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EVILS OF TIGHT LACING.*
their lateral arches, and protruded forward, carry
ing along with them the breast-bone, to which they An article of dress remains to be noticed, which are attached. Thus is the whole trunk of the body is immeasurably worse in its effects than all those altered, in its figure and dimensions, but not imwhose influence I have considered. Motives of proved. Far from it. All is for the worse, as prudence, if not of gallantry, might impose silence well in appearance as effect. The abdominal cavity on me respecting it, did not a regard for truth and being, in this way, preternaturally straightened in duty, and a wish to be useful, invoke me to speak a horizontal direction, its viscera are pressed inorout. The article makes a part of the apparel, 1 dinately upward against the diaphragm. That may not say the ornament of woman, whose deli- membrane being thus forced upward also, comcacy I would, in no case, willingly offend, and presses in its turn the lungs, heart, and large bloodwhose displeasure I would never intentionally incur, vessels, and brings them more or less into colliexcept in an effort to do her good. It is probably sion with the thoratic duct, obstructing in some already conjectured that my allusion is to corsets; degree the movement of the chyle. In this forced if so, the conjecture is correct : I do allude to cor- and unnatural condition of things, all the functions sets, and pronounce them, most seriously, an alarm- of these viscera, so fundamentally necessary, not ing evil. The crippling machinery with which the merely to the well-being of the system, but its samales of China compress and disfigure their feet very existence, are deranged by compression. Let and ankles, making the former too small and the us glance, in detail, at the mass of mischief thence latter too thick and clumsy, are innocent to them. arising. Corsets compress and disfigure a portion of the sys- The whole digestive apparatus being impaired tem infinitely more important than the mere termi- in its action, dyspeptic affections follow; neither is nation of the lower extremities. While the Pagan a sufficient amount of wholesome chyle formed, ladies confine their attack to the outposts of life, nor of bile secreted ; both of which are so indisthe fair Christians assault the citadel. By cur- pensable to a sound state of the blood, and in other tailing the dimensions of two of the great cavities respects so important to the system; and the symof the body, corsets obstruct the growth and im- pathetic influence of the unhealthy organs on the pair the functions of the organs they contain. And other parts of the body, is rendered deleterious. it has been already stated, that these are among Add to this, that the compressed organs themthe governing organs of the body, whose injury selves, being weakened, are unusually liable to furor unsound condition proves prejudicial to every ther diseases, from the action of any morbific other portion of it. I allude to the stomach, liver, cause. and all the other chyle-making and chyle-carrying The lungs being enfeebled and deranged, not viscera, and to the heart, lungs, and large blood- only is respiration defective, and the blood impervessels. These are all compressed and deranged fectly matured and vitalized ; but they themselves, in their functions, and most of them reduced in in common with the stomach, liver, and other astheir size, removed from their places, and altered sociated parts, are in a state of increased liability in their shape, by tight corsetting. It is in vain to to additional suffering. Hence homopthisis, puldeny the truth of this, as an excuse for disregard- monary consumption, and dropsy of the chest often ing the warning it imparts. The fact can be, and ensue. has repeatedly been demonstrated, in anatomical I knew a young female of some distinction, as researches. I shall exhibit to you presently satis- respected both her mind and family, in the city of factory proof of it.
New York, who, some years ago, became known, To secure to adult females what are called fine from tight corsetting, by the name of the “ Lady figures—which mean waists, shoulders, and hips, with the small waist !” Notwithstanding her good quite out of symmetry with each other and with sense in other things, this excited her ambition to the rest of the body—the corset-screws are ap- render herself still more worthy of the title, and plied to them, while they are young girls, their to prevent, if possible, in others all competition for whole systems being tender, and their bones com- it; she therefore increased the tightness of her paratively soft and flexible. The consequence is, corsets, until she became hump-shouldered, and that when the lacing is tight-and it is always loo died in consumption. Nor did any one doubt that tight, for there should be none at all of it-their her corsets were the cause. She was married, ribs, especially the false ones, are pressed inward- and left an infant son, who, from the slenderness ly, to such an extent, that their front ends nearly of his frame and the delicacy of his constitution, touch each other, if they do not actually overlap: is threatened with his mother's complaint. He whereas, in their natural position, they are wide inherits her corset-broken constitution. apart. Even the upper ribs are, at times, so press- Of the heart, the same is true. From its comed on as to be flattened, or rather straightened, in pressed and debilitated condition, it becomes af
* Copied from “ Thoughts on Physical Education.” By fected with palpitation, dropsy, inflammation, or Charles Caldwell, M. D.
