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ALICE'S LETTER TO HER READERS.

Some years ago a little girl set herself the* i task of learning a Scripture text. She madV \ the choice, and when Bhe had conned it for some time she came prondly forward, andsmiling into my face, said, "By their faults ye shall know them " — misreading the word •• fruits." She was not so very far wrong. Our virtues are as often as not no deeper than the surface civilisation. It wouldn't be polite of you to tell me how very much you dislike me, so you smile when you meet me and tell somebody else instead. And so for very many of our virtues. We have been trained to think it wicked to hate one another, and so we only do it in private. Take the man whom we call a bore. He isn't good company. He won't smile and bow when he feels in a contrary humour; he won't say nice things to the eight people, or leave unsaid nice things to the wrong people; he tells you to your face it is your own fault if you tire yourself out — that you make necessities of luxuries and pay the penalty ; he is not sympathetic when you are ill ; he grumbles at you for overfeeding or keeping late hours ; he is very, very seldom nice, bub he is always honest. He is not always right in his conclusions, for he views men and manners and life generally from his own standpoint, forgetting that the daisy has an equal right to grow on the common earth as has the oak or the burr ; but he thinks he is right, and is honest in his fault, and who would not prefer him to the liar ? Very fortunate is the individual who has not among bis acquaintances some who but for the weakness of not being able to confine their remarks to the exact truth would be all that you could desire as friends. Their hospitality and their generosity are tinlimited. There is no kind thing they are not capable of, and you are indebted to them for many happy hours — only you do wish you could depend upon what they say. You quote them and misrepresent things ; you espouse their cause, and find it groundless, and consequently compromise yourself and your friends times without number. A man belonging to another class always speaks the truth perhaps — or, at all events, as frequently as mostpsople do who are considered truthful — and in the doing of it betrays his friend. He is put to the painful necessity of speaking out, and he speaks out. Burns was right when he said that it is a good thing we have not the gift of seeing ourselves as others see us, or we should see some very funny things sometimes. There is the wise woman who lives her life on uncommon ground, who smiles and makes fun of common little faults of common women — rare fun Irom an intellectual point oE view. The ignorant Mrs A, who didn't know how, to talk decent English— much less write a decent letter — gets pitied from a superior standpoint; and poor Mrs B, who didn'tknow how honoured she was by her friendship, and how humble she ought to be and anxious to avoid giving offence; and silly Mrs C, who really ought to have a higher aim in life than parties ; and stand off Mrs D, who thinks herself better than her neighbours. It is all quite true, or at least it all seems quite true, about Mesdames A, 3,. C, and D, but the lady who has gauged their character so well has forgotten, if she is- , aware, of the weak point in her own — sensoriotisness ; a spirit so hard and uncharitable as to make unlovely the height she baaattained, A member of another olass — and he is generally a man— prides himself upon "being only human." Be does not set up for having any great virtues, and tells you honestly not to expect any great things from him. Usually he is no better than his word, and you are very much obliged to him for not rousing your hopes. Sometimes, however, he proves much better than his word, and surprises you with the evidence of one or two — that is all the most of us possess — sterling qualities that might have made bitn a very different being had he had enough " take-right-hold-and-nebber-let-go " (a negro's definition of perseverance) in him ; but how is it that pretending to no great virtues himself, he is so suspicions of the motives of others, and sits in ,«uch ready judgment on their acts ? A man who makes no law for himself should make none for others. Then there is that kindly person we all know — either man or woman — who can't bear to see you in any sort of trouble without helping you out, or trying to do so. They inoonvenience themselves in all sorts of ways, and often you feel that you can scarcely repay the kindness, when the one who has performed it tells someone else all about it, and so humiliates you that you wish you had snot received his assistance. The want of reticence spoilt all you friend's goodness. If such a thing can be said some people's faults hurt, only themselves, though in reality that * can scarcely be said of any one, for we act and react upon one another; so intricately are our interests laced and interlaced like forest leaves and branches, that you can Ecarcely hurt yourself without hinting me, and I can do myself no injury that may not bring harm to you. The mean man hordes his money, and robs his children of their rightful heritage of innocent pleasure and advancement. The money is his, he says, and the children are his, and he cuts off their joys for fear of spending. The spendthrift can never have it to his charge that he refused to share his best with any man.. His hand and heart are both open ; he is lavish and jovial ; but one day his wife and*

Children must suffer. We often hear it said that a man was his own worst enemy so far as we see } and it was good to have it to say. Don't you wish that it were possible for each one to bear singly and ' alone the consequences of his own fault without disgrace or injury or grief to others 1 Then we could say with a stout heart, " I will bear the consequences," and after that make the atonement. But we can be nothing to ourselves wholly ; we cannot isolate the stigma of our misdeeds, and others gloat over them, to the conf usion of those who love us. When you come to think of it, there isn't much to choose between us. I do not do some things because I don't care about doing them, and you do them because you do care. In both instances we have pleased ♦ ourselves ; yet all day long, day after day, we are throwing stones at each other. I call you mad because you don't do a certain thing, while all the time you couldn't do it without a principle being involved that I know nothing about. You think it very strange that I do something else, and I must do it. There we both are at cross purposes and exercising wrong judgment. If the theory of reincarnation were true, and that every time we came again to earth we were better than the time before, what a nice period that would be when we had each outlived our own particular weakness 1 There is the one " pitted speck" in the garnered fruit of our character that brings the smile to other lips, or the compassion, or the censure, or contempt of our fellows. We don't see it ourselves. Sometimes a well-meaning person tells us outright, and makes us very miserable, frequently someone tells someone else, who tells lots of people, and we go about among them all 1 We come upon them with a serene air just as they were laughing heartily about us, or leave them with a gentle word, to be derided when we are gone. Some people have the knack of telling you all the nice little bits of good that others say of you, and others the reverse. You know as well as I do how much more capable of good you feel when others attribute good to you, and bow sick at heart you are when the false steps you have recovered and silly acts you have outgrown are pointed back to as an index to your character. Your work is harder for a remembrance of the evil ; but take courage — the noblest lives have had their flaws, the greatest of men their shortcomings. We can but say humbly, with one of earth's noble men, to those who love us : Forgive what seemed my sin in me— What Beemed my worth since I began ; For merit lives from man to man, And not from man, O Lord, to Thee. The marriage of Mr William Hughes Field, Bon of Mr H. O. Field, 0.E., of Wanganui, and Miss Isabel Jane (Cissy) Hodgkins, daughter of Mr W. M. Hodgkins, of Dunedin, was celebrated at St. Paul's Church on Wed? nesday, April 26. A great number of friends and guests of the bride's parents attended the ceremony, and the old Ghurch, notwithstand? ing the dull character of the day, looked very well on tbe occasion, the altar having been prettily decorated with flowers. The bride, who looked charming, was escorted to the altar by her father, and attended by her sister, Miss Frances Hodgkins. The bride's dress was of white silk, perfectly fitting, the train falling from the back, yet showing the figure.' The front of the skirt was very handsomely flounced with Limerick lace. The short bodice was also flounced with the same lace, and lace of the same kind fell from the neck to shoulders. Lace also finished the puffed sleeves at the elbows. A tiny wreath of orange blossoms fastened the tulle veil. Her sister wore a dress of pink crepon, the front of vest and Empire sash of pink silk, the sash fastened with a silver buckle, large black hat with pink poppies. The bridegroom was attended by Mr R. S. M'Gowan, manager of the General Government Life department. There were also present within the cbancel the bride's mother, Mr and Mrs Alexander Carriok, of Ohristchurch, together with other members of the family, Among the guests at the church I noticed the Hon. and Mrs George M'Lean, Miss M'Lean, Mr and Mrs John Roberts and Miss Roberts, Mr, Mrs, and the Misses Alice and Fanny'Spence, Dr and Mrs Hocken, Dr and Mrs Scott, Mrs Edwards, Mr, Mrs, and Miss Martin, Mr and Mrs J. Webb, Mr and Mrs R. Reid, of Palmerston, Mr and Mrs J. Oargill, Mrs Wood, Mr i nd Mrs Spring, Mr and Mrs Graham, Mr and Mrs Bartleman, Misses Gilkison, Rattray, Ashcroft, and others. The service was read by the incumbent, the Yen. Archdeacon Edwards, in his usual impressive manner. During the ceremony the organist played several selections, amongst them being the "Wedding March," as the bride and bridegroom left the church. The wedding party afterwards repaired to the residence of the bride's parents, Granmore Lodge, Littlebourne, where a large number of friends assembled to offer their congratulation?. The customary cake having been cut, and the usual good wishes to the happy couple expressed — this latter being done by the Rev. Mr Edwards, they drove away under the usual accompaniment of rice, &c, to Warrington, Mrs M'Lean's pretty seaside residence, where they spend a portion of their honeymoon. The bride and bridegroom were the recipients of many tokens of affection and esteem. The bride's travelling dress was blue serge, the skirt quite plain, with full bodice of black bengaline, and a little jacket of serge, hat covered with natural-coloured feathers. Mrs Hodgkins (mother of the bride) wore a costume of black figured material, the bodice made with little jacket of black velvet, black velvet sleeves, and jet trimmings, black bonnet relieved with scarlet. She carried a bouquet of scarlet flowers; Mrs Carrick (Christ church), aunt of the 1 ride, wore brown cloth, the skirt edged with three rows of brown velvet, brown bonnet with loops of brown velvet lined with pink silk; Mrs J. Roberts wore a handsome dress of black bengaline and braided clotb, the bodice and part of the skirt of cloth, the sleeves and panels of the skirt of silk, black velvet bonnet poke shape, finished with a bow of pale pink ribbcn; Miss Roberts wore grey shot corduroy trimmed with electric blue silk edged with jet grey, felt bat also poke shape, with black trimmings; Mrs Wood, black, with black bonnet ; Mrs White, black silk and black and pink bonnet ; Mrs Edwards, blue serge with a

