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"What straps, ropes, steel, the aching ribs compress
Thus fools, their final stake of folly cast,
By instinct to strait waistcoats come at last."
TO THE EDITOR.
As you live so far from the centre of what is modernly called the beau monde, it is probable you are not very minutely acquainted with that race of people, which has, within a year or two attracted so much of the public attention. I mean the DANDIES. People are very much at variance in their opinions of them. Some laugh at them-some pity them-some ridicule them and others, looking to their peculiarities in a more serious point of view, are beginning to lament the degeneracy of the times, which have produced such worthless anomalies in man kind.
I have taken no little interest in the history of this new race of beings; and have for some time been employed in searching the public records of the country to enable me to draw up an authentic account of the rise and progress of the Dandy-tribe. I beg leave, however, before commencing my large work on the subject to give you a specimen of a few of the remarkable facts and phenomena which I have already amassed, and shall begin with the
New Division of the Human Species. "The human species is now divided into three sexes—men, women, and dandies."
Mistakes must arise from ignorance of this division, as for in
"From a late description of a fugitive young lady, her friends hoped that they had traced her to a certain house in the vicinity of Russel Square; but on inquiry, it proved a mistake, and that the presumed fair one was the master, a first-rate Dandy, who was seen at the window lacing his stays."
But, Sir, that your readers may have some idea of these singular
people, I beg leave to give you one or two of the many attempts that have been made to describe them-for in fact, they are rather indescribable. And in the first place, as to their dress.
"The Dandies are bringing into fashion feather-bed neckcloths and pillory capes; and none of the " dear delightful creatures," can be seen without stays, pinching the waist so tightly that the unhappy wearer resembles an hour-glass in shape. Great-coats with a waist an inch and a half long, are all the go; and the shirt collars are long enough to go twice round the throat. In short, nothing can be too stiff at present; and every lad that goes into the world must have his neck tied up almost as tight as some lads that go out of it."
So much for the external man-a few hints have been likewise given as to their interior, by which you will think it highly proper that our grammarians should in future adopt the above-mentioned division of the genders:
"A lady having asked at an elderly English gentleman, lately come to town, what he thought of the Dandies here, replied, why Madam, I think they much resemble a lamp-post, for it is sinall and light in body, has a large head, and very little in it."
"A gentleman being asked why a mushroom was like a Dandy, replied, Because it is rapid in its growth, slim in its trunk, and thick in its head."
I cannot however say, (notwithstanding their very striking qualifications) that they have yet become favourites of the other sexes for instance,
"A great disturbance took place in the Tower about 4 o'clock on Monday afternoon, in consequence of the appearance of one those persons called Dandies among the company, who assembled on the promenade to hear the military band. The Dandy, whose cheeks were highly painted, was pushed from side to side, and at last, was so roughly handled, that he was obliged to seek protection from the soldiers. We are informed that the same person appeared on the publie walk, in the Tower, sometime ago, when the people threatened to pull off his stays, &c. His reappearance on Monday increased their disgust and indignation. He was received with hisses from both sexes, and would have been driven from the walk, had he not sought shelter in the guard room."
But this unpopularity of the species has been manifested by more than the mere hootings of the rabble. It appears they have
been discovered to want the proper qualifications for the ordinary occupations of life. And our mercantile people seem to prefer to have men in their employment.—e. g.
"A Linen-draper in a late paper, advertising for an apprentice, gives the following caution-no sprigs of the Dandy-tribe need apply!"
Nor, Mr Editor, is it to be wondered at that the public in general should have taken a dislike to them since they have been certainly doing much to forfeit the indulgence and favour of society.—I cannot better illustrate this than by the following
Diary of a Modern Dandy. SATURDAY.-Rose at Twelve-with a devilish head-ache. Mem. Not to drink Regent-punch after supper. The green tea keeps one awake.
Breakfasted at one. Read the Morning Post-the best paper after all-always full of wit, fine writing and good news.
