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than four, and often three o'clock. The etiquette of the dinner-table is thus partially explained in Fielding's “Essay on Conversation :”—“When dinner is on the table, and the ladies have taken their places, the gentlemen are to be introduced into the eating-room,” &c.
A favourite promenade before dinner, answering to the drive of our modern fashionables in Hyde Park, was the Mall in Saint James's Park, where second-rate milliners resorted to note the fashions which they could not afford to procure direct from France. The coffee and chocolatehouses, levees, drawing-rooms, and auctions, filled up the day; and the evenings were spent, in the summer, at Vauxhall, Ranelagh, or Capar's Gardens, among fireworks, “waterworks” (fountains, cascades, &c.), dancing, singing, then sandwiches and sour wine; or, latterly, at “the little theatre in the Haymarket;" and, in winter, at the “playhouses” in Drury-lane and Lincoln's Inn-fields. It was considered "state" to proceed by water to Vauxhall, as there are few who have read and (which is almost the same) admired Addison's masterly conception of “ Sir Roger de Coverley,” can forget. The “ Spring Garden” there alluded to was afterwards known as Vauxhall ; and it may be well to note, en passant, that in those days “Burton ale and a slice of hung beef” seem to have been among the favourite viands and drinks provided for the visitors.
Until nearly the whole of Europe became embroiled in one general war, and the Continent was closed, more particularly to Englishmen, it had been customary for all young men of birth and rank to conclude their education by making what was called “the grand tour.” It was far more of a system than at present; in defiance of the obstacles in the way of travelling at that time, in defiance of its perils, without regard to its tediousness or cost, the grand tour must be made, or the education was not completed, and the young man lost caste accordingly. On leaving college he was dismissed to the Continent, where he rambled, gambled, and idled for three years, under the charge of some clergyman without a living, who was his companion and tutor; winding up his tour with a stay at Paris, whence it was, generally, that his worthy father received cargoes of bills and acceptances for payment, drawn to meet losses at cards, and other extravagances of the debauched life into which he had plunged ; for as the tutor of the minor often expected to become the chaplain of the peer or baronet, when his estate should come to him, he seldom ventured to check the young heir in his wild career, and the brightest prospects were blighted, the finest estates mortgaged, the most robust constitutions impaired, the most promising intellects clouded, and the worst vices contracted, in this grand tour. We may readily conceive that the tutor sent home favourable reports of the progress of his protégé, who was supposed to be acquiring the polished manners of the Continent, or the information and knowledge which were to fit him for the character of an accomplished gentleman, whilst, perhaps, he was becoming an inveterate roué, dividing his time between the gaming-table, the theatres, and the ballet-girls ; instead of measuring the heights of mountains, sketching alpine scenery, poring over the contents of museums, and making notes of natural phenomena, great works of art, relics of antiquity, or local customs. Notes he certainly made—and issued, but they were of a kind that often opened the eyes of the parent, who was not very well inclined to honour them. In all these shifts for money, the tutor was ever ready to form schemes and pretences for raising the necessary cash, or concealing the way in which it was spent, till his charge returned to take possession of the family property, an irreclaimable spendthrift, an inveterate gambler, and a consummate scoundrel ; while the tutor, in the guise of a chaplain, became a pensioner on his bounty, an attendant at his board, and a participator in every excess and intemperance of his “gay" patron and his dissolute associates. There were, of course, honourable exceptions, and many came home with that polish and refinement which travel is calculated to give; but to the thoughtless, the weak-minded, and weak-principled, the grand tour was a dangerous ordeal, especially at a time when the prevailing qualities of young men of fashion were such as the Earl of Oxford describes in his letter to Swift, dated August 8th, 1734:4" He" (the young Duke of Portland) “is free from the prevailing qualifications of the present set of young people of quality, such as gaming, sharping, pilfering, lying,” &c.
Amorous intrigue was one of the reigning vices of the last century. It was carried on more openly than in more recent times, and was thought even necessary, to give a man the character of a man of the world as well as a man of fashion, that he should have been connected in an illicit manner with some of the reigning toasts and fashionable beauties. The
Town and Country Magazine owed a great portion of its success to the tête-à-têtes, or histories of intrigue, which it published in each month's impression, with copper-plate portraits of the hero and heroine, so that, by the aid of the initials, every one at all acquainted with the world of fashion could identify them.
