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Jan 28 1901


The Evening News, Toronto, Ontario JANUARY 28, 1901

At the wedding of Miss Elsie French and Mr. Vanderbilt, a stalwart and beautiful wedding cake that measured four feet and a half from the base to topmost flower was one of the interesting features of the bridal breakfast. The little Queen of Holland, though she doubtless heard nothing about this towering sugar castle, has broken its record by ordering one a foot and a half taller. These two brides, on their respective sides of the water, have therefore set the fashion in favour of lofty cakes.

The one made for Miss French was set upon an exquisite base of open worked silver gilt. On top of the plaster and sugar monument stood a charming vase of transparent sugar crystal, and from this flowed down a wonderful shower bouquet of natural orange blossoms and smilax. Clear or tinted sugar crystal and natural flowers are not the only materials for decoration used in the making of the grand new wedding cakes. Painted and spangled satin panels are let into the four or eight big facets of the sugared base very often, and at the wedding last autumn of a well known American heiress the whole cake was cast in plaster and carried triumphantly to her new home by the bride and set up under a glass case to serve as a monument and memorial of the bridal day.

The Queen of Holland's wedding cake is built in six tiers or terraces, on the sides of which in sugar her christening, her review of the fleets, her opening of the exposition, her coronation, her betrothal, and finally, about the base of the small sixth terrace, her wedding is illustrated in high relief. The likeness of the queen and her husband, done in icing, are said to be exact, but beside the sugar castle a special round loaf is [to] be made for her wedding as is the fashion nowadays at our own weddings. Into the loaf a ring, thimble and a gold heart are slipped, and only the bride and her maids and ushers and nearest of kin eat of this cake.

For the wedding guests it is still the fashion to prepare cake boxes. At Miss Piermont Morgan's wedding the boxes were covered with white watered silk, and on the top of the cake that lay inside each pretty receptacle the entwined initial of the bride and groom were written in white sugar. For this beautiful wedding celebration the great cake was a double storey white sugar temple of the purest classic mould; an exceedingly perfect expression of confectioners art, but a very costly one as well.

With the entry of this new taste for lofty cakes of elaborate designs, the fathers of rich brides may excusably quarrel. For one gorgeous cake designed and executed by a Chicago firm, six hundred dollars was paid, and this did not include its transportation to its destination, under the care of two competent men, who were obliged to travel with it in order to see that no injury was done its delicate decorations and also in order to put it together on the bridal table. Besides the fairy tower no less than twenty-five dollars is paid for the loaf the bride cuts, and when crowded reception is given the contents of the cake loaded table prepared for the guests in the hallway coaxes at the least another five hundred dollars from the indulgent parent [sic]; that is if the cake is good and the boxes covered and decorated in proper and fashionable style.


The hairdressers are jubilant and over-busy, for the very good reason that the fashionable form of coiffure has become too elaborate for any woman to attempt the puffing, and combing, and curling of her own silken locks.

Last autumn the pride of the pompadour was punctured, and only the expertest fingers can twist and coil famine tresses after any of the new modes. There are just now no less than four classic ways of wearing one's looks. These four ways are owing chiefly to the prevalence of several widely different types of gown and hat, and to dress one's hair out of harmony with one's gown is to commit a grievous anachronism indeed. For instance, if one is wearing an evening dress cut frankly on the pattern that prevailed in the sixties and adorned with bell mouthed sleeves of lace, a pompadour headdress or Psyche knot would be as shocking as a folding bed in a Louis XVI boudoir. The proper arrangement, with the afore mentioned type of gown, would be a coiffure pinned rather low upon the back of the head and a straight around coronet of blossoms and delicate green form foliage.

On the other hand, for the proper adjustment of a squash hat and the framing of an oval face the hair must be rolled forward to almost obscure the forehead. This is technically and properly called the Romany wave, and is most becoming to youngish faces. From the full soft roll of hair that almost touches the eyebrows the tresses are deeply onduled back to where a little upstanding tuft, which in the evening serves to add inches to the wearer's slender height, and by day it is the anchor to which her velvet hat is made secure.

