Dogs in the old world

Keep in mind that attitudes toward dogs in the old world aren’t always entirely negative or positive though usually have been through almost either extreme, likely owing to their use in warding off pests as well as becoming pests themselves (same for cats). Both clergy and witches were noted for owning them. Demons and witches could also appear as cats and dogs.

Such beliefs might be muted these days in Europe save for folkloric research (especially when dating back to the Renaissance and the 17th century). But they’re very much alive and well among some African churches generally speaking. Not to mention both mosques and churches (especially Russian ones these days) still exclude dogs.

Stray dogs are present in both Eurasia and Africa. But I also suspect if stray dogs still exist in Europe, they’re far likelier to occur in farms, villages and anywhere near forests (same for cats to a degree, especially in farms from German language sources). But it’s also the same or similar in Asian and African slums, farms, villages and compounds.

I’ve been to my relatives’ compound where my cousin’s dogs wander to my granny’s house. Not quite straying but still important to extrapolate from. It also gets compounded by that sometimes vets can be hard to come by as well as affording resources needed to keep animals from straying and reproducing.

Not always because owners are lazy but because they can’t always afford it or even access to it. It’s arguably worse in places like Russia, India, China, the Caucasus, Turkey, Armenia, North Africa and the Middle East where it’s worsened by either geography (uninhabitable/inhospitable terrain making it harder for owners to find good vets at all) or classism (India).

That and religious attitudes having a say in Russia, Turkey, Armenia, North Africa and Middle East. To some degree, the Philippines (especially from personal experience where stray dogs (and cats) are likelier to be found in farms, green spaces in general, slums and villages as well as Indonesia and Malaysia.

Keep in mind that such attitudes vary between individuals, communities and regions, even whole countries. Cameroon’s got a higher cat ownership rate than in Nigeria (though it could’ve changed by now) and Alevi Muslims find both cats and dogs dirty.

Despite having yet to go to Europe and Africa or even the rest of Asia myself, I’m speaking from what I know from both experience and from being interested in mostly the Old World so.

Lapdogs and Old Maids

(Two Excerpts from Google Books)

The Metropolitan Magazine, Volume 21
About this book

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67 – 71

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Married people are often very fond of match-making, and wicked wits say, that they act on the principle of the man who, when irretrievably stuck in the mire, called to a friend to come and assist him, with the view of getting him into a similar situation. Old maids are remarkably fond of match-breaking, and the reason is the same; they feel that they are doomed to perpetual banishment from the temple of Hymen, and therefore are desirous of securing as many companions as possible in their exile. I do not dislike the old maid who is fairly turned of sixty; by that time she gives up matrimonial speculations for herself, and is not rendered miserable by the success of them in others; she betakes herself to cards, lap-dogs, and paroquets, accepts the flattery of a toad-eater if rich, or becomes the toad-eater herself if poor; she may be generally splenetic, but is seldom individually spiteful. The old maid of forty, or five-and-forty, however, is the very genius of mischief; she has not yet taken leave of the air, dress, and manners of juvenility; she has a lingering hope that she may be able to rival girls, which, nevertheless, always terminates in the sad certainty of being rivalled by them; and, next to the apparently inaccessible felicity of being married herself, she learns to rank the pleasure of spoiling the marriages of her young female friends. My business, however, is not to write a treatise upon old maids; but to relate the history of two of the class who were no contemptible and mean professors of the art of match-breaking.

Miss Ogleby was five-and-forty; she had been handsome when young, and might still have appeared to advantage had she condescended to wear dark silks, blonde caps, and tolerably-sized bonnets, to walk a moderate pace, and to speak in a moderate tone. Miss Ogleby, however, was bent on playing the light-hearted, gay, fearless, juvenile beauty; the hair of her wig was drawn back so as completely to display the marks of time on her forehead, her thin arms fully displayed, not their whiteness and symmetry, but their want of them, through gauze or book-muslin sleeves; she adopted a tripping, playful walk, which ill-assorted with her frequent attacks of rheumatism; and her voice, which even in youth was more remarkable for loudness than for melody, had acquired that sort of sharp, dogmatical quickness, which is more fit for cross-examining a witness than for any office to which a lady’s voice ought to be applied; her eyes, which were black, and remarkably large and bright, lost all attraction from the bold stare which characterised them; her teeth were in tolerable preservation, and if two of the front ones were of a more brilliant whiteness than the rest, it is nothing wonderful that inconsistencies should sometimes exist in the human mouth, when we consider how many are continually coming out of it.

Miss Ogleby had tried unremittingly to gain a husband from the age of sixteen, but her large share of forwardness completely neutralised the effect of her small share of beauty; she had, besides, no fortune in her youth; and when the death of an aunt put her in possession of a few hundreds a year, her faded person and unfeminine manners prevented her from receiving proposals, except from decided adventurers, whose motives she had sufficient shrewdness to detect, and whose overtures she had sufficient wariness and self-denial to reject. Miss Ogleby took the round of all the watering-places, and then pursued the plan of Lady Dainty in the comedy, who when she had gone through all the complaints of the day-book, went all through them again: at length, she was induced to take a house in the pretty, cheap, cheerful country town of Allingham; a country town is a delightful locality for an old maid. Gossip is as avowedly the great study and pursuit there, as the classics at Oxford, or the mathematics at Cambridge; and Miss Ogleby soon qualified herself to take a first degree in the science : whether she took honours or not I will not pretend to say; I do not myself consider that the science of gossip has any honours attached to it, but I am quite ready to allow that a great many people are of a contrary opinion. Miss Ogleby’s chief pastime now consisted in match-breaking, and she certainly organized her plans very well; she did not frown contempt on the young girls of her acquaintance, censure their frivolities, and repulse their civilities; but she eagerly sought their society, joined in their amusements, and rallied them about their admirers; she constantly avoided at parties the sofa where sat the matrons—she never approached the card-table either as player or spectator, but took her seat by the piano, or stood by the bagatelle-board, generally indicating her position by her loud laugh and ready jest. Notwithstanding all these juvenilities,, people did not believe Miss Ogleby to be young, but they said that she was remarkably fond of young people; now in this conclusion they were wrong, Miss Ogleby was not fond of young people, but she knew that her machinations against them would work much better if she appeared as their friend than as their foe, and took her measures accordingly. If a young man appeared disposed to admire a diffident girl, Miss Ogleby would immediately attach herself to her side, take the conversation completely out of her hands, answer every observation of the inamorato herself, and, under the veil of great protection and fondness, contrive to make the retiring fair one appear as a child and a cipher; if, on the contrary, the lover was timid, Miss Ogleby would, in the very first budding of his inclination, tell him that everybody said his wedding-day was fixed, ask where the honeymoon excursion was to be taken, and petition for bridecake. If a man of wealth seemed smitten with a penniless beauty, she would tell him that she understood he had offered to settle ten thousand pounds upon her, but that the lady’s friends stood out for twenty, and that she begged to give her humble advice that they would split the difference and make it fifteen; if a prudent, careful man of small income formed an attachment, she would, with the utmost simplicity, eulogise to him the liberal ideas and noble spirit of his chosen fair one; and as all these observations were made with the most smiling hilarity, and she was always on excellent terms with the girls whom she depreciated, it was impossible to prove, or even to believe, her guilty of wilful aspersion.

Miss Ogleby had formed an intimacy at Bath with Miss Malford, another old maid: she began to feel a great want of a confidante and coadjutor, and therefore wrote to her friend, extolling the advantages and recommendations of Allingham, and pressing her to come and settle there; a pretty and cheap house near her own was to be disposed of, and Miss Malford soon took up her residence there. Miss Malford was three years younger than Miss Ogleby, but she had not like her the advantage of having ever been handsome; she was decidedly deformed, and her countenance had that elfin, shrewd expression, which frequently exists in persons so afflicted; and although not more ill-natured than her friend in reality, she had the character of being so, because, being much cleverer, she had a greater ability of saying sarcastic things. Her property was enough to keep her in independence, but not sufficient to be an indemnification for the unloveliness of her person and disposition.

One “poor gentleman,” however, who was rapidly advancing to the end of the London season and his own finances, wrought himself up to the desperate resolution of making a proposal to Miss Malford. Feeling that this daring measure required the protection of numbers, he determined to make known his passion in some public place. He accompanied Miss Malford to the Exhibition at Somerset House; but, alas! the beautiful productions of innumerable delightful ‘portrait-painters smiled and shone around him on every side, and he felt he could not profane the atmosphere of such forms of loveliness, by applying any expressions of admiration to the little, sallow, frowning spinster, hanging on his arm.

The next attempt was at the Adelaide Gallery, and he was actually on the point of making a proposal, when his liege lady inadvertently expressed a wish to be electrified: it was instantly complied with, and the force employed being greater than she had calculated upon, her starts and contortions made her appear so much more frightful than usual, that she lost the opportunity of receiving a far more gratifying electric shock in the shape of an offer of marriage!

The third act of the comedy or tragedy, call it which you will, took place at Madame Tussaud’s wax-work. The hesitating suitor had accompanied Miss Malford and two of her friends thither in the evening; the grand room was splendidly lighted up, and a band was playing “Love in the Heart;” but, alas! love was not in the heart of the unfortunate young man, he did not ” own the soft impeachment.” Presently, however, he entered with his party into the “room of horrors;” a faint lamp burned dimly; he looked at Miss Malford, she had never appeared to such advantage, her complexion was actually only a faint shade of primrose when compared to the yellow waxen effigy in the centre of the room; and although her head was very ungracefully set upon her shoulders, it boasted at least one great superiority to the ghastly heads around her, from the circumstance of its being on her shoulders at all!

The lady and gentlemen of their party quitted the room, and the rash suitor was on the point of pouring forth his passionate protestations, when Miss Malford stopped him by beginning to speak herself. A lady is proverbially anxious for the last word, it would be well sometimes if she were not equally anxious for the first. Miss Malford poured forth such a torrent of spiteful, sarcastic vituperation, against the lady who had just left the room—and whose only fault was that her prettiness and amiability seemed likely to make a conquest of the gentleman who was her escort—that the feelings of the poor suitor underwent a sudden revulsion: he looked around the room, the quietude and repose of the yellow figure were quite refreshing after the display of very disagreeable vivacity which he had witnessed; and although the heads were divorced from their shoulders, those little unruly members, the tongues, had become silent and innoxious in the process. The gentleman led Miss Malford from the room of horrors, still likely to remain Miss Malford, and returned to his peaceable, though humble lodgings, not a “sadder,” but certainly a “wiser man,” than when he contemplated the desperate expedient of enriching and enlivening them by the introduction of a shrewish wife.

Miss Malford was deeply hurt by his secession; she now began to despair of making conquests, and formed her character on the model of Bonnel Thornton’* “mighty good sort of woman;” she interfered in the affairs of families—made husbands discontented with their wives—put variance between parents and children—got gay nephews and saucy nieces scratched out of the wills of rich uncles and aunts— domineered over servants—and lectured poor people.

After her intimacy with Miss Ogleby, however, she became convinced that although there may be much pleasure in mischievous actions in the aggregate, that peculiar branch, which consists in matchbreaking, seems most decidedly cut out for the vocation of the old maid; and when she was once settled at Allingham, she devoted all her energies to that one single great point. I will not relate the number of proposed matches which these well-assorted friends nipped in the bud or the blossom, during the first year of their residence at Allingham; but will hasten to introduce my readers to a very pretty young lady, who had the misfortune of falling under their especial ban. Allingham was a town which, on account of its fine air, reasonable provisions, and frequent gaieties, was considered a very desirable residence by persons of genteel habits and small fortunes; and Mrs. Stapleton, the handsome widow of an officer, deemed it an advantageous spot for herself and her only daughter, Rose, to settle in.

Rose Stapleton was about twenty years old, and a complete personification of youth in her appearance and motions; perhaps I may be considered to have been guilty of tautology in this sentence; but I know many girls whom I maintain have never been young—who are, and always have been, destitute of the sprightliness, elasticity, and freshness of youth. Such was not Rose Stapleton; she was remarkably pretty; and her beauty, on account of its decidedly bright and juvenile characteristics, was likely to be peculiarly objectionable to the sight of an old maid. She had a profusion of rich sunny ringlets. intensely blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and scarlet lips, and teeth so brilliantly white, that Miss Malford said they afforded an infallible indication of consumption; the figure of Rose, however, had nothing consumptive about it, being somewhat below the middle size, and inclined to a degree of plumpness which might have injured its girlish air, had it not been counterbalanced by the light and sylph-like agility of her mien. Rose had also a smile so very sweet, as to give reason to suppose that her temper was equally so. Mrs. Stapleton was generally considered and denominated a worldly-wise woman; but I am of opinion that she was rather injured by the phrase; she had none of the cold, calculating policy, which usually appertains to such a character. She certainly wished and expected that her daughter should marry a wealthy man, and the exceeding personal attractions of Rose did not seem to. render such a hope at all unreasonable; but she took no particular means to secure her point, save giving smiles and invitations to rich men, and cool receptions and averted looks to poor ones. She did not carry her beautiful Rose to display “her buskins gemmed with morning dew” in the early promenade of Cheltenham, or to “wave her golden hair” in the stirring breezes of Brighton.

Rose Stapleton was not educated or put forward for display; she neither acted charades, nor shot at archery meetings, nor officiated at fancy fairs, nor attitudinized in tableaux—she was simply an engaging unsophisticated girl, with a lovely face, moderate accomplishments, and a fine temper. Mrs. Stapleton showed one proof of strict attention to her daughter’s matrimonial interests, which she considered to indicate great shrewdness on her part, but which in my opinion was decidedly the reverse. She did not permit Rose to form a close intimacy with any of the girls among her acquaintance, but as she felt that it would not be desirable to have her unaccompanied by female associates, she readily accepted the overtures of Miss Ogleby and Miss Malford to exceeding sociability. Mrs. Stapleton argued to herself, with what she considered the tact of a woman of the world, “If Rose be surrounded by young and attractive girls, the attentions of any one disposed to admire her will be divided, or perhaps even alienated; now, Miss Ogleby and Miss Malford are excellent foils, and although they are worthy kind creatures, no man in his senses who is a good match, would ever think of offering to either of them; then they are both very fond of Rose, and will be sure to draw her out, and speak highly of her if required, for she is young enough to be the daughter of either of them, and of course is quite out of the question as a rival.”

Poor Mrs. Stapleton, she little knew the instinctive hatred felt by an old maid for a young beauty; she was a thoroughly good-natured woman, without the least taste for mischief, and would just as soon have thought of amusing herself in breaking matches, as in breaking china.

Rose also gave full credit to the protestations of friendship which she received from the spinsters: she and her mother both rather wondered that two or three gentlemen, who had seemed greatly to admire her, had never made any serious proposals to her; but they little

Fashion and Consequence: As Now Found in High Places and Low Places
By Minister of many travels
About this book

Terms of Service

vi – 10

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Miss Kate’s Birth-day Party, – • – • 13

The Party at Night, – •- – • • 16


Taking an Evening Walk when twelve years old, – – 24


At the Opera, • – • • • – – 33

A Wag, – – – – • • • 33


Master James at twenty-one, – • • • 45


Master James going to Ask for a Wife, • • • 51


At a Masquerade Ball, – – – – • 82


A Lady kissing a Lap-Dog, – – • * • 91


The Belle of the Party, – – – • • 110


A New York Dandy, – – • – – 116


A Young Lady making a bad Choice, – • – 145


The Whisky Seller, – – – – – – 170


CHAPTER XXVIII. Gentlemen Fashionably Dressed, – * – 180

CHAPTER XXIX. Dancers, – • – – – – 200

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Two Waltzing, – – – – – • 214 CHAPTER XXXI.

An Editor, – – – • • – • 227

Theatrical Dancing, – – – – • • 228 CHAPTER XXXII.

A Woman Riding in the Circus, – – – – 265 CHAPTER XXXIII.

The Parson, &c., # – – – – – – 272 CHAPTER xxxV.

A Fashionable Couple. – – – • – 289

Assignation House, &c., – – – • • 293

CHAPTER xxxWII. A Church-Going Couple, – – – s • 317


MISS. K.A.T. E. S. BIR. T. H.D.A. Y. WILLIAM STARK speaks thus *specting a single idea: “It came to Newton as he lay under the tree, and all the stars in heaven and the sun itself yielded obedience. It came to Watts as he thought of the separate condenser, and an army of cranks and wheels more numerous than the hosts that sung psalms before the holy city, have this day sung his praises. It came to Fulton as he thought of the paddle-wheel, and every river and every sea is now blossoming with the flower of genius. It came to Franklin as he thought of the kite, and the very lightning came down from their lofty thrones to do him honor. It came to Bacon as he thought of the inductive system, and the whole mental world leaped into a new existence. Philosophy turned from her beaten paths, and followed him as a dog would follow his master; the physical world awoke. There came a voice from every drop in the salt ocean, and from every rock on the broad land — from every trembling star above us, and from every sleeping fossil beneath; and rock, star, and dew-drop, cloud, fish, and fossil, all found tongues and voices to proclaim his praise.” Gentle reader, is not this a beautiful idea, beautifully expressed ? If, however, you have ever thought on the appearance of the morning star in a clear blue sky, followed by a day of clouds, tempest, and thunder, you are prepared to appreciate the cause of its introduction here, to anticipate coming results, and to follow us through the startling scenes and disclosures of fashionable society.” The Single Idea.—To present the world with a book of facts, while others are engaged in writing books of fiction, entitled Fashion and Consequence, is the single idea which now actuates the mind of the Writer. * Let us, therefore, commence, without an additional reflection, with Miss Kate. But here a question naturally arises — who is Miss Kate 2 An august personage, just twelve months old, whose birth-day, on account of its transcending interest to the social circle and to the world at large, must be celebrated by a party

* “Why,” said a talkative lady to Dr. Johnston, “I believe you prefer the company of men to that of the ladies.” “Madame,” he replied, “I am very fond of the society of ladies. I like their beauty, I like their delicacy, I like their vivacity, and I like their silence.” Our fashionable ladies, after reading this book, will not conclude that we are inattentive to their conversations, dresses, inclinations, and habits. They may, and doubtless will, think that our strictures are too pointed and too severe. Here, in reference to this, we would reply, that the following incident will fully explain our feeling and design: “A little boy, when at school, heard some of the children say, ‘Only old maids keep lap-dogs and parrots. This so wounded his feelings, on account of an unmarried aunt residing at his mother’s having a parrot, that he resolved on killing “purty Polly, so soon as he should arrive at home. The moment he entered the piazza, he met with the parrot, and ended its days. The aunt, in her agitation, exclaimed: “Why, you bad child, you have killed my parrot!” “Aunt, aunt, the little fellow replied, ‘I heard the children say at school, only old maids keep lap-dogs and parrots, and I resolved to take the stain off your character. That’s why.I killed the parrot.’”

We, in common with others, have been throwing grass too long;

Not much different from dogs

There’s a recent study on stray dogs where it says that many, if not most of them have the same copies of a certain mutation as dingoes do: two. I suspect while not necessarily true for all dogs (where the mutation to process starch’s analogous to human lactose tolerance), it’s parsimonious to suggest that dingoes are dogs themselves, it’s just semantics and differences in culture (especially in Australia) that worsen matters.

