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sands or millions. We are not particularly in- luxurious and expensive requirements of living, terested-God save the mark !--in the life and is not easily acquired, and seldom at an age when prosperity of any bloated millionaire, nor espe- men should marry. The withholding of the dowry cially anxious for his death, with a view to a is another obstruction, in addition to the inordishare in the cutting up, as the phrase goes, of nate desires of luxury, to those early marriages his remains. Independent as we are, we hold which are essential to virtue, as they are in acourselves perfectly at liberty to despise, enviously cordance with the instincts of nature. The laws of course, that filthy lucre for which life and soul of the country, says Goldsmith in one of his Esare bartered, and these eternal grubbers and sor- says, are finely calculated to promote all comdid hoarders of it. That men will sell the souls merce but the commerce between the sexes. Our of their fair daughters for gold, when they have stock-jobbing patriarchs are never content to inlong since sold their own for copper, is not sur-vest a sum, or place a daughter, without a very prising; but there is a want of fairness in these considerable shave by which they may be gainers matrimonial transactions, which is contrary to all at the expense of the needy. the ordinary laws of trade. A man of wealth, One very obvious result of the pecuniary spirit possessed say of three or four hundred thousand which controls the union of the sexes is a frightdollars, marries his daughter. He has early in- ful increase of old maids. We know a respectaculcated her, by precept and example, with a rev- ble old gentleman who has six daughters on bis erence for the idol of his worship; be decks her hands, each one of whom has gone through the with the expensive gewgaws of fashion; he ac- several phases of budding, blooming, and fading customs her to the habits of profuse expenditure; belle. The aged patriarch, surrounded by his he, with the aid of Madame Gigaway, or some maiden daughters, is like some old oak, with other Parisian fashioner of female youth à la decay at its roots. He looks as if there had been mode, laboriously unfits her for a useful life, by vigor enough in him to have propelled his lifefurnishing the chambers of her mind with the blood into a perpetuity of forests, yet his roots, tawdry furniture of fashion, where substantial vigorous and tough enough in their original knowledge and plain common sense are never structure, are, instead of giving off-shoots in guests. The spoiled maiden, though fair to out some new soil, still clinging to the parent stock, ward show, is married. There never was a pret- and drying and decaying from mere want of contier bride, more richly attired. Her vail from genial nutriment. The old gentleman is rich, Paris; her robe of the glossiest and thickest and his note circulates in Wall Street as curwhite satin ; her diamonds a present, probably, rently as a new eagle fresh from the mint, while from her betrothed; her trousseau, with its treas- his domestic stock stagnates in the Fifth Avenue ures of silk, fine linen, and genuine lace; the like the Russian loan in Europe, or the Schuyler wealth of presents, mostly contributions of friends issue of New Haven “in the street." and relations; the jewels and plate; the golden- No expense was spared in accomplishing his leaved and heavily-clasped Bible “ from her af- | daughters; Madame Gigaway's indispensable fectionate father, with the blessing of God," are services were secured for the finishing polish;" delicately exposed to stimulate the emulation of the aid of the fashionable milliners, the confecrival donors, and become the talk of the town for tioners, and the Browns of the day, was oba week. Papa resigns his daughter with a kiss, tained, without regard to expense, for the suithands a check, perhaps for a thousand dollars, able " coming out." Season after season parties perhaps for two or three, to his son-in-law, with were given, and invitations accepted, and every the express understanding that it is to be laid out maid of the six of the house ran the gauntlet of in rosewood and damask. The respectable pa- matrimonial expectation for a succession of years. rent now buttons his pockets, congratulating him- The millionaires, however, being few, and the self that one of his family is off his hands, and greedy bidders many, the marriageable men of his current expenses diminished by a thousand promise, in the professions and trade, being busy dollars per annum, more or less. The shrewd and discreet, and