some other malady—perhaps aneurism-and is in
competent to the vigorous circulation of the blood. Iquisite to conceal. Some were hunchbacked, and Hence every portion of the system suffers—the in not a few one shoulder was higher than the brain and nerves not excepted, they depending, like other; effects which, in our own country, are moch other organs, on the arterial blood for their health more frequent than is generally suspected. in no and power of action. Even the nerves of the individual was true personal symmetry amended organs subjected to pressure are mechanically in- by the practice; while in almost every one it was jured. Since the introduction of corsets, as an impaired, and in many destroyed : in fact, such article of dress, diseases of the heart, among fe- pressure cannot fail to injare the symmetry of the males, are much more frequent than formerly, and trunk, that being its direct tendency. The custom, they have been traced to that cause in innumera- therefore, is as foreign from correct taste as from ble instances. Cases of the kind could be easily sound philosophy—and I was near saying, from cited. Respecting schirrous and cancerous affec- humanity and moral rectitude, tions of the breasts, in women advanced in life, the same is true. Those complaints are far more prevalent now than they were before the present ruinous style of lacing. From the foregoing view of their destructive
TO ABD-EL-KADER, effects on the female system, added to another, which motives of delicacy forbid me to mention, Well done, my gallant Arab chief! it is neither unjust nor extravagant, to say of cor
Lord of a steed and lance, sets, that they threaten a degeneracy of the human
Lead on your desert-born, and brief
Must be the sway of France; race: and were they worn by all females, as they
Teach her, that Afric's burning sands are by many, they would as certainly produce it, Are ruled alone hy flashirg brands ! as an impaired fruit-tree yields faded fruit-and on the same ground. The descendants of tight- Lead out your squadrons to the plainscorsetting mothers will never become the lumina
Your horse unknown to fear, ries and leaders of the world. The mothers of
And tell the Frank, if soil he gains,
'Tis measur'd by his spear! Alexander and Hannibal, Cæsar and Napoleon,
Go, ronse Algieria with your call, never distorted their persons by such a practice.
And flout your banners 'gainst her wall! Nor is the whole mischief of those articles yet summed up.
Shall Ishmael yield his beritage The straightness of the spinal column depends
While lives a single son!
Yield that unto a foeman's rageon the strength of the muscles that support it. But
By foeman never won those muscles are enfeebled by the pressure of
Since the world's mistress spatch'd your wild Hence the spine bends and becomes dis
From bold Hiempsal's bastard* child ! torted. Instances of crooked spine have been fearfully multiplied in the fashionable female cir
They say the Roman conquer'd thee, cles of Europe and America since the beginning
Their triumph bere is small,
Lives it within their memory, of the present century; while in Greece, Turkey,
The Roman conquer'd Gaul ? Persia, Arabia, and other parts of Asia, as well as
For this, her legionary spears, in Africa, where no tight forms of dress are thought
For that, beside, two bundred years. of, it is almost unknown. Nor does it appear among our own countrywomen, whose persons are But France hath tried your Arab steel, suffered to retain the shape which God intended
The day an honor'd one, for them. This breach of his law, therefore, in
That saw her beaten cohorts reel
Beneath old Acre's gun: flicts the penalty incurred by the fault.
And ye who clipt Napoleon's wings, It appears, from actual comp ation, that of the
Need hardly fear her Philip's stings. females, who have been accustomed, from early life, to tight corseiting, nearly one-fourth have Oh! stay this grasping Gallic hand, some unnatural and disfiguring flexure of the spine!
