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Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle

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the whole Pageant of Existence passes awfully before us; with its wail and
jubilee, mad loves and mad hatreds, church-bells and gallows-ropes,
farce-tragedy, beast-godhood,--the Bedlam of Creation!"

To most men, as it does to ourselves, all this will seem overcharged. We
too have walked through Monmouth Street; but with little feeling of
"Devotion:" probably in part because the contemplative process is so
fatally broken in upon by the brood of money-changers who nestle in that
Church, and importune the worshipper with merely secular proposals.
Whereas Teufelsdrockh, might be in that happy middle state, which leaves to
the Clothes-broker no hope either of sale or of purchase, and so be allowed
to linger there without molestation.--Something we would have given to see
the little philosophical figure, with its steeple-hat and loose flowing
skirts, and eyes in a fine frenzy, "pacing and repacing in austerest
thought" that foolish Street; which to him was a true Delphic avenue, and
supernatural Whispering-gallery, where the "Ghosts of Life" rounded strange
secrets in his ear. O thou philosophic Teufelsdrockh, that listenest while
others only gabble, and with thy quick tympanum hearest the grass grow!

At the same time, is it not strange that, in Paper-bag Documents destined
for an English work, there exists nothing like an authentic diary of this
his sojourn in London; and of his Meditations among the Clothes-shops only
the obscurest emblematic shadows? Neither, in conversation (for, indeed,
he was not a man to pester you with his Travels), have we heard him more
than allude to the subject.

For the rest, however, it cannot be uninteresting that we here find how
early the significance of Clothes had dawned on the now so distinguished
Clothes-Professor. Might we but fancy it to have been even in Monmouth
Street, at the bottom of our own English "ink-sea," that this remarkable
Volume first took being, and shot forth its salient point in his soul,--as
in Chaos did the Egg of Eros, one day to be hatched into a Universe!


For us, who happen to live while the World-Phoenix is burning herself, and
burning so slowly that, as Teufelsdrockh calculates, it were a handsome
bargain would she engage to have done "within two centuries," there seems
to lie but an ashy prospect. Not altogether so, however, does the
Professor figure it. "In the living subject," says he, "change is wont to
be gradual: thus, while the serpent sheds its old skin, the new is already
formed beneath. Little knowest thou of the burning of a World-Phoenix, who
fanciest that she must first burn out, and lie as a dead cinereous heap;
and therefrom the young one start up by miracle, and fly heavenward. Far
otherwise! In that Fire-whirlwind, Creation and Destruction proceed
together; ever as the ashes of the Old are blown about, do organic
filaments of the New mysteriously spin themselves: and amid the rushing
and the waving of the Whirlwind element come tones of a melodious
Death-song, which end not but in tones of a more melodious Birth-song.
Nay, look into the Fire-whirlwind with thy own eyes, and thou wilt see."
Let us actually look, then: to poor individuals, who cannot expect to live
two centuries, those same organic filaments, mysteriously spinning
themselves, will be the best part of the spectacle. First, therefore, this
of Mankind in general:--

"In vain thou deniest it," says the Professor; "thou art my Brother. Thy
very Hatred, thy very Envy, those foolish Lies thou tellest of me in thy
splenetic humor: what is all this but an inverted Sympathy? Were I a
Steam-engine, wouldst thou take the trouble to tell lies of me? Not thou!
I should grind all unheeded, whether badly or well.

"Wondrous truly are the bonds that unite us one and all; whether by the
soft binding of Love, or the iron chaining of Necessity, as we like to
choose it. More than once have I said to myself, of some perhaps
whimsically strutting Figure, such as provokes whimsical thoughts: 'Wert
thou, my little Brotherkin, suddenly covered up within the largest
imaginable Glass bell,--what a thing it were, not for thyself only, but for
the world! Post Letters, more or fewer, from all the four winds, impinge
against thy Glass walls, but have to drop unread: neither from within
comes there question or response into any Post-bag; thy Thoughts fall into
no friendly ear or heart, thy Manufacture into no purchasing hand: thou
art no longer a circulating venous-arterial Heart, that, taking and giving,
circulatest through all Space and all Time: there has a Hole fallen out in
the immeasurable, universal World-tissue, which must be darned up again!'

"Such venous-arterial circulation, of Letters, verbal Messages, paper and
other Packages, going out from him and coming in, are a blood-circulation,
visible to the eye: but the finer nervous circulation, by which all
things, the minutest that he does, minutely influence all men, and the very
look of his face blesses or curses whomso it lights on, and so generates
ever new blessing or new cursing: all this you cannot see, but only
imagine. I say, there is not a red Indian, hunting by Lake Winnipeg, can
quarrel with his squaw, but the whole world must smart for it: will not
the price of beaver rise? It is a mathematical fact that the casting of
this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the Universe.

"If now an existing generation of men stand so woven together, not less
indissolubly does generation with generation. Hast thou ever meditated on
that word, Tradition: how we inherit not Life only, but all the garniture
and form of Life; and work, and speak, and even think and feel, as our
Fathers, and primeval grandfathers, from the beginning, have given it
us?--Who printed thee, for example, this unpretending Volume on the
Philosophy of Clothes? Not the Herren Stillschweigen and Company; but
Cadmus of Thebes, Faust of Mentz, and innumerable others whom thou knowest
not. Had there been no Moesogothic Ulfila, there had been no English
Shakspeare, or a different one. Simpleton! It was Tubal-cain that made
thy very Tailor's needle, and sewed that court-suit of thine.

"Yes, truly, if Nature is one, and a living indivisible whole, much more is
Mankind, the Image that reflects and creates Nature, without which Nature
were not. As palpable lifestreams in that wondrous Individual Mankind,
among so many life-streams that are not palpable, flow on those main
currents of what we call Opinion; as preserved in Institutions, Polities,
Churches, above all in Books. Beautiful it is to understand and know that
a Thought did never yet die; that as thou, the originator thereof, hast
gathered it and created it from the whole Past, so thou wilt transmit it to
the whole Future. It is thus that the heroic heart, the seeing eye of the
first times, still feels and sees in us of the latest; that the Wise Man
stands ever encompassed, and spiritually embraced, by a cloud of witnesses
and brothers; and there is a living, literal _Communion of Saints_, wide as
the World itself, and as the History of the World.

"Noteworthy also, and serviceable for the progress of this same Individual,
wilt thou find his subdivision into Generations. Generations are as the
Days of toilsome Mankind: Death and Birth are the vesper and the matin
bells, that summon Mankind to sleep, and to rise refreshed for new
advancement. What the Father has made, the Son can make and enjoy; but has
also work of his own appointed him. Thus all things wax, and roll onwards;
Arts, Establishments, Opinions, nothing is completed, but ever completing.
Newton has learned to see what Kepler saw; but there is also a fresh
heaven-derived force in Newton; he must mount to still higher points of
vision. So too the Hebrew Lawgiver is, in due time, followed by an Apostle
of the Gentiles. In the business of Destruction, as this also is from time
to time a necessary work, thou findest a like sequence and perseverance:
for Luther it was as yet hot enough to stand by that burning of the Pope's
Bull; Voltaire could not warm himself at the glimmering ashes, but required
quite other fuel. Thus likewise, I note, the English Whig has, in the
second generation, become an English Radical; who, in the third again, it
is to be hoped, will become an English Rebuilder. Find Mankind where thou
wilt, thou findest it in living movement, in progress faster or slower:
the Phoenix soars aloft, hovers with outstretched wings, filling Earth with
her music; or, as now, she sinks, and with spheral swan-song immolates
herself in flame, that she may soar the higher and sing the clearer."

Let the friends of social order, in such a disastrous period, lay this to
heart, and derive from it any little comfort they can. We subjoin another
passage, concerning Titles:--

"Remark, not without surprise," says Teufelsdrockh, "how all high Titles of
Honor come hitherto from Fighting. Your _Herzog_ (Duke, _Dux_) is Leader
of Armies; your Earl (_Jarl_) is Strong Man; your Marshal cavalry
Horse-shoer. A Millennium, or reign of Peace and Wisdom, having from of
old been prophesied, and becoming now daily more and more indubitable, may
it not be apprehended that such Fighting titles will cease to be palatable,
and new and higher need to be devised?

"The only Title wherein I, with confidence, trace eternity is that of King.
_Konig_ (King), anciently _Konning_, means Ken-ning (Cunning), or which is
the same thing, Can-ning. Ever must the Sovereign of Mankind be fitly
entitled King."

"Well, also," says he elsewhere, "was it written by Theologians: a King
rules by divine right. He carries in him an authority from God, or man
will never give it him. Can I choose my own King? I can choose my own
King Popinjay, and play what farce or tragedy I may with him: but he who
is to be my Ruler, whose will is to be higher than my will, was chosen for
me in Heaven. Neither except in such Obedience to the Heaven-chosen is
Freedom so much as conceivable."

The Editor will here admit that, among all the wondrous provinces of
Teufelsdrockh's spiritual world, there is none he walks in with such
astonishment, hesitation, and even pain, as in the Political. How, with
our English love of Ministry and Opposition, and that generous conflict of
Parties, mind warming itself against mind in their mutual wrestle for the
Public Good, by which wrestle, indeed, is our invaluable Constitution kept
warm and alive; how shall we domesticate ourselves in this spectral
Necropolis, or rather City both of the Dead and of the Unborn, where the
Present seems little other than an inconsiderable Film dividing the Past
and the Future? In those dim long-drawn expanses, all is so immeasurable;
much so disastrous, ghastly; your very radiances and straggling light-beams
have a supernatural character. And then with such an indifference, such a
prophetic peacefulness (accounting the inevitably coming as already here,
to him all one whether it be distant by centuries or only by days), does he
sit;--and live, you would say, rather in any other age than in his own! It
is our painful duty to announce, or repeat, that, looking into this man, we
discern a deep, silent, slow-burning, inextinguishable Radicalism, such as
fills us with shuddering admiration.

Thus, for example, he appears to make little even of the Elective
Franchise; at least so we interpret the following: "Satisfy yourselves,"
he says, "by universal, indubitable experiment, even as ye are now doing or
will do, whether FREEDOM, heaven-born and leading heavenward, and so
vitally essential for us all, cannot peradventure be mechanically hatched
and brought to light in that same Ballot-Box of yours; or at worst, in some
other discoverable or devisable Box, Edifice, or Steam-mechanism. It were
a mighty convenience; and beyond all feats of manufacture witnessed
hitherto." Is Teufelsdrockh acquainted with the British constitution, even
slightly?--He says, under another figure: "But after all, were the
problem, as indeed it now everywhere is, To rebuild your old House from the
top downwards (since you must live in it the while), what better, what
other, than the Representative Machine will serve your turn? Meanwhile,
however, mock me not with the name of Free, 'when you have but knit up my
chains into ornamental festoons.'"--Or what will any member of the Peace
Society make of such an assertion as this: "The lower people everywhere
desire War. Not so unwisely; there is then a demand for lower people--to
be shot!"

