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under the crown, the sleeves of the dress wide and hanging, and a long graceful train; sometimes we see the hair rolled quite round the head under a net, or worn in full braids. We give one more costume, as it displays a French fashion adopted in Germany towards the close of the century. This is nothing less than modern crinoline, under its oldest title of "guardinfanta." The original of the portrait was the wife of Frederick William of Saxony. The dress is singularly ungraceful; a brown velvet skirt, very short, and stretched almost tight over an enormous hoop, a blue velvet jacket with tight-fitting sleeves, and red cuffs at the wrists; an immense fur collar standing up round the neck, which is left bare, is supposed to render the attractions of this toilette complete. A few gold ornaments decorate the hair, which is strained back from the face and twisted into a roll on the top of the head. Will any lady be tempted to adopt this costume for her next fancy ball?


THE world of the toilette filled up the time and thoughts of the German lady of those days, pretty much as it always has in all countries and ages occupied the attention of the fair sex. Different styles were in vogue, as we see from contemporary paintings and engravings of the period. A portrait of the Duchess Dorothea of Prussia, still in an admirable state of preservation in the castle of Fridenstein, represents her in a State costume. The whole figure is enveloped in a green robe, not unlike an oldfashioned cloak; it opens at the waist, with an ermine cape falling over the shoulders, and shows a low black velvet bodice. The neck is entirely covered with muslin plaited in fine folds finished at the throat with a narrow frill; over this is displayed an amber necklace, composed of several rows of beads, interlaced in an intricate fashion, so as to ornament the whole of the muslin. The skirt, which would be pronounced by a modern dressmaker "decidedly short and skimp," is bell-shaped, opening in front just enough to show its ermine facings, and ornamented with a wide border of gold arabesque; the sleeves large, tapering to the wrists, where they close with pearl bracelets. The hair is completely concealed under a flat black velvet cap, slouched down on the right side, and on the left adorned with a plume and pearls. Even in the sixteenth century Paris was looked up to as the fountain-head of fashion; the pattern of a hanging sleeve or a coif from France was a prize eagerly sought, and turned to the best advantage when obtained. The head-dress in this portrait of the duchess may, for aught we know, be the very same the pattern of which she received from the Duchess of Munsterberg as 66 a rare and entirely new French invention," and despatched, after it had been copied for her own use, by a special messenger to the Queen of Denmark. Another portrait of a lady of that period shows the skirt of the dress ample and long, but gathered into a very short waist, ornamented with what we believe ladies call a basque. The neck is quite bare, and from the head rises an immense nondescript sort of affair, something between a helmet and a foolscap, very high, very stiff, and intensely ugly; this also hides the hair, with the exception of one unhappy little curl which has strayed out, right in the middle of the forehead. Royal brides wear their hair flowing in curls

So much for the dress itself. With regard to the materials of which it was composed, they were magnificent enough to have served for the trousseau of a princess in the Thousand and One Nights. To those great merchant houses, which, established in different towns, supplied all the courts of Germany, the looms of Florence, Milan, and Venice, sent their gorgeous fabrics, gay with embroidery and stiff with gold. We read of silver embroidered upon silver, of stuff's woven with a warp of the thickest silk, and the woof made of one of the precious metals; of crimson velvet flowered with gold, and cloths of gold and silver. A list of the requisites ordered from Master Thomas Lapi of Nuremberg for the wardrobe of the Princess Anna, on her marriage with the Elector John Sigismund of Brandenburg, in 1594, is before us. It includes sixteen pieces of plain velvet, black, crimson, and pomegranate colours; three pieces of flowered velvet, eighty ells of different coloured satins-gold, white, orange, violet, and green. Fifty ells of damasks striped with gold and silver, three hundred of gold and silver raised work; costly furs, ermine and sable, for trimming; five hundred ells of gold and silver lace, etc., etc. This mercer's bill of the sixteenth century nearly takes away our breath to read. Would the Princess Anna ever want any more fine clothes all her life long we wonder? Would she be condemned to wear her heavy velvets and thick satins, with their fur trimmings, in the hot German summers? Assuredly she would-on State occasions at

any rate. The high mightinesses of those days paid little regard to so vulgar a thing as a change in the temperature; the sun might be burning hot, the thermometer at ninety in the shade, but for all that, dignity must not bate a single inch of crimson velvet and ermine.