And yet the ladies of the eighteenth century were an innocent, pastoral tribe, all rural simplicity and playful archness, looking rather out of place, perhaps, when contrasted with their painted cheeks and pencilled eyebrows, but yet all very pretty and delightful in their way. They appear to have played, and attempted to blend, two widely different characters ; sometimes assuming the dress and manners of the ladies of pleasure, and then the artlessness of rustic hoydens, tending flocks and herds, talking about their admiration of rural pastimes, decking their hair with wreaths of wild flowers, which they had culled from the fields and hedges, and professing a most romantic love of Nature and her works. The portraits of the Honourable Miss A., or the young Lady B., represented youthful females surrounded by flocks of sheep, and, crooks in hand, reclining gracefully against a tree, listening to the mournful ditty of some love-sick shepherd; and all the young misses, to whom were inscribed in the magazines long odes and acrostics (for acrostics were “ fashionable” eighty years ago), were Phillises and Chloës, and Phæbes and Celias; and the young gentlemen whom the Muses inspired to write the odes were all Damons, Eugenios, and Palæmons. This affectation was carried to an extent that often afforded some ludicrous contrasts, and you might occasionally see one of these artificial shepherdesses, painted and embroidered, listening to the advances of an amorous swain in the box of a London theatre !
These same ladies, too, in the simplicity of their nature, would hold perfect levees in their chambers; nay, even in bed, under the pretence of being indisposed, and without any particular regard to the sex of their visitors.
Visits of condolence on the death of relatives were generally received in bed; thus Swift, in his “ Journal," says, on visiting Lady Betty Butler, on the death of her sister, Lady Ashburnham : “ The jade was in bed, in form, and she did so cant she made me sick.” This was too monstrous a practice for Addison to tolerate—the pure and beautifully simple morality of the “ Spectator” revolted against it--and he thus ridicules one of these interviews : “ The lady, though willing to appear undrest, had put on her best looks, and painted herself for our reception. Her hair appeared in a very nice disorder, as the nightgown, which was thrown upon her shoulder, was ruffled with great care. * * * It is a very odd sight that beautiful creature makes when she is talking politics, with her tresses flowing about her shoulders, and examining that face in the glass, which does such execution upon all the rude standers-by. How prettily does she divide her discourse between her women and her visitors! What sprightly transitions does she make, from an opera or a sermon to an ivory comb or a pincushion! How have we been pleased to see her interrupted in an account of her travels by a message to her footman, and holding her tongue in the midst of a moral reflection by applying the tip of it to a patch! But more particularly when her male valet-de-chambre" (for ladies in high life employed male chamberlains to perform many of the offices of the lady’s-maid), “in dressing her hair, allowed her beautiful tresses to hang in dishevelled but lovely disorder upon her shoulders."
Hogarth has also happily ridiculed these dressing-room levees in his series of “ Marriage à la Mode.” The gentleman with his hair in papers, surrounded by his professors and admirers; the lady, under the operation of the curling-tongs, listening to the divine who lounges on the couch by her side, while the frizeur, in his inquisitive curiosity, is allowing the tongs to singe her hair; the little black boy, with his toys, at her feet, “make up" the toilette-scene of a fashionable married couple. In the “Rake's Progress,” Hogarth has again bequeathed to us a graphic illustration of these toilette levees. Here the man of fashion, in his déshabille, is surrounded by professors--the dancing-master, the French teacher of the small-sword, the English master of quarterstaff, the landscapegardener, anxious to get the rake in his hands, the professor of music at the harpsichord, the bravo, the poet, the jockey, and a group of tailors, peruke-makers, milliners, &c. The fashionable taste for cock-fighting is illustrated by the pictures which hang round the room ; and the rage for Italian singers, by the long list of presents sent to Farinelli the day after his first performance.
But these levees were not always mere compliances with a fashionable custom; they were often had recourse to to serve political purposes ; and the captivating charms of a minister's lady at her toilet have won support to governments which have lost all other means of gaining it. It is said that the second daughter of the Duke of Marlborough, known as “the Little Whig,” ravished many votes from the opposite party by her fascinating airs and graces at the toilette levees.
The little black boys and the monkeys, which Hogarth so frequently introduces into his pictures, were the pets of the ladies of the time, just as poodle dogs have since become. In the “Taste in High Life" we have both a black boy and a full-dressed monkey; the latter, with an eye-glass, bag-wig, solitaire, laced hat, and ruffles, is perusing a bill of fare, which
promises " pour diner: cocks’-combs, ducks’-tongues, rabbits'-ears, Fricassee of snails, grand d'auf buerré,”-a satire upon the fashionable taste for French and eccentric cookery. The lady of the house, grotesquely dressed in stiff brocade, is showing to her visitor, a gentleman with a large muff, long queue, and feathered hat, one of those specimens which it was then a fashionable taste to collect-a small cup and saucer of old china, which she appears to consider a perfect gem.
The attitude of the gentleman, even, is a study from contemporary nanners. Miss Hawkins, in describing the personal appearance of Horace Walpole, tells us that the mincing air was indispensable to the character of the fine gentleman : “ He always entered a room in that style of affected delicacy which fashion had made almost natural-chapeau bras between his hands, as if he wished to compress it, or under his arm, knees bent, and feet on tiptoe, as if afraid of a wet floor.”
