84 THE CLASS STRUGGLE Alas, the defect, as we must often urge and again urge, is less a defect of telescopes than of some eyesight. Those superstitious blackheads of the Twelth Century had no telescopes, but they had still an eye; not ballot boxes, but reverence for Worth, abhonence of Unworth. It is the way with all barbarians.
In a society in which true Governors ruled it was only natural that justice should be done, everyone receiving his due, according to his station and deserts. Feudal Airistocracy is still alive, in the prime of life; superintending the cultivation of the land, and less consciously the distribution of the produce of the land, the adjustment of the quarrels of the land; judging, soldiering, adjusting; everywhere governing the people so that even a Gurth. born thrall of Cedric, lack: not his due paring; of the pigs he tends. Gurth, born tln all of Cedric the Saxon, has been greatly pitied by Dryasdust and others. Gurth, with the brass collar round his neck, tending Cedric pigs in the glades of the woods, is not what call an exemplar of human felicity; but Gurth, with the sky above him, with the free air and tinted bonage and umbrage round him, and in him at least the certainty of supper and social lodging when he came home; Gurth to me seems happy, in comparison with a Lancashire and Buckinghamshirc man of these days, not born thrall of anybody! Gurth brass collar did not gall him; Cedric deserved to be his master. The pigs were Cedric s, but Gurth too would get his parings of them. Gurth had the inexpressible satisfaction of feeling himself related indissolubly, though in a rude brass collar way, to his fellow mortals in this Earth. He had superiors, inferiors, equals. Gurth is now emancipated long since; has what we call Liberty.
Liberty, am told, is a divine thing. Liberty when it becomes Liberty to die by starvation is not so divine.
Carlyle cares very little for such sham Liberty. In fact, he cares very little for liberty altogether. Or, to be more exact, he has his own definition of liberty, a definition which makes it compatible with Despotism, in fact inseparable from it. Liberty? exclaims Carlyle. The true liberty of a man, you would say, consisted in his finding out, or being forced to find THE COMMON ENEMY 85 out, the right path, and to walk thereon. To learn, or to be taught, what work he actually was able for, and then by permissxon, persuasion, and even compulsion, to set about doing of the same. 0, if thou really art my Senior, Seigneur my Elder; Presbyter or Priest, if thou art in very deed my irer may a beneficent instinct lead and impel thee to conquer me, to command me! If thou do know better than what is good and right, conjure thee in the name of God, force me to do it; were it by never such brass collars, whips and handcufis leave me not to walk over precipices.
It is therefore well that there are in this world wiser men than we, the monnona lty, are, and who, by their wisdom and courage, keep us from falling over precipices. All glory to theml conscious abhorrence and intolerance of Folly, of Baseness Empidity, Poltroonery and that brood of things, says Carlyle, dwells deep in some men: still deeper in others an unconscious abhorrence and intolerance, clothed moreover by the beneficent Supreme Powers in what stout appetites, energies, egoisms socalled, are suitable to it; these latter are your Conquerors Romans, lNorrnans, Russians, Indo English; Founders of wha we call Aristocracies. Which indeed have they not the most divine t to found; being themselves very truly Art mi, Bravest Best; and conquering generally a. confused rabble of Worst 0;at lowest, clearly enough, of Worse? think their divine right tried, With affirmatory verdict, in the greatest Law Court known to me, was good! class of men who are dreadfully exclaimed against by Dryasdust, of whom nevertheless beneficcnt Nature has oftentimes had need; and may, alas, again have need.
During the Middle Ages, under Feudalism, when the trul Brave ruled in England, government had, therefore, aims. reached to perfection, notwithstanding the otherwise limited character of that society. spiritual Guideship, a practical Governorship, fruit of the grand conscious endeavors, say rather of the immeasurable unconscious instincts and necessities of men, have established themselves; very strange to behold. Truly, exclaims Carlyle, we cannot enough admire in those