Point-lace was a favourite material for the coif, and a large half-handkerchief sometimes worn on the shoulders. There is a curious commission with respect to this lace from the Duchess Dorothea to the Prussian chargé d'affaires at Rome in 1533, which we give in her own words. "As," she says, "we approve your diligence in our service, it is our gracious request that you procure for us some delicate specimens and patterns of that rare Italian art, whereby linen is pierced and fashioned with curious skill into shapes of roses and flower-work. Also it is our gracious pleasure that you seek us out some virtuous gentlewoman or maid, not light and giddy in her manners, who shall work for us at this cunning work." If such a treasure is not to be procured, the Duchess goes on to say, her correspondent is to persuade some man, skilled not only in the manufacture of point, but also of the gold and silver lace, to enter her service and visit Prussia, for the purpose of instructing the maidens of her Court in so desirable an accomplishment.

The Germans have always been famed as active housewives, and we find abundant proofs in the correspondence of the highest ladies of the time that they could personally justify this praise. The Duchess of Prussia may serve as a specimen of all her sisterhood. The letters are still extant in which this illustrious lady orders her flax and linen in her own handwriting, and inquires why the burghers of Tilsit are behindhand with their tribute of fifteen bundles of yarn for her household. She bespeaks hemp and soap from Poland; the silk, silver, and gold for her tapestry-work from Nuremberg; she sends the merchant a list of her requirements in velvet, lace, and veils; and, when she finds herself short of ready money, offers to pay in honey and wool. She describes minutely the pattern from which the Duke's shirts are to be cut, blames the seamstress for making the shoulders too narrow, and sends her a measure for the width of the sleeves. She takes good heed that there shall be no lack of dried fish, especially salmon, for the ducal larder; thanks a Frau Von Heideck for her courteous and welcome present of a couple of fine fat hogs, and writes to the duke's

steward at Raquit about a large barrel of butter, which it seems was not forthcoming at the proper time. The soapmaker of Marienburg receives a regular scolding, because she complains it is not possible to use his soap-"it has an evil smell, and lacks the fineness of the Venice soap." She orders George Sculthess of Nuremberg to procure her raisins, chestnuts, medlars, and quinces from Frankfort; and commands her servants to gather the grapes in the garden at Fischaus, and "make therefrom two sorts of Turkish syrup, one red and the other white, for which," adds the economical duchess, "I shall allow no sugar." It would, we fancy, be a problem for a modern cook to make a syrup without sugar, but the Soyer of the ducal household evidently accomplished his task to the complete satisfaction of his mistress, for she despatches a supply of this Turkish syrup as a rare delicacy to her father, the King of Denmark; and moreover says, "We also send your royal dignity different sugars of lavender, spikenard, and Dutch balsam, prepared with our own hands, under the direction of our doctor and physician." Again, next year "she sets a dainty dish before the king" aforesaid, in the shape of a cask of fieldfares, preserved in butter under her own eye, modestly requesting the present of two tons of herrings in return. How the homely old ways and customs of mankind have been polished and furbished up since the days of the Duchess Dorothea! Only fancy the Princess Frederick William of Prussia, not quite so great a lady at present as the ancestress of her husband was in her time-fancy, if you can, the princess exchanging such souvenirs with her papa, H R.H. Prince Albert.

These German dames, and their lords likewise, were an open-handed race. Presents of some sort, many of the homeliest description, seem to have been perpetually given and received among them. Espe cially was the time-honoured custom of proving the good-will which inspires good wishes for the new year, by an accompanying gift, most actively kept up. On one occasion the duchess sends her father a huge cask of lampreys, while she herself receives from the Duchess of Leignitz a gage d'amour in the form of quinces preserved with honey, -a really detestable compound, we should think, and others preserved with sugar. The donor begs her friend to eat them for her sake, and adds, "If they like you well I shall be greatly pleased." Preserves of all kinds-figs, nuts, cherries, and, above all, Nuremberg gingerbread-were the simple


also," she says, 66 we beg your kingly dignity will accept this drinking-cup, both because we know that you will not often let it go unfilled, and also that you may see how deep we drink who can empty such cups. Likewise we send a foot from a Prussian ox, that you may judge if your Danish cattle go on such large feet as ours."


