Графични страници
PDF файл

Land's End, could he have feasted his whiskered sex, a fine bust, a symmetri. eyes all the way on that specimen of cal waist, or well-turned ancles and matchless symmetry. What would he diminutive feet. Each of these divisions have cared that she had hair of fiery of the anatomy has its powerful advoredness, a waist of immense size, and cates, and I despair of ever seeing them feet whose ample proportions scorned agree, or effect any compromise on this the aperture of an ordinary-sized shoe? agitating subject. Such is the infatuaShe had a splendid bust, and that was tion of these men in favour of particular sufficient to command' his admiration. sections of the human figure, that the He looked no further and required no task of reconciling them would be as more.

hopeless as an attempt to commingle oil Another lady passed me, and heavens, and water. The bust-men will never what a foot! Its diminutive size would knock under to the waist-men, while the have entitled its possessor to the honour feet-men will kick at, and take in high of the prince's hand, had she been pre- dudgeon, any slurs on their favourite sent to compete with the beautiful Cin- limbs. These last, especially, are wonderella. It was just such a foot as derfully 'prejudiced in favour of their would have turned the head of my own doctrine, and consider all others as quondam friend, Bob Willoughby, and heretics who are not ready to fall down rendered him, for one week, a fitter and worship the feet of beauty. companion for the inmates of a lunatic Now, as I have my own peculiar asylum, than for people in their right notions on this subject, which, I would senses. Bob was a great admirer of fain believe, are not altogether valueless, pretty feet, and nothing compensated I beg to be permitted to make them for the want of them. It was in vain known, and hope the world at large will that you directed his attention to beau- be benefited by them. In thus coming tiful hair, eyes, skin, figure, or height. out publicly, I trust I am actuated by He took note of the feet, and if they the purest motives, and not by a paltry were small, well-shaped, and surmounted desire to achieve a victory over those by slender, but not bony, ancles, his who, possessing, perhaps, superior taste, admiration was unbounded; but if he entertain widely different opinions on found them of goodly size and flat, this important subject. affording a broad and substantial foundation for the superstructure, he turned

De gustibus non est disputandum, away in disgust. . He was not one of is a maxim older than the hills, and enthose who can endure “beef to the titled, by its great age, (like an ancient heel ;” and with him, small feet were a maiden,) to great respect, and I shall, sort of sine qua non, as it was neck or therefore, leave the three parties to their nothing with Jack Arden.

proper enjoyments, and endeavour to I know another man, who considered collect a fourth, to be entitled the TEETH the perfection of beauty to consist in a

I do not despair of being able, slender waist. I have known him to in a very short time, to collect such follow a wasp-like woman for an hour, a force under my banner, as will conand to hold the pleasure thus derived stitute a party, equal in number and as a full recompense for his trouble. respectability, to the three great powers After an excursion of this kind behind of the Bust, the Waist, and the Feet. a compressed female, he was usually I am satisfied from my inquiries, and haunted for some days by her image, from a close observation, that there are, and be would endeavour to give his scattered up and down, many extravafriends a correct idea of her figure, by gant admirers of pure white teeth, who, drawing it with charcoal on a wall. under a bold leader, would immediately These uncouth sketches, resembling raise their standard, and march gallantly hour-glasses, were the ornaments of his on to victory. They are convinced that bed-chamber. This man finally married a union is now absolutely necessary, not a lady whose waist, she had any, was only to the promotion of a greater ad. so small, that the upper and lower parts miration of fine teeth, but to prevent of her frame were generally believed to the other three powers from encouraging have no connexion with each other. too great a display of the objects of

Perhaps it will never be decided by their adoration. The feet-party have connoisseurs, which gives a lady the long since succeeded in curtailing, by strongest claim to the admiration of the several inches, the proper length of


ladies' dresses ; and the bust-party, after It happened that no person within the unwearied efforts, have also succeeded large circle of his acquaintance knew her in taking as much from the top as their personally, so that to obtain an introopponents have from the bottom. In duction appeared beyond the range of this nearly equal contest, the balance of possibilities. His passion grew more power seems to be in the hands of the and more intense as the probability of waist-party ; but as the other bellige- success diminished, till, at length, chance rents appear to be fighting their way threw in his way a man who was slightly toward the province occupied by them, acquainted with a cousin of her brother's it is supposed they will eventually be intimate friend, and who politely offered obliged to retreat, unless the new party to conduct him, step by step, through shall come, tooth and nail, to the rescue. the mazes by which her friendship was

