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finished production of each of its delicate clusters, massive in itself, and yet astonishing by its variety and beauty. The gradation of its tints, from the first purplish bud to the blanching flower, is the smallest fascination of its charming blossoms, round which the rainbow seems to revel and to dissolve into a hundred shades and colours, which, all commingling in the general tone and hue, produce a happy harmony, that might well baffle the painter and confound the observer.
The Lilac, various in array, now white,
What immense pains does Nature appear to have taken to form this fragrant shrub, which merely seems to exist in order to gratify the senses! what a union of perfume, grace, and delicacy ! what variety in details ! what harmony in the assemblage! Doubtless it was destined in the decrees of Providence to become the future bond of union between Europe and Asia. The Lilac, which the traveller Busbeck brought, in the sixteenth century, to Europe from Persia, now grows on the mountains of Switzerland and in the forests of German
A celebrated French moralist has observed that if women were naturally what they become by artificial means, if they were to lose in a moment all the freshness of their complexion, and their faces were to be as flaring and as leaden as they make them with rouge and fard, they would
go distracted. Incontestable as this truth appears, it is equally true that, from north to south and from east to west, among savage nations and civilized nations, a fondness for using artificial means of improving the complexion universally prevails. The wandering Arab, the sedentary Turk, the Persian beauty, the small-footed Chinese, the phlegmatic Russian, the indolent Creole, and the light and vivacious French woman, all desire to please, and all resort to some kind of cosmetics.
This taste prevails alike in the harem and in the desert. Duperron relates that a young savage, wishing to attract his notice, took by stealth a bit of charcoal, which she reduced to powder in a corner, rubbed her cheeks with it, and then came back with a look of triumph, as if this application had rendered her beauty irresistible.
Castellan, in his Letters on Greece, thus describes a Greek princess, whose portrait he painted at Constantinople: “She was not,” he says,
“the ideal beauty I had pictured to myself. Her dark, prominent eyes were as bright as diamonds, but her blackened eyelashes spoiled their expression. Her eyebrows, joined by a line of paint, gave a kind of harshness to her look. Her small mouth and deep-coloured lips might be embellished with smiles, but I never had the pleasure to see them. Her cheeks were covered with a very dark rouge, and her face was disfigured by crescent-shaped patches. Add to this the lifelessness of her demeanour and the freezing gravity of her physiognomy, and you would suppose that I had been depicting an Italian Madonna."
The Bugloss has been made the emblem of falsehood, because its root is employed in the composition of various kinds of rouge; and that of which it constitutes the basis is perhaps the oldest and the least rous of all. Nay, it even possesses some advantages: it lasts several days without rubbing off; water refreshes it like the natural colours; and it is not hurtful to the skin, which it is used to embellish. Still, nothing can imitate the tint of that native modesty which flushes the cheek of innocence, and which art destroys beyond repair. Would you wish to please for a long time, for ever, banish falsehood from your hearts, your lips, and your aspect, and be assured that truth alone is deserving of love.
The good taste displayed by the British ladies of the present day in discarding the barbarous practice of disfiguring the face by a compositionmask, or an unnatural stain, must be acknowledged by every one who can recollect the fashions of the last thirty years.