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country beauty. Some handsome women brought the original to town; fashion proceeded to render it ugly and extravagant; and posterity laughs with derision at the ridiculous portraits of its grandmothers. The poet might have addressed a beauty forced into this fashion, as he did his devoted heroine in those celebrated lines :

“No longer shall the bodice, aptly laced,
From thy full bosom to thy slender waist,
That air and harmony of shape express,
Fine by degress, and beautifully less."

Prion's Henry and Emma. No: it was

“Gaunt all at once, and hideously little."

It was like a pottle of strawberries, with two oranges at the top of it. Now-a-days it is the fashion to look like an hour-glass, or a huge insect, or any thing else cut in two, and bolstered out at head and feet. A fashion that gracefully shows the figure is one thing: a-fashion that totally conceals it, may have its merits; but voluntarily to aceept puffed shoulders in lieu of good ones, and a pinch in the ribs for a body like that of the Venus de' Medici, is what no woman of taste should put up with, who can avoid it. They are taking her in. The levelling rogues know what they are about, and are for rendering their crook backs and unsatisfactory waists indistinguishable. If the levelling stopped here, it might be pardonable. Fair play is a jewel, that one wishes to see every body enriched by. But as fashion is naturally at variance with beauty, it is also at variance with health. The more a woman sacrifices of the one, the more she loses of the other. Thick legs are the least result of these little waists. Bad lungs, bad livers, bad complexions, deaths, melancholie, and worse than all, rickety and melancholy children, are too often the undeniable consequences of the tricks that fashion plays with the human body. By a perverse spirit of justice, the children are revenged on the parents; and help, when they grow up, to pervert those who have the advantage of them.

It is a truism to say that a waist should be neither pinched in nor shapeless, neither too sudden nor too shelving, &c. but a natural unsophisticated waist, properly bending when at rest, properly falling in when the person is in motion. But truisms are sometimes as necessary to repeat in writing, as to abide by in painting or sculpture. The worst of it is, they are not always allowed to be spoken of. For instance, there is a truism called a hip. It is surely a very modest and respectable joint, and of great use to the rising generation; a sculptor could no more omit it in a perfect figure, than he could omit a leg or an arm: and yet, by some very delicate chain of reasoning, known only to the double-refined, not merely the word, but the thing, was suppressed about twenty years back. The word vanished: the joint was put under the most painful restrictions: it seemed as if there were a Society for a look of utility. Unreflecting Hi-Fong! not to know, that beauty, grace and utility are fellow-workers. A sculptor might as well shut up his tools.

“ The instrument of instruments, the hand,” is not a thing to be stuck in a scutcheon, like a baronet's device. The most delicate need not be afraid of turning it to account, even on the score of delicacy. If it is worth any thing at all, it is worth preserving; and a reasonable exercise of the various joints, muscles, and other useful pieces of machinery which Nature, whatever some may think, has really bestowed on that graceful member, serves to keep it in health and perfectness. Look at the delicate withered claw of some foolish old lady, West Indian for instance, who has never been suffered to lift a comb to her head, or carry a bundle of music across a threshold; and compare it with many accomplished hands, that have been used to fifty good offices, and that remain soft and young-looking to the last. Wherever a genuine and lasting beauty is desired, the blood must be circulated.

FIGURE, CARRIAGE, &c.—The beauty of the female figure consists in being gently serpentine. Modesty and luxuriance, fulness and buoyancy, a rising, as if to meet; a falling, as if to retire; spirit, softness, apprehensiveness, self-possession, a claim on protection, a superiority to insult, a sparkling something enshrined in gentle proportions and harmonious movement, should all be found in that charming mixture of the spiritual and material. Mind and body are not to be separated, where real beauty exists. Should there be no great intellect, there will be a sort of intellectual instinct, a grace, an address, a naturally wise amiableness. Should intellect unite with these, there is nothing upon earth so powerful, except the spirit whom it shall call master.

