, there has been a complete change in this business. The writer of a book, is he not a preacher who preaches not to this church or that church on this or that day, but to all people at all times and in all places? It is certainly of the last importance thatANDhe does his work well who does it badly; - Let itojoDon't register incorrectly, otherwise all other members will be wrong! Good; how he can do his job, whether he does it well or poorly, or whether he does it at all, is a point that no one in the world has bothered to think about. To a certain shopkeeper trying to get some money for his books, if he's lucky, that matters; to all other men of all. No one asks where he came from, where he is going, which way he came, why he was able to continue on his way. It's a social accident. He wanders like a wild Ismaili, in a world of which he is the spiritual light, be it the guide or the deceiver!
Surely the art of writing is the most wonderful of all things that man has invented. by Odinset upthey were a hero's first form of work;booksWritten words are still wonderfulset up, the last way! it's in the booksalmaof all past time; the articulate audible voice of the past when the body and its material substance are completely gone like a dream. Mighty fleets and armies, ports and arsenals, gigantic cities, high domes, many machines, are precious, great: but what will they become? Agamemnon, the many Agamemnons, Pericles and his Greece; all is now gone to some ruined fragments, mute and sad remains and tablets: but the books of Greece! There, for every thinker, Greece is still literally alive: it can be brought back to life. no magicNetworkit's stranger than a book. Everything mankind has done, thought, gained or been: it lies in magical preservation in the pages of books. They are the chosen possession of the people.
No books have arrived yetWunder, seset upwere legendary to do? They convince men. It is not the most pathetic novel in circulation in libraries, to be flipped through and made a fool of by silly girls in remote villages, but it will help sort out these silly girls' real practical homes and marriages. This is how "Celia" felt, this is how "Clifford" acted: the silly theorem of life etched into these young brains will one day become good practice. considerNetworkIn the wildest imagination of mythologists, never before have such miracles been performed as some books about the real continent! What did St. Paul's Cathedral build? See the crux of the matter, was this divine Hebrew BOOK, the word in part of the man Moses, an outlaw tending his Midianite flocks in the Sinai deserts four thousand years ago! It's the strangest thing, but nothing is truer. With the art of writing, of which printing is a simple, inevitable, and comparatively insignificant branch, the real wonders of mankind began. It connected, with a new and wonderful contiguity and perpetual proximity, the past and the distant to the present in time and space; all times and all places with our present here and now. All things have been changed for men; all kinds of men's important work: teaching, preaching, government, and everything else.
For example, look at teaching. Universities are a remarkable and respectable product of modernity. His existence is also fundamentally altered by the existence of the books. Universities emerged when there were no accessible books; while a man had to give up a piece of land for a single book. That, under the circumstances, if a man had any knowledge to impart, he should do so by bringing apprentices together face to face, was a necessity with him. If you want to know what Abelard knew, you should listen to Abelard. Thousands, as many as thirty thousand, came to hear Abelard and his metaphysical theology. And now a great convenience arose to all other teachers who had something of their own to teach: so many eager thousands were already assembled there; Of all places, this was the best place for him. It was even better for every third teacher; and it got better and better as more teachers came. Now all that remained was for the king to become aware of this new phenomenon; combines or merges the different schools into one school; gave it buildings, privileges, incentives and gave it a nameUniversität, or school of all sciences: there was the University of Paris in its essential characteristics. The model of all subsequent universities; that have been found so far, for six centuries. I think that was the origin of universities.
However, it is clear that with this simple circumstance, the simple acquisition of books, all terms and conditions have been changed from top to bottom. After inventing the printing press, you redesigned or replaced all universities! The Master now did not personally need men to gather, to gatherto speakto them what I knew: to print it in a book, and all the students everywhere had it for a pittance, each in his own house, to learn much more effectively! No doubt there is still a special virtue in the tongue; even book authors may find it convenient to speak too, witness our real meeting here! There is, someone would say, and there always must be, as long as man has a language, a separate domain both for speaking and for writing and printing. With all things this must remain; at universities, etc. But the boundaries between the two were never shown or defined anywhere; much less put it into practice: the university which would fully embrace this great new fact, the existence of printed books, and stand for the 19th century on the same footing as Paris for the 13th century, does not yet exist. . . If we think about it, everything that a university or the last college can do for us is nothing more than what the first school started to do: teach usfile. we learned thatfile, in different languages, in different sciences; We learn the alphabet and letters from all kinds of books. But the place where we need to get knowledge, even if it is theoretical, is in the books themselves! It depends on what we read after that all kinds of teachers did their best for us. The real university nowadays is a collection of books.
But for the church itself, as I have already indicated, the introduction of the books changes everything in its preaching, in its work. The church is the recognized working group of our priests or prophets, those who guide the souls of men with wise teachings. As long as there was no writing, even if there was no easy writing, orPrint, voice preaching was the only natural way to do this. But now with the books! Who can write a true book to convince England, is he not the bishop and archbishop, the primate of England and all England? I usually say that the authors of newspapers, pamphlets, poems, books, theseSohnthe true industrious and effective church of a modern country. Not only our preaching, but also our worship, is it not also carried out through printed books? Is not that noble feeling which a gifted soul has clothed for us with euphonious words, bringing melody to our hearts, essential if we are to understand it, of the nature of worship? There are many in all countries who have no other method of worship in this confusing time. He who shows us somehow better than we knew before that a lily of the valley is beautiful, he shows us this not as an effluvia from the source of all beauty; While theTo write, made visible there, of the great Creator of the universe? He sang for us, he let us sing along, a little verse from a holy psalm. Essentially so. How much more the one who sings, who speaks, or in some way brings to our hearts the noble actions, feelings, boldness and challenge of a brother! He really touched our hearts like embersaltars. Perhaps there is no more authentic cult.
Literature, if it is literature, is an "apocalypse of nature", a revelation of the "open secret". One might call it, in Fichte's sense, a "continuous revelation" of the divine in the earthly and the common. The divine always remains there; now in this dialect, now in that, it appears with varying degrees of clarity: all really talented singers and orators do this consciously or unconsciously. The dark and stormy indignation of a Byron, so stubborn and mean, might have a touch of it; no, the withered mockery of a French skeptic, his mockery of the false, a love and adoration of the true. How much more the harmony of the spheres of a Shakespeare, of a Goethe; the cathedral music of a Milton! above the blue depths, and singing to us there so genuinely! Because every true corner of the nature of worship is true, as is everythingTo workcan you tell which zSingis nothing more than the disc and a melodic presentation that suits us. Fragments of a true "church liturgy" and "body of sermons", strangely camouflaged to the common eye, are found mixed up in that vast and seething ocean of printed language which we vaguely call literature! Books are also our church.
Or go back to the rule of men now. Witenagemote, the old parliament, was a great thing. There the affairs of the nation were discussed and decided; what were we doingAgainas a nation. But although the name Parliament remains, parliamentary debate does not continue everywhere and at all times in a much wider form,Foraof Parliament as a whole? Burke said there are three seats in Parliament; but at the back of the reporter's gallery was a manfourth statemuch more important than all of them. It is not a figure of speech or a clever saying; It is a literal fact, very transcendent for us in these times. Literature is also our parliament. The press, which necessarily comes from writing, I usually say, is synonymous with democracy: with the invention of writing, democracy is inevitable. Writing brings the press; brings the improvised impulse of the universal to everyday life as we see it today. Whoever can speak now speaks for the whole nation, becomes a power, a branch of government, with inalienable weight in the making of laws, in all acts of authority. It doesn't matter what position you are in, what rents or encumbrances you have. the requirement is that you have a language that others will hear; that and nothing else is needed. The nation is governed by everything that has language in the nation: democracy is virtualLeaves. Suffice it to add that all existing power will gradually organize itself; secretly working under bandages, power failures, handicaps, it will never rest until it starts working free, unencumbered, visible to all. Virtually existing democracy will insist on becoming tangibly existing.—
Have we not all concluded that, of the things man can make down here, the things we call books are the most transcendental, wonderful, and valuable? Those poor pieces of paper with black ink on them; from the daily newspaper to the holy Hebrew BOOK, what they didn't do, what they're not doing! paper, as we say, and black ink), is it not really, at bottom, the supreme act of human skill that produces a book? It's himThoughtof the human; true thaumaturgical virtue; by which man works all things. Everything he does and accomplishes is the guise of a thought. This city of London, with all its houses, palaces, steam engines, cathedrals, and its immeasurable traffic and tumult, which is but one thought, but millions of thoughts made into one; a vast and immeasurable spirit of a THOUGHT embodied in brick, iron, smoke, dust, palaces, parliaments, hackneys, Katherine docks, and everything else! Not a brick was made, but a man had to make it.thinkthe making of this brick. What we call "pieces of paper with traces of black ink" is thatreinerincarnation that a human thought can have. No wonder he is the most active and noble in all appearances.
All this about the transcendence and supreme importance of the scholar in modern society and how the press controls the pulpit, the senate, theAcademic Senateand much more, has long been known; and often lately she has found a kind of sentimental triumph and amazement. It seems to me that the sentimental must gradually give way to the practical. yes scholarsSohnare so incalculably influential and do this work for us from age to age and even day to day, so I think we can conclude that scholars will not always roam among us unrecognized and unregulated Ismailis. Anything, as I said, that holds power virtually unnoticed will shed its wrappings and bandages and one day present itself with tangibly articulated and universally visible power. To a man who wears the clothes and receives the wages of a function performed entirely by someone else: There can be no profit in it; this is not right, this is wrong. And yet, alas!againgood addition, what a deal, long time to come! In fact, what we call the organization of literary guilds is still a long way off, full of all sorts of complexities. If you ask me what would be the best possible organization for scholars in modern society; the arrangement of promotion and regulation based as closely as possible on the actual facts of your position and the position of the world, I must say that the problem was far beyond my powers! It's not a man's skill; it is that of many successive men who have diligently examined what will bring even a remote solution. None of us could say which was the best arrangement. But if you ask what's the worst? I answer, what have we now, that chaos seems an umpire in it; this is the worst. Even the best, or any good, still has a long way to go.
An observation I must not omit that royal or parliamentary appropriations are by no means the most important thing needed! Giving our fellows scholarships, donations and all cash advances will do little to the business. In general, we are tired of hearing about the omnipotence of money. I prefer to say that being poor is not bad for a real man; that there must be poor literati to show whether they are real or not! Mendicant orders were instituted in the Christian Church, bodies of good men condemned to begging; a more natural and even necessary development of the spirit of Christianity. She herself was founded on poverty, pain, contradiction, crucifixion, all kinds of worldly torments and humiliation. We may say that he who did not know these things, and learned from them the invaluable lessons they were supposed to teach, has lost a good chance of obtaining an education. To beg and go barefoot, wrapped in a cloak of coarse wool, with a rope round the loins, and to be despised by all the world, was not a pretty business, nor honorable in anyone's eyes, until the nobility of those who did it had made it. Honored by some!
Begging doesn't hurt at the moment: but who's to say that a Johnson might not be better for being poor? In any case, it is necessary for him to know that the external benefit is success of any kind.NOthe goal you should aim for. Pride, vanity, ill-conditioned selfishness of every kind feed your heart as all hearts do; first of all, it must be expelled from your heart, torn out with all pain, expelled as useless. Byron, born rich and noble, stood out even less than Burns, poor and middle-class. Who knows if in the same “best possible organization” that is still far away, poverty is still an important element. What if our literati, men who are preparing to be spiritual heroes, would shut upThen, as they are now, a kind of "involuntary monastic order"; still trapped in the same terrible poverty until they, too, tasted what was inside, until they learned how to make it work for them too! Money can do a lot, but not everything. We must know their province and arrest them there; and even reject it if you want to go further.
Furthermore, if cash advances, the right season for them, the right referrer for them all were defined, how would Burns be recognized as deserved? You have to pass the test and prove yourself.That's itto taste that wild confusion that is called literary life: that too is a kind of torture! There is clear truth in the notion that the struggle must always go on from the lowest ranks of society to the highest regions and bounties of society. That's where strong men are born who must leave there. The multiple, inextricably complex universal struggle of these two constitutes, and must constitute, what is called the progress of society. For scholars, as for all kinds of men. How to regulate this fight? That's the whole question. Leave it as it is, at the mercy of blind chance; a vortex of deflected atoms, one canceling the other; one in a thousand arrived safe, nine hundred and ninety-nine lost on the way; His Royal Johnson languishes idly in attics or tied to the Printer Cave yoke; his burns die heartbroken like a gauge; You, Rousseau, driven to mad despair and inflaming the French revolutions with your paradoxes: as I said, that is clear enoughworseRegulation. Heto improveAh, it is far from us!
And yet there can be no doubt that it is coming; coming to meet us, still hidden in the bosom of the centuries: it is a prophecy that can be dared. For as soon as people recognize the meaning of a thing, they unfailingly begin to organize it, facilitate it, transmit it; and do not rest until they are, to some extent, successful. That is to say, of all the priesthoods, aristocracies, and ruling classes that currently exist in the world, there is no class that compares in importance with the priesthood of writers. This is a fact for the runner to read and draw conclusions from. "Literature will take care of itself," Pitt replied when asked to help Burns. 'Yes,' adds Mr. Southey, 'he will take care of himself;and you toowhen you're not looking!"
The result for individual scholars is not significant; they are just individuals, an infinitesimal fraction of the great body; they can fight and live or die as they have done so far. But the whole of society is deeply concerned about whether they will interrupt theirluzat heights for walking; or trample it and scatter it on all the wild desert roads (not without conflagration), as before! Light is the only thing desired for the world. Put wisdom in the mind of the world, the world will win your battle and it will be the best world man can create. I called this anomaly of a disorganized literary class the heart of all other anomalies, both product and parent; A good arrangement for this would be like thisjumping pointa new vitality and a just order for all. Already in some European countries, in France, in Prussia, some beginnings of an institution for the literary class are traced; Indication of the gradual possibility of such. I think it's possible; It must be possible.
By far the most interesting fact I have heard about the Chinese is one which we cannot elucidate, but which, even in its obscure state, excites infinite curiosity: namely, what they intend to make of their learned governors! It would be premature to say that they understood how it was done, or how successfully it was done. All these things must be very fruitless; However, a small success is precious; the same attempt, how precious! There seems to be a more or less active search across China to discover the talented men growing up in the younger generation. There are schools for everyone: a silly training class, but a class nonetheless. Young men who excel in the lower school are promoted to favorable positions in the higher, that they may be distinguished farther above and below: from such officials and would-be governors seem to be drawn. are theyto tryFirst, whether they can govern or not. And certainly with the best of hopes: because it is the men who have already proved their intellect. Try them: you didn't rule or manage; perhaps they cannot; but there is no doubt that theytersome understanding without which no man can! Understanding is not aTool, as we like to imagine; "It is amilwho can use any tool.” Give these men a try: they are the best of all others worth trying. Certainly there is no form of government, constitution, revolution, apparatus or social arrangement in this world so promising for the scientific curiosity of such. The intellectual at the head of business: that is the goal of all constitutions and revolutions, when they have any purpose. For the man of true intellect, as I assert and always believe, he is the noble-hearted man, also the true, just, humane and courageous man Take him governor, all is accomplished, do not understand, though They had constitutions so abundant like the moors and a parliament in each city, there is still nothing...!
These things look really weird; and they are not what we commonly speculate. But we have entered strange times; these things require speculation; to be practicable, to be put into practice in some way. These and many others. On all our hands is the very audible announcement that the old empire of routine is over; that saying that something has existed for a long time is no reason for it to continue to exist. The things that were have fallen into disuse, have fallen into incapacity; great masses of humanity in all the societies of our Europe are no longer capable of living as they were. When millions of people are unable to support themselves with all their might, and "the third man is short of third-rate potatoes for thirty-six weeks out of the year," the things that were must be decidedly ready to change! Now I leave that to the Men of Letters organization.
