Professor TYNDALL’s words in unveiling the statue of Carlyle will  contribute
to a national object, the extrication of CARLYLE’s memory from the  rubbish
heaps of a barren and hateful controversy.

 “The cloud passes away, and the mountain in its solid grandeur  remains; and
thus, when all the temporary dust is laid, will stand out, erect  and clear,
the massive figure of CARLYLE.”

 It is only to be hoped that CARLYLE, when the dust of personal  controversy
is laid, will not be made the stalking horse of political  controversy.

 His true greatness consists, as Professor TYNDALL justly said, in the  
spirit of his teaching, and not in its particular precepts. He was a “dynamic,  not
a didactic” force, and will have his admirers and disciples among men of all  
political creeds, perhaps especially among those who differ most widely from
his  own application of his principles to the question of his day.


 It is, of course, only natural that the Conservatives should make a  claim
to CARLYLE, and Professor TYNDALL furnished them with a text. “He saw,”  said
the professor, “the vanity of expecting political wisdom from intellectual  
ignorance, however backed by numbers.”

 He saw, however, with equal clearness the vanity of expecting  political
improvement from privileged classes without pressure from below.  CARLYLE was all
for an ideal aristocracy, but who is not? But he was perhaps the  bitterest
satirist of actual aristocracies, past or present, that ever  lived.  His sole
political principle was a burning desire for intellectual  and moral elevation
of the people. That object is of course,  equally  professed by all parties,
but what is distinctly Liberal in CARLYLE is his  intense zeal in its pursuit,
his intolerance of present evils, his contempt, or  rather positive disbelief
in the reality of the obstacles to reform.

 The tenderness for vested interests, even when they conflict with the  
public good, the denial of the power of human effort to make great immediate  
changes in human condition, were as foreign to CARLYLE as to the keenest  Radical.
One would have liked to hear him on the liberty and Property Defence  League,
or on the distorted Darwinism so fashionable now as a Conservative  argument.