narrow white stripe made with a Eassian blouse, the upper part of the sleeves full to the elbow, of blue velvet, also the collar and feelfc, dark blue velvet bonnet, the bows lined with white; Miss Martin, bright crimson skirt trimmed with astrachan, yoke and sleeves of lace, black bat; Mrs George M'Lean, a handsome dress of very dark olive green silk, with trimmings on the skirt and bodice of sage green silk and black lace, little bonnet with green ribbons, pale pink feathers; Miss M'Lean, black clotb, with pointed vest, the sleeves from the elbow to the wrists of blue silk veiled in black lace, epaulettes of black cloth, lined with blue silk, black and blue hat ; Mrs Spence, a dark claret coloured dress, the skirt bordered with a band of the same, corded with pink silk, vest of pink, with black braiding on the bodice, little jet bonnet, with pink trimmings, costume with a feather boa ; Miss Spence, a brown cloth jacket, with small capes edged with brown fur, brown hat, dark dress ; Miss FannySpence, electric blue tailormade dress, black hat with black velvet and black aigrette; Mrs Hocken, black Surah; Mrs Bartleman, fawn-coloured dress, with yoke, sleeves, and belt of cream lace, edged with narrow jet trimming, bonnet of fawn straw with brown and pink trimming; Miss Gilkison, grey, the bodice trimming of black, black hat, relieved with red ; Miss Kenyon, fawn coloured dress with stripes of blue and brown, bodice edged with blue and brown, fawn bat with pink poppies; Miss Rattray, pretty costume of black serge with row of beaver, the bodice trimmed with the same far, crossing over a vest of green silk, black felt hat with green and black trimmings ; Miss K. Eattray, green cloth edged with jet, yoke and sleeves of black bengaline edged with jet, black hat, with large bows of green velvet; Miss B. Asboroft, light check, pointed belt

