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French before Anne of Brittany brought' the fashion of them from Italy, was one called an esmouchoir. In the engravings and vignettes which ornament the romances of chivalry, written in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, may be seen fair dames, holding in their hands esmottcltoirs similar to those which the Arabs of the present day make use of at Algiers and Tunis.
There was one of those esmovchoirs, made of gold cloth spotted with fleur-delyt, displaying quartered on it the arms of France and Navarre, mounted on a [niton of ivory and gold, which was mentioned in the will of Queen Jeanne d'Evreux in the year 1372 : and another rsinouchoir was named in the inventory of Charles V. in 1300, which proves that it was then an object precious as rare. In Italy, from the twelfth to the fifteenth century,: not only the women, but also the men made use of fans, which were formed of tufts of feathers mounted on handles of gold, silver, or ivory, enriched with precious stones. These plumes were mostly' either ostrich or peacock feathers, but sometimes they were from the black raven of India, the paroquet, and other birds of brilliant plumage. The ladies fastened these splendid fans to the gold chain j which served them for a girdle, whilst the men suspended them from their sword-belts.
Catherine de Medicis brought the fashion of this fan to the French court; and | the Italian fans sold by the perfumers who formed part of her train were bought up with avidity by the Parisian dames, notwithstanding that their cost was extravagantly high.
It is mentioned in the Memoirs of Brantome, "that Queen Margaret gave to Queen Louise of Lorraine a fan made of mother-of-pearl, so beautiful and so rich that it was said to be a masterpiece of art, and must have cost over twelve hundred crowns."
Now twelve hundred crowns is above twenty-five thousand francs of the present French money.
Henry III. was scarcely ever without his fan, and consequently all the lords of the court followed his example; but in the reign of Henri Quatre, the fan fell into the hands of the ladies, never more in France to be resumed by the men.
It was the fan which gave birth to the fire screen. Pierre de 1'Estoile writes: "Ladies in our days are so passionately attached to this pretty toy, and make use of it with such joyousness and grace, that —winter arrived—they can not give it up, but instead of employing it in bringing zephyrs to allay the heat of the sun, they transform it into a shade to keep the fire from spoiling their complexions." From thence to the fire-screen was only a step.
In England, during the time of Queen Elizabeth, the fan cost an immense sum of money. The Queen received one as a New Year's gift made of ostrich feathers, the handle of which was incrusted with diamonds. This fan is preserved with great care as an historical curiosity. But if it is rich in its workmanship, in its design it wants elegance.
From the time of Henri Quatre the fan became of such general use in France, and the fabrication of it proved so profitable that five or six companies wished to engross the manufacture of it entirely. A judgment delivered on this point in 1064 put an end to their pretensions. The King was thereupon appealed to, and Louis XIV. published an edict by which the master gilders on copper, to the number of sixty, were constituted a corporation and were alone to exercise the trade of fan-making. It was the rale of monopoly; but in 1753 the number of fanmakers was doubled. Soon they amounted to 150.
From this time we may date the decrease in the price of fans—for example, one might be procured for fifteen deniers (a denier being a French coin worth the twelfth part of a French penny). All the skill and care, however, of the fabricators was bestowed upon the high priced fans alone—the others were totally neglected. Thus, the most celebrated artists of that epoch did not disdain to give their works to be mounted as fans; and Boucher, Watteau, and other masters of those days, painted upon those fragile leaves whose magnificent mounting were labored with such exquisite skill as almost to rival the masterpieces which they held.
The fans which date from the reign of Louis XV. are most sought for at the present day; but there are a great many of them, said to be manufactured at that time, whose origin is doubtful. As to those which date from the seventeenth century, we preserve them as curiosities. | Fans of the time of Louis XIV. are nbt rare. They show, however, in Provence as relics the fans which Madame de Sevigne sent to Madame de Grignan.
Fans in wood and silk impregnated with odors were very much the fashion under Louis XIV.; but as, at the time of the trials of the female prisoners, it was discovered that they had been the medium through which some of the terrible tragedies by poisoning had been enacted, they were prohibited by an edict of the King.
In Spain the fan is used not only as an article of luxury, and great beauty in its design and form, but, during the hot season, is as necessary to the humblest or the highest, as the dress they wear, and its price varies from fifty pounds to sixpence.
In our own country the reign of Queen Anue was perhaps the reign in which these charming little coquettish toys were most appreciated.
