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FEMININE FANCIES, FOIBLES,…

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FEMININE FANCIES, FOIBLES, AND FASHIONS. BY A LADY. (Jll Rights Reserved.] I read that her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales was wearing a fur-trimmed gown on one of the race days at Good wood. The weather was so inclement that such a protection was by no means inconsistent, though the mention of fur as a trimming in July certainly suggests incon- sistency. "The first day of winter" was the salutation which greeted me the other morning when I appeared at breakfast wrapped in a big woollen shawl, and shivering under that. So no wonder the Princess of Wales put on a fur-bordered dress when she bad to face the keen wind on Goodwood Racecourse. It seems to have been the greatest possible disappointment that the grand toilets prepared for the event could not be displayed. I heard of one leader of fashion who had magnificent gowns made for every day, each one eclipsing its predecessor in splendour, the dress for the Cup day surpassing all the rest, being an unprecedented creation of Worth's, costing, I believe, 200 guineas, and, as it was of white satin covered with gold embroidery, quite unfit for the day. The disappointed owner had to forego the delight of wearing it, and, what is said to have been a still greater vexation, to foreeo the pleasure of seeing those glances of admiration and envy which a superlatively beautiful gown worn by a super- latively beautiful woman is sure to provoke. Ah, well, There are worse troubles at sea," as the old saying goes. The Princess of Wales on a recent occasion wore a charming toilet, composed of white foulard, with tiny black spots on it. It was made with two wide gathered flounces and a short hip drapery. The bodice was arranged with folds of Indian muslin and the pretty bonnet worn in conjunction was of Tuscan straw, open plait, trimmed with olive green velvet. Strings short, and neatly secured with a jewelled pin, the Princess always wears. Few women possess the good taste which distin- guishes this Royal Jady. Everything she puts on seems to be the fittest she could have chosen for the occasion, and for the setting-off of her own undeniable charms. To maintain a reputation for beauty so many years is to possess something more than a love of dress and the means to gratify it. Certainly we do see so many strange violations of good taste that we ought to feel grateful to those who spare us such shocks as I experienced last week at the sight of two ladies driving in a landau, who were clothed in red from head to feet. I heard some uncompli- mentary allusions made to the" scarlet lady," and no wonder, for hats, veils, gloves, gowns, and sun- shades were of that vivid hue, totally unrelieved, except by the ladies' faces, which gleamed white behind the red-mask veils they wore. By curious coincidence, three other ladies dressed wholly in white drove past immediately afterwards, a curious and striking contrast that could not fail to elicit observation. I notice not a few costumes made with remove- able hoods. These are fastened on when out-of- door exercise is taken, and, without adding much to the weight or warmth of a gown, they alter the character of it slightly, and give more the appearance of a walking toilet. The shape of a hood has very much to do with its becomingness. Norfolk jackets, so-called, are being made with beaded yokes. The material is either honey- combed or gathered, and then covered closely with finely-cut beads. Below the yoke the jacket assumes its original shape—three box plaits ter- minating in a short round basque, finished by waistband and buckle. One word about the make of some new bodices. Persons who like a neat style often wear what are called plain bodices, but these do not open directly in front, but on one side of the corsage. Several rows of small buttons, forming a kind of trimming- or else a row of drops, are sewn over the fastening. Another method is to fasten the upper part of the corsage on the left side of the figure, and the lower part on the right side. Either of these modes is dressy, though simple, and I commend them to the notice of those who are tired of waist- coats and their concomitants. I am told bishop's sleeves" are becoming fashionable, full at the top and wrist, and set into a plain wide band round the wrist. This is the form so-called. There are many variations of the lona-oiopular coat sleeve, and beside the leg of mutton proper, there is the sleeve which is full at the tup and moulds the arm below the elbow, and another make, which is slashed to show an under-sleeve of some contrasting material. These and many more, just now, agreeably diversify the simple form of sleeves, which, like the Princess bonnet, seemed to be invented