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hold in his hand 200,000 men and a thousand cannon, motionless, a whole summer through, until the object for which seas of blood might perhaps have been shed in vain, was effected at no cost at all, and Germany built firmly up into a solid confederacy, defying, for the time and for the rest of Frederic's life, all that Austrian ambition and perseverance might effect. These seem to us triumphs almost as great as those of the Seven Years' War itself; and their true import and bearing cannot be more ably pointed out than they are by Mr. Carlyle, though always in his cynical way :
• The Prussian army was full of ardour, never abler "for fight” (insists Schmettau), which indeed seems to have been the fact on every small occasion : " but fatally forbidden to try!” Not so fatally, perhaps, had Schmettau looked beyond his epaulettes: was not the thing, by that slow method, got done? By the swifter method, awakening a new Seven Years business, how infinitely costlier might it have been !' (vi. 603).
But, independently of Kartoffel-Krieg and Fürstenbund, and looking to domestic history only, for an admirer of the character and abilities of Frederic as a sovereign these are years
of scarcely less value than those of his most brilliant activity. One longs to get behind the veil which writers of unrivalled superficiality and stupidity (those to whom we have generally to turn for the political outlines of his life) have contrived to throw over everything really worth knowing about him and his subjects : one longs to know the details of his mode of government, administration, finance. And, for our own parts, we have a particular anxiety to attain something like a satisfactory notion of the progress of society under his reign: in what way those two master movements—the erection of a new first-rate Prussian power in politics, the erection of a new literature and a new world of thought in Germany-absolutely contemporaneous, and yet seeming to touch each other at so few points-really proceeded in unison, and what they had in common. We should have had some satisfaction, even in the less ambitious occupation of tracing the growth of Berlin from insignificance to splendour on its Sahara-like site-of Silesia from a dismal region of feudal deeay and obstruction to one of the wealthiest provinces, both in agricultural and commercial prosperity, which Europe has to show. Unfortunately, we inust say it, Mr. Carlyle leaves us entirely without help on these and similar questions. Whether he is really so gluttonous an amateur of military details as to think that every forgotten skirmish in the Bohemian mountains requires to be embalmed in long pages, while the various stages
of social progress and civil administration are below the notice of the historian of a hero : or whether, as we are rather inclined to conjecture, he has become in this sixth volume thoroughly tired of his work: the fact is at all events so: and it is precisely our admiration of Mr. Carlyle, our sense of his singular originality of judgment on human affairs, and of the power which he possesses beyond almost all men of projecting himself into the past as he describes it, which causes us to regret it the more deeply.
Mr. Carlyle, however, as himself would say, can only do his work in his own appointed fashion; and, in this fashion, he beckons his disciples onward to partake in the last scene of allthe exit of his hero. His death,' we are told, 'seems very stern and lonely; a man of such affectionate feelings, too; a with more sensibility than other men! But so had his whole life been, stern and lonely. Who made it so ? He had indeed outlived his companions of early life, we cannot call them his friends—but to most men, of even ordinary sensibility,' there arises a second crop in old age of younger lives, in which they take an interest often far exceeding that with which they watched the fortunes of their contemporaries. To Frederic this most interesting chapter of human existence was all but absolutely sealed. He had cared little for those who had grown by his side ; he cared less (pace Mr. Carlyle and his one or two stories about great nephews) for those who were to come after him. His affectionate relations with one or two female members of his family, of which Mr. Carlyle makes the most, were almost entirely confined to correspondence--for their society he never seems to have wished. With his brothers, especially the generous Prince Henry, he appears to have been, particularly towards the end of his life, on terms of systematic coldness. Of his relations with his wife, in the latter part of his reign, Mr. Carlyle, his admirer, shall himself speak :
• When the King, after the Seven Years' War, now and then, in Carnival season, dined with the Queen in her apartments, he usually said not a word to her. He merely, on entering, on sitting down at table and leaving it, made the customary bows, and sat opposite to her. Once (in the Seventies) the Queen was ill of gout: table was in her apartments ....On this occasion the King stepped up to the Queen, and inquired about her health! The circumstance occasioned among the company present, and all over the town as the news spread, great wonder and sympathy! This is probably the last time he ever spoke to her.'
In this frame of mind, more and more solitary and saturnine,
he made himself ready, in his stern way, to confront the last enemy :
· He well knew that he was dying: but, some think, expected that the end might be a little farther off. There is a grand simplicity of stoicism in him : coming as if by nature, or by long second nature : finely unconscious of itself, and finding nothing of peculiar in this new trial laid on it. From of old, life has been infinitely contemptible to him. In death, I think, he has neither fear nor hope. Atheism, truly, he never could abide; to him, as to all of us, it was flatly inconceivable that intellect, moral emotion, could have been put into us by an Entity that had none of its own. But there, pretty much, his Theism seems to have stopped. Instinctively, too, he believed, no man more firmly, that Right alone has ultimately any strength in this world : ultimately, yes : but for him and his poor brief interests, what good was it? Hope for himself in Divine Justice, in Divine Providence, I think he had not particularly any : that the unfathomable Demiurgus should concern himself with such a set of paltry ill-given animalcules as oneself and mankind are, this also, as we have often noticed, is in the main incredible to him. A sad creed this of the king's: he had to do his duty without fee or reward. Yes, reader, and, what is well worthy your attention, you will have difficulty to find, in the annals of any creed, a king or man who stood more faithfully to his duty; and, till the last hour, alone concerned himself with doing that.' (vi. 686).