Gladly, therefore, do we emerge from those soul-confusing labyrinths of
speculative Radicalism, into somewhat clearer regions. Here, looking
round, as was our hest, for "organic filaments," we ask, may not this,
touching "Hero-worship," be of the number? It seems of a cheerful
character; yet so quaint, so mystical, one knows not what, or how little,
may lie under it. Our readers shall look with their own eyes:--

"True is it that, in these days, man can do almost all things, only not
obey. True likewise that whoso cannot obey cannot be free, still less bear
rule; he that is the inferior of nothing, can be the superior of nothing,
the equal of nothing. Nevertheless, believe not that man has lost his
faculty of Reverence; that if it slumber in him, it has gone dead. Painful
for man is that same rebellious Independence, when it has become
inevitable; only in loving companionship with his fellows does he feel
safe; only in reverently bowing down before the Higher does he feel himself

"Or what if the character of our so troublous Era lay even in this: that
man had forever cast away Fear, which is the lower; but not yet risen into
perennial Reverence, which is the higher and highest?

"Meanwhile, observe with joy, so cunningly has Nature ordered it, that
whatsoever man ought to obey, he cannot but obey. Before no faintest
revelation of the Godlike did he ever stand irreverent; least of all, when
the Godlike showed itself revealed in his fellow-man. Thus is there a true
religious Loyalty forever rooted in his heart; nay in all ages, even in
ours, it manifests itself as a more or less orthodox _Hero-worship_. In
which fact, that Hero-worship exists, has existed, and will forever exist,
universally among Mankind, mayest thou discern the corner-stone of living
rock, whereon all Polities for the remotest time may stand secure."

Do our readers discern any such corner-stone, or even so much as what
Teufelsdrockh, is looking at? He exclaims, "Or hast thou forgotten Paris
and Voltaire? How the aged, withered man, though but a Sceptic, Mocker,
and millinery Court-poet, yet because even he seemed the Wisest, Best,
could drag mankind at his chariot-wheels, so that princes coveted a smile
from him, and the loveliest of France would have laid their hair beneath
his feet! All Paris was one vast Temple of Hero-worship; though their
Divinity, moreover, was of feature too apish.

"But if such things," continues he, "were done in the dry tree, what will
be done in the green? If, in the most parched season of Man's History, in
the most parched spot of Europe, when Parisian life was at best but a
scientific _Hortus Siccus_, bedizened with some Italian Gumflowers, such
virtue could come out of it; what is to be looked for when Life again waves
leafy and bloomy, and your Hero-Divinity shall have nothing apelike, but be
wholly human? Know that there is in man a quite indestructible Reverence
for whatsoever holds of Heaven, or even plausibly counterfeits such
holding. Show the dullest clodpoll, show the haughtiest featherhead, that
a soul higher than himself is actually here; were his knees stiffened into
brass, he must down and worship."

Organic filaments, of a more authentic sort, mysteriously spinning
themselves, some will perhaps discover in the following passage:--

"There is no Church, sayest thou? The voice of Prophecy has gone dumb?
This is even what I dispute: but in any case, hast thou not still
Preaching enough? A Preaching Friar settles himself in every village; and
builds a pulpit, which he calls Newspaper. Therefrom he preaches what most
momentous doctrine is in him, for man's salvation; and dost not thou
listen, and believe? Look well, thou seest everywhere a new Clergy of the
Mendicant Orders, some barefooted, some almost bare-backed, fashion itself
into shape, and teach and preach, zealously enough, for copper alms and the
love of God. These break in pieces the ancient idols; and, though
themselves too often reprobate, as idol-breakers are wont to be, mark out
the sites of new Churches, where the true God-ordained, that are to follow,
may find audience, and minister. Said I not, Before the old skin was shed,
the new had formed itself beneath it?"

Perhaps also in the following; wherewith we now hasten to knit up this
ravelled sleeve:--

"But there is no Religion?" reiterates the Professor. "Fool! I tell thee,
there is. Hast thou well considered all that lies in this immeasurable
froth-ocean we name LITERATURE? Fragments of a genuine Church-_Homiletic_
lie scattered there, which Time will assort: nay fractions even of a
_Liturgy_ could I point out. And knowest thou no Prophet, even in the
vesture, environment, and dialect of this age? None to whom the Godlike
had revealed itself, through all meanest and highest forms of the Common;
and by him been again prophetically revealed: in whose inspired melody,
even in these rag-gathering and rag-burning days, Man's Life again begins,
were it but afar off, to be divine? Knowest thou none such? I know him,
and name him--Goethe.

"But thou as yet standest in no Temple; joinest in no Psalm-worship;
feelest well that, where there is no ministering Priest, the people perish?
Be of comfort! Thou art not alone, if thou have Faith. Spake we not of a
Communion of Saints, unseen, yet not unreal, accompanying and brother-like
embracing thee, so thou be worthy? Their heroic Sufferings rise up
melodiously together to Heaven, out of all lands, and out of all times, as
a sacred _Miserere_; their heroic Actions also, as a boundless everlasting
Psalm of Triumph. Neither say that thou hast now no Symbol of the Godlike.
Is not God's Universe a Symbol of the Godlike; is not Immensity a Temple;
is not Man's History, and Men's History, a perpetual Evangel? Listen, and
for organ-music thou wilt ever, as of old, hear the Morning Stars sing


It is in his stupendous Section, headed _Natural Supernaturalism_, that the
Professor first becomes a Seer; and, after long effort, such as we have
witnessed, finally subdues under his feet this refractory
Clothes-Philosophy, and takes victorious possession thereof. Phantasms
enough he has had to struggle with; "Cloth-webs and Cob-webs," of Imperial
Mantles, Superannuated Symbols, and what not: yet still did he
courageously pierce through. Nay, worst of all, two quite mysterious,
world-embracing Phantasms, TIME and SPACE, have ever hovered round him,
perplexing and bewildering: but with these also he now resolutely
grapples, these also he victoriously rends asunder. In a word, he has
looked fixedly on Existence, till, one after the other, its earthly hulls
and garnitures have all melted away; and now, to his rapt vision, the
interior celestial Holy-of-Holies lies disclosed.

Here, therefore, properly it is that the Philosophy of Clothes attains to
Transcendentalism; this last leap, can we but clear it, takes us safe into
the promised land, where _Palingenesia_, in all senses, may be considered
as beginning. "Courage, then!" may our Diogenes exclaim, with better right
than Diogenes the First once did. This stupendous Section we, after long
painful meditation, have found not to be unintelligible; but, on the
contrary, to grow clear, nay radiant, and all-illuminating. Let the
reader, turning on it what utmost force of speculative intellect is in him,
do his part; as we, by judicious selection and adjustment, shall study to
do ours:--

"Deep has been, and is, the significance of Miracles," thus quietly begins
the Professor; "far deeper perhaps than we imagine. Meanwhile, the
question of questions were: What specially is a Miracle? To that Dutch
King of Siam, an icicle had been a miracle; whoso had carried with him an
air-pump, and vial of vitriolic ether, might have worked a miracle. To my
Horse, again, who unhappily is still more unscientific, do not I work a
miracle, and magical '_Open sesame_!_'_ every time I please to pay
twopence, and open for him an impassable _Schlagbaum_, or shut Turnpike?

"'But is not a real Miracle simply a violation of the Laws of Nature?' ask
several. Whom I answer by this new question: What are the Laws of Nature?
To me perhaps the rising of one from the dead were no violation of these
Laws, but a confirmation; were some far deeper Law, now first penetrated
into, and by Spiritual Force, even as the rest have all been, brought to
bear on us with its Material Force.

"Here too may some inquire, not without astonishment: On what ground shall
one, that can make Iron swim, come and declare that therefore he can teach
Religion? To us, truly, of the Nineteenth Century, such declaration were
inept enough; which nevertheless to our fathers, of the First Century, was
full of meaning.

"'But is it not the deepest Law of Nature that she be constant?' cries an
illuminated class: 'Is not the Machine of the Universe fixed to move by
unalterable rules?' Probable enough, good friends: nay I, too, must
believe that the God, whom ancient inspired men assert to be 'without
variableness or shadow of turning,' does indeed never change; that Nature,
that the Universe, which no one whom it so pleases can be prevented from
calling a Machine, does move by the most unalterable rules. And now of
you, too, I make the old inquiry: What those same unalterable rules,
forming the complete Statute-Book of Nature, may possibly be?

"They stand written in our Works of Science, say you; in the accumulated
records of Man's Experience?--Was Man with his Experience present at the
Creation, then, to see how it all went on? Have any deepest scientific
individuals yet dived down to the foundations of the Universe, and gauged
everything there? Did the Maker take them into His counsel; that they read
His ground-plan of the incomprehensible All; and can say, This stands
marked therein, and no more than this? Alas, not in anywise! These
scientific individuals have been nowhere but where we also are; have seen
some hand breadths deeper than we see into the Deep that is infinite,
without bottom as without shore.

"Laplace's Book on the Stars, wherein he exhibits that certain Planets,
with their Satellites, gyrate round our worthy Sun, at a rate and in a
course, which, by greatest good fortune, he and the like of him have
succeeded in detecting,--is to me as precious as to another. But is this
what thou namest 'Mechanism of the Heavens,' and 'System of the World;'
this, wherein Sirius and the Pleiades, and all Herschel's Fifteen thousand
Suns per minute, being left out, some paltry handful of Moons, and inert
Balls, had been--looked at, nick-named, and marked in the Zodiacal
Way-bill; so that we can now prate of their Whereabout; their How, their
Why, their What, being hid from us, as in the signless Inane?

"System of Nature! To the wisest man, wide as is his vision, Nature
remains of quite _infinite_ depth, of quite infinite expansion; and all
Experience thereof limits itself to some few computed centuries and
measured square-miles. The course of Nature's phases, on this our little
fraction of a Planet, is partially known to us: but who knows what deeper
courses these depend on; what infinitely larger Cycle (of causes) our
little Epicycle revolves on? To the Minnow every cranny and pebble, and
quality and accident, of its little native Creek may have become familiar:
but does the Minnow understand the Ocean Tides and periodic Currents, the
Trade-winds, and Monsoons, and Moon's Eclipses; by all which the condition
of its little Creek is regulated, and may, from time to time
(unmiraculously enough), be quite overset and reversed? Such a minnow is
Man; his Creek this Planet Earth; his Ocean the immeasurable All; his
Monsoons and periodic Currents the mysterious Course of Providence through
AEons of AEons.

"We speak of the Volume of Nature: and truly a Volume it is,--whose Author
and Writer is God. To read it! Dost thou, does man, so much as well know
the Alphabet thereof? With its Words, Sentences, and grand descriptive
Pages, poetical and philosophical, spread out through Solar Systems, and
Thousands of Years, we shall not try thee. It is a Volume written in
celestial hieroglyphs, in the true Sacred-writing; of which even Prophets
are happy that they can read here a line and there a line. As for your
Institutes, and Academies of Science, they strive bravely; and, from amid
the thick-crowded, inextricably intertwisted hieroglyphic writing, pick
out, by dexterous combination, some Letters in the vulgar Character, and
therefrom put together this and the other economic Recipe, of high avail in
Practice. That Nature is more than some boundless Volume of such Recipes,
or huge, well-nigh inexhaustible Domestic-Cookery Book, of which the whole
secret will in this manner one day evolve itself, the fewest dream.

