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"Well sir, it is that you will not leave us
till you hear from——" She hesitated, as if
afraid to say the name, and then added, "the
Rue St. Georges. Will you give me this pledge?"

Now, though this would have been, all things
considered, an arrangement very like to have
lasted my life, I could not help hesitating ere I
assented, not to say that our dear friend of the
Rue St. Georges, whoever he was, might
possibly not concur in all the delusions
indispensable to my happiness. I therefore demurred
that is, in legal acceptance, I deferred assent
as though to say, "We'll see."

"At all events, sir, you'll accompany us to

"You have my pledge to that, madam."

"And meanwhile, sir, you agree with me that
it is better I should continue to behave towards
you with a cold and distant reserve."


"Rarely meeting, seldom or never

"I should say, never, madam; making, in
fact, any communication you may desire to reach
me through the intervention of that young
personI forget her name."

"Miss Herbert, sir."

"Exactly; and who appears gentle and

"She is a gentlewoman by birth, sir," said the
old lady, tetchily.

"I have no doubt of it, madam, or she would
not be found in association with you."

She curtseyed deeply at the compliment, and
I bowed as low, and backing and bowing I
gained the door, dying with eagerness to make
my escape.

"Will you pardon me, sir, if, after all the
agitation of this meeting, I may not feel equal to
appear at dinner to-day?"

"You will charge that young person to give
me news of your health, however," said I,
insinuating that I expected to see Miss Herbert.

"Certainly, sir; and if it be your pleasure
that she should dine with you, to preserve

"You are right, madam; your remark is full
of wisdom. I shall expect to meet her." And
again I bowed low, and ere she recovered from
another reverential curtsey, I had closed the
door behind me, and was half way down stairs.


FROM the tattooed and blue-dyed Briton of
A.D. 45 to the flounced and furbelowed finery of
Charles the Second, Anne, and the Georges;
from that flounced and furbelowed finery to our
own simpler luxury, tailors and seamstresses have
had a long way to go, and a series of tremendous
revolutions to effect. All sorts of interests
have been ruined in the process; all sorts of
trades created only to be destroyed at the next
turn of the wheel: button-makers, fringe-
makers, ribbon-makers, silk weavers, barbers,
boot-makers, spanglers, and bead-makers, have
cried out piteously in turn as the inexorable
course of Fashion swept down their workshops,
and flung their wares to one side, branding
them with that fatal mark "unfashionable,"
which rendered them useless and unsaleable for
ever. But the tailors and the seamstresses,
and that inexorable Fashion, marched on their
appointed way, accompanied by the cries of
hungry children and the ruin of families, which
inaugurated every change that was made. A
pitiful necessity, but one scarcely to be avoided
by any royal enactments, sumptuary laws, or
courtly patronage possible to be given.

Mr. Fairholt tells us in his admirable and
picturesque History of Costume, that the old
Britons were not clothed only in paint
pinpricks, as it has pleased people to say; they
had cloaks and mantles of the skins of beasts
the favourite was that of a brindled or spotted
cow; and after the Phœnicians had been to give
them a few hints, they wove coarse cloths of
wool and flax, which they dyed scarlet, and
purple, and blue, and yellow, but which they
always flung off in battle, and made themselves
a dress by no means to be despised for comfort
and elegance. Full loose braccæ tied round the
ankle with a cord and ending in a kind of fringe
or frill above the foot; a tunic reaching below
the knee, and girt at the waist with a belt; a
long classic-looking mantle, fastened at the neck
or on the shoulder by a massive brooch; a cap
of the true Phrygian cut, and soft shoes or high-
lows of untanned leather, with the woolly side
inward, completed a costume which the Bloomers
of our own time, with more ill-luck than unreason,
unconsciously copied as both graceful and
convenient. In later days a Roman emperor
himself adopted a barbarian fashion of dress, and
wore the caracalla, a tunic like our modern
frock-coat, close fitting, and slit up before and
behind as far as the waist. Aurelius Antoninus,
who had been born in Gaul, where this garment
was of common use, was wise enough to prefer
usefulness to grace, so took to the tunic instead
of the toga, and got the nickname of Caracalla
for his pains; but the Roman people gradually
adopted this distinction as a matter of national
costume, and the nickname and the laughter did
nothing for the old toga-makers. It was a
pity, perhaps, that the fashion had such an evil
patron; but fashions have never been very
regardful of morals in any shape. The Romans
laughed at the British braccæ, and, as all men
follow their leaders, these useful articles of dress
became discarded, to be afterwards replaced by
swathes and bandages, and then by "brech," or
breeches proper, and hose. The ladies wore the
"gwn," whence our modern gown, an upper
tunic, a mantle, and a hood; and at this period
the Anglo-Saxon of the tenth centurythe
British costume was all that could be desired
for grace, chasteness, and simplicity. But it
was not a good working costume. Those long
sleeves and trailing robes, those sweeping folds
and kingly majesty of drapery, did admirably for
show, but not for use; and for this reason we
find the soldiers and husbandmen going back to
less picturesque forms, till long gowns and