Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

roses, of colored silk,” has become a part of the history of Queen Elizabeth, who was so pleased with her sweetsmelling gloves that she was painted in them. But the refinement of perfumed gloves had been known for three centuries in France before the days of the Virgin Queen ; and in Spain the gloves were famous for the scent imparted to them, long before her day. But she introduced the effeminacy into burly England. They scented their handkerchiefs, their cuffs and their leathern jerkins (which must have needed that refinement). Cardinal Wolsey carried a sachet in the shape of an orange. This orange was filled with “perfumes, vinegar and confections, against the pestilent air,” and the Cardinal used it as he went amongst the people, no doubt to avoid infection. The fragrance imparted to Spanish gloves was of a very enduring character, and the trade in them lasted for several centuries. We see allusions to this fashion in Don Quixote, who says to Sancho Panza: “This you will not deny, Sancho, that when you were so near her your In strils were regaled by a Sabaean odor—an aromatic fragrance, a delicious sersation for which there is no name : I mean such a scent as fills the shop of some curious glover.” Of course the luxurious Court of Charles II. used perfumed gloves, and “those trimmed and laced as fine as Nell's '' were mentioned in a comedy. Louis XIV. also issued letters patent to his “marchands maitres gantiers p. trfeumeurs.” In Venice, where the love of dress was so conspicuous, perfumed gloves were introduced by a Dogess as early as 1071. It is curious that in our later days of luxury, refinement and fastidious delicacy of female attire, this matter of the perfumed glove has entirely disappeared. The sachet is, of course, a part of every lady's belonging, but her gloves are not especially perfumed—the use of strong scents has, fortunately, become unfashionable. Gloves of chicken-skin were in vogue in the early part of the seventeenth century. These were used at night to give the hand a whiteness and delicacy now no longer the sashion. The hand of a modern English belle, used to the lawn-tennis racket and the oar, is as brown as a berry, and nearly as masculine as the hand of her brother. She does not wear gloves of chicken-skin. Thin and delicate gloves—the precursors of our Swedish gloves—were first made at Limerick; and Miss Edgeworth's beautiful story of the “Limerick Gloves” made our early readers acquainted with them. They were so thin that they could be put in a walnut-shell. In Scotland, fine and delicate gloves were once made, and the “Glovers of Perth " were a powerful and a wealthy craft. France, however, soon swept all competitors out of the field. It is curious feature of interest in this subject, that women were later in the field as glove-wearers than men. Perhaps they have made up for it since. It is not until the fourteenth century that “my lady's glove,” destined to play such a part in the history of the world of poetry and painting and romance, was adopted, and then only by ladies of rank. Gough says that gloves were not worn by all women before the Reformation. But this is not absolutely correct, for Chaucer speaks, in his translation of the “Romaunt of the Rose,” of Idleness:

“And for to keep her hands fayre Of gloves white she had a pair.”

In the “Romance of Syr Degore and the Fierce Dragon,” ; fourteenth-century metrical fiction, a pair of gloves is

