Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

me,

“ It appeared to me to be more successful than |head, which, at length plunged me into a tem. before. Theophrastus was become my intimate porary forgetfulness of my misery. friend, the confidant and interpreter of every “ On recovering my senses I perceived a faint wish. The beautiful Zoe was enabled to deceive | light beam on the walls of my prison ; I raised the vigilance of her spies, and I obtained, at last, myself to discover whence it proceeded, and bethe interview which I had so long and so ardently held a basket with a lamp in it attached to a desired. It took place in a bower in the garden cord, which seemed to have been let down from of the palace. Transported with the condescen- | the roof of the tower. An irresistible impulse sion of my charming mistress, I precipitated my carried me towards it, when, to my astonishment, self at her feet; I pressed with transport against||1 saw the basket filled with eatables of various my lips a hand soft and white as the down of kinds, and some buttles of wine of Cyprus, as the cygnet, and I was on the point of avowing also a bottle of oil for keeping in the lamp. the Aame which her beauty had lighted up in “Though the light shewed me all the horrors my breast, when several men rushed from beoofthe place in which I was enclosed, this seasonhind a thicket, and seizing me before I could make able supply was such a proof that I had still a any resistance, effectually baffled all my efforts to friend who was both willing and able to serve get free. The suddepness of this attack, and that

my spirits and my courage reviverd, and the sight of me in the custody of the ruffians, || seizing some of the viands, I devoured them with made so sensible an impression on the princess, || an appetite as keen as if I had been at the most that the roses fled from her cheeks, her limbs lost | sumptuous repast. the power of sustaining her frame, and uttering a “ Some days elapsed, at least I imagined so, for dreadful cry, she sunk senseless on the earth. In as day and night were alike excluded my prison, this situation they compelled me to leave her ; 1 and I was left to my fate, I had no means of vas torn from her, and from being an instant || measuring tiine with accuracy. At length I heard before the happiest of mortals, I became the a noise over my head. It was the first sound that most wretched.

had reached my ears since my fainting fit, and I “ At the distance of a stone-throw from the listened for a repetition of it with mingled hope island is a stupendous rock, surrounded on every and apprehension. It might be my unknown side by the sea. On the sumniit stands a strong friend, or it inight be some emissary of the prince tower, which, formerly was a temple conscerated dispatched to anticipate the effect of famine.to Bacchus, where the heathens worshipper this | All was again silent, and I was begining to fancy fabled divinity. The prince of Naxos had con I had imagined a sound, when the reality again verted it into a prison destined to be the grave of arrested and fixed my attention. It seemed nearer those who were unfortunate enough to be sent than before, but was still so distant and so faint, 'thither; and the rock instead of echoing hymns that it was impossible to conjecture from what it in praise of the god of wine and pleasure, resound proceeded. At length 1 distinguished the foot. ed with the cries of the wretches who were left to steps of a man, descending to my dungeon. It famish with hunger.

instantly struck me that I ought to put out my “ I was tied down in the boat which conveyed light, lest should it be an enemy, the overy me to this horrible place, and fettered while I that I had a friend might prove fatal to my beneascended the rock. A large gate unclosed to re- factor; I had already seized it for this purpose, ceive me, then shut, never, never more to furnish | when the dread of being again left in darkness me a passage. The profound obscurity that made me pause. There was no time, however, jeigned around, the cadaverous smell that rushed for deliberation, the step was at the door of my on my olfactory organs, the groans of dying vic- prison, the key was put into the lock, and at that tims, all announced to me that I was in the re-instant I extinguished the lamp. gions of death. In advancing I stumbled some. “Imagine my situation during the minutes times over a' skeleton, sometiines over a corpse that preceded the appearance of the unknown. half-putrid. In a transport of despair I called The key turned with difficulty, it was some upon death to free me at once from the accumu minutes before the lock could be withdrawn from lated horrors of my situation. His brother, insen- | the receiver; the door, however, was at last sibility, answered my call; in my struggles with opened, and I beheld-Theophrastus." the ruffians I had received several blows on my

[To be continued.]

THE LADIES' TOILETTE; OR, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BEAUTY.

