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Wesley Chapel's Bazaar. -

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Wesley Chapel's Bazaar. Stallholders in Fancy Costumes A Hint. Ouida's play at the Granc5, The (trand Theatre th's week has quite a. first class "draw" in the American dramatised version of "Under Two Flags," Ouida's tale «>f Anglo-Algerian inilitaiy life, with Miss Ida Molesworth in the role of "Cigarette," the gay little vivandiere who meets with .such a tragic fate. Mb. is Molesworth has toured with Irving, Alexander and Forbes Robert- son, and these are qualifications good enough to ensure an excellent standard of acting. Ouida's tale is one of the rncst typical of that author's gorgeously luxurious imagina- tion. The hero is a. "beau sabreur" ot the aristocracy of the very first Nwter-too over- whelmed with ennui to he able to .speak above a weary drawl, in a "what a bora it all is" j sort of strain. The .scene is laid in that age of scented foppery which .succeeded the hor_ rors of the early Victorian poke-bonnet era —that age of which relies may still be seen in the shape of weird china, dogs, with blue noses and red ears. I green and crude red woollen antimacassars, and aesthetic: "frights" of the same kind. The hero is under the necessity of enlisting in the then equivalent for the Foreign Legion, in which he displays | under unprecedented tiials a. steel-nerve con. stancy and unweaitng endurance of every imaginable kind of privation which suffices to constitute him a marvellous anomaly, anomalous enough though some of the heroes of fiction are. In Algiers he casually meets the child- sweetheart of bye-gone and happier day. who possesses a name so characteristically "Ouidaish" that I cannot refrain from repro- ducing it—the Princess Venetia Corona D'Amagne! Despite all this, she is English. and an unconscious rival to the frisky Cigar- ette. In the end the hero is sentenced to death for assaulting his superior officer, as a, result of a sneer thrown out by the latter j regarding the relations between him and Princess Venetia. Cigarette saves his life and loses hers by leaping in between him and the rifles of the tiring party, and all ends in 1 a tragically happy way. IJertre Cecil—what an name for a languorous Ouida. guardsman—has had to enlist under a sus- picion of forgery, but his. name is finally cleared, and there is no suicide—unless that of Cigarette counts its such. The play is full of picturesque incidents and drama-tec situa- tions, including tableaux of an Algerian baittlo. «and' Miss Moles worth's -acting ts Cigarette has just that ncce&sarv spice of pertness and slanginess infused into it to make that character live. The part Is Cecil is cleverly rendered by Mr. Mark Blow, though the too liberal allowance of heroines, which makes one wonder which is the real one, somewhat, detracts from the ola-y. But that is no fault of the adaptors. One fea- ture which should not be missed is those tableaux I have referred to. and another depicting Cigarette's escape from the Arabs, which created a sensation when produced in America, and are most admirably staged. I am, frankly. 110 admirer of Ouida. never was, and never will be. and how her novels have attained their undeniable popularity is a mystery to me. There is an atmosphere of sickly scent about them, and their florid descriptive writing which is nauseating, and most of her tales of "high life" present a picture of outward brilliance and inward squalidness which is extremely unpleasant to look upon. Whether Society, as she de- picts it, has improved, or whether her pictuie was exaggerated, is doubt tuf. vSociety—with a capital S-Ís an institution which Reserves the pity rather than the envy of tho-e who are not in the "smart set." or anywhere near the "upned ten." Its restless wish after amusements, its jadedness, its woi thlessness and its „fcverishness are all equally pitiable. Nothing but an end loss round of "dim:Cls." balls, oarties out of which I warrant no gen uineplea-sureis obtained. Jloweveo gor- geous the life may seem to outward appear- ance, yet a restaurant, whether it be Prince's of Piccadilly, or anv other famous London house, is a wretched substitute for a home, as the majority of middle classes still undcr- stand the word. No. there is not the sligh- test reason for envying "Society." though one is irritated at its assumptions to pose as repre setative of English Society in general. It is altogether too unhealthv and artificial for that. English society. 