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tern, and trimmed with tufted and spangled silver fringe; the boddice is very long and slightly rounded at the point; the stomacher, embroidered in quatre-feuilles of silver bullion, interspersed with rosettes and crosses of large round Roman pearls, and medallions of coloured glass, to imitate rubies, sapphires and diamonds; it is also edged with silver lace and ermine. The boddice is cut low in front, so as to display the bosom, without any tucker or kerchief, but with a high ruff of guipure, which is now embrowned with the dust of centuries. The ruff is of the Spanish fashion, high behind, and sloping towards the bust. The sleeves are turned over at the wrists, with cuffs and reversed ruffles of the same curious texture as the ruff. About her throat is a carcanet of large round pearls, and rubies, and emeralds; besides this ornament, her neck is decorated with long strings of pearls, festooned over the bosom, and descending, on either side, below the elbows, in tassels.
Her regal mantle of purple velvet, trimmed with rows of ermine and gold lace, is attached to the shoulders with gold cordons and tassels, and falls behind, in a long train. The skirt of her under-dress, or kirtle, is cut short, to display the small feet and well-turned ancles, of which she was so proud. She wears high-heeled shoes of pale-coloured cloth, with enormous white ribbon bows, composed of six loops, edged with silver gimp, and in the centre a large pearl medallion. Her ear-rings are circular pearl and ruby medallions, with large pear-shaped pearl pendants. Her light-red wig is frizzled very short above the ears, but descends behind in stiff cannon curls, and is altogether thickly beset with pearls. Her royal crown is affloriated, small, high, and placed very far back on her head, leaving her high and broad retreating forehead, and part of her head, bare and bald.
She has a gold cordon, with large tufted and spangled gold tassels descending nearly to her feet. It is surprising how well the bullion with which her dress is decorated has stood the test of time, for its discoloration proceeds rather from an accumulation of dust than tarnish. As an undoubted specimen of the costume worn by Elizabeth in the last year of her reign, this figure is very valuable.
The frontispiece of this volume, is from a curious original painting of queen Elizabeth, at Henham Hall, in Suffolk,
in the possession of the earl of Stradbroke, by whose courteous permission it is engraved for this work, from an accurate reduced copy, executed by his accomplished niece, Miss De Horsey.
The name of the artist is unknown; but it is evidently the work of the court painter, and one of those portraits for which Elizabeth condescended to sit in person, for the face is executed in strict accordance with the royal contempt for the rules of art; and though the features are elegantly delineated with regard to outline, the total absence of shade spoils the effect; but Elizabeth forbade the use of these darkening tints, as injurious to the lustre of her complexion. The portrait is a three-quarter length, and represents the queen, somewhere about the thirtieth year of her age, when the iron signet of care began to reveal its impress on her ample brow, the elongated visage, and the thin and sternly compressed lips. The eyes are dark and penetrating, the complexion fair and faded, the hair of the indeterminate shade, which foes call red and panegyrists auburn; it is curled, or rather frizzled, in a regular circle round the brow, and very short at the ears. The costume fixes the date of the picture between the years 1565 and 1570, before Elizabeth had launched into the exuberance of dress and ornament, which rendered her portraits so barbaric in their general effect, as she advanced into the vale of years, and every year increased the height and amplitude of her radiated ruff, till it rose like a winged back-ground, behind the lofty fabric of jewels she wore on her head, and at last, overtopped the cross of her regal diadem.
In the Henham portrait, her ruff is of a less aspiring fashion, and resembles those worn by her beautiful rival, Mary Stuart, when queen of France; it is formed of small circular quillings, of silver guipure, closely set round the throat, and confined by a rich carcanet or collar of rubies, amethysts, and pearls, set in a beautiful gold filagree pattern, with large pear-shaped pearls depending from each lozenge. The boddice of the dress, which is of rich white brocade, embroidered in diagonal stripes, with bullion, in a running pattern of hops and hop-leaves, fastens down the front, and is made tight to the shape, and with a point, like a dress of the present times. It is ornamented between the embroidery with gems set in gold filagree of the same pattern as the carcanet. The boddice is also slashed with
purple velvet, edged with bullion. The sleeves are of the form which, in the modern nomenclature of costume, has been termed gigot; they are surmounted on the shoulder with puffs of gold gauze, separated with rubies and amethysts, and two small rouleaus, wreathed with pearls and bullion. The sleeves are slashed with velvet, embroidered with bullion, and decorated with gems to match the boddice, and finished at the wrists with quilled ruffles of the same pattern as her ruff. She wears the jewel and ribbon of the garter about her neck. The George is a large oval medallion, pendent from a pale blue ribbon, and decorated with rubies and amethysts of the same lozenge form and setting, as those in her carcanet. Her waist is encircled with a jewelled girdle to correspond. The skirt of her dress is very full, and faced with three stripes of miniver, in the robing form. Her head-dress is very elegant, consisting of a coronal of gems and goldsmith's work, placed on crimson velvet, somewhat resembling the front of the pretty hood of queen Katharine Parr, in the Strawberry-hill miniature, but surmounted with a transparent wreath of laurel leaves made of gold gauze, and stiffened with gold wire; very beautiful lappets descend from this wreath, formed of pipes of gold gauze, arranged in latticed puffs, edged with vandyked guipure of bullion, and fastened at every crossing with a large round pearl. A white rose confines one of the lappets on the right temple. The effect of these lappets is very striking, and the dress, as a whole, is in excellent taste, yet very different from that in any other of the numerous portraits of Elizabeth, I have
In one hand she holds a white rose carelessly. Her hands are ungloved and very delicate in contour, the fingers long and taper, with nails of the almond shape, which has been said to be one of the tokens of aristocratic lineage. Elizabeth was always excessively vain of the beauty of her hands. De Maurier, in his Memoirs of Holland, says, "I heard from my father, who had been sent to her court, that at every audience he had with her, she pulled off her gloves more than a hundred times, to display her hands, which were indeed very white and beautiful." Her gloves were always of thick white kid, very richly embroidered with bullion, pearls, and coloured silks on the back of the hands, fringed with gold, and slashed with coloured satin at the
elbows, stiffened with bullion gimp. In the palm, five airholes, rather larger than melon-seeds, were stamped, to prevent any ill effects from confined perspiration.
