صور الصفحة
PDF
[merged small][ocr errors]

gratifieations of a refined taste with the exereise of an enlightened intelleet, then must reading aloud held a prominent plaee amongst these arts whieh impart a eharm to soeial intereourse at the same time that they elevate and purify the assoeiations of ordinary life. The art of reading aloud and reading well is thus entitled to our serious eonsideration, inasmueh as it may be made a higbly influential means of imparting a zest and an interest to domestic assoeiations; and of investing with the eharm of perpetual freshness the eonversation of the family eirele, the intereourse of friendship, and the eommunion of "mutual minds." One of the highest offiees of theught, when eommunieated by one individual, is to strike out theughts from others. There are books whieh operate in this manner to suoh an extent as almost to ereate a new era in the intelleet

ual existenee of the reader; and where this is the ease, hew vastly superior is the enjoyment always arising out of new trains and fresh eomhinations of ideas, when shared with others, than when only eonfined to ourselves! Books aro often our best friends, and therefore we ought to share them together." The remarks on the art of reading well we beg most pointedly to reeommend to our fair readers, assured that they must benefit by a study of the adviee there eonveyed, while we are equally assured that they will be amused as well as instrueted by the sueeeeding seleetion of extraets, whieh is modern, and made with mueh taste and eare; at the same time the pieees are not of sueh length as to infringe on the eopyrights of the authers, but are rather brief spoeimens of their style and mode of theught.

COSTUMES OF ALL NA1
CHAPTER XII.

THE TOILET IN IRELAND.

The aneient dross of the Irish appears to be but little known till the twelfth eentury, when it is said to have been mueh the same as that worn by the southern Britons. After the garments of skins were disearded, the Irish adopted breeehes, a eota, and a mantle, fastened, as usual, with a brooeh or bodkin. Armillae and torques wero favorite ornaments among them. Giraldus Cambriensis says of the Irish in the twelfth eentury: "They wear their woollen elothes mostly blaek, beeause the sheep in Ireland are jn general of that eolor; the dress itself is of a harharous fashion. They wear moderate eloseheoded or eowled mantles, whieh spread over their sheulders and reaeh down to the elbow, eomposed of small pieees of eloth, of different kinds and eolors, for the most part sewed together j beneath whieh they have woollen phalinges, instead of a eloak, or breeehes and stoekings in one pieee, and these generally dyed of soma eolor."

The mantle and brogues aro two well known parta of an Irish eostume. Froissart, in Riehard the Seeond's reign, mentions the four Irish kings whe j swore allegianee to that monareh, and says that \ linon drawers were ordered to be made for them, and heupelands of silk, trimmed with miniver and grls. "For," adds the ehronieler, "formerly these Irish kings were theught to be well dressed if wrapped up in an Irish mantle." The dress of the females up to this time is but little known; but it is supposed that they wore mantles, bodkins in their hair, and various ornaments of jewels; they are said to have been very partial to long hair, and allowed it to grow lank and rough, and to fall over their ears.

IONS.—THIRD SERIES.

Fine eloth, silks, and eloth of gold, it is said, were worn by the higher ranks in the sixteenth eentury, and worsted and eanvas materials by the lower orders. In the reign of Heury the Eighth, an aet was passed to prevent the Irish wearing elothes dyed of their favorite eolor, saffron; the number of yards also allowed for their garments is speeified, and women are ordered not to wear dresses of the Irish fashion. This ediet leads us to suppose that they had a form and shape for their garments peeuliar to themselves. The yellow, or saffron eolor, is often mentioned as being a very favorite hue, and one whieh they usually employed in dyeing their hahits.

Sponsor greatly oensured the aneient Irish dress. He eonsidered the eloak "a fit heuse for an outlaw, a meet bed for a rebel, and an apt eloke for a thief." He also strongly objeets to the eustom of women wearing mantles, and mentions several artieles of their dress: "a linen roll whieh they sometimes wear upon their heads, a thiek linen shirt, a longsleeved smoek, a half-sleeved eoat, and silken fillet." And Camden informs us that when, in Queen Elizabeth's reign, the Prinee of Ulster eane to the English eourt, with his attendants, they all wore "their hair flowing in long loeks upon their sheulders, and had shirts dyed with saffron; their sleeves were large, their tunies shert, and their mantles jagged."

