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Behind yon fronting veil, what new delights
Lie hid, the restless eye would fain explore Hasie we to seek! Lo! now the former sights That charmed our sense delight our gaze no
more : These pass, while those rise ever on the view The old inust fade ere we can reach the new.
Her form was lovely, her sweet face was fair,
And as she slept, the regal purple's fold
Was thrown in masses round her. Gems to hold The rich luxuriance of her raven hair Were strewed around with little heed or care ; Her eyes were closed, yet o'er the dimpling cheek Came laughter-loving smiles which well could
speak Those eweet emotions which a God might share: But soft-she wakes—the beauty of her eyes
Is like the summer sunshine o'er a rill
As it meanders through the verdant plains.
While pitying from on high all earthly ill,
So fares it with our inner eye-the Soul ! She, too, hath her horizon—too her prison. In vain she longing soars to scan the whole;
In vain her ken, to loftiest heights uprisen, Would comprehend in one forbidden glance The God-great space of Nature's wide expanse.
A CHAPTER ON ARTIFICIAL FLOWERS AND FEATHERS,
BY MRS. WHITE.
The crafts of “Plumassier and Fleuriste” | through each shade of colour that suited his are so generally combined, that it seems only complexion; the wit (for each wreath was supnatural, when on the subject of artificial flowers, posed to impregnate the wearer's brain with the to introduce that of feathers also; our researches qualities of the plant that composed it) might for the one bring us into frequent contact with quicken his with bays; the scholarly gentleman the other, and though the manufacturing of be content, like the bachelor Horace, with them are things apart, yet in a finished state, myrtle; and the gay bind rosy fillets on his fashion and commerce have created an affinity brow. Some, of a melancholy cast (so Pliny between them.
tells us), affected wormwood, which, though it The priority, however, in treating of them would not suffer a man to be merry, was a great belongs of course to Flowers, those ornaments hinderer of witchcraft and other evils; while so natural to woman, that we could fancy the those individuals who feared the juice of the wearing of them a primeval vanity, and Eve grape stronger than their own resolutions to herself the foundress of the fashion.
resist it, strengthened their heads after the Milton bears us out in this idea, and with an fashion of other ruined structures with wreaths exquisite refinement suggests them to have becn of ivy, which in those days was supposed to the adornments of her innocent days, and (like exercise such an antipathy to the vine as to Ophelia's flowers when her father died) makes counteract the effects of its spirit. The bride them wither instinctively upon her fall :
had her crown, and the corpse its garland; neither
of which customs are yet extinct in all the dis“ From his slack hand the garland wreathed fortricts of those classic regions. In Italy we read Eye
that mothers still twine chaplets of the blue Down dropp'd, and all the faded roses shed.”
flowering periwinkle (Vinca) on the foreheads of And though we have found no mention of it their dead infants; and at the wedding ceremony elsewhere, it is certain from Solomon's Anacre- |
of modern Greeks the priest is supplied with a ontic ejaculation
garland of lilies, and another of ears of corn,
which he places on the heads of the bride and “Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before bridegroom, as emblems of purity and abunthey be withered,t
dance. Tavernier and other oriental travellers
inform us that flowers have been and are still that the ancient Hebrews, like the Persians and
used as natural ornaments in the dark tresses of other Eastern nations, from whom in later days
Indian maids; and Moore tells us that the apthe Greeks and Romans borrowed the sweet
pearance of the blossoms of the gold-coloured usage, were even at this period in the habit of
campac on their black hair has supplied the binding their brows with flowers on festive oc- |
Sanscrit poets with many elegant allusions. casions; for the preceding verse, with its talk of
Even the forest children of America are not costly wine and precious ointment, has evidently without an instinct of their beauty, and conreference to the accessories of a feast.
siderable skill in imitating them; some of the In the palmy days of Athenian refinement
most perfect feather-flowers are made by the and Roman luxury, flowers were used not only as personal adornments, and necessary signs pie
savages of South America from the brilliant
sary signs plumage of their birds, the colours of which and accompaniments of festivity and merry-tas
Yania merry; I have all the vivacity of floral dyes; and, as they making; but they were essential to religion, and decked the altars, crowned her priests, and
| never fade, they in this particular excel those
manufactured by the nuns in Spain and Porfilleted the heads of the victims to be sacrificed, from the Bacchanalian goat to the milk-white
tugal, who tint the feathers artificially. bull, that bled in honour of Jupiter.
