Quotations

I run across useful quotations about dress, manners, food, and social historical tidbits pretty often, but to date have not kept track of them, with the usual resulting frustration that when I want a quotation it's not to hand and has to be looked up all over again.

Isn't keeping research ready -- for onesself and to share -- what the Internet's all about? Thus this page, intermittently updated.

Updated November 30, 2013

Quotations from...Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay

Edited by her Niece
Vol I., 1778-80.
London: Henry Colburn, 1854

Late dinners, suppers; teas; and use of "rasher" as rustic term
"Yes: she is used, madame, to suppers: she would like an egg or two, and a few slices of ham, or a rasher --- a rasher, I believe, would please her better."
How ridiculous! However, nothing could persuade Mrs. Thrale not to have the cloth laid[...]
[...]I ate nothing, that they might not again use such a ceremony with me. Indeed, their late dinners [at Streatham] forbid suppers, especially as Dr. Johnson made me eat cake at tea[...]
[...]Perhaps I have offended her[...]I talked to her of a rasher![...]
[...]I find, madame, it is used by Dryden: in one of his prologues he says --- 'and snatch a homely rasher from the coals.' So you must not mind me, madame[...]
(Fanny Burney, Vol. 1, 60, 62)

Cap-wearing in public
[...]she says that she really concluded something was wrong, and that, in getting out of the coach, she had given her cap some unlucky cuff,--- by their merciless staring.
(Fanny Burney, Vol. 1, 61)

Use of "confab"
We had a very nice confab about various books[...]
(Fanny Burney, Vol. 1, 66)

Use of caps in the house in the morning
[...]And when she comes down in a morning," says Mrs. Thrale, "her hair will be all loose, and her cap half off[...]
(Fanny Burney, Vol. 1, 69)

Jackets worn to church, linen jackets
When Dr. Johnson was gone, she told me of my mother's being obliged to change her dress.
"Now,", said she, "Mrs. Burney had on a very pretty linen jacket and coat, and was going to church; but Mr. Johnson, who, I suppose, did not like her in a jacket, saw something was the matter, and so found fault with the linen: and he looked and peered, and then said, 'Why madam, this won't do! you must not go to church so!' So away went poor Mrs. Burney and changed her gown![...]
(Fanny Burney, Vol. 1, 71)

Suppers
Just as we had got our biscuits and toast-and-water, which make the Streatham supper, and which, indeed, is all there any chance of eating after our late and great dinners[...]
(Fanny Burney, Vol. 1, 79)

Being her own milliner
For the truth is, my "uncommon" engagements have been only of the visiting system, and my "incessant" ones only of the working party; -- for perpetual dress requires perpetual replenishment, and that replenishment actually occupies almost every moment I spend out of company.

"Fact! fact!" I assure you -- however paltry, ridiculous, or inconceivable it may sound. Caps, hats, and ribbons make, indeed, no venerable appearance upon paper; -- no mre do eating and drinking; -- yet the one can no more be worn without being made, than the other swallowed without being cooked; and those who can neither pay milliners no keep scullions must either toil for themselves, or go capless and dinnerless."
(Fanny Burney, Vol. 1, 253.)

Hair and Hat
Don't be angry that I have been absent so long without writing, for I have been so entirely without a moment to myself, except for dressing, that I really have not had it in my power. This morning, being obliged to have my hair dressed early, I am a prisoner, that I may not spoil it by a hat, and therefore I have made use of my captivity in writing to my dear Susy..."
[Had she gone out for a walk, she'd have had to put a hat on her dressed hair, and therefore spoil it.]
(Fanny Burney, Vol. 1, 261)

A Milliner's Visit, and Getting a New Suit
This morning a milliner was ordered to bring whatever she had to recommend; I believe, to our habitation, and Mr. Thrale bid his wife and daughter take what they wanted, and send him the account.