"Custom," continues the Professor, "doth make dotards of us all. Consider
well, thou wilt find that Custom is the greatest of Weavers; and weaves
air-raiment for all the Spirits of the Universe; whereby indeed these dwell
with us visibly, as ministering servants, in our houses and workshops; but
their spiritual nature becomes, to the most, forever hidden. Philosophy
complains that Custom has hoodwinked us, from the first; that we do
everything by Custom, even Believe by it; that our very Axioms, let us
boast of Free-thinking as we may, are oftenest simply such Beliefs as we
have never heard questioned. Nay, what is Philosophy throughout but a
continual battle against Custom; an ever-renewed effort to _transcend_ the
sphere of blind Custom, and so become Transcendental?

"Innumerable are the illusions and legerdemain-tricks of Custom: but of
all these, perhaps the cleverest is her knack of persuading us that the
Miraculous, by simple repetition, ceases to be Miraculous. True, it is by
this means we live; for man must work as well as wonder: and herein is
Custom so far a kind nurse, guiding him to his true benefit. But she is a
fond foolish nurse, or rather we are false foolish nurslings, when, in our
resting and reflecting hours, we prolong the same deception. Am I to view
the Stupendous with stupid indifference, because I have seen it twice, or
two hundred, or two million times? There is no reason in Nature or in Art
why I should: unless, indeed, I am a mere Work-Machine, for whom the
divine gift of Thought were no other than the terrestrial gift of Steam is
to the Steam-engine; a power whereby cotton might be spun, and money and
money's worth realized.

"Notable enough too, here as elsewhere, wilt thou find the potency of
Names; which indeed are but one kind of such custom-woven, wonder-hiding
Garments. Witchcraft, and all manner of Spectre-work, and Demonology, we
have now named Madness, and Diseases of the Nerves. Seldom reflecting that
still the new question comes upon us: What is Madness, what are Nerves?
Ever, as before, does Madness remain a mysterious-terrific, altogether
_infernal_ boiling-up of the Nether Chaotic Deep, through this fair-painted
Vision of Creation, which swims thereon, which we name the Real. Was
Luther's Picture of the Devil less a Reality, whether it were formed within
the bodily eye, or without it? In every the wisest Soul lies a whole world
of internal Madness, an authentic Demon-Empire; out of which, indeed, his
world of Wisdom has been creatively built together, and now rests there, as
on its dark foundations does a habitable flowery Earth rind.

"But deepest of all illusory Appearances, for hiding Wonder, as for many
other ends, are your two grand fundamental world-enveloping Appearances,
SPACE and TIME. These, as spun and woven for us from before Birth itself,
to clothe our celestial ME for dwelling here, and yet to blind it,--lie
all-embracing, as the universal canvas, or warp and woof, whereby all minor
Illusions, in this Phantasm Existence, weave and paint themselves. In
vain, while here on Earth, shall you endeavor to strip them off; you can,
at best, but rend them asunder for moments, and look through.

"Fortunatus had a wishing Hat, which when he put on, and wished himself
Anywhere, behold he was There. By this means had Fortunatus triumphed over
Space, he had annihilated Space; for him there was no Where, but all was
Here. Were a Hatter to establish himself, in the Wahngasse of
Weissnichtwo, and make felts of this sort for all mankind, what a world we
should have of it! Still stranger, should, on the opposite side of the
street, another Hatter establish himself; and, as his fellow-craftsman made
Space-annihilating Hats, make Time-annihilating! Of both would I purchase,
were it with my last groschen; but chiefly of this latter. To clap on your
felt, and, simply by wishing that you were Anywhere, straightway to be
_There_! Next to clap on your other felt, and, simply by wishing that you
were _Anywhen_, straightway to be _Then_! This were indeed the grander:
shooting at will from the Fire-Creation of the World to its
Fire-Consummation; here historically present in the First Century,
conversing face to face with Paul and Seneca; there prophetically in the
Thirty-first, conversing also face to face with other Pauls and Senecas,
who as yet stand hidden in the depth of that late Time!

"Or thinkest thou it were impossible, unimaginable? Is the Past
annihilated, then, or only past; is the Future non-extant, or only future?
Those mystic faculties of thine, Memory and Hope, already answer: already
through those mystic avenues, thou the Earth-blinded summonest both Past
and Future, and communest with them, though as yet darkly, and with mute
beckonings. The curtains of Yesterday drop down, the curtains of To-morrow
roll up; but Yesterday and To-morrow both _are_. Pierce through the
Time-element, glance into the Eternal. Believe what thou findest written
in the sanctuaries of Man's Soul, even as all Thinkers, in all ages, have
devoutly read it there: that Time and Space are not God, but creations of
God; that with God as it is a universal HERE, so is it an everlasting Now.

"And seest thou therein any glimpse of IMMORTALITY?--O Heaven! Is the
white Tomb of our Loved One, who died from our arms, and had to be left
behind us there, which rises in the distance, like a pale, mournfully
receding Milestone, to tell how many toilsome uncheered miles we have
journeyed on alone,--but a pale spectral Illusion! Is the lost Friend
still mysteriously Here, even as we are Here mysteriously, with God!--know
of a truth that only the Time-shadows have perished, or are perishable;
that the real Being of whatever was, and whatever is, and whatever will be,
is even now and forever. This, should it unhappily seem new, thou mayest
ponder at thy leisure; for the next twenty years, or the next twenty
centuries: believe it thou must; understand it thou canst not.

"That the Thought-forms, Space and Time, wherein, once for all, we are sent
into this Earth to live, should condition and determine our whole Practical
reasonings, conceptions, and imagings or imaginings, seems altogether fit,
just, and unavoidable. But that they should, furthermore, usurp such sway
over pure spiritual Meditation, and blind us to the wonder everywhere lying
close on us, seems nowise so. Admit Space and Time to their due rank as
Forms of Thought; nay even, if thou wilt, to their quite undue rank of
Realities: and consider, then, with thyself how their thin disguises hide
from us the brightest God-effulgences! Thus, were it not miraculous, could
I stretch forth my hand and clutch the Sun? Yet thou seest me daily
stretch forth my hand and therewith clutch many a thing, and swing it
hither and thither. Art thou a grown baby, then, to fancy that the Miracle
lies in miles of distance, or in pounds avoirdupois of weight; and not to
see that the true inexplicable God-revealing Miracle lies in this, that I
can stretch forth my hand at all; that I have free Force to clutch aught
therewith? Innumerable other of this sort are the deceptions, and
wonder-hiding stupefactions, which Space practices on us.

"Still worse is it with regard to Time. Your grand anti-magician, and
universal wonder-hider, is this same lying Time. Had we but the
Time-annihilating Hat, to put on for once only, we should see ourselves in
a World of Miracles, wherein all fabled or authentic Thaumaturgy, and feats
of Magic, were outdone. But unhappily we have not such a Hat; and man,
poor fool that he is, can seldom and scantily help himself without one.

"Were it not wonderful, for instance, had Orpheus, or Amphion, built the
walls of Thebes by the mere sound of his Lyre? Yet tell me, Who built
these walls of Weissnichtwo; summoning out all the sandstone rocks, to
dance along from the _Steinbruch_ (now a huge Troglodyte Chasm, with
frightful green-mantled pools); and shape themselves into Doric and Ionic
pillars, squared ashlar houses and noble streets? Was it not the still
higher Orpheus, or Orpheuses, who, in past centuries, by the divine Music
of Wisdom, succeeded in civilizing Man? Our highest Orpheus walked in
Judea, eighteen hundred years ago: his sphere-melody, flowing in wild
native tones, took captive the ravished souls of men; and, being of a truth
sphere-melody, still flows and sounds, though now with thousand-fold
accompaniments, and rich symphonies, through all our hearts; and modulates,
and divinely leads them. Is that a wonder, which happens in two hours; and
does it cease to be wonderful if happening in two million? Not only was
Thebes built by the music of an Orpheus; but without the music of some
inspired Orpheus was no city ever built, no work that man glories in ever

"Sweep away the Illusion of Time; glance, if thou have eyes, from the near
moving-cause to its far distant Mover: The stroke that came transmitted
through a whole galaxy of elastic balls, was it less a stroke than if the
last ball only had been struck, and sent flying? Oh, could I (with the
Time-annihilating Hat) transport thee direct from the Beginnings, to the
Endings, how were thy eyesight unsealed, and thy heart set flaming in the
Light-sea of celestial wonder! Then sawest thou that this fair Universe,
were it in the meanest province thereof, is in very deed the star-domed
City of God; that through every star, through every grass-blade, and most
through every Living Soul, the glory of a present God still beams. But
Nature, which is the Time-vesture of God, and reveals Him to the wise,
hides Him from the foolish.

"Again, could anything be more miraculous than an actual authentic Ghost?
The English Johnson longed, all his life, to see one; but could not, though
he went to Cock Lane, and thence to the church-vaults, and tapped on
coffins. Foolish Doctor! Did he never, with the mind's eye as well as
with the body's, look round him into that full tide of human Life he so
loved; did he never so much as look into Himself? The good Doctor was a
Ghost, as actual and authentic as heart could wish; well-nigh a million of
Ghosts were travelling the streets by his side. Once more I say, sweep
away the illusion of Time; compress the threescore years into three
minutes: what else was he, what else are we? Are we not Spirits, that are
shaped into a body, into an Appearance; and that fade away again into air
and Invisibility? This is no metaphor, it is a simple scientific _fact_:
we start out of Nothingness, take figure, and are Apparitions; round us, as
round the veriest spectre, is Eternity; and to Eternity minutes are as
years and aeons. Come there not tones of Love and Faith, as from celestial
harp-strings, like the Song of beatified Souls? And again, do not we
squeak and gibber (in our discordant, screech-owlish debatings and
recriminatings); and glide bodeful, and feeble, and fearful; or uproar
(_poltern_), and revel in our mad Dance of the Dead,--till the scent of the
morning air summons us to our still Home; and dreamy Night becomes awake
and Day? Where now is Alexander of Macedon: does the steel Host, that
yelled in fierce battle-shouts at Issus and Arbela, remain behind him; or
have they all vanished utterly, even as perturbed Goblins must? Napoleon
too, and his Moscow Retreats and Austerlitz Campaigns! Was it all other
than the veriest Spectre-hunt; which has now, with its howling tumult that
made Night hideous, flitted away?-- Ghosts! There are nigh a thousand
million walking the Earth openly at noontide; some half-hundred have
vanished from it, some half-hundred have arisen in it, ere thy watch ticks

"O Heaven, it is mysterious, it is awful to consider that we not only carry
each a future Ghost within him; but are, in very deed, Ghosts! These
Limbs, whence had we them; this stormy Force; this life-blood with its
burning Passion? They are dust and shadow; a Shadow-system gathered round
our ME: wherein, through some moments or years, the Divine Essence is to
be revealed in the Flesh. That warrior on his strong war-horse, fire
flashes through his eyes; force dwells in his arm and heart: but warrior
and war-horse are a vision; a revealed Force, nothing more. Stately they
tread the Earth, as if it were a firm substance: fool! the Earth is but a
film; it cracks in twain, and warrior and war-horse sink beyond plummet's
sounding. Plummet's? Fantasy herself will not follow them. A little
while ago, they were not; a little while, and they are not, their very
ashes are not.

