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Jan 14 1901


The Evening News, Toronto, Ontario January 14, 1901


A women's business meeting is usually a very amusing place to go--if one is an outsider, and is therefore privileged to sit apart and criticise in peace. Of course, being a woman, one will naturally criticise gently. On the whole, one cannot help feeling that the fair sex is a little out of its element in conducting a business meeting; in fact, that "woman is the lesser than." Doubtless, there are women's meetings where the strictest adherence to parliamentary rules is observed, but usually there is a woman in the chair who is thoroughly accustomed to functions of that sort; in short, she must be a "club woman," and a very well clubbed woman, too. But the ordinary everyday affair is very funny. To begin with, the ladies arrive, "any old time," as the boys say. They stroll into the place appointed in twos and threes anywhere from half an hour before to half an hour after the time appointed. The president will probably arrive breathless and excited, five minutes late, and take up another ten minutes with apologies for wasting the valuable time of the ladies.

This preliminary over, the fun begins. Now, the fact that some of the ladies have arrived early has given an opportunity for several "awfully" interesting domestic discussions to get well under way, and the poor president has her work cut out for her in getting the meeting in hand for business. Finally, the minutes of the previous meeting have been read and approved; two things happen simultaneously, viz., the chairwoman begins to inform the members of the immediate reason of their being called together, and the members begin to buzz among themselves presumably about the minutes of the last meetings. Madame president looks a little testy, but says pleasantly. "Now, ladies, may I ask what you think of this matter?" Whereupon, from three different parts of the room, come inquires as to what this matter in hand is, as they didn't hear. Of course, they didn't--to whom is it given to talk and listen intelligently as the same moment? The matter is repeated and dead, unutterable silence reigns supreme. Not a word can be extracted from the "buzzers" of the moment before by coaxing or by force. The president repeats. Another blank silence, and then some small voice ventures a suggestion, and finishes it thus: "I hope the ladies will say what they think of this idea, of course, it is just a suggestion." The ladies instantly turn each to her neighbour, and proceed to say what they think, and from fifteen to twenty important discussions are going on at once. The poor president, she must be a woman of tact and finesse for she finally extracts from the hubbub a definite expression of opinion, and the secretary, who has been listening with strained cars, writes it down. So it goes on; point by point is struggled and fought for inch by inch till the meeting adjourns, leaving the president as exhausted as a week's political campaign would make her husband feel. If there is a reporter present, and that reporter happens to be a creature of the male persuasion, he says all sorts of unmentionable things inwardly--looks at his watch a dozen times; feels like giving the president an encouraging and brotherly slap on the back, and finally retires, relived, but tired--very tired. But if the reporter be a woman, she knows her sex and simply waits patiently knowing that women's business meetings are somewhat like sweeping-day--an awful dust and confusion for a while, and then peace and comfort: and that out of "this chaos of events" she will be able to evoke order and a readable report.


Opinion of Rev. C.O. Johnston, Pastor Queen Street Methodist Church.

At Queen Street Methodist Church last night Rev. C. O. Johnston spoke as follows on the above theme:

This study of the woman the age demands is based on the address of Mordecai to Esther, "Who knowest but that thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" The history of Esther is summed up in this statement: the Queen recognized her opportunities, and was equal to the occasion. In all the advance of the century just expired, nothing more prominent and permanent has been accomplished than the emancipation of Christian womanhood. A century ago the few women who recognised the possibilities implanted in their sex were unable to be what they knew they ought to be, because of prejudice, custom and lack of faith in her abilities. There is a false modesty, based on misquoted Scriptures, which held her back, shut her up in narrowness and littleness, and bandaged her soul.

Wealth made her a doll; poverty made her a druge; sensuality made her a slave; it was left to Christianity to make her free. Christian womanhood steps into the twentieth century, not behind the man as she came into the nineteenth, but by his side as his equal, and who knows but the liberty she has become possessed of is the special gift of Heaven for the accomplishment of such work as the age calls for, has she not "come into the kingdom for such a time as this?"

