Readings for Rural Life

From Moore’s Rural New-Yorker in Rochester, NY

August 20th, 1864

What Makes a Lady

When Beau Brummel was asked what made the gentleman, his quick reply was, “Starch, starch, my lord!” This may be true; but it takes a great deal more to make a lady; and though it may to some seem singular, I am ready to maintain that no conceivable quantity of muslin, silk or satin, edging, frilling, hooping, flouncing, or furbelowing, can per se, or per dressmaker, constitute a real lady.

Was not Mrs. Abbot Lawrence just as much a lady when attired in twelve-cent calico, in Boston, as when arrayed in full court dress at St. James, London? “As Mrs. Washington was said to be so grand a lady,” says a celebrated English visitor, (Mrs. Troupe,) “we thought we must put our best bibs and bands, so we dressed ourselves in our most elegant ruffles and silks, and were introduced to her ladyship, and don’t you think we found her knitting, and with her check apron on! She received us very graciously and easily, but after compliments were over she resumed her knitting. There we were without a stitch of work and sitting in stat, but, Gen. Washington’s Lady, with her own hands, was knitting stockings for her husband.” Does that not sweet republican simplicity command your admiration?


Published in: on August 20, 2014 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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