The French Revolution

The French Revolution

3.3 11
by Thomas Carlyle
     
 

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The book that established Thomas Carlyle’s reputation when first published in 1837, this spectacular historical masterpiece has since been accepted as the standard work on the subject. It combines a shrewd insight into character, a vivid realization of the picturesque, and a singular ability to bring the past to blazing life, making it a reading experience as… See more details below

Overview

The book that established Thomas Carlyle’s reputation when first published in 1837, this spectacular historical masterpiece has since been accepted as the standard work on the subject. It combines a shrewd insight into character, a vivid realization of the picturesque, and a singular ability to bring the past to blazing life, making it a reading experience as thrilling as any novel. As John D. Rosenberg observes in his Introduction, The French Revolution is “one of the grand poems of [Carlyle’s] century, yet its poetry consists in being everywhere scrupulously rooted in historical fact.”

This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition, complete and unabridged, is unavailable anywhere else.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940025408574
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

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CHAPTER II. REALISED IDEALS. SuOH a changed France have we; and a changed Louis. Changed, truly; and farther than thou yet seest! To the eye of History many things, in that sick-room of Louis, are now visible, which to the Courtiers there present were invisible. For indeed it is well said, 'in every object there ' is inexhaustible meaning; the eye sees in it what the eye ' brings means of seeing.' To Newton and to Newton's Dog Diamond, what a different pair of Universes; while the painting on the optical retina of both was, most likely, the same! Let the Reader here, in this sick-room of Louis, endeavour to look with the mind too. Time was when men could (so to speak) of a given man, by nourishing and decorating him with fit appliances, to the due pitch, make themselves a King, almost as the Bees do; and what was still more to the purpose, loyally obey him when .made. The man so nourished and decorated, thenceforth named royal, does verily bear rule; and is said, and even thought, to be, for example, 'prosecuting conquests in Flanders,' when he lets himself like luggage be carried thither: and no light luggage; covering miles of road. For he has his unblushing Chateauroux, with her bandboxes and rouge-pots, at his side; so that, at every new station, a wooden gallery must be run up between their lodgings. He has not only his Maison-Bouche, and Valetaille without end, but his very Troop of Players, with their pasteboard 1744-74. coulisses, thunder-barrels, their kettles, fiddles, stage-wardrobes, portable larders (and chaffering and quarrelling enough); all mounted in wagons, tumbrils, second-hand chaises, sufficient not to conquer Flanders, but the patience of the world. Withsuch a flood of loud jingling appurtenances does he lumber along, prosecuting his conquests...

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