dainties these good housewives loved equally I beg your grace will wear this shirt for my to bestow and to accept. The Duchess sake, considering rather the good will of the Dorothea treats Count Christian of Holstein maker than the fineness of the work, which, to a new year's gift of preserved cherries, in truth, is not so perfect as I could have apples, and gingerbread; at the same time desired." The beautiful Sidonia, of Brunsshe receives from Duke Frederick of Leignitz wick, makes him a similar present, but, some fine melons, almost the first specimens apparently, from interested motives, for she of this fruit which had ever found their way begs at the same time "sufficient ermine to Prussia; not to be outdone, she returns a for the lining of a large mantle." Finally, magnificent salmon by the duke's messen- to close this list of princely presents, in ger. A good brewing of beer was a very 1538 the Duchess Dorothea sends one of acceptable love-token, especially when it these indispensable garments as a token of came from Mecklenburg or Hamburg, both sisterly affection to the King of Denmark; places famed far and wide for the beverage of John Barleycorn. The Duchess Anna Sophia of Mecklenburg bestows good beer with great generosity on her friends; she sends off ten barrels as a new year's gift to the Duke of Prussia, and writes "We have had this strong beer brewed for your grace with especial care, and hope it will be your pleasure to receive it as a sign of our good will and friendliness." Duke Albert about the same time receives from the Count Von Henneberg an appropriate pendant to the lady's offering, A fair drinking-cup, curiously wrought by Master Peter Zinck, from Thuringian wood;" the count gallantly adds a present for the duchess, of slippers, embroidered with much art and subtlety." The duchess sends, as new year's presents, salmon, dried fish, beavers' tails, and a set of chessmen made of amber; she writes a grateful letter of thanks to the Duke of Mecklenburg, on account of three pairs of sweet-scented gloves, which he procured for her from France. Duke Albert might count himself a lucky man on the 1st of January, 1564; besides his Mecklenburg beer and the Thuringian drinking-cup, he received from Sabina, wife of the Elector of Brandenburg, a shirt-not of mail, bear in mind, but the ordinary and familiar garment-made by her own fair hands. Mr. Thackeray, as we all remember, allows us a glimpse of pretty little Theo at work on a shirt for one of her brothers, and lets us see how our English ladies were not ashamed of making shirts a century ago. In those more primitive times, and among, as our readers will observe, a more primitive people, a high-born lady could bestow no gift more honourable than a shirt of her own making. The active Duchess of Prussia stitches away at one destined as a new year's gift to her brother John of Schleswick Holstein, and at another for the Archbishop of Riga. The Duchess Anna Maria of Wurtemburg expresses, in an autograph letter to Duke Albert, her thanks for a present of elks' hoofs and amber, and goes on to say, "In return

We know that astrologers and alchemists flourished abundantly in Germany during this century, and it is not surprising that they found both dupes and pupils among the ladies, many of whom dabbled in the black arts. Catherine of Brandenburg, and her beautiful sister Elizabeth, wife of the Margrave George Frederick, had each her laboratory, and studied under Thurneisser, the famous magician of Thurn, who, it was believed, could assume any shape he thought proper, fly through the air, and make silver and gold at will. We can easily credit the power of this accomplished quack with respect to the prodigy last mentioned, when we read the fabulous prices at which he dispensed to his fair dupes aqua d'oro, tinctures of pearl, amethyst, and emerald; all specifics against disease, or, still more precious, potent to restore to age all the beauty and graces of youth. Hardly less famous than Thurneisser was Dr. John Meckabach, or "Megabachus," as he delighted to Latinise his name. Meckabach was so fortunate as to discover in 1545 a preventive and panacea for every ailment, the counteragent of poisons; in one word, the great remedy of the age, in the shape of an oil distilled from amber.

