previous next

[458] showed a man who would probably demean himself with dignity and intelligence.

The best dress of the rich was very costly: The scarlet coat, wadded skirts, full sleeves, cuffs reaching to the elbows, wristbands fringed with lace; embroidered bands, tassels, gold buttons; vests fringed with lace; and small-clothes with puffs, points, buckles, &c.; a sword hanging by the side.

The visiting-dress of the ladies was more costly, complicated, and ornamental than their husbands or brothers wore. But with them we have little to do in this brief notice, and therefore leave to others the description of their coiffures, which were so high as to bring their faces almost into the middle of their bodies; their black silk and satin bonnets; their gowns, so extremely long-waisted; their tight sleeves, which were sometimes very short, with an immense frill at the elbow; their spreading hoops and long trails; their high-heeled shoes; and their rich brocades, flounces, spangles, embroidered aprons, &c. Their dress on the sabbath was simple, secure, and modest: A cheap straw bonnet, with only one bow without, and no ornament but the face within; a calico dress, of sober colors, high up in the neck, with a simple white muslin collar just peeping round the top; a neat little shawl, and a stout pair of shoes,--these presented to the eye the Puritan costume of our ancestral and pious mothers. They were happy, some may think, in being free from the more than royal tyranny of those modern mistresses of shears and needles, who distort and crucify nature to furnish that variety which caprice must have, and whose new fashions finally penetrate the abodes of our northern subterranean Esquimaux, and the huts of the South-Sea islanders. It is certainly to be hoped that these kaleidoscope changes of our day may do something for artistic beauty, and something for feeding the poor artisans; and thus be some compensation for converting females into manikins to show off satins and embroideries. We look with anxiety for the time when old things shall become new; when hoops and pattens, silk cloaks and top-knots, tunics and scarlet belts, sacks and ruffle cuffs, small-clothes and silver buckles, embroidered vests and neck-ties, powdered hair and long cues, shall drive out the tiptoe modes of modern days, and reign again supreme.

The best dwelling-houses of our Medford ancestors were two stories high in front, slanting off to one story in the rear.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Medford (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: