Hijeous

"'Don't be alarmed, Tantripp,' said Dorothea, smiling. 'I have slept; I am not ill. I shall be glad of a cup of coffee as soon as possible. And I want you to bring me my new dress; and most likely I shall want my new bonnet to-day.'

 Half-mourning dress, 1872-74. From the Brooklyn Collection at the  Metropolitan Museum of Art .

Half-mourning dress, 1872-74. From the Brooklyn Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

'They've lain there a month and more ready for you, madam, and most thankful I shall be to see you with a couple o' pounds' worth less of crape,' said Tantripp, stooping to light the fire. 'There's a reason in mourning, as I've always said; and three folds at the bottom of your skirt and a plain quilling in your bonnet—and if ever anybody looked like an angel, it's you in a net quilling—is what's consistent for a second year. At least, that's my thinking,' ended Tantripp, looking anxiously at the fire; 'and if anybody was to marry me flattering himself I should wear those hijeous weepers two years for him, he'd be deceived by his own vanity, that's all.'" (874)

 

Eliot, George. Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life. Ed. A.S. Byatt. New York and Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999.

Undying love and devotion doesn't mean you have to be undesirable and unfashionable for two whole years. Plus when one looks so especially good in net quilling...

Thanks Katie for the tip!