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Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History
by Thomas Carlyle
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EVERYMAN'S LIBRARY

Founded 1906 by J. M. Dent (d. 1926) Edited by Ernest Rhys (d. 1946)

ESSAYS & BELLES-LETTRES

SARTOR RESARTUS and ON HEROES

BY THOMAS CARLYLE . INTRODUCTION

BY PROFESSOR W. H. HUDSON



THOMAS CARLYLE, born in 1795 at Ecclefechan, the son of a stonemason. Educated at Edinburgh University. Schoolmaster for a short time, but decided on a literary career, visiting Paris and London. Retired in 1828 to Dumfriesshire to write. In 1834 moved to Cheyne Row, Chelsea, and died there in 1881.



SARTOR RESARTUS

ON HEROES

HERO WORSHIP

THOMAS CARLYLE

LONDON: J. M. DENT & SONS LTD. NEW YORK: E. P. DUTTON & CO. INC.



All rights reserved Made in Great Britain at The Temple Press Letchworth for J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. Aldine House Bedford St. London First published in this edition 1908 Last reprinted 1948



INTRODUCTION

One of the most vital and pregnant books in our modern literature, "Sartor Resartus" is also, in structure and form, one of the most daringly original. It defies exact classification. It is not a philosophic treatise. It is not an autobiography. It is not a romance. Yet in a sense it is all these combined. Its underlying purpose is to expound in broad outline certain ideas which lay at the root of Carlyle's whole reading of life. But he does not elect to set these forth in regular methodic fashion, after the manner of one writing a systematic essay. He presents his philosophy in dramatic form and in a picturesque human setting. He invents a certain Herr Diogenes Teufelsdroeckh, an erudite German professor of "Allerley-Wissenschaft," or Things in General, in the University of Weissnichtwo, of whose colossal work, "Die Kleider, Ihr Werden und Wirken" (On Clothes: Their Origin and Influence), he represents himself as being only the student and interpreter. With infinite humour he explains how this prodigious volume came into his hands; how he was struck with amazement by its encyclopaedic learning, and the depth and suggestiveness of its thought; and how he determined that it was his special mission to introduce its ideas to the British public. But how was this to be done? As a mere bald abstract of the original would never do, the would-be apostle was for a time in despair. But at length the happy thought occurred to him of combining a condensed statement of the main principles of the new philosophy with some account of the philosopher's life and character. Thus the work took the form of a "Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdroeckh," and as such it was offered to the world. Here, of course, we reach the explanation of its fantastic title—"Sartor Resartus," or the Tailor Patched: the tailor being the great German "Clothes-philosopher," and the patching being done by Carlyle as his English editor.

As a piece of literary mystification, Teufelsdroeckh and his treatise enjoyed a measure of the success which nearly twenty years before had been scored by Dietrich Knickerbocker and his "History of New York." The question of the professor's existence was solemnly discussed in at least one important review; Carlyle was gravely taken to task for attempting to mislead the public; a certain interested reader actually wrote to inquire where the original German work was to be obtained. All this seems to us surprising; the more so as we are now able to understand the purposes which Carlyle had in view in devising his dramatic scheme. In the first place, by associating the clothes-philosophy with the personality of its alleged author (himself one of Carlyle's splendidly living pieces of characterisation), and by presenting it as the product and expression of his spiritual experiences, he made the mystical creed intensely human. Stated in the abstract, it would have been a mere blank -ism; developed in its intimate relations with Teufelsdroeckh's character and career, it is filled with the hot life-blood of natural thought and feeling. Secondly, by fathering his own philosophy upon a German professor Carlyle indicates his own indebtedness to German idealism, the ultimate source of much of his own teaching. Yet, deep as that indebtedness was, and anxious as he might be to acknowledge it, he was as a humourist keenly alive to certain glaring defects of the great German writers; to their frequent tendency to lose themselves among the mere minutiae of erudition, and thus to confuse the unimportant and the important; to their habit of rising at times into the clouds rather than above the clouds, and of there disporting themselves in regions "close-bordering on the impalpable inane;" to their too conspicuous want of order, system, perspective. The dramatic machinery of "Sartor Resartus" is therefore turned to a third service. It is made the vehicle of much good-humoured satire upon these and similar characteristics of Teutonic scholarship and speculation; as in the many amusing criticisms which are passed upon Teufelsdroeckh's volume as a sort of "mad banquet wherein all courses have been confounded;" in the burlesque parade of the professor's "omniverous reading" (e.g., Book I, Chap. V); and in the whole amazing episode of the "six considerable paper bags," out of the chaotic contents of which the distracted editor in search of "biographic documents" has to make what he can. Nor is this quite all. Teufelsdroeckh is further utilised as the mouthpiece of some of Carlyle's more extravagant speculations and of such ideas as he wished to throw out as it were tentatively, and without himself being necessarily held responsible for them. There is thus much point as well as humour in those sudden turns of the argument, when, after some exceptionally wild outburst on his eidolon's part, Carlyle sedately reproves him for the fantastic character or dangerous tendency of his opinions.

It is in connection with the dramatic scheme of the book that the third element, that of autobiography, enters into its texture, for the story of Teufelsdroeckh is very largely a transfigured version of the story of Carlyle himself. In saying this, I am not of course thinking mainly of Carlyle's outer life. This, indeed, is in places freely drawn upon, as the outer lives of Dickens, George Eliot, Tolstoi are drawn upon in "David Copperfield," "The Mill on the Floss," "Anna Karenina." Entepfuhl is only another name for Ecclefechan; the picture of little Diogenes eating his supper out-of-doors on fine summer evenings, and meanwhile watching the sun sink behind the western hills, is clearly a loving transcript from memory; even the idyllic episode of Blumine may be safely traced back to a romance of Carlyle's youth. But to investigate the connection at these and other points between the mere externals of the two careers is a matter of little more than curious interest. It is because it incorporates and reproduces so much of Carlyle's inner history that the story of Teufelsdroeckh is really important. Spiritually considered, the whole narrative is, in fact, a "symbolic myth," in which the writer's personal trials and conflicts are depicted with little change save in setting and accessories. Like Teufelsdroeckh, Carlyle while still a young man had broken away from the old religious creed in which he had been bred; like Teufelsdroeckh, he had thereupon passed into the "howling desert of infidelity;" like Teufelsdroeckh, he had known all the agonies and anguish of a long period of blank scepticism and insurgent despair, during which, turn whither he would, life responded with nothing but negations to every question and appeal. And as to Teufelsdroeckh in the Rue Saint-Thomas de l'Enfer in Paris, so to Carlyle in Leith Walk, Edinburgh, there had come a moment of sudden and marvellous illumination, a mystical crisis from which he had emerged a different man. The parallelism is so obvious and so close as to leave no room for doubt that the story of Teufelsdroeckh is substantially a piece of spiritual autobiography.

This admitted, the question arises whether Carlyle had any purpose, beyond that of self-expression, in thus utilising his own experiences for the human setting of his philosophy. It seems evident that he had. As he conceived them, these experiences possessed far more than a merely personal interest and meaning. He wrote of himself because he saw in himself a type of his restless and much-troubled epoch; because he knew that in a broad sense his history was the history of thousands of other young men in the generation to which he belonged. The age which followed upon the vast upheaval of the Revolution was one of widespread turmoil and perplexity. Men felt themselves to be wandering aimlessly "between two worlds, one dead, the other powerless to be born." The old order had collapsed in shapeless ruin; but the promised Utopia had not been realised to take its place. In many directions the forces of reaction were at work. Religion, striving to maintain itself upon the dogmatic creeds of the past, was rapidly petrifying into a mere "dead Letter of Religion," from which all the living spirit had fled; and those who could not nourish themselves on hearsay and inherited formula knew not where to look for the renewal of faith and hope. The generous ardour and the splendid humanitarian enthusiasms which had been stirred by the opening phases of the revolutionary movement, had now ebbed away; revulsion had followed, and with it the mood of disillusion and despair. The spirit of doubt and denial was felt as a paralysing power in every department of life and thought, and the shadow of unbelief lay heavy on many hearts.

It was for the men of this "sad time" that Carlyle wrote Teufelsdroeckh's story; and he wrote it not merely to depict the far-reaching consequences of their pessimism but also to make plain to them their true path out of it. He desired to exhibit to his age the real nature of the strange malady from which it was suffering in order that he might thereupon proclaim the remedy.

What, then, is the moral significance of Carlyle's "symbolic myth"? What are the supreme lessons which he uses it to convey?

We must begin by understanding his diagnosis. For him, all the evils of the time could ultimately be traced back to their common source in what may be briefly described as its want of real religion. Of churches and creeds there were plenty; of living faith little or nothing was left. Men had lost all vital sense of God in the world; and because of this, they had taken up a fatally wrong attitude to life. They looked at it wholly from the mechanical point of view, and judged it by merely utilitarian standards. The "body-politic" was no longer inspired by any "soul-politic." Men, individually and in the mass, cared only for material prosperity, sought only outward success, made the pursuit of happiness the end and aim of their being. The divine meaning of virtue, the infinite nature of duty, had been forgotten, and morality had been turned into a sort of ledger-philosophy, based upon calculations of profit and loss.

It was thus that Carlyle read the signs of the times. In such circumstances what was needed? Nothing less than a spiritual rebirth. Men must abandon their wrong attitude to life, and take up the right attitude. Everything hinged on that. And that they might take up this right attitude it was necessary first that they should be convinced of life's essential spirituality, and cease in consequence to seek its meaning and test its value on the plane of merely material things.

Carlyle thus throws passionate emphasis upon religion as the only saving power. But it must be noted that he does not suggest a return to any of the dogmatic creeds of the past. Though once the expression of a living faith, these were now for him mere lifeless formulas. Nor has he any new dogmatic creed to offer in their place. That mystical crisis which had broken the spell of the Everlasting No was in a strict sense—he uses the word himself—a conversion. But it was not a conversion in the theological sense, for it did not involve the acceptance of any specific articles of faith. It was simply a complete change of front; the protest of his whole nature, in a suddenly aroused mood of indignation and defiance, against the "spirit which denies;" the assertion of his manhood against the cowardice which had so long kept him trembling and whimpering before the facts of existence. But from that change of front came presently the vivid apprehension of certain great truths which his former mood had thus far concealed from him; and in these truths he found the secret of that right attitude to life in the discovery of which lay men's only hope of salvation from the unrest and melancholy of their time.

From this point of view the burden of Carlyle's message to his generation will be readily understood. Men were going wrong because they started with the thought of self, and made satisfaction of self the law of their lives; because, in consequence, they regarded happiness as the chief object of pursuit and the one thing worth striving for; because, under the influence of the current rationalism, they tried to escape from their spiritual perplexities through logic and speculation. They had, therefore, to set themselves right upon all these matters. They had to learn that not self-satisfaction but self-renunciation is the key to life and its true law; that we have no prescriptive claim to happiness and no business to quarrel with the universe if it withholds it from us; that the way out of pessimism lies, not through reason, but through honest work, steady adherence to the simple duty which each day brings, fidelity to the right as we know it. Such, in broad statement, is the substance of Carlyle's religious convictions and moral teaching. Like Kant he takes his stand on the principles of ethical idealism. God is to be sought, not through speculation, or syllogism, or the learning of the schools, but through the moral nature. It is the soul in action that alone finds God. And the finding of God means, not happiness as the world conceives it, but blessedness, or the inward peace which passes understanding.

The connection between the transfigured autobiography which serves to introduce the directly didactic element of the book and that element itself, will now be clear. Stripped of its whimsicalities of phraseology and its humorous extravagances, Carlyle's philosophy stands revealed as essentially idealistic in character. Spirit is the only reality. Visible things are but the manifestations, emblems, or clothings of spirit. The material universe itself is only the vesture or symbol of God; man is a spirit, though he wears the wrappings of the flesh; and in everything that man creates for himself he merely attempts to give body or expression to thought. The science of Carlyle's time was busy proclaiming that, since the universe is governed by natural laws, miracles are impossible and the supernatural is a myth. Carlyle replies that the natural laws are themselves only the manifestation of Spiritual Force, and that thus miracle is everywhere and all nature supernatural. We, who are the creatures of time and space, can indeed apprehend the Absolute only when He weaves about Him the visible garments of time and space. Thus God reveals Himself to sense through symbols. But it is as we regard these symbols in one or other of two possible ways that we class ourselves with the foolish man or with the wise. The foolish man sees only the symbol, thinks it exists for itself, takes it for the ultimate fact, and therefore rests in it. The wise man sees the symbol, knows that it is only a symbol, and penetrates into it for the ultimate fact or spiritual reality which it symbolises.

Remote as such a doctrine may at first sight seem to be from the questions with which men are commonly concerned, it has none the less many important practical bearings. Since "all Forms whereby Spirit manifests itself to sense, whether outwardly or in the imagination, are Clothes," civilisation and everything belonging to it—our languages, literatures and arts, our governments, social machinery and institutions, our philosophies, creeds and rituals—are but so many vestments woven for itself by the shaping spirit of man. Indispensable these vestments are; for without them society would collapse in anarchy, and humanity sink to the level of the brute. Yet here again we must emphasise the difference, already noted, between the foolish man and the wise. The foolish man once more assumes that the vestments exist for themselves, as ultimate facts, and that they have a value of their own. He, therefore, confuses the life with its clothing; is even willing to sacrifice the life for the sake of the clothing. The wise man, while he, too, recognises the necessity of the vestments, and indeed insists upon it, knows that they have no independent importance, that they derive all their potency and value from the inner reality which they were fashioned to represent and embody, but which they often misrepresent and obscure. He therefore never confuses the life with the clothing, and well understands how often the clothing has to be sacrificed for the sake of the life. Thus, while the utility of clothes has to be recognised to the full, it is still of the essence of wisdom to press hard upon the vital distinction between the outer wrappings of man's life and that inner reality which they more or less adequately enfold.

The use which Carlyle makes of this doctrine in his interpretation of the religious history of the world and of the crisis in thought of his own day, will be anticipated. All dogmas, forms and ceremonials, he teaches, are but religious vestments—symbols expressing man's deepest sense of the divine mystery of the universe and the hunger and thirst of his soul for God. It is in response to the imperative necessities of his nature that he moulds for himself these outward emblems of his ideas and aspirations. Yet they are only emblems; and since, like all other human things, they partake of the ignorance and weakness of the times in which they were framed, it is inevitable that with the growth of knowledge and the expansion of thought they must presently be outgrown. When this happens, there follows what Carlyle calls the "superannuation of symbols." Men wake to the fact that the creeds and formulas which have come down to them from the past are no longer living for them, no longer what they need for the embodiment of their spiritual life. Two mistakes are now possible, and these are, indeed, commonly made together. On the one hand, men may try to ignore the growth of knowledge and the expansion of thought, and to cling to the outgrown symbols as things having in themselves some mysterious sanctity and power. On the other hand, they may recklessly endeavour to cast aside the reality symbolised along with the discredited symbol itself. Given such a condition of things, and we shall find religion degenerating into formalism and the worship of the dead letter, and, side by side with this, the impatient rejection of all religion, and the spread of a crude and debasing materialism. Religious symbols, then, must be renewed. But their renewal can come only from within. Form, to have any real value, must grow out of life and be fed by it.

The revolutionary quality in the philosophy of "Sartor Resartus" cannot, of course, be overlooked. Everything that man has woven for himself must in time become merely "old clothes"; the work of his thought, like that of his hands, is perishable; his very highest symbols have no permanence or finality. Carlyle cuts down to the essential reality beneath all shows and forms and emblems: witness his amazing vision of a naked House of Lords. Under his penetrating gaze the "earthly hulls and garnitures" of existence melt away. Men's habit is to rest in symbols. But to rest in symbols is fatal, since they are at best but the "adventitious wrappages" of life. Clothes "have made men of us"—true; but now, so great has their influence become that "they are threatening to make clothes-screens of us." Hence "the beginning of all wisdom is to look fixedly on clothes ... till they become transparent." The logical tendency of such teaching may seem to be towards utter nihilism. But that tendency is checked and qualified by the strong conservative element which is everywhere prominent in Carlyle's thought. Upon the absolute need of "clothes" the stress is again and again thrown. They "have made men of us." By symbols alone man lives and works. By symbols alone can he make life and work effective. Thus even the world's "old clothes"—its discarded forms and creeds—should be treated with the reverence due to whatever has once played a part in human development. Thus, moreover, we must be on our guard against the impetuosity of the revolutionary spirit and all rash rupture with the past. To cast old clothes aside before new clothes are ready—this does not mean progress, but sansculottism, or a lapse into nakedness and anarchy.

* * * * *

The lectures "On Heroes and Hero-Worship," here printed with "Sartor Resartus," contain little more than an amplification, through a series of brilliant character-studies, of those fundamental ideas of history which had already figured among Teufelsdroeckh's social speculations. Simple in statement and clear in doctrine, this second work needs no formal introduction. It may, however, be of service just to indicate one or two points at which, apart from its set theses, it expresses or implies certain underlying principles of all Carlyle's thought.

