Born: Thomas Stothard, artist, 1755, Longacre, Lodon;
Dr. William Carey, missionary and oriental scholar, 1761, Paulerspury,
Northamptonshire; Richard Lalor Shiel, politician and dramatist, 1791, Dublin.
Died: Carloman of Austrasia, eldest son of Charles
Martel, 755, Vienne, Dauphin�; John Gower, early English poet, 1408; Edward V
and his brother Richard, Duke of York, smothered in the Tower, 1483; Admiral
Robert Blake, 1657, Plymouth; Madame Anne
Is Fevre Dacier, translator of Homer and other classic authors, 1720; Frederick
II (the Great) of Prussia 1786, Potsdam; Matthew Boulton, engineer and partner
of Watt, 1809, Soho, Birmingham;
Dr. Edward Pearson, Arminian champion,
1811, Rempstone, Nottinghamshire.
Feast Day: St. Mamas, martyr, about 275. Saints
Liberatus, Abbot, and six monks, martyrs, 483.
FREDERICK THE GREAT
On the 17th of August 1786, died the most
remarkable sovereign which Prussia has yet produced, and one of the most
remarkable sovereigns of Europe in the eighteenth century. Mr. Carlyle, whose
most elaborate and extensive work is his History of
Frederick II, called Frederick the Great, gives a graphic picture of his hero,
as he is supposed to have been about the year 1776. Writing in 1856, Mr. Carlyle
'About four-score years ago, there used to be seen
sauntering on the terraces of Sans Souci, for a short time in the afternoon
�or you might have met him elsewhere at an earlier hour, riding or driving in
a rapid business manner on the open roads, or
through the scraggy woods and avenues of that intricate amphibious Potsdam
region�a highly interesting lean little old man, of alert though slightly
stooping figure; whose name among strangers was King Frederick II, or
Frederick the Great of Prussia, and at home, among the
common people, who much loved and esteemed him, was Valer Fritz�Father Fred�a
name of familiarity which had not bred contempt in that instance.
He is a king every inch of him, though without the
trappings of a king. Presents himself in a Spartan simplicity of vesture: no
crown but an old military cocked-hat �generally old, or trampled and kneaded
into absolute softness, if new; no sceptre but
one like Agamemnon's, a walking stick cut from the woods, which serves also as
a riding-stick (with which he hits the horse 'between the ears,' say authors);
and for royal robes, a mere soldier's blue coat with red facings, coat likely
to be old, and sure to have a good deal of
Spanish snuff on the breast of it; rest of the apparel dim, unobtrusive in
colour or cut, ending in high over-knee military boots, which may be brushed
(and, I hope, kept soft with an underhand suspicion of oil), but are not
permitted to be blackened or varnished; Day and
Martin with their soot-pots forbidden to approach.
'The man is not of godlike physiognomy, any more than of
imposing stature or costume: closeshut mouth with thin lips, prominent jaws
and nose, receding brow, by no means of Olympian height; head, however, is of
long form, and has superlative gray eyes in
it. Not what is called a beautiful man; nor yet, by all appearance, what is
called a happy. On the contrary, the face bears evidence of many sorrows, as
they are termed, of much hard labour done in this world; and seems to
anticipate nothing but more still coming. Quiet
stoicism, capable enough of what joy there were, but not expecting any worth
mention; great unconscious and some conscious pride, tempered with a cheery
mockery of humour�are written on that old face; which carries its chin well
forward, in spite of the slight stoop about the
neck; snuffy nose rather flung into the air, under its old cocked-hat �like an
old snuffy lion on the watch; and such a pair of eyes as no man or lion or
lynx of that century bore elsewhere, according to all the testimony we have.'
After quoting a few words from Mirabeau, Carlyle proceeds:
'Most excellent potent brilliant eyes, swift-darting as the
stars, steadfast as the sun; gray, we said, of the azure-gray colour; large
enough, not of glaring size; the habitual expression of them vigilance and
penetrating sense, rapidity resting on
depth. Which is an excellent combination; and gives us the notion of a lambent
outer radiance springing from some great inner sea of light and fire in the
man. The voice, if he speaks to you, is of similar physiognomy: clear,
melodious, and sonorous; all tones are in it, from
that of ingenuous inquiry, graceful sociality, light-flowing banter (rather
prickly for most part), up to definite word of command, up to desolating word
of rebuke and reprobation.'
