Page:A Few Hours in a Far Off Age.djvu/45

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ON quitting the last group, I had resolved no other enticement should detain me from the first darlings of my acquaintance; but here is a large case of fashions, and it is customary to swerve a little in that cause. I care not who knows how great its interest for my mind. Fashion is a subject upon which I have thought very earnestly for many years, and know too well the powerful influence it exerts over the right and wrong of both present and future time. Indeed, I see it is one of the principal factors of the numerous chaotic minds now steadfastly pursuing their course of omissive sinning.

Faithfully modelled before me are many curiously-habited humans—quite savage and partly savage. Here are the gloomy Puritans, also the over-magnificent Cavalier. The rigid Quaker. Women who dwindled themselves to look like a dressed stick. Others who inflated their coverings until they resembled a barrel carrying a scarcely human head. Others with that portion of their body—which is generally considered naturally very exuberant—swelled into an appearance most monstrous and repulsive. A wretched sight to contemplate, because it is the result of weakened power to use the intelligence they are striving to drive from their minds. And—yes, there you are, my hideously-shaped contemporary! Little stilts under your boots, giving you a penguin-out-of-water appearance. Your swaddling clothes. Your abnormally swelled hips. Your ribs bent into the place nature intended only for delicate organs, the perfect