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FEMININE FANCIES, FOIBLES,…

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FEMININE FANCIES, FOIBLES, AND FASHIONS. 0 [By Muriel."] (ALL RIGHTS P, Reminiscences of Christmas. Christinas is over, and well over, many of til think, and not those who are churlish either. if or one am glad it is over, vet I had no fault to find with fortune on this occasion, since, though far a way from all dear re atives, [ spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day with Innd and true fricnds, and my place at the breakfast table was hardly to iic seen for piled up gifts from the same land friends, whose custom it is to make as many people happy as possible at this season, and other occasions likewise. "Goodwill towards men" is the motto they have made their own, and servants of the household are always as rich y* gifts as the visitors. 1 he coachman who drove us to church wore the warmest of warm gloves, and his pockets were well lined with silver in addition. Another member of the same family, who some .time ago left the 01d home for a husband's roof, invited us to dinner, and here I had opportunity for inspecting the many beauti- fill relics sh-3 had collected during her recent visit to India. On the centre of the dinner table was gracefully arranged a pink I II purdah," spangled with silver. A purdah is veil which the women in India fold about them when they go abroad. Equally well did it aerve as a centre for the hospitable board, Riving it quite a novel, Oriental character. The purdah was raised by means of some sort OF Scaffolding, describing a scries of tiers, Which served to support Benares brass vase*, holding flowers and bowls containing sweet- meats, crackers, and other edible trifles inter- mingled. The exquisite fineness of the glitter- lng purdah allowed of soft puckerings here and there, a far more effective arrangement than is produced by a flat surface, however handsome the table centre be. In various in the drapery pots of (lowers were Placed, and several quaint old silver lamps, ■Etruscan in design, shed a soft lustre around. # Christmas To-day Better Than tho Past. The Chiiatmas of our dav, if it has less of T«*elry, hi3 gained by what it has lost, and is honoured in a better and calmer spirit than la Yules of bygone years. As regards Christ- J&as fare, the crane and the bittern ar? °Qnd on our tables no longer. Tho ,F*uitionaj boar's head went out with Long Parliament, and no direc- V°ns for the culinary treatment of a swan or heron "occur in modern cooking books. Somewhere about the middle of the sixteenth c.e.^ury, when the crane and the bustard were still reoognised dishes at Iloyal feasts, the '>f'gan to supplant native fowls, iorkeys were imported from North America by Spanish explorers. In the time of James I. • writer speaks of them as those outlandish wrdt called ginny cocks and turkey cocks, which were not seen in this country before 1530." Turkey was a name commonly applied to the fowl which retains this cognomen and to the Guinea fowl. The tarkey of the Rocky Nountainsand Panama to the North of Canada surpasses in size the domestic breed, and th« beauty of its plumage is also greater. Some wild turkeys hailing from the placcs named weigh 301bs., 401bs., and even HOlhl. a-piece, while a bird that brings down the wale at 251 bs. is deemed a magnificent speci- nien".of the tribe in England. CliristmoLs- Games. t though Christmas proper is over the of the season extend far into the New Year, and many and varied are the games invented to ^beguile the time and amuse and entertain the invited guests at this hospitable season. The puzzles are more expemi ve"and elaborate, though those sold at a penny each have amused thousands. I bought several new puzzles costing .sixpence each, and these not of the selfish order, but allowing several Persona to assist. Not a new game, but «tm neatly diverting, is a large print donkey JBinus his tail. 'I here are a dozen detached tail., which are distribated to the players. The donkey is then pinned to the window curtain, and the players start at a distance of dozen feet or so, closing the eyes and turn- VMS thrice round before advancing *?ith tho object of pinning the tail on to the place indicated by Nature. 1\ is surprising how very few contrive to approach even distantly the desired point, -00 not a few essay to fasten the tail on the boads of the company who are quite out of the line of the donkey. The game "affords oonsiderable amusement, and includes any dumber of players. 5 i < The Influenza. 