[Continued from Page 197.)

CH AP. XI.
Brief History of the French Fashions till the time of Henry IV.

“Our forefathers” says La Bruyère, “ have mantle, * and a veil. Such is the costume extransmitted to us, together with the knowledge hibited by the monuments of that time. From of their persons, that of their garments, their the girdle was suspended a purse the form of head-dress, their arms offensive and defensive, which was exactly like that of the ridicules of the and other ornaments of which they were fond present day, and in which the women kept their during their lives. The best acknowledgment money. This purse was called escarcelle. Under we can make for this kindness is to behave in the Louis IX. about the year 1926, the princesses his same manner towards our descendants.”

daughters wore petticoats of such lengih, that, We are about to fulfil, in some measure, the when they walked, they were obliged to hold wishes of La Bruyère in giving a rapid sketch of them up before. Under Philip IV. (1286) they all the most entertaining particulars relative to adopted the stomacher, which was afterwards re. the French fashiong froin the earliest periods of tained by the nuns. But, let us pass, at once, to the monarchy, to the present time.

the conclusion of the fourteenth century; for it This work being peculiarly dedicated to the is not till then that we are able to follow the diffair sex, I shall treat only of the costume of the || ferent changes which took place in dress. women. This, indeed, forms but a small part of Under Charles V. about 1364, the dress of what might be said on this vast subject; but it is widows resembled that formerly worn by the the only portion that is directly adapted to the muns; the females who were intended for the object we have in view. We shall see that the convent assumed the habit of widows, which after. empire of fashion has, as I have already ob. wards became the dress of the order, and as it unserved, ever been subject to the most extrava derwent little variation, it transmitted from age gant caprices; that the most ridiculous fashions 10 age, the costume of the reign of Charles V. have always had the longest duration, and been Some inonuments still exiant afford an idea of the most frequently revived. But why shouid I the fashions of ihat time. In a drawing belong. make reflections which will spontaneously presenting to a manuscripe in 'he library of the Ce. themselves to every reader! I shall here con lestins at Paris, representing the anointing of tent myself with acting the part of a faithful Charles V. I have remarked females with a head. historian.

dress resembling that which was in fashion in the We know but little respecting the bistury of age of Louis XIV. and which is well known by the costumes during the early ages of the ino the appellation of Coifure á la Ninon. I have narchy ; few works treat of this subject, and few monuments exhibit their fashions. Besides, it * During the reign of Louis VIII. the manile may be asserted that in this particular, monuments became the distinguishing mark of married are not always a sufficient authority; for if ancient women. The circumstance which gave rise to artists took the same licence as those of modern this distinction was as follows:- Tward the end times, they probably worked from imagination in of the twelfth century many wonen of pleasure, the performances which they have handed down in rich habits and dressed like ladies of the first to us. It is, therefore, impossible to come at the rank, often mingled with the most respeciable trath on this interesting subject without combin-| females. It was then customary to kiss one ing monuments with historical relations, and in another in church when the priest pronounced particular with the sumptuary laws enacted from the words, Par Domini sit semper robuscun. It time to time.

happened one day that the queen, deceived by It appears that in the first eight centuries of the the dress, kissed a common woman, under the French monarchy, the dress of the women under. idea that she was a married lady. Being informed went little alteration; at least, we have no au.. of her mistake, she carried her complaint to the thorities to enable us to state positively what king, her husband. The monarch, in consechanges it might have experienced.

quence, forbade prostitutes to wear tie ir antle, The dress of the twelfth century seems to have which then became the distinguishing mark of been a simple tunic, fastened with a girdle, a married women.

re

« Agnes

found the same head-dress in several monuments | Paris ; that princess wears a peaked head dress, of that period. It was not, however, the only one. of extraordinary height, trimmed with lace that They likewise wore prodigious bonnets exactly loats in the air. in the shape of a heart, in which the head ap. Under Charles VII. (1422) the women peared to be enchased, while the point was form

sumed their collars, and bracelets. ed by the chin.

