42o The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
and elbow sleeves, while others were severely simple, with a muslin fichu crossed and tied at the back, and broad-brimmed hats crowning the powdered hair, which was rolled high.
The men wore ordinary dress.
When the guests were assembled, a procession was formed of those in costume, who threaded their ways in and out between the trees, stepping daintily in time with the music of a small orchestra that played "Amaryllis" and other selections from composers of the period to be recalled.
Next followed a minuet, danced on the lawn by shepherdesses carrying crooks, to which bunches of paper roses were tied with ribbons—a pretty exhibition of stately grace.
After this, a little play was acted in the open air, the performers emerging from and disappearing behind the trees and bushes. The love of a wood-nymph and her despair at being deserted for a mortal formed the subject of the little drama.
Nothing is more charming than such little plays acted on the lawn. There are pretty pastorals that require just such a sylvan setting, and the audience will not be in too critical a mood. If the spot chosen be closed in by trees, the appearance and disappearance of the actors among the foliage make a curtain unnecessary.
Light refreshments were served, and the guests gathered in groups to chat and admire each other, of themselves making pictures that would not have been unworthy of the brush of a Watteau or a Lancret.
The considerate hostess had made her invitations contingent upon the weather. They read that the pleasure of the guest's company was requested upon a certain date, or if the weather proved inclement, "upon the first fine day thereafter."