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bodies used in combination with the dye- them: not until the era of imperial Rome stuffs, and to which the expression mordants" is given, for the reason that they are assumed to bite in or permanently fix the colors. Even cochineal, when used without a mordant, is a very sorry color; and the scarlet of kermes is still less beautiful when used as a substantive color; but Grecian dyers, in the time of Aspasia at least, were not aware of the use of mordants; therefore Aspasia's scarlet robe would not have done to hang in a Ludgate-hill shop-window.
was it that purple robes came to be regarded as exclusively imperial. Once adopted by the Cæsars, the policy of restricting the manufacture to a few hands followed, until the members of one family alone were lincensed to impart the Tyrian dye. At length the process was so entirely forgotten that no one knew from what source the precious color had been obtained, or how it had been imparted. The exact time when this occurred is not known. A curious fact testifies that it must have been subsequent to the eleventh century. There exists, bearing that date, a document, written in Greek by the Princess Macrembolitissa, a daughter of Constantine VIII., in which is found a description of the purple-yielding shellfish, the manner of catching it, and of ex
the princess describes from personal observation. However, Tyrian purple, after having been totally lost, was rediscovered in England during the reign of Charles II., and in France shortly after; each discovery being independent of the description of the Byzantine princess, her manuscript not having at that time turned up.
The most beautiful dye-stuff of antiquity was Tyrian purple, so called from the place of its discovery and chief manufacture. I should rather have said, perhaps, place of reputed discovery, for its records are not reliable. The Greeks were by far too vain a race to admit that any great discovery did not originate with them-tracting and employing the dye, all which selves. They attributed the discovery of Tyrian purple to Hercules, or rather to a little dog belonging to Hercules. As the story goes, this little dog, happening to wander along the Tyrian sea-shore, came back with his mouth all purple; and the nymph Tyras, a favorite of Hercules, was so delighted with the color, that she bade him see her no more until he brought her a robe dyed purple like the color of his little dog's mouth. What would an enamored man have done when thus conjured? how much more, then, a demi-god? Hercules promised to oblige her if he could; so, tracking the little dog's footsteps, to see where they led, and what he would set about, he followed him to the sea-shore, where the animal began to eat shell-fish of two peculiar sorts-the buccinum and purpura. Hercules is reported to have thereupon collected some of these shell-fish, and extracted from a receptacle in the throat the celebrated Tyrian purple. In this way the Tyrian dye-stuff continued to be obtained by careful dyers; some, however, less conscientious than Hercules, pounded the shell-fish in a mortar, and incorporated the true dye-stuff with other animal juices.
The preceding mythological account of the discovery of Tyrian purple refers that discovery to a pre-historical age, whereas testimony favors the opinion that it was not discovered until 500 B. C. Long subsequent to the discovery of the art of purple-dying, any person might wear robes of that color who could afford to pay for
In the year 1683, Mr. William Cole, of Bristol, during a visit he was paying at Minehead, happened to be told by two ladies, there resident, of a person living in an Irish seaport, who made a considerable income by marking linen with a delicate purple dye. The spirit of philosophic inquiry had at this period begun to dawn; the civil wars had ceased, and the Royal Society was established. Mr. Cole was an early contributor to the Philosophical Transactions; and a paper on the Tyrian purple was among his first communications to that renowned series. Placing himself in relation with those who frequented the Irish linen-market, he soon managed to glean some important particulars about the purple dye. He believed he was at length on the eve of rediscovering the true dye of Tyre-that costly tincture for which many a Grecian lady had sighed, and for which either of the imperial Cæsars would have given more than a hundred times its weight in gold. Pursuing his investigations, he succeeded at length to the extent of exactly one half. Pliny and Aristotle had both testified that Tyrian purple was imparted by means of
certain juices, taken from two different species of shell-fish; they had testified, moreover, that the tint of the fluid was not purple originally, but white; and that the much-desiderated color only appeared after the texture imbued with the fish-juice had been exposed to the sun. The Princess Macrembolitissa had, indeed, given a more circumstantial account; but that lady's manuscript was not available to Mr. Cole. The only rays shed by antiquity upon his labors were from the writings of Aristotle and Pliny. He did not hope to obtain any direct information from the Irish linenmarker herself. That good lady got money by her secret; why, then, should she divulge it? Mr. Cole went systematically to work; he was a philosopher. The Irish linen-marker lived on the sea-coast; what more probable than that she should mark with the juice of a shell-fish? Mr. Cole commenced his labors on this supposition; and though history does not disclose the fact, we are at liberty to imagine the havoc he committed on shell-fish of all denominations. He succeeded in the end, I say, to the exact extent of one half. He discovered the purple-yielding buccinum; leaving the discovery of the purpura to Mr. Duhamel in the year 1736.
