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AT F A U L T. I!




FEMININE FOIBLES, FANCIES, AND FASHIONS. By A LADY. (All Rights Reserved.) Long since I purposed giving, as likely to be useful to some of my readers, an excellent recipe for taking discolourations out of scarlet coats. Time after time I forgot to insert it, and now in extenuation have to plead the old excuse Better late than never," often made for delays of greater as well as of less importance. Born in a famous hunting district, and having near relatives and friends who were noted fox hunters, on me often devolved the task of removing stains from the brilliant cloth, the best riders with the firmest seats not always being proof againsff collisions, the obstructions of stiff fences, wide water jumps, or any other obstacle likely to be met with in the field. Goodsportsmen, no matter what their peculiar pursuit may be, are always scruputouely exact that their equipments shall be eomine it faut, a fox hunter, however, being, I think, most particular on this point. The following, then, gives the component parts of this famous stain remover:— Three parts of pure nitric acid at 30 deg. B.; one part muriatic acid at 17 deg. Shake gently, yourself avoiding the corrosive vapour ascendiug therefrom. Put this liquid in a well-stoppered bottle, the stopper being glass to prevent evapora- tion. Then put into this mixture its weight of pure tin in small pieces one at a time. When all is dissolved and settled, pour off into other bottles: close them also with well-fitting glass stoppers. It should be slightly diluted when used, and a separate bit of red cloth should be used first to test the strength of the liquid. This is a recipe for the eau ccarlate that costs a guinea a bottle. I sup- pose few sportsmen would read an article under the head of mine, so I hope ladies who have husbands, brothers, fathers, &c., will remember this recipe and communicate it to those who may not happen to see it for the benefit of their mascu- line relations, about whose outward apparel they are as anxious, or, to be safe, I had better say almost as anxious, as I hey are about their own. Collars of excessive height are made to all morning, promenade, and even visiting dresses. If the neck is slender a five-inch width is not con- sidered excessive. Nearly all are toands cut the cross way of the material, their boundary the cars. Most careful fitting is needful, as the collar must by 1tt> mea<>s spread on to the shoulders. Startir^ only frol: the line whencs the column of tl« j Uuoat rise, a linen collar appears I jte j I thread at the top. Slaves high on th | loulders are also exceed.fev popular. This DPI ■ •f the bodice is put in exceedingly full, frequently I rising to a point, and a bow of ribbon, and ends short or long, according to choice, are fixed above one arm on the shoulder point. Such a style is calculated to give elegance to tall, slender, aesthetic creatures, but is quite unsuited to those dear, cheery, dumpy little wo,,ien who are precious to many manly hearts. While they, the dear foolish little folk, are always wishing thermMrcs Logger, six feet monsters over whom they rnle are as con- stantly assuring them that an additional inch would for ever have destroyed their chance of becoming Mrs. The small wives don't believe it, of course. Why is it that mortals are never satisfied even in the small matter of i.ames, stature, and personal gifts? On my own expe- rienco I can positively state. I never met with that phenomenon—a woman who did not desire to be a little taller, or a little shorter, or at all events any height but hfr own. The writer, being tall herself, naturally swells the monster list of complainants, and desires to be a trifle lower in stature, and thinks men of average height superior in appear- ance to those above or below it. I have bien told by dozens of tall men that they like small women best, one actually having the audacity to announce to me that I should do very well were I less like a clothes-line, an impertinence I resented by declaring that big men seemed made to be looked up to. but that when one did unconsciously follow nature's indication one generally found very little to look at, and still less that was worth hiring when the lips spake. Not quite true this, but find fault with a woman's person, and haply her retort may prove a stinging one. Between cousins, hovrever, much is given and taken without offence. Far away as I have strayed I must, return to prevailing dressmaking and fashions again. It has become so much the custom for young ladies to make their own cos- tumes (one, too, parenthetically, highly to be praised), that I will describe a new and singular way of fashioning the front part. of otherwise a very plain bodice. I may add, I think almost un- necessarily, that it becomes a slender figure best. From the neck five tiny vertical tucks are firmly st'tched down for about four inches in length on either side, the measure across the whole being not mora than three inches. The unconfined material then falls in a full puff, but is again caught down at the waist., but this time in eight tucks, spread- ing to the edge of the bodice. Two military collars with intervening band are also a feature of this style of bodice. Tortoise-shell until recently has of late years been disparaged or rather neglected as an orna- ment now it is returning to general favour. Those who possess coiffures of sufficient stability run tortoise-shell pins in and out with great liberality, imitation nails with much battered heads are sometimes used as substitutes. Stars and crescents, brooches, bracelets and buckles, are all worn to correspond. A relative of mine who has a profusion of golden chest- nut hair dresses it in this style, and has done so for years, round a large high Spanish comb. The front hair being long is softly frizzed overa high forehead. The style ¡s peculiar, but admirable, with the charm of being all her own. I never see any lady arrange her coiffure thus now but herself. I always seems t3 attract as the crowning charm to a noble person and most lovable character. All bright shades of colour are multiplying, and no dress substance seems so specially effective as the Umritza cashmere furnished by the Indian stores. If considered too glaring for entire costumes, squares of varying sizes are excellent for making softening additions to dark dresses in the way of