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all perfumes comes from the East, and the fete held in
"But never yet, by night or day,
With quicker spread each heart uncloses,
The valley holds its feast of roses!"
Fans, which in some countries mav almost be considered as a part of the costume, so necessary do they appear to the fashionables of both sexes, must not be forgotten. The use of them was first introduced amongst us from the East, where the hot climate renders them almost indispensable. In the Greek church, a fan is put into the hands of the deacons, in the ceremony of their ordination, in allusion to a part of their office in that church, which is to keep the flies off the priests during the celebration of the sacrament.
In Japan, where neither men nor women wear hats, except as a protection against rain, a fan is to be seen in the hand or the girdle of every inhabitant. Soldiers and priests even are never without them. In that country, they serve a great many different purposes. Visitors receive the dainties offered them, upon their fans; the beggar, imploring charity, holds out his fan for the alms his prayers may obtain. According to Siebold, the fan here serves the dandy
in lieu of a whalebone switch; the pedagogue, instead of a ferule, for the offending school-boy's knuckles; and a fan, presented upon a peculiar kind of salver to the high-born criminal, is said to be the form of announcing his death-doom, his head being struck off at the same moment as he stretches it towards the fan.
In the book of "Table Talk" we read: "In the south of Italy, men still continue to use the fan, and, in hot weather, one may often see a captain of dragoons moustached, and ' bearded like the pard,' fanning himself with all the graces and dexterity of a young coquette."
In England, fans were almost unknown till the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Under Charles the Second they were much used; but, during the reign of Queen Anne, they became almost a part of the lady's costume; at ball or supper, in the morning promenade or the evening's drive, one hand still held a fan of feathers, of silk, or of painted paper.
Artificial flowers, those beautiful imitations of the "stars of the earth," are now brought to such perfection, that they almost rival the blossoms they are intended to imitate. Paris, the emporium of all the gems of the toilette, as usual, surpasses all other cities, in her delicate and faithful imitations of the flowers, buds, and blossoms, that bloom in every quarter of the globe; and, not content with copying each varying tint, each delicate fibre, the fair fioriste adds to their beauty and charm, by giving to each a drop of the perfume peculiar to it. Near Genoa, there is a convent where the holy sisters devote their leisure hours to this elegant employment, and their skill is celebrated throughout all Europe.
In England, artificial flowers were unknown till the reign of Edward the Third.
The outward signs of woe and sorrow have always, in almost all nations, been demonstrated by some peculiarity in the colour or shape of the attire; but different countries have adopted different modes of expressing their grief.
The Roman women, on these melancholy occasions, laid aside their gold, purple, and embroidered dresses. Under the republic, they wore black robes, but, under the emperors, these were changed to white; they also covered their heads.
The men of Rome, after they had adopted the custom of shaving the beard, allowed it to grow long when in mourning, as a sign of their affliction. They also clothed themselves in black, a custom supposed to have been derived from the ancient Egyptians; and sometimes they wore garments made of the skins of beasts.
In Greece, where the beard was always retained, it was considered a sign of sorrow to shave it off; so opposite are the customs of various nations, in every thing relating to the adornment of the person. Often, too, they cut off the hair, and laid it on the corpse. We read in Homer,—
"They shaved their heads, and covered with their hair
Both men and women wore black garments, and laid aside all their ornaments, and the latter often tore or shaved off their hair, and they always muffled up and concealed their faces.
The Chinese, Siamese, and Japanese, wear white mourning, for their superstitions teach them to believe that the dead become beneficent genii. The Turks wear blue, or violet; the Ethiopians, grey; the Peruvians, mouse colour; the Spaniards formerly wore white serge. Herrera observes, that the last time it was used was in 1498, at the death of Prince John.
The Jews formerly neither shaved nor saluted any one during mourning; they never wore black; their outward token of mourning was to retain upon their persons the garments they had on when their friend or relative died.
In Italy, the women used to wear white mourning, and the men brown; in Syria and Armenia we see them in blue, and in Egypt in yellow robes, or such as are of the colour of dead leaves. In the Barbary States old soiled garments testify grief, and they are frequently passed through water, to give them that appearance. In Lycia and Argos, white was the mourning colour; at Delos, shaving the hair was the only sign of affliction.
In France, the mourning habit was formerly white, and continued so till the reign of Charles the Eighth. Leopold, Emperor of Germany, who died so late as the year 1705, when in deep affliction, followed the custom of the Jews, and let his beard grow.
In England, as early as the fifteenth century, the immense expense incurred in mourning habiliments caused an edict to be framed to limit the richness and