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THOMAS CARLYLE.



SARTOR

RESARTUS



The Life and Opinions of

HERR TEUFELSDROCKH . ,

By THOMAS CARLYLE

Author of " A History of the French Revolution," " Heroes and
Hero Worship," " Past and Present," etc., etc.

h







i .*>



A. L. BURT COMPANY, & & #
& * * PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK



CONTENTS.



BOOK I.

CHAP. FAGH.

I. PRELIMINARY 5<

II. EDITORIAL DIFFICULTIES n

III. REMINISCENCES 16

IV. CHARACTERISTICS 30

V. THE WORLD IN CLOTHES 37

VI. APRONS 4 44

VII. MISCELLANEOUS-HISTORICAL 47

VIII. THE WORLD OUT OF CLOTHES 52

IX. ADAMITISM 59

X. PURE REASON 65

XI. PROSPECTIVE 72

BOOK II.

I. GENESIS 82

II. IDYLLIC 91

III. PEDAGOGY. 101

IV. GETTING UNDER WAY 119

V. ROMANCE 133

VI. SORROWS OF TEUFELSDROCKH 148

VII. THE EVERLASTING No 159

VIII. CENTRE OF INDIFFERENCE 168

IX. THE EVERLASTING YEA 181

X. PAUSE 195

BOOK III.

I. INCIDENT IN MODERN HISTORY 204

II. CHURCH-CLOTHES 211

III. SYMBOLS 215



Iv CONTENTS.

CHAP. PAGE.

IV. HELOTAGE 224

V. THE PHCENIX 229

VI. OLD CLOTHES 236

VII. ORGANIC FILAMENTS 242

VIII. NATURAL SUPERNATURALISM 252

IX. CIRCUMSPECTIVE 265

X. THE DANDIACAL BODY 270

XI. TAILORS 285

XII. FAREWELL 289

APPENDIX : TESTIMONIES OF AUTHORS 296

SUMMARY 305



SARTOR RESARTUS,



BOOK FIRST.



CHAPTER I.

PRELIMINARY.

CONSIDERING our present advanced state of culture,
and how the Torch of Science has now been bran-
dished and borne about, with more or less effect, for
five thousand years and upwards ; how, in these times
especially, not only the Torch still burns, and perhaps
more fiercely than ever, but innumerable Rushlights,
and Sulphur-matches, kindled thereat, are also glanc-
ing in every direction, so that not the smallest cranny
or doghole in Nature or Art can remain unilluminated,
it might strike the reflective mind with some surprise
that hitherto little or nothing of a fundamental charac-
ter, whether in the way of Philosophy or History, has
been written on the subject of Clothes.

Our Theory of Gravitation is as good as perfect :
Lagrange, it is well known, has proved that the Plan-
etary System, on this scheme, will endure forever ;
Laplace, still more cunningly, even guesses that it
could not have been made on any other scheme.



6 SARTOR RESARTUS.

Whereby, at least, our nautical Logbooks can be bet-
ter kept ; and water-transport of all kinds has grown
more commodious. Of Geology and Geognosy we
know enough : what with the labors of our Werners
and Huttons, what with the ardent genius of their dis-
ciples, it has come about that now, to many a Royal
Society, the Creation of a World is little more mysteri-
ous than the cooking of a dumpling ; concerning which
last, indeed, there have been minds to whom the ques-
tion, How the apples were got in, presented difficulties.
Why mention our disquisitions on the Social Contract,
on the Standard of Taste, on the Migrations of the
Herring ? Then, have we not a Doctrine of Rent,
a Theory of Value ; Philosophies of Language, of His-
tory, of Pottery, of Apparitions, of Intoxicating Liq-
uors ? Man's whole life and environment have been
laid open and elucidated ; scarcely a fragment or fibre
of his Soul, Body, and Possessions, but has been probed,
dissected, distilled, desiccated, and scientifically de-
composed : our spiritual Faculties, of which it appears
there are not a few, have their Stewarts, Cousins, Royer
Collards : every cellular, vascular, muscular Tissue
glories in its Lawrences, Majendies, Bichats.

