Hide Articles List

13 articles on this Page

LOCAL ITEMS. -1\ * ' -.,.









[No title]

[No title]




OUR LADIES'COLUMN. LONDON, Wednesday EVENING* In midwinter ladies are not supposed to have much shopping to do. Unless for meeting such emergencies as unexpected evening invitations, nothing new is re- quiredâno dresses, mantles, nor bonnets besides those purchased when the cold weather first set in. 'More than two months must vet elapse before furs can be discarded and light muffles substituted for heavy ones. But this week and next special inducements draw ladies to the large shops in the great thoroughfares, and business is as brisk as the wants of desponding tradesmen could possibly desire. The great linendrapers and silk-mercers are holding their annual cheap sales, when their surplus stocks are offered at a large reduction for ready-money. Most women lova bargains, or at least rejoice to think they have made thMn; and the sight of one of the large shops on the first morning of a cheap sale is a striking one. By 10 o'clock the stream of customers begins to pour in, each anxious to be early in the field, to have a first turn over of the piles of Blockings in odd pairs, the selections from the gloves, the most useful short lengths of velvets and serges, the dainty little remnants of lace, the tempting coloured ties, and cobwebby handkerchiefs. The dresses of last season that were rather too fashionable for everyday in a quiet suburb will be exactly what would be right next year, especially with the recommendation of being had for half the cost of last year's patterns. It is almost a duty to buy two dresses rather than one, when they can be had so reasonable. Then mantles, with sparkling trimmings, that made-women almost die with envy on seeing them, worn by richer sisters, are now likely to come within measurable distance of their purses; so it is not matter of wonder "that haste is made to be early on the scene of action. But the strangest feature of the cheap sale season is the string of carriages that lines the adjoining streets awaiting the pleasure of their owners. A carriage is not a oheap luxury in London, taking into account stabling, horses, and servants. Ten years ago a com- fortable carriage could be kept for £200 a year; now double that- amount will only do things in a semi-shabby fashion. Footmen are a serious item âwages, board, and livery inclusive. Yet ladies who keep these costly domestics seem to love bargains as well, if not better, than their 'neighbours- who- avail themselves of a cheap omnibus service, or a second- class ticket on the Metropolitan Railway. It would be a curious calculation how much towards the foot- msn'a wages ladies save at one of these annual sales of dresses to which they and their friends throng, with such eager feet. Footmen are becoming' quite aa troublesome as cooks have been for years past, and as housemaids are Always likely to be. Window cleaning is the bone of contention between mistress and-man. In olden times, when glass had a heavy duty upon it, the tax mpon light was in the footman's favour, for the win- dows were few in number, and being cleaned one small pane at a time, the work was easy. In time came larger panes, higher windows, succeeded by large sheets of plate-glass, and our pluto- crats had by this time found it â pleasant to live in those large stone-fronted houses at South Kensington having an'imposing frontage. "Madame, I declines your situation, wrote a footman the other day, having called to survey the premises before entering upon negotiations. I find your house has 30 windows, upon which I never enters." A young married lady, recently settled in London, complains of the servants addressing ber as "Mrs. Smith," and speaking of their master as Mr. Smith." In the country where she had been brought up the villagers pulled their forelocks when they passed the gentry, and the children bobbed little curtseys. The gardener took off his hat when he came to the mistress for orders,, and was not too proud to admit that the gentleman from whom he received Wages was his master. But in London we have out- grown that sort of thing, though the yotuig mistress alluded to did not know how old- fashioned she was. Servants' balls are a great plague to the mistresses at this Season. What between the preparation of the dresses and the late hours, not to speak of being left without attend- ance for a whole evening, it is a relief when the Christmas festivities are over.. ,It is quite bad enough having the boys home for the holidays, but to have the domestioa going out for theirs is worse still. Slang is always objectionable on a woman's lips. But now and then our masculine friends intro- duce to us a word or phrase so apt that the temptation to appropriate it overcomes one's setfm of propriety. The latest current term to apply" to people to whom Thackeray would have done ample justice is a case in pointâ" on the swagger." We hays heard of people moving in good society being described as in the swim." It is forcible, but not elegant English. But the struggle for prominence has brought up a new race of pretenders, who are neither in the world Dor of it, yet desire the reputation of beitig crfeie de la crême. These people buy society journals, read them, and retail the paragraphs after- awards as if the incidents had come within their ownonal expevteneeE Sfcese, are those who, not being "in the swhijjp are on the swagger." But