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University of California • Berkeley 

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"Those thousand decencies that daily flow 
From all her words and actions." 




Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by 

Harper & Brothers, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the 

Southern District of New York. 


This book is an attempt to raise the subject 
of which it treats to its proper connection with 
health, morals, and good taste. 

The title is due to the fact that the author 
has embodied in the text several articles which 
were originally published by him in Harper^s 
Bazar, These, though they form but a small 
portion of the w^hole work, may be recognized 
by some of the many readers of that popular 
periodical ; if so, it is hoped that they will be 
thought of sufficient value to justify their re- 
production in the present form. 



Ceremonial Observances founded on Common Sense. — The 
peculiar Necessity for Americans to cultivate Politeness. — 
Advantage of Politeness. — Duke of Marlborough... Page 9 


The Obligation to cultivate Beauty. — Notions of Beauty. — 
Beauty and Health. — American Looks. — Their good and 
bad Qualities. — How to improve the Bad and preserve 
the Good.— The Skin 19 


Relation of Dress to Form. — The Hair. — Dyes. — Grayness. 
— Hair-cutting.— Its Effect.— The Nose.— The Eye.— 
Squinting. — Short-sightedness. — Eyebrows and Eyelash- 
es. — The morbid Phase of Fashion. — Dark - rimmed 
Eyes 31 

The Ear. — How to make it beautiful. — Ear-wax. — Ear- 
pulling. — The Mouth. — Its Beauty and Ugliness. — The 
Proud Muscle. — The Tongue. — Tongue - scraping. — The 
Teeth. — Proper Management. — Use of Tobacco 45 


The Hand. — Its Beauty and Utility. — How to beautify the 
Hand. — Care of the Nails. — Hang-nails. — Snapping of the 
ringers. — Dangers of the Practice. — Warts. — Sweating 
of the Hands. — The Foot. — The proper Form of the Shoe. 
— The Defects of the fashionable Shoe. — Corns. — Bun- 
ions. — Ingrowth of the Nail. — A terrific Operation. — 
Sweating of the Feet Page GO 


The Power of Expression and Action. — Freedom and Grace. 
— A Talleyrand and a Rustic Antinous. — Lord Chester- 
field's awkward Man. — Too much Interference. — A whole- 
some Neglect. — Ugly Tricks of Expression and Gesture. 
— A wriggling Nose. — The Success of ugly Men. — Sub- 
mission to the Law^s of Nature. — A modern Beauty con- 
fronted with the Venus of Milo. — Excessive Fatness and 
Thinness. — How to be Cured. — Deformities the Result of 
bad Management in Childhood. — Dancing. — Proper Ex- 
ercise. — Mind and Body. — Freedom from Restraint... 73 


American Ease. ^Propriety of Posture. — A well-bred Person 
not Demonstrative. — Fuss. — Its Discomforts and Indeco- 
rousness.-— The Free and Easy. — The Prim. — Fault of the 
American Walk. — Inelegant Attitudes and Gestures ... 96 


The Expression. — How far Involuntary. — Laughter. — Its 
Propriety. — Its Advantages. — Blushing. — Shamefaced- 
ness. — Hawthorne in Company. — Great Men, Men of So- 
ciety. — The Disguises of Age. — Too much Hair. — Hair- 
dressing. — Misuse of the Nose. — Artificial Odors 104 



Discreet Use of the Eye. — Familiar Glances. — The Fashion 
of Eye-glasses. — Fast Girls. — Winking. — Sleeping in 
Company. — The Somnolence of Washington Irving. -~ 
Ear-boring. — Its Cruelty and Barbarism Page 1 J 6 


Purity of Speech. — Effect of refined Association. — Exagger- 
ation of American Talk. — Fashionable Falsehood. — Plain 
Speaking. — Prudishness of Speech 127 


The Defects of the American Voice. — Their Cause. — Ugly 
Noises with the Mouth. — Decency of Motion. — Attitudin- 
izing. — Affected Women. — Ugly Tricks. — Hand-shaking. 
— Democratic Intrusiveness. — American Publicity. — The 
Impertinence of British Loyalty. — Salutations. — Care of 
the Hands and Nails 138 


Effect of Civilization on Dress. — The opposite Progress of 
Man and Woman in the Art of Dressing. — The true Rule 
of Dress. — Uniformity of Dress in America. — Inappropri- 
ateness of Dress. — Sunday-best 155 


Superfinery of Dress. — Overdressed Women. — Slatterns at 
Home. —Hygiene of Dress.— Child-hardening.— Its Cruelty 
and Folly. — Stove-pipe Hats and Dress-coats 170 


Food. — Importance of the Manner of eating Food.^ — The 


Decency of Feeding. — Its Effect on Health and Appetite. 
— Chatted Food. — Dainty Feeders Page 183 

Etiquette of the Breakftist. — Etiquette of the Luncheon. — 
Etiquette of the Dinner 195 


Etiquette of the Dinner {continued). — After Dinner 212 


Ancient and Modem Hospitality. — Etiquette of the Evening 
Party and Ball. — The Effect of late Parties. — Manners 
and Morals. — Treatment of Servants 223 


Visiting Lists. — Report of the Proceedings of a Morning 
Visit. — Etiquette of Visits and Cards. — New- Year's Visits. 
—At Home, or not at Home?— P. P. C 230 


American Titles. — Proper Forms of Address. — The Use- of 
the "Sir" and " Madam. "—Professional Titles.— How to 
address Letters. — Esq. — Female Titles. — Nicknames. — 
Introductions. — Letters of Introduction. — Presentations 
to Court.— Visits to the President 243 

Births and Christenings. — Giving of Names. — Presents. — 
Visits. — Caudle Parties. — Etiquette and Ceremony of 
Man*iages. — At Church. — In the House.— Death. — Fu- 
neral Ceremonies. — Finis 255 




Ceremonial Observances founded on Common Sense. — The 
peculiar Necessity for Americans to cultivate Politeness. — 
Advantage of Politeness. — Duke of Marlborough. 

It is quite a mistake to suppose that the cere- 
monial observances of society are merely a set 
of edicts arbitrarily established by the capricious 
tyrant, Fashion, for the government only of her 
slavish subjects. Polite conduct is not neces- 
sarily more exclusive than correct speaking. 
The laws of the one are indeed, like those of the 
other, founded upon the usage of the refined 
few, but there is no better reason why these 
should enjoy a monopoly of good manners than 
of good grammar. There are many, however, 
who seem to think that social ceremonies are so 
many frivolous affectations by which the wealthy 
or fashionable strive to raise themselves to a fac- 


titious elevation above otheiis, and consequently 
refuse all observance of them with scorn. It is 
an unfortunate thing for general culture when 
the many acquire such a prejudice against the 
few that in their aversion to their pretentious 
superiority they reject their real excellence. 
The small class of the rich and refined have 
time to cultivate the elegancies of life ; and al- 
though, in the excess of their leisure, they super- 
add a variety of frivolous ceremonies, their ex- 
ample in what is practically useful should be 
followed. Wesley used to say, when advocat- 
ing the adaptation of the music of the opera and 
theatre to the sacred songs of the Church, that 
he did not know why the devil should have all 
the best tunes. We may ask, with equal reason, 
why Fashion should have all the good manners. 
It would be easy to show that many ceremo- 
nious observances which appear at first sight 
frivolous are founded upon a solid basis of com- 
mon sense. Consider, for example, that rule of 
the dinner-table. Do not ask twice for soup. 
This appears at first sight both sill 3^ and arbi- 
trary. It is, however, a very sensible ordinance, 
and is to be justified by the laws of health, and 
the general comfort and convenience. The soup, 
being a fluid substance, can easily be absorbed 
in small quantities, and, thus taken, is a good 


preparative for the solidities of the dinner. If, 
however, the stomach is dehiged with it, the ap- 
petite and digestion become weakened, and there 
is neither the inclination to eat nor the power to 
digest the more substantial food essential to the 
due nutrition of the body. As for the conven- 
ience or comfort of the single-plate rule, no one 
can deny it who has ever looked upon an array 
of hungry guests w^hose eager appetite for the 
coming roast has been forced to an impatient 
delay by some social monster capable of asking 
twice for soup. The cook in the mean time is, 
of course, thrown out in his calculations, and the 
dish, when it does come at last, is either spoiled 
by overcooking, or cold from being withdrawn 
so long from the fire. The guests thus are not 
only tried in temper by a protracted expecta- 
tion, but balked of their anticipated enjoyment. 

The advantage of not putting the knife in the 
mouth will be obvious, we suppose, to all who 
are conscious that the one can cut and the other 
is capable of being cut. There is an excellent 
chemical reason for that other table rule w^hich 
forbids the use of a knife of steel with the fish, 
the ordinary sauces of which combine with the 
metal, and produce a comjDOsition neither whole- 
some nor appetizing. 

All that is w^orth borrowing from the fashion- ' 


able code can be had without much additional 
cost either of time or money. For example, a 
table can be well set as expeditiously and with 
no more expense than if every article upon it 
was placed out of line with its fellows. There 
is no economy, pecuniary or otherwise, in serv- 
ing a dish to the right instead of the left of the 
guest, while the latter has the advantage not 
only of being the correct thing, but the most 
convenient. So, too, there can be no minutes 
saved from the dinner-hour by gorging the stom- 
ach with pie or pudding in advance of the beef 
and cabbage, while there is the very serious 
waste of appetite upon the less nutritious food. 

The great purpose of the rules of etiquette is 
to inculcate good manners, and thus render us 
mutually agreeable. It is, therefore, especially 
incumbent upon all Americans to know and 
obey them, for it is impossible for us to avoid 
contact. We are all forced, in spite of individ- 
ual objections and protests, to put into practice 
the national theory of equality. We must mix 
together, and it therefore behooves us, for our 
own comfort, to make the mixture as smooth 
and uniform as possible. 

In no country in the world are general good 
manners so indispensable as in this democratic 
country. In Europe, where, in society as at the 


railway stations, different classes are recognized 
and kept apart by insurmountable barriers and 
vigilant guards, it is possible, if you happen to 
be among the high-bred " firsts" or decent " sec- 
onds," to endure the existence of the unruly 
" thirds." These last, in fact, when viewed at a 
convenient remoteness of distance, are not with- 
out their interest. Their unkempt hair, botched 
and greasy suits, rude manners, and coarse ver- 
nacular, are parts of the European picture, and 
by their own homely raciness, as well as the con- 
trast they afford to the brilliancy of their supe- 
riors, seem essential to its effect. To look at a 
rough and unwashed from the safe distance of 
European social distinction, by w^hich he is toned 
down to the picturesqueness of one of Murillo's 
lousy beggar-boys, is one thing ; it is quite an- 
other, how^ever, to have him at your elbow on 
railway and at. hotel, where you can hear, feel, 
and smell him. It is obvious, therefore, that the 
rough and dirty are quite out of place in this 
country, where, if they exist, they are sure to be 
close at your side. Universal cleanliness and 
good manners are essential to a democracy. 
This must be generally recognized and acted 
upon, or the refined will seek in other countries 
the exclusiveness which will secure for them that 
nicety of life essential to its enjoyment, and we 


shall be left alone to wallow in our own brutal- 
ity and foulness. 

There is no reason why propriety of manners 
should not' be as general in the United States as 
it is exclusive in most countries. With our fa- 
cility of mixture, any leaven we have can be eas- 
ily made to pervade the whole mass. There is 
no vested right, in this country at least, in de- 
cency and cleanliness. We can all be, if we 
please, what we are so fond of calling ourselves, 
gentlemen and ladies. 

There is, however, an idea somewhat preva- 
lent, especially among our newly-arrived Demo- 
crats, that it is an essential principle of democra- 
cy to be rude and dirty. They forget that they 
are no longer, in this country, as they might have 
been in their own, in an antagonistic position to 
every cleanly and polite person. A man who 
has his shoes blacked and takes his hat off to a 
lady is not in the United States necessarily an 
aristocrat. It is this erroneous notion, which we 
venture to say is an imported one, that decency 
of person and manners must be associated with 
aristocracy, which keeps us still supplied with so 
many of the rough and dirty sort. Not a few 
of our public men are responsible for the encour- 
agement of this vulgar faith in democratic foul- 
ness. They affect a carelessness of dress and 


coarseness of talk and manners with the idea 
that they thus assimilate and make themselves 
more acceptable to the multitude. We doubt, 
however, the success of an expedient which is 
any thing but a compliment to eveu the rudest 
and dirtiest. We were once a witness to a sig- 
nal failure of a political orator who ventured to 
try this kind of tactics upon a New England 
audience. " I have not come," he said, " to be 
received with any ceremonious attention, but to 
take a drink and a chaio^ of tobacco with you." 
This might have gone down in Slum Hall of his 
native city, where he was wont to stir the "fierce 
democracy," but his audience of Puritan decency 
and sobriety would have been less shocked by 
the dash of a genuine bucket of cold water than 
by this vulgar suggestion of the groggery. 

Philosophers and men of the world are alike 
of the opinion that propriety of manners is to be 
commended, not only for its own sake, but for 
the social advantage it gives. Locke, in his 
celebrated treatise, makes good breeding, by 
which he means refined behavior, an essential 
element of the character of the well educated. 
Lord Chesterfield rates so highly the graces, as 
he terms them, that he seems to give them a 
value beyond that of the virtues. It appears 
* ProYincialism for " quid" or " cud." 


that his lordship would have much preferred his 
son, whom he strove so hard, but vainly, to en- 
dow with all the. graces, to be an elegant rogue 
than an honest lout. He evidently thought that 
refinement .of manners did more to gain the 
whole world, and was therefore more desirable, 
for he took little account of the possibility of 
the loss of a soul, than obedience to the twelve 
commandments. He certainly gives a remark- 
able example of its power. " Of all the men 
that ever I knew in my life (and I knew him ex- 
tremely well), the late Duke of Marlborough," 
says he, " preserved the graces in the highest 
degree, not to say engrossed them ; and, indeed, 
he got the most by them, for I will venture (con- 
trary to the custom of profound historians, who 
always assign deep causes for great events) to 
ascribe the better half of the Duke of Marlbor- 
ough's greatness and richness to those graces. 
He was eminently illiterate ; wrote bad English, 
and spelled it still worse. He had no share of 
what is commonly called parts ; that is, he had 
no brightness, nothing shining in his genius. He 
had, most undoubtedly, an excellent good j)lain 
understanding, with soifnd judgment ; but these 
alone Avould probably have raised him but some- 
thing higher than they found him, which was 
page to King James the Second's queen. There 


the graces protected and pi'omoted him ; for, 
while he was an ensign of the Guards, the Duch- 
ess of Cleveland, then favorite mistress to King 
Charles the Second, struck by those very graces, 
gave him five thousand pounds, with which he 
immediately bought an annuity for his life, of 
five hundred pounds a year, of my grandfather, 
Halifax, which was the foundation of his subse- 
quent fortune. His figure was beautiful, but his 
manner was irresistible by either man or woman. 
It was by this engaging, graceful manner that 
he was enabled, during all his war, to connect 
the various and jarring powers of the Grand Al- 
liance, and to carry them on to the main object 
of the war, notwithstanding their private and sep- 
arate views, jealousies, and wrongheadednesses. 
Whatever court he went to (and he was often 
obliged to go himself to some testy and refrac- 
tory ones), he as constantly prevailed and brought 
them into his measures. The Pensionary Hcin- 
sius, a venerable old minister, grown gray in 
business, and who had governed the Republic 
of the United Provinces for more than forty 
years, was absolutely governed by the Duke of 
Marlborough, as that republic feels to this day. 
He was always cool, and nobody ever observed 
the least variation in his countenance. He could 
refuse more gracefully than other people could 


grant, and those who went away from him the 
most dissatisfied as to the substance of their 
business, were yet charmed w^ith him, and in 
some degree comforted by his manner. With 
all his gentleness and gracefulness, no man living 
was more conscious of his situation, nor main- 
tained liis dignity better." 

It was hardly necessary, however, to evoke 
from the shades of history so grave an exemplar 
of the graces as the great victor of Blenheim to 
inculcate the necessity in these days of attention 
to the refined civilities of life. These have be- 
come so general, and so essential to the conduct 
of society, that no shop-boy or kitchen-maid is 
either entirely ignorant of, or ventures wholly to 
disreojard them. 



The Obligation to cultivate Beauty. — Notions of Beauty. — 
Beauty and Health. — American Looks. — Their good and 
bad Qualities. — How to improve the Bad and preserve 
the Good.— The Skin. 

Though we may not give full assent to Mad- 
ame de Pompadour's dictum that the chief duty 
of woman is to be beautiful, we do not hesitate 
to confess the opinion that it is a social obliga- 
tion not only of her sex, but that of the male, to 
make the best possible appearance. A code such 
as that of good manners, which recognizes as its 
main purpose to render us mutually agreeable, 
can hardly be complete if it does not contain 
rules for the proper management of the person. 
It would seem to be an essential part of polite- 
ness to commend ourselves to each other by such 
a care of our bodies that they may not only be 
free from offense, but a source of positive pleas- 
ure to those with whom we are in communion. 
We ought not to be cpntent merely with having 
our bodily presence endured, but should, as far 
as it lies in our power, make ourselves physically 
attractive. We so far agree, then, with Madame 


de Pompadour as to acknowledge that it is the 
duty of woman, and also of man, to be beautiful 
if they can. 

It is a curious fact that few women are com- 
petent judges of what is essentially a quality of 
their own — female beauty. It is not easy for 
any one to define it, though we all recognize its 
presence. It depends so much upon expression 
and action, which are essentially mobile, that it 
is almost impossible to grasp and fix it in a def- 
inition. Many have taken an entirely material- 
istic view of the matter, and attempted to meas- 
ure it by the arithmetic of proportion or weigh 
it according to avoirdupois. Brantome, one of 
the most decided of these, has the presumption 
to count on the ends of his fingers the qualities 
of female beauty, as if they were so many points 
in a fine horse. He enumerates them thus : 

** Three white things — the skin, teeth, and hands. 
Three dark — the eyes, eyebrows, and eyelids. 
Three red — the lips, cheeks, and nails. 
Three long — the body, hair, and hands. 
Three short — the teeth, ears, and feet. 
Three broad — the chest, forehead, and space between the 
eyes, "etc., etc., etc. 

Women are too apt to j'egard delicacy, in its 
physical sense of weakness, as an essential ele- 
ment of beauty. This is a false and dangerous 
notion, which finds expression in the afiectation 


of paleness of complexion and tenuity of figure, 
which are deliberately acquired by a systematic 
disobedience of the laws of health. No unwhole- 
some person, whatever may be the regularity of 
her features and the fineness of her mould, can 
justly claim to be beautiful; and we doubt 
whether any woman who cultivates sickness 
and weakness has a sound idea of the value of 
good looks. 

There can be no beauty without health ; and 
it might also be said that there can not be health 
without beauty. Form, color, and expression essentially dependent upon the soundness 
of the human structure for their attractiveness. 
The grace of a justly-proportioned stature and 
well-moulded limbs can only be the result of 
Avholesome bone and flesh. The skeleton must 
be composed of a substance in which certain 
mineral and animal matters are mixed in fixed 
proportions, or it will neither possess the flexi- 
bility nor the firmness necessary to the erectness 
combined with mobility proper to the human 
figure. Too much or too little of either ingre- 
dient not only indicates disease, but is fatal to 
beauty of form. Those human monsters of 
dwarfed proportions and devious shaj)e, occa- 
sionally seen, owe their ugliness to a want of 
mineral matter, or lime, in their bones. These, 


being deficient in stiffness, are unable to resist 
the wanton action of the muscles, and are thus 
cramped, twisted, and knotted into a tangled 
heap of deformity. So a too meagre supply of 
animal matter, or oil, another proof of disease, 
will give the bony frame an inflexibility and 
brittleness fatal to ease and grace of movement. 
This unctuousness is apt to evaporate with the 
coming of disappointment, the exhaustion of 
strength, and advance of time, and thus the 
primness of the old maid and bachelor, and ri- 
gidity of the patriarch. 

The contour of the human figure derives its 
principal beauty from the soft parts which cover 
and are contained within the bony frame. The 
muscles must be originally endowed with 
strength and continually invigorated by exer- 
cise in order that they may have that gradu- 
ated fullness and waviness of outline essential 
to a beautiful form. Spread over the muscles, 
and penetrating between them, are layers of fat 
and cellular tissue, which, if in proper quantity, 
contribute not a little to external beauty. Any 
excess or deficiency, however, will be sure to re- 
sult in ugliness. There is no hoi3e of the prize 
of beauty being adjudged to the unduly bloated 
or collapsed of body, whatever maybe the force 
of their pretensions in other respects. Excessive 


fatness or thinness is not only a deviation from 
the lines of proportion, but from the laws of 

The lungs, the liver, the stomach, and entrails 
all bear a proportionate share in giving shape to 
the human structure. These organs must have 
that degree of development essential to health 
in order to fill up their proper places in the con- 
tour of the human form. If the lungs collapse 
from want of exercise, disease, or any other 
cause, the chest falls in, and loses the arched full- 
ness of its natural beauty. If the stomach, liver, 
and entrails are, by excess and perverted use, 
forced into undue prominence, there results that 
deviation from natural proportioa the most fatal 
to good looks, the pot-belly. 

The condition of the blood has. also much to 
do with human beauty or ugliness. This fluid 
of life must have certain ingredients, and those 
only mixed in certain proportions, or it will not 
have the qualities essential either to good health 
or looks. A want of one of its smaller constitu- 
ents, iron, will deprive the blood not only of its 
strength, but its color, and thus the person in 
whose veins it circulates will be in danger, as he 
will have the pallor of death. When some sub- 
stance gets into the blood which should not be 
there, it not only poisons, but discolors the body. 


Thus, in a case of jaundice, the whole skin will 
be stained with an ugly tint varying from yel- 
low to green. 

The condition of the skin, which is the en- 
velope of the whole human structure, has a won- 
derful influence upon the external aspect. It is, 
as it were, the atmosphere which surrounds that 
microcosm, or little world, of human being — Man. 
Upon its purity depends greatly the look of ev- 
ery part and feature, which can only be seen 
through it. If the skin is not kejDt in a whole- 
some condition by a proper diet and regimen, 
there can be no beauty. A dingy integument 
will spoil the grace of proportion and delicacy 
of line of the most regularly cut face and per- 
fectly moulded form. 

It is useless for the naturally beautiful to at- 
tempt to preserve their charms while neglecting 
the care of their health ; but wholesomeness is 
so satisfactory and attractive that its possessor 
needs no other quality to secure admiration and 

Exercise in the open air, regular meals of nu- 
tritious food, daily bathing in cold water, and 
agreeable and systematic occupation, are the 
main requisites for giving health,. strength, and 
grace to the human body. 

The chief faults of the American person are 


excessive paleness or yellowness of complexion, 
and thinness of structure. It is common for for- 
eigners to praise our people for tlieir good looks, 
and the American face is certainly remarkable 
for its regularity. It seldom presents those ex- 
traordinary deviations from the classical ideal so 
frequently observed in foreigners. Those mon- 
strous developments of the features, which are 
not seldom found in the German or Irish coun- 
tenance, and api^roximate it to the various types 
of the lower animals, are rare among native-born 
Americans. As people of all nations come hith- 
er, we have, of course, every kind of face. There 
are, accordingly, all varieties of disproportion 
and degrees of ugliness to be occasionally seen. 
These, such as the low heads and crumpled faces 
which look as if they had been squashed in the 
making ; the nasal appendages fleshy and pend- 
ent, like abortive elephants' trunks ; the ears 
tumid and misshapen as gigantic oysters; the 
thick lips, eviscerated mouths, and projecting 
under jaws, are generally of foreign importation. 
The American complexion is surpassed in 
freshness and clearness by the English in youth. 
Our dry atmosphere is unfavorable both to the 
color and transparency of the skin. In advanced 
age, however, Ave have decidedly the advantage. 
While the English complexion is apt to become 


pimpled and blowsy, and seems to indicate gross- 
ness and overfeeding, the American, with the 
progress of time, ripens to a mellow ruddiness, 
whick harmonizes well with gray hairs, and the 
veneration which is due to them. 

The American face, having generally but little 
fat or cellular tissue, shrinks readily into wrink- 
les, and thus we are suj)posed to wear out ear- 
lier than we do. The earnestness and activity 
of mind in the United States give a concentra- 
tion to the expression of the general countenance, 
and also soon furrow it. Compare the peasant 
face of Europe with that of the working peo- 
ple of this country. The former aj)pears like a 
mass of dough rolled into a uniform surface; the 
latter is full of lines, distinct and expressive as 
those of a steel engraving. 

The pallidness of complexion and meagreness 
of frame which are characteristic of our women 
may be partly attributed to their diet, which is 
ordinarily not sufficiently generous to give rud- 
diness of color and fullness of flesh. 

Our dames, although we do not advise them 
to go to bed nightly on a supper of Stilton cheese 
and London stout like their English sisters, 
would, we believe, improve their looks if they 
lived better. By living better we mean feeding 
at regular intervals upon well-cooked, nutritious 


food, instead of wasting their appetites upon 
cakes, sweets, and other indigestible articles, 
which fill the stomach, but starve the body. 
Hear what Brillat Savarin says upon the effects 
of 2:ood livino; : " Gourmandise is favorable to 
beauty. A train of exact and rigid observations 
have demonstrated that a succulent, delicate, and 
careful regimen repels to a distance, and for a 
length of time, the external appearance of old 
age. It gives more brilliancy to the eyes, more 
freshness to the skin, more support to the mus- 
cles ; and as it is certain in physiology that it 
is the depression of the muscles which causes 
wrinkles, those formidable enemies of beauty, it 
is equally true to say that, cceteris paribus^ those 
who understand eating are comparatively ten 
years younger than those who are strangers to 
this science." 

The necessity of frequent bathing, not only 
for the preservation of health, but of beauty, is 
apparent from the structure and functions of the 
skin. This is divided by anatomists into two 
layers, the epidermis and dermis. The former 
is the most external, and is called sometimes the 
scarf skin. This is being constantly formed anew, 
while the old gathers upon the surface in heaps 
of scales, which are more or less adherent. If 
allowed to accumulate, they will seriously injure 


not only the health of the skm itself, but that of 
the whole body. They will irritate the surface, 
producing various ugly eruptions, dull the sen- 
sibility, and destroy the gloss, flexibility, and 
transparency upon Avhich the beauty of the com- 
plexion and skin esj)ecially depends. These wdll, 
moreover, if left to increase and harden, so close 
up the pores as to hinder the transpiration es- 
sential to health and life. 

Tlie only effectual means of getting rid of these 
deposits is by the use of soap. The scales of the 
scarf-skin are composed of albumen, the same as 
the white of eggs, and this is soluble in Avhat the 
chemists term alkalies. N^ow soaps of all kinds, 
containing as their principal constituent potash 
or soda, which are chemically described as alka- 
lies, are, according to science as well as experi- 
ence, the best cleansers of the skin, for they dis- 
solve the natural scarf, as w^ell as the oil which 
accumulates upon it. Thus, while removing dirt 
from the body, we are performing at the same 
time a function necessary to health. 

It is said of a Frenchwoman that she once re- 
marked, " How strange it is that we should be 
always washing our hands, when we never wash 
our feet!" It is -to be hoped that this strange- 
ness was peculiar to herself A no less remark- 
able fact, liowever, and one which is imquestion- 


ably so general as to justify an observation, is 
the limited application of soap to the human 
body. Without extending our inquiry beyond 
the face, let us ask how many fair dames ever 
apply a lather to their complexions ? Now we 
advise them to overturn into the fire all their 
face- washes, as the good Vicar of Wakefield did 
those of his daughters, and to betake themselves 
to soap. The best kind should be used, such as 
the well-known Windsor, or any other in which 
the alkali is not too abundant or strong. The 
ordinary cosmetics and artificial washes hide, but 
do not cleanse away the dirt, and are apt, more- 
over, to mottle the complexion with brown and 
yellow spots,* like the eyes of grease in an 411- 
made soup. 

Under the outer covering, or epidermis, is the 
thicker dermis, or sensitive skin. The ruddy 
color observed in the healthy of our race comes 
from the blood circulating in this inner layer of 
the human integument. This is beyond the 
reach of the paint-pot and face-washes; and there 
is no other means of preserving its beautiful ro- 
seate tint, and giving full effect to its brilliancy 
in the complexion, than by a proper care — with 

* We shall so far indulge our fair readers as to tell them 
that lime-juice will remove these ugly stains, while at the 
same time reminding them that it will only take effect after 
a good preliminary lathering of the face. 


suitable exercise^ diet, and regimen — of the bod- 
ily health. It is from this inner source that 
comes the rose-blush which warms the pellucid 
whiteness of the blonde, and gives the ruddy 
mellowness of the peach to the ripe color of the 
brunette. That, however, it may glow with all 
its natural purity and beauty, it is necessary that 
the thin veil which covers it should be kept un- 
obstructed and translucent. If the scarf, or out- 
er skin, becomes thickened and dulled by neglect, 
dirt, and the use of cosmetics, the color of the 
inner, or sensitive skin, will necessarily be hid- 
den, and the chief charm of the natural complex- 
ion of our race lost. A proper attention to the 
g«iBral health, and a free use of soa|) and water 
all over, are the only means of obtaining a sound 
skin and a good complexion.* 

* Ever since a traveler imprudently revealed- the fact that 
some women, of the Carpathian valleys, we believe, secm^ed 
for themselves beautiful complexions by feeding on arsenic, 
this practice, it is said, has been more or less generally adopt- 
ed, not only in Europe, but in this country. Physicians have, 
moreover, for a long time been in the habit of prescribing, in 
diseases of the skin, a preparation called Fowler s Solution, 
the principal constituent of which is arsenic. This remedy 
is considered an eifective one, but its danger is so great that 
it is given only in the smallest doses, and its operation is 
watched with the utmost care and anxiety. Arsenic is one 
of the deadliest poisons, and no one should venture, with the 
remote possibility of its giving clearness to the complexion, 
to dabble with it. 



Relation of Dress to Form. — The Hair. — Dyes. — Grayness. 
— Hair-cutting. — Its Effect. — The Nose. — The Eye. — 
Squinting. — Short-si^tedness. — Eyebrows and Eyelash- 
es. — The morbid Phase of Fashion. — Dark - rimmed 

While in ancient times it was the form which 
gave shajDc to the dress, nowadays it is the dress 
which gives shape to the form. We have thus 
given up our bodies to the tailor and dress-mak- 
er to be fashioned according to- tlieir capAfes. 
The Greek woman, with a genuine contour of 
swelling bosom and rounded limb, was content 
to cover herself with a simple cloth, which, con- 
fident in her graceful proportions, she left to as- 
sume the natural lines of her figure. The mod- 
ern dame of fashion, distrustful of nature, resorts 
to the artifices of the dress-maker, and thus, with 
no visible sign of her original form, breathes, 
sighs, and swells in depths of cotton and cir- 
cumferences of whalebone. 

Though the " lady" and " gentleman" of our 
day, being lay figures more or less stufiTed with 
hair and stiffened with wire, have little to do 


with their general " make-up," there are certain 
parts of their bodies which they can not wholly 
disguise with the shams of dress. These, there- 
fore, remain more or less in their natural state, 
and are left to show the beauties or defects they 
may possess. Of such parts of their bodies men 
and women are not in the habit of delegating 
the entire care to other haid-S than their own. 
While, therefore, we do not presume to meddle 
with the mantua-maker and tailor, but leave to 
their art the skillful disposition of the lines and 
proportions of the human figure, we shall ven- 
ture to claim for nature a part in the manage- 
ment of those portions of the frame which can 
n<ffc be wholly concealed or disguised. 

There is no part of the human body with w^hich 
the busy hand of fashion has so much interfered 
as the hair, and especially that of woman. Fe- 
male ingenuity seems exhaustless of device in 
twisting, plaiting, frizzing, knotting, heaping up, 
scattering, and torturing into every possible form 
and direction the flexible material which natu- 
rally covers the head. Of these multiform mon- 
strosities of shape there is none uglier than the 
chignon, lately so prevalent and still lingering 
unfortunately. This tumor-like excrescence dis- 
figures the top of the head with the appearance 
of a horrid growth of disease which would seem 


to call for the knife of the surgeon did we not 
know that it could be placed or displaced at the 
will of the wearer — sufferer we were about to 

We are grateful to modern fashion for its taste- 
ful rejection of the front of false hair, and the 
graceful submission of old age to its whitened 
locks. There is no severer trial of reverence 
than the sight of one of those ugly patches of 
black stuck over the eyes of a matron, and noth- 
ing can accord so ill as its positiveness of color 
and precision of outline with the mottled mel- 
lowness and wavy lines of an aged face. 

Dyeing the hair is the most preposterous of 
all attempts at human deceit ; for it deceives no 
one but the deceiver himself, whose vanity leads 
him to believe that his artifice is successful. 
There is no one who has once commenced this 
practice of giving an artificial color to his hair 

* The hair of which the chignon or waterfall is made is 
mostly brought from CafFreland, where it is cut from the 
heads of the filthiest and most disgusting population in the 
world. The former sources of supply, the peasants of Ger- 
many, and the dead of hospitals and prisons, are incapable of 
furnishing the excessive demand for hair created by the gen- 
eral prevalence of the present monstrosity of fashion. The 
Hottentot product is shipped to London, near which there is 
a place where it was purified. This, however, in consequence 
of the intolerable stench, has been indicted as a nuisance. 



but must regret it. It is generally begun with 
the idea that a single aiDplication will be suffi- 
cient for all time ; but when it is discovered that 
it must be continued, the constant repetition of 
the dirty and fatiguing process soon becomes 
wearisome and disgusting. Each application of 
the dye, whatever it may be, colors, or discolors 
rather, only that portion of the hair above the 
surface of the scalp. The new growth, which is 
constantly taking place from the roots, appears 
always with the natural tint. 

There is a premature grayness which some- 
times occurs in the young, chiefly in those of 
light complexions and light-colored hair, which 
is the consequence of weakness of the nervous 
power. This, as well as the loosening and fall- 
ing out of the hair, which come often from the 
same cause, may be checked by increase of the 
general vigor and the use of proper local reme- 
dies. A useful practice, when the hair is suffi- 
cieiitly short to admit of it, is to plunge the head 
in cold water morning and night, and, after 
thoroughly drying, to brush it briskly until the 
scalp is warmed to a glow. A simple lotion 
composed of half an ounce of vinegar of canthar- 
ides, and an ounce each of Cologne and rose wa- 
ters, rubbed on the scalp, will probably be found 
beneficial. The dandruff, which is a natural for- 


mation composed of the scales of the skm which 
are being constantly thrown off, requires only a 
proper cleanliness to prevent its too great accu- 
mulation, and a moderate use of oil or pomatum 
to moisten the scalj). 

It is very questionable whether frequent cut- 
ting of the hair is as favorable to its growth and 
beauty as is generally supposed. In fact, some 
of the most luxuriant heads of hair we have ever 
seen had never been touched by the scissors. It 
is quite certain that the common practice of crop- 
ping, or shaving the head for the purpose of 
strengthening the growth of the hair, not only 
fails of this effect, but often produces the con- 
trary result, and not seldom total baldness en- 
sues where a small stock is sacrificed with the 
delusive hope of obtaining a great supply. 

The depilatories of the nostrum venders for 
the removal of superfluous hair are dangerous. 
If dame or damsel should be troubled by the 
show of a mustache or beard, we know of no 
means of checking this masculine encroachment 
but by the patient use of the tweezers. 

The American Indians are said to succeed in 
smoothing their faces by persistingly plucking 
out each hair as it grows. 

There is no feature of the face so essential to 
good looks as the nose. It admits of great va- 


riety of form, but it must be there in some shape 
or other. Though the nose is not capable, as the 
eye and mouth, of much variety of expression, its 
particular conformation has more to do than that 
of any other single feature with the individual 
character of the human countenance. Change 
this in a drawing, without altering any other 
part, and you will find with each variety a com- 
plete transformation of the whole face. 

The Grecian nose, with its straight lines and 
symmetrical arrangement, has been generally 
accepted by artists as the most beautiful ; but 
different nations, notwithstanding, cling fondly 
to their own particular forms of this organ. A 
Hottentot Venus, we may be assured, would 
never receive the prize of beauty from any Paris 
of her own race if she were destitute of the na- 
tional flat nose. Sir Joshua Reynolds, who held 
that the idea of beauty was dependent upon the 
association of ideas, would evidently have ap- 
proved of the principles of the African judge. 
He would, however, at the same time have con- 
gratulated himself, doubtless, that, being an En- 
glishman, he was not bound to acce|)t the flat 
nose of Ethiopia as a necessary element of his 
own idea of beauty. " I suppose nobody will 
doubt," he says, " if a negro painter was to paint 
the Goddess of Beauty, that he would represent 


her black, with thick lips, flat nose, and woolly 
hair ; and it seems to me that he would act very 
unnaturally if he did not ; for by what criterion 
will any one dispute his idea ?" 

There seems to be no absolute standard of 
nasal beauty. The Komans were proud of their 
stern and portentous aquilines, and the Israelites 
would probably not be content to lose the small- 
est tip of their redundant beaks. The Tartars, 
having no noses to speak of, affect to consider 
the deficiency a beauty. The wife of Genghis 
Khan was esteemed the most charming woman 
in all Tartary because she only had two holes 
where her nose should have been. 

The peculiar form of the nose seems in fact to 
have but little influence upon our likes and dis- 
likes. Mirabeau, who had a nose as widespread 
as that of a Hottentot, and Gibbon and Wilkes, 
whose noses were reduced to barely perceptible 
snubs, were very successful suitors of the female 
sex. The turn-up nose can not be justified by 
any principle of taste, and yet the nez retrousse^ 
by which French appellation we are fond of dig- 
nifying the pug, is so far from diminishing, that 
it seems to increase the admiration of man for 
the woman who possesses it. l^o heroine of a 
modern novel appears complete without the nez 
retrousse, and Madame Du Barri, the common 


town courtesan, owes to it her place in history 
by the side of the worthless Louis XV. 

There is no part of the physiognomy which 
reveals so quickly and clearly ill temper and bad 
habits as the nose. Every snarling, discontent- 
ed, proud, and envious emotion is accompanied 
by a lifting of the end of each nostril through 
the agency of a little muscle, which, after fre- 
quent action, gives to the nose a permanent turn- 
up, which is as repulsive as the snout of an ill- 
tempered dog. The nose, moreover, like the 
door-post of an old-fashioned inn, scores every 
excess of eating and drinking, and so prominent- 
ly as to be read by the passer-by.* 

* The nose, as is well known, is the organ of smell. For 
this purpose it is endowed with a pair of nerves, called the 
olfactory, whose abounding filaments pierce the many holes 
and cover the multiple surfaces of the light and porous struc- 
ture termed the spongy bone, which lies at the root of each 
nostril. This peculiar organization is with the object of giv- 
ing free entrance to the air, through the medium of which 
odor is conveyed to the nerve, in which the sense of smell re- 
sides. The act of smelling is performed by closing the mouth 
and breathing through the nostrils, which expand to the odor- 
ous gale which thus enters and is diffused through every open- 
ing and over each surface of the bone where the nerve pene- 
trates and expands its closely-woven net of threads. Man is 
naturally endowed with an acute sense of smell, but its pow- 
er can be greatly increased or diminished by art. Those 
whose vocation is among stenches become by practiced indif- 
ference almost regardless of them ; and others, whose busi- 

THE EYE. 39 

The eye is, above all, the glory of the face. 
"With it we chiefly express our reverential sub- 
ordination to the Deity, and our familiar rela- 
tions with man ; see visions of divine beauty in 
nature, and catch that light of sympathy by 
which we recognize in every human countenance 
a brother. 

' The eye is especially a social feature, and it 
becomes us, therefore, more particularly to guard 
and use it with a discreet care. Its beauty, what- 
ever may be its natural character, is greatly de- 
pendent upon the general health. Any thing 
which tends to weaken the powers of the body 
aifects more or less the condition of the eye. 

ness requires a discriminating nicety of the sense, obtain by 
studied attention a marvelous acuteness of smell. There was 
a night-man in Berlin who declared that he was not sensible 
of the intensest smell of his odoriferous occupation. On the 
examination of his body after death no olfactory nerve was 
found. Whether this was an original defect, or only the re- 
sult of a long and resolute disuse of his sense of smell, could 
not be determined. Nature or art had made him the right 
man for the right place. The dog and some other animals 
have a much acuter sense of smell than man, and we accord- 
ingly find in them larger olfactory nerves, and more extensive, 
porous, and convoluted spongy bones for the exposure of their 
filaments to the odorous breath of the air. A dog, by the 
sense of smell, will trace and nose out his master in the most 
multitudinous crowd. This proves not only the acuteness of 
the smelling power of the animal, but establishes the fact that 
each man, as well as every race of men, has a peculiar odor. 