Roll back the tide of war; By not a few observers and calculators, the pro
Her lilies, planted in your sand,
Should never blossom there! portion is maintained to be much greater. A Scot
Show them, how keen, oppression's made tish gentleman of distinction assures us, that he
The temper of an Arab blade! has examined about two hundred young females, in fashionable boarding-schools, and that scarcely
Fight on! ye bave the sympathies one of them was free from some sort of corset
Of all the good and brave; injury. Those whose spines were not distorted, Fight on! till every sandrift liez
Above a Frenchman's grave; had unsightly effects produced on their shoulderblades, collar-bones, or some other part of the
*Literally, and not poetically, so, for Ingurtha barted chest, which stuffing and wadding would be re-'the last against the Roman legions.
The Last Command.- Fortune and the Dream.- Prose and Verse.
Fight on!-I cannot ask ye more-
Though callid an Infidel;
Fight on, and fight ye well!
All lowly he bent
To kiss her white hand,
At the altar to stand.
A happier fate is thine
Than mine, replied dame fortune-
To one who was importune :
It is but yesterday
That from his sight I vanishid,
We mortals are ever happiest in dreams.
THE LAST COMMAND.
BY ROBERT L. WADE.
With tears and unmanly grief,
Chaunted o'er my senseless form;
Follow my parting breath;
Who hated all, even in death.
The muff’d drum must its clamor hold,
And let not the trumpet peal;
A spot which none else may find;
Banished from every mind.
PROSE AND VERSE.
I. We are a paragraph-reading people. Americans will devour a newspaper article, but shudder at a volume! They will read a paragraph of six lines, but avoid one of a column. They judge of what they shall read, not so much by its value, as by its length. What reason does philosophy assign for this? We are always in a hurry—we exist chiefly on the go-a-head principle. Some rise with the sun, but trifle the morning away : others, at the first tingle of the dinner-bell, bounce down at the table, to swallow, not eat, their dinner, and in five minutes start away, not to business, but to sit by the tavern door and pick their teeth. If we cross a ferry, the instant the steamer approaches near to the wharf, some one, more go-a-head-tive than his fellows, leaps ashore at the peril of his life—not to achieve some master-stroke of policy-but to stand still and see the passengers land after him. Merchants build ships to cross the Atlantic one day faster than their neighbors—and some Captains, in the vain-glorious strife of making a passage an hour shorter than their rivals, beach their ships. The destruction of property, and the loss of life, have never entered into their calculations.
The endeavor of Americans is to do things quickly, rather than well: they are more desirous of applying the least possible period of time to any
one action, than of using time advantageously. And all is done with the most serious face imagi
nable ; for Americans seldom laugh, and even rarely smile; they have a sedate and thoughtful expression, as if they were busy with some important matter of their own, and had not one moment to spare a neighbor.
If, therefore, it be true, as I assert it is, that we
are a paragraph-reading people, then in paragraphs
IV. should we teach, or amuse. If people will not If I had made the old proverb quoted in the first read ponderous tomes, let us teach them in max- stanza of the following verses, it might have been ims, and short, sententious remarks.
more grammatically expressed. My error, per
haps, is, that I have quoted it at all : however, we II.
shall not argue about matters of taste. It is a fact, that the young, though ever on the
THE PEN AND SWORD. double-quick-step, know not the value of time. Place before an inexperienced youth a box full of
“One man may lead a horse to water, uncounted gold: he would judge, simply seeing it,
But twenty could not make him drink"
An adage old, and oft repeated, that it contained a mine of wealth, which a life
By those who wisely think. time could not exhaust. But, let him calculate a
A single pen makes, from their scabbards, moment, and he may soon prove, that the apparent
A thousand swords leap out like fire : treasure makes but a small sum in figures; and
But never could a thousand weapons that a reasonable amount squandered daily, will in A single pen inspire : a very few years leave the box empty. It is pre
And strength, abiding in the sinews, cisely so with time. The young
** think all men
May to the earth a genius crushmortal but themselves"—that time unmeasured is Whose wondrous pen provoked the combat, before them, and what they leave undone to-day, Where legions madly rush. they will have leisure to do to-morrow. And what Had we had no strength but physical, is their to-morrow? No matter when spoken, it Unlighted by a mental rayis always the coming day: every day has its to
This world had been a wild, uncultured
The weak the strong one's prey. morrow, as well as its yesterday. But alas! these to-morrows so very quickly take their place among
But blessed be the God, all goodness!