made the pivot of the plot—a lady's gloves, which, like Cinderella's slipper, would fit no one but the owner. The ladies of the Court of Catherine de Medicis carried their gloves in their hands, or tucked them under their girdles. In the eighteenth century we find frequent mention of knitted gloves as articles of luxury. Knitted gloves of silk were worn in France during the reign of Henry III., and amongst the gifts to Queen Mary on New Year's Day, 1536, were “two peire of working-gloves of silke, knit.” These were a present from a loyal lady, the Lady Grey; probably of her own handiwork. To what purpose a queen should need a pair of “working-gloves” is a problem for the antiquary. We illustrate two gloves of Mary Queen of Scots. Of one of these, preserved in the Saffron Walden Museum, it is said: “This curiously embroidered glove was presented by the unfortunate queen, on the morning of her execution, to a gentleman of the Dayrell family, who was in attendance upon her at Fotheringay Castle on that occasion, February 8th, 1587. It is the property of Francis Dayrell, Esquire, of Camps. The glove is made of a light, cool, buff-colored leather, the elaborate embroidery on the gauntlet being worked with silver wire and silk of various colors. The roses are of pale and dark blue, and two shades of very pale crimson ; the foliage represents trees, and is composed of two shades of aesthetic green. A bird in flight, with a long tail, figures conspicuously among the work. It should be here mentioned that the embroidery shown in the drawing is repeated in facsimile on the other side of the glove, and this, having been lying against the lining of the glass case, has retained the color better than the side which has been so many years exposed to the light. That part of the glove which forms the gauntlet is lined with crimson satin (which is as fresh and bright as the day it was made), a narrow band being turned outward as a binding to the gauntlet, on to which is sewn the gold fringe or lace, on the points of which are fastened groups of small pendant steel or silver spangles. The opening at the side of the gauntlet is connected by two broad bands of crimson silk, faded now almost to a pale pink color, and each band is decorated with pieces of tarnished silver lace on each side.” There seems to be no doubt of the authenticity of this relic, which has been treasured for generations past by the Dayrell family. The embroidered gloves for women of the sixteenth century are very beautiful, made of the gauntlet shape, and richly embroidered on the cuff. They were made of cheveril leather; so it was said of a man, “He hath a cheveril conscience”— one that will stretch easily. Cheveril was made of parchment, by use of alum and white of eggs. Of course the goatskin was the foundation, as the name, chèrre—French for goat—would denote. The magnificent embroidery on these gloves (illustrated in our article) can scarcely be appreciated from a colorless print. Every flower, every butterfly, every goldfinch is rendered in matural coloring with the fidelity of a painting. The work is done in fine silk and gold thread and raised work, and both are in fine preservation. These specimen gloves are in the possession of Rev. Walter Sneyd. There are others at South Kensington Museum. The glove is nearly thirteen inches in total length. The whole cuff, four and a half inches in depth, is lined with crimson silk, and the side bands of cloth-of-gold ribbon, edged with gold fringe, were probably attached to the glove to confine the wide sleeve. Miss Frances Benson owns a pair of Shakespeare gloves, and Mr. Furniss, of Philadelphia, is the happy possessor of another pair, given him by Mrs. Fanny Kemble.

Those owned by Miss Benson are real workaday gloves, and had seen much wear. Made of substantial leather, they are not destitute of ornament. The scroll-stitching on the knuckles has been of red and gold. The ribbon marking the cuff is of yellow silk, and that on the lower edge, of crimson, with a yellow fringe. The cuff is of double leather, with a pattern pinked in the upper skin, and is all of one piece, as hereafter gloves were apt to be, the gauntlet cuff going out of fashion. We even find the peddlers selling gloves, a sure sign that they had become common articles of wear. In the luxurious Stuart period sleeves receded and gloves advanced up the arm for women, and as to-day, when the sleeves become a mere puff, the glove goes up the arm after them. Dress is usually a matter of development, and it almost invariably happens that these two parts of it are in direct relationship to each other. The gloves of the gay Cavaliers were of white leather, with wide cuffs, overloaded with ornament, with often broad ruffles of black lace and heavy fringe, as became the antipodes of Puritan plainness. In 1624 Sir John Francklyn paid ten shillings for “two pare of thick gloves,” not dear for to-day even. A lady's glove preserved in the Ashmolean Museum is of 1601, of elaborate embroidery, trimmed with costly lace. In the “Century of Inventions” we find gloves invented to carry on a secret correspondence, as “a glove with knotted silk strings,” “a glove pinked with an alphabet”; also for the not too noble purpose of cheating at cards. While the fringed gloves of Charles II. kept their place as proper for men all through the first half of the eighteenth century, women were gradually coming to the plain, close-fitting and becoming long glove of to-day, as being more appropriate to the size and shape of arm and hand. It is curious, that to the luxurious Prince of Wales do we owe a custom which has been a good thing for the purses of young men of fashion. We refer to the gloveless hand—the freak of going to balls without gloves. For ten years this unwritten sumptuary law has held its place. Now gloves seem to be coming back again in the realm of dudeism. Of the material used for glove-making we find a very decided limit, only cloth, thread, cotton, woolen and silk, and kid, goatskin and ratskin. Kid gloves are the best, the most expensive, and far more rare than people think. The majority of gloves sold as kid gloves are made of lambskin; those known as doe, buck or dogskin are from the skins of sheep and calves. France, where the kid culture is carried on to the greatest perfection, brings up its kids in coops, etc. The little animals are fed with milk only, for fear that coarser food would be detrimental to their skins. France has always led the world in the thinness and perfection of gloveskins, and in the perfection of the manufacture of the most perfect fitting of all hand-coverings. The glovers of France formed themselves into a company as early as 1190, when they were under a rule of a settled code of statutes. These laws were confirmed by the kings of France, and were renewed and enlarged under Louis XIV. The patron saint is St. Anne (the mother of the Virgin Mary). She was a knitter of gloves, and her memory is held in high regard by all good glovers. Until a recent date her festal day was held in great respect, and observed with solemnity all over France, especially at Grenoble. Our forefathers wore gloves of dogskin, chamois, of leather, silk, thread, cotton, worsted, sateen-jean, and other coarse fabrics. Nothing so nice or so cheap as the gloves now at hand for the poor. Gloves have been made

