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"I'll be at charges for a looking-glass;
And entertain a score or two of tailors."
My Dear Freda:
Because you are fond of fairytales, and have been ill, I have made you a story all for yourself—a new one that nobody has read before.
And the queerest thing about it is—that I heard it in Gloucestershire, and that it is true—at least about the tailor, the waistcoat, and the "No more twist!"
In the time of swords and peri wigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets—when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta—there lived a tailor in Gloucester.
He sat in the window of a little shop in Westgate Street, cross-legged on a table from morning till dark.
All day long while the light lasted he sewed and snippetted, piecing out his satin, and pompadour, and lutestring; stuffs had strange names, and were very expensive in the days of the Tailor of Gloucester.
But although he sewed fine silk for his neighbours, he himself was very, very poor—a little old man in spectacles, with a pinched face, old crooked fingers, and a suit of thread-bare clothes.
He cut his coats without waste; according to his embroidered cloth, they were very small ends and snippets that lay about upon the table—"Too narrow breadths for nought—except waistcoats for mice," said the tailor.
One bitter cold day near Christmastime the tailor began to make a coat (a coat of cherry- coloured corded silk embroidered with pansies and roses) and a cream- coloured satin waistcoat for the Mayor of Gloucester.
The tailor worked and worked, and he talked to himself: "No breadth at all, and cut on the cross; it is no breadth at all; tippets for mice and ribbons for mobs! for mice!" said the Tailor of Gloucester.