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Country Fashion

Country Fashion image
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From the Prairls Karmcr. Fashion is not altogether hcmmod in by city walls. It exists in the couotry wlicrc the prevailing color is supposedto be green - nut the intangible verdancy ot" persona, but theglowing hues ofiuetdow and woodland. Tliatoi'cüurBe is a fashion of' nature with tbe trade-waik of perfeotioo ; but tbere are other fashii.ns eutering into the aooUl lif'o and thought of oountry people that wem to be lesa pleasing to a student of nature, fashiona as artificial as tbe paiuted beauties of city ball-rooms, andas unuecessary a a cow in a oonservatory. In the last decade the insanc liincy tu be stylish in dress, that takes so umoh beurt out of city lifo, hii8 brokon out all over tUe country. The rustic taaiden in simple attire has step ped out and a young lady with an infernal machine about her waist, another on her head, and possibly ono on her back bas stepped in. One can teil the difference by the looks of the young ladie.s' mother. That pursonage now enjoys an absolute monopoly of doing the work. She is dreased for tho business aod understands it. Her daughter is not dressed lor the business, does not understand it, and accepts the position of an amiable nonontity in the household, with chartning submission. It is bad enougb to go into the artificial life of the city and see the bespangled ciphers of wominlmml tiutter tLu-ir Collies in tho faces of men, but tn go into the country where siuiplicity and sense and beauty are taught in the reflective quiet, and forms of nature, and tees a woman destroying her lonu and healtb with tisli bones and steel, making her bead look liku that of an Au.-tralian sayage, and giving her back the oomplezity of a camel, is enough to inake a man wi.-li that (jiod had let Adam alone. To be sure the tytie given does not represent all country girls. Education and culture have not robbed them all of industry and sensc. The "old fasbioned girl" still lives in a great many homes, wearing the niarks of toil without shame, reading her Bible as much as novéis, and getting married becauso she falla in love. What we have written appliea to that class of country peoplo who are 3aid to bo "well otf. " The great mass of farmers are n"t rich. They are alwayg "liard up." They cannot send their children to school after they are old euough. to work, so the class is perpetuated. Now this class of people have a fashion of afiecting to despise fanhioQ and taste without reference to merit or f'ault. They have a style of being unstylish that in dii'tres.sing, and sinks the farmer as a man in tbe opinión of the world deeper than any other peculiarity. A tuan oftnis stamp never wears a coliar. When he buys clothing he is oareful to avoid anything that will destroy his identity as raiser of pork and potatoes. Most of his life is spent in blouse ai d overall-, nnd il liy chance he happens to havo a coat on lic takes it off on aittiug duwn toa niual. He calis his wife "woman," his children "young ones," and his hogs "grunters." He grows caDbage in the front garden of his mindas well as in his "front yard." He looks with stern disfavor upon all refineuients of manner and dress and speech. All of his impulses toward true geniility have beeo snubbed by a rustic Madam Grundy in dirty gown apd bare, ungainly ieet. He beooiues orystallized in a rougb muid f fashion that continnally savors of the politeness of cattle. He bas an exaggerated horror of fashion and is a living euibodiment of its worst forms. The farmer' s profeesion in the es timation of the world at large Miffcrs frotu the style of its followers. As long as so many of us are clodhoppers, upon what basis of justice shall we resent the name when applied hy other classes ? To be sure in our honesty and conservatism we are the bulwarks of naiional life, but that fact does not eïcuse us for ugly dre.-s, rough speech and awkward action. Country fashion should be good fashion. There is nothing in the nature of farin life to niake a man a pig at the table, and an ox in the drawingroom. Labor may denrive his musoles of a oertain grace of tnotion but need uot paralyie his self respect or ruin his manners. Happily our rural fashions in this respect are changing. Increased wealth and the widening influence of schools are lifting farmers into a higher social and mental scale. No agency is doing more in this direction than the agricultural prcas. It touches all - men and women, the young and the old. Daily, weekly and yearly it sends messengers into farmers' homes all over the land, carrying words of practical wisdom, refined art, of delicate feeling, of sound philosophy. It is the dropping water ¦wearinc away the rock-bound fashions and custonis of a rougher age. When its influence shall be fully feit, and the streams of a genuine honest culture .-.hall sparkle in every nei;hborhood and home, we shall have country fashions tbat will delight everybody.