In the first place, his philosophy of history rests entirely on "the great man theory." "Universal History, the history of what man has accomplished in the world," is for him "at bottom the History of the Great Men who have worked here." This conception, of course, brings him into sharp conflict with that scientific view of history which was already gaining ground when "Heroes and Hero-Worship" was written, and which since then has become even more popular under the powerful influence of the modern doctrine of evolution. A scientific historian, like Buckle or Taine, seeks to explain all changes in thought, all movements in politics and society, in terms of general laws; his habit is, therefore, to subordinate, if not quite to eliminate, the individual; the greatest man is treated as in a large measure the product and expression of the "spirit of the time." For Carlyle, individuality is everything. While, as he is bound to admit, "no one works save under conditions," external circumstances and influences count little. The Great Man is supreme. He is not the creature of his age, but its creator; not its servant, but its master. "The History of the World is but the Biography of Great Men."

Anti-scientific in his reading of history, Carlyle is also anti-democratic in the practical lessons he deduces from it. He teaches that our right relations with the Hero are discipular relations; that we should honestly acknowledge his superiority, look up to him, reverence him. Thus on the personal side he challenges that tendency to "level down" which he believed to be one alarming result of the fast-spreading spirit of the new democracy. But more than this. He insists that the one hope for our distracted world of to-day lies in the strength and wisdom of the few, not in the organised unwisdom of the many. The masses of the people can never be safely trusted to solve for themselves the intricate problems of their own welfare. They need to be guided, disciplined, at times even driven, by those great leaders of men, who see more deeply than they see into the reality of things, and know much better than they can ever know what is good for them, and how that good is to be attained. Political machinery, in which the modern world had come to put so much faith, is only another delusion of a mechanical age. The burden of history is for him always the need of the Able Man. "I say, Find me the true Koenning, King, Able Man, and he has a divine right over me." Carlyle thus throws down the gauntlet at once to the scientific and to the democratic movements of his time. His pronounced antagonism to the modern spirit in these two most important manifestations must be kept steadily in mind in our study of him.

Finally, we have to remember that in the whole tone and temper of his teaching Carlyle is fundamentally the Puritan. The dogmas of Puritanism he had indeed outgrown; but he never outgrew its ethics. His thought was dominated and pervaded to the end, as Froude rightly says, by the spirit of the creed he had dismissed. By reference to this one fact we may account for much of his strength, and also for most of his limitations in outlook and sympathy. Those limitations the reader will not fail to notice for himself. But whatever allowance has to be made for them, the strength remains. It is, perhaps, the secret of Carlyle's imperishable greatness as a stimulating and uplifting power that, beyond any other modern writer, he makes us feel with him the supreme claims of the moral life, the meaning of our own responsibilities, the essential spirituality of things, the indestructible reality of religion. If he had thus a special message for his own generation, that message has surely not lost any of its value for ours. "Put Carlyle in your pocket," says Dr. Hal to Paul Kelver on his starting out in life. "He is not all the voices, but he is the best maker of men I know." And as a maker of men, Carlyle's appeal to us is as great as ever.

WILLIAM HENRY HUDSON.

Life of Schiller (Lond. Mag., 1823-4), 1825, 1845. (Supplement published in the People's Edition, 1873). Wilhelm Meister Apprenticeship, 1824. Elements of Geometry and Trigonometry (from the French of Legendre), 1824. German Romance, 1827. Sartor Resartus (Fraser's Mag., 1833-4), 1835 (Boston), 1838. French Revolution, 1837, 1839. Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, 1839, 1840, 1847, 1857. (In these were reprinted Articles from Edinburgh Review, Foreign Review, Foreign Quarterly Review, Fraser's Magazine, Westminster Review, New Monthly Magazine, London and Westminster Review, Keepsake Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Times). Chartism, 1840. Heroes, Hero-worship, and the Heroic in History, 1841. Past and Present, 1843. Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches: with Elucidations, 1845. Thirty-five Unpublished Letters of Oliver Cromwell, 1847 (Fraser). Original Discourses on the Negro Question (Fraser, 1849), 1853. Latter-day Pamphlets, 1850. Life of John Sterling, 1851. History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, 1858-65. Inaugural Address at Edinburgh, 1866. Shooting Niagara: and After? 1867 (from "Macmillan"). The Early Kings of Norway; also an Essay on the Portraits of John Knox, 1875.

There were also contributions to Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, vols. xiv., xv., and xvi.; to New Edinburgh Review, 1821, 1822; Fraser's Magazine, 1830, 1831; The Times, 19 June, 1844 ("Mazzini"); 28 November, 1876; 5 May, 1877; Examiner, 1848; Spectator, 1848.

First Collected Edition of Works, 1857-58 (16 vols.).

Reminiscences, ed. by Froude in 1881, but superseded by C. E. Norton's edition of 1887. Norton has also edited two volumes of Letters (1888), and Carlyle's correspondence with Emerson (1883) and with Goethe (1887). Other volumes of correspondence are New Letters (1904), Carlyle Intime (1907), Love Letters (1909), Letters to Mill, Sterling, and Browning (1923), all ed. by Alexander Carlyle. See also Last Words of Carlyle, 1892.

The fullest Life is that by D. A. Wilson. The first of six volumes appeared in 1923, and by 1934 only one remained to be published.



CONTENTS

SARTOR RESARTUS

BOOK I

CHAP. PAGE I. PRELIMINARY 1 II. EDITORIAL DIFFICULTIES 5 III. REMINISCENCES 9 IV. CHARACTERISTICS 20 V. THE WORLD IN CLOTHES 25 VI. APRONS 31 VII. MISCELLANEOUS-HISTORICAL 34 VIII. THE WORLD OUT OF CLOTHES 37 IX. ADAMITISM 43 X. PURE REASON 47 XI. PROSPECTIVE 52

BOOK II

I. GENESIS 61 II. IDYLLIC 68 III. PEDAGOGY 76 IV. GETTING UNDER WAY 90 V. ROMANCE 101 VI. SORROWS OF TEUFELSDROeCKH 112 VII. THE EVERLASTING NO 121 VIII. CENTRE OF INDIFFERENCE 128 IX. THE EVERLASTING YEA 138 X. PAUSE 149

BOOK III

I. INCIDENT IN MODERN HISTORY 156 II. CHURCH-CLOTHES 161 III. SYMBOLS 163 IV. HELOTAGE 170 V. THE PHOENIX 174 VI. OLD CLOTHES 179 VII. ORGANIC FILAMENTS 183 VIII. NATURAL SUPERNATURALISM 191 IX. CIRCUMSPECTIVE 201 X. THE DANDIACAL BODY 204 XI. TAILORS 216 XII. FAREWELL 219

APPENDIX—TESTIMONIES OF AUTHORS 225

SUMMARY 231

ON HEROES, HERO-WORSHIP, AND THE HEROIC IN HISTORY

LECTURE I THE HERO AS DIVINITY. Odin. Paganism: Scandinavian Mythology 239

LECTURE II THE HERO AS PROPHET. Mahomet: Islam 277

LECTURE III THE HERO AS POET. Dante; Shakspeare 311

LECTURE IV THE HERO AS PRIEST. Luther; Reformation: Knox; Puritanism 346

LECTURE V THE HERO AS MAN OF LETTERS. Johnson, Rousseau, Burns 383

LECTURE VI THE HERO AS KING. Cromwell, Napoleon: Modern Revolutionism 422

INDEX 469



SARTOR RESARTUS



BOOK FIRST



CHAPTER I

PRELIMINARY

Considering our present advanced state of culture, and how the Torch of Science has now been brandished 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 Rush-lights, and Sulphur-matches, kindled thereat, are also glancing 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 character, 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 Planetary System, on this scheme, will endure forever; Laplace, still more cunningly, even guesses that it could not have been made on any other scheme. Whereby, at least, our nautical Logbooks can be better kept; and water-transport of all kinds has grown more commodious. Of Geology and Geognosy we know enough: what with the labours of our Werners and Huttons, what with the ardent genius of their disciples, it has come about that now, to many a Royal Society, the Creation of a World is little more mysterious than the cooking of a dumpling; concerning which last, indeed, there have been minds to whom the question, 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 History, of Pottery, of Apparitions, of Intoxicating Liquors? 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 decomposed: 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 Tissue, 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? For 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 a property, not an accident, as quite natural and spontaneous, 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. Shakespeare 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 Hoeret 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 diligence; 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 the size of pots of ale;'

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 written, 'Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.' Surely the plain rule is, Let each considerate 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-momentous 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 aimless 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, and invaluable Constitution, impressing a political or other immediately practical tendency on all English culture and endeavour, 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 English intellect could have chosen such a topic, or by chance stumbled on it? But for that same unshackled, and even sequestered condition of the German Learned, which permits and induces them to fish in all manner of waters, with all manner of nets, it seems probable enough, this abstruse Inquiry might, in spite of the results it leads to, have continued dormant for indefinite periods. The Editor of these sheets, though otherwise boasting himself a man of confirmed speculative habits, and perhaps discursive enough, is free to confess, that never, till these last months, did the above very plain considerations, on our total want of a Philosophy of Clothes, occur to him; and then, by quite foreign suggestion. By the arrival, namely, of a new Book from Professor Teufelsdroeckh 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. Teufelsdroeckh, J.U.D. etc. Stillschweigen und Co^{gnie}. 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, is seen only in Germany, perhaps only in Weissnichtwo. Issuing from the hitherto irreproachable Firm of Stillschweigen and Company, with every external furtherance, it is of such internal quality as to set Neglect at defiance.' * * * * 'A work,' concludes the wellnigh 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 (derber Kerndeutschheit und Menschenliebe); which will not, assuredly, pass current without opposition in high places; but must and will exalt the almost new name of Teufelsdroeckh to the first ranks of Philosophy, in our German Temple of Honour.'