'The dreaded epidemic^ imported from the J^OQtinent is upon us. A few days before Christmas I was buying some Christmas gifts 1!1 1 •t Whiteley's, and finding it very difficult to get served, and noticing, too, the scarcity of *ttendants, I inquired why this diminishing of bombers, when time and the importunity of ^Wtomera seemed to demand increased at- I heard with dismay that not ?Ter than 250 of Whiteley's employes were ••ricken with influenza, and obliged to be at a time when "All hands to the IPURQP" was necessarily the order of the day. la the provision department whatever you Purchased had to be carried away by your- since there was no delivery as usual. Mr. f**oiteley had thrown himself into the breach. I saw.bim here, r.there, and every- ^nere. Winter Sales. Hardly has the'stress of^Christmas passed the winter sales begin, and only they *hp hare seen London shops, such as White- Shoolbred's, &c., at these seasons can £ Hliae the pressure'put upon shop assistants; by aoy effort of imagination Pih they realise the fearful crush strain that has to be borne by ^*r £ *in hunters. To find feal bargains yoa jP^atgo to the very best shops. The proprietors Among their clients only those who fgBfcnd the best at .any price, and, therefore, spftnot retain in stook any goods which bear impress of last season's fashions. The ail therefore, at the half-yearly k. *re 8ure be fashionable and bona fide I never purchase anything at the aauouuoed at second-rate shops. t:\ ?. > Where to Get Bargains. U(I here is a reason in point. Just before VBristnaas I bought a muff at a shop where r. r,aight reasonably expeot fair dealing, yet riotioed that just 2s. 6d. had been added to j £ jijPrwe I gave for my muff a week ago, the offered being precisely the same r^s *• But just because bargain," some easily-gulled will be taken in and exult in the **PPo»ed bargain, *#* A Warning About Furs, fe fur» b« oareful toieethat a<rt att>okc4 A friend of mine bought a set of ilussian hare at a really good furrier's, but fiiids the fur falls so much that she cannot possibly wear either muff or boa. # Tasteful Scarves. Among the more tasteful things which serve to twine round the shoulders at this time is a charming striped gauze square sold by Liberty for 7s. Gd. The sheen on the gauze is glitter- ing, and the square is made in delightful com- binations of coloiir-willow green and white, salmon pink and white, or rose and white, also white in stripes of satin and gauze. Any- thing more delightfully filmy than these gossamers cannot be imagined, and their price is most-moderate. Then very exquisite are the long scarves made of real Pongee silk, the selvedges run together and the oriiice at, the bottom drawn close with tassletofinish, '.these scarves co3t a moderate sum, and tiiey are tastefully worn beneath open-fronted out-of- door jackets, or may be used to fold round and round the neck on warm evenings when attending theatre or opera. Pongee :i!k Cushions. Hardly anything can be prettier than the cushions of l'ongee silk, smocked so as to form tasteful patterns. I saw one lovely specimen, the puckering being drnft to repre- sent flowers, the design being well carried out. Another cushion has a diamond pattern, formed by smocking in the centre of the sqnare. Anyone who is expert in the use of the needle can cany out the desi-ins I name. The rose pattern is really most lovely, and, moreover, quite new. Cushions of >si!k, with bands of plush laid i-cuii(l, ivitb margin of silk beyond, the four corners decorated with ttiangic) of plush, are much admired. Cushions of all kinds have been favourite and acceptable gifts lately, the small bolster cushion as well as the large square variety. » Coals and Smoking Chimneys. 11 I once heard of a lady who professed a liking for thiit-to me—sickening odour emitted by the wick of an expiring candle or when extinguished. It is poisonous as weli as offensive, I believe. But abnormal as the taste I refer to is, I never heard any human being express a partiality for a smoking chimney. A friend of mine says she has tried every known variety of coah without succeeding in curing an in- veterate smoking chimney. Now, instead of directing talent to combat the evil at the top of the chimney, a benefactor of his kind has turned his skili and inventive genius in the direction of the fuel. I bear there is a tluid to be bought at a cheap rate which, sprinkled over the coals prior to their introduction to thegrate, absolutely prevents any disposition to smoke. lam told that this is no catch-penny," but a real preventive. I believe a bottle costing less than two shillings is su/lieient to treat a ton of coals. Any way, a trial is solicited, and the chinii, x,, coal-smokers' occupation, like Otlwllv's, is said to be gone. If this be true, the discoverer of the "smoke preventer'' deserves well at the hands of his fellows, and the harassed housekeeper has one less dreaded domestic grievance to combat and to remedy if she can. Hopelessly in- ourable" is the verdict pronounced on many chimneys. What a saving of temper, expense, and personal discomfort there will be if the smoke preventive can accomplish what it professes to do. Interior House Decoration. 