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ness, he devoted the best and earliest hours-and many of them too-to his profession, namely-dressing. His dressingroom was a studio, in which he daily compared that elaborate portrait of George Brummell which was to be exhibited for a few hours in the club-rooms and drawing-rooms of town, only to be taken to pieces again, and again made up for the evening. Charles I. delighted to resort of a morning to the studio of Vandyck, and watch his favorite artist's progress. The Regent George was no less devoted to art, for we are assured by Mr. Raikes that he often visited his favorite beau in the morning to watch his toilet, and would sometimes stay so late that he would send his horses away, insisting on Brummell giving him a quiet dinner, "which generally ended in a deep potation."

There are, no doubt, many fabulous myths floating about concerning this illustrious man; and his biographer, Captain Jesse, seems anxious to defend him from the absurd stories of French writers, who asserted that he employed two glovers to cover his hands, to one of whom were intrusted the thumbs, to the other the fingers and hand, and three barbers to dress his hair, while his boots were polished with champagne, his cravats designed by a celebrated portrait painter, and so forth. These may be pleasant inventions, but Captain Jesse's own account of his toilet, even when the Beau was broken, and living in elegant poverty abroad, is quite absurd enough to render excusable the ingenious exaggerations of the foreign writer.

The batterie de toilette, we are told, was of silver, and included a spitting-dish, for its owner said "he could not spit into clay." Napoleon shaved himself, but Brummell was not quite great enough to do that, just as my Lord So-and-So walks to church on Sunday, while his neighbor, the Manchester millionaire, can only arrive there in a chariot and pair.

His ablutions took no less than two whole hours! What knowledge might have been gained, what good done in the time he devoted to rubbing his lovely person with a hair glove! Cleanliness was, in fact, Brummell's religion; perhaps because it is generally set down as "next to godliness," a proximity with which the Beau was quite satisfied, for he never attempted to pass on to that next stage. Poor fool, he might rub every particle of moisture off the skin of his body-he might be clean as a kitten--but he could not and did not purify his mind with all this friction; and the man who would have fainted to see a black speck upon his shirt, was not at all shocked at the indecent conversation in which he and his companions occasionally indulged.


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The body cleansed, the face had next to be brought up as near perfection as nature would allow. With a small lookingglass in one hand, and tweezers in the other, he carefully removed the tiniest hairs that he could discover on his cheeks or chin, enduring the pain like a martyr.

Then came the shirt, which was in his palmy days changed three times a day, and then in due course the great business of the cravat. Captain Jesse's minute account of the process of tying this can surely be relied on, and presents one of the most ludicrous pictures of folly and vanity that can be imagined. Had Brummell never lived, and a novelist or play-writer described the toilet which Captain Jesse affirms to have been his daily achievement, he would have had the critics about him with the now common phrase-"This book is a tissue, not only of improbabilities, but of actual impossibilities." The collar, then, was so large, that in its natural condition it rose high above the wearer's head, and some ingenuity was required to reduce it by delicate folds to exactly that height which the Beau judged to be correct. Then came the all-majestic white neck-tie, a foot in breadth. It is not to be supposed that Brummell had the neck of a swan or a camel-far from it. The worthy fool had now to undergo, with admirable patience, the mysterious process known to our papas as "creasing down." The head was thrown back, as if ready for a dentist; the stiff white tie applied to the throat, and gradually wrinkled into half its actual breath by the slow downward movement of the chin. When all was done, we can imagine that comfort was sacrificed to elegance, as it was then considered, and that the sudden appearance of Venus herself could not have induced the deluded individual to turn his head in a hurry.

It is scarcely profitable to follow this lesser deity into all the details of his self-adornment. It must suffice to say that he affected an extreme neatness and simplicity of dress, every item of which was studied and discussed for many an hour. In the mornings he was still guilty of hessians and pantaloons, or tops" and buckskins, with a blue coat and buff waistcoat. The costume is not so ancient, but that one may tumble now and then on a country squire who glories in it and denounces us juveniles as "bears" for want of a similar precision. Poor Brummell, he cordially hated the country squires, and would have wanted rouge for a week if he could have dreamed that his pet attire would, some fifty years later, be represented only by one of that class which he was so anxious to exclude from Watier's.

But it was in the evening that he displayed his happy invention of the trowser, or rather its introduction from Germany.



This article he wore very tight to the leg, and buttoned over the ankle, exactly as we see it in old prints of "the fashion." Then came the wig, and on that the hat. It is a vain and thankless task to defend Brummell from the charge of being a dandy. If one proof of his devotion to dress were wanted, it would be the fact that this hat, once stuck jauntily on one side of the wig, was never removed in the street even to salute a lady-so that, inasmuch as he sacrificed his manners to his appearance, he may be fairly set down as a fop.

The perfect artist could not be expected to be charitable to the less successful. Dukes and princes consulted him on the make of their coats, and discussed tailors with him with as much solemnity as divines might dispute on a mystery of religion. Brummell did not spare them. "Bedford," said he, to the duke of that name, fingering a new garment which his grace had submitted to his inspection, "do you call this thing a coat ?" Again, meeting a noble acquaintance who wore shoes in the morning, he stopped and asked him what he had got upon his feet. "Oh! shoes are they?" quoth he, with a well-bred sneer, "I thought they were slippers." He was even ashamed of his own brother, and when the latter came to town, begged him to keep to the back streets till his new clothes were sent home. Well might his friend the Regent say, that he was "a mere tailor's dummy to hang clothes upon.'