THE WASHING TALLY
A washing tally, here engraved of a reduced size, was found
not many months ago behind some oak-panelling in the old Chaplain's Room at
Haddon Hall, in Derbyshire, in the same room in which many other curious relics
are preserved�jackboots, pewter-plates,
fire-dogs, cradles, and otherthings, which each tell their tale of bygone-times,
and of the home-life of the Vernons�the once noble owners of the place. It is,
judging from the style of the engraving, the lettering, and ornamentation, of
the time of King Charles I, and the names
of the articles of dress enumerated upon it well accord with that period. This
'tally' was first made public in the Reliquary, where it is fully
described, and where also the engraving here given appears. From that account
the following description and particulars as to
costume, &c., are selected under the care of the author: '
The Washing Tally, here engraved of a reduced size, is five
inches and a half in length, and four and a half inches in depth. It is formed
of a piece of beech-wood of the size described, and of a quarter of an inch in
thickness, covered with linen at the
back and sides. In construction, it is precisely similar to a "Hornbook "�in front, the
different articles are printed from copper-plate, and protected by a sheet of
horn. Around the edge a narrow strip of thin brass, fastened down
with highly-ornamental nails, attaches the horn, the paper, and the linen to the
wood. The tally is divided into fifteen squares, in each of which is a dial
numbered from 0 to 12, and above each square is the name of the article intended
to be taken into account. The articles are
"ruffes," "bandes," "cuffes,"
"handkercher," "capps," "shirtes,"
"halfshirtes," "bootehose," "topes,"
"sockes," "sheetes," "pillowberes,"
"tableclothes," "napkins," and "towells."
On each of the dials is a circular brass indicator, fastened
by a little pin in its centre, so as to turn round at pleasure. Each of these
indicators is pierced on one side, close to its outer edge, with a round hole
through which one number on the dial is
visible. Opposite to this opening is a raised point by which the indicator may
'In keeping an account of the articles "sent to the
wash," it was, as will be seen, simply necessary to turn each indicator to
the figure representing the number of each article looked out, and when none
were sent, the 0 was brought in requisition. I have,
for the purpose of this illustration, turned the indicator so as to shew each
number, and as one of the indicators is fortunately missing, I am also enabled
to skew one of the dials in full. As the tally now stands, the account of
washing would be as follows:
Sockes - indicator removed
'Towels, however, do not appear at all times to have belonged
to the domestic arrangements of the owner of this interesting relic, for in
place of that name the words laced bands has been written on the horn, in the
olden times. The writing is now nearly
obliterated, but may be seen by a careful observer.'
A similar tally, in the possession of a gentleman of
Liverpool, has been figured in the Transactions of the Historic Society of
Lancashire and Cheshire:
Washingdays, at the time of the Tudors and Stuarts (the
period to which the washing tally belongs), though a little more important than
in the preceding ages, had none of those unpleasantnesses and terrors which are
said now to accompany them. Articles
which required washing were "few and far between," whilst those of a
texture which would not "stand a wash" were usually worn. The dyer was
far more commonly employed than the laundress, and his trade thus covered a
"multitude of sins " of omission of personal cleanliness, which
the laundress would have remedied with more healthy results.
'Velvets, taffeta, and rich silks were, in the middle ages,
often worn by the wealthy without any underclothing whatever, while the
domestics, and people of lower order, wore coarse woollen, also without
underclothing. The possession of a linen shirt, even
with the highest nobles, was a matter of note, and it was but few wardrobes
which contained them. Night-gowns were not known, and the custom was to sleep
entirely without clothing. Under the Tudors, night-gowns were worn, but they
were formed mostly of silk or velvet, so that no
washing was required. Anne
Boleyn's night-dress was made of black satin, bound with black
taffeta, and edged with velvet of the same colour. One of Queen Elizabeth's
night-gowns was of black velvet, trimmed with silk lace, and lined with fur; and
in 1568, her majesty ordered
George Bradyman to deliver "three-score-and-sixe of the best sable skynnes,
to furnish us a night-gowne."
In another warrant from her majesty in 1572, she orders the
delivery of "twelve yards of purple velvet, frized on the backe syde with
white and russet silke," for a night-gown for herself, and also orders the
delivery of fourteen yards of murry damask for
the " makyng of a nyght-gown for the Erle of Leycester." Night-dresses
for ladies were, at a later period, called " night-rails," and, in the
reign of Queen Anne, it became the fashion for them to be worn in the daytime in
the streets, over the usual dress. This gave rise to many
curious satires. Night-caps, too, were mostly of velvet and silk, and these,
with the velvet night-dresses, the silken shirts, and other matters of a like
kind, eased the laundress, though they must have added to the discomfort of the
'Clothes were, in former times, usually washed in the river,
but not unfrequently in the common wells of towns, from which the water was
fetched for culinary purposes and for drinking. In 1467, the corporation of
Leicester, to prevent the constant fouling
of the water, ordered that no woman do wash clothes or other corruption in the
common wells. At Lyme, an order by court was given in 1608, that none do wash
their bucks in the street (i. e. in the stream of running water which supplied
the town), under a penalty of 6s. 8d. The
"buck" here alluded to, was the quantity of family linen put to wash.