A writer of the reign of James I. says: "Touehing the mean or wild Irish, it may be truly said of them, whieh of old was spoken of the Germans; namely, that they wander slovenly and naked. The gentlemen, or lords of eounties, wear elose breeehes and stoekings, of the same pieee of eloth, of red, or sueh light eolor, and a loose eoat, and a eloak, or a three-eornered mantle, of eoarse light stuff, made at heme, and their linen is eoarse; and," adds the

[merged small][graphic]

in the Turkish fashion, with many ells of linen, only the Turkish turhan is more round at the top, while that worn by the Irish is flatter and broader." Speed also speaks of wide-sleeved linen shirts, stained yellow, the mantles, and the skeins, and says: "The women wore their hair plaited in a earious manner, hanging down their haeks and shoulders, from under the folden wreaths of fine linen rolled about their heads."

From the time of Charles II. the gentlemen in Ireland are said to have gradually ahandoned the national eostume, and to have adopted the English fashions. The lower orders, however, retained their dress to a mueh later period, and even now the brogues and mantles are eonstantly seen, and still oftener the feet unineumbered with shoes or stoekings.

CHAPTER XIII.
ran TOH.eT IS nOHWAv.

The ancient dress of the Norwegian peasants was made of the reindeer's skin. From what old authors say, it seems to have eonsisted of a eloak or mantle; but we find that about the middle of the eleventh eentury, when King Oluf Ilaraldren founded the eity of Bergen, he brought thither a great many foreign merehants, who earried thoir fashions with them. In tho Norwegian Chronieles we read: "Then the Norwegians took up many foreign eus

i toms and dresses, sueh as fine-lseed hose, golden plates buekled round their legs, high-heeled shoes, stitehed with silk, and eovered with tissue of gold,

\ jaekets that buttoned on the side, with sleeves ten

! feet long, very narrow, and plaited up to the shoul

j ders."

j By this aeeount, we may imagine that the Nor; wegians were eager followers of fashion, and that at ^ the time of whieh Snoro Sturleson writes, they

< dressed like other European nations. We find, how. j ever, in another part of the same work, that the j long garments were not quite disearded in Norway

till about the year 1100, and then King Magnus

< Olufsen introdueed short elothos and hare legs.

j The lower order of peasants rarely trouble themj selves about Fashion's vagaries; and the natives of this foreign elime still retain the eostume that has j deseended to them from father to son. Some wear breeehes and stoekings all in one, and waisteoats of the same, and, if they wish to be very smart, they eover the seams with eloth of a different eolor. The Hardanger peasants always wear blaek . elothes edged with red; the Vuasserne wear all J blaek; the Strife, white, edged with blaek; and j those near Soynefiord, prefer blaek and yellow; so \ that almost every parish has its own eolor.

They wear on their heads a broad-brimmed hat, i or else a gray, brown, or blaek eap. Their shoes

< are without heels, and eonsist of two pieees of i leather; the upper part sits elose to the foot, and j the other is joined to it in folds. In winter, they j have laeed half-boots, but when on the iee they pat ( on skates, about ton feet long, eovered with sealj skin. The peasants never wear a neekeloth, but \ leave their throats and m-eks entirely uneovered. ! Sometimes they fasten a leathern belt round the j body, to hold their knives and other implements.

\ At ehureh, and on holidays, the Norwegian wo

[graphic][merged small]

ATJNT MILLY'S VISIT TO THE W A T E B IN G - P L A CE . 457

they put three or four times round their neeks, and hang a gilt ornament at the end of it . Their handkerehiefs and eaps aro eovered with plates of silver, brass, and tin, buttons, and rings; and, of the latter, they wear quantities on their fingers. The young women plait their hair, and, while employed

in their heuseheld affairs, they wear a shift and a pettieoat; the eollar of the former reaehes to the throat, and they have a saek, generally of a blaek eolor, twisted round the waist . The linen they wear is very fine, and this simple eostume is said to be very beeoming.

AUNT MILLyS VISIT TO THE WATERING-PLACE.

BT FAKNT BBACY.

Aunt Millv eonsidered herself an invalid, not that she had any partieular eomplaint or suffered at all from dehility. But she had been for years aeeustomed to sigh and moan hahitually, to tie a handkerehief around her faee lest that lately fashionable terror neuralgia sheuld make her a vietim. She ato rye bread for fear of dyspepsia, took seltzer every morning to guard against nervous headaehe, and never drank eoffee or green tea, for the same reason. When winter set in, she was swallowed in flannel, beeause her father had been dreadfully afflieted with rheumatism, and it was said to be hereditary. She kept eough drops in her poeket, and took posset every night, for her ehest was weak; she dreaded walking fast beeause she was sure that she was threatened with palpitation of the heart, and when she drove out, sank haek in the earriage overwhelmed with the exertion of asking John if everything were safe—shafts, axle-tree, springs, wheels, tires, harness, reins, and eheek-reins.

My unele Jones ealled in physieians, and eonsulted medieal works. He eould find nothing in referenee to her many nervous attaeks, and gave up in despair. Numberless were the plain bread pills Aunt Milly swallowed, eountless the vials of eolored waters that she imhibed. She eould not sleep witheut two pills at night, and faneied herself dying, if, througheut the day, her teaspoonful of mixtures had been omitted, or five minutes of the exaet timo had been allowed to elapse before her maid prepared them.

She knew by heart the name of every wateringplaeo in the Union, and deelared that she would die, a vietim to Mr. Jones's indifferenee, if she were to be deprived of the benefit attending Sulphur Springs, Sweet Springs, sea-hathing, and salt air.

He had a hely herror of travelling. Ho eould not be eonvineed of the neeessity of shifting from plaee to plaee, deprived of his usual eomforts, when he eould stay at heme and have everything he wanted. So, for years, Aunt Milly was allowed to groan and hint, and tio up her head in vain. She eould not move his obdurato heart, and resigned herself to die of negleet .

"My dear, you ean go where you like," said he; "but you must not expeet me to aeeompany you. I

am no invalid, and have always a good appetite, and a fondness for my own bed, uninfested by little unmentionable inseets that devour you in hetels and wayside inns. So leave me at heme, and travel from South to North, and East to West . Drink sulphur water, hathe in het springs, enjoy salt air, and sleep in dirty plaees, sinee you have a faney for it; but let me havo my way here."

"/sleep in dirty plaees, Mr. Jones! You forget yourself, indeed! When did I ever express a liking that way, sir? But let me die. You know I eannot go witheut you, ill and feeble as I am. I am resigned to my fate, poor, negleeted ereature! Oh, my side! My heart beats so painfully! Joanna! quiek with the white mixture! Joanna! Joanna! Mr. Jones, will you ring the bell? Don't you see the state I'm in?"

"I do, and hear, too," said he, seizing the bellrope. "But you look remarkably well under the exeitement , Milly; and you only want exereise and fresh air to make you a sensible woman onee more. Whereas, with your swaddling in flannel, burying yourself in your room, and drugging from suurise till sunset, you are getting to be like a withered apple—withered and serewed into wrinkles whilo you are yet a young woman ; for a woman of thirtynine is by no means old, unless illness, and a faney for illness, make her so."

"You are surely erazy, Mr. Jones,"eried my aunt, rising and looking in the glass. "/ look withered! How deeidedly ungentlemanly of you to say so! I defy you to shew mo a more youthful-looking woman of my age than I am; and will thank you not to remember my years either, or to shew a greener memory. I am not thirty-nine yet, thank Heaven 1"

"Well, eonvinee me of that, Milly, and 111 be as green as you ean expeet," said he, slyly, as he winked his eye at mo. "When were you born, my dear?"

"Pshaw, Mr. Jones! What is the use of being so foolish 1 Go and ask my grandmother sueh questions. She eould tell to a minute: old people are forever talking about ages. It seems to be one of their infirmities." And hero Aunt Milly rather tossed her bead.

"Well, may be so, Milly; but is it not singular that yon should be losing your memory at your time of life? Your grandmother has been dead these fifteen years past, and you hid me go and ask her about your hirth!"

"La, Jones, you know I was jesting," said his wife, a little put out .

"Well, then, Milly, let's be serious now." And my unele took a ehair. "Every year I am tormented with your passion for travelling. Now we are going to make a hargain. Does it never oeeur to you that you might lose your hushand's affeetion by this eonstant hypoehondria of yours—don't interrupt me—this eessation of all pleasant intereourse between man and wife? There was a time, Milly, when our tastes were mutual; you loved me enough to try and make me happy, and I tent happy. I love you as fondly as ever, beeause I am not one to ehange; yet there is but little domestie bliss falling to my share now. You eomplain all day, and leave me to enjoy myself as I ean, without interesting yourself any more in my pursuits than if I were a stranger."

Aunt Milly began to ery; but he went on earnestly, not stopping to eomfort her as usual, and I eould see that this was the "erisis," as the doetors term it .

"Now, I detest travelling; I have a horror of your fashionable watering-plaees; but, for our mutual benefit, I will promise to go with you where you like, if you, in your turn, will promise to get well before we eome home again."

"How do I know that I will reeover my health?" asked Aunt Milly, wiping her eyes. "I think it wrong to exaet sueh a promise from an uneertain, impotent mortal."

"As you please, my dear," said Unele Jones, thrusting his hands in his poekets; "as you please. I hare made you a reasonable offer, and on those eonditions alone will I aeeompany you when you wish to go. So make up your mind, and let me know your deeision."

Deeision was a fearful word to Aunt Milly. She had never been deeided in all her life, and it was late to begin now. She looked at me, at Joanna, and at her hushand; but we dared not look up, and she took her knitting from the work-stand.

"You see, Fanny," said she, throwing the yarn aeross her little finger; "you see, my dear, I eannot promise to get well just in one moment, as your unele wishes. Suppose that I should not improve, I eouldn't eome haek home to run about, here and there, as I used to. But, Lord! if I were to miss the opportunity! Fanny, I wish you would advise me, ehild. Do you think I '11 be benefited enough by the ehange of air to get my strength again? Don't tell me that you ean't tell. Can't you refleet? If I go, I may get well, to be sure; but then—oh, I deelare, Mr. Jones is provoking! But, then, how am I to promise, when I ean't? I vow it is too had to exaet sueh unjustifiable things from people whose

nerves are as weak as mine! I do believe he thinks I ean get well when I make up my mind to it, as if

j it depended on me."

! My unele whistled, and put on his hat .

< "Well, Milly, take your time about deeiding'. ! 111 give you all day. And, meanwhile, I '11 take

< my gun and bring you a hag of game for jour J dinner."

< "Now do stop, John! What is the use of flyingoff in that way? How, in the name of eommon

j sense, ean you leave me in this way? There, he hs j gone, and I really don't know what to do. Joanna, j see if all my morning eaps are nieely done up; you

know I must have them all. But, you see, Fanny, j if I should not improve, I will lose the benefit of j Dr. Ring's attendanee and his exeellent medieines. j I may die in eonsequenee of your unele's unfeeling > eonduet . Perhaps, however, I had better go, and

try what virtue there is in salt hathing. See to my

eollars, my dear; look over them earefully to-day, 1 and make me some fresh knots to wear with them, f If I do go, I must make a good appearanee. I de( elare, Fanny, I am bowildered. Send for Mrs. \ Martin to eomo in, my ehild; I '1 1 eonsult her. She J is a woman of exeellent judgment, and knows my

disease as well as a physieian."

I was rejoieed at this. Mrs. Martin was an exi eellent auxiliary, and a good friend. She did not j always agree with Aunt Milly about her ill health, : fur she eomprehended that it was a mania for medij eine and nervousness indulged. They had known

eaeh other sinee ehildhood, and Aunt Milly loved j her dearly, in spite of their arguments.

So I dispatehed Joanna, and, shortly after, saw

Mrs. Martin riding up the lane in a brisk trot . I

hastened to meet her. "Fanny, how do you do? What is the matter

with Milly now? More nerves to-day?"

I explainod as I led her in, and she nodded her j head approvingly, promising to influenee my aunt

as far as she was able, as it was an exeellent idea.

I left them together, and went to look at the eollars \ and knots, eonvineed of the result; and, before I S had quite finished, Joanna eame to eall me, as her j mistress had made up her mind to go, and wanted

< me immediately.

; How hard we worked I eannot say, for the entire j household was topsy turvy for my aunt's sake. .( Washing, ironing, elear starehing, sowing, mending, j and running errands after ribbons, muslins, and i laees. When all was ready, and I saw the earriage j at the door, I eould not help pitying my unele. Ha j walked about uneasily, gave orders eoneerning his f gun and hunting aeeoutrements, fishing-rods and i flagons; but I eould see how he hated the prospeet 1 before him of diseomfort and daily annoyanee. I j do believe he would have been glad if Aunt Milly j had remained, and been all nerves for the rest ol her days.

J At length they set off, my aunt erying hitterly,

AtTNT HILLY'8 VISIT TO THE WATERING-PLACE.

450

and Joanna in a whirl of delight at seeing " somethin' 'sides the everlastin' piny woods." The journey was shert enough ; but her mistress looked upon it as a dreadful undertaking, and I wondered, as I went in the heuse, whether my unele's plan would eure her of hypoehendria, or bring her haek a vietim to eoughs, eolds, and imaginary eatarrhs.

I had enough to do in their absenee, and a week passed swiftly enough. My unele wrote to say that they had reaehed their first plaee of destination, and wished himself safe heme again. "So I believe Milly does, if she would aeknowledge it," added he; "but I am determined to make her believe I am more and more eharmed as she grows more disgusted."