There could now be no further doubt as to the source of the ancient Tyrian purple. Not only did the buccinum and purpura both agree with the shell-fish described by Aristotle and Pliny; but the incipient shades of color mentioned by these philosophers were also noticed by Mr. Cole. The juice, when first applied, was white; thence assuming many shades of blue and green, it became purple at last, if the linen marked with it were exposed to the sun's rays-not otherwise. Here, then, we moderns have the Tyrian purple on our very shores, if not at our very doors. We have it, the real imperial dye. What can our Manchester, and Glasgow, and Spitalfields, and Paisley men be thinking of? Why don't they use it? Why don't we see silken dresses in the shopwindows of Regent-street and Ludgatehill, dyed of the true imperial tint? Why, because Tyrian purple would now be considered downright ugly! Not even a Billingsgate oyster-woman would like to be seen in a gown of the true imperial hue; the fishy idea of its origin notwithstanding. Yet Augustus is reported to have given no less than thirty-six pounds
sterling for a pound of Tyrian dyed wool; a fact the less extraordinary, when we consider that every fifty pounds of wool required no less than two hundred pounds of buccinum juice, and a similar amount of the juice of the purpura; for in order to impart the last shade of purple beauty, the juice of both kinds of shell-fish was necessary. The enormous sum of thirty-six pounds, for one pound of doubly-dyed wool, is to be considered as more referable to fashion, than to any intrinsic beauty of the dye itself. It appears to have been the only purple dye the ancients possessed: it was, moreover, a substantive color; one requiring neither chemical skill nor manipulative dexterity; merely dipping into it the material intended to be dyed being sufficient.
It may seem remarkable that the Greeks and Romans-masters of the world, as they called themselves, and in many respects deserving that appellation-were inferior in knowledge of dye-stuffs to many of the outer barbarians. The Chinese, from periods of the furthest historical dates, seem to have possessed a large repertory of dyes. The Hindoos were scarcely inferior in that respect; and the Egyptians cotemporary with Pliny seem to have followed the practice of calico-printing, an art which involves some of the most recondite principles of dyeing. Dipping a white cloth into one liquor-necessarily of one color-they removed it, permanently tinged with a pattern of more than one color. That is the testimony of Pliny, and there can be little doubt it refers to the art of calico-printing. The Hindoos cotemporary with Alexander seem to have been able to use indigo; whereas the ancient Greeks and Romans do not seem to have been able at any period to employ that substance, otherwise than as a paint. The ancient Britons dyed their skins with woad, a material of the nature of indigo, though their more civilized invaders were ignorant of the art; and the Romans were unable to dye violet, until they learned that art from the natives of Gaul. From Gaul, too, the natives acquired the knowledge of soap; not that soap was used by the Gauls at any time, or by the Romans for a long period, as a detergent, but merely as a pomade for the hair. Pliny tells us that the Romans cotemporaneous with him used madder as a dye-stuff; but is by no means certain that Pliny's madder and
our madder are identical. He informs us, too, that iron was used for imparting black dyes, but he furnishes no circumstantial account of the method of using it.
of America had added to our tinctorial resources the brilliant cochineal and a host of dye-woods. Nor was it until the lamp of chemistry had begun to illume the western world, that the raw materials of dyeing could be applied with full advantage.
THE WINSLOW FAMILY-A SIMPLE
Dyers Winslow and Acton his wife were mar
T is now many years since Ashbel
We have seen that the knowledge of dyeing with Tyrian purple lingered at Constantinople until the eleventh century at least; but in Italy, dyeing in all its branches had pretty well died out before the fourth century; nor do we meet with any new records of it there until the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. know perfectly well that any one dye-stuff is not necessarily efficient for every kind of tissue. Because a dye takes well on woolen, it does not follow that the same dye will be efficient for linen, cotton, or silk. Even Tyrian purple, which is a very easy dye to use, acts best upon wool. Linen can be dyed with it, as the Irish linen-marker discovered; but her marking would have told far better on woolen or silk material. The art of dyeing among the Greeks was, anterior to the time of Alexander's conquests, restricted to tissues of woolen stuff; but the philosophers who accompanied him to India brought back some of the refined processes of the Hindoos, of which an improved method of dyeing, or rather an extension of methods of dyeing, was one. Nearchus, the Grecian admiral who co-operated with Alexander, had, as is well known, a fleet of war vessels in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. Nearchus appears to have been fond of gay colors, and he determined that his war ships should be pretty to look at. A modern admiral might have covered his rigging with emblazoned flags, but a more original thought flashed across the brain of Nearchus. Profiting by the Asiatic knowledge he had acquired in the matter of dye-stuffs, he caused the canvas of his ships to be dyed.
