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SPRING.

THE STRANGE CLAIMANT; , OR,…

ADRIAN FLORENT; OR, THE MYSTERY.

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LADIES' COLUMN.

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LADIES' COLUMN. THE FASHIONS. The Milliner and Dressmaker says the theatre is just now the centre of attraction for those in search of amusemet t. For an occasion of this sort the princess robe is still the favourite style "princess costume would be the more correct designation, the or ginal straight line being now so broken in upon by flounces, flaps, draperies, pleatings, &c., as to render the original form difficult, if not impossible of recog- nition. The plastron, or stomacher, is particularly well suited to the dem:-toilet so frequently adopted for the theatre. The season's stuffs tend themselves admirably to the various combinations so much used for the princess costumeâsatin, velvet, brocaded silk, fancy woollen, and silk materialsâall these join issue in a most wonderfully complaisant manner. Satin is rarely employed by itself, a mixture of velvet being generally looked upon as adding to the effect. We have seen an excessively pretty dress composed of these two stuffs. Folds of velvet were so placed on the satin dress as to simulate flaps these appeared to be separate from the dress towards the lower edge, showing tastefully-made p)iss £ s, or flutings. A style of dress which may be worn appropriately by a lady receiving morning visitors, and which has not hitherto been much spoken of, is the robe Amazone." We will endeavour to give an idea of i'jS character. It is made of ecru (a sort of cream- coloured stuff), and has six seams in the back, which is of the princess shape. These seams form a similar number of pleats below the waist, and are continued as far as the hips from this point they serve to supply the requisite fulness for the train. The side breadths belonging to the front are slightly draped, and caught in with those of the back. Grey silk buttons form the acce-raories of this portion of the dress. A pleated flounce of grey silk is placed on the front breadths. Grey silk buttons fasten the bodice, and are continued in a row down the entire front of the skirt. They also trim the upper side of the sleeve. The elegance and gracefulness of this pattern are due solely to the perfection of cut, and the happy blending of colours. A charming col- larette may be made of white cambric (pleated), edged with lace. The upper part has a rather closely quilted plisse, also of cambric, and finished off with a narrow lace. A bow of narrow ribbon (otter brown and red), with long ends, is placed at the opening of this collar. Detp cuffs made exactly to correspond, and also ornamented with ribbon bows, are worn over the sleeves. The famous Cardinal" robe has been worn in Paris at some of the fashionable dinners. Whether this extremely bright red colour will come into favour no one can prognosticate u itil the season becomes somewhat more advanced. The tunic is very long, open in front, and guileless of any ornamentation with the exception of very small flat buttons. EXHIBITION OF DOLLS IN COSTUME.âAt the Alex- andra Palace the third of the Little Folka' yearly exhibitions of the needlework of its readers is now open. This year the dolls, quilts, and illuminated texts, of which the competition consists principally, are to be distributed immediately on the close of the exhibition amongst the various children's hospitals, for the benefit of the poor little sufferers therein. For this year eight separate prize competitions were arranged with a very successful result. The eight com- petitions were: 1. Dolls dressed as brides II. Baby dolls III. Single dolls in costume; IV. Groups of dolls in costume (national, historical, &c.); V. Artificial flowers in wool and paper; VI. Patch- work quilts (for children's cots); VII. Illuminated texta; VIII. Models in cardboard or cork. In Com- petion IV. the prizes offered were books, beautifully got up, of the value, severally, of X5, X3, and £ 2'. In the other competitions books also of two guineas, one guinea, and half a guinea. The dolls dressed as brides were very successful indeed, showing great taste in the style of the costume, and also much neatness and care in the making up. The first prize was taken by Miss Jessie Culver, ytamford-hill, N" aged 14. In the second competition the needlework was equally good, although, of course, of a finer kind the subject being Baby dolls." The making of the flannels and the flannel embroidery in this competition is worthy of mention, as being pecu- liarly neat and pretty. The firat prize was taken by Miss L. E. Marshall, Gainsborough, aged 12^ years, for a babyattired with such exquisite neatness that the small sempstress has well earned her prize. The Single dolls in costume," third com- petition, formed the most interesting part of the exhibition, viz, Swiss peasant women, as well as Sirabian and Russian a French Fishwife, a Laplauder, and several representacions of Queen Eli- zabeth and Mary Queen of Sjots, Little Bad Biding Hoods, Dollv Vardens, and Mother Hubbards; a clergyman and his clerk, the first in full canonicals Turkish and Georgian beauties, and several sailor boys. The first prize in this list was taken by a Rus- sian peasaftt Soil, drtssed by Miss Alice Fairholme, Maida-vale, aged 13^. The rourth and most impor- tant competition was" for groups of dolls in costume." Here the first prize was taken by an extremely clever representation of the story of "Red Biding Hood," from the beginning to the sad ending, the woodland scenes being manufactured with moss, maidenhair fern, dried, and leaves; the small lake of looking-glass, and real gravc-1 covering the roads. There were large drops of red sealing wax over the floor and sheet of the bed in the little cottage, to represent the blood of the poor grandmother and little Red Riding Hood. A wedding in Westminster Abbey, with pews in walnut, and a long procession of ladies and gentlemen, was a very ambitious performance; and so was the repre- sentation of a g trden party, at which groups of hand- somely dressed dolls were playing lawn tennis. Some of 1 be artificial flowers composed of wool in Competi- tion V. wero beautifully made, and two long tables were covered with the numerous patchwork quilts for children's cots, all of which deserved praise for the beauty of the work, and the fcoxquislte cleanliness with which the children bad produced them. In the seventh competition for illuminated texts, the boy readers of the magazine had come out strongly, and tonk all the prizes very deservedly; the formation and colouring of the letters being excellent. In the competion for models in cardboard or cork there were very few entries, only two prizes being awarded. The prize winners will be advertised in the February number of Little Folks' Magazine. Messrs. Cassell, Potter, and Galpin, the proprietors, are to be congra- tulated upon the undoubted success of their efforts to encourage and stimulate the useful home employ- ments of needlework and cutting out. CHRISTMAS FEASTING.âCurious particulars have come down to us of the great feasts with which our sovereigns in early times kept their Christmases and in some cases we find even their favourite dishes at these royal celebrations. Thus, cranes were the favourite dish with Henry II.; and on one occuion we are informed that Henry III. directed the Sheriff of Gloucester to buy twenty salmon to be put into pies for his Obristmas- "The sammon, king of fish. Fills with good cheer the Christmas dish and the Sheriff of Sussex had to provide ten brawns, with the heads, and ten peacocks for the same feast in Westminster Hall. Richard If. kept his Christmas at Lichfield, in 1398, where two hundred tuns or wme and two thousand oxen were consumed! Edward IJI. was a right royal provider of Christmas cheer. In his time the art of cookery was well understood, and the making of blancmanges, tarts, and pies, and the pre. paring of rich soups of the brawn of capons were among the cook's duties at this period. French cooks were employed by the nobility and in the merchants' feasts we find jellies of all colours and in all figures -flowers, trees, beasts, fisb, fowl, and fruit. The wines were spiced; and cinnamon, grains of paradise, and ginger were in the dessert confections.âHtute- hold Guide.

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