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FEMININE FANCIES, ri OIBLES,…

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FEMININE FANCIES, ri OIBLES, AND FASHIONS. BY "MURIEL" ALL BIGHTS ItESEJt VE, D. A TAKING HEADGEAR FOR CHILDREN. y Among novelties in children's headgear is that made of velvet, in exact imitation of a huntsman's cap, but worn differently. The peak, instead of being level fronted, stands up straight above the forehead. The description may not be attractive, but the fashion is by no means ugly, nor is it unbecoming. THE PROPER ACCOMPANYING DRESS. The cap looks its best worn with one of fhoae -quaint over-dresses we are familiar with jin jjictures by Holbein and other Dutch ;at.tists, representing domestic life in the iKetherlauas a century or more ago. This (garment is cut with a narrow yoke. The cekirt—iif it can be properly so called when it is iin part bodice—is very full, and is gathered with a heading, This is laid upon the yoke, :and is carried back and front straight across ffrom arm to arm. Thence the material hangs ifitraight and unconfined to the wearer's feet. The sleeves are wide, and drawn round the wrist with a tiny f. ill. I saw a child's dress JInaae of brown velveteen in this manner. A -marrow border of mink fur outlined the. yoke, and the huntsman's cap was of brown velvet, .worn with upstanding peak well off the face. dnfunts wear these quaint Dutch over-dresses. ,.It is a sensible fashion, for I am sure the ■ouritom of wearing their petticoats above .the kneeSj exposing the lower limbs ;as it did, must have been attended, not only with discomfort, but with danger. .The cap 1 have described would be unsuited fto a bhild of very tender years. Preferably, an ithui case, is the close-fitting skull cap .which old-fashioned Dutch children wear, or \wore. It is conspicuous in the portraits of irifants painted by flans Holbein, It is ,-precisely the shape of the head, has a straight ieiJge just outlining the face, and is tied ibeneath the chin. This cap should be made of materiel matching the over-dress, or else of velvet. It kopps the little ears warm, and does not interfere with the wearer's vision, as did those graat flapping bonnets for which Miss Kate Greenaway, however uninten- tionally, was certainly responsible. In very cold weather a gossamer veil can easily be tied over the Dutch bonnet, and so the little face is protected. BEYOND THE HEACH OF MANY. I have already mentioned the embroidered » oaahmere dresses in colours for evening wear. The material is peculiarly fine and soft. Another new feature is the introduction of a band, which is woven at the cde of the skirt, and resembles feather trimming. In white, yellow, and pale blue, these dress lengths are extremely pretty and original but, alas they are not inexpensive, 633. being, I believe, the lowest prioe. TULLE FOR EVENING WEAR FOR THE YOUNG. Tulle is coming in again for young girls' dancing gowns. I think it is very pretty, but rather extravagant w ar. A very charm- ing model was pale blue tullo with a V shape tablier of dark blue violets. The bodice was trimmed in corresponding fashion, and the abort puffed sleeves were banded with vioieta. FLORAL WREATHS FOR THE HAIR. A particularly becoming fashion is that of wearing floweri ou the head mounted on wire and shaped much as are jewel tiaras. The flat wreath is very unbecoming to the majority of women. BLACK BALL DRESSES. Bla"k ball dresses are considered rather chic, and are worn when not necessitated as gestive of mourning. Bauds of fine jet are indispensable with such dresses, and the corslet should be jet, with folded bodice above. A CHARMING GOWN. In one case a black silk under-dress was oovered with blaok net, sprinkled thickly with pattern or yellow heather. The narrow foot flonnoe was trimmed with four rows of narrow ribbon velvet. A jet corslet was worn on the lower half of the full bodice. Long black kid gloves, the backs embroidered with jet, and shoes to match, with jet aigrette in tbe hair, were suitable finishes to a charming gown. NEW FAN3. Some very inexpensive and pretty fans have been introduced. They are black gauze, sprinkled with some sparkling material in black and gold. Other gauze fans are jewellei. A white fan, irradiated with imitation opals and diamonds, was really splendid in effect, the spurious stones flashing