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CRICKET NOTES-I --

COUNTY CRICKET.

'ICYCLING.

-L-+ PARLIAMENTARY.

---+--------ITEMS FOR LADIES.

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-+- ITEMS FOR LADIES. Seldom has dress been more beautiful than during the present season, but its beauty is of a kind which evaporates under the process of descrip- tion. To attempt to set down the details of a costume made in the season's latest fashion is to deprive it utterly of its charm, for the characteris- tic of the present style is a delicious confusion, a blending of colours and materials which gives a strong and instant impression as a whole, but the details of which can seldom be distinctly appre- hended. The dresses this year resemble nothing so much as flowers they seem to curl over like the petals of a rose, and puff themselves out around the wearer like a newly opened snowball or a white carnation. The head-let us hope it is a pretty one —is shaded by a large hat thickly trimmed with roses, and the throat is encircled by a billowy mass of the softest muslin and lace—the inner row of petals, as it were; the sleeves of the half-trans- parent bodice are petalled over with frills of printed muslin, grass lawn, or thinnest silk, each edged with lace. It is only gradually that one arrives at the plain severity of the skirt, which, after all, is in keeping with the bodice by being of a flowered pattern, or of grass lawn with silk stripes, or of printed cotton or some other speckled or flowered material. In the hot, finD weather of the last few weeks the lightest and gauziest of materials have had the best of it in the coni petition- -and what a competition it has been! The commonest, cheapest fabric is enriched with silken strands, the flowered devices on plain cotton stuffs are infinite in variety and excellent in effect., while gauzes and embroi- deries and coloured laces and every form of applique and insertion serve to carry out the scheme of the costume down to the smallest detail of finish. The result is an opulence in what one may call dress effects which has probably never been equalled. The weather has come gallantly to the aid of the fashions, and brought out their most attractive features. The free use of pink is one of the most pleasing features in the present style, and there is absolutely nothing so becoming to the young and fair. These pink-clad damsels whirl past in hansoms, leaving on the eye a coafused image of muslin and lace and general airiness and lightness, as of something that the wind might blow away. Or they are met in the gardens of those happy persons who, though living almost in the heart of London, can yet ask their friends to afternoon tea upon the lawn under shady trees. There one has time to look at the gauzy con- fections which bewilder one in the street, and discover the manner of their crafty construction, for crafty the dressmaker must be to combine her profusion of materials to the best effect. She has a free hand, and may do almost entirely as she pleases. Here is a very simple dress of which the effect was excellent. A plain silk skirt, white with narrow pink stripes, and a bodice also plainly made, with tight sleeves, finished at the elbow with a deep frill of tiie silk. A large fichu of white chiffon over pink silk with long ends covered the shoulders, and the plainness of the dress was thrown into a sharp relief by a, large toque of white silk, with a touch of green at the back, a bunch of white ostrich feathers at the side, and a mass of pink roses stuffed in tightly at the same point and falling behind the ear. It was a dress of the later Marie Antoinette time, well suited to the slight fig-ure of the lady who wore it. Many cool and pleasant-looking- white dresses are to be seen, a few in the jacket and skirt style, of whice pique, alpaca, or serge, but for the most part in the striped and spotted muslins of which there is such endless variety of choice, and made with full blouse, bodice, and plain skirt. Perhaps the very freshest looking dress of this kind in the Row on a sunny morning is a white costume relieved with pale green and crowned with a rose-garlanded hat. The combination does not suit everbody, but when judiciously used it gives a touch of piquancy to the costume. Sometimes dresses appear to be arranged with a view to combined effect. As I sat in the Park the other day a carriage whirled by in which sat four ladies all dressed in shades of mingled blue and green, with sunshades to match. I cannot recall the details cf their dresses, but the effect was most striking. A milder example of combination was shown the same day when the Princess of Wales and her two unmarried daughters drove past, dressed in black, with black and white ruffles at the throat, finished with a rosette of mauve ribbon, and holding mauve parasols. Dress in carriages is, of course, less light on the whole than that for walk- ing, and one sees plenty of the heavily trimmed, beaded, and sequined silk bodices which are among the least pleasing features of the season's fashions. There have been times when the style of dress, rigid and severe, favoured the dowager, but this season the younger ladies have the best of it. All the same, I saw an old lady driving in the Park whose lace and dress have left upon me as strong an impression as those of any of her girlish com- panions. Her features were strongly marked, but they had a delicacy which does not always belong to the