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mandarins claimed the privilege of authen-macy, has filled an album of several volumes. ticating documents in the same manner. A startling variety are enumerated by M. The Dalar-Lama made his mark with the Feuillet de Conches, illustrated by anecdotes, entire palm. Writing, however, was part of and setting consecutive description at dethe imperial education. Kang the Third, fiance; but his pages are so rich in matecontemporary with Louis Quatorze, rivalled rials that quoting from them at random is like the Grand Monarque in the importance dipping into the kettle of Camacho: somewhich he attached to his matutinal condi- thing tempting and racy is almost certain tion and preparations. It was his wont, at to come up. Thus, apropos of Frederic the his lever, to circulate among his courtiers a Great's collection of snuff-boxes (containing bulletin written with his own hand, in more than 1,500) he describes a snuff-box his own red ink, containing words to this of Talleyrand and its use. It was double, effect: I am well!' One of these papers two snuff-boxes joined together by a comhas been sold for forty pounds in the auto- mon bottom. The one was politely offered graph market of Pekin; and the price to his acquaintance; the other, never to be sounds far from exorbitant. profaned by the finger and thumb of a third person, was reserved for himself. Here we recognize the diplomatist, so eternally on his guard, that when a lady requested his autograph, he wrote his name on the very top of the sheet of paper handed to him.
The principal collector of ropes is declared to be an Englishman, and a member of the Humane Society, who died about seventeen years ago. To each rope was attached a memoir of the subject or sufferer; and in most instances the last dying speech and confession was annexed, proving, it is added, the perfection to which, by dint of practice, the eloquence of the drop has arrived in the United Kingdom. Can it be, as is asserted on the authority of an English writer, whose name I forget, that in England the masters were wont to practise their pupils in this kind of composition, so that every good Englishman on entering into the world had his peroration ready en cas of the accident of the gallows? Is there anything that a Frenchman, lettered or unlettered, will not believe of an Englishman,
not at all out of ill-nature or ill-will, but out of sheer ignorance? In the month of January 1866, a French journal described the English aristocracy as habitually risking their centaine de guinées on the result of a cockfight; and M. Feuillet de Conches reproduces, without questioning, the statement of Diderot that, in a secluded quarter of St. James's Park, there was a pond in which the female sex had the exclusive privilege of drowning themselves. So well-informed a writer might surely have learned that the English occupy only the third or fourth rank in the statistics of suicide, and that the Prussians stand first.
The collection of ropes begins with Sir Thomas Blount, who was executed in the reign of Henry IV. It contains instruments which, according to the notes annexed, had served in executions when the culprit or martyr was hung between two dogs, or with
In the competitive examinations of China -in which, by the way, they were as much in advance of Europeans as in the first rude invention of printing and gunpowder - the handwriting carries as many marks as the composition; and in the case of aspirants to the Academy of Pekin, it is the Emperor in person who examines the papers, counts the strokes of the letters, and verifies their agreement and form. One is always sure, therefore,' concludes M. Feuillet de Conches, when one has to do with a Han-Lin, or academician, to have to do with a scholar, a distinguished man of letters, and one skilled in the caligraphy of his country.'
With a reasonable distrust of their school of painting, the Chinese have never formed a picture-gallery, although in the strictly imitative arts they never were excelled, not even by the grapes of Zeuxis, the curtain of Parrhasius, or the door at Greenwich Hospital. Their grand stumbling block is perspective, in which their most formidable rivals are the Pre-Raphaelites. Their style,' remarks M. Feuillet de Conches, talent apart, is that of Cimabue and Giotto, abandoned by Massaccio, resumed by Fra Angelico da Fiesole, and, an age later, by Holbein himself in some of his portraits."