the parsons shy, the six daughtradesman never made a better bargain, in all his ters have passed their bloom of life, in spite of wide experience, in Pearl Street. By a small the restless activities of avaricious papa, enterinvestment of two or three thousand dollars, he prising mamma, and the costly assistance of the saves the annual interest of some fifteen or twen-Gigaways, and all the camp followers of intrepid ty thousand. A splendid transaction, which does fashion, and now pine away in single misery, credit to the head of the knowing calculator, and without even a prospect of the benefit of clergyis the very best disposition he could have made that forlorn hope of the maiden sisterhood. How of his daughter for the advantage of-himself. many young men, who, at an early stage of the The practice of marrying children without dow-career of the six sisters, had nothing but their ries began in this country, when daughters and intellect and virtue to recommend them, and who, large fortunes were scarce, and it has been con- of course, were never looked at, or scared away tinued until now, when both are comparatively by a sneer at their poverty, have since become abundant. When habits of life were simpler prosperous, and wealthy enough now to be with us—when it was cheaper to live and easier | eagerly caught at by the greedy pursuers of for to support & wife-there was no occasion for any tune. When shall we ever have in New York aid from the father-in-law. Now, however, the an illustration of Hogarth's good apprentice ability to sustain a family, in consequence of the marrying bis master's daughter? If our merchants and traders, instead of staking their chil- with a disregard of appearances and the happidren's all at the red and black of those gamblers, ness of a husband, which, to say the least, has
Fortune and Fashion, where the noir turns up the semblance of vice, and is decidedly uncom. nineteen times out of twenty, would bring into fortable to their wedded lords, the conduct of life some of the shrewd maxims If the morals are not loose, the manners of our of the shop or the counting-house, there would women are certainly easy. There is no country be less disappointment and more happiness. in the world where such unrestrained intercourse Absurd old hucksters in dry goods and hardware, between the sexes before marriage is allowed as don't shut up your common sense with the close in the United States--an inalienable republican of the ledger for the day, but take it home with right which the women never surrender. There you in the evening; eschew fashion, its follies, is an innocent freedom from suspicion, on the its risks, and its failures, and, instead of decking part of parents, and a rullicking enjoyment of your daughters with the sham flowers of fashion, the license they possess on the part of daughters, and throwing them into that grave of the affec- which are as charming to the lovers of nature as tions, the fashionable world, keep them at home, they are convenient to the experienced in art. where they may grow up in the grace and pro- This freedom began early in this country, dating portion of fair columns of that temple of the back to the patriarchal times of our earliest settleaffections; bring to your home the young mer- ment, and was consonant with, as it was secured chants and clerks with whom you have some by, the simplicity of life of our ancestors. Desympathy in common, and where, by your fire- bauched Europe could not understand it at all. side, surrounded by your daughters, youthful When Jerome Bonaparte was the brother, as he hearts may hold communion, and be knit to- is now the uncle of an Emperor of the French, gether in the strength of holy love. We need and was in the lustiness of his youth, though not not enlarge here—for it does not come within inexperienced in the ways of the world, he visited, the compass of our present purpose-upon the as we all know, the United States. While in obvious effect of this miserable money-seeking Baltimore, before he had concentrated his affecpolicy upon the male sex. The young men are tions in matrimony, he wandered from flower to driven to the loose pleasures of the town, the de- flower in that garden of beauty. The prince was bauchery of illicit relations, or the restricted life a favored visitor every where. On one occasion, of perpetual bachelorhood, while a puny offspring, being invited as a guest to a ball, a young belle, bred of doting old age or idiotic youth of wealth yet in her teens, called for him, and invited him and fashion, is the only hope of a coming genera- to a seat at her side in the paternal carriage in tion.
