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James Otis

My Own Wardrobe

It surely cannot be wrong for me to think of that which I wear, for if the good Lord has given me a comely body, why shall I not array it properly? Or if it be wrong, why did my father buy for me those things, a list of which I am here setting down, not from vanity, but simply to show how kind were my parents?

I had a cap ruffle and a tucker, the lace of which cost five shillings a yard; eight pairs of white kid gloves, with two pairs of colored gloves, two pairs of worsted hose and three pairs of thread, a pair of laced silk shoes, and a pair of morocco shoes, not to speak of four pairs of plain Spanish shoes, or two pairs made of calf-skin for every day use; a hoop coat and a mask to wear when the wind blows too roughly, and a fan for use when the sun is hot. Susan had two necklaces, one of garnet and one of jet; but I had only garnets. Then I have a girdle with a buckle of silver; a mantle and coat of lutestring; a piece of calico to be made up when mother has time; four yards of ribbon for knots or bows, and one and one-half yards of best cambric. All these were bought especially for me when we left home, and surely it can be no sin that I take pride in them.