How, then, comes it, may the reflective mind repeat,
that the grand Tissue of all Tissues, the only real Tis-
sue, should have been quite overlooked by Science,
the vestural Tissue, namely, of woollen or other cloth ;
which Man's Soul wears as its outmost wrappage and
overall ; wherein his whole other Tissues are included
and screened, his whole Faculties work, his whole Self
lives, moves, and has its being ? F or if, now and then,
some straggling broken-winged thinker has cast an
owl's-glance into this obscure region, the most have
soared over it altogether heedless ; regarding Clothes as



SARTOR RESARTUS. f

a property, not an accident, as quite natural and spon-
taneous, like the leaves of trees, like the plumage of
birds. In all speculations they have tacitly figured
man as a Clothed Animal ; whereas he is by nature a
Naked Animal ; and only in certain circumstances, by
purpose and device, masks himself in Clothes. Shakes-
peare says, we are creatures that look before and after :
the more surprising that we do not look round a little,
and see what is passing under our very eyes.

But here, as in so many other cases, Germany,
learned, indefatigable, deep-thinking Germany comes
to our aid. It is, after all, a blessing that, in these
revolutionary times, there should be one country where
abstract Thought can still take shelter ; that while the
din and. frenzy of Catholic Emancipations, and Rotten
Boroughs, and Revolts of Paris, deafen every French
and every English ear, the German can stand peaceful
on his scientific watch-tower ; and, to the raging,
struggling multitude here and elsewhere, solemnly,
from hour to hour, with preparatory blast of cowhorn,
emit his Horet ihr Herren und lasset's Euch sagen ; in
other words, tell the Universe, which so often forgets
that fact, what o'clock it really is. Not unfrequently
the Germans have been blamed for an unprofitable dili-
gence ; as if they struck into devious courses, where
nothing was to be had but the toil of a rough journey ;
as if, forsaking the gold-mines of finance and that
political slaughter of fat oxen whereby a man himself
grows fat, they were apt to run goose-hunting into
regions of bilberries and crowberries, and be swallowed
up at last in remote peat-bogs. Of that unwise science,
which, as our Humorist expresses it,

" By geometric scale
Doth take thejsize of pots of ale ; "



8 SARTOR RESARTUS.

Still more, of that altogether misdirected industry,
which is seen vigorously thrashing mere straw, there
can nothing defensive be said. In so far as the
Germans are chargeable with such, let them take the
consequence. Nevertheless be it remarked, that even
a Russian steppe has tumuli and gold ornaments ; also
many a scene that looks desert and rock-bound from
the distance, will unfold itself, when visited, into rare
valleys. Nay, in any case, would Criticism erect not
only finger-posts and turnpikes, but spiked gates and
impassable barriers, for the mind of man ? It is writ-
ten, " Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall
be increased." Surely the plain rule is, Let each con-
siderate person have his way, and see what it will
lead to. For not this man and that man, but all men
make up mankind, and their united tasks the task
of mankind. How often have we seen some such
adventurous, and perhaps much-censured wanderer
light on some out-lying, neglected, yet vitally moment-
ous province ; the hidden treasures of which he first
discovered, and kept proclaiming till the general eye
and effort were directed thither, and the conquest was
completed ; thereby, in these his seemingly so aim-
less rambles, planting new standards, founding new
habitable colonies, in the immeasurable circumambient
realm of Nothingness and Night ! Wise man was he
who counselled that Speculation should have free
course, and look fearlessly towards all the thirty-two
points of the compass, whithersoever and howsoever it
listed.