Beauty too often sacrifices to fashion. The spirit of fashion is . not the beautiful, but the wilful; not the graceful, but the fantas

tic; not the superior in the abstract, but the superior in the worst of all concretes, the vulgar. It is the vulgarity that can afford to shift and vary itself, opposed to the vulgarity that longs to do so, but cannot. The high point of taste and elegance is to be sought for, not in the most fashionable circles, but in the best bred, and such as can dispense with the eternal necessity of never being the same thing. Beauty there, both moral and personal, will do all it can to resist the envy of those who would deface, in order to supersede it. The highest dressers, the highest painters, are not the loveliest women, but such as have lost their loveliness, or never had any. The others know the value of their natural appearance too well. It is these that inspire the mantua-maker or milliner with some good thought. The fantastics of fashion take it up, and spoil it. Sixty or seventy years ago, it was the fashion for ladies to have long waists like a funnel. Who would suppose that this originated in a natural and even rustic taste? And yet the stomachers of that time were only caricatures of the bodice of a country beauty. Some handsome women brought the original to town; fashion proceeded to render it ugly and extravagant; and posterity laughs with derision at the ridiculous portraits of its grandmothers. The poet might have addressed a beauty forced into this fashion, as he did his devoted heroine in those celebrated lines:

“No longer shall the bodice, aptly laced,
From thy full bosom to thy slender waist,
That air and harmony of shape express,
Fine by degress, and beautifully less."

Prior's Henry and Emma. No: it was

“Gaunt all at once, and hideously little.”

It was like a pottle of strawberries, with two oranges at the top of it. Now-a-days it is the fashion to look like an hour-glass, or a huge insect, or any thing else cat in two, and bolstered out at head and feet. A fashion that gracefully shows the figure is one thing: a fashion that totally conceals it, may have its merits; but voluntarily to accept puffed shoulders in lieu of good ones, and a pinch in the ribs for a body like that of the Venus de' Medici, is what no woman of taste should put up with, who can avoid it. They are taking her in. The levelling rogues know what they are about, and are for rendering their crook backs and unsatisfactory waists indistinguishable. If the levelling stopped here, it might be pardonable. Fair play is a jewel, that one wishes to see every body enriched by. But as fashion is naturally at variance with beauty, it is also at variance with health. The more a woman sacrifices of the one, the more she loses of the other. Thick legs are the least result of these little waists. Bad lungs, bad livers, bad complexions, deaths, melancholie, and worse than all, rickety and melancholy children, are too often the undeniable consequences of the tricks that fashion plays with the human body. By a perverse spirit of justice, the children are revenged on the parents; and help, when they grow up, to pervert those who have the advantage of them.

It is a truism to say that a waist should be neither pinched in nor shapeless, neither too sudden nor too shelving, &c. but a natural unsophisticated waist, properly bending when at rest, properly falling in when the person is in motion. But truisms are sometimes as necessary to repeat in writing, as to abide by in painting or sculpture. The worst of it is, they are not always allowed to be spoken of. For instance, there is a truism called a hip. It is surely a very modest and respectable joint, and of great use to the rising generation; a sculptor could no more omit it in a perfect figure, than he could omit a leg or an arm: and yet, by some very delicate chain of reasoning, known only to the double-refined, not merely the word, but the thing, was suppressed about twenty years back. The word vanished: the joint was put under the most painful restrictions: it seemed as if there were a Society for the Suppression of Hips. The fashion did not last, or there is no knowing what would have become of us. We should have been the most melancholy, hipped, unhipped generation, that ever walked without our proper dimensions. Moore's Almanack would have contained new wonders for us. Finally, we should have gone out, wasted, faded, old-maided-and-bachelored ourselves away, grown

“Fine by degrees and beautifully less," till a Dutch jury (the only survivors) brought in the verdict of the polite world, Died for want of care in the mother. At present a writer may speak of hips, and live. Nay, the fancies of the men seem to have been so wrought upon by the recollection of those threatening times, that they have amplified into hips themselves, and even grown pigeon-breasted. Such are the melancholy consequences of violating the laws of Nature.

