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The Rise of the 

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By W, D. ncCRACKAN, A. M. 

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I 1 -J 



The last session of the International Council of "Women 
discussed no question of greater importance to civilization 
than that of dress reform. The fact that this world's con- 
gress, repi-esenting the most thoughtful, conscientious, and 
broad-minded women of our age, has taken up this subject 
with a firm determination to accomplish a revolution which 
shall mean health and happiness to the oncoming generation, 
is itself a prophecy pregnant with promise of a substantial 
and enduring reform. It will not be surprising if in the near 
future it is found that this earnest though somewhat timid 
discussion marked a distinct step in the world's progress ; 
certainly it was the most significant and authoritative utter- 
ance from united womanhood that has yet been made touch- 
ing a problem which most vitally affects civilization. 

To the student of sociology nothing is more perplexing or 
discouraging than society's persistency in blindly clinging to 
old standards and outgrown ideals which can no longer 
be defended by reason ; and this is nowhere more marked 
than in the social world where fashion has successfully 
defied all true standards of art, principles of common 
sense, rules of hygiene and what is still more important, 
the laws of ethics which underlie all stable or enduring civi- 

At the very threshold of this discussion, I ask the reader 
to, as far as possible, divest his mind of all prejudice arising 
from preconceived opinions, and view in a perfectly candid 
and judicial manner this problem upon which the last word 
will not be spoken until woman is emancipated. As long as 
free discussion is tabooed and conservatism finds it possible 
to dismiss the question with a flippant jest, a ribald joke, or 
a basely unjust imputation, the old order will stand ; partly 
because woman feels her helplessness and largely because so 
few people stop to trace cause and effect or patiently reason 
upon results of the most serious character. Conservatism is 

strongly entrenched in the minds of the millions, and to a 
certain degree mental lethargy broods over the world. It 
is true that in woman's sphere to-day mental activity is 
more marked than in any other age, and the best brains and 
most thoughtful women of our time are boldly denouncing 
the bondage of fashion and bravely pleading for such radical 
reforms in dress as will secure to womanhood liealth and 
comfort, while being genuinely artistic and graceful, breath- 
ing true refinement and conforming to cssthetic principles 
rather than the caprice of fashiou. To me there is some- 
thing infinitely pathetic in the brave protests that have 
from time to time flashed from the outraged sensibilities of 
those who represent the very flower of American womanhood, 
when discussing this subject, for running through their 
almost every utterance is the plaintive note of helplessness, 
mingled with the consciousness of the justice of the cause for 
which they plead. The talented and universally respected 
Mrs. AblxT, Woolson Gould some years ago thus gave ex- 
pression to her feelings when writing of the long, heavy, 
disease-producing skirts of women : 

Do wliat we will with them, they still add enormouslj' to the 
weight of clothing, prevent cleanliness of attii'e about the ankles, 
overheat by their tops the lower portion of the body, impede loco- 
motion, and invite accidents. In short, they are uncomfortable, 
unhealthy, unsafe, and unmanageable. Convinced of this fact by 
patient and almost fruitless attempts to remove their objectionable 
qualities, the earnest dress-reformer is loath to believe that skirts 
hanging below the knee are not transitory features in woman's 
attire, as similar features have been in the dress of men, and surely 
destined to disappear with the tight hour-glass Avaists and other 
monstrosities of the present costume. . . . Any changes the 
wisest of us can to-day propose are onl}'- a mitigation of an evil 
which can never be done away till women emerge from this vast 
swaying, undefined, and indefinable mass of drapery into the 
shape God gave to His human beings. 

Mary A. Livermore voices a sad and terrible truth when 
she obserA'es : 

The invalidism of young girls is usually attributed to every 
cause but the right one ; to hard study — co-education — which, 
it is said, compels overwork that the girl student may keep up 
Avith the young men of her class ; too much exercise, or lack of 
rest and quiet at certain periods when nature demands it. All 

the while the physician is silent concerning the glove-fitting, steel- 
clasped corset, the heavy, dragging skirts, the bands engirding 
the body, the pinching, deforming boot, and the ruinous social 
dissipation of fashionable society. These will account for much 
of the feebleness of young women and girls. For they exhaust 
nervous force, make freedom of movement a painful impossibility, 
and frequently shipwreck the young girl before she is out of port. 

We have a theory, generally accepted in civilized society, which 
we never formulate in s])eech but to which we are very loyal in 
practical life. This theory, put in plain language, is as follows : 
God knows how to make boys ; and, when He sends a boy into 
the world, it is safe to allow him to grow to manhood as God 
made liim. He may be too tall or too short, for our notions, too 
stout or too thin, too light or too dark. Nevertheless, it is right, 
for God knows how to make boys. But when God sends a girl 
into the world, it is not safe to allow her to grow to womanhood 
as He has made her. Some one must take her and improve her 
figure, and give her the shape in which it is proper for her to 

Accordingly, the young girl comes some day from the dress- 
maker with this demand : '^ Mnie. (the dressmaker) says 

that I am getting into horrid shape, and must have a pair of cor- 
sets immediately." The corsets are bought and worn, and the 
physical deterioration begins. 

Miss Frances E. Willard thus touchingly refers to the bon- 
dage of fashion : 

" But there came a day — alas ! the day of my youth — on 
which I was as literally caught out of the fields and pastures as 
was ever a young colt; confronted by a long dress that had been 
ma«le for me, corsets and high-heeled shoes that had been l)Ought, 
hair-pins and ribbons for my straying locks, and I was told that 
it simply ' wouldn't answer ' to ' run wild ' another day. Com- 
pany from the city was expected ; I must be made presentable ; 
' I had got to look like other folks.' 

" That was a long time ago, but I have never known a single 
physically reasonable day since that sweet May morning, when I 
cried in vain for longer lease of libert}'." 

Mrs. Frances E. Russell, whose significant paper read at 
the Woman's Council elicited universal approbation, in the 
following extract from her able essay in The Arena sounds a 
more hopeful note than her illustrious predecessors, for she 
is nearer the dawn, and the horizon of woman's freedom is 
broadening : 

The fiction tliat women have no legs is now fully discredited, 
for in the show windows of the largest dry goods stores stand 
dummies of the female figure dress-ed only in the combination 
undersuit made of wool or silk " tights," covering the whole 
body, except the head, hands, and feet. By this time everyone 
must know that woman, like man, is a biped. Can anyone give a 
good reason why she must lift an unnecessary weight of clothing 
with every step she takes,^ pushing forward folds of restricting 
drapery and using almost constantly, not only her hands, but her 
mental power and nervous enei'gy to keep her skirts neat and out 
of the way of harm to herself and others? 

Much discussion has been wasted over the question whether a 
woman should carry the burden of her voluminous drapery from 
the shoulders or the hips. Why must she carry this unnecessary 
weight at all ? 

