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No. 477. thought of forming such an unsightly _Hollow into so
common and agreeable a Scene as that which it is now
sensible of those Beauties that at this Time may be every- No. 477. where met with, but when Nature is in her Desolation, Saturday, and presents us with nothing but bleak and barren prosessen. So pects, there is something unspeakably chearful in a Spot of Ground which is covered with Trees that smile amidst all the Rigours of Winter, and give us a View of the
Season in the Midst of that which is the most dead and melancholy. I have so far indulged my self in this Thought, that I have set apart a whole Acre of Ground for the executing of it. The Walls are covered with Ivy instead of Vines. The Laurel, the Hornbeam, and the Holly, with many other Trees and Plants of the same Nature, grow so thick in it, that you cannot imagine a more lively Scene. The glowing Redness of the Berries, with which they are hung at this Time, vies with the Verdure of their Leaves, and are apt to inspire the Heart of the Beholder with that vernal Delight which you have somewhere taken Notice of in your former Papers. It is very pleasant, at the same Time, to see the several kinds of Birds retiring into this little green Spot, and enjoying themselves among the Branches and Foliage, when my great Garden, which I have before mentioned to you, does not afford a single Leaf for their Shelter.
You must know, Sir, that I look upon the Pleasure which we take in a Garden, as one of the most innocent delights in humane Life. A Garden was the Habitation of our first Parents before the Fall. It is naturally apt to fill the Mind with Calmness and Tranquillity, and to lay all its turbulent Passions at Rest. It gives us a great Insight into the Contrivance and Wisdom of Providence, and suggests innumerable Subjects for Meditation. I cannot but think the very complacency and Satisfaction which a Man takes in these Works of Nature, to be a laudable, if not a virtuous Habit of Mind. For all which Reasons I hope you will pardon the length of my present Letter,
No. 478. No. 478.
Monday, September 8. 1712.
many things to buy for his Family, wou'd oblige me to walk with him to the Shops. He was very nice in his Way, and fond of having every thing shewn, which at first made me very uneasy, but as his Humour still continu'd, the things which I had been staring at along with him began to fill my Head, and led me into a Set of amus
Thoughts concerning them
fancy'd it must be very, surprizing to any one who enters into a Detail of Fashions, to consider how far the Vanity of Mankind has laid it self out in Dress, what a prodigious Number of People it maintains, and what a Circulation of Money it occasions. Providence in this Case makes use of the Folly which we will not give up, and it becomes instrumental to the Support of those who are willing to labour. Hence it is that Fringe Makers, Lace-Men, Tire-Women, and a Number of other Trades, which would be useless in a simple State of Nature, draw their Subsistence, tho' it is seldom seen that such as these are extremely rich, because their original Fault of being founded upon Vanity, keeps them poor by the light Inconstancy of its Nature. The Variableness of Fashion turns the Stream of Business, which flows from it now into one Channel, and anon into another; so that different Sets of People sink or flourish in their Turns by it
From the Shops we retir'd to the Tavern, where I found my Friend express so much Satisfaction for the Bargains he had made, that my moral Reflections (if I had told them) might have pass'd for a Reproof; so I chose rather to fall in with him, and let the Discourse run upon the Use of Fashions.
Here we remembred how much Man is govern'd by his Senses, how lively he is struck by the Objects which appear to him in an agreeable Manner, how much Cloaths contribute to make us agreeable Objects, and how much No. 478. we owe it to our selves that we should appear so.
Monday, We considered Man as belonging to Societies 4 Societies Sept. 8, as form'd of different Ranks, and different Ranks distinguished by Habits, that all proper Duty or Respect might attend their Appearance,
We took Notice of several Advantages which are met with in the Occurrences of Conversation, How the bashful Man has been sometimes so rais'd, as to express himself with an Air of Freedom, when he imagines that his Habit introduces him to Company with a becoming Manner: And again, how a Fool in fine Cloaths shall be suddenly heard with Attention, 'till he has betrayed him self; whereas a Man of Sense appearing with a Dress of Negligence, shall be but coldly received 'till he be prov'd by Time, and established in a Character. Such Things as these we cou'd recollect to have happen'd to our own Knowledge so very often, that we concluded the Author had his Reasons, who advises his Son to go in Dress rather above his Fortune than under it.
At last the Subject seem'd so considerable, that it was proposed to have a Repository builded for Fashions, as there are Chambers for Medals and other Rarities. The building may be shap'd as that which stands among the Pyramids, in the Form of a Woman's Head. This may be rais'd upon Pillars, whose Ornaments shall bear a just Relation to the Design. Thus there may be an Imitation of Fringe carv'd in the Base, a Sort of Appear. ance of Lace in the Frieze, and a Representation of curling Locks, with Bows of Riban sloping over them, may fill up the Work of the Cornish The Inside may be divided into two Apartments, appro priated to each Sex. The Apartments may be fill'd with Shelves, on which Boxes are to stand as regularly as Books in a Library. These are to have FoldingDoors, which being open'd, you are to behold a Baby dress'd out in some Fashion which has flourish'd, and standing upon a Pedestal, where the Time of its Reign is mark'd down For its further Regulation let it be order'd, that every one who invents a Fashion shall bring in his Box, whose Front he may at Pleasure
No. 478. have either work'd or painted with some amorous or
Covers, it may the sooner draw the Eyes of the Be-
The Reasons offer'd by which we expected to gain the Approbation of the Publick, were as follows.
First, That every one who is considerable enough to be a Mode, and has any Imperfection of Nature or Chance, which it is possible to hide by the Advantage of Cloaths, may, by coming to this Repository, be furnish'd her self, and furnish all who are under the same Misfortunes with the most agreeable Manner of concealing it; and that on the other Side, every one who has any Beauty in Face or Shape, may also be furnish'd with the most agreeable Manner of shewing it
. Secondly, That
whereas some of our young Gentlemen who travel, give us great Reason to suspect that they only go abroad to make or improve a Fancy for Dress, a Project of this Nature may be a Means to keep them at home, which is in Effect the keeping of so much Money in the Kingdom. And perhaps the Ballance of Fashion in Europe, which now leans upon the Side of France, may be so alter'd for the Future, that it may become as common with Frenchmen to come to England, for their finishing Stroke of Breeding as it has been for Englishmen
to go to France for it Thirdly, Whereas several great Scholars, who might have been otherwise useful to the World, have spent their Time in studying to describe the Dresses of the Ancients from dark Hints, which they are fain to interpret and support with much Learning, it will from henceforth happen that they shall be freed from the Trouble, and the World from useless Volumes. This Project will be a Registry to which Posterity may have Recourse for the clearing such obscure Passages as tend that Way in Authors, and therefore we shall not