OCR Interpretation

New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, July 21, 1912, Image 19

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1912-07-21/ed-1/seq-19/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for 3

'Kate Carew Foregatfcers with the Highnesses at " Love-in-Idleness Ball"
By Kate Carew
JTJST fawncy, my dears. your Aunt
Kate hadn't been ln London more
than a few houra when ahe whlsked
berself off to a really emart ball. where
Tltlee foregathered. to trip the llght fan
And they eay lfs dlfflcult to get Into
JngUeh 6oclety (large S. please). Why.
tt'a Juat as easy!
Well. anyhow, there waa I. alttlng ln
my littie attlc chamber. feeling perfect?
ly mlaerable. when the Invitation to thls
ball came. In fact, I was plannlng how
to get back to Amertca wlthout crossing
the ocean, and I was trying to explaln
to the lnterior portion of me that we
were on ehore again, and that there wae
no aense ln lmaglnlng we were sttll golng
up. up. up and down, down. downy on
huge waves.
Then came the tinkle of the telephone.
I let lt tlnkle for a whlle. because every
tlnie I thought of getUng out of my chalr
the fleor seemed to float gracefully up
and melt Into the celling.
Ftnally, by a perfectly herculeon ef
fort, I dld answer lt I sald "Hello!"
heaps of tlmes. and eome one said. "Are
you there?" aa many tlmes, and I replled.
Tes," at flrst sweetly. and then quite
peeviehly, because lt waa becomlng
mor.: t'.r.ous.
At laBt when the Central, who la "Ex
change" here. got through Interfering I
diacovered that an old friend was call
ing me up and lnvlting me to a balL
Well. honestly, dears, I felt so ahaky
I didn't want to go.
But he aald Duchesaea and CounteaBes
would be there. and you know they al
waye have an excltlng effect on any good
aatlve-born American the flrst time of
aeelng, bo I Just had to accept
No, I'm not a snob.
Tou know perfectly well I am not. and
I never will be a enob, but I dld want
to see Tltles cancing on their natlve
The more 1 thought of lt the more
thrlUed I got. ?
I trled to remember how Buaan B. An
thony was so lndependent and demo?
cratlc that when ahe was preBented to
the Empress of Uermany ahe never
turned a halr. Slmply held out her
hand and aald:
"How do, Marm."
Juat llke that
Tes, I talked most sererety to myaelf,
but a!l the sama your female relatlve
aaat on palpitatlng a bit
Then, too, the ball had auch a ripplng
name, doncherknow? It wasn't Just
plaln dance or ball. nothlng llke it It
waa the "Love-ln-Idleness Ball."
Can you beat lt?
Besidea all that. lt was the flrst of a
aerles of Bhakespeare Flower Dancea to
be glver. at Earlacourt, where an exhlbt
tion of things as they were ln the lm
mortal BUly'e time ls belng held.
You know. they've all got Shake
apearltia over here Just now. They're
dreadfully cut up that they've neglected
thelr bard so long. not glving hlm a
pltyhouse of hls own. whlch any other
actor-manager aequtres ln double qulck
tlrre, and having left undone lota of
Singa that would have shown how glad
"Ny were he had been one of them. So
they're trying to make up for lt by
bul'.dlng hlm a theatre, "a temple where
ln hls works Bhall be adequately per
formed," as the enthuslastlc hlghbrows
call lt. and they're holdlng thla exhlbl
tlon and speclal performances at Strat
ford, and a Shakeapeare FeBtlval at Hls
atajeaty'e Theatre. to make up for any
Pest lack of aglllty ln honorlng hlm.
Well, glrla. as I say. I Just made up
n>y mlnd I would have to go to that
dance, whether I fe'.t steamerlsh or not.
?o I hied me to my Uttle trunk, whlch,
hy the way. has become a box slnce I
landed, and wlth furrowed brow and
trembllng hands I aearched among my
aarmenta for eomething that would do
the 8tars and Strlpes credlt.
Of course, I had not expected to meet
tt? Brltlah arlatocracy face to face so
???n. I thought I might get Into touch
w?tfi them anon, but thls Invitation waa
aprung upon me ln auch a rush that I
??t quite fldgety about everythlng. even
?"y clothes, and you know that If there
*? one thlng I huve got a mlnd above It's
However, I made a careful selectlon of
*> very gladdeat rags and hummlni
"aly country, 'tls of thee." I put on all.
*?*. every one of me Joo-lls.
Tbe Mere Man who had asked your
jwntte to go love-ln-ldleneaBlng called for
her tn a taxlcab. and-would you believe
hT-the taxlmeter only reglstered 1*
^ntB at the beglnnlng of the rlde. and
?te/ed that way for ages! lant lt grandf
She Travels with Much Trepidation to Earlscourt for the First of the Series of Flower Dances
Given in Connection with the Shakespeare Exhibition, Promoted by Mrs. Cornwallis West?
There She Observes Dukes, Duchesses, etc, and Is Attracted and Charmed in Many Ways
?The Decorous "Turkey Trot" and the Method of Taking One's Pleasures Sadly.
Axybody can ride round all they llke ln
thls country!
?Whlle we were eplnnlng throuch the
streets, Bwlnglng round corners and Just
touchlng the high place? sometimcs. the
Mere Man told me wh..m I could expect
to see at the balL I was a littie dlsap
polnted to flnd that lt was a buy-your
tlcket sort of affair. lt seemed to take
the gilt off my flrst plece of Engllsh
glngerbread, but he explalned to me that,
I not content wlth hundredB of prlvate
dances. the TItles buy tlcketB for heaps
of semi-pubilc ones. for Charltles or
Caus.s, you know.
In the flrst plft. a, there were the host
esses to talk nbout. There was Our
Own Duchess of Marlborough, the Tount
ess of Eaaez, also halllng from Amerlca;
the Countcss of Clancarty. the Lady
Maude Warrender, Lady Alexander and
two iwjor soulB who were Juat plaln Mra.
One of theae was Mrs r.eorjre Corn
wallls West. the organlxer. promoter gen
eral manager and everythlng else >ou
can lmaalne of the Shapespeare Exhlbl
tlon and the danees ln connertlon wlth lt.
beaaaaa belnic the Xapoleon of the whole
Shakeapeare National Theatre movement
She Is a moat wonderful person. thla
Mrs. O. C Weat .between ouraelvea Bhe's
an American. a* ever was. It would
make you frel qulte at home to hear her
She eeems to be able to get Just about
what ahe war.ta from good old Enaland.
She haa Dukes and Dueheases perforn..
Ing at all her funetlons. and ahe dreases
them up In trmor and crlnollnei. and
they pretend they are thelr own ancea
tora at balls and tournamenta or any
other form of entertalnment she derldea
to have for the beneflt of the great
Bhakenpeare Cauee.
When we got to the EmpresB Hall.
where the dan^e waa held, our taxlcab,
whlch had never stopped to breathe alnce
It left my hotel, a'.owed down and got In
llne, and I don't mlnd telllng you I of?
fered up a littie prnyer of thanks?-lvln?T.
for a steamer motlon and a taxlcab mo
tlon mlxed together are somethlng awfttll
We had to walt tlll eeveral baautlfUl
ladlea stepped from carrlas>s )n front of
us, and th?-n we ullthered out of our cab,
unoatentatloualy, gathered ouraelvea to?
gether and swept Into the hall as If we
had come ln a royal eoach, when 1? the
very laat word ln conveyanee*.
When I had dlsposed of my rloak and
glven the puffs whlch never grew on my
hea.I a flnal pat. I drew myseif up to my
full helght. and the Mere Man led me
Into the ballroom.
He ls on a nowspaper, so, of c.mrse.
he ls very nonchalant. and dehonalr, and
blase. and all the other thlngs about
any klnd of featlvlty, but. oh. glrls. I
dld gasp a blt, because you know I am
not debonalr. I'm Juat plaln Jane all
through. and I dld thlnk that ballroom
was a heautlful slght!
It had been converted Into a eeml.Iance
of Warwick t'astle. There were th.- grlm
old walis. th.- turreta and towers and the
irreat Kates. Overhend was the blue sky,
wlth myrlads of llghts llke stars peeplng
through It.
All round the great oval ballroom. wlth
Ita gold columns, were purple panah-s
hung ln featoons and massed together ln
gll*. basketa. Then, aa lf that weren't
enouj?h ln the way of floral decoratlon,
there were ropes of laurel leavea aa well,
and the Mere Man, who must be a llnht
nlng calculator (or else he had seen the
Presa Agent). told me about thirty thou
sand pansles and flfty-four festoons of
leavea had been used.
I llked the yew hedgea whlch marked
the boundary of the danclng rloor Thry
were Just rows of cute, Uttle trees. lopped
and cut so that they were all exactly
even, and In front of each entrance they
had the cunnlngest yew peaco.ks perchlng
on top of them.
"Qulte llke an old Engllah garden." aald
the Mere Man. twlatln* hia eyeglass.
Really. he has grown dreadfully Brlt
lah alnce he haa llved over her-. And
they say men aren't Imltatlve! Don't you
believe It. though. Your auntie knowa a
thlng or two. If she ls littie. and ahe tells
you from the deptha of her belng the male
ls Just aa lmitative as the female!
Thtre were pienty of seats back of the
yew hedges (say those words over and
over agaln qulckly. and aee how you llke
lt!). and inslde of the llne of baby Ohrlst
mas trees. as l've aald. waa the space rc
aerved for danclng.
Oh, girls. what a floor!
It was llke a beautlful blg mlrror. and
the funny part of lt Is that lt can be taken
up and put down about as easlly aa you
can move the plano on cleanlng day.
It ls ln blocks of oak and teak. each one
about slx Inches square. These are all
numbered. and they flt together wlth no
trouble at all.
Of course, I don't for a moment suppose
that lt is the only danclng floor ln London.
but It certalnly ls husy. becauae some
tlmes It la out st Albert Hall. and then
agaln part of lt or all of It la somewhere
else, and here lt waa at the Empreaa Hall.
Falrly actlve for Just plaln floor, eh?
I must say I thlnk It Is a real nlce. eco
noml-a! i.l. .i. doa't you?
I was such a vlllage malden that I actu
ally auppoaed that all the ladt.s who ha3
halped tO get up the ball had asslsted
wlth the deeoratlons. and I was qulte pre
, pared to la\lsh praise upon them for thelr
work, hut when I chlrped out a QttBPtlon
as to thls the Mera Man rather laughed at
me?you know, the "my-dcar-chlld-how
absurd" laugh of the auperlor male. Then
! he went on to explaln that an Itallan de
slaner always de'-oratej the ballrooms
when the soclal elect here buy tickets to
Hia name, vhlrh Is certalnly pure Papo,
1? I'letro Tantapple. Hls mlsslon ln llfe,
llt icemi, la Just 10 go ahout decoraflng.
| One timo he is ln Madrld. brlghtenlng
thlngs up for the mnrrlnge of the Klng of
Spaln: then he sklps over to Parts for
aomebody or other's stat.- \lsit. He anu
on hand when Klng Oeorge and Q:--n
Mary were rr.jwnej at Westmlnster
Abbey, and deoofatad that as much as
they would let hlm.
We look our aaata ln the very fronte?>t
front row and w.-u. hed th>' people .-ome In
Of course. we BCCapted dance eards Just
,ie lf we were golng to venture on that
glatsy floor. but. my dears, I never meant
to for a moment. I know wliat sults me
best. Its perfect repose for your Auntie
As soon as we p it aettled ln our ch.ilrs
the most beautlful littie Itallan boy, one
neeked dresses and hats. Tfcat's almply
never done here at all!
