An attack on the evils of Victorian-style dressing. Purely fictional.
"Oh, mother, it hurts!" squealed the little girl.
"Hush, dear," the mother said, kneeling down. "You know this is what you were born to suffer."
"But mother, our governess always tells us to be ourselves, and to do what we feel comfortable doing. Ouch!"
"Oh, Ermie, do be quiet! We will talk about that later----in the buggy, perhaps. Run along now, and I'll see if I can catch up."
Throwing a glance at her mother over her shoulder, Ermengarde almost tripped on her gown as she hurried to the buggy. The chaffeur helped her up the seat.
Her mother climbed up to her seat and clapped once.
"Mother, could I continue with----"
"Mr Lowell, could you please go faster? We must get to the ball in time, you know. Oh, Ermie. You were saying?"
"Yes... well, I wanted to ask you, exactly why are you making wear all these things--the busk, or the corset you added to-day, and my stays? Am I not already perfectly straight, or well made?" Ermengarde asked anxiously.
"I know, dear, that you are, but gold only becomes more beautiful after going through the fire."
"But mother, is that fire not going to last my entire life? I know it is, and you do too. Yesterday my friend fainted because of suffocation from this--this newfangled corset."
"Ermengarde, you really are getting on my nerves----will you please not talk until we reach the palace?" the mother said, sharply.
"But Mother----" Ermengarde protested, then sat back. Anyway, she thought, who ever bothers about it?