with rows of ribbon velvet, black hat; Mrs J. Oargill, brown tweed trimmed with brown fur, a deep band of the fur fastened across the front of the bodice, brown hat with natural-coloured feathers ; Mrs Spring, electric blue dress, black lace yoke, black jet bonnet, and grey feather boa; Mrs Finker, black Surah and lace, black hat; Mrs Graham, black dress, with trimming of green veiled in black lace;' Mrs Martin, black costume ; Miss Mackerras, black serge and black hat. An enjoyable entertainment was given on Tuesday evening in 'St. Paul's schoolroom to provide funds for the Ex-High School Girls' Tennis Club. The first part of # the evening was devoted to musical selections, the latter portion being occupied with a cleverly-played little comedietta entitled " Smith." The ladies and gentlemen assisting musically were Misses Longford, Muir, Marks, Wise, Martin, West, Vivian, Mrs R. B Monkman, and Messrs T. Hunter, O. Barrett, Martin, Macandrew, Knox, and Blenkin&opp— Mr Blenkinsopp singing in good style those lovely songs, " The Crystal «ea " and •' Island of Dreams." Miss West accompanied most of the songs, and looked very nice wearing black fisherman's net, with puffed sleeves of pale blue satin. Miss Muir saDg very sweetly " When a merry maiden marries." She was dressed in straw-berry-coloured delaine; Miss Martin wore scarlet with yoke and cuff i of black lace ; Mrs Monkman, terra cotta silk finished with white chiffon ; Miss Longford, a handsome black satin and lace gown, the vest and collar of red veiled in beaded net; Miss Wis*, China silk finished with green velvet. The comedietta was cleverly acted by Mrs Malcolm Ross, Miss Muir, and Mr Norman Grant, Miss Mona Muir taking the part of the maid. Mm Rofs as Lady Jones looked very nice wearing a teagown of dark -green, the front of cream lace ; Miss Muir, a pretty dress of grey finished with ptok. The stage was exceedingly pretty in its arrangements — flowers and bright colours making the orawing room quite attractive. On Saturday Mi6S Edith Boot was married, at her mother's residence, to Mr Thomas Dick, son of th<? Hbn T. Dick, Dunedin. The tjridq lookqd charming in a Jovely white

China silk with wreath and veil. She was given away by her brother, Mr Ernest Boot, tbe best man beirjg Mr Bett, of Mornington. There were five bridesmaids, all sisters — the Misses Alice, Ethel, Florence, Rachel, and Olara Boot. All wore pretty white crepon dresses trimmed with ruches of white silk and lace, lace epaulettes and Swiss belts of the same material, each wearing a plain gold ring with their name engraved on it. After the usual festivities the happy couple left in the afternoon to drive to Blueskin, the bride's going-away dress being of black-and-white serge. The wedding presents were very handsome, and included a substantial cheque from the father of the bridegroom, sets of fruit knives and forks, fish knives and forks, carvers, teaspoons, handsome clock, barometer, chairs, screen, tables, salad bowl, cruets, fruit spoons, and all the numerous pretty things it is customary to bestow on such occasions.

To emnra publlo&tlon in tb« ferthooming liiae letter) ifaould tesoh the Witnen offiae not later thsa Saturday night. [Desorlptloni of ballf, ft a., must be endorsed by either oar twa oorreipondent for the dlstriot or by the leoretary to the ball ismmittoe. The MS. of an; correspondent! who do not comply vith thli rule will be lont t* the leoretary for endorsement prior to appearing.] MARRIAGE AT BLACKSTONE HILL. At Blackstone Hill station, on Wednesday, 26th ult., was celebrated a marriage between Mr Alex. B. Armour and Miss Jane Irvine Elliott. The marriage ceremony was performed by the Rev. James 0. Gellie, 8.A., and was witnessed by many friends. The bride looked charming in a Goblin blue cashmere dress trimmed with chiffon and orange blossoms. The bridesmaids were Misses Elizabeth and Jessie Elliott, sisters of the bride. They looked very attractive in navy blue dresses with cream silk fronts. Mr Robert Matheson, cousin of the bride, was best man. As the bride is a great favourite in the district, the marriage presents were unusually numerous and valuable, and presented a fine appearance. After the marriage ceremony the compauy sat down to a sumptuous repast provided by Mr James Elliott, the father of the bride. Afterwards the toast of the bride and bridegroom was proposed by the

Rev. J. O. Gellie, who spoke in complimentary terms of the young couple, and said that everything promised well for their future happiness. The bridegroom made a felicitous reply. In the evening a large party met in honour of the occasion in the woolshed, which had been tastefully decorated by Mr Charles Armour, and spent the night in singing and dancing. Music was supplied by Mr Edward Morgan, and dancing was briskly kept up till early in the morning, when the party broke up and all wont home highly delighted with their night's enjoyment.

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ALICE'S LETTER TO HER READERS., Otago Witness, Issue 2045, 4 May 1893

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3,307

ALICE'S LETTER TO HER READERS. Otago Witness, Issue 2045, 4 May 1893

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