Gloves. "With regard to the period in which the use of gloves was first introduced, we have, perhaps, no better authority than that of Xenophon, who, in speaking of the Persians, mentions as a proof of their effeminacy, that not content with covering their head and feet, they also wore thick gloves to guard their hands from the effect of cold; but some ascribe to them a much earlier origin, even as far back as the time of Ruth, as in the 4th chapter and 7th verse we read, that it was the custom for a man to take off his shoe and give it to his neighbour, as a token of redeeming anything. The word, they say, which is translated shoe, is by the Chaldean Paraphrast rendered glove. The royal Psalmist also uses the same word in the 108th Psalm, where it is likewise rendered shoe; but for the same reason as above it should have been glove : "I will cast my shoe over Edom." Yet there is good reason to suppose that the Chaldean Paraphrast has taken an unwarrantable liberty in his version of the text. Casaubon also conjectures that gloves were in use among the Chaldeans, because, in the Talmud Lexicon, the meaning given to the word here mentioned, is "Clothing of the hands." Varro, an ancient writer of repute, fully proves their antiquity among the Romans, observing in the 2nd book, 55th chapter "De Re Rustica," that olives gathered with the naked hand are preferable to those gathered with gloves. Ilo-ner represents
Laertes working in his garden with gloves on, to secure his hands from the thorns. A famous glutton is mentioned by Athe-nams as coming to table with gloves on, that, being thereby enabled to handle the meat while hot, ho might devour more than any one else. But though these examples show that the use of gloves was not unknown to the ancients, yet we cannot for a moment suppose that they were at all so commonly worn as now; and we may, moreover, infer that their use met with some opposition even a century after the establishment of Christianity; for Musonius, the philosopher, in attacking the corruption of the age, says that it is a shame for persons in health to clothe their hands and feet in 6oft and hairy coverings. We may, however, conclude that their convenience soon rendered their use pretty general, for Pliny the younger, in his account of his uncle's journey to Vesuvius, states that his secretary, who sat by him ready to write down whatever occurred remarkable, had gloves on his hands, that the coldness of the weather might not impede his employment. We then find them gradually become more common; and in the ninth century their use was so universal, that the Church thought it necessary to make some regulations with regard to that part of dress.
Gloves. Before the art of weaving them was known, gloves were sometimes made of velvet, tiffany, and satin, as well as of various kinds of leather; at present, the skins generally made use of are chamois, kid, lamb, doe, dog, beaver, elk, and buff. Yeovil, in Somersetshire, is famous for their manufacture, as are Worcester and Woodstock ; the latter for driving-gloves. Of late years, the silk gloves of Derby have been much in request, and manufactories of thread, cotton, worsted, and other woollen gloves, have sprung up; but for drees, kid nave always been most approved.