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THE DAY ,
A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, POLITICS, ARTS AND FASHION,
VELUTI IN SPECULO.
GLASGOW, TUESDAY, JANUARY 3, 1832.
shewn this ground of selection to be as just as any « SUPREMACY OF INTELLECT," THE NEW
other general rule which time and expediency have POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
established for the controal of human affairs. It
would appear, however, that the class of persons to Of the many changes in speaking, and in writing, whom we have referred, not content with assuming which the new order of things has introduced, none is all the power of the state on the ground of numemore startling than the doctrine of the supremacy of rical strength, have resolved to institute a new, and, intellect, at present a favourite subject of discussion it must be owned, a very modest claim, on the ground among a certain class of political theorists.
of intellectual superiority! The boldness of this asOur readers may not be aware that there is a rem- sumption, however is much more remarkable than its nant of Mr. Owen's people here, who delight in the novelty. The claim is the natural offspring of ignoappellation of the Co-operatives, and that to the mighty rance, both of men and books, betraying, on the and invincible spirits of these scattered members of front of it, the secluded and monastic habits of the the poor philanthropist's now forgotten communion, parties who urge it. It could have been engendered nothing is more offensive than the ordinary institutions no where but in the brains of men whose habitual of society, and nothing so intolerably galling as certain modes of thinking were as thickly encumbered with forms of expression to which the artificial distinctions the dust of political fanaticism, as the walls of an old of life have necessarily given rise. The relative terms house with cobwebs, whose only tenants are flies and high and low, as applied to the different orders of which spiders; for who but the framers of this bright the general community is formed, have been long hypothesis does not see that the liberalising influence expunged from the vocabulary of these philosophical of good society, where something more than mere weavers, and are never employed, now-a-days, except dogmatism is required as a passport to toleration, to be reprobated as indecorous and insolent. It is would wipe away all the rusty notions on amelioration, criminal, it seems, to say of a man who breaks stones and optimism, which these conceited regenerators are on the roadside that he belongs to the lower orders : putting forth as profound and novel deductions in the and, as to the word workman, or the expression work. philosophy of human government? Every clever and ing classes, though it be notorious as the sun at noonday partially educated schoolboy entertains precisely the that such persons
do exist, and that they constitute by same opinion of himself, as compared with his teachers, far the largest portion of our population, it has been which the utilitarian mechanic fancies he has discoveragreed to abolish their use too, and to substitute the ed in reference to his employer, or to the constituted term operative, which, by the way, means the same guardians of the state. He feels certain irrepressible thing, for the discarded epithets above, which the dig- murmurings of ambition, and certain impetuous aspirnity of modern manners, and the liberality of modern ations after imaginary perfection, which he mistakes sentiment, could no longer tolerate. It can scarcely for indications of intellectual strength, and, long before be wondered at, therefore, that the same spirit of vul- he is competent to the government of his own affairs, gar foppery which has dictated these changes, should he expresses his loud dissatisfaction with the barbarous extend its laughable pretensions still farther, and usages of the world, which prevent him from getting should now broadly contend for the general recogni. the charge of the affairs of others. So is it with the tion of a new, but fundamental tenet of this vulgar school present race of philosophising and co-operative workof utilitarians. The tenet in question is what is called men, who have discovered, somehow or other, that the supremacy of intellect—it being insinuated, we pre- they are the lights of the earth, and that all that is sume, by this expression, that the said supremacy is to necessary to prove this, is, to abuse their betters, and be found only among a certain class that it has not to propound political novelties, or what they esteem hitherto been duly recognised by that class itself, nor such, and which they find to be, unfortunately, an by the other, and less influential portions of society- easy and an expeditious mode of making bread. and that upon its recognition depends the well-being Hence the sickening and reiterated cry about intel. of the state, and the elevation of the humbler orders lectual supremacy, which is to be found, of course, only to a station much more dignified than that which they among the adepts of their own body; and which, we have hitherto occupied. This dangerous delusion, with imagine, is in the reverse ratio of clean hands and its correlative errors, it is high time to expose, other- whole clothing, so that, if the phrensy lasts much wise the corner stones of society will be removed, and longer, we shall have an order of breechless philanthroan entry made for a flood of vague and unsound rea- pists, who, like the sans culottes of the French revolusoning on the relative positions of the different orders tion, will impersonate all the wisdom of all the ages, of the state to each other, and of the mechanism by past, present and to come! which the whole framework of civilized life is regulated. Had these men ever been so oppressed as to prevent
One of the advantages of pecuniary competency is the free exercise of their understandings—had they that it places the means of education, and the leisure ever been prevented, by any tyrannical statute, from necessary for intellectual culture, within the reach of acquiring all the knowledge which circumstances placed all who are fortunate enough to possess it; hence it within their reach—had it ever been proclaimed, in the has happened that in this, and in every other country, form of a conventional enactment, that they were disa ancient and modern, the general presumption has qualified, by birth, or station, from rising above their always been in favour of the superior intelligence original condition—had they been branded as a peculiar of those who occupy an independent station in society, and an inferior caste- had the possession of talent been and to them, especially, the government of states refused to them, and had it been exclusively claimed has been confided. For the most part, experience has by their superiors in rank-then, indeed, there might
have been some apology for their present folly, and for order, high or low, much less to the exactions of a all this idle hectoring about intellect; but every body bigotted sect, whom circumstances have invested with knows that such are not the facts of the case.
