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BY MRS. WHITE.
In one instance William himself is STOCKINGS, AND THEIR ANTI- represented wearing red chaussés, with QUITY.
blue garters and gold tassels; a fashion which had prevailed in France ever since
the reign of Charlemagne, who appears in STOCKINGS! it is an unpromising title, “ Herbe's Costumes François " wearing and we half fear lest the fair readers of this portion of his dress identical with the the Family Friend should be tempted with above description, save that his crossan involuntary à bas! to close the page garters are of gold. upon our homely subject.
When Henry I. dubbed Geoffrey of But if the shoe could be made interest | Anjou a knight at Rouen, velvet hose ing, we do not see why its legitimate were worn; for Dugdale quotes the cerecompanion, the stocking, may not; for, mony from a monkish historian of the though it lacks the antiquity of that period, and Strutt gives the knight's dress article, and has neither scriptural nor in his “ Manners and Customs of the classic associations attached to it, there English.” Upon coming out of the bath are sufficiently curious and amusing cir- he was clothed in fine linen, over which he cumstances connected with its history in wore a gown of gold tissue, with a tunic our own country to tempt us with the be- of purple upon that, furred with furs of a lief that, however commonplace it has blood-colour, with velvet hose, and shoes become in the present, it is not incapable wrought with gold upon his feet; and of some touch of interest from the past. henceforth we find that hose of this rich
In the most ancient delineations which material were frequently worn on occathe Anglo-Saxons have left us of them- sions of state and ceremony. selves (though the poorer folks went Scarlet chaussés appear to have continued naked legged and bare-footed), we find the in favour with the Plantagenets, as well as men of the richer classes wearing a garters of gold stuff; though these last arstraight stocking which reached above the ticles were worn of whatever colours best knee, while others have the leg covered contrasted with the stocking beneath. half-way with a kind of bandage bound Nor was this fashion, which Shakspere round it, or crossed diagonally with bands subsequently made Malvolio re-introduce of cloth ; so that the cloth hose of the (for all ages), wholly abandoned till Normans were by no means a novel intro- after the reign of Charles the Wise in duction, though the short ones, worn by France, the exquisites of whose court, not the eldest son of the Conqueror, and content with wearing a red stocking on which procured him the sobriquet of one leg and a white or blue one on the Robert Court-hose, might have been. other, further distinguished the right from
In the representation of Canute, copied the left by encircling it spirally with a by Fairholt from the MS. register of garter of quite an opposite colour. Hyde Abbey, formerly in the collection at We find no mention of this extraordiStow, and which was executed in the 11th nary fashion with ourselves till the reign century, we find that monarch wearing of the effeminate and foppish Richard II., stockings which nearly reach the knees, when the churchmen and wits at once and which appear to be of two colours, assailed it; and Stow, amongst other horizontally striped, and finished with a articles of dress, inveighs against the band at the top, not unlike the fashion of party-coloured hosen, white and red, and those worn by Highlanders. These stock- red and black, and so forth ;"! and by this ings are shaped to the limbs, but in we are not to imagine chequered stockgeneral the Saxon hose sat loose upon the ings, but the singular contrast presented leg, like a groom's buskin, while the hy a pair of odd ones (if we may be alchaussés of the Normans (which had the lowed the use of so palpable an Irishism), advantage of being hose and drawers in
one leg appearing in blue, while its fellow one), were tight; and over these they was cased in white; or it might be that one wore the cross garters of various colours wore black and the other yellow. with which our Saxon ancestors had pre- All this while we have been wondering viously adorned the naked limb.
i how these harlequin-stockings, which ap
pear to have fitted the limbs as closely as the made a part, and were designated netherspangled suit of that prince of pantomime, stocks and stockings. were put on, composed as they were of This separation has possibly caused the cloth, silk, velvet, and other stuffs ; they confusion we find with regard to our submust have wanted all the elasticity of ject in the next reign, in reference to the modern hose; but the author of the introduction of silk-stockings,—the first of “ Book of Kervyinge" in the office of the which are commonly, but erroneously, said Chaumberlyne, " has outlined the manner to have been worn by Elizabeth. Stow of this procedure.”
