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An Essay On Ear-rings

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Some thrre rendiries ago one Philip Stubbts, a man of oxcessiveiy _anl rloojny ti mper, spoke of the ladies of his lay as being .-o far " l.ewirchcd " tliat they were not ssfaatted lo niake htotes in their ears, in order to hang in tliom rwj. sr i wels of gold and precipua stones. '1 'I ■■■ e ings he considers of evil signiücatiou, and ïésitatei not to oall their wearers, witli be pleasing candor and ingcnuousncss of lis nge, " dissolute minimis and wanton Sempioijiaiis." All who li:ive i ■ u 1 1 f-'alusi's acoomit of the coiwpfraqy of Gataline, tnd bis admirable dosenption of lady who could " dance bötftt tlian t ) f i f t ■ 1 an lonest woman," and comprehend IHe Ml orce of'Stubbes's "wanton Senipronians. " Stubbes is by no mean.s alone in In denmation of ear-rins, thougli few, periaps, have inveighdl against their usa with preater indination or more imngent aerhnony. They have been abused both y ancien! and niodcni writei. Tliuy teems to have objeeted to tlieiu ohiefly on the gcore of their eitravagant cot. Tlie car, he said, is the only immovablc part of man's body, and on none is more spent l.y a woman. Ear-riDs, however, have their ipology. This delicate oinainent of the juman euuiitenance is not by any nicans without The Cu'stoin of both sexes in the eastern and western wurld miiports it. lts use is not contíned to what il 80 dulicately and politely oalled the "softe spx." Men wear it, and have worn it. The portrait of Shak.-peaie in the (Jhandos eHitinn shows at least one eai-rini; orBamen'inir tliat poet. Thcro is a tradition tliat Charles 1. wore fine pcarl ear-rings, and the day before his execution took one out and give it to Joxun in charge fór his dangh'er, th" piinoesw royal. The mie of iis i (in,i:iion is nol known. One cannot lielj thinkwig he might have pre.-ented lier wi li iIk' pair. At the present time earrhiirs are worn perpetually by male gypsics and suilors. From tlie earliest uges carlinüs have bceo worn by male A.siaties. 'I lio Uible is not witliout its instances of' thf raetice, and Juvenal pommemorates tlie ornaments in (he ears, which denoted the ma born by the river ËnphnMs. V omen, with í'jw exceptions, have worn ar rii gs in every country and at every piriod. Ir their ears, they have ben celehrated by the poets, scutptuis and piiititt rs, of many times and nlaCöH. 1 lomer iniri'duces them into the toilet of the vential'le Here, each couiposed of thiee bright niulberry colored biilliants ; Piaxiteles made holi s for them in the ears of the oHebtatéd Venus ; and Sir David Wilkie bas ])resented us with a cliarming pair about U) be fixed, for the first tiiue, in the ears of a little country niaiden ; and yet, notwithstaiiding the general practico and artisiie conseeration, people are to be found who still sptiak of this ornament as a bar barous moitrosity, uii.-eemlv and ridiculous in the ear of a ou'h Sea cannibal, but ineffably abf-urd and uttcrly nexcusably in that of an Kntïlish lady. Then is. rif course, no disiutint: aliciit tasies. The wearers of ear-rings can only console hemselves by reflecting that gopi.e of tbeir low creatures are unfortutiatc enough to bo bom without any aestheiie scnso, without any conoeptiou at uil of the scicnce of' the bt autiful, unJ with a strange want of proper appreciation of tuis embellishment of the human face divine, this neat addition to the creator's sovcreign and conclusive work of feminine loveliin'ss. Sonie critica of thi.s form of personal adornment have, in the irritation provoked by the prevailing fashlon, Btepped beyond the bounds of legilimate censure. Not content with abusing the ornament, they have attributed an unworthy and insulting motive to its wearer. VVouien, they say, deck thenisclves with lhe.-o gewgaws solely froui a feeling of vanity. Nuv, nolliing can be more certain than that this is not the fact, if, indeed, the evidenee of the women thcmselves, who may be credited with the bet knowledge of their own motives, may be relied on. Ninteen women out of'overy soore to wliom tlie question is put, " Why did yon submit tq the pain of iiüvtnir uuur '!i hntmi ?" nrill ♦ once, " Becauso ït ix po good for the oyes. There may be nothinp anrisa with a giiTs eyes - probably tbere is not - but bhe will have her ears bored, ooWtbeleas. What is this but au instance of that sobur preoaur tion for which the .ex is so deservedly fainuus, the desire to prevent by prompt and present action tho occuirciicc of illa or inconvenicnoies whicli may arise in tbc future? A pretty thing, indeed, it would be for a womau to run the risk óf the sharpest and briglitest instrunientfl in lier arsenal becomiug blunt or tarnished by a cowardly avoidance of a slight temporary pain. She is po far a stndent of ancient physiology as to understand the old dortrine of humors. She is well aware that the hole in her car and the weigbt of' her ear-riDg will draw down to that part ;my corrupt huinorá that may ariïC in her pyea Tlve ear ring acts, in fact, as a sort of' counter irritant, and the heavicr it is the more wholesume are supposed to be the effects. When large ear-iingn are worn it i for this reason, and the wearer is ratber to lie pra'sed for a certain amount of eelf sacrifice, tl e re-ult of prudence, than to be blrnued tor any idlo vanity or affectation. lf, indied, -he is mi.-taken in her theory, she can at w-t only be charged with that ii'ii.naui-c which is tlie i'umincu inhoriiaiicü i f liuiii mity. VV hether her Inilian sisters, who add to the ring in the ear a ring in the nose, proceed from the same motive, is ■ mi put question. It is probable that these beoixbled heathen are influenced solely by ilic love of spléndor. They glit ter, however, twice as íTiriouflly as our own women. though even their doublé shine grewi j ale hef re ilu' preMOW of ojeof those Kaatnro pitipiés who, historians teil us, ent hol s in divers partsot their bodies inoidcir ihai by the insertiin of prec-ious getat) tlv y may e (pw wii h lar moro than nativo lustre. -