Perhaps it is proof of the stunted condition in which
pure Science, especially pure moral Science, languishes
among us English ; and how our mercantile greatness,



SARTOR RESARTUS. g

and invaluable Constitution, impressing a political or
other immediately practical tendency on all English
culture and endeavor, cramps the free flight of Thought,
that this, not Philosophy of Clothes, but recognition
even that we have no such Philosophy, stands here for
the first time published in our language. What Eng-
lish intellect could have chosen such a topic, or by
chance stumbled on it ? But for that same unshackled,
and even sequestered condition of German Learned,
which permits and induces them to fish in all manner
of waters, with all manner of nets, it seems probable
enough, this abtruse Inquiry might, in spite of the
results it leads to, have continued dormant for indefi-
nite periods. The Editor of these sheets, though other-
wise boasting himself a man of confirmed speculative
habits, and perhaps discursive enough, is free to con-
fess, that never, till these last months, did the above
very plain considerations, on our total want of a Phi-
losophy of Clothes, occur to him ; and then, by quite
foreign suggestion. By the arrival, namely, of a new
Book from Professor Teufelsdrockh of Weissnichtwo ;
treating expressly of this subject, and in a style which,
whether understood or not, could not even by the
blindest be overlooked. In the present Editor's way of
thought, this remarkable Treatise, with its Doctrines,
whether as judicially acceded to, or judicially denied,
has not remained without effect.

' ' Die Kleider, ihr Werden und Wirken (Clothes,
their Origin and Influence) : von Diog. Teufelsdrockh.
J. U. D. , etc. Stillschweigen und Cognie. Weissnichtwo,

1831.

"Here," says the Weissnichtwo 'sche Anzeiger,
"comes a Volume of that extensive, close-printed,
close-meditated sort, which, be it spoken with pride,



10 SARTOR RESARTUS.

is seen only in Germany, perhaps only in Weissnich-
two. Issuing from the hitherto irreproachable Firm
of Stillschweigen and Company, with every external
furtherance, it is of such internal quality as to set Neg-
lect at defiance." . . . "A work," concludes the well-
nigh enthusiastic Reviewer, "interesting alike to the
antiquary, the historian, and the philosophic thinker;
a masterpiece of boldness, lynx-eyed acuteness, and
rugged independent Germanism and Philanthropy (der-
ber Kerndeutschheit und Menschenliebe) ; which will
not, assuredly, pass current without opposition in high
places ; but must and will exalt the almost new name
of Teufelsdrockh to the first ranks of Philosophy, in
our German Temple of Honor."

Mindful of old friendship, the distinguished Pro-
fessor, in this the first blaze of his fame, which how-
ever does not dazzle him, sends hither a Presentation-
copy of his Book ; with compliments and encomiums
which modesty forbids the present Editor to rehearse ;
yet without indicated wish or hope of any kind, except
what may be implied in the concluding phrase : Moclite
es (this remarkable Treatise) auch im Brittischen Boden
gedeihen I



SARTOR RESARTUS. II



CHAPTER II.

EDITORIAL DIFFICULTIES.

IF for a speculative man, "whose seedfield," in the
sublime words of the Poet, " is Time," no conquest is
important but that of new ideas, then might the arrival
of Professor Teufelsdrb'ckh's Book be marked with
chalk in the Editor's calendar. It is indeed an "ex-
tensive Volume," of boundless, almost formless con-
tents, a very Sea of Thought ; neither calm nor clear,
if you will ; yet wherein the toughest pearl-diver may
dive to his utmost depth, and return not only with sea-
wreck but with true orients.

Directly on the first perusal, almost on the first
deliberate inspection, it became apparent that here a
quite new Branch of Philosophy, leading to as yet un-
descried ulterior results, was disclosed ; farther, what
seemed scarcely less interesting, a quite new human
Individuality, an almost unexampled personal char-
acter, that, namely, of Professor Teufelsdrockh the Dis-
closer. Of both which novelties, as far as might be
possible, we resolved to master the significance. But
as man is emphatically a proselytizing creature, no
sooner was such mastery even fairly attempted, than
the new question arose : How migh't this acquired
good be imparted to others, perhaps in equal need
thereof : how could the Philosophy of Clothes, and the
Author of such Philosophy, be brought home, in any



12 SARTOR RESARTUS.

measure, to the business and bosoms of our own Eng-
lish Nation ? For if new-got gold is said to burn the
pockets till it be cast forth into circulation, much more
may new truth.