Addison has celebrated the fan in his "spectator." We give the last passage of hjs playful satire on the fondness of the fair dames of Ann's court for them. He says (after recounting the various exercises of the fan, which bring him to i what he considers the masterpiece of skill,! that of fluttering it),—" There is an intin •' it« variety of motions to be made use of; in the flutter of a fan. There is the angry i flutter, the modest flutter, the timorous flutter, the confused flutter, the merry flutter, and the amorous flutter. Not to! be tedious, there is scarcely any emotion' of the mind which does not produce a j suitable agitation to the fan; insomuch that if I only see the fan of a disciplined lady, I know very well whether she laughs, frowns, or blushes. I have seen a fan so very angry, that it would have been dangerous for the absent lover who provoked it to have come within the wind of it; and at other times so very languishing, that I have been glad for the lady's sake the lover was at a sufficient distance from it. I 'need not add, that the fan is either a prude or a coquette, according to the nature of the person who bears it."
The poets, too, of the reign of Queen Anne, have celebrated the fan. Pope, in bis "Rape of the Lock," says:
"Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat." And again:
"The grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her fan." While some other poet writes:
"Lay not, ye fair, the pretty toy aside:
Young, in his fifth satire—that upon wo-
recapitulates the fan among her articles of dress:
"My fan, let others say who laugh at toil;
THE GRAND DUCHESS MARIE OF
The exalted position of the Imperial family of Russia naturally imparts an interest to the personal history of all its members. • And the more so, inasmuch as the current history of any great kingdom or empire is almost inseparably connected with the character and deeds of the governing family and the individuals of which it is composed. It falls to the lot of few men, comparatively to occupy a throne of state, and of few families whose head reigns over nations^ or kingdoms. The Imperial family o Russia have a long line of ancestry, running far back into remote ages. That family occupy the throne of the mightiest empire of the world, ancient or modern. The monarchs of that family have filled many chapters in the historyof modern Europe by their deeds of renown. Around the throne of Russia may be found a constellation of historic events, strange, tragic, sanguinary and marvelous—scarcely paralleled in the annals of the world. It is this high position and this general truth concerning the reigning family of Russia, added to the very amicable and friendly relations and feelings manifested by the Emperor and his government towards the people of the United States, during the terrible rebellion whjch has raged during the past four years, which imparts a still deeper interest to all that concerns the members of that family. The great heait of the Emperor has yearned over our struggle with warm sympathies, bidding us God-speed and cheering us with the confident hope of ultimate* victory. An American in St. Petersburgh for only a week could not fail to observe it and feel it.
The present reigning monarch of Russia, Alexander II. behind none of his imperial predecessors on that throne in the excellencies and attributes of a wise and good sovereign, has lilted his illustrious name still higher and endeared his character to all lovers of freedom throughout the world. He has done what no Emperor or Monarch ever did before, or "ever will again, emancipate from the stern bonds of serfdom twenty-five millions of his subjects, and thus, by this inestimable boon, justly entitling himself to the high appellation of Alexander the Emancipator—Alexander the Deliverer, iu the annals of all coming ages.
It is scarcely needful to enumerate these brief thoughts and facts concerning the Imperial family of Russia in introducing the name and character of the Grand Duchess Marie, the eldest sister of Alexander, and the eldest daughter of the late renowned Emperor Nicholas, whose attractive portrait we have placed in our present number. It forms a part of the family picture and history. A brief biographical sketch may impart additional interest to the portrait.
