Box 13-074 A CORNER FOR WOMEN READERS CONDUCTED BY NINA VIVIAN, THE EVENING NEWS (WRITTEN BY [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN)
Jan 22 1901
A CORNER FOR WOMEN READERS
CONDUCTED BY NINA VIVIAN
The Evening News, Toronto, Ontario
January 22, 1901
At least one good has come to woman-hood with the closing years of the 19th century, and the opening one of the 20th, and that is the fact that at the age when fifty years ago a girl would have been considered hopelessly "on the shelf," she is now just beginning to consider the all important question of her life, her marriage. Early marriages are passing out with the passing century and a good thing it is too. There are so many things to be said--some for, some against on this subject; and there is so much diversity of opinion regarding it that one almost hesitates to speak freely on the subject. To begin with young love and first love is a pretty and sacred thing, but if it is the genuine article the years of waiting between say, eighteen or nineteen and twenty-four, will not tarnish, but will, on the contrary, burnish its brightness. And then if it should be that the metal tarnishes in the waiting better to find it out before an ominous sound of "too late" comes to one's ears.
I heard a conversation the other day upon this line. A young matron of my acquaintance who was married at eighteen, and who is now twenty-six, was saying to a friend. "Yes, I know that I was married at eighteen, and I've been awfully happy; still, it will not be with my consent if my little girl marries till she is twenty-four at least." Her happiness is no fiction: she has had a singularly happy married life up to date, and she has three dear little children. Why then did she make that speech? There was deep feeling underlying it; it was gravely spoken. There are many reasons why, which only a woman who has married young--too young--can possibly know. To begin with, girlhood and young womanhood is a short period at best and how much of it does a girl see before she is nineteen? She probably leaves school at seventeen or eighteen and if she has four or five years of the society of her mother and other women friends, if she has five years, to form her judgments and standards in the world; five years for the completion of her physical and mental development, will she not come to her husband a better and more capable wife at twenty-four, say, than in the crude rawness of eighteen? That is considering the subject from a general standpoint.
But there are two aspects of the case included in the general and each is unspeakably important in itself. The physical, and the mind and heart, side of the question. The physical can hardly be discussed in the columns of a daily journal, but thanks to the enlightened standard of our day, and the breaking down of that mock modesty which has so long hampered full confidence between mother and daughter (many times to the life-long regret of both), it is hardly necessary to speak of these things here. Lectures, health culture and medical literature have all done much for the emancipation of girlhood and young womanhood in this line and the enlightened companionship of motherhood is doing most of all. But the other aspect of the case--is any girl aged eighteen or even nineteen, two years out from the school-room, we will say, a fit or capable judge of a partner for life? There is a finality about that word that should have great stress laid upon it. Granted that the choice a girl makes at that age may suit her then--may fit perfectly with her standards and her understanding of herself--at that time. But--and it is a great big "but"--if she is a girl with anything worth considering in her make up, physical, mental and social, she is going to develop as much, nay more, in the next five years as she has in the last. She probably is considering the acceptability of a man twenty seven--there is usually that much difference in their years, or perhaps more. Well! She must consider that he will not move more in the advance scale at the same ratio that she will-the day for that is over with him. He has passed through the chrysalis stage and is beginning to work out the problems he has set for himself. She must realize all this, and also realize the consequences if she out-develops him, which is quite within the range of possibilities. That is where "the little rift within the lute" so often begins and once begun it must in the very nature of things be "ever widening till it slowly silence all." Congenially only can bring happiness and is any young girl of eighteen or nineteen capable of judging or even knowing what will be congenial to her in five years? I think not. There is a quaint verse of Cowper's which runs this way:
"Misses! the tale that I relate
This lesson seems to carry,
Choose not alone a proper mate,
But proper time to marry."
Some of the most famous jewels in the world are in the possession of American women. Mrs. Bradley Martin has some of the French crown jewels and so has Mrs. Astor. One diamond ornament belonging to Mrs. Astor was once the property of Diane de Poietiers. The Duchess of Marlborough has the famous Orloff pearls which once adorned the neck of Empress Catherine of Russian. They were given to her by her mother, Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont. Mrs. Clarence Mackay has some curious rings, which once shone on the fingers of a Hindoo rajah, and Mrs. George Vanderbilt has a rope of rubies unsurpassed by anything of the kind in the world.
A PRETTY NEW HAIR BOW
A bunchy but beautiful bow has been named after Dame Chrysanthemum.
While the ribbon of which it is composed is only a good half inch in width there's no lack of "petals," since ten yards are used for each "mum."
Four swallowtail ends were discovered among numberless loops that formed one of these new bows, which may be had as low as 35 cents.
At 50 cents the ribbon is of gauze.
The standing bow is a stand-by, while its two upturned ends and its four or six chubby loops nestling down near the hair are very pretty.
This bow, especially in satin and at 85 cents is a tremendous "seller."
While perhaps it is asked for oftenest in black or in white still this is hardly noticeable, since all the colors are in grant demand. The Alsatian bow, though we have neglected it for a time is enjoying a revival. In a moderate size it is either a mere detail of the coiffure or a bit larger, a full-fledged evening bonnet.
You may add flowers too, either tying one or more close to the loop or allowing a big blossom to spray over the pompadour as if it were risking its safety to get a peep at your nose. If you feel like getting away from your bow altogether you may look like the queen of roses with, say, five of these splendid flowers hovering in a row behind your pompadour.
The only thing is to choose a becoming color and arrange it in a becoming shape.