by fashion just to prove that she is not quite 80 fickle as she is repre- sented. The wide-brimmed Leghorn hat, tied down over the ears with gauze strings, is bewitching when there is a pretty, provocative face and bright eyes beneath. Only a fresh-looking girl can wear such a coiffure with propriety, but almost anyone with abundance of hair may wear a hat which has a straight projecting brim in front, whilst at the bacli it is turned upwards and fastened against the crown. Gauze is a favourite trimming for hats—white, blue, red, green, and mauve-Ind short plumes of ostrich feathers are also much worn in conjunction; but, if real tips, they prove expensive, and so add greatly to the cost of a hat. Epaulettes of various kinds are among new things—some so large that they are really dis- figuring. Strings of beads sometimes form the epaulettes. Sometimes bows, somewhat in the shape of butterflies, are worn on the shoulders. when not exaggerated these are admissible, but they are absurd-looking when the size of a big bat, with wings extended. I observed a lady the other day who looked in the distance as if a crow had alighted on each shoulder nearer I perceived the crows were epaulettes. A correspondent writes to say that one or two grains of musk and a little bergamot added to the recipe for put pourri which I gave last week will much improve the scent of the composition. A nutmeg and some allspice berries, with a little sandal wood, are also suggested as likely to improve the original recipe. Any fragrant herb, flower, wood, or spice, in fact, may be added at discretion. Perfumes are certainly luxuries, but they are recognised factors or promoters of health also. Many ancient physicians, Hippocrates among them, classed perfume* among medicines- It is said that when cholera raged throughout Europe people working in the perfumers' laboratories were perfectly exempt from the scourge. Camphor is a preventative of contagion, and the eucalyptus tree is considered most lite giving. Hence, it is largely cultivated in Italy in low-lying marshy districts, the miasma from which is counteracted by the purifying influence of eucalyptus trees if grown in sufficient numbers. I find camphor a soporific. When I cannot 81eep, a lump of camphor put underneath my pillow soon soothes me to rest. But hops are cer- tainly a boon to those whe suffer from insomnia. A pound of hops put into a bag or pillow produce almost certainly healthy and refreshing repose. In these days when, from over-strained nerves, many persons sutler terribly from sleeplessness, and when dangerous drugs are so often used to procure 61ep, it is something to know of an agent, alike innocuous and certain in its effects, leaving no ill result behind. Corn chandlers always cn supply hops in small quantities. In a contemporary I saw the following recipe for "Sweet Pot," and, being fond of pleasant perfumes (not so much on the person as in a room), 1 copy the aforesaid recipe for the behoof of those who may not have read last week's "Fancies and Fashions" :—Lavender flowers, lib. dried rose leaves, lib.; coarsely ground orris root, lib. broken cloves, 2ozs. broken cinnamon, 2"zg.; essence of bergamot. t0Z. i essence of mask, £ oz. mix thoroughly. Rooms in which jars of perfumed leaves are kept should be well venti- lated, otherwise the air sometimes becomes over- charged with the odour, and headache, faintness, and even nausea may be produced. Neuralgia and headache are greatly on the in- crease, it seems, and sufferers therefrom are glad to try any remedy that promises relief. I see that a certain well-known maker of perukes has intro- duced a miniature electric battery, which can be worn beneath added hair of any kind without de- tection. It is so constructed that the current may be turned towards or from the scalp at the wearer's discretion. Not only is the battery said to relieve nervous pains in the head, but it is declared to be a preventative of baldness and premature grey- ness, both of which are frequently the result of such nerve pains. I am told the entire weight of the electric appliance 1 speak of does not exceed one drachm. During the alarm caused by a sudden and, for the time, serious attack of illness three of my correspondents' letters set aside for reply mysteriously disappeared, and cannot be found. I apologise, and wish to say that if the writers will repeat their questions I will answer at once, this time dispensing with the stamped envelope. The address must be enclosed, however, as the envelopes sent me disappeared with their content*. We are promised several new and interesting books a little later on, but at present there is nothing very interesting in the way of new literature. I have been reading that dreary book, the "Reminiscences of the Court and Times of Ernest, King of Hanover." It is truly a