But in reality Brummell was more. He had some sharpness and some taste. But the former was all brought out in sneers, and the latter in snuff-boxes. His whole mind could have been put into one of these. He had a splendid collection of them, and was famous for the grace with which he opened the lid of his box with the thumb of the hand that carried it, while he delicately took his pinch with two fingers of the other. This and his bow were his chief acquirements, and his reputation for manners was based on the distinction of his manner. He could not drive in a public conveyance, but he could be rude to a well-meaning lady; he never ate vegetables-one pea he confessed to-but he did not mind borrowing from his friends money which he knew he could never return. He was a great gentleman, a gentleman of his patron's school-in short, a well-dressed snob. But one thing is due to Brummell: he made the assumption of being "a gentleman" so thoroughly ridiculous that few men of keen sense care now for the title at least, not as a class distinction. Nor is it to be wondered at; when your tailor's assistant is "a gentleman,' and would be mightily disgusted at being called any thing else, you, with your indomitable pride of caste, can scarcely care for the patent.

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Brummell's claim to the title was based on his walk, his coat, his cravat, and the grace with which he indulged, as Captain Jesse delightfully calls it, "the nasal pastime" of taking snuff. All the rest was impudence; and many are the anecdotes-most of them familiar as household words-which are told of his impertinence. The story of Mrs. JohnsonThompson is one of those oft-told tales, which, from having become Joe Millers, have gradually passed out of date and been almost forgotten. Two rival party-givers rejoiced in the aristocratic names of Johnson and Thompson. The former lived_near Finsbury, the latter near Grosvenor Square, and Mrs. Thompson was somehow sufficiently fashionable to expect the Regent himself at her assemblies. Brummell, among other impertinencies, was fond of going where he was not invited or wanted. The two rivals gave a ball on the same evening, and a card was sent to the Beau by her of Finsbury. He chose to go to the Grosvenor Square house, in hopes of meeting the Regent, then his foe. Mrs. Thompson was justly disgusted, and with a vulgarity quite deserved by the intruder, told him he was not invited. The Beau made a thousand apologies, hummed, hawed, and drew a card from his pocket. It was the rival's invitation, and was indignantly denounced. "Dear me, how very unfortunate," said the Beau, "but you know Johnson and Thompson-I mean Thompson and Johnsonare so very much alike. Mrs. Johnson-Thompson, I wish you a very good-evening."

Perhaps there is no vulgarity greater than that of rallying people on their surnames, but our exquisite gentleman had not wit enough to invent one superior to such a puerile amusement. Thus, on one occasion, he woke up at three in the morning a certain Mr. Snodgrass, and when the worthy put his head out of the window in alarm, said quietly, "Pray, sir, is your name Snodgrass?" "Yes, sir, it is Snodgrass." "Snodgrass-Snodgrass-it is a very singular name. Good-by, Mr. Snodgrass." There was more wit in his remark to Poodle Byng, a wellknown puppy, whom he met one day driving in the Park with a French dog in his curricle. "Ah!" cried the Beau, "how d'ye do, Byng? a family vehicle, I see."

It seems incredulous to modern gentlemen that such a man should have been tolerated even at a club. Take, for instance, his vulgar treatment of Lord Mayor Combe, whose name we still see with others over many a public-house in London, and who was then a most prosperous brewer and thriving gambler. At Brookes's one evening the Beau and the Brewer were playing at the same table: "Come, Mash-tub," cried the "gentleman," "what do you set ?" Mash-tub unresentingly set a pony,


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and the Beau won twelve of him in succession. Pocketing his cash, he made him a bow, and exclaimed, "Thank you, Alderman, in future I shall drink no porter but yours.' But Combe was worthy of his namesake, Shakspeare's friend, and answered very aptly, "I wish, sir, that every other blackguard in London would tell me the same."

Then again, after ruining a young fool of fortune at the tables, and being reproached by the youth's father for leading his son astray, he replied with charming affectation, “Why, sir, I did all I could for him. I once gave him my arm all the way from White's to Brookes's !"

When Brummell really wanted a dinner, while at Calais, he could not give up his impertinence for the sake of it. Lord Westmoreland called on him, and, perhaps, out of compassion, asked him to dine at three o'clock with him. "Your lordship is very kind," said the Beau, "but really I could not feed at such an hour." Sooner or later he was glad to feed with any one who was toady enough to ask him. He was once placed in a delightfully awkward position from having accepted the invitation of a charitable but vulgar-looking Britisher at Calais. He was walking with Lord Sefton, when the individual passed and nodded familiarly. "Who's your friend, Brummell?" "Not mine, he must be bowing to you." But presently the man passed again, and this time was cruel enough to exclaim, "Don't forget, Brum, don't forget-goose at four!" The poor Beau must have wished the earth to open under him. He was equally imprudent in the way in which he treated old acquaintance who arrived at the town to which he had retreated, and of whom he was fool enough to be ashamed. He generally took away their characters summarily, but on one occasion was frightened almost out of his wits by being called to account for this conduct. An officer who had lost his nose in an engagement in the Peninsula called on him, and in very strong terms requested to know why the Beau had reported that he was a retired hatter. His manner alarmed the rascal, who apologized, and protested that there must be a mistake; he had never said so. The officer retired, and as he was going, Brummell added, "Yes, it must be a mistake, for now I think of it, I never dealt with a hatter without a nose."

So much for the good-breeding of this friend of George IV. and the Duke of York.

His affectation was quite as great as his impudence; and he won the reputation of fastidiousness-nothing gives more prestige by dint of being openly rude. No hospitality or kindness melted him, when he thought he could gain a march. At one dinner, not liking the champagne, he called to the servant

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