Saturday Snippets: 13 July 2013: Corsets in court, naked gentlemen, naughty little kings, the Will tattoo, canine sagacity

From the V&A touring exhibition: Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear in Fashion.

From the V&A touring exhibition: Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear in Fashion.

 Slander Case. James Gosling, a dry goods merchant, doing business on Market Street, was mulcted in $1300 on Wednesday, by a jury in the District Court. Mr. G. sold two corsets to a Miss Lucy Morgan, and permitted her, as is the custom, to take them home that she might see if they would answer. It was found, on examination, that they would not suit, and they were sent back, but before they got to the store Mr. Gosling saw Miss Morgan in an omnibus at Hares’ Hotel, on her way to the railroad station, and , believing that she intended defrauding him, he called her a “rascal,” and said she had the corsets in her truck on the top of the vehicle. When he got back to the store he found them there, and Miss M. bringing suit against him for slander, obtained a verdict as above stated. Pittsburg Chron. Boston [MA] Traveler 16 November 1857: p. 2


The Small Monarch of Spain is Imperious and Obstreperous

If all the stories are true which are told about the little King of Spain, he must be a very willful little boy, indeed, and quite determined to have his own way in everything. One cannot greatly blame the little king for his waywardness, because the rules of his country are such that the word of the king is law, in many things, whether that same king be young or old, little or big. So little Alphonso must be pardoned if he is a “spoiled” child.

One day Alphonso and his governess were out driving, when suddenly the governess noticed that the little king was not acknowledging the salutes of his subjects.

“I am too tired to bow to them,” exclaimed he, pettishly, “and I am not going to do it.”

“But you must acknowledge their salutes,” insisted the governess, “because you are their king, and it is one of the customs for a king to bow to his subjects.”

“I shall not bow to them!” exclaimed Alphonso, loudly. “Then you cannot drive in the carriage with me,” replied the governess, kindly, but firmly for she feared that Alphonso would offend his subjects.

“Then you may get out and walk!” exclaimed the naughty little king. Then, calling to the coachman, he cried:

“Halt, Carlo! This lady wishes to go on foot.” Evening Star [Washington, D.C.] 12 November 1892: p. 9


 It is said that a woman, who had but a short time to live, had a five-hundred-word will tattooed upon her back to prevent any misunderstanding and to safeguard against forgery. The will was read before the woman was buried, by her attorney, in the presence of the relatives. Needless to say, there was no litigation, and the wishes of this astute Englishwoman were carried out. NZ Truth, 27 December 1924: p. 6

The Cat-o’-Nine-Tails in New York

Part of an east side family’s equipment is a small cat-o’-nine-tails. Not quite the instrument of torture used at Delaware’s three whipping posts, but a small affair, consisting of a short wooden handle and a few leathern thongs. The implement is designed for family discipline, and waved threateningly when east side children misbehave in the presence of their parents. All east side house furnishers sell the domestic cat-o’-nine-tails at 15 cents or less – New York Letter The Wichita [KS] Daily Eagle 15 July 1890: p. 6 

WHALEBONE CLOTH. – M. Schultz, of Prague, has taken out a patent for the manufacture of a kind of cloth from whalebone. We are informed that the cloth obtained by this process bears a strong resemblance to silk, and is particularly adapted for making cravats, under waistcoats, ribbons, &c. Freedom’s Journal [New York, NY] 1 August 1828

A little cake dipped in sherry wine will, it is said, restore the lost voice of a canary bird. That’s nice medicine. Albany [NY] Evening Journal 15 February 1870: p. 2


A frightful accident happened to the “Female Blondin” at Highbury Barn on yesterday evening. She has for some time past been engaged at this place of amusement, and was last night performing on the high rope, when she fell to the ground. She had gone through the greater part of her performance, having walked across the rope with a pole, wheeled a barrow along it, and walked across in a sack, when she started holding a pole loaded with fireworks, and Catharine wheel at each end. She had got three parts of the way across the rope, when the fireworks at one end of the pole seemed to give way and destroy her balance. She fell, but caught on the rope with her leg. Unfortunately, she was unable to support herself and the next instant she came down with a heavy thud on to the gravel walk beneath. She was of course taken up immediately, but was perfectly insensible, and when our reporter left not the slightest hopes were entertained of her recover.


This morning at eight o’clock Mr. Claremont, Mr. Saul, and Mr. King, met in consultation at Highbury Barn, and it was discovered that her chief injury is fracture of the neck of the femur (thigh-bone), but there are others. She was sensible, and at her own request has since been removed to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, where she now remains an inmate. The unfortunate woman was to have performed tonight at Wolverhampton. There was but one feeling prevailed, which was, that the sooner these dangerous sensation exhibitions are put a stop to the better. Evening Star [London, England] 15 August 1862: p. 3  [Later reports stated that she could no longer practice her profession because of the injury.]


“Have you any children, madam?” inquired a sharp landlord of a lady in modest black who was looking at one of his houses, just finished and in perfect order.

“Yes,” said the gentle mother. “I have seven, sir, but they are all in the churchyard!”

A sign and the dew of a tear gave impressiveness to the painful remark, and without further parley the bargain was closed.

Her little flock were waiting for her in the churchyard around the corner, and were delighted to hear that she had found a snug house so speedily. The landlord says he shall never trust a woman in black after this. Anti-Slavery Bugle [New Lisbon, OH] 6 October 1855: p. 4 

CANINE SAGACITY The truth of the following instance of the sagacity of a dog, we can substantiate in every particular, and it is, we think, well worthy of notice. A little daughter of one of our prominent citizens has a well arranged baby house upon which she bestowed much care, tastefully dressing the various doll occupants thereof in the morning, and divesting them of their clothing at night. This practice she has followed for some months. The pet dog usually set by her at night, and superintended the work of preparing the dolls for bed. One evening last week the girl was away to tea, and did not return in season to perform the practical duties to the babies. The dog awaited her arrival until the dolls’ hour of retiring had passed, and knowing that they ought to be taken care of, he carefully went to work and undressed them—five in number—without injuring the dresses in the least. How he did it we know not, but it is a fact. [Nantucket Inquirer.] Mineral Point [WI] Weekly Tribune 5 July 1859: p. 1

“What impudence !” exclaimed Mrs. Shoddy. “Here is a man applying by letter for a situation as coachman, who signs himself ‘ Your obedient servant,’ and I have not even thought of hiring him yet.” Household Words Vol. 5, Charles Dickens, 1882

 The gentlemen disrobing for the bath in the evenings in the basement of the new Y.M.C.A. building, are certainly ignorant of the treacherous transparency of the ground glass windows by electric light, or they would hang a few curtains. Cincinnati [OH] Post 14 January 1892: p. 3

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Even if it would have brought her into the clutches of the Holy Inquisition, Mrs Daffodil believes that she would have used the family cat-o-nine-tails on his insufferable little Majesty. The young King was Alphonso XIII [1886-1931], under the regency of his mother Queen Maria Christina of Austria, whom we have previously met in a post about a cursed opal ring.  King Alphonso lost his throne to a Prime Minister and a Republic, which perhaps would not have happened had he not offended his subjects by refusing to bow to them.

1 thought on “Saturday Snippets: 13 July 2013: Corsets in court, naked gentlemen, naughty little kings, the Will tattoo, canine sagacity

  1. Pingback: Saturday Snippets: 13 July 2013: Corsets in court, naked gentlemen, naughty little kings, the Will tattoo, canine sagacity | Delaware Online

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