The Italians are said to have been the first
people in Europe who excelled in this imitation They dedicated them to their Gods, and
of nature, and from them the craft overspread crowned their statues with them. Hence Venus
| the Continent, and eventually found its way to is sometimes represented wearing roses, while |
ourselves. Juno holds a lily in her hand; and the antique Ceres, in the gallery of the Louyre, has her hair
Nothing could be more natural, in the pro
gress of imitative art, than the desire to perpebraided with corn-poppies and bearded wheat.
tuate those charming productions of the field With the people themselves wreaths were in
and garden, and to save the continuous trouble daily requisition, and persons made a livelihood by manufacturing them; every occasion had its
and expense which the quickly perishing nature
| of real blossoms entailed on the wearers, except characteristic chaplet, and every diner-out one
that the copies of them should have first apof a different design. The exquisite could run
peared in that land where the use of flowers in
antique times had been carried to such excess. * Book ix. Paradise Lost.
We find the use of artificial flowers intro+ Wisdom of Solomon.
duced into this country during the reign of
Edward III., whose beautiful wife, Philippa | their caps, either standing upriglit froin the head, of Hainault, with the ladies of her court, or falling negligently on one side. Henry the courageously threw off the hideous head gear Eighth wore a hat of black velvet, with a white of the period, and with no other addition than a ostrich feather turning over the brim. Edward, chaplet of flowers, allowed their hair to orna- his son and successor, retained the feather, but ment their faces.
wore it differently, as one may observe when This fashion of wearing flowers in the hair passing the statue of this youthful monarch at does not appear to have become general in St. Thomas's Hospital, Southwark-the pose of France till 1367, and then Queen Philippa was which, by the way, is so very elegant, as to dein her grave.
serve more attention than it usually meets with. About the same period we first find a feather in a picture of Elizabeth, by Zucchero, in the gracing the caps of the gallants, if we may be collection of the Marquis of Salisbury, we find allowed so to misapply the term, for anything this royal lady's head-dress (a strange pile of farther from grace than the way in which this false hair, pearls, and jewellery) surmounted by appendage was worn, can scarcely be imagined; an immense feather, innocent of the flexibility it is usually seen set up in front of the cap given to it by the present mode of preparation, without the slightest deviation from the perpen- | or of the curl so justly admired: it looks rather dicular; elegance in its disposal seems to have like a branch of broom, the badge of the Planbeen a work of time, for two hundred years tagenets, than a crest for the gracing of a Tudor. elapsed before the feather of the fourteenth This was the period when the knightly plumes century, which had gradually glided to the side of the old nogles became converted, according of the cap as we see it represented in the por- to the complaint of more than one satirist of the traits of our eighth Harry, lost its formality in time, into fans for their degenerate sons; these the graceful plume which afterwards became so i elegant trifles being as necessary to the finished famous as the panache à la Henri Quatre. appearance of an Elizabethan beau, as a clouded
The wearing plumes in the helmets of warriors cane to the gallants of St. James's in Charles appears to have been of very antique origin. the First's time: and this brings us to the black The Romans and Greeks both used them, as we i beaver and white ostrich feathers of this momay gather from the writings of their poets. 'narch, and the great one stuck all over with
Who forgets the waving plume cresting the diamonds, which Oldys tells us the favourite helmet of the fleet Camilla, or the changeful Buckingham always wore in his hat. Subseone in that of Turnus, which, like the famed quently the plume became the badge of the panache of the French monarch, became a ral. Cavaliers, in contradistinction to the plain bealying point wherever it appeared ?