"So has it been from the beginning, so will it be to the end. Generation
after generation takes to itself the Form of a Body; and forth issuing from
Cimmerian Night, on Heaven's mission APPEARS. What Force and Fire is in
each he expends: one grinding in the mill of Industry; one hunter-like
climbing the giddy Alpine heights of Science; one madly dashed in pieces on
the rocks of Strife, in war with his fellow:--and then the Heaven-sent is
recalled; his earthly Vesture falls away, and soon even to Sense becomes a
vanished Shadow. Thus, like some wild-flaming, wild-thundering train of
Heaven's Artillery, does this mysterious MANKIND thunder and flame, in
long-drawn, quick-succeeding grandeur, through the unknown Deep. Thus,
like a God-created, fire-breathing Spirit-host, we emerge from the Inane;
haste stormfully across the astonished Earth; then plunge again into the
Inane. Earth's mountains are levelled, and her seas filled up, in our
passage: can the Earth, which is but dead and a vision, resist Spirits
which have reality and are alive? On the hardest adamant some footprint of
us is stamped in; the last Rear of the host will read traces of the
earliest Van. But whence?--O Heaven whither? Sense knows not; Faith knows
not; only that it is through Mystery to Mystery, from God and to God.

'We _are such stuff_
As Dreams are made of, and our little Life
Is rounded with a sleep!'"


Here, then, arises the so momentous question: Have many British Readers
actually arrived with us at the new promised country; is the Philosophy of
Clothes now at last opening around them? Long and adventurous has the
journey been: from those outmost vulgar, palpable Woollen Hulls of Man;
through his wondrous Flesh-Garments, and his wondrous Social Garnitures;
inwards to the Garments of his very Soul's Soul, to Time and Space
themselves! And now does the spiritual, eternal Essence of Man, and of
Mankind, bared of such wrappages, begin in any measure to reveal itself?
Can many readers discern, as through a glass darkly, in huge wavering
outlines, some primeval rudiments of Man's Being, what is changeable
divided from what is unchangeable? Does that Earth-Spirit's speech in

"'Tis thus at the roaring Loom of Time I ply,
And weave for God the Garment thou seest Him by; "

or that other thousand-times repeated speech of the Magician,

"And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capt Towers, the gorgeous Palaces,
The solemn Temples, the great Globe itself,
And all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
And like this unsubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a wrack behind;"

begin to have some meaning for us? In a word, do we at length stand safe
in the far region of Poetic Creation and Palingenesia, where that Phoenix
Death-Birth of Human Society, and of all Human Things, appears possible, is
seen to be inevitable?

Along this most insufficient, unheard-of Bridge, which the Editor, by
Heaven's blessing, has now seen himself enabled to conclude if not
complete, it cannot be his sober calculation, but only his fond hope, that
many have travelled without accident. No firm arch, overspanning the
Impassable with paved highway, could the Editor construct; only, as was
said, some zigzag series of rafts floating tumultuously thereon. Alas, and
the leaps from raft to raft were too often of a breakneck character; the
darkness, the nature of the element, all was against us!

Nevertheless, may not here and there one of a thousand, provided with a
discursiveness of intellect rare in our day, have cleared the passage, in
spite of all? Happy few! little band of Friends! be welcome, be of
courage. By degrees, the eye grows accustomed to its new Whereabout; the
hand can stretch itself forth to work there: it is in this grand and
indeed highest work of Palingenesia that ye shall labor, each according to
ability. New laborers will arrive; new Bridges will be built; nay, may not
our own poor rope-and-raft Bridge, in your passings and repassings, be
mended in many a point, till it grow quite firm, passable even for the

Meanwhile, of the innumerable multitude that started with us, joyous and
full of hope, where now is the innumerable remainder, whom we see no longer
by our side? The most have recoiled, and stand gazing afar off, in
unsympathetic astonishment, at our career: not a few, pressing forward
with more courage, have missed footing, or leaped short; and now swim
weltering in the Chaos-flood, some towards this shore, some towards that.
To these also a helping hand should be held out; at least some word of
encouragement be said.

Or, to speak without metaphor, with which mode of utterance Teufelsdrockh
unhappily has somewhat infected us,-- can it be hidden from the Editor that
many a British Reader sits reading quite bewildered in head, and afflicted
rather than instructed by the present Work? Yes, long ago has many a
British Reader been, as now, demanding with something like a snarl:
Whereto does all this lead; or what use is in it?

In the way of replenishing thy purse, or otherwise aiding thy digestive
faculty, O British Reader, it leads to nothing, and there is no use in it;
but rather the reverse, for it costs thee somewhat. Nevertheless, if
through this unpromising Horn-gate, Teufelsdrockh, and we by means of him,
have led thee into the true Land of Dreams; and through the Clothes-Screen,
as through a magical _Pierre-Pertuis_, thou lookest, even for moments, into
the region of the Wonderful, and seest and feelest that thy daily life is
girt with Wonder, and based on Wonder, and thy very blankets and breeches
are Miracles,-- then art thou profited beyond money's worth; and hast a
thankfulness towards our Professor; nay, perhaps in many a literary
Tea-circle wilt open thy kind lips, and audibly express that same.

Nay farther, art not thou too perhaps by this time made aware that all
Symbols are properly Clothes; that all Forms whereby Spirit manifests
itself to sense, whether outwardly or in the imagination, are Clothes; and
thus not only the parchment Magna Charta, which a Tailor was nigh cutting
into measures, but the Pomp and Authority of Law, the sacredness of
Majesty, and all inferior Worships (Worth-ships) are properly a Vesture and
Raiment; and the Thirty-nine Articles themselves are articles of
wearing-apparel (for the Religious Idea)? In which case, must it not also
be admitted that this Science of Clothes is a high one, and may with
infinitely deeper study on thy part yield richer fruit: that it takes
scientific rank beside Codification, and Political Economy, and the Theory
of the British Constitution; nay rather, from its prophetic height looks
down on all these, as on so many weaving-shops and spinning-mills, where
the Vestures which _it_ has to fashion, and consecrate, and distribute,
are, too often by haggard hungry operatives who see no farther than their
nose, mechanically woven and spun?

But omitting all this, much more all that concerns Natural Supernaturalism,
and indeed whatever has reference to the Ulterior or Transcendental portion
of the Science, or bears never so remotely on that promised Volume of the
_Palingenesie der menschlichen Gesellschaft_ (Newbirth of Society),--we
humbly suggest that no province of Clothes-Philosophy, even the lowest, is
without its direct value, but that innumerable inferences of a practical
nature may be drawn therefrom. To say nothing of those pregnant
considerations, ethical, political, symbolical, which crowd on the
Clothes-Philosopher from the very threshold of his Science; nothing even of
those "architectural ideas," which, as we have seen, lurk at the bottom of
all Modes, and will one day, better unfolding themselves, lead to important
revolutions,--let us glance for a moment, and with the faintest light of
Clothes-Philosophy, on what may be called the Habilatory Class of our
fellow-men. Here too overlooking, where so much were to be looked on, the
million spinners, weavers, fullers, dyers, washers, and wringers, that
puddle and muddle in their dark recesses, to make us Clothes, and die that
we may live,--let us but turn the reader's attention upon two small
divisions of mankind, who, like moths, may be regarded as Cloth-animals,
creatures that live, move and have their being in Cloth: we mean, Dandies
and Tailors.

In regard to both which small divisions it may be asserted without scruple,
that the public feeling, unenlightened by Philosophy, is at fault; and even
that the dictates of humanity are violated. As will perhaps abundantly
appear to readers of the two following Chapters.


First, touching Dandies, let us consider, with some scientific strictness,
what a Dandy specially is. A Dandy is a Clothes-wearing Man, a Man whose
trade, office and existence consists in the wearing of Clothes. Every
faculty of his soul, spirit, purse and person is heroically consecrated to
this one object, the wearing of Clothes wisely and well: so that as others
dress to live, he lives to dress. The all-importance of Clothes, which a
German Professor, of unequalled learning and acumen, writes his enormous
Volume to demonstrate, has sprung up in the intellect of the Dandy without
effort, like an instinct of genius; he is inspired with Cloth, a Poet of
Cloth. What Teufelsdrockh would call a "Divine Idea of Cloth" is born with
him; and this, like other such Ideas, will express itself outwardly, or
wring his heart asunder with unutterable throes.

But, like a generous, creative enthusiast, he fearlessly makes his Idea an
Action; shows himself in peculiar guise to mankind; walks forth, a witness
and living Martyr to the eternal worth of Clothes. We called him a Poet:
is not his body the (stuffed) parchment-skin whereon he writes, with
cunning Huddersfield dyes, a Sonnet to his mistress' eyebrow? Say, rather,
an Epos, and _Clotha Virumque cano_, to the whole world, in Macaronic
verses, which he that runs may read. Nay, if you grant, what seems to be
admissible, that the Dandy has a Thinking-principle in him, and some
notions of Time and Space, is there not in this life-devotedness to Cloth,
in this so willing sacrifice of the Immortal to the Perishable, something
(though in reverse order) of that blending and identification of Eternity
with Time, which, as we have seen, constitutes the Prophetic character?

And now, for all this perennial Martyrdom, and Poesy, and even Prophecy,
what is it that the Dandy asks in return? Solely, we may say, that you
would recognize his existence; would admit him to be a living object; or
even failing this, a visual object, or thing that will reflect rays of
light. Your silver or your gold (beyond what the niggardly Law has already
secured him) he solicits not; simply the glance of your eyes. Understand
his mystic significance, or altogether miss and misinterpret it; do but
look at him, and he is contented. May we not well cry shame on an
ungrateful world, which refuses even this poor boon; which will waste its
optic faculty on dried Crocodiles, and Siamese Twins; and over the domestic
wonderful wonder of wonders, a live Dandy, glance with hasty indifference,
and a scarcely concealed contempt! Him no Zoologist classes among the
Mammalia, no Anatomist dissects with care: when did we see any injected
Preparation of the Dandy in our Museums; any specimen of him preserved in
spirits! Lord Herringbone may dress himself in a snuff-brown suit, with
snuff-brown shirt and shoes: it skills not; the undiscerning public,
occupied with grosser wants, passes by regardless on the other side.

The age of Curiosity, like that of Chivalry, is indeed, properly speaking,
gone. Yet perhaps only gone to sleep: for here arises the
Clothes-Philosophy to resuscitate, strangely enough, both the one and the
other! Should sound views of this Science come to prevail, the essential
nature of the British Dandy, and the mystic significance that lies in him,
cannot always remain hidden under laughable and lamentable hallucination.
The following long Extract from Professor Teufelsdrockh may set the matter,
if not in its true light, yet in the way towards such. It is to be
regretted, however, that here, as so often elsewhere, the Professor's keen
philosophic perspicacity is somewhat marred by a certain mixture of almost
owlish purblindness, or else of some perverse, ineffectual, ironic
tendency; our readers shall judge which:--

"In these distracted times," writes he, "when the Religious Principle,
driven out of most Churches, either lies unseen in the hearts of good men,
looking and longing and silently working there towards some new Revelation;
or else wanders homeless over the world, like a disembodied soul seeking
its terrestrial organization,--into how many strange shapes, of
Superstition and Fanaticism, does it not tentatively and errantly cast
itself! The higher Enthusiasm of man's nature is for the while without
Exponent; yet does it continue indestructible, unweariedly active, and work
blindly in the great chaotic deep: thus Sect after Sect, and Church after
Church, bodies itself forth, and melts again into new metamorphosis.