from nettles. Antiseptic gloves are used by quasi medical men to guard against infection and to cure diseases. A pair of gloves has been woven from spider's web. Now to come to gloves in their romantic uses. As pledges and favors they have been brought down to us in the pages of 83ott and Shakespeare, the whole history of chivalry and the whole chapter of love-making is put into the compass of a glove. The “Fair Maid of Perth. " is a history of glove-making, and a noble tribute to the glove. Shakespeare's father was a glove-maker, and the greatest of poets not only gives to Juliet's glove great honor, but he refers to the implements of the trade often and again. “A glove on the point of a spear is a sign and pledge of faith the whole world over, as a gauntlet flung down is a gage of battle,” says the sturdy Simon Glover. Fairs were set up by virtue of the king's glove. In ‘‘Timon of Athens” the Senators ask a glove from Alcibiades before their submission. It was “truly the sign of irrefragable faith.” They were sworn upon as if they were relics or holy things. The only historical fact which has left a stain upon the glove is this fearful story, that on the occasion of the marriage of the King of Navarre, the Queen Dowager was persuaded to come to Paris by the embassage of a pair of gloves, and then on the morning of the ceremony was done to death by poisoned gloves, sent to her by René, the court perfumer, her assassination being the prelude to the infamous massacre of St. Bartholomew. Even the Borgias respected the glove, and hesitated to convey poison by its means. Honor and good faith have almost always been “hand and glove,” even with rascals. The covering of the most active member of the body has been held sacred. To deprive a knight of his gloves was a part of the ceremony of degradation. As they had been part of the symbol of investiture, the taking away of the gloves often affected these brave men to “loud weeping and to great sorrow.” And as an instance of restitution, an unjust landlord laid his glove on the earth. Gloves are no longer used as gages. The gauntlet is not thrown down, save in a metaphor. But the glove can never die out of poetry. Whether it is the old-fashioned poesy which our grandmothers wrought on their glove

boxes— “If from the word Glove you take the letter G, There will be Love, which I send to thee!”

up to Browning's beautiful—

“Over the rails a glove fluttered,
Fell close to the lion, and rested:
The dame 'twas, who flung it and jested
With life so, De Lorge had been wooing
For months past,” etc., etc.
-

The old story of the knight leaping down to the lion, then flinging the glove in her face, as she deserved. We might begin with the “AEneid,” and quote down to Longfellow, before we should end the long record of the glove in poetry. To bite the glove was a sign of hostility, and the sure prelude to it quarrel. Gloves as gifts followed the “kiss of peace,” which, as the world grew wicked, became too intimate and too. dangerous a method of greeting. Anglo-Saxon men have never taken kindly to kissing each other. It was better to offer and to take the right hand. New Year's Day was ever a great glove-day. The queen sent a pair of gloves to the king, and the members. of a family presented them to each other. Kings and queens are expected to return some reward to givers of

gifts, but Dr. Drake says of Queen Elizabeth that she took sufficient care to have the balance in her favor. So her gift-money, gift-gloves, glove-money, glove-silver, are all cheerfully noted in her accountbooks.

Gloves were made in some sort Easter dues, and
held their own in the relaxation and joy of Christ-
mas-tide. Tusser also says :
“ In May get a weede-hook, a crotch and a glove,

And weede out such weedes as the corn does not love."
A tribute (not intended by the poet ) to the slov-

enly farming of
that day, when
the thistles

GLOVE OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM.
crowded the corn
so closely that gloves, around them cluster a number of superstitions. The
of thick leather like left-hand glove was considered an unlucky gift. The
dannock or hedging maid who accepted gloves and did not keep her contract
gloves were used by would meet with misfortune, etc.
farm-laborers.

