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WOMEN'S CHAT. ./"--I--I-,,-,---


WOMEN'S CHAT. --I- -I- Princess Victoria, who is now on a visit to the Duke and Duchess of Fife at Brighton, is an immense favourite with her small nephews and nieces The little Ladies Duff adore their aunt; and during her visit have fclaimed as much of her time and attention as they possibly could. Princess Victoria is looking particularly well and handsome at the present time, and seems to have entirely recovered from the in- disposition which, last year, somewhat alarmed her friends. —o— The announcement of the birth of another great grandchild of che Queen-the little new comer being a daughter of the Hereditary Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenberg, third daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Saxe Coburg Gotha-directs the thoughts to the nur- sery and its small occupants, whose importance has never been so fully realised is now, since the world began. The danger is, of making them self-important, these scraps of humanity, for whom the press teems with exquisite books, inventors have exercised the finest of brains, and artists devised the most attractive of pic- tures. It would be a hard thing to say that king and queen baby would do better with a little elemeut of sternness introduced, for one hates the idea of anything but love and softness in connection with the helpless youngsters. At the same time, true affection should learn to guard against the risk of too much cotton wool treatment, too much coddling physically, and too much enervating adoration morally. -0- Where spoiling goes on, it is usually the fathers who make much of and pet the girls. The mothers spoil the boys, and many a wife owes much of her married misery to the in- judicious years of misrule in which her hus- band's boyhood was passed. Girls even now are taught in many a nursery to give up, at once, anything that the boys may wish for. And this being so, is it surprising that the age of chivalry is fading? Often in Nurseryland, too, there is the tyrant girl. This tyrant, generally the eldest child, rules the little ones with a rod of iron, supplies the lacking dis- cipline of parents with a terrorism which is founded on no principles of order, or of justice, and nourishes in infant breasts a like senti- ment of tyrrany to her own, that of the tram- pled slave, who waits only for opportunity to be tyrant in his turn. That is what the care- lessness of elders does in the nursery. -0- Madame Patti's third matrimonial- venture occupied a considerable amount of attention last week. The Diva, on her arrival in Lon- don, looked radiantly happy, but the Baron appeared somewhat subdued. It seems the idea of having the wedding breakfast served in the train originated with the young Baron, in whose country railway travelling is a pastime and a pleasure. —o— FrauleinKaroline Baumeister, Madame Patti's devoted friend and attendant, was, of course, one of the bridal party. She is an Austrian by birth, and a highly educated woman, affection rather than pecuniary interest binding her to the Diva. They are exactly the same age, and have been friends from girlhood. Fraulein Baumeister is practically Madame Patti's Privy Purse. She engages every servant inside and outside Craig-y Nos, and knows far more about the great singer's affairs than she does herself. She keeps all her friend's jewels, and" assists each day at the latter's elaborate toilette. —o— The Duke and Duchess of Connaught, after a brief stay in Rome, have gone to Egypt, the Princesses Margaret and Victoria returning to Florence. It is impossible to describe the view of this enchanting city. Almost every street contains a world of art. At the Uffize, and Pitte Galleries, one passes through miles of art treasures, by the finest old masters, all in beautiful Florentine frames, rand looking (no doubt on account of the clear atmosphere), as if they were all recently painted. The Tribuna, however, contains the gems of the collection. It is in the Pitte Palace that the Italian Sovereigns reside when in Florence. In the private apartments of Queen Marguerifca is a strange melange of antique and modern com- fort. The king's own apartments are severe in their simplicity. —o— The simple homely gatherings, the annual dances, the social evenings that were once de rigour' in Suburbia, and brought the young folks together, are now few and far between. In consequence, the men who once gladly ac- cepted invitations to small and early dances and musical evenings, are driven to seek re- creation in town, in default of any social amusement in their own circles, while their hapless sisters are left to languish at home. The reason for all this is-pretension. No one nowadays is willing to entertain in a manner suitable to their position. If they cannot offer their guests champagne and costly viands, they decline to entertain at all. When the former method is resorted to, the result is often a very bad quarter of an hour when the bills come in, when the latter course is taken, the dullest of dull times. -0- When people have plenty of money, by all means let them spend it as freely as they like, but the mistake which I should like to see no longer made is for ambitious wives to spend their husbands' hardly-earned money, merely to outvie each other's display. If they would but remember that life, even at a dance, is as endurable on claret cup as it is on.champagne, at eighty or ninety shillings a dozen, that sim pie daintily served refreshment, a warm wel- come, and a genuine, but unostentatious effort to amuse one's guests, rare.y fails of success, many a worried husband and father would be saved an anxious time when the bills come in. —o— Talking of champagne reminds me of an ex- cellent story told of the Duke of Wellington, the second Duke-who, though far from being stingy, was in many odd ways economical. He discovered one day some champagne which he considered, and which doubtless was, quite good enough for a ball supper, and which had the advantage of being extraordinarily low in price. He ordered the quantity required, and was rejoicing in his excellent bargain, when, on opening one of the papers, he encountered the following advertisement:—' Try our celebrated champagne at thirty-eight shillings a dozen, as ordered by his Grace the Duke of Wellington for his forthcoming ball at Aspley House.' What the Duke said is not recorded. -0- Once upon a time, the unwritten Ia" s which regulated costume, decreed such and such' a garb for the morning, and 'such and such' an- other for the afternoon, and so on, and con- signed certain materials to certain occasions. But this is all changed now. Within certain limits, the sartorial motto of to day seems to be Wear what you please, when you please, and how you please, without regard to tradition or custom, or the suitability of times and seasons.' This is not the first time we have made topsy- turvy of tradition and defied all notions of the fitness of things to times and seasons, for the history of costume tells of a period when women walked abroad in decollete gowns, and airy fabrics were sported in mid'winter. How they escaped I the ills that flesh is heir to' I wish history would tell also. —o— Brown promises to be much in favour during the coming spring, which is an item to rejoice over, as this particular colour admits of such a variety of relief shades. Vivid turquoise, either in the blue or green tone, is harmonious with brown, as are also nearly all pinks, pale greens, heliotrope, red, yellow, tomato, and tangerine. —o— Painted gowns are much seen just now. At a dance, a few days back, I noticed one lovely ivory satin frock decorated in this manner. The panel was introduced of delicate pink roses and grey leaves, the centres and stems being worked with silk, while similar trails ran along on one side of the bodice, the other being ornamented with a boquet of exquisite artificial roses. The well dressed woman is never with- out a loosely arranged bunch of flowers. In the day time these must be real, but at night, artificial blooms take their place. —o— Chestnut Cakes.—Boil one pound of the nuts half-an hour, strain, remove the skins, rub through a wire sieve. Mix two ounces each of butter and castor sugar, reduce to a cream, add the chestnuts, a little flour, and two eggs well beaten. Stir thoroughly. Place the mix- ture in small knobs on a well greased baking tin, and bake thirty minutes. MADGE.


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