"Chiefly is this observable in England, which, as the wealthiest and
worst-instructed of European nations, offers precisely the elements (of
Heat, namely, and of Darkness), in which such moon-calves and monstrosities
are best generated. Among the newer Sects of that country, one of the most
notable, and closely connected with our present subject, is that of the
_Dandies_; concerning which, what little information I have been able to
procure may fitly stand here.

"It is true, certain of the English Journalists, men generally without
sense for the Religious Principle, or judgment for its manifestations,
speak, in their brief enigmatic notices, as if this were perhaps rather a
Secular Sect, and not a Religious one; nevertheless, to the psychologic eye
its devotional and even sacrificial character plainly enough reveals
itself. Whether it belongs to the class of Fetish-worships, or of
Hero-worships or Polytheisms, or to what other class, may in the present
state of our intelligence remain undecided (_schweben_). A certain touch
of Manicheism, not indeed in the Gnostic shape, is discernible enough; also
(for human Error walks in a cycle, and reappears at intervals) a
not-inconsiderable resemblance to that Superstition of the Athos Monks, who
by fasting from all nourishment, and looking intensely for a length of time
into their own navels, came to discern therein the true Apocalypse of
Nature, and Heaven Unveiled. To my own surmise, it appears as if this
Dandiacal Sect were but a new modification, adapted to the new time, of
that primeval Superstition, _Self-worship_; which Zerdusht, Quangfoutchee,
Mahomet, and others, strove rather to subordinate and restrain than to
eradicate; and which only in the purer forms of Religion has been
altogether rejected. Wherefore, if any one chooses to name it revived
Ahrimanism, or a new figure of Demon-Worship, I have, so far as is yet
visible, no objection.

"For the rest, these people, animated with the zeal of a new Sect, display
courage and perseverance, and what force there is in man's nature, though
never so enslaved. They affect great purity and separatism; distinguish
themselves by a particular costume (whereof some notices were given in the
earlier part of this Volume); likewise, so far as possible, by a particular
speech (apparently some broken _Lingua-franca_, or English-French); and, on
the whole, strive to maintain a true Nazarene deportment, and keep
themselves unspotted from the world.

"They have their Temples, whereof the chief, as the Jewish Temple did,
stands in their metropolis; and is named _Almack's_, a word of uncertain
etymology. They worship principally by night; and have their High-priests
and High-priestesses, who, however, do not continue for life. The rites,
by some supposed to be of the Menadic sort, or perhaps with an Eleusinian
or Cabiric character, are held strictly secret. Nor are Sacred Books
wanting to the Sect; these they call _Fashionable Novels_: however, the
Canon is not completed, and some are canonical and others not.

"Of such Sacred Books I, not without expense, procured myself some samples;
and in hope of true insight, and with the zeal which beseems an Inquirer
into Clothes, set to interpret and study them. But wholly to no purpose:
that tough faculty of reading, for which the world will not refuse me
credit, was here for the first time foiled and set at naught. In vain that
I summoned my whole energies (_mich weidlich anstrengte_), and did my very
utmost; at the end of some short space, I was uniformly seized with not so
much what I can call a drumming in my ears, as a kind of infinite,
unsufferable, Jew's-harping and scrannel-piping there; to which the
frightfullest species of Magnetic Sleep soon supervened. And if I strove
to shake this away, and absolutely would not yield, there came a hitherto
unfelt sensation, as of _Delirium Tremens_, and a melting into total
deliquium: till at last, by order of the Doctor, dreading ruin to my whole
intellectual and bodily faculties, and a general breaking up of the
constitution, I reluctantly but determinedly forbore. Was there some
miracle at work here; like those Fire-balls, and supernal and infernal
prodigies, which, in the case of the Jewish Mysteries, have also more than
once scared back the Alien? Be this as it may, such failure on my part,
after best efforts, must excuse the imperfection of this sketch; altogether
incomplete, yet the completest I could give of a Sect too singular to be

"Loving my own life and senses as I do, no power shall induce me, as a
private individual, to open another _Fashionable Novel_. But luckily, in
this dilemma, comes a hand from the clouds; whereby if not victory,
deliverance is held out to me. Round one of those Book-packages, which the
_Stillschweigen'sche Buchhandlung_ is in the habit of importing from
England, come, as is usual, various waste printed-sheets
(_Maculatur-blatter_), by way of interior wrappage: into these the
Clothes-Philosopher, with a certain Mahometan reverence even for
waste-paper, where curious knowledge will sometimes hover, disdains not to
cast his eye. Readers may judge of his astonishment when on such a defaced
stray-sheet, probably the outcast fraction of some English Periodical, such
as they name _Magazine_, appears something like a Dissertation on this very
subject of _Fashionable Novels_! It sets out, indeed, chiefly from a
Secular point of view; directing itself, not without asperity, against some
to me unknown individual named _Pelham_, who seems to be a Mystagogue, and
leading Teacher and Preacher of the Sect; so that, what indeed otherwise
was not to be expected in such a fugitive fragmentary sheet, the true
secret, the Religious physiognomy and physiology of the Dandiacal Body, is
nowise laid fully open there. Nevertheless, scattered lights do from time
to time sparkle out, whereby I have endeavored to profit. Nay, in one
passage selected from the Prophecies, or Mythic Theogonies, or whatever
they are (for the style seems very mixed) of this Mystagogue, I find what
appears to be a Confession of Faith, or Whole Duty of Man, according to the
tenets of that Sect. Which Confession or Whole Duty, therefore, as
proceeding from a source so authentic, I shall here arrange under Seven
distinct Articles, and in very abridged shape lay before the German world;
therewith taking leave of this matter. Observe also, that to avoid
possibility of error, I, as far as may be, quote literally from the


'1. Coats should have nothing of the triangle about them; at the same
time, wrinkles behind should be carefully avoided.

'2. The collar is a very important point: it should be low behind, and
slightly rolled.

'3. No license of fashion can allow a man of delicate taste to adopt the
posterial luxuriance of a Hottentot.

'4. There is safety in a swallow-tail.

'5. The good sense of a gentleman is nowhere more finely developed than in
his rings.

'6. It is permitted to mankind, under certain restrictions, to wear white

'7. The trousers must be exceedingly tight across the hips.'

"All which Propositions I, for the present, content myself with modestly
but peremptorily and irrevocably denying.

"In strange contrast with this Dandiacal Body stands another British Sect,
originally, as I understand, of Ireland, where its chief seat still is; but
known also in the main Island, and indeed everywhere rapidly spreading. As
this Sect has hitherto emitted no Canonical Books, it remains to me in the
same state of obscurity as the Dandiacal, which has published Books that
the unassisted human faculties are inadequate to read. The members appear
to be designated by a considerable diversity of names, according to their
various places of establishment: in England they are generally called the
_Drudge_ Sect; also, unphilosophically enough, the _White Negroes_; and,
chiefly in scorn by those of other communions, the _Ragged-Beggar_ Sect.
In Scotland, again, I find them entitled _Hallanshakers_, or the _Stook of
Duds_ Sect; any individual communicant is named _Stook of Duds_ (that is,
Shock of Rags), in allusion, doubtless, to their professional Costume.
While in Ireland, which, as mentioned, is their grand parent hive, they go
by a perplexing multiplicity of designations, such as _Bogtrotters,
Redshanks, Ribbonmen, Cottiers, Peep-of-Day Boys, Babes of the Wood,
Rockites, Poor-Slaves_: which last, however, seems to be the primary and
generic name; whereto, probably enough, the others are only subsidiary
species, or slight varieties; or, at most, propagated offsets from the
parent stem, whose minute subdivisions, and shades of difference, it were
here loss of time to dwell on. Enough for us to understand, what seems
indubitable, that the original Sect is that of the _Poor-Slaves_; whose
doctrines, practices, and fundamental characteristics pervade and animate
the whole Body, howsoever denominated or outwardly diversified.

"The precise speculative tenets of this Brotherhood: how the Universe, and
Man, and Man's Life, picture themselves to the mind of an Irish Poor-Slave;
with what feelings and opinions he looks forward on the Future, round on
the Present, back on the Past, it were extremely difficult to specify.
Something Monastic there appears to be in their Constitution: we find them
bound by the two Monastic Vows, of Poverty and Obedience; which vows,
especially the former, it is said, they observe with great strictness; nay,
as I have understood it, they are pledged, and be it by any solemn Nazarene
ordination or not, irrevocably consecrated thereto, even _before_ birth.
That the third Monastic Vow, of Chastity, is rigidly enforced among them, I
find no ground to conjecture.

"Furthermore, they appear to imitate the Dandiacal Sect in their grand
principle of wearing a peculiar Costume. Of which Irish Poor-Slave Costume
no description will indeed be found in the present Volume; for this reason,
that by the imperfect organ of Language it did not seem describable. Their
raiment consists of innumerable skirts, lappets and irregular wings, of all
cloths and of all colors; through the labyrinthic intricacies of which
their bodies are introduced by some unknown process. It is fastened
together by a multiplex combination of buttons, thrums and skewers; to
which frequently is added a girdle of leather, of hempen or even of straw
rope, round the loins. To straw rope, indeed, they seem partial, and often
wear it by way of sandals. In head-dress they affect a certain freedom:
hats with partial brim, without crown, or with only a loose, hinged, or
valve crown; in the former case, they sometimes invert the hat, and wear it
brim uppermost, like a university-cap, with what view is unknown.

"The name Poor-Slaves seems to indicate a Slavonic, Polish, or Russian
origin: not so, however, the interior essence and spirit of their
Superstition, which rather displays a Teutonic or Druidical character. One
might fancy them worshippers of Hertha, or the Earth: for they dig and
affectionately work continually in her bosom; or else, shut up in private
Oratories, meditate and manipulate the substances derived from her; seldom
looking up towards the Heavenly Luminaries, and then with comparative
indifference. Like the Druids, on the other hand, they live in dark
dwellings; often even breaking their glass windows, where they find such,
and stuffing them up with pieces of raiment, or other opaque substances,
till the fit obscurity is restored. Again, like all followers of
Nature-Worship, they are liable to out-breakings of an enthusiasm rising to
ferocity; and burn men, if not in wicker idols, yet in sod cottages.