a little brief and unnatural authority; and whose tyrIn no country in the world are the bonds which anny, were it once submitted to, would be more intounite the different orders of society together so deli- lerable than “ Egyptian bondage." If we must be cately adjusted as in the British Empire—in no other slaves, we shall have a choice of masters. country are the life and property of the poor man so effectually protected, or his virtuous exertions so extensively sympathised with—in no other country,
TEA AND TABBIES. where the feudal distinctions of ranks are still observed,
But earthlier happy is the rose distill’d, are instances of petty tyranny so uncommon-and in
Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn, no other country are the avenues of advancement so
Grows, lives, and dies in single blessedness. perfectly free to the indigent man of merit. Watt began the world as a philosophical instrument maker,
If occasional alliterations be allowable in good writing, surely the and an optician-Rennie as a common millwright-and
one of “ Tea and Tabbies" may be of the number. The associaTelford as a stone mason; and to those who are capable of analysing the materials out of which the mercantile
tion of Congo with single-blessedness is in my mind inseparable; aristocracy of this great nation has been compounded,
and no sooner do I see a tray with a dozen of tea cups, a singing it will appear obvious that the institutions of society
urn, and a salver redolent of currant-bun, shortbread and slate impose no unnecessary restrictions on the exertions of biscuit, than I immediately dream of my maiden aunt Lizzy, and men of genius, and that no insolent and exclusive of her extensive coterie of spinsters, like herself. But, after all, pretensions do operate favourably for one order, and there are worse things in the world than an old tabby, especially unfavourably for another. But it does not follow that when she possesses, like my sexagenarian relative, a few spare pabecause a man does not get on, he is necessarily a mar- godas to leave behind her, to comfort those who are called to mourn tyr to the spirit of the age. It is quite possible that her loss. For my own part however, I may honestly say that, withhe may be in error as to the precise amount of merit out any ulterior views connected with my aunt's testament, I really which he possesses, and that the only sin which has enjoy her society, and obtain no little amusement from her tittlebeen committed against him has been committed by tattle. Like all the rest, who are at least twenty summers on the himself. Self-complacency, when united, as it usually other side of the grand climateric of Dumbarton (36), she has acquiris, to a reasonable share of ignorance, is the greatest ed a most prying and inquisitive disposition, and moreover has a of all deceivers : and among no class of men are its
most retentive memory for all the delicious bits of scandal that have pernicious effects so conspicuous as among your ple- had their day, during the present century. From my aunt I am beian regenerators.