My object, therefore, is to bring the to be obtained. He set resolutely to admirers of fine teeth together, and work, and, in a few weeks, had the exwith united efforts, to claim a share of quisite happiness to be presented to the public attention for those neglected and lady. Judge, however, of my unfortusuffering objects. With a degree of per- nale friend's feeelings, when the first severance, worthy of such a cause, I parting of her rosy lips showed a set of hope to establish in the public mind, ivory whose colour denied the slightest such a love of a clear and well-furnished intimacy with that useful little implemouth, that no person will be tolerated ment of the toilet, called a tooth-brush. in “good society,'' whose ivories do not A chill came over his heart, and he daily receive all the care they so richly turned with disgust to the door as speedily deserve. I would have every lady scorn as possible. the attentions of gentlemen deficient in Some years after the unhappy dénouethis particular, and I would have every ment of his first love, Herbert met on gentleman leave to single blessedness board a steamboat another lady who was the lady whose smile betrays her in- on the wrong side of thirty-five, exceedattention to her teeth.

ingly plump and comely, and who showed, My rather ancient friend, Tom Her. en riant, as fine a row of teeth as ever bert, has already proposed to aid me, were enclosed in a pair of lips. He was as my lieutenant, in leading the new not slow to discover the superior beauty tooth-party. Herbert is a single gentle- of her dental possessions, nor was it long man, and well qualified, in all respects, before he delivered himself, body and to execute the task he has imposed on soul, into the snare that the wily lady himself. Although a bachelor, and had so artfully laid for him. He praised somewhat antiquated, he is an ardent her teeth extravagantly, and thus exadmirer of the fair sex, and ere this, posed his weak point; and the more he would have paired off with some charm. praised, the more she smiled, that he ing creature, had he not been several might feast his eyes on the objects that times balked in his matrimonial schemes bound him to her. Several months by obstacles connected with the teeth. passed away, and it was generally un

His first flame was a beautiful girl derstood that the twain were about to whom he saw, many years ago, at the become one, when an unlucky circumtheatre. She possessed a most delicate stance broke off the match, and sealed and transparent complexion, a neck un- poor Tom's fate, I fear, for ever. surpassed by any that I ever saw, and her One day while the happy pair were figure left nothing to be desired by the dining at the same table, two of the fair most fastidious eye. She combined, in one's front teeth suddenly jumped, withan eminent degree, all the attractions out leave, out of her mouth, and fell by necessary to command the homage of the the side of her plate. The lady slyly three powers; and this rare union of so caught up the fugitives, and slipped them many charms, united to manners the into her pocket; but that did not fill the most winning, made a violent assault on vacancy which their absence caused in the citadel of Tom's heart, and obliged her mouth, nor did all her efforts to keep the garrison, in the short space of two her lips closed, prevent Herbert's disa hours, to surrender at discretion. He covering that two of his little favourites followed the lady to her residence, and, had emigrated. He left the table and for many weeks after, made a daily pil- the house in despair, declaring, that grimage to her house, in order to catch inasmuch as he had been unsuccessful in a momentary view of the angel he adored. two campaigns, he should abandon all hope of finding a mouth exactly after his rare objects, which it must be really own heart. The first lady might have gratifying to contemplate, for their own been successful but for her unpardonable sakes, in abundance and in solitude. negligence ; and the latter would have Again, I have considered the proposi. secured her prize, had she been indebted tion that we generally like opposites ; more to nature, and less to a surgeon- but have found it true only to a limited dentist, for a share of her charms. extent. Little prigs of mannikins will

It will be perceived, therefore, that marry giantesses, and colossal fellows Mr. Herbert is well qualified to aid me pair with pigmy maidens, or indeed, with in the great work of reformation I have bits of widows, if otherwise well en. projected. Perhaps it may be said that dowed. The fat take to the thin, and he is better fitted to take the lead, since the thin cleave unto the fat. Lame he has made such sacrifices to principle, people are almost invariably fond of and manifested so great an abhorrence of travelling, and the purblind of sightall that militates against the purity and seeing. The stone-blind are reckoned beauty of the mouth. But let me assure the clearest judges of colours; and those you, patient reader, that I possess, in who look faithest are destitute of feel. an equal degree, the same peculiarity of ing. The ladies in Japan gild their taste, and that when the proper time teeth, and those of the Indies paint arrives, I shall show myself his superior them. The pearl of teeth must be dyed as a pioneer in the great cause we have black to be beautiful in Guzerat. In espoused.

