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Ever since the days of princesses and knights, handkerchiefs have been romantic little bits. Fair ladies threw them to black plumed warriors on dashing steeds. If they hadn't what ever would the poor dear warriors have pressed to their lips when they lay dying on the field of battle? Of course gloves might answer the purpose, but they are such expensive things to drop about on all occasions, and handkerchiefs do just as well. Besides they don't make such a bulge in the left breast pocket, when picked up and cherished by modern plumeless lovers.
"From the Trite to the Novel in Handkerchiefs,"
The Iowa Homemaker: Vol. 2
, Article 10.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/homemaker/vol2/iss10/10