A true female figure, then, is falling and not too broad in the shoulders; moderate, yet inclining to fulness rather than deficiency, in the bosom; gently tapering, and without violence of any sort, in the waist; naturally curving again in those never-to-be-withoutapology-alluded-to hips; and, finally, her buoyant lightness should be supported upon natural legs, not at all like a man's; and upon feet, which, though little, ought to be able to support all the rest. Ariosto has described a foot,

“ The short, and neat, and little rounded foot."* The shortness, however, is not to be made by dint of shoes. It must be natural. It must also be not too short. It should be short and delicate, compared with that of the other sex; but sufficient for all purposes of walking, and running, and dancing, and dispensing with tight shoes; otherwise it is neither handsome in itself, nor will give rise to graceful movements. It is better to have the sentiment of grace in a foot, than a forced or unnatural small

The Chinese have three ideas in their heads :-tea, the ne-cessity of keeping off ambassadors, and the beauty of small feet. The way in which they caricature this beauty, is a warning to all dull understandings. We make our feet bad enough already by dint of squeezing Nations with shoes have no proper feet, like those who wear sandals. But the Chinese out-pinch an Inquisitor. I have seen a model of a lady's foot of that country, in which the toes were fairly turned underneath. They looked as if they were almost jammed into and made part of the sole. In the British Museum, if I remember, there is a pair of shoes that belonged to such a foot as this, which are shown in company with another pair, the property of Queen Elizabeth. Her Majesty stood upon no ceremony in that matter, and must have stamped to some purpose.

But what are beautiful feet, if they support not, and carry about with them, other graces? What are the most harmonious propor

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* “Il breve, asciutto, e ritondetto piede."

tions, if the soul of music is not within? Graceful movement, an unaffected elegance of demeanour, is to the figure what sense and sweetness are to the eyes. It is the soul looking out. It is what a poet has called the “thought of the body.” The ancients, as the moderns doʻstill in the south, admired a stately carriage in a woman: though the taste seems to have been more general in Rome than Greece. It is to be observed, that neither in Greece nor Rome had the women at any time received that truly feminine polish, which renders their manners a direct though not an unsuitable contrast to those of the other sex. It was reserved for the Goths and their chivalry to reward them with this refinement; and their northern descendants have best preserved it. The walk which the Latin poets attribute to their beauties, is still to be seen in all its stateliness at Rome. “ Shall I be treated in this manner?” says Juno, complaining of her injured dignity,—“1, who walk the queen of the gods, the sister and the wife of Jove?"*_Venus, meeting Æneas, allows herself to be recognised in departing:

“In length of train descends her sweeping gown,

And by her graceful walk the queen of love is known.”+ DRYDEN. A stately verse;—but known is not strong enough for patuit, and Virgil does not say “ the queen of love,” but simply the goddess -the divinity. The walk included every kind of superiority. It is the step of Homer's ladies.

“ Of Troy's proud dames whose garments sweep the ground.” PopЕ. . The painting has more of Rubens than Raphael; and I could not help thinking, when I was in Italy, that the walk of the females had more spirit than feminine grace. They know nothing of the swimming voluptuousness with which our ladies at court used to float into the drawing-room with their hoops; or the sweet and modest sway hither and thither, a little bending, with which a young girl shall turn and wind about a garden by herself, half serious, half playful. Their demeanour is sharper and more vehement. The grace is less reserved. There is, perhaps, less consciousness of the sex in it, but it is not the most modest or touching on that account. The women in Italy sit and sprawl about the doorways in the attitudes of men. Without being viragoes, they swing their arms as they walk. There is infinite self-possession, but no subjection of it to a sentiment. The most graceful and modest have a certain want of retirement. Their movements do not play inwards, but outwards : do not wind and retreat upon themselves, but are developed as a matter of course. If thought of, they are equally suffered to go on, with an unaffected and crowning satisfaction, conquering and to conquer. This is evidently the walk that Dante admired.

* “Ego, quæ divum incedo regina,” &c. t -"Pedes vestis defluxit ad imos,

Et vera incessu patuit Dea.”

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