« PreviousContinue »
takes off his suit on credit, and has neither inclination nor ability to pay for it, is to be dressed the most expensively of the three. The same rule holds in houses, dinners, servants, horses, equipages, &c. and is to be followed, as far as the law will allow, even the length of bankruptcy, or perhaps a little beyond it.
« On the same principle, a simple gentleman, or esquire, must at all places of public resort be apparelled like a gentleman or esquire. A baronet may take the liberty of a dirty shirt; a lord need not shew any shirt at all, but wear a handkerchief round his neck in its stead ; an earl may add to all this a bunch of uncombed hair hanging down his back; and a duke, over and above the privileges above-mentioned, is intitled to appear in boots and buckskin breeches.
“ Following the same rule of inversion, the scholar of a provincial dancing-master must bow at coming into, and going
out of, a drawing-room, and that pretty low too. The pupil of Gallini is to push forward with the rough stride of a porter, and make only a slight inclination of his head when he has got into the middle of the room. At going out of it, he is to take no notice of the company at all.
« In the externals of the female world, from the great complication of the machine, it is not easy to lay down precise regulations. Still, however, the rule of false may
be traced as the governing principle. It is very feminine to wear a riding-habit and a smart cocked hat one half of the day ; because that dress approaches nearer to the masculine apparel than any other. It is very modest to lay open the greatest part of the neck and bosom to the view of the beholders; and it is incumbent on those ladies who occupy the front row of a box at a play, to wear high feathers, and to wave them more unceasingly than any other ladies, because other- .
wise the company who sit behind might be supposed to have some desire of seeing the stage. Since I have mentioned the theatre, I may remark (though it is foreign to this part of my discourse,) that, in the most affecting scenes of a tragedy, it is polite to laughi; whereas, in the ordinary detail of the two first 'acts, it is not required that a lady should make any greater noise than to talk aloud to everyone around her.
“ Simulation of person, which is only, indeed, a sort of dress, is also necessary among ladies of fashion. Nature is to be falsified as well in those parts of the shape which she has left small, as in those she has made large
- The Simulation of face, I ain happy to find, from an examination of the books of some perfumers and colourmen of my acquaintance, is daily gaining ground among the politer females of this country. But it has hitherto been regulated'
by principles somewhat different from those which govern other parts of external appearance, laid down in the beginning of this paper, as it is generally practised by those who are most under the necessity of practising it. I would, therefore, humbly recommend to that beautiful young lady, whom I saw at the last assembly of the season, with a coat of rouge on her cheeks, to lay it aside for these three or four years at least: at present, it too much resembles their natural colour to be proper for her to wearthough, on second thoughts, I believe I may retract my advice, as the laying it on for a little while longer will reduce her skin to that dingy appearance which the rule of false allows to be converted, by paint, into the complexion of lilies and roses.'
The second part of
observations on this subject I shall send you at some fu