Abbildungen der Seite

something in that kind which shall be entirely new; or
whether some of the tallest of the sex, being too cunning
for the rest, have contrived. this meihod to make them.
selves appear sizeable, is still a secret : though I find
most are of opinion, they are at present like trees new
lopped and pruned, that will certainly sprout out, and
flour'ish with greater heads than before. For my own
part, as I do not love to be insulted by women who are
taller than myself, I admire the sex much more in their
present humiliation, wbich has reduced them to their
natural dimensions, than when they had extended their
persons, and lengthened themselves out into formidable
and gigantic figures. I am not for adding to the beauti.
ful edifices of nature, nor for raising any whimsical su-
perstructure upon her plan: I must therefore cepeat
it, that I am highly pieased with the coiffure now in fash.'
ion, and think it shows the good sense which at present
very much reigns among the valuable part of the sex.
One may observe that women in all ages have taken
more pains than men to adorn the outside of their heads;
and indeed I very much admire that those architects who
raise such powerful structures out of ribbands, lace and
wire, have not been recorded for their respective inven-
tions. It is certain there have been as many orders in
these kind of buildings, as in those wbich have been
made of marble ; sometimes they rise in the shape of a
pyramid, sometimes like a tower, and sometimes like a
steeple. In Juvenals time, the brulding grew by sever-
al orders and stories, as he has very humorously descri-
bed it

With curls on curls they build her head before,
And mount it with a formidable tower ;
A giantess she seems; but look behind,

And then she dwindies to the pigmy kind, But I do not remember, in any part of my reading, that the headdress aspired to so great an extravagance, as in the fourteenth century; when it was built up in a couple of cones or epires, which stood so excessively bigh on each side of the head, that a woman who was but a pigmy without her headdress, appeared like a colossus upne putting it on. Monsieur Paradin says, “That these old fashioned fontages rose an ell above the head, that

[ocr errors]

they were pointed like steeples, and had long loose pie. Ges of crape fastened to the tops of them, which were curiously fringed, and hung down their backs like streamers."

The women might possibly bave carried this Gothic building much higher, had not a famous monk, Thomas Connecte by name, attacked it with great zeal and res: olution. This holy man travelled from place to place, to preach down this monstrous commode; and succeed. ed so well in it, that, as the magicians sacrifice their books to the flames, upon the preaching of an apostle, many of the women threw down their headdresses in the middle of his sermon, and made a bonfire of them within sight of the pulpit. He was so renowned, as well for the sanctity of his life, as bis manner of preaching, that he had often a congregation of twenty thousand people ; the men placing themselves on the one side of his pulpit; and the women on the other--they appeared, to use the similitude of an ingenious writer, like a forest of cedars, with their heads reaching to the clouds. He so warned and animated the people against this monstrous ornament, that it lay under a kind of persecution ; and whenever it appeared in public, was pelted down by the rabble, who flung stopes at the person who wore it. But, notwithstanding this prodigy vanished while the preacher was among them, it began to appear again some months after his departure, or to tell it in Monsieur Paradin's own words, “The women, that like spails in a fright, had drawn in their horns, shot them out again as soon as the danger was over. This extravagance of the women's headdresses in that age, is taken notice of by Monsieur d'Argentre, in the history of Bretagne, and by other historians, as well as the person I have here quoted

It is usually observed, that a good reign is the only proper time for the making of laws against the exorbi. tance of power; in the same manner an excessive headdress may be attacked the most effectually when the fasbion is against it. I do therefore recommend this paper to my female readers, by way of prevention.

I would desire the fair sex to consider how impossiley it is for them to add any thing that can be ornamentar,


to what is already the masterpiece of nature. The head has the most beautiful appearance, as well as the highest station in the human figure. Nature has laid out all her art in beautifying the face: She has touched it with vermillion; planted in it a double row of ivory; made it the seat of smiles and blushes ; lighted it up and enlivened it with tbe brightness of the eyes ; hung it on each side with curious organs of sense ; given it airs and graces that cannot be described ; and surrounded it with such a flowing shade of hair, as sets all its beauties in the most agreeable light; in short, she seemed to have de. signed the head as the cupola to the most glorious of her works; and when we load it with such a pile of supernumerary ornaments, we destroy the symmetry of the human figure, and foolishly contrive to call off the eye from great and real beauties, to childish gewgaws, ribbands and bone lace.

