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their superfluity of ornaments instead of being entirely banished, seem only fallen from their heads upon their lower parts. What they have lost in height, they make it up in breadth, and contrary to all rules of architecture, widen the foundations at the same time that they shorten the superstructure."
A little further on we read: "But as we do not yet hear of any particular use in this petticoat, or that it contains anything more than what was supposed to be in those of scantier make, we are wonderfully at a loss about it.
Among these various conjectures, there are many of superstitious tempers, who look upon the hoop peticoat as a kind of prodigy. Some will have it, that it portends the downfall of the French king, and observe that the farthingale appeared in England a little before the ruin of the Spanish monarchy."
In another letter to the "Spectator," we have the following: "I and several of your other female readers have conformed ourselves to your rules, even to our very dress. There is not one of us but has reduced our outward petticoat to its ancient sizable circumference, though, indeed, we retain still the quilted one underneath, which makes us not altogether unconformable to the fashion."
Another writer gives an amusing account of the shape and varieties of hoops: "The hoop," he observes, "has been known to expand and contract itself from the size of a butter churn to the circumference of three hogsheads; at one time, it was sloped from the waist in a pyramidal form; at another, it was bent upwards like an inverted bow, by which the two angles, when squeezed upon both sides, came in contact with the ears. At present, it is nearly of an oval form, and scarce measures from end to end above twice the length of the wearer. The hoop has, indeed, lost much of its credit in the female world, and has suffered much from the innovation of short sacks and negliges."
The same writer proposes that there should be a female parliament to regulate matters relating to dress and ceremony; and, after speculating upon the improvements that would be made by such judicious lawgivers, he says: "And they would, at least, not suffer enormous hoops to spread themselves across the whole pavement, to the det
riment of all honest men going upon business along the street."
The petticoat of wide dimensions is also much censured: "Many are the inconveniences that accrue to her majesty's loving subjects from the same petticoats, as hurting men's shins, sweeping down the wares of industrious females in the streets.
"The ladies among us have a superior genius to the men; which have, for some years past, shot out in several exorbitant inventions, for the greater consumption of our manufacture. While the men have contented themselves with the retrenchment of the hat, or the various scallop of the pocket, the ladies have sunk the head-dress, inclosed themselves in the circumference of the hoop petticoat; furbelows and flounces have been disposed at will, the stays have been lowered behind; not to mention the various rolling of the sleeve, and those other nice circumstances of dress, upon which every lady employs her fancy at pleasure."
Again,it is observed: "I sometimes entertained myself by observing what a large quantity of ground was hid under spreading petticoats; and what little patches of earth were covered by creatures with wigs and hats, in comparison to those places that were distinguished by flounces, fringes, and furbelows."
In a petition to the author of the "Tattler," ," is an amusing satire of these spreading petticoats, which seem to have engrossed the attention of most of the writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: "Upon the late invention of Mrs. Catharine Crossstitch, mantua-maker, the petticoats of ladies were too wide for entering into any coach or chair, which was in use before the said invention. That, for the service of the said ladies, your petitioner has built a round chair in the form of a lantern, six yards and a half in circumference, with a stool in the centre of it, the said vehicle being so contrived as to receive the passenger by opening in two in the middle, and closing mathematically when she is seated. That your petitioner has also invented a coach, for the reception of one lady only, who is to be let in at the top. That the said coach has been tried by a lady's woman in one of these full petticoats, who was let down from a balcony, and drawn up again by pul
leys, to the great satisfaction of her lady and all who beheld her."
Patching was never more prevalent than during the reign of Queen Anne, and severely are those "black spots" censured by writers of the time, both French and English. A French author says: "L'usage des mouches n'est pas inconnu aux dames Françoises, mais il faut être jeune et jolie. En Angleterre, jeunes, vieilles, belles, laides, tout est emmouché jusqu'à la décrépitude; j'ai plusieurs fois compté quinze mouches et davantage, sur la noire et ridée face d'une vieille de soixante et dix ans. Les Anglaises raffinent ainsi sur nos modes."
We have other laughable accounts of these patches: The women look like angels, and would be more beautiful than the sun, were it not for little black spots that are apt to break out in their faces, and sometimes rise in very odd figures. I have observed that those little blemishes wear off very soon, but when they disappear in one part of the face, they are very apt to break out in another, insomuch, that I have seen a spot upon the forehead in the afternoon, that was upon the chin in the morning.