To the reader of history it must have occurred to observe, that when some great wonder, like the Reformation, has been wrought in any age, he will often find the veriest trifle start up by its side, and lay an almost equal hold upon the minds of men. The lapse of time brings all things to their true proportion-the colossus stands, the mushroom is forgotten in the dust: but pore with us over these yellow letters, these

faithful witnesses of what men thought and
felt in the sixteenth century, and you shall
see how throughout the courts of Germany
Dr. Meckabach and his wonderful disco-
veries excited very nearly as much eager
interest as Dr. Martin Luther and his new
doctrines. Of course we do not speak of the
bulk of the people, on whose head not one
drop of that precious oil would ever fall;
our remark applies only within the
limits of the world which could write let-
ters and afford to pay physicians. In one
important point Meckabach had a decided
advantage over the Reformer; for him opi-
nion was undivided-not one adverse voice
lifted itself against the marvellous virtues
of amber water, amber oil, and "manus
christi," another preparation from the same
substance. Catholic and Lutheran alike are
anxious to possess these sovereign remedies,
ladies willingly sacrifice their much valued
ornaments to the doctor's crucible, and re-
ceive or believe they receive, which an-
swers the same purpose-them back, melted
into a few drops of the wonder-working oil.
Amber is fortunately found in Prussia, and
Duke Albert loses no time in despatching
large quantities to Megabachus, who duly
returns him amber oil, water, and manus
christi. Therewith the doctor writes a
pompous letter, in which he proves himself
well worthy a place in Molière's famous
"Consultation." Ars longa," he says,
or he would certainly have made more of
the oil, but he is, as all the world knows,
overwhelmed with affairs, and must pre-
sently ride off to Munich to meet Duke
Ludwig. He gives a catalogue of the potent
virtues of his drugs which would put to
shame the invention displayed by the mo-
dern advertiser of patent medicines. "The
very smell of the oil," he says,
form wonders; and only a few drops taken
in wine or distilled cordials have power to
drive away all manner of pain whatsoever.
I send likewise a small box of manus christi,
prepared from the oil aforesaid, and which
has never been invented or imagined be-
fore; it is sovereign against apoplexy, mad-
ness, and in short every disease of the brain.
A small piece dissolved in the mouth suf-
ficeth to cure an epilepsy or-a headache "


Many ladies of this period practised more useful, if less pretending, arts than alchemy and astrology. They prepared a great variety of simple medicines from different herbs and roots, and some, the Princess Anna of Saxony for example, acquired a wide reputation through their skill. Indeed, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell may argue with those who protest against woman

physicians that she has but revived an ancient precedent, and only added the knowledge requisite for modern times to an art which was in those days considered one of the highest accomplishments a woman could possess. We find the Duchess of Leignitz making lozenges against apoplexy, and her husband believing himself perfectly cured through them; one lady is famous for healnarrowing-ointment, the recipe for which she will not give; another prepares eye-water, and powders for different ailments. The Duchess of Prussia gives medicine, prepared by herself, against the plague, to her brother; another time she writes, "We send you herewith a powder and electuary we have inade for the head and breast; we tasted it in the presence of the messenger, and the directions we have given in our letter teach the method of using the same.'


We must not suppose, however, that a lady's pharmacopoeia was confined to herbs, roots, and amber. Foremost on the list of remedies stand powdered elk's hoof, beaver's fat, and horn of unicorn! Amber or unicorn rings and necklaces were worn as charms against the plague, and also those made of elk's hoof, only it was absolutely necessary that the latter should have been procured "between the two summer festivals of the Virgin, otherwise," it is complained, "they have little virtue." As for the unicorn, his horn was just as valuable in one season as another, the sole condition necessary to make such a prize available would be precisely that on which Mrs. Glass's recipe for dressing a hare depends. In 1529, Princess Catherine of Schwarzburg writes to Duke Albert, thanking him for 66 a whole elk's hoof, seven white amber paternosters, and seven elk-hoof paternos'can per-ters," which, she says, both she and her youngest daughter, Anna Maria, received with great gratitude. 66 "But," continues the importunate princess, "will your grace remember me with a paternoster or a ring sometimes, for I have a bad memory, and lose everything. Above all things, if you could bestow upon me an English ring, for it prevents a heavy sickness. I had one formerly which belonged to my mother, but 1 have worn it completely in two." Finally the lady winds up her letter by hinting, that, if Duke Albert feels disposed to "show her the greatest possible grace and kindness," he may send off at once "a little piece of the real horn of unicorn."


