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THE SCENE OF CONFLICT IN VIRGINIA.
as willing to tell people what
she thinks as she is to speak of them during their absence. I think she rather
prefers it, as she is thus able to inflict more pain and vexation. " You made
that dress yourself?" she says to a friend. " Ah! I thought so : one can see
directly the difference between a thing made by a dress-maker and an amateur."
Or, if the dress has passed through the hands of a dress-maker : " I must say,
dear, that she has by no means done justice to your figure. What a pity! How
many yards did you say you gave her ?" Then, with a look of incredulity,
followed by one of compassion, " My dear, she has certainly robbed you. She has
not given you half your stuff. We all know how these people crib. Why did you
have blue ? It is horridly unbecoming to you. Why did you let her put in that
sleeve ? that shape has quite gone out," etc., etc. To a musical friend she
declares, with a wry face, that amateur playing or singing is unendurable, and a
sheer waste of time ; for the spiteful girl, though she affects much judgment,
rarely bath any music in her soul. If one of her friends acquaintances, it
should be said, for she has no real friend if some girl whom she knows happens
to pique herself on the beauty of her needle-work, she continually tells her
that it is absurd to fritter away precious time on doing things which may be
purchased for a mere trifle now ; and if she is obliged to admit that the work
shown is well done, she regrets that so ugly, or ineffective, or old fashioned,
or easily soiled a pattern should have been selected, or objects to the
combinations of color, or asserts that crochet is rapidly becoming "out of
date," or, any thing which may suggest itself to her imagination. If she knows
that any body fancies they have a reputation for being clever, she says, with an
indescribable look, which points, or barbs, her remark, "How nice it must be to
have any kind of talent, even a spark of the divine fire. What a pity it is one
never meets any clever people in private life !"
The sulky girl is only second to
her spiteful sister. Nothing pleases her. The day is too hot, too cold, too
sunny, too dull ; she will not admit that she cares about any thing. Ask her
opinion, and she irritates you by the very tone in which she answers you. She is
often a sloven, for she regards the world with disdain ; she is frequently ugly,
and revenges her misfortune if it be such on every body who may come within her
reach. There is a wonderful difference in ugliness. Pleasant ugliness will often
gain the preference over supercilious beauty ; but sullen ugliness is without
question most repulsive.
The girl who insists in reposing
confidence in all her friends is eminently disagreeable. It is not particularly
flattering, but decidedly a bore, to be the depositary of her secrets ; for, in
the first place, they are not worth knowing secrets very seldom are and in the
second, you are perfectly conscious that all her friends and acquaintances are
in the receipt of them. They are generally love secrets, referring either to her
or somebody else's affairs. If she would simply tell you, and please herself by
the sound of her own voice, it would be bad enough; but she asks so dolefully
and so seriously for your advice, that you are vexed with yourself for not being
able to sympathize with her griefs or her joys.
The girl with one idea is
undoubtedly disagreeable. So long as people are talking around her of any thing
in which she takes no interest, she will sit or lean back in her chair with a
countenance in which nothing but stolid stupidity or weariness is
depicted ; if some one chances to
touch on her favorite topic dress, flirtation, personal appearances, scandal, be
it what it may she starts up and begins to chatter as if she had been wound up
like a clock. Unfortunately, it usually happens that her favorite subject is one
of narrow limits, which does not admit of prolonged discussion. This girl is
much addicted to whispering in a corner.
The irritable, capricious girl is
detestable. The slightest word, spoken at random, will suffice to estrange her
from her " dearest friends." She is not in the habit of making such bitter
speeches as the spiteful girl, but she contradicts, and interrupts, and
reproaches in the most provoking manner every instant. She is disrespectful to
her parents, cross and unyielding with her brothers and sisters, captious with
her friends, barely civil to her acquaintances. The latter, however, fare the
best with her, as she is either ashamed or has no opportunity to display her ill
temper before those of whom she knows little.
There is one disagreeable girl
who combines all the unpopular qualities of her sisters. She is haughty, she is
plain, but tries to compel every one to confess that she is the reverse ; she is
irritable, she is sulky, she patronizes those who do not either declare open war
against her, or treat her opinion with thinly-disguised contempt ; she says
spiteful things with an air of condescension ; like the famous miller of song,
she " cares for nobody," and regards love and friendship as chimeras of the
Some girls are disagreeable to
those of their own sex, but very agreeable in the society of " the gentlemen ;"
others are voted extremely disagreeable by men, but liked by women ; others,
again, are disagreeable to every body. Some are disagreeable because they can
not help being so ; others are disagreeable because they will not take the
trouble to rid themselves of the peculiar quality which renders them
unendurable. Some are pleasing at first, but after a little time, from some
mysterious cause, they change, and become excessively disagreeable. These girls
are perpetually acquiring and losing friends, and it is to be observed that,
when they have lost a friend, they seize every occasion of " backbiting" and "
telling tales" of them, and assure you that " Really, I was not to blame in the
matter at all ; now would you have put up with such treatment?"
The aggressively handsome and the
aggravatingly ugly girls are equally disagreeable. The one is either utterly
inane or intolerably flippant, seeing in every other girl a rival, and in every
man a victim; the other is perhaps resentful and " strong minded," or stolidly
stupid. It would be impossible to pronounce which of these types might be called
the most disagreeable.
ECCENTRICITIES OF PARISIAN
TOILETS. - Women as youthful and as fresh as spring wear dresses covered with
artificial insects, butterflies, lizards, scarabees, shells, and birds, rain
drops, and showers of bugles. Duchesses and Marchionesses may be seen at the
theatres in red satin and yellow velvet jackets, ornamented with steel, crystal
drops, and Chinese embroideries. All that is eccentric and showy is accepted
with enthusiasm. The jewelry follows in the same wake; sleeve studs are made
with " Apartments to let" written on them ; gold brooches are fashioned with the
four aces in black enamel, and mounted as weather cocks ; the ear rings are both
heavy and long, and the necklaces are equally out of proportion. , What is
delicate and feminine gives way to exaggeration and eccentricity.
PIRATE.—Piracy was, in
early times, a favorite and fashionable pursuit. One of the most celebrated
pirates of the Northern seas was a Princess Alvilda, the daughter of a Gothic
king, who, according to the legend, embraced the occupation of a sea rover to
relieve herself from a marriage which was sought to be imposed upon her,
contrary to her inclination, with Alf, a Danish prince. She habited herself in
male costume, and selected as her rowers and crew a band of Amazonian damsels,
who assumed the same attire. Touching at a strange port in one of her first
cruises, she met an association of male pi-\rates, who were bewailing the death
of their leader, and, captivated by the gallant bearing of the heroine, they
chose her as their chief. Thus reinforced, she became so formidable in her
depredations that her former suitor was sent to encounter her, and a fierce
contest ensued at sea, in which, after vigorously repulsing for a time his
warlike assaults, Alf at length boarded her bark, and, having slain numbers of
her crew, she became his prisoner. The Princess wore a casque, which concealed
her face ; he raised it, and recognizing his former fair one, she fainted in his
arms, and on his again offering her his hand she became his bride.
A NEW OPENING FOR
PHOTOGRAPHY.—Not long ago there appeared in various publications the copy of an
epitaph on a tombstone, below which the widow had caused the announcement to be
engraved that she continued to carry on her husband's business ; thus preserving
a certain bond of union between the dead and the living, and making a profit out
of the grave. Not long ago it occurred to a photographer that he might increase
his business by announcing that he copied photographs of deceased individuals,
and prepared them in such a way that, if placed in coffins along with the
defunct, they would endure for any number of ages. Since that time the practice
is said to have become common on the Continent. And it is very evident that a
good deal may be said in its favor; more than can be said of a novel proceeding
of a well favored widow, who, lately, in one of the foreign cemeteries, instead
of hanging a crown of immortelles on the tomb of her deceased husband hung a
portrait of herself.
THE RULING PASSION.—Whoever has
visited Nismes has seen the ruins of the great amphitheatre, and will remember
how dangerous it appeared to climb to the summit. An anecdote is related in a
local paper of a youngster who would persist in mounting the walls, in spite of
the orders and threats of his father, in search of bats, which abound among the
ruins. One day his father caught sight of him very high up, and, notwithstanding
the risk to himself, he managed to reach his boy and seize him by the leg.
Dragging him from his hold, he held him suspended by the leg in the air. " Now,"
said his father, " will you ever climb up here again ?" The position was enough
to frighten the boy, who could see nothing between him and the ruins a long way
below ; but, instead of being alarmed, he exclaimed eagerly, " Stoop a little
lower, father ; I can see a whole swarm of bats in a crack just out of my reach.
Let me get them, and I will promise you not to climb up here any more."
A TURKISH TRAGEDY. A great
tragedy is reported from Scutarn. An Arab slave in the house of Ahmet Effendi
had been promised his freedom, but, at the suggestion of the Effendi's wife, the
time for granting, it was postponed. Sullen and incensed at this delay, the
slave took advantage of the absence of his master and the whole of the household
except the hanum and himself at mosque, to enter the harem, and deliberately
strangle his mistress. The cunning savage then hastened to meet his master, whom
he encountered at the mosque door, and told out loudly that he had done his
bidding in murdering his mistress. Accompanied by the police and many other
persons, the Effendi hurried home, and, on entering the harem, truly enough
found the corpse of his murdered wife. The slave then asked his master's thanks
for having so well executed his bidding. Upon this charge the bereaved Effendi
was taken prisoner by the police, and remained in the common prison till the
authorities had fully investigated the tragic affair.