Now let us join hands, all lovers of liberty, in earnest co-oper- 
ation to free American women from the dominion of foreign 
fashion. Let us, as intelligent Avomen, Avith the aid and encour- 
agement of all good men, take this important matter into our own 
hands and provide ourselves with convenient garments ; a cos- 
tume that shall say to all beholders that we are equipped for rea- 
sonable service to humanity. 

Conservative critics have so frequent!}^ misrepresented 
those who have honestly pleaded for dress reform, that it is 
no longer safe to be frank, and this fact alone has con- 
strained numbers of earnest writers from expressing their 
sentiments who have felt it their duty to speak in behalf of 
health, beauty, and common sense ; indeed so certain is one 
to be misrepresented who handles this subject in anything 
like a reasonable and unconventional manner, and so surely 
will his views be assailed as improper, owing to the age-long 
cast of conventional thought, that were it not that this ques- 
tion so intimately affects fundamental, ethical, and hygienic 
laws, and bears such a vitally important relation to true 
progress, I frankly admit that I doubt whether I should have 
the courage to discuss it. But I find it impossible to remain 
silent, believing as I do most profoundly that the baleful 
artificial standards so long tolerated must be abolished, that 
the fetish of the nineteenth century civilization must be 
overthrown, and that it is all-important that people be thor- 
oughly acquainted with the far-reaching and basic signifi- 
cance of this problem, through courageous and persistent 
agitation and education, in order that manhood and woman- 

From 18C0 to 18C5. The era of hoop-skirts. 

structive to life and health, 
and degrading to womanhood 
have been readily sanctioned by 
conventionalism. This antago- 
nistic attitude toward any 
movement for an improvement 
in woman's attire founded on 
the laws of health, art, com- 
fort, and common sense 
was characteristically 
expressed in a recent 
editorial in a leachng 
Boston daily, wherein 
the writer solemnly ob- 
served : 

The simple truth is, the 
great majority of the 
women appreciate the fact 
that it is their missioji 
to be beautiful^ and the 

hood be brought up to the 
ethical plane which marks 
enduring civilization. In 
the examination of this 
subject I desire to very 
briefly notice it from 
a'sthctie, hygienic, and 
ethical points of view. It 
is a singular fact 
that every effort 
made toward a 
healthful a n d 
common sense 
r e f o r m i n 
woman's apparel 
has been assail- 
ed as inartistic 
or i m moral; 
while fashions at 
once disgusting, 
indecent, d e - 

From 18G0 to 18G5. The hoop-skirt era. The difficult 
feat of tying on a bonnet. 

dress reformers have never yet devised any gar- 
ment to assist the women in fulfilling this mis- 

The author of the above fairly represents 
the attitude of conventional thought, — its 
servility to fashion, its antagonism to 
reformative moves. The implied 
falsehood that fashion represents 
beauty and art, or is the servant of 
sestheticism has been reiterated so 
often that thousands have 
accepted it as truth. 

In order to expose its 
falsity, I have repro- 
duced in this paper plates 
taken from leading 
American and English 
fashion monthlies during 
the past thi'ee decades, in 
each of which it is notice- 
able that ex- 1870 to 1875. The era of the enormous bustle and 
, train of sweeping iliineni^ions. 

tremes nave 

been reached. In 1860-65, the hoop-skirt 
held sway, and the wasp waist was typical of 
beauty. Then no lady was correctly 
attired according to the prevailing idea 
who did not present a spectacle cu- 
riously suggestive of a moving circus 
tent. During this era four or live 
fashionably dressed women completely 
'\ filled an ordinary drawing-room ; while 
the sidewalk was often practically mo- 
nopolized by moving monstrosities, 
save when in front or behind 
the formidable swinging cages 
moved escorts, who with 
no less servility than 
American womanhood 
bowed to the frivolous 
and criminal caprice of 

1870 to 1875. The era of the enormous bustle and j.i inndavn "RciVnrlr^n 

train of sweeping dimensions. ^^'^ mouem liaDyiOn. 

But fashion is nothing if not changeable; fancy not art 
guides her mind. What to-day types beauty, is by her 
own voice to-morrow voted indecent and absurd. Thus "we 
find in the period extending from 1870 to 1875 an entirely 
new but none the less ridiculous or injurious extreme pre- 
vails. The wonderful swinging cage, the diameter of 
which at the base often equaled the height of the encased 
figure, has disappeared, being no longer considered desira- 
ble or ?esthetic, and in its place we have prodigious bus- 
tles and immense trains, by which an astonishing quantity 
of material is thrown behind the body, suggesting in some 
instances a toboggan slide, in others tlie unseemly hump 
on the back of a camel. This is the era of the enormous 
bustle and the train of sweeping dimensions.* 

When we examine the prevailing styles w^hich marked this 
period, we are struck with amazement at the power exerted by 
fashion over the intellect and judgment 
of society. Imagine the shame and 
humiliation of a woman of fashion, 
endowed by nature or afflicted by dis- 
ease with such an unsightly hump on 
the back as characterized the fashion- 
able toilet of this period ! 

Toward the end of the seventies, we 
find another extreme reached, which if 
possible was more absurd and injurious 
than those which 

of this 
was the 
with one 

the earl}^ days 

decade. This 

period of the 

or n a r r o w 

and enormous 

. As in 1860 

slaves vied 

another in 

their effort to cover the 
largest possible circular 
space, now their ambi- 
tions lay in the direction 

1870 to 1875. " SiiKge-^ting 
bogfian slide ; in others, 
the back of a camel." 

in some instances a to- 
the unseemly hump on 

* During this period the ingenuity of man came to woman's rescue, by the 
invention of an interesting, and, judging by its popularity, exceedingly serviceable 
contrivance known as a dress elevator, whicli enabled ladies to instantly'elevate their 
enormous trains when they came to a particularly muddy and tilthy crossing. 


narrow as 

of the opposite extreme:* the skirts must be as 

possible even though it greatly 

impeded walking, for as will be 

readily observed all free use of 

the lower limbs was out of the 

question during the reign of the 

'' tie-back." 

The reaction in favor of a 
more sensible dress which fol- 
lowed was of brief duration. 
During this time, however, the 
long trains were seldom seen, and 
thoughtful women began to hope 
that the arbitrary rule of 
fashion was over. It was not 
long, however, before 
the panier period ar- 
rived, and what was 
popularly known 
as the p u 1 1 - 
back was a c - 
cepted as the 
correct style in ,„_„ „, ,...■., , • . 

„ . . •' 18<8. The period of the tie-back, narrow skirts, anil enormous 

lashion S world. trains. 

Of this latter conceit little need be said, for it has so re- 
cently passed from view that all remember its peculiarity, 
which to the ordinary observer seemed to be a settled 

* It was in the midst of the period of the tie-backs that Harper's ZJosor publislied 
two striUng cartoons illustrating the poem given below. One represented a poor 
man's wife, " The slave of toil," and was i)arheticany powerful in its tidelity to trutli ; 
the other, drawn by the powerful Xast, represented a society lady of the day attired in 
the reigning tie-back, measuring at the hips a little niore'than double the width a 
short distance below the knees. This slave was chained to fashion's column. 


You think there is littleof kinship between them? 

Perhaps not in blood, yet there's likeness of soul ; 
And in bondage 'tis patent to all who have seen them 

That both are fast held under iron control. 
The simjiering girl, with her airs and her graces, 

Is sister at heart to the hard-working drudge ; 
Twotypes of to-day, as they stand in their places; 

Whose lot is the sadder Ileave you to judge. 

One chained to the block is the victim of Fashion ; 

Her object in life to be perfectly dressed ; 
Too silly for reason, too shallow for i)assion. 

She i)asses her days 'neath a tyrant's behest. 
Thus pinioned and 'fettere<l, and warily moving. 

Lest looping sliouUl fail her, or hand come ai)art : 
Wliat room is there left her for thinking or loving.' 

What noble ambition can enter her heart? 


determination on the 
part of its origina- 
tors to render walk- 
ing as difficult and 
fatiguing as possible, 
while fully exposing 
the outline of the 
wearer's body below 
the waist at every 
step. What in '60 
or '70 would have 
been accounted the 
height of indecency, 
is in the eighties per- 
fectly proper in the 
fashionable world. 
During this time it 
was not enough to 
have the skirts very 
narrow, they must at 

The tie-backs of 1878 and 18Ti». 

every step give the outline of the limbs 
[or as our Minnesota solon Avould put 
it, nether limbs], hence we find the pull- 
backs in which "• two shy knees ap- 
peared clad in a single trouser." 

And one, the worn wife of a grizzled old 
farmer ; 
She kneads the great loaves for the " men- 
folks " to eat. 
lii the wheat-fields the green blades are spring- 
ing like armor; 
Afar in the forests the flowers are sweet. 
She lifts not her eyes. Within kitchen walls 
Her life is pent \\\). The most hopeless of 
Though weary and jaded in sinew and marrow. 
She never complains. Women rent in their 

Twin victims, for which have wo tenderest 
For mother and wife toiling on till she dies, 
Or the frivolous butterfly child of the city. 

All blind to the glory of earth and of skies? 
Is it fate, or ill fortune, hath woven about you 
Strong meshes which ye are too heli)less to 
break ? 
Shall we scornfully wonder, or angrily flout 

Or strive from their torpor your minds to 
awake? The pull-back of 188G. 


Such have been the in- 
consistencies, incongruities, 
and absurdities of fashion 
as illustrated in the past 
three decades, in view of 
which one may well ask 
whether in fashion's eyes 
women are such paragons of 
ugliness that these ever- 
varying styles (introduced, 
we are seriously informed, 
to conserve to her beauty,) 
are absolutely essential, and 
by what rule of art can we 
explain the fact that the 
ponderous hoopskirt was 
the essential requirement of 
beauty in the sixties and the 
enormous bus- 
tles demanded 
in the seven- 
ties. The truth 



Fashionable -walking costume early in the 
seventies. Woman appreciating the fact 
"that It 1^ her mission to be beautiful." 
See page 405. 

fashion is supreme- 
indifferent alike to 
laws of art and 

et, Venus of old, with your 
queenly derision, 

How you would disdain 
the belle's tawdry ar- 
Free footsteps iititram- 
')nel/e<l, cool hand of 
Sweet laugh like bells 
jjcaling, were yours in 
the day 
When you reigned OA-er 
men by the' might of 
your beauty ; 
Ko fetters were o'er you 
in body or brain ; 
The world would bow 
down in the gladness 
of duty 
Could you but awake in 
your splendor again. 

Fashionable walking costume in the earlv sixties 
Woman appreciating the fact " that it is her mission to 
be beautiful." See page 405. 

And, Pallas and Venus, if 
now you were holding 
A talk over womanhood, 
what would you say, 


beauty, health and life, decency and propriety — a fact that 
must be patent to any thoughtful person who examines 
the prevailing styles of a generation. I submit that the 
wildest extremes to which well-meaning but injudicious dress 
reformers have gone in the past have been marked by rioth- 
ing more inartistic than the costume of the reigning belle in 
1860. Each successive decade has been marked by an ex- 
treme which, surveyed from the vantage ground of the pres- 
ent, is as ridiculously absurd as it has been wanting in beauty 
or common sense. Nowhere have the laws of true art been 
so severely ignored as in the realm of fashion. Yet this 
view of the problem palls into insignificance when we come 
to examine the question from the standpoint of health and 

One would think that after thousands of years of sickness 
and death, with all the advantages of increased education 
and a broadening intellectual horizon, we would have 
arrived at such an appreciation of the value of health and 
the solemn duty we owe to posterity, as to compel this 
consideration to enter into our thoughts when we adopted 
styles of dress ; yet nowhere is the weakness of our 
present civilization more marked or its hollowness so visible, 
even to the superficial thinker, as in the realm of fashion, 
where every coiisideration of health and eveyi of life, and all 
sense of responsibility to future generations are brushed aside 
as trivialities not to be seriously considered. In vain 
have physicians and ph3-siologists written, lectured, and 
demonstrated the fatal results of yielding to fashion. The 
learned Doctor Trail in writing on this subject wisely 
observes : 

The evil effects of tight-lacing, or of lacing at all, and of bind- 
ing the clothing around the hips, instead of suspending it from 
the shoulders, can never be fully realized Avithout a thorough 
education in anatomy and physiology. And if the illustrations * 

Tlie words of wise counsel while you were unfoldinir, 

If some one should show you these pictures to-day? 
I dream of your faces : divinest compassion 

Would yearn the poor toiler to pity and save ; 
And your hirjreness of scorn would descend on the fashion 

Wliich binds, unresisting, the idler a fclave. 

* I have reproduced the admirable cuts found in Dr. Trail's physiology, as they 
were essential to the understanding of the text quoted, anil also because they con- 
vey more vividly than words the injury necessarily sustained by tliose who persist in 
outraging nature and violating the laws of their being by improper dress. 


The iuterual viscera. 

here presented should effect the needed reform in fashionable 
dress, the resulting health and happiness to the human race would 
be incalculable ; for the health of the mothers of each generation 

determines, in a very large measure, the 
vital stamina of the next. It is obvious 
that, if the diameter of the chest, at its 
lower and broader part, is diminished 
by lacing, or any other cause, to the 
extent of one fouith or one half, the 
lungs B, B, are pressed in towards the 
heart, A, the lower ril^s are drawn 
together and press on the liver, C, and 
spleen, E, while the abdominal organs 
are pressed downward on the pelvic 
viscera. The stomach, D, is compressed 
in its tranverse diameter; both the 
stomach, upper intestines, and liver are 
pressed dowiiAvard on the kidneys, M, 
M, and on the lower portions of the 
bowels [the intestinal tube is denoted 
by the letters f, j, and k,] while the 
bowels are crowded down on the uterus, 
i, and liladder, g. TJivs every vital organ is either functionally 
obstructed or mechanically disordered., and diseases more or less 
aggravated, the condi- 
tion of all. In post- 
mortem examinations 
the liver has been 
found deeply indented 
by the constant and 
prolonged pressure of 
the ribs, in consequence 
of tight-lacing. The 
brain-organ, ])rotected 
by a bony inclosure, 
has not yet been dis- 
torted externally by 
the contrivances of 
milliners and raantua- 
makers ; but, lacing 
the chest, by inter- 
rupting the circulation 
of the blood, prevents 
its free return from the 

vessel of the brain, and Anterior view of tliorax The same in afasliionable 
. in tlie Venus of Med- corset-wearing lady of 

SO permanent conges- jcis. to-day. 


don of that organ, with constant liability to headache, vertioro, 
or worse affections, becomes a "second nature." The vital re- 
sources of every person, and all available powers of mind and 
body, are measurable by the i-espiration. Precisely as the breath- 
ing is lessened, the length of life is shortened; not only this, but 
life is rendered correspondingly useless and miserable Avhile it 
does exist. It is impossible for an}' child, whose mother has 
diminished her breathing capacity by lacing, to have a sound 
and vigorous organization. If girls will persist in ruining their 
vital organs as they grow up to womanhood, and if women yv\\\ 
continue this destructive habit, the race must inevitably deteri- 
orate. It may be asserted, therefore, without exaggeration, that 
not only the welfare of the future generations, but the salvation 
of the race depends on the correction of this evil habit. The 
pathological consequences of continued and prolonged pressure 
on any vital structure are innutrition, congestion, inflammation, 
and ulceration, resulting in weakness, waste of substance, and 
destruction of tissue. The normal sensibility of the part is also 
destroyed. No woman can ever forget the pain she endured 
when she first applied the corsets ; but in time the compressed 
organs become torpid ; the muscles lose their contractile power, 
and she feels dependent on the mechanical support of the 
corset. But the mischief is not limited to local weakness and in- 
sensibility. The general strength and general sensibility corres- 
pond with the breathing capacity. If she has diminished her 
" breath of life," she has just to that extent destroyed all normal 
sensibility. She can neither feel nor think normally. But in 
place of pleasurable sensations and ennobling thoughts, are an in- 
describable array of aches, pains, weaknesses, irritations, and 
nameless distresses of body, with dreamy vagaries, fitful impulses, 
and morbid sentimentalities of mind. And yet another evil is to 
be mentioned to render the catalogue complete. Every particle 
of food must be aerated in the lungs before it can be assimilated. 
It follows, therefore, that no one can be well nourished who has 
not a full, free, and unimpeded action of the lungs. In the con- 
tracted chest, the external measurement is reduced one half ; but 
as the upper portions of the lungs cannot be fully inflated until 
the lower portions are fully expanded, it follows that the breathing 
capacity is diminished more than one half. It is wonderful how 
anyone can endure existence, or long survive, in this devitalized 
condition ; yet, thousands do, and with careful nursing, manage to 
bring into the world several sickh^ children. The spinal dis- 
tortion is one of the ordinary consequences of lacing. No one 
who laces habitually can have a straight or strong back. The 
muscles being unbalanced become tiabby or contracted, unable to 
support the trunk of the body erect, and a curvature, usually a 


double curvature, of the spine is the consequence. And if any- 
thincr were needed to aggravate the spinal curvature, intensify the 
compression of the internal viscera, and add to the general de- 
formity, it is found in the modern contrivance of stilted gaiters. 
These are made with heels so high and narrow that locomotion 
is awkward and painful, the centre of gravity is shifted " to parts 
unknown," and the head is thrown forwards and the hijDS pro- 
jected backwards to maintain perpendicularity. 

In speaking of the destructiveness to health caused by 
woman's dress, Prof. Oscar B. Moss, M. D., declares : 

Although the corset is the chief source of constrahit to the 
kidneys, liver, stomach, pancreas, and spleen, forcing them 
upward to encroach iipon the diaphragm and comj^ressing the 
lungs and heart, its evils are rivalled by those resulting from 
suspending the skirts from the waist and hips, by which means 
the pelvic oi'gans are forced downward and often permanently 
displaced. Now, add to these errors a belt draAvn snugly 
around the waist, and we have before us a combination of the 
most malignant elements of dress Avhich it would be possible to 

The waist belt enforces the evils which the corset and skirts 
inaugixrate. Every proposition of anatomy and physiology bear- 
ing u])on this subject appeals to reason. Did the abdominal 
organs require for their well-being less room than Ave find in the 
economy of nature, less room would have been provided. Natui-e 
bestows not grudgingly, neither does she lavish beyond the 
requirements of perfect health. 

The same laws Avhich govern the nutrition of muscles, apply 
also to the vital organs. Pressure that impedes circulation of 
blood through them must suppress their functions proportionally. 
With the lungs, heart, and digestive organs impaired by external 
devices, which force them into abnormal relations, health is 
impossible. Eveiy other part of the body — nay, life itself — 
depends upon the perfection of these organs. The ancients 
fittingly called them the tripod of life. 

Consumption, heart disease, dyspepsia, and the multiform 
phases of uterine and ovarian diseases are among the natural 
and frequent consequences of compressing the internal organs. 
Men could not endure such physical indignities as women inflict 
upon themselves. Should they attempt to do so, they would not 
long hold the proud position of " bread winners," which is now 
theirs by virtue of their more robust qualities. 

It is difficult to imagine a slavery more senseless, cruel, or 
far-reaching in its injurious consequences than that imposed 


by fashion on civilized womanhood 
during the past generation. Her 
health has been sacrificed, and in 
countless instances her life has paid 
the penalty; while posterity has 
been dwarfed, maimed, and ener- 
vated, and in body, mind, and soul 
deformed at its behests. In turn 
every part of her body has been 
tortured. On her head at fashion's 
caprice the hair of the dead has 
been piled. Hats and bonnets, 
wraps and gowns laden with heavy 
l)eads and jet have as seriously im- 
paired her health as they have 
rendered her miserable ; the tight 
lacing required by the wasp waists 
has produced generations of invalids 
and b e - 

Street costume. Spring, 1884. 

queathed to 
posterity suf- 
fering that 
will not vanish 
for many decades. By it, as has 
been pointed out by the authorities 
cited, every vital organ in the body 
has been seriously affected. The 
heart and lungs, by nature protect- 
ed by a cage of bone, have been 
abnormally crushed in a space so 
contracted as to absolutely prohibit 
the free action upon which health 
depended; while the downward 
pressure was necessarily equally 
injurious to her delicate organism. 
The tightly drawn corset has 
proved an unmitigated curse to 
the living and a legacy of misery 
and disease to posterity. And 
this cruel deforming of the most 
beautiful of God's creations was 
said to be beautiful simply because 

Street costuine. Summer, 1891. 
(Compare waist M'itli anterior 
view of thorax of cor.set-wearing 
lady of to-day.) See page 412. 


fashion willed it. Nor was this all ; enormous bustles and 
skirts of prodigious dimension have borne their weight largely 
upon that part of her body which above all else should be abso- 
lutely free from pressure. By this means the most sensitive 
organs have been ruthlessly subjected to down pressing 
weights which for exquisite torture and for the abso- 
lute certainty of the long train of agony that must 
result, rival the heartless ingenuity of the Inquisition of 
the Middle Ages. Beyond this generation of debilitated 
and invalided mothers, rises a countless posterity robbed 
of its birthright of health while yet unborn.* A possible 
genius deformed and dwarfed by the weight of a fashionable 
dress ; a brain which might have been brilliant rendered 
idiotic by the constant pressure of a corset, and the weari- 
some weight of a "stylish" dress pressing about the hips ; a 
child whose natural capacity might have carried him to the 
seat of a Webster or into the laboratory of an Edison, con- 
demned to drag a weakly, diseased, or deformed body through 
life, with mind ever chained to the flesh, through the heart- 
less imposition which fashion imposed on his mother ! What 
thought can be more appalling to a conscientious Avoman ? 
Yet until a revolution is accomplished and a reign of i-eason 
and common sense inaugurated, this crime against the unborn 
will continue. But some argue the days of these extremes 
are past. 

I answer not past, but they are assuming other forms. Since 

* In discuf5sing; the solemn duty mothers owe to their offspring, Mrs. Annie Jenness 
Miller sensibly observes : — 

Are women ifinorant of the mischief they do to their offspring, or are they indif- 
ferent to consequences ? Has the true maternal love become extinct, in this age of 
advanced civilization, that women ignore all the laws of nature while anticipating 
the glory of motherhood? We know not; yet we often see what causes a thrill of 
pity in our soul for the future of the child yet unborn : a mother laced within stiff 
bones and steel, while the very instincts of being cry out against the sin of it. Surely 
every child has a right to be well born! Wealth maybe a grand inheritance, but 
health is a better ( ne, as any poor suffering creature will testify, whose misery the 
most expensive doctors have been called upon to alleviate without avail. And how 
can a child be well born unless its parents observe the laws of life bearing upon the 
birth and rearing of children ? It is impossible. If a mother will so clothe herself 
that the vitality which properly belongs to her baby becomes exhausted and de- 
stroyed, the child is robbed, as a natural consequence, and perhaps the weakened, 
jniny, distorted, fretful little creature, who is innocent of the cause of its own sviffer- 
ings, will live to become a curse to the world instead of the blessing that it would 
have been had rational conditions been observed before its birth. 

Tight corsets grudgingly loosened a quarter of an inch at a time, heavy skirts, and 
all the evil conditions we are so familiar with, are still retained as the months pass, 
bringing ever nearer what should be the very happiest hour of wcmian's existence — 
that in which she is to be intrusted with the keeping, training, and guidance of a new 
human soul. Perhaps her baby comes into the world dead or deformed, perhaps 
deprived of certain of its faculties; or it maybe that it possesses life and all of its 
special senses and organs in such a diminished degree that the whole of its future 
becomes a pain rather than a joy, while its miserable, puny structure remains a last- 
ing reproach to its parents as long as they live. 




1890 dawned, the evils in some respects have been aggra- 
vated ; for it must not be forgotten that the daughters of the 
present decade have, in order to be fashionable, compressed 
beyond all healthful bounds the flesh of their arms, retarding 
circulation and inviting pneumonia and other ills. And in 
order to look s^tylish, thousands of women wear dress waists 
so tight that no free movement of the upper body is possible ; 
indeed in numbers of instances ladies are compelled to put 
their bonnets on before attempting the painful ordeal of 
getting into their glove-fitting dress waists. Many young 
women to-day, yielding to the spell of fashion, place the 
corset next to their flesh, while a still greater number have 
merely the thinnest possible undershirt between the flesh and 
the corset, after Avhich they tightly draw the dress waist 
until it meets. This seems incredible, but it is vouched for 
by several ladies of my acquaintance, among whom are 
physicians whose large practice among their sisters gives 
them peculiar facilities for knowing the absolute facts. 
Health, posterity, and all the instincts of the higher self are 
ruthlessly sacrificed to the fickle foll}^ of fashion's criminal 
caprice. And we must not forget that even now the sweep- 
ing train is coming in vogue and correctly attired ladies 
must consent to carry the germs of death with quantities of 
filth from the streets of our metropolitan cities into their 
homes of wealth and refinement. The corset and high-heeled 
shoes, the two most deadly foes to maternity and posterity, 
are also seen at the present time, on every hand. 

If outraged nature could show the procession of mothers 
sacrificed on fashion's altar during the past geneiation, or 
unveil the suffering and deformity being borne by posterity 
at the present time, through this slavery, the world would 
be thrilled with an indescribable horror. Health, comfort, 
and human life have paid the penalty of a criminal servitude 
to the modern juggernaut, before whose car millions of our 
women are bowing in abject servility, knowing full well that 
at each turn of its wheel new pains or fresh diseases will be 
inflicted. And what power controls and gives life to this 
mistress of modern civilization? At whose behest is this 
crime against reason, life, and posterity perpetrated ? The 
cupidity of the shreu'd and unscrupulous mid the caprice of the 
shallow and frivolous. 

The moral aspect of this subject is even more grave than 


the hygienic. Anything which injures 
the physical body, whether it be licen- 
tiousness, intemperance, gluttony, or 
vicious modes of dress, is necessarily 
evil from an ethical point of view. Not 
simply because the law of our being 
decrees that whatever drains or destroys 
the physical vitality must sooner or later 
sap the vital forces of the brain ; but 
also because anything is ethically des- 
tructive which chains the mind to the 
realm of animality, when, unfettered, 
it should be unfolding in spiritual 
strength and glory. Thus it will be 
readily seen that any article of cloth- 
ing which presses upon the vitals of the 
body so as to cause displacement of the 
delicate organism, or so cumbersome 
as to cause general fatigue, anything, 
as is the case with 
throws the body 



equilibrium, or 
cle of dress which 
of the 


Vagaries of Fashion. A 

Vagaries of Fasliion. A belle early in the sixties. 

of its 

any arti- belle in the eighties. 

makes the mind ever con- 
body by virtue of its 
uncomfortableness, is 
injurious from an ethical 
})oint of view. This fact 
-w hu h has been so gen- 
eiall} overlooked will be- 
come more 
a p J) arent, 
if for the 
sake of il- 
lustrati o n 
we suppose 
for a mo- 
ment that 
a plant is 
end owed 
with reas- 
o n and 
s e nsation, 


and obeying the general law of its being, and the persua- 
sive and inspiring influence of the sun and rain, is strug- 
gling to rise heavenward, and give to the radiant world 
above its impearled wealth — its gorgeous bloom, its mar- 
vellous fragrance and fruit ; but by virtue of the bonds of 
a prison-house below, — a small pot or a rocky encasement, 
its life work is thwarted, its bloom, perfume, and fruit, if 
they come at all, are stunted, limited, and imperfect. For 
generations woman's condition has been like that of the 
plant, the wealth of her nature has been dwarfed, the mar- 
vellous richness of her life has been marred by the impris- 
oned conditions of her body, and infinitely more sad and 
far-reaching have been the baleful consequences upon mil- 
lions of her offspring, dwarfed, weakly, sickly, enfeebled 
in body and soul. A another whose thoughts have voluntarily 
or involuntarily been held in the atmosphere of the physical 
nature, necessarily imparts to her child a legacy of ayiimal- 
ity which, like the corpse of a dead being, clings to the soul 
throughout its pilgrimage. Terrible as have been fashion's 
ravages on woman's physical health, the curse which she 
has exerted when the ethical aspect of the case is entertained, 
far transcends it. 

It is a curious fact that almost all the opposition from 
women to proposed reforms in woman's dress comes from 
two extremes in societ3^ Those who do no independent 
thinking, taking all their thoughts and opinions from the 
expressed views of the men with whom they associate, 
and the profoundly earnest and thoughtful, but conserva- 
tive women of society. The opposition of the former class 
is merely the echo of husbands, brothers, fathers, and lovers ; 
but the others are moved by conviction, and for this reason 
their views are worthy of consideration. They fear that 
any radical change will exert an immoral influence. Their 
minds are swayed by ancient thought which tliroughout 
all ages lias cast its baleful shadow over the brain of the 
world. They are held under the spell of a conservatism 
which unquestioningly tolerates established institutions and 
existing orders, bnt has no confidence in aught that pro- 
poses to break with these, even though the new has rea- 
son and common sense clearly on its side. Thus time and again 
fashions have been tolerated, although known to be morally 
enervating and singularly repulsive to all refined sensibilities ; 


and we shall cease 
simply because it is 
which we have been 

while proposals from without for reforms based on the laAvs 
of health and beauty have called forth the most determined 
opposition from this conscientious class, merely because the 
proposed innovations have not conformed to ideas entertained 
by virtue of prevailing fashions, and have been therefore 
regarded immoral. And herein lies an important point 
to be considered. Anything which is radically unlike pre- 
vailing standards or styles to which we have become accus- 
tomed will impress most persons as being immodest or 
indecent. The ujiusual in dress is usually denounced as 
immoral because we are all prone to allow our prejudice to 
obscure our reason and o'ersway our judgment. This point 
must be recognized before any real reform can be accom- 
plished. When humanity has grown sufficiently wise to 
reason broadly and view problems on their own merits, 
aside from preconceived opinion or inherited prejudice, 
real instead of false standards of morality will prevail, 

to condemn anything as pernicious 
unusual, radically unlike that to 

accustomed or revolutionary in its 
tendency. Let me make this if possible more apparent by an 
illustration, because it bears such ^^ an important 

relation to the main issue. If M^ "^sn had for 
ages worn long flowing robes, com- f^^y pletely envel- 
oping their bodies, but on a 
certain day with one accord 
exchanged them for a cos- 
turns similar to that now 
seen throughout the civil- 
ized world, society would 
experience a distinct 
shock ; immoral, indecent, 
pernicious, and vulgar 
would mildly express the 
sentiment of conventional 
thought, until the same 
society had become ac- 
customed to the change. 
To us at the present time 
it is difficult to conceive 
how women of sense and 
refinement submitted to 

righted photo ly Sarony. 



the swinging-cage paraphernalia of the sixties, or the Grecian 
bend of a later date. Yet in those days the severely plain 
skirts of the present would have seemed positively indecent. 
It has been necessary to dwell on this thought in order to 
sufficiently remove existing prejudice to enable a fair consid- 
eration of the question in its broader aspects. I have also 
introduced fair examples of prevailing fashions during the 
past generation and reproductions of Greek, Shakespearian 
and other simple costumes worn at the present time by the 
queens of the stage, to show by comparison how infinitely 
more graceful, beautiful, comfortable, healthful, and by their 
very elements of comfort and healthfulness, ethically supe- 
rior, are these costumes to those which conventionalism sanc- 
tioned in the sixties, seventies, and eighties. Is there 
anj'thing immodest, indecent, or suggestive of impropriety 
in Mar}^ Anderson in the graceful Grecian costume of 
Parthenia, presented on the preceding page ? Of the tens of 
thousands of people who have witnessed the performances of 
Madame Modjeska, Miss Anderson, Julia Marlowe, or Mar- 
garet Mather in the costumes given in this paper, it is not 
probable that a perceptible number have seen aught improper 
or even injuriously suggestive, notwithstanding they are so 
radically unconventional. Surely no mind accustomed to 
think broadly and view problems on all sides, and unaccus- 
tomed to revel in the sewer of sensualism would see in the 
attire of these estimable ladies aught but costumes at once 
graceful, refined, and apparently infinitely more comfortable 
and healthful than those represented in any of the fashion 
plates I have reproduced, and which millions of women of 
good sense have under the stress of conventionalism been 
compelled to wear. Let us compare Miss Anderson's Grecian 
costume with the dress of a society belle in the seventies, 
which required from twenty to thirty yards of material, and 
when completed and fitted transformed the wearer into a 
monstrosity with an unsightly hump on the back, and a street 
cleaner of immense dimensions trailing for several feet in her 

From artistic, hygienic, economical, and ethical points of 
view, to say nothing of conmion sense and comfort, is not 
the simple and beautiful costume of Parthenia incomparably 
superior to that which marked the second decade of the past 
generation? Would not woman to-day clotlied in close- 

From copurtgiued pliotu byFalk, N. Y. 







fitting garments of silk or woollen fabric, with an outer robe 
or loose dress fashioned something after the order of the 
ancient Grecian or Roman pattern, be far more beautiful than 
she is as a slave to fashion's fickle fancy, while the require- 
ments of life, health, and comfort would be fully met ? Again, 
let us compare one of the plates of the sixties with its won- 
derful expanse of skirt to tlie simple, graceful attire of Miss 
Marlowe as Viola in the " Twelfth Night," and laying aside 
all preconceived opinions (with the influence which we have 
seen the unusual plays in fashioning our ideas of propriety,) 
does not our reason and common sense sustain the view that 
the latter is far more refined, simple, and less vulgarly 
ostentatious than the inflated garment of the early sixties? 
Or if we compare the pictures of Modjeska and Miss Marlowe 
in Shakespearian roles, or that of the former in the neat and 
graceful gathered gown, and Miss Mather in the simple 
peasant dress, are they not one and all far more chaste, 
artistic, sensible, and healthful than the hoop-skirt, bustle, 
and train, or the tie-back ? Do not, however, understand 
that I advocate the introdnction of any of these costumes. 
It is for woman and woman alone to decide what she will 
wear, and in this paper I am merely seeking to second the 
splendid work that has by her been inaugurated, and by 
speaking as one of the younger men of this decade, to 
voice what I believe American womanhood will find to be 
the sentiment of the rising generation, whenever she makes 
a concerted effort to emancipate herself from the slavery 
of Parisian fashions. There are many evidences that the 
hour is ripe for a sensible revolt, and that if the movement is 
guided by wise and judicious minds it will be a success. Two 
things seem to me to be of paramount importance. 

(1.) The commission of women acting for the Council 
should decide definitely upon the nature and extent of 
changes desired. The ideal costume should be clearly 
defined and ever present in their mind. But it would be 
exceedingly unwise to attempt any radical change at once. 
This has been more than anything the secret of the partial 
or total failures of the movements of this character in the 
past. The changes should be gradually made. Every 
spring and autumn let an advance step be taken, and in order 
to do this an American fashion commission or bureau should 
be established, under the auspices of the dress reform com- 



mittee of the Women's Council, which at stated intervals 
should issue bulletins and illustrated fashion plates. If the 
ideal is kept constantly in view, and every season slight 
changes are made toward the desired garment, the victory 
will, I believe, be a comparatively easy one, for the splendid 
common sense of the American women and men will 
cordially second the movement. Concerted action^ a clearly 
defined ideal toward which to move, and grad^ial changes — 
these are points which it seems to me are vitally important. 
One reason why the most ridiculous and inartistic extremes 
in fashion have been generally adopted is found in this policy 
of gradual introduction, a fact which must impress anyone who 
carefully examines the fashions of the past. First there has 
been a slight alteration, shortly becoming more pronounced, 
and with each season it has grown more marked, although 
perhaps not for four or six years has the extreme been reached. 
At every step there have been complaints from various 
quarters, but steadily and persistently has the fashion been 
pushed until it reached its climax, after which we have had its 
gradual decline. This was the history of the hoop skirt and 
the Grecian bend, and has been that of most of the extremes 
which have marked the past, and we can readily believe that 
in no other way could womanhood have been insnared by such 
supreme and criminal folly as has characterized fashion's 
caprices in unnumbered instances. 

(2.) Another very essential point is the proper education 
of the girls of to-day, for to them will fall, in its richest 
fruition, the blessings of this splendid reform if it be properly 
carried on, and if they be everywhere instructed to set 
health above fashion, and seek the beauty of Venus de Medici 
rather than the pseudo beauty of the wretched, deformed 
invalid, who at the dictates of the mode]-n Babylon has 
trampled reason and common sense, health and comfort, the 
happiness of self and the enjoyment of her posterity under 
foot. Teach the girls to be American ; to be independent ; 
to scorn to copy fashion, manners, or habits that come 
from decaying civilizations, and which outrage all sentiment 
of refinement, laws of life, or principles of common sense. 
The American girl is naturally independent and well 
endowed with reason and common sense. Once shown the 
wisdom and importance of this American movement, and she 
will not be slow to cordially embrace it. In many respects 


the hour is most propitious, owing to a combination of causes 
never before present, among which may be mentioned the 
growing independence of American womanhood ; the enlarged 
vision that has come to her through the wonderfully diverse 
occupations and professions which she has recently embraced ; 
the growing consciousness of her ability to succeed in 
almost every vocation of life. The latitude enjoyed by her 
in matters of dress in the mountains and seashore resorts ; 
the growth of women's gymnasiums ; the emphasis given to 
hygienic instruction in schools, and the recent quiet intro- 
duction of a perfectly comfortable apparel for morning wear, 
which, strange to say, has originated where one would least 
expect, among the most fashionable belles of the Empire 
city.* This significant innovation which is reported by the 
daily press, as becoming quite popular among the young 
ladies of the wealthy districts of New York, consists of a 
comfortable blouse worn over knickerbocker trousers. Clad 
in this comfortable attire, the belles come to breakfast, nor do 
they subsequently change their dress during the morning if 
they intend remaining indoors. If a sedate or fastidious 
caller is announced, a beautiful tea-gown, which is at hand, 
is slipped into, and the young lady is appropriately clad to 
suit even conventional requirements. The bicycle and lawn 
tennis costumes now becoming so popular also exercise a 
subtile but marked influence in favor of rational dress reform, 
not only giving young ladies the wonderful comfort and 
health-o-iving' freedom which for a^es have been denied her 
sex, but also by accustoming them to these radically uncon- 
ventional costumes. f 

*In speakinir i>f tliis ))ractical dress retorm on the jiart of the belles of New York, the 
Boston Ua'ihi (iluhr rt'cently observed editorially : The jireat question now agitating 
the fashionable women of Fifth Avenue is : " Do you wear knickerbockers? " 

Stripped of all apologetic circumlocution, " knickerbockers" are simply loose, easy 
trousers, above which IS worn a becoming blouse waist, and thus attired, the belles 
of New York come down to breakfast. Nor are the trousers subsequently removed 
while the ladies are about the house, unless some conservative caller is announced, 
when a stylish tea-gown can be jumijed into in a second, and the lady is in faultless 
female costume. 

That women should be handicapped in their locomotion in their own homes is 
simply a relic of oriental slavery and prudery, and the revolt against it is sensible 
and wholesome. That they have come to stay is evident, while improved costumes 
for shop girls, and other women engaged in business every day in the year, are certain 
to follow in the order of progress.— Boston Globe. 