Unfortunately, the evil that weighed most heavily on our literary hero was not a lack of scholarly organization, but a much deeper one; from whence, in fact, as from its source, sprang this and so many other evils for literature and for all men. That our hero, as a man of letters, had to travel roadless, unaccompanied, through inorganic chaos and leave his own life and fortune as a partial contribution.entrepreneura way through it: he might have borne it, seen it as the common lot of heroes, if all his ability had not been so perverted and paralyzed. His mortal misery wasparalisia mental, so we may call him, of the age at which his life was; so that no matter how much he did, his life was kind of at a standstill. The eighteenth was askepticalCentury; in whose words lies a whole Pandora's box of misery. Skepticism is not just intellectual doubt, but moral doubt; all kinds of infidelity, insincerity, mental paralysis. Perhaps in the few centuries that could be traced since the world began, it was a life of heroism most difficult for one man. This was no age of faith, no age of heroes! The mere possibility of heroism had been, as it were, formal self-denial in everyone's mind. Heroism is gone forever; The triviality, the formalism, and the mundane are gone forever. The "Age of Miracles" was, or perhaps not; but went away. A decadent world; where wonder, grandeur, divinity could not now dwell; in a word, a world without God!
How mean and small is their thinking at this time, compared not with the Christian Shakespeares and Miltons, but with the old heathen skalds, any kind of believing men! The living Igdrasil TREE with the melodious and prophetic swing of its world branches, rooted like Hela, was extinguished in the sound of a world machine. "Tree" and "machine" - contrast these two things. For my part, I declare that the world is not a machine! I say yesNOsearch for steering wheel and steering "reasons", own interests, controls, balances; that there is something very different from the metallic noise of the crazies and the parliamentary majorities; and in general that is not a machine! The heathen Norse had a truer conception of God's world than these poor machine skeptics: the heathen Norse did notsincerelyMen. But for these poor skeptics there was no sincerity, no truth. Half-truths and rumors were labeled as truth. Truth meant veracity to most people; judging by the number of votes it could get. They had lost any notion that honesty was possible or what honesty was. How many questions of plausibility that ask themselves with unaffected astonishment and offended virtue: What! Am I not honest? Mental paralysis, I say, nothing more than a mechanical life, was the hallmark of this century. For the common man, unless he rises happysobhe belonged to his century and belonged to an earlier one, it was impossible to be a believer, a hero; he lay buried unconscious under these nefarious influences. The strongest man could only half lose himself with endless struggle and confusion; and, so to speak, in the most tragic and enchanted way, to make a living spiritual death and be a half-hero!
Skepticism is the name we give it all; as the main symptom, as the main source of all this. About whom there was so much to say! It would take many speeches, not a small fraction of speech, to express what one feels about this eighteenth century and its ways. Because surely this and others like it, what we call skepticism today, is exactly the black disease and enemy of life, against which all teachings and speeches have been directed since the beginning of human life: The struggle of faith against unbelief is the fight never ending. ! Neither is this form of criminalization that one wants to talk about. Skepticism, like the decay of old beliefs, the distant preparation for new, better and broader paths, we must face as something inevitable for this century. Let's not blame people for this; we will lament your hard fate. Let us understand that the destruction of the oldto formthere is the destruction of eternitysubstances; this skepticism, painful and hateful as we see it, is not an end but a beginning.
Talking so aimlessly the other day about Bentham's theory of man and human life, it occurred to me to call it poorer than Mohammed's. I am compelled to say, now that I say it, that this is my conscious opinion. Not that you want to offend the man Jeremy Bentham or those who respect and believe in him. Bentham itself, and even Bentham's creed, strike me as relatively commendable. is a specificto bethat everyone tended to be half-and-half cowards. Let's have the crisis; we will have death or healing. I call this crude steam-engine utilitarianism a new-faith approach. It was a break with hypocrisy; Tell yourself, "Now then, this world is a dead iron machine, the god of gravity and selfish hunger; let's see what can be done with control and balance and a good set of cogs and cogs!" There is something complete and manly about Benthamism in this fearless devotion to what it believes to be true; you can call it heroic even though it involves heroismEyesto switch off! It is the culmination and fearless ultimatum of what was half and half and permeated all of man's existence in this eighteenth century. It seems to me that all who deny divinity and all who believe it in words must be Benthamites if they have courage and honesty. Benthamite is aNo eyesHeroism: The human race, like an unhappy blind Samson grinding in the Philistine mill, clutches convulsively at the pillars of his mill; it brings great destruction, but also deliverance in the end. I meant no harm to Bentham.
But this is what I say, and I want all people to know and take it seriously, that he who sees nothing but the mechanism of the universe has fatally ignored the mystery of the universe as a whole. The fact that all divinity disappears from people's conception of this universe seems to me the most brutal error - I won't belittle paganism by calling it a pagan error - into which human beings can fall. Is not true; he is wrong to the core. A man who thinks like this will thinkincorrectespecially in the world; This original sin will nullify any other conclusion you might come to. You could call it the most pathetic of delusions, not to mention witchcraft itself! Witchcraft worshiped at least one living demon; but this one worships a dead Iron Fiend; no god, not even a demon! All that is noble, divine, inspired falls out of life like this. Remains contemptible in all places of lifedead head; the mechanical helmet, every soul fled from it. How can a man act heroically? The "Doctrine of Motives" will teach you that it is not more or less disguised, but a miserable love of pleasure, fear of pain; that hunger, for applause, for money, for food, whatever it may be, is the ultimate fact of human life. In short, an atheism that punishes itself horribly. Man, I say, has become mentally paralyzed; this divine universe, a dead mechanical steam engine, everything works by motives, controls, balances and whatnot; where he, poor Phalaris, sits dying miserably as in the loathsome belly of a Phalaris bull of his own invention!
I define faith as the healthy act of a person's mind. It is a mysterious and indescribable process of coming to faith; indescribable like all vital acts. Our minds were given to us, not so that they could think and debate, but so that they could see, give us a clear belief and understanding of something we need to act on. Truly, doubt is not a crime in itself. We certainly don't sell out, we grab the first thing we find and believe it right away! All kinds of doubts, questions, [Gr.]SkepticismIt is said to reside above all possible objects in every rational mind. It is the mystical work of the mind on the object that isto receiveknow and believe. From all this comes faith, above the earth, like the tree of its hiding place.state. But now, when even in common things we require a man to keep his doubtsyet, and not chatter about them until they become, to some extent, affirmations or denials; how much more in relation to the highest things that cannot be spoken of! Make a man flaunt his doubts and imagine that debate and logic (which at best means just the way tonarrativein your thoughts, your belief or disbelief about a thing) is the triumph and true work of the intellect that has: oh, it's as if you shouldcancelthe tree, and instead of green branches, leaves and fruit, shows us ugly roots with claws raised in the air, and there is no growth, only death and misery!
Well, as I said, skepticism isn't just intellectual; it is also moral; a chronic atrophy and disease of the whole soul. A person lives believing in something; not debating and arguing about many things. A sad case for him if he can only believe in something he can button up in his pocket and eat and digest with one organ or another! It won't get any lower than that. We call those moments when he gets so depressed the saddest, sickest and meanest. The heart of the world is paralyzed, diseased: how can any of its members be whole? True achievement stops at all departments of world work; the true parable of action begins. The world's wages are being pocketed, the world's work is not done. Heroes emerged; The charlatans entered. Consequently, what century since the end of the Roman world, which was also a time of skepticism, simulation and general decadence, is as rich in charlatans as this eighteenth century? See them with their timid sentimentality about virtue, benevolence, the miserable squadron of charlatans, Cagliostro at the head! Few men were without gossip; they had to see it as a necessary ingredient and amalgamation to the truth. Chatham, our own brave Chatham, comes into the house all wrapped and swathed; he "dragged himself along with great bodily suffering," and so on;to forgetsays Walpole, acting like the sick man; In the heat of debate, he takes his arm out of the sling and swings and oratorio waves! Chatham himself lives the strangest mimetic life, half hero, half charlatan, all the time. For, indeed, the world is full of deceivers; and you have to winof the worldVoting right! How then the duties of the world will be performed, what sums of wrongs, that is failure, that is pain and misery, for some and for many will gradually accumulate in all provinces of world affairs, we need not calculate. . .
It seems to me that when you call it the skeptical world you are putting your finger at the heart of the world's ills. An insincere world; an unholy lie of a world! From this, I think, the whole strain of the social plague, the French Revolution, Chartism, etc., derived their essence, their main necessity. This needs to change. Until this change, nothing can change for the better. My only hope in the world, my inescapable consolation in contemplating the misery of the world, is that it will change. Every now and then one meets a man who knows that this world is truth and not plausibility or falsehood; that he himself is alive, not dead or paralyzed; and that the world is alive, full of divinity, beautiful and terrible, as at the beginning of time! Once a man knows this, many men, all men, must gradually realize this. It's obvious who wants to take thiscupsout of your eyes and look honest, white! For such a man, the century of the infidel with its unblessed products is over; a new century has dawned. The old unblessed products and executions, solid as they may seem, are ghosts that are getting ready to disappear quickly. To this and that noisy and beautiful simulacrum, while everyone clicks their heels, he can say and silently walk away: It's not youTRUE; You are non-existent, just face; Follow your road! Yes, hollow tokenism, crude Benthamism, and other atheistic and unheroic insincerities are visibly, and even rapidly, on the decline. An eighteenth-century unbeliever is just an exception, as happens from time to time. I prophesy the world will besincerely; a believing world; withmanyHeroes in it, a heroic world! Then it will be a victorious world; never until then.
Or, indeed, what about the world and its victories? Men talk too much about the world. Each one of us here, let the world go as it pleases, and victorious or not victorious, doesn't he have a life of his own to live? a life; a small flash of time between two eternities; For us there is no second chance forever! It would be good if we didn't live like fools and simulacra, but like sages and realities. Saving the world won't save us; not even the loss of the world will destroy us. We must look to ourselves: there is great merit in “domestic duty”! And in general, honestly, I have never heard that the "world" was "saved" in any other way. Saving the world mania is itself a piece of the 18th century with its airy sentimentality. We won't follow him very far. to save fromWeltI will trust in the Creator of the world; and care a little for my own salvation, for which I am most competent. In short, for the sake of the world and for our own sake, we will be very glad that skepticism, insincerity, mechanical atheism with all its poisonous aerosols are going away and going away too. -
Now, in such conditions, in those days of Johnson, our scholars had to live. Times when there really was no truth in life. Old truths have almost become mute; the new one was still hidden, trying not to talk. This man's life down here was an honesty and a fact, and it would last forever, no new evidence had come in this twilight of the world. No intimidation; not even a French Revolution, which we once again define as truth, albeit truth clothed in hellfire! How different was Luther's pilgrimage, with its fate assured, from Johnson's, girded with mere traditions, conjectures now rendered implausible, incomprehensible! Muhammad's formulas were made of "waxed and oiled wood" and could be put away: poor Johnson's were much harder to burn. The strong man will never findto work, meaning trouble, pain, in full force. But acknowledging a victory for our poor literary hero under these circumstances was perhaps more difficult than under any other. No constipation, interruption, Osborne bookseller, and fourpence and a half a day; I'm not alone; but the light of his own soul was taken from him. No landmarks on earth; and, oh, what is there not to have a star shining in the sky! We should not be surprised that none of these three men achieved victory. That they actually fought is the highest compliment. With compassion and compassion, if not three victorious heroes alive, as I said, we will see the graves of three fallen heroes! They also fell in love with us; we clear the way There are the mountains they cast away in their confused war of giants; under which they are now buried, their strength and their lives exhausted.
I have written explicitly or incidentally about these three literary heroes; what I presume is known to most of you; that need not be spoken or written a second time. They concern us here as a singularprophetsof this singular age; for this they were useful; and the aspect that she and her world exhibit from this point of view could stimulate us to many reflections! I call them three more or less real men; loyal, mostly unconscious, striving to be real and firm in the eternal truth of things. To a degree which eminently distinguishes them from the poor artificial crowd of their contemporaries; and makes them worthy to be considered in some degree spokesmen of eternal truth, prophets in their day. Nature itself imposed on them a noble need to be like that. They were men of such greatness that they could not live on unrealities; Clouds, foam, and all nothingness fell below them: there was no ground for them, except on dry land; there is no rest or regular exercise for them unless they have balance. In a way, in an age of artificiality, they were children of nature again; again, Original Men.
As for Johnson, I always naturally considered him one of our great English souls. A strong and noble man; so many things remained undeveloped in him to the end: to a friendlier element, which could not have been: poet, priest, sovereign ruler! In general, a man should not complain about his "element", his "time" or anything like that; it's a pointless job to do that. His timing is bad: well, he's there to make it better! - Johnson's youth was poor, isolated, hopeless, very miserable. Indeed, it does not seem possible that Johnson's life, under the best of circumstances, was not painful. The world could have had more usesto workout of it or less; but, beefforthe could never have indulged in the work of the world. Nature told her in exchange for her nobility: Live in an element of sick sadness. No, perhaps pain and nobility were closely and even inextricably linked. In any case, poor Johnson had to walk girded with constant hypochondria, physical and mental pain. Like a Hercules with his shirt of Nessus on fire, killing him with a dull and incurable misery: the shirt of Nessus that cannot be taken off, which is his own natural skin! ThereforeANDHe had to live. Imagine him there, with his scrofulous ailments, with his big greedy heart and his indescribable chaos of thoughts; dark as a stranger lurking in this land; he greedily devours everything he can find spiritual: school languages and other merely grammatical things, if there is nothing better! The greatest soul there was in all England; and provision was made for these "four and a half pence a day." However, a huge and invincible soul; a real man. He always remembers the story of Oxford shoes: the gruff university official with the lined, bony face who wore worn shoes in winter; how the charitable commoner gentleman secretly places a new pair at his door; and the bony servant who picks her up, looks at her with his dark eyes, with what thoughts exactly, throws her out of the window! Wet feet, mud, frost, hunger or whatever you like; but don't beg: we can't stand begging! Rude and stubborn self-help here; a whole world of wretchedness, crudeness, wretchedness and confused need, but at the same time of nobility and masculinity. It's kind of like a man's life, this shoe derailment. An original man; not a man needed, who borrows or begs. We will definitely lean on our own base! In shoes like we can get. About frost and slush if you like, but honestly about it; about the reality and substance that nature gives.us, not in appearance, in what he gave to anyone but us—!
And yet, with all this blunt pride of masculinity and self-help, was there ever a tenderer, more loving soul who loyally submitted to what was truly superior to her? Great souls are always loyally submissive, reverent to what is above them; only evil souls are otherwise. I could find no better proof than what I said the other day, that the upright man is by nature the obedient man; that only in a world of heroes could there be loyal obedience to heroes. the essence oforiginalitynot that it isneu: Johnson was a total believer in the old man; he found the old opinions believable to him, suitable for him; and in only heroic fashion he lived among them. This is worth studying. For we must say that Johnson was much more than just a man of words and formulas; He was a man of truths and facts. He stayed true to the old formulas; the happier it was for him to be able to bear it thus: but in all the formulas thatANDIt could wait, more real substance was needed. How strange how in that poor age of paper, so sterile, artificial, densely nourished with pedantry, rumors, the great fact of this universe has always shone wonderfully, indubitably, inexpressibly, divinely infernally in these people too! How he harmonized his formulas with him, how he fared under such circumstances: this is worth seeing. A question "to be looked upon with admiration, pity and admiration". This Church of St. Clement Danes where Johnson is stillreveredin the time of Voltaire it is a venerable place for me.