Greenland, the women colour their faces In conclusion, allow me to add that with blue and yellow. However fresh I care not a jot for the colour of the hair the complexion of a Muscovite may be, or eyes ; nor does it make any material she would think herself very ugly if she difference to me whether the skin be were not plastered over with paint. transparent or dark, the neck swan-like The Chinese must have their feet as or bull-like; whether the form be diminutive as those of the she-goats. moulded as a sylph's, or like that of a In ancient Persia, an aquiline nose was dairy-maid ; whether the feet resemble often thought worthy of the crown ; and, those of a fairy, or approximate in size if there were any competition between to those of a camel. All these considera- two princes, the people generally went tions, so weighty with many, are to me by this criterion of majesty. In some of little importance. So long as the countries, the women break the noses of smile will disclose enough to afford plea- their children, and, in others, press the sure to my eye, I am always ready to head between two boards, that it may exclaim, “Heaven bless the woman that become square. The modern Persians has pretty teeth!”

have a strong aversion to red hair; the H. W. Turks, on the contrary, are warm ad

mirers of it. The female Hottentot re

ceives from the hand of her lover, not NOTES OF A READER.

silks nor wreaths of flowers, but warm entrails and reeking tripe, to dress her

self with enviable ornaments.” THERE is an old proverb to the effect, that de gustibus non est disputan

NATIONAL PREJUDICES. dum,which Sancho translates by

The change which the separation of “what's one man's meat is another’s a narrow sea will produce in the whole poison.” The adage is humorously il. chord of a people's feelings, is certainly lustrated in the following accompanying most extraordinary. At Dover you see periods :

a pair of jack-boots painted upon a sign, “I have, all my life, been puzzled to as the very emblem of all that is ridicu. account for the origin of tastes. Some- lous ; and every Englishman as he times I have attributed the whole visible passes, shakes with laughter. A couple phenomena to affectation ; but there of hours brings you to the pier at Calais, are, certainly, some exceptions to that and the first thing you see is a postillion rule ; such as the taste for collections coming towards you in a pair of those of halters in which criminals have been identical jack-boots, without the slightest hanged, bits of the polished bones or idea that there is anything absurd about tanned skins of murderers, and other them.


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


field in the stillness of a sabbath everi

ing, appeared, to my excited imagina“ Here be truths." --Shakspeare. tion, to connect itself with the ruined

fabric before me, and I have almost exA FEW years ago, before close fellow- pected to see an antique train issue forth. ship with the world had brushed away

The summer had deepened into the freshness of my feelings, or sorrow autumn, when one evening I took my touched with icy fingers that gaieté de favourite ramble ; the gathering darkcæur for which the season of youth is ness had softened and blended the out. proverbial, it was a custom with me to lines of the various objects before me, temper the vivacity of my spirits, by and was fast shrouding all in its undisstrolling every now and then through tinguishing veil, when the moon, darting the deserted alleys of an old churchyard, suddenly from behind a mass of clouds, belonging to a hamlet seated in one of to which it communicated its own silvery the deepest_seclusions of the west of lustre, restored in strong, though mellow, England. The ancient graves sprinkled radiance, the touching details of the around in thick profusion; the rude

The church stood, as is not stones, and ruder inscriptions; the weed- unusual, at some little distance from overgrown walks ; and the lowly temple the village, and the most entire stillness crowning all, and itself crowned with prevailed. I sat down upon a tomb. exuberant clusters of ivy,-possessed an

stone, and was soon lost in reverie. indefinable charm for my boyish fancy. From this abstraction I was roused :I seemed, while winding in and out the and how ?. To my infinite surprise, I grass-covered mounds, or seated upon felt a chill, wasted hand laid upon mine, them in deep thought, to become fami. and its long fingers twining themselves liar with years long past. The genius around my own. I had been, in fact, of the place held my senses in close half-slumbering ; my first sensation was, enthralment. I mused, until the closing as I have said, surprise ; which, howhymn, wafted across the intervening ever, was instantaneously succeeded by