XII.-- On the present and a future state.-]B.
LEWD young

fellow seeing an aged hermit go by him barefoot, “Father,” says he,"you are in a very miserable condition, if there is not another world." "True, son," said the hermit ; but what is thy condition if there is ?” — Man is a creature designed for two different states of being, or rather for two different lives. His first life is short and transient ; bis second permanent and lasting The question we are all concerned in is this-In which of these two lives is it our chief interest to make ourselves happy ? Or in other wordsWhether we should endeavor to secure to ourselves the pleasures and gratifications of a life which is uncertain and precarious, and at its utmost length, of a very inconsiderable duration ; or to secure to ourselves the pleasures of a life which is fixed and settled, and will never end ! Every man, upon the first hearing of this question, knows very well which side of it be ought te close with. But however right we are in theory, it is plain, that in practice we adhere to thr wrong side of the question. We make provision for this life as though it were never to have an end; and for the other life, as though it were never to bave a beginning.

Should a spirit of superior rank, who is a stranger to

human nature, accidentally alight upon the earth, and take a survey of its inhabitants --what would his notions of us be? Would he not think that we are a species of beings made for quite different ends and purposes thao what we really are ? Must he not imagine that we were placed in this world to get riches and honors ? Would he not think that it was our duty to toil after wealth, and station, and title? Nay, would he pot believe we were forbidden poverty, by threats of eternal punishment, and enjoined to pursue our pleasures, under pain of damnation? He would certainly imagine that we were influenced by a scheme of duties quite opposite to those which are indeed prescribed to us. And, truly, according to such an imagination, he most conclude that we are a species of the most obedient creatures in the universe ;--that we are constant to our duty ;-and that we keep a steady eye on the end for which we were sent thither.

But how great would be bis astonishment, when he learnt that we were beings not designed to exist in this world above three score and ten years; and that the greatest part of this busy species, fall short even of that age! How would he be lost in horror and admiration, when he should know that this set of creatures, who lay ont all their endeavors for this life, which scarce deserves the name of existence, when, I say, he should know that this set of creatures are to exist to all eternity in another life, for which they make no preparations ? Nothing can be a greater disgrace to reason, than that men, who are persuaded of these two different staics of being, should be perpetually employed in providing for a life of three score and ten years, and neglecting to make provision for that, which, after many myriads of years, will be still new and still beginning ; especially when we consider, that our endeavors for making ourselves great, or rich, or honorable, or whatever else we place our happiness in, may, after all, prove unsuccessful; whereas, if we constantly and sincerely endeavor to make ourselves happy in the other life, we are sure that our en. deavors will succeed, and that we shall not be disap. pointed of our hope.

The following question is started by one of onr school. men. Supposing the whole body of the earth were a great ball or mass of the finest sand, and that a single grain or particle of this sand should be annihilated every thousand years ?- Supposing, then, that you had it in your choice to be happy all the while this prodigiousmass of sand was consuming, by this slow method, unul there was not a grain left, on condition that you were to to be miserable forever after ? Or, supposing that you might be happy forever after, on condition you would be miserable until the whole mass of sand were thus annihi. lated, at the rate of one sand in a thousand years ;which of these two cases would you make your choice ?

It must be confessed, in this case, so many thousands of years are to the imagination as a kind of eternity, though, in reality, they do not bear so great a proportion to that duration which is to follow them, as an unit does to the greatest number which you can put together in figures, or as one of those sands to the supposed heap. Reason therefore tells us, without any manner of hesitation, which would be the better part in this choice, However, as I have before intimated, our reason mighte in such a case, be so overset by imagination, as to dig. pose some persons to sink under the consideration of the great length of the first part of this duration, and of the great distance of that second duration which is to succeed it ;-the mind, I say, might give itself up to that happiness which is at hand, considering, that it is so very Dear, and that it would last so very long. But when the shoice we have actually before us is this-Whether we will choose to be happy for the space of only threescore and ten, nay, perhaps of only twenty or ten years, [ might say for only a day or an hour, and miserable to all eternity; or on the contrary, miserable for this short term of years, and happy for a whole eternity-what words are sufficient to express that folly and want of con. sideration whicb, in such case, makes a wrong choice !

I here put the case even at the worst, by supposing what seldom happens, that a course of virtue makes us miserable in this life : But if we suppose, as it generally happens, that virtue would make us more happy, even in this life, than a contrary course of vice, how can we

« ZurückWeiter »