vers of the Roundheads; yet such a charm was By the way, might not this last have been a found in this graceful adjunct, that even in bird of Paradise, which in the ancient times was Cromwell's time many of his followers continued prized not only for its rareness and its beauty, to wear the high hat and drooping feather. but hecause the supposed mystery of its exist- i The reign of the Merry Monarch appears to ence made it regarded as a sacred talisman; and have been, of all others, that in which these it was believed that he who wore it bore a dosny aids to dress became most popular : charmed life, and would prove invulnerable even from the King to the smallest faded dandy, the where the battle raged most fiercely? Methinks feather was an absolute necessity, and ladies also the description of its varying colours and dazzling wore them in their riding-hats. Indeed, we do brilliancy, coupled with the reckless ardour of not find them wholly laid aside in gentlemanly the fighting king, almost bears out our fanciful costume till the close of the reign of George the hypothesis. Certain it is that amongst the Second, when they fell into the hands of ladies orientals these plumes were thought to exercise and military men, who have since retained thein a preserving power; and in this faith they were in possession. sought for, to deck the turbans of their chiefs. At present plumes are rarely worn but oa
Talking of warrior plumes reminds us that it state occasions and at court; but in Queen is not unlikely that the fashion of wearing fea- Anne's time, Addison, writing of the feather thers, which (as we before said) was introduced head-dresses then in vogue, says he does not into this country by the courtiers and gallants pretend to draw a “single quill against the imof the court of Edward III., might possibly mense crop of plumes which is already risen to have originated from the ostrich crest in the an amazing height, and unless timely singed by casque of John of Luxemburg, King of Bo- the bright eyes that glitter beneath, will shortly hemia, who perished on the field of Cressy, and be able to overshadow them.” This is in 1715, which with its motto has ever since made the and as we find two years afterwards that French cognizance of the Princes of Wales, while the or Italian flowers for the hair were then as esnumber worn might have been limited in com- sential to a lady's dress, in the ball or drawingpliment to Edward the Black Prince, who room, as a beaver and feather for the forest, we adopted it.
presume these redundant plumes were for the Strutt tells us, that towards the close of the time displaced, especially as the following morfifteenth century, a crowd of the male sex ap- ceau, published in 1775, speaks of the fashion as peared at a little distance like a forest of pine- just imported from France; so true is it that trees, waving with the summer breeze, from the there is nothing so new as that which is fortowering plumes of different colours worn in gotten :
"ON THE PREPOSTEROUS FASHION OF THE | nations, have been more or less popular as the , LADIES WEARING HIGH PLUMES OF capricious waves of fashion ebbed or flowed. FEATHERS IN THEIR HEADS.
The hunting of the ostrich forms the most “ Capricious, airy, feather race,
serious business of an Arab's life; while chasing (For sex, alas! is fled),
the birds of paradise, and preparing the skin, Say, what has martialized each grace,
affords employment to the inhabitants of many And cockatood each head?
of the villages of New Guinea. Mappica and
Emberbakine are famous for the numbers they ** Can noduling plumes, the warrior's meed,
export. Formerly the Chinese dealt in this Give softness to the eye? Or, think ye Cupid is decreed
plumage, and actually imposed fictitious birds To take his stand so high?
of paradise on their customers, made of parrot,
parakeet, and other feathers. Some of the “ To Gallia, then, return this toy
Papuans, more adroit than others, dry these Galia, who sent it hither
skins with the feet on; but they are usually Lest fame might tell this truth with joy,
prepared without them-a circumstance that for Each head's much lighter than its feather!"
a long time contributed to support the fable
Universal Mag. that these meteor-like skimmers of the air were Many other pasquinades of the period exist,
feetless. Ostrich feathers are received in this to show how little the innovation was relished
country in an impure state, and are prepared by by the male bipeds. Some said the varied co
many washings and rinsings, after which the backs lours of their plumes showed the changeable
of the ribs are scraped with a bit of glass, cut ness of woman's nature---some ventured to
circularly, in order to render them pliant; and apply the adage of “Fine feathers make fine
the filaments are then curled by having the edge birds ;” and one wag averred that, to
of a blunt knife drawn over them. The finest
and whitest feathers (which are taken from the “ Feather their nests well, and make their heads back and above the wings of the male bird) are clever,
bleached by a similar process to that which
straw hats are subject to; the slightly imperfect “ Had crossed Leicestor fields, and plundered poor ones are dyed of various colours, and the really Lever !"*
dingy black. Mounting them is the next un
dertaking, and this entirely depends on fashion The use of feathers as ornaments seems as Land the purposes for which they are required. wide-spread, and their applications as various, Buy as those of flowers, natural and artificial. Wel
But besides the ostrich, and bird of paradise, find them worn as marks of distinction by the
marabou and cock's feathers are frequently aborigines of almost
used in dress; the swan also contributes her every country. Red Indians, Caffres, and the natives of Australia
plumage, and in the Great Exhibition we have sport plumes as well as shells and bones. And
seen some charming bonnets, which for lightness from the remotest period of Scottish history,
and beauty of effect are infinitely preferable to the eagle feather appears to have been a badge the short plumage of the goose and turkey.