typical old lady of the upper classes. Her hair was quite white, her bonnet regardless of fashion was made with a good sized poke front of brown silk of velvet a bunch of black ostrich feal,hers was placed at the side, with some pink roses and just a touch of white lace. She wore a lace ruffle and a dark cape, and was certainly the lady of the most distinctive style and dignity that I saw in my wanderings 011 that dav. There has so far been no gayer week in the London Season than this. Balls wer} night, some of them graced by the presence of Royalty, garden parties nearly every day, and fetes, bazaars, and shows of various descriptions in many places, at which Royal personages and people of high degree have worked hard in the sacred cause of charity. Add to this several fashionable weddings, and it will be seen that the week has been a full one. In spite of a small thunderstorm and some refreshing showers, dress has everywhere been of the most charming description. At one garden party, a tall stately, fair woman wore a lovely gown of palest grey silk. The bodice was of silken muslin, in folds and tiny tucks, the latter edged with deep cream-coloured Valenciennes lace; these bordered a kind of pointed vest of accordion-pleated white chiffon with inserted designs in lioniton lace. There was a folded girdle, drawn down slightly below the waist, of pale Chartreuse green satin ribbon shot with gold, and straps of similar ribbon over the shoulders, caught with lovely paste buttons. The hat was of crumpled green straw, the brim sown with white Scotch roses, and high green ostrich feathers placed at one side. Verv attractive also was a dress worn by a tall young Countess, in a bright pale shade of apple-green silk. The bodice was made with sleeves of chiffon veiled by cream-coloured lace, and bad folds of chiffon drawn down the front and back and caught under a. closely-swathed girdle of green silk drawn into a diamond buckle at one side. A toque of rough black chip was worn, trimmed with black tulle, and with a high aigrette of black arrti pale green ostrich feathers at one side. Although dress is so varied and often so complex that it is difficult to describe, novelties are getting to be rarities it is then a pleasure to have observed one in an up-to- date gown worn at a very smart party by a lady whose up-to-dateness in dress can only be com- pared with her taste. The novelty is that the veil- ing of black striped canvas over her carnation pink shot glacé silk dress was most gracefully and fasci- natingly caught up a good deal at one side so that it took pretty lines in its fall again at either side. The skirt was finished with a pinked-out ruche of the silk and the black veiling was caught up with a pink shot silk rosette. The bodice was of similar silk, quite tightly fitting, without the faintest sus- picion of a blouse about it. It had rows of tucks ,across the back terminating with a tiny frilled edg- ing of Valenciennes lace and the sleeves had a small puff of Tudor shape quite at the shoulder, and were tight thence to the wrists. There were at in- tervals bands of tucks with the one last tuck of frilled Valenciennes edging like that on the bodice. The front was finished with a yoke-like band of tucks and edging and a perfectly plain waistband and collar to correspond. A high crowned and somewhat broad brimmed hat of rose hued shot straw was worn, trimmed with black velvet bands round the crown and high black ostrich plumes at one side. What was most striking about this charming costume was the way in which the thin black overskirt was uplifted. Of course it is but an old fashion back again, but ;i:■ in most cases when such touches from the days of yoro revisit the glances of the sun, they come back to us in a new, revised, aud altogether more charming form. Garden party dresses begin to have a special interest to ladies, now, for there are well- authenticated statements being circulated as to a very grand entertainment of this description one of those entertainments when every woman is on her honour, as it were, to appear to the best possible advantage in order to show hoi-appreciation of having been included in so distinguished an assemblage. Many frocks are being thought out for this longed- for even:, and not a few are being prepared for if invitations do come, as frequently is the case, at a very late moment, and a new gown cannot be obtained, the calamity would be simply terrible. Grass lawns, in pure white and pale shades of blue, green, mauve, aud pink, are being embroidered in pretty designs with silks and baby ribbons, and these are to be made up over silks of their own colour, or else over cream-colour or white. Then there arc some white gauzes, printed with little flora-l designs in pale and charming shades with bright foliage, that have found favour in the eyes of several ladies, who say that absolutely they must wear them somewhere. One is white ground, with garlands of miniature, but very bright red roses, with shaded foliage, ft is to be made up over white silk, with touches of the bright red in either satin or miroir velvet, and most lovely it will look. Indeed, though dress of the day seems now at its brightest and best, depend upon it that, if nothing prevents this special, party from coming off, the iugenuity, of loyal British womenkind will contrive that for it there will be a culminating point of loveliness, brightness, and delicate beanty.

- - POOL QUAY.

SELATTYN.

CHESS. —————"t should