Three weeks from the day they arrived at ,

I was surprised to see a earriage eoming along the lane, loaded with trunks and earpet-hags. I went to the door, and wondered whe it eould be; for, altheugh we had plenty of visiting neighbors, I did not expeet any one to stay while my aunt was gone. The herses eame slowly on until they reaehed the eirele in front of the heuse. Then they whirled in, the driver drew in his reins, and I reeognized my unele and his wife!

"What on earth has happened ?" eried I, springing down the steps, and eatehing Aunt Milly in my annt. "Is my aunt ill V

"Oh, Fanny, my ehild! I'm so glad to get haek! 60 enehanted! You may well kiss your unele, for he is a person of exeellent sound sense."

He winked his eye misehievously at me, and my aunt went up the front steps unassisted, a thing she had not done for years.

"Come along, ehild, I'm dying to tell you all. Come on, Mr. Jones, I want you to listen, or Fanny will eertainly think I am exaggerating."

Here, Joanna lifted a hasket awkwardly, and out rolled a large box of pills, the eontents seattering in every direetion. She flew to piek them up, but my aunt interposed—

"Let the pills go, Joanna, I don't mind them; bring in the things, and set them in my room."

I looked at my unele, whe smiled signifieantly, and we followed Aunt Milly in the hall, then into the sitting-room, where, having satisfaetorily possessed herself of her individual roeking-ohair and foot-stool, she ordered me to sit near her. I suggested that she had better divest herself of her bonnet and mantilla, whieh she laughingly deelared she had forgotten. At length she eomposed herself, and I prepared to listen with all my ears, for T was wondering what to think of the sudden return" and my aunt's reeovery.

"Now, Fanny, you ean never imagine the dirt we eat, drank, saw, and slept in, during our four days' journey. I theught I sheuld die outright; but your unele deelared it was delightful, and pretended that he found everything eleaner than it was at heme. Just think of that, my dear ehild 1 He

wouldn't agree with me in a single opinion I expressed, and wished the distanee were greater yet

from here to . The evening we arrived, there

was a hall, and everybody's head seemed to be turned. We waited for an heur in the hetel parlor before we eould get a room, there was sueh a erowd; and the women peeped at me, and giggled like so many fools, walking arm in arm with gentlemen whem I took to be their hushands and brothers, but found out afterwards 'twas no sueh thing. Well, at last we were led to our rooms; two poor little pens, with a eomfortless appearanee that ehilled me. I went to bed direetly, telling Jones to send my tea up to me; but waited two mortal heurs for it, Joanna running down every five minutes to try and get it. When it did eome, it was a slop, to be sure! Fodder tea wonld be neetar to it, upon my word. I eouldn't drink it, and, in despair, tried to sleep. Oh, Fanny, sueh beds and pillows! If they were not stuffed with oyster-shells, they were with pounded briekhats, for I never laid my poor bead upon sueh stony things in all my life. Fortunately, I had brought two pillows with me, and I sent after the haggage that remained down stairs. My dear ehild, I had to wait till next morning! Then I rolled up some of my shawls under my head, and heped to rest; but the musie began in the hall-room, and I was nearly wild. Your unele eame up laughing fit to kill himself, and insisted on my getting up and dressing myself to go and see them danee. You may imagine, Fanny, hew miserable I must have felt when I eonsented to this; but I put on my blaek levantine and a new eap, and took Jones's arm. We reaehed the hall-room at last, and found a seat. Everybody was up on the floor, it seemed to me, for my head was in a whirl. The men all looked drunk, and half the women, instead of being dressed, were in their bodied pettieoats. I wanted to go out, but Jones would not let me, so I looked on. The queerest danees you ever saw were performing; for it eertainly was a performanee. The gentlemen hugged their partners elose to their breasts, and, with their faees elose together, they began to slide first one side then another, and then hep all round on one foot. Some just slided, others gave a little kiek, then a hep, and then a kiok again, all the time as elose as eould be to one another. Yon may well open your hig eyes, Fanny; for I would sooner see you dead than engaged in these improper danees. I theught, at first, that they were daneing with their hushands, these half-dressed ladies; but I give you my word, that I never saw man and wife together while I was away. They didn't seem to eare a snap for one another, and flirted worse than any wild unmarried belle I ever heard of.

"Well, at twelve o'elook, they had supper, and your unele dragged me along. There were bony ehiekens and thin turkeys, oyster soup and fried oysters. Sloppy blanemange, stale eakes, and blue milk frozen into what they ealled iee-eream. Oh,

« السابقةمتابعة »