"About the middle of last winter, I went to see an opera at the Haymarket Theatre, where I could not but take notice of two parties of very pretty women, that had placed themselves in the opposite side-boxes, and seemed drawn up in a kind of battle array, one against the other. After a short survey of them, I found they were patched differently; the faces on one hand, being spotted on the right side of the forehead, and those upon the other, on the left. I quickly perceived that they cast hostile glances, one upon another;
and that their patches were placed in those different situations as party-signals to distinguish friends from foes. In the middle boxes, between these two opposite bodies were several ladies who patched indifferently on both sides of their faces, and seem to sit there with no other intention but to see the opera. Upon inquiry, I found the body of Amazons, on my right hand, were Whigs, and those on my left, Tories: and that those who had placed themselves in the middle boxes, were a neutral party. * * Nay, I am informed that some of them adhere so steadfastly to their party, and are so far from sacrificing their zeal for the public to their passion for any particular person, that, in a late draught of marriage articles, a lady has stipulated with her husband, that whatever his opinions are, she shall be at liberty to patch on which side she pleases."
The absurdity is also thus attacked: "Madam, let me beg of you, to take off the patches at the lower end of your left cheek, and I will allow two more under your left eye, which will contribute more to the symmetry of your face; except you would please to remove the ten black atoms on your ladyship's chin, and wear one large patch instead of them. If so, you may properly enough retain the three patches above mentioned."
Washes for the complexion, rouge, and alabaster powder, were much used at this time, and continued fashionable for many years, but patches are said to have been finally banished towards the latter end of Anne's reign, chiefly through the censures of Addison, who waged continual war against them, and from whom many of the extracts given above have been derived.
WHAT is the warrior's sword compared with thee? A brittle reed against a giant's might! What are the tyrant's countless hosts? as light As chaff before the tempest! Though he be Shut in with guards, and by the bended knee Be worshiped, like a god, thou still canst smite, E'en then, with viewless arm, and from that height Hurl him into the dust! for thou art free,
Boundless, omnipresent, like God, who gave
Thou canst combine in one the minds of men,
-IRVING has finished the fourth volume of his Life of Washington, and having brought his hero safely through the war, he leaves him at the threshold of the Presidency, and there the biographer pauses, alluding with modesty and feeling to himself. The whole work, as far as completed, and however much further it may be carried, will be the popular and universally read Life of Washington. The story of his career is told with a simplicity which is the ripe maturity of a lovely style, and with a sustained interest which will draw every reader, of every age, from chapter to chapter. Like the author's "Columbus" and "Mahomet," the "Washington" is invested with all the picturesqueness of which the subject seems capable. And yet with great differences; the countries and the times of his other heroes are, in themselves, romantic to the imagination. But by no possibility can that tender hue, which is the complexion of distance and strangeness, be imparted to recent very modern events. But no other author could have done so much for this picturesqueness, by the mere charm of treatment, as Irving. He is beyond criticism, in a certain sense. His hold is so sure upon the public heart, that criticism cannot dispute his possession, it can only discriminate and compare his literary qualities. It is enough to say of his Life of Washington, that it is entirely the book which Washington Irving must write upon such a theme, and that, while other historians might have philosophized more upon Washington's character and due place in history, none could have told, with more sympathy, skill, and interest, the story of his life. We cannot forbear quoting the last words of the book, both for what the author says of his hero and of himself:
"In regard to the character and conduct of Washington, we have endeavored to place his deeds in the clearest light, and left them to speak for themselves, generally avoiding comment or eulogium. We have quoted his own words and writings largely, to explain his feelings and motives, and give the true key to his policy; for never did man leave a more
truthful mirror of his heart and mind, and a more thorough exponent of his conduct, than he has left in his copious correspondence. There his character is to be found in all its majestic simplicity, its massive grandeur and quiet colossal strength. He was no hero of romance; there was nothing of romantic heroism in his nature. As a warrior he was
incapable of fear, but made no merit of defying danger. He fought for a cause, but not for personal renown. Gladly, when he had won the cause, he hung up his sword never again to take it down. Glory, that blatant word, which haunts some military minds like the bray of the trumpet, formed no part of his aspirations. To act justly was his instinct, to promote the public weal his constant effort, to deserve the 'affections of good men' his ambition. With such qualifications for the pure exercise of sound judgment and comprehensive wisdom, he ascended the Presidential chair.
