Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

7 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

- Story of a Society Girl.


Story of a Society Girl. In these days, when one does not have a father-confessor, and no woman of sense has a confidante-one of ability finds herself forced occasionally to jot down her impres- sions. That is my excuse for the existence of this. To begin at the very beginning, I fancy I was born like other people, went through the usual uninteresting baby- hood, but was still a little girl when I learned that I was a beauty. This first came to me from my father. My mouth drawn up to its prettiest rosebud shape, a couple of tears in my eves would make him give me what I asked for, and so there same to me the knowledge of the a.rength that lies in weakness. Sometimes I doubt if I were born-I think I am the result of transmigration-first an orchid, next a bird of Paradise, and, last of all, a society girl. I belong to an old family, and my solicitor tells me that I have a great deal of money fcufc whoever heard of a womau having enough ? Mamma, very sensibly, trained me to be a coquette. From the time that I could stand I was fully aware of the value of my white skin, my deep, dark eyes, and the attraction of the wonderful hair that made a gorgeous framing for my finely-cut face. I was will- ing to go to bed early, for I had been told of the good of those sleeping hours that come before twelve o'clock; to be bathed and rubbed until I was weary enough to sleep again, because my nurse had said that this would make my form handsome and supple, and my arms and neck the admiration of the world. At eigbteen years of age I was brought out. I made my first appearance at the Patriarchs' Ball, and mamma very wisely had me dressed in the finest of white silk muslin. As was proper, I accepted the invitations to dance from the elderly men, from whom it was a compliment to receive them, and, as far as possible, I ignored the younger ones. I Bought mamma's wing at the end of each dance, and, to her delight, the impression left on everybody's mind was that of my being an extremely beautiful,ingenuous young girl, who knew nothing whatever about wooiety..How they erred. 1 looked at Mrs. August Belmont's sapphires, and thought that when I was a matron L would have some just as handsome. 1 stared, politely, of course, at Mrs. Marshall Koberts's beautiful pearls, and wondered why they should be wasted on a widow. The next day the newspapers were full of descriptions of the new beauty, and before I knew it the swet child-like look in my face had gained for me the title of "Baby." At that time I was the most complete coquette that talked out an opera or looked into a man's eyes so that he believed that I adored him, whereas I only calculated exactly to what extent I could could count on him for flowers. You think this sounds vulgar, perhaps, about the flowers; but all coquettes are vulgar in that sense. The old novels tell of a time when maidens fair were delighted with the blossom sent by the man who adored them; but it is impossible to imagine anything so stupid. Of what earthly use would a blossom be P One has been effective when taken from a man's buttonhole and stuck in one's bodice, where it would show well against one's neck; but I cannot imagine their being of any other use. When the young men grew to know me proposals of marriage began to pour in upon me but I had concluded exactly who I would marry—the rich and only eon of a rich man, who really owned half the ground on which the London houses were built. The other men did very wpli to paea away the time with and give me some wactice. The first wa? •& clergyman; he thought I was so lovely that 1 must be more than willing to give my life to the poor and my love to him. lie gave me the most exquisite prayer-book in ivory and gold, with my mono- crani in diamonds upon it. My next proposal was from a man. Yes, he was a man. He offered me his hand and his heart, and expressed his :illingness to make a home for me. I laughed at it. The very idea of me marrying a poor man I No matter that he was a gentleman so matter that I had a curious feeling in my eart about hii-a-I laughed at him, and then de told me what he thought of me. You see' X had invited it; but still he couldn't know that under that laugh was the only real bit of human feeling that had ever come into my life. Then there were all sorts aJid conditions of men. A great light in the legal world, an immensely wealthy merchant, and a baronet. But I had intended to marry Jack Conyers, the richest man in London. When the season was nearly over mamma was obliged to bring to our house the only child of her sister an orphan. She said she would be a good foil for me, and as she had to keep her we might as well go out together. My old clothes could be altered for her, and the fact that her being always with me would make Jack think me more delightful, beoause more difficult to obtain. I am never mean enough to deny another woman's