"In respect of diet, they have also their observances. All Poor-Slaves are
Rhizophagous (or Root-eaters); a few are Ichthyophagous, and use Salted
Herrings: other animal food they abstain from; except indeed, with perhaps
some strange inverted fragment of a Brahminical feeling, such animals as
die a natural death. Their universal sustenance is the root named Potato,
cooked by fire alone; and generally without condiment or relish of any
kind, save an unknown condiment named _Point_, into the meaning of which I
have vainly inquired; the victual _Potatoes-and-Point_ not appearing, at
least not with specific accuracy of description, in any European
Cookery-Book whatever. For drink, they use, with an almost epigrammatic
counterpoise of taste, Milk, which is the mildest of liquors, and
_Potheen_, which is the fiercest. This latter I have tasted, as well as
the English _Blue-Ruin_, and the Scotch _Whiskey_, analogous fluids used by
the Sect in those countries: it evidently contains some form of alcohol,
in the highest state of concentration, though disguised with acrid oils;
and is, on the whole, the most pungent substance known to me,--indeed, a
perfect liquid fire. In all their Religious Solemnities, Potheen is said
to be an indispensable requisite, and largely consumed.

"An Irish Traveller, of perhaps common veracity, who presents himself under
the to me unmeaning title of _The late John Bernard_, offers the following
sketch of a domestic establishment, the inmates whereof, though such is not
stated expressly, appear to have been of that Faith. Thereby shall my
German readers now behold an Irish Poor-Slave, as it were with their own
eyes; and even see him at meat. Moreover, in the so precious waste-paper
sheet above mentioned, I have found some corresponding picture of a
Dandiacal Household, painted by that same Dandiacal Mystagogue, or
Theogonist: this also, by way of counterpart and contrast, the world shall
look into.

"First, therefore, of the Poor-Slave, who appears likewise to have been a
species of Innkeeper. I quote from the original:


"'The furniture of this Caravansera consisted of a large iron Pot, two
oaken Tables, two Benches, two Chairs, and a Potheen Noggin. There was a
Loft above (attainable by a ladder), upon which the inmates slept; and the
space below was divided by a hurdle into two Apartments; the one for their
cow and pig, the other for themselves and guests. On entering the house we
discovered the family, eleven in number, at dinner: the father sitting at
the top, the mother at the bottom, the children on each side, of a large
oaken Board, which was scooped out in the middle, like a trough, to receive
the contents of their Pot of Potatoes. Little holes were cut at equal
distances to contain Salt; and a bowl of Milk stood on the table: all the
luxuries of meat and beer, bread, knives and dishes were dispensed with.'
The Poor-Slave himself our Traveller found, as he says, broad-backed,
black-browed, of great personal strength, and mouth from ear to ear. His
Wife was a sun-browned but well-featured woman; and his young ones, bare
and chubby, had the appetite of ravens. Of their Philosophical or
Religious tenets or observances, no notice or hint.

"But now, secondly, of the Dandiacal Household; in which, truly, that
often-mentioned Mystagogue and inspired Penman himself has his abode:--


"'A Dressing-room splendidly furnished; violet-colored curtains, chairs and
ottomans of the same hue. Two full-length Mirrors are placed, one on each
side of a table, which supports the luxuries of the Toilet. Several
Bottles of Perfumes, arranged in a peculiar fashion, stand upon a smaller
table of mother-of-pearl: opposite to these are placed the appurtenances
of Lavation richly wrought in frosted silver. A Wardrobe of Buhl is on the
left; the doors of which, being partly open, discover a profusion of
Clothes; Shoes of a singularly small size monopolize the lower shelves.
Fronting the wardrobe a door ajar gives some slight glimpse of a Bath-room.
Folding-doors in the background.--Enter the Author,' our Theogonist in
person, 'obsequiously preceded by a French Valet, in white silk Jacket and
cambric Apron.'

"Such are the two Sects which, at this moment, divide the more unsettled
portion of the British People; and agitate that ever-vexed country. To the
eye of the political Seer, their mutual relation, pregnant with the
elements of discord and hostility, is far from consoling. These two
principles of Dandiacal Self-worship or Demon-worship, and Poor-Slavish or
Drudgical Earth-worship, or whatever that same Drudgism may be, do as yet
indeed manifest themselves under distant and nowise considerable shapes:
nevertheless, in their roots and subterranean ramifications, they extend
through the entire structure of Society, and work unweariedly in the secret
depths of English national Existence; striving to separate and isolate it
into two contradictory, uncommunicating masses.

"In numbers, and even individual strength, the Poor-Slaves or Drudges, it
would seem, are hourly increasing. The Dandiacal, again, is by nature no
proselytizing Sect; but it boasts of great hereditary resources, and is
strong by union; whereas the Drudges, split into parties, have as yet no
rallying-point; or at best only co-operate by means of partial secret
affiliations. If, indeed, there were to arise a _Communion of Drudges_, as
there is already a Communion of Saints, what strangest effects would follow
therefrom! Dandyism as yet affects to look down on Drudgism: but perhaps
the hour of trial, when it will be practically seen which ought to look
down, and which up, is not so distant.

"To me it seems probable that the two Sects will one day part England
between them; each recruiting itself from the intermediate ranks, till
there be none left to enlist on either side. Those Dandiacal Manicheans,
with the host of Dandyizing Christians, will form one body: the Drudges,
gathering round them whosoever is Drudgical, be he Christian or Infidel
Pagan; sweeping up likewise all manner of Utilitarians, Radicals,
refractory Pot-wallopers, and so forth, into their general mass, will form
another. I could liken Dandyism and Drudgism to two bottomless boiling
Whirlpools that had broken out on opposite quarters of the firm land: as
yet they appear only disquieted, foolishly bubbling wells, which man's art
might cover in; yet mark them, their diameter is daily widening: they are
hollow Cones that boil up from the infinite Deep, over which your firm land
is but a thin crust or rind! Thus daily is the intermediate land crumbling
in, daily the empire of the two Buchan-Bullers extending; till now there is
but a foot-plank, a mere film of Land between them; this too is washed
away: and then--we have the true Hell of Waters, and Noah's Deluge is

"Or better, I might call them two boundless, and indeed unexampled Electric
Machines (turned by the 'Machinery of Society'), with batteries of opposite
quality; Drudgism the Negative, Dandyism the Positive; one attracts hourly
towards it and appropriates all the Positive Electricity of the nation
(namely, the Money thereof); the other is equally busy with the Negative
(that is to say the Hunger), which is equally potent. Hitherto you see
only partial transient sparkles and sputters: but wait a little, till the
entire nation is in an electric state: till your whole vital Electricity,
no longer healthfully Neutral, is cut into two isolated portions of
Positive and Negative (of Money and of Hunger); and stands there bottled up
in two World-Batteries! The stirring of a child's finger brings the two
together; and then--What then? The Earth is but shivered into impalpable
smoke by that Doom's thunder-peal; the Sun misses one of his Planets in
Space, and thenceforth there are no eclipses of the Moon.--Or better still,
I might liken"--

Oh, enough, enough of likenings and similitudes; in excess of which, truly,
it is hard to say whether Teufelsdrockh or ourselves sin the more.

We have often blamed him for a habit of wire-drawing and over-refining;
from of old we have been familiar with his tendency to Mysticism and
Religiosity, whereby in everything he was still scenting out Religion: but
never perhaps did these amaurosis-suffusions so cloud and distort his
otherwise most piercing vision, as in this of the _Dandiacal Body_! Or was
there something of intended satire; is the Professor and Seer not quite the
blinkard he affects to be? Of an ordinary mortal we should have decisively
answered in the affirmative; but with a Teufelsdrockh there ever hovers
some shade of doubt. In the mean while, if satire were actually intended,
the case is little better. There are not wanting men who will answer:
Does your Professor take us for simpletons? His irony has overshot itself;
we see through it, and perhaps through him.


Thus, however, has our first Practical Inference from the
Clothes-Philosophy, that which respects Dandies, been sufficiently drawn;
and we come now to the second, concerning Tailors. On this latter our
opinion happily quite coincides with that of Teufelsdrockh himself, as
expressed in the concluding page of his Volume, to whom, therefore, we
willingly give place. Let him speak his own last words, in his own way:--

"Upwards of a century," says he, "must elapse, and still the bleeding fight
of Freedom be fought, whoso is noblest perishing in the van, and thrones be
hurled on altars like Pelion on Ossa, and the Moloch of Iniquity have his
victims, and the Michael of Justice his martyrs, before Tailors can be
admitted to their true prerogatives of manhood, and this last wound of
suffering Humanity be closed.

"If aught in the history of the world's blindness could surprise us, here
might we indeed pause and wonder. An idea has gone abroad, and fixed
itself down into a wide-spreading rooted error, that Tailors are a distinct
species in Physiology, not Men, but fractional Parts of a Man. Call any
one a _Schneider_ (Cutter, Tailor), is it not, in our dislocated,
hoodwinked, and indeed delirious condition of Society, equivalent to
defying his perpetual fellest enmity? The epithet _schneidermassig_
(tailor-like) betokens an otherwise unapproachable degree of pusillanimity;
we introduce a _Tailor's-Melancholy_, more opprobrious than any Leprosy,
into our Books of Medicine; and fable I know not what of his generating it
by living on Cabbage. Why should I speak of Hans Sachs (himself a
Shoemaker, or kind of Leather-Tailor), with his _Schneider mit dem Panier_?
Why of Shakspeare, in his _Taming of the Shrew_, and elsewhere? Does it
not stand on record that the English Queen Elizabeth, receiving a
deputation of Eighteen Tailors, addressed them with a 'Good morning,
gentlemen both!' Did not the same virago boast that she had a Cavalry
Regiment, whereof neither horse nor man could be injured; her Regiment,
namely, of Tailors on Mares? Thus everywhere is the falsehood taken for
granted, and acted on as an indisputable fact.

"Nevertheless, need I put the question to any Physiologist, whether it is
disputable or not? Seems it not at least presumable, that, under his
Clothes, the Tailor has bones and viscera, and other muscles than the
sartorius? Which function of manhood is the Tailor not conjectured to
perform? Can he not arrest for debt? Is he not in most countries a
taxpaying animal?

"To no reader of this Volume can it be doubtful which conviction is mine.
Nay if the fruit of these long vigils, and almost preternatural Inquiries,
is not to perish utterly, the world will have approximated towards a higher
Truth; and the doctrine, which Swift, with the keen forecast of genius,
dimly anticipated, will stand revealed in clear light: that the Tailor is
not only a Man, but something of a Creator or Divinity. Of Franklin it was
said, that 'he snatched the Thunder from Heaven and the Sceptre from
Kings:' but which is greater, I would ask, he that lends, or he that
snatches? For, looking away from individual cases, and how a Man is by the
Tailor new-created into a Nobleman, and clothed not only with Wool but with
Dignity and a Mystic Dominion,--is not the fair fabric of Society itself,
with all its royal mantles and pontifical stoles, whereby, from nakedness
and dismemberment, we are organized into Polities, into nations, and a
whole co-operating Mankind, the creation, as has here been often
irrefragably evinced, of the Tailor alone?--What too are all Poets and
moral Teachers, but a species of Metaphorical Tailors? Touching which high
Guild the greatest living Guild-brother has triumphantly asked us: 'Nay if
thou wilt have it, who but the Poet first made Gods for men; brought them
down to us; and raised us up to them?'