Between the fourth and the fourteenth centuries, we have few records of the practice of dyeing, but I am not disposed for all that to affirm, nor do I believe, that the dark ages were so dark in the matter of dye-stuffs as some people say. To practice an art is one thing; to record the practice of it is another. All the historians seem justified in affirming as to this matter is, that no records of dyeing, as it existed during the chief part of the dark ages, are extant. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the art began to revive in Italy; but not until the discovery
ried. They were both of them, Ashbel and Acton, children of opulent New York upper-class people, and knew but little of the actual every-day life of the world. Ashbel had in his own right a property that brought them some two thousand a year. Before his marriage he had selected a cozy spot up the Hudson, where he had built a palatial cottage of the olden time. Just above his cottage, in a bend of the river, the village of Rockville kept up its busy hum. Down to the east, eighty rods or more, the Hudson rolled on, burdened with its ever-varying crafts.
This place, chosen as their home, they called Glendale. There were but two of them; so that a girl for the kitchen and a man for the garden were all the help they needed.
Ashbel and his young wife, in the days of their courtship, had talked much of literature, and the Knickerbocker Magazine, then in its early days, was their chief source of entertainment. At Glendale they thought they had found a paradise. There came the literature of the day. Irving was in his prime; Halleck was writing humorously; and Bryant, in his kindly-touching manner, was the poet of the time. The men who now have a name and a day, were then just merging into literary life. At Glendale they had their own surmisings over fictitious names of Willis, Longfellow, Whittier, and Peter Parley, as we of this generation have had ours, striving to lift the vail from the mysteriousness of Currer Bell, Fanny Fern, and Ik Marvel. Their life was purely a literary one. Ashbe! wrote sketches for the Knickerbocker, and Acton tried her hand at rhymes for the youthful" Lady's Book." For pastime they drove around their grounds; took. cheerful boat sails on the river; went up Tanglewood Creek to fish for speckled
trout, and frolicked like children on the lawn. Altogether, they led as happy a life as any one can in connection with worldly pursuits.
They scarcely ever had any communication with the people about the village; indeed, they knew very little of the scenes of Rockville life. Whenever they wished to mingle in society, they went down in a two hours' river-ride to New York. Their friends there kept them advised of all parties among their circles, they acting as the Winslows' agents in forwarding all invitations to balls that might be sent them. Almost every week Ashbel and Acton were in New York, getting as much joy as any worldlings could at dancing parties, theaters, and the evanescent opera.
There, as fond years went on, when there began to be felt a serious want in the family, they were still left alone to their pleasures. If there could only be a little Winslow in the family, then their happiness would be complete. Acton, with a yearning motherly heart, had thought of this matter for a long time, but had never given the thought words. It was sometimes mentioned, but as quickly passed over as a sad subject. There were orphans enough; but having little care for the welfare of others, the Winslows were only concerned about their own pleasures. An orphan, fondle it as they might, would never be their own. So it was that the vacant place and the little chair remained long unfilled.
After a few years of such anxious thoughts as these, their little Kitty came into the family a welcome guest. They had petted a silken-furred cat, that purred at Acton's footstool every evening. When she was well enough to take their little girl in her arms, one day pussy came to her, and looking up with her large intelligent eyes, seemed to ask what it all meant that she was petted no more. Acton turned to puss, and sagely remarked: "Puss, you need not come to me any more; we have another Kitty now!" and she nestled the dear one closer to her heart. From that time, as by a natural impulse, the baby was called Kitty, and puss was no longer the only favorite.
Seven or eight years more of worldly life passed on. One or two more children were given them to gladden the household. Ashbel, Jr., and Acton the second were lovely enough, but they never could seem
so dear to the parents as their first-born, the lovely Kitty.
She was now growing into those years when the mind begins to lay hold of matters beyond the common routine of child life. She began to look beyond dolls and play-houses. She seemed to be entering upon a new life, and to be putting on a character new entirely to the inhabitants of Glendale cottage.
