[Chapter 3, note 11, of the author's Carlyle and the Search for Authority, which the Ohio State University Press published in 1991. It appears in the Victorian web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright. indicates a link to material not in the original print version. GPL]

Since the hero's authority derives from God, not the people, Teufelsdröckh rejects representational government that assumes popular authority. "Not that we want no Aristocracy," Carlyle wrote in his notebook at this time, "but that we want a true one" (TNB, 179). Here Carlyle departs from Mill in "Spirit of the Age," who argues that authority has shifted from governors, who had been the only ones with sufficient knowledge to govern, to representatives of the people now sufficiently knowledgeable to choose their own governors (Newspaper Writings, 253-58).


Contents last modified 5 October 2001