Handsome young matrons and the very stately girls affect with their ball dusted with gold powder and springing and dinner dresses the coiffure de 'Opera [sic]. For this a dash of hair powder is called into service; silver, gold or pure white are equally popular and effective and when the whole silky suit is softly drawn up to a small knot at the top of the head, a couple of tall black feathers springing from a rose of gold or silver tissue is set a trifle to one side of it.


The French woman is a worker--a wage earner--no less than the American woman. Indeed, the average of women workers is much larger in France than in America. It has been rightly said that the American woman is the pioneer in positions hitherto open only to man, but the French woman makes a close second. But the office of professions and lines of work of the French woman differs greatly from that of the American. She is more distinctively feminine in her choice. For instance, she more often chooses the artistic professions such as art, sculpture, the stage, the concert platform; or the even more femine pursuits of the nurse, the seamstress, milliner, etc., in place of the typewriter, the bookkeeper, the school room, and the learned professions, as law, medicine etc. There is an particular one field of female industry which is totally unknown on the side of the water with the exception of our Doukhobor sisters, and that is the profession of farm laborers. This is confined to the peasant class, of course. A women has said that "the sight of a woman, generally in combination with a dog, displacing the place of a horse as motive power--a frequent one in certain portions of la belle France--causes all properly constituted American hair to stand on end, so repugnant is it to the "Anglo Saxon ideal for womankind." Well, be it so, but "the Anglo-Saxon ideal for womankind" bids fear to be worked to death, and reminds me of a curious idea expressed by some evolutionist, viz: that we began as jelly fish or something of that kind, and worked up to the human being, with its full and necessary complement of legs, arms, eyes, mouth etc., and having reached that pinnacle, what happened? Why nothing new in the way of organs or limbs has been added, but a new order of development began. Our minds began to develop mightily--along the lines of the sciences, the arts, and as our minds develop, our bodies are said (as a race) to be degenerating--longevity is becoming a thing of the past--and one shudders to behold the finish--a lot of disembodied intelligence floating around. It sounds funny, doesn't it; but there is a grain of truth to be extracted from even the most extreme part of it. The brains of our women are so quickly wearing out their nerves and bodies that a general flight of womankind to the farms and ranches to do out-of-door work, literally earn their bread as Adam was forced to earn his, might result in the killing off of a few; but would also result in the survival of the fittest, and the next generation would have a firmer grip on the flesh.


The seat of woman's most powerful fascinations is unfortunately subject to all sorts of miseries. Small eyes, big eyes, pretty or ugly, blue or black, are not exempt from troubles more or less serious. I shall only speak here of mild afflictions, of those which may be alleviated without the aid of a doctor, of those indeed which may be distinguished as being closely allied to beauty.

In speaking of the eye I shall of course consider its surroundings, its lashes, its eyebrows which complete its beauty, and without which it would not only be ugly but subject to even greater troubles.

Woman who cultivate beauty are careful never to fatigue their eyes or to strain them in any way.

To preserve the eyes when they are good there are means as exact as to abolish wrinkles and soften the skin. Every morning they should be bathed with a bit of absorbent cotton dipped in boracic water, 2 per cent or very weak rose water or a weak solution of elder flowers. Instead of the absorbent cotton an eyecup may be used, only be careful to wash it out each time. These washes should always be used lukewarm and never cold.

Let me say right here that nothing is more dangerous for the eyes than certain tonics, which are used to create brilliancy or to dilate the pupils. I shall not even give the names of these tonics lest someone may be tempted to experiment with them. It is a strange fact that to gain beauty women are likely to go against the laws of health.

When the lids are congested and red, avoid the light above all. Then wash them three times a day very gently with weak boric acid; using always sterilized cotton and never using the same bit of cotton twice. Rose water is also to be recommended if it is of good quality and mixed with sterilized water.

Red eyelids may also be treated with a pomade of oxide of zinc and borate of soda. But this pomade should never be employed without the advice of a physician.

* * *

Under the auspices of the Toronto Woman's Auxiliary to Missions the annual meeting in the interest of the Blackfoot hospital will be held in the Church of Ascension school house on Thursday, January 31st at 8 p.m. Reports of the hospital will be presented and addresses given on medical mission work.


Some little children appear to have a very hard time of it in this world. While waiting in the cloak room of the Princess Theatre at a recent matinee production of "Bootles Baby," a young woman, with a sobbing baby of about two years, perhaps less, came into the cloak room in the middle of the last act. The child appeared to be just frightened and excited, and the gentle mother--a mere girl and a very ordinary one at that--proceeded to give the poor little one the most violent slapping. She held its two hands in one of hers, and with the other slapped the little cheeks and arms and body, ejaculating through her half shut teeth, "The next time I take you anywhere, you little---, you'll know it."

She left the child shrieking on the chair while she went to get it a drink looking almost frightened at the storm of cries she had provoked. Fairly sick with indignation, I crossed over to the child, and was not surprised to see almost a look of hate in the eyes she followed her mother with.

Poor little scrap, to have so early all those bitter feelings awakened in its heart--to have such an example of uncontrolled temper set before it. Can a sweet strong disposition possibly grow out of such a school? My heart ached for the child--and my fingers and tongue fairly burned to let loose some vials of wrath on the head of its unworthy mother.


The Earl of Drogheda has been compelled to defer his intended visit to Toronto, where he was to have been the guest of Mr. Stewart Houston. Owing to his own ill-health and the Queen's demise he returns to England at once.

At the regular meeting of the "Art Sandy Club" this afternoon papers read on "Murillo" and "Minor Spanish Artists." The meeting was held in the examiners' room of the Education Department.

Lady Laurier and the wives of all the Cabinet Ministers as well as most of the other prominent women in Ottawa as here [sic] have put on mourning and will not receive for a period to be decided upon later. The teas which are a great feature at Rideau Rink in that city have been discontinued, and not even the band is in attendance.

A writer in The Montreal Herald says: "For the rest of the winter there will probably be very little news of the social world to Chronicle, on account of the Queen's death, all the big affairs having been cancelled and a number also of smaller entertainments. There will be small teas and euchres later on, but at present throughout Canada it is felt that festivities would be decidedly out of place. The wearing of black for the Queen will probably be general for a short time. Yesterday a number of ladies were noticed who have laid aside colors, and were wearing black or black and white, while many men are wearing black ties."

Major Stimson has resigned his commission in the Halifax garrison, and has returned to Toronto.

The annual conversazione of the Literary Society of Trinity College, which was to have been held on February 6th, has been cancelled.

Mr. Thomas Hamar Greenwood, of London, England, who has been visiting in Toronto, left for his home on Saturday.

Mrs. W.H. Howland, who has spent the last few years in Switzerland, where her daughters have been educated, expects to return to Canada next spring.

His Excellency the Governor-General and the Countess of Minto will not entertain in any way for three months, so that no drawing-room will be held this year. The opening of Parliament which was to have been of exceptional brilliancy, will be instead, very sombre.


If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say,
"I love her for her smile.. her look.. her way
Of speaking gently...for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease, on such a day"--
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee--and love so wrought
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheek dry,
Since one might well forget to weep who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love these by.
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou may'st love on through love's eternity.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the breadth and depth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely as they turn for Praise;
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith;
I love thee with a love I seem to lose
With my lost saints--I love thee with the breath
Smiles, tears of all my life! And, if God chose
I shall but love thee better after death

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

Hamilton Public Library This site was created in partnership with and is hosted by the Hamilton Public Library. Canada's Digital Collections This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections initiative, Industry Canada.