which she lounged unattended. The prince joyWhat kind of wives does the system produce ? | fully accepted the invitation, and had hardly It might be naturally inferred, that when our seated himself by the side of beauty and innoyoung ladies marry a brown stone house, a car-cence, when he showed by his ardent admiration riage, and the other perquisites of a wealthy of the charms of the former, how incapable he establishment, with an aged proprietor to boot, was of appreciating the simplicity of the latter. that, having satisfied their avarice and love of The young girl expressed her indignation, and, display, they keep their hearts in reserve for a discharging her companion, drove home and inlover to whom they dispense their fondness as voked the aid of a brother in the emergency. liberally as they draw upon the purses of their The Prince was called to account, and was ready husbands. The wicked Charivari entertained with an apology. In France, he said, he would us, not long since, with a characteristic litho have lost his claim to gallantry if he had acted graph, drawn by the free hand of Cham, where otherwise ; but, upon his faith as a Frenchman, two young ladies were represented comparing the Prince continued, he would not have treated notes about their suitors. Rose says to Blanche: the young beauty as he had done, had he not “How many suitors have you ?" “ Two," an- supposed that was what she expected, and the swers Blanche, “ A and B.” “Which one do express object of her visit. He acknowledged, you love?" resumed the fair interrogator. “A," with a shrug of the shoulders, that he was a bête, answers the innocent beauty. “Then of course and ought to have known that old Europe was you will marry B,” replies Rose, with the wis- one thing, and new America quite another. Such dom of the serpent. This was in Paris, and was the virtue and simplicity of our American what is true of that profane Babylon, is of course grandmothers. Their beautiful descendants have false in this Christian community. Notwith- lost nothing, we are sure, of their ancestral virtue, standing the sly innuendos and sneers of our town but have become much more knowing, If they cynics, and the open boasts of our would-be should take up a Prince, and a Frenchman, they rakes, we believe our wives are virtuous. Their would know what to expect. practice is, we feel quite confident, much better The fast young lady is one of the developments than might be naturally inferred from their matri- of female liberty. Young and handsome she is, monial principles. Whether it is virtue or in- of course, and brim full of vitality. Daring and sensibility we do not know, but we hope it is dashing, she does a thousand extravagant things; the former which justifies the wisdom of our but youth and beauty lend such a grace to all she children. There is, however, a reckless freedom does, that we are attracted more than is quite among our married women of fashion which right for our prim propriety to acknowledge. entertains the approach of unlicensed suitors From the very first, she is vailed by no maiden
blushes, and checked by no coy shyness, but sumed abroad, an ell is insisted upon bere. If boldly faces the world and rushes into its em- low necks and short skirts prevail in Paris, the brace. She becomes known every where; she former must descend to the waist and the latter is at every ball of the season and every party of rise to the knees in New York. We will not the night. She is as familiar to the frequenters disclose all the revelations made, entre nous, by of Broadway as the Astor House. Her reckless Madame Crinoline, our ingenious friend and cundoings are on every tongue: How she was at six ning adorner of the New York ladies, the aboveparties in one night; how she kissed young Dal- mentioned marchande des modes; but we can, we liance in the ball-room, out-drank him in Cham- think, without an abuse of confidence, state genpagne at the supper-table, and smoked one of his erally, upon the word of honor of Madame, that cigars on her way home. She is indefatigable in the American ladies are more made up than any her coquetry: while revolving in the arms of one other women in the world. We had taken occabeau, she will illuminate another by her bright sion to remark upon the improved health, the inglances; her hand will return the warm pressure creased development of our beauties. With a of a devoted admirer, while her little foot is busy smile at our simplicity, and a shrug of her French in its intimate confidences with his rival. In the shoulders to indicate her own superior knowledge, race with fashion, our fast young lady is always Madame, with a coolness of an experienced anatahead. If red is the prevailing color, she will omist, set about dissecting a beauty for us, and flame in scarlet ; if it is permitted to display the did it so clearly and satisfactorily, that we must shoulders, she will reveal to the waist. Her dar- have been dull not to have understood, and fooling spirit is always flying beyond the verge of ish not to benefit, to the end of our lives, by the decorum, and hovering in the dangerous neigh- revelation. There is the robe en soir, with four borhood of vice.
additional breadths, and wadded here, there, and Wives, we are inclined to think, are less eager every where; there is the silk jupon, the hair to enjoy their independence than to assert it. cloth, the flannel, the linen, the cotton, the They do not cast off altogether the ball and chain but we dare not follow Madame in her bold in of their matrimonial bonds, but show themselves roads upon the precincts of beauty. Let it sufso restless, that they keep their legal guardians fice, that we exhausted the numerical capacity of in a state of constant suspicion and anxiety, lest our ten fingers in calculating jupons only, with they should escape and Ay to the refuge of the out taking account of innumerable other ingenious bosom of some of their numerous admirers. artifices for enlarging the sphere of beauty. When
Our women seek publicity, and love to display Madame had technically described, with the mitheir charms to the curious gaze of every passer- nutest accuracy, every contrivance of female art, by. They choose the most frequented streets for and had reached the precincts of nature, I asked, their promenades, and are not shy of showing off “What then?” “Ma foi, rien de tout, que la their most attractive points, made conspicuous by peau et la squelette," was her answer. The pracall the ingenious arts of cunning fashion and tical experience of Blubberly, a married acquaintmeretricious address. The presence in the pub- ance, confirms the theory of Madame. Blubberly lic streets, the languid walk, the yielding figure, was always carnivorously disposed, and as he is the well-assured countenance, and the bold eye rich, he had his choice of the first specimens of of our women, are noted by every stranger. flesh and blood in the market. So he chose a Steadiness under the fire of the gaze of man, sup- wife for her substance; but not having consulted posed to be the result of matrimonial discipline Madame Crinoline, as we have done, was sadly only, is exhibited by American wives in perfec- taken in in the bargain, and found himself the tion, and somehow or other seems to be preco- possessor of a large bulk of Madame's art and a ciously possessed by our single women.