PRIMITIVE COSTUMES.—Several of
the Paris journals speak against the extremely decollete style of dress which
the ladies have adopted at the balls this season in the French capital: "What
remains at the present day of women's dress," says M. E. Texier, in the Siecle,
is so small that it is hardly worth talking about. Ladies are almost attired
like the natives in South America with nothing but a necklace. Besides that,
such a style of dress may be made very rich. It has the advantage of covering
but little ; and at a ball, where the heat is always excessive, one can not be
too thinly clad!" M. Venet, in the Monde, makes the following remark : " If one
of the present
queens of the Parisian beau monde
were to walk out of doors in ball costume, the sergens de ville would lock her
up, and the correctional tribunal would visit her with the withering effect of a
A LADIES' DUEL.-Madame de Nesle,
irritated by the attentions of the Due de Richelieu to Madame de Polignac, wrote
her an insulting letter, concluding, " Si du ceste, madame, ces raisons ne vous
persuadent pas, je vous attendrai demain, dix heures du matin, an Bois de
Bealogne. Mon acme est le pistolet." They met, attended by their lady's maids,
and it was arranged that they should fire on reaching a scarf placed half way
between them. Madame de Neste fired first and missed. Madame de Polignac fired
more deliberately, and wounded her rival in the shoulder; but Richelieu, for
once in his life, acted like Cato, and preferred the conquered to the conqueror.
IN some places in England it has
been found necessary to get up an anti-Mormon league, as the gentlemen who wish
to wed a few dozen have become very triumphant in their efforts, and it is
feared there may be a scarcity of womankind if they go on exporting to America.
WORTH KNOWING.—A correspondent
says : " A young lady, while in the country some years ago, stepped on a rusty
nail, which ran through her shoe and foot. The inflammation and pain was of
course very great, and lockjaw apprehended. A friend of the family, however,
recommended the application of a beet, taken fresh from the garden and pounded
fine, to the wound. It was done, and the effect was very beneficial. Soon the
inflammation began to subside, and by keeping on the crushed beet, and changing
it for a fresh one, as its virtue seemed to become impaired, a speedy cure was
effected. Simple but effectual remedies like this should be known to every one."
A GERMAN WORD.—In the poem by
Hoffman, the German poet, who was expelled from the Prussian dominions, the
following word appears : " Steuererverweigerungver-fassungsnassigberechtigt"
meaning a man who is exempt by the constitution from the payment of taxes. The
expulsion of such a poet as this would be justified by the laws of prosody if
not by the code of Prussia.
SOME people have the toothache ;
to them it may be interesting to know without a five-dollar fee that between the
tip of the left hand thumb and the nose there is a great connection; the nerves
of the nose are connected with the mouth, and toothache may therefore be cured
by the application of a mustard poultice to the tip of the left hand thumb.
PENMANSHIP.—A veteran living
statesman has taken occasion, more than once, to notice publicly the rarity of
good penmanship in our age, as compared with former times. It is; in our
opinion, a well founded complaint. Few gentlemen nowadays write a perspicuous
hand, or any thing better than a scrawl. How often, when a stranger addresses
you, do you find one half of his sentences unintelligible, and his signature so
utterly enigmatical, that you are forced into the impoliteness of cutting out
the name and pasting it on the envelope of your answer! If you cast your eye
over any extended manuscript or sheaf of letters of the early part of the last
century, the writing is generally of a very different character. The writer of
this note possesses a manuscript of ten volumes, written at different times,
between 1746 and 1773, by a clergyman, and in the whole of it he has never
detected an e or an l without its loop, or an i without its dot ; neither, in
reading, was he ever at a loss about the meaning of a single sentence. We can
not say much for the hand writing of ladies of that or any earlier age, for a
tolerable education for women is a matter of later date. But certainly there was
a time what may be called the era of our mothers when feminine handwriting was
both elegant and intelligible. Old ladies still, as a rule, write better than
"JUST a little, a very little, a
very, very little !" said the Brook to the Bank.
And the Bank was silent, and the
Brook wore its side till the earth melted away and the sods floated down the
"Just a little more, a very
little more !" said the Brook again.
And the waters pressed against
the roots of the willows that grew beyond the bank, and laid them bare.
"Just a little, little more,"
said the Brook again; and the widening stream advanced with fresh force till one
by one the willows fell and were borne away in the torrent.
" Alas!" cried the Meadow, as the
water closed in on it, " if I had not neglected the attack on my bank, my fence
would never have been destroyed ; but now my protection is gone, and I am
rightly served in being turned from a fruitful field into a watery waste."