always certain of having the first intelligence of all that is going It is impossible, therefore, to discover on what
on in the city, and of all that are going off. She can tell me too grounds the arrogant assumptions of the supremacy
what ladies indulge their servants with draughts of J. O. Denny's men rest, or what good can possibly result from. im
“ Entire,” and what dames indulge themselves with Barclay and pressing on the minds of those whom the distress of the times and the calamities inseparable from a period
Perkins' double X. She can name those who keep locked, and those of great commercial depression, have rendered sensible who keep open, pantries, who dine every day well en famille, and to every vibration of the political pendulum, that they
who live upon salt herring and potatoes the half of the twelvemontb,
to give one grand blow-out party about Christmas. She can name have been defrauded of their natural rights by a most you all the husbands that go to clubs, and all those who doze away unjust usurpation on the part of their superiors in rank. the evening on the sofa at home. She can tell you of all the manThe consequences of this glaring and absurd fiction- @uvering that is practised on the part of the impertinent to push supposing it to have any consequences—can only be to
themselves forward, and of all the vain upstarts who, from selfsow the seeds of disunion, far and wide, and must evi
conceit and vanity, learn to cut their real friends and relatives,
in the hope of popping their noses into a society which makes no dently tend to bring about a collision between the
secret of using them as its butt and laughing-stock. She can explain different orders of the state, the issue of which it is every mother's view with respect to her daughter, before the girl not difficult to foresee.
has worn out her London boarding school bonnet, or her EdinBut, though all were granted to the conceited fools, burgh Degville dancing slippers. She knows what every marriagewho rave about supremacy, which they demand, how
able miss has got, and what every unmarriageable old bachelor
will leave; and can tell which house is the scene of continued strife shall it be proved that a knot of discontented and idle
and discord, and which the pattern and pillow of peace! But to men,—the ex-associates of a forgotten and silly coni- the point :federacy-are the real inheritors of the philosophers' Well, then, t’other night as I was slowly sauntering along Argyle stone? The mere fact of their being Owenites is prima
street, I was suddenly stopped by a crowd gazing in wonderment facie evidence against them, and we should be glad to
at the rapid motion of a small steam-engine turning a large coffee
mill. The interruption made me gaze too. I found the shop learn what other claims they can institute either to the
replete with all the delicacies of Arabia and China. The beaps of gratitude, or the confidence of society. We are in the Mocha lay in profusion in the window, and boxes of Souchong happiest state of ignorance imaginable on this point, avd Hyson stood piled in countless variety around. Their appearbut we are docile, and are willing to be enlightened. ance immediately awakened a desire within me for one or other Meanwhile, we beg them to remember that we have
of those fascinating beverages. I felt my lips smack; and, at the
same moment, the form of my old aunt Lizzy's tea-pot fitted our eyes upon them, and that we shall take especial
athwart my brain. I resolved to taste its contents that same evento , as ing, and instantly hurried on to her snug and comfortable mansion.
On entering, I asked if my aunt was at bome, and was answered moral imaginations, on their ignorant and credulous
that she had company. Some of her gossips doubtless, thought I, brethren: for we grieve to think that the most inter
and, opening the door of the parlour, stepped forward, and wished
her a happy Christmas. “We are a' as merry as crickets,” said esting portion of our community is at this moment
she, “ I'm glad to see you. This is my nephew, leddies, aud, exposed to the desolating effects of the basest of all
I need na tell you that twa or three are setting their caps for passions, political hatred, and to the most heartless of him." I thanked her for the compliment, and placed myself at ali kiuds of philosophy—if it can be so called—the the board, and it was not long ere I found myself“ up to the throat” atheistical madness, and the mechanical pollution of
in tea and scandal. Story followed story, tale succeeded tale,
inuendo chased inuendo; when, at length, the conversation bapmodern France.
pened to turn on the beauty and accomplishments of a fair acquaint
ance, towards whom I had rather a considerable penchant. I As the friends and supporters of rational liberty, in praised her of course, when Miss Betty hinted that I should not the most comprehensive sense in which these words be carried away by appearances; for she heard, when Mary was at can be employed, we have considered it right, at the
school, that she was a sad hypocrite. Miss Girzy said that she was
very fond of flirting with redcoats, and Miss Babby averred that she very outset, to make a stand against encroachments on
was once seen smiling to a young man in church! One found general freedom by any class of men whatever. We
fault with the expression of her eye, a second with the shape of will yield obedience to the imperious domination of no her mouth, and a third with the smallness of her waist. Think
far as we can, the influence of their crude, political, anding
ing that I might get something allowed in favour of my fair acquaintance, I spoke of her lovely complexion, but my observation was met with a look which suggested the idea of its not being wholly her own. I then alluded to her fine ringlets, but the suppressed titter of Miss Girzy intimated that my fair friend owed this peculiar charm not to her own hair, but her hair-dresser. next talked of her figure, but miss Baby asked me if I knew any. thing of the fictions of stays and bussels. I spoke of her amiable disposition. My aunt hinted that “smooth water runs deep." I whispered something about her fortune ; but the whole batch of tabbies whistled out that “there was much between the cup and the lip.” Bafiled at every point, in my defence of youth and beauty, I felt piqued and annoyed, and, having pulled my pencil out of my pocket, I committed four lines to the back of one of my calling cards, laid it on the table, made my bow, and took my leave. The old maidens, no doubt curious to know what the mysterious communication contained, scarcely allowed me to get out of the house, before Miss Girzy was requested to examine the document, and began to whistle through her false teeth the following impromptu which I had left them :
You're not what you were ; but just the reverse ;
Alice Paulet, a Sequel to Sydenham, or Memoirs of a Man of
the World, 3 vols. London, 1831. The art of puffing was perhaps never carried so far as it has been by the Publishers of the volumes before us. In the modes adopted by them to attract public attention to their wares, they have exhibited a degree of ingenuity and effrontery as great as that of Warren or Solomon. Ready-printed Sligo, prepared by their regular Whackers, has been circulated with every presentation copy, sent to the various newspapers, upon the plea of saving their editors the trouble of perusal, and the lazy compilers for the public press, feeling the obligation, put the volumes in their library, and, what was worse, inserted the puff under the head of “ Critical Notices.” Every book consequently that issued from that quarter, we found bedaubed with praise throughout the whole land, and whether its pages happened to be the brainless ravings of a fool, or the able and tasteful effusions of a genius, the same slavering opinion of both appeared in the journals. The consequence of all this falsehood and injustice towards the public, has been a reaction in the public mind. The literary fraud, thongh not openly attacked, has been discovered, by that most instructive and most potent of all arguments, that of many being personally taken in; and, hence the total disregard and contempt for all such like literary licentiousness. A novel of Colburn's, though praised in a manner that terms of commendation appear absolutely at premium on the part of the critic, is now looked upon with the greatest suspicion, and works which would otherwise have won immediate fame from their intrinsic merits, are now destined to procure even a perusal by slow and painful degrees. Having ourselves not unfrequently “caught a Tartar,” we allowed this self-same novel “ Alice Paulet,” to lie for weeks among the literary lumber, that litters our library table, without once dreaming of inserting our ivory cutter into its uncut pages. It was only a few nights ago, when, in a fit of ennui, we took up one of the volumes, and having found that it exhibited something like talent, and a knowledge of the world, on the part of its author, we proceeded through its three volumes. The fact is, this novel, viewed as a vast variety of clever sketches of present manners, is really neither an unreadable por an uninstructive work. Who for example, not altogether lost to every good feeling, would not shudder at the vicious course and fearful end of Colonel Sydenham's libertine life, and would not resolve at least to avoid the first approaches towards such a brutal existence? Who, on the other hand, with the least anxiety to be really happy, would not feel, on being introduced into the orderly, the plain and the moral interior of Mr. Paulet's home, the prudent wish rising in his bosom, that the same mode of life should be his, whether fate should place him in a cottage or a palace? And, wbo, that studies the character of Alice Paulet, would not wish to have such a companion to adorn either ? If there be in the pages before us, a too anxious and evident attempt made to advocate a fallen political cause, there is at the same time no delicacy displayed, in openly exhibiting the monstrosities which bas brought it into disrepute. As a story to awaken curiosity " Alice Paulet” has no pretensions. There is little plot and no denouement, save that which is evidently seen from the beginning. It is the mere Memoirs of a Man of Fashion, with an account of the various scenes to which he is exposed-of a sworn Benedict brought, through contempt for the world and an example of domestic bliss, to abandon his single blessedness, and to become a iparried man. For the sake of the extra-proportion of our fair citizens, we would hope that some of our bachelors, would immediately follow such an example. Let them read the novel, and then make up their minds.
PETER AND MARY;
A KITCHEN BALLAD;
about the Dripping Pan.
When learned folks are right)
As Loving at First Sight.
You may rely upon,
With MARY MUCKLEJOAN.
When Mary just had got,
And smoking from the pot.
With many a hungry groan,
Like marrow in the bone.
Her smile it seemed to say,
You'll dine with me to-day.”
And soon tripped down the stair;
And help'd him to a chair.
And much he praised the maid;
Each flattering word be said.
Yet part might well be trew'd,
The beef was really good.
A constant man he'd be,
Came constantly at Three.
Each slanderous tongue to say,
That he was long away.
And then he show'd his face,
That Mary lost her place.
And hideth many a fault ;
Her love was rather salt.
“ Now wedded let us be,
You promised to make me.”
Bone of your bone, I'd be ;
And bones are not for me."
To find him on the shy,
The dripping from her eye.
The basest man I know,
Since you can use me so."
Gave her poor heart relief;
And ihus became hung beef.
To every one in town,
He ran and cut her down.
Yet Mary's sands ran fleeter;
Though from her own salt Peter.
Men who are long and lean;
LITERARY INTELLIGENCE, &c.
A SINGULAR discovery has just been made in the Gallowgate, connected with the provisions of a will, which has put certain of our active managers of charities on the qui vive. The topic has for some nights past been the constant theme at the orgies of a club, whose tittle-tattle a contemporary is so fond of reporting. The sharp-nosed fraternity have found their game, and are at present in full cry. It is however yet a bottle of cognac to one of claret, whether they shall be able to run down the fox.
The people on both sides of the river are so much alarmed, at the prospect of the Jamaica Street Bridge being pulled down before the one at the foot of Saltmarket Street is finished, that a public meeting of the citizens is spoken of, to petition for at least a single year's reprieve for their old servant. It is to be hoped that the Trustees have not yet sealed its doom!
The following has been the standard conundrum at the late congregation of younkers round their grandfathers' and uncles' tables. “ Why is a bantered fool like a principal dish at Christmas. _“ Because he's a roasted goose.”
Observations made during a Twelve Years' Residence in a Mussulmann's Family in India; descriptive of the Mauners, Customs, and Habits of the Mussulmann People of Hindostan in Domestic Life, and embracing their Belief and Opinions, aro preparing for the press by Mrs. MEER Hasan ALI.
Travels in the North of Europe in 1830-1, by Mr. ELLIOTT, with detailed descriptions of the wild and picturesque scenery, and personal adventures in spots far removed from civilized society, will also appear immediately.
A small volume on the Phenomena of Dreams, and other Transient Illusions, by W. C. Dendy is announced.
The First Part of a new and important Work is announced to appear this month, under the Editorship of Drs. FORBES, TWEEDIE, and Corolly, entitled the Cyclopædia of Practical Medicine; comprising Treatises on the Nature and Treatment of Diseases, Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Medical Jurisprudence, &c.
FOREIGN LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.
The results of the French Scientific Expedition to the Morea has begun to be published in Paris. The work is to form 3 vols. in folio, and appears in livraisons every six weeks.
Baron Odeleben has recently published a History of the French Revolution since 1789, for the use of the lower classes in Germany.
A Review of Reviews has appeared at Leipsic.
The famous German Poet Matthison, died at Worlitz in Dessau, March 12th, in the 71st year of his age. Many of his tender, tasteful and exquisite lyrics have been translated into our tongue. He ranked second to none in bis own land of song, for elegance of style and retined fancy.
From our London Correspondent. I GAVE you yesterday my candid opinion of “ Lords and Commons,' another sad proof of the decline of the dramatic among us. One thing however generally succeeds here, and that is the Christmas Pantomine, to which the playwrights of both Theatres are directing their greatest attention. Drury Lane has sent forth its bill of fare, and a glorious bill it is, and unless the caterers break that promise to our hope which they have given unto our eye [not ear] we shall have the best Pantomime that we have had for years past. Covent Garden has issued its carte too, and seem moreover to have borrowed a scene or too from its rival. The public care little about this however : their look-out is who gives them the best fun for their money. “ Men are but children of a larger growth" has been wisely remarked, and nowhere is the adage better exemplified than in the instance of this our London annual exhibition of downright folly; for who does not go to see this Christmas Harliquinade? Why, every cynic goes, and finds in it the very acmé of enjoyment! To me the name of Grimaldi is positive magic, for it cures me at once of the spleen or the blues ; and I verily believe that it will be breathed by thousands in after days with a fervour that the world's greater men will never enjoy. At some future time I will perhaps endeavour to give you an idea of the Pantomimes at both houses; in the meantime I may tell you, that the name of the Pantomime at Drury Lane is “ Harliquin and Little Thumb,” that of Covent Garden being “ Hop o' my Thumb and his Brothers." Are you aware that Kean is in Dublin, and, after playing the other night three acts of Richard, he got exhausted in the fourth, and fell down (before the fight) in the fifth ? I fear his career is about completed. His whole life has been a play of the passions—the castastrophe is at hand--the bell has rung to announce the fall of the curtain !
By the bye, I may mention that Mr. S. KNOWles' alteration of the Maid's Tragedy of Beaumont and Fletcher is to be brought out soon after the holidays. The whole part of Aspatia is omitted, and a good deal has been added by the adapter. five act Comedy, by Don TELESFERO DE TRUEBA, the SpanishEnglish dramatist, has been accepted at Covent Garden, it will be produced so soon as Mr. C. Kemble is able to play its hero. It is entitled “ The Men of Pleasure," it is said not only to contain an excellent moral, but to possess some dramatic situations not excelled by perhaps any comedy since the days of the School for Scandal.
Do you know that your old favourite Miss Foote, or rather the Coantess of Harrington, has got a son and heir ? Who could have prophecied that the representative of Maria Darlington would have been the mother of Lord Petersham ? Even Miss Carsdale and the Rev. Edward Irvin, with all their knowledge of the unkuown tongues, could not have dreamed of it. - Adieu, once
The Conundrum on a leading functionary is too ultra for our columns. We would recommend its worthy author to send it to the Courier.
The Song by ” Alexis” has been received: so soon as we find room, it shall have a place in our Poet's Corner.
To-morrow we shall give a paper on the “ Mutability of Female Fashions ;” and in the course of the week, “ A Night iv the Crypt,” and “ Deathbed Confessions of a Burker."
In order to insure this Publication being on the Breakfast Table every morning, it is requ sted that intending Subscribers will leave their names and addresses at the Publisher's.
HIGH WATER AT THE BROOMIELAW.
h. m. h. m. Tuesday,
1 57 2 14 Wednesday, momen2 29
2 4+ Thursday, mamma3 0 3 16
PHASES OF THE MOON.
d. h. m. New, mar maremmas
3 2 59 Morning. First Quarter,
all ( 41 Morning. Full,.momanomena17 3 46 Evening. Last Quarter,.mm.24 4 58 Evening.
SUN Rises. Sets. Age. h. m. 8 3+ 3 35mmare ] 8 34 3 36.renna 2 8 33
3 37.maram 3
h. m. 8 29 4 14 9 11 5 10 9 43 6 15
By the death of the ARCHDUKE RODOLPH of Austria, music and its professors have lost a distinguished protector. The Society of the Friends of Music, of which he was patron, performed a solemn service to his memory in the Augustine Church of Vienna. The Requiem of Mozart formed part of the service.
A school of Music and Singing on the Pestalozzi plan has been established at Munich for about two years by M. Læhle, a singer attached to the court. Its success has been so great as to draw the attention of the government, the King having bestowed on it the title of “ Central Music School," and given it both a place of meeting and pecuniary aid.
GLASGOW: Published every Morning, Sunday ex
cepted, by John WYLIE, at the British and Foreiga Library, 97, Argyle Street, Glasgow : STILLIES BROTHERS, Librarians, High Street, Edinburgh: W. REID & Son, Leith : MR. DAVID Dick, Bookseller, Paisley : Mr. John HiSLOP, Greenock; and MR. Glass, Bookseller, Rothsuy.And Printed by John GRAHAM, Melville Place.
A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, FINE ARTS, FASHION, &c.
VELUTI IN SPECULO.
GLASGOW, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 1832.
one fashion to another were as capricious in their days FEMALE FASHIONS-PROPOSALS FOR WRITING
as they are in ours. A HISTORY OF THEM.
