Newspaper Page Text
T -rr 'iigs- -
fi, ji-s- ""??
THE MORNING TIMES, SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 1895.
RttlienS Mi Ear
'DRESS SOCIETY" AFTER IDEAS
OP THE GREAT PAINTER.
An Artist Designs Gowns and
Is Expensive, ButVery
New Tort, Sept. 27. Tlic stout women
of tills city have banded together In n
society calling l'sclf tlic Rubens Club.
Its object Is the study and promotion of
gowns and other wearing apparel for
'women who weigh more than 140 pounds
or arc too stout for their height.
This Is a Club Formed In Xew Turk
In the days of the painter Rubens stout
women were the most fashionable creatures
that walked the face of the earth. Itubens
would paint none other than those of very
firm build, and so artistically did he
drape them, so cleverly did he pose them
and so well did he color them that every
woman aspired to sit for his pictures. To
be painted by Itubens was a guarantee of
beauty, grace, and feminine loveliness of
FORMING THE CLTJD.
The stout women of New Tort society
have felt themselves particularly slighted.
by the fashions of the fall. These new
styles are without exception for the sylph.
The sleeves bagging at the elbow, where
the stout woman is thickest, across the
body; the wnlts pinched low, where it Is
simply Impossible for her to pinch herself
without mediaeval torture; the skirts of
some shortness all make her like a country
guy or woman of advanced Ideas and be-lilnd-the
times style. And so the Iiubcns
Club came Into existence.
The Rubens Club lias twenty members.
Its numliers are limited, and not more than
forty will ever be allowed in the club. One
of its alms is the designing of dresses for
the members. A professional designer Is
employed, and lie f or a manhas been chosen
who Is an artist of no mean merit contracts
to supply designs f or six go wus a season for
each of the members. Obviously ho can
Dot design for more than forty women at
the most. At present the members are
only twenty, and membership is closed un
The Rubens woman is a stout woman of
good figure. Stout women nearly always
have fine forms. Their bust line is good.
It is low, and tho neck curve full, even if
sot very long. The Rubens artist makes
the most of these good points and conceals
To be Quite specific, the president of the
Rubens Club, who isa woman of beautyand
wealth and great loveliness of manner,
had the honor of having the first gown de
signed for herself, and here is Its pattern.
As It was to bo worn at a dub dinner, which
sho was to give for introducing the club
members to each other, the go wn was mads
an evening robe.
A RUBENS GOWN.
The materials were dead white cashmere
and dull black satin, with a very little lace
and Jet. The under gown, or the gown
Itself, more strictly speaking, fell from
the shoulders in a long, loose robe. In
the front there was a center trimming of
black fatin and lace, and a heavy ruffle
of lace outlined the bust and suggested
tho waist. The back fitted closely, and
around the foot extended a deep band of
0er the Rubens gown fell a robe of the
satin. It was caught at each shoulder and
fell into a train three feet long when the
wearer walked. In repose it lay around
ber feet, givirg her height and a becoming
From a mere description of this dress
It Eccms like a massive affair, giving
size without taking any away. But when
its good points are seen a different view
Is taken of it.
The good points of this gown are, first,
the way it showed off the very plump neck
of tho wearer. The fine throat line wa.s
visible, but at the shoulders, where, too,
much massivencss takes the place of fine
firm flesh, the robe was draped. The
arms were likewise covered at the top,
their thickest part, and, as the robe fell
oTcr tbeni when in repose, much of their
apparent Elze disappeared.
The robe bad -one very odd feature. The
train was a double one. The back of the
robe was a littlo more than walking length,
but the ends were very long Indeed. This
made a square court train like a monarch's
robe, and could bo easily brought front
by the band, for trimming or drapery
when tho wearer was not walking.
The front of the dress might hare been
too. severe, wero It not cut in a peculiar
manner. ' Instead of falling straight. It
had the appearance of all coming from
the neck. The Indrawn bands of lace of a
contracting color deprived It of all sug
gestiveness of night apparel. In truth. It
had a really royal effect, with a few
bparUing lets added.
In choosing the color of tho gown to bo
snow-white Instead of cream color, the
artist knew what he was specifying. 'White
Is a diminishing color, while cream color
enlarges. The same with black satin.
Batin, being full of lights and shades, Is
uncertain in size, and it It preferable to
silk or velvet, which makes the person
thicker. The jets are dressy, wicked llttlo
ornaments that wink at you unexpectedly
One of the plans of the Kubcns Club Is
to devote afternoons to selecting colors
for gowns. The artist assists, and a suf
ficient supply of material is at band to al
low an exercise of personal taste also. The
colors ordered sent to the clubrooms for
the next meeting are dull grays, bright
THE nDllEXS CLUB.
City for Dressing Stont Women After
blues, faded greens and all kinds of deep
The manner of Judging these colors Is
very entertaining. The rooms are planned
so that a brilliant sunshine can be let in
and also entirely shut nut. You can flood
the room with brightness or make it
blacker tHan night. Then there Iselectricity
and also, gas. For Judging materials all
the tests are employed.
Suppose a piece of red goods Is to be
chosen by a member who ilkes red and
who has nothing in her wardrobe of that
color. The nSbrn" Is first flooded with
light and the red. brought out and spreajl
"over a chair back. If it becomes bright to
tbesightand looks a shade lighter than It
did when In, the, piece, it is discarded for
anbtber. Tlfeliext piece of rtd holds Its
color in .the sun. It does not, in artists'
language, "brighten." It Is laid aside as
acceptable So "far so good.
The dark, test-is next applied. The room
Is made black by letting It grow darker little
by-littler One blind is closed, then another
and another. As the room growsdarkcr Uie
members sit in chairs around the room look
ing at the piece of red. If it gradually
grows dull ni.d disappears In certain lights
11 Is the piece wanted. It often happensthat
a piece of quite bright red looks black In
certain lights. If this is the case with the
piece under discussion it is selected as a
very good material for the stout members
After the gaslight and electric tests have
been put upon it it is laid aside. In the gas
light it must not show 6trlpes, as so many
goods do, and in the electric light It must
blue goods look while In certain brilliant
electric lights. But there are certain good
colors that hold their own through all.
THAT AWFUL CURVE.
After tho colors have all been chosen
comes the artist's real work. Of course,
the hardest thing he has to do is to fit out
his patrons with street gowns that shall
be conventional and yet accord with the
Ideas of Rubens. They musfdrape," yet
by no means bo unfashionable. To do this
be has this fall taken advantage of the
cape idea. Golf capes are his salvation
in traveling gowns. A stout woman In a
neat-fitting gown, not too close under the
bust, looks plcturcsquo with a golf cape
swinging from one shoulder. It gives ber
heigh t- The dolmans that open in front and
fall low at each side are admirable also,
according to bis ideas.
He docs a clever thing also with belts.
Every woman must have a belt line. She
may not wear a belt and buckle, but her
basque ends near the belt line and her
figure plainly shows the place where waist
ends and skirt begins. This is the most
trying region for a stout woman. The
awful swell of tho stomach, the terrible
rise of tho bust, and the pinched zone
that she cannot conceal, make her the
horror of those who find embonpoint creep
ing upon them.
The artist of the Kubcns Club takes the
bull boldly by tho horns. He grasps the
lower part of the bodice heavily and fastens
it to a belt of satin or ribbon. Thishebrlngs
down to a long, low point In the front
and to another in the back. The woman al
ways objects at rirst, thinking It is going
to make her look large. But wait until she
has seen herself in the mirror.
Tho bust of the Rubens woman is never
forced up. It is low, and she never has the
choked look of the high-basted woman, nor
the muffled throat. Nor are her hips hor
rors of size. The artist does away with the
pair of Bquare shoulders which stout women
ordinarily wear upon then- bipa by giving
them the long, low belt line.
Tho Rubenssociety is com posed of wealthy
women, for none others could afford the
dues or artist and modiste. But the mem
bers hope that so good maybe their example
in dress that before long, the stout, puffing,
ruddy, choked, faf woman will be a thing
of tho far past. HELEN WABD.
Far Qte Sftm
RUTH CLEVELAND WILL BRING
OUT A CHRYSANTHEMUM.
A Corner Built Especially for
Her Ladj' Rachel Dun
Preparations are now under way for tho
cycle of flower shows, spreading across the
country every autumn. These begin with
the taking in of the plants and lust until the
prldo of the winter, the last gaudy chrysan
themum, has drooped Hb tired head.
In New York the annual flower show is
held almost simultaneously with the torso
show, the visitors to each alternating In
their attentions to the separate affairs.
One year the horse show foiloTvcd tho flower
Bhow in Madison Square Garden, and it was
a funny Bight to tec the first equine ar
rivals craning their necks for a nip of the
Btatcly palms and a 'taste of the white
blossoms that hung down into their stalls.
Tho flower show is for professionals, but
It is always astonishing to know how very
many of tho finest flowers coino from the
conservatories of those who have no object
in ralcliig-the flowers, except their own
lovo of them.
BABY RUTH'S FLOWER.
This year there will be a brand new
chryEantbemum shown in the greatest
nowcr ehow of the winter. This chrysan
themum, is only one of the many new ones,
but It is remarkable Tor two things, its
color and the fact that it comes from the
White House conservatory, where It was
raised largely by the hands of Uie Fresi
dent's oldest baby daughter.
This flower Is tailed the Marion. It
was propagated from cuttings n jcar ago,
and was carefully watched all the season.
Its soil was renewed, experiments of graft
ing were tried upon it, nnd, firally, to
wards spring, it Ecnt out a frail white
nower, which Ehowcd what the strength
of the full blooming would be in the
fall Tho plaut was the property of Miss
Ruth, and on being asked to name 11, she
bestowed the name of Marion, little think
ing that later there would be a baby sister
to receive the same much liked tiUc.
The Marion chrysanthemum la snow
white. It is very large through the cen
ter Its top is almost round, and, though
not large In actual circumference, it is
very heavy. It is like the snowball
chrysanthemum, but thlckcrand of a Letter
ball like tbape. The petals of the flower
are round rather than pointing, and it is
very hardy, and holds Its own longer after
being cut than do the other varieties of
white. Its calyx is a very vivid green,
and its position on the stem is nodding, as
though it were a very heavy burden, as
indeed it is.
The improvements upon the White House
this fall have consisted principally in
additions to the conservatory. The founda
tion had crumbled away unUl there was
danger of the building sagging. Tills has
been repaired and a wing constructed.
The cost was $10,000 all told.
In spending such n large sum of money
the designers found no difficulty in ac
ceding to the few requests Mrs. Cleve
land had to make of them Ore was that
a small corner be constructed for the use
of little Ruth. The child Is to puslonately
fond of plants that she is continually
"borrowing" ber mother's palms, as she
calls it, when she waters the pots and cuts
off a leaf for placing in a vase in the nur
sery. In the new conservatory she will
have a "comer" of herown. Itllesbetween
two long windows and there is a imall
recess wide enough for a child to pass in
and out. This is filled with the Marlon
rbrysantheraum at present, and little
Ruth's first act upon gctticg back will be
to run to rcc if the corner is all that has
been promised her.
FAMOUS LILY TADS.
Tho Gould and Pullman families always
make very important additions to the flow
ers of the autumn show. The Gould exhibit
Uiis year will be of water lilies. Miss Helen
Gould has imported from South America a
new species of brilliant white nnd red lily
which grows upon the surface of the water
and docs not dose at night. Its leaves arc
verylarge, andsoUiickand strong that Uiey
ran easily carry 100 poundsupon their sur
The place for growing these water plants
at present is upon a pool that Is In the lily
house at Irvlngton. This pool and Us con
servatory are very cunningly constructed.
The conservatory is all of glass, and it is
built over the pool. During the summer,
Uie glass is removed and the framework
taken down; but on the first frosty day the
frame is run up, the sash slipped in, and
tho pond inclosed. Thus, there are lilies
A large stock of these, growing in tubs.
If possible, will be taken to the flower show
nnd an exhibit of the cut lilies placed near
by. They are not fragile out of water snd
make very decorative plants. The small
nephews and nieces of Miss Gould, the chll
dcrn of George and Edwin, play around tho
Illy pads, finding immense fascination there,
and when one day a caretaker lifted llttlo
Helen Vivien nnd the small Edwin, Jr., un
til they stood side by side on a lily pad their
Joy knew no bounds.
The principal flower of the autumn Is al
ways tho chrysanthemum, and It grows
yearly stronger in Its bold upon the people.
One reason is Its hardiness, and another Is
Us great variety. Cultivators of the plants
find perpetually something new to observe,
and a new flower rewards them each season.
MRS. CRUGER'S FLOWER.
"Titian Tress" Is the name given to one of
the new plants. -It Is a fanciful one, sug
gested by the blonde locks of the lady In
whose conservatory it grows. Titian
Tress is the property of Mrs. Van Rensselaer
Cruger, nnd tho plant was so named by her
gardener, who worked diligently to get It
in tho shade he wanted It. You have seen
the striped chrysanthemum with the yel
low, white and red petals, like garden
dahlias of olden times. Well, the Titian
Tress Is like this, only all the yellow and
white pctnls have been eliminated until the
the red alone remain. This was done by cul
tivating only the plants that showed more
red petals than any other, until finally tho
right effect was reached. The color of the
tress is almost terra cotta at the base, while
the tips lighten with a touch of gold. It Is
the rarest and most beautiful flower seen
The pains spent upon the plants by the
amatcurB, who have made a reputation cul
Uvatiug them, would hardly be believed
by one Ices interested in plant culture.
Flower growers acknowledge this, while
confessing their own inability to compete
In the greenhouse of O. H. P. Belmont,
to take a name that smacte of entire gold
and boundless extravagance, there Is an
automatic appliance for. sprinkling plants
at night, as though wet with dew. This Is
turned on at dusk and plays very gently all
night. The stream Is a tiny one, so small )
that you, hold out 'your band twico to ba
euro that it is really falling, and so steady
that It never ceases for a second. It is
done by1 turning a powerful force into a
nozzlo attachment filled with the tiniest
boles. A's the water spouts through these
it Is put'tbrougli another set of holes and
Hvlon Gould's LUy-rnd Tark.
whirled upward 100 feet in the air. Here
all the drops burst.
At dawn tills 13 turned off and when visi
tors to the hothouse speak of the "beauti
ful green tint" of the leaves deep. Bhiny
and unshaded the host smiles mysteriously,
but explains nothing.
Tho Ladles Dunravcn Misses Eileen
Quln and Eathel Quln have a pretty con
servatory of their own. They contribute
each year to the London flower rhow, and
am as proud of their plants as of their
THE DUNRAVEN TRIDE.
Their principal flower Is the Japanese
favorite the chrsyantnemum." Last year
Lady Rachel -llad tbo pleasure ofyiroduc
ing an all-green flower. It was small but
very corapatt, -with pointing, ragged pet
als. This she sent to the Duchess of York
jpon ber blrUnlay, and received a very
grateful acknowledgment. Each sister has
her own hqUiousc, and they relate with
much pride Uie history of a year they spent
with t beli father in Scotland, where there
were few servants upon the place and no
gardener at nil.. All winter Lady Rachel
built the fire In the smaU wood stove which
heated the small lean-to conservatory, and
wet the plants. But they blossomed heath
er at Christmas and had flowering thistles
asbigas peonies when the wild flowers were
all fast asleep under the snow. "In Scot
bed you must cultivate tho wild flowers,"
they explained, in describing their floral
A prospectus of the flower show is. al
ways difficult because growers bold back
MBS. CLEVELAND AND HER MOTHER IN THE PAUI-HOUSB.
Sketched Through an Open TVIndow.