The next, the third part, of these Causeries starts with the aphorism that all collections are useful, although some may be more useful than others. Just so, we have heard it plausibly maintained that all wine is good, although some is better than another, and all women handsome, although some are handsomer than others. Yet we are quite willing to concede the utility, provided the disproportioned trouble and expense in some instances are conceded in return; as in forming collections of postage-stamps, of advertisements, of ropes with which celebrated criminals have been hanged, or of bills of fare or menus of the best tables, with which a friend of ours, well placed in diplo
a dog tied to his feet. There, too, was the
The Grand Monarque, also, was found in perfect preservation, and his exact proporlated before he was broken up. His height tions were carefully measured and calcuwas under five feet eight; and this result supplied Lord Macaulay with the text of
one of his most ornate and characteristic Guesclin, had received the royal honour of a Turenne, who, as well as Du burial at St. Denis, was also torn from his into a newly dug pit with the rest, when a tomb, and was on the point of being flung savant, struck by his high state of preservation, claimed the body for the National Acad
Light is thrown on manners by collec-emy of Anatomy. It remained there till
tions, common in France, of billets de naissance, de mariage, and de mort or d'enterreThose in use towards the middle of the last century were adorned with emblems, like valentines; and artistic skill of a high order was frequently employed upon them. An account of the billet d'enterrement of the
ashamed of the indignity to which the miliSeptember 1800, when the First Consul, tary glory of France was thus exposed, lemnity and deposited in the Church of the caused it to be removed with becoming soInvalides.
Duke de Lavanguyon, a masterpiece of the kind, may be read in the Literary Correspondence of Grimm. The same fashion partially prevailed in England; and the card of invitation to the funeral of Sir Joshua Reynolds, engraved by Bartolozzi, would fetch a high price. A plentiful harvest was offered to collectors of a gloomy and reflective turn by the violation of the graves at St. Denis in 1793. One of them, Ledon, physicien (conjuror) by profession, contrived to abstract fragments of the tombs sufficient to construct a sarcophagus for the rest of his acquisitions, consisting of bones, crowns, sceptres, shrouds, and other relics and emblems of defunct kings and queens. The bodies were mostly in different stages of decomposition; but a few were perfectly preserved and had a complete look of life. Henry IV. looked as if he had just fallen asleep, and his fresh appearance led to an incident, related by a bystander, which seems to have escaped M. Feuillet de Conches:
'A soldier who was present, moved by a martial enthusiasm at the moment of the opening of the coffin, threw himself on the body of the conqueror of the League, and after a long silence of admiration, he drew his sabre, cut off a long
lock (mèche) of his beard, which was still fresh, exclaiming at the same time in energetic and truly military terms: "And I too am a French soldier. Henceforward I will have no other moustache." Placing this precious lock on his enemies of France, and I march to victory." upper lip: "Now I am sure of conquering the So saying he withdrew.'*
Stranger still, and yet better fitted to whose body was torn from the grave in the point a moral, was the destiny of Richelieu, church of the Sorbonne and rudely trampled under foot, after the head had been cut whom was Lenoir. A grocer got possession off and exhibited to the bystanders, amongst of it, and kept it as a curiosity till he mar to M. Armez père, who offered it to the Duc ried, when, to calm his wife's fears, he sold it de Richelieu, Minister for Foreign Affairs
under the Restoration. The offer remained
unacknowledged, and the head devolved torical Committee of Arts and Monuments, on M. Armez fils. At a sitting of the Hison the 13th June, 1846, attention was called to the circumstance, and the president, M. de Montalembert, supporrted by the committee, attempted to repair the profanation. Their exertions proved vain, and were renewed with no better result in 1855. We accuse no one,' observes M. Feuillet, still the fact is undeniable that this terrible head, the personification of the absolute monarchy
Description Historique et Chronologique des Monumens de Sculpture réunis au Musée des Monumens Français. Par Alexandre Lenoir, Fondateur et Administrateur de ce Musée; augmentée d'une Dissertation sur la Barbe et les Costumes de chaque Siècle, du procès-verbal des Exhumations de Saintmême auteur. Sixième édition, Paris, an X de la Denis et d'un Traité de la Peinture sur Verre, par le République (1802.)