But, not content with this, he charged me to do the same. You may imagine if I did. However, finding me refractory, he absolutely insisted upon presenting me with a complete suit of gauze lino, and htat in a manner that showed me a refusal would greatly disoblige him. And then he very gravely desired me to have whatever I pleased at any time, and to have it added to his account. And so sincere I know him to be, that I am sure he would be rather pleased than surprised if I should run him np a new bill at this woman's. He would fain have persuaded me to have taken abundance of other things, and Mrs. Thrale seemed mpre gratified than with what he did for herself. Tell my dear father all this."
[Fanny was a long-term guest at the Thrale's home, Streatham, as well as fellow traveler to Brighthelmstone and other places.]

Keeping Memoranda on Tablets
It is such an age since I have written, that had I not kept memorandums in my tablets, I could not possibly give any account of our proceedings.
(Fanny Burney, Vol. 1, 280)

Finding Fault with Pinned Ribbons and Cap
Harriet Bowdler is much younger than any of her sisters, but less handsome; she is sprightly, good-humored, and agreeable. I was introduced to her very quietly by her sister, but soon after, Mrs. Bowdler finding some fault with the manner in which she had pinned her ribbons, applied to me about them. I sided, however, with Harriet, whose method I preferred.
(I conjecture that the ribbons were at the top of her bodice and on her cap.)
(Fanny Burney, Vol. 1, 307)

(Fanny Burney, Vol. 1, 268)

Fans on Display
I passed the whole day at Sir Joshua Reynolds's with Miss Palmer, who, in the morning, took me to see some most beautiful fans, painted by Poggi, from designs of Sir Joshua, Angelica, West, and Cipriani, on leather; they are, indeed, more delightful than can be well imagined: ome was bespoke by the Duchess of Devonshire, for a present to some woman of rank in France, that was to cost 30L.
(Fanny Burney, Vol. 2, 10)

The Gewgaws of Lady Say and Sele
"Miss Burney, Lady Say and Sele desires the honor of being introduced to you."

Her ladyship stood by her (Mrs. Paradise's) side. She seems pretty near fifty -- at least turned forty; her head was full of feathers, flowers, jewels, and gew-gaws, and as high as Lady Archer's; her dress was trimmed with beads, silver, persian sashes, and all sort of fine fancies; her face is thin and fiery, and her whole manner spoke a lady all alive."
(She had attended a rout at Mr. Paradise's house.
(F.B., Vol. 2, 90)

Visiting the (Assembly) "Rooms" after the Publication of Cecilia
Mr. Pepys was very unwilling to part with us, and wanted to frighten me from going, by saying, --
"And has Miss Burney courage to venture to the Rooms? In wonder she dares!"

I did not seem to understand him, though to mistake him was impossible. However, I thought of him again when I was in the rooms, for most violent was the staring and whispering as I passed and repassed (promenading); insomuch that I shall by no means be in any haste to go again to them."
(F.B., Vol. 2, 129)

Place of Honor at a Ball
Lady Shelley, who spied us out, sent us an invitation to her party, and we all paraded to the top of the room, which in these places is the post of honor...and we all drank tea together.
(In Brighthelmstone)
(F.B. Vol. 2, 131)

Dressing to Visit
FRIDAY, NOV. 1st.-- We spent at home with only our two young beaus (friends, not real beaux). I was quite glad of not going out; for though the places have done very well, and been very lively when we have assembled at them, I have been heartily tired of such perpetual preparation, dressing, and visiting.
(F.B., Vol. 2, 137)

All about the Last Ball of the Season
When our company was all gone, late as it was, it was settled we should go to the ball, the last for the season being this night. ...

The ball was half over, and all the company seated to tea. Mr. Wade (the master of ceremonies) came to receive us ll, as usual, and we had a table procured for us, and went to tea ourselves, for something to do. When this repast was over, the company returned to their recreation. The room was very thin, and almost half the ladies danced with one another, though there were men enough present, I believe, had they chosen such exertion; but the Meadowses at balls are in crowds. Some of the ladies were in riding habits, and they made admirable men. 'Tis tonnish to be so much undressed at the last ball

None of our usual friends...were here, and we, therefore, made no party; but Mrs. Thrale and I stood at the top of the room to look on the dancing, and as we were thus disengaged, she wa seized with a violent desire to make one among them, and I felt myself an equal inclination. She proposed, as so many women danced together, that we two should, and nothing should I have liked so well; but I begged her to give up the scheme, as that would have occasioned more fuss and observation than our dancing with all the men that were ever born.
(F.B., Vol 2, 140-41)

Fantastic Dress
Miss Monckton...is one of those who stand foremost in collecting all extraordinary or curious people to her London conversaziones, which, like those of Mrs. Vesey, mix the rank and the literature, and exclude all besides....