dreary publication, and when one comes so constantly upon—to use the author's own words—the fondness of the king for treading on people's metaphorical corns," one gets quite disgusted, and, whilst wearying of the subject, cannot help feeling what an ill-bred, detestable old bully King Ernest was. Yet the writer throughout seems to be trying, in an amiable sort of way to convince the reader that a certain person is not quite so black as he is painted. Apart from those vices and crimes which caused him to be so noto- rious here, the old King's life at Hanover was not such as to endear him to his subjects. What a parody on rnanand monarch was this singular effigy, bolstered up by his valet every morning, with nine yards of muslin wrapped round his body, and three of silk wound round his neck, one eye only, and a brilliant set of artificial teeth. What a pitiable spectacle when all was complete must have been His Majesty, the illustrious Duke of Cumberland —" Illustl"ious." as Lord Brougham once said insult- ingly to his face," by courtesy." I hope someone applauded that plain speaking. Almost the only praiseworthy act of the king's recorded in the first book was that of commanding a funeral service to be read over paupers, a ceremony that in previous reigns had been disgracefully omitted. What actual value the king himself Bet on the ritual of the Church on such occasions we are not told. Nevertheless, it is something to his credit that he was alive to the indecency of throwing the bodies of the poor into their graves without re- ligious rites of any kind. I was interested in the following relation of a touching custom observed at all funerals in Hanover:—" The service ended, the sextons fill in the grave, and laying two spades in the shape of a cross at the top of the mound, all present take off their hats and breathe a short, silent prayer, and then the mourners take their leave with the words, 'Guten morgen,' which," so the author of the book goes on to say, is supposed to be the greeting with which they would Ralute their friend on the morning of the Resurrection." Another Hanoverian custom observed at the grave is that of handing round poor-boxes, inscribed with the words, Please remember the sick and needy." We read that all persons go prepared to give, and that very large sums are yearly collected in the cemeteries in aid of charity. It may not occur to anyone that King Ernest was grandfather to the Princess Frederica of Hanover, whose romantic marriage with her late father's secretary, though sanctioned by our Queen, has never been countenanced or forgiven by the princess's brother and sister. The Duke of Cumberland is the husband of Princess Thvra of Denmark, and so brother-in-law to the Princess of Wales. I see the Duchess of Cambridge entered last week on her ninetieth year, retaining all her mental faculties unimpaired. The author of the book I have been quoting from tells one or two amusing anecdotes of her Grace's late husband, who was brother to the old King of Hanover. The good old Duke of Cambridge had a custom, even during Divine Service, of giving vent loudly to the thoughts current in his mind. Let us pray,' said the clergyman, on one occasion. • With all my heart,' was the unexpected response of his Grace. II Again. when the story of Zacchceus was read, Behold, half of my goods I give to the poor," the Duke amazed the congregation by saying aloud, No, no, I can't do that; that's too much for any man. No objection to a tenth." A third anecdote relates how, after a long drought, the prayer for rain was read. Yes, yes," said the Duke quitA right, quite right; but it will never rain until the wind changes." With which materialistic view of the question, and thanking the author for introducing such interesting stories as these, and so relieving the tedium of his book, I was not sorry to lay it down. RECIPE. CHEESE FONDUE.—Two eggs, the weight of one in Cheddar cheese, the weight of one in butter, pepper and salt to taste separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs, beat the former in a basin, grate the cheese, break the butter into small pieces, add it to the other ingredients with pepper and salt stir all thoroughly together, well whisk the whites of the eggs, stir them lightly in, and bake the fondue in a small cake tin, which should only be half-filled, as the cheese will rise very much pin a serviette round the tin and serve quickly, for if allowed to stand long the dish would be quite spoiled.

AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE'S EXPERIENCE…

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-, CURRENT AGRICULTURALI TOPICS.…

---=-=--GARDENING NOTES.

A AMATEUR DRAMATIC AUTHOR…

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REDPOST PARK. *--

lNOW FIRST PUBLISHED.]I --I

CHAPTER XVIII.

OUT IN THE FAR WEST.