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The head was decently and handsomely decorated with a close cap, broad silk or straw hat, covered with ribbands.
We observe some variations in the costume exhibited in Essex's Translation of Rameau's: “ Dancing Master," pubJished in 1731. The wig of the gentleman is tied behind in a bag, which had a stiff bow that reached nearly across the shoulders, round the neck a stock fastened tightly; the coal without a collar, buttoned to the bottom of the skirts, before and behind, and the sleeves richly embroidered. The lady with a small tly cap, a short apron, and brocaded goin.
The year 1745 produced a very ungraceful alteration in the.. hat, which assumed a broad projection over the fore. head like a spout; it was edged with gold or silver lace: about this time also came up the Cumberland cock, in bonour of his royal highness William, duke of Cumberland; the form of which is seen on bis statue in Cavendish Square..
The fashion had however become so extravagant: in the year 1753, that it drew down the following poetical censure:
On slippers of velvet, set gold a-la-daube. Great Britain, in any garment or apparel whatsoever, any cambric or French lawn, after the 24th day of June, 1748,' shall forfeit to the informer the sum of 5). for ešery such olfence; after conviction ivefore a justice of the peace, by one witness's which penalty is to be 'levied by distress and sale of the offender's goods and chattels ; excepring such or. sender shall discover upon oath, the person by whom such cambrics or French lawns were sold since the act took place; in which case, the seller is made liable to the penalty aforesaid, and the person that bought and wore them is acquitted, and not otherwise.".
But mount on French heels when you go to a ba!! ;
'Tis the fashion to totter, and shew you can fall.* Fashion had grown so predominant, and at the same time so destructive to health, in the year 1756, that it became necessary the faculty should interfere, and evdeavour, by advice and caution, to reduce mankind to some degree of rationality. They proved that the tight binding of the neck by the mens neckcoths, stocks, or too tight collars of their shirts, &c. had been very frequently the only occasion of several terrible disorders of the head, the eyes, and the breath; deatness, vertigoes, faintings, and bleedings at the nose; whilst the ladies suffered, from the stiff whalebone stays which they wore, all the disorders of the abdominal viscera to which those were subject, who used tight lacing ; and the evil was not only of dangerous consequence to themselves, but frequently the destruction of the progeny of pregnant women. These gentlemen also exclaimed in a very strenuous manner against high-heeled shoes, as being equally inconvenient and dangerous. But the fashions stilt maintained their empire; the salutary advice was despised, and innumerable bad effects continued to the end of this reign.
The costume of the principal citizens is preserved in the statue of Sir Joho Bernard, in the Royal Exchange; Mr. Guy, at his hospital in the Borough; and the portraits of chief magistrates in Bridewell and Christ's Hospitals.
George III. At the commencement of the present reign, the court dress of the ladies was distinguished by magnificence. On the celebration of the king's birth-day, in 1761, the ladies were habited in rich brocades of gold and silver. When her present majesty arrived in this country on the 7th of September, in the above year, she was dressed entirely in the English tastet; a fly cap, with rich laced lappets; a stomacher ornamented with diamonds; and a gold brocade suit of cloaths, with a white ground.
Universal Magazine, Vol. XIII. p. 137. + Previously, on the 3d of September, his majesty, had been presented by earl Temple with a pair of fine ruffles, manufactured by Messrs. Milward and Co. of Newport Pagnel, in Buckinghamshire. The king, ever the father of his people, after enquiring concerning the various branches of the lace irade, thus expressed himself: “ The inclinations of my own beart naturally lead me to set a high value upor every endeavour to improve any English manufacture ; and whatever has such a recommendation, will be preferred by me to worka possibly of higher perfection, made in any other couniry?" Their majesies have constantly abided by this principle.
His majesty's dress was manly and easy, a suit of embroidery fitted to his dignity; his hair tied and powdered, with a solitaire from the bag behind.
The hats of this period were upwards of six inches broad in the brim; some were open before, like a four scale; and others sharp, like the nose of a greyhound. With respect to wigs, 'they were grown to such variety of shapes, that Mr. Hogarth, very humourously reduced them to five orders; the episcopii, the aldermänic, &c. We only notice the latter, as fully describing the manners of the times:
• The first aldermanic wig has two ends, exactly like the dropsical legs of some overgorged glutton; and the three-quarter face indicales Plenty, Porter, and Politics. On the browodomestical significancy is seated, a look necessary to each master, who dozes in his arm chair on the Sunday evening while his lady reads prayers to 'the rest of the family. It is a countenance which carries dignity with it, even at the upper end of a table at a turtle, eating. The second has one lock dependant, like a Turkey sheep's tail. The buige of hair which covers the cheek seems like a poultice, stuck on for the tooth-ach. The third wig, as the sailors say, is all a-back. This design originally was taken from a nutting-stick ; thus one of our finest capitals was delineated from a square uile, a wand, and a basket.”