Mindful of old friendship, the distinguished Professor, in this the first blaze of his fame, which however 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: Moechte es (this remarkable Treatise) auch im Brittischen Boden gedeihen!



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 Teufelsdroeckh's Book be marked with chalk in the Editor's calendar. It is indeed an 'extensive Volume,' of boundless, almost formless contents, 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 undescried ulterior results, was disclosed; farther, what seemed scarcely less interesting, a quite new human Individuality, an almost unexampled personal character, that, namely, of Professor Teufelsdroeckh the Discloser. Of both which novelties, as far as might be possible, we resolved to master the significance. But as man is emphatically a proselytising creature, no sooner was such mastery even fairly attempted, than the new question arose: How might 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 measure, to the business and bosoms of our own English 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 endanger the circulation of any Journal extant? If, indeed, all party-divisions in the State could have been abolished, Whig, Tory, and Radical, embracing in discrepant union; and all the Journals of the Nation could have been jumbled into one Journal, and the Philosophy of Clothes poured forth in incessant torrents therefrom, the attempt had seemed possible. But, alas, what vehicle of that sort have we, except Fraser's Magazine? A vehicle all strewed (figuratively 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 Teufelsdroeckh without something of his personality, was it not to insure both of entire misapprehension? Now for Biography, had it been otherwise admissible, there were no adequate documents, no hope of obtaining such, but rather, owing to circumstances, a special despair. Thus did the Editor see himself, for the while, shut out from all public utterance of these extraordinary Doctrines, and constrained 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 several 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 Heuschrecke, our Professor's chief friend and associate in Weissnichtwo, with whom we had not previously corresponded. The Hofrath, after much quite extraneous matter, began dilating largely on the 'agitation and attention' which the Philosophy of Clothes was exciting in its 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 Teufelsdroeckh 'were undoubtedly welcome to the Family, the National, or any other of those patriotic Libraries, at present the glory of British Literature'; might work revolutions in Thought; and so forth;—in conclusion, intimating not obscurely, that should the present Editor feel disposed to undertake a Biography of Teufelsdroeckh, 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 crystallise, instantly when the wire or other fixed substance is introduced, crystallisation commences, and rapidly proceeds till the whole is finished, so was it with the Editor's mind and 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 twopenny post, application to the famed redoubtable OLIVER YORKE was now made: an interview, 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 anticipated;—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 expectation of these, we already see our task begun; and this our Sartor Resartus, which is properly a 'Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdroeckh,' 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 conjectural, and even insignificant:[1] it is a voice publishing 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.

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, according 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 Teufelsdroeckh'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 connexion of ours with Teufelsdroeckh, Heuschrecke, 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 accompaniments, the present Editor revelled in that feast of reason, never since vouchsafed him in so full measure! But what then? Amicus Plato, magis amica veritas; Teufelsdroeckh 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 favour 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 unexampled 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 premise.



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 unexpected. Professor Teufelsdroeckh, 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, the Philosophy of Clothes once touched upon between us. If through the high, silent, meditative 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 correspondence, on his part, with Herr Oken of Jena was now and then suspected; though his special contribution 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 hearing; which indeed, with the Night they were uttered in, are to be forever remembered. Lifting his huge tumbler of Gukguk,[2] and for a moment lowering his tobacco-pipe, he stood up in full Coffee-house (it was Zur Gruenen 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 emptying 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 doch ein echter Spass- und Galgen-vogel, said several; meaning thereby that, one day, he would probably be hanged for his democratic sentiments. Wo steckt doch der Schalk? added they, looking round: but Teufelsdroeckh had retired by private alleys, and the Compiler of these pages beheld him no more.

[2] Gukguk is unhappily only an academical-beer.

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 Teufelsdroeckh, 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 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 remarkable 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, misknown. 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 biographical 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 Teufelsdroeckh 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 parentage, 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 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 and statistic knowledge, and the vivid way he had of expressing himself like an eye-witness of distant transactions and scenes, they called him the Ewige Jude, Everlasting, or as we say, Wandering Jew.

To the most, indeed, he had become not so much a Man as a Thing; which Thing doubtless they were accustomed to see, and with satisfaction; but no more thought of accounting for than for the fabrication of their daily Allgemeine Zeitung, or the domestic habits of the Sun. Both were there and welcome; the world enjoyed what good was in them, and thought no more of the matter. The man Teufelsdroeckh passed and repassed, in his little circle, as one of those originals and nondescripts, more frequent in German Universities than elsewhere; of whom, though you see them alive, and feel certain enough that they must have a History, no History seems to be discoverable; or only such as men give of mountain rocks and antediluvian ruins: That they may have been created by unknown agencies, are in a state of gradual decay, and for the present reflect light and resist pressure; that is, are visible and tangible objects in this phantasm world, where so much other mystery is.

It was to be remarked that though, by title and diploma, Professor der Allerley-Wissenschaft, or as we should say in English, 'Professor of Things in General,' he had never delivered any Course; perhaps never been incited thereto by any public furtherance or requisition. To all appearance, the enlightened Government of Weissnichtwo, in founding their New University, imagined they had done enough, if 'in times like ours,' as the half-official Program expressed it, 'when all things are, rapidly or slowly, resolving themselves into Chaos, a Professorship of this kind had been established; whereby, as occasion called, the task of bodying somewhat forth again from such Chaos might be, even slightly, facilitated.' That actual Lectures should be held, and Public Classes for the 'Science of Things in General,' they doubtless considered premature; on which ground too they had only established the Professorship, nowise endowed it; so that Teufelsdroeckh, 'recommended by the highest Names,' had been promoted thereby to a Name merely.

Great, among the more enlightened classes, was the admiration of this new Professorship: how an enlightened Government had seen into the Want of the Age (Zeitbeduerfniss); how at length, instead of Denial and Destruction, we were to have a science of Affirmation and Reconstruction; and Germany and Weissnichtwo were where they should be, in the vanguard of the world. Considerable also was the wonder at the new Professor, dropt opportunely enough into the nascent University; so able to lecture, should occasion call; so ready to hold his peace for indefinite periods, should an enlightened Government consider that occasion did not call. But such admiration and such wonder, being followed by no act to keep them living, could last only nine days; and, long before our visit to that scene, had quite died away. The more cunning heads thought it was all an expiring clutch at popularity, on the part of a Minister, whom domestic embarrassments, court intrigues, old age, and dropsy soon afterwards finally drove from the helm.

As for Teufelsdroeckh, except by his nightly appearances at the Gruene Gans, Weissnichtwo saw little of him, felt little of him. Here, over his tumbler of Gukguk, he sat reading Journals; sometimes contemplatively looking into the clouds of his tobacco-pipe, without other visible employment: always, from his mild ways, an agreeable phenomenon there; more especially when he opened his lips for speech; on which occasions the whole Coffee-house would hush itself into silence, as if sure to hear something noteworthy. Nay, perhaps to hear a whole series and river of the most memorable utterances; such as, when once thawed, he would for hours indulge in, with fit audience: and the more memorable, as issuing from a head apparently not more interested in them, not more conscious of them, than is the sculptured stone head of some public fountain, which through its brass mouth-tube emits water to the worthy and the unworthy; careless whether it be for cooking victuals or quenching conflagrations; indeed, maintains the same earnest assiduous look, whether any water be flowing or not.

To the Editor of these sheets, as to a young enthusiastic Englishman, however unworthy, Teufelsdroeckh opened himself perhaps more than to the most. Pity only that we could not then half guess his importance, and scrutinise him with due power of vision! We enjoyed, what not three men in Weissnichtwo could boast of, a certain degree of access to the Professor's private domicile. It was the attic floor of the highest house in the Wahngasse; and might truly be called the pinnacle of Weissnichtwo, for it rose sheer up above the contiguous roofs, themselves rising from elevated ground. Moreover, with its windows it looked towards all the four Orte, or as the Scotch say, and we ought to say, Airts: the sitting-room itself commanded three; another came to view in the Schlafgemach (bedroom) at the opposite end; to say nothing of the kitchen, which offered two, as it were, duplicates, and showing nothing new. So that it was in fact the speculum or watch-tower of Teufelsdroeckh; wherefrom, sitting at ease, he might see the whole life-circulation of that considerable City; the streets and lanes of which, with all their doing and driving (Thun und Treiben), were for the most part visible there.