killing the aristocratic monarchy, is wandering upon the earth like a spectre that has straggled out of the domain of the dead.' During the same popular phrensy in 1793, the fine marble statue of the Cardinal at the Château de Melleraye was decapitated, and to what, base uses we may return Horatio' the head was used as a balance weight for a roasting-jack by a zealous republican of the district.
march of mind, the progress of events, may be traced by them. A war, a piece, a new play, a scientific invention, a public disaster, an actor, a beauty, a hero, a charlatan, anything or anybody that made a noise, originated a headdress and gave a name to it. There was the perruque à la Ramilies or à la Villeroy, by way of set-off to the cravat à la Steinkirk, emblematic of the battle in which the star of William paled before that of Luxembourg. The jewellers,' says Macaulay, 'devised Steinkirk buckles: the perfumers sold Steinkirk powder. But the name of the field of battle was peculiarly given to a new species of collar. Lace neck-cloths were then worn by men of fashion; and it had been usual to arrange them with great care. But at the terrible moment when the brigade of Bourbonnais was flying before the onset of the allies, there was no time for foppery; and the finest gentlemen of the court came spurring to the front of
Not content with emptying the tombs, the heroes and heroines of the Reign of Terror danced among them. Over the entrance to a cemetery, was a scroll: Bal du Zephyr; and once on a time the patronesses stood at the doors distributing copies of the Rights of Man,' bound in human skin supplied to the binder by the executioner. M. Villenave possessed one of these copies. What would not an English collector give for one? What would not the drum made out of Ziska's skin fetch at Christie's, should it accidentally turn up? Mathematicians the line of battle with their rich cravats in will be glad to hear that there is a joint of disorder. It therefore became a fashion Galileo's back-bone in the Museum of Padua, among the beauties of Paris to wear round surreptitiously abstracted by the physician their necks kerchiefs of the finest lace stuentrusted with the transfer of the relics to diously disarranged, and these kerchiefs the Santa Cruce at Florence in 1737. were called Steinkirks.'
The worshippers of the Goddess of Rea
were anticipated in their taste for horrors by the fine ladies, the belles marquises, of the early part of the reign of Louis XV. If we may trust the Marquis d'Argenson, their favourite object of contemplation was a death's head. They adorned it with ribbons, lighted it up with coloured lamps, and remained in mute meditation before it for half-an-hour before the promenade or the play. The queen Maria Leczinska had one which she called la belle mignonne, and pretended to be the skull of Ninon de Lenclos. One may suppose, without any lack of charity, that there was nothing very elevating or purifying in the train of meditation which the skull of Ninon de Lenclos would inspire. Yet Queen Maria Leczinska passed for virtuous, and was guilty of nothing worse than folly, or a shade of hypocrisy, in sanctioning such a fashion by her example.
A collector of walking-sticks, M. Henri de Meer, a Dutchman, attracted attention to his collection by going mad and dying with a walking-stick in each hand; feeble imitator of Dr. Morrison, who breathed his last grasping a box of his own pills and calling loudly for more. But the collections which afford most aid to history, and most scope to speculation, are those of wigs, hats, caps, and head-dresses. The vacillating and erratic tendency of national taste, the
During the exultation caused by the naval combats of the Juno' and the 'Belle Poule,' the French ladies went about with mimic frigates on their heads. There are individual memories associated with this class of articles which have a painful yet irresisble attraction. We cannot avert our eyes from the wig of Queen Margaret, the faithless and fascinating wife of Henry IV., of whom it is recorded that she had her pages clipped to hide under their fair tresses the black locks which nature had bestowed upon her. Still less can we refuse the evidence of the 'True Report' of the last moments of Mary Queen of Scots, which sets forth that, when the executioner lifted the head by the hair to show it to the bystanders with the exclamation ` of God Save the Queen,' it suddenly dropped from his hands. The hair was false; the head had been shaved in front and at the back, leaving a few grey hairs on the sides.*
The author of Waverley' remarks that the vanity of personal appearance may be found clinging to the soldier who leads a forlorn hope, and the criminal who ascends the scaffold. The minutest details of Mary's dress at her execution were carefully studied. According to one account, her kirtle was of figured black satin, and her pet
*The authority is Chateauneuf, the French ambassador. See Lettres de Marie Stuart,' &c. &o.