Miss Monckton is between thirty and forty, very short, very fat, but handsome; splendidly and fantastically dressed, rouged not unbecomingly, yet evidently and palpably desirous of gaining notice and admiration. She has an easy levity in her air, manner, voice, and discourse, that speak all within to be comfortable; and her rage of seeing any thing curious may be satisfied, if she pleases, by looking in a mirror.
(F.B., Vol. 2, 144)

Ornateness of an Invitation
I received, also, a most perfumed note, on French paper, gilt, bordered, glazed, inclosed in a finely decorated cover, and sealed with a miniken figure, from Miss Monckton, to invite me for the 8th, to meet Mrs. Thrale. I accepted the invitation with pleasure; her parties are the most brilliant in town, and she is acquainted with many people I wish to meet. In small parties, or intimate acquaintances, it is necessary to like the mistress of the house; but in large assemblies, is is but like going to a better regulated public place.
(F.B., Vol. 2, 150)

Proper Behavior: Miss Monckton's Assembly, plus Mrs. Galway's Round Cap, and Entrances SLow Due to Wearing a Train
Dec. 8th. -- Now for Miss Monckton's assembly.

I had begged Mrs. Thrale to call for me, that I might have her countenance and assistance upon my entrance. Miss Thrale came also. Every thing was in a new style. We got out of the coach into a hall full of servants, not one of which inquired our names, or took any notice of us. We proceeded, and went upstairs, and when we arrived at a door, stopped and looked behind us. No servant had followed or proceeded us. We deliberated what was to be done. To announce ourselves as rather awkward, neither could we be sure we were going into the right apartment. I proposed our going up higher, till we met with somebody; Miss Thrale thought we should go down and call some of the servants; but Mrs. Thrale, after a ridiculous consultation, determined to try her fortune by opening the door. This being done, we entered a room full of -- tea things, and one maid-servant!

"Well," cried Mrs. Thrale, laughing, "what is to be done now? I suppose we are come so early that nothing is ready."

The maid stared, but said, -- "There's company in the next room."

Then we considered again how to make ourselves known; and then Mrs. Thrale again resolved to take courage and enter. She therefore opened another door, and went into another apartment. I held back, but looked after, and observing that she made no courtsey, concluded she was gone into some wrong place. Miss Thrale followed, and after her went little I, wondering who was to receive, or what was to become of us.

Miss Monckton lives with her mother, the old Dowager Lady Galway, in a noble house in Charles Street, Berkeley Square. The room was large and magnificent. There was not much company, for we were very early. Lady Galway sat at the side of the fire, and received nobody. She seems very old, and was dressed with a little round white cap, and not a single hair, no cushion, roll, nor any thing else but the little round cap, which was flat upon her forehead. Such part of the company as already knew her made their compliments to her where she sat, and the rest were never taken up to her, but belonged wholly to Miss Monckton.

Miss Monckton's own manner of receiving her guests was scarce more laborious; for she kept her seat when they entered, and only turned round her head to nod it and say "How do you do?" after which they found what accommodation they could for themselves.

As soon, however, as she perceived Mrs. and Miss Thrale, which was not till they had been some minutes in the room, she arise to welcome them, contrary to her general custom, and merely because it was their first visit. Our long trains making my entrance  some time after theirs, gave me the advantage of being immediately seen by her, and she advanced to me with quickness, and very politely thanked me for comiong, and said, --

"I fear you think me very rude for taking the liberty of sending to you."

"No, indeed, you did me much honour," quoth I.

