Burton on Bloomers and Virginia Slade

“The Bloomer was an uncouth being ; her hair, cut level with her eyes, depended with the graceful curl of a drake’s tail around a flat Turanian countenance, whose only expression was sullen insolence. The body-dress, glazed brown calico, fitted her somewhat like a soldier’s tunic, developing haunches which would be admired only in venison; and curious inconsequence of woman’s nature! all this sacrifice of appearance upon the shrine of comfort did not prevent her wearing that kind of crinoline depicted by Mr. Punch upon ‘our Mary Hanne.’ The pantalettes of glazed brown calico, like the vest, tunic, blouse, shirt, or whatever they may call it, were in peg-top style, admirably setting off a pair of thin-soled Frenchified patent-leather bottines, with elastic sides, which contained feet large, broad, and flat as a negro’s in Unyamwezi. The dear creature had a husband : it was hardly safe to look at her, and as for sketching her, I avoided it, as men are bidden by the poet to avoid the way of Slick of Tennessee.

The other ‘lady, [Virginia Slade] though more decently attired, was like women in this wild part of the world generally cold and disagreeable in manner, full of ‘proper pride,’ with a touch-me-not air, which reminded me of a certain ‘Miss Baxter, Who refused a man before he axed her.'”