Par A. Teulet. Paris; 1859,
Spanish leather; a pair of green silk gar-
ticoat-skirts of crimson velvet, her shoes of ply the revival of one which began under more respectable auspices towards the commencement of the reign of Louis XIV. The two queens, Anne and Maria Theresa, dowagar and regnante, the seductive heroine of the Fronde, the Duchess de Longueville, and the two first favourites, Mesdames De la Vallière and De Fontanges, were blondes ; so, for all the aspiring beauties whom nature had made a shade too dark there was no alternative but to wear a wig or dye. The men fell into the custom, as may be learned from Molière, who makes the Misanthrope exclaim to the Celimène —
The stockings and garters are preserved in a collection that has been laid open to the Causeur, and he reminds us, in reference to the large stock of garters comprised in it, that this compromising ligature was not formerly what it is now, a secret or concealed article of dress. Women wore drawers, otherwise called chausses, fastened to the bas de chausses (which for shortness we call bas) or stockings. The garter fastened beneath the knee by a rich clasp or buckle, was the connecting band between the drawers and stockings. There was consequently, no reason for its not being exposed to view. This,' he continues, explains why in riding dress ladies wore stockings richly worked and garters set with jewels; how a Duchess of Orleans (whose garters were inventoried) could venture during her widowhood to have tears and thoughts (pensées) enamelled on them; how Edward III. could found his great order of the Garter without degrading it by avowing its origin.' But what was its origin? Surely an antiquarian of M. Feuillet de Conches's attainments and calibre must know that the old story of the Countess of Salisbury has been given up on all sides, and that the utmost exertions of his learned brethren to solve the mystery have proved vain; although it by no means follows that the actual garter dropped by the Countess may not be found duly labelled in the collection of his friend.*
We must return to the inexhaustible subject of wigs and hair-dressing, if only to point out that the new fashion (set by the Parisian demi-monde) of yellow or golden hair, with a tinge of red or auburn, is sim
*All the various theories of the origin of the
Order are investigated and declared unsatisfactory by Mr. Beltz. See Memorials of the Order of the Garter, &c. By G. F. Beltz, Lancaster Herald: 1841. Ladies invited to the feasts of St. George wore the garter round the arm.
'Vous êtes-vous rendue, avec tout le beau monde,
Au mérite éclatant de sa perruque blonde.'
'My wife being dressed this day in fair hair, did make me so mad that I spoke not one word After that Creed and I into the Park and walkto her, though I was ready to burst with anger. ed a most pleasant evening, and so took coach, and took up my wife, and in my way home discovered my trouble to my wife for her white locks, swearing several times, which I pray God may forgive me for, and bending my fist, that I would not endure it.'
They renewed the discussion the next day, Sunday, and came to an understanding that she should give up her white locks, on his agreeing to give up keeping company with one Mrs. Knipp, of whom there is frequent and rather compromising mention in the Diary.
There was no concealment or fear of de
tection on the part of either sex. The false hair was put off and on by the women like a bonnet or a cap; and a court lady would have felt, little abashed at an accident such as recently happened to a fair equestrian, who had the misfortune to drop the whole of her back hair or chignon in Rotten Row.
The fashion of powdering the hair with
gold dust, which has recently found votaries both at London and Paris, was commenced by Poppea the wife of Nero, and copied by Lucius Verus (the adopted son of Aurelius), who was extravagantly vain of his hair. Authorities are not wanting to prove that the golden and auburn tints which we admire in the portraits of Titian Tintoret, and Paul Veronese, were produced by a tincture in vogue at Venice in the sixteenth century.* The collections show that other shades of colour, especially brown and black, have had their day; and it is a disputed question in connoisseurship whether the highest degree of beauty has not been attained by the brunettes. Red or carotty (which is the correcter translation of roux or rousse) has been at a discount in all ages. Is was thought ominous of evil by the ancients, and typical of villainy during many ages of the Christian era. Judas-coloured hair' is the spiteful reproach of Pope. 'Aussi, dans tout notre musée de coiffure, pas un cheveu roux ardent, couleur de carrote.'
