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"No one could appear on such a day as the 4th of June without a rosebud or a geranium in his buttonhole, and few would neglect to decorate their room, with bouquets for the chance of visitors appearing. . . . On ordinary occasions the
various crews have only their distinctive flannel shirt,
but on great days, such as 4th of June and check nights,
they wear this uniform, which contributes so much to
make the procession on the water such a pretty sight.
A dark-blue jacket and trousers, the former set off with
brass buttons, and hanging loose in front, so as to show
the distinctive pattern of a shirt which does its own duty
as well as that of a waistcoat, constitute the chief
articles of dress. A straw hat with blue ribbon and
badge at top, and shoes and buckles on the feet, help to
render the effect more complete; while the addition of a
silk handkerchief round the neck, fastened by a ring
and hanging loosely over the coloured shirt, gives a kind
of easy air, while at the same time it puts the finishing
touch to the whole costume. No one who has not
seen the boys in such a dress can imagine how well they
look. No needless finery, all simple and in good taste,
and in perfect character with the faces of the wearers.
May it long be preserved, if it be only to delight the
eyes of those that are reminded by it of their brightest
and happiest days.
— Recollections of Eton, pp. 61, 68-69
Lyte, H. C. Maxwell, Sir.
A history of Eton College, 1440-1910. 4th ed., rev. London: Macmillan, 1911.
An Etonian [Charles Frederick, d. 1892]. Recollections of Eton. London: Chapman and Hall, 1870.