It was because of himsincerity, of him, who still speaks in a sort of heart of nature, though in the present artificial dialect, that Johnson was a prophet. Are not all dialects "artificial"? Not all artificial things are fake; moreover, every true natural product is infallibleformself; we can say that all things are artificial in the beginningTRUE. What we call "formulas" are not of bad origin; they are absolutely fine. the formula isMethod, habit; it is found wherever man is. The formulas are formed like paths, like well-trodden roads, that lead to a sacred or sublime object where many people bow. Think about it. A man full of sincere and heartfelt impulse finds a way to do something, either by expressing his soul's reverence for the Most High, or by a proper greeting to those around him. That required an inventor, aPoet; he articulated the vacillating thought that dwelt in his own heart and in the hearts of many. That's his way of doing it; these are his steps, the beginning of a "path". And now look: the second man is obviously following in the footsteps of his predecessor, he is heEasierMethod. Following in the footsteps of its predecessor; but with improvements, with changes where they look good; In any case, with extensions, the Path will always beextensionthe more they travel; until at last there is a wide road for all to drive and follow. As long as there's a city or shrine on the other side, or whatever the reality is, the road is welcome! When the city runs out, we'll pull off the road. This is how all the institutions, practices, regulated things in the world came and went. All formulas start withcompleteof substance; You can call them thoseIt fell, the articulation in form, in limbs and skin, of a substance already present:Shehe hadn't been there before. As we said, idols are not idolatrous until they become doubtful and empty to the worshiper's heart. As much as we speak against formulas, I hope none of us ignore the great importance of formulas.TRUEformulas; which have been and always will be the most indispensable furniture in our bedroom in this world.—
Also note how little Johnson boasts about his "sincerity". He has no idea that he is extremely sincere, which is more than everything! A hardworking, weary man, or "scholar" as he calls himself, who seeks an honest life in the world, not to starve, but to live, not steal! A noble unconsciousness is in him. It doesn't "record".TRUEon your watch stamp; “No, but he stands for the truth, speaks for it, works for it and lives for it. It's always like that. Think again. endowed with that openness to nature which renders it incapable of beingEmsincerely! To your big, open, deep heart, nature is a fact: all rumors are rumours; the indescribable grandeur of this mystery of life, whether you realize it or not, even if you seem to forget or deny it, is always there for you.he, - terrifying and wonderful, in this hand and in that. It has a foundation of sincerity; unrecognized because it was never questioned or could be questioned. Mirabeau, Mohammed, Cromwell, Napoleon: all the great men I've heard of have this as their raw material. Countless common men discuss, speak at length about their common teachings, which they have learned by logic, by heart, at second hand: to such a man all this is nothing. You must have the truth; this is correctANDseems true How is it the other way around? Your whole soul tells you at all times and in all ways that there is no stopping you. It is under the noble necessity of being truthful. Johnson's way of thinking about this world is neither mine nor Muhammad's: but I recognize the eternal element ofsincerity of heartlike this; and with pleasure to see how none of them goes without effect. no one is likeStrohsown in both there is something that is the sowingto grow.
Johnson was a prophet to his people; he preached a gospel to them like everybody else like he always does. We can describe the supreme gospel he preached as a kind of moral wisdom: "In a world where there is much to do and little to know," here's howAgainHe! Something worth preaching. "A world in which there is much to do and little to know:" do not plunge into the bottomless and boundless abysses of doubt, of miserable unbelief that forgets God; you were miserable then, helpless, mad: how could youAgainor work at all? Such a gospel was preached and taught by Johnson; coupled, theoretically and practically, with this other great gospel: "Clear your mind of hypocrisy!" Don't haggle - stand in icy mud in cold weather, but take it easyrealbroken shoes: "that will be better for you", as Muhammad says! I name this, I name these two thingsunited together, a great gospel, perhaps the greatest that was then possible.
Johnson's writings, once so widespread and famous, are now rejected by the younger generation. It's not wonderful; Johnson's opinions age quickly, but we can hope that the way he thinks and lives never becomes stale. I find in Johnson's books the most undeniable traits of great intellect and heart; ever welcome under whatever snags and perversions they may be under. they aresincerelywords, yours; he means things to them. A wonderful buccaneer style, the best he could get at the time; a measured grandiloquence trampling, or rather lurking, in a very solemn, already obsolete manner; sometimes a tumorSizePhraseology not in relation to its content - you will tolerate all this. For phraseology, tumid or not, there's alwayssomething in it. So many styles and beautiful books to go with itanythingon them; - a man is an evildoer of the world who writes like that!Shethey are the avoidable kind! If Johnson had left nothing but hisdictionary, there you could have found a great intellect, a real man. Given its clear definition, general soundness, honesty, insight, and successful method, it may well be considered the best of all dictionaries. There's a kind of architectural nobility to it; it is there like a great massive building of square construction, finished, completely symmetrical: you think a real builder made it.
In spite of our haste, poor Bozzy must be given a word. He passes a small, pompous, gluttonous creature; and it was in many ways. However, the fact of his admiration for Johnson will remain remarkable. The vain and vain Scots Laird, the vainest man of his time, addresses the dusty and irascible great pedagogue in his humble garret with such a confused attitude: it is a genuine reverence for excellence; ForLegalfor heroes, in an age when neither hero nor worship should exist. Heroes, it seems, always exist and have a certain reverence for them! We also take the liberty of completely denying the witty Frenchman that no man is a hero to his valet. Or if so, then it is not the hero's fault, but the servant's: i.e. that his soul is a meanscamera assistant-Soul! He expects his royally dressed hero to advance at a measured pace, the trains behind him, the trumpets blaring before him. On the contrary, he should be, he cannot be a human being.great monarchfor your servant. Take off your royal Louis XIV clothes and that's itesHe left nothing but a poor forked radish with a fantastically carved head; admirable for any servant. The minion doesn't recognize a hero when he sees one! Unfortunately not: it requires some sort ofSustaineddo that; and one of the needs of the world, inThat's itas in other senses, one is usually missing.
In general, we won't say that Boswell's admiration was well-deserved; That he couldn't have found a soul in all England worth bowing to sooner? Nor must we speak of that great and dark Johnson, who wisely lived his difficult and confused existence; drovebom, as a fair and brave man? This waste of authoring chaos by profession; who waste the chaos of skepticism on religion and politics, on the theory of life and the practice of life; in his poverty, in his dust and in his darkness, with his sick body and his rusty cloak: he did it for him like a valiant man. Not entirely without a charge star in Eternity; He still had a cargo star, as all brave men must have: keeping an eye on it would change course in vain in these tangled eddies of the submarine of time. "I would never lower the banner of the lying spirit that bears death and famine." Brave old Samuel:the last of the romans!
I cannot say much about Rousseau and his heroism. He's not what I call a strong man. A morbid, excitable, convulsive man; at best, more intense than strong. He didn't have "the talent of silence", an invaluable talent; How few Frenchmen, or even men of any kind, stand out these days! The sufferer must really "consume his own smoke"; Casting is not goodRauchuntil you transform itfogoWhich, also in a figurative sense, can turn into smoke! Rousseau has neither depth nor breadth nor calm power for difficulties; the first mark of true greatness. It is a fundamental error to call vehemence and rigidity strength! A man is not strong when he has convulsions; though six men cannot stop him then. He who can walk under the heaviest weight without staggering is the strong man. It takes us forever, especially in these loud screaming days, to remember. A man who cannotkeep your peace, until the time to speak and act, he is not a fit man.
Poor Rousseau's face is expressive to me. A high intensity, but strongly drawn into it: bony brows; deep, narrow eyes in which something looks confused, confused, anxious like a lynx. A face full of misery, yes, ignoble misery, and antagonism thereto; something small, meaner there, redeems only throughintensity: the face of a supposed fanatic, a sadrentedHero! We're naming him here because, despite all his many drawbacks, he has the most important characteristic of a hero: he's sincere.Ah, de facto. Seriously, if the man ever was; as none of these French philosophers were. Not, one would say, too serious for his sensitive and somewhat weak nature; and indeed this finally led him to the strangest connections, almost to delusions. It finally turned into a kind of madness inside him: his ideasobsessedhe likes demons; she knocked him down so much, took him to steep places...!
Rousseau's guilt and misery were what we can easily describe in a single word,selfishness; who is truly the source and summary of all failures and sufferings. It had not been perfected to the point of defeating mere desire; a little hunger, in many respects, was still his driving principle. I am afraid he was a very vain man; hungry for the praise of men. You remember Genlis' experience with him. He took Jean Jacques to the theater; He traded strictly incognito: "You wouldn't see him there for the world!" However, it so happened that the curtain was drawn: the source recognized Jean Jacques, but did not pay much attention to him! He expressed the bitterest indignation; sad all night, he spoke nothing but sullen words. The humble countess remained convinced that her anger was not directed to be seen, but rather to be applauded for being seen. As the whole nature of man is poisoned; nothing but distrust, self-isolation, wild, ill-tempered ways! I couldn't live with anyone. One day a man of a certain rank came from the field, who often visited him, sat with him, and expressed all his reverence and affection; finds Jean Jacques full of the most bitter and incomprehensible humor. "Sir," said Jean-Jacques, his eyes shining, "I know why you are coming here. He comes to see what a miserable life I lead, how little is boiling in my poor pot. Well, look in the pot! There's half kilo of meat, a carrot and three onions; that's all: go and tell the whole world if you like, sir! The whole world was full of anecdotes, light laughter, a certain theatrical interest, these perversions and contortions of poor Jean Jacques Unfortunately for him, they weren't laughable or theatrical, too real for him! The contortions of a dying gladiator: the crowded amphitheater looks amused, but the gladiator is terrified and dies.
And yet this Rousseau, as we say, with his passionate appeals to mothers, with hissocial contract, with its celebrations of nature, even wildlife in the wild, once again touched on reality, the struggle against reality; he exercised the function of the prophet of his time. How could, and how could Time! Curiously enough, despite all this disfigurement, humiliation and near madness, there is a spark of true heavenly fire in the innermost heart of poor Rousseau. Once again, out of the element of that withered and mocking philosophy, skepticism and satirization, there arose in this man the indelible feeling and knowledge that this life of ours is true: not scepticism, theorem or satire, but a fact, a horrible reality. Nature made this revelation to him; he had ordered her to speak. He made him speak; if not good and clear, then bad and indistinct, as clear as possible. No, what are all his faults and misdeeds, even these tape-stealings, squalor and aimless and bewildered wanderings, if we interpret them kindly, but the brilliance and vacillation of a man sent on a mission for which he is too weak ? , to a path he still can't find? Men are led in strange ways. You have to have tolerance for a man, wait on him; let him taste what he's about to do. As long as life lasts, there is hope for every human being.
I won't say much about Rousseau's literary talents, still highly valued among his countrymen. His books, like him, are what I call unhealthy; not the good kind of books. Rousseau has a sensuality. Combined with an intellectual endowment like his, it creates images of a certain wide appeal: but they are not really poetic. Non-white sunlight: somethingopera; a kind of artificial rose ornament. It has been common, nay, universal, since its time among the French. Madame de Stael has something of that; Saint Peter; and even the amazing, spasmodic "Literature of Despair" abounds everywhere. The samepink roseIt's not the right tone. Watch a Shakespeare, a Goethe, even a Walter Scott! Whoever saw this saw the difference between true and false-true and will distinguish them forever.
We had to watch with Johnson how much good a prophet can do for the world, despite all the deficiencies and disorganization. With Rousseau, we are called to look further at the horrendous amount of evil that can accompany good under such disorganization. Historically, it is an extremely prolific play, that of Rousseau. Banished to the attics of Paris, there in the dark company of his own thoughts and needs; taken from post to post; restless, desperate until his heart went mad, he felt deeply that the world was not his friend and the law of the world. He was suitable, if possible, for such a manNOthey have become totally hostile to the world. You could lock him up in attics, mock him like a madman, starve him like a wild animal in his cage, but he couldn't be stopped from setting the world on fire. The French Revolution found its evangelizer in Rousseau. His half-delusional speculations on the misery of civilized life, the predilection of savages for the civilized, and the like, tended to create complete madness in France generally. You may really ask: What could the world, the rulers of the world, do with such a man? Hard to say what the rulers of the world can do with it! What you could do with it is unfortunately very clear:Guillotinea lot of them! Enough of Rousseau.
It was a curious phenomenon in the withered and incredulous second-hand eighteenth century that a hero appeared among the fake cardboard cutouts and wares in the guise of Robert Burns. Like a small fountain in the rocky places of the desert, like a sudden glimpse of heaven in the artificial Vauxhall! People didn't know what to think of it. They thought it was a piece of the Vauxhall fireworks; oh thatto leaveBe so moved, though blindly fighting against it as in the bitterness of death! Perhaps no man has had such a false reception from his fellow men. Once again a very lavish spectacle of life under the sun was presented.
You are all familiar with the tragedy of Burns' life. We may certainly say that if the discrepancy between the place occupied and the place conquered represents the perversity of happiness for a man, no happiness could be more perverse than that of Burns. Among these used acting figures,treatedmostly 18th century, again a huge original human; one of those men who descend into the eternal depths, who assume the rank of a hero among men: and he was born in a poor Ayrshire hut. The greatest soul in all the British lands came to us in the form of a lumbering Scottish farmer.
His father, a poor, hard-working man, tried many things; he was unsuccessful in any; He was involved in constant problems. The administrator, factor, as the Scots call him, used to send letters and threats, says Burns, "which brought us to tears". The brave, hard-working, long-suffering father, his brave heroine as a wife; and those children, of which Robert was one! In this land, incidentally, until now, there is no shelter forthey. The letters "brought us to tears:" imagine. The brave father, I always say;-ayethero and poet; without which the son would never have become an orator! Burns' teacher later came to London and learned what good company was; but he declares that at no gathering of men did he ever enjoy a better speech than at that farmer's house. And his poor "seven acres," neither that, nor the wretched mud farm, nor anything he tried to make a living on, would prosper with him; he had a painful and uneven struggle all his days. But he bravely resisted; a wise, faithful and invincible man; How many grievous afflictions daily swallow up in silence; fights like an invisible hero, no one publishes paragraphs in newspapers about his nobility; reedplates for him! However, he wasn't lost; nothing is lost Robert is the result of him, of many generations like him.
These burns manifested themselves under all shortcomings: uneducated, poor, born only for hard physical labor; and he wrote, when necessary, in a special rural dialect, known only in a small province of the country where he lived. If, even what he did, he had written in the common language of England, I have no doubt he would have done it. He is already universally recognized, or capable of being, one of our greatest men. The fact that he attracted so many to penetrate the hard shell of his dialect is proof that something about him was anything but ordinary. In every corner of our vast Saxon world it gained, and still gains, a certain recognition: wherever a Saxon dialect is spoken, one begins, in personal consideration of each other, to understand that of the most eminent Saxon men. of the world. 18th century was an Ayrshire farmer named Robert Burns. Yes, I say, here too was a piece of real Saxon stuff: strong as Harz rock, rooted in the depths of the world; Rock, but with pools of vital smoothness! A wild, heady whirlpool of passion and skill slept peacefully there; so heavenlySongdwell in their hearts. A noble and raw authenticity; homely, rustic, honest; true simplicity of strength; with his lightning fire, with his gentle, dewy mercy; Like the old Norse Thor, the peasant god!
Burns's brother, Gilbert, a man of great sense and courage, told me that in his youth Robert, despite his difficulties, was most fond of talking; a companion in mischief, laughter, mind and heart without end; much nicer listening there, naked cutting turf in the swamp or something, than she ever knew him after. Well I can believe it. This base of joy ("Gaillard-Buff", as the old Marquis Mirabeau calls him), an overriding element of sunshine and merriment, along with his other deep and serious qualities, is one of Burns' most attractive qualities. A great glimmer of hope resides in him; despite his tragic history , he is not a mourner, he gallantly shakes off his sorrows, he leaps over them victoriously, he is like the lion that "shakes the dewdrops from his mane," like the swift horse thatriswinging the spear. But, in truth, are not the Burns' hopes and joys the very result of warm and generous affection, as is the beginning of everything for every human being?
You would think it strange if I called Burns the most gifted British soul we had in his whole century: and yet I think the day will come when it will no longer be dangerous to say so. His writings, all that heto beunder such obstacles they are but a poor fragment of it. Professor Stewart has rightly remarked, as indeed is the case with all good poets, that his poetry is not a special skill; but the general result of a naturally vigorous original mind expressing itself in this way. Burns' gifts, expressed in conversation, are the subject of everything you've heard of him. Gifts of all kinds: from the most gracious expressions of courtesy to the highest fire of passionate speech; strong currents of joy, soft moans of affection, laconic emphasis, clear and penetrating perception; everything was in it. Cheerful duchesses celebrate him as a man whose speeches "made them lose control". This is good: but better still is what Mr. Lockhart records, to which I have more than once alluded: How the lads and grooms in the inns rose from their beds and gathered together to listen to this man's conversation! Waiters and grooms: they too were men, and here was a man! I've heard a lot about his speech; but one of the best things I ever heard about it came last year from a venerable gentleman who knew him a long time. That was a distinguished speech foreverthere's something inside. "He spoke little and not much," this old man told me; "He sat very still in those early days, as in the company of men above him; and whenever he spoke it was to throw new light on the subject." I don't know why anyone should say otherwise! But if we look at his overall mental strength, he's healthy.robustnessIn all respects, the raw sincerity, the insight, the generous courage and masculinity that was in him, where shall we easily find a better endowed man?
Among the great men of the eighteenth century, I sometimes get the feeling that Burns is more like Mirabeau than anyone else. They differ greatly in clothing; However, look at them intrinsically. In the body is the same stout, thick-necked power as in the soul; built, in both cases, on what the old Marquis callsGaillard-Buff. By nature, by discipline, even by nation, Mirabeau is far more valuable; a noisy, forward, restless man. But also Mirabeau's hallmark is truthfulness and meaning, the power of truth.Saber, visual superiority. Remember what it says. It's a flash of understanding on one subject or another: so these two men speak. The same raging passions; also in both capable of manifesting themselves as the most tender and noble affections. creativity; Wild laughter, energy, directness, sincerity - this was in both of them. The types of the two men do not differ. Burns could also have ruled and debated in national assemblies; politicized in a way that few could. Unfortunately, the gallantry that had to be shown in capturing smuggled schooners on the Solway Frith; under maintenanceStay quietabout so much where no good speech was possible but only inarticulate rage: this might have roared porters out of pretzels and the like; and made himself visible to all men, in the administration of kingdoms, in the government of great and ever memorable times! But they scolded him, told his superiors and wrote: "You are here to work, not to think." From youability to think, the greatest on this earth, we don't need him; You must measure the beer there; that's why you are just loved. Very remarkable and remarkable, although we know what to say and what to answer! As if thinking, the power of thinking, were not exactly what one wants at all times, in all places and in all situations in the world. The fatal man is not always the man who does not think, the man who cannot think andver; but just palpate and hallucinate andmalDo you see the nature of what you are working on? He sees badly, myyou acceptAs we say; take it for one thing, andessomething else and makes you look like a fool! He is mortal man; unspeakably fatal, placed in the high positions of men. "Why complain about it?" say some: "Alas, power is denied in its sand; that was true of old." Undoubtedly; and the worst for himArenaI will answer!whineearns little; stating the truth can benefit from this. In any case, I can't believe that a Europe with its French Revolution about to break out doesn't need a Burns, except to measure beer.to cheerEm-!
Again, once again we have to say that Burns' main quality is thissinceritydes Thus in his poetry, thus in his life. The music he sings is not fantasy; it is something felt, really there; The first merit of this, as of everything about him and his life in general, is the truth. Burns's life is one of great tragic sincerity. A kind of savage sincerity, not cruel, far from it; but fiercely, wrestling naked with the truth of things. In that sense, there is something wild about all great men.
Hero Worship, Odin, Burns? Good; these scholars also did not lack a kind of hero-worship: but what a strange state it is in now! The waiters and grooms of Scottish inns, peering through the door, eager to hear a word from Burns, subconsciously revered heroism. Johnson had his adoring Boswell. Rousseau had enough worshippers; princes calling to him in his wretched garret; the big, the beautiful bow for the poor lunar. A disastrous contradiction for himself; The two extremes of his life must not be in harmony. He sits at the tables of the great; and he must copy music for a living. He doesn't even get his music copied: "By eating out," he says, "I risk starving at home." For admirers of him also a very questionable thing! If hero worship, good or bad, is evidence of a generation's vital well-being or discomfort, then yes.to beAre generations cousins? And yet, teaching, ruling, our heroic scholars are kings, priests, or whatever you want to call them; There is no way to avoid this at all. The world must obey him who thinks and sees in the world. The world can change shape; You can have it like a blessed perpetual summer sun or like thunder and turned black unblessed with an unspeakable difference for the benefit of the world! The procedure is very variable; the matter and fact of it cannot be altered by any power under heaven. Light; or, failing that, Blitz: The World Can Choose. Not if we call Odin god, prophet, priest or whatever we call him; but if we believe the word that tells us: There is everything. If it is a true word, we must believe it; If we believe, we must do it. ONameor the salutation we give or give is a point that chiefly interests us.AND, the new truth, a new and deeper revelation of the mystery of this universe, is truly in the nature of a message from on high; and must and will obey.-
My last comment concerns the most defining phase of Burns' history: his visit to Edinburgh. It often seems to me that his behavior is the supreme proof of the amount of courage and genuine virility he possessed. If you think about it, few heavier loads could be imposed by one man's strength. so suddenly; all in commonLionism. who ruined countless people, was nothing against it. It is as if Napoleon had not been proclaimed king gradually, but instantly by the artillery lieutenant of the La Fere regiment. Burns, still 27, isn't even a farmer anymore; He flies to the West Indies to avoid disgrace and imprisonment. This month he is a broke farmer, his wages £7 a year, and that is gone: the next month he is in the splendor of rank and beauty, giving jeweled duchesses to dinner; the center of attraction of all eyes! Adversity is sometimes hard on a man; but for one man who can bear prosperity, there are a hundred who will bear adversity. I really admire how Burns handled it all. Perhaps never has a man to refer to been so severely tried and so little forgotten of himself. Calmly, without miracles; not embarrassed, not pompous, not clumsy or artificial: feel thatANDthere is the man Robert Burns; that "post is but the seal of Guinea"; this celebrity is just a candlelight that goes to showODude, make him a better or different man at the very least! Unfortunately, if he doesn't look into it, it can easily turn him into aworseMan; a miserably puffy, puffy puff of cream for himexploded, and become auntilLion; for whom, as someone has said, "there is no resurrection of the body;" worse than a live dog! “Burns is admirable here.
And yet, alas, as I have elsewhere remarked, these lion hunters were the undoing and death of Burns. They were the ones who made his life impossible! They gathered around him on his farm; hampered his industry; nowhere was far enough from them. He couldn't make him forget his lionism, no matter how sincerely he wanted to. He falls into dissatisfaction, misery, error; the world grows more and more desolate for him; Health, character, peace of mind, all gone; pretty lonely right now. It's tragic to think about it! But these men came toverhe; It was neither sympathy for him nor hatred for him. They came to have some fun; Did you have fun; and the hero's life went to him!
Richter says that on the island of Sumatra there is a kind of "luminous beetle", large fireflies that people stick on skewers and light up the paths at night. People with status can thus travel with a pleasant charisma, which they greatly appreciate. Great honor for the fireflies! But-!
LESSON VI. THE HERO AS KING. CROMWELL, NAPOLEON: MODERN REVOLUTIONISM.
[22. May 1840.]
We come now to the last form of heroism; what we call domination. The commander of men; he to whose will our will must be obedient, loyally yielding and finding his well-being in the process, may be considered the greatest of great men. It's pretty much the summary for usnothe various figures of heroism; Priests, Masters, whatever earthly or spiritual dignity we can imagine to inhabit a human being is here embodied.Domainabout us to provide us with constant practical instruction, telling us what to do on the day and timeAgain. His name isrex, Rules,ROI: our own name is even better; King,Mining, MeaningHe can-Ning, able man.
Numerous considerations are made here which point to deep, questionable, even unfathomable regions, from which we must resolutely abstain for the time being. As Burke said, maybe just thattrial by juryit was the soul of government, and that all legislation, administration, parliamentary debates, and the rest proceeded "to gather twelve impartial men into a jury"; say here that find yourAbleand get you to invest with himskill icons, with dignity, adoration (Wert-ship), royalties, royalties or whatever we call it, so thatANDhe can really have room to lead according to his ability, that's the good or the bad of all social processes in this world! Campaign speeches, parliamentary motions, reform projects, French revolutions, all mean this at bottom; or nothing. Find in any country the ablest man there is; increaseheto the highest place, and worship it faithfully: you have a perfect government for this country; no ballot box, parliamentary eloquence, voting, constitution-making or other mechanism can improve it one iota. It is in perfect condition; an ideal country. the ablest man; it also means the most sincere hearted man, the fairest, the noblest: what hetells us to doit has to be exactly the smartest, the strongest we can learn anywhere or by any means; who will come to us in all respects, with due thanks, faithfully and without hesitation! Ouragainand life was then well regulated, so far as the government could regulate it; this was the ideal of the constitutions.
Unfortunately, we know very well that ideals can never be fully realized in practice. Ideals must always be far away; and happily content with any approach that is not intolerable! In this poor world of ours, no one should, as Schiller says, lamenting "measure the meager product of reality with the balance of perfection". We will not consider him wise; We will think of him as a sick, unhappy, stupid man. And yet, on the other hand, one must never forget that there are ideals; that if you don't approach them, everything will be ruined! Infallible. No mason builds a wallperfectperpendicular, mathematically this is not possible; a certain perpendicularity is enough; and he, like a good bricklayer who should have finished his trade, leaves it at that. And still when he swaystoo muchfrom vertical; especially when he throws the plumb bob and spirit level away from himself and carelessly stacks brick upon brick as best he can...! I think that bricklayer is in pretty bad shape. He has forgotten himself: but the law of gravity does not forget to act on him; He and his wall are falling in a whirlwind of ruins!
This is the story of every French rebellion, revolution, social explosion, ancient or modern. you asked him tooYCapable man at the top! The very ignoble man, little brave, silly. They forgot that there is a rule or a natural need to put a capable man there. Stone must rest on stone as it can and can. Unable to simulate skills,medicine man, in a word, must screech in all forms of the management of human affairs, which consequently lie uneconomically fermenting in immeasurable masses of failure, of wretched misery: without, and within or spiritually, millions of wretches seek their due provision. , and they are not there. The "law of gravity" works; The laws of nature mean that none of them forget to act. The wretched millions pour themselves into sanscultism or some other kind of madness: bricks and masons lie in deadly chaos -!
Many deplorable things written a century or more ago about the "divine right of kings" are no longer read in the public libraries of this country. Far be it from us to interrupt the smooth process by which it harmlessly disappears from the earth into these deposits! At the same time, I won't let go of the huge rubbish without leaving us as it should be, a soul behind, I'll say it meant something; something true that is important for us and for all people to consider. To confirm that you have chosen any man (through this or any other scheme to trap him); and striking a round piece of metal on the head and calling him king, a divine virtue immediately came to dwell, so thatANDhe has become a god of sorts, and a divinity has enabled him to rule you in everything: what can we do with it but let it quietly rot in public libraries? But I also mean, and this is what these people meant by divine right, that there really is a divine right in kings and in all human authorities and relationships that God-created people can establish with each other, a divine right. devilish error; one or the other of these two! Because what the last skeptical century has taught us is completely wrong, that this world is a steam engine. There is a God in this world; and the sanction of God, or rather the transgression of it, appears in all dominion and obedience, in all the moral acts of men. There is no more moral act among men than dominion and obedience. Woe to him who demands obedience when it is not due! Woe to him who refuses, if so! The law of God is there, I say, however the laws of the parchment are enforced: At the heart of every claim one man makes of another is divine good or diabolical evil.
It won't hurt any of us to think about it: in all aspects of life it will interest us; in loyalty and royalties, the highest of them. I appreciate the modern fallacy that everything is based on self-interest and the control and compensation of greedy evil, and that, in short, there is nothing divine about the company of humans, a still more despicable fallacy, however natural it may be. either by an incredulous century, that of a "divine right" in mancalledkings. I say find me the real oneMining, king or able man, and hehata divine right over me. That we knew to some extent how to find it, and that all people were ready to recognize their divine right when they found it: this is precisely the remedy that a sick world is looking for everywhere in these times! The true king always has something of the pope in him as a guide to the practical, a guide to the spiritual from which all practice springs. This is also a true saying, Mai derreiis head ofchurch.- But we leave the controversial things of a dead century to silently remain on their shelves.
It certainly is a terrifying proposition to have your man able toTo search for, and I don't know how to proceed! Such is the sad state of the world in these times. These are times of revolution, and have been for a long time. The mason with his bricks, who no longer respect the plumb line or the law of gravity, collapsed, rolled and everything turns, as we can see! But it didn't start with the French Revolution; this is more like himfin, We can wait. It would be truer to say thatStartit was three centuries ago: in Luther's Reformation. What was still called the Christian Church had become a lie and blatantly professed to forgive people's sins for coined metal money and to do many other things that it did in the eternal truth of nature.NOnow do this: here is the disease of life. When the inside was bad, everything outside got worse and worse. Faith was extinguished; all was doubt, disbelief. The Builder's Castdistantyour accident; he said to himself, "What is gravity? It says brick upon brick!" Unfortunately, the claim that there are some is not correct.esa truth of God in the business of man made by God; that not everything is a kind of grimace, a "convenience", a diplomacy, who knows what...!
Of that first necessary confession of Luther's: "You called yourselfpapaya, you are not a father in God; You are a chimera that I cannot put into polite language!", hence to the cry that circulated Camille Desmoulins at the Palais-Royal: "for the weapons!" when the people broke out against hernoPath of Chimeras encounter a natural history sequence. That scream too, so terrible, half hellish, it was a big deal. Once again the voice of the awakened nations; starting out confused, like coming out of a nightmare, like coming out of a dream of death, into a vague sense that life is real; that God's world was neither convenience nor diplomacy! Like hell; yes, because they wouldn't accept it any other way. Infernal, for neither celestial nor terrestrial! empty, insincerityhatEnd; some kind of sincerity has to start. Whatever the cost, reigns of terror, horrors of the French Revolution or whatever, we must get back to the truth. Here's a truth like I said: a truth dressed in hellfire because you won't want to stop being like that...!
A common theory among sizable groups of men in England and elsewhere was that the French nation in those days had it, so to speak.furious; that the French Revolution was a general act of madness, a temporary transformation of France and much of the world into a kind of madhouse. The event had swelled and roared; but it was madness and nothing, now happily gone to the land of dreams and the picturesque! For these lazy philosophers, the three days of July 1830 must have been an amazing phenomenon. Here is the French nation resurrected, on muskets and fighting to the death, shooting and being shot to make up for the same mad French revolution! The children and grandchildren of these men seem to remain in society: they are not rejected; they will fix it; they will be shot if not repaired. For the philosophers who built their system of life in this dormant state of "madness", no phenomenon could have been more alarming. Poor Niebuhr, they say, the Prussian professor and historian, was inconsolably depressed as a result; he got sick, if we can believe it, and died in three days! It certainly wasn't a very heroic death; little better than that of Racine, who died because Louis XIV once looked him in the face. The world had undergone some considerable upheavals in its time; It was expected to survive the Three Days and even spin on its own axis afterwards! The Three Days told all mortals that the old French Revolution, crazy as it seemed, was not a passing ulcer of chaos, but a genuine product of this land we all live in; that it really was a fact, and that the world everywhere would do well to see it as such.
Truly, without the French Revolution no one would know what to do with an age like this. We will salute the French Revolution as shipwrecked men would salute the hardest rock in a world of seas and bottomless waves. A real apocalypse, albeit a terrible one, for this withered false artificial time; testify once again that nature isPastnaturally; if not divine, then diabolical; that appearances are not reality; that has to come true, or the world will burn from below, will burnANDin what it is, that is, nothing! The plausibility is gone; The empty routine is finished; a lot is over. As with a Trump of Doom, this was announced to all people. It is the wisest who will learn first. Confused long generations before it was known; peace impossible until it is! The serious man, surrounded as ever by a world full of inconsistencies, can patiently wait, patiently strive to do something.They arework in the middle. On the other hand, there is a death sentence in heaven; The death sentence is being imposed on them on earth: he sees it with his eyes. And certainly, when I look at the other side of the question, what tremendous difficulties there are and how quickly, terribly quickly, in all countries, the inexorable demand for a solution presses on them, he can easily find another job. What to do to work in the province of Sansculotich at this time of day?
To me, under these circumstances, "hero worship" becomes an indescribably precious fact; the most comforting fact to see in today's world. There is an eternal hope in him to rule the world. If every tradition, agreement, creed, society that humans ever formed had collapsed, this would remain. The certainty of the heroes who send us; our ability, our need, to worship heroes when they are sent: to shine like a North Star through clouds of smoke, clouds of dust, and all manner of landslides and conflagrations.
Hero worship would have seemed very strange to these workers and fighters of the French Revolution. No reverence for great men; no hope or belief or even wish that the Great Men could appear again in the world! The nature that had become the “machine” was now in decay; She could no longer generate great men: - I can tell her, so she can completely give up the profession; We cannot do without the Great Men! But I have nothing against "Liberty and Equality" either; with the belief that since great sages are impossible, a multitude of silly little men would suffice. At that time, it was a natural belief. “Liberty and Equality; Authority is no longer needed. Hero worship, reverence forsimilarAuthorities, turned out to be false, is a lie itself; no more of that! we had suchfakes, now we will not trust anything. With so many silver coins entering the market, the belief has now spread that there is no more gold, and even that we can do just fine without gold!” I find this, among other things, in this universal cry for freedom, equality, and how natural things were back then.
And yet it sure iscrossingfrom false to true. Taken as the whole truth, it is utterly wrong; so far only the product of complete skeptical blindnessbattleto see. Hero worship exists forever and everywhere: not just loyalty; it extends from worship to the lower practical regions of life. "Bowling down to men," if not a mere mockery, better dispensed with than practiced, is hero-worship, a confession that something divine dwells in our brother's presence; that every created man is, as Novalis said, "a revelation in the flesh." It was also poets who invented all those graceful pleasantries that ennoble life! Politeness is not a lie or a grimace; it doesn't have to be like that. And loyalty, religious worship itself, is still possible; it is not yet inevitable.
Furthermore, may we not say, though many of our later heroes worked more as revolutionary men, that every great man, every real man, is by nature a child of order, not disorder? It is a tragic position for a real man to work on revolutions. He looks like an anarchist; and, indeed, a painful element of anarchy hinders him at every step - he whose whole soul is hostile, hateful anarchy. His mission is order; that of every human being. He is here to transform what was messy, chaotic into something regulated, regular. He is the missionary of the order. Is not every human work in this world amake to order? The carpenter finds rough trees; it molds them, compels them to its suitability, purpose, and use. We are all born enemies of disorder: it is tragic that we are all concerned with destroying and destroying the image; to the big manadvancea man like us is doubly tragic.
In the same way, all human affairs, the craziest French Sanscultisms, work and must work for order. I say there is notMannin it he roars in the midst of madness, yet is nevertheless always brought to order. His whole life means that; Disorder is dissolution, death. There is no chaos, but look for onecenterwalking around While man is man, something Cromwell or Napoleon is the necessary finishing touch to sans cultism. Funny: when hero worship was the most unbelievable thing for everyone, but how it happens and practically prevails in a way that is attributable to everyone. DivineINTESTINE, take it on a grand scale, meaning divineit couldbeside! As old bogus formulas are trampled everywhere, new real substances unfold unexpectedly resiliently. In rebellious times, when royalty itself seems dead and gone, Cromwell and Napoleon reappear as kings. The story of these men is what we must now regard as our final phase of heroism. Ancient ages are restored to us; How kings were made and kingship itself came to be is shown again in the story of these two.
We had many civil wars in England; Wars of the Red and White Roses, Wars of Simón de Montfort; some wars that are not very memorable. But this war of the Puritans has a meaning none of the others have. Trusting her frankness to suggest on the other side what I cannot say, I will once again call her a segment of that great universal war which is the only true history of the world: the war of faith against unbelief! The struggle of people who pay attention to the true essence of things against people who pay attention to appearances and forms of things. The Puritans seem to many iconoclasts simple and savage, savage destroyers of form; but it would be fairer to call them enemiesINCORRECTI hope we know how to respect Laud and his king as much as they do. Poor Laud strikes me as weak and unhappy, not dishonest, an unhappy pedantic, but something worse. "Dreams" and superstitions from him, which they laugh at so much, have an affectionate and kind character. He's like a college professor whose whole world is the forms, the college rules; whose idea is that this is the life and safety of the world. Suddenly, with his unchanging and unhappy vision, he is placed at the head not of a college but of a nation to govern the most complex and profound interests of the people. He thinks they should follow the decent old rules; nay, that their salvation consists in enlarging and improving them. Like a weak man he rushes towards his goal with convulsive violence; he shrinks to himself, heeding every voice of wisdom, every cry of mercy: he will force his members to obey the rules of his school; this first; and so far nothing. He is an unhappy pedant, as I said. I want the world to be a school like this and the world to be like thisNOO. Ah, wasn't your fate hard enough? Whatever mistakes he made, did they not take a terrible toll on him?
It is meritorious to insist on forms; Religion and everything else naturally takes shape. everywhere theeducatedworld is the only habitable one. The sheer formlessness of Puritanism is not what I recommend in Puritans; that's what I regret and only praise for the spirit that made it inevitable! All substances are clothed in forms: but there are proper true forms, and then there are untrue inadequate forms. As a shorter definition, one could say: shaping thisto growaround a substance, if we rightly understand that it corresponds to its true nature and meaning, it will be true, good; ways that are consciousdefinearound a substance, bad. I invite you to think about it. It distinguishes true from false in ceremonial form, solemnity from empty display in all things human.
There has to be a veracity, a natural spontaneity in the forms. Is a person who makes what we call "fixed speeches" in the most common gathering of men not punishable by law? In the mere living room, all the politeness you see as grimaces triggered by a non-spontaneous inner reality is something you want to run away from. But now suppose it were a matter of vital interest, a transcendent matter (like worship) of which your whole soul, dulled by too much feeling, could not speak.formand he preferred informal silence to any possible expression, what shall we say of a man coming forward to portray or pronounce him to you as an upholsterer's farce? Such a man, let him go quickly if he loves himself! You lost your only son; they are mute, dejected, without tears: an unwanted man offers to play Greek-style tragedies for him! Such a farce not only must not be accepted, it is hateful, intolerable. It is what the ancient prophets called "idolatry", the worship of hollow things.shows; which all serious men will do and refuse. We can partially understand what these poor Puritans meant. Praised be the devotion of the Igreja do Credo de Santa Catarina, as we have described it; with his multiple ceremonial bows, gestures, exclamations: he is certainly more the strict formal pedant, attentive to his "university rules" than the serious prophet, attentive to the essential!
puritanism foundsimilarintolerable forms; he stepped on such forms; we must excuse him when he says, No form instead of one! He was left preaching in his pulpit naked, holding nothing but the Bible. No, a man who preaches out of zealalmaAh, de factoalmasfrom the people: Is this not practically the essence of all churches? The most naked and savage reality, I say, is to be preferred to any appearance, however dignified. Also, he will dressEarringLook little by little if it's real. Don't be afraid of it; in fact, there is no fear at all. life givenMann, you will findClothesfor him; clothes are found. But the suit fakes itANDit is both: clothing and man—! We cannot "fight the French" with three hundred thousand red uniforms; It might haveMenon them! It seems, I say, it really has to beNOseparation from reality. If appearances do that, then there must be people who rebel against appearances, because they have become lies! These two antagonisms at war here, in the case of Laud and the Puritans, are almost as old as the world. At that time they fought a bitter struggle for England; and they struggled to some extent with their confused controversy, with many results for us all.
In the era immediately following that of the Puritans, justice was unlikely to be done to their cause or to themselves. Charles Second and his Rochesters were not the sort of men to be blamed for the value or importance of such men. That there could be faith or truth in a man's life these poor Rochesters and the age they ushered in had forgotten. Puritanism hung from the gallows like the bones of the leading Puritans. However, his work continued. Every true work of man hangs its author on the gallows, whatever you will, must, and desire. we have ourHabeas corpus, our free representative body; The recognition, as far as the world goes, that all people are or should be, will be and will be what we callfreiMen, men with a life based on reality and justice, not on tradition that has become unfair and illusory! This and much more was in part the work of the Puritans.
And indeed, when these things began to manifest themselves, the character of the Puritans began to become clear. Your memories were taken away one by onesobof scaffolding; moreover, a certain proportion of them are almost canonized. Eliot, Hampden, Pym, not Ludlow, Hutchinson, Vane himself, are admittedly heroes of a kind; Political conscripts, to whom we owe a great deal what makes us a free England: it would be safe for no one to call these men evil now. There are few notable Puritans who do not find their apologists somewhere, and receive a certain reverence from sincere men. A Puritan, I think, and he almost alone, our poor Cromwell, still seems to hang from the gallows and find no honest defender anywhere. Neither saint nor sinner will absolve him of great wickedness. A man of ability, infinite talent, courage, etc., but he betrayed the matter. Selfish ambition, dishonesty, duplicity; a savage, rude, hypocriteBrigadier; turning all that noble constitutional struggle for freedom into a sad farce staged for their own benefit: that and the worst is the character they give Cromwell. And then come the contrasts with Washington and others; especially with those noble Pyms and Hampdens, whose noble work he stole and ruined in vain and deformity.
This vision of Cromwell seems to me the natural product of a century like the eighteenth. As we said about the servant, so does the skeptic: you don't know a hero when you see one! The servant expected purple robes, golden sceptres, bodyguards and trumpets: the eighteenth-century skeptic looks for regimented and respectable formulas, “principles” or whatever you want to call them; a style of speech and behavior which must appear "respectable", which can beautifully and articulately defend itself and win the suffrage of an enlightened 18th century skeptic! It's basically the same thing the valet and he expect: the accompaniments of someauthorizedroyalty, thatThenthey will recognize you! The king comes to them on the rough roadjFormula state there will be no king.
For my part, I am far from saying or implying a word of contempt for such characters as Hampden, Elliot, Pym; who, in my opinion, were only worthy and useful men. I diligently read as many books and documents as I could find about this; with the most sincere desire to admire, love and hero-worship them; but I am sorry to say, to tell the truth, with very mediocre success! I found out deep down that it wouldn't work. They are very noble men, these; they walk nobly with their measured euphemisms, philosophies, parliamentary eloquences, remittances,monarchies of man; a more constitutional, innocent, and dignified group of men. But the heart remains cold before them; imagination alone strives to awaken a cult in them. What human heart really burns with the fire of brotherly love for these men? They have become terribly boring men! It often breaks Pym's admirable constitutional eloquence with his "seventh and last." You discover that it is perhaps the most admirable thing in the world, but that it is heavy, heavy as lead, barren as the clay of a brick; that, in a word, there is little or nothing for you now! You leave all those nobles in their booths of honour: the gruff outcast Cromwell is everyone's man with human matter left in him. the great savagemere shark: could not write an understatementmonarchy of man; she didn't speak, she didn't work with simple regularity; he had nowhere to tell a clear story for himself. But he was naked, not wrapped in euphemistic mail; He fought like a giant, face to face, heart to heart, with the naked truth of things! After all, this is the type of man for you. I plead guilty to placing such a man above all other types of men. One can find some clean-shaven decencies not worth much. A little thanks to a man who keeps his hands clean, who would only do the job with gloves on!
In general, this eighteenth-century constitutional connivance doesn't seem to matter much to the other happier Puritans either. You might say it is a piece of symbolism and skepticism, like the rest. They tell us it is a sad thing to think that the foundations of our English liberties should have been laid by "superstition." These Puritans came up with incredible Calvinist creeds, anti-Laudism, Westminster creeds; demand, in the first place, that they be free to do soLegalyour way. freedom forTaxthemselves: they should have demanded it! It was superstition, fanaticism, shameful ignorance of constitutional philosophy to insist on the other! - freedom toTaxyourself? Do you not pay money out of your own pocket, except for the stated reason? Not a century, I think, but a rather barren one would have noted this as the first human right! I would say, on the contrary, that a just man will generally get a better deal thanMoneyanyway before deciding to rebel against his rule. Our world is highly confusing; in which a good man will be happy to see any kind of government maintained in a manner not intolerable: and here in England, in this hour when he is unwilling to pay much taxes, in which he sees very little reason, he does not do well. , believe! You should try a climate other than this one. tax collector? Money? He'll say, "Take my money, since youit could, and it is so desirable to you; pick it up and take it with you; and leave me alone with my work here. I'm still here; I can still work after all the money you've taken from me!" But if they come to him and say, "Admit a lie; pretends to say that you worship God when you are not: believe not what you believe to be true, but what I think, or pretend to believe! He will reply, “No; With God's help, no! You can take my purse; but I cannot annihilate my moral self. The bag is for any assailant who might meet me with a loaded gun: but Self is mine and God is my Maker; It's not yours; and I will resist you to the death and rebel against you, and in general I will go to all kinds of extremes, accusations and confusions to defend this!
Indeed, it seems to me that the only reason that could justify the rebellion is that of the Puritans. It was the soul of all righteous revolts among men. NOFomeit even spawned the French Revolution; no, but the feeling of unbearable omnipresenceliewho has now incarnated and therefore has become hungry, in universal material need and nothingundeniableFake in everyone's eyes! We will leave the 18th century with its “tax exemption”. We should not be surprised that the importance of men like the Puritans has remained obscure. For men who don't believe in reality, how could arealhuman soul, the most intense of all realities, as if it were the voice of the creator of this world, still speaking to us, is it understandable? What it cannot reduce to constitutional doctrines about "taxes" or other similar material, gross, sensual interests, such a century will have to reject as an amorphous heap of rubbish. Hampdens, Pyms, and Ship-Money will be the subject of much constitutional eloquence, striving to be fervent, glowing if not like fire then like ice: and the irreducible Cromwell will be a chaotic mass of "madness," "hypocrisy," and more. .
I must confess that this Cromwellian theory of falsehood has been amazing to me since ancient times. No, I cannot believe in anything like any great man. A multitude of great men appear in history as false egoists; but if we think about it but they arePayshadows incomprehensible to us; we do not see in them persons who might have existed. Only a superficial and unbelieving generation, with eyes only for the surface and appearances of things, could form such notions of Great Men. Can a great soul be possible without aconsciencein him the essence of everythingrealBig or small souls? No, we cannot think of Cromwell as falsehood and stupidity; The more I study him and his career, the less I believe in her. Why should we? There is no evidence of this. Isn't it strange that after all the mountains of slander, after being portrayed as a true prince of liars, this man never told the truth, but always a cunning falsification of the truth? , but if not, have you been clearly exposed to an untruth? A prince of liars, and he told no lies about him. None that he could see anymore. It's as if Pococke asked Grotius: Where's yours?to testof Muhammad's dove? No proof! Let's leave all these chimera slurs about how chimeras should be left. They are not portraits of people; they are spirits distracted from him, the joint product of hatred and darkness.
If you look at people's lives with your own eyes, a completely different hypothesis seems obvious to me. What little we know of his dark early years, distorted as it may be, doesn't it point to a serious, loving, sincere type of person? Your nervous and melancholy temperament indicates seriousness.Alsodeep for him. From those "Spectros" stories; we need not believe too much in the white specter in broad daylight prophesying that he would become King of England; probably no more than the other black ghost or the devil himself who is the officialSerrasold out before the Worcester Fight! But Oliver's dark, hypersensitive, hypochondriacal humor in his youth is undeniably well known. Huntingdon's own physician told Sir Philip Warwick: He was often called at midnight; Mr. Cromwell was full of hypochondria, thought he was dying and "had fantasies about crossing the city". These things are significant. A nature so excitable and sincere in its brute and obstinate strength is not a symptom of falsehood; it is the symptom and the promise of something very different from lying!
Young Oliver is sent to law school; he falls, or is said to have briefly fallen, into some of the debauchery of youth; but when he does, he quickly regrets it, gives it all up: he's not much older than twenty, he's married, settled down as a perfectly serious, quiet man. "He gives back the money he won in gambling," goes the story; he does not believe that such a victory can really beThey are. It is very interesting, very natural, this “conversion” as they call it; this awakening of a truly great soul from the mundane swamp to see in the terribleTRUEof things; to see that time and its spectacles all rested on eternity, and this poor land of ours was the threshold of heaven or hell! A hardworking and sober farmer, Oliver's life in St. Ives and Ely is not like that of a faithful and devoted man? He renounced the world and its ways;esPrizes are not what can make you rich. He cultivates the land; read your Bible; daily assembles his servants to worship God. He comforts persecuted preachers, he loves preachers; he cannot preach alone, he exhorts his neighbors to be wise to redeem the times. What "hypocrisy", "ambition", "lie" or other untruth in all this? I believe that people's hopes were placed in the other Upper World; Your goal to improveLeavesentering well by your humble wayThat's itWorld. He's not competing for attention: what could attention do for him here? "Always in the eye of your great foreman."