It waa to be a real innovatlon. and was
probably Intended to glve a dushlng, wlck
ed, Krench touch to a Brltlsh ball. They
all said they'd wear caslno hats. the kind
you see at the caalnos on the Conttnent
after the nlght shades have fallen. You
know, blg floppy hats, wlth droopy plumea
that men think look lnexpenslve, and
which have e.iused many an apoplectlc
Btrok ? when the head of the houaehold has
learned the cost of them.
An 1 do you think they did wear them?
Not at all. They fooled each other I
Every hlessed woman came tn her Sun
day-l.est tlara. exactly as if she had never
pledged heraelf to wear anythlng else on
her hend. The only women who did ap
poar ln hats were some of the untltled,
unsung ones, who thought they were dolng
Just what the Social Eleet were.
There were aeveral young people who
came ln fanry dress. I don't think they
were decelved also aa to what waa to be
vorn. I belleve they Just pleased them
aetvea The Mero Man said that Soclety
was gettlng so used to dre^slng up and
pretenllng to be some one of another cen
tury that a few of its members couldn't
stop. Anyhow, there they were. InHan
glrls. clowns. harlequlns and beaus and
boors of Shakespeare's time.
Of course, the most beautlful frocks.
the most gorgeous Jewels and the lovellest
women were in that huge front tier box
Thoy seemed to sort themselves out from
the others by hereditary right. They
of Pletro's BUlte. I should think, rame up
wlth a great tray of purple pansles. I
thought he waa selling them. and an I
was Just eraay about that angel-f.ired
chlld at tlrst Blght I thought I would buy
s?me. and I trled to press a ooln Into his
baad, wlth the air of a great lady dis
trlbuting largesse.
But he would have none of lt. Kot ha
The llttle bunches of love-ln-idlenesa
were souvenlrs of the ball. to be glven to
all and Bundry there present.
I dldn't hope for mueh excltement as
far aa dancing was eum erned. I thought
Titlea would probah' ? valse (never wattx)
ln atately and decorous faahion. ao I de
clded that M better Btudy the clothea
flrst, and that kept me busy iiuite a whlle.
You see, there was such a varlefy of
coatumes. It was thla way:
The ladlea of the committee and the
hosteaae* had agreed to come ln low
danced, but lmmedlately the muslc ended
back they went to thelr retreat. from
whlch they could see everythlng and be
seen frorn every corner of the hall.
There were statesmen In that box. Slr
Bdward Grey and Wlnston Churchlll both
apenl much time there, and there were
Dukes and Earls and Baronets and Duch
esses and Countesses.
I don't aay there weren't Tltlea at the
ball that didn't go Into that box. but what
I do feel Is that the very cream of them
all were there.
It gave me a sort of Impresslon of the
sheep and the goats ln the Blble, you
know. We were the goats.
To be perfectly frank, I didn't llke lt.
If tnakea you feel lonely. to be shut out
llke that
I enjoyed the ball very much. but lt was
not altvgether what I thought lt would be
ln aome respecta, and thla waa ona
i Naturally. I dld not expect to dance
wlth a Duke. I'm not qulte ao stlly aa
all that, and besldea they didn't seem to
dance very well, anyhow, but I did thlnk
we would mlngle ln one vast throng. as lt
I kept on studylng that blg box of
arlstocracy. and sorted out the Duchessea
from the Countesses and so on. and lt
kept me real busy.
I thought the Duchess of Westmlnster
very Btunnlng, all ln gold tlssue from the
tlps of her toea to the top of her head. and
I fcund our Duchess looklng a Uttle tlred
and bored. I thought Lady. The Lady.
