Sartor Resartus: the life and opinions of Herr Teufelsdrocke eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 287 pages of information about Sartor Resartus.

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

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

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


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

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

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Sartor Resartus: the life and opinions of Herr Teufelsdrocke from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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