Thus far, at all events, we agree with Mr. Carlyle: that there is something of the awful in the contemplation of the last years of this strange great man's life and activity. Without love in this world, without hope in the next; inexpressibly weary of life, and having long outlived its illusions : without interests, without objects, without companions; we find him still living and working on, still straining every nerve in the performance, even to the uttermost farthing, of his rigid, self-imposed debt of duty, labouring like the journeyman whose task-work has to be done ere the night approaches, though others, for whom he cares not an atom, are to reap whatever of benefit may result from it : a spectacle perhaps without example in the history of sovereigns, and one which disposes us to part with Frederic on terms of more heartfelt, though still distant, reverence, than all Mr. Carlyle's vehement demands on our admiration could possibly extort from us.
Differing, as we must do, widely from him in our estimate of his hero's character, and in our estimate, also, of the historical interest and importance of a vast proportion of the heavy details which he has dragged so painfully to light, we cannot nevertheless lay down his book without regret at parting with an animated and interesting companion, or without increased respect for the extraordinary power which he has lavished on what seems
to us so intractable a subject. As a writer, Mr. Carlyle's fame is established: criticism has done its worst on him: imitation and flattery have done their worst also : in this character
nothing can touch him farther,' and we certainly shall not profane the great work before us by the slight handling of an ordinary review. Enough to say, that, after forming the literary taste of England and America to an extent which no contemporary (unless, possibly, one of a very different class, Macaulay) has approached, he has become, while yet alive and at work among us, something of a classic. His peculiar style and mannerism seem already things of the past to this generation. Imitators of Carlyle abounded not many years ago, and a serious infliction they became. They are already comparatively rare. It is something strange to see the great Master himself stepping forward, after years of silence, and occupying again the same field which his very followers had deserted; to trace, in his own pages, the very same strange but impressive diction, the same tours de force of style, and the same settled eccentricities of thought, not softened in the least degree by age or disuse, which we had already begun to regard as antiquated in those who took them up at second hand. It is like the return of the magician, in Goethe's ballad, to the house which he had abandoned to the experiments of his foolish and conceited apprentices, and his calm resumption of authority over the spirits which others might call, but he alone could control when called :
Denn, als Geister,
Art. IX.-1. Reports of the Medical Officer of the Privy Council,
1858-1864. 2. Transactions of the National Association for the Promotion of
Social Science. 3. A Manual of Practical Hygiene, Prepared especially for Use
in the Medical Service of the Army. By E. A. Parkes, M.D.,
F.R.S. London, 1864. 4. The Laws relating to Public Health, Sanitary, Medical,
Protective; also Notes, Forms, and Practical Instructions. By Thomas Baker, Esq., of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law,
&c. &c. London, 1865. 5. The Metropolis Local Management Acts, with Introduction,
Notes, and an Appendix, sc. By E. H. Woolrych, of the Middle Temple, Esq., one of the Metropolitan Police Magistrates. London, 1863.
6. London Shadows; or, the Homes of the Thousands. By
George Godwin, F.R.S., Editor of the · Builder.' London,
1854.. 7. Town Swamps and Social Bridges, the Sequel of a Glance at
the Homes of the Thousands. By George Godwin, F.R.S.
London, 1859. 8. Another Blow for Life. By George Godwin, F.R.S. London,
1864. 9. Publications of the Ladies' Sanitary Association. London.
T has often been said that one-half of the inhabitants of
London know not how the other half live. truth it may be said that they know not how they die. Not only the struggle for food, the battle against want in reference to which the words were no doubt originally used in the East, is unknown to the well-fed dweller in the West; but the long slow fight—too often the losing fight—with debility and disease in the ill-drained, overcrowded, tenements of the poorer districts, sounds like a gloomy fable to the ears of those who inhabit Belgravia and Tyburnia. True, much has been done of late years to mitigate the unwholesome conditions under which the poorer classes live, but much remains to be done.
The appearance of the cholera in this country in 1831 gave probably the first impetus of any consequence to sanitary researches. Scared by the appearance of the pestilence, persons of ordinary education began to think that after all there might be some worse effect from an overflowing cesspool than an undesirable odour. It began to strike people that if the water of a town was supplied from sources contaminated by animal matter, there might possibly be more serious consequences than a flatness of taste. They had yet, indeed, to learn what we now know, that the most cool and agreeable water may be impregnated with the elements of mischief. But happily, in a large number of cases, both of bad water supply and bad drainage, there is a felt inconvenience to the senses, and these cases suggested general inquiries, which eventually traced lurking sources of malaria even where the senses gave no alarm. It was long, however, before sanitary science made sufficient progress to announce certain and definite discoveries. In the mean time the cholera had departed, and the bulk of the nation ceased to feel any very keen interest in the matter. But by slow degrees men of science made themselves heard, and men of action began to take up the subject as one of practical value.
In the year 1839 appeared the first Report of the RegistrarGeneral, and about the same time the fourth Report of the Poorlaw Commission was given to the world. These were noticed