Excess of all kinds is reflected in it at once, and 
it is doubtful whether any abuse of the organ it- 
self, apart from the application of direct violence, 
is so injurious as the inordinate indulgence of the 
passions, or the practice of those habits which 
enervate and finally destroy the human consti- 

Short-sightedness is not always, as it is often 
supposed, a natural defect. It is frequently ac- 
quired by the habit in youth of applying the 
eyes too closely to the object of vision. Thus 
it is not an infrequent result of the practice com- 
mon among children of bending their heads too 
near to the books they read. This fatal habit 
should be carefully guarded against by parents. 
Even where there seems to be a natural defect, 
it will often yield to a proper regimen of the 
eyes. Modern oculists reject the old idea that 
it is good for short-sighted people to make con- 
stant efibrts to see without artificial aid. Now 
it is held to be a judicious proceeding to resort 
as early as possible to the use of glasses, which 
should be adapted precisely to the wants of the 
person. These are only to be recognized by a 
patient trial under the direction of an adept in 
the art. 

Squinting is another defect often attributed 
to N^ature, when it is not seldom due to a willful 


neglect of its laws. Surgeons have abandoned 
the operation for this deformity, and as the knife 
lias proved useless in eradicating the evil when 
formed, it behooves all to be more careful to 
prevent its formation. Among the frequent 
causes of this ugly defect are some so slight 
that they are seldom noticed by those who 
have the care of the young. An ill-fitting cap 
or bonnet, with a too projecting front, or a loose 
ribbon or tape falling from above and dangling 
within the field of vision, is often the commence 
ing cause of a squint. It is not seldom produced, 
also, by neglecting to have the child's hair cut, 
which, consequently, is allowed to hang down 
and shake loosely above the eyes, which are thus 
frequently and irregularly diverted, until their 
sight becomes permanently cross. 

The eyebrows and lashes can not be much in- 
terfered with to their advantage by art. The 
regularity and smoothness of the hairs, which 
are essential to the beauty of the brow, are 
undoubtedly favored by occasional rubbing or 
brushing in a uniform direction with a * fine 
cloth or soft brush. A solution of sulphate of 
quinine has been recommended as a useful aj)- 
plication to thin eyebrows. Shaving these or 
the lashes is a pernicious practice, and, so far 
from improving either, will result in a perverse, 
if any, growth at all of new hair. 


Some people, whose two eyebrows have a ten- 
dency to unite, are so uneasy at it that they per- 
sistently pluck out the approaching hairs. It 
may console such to know that such a union 
was esteemed a beauty by the ancients ; and Ten- 
nyson alludes to this peculiar growth, which was 
common to his friend Hallam and to Michael An- 
gelo, in these, to many incomprehensible, lines : 

"And over thine ethereal eyes 
The bar of Michael Angelo." 

The eyelashes, which, to be eminently beauti- 
ful, should be long and deeply black, are depend 
ent greatly upon the general health and the con- 
dition of the organs which they adorn and pro- 
tect for their good appearance. Any thing which 
directly fatigues the eye, or indirectly affects it 
by weakening the body, is sure to show its mark 
upon the edges of the eyelids. These become 
more or less inflamed, reddened, saturated with 
tears, and besmeared with a mucous which, thick- 
ening and hardening about their roots, finally de- 
taches them. The scales or crusts thus formed 
should never be torn away with violence, for the 
hairs are sure to come with them. The best 
mode of removing them is to apply at night a 
little cold cream to the edges of the lids of the 
closed eye, and in the morning to bathe them 


with lukewarm milk and water. When these 
incrustations become inveterate, means must be 
taken to strengthen the general health. The 
best local application is the slightest touch of 
dilute citrine ointment. 

Nothing is worse for the eyes than straining 
them to see with an imperfect light, and every 
one who cares to preserve their strength and 
beauty should avoid using them in the uncer- 
tain glimmer of twilight, or in the flicker of a 
sputtering tallow candle or ill-trimmed lamp. It 
may be well to remind our sentimental readers 
that all unnecessary weeping had better be avoid- 
ed, for the delights of crying over the jilted Au- 
gustus or the broken-hearted Araminta of the 
last novel can not be indulged in without risk 
to the health and beauty of the eyes. 

There is a phase of fashion which the doctors 
might call the morbific^ characterized by an af- 
fectation of the symptoms of disease. The 
younger Dumas, with his phthisical heroines, 
as unsound in flesh as^ in morals, is greatly re- 
sponsible for the vogue given to the pallid, wan, 
hectic, and feeble. We thus find the florid and 
robust assuming ill health when they have it 
not, and resorting to all kinds of contrivances 
to give the face a cast of sickliness, to which a 
robust nature has imparted her own freshness 


and brightness of color. Among the various ex- 
pedients for giving themselves this fashionable 
" languishing, dying" air, that of darkening with 
a black pigment the orbit of the eye is in com- 
mon use by many women. They thus produce 
a very fair imitation of what the French call les 
yeux ceryieSj and at certain distances the effect is 
not unlike that which is intended, but which we 
Avould suppose no delicate woman would care to 
exhibit so ostentatiously. 

It is sometimes the practice to paint the eye- 
brows and eyelashes, and even to cloud the eye- 
balls by means of ink dropped between the lids. 

Kot only does a decorous taste emphatically 
condemn these practices, which give unmistak- 
able indications of the painted Jezebel, but pru- 
dence forbids them. All pigments, even when 
applied to the surface of the surrounding parts 
of the eye, are dangerous, and nothing like ink 
can be dropped upon that delicate organ without 
certain mischief. We know of a permanent loss 
of sight from paralysis produced by the frequent 
use of belladonna to give an unnatural largeness 
to the pupil, supposed to be, by some women of 
a morbid taste, a sign of languishing beauty. 

THE EAK. 45 


The Ear. — How to make it beautiful. — Ear-wax. — Ear- 
pulling. — The Mouth. — Its Beauty and Ugliness. — The 
Proud Muscle. — The Tongue. — Tongue - scraping. — The 
Teeth. — Proper Management. — Use of Tobacco. 

The human ear in its more perfect forms is cer- 
tainly a beautiful object ; but there is no feature 
which is so frequently unattractive. This may 
be owing to its neglect in childhood and youth. 
Being round the corner, as it were, of the face, it 
is apt to be left uncared for, while the front is 
more diligently tended. The shape of the ear is 
generally deformed in infancy and childhood by 
the carelessness of mother or nurse. In adjust- 
ing the cap, hat, or bonnet, while every effort is 
made to give it as jaunty a setting as possible 
upon the head, with the due rakishness of incli- 
nation to the right or left, the ears are allowed 
to shift as they may for themselves. They thus 
are either crumpled up and pressed down irreg- 
ularly under the tight rim of the covering of the 
head, or squeezed out from their natural resting- 
places, and forced into a stuck-out position which 
is by no means graceful. The careful mother 


will take the precaution, each time that she puts 
on the cap, hat, or bonnet, as it may be, to smooth 
down with her gentle hands the ears of her child, 
and see that they are held with a slight pressure, 
in their proper position, at the sides of the head, 
where they ought to snugly nestle. She will thus 
probably secure for her offspring a pair of small, 
transparent, delicately colored, and thin, shell- 
shaped ears such as Nature intended, and escape 
those monstrous productions we so often see, 
which have been likened, with more or less just- 
ness of comparison, to swollen, overripe purple 
figs, gigantic oysters, and asinine excrescences. 

We can not but protest against the prevailing 
style of dressing the hair, which, violently drawn 
away from the ears, leaves them exposed in all 
their ugly nakedness. In the ancient Greek 
statue of female beauty the ear is always par- 
tially hidden by the hair. If, in its ideal grace, 
it modestly half retires from the sight, it cer- 
tainly, in its modern matter-of-fact ugliness, 
should conceal itself altogether. We might pos- 
sibly be persuaded to make an excej)tion in favor 
of a beautiful ear, but we can not be prevailed 
upon to accept the exposure of the auricular 
monstrosities to be beheld every where. Do 
with them what you please, but keep them out 
of sight, or, at any rate, do not force their ugli- 


ness upon our notice by jingling or glistening 

The ear is a most complicated and delicate 
apparatus ; but, fortunately, it is so shut up with- 
in the casket of the skull that it can hardly be 
disarranged by our negligence or interference. 
It has over the openings of its outer to the in- 
most ^f its series of winding passages membranes 
tightly stretched, like the parchment of a drum, 
and these vibrate to every sound, which is con- 
veyed from one to the other by a chain of little 
bones. These, in turn, transmit the vibration to 
threads of nerves, which communicate the sensa- 
tion to the brain, and enable the mysterious pow- 
er of this organ to form a perception of sound. 
As in the case of the military drum, the mem- 
branes of the ear, which in fact are called drums, 
require for their proper vibration the presence of 
air on both sides. This, in case of the ear, is pro- 
vided for not only by its external opening, but 
by an internal communication with the mouth 
and nose. Hence any cause which closes these 
inlets to the atmosphere is sure to affect the 
hearing. Thus an ordinary cold in the head, 
which swells the membrane of the nostrils, aug- 
ments their natural discharge, and stuffs them 
up, as it were, always produces a certain degree 
of deafness. The outer opening to the ear se- 


cretes for its protection, and to keep the passage 
smooth for the conveyance of sound, a natural 
wax. This is apt to accumulate in undue quan- 
tity, become hardened, and i3roduce deafness and 
a disagreeable ringing sound. A little warm 
water squeezed into the ear from a sponge, and 
a drop or two of sweet oil let fall into it after- 
ward, will generally remove the accumulation. 
If not, recourse should be had to the surgeon, 
who with a syringe and a blunt instrument will 
soon get rid of the uncomfortable dej)Osit. It is 
a dangerous practice for persons to be fumbling 
about their ears with the ordinary little steel 
spoon at the end of the tweezers found in most 
dressing-cases. If thrust too far and forcibly 
into the ear, it may penetrate or tear its external 
drum and seriously damage the hearing. Most 
of the cases of prolonged deafness arise from per- 
manent destruction of the internal apparatus or 
paralysis of the nerves of the ear, and are unfort- 
unately beyond the reach of art. The^e are the 
incurable cases upon which the quack speculates 
with such pecuniary success. His impudent and 
lying assertion of power never fails to find a cred- 
ulous ear among those who have turned away in 
despair from the honest confession of impotency 
of the man of science. 

Ear -pulling of all kinds, whether in fun or 


earnest, practiced condescendingly or magisteri- 
ally, by an emperor in his good, or by a school- 
master in his bad humors, is ungracious and dan- 
gerous. Children's ears are thus frequently in- 
jured, and always distorted, if the pulling is ha- 

As far as appearance is concerned, it does not 
matter much what shape the male mouth may 
have, as, with the present style of wearing the 
mustache and beard, little of it can be seen. In 
the smooth face of woman, however, the form of 
the mouth has a great deal to do with its beauty 
or ugliness. The standard of taste in regard to 
this, as to other features, varies in different na- 
tions. The African not only prefers the flat 
nose, but the blubber lip ; and Mungo Park, when 
traveling on the banks of the Niger, overheard 
a conclave of negro native matrons discussing 
the possibility of there being in any part of the 
world a woman capable of kissing such a shriv- 
eled mouth as his European one. Frightful, 
however, as were his thin lips, this did not pre- 
vent the African maiden from moistening them 
in their agony of fevered thirst with a draught 
of water from her refreshing gourd. Such was 
the triumph of woman's tenderness that it even 
overcame her natural disgust. 

Though we are far from admiring the African 


mouth, we consider a certain fullness of the lips 
essential to female loveliness. The thin lip, 
making no show of a ruddy succulence, seems 
to indicate, with a meagreness and acridity of 
blood, a cold and sour disposition; and we are 
not surprised to read that the shrewish Xan- 
tippe, the incompatible spouse of Socrates, was 

The most lovable of mouths is given to the 
bride by Suckling in his Ballad on a Weddinc;: 

*' Her lips were red, and one was thin 
Compared to that was next her chin, 
Some bee had stung it newly. " 

All the poets — and they are supposed to have 
the nicest sensibility to female as to other beau- 
ty — agree in bestowing a certain fullness and 
redness upon the lips of their ideal loves. The 
expanding rose-bud is, as is well known, the tra- 
ditional comparison : 

"Roses are her cheeks, 
And a rose her mouth." 

The more the line of the upper lip resembles 
the form of the classical bow, the more closely it 
ajDproaches the ideal of beauty. This potent 
Aveapon of Apollo and Cupid, in fact, was mod- 
eled from the curve of the mouth, and symbol- 
izes, in the eloquence of the one and the love of 
the other, the power of words, whether whisper- 


ed in the ear of affection or thundered forth to 
the hearing of a multitude. 

There is no art potent enough to give the 
beauty of symmetry which Nature may have re- 
fused to the lips. If they become unnaturally 
pale, more or less rouge mixed with beeswax 
will give them a deceitful and temporary gloss 
of nature. To this daubing our fashionable 
dames are constantly obliged to resort, for their 
exhausting lives of dissipation impoverish and 
decolorize the blood, and the effect is apparent 
at once in the blanched lip. A frequent usage, 
however, of the lip salve, as it is ingeniously 
called, but which is merely a red pigment in 
disguise, so inflames, thickens, roughens, and 
gives such a peculiar tint to the mouth, that it 
has the look of the shriveled, purplish one of a 
sick negress.* The habit of biting the lips soon 
destroys any grace of form they may have orig- 
inally possessed. Madame de Pompadour, while 
lamenting the decay of her charms, confessed 
that she first began to spoil at the mouth. She 
had early acquired the habit of biting her lips in 
order to conceal her emotion. " At thirty years," 
says a historian, " her mouth had lost all its stri- 
king brilliancy." She, too, began at a very early 

* The best wash to give a pleasant taste to the mouth and 
odor to the breatli is a weak infusion of mint. 


period to touch herself up with that paint so fa- 
tal to the duration of facial charms, and at court 
only dared to show herself by candle-light. 

The mouth, supplied with a number of muscles 
quick to act at the vaguest command of the w^ill, 
is very expressive of the disposition. There is 
one little one against whose action we would put 
our young damsels on their guard. It is the 
same as that which turns up the nostril at the 
least emotion of pride, envy, or disgust. It also 
at the same time, for it is connected with the 
mouth, pulls up its upper lip. The effect of the 
frequent exercise of all muscles of the face is to 
give a permanent expression according to the 
direction of their action. This is more marked 
in that of the mouth and nose, called by the an- 
cients the musculus superhus^ or ]3roud muscle. 
If our pretty girls desire to grow old gracefully, 
we would advise them to be chary of the use of 
this telltale messenger, for, if his services should 
be often availed of, he will be sure to turn up 
the nose and lip in permanent disgust of his func- 
tions. It is the most distinctive and repulsive 
sign of an envious old maid or any other ill-tem- 
pered person. 

Whatever beauty of form and grace of propor- 
tion the human tongue may have, no one but the 
possessor is supposed to be cognizant of them. 


People are not in the habit of thrusting out this 
organ to the gaze of others except in illness for 
the inspection of the doctor, or in rudeness, to ex- 
press contempt of an opponent. 

The tongue, however, though not wont to 
make a frequent appearance before the public, 
demands no less care for the proper performance 
of the duties of its private station. Upon its 
surface there is apt to gather a fur which is not 
easily removed by the ordinary rinsing of the 
mouth. There is an instrument of silver, called 
a tongue-scraper, which was never absent from 
the toilette-cases of our grandams, but is now al- 
most obsolete, that is well adapted to this pur- 
pose, and should be used every morning to re- 
move the covering of thickened mucus which 
accumulates in the course of the night. This 
fur, if left, gives a sensation of pastiness and full- 
ness to the mouth, and not only destroys the del- 
icacy of the taste and the disposition for food, 
but thickens the voice. 

Dr. Holmes, in one of his medical essays, gives 
an historical importance to the tongue-scraper. 
"I," says he, "think more of this little imple- 
ment on account of its agency in saving the col- 
ony at Plymouth in the year 1623. Edward 
Winslow heard that Massasoit was sick and like 
to die. He found him with a houseful of people 

54 standish's tongue-sckapee. 

about him, women rubbing his arms and legs, 
and friends ' making such a hellish noise' as they 
probably thought would scare away the devil 
of sickness. Winslow gave him some conserve, 
washed his mouth, scraped his tongue^ which was 
in a horrid state, got down some drink, made him 
some broth, dosed him with an infusion of straw- 
berry leaves and sassafras root, and had the sat- 
isfaction of seeing him rapidly recover. Massa- 
soit, full of gratitude, revealed the plot which 
had been formed to destroy the colonists, where- 
upon the governor ordered Captain Miles Stan- 
dish to see to it." The captain did eifectually 
" see to it," and stabbing Peckswot, the ringlead- 
er, with his own knife, broke up the plot and 
saved the colony. 

The old-fashioned doctor is apt to trust too 
much to the tongue as an indicator of the state 
of the stomach, and has often recourse to a se- 
vere drench of the remote organ, where a simple 
scrape of the near and tangible one would be 
more effectual. A mere fur of the tongue should 
alarm no one, if unaccompanied by no other indi- 
cation of disease ; for, in nine cases out of ten, it 
is only a local foulness, easily removed by the 
scraper, or destined quickly to disappear through 
the natural self-cleansing of the mouth. 

The tongue, though its recuperative power is 


very great and rapid, as is proved by the quick- 
ness and completeness with which a cut, a blis- 
ter, or a burn, or any ordinary injury of it will 
heal, may become the seat of serious disease by 
prolonged irritation. Thus a jagged tooth, the 
continued pressure of the pipe-stem, and the end 
of the cigar, will produce tedious ulcers of the 
tongue, and occasionally deadly cancers. 

The tongue has the exclusive credit for func- 
tions that do not belong to it. It is not either 
the sole organ of language or of taste. The. 
throat, with its vocal chords and its palate, and 
the nose, with its nerves and its air -passages, 
have a large and indispensable share both in 
tasting and talking. 

The tongue is ordinarily the most abused of 
all the organs of sense. While the eye and the 
ear merely suffer from neglect, the tongue is la- 
boriously perverted. Its nature, by the persist- 
ent diligence of a malevolent art, is so totally 
changed that its dislikes become likes, and its 
likes dislikes. Tobacco, at first spat out with 
infinite disgust, is finally fondled with delight 
by the enslaved tongue, and the simple food of 
nature is rejected for the spiced dishes of art. 

The tongue, it must be confessed, as the organ 
of material taste, has no very dignified function, 
and has reason to withdraw itself from public 


notice. It has been likened to a commissary 
general, whose supplies are necessary to the ac- 
tion of the other more noble organs, but whose 
sword is seldom drawn, while its aspect is by no 
means heroic. 

The mouth, however distorted its form or pre- 
posterous its size, if it only shows a range of 
sound and clean teeth, can scarcely be deemed 
ugly. There is a wholesomeness of look in a 
row of pure white ivories, set regularly in a rim 
of ruddy coral, which reconciles the observer to 
an otherwise unprepossessing face. 

A wholesome condition of the teeth is not only 
essential to good looks, but to daily comfort and 
permanent health. Chewing of the food, so nec- 
essary to a good digestion, can not be properly 
performed with weak and diseased masticators, 
which are, in fact, the frequent cause of dyspepsia 
and other affections of the stomach. Local dis- 
eases of the most tormenting kind, such as tic 
douloureux and the various painful face, head, 
and ear aches, and disorders of the eye, as well 
as the fatal cancer and tedious ulcers of the 
tongue and lips, are often due to no other cause 
than a decayed and ragged tooth. 

Though the natural constitution of the body 
and the various accidental diseases to which it 
is liable may have something to do with the bad 


condition of the teeth, their ill looks and decay 
are generally owing to a neglect of cleanliness. 
The mischief is most frequently done at an early 
age. In childhood an indifference to personal 
appearance, with that disinclination to any effort 
which does not bring immediate pleasure, leads 
to a disregard of the teeth. This occurs just at 
the time when they require the greatest care. 
At about eleven years of age most of the per- 
manent teeth have taken the place of those of 
infancy, which are called the deciduous^ since 
they fall away or are absorbed to make room 
for others. At this period the child should be 
compelled to rub his teeth with a soft brush, and 
rinse. his mouth after each meal. These simjDle 
means are all that are necessary to purify and 
preserve them, provided the child makes no oth- 
er use of his teeth than that for which Nature 
intended them. The jaws were, of course, never 
designed for nut-crackers, and the attempt so to 
pervert their purpose must necessarily prove fa- 
tal to the teeth. Though no perceptible fracture 
may be the immediate result, the tooth undoubt- 
edly receives from the shock of each crushed 
hickory a seriously dam.aging effect, either to 
the nerve, the socket, or the enameled surface 
which covers it. With due care of the teeth, 
begun in childhood and prolonged through life, 


any person may reasonably calculate upon a set, 
if not of handsome, of useful grinders, to the end 
of his threescore years and ten. 

The decay of the teeth is generally owing to 
the action of the acids generated by the fermen- 
tation of the particles of food deposited between 
them and at their roots during eating. To pre- 
vent this, the obvious way is to remove these 
deposits after each meal. The French practice 
of handing round the toothpicks and mouth- 
rinsers at the close of every repast is a good one 
for the teeth, though offensive to the fastidious- 
ness of our manners. All that we have to say 
here is, that the sooner the particles of food are 
picked out and washed away, the better. The 
fastidious Chesterfield even did not hesitate to 
send that son, whom he was striving so labori- 
ously to lick into shape, " by way of iN'ew-year's 
gift, a very pretty toothpick-case." 

People should be on their guard against the 
too busy fingers of the dentist, who ought not 
to be allowed to file and scrape the teeth merely 
for the purpose of giving them an artificial reg- 
ularity and whiteness not bestowed by N'ature. 
When there is actual decay, then, and not till 
then, should he be permitted to make a free use 
of his instruments. The tartar which is apt to 
gather at the root of the teeth can be kept away 


by diligent cleaning ; but, if once allowed to ac- 
cumulate and harden, it will become necessary 
to remove it with a metallic scraper. As a gen- 
eral thing, a brush and water, if used sufficiently 
often, will be all that are required for cleaning 
the teeth. The only article that can be added 
with safety is a little good soap, like the English 

We are sorry to find that it is the belief of 
some dentists that that vilest of nauseous habits, 
tobacco-chewing, is favorable to the preservation 
of the teeth. This has long been the apology of 
our Southern and Western dames for their foul 
but favorite practice of dipping or besmearing 
their gums and teeth with snuff. Whatever 
good tobacco may do directly to the teeth is 
more than counterbalanced by the indirect in- 
jury they receive from the bodily disorders pro- 
duced by the excessive use of this popular weed. 

There can be no question that much smoking 
is fatal, if not to the soundness of the teeth, to 
their good looks, as it stains them with an ashy, 
fuliginous color. 



The Hand. — Its Beauty and Utility. — How to beautify the 
Hand. — Care of the Nails. — Hang-nails. — Snapping of the 
Fingers. — Dangers of the Practice. — Warts. — Sweating 
of the Hands. — The Foot. — The proper Form of the Shoe. 
— The Defects of the fashionable Shoe. — Corns. — Bun- 
ions. ^Ingrowth of the Nail. — A terrific Operation. — 
Sweating of the Feet. 

Sir Charles Bell, the great surgeon and 
anatomist, was so impressed with the adaptation 
of the hand to the various uses of man, that he 
made it the subject of the " Bridge water" trea- 
tise he was appointed to write. He could find 
no better proof of the manifestation of design on 
the part of the Creator throughout the whole 
human structure than in that small but most fin- 
ished piece of mechanism. The hand is indeed 
the most serviceable as well as graceful instru- 
ment with which man is endowed. It works so 
obediently to the will of its master that there is 
nothing within the range of human power that 
it can not perform. It records indelibly the 
quickest flash of thought, and gives, in a deadly 
stroke, terrible expression to the rage of man. 


Such is its flexibility and adaptiveness that it 
turns in a moment from a blow to a caress, and 
can wield a club or thread a needle with equal 

The hand can not only perform faithfully its 
own duties, but, when necessary, will act for 
other parts of the human frame. It reads for 
the blind, and talks for the deaf and dumb. 
Machinery itself is but an imitation of the hu- 
man hand on an enlarged scale ; and all the mar- 
velous performances of the former are justly due 
to the latter. It thus not only thoroughly per- 
forms its natural task, but, having the rare qual- 
ity of extending its powers, enlarges its scope of 
work almost indefinitely. With the steam-en- 
gine, made and worked by itself, the human hand 
executes wonders of skill and force ; and with 
the electric telegraph it, by the gentlest touch, 
awakens in an instant the sentiment of the whole 
world and makes it kin. 

"For the queen's hand," says an elegant writ- 
er, " there is the sceptre, and for the soldier's 
hand the sword ; for the carpenter's hand the 
saw, and for the smith's hand the hammer; for 
the farmer's hand the plow ; for the miner's hand 
the spade ; for the sailor's hand the oar ; for the 
painter's hand the brush ; for the sculptor's hand 
the chisel ; for the poet's hand the pen ; and for 


the woman's hand the needle. If none of these 
or the like will fit us, the felon's chain should be 
round our wrist, and our hand on the prisoner's 
crank." The hand was undoubtedly made for 
work, and should be used in accordance with its 

The labor of the hand, however, esi^ecially 
that of the lighter kind, which generally falls to 
the lot of woman, ought not to prevent a due at- 
tention to the preservation of all the grace and 
beauty with which Nature originally endowed 
it. The idea is prevalent that absolute small- 
ness, without regard to proportion, is essential 
to the beauty of a woman's hand. This keeps 
many a young girl idle, lest hj work it should 
become enlarged. The hand will undoubtedly 
increase in size by use ; but, if it only grows in 
proportion to other parts of the body, so far from 
this being an ugliness, it will be, according to all 
the laws of taste, a beauty. Fashion alone can 
find grace in a female hand dwarfed of its pro- 
portions by depriving it of its natural exercise, 
and by pinching it with a too short and narrow 
glove. Nothing is uglier, except it be a Chinese 
club-foot, to our sight, than those cramped paws 
of kid in which our fashionable women delight. 
All true artists have such a horror of them that 
they avail themselves of every pretext to keep 


them out of the pictures of their female sitters. 
The pinching glove, as generally worn, is not 
only excessively uncomfortable, especially in 
cold weather, but it permanently deforms the 
hand, rendering it lumpy and podgy. 

Much can be done by care to beautify the fin- 
gers, upon the grace of which depends greatly 
the beauty of the whole hand. The natural ta- 
pering length of these can only be preserved by 
removing from them all pinching manacles of kid 
and jewelry. Much of the beauty of the finger 
depends upon the proper treatment of the nails. 
These, if cut too close, deform the finger-ends 
and render them stubby. The upper and free 
border of the nail should always be left pro- 
jecting a line or so beyond the extremity of 
the finger, and be pared only to a slight curve, 
without encroaching too much on the angles. 
To preserve the half moon, or what the anato- 
mists call the lunula^ which rises just above the 
root of the nail, and is esteemed so great a beau- 
ty, care must be taken to keep down the skin, 
which constantly tends to encroach upon it. 
This should be done with a blunt ivory instru- 
ment, and the growth gently pushed away, but 
never cut. By this means, also, the production 
of the annoying " hang-nail" will be prevented. 
The habit of filing or scraping the nails is fatal 


to their perfection, as it thickens their substance 
and destroys their natural transparency. The 
ordinary finger-brush should alone be used for 
cleaning and polishing the nails. It is a curious 
fact that Rousseau, in his Confessions^ records 
the use of this simple instrument, now indispen- 
sable to every cleanly person, as proof of the 
excessive coxcombry of his friend, the courtly 
Grimm. Thus the luxury of one age becomes 
the necessity of another. 

The ugly habit of biting the nails is fatal to 
their beauty. They become excessively brittle 
in consequence, not being allowed time to ac- 
quire their natural toughness, and, moreover, the 
ends of the fingers, being unsupported, turn over, 
forming an ugly rim of hard flesh, which will pre- 
vent the regular growth of the nail. 

The not uncommon practice of snapping the 
fingers, as it is termed, is fatal to their good 
looks. It stretches and weakens the ligaments, 
and so enlarges the knuckles and joints that the 
whole hand becomes knotty and of a very un- 
sightly appearance. 

The wart is an ugly excrescence, but will gen- 
erally disappear, especially from the hands of the 
young, without any interference. It is better 
patiently to await this result than to make use 
of the knife or the caustic. The safest of these 


means is the acetic acid, which may be applied 
gently with a camel's-hair pencil, once each day, 
to the summit of the wart. Care should be tak- 
en to prevent this or any other powerful acid or 
caustic which may be used from touching the 
surroundings skin. It may be well, for this pur- 
pose, to cover the parts about the root of the 
wart with wax during the application of the 

There is a not uncommon affection of the 
hands, which the French might gently term an 
incommodite^ or an inconvenience, but which is 
a serious annoyance to the afflicted. This is 
a moist condition, which seems to resist all the 
ordinary efforts of absorption. Such hands are 
so constantly dripping with humidity that every 
thing they wear or touch becomes readily satu- 
rated. The glove shows the effect at once in 
ugly stains, and the bare hand leaves a blur of 
dampness upon every surface with which it may 
come in contact. Nothing can be so disagreea- 
ble as a grasp with the over-moist hand. 

This infirmity is not seldom constitutional, 
and, though difficult of eradication, may be 
greatly relieved. Whatever tends to strength- 
en the body will alleviate, if not entirely rem- 
edy, the excessive moisture of the hands. Ex- 
ercise in the open air, cold bathing, a generous, 


but not too stimulating diet, habitual composure 
of mind, and perhaps a daily draught of some 
mineral water or medicinal dose containing iron, 
are the best general means of treatment. The 
most effective local applications are the juice 
of lemon and starch powder. 

It may be doubted whether there exists 
throughout the whole civilized world a well- 
formed foot. Many exquisites of both sexes 
claim admiration for their pedal extremities, 
but it is the boots and shoes which cover them 
which we are called on to admire. Their feet, 
if bared, would present a very great divergence 
from the classical ideal of beauty. The firmly- 
planted foot, neither too large nor too small, but 
justly proportioned to the height and weight it 
sustains, the smooth surface and regularly-curved 
lines, the distinctness of the divisions and the per- 
fect formation of each toe, with its well-marked 
separateness, and its gradation of size and regu- 
larity of detail to the very tip of the nail, are 
now to be seen only in art. In Greek nature 
they were found, for the ancient sandal, which 
left the foot unfettered, gave freedom to the de- 
velopment of its natural grace and proportions. 
The modern boot or shoe, with the prevalent no- 
tion that every thing must be sacrificed to small- 
ness, has squeezed the foot into a lump as knotty 


and irregular as a bit of pudding-stone, where 
the distorted toes are so imbedded in the mass 
and mutilated by the pressure that it is impos- 
sible to pick them out in the individuality and 
comiDleteness of their original forms. 

The process of our dames hardly diifers from 
that of the Chinese women, whose feet, from the 
early age of five years, are so firmly bandaged 
that, as they say themselves, they become dead. 
The extremity below the instep is forced into a 
line with the leg, and two of the toes are bent 
under the sole, and the whole kept in this un- 
natural and painful position by leathern thongs. 
"The Chinese women, rich and poor, are all," 
says the traveler Hue, " lame ; at the extremity 
of their legs they have only shapeless stumps, 
always enveloped in bandages, and from which 
all the life has been squeezed out." 

Young Chinese girls who have not been prop- 
erly brought up, and acquired the accomplish- 
ment of lameness by means of a diligent torture 
of their feet from the earliest childhood, find it 
no easy matter to get married. This fashion 
of little feet is unquestionably most barbarous, 
absurd, and injurious to the development of the 
physical strength. "But what means," asks the 
despairing Hue, " are there of putting a stop to 
the deplorable practice? It is decreed by fashion, 


and who would dare to resist her dictates ?" He 
thinks the Europeans have no right to be very 
severe ujDon the Chinese. We may say the same 
in regard to our American dames, for do they 
not daily torture and deform their feet with 
tight shoes, and resemble in this respect — with 
a difference only in degree — their goat-hoofed 
sisters of the Flowery Kingdom ? 

As our coarse climate forbids the sandal, and 
renders the shoe necessary, care should be taken 
to adapt it as perfectly as possible to the natural 
conformation of the foot. It should be long and 
wide enough to admit of a free play of the toes; 
the space between the heel and sole of the shoe 
should be firm, and of a curve of the same height 
as the natural arch of the foot, while no part of 
the artificial covering should be so binding as to 
prevent the free action of the muscles and the 
circulation of the blood. 

The female shoe or boot now in vogue is, in 
some respects, very faulty. It has but one good 
quality, the square or broadly-rounded tip, which 
is conformable to the natural shape of the end of 
the foot ; and if not made, as it generally is, too 
tight, would be favorable to the free action so 
essential to the ease and beauty of the toes. The 
arch of the shoe is too high, and, pressing strong- 
ly upward, weakens and distorts that of the foot. 


This defect is increased by an inordinately high 
and narrow heel, which is, moreover, brought too 
far forward, with a view of giving an artificial 
appearance of shortness to the extremity. This 
position of the heel toward the centre of the foot 
has the same efiect as if the buttress of an archi- 
tectural arch was removed from the end to its 
middle. It takes away the strength of its nat- 
ural prop, and makes it a weakness. It is thus 
that our dames, in walking, have a hobbling gait, 
as if their feet were poised upon stilts. 

The comfort of the foot is only to be secured 
by a properly -made shoe, and its beauty pre- 
served by a freedom from unnatural constraint. 
Where is the modern beauty who would venture 
to uncover her feet before a royal admirer, as we 
are told Madame de Pompadour did not hesitate 
to do ? " That which especially astonished the 
king," says her biographer, "was a pair of pretty 
bare feet, worthy of marble and the sculptor, in 
a pair of the most rustic-looking wooden shoes. 
By a coquetry that was almost artless, the pretty 
milkmaid (the marchioness was thus disguised) 
placed one of her feet upon the outside of the 
wooden shoe. The king recognized the mar- 
chioness, and confessed to her that, for the first 
time in his life, he felt the desire to kiss a pretty 


Corns and bunions, those disturbers of human 
comfort, are not less fatal to grace than to ease. 
These ugly and painful excrescences are general- 
ly produced by an ill-fitting boot or shoe. Too 
much looseness of the covering of the foot, how- 
ever, is more apt to beget corns and bunions 
than excessive tightness. The clumsy, hob-nailed 
shoe of the plowman, " a mile too big," is oftener 
a cause than the pinching boot of the exquisite. 
The corn and bunion, which are produced by fric- 
tion and irregular pressure, are to be permanent- 
ly eradicated only by diminishing the one and 
equalizing the other. The employment of a skill- 
ful and judicious shoemaker, who forms his shoes 
to the feet, and not to the caprice of fashion or 
of the wearer, will prevent all occasion for con- 
sulting the pedicure^ or foot-doctor. If, however, 
by any mischance, this best of all preventives 
fails us, and for our sins we become afflicted 
with corn or bunion, our only resource is surg- 
ical treatment. This is simple, and can be ap- 
plied by most patients themselves. The excres- 
cence must first be pared down with a sharp 
knife, and then a piece of amadou, or spunk, as 
it is familiarly called, with a hole cut in its cen- 
tre as large as the circumference of the base of 
the corn, must be thrust over it, and kept in its 
place by adhesive plaster. This will equalize 


the pressure of the boot or shoe, and prevent it 
from rubbing upon the affected part. 

The tight shoe or boot, too narrowly toed, is 
exclusively responsible for that painful affection, 
ingroioth of the toe-nail. If treated in time, it 
can be easily and simply cured. All that is nec- 
essary is to scrape down the nail until it becomes 
quite thin, and then cut the projecting edge of it 
in a semilunar form, with its concavity looking 
outward from the foot. The nail of the great toe 
should always be thus pared, care being taken 
not to clip the angles. This causes it to grow 
tow^ard the centre, and shrink from the tender 
flesh at the sides. 

If the affection has been allowed by neglect 16 
become inveterate, the surgeon must be called in, 
and he will probably resort to an operation, which, 
though almost bloodless, is considered one of the 
most painful of surgery. So painful, indeed, was 
it known to be, that a famous Parisian surgeon, 
Velpeau, was in the habit, before the discovery 
of chloroform, of passing a bandage around the 
toe, and directing a strong assistant to tighten 
it with all his might, in order to dull somewhat 
the sensibility of the part. Chloroform now hap- 
pily fulfills the blessed service for the rendering 
of which this awkward process was barely a pre- 
text. Though the operation has thus become 


painless to the insensible patient, it has lost none 
of its horror to the spectator. The surgeon, 
grasping the toe, thrusts the sharp-pointed blade 
of a pair of scissors under the nail as far as it will 
go, and then, cutting it in two, tears out each 
half with a pair of pincers from the quivering 
flesh in which it has been long imbedded. No 
one, not even the slave of fashion, should submit 
to any form of the boot or shoe other than the 
broad-toed, Avhich is fortunately now in vogue. 

The foot, like the hand, is subject to the in- 
firmity of excessive perspiration. It is to be 
remedied by the same general and local treat- 
ment. The habitual daily washing of the feet 
♦should be with cold rather than Avith warm 
water, and a powder of starch or arrowroot, 
which it would be well to perfume with bitter 
almonds, orris, or some other no more intrusive 
odor, should be sprinkled in the inside of the 



The Power of Expression and Action. — Freedom and Grace. 
— A Talleyrand and a Rustic Antinous. — Lord Chester- 
field's awkward Man. — Too much Interference. — A whole- 
some Neglect. — Ugly Tricks of Expression and Gesture. 
— A wriggling Nose. — The Success of ugly Men. — Sub- 
mission to the Laws of Nature. — A modern Beauty con- 
fronted with the Venus of Milo. — Excessive Fatness and 
Thinness. — How to be Cured. — Deformities the Result of 
bad Management in Childhood. — Dancing. — Proper Ex- 
ercise. — Mind and Body. — Freedom from Restraint. 

It is true that regularity of feature and just- 
ness of proportion are essential to the perfection 
of grace. It is, however, no less true that ex- 
pression, action, and the general carriage of the 
person have more to do with the figure a man or 
woman may make in society than any original 
conformation of body. The laborer stripped to 
his work in the field may show a form like that 
of an Antinous, but, placed in the drawing-room 
by the side of a shriveled, limping Talleyrand, 
no one would fail to recognize the superior ele- 
gance .of the cultivated but naturally ill-favored 
Frenchman. The rustic Antinous, however, if 
surveyed among his native clods, will probably. 


as he follows the plow or rests upon his spade, 
show a natural grace of motion and attitude to 
which his laced and ruffled victor of the draw- 
ing-room could make no pretensions. On his 
own ground and in the performance of his habit- 
ual functions the laborer is at his ease, and each 
limb and muscle doing its allotted duty fully 
and freely, his whole well-proportioned frame ex- 
hibits all its natural grace. Transferred to the 
drawing-room, he feels the constraint of strange- 
ness, and with the blankness of clownish amaze- 
ment upon his face, and stiffness in his joints, 
the graceful Antinous of the plow becomes an 
inert monstrosity of human flesh. 

There is no more beautiful object in nature 
than a healthy, well-formed child sporting in the 
freedom of infancy and innocence. Let it be, 
however, suddenly placed in the company of 
strangers, and mark how awe* shadows the face, 

* Hogarth, in his Analysis of Beauty^ notices this effect 
upon children of the awe produced by the presence of stran- 
gers. He says : * ' It is the cause of their drooping and draw- 
ing their chins down into their breasts, and looking under their 
foreheads as if conscious of their weakness or of something 
wrong about them. To prevent this awkward shyness, par- 
ents and tutors are continually teasing them to hold up their 
heads, which if they get them to do, it is with difficulty, and, 
of course, in so constrained a manner that it ^ves the chil- 
dren pain, so that they naturally take all opportunities of eas- 
ing themselves by holding down their heads, which posture 


and constraint perverts every natural motion of 
its flexible body to distorted action. 

A sense of ease is essential to a graceful car- 
riage of the person, and this is chiefly to be ac- 
quired by habitual freedom of motion. All con- 
straint is therefore fatal to it, and none more so 
than that which comes from the strangeness of 
a novel position. Grace of bearing in society is 
almost impossible without frequent association 
with peo^Dle of renned manners. "Awkward- 
ness," says Lord Chesterfield, " can proceed but 
from two causes : either from not having kept 
good company, or from not having attended to 
it ;" and he show^s the eflect in this expressive 
picture : " When an awkward fellow first comes 
into a room, it is highly probable that his sword 

would be full as uneasy to them were it not a relief from re- 
straint ; and there is another misfortune in holding down the 
head, that it is apt to make them bend too much in the back ; 
when this happens to be the case, they then have recourse to 
steel collars and other iron machines, all which shacklings 
are repugnant to nature, and may make the body grow crook- 
ed. This daily fatigue, both to the children and parents, may 
be avoided, and an ugly habit prevented, by only (at a proper 
age) fastening a ribbon to a quantity of plaited hair, or to 
the cap, so as it may be kept fast in its place, and the other 
end to the back of the coat, of such a length as may prevent 
them drawing their chins into their necks ; which ribbon will 
always leave the head at liberty to move in any direction but 
this awkward one they are apt to fall into. " 


gets between his legs and throws him down, or 
makes him stumble, at least. When he has re- 
covered this accident, he goes and places him- 
self in the very place of the whole room where 
he should not. There he soon lets his hat fall 
down, and, in taking it up again, throws down 
his cane ; in recovering his cane, his hat falls a 
second time, so that he is a quarter of an hour 
before he is in order again. If he drinks tea or 
coffee, he certainly scalds liis mouth, and lets 
either the cup or the saucer fall, and spills the 
tea or coffee on his breeches. At dinner his 
awkwardness distinguishes itself particula'rly, 
as he has more to do ; there he holds his knife, 
fork, and spoon differently from other people, 
eats with his knife, to the great danger of his 
mouth, picks his teeth with his fork, and puts 
his spoon, which has been in his throat twenty 
times, into the dishes again. If he is to carve, 
he can never hit the joint, but, in his vain efforts 
to cut through the bone, scatters the sauce in 
ejerj body's face. He generally daubs himself 
with soup and grease, though his napkin is com- 
monly stuck through a button-hole and tickles 
his chin. When he drinks he infallibly coughs 
in his glass and besprinkles the company. Be- 
sides all this, he has strange gestures, such as 
sniffing up his nose, making faces, putting his 


fingers in his nose or blowing it, and looking 
afterward in his handkerchief, so as to make the 
company sick. His hands are troublesome to 
him when he has not something in them, and lie 
does not know where to put them, but they are 
in perpetual motion between his bosom and his 
breeches. lie does not wear his clothes, and, in 
short, does nothing like other people." 

Though it is by the example of good company 
that the outward graces are chiefly to be acquired, 
there is undoubtedly something to be learned 
from precept. Here, however, we w^ould put par- 
ents and those who have the control of the young 
on their guard against the nimia diligentia — the 
too great diligence, or excessive interference with 
nature, so emphatically denounced by the Roman 
satirist. The overbusy finger is nowhere more 
apparent than in the physical rearing of children, 
who are apt to be regarded merely as lumps of 
clay, to be fashioned at the will of their parents. 
They are, however, it should be recollected, liv- 
ing beings, with an inherent principle of growth 
which is to be developed. The main purpose of 
education should be to educe this original ele- 
ment, and allow it all the expansion of which it 
may be capable. It is, however, too often the 
practice of parents to do the reverse, and try to 
mould their children into forms of which Nature 
has given no indication. 


The artificial process begins as soon as the 
child is born. The very swaddling-clothes are 
so many bonds by which it is restrained of the 
natural freedom of its body, and its growth so 
directed that it may assume a shape conforma- 
ble to some conventional notion or other. This 
continues from infancy upward, and the dress is 
a constant obstacle to the natural development 
of the physical structure. Until the mother gets 
rid of the idea o^ giving a form to her child, and 
learns that it is her duty to accept what Nature 
bestows, the health and vigor of whole gener- 
ations will continue to be sacrificed. In early 
youth the great essential of physical development 
is freedom. The clothes, accordingly, should be 
so loose as to allow of the freest play of the very 
flexible body and limbs of infancy and childhood. 
In the cut of their garments no regard should be 
had to any fashion or notion of taste which may 
interfere with ease of movement. It is particu- 
larly important that there should be no obstacle 
in early life to the natural growth, for at that pe- 
riod the human structure is composed of a soft 
and pliable material, which may be made to as- 
sume almost any shape, however perverted ; and 
a deformity thus and then produced will remain 
a deformity forever. 

The over-anxiety of fastidious mothers in re- 


gard to the manners of their children leads also 
to an interference with their grace and vigor of 
growth. Romping boys and girls are often 
checked for being noisy, while they should be 
encouraged. Their racing and shouting are in- 
stinctive efforts at development, and essential to 
the strength of lung and muscle. Those who 
are unable to bear the noise of children are un- 
fit to have or take charge of them. 

The lengthened silence and constrained pos- 
tures imposed by most school-teachers upon their 
youthful pupils are as inhuman as they are ab- 
surd. Let any grown person, in the possession 
of all his maturity of strength and power of will, 
place himself or hold a limb in any fixed po- 
sition, and see how long he can do either. The 
action, however easy at first, is soon, if perse- 
vered in, followed by weariness and pain. There 
is only a single posture — that of lying at full 
length — which can be borne unchanged for a 
long time. All other positions of the body and 
limbs being assumed contrary to gravity, and 
consequently costing an effort of will and mus- 
cle, soon become wearisome, and finally impossi- 
ble. Muscular action requires variety for relief 
It is contrary to nature, therefore, for teachers 
and parents to enforce fixed positions upon their 
pupils and children. " Hold up your heads !" 


"Sit Straight !" "Keep down your hands !" "Don't 
lean on your elbows !" " Don't bend your knees 
in walking !" and the other importunate com- 
mands so often heard in the nursery and school- 
room, are not seldom harmful interferences with 
natural action. Nature, after all, is the best 
posture-master, and gives lessons not only of 
health, but of genuine grace. Let parents and 
teachers be less busy, and leave their children's 
bodies and limbs at least to their natural move- 
ments and attitudes. Such an abstinence of 
interference may appear to careful mothers a 
neglect, but we assure them that it would be a 
wholesome neglect. 

An awkward carriage or a graceless action, 
however, may become permanent from careless- 
ness in allowing the young to persist in ugly 
tricks of attitude, gesture, or expression until 
they are fixed into habits. There are many of 
the most ofiensive practices which can be traced 
to no other origin than this. We knew an emi- 
nent lawyer who had the ugly habit of wriggling 
his nose in such a manner that, though an ora- 
tor of unquestionable poAver, it was difficult to 
check the disposition to laugh even during his 
most serious efforts of eloquence, for his unfor- 
tunate proboscis seemed always to become ex- 
cited with the increasing warmth of his rhet- 


oric, and sympathetically to move in quickened 
action with the hurried flow of his words. This 
unfortunate nasal wriggle was the result of a 
trick assumed for diversion in childhood, but so 
often played that it became a habit too inveter- 
ate for control. 

Though any great deviations from the aver- 
age size of the human figure or features do not 
accord with the general notion of beauty and 
justness of proportion, it is wiser, as well as more 
decorous, to submit gracefully, than to make fu- 
tile attempts to hide or correct them. The short- 
ness of Chesterfield, the fatness of Fox, and the 
lameness of Talleyrand did not prevent them 
from shining as exemplars of grace and courte- 
sy. Three of the ugliest men who ever lived, 
Mirabeau, Wilkes, and Burr, had so far the pow- 
er of pleasing that few have ever equaled them 
in gaining the favors of the most beautiful wom- 

As no one of common decency will refer to the 
natural infirmity of any person, so the afflicted 
should make no allusion to it, as is too often done, 
for they only show, while pretending to indifier- 
ence, an excessive susceptibility. 

Good sense, and, therefore, good taste, for they 
are inseparably united, dictate submission to the 
laws of Nature. All interference, consequently, 


with the natural organization of the body should, 
as a general rule, be avoided. 

Women have been so often and emphatically 
reminded of the dangers of tight lacing that it 
is marvelous that they should persist in a prac- 
tice which they all must know to be at the risk 
of their lives. Nothing can better show the 
power of arbitrary Fashion than the subjection 
of its slaves to this torture of the frame, as fa- 
tal to beauty as to health. In reducing the 
centre of the body to an almost impalpable 
tenuity, while they laboriously strive, by bulg- 
ing cottoUj crinoline, and outworks of whalebone 
and wire, to give an unnatural fullness to other 
parts of the figure to which Nature has refused 
its fair share of substance, they set at defiance 
all the laws of proportion. As we stood admir- 
ing that most perfect conception of female grace, 
the Venus of Milo, in the Louvre, we took from 
the fair woman hanging to our arm her pocket- 
handkerchief, and made a comparative measure- 
ment of the ancient and modern beauties. This 
was the result : the waist of the statue measured 
32 inches in circumference, and the foot 11 inches 
in length. The waist of the living woman could 
barely, with all the aid of corset and the various 
layers of dress, expand to a circumference of 24 
inches, while her foot, with shoe and all, was less 


than 9 inches in length.* With these special 
diminutions, the modern beauty, however, was 
by no means generally of dwarfish proportions, 
and might, within her crinoline and Parisian 
width of drapery, have enveloped a whole brood 
of Yenuses. 

There are certain conditions of the human 
frame which are due to artificial habits of life. 
An excessive fatness or meagreness may, for ex- 
ample, be produced by the diet or regimen. In 
such a case it is obviously not improper to alter 
them, if thereby the undesirable state of the 
body can be modified. If over-eating or over- 
drinking bloats the face and expands unduly 
the girth, it is undoubtedly right to qualify the 
strength of the wine and curtail the length of 
the dinner- courses. People, however, who are 
constitutionally fat or thin, will find the attempt 
to shrink or expand themselves seldom success- 
ful, and not always safe. 

A certain plumpness is essential to the beauty 
of the female form ; but its excess is not consid- 
ered with us, at least, as an addition to the charms 
of woman. Africa alone, of all nations — though 
Turkey has a leaning that way — sets up fatness 
as a standard of beauty. Cuffey expands female 

* These measurements are in proportion to a length of 
stature of 5 feet 4 inches, which was that of the living person. 


loveliness beyond the limits of the embrace of 
any ordinary mortal, lards it with layers of fat, 
like a plump partridge prepared for the spit, and 
feasts his dainty imagination upon the oleaginous 
charms of female blubber. The Hottentot Yenus 
suckled her young over her shoulder, and carried 
the rest of her family upon her natural bustle. It 
is not often that our women, who are generally 
too nimble in mind and body for its accumula- 
tion, complain of fat. Some people, however, 
have a great tendency to it. This is often he- 
reditary, and shows itself in childhood. There 
are certain circumstances, moreover, which great- 
ly favor the development of fatness, whether orig- 
inal or acquirc;.d. Such are a sedentary life, hab- 
its of indulgence, want of light, frequent and pro- 
longed slumber, and physical and moral indo- 
lence. A life of wantonness and idleness is said 
to be the cause of the plumpness of the women 
of the East, and there is no reason why it should 
not have the same effect upon those of the West. 
The food, however, has more influence than 
any thing else upon the plumpness of the body, 
and the effect of quality is greater than that of 
quantity. Bread, butter, milk, sugar, potatoes, 
beer, and all spirituous liquors, are particularly 
fattening. The women of Senegal expand to an 
extraordinary degree of plenitude, in the course 


of a few months only, by gorging themselves 
with fresh dates. Any woman who is troubled 
with a superfluity of fat, and wishes to get rid of 
it, can succeed by persevering in a certain diet 
and regimen. She must live in a warm and dry 
climate, avoid those articles of diet which are 
especially fat-producing, and eat those which are 
not, with a plentiful supply of acids, lead an act- 
ive life, with brisk exercise both of body and 
mind, lie on a hard bed, and never remain on it 
long. To these may be added, with advantage, 
frequent rubbing of the body with a rough towel 
or brush, an occasional laxative, alkaline, sea, and 
vapor baths, with shampooing or kneading of the 
flesh. Iodine has been occasionally given and 
found useful. Banting, an Englishman, at the 
age of sixty-six years reduced himself from two 
hundred and two pounds (202 lbs.) to one hun- 
dred and fifty-six (156 lbs.) in twenty days by 
the following diet and regimen : For breakfast, 
4 or 5 ounces of beef, mutton, kidneys, bacon, or 
cold meat of any kind, with the exception of fresh 
pork ; a large cup of tea, without sugar or milk, 
a small biscuit, or an ounce weight of toast. For 
dinner, 5 or 6 ounces of fish (no salmon) or meat 
(no fresh pork) ; all kinds of vegetables except 
potatoes ; an ounce of toast ; the fruit, but not 
the paste of a tart ; poultry, game ; two or three 


glasses of good claret, sherry, or Madeira, but no 
Champagne, j)ort wine, or beer. For tea, 2 or 3 
ounces of fruit, about an ounce of toast, and a 
cup of tea without sugar or milk. For supper, 
3 or 4 ounces of such meat or fish as at dinner, 
with one or two glasses of claret. Before going 
to bed, if required, a glass of claret or sherry. 
This plan of Banting has been tried again and 
again with advantage, and without the least un- 
favorable accident. 

If there are some persons who are anxious to 
get rid of fat, there are many more, particularly 
in our country, who are desirous of acquiring it. 
Thinness is by no means the sign of a bad con- 
stitution. On the contrary, it often belongs to 
the most vigorous of our race. There are, more- 
over, some chaiming women, who, though en- 
dowed with every other personal attraction, are 
destitute of that fullness essential to the perfec- 
tion of the female form. Such, instead of griev- 
ing over an organic defect, and resorting to use- 
less and often injurious means to remedy it, 
should console themselves wi4ih their natural 
fineness of structure, lightness of movement, and 
the use of such resources as are furnished by a 
skillful toilet. A regular life, great moderation 
in pleasure, the avoiding of all social and other 
dissipation, moderate exercise, light occupation, 


freedom from nervous excitement, plenty of sleep, 
and a tranquil and contented spirit, will tend to 
give flesh to the most meagre. To these must 
be added a generous diet of meat, vegetables, 
farinaceous food of all kinds, and a moderate 
quantity of beer or wine. Fresh milk, taken 
early in the morning, is said to have a very fat- 
tening effect, and frequent warm baths, either 
simple or emollient, are indispensable. 

Dr. Cazenave says that there is nothing more 
likely to produce excessive thinness than im- 
moderate love, and especially jealousy. Saint 
Augustine, as quoted by Fenelon, in his treatise 
on the education of girls,^ays : " I have seen a 
baby in arms jealous ; it could not pronounce a 
single word, and already regarded with a pale 
face and angry eyes another infant who was be- 
ing suckled at the same time with it." This in- 
fantile jealousy is said to be a not uncommon 
cause of the wasting away of the youngest chil- 
dren. Care, therefore, should be taken to avoid 
exciting this pernicious passion by a just dis- 
tribution of care and caress among brothers and 

Ugly deformities are not seldom the result of 
placing children at the table in chairs of unsuit- 
able height. If the chair is too low, the arms 
are raised so high as to cause an unsightly ele- 


vation of the shoulders, and a consequent sink- 
ing, as it were, of the head. Should the chair, 
on the contrary, be too high, there must be a 
bending of the neck and upper part of the body, 
which, if the cause continues long enough, will 
finally produce a permanent stoop of the shoul- 
ders. The chair of the child should be of just 
the height to bring the eU^ows, in their natural 
position, to a level with the table. A too yield- 
ing seat, moreover, is bad, as it permits the sink- 
ing of the head between the shoulders, and a 
general drooping of the body. A firm wooden 
bottom, or, if not easily borne, a carefully stufi*- 
ed hair cushion shoijrid be su]3plied, and so ar- 
ranged that it may be raised or depressed to 
adapt it to the size of the child, or the position 
of the chair at a table or elsewhere. The lifting 
or suspension of children by leading-strings is 
apt to cause that ugliest of deformities, the sink- 
ing of the neck between the shoulders. 

An ugly gait is often acquired in childhood, 
which may continue throughout life, by the habit 
which careless or impatient ]3arents or nurses 
have of dragging along the little ones they are 
conducting, and forcing their toddling steps to 
keep pace with their own striding walk. 

In old times dancing was regarded not only 
as an elegant accomplishment, but as the only 


means for acquiring the fine and graceful gait 
suitable for the genteel walks of life. Locke, in 
his Treatise on Education, says : " Dancing, be- 
ing that which gives graceful motion to all our 
limbs, and, above all things, manliness, and a be- 
coming confidence to young children, I think can 
not be learned too early. Nothing appears to 
me to give children so much confidence and be- 
havior, and so to raise them to the conversation 
of those above their years, as dancing." 

^o one, we suppose, in these liberal days, 
strenuously opposes dancing if properly regu- 
lated, which it seldom is. Our young folks, en- 
couraged by their genteel mammas, cultivate it 
as diligently as if they thought, with the danc- 
ing-master in Moliere's comedy, that, though phi- 
losophy might possibly be somethmg, there was 
nothing so necessary to mankind as dancing. It 
is well, perhaps, that our little masters and miss- 
es should subject their flexible feet and limbs to 
a course of lessons under the fiddle-bow of the 
dancing-master, and keep themselves in training 
by an occasional quadrille or waltz. They may 
thus learn to walk their genteel parts in life with 
a more assured ease and grace. We can not, 
however, see the necessity of dancing the Ger- 
man from midnight to four o'clock in the morn- 
ing, six days out of the seven of each week. On 


the contrary, it is quite apparent to us that this 
is an excess which is wholesome neither for body 
nor mind. It is debauchery, not social enjoyment; 
and, while it may be favorable to freedom of com- 
munion and ease of manners, is conducive neither 
to a graceful address nor a decorous behavior. 

Dancing is a gentle exercise, favorable to the 
health and graceful development of the body, 
but, like all physical exercises, must be pursued 
at seasonable times, and under such circum- 
stances as are dictated by nature, or it will be- 
come hurtful. With every additional move- 
ment of the limbs the respiration is increased, 
and the lungs take in a larger supply of air ; 
and this, if not pure, will act upon the system 
with the virulence of a poison. We need hard- 
ly say, what Inust be obvious to every one who 
has breathed it, that the atmosphere of the 
crowded ball-room is not in the condition suit- 
able to health. The apartment is necessarily 
closed to the severe cold of the winter, and each 
one of the dense throng which usually gather^, 
at these fashionable dancing-parties is breathing 
fast under the general agitation of the dance and 
excitement. The pure air which may have at 
first existed is sucked up at once, and all, having 
eagerly consumed the vital element of oxygen it 
possesses, send it back with the poisonous con- 


stituent of carbonic acid gas. The whole room 
thus soon becomes filled with an atmosphere so 
vitiated that to breathe the least of it is inju- 
rious, and certainly the less of it taken in by the 
human lungs the better. The dancers, however, 
by their quickened motion and necessarily in- 
creased respiration, are absorbing the most of 
the poison, while at the same time each one is 
adding to its virulence. When the air is impure, 
the greater safety is in repose than in movement. 
Better no exercise at all than exercise in a poi- 
sonous atmosphere, such as must be breathed by 
our party-going beaux and belles six nights of 
the week out of the seven. 

The exercise of dancing under these circum- 
stances becomes a source, as we all know, of 
prostration and ill health. No frequenter of the 
crowded ball will pretend that he or she, after 
a long night's indulgence in its debaucheries, 
sleeps more soundly, awakes more refreshingly, 
and resumes the duties or labors of the day with 
a lighter step and a livelier spirit. The looks 
are certainly not improved. Whatever, there- 
fore, may be said in favor of fashionable dancing 
as a social element, it can not be justified as an 
exercise favorable to the health or beauty of the 

The best physical discipline is to be found in 


regular and cheerful exercise in the open air. 
Those sports, which are often termed manly, but 
are no less womanly, as riding, boating, ball- 
playing, and brisk walking, are the best means 
of not only giving strength to the body, but en- 
duing it with grace of form and motion. 

Such is the intimate relation betAveen the body 
and mind that it is impossible to do any good to 
either unless the actions of both are kejDt in har- 
mony. This truth is well demonstrated by the 
utter uselessness of all physical exercise for 
health's sake, and, we may say, for beauty's sake 
too, imless accompanied by a wholesome mental 
activity. Let any one, while depressed in mind, 
test his muscular power, and he will soon find 
how little able and disposed he is to use it. On 
the other hand, if he exerts his physical strength 
when under the animating influence of pleasur- 
able emotions, he is scarcely conscious of the ef- 
fort. If physical exercise is persisted in with the 
indisposition and incapacity for it that come from 
mental depression, the result is an excessive pros- 
tration, which is, of course, injurious to the health 
of the body. On the contrary, the exertion of the 
muscular force, stimulated and supported by a 
cheerful mind, can be continued almost indefi- 
nitely, with the good efiect of giving increased 
vigor to the whole human system. 


All plans of exercise should be based upon a 
regard to the harmonious action of mind and 
body. The solitary " constitutional" walk, as it 
is called, taken for health's sake, is of no benefit, 
for it can be seldom varied, and does not supply 
diversion tt) the mind, which continues to fret 
itself and weary the body. Horseback exercise 
is much superior, for the reason that in the man- 
agement of the beast there is necessarily a con- 
stant call upon the attention which keeps the 
mental faculties occupied, and thus relieves them 
of all depressing and exhausting influences. 

Those sports requiring physical efibrt and the 
open air are excellent for health, as they occupy 
the mind pleasurably at the same time that they 
exercise the body. It is surprising how much 
work can be got out of the muscles when stimu- 
lated to action by agreeable emotion. When 
the mind is cheerful, and thus emancipated from 
ca^re, the limbs become freer of movement, and 
of course all the motions and attitudes are more 
unconstrained and graceful. A child will run, 
and climb, and tumble, and shout, and indulge 
in boisterous effort of all kinds the whole day, 
describing in his vagaries endless lines of beau- 
ty, apparently without any fatigue, while en- 
gaged in play with his fellows ; but let him take 
the shortest and most composed walk with an 


elder, and he will hardly step a dozen paces be- 
fore he begins to lag back in weariness. 

The great point to be considered in any plans 
of exercise for the sake of health and grace is 
the intimate alliance between body and mind, 
and the necessity of providing simultaneously 
for the occupation of both. It matters little how 
the muscles are put into action ; but that form 
of physical exercise is the best which is accom- 
panied by the most agreeable mental emotions. 
Pleasant company will give a refreshing, whole- 
some, and graceful effect to a long walk, which, 
if taken alone, would only be stiff, wearisome, and 

It is a mistake to suppose that by any kind of 
fixed physical restraint the human figure can be 
moulded into beauty, or its movements turned 
to grace. The surgeon nowadays condemns en- 
tirely the bands, stocks, and torturing collars, 
and boots of iron, with which it was once the 
custom to strive in vain to bend and twist the 
youthful twig, and give it a desirable growth of 
manly or womanly grace. Where there is even 
a natural deformity, as, for example, in the com- 
mon bandy leg, it is found that it is more likely 
to be righted if left to the natural movement 
and growth of the body than if controlled by ar- 
tificial means. 


The straiglitness of the trunk of the body of 
the negro woman of our country and the peas- 
ant of Germany has often been noticed, and may 
be attributed perhaps to the habit common to 
both of carrying weights upon the head. Where 
there is a tendency in young girls to a stoop in 
the shoulders, it may be well to cause them to 
balance frequently upon their heads a book, or 
some other object, taking care, however, that it 
shall not be too heavy, for the excessive loads 
borne by the German women, though they nec- 
essarily give straightness to the back, produce 
deformity in other parts. 



American Ease. — Propriety of Posture. — A well-bred Person 
not Demonstrative.— ^Fuss. — Its Discomforts and Indeco- 
rousness. — The Free and Easy. — The Prim. — Fault of the 
American Walk. — ^Inelegant Attitudes and Gestures. 

With all the faults of manner of the American, 
no one would think of charging him with a want 
of ease. Generally feeling at home wherever he 
goes, he is as apt to be " hale fellow w^ell met" 
with the king on his throne as with the lackey 
at the palace door. He is not likely to be taken 
to account for too much stiffness of body and for- 
mality of address. His facility of converse and 
flexibility of limb are proverbial, and few can 
equal him in expansiveness of sprawl, reach of 
boot, and readiness of "jaw." He is unapproach- 
able as an acrobat, and his fine chair balance, or 
trick of heels up and head down, can not be sur- 
passed by any performer on the social stage. 
When he presents himself, he is not unlike the 
clown of our early remembrance, who came with 
a run, a spring, a somersault, and the shout " Here 
I am !" 

We think that many of our countrymen and 


countrywomen might be improved by more re- 
serve of manner and less flexibility of limb. 
Americans can dispense with much freedom of 
movement and looseness of posture, as indeed of 
ease of address, without any risk of incurring the 
imputation of being prigs. In society ordinarily 
termed good, it is not customary to sit upon 
more than one chair at a time, nor is the mantel- 
piece regarded as the proper place for the feet, 
however well turned the boot or delicately made 
the shoe. Sprawling of all kinds is avoided by 
well-bred people, who shun excessive ease as 
much as excessive formality. It may not be 
amiss to remind the heedless and the young 
that, on entering the room of the house of a 
stranger or that of a visiting acquaintance, it is 
not becoming to throw themselves at once on 
the sofa and stretch out their legs, or into the 
Voltaire or easy-chair, and sink iato its luxu- 
rious depths. The common seat will be select- 
ed by the considerate, and all the exceptional 
provisions for extra ease and comfort left un- 
touched until the invitation to enjoy them is 

A well-bred person is ordinarily disinclined to 

make a public demonstration of his most afiec- 

tionate feelings and tenderest sentiments. He 

therefore rarely kisses, weeps, embraces, or sighs 


98 FUSS. 

before strangers or formal acquaintances. Fuss 
is, above all things, his horror, and he strives to 
check every noisy or uneasy indication of emo- 
tion and passion. 

It has always been considered by the best-bred 
people that fuss of any kind was inconsistent with 
good manners. The English aristocracy, howev- 
er uuAvorthy of imitation in some respects many 
may deem them, are universally regarded as safe 
examples to follow in all matters of ceremonious 
behavior. Well, there is nothing a " My Lord" 
or "My Lady" so studiously avoids as fuss. 
• Quietness in all things is an essential element 
of a well-bred English person. He shuns all out- 
ward display of his personality. He cares not 
to be seen or heard, and rests content with being 
felt as a power in the land. He thus not only 
eschews noisy and grandiloquent talk, but all 
showy and nf)ticeable costume. His voice is low, 
his words simple, his action grave, and his dress 
plain. He holds himself so habitually under con- 
straint that his nerves never seem to vibrate 
with emotion. He becomes, as it were, an im- 
passible being, upon whom no external cause 
seems capable of making an impression. 

We do not wish to hold up the Lord Dun- 
drearys as models to our republican citizens to 
mould themselves by. The unemotional English- 


man, in his excess of impassibility, is a cold, un- 
feeling person, and only interesting as a humor- 
ous exaggeration in a farce. We do not desire 
that our red-hot enthusiasts should be cooled 
down to the extreme degree of that frigid John 
Bull who could look into the crater of Mount Ve- 
suvius and see " nothing in it," or quietly scan 
with his glass a drowning fellow-mortal, and re- 
fuse to lend him a helping hand because he had 
never been introduced to him. There is a wide 
range of the moral thermometer between the 
zero of English frigidity and the usual high de- 
gree of American ebullition. 

There is this obvious advantage in habitually 
checking the tendency to excitement, that we 
acquire such a control over our emotions that, in 
cases of emergency, our reason is left free to act. 
The film of feeling is removed from the eye, and 
the nature of the danger is clearly discerned. An 
excited person is always moving in a fog, and he 
may at any time plunge into a quagmire or fall 
headlong down a precipice. 

Fuss is a great obstacle to comfort. Its effect 
is not only to heighten the unavoidable miseries 
of life, but to create unnecessary ones. Its in- 
fluence is chiefly apparent in the small annoy- 
ances of daily existence. The heavy strokes of 
fate fall with such a crushing force upon the 


sensibility that it becomes at once too prostrate 
to be capable of fuss. Grief subdues and makes 
silent, but vexation excites and creates noise. 

It is astonishing how much misery — small, 
perhaps, in detail, but immense in the aggregate 
— is voluntarily imposed upon self and others by 
fussy people. Take, for example, the grossly 
exaggerated if not entirely simulated maladies 
which the fashionable doctors tell us form two 
thirds of their cases. What a fuss is made by 
the pretended victims ! and who can measure 
the degree of real suffering they inflict upon 
others ? How often are whole families, and even 
communities, made miserable by these chronic 
complainers, who not seldom survive long enough 
to worry out of existence several generations 
by unnecessary fuss 1 

Fuss is vulgarly supposed to be essential to a 
good housekeeper. It is not really so, for quiet 
is as necessary to excellence of housewifery as 
smoothness of work to goodness of machinery. 
It is quite a mistake to suppose that the una- 
voidable misery of " washing day" is more ef 
fectually got over by fussing about it the whole 
week before and after. It is no less so to imag- 
ine that the necessary evil of house-cleaning, or 
pickling, or any other domestic trial of period- 
ical occurrence, is to be endured more patiently 


by twelve months of daily anticipatory fussing. 
We doubt, moreover, whether we get a perfect 
and agreeable idea of cleanliness when constant- 
ly reminded, by the ever-present wet clouts, 
scrubbing-brushes, soap-suds, bare floors, and un- 
carpeted staircases, of the ceaseless eiforts of a 
fussy housekeeper. 

There is nothing more fatal to comfort as well 
as to decorum of behavior than Fuss. 

The excessive flexibility of limb which dis- 
tinguishes the American shows itself in the free 
use of his hands and arms, as well as legs and 
feet. He no sooner finds himself in the presence 
of a stranger than he coils his arms about his 
body and squeezes him into an appreciation of 
the warmth of his friendship, or awakens him 
by a sharp slap upon the back into a sudden 
consciousness of its strength. "Hands off*!" may 
be seen by a discerning person, as clearly as if 
the words were printed, to be posted all over 
well-bred people. There is nothing a fastidious 
person dislikes so much as the careless or inten- 
tional touch of the stranger. It behooves every 
one, therefore, to keep his eyes open, that he may 
read this warning, and recollect that he has no 
right of common in the shoulders of every fel- 
low-mortal he meets, however broad and easy 
of approach they may be. 


Of course it is not to be inferred that, though 
the "free and easy" may be the characteris- 
tic defect of the manners of most Americans, 
there are not some to be found whose prevailing 
fault is the reverse of an unconstrained ease. 
There are occasional persons to be seen, especial- 
ly in the eastern parts of our broad territory, 
whose practice, at any rate, if not theory, is by 
no means in the direction of Hogarth's wavy 
line of beauty. These good people of genuine 
Puritan descent have somehow or other con- 
founded morals with physics, and seemingly re- 
gard it as wicked to diverge from the line of the 
perpendicular as from religious rectitude. Prim- 
ness of manners is by no means graceful, and we 
would remind our young folks that their bodies 
are so constructed anatomically as to be capable 
of bending without breaking. In bowing or 
courtesying they will find it by no means fatal to 
their own gravitation and resistance to yield to 
the natural elasticity of their frames, though, if 
they refuse to do so, it may be try^ing to other 
people's gravity and self-command. 

Many dames, by not bending the knees, render 
their walk very ungraceful. The posture, more- 
over, if too rigid, particularly in sitting, has an 
exceedingly ugly look. Some folks are unable 
to sit on a chair, though they have so many op- 

now TO SIT IN A CHAIR. 103 

portunities of learning how to do it. While 
some never fairly get on a seat but to their 
own manifest discomfort and that of all who 
look upon their misery poise and balance them- 
selves on the sharp edge, there are others who 
roll their bodies up into heaps, as it were, and 
throw them with an audible bounce deep into 
the receptacle, whatever it may be. ^^ Every one 
seating himself should take his place deliberate- 
ly, and so completely that he may feel the full 
repose of the chair, which it is designed to give. 
The limbs, once at rest, should be moved, if 
moved at all, as noiselessly as possible ; and all 
extraordinary actions, such as lifting, for exam- 
ple, one leg high npon the other, and holding it 
there manacled by a grasp of the hand, should 
be avoided. A person striding a chair, and grind- 
ing his teeth, and thrumming his hands on the 
back, has by no means an elegant look to the ob- 
server before or behind. This practice, which is 
never becoming in any company, is simply inde- 
cent in that of women. 



The Expression. — How far Involuntary. — Laughter. — Its 
Propriety. — Its Advantages. — Blushing. — Shamefaced- 
ness. — Hawthorne in Company. — Great Men, Men of So- 
ciety. — The Disguises of Age. — Too much Hair. — Hair- 
dressing. — Misuse of the Nose. — Artificial Odors, 

The face may manifest, more or less indejDend- 
ently of the will, the character of the person, yet 
it can be made, by set purpose, to assume an ex- 
pression by no means indicative of the predomi- 
nating moral or intellectual quality. Thus there 
are some countenances, as those of the hypocrit- 
ical, which, by studied care and long practice, 
are made to give signs directly the reverse of the 
true character. There are others, again, in Avhich 
the expression is so designedly obscured that it 
may be totally unreadable. These are the in- 
scrutable faces which are not seldom found among 
consummate thieves and their- skillful catchers 
and detectives. 

The expression is undoubtedly greatly under 
the control which every polite person is con- 
stantly exercising. It often occurs that we are 
provoked to a manifestation of emotion the re- 
verse of what is proper to the occasion. The 


provocative is of course resisted, and generally 
with success, by the decorous. No decent per- 
son laughs at a funeral or weeps at a wedding, 
although the disposition is not seldom strongly 
felt to reverse the conventional order of the tear 
and the smile. 

It would seem that polite persons are expect- 
ed to cultivate a uniform composure of face. 
Lord Chesterfield says, " I am sure that, since I 
have had the full use of my reason, nobody has 
ever heard me laugh," and denounces " frequent 
and loud laughter as the characteristic of folly 
and of ill manners." So far his lordship may be 
right, and we agree with him when he adds that 
people of sense and breeding should be above 
laughing at bufibonery or silly accidents; but 
we protest against his broad assertion that 
"there is nothing so illiberal and so ill bred as 
audible laughter," and that. " true wit or sense 
never yet made any body laugh ; they are ^bove 
it ; they please the mind, and give a cheerfulness 
to the countenance." 

Laughing inappropriately and on all occasions 
is certainly an ofiensive habit. This is partly 
attributed by Chesterfield to awkwardness and 
mauvaisG honte^ and he gives as an example the 
case of a famous poet. "I know a man," says 
he, " of very good parts, Mr. Waller, who can 


not say the commonest thing without laughing, 
which makes those who do not know him take 
him at first sight for a natural fool." 

Much can be said in favor of laughter. So- 
cially it has the inspiriting influence of Cham- 
pagne, promoting general gayety. Of course, op- 
portunity and a decorous moderation should reg- 
ulate the indulgence in this, as in all other pleas- 
ures; but we protest against the total banish- 
ment of hearty laughter from polite society. 
Its good efiects upon the individual, as well as 
upon mankind in the aggregate, can not be 
spared. Without it, the national character 
would wither to a dryness in which there would 
be no succulence of humor, physical or moral, 

Laughter, w^hich is the ordinary physical man- 
ifestation of the sentiment of mirth, is peculiarly 
favorable to health. Its action, starting with 
the lungs, diaphragm, and contiguous muscles, 
is conveyed to the whole body, " shaking the 
sides," and producing that general jelly-like vi- 
bration of which we are so agreeably conscious 
when under its influence. This wholesome ex- 
ercise is, moreover, preceded and accompanied 
by a gently exciting emotion of the mind, than 
which nothing can be more favorable to the 
health. The human being thus receives, mental- 


ly and bodily, an impulse which gives renewed 
force to every vital organ. The heart beats 
more briskly, and sends its life-giving fluid to 
the smallest and most distant vessel. The face 
glows with warmth and color, the eye brightens, 
and the whole temperature of the body is height- 
ened. When laughter and the emotions which 
provoke it become habitual, the eflbct is to in- 
crease the insensible perspiration of the skin, to 
quicken breathing, and expand the lungs and 
chest, to strengthen the power of digestion, and 
favor nutrition. The proverb " Laugh and grow 
fat" states a scientific truth. Shakspeare recog- 
nizes the influence of mirth upon the human 
body in his description of the " spare Cassius :" 

*' Seldom he smiles." 
It is a well-known fact that joy and its mani- 
festations are the best sharpeners of the appe- 
tite. Dyspepsia has been truly said to com- 
mence oftener in the brain than in the stomach, 
being so generally produced by anxiety of mind 
and want of cheerfulness. A social feast, with 
its accompaniments of jollity and good-fellow- 
ship, is less apt to disorder a delicate digestion 
than the solitary anchorite's crust and cress. 

The agreeable emotions are the most eflective 
preventives of disease. During the prevalence 
of epidemics the courageous and cheerful are 


seldom attacked. The plague, it has been said, 
is a magnanimous enemy, and sj)ares the brave. 
Those who give way to the depressing emotions, 
such as fear and anxiety, are, on the contrary, 
the first victims. There is an Eastern apologue 
which describes a stranger on the road meeting 
the Plague coming out of Bagdad. " You have 
been committing great havoc there," said the 
traveler, pointing to the city. " Not so great !" 
replied the Plague. " I only killed one third of 
those who died ; the other two thirds killed 
themselves with fright." The doctors tell us 
that a man may be daily exposed for weeks or 
months, perhaps for years, to marsh miasms or 
malaria, to the contagion of the most malignant 
diseases — typhus fever, scarlatina, or cholera — 
with impunity, provided he keeps up a merry 
heart. The Walcheren pestilence, which proved 
finally so destructive to the British troops, nev- 
er tainted a soldier with its fatal touch until the 
expedition became manifestly a failure. While 
cheered by the hope of victory, each bid defiance 
to disease; when depressed with certainty of 
defeat, every one became a ready victim. 

Cheerfulness is not only an effective prevent- 
ive of disease, but an excellent remedy. Noth- 
ing is observed to be so unfavorable to the re- 
turn to health of a sick man as despair of him- 


self, while hopefulness of his own case acts as 
the most potent restorative. 

Lord Bacon says: "To be free-minded and 
cheerfully-disposed at hours of meat, and slee]), 
and of exercise, is one of the best precepts of 
long lasting." It may be doubted whether a 
lugubrious man ever fulfilled the allotted period 
of threescore years and ten, while it is notorious 
that all those who have greatly surpassed it have 
been mirthful persons. 

The celebrated Sydenham was so persuaded 
of the efficacy of cheerful emotions in the treat- 
ment of disease, that he was accustomed to rec- 
ommend to his patients the perusal of " Don 
Quixote," saying, " If you want to get well, read 
that and laugh." 

Blushing, which, as a sign of modesty, may be 
commendable in the young, especially of the fe- 
male sex, is by no means always pleasing and 
worthy of encouragement. When immoderate 
and inopportune, it becomes a social nuisance. 
There is a false shame, or 'inauvaise honte^ as the 
French call it, which is the very reverse of true 
modesty. The usual signs of the fictitious qual- 
ity are shyness, with the common accomj)ani- 
ments of frequent and ill-timed blushing, hesi- 
tancy of speech, hanging of the head, downcast 
eyes, sidelong glances, shambling and stumbling 


gait, restlessness of posture, and a general air of 
voluntary shrinkage, if Ave may be allowed the 
term. This false modesty is the result of a 
genuine vanity, which, overestimating self, fan- 
cies it the object of universal attention. This 
naturally begets a sensitiveness and an anxiety 
about personal appearance so great that they 
embarrass the whole behavior ; for these excess- 
ively vain persons, fancying all eyes constantly 
upon them, would desire to make a figure in so- 
ciety of which they are manifestly incapable. 
Of this they are the first to become conscious, 
and their hopelessness of success is j)ainted in 
strong colors upon the face, and visibly imjoress- 
ed upon every limb and feature. There are per- 
sons who live to an advanced life, and yet retain 
this mauvaise honte. It has often proved fatal 
to the social qualities of some who have been 
otherwise singularly well adapted not only to 
receive from society, but to bestow upon it, 
both distinction and happiness. Hawthorne, our 
American genius, of whom we are justly proud, 
was so afHicted with this mauvaise honte that, 
with a head like that of Jove, and a natural maj- 
esty that might have become the throne of 
Olympus, w^ould shrink, blush, hang his head, and 
hesitate in speech before a stranger, like an awk- 
w^ard school-boy. In his case, it is true, if there 


was self-consciousness of importance, it was great- 
ly justified, but it is no less true that its excessive 
manifestation made him entirely impracticable as 
a member of general society, which was undoubt- 
edly the chief loser in this instance, though ordi- 
narily it is not. If men of genius, like Lafon- 
taine, Cowper, and Hawthorne, may be allowed to 
turn their heads and fly from the ordinary world, 
it is not permissible for the every-day people of 
whom society is generally composed to shirk 
the duties such a brotherhood imposes. All 
young men and women should be held amenable 
to the obligations of social decorum ; and, in 
case of neglect or disobedience, nothing less than 
genius, and that not without a thorough sifting 
of the claim, should be received in extenuation. 
It is not to be inferred that great endowments 
of intellect are necessarily or even commonly 
associated with a deficiency of social qualities. 
Shakspeare, Bacon, Newton, Franklin, and Scott 
were men of society. All, indeed, were public 
personages, and called upon to fulfill duties which 
any false modesty would have rendered imprac- 

The art of " growing old gracefully" is shown 
in no respect more evidently than by the dis- 
cretion with which the marks of age are treated. 
No devices to give a deceitful apj)earance of 


youth can be justified by the sense of fitness and 
good taste. False hair, more particularly, is 
among the ugliest of shams, and, though made* 
temporarily current by the sanction of fashion, 
can not withstand the test of a severe decorum. 
Old people of the best breeding now seldom re- 
sort to the hair-dresser to refurbish their shat- 
tered and decaying frames. The wig and dye- 
pot are, we are pleased to announce, going out 
of fashion. 

The hair of the young, according to our taste, 
should indicate as little as possible the artifi- 
cial touch of the coiffeur. At any rate, any 
marked evidence of his fanciful, oily, and odor- 
ous fingers is always disgusting. When once 
the head has been properly arranged, it is well 
to avoid all farther interference with it. The 
practice, so common with men, of passing the 
hands through the locks, and of women of titi- 
vating them with their gentle touches, is filthy, 
and not becoming before company. The use of 
a comb, or even its habitual carriage in the pock- 
et, is irreconcilable with all mcety. of manners. 
Some otherwise very decent peopje, however, 
have this vile practice, and it is not uncommon 
to find them deliberately combing themselves at 
the table common to many guests. 

The nose is the most prominent and noticeable 


feature of the face, and, as its functions are not 
all of the noblest kind, it especially behooves 
people who desire to be nice to avoid drawing 
attention to them. Consequently, all its require- 
ments should be attended to in the quietest and 
most private manner possible. It should never 
be fondled before company, or, in fact, touched 
at any time, unless absolutely necessary. The 
nose, like all other organs, augments in size by 
frequent handling, so we recommend every per- 
son to keep his own fingers, as well as those of 
his friends or enemies^ away from it. 

We need hardly protest against the misuse of 
the nose in turning it into a dust-hole or a soot- 
bag, for the habit of snuff-taking has gone so out 
of fashion that we can hardly find now even a 
grandmother to venture upon a pinch. This hab- 
it, apart from its filthiness, weakens the senses of 
smell and hearing, and perverts the human voice 
to a grunt by thickening the soft and sensi- 
tive membrane which extends without a break 
through the nose, ear, and throat, every part of 
which is reached by the irritating particles of 
the tobacco inhaled. 

Most nations, not content with the sweet 
odors* that ISTature so bountifully supplies, re- 

* The labor and cost which man will endure for the small 
luxury of a smell are exemplified by the difficulty and ex- 

114 ODOKS. 

sort to artificial sources. The most refined peo- 
ple, however, avoid as much as possible personal 
perfumes, and hold that the absence of all odor 
is the best savor of human communion. They 
agree with Lord Bacon that the " breath of flow- 
ers is far sweeter in the air, where it comes and 
goes, like the warbling of music, than in the 
hand." Those of nice taste eschew all perfumes 
but those which are evanescent, such as Cologne 
and the like. It is a curious fact that the eau 
de Cologne is a native of that worst smelling 
of cities where Coleridge smelt we forget how 
many stenches. This seems to confirm the sus- 
picion that a perfume is but a mask for an ill 
odor. The Cologne owes its well-deserved repu- 
tation to the harmonious mixture of a variety 
of essences, chiefly those of lemon, juniper, and 
rosemary, so well combined that there is no pre- 
dominating smell. It is, moreover, very evanes- 
cent, and has a spirituous and enlivening scent, 
which causes it to be used rather for one's own 
refreshment than for the delectation of others. 
This should be the rule in regard to all perfumes. 

pense of manufacturing the attar or otto of roses. Two grains 
only, it is said, of oil can be squeezed with the utmost care 
from a thousand roses, and this is sold in India, on the spot 
where it is made, for fifty dollars in gold a rupee in weight, 
which is about 176 grains. At two grains a thousand, a ru- 
pee of oil would require nearly ninety thousand roses ! 


They should be kept as far as possible for the 
individual, and never employed so strong as to 
penetrate the surrounding atmosj)here. All in- 
tensely adherent smells, such as musk, should be 
carefully eschewed. 



Discreet Use of the Eye. — Familiar Glances. — The Fashion 
of Eye-glasses. — Fast Girls. — Winking. — Sleeping in 
Company. — The Somnolence of Washington Ining. — 
Ear-boring. — Its Cruelty and Barbarism. 

As the eye is the most expressive feature of 
the face, so is it the one above all which should 
be used with particular discretion. The two ex- 
tremes of shyness and boldness, as indicated by 
the downcast look and the staring, are equally 
unbecoming. During ordinary social intercourse 
with an equal, the eyes should be raised to his 
or hers with a regard neither very unsteady nor 
fixed. The look must not be staring or scrutin- 
izing, but mildly inquiring and sympathetic. 

We doubt whether the free interchange of 
glance between those of opposite sex, so com- 
mon even among the pretenders to good breed- 
ing, can be justified by the principles of true de- 
corum. There is to be noticed in the public 
promenades, the ballrooms, the operas, the thea- 
tres, and even in the churches, a wondrous famil- 
iarity of look between our beaux and belles, who, 
though strangers to each other, thus seem to have 


established, in the twinkle of an eye, an intimacy 
of intercourse they would never acknowledge. 

The free eye is a marked characteristic of the 
libertine, and all modest women should turn per- 
sistently from its roving and unlicensed glances. 
Some young girls of the fast kind, with an auda- 
cious defiance of conventional propriety, and yet ■ 
often with no thought of ofiense against real mod- 
esty, will not only recklessly dally with these in- 
trusive looks, but not seldom venture a cast of 
them on their own account. 

There are fast women every where, but the 
fast girl seems to be more particularly an Amer- 
ican product. A tendency on the part of the 
young, unmarried female to eccentric flights of 
any kind is effectually checked in most countries 
by parental control. This continues to assert it- 
self vigorously until marriage. A young girl in 
Europe, except in England, where the social cus- 
toms are more like our own, has thus little op- 
portunity of indulging in festness or any other 
maiden vagary. 

The unmarried American woman is discerned 
at once by the freedom of her manners. Her 
bearing, of course, is modified more or less by 
the natural disposition, education, and surround- 
ing influences; but there is always apparent, 
even in the most reserved, that sense of inde- 


pendence characteristic of the republican maid. 
You see at once, in the face of the most modest, 
the well-assured look of the conscious will. 

Without the least disposition to fasten Euro- 
pean social fetters upon our daughters of Free- 
dom, we would remind them that there are cer- 
tain laws of taste and propriety as obligatory on 
their obedience as upon that of their sisters of 
monarchical England or imperial France. Lib- 
erty is not necessarily license, and the claim to 
the one is not to be vindicated by the lawless- 
ness of the other. The American girl is no more 
free by right than any other to indulge in those 
bold coquetries with indecorum, whether of 
dress, conversation, or manners, comprehended 
within the slang term of fastness. It is, more- 
over, a paltry ambition, and not w^ithout risk to 
virtue, to aspire to the distinction of being point- 
ed out as " the low-necked" Bel Smith, or the 
"high-stepping'' Fanny Jones, or the girl who 
drank a whole bottle of Champagne, or she who 
smoked one of Frank Tripup's fifty-cent regalias. 
These, or the improprieties they may symbolize, 
are too common to be considered any longer ec- 
centricities. They are indeed fast becoming sucli 
prevalent characteristics as to mark the type of 
the young girl of fashion. Her essential defect 
is a vulgar ambition for notoriety. She will en- 


dure any thing but obscurity, and therefore takes 
care that she is seen, heard, and talked of by all 
the world. Her dress is accordingly flaunting, 
her voice loud, her words slangy, her eye staring, 
her manners obtrusive, and conduct audaciously 
irregular. All this may be, and is, doubtless, 
done without any overt act of vice, but it looks 
so much like it that the difference is hardly per- 
ceptible to the external observer. In fact, it 
seems to be the purpose of the fast damsel to as- 
sume the semblance of wickedness, for in this ex- 
hausted age the piquancy of sin is essential to 
awaken admiration; and hypocrisy, ceasing to 
pay its tribute to virtue, pays it to vice. The 
danger of this is obvious, for familiarity with the 
forms is apt to endanger indifference to the sub- 
stance. The effect upon manners and character, 
even when the last and fatal step is not taken, 
is exceedingly hurtful. The young maid, in drop- 
ing her reserve, loses her distinctive charm, and 
the steady eye and defiant forehead alarm those 
to whom the look of modesty is so alluring. The 
bold and flaunting girl can never become the or- 
derly housewife and patient mother, for will she 
be contented to perform the quiet duties of home, 
and accept the secret approval of her own con- 
science, after having been accustomed to public 
display and notoriety ? 


It would seem that American parents might 
curtail somewhat the liberty of their children, 
without interfering too much with that inde- 
pendence of action so essential to the strength 
of character;. Girls are allowed to consider them- 
selves women too soon, and are thus premature- 
ly emancipated from parental control. They are, 
moreover, after leaving school, permitted to re- 
main mistresses of their own time, when they 
should be held in subjection to a systematic dis- 
cipline of study and conduct. With less idle 
time and a more watchful parental care, there 
would be fewer of those fast girls, whose eccen- 
tricities are becoming daily more remarkable and 
alarming, and who are destined, if not checked 
in their growth, to have a disastrous effect upon 
social manners and morals. 

After this long digression, into which we have 
been led by the convenience of the occasion and 
the importance of what we had to say, we return 
to our subject. The functions of the natural eye 
and eye-glasses are much abused. It is quite clear 
that the whole world of fashion has not all of a 
sudden become so afflicted with shortsighted- 
ness as to render the use of artificial means for 
its relief universally necessary. Nine tenths of 
the people, male and female, who are constantly 
eying the universe and each other through glass. 


require no other medium than the one provided 
by Nature. Nothing can be more ill bred, and 
we assert it in the face of assenting Fashion, than 
ogling a stranger in the streets through an eye- 
glass — 

" Gorgonizing him all over with a stony British stare," 
or surveying an opposite neighbor at the theatre 
with a lorgnette. 

We were witnesses of a deserved rebuke gen- 
tly given by a priest at Notre Dame^ in Paris, 
to a young American girl who, during matins, 
was freely using her eye-glass. He touched her 
arm, and indicated her wrong -doing with a 
frown so polite that it might almost be taken 
for a smile. She received the chiding with a 
graciousness which nearly atoned for her sacri- 
legious offense, and the fair penitent will, we are 
sure, sin no more in this respect, wherever she 
may go. 

Winking and all knowing glances had better 
be left to the horse-jockeys and the frequenters 
of the bar-rooms, billiard saloon, and gambling- 
tables. It would seem hardly necessary to re- 
mind any one of the indecorousness of sleeping 
in company, but it must be recollected that the 
obligation is equally urgent upon all not to put 
people to sleep. It is the duty of every one to 
be wakeful ; it' is equally so to be as little som- 


niferous in matter and manner as possible. An 
illustration is given in Vivian Gray of the som- 
nolency of Washington Irving, who, according 
to the author, D'Israeli, was taken up bodily from 
a dinner-table where he had fallen asleep, and 
did not awake until set down in the midst of 
an evening party. This, if true, should be put 
down rather to the account of the stupidity of " 
London dinners than the impoliteness of Irving, 
who, of all men, was the most courteous. 

The ear is naturally one of the most retiring • 
features of the face, and therefore less often of- 
fends than is offended against. We may sug- 
gest, however, the propriety of restricting to 
the private dressing-room all that is necessary 
for its toilette, as well as that of the rest of the 
person. The insertion of the finger or any in- 
strument into the passages of the ear, however 
necessary for keeping that important organ in 
proper order, is entirely an operation of private, 
and not public interest. 

We must here, even at the risk of a universal 
oh ! from all womankind, protest against the 
barbaric practice of ear-boring, to which they 
cling with a singular persistence. It would be 
as difficult, probably, to dissuade our dames 
from making holes in their ears and hanging 
trinkets to them as it would be to induce a fe- 


male Hottentot to forego the national fashion 
of piercing the cartilage of her flattened nose 
and suspending from it a ring, large and heavy 
as an iron cable-link, or prevent a Feejee Island- 
er from tearing with a jagged fish-bone a rent 
in the nether lip big and ugly as her voracious 
mouth. The practice, however, of so-called civ- 
ilized women is no less barbaric than that of 
these savage females. 

The woman of ancient Greece, true to the in- 
stinctive sense of beauty and cultivated grace 
of her race, trusted to the developments of her 
natural charms for attractive force, and scorned 
all adornments which were not inherent in her 
own person. Fancy those beautiful ear-pulps 
of the Venus of Milo, just peeping from below 
her wavy garland of hair, bored through and 
through, and dragged out from their cozy shel- 
ter by heavy pendants of gold, silver, or what 
not. Who would not be struck aghast at such 
a sacrilege of art and nature ? 

More modern art accepted these barbaric bau- 
bles. Titian, for example, puts them in the ears 
of his Venus, but in the voluptuousness of that 
conception how great is the change, we might 
say degradation, from the God-like chasteness 
of the Greek ideals of beauty ! 

So fixed is the attachment of modern women 


to this Ugly and barbaric practice, that they not 
only persist themselves in wearing ear-rings, but 
enjoin it almost as a duty upon their daughters 
to do likewise. No sooner has the offspring of 
fashion, Miss Arabella Augusta, or plain Maggie 
of the common world — for the habit is universal 
— completed her first decade, than she is taken to 
some jeweler or surgeon (for there are even sur- 
geons found thus to degrade their noble art) to 
have her ears hored. The little ones seldom go 
unwillingly, so early are they disposed to offer 
themselves as sacrifices to that exacting deity. 
Fashion. In fact, we know of one impatient lit- 
tle hussy who, unwilling to bide her mother's 
time, actually dropped the stocking she was 
darning, and with the great needle deliberately 
pierced holes in her ears, and left in each a 
string of yarn to fester and complete the muti- 

The ordinary process of ear-boring is simple, 
and seldom either very painful or dangerous, 
although there are cases recorded of erysipelas 
and death having followed. The operator, be 
he jeweler or surgeon, holds a cork firmly against 
one side of the lobe of the ear, while from the 
other side he transfixes it with a needle or an 
awl, as a saddler punches a hole into a leather 
strap. Then a thread is passed through and 


left to fester, so that the opening once made 
may not close again. Familiar as you are with 
the process, for it is being performed in each 
day's light of this civilized land, gentle and 
Christian dames, does not this description of it, 
when deliberately read, sound like that of the 
barbarous practice of savages in some far-off 
country of heathenism ? 

By hazard we once saw a young girl thus 
mutilated. She came into a jeweler's shop 
clinging to a great blowzy woman bejeweled all 
over from the lobes of her ears to the tips of her 
fingers, and her toes too, for what we know. 
The child was pale, but was biting her lower lip 
with a spasmodic fixedness of resolution. The 
operator, a great whiskered fellow, after fum- 
bling about for his tools, finally brought out his 
awl and cork and began the operation. With 
the mere touch of the cutting instrument the 
poor child winced for the first time, and as the 
man, who was somewhat of a bungler, forced his 
way, boring through the tender flesh, a tear was 
wrung from each little eye, and drop after drop 
of blood fell and splashed, making great red 
stains upon her linen collar. The child only bit 
her lip more firmly, but evidently could hardly 
restrain herself, and would have cried if her van- 
ity had allowed. The operator coolly wiped his 


bloody instrument, and the mother warmly- 
scolded the child for letting the blood drop 
upon her collar, and, paying the price of her 
child's mutilation, walked away, still grumbling 
at the stains. 

Mothers will sometimes* when pressed hard 
to answer for this barbarity, declare that boring 
the ears is good for the eyes. This is a vulgar 
error, and only worthy of a greasy ship's cook 
or ignorant Maltese sailor, who wears ear-rings, 
as he says, for the same reason. 

N^either is there beauty or fitness in the prac- 
tice of hanging the ears with trinkets. The ear 
was intended to lie half concealed by the hair, 
and any thing attached to it brings it into un- 
due prominence. The ear-ring, however pre- 
cious and pretty in itself, does not add beauty 
to that rarest of possessions, a small and well- 
formed ear, while it draws attention to a big 
oyster-like one, and intensifies its ugliness. 



Purity of Speech. — Effect of refined Association. — Exagger- 
ation of American Talk. — Fashionable Falsehood. — Plain 
Speaking. — Prudishness of Speech. 

Good early culture and habitual association 
with refined persons are undoubtedly essential 
to give purity to speech and the highest tone 
of refinement to conversation. There are many 
persons who have diligently perfected themselves 
in a knowledge of the laws of grammar, and be- 
come familiar with the style of the chastest writ- 
ers, and yet can not utter a phrase without be- 
traying the barbarism of a rude origin. It is 
not uncommon to find people learned in- all the 
rules of syntax, and capable of applying them to 
the art of writing, who habitually speak incor- 
rectly. Those, too, who are precisians in speech 
are often ignorant of, and unrestrained by, the 
laws of grammar in writing. A correct and re- 
fined pronunciation, especially, is only to be ac- 
quired by hearing it constantly, and from the 
earliest age, from the lips of those who habitu- 
ally use it. It is said that Sir Kobert Peel, the 
great English statesman, with all the refinements 


of his school, collegiate, and social relations, was 
never thoroughly able to overcome the early in-, 
fluence of his humble Lancashire origin, and that, 
during all his life, the h was to him, as to most 
of his countrymen, a constant stumbling-block. 

It would be presumptuous to pretend to give 
precepts for the acquisition of a refined speech, 
which is only to be obtained by personal com- 
munion with the expert. It is well, however, to 
suggest the importance of keeping the young, as 
far as possible, within the sound of pure speak- 
ing, and not trust to the schoolmaster and the 
rules of grammar for perfecting them in the re- 
finements of speech. The choice of servants be- 
comes important in this regard, and we doubt 
whether the rude peasants of the Black Forest 
and bogs of Connemara, to whom we commonly 
intrust our little ones, are better suited to give 
sweetness of voice, justness of emphasis, and cor- 
rectness of expression than refinement of man- 
ners to the future cavaliers and dames of Amer- 

Although we can not pretend to give perfec- 
tion to the use of mouth and tongue by any thing 
we may say, we shall venture to utter a few warn- 
ings, with the hope of preventing the abuse of 
those flexible and easily perverted organs. 

Loudness, or what the French call the criard^ 

SLANG. 129 

is peculiarly an attribute of American talk, and 
is not favorable to purity of diction or clearness 
of thought. This style of conversation is marked 
by the free use of intense and high-sounding ad- 
jectives, generally employed in their superlative 
degrees. These, moreover, are often most ludi- 
crously misapplied. For example, we hear the 
'.' splendidest" vreather,the "most beautiful" ice- 
cream, the "sweetest" clergyman, the "most ele- 
gant" sermon, the " awfulest" fine w^hiskers, the 

"terrible dress that horrid Miss A wore," 

the " dreadfully shocking" hat of Miss B — — , 
and those " magnificent" trowsers of Harry, and 
" delicious" boots of Tom, gushing from the lips 
of our young damsels in a torrent of such con- 
fused speech that its parts are hardly distin- 
guishable from each other, and form but a tur- 
bid mixture of nonsense. 

Every few years or so a slang phrase gets 
somehow or other into vogue. That this should 
consist merely of the misuse of some familiar 
J:erm, and not the invention of a new one, like 
"quiz," for example, shows the comparative pov- 
erty of device of us moderns. "Awful" is, for 
the moment, the abused word, and it is bandied 
about throughout all the length and breadth of 
the English language, and consequently all over 
the globe. For no reason in the world, it has 


thrown out of usage an appropriate and service- 
able adverb, and suddenly taken its place, for 
which, being an adjective, it is by nature unfit. 
Wherever the old " very" once becomingly held 
its own, the impudent interloper "awful" has 
thrust itself, contrary to all grammatical deco- 
rum. Slang of every variety, whether consist- 
ing of this absurd abuse of a word, or whatever 
else, is equally opposed to correctness of speech 
and propriety of manners. 

Profane swearing, or its relatives, the various 
emphatic expletives, are now never heard in de- 
cent society, and people of good breeding are not 
expected to give pledges of " word" or " honor" 
as guarantees of their truth and honesty. 

There is a kind of deceit which fashion seems 
to sanction, but the necessity or convenience of 
which may not be so great as is supposed. It is 
astonishing the number of falsehoods one has 
to utter to make a respectable figure in what is 
technically called society. A truthful person, 
incapable of practicing a deceit or asserting a 
lie, would not be able to hold up her head for a 
moment in what the fashionable deem good com- 
pany. Fancy a woman with a conscience above 
decej)tion presenting herself in all her natural- 
ness of person and character! Suppose her, 
scorning crinoline, padding, false hair, and other 


artifices of the modern dame's mcike-up^ and 
exhibiting herself in her original dimensions ! 
I^othing would so shock the sensibilities of the 
fashionable world at least as such an honest dis- 
closure of the truth — of nature. 

The proprieties of society would be still fur- 
ther startled at the sound of the spoken truth. 
If any one should drop the lying words of love, 
friendship, esteem, and admiration, and use only 
those expression's which denote the actual rela- 
tions of ordinary mortals, he or she would be 
speedily thrust out. 

We are told that these expressions of endear- 
ment and of proffered service so universal are 
merely conventional expressions ; that, for ex- 
ample, when we say or write to persons the most 
indifferent to us, as we all do, " My dear Sir," or 
"Dear Madam," "Your humble servant," or 
" Yours faithfully," we do not mean what is said 
or written. We are quite aware of it, and this 
only confirms our statement of the social neces- 
sity of the lie ; for in the most ordinary relations 
of life we are compelled to make use of it, or lose 
our claim to a place in polite society. Some in- 
genious moralists have found excuses for the 
conventional falsehood. We are rejoiced that 
they have, for it seems impossible to avoid tell- 
ing it ; and many a sore conscience wants salv- 


iiig. Paley justifies a dame, who is at home, 
sayhig that she is not, by the gloss that she 
means that " she is not at home to see company." 
This is no justification at all ; for if she does not 
desire to deceive, why should she not state the 
plain truth. 

While allowing largely for the quantity of 
falsehood necessary to make a respectable ap- 
pearance in society, we still think that there is 
an exorbitant use of that tempting but fatal 
vice. The great danger of conceding the least 
privilege to a lie is that it may assert its right 
of way every where ; and it is a fact that where 
the conventional falsehood is most in vogue, 
there genuine truth is least common. It is as- 
tonishing with what effrontery a fashionable 
woman will tell a barefaced lie ! Mark with 
what rapidity she will pass from a compliment 
to abuse of the same person ! She is " charmed" 
and " disgusted" in the turn of a heel ; praises 
before and vituperates behind ; welcomes loudly 
in a voice which ends in a whisper of discontent ; 
and one half of her time is spent in unsaying 
what she says during the other. A dame of '' the 
best society" urged, in our hearing, with appa- 
rent candor and earnestness, a gentle guest to 
favor the company with the pleasure of hearing 
her " sweet voice." The young girl no sooner 


turned with a polite compliance to the piano 
than our hostess whisj)ered to another guest at 
her side, "Now you'll hear a screech." The 
compliment and denunciation were uttered al- 
most in the same breath, and without a change 
in the uniform rij)ple of her face. 

How many urgent solicitations are made to 
which the " favorable" answer desired is a nega- 
tive, though the contrary is pretended with so 
much apparent earnestness. When people are 
asked to " stay," to " call again," to " come oft- 
en," to " drop in to dinner," " to be sure to be in 
time for tea," it is seldom wished they should do 
either. These are the polite lies and frauds of 
society which can not be justified by any ab- 
stract principle of morals. 

There is a habit the directly opposite of fash- 
ionable falsehood ; we mean plain speaking, of 
which we shaU find no traces in polite. society. 
This, though undoubtedly a virtue, may be car- 
ried to an uncomfortable and inconvenient ex- 

There are certain people who take credit to 
themselves for seeing through all the illusions 
of life, and tearing away every veil of gauze 
which individual fondness or social propriety 
may throw over the ugly and painful. These 
run a muck through society, attacking all its 


cherished deceits, however innocent and harm- 
less. They would make a clean sweep of all the 
phantasms of the imagination, put to flight the 
airy creations of the fancy, and dispel the cloud- 
less visions of dreamland. They would not that 
man should ever forget his primitive constitu- 
tion of dust and ashes. With the least tendency 
heavenward before his time, they tug him to 
earth at once. 

These impertinent realists are the great de- 
stroyers of human happiness. They begin ear- 
ly, continue Long, and never cease until the end 
of life. A mother's tenderness even can not 
soften their hard-hearted positivism. They will 
rudely blur the maternal vision of her child's 
beauty with the unwelcome assertion that it is 
ugly. " All babies are ugly," is a favorite prop- 
osition of these plain-spoken people. This may 
be a fact in natural history, but it is something 
that was never dreamt of in the philosophy of 
the mother to whom the ugliest child is most 
beautiful. In fact, as there are no absolute laws 
of beauty, there is no reason why the maternal 
fondness should not be accepted as the test in 
regard to the looks of her own infant. No in- 
diflerent person has the right to an opinion con- 
trary to that of her who is so deeply concerned. 
A polite concurrence is the duty of every civil- 


izecl being. Politeness, however, is never recog- 
nized as an obligation by the plain-spoken peo- 
ple, of one of whom we recollect an incident 
strikingly illustrative of this statement. A fond 
mother was displaying her first-born to a circle 
of her husband's friends. Among these there 
chanced to be a plain-spoken person of the plain- 
est kind. Every one but him hastened to utter 
the compliment appropriate to the occasion. He 
kept what he had to say until the mother had 
been warmed to the highest point of maternal 
vanity by the intense expressions of admiration 
of all but him, when he deliberately dashed upon 
her this bucketful of cold water. " Your baby, 
madam," said he, " reminds me of a Flat-headed 
Indian." The comparison, it is true, was not in- 
appropriate. As for the suitableness of the re- 
mark to the occasion, we leave it to all tender 
mothers to decide. 

These plain-spoken people have the audacity 
to declare in the face of every boy that there 
never was such a person as Robinson Crusoe or 
his man Friday, and that Jack the Giant-Killer 
is a myth. Boys fortunately have a sturdy faith, 
sustained by a young and vigorous imagination, 
and they are generally proof to the unwelcome 
and improbable verities of plain-spoken people. 
It is, however, none the less cruel to torment 

136 GOOD sirs OF plain speaking. 

the youthful credulity with the uncertainties of 

Never invite a plain-spoken person to dinner, 
for he will be sure to detect the Newark cider 
in your Champagne bottle, and announce the 
fact before the whole company. Don't trust in 
his presence to the delusion of a wig, or confide 
in the artifice of a hair-dye, for he will penetrate 
the deceit, and expose you in all the baldness 
and grayness of age. After death, let not your 
family invite him to your funeral, for he will tell 
all your failings to his companion as he walks to 
your grave. 

Plain-sj)oken people perhaps have their good 
side also. They are quick to detect every sham, 
and may serve as correctors of false pretension. 
If they would confine their detective propensi- 
ties and their public denunciations to all the 
false shows of wealth, gentility, benevolence, and 
religion, Ave might wish them God-speed. While, 
however, they continue to run a muck at all the 
innocent illusions of the imagination and the 
heart, we shall keep our doors closed, and our- 
selves, if possible, secure from the shock of all 
plain-spoken people. 

The prudishness which avoids calling things 
by their real names, " a spade a spade^"^ etc., and 
resorts to all sorts of verbal device to escape 


the employment of some peculiar term become 
inexplicably offensive, is the worst form of im- 
modesty, for it gives proof of impure thought, 
while it hypocritically strives to disguise it. We 
join with Sterne in his warning against the dan- 
gers of " accessory ideas." There are certain 
words peculiar to American usage which, so far 
from being recognized by the English, are unin- 
telligible to them. There is not one man or 
woman in ten thousand of those who speak our 
language, except ourselves, who would under- 
stand what we mean by "rooster." We are 
gradually getting over, in this country, this false 
modesty of speech, and it is now perhaps possi- 
ble to discover within a hundred miles of a me- 
tropolis an occasional pair of female lips capable 
of pronouncing " leg," " shirt," " body," or even 
" trowsers," and a face that will not redden at 
the remotest allusion to a subject more or less 
suggested by the presence of every reputable 



The Defects of the American Voice. — Their Cause. — Ugly 
Noises with the Mouth. — Decency of Motion. — Attitudin- 
izing. — Affected Women. — Ugly Tricks. — Hand-shaking. 
— Democratic Intrusiveness. — American Publicity. — The 
Impertinence of British Loyalty. — Salutations. — Care of 
the Hands and Nails. 

The American voice is generally more nasal 
and high-pitched than the English. Our women, 
particularly, are far less gentle and sweet-toned 
in speech than their British cousins. On hear- 
ing some of our damsels speak, we are forcibly 
reminded of the beautiful girl in the fairy-tale 
who could never open her mouth without letting 
out toads, vipers, and other ugly creatures. The 
sharpness of the American voice may possibly 
be somewhat due to the prevalent condition of 
the atmosphere in this country. This idea seems 
to be confirmed by the fact of a variation in tone 
according to the degree of latitude and longi- 
tude. The Northern and Eastern voices are cer- 
tainly less soft than the Southern. Voice essen- 
tially depends upon hearing, and the sounds ut- 
tered will correspond pretty faithfully with the 


sounds heard. If these, in consequence of a clear, 
dry atmosphere, strike the ear shrilly, the vocal 
organs will naturally echo them in sharp, quick 
tones. Granting that the peculiar American voice 
may be greatly due to natural causes, we yet do 
not doubt that much can be done by care to qual- 
ify its monotonous harshness. 

Our children, in accordance with their general 
freedom from restraint, are allowed to exercise 
their voices, as the rest of their franchises, with- 
out check. These " chartered libertines" accord- 
ingly use their tongues and lungs as those are 
wont who can do as they will with their own. 
They put them to the full stretch of their pow- 
ers, and consequently shout when they should 
talk. Thus their utterance becomes habitually 
loud and impetuous, and necessarily shrill and 
monotonous, for high are sharp, and hasty are un- 
modulated tones. A little more rigidity of disci- 
pline in childhood would do much, we think, to 
correct not only the vocal, but some other de- 
fects of our people we might enumerate. Let our 
damsels bear always in mind that there is noth- 
ing so charming in woman as a low, sweet voice', 
and strive, accordingly, to evoke some variety 
and softness of tone from their vocal organs, 
Avhich are not necessarily loud-sounding instru- 
ments of a single note, and that a sharp nasal 


one. The practice of reading aloud is a good 
means of learning to modulate the voice ; and, in 
pronouncing each word, the mouth should be fair- 
ly opened, that the guttural sound may be heard, 
and not lost in a predominating nasal twang. 

The mouth may offend by its inarticulate as 
well as articulate utterances. All unnecessary 
noises with this and its fellow-organ, the tongue, 
are fatal to decorum of manners. Humming, 
whistling, hawJcing^ spitting, and sucking of the 
teeth are so disgusting that the mere mention 
of them seems almost an offense. Some folks, 
otherwise of passable manners^ become insuffer- 
able whenever they attempt to take into their 
mouths fluids of any kind, which they never do 
without a succession of audible flops. This is 
generally a habit acquired in youth for want of 
proper direction. It would seem as if nothing 
were easier than to drink tea or eat soup without 
making an ugly noise, and yet there are few who 
seem capable of doing so. All that is necessary, 
in order to swallow a liquid with the quietness 
that decorum exacts, is to open the lips well, and 
f o put the spoon fully into the mouth, should its 
use be necessary. All smacking of the lips, even 
over your host's finest Tokay, Consular Seal, or 
Burgundy, is but a barbarous mode of express- 
ing an appreciation of vinous excellence, and had 


better be left to the drinkers of lager beer and 
" Bourbon" at the corner groggery. 

The use of a toothpick of the proper kind is 
essential to a due care of the teeth, but should 
be no more exposed to public notice than any 
other necessary but unpleasantly suggestive ar- 
ticle of the toilette. 

Unlike those of some races, as the Oriental 
and the various Latin nations, the English and 
North American people do not show, in ordi- 
nary conversation, much flexibility of expres- 
sion or movement. The best bred with us are 
apt to be composed, even to stiffness. A certain 
degree of action, provided it be always graceful, 
is not only consistent with, but absolutely essen- 
tial to a decorous bearing. The " principal part 
of beauty," says Lord Bacon, " is in decency of 
motion." The face certainly, and the hands and 
arms, and even the whole body, more or less, 
should move in harmony with the discourse and 
sympathy with the general tone of conversation. 
In the interest of narrative and warmth of argu« 
ment, considerable energy and variety of gesture 
are permissible, but the condition of grace must 
be exacted. We knew an emphatic talker, who 
was generally listened to with attention, and 
justly so, for he had often much to say to the pur- 
pose, and said it well, but whose action, though 


ordinarily not without grace, occasionally took 
a turn contrary to all the proprieties. In the 
height of conversation he would suddenly jump 
up, seize each tail of his faultless dress-coat, and, 
turning round and round like a whirling dervish, 
make such an unreserved revelation to all the 
company of his proportions, that modesty was 
shocked, and laughter could hardly hold its sides. 
The action was, of course, fatal to the eloquence 
it was intended to illustrate. 

Ordinary people, who do not set up for bril- 
liant talkers or powerful disputants, had better 
cultivate a uniform composure of manner. Let 
their bearing be easy and decorous, without lax- 
ity or stiffness. 

To attitudinize, or poser ^ as the French term 
it, with the view of producing an impressive ef- 
fect upon the beholder, seldom succeeds except 
with the rawest members of society. When de- 
tected, as it always is by accomplished people 
of the world, it creates, at first sight, a feeling 
of aversion which is not easy to eradicate. 

This posing for effect is so old a trick, and so 
easy of detection, that it is surprising any per- 
son who has reached years of discretion should 
attempt to play it. Yet how often do we see it, 
in its various phases of the delicate young lady 
with the languid air, the listless step, or die-away 


posture ! — the literary young lady, with the stu- 
diously neglected toilette, the carefully exposed 
breadth of forehead, and the ever-present, but 
seldom-read book ! — the abstemious young lady, 
who surreptitiously feeds on chops at private 
lunch, and starves on a pea at the public din- 
ner ! — the humane young lady, who pulls Tom's 
ears and otherwise tortures brother and sister in 
the nursery, and does her utmost to fall into con- 
vulsions before company at the sight of a dead 
fly ! — and the fastidious young lady, who faints, 
should there be an audience to behold the scene, 
at the sight of roast goose, but whose robust ap- 
petite vindicates itself by devouring all that is 
left of the unclean animal when a private op- 
portunity will allow. We assure our young 
damsels that such affectations are not only ab- 
surd, for they are perfectly transparent, but ill 
bred, as shams of all kinds essentially are. 

The management of the hands in company 
seems to embarrass young people greatly. This 
comes from the false modesty, or mauvaise honte^ 
which induces them to suppose they are the ob- 
served of all observers. Let them think only of 
themselves in due proportion of estimate with the 
vast multitude of mankind, and frequent habitu- 
ally the company of the refined, and they will 
probably overcome much of their awkwardness, 
if they do not acquire a large degree of grace. 


There is nothing more annoying to other peo- 
ple who may be present than the noise which a 
person will sometimes make by snapping a tooth- 
pick, jingling a watch-chain, creaking a chair, 
opening and shutting a pencil or knife, tapping 
the boot with a cane, or making any kind of 
noise or movement which irresistibly and dis- 
agreeably attracts the general attention. 

Every one should be particular to avoid ac- 
quiring in youth the habit of fumbling with any 
part of the person or thing appertaining to it. 
It is astonishing how fixed this may become. So 
completely are such habits, in cases of long prac- 
tice, associated with the action of the person, 
that they seem to be incorporated into his very 
structure, as it were. There are people who, if 
suddenly dej)rived of the means of practicing 
some ugly and habitual trick, will be so para- 
lyzed in brain and tongue as to be incapable of 
continuing sl train of thought or current of 
speech. We knew a lawyer, learned in Black- 
stone, and an eloquent advocate, who had ac- 
quired the habit of twisting a piece of paper and 
twirling it between his fingers during his address- 
es to Court and jury. Whenever some roguish 
brother, as sometimes occurred, would take the 
opportunity of the speaker dropping the paper 
momentarily during a pause in his argument to 


remove it, his embarrassment became extreme. 
He stared anxiously around, fumbled every where 
with his fingers about the law books and briefs, 
stammered out a few incoherent words, blushed 
(for even he, lawyer as he was, would blush on 
such an occasion), and was entirely unable to col- 
lect his thoughts and renew his speech until 
some merciful comrade (probably the guilty 
brother) had restored to his hands its plaything, 
and to his mind and tongue their cunning. 

It is well when these ugly tricks do not take 
the most oifensive form; but occasionally we find 
persons, otherwise incapable of ill breeding, who 
will pick their noses, clean their nails, and scratch 
their heads before all kinds of company, and re- 
main perfectly unconscious, from the insensibility 
of habit, of their offensive acts. 

Hand-shaking is a national custom w^hich w^e 
have in common with our English relatives from 
whom we derived it. In private intercourse 
they probably carry it to a greater excess than 
we, but on certain public occasions we practice 
it far more than they. Our sovereign people in- 
sist upon giving their Briarean hands to every 
domestic notability and distinguished foreign 
visitor. All the famous men from abroad who 
have become our national guests, from the Mar- 
quis de Lafayette to Kossuth, have been forced 


to submit to ,this manipulation by the universal 
democracy. Lafayette, with true French polite- 
ness, yielded gracefully to this demand for a 
touch of his glove by twenty millions of people, 
but he became very sparing of speech. He only 
asked of each one who came up, as he shook 
hands with him, " Are you a married man ?" If 
the answer was "Yes," the marquis rejoined, 
" Happy fellow !" If the answer was " No," he 
exclaimed, " Lucky dog !" With this meagre 
luggage of nine words the economical marquis 
is said to have kept himself in ready English 
speech, and made a creditable appearance during 
his whole journey from Maine to Georgia. No 
makeshift, however, would avail him as a sub- 
stitute for the giving of his hand, which, at the 
end of his triumphal march, was fairly shaken 
into • a paralysis. This kind of hospitality to 
public men is more honored in the breach than 
the observance, for, expanding naturally with 
the wonderful increase of our population, it has 
finally become insupportably liberal. The in- 
trusive curiosity to see and touch the great, to 
their manifest discomfort, is as far removed from 
decorum as reverence. Our public personages 
will be forced, before long, in self-protection, to 
resist this democratic intrusiveness. No popu- 
lar favorite can physically endure to have his 


hand often sli^ken by forty million sturdy fellow- 
citizens, or even to bear pecuniarily the expense 
to which the thousands of gloves necessary to 
guard it must amount. 

A president held in such reverence that he can 
safely resist the inordinate humors of the* de- 
mocracy should venture to reform the official 
manners of the nation. He could be surround- 
ed without hedging himself, as doth a king, with 
more ceremonial observances, to the manifest in- 
crease of his own comfort and the improvement 
of the manners of his fellow-citizens. With all 
our informality, however, we have not yet reach- 
edb that pertinacious intrusiveness of British loy- 
alty which will follow the scent of queen, prince, 
or princess not only from the palace door through 
every street and over the whole country, but pur- 
sue it across seas, and throughout the width of 
the broadest continent."^ 

Personal reserve is far less easy of attainment 
in the United States than in most countries. Our 

* It lately transpired that* the Princess of Wales was about 
resorting for her health to the baths of Wildbad, in Wiirtem- 
berg. To avoid being hunted up by a throng of eager pur- 
suers, she slipped away disguised by an incognito ; but, not- 
withstanding, her scent was caught, taken quickly up, and 
followed pertinaciously to her dinner-table in the little Ger- 
man town, where, at the last accounts, her subjects were quar- 
reling over the cherry-stones ejected from the princely mouth. 


political institutions, by their recognition of the 
equal rights of all men, call upon each individual 
to manifest himself Every American being thus 
not only free to speak and act, but feeling it his 
duty to do so, becomes, more or less, a public 
man. The political influence extends to the so- 
cial habits, and we have, in consequence, but lit- 
tle privacy of life. 

Our love of publicity is shown by the grega- 
rious modes in which wc live and move. That 
great caravansar}^, the American hotel, is a 
characteristic exj)ression of the national protest 
against individual separateness. It is construct- 
ed on the principle that it is not good for a»y 
human being to be alone except Avhen he is 
asleep, and even then it is not seldom that he is 
provided with one or more companions. The 
bedrooms are made just large enough to lie 
down in, and are evidently only designed for 
that purpose. These, thrust far away under the 
eaves, are ordinarily the only provision for the 
individual. The rest, composing much the lar- 
ger and most accessible part of the structure, is 
appropriated to the public, for whom, moreover, 
all the splendor and convenience are exclusively 
furnished. So much is the American hotel con- 
structed for the especial advantage of the aggre- 
gate many, and so little are the requirements of 


the particular one considered, that, while thou- 
sands are feasted there luxuriously at certain 
hours every day, no single hungry man can, at 
any other moment, get a chop or a potato to 
save himself from starving. 

In traveling the same gregarious practices ob- 
tain, and no one, however tender of body and 
fastidious in mind, can entirely escape the nudge 
of the elbow or the shock from the words of a 
rude neighbor. 

This shaking together, so universal with us, 
has not been without its marked effects upon the 
character and manners of our people. The good 
may be thought by some to transcend the bad. 
It has led, undoubtedly, to a fuller recognition 
of common interests and mutual obligation, and 
thus humanized the multitude. Meeting togeth- 
er as we all do on the road and the road-side, in 
the enjoyment of the same cheaply - purchased 
privileges, we are forced, temporarily at least, 
to a social equality^ which can not fail to elevate 
the spirit of the humble and check the aspira- 
tions of the proud. 

One of the worst effects of the gregarious sys- 
tem is the perpetual intrusiveness of the many 
upon the retirement which is at times necessary 
and pleasing to each person. The uniformity of 
sentiment, moreover, which is apt to result, and 


overbear the private judgment and the individ- 
ual conscience, may be also considered as one of 
the most serious evils. There is a certain bold- 
ness, too, of manners, which is more observable 
and offensive in the young than in others, which 
is traceable to the publicity of American life. 

We should, particularly in this country, culti- 
vate domestic privacy as the best check to the 
excessive tendency to gregariousness. We, on 
the contrary, are apt to cultivate the latter at 
the expense of the former; thus the practice 
common with us of living in hotels and board- 
ing-houses, where that reserve so necessary to 
the development of the individual character and 
the acquisition of modest manners is impossible. 

There will be always a publicity naturally re- 
sulting from our political and social institutions 
which can not be avoided. It behooves us, there- 
fore, to augment its good and diminish its ill ef- 
fects as far as it lies in our power. As we can 
not get rid of each other, let us make ourselves 
mutually usefiil and agreeable by the improve- 
ment of our sentiments and manners. With the 
greater publicity in America, public opinion is 
necessarily more extensive in its influence, and 
therefore it is especially important that it should 
be exerted in favor of the good and beautiful. 

In private life in this country the hand is not 


often given except to intimate friends and rela- 
tives. In England it is nLore freely extended to 
those met for the first time. Ordinarily it should 
be left to the older or more distinguished to make 
the proffer of the hand. Cavaliers and dames in 
this country, as in France, seldom extend to each 
other the hand unless there is a great difference 
of age and position, or much intimacy of rela- 
tion. Whenever the hand is given, it is not nec- 
essary to draw off the glove, as some attempt to 
do, with a great deal of fuss and consequent em- 

There is a great deal of tact required in adapt- 
ing the salutation to the occasion. The mere nod, 
which is allowable, perhaps, between the com- 
rades of a school and college, the " fellows" of an 
office, a counting-house and shop, or the cronies 
and "friends" of girlhood, should never be passed 
between courteous people of full growth and age. 
They should give an unequivocal bow or courte- 
sy, which, however, women are not expected to 
stop when under full headway, and make ac- 
cording to the principles laid down by their last 
dancing-master. A graceful bend of the head and 
shoulders is all that is necessary. A gentleman 
will raise his hat fairly from the head, and not 
limit his salutation to a mere touch of the rim, 
like a coachman or a waiter. The salutation is 


made to suit the various degrees of intimacy by 
the accompanying expression of the face, which 
can indicate familiarity by a smile or look of 
conscious recognition, and reserve by a com- 
posed aspect and an indifferent glance. The va- 
riations are, however, not easily defined in words, 
though discerned without difficulty in action, 
and must therefore be left to the individual 

On meeting a friend in company with a lady, 
though a stranger, it is necessary to be very 
particular in giving the bow all its fullness and 
formality, that it may indicate respect for the 
dame, as well as intimacy with the cavalier. 
So, too, when two male friends walking together 
meet the female acquaintance of one, it behooves 
both to raise their hats. 

It is common, in this country and in England, 
to await the recognition of the lady before bow- 
ing, though in France it is the reverse ; but in 
the three countries, w^here the intimacy is great, 
the mutual salutation is ordinarily simultaneous. 

When, in the park or public promenade, there 
is constant passing and repassing, it is found 
convenient to limit the formal recognition of an 
acquaintance to the salutation on first sight. 

The chance meeting of a person at the house 
of a common friend, when there has been no 


formal introduction, is not considered a neces- 
sary reason for giving or expecting a salutation. 
Where either, however, bestows it, it should be 
courteously and fully returned. The French are 
more liberal of their courtesies than we and our 
reserved relatives in England. A Frenchman 
will take off his hat to any person he may meet 
on the outside steps of his own or a friend's 
house, as he thinks that the mere fact of this 
common relation to the same house, though it 
be transitory, establishes a bond of communion, 
however slight, demanding acknowledgment. 

A lady seated in a room is not expected to 
rise from her chair when saluted by a gentleman 
or by one of her own sex unless the latter be a 
person very much her superior in age. 

A bow should always be acknowledged, by 
whomsoever proffered, whether master or man, 
maid or mistress, unless there is a good reason 
and an intention to rebuke. 

All salutations had better be omitted than 
given in a way to indicate an unwilling polite- 
ness. The clipped bow, the " mutilated courte- 
sy," as Goldsmith calls it, and the incomplete 
shake of the hand, in which the scornful touch 
of two fingers is made to do service for a full 
grasp with the five;, are odious mockeries of ci- 

It would seem to imply a great distrust of the 


nicety of man and womankind to suggest to 
them the . necessity of keeping the hands and 
their appurtenances in good condition. These 
noticeable parts of the body are, however, often 
neglected or treated unbecomingly. The nails of 
people who boast to be fastidious in the care of 
their persons are not seldom far from being well 
cared for. Dean Swift was so nice in this re- 
spect that he used to cut his nails to the very 
quick to secure their freedom from uncleanliness 
of all kind. We do not advise this mode of i)re- 
venting a very disgusting result, for a very short 
nail is not seemly.* It is an ugly practice, too, 
according to our notions, to let the nails grow 
until they lengthen into claws. It was, howev- 
er, a fashion in France during the reign of Louis 
Xiy. to cultivate a great length of the nail of 
the little finger, and this was for the purpose of 
being able to scratch at a door, which every vis- 
itor was expected to do, instead of knocking, 
when wishing to gain admittance to a fashion- 
able friend. Moliere speaks of " I'ongle long" 
that the marquis of his day "i^orte au petit 
doigt" — that is, of the long nail worn at the end 
of the little finger. 

* The inner part of the nail should never be scraped with 
a file or cutting instrument, for this will produce a rough 
surface, in the irregularities of which the dirt will lodge, and 
be very difficult of removal. 



Effect of Civilization on Dress.— The opposite Progress of 
Man and Woman in the Art of Dressing. —The true Rule 
of Dress. — Uniformity of Dress in America. — Inappropri- 
ateness of Dress. — Sunday-best. 

Civilization- has done little more for the hu- 
man passion of personal adornment than extend, 
by its progress in the arts, the means of gratify- 
ing its barbaric caprices. The taste in dress of 
the Parisian dame of fashion is not essentially 
more refined than that of the Choctaw squaw. 
All the manufacturing and commercial triumphs 
of the nineteenth century are, it is true, more or 
less manifest in the complicated drapery of the 
one, while, in the scant covering of the other, ev- 
ery thing indicates the rudeness and simplicity 
of an artless nature. Hair cut from the head 
of a Hottentot woman, brought from remote 
Caffreland, purified by an elaborate chemical 
process of its native foulness, and turned by in- 
genious machinery into the fashionable head- 
dress known as the chignon^ implies great com- 
mercial enterprise, scientific skill, and mechan- 
ical ingenuity. These are undoubtedly among 


the forces to which civilized people owe their 
might and suiDcriority to barbarians. The chig- 
non^ as a product, is unquestionably beyond the 
undeveloped resources of the whole Choctaw na- 
tion. Worn, however, as a head-dress, with its 
tumor-like excrescence and morbid deformity of 
proportion, it indicates in the woman of civiliza- 
tion no progress in taste beyond her barbaric 
sister of the American forest and prairie. The 
wild flowers and eagle feathers of the savage 
are, in fact, vastly more chaste and beautiful than 
the elaborate monstrosities worn by the civilized 

There has been of late years a certain diverg- 
ence between masculine and feminine taste in 
dress. Woman has been rapidly becoming more 
fanciful, artificial, elaborate, and expensive in cos- 
tume, until she has finally reached such a fright- 
ful complexity of capricious finery, involved form, 
minute detail, various color, and accumulated 
material, that she appears but a confused bale 
of miscellaneous dry goods, upon which nothing 
is clearly indicated but the mark of the high 

Man, on the contrary, has, in these latter days, 
with a great tendency to simplification of cos- 
tume, finally reached what Carlisle, we believe, 
termed a series of pokes or sacks, loosely adapt- 


ed to successive parts of the frame — a sack for 
the trunk, two sacks for the upper, and two for 
the lower extremities, which form a complete 
suit of masculine attire. There is, however, ap- 
parently a disposition on the part of the young 
beaux to fall back into the fantastic splendors of 
past time, and there may now be occasionally 
seen an increased elaborateness of make in the 
coat and trowsers, and showiness of display in 
the cravat, shirt bosom, and waistcoat. With 
all this, however, there is generally a commend- 
able simplicity in men's attire. The change is 
immense from the laced ruffles, embroidered scar- 
let coats, and breeches of brilliant satin, silk 
stockings, and diamond buckles of our ancestors 
of a hundred and fifty years ago. Think of poor 
Goldsmith promising to pay — an obligation he 
was much more ready to assume than perform — 
£50, or two hundred and fifty dollars, a cen- 
tury ago, when money was much more valuable 
than at present, for his " suit of Tyrian bloom," 
in order to shine in the beloved eyes of the " Jes- 
samy bride." Xot twenty years since, so elab- 
orately fabricated w^as the collar of a coat, that 
more labor and money were expended upon it 
than are now required to make and pay for a 
whole suit of clothes. Taste and convenience 
have gained much by the increased simplicity 

158 now TO DRESS WELL. 

of man's costume, and it must be acknowledged 
that his plain garments, if they do not express 
so fully the progress of the arts as woman's rich 
habiliments, indicate, by their fitness, more cer- 
tainly the advanced intelligence of the age than 
her superfluously elaborate but barbaric finery. 

We are far from advising a general indiffer- 
ence to dress, however justifiable we might think 
the renunciation of some of the superfluities of 
modern female costume. Chesterfield, in urging 
upon his son a due attention to his clothes, says 
a man of sense " dresses as well, and in the same 
manner, as the people of sense and fashion of the 
place where he is. If he dresses better, as he 
thinks — that is, more than they — he is a fop ; if 
he dresses worse, he is unpardonably negligent ; 
but of the two, I would rather have a young fel- 
low too much than too little dressed ; the excess 
on that side will wear off with a little age and 
reflection; but," he adds, in a sentence which 
seems strong, coming from his perfumed pres-. 
ence, " if he is 7iegligent at tioenty^ he will he a 
sloven at forty ^ and stink at fifty years olcV 

His lordship, in continuing his advice, makes 
these sensible remarks : " Dress yourself fine 
where others are fine, and plain where others 
are plain ; but take care always that your 
clothes are well made and fit you, for otherwise 


they will give you a very awkward air. When 
you are once well dressed for the day, think no 
more of it afterward, and, without any stiffness 
for fear of discomposing that dress, let all your 
motions be as easy and natural as if you had no 
clothes on at all." 

It is a canon of good taste in dress, as well as 
in all other things, to avoid extremes. A person 
of taste will take care not to be the last to leave 
an old, or the first to assume a new fashion : 

*' Be not the first by whom the new are tried, 
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. " 

He will never be singular in his dress, for, like 
all well-bred people, he would escape special no- 
tice in his daily walks. It is on this account 
that he does not startle by a novelty, or excite 
curiosity by an antiquity of costume. He will, 
however, though avoiding in his dress what may 
force notice, be careful so to order it that, if by 
chance it should attract attention, it will be re- 
marked for its taste and conformity with the ob- 
servances of the refined. Such is considered dec- 
orous by the cultivated of both sexes, though 
women ordinarily do not allow themselves the 
same discretion as men in their fealty to fashion, 
which, however, in this country particularly, is 
too slavishly obeyed by both sexes, with the 
natural consequence that few of eit*lier are ajD- 
propriately clothed. 


The uniformity of dress is a characteristic of 
the people of the United States. The man of 
leisure and the laborer, the mistress and the 
maid, wear clothes of the same material and 
cut. Political equality renders our countrymen 
and countrywomen averse to all distinctions of 
costume which may be supposed to indicate a 
difference of caste. The uniformity which re- 
sults is not favorable to the picturesque, and our 
every-day world in America has, in consequence, 
the shabby look of being got up by the Jews in 
Chatham Street, and turned out in a universal 
suit of second-hand clothing. 

Our working-people, in vindicating their claims 
to social equality by putting on their heads the 
stove-pipe hat and flimsy bonnet, and clothing 
their bodies in tight-fitting coats and flowing 
robes, not only interfere with the picturesque, 
which is of minor importance, but make, we 
think, an unwise sacrifice of comfort, conven- 
ience, and economy. What could be more unfa- 
vorable to that free movement of the muscles 
essential to those trades and occupations requir- 
ing the exercise of physical force than the scant 
coat and tight-fitting trowsers now in vogue? 
It would be as well to put Hercules in a strait- 
jacket, and set him thus accoutred to slay the 
hydra, as for our muscular sons of labor to clothe 


themselves in suits of fashionable cut, and so to 
strive at their mighty work. It is surprising 
that the blouse of the French workman is not 
generally adopted. Nothing can be more grace- 
ful, convenient, and economical. Its lines are 
flowing, its form admits of perfect freedom of 
movement, and it can be made of a material 
both cheap and lasting. Artists generally adopt 
the blouse for work in their studios, and thus 
guarantee its tastefulness as well as utility. The 
free American citizen has no reason to scorn it 
as a symbol of slavery. The French blouse has 
vindicated its title to the drapery of a freeman 
in many a bloody encounter with tyranny on 
the barricades and in the streets of Paris. 

As for the suitableness of the female dress of 
fashion to working-day purposes no one will 
venture, we suppose, to hold that crinoline is 
convenient in the china-closet or safe in the prox- 
imity of a red-hot stove, and that a flowing train 
of silk is the most appropriate broom for the 
kitchen floor. Crinoline and train, however, are 
constantly found in these inappropriate places 
and dangerous proximities. We can not for the 
world see why Bridget and Katarina, and their 
mistress too, indeed, when the occasion requires, 
should not dress appropriately — to their spheres 
we do not say, but to their occupations. Thev 


would be gainers in every respect — in taste, 
comfort, convenience, and economy. It is quite 
a mistake for the female servant to suppose that 
by spending her money in gaudy dress and mock 
finery she advances hei? social position, though 
with her rustling silk she may pass in the dark, 
or, coming out of the front-door on a Sunday, be 
taken at a distance for her mistress. She may 
spend a half yearns wages on a flimsy bonnet, it 
will not avail her — the sham lady will still be 
manifest. If she has personal charms of her own 
and desires that they should be appreciated, let 
her take the advice of the tasteful, who will tell 
her that the rude freshness of natural beauty ap- 
pears to the greatest advantage in a plain set- 

A white cap, a close-fitting jacket, with sleeves 
neither so tight as to hinder movement nor so 
loose as to lap up the gravy or sweep off the 
sherry glass, and a short skirt of simple stuff — 
plain or many-colored as it may be — make an 
appropriate costume for the household servant. 
Scraps of cotton lace, bits of bright ribbon, and 
collars and cuffs of linen, may be added accord- 
ing to the taste. Any one who has seen the 
picture of the Chocolate Girl of the Dresden 
Gallery will not doubt of the picturesque capa- 
bilities of a dress which was so effective in this 


particular instance that it procured a rich and 
titled husband for the original of the portrait. 

The female cap should be insisted on as an 
essential to cleanliness by those who are not so 
sentimental as to prefer to receive daily pledges 
of the cook's affection in the shape of locks of 
hair in the soup. 

We Americans are famous for putting our best 
foot foremost. This practice, however commend- 
able on the whole, may be carried too far in par- 
ticular instances. In our eagerness to make a 
good appearance we are apt to become too de- 
monstrative. This shows itself in our talk, 
which is remarkable for its bold self-assertion ; 
in our houses and furniture j which are made 
more to attract the eye of the stranger than to 
suit the taste of the possessor ; and, above all, in 
our dress. 

There are no such universally well-dressed 
people in the world as the Americans. It is not 
only that more of them than of any other nation 
have good clothes to their backs, but their gar- 
ments are better made and adjusted to their 
persons, and worn with an easier grace. While 
this much may be allowed, it can not be denied 
that offense against taste and convenience of 
dress, particularly as to time and occasion, is 
frequent with us. 


We are generally too finely got up for the oc- 
casion. We are apt to be, as the French say, 
eyidimancMs^ which we may translate by the 
coined word Swidayfied, We often choose the 
wrong time for the display of our personal fine- 
ry. For example, while the peojDle of the most 
refined taste avoid all exhibition of rich dress 
and flaunting colors in church, we ordinarily 
turn the sanctuary into a show-room for the 
fashions. A well-bred French or English wom- 
an always chooses her most sober and unnotice- 
able dress in which to say her prayers in public, 
while an American puts on her newest robe and 
gayest bonnet to perform her genuflections be- 
fore an admiring congregation of fellow-worship- 
ers. The holiest day of the sacred calendar, 
Easter Sunday, would lose all its significance in 
the mind of one of our dames if unassociated 
with the inauguration of the spring fashions. 
She would no more think of bowing her head in 
prayer on such an occasion unadorned with the 
latest bonnet of the season, than walking up the 
church aisle on her knees. 

We shall leave our gewgawed devotees to 
reconcile humiliation in worship with vanity 
of dress. That is a problem which we confess 
we have neither the right nor the capacity to 
solve. It must be left to the conscience of the 


bedizened worshiper, aided by tbe skillful casuist- 
ry of her theological director. How far fine 
clothes may affect the personal piety of the devo- 
tee we do not pretend even to conjecture, but 
we have a very decided opinion in regard to 
their influence upon the religion of others. The 
fact is, that our churches are so fluttering with 
birds of fine feathers that no humble fowl will 
venture in. It is impossible for poverty in rags 
and patches, or even in decent but simple cos- 
tume, to take its seat, if it should be so fortunate 
as to find a i^lace, by the side of wealth in bro- 
cade and broadcloth. The poor are so awed by 
the pretension of superior dress and " the proud 
man's contumely" that they naturally avoid too 
close a proximity to them. 

The church being the only place on this side 
of the grave designed for the rich and the poor 
to meet together in equal prostration before God, 
it certainly should always be kept free for this 
common humiliation and brotherhood. It is so in 
most of the churches of Europe, where the beg- , 
gar in rags and wretchedness and the wealthiest 
and most eminent, whose appropriate sobriety 
of dress leaves them without mark of external 
distinction, kneel down together, equalized by a 
common humiliation, before the only Superior 
Being. The adoption of a more simple attire for 


church on the part of the rich in this country 
would have the effect, certainly not of diminish- 
ing their own personl piety, but probably of in- 
creasing the disposition for religious observance 
on the part of the poor. Want of fine dress 
would no longer, as it is now, be the common 
motive for staying away from the house of wor- 
ship, and these would become the common places 
of assemblage, as on the Continent of Europe, for 
the poor and the rich. The result would not 
only be favorable to general piety, but to social 
harmony, since the union of all classes on one 
day of the week, at least, would tend to level the 
artificial barriers of separation. 

" The distinctions of civil life," says Paley, in 
one of his most admired passages, " are almost 
always insisted upon too much, and urged too 
far. Whatever, therefore, conduces to restore 
the level, by qualifying the dispositions which 
grow out of great elevation or depression of 
rank, improves the character on both sides. Xow 
things are made to appear little by being placed 
beside what is great, in which manner superi- 
orities, that occupy the whole field of the imag- 
ination, will vanish, or shrink to their proper di- 
minutiveness, when compared with the distance 
by which even the highest of men are removed 
from the Supreme Being, and this comparison is 


naturally introduced by all acts of joint worship. 
If ever the poor man holds up his head, it is at 
church ; if ever the rich man views him with re- 
spect, it is there ; and both will be the better, 
and the public profited, the oftener they meet in 
a situation in which the consciousness of dignity 
in the one is tempered and mitigated, and the 
spirit of the other erected and confirmed." 

The same want of adaptation of the dress to 
the occasion, as exhibited in female church cos- 
tume, is shown by the habit prevalent among 
our dames of putting on their showiest garments 
whenever going out, even should it be for the 
performance only of the most ordinary duty con- 
nected with the household. Whether it is to 
the shop to buy a dozen kitchen towels, to the 
grocer's to dabble in butter, or to the butcher's 
to dribble in the blood of a sirloin, she is the 
same finely-dressed personage. She more fre- 
quently, however, avoids the inconsistency of 
performing humble duties in lofty attire by 
shifting them to the lowlier and more soberly- 
clad shoulders of her husband. This is' one, and 
not the least, of the ill effects of this habit of fe- 
male overdress. It unfits women for the simple 
and unostentatious duties of household life. 

Our unmarried girls are entirely overdressed. 
They are allowed to wear such suits as are never 


worn by modest maidens in Europe, and are 
hardly seen in public upon the most matronly 
persons. The young miss, flauntingly costumed, 
is sure to attract a notice in the streets which 
should not be agreeable to, and is hardly safe for, 
virgin modesty. 

Our countrywomen, as also our countrymen, 
are recognized immediately on the highways of 
travel by the finery of their dress. The glisten- 
ing black coat and satin waistcoat, and the silk 
gown and flimsy bonnet of fashion, are discerned 
at once amidst the dust of the railway and the 
smoke of the steamer as American national pe- 

Apart from the obvious advantage on the 
score of economy of adapting the dress to the 
occasion, there are certain moral effects of higher 
importance which might be expected from a na- 
tional reform in this particular. Overdress leads 
to false expectations, and confirms a deceitful 
vanity which prompts to pretense of wealth, and 
all the iniquitous means by which it may be 
supported. It has more to do than any other 
single cause with the fall of woman, the bank- 
ruptcy of husbands, and the ruin of families. Its 
effect in destroying female reserve, especially that 
of the young, as it thus takes away one of the best 
safeguards of virtue, makes it very pernicious. 


The excess of dress is certainly the cause of 
much of the characteristic vice of the day ; and 
with the general adoption of a more modest at- 
tire, there would be less temptation to that part, 
at least, of the prevalent ill doing for which 
women are responsible. 



Superfinery of Dress. — Overdressed Women. — Slatterns at 
llome. —Hygiene of Dress.— Child-hardening.— Its Cruelty 
and Folly. — Stove-pipe Hats and Dress-coats. 

While neatness and propriety are always 
obligatory, and richness may be occasionally al- 
lowed, superfinery of dress is never permissible. 
This is, indeed, so far relative, that what may 
be regarded as excessively ornamental or ex- 
pensive for one person, may be only plain or 
even mean for another. If there are to be fine 
people who are neither to toil nor to spin, it 
may be proper that they should be set off with 
fine array. They, as the lay figures, the male 
and female manikins upon which Fashion hangs 
her tinsel stuffs, variegated streamers, and showy 
gewgaws, may be indispensable as society is 
now constituted. These, whatever superincum- 
bent finery they may sustain, are only fulfilling 
their vocation, but ordinary people are not call- 
ed upon to submit to the same oppressiveness 
of splendor. 

People of nice taste will strive at a certain 


uniformity of dress. They will not be all shab- 
biness to-day and finery to-morrow, but, Avhile 
adapting their attire to the occasion, will avoid 
both extremes, and thus be always decorously 

It is the overdressed dame of the promenade 
and drawing-room who is the most apt to be 
the slattern of the domestic parlor and nursery. 
The woman who makes a point of dressing, as 
she calls it, for company, is generally very indif- 
ferent to the aspect she presents at home. With 
her there is no decent mean between dress and 
undress, the stiffness of formality and the laxity 
of negligence. She is like the tragedy queen of 
the play-house — a splendid sovereign before the 
foot-lights, and a dirty drab behind the scenes. 

The moderately dressed woman, on the con- 
trary, generally makes a uniform appearance of 
becoming neatness. Guided by good taste and 
sense, she dresses for home, knowing that what 
is decorous there Avill be always presentable to 
any company elsewhere. There are many wives 
of a fashionable tendency who presume too much 
on marital indulgence or indifference. These 
think that, after having caught their birds with 
chaff, they may throw it to the winds ; but birds 
thus taken are only to be kept by a continued 
supply. Any woman who, after having won a 


husband by her fashionable airs, expects to re- 
tain his affections by a careless indifference to 
her appearance at home, will find out probably 
her mistake, and, it is to be hoped, before it may 
be too late. 

The most fatal error a woman can make is to 
presume thus far upon her privileges as a wife. 
'No man can long endure a slattern at home, and 
especially if she appears the fine lady abroad, 
and thus shows her contemptuous preference of 
the opinion of others to his. 

Women of moderate means, instead of con- 
centrating their pecuniary forces upon this or 
that showy and expensive article of toilette, in 
order to dress for company, while they remain 
in a shabby negligence at home, would do more 
wisely to provide themselves with an abundant 
and decorous household wardrobe. A wise and 
true wife will take care that her house shall al- 
ways wear an aspect cheerful and alluring to 
her husband. Men confess to the weakness, if a 
weakness, of being greatly attracted and influ- 
enced in their disposition to love by the mere 
dress of woman. Fielding, who had a wife 
whom he loved, and who was altogether worthy 
of his love, says of her, in that minute portraiture 
of her charms in his "Amelia," that with the as- 
sistance of a little girl, who was their only serv- 


ant, she managed to dress the dinner, and like- 
wise " dressed herself as neat as any lady who 
had a regular set of servants could have done." 
This charming woman was also equally attentive 
to every other domestic duty. She took as much 
pleasure in cooking " as a fine lady generally en- 
joys in dressing herself for a ball." She, more- 
over, " never let a day pass without instructing 
her children in some lesson of religion and mo- 
rality ; by which means she had, in their tender 
minds, so strongly annexed the ideas of fear and 
shame to every idea of evil of which they were 
susceptible, that it must have taken great pains 
and length of habit to separate them." Neat- 
ness and order in the personal dress of the house- 
wife are thus generally accompanied by regular- 
ity and completeness in the performance of ev- 
ery domestic duty. 

To appear well dressed in the eye of the man 
requires no great outlay of money, for it is noto- 
rious that he prefers the elegance of simplicity 
to all the display of expensive art. The neat 
maid thus is not seldom more to his taste than 
the showy mistress. He asks only for neatness, 
fitness, and harmony of color. If women dress- 
ed only to please him, they might dispense with 
nine tenths of the expenditure upon their toi- 
lettes. But women dress to please — we were 


going to, but should rather say, displease — each 
other, for their main object seems to be to pro- 
voke the envy of their sisters by an impossible 
costliness of attire. 

A not uncommon evil of the love of finery in 
dress is the disregard to which it leads of the 
comfortable and wholesome. The absurd, tight- 
fitting black cloth dress suit is worn in midsum- 
mer, and the ballroom robe of gauze in the cold- 
est winter. Many a delicate frame shivers be- 
neath a flimsy and imperfect covering, which is 
only put on because it is conformable with some 
capricious idea of becomingness. Fashion, by 
her reckless disregard of the laws of nature and 
health, has sent hecatombs of her most faithful 
devotees to premature graves. The hygiene of 
dress is a subject which has been much neglect- 
ed, but deserves to be thoroughly studied. 

In this country, deriving our fashions as we 
do from regions in a different latitude and hemi- 
sphere from our own, we seldom wear, in any di- 
vision of the year, the clothes suitable to the 
season. The winter garments, especially of our 
women and children, are seldom warm enough. 

The philosophy of dress is not difiicult to mas- 
ter, for all that is required for the purpose is the 
application of a few of the elementary laws of 


The popular notion that the body receives 
warmth from the covering, whatsoever it may 
be, that is put upon it, is, according to science, 
an error. All the heat we have is of our own 
making, and is the result of the perpetual com- 
bustion going on in us and every living animal. 
The fat of what we eat, being chiefly carbon, or 
charcoal, supplies the fuel, and the oxygen of the 
air we breathe may be considered the fire which 
burns it. Scientifically, however, it is the act of 
combination of these two elements — carbon and 
oxygen — which constitutes the combustion from 
which results the heat of our bodies. 

The only purpose of dress, apart from satisfy- 
ing the demands of decency and fashion, is to 
facilitate or prevent the escape of the natural 
warmth of the animal system. In summer we 
accordingly try to get rid of it, and in winter, 
on the contrary, we strive to retain it. The for- 
mer is done by covering the body lightly with 
such materials as favor, and the latter by cloth- 
ing ourselves heavily with such textures as op- 
pose the passage of heat. The dress of summer 
is accordingly of thin, close texture, ordinarily 
white in color, and composed of cotton or linen. 
That of winter is of a thick, loose texture, gener- 
ally black or dark, and made of silk and wool. 
This, which is the result of the experience of 


ages, accords in every respect with the principles 
of science. 

Chemistry divides substances into conductors 
and non-conductors of heat. Tissues of close, 
thin texture, such as cotton and linen, are good 
conductors, and thus are suitable for summer 
dress, as they conduct away or carry off rapidly 
the warmth of the body. Thick, loose textures, 
made of wool or silk, are, on the other hand, no7i^ 
or bad conductors, and do not conduct away or 
carry off rapidly the animal heat, and are thus 
adapted to clothing the body in winter. 

Dr. Franklin's experiment proves that color 
has a decided influence upon the absorption of 
solar heat. He spread several pieces of cloth 
of varied tints upon the snow exposed to the 
warmth of the sun, and found that the snow be- 
neath the black melted the most rapidly, and 
that below the white the least so. Whenever 
the wearer is exposed to the rays of the sun, he 
will find a black dress hotter than a white one. 
In winter, accordingly, he will do well to choose 
the former, and in summer the latter. 

The make as well as the material of the dress 
has a great deal to do with its warmth. The at- 
mosphere is the worst of all conductors of heat. 
Accordingly, a loosely-made garment, which in 
its various folds incloses an abundance of air. 


must necessarily be a greater obstacle to the es- 
cape of the warmth of the body than a close-fit- 
ting dress. The non-conducting power of wool- 
en and other loose fabrics is mainly owing to the 
large interstices of the tissue being filled with 

A loose dress is, moreover, warmer, because it 
admits of the free circulation of blood, while a 
tight one impedes it by constricting the vessels, 
and thus hindering that free supply of the ele- 
ment essential to keeping up the brisk combus- 
tion upon which depends the due heating of the 

Winter clothing, then, to be warm, should be 
of thick, loose textur.e, as cloth, flannel, and oth- 
er woolen stuffs, dark in color, and of a cut so 
flowing that it may embrace within its folds 
stratum upon stratum of non-conducting air, and 
so loose as not to pinch any where, whatever 
may be the motion of the body. 

The rigid application of the arbitrary laws of 
fashion to children's dress is worse than an ab- 
surdity — it is a cruelty. It is obvious that the 
very young are entirely indifferent to, if not 
absolutely unconscious of the distinctions of cos- 
tume, and that they care nothing for the cut or 
the stuff of a smock or a vest provided their 
limbs and bodies are at ease, and free to bend 


and move. Mothers dress children to gratify 
their own vanity, and are not seldom entirely 
regardless of their little ones, whose health and 
comfort they so frequently sacrifice. The fash- 
ionable style of children's costume is often sin- 
gularly inappropriate. Much of it seems to have 
been devised in accordance w^th the prevalent 
notion that children can be hardened, as it is 
called, or rendered insensible, by exposure to the 
effects of weather. This is a vulgar error, and a 
dangerous one. Those who hold to it will point 
triumphantly, in proof of their opinion, to those 
rugged offspring of poverty, occasionally seen, 
who, in spite of their nakedness, seem to defy 
the cold and the storm. These, however, are the 
few of the many that disease has left untouched ; 
they are the hardy plants which remain in the 
wastes of misery unwithered and undestroyed 
by the neglect and pestilence which have decay- 
ed and killed most of those of kindred growth. 

It is a well-established fact that a much larger 
number of the children of the poor and misera- 
ble suffer from disease and die than of those of 
the rich and luxurious. The offspring of misery 
who survive are mostly the fortunate few en- 
dowed with an inherent vigor of constitution 
which is proof against the severest trials. None 
but the strongest children of poverty are left. 


The weakest scion of wealth is often nurtured 
by care to health and long life. Luxury may 
not always make the most rational use of its op- 
portunities in the bringing up of its fortunate 
offspring, but it has nothing to learn from mis- 
ery in the forced neglect of its unhappy proge- 
ny, except that the health and life of the young 
are only to be preserved by the most careful 

The surface of the body can not, as is often 
supposed, be hardened by continued exposure to 
cold or intemperate weather of any kind. The 
skin, when in a wholesome condition, is soft and 
moist, and, moreover, is being constantly renew- 
ed, so that, whatever may be the age of the ani^ 
mal, its integument is always fresh and young. 
It thus constantly preserves its tenderness and 
its sensibility to changes of temperature and 
other impressions. It is true that certain parts 
of the skin, as that in the palm of the hand of 
the manual worker, does thicken and become 
hard. This, however, is not a natural state ; and 
if by any process the whole surface of the body 
were covered with a similar shell of callousness, 
its vitality would probably be destroyed. It is 
necessary for the skin to retain its porousness 
and moist pliability in order to perform the 
function of transpiration which is essential to 


life. On some festive occasion or other, in Paris, 
the skin of a child was covered with gold-leaf, 
and died, in consequence, a few hours after, with- 
in its stiff and impervious shroud of gilt. 

The inherent delicacy of the skin renders it 
particularly sensitive to cold and drafts of air. 
It therefore requires protection. The low-neck- 
ed, short, and sleeveless dress, "by which fond 
mothers delight to show off the swelling busts 
and rounded limbs of their darlings, is, accord- 
ingly, a vanity which can not be indulged in 
with safety in all latitudes and all seasons. Dur- 
ing our severe winters there should be no part 
of the surface of the body of a child, with the 
Exception of its face, exposed to the external 
air. With, however, the fiery furnaces, and the 
more than tropical heat of most of our prosper- 
ous interiors, the indoor clothing may be very 
light, or almost nothing, provided the tempera- 
ture be uniform, and all drafts and changes of 
air be avoided. With the prevailing practice 
of overheating our houses, there is always, on 
going out, a danger in facing the winter's breath. 
To escape this, the greatest possible difference 
should be made between the indoor and out- 
door clothing. This is obviously to be done 
by relying for warmth chiefly upon the cloaks 
and coats, pelisses, fur capes, and the exterior 


garments which are easily put on and off. If 
the under-clothing, or that ordinarily worn in- 
side of the house, be too heavy, that put on on 
going out is apt to be too light to protect the 
body against the difference of temperature, which 
is the chief danger to be guarded against. 

Of course, as air and exercise are essential to 
the health of the young, they must face the stern 
winter of their native land, but it is a fatal mis- 
take to suppose that either nature or habit can 
render them insensible to its withering breath. 
The only security is in warm clothing, which 
must not be neglected with any absurd idea of 

It is quite certain that some of the ordinances 
of fashion are in accordance neither with grace, 
convenience, nor health, and yet few will ven- 
ture to refuse compliance with them. What can 
be uglier and more painful to wear than a stiff 
stove-pipe hat ? and yet there is hardly any one 
in London below a peer of the realm, or above a 
costermonger's man, who will dare to show his 
head in the streets without such a covering. 
The black coat and white cravat de rigeur none 
of us must venture to dispense with on certain 
occasions, and yet how ugly ! They have, more- 
over, the disadvantage of confounding master 
and man. The Paris Figaro gives us an illustra- 


tion : " The other day a gentleman in this equiv- 
ocal suit presented himself, with a package under 
his arm, at the door of the celebrated modiste^ 

Madame W . The porter, taking him by the 

cut of his coat for one of his own set, showed 
him up by the servants' staircase. He took the 
way indicated, and, after handing to madame a 
diamond head-dress to be altered, said, ' My wife 
being unable to come, I have brought it myself 
Pray do it as soon as possible, and don't disap- 
point her.' As he was leaving, he added, ' I 
must congratulate you, madame, upon the excel- 
lent arrangement of your establishment,' and ex-, 
plained how he had been shown up by the kitch- 
en way. The modiste was in a terrible rage at 
lier porter, for the servant, as he had supposed, 
was no less a personage than the great Monsieur 
Rouher, the prime minister of imperial France, 
who had undertaken, when in full dress for din- 
ner, a commission for his wife." 



Food. — Importance of the Manner of eating Food. — The 
Decency of Feeding. — Its Eifect on Health and Appetite. 
— Chatted Food. — Dainty Feeders. 

The first essential is to catch our hare, and the 
second to cook it well, but the third is undoubt- 
edly to eat it properly. A regard to the kind 
of food is hardly more necessary to its enjoy- 
ment and to health than the manner of eating 
it. There is no country in the world where there 
is such an abundance of good raw material for 
the supply of the dietetic necessities of man, or 
where there are so many people with the means 
of obtaining it, as in the United States. It may 
be added that there is hardly a nation that 
derives so little enjoyment and benefit as the 
American from its resources. These, which are 
so plentiful with us, and, if properly used, calcu- 
lated to bestow so much pleasure and physical 
good, give a great deal less of either than the 
meagre supplies of less productive countries. 
Our abundance of food, so far from being a ben- 
efit, is made, by perverse use, an injury. We 
have so much that we undervalue it, and deem 


it unworthy of the care which is necessary in its 
preparation for wholesome nutriment. We thus 
confine ourselves mostly to the grosser articles 
of diet, or such as are ordinarily called plain 
food, and which require but little art to adapt 
them to the taste. 

