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WHAT THE WORLD SAID.
"all the world" shook their sage heads with disapproval when Nina Elton married. Not for wonder that a youthful maiden should have voluntarily "thrown herself away," for romantic young ladies are prone to reckless marriages; but at the greater mystery that her parents had given their consent to such folly.
Society had expected something brilliant from Miss Elton; she had beauty, wealth, and position, with all the advantages that such a rare conjunction alone could bestow. She danced well, san~ well, dressed well, and her whole -career since her d':but had been a decided success. No prospects of enjoyment were more flattering than hers, and yet, in her second season, when her conquests were the theme of every tongue, as her beauty was the cynosure of every eye in her admiring circle, the world was surprised by receiving her wedding-cards.
Never was the world more startled, especially her admirers, when this obscure stranger, whose existence was not even suspected, so coolly bore off the prize for which they were contending. No one had seen him or knew anything of him, and all the bidden guests were on the qui vive for something respecting him. He was ascertained to be from an obscure town "out West," and Mrs. Pry, remembering a relation whom she had forgotten resided in the same place, immediately dispatched a letter of inquiry.
From the family it was understood that he was a son of a college chum of Mr. Elton, Sr.; that family misfortunes had caused them to move West; that he was a man of talent, rapidly rising in his profession, and the family ircre greatly pleased with him. Nina herself admitted he was not handsome, and the world found out for itself that he was poor.
No wonder that the world felt shocked at such a violation of all rules of prndence, and thought the whole family demented together. That one so delicately reared should forego all the luxuries and pleasures of life, and bestow her hand on a poor yonng lawyer, one that would deprive her of wealth and position, and bury her "out West" away from all society— it was incredible. Many were the sad prognostications of the fleeting nature of the romantio happiness she expected to enjoy. Had not Hal Battledore addressed her? A gay youth of
uubounded wealth and undoubted position, an only son, and regarded a prize by ail the mammas in the circle. And she, forsooth, had discarded him because he was dissipated. Ihtsipated—what wife could not reform a husband whose only fault was an occasional glass of wine? Mammas did not know "what the world was coming to." The idea of a girl discarding Hal Batttrdore ! and, worse still, that parents should humor the romantic fancies of their daughters, "like those Eltons did." "Marrying for love was all very well, but Nina Elton would find herself mistaken, would find it did very well in novels, hnt when it came to reoYlife, O my!" And mammas with marriageable daughters looked pointedly at their Janes and Marys, as if they said, "You would never be gnilty of such folly!" and they, having been trained by these prndent mammas, looked hurt at the bare suspicion. Eligible, in their appreciation, meant, "he may be moral, intellectual, or handsome, as it happens; but rich anyhow." The other qualifications were so much more to be glad of, but the "rich" was the broad basis of acceptance. Alas for the Janes and Marys of society!
But sweet Nina Elton had implicit faith in marrying for love ; and, revering and esteeming the noble qualities of her betrothed, she had given her woman's heart to him, uureservedly, without a thought of his eligibility. Knowing his small fortune and arduous toil, she had gladly consented to share his lot, to be a helpmeet to him, to lighten all sorrows, comforting and strengthening him by her earnest love; hoping, as married lovers (most brave and holy sight!), to so live through time and all eternity. What wonder that such love was sanctioned by her parents, who had themselves lived in most loving union f Truly they rejoiced in their child's happiness as one who had found a treasure without price, that greatest boon—sincere, devoted human love.
Nina had wished for a private wedding, but had been overruled; the star that had shone so brilliantly must culminate before it set. Most magnificent preparations were made, and the world began to fear it was mistaken, after all But on that very morning the anxiously expected letter of particulars came to Mrs. Fry. Immediately that self-sacrificing individual, with her usual philanthropy, sallied forth to spread its contents. All day long she gossiped and visited, and before evening all knew the private history of the person on whom Nina had "thrown herself away." The letter spoke highly of his talents and conduct: he had risen rapidly in his profession, notwithstanding a clog to retard his progress in the shape of his mother and five brothers and sisters, who were entirely dependent on his exertions. His father, a man of wealth and distinction, by some commercial crisis had lost all, and, dying soon after, left his entire family to the charge of his sou l, though but twenty years of age, had devoted himself to the task, and had succeeded, until, two years ago, an uncle, dying, left to his mother a comfortable independence. But while their support was incumbent upon him, he had, in default of other means to help them, for five years actually taught school.
No wonder that society held its breath to listen to this incredible fact 1 indignant, and more curious than ever, everybody attended the wedding. Eagerly all eyes sought the bridegroom ; little groups whispered apart; the tide of criticism was unceasing and malicious. Intellectuality strongly marked theman, and the radiant *happiness of his face made him almost handsome, yet all were disappointed. "Commouplace" was the mildest epithet bestowed upon him. "Point lace and diamonds to marry a school-teacher," said Miss Wall Flower. "Magnificent bridal presents to carry to a log cabin," sneered Miss Detraction, as she saw the table loaded with plate. • "Confound the fellow! I wonder what she saw in him!" said Hal Battledore. And Mrs. Prudence pursed up her lips and shook her head mysteriously— "We 'll see, we 'll see."