"I look down into all that wasp-nest or bee-hive," have we heard him say, "and witness their wax-laying and honey-making, and poison-brewing, and choking by sulphur. From the Palace esplanade, where music plays while Serene Highness is pleased to eat his victuals, down to the low lane, where in her door-sill the aged widow, knitting for a thin livelihood, sits to feel the afternoon sun, I see it all; for, except the Schlosskirche weathercock, no biped stands so high. Couriers arrive bestrapped and bebooted, bearing Joy and Sorrow bagged-up in pouches of leather: there, top-laden, and with four swift horses, rolls-in the country Baron and his household; here, on timber-leg, the lamed Soldier hops painfully along, begging alms: a thousand carriages, and wains, and cars, come tumbling-in with Food, with young Rusticity, and other Raw Produce, inanimate or animate, and go tumbling out again with Produce manufactured. That living flood, pouring through these streets, of all qualities and ages, knowest thou whence it is coming, whither it is going? Aus der Ewigkeit, zu der Ewigkeit hin: From Eternity, onwards to Eternity! These are Apparitions: what else? Are they not Souls rendered visible: in Bodies, that took shape and will lose it, melting into air? Their solid Pavement is a picture of the Sense; they walk on the bosom of Nothing, blank Time is behind them and before them. Or fanciest thou, the red and yellow Clothes-screen yonder, with spurs on its heels and feather in its crown, is but of Today, without a Yesterday or a Tomorrow; and had not rather its Ancestor alive when Hengst and Horsa overran thy Island? Friend, thou seest here a living link in that Tissue of History, which inweaves all Being: watch well, or it will be past thee, and seen no more."

"Ach, mein Lieber!" said he once, at midnight, when we had returned from the Coffee-house in rather earnest talk, "it is a true sublimity to dwell here. These fringes of lamplight, struggling up through smoke and thousandfold exhalation, some fathoms into the ancient reign of Night, what thinks Booetes of them, as he leads his Hunting-Dogs over the Zenith in their leash of sidereal fire? That stifled hum of Midnight, when Traffic has lain down to rest; and the chariot-wheels of Vanity, still rolling here and there through distant streets, are bearing her to Halls roofed-in, and lighted to the due pitch for her; and only Vice and Misery, to prowl or to moan like nightbirds, are abroad: that hum, I say, like the stertorous, unquiet slumber of sick Life, is heard in Heaven! Oh, under that hideous covelet of vapours, and putrefactions, and unimaginable gases, what a Fermenting-vat lies simmering and hid! The joyful and the sorrowful are there; men are dying there, men are being born; men are praying,—on the other side of a brick partition, men are cursing; and around them all is the vast, void Night. The proud Grandee still lingers in his perfumed saloons, or reposes within damask curtains; Wretchedness cowers into truckle-beds, or shivers hunger-stricken into its lair of straw: in obscure cellars, Rouge-et-Noir languidly emits its voice-of-destiny to haggard hungry Villains; while Councillors of State sit plotting, and playing their high chess-game, whereof the pawns are Men. The Lover whispers his mistress that the coach is ready; and she, full of hope and fear, glides down, to fly with him over the borders: the Thief, still more silently, sets-to his picklocks and crowbars, or lurks in wait till the watchmen first snore in their boxes. Gay mansions, with supper-rooms and dancing-rooms, are full of light and music and high-swelling hearts; but, in the Condemned Cells, the pulse of life beats tremulous and faint, and bloodshot eyes look-out through the darkness, which is around and within, for the light of a stern last morning. Six men are to be hanged on the morrow: comes no hammering from the Rabenstein?—their gallows must even now be o' building. Upwards of five-hundred-thousand two-legged animals without feathers lie round us, in horizontal positions; their heads all in nightcaps, and full of the foolishest dreams. Riot cries aloud, and staggers and swaggers in his rank dens of shame; and the Mother, with streaming hair, kneels over her pallid dying infant, whose cracked lips only her tears now moisten.—All these heaped and huddled together, with nothing but a little carpentry and masonry between them;—crammed in, like salted fish in their barrel;—or weltering, shall I say, like an Egyptian pitcher of tamed vipers, each struggling to get its head above the others: such work goes on under that smoke-counterpane!—But I, mein Werther, sit above it all; I am alone with the Stars."

We looked in his face to see whether, in the utterance of such extraordinary Night-thoughts, no feeling might be traced there; but with the light we had, which indeed was only a single tallow-light, and far enough from the window, nothing save that old calmness and fixedness was visible.

These were the Professor's talking seasons: most commonly he spoke in mere monosyllables, or sat altogether silent, and smoked; while the visitor had liberty either to say what he listed, receiving for answer an occasional grunt; or to look round for a space, and then take himself away. It was a strange apartment; full of books and tattered papers, and miscellaneous shreds of all conceivable substances, 'united in a common element of dust.' Books lay on tables, and below tables; here fluttered a sheet of manuscript, there a torn handkerchief, or nightcap hastily thrown aside; ink-bottles alternated with bread-crusts, coffee-pots, tobacco-boxes, Periodical Literature, and Bluecher Boots. Old Lieschen (Lisekin, 'Liza), who was his bed-maker and stove-lighter, his washer and wringer, cook, errand-maid, and general lion's-provider, and for the rest a very orderly creature, had no sovereign authority in this last citadel of Teufelsdroeckh; only some once in the month she half-forcibly made her may thither, with broom and duster, and (Teufelsdroeckh hastily saving his manuscripts) effected a partial clearance, a jail-delivery of such lumber as was not literary. These were her Erdbeben (earthquakes), which Teufelsdroeckh dreaded worse than the pestilence; nevertheless, to such length he had been forced to comply. Glad would he have been to sit here philosophising forever, or till the litter, by accumulation, drove him out of doors: but Lieschen was his right-arm, and spoon, and necessary of life, and would not be flatly gainsayed. We can still remember the ancient woman; so silent that some thought her dumb; deaf also you would often have supposed her; for Teufelsdroeckh, and Teufelsdroeckh only, would she serve or give heed to; and with him she seemed to communicate chiefly by signs; if it were not rather by some secret divination that she guessed all his wants, and supplied them. Assiduous old dame! she scoured, and sorted, and swept, in her kitchen, with the least possible violence to the ear; yet all was tight and right there: hot and black came the coffee ever at the due moment; and the speechless Lieschen herself looked out on you, from under her clean white coif with its lappets, through her clean withered face and wrinkles, with a look of helpful intelligence, almost of benevolence.

Few strangers, as above hinted, had admittance hither: the only one we ever saw there, ourselves excepted, was the Hofrath Heuschrecke, already known, by name and expectation, to the readers of these pages. To us, at that period, Herr Heuschrecke seemed one of those purse-mouthed, crane-necked, clean-brushed, pacific individuals, perhaps sufficiently distinguished in society by this fact, that, in dry weather or in wet, 'they never appear without their umbrella.' Had we not known with what 'little wisdom' the world is governed; and how, in Germany as elsewhere, the ninety-and-nine Public Men can for most part be but mute train-bearers to the hundredth, perhaps but stalking-horses and willing or unwilling dupes,—it might have seemed wonderful how Herr Heuschrecke should be named a Rath, or Councillor, and Counsellor, even in Weissnichtwo. What counsel to any man, or to any woman, could this particular Hofrath give; in whose loose, zigzag figure; in whose thin visage, as it went jerking to and fro, in minute incessant fluctuation,—you traced rather confusion worse confounded; at most, Timidity and physical Cold? Some indeed said withal, he was 'the very Spirit of Love embodied': blue earnest eyes, full of sadness and kindness; purse ever open, and so forth; the whole of which, we shall now hope, for many reasons, was not quite groundless. Nevertheless friend Teufelsdroeckh's outline, who indeed handled the burin like few in these cases, was probably the best: Er hat Gemueth und Geist, hat wenigstens gehabt, doch ohne Organ, ohne Schicksals-Gunst; ist gegenwaertig aber halb-zerruettet, halb-erstarrt, "He has heart and talent, at least has had such, yet without fit mode of utterance, or favour of Fortune; and so is now half-cracked, half-congealed."—What the Hofrath shall think of this when he sees it, readers may wonder: we, safe in the stronghold of Historical Fidelity, are careless.

