"Principles won't do. Acquisitions, clothes, pretty rags"
Thomas Carlyle
Public DomainThomas Carlyle - Credit: P. Krämer
'The Bedlam of Creation' (1898), illustration from Carlyle's Sartor Resartus
Public Domain'The Bedlam of Creation' (1898), illustration from Carlyle's Sartor Resartus - Credit: Edmund Joseph Sullivan

A similar sentiment is expressed in Thomas Carlyle’s 1834 work Sartor Resartus (a novel Marlow recalls reading as a young sailor in 'Youth'): ‘the solemnities and paraphernalia of civilised Life, which we make so much of, [are] nothing but so many Cloth-rags.