it is surprising how art- lessly some of those ambitious people apply the terms to themselves, quite playfully, allunconacious of the sarcasm it implies on their own good taste, The new silver brooches which were given to wte Queens who were so happy as to draw the bean on Twefth Night this year are not over-refined. It is not that they are vulgar, but there is an absence of that poetry which ought to be a part of a Twelfth Night Queen. Two silver letters intertwined, O. and U. make a monogram, and across them is- a little silver, animal, which implies 0 you pig," "O yoti duck," ot 0, you deer (dear)," but those with 0 you ape,"pr II 0 you devil," are in questionable taste. We are threatened with the invasion of our ball- rooms by anew American danoe, "The Raquet." The name would not predispose U8 to welcome it,especiatly when we bave banished tbø deux temps waltz à . too rough, and are reviving the graceful old minuet 01 the last century. The present waltz has been some- thing of a return to that first one that came over frofri France 50 years or more ago, described by Lord Byron in language more expressive than indulgent." The raquet is between a waltz and a polka, and the de- scription, being much condensed, probably front deference to editor's feelings, leaves much room for further details. First the couple struggle, then dodge, crush to one another, dart^back, try to drive through the floor, get mad with being unable to succeed, and all is over. All the fashion prophets tell ns that we are doomed to have crinoline introduced again. It is needless to cry out until we are hurt. The:panic has arisen from inquiries by a few leading modistes for some coils of flattened steel covered with paper ormuslin, of which crinoline skirtB used to be made. The use for which these are designed is not a new one, but only an ex- periment to try if steel would be less impressionable and refuse to warp than whalebone. Dresse8,eapecially for evening wear, are expected to be bouffante at the back of the skirt.. Horse hair, stiff muslin, and various other devices were tried to keep the dress from falling in. At last it was found that the only success that could be had was from running into a casing of the petticoat a piece of steel, cane, or whalebone, and allowing the draped skirt to fall gracefully over it. Out of this simple and clever little scheme has come the orinoline scare, which created a panic in feminine- circles. An agent of the French Government has been. during the last two or three weeks, visiting all the old bric-a-brac shops in London searching for ajaiece of tapestry that once hung in the Elysee, and has been missing since the days of the Commune. The sub- ject was the "Apotheosis of Adonis,' and the hanging was made for the Princess Pauline Bonaparte, who herself sat for the head of Venus. It is this figure of Venus that has been tørn from the canvas, and the Agent de Beaux ArtUa of opinion that it has been rmoved.dt8igned1 order to. mount -it as asapa*- rate picture, and would most hkly be brought to England for sale. It is quite possible that this is correct surmise, and that someone may have pur- chased it as a portrait in tapestry witnout having the least idea cf its previous history or ot its value. The floral fan has been much talked about, specu- latively and sentimentally, oome people insist on taking everything au pted at la leure. ^he fan is floral, it is true, but it does not nil the place nor discharge the office of a fan. It is merely a bouquet of flowere arranged in a fan shape, and suspended at the right side by a girdle that passes round the waist. It may be made of real or of axtincial flowers, but it is possible, nay more, expedient, to make it of the two mixed together. A framework a made of wire, 10 or 12 pieces, one set of ends brought together, and bound round to serve as handles, the opposite ends widened out then sbad. The Bowers must have been previously mounted on wires exactly the length of each division, a spray for each, of roses, heaths, bunches of violets, or any other kind suitable in size and form. These sprays are then mounted upon the fan frame, bending a few leaves and buds back so 88 to conceal the wire should the reverse side be seen. Upon the handle a nosegay is bound, and tied with a bow of ribbon. If neatly made, the floral fana are a pretty decoration for an evening dress. It not biing possible always to find flowers that are quite suitable, a frame of artificial greenery can be made, into which some chrysanthemums, Christmas roses, sweet violets, &c., can be introduced for an occasion and removed afterwards. When boots came into use for evening wear for ladies the shoe with sandals vanished. At best, the shoe held on by a narrow piece of elastic crossed upon the fool was comfortless; but still worse was the ribbon sandal of narrow black lutestring that was tied on the instep in a bow. It was so becoming to the foot, say our grandmothers; but then it was so inconvenient to the wearer. It was always. getting untied, or giving way at the sides, or otherwise proving itself a delusion and a snare. But all these little failures are old, stories, of which the-present generation know nothing, and the sandal-ribboned shoe is already footing it at balls in Paris, and is expected to arrive here long before the London season ovens J /I âr-zâ Printed and published by B. Davies, 23 and 24i, Mill)Street, Pontypridd, in the county of Glamorgr.n^