Works in the Bulletin 1913

St. Paul found occasion to refer to the matter. It would appear that it was not the clothes they put on so much as what they left off that the apostle found fault with, and so it was in the present day. The fashionable attire of some women was almost outrageous. No matter who the man was, there was nothing he admired so much as a modest woman. - Dean McCullagh, at Bendigo.

Upon the whole I do not mind 
These fashions of the freakish kind;
For all I care the modes may freak
Morn, noon and night and all the week;
   And some I like to see.
A woman in an X-ray frock
My finer feelings doesn't shock;
A maiden in a clinging skirt
My sense of fitness fails to hurt -
   With thoughts of tragedy.

In fact, I often do the Block With eye alert for some quaint frock. To see some other fellow's girl Caught up in Fashion's giddy whirl, Leave off a thing or two Does not appear to me unfit. I truly do not mind a bit When she lays bare her shapely arms And otherwise displays her charms For men like me to view.
Dear me! Where is the harm, I ask? Why should we take a maid to task Because she sails along the street Appearing ravishingly sweet In sheath-skirt and a ring? I vow she looks a perfect pearl - Provided she is not my girl. I'll not have any girl of mine Adopting fashions in that line! That's quite another thing.
There's quite enough of this work done By others; and my fancy one Should surely dress, it seems to me, With some small show of modesty. Nor argument nor pelf Could e'er remove my stern ukase That to no idler's vulgar gaze Shall she reveal an ankle trim. These charms of hers are not for him; I want them all myself.
Men like a modest woman. Yes Here is a truth, I must confess. I trow, if she belong to me I'd have her dote on modesty, And be a very nun To other men, but, all the same, I offer no excuses lame; I own to flat hypocrisy; When others freak I cannot see That any harm is done.
And when I toddle down the street I love some shapely maid to meet Arrayed in clothes that, on the whole, Imperil one's immortal soul, As pious men have shown. It's very wicked I suppose, But when a girl leaves off some clothes I have to own she beats the band; Provided, you will understand, That she is not my own.

The Bulletin, 18 September 1913, p10

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003