Clergymen officiating at weddings once shared with the Chambers says, “It guests the lavish gifts of gloves. It is now rare for a clergyis not safe to enter man to exact the toll he was once expected to take from the stable of princes | the lips of the bride, nor does he look for the fee of the without pulling off gloves. He is content with filthy lucre. A white glove

the gloves.” This was borne before the coffin of a dead maiden, and was WYKEHAM,

was an ancient cus- hung amid garlands in the church, as a memento to her, tom established in Germany that whoever enters the over her vacant seat if possible. stable of a prince or great man must forfeit his gloves to the servants.

The same ceremony was observed at the death of the stag. And ladies who have the hardihood to kiss a sleeping man are, according to the “Fair Maid of Perth,” to win a pair of gloves. “For custom says, “Whoe'er this venture proves,

Shall for her pains demand a pair of gloves.'"

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

GLOVES OF BISHOP WILLIAM OF

[graphic]

A very ancient association of glove-giving is " the innocent white wedding-gloves.” Rare Ben Jonson alludes to them in the “Silent Woman." The Clown in the “Winter's Tale " says, “Being inthralled as I am, I will also be the bondage of certain gloves."

GLOVE OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS IN THE SAFFRON WALDEN MUSEUM. A poetical description of a trades' procession in the eighteenth century has it thus :

It is curious that the only relic of the practice of official

glove-giving which remains to us is the custom of giving “ Next march the glovers, who with nicest care

black gloves at funerals to the pall-bearers.
Provide white kid for the new-married pair,
Or nicely stitch the lemon-colored glove

In giving away gloves, the Universities had no rivals
For hand of beau to go and see his love."

but each other. Oriel College gave a pair of gloves to

the Bishop of Lincoln in 1451, and we find the custom The gloves and gaiters given at a great wedding in 1604 | prevailing until 1616, “ When the King being at Woodin London cost “neare a thousand poundes."

stock, the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford and the heads of Gloves were given at betrothals by the lover to his the University went to do their obedience, and gave mistress as a token of goodwill amongst relatives, and I him and certain of the nobles very rich gloves."

Gloves, as favors, began with the troubadours, and all the Courts of Love went into the subject. After infinite nonsense, the metaphysical aspect of devotion died away, and a wholesome change set in ; all the fantastical ornament with which feeling had been overlaid

was swept into the GLOVES OF QUEEN ELIZABETP LEIAN LIBRARY.

gulf of oblivion, and

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][graphic][merged small]

gloves became the emblem of the better, newer and purer worship of women. The glove was the heart of honor. The knight bore it in front of his helmet. It was a constant spur to exertion, an incentive to doughty deeds.

It is in the sixteenth century that we first hear of gloves as being worn by plumed knights as favors, but the glove had been growing into its proud position for at least a century. In Shakespeare's most popular tale of the Middle Ages, “ Troilus and Cressida,” Cressida takes a glove to Troilus, and a sleeve from him, as a favor and a gage.

Finally, the too universal adoption of

[graphic][merged small]
[graphic][merged small]

age in which the shoe and the slipper return to the luxury of the past, when female dress is so elaborately luxurious, we do not revive the embroidered glove.

Any one desiring to gain a knowledge of the English glove manufacture, so prominent an industry about Worcester, can find an account of the technicality of glovemaking in Mr. Henry Wood's novel of “ Mrs. Haliburton's Troubles," a modern pendunt, though less romantic in its tone, to the “Fair Maid of Perth," as a glove novel.

