Margaret Fuller, Critic: Writings from the New-York Tribune, 1844-1846

By Judith Mattson Bean; Joel Myerson | Go to book overview

The Tailor

We know not why the Tailor should have been so long the theme of jest and scorn on the score of his profession. It was not merely that his profession was sedentary and kept him from manly, athletic exercises, neither that his art was devoted to furnishing raimentn for the body alone. The hatter, the hosier, the shoemaker, shared with him these difficulties, yet they might, if entitled to them by character, receive the honors due to whole men, or whole-souled men, while the Tailor must in no case be regarded as better than a fraction of a man. No matter what he himself was, his profession cast over him a shade of ridicule; nobody could believe that tragedy or heroism might be associated with the goose; and the heading of a page “The Melancholy of Tailors” prepared not for tears but laughter. Yet that men bore the title of sufficient energy and providence to be the founders of innumerable families, almost of a separate race, is manifest by the extent to which their posterity have retained the name. The Clan Taylor is only less numerous that the Clan Smith, and boasts a still larger proportion of distinguished members. Among these Jeremy alone is sufficient to atone for all sins of the race, whether committed by way of cabbage or otherwise.1

But we rejoice to see that in the march of mind which is scrambling clumsily but surely over the old walls of prejudice, the tailors keep pace with the best. The needle is non longer a weapon void of offence, nor wadding an ineffectual shield against the darts of satire. They hold their heads high and hold their full purses in a firm hand. Among other signs of the times, which shows that they take at last their fair place in the Circle of Industry, may be mentioned that a distinguished novelist has assigned a most honorable place in

____________________
1
Jeremy Taylor (1613–67), English religious writer.
n
rainment [raiment
n
is [is no

-220-

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