It might be well also for the council to recommend the formation of societies in 
each community where social or society gatherings of those interested might be lieM 
at stated intervals, at which all members would api^ear in dresses made with special 
regard to health, comfort, and beauty, and in which all garments would conform to 
the general ideal recommended by tlie council. 

t As the paper is being set iip my attention has been attracted to a remarkably 
sensible signed editorial in the Boston Sunday Globe, of July 26, by the brilliant 


Another encouraging sign of 
the times is the increasing 
demand on the great and 
fashionable house of liiberty 
& Co., of London, for the 
Greek and other simple cos- 
tumes by fashionable ladies, 
who are using them largely 
for home wear. I have re- 
produced two recent styles 
of dresses made by Liberty. 
All fabrics used are rich, soft, 
and elegant, and the effect is 
said to be gratifying to 
lovers of art, as well as far 
more healthful and comfor- 
table than the conventional 
dress. The most impor- 
tant fact, however, is the 
effect or influence which is 
sure to follow this breaking: 
away from the 
rulingr fash- 

Soine of Liberty's recent dresses. 
GreciaD Costume. 


ions in 
wealthy cir- 
cles. When conventionalism in dress is fully 
discredited, practical reform is certain to 
follow. The knell of the one means the 
triumph of the other. 

Believing as I do that the cycle of woman 

writer and sensible thinker, Adelaide A. Clafiin, from which I 
extract the foUowina: : 

Bishop Coxe's fulmiuation against tlie riding of bicycles by 
women has attracted considerable attention, but to tlie student 
of social movements it is not strange that Bisliop Coxe should 
object. The real oddity is that scarcely anybody else, ai)par- 
ently, hasobjectei. 

Tiiat young girls from the best families should within a short 
time have betaken themselves to whirling through the public 
thoroughfares, like so many boys, is certainly a new departure 
from all old fashioned canons of feminine decorum, at least as 
startling as many that have brought down all sorts of thunder- 
bolts from pulpit and press. Had it been a prerequisite that 
an amendment to the United States Constitution, or even a 
statute of a State Legislature should be obtained, the girls would 
doubtless liave liad to wait many a weary year. 

It is not long since another church dignitary. Dr. Morgan Dix, 
objected to tlie entrance of girls into universities, because it 
was not " proper for young women to be exposed to the gaze 
ofyoung men, many of whom were less beut upon learning tlian 
upon amusement." 

Some of Liberty's 
recent dresses. 
The Juliet. 


has dawned, and that through lier humanity will reach a 
higher and nobler civilization than the world has yet known, 
I feel the most profound interest in all that affects her 
health, comfort, and happiness ; for as I have before observed, 
her exaltation means the elevation of the race. A broader 
liberty and more liberal meed of justice for her mean a higher 
civilization, and the solution of weighty and fundamental 
problems which will never be equitably adjusted until we 
have brought into political and social life more of the 
splendid spirit of altruism, which is one of her most conspic- 
uous characteristics. I believe that morality, education, 
practical reform, and enduring progress wait upon her com- 
plete emancipation from the bondage of fashion, prejudice, 
superstition, and conservatism. 

However little she may realize it, every girl who rides her steel horse is a vivid 
illustration of one of the greatest waves of progress of this century, the advancement 
of women in freedom and (ii)ii()rtunity. 

A wise physician once said that the opinion that a good woman should stay closely at 
home had killed more women than any other one cause. In the days of "our grand- 
mothers the suggestion of regular gymnastic training or athletics for girls would 
have been received with horror. It was hardly proper for a woman to have any 
knowledge of the construction of her physical system. 

It is a curious historical fact that the first women lecturers upon physiology were 
women's rights women, and viewed by the majority of people as dangerous to female 
modesty, while the Ladies' Physiological Institute in Boston was at first much 
disapproved of by the clergy. " So long, too, as old-fashioned " stays " (laced up 
sometimes by the aid of equally old-fashioned bed-posts) remained in vogue, neither 
physiology nor athletics stood much chance with women. 

But the often derided dress reformer has had her way, to a great extent. Bathing 
dresses, gymnastic and tennis suits which would have frightened an eighteenth 
century dame into one of her favorite fainting fits. 

Meanwhile the girls have mounted their bicycles. Bless you, my children; what 
endless vistas of good times are before .you! "What glorious landscape views and 
ocean moonrises, what freedom, what fresh, airy delight in young life and strength ! 

Already one young doctor has departed with his bride on "a wedding tour to Texas, 
each upon a bicycle. Other strange affairs will no doubt take place. By and by 
the bishops will see no more irreverence in bidding Godspeed to girls starting on a 
journey to California upon bicycles thau to girls departing to Europe on a steamship. 


The Arena, since its inception, has been more liospitable to women 
tlian any other a^reat review imblished in the civilized world. It has also 
ever been the champion of all means and measures looking toward the 
emancipation of woman. As an illustration of these important points we 
call attention to the Arena for Aujjust, 1892, which contains papers by 

Mary A. Livermore, Mrs. B. P. Underwood, 

Frances B. Willard, Mrs. Frances E. Russell, 

Helen H. Gardener, Louise Chandler Moulton, 
Mrs. Gen. Lew Wallace, 

and a sjmposium on WomtMis ('liit)s, to which the foUowini; ladies con- 
tribute : — 

May "Wright Sewall, Ellen M. Mitchell, 

Mary E. Mumford, Mary A. Livermore, 

Mary E. Boyce, Kate Gannett Wells, 

Louise Chandler Moulton, Katharine Nobles, 

Hester M. Poole, Dr. Julia Holmes Smith. 
Annah Robinson Watson, 

The September Arena for 1892 contains a symposium on AVoman's 
Dress, to which such well-known writers as the foHowinn' will contribute: 

Octavia W. Bates, Grace Greenwood, 

Frances E. Russell, May Wright Sewall, 

Mrs. E. M. King, Elizabeth Smith Miller. 
Frances M. Steele, 

Tills will be the most imi>ortant symposium on Woman's Dress that 
has ever appeared in a leadini^' ma,<;azine. 

It is the determination of the management to make the Arena indis- 
pensable to all thoughtful, wide-awake women. 

The Opinion of the Highest Literary Authority of Boston. 

'I'he hold that this magazine lias taken upon the public is due wholly 
and solely to its intrinsic merits, and not to any elaborate or shrewd 
methods of advertising. It has won its own way, and in a straightforward 
and legitimate manner. No magazine in the country has taken higher 
ground in the treatment of (juestions dealing with social and political 
reform. Its contributors include some of the l)est know n n)en of the day 
in the walks of science, theology, and general literature, and there is no 
topic of public interest but readers may look to see broadly, thoroughly, 
and impartially treated. — Erenincj Transcript, Boston. Mass. 


A sample copy of the Arena will be forwarded, postpaid, for 20 cents, 
to any person wishing to examine the same with a view to subscribing. 


Just Out. 

A Brilliant Realistic Novel by the Author of 
"Is this Your Son, My Lord? 


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