We are entirely too carnivorous in this coun- 
try. We feed too exclusively on steaks of beef, 
chops of mutton, cutlets of veal, and joints of 
meat. All our dishes being what the French call 
pieces of resistance, the national stomach is kept 
in a constant state of active assault. This over- 
strains its energy, and produces that malady so 
common with us which the doctors call atonic 
dyspepsia ; that is, the indigestion which arises 
from weakness in consequence of overwork. 

The physiologists tell us that the human sys- 
tem requires for its proper nutrition a variety 
of food. There must be a due proportion of 
oily, albuminous, and saccharine matter to ren- 
der the diet of man wholesome. Neither bread, 
meat, nor sugar, however necessary as a part of 
the whole, is sufiicient alone to sustain the health 
and vigor of man. There must be a proper quan- 
tity of each in every daily meal. The experience 
of good livers, with their regular succession of 
courses of soup, fish, meat, vegetables, and des- 
sert, have long since settled this matter of va- 


riety of food to their own satisfaction, and in ac- 
cordance with the teachings of science. Our 
country friends are apt to scorn all lessons from 
such a quarter, but we assure them that in re- 
gard to their manner of eating they may follow 
the example of the fashionable with advantage. 
We know of nothing more dangerous to health 
than the higgledy-piggledy tables of our country 
cousins, where flesh, fowl, fish, and all the pro- 
ductions of the earth are mingled together in a 
confusion that perplexes the taste, and prevents 
all discrimination of choice. To eat such meals 
requires the voracity which rustic labor can 
alone give, and to digest them demands such a 
stomach as nature refuses to man, but grants, it 
is said, to the ostrich. 

It is always well to begin the dinner as every 
Frenchman does — with soup. This quiets the 
excessive craving of the stomach, but does not 
completely satisfy the hunger ; and by thus sub- 
duing its voracity, prevents it from inordinate 
indulgence in food that is less easy of digestion. 
So also is there a good reason why the sweet 
things should be eaten at the close of the dinner. 
All saccharine food has the effect of quickly sa- 
tiating, and, if taken at the commencement of a 
meal, would satisfy the appetite so completely as 
to indispose it for the other more substantial 


articles of diet necessary to the proper nourish- 
ment of the body. 

Human beings were never intended to be the 
mere guzzlers of food that they too often are. 
Though our animal appetites are a possession 
that we have in common with brutes, we are 
able, but they are not, to temper their grossness 
with the refinements of art. 

This power, which is a distinguishing feature 
of man, is less often exercised than it should be, 
and we consequently find the human animal eat- 
ing and drinking in a manner which gives indi- 
cation only of the brutal instinct. There is 
nothing more suggestive of a piggery at swill- 
time than an ordinary "bar-room and restau- 
rant" at the hours of luncheon. In what is swal- 
lowed on these occasions the human exercises 
no more discrimination than the porcine animal. 
As the former, with his head and elbows over 
the slushy bar, gulps down the " slings and cob- 
blers," and other mysterious compounds of mis- 
cellaneous mixture, or bolts the indefinite oyster 
stews and clam chowders, how like he is to the 
latter, with his nose and fore feet in the overflow- 
ing trough of swill ! 

The combination on each plate of the numer- 
ous items of the hotel or boarding-house bill of 
fare, which passes daily the unquestioning swal- 


low of American voracity, is a prodigious test 
of the powers of digestion. The result can not 
be otherwise than derangement of the functions 
of the stomach, disease of that organ, and conse- 
quent weakness of the whole body. 

A due attention to the grace and decency of 
feeding is often the surest means of provoking 
the taste of the nice. A well-presented meal 
will entice the languid appetite when the same 
food ill served will repel all desire. This is a 
fact to be considered in the treatment of the 
sick, when weakness and delicacy make them es- 
pecially fastidious. Those who have had any 
experience in their management know how great 
is the effect of a minute attention to the manner 
in which food or medicine is presented to them. 
The dose seems to lose much of its nauseousness 
when swallowed from the well -polished silver 
spoon, and the morsel of food neatly cut and or- 
derly presented acquires a finer flavor. The 
connoisseur of wine would fail to catch the vague 
bouquet of the rarest sherry and finest Cham- 
pagne if he drank them out of an earthen pot 
instead of the delicately blown glass. 

In regard to eating, parsimony is by no means 
the best economy of time. There may be an im- 
mediate gain in hurrying through the daily re- 
past, but the future loss, from ill health and pre- 


mature death, will be far greater. It is particu- 
larly necessary to lengthen the American dinner, 
and we know of no better means of doing this 
than by dividing it into courses, and interposing 
between them cheerful interludes of social talk. 
A full hour at least should be spared from the 
busiest day for the main repast. It should never 
be slurred over by any of the miserable pretexts 
of the bar-room, eating-house, or confectionery, 
but treated with all the substantial considera- 
tion its importance demands. Let each one 
make the most of his dinner, whatever it may 
be. Let it be prolonged, and freed from gross- 
ness by a graceful ceremony ; and, above all, let 
it be partaken of in company, for nothing is so 
depressing to mind and body as solitary feeding. 

"A man's body and his mind are like a jerkin 
and a jerkin's lining : rumple the one, you rum- 
ple the other." The physiological fact, thus apt- 
ly and humorously illustrated by Sterne, is no- 
where more apparent than in the mutual influ- 
ence of digestion and mental emotion. Both the 
brain and stomach must be at ease for either to 
perform its functions properly. Cheerfulness of 
mind is as essential to a good digestion as a good 
digestion is essential to cheerfulness of mind. 

The sudden announcement of bad news, or the 
occurrence of any thing to disquiet the mind. 


will not only arrest the hunger of the sharpest 
appetite for the choicest food, but produce a loath- 
ing of it. To eat, if it were possible, in such a 
state of mental discomfort, would be sure to re- 
sult in a fit of indigestion, if not in something 
more serious. 

When the stomach is satisfying its ajDpetite, 
the mind should not only be free from any pain- 
ful emotion, but in a state of gentle and cheer- 
ful excitement. " Chatted food," according to 
the old proverb, " is half digested." This sug- 
gests the advantage of social eating, than which 
nothing is more conducive to the enjoyment as 
well as the digestion of food. With the socia- 
bility of a mixed dinner company there comes 
just the degree of mental liveliness required. 
The mind is distracted from its own preoccupa- 
tions by the common talk to which each one con- 
tributes, without making an exhaustive draught 
upon his resources. Thus there is general ani- 
mation without any individual fatigue. The 
whole nervous system is, by this agreeable, 
means, stirred to a gentle excitement, which is 
favorable to the performance of every bodily 
function, and especially to that of digestion. 

Believing that sociability is an essential ele- 
ment of not only the enjoyable, but digestible 
dinner, we protest emphatically against solitary 


feeding, which is both a gross and unwholesome 
practice. It is, however, very general among 
our men of business. These have the habit of 
eating while, they work. Although they drop 
the pen in assuming the knife and fork, their 
brains remain busy with their debit and credit 
calculations, without, however, taking into ac- 
count what is due to health. They rush in the 
anxious interval between an offer and a sale or 
purchase to the trough of some neighboring 
bar-room. Here they fill their stomachs in the 
shortest time with the largest quantity of sludge 
— for the confused mess of stew, chowder, pie- 
crust, and other miscellaneous grub hardly de- 
serves any other name — and hasten back to pro- 
nounce the last word of a bargain, which they 
have been ruminating while bolting their din- 
ner. The bargain may turn out a good opera- 
tion, but the dinner will be sure to be a losing, 
and, if often repeated, a fatal one. 

MaYiy of our over-refined dames seem to have 
adopted Lord Byron's notion, that eating is un- 
becoming to woman. It is a marvel how some 
of them manage to keep body and soul together 
with the apparent regimen of starvation to which 
they subject themselves. To see them at table, 
you would hardly think them capable of the sol- 
itary pea to which Beau Brummell confessed. 


" Do you eat vegetables ?" he was asked. " I 
once ate a pea," was his answer. Our delicate 
dames appear to have reduced themselves to the 
fabulous abstemiousness of the single blade of 
grass to which the old woman had gradually 
brought her cow. 

At the regular repasts of the day the would- 
be genteel woman never seems to be hungr}^ 
She takes her place at the table apparently only 
as a matter of form, and handles her knife and 
fork with the same lackadaisical air of indiffer- 
ence as she would her painted fan at the Opera. 
She may possibly sip a spoonful of soup, or swal- 
low an occasional crumb of bread, to pass the 
time ; but of the substantial s of beef and pud- 
ding she does not take enough to " choke a daw 
withal." Breakfast, dinner, and tea are no bet- 
ter than so many Barmecide feasts as far as she 
is concerned, and she might as well, for all she 
apparently eats, take her seat at the illusive 
board of Sancho Panza in Barataria. 

It is hardly the genteel thing, perhaps, but we 
shall nevertheless venture to say to our lady 
friends, as Petruchio said to Katharine, " I know 
you have a stomach." Granting the fact of the 
possession of this important organ by women, 
we do not see why the genteelest of them should 
be ashamed of acknowledging it, and frankly do- 


ing what may be necessary to secure it in all its 
integrity. There is only one way of doing this, 
and that is filling the stomach at regular periods 
with plenty of wholesome food. 

In former times the most distinguished and re- 
fined of women were hearty feeders, and, with- 
out any of the sneaking delicacy of modern days, 
made no scruples of handling a vigorous knife 
and fork before the whole world. Queen Eliza- 
beth and her maids breakfasted on great rounds 
of beef, washed down with full tankards of strong 
beer. " My lord and lady," records an observer 
of the habits of the Earl of Northumberland and 
his countess, " have for breakfast at seven o'clock 
a quart of beer, as much wine, two pieces of salt 
fish, six red herrings, four white ones, and a dish 
of sprats." The Duchess of Orleans, the mother 
of the famous regent, while in the full enjoy- 
ment of the luxury of Versailles, in the time of 
Louis XIY., wrote : " A good dish of sour-krout 
and smoked sausages is, in my opinion, worthy 
of a king, and there is nothing preferable to it ; 
a soup made of cabbage and bacon is more to 
my taste than all the delicate kickshaws they 
make so much of here." It is not astonishing 
that there were strong women in those days, 
such as the stout wife of a Duke Ernest of Aus- 
tria, who could crack the hardest nut with her 


fingers, and drive a tenpenny nail home with her 
fist. And the Duchess of Orleans was wont to 
fi^llow the hounds from morning until night, had 
been in at the death of more than a thousand 
stags, and had many a serious fall. " But," she 
says, "of the twenty- six falls from my horse 
that I have had, I have been seriously injured 
but once." Such was the toughness engender- 
ed by sour-krout, smoked sausage, and cabbage- 
soup ! 

There is very little doubt that much of the de- 
bility and disease so common among the women 
of our day is due to this genteel squeamishness 
in regard to substantial food. It is not that 
they absolutely starve themselves to death, for 
many of the most abstemious at the open din- 
ner are the most voracious at the secret lunch- 
eon. Thus that fastidious dame, whose gorge 
rises before company at the sight of a single 
pea, will on the sly swallow cream tarts by 
the dozen, and caramels and chocolate-drops by 
the pound's weight. Women should know that 
health is not possible with a daily glut of bon- 
bons and pastry, but that physiology teaches, 
and experience confirms, the necessity of a vari- 
ous and substantial diet, such as is supplied at 
the three regular meals of a well-ordered house- 
hold. Let our dames get over their false shame 


of a vigorous use of the social knife and fork, and 
learn that in rejecting publicly beef and pudding, 
and devouring confectionery privately, they are 
in reality gross, and not dainty feeders. 



Etiquette of the Breakfast. — Etiquette of the Luncheon. — 
Etiquette of the Dinner. 

Breakfast — we mean the genuine breakfast, 
not the dejelXner d la fourchette^ or luncheon — is, 
the least ceremonious of meals. By common 
consent, many of the usual table formalities are 
dispensed with on this occasion. Though, in a 
well-regulated family, for the sake of inculcating 
order and punctuality, the attendance of each 
member may be required at a fixed hour, there 
is generally a wide discretion left to every one 
else in regard to the time of his sitting down to 

At this informal repast each person is left free, 
within certain limits, to consult exclusively his 
own convenience. In the great country houses 
of Europe, where a very ceremonious hospitality 
is kept up, the breakfast is deemed so far an ex- 
ception to the general law of strict observance 
that it is served to the guests, as it might be to 
so many travelers at an inn, at any hour of the 
morning, in the dining-hall, or even in their own 


It is not expected that there should be a gath- 
ering in the drawing-room or elsewhere of the 
whole party, and a simultaneous movement to 
the breakfast- table. The well -marshaled pro- 
cession usual at dinner may be and is generally 
dispensed with. The distinctions of rank and 
age are not recognized, and the laughing child 
may take precedence of the gravest dignitary. 
Each one, in fact, is allowed to drop in when and 
how he may. The presence of even the host and 
hostess is not exacted, although, where there is 
a household of children requiring the discipline 
of order and punctuality, no parent should fail 
to set the example of regular observance of the 
hour of breakfast, as of every other meal. 

The breakfast-table should be, in accordance 
with the unceremoniousness of the repast, very 
simply dressed. The damask table-cloth and 
napkins, the service of white china, the shining 
urn or kettle, the pat of butter with its crystal 
of ice, the crisp loaf, and the glistening vessels 
of glass symmetrically arranged, have in them- 
selves a freshness very enticing to a morning ap- 
petite. The oval table is both more pleasing to 
the eye and convenient for use. The centre 
should always be adorned with flowers if they 
can be obtained, or by fruit when in season. 
The dame of the house takes her jDlace at the 



head or the side of the table, and before her she 
has the tray with the various vessels for prepar- 
ing the usual domestic beverages — tea and cof- 
fee. These, to be good, should be made up stairs 
just before they are served. The old-fashioned 
urn, which was a huge, ugly, funereal thing, dark- 
ening the whole table with its solemn bulk, and 
eclipsing the blooming face of the matron, has 
given way, fortunately, to a more graceful tea- 
kettle of bronze. This should be placed on the 
table in front or at the side of the tray, and may 
be kept boiling during the whole meal by means 
of its alcoholic lamp. The hot water should be 
freely used, not so much to temper the tea and 
coffee as to rinse out the cups. The slop-bowl 
is, moreover, a necessary vessel, which, however, 
is too often wanting. Fastidious people don't 
care to see the jetsons Sindi flotsams of their first 
cups floating in their second. We need hardly 
say that Dr. Johnson's mode of helping the sugar 
is not recognized by nice people as the proper 
one, any more than it was by Mrs. Thrale, who, 
as we recollect, ordered the bowl to be taken 
away after the learned lexicographer had dipped 
his inky fingers into it. The old fellow, it is 
true, took this lesson of cleanliness very ungrate- 
fully, and threw, with a demonstrative but illog- 
ical spite, one of Mrs. Thrale's best china cups 


into the fire, saying that if the one vessel was 
unfit for use after his fingers had been in it, the 
other, once touched by his lips, was equally so. 
In France, where they are not always as reserved 
in the use of their hands as they might be, the 
dames not seldom thrust them into the sugar- 
basins. This French fashion we can not recom- 
mend for adoption into this country. 

It is not customary for fastidious people to ac- 
cept of more than two cups of tea or coffee ; but 
we do not know why good breeding, though 
moderation and temperance in all things is one 
of its cardinal principles, should confine itself 
precisely to that number. Dr. Johnson used to 
take a score or more at a single sitting. It has 
always been recognized as a symbol — the origin 
of which we do not pretend to know — of having 
had enough when the drinker leaves his spoon in 
the tea or coffee cup^ and of his wanting more 
when it is left in the saucer. We would advise, 
however, our hospitable dames not to rely too 
much upon such indications. It is a conven- 
ience, and is, moreover, the fashion, first set, it is 
said, by no less a personage than Queen Victo- 
ria, to place the whole loaf of bread on the table, 
with a large knife by its side ; and this, we may 
say, is the only occasion when this instrument 
should be used. The bread with which each one 


is served ought always to be broken, and never 

The breakfast to suit a morning appetite, 
which, though in a healthy person always brisk, 
is somewhat unsophisticated, should be com- 
posed of light and easily-digestible food. Noth- 
ing is more suitable, therefore, than a farinace- 
ous diet. Bread, of course, in its various forms, 
must constitute the staple ; but, in addition to 
these, the usual preparations of hominy and 
buckwheat are excellent breakfast articles. But- 
ter and molasses w^ith such food — the free use 
of which it is not uncommon to prohibit to chil- 
dren — fulfill, according to chemistry, an essential 
part in the economy of digestion and nutrition.. 
Milk should always constitute a large proportion 
of the morning meal, not only of children, but of 
adults. Much of the vigor of muscle and brain 
of the Scotch has been attributed to their free 
use of oatmeal porridge and pease brose mixed 
with milk. 

We arc no great advocates for a solid meat 
diet at the first meal of the day. In frosty 
weather, a rasher of bacon, a sausage or two 
conscientiously made, some whitefish, or a slice 
of cold meat, may be well, but the hot steaks 
and chops had better be postponed for the more 
deliberate repasts. When cold meats, game. 


and meat pies, the remnants of a previous feast, 
form part of the breakfast, it is considered good 
taste to banish them to the sideboard. The 
hacked joint or the ragged pastry of the day 
before would certainly not harmonize with the 
delicate freshness and neatness of a well-set 
breakfast-table. Eggs and fruit in their seasons 
are always proper. In fact, the latter is more 
suitable food in the earlier than in the latter part 
of the day. The old proverb says, " Fruit is gold 
in the morning, silver at noon, and lead at night." 

It is always considered good breeding to get 
through the breakfast with as little formality of 
service as possible. The well bred on such oc- 
casions, whatever force they may have of flunk- 
ies, dispense as far as possible with their pres- 
ence, and content themselves with a neatly-at- 
tired and unobtrusive maid or a retiring valet, 
who knows when to make a timely exit. 

The simplest costume is always regarded as 
the most becoming at breakfast. The matron 
should make her appearance in white cap and 
early-morning indoor dress; and the master of 
the house may present himself almost as he will, 
even in a shooting-jacket, but never in morning 
wrapper or slippers. These are too suggestive 
of the sick-chamber. We incontinently put our 
fingers to our noses when we see them. 


The luncheon, which the etymologists would 
persuade us is derived from clutch or climch^ and 
should be consequently spelled olutcheon or clim- 
cheon^ meaning simply a handful of food, has lost 
much of its primitive signification. The modern 
luncheon is no longer regarded by those who 
know how to live as a mere sop thrown to 
that hungry Cerberus of the stomach, the appe- 
tite, with the view of quieting only for a moment 
its growlings, but a deliberate, satisfying meal. 

The modern luncheon of our people is the de- 
jellner d la foiirchette — the breakfast with a fork 
— of the French. 

*' What a breakfast ! Oh, not like your ghost 
Of a breakfast in England, your curs'd tea and toast !" 

Under the old name of luncheon most thriv- 
ing and well-regulated families daily sit down to 
the Frenchman's dejeHner d la foiirchette. When 
the first breakfast, which we suppose and recom- 
mend to be a light, farinaceous one of bread or 
hominy, with milk, tea, or cofiee, has been taken 
at eight in the morning, the more substantial 
second or luncheon should be eaten about four 
hours or so afterward — say at twelve or half 
past twelve o'clock. The interval, however, be- 
tween two solid meals can be prolonged to six 

It is customary to make the luncheon serve 


the double purpose of a second breakfast for the 
grown-up members of the family, and an early 
dinner for the children and servants. It is es- 
sential that the young should eat their main re- 
past early in the day, for, if it were postponed 
until its close, they would be constantly exposed 
to the danger of going to sleep wdth a full stom- 
ach. The attempt to keep a child awake beyond 
his natural hour for repose is seldom practicable, 
and always cruel. At the same time, if by any 
mischance or bad management he is gorged with 
food at a late hour, it is hardly safe to put him 
to bed. There is no more frequent cause of the 
serious and sudden ailments of children than 
yielding to the somnolency of satiety. 

Thrifty housekeepers often make the luncheon 
out of the remains of the previous day's dinner. 
This, however, can be carried too far, for it must 
be borne in mind that no rechauffe or rehash has 
the nutritious qualities of a fresh dish. Grow- 
ing children should not be restricted to vapid 
remnants, but occasionally, at least, be regaled 
with newly-cooked and juicy meat. The lunch- 
eon is apt to be made of a disproportionate quan- 
tity of dessert and sweets. These are often used 
by well-meaning thrift to piece out the natural 
scantiness of a meal composed of the leavings of 
the day before. Plain puddings and pastry, 


when kept in proper subordination to the more 
nutritious diet of meat and vegetables, will in- 
jure no one, man or child, but they are superflu- 
ities, and should never be allowed to take the 
place of necessaries. 

Of late years the luncheon, or dejelXner d la 
fourchette^ has been dignified by its formal rec- 
ognition by society as a ceremonious repast. 
Our men of business are too sparing of their time 
to give an hour pledged to trade to the delights 
of a social breakfast. They accordingly content * 
themselves with " slings" and " chowder," which 
can be gulped down in a breath, without the loss 
of a rise or fall of a Wall Street fraction. The 
formal breakfast or lunch is more especially the 
feast of literary men, fashionable women, and 
other idlers. At their " receptions" our dames 
generally serve up chocolate and cakes. Tea, 
and bouillon in cups, which is simply beef broth, 
are also occasionally proffered to the most inti- 
mate friends. We are sorry to learn that the 
wine and liqueur decanters are beginning to cir- 
culate with unusual freedom at these gatherings 
of the gentler sex, though unprovoked to indul- 
gence by the example of the grosser instincts of 

There is much less formality in the serving of 
a lunch than a dinner. It is seldom in this coun- 


try, though generally in France, composed of sev- 
eral courses. The whole repast, whatever it may 
be, is set before the guest at the same time. 
When one or two only are to partake of the 
meal, a tray is served ; but when more, the whole 
table is spread, but every thing to be eaten ordi- 
narily appears upon it. 

The wedding, or formal official breaikfast, is a 
stereotyped affair, cast in the moulds of the con- 
fectioner and restaurateur. It is little else than 
the fashionable ball supper, lighted up by day 
instead of gas light, and is composed, like it, of 
stewed oysters, galantines, mayonnaise of fowl, 
cold game, ices, pyramids, and all the knickknack- 
eries of confectionery. 

The proper costume at wedding and formal 
breakfasts, as at all festivals before dinner, is a 
morning dress. The gentlemen should wear 
frock-coats, and light vests and trowsers, and 
the dames their usual morning visiting drapery. 
The male visitor ordinarily enters the drawing- 
room with his hat in his hand, and the female 
will always, unless very intimate, present her- 
self with her bonnet on her head. The guests 
take their places with all the ceremony of a for- 
mal banquet. The bride and bridegroom always 
have the precedence in the procession to the re- 
freshment-room, and others take their position 


according to rank and age. The cavalier, in es- 
corting his dame, should always give her his 
right arm. 

The origin of dinner-eating is coeval with the 
creation of man. Dinner-giving, however, is the 
later product of advanced civilization. It may 
be received as an axiom that the social progress 
of a community is in direct proportion to the 
number of its dinner-parties. London, Paris, Vi- 
enna, Berlin, and other centres of refinement re- 
tain their pre-eminence by virtue solely of their 
daily banquets. Abolish these, and you extin- 
guish the friendly relationship of nations, the in- 
timate intercourse of the cultivated and refined, 
render " the feast of reason and the flow of soul" 
impossible, and arrest the progress of society. 
It is unquestionable that more enduring alli- 
ances have been struck by diplomatists across 
the mahogany than were ever agreed upon in 
ministerial cabinets. Talleyrand regarded the 
dinner-table the best place for the transaction 
of business ; and while he himself was planted 
there, he could safely leave the rest to his sub- 
ordinates and scribes in the ofiice. The choice 
and costly dinners of Cambaceres were ungrudg- 
ingly paid for by his master Napoleon, for he re- 
garded and encouraged them as powerful en- 
gines of state. Who can doubt that much of 


the culture of the world, with all its elements of 
refined manners, intellectual converse, and taste 
for science, literature, and the arts, is largely de- 
pendent upon the social gatherings at the din- 
ner-tables of the metropolitan cities ? Trace the 
careers of any of the notable men of the world, 
and mark how often their genius is seen to 
sparkle at the convivial board. How much we 
should lose, for example, of Johnson, Garrick, 
Reynolds, Sheridan, Sydney Smith, or Theodore 
Hook, if deprived of their company at dinner ! 
The general tone of science, literature, the fine 
arts, and taste, is unquestionably sustained by 
metropolitan social intercourse. If dinner-giv- 
ing in its capitals were abolished, all Europe, we 
believe, would relapse into barbarism. In seek- 
ing for evidences of American progress in re- 
finement, we should count the number of daily 
dinner-parties, on the great increase of which of 
late there is reason to congratulate not only all 
lovers of good cheer, but friends of their coun- 

The number of persons at a dinner-party, ac- 
cording to an old saying, should never be " more 
than the Muses [nine], or less than the Graces" 
[three]. Brillat Savarin says : "Let not the num- 
ber of the company exceed twelve." He, like 
all his countrymen, stops suddenly short of the 


thirteen — an ominous number in the supersti- 
tious fancy of the French. Having the belief 
that this number will be sure to be fatal within 
the year to some one of the company, it is im- 
possible to persuade thirteen to sit down to- 
gether at dinner. The host, even, or some ac- 
commodating guest, whatever may be the occa- 
sion, will be sure to subtract himself from that 
odd and inauspicious sum, should it be imfortu- 
nately cast up at a convivial entertainment.* 

It is too much the practice, particularly in this 
country, to invite people of the same profession 
or occupation to dine together. Apart from the 
fact that there is usually less harmony among 
such, and they are almost sure, like members of 
the same family, to quarrel with each other, there 
is this further objection, that their conversation 
is apt to be exclusively professional. If all di- 
vines, their talk will be divinity ; if all lawyers, 
law; if all doctors, medicine; and if all mer- 
chants, trade. The result, of course, can not be 

* It would seem from this record, takdh from a French 
paper, but accredited to an English one, that the same super- 
stition prevails in England : "Died, John Andrew Malkeith, 
aged fifty-four. His business was that of a quatorzihne, or 
fourteenth man at table. He was thus often employed to 
dine three or four times on the same day, and had accumu- 
lated by the exercise of his functions, which were liberally 
paid, the sum of $100,000!" 


very grateful to the dames who may be present, 
who will not care, probably, to be regaled in the 
intervals of the soup and fish, or the roast and 
dessert, with the perplexities of faith, the uncer- 
tainties of justice, and the nauseous details of 
physic. Brillat Savarin, than whom there is no 
better authority, says that the guests invited to 
a dinner " should be so selected that their occu- 
pations shall be varied^ their tastes analogous, 
and with such points of contact that there shall 
be no necessity for the odious formality of pre- 

The invitations, if the party is a formal one, 
should be sent about a week or ten days before 
the dinner. The usual formula is simply this, 
either written in a note or printed on a card : 

" Mr. and Mrs. request the pleasure [or honor] of 

Mr. 's company to dinner at — o'clock on . 


A formal acceptance should read thus : 

**Mr. accepts with pleasure Mrs. 's invita- 
tion to dinner at — o'clock on ." 

All written invitations should be answered im- 
mediately in writing, but especially invitations 
to dinner, and should be complied with at all 
hazards. If, by any mischance — as the death 
of a relative, or some other serious cause — the 
guest, after having once accepted an invitation. 


is unable to comply with it, he must be careful 
to send notice of the fact, with his regrets, at the 
earliest possible moment. 

At all dinner-parties the ladies and gentlemen 
are expected to present themselves in full even- 
ing costume. Delicate hosts and hostesses, par- 
ticularly when the occasion is not a very formal 
one, will take care to keep their own dresses in 
due subordination, lest they may possibly out- 
shine too evidently some of their guests, and un- 
necessarily put them to the blush. Thus a fas- 
tidious host will not seldom keep to his frock- 
coat and black cravat, with a nice consideration 
for some invited person who may by chance have 
neglected to put on the swallow-tail and white 
choker de rigiieur. 

Punctuality is essential to the perfection of 
dining, as it is to the proper performance of ev- 
ery other social duty. A half hour's grace used 
to be allowed, and it was not " the thing" to ar- 
rive at the exact time appointed. Fashion, how- 
ever, now sanctions what common sense has al- 
ways inculcated, and men of society are expect- 
ed, alike with men of business, to be exact in 
their engagements. 

On reaching the house, the gentleman, if ac- 
companied by a lady, gives her his arm on enter- 
ing the drawing-room, and the first person ad- 


dressed should be the hostess. Very fashionable 
people have a footman at the door to announce 
the names of the guests as they present them- 
selves. If this is not done, the host or hostess 
may introduce their visitors to each other, taking 
care to make as little fuss as possible about it. 
When introductions are dispensed with, as they 
may be with propriety, the guests should have 
no hesitation in conversing freely with each other 
as mutual acquaintances. 

When the dinner is announced, which should 
be done by the servant simply saying " The din- 
ner is served," a procession is at once formed. 
The host gives his Q^ight arm to the female 
guest who has the precedence from age, rank, or 
strangeness,- and leads her to a place at the din- 
ner-table on his right, he being at the head or at 
one side. Next comes the most distinguished 
male guest with the hostess.* She seats herself 
at the other extremity, or at the opposite side 
of the table, with her cavalier on her right. The 
rest follow in couples, ranked generally accord- 
ing to age, and as they enter the dining-room are 
placed so that the host may be flanked on either 
side by a dame, and the hostess by a cavalier. 

* In England the hostess often remains with her cavalier, 
the most important male person, until the last, and performs 
the duty of pairing the guests. 


The rest of the guests are arranged in successive 
couples, so that each cavalier will be between 
two dames, and each dame between two cava- 
liers, provided the sexual proportions of the par- 
ty allow of such an arrangement. It is usual to 
separate the husband from his wife, and tempora- 
rily sever other domestic relations. This does 
not seem flattering to the conjugal and family 
ties, but the practical effect is undoubtedly- 



Etiquette of the Dinner (continued). — After Dinner. 

If you value your health you will take a sub- 
stantial meal, call it what you please, at an ear- 
ly hour in the day, say at noon, or thereabout. 
Plain people devour this repast, terming it din- 
ner, while the fashionable eat it with no less ea- 
gerness, but under the appellation of luncheon^ 
or, as the French say, dejeHner d la fourchette. 
It is unquestionably favorable to the vigor of 
the body to supply it with a large, perhaps the 
largest, portion of its essential ixutriment be- 
tween twelve and one o'clock. The appetite is 
almost universally strong at this time, and the 
corporeal energies being in their fullest strength, 
the function of digestion is more readily and ef- 
fectively performed. We have no objection to 
a late meal — in fact, a sound stomach requires 
it ; but it is dangerous, nay, fatal, to postpone 
the satisfaction of a hearty appetite until the 
close of the day. We all require the early solid 
repast, call it what you may — dinner, luncheon, 
or dejeiXner a la fourchette. The later meal, if 


subordinate, is also beneficial, and it matters 
not whether you eat it as the humble supper or 
as the stately dinner. 

The mistake which is made by many who 
take a late dinner is, that they make it serve 
the purpose of both dinner and supper. Instead 
of taking in the middle of the day, as they 
should, a good deliberate meal, of Avhich meat 
ought to form the chief part, they jDut off the 
appetite with a dry biscuit, which appeases hun- 
ger, but fails to nourjsh the body. It is dan- 
gerous to abandon the early dinner without an 
equivalent in the form of the solid luncheon. 
All epicures agree, moreover, that, to appreciate 
a recherche dinner, it must not be eaten with the 
voracity of the man famished by a whole day's 
hunger, but approached with the cool delibera- 
tion of a person in the full command of all his 
faculties, dietetic and aesthetic. This he can not 
have unless he has subjected his appetite by a 
proper satisfaction of its requirements at the ear- 
ly and natural feeding-time, of the day. " To ap- 
preciate your dinner, you must eat lunch," is an 
axiom in the science of gastronomy. 

Considering the fashionable dinner as dietet- 
ically subordinate to the solid noonday repast, 
the hour of its occurrence becomes of compara- 
tively little importance. In England people sel- 


dom sit down to it before seven or half past sev- 
en or eight o'clock. In France six is the usual 
hour ; and the fashionable peoj)le of the United 
States seem generally inclined to follow the 
French in this, as in other things. If our advice 
and a substantial meal at noon be taken, we 
would recommend the ceremonious repast of the 
day never to be eaten earlier than half past five. 

The ordinary mode of serving a dinner is the 
French one. The various dishes are placed 
upon the table just as they leave the hands of 
the cook, and, being carved by host and hostess, 
are distributed by the servants to the guests. 
For formal occasions, however, the Russian mode, 
or the diJier d la JRusse, has become fashionable. 
The dishes, when this style is adopted, are not 
served until cut up, when they are handed in 
succession to each guest by the waiters. The 
table is adorned in the centre with flowers, and 
fruit fresh and sugared, various galantines of 
fowl and game, and ornamental confectionery. 
The plates of soup are generally put on the table 
before the guests are called in, and a bill of fare, 
as well as the name of each person, to indicate 
the seat he is to take, printed or written upon a 
card, is placed on the napkin. 

Under each soup-plate there is one of the or- 
dinary kind. On the right of this there are a 


napkin, a piece of bread, four glasses — the tum- 
bler first, then the Madeira, then the claret, and 
finally the Champagne glass. Two large knives 
and forks are placed with the knives on the right 
and forks on the left of each guest ; and when 
the dessert is to be eaten, a silver knife and fork 
and spoon are served upon the small plate, with 
the finger-bowl and doily. The guest, on receiv- 
ing these, spreads his doily on his left, deposits 
the finger-bowl upon it, and noiselessly sets his 
knife on the right and his fork and spoon on the 

The first duty of the entertainer is to see that 
his friends are well served. " The host who has 
compelled a guest to ask him for any thing is al- 
most a dishonored man." He should anticipate 
the w^ants of all. 

The old rule that " no one asks twice for soup" 
may now almost be said to be true in regard to 
all the dishes. Such is their number, and the 
systematic succession in which they are served, 
that few want " more," or care to ask for it, for 
fear of deranging the order of a well regulated 
dinner. The host and hostess, however, when 
carving, will not fail to invite each guest to a 
renewed attack, especially upon the substantial 
dishes before them; but an excessive entreaty 
to eat is not in good taste, and a refined guest 


never expects it. In the Russian dinner the 
servants make a second round with all the arti- 
cles except the soup, but the opportunity thus 
offered for " a cut and come again" is seldom 
availed of. 

The guest should commence eating as ^oon as 
helped, and not wait, as some people, with a 
strain at excessive politeness, do, until all are 
served, and thus produce an awkward pause of 
staring expectancy. 

The ordinary French dinner consists of soup, 
fish, hors cToeiivres^ such as olives, anchovy salads, 
radishes, etc., eaten during the early pauses of 
the dinner ; entrees^ or side-dishes, consisting of 
pates^ croquettes^ etc. ; roast meats, vegetables, 
and sweet dishes, such as puddings, soufflets, 
and hot confections ; and, lastly, a dessert of 
cheese, fruits, cakes, sweetmeats, and ices. The 
coffee follows. These various dishes are served 
and eaten in the order in which they are named. 
We in this country vary somewhat the French 
mode. We eat, for example, potatoes with fish, 
and all other vegetables with the dishes of meat. 
The salad is eaten just before the sweets, and 
often with the roast fowl or game. The Earl of 
Dudley, an English lord and fastidious diner, 
used to say, "A good soup, a small turbot" (a 
fish we haven't in America), " a neck of venison. 


ducklings with green peas, or chicken with as- 
paragus, and an apricot tart, is a dinner fit for 
an emperor — when he can not get a better." A 
still simpler one ought to content the sovereign 
people of a republic. Say: soup, salmon and 
peas, a pair of boiled chickens, and a roast joint, 
with the various vegetables, followed by a good 
pudding or tart, and the usual knickknackeries of 
confectionery. If a brace of partridges, or a pair 
of canvas-back ducks, with the accompaniment 
of either a salad or currant jelly, should be add- 
ed, and eaten just before the dessert, the ban- 
quet will be one which ought to satisfy the most 
exacting of guests in this democratic country. 

It is seldom now that there is any removal of 
the table-cloth or disclosure of the mahogany. 
This is rendered unnecessary by a free use of 
large napkins, which are so placed as to protect 
the main covers where exposed, and be readily 
changed without fuss or derangement of the 
general order of the service. When the dinner 
has been eaten, the French — and decorous people 
every where should do likewise — all rise togeth- 
er, cavaliers and dames, and return to the draw- 
ing-room in the order they left it. Here the cof- 
fee and tea, together with liqueurs, are served ; and 
after an hour or so, unless the evening is to be 
prolonged by the arrival of additional company. 


and a supplementary dance or other amusement, 
the guests disperse to their homes. A call of 
ceremony upon the late hostess — which can be 
made in person or by sending a card, some time 
during the succeeding week — is the becoming- 
thing, though often neglected by the ignorant or 

We need not go so far back into the elements 
of breeding as some writers on etiquette have 
done, and remind our well-bred readers that it is 
not considered polite to pick one's teeth with a 
fork at the dinner-table, and that the water in 
the finger-glasses is not to be drunk, but to be 
used to wash the hands. The various observan- 
ces of dinner ceremony are not so frivolous as 
they may appear. For example, it will be found 
that it is most convenient oiot to take soup twice, 
not to put the knife into the mouth, and not to 
allow the waiter to serve the guests on the right. 
Two plates of soup are too much fluid for any 
stomach at the beginning of a dinner; a knife is 
a cutting instrument, and may do mischief if in- 
troduced between the lips ; and nothing can be 
more awkward, as you will find on trying, than 
the attempt to take any thing from a waiter on 
the wrong, or right-hand side.* 

* The servants should always serve each one at table on 
his left. There is a story told of a negro seiTant of Wash- 


At a large dinner-party it is better to confine 
your powers of entertainment to your immediate 
neighbors, and avoid bawling out to those oppo- 
site or at a considerable distance from you. 
Where the service is limited, you — if of the mas- 
culine gender — must attend constantly to the 
wants of the dames immediately under your 
wings. Avoid all gross heaping up of your 
plate. As a general rule, refuse to be served 
with more than one kind of meat and vegetable 
at a time. There are certain things which are 

ington, who, not being able to distinguish between the right 
and left, was instructed to serve the guests on the side where 
he saw no buttons, which it was then customary to wear in 
a single row on the right breast of the coat. With this guide 
Pompey found it plain sailing until there came a guest fresh- 
ly arrived from France with the new fashion of a double row 
of buttons. Pompey looked first at the one side and then at 
the other, and was for a moment terribly perplexed. He, 
however, soon came to the wise conclusion that the gentle- 
man, having two sets of buttons, was entitled to be waited 
upon all around, and accordingly grasping the plate with two 
hands, thrust it over the guest's head with a grin of triumph. 
Servants ordinarily wear white gloves, or have the thumb 
wrapped in the corner of a napkin while handing any thing. 
Some would-be exquisite guests sit down to dinner gloved, 
but this is an inconvenient practice which an intelligent re- 
finement does not recognize. Where the service is complete, 
a guest should not give unnecessary trouble to his neighbors 
by calling upon them to exercise any part of the functions for 
the performance of which a proper number of efficient per- 
sons are especially provided. 


supposed to be sufficiently harmonious for a com- 
bination — as, for example, ham and boiled chick- 
en, rice or potatoes and tomatoes. There is one 
good rule which, if followed, will make you an 
acceptable guest every w^here: Be not obtru- 
sive. Do every thing smoothly and quietly. 
Talk in a low tone of voice, and handle your 
knife and fork and plate without clatter, and eat 
without any audible gulping and smacking of 
the lips. 

It was once an essential part of the dinner-ta- 
ble etiquette in England, and in America by in- 
heritance, for the ladies to retire after the des- 
sert and a first round of the wine decanters. The 
confessed purpose of the practice was to allow 
the gentlemen to indulge freely in strong drink 
and loose talk, unchecked in their grossness by 
the restraining influence of refined women. Pol- 
ished France has given us a lesson of better 
manners, and the social dinner is now less often 
marked by this coarse reminder of the diverg- 
ence of the brutal instincts of one sex from the 
delicate sentiments of the other. The more re- 
fined people in England and the United States 
now generally adopt the French practice of all 
rising together from the dinner-table. The ef- 
fect of this simple change in etiquette has been 
very great and most beneficial. Drunkenness, 


once a fashion and almost esteemed a social vir- 
tue, is no longer admitted in respectable com- 
pany, but has been forced to slink away to the 
bar-room and other haunts of vice. 