She then broke further into her general rules, by making way for me to a good place, and seating me herself, and then taking a chair next to me, and beginning a little chat. I really felt myself much obliged to her for this seasonable attention, for I was presently separated from Mrs. Thrale, and entirely surrounded by strangers, all dressed superbly, and all looking saucily; and as nobody's names were spoken, I had no chance to discover any acquaintances. Mr. Metcalf, indeed, came and spoke to me the instant I came in, and I should have been very happy to have had him for my neighbor; but he was engaged in attending to Dr. Johnson, who was standing near the fire, and environed with listeners.

Some new people coming in, and placing themselves in a regular way, Miss Monckton exclaimed, -- "My whole care is to prevent a circle;" and hastily rising, she pulled about the chairs, and planted the people in groups, with as dexterous a disorder as you would desire to see.

The company in general were dressed with more brilliancy than at any rout I ever was at, as most of them were going to the Duchess of Cumberland's, and attired for that purpose.
F.B., Vol. 2, 153-155)

How Uncomfortably Heavy Sacques (Sacks) Are
Just behind me sat Mrs. Hampden, still very beautiful, but insufferably affected. Another lady, in full dress, and very pretty, came in soon after, and got herself a chair just before me; and then a conversation began between her and Mrs. Hampden, of which I will give you a specimen.

"How disagreeable these sacques are! I am so incommoded with these nasty ruffles! I am going to Cumberland House -- are you?"
"To be sure," said Mrs. Hampden,; "what else, do you think, would make me bear this weight of dress? I can't bear a sacque."
"Why, I thought you said you should always wear them?"
"Oh, yes, but I have changed my mind since then -- as many people do."
"Well, I think it vastly disagreeable indeed," said the other, "you can't think how I'm encumbered with these ruffles!"
"Oh, I am quite oppressed with them," said Mrs. Hampden, "I can hardly bear myself up."
"And I dined in this way!", cried the other; "only think -- dining in a sacque!"
"Oh," answered Mrs. Hampden, "it really puts me quite out of spirits."
Well, have you enough? -- and has my daddy raved enough?
(F.B., Vol 2, 156)

A Round-Dressed Head versus High-Dressed Heads
Old Lady Galway trotted from her corner, in the middle of the evening, and leaning her hands on the backs of two chairs, put her little round head through two fine high dressed ladies on purpose to peep at me, and then trotted back to her place! Ha, ha!
(F.B., Vol. 2, 162)

A Hello Kiss from a Very Dressed-Up Lady
DEC. 15th.. -- To-day, by an invitation of ten days standing, I waited upon Mrs. Walsingham. She is a woman high in fame for her talents, and a wit by birth...(s)he has the character of being only civil to people of birth, fame, or wealth, and extremely insolent to others. Of this, however, I could see nothing, since she at least took care to invite no company to her own house whom she was disposed to disdain. Her reception of me appeared rather singular. She was violently dressed, -- a large hoop, flowers in her small and full dressed cap, ribands and ornaments extremely shown, and a fan in her hand. She was very polite, said much of her particular pleasure in seeing me, and kept advancing to me so near, that involuntarily I retreated from her, not knowing her design, and kept, therefore, getting further and further back as she came forward, till I was stopped from any power of moving by the wainscot. I then necessarily stood still, and she saluted me.
(I don't think Fanny was surprised so much by the dress, as by the kiss)
(F.B., Vol. 2, 163)

Fanny Describes Queen Charlotte's Clothing Preferences: Great Coats or Redingotes
Citation: Burney, Fanny. (2013). pp. 424-5. The Diary and Letters of Madame d'Arblay (Frances Burney), 1890 (Vol. 1). Hong Kong: Forgotten Books. (Original work published 1890)

There are few points I have observed with more pleasure in her than all that concerns the office which brings me to her in this private and confidential manner. All that breaks from her, in our tete-a-tetes upon the subject of dress, is both edifying and amiable. She equips herself for the drawing-room with all the attention in her power; she neglects nothing that she thinks becoming to her appearance upon those occasions, and is sensibly conscious that her high station makes her attire in public a matter of business. As such, she submits to it without murmuring; but a yet stronger consciousness of the real futility of such mere outward grandeur bursts from her, involuntarily, the moment the sacrifice is paid, and she can never refuse herself the satisfaction of expressing her contentment to put on a quiet undress. The great coats are so highly in her favour, from the quickness with which they enable her to finish her toilette, that she sings their praise with fresh warmth every time she is allowed to wear them, archly saying to me, with most expressive eyes, " If I could write " if I could but write 1 " how I would compose upon a great coat! I wish I were a poetess, that I might make a song upon it " I do think something very pretty might be said about it.'*

