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LONDON GOSSIP. I___

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LONDON GOSSIP. THE DUKES. Of the 618 members of the House of Lords, three are peers of the Blood Royal 26 are Bishops, and 44 are Scottish and Irish Representative: Peers. The rest of the House is made up of 22 dukes, 23 marquises, 123 earls, 42. viscounts, and 335 barons. Some of the richest men in the House of Lords are co be found among the financiers and merchant princes, but most has been heard of Late about the wealth and privileges of the dukes. The Duke of Portland is believed to have an income from his London pro per IT alone, of hajlf-a-miilion a year, whilst the Duke of Westminster wil 1 have Fv-lce as much— as leases fanl in—af he lives out an average lifetime. The dukedoms of Nor- folk, Devonshire, Northumberland, Bucdeuch, Sutherland, and Bedford, aill belong to the very wealthy class, while the holders of the dukedoms of Rich- mond, Rutland, Newcastle*. and Aber- corn, can hardly be hampered for want of resources. Those whose possessions be mostly in agricultural land, are probably not so well off, as they used to be, and it is the vasitlncrease in the value of urban 1 property fthait has made many of the dukes fabulously rich. THE FASHIONABLE MOTOR-CAR. The recent Exhibition of motor-cars at Olympia is said to have brought more visitors to London than any Exhibition of recent years. It filled all she hotels to overflowing, so great apparently is the puMiic illiteire:st in the great changes that. are taking place in our notions of loco- motion. Among Royalty and the aristolcriacy, the motor-car is coming" into almost universal use. During the com- ing and going of the peers and peeresses at the House of Lordgi, during the debate on the Finance- Bill, a carriage and pair was a rare exception, the swift and elegantly-fit&e-d car having almost entirely j displaced the horse-clrawn vehicle. CIGARETTE! SMOKING. The Duke of Buccleuch is said to have first introduced cilgarette-snioking in fashionable society. In 1856 he attend- ed the Coronation of Alexander II., and found the cigarette very popular with both men and women in the society of Srt. Petersburg. In Russia, the practice of women smoking has never died out, as it did in this country in the last century, only to be revived in ee-rtain envies in recent years. That revival would not have been possible but- for die cigarette, for no woman wi-Lih any respect, at aJiJ for appearances could be seen puffing1 a cigar or pipe. The cigarette, in fa-ot, has main- ly -contributed to the vasfc increase of smoking among men, .since the days when the habit; was hedged round with the appurtenances of a clay pipe, cchacco box,, and fireside spill. UNLUCKY POSSESSIONS Lady Dorothy Nevill, in her "Remin- LS-oence-s" tells of the seeii-iiiigly magical influence of a. curio—a miniature Buddha from Burma—in bringing misfortune on her household. A similar malevolent in- fluence would appear to attach to the famous "Hope" cBamond, which, sr.nee it was first sold to Louis XIV., of France, by T'averneir, has brought an unhappy end to whomsover owned it. Tavernier clii-ed of yelllow fever after being complete- ly ruined, and at. 'I.ea.st fifteen people who have been connected with this ill-omened jewel, have died violent deaths, whilst others have been ruin,eidor imprisoned, after possessing ilL It's most recent owner, a, Persian precious stone dealer, perished the other day in the sinking of the steamer, "La Seyne" off Singapore. Not quite such a- harrowing -story attaches to Lady Dorothy's Buddha, but within a week after it was installed in the draw- ing, room, a son failed in business, a pony went paralysed; house- hold pets came to tragic- ends, and a few days later a neighbouring iClhimney stack fell a ndl crashed into Lady Dororihy's house, doing much damage. Not uuiil Buddha was sent to the India- Museum did the avalanche of domestic catastro- phies end. THE EGG AND BACON FAMINE. The thrifty housewife willl not welcome the prospect of an egg and bacon famine, especially with all the extra Christmas household ibiills looming ahead. The bad summer it seems has checked the pro- clu-ction of eggs, not only in this country but also on the Continent, and there has been a, shortage in the quantikies imported. We may therefore expect to pay a, good deal more than usual for cook- ing eggs this Xmas. Several reasons contribute to the shortage of bacon sup- plies, one heing- the regulation that pre- vents the keeping of pigs within one hundred feet of a dwelling house. That, to a greait extent, prevents cottagers and country labourers from keeping the "gintleman who pays the rint." Severe restrictions for preventing the spread of disease allso- hamper operations of breed- ers, but upon the whole, it is better to have dear [bacon than to allow the sup- plies to be augmented by the free im- portation of Chinese pigs, which have such an evil reputation among European I residents in China. CHINA WARE. There is a. deciideci tendency at the present time, when a dinner service is under -consideration, to choose- light, thin ware, and very pale colouring—cream or white, with just the monogram in colour, is a favourite- notion, but there is also a considerable demand for the- pale cream plate and djJsh, bearing a wide band: of rich blue, touched with .gold. The centre of the plate is invariably left, undecorated. Concerning dessert services, a great- ad- vance has- been made of late- years. Hand-painted sets are -less expensive than formerly, and those with no pretensions to be hand clone are exceedingly pretty. Again, the improvement in fireproof articles is very noticeable. These are now obtainable in brown, green, white, and orange, and in such charming tints and shapes that even with all our insular prejudice, we can no longer object, to send them to table. WONDERS IN PAPER. Very dainty afternoon table cloths, trav cloths, and d'oyleys of every description, with insets and -edgings of whai, appears to be (beautiful lace-, are being offered us just now. They are simply paper, yet look extremely weOl, and a goodly supply of these useful wares, will surely prove a welcome Christmas gifts to. housewives, especially when they happen to live in flats, where laundry work is difficult or impossible. The new paper btlinds now available in d'i-verS' widths, are- also prov- ing a. great- success. They too boast in- sets and edgings of lace, and when grubby, can be quite easily cllea,ne,d by means of a sponge and warm soapy water. MOTOR GARB. Motor coats are the very essence of comfort and cosiness, musquash, mole- skin, Baltic seal, b-lack hair seal, pony skin, etc. being called into requisition for the building thereof. They combine- coat, stole, and muff for the huge ,collar which can be turned up at will, takes the place of a stole, and the long sleeves are so fashioned that, the under fur cuffs can be pulleddiown, so as to form a cosv muff. How widely different are our mi. hods nowadays for keeping warm. compared with those of years gone by, when a drive in an open carriage meant endless wraps, which took considerable time to clon andi shed. At the moment, the woman, who motors- dresses as daintilv as she pleases, she then slips herself into a cüsybonnet and one coat. and she is ready to face the worst of which our climate is capable.

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