When the dinner is over and the half of an 
hour or so has been passed in talk and trifling 
with the dessert, the hostess gives the signal by 
rising from the table, and all return to the draw- 
ing-room in the order they left. Here coflee and 
tea are provided, and it is good taste to have 
them served with as little formality as possible. 
The less exhibition of the flunkey force on the 
occasion the better. The tray having been 
placed by the servant on the table, the dame of 
the house pours out the beverages, whatever 
they may be, and invites her guests to partake 
of them. The gentlemen, of course, take care of 
the ladies before they take care of themselves, 
but all is done quite unceremoniously. It is sel- 
dom, in fact, that a person takes a seat, but all 
remain standing, or walk about the drawing- 
room, conversing or admiring the pictures, arti- 
cles o^virtiX^ and whatever else may invite notice. 
The visit to the drawing-room, being merely de- 
signed to graduate the farewell, and thus render 
the departure less abrupt, is naturally informal, 
for it is but a ceremony in an incipient state of 
dissolution. The stay after dinner, unless addi- 


tional company has been invited, and there is a 
supplementary evening party, is seldom prolong- 
ed beyond half an hour, when leave is quietly 



Ancient and Modern Hospitality. — Etiquette of the Evening 
Party and Ball. — The Effect of late Parties. — Manners 
and Morals. — Treatment of Servants. 

Hospitality, as practiced by our ancestors, 
can hardly be said to exist • any longer. The 
word, in fact, is nearly obsolete. The ceremoni- 
ous displays of fashion have usurped the place 
of the social entertainments of friendship. No 
one hardly pretends nowadays that, in spread- 
ing a table or opening his drawing-rooms, he is 
actuated by an impulse of generosity or friend- 
liness. He is nuerely complying, as he is ready 
to acknowledge, with the exactions of fashion, 
and takes no more credit to himself for the pro- 
fuse bounty of his dinners and costly splendor 
of his balls than for the graceful cut of his coat 
or elegant turn of his boot. His feelings have, 
in fact, no more to do with the one than his taste 
has with the other. Both are devised by a set 
of trades - people, who have become, by some 
means or other not easy to determine, the minis- 
ters of that power, of which, though no one knows 
the origin, all are forced to acknowledge the au- 


Balls, evening parties, soirees, recej)tions, or 
whatever else they may be called, are entirely 
arranged and controlled by Fashion and her ad- 
ministrators. The hired master of ceremonies, 
the upholsterer, the florist, the pastry-cook and 
confectioner, are, in fact, the dispensers of mod- 
ern hospitality^ if we may be permitted the sac- 
rilegious use of that sacred word in such a con- 

The ordinary evening parties or balls of our 
large cities are so much alike, that a dame 
whisked off*, in the old mysterious way of the 
fairy-books, from one to the other, and set down 
within the arms of a fresh cavalier, would hard- 
ly be conscious of a change even in the pair of 
mustaches by which her cheek is titillated in 
the waltz. 

Cards are generally issued from ten days to 
four weeks before the ball or dancing-party to 
the various persons on the fashioifable list, sup- 
plied by a Brown or some other hired undertaker 
of public ceremonials. This is the usual form 
of invitation, engraved upon a card or vi^ritten 
upon note-paper: 

" Mrs. A. [or B.] requests the honor [or pleasure] of Mr. 

's company on the evening of ■ , at half past eight 

o'clock. R.S.V.P." 

The hour is more frequently left unmentioned ; 


and, even when specified, the guest is not expect- 
ed to be punctual. None but the most intimate 
friends think of going to a formal and fashion- 
able party, where there is to be dancing, before 
half past nine or ten o'clock, and an invited per- 
son may enter with propriety at any hour, how- 
ever late, during* the night. Whether an answer 
is requested or not by the letters R. S. V. P. (re- 
pondez, sHl vous plait — " answer, if you please"), 
it must be sent in a day or two, and written in" 
the same formal style as the invitation, the ac- 
ceptance of which may be thus expressed : 

* ' Mr. T. accepts with pleasure the polite invitation of Mrs. 
A. for the evening of ." 

A refusal should be written as follows : 
"Mr. T. regrets that he can not accept the polite invita- 
tion of Mrs. A. for the evening of ." 

When an invitation is accepted, it must be, if 
possible, faithfully complied with. It is not sel- 
dom that an invited person takes an unmvited 
friend to a ball or evening dancing-party, but he 
ought not to do so without first asking permis- 
sion of the giver of it. As he is not likely to be 
refused, he must hold himself entirely responsi- 
ble for the character and conduct of his compan- 
ion, who, previous to and after the party, should 
send a card. 

It is a good rule for those who are not able or 


inclined to dance to refuse all invitations to Ijalls 
and other parties where the guests are exj)ectcd 
to do so. This is, of course, not to be regard- 
ed as obligatory where dancing is but a supple- 
ment of the general business, and card-playing, 
conversation, and other occupations are to form 
parts of the social labor of the evening. 

On descending from the dressing-rooms, which 
should be always provided, the guest .makes his 
Nvay at once to the dame of the house, and, after 
a conventional phrase or two, yields his place to 
the next cgmer. When a gentleman is accom- 
panied by his wife or any other lady, he should 
always wait for her before entering the drawing- 
room, and, giving her his right arm, escort her 
to the presence of the hostess. It is regarded as 
decorous to abandon her then to the tender mer- 
cy of the general politeness. " You must nev- 
er dance with your wife except as a freak, when 
every body else in the quadrille does the same," 
says a cold-blooded, but, we presume, an unques- 
tionable authority. 

The polite hostess takes care to mark her con- 
duct for the lyght by a total abnegation of self 
Her toilette is carefully subdued, so that it may 
not surpass the average splendor, and her tri- 
imiphs are sought in the brilliancy of the occa- 
sion, and not in the eclat of her own personality. 


She is constantly seeking opportunities of dis- 
play for her guests, that they may shine in the 
brightest and most favorable light while she is 
obscuring herself. She is pre-eminently the en- 
tertainer, and seeks her own enjoyment in that 
of others. She especially takes care to treat all 
her guests with a zealous and equal courtesy. 
She recognizes no distinctions of rank, birth, or 
wealth, and acknowledges no precedence beyond 
what society universally exacts. She waives for 
the occasion all favoritism, and rather neglects 
a friend than fail to show attention to a stran- 
ger. In these days she has little to do with the 
more material part of the entertainment. The 
arrangement of this mainly devolves upon the 
florist, the conductor of music, the restaurateur, 
and the hired master of ceremonies, but she 
carefully sees to the fulfillment by each of his 
special vocation. At supper, of which she is 
the last to partake, she watches closely the con- 
duct of the servants, and is quietly but constant- 
ly urging them to their duty. The husband or 
the gentleman of the house has subordinately 
the same offices to perform and bearing to main- 
tain as the hostess, but, while she is more exclu- 
sively occupied with the male, he is particularly 
devoted to the female guests. 

Every gentleman should escort a lady to the 


vsupper-room, and, after attending to. her wants 
or tastes, never forget to return with her to the 
ball or drawing rooms, for nothing can be more 
impolite than to leave an " unprotected female" 
to shift for herself amid the tumult of a crowd 
of modern party-guzzlers. During the dance all 
should be exclusively devoted to their partners, 
and never allow themselves to keep up, by con- 
versation or the telegraph of the eye and face, a 
communication with others. 

Even those people who are familiar with all 
the formalities of fashionable society are often 
the worst offenders against the common decen- 
cies of life. It may be as well to remind such 
that it is by no means decorous to pass most of 
the night in the dressing-rooms smoking cigars, 
and so infecting their persons with the disagree- 
able odor that their presence becomes insuffera- 
ble to every decent nose. It should also be 
borne in mind that decorum in the use of wine 
is not to be measured by the generosity of the 
host in supplying it. The consumption, how- 
ever, of Cliampagne is not seldom in proportion 
to its abundance, and there are, in consequence, 
occasional scenes at our dancing-parties which 
bring the Fifth Avenue very close to Water 
Street. Among the vicious results of ill-regu- 
lated fashionable intercourse are observable a 


want of respectful reserve between our young 
people of both sexes, an interchange of slang 
phrases, audacious and dangerous flirtations, and 
a general defiance of the prudent restrictions of 

The length to which the ordinary dancing- 
party or ball is prolonged is a serious evil. In 
our working community there are but few who, 
if they dance all night, can sleep all day, for most 
of the gay cavaliers of the evening are the busy 
drudges of the morning. Our youthful damsels, 
it is true, by the mistaken indulgence of their 
parents, can, if their excited nerves will let them, 
sleep away as many of the twenty-four hours as 
they please, but their partners can not, for they 
are wanted, for the most part, at the shop and 
counting-house. The mere loss of sleep, the re- 
cuperative influence of which is so necessary, 
must be a serious damage to the health of the 
young gallants who strive to comply with the 
requirements both of fashion and business. We 
would advise our friends to be always among 
the earliest to leave a fashionable partyo There 
is, moreover, no rule of politeness which exacts 
a very prolonged stay. 

A visit is expected on some day during the 
week after a ball or evening party. A card 
willa however, be generally accepted from the 


busy male as a substitute, though a personal ap- 
pearance is exacted from the more leisurely 

"There is a great deal of human nature in the 
world," said Jacob Faithful, and it is to be pre- 
sumed that servants have their fair share of it. 
Housekeepers, however, would seem unwilling to 
concede this ; and we should judge from the 
manner in which many of them treat their do- 
mestics that they regarded them as of an organ- 
ization entirely different from their own, with no 
portion of that abundant human nature of which 
Marry at's hero spoke. 

Servants are ordinarily regarded by their em- 
ployers as so many pieces of mechanism con- 
structed to do a certain quantity of work of a 
particular kind, according to their especial func- 
tions, whether as cook, nurse, chamber-maid, or 
waiter. There are indispensable household re- 
sults to be accomplished daily. The beef must 
be roasted and the potatoes boiled, the baby fed 
and dandled, the rooms swept and beds made, 
the hall-door opened and table served, and the 
Irish Bridgets and German Katerinas are the 
machines provided to execute these oiDcrations. 
Should they by chance show any tendency to 
rest from work or diverge from its object, the 
ever-watchful superintendent infers that the ma- 


chinery is imperfect, and rejects it. If Bridget, 
for example, should by hazard fancy that she 
was human, and fall in love with some stray 
Patrick, and Katerina, under a similar delusion, 
become conscious of a patriotic sentiment, and 
steal away with Hermann to the Schutzenfest or 
some other festive reminder of the fatherland, 
they would be sure to be condemned as worth- 
less by many mistresses of the household. 

It is astonishing how completely the human 
nature of the servant is ignored by her employ- 
er. The single pair of stairs which leads from 
the parlor to the kitchen would seem to separate, 
as it were, by an unfathomable abyss, the wom- 
an above from the woman below. The former 
has no sympathy for the feminine instincts of 
the latter ; she will not, in fact, admit of their 
existence. The mistress, however conscious of 
her own feminine tendencies and inclined to in- 
dulge them, will not recognize or give any scope 
to such in her servant. The former may coquet, 
love, and marry, and will complacently regard 
herself as fulfilling her vocation ; the latter is 
forbidden the companionship of her male friends, 
and is denounced as a trollop if she is caught 
passing a stolen word to the baker or butcher at 
the back door. In England a female servant is 
always asked, before she is employed, whether 


she has any "followers." By "followers" are 
meant suitors. If the poor creature confesses to 
this very natural result of a pretty face or some 
other female attraction, she is condemned at 
once. This cruel exaction of the servant-woman 
that she should neither love nor be loved is also 
not unfrequently made in this country, though 
differently expressed. " No visitors allowed" is 
the usual form of the harsh ordinance of our 

The want of a due recognition of the claims 
of the servant to human sympathy is shown, 
moreover, in the habitual reserve of their mis- 
tresses. There is not only that cold formality 
of relation which forbids any warmth of attach- 
ment, but a studied avoidance on the part of the 
employer of all knowledge of the intimate and 
personal interests of the employed. Hence there 
is complete ignorance and a consequent want of 
mutual confidence. Fidelity can only come from 
love, and love implies intimacy. Mistresses, in 
fact, are not sufficiently intimate with their serv- 
ants. If they have real dignity and a personal 
superiority of their own, they need not fear any 
degradation from a closer contact with their 
subordinates, for the advantage of height will 
only become more apparent by the opportunity 
of comparison with lowness. 


A closer sympathy of the employer with the 
employed is particularly important as regards 
the servant in relation to children. The educa- 
tion of the latter is greatly dependent upon the 
character of the domestic with whom the child 
must be necessarily in constant and close com- 
munion. By improving her servant, the mother 
will find that she is indirectly but surely elevat- 
ing her offspring. 

A more complete recognition of the human el- 
ement of the servant will be found not only ad- 
vantageous, but may soon become absolutely nec- 
essary. The servant has her future in America 
as well as others. We can not always calculate 
upon the present supply of the raw material of 
Germany and Ireland, which requires only to be 
kept in working order by an abundance of beef, 
potatoes, and wages. Employers will be forced, 
sooner or later, to seek for their servants exclu- 
sively among civilized people, and to compensate 
them not only by a fair day's pay for a fair day's 
work, but by a treatment which will recognize 
to its fullest extent their human dignity. 

There is no surer sign of ill breeding and ill 
feeling than the rude treatment of dependents. 
The obligation of civility to servants should bo 
inculcated especially upon the young American, 
who ought to learn at the earliest period that 


the accidental relation of advantage of position, 
which is ever alternating in a country free from 
prescriptive right, gives no title to a haughty 
demeanor and a domineering conduct. The rec- 
ognition of the mutual obligation of master and 
man, and mistress and maid, is a certain sign of 
the true gentleman and lady, who will never ex- 
act from those temporarily placed in subjection 
to them the civility they are unwilling to be- 
stow. The "thank you," "please," and other 
courteous expressions of a kindly consideration 
of the obligation of the employer to the emploT^ - 
ed, will be freely proffered by all who are fully 
conscious of their social duties and willing to ac- 
knowledge them. Policy, as well as good breed- 
ing, inculcates the necessity of gentle treatment 
and courteous behavior to servants, who will sel- 
dom fail to respond with a more zealous service 
and a readier obedience to exactions and com- 
mands rendered less harsh and domineering by 
a soft word and a subdued mastery. 



Visiting Lists. — Report of the Proceedings of a Morning 
Visit. — Etiquette of Visits and Cards. — New- Year's Visits. 
—At Home, or not at Home ?~P. P. C. 

Every dame nowadays has what is called a 
visiting list. This is composed of a number of 
persons of her own sex who spend money, dress, 
and make calls very much as she herself does. 
Ko other sympathy than is indicated by these 
is required by mutual visitors of the fashionable 
sort. They need not be friends ; it is not, in feet, 
necessary that they should be acquaintances, and 
we actually know of two dames who not long 
since met in the street and looked into each 
other's face as perfect strangers, though they 
had been on visiting terms for the last ten years 
or more. There is so little substance in this kind 
of social relationship that its obligations can be 
as Avell performed by a mere symbol as the per- 
son it represents, and thus a bit of card-board, 
with nothing but a name upon it, frequently 
serves every purpose. 

Visitors, however, do occasionally meet, and, 
according to a very good authority, this is the 
result : 


Mes. a. " How delighted I am to see you ! It 
is an age since I have had this pleasure ! What 
a charming bonnet !" 

Mes.B. "You think so?" 

Mrs. a. " It is perfect ! But any thing upon 
you loots Avell." 

Mrs. B. "I never saw you looking better; that 
morning dress is so becoming ! I have just left 
Mrs. C. She was horribly dressed." 

Mrs. a. " How can it be otherwise with such 
an ugly creature ? What a beautiful sack that 
is ! Who made it for you ?" 

Mrs. B. " Madame Bonnechose. Have you 
seen Mrs. C. lately?" 

Mrs. a. " No ; and I don't care to see her ; she 
is such a fool. You know that affair ?" 

Mrs.B. "Yes; with Mr. T." 

Mrs. a. " I will have to refuse to see her if she 
calls again. You are going already ?" 

Mrs. B. " Yes ; I have some shopping to do." 

Mrs. a. " Don't be so long again, my dear 
Mrs. B., before coming, and another time don't 
go away in such a hurry." 

Soon after the departure of Mrs. B., who goes 
to another house, where she reports that Mrs. A. 
was looking as yellow as a pumpkin, and wore 
such a common-looking morning dress, Mrs. C. 
and Mrs. D. arrive. 


Mrs. a. " How kind it is of you to call ! It 
is an age since you have done me this favor ! 
What a beautiful lace veil ! my dear Mrs. C. ; 
and those shoes of yours, Mrs. D., are exquisite; 
but no wonder, with such feet !" 

Mrs. D. " Don't talk of my feet ; it's you who 
have a foot worth talking about." 

Mes. a. "Mrs. B. has just been here." 

Mes. C. "Why, she told me she didn't visit 
you any more." 

Mes. a. " What ! If she don't take care, what 
she says may come true. You know what peo- 
ple say about her — " 

Mes. D. " It's disgusting !" 

Mes. a. " She had the ugliest bonnet on you 
ever saw ; and such a sack ! I could hardly keej) 
from laughing. And such a bore I I could hardly 
get rid of her. You are going already ? Don't 
be so long another time before coming to see me ; 
and try, when you do come, my dear Mrs. C, and 
you too, my dear Mrs. D., to stay a little longer." 

If such, as it has been reported to us, is the re- 
sult of these fashionable visits when made in 
person, then, for goodness' sake, let them be per- 
formed symbolically, and those fine dames of 
" society," Mrs. A., Mrs. B., Mrs. C, and Mrs. D., 
spared the necessity of opening their mouths 
and letting out vipers and toads, like the little 


girl in the fairy tale, and the other abominable 
things of scandal and falsehood. 

There are certain occasions when society ex- 
acts the payment of formal visits, as, for exam- 
ple, in exchange for a call of courtesy ; after an 
invitation to a dinner, ball, or other ceremoni- 
ous entertainment ; after weddings, births, and 
funerals ; on any occasion deemed worthy of per- 
sonal congratulation ; on the return of a visiting 
acquaintance to his residence, whether in town 
or country ; and on the arrival and stay of a vis- 
itor at the house of a friend. 

It would seem to be the object of modern 
fashion to interpose as many formalities as pos- 
sible between the members of society, in order 
to prevent intimacy of contact. This, perhaps, 
is a necessary result of the immense expansion 
of the great cities, and the consequent widening 
of the social relation. It would be manifestly 
impossible, if every fashionable acquaintance be- 
came an intimate friend, and thus entitled to the 
freedom of familiarity, to retain any of that per- 
sonal reserve which is essential to self-respect. 
No one, moreover, with even the smallest visit- 
ing list, if each person in it had the liberty of an 
intimate, and could present himself when, where, 
and how he pleased, would be able to find time for 
the performance of the ordinary duties of daily 


life. It is well, perhaps, therefore, that a bit of 
card-board, with nothing but a name upon it, has 
been generally accepted as a symbol of, and sub- 
stitute for the formal visit. All society has rea- 
son to rejoice in a device by which the bore has 
been politely but effectually balked of his vic- 
tims. On most ceremonious occasions, there- 
fore, the bit of pasteboard is gratefully accepted 
in lieu of a visit. There is no fixed regulation 
in regard to the size, form, and character of the 
card and the inscription, but all extremes and 
marked peculiarities should be avoided. It is 
customary to prefix to the name military and 
naval indications of rank, the ordinary titles of 
Mr., Mrs., and Miss, and the professional ones, 
such as Right Rev., Rev., and Dr. ; but in this 
country Hon. and Excellency, for which there is 
no warrant but courtesy, are never taken by the 
unassuming. The address is generally engraved 
in modest letters in a corner. It is deemed 
proper for a person to leave the card himself, or 
send it by his own servant, but not by the post 
or street porter. When one calls with the view 
of making a personal visit, and is not admitted, 
he indicates the fact of its personality by turn- 
ing down a corner or broad edge of the card. 
This, however, may be but a caprice of fashion, 
destined soon to yield to some other of a totally 


different kind. Even when admitted to a house 
it is right to give the servant a card, by which 
the person visited may be made unmistakably 
cognizant of the name of the visitor. If there 
are several persons in the same house entitled to 
calls, a card should be left for each. A male 
visitor ordinarily takes off his great-coat before 
entering the drawing-room, but carries his hat 
in his hand. His visit should be short, and gen- 
erally brought to a close whenever another, who 
is not a common friend of himself and the mis- 
tress of the house, arrives. 

In France, Avhenever a new-comer of recog- 
nized respectability fixes his residence in a place, 
he or she is expected to make the first calls. 
This, however, is not the rule in England and 
America, where the settled residents are ex- 
pected to pay the initiatory courtesies, although 
in the large cities, when a family returns after a 
considerable absence, it is not unusual to send 
cards to their friends as an announcement of 
their arrival, and to make known their address. 

New-year's calls are very much like other vis- 
its, except that they are made exclusively by 
the male sex, a wider range of time is allowed 
for them, say from ten o'clock in the morning 
to nine o'clock in the evening, and a greater 
display of toilette on the part of tlie ladies who 


receive is expected. The gentlemen present 
themselves ordinarily, as on other visits, in the 
fashionable costume of the morning and prom- 
enade, and not in the dress-coat and other parts 
of the dinner and ball array. The stay is com- 
monly very short, and seldom continues after the 
arrival of a fresh-comer. A great latitude is al- 
lowed to the use of cards, and the introduction 
by a visitor of his friends and acquaintances. 
The refreshments may be more or less abundant 
and varied, according to the hospitable disposi- 
tion and taste of the hostess. With the increase 
of the great cities, and the 'consequent enlarge- 
ment of our social circles, there is a growing dis- 
position on the part of fashionable dames to re- 
fuse themselves on New-year's Day to all but 
relatives and intimates of their families. 

The politest receivers of a visit, if of the fe- 
male sex, are not expected to do more than bow 
the head, say a gracious word or two of fare- 
well, and ring the bell for the servant to open 
the street-door on the departure of a male guest. 
Women, however, are always treated with a 
more condescending courtesy by the Avell-bred 
even of their own sex, who will rise and accom- 
pany them at least as far as the drawing-room 
door, while a gallant man who has been honored 
by a visit from a lady will escort her to the last 



exit from his house, and even to the steps of the 
carriage, if there should be one awaiting her. 
Discreet visitors, ever mindful of the suggestive 
line — 

"Welcome the coming, and haste the departing guest," 

will linger as little as possible in transitu from 
door to door. 

We need not make use of the conventional lie, 
even if justified by the moral philosopher Paley, 
which asserts that we are " ;20^," though we are 
" at home," when it is convenient, for any reason 
whatsoever, to refuse a visitor. The most fas- 
tidious sensibility should not be offended at the 
simple and honest word " Engaged," civilly soft- 
ened by the tact of a judicious servant. 

It is the general custom for those who profess 
to comply with the exactions of fashion to pay 
a farewell visit to* their acquaintances when 
about to leave a residence forever or a consider- 
able time. Cards, however, are ordinarily sub- 
stituted for a personal interview, and upon these 
are written P. P. C. {Pour prendre conge)^ " To 
take leave." 



American Titles. — Proper Forms of Address. — The Use of 
the "Sir" and "Madam." — Professional Titles. — How to 
address Letters. — Esq. — Female Titles. — Nicknames. — 
Introductions. — Letters of Introduction. — Presentations 
to Court. — Visits to the President. 

Theee is an evident tendency with us demo- 
cratic Americans to supply our want of author- 
ized social distinctions with titular appellatives, 
which have no warrant beyond the impudent as- 
sumption of those who take, or the flattering 
courtesy of those who give them. The titles 
which distinguish rank in the army and navy, 
and are of obvious use, are the only ones recog- 
nized by American law. The " Excellencies" and 
" Honorables," so profusely distributed among 
the numerous successful aspirants for popular fa- 
vor, are, whether given to the august chief mag- 
istrate of the republic, or to the illiterate alder- 
man's assistant of the lowest municipality, equal- 
ly without sanction. 

These unauthorized titles are used with the 
profusion with which they are bestowed. While, 
in most of those countries where social distinc- 


tions are recognized by law, it is considered 
good breeding to avoid in conversation the fre- 
quent repetition of the titles which mar^ them, 
in the United States the various denominations 
of fanciful rank are heard in every phrase. 

The ordinary " Sir" and " Madam," to one ot 
which we all consider ourselves more or less en- 
titled, are uttered with a frequency and an em- 
phasis which, though evidently intended to be 
courteous, would be regarded in England as im- 
polite. We seem to have borrowed our man- 
ners in this respect from the French, who lose 
no opportunity of announcing the " Monsieur," 
" Madame," and " Mademoiselle." Our English 
relatives avoid the repetition of the " Sir," "Mad- 
am," and " Miss," except when they desire to 
express a certain degree of coldness or severity, 
and a sense of superiority or inferiority. Serv- 
ants, they say, must always remember their " My 
lords" and " My ladies," their " Sirs" and " Mad- 
ams," and their " Masters" and " Misses," and 
gentlemen as carefully forget them. 

The professional title of" Doctor" of Medicine 
is never omitted, for the obvious reason of the 
advantage to him to whom it belongs, and oth- 
ers, of having it as widely known as possible. 
The " Doctors" of Divinity and Civil Laws, also, 
though the purpose may not bo so easy to ex- 


plain, are generally spoken of and to by their 
titles, which, however, should not be very fre- 
quently repeated in a conversation addressed to 
themselves. " Judge" has been greatly vulgar- 
ized by its indiscriminate use and application in 
America, though never heard in England, and 
any man of taste entitled to it would consider 
himself doubtless more honored by a breach of 
ceremony in this respect than by its observance. 
While in the performance of his functions, and 
during his tenure of office, it may be useful and 
appropriate that the judge should be called 
"judge," but when off the bench 'permanently 
there can be no motive for retaining a title which 
is apt to be bandied about with the contempt- 
uous familiarity of a nickname. " Governor," 
" Mayor," " Chancellor," and other civil denom- 
inations, should likewise be restricted in use to 
the duration of office. 

Though it may not be good breeding to repeat 
too frequently in conversation with people the 
titles which may distinguish them, it is deemed 
courteous to give them all they can claim on the 
back of letters addressed to them. The Presi- 
dent of the United States, the governors of the 
various states, and the ministers to foreign coun- 
tries of different grades, have generally the pre- 
fix of " His Excellency" to their names. For ex- 


ample, it is usual to write " His Excellency Gen- 
eral U. S. Grant, President of the United States," 
or simply " His Excellency the President of the 
United States." "The Honorable" is given to 
the judges of the Supreme Court, the various 
members of the cabinet, of the Senate, of the 
House of Representatives, the chief officers of 
the state governments, executive, legislative, and 
judicial, the mayor, aldermen, and assistant al- 
dermen of the most corrupt municipalities, to a 
lower descent than which we may be spared the 
necessity of tracing it. " The Right Reverend" 
is inscribed on every letter to a bishop, of what- 
ever denomination he may be, and " The Rever- 
end" in all addresses to the clergy. " The" is an 
essential part of these inscriptions of honor, and 
should never be omitted. 

The collegiate or University distinction of Doc- 
tor is never properly written in full as an ad-- 
dress, but is thus inscribed : " John Smith, Esq., 
M.D.f' " The Rev. Jabez Poundtext, i>.i>.;" 
" The Right Rev. Boniface Ignatius Episcopus, 
S.T.D.;'" "Timothy Smart,Esq.,Zi.J:>." It is no 
compliment to those who have gained the title 
of Doctor to give it indiscriminately to every 
horse - drencher and starved apothecary. The 
titles of A.B. and A.M. are never added to the 
superscription of an ordinary letter. " Parson" is 


a good English word, but it has been so vulgar- 
ized and made a term of contempt that no cler- 
gyman is disposed to answer to it. It can only 
be respectfully used nowadays thus associated : 
" Parson of the Parish." 

Every male person in this country feels him- 
self entitled to have the " Esq."* at the end of 
his name, and any one who pretends to exercise 
his discretion in the use of it must do so at his 
own peril. Your Irish Bridget of the kitchen 
never fails to confer upon her dear Patrick .of 
the stable-yard the " Esq.," and, with a superflu- 

* The following are considered, in England, to have a le- 
gal right to the title of Esquire : 

* ' The sons of Peers, whether known in common conversa- 
tion as Lords or Honorables. 

"The eldest sons of Peer's sons, and their eldest sons in 
perpetual succession. 

"All the sons of Baronets. 

"The Esquires of the Knights of the Bath. 

"Lords of manors, chiefs of clans, and other tenants of the 
Crown in capite, are Esquires by prescription. 

" Esquires created to that rank by patent, and their eldest 
sons in perpetual succession. 

"Esquires by office, such as Justices of the Peace while on 
the roll ; Mayors of towns during mayoralty, and Sheriffs 
of counties (who retain the title for life). 

" Members of the House of Commons. 

"Barristers at Law. 

* ' Bachelors of Divinity, Law, and Physic. 

"All who, in commissions signed by the sovereign, are ever 
styled Esquire, retain that designation for life." 


ous generosity of honor, gives him, in addition, 
the prefix of "Mr.," and will thus write down 
his name, if she can write at all, "Jir. Patrick 
O'Shaughnessy, Esq^ 

There are some people who are so generous of 
rank that they give it not only to the husband, 
who may be doubtfully entitled to it, but to the 
wife, who certainly is not. Thus we may oc- 
casionally see the inscription "Mrs. Doctor," 
"Mrs. Right Rev.," " Mrs. Rev.," "Mrs. Honora- 
ble," etc. These are, of course, inadmissible in 
polite society, though they find some warrant in 
German usage, which divides the smallest honor 
of the man with the woman ; and thus the wife 
of Herr Kenchenjunge Grosenfat, chief scullion 
of the first cook of the grand chamberlain of the 
first minister to the Grand Duke of Pumpernickel, 
becomes " Mrs. Kenchenjunge Grosenfat, chief 
scullion, etc." Those women who in these later 
days have made good their right to be useful in 
the world, and fairly won their diplomas of the- 
ology and medicine, can justly claim to be distin- 
guished by the titles which belong to them. We 
must of course, therefore, write "Mrs. Dr. Black- 
well," or " The Rev. Miss Stone." 

It is not uncommon in this country, in address- 
ing a married woman, to give her her Christian 
name, thus : " Mrs. Mary Smith." This is not 


the practice of the English, who always prefix 
the husband's Christian name, thus : " Mrs. John 
Smith." Where the married woman is married 
to the eldest male member of the family, or 
is the only one of the name, she receives mere- 
ly the title of "Mrs. Smith," while each of the 
others is distinguished by her husband's name : 
"Mrs. Feter Smith," "Mrs. Jonas Smith," etc. 
Whenever the eldest dies, the wife of the eldest 
son or brother, or whoever may be next in the 
order of succession, succeeds to the honor of 
namelessness. The Christian name must be given 
to all but the eldest of the unmarried daughters. 
She is " Miss Brown," while the others are " Miss 
Jane Brown," " Miss Susan Brown," etc. When 
all are addressed or spoken of together, we say 
" The Misses Brown," and not ^^Miss Browns." 

In very formal letters it is usual to write in 
the third person, and then the various titles, 
"His Excellency," "Mr.,'^ "Mrs.," and "Miss," 
are used. In more familiar epistles it is proper 
to write " Your Excellency," " Right Rev. Sir," 
"Reverend Sir," or ''Reverend and dear Sir," 
" My dear Madam," " My dear Sir," and " My 
dear Miss Smith," but never " My dear Miss" 
only. The " my dears" may be omitted where 
the intimacy does not seem to justify them, and, 
as a general rule, young unmarried women should 


be addressed in the third person. In the address 
at the beginning of a letter, and in the courteous 
expression at the end, it is better to adopt the 
conventional phrase of the day. It is, for exam- 
ple, safe to keep to the words " Respectfully 
yours," "Your obedient servant," " Yours truly," 
etc., and make no attempts to rival the humorous 
felicities of Charles Lamb's epistolary endings. 

All such abbreviations in speaking of persons 
as " Doc," a " Gent," an " M. C," a " Reverend," 
a "Reb.," "Mr. A.," "Mrs. B.," "Mr. G. Smith," 
and " Mrs. G. Smith," and nicknames like " Prex," 
" Dominie," " Prof," and others, are inelegant, to 
say the least, and the usage of which people fas- 
tidious of manners^and in language are careful to 
avoid. " Governor," " the Old Man," or " Old 
Gentleman," ^^ Paterfamilias^'' " the Old Woman," 
or " Old Lady," applied to one's father and moth- 
er, are not only vulgar, but irreverent. Young 
people should carefully eschew them, and take 
care to give their proper titles not only to their 
parents, but to all other persons who are their 
superiors and elders. They must never speak 
of these as " Smith," " Brown," or " Jones," but 
give them the conventional prefixes of " Mr./' 
"Mrs.," and "Miss." 

The English have always been great sticklers 
for formal introductions, and the story is told of 


one who, eying with his glass a drowning fellow- 
mortal, refused to extend to him. a saving hand 
because he had never been introduced. 

The Americans have followed to some, though 
not to this absurd extent, the example of their 
transatlantic relatives. We are by no means so 
reserved as they. Democratic friction has nec- 
essarily broken up and rubbed off a good deal 
of the original crustiness of our nature. Casual 
intercourse, between strangers in America is 
much freer than in England. The American, 
perhaps, is as wanting as the JEnglishman is 
abounding in reserve. The proper medium is 
between familiarity and resistance. In travel- 
ing, English constraint is often fatal to the gen- 
eral ease and cheerfulness, while American free- 
dom is not seldom subversive of personal com- 
fort. In the close proximity of a railway car- 
riage, two strangers can make themselves mu- 
tually agreeable without any sacrifice of personal 
dignity, and it is certainly their duty to do so. 
The concessions on such an occasion are, of course, 
to be regarded as temporary. They are drafts at 
sight on each other's courtesy, to be paid at date, 
and received as a final settlement which bars all 
ulterior claims. 

The Americans generally are too indiscrimi- 
nate in their introductions. They seldom allow 


two strangers to be together a moment without 
introducing them to each other. No presenta- 
tions should be made without a regard to the 
mutual fitness and probable acceptability of the 
acquaintanceship about to be formed. No two 
should be introduced, however closely accident 
may have thrown them together, if they would 
be obviously incongruous as intimate associates. 
At a dinner or other party, all the guests are 
temporarily to regard themselves as acquaint- 
ances, and they require no farther introduction 
than the invitations they have received in com- 
mon as the guests of the same host or hostess. 
Special presentations are quite unnecessary, and, 
when made, will indicate the desirableness of a 
permanent friendship. 

In introductions, the introduced is presented 
to those who are entitled to precedence from 
sex, age, or rank. A gentleman, whoever he may 
be, is thus always taken to the lady, the citizen 
to the mayor, the mayor to the governor, and 
the governor to the president. In all cases but 
purely official or formal presentations, it is pru- 
dent, as well as polite, to secure the willingness 
of those whom you are about to commend to 
each other's intimacy. 

Letters of introduction may be useful in a 
strange country as guarantees of social credit 


at home in the case of an emergency, when, for 
example, by some mishap or other, the more valid 
banker's one has failed. They have, however, 
lost much of their former power as a means of 
getting into foreign society. There is now so 
much traveling, and consequent abundance of 
these missives, that they have greatly diminish- 
ed in specific value. If a stranger now gets in 
exchange for one of them a polite bow of the 
head and a vague ofier of indefinite service, he 
must need be satisfied. 

The ordinary letter of introduction is expressed 
in a few conventional phrases, as, for example : 

"I have the pleasure of presenting to your acquaintance 
Mr. , whom I commend to your kind attentions." 

It should be inclosed in an open envelope, on 
which, besides the address, it is customary to 
write, in the left and lower corner, the word 
"Introducing," followed by the name and title 
in full, clearly inscribed, of the bearer. When 
the letter is to be delivered, it should be sent to 
the person for whom it is intended, with a card 
on which are the name and address of the person 
introduced. The response should be in the form 
of a call and an invitation to dinner, but this 
latter part of the civility is not always complied 
A good many people think that they are 


obliged to give a letter of introduction to e very- 
presentable person who may demand it, and this 
has led to the depreciation of this kind of social 
currency. It is perfectly conformable with the 
laws of courtesy to refuse such a favor merely 
upon the ground of unwillingness to take the 
liberty of presenting any one to the person to 
whom the introduction is asked. 

All presentations to foreign courts are made 
through the national representatives, and the in- 
formation in regard to the various formalities re- 
quired is obtained from them. The President's 
" levees" at Washington are open to the whole 
world, and are conducted with no more ceremo- 
ny than an ordinary reception by any citizen's 
wife. The doors of the White House may be 
said to be never closed, and every one who 
pleases may call upon its occupant as upon that 
of any other dwelling. He must, however, not 
always expect a personal interview. This, to be 
secured, must be sought in the company of some 
dignitary or intimate of the President, who will 
thus be able to judge of the claims to attention 
of a visitor. 



Births and Christenings. — Giving of Names. — Presents. — 
Visits. — Caudle Parties. — Etiquette and Ceremony of 
Marriages. — At Church. — In the House.— Death. — Fu- 
neral Ceremonies. — Finis. 

It is Sir Thomas Browne, we believe, who, like 
Captain Shandy, deplores, and Voltaire, we know, 
who sneers at the fact that so noble a being as 
man has not a more glorious entrance into the 
world. Those who may be disposed to grow 
sad with the one, and smile scornfully with the 
other at the informal manner in which Nature 
presents us all to society, have no reason to ques- 
tion the ceremoniousness of the reception of those 
whom Fashion takes with its dainty hands, and 
acknowledges as its own. 

No sooner has the doctor or nurse rejoiced the 
heart of the opulent Smith or Jones with the 
announcement that the chances of the extinction 
of the race of Smith or Jones are diminished by 
the birth of the " finest baby' ever born," than 
haste is made to give the widest diffusion to the 
important fact. In England a birth of " respecta- 
bility" is at once published in the London Times, 


and the news thus conveyed to the four quarters 
of the globe. In the United States, from an af- 
fected delicacy of reserve, we believe it is not 
usual to announce in a newspaper our periodical 
domestic issues. It, however, is the most con- 
venient medium for spreading the intelligence 
of a fact which it is desirable to convey to all 
friends and acquaintances. 

Soon after the news of a birth, however it may 
arrive, is received, female friends send their cards, 
and ask in regard to the health of the mother, 
who, when she is well enough, returns them 
" with thanks for kind inquiries." Personal vis- 
its are then expected, and these must be paid 
with the utmost punctiliousness. Male friends 
are not expected to call on such occasions, at 
any rate upon the mother. They may, however, 
visit the father, and bestow their congratulations 
upon him, as well as make the politest inquiries 
in regard to his wife and offspring. 

The first great social event in which the new- 
comer is deeply interested, though not person- 
ally consulted, is the bestowal of the name by 
which he is thenceforward and forever to be rec- 
ognized in the world. 

Parents are apt to think that they have the 
right to call their children what they please. 
We would remind them, however, that, apart 


from the claims of good taste, which should nev- 
er be disregarded, every mother's son and daugh- 
ter have a vested interest in the names bestowed 
upon them. Parents have no right, socially, to 
disqualify their offspring by affixing to them ei- 
ther inappropriate or unseemly appellations. 

There was more truth than oddity in Captain 
Shandy's notion that a great deal more depend- 
ed ujDon the choice and imposition of Christian 
names than what superficial minds are capable 
of conceiving. " How many Caesars and Pom- 
peys, he would say, by mere inspiration of the 
names, have been rendered worthy of them ! 
And how many, he would add, are there who 
might have done exceeding well in the world 
had not their characters and spirits been totally 
depressed and Nicodemus'd into nothing !" We 
commend this Shandean notion to every parent, 
who we hope, however, may escape the Shandean 
fate 'of having a Tristram in the family. 

In well-regulated families the simj)le rule is 
followed of giving the children the names of 
their grandparents, parents, and other relatives. 
In Scotland the first son is named after the fa- 
ther's father, the first daughter after the moth- 
er's moth*er, the second son after the father, and 
the second daughter after the mother. This is a 
good general rule to follow, which, however, ad- 


mits of exceptions. No one, for example, should 
perpetuate an ancestral name which has graced 
the Newgate Calendar, been affixed to the vil- 
lage stocks, or swung from the gallows-tree. If 
the appellation, moreover, should be positively 
ugly, it ought to have the go-by. There is noth- 
ing gained by reviving the Hezekiah Hogsflesh, 
for example, of some near relative, however rep- 
utable and dearly beloved. Parents can do no 
better than strengthen the family bond of union 
by a repetition to the farthest generation of the 
family names from which the ugly and disrepu- 
table have been weeded out. 

The prevailing Christian names in an English 
or American family are an indication more or 
less of its origin. The predominance of Franks, 
Charleses, Hughs, Isabels, Louisas, Catharines, 
etc., is a proof of Cavalier, as that of Hezekiahs, 
Reubens, Jonahs, Jonathans, Rebeccas, Marthas, 
etc., is of Puritanic descent. 

Names, however, are now frequently given 
which indicate nothing more than the peculiar 
sentiments, tastes, caprices, and fancies of those 
who bestow them. The pious are apt to turn 
to the Bible for a choice, and affix to their chil- 
dren, with a fond and almost superstitious hope 
of sanctification, the names of some patriarch, 
saint, or apostle. It is curious how little dis- 


crimination is sometimes used in selecting appel- 
lations from the Holy Book, which is supposed 
with simple reverence to render sacred every 
thing it may contain. We have all heard of the 
mother who insisted upon calling her first-born 
Beelzebub, for it was, she declared, a Scriptural 
name, which none could gainsay. We know two 
promising scions of a serious family who bear, 
respectively the names of Abiathar Benajah and 
Jonah Jonathan. * 

The sentimental are apt to be guided by the 
last novel they have read, and to borrow the 
name of a favorite hero or heroine for the beloved 
son or daughter of thei^* house. "Our second 
child, a girl," says the Vicar of Wakefield, " I in- 
tended to call after her aunt Grissel ; but my 
wife, who during her pregnancy had been read- 
ing romances, insisted upon her being called Oli- 
via." A respectable citizen of New York bears 
the name of" Orondates," borrowed by his moth- 
er from the hero of s'ome forgotten novel. 

The patriotic choose national names, and thus 
the Patricks abound in Ireland, the Georges in 
England, the Andrews in Scotland, the Hermanns 
in Germany, the Louises in France, and the Wash- 
ingtons and Franklins in the United States. The 
scion whom we know, of an intensely loyal sire, 
bears the Christian name of George Ilex, The 


following is the history given by General Grant's 
father of his son's name : 

" It occurred in this way : he was our first- 
born, and his grandfather, grandmother, and sev- 
eral others felt an interest in naming him. We 
finally agreed to write all the names we chose 
(one each, there being seven of us), place them 
.in a hat, and draw, abiding by the result. Ulys- 
ses was drawnJirsL But his grandfather's choice 
Vas Hiram. So, to please my father, we permit- 
ted it to be Ulysses Hiram; but all know how 
they got his name Ulysses S. on the West Point 
books, I tried to get it corrected, but Ulysses 
said he didn't like the name Hiram any way, and 
so we let it stand. We have never had any rea- 
son to object to it since." 

In selecting the names of distinguished peo- 
ple for their children, it would be wise for par- 
ents to await the full verdict of posterity before 
committing themselves to any one's reputation 
for greatness. It is not safe to assume the ex- 
cellence of any contemporary name, and affix to 
a child a supposed honorable appellation which 
time may turn into a stigma of disgrace. During 
the honorable period of Benedict Arnold's and 
Aaron Burr's careers, children w^ere not seldom 
called after them, who grew up to a consciousness 
of the shame of bearing the names of traitors. 


It is better, perhaps, to avoid altogether the 
names of mark, for the children who bear them 
will necessarily suffer by the continually suggest- 
ed comparison with those who first bore them. 
If their careers should be humble, their humili- 
ty will be increased ; if aspiring, their utmost 
reach will be deemed a shortcoming. Ridicule 
or disappointment must be the inevitable result. 
'No William Shakspeare Smith, Francis Bacon 
Jones, Isaac Newton Brown, Julius Csesar Jen- 
kins, or Marcus Tullius Cicero Higgins can ever, 
by any possibility, however gifted by nature and 
improved by art, reach a degree of poetry, phi- 
losophy, science, military heroism, or eloquence 
to justify his name, and, if but a simple mortal 
without extraordinary endowment, survive the 
ridicule of bearing it. An eminent author has 
committed this error in regard to his children, 
among whom there are a Sydney Smith, a Fran- 
cis Jeffrey, and an Alfred Tennyson. He, how- 
ever, thought, no doubt, that the splendor of liis 
own name was such as to condemn already to 
comparative obscurity his offspring, and that 
they thus might not be harmed by any addi- 
tional contrast of brilliancy reflected from his dis- 
tinguished contemporaries.. 

If parents are, for want of family names, in 
search of others for their children, we would 


commend them to the familiar and unobjection- 
able, or " neutral" ones, as Sterne terms them, of 
William, John, Francis, Charles, Henry, Mary, 
Margaret, Louisa, Sarah, Helen, etc. The early 
English names are getting greatly into vogue; 
and you may hear in almost every nursery the 
pretty appellations of Arthur, Edith, Ethel, Ed- 
gar, Alfred, and Edwin. These are mellifluous, 
and come from ancestors common to Americans 
and English, by both of whom their memory de- 
serves to be perpetuated. 

The christening is most frequently, though not 
always, associated with the baptism, which is reg- 
ulated according to the ecclesiastical formulary 
of the peculiar sect to which the parents of the 
child may belong. In the Episcopal Church 
there are always three sponsors or godparents 
chosen from among the relatives or most inti- 
mate friends, and one of them should be he or 
she after w^hom the child is named. For a boy 
there must be two godfathers and one god- 
mother, and for a girl two godmothers and one 
godfather. These, however they may neglect 
the religious responsibilities they assume, must 
never shirk the obligations which society im- 
poses upon them of making a present to their 
god-children. This is ordinarily a silver mug, a 
knife, fork, and spoon of precious metal, some 


costly piece of laced costume fit for babyhood, 
or, if the piety of the giver should justify it, a 
handsomely bound Bible. 

The convivial part of a christening consists of 
a luncheon or dejeilner d la fourchette^ to which 
the relatives and most intimate friends are in- 
vited, and generally without the formality of a 
card or a note. On such an occasion it is usual 
for the chief male sponsor to propose the health 
of the infantile member of fashionable society in 
whose honor the meeting has been convened. 

Some mothers, when ready, after the four or 
five weeks of seclusion exacted by a fastidious 
fashion, to face their female friends, find it con- 
venient to assemble them together at a " caudle" 
party, when it is not essential that the refresh- 
ment should be confined to the ancestral spoon- 
meat from which the name is derived. The table 
is spread on such occasions with the usual con- 
stituents of the fashionable luncheon or break- 
fast, with the addition of cocoa, perhaps, or some 
other simple beverage, to give an innocent, con- 
valescent look to the banquet. 

Few, however Quakerish they may be in their 
opposition to ceremonials generally, resist, on 
marrying, the ordinary formalities of the wed- 
ding. We shall not pretend- to give, as some 
have assumed to do, formularies for making love 


or plighting troth, but we doubt not that many 
a person has been left to pine away in single 
misery for want of knowledge of the proper pro- 
cedure, simple as it may be. 

It is customary in every country but our own, 
we believe, to ask the permission of the parents 
of the beloved on5 before formally proposing to 
her. The proposition being made and accepted, 
a ring, called " the engagement ring," usually 
containing a single diamond, of the highest val- 
ue to which the generosity and means of the 
giver are capable of attaining, is presented by 
the successful suitor to his betrothed, who wears 
it ostentatiously on the ring-finger of her right 

The ceremony of marriage may take place as 
soon or long after the engagement as may be 
convenient to the parties most concerned. Un- 
til then, in our country, the intimacy of the be- 
trothed is left unchecked by parental interfer- 
ence. The two are allowed to be and to appear 
every where together, and ordinarily show them- 
selves in the public streets and promenades 
linked arm in arm. 

When the day for the marriage is fixed, the 
future bride pays, in company with her mother, 
her last maiden visits. About ten days or a 
fortnight before the day of the ceremony, cards 


are issued. These consist of the separate cards 
of the bride and bridegroom, and two cards of 
invitation, on one of which there are merely the 
name and situation of the church, with the date 
and time of the ceremony, and on the other the 
names of the parents, thus associated : " Mr. and 
Mrs. John Smith," and an invitation to the house 
conveyed by the words " at home," with the ad- 
dress of the paternal mansion, and the date and 
hour of the reception. All these cards are put 
into one envelope, and sent to the relatives and 
intimate friends of both parties. The card con- 
veying the invitation to the house is left out of 
those intended for mere formal acquaintances. 

Presents are expected from the connections 
and friends, and the quantity and value of these 
have become of late so excessive, that the obli- 
gation to give them is felt by all but the rich- 
est and most prodigal to be very burdensome. 
They are often of a marvelous inappropriate- 
ness. We have known a silver tureen sent to a 
young couple whose prospects in life hardly in- 
dicated the probability of even a regular supply 
of the simple pot of soup which good Henry the 
Fourth of France wished to be the least daily 
portion of every one of his subjects. The pres- 
ents, with the cards of the givers attached, are 
sent some days before the reception, that they 


may be displayed on the occasion. This public 
show of the donatives of the prodigal seems to 
liave been ingeniously designed for the purpose 
of stimulating the lagging generosity of others, 
and thus keeping up a practice very grateful, no 
doubt, to each recipient, but exceedingly j^ainful 
to most givers. 

The ceremony of marriage is ordinarily gov- 
erned by the ecclesiastical formularies of the sect 
to which the bride may belong, who chooses the 
clergyman for its performance. The bride has 
generally two bridesmaids, and the bridegroom 
the same number of groomsmen, but they may 
be both increased. The marriage is ordinarily 
performed at 12 o'clock in the day, at the church, 
Avhich is first entered by the bride resting on the 
arm of her father, uncle, or whomsoever is to 
"give her away." Next comes the bridegroom, 
with the mother or nearest matronly female rel- 
ative. Then follow the groomsmen and brides- 
maids, arm in arm. The immediate relatives 
complete the procession to the altar, where the 
bride and bridegroom take their places in ad- 
vance, with the parents a little behind, and the 
rest gathered in a group about them. The 
bridegroom takes care to provide the wedding 
ring, and have it in readiness at the proper mo- 
ment when called upon to put it on. He then 


places it on the third finger from, but not count- 
ins: the thumb of the left hand. When the cer- 
emony is over, the question sometimes arises 
whether the bride is to be kissed by the bride- 
groom. We should leave its decision to the in- 
stinct of affection were we not solemnly warned 
by a portentous authority on deportment that 
"the practice is decidedly to be avoided; it is 
never followed by people in the best society. 
A bridegroom with any tact will take care that 
this is known to his wife, since any disappoint- 
ment of exj^ectations would be a breach of good 
breeding. The bride is congratulated by all her 
friends in the church, and elderly relatives will 
kiss her in congratulation." This is, of course, 
now settled beyond all peradventure of doubt 
by the fact that, accoiding to the same author- 
ity, "The queen was kissed by the Duke of Sus- 
sex, but not by Prince Albert." 

The married pair then return to the bride's 
house together, taking precedence of all, and, on 
arrival, assume a standing position at one end of 
the reception-room and await the coming of tha« 
invited guests, who, as they enter, are conducted 
by the groomsmen to oifer their congratulations. 

The conventional breakfast or lunch closes the 

The dress of the bridegroom is regulated by 


that chosen by the bride ; if she wears a white 
veil, he is expected to appear in black trowsers, 
dress coat, which may be either black or blue, 
white waistcoat, and white cravat ; or, if a naval 
or military person, in full uniform. If the bride 
should prefer to wear a bonnet, the bridegroom 
should put on a frock-co^it of black, brown, or 
other tasteful color, and light-colored waistcoat 
and trowsers. It is customary for the married 
pair to leave, on the day of marriage, for a tour, 
and remain absent for a week, ten days, or even 
more. On their return they expect visits from 
all those to whom bridal cards have been sent, 
and the usual succession of dinners and evening 
j)arties, after which they lose their distinctive 
character, and become incorporated into the vast 
mass of ordinary people. • 

The human body, even in the unconsciousness 
of death, continues to be the object of a punc- 
tilious observance of ceremony. The mourning 
relatives are usually spared many of the painful 
details of funereal civility by the convenient offi- 
<;iousness of the undertaker, upon whom devolve 
. the chief arrangements of the burial and its at- 
tendant formalities. 

We have shown the good taste in America of 
abolishing the hired mutes, the emblazonment of 
the emblematic horrors of death, the skull and 


cross-bones on the panels of the hearse, and all 
that " luxury of woe" so remarkable in the En- 
glish funeral. We have borrowed from the 
French and the Germans the tasteful practice of 
the use of flowers. This, however, with our usu- 
al tendency to excess, has become immoderate, 
and there is often an ostentatious exhibition of a 
profusion of crowns, crosses, hearts, and stars of 
the rarest and most costly products of the hot- 
house, which seem rather an indication of the 
exultation of wealth than of a regret for the 
dead or sympathy with the living. 

The notice of a death and invitation to the 
funeral are conveyed through the newspapers 
to the friends and acquaintances generally, but 
notes are sent to those who are to serve as pall- 
bearers. In this country ladies occasionally, 
but in England never, follow the procession, 
and the female members of the family not sel- 
dom make their appearance in company with the 
male chief mourners. 

It is now beginning to be the custom in 
America, as in England, to send to relatives and 
friends cards edged deeply with black, upon 
which is printed or engraved the name of the de- 
ceased, with his age, place, and date of his death. 
These are acknowledged by letters of condolence 
sent immediately, and visits of ceremony after a 


proper time. With a singular preference of de- 
votion to fashion, ladies, whatever may be the 
control of their emotions and disposition to per- 
form their religious duties, abstain from going 
to church before, and for several days after the 
funeral. The card, and the letter-paper and en- 
velope edged with black, are used during the 
whole period of mourning.* 

* Mourning should be worn, as we are told by a professed 

"For a husband or wife, from one to two years, though 
some widows retain their mourning for life. 

* ' For a parent or grandparent, from six months to a year. 

*' For children above ten years of age, from six months to 
a year ; for those below that age, from three to six months ; 
and for an infant, six or seven weeks. 

"For brothers and sisters, six to eight months. 

* ' For uncles and aunts, three to six months. 

** For cousins, or uncles or aunts related by marriage, from 
six weeks to three months. 

"For more distant relatives or friends, from three weeks 
to as many months, according to the degree of intimacy." 

The servants are ordinarily put in mourning by those who 
can afford it on the death of an important member of the 
family. The nurse only in the case of the death of young 


Acceptances of Invitations, page 225. 

African Taste, 83. 

Age—" Growing Old gracefully," 111. 

Antinous a Rustic compared with Talleyrand, 73. 

Arsenic, Folly and Danger of using (Note), 30. 

Attar of Roses, 114. 

Awliwardness, Lord Chesterfield's Opinion of, 75. 

Bacon a Man of Society, 111. 

Balls— Invitations and Refusals, 224, 225 ; entering the Room, and 
Conduct there, 226 ; a polite Hostess, 226 ; Duty of Gentlemen, 
227 ; Social Offenders, 228 ; Evil of late Hours, 220 ; Visits after, 229. 

Bankruptcy caused by Love of Dress, 168. 

Bash fulness in Children, 74. 

Bathing, the Necessity of, 27. 

Beauty— the Duty of Woman and Man to be Beautiful if they can, 
20 ; Beauty defined by Brantome, 20 ; how Women are apt to re- 
gard it, 20; none without Health, 21 ; physical Causes of Beauty 
of Form, 22 ; American Style, 25 ; what it may be attributed to, 26; 
a Negro Painter's Idea of the Goddess of Beauty, 36. 

Pelladonna dangerous to the Eyes, 44. 

Bills of Fare, 214. 

Births— Announcements in Newspapers, 255 ; VisBk to Parent, 256 ; 
Children's Rights, 256 ; Name-giving, 257. 

Blushing, a Sign of Modesty or a Nuisance, 109 ; Mauvaise honte, or 
false IVIodesty, 110. 

Boots and Shoes— the Modern Shape, how they spoil the Feet, 66 ; 
the correct Shape, 68 ; iron Boots for deformity, 94. 

Brantome's Definition of Beauty, 20. 

Breakfast— of Queen Elizabeth and her Maids, 192 ; of an Earl and 
• Countess, 192 ; least ceremonious of Meals, 195; English Break- 
fasts, 195 ; Table Furniture, 196 ; serving Tea and Coffee, 197 ; Dr. 
Johnson's Fingers in the Sugar-bowl, 197 ; cutting Bread, Queen 
Victoria's Practice, 198 ; what Breakfasts should consist of, 199 ; 
Breakfast Costume, 200 ; the Formal and Wedding Breakfasts, 
Dress for, 204. 

Bridgewater Treatise on the Hand, 60. 

Brillat Savarin on Gourmaudis-m, 27 ; on Dinner Guests, 208. 

Bunions and Corns, 70. 

Burr, ugly, but popular with Ladies, 81. 

Caps, Servants should wear, 163. 

Cards— for Dinners, 208 ; for Balls, 224 ; Visiting, 239 ; Farewell, 242 ; 

Marriage, 265 ; Mourning, 270. 
Caudle Parties, 263. 

272 INDEX. 

Ceremony— Observances founded on Common Sense, 9. 

Chair, how to sit in a, 103. 

Cheerfulness— Beneflts of, 107 ; Dyspepsia produced by want of, 107 ; 
an Eastern Apologue, 108 ; the Walcheren Expedition, 108 ; Dr. 
Sydenham's Advice, 109 ; Lord Bacon's Opinion of, 109. 

Chemistry of Dress, 176. 

Chesterfield, Lord, on the Graces,15 ; on Awkwardness, 75 ; his Short- 
ness of Stature, 81 ; he never Laughed, 105 ; his Opinion of One who 
did, 105 ; Advice to his Son about Dress, 158. 

Chignons, how the hair is procured, 33. 

Children— too much Interference with, 17 ; proper Degree of Free- 
dom, 78; constrained Postures, 79; wholesome Neglect, 80; ugly 
Gait, how caused, 88 ; Dancing recommended by Locke, 89 ; the 
Dress of, 177; hardening, 178 ; Dangers of Exposure, 179; cover- 
ing a Child's Body with Gold Leaf, 180 ; Difference between in- 
door and outdoor Clothing, ISO ; Security in warm Clothing, 181 ; 
their Meals, 202 ; their Eights, 256 ; Name-giving, 257. 

Chinese Women, the Feet of, 67. 

Chocolate Girl in Dresden Gallery, the, 162. 

Christening— Ceremony o^ 262 ; Caudle Parties, 263. 

Church, Finery in, 164. 

Cloaks and Overcoats, 180. 

Clothing, see Dress. 

Combs, pocket-, indelicate, 112. 

Complexions— the American compared with English, 25 ; Pallidness 
attributable to Diet, 26; Health alone gives the rosy Tint to a 
Blonde, or the ripe Color to a Brunette, 30 ; how to obtain a good 
Complexion, 30 ; Folly of using Arsenic, 30. 

Corns and Bunions, 70. 

Courtship, 264. 

Cowper's Modesty, 111. 

Crookedness, a fiemedy for, 95. 

Dancing— recommended by Locke, 89; unhealthy Dancing, 90 ; fiish- 
ionabie Dancing, 91. 

Dandruff— the Cause, 34 ; the Remedy, 35. 

Death— Formalities of, 268 ; Notices of, 269. 

Dejeuner a la fourchette, see Luncheon. 

Democracy, affected Vulgarities of, 14. 

Demonstrations of Feelmg in Public, 97 ; common American Prac- 
tices, 101. 

Dinner— should begin with Soup ; Sweets should be eaten at the 
close, 185 ; Coeval with Man, 205 : Talleyrand's ideas on the im- 
portance of, 205; the Dinners of Cambaceres, 205 ; choice and 
number of Company, 206 ; an old Superstition, 207 ; invitations, 
208 ; punctuality essential, 209 ; order of precedence, 210 ; an En- 
glish custom, 210 ; separation of Husband and Wife, 211 ; advan- 
tages of an early Dinner, 212 ; how to appreciate a Dinner, 213 ; 
when it should be Served, 214 ; Diner d laRusse, 214 ; how it should 
be served, 214 ; duties of the Host, 215 ; a French Dinner, 216 ; 
Lord Dudley's idea of a good Dinner, 216 ; a good Republican Din- 
ner, 217; rising from Table, 217, 220; Calls after an Entertain- 
ment, 218 ; genteel Observances, 218 ; a Negro Waiter's perplexity, 
218 ; Gloves at Dinner, 219 ; attention to the Ladies, 219 ; be not 
obtrusive, 220 ; return to Drawing-room, 221 ; taking Leave, 222. 

INDEX. 273 

Doctor, the use of the Title, 244. 

Domestic Privacy, cultivation of, 150. 

Drawiug-room after Dinner, 221. 

Press— Relation of, to Form, 31 ; the ancient Greek Woman, 31 ; the 
modern Dame of Fashion, 31 ; effect of Civilization on, 155 ; diver- 
gence between Masculine and Feminine taste, 156 : the Poet Gold- 
smith's brilliant Suit^lST; the old Coat-collar, 157 ; Chesterfield's 
advice to his Son, 15S ; decorum in Dress, 159 ; uniformity of Dress 
in the United States, 160 ; Dress of vs'^orkinj^ People, 100 ; in the 
Kitchen, 161 ; the Chocolate Girl of the Dresden Gallery, 162 ; Caps 
for Servants, 163 ; Americans universally well Dressed, 163 ; Over- 
dressing for Church, 164 ; simple Attire and Piety, 165 ; Paley's 
Opinion on the distinctions of Dress, 166 ; Girls entirely Over- 
dressed, 167: what Overdress leads to, 168; advantage of modest 
Dress, 169 ; Male and Female Manikins, 170 : uniformity of Dress, 
171 ;'*the Domestic Slattern, 171 ; Men attracted by propriety in 
Dress, 172 ; Fielding's Wife, 172 ; economy of decorous Dress, 173 ; 
Hygiene of Dress, 174 ; Philosophy of Dress, 175 ; Chemistry of 
Dress — Dr. Franklin's Experiment, 176 ; loose versus tight Gar- 
ments, 177 ; Summer and Winter Clothing, 177 ; Cloaks and Over- 
coats, ISO ; black Coats and Hats, 181 ; M. Rouher and the Paris 
Modiste's Servant, 182; for Wedding Breakfasts, 204 ; of Bride and 
Groom, 267 ; Mourning, 270. 

Drunkenness banished from Society, 231. 

Du Barri, the nez retrousse of Madame, 37. 

Ear, the— how it is deformed in Childhood, 45 ; the Ear in Grecian 
Sculpture, 46 ; complicated and delicate Apparatus, 47 ; Ear-wax, 
how to remove it, 48; danger of Ear-pulling, 48 ; not to be kept 
in order in Public, 122; Ear-boring a barbarous practice, 122; 
process of Ear-boring, 124; how a Child was tortured, 125; Ear- 
tjoring does no good to the Eyes, 126. 

Ear-trinkets a Relic of barbarism, 123 ; the Venus of Milo ivithout, 
the Venus of Titian with, contrasted, 123 ; neither beauty nor fit- 
ness in the practice, 126. 

Ease of Americans, 96. 

Eau de Colofjne, 114. 

Economy of decorous Dress, 172. 

Engagements, 264. 

Expression and action, the power of, 73 ; ugly tricks of, 80. 

Eyebrows, the, 41 ; their union esteemed a Beauty among the An- 
cients, 42 ; Michael Angelo, and Tennyson's allusion to his Friend 
Hallam, 42. 

Eye-glasses, their abuse, 120. 

Eyes, the — the glory of the Face, the beauty dependent upon health, 
39 ; Short-sightedness, how it is sometimes caused, 40 ; the use of 
Glasses, 40 ; Squinting, 40 ; how Squinting is sometimes caused, 
41 ; Eyebrows and Lashes should not be interfered with, 41 ; im- 
perfect Light and weeping bad for the Eyes, 43; Black Pigment, 
44 ; les yeux cernes, 44 ; clouding the Eyes with Ink, 44 ; the use 
of Belladonna causing the loss of Sight, 44 ; looks of shyness or 
boldness equally unbecoming, 116 ; free glances unbecoming, 116 ; 
the assured look of American Women, 117 ; the misuse of Eye- 
glasses, 120. 


274 INDEX. 

Face, the, expression of under control, 104 ; Lord Chesterfield's com- 
posure, 105. 

Falsehood fashionable, 130 ; not to be conceded, 132 ; iustauce of a 
fai^ionable Lie, 132. 

Fashion, recklessness of, 1T4. 

Fatness, cause of, 84 ; cure for, 85 ; Iodine found useful, 85 ; case of 
Bantiug, 85; success of his plan, 86. 

Feet, the— Rarity of well- formed Feet, 66 ; the ancient Sandal and 
modern Boots, 00 ; the hideous Feet of Chinese Women, 67 ; high 
Heels weaken and distort the Feet, 68 ; Madame de Pompadour 
exposes her bare Foot, 69 ; Corns and Bunions, how caused, and 
how the^ may be cured, 70 : ingrowth of the Toe-nail, 71 ; remedy 
for ingrotvth — terrible operation, 71 ; excessive Perspiration, how 
remedied, 72 ; Boots of Iron for deformity condemned, 94. 

Fielding's Wife, 172. 

Flexibility of Limb distinguishes Americans, 101. 

jPbod—abundance of, by perverse use, an iujury, 183 ; too Carnivor- 
ous in this Country, Dyspepsia, 184; proper variety of Food, 184; 
experience of Good Livers, 184; danger of higgledy-piggledy Din- 
ners, 185 ; why Dinner should begin with Soup and close with 
Sweets, 185; Restaurants at the Luncheon hour, 186; the atten- 
tion necessary to proper feeding, 187 ; time should be given to 
eating, 188 ; both Brain and Stomach must be at ease, 188; the 
apothegm of Sterne, 188 ; sociability an essential element, 189 : 
protest against solitary feeding, 189 ; has Woman a Stomach ? 191 ; 
noble Feeders, 192 ; the sly voracity of private Luncheons, 193. 

Fox, the fatness of Charles James, 81. 

Franklin a Man of Societv, 111 ; experiments on Colors, 176. 

Fuss avoided by well-bred People, 98 ; fatal to comfort, 99 ; a fussy 
Housekeeper, 100. 

Genghis Khan's Wife, her Nose, 37. 
Gibbon, his Nose, 37. 
Gloves at Dinner, 219. 

Gold-leaf, covering a Child's Body with, 180. 
Goldsmith's '' suit of Tyrian bloom," 157. 
Good Manners essential in this country, 12. 
Governor, use of the Title, 245. 
Gregariousness of the American, 148. 

Hair, the— Female ingenuity exercised about, 32 ; how the Hair for 
Chignons is obtained, 33 ; Dyeing a preposterous artifice, 33 ; pre- 
mature Grayness, 34; a simple Lotion, 34; Dandruft', 34; Depila- 
tories are dangerous, 35 ; remedy for Feminine Beards, 35 ; prac- 
tice of the American Indians, 35; false Hair an ugly Sham, 112; 
too much of the Barber, 112 ; the Hair of the Young, 112 ; Pocket- 
combs and other filthy practices, 112. 

Hand, the— The Bridgewater Treatise on, 60 ; its beauty and utility, 
60; functions, 61 ; to be beautiful should be in proportion to the 
rest of the Body, 62 ; Artist's horror of painting Hands, 52; how 
to beautify the Hands, 63 ; the Half Moon or Lunula, 63 ; how to 
prevent Ilang-nails, 63 ; Rousseau and a Finger-brush, 64 ; biting 
the Nails fatal to their beauty, 64 ; snapping the Fingers, 64 ; 
Warts, 64; how to cure them, 65; humid Hands often constitu- 
tional—how to relieve the infirmity, 65 ; management of the 

INDEX. 275 

Hands in Company, 143 ; certain annoying practices, 144 ; Hand- 
shaking, 145. 

"Hands off, "101. 

Hang-nails, 63. 

Hats, the ugly stove-pipe, 181. 

Hawthorne afflicted with mauvaise honte, 110. 

Host and Hostess— Duties at Dinner, 215 ; at a Party or Ball, 226. 

Hue, the Traveler's, description of the Feet of Chinese Women, 67. 

Hygiene of Dress, 1T4; Children's Dress, 177; the Hardening Pro- 
cess, 17S ; Effects of covering the Body of a Child with Gold Leaf, 

Infirmity, personal, never alluded to, 81. 

Ingrowth of t0€-nail, 71. 

Introductions— English Reserve, 250 ; Americans indiscriminate, 251 ; 

the Form of, 252 ; Letters of, 253. 
Intrusiveness, Democratic, 146 ; Loyal, 147. 
Invitations— to Dinner, 208 ; to Balls, 224 ; Refusals and Acceptances, 

225; to Marriages, 265. 
Iron Boots condemned nowadays, 94. 
Israelitish Noses, 37. 

Judge, use of the Title, 245. 

Kitchen, Dress in the, 161 ; Caps should be insisted upon, 163. 

Knees, Awkwardness of stiff, 102. 

Knife, why it should not be put in the Mouth, or used with Fish, 11. 

Lafayette's polite Salutations, 146. 

Lafontaine's Modesty, 111. 

Laughter— Chesterfield's Opinion about, 105; Advantages of, 106; 
"Laugh and grow Fat," 107. 

Leave-taking, Etiquette of, 240. 

Letters— addressing, 249 ; of Introduction, 253. 

Locke on Good Breeding, 15. 

Love of Dress, proper Extent of, 158 ; improper, 168. 

Luncheon — Ladies' private Luncheons, 193 ; the Etymology of, 201 ; 
the dejeuner d la fonrchette of the French, 201 ; when it should be 
eaten, 201 ; thrifty Housekeepers, their Mistakes, 202 ; the formal 
Lunch, 203 ; to appreciate a Dinner, 213 ; Christening-parties, 263. 

Lunula, or half moon, 63. 

Madam, Use and Abuse of the Word, 244. 

Manikins, male and female, 170. 

Manners— the Eyes in Conversation, 110 ; Familiarity of Looks, 116; 
the Libertine's Glance, 117 ; free Manners of unmarried Women, 
117; prevailing Characteristics of fashionable young Ladies, 118; 
the Effect of fast Manners on Character, 119 ; Effect on social 
Morals, 120 ; the Use of an Eyeglass, 120 ; Winking and Ogling, 
121 ; a deserved Rebuke, 121 ; Somnolency in Company, 121 ; Som- 
nolency of Washington Irving, 122 ; decorous Swallowing, 140 ; 
ugly Noises with the Mouth, 140; Decency of Motion, 141 ; Atti- 
tudinizing, 142 ; Hand-shaking, 145 ; Lafayette's polite Inquiries, 
146 ; Democratic Intrusiveness, 146 ; Loyal Intrusiveness, 147 ; 
Bows and Nods, 151 ; Goldsmith's " mutilated Courtesy," 153 ; at 

276 INDEX. 

Dinner, 219 ; in the Drawing-room, 221 ; on entering a Room, 220 ; 
a polite Hostess, 226 ; escorting Ladies, 227; polite partners, 228; 
social Offenders, 228 ; Visits after Balls, 22i) ; Treatment of Serv- 
ants, 280 et seq. ; Etiqnette of Leave-taking, 241. 

Marlborongh, graceful Bearing of the Duke of, 16. 

Massasoit cured by Edward Win slow, 53. 

Mauvaise honte, the Reverse of true Modesty, 109. 

Mayor, Use of the Title, 245. 

Mind and Body— Pleasure with Exercise, 92; proper Exercise, 93. 

Mirabeau— his Nose, 37; popular with Ladies despite Iiis Ugliness, 

Morbific Phase of Fashion, 43. 

Mourning, 2G9. 

Mouth, the— hidden by Males, 49 ; what the African Women thought 
of Mungo Park's Mouth, 49 ; Xantippe's Mouth, 50 ; Suckling's De- 
scription of a Mouth, 50 ; the proper form, 50 ; evil Effects of Rouge 
on the Lips, 51 ; Madame de Pompadour's Lips, 51 ; a Mouth-wash, 
51 ; the Muscles of the Mouth, 52 ; the musculus superbus, or proud 
Muscle, how sparingly it should be used, 52. 

Nails, the— much of the Beauty of the Hand depends upon them, 03 ; 
how they should be pared, 63 ; how to preserve the luiiula, or half 
moon, 63; Hang-nails, 64; biting the Nails, 64; Ingrowth of the 
Toe-nail, how caused and how cured, 71 ; Dean Swift and his Nails, 
154; claw-like Nails very ugly, 154; Inside of Nails should never 
be scraped, 154. 

Names — Nicknames, 250 ; of Children, 25T ; prevailing Names, 259 ; 
Scriptural and Patriotic, 259; how General Grant came by hi« 
Name, 200 ; distinguished Names, 260, 261 ; neutral Names, 262. 

Newton a Man of Society, 111. 

New-Year's Calls, 240. 

Nez retrotissSy or Pug Nose, 37. 

Nicknames, 250. 

Nose, the— essential to good looks, 35; the Grecian, S6; the Hotten- 
tot Venus, 36; the Romans, 37; the Tartars, 37 ; the Wife of Gen- 
ghis Khan, 37; the Noses of Mirabeau, Gibbon, and Wilkes, 37; 
the Pug, S7 ; the 7iez retrousse of Madame du Barri, 37 ; the Nose 
reveals the Temper, 38; scores Excesses, 38 ; is the Organ of Smell, 
38 ; its Formation, 38 ; the Dog's Nose, 39 ; every Man has a Smell 
peculiar to himself. 39 ; Instance of a Man without the Organ of 
Smell, 39 ; a Lawyer who wrio:gled his Nose, 80 ; should not be 
handled unnecessarily, 113 ; Efiect of taking Snuff, 113. 

Odors, 114. 

Otto or Attar of Roses, 114. 
Overcoats and Cloaks, 180. 
Overdressing of unmarried Girls, 167. 

Paley on fiishionable Falsehood, 132 ; on Distinctions of Dress, 166. 

Park, Mungo, and the African Women, 49. 

Peel, Sir Robert, and the Letter //, 127. 

Perfumes, use and misuse of, 114. 

Perspiration of the Hand, 65 ; of the Feet, 72. 

Philosophy of Dress, 174. 

Plagite, Eastern Apologue about the, 108. 

INDEX. 277 

Pompadour, Madame de, her idea of Woman's chief duty, 19 ; how 

she spoiled her Lips, 52 ; her beautiful Feet, G9. 
P. P. C, 242. 

Precedence at Dinner, 210. 
Presentations, Koyal and Kepublican, 254. 
Presents, Weddincr, 265. 
President of the United States, his Designation, 245; Presentations 

to, 254. 
Primness by no means Graceful, 102. 
Prudishness of Speech, 136. 

Queen Elizabeth's Breakfast, 192. 

Quietness of Well-bred People, 98. 

Quixote, the Adventures of, recommended, 109. 


Refusals to Invitations, 225. 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, on the Principles of Beauty, 36. 

Roman Noses, 37. 

Rouher, Mons., and the Paris Modiste, 1S2. 

Rousseau and the Pinger-brush, 64. 

Russian Dinner— Dmer d la Eusse, 214, 216. 

Sandals, the ancient, 66. 

Scott, Sir Walter, a Man of Society, 111. 

Servants, human Nature of, 230 ; how they are generally regarded, 
230 ; proper Degree of Intimacy with, 232 ; rude Treatment of, the 
Result of ill Breeding, 233 ; Policy of good Treatment, 234. 

Shakspeare a Man of Society, 111. 

Shortsightedness, 40. 

Sir, use and abuse of the Word, 244. 

Skin, the, Structure and Functions of, 27 ; Soap is required to Cleanse 
it, 28 ; Cosmetics and Washes only hide the Dirt, 29 ; yellow Spots 
removable by Lime-juice, 29. 

Slattern, the domestic, 171. 

Snuff, Effects of taking, 113. , 

Social Offenders, 228. ' 

Sour-krout, a Duchess's Opinion of, 102. 

Speech— Purity of, 127 ; Sir Robert Peel and the Letter //, 128 ; loud- 
ness, 128 ; Slang Terms in use, 120 ; profane Swearing—Pledges of 
'^Word'' and ''Hoiwr," 130; fashionable Falsehood, 130; Paley at- 
tempts a Justification, 132 ; danger of conceding^ the least Privi- 
lege to a Lie, 132 ; instance of a fashionable LiaaB2 ; some polite 
Lies that can not be justified, 133 ; Plain-speakiiig may be carried 
to excess, 133 ; impertinent Realists, 134 : the Baby that was like 
a Flat-headed Indian, 135 ; unwelcome Verities, 135; good Side of 
Plain-speaking, 136 ; prudishness of Speech, 136 ; Sterne's "Ac- 
cessory Ideas," 137. 

Sprawling on Chairs or Sofas, 97. 

Squinting, 40. 

Sterne's " Accessory Ideas," 137 ; Apothegm, 158. 

Strong Woman, a, 192. 

Suckling's description of a pretty Mouth, 50. 

Summer Clothing, 177. 

Sydenham, Dr., on Cheerfulness, 109, 

278 INDEX. 

Table— how the Breakfast-table should be prepared, 19G ; for the 
Diner a la Russe, 214 ; for the French Dinner, 216. 

Talleyrand, Lameness of, 81 ; on the Importance of Dmners, 205. 

Tartars, the Noses of the, 37. 

Teeth, the— wholesome Look of white Ivories, 56 ; improve a home- 
ly Face, 56 ; Tie douloureux and other painful Diseases caused by 
neglected Teeth, 56 ; want of Cleanliness, 57 ; Children should be 
early taught to clean their Teeth, 57 ; not to be used as Nut-crack- 
ers, 57 ; why they decay, 58 ; Toothpicks, 58 ; Lord Chesterfield's 
New-Year's Gift to his Son, 58 ; the Tartar, 58 ; Soap the best 
cleaner, 59 ; Tobacco Smoking and Chewing, 59. 

Thinness, 86 ; Cause and Cure, 87. 

Tight-lacing, danger and folly of, 82. 

Titles— unauthorized in the United States, 243 ; use of Sir and Mad- 
am, 244 ; titular Addresses, 245 ; Collegiate Titles, when they 
should be used, 246 ; Esquires, 247 ; Female Dignitaries, 248 ; ad- 
dressing Letters, 249. 

Tobacco, effects of, on the Teeth, 59. 

Tongue, the— demands great Care, 53 ; the Fur, 53 ; Tongue-scrap- 
ers, 53 ; Dr. Holmes's Anecdote of Edward Winslow and Massa- 
soit, 53 ; the Tongue as an Indicator of Disease, 54 ; readily heals, 
but is often the Seat of dangerous Disease, 55 ; its true Functions, 
55 ; how it is abused, 55. 

Travelers, English and American, 251. 

Turkish Taste, 83. 

Ugly Men, Success of, 81. 

Venus of Milo in Comparison with a modern Lady, 82. 

Visiting— a fashionable List, 235 ; a fashionable Call, 237 ; formal 

Calls, 238 ; Cards, 239 ; on New-Year's Day, 240 ; Etiquette of 

Leave-taking, 241 ; the President, 254. 
Voice, the— defects of the American, 138 ; Children shout when they 

should talk, 139 ; the Charm of a low, sweet Voice, 139 ; Reading 

aloud a good Practice, 140 ; certain ugly Noises by the Mouth, 140 ; 

smacking the Lips barbarous, 149. 

Warts, 64. 

Wedding Breakfasts, Dress for, 204. 

Weddings— Cards and Presents, 265; the Ceremony, 266; Kissing 

the Bride, Queen Victoria's Marriage, 267. 
Wilkes, his Noa^37 ; popular with Ladies despite his Ugliness, 81. 
Winking and d^lng, 121. 
Winslow, Edward, cures Massasoit, 53. 
Winter Clothing, 177. 
Working-people, their Dress, 160. 
Wriggling Nose, 80. 

Xantippe, the lean-mouthed Wife of Socrates, 50. 





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