Every modish gentleman seemed by the length of his skirts, to be Dutch waisted; they hung so low, "tlrat on a wet day, a wag called out, '“ pray, deur Sir, pin up your petticoats!" The cuffs covered the wrists, and only the edge of the ruffles could be seen, as if the days of Lycurgus had returned, when each one was ashained to shew clean linen. The breeches were like long trowsers, with broad knee-bands, whilst the shoes were high topped, to complete the caricature. The more moderate were ha. bited in scarlet shag frocks, blue Manchester velvets, and plain suits of cotton of grave colours. Surtouts had four Jappets on each side, like dog's-ears, which, when buttoned up, appeared like comb-cases; a proof that dress may be made too fashionable to be useful.
With respect to the ladies, the prevailing ornaments for the head were the French night cap, which nearly obscured their faces; the Ranelagh mob, which was tied over the head and under the chin, like a kerchief; the Many queen ef Scot's eap, of black gauze, aged down the face with French beads; and the Ay cap, whieh had the appearance of a large butterfly fixed upon the forehead; there were also the Mecklenburg caps, &c, Stiff stays, which ha
been disused during the latter end of the last reign, again resumed themselves in this, with the same inconvenience and danger. The shoe heels were as narrow as the bottom of a small tea-cup. Bell hoops, blond laces, pornpoons, necklaces, kept their various stations; but the grand desiderata seemed to be trains. These consisted of an ell and half, falling in a slope upon the ground, from the boop,
according to ihe then ideas of elegance, added dignity to the steps of a fine woman as she trailed along the gravel of St. James's Park, harrowing up the rubbish as she moved, and leaving a track, similar to that of the water when a ship is in full sail. This fashion, howerer, gave much employment to the weavers of Spitalfields.*
In the year 1768, when the king of Denmark visited this country, the hat underwent a revolution; for it was reduced to a diminutive form, and cocked up very high behind; this was distinguished by the name of the Denmark coch, and kept its station for some years,
The following poetical effusion fully describes the dress of the year 1772:
" To describe, in its dressing, the taste of the time,
Let his figure he slender, and lounging, and slim,
* A wit of the times observes, that "young ladies were obliged to abridge themselves of much grandeur in their gait, by looping up their trains on each side of the petticoat, for the sake of cleanliness, the itaps banging down like the ears of a large mastif. " Yet I have seen, continues he, "sometimes young ladies spirited enough to let their trains trail along the fag stones of Bishopsgate Street, and Whitechapel. It is true, they have a little damaged the edges of their dig. nity by it; but what signifies a fine woman putting on fine cloaths, ir she don't wear them as she should do? Besides, how can we, as aptly as Simonides did, compare a woman to a peacock, unless she bears here self in consequence at every step, by the sweep of her tail. This sweep at the bottom is grown too common ; for it was but last night, that my next door neighbour, who takes in stays to repair, hired a parish girl for her servant; and I heard her this morning tell the wench where I live, that she had sent an Irish poplin to the scowerers, and it was to be made up with ruffle cuffs; but yet, for all that, she would not ap. pear in it at church, if it had not the true quality sweep at the bottom.'
And before, when you try to embellish his hair,
For a coat, give him something so outré in shape,
For taste, if you mean to display your regard,
Let his shoes be cut forward as far as his toe:
He will loss with his head, he will sprawi with his feet,” &c.*
of paste and pomatum a pound,
And gauze to encompass it round,
Be those ribbons which hang on her head,
And about the whole work be they spread.
Let her curls meet just under her chin;
With an hundred, instead of one pia.
Shoes 100 high for to walk or to jump;
Lot the cork-cutter make her a rump.
You may take the dear charmer for life;
* Universal Mag. Vol. L. p. 268.
+ Ibid. Vol. LX. p. 379.--About the year 1780, large curls to the head dress, and high and stiff collars to the gentlemen's coat, began to take place, which continued to encrease till they became extremely un. Vol. IV. No. 101.