indeed, who tells the story of Mrs. Mon. “ First,” says this authority, warm tague's New Year's gift of a pair of knit your soverayne hys pettycoate, hys doub- silk stockings to her royal mistress, which let, and hys stomachere, and then put on pleased her so much that, after a few days' hys hosen, and then hys schoone, or wear, she declared she would never more slyppers, then stryke up his hosen man- wear cloth hose, continues, “ for you shall nerly, and tye them, &c.;" directions which understand that King Henry VIII. did wear give a pretty clear idea that the stockings only cloth hose, or hose cut out of ell broad of those days, in their clumsy magnifi- taffaty,* or by great chance there came cence, were neither laced nor buttoned to from Spain a pair of silk stockings;” but the shape of the limb, but put on exactly in the inventory of that monarch's wardas they are at present.
robe we find one pair of black silk and In the reign of Edward I. we find the gold woven together, one of purple silk fashion of embroidering the stocking in and Venice gold woven like unto a cawl, coloured silk, and threads of gold and and lined with blue sarcenet, edged with silver, first introduced; but at the gor- passement ; one of purple silk and gold, geous, though fantastic court of Edward wrought at Milan; one of white and gold III., and the fair, brave Philippa ot hose, knit; and six pair of black silk Hainault, the vary-coloured stocking knit. And earlier we find hose of velvet again called forth the severe remonstrances and satin mentioned ; so that, if we take of the clergy and the bitter ridicule of the the word hose in the sense of stockings, satirists. One writer, describing the dress the chances Stow talks of must have been of the period, finishes a furious philippic of pretty frequent occurrence.
But some by declaring that the wearers of it look authors imagine that this list refers to the more like devils and tormentors than men upper covering of the leg, and not to the and women ; and another, that the red side stocking. of a gentleman affects him uncomfortably, In the mean time this latter article was and gives him the idea of his being either worn of various colours, in the richest half roasted or, at least, a sufferer from St. materials, often of gold and silver stuffs, Anthony's fire.
and attached by points or laces to the One would have thought that the ex- upper part of the dress; thus John Newtreme length of the ladies' dresses in chombe, the famous clothier of Newby, in those days would have left them no temp- the reign of Henry VIII., is described, tation for indulging in the vanity of stock when he went forth to meet the king, ings of different colours; but we find that wearing stockings of the same piece they not only wore them, but cross-garters sewed to his slops ; and a law enacted by also.
this monarch (a tyrant even in the article With the accession of Henry IV. a of dress) ordains that no shepherd or huschange of fashion followed, and hose were bandman, or common labourer to any once more made to match ; then came the artificer, having no goods of his own white ones of the time of Henry VI., but above the value of £10, were to wear any not to the exclusion of other colours. hose above the price of twelve pence the All this while stockings had continued to yard, upon pain of imprisonment in the be made on the old Norman type, the stocks for three days! haute chaussés of William the Conqueror ; The reign of Elizabeth brought about a but in the reign of Henry VII. they perfect revolution in the make and mabegan to form a separate article from the upper garment of which they had hitherto
* A thin kind of silk.
terial of our subject; the silk stockings to have accepted his gifts, though indifof Mrs. Montague-copied, no doubt, from ferent to the giver, amongst many other a pair of Spanish or Italian hose—were things, of soon followed by worsted ones, knitted “Crimson stockings all of silk, by “one William Rider, near the foot of With gold all wrought above the knee." London-bridge,”—
,"—some say a city appren- | And immediately afterwards, referring thus tice, but from the above address, and his to the former article: interest with the Mantuan merchant from
“Thy garters fringed with the gold whom he borrowed the worsted hose which Änd silver aiglets* hanging by, served him for a model, we are fain to
Which made thee blythe for to behold imagine him a craftsman on his own
And yet thou wouldest not love me. account, perhaps one of the Company of It is hardly possible that in the reign of Cappers, whose knitted woollen head-co- | Elizabeth,—that patroness of starched verings every person above seven years of ruifs, stomachers that look like breastage was compelled to wear (by law) on plates, and petticoats resembling towers,Sundays ; except women, lords, knights, that the end of the garter should have apand gentlemen of twenty marks of land, peared beneath the dress, as it does in that or such as had borne office of worship in of an Andalusian; and yet the verse above any city, town, or place, and the wardens quoted seems to have reference to some of the London Companies.”