What powers are ours, mechanical, scientific, artistic, manual, vocal, and intellectual? What privileges we posses of brain, eye, ear, nerve and palette? What possibilities lie before us? The wild winds that tantalizingly roam the earth, wasting their powers, like wild horses of the prairies, are yet to be harnessed and made the servants of men. The day is yet to come when the smooth sea will mean slow navigation; the higher the waves the greater will be the speed, for the power of the ocean's roll will only prove a propelling force. The superabundant heat of summer will be stored and distributed through the winter as we store the water in great chunks of crystal to cool the summer heat. Amid all that has been done, and all that is yet to do, what most needs doing? First, the correction of the home; this is woman's province. What she does there she alone can do. What she leaves undone no one else can do. Second, the regeneration of society; this is woman's world. She creates its aestheticism and adorns it with her beauty and graces it with her gifts. Woman reigns here, not man. She must therefore be its dictator, and the sceptre of her influence will make it what it is to be--as she has allowed it to be what it now is. Who knows but that she with all her privileges and powers, culture and equality, "has come to the kingdom for such a time as this."

The women the age demands must rise from sentimentality to sensibleness. She must not feed on simpering smiles, sweet looks, pretty compliments and infinitesimal nothings; unless she is afterward willing to swallow the medicine of tears, disappointment and melancholy. The age demands woman at her best in the home, in society, in business, in the church. To reach her highest place she must put away light reading for instructive literature--she must put away mere comparison for solid associations-she must be willing to forego mere entertainment for instructive pastimes. She must measure up to her mental and moral capacity, and stand before men in the greatness of her true womanhood. "Great is Diana," shouted the Ephesians--great was Paris, the friend of Jerome-great was Heloise, the other heart of Abelard-great must be the woman of today as sister, wife, as mother. She must be as great as the sister of Moses, as great as was the mother of Christ, and that greatness consists in being what God in this century affords her the opportunity of being, and if any man would stand between her and her high station, the voice of Christ shall say again. "Let her alone!" The age demands a woman that shall rise into Christian unselfishness. She must refuse to be the pet of men, and insist on being their equal in mind, heart and character. She must refuse to be merely the spender of man's money and insist upon being the wise treasurer and distributor of the blessings inherent in wealth. Most of the money made is for women--houses, parlours, jewels and robes testify to this truth--and that money must not be selfishly hoarded or squandered. The age demands a woman who will ask, "Am I my sister's keeper?" and will answer, "Yes."

Queen Elizabeth may not now sign the death warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots, but put away rivalry and jealousy and become her saviour. The women of Toronto must not forget the woman of the wigwams of British Columbia. The women of Ontario must not forget the women of Japan and China. The women with happy homes, safeguarding husbands, brothers and fathers must not forget the women who are alone in the world. O, Christian woman, thy century has come! Sit at His feet and learn how to meet the demands of this time, and as Christ, the man of the age in sacrifice and service, in love and salvation, so do thy full duty and get thy full reward.


The Wealthiest of the Vanderbilt's Married This Morning.

Newport, R. I., Jan. 14--Although in the depth of winter this well-know watering place to-day took on a semblance of its summer gaiety because of the wedding of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, probably the most wealthy of the third generation of the Vanderbilt family, to Miss Elsie French, a charming Newport girl, former playmate of the groom, and the daughter of Mrs. Frederic Orme French, a resident of the city for many years.

The ceremony which united the heiress of millions and still greater wealth, took place at noon in the Xabriskie Memorial Church of St. John the Evangelist. The church was decorated with gorgeous lavishness; the assembly, which only half filled the edifice, made up in splendour and combined wealth what it lacked in numbers; the service was as ornate as the highest forms of the Episcopal Church could make it. Socially the wedding procession was a picture of loveliness, of the fine gowns, and the breakfast which closed the formal proceedings of the day was one of the most elaborate ever served in this city. An organ concert occupied the hour preceding the ceremony. Then as the measured tones of the Lohengrin march filled the church the two clergymen--Rev. George F. Beatty, rector of the church, and Rev. G. Brinley Morgan, rector of Christ church at New Haven--entered from the side door followed by the bridegroom and his brother, Reginald Vanderbilt, the best man, at the same time the bridal procession started up the main aisle, the ushers leading followed by four bridesmaids.

Eight personal friends of the bridegroom acted as ushers. Each wore the conventional frock coat with lavender tie, and a pearl pin, the last being the gift of the bridegroom. Miss French presented her bridesmaid friends with white cardcases on each of which was a raised monogram in gold.

