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IA KITTEN BAPTISM. I

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I A KITTEN BAPTISM. I "Pierre Loti," the well-known author of "Madame Chrysantheme," recently organised a curious ceremony at Constantinople. Pierre Loti, whose real name is Capt. Viaud, commands the French guardship Vantour, and at the beginning of the month a kitten was born on board. Pierre Loti decided to celebrate this event in solemn fashion. A grand fete was organised for the kitten's baptism. The Captain's private apartments were beautifully decked out with flowers, and a brilliant company was invited on board, in- cluding the Consul-General of France and the commanders of the British and Russian guard- ships, the Russian naval attache, and M. Coquelin Cadet. The kitten's distinguished god-father was Vicomte de Talignae-Fenelon and its god- mother Madame Rouse, wife of the commander of a French warship. An altar consecrated to Odin was erected in one of the rooms, and before it Pierre Loti and his fellow officers opened the ceremonies. The High Priest of Odin, clothed in white, stood forth, and while electric lights formed a dazzling kind of halo round his head soft music was played. The High Priest then handed to the god- mother a mysterious horn, at the sound of which the kitten was to emerge from its basket, this symbolising its awakening to life. j After the invocation of Odin, the High Priest baptised pussy, giving it the name of "Belkin," which means "pretty girl." Some appropriate lines by Pierre Loti were then recited, and, the touching ceremony being at an end, the guests retired to the buffet. "La Presse" severely condemns Loti for or- ganising such a ridiculous ceremony. A French officer representing his country in Turkish waters should not, it says, lay himself open to misunderstanding by the Turks, who cannot look on such things with the easy indulgence of the Parisian.

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