Imatges de pągina

figure is insufficient to compensate for the air of awkward restraint caused by such lacing. 5th. They should never be worn, either loosely or tightly, during the hours appropriated to sleep, as, by impeding respiration, and accumulating the heat of the system improperly, they invariably injure. 6th. The corset for young persons should be of the simplest character, and worn in the lightest and easiest manner, allowing their lungs full play, and giving the form its fullest opportunity for expansion.-At this remote period, it is impossible for us to say whether the corset, in some form, might not have belonged to the complex toilet of the ancient Israelitish ladies. We find the prophet Isaiah, in chap. iii, inveighing against their numerous and useless decorations-"the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, the chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the head-bands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings, the rings and nose-jewels, the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins, the glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails." This catalogue, at least, shows that the disposition evinced by the fair sex to adorn their persons, and render them more attractive, is not of modern origin, but most probably originated with our great mother Eve. The earliest and most delightful record we have of a contrivance like the corset, among Ethnic writers, is Homer's account of the girdle, or cestus, of Venus, mother of the Loves and Graces, which even the haughty Juno is fabled to have borrowed, in order to make a more profound impression upon her rather unmanageable husband, Jupiter. This girdle was invested by the poet with magical qualities, which rendered the wearer irresistibly fascinating :

"In this was every art and every charm
To win the wisest, and the coldest warm-
Fond love, the gentle vow, the gay desire,
The kind deceit, the still reviving fire,
Persuasive speech, and more persuasive sighs,
Silence that spoke, and eloquence of eyes."

POPE, Iliad, book xiv, line 247, &c.

This, after all, we are persuaded, was nothing but such a corset as we have described in the beginning, worn by an elegant form, to which it was accurately adapted. Even Venus herself could not look otherwise than awkward and repulsive in one of the armadillo, shell-like machines, which are sold as fashionable, without regard to their inelegance. The

costume of the ancient Greek ladies was, in every particular, opposed to stiffness or personal restraint; and we find that the cestus, or girdle, to gather the flowing redundance of their robes around the waist, was considered sufficient for the display of their enchanting forms. The Roman ladies were great adepts in the mysteries of the toilet, though not possessed of the grace and elegance of the Grecian beauties. We find among them rudiments of the corset, in the bandages which they wore around the chest, for the purpose of preserving the shape of the bosom, and displaying it to advantage. They were commonly made of woollen or linen cloth, and are alluded to, in several instances, by the poets. Thus, in Terence, we find Chærea saying to his servant, concerning an unknown beauty who attracted his attention-"This girl has nothing in common with ours, whom their mothers force to stoop, and make them bind their bosoms with bandages, in order to appear more slender" (Haud similis virgo est virginum nostrarum, quas matres student demissis humeris, vincto pectore, ut gracila sient). TER., Eun.-A writer in the French Dictionary of Medical Sciences, in an article on corsets, which the reader may compare with the present, states that the whaleboned corset, dividing the female form into two parts, is a relic of the ancient German costume, which is still to be seen in some pictures of celebrated masters. We are not, however, prepared to retract our opinion, that such contrivances were first resorted to in cases of deformity; for, on inquiry, we find that the German females, as described by the Roman writers, wore dresses tight to the person, though no mention is made of artificial contrivances to give it a peculiar form. The dress of both sexes was similar, consisting of a sagum or cloak clasped at the throat, and a vest or tunic which fitted tightly, and showed all the form. Tegumen fuit sagum, fibula si defuisset, spina confertum ; locupletissimi distinguebantur veste, non fluxa, sed stricta, ac pene singula membra exprimente: idem feminis habitus qui et viris. B. AUBAMUS, De Morib. etc. omn. Gent. It might prove interesting to inquire into the influence which the costume of the mailed knights, during the age of chivalry, had upon female dress, and whether much of the disposition to display the entire figure, as far as possible, did not arise from this display constantly made by the male sex, in their closely-fitting armor. It would lead us too far, however, to engage in such an examination here; neither shall

tent auxiliaries of their charms. That they should rush into the extreme we have deprecated, appears to result merely from inattention; and we sincerely hope that but a short time will elapse before they will strictly respect the boundaries established by good sense and good taste, united with the lovely purity inherent in their sex, remembering the exclamation of the poet