The bridesmaids were Miss Pauline French, the bride's niece: Miss Elsa Bronson, Miss Isabel C. Stillman, and Miss Edith Gray.

The bridesmaids' gowns were of pearl gray crepe de chine combined with liberty gauze of the same color. Their hats were also of gray elaborately frilled with a knot of gold in front. Each carried a bouquet of American beauty roses. The maid of honor, Miss Gladys Vanderbilt, sister of the bridegroom wore a similar gown although more modest in detail.

Some distance behind walked the bride leaning on the arm of her brother, Amos Tuck French.

The bride's gown although of great richness, was extreme in its simplicity. The entire costume was of rich ivory white satin, the skirt having a train more than three yards in length. The long close-fitting sleeves of satin were finished with deep cuffs of exquisite lace. The high collar of the corsage was also of lace. The bottom of the skirt around the long train was trimmed with tulle, and sprays of orange blossoms. The bridal veil entirely covering the gown and falling to the end of the train, was a magnificent piece of Brussels point lace, and was the same veil worn by her sister when she married General Eaton in England ten years ago. The bride carried a bouquet of white orchids and lilies of the valley. No jewels were worn, although Mr. Vanderbilt had given his bride a magnificent necklace of pearls and diamonds. At the altar Mr. Vanderbilt met his bride. Together they stood before the steps of the chancel until Dr. Morgan had finished reading the betrothal portion of the service, when they ascended to the chancel, and at the altar Dr. Beattie completed the ceremony and pronounced them husband and wife. This wedding is of great importance for the reason that the bride is a young woman of commanding position in the local fashionable set, rich in her own prospects, though they are not to be named in connection with his forty millions. There has been a touch of romance about the whole story of the engagement that has made the event of the wedding one of widespread popular interest.


Entertainers frequently complain that there is nothing new under the sun to entertain their guests with, but necessity is the mother of invention, truly, as the recent smallpox scare in certain parts of the States, Chicago in particular, proves. A young society girl in that city has grasped at the opportunity and held--a vaccination party!1 A dainty luncheon was provided, and for entertainment, what do you think? A physician sitting in a nice little booth in the corner vaccinating each of the guests, who were all in evening dress, for the sake of making more convenient the duties of the physician. Prizes were in order also at progressive vaccination party. The girl who made the most noise got one, and the girl who didn't make any also got one. (This is one case where the phrase "booby prize" is quite in order), but the best prize was presented to the fortunate girl on whom the vaccine "took" first.


There are a thousand and one ways of draping narrow ribbon over a gown, but none is prettier than to make a trellis work of tiny velvet bands over a foundation of filmy chiffon.

A Princess gown that created a great deal of favourable comment was made in this way. The dress was developed in rouge pink chiffon, made over a fitted lining of pink taffeta; the bodice was cut decollete and draped with several bands of black velvet ribbon; about an inch in width. The bands terminated under smart little rosettes of velvet. The skirt was cut with a pointed tunic, depending from which point was a tiny strip of velvet ribbon, which connected a deep flounce with the tunic. The chiffon was not under the velvet bands to show the lining. Around the foot of the skirt were many little ruffles of pink chiffon, alternating with frills of lace, caught here and there with velvet bows.

The hats for midwinter wear are very distinct in shape and style, the low round toque being decidedly the thing. New York is showing lovely varieties of this dainty head wear in what is called "flower toques" and they are lovely. One pansie [sic] toque is especially worthy of description. Pansies in all their shadings form the entire hat. The flat crown is a mass of the flowers and the rolling brim is covered with them with bits of green foliage scattered here and there. A soft twist of tulle in a deep purple shade is arranged around the crowns, and brought down over the brim at the left side of the front, where it is secured to the bandeau, which rests on the hair. A wired band of ecru lace is placed against the crown in front, and is secured with a gunmetal and rhinestone buckle. These flower toques are also carried out in violets, roses and orchids. It is said that to be a well-dressed woman, one must pay particular attention to one's boots, shoes and slippers. Slippers this season are certainly things of beauty. The buckle for their ornamentation is a thing of the past, and dainty rosettes are the order of the evening. Black chiffon rosettes flecked with gold for black slippers to be worn with black gowns. White chiffon rosettes sparking with crystal or tiny rhinestones for white satin or white kid slippers. With a red evening gown, red velvet slippers embroidered in gold thread or beads are very charming in effect.