felt or beaver, and which are simply made of of condition
Talking of marabou plumes reminds us that “Of taller race, the chiefs they own . . perhaps some of our younger readers may not
Were by the eagle's plumage known.” + recollect that for these delicate feathers, so erIn Turkey the janizary, who, by some military quisite in their texture and airy lightness, we exploit has deserved weil of the state, is allowed are indebted to the scavenger-bird of India, the to deck his turban with an ostrich plume: while, I gigantic adjutant crane-one of the most disas we before said, the sacred bird of paradise gusting of the feathered tribe in appearance and surmounted that of the princely oriental. The habits. beauty of this plumage, and man's love of orna- | The manufacture of feathers becomes a very ment, early made it sought as an article of com-simple one compared with that of artificial merce. Gerrard, speaking of feather-grass, which flowers, in which every leaf and stem, petal and in his days was brought from Baden, and some-anther, passes through a different hand. Nay, times used to decorate beds in lieu of the heavy in large manufactories, hundreds of men, women, ostrich plumes, with which we see them orna. and children are employed in their preparation. mented at Hampton Court, and other antique Some stamp the leaves and cut them out, others houses, compares it with the light plumes of this adjust the wire that fastens them to the stem. Phoenix-this “ Passaros de sol, and God's Some cover these stems with silk; one makes bird, as this charming creature has been va- the disks, or, as they are technically called by riously called. But not only were state beds | the French, the boutons, or centre of the flowers; crowned with feathers, but, as in our day, they | another puts the petals together; while others waved above the mournful trappings of the adjust the flowers to each other, and the leaves grave. Like flowers, they have borne part of to them. The French, of late years, have brought the pageant at births, bridals, and burials, and the manufacture of artificial flowers to an exat all periods of the world, and amongst all traordinary degree of perfection, so that the
blossoms in Constantine's glass-case in the * Sir Ashton Lever, collector of the Museum Industrial Palace, almost rival those in the con† Marmion.
servatories of Kew and Chiswick. Who would think that human fingers, with gum and colour- | branch of manufacture. There the frequent ing and silk and cambric, could form roses fête-days, the ceremonials of the church, the and lilies glowing with such an assumption of very cimetières, afford occasions for the daily vitality, that one almost doubts the reality of l use of wreaths and bouquets. The French do the imitation, and steps back to be assured they | not confine their offerings to the dead-to garare not real! Ferns, with their delicate fronds; lands of immortelles; we have seen chaplets of camellias, with waxen petals; and cactuses, of artificial roses mouldering on a grave, or waving splendid hue, are neighboured by the simple and from a headstone; while the tomb of the fiancée, most diminutive Flora of the fields. As a rule, or young wife, is never seen without its crown the more minute the flowers are, the more of orange-blossom. difficult they are to make, and the more ex- At Baden, one may see artificial wreaths of pensive they become; but such is the nicety roses and wall-flowers mingled with the crosses of the simulation, that the French artiste and crowns of white satin that adorn the graves ; most frequently finishes her beautiful copy, while in winter, artificial blossoms are as comby dropping into its mimic blossoms a drop monly used to deck the altars of the churches of essence distilled from the perfume that be- and the statues of the Virgin, as real ones in longs to it.
summer time. With us there are no such helps Besides the finest cambric and Florence taf- to their consumption, and as it seemed a necesfeta, which are chiefly used by the French in sity of fashion for the flowers worn by English their fabrication of artificial fowers, velvet is ladies to be fabricated in France, few oppor. occasionally employed for the petals, which are tunities occurred till lately for the encouragecoloured merely by the application of the finger ment or improvement of the art amongst us. dipped in the necessary dye. Indeed some very An impulse has, however, of late years been exquisite imitations of nature have been effected given to this manufacture by the increased dein very thin leaves of whalebone, bleached and mand for artificial flowers as a common article dyed for the purpose.
of dress; and we may hope, as our materials The Italians, we find, use the cocoons of the improve, and our dyes become more delicate, to silk worm in the making of artificials. These be able to compete hereafter with our elegant take a brilliant dye, and preserve the colour, neighbours, who have gone to nature for their while at the same time they possess a transparent models, and copied her so faithfully that were velvety appearance admirably suitable for petals. the bees beguiled to haunt their tinted nectaries, Hitherto England has remained far behind her it would be a far less fanciful mistake than his neighbours on the continent in this elegant | who lighted on the painted flowers of Zeuxis.