The main point, doubtless, for us all, is his love of Teufelsdroeckh, which indeed was also by far the most decisive feature of Heuschrecke himself. We are enabled to assert that he hung on the Professor with the fondness of a Boswell for his Johnson. And perhaps with the like return; for Teufelsdroeckh treated his gaunt admirer with little outward regard, as some half-rational or altogether irrational friend, and at best loved him out of gratitude and by habit. On the other hand, it was curious to observe with what reverent kindness, and a sort of fatherly protection, our Hofrath, being the elder, richer, and as he fondly imagined far more practically influential of the two, looked and tended on his little Sage, whom he seemed to consider as a living oracle. Let but Teufelsdroeckh open his mouth, Heuschrecke's also unpuckered itself into a free doorway, besides his being all eye and all ear, so that nothing might be lost: and then, at every pause in the harangue, he gurgled-out his pursy chuckle of a cough-laugh (for the machinery of laughter took some time to get in motion, and seemed crank and slack), or else his twanging nasal, Bravo! Das glaub' ich; in either case, by way of heartiest approval. In short, if Teufelsdroeckh was Dalai-Lama, of which, except perhaps in his self-seclusion, and god-like indifference, there was no symptom, then might Heuschrecke pass for his chief Talapoin, to whom no dough-pill he could knead and publish was other than medicinal and sacred.

In such environment, social, domestic, physical, did Teufelsdroeckh, at the time of our acquaintance, and most likely does he still, live and meditate. Here, perched-up in his high Wahngasse watch-tower, and often, in solitude, outwatching the Bear, it was that the indomitable Inquirer fought all his battles with Dulness and Darkness; here, in all probability, that he wrote this surprising Volume on Clothes. Additional particulars: of his age, which was of that standing middle sort you could only guess at; of his wide surtout; the colour of his trousers, fashion of his broad-brimmed steeple-hat, and so forth, we might report, but do not. The Wisest truly is, in these times, the Greatest; so that an enlightened curiosity, leaving Kings and suchlike to rest very much on their own basis, turns more and more to the Philosophic Class: nevertheless, what reader expects that, with all our writing and reporting, Teufelsdroeckh could be brought home to him, till once the Documents arrive? His Life, Fortunes, and Bodily Presence, are as yet hidden from us, or matter only of faint conjecture. But, on the other hand, does not his Soul lie enclosed in this remarkable Volume, much more truly than Pedro Garcia's did in the buried Bag of Doubloons? To the soul of Diogenes Teufelsdroeckh, to his opinions, namely, on the 'Origin and Influence of Clothes,' we for the present gladly return.



CHAPTER IV

CHARACTERISTICS

It were a piece of vain flattery to pretend that this Work on Clothes entirely contents us; that it is not, like all works of genius, like the very Sun, which, though the highest published creation, or work of genius, has nevertheless black spots and troubled nebulosities amid its effulgence,—a mixture of insight, inspiration, with dulness, double-vision, and even utter blindness.

Without committing ourselves to those enthusiastic praises and prophesyings of the Weissnichtwo'sche Anzeiger, we admitted that the Book had in a high degree excited us to self-activity, which is the best effect of any book; that it had even operated changes in our way of thought; nay, that it promised to prove, as it were, the opening of a new mine-shaft, wherein the whole world of Speculation might henceforth dig to unknown depths. More especially it may now be declared that Professor Teufelsdroeckh's acquirements, patience of research, philosophic and even poetic vigour, are here made indisputably manifest; and unhappily no less his prolixity and tortuosity and manifold ineptitude; that, on the whole, as in opening new mine-shafts is not unreasonable, there is much rubbish in his Book, though likewise specimens of almost invaluable ore. A paramount popularity in England we cannot promise him. Apart from the choice of such a topic as Clothes, too often the manner of treating it betokens in the Author a rusticity and academic seclusion, unblamable, indeed inevitable in a German, but fatal to his success with our public.

Of good society Teufelsdroeckh appears to have seen little, or has mostly forgotten what he saw. He speaks-out with a strange plainness; calls many things by their mere dictionary names. To him the Upholsterer is no Pontiff, neither is any Drawing-room a Temple, were it never so begilt and overhung: 'a whole immensity of Brussels carpets, and pier-glasses, and or-molu,' as he himself expresses it, 'cannot hide from me that such Drawing-room is simply a section of Infinite Space, where so many God-created Souls do for the time meet together.' To Teufelsdroeckh the highest Duchess is respectable, is venerable; but nowise for her pearl bracelets and Malines laces: in his eyes, the star of a Lord is little less and little more than the broad button of Birmingham spelter in a Clown's smock; 'each is an implement,' he says, 'in its kind; a tag for hooking-together; and, for the rest, was dug from the earth, and hammered on a smithy before smith's fingers.' Thus does the Professor look in men's faces with a strange impartiality, a strange scientific freedom; like a man unversed in the higher circles, like a man dropped thither from the Moon. Rightly considered, it is in this peculiarity, running through his whole system of thought, that all these short-comings, over-shootings, and multiform perversities, take rise: if indeed they have not a second source, also natural enough, in his Transcendental Philosophies, and humour of looking at all Matter and Material things as Spirit; whereby truly his case were but the more hopeless, the more lamentable.

To the Thinkers of this nation, however, of which class it is firmly believed there are individuals yet extant, we can safely recommend the Work: nay, who knows but among the fashionable ranks too, if it be true, as Teufelsdroeckh maintains, that 'within the most starched cravat there passes a windpipe and weasand, and under the thickliest embroidered waistcoat beats a heart,'—the force of that rapt earnestness may be felt, and here and there an arrow of the soul pierce through? In our wild Seer, shaggy, unkempt, like a Baptist living on locusts and wild honey, there is an untutored energy, a silent, as it were unconscious, strength, which, except in the higher walks of Literature, must be rare. Many a deep glance, and often with unspeakable precision, has he cast into mysterious Nature, and the still more mysterious Life of Man. Wonderful it is with what cutting words, now and then, he severs asunder the confusion; shears down, were it furlongs deep, into the true centre of the matter; and there not only hits the nail on the head, but with crushing force smites it home, and buries it.—On the other hand, let us be free to admit, he is the most unequal writer breathing. Often after some such feat, he will play truant for long pages, and go dawdling and dreaming, and mumbling and maundering the merest commonplaces, as if he were asleep with eyes open, which indeed he is.

Of his boundless Learning, and how all reading and literature in most known tongues, from Sanchoniathon to Dr Lingard, from your Oriental Shasters, and Talmuds, and Korans, with Cassini's Siamese Tables, and Laplace's Mecanique Celeste, down to Robinson Crusoe and the Belfast Town and Country Almanack, are familiar to him,—we shall say nothing: for unexampled as it is with us, to the Germans such universality of study passes without wonder, as a thing commendable, indeed, but natural, indispensable, and there of course. A man that devotes his life to learning, shall he not be learned?

In respect of style our Author manifests the same genial capability, marred too often by the same rudeness, inequality, and apparent want of intercourse with the higher classes. Occasionally, as above hinted, we find consummate vigour, a true inspiration; his burning thoughts step forth in fit burning words, like so many full-formed Minervas, issuing amid flame and splendour from Jove's head; a rich, idiomatic diction, picturesque allusions, fiery poetic emphasis, or quaint tricksy turns; all the graces and terrors of a wild Imagination, wedded to the clearest Intellect, alternate in beautiful vicissitude. Were it not that sheer sleeping and soporific passages; circumlocutions, repetitions, touches even of pure doting jargon, so often intervene! On the whole, Professor Teufelsdroeckh is not a cultivated writer. Of his sentences perhaps not more than nine-tenths stand straight on their legs; the remainder are in quite angular attitudes, buttressed-up by props (of parentheses and dashes), and ever with this or the other tagrag hanging from them; a few even sprawl-out helplessly on all sides, quite broken-backed and dismembered. Nevertheless, in almost his very worst moods, there lies in him a singular attraction. A wild tone pervades the whole utterance of the man, like its keynote and regulator; now screwing itself aloft as into the Song of Spirits, or else the shrill mockery of Fiends; now sinking in cadences, not without melodious heartiness, though sometimes abrupt enough, into the common pitch, when we hear it only as a monotonous hum; of which hum the true character is extremely difficult to fix. Up to this hour we have never fully satisfied ourselves whether it is a tone and hum of real Humour, which we reckon among the very highest qualities of genius, or some echo of mere Insanity and Inanity, which doubtless ranks below the very lowest.

