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or woven, into the most elaborate and exquisite forms. Coronets, wreaths, diadems, baskets of flowers, clusters of grapes, were all represented by the cunning hand of the Roman hairdresser. When the natural color of the hair was not agreeable, it was stained, by means of a pomatum made of the dregs of vinegar and the oil of mastic. And when, after the conquest of Great Britain, the light golden hair of the Caledonian maidens gained the admiration of their conquerors, the ladies of Rome aspired to the same attraction by filling their hair with gold dust. They also used white and red paint for the face, besides a variety of washes and cosmetics.
The Roman ladies were very fond of jewels, and carried their passion for them to such an excess, as to become occasionally the subject of legislation. The principal personal ornaments were ear-rings, necklaces, and finger rings. The ear-rings were of gold, pearls, and precious stones, and were sometimes of immense value. Necklaces were also set with gems, and very precious, and were worn by men as well as women; every school-boy will recollect the story of Manlius Torquatus. In the manufacture of ornamental chains, the Roman or Greek jewellers displayed great skill. There was one kind of chain, in particular, wrought with such consummate art, that modern jewellers have in vain attempted to imitate it. The links are so cunningly shaped and knit together, that, when the chain is extended, it resembles a single bar of gold; and yet it is perfectly flexible in every possible direction, like a small cord. Chains of this kind in the most perfect preservation have been found in Pompeii. Finger rings were of various forms and devices, commonly set with engraved gems, and used as seals. A remarkable mention of these is in Cicero's Oration against Catiline, in which he speaks of the impress of the ring of Lentulus in his intercepted letter. Among the ornaments discovered in Pompeii, is a breast-pin, to which is attached a Bacchanalian figure with a patera or goblet in one hand, and a glass in the other; having bat's wings attached to his shoulders, and two belts of grapes passing across his body.
Indeed, if we may judge from the symbols of ancient coquetry, which that living tomb, Pompeii, has yielded up, the refinement of the toilet was as great with the Romans, as at the present day; and Pope's lines are as descriptive of a
morning scene in the chamber of a Roman belle, as of a modern fine lady.
"Unnumbered treasures ope at once, and here
Transformed to combs, the speckled and the white.
Puffs, powders, patches."
How the poor things managed without the "Bibles" and "billets-doux," which should complete the line, is more than we know ; perhaps some of our fair readers can suggest the substitute.
The dress of the men consisted of the tunic, which reached nearly to the knees and had no sleeves. It was fastened by a girdle above the hips; and a strip of purple, on the right side of this garment in front, indicated, by its breadth, whether the wearer was of Senatorial or Equestrian rank. Over this, was worn the distinguishing garment of the Romans, the toga. It has been disputed by antiquaries, whether the form of this garment was round or square. Hope thinks it was semicircular. Beckmann says, that the Roman weavers made each piece of cloth just of the proper size for a toga, so that when it came from the loom it was ready for use, and probably had no seam. It was a loose robe or cloak, extending from the neck to the feet, closed below the breast, but open above, and without sleeves. It was ample, flowing, and graceful; and gave a dignified and majestic air to the wearer.
The materials used by the Romans in the manufacture of their garments, were chiefly linen and wool. The toga was woollen, and generally white, though mourners wore it black. Silk began to be imported in the latter days of the republic, nor did the Romans at first understand the manufacture of it. Afterwards they began to weave it, intermixing woollen thread. The fabric thus formed, was called vestes Coœ, as it was invented in the island of Cos. It was very thin, like muslin or gauze, and is spoken of by Seneca as "woven wind." The term bombycina, undoubtedly the origin of our
word bombazine, derived from bombyx, a silk-worm, was applied to this fabric.
The Romans commonly went with the head bare or only covered with the toga, except at sacred rites and festivals, on journeys, and in war. At the Saturnalia, they wore the pileus, or woollen cap, which was never permitted to be worn by slaves. They probably assumed it particularly at this festival, as a mark of distinction, because slaves during the Saturnalia were allowed almost unlimited license, and needed something to admonish them of their real condition. Roman travellers, like Greek travellers, wore the petasus.
There were various coverings for the feet. The calcei were somewhat like our shoes, and covered the foot entirely. They were provided with strings or lacings, which sometimes. covered the ancle. Senators wore on the top of the calceus, a gold or silver crescent, as a mark of their order. The shoes of men were usually black; those of women were white, red, yellow, or of other colors. Buskins were also worn, covering only the sole of the foot and laced above. Soldiers wore boots reaching as high as the ancle. The legs were protected by bands of cloth, wound round them from the thigh downwards.
