The body of authoritarian sacred texts in the Hindu tradition.

Veda, sacred hymn or verse composed in archaic Sanskrit...The hymns formed a liturgical body (Vedas) . . .They extolled the hereditary deities, who for the most part personified various natural and cosmic phenomena, such as fire, sun, dawn, storms, war and rain, honour, divine authority, and creation. Hymns were composed to these deities, and many were recited or chanted during rituals. Britannica Online.

Carlyle uses the term "Vedas" satirically in stating that since Hudson has been deified by the public, the public must sing new hymns to him rather than to God. He uses this construction to show the relative paganism of the public in choosing as its deity the making of profit emblemized by Hudson.

Even though Carlyle did not believe in the prevaling christianity of his time, he often appealed to religious concerns, knowing that his audience considered religion of utmost importance "It is certain, whatever gods or fetishes a man may have about him, and pay tithes to, and mumble prayers to, the real "religion" that is in him is his practical Hero-Worship." Interpreting the possible erection of a statue to Hudson as indicating his status as a hero worthy of worship, Carlyle explains to his audience that by worshipping Hudson they adopt profit making as their only religion of consequence. By pointing this out Carlyle has poised the English people on the verge of destruction resulting from such worship "and the so-called Nation, now an unhappy Populace of Misbelievers (miscreants was the old name) bursts into revolutionary tumult, and either reforms or else annihilates itself." Now Carlyle has taken up the rhetorical model of the old testament profit, predicting destruction for the people if they continue on their present course with the only way out coming from the profitís directives. In the case of the old testament profits the ills of the people were turning away from the worship of God to idolatry or some other pagan religion. Carlyle realizes the power of this model shouting to his audience that they have perverted the "one beautiful and terrible Energy of Heroisms, presided over by a Divine Nobleness or Infinite Hero" by their hypocritical simultaneous worship of Hudson and feigned belief in God. Therefore Carlyle says "Since Hudson is Vishnu, let the Shasters and Vedas be conformable to him" — the people have now adopted profit as their deity; then let the public praise and hymns reflect that adoption, for to do otherwise means "that deadliest of vices, Hypocrisy."


Victorian Overview Thomas Carlyle Hudson's Statue

Last modified 23 October 2002