Under a like difficulty, in spite even of our personal intercourse, do we still lie with regard to the Professor's moral feeling. Gleams of an ethereal Love burst forth from him, soft wailings of infinite pity; he could clasp the whole Universe into his bosom, and keep it warm; it seems as if under that rude exterior there dwelt a very seraph. Then again he is so sly and still, so imperturbably saturnine; shows such indifference, malign coolness towards all that men strive after; and ever with some half-visible wrinkle of a bitter sardonic humour, if indeed it be not mere stolid callousness,—that you look on him almost with a shudder, as on some incarnate Mephistopheles, to whom this great terrestrial and celestial Round, after all, were but some huge foolish Whirligig, where kings and beggars, and angels and demons, and stars and street-sweepings, were chaotically whirled, in which only children could take interest. His look, as we mentioned, is probably the gravest ever seen: yet it is not of that cast-iron gravity frequent enough among our own Chancery suitors; but rather the gravity as of some silent, high-encircled mountain-pool, perhaps the crater of an extinct volcano; into whose black deeps you fear to gaze: those eyes, those lights that sparkle in it, may indeed be reflexes of the heavenly Stars, but perhaps also glances from the region of Nether Fire!

Certainly a most involved, self-secluded, altogether enigmatic nature, this of Teufelsdroeckh! Here, however, we gladly recall to mind that once we saw him laugh; once only, perhaps it was the first and last time in his life; but then such a peal of laughter, enough to have awakened the Seven Sleepers! It was of Jean Paul's doing: some single billow in that vast World-Mahlstrom of Humour, with its heaven-kissing coruscations, which is now, alas, all congealed in the frost of death! The large-bodied Poet and the small, both large enough in soul, sat talking miscellaneously together, the present Editor being privileged to listen; and now Paul, in his serious way, was giving one of those inimitable 'Extra-harangues'; and, as it chanced, On the Proposal for a Cast-metal King: gradually a light kindled in our Professor's eyes and face, a beaming, mantling, loveliest light; through those murky features, a radiant, ever-young Apollo looked; and he burst forth like the neighing of all Tattersall's,—tears streaming down his cheeks, pipe held aloft, foot clutched into the air,—loud, long-continuing, uncontrollable; a laugh not of the face and diaphragm only, but of the whole man from head to heel. The present Editor, who laughed indeed, yet with measure, began to fear all was not right: however, Teufelsdroeckh composed himself, and sank into his old stillness; on his inscrutable countenance there was, if anything, a slight look of shame; and Richter himself could not rouse him again. Readers who have any tincture of Psychology know how much is to be inferred from this; and that no man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad. How much lies in Laughter: the cipher-key, wherewith we decipher the whole man! Some men wear an everlasting barren simper; in the smile of others lies a cold glitter as of ice: the fewest are able to laugh, what can be called laughing, but only sniff and titter and snigger from the throat outwards; or at best, produce some whiffling husky cachinnation, as if they were laughing through wool: of none such comes good. The man who cannot laugh is not only fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; but his whole life is already a treason and a stratagem.

Considered as an Author, Herr Teufelsdroeckh has one scarcely pardonable fault, doubtless his worst: an almost total want of arrangement. In this remarkable Volume, it is true, his adherence to the mere course of Time produces, through the Narrative portions, a certain show of outward method; but of true logical method and sequence there is too little. Apart from its multifarious sections and subdivisions, the Work naturally falls into two Parts; a Historical-Descriptive, and a Philosophical-Speculative: but falls, unhappily, by no firm line of demarcation; in that labyrinthic combination, each Part overlaps, and indents, and indeed runs quite through the other. Many sections are of a debatable rubric or even quite nondescript and unnameable; whereby the Book not only loses in accessibility, but too often distresses us like some mad banquet, wherein all courses had been confounded, and fish and flesh, soup and solid, oyster-sauce, lettuces, Rhine-wine and French mustard, were hurled into one huge tureen or trough, and the hungry Public invited to help itself. To bring what order we can out of this Chaos shall be part of our endeavour.



CHAPTER V

THE WORLD IN CLOTHES

'As Montesquieu wrote a Spirit of Laws,' observes our Professor, 'so could I write a Spirit of Clothes; thus, with an Esprit des Lois, properly an Esprit de Coutumes, we should have an Esprit de Costumes. For neither in tailoring nor in legislating does man proceed by mere Accident, but the hand is ever guided on by mysterious operations of the mind. In all his Modes, and habilatory endeavours, an Architectural Idea will be found lurking; his Body and the Cloth are the site and materials whereon and whereby his beautified edifice, of a Person, is to be built. Whether he flow gracefully out in folded mantles, based on light sandals; tower-up in high headgear, from amid peaks, spangles and bell-girdles; swell-out in starched ruffs, buckram stuffings, and monstrous tuberosities; or girth himself into separate sections, and front the world an Agglomeration of four limbs,—will depend on the nature of such Architectural Idea: whether Grecian, Gothic, Later-Gothic, or altogether Modern, and Parisian or Anglo-Dandiacal. Again, what meaning lies in Colour! From the soberest drab to the high-flaming scarlet, spiritual idiosyncrasies unfold themselves in choice of Colour: if the Cut betoken Intellect and Talent, so does the Colour betoken Temper and Heart. In all which, among nations as among individuals, there is an incessant, indubitable, though infinitely complex working of Cause and Effect: every snip of the Scissors has been regulated and prescribed by ever-active Influences, which doubtless to Intelligences of a superior order are neither invisible nor illegible.

'For such superior Intelligences a Cause-and-Effect Philosophy of Clothes, as of Laws, were probably a comfortable winter-evening entertainment: nevertheless, for inferior Intelligences, like men, such Philosophies have always seemed to me uninstructive enough. Nay, what is your Montesquieu himself but a clever infant spelling Letters from a hieroglyphical prophetic Book, the lexicon of which lies in Eternity, in Heaven?—Let any Cause-and-Effect Philosopher explain, not why I wear such and such a Garment, obey such and such a Law; but even why I am here, to wear and obey anything!—Much, therefore, if not the whole, of that same Spirit of Clothes I shall suppress, as hypothetical, ineffectual, and even impertinent: naked Facts, and Deductions drawn therefrom in quite another than that omniscient style, are my humbler and proper province.'

Acting on which prudent restriction, Teufelsdroeckh has nevertheless contrived to take-in a well-nigh boundless extent of field; at least, the boundaries too often lie quite beyond our horizon. Selection being indispensable, we shall here glance-over his First Part only in the most cursory manner. This First Part is, no doubt, distinguished by omnivorous learning, and utmost patience and fairness: at the same time, in its results and delineations, it is much more likely to interest the Compilers of some Library of General, Entertaining, Useful, or even Useless Knowledge than the miscellaneous readers of these pages. Was it this Part of the Book which Heuschrecke had in view, when he recommended us to that joint-stock vehicle of publication, 'at present the glory of British Literature'? If so, the Library Editors are welcome to dig in it for their own behoof.

To the First Chapter, which turns on Paradise and Fig-leaves, and leads us into interminable disquisitions of a mythological, metaphorical, cabalistico-sartorial and quite antediluvian cast, we shall content ourselves with giving an unconcerned approval. Still less have we to do with 'Lilis, Adam's first wife, whom, according to the Talmudists, he had before Eve, and who bore him, in that wedlock, the whole progeny of aerial, aquatic, and terrestrial Devils,'—very needlessly, we think. On this portion of the Work, with its profound glances into the Adam-Kadmon, or Primeval Element, here strangely brought into relation with the Nifl and Muspel (Darkness and Light) of the antique North, it may be enough to say, that its correctness of deduction, and depth of Talmudic and Rabbinical lore have filled perhaps not the worst Hebraist in Britain with something like astonishment.

But, quitting this twilight region, Teufelsdroeckh hastens from the Tower of Babel, to follow the dispersion of Mankind over the whole habitable and habilable globe. Walking by the light of Oriental, Pelasgic, Scandinavian, Egyptian, Otaheitean, Ancient and Modern researches of every conceivable kind, he strives to give us in compressed shape (as the Nuernbergers give an Orbis Pictus) an Orbis Vestitus; or view of the costumes of all mankind, in all countries, in all times. It is here that to the Antiquarian, to the Historian, we can triumphantly say: Fall to! Here is learning: an irregular Treasury, if you will; but inexhaustible as the Hoard of King Nibelung, which twelve wagons in twelve days, at the rate of three journeys a day, could not carry off. Sheepskin cloaks and wampum belts; phylacteries, stoles, albs; chlamydes, togas, Chinese silks, Afghaun shawls, trunk-hose, leather breeches, Celtic philibegs (though breeches, as the name Gallia Braccata indicates, are the more ancient), Hussar cloaks, Vandyke tippets, ruffs, fardingales, are brought vividly before us,—even the Kilmarnock nightcap is not forgotten. For most part, too, we must admit that the Learning, heterogeneous as it is, and tumbled-down quite pell-mell, is true concentrated and purified Learning, the drossy parts smelted out and thrown aside.