very scant supply of nature. “I thought I had The fondness of our fashionable folks for fine forty stone at a small computation," groaned feathers is far famed. A marchande des modes, Blubberly, “but, by all that's true, there is no who entices our wives and daughters, with her more flesh upon her than upon the picked carcass luxurious displays of the fashions, at No. of a spring chicken." Broadway, and frightens fathers and husbands by! We have no better reason for denying intellect the enormity of her bills, tells us, that in her an- to our women of society, than the entire want of nual visits to Paris, her difficulty is not in finding evidence to prove its existence. In their empty what may be tasteful and beautiful, but what may career of show and frivolous occupation, a prosbe sufficiently costly to suit the sumptuousness pect never opens to the better life of thought and of American prodigality. Every sovereign re- of earnest purpose. Hour succeeds hour in lanpublican must be clothed in purple and fine linen. guid succession, while the wearied pursuer of Royal magnificence of drapery is barely sufficient exhausting pleasure sinks in a mortal lethargy, for the splendid loins of our Dives. Ostentation cheered by no spark of heavenly flame, and enliyhere shrugs its shoulders at the mantle of foreign ened by no vital current of intelligence. Our grandeur. Our informant tells us, moreover, that young ladies have been to school, but their intelthe scope of Parisian modes is not sufficiently lectual culture is as scant as their knowledge of broad to suit the expansive views of cis-Atlantic the wicked world is abounding. Five years at fashionables. Her imagination, she declares, is Madame Gigaway's is indispensable, for it is ex. constantly on the stretch, to make what is fash- pensive, and the wealthy Mr. Smith and the disionable more fashionable still. If an inch is as- tinguished Mrs. Jones send their daughters there. We are puzzled to discover what they learn be- , Therese, who lived with Rousseau nearly half a yond an intimate acquaintance with the personal century, had, according to the united testimony history and position of the parents of their fel- of all his contemporaries, only one good quality lows. They can glibly tell you who is in the to recommend her, and that was her skill in the wholesale, or who is in tbe retail business; kitchen. Cooke, the actor, was so charmed with whether Miss A.'s father lives in Fifth Avenue or a beef steak at the old Tontine Coffee-house, in East Broadway; whether Miss B.'s house is a this city, that he swore he would marry the kitchen four-story brown stone mansion or a two-story wench who cooked it, and kept his vow. We can brick front. They have already settled the gen- assure our fair dames that better lessons of the tility and the expectations of every girl in the heart can be learned from Miss Beecher’s cookery school, and are, at the earliest age, devout wor- book than from the Sorrows of Werther. Sin shipers of the golden idol. Their substantial ac- There is one manæuvre on the part of our ladies quirements are such, that not one in twenty can which we here, in the name of manhood, protest indite a billet-doux without the aid of a dictionary, against, and that is the ingenious one of shifting and their arithmetic is puzzled by the washer their own burdens upon the backs of their huswoman's bill. If you meet them in society, and, bands. Nineteen out of twenty of the once proud taking them for rational beings, start some sub- cavaliers of our queens of beauty are broken down ject of conversation which bears upon politics, into mere domestic drudges. They do four-fifths literature, or art, they stare at you with stupid of the family duty-go to market, select the dinamazement, or laugh outright at you as a pedant ner, leave the orders at the grocers, stop on their or a clown unacquainted with polite society. As way down town at the intelligence office, leave for literature, they have not enterprise enough to word for the sweeps, go at midnight after their study current history in the daily papers, and only wives to bring them home when they are sated spell through some popular ephemeral book, when with pleasure and dissipation abroad, keep house it has become, by a lucky accident, the talk of the in the dog-days in town, while their fashionable town. Art ranks with them somewhere between spouses are coquetting at Newport or Saratoga, cabinet ware and upholstery, and they estimate a run after the doctor at all hours, and spend the picture as they do a damask curtain or a rosewood better part of the winter nights in nursing the table, according to the show it makes in the draw-baby. If this is to continue, we might better transing-room. Woman, from her intellect and vigor- fer one of those painted, well-stuffed, and elegantous culture, is said to be a power in France, and ly-dressed wax figures which revolve in Trufitt Napoleon had more fear of Madame de Staël than the barber's window, to our drawing-room, and of combined Europe ; here the sex is impotent dispense with an American wife. and harmless in every respect but in its folly, and We might have sermonized upon the danger to is composed, not of De Staëls, but of just the kind society from the character, or rather want of charof women the Corsican tyrant would have cher- / acter, of our fashionable women, for of them we ished to debauch and enslave the land which he have been speaking, and not of the fair daughters subjected to his iron rule.