Shows Mrs. Cleveland's Now TV ay of TV carina Her Hair.
for the prizes, hoping to surprise other
growers, but a promise is made of twen
ty new chrysanthemums and half that num
ber of now roses, besides very beautiful
green and blue and pink in flowers like
roses, carnations and lilies that do not
usually produce these colors.
rOUCEMES IN SPAIN.
and Hun for tho Doctor.
Spain baa no Eoosevelts, but the little
towns and smaller cities, nevertheless, have
a very ef f ccU ve system o night police, says
the Now York World. These Spanish public
watchmen are clod In long, black cloaks
and wear on their heads a black-and-red cap.
In one hand is a lantorn with colored glass.
In the other a kind of lance.
"Sereno" is the name this policeman goes
under, and be gets the title from the cry he
Is obliged to otter at every step "Sereno,"
which means fine. The phrase refers to
the state of the weather. If the weather
is cloudy he would call out, "Nublado"; if
it is raining, "Lluviendo." Under the blue
sky of Spain, however. It is generally
An extract from the municipal regula
tions of a Spanish town details the duties
of Uiesoreno in this wise:"IIeraust perform
n certain number of rounds in all the streets,
lanes, passages and alleys on his beat and
call out in a loud voice the time and the
weather as he goes along. He must lend
nssistanco to citizens who request his help
for any reasonable cause and go for thedoc
tor.chemlst, midwife or clegyman. Incases
of robbery, assault or fire he must hurry to
the signal, no must pay particular atten
tion to such houses as arc pointed put to bltn
and report to his superiors."
Each "sereno" supervises a certain small
territory, a "demarcacion," as it is called.
He has three or four subordinates, who act
under his orders, and are known as "vigil
ants." Each of these fellows has charge of
a block of ten or fifteen buildings and be
sides having police duties lie acts as a sort
of porter to his houses, carrying the kefs
to them all and being alone able to open
the doors. In the Spanish towns 10
o'clock'ls the signal for closing, and after
that timetheonly way a lodger cangctinsldc
his dwelling Is to summon the "vigilant."
To do this he must clap bis hands three
Umcs and then the "vigilant" hurries up,
armed with his bunch of keys. So also
if any one desires to go out during tlic night
he claps Ills bands at Uie window and a
When a street brawl occurs or an attack
Is made elther"sereno" or "vigilant" bloWB
bis whistle at Uie first cry of help. and
chases off In the direction of the sound.
Up come the other officers on Uie run, all
blowing their whistles loudly. If the crim
inal gets away the whistles are blown In a
peculiar manner, signaling In Just what di
rection he has gone. The outer rings of "so
rcnos" and "vlgilants" take up the signal
nnd In a few moments a wideeordon Isform-
ed in the surrounding streets, which In nine
cases out of ten ends In the evil doer's capt
Infant prodigies are by no means a
modern discovery, for George Parker Bid
der, born in 1800, Devonshire, was
exhibited as the "calculating phenom
enon," and upon reaching manhood and
entering parliament upset many a pretty
litUc statement of an opponent by his
shrewd brain. Zerab Colburn, born in
Vermont in 1804, could square 009,999
and give the cube root of 413,993,348,677
as easily as the ordinary child adds 2 and
2. A Spanish child named Lacy, bom
in 1795, was brought to England and
exhibited for his marvelous mathematical
skill, while Germany gravely comes to the
fore with little Chrbtian Frletfrlch Hcln
eckeu.born in 1721, nho at the age of one
year knew all the principal events related
in the Pentateuch; at two was well ac
quainted with tlic chief historical events
of the Bible, and at three had a knowledge
of universal history and geography. Latin
and French. The Ling of Denmark had
him brought to Copenhagen in 1724 to
assure himself of the truth of what had
been told him. It is needless to add that
the child died at the tender age of four.
In France, out of 250.C00 infants dying
annually M. Rouvard. president of the So
ciety for the Protection of Children Eays
that 100,000 might be saved by careful
nursing. This knowledge caused the
passage bf the bill forbidding the use of
solid food for infants under one year of
age unless advised by a physician and the
use of the nursing tube was also forbidden.
In fte War M
MRS. WILLIAM ASTOR'S DINNERS
IN TWELVE MONTHS.
"Ways of the Hostess Consults
, a Man in Inviting;
The last course bad been swept from the
mahogany table, the last lingering guest
bad bidden farewell to the hostess, the
last light had been extinguished in the
great salon. And alone Iri" the big stair
case ball, where she had taken leave of her
guests, Etood a tall, stately woman, with
whitening bair, brow touched with Ume,
MRS. WILLIAM ASTOR IN HER MORNING ROOM. "
From an Inxtnntnneous Photograph.
yet dignified, beautiful, and the grande
dame from bead to foot.
In parUng with the last guest. Mrs.'will
lam Astor completed a year, of the, most
famous dinner-giving on record in the so
cial world, from the time of Marc Antony
to the present day.
In the year which closed with the end
of the Newport season Mrs. William Astor
bad entertained more than 2,000 guests
at dinner, bad given over 100 small din
ners and presided over GO ceremonious
events. This means being hostess at a
dinner party three nights of the week for
a whole year and entertaining an average
of twelve persons at each of these feasts.
Small wonder that this lady paused, be
fore ascending the beautiful winding stair
case, to gaze out upon the broad, smooth,
flower-lined roadway that sweeps down
from Beccbwood Inn. Many a picture
must have lain In the shadows of the trees.
To be Uie hostess at a dinner party is one
of the most trying ?f social functions, even
if one has Uie host to fall back upon ror as
sistance, as in topics of conversation, and
at tlnw of ceremony, such as leading into
the dining room nnd leading out. The host
can tell the hostess wlthonepeculiarglance
that it is time to rise from the coffee cups,
and the hostess with an answering look-
says, "Rise and escort Uicladiestothedraw
ing room door." It is the host who leads Uie
men back toUicdiningroomforasmokcorto
the smoking room, and who finally Tecon
ducts them to the ladies.
But in the case of this famous woman
dinner-giver. It must ail be done alone,
for Mrs. Astor is a widow, and, though
she has a son, she is far too great a dinner
giver to Intrude her own family at all gath
erings of young or old, literary or social.
When Mrs. AEtor started In upon her
career of dinner-giving. Just after her
retirement for Mr. Actor, the took up
the thread where she bad dropped it two
years before, but in a much more thorough
way. Her first dinners were conducted in
series of six dinners, with one night be
tween, and a different set being represented
at each. And this last point she has fol
lowed out to this day, believing it to be
the most successful way.
When planning a dinner Mrs. Astor's
first move is to seed for some gentleman
of her acquaintance. And, as the always
has a dinner in prospective, her mornings
aro spent behind the friendly samovar,
consulting Borne one or other of her friends
about the next feast. The gentleman
selected is for the evening the host in many
ways, and be occupies the scat of honor
opposite tho hostess, unless some very
old or very celebrated lion Is to be shown
off at the dinner. -
The gentleman Eelecten goes over the
list of guests with Mrs Astor. Her first
qucsUon is as to politics. She desires those
of the same political hue, to make the
dinner harmonious, and then those of the,
Barne tastes. When she entertains Chauncey
Depew, who is a favorite dinner guest
with her, she selects persons whd are fond
of travel or foreigners, sure that other
countries will form a pleasant field for
Should tho dinner be for literary and
artistic folk, her request to callis .vent
to a gentleman of lllerarv or artistic taste.
"I desire to Invite EAud-sa and Sound-So
and So-and-so," Bhe says, handing
him a parUal list of folk.
"I would not ask So-and So " advises the
careful mentor. "He is busy now writing
a new opera; he would dislike to decline,
and yet would much prefer, as would you,
to dine later, when he will entertain you
with the newest airs of his opera, and so
make it interesting for the evening."
"How pleased I am to know this,"
replies the model hostess, and straightway
selects a new name for the vacant seat
A certain Western composer of opera has
often been a guest at these artisUc dinners-Ward
McAllister was for years Mrs.
Astor's confidential adviser regarding
ceremonious dinners, though a great deal
of rivalry existed between them. McAl
lister was Jealous of Mrs. Astor's wines,
and Mrs. Astor resented the way he had of
following up her dinners with larger and
more elaborate ones on her own lines. But
the two worked together In one thing
to entertain society.
When the matter of guests has been set
Ued the chef is called, ne, overworked
dignitary! has been InvenUng new dishes
jnd a new menu! "Tills is unknown as
yet," he says, taking out an elaborate menu
from his pocket and describing a new crca
Uon of culinary art. At one of the dinners
Uie "creation" was a soup made from tho
Juice of small birds squeezed uncooked
through a press. The Juice was afterward
highly seasoned, cooked by special process,
so that the fire did not touch It, and served
hot and fragrant. Its color was a clear red.
The artisUc director of the establish-
ment is next consulted. Tills personage
in Mrs. Astor's household is a woman. She
is a tall young girl of Greek parentage, and
as beautiful as Bhe is artistic.
"With the brown of thesoup there should
be Uie blue soup service," Bhe says, con
sulUng the menu left forher.
"Stiver fish," she decides, "should ba
served upon Uie sUver fish-plates, and
platters, and the fish should appear in
full beauty at the table." Nothing but
the roast is served upon the gold set Uiat
solid, priceless service that cost even mora
labor than money.
And so through the dinner. Each course,
in accordance with the prevailing style,
goes upon a separate set of dishes, and
each is a picture in Itself.
For her dinner parUes Mrs. Astor dresses
in black velvet always. And wonderful
black velvet gowns shehas! Amaidlaidone
over a chair, supporting its folds for a
certain paltry scribbler to see, and tba
writing woman gasped for weeks In
memory of its elegance. The waist was
incrusted with tiny diamonds. They belong
to Mrs. Astor's unset collection, and are
pierced. They are sewn on the velvet
like beads, and the sparkle, as they cover
the entire bodice, Is greater than tongyj
Another of the many velvet gowns Is
plain; one magnificent sweep of glowing
velvet. But over it is clasped the wonderful
stomacher that cost $50,000; and Jewels
are hung from shoulder and neck. No
statelier sight was ever seen than this
American hostess when she welcomes her
guests at the dinner boar.
The Astor dinner Is always twelve courses
long; often twenty. It is the only long
dinner in existence in society, all others
having yielded to the modern idea of
seven-course feasts. But Mrs. Astor pre
fers tho sociability of her mahogany to tho
gayety of the drawing room. When young
guests are invited the shorter dinner Is or
dered, but for veterans of society there is
Uie full, magnificent, twenty-course ser
vice. At those dinners she gave In Fifth
avenno to say farewell to her old home be
fore it was torn down for tho erecUon
of a great hostelry, not a dinner stopped
short of eighteen courses.
I7HAT IT COSTS.
To be the greatest dinner giver in the
world means a great deal besides being
the hostess at the dinner itself. It means
an enormous amount of though t and expense
opon the dinner services themselves. Tho
gold set, for example, used to cost $100 ev
ery time it was cleaned, nnd so deeply did
the cleaning process penetrate that each
Ume $30 worth of gold was removed by
actual weighing. This summer Thomas,
the trusty steward, has himself cleaned tbo
scttopreservcltfrom further ravages.
When a dish Is broken and the set can
not be matched It Is given away or Sold,
and when a new fork or spoon comes out
In the Jewelry line it is Immediately pur
chased by Mrs. Astor, whose table boasts
the newest of everything. Each week
there go. to her samples of queer-lined
Jelly forks and the oddest sliver and gold
scoops ever seen, ir she accepts them for
dinner use the patentee Is assured of their
To be the greatest dinner hostess In the
world means a cost of $1,000 for each din
ner, and to be the mode! hostess means a
world of good dressing and both an heredi
tary and cultivated fund of tact and train
ing. But Mrs. Astor is willing to go to all
the trouble to accomplish her pet social
fad, and as a reward she Is famed from
the circle of Mme. Felix Fanre, across
the ocean, back home again to her own.
New York and Newport as the greatest
dinner hostess that ever lived.