The Winslows had both lived in the great Babel city, New York, as enlightened heathen. There are classes of people there almost too low for Gospel influences; and there are also classes of people that have set themselves up so high that the Gospel seldom reaches them: the Winslows belonged to this latter class. They had been at a celebrated Broadway church occasionally to hear noted prima donas sing; and once, a few months before their marriage, Ashbel and Acton went out of curiosity to hear Newland Maffit. These occasional church-goings were all they knew of Christianity what
At Rockville there was a homely chapel, where the gardener's people went to church upon Sabbath days; but they were veritable heathens in that Glendale home, knowing less of heaven and the way thither than many a poor slave of the South.
By chance an infidel book fell into Ashbel's hands, which he often read to his wife. The result was, they soon set themselves up as infidels; very wise infidels indeed! They conversed often together of the follies of Christianity, and sometimes would rally with sneerings the gardener, who belonged to the Rockville church.
For a time they were ardent upholders of their new faith, or rather want of faith. One evening they were sitting rather gloomily in their front room, when Ashbel broke the silence by a very serious remark for him:
"Acton," said he, "I have met lately several persons who profess to be Christians, and they seem to derive so much comfort from their religion, false or true, I have concluded to let them alone to their own way of thinking. I have too much joy at home to think of setting myself up as the apostle of Nothing; for this is our sect, and I have concluded to let the world run its own course. Hence
forth, let all religion be banished from our minds; we will give ourselves to the pleasures of literature and to the world's joys."
These thoughts met a full response in Acton's heart; and from that time they were infidels, as a dog is an infidel; that is, they had no concern whatever about religious matters. They cared as much for the Bible as for the Koran; both they ignored.
The Knickerbocker was their great oracle, and literature their worship; Walter Scott, Moore, and Byron their gods. Such a dark night as this had settled down over that cottage home! There were times, to be sure, when Acton, for one, cast longing glances into the future, striving to pierce the vail that enshrouded the other world; and deep sighs would often come up when she, like a wise heathen of the Socratic school, would wonder if there were a life beyond the grave. But such thoughts were always banished as soon as possible from the mind. In religious matters, then, for the most part, there was one deep, unbroken lethargic night upon them, and the Lethean stream never found more ready frequenters than Ashbel and Acton Winslow.
To rear a fashionable family, to have children that should honor the name they bore, were their greatest ambitions for the future; poetry and light literature were a sufficiency for the present. Such was the life at Glendale when Kitty was eight years old. Their gardener had built himself a little cottage home on a hill, back of the dale. His house was a place of prayer, and his children were early taught the way of life.
Kitty, who as yet had not fallen in with the aristocratic notions of her Glendale home, was often found at the hill cottage. Mr. Harmon's children, as they afterward learned, would often hold their mimic meetings, and Kitty had become among them, before her parents knew it, quite an adept in child worship. One evening, as she was preparing for her evening couch, she kneeled by her mother's side and commenced:
"I do not know what it is," said the mother.
"I thought mother knew everything." "What is it you want?" the mother asked.
"I want to say my prayers as Jimmy Harmon does; don't you pray, mother?" Those were new questions to Acton. Could she have lived so long in the world, and now be moved so by a child's words? Another day Kitty came running home with a Sunday-school book in her hand.
"Look here, mother, she said ;" "here is such a fine story; it is Jimmy's book; he got it at the Sunday-school."
Acton did not notice her much. An hour after she saw her sitting in the grapeclad bower, reading her little book. How serious she appeared for a child of her age. By-and-by she came, and sitting by her side, laid her head in her mother's lap. "Sing, mother," said she. "What shall I sing, dear?" "Something good," she replied.
The mother struck up some fashionable song, but she had hardly half finished a stanza when Kitty interrupted, saying,
"That is not the way to sing. Sing as Willie's mother did."
"Well, Kitty, how did Willie's mother sing?"
"There it is," she said, pointing to a few lines in the book she had just been reading. The lines were:
"Jesus, lover of my soul,
This drew Acton's attention to the book. Willie, a Sunday-school scholar, had become serious, and when anxiously desiring the favor of God, had laid his head in his mother's lap, and she had sung the hymn referred to.
This story which Kitty had been reading had aroused a seriousness in her own mind.
From this time Kitty urged her parents to let her go to the Rockville SabbathSchool. They were not well pleased with this request, but at last, concluding that she would learn nothing bad, they consented to let her go. It was a new world and a new life to Kitty, that Rockville Sunday-School. The scenes there and the lessons taught became her chief items of conversation through the week; and often she might have been seen with Acton in "Mother," said she, "tell me the rest." the cradle, and her brother Ashbel, hold
"Now I lay me down to sleep." She could get no further than those words, and she tried in vain to recall more of that universal child's prayer.