good looks, but Marjory hadn't the least claim to being a beauty, exoept in her possession of a pair of deep, dark blue eyes, that told s omething, I never could understand what. Once I heard a man say they were sympathetic, but that seemed to me very stupid. May came, and on the day of the four-iu-hand parade Marjory and I, with mamma's permission, and under the ohaperonage of a young matron, were on Jack's coach. I sat on the box-seat, and I looked so well in my yellow crepe, my bat trimmed with yellow blossoms, that even the boys in the street called to each other," Aint the a beauty t" I was. I knew it. And I thought Jack ought to appreciate it more than ever before. As he bade us good-bye that evening he said to me, 1 am ooming to lpeak to your mother to-morrow." Most girls would have got excited, or felt they had to tell somebody, but not 1. There was a small sense of triumph about me, for I felt that I had gained my end, and her I walked over to Marjory's room just to let see how well I looked. What a fool 1 thought her-sitting there reading a book that had in it a chapter and a hymn and a prayer for every day in the year She would kiss me—a something that I despise, these outward signs of affection, or whatever you may call it and after that weakness 1 conoluded not to tell her my seoret. Jack came the next day, asked for mamma, and was with her for quite a time and then a message came upstairs, asking that Marjory would come down. 1 didn't connect the two but awhile afterwards my mother came to me, and for the first time in my life I saw her angry. Mamma seemed to look exactly as if she had been learning a lesson, one that came home to her. Do you think that shocks of knowledge come to one? It is said they do. imaginative people talk of "having the veil suddenly drawn away and seeing the truth," and really, I suppose from what followed, mamma had been undergoing some revolution of feeling, or, perhaps it would be proper to say, had had a revelation. For my own part is seemed silly. f She said: What in the world is the mat- ter with you, that with everything in your favour you should let the greatest catoh of !Sss88Jfip Jaa&Liai M captured by an ordinary, poor girl, like your cousin? What does he see in her? What is there lacking in you ? I thought it very rude of her, and I said "Mamma, I think you are forgetting your- self." And to my astonishment she answered, No, I am not. 1 am remembering myself. It has just come to me that 1 have educated you to be that something without a heart- a perfect sooiety girl—and that I must not blame men if they do not find in you the sympathy for which they look." 4 Of course, I was disappointed, first. at Jack's bad taste and then at mamma's ridi- culous outbreak, Marjory was quietly married the next month, and to-day she, who used to wear my cast-off clothes, who wearied me by talking of the beauty of love and religion, is an acknowledged leader of society in London. After her marriage we went abroad. In London and in Paris everybody raved about me as the beautiful Englishwoman. My pictures were eagerly sought for; the gowns I wore were copied; a colour fancied by me became the fashion. And so year after year went by, some spent in this country, some spent on the continent, until one day I had a sharp pain of a curious kind come to me when I heard a flippant boy of nineteen say in a rude, slangy fasion, Baby is beginning to be a back number," It was horible slang, but-but-I thought of the girls who had come out with me. They were married and had little cbidren about them; I thought of my father and mother; they were both dead. Then I thought of myself. All that great fortune had come to me, but I was alone. As I drive in the park of an afternoon, Bitting as only I can sit in my victoria, I can see the people look at me and I hear them say, "That's the famous beauty. That's the woman who has so much money and so much beauty that she might at any time have married any man she wanted to." I see the shabbily-dressed girls stare at me and hold on a little tighter to their sweet- heart's arms, and once I heard a little woman say, "John, that may be a beautiful woman, but she is not a happy one. She is a selfish one, my dear, and the most beautiful face ceases to be lovely when in the heart there is only thought of itself," Is this true? Has my life been a failure ? Is there something better than the admira- tion of the aristocratic set P Is there any- thing better than luxury and beauty, and surroundings that give pleasure to all the senses ? There must be, else how can these people be happy f Well, it's too late for me -1 can't begin again. I don't know that I want to but I should have liked to have it decided if those people who talk about love and goodness are right, or whether it is the baet to be what I always have been and am still, CUE It AMI, in Illustrated Hits,

My Niece, Miss Crowe.


Re-paid in Full

A Gallant Gold-digger,

Not the Brush he Expected,

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