4 SEPTEMBER 1886, Page 23

Some Personal Reminiscences of Carlyle. By Andrew James Symington. (Gardner,

Paisley and London.)—Mr. Symington's acquaintance with Carlyle extended over a period of some thirty years. We are glad to have these recollections of it. Their tendency is to remove, or at least soften, some unpleasant impressions left by the publication of the diary and letters. Mr. Symington, indeed, seeks to rehabilitate Carlyle at the expense of Mrs. Carlyle. He even goes so far as to suggest that the unkindly judgments of men to be found in the diaries are due to her rather than to him. "He trust- fully accepted as gospel all her highly-coloured and often erroneous estimates of people, when girding at them, endorsing and unguardedly repeating them as his own." This plea goes, we think, far beyond what can be admitted. It is pleasant, however, to be told that the old horse, Fritz,' about which some unpleasant things have been said, was really sold to a purchaser who was to work him very lightly. Again, the unselfishness and generosity of the letter (dated July, 1867), in which Carlyle offers to resign a legacy of 21,000 from John Chorley, make agreeable reading. Altogether, this is an interesting little book. We find Carlyle denouncing evolution in the characteristic utterance,—" I have no patience with these gorilla damnifications of mankind," calling a railway-train a "metallic devil," lamenting the Disestablish- ment of the Irish Church, inveighing against " jerry building," thanks to which "England has to be rebuilt every seventy years," and taking up his parable against the modern management of things in general. —We may mention in this connection, Carlyle : Personally and in his Writings. Two Lectures. By David Masson. (Macmillan.) —I volume, we need hardly say, of no little interest and value. We observe a dire2t conflict of testimony between Professor Masson and Mr. Symington on the subject of Carlyle's religious opinions. "As Carlyle," says the former, "had wholly given up the metaphysics of Christianity [i.e., the element of revelation], he cannot be classed among Christians." "From personal intercourse," writes Mr. Symington, "extending over many years, we, in common with all who came in close contact with him, know that Carlyle was truthful to the core ; and also that he devoutly and reverently accepted the essential truths of the Christian religion The root-belief in saving truth, to which he firmly clung down to the end of his days, was substantially that which his godly mother had taught him."