In England, as we learn from authentic records, the
changes of female dress have succeeded one another What's this a sleeve ? 'tis a demi-cannon : What! up and down, carved like an apple-tart ?
with astonishing rapidity. It is distressing for us to Here's snip, and nip and cut, and slish and slash
think how often hoops have been abandoned and reLike to a censer in a barber's shop :Why, what, o' devil's name callest thou this ?
sumed since the days of our Maiden Queen; and how often, in the recollection of most of us, the waist has
been moved from one part of the body to another. There is nothing more distressing to a philosopher Our country women have, indeed, shewn themselves than to witness the mis-direction of the labour and as subject to the golden delusion as any others of their genius which are expended on female dress. If the sex; for, notwithstanding that they have never yet same minds, which are so industrious in fixing the shape happened upon the perfect fashion, they seem deterof a sleeve, or the dimensions of a cap, were applied
mined not to abandon the search for it. Considering to the prosecution of some useful end, it would give an
this infatuation, it would be an inestimable benefit beimpulse to society which has not been equalled since
stowed upon the worthy creatures who are its victims the invention of printing. To be convinced of this
would some kind individual only prevail upon them truth, we have only to reflect on the many better ways
to abandon their useless schemes and experiments, and in which women might employ their time, and their
would convince them that the perfect system of talents, and on the unceasing assiduity with which
dress which they are so desirous of discovering, is no they devote both to a matter of so little importance as
more than a pernicious fiction of the imagination. Our the decoration of their persons. It would seem indeed
Board of Health, having consulted upon the best means that they are all as mad after some imaginary system
of accomplishing this object, are of opinion that nothing of perfection in dress, as if they were seeking for the
would be more useful than a history of the fashions of fephilosopher's stone, and that they are bent upon attain
male dress, in as far as they can be ascertained, from the
earliest ing it by metamorphosing themselves into as many
ages until the present time. As such a work, forms as are passed through the crucible of a chemist.
placed in the hands of our young and old ladies, would The most melancholy circumstance which attends open their eyes to the vanity of the speculation which this pursuit of a perfection in dress, is that it has
they have been so long fostering, we are naturally hitherto been altogether fruitless. Every combina
anxious to see it undertaken by a person well qualified tion of form and colour has been tried to give stability for the task. An author who is in want of occupation, to a fashion, but without effect. Our females have might find it to his account to take up this subject ; imitated in turn the plumage of the canary, the par
and it is one which would afford a good deal of room rot and the peacock. They have changed her as
for fine writing. He might make considerable use of often as the chameleon, and have been smooth or
the French terms of millinery in giving a polish and covered with points
, at pleasure, like the porcupine. harmony to his sentences; and he might increase the They have accomplished the ambitious wish of the importance of his work by dividing it into chronologifrog in the fable, and puffed themselves out to a size
cal sections. Thus, one book might be occupied with considerably beyond that of nature, and again they
the growth of the hoop, from its introduction into have shrunk into the smallest compass with the dex
Great Britain till its suffocation by the large sleeve ; terity of a rat. They have been all things at all times
another might embrace the reign of the turban ; and a -big at top and small at bottom, like a jar ; big at
third might be usefully devoted to the usurpation of bottom and small at top, like a piner-pig; and big in
the patch, from the period when it conquered the emthe middle and small at both ends, like a nutmeg
pire of nature, till when it was finally overthrown by grater. In the same country they have successively
two foreign Princes, Kalydor and Macassar. It is personified all the articles of crockery, and in different
needless to remark that the subject is equally prolific parts of the world they have represented at the same
in speculative disquisitions, and that the author might time every shape of a bottle.
be entitled (like Mr. James Mill*) to style his work a It would be difficult to say what were the fashions philosophical history. Every one must perceive what that prevailed among the ladies of the ancient times, a metaphysical chapter could be made on the precise but it is probable that they were sufficiently extrava place of the waist, or the natural sympathy between gant, as both the Greek and Latin authors describe a
the fan and the reticule, or on the causes and conselove of ornament as the ruling passion of the sex. Vir. quences of the rise and fall of the petticoat. If these gil thus shews great knowledge of the world, in mak- suggestions will engage any one to undertake writing ing the chief solicitude of his heroine to be
the work which we recommend, our Board shall certhe
upon comeliness of her appearance; and it may even be made
tainly patronize his labours; and, should any lady, as a question whether the poet had not something of this being more experienced in such matters, take the task sort in view when he said “ A woman is always a
upon herself, we engage to assist her either by inventchanging thing."* We may suppose from those proofs, ing learned names for her authorities, or by doing any and others which it would be too tedious to adduce, thing else of that kind which shall be in our power. that the Roman ladies had such a thing as la bonne
In the meantime, we shall present the reader with an mode as well as the moderns, and that the changes from
extract from our London correspondent's letter, which
we have just received by express, and which we faithVarium et mutabile semper Foemina
• Author of the History of British India.