Excepting for mittens and woven and knitted gloves, America, as yet, depends, to a very great extent, on England and France for its gloves and hand-coverings of all sorts, though Gloversville, New York, with all its inhabitants, is devoted to the manufacture of hand-coverings, and kid-gloves are produced at a protectory near New York.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

gloves as favors led to the ruin of the custom. The glory of gloves has departed. They no longer stand as the outward and visible sign of faith in woman, or the touchstone of honor in man. They survive in proverbs, as, “ Cats that go a - ratting don't wear gloves,” “Handling him without gloves,” “Throwing down the gauntlet," "He cuts his glove to show his pride”- i. e. his rings-etc., etc. ; but alas ! now all the world wears a glove of tanned Swedish leather, than which nothing can be plainer, and the long elbow gauntlet of Hugh the Valiant,

[graphic][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

“THE PINEs”— so called because it stood in the midst of a small pine-wood—was a long, low-built, melancholylooking house. The large garden which surrounded it had run to waste, for the house had long been unoccupied. At length it found a tenant in a Mr. Malcom Dunmore, from London. Between the house and its new tenant there seemed a curious affinity. He might have been anywhere from thirty to forty. His handsome face was the face of one who had passed through, keen mental and bodily suffering. The eyes shone with severish brightness. No one could see him without pitying him for the trouble of which they knew not the story. This was what the trouble had been : When Dunmore was quite a young man, he fell in love with a Miss Edith Henson. Without being strictly beautiful, Miss Henson's appearance was attractive, and she had, moreover, a subtle, magnetic charm of manner, which was far more enthralling than any amount of regular beauty. She was an orphan, and lived in London with an aunt. The Hensons were of what the novelists describe as a very old but impoverished family, and when Dunmore, who had a good position, a fair fortune, and even a modest estate in the country, offered himself as a suitor for Miss Edith's hand, both aunt and niece thought it quite expedient to accept the proposal. ... Miss Henson had a very good capacity for simulating emotion—it was a part of that magnetic temperament of hers—and, as she really liked Dunmore better than any man she had yet seen, she found no difficulty in satisfying him. Her feelings were all kindly when nothing interfered with her pleasure or her interest, and her lover was constantly ministering to both. About a month before the time which had been fixed for their marriage, business called Dunmore into the country. It was just then the height of the London season, and Miss Henson was fluttering her butterfly wings among such of its pleasures as were open to her. One delicious June night Dunmore returned. He drove at once to the Hensons'. He was told that the ladies had left the house two days before, and the servants were unable to say where they had gone. There was a letter for him, however, and, as he took it, the perfume Miss Henson used breathed from it something of the intoxication he found in her presence. It was a brief letter, and eminently to the point:

“DEAR MALcont-When you have read this you will be dreadfully angry with me, and I suppose I can scarcely expect that you will forgive me until you fall in love with some one else, which, no doubt, will happen speedily. I have failed to keep faith with you, and I have no defense to make. While you were away a man of great wealth and brilliant social position laid his fortune and his title at my feet. I accepted them. It was not in my nature to resist such a temptation. I left home because I could not bear a scene with you. When you read this Ishall be married and far away. I don't think you need suffer much from jealousy, for my husband is twice your own age. I do most carnestly hope that you may speedily find consolation, and some time, I trust, you will be able to forgive and forget me. EDITH.”

How that night wore through, Malcom Dunmore could never recall. It passed like a horrible nightmare. Before such a trouble some men fall 'at once, overthrown and vanquished. It was not so with Dunmore. He could not become indifferent to the woman who had so wronged him; but he sought to conquer and efface her memory by the use of stimulants and opiates. His struggles to forget her were in vain. Her eyes haunted him. The mocking sweetness of her voice stole to his ears in all sorts of strange places, and woke him from his heavy sleep when he had been drinking the most deeply. At length his health gave way under the constant strain he put upon it; for weeks his life was despaired of. But, when it came to the point, Death would have none of him, and he was beaten back upon the hopeless shore of Life. With convalescence there came to him a feeling of disgust at his own dissipation and recklessness, and he resolved to try if he could find healing in the ministry of nature. Desiring to be where no one would know him, he avoided his own place, and, searching the country, came upon The Pines, which, from its isolated position, attracted him as a retreat where he could for a season bury himself alive. He soon, however, found that he had made a mistake. Nature was powerless to comfort him. The moan of the wind through the pine-trees had in it for him a subtle terror. As one starts in some evil dream, so he started at the cry of a pheasant or the beat of wings. In the solitude of the country he felt something as a child might, shut in a vault where the dead lie. For a week he tried this life in the midst of the solemn stillness, and then came to the conclusion that he must

« ПредишнаНапред »