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reasons, who advises his son to go in dress rather above his fortune than under it.*
• At last the subject seemed so considerable, that it was proposed to have a repository built for fashions, as there are chambers for medals and other rarities. The building may be shaped as that which stands among the pyramids in the form of a woman's head. † This may be raised upon pillars, whose ornaments shall bear a just relation to the design. Thus there may be an imitation of fringe carved in the base, a sort of appearance of lace in the frieze, and a representation of curling locks, with bows of ribbon sloping over them, may fill up the' work of the cornice. The inside may be divided into two apartments appropriated to each sex. The apartments may , be filled with shelves, on which boxes are to stand as regularly as books in a library. These are to have folding doors, which being opened you are to behold a baby dressed out in some fashion which has flourished, and standing upon a pedestal, where the time of its reign is marked down. For its farther regulation let it be order: ed, that every one who invents a fashion shall bring in his box, whose front he may at pleasure have either worked or painted with some amorous or gay device, that like books with gilded leaves and colours, it may the sooner draw the eyes of the beholders. And to the end that these may be preserved with all due care, let there be a keeper appointed, who shall be a gentleman qualified with a competent knowledge in clothes; so that by this means the place will be a
* Osborne's advice to his son.
+ The Sphinx.
comfortable support for some beau who has spent his estate in dressing.
“The reasons offered by which we expected to gain the approbation of the public, were as follows:
* First, that every one who is considerable enough to be a mode, and has any imperfections of nature or chance, which it is possible to hide by the advantage of clothes, may, by coming to this repository, be furnished herself, and furnish all who are under the same misfortune, with the most agreeable manner of concealing it: and that on the other side, every one who has any beauty in face or shape, may also be furnished with the most agreeable manner of showing it.
Secondly, That whereas some of our young gentlemen who travel, give us great reason to suspect that they only go abroad to make or improve a fancy for dress, a project of this nature may be a means to keep them at home; which is in effect the keeping of so much money in the kingdom. And perhaps the balance of fashion in Europe, which now leans upon the side of France, may be so altered for the future, that it may become as common with Frenchmen to come to England for their finishing stroke of breeding, as it has been for Englishmen to go to France for it.
Thirdly, Whereas several great scholars, who might have been otherwise useful to the world, have spent their time in studying to describe the dresses of the ancients from dark hints, which they are fain to interpret and support with much learning; it will from henceforth happen that they shall be freed from the trouble, and
the world from useless volumes. This project will be a registry, to which posterity may have recourse, for the clearing of such obscure passages as tend that way in authors; and therefore we shall not for the future submit ourselves to the learning of etymology, which might persuade the age to come, that the farthingale was worn for cheapness, or the furbelow for warmth.
Fourthly, Whereas they who are old themselves, have often a way of railing at the extravagance of youth, and the whole age in which their children live, it is hoped that this ill-humour will be much suppressed, when we can have recourse to the fashions of their times, produce them in our vindication, and be able to show that it might have been as expensive in queen Elizabeth's time only to wash and quill a ruff, as it is now to buy cravats or neck-handkerchiefs.
. We desire also to have it taken notice of, that because we would show a particular respect to foreigners, which may induce them to perfect their breeding here in a knowledge which is very proper for pretty gentlemen, we have conceived the motto for the house in the learned language. There is to be a picture over the door with a looking-glass and a dressing-chair in the middle of it: then on one side are to be seen, above one another, patch-boxes, pin-cushions, and little bottles; on the other, powder-bags, puffs, combs, and brushes; beyond these, swords with fine knots, whose points are hidden; and fans almost closed with the handles downward, are to stand out interchangeably from the sides, till they meet at the top, and form a semicircle over the
rest of the figures; beneath all, the writing is to run in this pretty sounding manner:
Adeste, o quotquot sunt, Venereș, Gratiæ, Cupidines,
Faces, vincula, spicula ;
See prepared to your hands
The proposal of my correspondent I can not but look upon as an ingenious method of placing nersons (whose parts make them ambitious to exert themselves in frivolous things) in a rank by themselves. In order to this, I would propose that there be a board of directors of the fashionable society; and because it is a matter of too much weight for a private man to determine alone, I should be highly obliged to my correspondents if they would give in lists of persons qualified for this trust. If the chief coffee-houses, the conversations of which places are carried on by persons, each of whom has bis little pumber of followers and admirers, would name from among themselves two or three to be inserted, they should be put up with great faithfulness. Old beaux are to be presented in the first place; but as that sect, with relation to dress, is almost extinct, it will, I fear, be absolutely necessary to take in all time-servers, properly so deemed; that is, such as, without any conviction of con
science, or view of interest, change with the world, and that merely from a terror of being out of fashion. Such also, who, from facility of temper, and too much obsequiousness, are vicious against their will, and follow leaders whom they do not approve, for want of courage to go their own way, are capable persons for this superintendency. Those who are loth to grow old, or would do any thing contrary to the course and order of things, out of fondness to be in fashion, are proper candidates. To conclude, those who are in fashion without apparent merit, must be supposed to have latent qualities, which would appear in a post of direction, and therefore are to be regarded in forming these lists. Any who shall be pleased according to these, or what further qualifications may occur to himself, to send a list, is desired to do it within fourteen days after this date.
N. B. The place of physician to this society, according to the last mentioned qualification, is already engaged.
No. 479. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9.
-Dare jura maritis. HOR.
MANY are the epistles I every day receive from husbands, who complain of vanity, pride, but above all, ill nature, in their wives. I can not tell how it is, but I think I see in all their