The distinguishing marks, in the costume of the Greeks and Romans, were elegance, majesty, and grace. Their robes were loose and flowing. They were never intended to display the form, but to hang loosely around it, suggesting grace and beauty to the imagination, while they actually concealed the work of nature. The dress of these nations had a good effect upon the art of sculpture. In their costume, form was of much more consequence than color; and it could therefore be perfectly represented by the marble. The sculptor at the present day is embarrassed in the representation of his hero. The modern costume, which, especially with military men, depends as much for its effect on color as on form, and perhaps even more, cannot be adequately represented by marble; and the artist must clothe his statue in some foreign or imaginary garb, which every one knows he never wore. The Greek sculptor, on the contrary, found in every man he met a model, which he might study to advantage. And the immense variety of arrangement, which the ample robe allowed, must have constantly suggested to him some new idea with regard to the arrangement and flow
of drapery; a subject of sufficient importance to occupy one chapter in Flaxman's admirable volume of Lectures. We can now do no more than hint at the effect thus produced on one of the fine arts. At some future time, we may find occasion to resume the subject.
We must hasten on to the dress of modern ages. The dress of the different Christian nations of Europe has not greatly varied in the same century; and the description of the costume of one nation may be taken as a specimen of all. We shall, therefore, give an account of some of the most remarkable costumes of England. The dress of the AngloSaxons consisted of shirts; tunics, both long and short; surcoats, or sleeved gowns; cloaks or mantles; conical or Phrygian bonnets; shoes open in the middle, or on each side, and stockings. The legs were protected by breeches reaching to the knee. The hair was parted on the middle of the head, and hung down on each side, and the forked beard was worn. Women of the same era wore under-tunics with sleeves; upper-tunics like gowns; mantles or cloaks ; kerchiefs or hoods; high-quartered shoes, and stockings.
But our readers will form a better notion of the Saxon dress from the following description, than it is possible to convey by our dry details. We quote from Scott's picture of Cedric the Saxon. "His dress was a tunic of forest green, furred at the throat and cuffs with what was called minever; a kind of fur inferior in quality to ermine, and formed, it is believed, of the skin of the grey squirrel. His doublet hung unbuttoned over a close dress of scarlet, which sat tight to his body; he had breeches of the same, but they did not reach below the lower part of the thigh, leaving the knee exposed. His feet had sandals of the same fashion with the peasants, but of finer materials, and secured in front with golden clasps. Behind his seat was hung a scarlet cloth cloak, lined with fur, and a cap of the same materials richly embroidered, which completed the dress of the opulent landholder when he chose to go forth.”
Such was the general outline of the costume worn in England from the beginning of the tenth century. changes became visible in the fourteenth century. head-covering for men assumed a great variety of forms, some of them very fantastic. They might be seen in all the variety of wreathed, turban-shaped, flapped, rolled, skull
capped, brimmed, with projecting ends, conical and cylindrical with or without brims, night-capped, tied under the chin, sometimes tongued over the head, escalloped, or simple bandages round the hair, &c. Spencers were also worn, buttoning in front and without sleeves. The shoes were long-pointed, and were joined to the stocking so as to form but one garment; and were differently colored on each leg. The shirt, in the time of the Saxons and Normans, formed no ostensible part of the dress; but, at a later period, when tunics became doublets or waistcoats, they were made more open upon the neck and bosom, so as to display the shirt collar, which was richly embroidered.
In the fifteenth century, the costume became still more fanciful and grotesque. The doublets were cut and slashed, and nearly disjointed at the elbows, in order to show the fineness of the shirts. The dress of the two sexes could hardly be distinguished from each other; men wore petticoats over their lower clothing; the doublets were laced in front like stays, over a stomacher; and the gowns were open in front to the girdle, and again from the girdle to the ground. The women wore gowns, enormous trains, and corsets over the other dress; and were particularly distinguished by two peculiarities, the horned and the steeple head-dresses; the former consisting of two elevations like a mitre worn edgewise, the other having only one elevation, of a pyramidal or conical form, and very high. Addison dates the existence of these enormous head-dresses a century earlier, though they probably appeared both in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. He says, "I do not remember in any part of my reading, that the head-dress aspired to so great an extravagance as in the fourteenth century; when it was built up in a couple of cones or spires, which stood so excessively high, on each side of the head, that a woman, who was but a pigmy without her head-dress, appeared like a Colossus upon putting it Monsieur Paradin says, that these old-fashioned fantanges rose an ell above the head; that they were pointed like steeples, and had long pieces of crape fastened to the tops of them, which were curiously fringed, and hung down their backs like streamers."
In the sixteenth century, men wore gowns, boddices, close pantaloons, boots coming up to the middle of the thigh, cloaks, slashed doublets, petticoat breeches, and the remark