speaking, were cut down into dumpy daughters; spare

aunts were let out with new breadths into fat nieces, and

big sisters were tucked and taken in till they became little

ones. The hoarded costume of a century back was ran-

sacked to deck modern beauties, and sometimes the suits of

three or four generations contributed to make up a single

dress for example, Miss Giblett had a mother cap with

grandmother lappets, an aunt boddice, a great aunt laced

apron, and a great grandmother skirt. Moreover, the

dairy savings and farm-yard perquisites were laid out in

fashionable millinery and cheap jewellery, so that Miss

Rackstraw might be said to have a necklace of new-laid

eggs Miss Blossom, a tippet of fresh butter, and



a new gown of fatted chickens, trimmed with

green-gosling ribands, and flounced with turkey-poults.

As for Miss Bilberry, she determined to go in her ridinghabit,

as the best habit she had.

There was a dab- wash in every house. At each basement

window stood a female, ironing or clear-starching;

and even towards the dinner hour, the copper flue outsmoked

the kitchen chimney. Muslin lay bleaching on the

grass-plots, the currant bushes were festooned with lace,

and the dwarf yews seemed literally setting their caps at

the passer-by.

The Strephons, and Lubins, and Colins, in the interim

were not idle ; scarlet waistcoats and pea-green coats and

yellow leathers were had out and aired and brushed ; and

little Tidmarsh the tailor had so many orders that he was

obliged to take on extra hands, by whose help he was enabled

to send home a dozen new suits, so non-fitting that,

like the poet, they seemed rather to have been " born than

made." More than one yeomanry uniform was called out

for service, and Mr. M'Farlane, a tenant recently settled

on the estate, actually wrote to Edinburgh for some of the

tartan of his clan. The bell-ringers practised daily, and

the rustic choir of Tylney church precociously rehearsed a

Christmas carol, in case they should be called upon to sing.

A few practised cudgel play, in anticipation of a gold-laced

cocked hat, and about as many went into training in wrest-

ling, presuming upon an embroidered belt. Some hoped

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