such fashion. The experience of lady knitters will This ballad seconds the assertion of prove how easily the art of shaping a Stubbes, that in this reign “ netherstocking is acquired by any one conversant stocks,” of Grenada silk, were worn, with the use of knitting-needles, so that curiously knitted, with open seams down the first pair fashioned became the type of the leg, with quirks and clocks about the thousands; and while the patronage of the ankle, and sometimes interlaced with silver Earl of Pembroke, who is said to have and gold thread. been the first individual who wore worsted From these luxurious innovations, the stockings in England, brought them into melancholy prophets of the period took fashion with noblemen, the commoners so occasion to prognosticate the downfall of much approved of them that their sale England, whose ruin seemed to them a became very great, and in a short time natural result of these silken elegances; spread all over the kingdom. A portrait and from the lamentations of one of these, of Sir William Russell represents him who seems to regard knitted stockings as wearing knitted stockings of black yarn ; webs of destruction, and silken garters as and the visitors to Penshurst will remem- bonds and chains, we learn that, previous ber one of the favourite Leicester, which to the introduction of silk and worsted exhibits him wearing them of a bright stockings, black kersey + had been scarlet.
women's wear, and that those who now With these stockings came the neces- affected silk garters had formerly been sity for garters; and in the time of Eliza- content with list.
Shakspere has left beth, How, in his continuation of Stow's us some curious particulars connected Chronicle, tells us, that no person what with our subject. In the “Taming of soever wore them above the price of six the Shrew” we learn that even in his shillings a pair, but that in the next reign days serving-men wore white stockings, men of rank wore garters and shoe roses possibly of linen, like the odd one Bionat more than £5 each! An old play of dello speaks of in his description of the 1616, speaks of garters at four-score appearance of Petruchio's lackey, “ with pounds a pair! and in the curious ballad a linen stock on one leg, and a kersey of“ Green Sleeves,"—the air of which was boot-hose on the other, gartered with a so popular when Shakspere wrote, that red and blue list.” he mentions it twice in the “Merry Wives Grumio speaks of the wife-breaker's of Windsor,” and which contains many servants wearing garters of “indifferent curious particulars of female dress in the sixteenth century,-we find the slighted
+ A woollen manufacture between cloth and lover reminding the lady, who appears stuff.
knit;" so that in all probability these a native of Woodbourne, in Nottinghamarticles in the Elizabethan period, whether shire, whom he loved, but who discarded of silk or worsted, were similar to those him ; while the more poetical version is, on which aspirants in the art of knitting that having married the fair knitter, against generally make their first essay in the the rules of his College, and being expelled present, but that the ends were vary- / -poverty, that pale, fierce, famished godcoloured, or finished, like those of the lady dess, whom the ancients worshipped (but “Green Sleeves" (before alluded to), with so as to discover more fear than love or a fringe of gold or bunchof aiglets.
reverence), because they regarded her as the Vincentio, in the same play, speaks of mother of industry and the useful arts, velvet hose as a piece of extravagance on became in his case his inspiration; and the part of his son; so that the wearing of while watching the busy fingers of his them was still fashionable.
wife, unequal, with all her industry, to the Ben Jonson, too, abounds in allusions to task of their support, he is said to have our theme, in the play of “ Every Man out conceived the stocking-frame. of his Humour.” Fastidio, the beau, de- Nearly three hundred years have passed, scribing the disasters which had befallen but Nottingham still continues to be famous his dress in a duel between him and for the manufacture of stockings; and another, observes, that not having time to thousands of families are maintained, and take off his silver spurs, one of the half the world supplied with them, by the rowels catched hold of the ruffle of my application of the poor clergyman's inboot, which being of Spanish leather, and vention. subject to tear, overthrew me, and rends In the time of the Commonwealth, the me two pair of silk stockings which I had coloured and embroidered stockings of the put on (being a raw morning), of a peach- two previous reigns were replaced by hose colour and another." And Bobadil, in the of sober black; but on the restoration of same Comedy, takes off his silk stockings the “man, Charles Stuart,” the laxity of to pawn them, for the payment of a warrant morals had its type in the dress, and loose against Downright. This play was acted in stockings came into vogue. These were 1599; so that one scarcely understands why worn in folds upon the leg, and were garSir Thomas Gresham's gift of a pair of tered below the knee with silken scarfs, long Spanish silk stockings to Edward VI. tied behind or at the side, in a bow, with should have been so much noticed, as it is flowing ends finished with fringe or emremarked they were, unless there was some broidery. peculiarity in this length to distinguish In the autumn of the same year 1658, them from ordinary silk hose, of which men wore what were called stirrup-hose, Fastidio wears two pairs.
