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 Teufelsdrockh’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.
Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus (1836), chapter two.
Sartor Resartus: The Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdrockh, is an imaginary autobiography and philosophical discourse on clothes (the title translates as ‘the tailor re-patched’) based on the supposed thoughts of Teufelsdrockh. The quotations comes from chapter two, ‘Editorial Difficulties’.