Here, however, difficulties occurred. The first
thought naturally was to publish Article after Article
on this remarkable Volume, in such widely-circulating
Critical Journals as the Editor might stand connected
with, or by money or love procure access to. But, on
the other hand, was it not clear that such matter as
must here be revealed, and treated of, might endan-
ger the circulation of any Journal extant ? If, indeed
all party-divisions in the State could have been abol-
ished, Whig, Tory, and Radical, embracing in dis-
crepant union ; and all the Journals of the Nation
could have been jumbled into one Journal, and the
Philosophy of Clothes poured forth in incessant tor-
rents therefrom, the attempt had seemed possible.
But, alas, what vehicle of that sort have we, except
Eraser's Magazine ^ A vehicle all strewed (figura-
tively speaking) with the maddest Waterloo-Crackers,
exploding distractively and destructively, wheresoever
the mystified passenger stands or sits ; nay, in any
case, understood to be, of late years, a vehicle full to
overflowing, and inexorably shut ! Besides, to state
the Philosophy of Clothes without the Philosopher,
the ideas of Teufelsdrockh without something of his
personality, was it not to insure both of entire misap-
prehension ? Now for Biography, had it been other-
wise admissible, there were no adequate documents,
no hope of obtaining such, but rather, owing to cir-
cumstances, a special despair. Thus did the Editor
see himself, for the while, shut out from all public
utterance of these extraordinary Doctrines, and con-



SARTOR RESARTUS. t$

Strained to revolve them, not without disquietude, in the
dark depths of his own mind.

So had it lasted for some months ; and now the
Volume on Clothes, read and again read, was in sev-
eral points becoming lucid and lucent ; the personality
of its Author more and more surprising, but, in spite of
all that memory and conjecture could do, more and
more enigmatic ; whereby the old disquietude seemed
fast settling into fixed discontent, when altogether
unexpectedly arrives a letter from Herr Hofrath Heu-
schrecke, our Professor's chief friend and associate in
Weissnichtwo, with whom we had not previously cor-
responded. The Hofrath, after much quite extraneous
matter, began dilating largely on the ' ' agitation and
attention " which the Philosophy of Clothes was excit-
ing in it3 own German Republic of Letters ; on the
deep significance and tendency of his Friend's Volume ;
and then, at length, with great circumlocution, hinted
at the practicability of conveying "some knowledge of
it, and of him, to England, and through England to the
distant West : " a work on Professor Teufelsdrockh
"were undoubtedly welcome to the Family, the Na-
tional, or any other of those patriotic Libraries, at pres-
ent the glory of British Literature ; " might work revolu-
tions in Thought ; and so forth ; in conclusion, inti-
mating not obscurely, that should the present Editor
feel disposed to undertake a Biography of Teufelsdrockh,
he, Hofrath Heuschrecke, had it in his power to furnish
the requisite Documents.

As in some chemical mixture, that has stood long
evaporating, but would not crystallize, instantly when
the wire or other fixed substance is introduced, crys-
tallization commences, and rapidly proceeds till the
whole is finished, so was it with the Editor's mind and



14 SARTOR RESARTUS.

this offer of Heuschrecke's. Form rose out of void
solution and discontinuity ; like united itself with like
in definite arrangement : and soon either in actual
vision and possession, or in fixed reasonable hope, the
image of the whole Enterprise had shaped itself, so to
speak, into a solid mass. Cautiously yet courageously
through the two pennypost, application to the famed
redoubtable OLIVER YORKE was now made : an inter-
view, interviews with that singular man have taken
place*'; with more of assurance on our side, with less
of satire (at least of open satire) on his, than we antici-
pated ; for the rest, with such issue as is now visible.
As to those same "patriotic Libraries," the Hofrath's
counsel could only be viewed with silent amazement ;
but with his offer of Documents we joyfully and almost
instantaneously closed. Thus, too, in the sure expec-
tation of these, we already see our task begun ; and
this our Sartor Resartus, which is properly a "Life and
Opinions of Herr Teufelsdrockh, " hourly advancing.

