The work was characteristic of his self-centred isolation: ultra-romantic at a time when Romanticism was already an outworn fashion, remote alike from the spirit of the age and from that of Goethe.
These, however, were already outworn forms, lingering on in a period which had chosen other ideals.
In many most important respects no two men could be more unlike; but, for the present, Carlyle seems to have seen in Goethe a proof that it was possible to reject outworn dogmas without sinking into materialism.
Questions of permanent and present interest took the place of outworn scholastic problems. The disputants ranged themselves under the rival commentators, Alexander and Averroes; and the immortality of the soul became the battle-ground of the two parties.
Yet the figure of Zeus had almost faded from the religious world of Hellas some time before the end of paganism; and Lucian makes him complain that even the Egyptian Anubis is more popular than he, and that men think they have done the outworn God sufficient honour if they sacrifice to him once in five years at Olympia.
Bruce died, outworn by war and hardships, on the 7th of June 1329: his body was buried in Dunfermline abbey; his heart, which Douglas was bearing to the Holy Land, was brought home again, after Douglas's chivalrous death in battle with the Moors in Spain.