of America whose simpler life is an honor to the - These butterflies of fashion
land, but we have preferred drawing a series of * All glossy gay, enamel'd all with gold,
portraits which may aid the inexperienced in an!! ! The silly tenants of the summer air,
swering the question wbich we confess our ina2. In folly lost, of nothing take they care," bility to doflutter forth only in the glare of vanity and dis
Whom SHALL WE MARRY? play. In the sober atmosphere and subdued light of home they are torpid and useless. The quiet
THE QUAKER'S WIFE. virtues of the household, the domestic duties, the TN 1769, the Society of Friends comparatively humble utilities of a housewife's daily life, are I was a new one, and the strictness of its memquite beneath our fine ladies' attention. These bers in regard to dress and manners was quite bring with them merely the reward of a good con- unmodified, and remarkable even in that period science, the happiness of a husband and family, I of formality and decorous observances. Many, the goodly influence of a virtuous life. is very many, good and noble hearts have lain hid*1As long as we can hire good cooks for twelve den beneath the uncreased broadcloth and dovedollars a month, we have no desire to have our colored silk of Friends, and so many singular broth spoiled by the interference of the ten pretty things have come to my knowledge, what I am fingers of our wives. The turn of the spit, and now going to tell, though it must be regarded as the boiling of the pot are, however, by no means a deviation from the ordinary state of things in contemptible influences in the happiness of life, Quaker families, will, I trust, be regarded in this and should not be lightly contemned by woman. light--that there is no rule, or set state of things, Rousseau was, as we all know, so full of senti- but there is an exception. My exception to the ment that he fairly boiled over, and not only blub- usual frigidity and formality of young female bered outright himself, but had all France blub- Friends was a young girl of that sect whom I bering with him for a score of years. Now, while came to know, named Martha Clifton. How I the author of Heloise was puling in his books, and came into possession of some strange passages in theorizing about his heart, he did not fail practi- her life, it is not essential to tell, nor for my readcally to realize his possession of a stomach, anders to know-suffice it that what I relate are facts, took to his home a skillful caterer to its wants. / and having outlived the dear and sweet lady who is the subject of my story, as I think it interest in the commercial world. When they were united, ing, I mean to relate it. Among the many beau- nothing that luxury-though clothed in the forms tiful girls I have seen in my time, I never saw any of the severest simplicity—could give, was wantone who surpassed Martha Clifton. Somehow ing, and Martha was radiant with happiness; and the rigid Quaker dress only lent added charms to in her plain garb of pure white silk, with no her noble simplicity of beauty. You might as soon trimming or ornament, which she wore on her have thought of decking out one of those young wedding-day, I think a lovelier creature could not Roman women (whom - Little Mary” reads about have been seen in Queen Charlotte's own court. sometimes in her history-books) in furbelows and Yes! the fair Quakeress married, went to her ribbons, as to wish Martha's dress any thing but new home, and for a long time I neither saw nor just what it was. Sooth to say, our young heard any thing of her, save such odd scraps as “ Friend" knew well enough how to attire her- Christiana Marcourt gleaned now and then from self, and to contrive that the tasteless form of her Ruth Clifton, Martha's grave and quiet mother dress should be so disposed as to enhance her ex-1(my forewoman went there now and then with quisite face and figure. Her parents occupied a some of the Brussels net, which the female large sad-looking mansion opposite our house, so Friends of the wealthier classes used for kerthat I had frequent opportunities of studying the chiefs and aprons), and that was little enough. "Quaker beauty," as our pert needle-women Whenever I thought of my former beautiful neighwould call her, and I observed that her thick silks bor, it was to imagine her in the enjoyment of and satins, nay, even sober camlets, were always cloudless happiness; but