"Buck," was "to wash," and was also used for the quantity of
linen washed at once �a tub full of linen "in buck." Thus "to
wash a buck," was to wash a tub of clothes; "buck ashes," were
the ashes of which the
lye for washing was made; "buck-basket," the basket in which the linen
was carried; "buck-pan," the washing tub; and to be "
bucked," was to be soaked or drenched with water. The
"buck-basket" will be familiar to every reader, as described by Sir
John Falstaff, as "rammed with
foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, and greasy napkins, that, Master
Brook, there was the rankest compound of villainous smells that ever offended
'The clothes being placed in the tub, the women, sometimes
several in number, with their dresses tucked up, danced upon them to beat out
the impurities. When washed at the river-side, they were beaten on wood or
stones. Under Henry VIII, the royal
laundress was ordered to procure enough "sweet powder, sweet herbs, and
other sweet things," as might be requisite for the "sweet
keeping" of the linen.'
A word or two on the different articles enumerated on the
tablet, may not be out of place. The 'ruffe' was the frill, or plaited collar so
generally worn in the reign of Elizabeth, and in the succeeding reign, and which
are made familiar by the many
portraits of the 'virgin queen' and the 'illustrious notables' of her reign
which are extant. They were sometimes worn of gigantic size, and propped up, and
made to keep in form by a framework of wire, which, with the strong starch�which
Stubbes called 'the devil's own liquor, I
mean starch'�held them up about the neck of the wearer.
Under the Stuarts, the ruffs gradually lessened in size. The
ruffs worn by men were of similar shape to those worn by women, and almost of an
equally extravagant size. The ' band,' from which the small bands still worn by
the clergy took their origin, were
collars of linen, cambric, or other material, worn around the neck. When
starched to stand up, they were simply 'bands;' when allowed to lie flat on the
shoulders, they were called 'falling-bands.' The 'laced bands' were the richly
worked lace neck-cloths so frequently seen in
portraits of the Stuart period. It may interest our fair readers to know, that
the origin of the name of 'band-box' is traced to these articles of attire�the
boxes originally being made to keep ruffs and bands in.
The 'cuffe' was the lower part of the sleeve, which was
sometimes quite plain, and at others richly embroidered, or formed of lace, and
was worn turned back over the wrist. ' "Handkerchers," or
handkerchiefs, were, in the days when this tally was first
used, costly articles. Laced handkerchiefs "first came in vogue "under
Queen Elizabeth, and in that and the succeeding reigns were "laced round
with gold." Also
"Handkerchiefs were wrought
With names and true-love knots,"
and many of the pretty devices are given and worn as
love-tokens�the gallants sometimes wearing them as favours in their hats. The
term "cap" would, of course, include night-caps, and these were, under
both Tudors and Stuarts, frequently most elegantly
embroidered, worked in filigree on velvet or silk, and trimmed with costly lace.
"Shirt" was a term applied equally to that part of
both male and female attire worn next the skin. They were made usually of fine
Holland, but not unfrequently of silk, and were occasionally embroidered. The
Holland-shirts of both male and female had, in
some instances, the- ruffs and hand-ruffs, the bands and wrist-bands, of cambric
or lace attached to them. "Half-shirts" were stomachers, more richly
decorated with embroidery and lace, over which the boddice was laced from side
to side. "Boot-hose." Hose formerly were not
stockings as we now wear them, but were drawn up the full length of the leg, and
sometimes even to the waist, and had pockets in their sides. In the time of the
Tudors and Stuarts, they were worn of great variety of materials and of colour,
and were in some instances very costly.
They were often termed "nether stocks."
"Tops" were the Holland, linen, and lace-linings
and frills, worn around the full-hanging boots of the Cavaliers. The tops were
exceedingly full and rich among the higher class, and their "getting-up
" must have been a somewhat tiresome operation for the
The "sock" was frequently beautifully worked, and
was drawn on over the hose or stocking, and reached up to the calf of the leg.
"Pillowberes" is the old term for what we call
"pillow-cases;" that is, the covering of the pillow, sometimes also
called "pillow-slips," or "pillow-ties."
"Table-cloths" have been in use in England
certainly since the Saxon period, and in that and every succeeding age.
'The word "napkin" was formerly applied to
handkerchiefs and table-linen, as well as to cloths for head-dresses, &c.
"Napery" was the general term for linen, especially that for the
table. "Towel" requires no explanation.'
As the 'Horn-book' gradually gave way to
the 'Battledore' and the 'Primer,' so the
"Washing Tally' has given place to the 'Lady's and Gentle-man's Washing
books,' to be found in the shop of every stationer. But, like the Horn-hook, the
original was far
more lasting, more useful, and, in the end, much less expensive, than the modern
books are which have been substituted for them.
L. L. J.