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Latter-Day Pamphlets

Thomas Carlyle

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I thus do! More humanity, I say, more of manhood, and of sense for what the dignity of man demands imperatively of you and of me and of us all. We call it charity, beneficence, and other fine names, this brutish Workhouse Scheme of ours; and it is but sluggish heartlessness, and insincerity, and cowardly lowness of soul. Not 'humanity' or manhood, I think; perhaps apehood rather,—paltry imitancy, from the teeth outward, of what our heart never felt nor our understanding ever saw; dim indolent adherence to extraneous and extinct traditions; traditions now really about extinct; not living now to almost any of us, and still haunting with their spectralities and gibbering ghosts (in a truly baleful manner) almost all of us! Making this our struggling 'Twelfth Hour of the Night' inexpressibly hideous!—

"But as for you, my indigent incompetent friends, I have to repeat with sorrow, but with perfect clearness, what is plainly undeniable, and is even clamor. . . Read More

Community Reviews

"If you could not get it spoken, if you could still constrain it into silence, so much the richer are you. Better keep your idea while you can: let it still circulate in your blood, and there fructify; inarticulately inciting you to good activities; giving to your whole spiritual life a ruddier heal

This was the best Carlyle that I've yet read, handily beating out Chartism in particular amongst the longer works.

The first 'pamphlet', The Present Time, is probably the most enjoyable of the bunch. It is full of prescient insight and literary flourish (Stump-Orator stands out in my memory as well)

So friggin' good. No one writes like this anymore - no one! Read if you want a fresh perspective on history and want to wrangle with dangerous ideas.

Lots of verbiage, relatively low on content. Some insights were OK. Hard to read, overall.