We have thus obtained a glimpse into what we may consider the more serious business of a lady's life at the period; her amusements were scanty and unvaried. On

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extremely rare occasions, grand festivals will use his utmost endeavour to persuade took place, where princes and princesses Christina's heir to part with such a treagazed together on the tourney, mimic sure. Dwarfs were also articles of luxury; battles, gay masks, and bonfires, in which a pair, dwarf and dwarfess, was considered sometimes, as at the wedding of the Elector a great prize. The Landgravine Barbara John of Brandenburg, the Pope, the Sultan, of Leuchtenberg possessed a she-dwarf, and, the Khan of Tartary, and the Emperor of to find a mate for her, she addresses herself Russia, were all burnt together. Then to different princes, with the assurance that grim theatricals appeared to the sound of any dwarf they may bestow shall be treated the trumpet; the old story of Queen as if he were one of her own children. Tomyris, how she cut off the head of Cyrus, and swam it in a bowl of blood; that of an unjust judge, flayed alive by order of Cambyses; or the history of Queen Esther, with Haman and his gallows for the dropscene. A few ladies followed the chase with as much eagerness as their lords, and rivalled them in establishing menageries, peopled with wild horses, buffaloes, stags, and elks, from the woods of Prussia and Austria. Above all, they delighted to see their castle walls ornamented with representations of these animals as large as life; on these figures, which were generally stiff and unnatural in the extreme, the horns and hoofs of the real animal were fastened. One lady writes that she amuses herself daily with a spaniel which has been sent her from Copenhagen; another is teaching a gay parrot to talk, but the creature is so perverse, its mistress complains that she often loses all patience. The grand plaything at a German court, the one possession through which ennui might fairly be set at defiance, was a fool. Happy the queen or duchess who could find a well-trained shefool this was a prize most eagerly coveted, and earnestly sought. Duke Albert spares no pains to procure his wife this innocent gratification, and we find him engaged in active correspondence with a nobleman in Bohemia on this matter. A certain noble lady of that country named Christina Kurzbachin, possessed a good she-fool, says the duke; this fool "the high-born princess, our friendly and well-beloved consort," had begged some years before from her mistress, and received for answer to her request, that Christina Kurzbachin could not possibly part with such a favourite during her life-time, but she would promise the Duchess the reversion of her fool, to be claimed on her (Christina's) decease. Duke Albert has received certain intelligence of the old lady's death, and that the Bohemian is her heir, and entreats with much earnestness that he will behave honourably, by sending off the fool to Prussia with as little delay as possible; at the same time both he and the duchess write to beg the intervention of a friend, beseeching that he

Not every princess and duchess of this period could write her own name, but among those who did possess this accomplishment an active correspondence was evidently maintained. Very little, it must be confessed, of anything like l'éloquence du billet is to be found in these letters, which are dull in the extreme, and full of the most formal phrases and titles. In short, any person who has ever had the ill fortuné to be present at the reading of a particularly long will-always supposing him not a legatee-can form a pretty accurate idea of the style and tediousness in which these fair letter-writers indulge. Unlike the correspondence of contemporary princes, where the historian finds much light thrown on the important events of the century through free discussion and expression of opinion, the topics of these letters seem all furnished by that narrow domestic world in which the writers lived. No token do we find here that their eyes were ever opened to that great outer world so near them, with its deep interests and marvellous changes, its mighty hopes, its struggles, and its agonies. Even a raging pestilence only seems to furnish occasion for more active preparations of amber, and elk-horn powders; the frequent wars are named as terrible hinderances to the safe convoy of furs and velvets. Indeed, to the public history of the age itself, no more striking contrast can be offered than this correspondence of the age, in which every great event is completely ignored; these letters so tranquil, so trivial, so cold. Cold! nay, in reference to one subject we may well reclaim that word; only let the topic of the letter be, as not unfrequently it was, the hope of women, then the dust and ashes of three centuries do not suffice to quench those words of passionate desire, that outbreak of maternal joy. Almost with melancholy we note the eager hope of offspring, the matron's pride when a son is born, for the historian is at hand to show us all the disasters which the new life so fondly welcomed was doomed to experience. One instance among many will suffice; we choose it from the history of Duke Albert, as he

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