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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 238 pages of information about Sartor Resartus.
class of the community, by way of testifying against the “Mammon-god,” and escaping from what he calls “Vanity’s Workhouse and Ragfair,” where doubtless some of them are toiled and whipped and hoodwinked sufficiently,—­will sheathe themselves in close-fitting cases of Leather?  The idea is ridiculous in the extreme.  Will Majesty lay aside its robes of state, and Beauty its frills and train-gowns, for a second skin of tanned hide?  By which change Huddersfield and Manchester, and Coventry and Paisley, and the Fancy-Bazaar, were reduced to hungry solitudes; and only Day and Martin could profit.  For neither would Teufelsdrockh’s mad daydream, here as we presume covertly intended, of levelling Society (levelling it indeed with a vengeance, into one huge drowned marsh!), and so attaining the political effects of Nudity without its frigorific or other consequences,—­be thereby realized.  Would not the rich man purchase a waterproof suit of Russia Leather; and the high-born Belle step forth in red or azure morocco, lined with shamoy:  the black cowhide being left to the Drudges and Gibeonites of the world; and so all the old Distinctions be re-established?

Or has the Professor his own deeper intention; and laughs in his sleeve at our strictures and glosses, which indeed are but a part thereof?

CHAPTER II.  CHURCH-CLOTHES.

Not less questionable is his Chapter on Church-Clothes, which has the farther distinction of being the shortest in the Volume.  We here translate it entire:—­

“By Church-Clothes, it need not be premised that I mean infinitely more than Cassocks and Surplices; and do not at all mean the mere haberdasher Sunday Clothes that men go to Church in.  Far from it!  Church-Clothes are, in our vocabulary, the Forms, the Vestures, under which men have at various periods embodied and represented for themselves the Religious Principle; that is to say, invested the Divine Idea of the World with a sensible and practically active Body, so that it might dwell among them as a living and life-giving WORD.

“These are unspeakably the most important of all the vestures and garnitures of Human Existence.  They are first spun and woven, I may say, by that wonder of wonders, SOCIETY; for it is still only when ’two or three are gathered together,’ that Religion, spiritually existent, and indeed indestructible, however latent, in each, first outwardly manifests itself (as with ’cloven tongues of fire’), and seeks to be embodied in a visible Communion and Church Militant.  Mystical, more than magical, is that Communing of Soul with Soul, both looking heavenward:  here properly Soul first speaks with Soul; for only in looking heavenward, take it in what sense you may, not in looking earthward, does what we can call Union, mutual Love, Society, begin to be possible.  How true is that of Novalis:  ’It is certain, my Belief gains quite infinitely

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