"There for the present we leave him. So far our work is complete, comprehending the whole military life of Washington, and his agency in public affairs, up to the formation of our Constitution. How well we have executed it we leave to the public to determine; hoping to find it, as heretofore, far more easily satisfied at the result of our labors than we are ourselves. Should the measure of health and good spirits, with which a kind Providence has blessed us beyond the usual term of literary labor, be still continued, we may go on, and in another volume give the Presidential career and closing life of Washington. In the mean time, having found a restingplace in our task, we stay our hands, lay by our pen, and seek that relaxation and repose which gathering years require."
-Whoever wishes to read one of the most passionate and pathetic novels in English literature will take with him, during the summer vacation, The Collegians, by Gerald Griffin. He was a young Irishman, who died several years since, after writing a series of works-novels and poetry, which gave him little reputation during his life, but since his death have given him fame as, in our judgment, the best Irish novelist. The picture of Irish character and manners a half century since, in The Collegians, is masterly, and the power with which the fond, impetuous, passionate, thoroughly Celtic nature of Hardress Cregan is drawn, evinces rare genius. Griffin died young, a disappointed man. But this one story, if nothing else of his, will surely live among the very best novels of the time. It is full
of incident, and an absorbing interest allures the reader to the end, and leaves him with a melted heart and moistened eye. Love, pride, and prejudice are the themes. An Ophelia-like heroine is tossed upon the bitter waves of a sea of passion she cannot control, and the end is more piteous than Ophelia's. There have been at least two editions of the work published in this country at different times. The last one, before the present, was a very poor, cheap, Philadelphia edition, which could have done little for the reputation of The Collegians. But a new edition of the Complete Works of Gerald Griffin, to be concluded in about thirty weekly numbers, is now issuing by D. and J. Sadlier & Co., New York, and is more than a third part published. It is a very convenient and attractive edition. It will contain all his novels, dramas, and lyrics. The latter have a thoroughly Irish flavor, and will, we sincerely hope, be the means of making the talented young Irishman widely known, and, consequently, admired in this country.
-As the dog days approach, the novels multiply. Derby & Jackson continue their convenient family edition of Marryatt, and the standard old English novelists. The tastes of different times will differ, but Fielding and Smollett must still hold their places as delineators of the English manners of their epoch. They are invaluable companions to their contemporary history. In fact, no man has properly read history, who has not studied in their own works, and in descriptions of their manners and habits, the people whose government, and wars, and politics only, the pompous muse of history condescends to heed. Tom Jones is as essential a foot-note to the English life of the reign of George Second as the letters of Horace Walpole. Marryatt will always have a large and loving audience, so long as men and boys have the love of adventure in their hearts. There are few nautical novels better than Peter Simple, few more captivating to the genuine novel reader than Jacob Faithful.
-The Appletons give us Miss Yonge's last, Dynevor Terrace. It has the same careful details of what seem to us quite uninteresting events and people, that make up her other stories, excepting perhaps The Heir of Redclyffe. Merely to copy nature, is not necessarily to make a fine work of art, whether in painting or literature.
However, it is de rigueur to admire whatever the fair Yonge chooses to send us, and there will be no lack of sea-side and valley admirers of this last "effort of the distinguished authoress."
-Mr. Edward Stephens issues The Heiress of Greenhurst, by Mrs. Ann S. Stephens, author of Fashion and Famine. The other works of this lady belong properly to the melo-dramatic and sensation schools. From a rapid glance at this one, we should suppose it to be of the purely romantic school, and not less attractive and interesting than any of its predecessors.
--Gerald Massey is introduced in blue and gold by Ticknor & Fields. When he appeared in plain muslin, in his earlier days, we expressed our opinion of him at some length. He is evidently a man of warm feeling and a sensuous fancy, but we do not find great poetry in his handsome volume. It is still, to us, a mixture of Tennyson and Ebenezer Elliott; although so eminent a man as Landor alludes to Homer and Shakespeare, in speaking of Massey. The feeling is, beyond a question, strong and real; but the expression of it is, equally beyond doubt, determined by that of other men. Unpleasantly often there is an affectation of intensity, which, with so much genuine ardor, is entirely unnecessary.
-In the same series, Mrs. Jameson's Diary of an Ennuyée tastes of Italy, as dried rose-leaves of roses. The feminine grace of this writer is nowhere more agreeably displayed than in this little volume; and her womanly sense and feeling nowhere more eloquently expressed than in her Sisters of Charity, a new work just issued by the same house. She says that she believes that there exists at the core of our social condition a great mistake to be corrected, and a great want to be supplied; that men and women must learn to understand each other, and work together for the common good, before any amount of permanent moral and religious progress can be effected; and that, in the most comprehensive sense of the word, we need Sisters of Charity everywhere.
Mrs. Jameson treats the subject with the instinctive delicacy of a lady, but of one who understands that woman is the root of lady, as the vine is of the grapeblossom. Let every summer-lounger take, with the women's novels of the season,
this woman's view of woman's sphere and duty, and remember that Mrs. Browning, Mrs. Jameson, and Mrs. Norton are three English women, whose position in literature and general respect claim for their views of the "woman question," an attention which is rarely gravely given to it by the general public. And when, to their appeals, is added the splendor of Miss Nightingale's actions, the most determined reviler of Female Conventions may, with perfect propriety, retire to his closet and ask himself: Is darning my stockings the whole duty of woman?"
--The Family-Circle Glee-Book, compiled by Elias Howe (Mason Brothers). Whoever makes a family sing is a social benefactor; but whoever makes them sing good songs is himself worthy of a lobgesang, a song of praise, which we desire with proper fire, at once to sing, and homage bring, and make our bow to Mr. Howe, and hope that Messrs. Mason Brothers will soon give us others of Mr. Howe's compilations. The present is an attractive collection of good old choice favorites, which are never, by any chance, heard in the Academy or in Mrs. Potiphar's drawing-room; but which are now sung, and have been, and will be, sung in a hundred happy homes, and are full, all of them, of associations sweet as their own music and tender as their own sentiment. We hope it may be the influence of such publications to tempt out the voices that are silent now, because they cannot warble the serenade of the Trovatore or the barcarole of Lucrezia. Modest voices, remember that there are Marios, and Giuglinis, and Brignolis to sing the Italian operas in great theatres, and to thousands of people; do you sing the songs you can, to the tens, to the fives, perhaps only to the one, who will listen in the sacred seclusion of home with the heart as well as with flounces and kid gloves.
makes men famous for doing. There is no more delightful story-book than "Southey's Life of Nelson ;" a simple, graphic, coherent chronicle of the great admiral's career. Dr. Elder is well known as an eloquent and original orator, and his contributions to our literature, although sometimes eccentric beyond quaintness, have displayed an undoubted vigor, and fertility of resources. There is no reason why he should not make the biography of the brave young Kane one of the enduringly valuable works upon the libraryshelf a book to stand side by side with the hero's own fascinating Journals—side by side with Parry's, and Back's, and Franklin's, and all the stories of Arctic adventurers.
-Tom Brown's School-Life (Ticknor & Fields) is a novel of school-life at Rugby, in England, in the days of the good and famous Dr. Arnold. It is exceedingly interesting and valuable to us Americans, as showing us the very interior of a life of which we know nothing. It is a curious companion-piece to Dickens' " Do-the-boys Hall," and Thackeray's “ Dr. Birch and his Young Friends at Rodwell Regis." The book is written in an easy, idiomatic, and manly style, and is of a character to interest particularly the American reader; showing him how young Englishmen come often to live easy and manly lives as well as write in the same way.
-The Rev. John Bayley, of the Virginia annual conference, has published a work concerning Marriage as it is, and as it should be (M. W. Dodd). The question discussed is one in which the race is supposed to be profoundly interested, and ought to wish to be instructed. Perhaps the task of instruction may be difficult. But let the reader hear Mr. Bayley speak for himself concerning money in matrimony. "It is true when the match is in other respects a suitable one, wealth is not to be despised; but when the question is between wealth on the one hand, and a suitable husband or a wife on the other, it should never be forgotten that riches will never purchase intellect or virtue; but that these noble qualities may procure riches, and will never fail to secure all that is needful for happiness." The book is thus seen to be consolatory reading for mothers who will be compelled to return from their summer campaigns with daughters unmarried.