1 am convinced, is :till based upon the home, and home life, even though the thirst for amusement which ani- j 1 mates the working classes may seem similar to that chase after elusive pleasure which forms the sole oecu|>ation- if one can call it such—of "Society." True, the factory girl ,s 1 taste for "fevvers" may seem similar to that of smart society for the plumage of rare and nearly extinct birds for headgear ornament. Hut these are but external "trimmings"; at bottom there is no resemblance or affinity. Criticism of this soil is often heard nowa- days. whether of one kind from those who see in' Society's vagaries signs of national de- generation and of another kind. equally pungent of indirect and roundabout, Ironi the sermons of Sir Francis Jeune periodicalh preaches. I believe the former critics are light; Society has not improved; it-has stag- nated at best. "Ladies of quaiity," for in- stance used to swear worse than the immor- tal army in Flanders; Inus their modern sisters' rage for gambling at bridge been an improvement on this? Society may resent-l this criticism all of which, indeed. is not Applicable to every section of it; but. it is its *>\vn fault if it has allowed the "smart- set" to -so dominate its doings and sayings as to lender it more or less of a bye-word. It is indeed a brave -spirit that can rise su- perior to such dread depression, in the way of weather, which lias graced (?) March, and being Lent, there are, unfortunately, not tnany distractions..Velhmks, but few of us will be sorry when the penitent hi season is over. I find one gels but little sympathy j if one allows mere dirhl\.i conditions to in- Huence one's spirits; but- I would really like to know how one can be high ,spirited and gay when we are wrapped day alter day in such dull grey atmosphere. If the truth of the old slt.Ving. "¡!PIl \lan.li comcs in like a. lamb it goes out like a- lion" is to be reversed j this season, a. great change- will Jjave come over things climatic. and thai soon. That it fame in hke a lion, w are not likely to forget in a- hurry. The story oi' the first' week of this month was a. terrt'ble one, the gales of wind whic h raged strewed our const with wreckage, aiwf tti, relentless sea. took its full toll of human lile, and in consequence Jni1.nv homes were overtaken with desolation and grief. The day after one of the great- storms, we have so late experienced. I went down to Eanghmd t<> view the sea, which could not hide all the tokens of rits spent rage. As far out as tin1, eye could, reach the great expanse of water still tumbled and tossed, heaved and sobbed, and with steady regu- litrily, long white lines of foam broke against. the huge rocks and flung high in the air the feathery thistledown of salt spray. The sound of the incoming tide, as it thus dashed against the sea-weed-coveml rock: was like the booming of givat guns but the 1 eat 1 eas- iness of the sea- all. around was as still itS death, and not a. human being WHS in sight. It is a great and wonderiul experience to be, brought in this way face to face as it were, with Nature, when in Oil" of her most way- ward and wicked moods. If custom, con- vention, and habit had not so immured us to a sterotyped mode ot life, we should oftener enjoy ourselves by hicaking away from the rush and tunn>>iI ol the busy world and stand in awe and wonderment befoie the grandeur and power of Nature in her ever varying moods. There is nothing startlingly original about ;i bazaar, especially those held in a Church or. chapel schoolroom—they are often any- thing but cheery affairs. The sale which wai hold at Wesley on Wednesday and' Thursday ^vas, however, as usual, most satisfactory. The good folk worshipping at Wesley can claim to be experts in organising bazaars"; they have had considerable experience, and gclod fortune ever attends their efforts. To save heavy expenses, they utilise the school- room for their sales of work, wid it is more adaptable than most buildings of its kind 1 tho purpose. Mr. Solomon Andrews, of Cardiff, performed the initial opening cere- mony; he is, I believe, one of the most pro- minent Wesleyans in our sister town, and 1 generous supporter. In connection with Wesley bazaars, two features always stand out most conspicuously; first, the needlework displayed and offered for sale is unusurJly fine, and good value for the money paid by the lucky purchasers, and, secondly, there is always a very excellent refreshment stall, tastefully set out, and presenting a most al- luring appearance. Small wonder, therefore, that even in a schoolroom .sale of work they take as much money as many bazaars on a. more pretentious scale. Wouldn't it relieve the montony of local bazaars if fancy dresses were worn by the stallholders? It would be so much more pic- turesque. Now [ should like to see in the Albert Hall an "Olde Englisshe Fayre," and the ladies connected with it dressed as "fayre" dames and damsels with bewitching powder and patches, and, say. shepherdress dresses, with paniers puffed over dainty pet- ticoats, and befrilled mob caps, or flower weather hats. It would prove such an at- traction. too! The performance recently given by the Bethesda Chapel Choir of Stainer's