Let us leave the world to its nine days' wonder, and accompany the bridal pair to their new home. The lover had refitted his cottage for his bride. It was a little nest of a place, with roses in profusion, and shaded by stately oaks, large enough for two when love should make his home with them. Not fitted with magnificence, yet with many little elegances and luxuries, looking lovely in the soft shadowing of the May moon that smiled on it as our lovers first entered it. Happy faces greeted the "new sister," and the mother embraced her as they installed her in her new place—his henceforth. How charmingly she graced the board 1 Jud when all departed, leaving them alone, they, with their one domestic, knelt together in their first family prayer. Blithely she entered into all her duties; those delicate hands,
though all unused, were soon expert in the mysteries of bread and puddings, and all the details of a well-ordered home. The society of the place she found almost as polished as that she had left. Many persons of reduced fortune had come hither, bringing with them the refinements of cultivation, hoping to soon rise again into affluence. The place was rapidly improving, and Nina scarcely felt the loss of the society of the city in the picnics and boating parties she enjoyed, or the social tea parties that were frequently held.
Years passed on. In the city Nina was almost forgotten, or only mentioned with a pitying shake of the head, as "poor Nina Elton, she threw herself away;" or as an example when young ladies whose hearts were not entirely ossified, sometimes dared a preference for some one beneath them, and alarmed manymas instanced the advantages of marrying prudently. Hal Battledore had married a gay girl who had been bridesmaid at Nina's wedding. The little sentiment she had possessed was enlisted by a young man who was a "bad match," and her friends had advised against it. Wealth and position were necessities to her, and the brilliant offer of Mr. Battledore was too tempting to be resisted. Alas, how much does love borrow of opinion! how many could resist out-marrying any of her set, and take one whom she fancied more, but whom others thought so decidedly ineligible?
Gratified vanity she mistook for love. Dazzled by the rich gifts and alluring promises of her lover, she confidently expected, with so handsome a husband and an elegant establishment, to be happy. Her diamonds were the handsomest, and her equipage, the most elegant of all her acquaintance. The trousseau, and succession of parties that attended her marriage kept up the excitement of her vanity for some months. That her husband had faults she knew; but when her eyes were opened to all his vices her happiness was at an end. The wine cup was more and more attractive, and the bride of a year's time saw her husband brought home nightly in a state of intoxication. He had married her from a variety of motives, and incapable, in his shallow selfishness, of loving anything sincerely, his love had vanished with the novelty of possession. Passionately addicted to gambling, he had kept his losses in reason, so they were only whispered before his marriage. Now he left his impulses uurestrained, and was rapidly dissipating the patrimony that his father had toiled to secure.
Miserable in her splendid home, yet with a
woman's instinct she suffered in silence; her life was one of the many that matrimony made a failure. Too proud to complain when the crisis came, and all was lost, she nobly bore the cross assigned her, and she, too, went "out West," but with a husband to whom duty alone bound her. Every effort that she could devise was untiringly put forth, but in vain. A temporary reformation was only followed by deeper degradation, and after drinking the cup of shame and sorrow to the very dregs, what wonder that she gladly hailed the liberty that his infamous death at last yielded her? World-weary and sad she returned to her native city, and having no other asylum, became governess in a friend's family.
Let us look in again upon our friend Nina. The cottage is nowhere to be seen, but instead, a stately mansion rears its head. We inquire
for Mr. B of a stylish servant, and he tells
us that "Senator B is expected from Washington that evening.'' We enter, and find our fair matron, older by some twenty years than when we last beheld her, but fair and beautiful still. A counterpart of what she then appeared is half reclining on a couch in lively conversation with an elder brother, and three lovely children complete the group.
But whom do we see in conversation with the mother 1 Verily, the old dragon, Mrs. Prudeuce, who said "We'll see." And in the snatches we hear, we recognize the words "Hal Battledore," and " I told you so," with a purring " I have always said to Jane and Mary" (meaning, gentle reader, the two spinsters on the balcony, who have, as a desperate venture, come husband hunting out West), "how happy I would be if you could only marry as Mrs. B did!"
THE USE AND ABUSE OP COLORS
II »>. MEKBIFIBLD.
Thkbb is one class of persons possessed of more money than taste, who estimate colors by their cost only, and will purchase the most expensive merely because they are expensive Mid fashionable. Of this class was a certain Wy of whom it is related that, in reply to Sir •osh.ua Reynolds' inquiry as to what color the ^ress of herself and husband, who were then atting, should be painted, asked which were lie most expensive. "Carmine and ultraman'ne." replied the artist. "Then," rejoined
the lady, "paint me in ultramarine, and my husband in carmine."
We hear constantly of fashionable colors, and these fashionable colors are forever changing; moreover, we hear more of their novelty than of their beauty. All who wish to be fashionable wear these colors, because they are fashionable, and became they are new; but they do not consider whether they are adapted to the complexion and age of the wearer, or whether they are in harmony with the rest of the dress. What should we say to a' person who with the right hand plays an air in C major, and with the left an accompaniment in F minor? The merest novice in music would be conscious of the discord thus produced; yet, as regards colors, the educated eye is constantly shocked by combinations of color as startling and inharmonious.