Of our fitness for the Enterprise, to which we have
such title and vocation, it were perhaps uninteresting
to say more. Let the British reader study and enjoy,
in simplicity of heart, what is here presented him, and
with whatever metaphysical acumen and talent for
meditation he is possessed of. Let him strive to keep
a free, open sense ; cleared from the mists of prejudice,
above all from the paralysis of cant ; and directed
rather to the Book itself than to the Editor of the Book.
Who or what such Editor may be, must remain con-
jectural, and even insignificant r 1 it is a voice publish-
ing tidings of the Philosophy of Clothes ; undoubtedly a
Spirit addressing Spirits : whoso hath ears, let him hear.

1 With us even he still communicates in some sort of mask, or
muffler : and, we have reason to think, under a feigned name ! O. Y.



SARTOR RESARTUS. 15

On one other point the Editor thinks it needful to
give warning : namely, that he is animated with a true
though perhaps a feeble attachment to the Institutions
of our Ancestors ; and minded to defend these, accord-
ing to ability, at all hazards ; nay, it was partly with a
view to such defence that he engaged in this undertaking.
To stem, or if that be impossible, profitably to divert
the current of Innovation, such a Volume as Teufels-
drockh's, if cunningly planted down, were no despicable
pile, or floodgate, in the logical wear.

For the rest, be it nowise apprehended, that any
personal connection of ours with Teufelsdrockh, Heu-
schrecke, or this Philosophy of Clothes, can pervert our
judgment, or sway us to extenuate or exaggerate.
Powerless, we venture to promise, are those private
Compliments themselves. Grateful they may well be ;
as generous illusions of friendship ; as fair mementos
of bygone unions, of those nights and suppers of the
gods, when, lapped in the symphonies and harmonies
of Philosophic Eloquence, though with baser accom-
paniments, the present Editor revelled in that feast of
reason, never since vouchsafed him in so full measure !
But what then ? A micus Plato, magis arnica verilas ;
Teufelsdrockh is our friend, Truth is our divinity.
In our historical and critical capacity, we hope we are
strangers to all the world ; have feud or favor with no
one, save indeed the Devil, with whom, as with the
Prince of Lies and Darkness, we do at all times wage
internecine war. This assurance, at an epoch when
puffery and quackery have reached a height unexam-
pled in the annals of mankind, and even English Editors,
like Chinese Shopkeepers, must write on their door-
lintels No cheating here, we thought it good to pre-
mise.



l6 SARTOR RESARTUS.



CHAPTER III.

REMINISCENCES.

To the Author's private circle the appearance of this
singular Work on Clothes must have occasioned little
less surprise than it has to the rest of the world. For
ourselves, at least, few things have been more unex-
pected. Professor Teufelsdrockh, at the period of our
acquaintance with him, seemed to lead a quite still and
self-contained life : a man devoted to the higher
Philosophies, indeed ; yet more likely, if he published
at all, to publish a refutation of Hegel and Bardili,
both of whom, strangely enough, he included under a
common ban ; than to descend, as he has here done,
into the angry noisy Forum, with an Argument that
cannot but exasperate and divide. Not, that we can
remember, was the Philosophy of Clothes once touched
upon between us. If through the high, silent, medi-
tative Transcendentalism of our Friend we detected any
practical tendency whatever, it was at most Political,
and towards a certain prospective, and for the present
quite speculative, Radicalism ; as indeed some cor-
respondence on his part, with Herr Oken of Jena was
now and then suspected ; though her special contribu-
tions to the Isis could never be more than surmised at.
But, at all events, nothing Moral, still less anything
Didactico-Religious, was looked for from him.