Sorel," says M Marie de Sint Ursin, “ added Let us proceed to the reign of Charles V. (1380)

to these the use of earrings ;" but ihat custom a reign that proved so fatal to France. Queen

was of a muclı older date, foi a medal repre ents Isabel of Bavaria, young, beautiful and galant, Brunehaut with pendants in her ears. All that displayed a luxury, unknowu lu former times;

can be said is, that the taste for jewels was carried no queen had ever before appeared so richly dress

to a piich of madness; and though-luxury had ed. She first introduced the fashion of naked

arrived at such a height, yet so ignorant were shoulders and neck. Under Charles V. we have i they, says Millot, of the conveniencies of life, seen heart-shaped bonnets in vogue; the two that during the severe winter of 1457, the genileuppermost extremities of this heart were grailu men and ladies of the court, who durst not ride ally lengthened, iill, at dast, they formed a kind out on horseback, were drawn about in barrels. of horns that were truly ridiculous. Hear what It appears that during this reign sugar-loaf hats Juvenal des Ursins says on this subject.-" The

were the prevailing fashion. It must not be women ran into great excesses in dress, and wore supposed that this costume was ever ridiculous; horns of wonderful length and size, having on when it was not carried to extravagance, it was either side, ears of such monstrous dimensions simple and even extremely agreeable; it somethat it was impossible for them to pass through a || times consisted of a flat pad, and upon this a door with them on Abuut this time the Car turban of moderate height, Aat and not pointed melite Cemare, a celebrated preacher, exercised

at the top. In Mountfaucon's “ Monuments of his talents again's these horns."

the French Monarchy,” may be seen an engrave The women of those days likewise wore gowns ing representing this fashion, which is more with slashed sleeves, which hung down to the simple and handsomer than many which have very ground; they had caps strengthened in front been since adopted. The rest of the costume, in with pieces of leather and hoops of whalebune, the same engraving, is consonant with the priato give them more consistency: above this kind ciples of good taste. It is a robe displaying the. of funnel, rigure to yourself a head surmounted

shape to perfection; and those who would take with two huge horns, and pads with prodigious

the trouble to consult the print in question, and ears, and you will have a correci idea of the ladies

to compare it, without prejudice to the dress of of that age.

the last hundred years, will undoubtedly admit It must not, however, be imagined that this that this costumre of the fifteenth century is inhead-dress wis worn by the generality of women, tivitely more agreeable; nay, with some slight I should think that then, as at present, the most

modifications, I think that our skilful fashionridiculous costumes were more especially adoptel

mongers might turn it to great advantage. by those who courted distinc ion. They disfigured themselves in proportion to their rank and dignity; and if monuments have handed * This fashion was actually revived some years down to us many ridiculous costumes, the reason ago, through the means of Mademoiselle Contat. is, because painters and sculptors usually per. That celebrated actress, in 1786, performed the petuate only the portraits of distinguished per part of Marlame de Randan, in the amours de

Were it necessary, I could support my Biyard. She was obliged to assume the dress of opinion by the example of many ancient mu the reign of Francis I. and was highly delighted

with the head-dress of which I am speaking. During the saine reign sugar-loaf hats began || All the ladies thought it so noble and so elegant, to grow numerous, To these were fastened veils that the fashion of caps à-la-Randan soon became which lung more or less low, according to the general; but they afterwards made such alteraquality of the wearer,

tions in it as destroyed its noble simplicity. The These hals, I say, began to grow numerous, cap à-la-Randun, says she author of the Cabinet but I am not able positively to assign the period des Modes, was a kind of turban encircled with a when this fashion originated. It appears to have | bandeau of white muslin, or cambric, embroidered been first imported from England; the earliest with gold, the crown of which, likewise of white monument on which I find this head-dress, is a muslin or cambric, rising in the form of a sugarminiature in an ancient manuscript copy of loaf, was surrounded with large bands of the Froissart, representing the entry of Isabel, Queen same stuff, ornamented with gold fringe; a veil af England, and sister Charles the Fair, into fastened to the top of the crown fell very low.

sons.

Duments.