two yards round at the top, and fastened to Nothing (considering how generally they the petticoat breeches by points of ribbon, were worn by ladies and courtiers) gives us with another pair drawn over them to the a more perfect conception of the poverty of bottom of the knee, which were worn either James I.'s wardrobe, than the anecdote of bagging over the garter, or fell down like his borrowing a pair from one of the gentle a flounce, in which case the top was usually men of his court, and finding them such ornamented with embroidery or some fanmarvellously pleasant wear that he danced ciful pattern. All we learn from these them into holes. But this was on his ac- absurd and unbecoming modes, is the fact cession to the throne ; a little later in his that Charles possessed a very ill-shaped reign, the wearing of silk hose had become leg, and sought by these contrivances to so common that no one pretending to gen- hide it. tility could make a decent appearance After this period, we find the stocking without them.
in its natural shape,—which, indeed, the In the mean time, the manufacture of Roundheads had never abandoned, so that worsted stockings was no longer confined tight hose were one of their distinguishing to the knitters. William Lee, M.A., of peculiarities; and except as regards mateCambridge, had constructed his ingenious rial and quality, with certain improvements frame for weaving them, some say from the in the shaping, no alteration has occurred unworthy motive of injuring a townswoman, ) in the fashion of them since. In William
III, ROBIN REDBREAST.
III. and George II.'s time, silk stockings
STORIES FOR THE YOUNG. with gold clocks were worn, as well as ones wrought with silks of various colours ; a fashion which obtained even as late as 1777, when gold and silver threads wrought into clocks and staring flowers were very much I must now, dear children, pass over a affected by the beaux.
few years of life, in which I had no pets Ladies' stockings were also adorned in in whose history you would be likely to be the same manner; and this tradition of a interested. past mode lingers with us, but in very At the time of my possessing my wonmodest guise, at the present, the better derful Robin, we had left our country class of hosiery being generally ornamented home, my brothers were most of them with an open-work or silken clock. The abroad in the world, and I was living with introduction of cotton into this country, my parents in the pleasant city of Rand its application to the manufacture of I was a school-girl, between fifteen and stockings, has been of important benefit sixteen years of age. That spring, I comboth to the vendors and wearers of this menced the study of French, and, as I was article ; previously no choice existed be- never a remarkably bright scholar, I was tween the expense of silk and the (to many) obliged to apply myself with great dilidiscomfort of worsted hose, but at present gence to my books. I used to take my this material affords every shade of fineness grammar and phrase-book to my chamber, and price, from the exquisite fabric at a at night, and study as long as I could posguinea a pair to full-sized stockings at one sibly keep my eyes open. In consequence shilling. But the numbers engaged in of this, as you may suppose,
I was very weaving them, and the competition in the sleepy in the morning, and it usually took trade, keeps the wages of the frame-work a prodigious noise and something of a knitters (as they were anciently called) shaking to waken me. But one summer very low, —85. a week being their average morning I was roused early, not by the earnings. We would fain follow one of breakfast-bell, nor by calling, or shaking, these home, and see the process of stock but by a glad gush of sweetest singing. ing weaving, but that we have already I opened my eyes, and right on the footoccupied too much space, and must take board of my bed was perched a pretty redfarewell of a supject which we trust breasted robin, pouring out all his little may not have proved uninteresting to the soul in a merry morning song. I stole reader.
out of bed softly, and shut down the window through which he had come; then, as soon as I was dressed, caught him, carried
him down-stairs, and put him into a cage Birds in WINTER.-In winter a com- which had hung empty ever since the cat plete change takes place in the kinds of made way with my last Canary. birds which are seen flying about in coun- I soon found that I had a rare treasure try places. The swallows and martins in my Robin, who was very tame, and had have disappeared ; and fieldfares, red-evidently been carefully trained, for before wings, and other birds of the thrush kind, the afternoon was over he surprised and supply their places ; with woodcocks and delighted us all by singing the air of “Buy snipes on marshy ground. In London a Broom” quite through, touching on the change is not so striking. There the every note with wonderful precision. We eternal sparrow is heard chirping all the saw that it was a valuable bird, who had year ; and blackbirds and thrushes are probably escaped, and for some days we hatched, and live and die in the thick ivy made inquiries for its owner, but without of the suburban gardens. The tomtits, success. the robin redbreasts, and the wrens, are, At night I always took Robin's cage it is true, only seen at certain seasons ; into my chamber, and he was sure to but their appearance seems to depend waken me early with his loud, but delimore on accidental circumstances than on cious, singing. So passed on a month, in regular periodical migrations.
which I had great happiness in my inter