The Grand Duchess Marie was born August 18, 1819, at St Petersburgh. Her mother was the daughter of the beautiful Queen Louisa of Prussia, whose heart the old Napoleon broke by his cruelty to her husband, and laid in an untimely grave by dismembering Prussia and robbing the King of half his territory. Her mother, the Empress of Russia, says the late Marquis of Londendery, possessed "an indescribable majesty of deportment and fascinating grace that mark this illustrious personage," celebrated as are all the females connected with the lamented and beautiful queen of Prussia, there is none of them more bewitching iu manner than the Empress of Russia; nor is there existing, according to all reports, so excellent and perfect a being. Such was
the mother of the present Emperor of Russia, and his eldest sister, the Grand Duchess Marie, who with her sister the Grand Duchess Olga, were regarded as the most beautiful women of the empire. ; In 1839, Marie was married to the Duke de Leuchtenberg, the grandson of the Empress Josephine, son of Prince Eugene, and cousin to the present Emperor of France. It was remarked as a striking coincidence that this marriage ceremony occurred July 14, just fifty years on the day of the destruction of the Bastile and the troubles in which Beauharnais, the grandfather of the Duke de Leuchtenberg, lost his life. The marriage ceremonies were in accordance with the rites of the Greek church which are oriental and symbolical. The splendors of religion shed a lustre over the solemnities of the occasion. It took place in the Imperial Chapel in the winter palace in St. Petersburgh—an apartment of surpassing magnificence beyond anything we have seen in any palace in Europe. It is still preserved in imperial grandeur as \ve saw it last summer. The walls and roofs of the Chapel, the habiliments of the priests and of their attendants, all glittered with gold and jewels. The Chapel was filled with the representatives of all the sovereigns of Europe and almost of Asia, with the wives of the Ambassadors and the great officers of the court. When all was ready the Emperor Nicholas with the Empress blazing with gold and jewrels, entered the Chapel, followed by the betrothed pair and the retinue of the court. At the lower end of the Chapel which terminated in a brilliant rotunda, the imperial family took their places. The gilded ceiling reflecting the ardent rays of the sun, formed a species of crown around the heads of the sovereigns and their children. The attire and diamonds of the ladies shone with a magic splendor iu the midst of all the treasures of Asia, which beamed upon the walls of the sanctuary, where royal magnificence seemed to challenge the majesty of the God whom it honored without forgetting its own. During the mass, at a Greek marriage, there is a. moment when the betrothed drink together out of the same cup. Afterwards, accompanied by the officiating priest,
they pass three times round the altar hand in hand, to signify the conjugal union, and the fidelity which should attend their walk through life. These accord with the customs of the primitive church. After these ceremonies were ended, a crown was next held for a considerable time over the head of each of the newly married pair. The crown of the Grand Duchess Marie was held by her brother, then the hereditary Grand Duke, now the reigning Emperor Alexander II. The crown of the Duke cle Leuchtenberg was held by Count de Pahleu, Russian Ambassador at Paris. The young bride with blue eyes and very fair complexion was then described as exceedingly beautiful, as the reader can imagine as he gazes upon her fine portrait, when arrayed in imperial magnificence and glittering with a profusion of gold and jewels. Before the benediction, two doves were, according to custom, let loose in the Chapel. They quickly settled on a gilded cornice which jutted out directly over the heads of the wedded pair; and there they did not cease billing and cooing during the whole mass. Pigeons are well off in Russia. They are revered as the sacred symbol of the Holy Ghoul, and it is forbidden to kill them. The Greek mar- j riage ceremony requires all persons to kneel. On this occasion the Emperor Nicholas cast a searching glance around to Bee if all had conformed, and then kneeled himself. At last, the lovers were united. The imperial family and the crowd arose ; the priests and choir chanted the Te Detim, and discharges of artillery outside, announced the consecration of the marriage to the city. During the Te Deum, at the moment when the two choirs were responding to each other, the tabernacle opened and the priests were seen, their heads adorned with sparkling tiaras of jewels, and their bodies clothed in robes of gold, over •which their silver beards fell majestically; some of these beards reach down as far as the waist. And thus, after the imperial salutation of the Emperor and Em-' press, ended the ceremonies of this magnificent and august marriage.
We have no wish to extend this brief and imperfect sketch beyond giving au
outline of the leading events in the life of the Grand Duchess and satisfy the reader. But clouds and sad changes come over bright imperial skies as well as over those in humbler life. A few years after the scenes of this brilliant and gorgeous marriage, it was our good fortune twice to see this eminent personage. We were staying at the hotel in Coblentz, on the Rhine, when the Grand Duchess Marie came up the river in an imperial steamer on her way to Switzerland to attend the dying bed of her husband. We saw her at the tea-table at the hotel, where the imperial party passed the night. Her beautiful face, was pale with seeming sorrow and anxiety. We saw her face again at another city some time after, by accident, looking more pale and sorrowful, and soon after her husband, the Duke de Leuehtenberg, paid the debt of nature, and his remains taken to St. Petersburgh, to the Mausolem church in the citadel, where sleep the Emperors of Russia, and where we saw his coffin last summer. The palace of the Grand Duchess Marie is at Peterhoff, overlooking Cronstadt and the Gulf of Finland. By a kind invitation of an English merchant, Mr. Muir, residing at Peterhoff, we visited this beautiful palace with high admiration of the artistic treasures, paintings and statuary, which adorn the luxurious and sumptuous apartments, and the spacious grounds blooming with immense varieties of fragrant flowers and rare shrubs, intermingled with costly statuary, and every elegance which imperial wealth and the most affluent taste could contrive or execute. The grand Duchess was then absent in Germany. Peterhoff, so rich in historic scenes and events, is an imperial park of vast extent and magnitude, ample with natural and artificial beauties of lakes, ponds, and islands, around which and along the constantly changing panoramic carriageways and walks you may drive thirty miles, all formed and contrived by the taste and skill and imperial wealth of the late Emperor Nicholas, who made it his favorite place of retirement and relaxation from the labors and cares of state.
