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Monthly Journal of Fashion.


No. 35.]

LONDON, November 1, 1833.

[Vol. 3.


was all picked up and disseminated through the inde

fatigable agency of Morning Callers; every scrap. of Morning Calls, the hatred and annoyance of all • local intelligence' was old by the day of publication, persons who know the value of time, formed at S- , What was far worse, the advertising department was a the staple business of life. After this it is quite un sinecure for governesses, mistresses, schools, servants, necessary to say that S— was a small country town, and apprentices all preferred these walking advertise. abounding with genteel idle people,—who, having ments, which were found to answer far better, and were limited incomes, and few occupations, and much leisure, besides duty free.' and little mind, mainly occupied themselves in hearing At the head of these systematic time destroyers stood and retailing news. By many people, S— , was Mrs. Sharpley, and her three daughters, Julia, Caroline, considered a charming residence; in the country sense and Anne. She, as a widow, considered herself abof the term it contained so much good society,'-and solved from the apostolic injunction to be a keeper at this good society was so “very sociable:': -in other home,' and they, as young ladies, considered themselves words -every body drank tea with every body, and | absolved likewise, on the plea that as yet they had no every body knew every body's business. As far as home (of their own) to keep. Life was to this family news was concerned they had all things in common; a series of visits and visitations, of opening and shutscandal was certainly communicated from mouth to ting doors, how-do-ye-dos, and good-byes; they lived in mouth under the charge of secrecy, but that, as all the | their bonnets, and their walking shoes, like the feet of world knows, is equivalent to proclaming it by sound Noah's dove, found no rest for their soles. The old of trumpet; so that such a thing as a secret was per lady was a portly, comfortable, coarse-minded, worldly, fectly unknown in S-- Surprise was next to im but in the main kind-hearted, woman; immensely popossible, for all events, no matter of what kind, public pular; for she had a fluent speech, and during her or private, petty or important, were known beforehand; round of morning calls, dropped a smile, or a tear, or sudden death was the only circumstance' ever known to compliment, or hope, or consolation, at every step of baffle these omniscient people. It was quite a straight her progress. The young ladies were chatty, prettyforward proceeding to report births and marriages be looking, pleasure-loving, little-reading, less-thinking, fore their occurrence; but sudden death was an damsels; unrivalled in what are called the elegant arts awkward subject to meddle with; it was not to be fore of female industry; the manufacture of riddles and seen even by those who foresaw all things. The town conundrums in blue ink; new-fashioned watch-pockets, of S-M, was like a bee-hive always in a buzz,-of pen-wipers, fly-cages, fire-grate papers, egg-baskets, hints, wonderments, suspicions, doubts, hopes, fears, card-purses, bead bracelets, and tatting. They were and conjectures, it was a vast whispering-gallery ; one prudent, sensible, young women; their mother on a large ear; but this last figure rather fails in similarity, reduced scale ;-lovers of shopping for its own sake; as the self-same whisper often found a hundred different geniuses at Pope Joan and Commerce, and ever on the echoes. The surmise at one end of the town that a lady look-out for new patterns, whereby to regenerate old and gentleman were attached, grew to a suspicion in garments. Nothing could equal the sensation occasioned the middle, that they were engaged; from which started by the appearance of a stranger in S-- The visita full-grown report at the other end, that the wedding ing part of the community were not exactly in arms on clothes were in hand. Disasters went through the same the occasion; but as soon as possible they were one exaggerating process. A piece of news past through and all on foot; and in a series of morning calls, the as many changes as a chrysalis; a simple fact in the affairs, dress, fortune, character, and future destiny hands of these philosophic newsmongers became the of the unfortunate he, or she, were as confidently regerm of a hundred. Life at S- , was a round-robin ported upon as if an old inhabitant of the town. Two monotony of putting on the same dresses, seeing the strangers, straugers too somewhat out of the common same people, taking the same walks, playing at cards with way, had just arrived on a visit, but three days of rain the same partners, dancing to the same tunes, and coming had prevented the possibility of their making calls; the away at the same hour, over and over again, from the fourth morning, however, graciously dawned in smiles; beginning of one year to the end of another. Hence, and thus spoke Mrs. Sharpley at the close of breakarose craving for excitement in the only attainable shape, fast:- Well, really, girls, this fine day rejoices one's that of news; out of which originated a talent for gos heart, so make haste and send the things away, that sip, and a passion for morning calls.

we may make the best of it. Let me see, just nine There was no newspaper printed at s- there o'clock now; say we are ready to set off by eleven, and needed none; nor any voice of print. An unfortunate dine an hour later than usual, how many calls can we genius did venture to set up a General Advertiser; but get through? but first reach me the almanack, and let at the end of three months, he abandoned minion and me see how many we owe; mercy upon us, how these brevier in desperation; he could procure no news; it | wet days have thrown us behind-hand.'


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