brilliantly as the fan waved to and fro in the hand, RENEWED FEATHER FANS. I have before remarked that feather fans are not so fashionable as they used to be, but if any reader of mine possesses a feather fan thaft is out of condition, I remind her of an addnsBs I gave some while back. These featlmn, whether single or made up into fans, wilt, however damaged, be restored almost, to pristine beauty and freshness. EXPLODED OLD-TIME NOTIONS, The warm, moist weather we are having is inimical to health, or seems to be, despite an affirmation recently made that, so far from "a green Yuletide making a fat churchyard," the death-rate is considerably lower when the temperature is mild than it is when the orthodox Christmas weather prevails. So many traditions we have nuraed, so many old proverbs to which we have pinned oar faith In days gone by, have proved fallacious and been dissipated in these days of practical 8Clenoe and advanoed knowledge, that one hardly know how or where we stand. The new beliefs—if they amount to beliefs— which we entertain to-day will prob- ably be swept away to-morrow to make room for other interpretations of old-time theories, or may be re-placed by entirely original ones. I frequently wonder if we of the nineteenth century are better or happier t'ban were our progenitors, whose faith in all that pertains to both spiritual and temporal things was not so often rudely shaken or, if not shaken, attaoked by wild suggestions from without and from within,' troubled by perplexing doubts and that painful sense of uncertainty that will harass the best of us at times, as these thoughts did that striking, if fiotitious, hero whose triumphant victory over unseen foes is so notably illustrated in U filgrim's Progress." A. BOOK ESSENTIALLY FOR THE YOUNG. banyan's Pilgrim's Progress is a b6ok that should be placed in the hands of all yonDg persons, I think. Apart from its religious teaching, so orthodox And so helpful to adults* children Jfeel deep interest in the stirring events with which the volume abounds. Lessons in religion are in- culcated unconsciously, and, when accompa- nied by apposite pictorial illustrations, I 1,.1, ve that a volame of Bunyan's immortal A will not only amuse the child reader, but may also lay the foundation of a deeply religious character. Parents and friends who intend to give books to children at Christmas oannot do better than send for a catalogue to Kerby and Co., 440, Oxford-street, London. The list is one of selected volumes suitable for presentation. The prioes quoted are moderate, ranging from 6s. to 6d. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WEAR. When I quoted the old saying about a green Yuletide," I was about to say that the protection of woollen garments is quite as needful now as it would be supposing frost and snow lay on the ground. Woollen under- wear such as Shetland goods, furnish does not oppress the wearer with a sense of weight and volume as heavier woollen garments do those who are weak and ailing. The Shetland combinations, cholera belts, bodices with long or short sleeves, knee-caps, vests, &c., though not beautiful in appearance, are delightful wear. Handsome is as handsome does,' says the proverb, and this is decidedly apropos to garments knitted in Shetland wool. Con- siderations of expense need not stand in the way of their adoption. I regret to read that the demon influenza is rampant again. Every means for warding off the euemy should be taken. If the cholera belt is effi- cacious in protecting the wearer against ordinary colds, I think it may be of service in warding off attacks of influenza. Perhaps we had all better be vaccinated again. There is a theory that this process is calculated to give immunity f.om the modern malady, which might be the twin brother of that fatal scourge small pox, so sweeping in its range and so deadly in effect is the new enemy with which we have to contend. SOMETHING NEW IN UNDER-SKIRTS. There are some very dressy, warm under- skirts now sold. They are made of very fine corded material plaided like tartan, or other- wise similarly patterned. These skirts are lined with flannel, and at the edge is a nar- row bias puffing of the material, which gives a finish, and also assists in keeping the skirt well away from the heels. I notice that many ladies are wearing spats or gaiters over Oxford shoes, and