Philosophical reflections intervene, and sometimes touching pictures of human life. Of this sort the following has surprised us. The first purpose of Clothes, as our Professor imagines, was not warmth or decency, but ornament. 'Miserable indeed,' says he, 'was the condition of the Aboriginal Savage, glaring fiercely from under his fleece of hair, which with the beard reached down to his loins, and hung round him like a matted cloak; the rest of his body sheeted in its thick natural fell. He loitered in the sunny glades of the forest, living on wild-fruits; or, as the ancient Caledonian, squatted himself in morasses, lurking for his bestial or human prey; without implements, without arms, save the ball of heavy Flint, to which, that his sole possession and defence might not be lost, he had attached a long cord of plaited thongs; thereby recovering as well as hurling it with deadly unerring skill. Nevertheless, the pains of Hunger and Revenge once satisfied, his next care was not Comfort but Decoration (Putz). Warmth he found in the toils of the chase; or amid dried leaves, in his hollow tree, in his bark shed, or natural grotto: but for Decoration he must have Clothes. Nay, among wild people we find tattooing and painting even prior to Clothes. The first spiritual want of a barbarous man is Decoration, as indeed we still see among the barbarous classes in civilised countries.

'Reader, the heaven-inspired melodious Singer; loftiest Serene Highness; nay thy own amber-locked, snow-and-rose-bloom Maiden, worthy to glide sylphlike almost on air, whom thou lovest, worshippest as a divine Presence, which, indeed, symbolically taken, she is,—has descended, like thyself, from that same hair-mantled, flint-hurling Aboriginal Anthropophagus! Out of the eater cometh forth meat; out of the strong cometh forth sweetness. What changes are wrought, not by time, yet in Time! For not Mankind only, but all that Mankind does or beholds, is in continual growth, regenesis and self-perfecting vitality. Cast forth thy Act, thy Word, into the ever-living, ever-working Universe: it is a seed-grain that cannot die; unnoticed to-day (says one), it will be found flourishing as a Banyan-grove (perhaps, alas, as a Hemlock-forest!) after a thousand years.

'He who first shortened the labour of Copyists by device of Movable Types was disbanding hired Armies, and cashiering most Kings and Senates, and creating a whole new Democratic world: he had invented the Art of Printing. The first ground handful of Nitre, Sulphur, and Charcoal drove Monk Schwartz's pestle through the ceiling: what will the last do? Achieve the final undisputed prostration of Force under Thought, of Animal courage under Spiritual. A simple invention it was in the old-world Grazier,—sick of lugging his slow Ox about the country till he got it bartered for corn or oil,—to take a piece of Leather, and thereon scratch or stamp the mere Figure of an Ox (or Pecus); put it in his pocket, and call it Pecunia, Money. Yet hereby did Barter grow Sale, the Leather Money is now Golden and Paper, and all miracles have been out-miracled: for there are Rothschilds and English National Debts; and whoso has sixpence is sovereign (to the length of sixpence) over all men; commands cooks to feed him, philosophers to teach him, kings to mount guard over him,—to the length of sixpence.—Clothes too, which began in foolishest love of Ornament, what have they not become! Increased Security and pleasurable Heat soon followed: but what of these? Shame, divine Shame (Schaam, Modesty), as yet a stranger to the Anthropophagous bosom, arose there mysteriously under Clothes; a mystic grove-encircled shrine for the Holy in man. Clothes gave us individuality, distinctions, social polity; Clothes have made Men of us; they are threatening to make Clothes-screens of us.

'But, on the whole,' continues our eloquent Professor, 'Man is a Tool-using Animal (Handthierendes Thier). Weak in himself, and of small stature, he stands on a basis, at most for the flattest-soled, of some half-square foot, insecurely enough; has to straddle out his legs, lest the very wind supplant him. Feeblest of bipeds! Three quintals are a crushing load for him; the steer of the meadow tosses him aloft, like a waste rag. Nevertheless he can use Tools, can devise Tools: with these the granite mountain melts into light dust before him; he kneads glowing iron, as if it were soft paste; seas are his smooth highway, winds and fire his unwearying steeds. Nowhere do you find him without Tools; without Tools he is nothing, with Tools he is all.'

Here may we not, for a moment, interrupt the stream of Oratory with a remark, that this Definition of the Tool-using Animal, appears to us, of all that Animal-sort, considerably the precisest and best? Man is called a Laughing Animal: but do not the apes also laugh, or attempt to do it; and is the manliest man the greatest and oftenest laugher? Teufelsdroeckh himself, as we said, laughed only once. Still less do we make of that other French Definition of the Cooking Animal; which, indeed, for rigorous scientific purposes, is as good as useless. Can a Tartar be said to cook, when he only readies his steak by riding on it? Again, what Cookery does the Greenlander use, beyond stowing-up his whale-blubber, as a marmot, in the like case, might do? Or how would Monsieur Ude prosper among those Orinocco Indians, who, according to Humboldt, lodge in crow-nests, on the branches of trees; and, for half the year, have no victuals but pipe-clay, the whole country being under water? But, on the other hand, show us the human being, of any period or climate, without his Tools: those very Caledonians, as we saw, had their Flint-ball, and Thong to it, such as no brute has or can have.

'Man is a Tool-using Animal,' concludes Teufelsdroeckh in his abrupt way; 'of which truth Clothes are but one example: and surely if we consider the interval between the first wooden Dibble fashioned by man, and those Liverpool Steam-carriages, or the British House of Commons, we shall note what progress he has made. He digs up certain black stones from the bosom of the earth, and says to them, Transport me and this luggage at the rate of five-and-thirty miles an hour; and they do it: he collects, apparently by lot, six-hundred and fifty-eight miscellaneous individuals, and says to them, Make this nation toil for us, bleed for us, hunger and sorrow and sin for us; and they do it.'



CHAPTER VI

APRONS

One of the most unsatisfactory Sections in the whole Volume is that on Aprons. What though stout old Gao, the Persian Blacksmith, 'whose Apron, now indeed hidden under jewels, because raised in revolt which proved successful, is still the royal standard of that country'; what though John Knox's Daughter, 'who threatened Sovereign Majesty that she would catch her husband's head in her Apron, rather than he should lie and be a bishop'; what though the Landgravine Elizabeth, with many other Apron worthies,—figure here? An idle wire-drawing spirit, sometimes even a tone of levity, approaching to conventional satire, is too clearly discernible. What, for example, are we to make of such sentences as the following?

'Aprons are Defences; against injury to cleanliness, to safety, to modesty, sometimes to roguery. From the thin slip of notched silk (as it were, the Emblem and beatified Ghost of an Apron), which some highest-bred housewife, sitting at Nuernberg Workboxes and Toyboxes, has gracefully fastened on; to the thick-tanned hide, girt round him with thongs, wherein the Builder builds, and at evening sticks his trowel; or to those jingling sheet-iron Aprons, wherein your otherwise half-naked Vulcans hammer and smelt in their smelt-furnace,—is there not range enough in the fashion and uses of this Vestment? How much has been concealed, how much has been defended in Aprons! Nay, rightly considered, what is your whole Military and Police Establishment, charged at uncalculated millions, but a huge scarlet-coloured, iron-fastened Apron, wherein Society works (uneasily enough); guarding itself from some soil and stithy-sparks, in this Devil's-smithy (Teufelsschmiede) of a world? But of all Aprons the most puzzling to me hitherto has been the Episcopal or Cassock. Wherein consists the usefulness of this Apron? The Overseer (Episcopus) of Souls, I notice, has tucked-in the corner of it, as if his day's work were done: what does he shadow forth thereby?' &c. &c.

Or again, has it often been the lot of our readers to read such stuff as we shall now quote?

'I consider those printed Paper Aprons, worn by the Parisian Cooks, as a new vent, though a slight one, for Typography; therefore as an encouragement to modern Literature, and deserving of approval: nor is it without satisfaction that I hear of a celebrated London Firm having in view to introduce the same fashion, with important extensions, in England.'—We who are on the spot hear of no such thing; and indeed have reason to be thankful that hitherto there are other vents for our Literature, exuberant as it is.—Teufelsdroeckh continues: 'If such supply of printed Paper should rise so far as to choke-up the highways and public thoroughfares, new means must of necessity be had recourse to. In a world existing by Industry, we grudge to employ fire as a destroying element, and not as a creating one. However, Heaven is omnipotent, and will find us an outlet. In the mean while, is it not beautiful to see five-million quintals of Rags picked annually from the Laystall; and annually, after being macerated, hot-pressed, printed-on, and sold,—returned thither; filling so many hungry mouths by the way? Thus is the Laystall, especially with its Rags or Clothes-rubbish, the grand Electric Battery, and Fountain-of-motion, from which and to which the Social Activities (like vitreous and resinous Electricities) circulate, in larger or smaller circles, through the mighty, billowy, storm-tost Chaos of Life, which they keep alive!'—Such passages fill us, who love the man, and partly esteem him, with a very mixed feeling.

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