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What an artificial age this is, to be sure. If one were to believe all one Improving on reads in the papers, the concluNature. sion would be that comparatively few of the rody cheeks one sees are the genuine painting of Nature. Let us hope such staggering statements are exaggerated. But what age, since woman began to deck herself—which was probably as soon as she was taken out of the aide of man— lias not been artificial ? Our great-"reut-gn'al-gniiidmoUiiT:;, mu! their great-great-ditto, were as little disposed to trust to their natural charms as tin* fosmetisnil beauties of the present, day. Co bach as far as you will—back to Mother Eve herself—and you will find that women have resorted to all sorts of devices within their power to heighten their attractions. They have often spoiled their good looks —to succeeding ages ; but the presumption is that the outward adornment about which they are so solicitous was on the whole fairly effective. Which is no great compliment to men. It is strange that women should be so ignorant of the true laws of beauty. These laws are identical with the laws of health—physical and moral health. And yet it may be that natural is not so attractive as artificial beauty to the depraved taste of the world. Women are shrewd enough to know what attracts or pleases the other sex; and the power of fashion over the average mind, male os well as female, is of course proverbial, The woman who is what is called “made up” (making up among men is chiefly confined to bobbies and soldiers), and whose very complexion is a work of art, ought to be treated as one who trades on false pretences; but experience would seem to say that she is not. And yet there is a perennial, an indestructible charm about the woman who is simplex mundUUs—simple and neat in her attire; who is, as we say, easily dressed, and whose face is pure from all the “ adulteries of art.”

Max O'Rell says the secret of French cheerfulness lies in a sound .lalm Hull stomach. Dyspepsia is a thing anil . unknown in Beranger’s char{'repa'ld. want pays de France, and the reason is that the people eat light bread and dainty dishes, and drink generous wine in cool chambers or in the open air, all business or other oares being scrupulously no, not scrupulously, but instinctively—banished from the table, An eupeptic nation must in a certain sense be a happy nation. Does not Dr Richardson, a good authority, teach that “felicity” springs from a healthy, vigorous condition of the intestines ? The man who has a perfectly sound digestion could scarcely be miserable under any circumstances. Depend upon it, the Englishmen we read of who jested on the scaffold, just before their heads were to be chopped off, did so, not so much because they were braver or better than the ordinary run of their countrymen, but simply because their digestive apparatus was especially good. The society of the headsman, or the sight of his axe, could not daunt them. Few Englishmen, indeed, ever make fools of themselves when they are going to bo hanged or otherwise dismissed summarily from the present scene, ft is only the highly eupeptic ones, however, who chat facetiously as the rope is being adjusted under their ears. We sqspeot the average Briton comports himself better than the average Frenchman in such ticklish circum. stances. But this is not so much a matter of cheerfulness as of courage ; and while we hold that the Englishman stands execution better than the Frenchman (when he is in good stomach he would almost seem to take a positive pleasure in it), we must admit that the latter behaves better among the minor worries of life. His good digestion, or something else, carries him triumphantly through all ordinary trials, though his lighter, if more cheerful, nature is apt to shrink from what the Englishman frankly accepts with a dumb, or, if his digestion is unexceptionable, with a graceful stoicism. It may be doubted, however, whether a sound digestion is the secret of the lightheartedness of the French, We have an idea that the native cheerfulness of the Frenchman is rather the secret of hia good stomach. Cheerfulness is probably more a matter of race than of diet. Does anybody believe that it would make Johg Bull happy to feed him on dainty dishes and light wihes f Why, the burly customer oould not make a good square meal off the kickshaws that content the Frenchman. He must, have his beef and plum pudding, and it must be washed down with capacious pewters of jolly good ale and old ; or if he affects the juice of the grape, it is not the light exhilarating wines of France, but the heavy vintages of Spain and Portugal, strongly fortified with raw grain whisky or Berlin spirit. He was not made to be cheerful, and he chooses his meat and drink, as he chooses hia religion and his amusements, to suit his humor. “ They take their" pleasure sadly,” said the old French chronicler of the English. This was 500 years ago; but the characteristic stiff clings to them, and the French, as witness the passage from Max O’Rell quoted in the St.-VR a fpw days ago, stiff wonder at the difference between the two nations. The one drudges and grumbles through life; while to the other the passage from the cradle to the grave is a kind of festive dance. Such, at least, are the popular representations, considerably caricatured, of the French and the English. When it came to the tug of war between them (may it never come again !), roast beef and plum pudding had the advantage—or Trafalgar and Waterloo have no significance. The Frenchman, indeed, was forced to confess that the “ Anglaisman eat dam well, fight dam well,” A touch of indigestion is not such a bad thing after all in a fighting man,

ly New Zealand to bepome the Great Britain of the South ? So it is generally Federation said, and the hope, expectation, Cra/e. or ambition of this is doubtless the reason why the colony looks askance at the project of Australasian Federation. Why should we New Zealanders form any kind of alliance with a country which It is "opr destiny to annex'? British energy will be quickened and stimulatedfor a generation or two by the hot glaring sun of Australia; but by-and bye the semitropical climate will begin to tell on the inhabitants of the island continent. They will grow luxurious and effeminate, and gradually sink to the point of enervation when they shall be ready for the yoke. On the other hand, the fine bracing climate of New Zealand will produce a vigorous, heioio raoe, in every reapeot fit for empire. When the two branches of Australasian British shall have developed their respective characters and peculiarities, it requires no prophet to tell what will happen. The new Zealanders will at once show that they are masters of the situation. We need not describe the process of conquest in detail—the blockade of the Australian ports; the landing of a force of picked men, successors of our volunteers ; a few decisive battles, in which the Australians strike feebly for a liberty which they had ceased to value; and then the raising of the New Zealand flag on all their fortifications and public buildings. The better part of the nation will probably hail the conquerors as deliverers, the country having become a prey to corrupt factions, in which the traditions of Botany Bay still survive. The new conquest will, of course, be administered from Wellington, hfew Zealand bplng no\y a republic governed by a president, or perhaps a couple of consuls, and a governorship of one of the Australian provinces, one of the highest honors open to the oitiaens. Could there be a more magnificent or inspiriting prospect ? Fancy the ‘ Argus ’ or the ‘ Sydney Morning Herald’ publishing their leading articles under a New Zealand censorship I Or the ‘New Times 1 ' the leading paper of Australasia! The very thought of such a future ought to make every New Zealander feel an inch or two taller. How ridiculous, in the light of such events, the proposal of the Australians to create a federal standing army. But the prospect, grand and exhilarating as it is, cs,n only be realised if we are true to ourgejyp? and tp our advantages. Thrift, virtue, industry, UPd enterprise, tempered by tbs oanny Scotch element IP fi»r bjlop(i—• these are the aprlnp of empire. Jo particular we must preserve, eg, rather, recover our freedom from taxation. No smaller ad authority than Bacon, who was really something of iji political philosopher, says that' a people overlaid ffUl B ever 1 56come valiant and martial—that pp peppls overcharged with tribute is fit for empire.

Let Sir Harry Atkinson and the electors o: New Zealand take note of this.

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NOTES., Issue 8043, 21 October 1889

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NOTES. Issue 8043, 21 October 1889

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