These hints she has given me continually; but the Muse was not so kind as ever to make me think of the matter again when out of her sight " till, at last, she one day, in putting on this favourite dress, half gravely, said, " I really take it a little ill you won't write something upon these great coats! '* I only laughed, yet, when I left her, I scribbled a few stanzas, copied them very fairly, and took them, as soon as they were finished, into her room; and there kept them safely in my pocket-book, for I knew not how to produce them, and she, by odd accident, forbore from that time to ask for them, though her repeated suggestion had, at last, conquered my literary indolence.!"

Plus, the poem referenced in the quotation above.
Citation: THE CREAM OF THE DIARISTS AND MEMOIR WRITERS. THE DIARY AND LETTERS OF MADAME D'ARBLAY (FRANCES BURNEY.) WITH NOTES BY W. C. WARD, AND PREFACED BY LORD MACAULAY'S ESSAY. IN THREE VOLUMES. VOL. 1. (1778-1787.) http://the-diary-and-letters-of-madame-d-arblay.t.ebooks2ebooks.com/1.html

THE GREAT COAT.

"Thrice honour'd Robe! couldst thou espy The form that deigns to show thy worth; Hear the mild voice, view the arch eye, That call thy panegyric forth;

"Wouldst thou not swell with vain delight? With proud expansion sail along? And deem thyself more grand and bright Than aught that lives in ancient song,

"Than Venus' cestus, Dian's crest, Minerva's helmet, fierce and bold, Or all of emblem gay that dress'd

Capricious goddesses of old? "Thee higher honours yet await:- Haste, then, thy triumphs quick prepare, Thy trophies spread in haughty state, Sweep o'ei the earth, and scoff the air.

"The cares, or joys, she soars above That to the toilette's duties cleave; Far other cares her bosom move, Far other joys those cares relieve.

"The garb of state she inly scorn'd, Glad from its trappings to be freed, She saw thee humble, unadorn'd, Quick of attire,--a child of speed.

"Still, then, thrice honour'd Robe! retain Thy modest guise, thy decent ease; Nor let thy favour prove thy bane By turning from its fostering breeze.

"She views thee with a mental eye, And from thee draws this moral end:-- Since hours are register'd on high, The friend of Time is Virtue's friend."

For this precious production Fanny received quite as much as it was worth,--the thanks of the queen, who added, "Indeed it is very pretty--only! I don't deserve it." -ED.

Quotations Having to Do With Knotting

What a Fund is here for Study! And what a variety of easy Delights! Or, if the Mind is bent upon Manual Exercise, the Knotting-Bag is ready at hand; and their skilful Fingers play their part. Notwithstanding the Ridicule, which is thrown upon this Part of the Character, it appears to me, rather to merit our Applause, than to provoke our Laughter....Rouzed by the Ardor of Emulation, they work for Glory, and assert the prize of Feminine Merit.

With equal skill their practiced Fingers apply the Needle, and rejoin the Lace: With equal Facility they convey the gliding shuttle through the opening Thread, and form the various Knots.
(Fugitive Pieces, on Various Subjects. By several Authors. The Pretty Gentleman, p. 199)