"O! Beauty is a holy thing

When veiled and curtained from the sight
Of the gross world, illumining
One only mansion with her light."
Lalla Rookh.

we attempt to copy M. de Jouy's account of the thoracic corset of the Bayaderes of India (a finely-woven net made of bark, which is worn about the bust, and never laid aside), as having but little relation to the objects we have in view.-Throughout our observations, we have spoken of a certain degree of display of the female form, as not incompatible with correctness of manners. But there is a limit which, we believe, cannot be exceeded without immediate detriment to public morals, and positive offence to delicacy. A spirit of rivalry and emulation to excel in dress has frequently betrayed females of unquestionable character into wearing costumes CORSICA, the third in size of the Italian which their modesty would shrink from islands, is separated from the northern under ordinary circumstances. Perhaps coast of Sardinia by the straits of Bonia majority of them, exclusively intent facio, which are 10 miles in breadth. It upon their own adornment, do not reflect is about 50 miles distant from Tuscany, upon the consequences that may result and 100 from France. It contains 3790 from their appearance in public. It is square miles, 18 large towns, of which 4 certainly exacting a great deal of young are seaports (with 3 harbors, capable of conmen, in the full vigor of life, to expect taining large fleets), 5 market-towns, 560 them to behold, unmoved, the most seduc- villages, including 63 pièves, or cultivated tive of forms displayed with all the allure- valleys, and 180,400 inhabitants. San Fioments of dress, in such a manner as scarce- renzo, which has fine roads for ships to ly to leave any thing for the imagination; anchor in, ought to be the capital, and to nor is it surprising, that their passions be fortified. A range of mountains, with should be excited, and their principles numerous branches, traverses the whole shaken, when, in the street, in church, and, extent of the island, and, near the middle, in short, every where, such exhibitions rises to such an elevation, that the snow are constantly placed before them. It remains on the summits during the greater cannot be doubted, but that this cause part of the year. The monte Rotondo and daily operates to the deterioration of public the monte d'Oro (from 8 to 9000 feet in morals; and it is full time that it should height) are covered with perpetual snows. receive the serious attention of parents and This chain of mountains consists, in part, guardians. There was a time when this of precipitous rocks, and is, in part, overmode of dressing to display every personal spread with forests. A number of small charm was peculiar to an unfortunate rivers, of which the Goló alone is navigaclass of beings, regarded as lost to all the ble, flow easterly and westerly into the modesty and dignity of the sex; but it is sea. Most of these frequently become a melancholy truth, that this distinction dry in summer. The eastern coast is between the lost and the reputable no more flat than the western, on which are longer exists in our great cities, where most of the inlets of the sea. The climate leaders of fashion and celebrated beauties, is mild, since the heat of the sun is renclaiming the highest rank and character, dered less oppressive by the high mounare most remarkable for the solicitude tains and sea breezes. The air, in many with which they prepare their lovely per- parts of the island, owing to the many sons to be gazed at and admired, in all lakes of stagnant water, is unhealthy; and their proportions, by the passing crowd! these districts have, consequently, become We should not have alluded to this sub- desolate. The soil is very fertile, particuject, did we not hope that a slight animad- larly in the valleys and near the coast; version upon its evil tendency would help for which reason the inhabitants, although to produce its correction. It has an im- very inattentive to agriculture, yet reap a mediate influence in lowering the sex in sufficient supply of grain for their necesthe estimation of men, since it lessens sities (with the exception of oats, which their reverence for beings they would are not produced there). The lower order otherwise always look upon with deep of Corsicans subsist, commonly, on chestrespect; and surely the fair sex have not nuts, and seldom obtain wheat bread. yet to learn, that modest reserve and Wine, which resembles the Malaga and retiring delicacy are among the most po- French wines, notwithstanding the negli