P O E TRY.
BY AGNES 8TONEHEWEB.
Darlto?, tho' I can not see you, can not clasp your hnnil in mine,
Tho' you'll miss my tender kisses, thn no arms yonr own entwine,
Tho' you can not hear me whisper all my loving thoughts today,
Think not we are really parted, dream not that I i\ra away.
No, my darling, I am near yon, I urn by you where yon sit,
Look into your heart and see me, surely I o'ershadow it.
Parted! no, we are not /mrtetl, tho' no eyes your sad eyes meet,
In our hearts we are together, and we there hold converse sweet.
Ah! I know you grieve (no wonder!) o'er a sad time long ago:
Why clutch grief and hold her to yon? Let the phantom shadow go,
All that past is dead: then leave it, look u]jon its face no more,
Let me draw the face-cloth o'er it, come away, shut fast the door.
Shut the door on recollection, what is gone—is gone; let be—
Count the mercies 'gainst the trials, reckon up the list, and see!
There's a sunbeam for each shadow, there's a joy fur ev'ry pain,
Tho' the hcav'ns are oft-times clouded, soon the sky shows blue again;
Tho' the wiiy of life is dreary, there is still a star that shines,
Tho' the chastisement is heavy, 'tis the furnace that refines;
Deep into the soul's recesses, purging fire of grief runs down,
Leaving virgin ore, fit metal for the moulding of a crown.
Cast des]>ondency aside, then! 'tis a scale upon your eyes
Shutting out the light of heaven, veiling all the azure skies,
Muffling all your life in darkness, mating you with misery,
Showing but a gloomy present and a terrible to be.
Shun despair, whose icy fingers close convulsive round the heart,
Crushing every joy that lingers, bidding every hope depart.
How not down submissive captive unto that "fell monster, care,"
Bid him seam some other's forehead, lay his burden otherwhere.
Plough up stubbled fluids of sorrow, root up all the weeds of woe,
Prop down Hope into the furrows, bid the golden grain to grow.
Thorns and briars have besot you, few your roses, so you say;
Sure, my love's a tiny rosebud—wear it next your heart to-day.
All its odor is affection! Will its fragrance not dispel
Many thoughts of deepest sadness, thoughts on which you often dwell?
"Ah!"you whisper, doubtful hearted, "men have wrecked my faith and trust.
You may crumble, as the others, my false idols, into dust.
I have loved, and I have trusted, but the reeds on which I leaned,
Broke and pierced my inmost spirit, pierced me while I softly dreamed.
Then I woke from that sweet vision; would you have me sleep again
To incur another waking, to endure a sharper pain?"
I'm away, but yet 1 hear you, hear you say this bitter truth;
You are scarred by Time and world-wise, /in my first foolish youth,
Still I ask, tho' men are fickle, aye, forsooth, and women too,
Will yon take my wonl in earnest, will you think wiy eyes are true?
While you care to own my friendship, while you wish to have my love,
Be assured 'twill rest unaltered, firm and true, as time will prove;
Should you cease to need or wish it, do not fear reproach in anglit,
Not tho' every link you severed were my heartstrings closely wrought.
Not tho' all my joys dropped from me, as the chain slipped day by day,
Not tho' by the separation half my lite were torn away.
No; for far licyund that future, I cjin see a day, gomc-when,
When you'd stretch your hand out to me; patient, I would wait till then,
Ah! then groping thro' the darkness for tho hand you held of yore,
I would reach mine back unto you, to be grasped for evermore.
Then I'd give yon all my hoardings, all my garnered love for you,
And I'd ask the oft-told <inotion. "Darling, do you think me true?"