Who spared us from his sacred light, the yesterdays, that life, like the treasure, is wast
A radiant beam, to cheer and gladden ed, ere they had scarcely thought that it was even Our intellectual sight! diminishing. This is an epitome of thoughtless
This makes the wilds stretch forth like gardensman—a simple truth, which every heart will ac
The rocks start up in gorgeous piles; knowledge.
And 'neath its vivifying brightness, Time well spent, like treasure well invested, Sweet Nature sweeter smiles. bears a good interest--and its value daily increases. This teaches us the proud sun's courses, In after years, it affords a thousand comforts, and The wanderings in the starry sphere ; a troop of friends.
And guides us o'er the pathless ocean,
And through the forests drear.
This brightly gilds the compact social, In London, where they have a price for every The blessed forint of mercy opes, thing, an autograph of Robert Burns commands
And daily lists the heart to Heaven, five guineas-one of George the Third sells for With high and holy hopes. Three shillings! King George was born in a pa- O, ne'er again presume, proud nations, lace, and sat upon a throne : Robert Burns was On mortal strength to force a wrong; born in a cottage, and held the plough. George
An humble state, hy genius aided, was a king by birth-right: Robert was a king by
May conquer millions strong. nature. George, during his life, was sated with Your navies, that defy the ocean, luxuries, and surrounded by flatterers : Burns often
The surges easily o'erthrow
Your armies vast, that scale the mountain, wanted the common necessaries of life, and, ne
May sleep beneath its snow. glected by the world, died penniless. Death levels
O never, then, presume proud nations, all artificial distinctions; and, in the hearts of pos
On mortal strength to force a wrong; terity, man, if remembered at all, sinks or soars to
The spirit that endowed the genius, his natural grade.
Will not permit it long. Who remembers George the Third, or points to
V. one good action that he ever performed? The The greatest blessings we enjoy, are not appreci name of Burns is heard at every hearth—it is fami- ated ; because by long enjoyment, we too often etas liar as a household word—and his undying verse to regard them as blessings; we rather consider lives in every heart, amazing and delighting all. them as matters of course.
Burns, though a peasant, was as much superior He that lives in luxurious ease, is sometimes to George the Third, as five guineas are to three looked up to by the hard-toiling poor with ears shillings-yea, infinitely superior to that ratio. yet, the rich have frequently more causes of soWould that the world had done him justice while happiness than the poor. The rich man, riding * he lived !
his gaudy chariot, often envies the sweet content of Scotland could spare a hundred kings, but could the humble teamster, who, while walking a sál not lose her Burus.
pace, whistles or talks to his horses as familiars
We look up by night to the uncounted stars that inferences from what they either see
or feel. so beautifully adorn the Heavens, and gaze on them Again, Cowper occasionally mingles severe satire without an emotion. They shine every night, and with his most serious thoughts—Bryant never does. we regard them not. We are accustomed to see Cowper has more impulse, perhaps; Bryant more them—we have seen them nightly from our infancy. depth of thought. Cowper is pious--Bryant is How little do we think of the beautiful, the magni-religious ; he adores nature in " the groves,” that ficent constellations that twinkle and glitter in were “God's first temples.” Bryant worships by wondrous sublimity! Unremembered generations no sectarian creed—is it so with Cowper ? Bryant gazed on them, as we do; yet there they shine, advocates the freedom of man-Cowper that of the unchanged, undimmed!
