Monday, December 28, 2015



E.V. Lucas (1868-1938), Fireside and Sunshine (London: Methuen & Co., 1906), p. 119:
And what, I seem to hear you ask, what are hartogs? Old clothes that are less imposing and more comfortable than any others are hartogs. To be old is not sufficient; nor is it enough that they are easy. To be hartogs they must combine both these merits. Good clothes when they grow baggy and faded become hartogs; bad clothes, never. Inferior and ill-fitting clothes become merely "old clo." The derivation of hartogs is a secret; but all philologists, and all who, like R.L. Stevenson, have a "love of lovely words," will recognise in the term a neologue of singular fitness and attraction. Think about it for a minute or two, and you will realise that clothes of the kind described above could not possibly be known in any other way. They are hartogs—just hartogs, and nothing else. Old clothes of the common type one thinks of without affection, but hartogs are beloved. Anything is good enough to cover nakedness; hartogs do more—they confer cheerfulness and irresponsibility, they fit the wearer for a freer life.

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