The costume of the celebrated portrait of Elizabeth, in the Cecil collection, presented by her to Burleigh, is much more elaborately decorated than the Henham picture.. She wears a lofty head-dress, with a heron-plume, and two ruffs, one, the small close-quilled ruff just described, round the throat, and a high, radiated ruff, somewhat in the Spanish style, attached to her regal mantle, which is thrown a little back on the shoulders, and becomes gradually narrower as it approaches the bust; behind this, rises a pair of wings, like a third ruff. Her robe, in this celebrated picture, is covered with eyes and ears, to signify her omniscient qualities, and her power of acquiring intelligence, and, to complete the whole, a serpent, indicative of her wisdom, is coiled coiled up on her sleeve.
As a direct and amusing contrast to this allegorical representation of the maiden monarch in her sagacity, may be named a quaint portrait in the Hampton Court collection, by Zuchero, where she is attired in a loose robe, formed of the eyes of peacock's feathers, with a high-crowned cap, such as limners have, in all ages, consecrated to Folly's especial use, with a mask in her hand, and a wanton smile upon her face.
The miniatures of Elizabeth are rare, and in better taste than her portraits in oil. There is one in the Tollemache collection, at Ham House, highly worthy of attention. From the softness of the features, the youthful appearance, and the utter absence of regal attributes, it must have been painted when she was only the lady Elizabeth, and would be the more valuable on that account, independently of the fact that she is represented as prettier, more feminine, and above all, more unaffected than in her maturer portraits. Her age is apparently about twenty. She wears a black dress, trimmed with a double row of pearls, and fastened down the front with bows of rose-coloured ribbon. Her elaborate point lace ruffles are looped with pearls and rose-coloured ribbons. Her hair, which is of a light auburn colour, approaching to red, is rolled back from the forehead, and surmounted with a stuffed satin fillet, decorated in front with a jewel, set with pearls, and from which three pear-shaped pearls depend. She has large pearl tassel ear
rings. This miniature is a very small oval, with a deep blue back-ground.'
A greater mass of bad poetry was produced on the death of queen Elizabeth, (and the assertion is a bold one,) than ever was perpetrated on any public occasion. Lamer and tamer lines may have appeared at later eras, but for original and genuine absurdity, the Elizabethan elegies challenge the poetic world to find their equals. The following lines were greatly admired, and were preserved in more than one chronicle. They were written on the water procession, when her corpse was rowed down the Thames from Richmond, to lie in state at Whitehall: four lines will prove a sufficient specimen :
Scarcely less absurd is the sycophantic effusion, written by one of the sons of lord Burleigh; but, whether Robert Cecil, afterwards earl of Salisbury, or his elder brother, Thomas, afterwards created earl of Exeter, it is not easy to decide, as both have obtained the credit of them:
Now is my muse clad like a parasite
In party colour'd robes of black and white,
After these specimens of folly and pretence, the elegant melody of the verses by George Fletcher, appears to great advantage; and here follow three stanzas, selected from a monody on queen Elizabeth, by that great poet, when a youthful student :
"Tell me ye velvet-headed violets
That fringe the fountain's side with purest blue
So let with comely grace your pretty frets?
1 The portrait at Hampton Court, said to be Elizabeth at sixteen, is, certainly, her sister Mary, as the features denote. An example of this graceful style of dress may be seen in a recent pictorial publication of great interest to fair students" The Costumes of British Ladies," by Mrs. Dupuy; No. 3-a work that contains very beautifully coloured specimens of the varying fashions adopted by the ladies of England, from the Norman conquest to the present times, and will, when completed, form an attractive volume for the boudoir.
2 Fret is a chased or embroidered edge or border.