I reckoned too fast. of the most becoming colors-dove, silver gray, Five months after Martha's wedding-day, as I sat rich brown, or, on festive occasions, spotless at the window one day at work, a plain coach maiden white. She was but eighteen when I first drew up to Friend Clifton's door, and from it, rebegan to observe her, though she looked grave and ceived by her father and mother, came forth Martha sedate enough for forty—but the snows of Etna Wilson, oh, so changed, so wan-thin, even to cover fire. Inclined by her natural taste to love meagreness, so that it was with difficulty I satisintensely the ideal and beautiful, she was restrain-fied myself that this was the beautiful girl whom ed from such indulgences by the cold and frigid I had seen go from her father's house, even as a habits of her society; still her imagination was bride. Still her altered appearance and her quansometimes gratified by the composition of poems, tity of luggage convinced me that something was which were of no mean order. Such a mind, you wrong in that Quaker ménage; for allowing may be sure, stagnated amidst the formal and joy- Martha a plenitude of filial affection, still, from less life of Quakerism. She knew herself to be all I had heard, I knew the formality and want of fair; she could scarcely help it, when every pass- genial feeling in her paternal home to be ill suiter-by confirmed the knowledge with his admira-1 ed to her taste. It was a long time after that I tion, and even the cool and sober “Friends” vied found out the truth of my surmises, and the with each other in the endeavor to gain her love; events which, having after a few months of marbut Martha Clifton was hard to please where love ried life caused a separation, and retum of the was concerned, and believed her heart to be in young wife to her parents' roof, made some comsensible to the passion; yet the fire was but motion among the body of “Friends," connections smouldering, to burst forth with increased in- of both parties. Martha Wilson had scarcely been tensity when fairly kindled. She believed it could settled in her own handsome and comfortable resnot be possible for her to love one of her own idence, than she discovered that her husband was sect. Quakers, she used to remark, were so fond absent many hours from his home, when business of personal comfort, that she feared their selfish- she well knew had no claims on his time. Great ness was too great ever to allow them to love any absence of manner, too, marked his conduct; still but themselves. She was mistaken though, as so Martha was long ere she suspected that her husmany of us are, when we attempt to decide on our band's affections were no longer hers. There was future course. Scarcely had she known Everard not on his part less kindness, when present; but Wilson one week, when she knew that her destiny this grew a thing of such rare occurrence, that had arrived. He was a young and very handsome not merely her days, but her evenings were solQuaker, who had gone in his boyhood to Phila- itary. Still her mind was unawakened to jealdelphia, from whence he had not long returned. ousy, till an anonymous letter-one of those deadLike Martha, his eager and intelligent mind ly firebrands in domestic estrangements—arrived soared far beyond the narrow limits of the soci- one day, and informed Martha that her husband ety, but he had dared to go further than the fair was daily in the habit of visiting a young female “ Friend," and had read worldly books extensive- | in an obscure street; that he was even in the habit ly. It was only necessary for Martha and him- of accompanying this woman to places of public self to have an opportunity of conversing, unheard entertainment, more especially the Opera House, by their elders, to discover that they were indeed where he might be seen in a certain box, dressed kindred souls. That discovery soon led to an in the garb of the world, and listening to the diother, namely, that their hearts also were indis- vine strains of Belleroni and Staffonini. It was solubly united; and the course of their love, the Martha's misfortune that, instead of taking this depth of which was known truly but to them- precious epistle to her husband, she chose rather selves, ran smooth enough. Martha was the only to muse and brood over the information it conchild of a wealthy house, Everard of a family high tained, till her brain became fermented and her