Vol. 1. (11.)


alarm. I started, and on raising my as he locked his arm in mine," and I
eyes, I perceived that I was not alone. will tell you."
But who was my companion ? She We adjourned to his house, and having
looked not like an inhabitant of the taken some refreshment, he communi.
earth, and yet was on it. A female cated the following little bistory, to
figure sat by my side, and met my intent which I listened with breathless interest.
gaze with corresponding earnestness. “ Amelia G~ was the daughter of
She seemed the very personification of a gentleman, who lives in the vicinity
“ Life in Death." Her stature was of your favourite hamlet. I knew her
small-her shape attenuated to an als from infancy. Her person, symmetrical
most incredible degree ; her auburn hair and sylph-like, was moulded by Nature
streamed on the night breeze: and her and parental care into the most winning
face !-never shall I forget those pale, gracefulness; and her mind, in its ex-
sad features--that unearthly expression, panding beauty, seemed altogether too
referable to no feeling by which hu- comprehensive and strenuous for its
manity is visited, and which would slight habitation. She had been for.
almost tempt one to believe in the fabled warded, under her mother's eye, in all
history of purgatory. My temperament those accomplishments wherewith it is
was naturally nervous, and I had a wild held desirable to invest a young female,
pleasure in furnishing it with appropriate when death prematurely deprived her of
food. On the present occasion, my, the benefits of maternal solicitude. Her
faculties were wholly entranced: I sat father now deemed it expedient to give
as motionless, and I should think, almost his daughter the advantage of a first-
as pale, as the fair statue, beside me, rate scholastic establishment near the
Her garments were white and flowing; metropolis, and thither Amelia was
and, but that mine were of less ques- despatched.
tionable shape, had chance brought “In this seminary, the young lady soon
another person to the place, we should distinguished herself among her fellows;
both have passed, with our fixed and and in no way more conspicuously, than
silent glances bent upon each other, for in the unyielding firmness with which
reanimated inmates of the surrounding she rejected every trait and modification

of superstitious feeling. Her clear in. It was not until the figure arose, that tellect burst asunder the bond whereby the spell was in any degree unbound. the youthful, and more particularly the The removal of her hand from mine female fancy is apt to be enthịalled, and seemed a signal for the warm blood to it must have been delightfully interest. rush back again to my heart. With the ing to observe a delicate girl negative sensation of one awaking from a painful the deduction of ignorance, and submit dream, I rubbed my eyes violently, and to the test of reason alone those tales on reopening them, found myself once of phantasm and chimeras dire, always more in utter solitude.

plentifully engendered in the seclusion The reaction of my feelings was tu. of a boarding school. For Amelia was multuous. The principle of life, beaten delicate-ay, and timid too; her imaback for awhile by mingled emotions of gination, so far from being indurated, wonder and awe, returned with three- was peculiarly sensitive, and her supefold energy: a moment's recollection riority proceeded not from strong nerves, sufficed to convince me that I had not but from a luminous understanding. been dreaming; and with a strong im. Two years had flitted by, when the pression of having received a super- anxious father determined to recall his natural visitation, I hastily left the place. precious treasure, who had been repre.

When half-way home, I was encoun. sented to him as now ripe in mental and tered, in my thoughtless and almost personal excellence. He announced his unconscious speed, by a friend whose resolution to the principal of the estab. house lay close by. “ Whither so fast?” lishment, as well as to Amelia herself, demanded he ; and then added, slightly and the eve of that day on which his drawing himself back, “Good heavens ! arrival was expected to convey his you look as if you had seen the woman!” daughter home, found the happy girl “ The woman what woman?ex revelling in health and joyous anticipaclaimed i, involuntarily shuddering. tion; her cheek radiant with the con. “ Come with me," answered my friend, testing rose and lily—her heart bounding eyeing me with still greater attention, with confidence and universal good-will

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »