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LONDON GOSSIP. MARK TWAIN. Miss Helen Mathers thinks that literary talent is so little appreciated nowadays that she believes that even a great humourist— another Mark Twain—would attract only pass- ing attention. There is, however, only one Mark Twain, and he is next, month going to lesume one of his numerous occupations in early life, before his "Innocents Abroad" took shape in 1369, He will be seventy four on 'November 30th, and in October is to pilot President Taft down the Mississippi, recalling the days when he used to pilot the steamer Paul Jones on that iriver between St. Louis and "New Orleans. It was from the leadsman's cry of "Mark Twain" meaning a sounding of a depth of two fathoms, that he took his nom de plume. MISS HELEN MATHERS. Fiction-lovers will regret "Helen Mathers'" decision to write no more novels. Mrs Reeves, as she- is in private life, takes rather a gloomy view of the prospects of the authors and pub- lishers of fiction. People, she says, have so many more interests and pleasures in life than they had in Victorian -time.s, theut they have no time for reading for amusement. However that may be. Miss Helen Mathers retains all the popularity which she first won with "Comin' thro' the Rye" some thirty-four years ago. Heir latest, and as she says, her last novel, "Love the Thief," has only just been published. "Co-min' thro' the Rye" was the first published at 31s. 6d., being afterwards issued at 6s., -and is now in its twentieth edi- tion. It still has a large sale, and amongst successful books by the same author was her famous racing novel. "Tally Ho." But Miss Mathers dbes not believe in the cheap novel of modern days, and proposes in future to con- fine her literary work to short stories. < <. THE LETHAL HATPIN. Lady Hope, who is well-known for her practical philanthropic endeavours to help young business women, has suggested a sub- stitute for the dangerously long hatpin. This consists of an elastic bandeau of fine steel, covered with velvet, wliidh is placed inside the hait and is intended to hold it firmly on the head. It is not, however, so effectual as the hatpin, especially in the case of large hats. and it is to be feared that it will not solve- the problem of doing without the long decorating pins. That is the more reason why the points should be protected. In Paris, the police are contemplating insisting on this precaution, owing to the numerous accidents that have occurred to people in getting in and out trams and omnibuses, nad it seems not. unlikely that our authorities will be compelled, sooner or later, to ta]26 similar action. A COMBINATION HAT. Man has his collapsible dress,—hat for even- ing wear, but a Parisian milliner has attempt- ed to go one better, and has iaivenetd a woman's which will more or less take to pieces. With its removable brim stowdd away under the crown, it becomes a close fitting toque, suit- able for motoring, railway travelling, or rough weather, and in "fuJl sail" it becomes a hat of the greatest elegance, fit for a garden party. We have already millinery for motoring to which the flowers or trimmings are added after adjusting the veil, but this French idea displays greater fertility of invention, and one wonders what next the resourcefulness of ingenious people will offer us. Modern in- ventrons, however, do not all make for progress, Many of them only substitute difficult and complicated methods for simple ones, a draw- back to which .one would think this com- lunation hat is peculiarly liable. TWINE BELTS. A ne v belt has appeared, made of coarse twine, an its natural sn-ade. The twine is simply crocheted, about four inches in depth, and, amazing as it sounds, this belt keeps in con- dition better than tfhe one built, of leather. With plain linen ox cotton blouse suits, the twine belts look exceedingly well, always pro- vidleld the very simplest and neatest cf buckles finish them off* THE BOLERO AND FULL SKIRT, With the bolero has arrived the full. rounded skirt, which is only what we might have expected 'when we come to consider that the bolero and full skirt go together in Spain, the country from whenoe we borrow the idea. The best boleros aa e composed almost entirely of encrusted emibroiciery, braiding, or soutache work, which meatus that they are not for the woman with a small dress allowance. The cheap and severely plain style is very pos- sible, cheap and elaborate notions on the con- trary are always a huge mistake. t ERMINE AND LACE WRAPS. Delightful wraps—ji which we are always more or less glad in this countrv—are arranged of .alternate bands of rather coarse lace—Irish for ermine. An ad- vantage this fur possesses over all others is that it looks well both in the afternoon and evening, moreover, a point not to be lost sight of is that ermine happens to be very much more becoming in the summer and autumn than in the other two seasons, when com- plexions generally are not at their best. Just now it is possible u pick up collarettes and Lttle stoles of fux, at considerably reduced prices, and the- woman who can manage the financial part the cf business should not omit to secure one built- ci ermine. < < MIDDLE AGED AND ELDERLY MODES. With regard to modes for women past their youth, things generally are "levelling up," in a highly satisfactory manner. A quarter of a. century ago, the woman of even thirty, or thirty-five considered it high time to put froan her all that was pretty and becoming, ox had a trace of yoiuthfulness about it, she affected black, or horrible drab shades, and a matronly looking mob cap. When ordering a new bonnet—hats were undreamt of at her age- gown or wrap, she gave instructions for it to be "exactly as last time," and indeed kept a standing order with some old established and very conservative firm, to supply the same fabrics and styles, year .after year. Thens thing veered round completely, and grandmothers dressed as youthfully as, their granddaughters, which was another mistake. But nowadays things are certainly "levelling up," and the woman past her or middle age. while still bent, and rightly, upon making the very best of herself, sees that a flaxen "trans- formation" and infantile styles do not afford a desirable effect. She follows more gener- ally common sense and good taste, modistes being well prepared to help her, with the re- sult that never were the middle-aged and elderly better dressed, or a greater pleasure to beholder, than at the present time. KEEPING MILK FRESH? Heat waves not only cause personal discom- fort to the thrifty housewife, but also con- siderably anxiety respecting the contents of the larder. If she has not an ice-chest, the fate of the breakiast fish, or the next day's meat, may depend upon a little timely atten- tion, especially if E. midnight thunderstorm should happen to come along. To keep milk fresh it is of no use to merely scald it. It should be kept simmering for two or three minutes, but unless the weather conditions are exceptionally trying, this precaution is often unnecessary. Milk will keep better in a shal- low bowl than in a jug in hot weather, and by adding a lump or two otf sugar, it will in the ordinary way keep frEh for twenty-four hours, in a cool larder. THE PERFECT HI"5BAND, The woman in search of the perfect husband sets herself a difficult task, as we may gather from the discussion en this subject, which once more figures among the holiday topics this season. There is line man of austere recti- tude, everything that is honourable, upright, and just, but doawineeidng and' exacling, -,glow to praise and ever ready to blame, iir attitude to the family circle.. There is the melancholy man, a daily spectre of gloom at dull, silent, and uninteresting meals, and a standfing example of how much is left to be desired in the way of cheerfulness. Another type is that of the worried, fidgety husband who keeps everyone around him in a ferment and ill at ease. Most of us, in our own circle of friends are acquainted with family men of th-ese dispositions, besides others ol a variety of characters, but the perfect husband who is alwayg the same, who never allows himself to diffuse shadows or troubles in the family circle, and who never hurts the feelings of others, is not often found among them.