This short satire is really a commentary on early nineteenth-century fashion. My excuse for posting it here is that it pertains to dance history by making it clear that cotillons were still sufficiently fashionable in Boston in 1808 as to allow them to be part of a bilingual joke.
Also, it's funny, and I like it, and I'm feeling self-indulgent this month.
The excerpt below is taken from The Monthly Anthology and Boston Review, Vol. V, 1808. It is found in the December section under a column called "Silva", which seems to be a sort of literary miscellanea with a title shortened from a supposed Cicero quote starting "silvia rerum" (forest of things). "Cotillons" starts on page 657. I will include it in its entirety below with a short explanation for anyone who doesn't get the joke.
The Cotillon, or under-petticoat dance, received its name from that garment, which, to the exclusion of others was appropriated to its use. It is painful to observe that the ladies of Boston, are so far backward in the ranks of fashion, that, on those days of battle array, when they are drawn up to near and warm engagements, they have not yet ventured to assume their uniform. Is there no one of sufficient publick spirit to stand forward, and, like Ulysses, throwing off her useless rags, assume the majesty and simplicity of the Cotillon. An objection, indeed, may be raised, that, provided the external finery be removed, the expected substitute would not appear : that fashion has long since deprived a lady's person of that useless incumbrance. Without pretending to enter into the merits of this objection, or to decide, whether the garment, next but one to the skin, whatever be its quality and texture, be not the one in question, we would, with all humility, beg leave to inquire, whether Mrs. Cruft, and Miss Brown, and Mrs. _____, and Miss _____, &c. ad infinitum, are not sufficient to supply any demand, which this town and its vicinity can create. Away with such frivolous evasions.