While it can be attributed to bad ownership practises, it also gets complicated by ecological, geographic and economic factors where the places dogs (and cats) are likeliest to stray are usually in slums, farms, villages and within compounds. There are owners who want to get them sterilised but not when vets don’t come cheap and if they’re also literally out of reach too. It can be really hard to find a good vet.

Moreso if the majority of land’s practically uninhabitable as in Russia and Australia or in India, due to serious classism. This isn’t always the case but coincidental and common enough to explain such phenomena.

It’s the canine equivalent of lactose tolerance

Like I said, though dogs’ ability to process starch’s attributed to the advent of agriculture keep in mind it might not be universal among other dogs. I suspect the closest human analogy is lactose tolerance. Some people developed the ability to process lactose better especially if it coincided with cow domestication but it’s not necessarily true for others.

It’s similar to how starch’s for dogs where like I said not all dogs can process starch. Though it could also be coloured from my personal experience having had dogs die from a diet based on rice (indirectly via cats eating it or directly fed with it). One dog died from jaundice, several more died from diarrhoea. One surviving dog got glaucoma.

Another diabetically overweight and yet another stunted growth, though this might be one of the factors but still. It’s likely the mutation spread among certain dogs, given it might not be true for others like how lactose tolerance is to people. Just because lactose tolerance became a thing among people isn’t necessarily true for everybody else, likely owing to a mutation.

Dogs and the start of Chinese civilisation

There’s a new study claiming that Chinese civilisation could’ve started earlier, especially with desertification where it may’ve started in the North. Especially when it comes to the Gobi Desert encompassing both China and Mongolia. In another, almost related study dogs are now thought to be first domesticated somewhere near Mongolia. If these two ever coexisted together before, that suggests a profound correlation.

After all I remember somebody saying that dogs and ancestral Filipinos came from China, which still makes perfect sense. The Philippines is fairly close to China and China in turn shares a border with Mongolia which is said to be where dogs first came from. If it went with desertification and wolves becoming commensal, that’s practically how dogs came to be.

From then on dogs spread, sometimes straying away from villages and within compounds in heat and sometimes mating with wolves (African dogs are said to have Middle Eastern DNA).

Got the dogs from China

I think I remember somebody saying that dogs came from China, which makes perfect sense given migration movements and trade routes. In fact, according to some people Filipinos are said to come from China and Taiwan especially as confirmed by genetic evidence. If that’s the case, it’ll still make sense that dogs also came from China too. Or rather what’ll become China if domestication/commensalism took place in 15,000 BP. Which makes sense if Neolithic China came around in 10,000 BP and possibly earlier than that.

Especially if it came with agriculture where many, if not most dogs developed the mutation for processing starch. Keep in mind it might not always be true for other dogs, especially if they can’t process starch themselves (though it could be my personal experience colouring this, having lost so many dogs due to a rice diet and the surviving ones show diabetes, stunted growth and blindness). Either they don’t have the mutation at all or have been mating more often with wolves.

But it’s still coincidental enough considering that dog domestication nearly coincided with the start of Chinese civilisation.

Straying in compounds and farms

Though this isn’t always the case, I suspect bad ownership practises aren’t always to blame for why cats and dogs stray. Especially if their owners wanted to keep them from straying and reproducing any further but not when it’s literally beyond their reach and budget that there’s little they can do about it, even if they wanted to.

Not to mention the likeliest places where cats and dogs stray especially in Europe, Africa and from personal experience are those in close proximity to farms (or within farms themselves), villages, slums and compounds. I know this from personal knowledge. Not just with cats coming from that farm behind my house/home.

But also knowing my cousin’s dogs wander to my grandmum’s house whenever I go to my compound as well as seeing them in rural villages and slums. As for stray cats, it’s also attributed to farms and like I said, farmers who do own them sometimes want to get them vaccinated and sterilised.

Not when they can’t find better vets, let alone afford one though there are already attempts to curb it so. (It also gets magnified by geography as in Russia and Australia or classism in India.)