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The Girls Of The Period

The Girls Of The Period image
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The girl of the period, saui.tering before ons down Broadway, is one panorama of' awi'ul surpriacs trom top to toe. Her elothes cbaructerize her. Sho is upholstered - not ornsmented. She is bundled, not drapod. She is puckered, not folded. She struts, she does not svveep. She hasnot one ot' the attributies of' nature not of proper art. She neither soothes the eye like a ílower, nor pleabes it like a picture. She wearies it like a kaleidoscope. She is a meaningloss dazzle of' broken cffects. Surely it is one of the requisitas of a tasttful garb thut the expression of effort to please shall be wanting in it; that the mysteries of the toilet shall not be suggested by it; that the steps to its completion shall be knocked uway like the sculptor's ladder frotn the statue, and the mental toree expended upon it swept out of cight like the chips on the studio floor. Who that is mathomatieally or niutaphysioally inolined can meet a inodishly-attired woiuan without a calculation of the hours expended upon the architecture of her dress, without a guess at the stitehes in a hem, at tho hems to a íritl, at the frills to a skirt, at the skirts to a dress; without dissecting the organization of her chignon in the anotomy of melancholv ; without a morbid wonder if she wore her front fnz to bretikfastin hercrhnping pin ? " Any material object," says Ruskin, " which can givo us pleasure in the simple contemplation of its outward qualities, without any direct and dethiite exertion of the intellect, I oall in sonie way or some degree beautiful." It ia painful to eonsider the " exertion of intellect" expended upon the conternplation of the modern belle. An exhaustive analysis of the law of excluded uiiddle, an intelligent defense of the categorical imperative, a serioua attack of the theory of ovolutiou might justify it. If " exertion of intellect" stands censor on thn beauty of our oostunie. Hcaven save the mark ! I conceive that it is use and use alone which learna one of us, tolerably trained to recognize any criteriou of graee or any sense of fitness of things. to tolérate, if tbr tho sake of grace and fitness only, the styles of dress to whieh wo are more or loss conforming every day of our lives. Fifty years henee they will seem to us as uneultivated as the uose-rings of the Hottentot seem to day. The dictum of our great grand-childrern upon, for instance, what lias been the "Kangaroo" style of dress will further contain new and severer elements of ciiticism than any wliioh go to forui our judgmeut upon fnshions which repel us only bncause thoy are out of date. - Miss l'helps.


Old News
Michigan Argus