even over boots. It is true that these gaiters keep the ankles and feet warm, and that is well; but we sacrifice elegance to comfort when we put them on, no matter how smartly cut nor how well fi tting. The "spat" gives a clumsy look to the feet, and thickens the finest ankl's most unde- sirably. NEW Toys. The new mechanical toys set forth are very original ideas. There is a large, handsomely- dressed doll, which holds a baby doll in its arms. hen wound up, mama dolly com- mences a stately march, betraying no concern at the cry set up by the baby doll, suggestive of cruel pin pricks, or, possibly, painful denti- tion. A white kitten, attired in the dress of a French chef, is constructed to stir what looks an appetising mess in a tin saucepan. Another mechanioal toy represents a negro minstrel, who plays a fiddle with great vigour, rolling his eyes and nodding his head after the accustomed manner of his living contem- poraries. AMONG THE BELICS OF THE PAST. The Victorian Exhibition, illustrating 60 years of her Majesty's reign, 1837-87, is the final of a series of exhibitions entitled severally the 11 Stuart," the "Tudor," the "Gnelpb," and the "Victorian." I here are pictures everywhere, and very little else. Many of these the visitor has probably seen in other galleries, and a vast number of them represent purely domestic incidents in the life of her present Majesty, as, for example, the weddings of her sons and daughters severally, Koyal christenings, thanksgiving services, and the like. The marriage of the Duke of Fife and Princess- Louise of Wales, the latest reproduction of a royal wedding, is, perhaps, the most interesting. First on the list ia a painting, three-quarter life size, of the Duchess of Kent, the Queen's mother, seated on a sofa, her left arm en- circling the Princess Victoria at the age of three. The child, a chubby, blue-eyed mite in a white dress and blue sash, holds a minia- ture portrait of her deceased father in her hand. There are several portraits of her Majesty in progressive stages of childhood, girlhood, and matronhood. Many ane ex- tremely unflattering, more particularly that in which the Queen wears a short blue gown and flat-heeled slippers with sandals. The fond- ness of her Majesty for dogs seems to have commenced in childhood. In three of her portraits the Queen is represented with canine favourites in attendance. The coronation of the Queen took place in Westminster Abbey, June 28, 1838. The artist seizes the moment when the Archbishop, Dr. Homley, having placed the crown on the bead of the Queen and the emblems of sovereignty in her hands, has re- turned to the altar. When the Queen had been formally invested with the insignia of her sovereignty, and had received the homage of her peers, she laid aside the crown and sceptre, and, following the Archbishop, knelt at the altar to receive the Sacrament. The young Queen's head is bent reverently, her hands being folded upon her breast. The first Council of her Majesty at Kensington was held the second day after the coronation. This was the first lioyal act of the Queen, who appears in the council-chamber un- attended by any of her own sex. The girlish face is composed and the attitude dignified as she fronti the great officers of State in their crimson robes of office. The marriage of the Queen to Prince Albert on the 10th of February, 1840, is illustrated on a canvass 75 by 107, and was the work of Sir George Hayter. This picture, with about half a hundred othe-s, is lent by the Queen. The scene represents the bride dressed in white satin, laoe, and orange blossoms. She wears a massive wreath of white roses on her head, and turns with a confiding look to Prince Albert as they join hands before the altar. Her Majesty is attended by twelve bride- maids. the pioture is interesting, not only as a representation ef the ceremonial, but, likewise, as illustrating the dress of the period. Prinoe Albert is dressed in military clothes, and looks very youthful. His dark hair is worn long, and is ourled at the ends. 1 have not spaoe to detail at length all the subjects that deal with the life of the Queen. Briefly, there are none of general importance that are not represented. The portraits of the lioyal family, including those who have entered it by marriage, will interest people who are curious about the appearance of these great