New Fashion. –The Lady Do-nothings of society are beginning to wear sleeves so short as to leave half the arm exposed, that being the newest and most aristocratic cut; little thinking that the Lady Do-somethings in our factories and kitchens have had that fashion ‘long time ago,’ and that they are thus treading in plebeian footsteps.
A handsome girl, in the bloom of youth, died at Hinckley on Thursday week, in consequence of tight lacing. How many girls in the bloom of youth are fast following in her footsteps.
As to dress, decency is becoming to all; but extravagance opens a door to want; follow the fashion of the day as far as decency and good sense will approve, but avoid singularity. Be not troubled for what you have not. A Leghorn hat loaded with flowers will not cure the headache, nor a gold watch prevent the consumption.
Reader, says the Democratic Expositor, if you would learn the value of a dollar, go and labor two days in the hot sun, as a hod carrier. This is an excellent idea, and if many of our young gentlemen had to earn their dollar that way, how much less dissipation, folly and crime, would we witness every day. So of fashionable young ladies. If they, like the poor widowed original of the song of the shirt, had to earn their dollar by making shirts at 16 cents a piece how much less foolish finery would we see about them, and many more truthful notions would they have of the duties of life, and their obligations to the rest of the world.
Independence. –It is not the greatness of a man’s means that makes him independent, so much as the smallness of his wants.
Beauty is a captivating, but fading flower, which often leads its youthful possessor into many dangers, many distresses. Happy is it for those who are distinguished for their outward charms, that they are sheltered under the parental roof. Happy for them that the watchful eye regards them with rigid circumspection. Few in the early periods of life are insensible to flattery, or deaf to the voice of adoration. Beware of the flatterer; be not deceived by fair speeches. Be assured the man who wishes to render you vain of your outward charms has a mean opinion of your sense and mental qualifications. Remember, too, that a young girl, whose chief sturdy and employment is in the decoration of her person, is a most contemptible character, and that the more you are distinguished for the charms of your face and the graces of your form, the more you are exposed to danger. – The rose is torn from its parent stem in the pride of beauty; the jasmine is scarcely permitted to blossom before it is plucked; and no sooner are the beauties faded, than the merciless hand which was eager to obtain them, throws them away with contempt; whilst the primrose, the violet, the lily of the valley, and the snow-drop, less exposed to observation, escape unhurt and uninjured by the spoiler’s hand.
Learn fair daughters of beauty, from the primrose, that your best security can be found in retirement. If you wish to be admired, be seldom seen; and if you are desirous of having a sincere lover in your train, let the virtue modesty, sweetness, be the only lures you make use of to ensnare.
You may then, perhaps, by your good, qualities, retain the heart, which was at first captive to your beauties, and when time has robbed you of the graces and the innocent cheerfulness of youth, secure, a sincere and tender friend, to console you in the hours of affliction, and watch over you when deprived of those charms that first made him solicitous to obtain your love.
Repine not, my young readers, though your virtues be concealed in a homely form. If you have secured the virtues of the mind, you need not envy others the beauties of the face. And ye, who are decorated with outward grace, be not vain of such fading externals, but tremble lest they should tempt the designing to lead you into error.
Neglect not, then, in the giddy-hours of youth to make your mind a fit companion for the most lovely. Personal charms may please for a moment; but the more lasting beauties of an improved understanding can never fire. We are soon weary at looking at a picture, though executed in a masterly style; and she, who has only beauty to recommend her, has but little chance of meeting a lover who will not grow indifferent to a mere portrait, particularly when its colors are faded by the subduing hand of time. Then it is that modesty and sweetness of temper are particularly observed; and the loss of beauty will not be regretted by him in first made captive.
Happiness. That state of life is most happy, where superfluities are not required, and necessities are not wanting.
What man in his right senses; that has wherewithal to live free, would make himself a slave for superfluities? What does that man want, who has enough? Or what is he better for abundance, what can never be satisfied?
Cast an eye into the gay world, what see we for the most part, but a set of querulous emaciated, fluttering, fantastical beings; worn out in the keen pursuit of pleasure; creatures that know, own, condemn, deplore, yet still pursue their own infelicity? The decayed monuments of error! The thin remains of what is called delight!
There are certain stores that modest, unassuming ladies will not enter to purchase goods. The reason they give is this, “The salesmen hang on to us – determined we shall buy the goods whether we want them or not. They seem determined that we shall not leave the shops without laying out our money. If we tell them we wish for different articles, they will declare they cannot be found in the city.” Such a course may succeed for once, but it prejudices the mind of females, who generally know what they want and how much, and they will seldom call again. Young clerks should be taught better and never insist on selling an article that a person does not want. An accommodating, but not too talkative person will sell double the goods and secure better customers than one who is full of gab and will not permit a customer to leave the shop. “To he has tried to talk her as more disagreeable, a sensitive a shop-keeper hangs on and insist on selling goods.” Depend upon it; females who are thus importuned will ever after avoid the store and go any where in preference to purchase her goods.
In form the Italians excel us. Larger, fuller, they naturally acquire a finer gait and bearing. It is astonishing that our ladies should persist in that ridiculous notion, that a small waist is, and par necessita must be, beautiful. Why many an Italian woman would cry for vexation if she possessed such a waist as some of our ladies acquire only by the longest, painfullest [process]. I have sought the reason of this difference, and can see no other than the Italians have their glorious statuary continually before them as models, and hence endeavor to assimilate themselves to them; whereas, our models, are those French stuffed figures in the windows of millmer’s shop’s. Why, if an artist should presume to make a statue with the shape that seems to be regarded with us as the perfection of harmonious proportion, he would be laughed our of the city. It is a standing objection against the taste of our women, the world over, that they will practically assert that a French milliner understands how they shall be made better than nature herself.
–Headly’s Travels in Italy
Extravagance in fine clothing is too often a recommendation to the eye, but not to the understanding of men. Dr. Franklin used to observe that “a fine often covers intolerable ignorance, but never conceals it.”
The man who never knows when he has enough; is sure, sooner or later, either to want or have too much, and one is as bad as the other.