There is scarcely a single work of Hogarth's which does not afford us a glimpse of fashionable follies. The unobtrusive but ingenious manner in which he makes even the most trivial accessories of his pictures tell his moral, or slily point his satire, will frequently be serviceable to us in investigating the manners and customs of which we are collecting specimens; and if we may occasionally be thought too severe upon the century in bringing forward what was ludicrous or vicious in its composition, we more than atone for it in merely repeating the names of those who help us, by the vivid efforts of their pens and pencils which they have left behind them, to illustrate its peculiarities ; for who can feel disrespect for the period, when he is thus casually reminded that such men as Hogarth, and the satirists and authors whom we take for our authorities, belonged to it?
MORE STRAY LETTERS FROM THE EAST.
WITH the Reverend J. Straithorn's respects: who begs to state that he will not fail to forward, in like manner, any similar papers that may find their way into his hands.
Jecoliah Chapel, Clapham, August, 1854.
British Camp, Devno, July, 1854. DEAR GUARDIAN,—I do think you are all dead, for not a line have I seen from any of you. The least a poor exiled officer's friends ought to do is to write to him: they don't know what it is to be banished off to a rough hole of a Turkish desert, all sand and barrenness, where there's neither nourishment for his mind nor his inside. You have not sent so much as a newspaper: I would not grumble at paying the postage, if I could only get one. The handful of journals that come out here are run after like mad, and if a fellow's not fortunate enough to borrow a sight of them, he gets all sorts of ridiculous versions of their contents retailed over to him.
In my last I told you that we expected to be soon on the move for Varna; and soon enough it proved to be: but before the general day of starting came, I was off to Scutari, all on a sudden. Some of our officers got ordered round there, I don't know what for, and they took me with them, not sorry to have an opportunity of seeing Constantinople. We found things all confusion and bustle at Scutari, for some of our regiments were embarking to go up to Varna ; transports and store-ships fluttered their sails merrily in the breeze; lumbering horse-boxes were stopping up the way; officers, superintending, were tearing about on horseback, just where you least expected them; and slow, unwieldly buffaloes, dragging carts, were winding up and down, on barrack service. And those lazy Turks! they lay about the beach in shoals, heedless of the unusual commotion going on. Groups of their women and children used to flock to a road that joins the beach, looking like so many showgirls at a race-booth, for they were decked out in flaming colours, scarlet, pink, and orange. But they did not turn their heads, not they, at the infidel soldiers in such close proximity to them: perhaps they dared not. Lord Raglan, whose quarters were pitched on the beach, had been up to Varna and Shumla (Varna's about 180 miles from Constantinople, if you want to know, and Shumla's a sight further on still), and everybody was fishing to find out what sort of a place Varna was, but his lordship would not bite. Rumour said that he and those who had gone with him, Lord Lucan, Generals Tylden, Cator, and some more, had found it nothing but a desert, and had gone without food for sixteen hours—that bangs Gallipoli.
There had been a breeze about the officers' dress at Scutari-I should say their un-dress. When off duty, they had been sporting, what Sir George Brown calls, extraordinary costume; fancy trousers, cut-away coats, and wide-awake hats, astonishing the natives not a little; so Sir George (who had gone from Gallipoli to Constantinople) spoke out about it, and said this sort of free-and-easy attire could not be allowed for the future. Two officers had been lost at Scutari in a ditch-that is, one was lost, and the other got out. A great storm burst over the town, thunder, lightning, and waterfalls of rain : in the midst of which, Lieutenant Macnish and Ensign Crow of the 93rd, left the barracks, to get to where their regiment was encamped, about a third of a mile off. Just outside the barrack wall, in the way they had to pass, there's a narrow gully, pretty deep, but in general nearly dry, but the sheets of rain had changed it into a whirling torrent, and the officers, in the darkness of the night, went souse into it, head over heels. Crow managed to scramble out, but poor Macnish was never seen or heard again. His body was found close to the sea, in a bank of mud, and was taken to the hospital for interment. It's thought he was dashed at once against a buttress and stunned, for there was a deep wound in his forehead.
They were celebrating an extraordinary religious custom when we got to Constantinople, called the Ramazan, or Mahomedan Fast, and they keep it every year. For a whole month the Mussulmen, including the Sultan, do not eat while the sun is above the horizon, and as that, in summer, is a period of about fifteen hours, you may guess they are tolerably peckish by the time night comes. They must not take a drink of water, or even whiff at a pipe. For the wealthy and high in station, it is not much penance, because they can sleep away the days, and recruit