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LONDON GOSSIP.

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LONDON GOSSIP. GU'EilO'U'S GIFTS TO ROYALTY. Kings and Queens are frequently the re- cipients of strange presents amongst 0 which musti be classed the 'box of sprats, sent as a birthday gift to Queen Alexandra, by the Aldeburgh fishermen. A ShOTt, time [ ago King Edward received from an American farmer a present of a gigantic prize potato weighing nearly five pounds. Another gjitffr from, the other side of the Atlantic, whicih his Majesty must have found equally interesting and still more useful, was a nugget of Klondyka gold, weighing nearly as much as the potato, a,nd valued ,ajt JB260. Occasionally their Majesties are the recipients of bequests by will,, and the late Lord Aljington left a legacy of £:100 to the Queen. The largest legacy of this kind was the £500,000, which John Neale left- to Queen Victoria. Others make a free gjiit of their advice, and when a Rioyal personage is ill pre- scriptions and recommendations come in by showers. The King, unfortunately, was kept indoors at Sandringham, for some days last week, by a cold, but if there were any virtue in the supposed cures for a cold, his Majesty would not lack a remedy, as there is not one of these cures, fads or otherwise, which has not at one time or another been sent to his Majesty by well-intentioned people. THEilRi MAJESTIES' VISIT: TO MELBURiY. The West Cbuntry has been favoured by several Royal visits lately, and Melbury, where the King and Queen have been on a. visit this week to Lord and Lady Ilchester, is in Samersetlshire, not. far from Yeovil. Part of the house dates from the reign of Henry VII., but the original building has been much altered and enlarged, and the park is noted for its beautiful scenery, and immense oak trees, said to be the finest in the Kingdom. The Ilchester family can also boast of one of the most wonderful sub-tropical gardens to be seen in this country. This is at Abbotsbury Castle, on the Dorsetshire coast, the resi- dence of the Dowager Lady Ilchester, and here may be seen flourishing almost, every kind of bamboo, the cypress, the mimosa, the eucalyptus, the Abyssinian banana, and numerous other species of semi- tropical vegetation. The soil and shelter- ed situation have contributed not a little to this triumph of exotic horticulture. DIREiOTOIRE DANCES. Wih the Direetoire costume, dancing has become little more than a short-step shuffle, and for the smart woman it will be a choice between giving up dancing this winter, or insisting on a gown in which this is possible. Happily the more audacious examples of the Direlc.tollre cos- tume aire not often seen outside Paris, where the desire of the fashionable woman is apparently to appear as deshabiilee as possible. For her, the use of as little material as possible constitutes the whole art of dressling, but although our friend Dame Fashion does not carry this prin- ciple so far, yet were sixteen or twenty yards of material went into a gown half that quantity now suffices, and the most obvious result is, that, such tightly-fitting' garments make dancing with ease and comfort impossible. Either there will be many fewer women dancing' this season, or there must, be some relaxation from the present extreme eccentricities of the Directoire mode. BUTTONS AND TAXES. The present, craze for' buttons reminds us that. at one time people were not per- mited to wear "buttons made of cloth, serge, drugget, or freize." They were pro- hibited in the eighteenth century for fear that the button-makers might be ruined by sudden changes of fashion introduced from abroad. Foreigners arriving in this coun- try had their buttons examined, and if they were, found to be of the prohibited kind, they had to cut, them off or pay a penalty of 40s. Nowadays buttons do not pay taxes, except perhaps when worn by 4 liveried servants, but., in the old days, almost everything contributed to the Ex- chequer, including women's halts. A mil- liner had to take out an annual license costing £ 2, and a tax was levied on all the hats and bonnets she sold. If the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer were to once more turn his attention to details of personal attire, no doubt his first idea would be a tax on feminine headgear above a certain height: and width. AN ECONOMICAL MODE. The home worker will rejoice at, the re- vival of the pinafore gown, generally car- ried out in the new, very soft velveteens. With these, gowns, separate, well-fitting underbodices—the neck, yoke, 'and sleeves, of some dainty fabric—are worn, and needless to say, by means of them, divers changes can be rung. At the moment, the underbodice matches the gown-lby the way, deep wine shades are lea-dino,-but as a rule this arrangement is by no means so becoming as the cream., or pale ecru underbodice. THE OLD-WORLD SCARF. One of the most desirable presents for a girl or woman, this Xmas is a, long old- world scarf. For afternoon card partoes it looks charming thrown over' the bodice or blouse, and in the evening it can fre- quently be retained at the restaurant din- ner, or theatre, and make for comfort and an elegant appearance. Some of the best scarves are finished with the most wonder- ful fringes, others are beautifully inlet with lace, while the embroc,denes, and hand-paintisid devices seen upon yet other speciimens, are past the power of the pen to describe. But of course such scarves are costly in the extreme, and for the few fortunate ones only, still the, nimble- fingered have no cause to despair. For example, very dainty scarves can be manu- factured from a length of crepe, silk muslin or net, and the sewing' must be done with exeeedrng neatness, when, save at, quite close quarters the effect will be that of the finest, embroidery.

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METHODISM; AT BANGOR.

--------TENDER-HEARTED COLLECTOR.

A COLLIER'S DRINK BILL.

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ALLEGED WIFE DESERTION.

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LONDON GOSSIP.