But as the women gradually augmented the periods more ridiculous than ever; so true is the height of their peaked head-dresses, this fashion obscrvation, that the most extravagant fashions became, at length, excessively ridiculous. This are those which have always been preferred. is not the only time we shall have occasion to In the first years of the reign of Louis XI. remark that a ludicrous effect is produced by |(1461) the women retrenched their enormous exaggeration, and that the handsomest fashion | trains, and their sleeves which swept the ground, becomes a caricature, when carried to the ex and adopted extremely short gowns, which they treme.

adorned with borders of extraordinary bread:h. Hear what a contemporary writer says of these | Becoming weary of head-dresses a yard high, kennins, for this was the name given to that kind they passed, as is commonly the case, from one of head-dress :"Every body was at that time extreme to the other, and reduced them to such very extravagant in dress, and that of the ladies' a degree that the women appeared as though heads was particularly remarkable; for they wore their heads were shaved. Under Louis XI. silk on their heads prodigious caps, an ell or more

and velvet were reserved for princes and persons in length, pointed like steeples, from the hinder of the highest rank. part of which hung long crapes, or rich 'fringes, The reign of Charles VIII. (1483) gave rise like standards."

to less ridiculous fashions. The women reWe have seen that in the preceding reign the nouncing the ridiculous taste to which they had Carmelite, Cenare, declaimer against the ladies' been so long enslaved, composed a head-dress of horns. This order appears to have paid particular their hair, and wore gowns of white satin; such attention to the head, for we find another Car was the dress of the queen on her wedding day. melire, called Thomas Conecte, preaching vehe On the death of that king, his wife, Anne of mently against the hennins. But, atas! the poor Bretagne, assumed a black veil, which she never monk was ill-requited for his zeal; his fate | afterwards laid aside. The ladies of the court was truly melancholy, for he was burned alive adopted from coquetry, and perhaps also from a at Rome, six years afterwards, in 1440, as a inutive of adulation, what was only a sign of heretic.

grief. They all took the black veil; but this “ This preacher,” says Paradin, the author dismal colour was soon happily relieved by red quoted above, “held this fashion in such ab. and purple fringes with which these veils were horrence, that most of his sermons were directed adorned. This fashion soon extended to the against this kind of head-dress, which he attacked wives and daughters of tradespeople, who, going with the bitterest invectives he was capable of still farther than the ladies of the court, enriched devising, launching out in'o the severest animad the veil with pearls and gold clasps. The court versions on such females as wore these dresses ladies then had recourse to particular distinctions; which he called hennins. Wherever Brother the duchesses wore a coronei, with trefoils and a Thomas went the hennins durst not shew them. || feather, while countesses assumed a coronet enselves, on account of the hatred he had sworn circled with pearls, and a feather. against them. This had an effect for the time, It was about this time that France began to and till the preacher was gone; but on his de seize the scepire of fashion, which she has never parture, the ladies resumed their horns, and fol- since quitted from her grasp, to cause her tastes lowed the example of the snails, which, when to be adopted throughout Europe, and to send to they hear any noise, speedily draw in their horns, foreign courts ali that belonged to 'female dress. and afterwards when the noise is past, suddenly Anne of Bretagne, wife of Louis XII. (1498) erect them to a greater height than before. Thus loved splendour; she drew females to the court. did these la 'ies, for the hennins were never larger, This gave rise to coquetry, the desire of pleasing, more pompous, and more superb than after the and rivalship, which led to superior elegance in departure of Brother Thomas. -Such is the ef. || apparel, and a less modest fashion of dress. fect of warmly contending against the obs.inate But it was in the reign of Francis I. (1515) prejudice of some heads."

that gallantry and <plendour in dress were carried It was found necessary at this period to to a higher pitch than they had ever been before. heighten the door-ways, as they had been | The women began to turn up their hair; Queen widened in the preceding reign, on account of Margaret of Navarre, his grand-daughter, frizzed the horns. Thus, as Montesquieu observes, the hair at both temples, and turned back that the architects were obliged to renounce the rules in front; that princess sometimes added to this of their art, in the dimensions of the entrances head-dress a small cap of satin or velvet, enriched to apartments, in order to proportion them to the with pearls and precious stones, and ornamented head dresses of the wornen.