slave only. Bryant casts a penetrating look into Suppose these multitudinous stars shone only the past, and, with a far-seeing eye, explores the once in every ten years--with what anxious de- future ; Cowper is busy with what he sees and light would all the world look forward to the time feels—in a word, he is not a deep-thinking philosoof their appearance! Millions, who never thought pher ; Bryant is. of astronomy as a science, would eagerly watch Now, with what justice can it be said that Brythe live-long night to gaze on the gorgeous display. ant resembles Cowper ? They are alike, and yet But should that night be one of cloud or storm, and most unlike. How, then, will the comparison hold, hide the stars, nations would lament the serious or what does it prove? The superficial inay see an disappointment.
apparent resemblance ; regard them closely, and it Does any one disbelieve what I have asserted ? Ivanishes. shall prove its truth.
VII. An eclipse of the moon, visible from a partioular
This has been indeed a sultry day-almost too location, does not happen very frequently; yet, hot to write or think seriously. I shall, therefore, when it does take place, millions gaze on it from amuse myself with a jocose attempt in blank verse. the commencement to the end. Now to the point.
SOLILOQUY ON A WARM DAY. How few regard the new moon with any extraor
The sun riles fiercely in meridian height, dinary emotions? We may all look at it casually,
men are melting, like a sugar-plum,
In beauty's and welcome its coming—but that is all--yet its
rosy mouth. Ah, whither fled
Thy balmy zephyrs, mild and modest Spring ? appearance is so precisely like an eclipse of eleven Yea, whither gone old Winter's hail and snow digits of the moon's surface, that one, not knowing That used to fret, lashed by the wild North-West the fact, could scarcely tell which is which-un- Against the window panes and purple cheeks less from its position in the heavens—so very simi- of shivering denizens ? Ah, "haec olim!" lar is the new moon in light and form. In very And thank our stars we have a breath to draw.
Is all we may exclaim--then gasp for breath, truth, it is an eclipse !
The budding flowers, the springing grass, with all
That mountain, plain, and fruitful valley yield, One of the direst sins of the day among literary Is parched with heat,--no rain have they to drink, critics, is comparison. For my part, I regard that Much less Champagne, or Burgundy, or Port ! critic who is eternally running to comparisons to
The pavements are, like bakers' ovens-hot, prove his estimate of an author, as wanting both in with thirst unquenched, and lassitude o'ercome;
And crusty loaf-ers, saunter idly on, thought and judgment—one, who might perhaps Until they reach a soda-water shop, write finely, if he had any thing to say.
Or find a garden, where ice-cream is sold. I have just read a very feeble criticism, in which Where art thou, Tonans! With thy thunder, come ; Bryant is compared with Cowper. If, by this Upturn the germs caloric, that make day comparison, the critic expects that his reader will As 'twere a foretaste of the wicked's doom.
Come Neptune, with thy waters, and put out properly appreciate Bryant, it pre-supposes him This raying fire that scorches all the land. familiar with the writings of Cowper-nay, more ; Ye winds, from Hyperborean mountains, come, that the reader holds him in the precise rank as the And with your gelid breath, make drowsy night critic. This is sheer nonsense. If a cart-load of A time of rest, refreshing for our cits, turnips cost two dollars, what is a wheelbarrow full And send mosquitoes ongless to their beds ! of parsnips worth? The rule of three will not solve this grave question. What does it prove of Bryant, to say that he thinks or writes like Cow
THE APPEAL. per? They are both great poets—a fondness for
Thou bid'st me cease my mournful strain ; field and forest mark both--they have both an eye To sorrow on,--but not complain. to see, and a heart to feel the beauties of nature : Go, bid in silence moan the dove, in a word, they are both descriptive poets. But,
Nor tell its unrequited love; each has his own peculiar mode of expression-his
Its tale of grief, its tale of wrong,
To weave no more in mournful song. own tune, which gives a distinctive structure to
A frozen Isle the northern sea his verse. They do not see the same things, or Bears on its breast, where scarcc a tree seeing them, not alike : they dą no draw the same Spreads its green soliage to the light;