Sent for the Tailor and Stay-maker-ordered a morning demisurtout of the last Parisian cut, with the collar a la guillotine to shew the neck behind—a pair of dress Petersham pantaloons, with striped flounces at bottom, and a pair of Cumberland corsets, with the whalebone back.-A caution to the unwary-The last pair gave way in stooping to pick up Lady B's glove-the Duke of vulgar enough to laugh, and asked me in the sea-slang, if I had not missed stays in tacking. Find this to be an old joke stolen from the Fudge Family.-QUERY, who is Tom Brown? not known at Long's or the Clarendon.—
THREE O'CLOCK.-Drove out in the Dennet-took a few turns in Pall-Mall, St James's-Street and Piccadilly--Got out at Granges-was told the thermometer in the ice cellar was 80; prodigious!-Had three glasses of Pine and one of Curaccoa. FIVE TO SEVEN.-Dressed for the evening--dined at halfpast eight, "nobody with me but myself," as the old Duke of
said -a neat dinner, in Long's best style: viz. A tureen of turtle--a small turbot-cutlets.-Remove-A turkey poult and an apricot tart.-Desert-pine apple and brandy cherries.-Drank two tumblers of punch, iced, and a pint of Madeira-went to the Opera in high spirits-just over-forgot the curtain drops on Saturdays before twelve.-Mem. To dine at seven on Saturdays.
Supped at the Clarendon with the Dandy Club-cold colla tion-played a few rounds of Chicken Hazard, and went to bed quite cool.
SUNDAY.-Breakfasted at three-ordered the Tilburytook a round of Rottenrow and the Squeeze, in Hyde-Parkcursedly annoyed with dust in all directions-dined soberly with P. and went to the Marchioness of S satione in the evening-dull but genteel. P Sunday School." &c, &c.
calls it the
When you have read such an account as this, I am sure you have lost all patience at their irregular, immoral and irreligious habits-But to put you into humour again I shall exhibit one of them in circumstances rather more innocent and diverting.
Walking along the side of the square last week, it was my fate to follow an exquisite (alias a Dandy) stocked and stayed, la ced and bound, collared and pilloried, in all the fashion; so slender, so straight, and so stiff that a man of reasonable strength could have used it as a walking-stick. The thing, flourishing a very nice perfumed handkerchief, happened to let it drop the question was then how to get it up again-stoop it could not, and I confess I enjoyed its distress; for, though for any other animal creature I would have raised the handkerchief with alacrity, I wished to see how this creature would help itself. Then thus it was having eyed the handkerchief askance something like a Magpie peeping into a marrow-bone, it gently spraddled out its legs, and lowering the body between them, as in a sitting posture, it brought the left hand in contact with the object sought. What shall we shall say to the association of ideas, when I assure you, that looking on this unmanly figure, brought into my mind the knights of old, who, once unhorsed, could never, from the weight and stiffness of their armour, hope to mount again!— N. B. It is found remarkably convenient in such a case for the exquisite to carry a cane or stick with a hook at the end, as he may thereby fish up any thing he unfortunately drops, without breaking his back, or exciting the pity and risibility of the specta
Thus, Sir, have I given you a few recorded particulars to enaable you to judge of the characters of these wonderful personsages. Like the butterfly, they are only to be seen in fine weather-like the butterfly they attract a little passing notice-and
Remarks on the subjects of Andrew Ettlewcel's Letters.
like the butterfly they afford a useful moral (for there is nothing without its use), that it is not the mere external decorations that constitute the value of the object.
I ain much pleased that your blunt and honest friend Andrew Ettleweel has set himself down to observe and expose the faults and follies of his neighbourhood, and sincerely trust his shrewd remarks, being received in the same spirit of candour with which they are offered, will excite still farther attention, and induce every well-meaning individual to avoid, in future, the errors complained of. Andrew, notwithstanding the censorian office he has assumed, is evidently a man of much charitable and kind feeling. He is no doubt well fitted for his task, as every body must admire the temper and forbearance with which he uniformly writes, though his subject might well excuse a far harsher treatment.
The practice denounced in his first letter, of posting handbills to be read by people assembling for divine worship is, however common, an absolute disgrace to the police of a christian country. Were it indeed enough to complete the services of the sanctuary, that we assembled together, and rose up, and sat down, and lent our voices to the psalmody, and departed-then might it be perfectly consistent to meet us in the entrance with any sort of secular information, no matter whether it related to a robbery, a sale, or a concert. But if it be true (as it certainly is) that no person capable of reflection can enter the hallowed walls of a church in the character of a worshipper without incurring the charge-aye, and the danger too, of profane, and impious mockery, who has not previously endeavoured to withdraw his thoughts from the world, and to fix them exclusively on matters of religion, as in the presence of Him who is "the searcher of hearts," the case assumes a very different aspect; and, considering what difficulty there is in keeping the heart aright, demands assistance