It's also impressive how, once it gets into the public eye; him because no one else wants to come: in resistance to a public complaint. I mean, because of that Bedford Fens thing. No one else will go to court with authority; therefore it will be. With that matter resolved, he returns to the darkness, to his Bible and his plow. "Gain influence"? His influence is most legitimate; derived from his personal knowledge of him as a just, religious, reasonable, and determined man. This is how he lived until he was forty; old age is now in his eyes and the grave gate of death and eternity; At that point, he suddenly became "ambitious"! This is not how I interpret his parliamentary mandate!
His successes in Parliament, his successes in war, are the honest successes of a brave man; that he has more determination in his heart, more light in his head than other men. your prayers to God; his verbal thanks to the God of Victory who protected him and carried him here through the furious shock of a world in conflict, through the desperate tangles of Dunbar; from the deadly hail of so many battles; grace upon grace; in Worcester Fights "greater mercy": All this is good and real to a deep-hearted Calvinist Cromwell. Only for vain and unbelieving knights who do not worship God, but their own "love locks", frivolities and formalities, who live completely separated from the contemplations of God, who livesinGod in heaven, I have to make it sound like a hypocrite.
Nor will his participation in the king's death bring him to condemnation with us. It's a tough commercial assassination of a king! But if you go to war with him, lieLeaves; that and everything else is there. Once in the war, you made a battle bet with him: he dies or you die. Reconciliation is problematic; it may be possible or, more likely, it is impossible. It is now almost universally admitted that, having defeated Charles I, Parliament had no way of reaching a sustainable agreement with him. The large Presbyterian group, now fearful of the Independents, were eager to do so; indeed concerned about their very existence; but it could not be. At these final hearings at Hampton Court, the hapless Charles proves to be a fatally impossible man to deal with. A man who, once and for all, could not and would notto understand:-Whose thoughts by no means represented to him the real fact of the matter; it's not worse, by whommustit did not represent his thoughts at all. We may say this of him without cruelty, but with deep pity: but it is true and undeniable. Left there by everyone but thisNameHe was still a royal king, treated like a king with outward respect, and he figured he could play game against game and smuggle his old power around by deceiving them both. oh bothuncoveredthat he is cheating on her. a man whosemustHe will not inform you of what he wants to say or do, he is not a man to negotiate with. You must avoid this man or get him out of your way! Presbyterians, in their desperation, continued to believe in Charles, even though they repeatedly called him incredible. Not so Cromwell: "For all our struggles," he says, "shall we have a little paper?" NO-!
Indeed, we must declare the practice crucial everywhereojoof this man; how this leads to the practical and feasible; have a real vision of whatesdone. Such an intellect, I maintain, does not belong to a false man: the false man sees false glasses, plausibility, comforts: the true man is needed to discern even practical truth. Cromwell's advice to the Parliamentary Army at the outset of the fighting, about how to dismiss their burghers, needy and troubled people, and elect the principal landlords, whose hearts were at work, to be soldiers for them: that is one man's advice. WHOSerra. Fact answers if you look inside Fact! Cromwellianiron pagesthey were the embodiment of that intuition of theirs; godly men; and without fear of others. No definitely more genuine group of fighters ever set foot on the soil of England or any other country.
Nor must we censure them too much for this word of Cromwell's; that he was charged thus: "If the king met me in battle, I would slay the king." Why not? These words were addressed to men who were still superior to kings. They put more than their lives into the cast. Parliament can call it a struggle in the official language."forKing; “but we, for our part, cannot understand this. For us, it's not amateur work, it's not elegant functionalism; it is a pure, hard and serious death. They took him to the war cry; terrible inner struggle, man fights with man in the fury of eyes of fire, thelike hellelement in man summoned to test it!Againfor what; because you have to do this. Cromwell's successes seem a very natural thing to me! Since he was not shot in combat, they were unavoidable. That such a man, with an eye to see, a heart to dare, should advance from post to post, from victory to victory, until the Huntingdon farmer, whatever you want to call him, became recognized as the most powerful man in the land? Earth. England. , practically the King of England, needs no magic to explain it -!
It is sad indeed for a people, as for a man, to fall into scepticism, amateurism, insincerity; sincerity do not know when they see it. What curse is so fatal to this world and all worlds? The heart is dead, the eyes cannot see it. What's left of the intellect is just thatFüchsinIntellect. that's rightreibeing sent is of little use; they don't know when it's being broadcast. They say with contempt: Is this your king? The hero wastes his heroic skill on the useless contradiction of the unworthy; and he can achieve little. Alone, he leads a heroic life, which is much more than anything else; but for the world it does comparatively nothing. Wild and rude sincerity, straight from nature, is not easy when she answers from the witness stand: in her small debtcake powderdish is revealed to be a fake. The vulpine intellect "recognises" it. Like a man worth a thousand men, the answer your Knox, your Cromwell, gets is a two hundred year old debate about whether he was a man or not. God's greatest gift to this earth is discarded with contempt. The Miraculous Talisman is a thin silver coin that cannot pass in stores like an ordinary guinea.
Sorry! I say this needs to be fixed. Until this is fixed a little, nothing will be fixed. "Tracking charlatans"? Yes, for God's sake; but also meet the men you can trust! Until we know this, what is all our knowledge; how can we "recognize"? For Vulpine Acuity, to be seen in this way as knowing and "finding out" is very wrong. Indeed, many are deceived: but by allmistaken, there is no situation as terrible as that of someone who lives in excessive fear of being betrayed. The world exists; the world has truth in it, otherwise it would not exist! First, let's recognize what's trueThenrecognize what is wrong; and never really until then.
"He knows the men you have to trust: 'Oh, that's a long way from us these days. Only the sincere can recognize sincerity. It takes not just a hero, but a world to suit him; a world not ofThe chosen ones;-Otherwise, the hero comes to him almost in vain! Yes, he is far from us: but he must come; Thank God it comes visible. What do we have until it arrives? Ballot boxes, voting rights, French revolutions: if we are like servants and don't recognize the hero when we see him, what's the use of all this? A heroic Cromwell comes; and for one hundred and fifty years he cannot have a voice of ours. Well, the insincere and unbelieving world is the onenatural propertythe charlatan and the father of charlatans and charlatans! Misery, confusion, lack of veracity are the only possible ones there. We change them by urnFigureour charlatan; but the substance remains. the valet worldhatbe ruled by make-believe, only by the kingWearon King Gear. It's his; he is his! In short, one of two things: we will know a hero, a true governor and captain, a little better when we see him; or else be ruled forever by the non-heroes; if we knocked the urn on every corner, there would be no remedy.
Poor Cromwell, great Cromwell! The Inarticulate Prophet; Prophet who could notto speak. Rude, confused, trying to express himself, with his wild depth, with his wild sincerity; and it seemed so strange among the elegant euphemisms the delicate Malvinas, the didactics of Chillingworth, the diplomats of Clarendon! Think about it. An outer shell of chaotic confusion, visions of the devil, nervous dreams, near madness; and yet such a clear and determined energy of the man working at the center of it. A bit of a messed up man. The ray as of pure starlight and fire working in such an element of boundless hypochondria, amorphous blackness of darkness! And yet, despite this hypochondria, what was it but the true greatness of man? The depth and tenderness of his wild affection: the crowdcompassionwhat he had with things, how much insight he would still bring to the heart of things, how much control he would still gain over things: that was his hypochondria. Man's misery, as always man's misery, proceeded from his greatness. Samuel Johnson is such a man too. desperate, half distracted; the broad element of mourningnegroenveloping him, wide as the world. It is the character of a prophetic man; a man with all his soulSeher, and struggle to see.
On that basis I also explain Cromwell's alleged confusion of languages. To him the inner meaning was clear as the sun; but the cloth with which to clothe it in expression was not there. He tookvivaciousstill; a great nameless sea of thoughts surrounds him all his days; and in your little way of life called to tryusor pronounce it. I do not doubt that with his keen eyesight, his determined energy, he would have learned to write books and speak quite fluently; he made things harder than writing books. This type of man is exactly the one who is capable of doing all the things you manfully suggest. The intellect neither speaks nor argues; is to see and discover. virtue, virtues, masculinity,SustainedHood, is it not an immaculate regularity of the fair word; It is above all, as the Germans call it,virtue(INTESTINE,sob-ing oTempobravery), courage and ability toAgain. Cromwell had this subject matter in him.
It's also understandable how he managed it despite not being able to speak in Parliament.preaching, rhapsodic sermon; especially how good he could be at spontaneous prayer. These are the free and effusive expressions of what is in the heart: no method is required in them; Warmth, depth, sincerity is all that is needed. Cromwell's habit of prayer is a notable characteristic of him. All of his great undertakings began with prayer. In obscure difficulties that seemed insoluble, he and his officers would meet and take turns in prayer, for hours, days, until a final solution came between them, a "door of hope", as they called it, opened. Consider this: in tears, in fervent prayers and cries to the great God to have mercy on them, to let his light shine before them. You armed soldiers of Christ, how did you feel; a small group of Christian brothers, having unsheathed their swords against a great black and enveloping world, not Christian, but Mammonial, diabolical, in its problems, in its absolute need, cried out to God not to abandon what was theirs. The light that rose above them now, how could a human soul get a better light? Was not the intention thus formed precisely to be the best, the wisest, to be pursued again and again without hesitation? To her it was like the brightness of the sky's own brightness in the desolate and howling darkness; the pillar of fire by night to guide them on their desolate and perilous path.erasIs not true? Can a man's soul hitherto obtain guidance by any method but this, the reverent prostration of the sincerely aspiring soul before the Most High, the Giver of all Light; be like thisprayerspoken, articulate, or mute, inarticulate? There is no other method. "Hypocrisy"? You start to get tired of it all. Those who call it out have no right to comment on such matters. They never formed a purpose, what can be called a purpose. They devoted themselves to balancing comforts, plausibility; gathering votes, tips; they were never alone with himTRUEof a thing. Cromwell's sentences would probably be "eloquent" and much more than that. He had the heart of a man whoit couldto pray.
But I'm afraid his actual speeches were not as brooding and unheard of as they seem. We felt that he was what all orators aspire to be, an impressive orator, even in Parliament; one that carried weight from the start. With his rough and passionate voice, it was always understandablemeansomething, and the men wanted to know what. He despised eloquence, nay, he despised and disliked it; He would always unintentionally talk about the words he would use. Reporters also seem to have been exceptionally open at the time; and they delivered to the printer exactly what they found on their own paper. And, moreover, what a strange proof it is that Cromwell is the obstinate and ever calculating hypocrite who puts on a play before the world, who did not bother his speeches to the end! How come he didn't study his words a bit before releasing them to the public? If the words were real words, they could change on their own.
But regarding Cromwell's "lie" we will make a comment. That, I suppose, or something like it, was the nature of it. All parties found themselves deceived; every part understood what he meantThat's it, I even heard him say it, and lo and behold, he meant itO! He was, they cry, the chief of liars. But is not all this really the inevitable fate, not of a wrong man in these times, but simply a superior man? Such a man must haveEllipseinside. If you walk around with your heart on your sleeve ready to be pecked, your journey won't last long! It's no use for anyone to settle in a glass house. A man must always be his own judge of how much of his sanity he shows other men; even those who would have worked with him. Shameless inquiries are made: their rule is to leave the questioner uninformed about the matter; no, if you can help it, uninformed, but as dark as he is! In that case, if anyone could find the correct answer formula, the wise and faithful man would try to answer.
Cromwell, no doubt, used to speak in the dialect of minor parties; he gave them onePaperyour opinion. Each small group thought for itself. Hence his rage, each individual, finding him not from his party, but from his own party. Was it his fault? At all times in his history he must have felt among these people how, when he explained to them the deepest insight he had, they must shudder with horror or, believing it, their own compact hypotheses must have completely disappeared. destroy, ruin They could no longer have worked in their province; moreover, they may not have been able to work in their own province. It is the inevitable position of a great man among small men. Everywhere you see little men, very active, helpful, whose every activity depends on a belief that you feel limited; imperfect, what we callError. But would it always be a courtesy, is it always a duty or do you often bother her about it? Many men who do noisy work in the world have only a few traditions, conventions; unquestionable for him, unbelievable for you: he breaks you under himself, he plunges into infinite depths! "I could have my handful of real ones," Fontenelle said, "and just open my little finger."
And if this is true in terms of teaching, how much more so in all areas of practice! The one who can't do withoutkeep your thoughts to yourselfhe cannot practice anything important. And we call all this "pretense"? How would you feel calling a simulator army general because he didn't tell all the non-commissioned officers and privates who liked to ask the question what he thought of the whole thing? a path which we must admire for its perfection. An endless whirlpool of such questioning "covers" confusedly rolled over him all the way; to which he replied It must have been like a true great man who got it too. None went wrong like I said; none! What man who has been through such a spiral of things are you going to talk so much about? -
But in fact there are two common misconceptions which profoundly distort our judgments of men like Cromwell; about his "ambition", "untruth" and the like. The first is what might be called replacing themetaof your career to the course and starting point of it. Cromwell's vulgar historian imagines that he chose to become the Protector of England while plowing the marshes of Cambridgeshire. His career was mapped out: a completely dramatic program; which then, step by step, unfolded dramatically, with all kinds of cunning and deceptive dramaturgy as he went along, the empty, puzzling [gr.]upokritas, or theater actor, that was it! This is a radical perversion; almost universal in these cases. And think for a moment how different the fact is! How much does each of us expect from our own lives? A little ahead everything is dark; an unraveling tangle of possibilities, of fears, attempts, vaguely threatening hopes. This Cromwell hadNOhis life consisted entirely of this form of program, which he needed at the time with his unfathomable intelligence to dramatically stage scene after scene! Not so. We see it this way; but for him it was none of those things. What absurdities would disappear of their own accord if history would honestly face this one undeniable fact! In fact, historians will say that they take this into account; but see if this is practically the case! The vulgar tale, as in this case of Cromwell, omits them entirely; even the best historians remember only occasionally. Remember this with rigorous perfection, as in the fact thatit was left, indeed requires a rare skill; strange, not impossible. A very Shakespeare for college; or more than Shakespeare; who couldenactedthe biography of a brother, with a brother's eyes to see at every point of his pathANDbrief mountain range,sabrehis course and him as few "historians" want to do. Half or more of all the thickly layered perversions which distort our image of Cromwell will disappear if we honestly try to portray them in this way; in turn, asguerra; not en masse, for they are thrown at us.
But a second error, which I believe is committed by the general public, concerns "right" itself: we exaggerate the ambition of great men; we confuse what is its nature. Great Men are not ambitious in this sense; He's such an ambitious poor fellow. Examine the man who lives in misery because he doesn't shine on other people; that he produces himself, lasciviously greedy for his gifts and claims; struggling to compel everyone as if everyone asked for the love of God to recognize him as a great man and place him above men's heads! Such a creature is among the most pitiful sights to behold under this sun. FORExcellentMan? A poor, morbid, lustful, empty man; more fit for a hospital room than a throne among men. I advise you to avoid it. He cannot walk in quiet paths; if you don't look at him, admire him, write paragraphs about him, he cannot live. It's himfileof the man, not of his greatness. Because there is nothing in himself, he hungers and thirsts for you to find something in him. Indeed, I believe that no great man, let alone a real man who had real health and wealth, was tormented in this way.