Go where I will, every woman I meet, from little Miss up to her great-Grandmother, is dressed out with her knotting-bag, and is so affectedly busy with her shuttle, and so important about doing nothing, that they fret me to a degree not very consistent with my health. Young raw arms, and old withered ones are all in motion together, with so many gestures and grimaces, and turns of the head and eyes, that it is one general convulsion through the company, as if they had got St. Vitus's dance. When a lady comes into the room, you would swear, by the great satchel on her arm, that she had brought her provision with her. The shuttle pops out between the courses, after every sip of tea, and every deal of the cards. I could forgive chits for any nonsense, but for stayed matrons to commence children again, and bring their play-things into company, is not to be borne. I remember, not very long ago, when women were not ashamed to cut out a shirt or a smock, or make caps, or knit stockings. But these occupations are now, it seems, only fit for the Canaille, and millinary things can be had from the shop, at not above four times the price they could be made for. What, in the name of goodness, do they mean by it?...I don't believe they know themselves; but it is the fashion, and to be the fashion it can't be too foolish....
...IN the next place, that it is a profitable specieis of industry, I can demonstrate from experiment. I made my wife, who is very expert at her shuttle, take  a yard of thread, and sit down to knot it, chatting to me at the same time, so as to preserve a middle rate of velocity. It was finished in ten minutes, and produced a quarter of a yard of knotting, so that, in an hour, one yard an a half may easily be manufactured....
...Then, to examine the per contra, I made her weigh out, and measure a quarter of an ounce of Smith's five shilling thread, which han to 69 yads and a half...Now in order to knot this thread, it must be doubled...
...so that after ornamenting all the toilets, bed-quilts and curtains, and festooning those under-garments which are cruelly hidden from our sight...
...There is an inimitable scene of this kind in the Egarmens de Coeur, where the beautiful De Lursay, to compleat all her attractions, throws herself into the graceful attitude of knotting...The use of this little implement is, in short, more powerful and various than even that of the fan...
...But I must request my fair readers to observe, that the effects of this graceful amusement are lost by being to constantly exhibited....
...I will farther venture to affirm, that it is not every woman who can knot, that is qualified to wield the shuttle. An expression of sentiment can only arise from an informed mind...
The Modern Monitor; or, Flyn's Speculations. Monday, June 18, 1770. (pp. 140-146)

Viscountess: Am I not engaged to a reading party, and a tea-drinking----O! I have forgot my knotting bag; how giddy I am! I shall be tired to death----I cannot attend to the person who reads unless I am knotting.
Theatre of Education. Translated from the French of the Countess de Genlis Vol. 1. 1781 (p.423)

Fribble. This word specifies one of those ambiguous animals, who are neither male nor female...
...He even dendeavors to make himself necessary to them; combs their lap-dogs, fancies their ribbons, recommends the best scented powder, and loves to be consulted on the cut of their cap, their tea, and the placing of their china-baubles: helps them in their knotting, fringing, embroidering, or shellwork: understands pastry, preserving, pickling, and the like.
Excepts from The Dictionary of Love. In which is contained the explanation of the terms used in that language. In The Monthly Review. For December, 1753.

Quotations Having To Do with Floss Fringe (Souci d'hanneton/sourcil de hanneton)

SOUCI DE HANNETON, en terme de boutonnier, c'est une espece de meche en soie plate, et non torse, devidee sur une bobine; on la noue a une certaine distance, de neouds pres l'un de l;autre, puis de deux autres a la meme distance, ainsi tout le long, jusqua'a ce qu'on en ait assez; ensuite on coupe la soie au milieu de la distance des noeuds; cette distance partagee forme de petits bouquets brillans, a proportions de beaute de la soie; le souci entre dans les grains d'epinars, et autres ajustemens d'hommes et de femmes.

Page 487, Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, By Denis Diderot, Bernard. Google Books.

Rough English translation:
Floss fringe, a term of the button maker, is a type of "wisp" [wick?] of flat silk [reeled, untwisted silk filament], and not twisted, rolled on a bobbin; one knots it at a certain distance, the knots close one to the other, then the two others at the same distance, and so the entire length, until one has made enough; after which one cuts the silk in the middle of the distance between the knots; this shared  distance forms little brilliant bouquets, in proportion to the beauty of the silk; the ?? in between the ??, and other ?? of men and women.

HANNETON, subst. f., (l'h s'aspire) Boutonniers-Frangiers: soucis de hanneton, espece de frange a houpette, qui imite les corne houppees de l'insecte de ce nom. Ce sont les frangiers qui fabriquent les soucis de hanneton.

From Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et ..., Volume 17. p. 29. Google books.

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