gent mode of cultivation, is obtained in abundance. The island also produces much flax, and oranges, which form an article of export, in perfection. It is covered with forests of chestnut and oaktrees, great quantities of olive-trees, firtrees and birch-trees, which reach the elevation of from 120 to 130 feet. The breeding of cattle is carried on here to a great extent; but the horse, ass and mule are of a small breed: the horned cattle are, indeed, large, but very lean; and the wool of the sheep is coarse. The tunny, anchovy, and oyster fisheries afford the inhabitants one of their principal employments. The mountains contain various kinds of minerals; and yet the art of working mines is almost wholly unknown. The iron is celebrated for its good qualities. The Corsicans are still nearly in a state of nature. The majority of them are Italians, and profess the Catholic religion. Industry is unknown. Even the most necessary mechanics are wanting: each one makes for himself almost every thing he has need of. Their habitations, furniture and clothing are miserable, and there is a great want of good seminaries for education. Valor, love of freedom, indolence, and desire of revenge, are the characteristics of the Corsicans. As late as the year 1822, the prefect of Corsica, in a pamphlet, urged the French government to legalize the practice of duelling there, because the quarrels of the inhabitants often became hereditary feuds. Until the first Punic war, the Carthaginians were masters of this island. They were succeeded by the Romans. In later times, Corsica was, for a long time, under the dominion of the Vandals, and afterwards passed successively into the hands of the Greek emperors and the Goths. In 850, the Corsicans were conquered by the Saracens, who held them in subjection until the beginning of the 11th century; at which time they fell under the dominion of Pisa. In 1284, this island submitted to the dominion of the Genoese, who had before, in 806, subdued it, but were unable to retain possession of it for a long time. Exasperated by the oppressions of the Genoese government during 400 years, the Corsicans took up arms, in 1729, and, since that time, have never submitted to the Genoese. Genoa called in the imperial forces in 1730, and the French, in 1738, to their assistance. In 1736, baron Theodore von Neuhof (see Theodore), a Westphalian, so won the affections of the Corsicans, that they elected him king, under the name of Theodore I. He left them,

upon the landing of the French, to seek for foreign aid. The French evacuated the island, on the breaking out of the German war, in 1741, and another insurrection took place. In 1755, the Corsican senate appointed Pascal Paoli (q. v.) their general, who conducted their affairs with so much success, that the Genoese, even with the assistance of the troops of the French garrisons (after 1764), were able to retain in their possession only a few maritime towns, with the capital, Bastia, and renounced the hope of ever bringing the island again into subjection. They, therefore, in 1768, abandoned these places to France, by a treaty, which Spinola and the duke of Choiseul concluded at Paris, in which it was stipulated, that the king of France should reduce the island, and govern it until the republic should repay the expenses of the war. This convention was a mere subterfuge to deceive the English, and to save the senate from the reproach of a sale. The French thought that the subjugation of Corsica could be effected by a small military force; but Paoli, in the expectation of assistance from England, made so spirited a resistance, that the expedition soon cost the French 30,000,000 livres, although they had gained no important advantages. The number of the French troops was afterwards increased, so that they amounted to 30,000 men, under the marshal de Vaux. England still remained inactive; and, in several actions, the Corsicans were so unmindful of their duty, that Paoli, in despair, gave up all thoughts of resistance, and, in June, 1769, fled to England, where he was supported by a pension from the king. A partisan warfare was, however, maintained in the mountains until 1774. At the time of the French revolution, Corsica was incorporated with France, as a separate department, and sent deputies to the national convention. Paoli now returned to his native land; but the terrorists required his presence at Paris, where he would inevitably have been put to death. He therefore unfurled the banner of the Death's head (the old Corsican arms), and summoned his countrymen to his standard. With the assistance of the English, who landed Feb. 18, 1794, he reduced Bastia, May 22, and Calvi, Aug. 4. The Corsicans submitted to the British sceptre, in a general convention of deputies, at Corte, June 18, 1794. Corsica was constituted a kingdom, under the government of a viceroy (Elliot); the constitution and laws of England were adopted; and a parliament, such as

Ireland had, was established. But a large part of the people were averse to the English, whom they regarded as heretics, and the French party again appeared on the island, in Oct., 1796, under general Gentili. Sickness rendered the situation of the English very critical: their power was still further weakened by the reduction of the neighboring city of Leghorn, by the French, in 1796; and, in consequence, they evacuated Corsica. Since 1811, the island has formed a French department, of which Bastia is the capital. The revenue received from the island by France, in 1821, amounted only to 500,000 francs, while the administration of it costs the crown, yearly, the sum of 3,000,000 francs. (See Memoirs of Napoleon, Fourth Part (London, 1824), by count Montholon; Sketches of Corsica in 1823, with Specimens of its National Poetry, by Robert Benson (London, 1825, with 51 copperplate engravings); and Boswell's Account of Corsica.)

CORSO. The Corso is one of the principal streets in Rome, and, like the chief streets in many Italian cities (Florence, for example), derives its name from the horse-races which enliven the evenings of the carnival. The Corso, at Rome, is nearly 3500 paces in length, and is enclosed by high and mostly splendid edifices; but its breadth is not proportionate; so that, in most parts, not above three carriages can go abreast. The higher class of citizens take the air in carriages, which form a very long row. This evening promenade, which, in all large Italian cities is splendid, and is imitated in very small towns (although it may have only a few coaches), attracts great numbers of spectators on foot. The carnival is the gayest of the festivals; and, at this time, the Corso appears in its greatest splendor. (See Göthe's description of the Roman carnival and the Corso.)

CORTES. The cortes was the old assembly of the estates in Spain and Portugal. In Spain, the cortes of Castile, which was composed of the nobility of the first rank, the superior ecclesiastics, the knights of the orders of St. James, Calatrava and Alcantara, and the representatives of certain cities, held the first rank during the time of the united Spanish monarchy. In early times, the king was very dependent upon them; indeed, they were invested with the power of making war, and frequently exercised it in opposition to the throne. In the original constitution of Arragon, the form of government was very remarkable. A supreme judge,

called el justizia, selected from persons of the second class, presided over the administration of the government. He decided all questions and disputes between the king and his subjects, and confined the royal power within the constitutional limits. King Ferdinand of Arragon and Isabella of Castile succeeded in rendering themselves independent of the estates (las cortes); and afterwards, when the Castilians dared to resist an unconstitutional tax, at a meeting convoked at Toledo, by Charles, in 1538, the king abolished this assembly of the estates. After this, neither the clergy nor nobility were assembled: deputies from 18 cities were sometimes, however, convened, but this only in case subsidies were to be granted. Philip II restrained the liberties of the Arragonese in 1591. After the Spanish war of succession, Philip V deprived those provinces which had adhered to the Austrian party of the privileges that still remained to them. From that time, the cortes were convened only to pay homage to the king, or the prince of Asturias, or when a question respecting the succession to the throne was to be determined. But when Napoleon attempted to extend his influence over Spain (see the articles Ferdinand VII, and Spain since 1808), he convoked (June 15, 1808) a junta of the cortes at Bayonne. In their last session (June 7, 1812), a new constitution was adopted by them. The 9th article regulated the powers and duties of the cortes, and provided that they should consist of 25 archbishops, 25 nobles, and 122 representatives of the people. Napoleon afterwards attempted, by offering to restore the cortes to their ancient importance, to gain over the Spanish nobility, and, through them, the people, but failed. (In regard to the new cortes in Spain and Portugal, see those articles.) In 1828, don Miguel assembled the cortes of Portugal, in order to be acknowledged by them, and to give his usurpation an appearance of legitimacy.