aprons, whilst large kerchiefs plainly hemmed, and worn over the very severely cut Newmarket jackets, tone down that rigidity which is their one disagreeable feature, and too severe for any but very graceful and well-shaped figures. Plain plush skirts arranged in organ flutes have no ornaments beyond the high, full panniers placed at. the top, and large solid leaves or single flowers, made in gimp or beads, arranged on the flutes, as taste directs. Odd contrasts in out-door garments are most remarkable. Within a few yards of each other we may see some handsomely-dressed woman literally bowed down with the weight of her costly furs, and armed at all points against the cold, whilst another lady, walking beside her, wearE, perhaps, no extra clothing for the street. She seems to disdain appealing to the warmth of the stoves she meets with in occasional visits to the shops, aud looks as unconscious of, and as unassailable to, the temperature, as does Cleo- patra's Needle on the banks of the Thames. To clothe sensibly is the duty ot all women. It is folly, rather it is idiocy, to pretend to disregard the changes of the seasons, however fickle they be whilst to wear loads of fur on a comparatively warm winter's day simply for the purpose of dis- play, is no less ridiculous than the vain girl who makes a silly pretence of being able to disregard those variation of heat or cold which will finally produce effects that it will be impos- sible, sooner or later, to conceal, and utterly vain to regret. Short, tight-fitting jackets which aiv not cut with added basque, but in seams from the throat to the edge, are growing in favour. I always thought that method of cutting jackets, whether for in or out-door wear, the most becoming. Such over garments, made in coloured velvet or plush to match the dress worn with them, look styliih and becoming likewise. For ball costumes white tulle is in the ascen- dant starred with gold btars and decorated with broad gold ribbon sashes, hand embroidered with pearls and gold beads, handsome, fairy-like dresses are made. One brought for my inspection, made of white moire, covered with white tulle, dotted with pearls, and decorated with bows of moire ribbon, was exquisite in appearance. For useful every day wear, a sensible way is to trim, say, a pleated skirt, with seven rows of narrow ribbon velvet, placed at even distances, round the bottom of the skirt before pleating. A ton* ttfiiU; is •edgod wjtli ihr u«il> tKatnihg."and 1 then, it' pointed in front, is arranged there ,b«<ing caught up at the back quite high, and, in appear- ance, loosely tted. If a round tunic, it must be carelessly draped round the pet ticoat, then caught up at the side, and fastened with a broad ribbon bow or large-sized buckle, the remaining end to be tied in conjunction with the material lett at the back by design. Some friends who attended the service on Sexa- festma Sunday called to visit me on their return, and remarked that until the sermon they were quite unaware of the fact-as, indeed. I confessed myself also to be—that last Sunday in the annals of our Christian history was the anniversary of that fatal and disastrous day when Eve tempted Adam, and he did eat, bringing suffering and death to all man- kind. It is strange how often men and women who count themselves well informed on all ordinary topics connected with ecclesiastical truths sud,lenly find themselves ignorant even of tlie simplest facts. Do any of the readers of Charles Kingsley remember the brief dialogue between Adrian Gilbert and the wife,.of the famous John Hawkins? "Madam," said Gilbert, it is strange that women sit at home and suffer while the men break our hearts and I yours against rocks of our own seeking. Were it not for the Scriptures, I should have thought Adam rather than Eve had been the one who plucked the fruit of,the forbidden tree." I fear, nevertheless," said Mrs. Hawkins," that, the woman did the deed, for we bear the doom of it all our lives." And if pre-eminence in suffering be the test of woman's first disobedience, few of us owning to the one can repudiate the other. The Christmas holidays are over, and in not a few cases, even where parents and children love each other with deepest affection, does the parting come with a certain relief on b.)th sides. This is usually the result when unrestrained freedom is expected by children and as freely granted by over-indulgent parents. The change from regular school routine to unlimited liberty is undoubtedly n bad for boys. Holidays should mean change from one kind of activity to another; never a change from activity to sloth never change from irregu- larity of life to demoralising laxity of leisure. 6ix weeks twice a year devoted to skulking and lounging would demoralise a saint, therefore must be pernicious for the average, schoolboy or girl. The famous preacher, John Wesley,hadsojawful a sense of the value of time and of the duty of the utility of using every moment, of it that he pro- tested against the indulgence of play, and founded a school where the rules forbade holidays abso- lutely, left no time for play hours, every moment being appropriated to work, religious exercises, meals, and sleep. Mistaken, exacting, noble John Wesley, who prescribed for none any formula that he was not as rigorous to carry out himself as to exact from others. How many little mortals fell victims to this harsh rule noce survive to tell. John Stuart Mill was a specimen of the pre- posterous syetem of eliminating recreation from early training, and to-day many youths and girls are victims to the fashion which now prevails of trying to strain an ordinary intellect to those limits which it is incapable of reaching. A bright,, happy, healthy girl, buoyant with life, animated, and not unacquainted with those duties which mturc intended her to fulfil. is worth all the sickly possessors of knowledge purchased at the price" of life's chief blessing—health. Admire them as savants, we may pity them in the main. As opposers of natural laws we must. I know some ladies of the class to which I refer who are admirable in every respect, yet the expression of their sentiments and the beliefs which they enter- tain concerning the working of their system in time to come, not only surprises, but frightens me.


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-------lY BARDD CYMliEIG.

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