Monday, November 30, 2015

4-54 McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader (re) Lesson LIV. ROBINSON CRUSOE'S DRESS. (147)


1. But had any man in England met such a man as I was, it must either have frightened him or raised a great deal of laughter; and, as I frequently stood still to look at myself, I could not but smile at the notion of my traveling through Yorkshire in such a dress.

2. I had a great, high, shapeless cap, made of a goat's skin, with a flap hanging down behind, as well to keep the sun from me as to shoot the rain off from running into my neck; nothing being so hurtful in these climates as the rain upon the flesh under the clothes.

3. I had a short jacket of goatskin, the skirts coming down to about the middle of the thighs, and a pair of open-kneed breeches of the same; the breeches were made of the skin of an old goat, and the hair hung down such a length on either side that it reached to the middle of my legs like pantaloons.

4. Stockings and shoes I had none; but I made a pair of something, I scarce know what to call them, like buskins, to flap over my legs, and lace on either side like spatterdashes; but they were of a most barbarous shape, as indeed were all the rest of my clothes.

5. I had on a broad belt of goatskin dried, which I drew together with two thongs of the same, instead of buckles; and, in a kind of frog on each side of this, instead of a sword and dagger, hung a little saw and hatchet; one on one side, and one on the other. I had another belt not so broad, and fastened in the same manner, which hung over my shoulder; and at the end of it, under my left arm, hung two pouches, both made of goatskin, too; in one of which hung my powder, in the other my shot.

6. At my back I carried my basket, on my shoulder my gun, and over my head a great, clumsy, ugly, goatskin umbrella, but which, after all, was the most necessary thing I had about me, next to my gun.

7. As for my face, the color of it was really not so dark as one might expect from a man not at all careful of it, and living within nine or ten degrees of the equator. My beard I had once suffered to grow till it was about a quarter of a yard long; but, as I had both scissors and razors sufficient, I had cut it pretty short, except what grew on my upper lip, which I had trimmed into a large pair of Mahometan whiskers, such as I had seen worn by some Turks.

8. Of these mustaches or whiskers, I will not say that they were long enough to hang my hat upon them, but they were of a length and shape monstrous enough, and such as in England would have passed for frightful. But all this is by the bye; for, as to my figure, I had so few to observe me that it was of no manner of consequence; so I say no more on that part.

DEFINITIONS.--4. Bus'kins, coverings for the feet coming some distance up the leg, and fit for a defense against thorns, etc. Spat'-ter-dash-es, coverings for the legs to keep them clean from water and mud. Bar'ba-rous, uncouth, clumsy. 5. Thongs, strips of leather. Frog, a loop similar to that sometimes used in fastening a cloak or coat. Pouch'es bags. 8. Mon'strous, very large, enormous.

NOTES.--The novel, "Robinson Crusoe," was first published in 1719. It was founded on the adventures of Alexander Selkirk, a Scotch buccaneer, who was cast on the island of Juan Fernandez, west of South America, in 1704, and remained there for more than four years, before he was rescued.

1. Yorkshire. This was the district of England where, according to the story, Robinson Crusoe was born and passed his early life.

3. Open-kneed breeches. At this period knee breeches were worn almost altogether in England. Those referred to here appear to have been loose about the knee, and not close, as usual.

5. Instead of sword and dagger. It was then the fashion in England for gentlemen to wear such weapons.

8. Such as in England would have passed for frightful. It was not the custom in England, in DeFoe's time, to wear a full beard.

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