personages, but have not hitherto had the means of satisfying a very natural curiosity. With the exception of members of the Royal family, portraits of persons still living are not included in the exhibition. Statesmen, soldiers, and divines, together with men and women famous in literature, art, and science, whoso names are as house- hold words among us, appear as well as presentments of many of the most famous beauties of the century-the three lovely Sheridan sisters, know as the "Three Graces," and the pre-eminently beau- tiful Duchess of Sutherland for example. There is a oharming picture of Miss Muloch (Mrs. Craik), author of "John Ifalifax." It is lifelike, and none can look at it without en- thusiasm. The author of a "Noble Life" looks as if she had lead one, as, indeed, she did, and her artistio dress sets off to advantage the eminently attractive face. Most pathetic is a painting of the late blind Postmaster- General, Mr. Fawcett, and his wife. The face is lifelike. The closed eyelids are in touching contrast to the eager, animated eyes of Mrs, Fawoett, who, with one arm thrown round her husband's neck, and pen in hand, is listening attentively to the words that we seem to hear, so realistic are the parted lips, and the sad earnestness of the clear cut face. But the relics and the collec; tion of autograph letters interest me more- far more than do the efforts of the most famous artists here assembled. Here is the favourite hammer of Hugh Miller, who began life as a labourer, attained eminence as a geologist and as an author, and, alas died by his own hand. In the Science and Art Department we see Singer's first sewing machine, and in the North Gallery is a Russian flag which was flying in the Redan at Sebastopol when it was captured. Also a bugle, said to have been the last sounded by the Russians at the Redan, It was taken from the hand of a dead Russian soldier. In a box with a glass lid are two quill pens used by the Queen at her coronation and marriage severally. On view is the last pen used by Charles Dickens on the day before his death, with which he wrote the closing sentences of his unfinished story, 11 Edwin Drood." A paper weight and knife, which always stood on the novelist's desk, and given to him by members of his family, are interest- ing objects. The writing-table itself is mahogany, and stands in the vestibule, sup- ported by four spindle legs. It has a sloping top, with rail in front and sunken pen tr&y and place for ink. Close to this interesting relic is the table at which Charles Dickens sat when he gave readings in public, and resting upon it is the brass-bound desk on which Robert Browning wrote most of his poetical compositions, and above is a more dainty desk, with leather cover, stamped gold, which belonged to Elizabeth Barrett Brown- ing, to whom her gifted husband conceded superior merit. In the same corner of the vestibule are three wicker-seated chairs, the property of Dickens and Thackeray severally. A brass label tells us that "this chair' was used by Charles Dickens when be wrote the famous "Pickwick Papers." The cane seats give signs of having borne the weight of their former owners, and though not railed off, one felt it would be deseoration to occupy them for a moment. I here are a series of por- traits of Charles Dickens, and the original manuscript of "The Cricket on the Hearth," which charming story forms part of Messrs. Pears extremely well got up Christmas annual. Miss Ilogarth, sister-in-law of Dickens, lends most of the Dickens relio. Mrs. Ritchie, daughter of Thackeray, has loaned many relics associated with her great father, Ga, for example, a silk purse, worked for him by Adelaide Anne Proctor, the poetess. 'Ihere is a framed letter also written by Thackeray two days before he died, and an autograph of Thackeray, written on a sheet of paper with the Lord's Prayer written inside a circle the size of a threepenny piece, leaving room for the crown and the figure three below. A blotting book that belonged to Sidney Smith, the famous wit., author, and Divine is worth notice. The Queen's doll is a figure that looks very like an attempt at a caricature of Napoleon 1. Lord Beaconsrieid's walkingstick is lent by Lord Row ton. Among the Gordon relics are a plaster of Paris model ofperemiah's Grotto, and Skull Hill, Jerusalem, believed by General Gordon to be the site of the Cracifixion. A chair used by General Gordon, and known as the "Soudan throne," is an iron folding chair covered with carpet, and most unpretending in every way. A handsome seat is described as an arm chair belonging to General Gordon and used by him. It shows considerable signs of wear. There is a bust of Marion Evans (George Eliot), the author of Adam Bede also a plaster bust of Mrs. Mizabelh Fry. There is a deep interest attaching to a letter from Charles Kingsley to Sir Henry Taylor, author of Philip Van Arteyalde." 