As the object of all decoration in dress is to improve or to set off to the greatest advantage the personal appearance of the wearer, it follows that the colors employed should be suitable to the complexion; and, as complexions are so various, it is quite impossible that the fashionable color, though it may suit a few individuals, can be becoming to all. Instead, therefore, of blindly following fashion, as a sheep will follow the leader of the flock, even to destruction, I should like to see every lady select and wear the precise shade of color which . is. not only best adapted to her peculiar complexion, but is in perfect harmony with the rest of her habiliments, and in accordance with her years and condition.
The Orientals and other inhabitants of tropical countries, such as the negroes of the West Indies, love to clothe themselves in brilliant and positive colors—reds and yellows, for instance. They are quite right in so doing; these bright colors contrast well with their dusky complexions. With us "pale faces" it is different; we cannot bear positive colors in immediate contact with the skin without injury to the complexion.
Of all colors, perhaps the most trying to the complexion are the different shades of lilac and purple. The fashionable and really beautiful mauve and its varieties are of course included in this category. In accordance with the wellknown law of optics, that all colors, simple or compound, have a tendency to tint surrounding objects with a faint spectrum of their oomplementary colors, those above mentioned, which require for their harmony various tints of yellow and green, impart these supplementary colors to the complexion. It is scarcely necessary to observe that, of all complexions, those which turn upon the yellow are the most unpleasant in their effect, and probably for this reason, that in this climate it is always a sign of bad health.
But, it will be asked, is there no means of harmonizing colors so beautiful in themselves with the complexion, and so avoiding these ill effects? To a certain extent this may be done, and as follows: Should the complexion be dark, the purple tint may be dark also, because by contrast it makes the complexion appear fairer; if the skin be pale or fair, the tint should be lighter. In either case, the color should never be placed next the skin, but should be parted from it by the hair and by a ruche of thulle, which produce the neutralizing effect of gray. Should the complexion still appear too yellow, green leaves or green ribbons may be. worn as trimmings. These will often neutralize lilac and purple colors, and thus prevent their imparting an unfavorable hue to the skin.
Scarcely less difficult than mauve to harmonize with the complexion is the equally beautiful color called "Magenta." The complementary color would be yellow-green; Magenta, therefore, requires very nice treatment to make it becoming. It must be subdued when near the Bkin, and this is best done by intermixture with black; either by diminishing its brightness by nearly covering it with black lace, or by introducing the color in very small quantity only. In connection with this color, I have recently observed some curious effects. First, as to its appearance alone: if in great quantity, the color, though beautiful in itself, is glaring, and difficult to harmonize with its accompaniments. Secondly, as to its combination with black: if the black and the Magenta-color be in nearly equal quantities—such, for instance, as in checks of a square inch of each color—the general effect is dull and somewhat neutral; if, on the contrary, the checks consist of Magenta and white alternately, a bright effect will be produced. Again, if the ground be black with very narrow stripes or cross bars of Magentacolor, a bright, but yet subdued effect will result. This last effect is produced on the principle that, as light is most brilliant when contrasted with a large portion of darkness— like the stars in a cloudless sky—Bo a small portion of bright color is enhanced by contrast with a dark and especially a black ground.
Yellow, also, is a difficult color to harmonize with the complexion. A bright yellow, like that of the buttercup, contrasts well with black, and is becoming to brunettes, when not placed
next the skin; but pale yellow or greenish yellow suits no one, especially those with pale complexions. Its effect is to diffuse, by contrast, a purple hue over the complexion, and this is certainly no addition to beauty.
FROM GLOOM TO GLEAM.
The spirit has left its clay-built homo,
And the silvery cord is severed; The pallid lips, at the parting breath,
Like the failing rose-leaf quivered.
Fold her hands on her snowy breast,
Her spirit has passed from gloom to gleam;
Lay her In peace 'neath the emerald sods,
Leave the stars to watch and thedew-tears to full.
The sad night hours.
Through the white-robed elders about the throne,
Who cry " Glory, glory" solely— Through the sevenfold lamps before the throne,
She passed up to the Holy,
Tho risen Holy.
Wo toll tho bells; but the angels above
A joyful ]t:c:iii are ringing,
To join in the angelic singing,
The heavenly singing.
And, friends, when wo pass from out the dim.
To enter the life immortal,
Beside Uie heavenly portal,
The pearl-made portal.
1 Thb Eldest Child.—The eldest child of a family holds a position, as it regards influence and importance, scarcely second to that of the parents themselves—often called upon in the temporary absence of the father and mother to direct home affairs, always looked up to as an oracle in matters of taste and opinion by the junior members, who draw inferences and shape conclusions even without the help of spoken words, even from so slight tokens as a raised eyebrow, .or shrugged shoulder, or impatient gesture. Do elder brothers and sisters think enough of this f In after life they may, alas! but too sorrowfully, when they find themselves repeated in myriad forms of thought and expression, by those who then hung unnoticed upon their lips.