The reason why Racine put off ordering his son's wig is obvious enough, when we find that the price of one of the fashionable colour was a thousand French crowns. The gentleman whom Sydney Smith, in reference to the length and redundancy of his curls, accused of growing hair for sale, might have driven a profitable trade at that time. Down to the period immediately preceding the French Revolution, which introduced crops à la Brutus, the wigs commonly worn by English gentlemen in the streets cost from thirty to forty guineas; and Rogers, appealing to Luttrell in our hearing, thus described a mode of theft as practised in London within their common memory. The operator was a small boy in a butcher's tray on the shoulders of a tall man; and when the wig was adroitly twitched off, the bewildered owner looked round for it in vain; an accomplice confused and impeded under the pretence of assisting him, and the tray-bearer made off.
Fine hair was a frequent resource in want, and a far higher class were occasionally tempted to recur to it than the heroine of a repulsive episode of Les Misérables. Mrs. Howard, afterwards Countess of Suffolk, the favourite of George II., is an ex
ample. In her earlier and domestic days, when her husband was Engligh Minister at Hanover, they were in want of money to give an indispensable dinner or entertainment of some sort, and to supply the deficiency'she magnanimously sacrificed her hair. Large allowance should be made for the frailties of a woman who thus understood and practised the self-denying duties of a wife.
We are indebted to M. Feuillet de Conches for a very elegant volume, entitled Les Femmes Blondes,' in which he has collected with his usual learn ing and gaiety all the Italian authorities on the most approved methods of turning the colour of the hair. The Venetian ladies applied vinegar and water to their heads, and then sat in the sun, with a rim or shade of straw to protect them from sun-stroke. This book, which is a bibliographical curiosity, was published last year in Paris.
FOURTH SERIES. LIVING AGE. VOL. III.
Of course there were not wanting censors and puritans to denounce wigs and cosmetics, as vehemently as Prynne denounced the unloveliness of love-locks. An Abbé de Vessets published a treatise against Le Luxe de Coiffures in 1694, containing a chapter headed, Mariage: un fille coëffée à la mode n'est digne de recevoir ce sacre ment. Another Abbé is the author of a book on L'Abus des nudités de Gorge. The name of the first member of the priesthood who adopted the peruke to the scandal of the lay public, has been preserved. It was the Abbé de la Rovière, a courtier of Gaston of Orleans, and he afterwards became Bishop of Langres. How modes of thinking, even on sacerdotal subjects, vary with time and country! When the cadet of a noble family, who had been a Captain of Dragoons, was made a bishop by George III., he nearly went down on his knees to his Majesty to be permitted to dispense with the wig; and the king remained inexorable.. The rise and fall of Kant's wig are thought to indicate not only the fitful changes of the curiosity-market, but the rise and fall of his philosophy. It (the wig) fetched thirty thousand florins at his death. At one of the subsequent fairs at Leipzig it was sold for twelve thousand dollars, a fall of from fifteen to twenty per cent. The system of Kant was going down. Can the same be said of the philosophy of J. J. Rousseau, whose shoes (sabots), sold at the same fair, were given for ten dollars?' M. Feuillet de Conches has had in his hand a pair of the spec-tacles brought from Venice in the seventeenth century, which (he adds) became so much the fashion that the élégantes never took them off, not even in bed. The glasses were double the size of those now in use.. He has, also, examined a packet of the toothpicks imported into France by Antonio Perez, which popularized the habit rendered memorable by Coligny, who was never seen without a toothpick between his teeth. After the massacre of Saint Bartholomew, his. body was exposed with the eternal toothpick in his mouth; but we are not aware that it has been preserved.
A collection of buttons was exhibited at. 30.