CORTEZ, Fernando, the conqueror of Mexico, born in 1485, at Medelin, in Estremadura, went to the West Indies in 1504, where Velasquez, governor of Cuba, gave him the command of a fleet, which he sent on a voyage of discovery. Cortez quitted San-Iago, Nov. 18, 1518, with 10 vessels, 600 Spaniards, 18 horses, and some field-pieces. He landed in the gulf of Mexico. The sight of the horses, on which the Spaniards were mounted; the movable fortresses, in which they had crossed the ocean; the iron which covered

them; the noise of the cannon;-all these objects alarmed the natives. Cortez entered the town of Mexico Nov. 18, 1519. Montezuma, the sovereign of the country, received him as his master; and the inhabitants, it is said, thought him a god and a child of the sun. He destroyed the idols in the temples, to whom human sacrifices were offered, and placed in their room images of the virgin Mary and of the saints. In the mean time, he made continual progress towards getting possession of the country, forming alliances with several caciques, enemies to Montezuma, and assuring himself of the others by force or stratagem. On a general of Montezuma attacking the Spaniards, in obedience to a secret order, Cortez repaired to the imperial palace, had the commander and his officers burnt alive, and forced the emperor, while in chains, to acknowledge, publicly, the, sovereignty of Charles V. The unhappy monarch added to this homage a present of a large quantity of pure gold, and a number of precious stones. But the jealousy of Velasquez was so much excited by the deeds of his representative, that he sent an army against him. Cortez, reinforced by fresh troops from Spain, advanced to meet it, gained over the soldiers who bore arms against him, and, with their assistance, again made war with the Mexicans, who had also revolted against their own emperor, Montezuma, whom they accused of treachery. After Montezuma, who had hoped to restore tranquillity by showing himself to the multitude, had fallen a victim to their rage, Guatimozin, his nephew and son-in-law, was acknowledged as emperor by the Mexicans, and gained some advantages over the Spaniards. He defended his crown during three months, but could not withstand the Spanish artillery. Cortez again took possession of Mexico, and, in 1521, the emperor, the empress, the ministers, and the whole court, were in his power. The unhappy Guatimozin was subjected to horrid cruelties to make him disclose the place where his treasures were concealed, and was afterwards executed with a great number of his nobles. The court of Madrid now became jealous of the power of Cortez, who had been, some time before, appointed captain-general and governor of Mexico. Commissioners were sent to inspect and control his measures; his property was seized; his dependants were imprisoned, and he repaired to Spain. He was received with much distinction, and returned to Mexico with an increase of titles, but a diminu

tion of power. A viceroy had charge of the civil administration, and Cortez was intrusted only with the military command and the privilege of prosecuting his discoveries. The division of powers proved a constant source of dissension; and, though he discovered the peninsula of California in 1536, most of his enterprises were frustrated, his life imbittered, and he returned again to Spain, where he was coldly received and neglected. One day, having forced his way through a crowd round the carriage of his king, and put his foot on the step to obtain an audience, Charles coldly inquired who he was. "I am a man," replied Cortez, "who has gained you more provinces than your father left you towns." He passed the remainder of his days in solitude, and died Dec., 1554, near Seville, in the 63d year of his age, leaving a character eminent for bravery and ability, but infamous for perfidy and cruelty.

CORTONA, a fortified town of Tuscany, contains 7 churches (including the cathedral) and 12 convents. It is a place of great antiquity. Population, 4000. It lies 45 miles S. E. Florence.

CORTONA, properly Pietro Berretini, a painter and architect, was born in 1596. He was commonly called Pietro di Cortona, from the name of his native town, Cortona in Tuscany. He acquired the first rudiments of his art under his father, Giovanni, who was also a painter and architect, and afterwards studied with Andreas Commodi and Baccio Ciarpi at Rome. At the commencement of his studies, his awkwardness was so remarkable, that his fellow students called him ass's head. Nevertheless, he devoted himself to the study of the antiques, and of the great masters, Raphael, Caravaggio and Michael Angelo, and unexpectedly made his appearance as an artist, with the Rape of the Sabines. The Birth of Christ, in the church of Our Lady of Loretto, established his reputation. His painting, on the ceiling of the large saloon in the Barberini palace, representing the Triumph of Honor, is a very happy effort. Mengs declares it one of the grandest compositions ever executed by a painter. He afterwards travelled through Lombardy, the Venetian states and Tuscany, where he painted the ceilings of the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, and thence returned to Rome. During this journey, he was constantly employed as a painter and architect. He was subsequently attacked by the gout, and could not, in consequence, ascend the stagings: he therefore employed himself in the execution of easel pictures, which,

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