with a tuft of feathers. This was both handsome High head-dresses at length disappeared, but and tasteful; nevertheless, there were still seen only to make their appearance again at different sume high head-dresses, which from time to time

sought to obtain the preference, but the moment crowns, adorned with a feather; and what is had not yet arrived. It is to the reign of || remarkable, the women adopted the same kind Francis I. that we must assign the origin of the of head-dress. A portrait of Margaret of France, most ridiculous fashion that ever spoiled the the third and youngest daughter of Francis I. shape of women. I allude to those farthingales executed by Corneille, a painter of that age, which afterwards changed their form and name, represents her with a hat exactly resembling that and have been handed down to our time by the of the king, her brother. appellation of hoops.

It would appear that fans were at this period The farthingale was a kind of petticoat ex in high estimation, for women of the highest tended by hoops, which grew larger and larger rank caused themselves to be painted with fans towards the bottom, so that the body of a woman, in their hands; I shall mention, from among from the waist to the feet, resembled a bee-hive. many others, only the portrait of Claude of We are told that ihe first woman who wore a France, daughter of Henry II. farthingale was desirous of concealing the fruits Under Francis II. a singular custom was introof indiscreet love. Be this as it may, Claude of duced among the men; they imagined that a France, wife of Francis I. is the first female || portly belly gave to its owner a majestic appear. represented by our monuments with this ridicu. ance, which exceedingly contributed to increase lous petticoat.

his personal merit. Those who through the During the reign of Francis I. luxury kept | niggardliness of fortune, were unable to procure constantly encreasing, in spite of the proclama- || by internal means that curpulence which con. tions by which he prohibited the wearing of ferred so just a claim to respect, endeavoured to gold or silver stuffs, and other articles. Under supply the defect by external appendages; false Henry II. it no longer knew any bounds, though | bellies were made, and the art of the tailor made that king had renewed the edicts of his prede- || amends for the emptiness of the kitchen. The cessor, and had even extended them for the ex women conceived that this fondness of the men press purpose of repressing the luxury of women. for large surfaces, might probably be extended But what can the will of a king effect against still farther; and the fashion of great rumus the volcanic genius of a woman! The history of || immediately sprung up. This fashion lasted France too often exhibits weak monarchs go ihree or four years, and nothing was seen but verned by an imperious woman; it too often false bellies and rumps. The most singular cire presents the spectacle of an empire convulse:l by cumstance is that the women placed such conthe influence of females. Under Henry 111. fidence in the power of these posterior phenoCatherine de Medicis set the example of the mena, that they totally neglected the aid of all most unbounded-luxury. That voluptuous and their other attractions. They even concealed intriguing princess, who daily invented new the face, probably that the attention of the men pleasures, produced a change in dress, having might not be diverted in any manner whatever affected another in manners, and for the first time || from the new kind of charm which they held paint was introduced into France by Italians in forth to their admiration. It was, in fact, at the vited to the court.

same period, that the custom of covering the It was at this period that the hood, or chaperon, || face with a kind of black mask, called loup, oribecame more fashionable than ever. This fa- | ginated among the women. This practice was shion continued for a great length of time; and

still in vogue in the time of Henry III. how could it have been otherwise ! it was a mark The reigns of Charles IX. and Henry III. ex. of distinction. A sumptuary law gave the ex

hibited few variations in the costumes ; wc only clusive permission to ladies of the

observe that the farthingales had increased to wear the chaperon of velvet The rest of the such a circumference, that Charles IX. was sex indemnified themselves for this cruel ex obliged to fix a standard for them ; by the 146th ception by wearing it of cloth; it was still a article of the edict of Blois, in 1560,-" It is chaperon, but still a velvet chaperon was to them forbidden to all women to wear farthingales more an object of the highest importance. Accord. than an ell, or an ell and a half in circumfer. ingly, La Boursier, midwife to Mary de Medicis, ence.” But the edicts of kings never produced a long solicited the favour of wearing a velvet stronger effect than the sermons of Carmelites, chaperon, which she at length obtained by an and the farthingales kept increasing in their express order of the king.

dimensions. The men then wore small hats with very low

[To be continued.)

court to

« AnteriorContinuar »