'Jhe fashion for interior decoration is a growing one, and the candle makers are pandering to it. In order to tone with the artistic draperies which hail from Liberty's, a well-known firm of soap boilers are dyeing their candles in twelve art colours, which harmonise perfectly with the aesthetic tints of the draperies I allude to. When lit up the combined effect is very brilliant, and during the daytime also the wax, so charmingly coloured, produces delightful colour-harmony in drawing; room and boudoir. # Some More Pretty Cushions, When writing about cushions I forgot to mention two special patterns-the Ilosetti cushion, which resembles a monster rose, and can be had in all colours of that flower, the petals exquisitely shaded, and made to look crumpled and as if about to fall, Another variety is made to resemble a prize cabbage. Some species appear in natural colour, others in shades which Nature does not select from this particular vegetable. The rose cushion is made in several sizes, and costs from 10.. 6d. to 27s. Cd., according to size. The new bolster neck cushion, ten inches long, covered with silk, cost 4s. The Nakomis oushion is made of covered folds of monotone colour, liberty silk radiating from a centre, and forming little soft puffe. The cushion is filled with Arctic down. The size ISin. by 18m costs 21s.; 20in. by 20in., 2os, A New Song. A song, which is refined but has plenty of C go" in it and a swinging chorus m which the company can all join with much eclat, is The Longshoreman music by E. Cbesham. This song has become very popular at good class smoking concerts, and has only to be heard to be appreciated. A Reply. I have received many letters since I described the Finger" Prayer Eook, asking where it can be procured? It can be bought from A. Jones and Co., 154, Kegent- street. It is possible to fix it to ohatelaine. It may also be put in purse or in vest jacket. The measurement, as I have said before, is one inch in breadth by three and a half in length. < « Forfeits, I have also been asked to give a list of forfeits for games. Some penalties imposed are vulgar, and some are highly absurd i so I venture to suggest the following :-— Mention the name of a. famous person and relate an anecdote about Iiina. Mention one of the mest recent modern dit- coveries. Keep a serious face for five minutes. A line of poetry given, find another to rhyme with it. The owner of forfeit to stand in the middle of the ro on, and each in turn request him to assume a particular attitude. Pay a compliment and undo it after to [everyone present. Kiss someone through the tango, Say five times without errorAround the rugrged rock the ragged rascal ran. Put yourself through the keyhole. Do this by writing "yourseH on a piece of paper and passing it through the'keyhole. Repeat: Robert Rowley rolled a round roll round. A round roll Robert Rowley rolled round. Thert is the round roll Robert 'Rowley rolled round. Rub one haad on your forehead, and at the Banae time strike the breast, without changing or ceasing the motion of either hand. Say to each persoa ia the room "You cannot eav, Boo' to a goose." Count twenty backwards. Place your bands behindj you and guess wko touches them. Dance a quadrille blindfold. The owners of four forfeits te redeem tbetn thus:- SaY Quizzical Quick, kiss me quick," nine times without aistake. 4ft 1-a reDidiv,.Villv.yite aad bis Tifa I vent to Vinds .r and Vest Vickham von Vitson j Vednesday." Repeat, without stopping, "Handy-legged Boracio Mustacio Whisker Fustieus, the bold, brave B'm- bardiho of B-tgdiHl, helped Aboinilique B'u;) Heard, Bashaw of Bibeiiiitnfleb, to beat down Bumble Bee at Balsorn." Hold one foot in tli& right hand and hop twice round the roosn. stand on a chair and cali out Here I s!and as stiff as a stake, 0 Take me down for pity's s;iiio. O." If tfont'emaD, soiin compassionate lady performs the office. ♦ Musioal Novelties. Two quaint ornaments designed for New Year's gitts are the 13 natural" brooch, music stave, made in fine gold and enamel. Another, A flat," gold scarf pin in gold and diamonds, for gentlemen.

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