MAINLY ABOUT WOMEN
Will any lady or gentleman who has curios, pictures, or anything of interest from South America or Mexico, and who is willing to loan them for the missionary exhibition, to be held in the Assembly Hall, Confederation Life Building, on February 4th, kindly send a post card to Mrs. S. Trees, 399 Sherbourne Street? The aim of the exhibition is to show forth by a collection of curios some of the customs and religion of heathen nations, and the great silent appeal their condition makes to the Christian Church.
The many friends of Lady Howland are delighted to hear of her recovery from grippe.
Miss Bingham, of Liverpool, who has been visiting Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Armstrong Black, has returned to England.
The Provincial Secretary and Mrs. Stratton have sent out invitations for a reception in the Parliament Buildings on Thursday evening, January 31, from half-past 8 to 11 o'clock.
The announcement of the marriage of Mr. Stephen Leacock to Miss Beatrice Hamilton, only daughter of Lieut.-Col. Hamilton (formerly commanding officer of the Queen's Own Rifles, Toronto) has just been made in Montreal. Mrs. Leacock is a grand daughter of Mr. Henry Pellatt, of Toronto, and is an elocutionist of considerable renown in Western Ontario.
Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Beatty and Mrs. W. H. Cawthra are guests at the Windsor, Montreal.
A NEW IDEA FOR A SKATING COSTUME
A tailor-made skating costume recently turned out by a leading cutter was of a rich deep blue cloth. The skirt, "morning glory" in shape, was tight and plain over the hips and stretched to ripple with graceful fullness at the bottom. The pattern, in seven gores, had the seams accentuated by five rows of red silk stitching. Ten rows of red silk stitching finished the bottom. The waist, bloused in front and tight-fitting behind, came only to the belt line, and was of dark blue cheviot finished with an inch-wide band of the blue, stitched with red which hooked over and crossed in front. The blouse opened half way down the front to show a red silk vest and high military collar and cravat of the same. The seams of the waist were all stitched with the rows of red silk to match the skirt, as were the sleeves which were tight and plain.
In reading a very readable book this last week a very telling little incident on the servant question was cited. All ye to whom the raw recruit of the kitchen has been at once a terror to your sense of fitness and a delight to your sense of the ridiculous, just listen to this!: "Talking of maids! I had a maid last month who thought we were taking too long at
dinner, and she came in the middle of it with "Say don't forget you've got a pie." Which would you rather have in such a case--a whole lot of dignity or a saving sense of humor?
HOW WOMEN FEEL
While queen Victoria's life is slowly ebbing away into the beyond, the eyes and hearts of women of her vast Empire are turned in love and sorrow toward Osborne House, Isle of Wight. Sorrow for the demise of a public character is of necessity an impersonal thing, because it is different to really love anyone with whom one's life has not actually come in touch. It is, therefore, one of the rarest tributes which the women of her empire can offer to their Queen that she is not, and has never been, considered in the light of a majestic figure-head, living in state splendour on a plane far above them, but is a truly womanly woman. A woman born to the purple, and wearing her royalty right royally--yet never allowing the Queen to keep from our view the sweet strength of a woman and a mother underlying.
During her long and eventful reign more has been done for the emancipation of her sex than in all the previous years of English history. To some people this emancipation has become a byword, to some it is an honorable thing, but it is a notable fact that our Queen, through all these years of change has remained unchanged. Always kindly in her attitude toward the women's movement, and quick to recognize the talents of the reformers; still it is as if she had said: "These things are not for me, I must just be a good woman, a loving mother, and a true example of royalty to my people."
Now that the shadow of death is hovering over their sovereign, the women of Canada sorrow for her, but they also rejoice with her that the long years of her faithful widowhood are almost ended and that she will soon see again her beloved husband. Our Queen will go into the presence of the King of Kings with perfect confidence, for through all her life words have been ever present with her in their deep significance: "Of whom much is given--much shall be required."
CHINESE WOMEN SLAVES
Slavery was once blotted off from the escutcheon of the United States of America at a mighty cost, but apparently not forever. The recent shameful occurrence of the sale of five Chinese slave girls in San Francisco makes the blood of women boil with indignation, that at the opening of the 20th century, with its boasted advance and enlightenment, such things should be possible. Brought out from China to Christian (?) America; kept for years, though they are but girls in years yet, in dens of infamy, which even heathen China could not hope to rival; and finally sold to the highest bidder with the rest of their villainous owners' goods and chattels. The women of America, with their boasted emancipation and freedom, their network of women's clubs, should prove in this instance that they are not just playing at life; and bend their energies to either the bettering of California's legislation, or in some other way raise the condition of these hopeless girls, if not for their sake, then for the sake of justifying America's claim to be called "free."
THE BROKEN CUP
Lo, I have broken my Cup of Life!-
Set with the jewels from stem to brim,
Sorrowful opals soft and dim,
Ruby flame on the crystal ground,
Golden evenings encircling round,
Sapphires flashing from rim to rim.
So, I have broken my Crystal Cup,
Spilling the wine that, once was sweet;
Its fragments lie at my weary feet
Crystal and good and chrysop vase,
Tears of opal and moonstone base,
Dead tomorrows and yesterdays.
So I have broken my Gold-veined Cup!
You holding still the unbroken round
With circling gem on the crystal ground,
Filled to the brim, with life's red wine,
Matching the ruby's glow divine,
Dream your dream of the endless days,
To come, when the pang of death is past.
Of the gates of pearl and the palm arched ways,
The oro was of gold and the songs of praise
Of surely yours at last.
Fanny Kemble [?]