'Tis thus the author of li Westward Ifo" ooncludes his letter:— "In these confused day One tikes refuge more and more with those who, in nddision t'l culiivuted minds, keep their chivalry and old-fushioned high principle. (Signed) C. KIXGSLKY. "Eversleigh Rectory, 1368." In Case K is an autograph of her Majesty Queen Victoria, being the direction of a letter to her aunt, the Dowager Queen Adela:de. Another autograph letter is from the Prince Consort, addressed to Lord Brougham. Here, too, is a letter from the Duchess of Kent, the Queen's mother, to the Earl of Darnley, asking news of Lady Darnley. There are three letters of Ben- jamin Disraeli to fa son of the Irish patriot, Daniel O'Connel, not by any means of a conciliatory character. A letter from Wilkie Collins to Miss Hogarth, with sympathy for her illness, one from Charlotte Bronte to Mrs. Gaskell, and a correspondence between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and a Miss Smith are sure to attract. An amusing letter from Charles Dicken's to Mrs. Milner Gibson, runs as follows I can never imagine myself'grandfalher of four. That objectionable relationship is never permitted to be mentioned in my presence. I make the mites suppose that my lawful name is I Wenot-ables,' which they pionsly believe.- Diite-I Gads-hill, Daceniber 22, 1866.11 Deeply interesting is a letter from George Eliot to Mrs. Gaskell in which she mentions that lady's "Cranford," a dear old-fashioned story of which a new edition has just been published, with illustrations by Hugh Tomson, It is designed as a presen- tation volume. This by the way. Douglas Jerrold, Mary Howitt, Theo- dore Hook, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Mark Lemon, Walter Savage Landor, Bulwer Lvtton, Harriet Martineau, Whyte Melville, "Lord Macaulay, Mary Shelley, Samuel Rogers, Mrs. Trollope, and John Leech—these and many more are represented by their letters. There is a letter from Mrs. Craik saying she has just heard a sketch of Dickens's Haunted House," which in plot and idea is almost identical with the "elf Seer," and asking advioe what had better be done about the publication, so as to avoid the imputation of plagiarism. Among the original manuscripts are Mrs. Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh," and that of her husband's poem, "lsolando.' There is the original manuscript of Disraeli's Coningsby"; also a scrap-book belonging to Mrs. Gaskell, containing letters from cele- brated literary people. A scrap of paper sent into the garrison of Luoknow, concealed in a quill and secreted in the mouth of a mes- senger, containing news of troops coming ot the relief of Lucknow can be seen, also a letter written during the siege of Cawnpore by Mrs. Larkins to her husband. The writer, with her husband and four children were killed in the Cawn- pore massacre. The late Sir Rowland Hill being a distant connection of mine by mar- riage, I naturally took considerable interest in relics pertaining to postal reform, as, for example, a sheet of penny adhesive stamps, black, 1840, with original sketch of adhesive stamp, and proof taken while deciding the question of colour. ^pace forbids further description of the various objects to be seen in the new gallery at this time. Any reader coming to London should avail himself or herself of the opportunity of visiting the Viotorian Exhibition. THE CARDIFF Fun. STORES, 23, ni-jh-street, Car- diff, hold the largest and finest Stock of Fllrs and Skins fn the United Kingdom, including Ladies' Sealskin Jackel3, Victories; Gents' Fur-lined Coats. Carriage Hugs, Driving Capes, &0. Furs of all kinds freed from moths, repaired, re-dyed, and altered. Skins dtessed and mounted. All goods made r.rnl repaired on the pre- niiies. 11. R. Harmon, Mmager.

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