Maude Warrender a sturdy Amazon type.
nnd I was much lnterested ln I.ady Beryl
le Poer Trench, who ls the daughter of the
Earl of Clancarty and hls flrst wife. the
late Belle Bllton. of muslc hall fame.
Lady Beryl ls a great handsome Irlah
colleen, who has been kept ln the school
room tll! th!s her first season.
Most of them we're certalnly beauttful
women, the klnd Du Maurter used to plct
ure. wlth long lines. dellcate featurea.
wonderful sklns and large eyes.
And, oh. I dld llke thelr halr! All
. amooth and slick and p'.ain. I trled my
l own locks that way when I got home. but
it didn't sult me a Uttle blt.
When I turned my eagle eye upon the
danclng I dld amlle some, and lf only the
Mere Man had been more sympathetlc
l I'd have laughed merrlly, because they dld
Uttle "Turkey Trots"?yes. honest?and
you can't lmaglne how funny a "Turkey
Trot" can be tll! you sce a Brltlsh Matron
do lt.
Now, mlnd, I'm not saylng they "Turkey
Trotted" ln any extreme sort of faBhion,
but they certalnly dld cute Uttle atepa. sld?
by slde and faclng each other, and then
swung into the regular agaln, and you
never saw anythlng more decorous and
solemn. That Frenchman who said "The
Engllsh take thelr pleasures sadly" haa
got me rlght on hls side.
They even get depressed over the good
old "Turkey Trot." and that ls a "stunt,"
if you llke!
There was as much varlety ln the danc?
lng as there was ln the costumes. The
older people waltzed around ln the good,
anclent way. Round and round one way,
then round and round ln the other. No
reverslng. It's only recently that has
heen considered good form ln Greaf
"My. wouldn't you thlnk lt would make
them dlzzy?" I gasped, after my head had
I begun to swlm from watchlng a palr of
elderly arlstocratic teetotuma, and, would
you belleve lt. a lady passlng aald to her
e.?cort: "Aren't there a number of Amer
lcans in town thls eeason?"
The younger set danced very much as
our college boys and thelr best girls do,
glldlng along wlth a sort of dreamy ex
presslon on thelr faces. They Bostoned
and flve-stepped and two-stepped and
"Turkey-Trotted" ln a amall and modest
They never aeemed to alt out a dance.
I euppose with so many chaperona about
lt Just almply Isn't worth whlle.
After I had watched the Tltles to my
heart's content and atudied dreaaes and
Jcwela so that I could have gone tn for
soclety reportlng on the spot the Mere
Man suggested a dash for the Ught re
freshment whlch waa Ineluded ln the prlca
of our tickets, ao we cut through the yew
hedgea and paased the peacocks. maklnr
our way Into the very heart of Warwlck
Oastle, and there waa the llghtest of Ught
refreahment, tlny aandwlches, lemonade,
cake. tea. of course, and lces If you par
tlcularly wanted them nnd ordered them.
We did ourselves as well aa we could
wlthout runnlng beyond what expense our
tickets covered. then aa I yawned three
times tn the shelter of my handkerchlef
the Mere Man asked me polltely lf I could
tear myself away.
I sald I could. And It wouldn't be much
of a tear at all at all I
As we went out blg men In stunnlng
Uvertes were calllng "Lady So-and-So's
ca.-riage," 'The Ducheaa-of-Thta-and
That'a carriage," etc. Just llke a soclety
novel. So nlce of them !
Our taxlcab didn't block the way, though
we had partlcularly mentloned to the
chauffeur that lf he came back he would
flnd us on the same old spot. We plcked
up another. however. wlthout any trouble
at all. and were whlsked back to my hotel
ln the twinkllng of an eye.
I thanked the Mere Man as prettlly as
I could and then "To Bed." as Pepys
says. *
No, my deara, I can't say I was exactly
disappolnted ln the ball. but when I do
thlnk of it at all I reallze lt waa not what
I expected.
(Copyrighf, 1912. New-Tork Trlbuna)

xml | txt