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I LONDON GOSSIP.

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I LONDON GOSSIP. EASTERTIDE SUPERSTITIONS. Some of the old saying andi customs of Eastertide are very curious, and it must be added, appear to have little to recom- mend them. There is nothing inappro- priate in adopting the egg as the emblem of the Resurrection, which has come down to us from very ancient times, but it was also thought that eggs laid on Good Fri- Z, day would extinguish fires. The hazel must be cut on Good Friday to be effectual as a divining rod, and such a twig, it was though t had the power to strike ahsent, persons, whilst a branch of the elder tree hung up after sunset, would protect the house from lightning. Then certain eat- ables, such as herb pudding, and other dishes, were eaten on Good Friday, in accordance with the rule that all our fes- tivals are celebrated! more or less with something to eat. Birds too are associated with E'astertide traditions, one of which represents a swallow flying round the Cross, and another relates that, during the fateful ordeal a robin received a drop of the sacred blood, which for ever colored its breast, and preserved it from want in winter time. MRS ASQUITH. It, is many years since a, Prime Minister was so fortunate as Mr Asquith in having a wife to take up t,he social duties of her position. The ill-health of the late Lady Campbell-Bannerman prevented her from doing much entertaining, whilst Mr Bal- four had to get his sister to act, as hostess for himl. The late Lady Salisbury too had no great liking for the social side of politics, and the late Mrs Gladstone had the weight of advancing years, to contend with, when her husband la,st held office. Mrs Asquith, who, as all the world knows, was Miss Margaret Tennant, was married in 1894, and the late Mr Wi. E. Gladstone was present at her wedding. She has two children, a little son and daughter, and Mr Asquith has also a, grown up family of five, his his first wife. M|r II aid an e-— the Minister for W,arwa,s Mr Asquith's best man, at his marrage in 1894. It was one of the great Society and Parliamentary weddings of the time, and Mrs Asquith was as popular as a bride as she is a hostess. She has all the frank spontaniety of manner, which enables her to share and delight in the enjoyment of her guests, which is more than half the secret of suc- cessful entertaining. THE STAGE IN THE, MIDDLE AGES. The discussion as to who was the first woman to appear as an actress on a pub- lic stage in London raises a question that has never been settled. In Queen Eliza- beth's time, and also in the subsequent reigns of James I., and Charlesl., the em- ployment of actresses wa,s regarded as im- proper, and female characters were taken by men. Under Charles II. the theatre became more popular, and the Merry Monarch saw no reason why women should not act on ,the stage, as was already common in France and Italy. His bosom friend, Thomas Killigrew, who was of kindred low and coarse wit, and was the author of several profligate plays, seems to have had most to do' with introducing women actresses on the stage. Pepys, whose diary gives an illuminating history of the period refers to a visit to Killigrew's- theatre on January 3rd, 1661, and also to the fact that it was "the first time that ever I saw women come upon the stage." Acting is, in any case, one of the oldest professions followed by women, and it seems pretty clear that the pioneer was not of sufficient professional repute for history to hand down her identity. WOMEN'S HENSEl OF HONOR. It has often been said that women are more prone to cheating at games than men, but if women are deficient in a sense of honour in such matters it might easily be accounted for in the difference of the early training of hoysand girls. Now- adays this difference is not so' marked as it used to be, but in years gone by, girls were not taught to take games seriously. If a boy did not play fairly he wa,s disgraced and kicked out by his playmates, but it was hardly expected that girls should set up the same standard of honour in their games. That perhaps is why there are women who would not think of reading other people's letters without authority, or listening to conversation not intended for them to overhear, but who, do not scruple to .move the croquet or golf ball, unobserved, to a slightly better position, nothing as they would say, to make any difference. One does not care to follow this subject into the question of cheating at cards, about which equally uncompli- mentary things are said about the feminine sense of honour, but with respect to games generally, there should be no difference between boys and girls, as re- gards the high standard of honouraible conduct that should be set them in school life. STAIR CLIMBING. We are told that there is, no better exercise for graceful poise and balance than going up and down stairs, provided it is done properly. A great many women fall into ungraceful attitudes when stand- ing, sitting, or walking, and the wearing of high heels is a very common cause of incorrect position in walking. One should walk always on the ball of the foot. To walk on the heels jars the whole body, and to walk on the toes presents an affected or mincing attitude. There should be no slouching, crouching, or waddling, but always a straight line from the ears through the shoulders and hips to the

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I LONDON GOSSIP.