"And this is he, whom sitting downcast, on the hard basis of his Shopboard,
the world treats with contumely, as the ninth part of a man! Look up, thou
much-injured one, look up with the kindling eye of hope, and prophetic
bodings of a noble better time. Too long hast thou sat there, on crossed
legs, wearing thy ankle-joints to horn; like some sacred Anchorite, or
Catholic Fakir, doing penance, drawing down Heaven's richest blessings, for
a world that scoffed at thee. Be of hope! Already streaks of blue peer
through our clouds; the thick gloom of Ignorance is rolling asunder, and it
will be Day. Mankind will repay with interest their long-accumulated debt:
the Anchorite that was scoffed at will be worshipped; the Fraction will
become not an Integer only, but a Square and Cube. With astonishment the
world will recognize that the Tailor is its Hierophant and Hierarch, or
even its God.

"As I stood in the Mosque of St. Sophia, and looked upon these
Four-and-Twenty Tailors, sewing and embroidering that rich Cloth, which the
Sultan sends yearly for the Caaba of Mecca, I thought within myself: How
many other Unholies has your covering Art made holy, besides this Arabian

"Still more touching was it when, turning the corner of a lane, in the
Scottish Town of Edinburgh, I came upon a Signpost, whereon stood written
that such and such a one was 'Breeches-Maker to his Majesty;' and stood
painted the Effigies of a Pair of Leather Breeches, and between the knees
these memorable words, SIC ITUR AD ASTRA. Was not this the martyr
prison-speech of a Tailor sighing indeed in bonds, yet sighing towards
deliverance, and prophetically appealing to a better day? A day of
justice, when the worth of Breeches would be revealed to man, and the
Scissors become forever venerable.

"Neither, perhaps, may I now say, has his appeal been altogether in vain.
It was in this high moment, when the soul, rent, as it were, and shed
asunder, is open to inspiring influence, that I first conceived this Work
on Clothes: the greatest I can ever hope to do; which has already, after
long retardations, occupied, and will yet occupy, so large a section of my
Life; and of which the Primary and simpler Portion may here find its


So have we endeavored, from the enormous, amorphous Plum-pudding, more like
a Scottish Haggis, which Herr Teufelsdrockh had kneaded for his
fellow-mortals, to pick out the choicest Plums, and present them separately
on a cover of our own. A laborious, perhaps a thankless enterprise; in
which, however, something of hope has occasionally cheered us, and of which
we can now wash our hands not altogether without satisfaction. If hereby,
though in barbaric wise, some morsel of spiritual nourishment have been
added to the scanty ration of our beloved British world, what nobler
recompense could the Editor desire? If it prove otherwise, why should he
murmur? Was not this a Task which Destiny, in any case, had appointed him;
which having now done with, he sees his general Day's-work so much the
lighter, so much the shorter?

Of Professor Teufelsdrockh, it seems impossible to take leave without a
mingled feeling of astonishment, gratitude, and disapproval. Who will not
regret that talents, which might have profited in the higher walks of
Philosophy, or in Art itself, have been so much devoted to a rummaging
among lumber-rooms; nay too often to a scraping in kennels, where lost
rings and diamond-necklaces are nowise the sole conquests? Regret is
unavoidable; yet censure were loss of time. To cure him of his mad humors
British Criticism would essay in vain: enough for her if she can, by
vigilance, prevent the spreading of such among ourselves. What a result,
should this piebald, entangled, hyper-metaphorical style of writing, not to
say of thinking, become general among our Literary men! As it might so
easily do. Thus has not the Editor himself, working over Teufelsdrockh's
German, lost much of his own English purity? Even as the smaller whirlpool
is sucked into the larger, and made to whirl along with it, so has the
lesser mind, in this instance, been forced to become portion of the
greater, and, like it, see all things figuratively: which habit time and
assiduous effort will be needed to eradicate.

Nevertheless, wayward as our Professor shows himself, is there any reader
that can part with him in declared enmity? Let us confess, there is that
in the wild, much-suffering, much-inflicting man, which almost attaches us.
His attitude, we will hope and believe, is that of a man who had said to
Cant, Begone; and to Dilettantism, Here thou canst not be; and to Truth, Be
thou in place of all to me: a man who had manfully defied the
"Time-Prince," or Devil, to his face; nay perhaps, Hannibal-like, was
mysteriously consecrated from birth to that warfare, and now stood minded
to wage the same, by all weapons, in all places, at all times. In such a
cause, any soldier, were he but a Polack Scythe-man, shall be welcome.

Still the question returns on us: How could a man occasionally of keen
insight, not without keen sense of propriety, who had real Thoughts to
communicate, resolve to emit them in a shape bordering so closely on the
absurd? Which question he were wiser than the present Editor who should
satisfactorily answer. Our conjecture has sometimes been, that perhaps
Necessity as well as Choice was concerned in it. Seems it not conceivable
that, in a Life like our Professor's, where so much bountifully given by
Nature had in Practice failed and misgone, Literature also would never
rightly prosper: that striving with his characteristic vehemence to paint
this and the other Picture, and ever without success, he at last
desperately dashes his sponge, full of all colors, against the canvas, to
try whether it will paint Foam? With all his stillness, there were perhaps
in Teufelsdrockh desperation enough for this.

A second conjecture we hazard with even less warranty. It is, that
Teufelsdrockh, is not without some touch of the universal feeling, a wish
to proselytize. How often already have we paused, uncertain whether the
basis of this so enigmatic nature were really Stoicism and Despair, or Love
and Hope only seared into the figure of these! Remarkable, moreover, is
this saying of his: "How were Friendship possible? In mutual devotedness
to the Good and True: otherwise impossible; except as Armed Neutrality, or
hollow Commercial League. A man, be the Heavens ever praised, is
sufficient for himself; yet were ten men, united in Love, capable of being
and of doing what ten thousand singly would fail in. Infinite is the help
man can yield to man." And now in conjunction therewith consider this
other: "It is the Night of the World, and still long till it be Day: we
wander amid the glimmer of smoking ruins, and the Sun and the Stars of
Heaven are as if blotted out for a season; and two immeasurable Phantoms,
HYPOCRISY and ATHEISM, with the Ghoul, SENSUALITY, stalk abroad over the
Earth, and call it theirs: well at ease are the Sleepers for whom
Existence is a shallow Dream."

But what of the awe-struck Wakeful who find it a Reality? Should not these
unite; since even an authentic Spectre is not visible to Two?--In which
case were this Enormous Clothes-Volume properly an enormous Pitch-pan,
which our Teufelsdrockh in his lone watch-tower had kindled, that it might
flame far and wide through the Night, and many a disconsolately wandering
spirit be guided thither to a Brother's bosom!--We say as before, with all
his malign Indifference, who knows what mad Hopes this man may harbor?

Meanwhile there is one fact to be stated here, which harmonizes ill with
such conjecture; and, indeed, were Teufelsdrockh made like other men, might
as good as altogether subvert it. Namely, that while the Beacon-fire
blazed its brightest, the Watchman had quitted it; that no pilgrim could
now ask him: Watchman, what of the Night? Professor Teufelsdrockh, be it
known, is no longer visibly present at Weissnichtwo, but again to all
appearance lost in space! Some time ago, the Hofrath Heuschrecke was
pleased to favor us with another copious Epistle; wherein much is said
about the "Population-Institute;" much repeated in praise of the Paper-bag
Documents, the hieroglyphic nature of which our Hofrath still seems not to
have surmised; and, lastly, the strangest occurrence communicated, to us
for the first time, in the following paragraph:--

"_Ew. Wohlgeboren_ will have seen from the Public Prints, with what
affectionate and hitherto fruitless solicitude Weissnichtwo regards the
disappearance of her Sage. Might but the united voice of Germany prevail
on him to return; nay could we but so much as elucidate for ourselves by
what mystery he went away! But, alas, old Lieschen experiences or affects
the profoundest deafness, the profoundest ignorance: in the Wahngasse all
lies swept, silent, sealed up; the Privy Council itself can hitherto elicit
no answer.

"It had been remarked that while the agitating news of those Parisian Three
Days flew from mouth to month, and dinned every ear in Weissnichtwo, Herr
Teufelsdrockh was not known, at the _Gans_ or elsewhere, to have spoken,
for a whole week, any syllable except once these three: _Es geht an_ (It
is beginning). Shortly after, as _Ew. Wohlgeboren_ knows, was the public
tranquillity here, as in Berlin, threatened by a Sedition of the Tailors.
Nor did there want Evil-wishers, or perhaps mere desperate Alarmists, who
asserted that the closing Chapter of the Clothes-Volume was to blame. In
this appalling crisis, the serenity of our Philosopher was indescribable:
nay, perhaps through one humble individual, something thereof might pass
into the _Rath_ (Council) itself, and so contribute to the country's
deliverance. The Tailors are now entirely pacificated.--

"To neither of these two incidents can I attribute our loss: yet still
comes there the shadow of a suspicion out of Paris and its Politics. For
example, when the _Saint-Simonian Society_ transmitted its Propositions
hither, and the whole _Gans_ was one vast cackle of laughter, lamentation
and astonishment, our Sage sat mute; and at the end of the third evening
said merely: 'Here also are men who have discovered, not without
amazement, that Man is still Man; of which high, long-forgotten Truth you
already see them make a false application.' Since then, as has been
ascertained by examination of the Post-Director, there passed at least one
Letter with its Answer between the Messieurs Bazard-Enfantin and our
Professor himself; of what tenor can now only be conjectured. On the fifth
night following, he was seen for the last time!

"Has this invaluable man, so obnoxious to most of the hostile Sects that
convulse our Era, been spirited away by certain of their emissaries; or did
he go forth voluntarily to their head-quarters to confer with them, and
confront them? Reason we have, at least of a negative sort, to believe the
Lost still living; our widowed heart also whispers that ere long he will
himself give a sign. Otherwise, indeed, his archives must, one day, be
opened by Authority; where much, perhaps the _Palingenesie_ itself, is
thought to be reposited."

Thus far the Hofrath; who vanishes, as is his wont, too like an Ignis
Fatuus, leaving the dark still darker.

So that Teufelsdrockh's public History were not done, then, or reduced to
an even, unromantic tenor; nay, perhaps the better part thereof were only
beginning? We stand in a region of conjectures, where substance has melted
into shadow, and one cannot be distinguished from the other. May Time,
which solves or suppresses all problems, throw glad light on this also!
Our own private conjecture, now amounting almost to certainty, is that,
safe-moored in some stillest obscurity, not to lie always still,
Teufelsdrockh, is actually in London!

Here, however, can the present Editor, with an ambrosial joy as of
over-weariness falling into sleep, lay down his pen. Well does he know, if
human testimony be worth aught, that to innumerable British readers
likewise, this is a satisfying consummation; that innumerable British
readers consider him, during these current months, but as an uneasy
interruption to their ways of thought and digestion; and indicate so much,
not without a certain irritancy and even spoken invective. For which, as
for other mercies, ought not he to thank the Upper Powers? To one and all
of you, O irritated readers, he, with outstretched arms and open heart,
will wave a kind farewell. Thou too, miraculous Entity, who namest thyself
YORKE and OLIVER, and with thy vivacities and genialities, with thy all too
Irish mirth and madness, and odor of palled punch, makest such strange
work, farewell; long as thou canst, _fare-well_! Have we not, in the
course of Eternity, travelled some months of our Life-journey in partial
sight of one another; have we not existed together, though in a state of


This questionable little Book was undoubtedly written among the mountain
solitudes, in 1831; but, owing to impediments natural and accidental, could
not, for seven years more, appear as a Volume in England;--and had at last
to clip itself in pieces, and be content to struggle out, bit by bit, in
some courageous _Magazine_ that offered. Whereby now, to certain idly
curious readers, and even to myself till I make study, the insignificant
but at last irritating question, What its real history and chronology are,
is, if not insoluble, considerably involved in haze.