Mr. Cromwell, what good would it be to be "watched" by noisy crowds? God, your Creator, has already noticed it. He, Cromwell, was already there; no warning wouldheBeyond what it already was. until her hair turned gray; and life on the hillside was seen as all finite, not infinite, but finite and all measurable matter.withleft, he had contented himself with plowing the land and reading his Bible. In his old age he could no longer bear it without selling himself to falsehood, so he could ride to Whitehall in gilded carriages and be followed by clerks with sheaves of papers: "Decide this, decide that", resulting in great pain. from the heart no one can make perfect decisions! What could golden carriages do for this man? Has there not been in your life from time immemorial a heaviness of importance, a terror and a splendor as of heaven itself? His existence there as a man took him beyond the need for gold. Death, Judgment and Eternity: This was already the backdrop to everything he thought or did. All her life she had been surrounded by a sea of nameless thoughts that no mortal word could name. The Word of God, as the Puritan prophets read it in those days: that was big, and everything else was small to him. To call such a man "ambitious" and to portray him as the lustful charlatan described above seems to me the poorest sovereignty. Such a man will say: 'Keep your golden carriages and your insurgent masses, keep your bureaucrats, your influence, your important business. leave me alone, leave me alone; there's nothing to be done."a lot of lifeI'm already in me! Old Samuel Johnson, the greatest soul in England in his day, was not ambitious. "Corsica Boswell" displayed printed ribbons around her hat at public concerts; but old Samuel stayed at home, his soul wrapped up in his thoughts, in his sorrows, what could parades and ribbons on hats do for him?
Oh yes, I'll say it again: The great oneyetMen! When you look around at the noisy stupidity of the world, the meaningless words, the worthless actions, you love to think of the great empireStay quiet. The noble silent men, scattered here and there, each in his abode; think in silence, work in silence; of which no morning papers are mentioned! You are the salt of the earth. A country that has none or few of them is in a bad situation. Like a forest that had nostate; that everything turned into leaves and branches; which would soon wither and cease to be a forest. Woe to us if we don't have more than we canShow, or speak. Silence, the great realm of silence: higher than the stars; deeper than the realms of death! It's just big; everything else is small. I hope we Englishmen keep ourgreat talent for silence. May others, who cannot help but step on barrels, vomit and be seen by the whole market, exclusively cultivate their language, become a green forest without roots! Solomon says: It is time to speak; but also a time of silence. Of a great quiet Samuel, who was not urged to write, as old Samuel Johnson says he was, for instancelack of money, and nothing else, it may be asked, "Why don't you also stand up and speak, enact your system, start your sect?" "Actually," he will reply, "I amcontinentmy previous thoughts; Thankfully I still had the ability to keep it up, no compulsion strong enough to say it. My “system” is not primarily intended for implementation; is to serve myself to live. That's the big purpose of it for me. And then the "honor"? Sadly yes; but as cato said about the statue: so many statues in their forum, wouldn't it be better if they asked where is the statue of cato?
But now, as a counterweight to this silent thing, let me say that there are two kinds of ambition; the one wholly reprehensible, the other commendable and inevitable. Nature decreed that great and silent Samuel should not remain silent for long. The selfish desire to shine on others is seen as poor and miserable. "You seek great things, do not seek them": this is very true. And yet, I say, there is in every man an irrepressible tendency to grow up to the greatness which nature has created him; speak, act what nature has put in him. This is appropriate, proper, inevitable; it is more, it is a duty and even the summary of a man's duties. The purpose of life here on earth could be defined as follows: develop yourto be, to work on what you have the ability to do. It is a human need, the first law of our existence. Coleridge gently comments that the child is learningto speakHe feels that need. - We will say then: to decide whether ambition is bad or not, you must consider two things. Not just the desire for the place, but also the suitability of man to the place: that is the question. maybe the place wasThey are; perhaps he had a natural right and even a duty to seek out the place! Mirabeau's ambition to become prime minister, how can we blame him when he was "the only man in France who could have done any good there"? Maybe more hopeful if I hadn't made myself so clearsenseHow much good could he do! But a poor bully, who could do no good and even felt there was nothing he could do, but was heartbroken to have been thrown and was now free of it, Gibbon might as well weep for him. — Nature, I mean, has taken great pains to make the tall and still man take pains to speak to him;Alsowide, yes!
For example, imagine that you revealed to brave old Samuel Johnson in his veiled existence that it was possible for him to do an invaluable divine work for his country and for the whole world. May the perfect heavenly law become law on this earth; May the daily prayer "Thy kingdom come" finally be fulfilled! If you had convinced his judgment; that it was possible, practicable; which he, dark and silent Samuel, was called upon to participate. If the whole soul of man were not aflame with divine clearness, noble expression, and determination to action; Throwing all sorrows and scruples underfoot, Keeping all sorrows and contradictions small, All the dark element of his existence shining in an articulate glow of light and glare? That was a real ambition! And now think about what it really was like with Cromwell. Since ancient times, the sufferings of the church of God, true ministers, zealous for the truth, imprisoned, scourged, pilloried, ears cut off, the cause of the gospel of God trampled under foot by the unworthy: all weighed heavily on his soul. . For many years he thought about it silently in prayer; I see no healing on earth; trusting well that a cure would come from the goodness of heaven, that such a course was wrong and unjust, and could not last forever. And now he beholds his dawn; after twelve years of silent waiting, all England is excited; there will be a parliament again, the right will have its own voice: An unspeakable and well-founded hope has returned to the earth. Was it not worthwhile to be a member of such a parliament? Cromwell dropped his plows and hurried there.
He spoke there, harsh bursts of seriousness, of a truth that is seen where it is guessed. He worked there; he fought and fought, like a true giant strong of a man, through cannon volleys and all, over and over again, to the pointtrumps, his once mighty enemies swept before him, and the dawn of hope became the clear light of victory and certainty. OANDhe was there as the strongest soul in England, the undisputed hero of all England, and what about that? It was possible that the gospel law of Christ could now be established in the world! The theocracy that John Knox might dream of in his pulpit as a "godly notion" dared this practitioner, experienced in all the chaos of the harshest practice, to see it as possible.understood. Those who are at the head of the church of Christ, the wisest and most godly men, should rule the earth: to a considerable degree it might be so, and so it ought to be. It was not so?TRUE, the truth of God? And ifTRUEWasn't it the right thing to do at that time? The strongest practical intellect in England dared answer: Yes! That's what I call a true noble purpose; Is it not, in your own dialect, the noblest thing that can enter the heart of a statesman or man? Being accepted by a Knox was something; but for a Cromwell with his great sense of sound and experience of what our world iseras,—History, I believe, shows it to such an extent just this once. I consider it the height of Protestantism; the most heroic phase that "Believe in the Bible" must show here below. Imagine: that it was revealed to one of us how we could make good triumph supreme over evil, and all that we yearned and prayed, as the supreme good for England and all countries, an attainable fact!
Well I have to sayFüchsinThe intellect, with its knowledge, vigilance, and skill in "spotting hypocrites," seems to me a most deplorable thing. We had but one such statesman in England; a man, as far as I can see, who ever had such an intention in his heart. A man in the course of fifteen hundred years; and that was his reception. He had a hundred or ten followers; opponents in the millions. If England had rallied around him, well, England might have been one.CristianoCountry! As it is, common knowledge still stands on its hopeless problem: "To face a world of scoundrels, to get honesty from your common action"; What an annoying problem, seen in the Courts of Justice of the Chancellery and in some other places! Until finally, by heaven's just wrath, but also by heaven's great grace, things begin to stagnate; and this problem becomes one for all menpalpabledesperate.-
But as for Cromwell and his intentions, Hume and a multitude that follow him come to me with the admission that Cromwellerasfirst sincere; initially an outspoken "fan", but gradually became a "hypocrite" as things opened up around him. That of the fanatic-hypocrite is Hume's theory; widespread since then, about Muhammad and many others. Think seriously, you'll find something in it; not much, not all, not all by far. The hearts of sincere heroes do not sink in this pathetic way. The sun spits out impurities mysteriously encrusted with spots; but it does not go out and does not turn into the sun, but into a mass of darkness! Such a thing, I dare say, never happened to a great deep Cromwell; I never think the lion-hearted son of nature; Like Antaeus, his strength is gained throughtouch the earth, his mother; Raise him from the earth, raise him in hypocrisy, Inanity, his strength is gone. We will not claim that Cromwell was a spotless man; that he did not fall into error, nor lack sincerity among other things. He was not an amateur teacher of "perfection", "impeccable conduct". He was a tough Orson fighting his way through the real truth.to work,—undoubtedlywith many onefallenin that. Insincerity, mistakes, many daily and hourly mistakes: he was too familiar to him; of God and known by him! The sun has been eclipsed many times; but the sun itself has not developed any darkness. Cromwell's last words as he awaited death are those of a Christian hero. Broken prayers to God that He might judge him and this matter, He, since man could not, in justice, but in mercy. They are the most moving words. Exhaling his great wild soul, all his toils and sins now ended in the presence of his Maker.
For my part, I will not call this man a hypocrite! Hypocritical, false, his life a mere theater; empty and sterile charlatan hungry for the screams of the crowd? The man had let the darkness work for him too well until his head turned gray; and now theeras, there while he was there, perfectly acknowledging the virtual King of England. Can't a man do without the king's carriages and cloaks? Is it a blessing to have co-workers constantly pestering you with a bunch of paperwork? A simple Diocletian prefers to plant cabbage; a George Washington, not a very big man, does the same. You'd say it's what any real man could do; and would. The moment your real job was in matters of royalty, go away!
In the meantime, let us observe how everywhere indispensable areithat is, in all the motions of men. Surprisingly, this same war shows what happens to men when they can't find a leader but their enemies can. The Scottish nation was almost unanimous in Puritanism; jealous and unanimous about it, as has always been far from happening on this English tip of the island. But there wasn't a great Cromwell among them; poor, trembling, wavering, diplomatic, and Argyles alike: none of them had hearts sincere enough for the truth, nor dared to compromise with the truth. They had no leader; and the scattered company of knights in this country had one: Montrose, noblest of knights; an accomplished man with a brave and glorious heart; what can be called a Hero-Cavalier. Well, look at this; on the one hand, subjects without a king; on the other hand, a king without subjects! Subjects without a king can do nothing; the king without a subject can do anything. This Montrose, with a handful of Irish or Highlander savages, few of whom have weapons in their hands, advances like a wild whirlwind against the trained Puritan armies; he sweeps it off the field in front of him over and over again, about five times. He was lord of all of Scotland for a short time. A man; but he was a man; a million jealous men, but none; they were powerless against him! Perhaps of all people in this Puritan struggle, Cromwell was truly indispensable from beginning to end. See and dare and decide; to be a pillar in the maelstrom of uncertainty; a king among them, whether they call him that or not.
But this is exactly where Cromwell's problem lies. All his other methods have found supporters and are generally justified; but nobody can forgive him for this anca dismissal of the parliament and the assumption of the protectorate. He had grown up big enough to become King of England; Leader of the victorious party in England: but it seems he could not do without the king's mantle, and sold himself to ruin for it. Let's see how it went.
England, Scotland, Ireland all now at the foot of the Puritan Parliament, the practical question is: What to do with them? How will you govern these nations which providence has wonderfully placed at your disposal? Of course, those hundred surviving members of the Long Parliament who sit there in supreme authority cannot sit indefinitely. OesTo do? It was a question that builders of theoretical constitutions find easy to answer; but for Cromwell, looking at the actual practical facts, nothing could be more complicated. He asked Parliament: what would they decide? It was for Parliament to decide. But even the soldiers, as much as they opposed the formula that bought that victory with their blood, it seemed to them that they too should have a say! No "we will have to have nothing more than a small piece of paper for all our struggle". We understand that God's gospel law, which He has given the victory through us, is being or will attempt to be introduced into this land!
For three years, says Cromwell, the question has been ringing in the ears of Parliament. They couldn't answer; Nothing but talk, talk. Perhaps it is the nature of parliamentary bodies; perhaps no parliament can react in such a case, but speak, speak! But the question must and will be answered. You sixty men there, easily hated, even contemptible to the whole nation, which the nation is already calling parliamentary rump, you can no longer sit there: who or what next? "Free Parliament," suffrage, constitutional formulas of one kind or another, the matter is a hungry fact coming our way, to which we must respond, or we shall be devoured! And who are you, this chatter about constitutional formulas, parliamentary rights? You had to slay your king, carry out purges of the Pride, expel and banish by the law of the strongest those who did not prosper in your cause: there are not more than fifty or sixty of you left debating these days. Tell us what we're going to do; not in the form of a formula, but really practical!
How they finally reacted is still unclear. The industrious Godwin himself admits that he cannot understand it. In all probability this poor Parliament would not yet be dissolved and dispersed, and indeed could not be dissolved; that when the time came to disperse for the tenth or twentieth time, they put it off and Cromwell lost his temper. But we will take the most favorable hypothesis already advanced to Parliament; the cheapest, although I believe not the real one, but very cheap.
According to this version: In the most extreme crisis, when Cromwell and his officers were on one side and the fifty or sixty members of the Rump on the other, Cromwell was suddenly informed that the Rump was desperate.erasreacts in a unique way; that these men, in their great desperation and envy, at least to keep the army out, hastened to pass a kind of bill of reform through the House: Parliament would be elected by all England; fair distribution of votes in districts; free suffrage and all! Very questionable, or even verytheyan undeniable thing. Law reform, free suffrage for the English? Well, the royalists themselves, maybe silenced but not eradicatedoutnumberedus; the great numerical majority of England have always been indifferent to our cause, simply looking to it and submitting to it. We are in weight and strength not numbers we are outnumbered! And now, with their formulas and projects of reform, all matter hard won by our swords is thrown into the sea again; become mere hope and probabilitysomealso as a probability? And it's not a probability; It is a certainty that by the power of God and our own right hand we overcame, and now holdHere. Cromwell addressed these recalcitrant MPs; he stopped them at this fast pace of their reform project; he ordered them to go away and speak no more there. Can we not forgive him? Can't we understand? John Milton, who saw it all up close, was able to applaud him. Reality swept the formulas away from her. I imagine most men who were realities in England could see the need for it.
The strong and bold man, therefore, opposed all kinds of formulas and logical superficialities; You dare to appeal to the real fact of this England, will you support it or not? It is curious to see how he struggles to govern constitutionally; find a parliament that supports them; but he cannot. Their first parliament, which they call the barebones parliament, is one, so to speak,Call of the Notables. From every corner of England, Puritan chief ministers and officials are nominating the men most distinguished by their religious reputation, influence, and commitment to the real cause: they are meeting to hatch a plan. They approved the past; they shaped what was to come however they could. They were called with contemptparliament two barebones: the man's name was apparently notbare bones, but Barbone, a very good man. It wasn't a joke either, his job; it was a very serious reality, a test on the part of these noted Puritans as to how far the law of Christ could become the law of this England. Among them were sensible men, men of a certain quality; Men of deep piety, I suppose most of them were. They failed, it seems, and fell apart trying to reform the Court of Chancery! They resolved as incompetent; he returned his power to Lord General Cromwell to do as he pleased and could.
Owillpowerdo with it? Lord General Cromwell, "Commander-in-Chief of all forces established and to be raised"; he sees himself at this unprecedented point as the only available authority in England, nothing between England and total anarchy but himself. That is the undeniable fact of his and England's position here and there. What are you going to do with it? After consultation, you decide to goto acceptHe; he will formally say with public solemnity, and swear before God and before men, "Yes, the fact is so, and I will do my best about it!" Guardianship, instrument of government, these are the external forms of the thing; Drawn up and sanctioned according to the circumstances, by the judges, by the chiefs, by the "Council of Officials and Persons of Interest of the Nation": and as for the matter itself, it is undeniable that the matter is now settled came oh thereerasthere is no alternative but anarchy or something like that. Puritan England may or may not accept it; but Puritan England was really saved from suicide by her! I think the Puritan people accepted this anomalous act of Oliver's in an inarticulate, argumentative, but generally grateful and honest way; at least he and she got along well together and kept getting better until the end. But in your parliamentaryarticularSomehow they had their difficulties and never really knew what to say to them -!
