The Bustle, a particularly favourite topic

   Posted by: ermyntrude   in Culture

And indeed, a lady should  be rather flattered to have a bustle named after her good self. Alas, I fear it eclipses my poor effort at our Year’s End Ball in such extreme degree, I shall be forced to hide from society for simply an age, lest I endure ridicule and taunts. My bustle cannot compare with such a magnificent specimen as this!

The "Ermyntrude" Bustle

For who can deny the very wise words of the noble poet Admiral Squidingtoe, with his charming translation from the original Latin?

Ode to the Bustle (or, My Darling’s Buttocks are Pleasingly Round)
(Original work by Patrician Mixus Alotus)

The courtiers like big bustles and they cannot lie.
No gentleman doth deny.
When a fair maiden strolls in with a diminutive waist
And a bustle in your face

You approach a mutual acquaintance who may introduce her to you, and after a respectful introduction you politely inquire her father whether or not you may be allowed to make calls upon said young lady, and should he acquiesce, you make a series of chaperoned calls at the estate of said fair maiden, and after an appropriate time, during which you have reviewed her trainings, breeding, accomplishments, likelihood to produce healthy offspring, and family standing, you approach her father again, and if he agrees to the marriage, you have an elaborate wedding, making sure lest you snub any family connections on either side, after which you embark on an appropriate honeymoon during which you get sprung.

You become distracted from your affairs when you notice the pleasurable silhouette of a young woman with a bustle.

It lies beneath many layers of fabric, and you find yourself utterly engaged in examining it from afar.

Oh, darling, I would like to escort you on outings
And commission an oil portrait of you
My fellow gentlemen attempt to dissuade me,
But your bustle imparts within me feelings of great ecstasy.

Oh yes, that wire frame
Would you like to ride in my hansom?
Then join me, I beg you to join me
For you are more accomplished and pleasing to look upon than an average young lady

I have observed you at dancing
And I fear my love for you will scarcely bear a long courtship
I perspire greatly
As a racehorse will in the midst of the steeplechase
Were your figure to be compared with those great engines of steam, surly yours would be the mightiest and able to drive an ironclad to terrific speed.

I tire of these leisurely publications
Advocating the abandonment of the bustle–
If you were to inquire as to the opinions of gentlemen of standing on this matter, you would find that they greatly prefer the current fashion.

Therefore, gentlemen…
Does your paramour wear a bustle?
Quite so!
Then pray, gently encourage her to continue wearing this wonderful article in public, for it is a sign of good health and breeding.

I enjoy bustles of great proportion and an exceeding roundness, therefore during the London season I find it difficult to control my masculine urges, and ashamedly I have been given to fits of madness, where my behavior is no better than the beasts in the field. Forgive me for being so brazen, as I know this shall cause a scene.

Darling, I wish to whisk you away to my summer home on the coast, and once there I shall ravish you in a most depraved manner, stopping not once for sustenance until we have both satisfied our carnal desires.

I refer not to the illustrations in penny dreadfuls when judging your figure, for they are obviously flawed.

Indeed I proclaim the plump health of your figure, as it is reminiscent of a juice filled piece of fruit and quite pleasurable to my eyes.

I fear that I have you at a disadvantage, but I can do not but find myself before you on bended knee, my mind alight with images of your form, for which I now entreat.

The other day I was taking in a performance by a musical group of some renown, and I was horrified to find that a bevy of sallow and sunken young ladies were strutting like splay legged milk mares, their ribs visible beneath their skin. Fie on those slattern harpies! A gentleman much prefers to gaze upon firm fetters.

An aside to those women who keep themselves trim and neat, I would very much desire to call upon your houses and make introductions to other gentlemen with which I am acquainted.

They are all stout and solid men of the highest moral character who abstain from rough language, and would never dream of treating any woman as a Flashman treats his strumpets.

However, I must make it clear that they enjoy the pleasures of pleasant company, and may wish to court you. Modesty aside, I am the most desirable of my gentleman companions.

There are many the cash carriers and haymarket hectors that will find my words to ring false, but there is no honor among such a dastardly lot. They would rather meet a toffer for a night’s pleasure than properly woo a lady. I, on the other hand, am immune to such temptations, having been raised to properly respect and revere the company of gentlewomen.

If you do wish to ride in my luxurious carriage…
Indeed, milord!
Then kindly grace my eyes with the swell of your bustle.
Even gentlemen such as I must proclaim your exceeding fairness!

Indeed, the Continental fashion of narrow hipped boyish mops is most dreadful.
Parade, while a fine publication, fails to reflect my personal feelings on the proper form of a maiden.
It is well known to science that measurements of certain parts of the body can indicate health and robustness; however those measurements forwarded by some would only speak health to me if the figure they described were much shorter in stature.

So, your betrothed owns a carriage of Japanese make
and engages in calisthenics instructed by Lady Jane Fonda?
But Miss Fonda has no motor in the rear of her carriage!
I, and by extension my membrum virilis, which I shall liken unto a ferocious and large snake, am not interested in the performance of the sacred marital duties, unless the Creator has endowed you with a voluptuous form pleasing to the baser instincts of man, dear heart.

Various rapscallions make pretensions of being noble
And admonish that thy bustle is akin in size to the fretful hippopotamus
So they make pantywaisted pretense for your affections before fleeing from romantic commitment
But I am swift to mend thy bruiséd fluttering heart
These periodicals of the printing press state that it is in good Parisian style to resemble a victim of consumption.


Thy shape resembleth a glass of sweet wine
So to the waifish guttersnipes I proclaim:
Thou’rt not divine, onion-headed lasses!
Rather introduce me to a lady of the court,
One of such striking beauty that I am smitten by her glory
And whose curves show that she lacks for neither nourishment nor health
Some blatherskites speak ill of women in my company
For their tongues are sharpened by jealousy
They squandered their one opportunity with such damsels by acting the churl
And I fly to the scorned and praise their beauty
So if thy bustle is elliptical
And thy womanly fires burn hungrily for one to stoke the flames
Please see my man Godwin for my card
And do call on Sunday for tea.


Admiral Squidingtoe, OBE, TSC, PGP, RSA, Esq.

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