work, "The Daughter of Jairus." was well worth listening to. The soloiste were very &ltrs- factory. especially Miss May John, K.A.M., Ton Pentre, who possesses a most bright- ringing soprano voice of flexible quality, the choir did full justice to themselves, and their conductor. Mr. J. S. Thomas, but i,m't it a pity that the tenors are always too weak? With such a scarcity of tenor singers it must prove a. very diihcult task to balance the parts anything like satisfactoiy, and the so- pranos and bass choristers vie with each other to become the most prominent. I wonder will our Welsh iriends resent, it, if before leaving this subject, I admit that what sur- prised me most that evening at Bethesda Chapel, was the neglected state of the build- ing. I don't know when the editice was erected, but judging by the appearance of the walls, a- stranger would come to the conclusion that they had never been painted They are. indeed, in a veiv dirty state. I wonder the members of the congregation, es- pecially the ladies, do not agitate tor a thor- ough "spring cleaning." The place when the bright spring sun shines into the dusty- looking corners and soiled walls, mercilessly revealing every flaw presents indeed a gloomy spectacle, and one not calculated, by its dmginess, to attract stranger worshippers. Somehow the brightening days are apt to di-oover the short-comings of our headgear soonest of all Flower toques are always amongst the newcomers at this season, nor could the heart 01 woman desire prettier; but newest, perhaps, are the flat plateaux, draped with lace, which hangs over the brim all round curtain-wise, whilst the crown is covered with separate sprays, or rather bunches of flowers, violets in particular. The turban toque, and its companion, the "Shah of Persia" turban, are fast acquiring that familiarity which breeds contempt. In- stead of the upright brush aigrette which has become so very common, the aigrette is laid flat at the left side of the brim the stem to the ficnt, and the bushy part point- ing towards the back. I he threatened re-appearance of the bonnet is proving an agitating question in millinery circles. The general opinion is, that though toques and hats with strings will be sold- as indeed they have for many seasons past— the bonnet proper will not be prominently seen. Length and narrowness are two of the salient features of millinery this spring, together with a singular grace in the sweep of the brim, attained only by an experienced hand. To the woman whose dress allowance is small, the possession of at least ono good black hat is an economical resource, but a very necessary one, seeing that uiack mil- linery is so smart. Chip is as pronouncedly a spring novelty as the many fancy straws now to be seen, though whereas its claim to favour is as old as the hills, theirs is based upon absolute freshness. It is employed in many of the great, black picture hats plumed and sometimes provided with narrow strings to be tried carelessly beneath the left ear. Catholic indeed is fashion in these days, when to enhance the natural beauty of her deyotees is her dearest and most constant wish. All the same, jet millinery, it 1.<; interesting to learn, is now being sanctioned by the best, shops. One of the most convenient gowns a woman can own is a tea. gown. Into this sho can put all that is barbarous in her tastes, as bright colours, which would appear very un- suitable for stivet wear can be worn at home "with perfcet propriety" as the etiquette writers remark. A tea. gown can easily be made from an old frock of any kind by using the front width of the skirt for an entirely new back for the waist, fixing the skirt to a loose bodice, and gathering the fulness at the back. A full front of silk shows little of the old bodice, and under sleeves of the silk convert old style plain sleeves into those which are quite full at the wrist. A ribbon can extend from each side of the fulness at the back to the front, and tho neck can be cut low and square in Pompadour style, or a high stock made of silk and worn with a protection collar. Such a gown is not. only a convenience, but saves the wear of a street gown more than one would readily believe. One cannot wear a gown around the house and have it keep its perfect contour, and at the same time take very much comfort. For these reasons, I would advise every woman to have at least two of these gowns in her wardrobe. It is rather alarming to note the increasing taste for intricate work upon our dresses. Indeed, the original ma-tenal oi which they a,re built becomes almost entirely lost sight of under the various incrustations heaped one over the other. Thus makes dressmaking rather an art of fine needlework, than one of cut and style, for such excessive adornment M only possible with extremely simple modes.

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