Oliver's second parliament, actually hisFirstThe Ordinary Assembly, elected according to the rule contained in the Instrument of Government, met and functioned; but he soon became embroiled in bottomless matters as to the position of the Protector.INTESTINE, relating to "usurpation," etc.; and he had to be fired on the legal first day. Cromwell's final speech to these men is remarkable. So also to his third parliament, on similar charges of his pedantry and stubbornness. All these speeches are very coarse and chaotic; but looking more serious. You'd say he was a genuine misfit; I'm not used to itto speakhis great inorganic thought, but act! An impotence of expression in such an explosion of meaning. He talks a lot about the "births of providence": all these changes, so many victories and events, were they not the predictions and jokes of men, ofMichor by men; it is the blind blasphemers who will insist on calling them that! He insists on it with heavy, angry, sulphurous emphasis. As well as it could. As if a Cromwell had thrown the world around him into complete chaos in that great dark game he played.saw the futureeverything, and he performed it all like a ready-made puppet show made of wood and wire. Nobody foresaw these things, he says; none could say what it would one day bring: they were "births of providence," the finger of God guided us, and at last we reached the summit of victory, God's cause triumphant in these nations; and you, as Parliament, could get together and say how it all could beorganized, reduced to rational viability among people's affairs. You must help with your wise advice. "You had an opportunity like no Parliament in England ever had." The law of Christ, the Just and True, would become, as it were, the law of this land. Instead, you were caught up in your vain pedantry, constitutionalism, bottomless musings, and questions about the laws written for my coming here; and you would throw everything into chaos again, for I have no notary's parchment, only the voice of God coming out of the whirlpool of battle to be president among you! That opportunity is over; and we do not know when he will return. You had your constitutional logic; and the law of mammon, not the law of Christ, still reigns in this land. "God be judge between you and me!" These are his last words to them: Take your constitutional formulas; and I mean informal struggles, intentions, realities and actions; and "God be judge between you and me!"
We said above what amorphous, confused, and chaotic things Cromwell's printed speeches are.intentionallyambiguous, incomprehensible, to say the least: a hypocrite tangled in confusing Jesuit jargon! You don't seem like me. I prefer to say that they gave me my first glimpse of the reality of this Cromwell, or rather the possibility of it. Try to believe it means something, seek with love what it might be: you will find some truthNetworkgetting caught up in these annoying, grossly broken statements; a meaning in the great heart of this inarticulate man! You will see for the first time that he was a man; no mysterious chimera, incomprehensible to you, unbelievable to you. This Cromwell's written histories and biographies, written for superficial and skeptical generations who did not know or could not imagine a man of deep faith, are much moredarkthan Cromwell's speeches. You only see through them in the infinite blur of black and void. "Heat and jealousy," says Lord Clarendon himself: "Jealousy and jealousy," mere whims, theories, and ill-tempered extravagances; it caused slow, sober, quiet Englishmen to abandon their plows and their work; and fly in the red fury of the tangled war against the best kings!To tryif you can find it true Skepticism in writing about faith can have great gifts; but it's realultra virusThere. It is blindness that establishes the laws of optics.—
Cromwell's third Parliament was split on the same rock as the second. Always the constitutional formula: how did you come to this? Show us a notarial parchment! Blind Pedants: "Well, surely the same power that makes you a Parliament, and something else, made me a Protector!" If my protectorate is nothing, what the hell is your parliamentary status a reflection and creation of?
After the parliaments fell, there was nothing left but the path of arbitrariness. Military dictators, each with their territoryForceroyalists and other opponents to rule them, if not by an act of parliament, then by the sword. The formula mustNOwear it when reality is here! I will go on, protecting oppressed Protestants abroad, appointing just judges and wise stewards at home, and valuing true ministers of the gospel; to do what we can to make England a Christian England, greater than ancient Rome, the queen of Protestant Christianity; me, since you will not help me; Me while God abandons my life! - Why he didn't give up; retreat into the darkness since the law would not recognize him? cry several. There they are wrong. There was no way he could give up! Prime ministers ruled countries, Pitt, Pombal, Choiseul; and his word was law as long as it was kept: but this prime minister was one whocouldn't give up. That as soon as he stopped, Charles Stuart and the Cavaliers were waiting to kill him; kill the causejhe. Once shipped, there are no withdrawals or returns. This prime minister couldretirenowhere except for your grave.
One feels sorry for Cromwell in his old age. His lamentation is unceasing because of the heavy burden that Providence has placed on him. Difficult; which must lead to death. Old Colonel Hutchinson, as related by his wife Hutchinson, his former comrade-in-arms, came to visit him very much against his will on an indispensable matter, Cromwell "follows him to the door," in the most fraternal, domestic, and merciful manner. path . Style; he asks her to reconcile with him, her old brother-in-arms; he tells how it hurts to be misunderstood, abandoned by true comrades who are dear to him: the strict Hutchinson, wrapped in his republican formula, taciturn goes his way. And the man's head is white now; His strong arm is getting tired from his long work! I always think of your poor mother, who is very old and lives in her palace; a beautiful brave woman; for indeed they all lived there in an honest and pious house: when he heard a shot he thought it was his dead son. He had to come to her at least once a day so that she could see with her own eyes that he was still alive. Poor mother! What has this man gained! what did he win? He had a life of painful struggles and difficulties until his last day. Fame, ambition, place in history? His body was hung in chains, his "place in history" - indeed, a place in history! – it was a place of shame, accusation, blackness and disgrace; and who knows whether it is not imprudent of me to be among the first today to dare to pronounce him not a scoundrel and a liar, but a really honest man. peace be upon him. After all, hasn't he done a lot for us?Uswalk softly in your big rough heroic life; I step over his sunken body there in the ditch. we do not needWastehim as we step on him! - Let the hero rest. it was not forHerrenappeal sentence; nor did the people judge him very highly.
Exactly a century and a year after that Puritan cause had been silenced with decent composure and its consequences mitigated, a much deeper explosion broke out in 1688, much harder to silence, known to all mortals and known to all mortals for a long time. under the name French Revolution. Indeed, it is the third and last act of Protestantism; the explosive and bewildered return of humanity to reality and fact, now that it has perished in appearances and falsehoods. We call our English Puritanism Act Two: "Well, the Bible is true; let's go to the Bible!" "In the church," said Luther; "In church and state," said Cromwell, "let us seek something realesThe truth of God." Men must return to reality; they cannot live on appearances. The French Revolution, or third act, we may well call it the last; because it is inferior to this savageSankulotismusmen cannot walk. They are there in the most naked and emaciated fact, undeniable in all seasons and circumstances; and you can and should start over with confidence to build. The French outburst, like the English one, caught their king, who had no authenticated parchment to show for it. We must look a moment longer at Napoleon, our second modern king.
Napoleon does not strike me as a great man like Cromwell. His tremendous victories, reaching all over Europe while Cromwell was mainly in our little England, are nothing more than the sublimestiltsin which the man is seen standing; the stature of man is not altered by it. I don't see it in himsincerityas in Cromwell; just a very inferior guy. No walking in silence for long years with the terrible unspeakables of this universe; "walking with God", as he called it; and faith and strength only in this:latentThoughts and courage that slept happily then burst like a bolt from the sky! Napoleon lived at a time when people no longer believed in God; The meaning of all stillness, latency, was seen as inessential: it should not emanate from the puritanical Bible, but from poor skeptics.encyclopedias. That was the length the man wore. It's worth getting here. His compact, quick, articulate character is perhaps small in every way compared to our large, chaotic, inarticulate Cromwell. Instead of a "foolish prophet struggling to speak", we have a sinister quack mix! Hume's notion of the fanatic-hypocrite, for all its truth, will apply far better to Napoleon than to Cromwell, Mohammed, or the like, where in fact, strictly speaking, it contains little truth. An element of reprehensible ambition is evident in this man from the start; he finally gets the victory over him and ruins him and his work.
"Forgery like a bulletin" became a saying in Napoleonic times. He makes all sorts of excuses for this: that it was necessary to deceive the enemy, keep up the courage of his own men, &c. In general, there are no excuses. A man is by no means free to tell lies. Went for the long haulto improveeven for Napoleon if he had said no. Indeed, if a man has any purpose beyond the hour and the day, he is destined to be found in existence.nextHey, what's the use of spreading lies? Lies are discovered; a fatal punishment is inflicted on them. Nobody will believe the liar next time, even if he is telling the truth, when it is of the utmost importance that he believes it. The old cry of the wolf! A lie is nothing; you cannot make anything out of nothing; They doanythingeventually and loses his job in the business.
Allerdings Napoleontivea sincerity: we must distinguish between the superficial and the fundamental in the lack of sincerity. From these many and very reprehensible external maneuvers and gossip, it is evident that the man had a certain instinctive and indelible sense of reality; and it was based on facts, as long as it had a basis. He has a better instinct for nature than his culture. To bescholars, Bourrienne tells us, one night on that trip to Egypt we were too busy arguing that God cannot exist. They had proved it, to their satisfaction, with all sorts of logic. Napoleon looks at the stars and replies: "Very bright, gentlemen: butwho wasall this?” Atheistic logic runs away from him like water; the great fact stares him in the face: "Who did all this?" So also in practice: he, like any man who can be great or achieve victory in the world, sees through all the intricacies to the practical heart of the matter, he goes straight to it. When the butler of his palace at the Tuileries showed the new tapestry, with praise and demonstrations of how splendid it was and also how cheap it was, Napoleon, who had little response, asked for a pair of scissors, cut one of the golden tassels from a window curtain, and put it in his pocket and went on. Upholsterer, it wasn't gold, it was tinsel! Santa Elena, it's remarkable how, until her last days, she still insisted on the practical, on the real, above all, why fight with each other?Resultin that; nothing comes from what you canAgain. Say nothing when nothing can be done!" Thus he often speaks to his poor and disaffected followers; he is there as a hunk of silent strength amidst their plaintive morbidity.
And consequently there was not what we can callzBin it, really, how far did it go? That this huge new democracy here reaffirmed in the French Revolution is an irrepressible fact which the whole world cannot stifle with its old powers and institutions; this was a real insight from him, and it took his attention and enthusiasm with it, azB. And you misunderstood the vague meaning? "The open race for talent, The tools for those who know how to handle it: "This is the truth, and even the whole truth; it contains everything that the French Revolution or any revolution can mean. Napoleon was a true democrat in his first term. nature, which was also emboldened by his military occupation, he knew that democracy, if it were a true thing, could not be anarchy: the man had a sincere hatred of anarchy.) He and Bourrienne sat in a cafe as the crowd passed .: Napoleon expresses deepest contempt for authority figures who do not restrain this crowd On 10 August he wonders why there is no man to command these poor Swiss, they would defeat them if they existed Such a belief in democracy but hatred of anarchy, is what guided Napoleon throughout his great work.Throughout his brilliant Italian campaigns, right up to the Peace of Leoben, his inspiration would be said: "Triumph of the French Revolution; however, he feels and is entitled to feel the need for strong authority; how without them the revolution cannot prosper or last. this great and self-devouring French Revolution;Richterher, that her true purpose may be fulfilled, that she may becomeorganicand be able to live among other organisms andeducatedThings, not just lavish destruction: this is not yet what you have partly aspired to as the true purpose of your life; well what did you really do? By Wagrams, Austerlitzes; Triumph after triumph, triumphs so far. There was an eye in this man, a soul to dare and do. He, of course, rose to become king. All men saw himerassimilar. Ordinary soldiers used to say on the march, "This chatterlawyers, in Paris; All talk and no work! What a miracle that everything works wrong? We should go and put oursmall cableThere!" They went and put there; they and France at liberty. Head of the Consulate, Emperor, Victory over Europe; -And PheraeHe might, of course, look to himself as the greatest of all men that had been in the world for a few centuries.
But at this point, I believe the fatal quack element has taken over. Abandoning his former belief in facts, he devoted himself to belief in appearances; he aspired to associate himself with the Austrian dynasties, the popes, with the old false feudalities which he had once clearly recognized as false; I think thatANDhe would start “his dynasty” and so on; that the mighty French Revolution meant just that! The man was given "a strong delusion to believe the lie"; a scary thing, but very safe. He couldn't tell right from wrong now when he looked at her, the most terrible penalty a man pays for giving in to the heart's falsehood.To beand false ambition has now become its god: self-deception that once gave way,noother disappointments naturally follow more and more. What a pathetic patchwork of theatrical paper coats, tinsel and farce this man has put into his own great reality and thought to make it even more real that way! his holeApproved by the Pope, which professed to be a restoration of Catholicism, he himself found to be the method of eradicating it,"the religious vaccine:" their ceremonial coronations, enshrinement of the ancient Italian chimera at Notre-Dame, "nothing was lacking to complete the splendor of it," as Augereau said, "nothing but the half-million men who died to end it prepare everything"! of Cromwell was by the sword and the bible; what really must we callTRUEone. The sword and the Bible were brought before him without any chimera: were they not thoserealemblems of Puritanism; its true decoration and insignia? He had used both of them in very real ways and he intended to support them now! But that poor Napoleon was wrong: he believed in them too much.duplicityof men; I saw no deeper fact in man than hunger and that! I was wrong. like a man who must build on the cloud; he and his house are confused and leave the world.
Unfortunately, there is that charlatan element in all of us; ANDit coulddevelop if the temptation is strong enough. "Lead us not into temptation"! But it is fatal, I say, thatto bedeveloped. The thing it enters into as a knowable part is doomed to be wholly impermanent; and no matter how big it isver, is itself small. So what was Napoleon's job with all the noise he was making? A flash like scattered gunpowder; a burning like dry heather. For an hour the whole universe seems to be enveloped in smoke and flame; but only for an hour. It is dying: the universe is still there with its ancient mountains and streams, its stars above and its friendly soil below.
The Duke of Weimar always exhorted his friends to courage; that napoleonism wasunfair, a lie, and it could not last. It is a true teaching. The more this Napoleon trampled the world underfoot and tyrannically repressed it, the more violent would one day the world recoil against him. Injustice pays off with horrendous compound interest. I'm not sure, but it's better that he lose his best artillery park or his best regiment drown in the sea than shoot that poor German bookseller Palm! It was a palpable, tyrannical, murderous injustice that no man an inch thick could say was any other. He burned deep into people's hearts, this and things like that; Suppressed fire flashed in the men's eyes as they thought of him and looked forward to his day! Which dayWein: Germany rose around him. – Which Napoleonto bewill, in the long run, conform to what he has done right; what nature will sanction with her laws. to what was really in it; about that and nothing else. The rest was just smoke and garbage.The open race for talent: This great true message, which has not yet been articulated and everywhere fulfilled, has left it in a very unarticulated state. he was greatebach, an unfinished project; like really, what a great man is another? left insideAlsoa rude condition, unfortunately!
His view of the world expressed there in Santa Elena is almost tragic to behold. He seems to feel the most natural surprise that it should have turned out in this way; that he is thrown on the rock here and the world is still turning on its axis. France is big and grand: and basically it is France. England itself, he says, is by nature but an appendage of France; "another island of Oléron for France". then went toNature, of a Napoleonic nature; and yet, see how I AM really HERE! He cannot understand: it is inconceivable that reality did not correspond to his program; that France wasn't big at all, that he wasn't France. "Strong illusion" to believe that the thing is somethingesNO! The compact, shrewd, resolute, strong and genuinely Italian nature he once had is shrouded, half-dissolved, in a dark atmosphere of French swagger. The world could not be trampled on; strung together in masses and built together whenANDas a pedestal for France and for him: the world had other purposes! Napoleon's astonishment is great. But alas, what helps now? He had gone this way; and nature also went his way. Once disconnected from reality, he falls helplessly into the void; there is no ransom for him. He had to sink there, sad as rarely a human being; and break his big heart, and die, that poor Napoleon: a great instrument wasted too soon to be of no use: our last great man!
Our last, in two senses. For here, at last, our long journeys through so many times and places in the search and study of heroes must end. I'm sorry: this business has brought me joy, but also a lot of pain. It is a big subject, and a very serious and broad one, which I mentioned not to take too seriously.hero worship. I believe it deepens the mystery of mankind's ways and this world's vital interests and is worth explaining now. We could have done better with six months instead of six days. I promised to start building; I don't know if I made it. I had to break it the rudest way to get in. Often their tolerance was tested when these blunt statements were isolated and dismissed without explanation. Forbearance, patient frankness, favor and kindness that await everyone, of which I will not speak now. The talented and distinguished, the beautiful, the wise, some of the best in England, patiently listened to my blunt words. With many feelings, I sincerely thank you all; and say: good with you all!