Barnard College, U.S, has a newspaper. The first number of a little four-page sheet called the Barnard Bulletin has appeared, and, as an example of feminine journalism, has been no small source of interest to the scoffing males in Columbia, across the way from Barnard. The paper is filled with news of particular interest to girls, and contains articles, advertisements and an editorial page, which largely concerns itself with telling how the paper came to be. It appears, according to one editorial, that it grew out of a desire to bring the disjointed parts of the college into a whole. Another editorial explains that the paper was started to take the place of the overcrowded bulletin board. One special article, and which is also of great interest to the Columbia students, is on "Shall Freshmen Wear College Pins?" It says:--"There is not a member of the class of 1904 who would not like to wear the pin, but let each one consider how she will feel about it next year and perhaps she will be willing to forego the privileges of wearing it this year. Will she approve of the new freshman class having the college pin? No, indeed. When she sees the class of 1905 being petted and feted by the upper classes, she will be glad to have something to hold up before its envious and admiring eyes and to be able to say, "This pin is the reward for a year's hard work. Study faithfully and show yourself worthy to be part of the college and you, too, shall have this token of which we sophomores are so proud." The editresses of the paper are Frances E. Belcher., 1900: Elsa Alsberg, 1902: Carisa Spenser, 1903, and Romola Lyon, 1904.


The women of Reading, Pa., are taking part in the strike of street railway men. They have organized the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Federated Trades, and presented the Street Railway Union with a series of resolutions in which the organization declares that it stands ready to give them all assistance in its power, and pledging the members to abstain from riding on any cars until they are run by union hands.


New York, Jan. 14-Lord and Lady Hope gave a dinner party last night in honor of the Duke of Newcastle. Tomorrow Lord Hope and the Duke start on a pleasure trip for Florida. They will spend their time in hunting and fishing. The Duke will remain south until summer.


Miss McCall is staying in town with Mrs. J. K. Macdonald of Cona Lodge. The Misses Covernton of Montreal are staying [in] town with Mrs. Christopher Baines.

Miss R. Norris of Montreal, who has been staying with friends in town, has returned home. Miss Stratford of Bantford is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. J. Kerr Osborne at Clover Hill.

Mrs. Winnett of Beverley street gave a very delightful tea Saturday afternoon in honor of one of the returned South African heroes, Lieut. Caldwell of Lanark, who is her guest for a few days. A number of well-known people were present, who were delighted to have the opportunity of seeing this popular soldier. The decorations of the house were patriotic in character, many flags being used with good effect. The tea table, which was extremely pretty was gay with many beautiful red and white roses.

Mrs. Gordon Osler, who has been visiting her parents in Montreal, Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Ramsay of 303 Peel street has returned home.

Private theatricals will be given at Government House, Ottawa at the end of January.

The opening of Parliament in Ottawa, which is followed by the drawing-room held by their Excellencies will be unusually brilliant this year, so it is said. A large number of people are going down from Toronto, Hamilton and other places and one hears a good deal about some exquisite gowns that are being prepared for these functions.

The High Park Golf Club's fifth annual dance will be held in the Temple building on Thursday evening, January 24th. The committee who have the arrangement of the dance in charge are George G.S. Lindsey, Rein Wadsworth, Walter H. Green, Fred S. Towers, W. R. Wadsworth, G. M. Kelley, H. T. McMillan, Howard Goode, Garnet Atkinson, E. Allan Goode, Selby B. Martin.


We watched her life--its law of simple kindness,
Shown unto all the poor, the sad, the sinning,
And for her God, the souls that were in blindness,
Tenderly winning;

We saw her deeds--how bravely and how sweetly,
All things she gave as tho' she scorned possessing--
Saw how the sacrifice made so completely
Received a blessing.

We looked and marvelled--loved her and revered her--
Nothing of evil in her life discerning
So near to God she lived, we almost desired her--
Her light bright-burning.

We found these words, she in her last sleep lying.
The writing blurred as tho' her tears were falling
"Father have mercy on Thy servant dying
Upon Thee calling.

"Heaven is for saints for I am no saint, Thou knowest
But if for Jesus sake, I am forgiven
Grant me the tongue, peace among the world is that Great Heaven."

[author, illegible]

1 For more information on "vaccination parties," see W4521. For information about smallpox vaccinations, see W4582, 9021.

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