28 MARCH 1896, Page 23

The Carlyle Reader. Edited by the Rev. James Wood. (I.

Thin, Edinburgh.)—Apart from the intrinsic interest of the extracts here put together, the volume is a very instructive lesson in style. The earliest in date come from the essay on Burns, published in 1820, when Carlyle was thirty - three. Here is a specimen :—" In his parentage, deducting outward circumstances, he bad every reason to think himself fortunate. His father was a man of thoughtful, intense, earnest character, as the best of our peasants are ; valuing knowledge, possessing some, and, what as far better and rarer, open-minded for more ; a. man with a. keen insight and devout heart ; reverent towards God ; friendly therefore at once, and fearless towards all that God has made ; in one word, though but a hard-handed peasant, a complete and fully unfolded Mae." And here is a sample of

what he wrote about thirty years later :—" Barharossa Kaiser fallen, unintelligible to most modern readers, and wholly unknown, which is a pity, No King so furnished by art with apparatus and arena, with personal faculty to rule, and scene to do it in, has appeared elsewhere. A magnificent, magnanimous man, holding the reins of the world not quite in the imaginary sense, scourging anarchy down, and urging noble effort up, really on a grand scale."