To the first English Edition, 1838, which an American, or two American had
now opened the way for, there was slightingly prefixed, under the title,
"_Testimonies of Authors_," some straggle of real documents, which, now
that I find it again, sets the matter into clear light and sequence:--and
shall here, for removal of idle stumbling-blocks and nugatory guessings
from the path of every reader, be reprinted as it stood. (_Author's Note,
of_ 1868.)



_Taster to Bookseller_.--" The Author of _Teufelsdrockh_ is a person of
talent; his work displays here and there some felicity of thought and
expression, considerable fancy and knowledge: but whether or not it would
take with the public seems doubtful. For a _jeu d'esprit_ of that kind it
is too long; it would have suited better as an essay or article than as a
volume. The Author has no great tact; his wit is frequently heavy; and
reminds one of the German Baron who took to leaping on tables and answered
that he was learning to be lively. _Is_ the work a translation?"

_Bookseller to Editor_.--"Allow me to say that such a writer requires only
a little more tact to produce a popular as well as an able work. Directly
on receiving your permission, I sent your MS. to a gentleman in the highest
class of men of letters, and an accomplished German scholar: I now enclose
you his opinion, which, you may rely upon it, is a just one; and I have too
high an opinion of your good sense to" &c. &c.--_Ms. (penes nos), London,
17th September_, 1831.


"_Fraser's Magazine_ exhibits the usual brilliancy, and also the" &c.

"_Sartor Resartus_ is what old Dennis used to call 'a heap of clotted
nonsense,' mixed however, here and there, with passages marked by thought
and striking poetic vigor. But what does the writer mean by 'Baphometic
fire-baptism'? Why cannot he lay aside his pedantry, and write so as to
make himself generally intelligible? We quote by way of curiosity a
sentence from the _Sartor Resartus_; which may be read either backwards or
forwards, for it is equally intelligible either way: indeed, by beginning
at the tail, and so working up to the head, we think the reader will stand
the fairest chance of getting at its meaning: 'The fire-baptized soul,
long so scathed and thunder-riven, here feels its own freedom; which
feeling is its Baphometic baptism: the citadel of its whole kingdom it has
thus gained by assault, and will keep inexpugnable; outwards from which the
remaining dominions, not indeed without hard battering, will doubtless by
degrees be conquered and pacificated.' Here is a"...--_Sun Newspaper, 1st
April_, 1834.


... "After a careful survey of the whole ground, our belief is that no such
persons as Professors Teufelsdrockh or Counsellor Heuschrecke ever existed;
that the six Paper-bags, with their China-ink inscriptions and multifarious
contents, are a mere figment of the brain; that the 'present Editor' is the
only person who has ever written upon the Philosophy of Clothes; and that
the _Sartor Resartus_ is the only treatise that has yet appeared upon that
subject;--in short, that the whole account of the origin of the work before
us, which the supposed Editor relates with so much gravity, and of which we
have given a brief abstract, is, in plain English, a _hum_.

"Without troubling our readers at any great length with our reasons for
entertaining these suspicions, we may remark, that the absence of all other
information on the subject, except what is contained in the work, is itself
a fact of a most significant character. The whole German press, as well as
the particular one where the work purports to have been printed, seems to
be under the control of _Stillschweigen and Co. _--Silence and Company. If
the Clothes-Philosophy and its author are making so great a sensation
throughout Germany as is pretended, how happens it that the only notice we
have of the fact is contained in a few numbers of a monthly Magazine
published at London! How happens it that no intelligence about the matter
has come out directly to this country? We pique ourselves here in New
England upon knowing at least as much of what is going on in the literary
way in the old Dutch Mother-land as our brethren of the fast-anchored Isle;
but thus far we have no tidings whatever of the 'extensive close-printed,
close-meditated volume,' which forms the subject of this pretended
commentary. Again, we would respectfully inquire of the 'present Editor'
upon what part of the map of Germany we are to look for the city of
_Weissnichtwo_--'Know-not-where'--at which place the work is supposed to
have been printed, and the Author to have resided. It has been our fortune
to visit several portions of the German territory, and to examine pretty
carefully, at different times and for various purposes, maps of the whole;
but we have no recollection of any such place. We suspect that the city of
_Know-not-where_ might be called, with at least as much propriety,
_Nobody-knows-where_, and is to be found in the kingdom of _Nowhere_.
Again, the village of _Entepfuhl_--'Duck-pond'--where the supposed Author
of the work is said to have passed his youth, and that of _Hinterschlag_,
where he had his education, are equally foreign to our geography.
Duck-ponds enough there undoubtedly are in almost every village in Germany,
as the traveller in that country knows too well to his cost, but any
particular village denominated Duck-pond is to us altogether _terra
incognita_. The names of the personages are not less singular than those
of the places. Who can refrain from a smile at the yoking together of such
a pair of appellatives as Diogenes Teufelsdrockh? The supposed bearer of
this strange title is represented as admitting, in his pretended
autobiography, that 'he had searched to no purpose through all the Heralds'
books in and without the German empire, and through all manner of
Subscribers'-lists, Militia-rolls, and other Name-catalogues,' but had
nowhere been able to find 'the name Teufelsdrockh, except as appended to
his own person.' We can readily believe this, and we doubt very much
whether any Christian parent would think of condemning a son to carry
through life the burden of so unpleasant a title. That of Counsellor
Heuschrecke--'Grasshopper'-- though not offensive, looks much more like a
piece of fancy-work than a 'fair business transaction.' The same may be
said of _Blumine_--'Flower-Goddess'--the heroine of the fable; and so of
the rest.

"In short, our private opinion is, as we have remarked, that the whole
story of a correspondence with Germany, a university of Nobody-knows-where,
a Professor of Things in General, a Counsellor Grasshopper, a
Flower-Goddess Blumine, and so forth, has about as much foundation in truth
as the late entertaining account of Sir John Herschel's discoveries in the
moon. Fictions of this kind are, however, not uncommon, and ought not,
perhaps, to be condemned with too much severity; but we are not sure that
we can exercise the same indulgence in regard to the attempt, which seems
to be made to mislead the public as to the substance of the work before us,
and its pretended German original. Both purport, as we have seen, to be
upon the subject of Clothes, or dress. _Clothes, their Origin and
Influence_, is the title of the supposed German treatise of Professor
Teufelsdrockh and the rather odd name of _Sartor Resartus_--the Tailor
Patched--which the present Editor has affixed to his pretended commentary,
seems to look the same way. But though there is a good deal of remark
throughout the work in a half-serious, half-comic style upon dress, it
seems to be in reality a treatise upon the great science of Things in
General, which Teufelsdrockh, is supposed to have professed at the
university of Nobody-knows-where. Now, without intending to adopt a too
rigid standard of morals, we own that we doubt a little the propriety of
offering to the public a treatise on Things in General, under the name and
in the form of an Essay on Dress. For ourselves, advanced as we
unfortunately are in the journey of life, far beyond the period when dress
is practically a matter of interest, we have no hesitation in saying, that
the real subject of the work is to us more attractive than the ostensible
one. But this is probably not the case with the mass of readers. To the
younger portion of the community, which constitutes everywhere the very
great majority, the subject of dress is one of intense and paramount
importance. An author who treats it appeals, like the poet, to the young
men end maddens--_virginibus puerisque_--and calls upon them, by all the
motives which habitually operate most strongly upon their feelings, to buy
his book. When, after opening their purses for this purpose, they have
carried home the work in triumph, expecting to find in it some particular
instruction in regard to the tying of their neckcloths, or the cut of their
corsets, and meet with nothing better than a dissertation on Things in
General, they will--to use the mildest term--not be in very good humor. If
the last improvements in legislation, which we have made in this country,
should have found their way to England, the author, we think, would stand
some chance of being _Lynched_. Whether his object in this piece of
_supercherie_ be merely pecuniary profit, or whether he takes a malicious
pleasure in quizzing the Dandies, we shall not undertake to say. In the
latter part of the work, he devotes a separate chapter to this class of
persons, from the tenor of which we should be disposed to conclude, that he
would consider any mode of divesting them of their property very much in
the nature of a spoiling of the Egyptians.

"The only thing about the work, tending to prove that it is what it
purports to be, a commentary on a real German treatise, is the style, which
is a sort of Babylonish dialect, not destitute, it is true, of richness,
vigor, and at times a sort of singular felicity of expression, but very
strongly tinged throughout with the peculiar idiom of the German language.
This quality in the style, however, may be a mere result of a great
familiarity with German literature; and we cannot, therefore, look upon it
as in itself decisive, still less as outweighing so much evidence of an
opposite character."-- _North-American Review, No. 89, October_, 1835.


"The Editors have been induced, by the expressed desire of many persons, to
collect the following sheets out of the ephemeral pamphlets* in which they
first appeared, under the conviction that they contain in themselves the
assurance of a longer date.

*_Fraser's_ (London) _Magazine_, 1833-34.

"The Editors have no expectation that this little Work will have a sudden
and general popularity. They will not undertake, as there is no need, to
justify the gay costume in which the Author delights to dress his thoughts,
or the German idioms with which he has sportively sprinkled his pages. It
is his humor to advance the gravest speculations upon the gravest topics in
a quaint and burlesque style. If his masquerade offend any of his
audience, to that degree that they will not hear what he has to say, it may
chance to draw others to listen to his wisdom; and what work of imagination
can hope to please all! But we will venture to remark that the distaste
excited by these peculiarities in some readers is greatest at first, and is
soon forgotten; and that the foreign dress and aspect of the Work are quite
superficial, and cover a genuine Saxon heart. We believe, no book has been
published for many years, written in a more sincere style of idiomatic
English, or which discovers an equal mastery over all the riches of the
language. The Author makes ample amends for the occasional eccentricity of
his genius, not only by frequent bursts of pure splendor, but by the wit
and sense which never fail him.

"But what will chiefly commend the Book to the discerning reader is the
manifest design of the work, which is, a Criticism upon the Spirit of the
Age--we had almost said, of the hour--in which we live; exhibiting in the
most just and novel light the present aspects of Religion, Politics,
Literature, Arts, and Social Life. Under all his gayety the Writer has an
earnest meaning, and discovers an insight into the manifold wants and
tendencies of human nature, which is very rare among our popular authors.
The philanthropy and the purity of moral sentiment, which inspire the work,
will find their way to the heart of every lover of virtue."--_Preface to
Sartor Resartus: Boston_, 1835, 1837.


LONDON, 30th June, 1838.

All spelling and punctuation was kept as in the printed text.
Italicized phrases are delimited by _underscores_. Footnotes
(there are only four) have been placed at the ends of the
paragraphs referencing them.

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