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she becomes, as it were, stricken with a dangerous form of mania.
A purely modern pose is to assume that the women-there were women then, whereas now everyone is a lady-of the Victorian era were mentally inferior, or perhaps I should say less mentally alert, than the emancipated females of to-day, a number of whom go about excitedly proclaiming their equality with the oppressor-man.
The women and girls of the Victorian age were certainly less astute in one respect-namely, in contriving to obtain the large sums which are now expended in pandering to feminine vanities in the way of luxury and dress; otherwise, I think there was little difference. But, of course, they had not the talent for unlimited self-advertisement and bluff, which is such a characteristic of the present time.
Home life, which, if one believes a good deal of what one hears, has now ceased to exist, was then the main ideal of a preponderant number, for amusements were comparatively few and money not nearly so plentiful as to-day. Besides this, a woman who was always tearing about from one end of the country to the other would have been considered rather an extraordinary being. No doubt the feminine outlook on life of the women of the past was more limited than that of their granddaughters, but it should not be forgotten that the mid-Victorian woman, owing to her simple virtues and stanch nature, played a considerable part in making the British Empire what
it is I will not, as I might perhaps with some justice say what it was.
The devoted women who, with Miss Florence Nightingale, nursed the sick in the Crimea, lowered the death-rate in the unscientific field hospitals from 52 per cent. to 2 per cent. The names of practically all of these heroines, with the exception of the firstnamed, scarcely emerged from obscurity, though they were the pioneers of the present admirable nursing system which has so enormously contributed to the diminution of death, disease, and pain.
In those days there was little support for women's suffrage, which was more a subject for ridicule than anything else.
"At half-past six this evening in the schoolhouse a hen will attempt to crow," was the way in which one of the old school of parsons announced a lecture upon woman's rights.
Nevertheless, though there were no suffragettes searching for martyrdom, there were women who in a more dignified way were just as determined.
Such a one was Mademoiselle Felicie de Fauveau, whom, nearly seventy years ago, I met at Florence. I have a sketch of her still, a fine-looking woman with very short hair-she had vowed not to let her locks grow till the Bourbons once more sat on the throne of France.
Mademoiselle de Fauveau was well known in her day for her talent in the way of romantic sculpture -a vogue which did not last very long. Jean du
A DETERMINED WOMAN
Seigneur, for instance, of whom Theophile Gautier thought so much, is now completely forgotten, as is his one-time celebrated creation-the "Roland Furieux of the Exhibition of 1855. One of the best known works of Mademoiselle de Fauveau was her "Françoise de Rimini," which was included in the Pourtales collection. In 1832, Mademoiselle de Fauveau had, with her mother, been implicated in a political plot which led to a trial at Fontenay le Comte. She was, however, acquitted, her defender being M. Berryer, who in court produced a large number of caricatures representing Louis Philippe as a pear. Some of these were so comical that the judge himself could not keep from laughing. Whilst in prison, Mademoiselle de Fauveau heard of the death of the ardent Royalist, Louis de Bonnechose. At once determining to design a monument to his memory, she availed herself of the only surface possible, and in the embrasure of the window of her cell painted an allegorical composition in which the young Comte de Chambord figured as St. Michel. After she was liberated this painting was reproduced in a lithograph, which has now become rare.
The rage for wealth-Madame de Castiglione-Anecdotes-Cutlet for cutlet-Former contempt of the English for foreigners-Modern Cosmopolitanism-A vulgar Anglo-American habit-Anecdote of Queen Victoria-Nouveaux riches-Anecdotes-"Quizzes "-The power of fashion-West End tradesmen of the past and their ways-Rotten Row in old days-Disappearance of fine equipages-Some vanished figuresModern improvements in the Parks
ADIES and gentlemen, it is sometimes said,
are no longer what they were; it is even 'maintained that the class in question has seen its best days. Be this as it may, during the last thirty-five years a great change has assuredly taken place in the social organization of the Upper Classes, whose ideas and ideals seem to have altered even more than those of a less favoured section of the population. There was a soothing influence about the atmosphere of certain houses in old days which can only be compared to the restful effect produced by an old-world garden.
Around them hung an air of dignified simplicity, the secret of which in this age of hurry and bustle seems to have been lost.
Money whilst thoroughly appreciated-indeed in those days its value was probably better understood than is at present the case-was not valued for
THE SAVAGE MIND
itself alone. Apart from rank, birth, or intelligence, it conferred no particular distinction upon its possessor.
To-day it is to be feared money is valued more than any of these.
I remember once being told of a missionary who was much puzzled what to do with some of his young native converts who would not appreciate the benefits of geography.
When he tried to impress upon them the fact that the earth, contrary to their belief, was round, they invariably replied, "Well, we believe it is level; but supposing it is round, what difference does it make to us? We won't make any more money whether it is round or flat."
A great many modern people seem to reason in the same way, and attach no importance to knowledge or learning unless it carries with it some ultimate financial benefit; and the so-called fashionable society of to-day cares little for culture or cleverness unaccompanied by abundant cash.
This is one of the reasons why wit and brilliant talk have ceased to be common in the drawing-rooms of Mayfair.
Formerly conversation was carefully cultivated as a social accomplishment, and in consequence at certain houses dinner-parties were enlivened by a witty and clever talk which is now almost extinct. At others, however, it must be admitted that, owing to the greater formality then prevalent,-as Rossini said of