"Edward and Elizabeth" -6



Fiction by Daniel


The music evening

The white tie-wearing pianist, Madam Boothroyd, who always played her pieces such attired, produced some lovely music by Mozart, as the ladies entered the finely furnished music room.

First to appear was Lady Emily, escorted by two servants. She had clearly been laced to a very small size, as her waist was smaller than her neck. She looked very pale and distressed, her body swaying above the long-waisted corset that she was wearing. For this evening, her mother had her placed in this long-length corset, which reached from just above her knees to over her bosom. Naturally, it had been severely laced to her smallest size, which in Emily’s case was twelve inches. She was lowered into a special chair, which had padding moulded to accommodate her corseted form perfectly.

Next, her friend Lady Sophie entered.  She was attired in a fabulous long dark red gown, with a most charming fitted bodice, with a neat stem measuring eight inches tall. This was decorated with a silk ribbon with a large red bow at the front, which drew attention to its majestic, exacting smallness.

Sophie was supported under her gown with a pipe stem corset. Sophie’s parents, too, had desired for her to cultivate and obtain a most delicate figure.  

Her figure had been trained and moulded into a pipe-stem from a very young age.  They had succeeded in lengthening Sophie’s waist to a full eight inches of the most perfect stem. This measured a very neat, precise fifteen inches in diameter.

For tonight’s evening, and due to the importance of being extremely small waisted, her stem had a ‘tube vice’ placed on: An eight inch wide steel tube had been placed on her party corset, across her stem waist. This was then tightened at three points to secure the figure at a rigid and immobilised point.

Sophie had not been able to rise or sit without the help of a servant since the age of twelve, and she had worn the ‘steel tube’ for many special occasions. Since that young age, her young girl’s waist had been disfigured and squeezed without mercy into an elegantly fashionable shape. Now aged seventeen, she was always restricted in an elegant stem waisted corset. She always displayed a wonderful appearance in elegant, demure dresses, and was often collapsing with distress and shortness of breath. This had initially caused her some upset when she was forced into tight corsets aged barely nine years old.  But she had grown to love the sensation of such compression. Without such stays she would be unable to move, as her back muscles no longer functioned to support her, and indeed, the tighter she was laced, the better she was supported.

Lastly, Elizabeth entered, with her figure swaying most gracefully. She felt terribly close to collapsing, such was the lack of strength she had. She held onto her servant for help, as her gloved hand elegantly held onto her long beautiful dress.

Her bosom heaved with each slight breath from within her bodice.  It charmingly concealed her extremely tight corset, with its colourful silk fitted over the whalebone vice within. A servant gently lowered her into a finely padded chair, and began to fan her face, which showed signs of distress.

The ladies made small, polite conversation with each other, as servants attended to their dresses. They made careful efforts to neaten the mass of folded fabrics, silks, and satins, which gathered by their feet.

“I do so love your gown, my dearest Sophie,” remarked Emily, as she helped her friend to adjust her face veil. “Your party waist is exquisite, I wish my parents had me trained into a pipe stem corset like yours.”

Sophie looked at Emily, and looked close to fainting as she whispered, “So kind, my darling. I love your dress also, is it new?”

“Yes, Mother had it made by her dressmaker. Charming isn’t it?”

Elizabeth listened to her two friends pay fashion-related compliments to each other, and felt anxious to see Edward. She hoped that her specially corseted figure would impress Edward, and felt terribly weak and fragile within her crushingly tight stays. She began to glance towards the door, and felt her high diamond pearl choker dig into her throat - no, she should not do that. Instead, she glanced down at her dress, seeing her tiny sized bodice. It was marvellously small, and it was no wonder that she felt so weak. Her lungs and other internal organs had been squeezed so elegantly and tightly into a tiny corset. She asked a servant to fan her face some more, desperate not to cause a scene by fainting.

Once the head servant was satisfied that the ladies looked agreeable, she motioned to a footman by the door to request the gentlemen’s presentation.

Edward and two others, Robert and Henry, entered the room. They were all dressed in identical white tie evening suits, with fashionably tall collars, tightly knotted white bow-ties and white gloves. The gentlemen gracefully took slight, elegant steps across the room, with their gloved hands clasped behinds each of their backs.

Edward, Henry and Robert took their seats alongside the ladies, with servants helping with their tailed morning jackets; being careful to keep them neat and smart, while a servant with a silver tray served each guest a glass of wine.

Edward took his glass in his white gloved hand, and politely glanced at the well-dressed ladies.

He marvelled at how pretty each young lady dressed, in particular enjoying Lady Sophie’s appearance. He was taken aback by her wonderful waist, and how elegantly tiny it was. A delightful sight of her long stem-shaped bodice, decorated with that pretty bow at the front, but he was even more impressed by his darling Elizabeth’s figure.

'It is magnificent,' he thought. He saw her waist almost disappear into nothing at the middle, and wondered how it was possible to achieve such a graceful waist. He would so enjoy this evening, in the company of such charmingly delicate ladies! He sipped his wine and began to hear the sounds of the pianist play the new Mozart piece. He saw the ladies sit, facing the piano, earnestly fanning their flushed faces.

A while had passed, and during the final song at the piano evening, the servants came to collect the ladies.

Naturally, the gentlemen all stood as the servants began to help the ladies rise from the chairs.

Sophie had to be helped very carefully from her seat, with the help of three servants. Her back had no muscles to speak of, as from a very young age she had been placed into very tight pipe-stem corsets. Her dress bustle was neatened while she was helped up, almost fainting through the distress she always felt when being raised from a chair. She was not alone in this respect, as Emily and Elizabeth always required assistance when rising from their chairs.

Indeed, young Elizabeth was most upset attempting to rise.  She was very fragile and delicate, and felt she was actually going to snap in two; such was the severe pressure within her corset. Once on her feet, a servant held out her dress train, while another held her arm while as she slowly began to leave the room. Her tight kid gloved hand fanned her face, as she smiled at Edward in passing.

“I wish I could talk to her,” said Edward, in the direction of Henry.

Henry held Edward's gaze for a second. “She is most beautifully dressed, Edward. I know you are courting her at the moment, you are a very lucky gentleman.”

Edward proffered a quiet word of thanks, his friend had praised his darling Elizabeth, and this made him feel like his cheeks were burning.

As Emily was the last to leave, the gentlemen left the room and they all stood in the large entrance room, as the drivers arrived in turn to take their respective masters home.


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