Well do we recollect the last words he spoke in our



SA&TOR KESARTUS. if

hearing ; which indeed, with the Night they were
uttered in, are to be forever remembered. Lifting his
huge tumbler of Gukguk, r and for a moment lowering
his tobacco-pipe, he stood up in full coffee-house (it was
Zur Griinen Gans, the largest in Weissnichtwo, where
all the Virtuosity, and nearly all the Intellect of the
place assembled of an evening) ; and there, with low,
soul-stirring tone, and the look truly of an angel,
though whether of a white or of a black one might be
dubious, proposed this toast : Die Sache der Armen in
Gottes und Teufels Namen (The Cause of the Poor, in

Heaven's name and *s) ! One full shout, breaking

the leaden silence; then a gurgle of innumerable empty-
ing bumpers, again followed by universal cheering,
returned him loud acclaim. It was the finale of the
night : resuming their pipes ; in the highest enthusiasm
amid volumes of tobacco smoke ; triumphant, cloud-
capt without and within, the assembly broke up, each
to his thoughtful pillow. Bleibt dock ein echter Spass-
und Galgen-vogel, said several ; meaning thereby that,
one day, he would probably be hanged for his demo-
cratic sentiments. Wo sieckt dock der Schalk r> added
they, looking round : but Teufelsdrockh had retired by
private alleys, and the Compiler of these pages beheld
him no more.

In such scenes has it been our lot to live with this
Philosopher, such estimate to form of his purposes and
powers. And yet, thou brave Teufelsdrockh, who
could tell what lurked in thee? Under those thick
locks of thine, so long and lank, overlapping roof-wise
the gravest face we ever in this world saw, there dwelt
a most busy brain. In thy eyes too, deep under their
shaggy brows, and looking out so still and dreamy, have
1 Gukguk is unhappily only an academical beer.



l8 SARTOR RESARTUS.

we not noticed gleams of an ethereal or else a diabolic
fire, and half-fancied that their stillness was but the
rest of infinite motion, the sleep of a spinning-top ? Thy
little figure, there as, in loose ill-brushed threadbare
habiliments, thou sattest, amid litter and lumber, whole
days, to "think and smoke tobacco/' held in it a
mighty heart. The secrets of man's Life were laid open
to thee ; thou sawest into the mystery of the Universe
farther than another ; thou hadst in petto thy remark-
able Volume on Clothes. Nay, was there not in that
clear logically-founded Transcendentalism of thine ; still
more, in thy meek, silent, deep-seated Sansculottism,
combined with a true princely Courtesy of inward
nature, the visible rudiments of such speculation ? But
great men are too often unknown, or what is worse, mis-
known. Already, when we dreamed not of it, the warp
of thy remarkable Volume lay on the loom ; and silently,
mysterious shuttles were putting-in the woof !

How the Hofrath Heuschrecke is to furnish biograph-
ical data, in this case, may be a curious question ; the
answer of which, however, is happily not our concern,
but his. To us it appeared, after repeated trial, that in
Weissnichtwo, from the archives or memories of the
best-informed classes, no Biography of Teufelsdrockh
was to be gathered ; not so much as a false one. He
was a stranger there, wafted thither by what is called
the course of circumstances ; concerning whose parent-
age, birthplace, prospects, or pursuits, curiosity had
indeed made inquiries, but satisfied herself with the
most indistinct replies. For himself, he was a man so
still and altogether unparticipating, that to question
him even afar off on such particulars was a thing of
more than usual delicacy : besides, in his sly way, he



SARTOR RESARTUS. ig

had ever some quaint turn, not without its satirical edge,
wherewith to divert such intrusions, and deter you from
the like. Wits spoke of him secretly as if he were a
kind of Melchizedek, without father or mother of any
kind ; sometimes, with reference to his great historic


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