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FEMININE FANCIES., Issue 8054, 2 November 1889, Supplement
The kinderspiel at All Saintß* Schoolroom, and the plays acted at Sc. Paul's Schoolroom, were just too late for my last 'etter. Although they took place so long ago I must say a few words about them before passing on to other and more recent amusements. The kinderspiel was very entertaining, and one admired Mrs Binn's courage in undertaking so arduous a task, for the drilling of such a company of children can have been no easy one. All went through their allotted parts with precision, and it was amusing to see how they looked to the movjng spirit for their cues. The audience was, I should think, largely recruited from the families of the small actors, for its readiness to applaud each item was only equalled by the alacrity with which the encores were given by the different singers. Some new endings were made to familiar fairy tales, and it was sad to see that the four thieyes, which had escaped Morgiana'a libations of hot oil (according to the new version), could not shake off their evil ways. One of them purloined the old woman's purse as soon almost as he came on the stage. Her sharp eyes, however, were not to be caught napping, and he had to give it back to her promptly. The operetta played in St. Peter's Schoolroom was a pretty one, some of the music being remarkably taking. The dressing of the stage and grouping of the picturesquelooking girls was effective. Some of the gipsy maidens costumes were especially handsome, and I thought the train of softly flowing white, bordered with real ivy leaves, with which the May Queen was invested, very pretty and suitable. Of the farce that followed, the "get up" of the actors was the best part. The old coloDel looked his to perfection, having quite the smart military cut, and Miss Fodor wore a lovely teagown of a pink material, soft in both tint and texture, and made with the graceful Watteau plait at the back. With the exception of Mr Marsh, who looks thoroughly at home on the stage, the acting was crude. Judging from the youthful looks of those taking part, they are probably new to the work, and will improve when they gain confidence.
As usual, the Otago Lawn Tennis Club had a lovely day for the opening of their ground, and in spite of the rival attractions at Tahuna and Forbury Parks, a gray crowd assembled to enjoy the tea and cakes provided, listen to the band and to the energetic piper and drummer, and, last but not least, look at the women's gowns. Of course, some played tennis, but on the opening day one hardly thinks of the game itaelf as being of much importance. There were plenty of pretty frocks. Green is still in the ascendant, and, with the usual sheep-like tendency of the human race, is worn by all alike, whether becoming or unbecoming. To sacrifice appearance to fashion is a piece of heroism I have never managed to attain to. I try to dress becomingly before everything else. Probably I don't Bucceed, for few are gifted with the art; and for one woman who dresses, about fifty only put on their clothes. Money has nothing to do with it, for one may see a thoroughly welldressed woman whose costume has perhaps cost as many shillings as that of an illdressed one has pounds. There is hope for all, in time, with the artistic tendency and teaching of the age ; and some day we may expect to see the majority dressed in accordance with age, figure, complexion, etc., and not only in obedience to the mandates of dressmakers and milliners, who have never studied them individually. I like strong individuality in women's clothes, and think that if you could see a lay figure dressed up in the costume of one of your friends you should at once know to whom that costume belongs, This is, however, a long digression from the tennis courts, where were to be seen many examples of suitable toilettes, showing that in Duuedinmany have attained to the high art aforesaid. I could mention several really lovely costumes ; but it is time I got on to Tahuna Park, where the Hussars held their sports. The cutting the orange was perhaps one of the prettiest feats of dexterity, and the Rescue Race one of the most amusing. In this some stuffed sacks, very fat and ungainly, were lying on the ground. The Hussars had to gallop up to them in pairs, in face of a brisk fire, and one man dismounted while his mate held his horse. Each dismounted man ran and grabbed a sack, which he gave to his comrade, then remounted and they galloped back. If the poor wounded men had simple fractures, they would, I should think, instantly become compound ones under such treatment. The tug-of-war was one of the most exciting events. A team of ten gunners, chosen from the detachment of Permanent Artillery brought down from Wellington lately under the command of Lieutenant Bennet, was the victorious ope. They were a splendid set of men, and one wished that they could have had a tug against some of the stalwart Highlanders as well; but these latter were prevented competing by the inspection being held by General Euwards. At a naval and military station in which I spent some years in the Old Country, I remember at the annual sports tho tug-of-war was the thing we all looked forward to. The Artillery invariably beat allcomers. We thought the blue jackets, being accustomed to haul on ropes, would have had the best of it, but I suppose weight tells most. Anyway the gunners always pulled them over. After leaving Tahuna Park we mounted a sandhill near the racecourse, and were in time to see the various corps of volunteers march off the ground. The field battery led the way, and all the rest followed in due order to bray of trumpet and beat of drum. There was a goodly show of soldiers, and the alternate patches of red and blue uniforms in compact masses had a pretty jeffect. Perhaps " distance lent enchantment to the view."
I have held forth in former letters upon the lack of interest the young ladies of Dunedin take in the manlier sports, such as cricket, rowing, etc. They seem to care only for tennis, in which they themselves take a hand. It is, therefore, encouraging to hear that they are now bestirring themselves, and are collecting subscriptions in order to present a challenge cup to the Otago Bowing Club, to be competed for each year. As they modestly ask for half a crown only from each subscriber (though naturally they do not object to larger donations), I do not think they should have much difficulty in getting enough to purchase a handsome trophy. They will probably fix some Saturday during the summer, when the competition for it will take place. I feel Bure on that occasion the oarsmen will have no cause to complain of the small number of ladies present to see them show their mettle.
With so much in the way of spectacles and amusements to write of, now our gay season is beginning, I do not see much chance of my finding space for the r,ecipes I promised, but will do my best to tuck them in some day. Martha.
FEMININE FANCIES., Issue 8054, 2 November 1889, Supplement
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