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NEW YEAR IN
COUNTY KERRY. r Merry Irish Pranks in Honor I of Father Time's 1 Anniversary. I IT'S "PATRON DAY." Town Pump Dance and Donkey Race the Most Amusing Features. The celebration of the New Tear is a most Important festival everywhere In Ireland, but, perhaps, nowhere more so than in Kerry. There It Is the day of fairs and steeple chases —lazy, know ing looking donkeys being the princi pal participants in the latter —and It is tl.e day on which the Itinerant fakir bases all his hopes of selling lead for silver, and washed copper for "pure 18 I karat gold." At six o'clock on New j Tear Eve, the sauce pans and "pig g<ns" In the little thatched cottages . a reflecting their gala day polish, and the holly and laurel and ivy in the window sills are doing their best to outshine the sprigs of mistletoe that brighten the old kitchen ceiling. Wax candles of all sizes and colors (having soft sods of turf for candlesticks) adorn the upper windows of tho house and light the way of the traveller the "boreen" or through the mountain intricacies. Flitches of bacon are set aside; luckless chickens ("poor crathurs") have their heads taken off; broad griddle cakes and round oven cakes are baked over the warm turf fire with surprising rapidity, and children are set at stoning raisins for the New Year cake. They have a pretty custom in Kerry in connection with this. If a member of the family has died or has emigrated to America or the Colonies, a cake is made and stamped with the name of the absent one. Mldnight mass is celebrated in the country chapels, and a more pictur esque sight can hardly be conceived than when hundreds of country men and women, clad in their brightest and gayest, make their way along the roads, some on foot, some in donkey carts, and some in the jaunting cars which are the pride of every Kerry heart. After mass the worshipers become revelers and along the road to their homes they sing New Year carols and beat Improvised drums. As they go, members of the party knock at the doors on the way, screaming: "Get up lazy bones, you've slept since last year." The man of the house gets up and gives the visitors a "dhrap o' the crathur" or a bowl of goat's milk and "holiday cake," and they sing ..is praises until they get to the next house. But woe to the inhospitable one who refuses them entrance, for the peculiarities of himself and his wife are enlarged upon, and every mean tale that tradition has gathered about the family Is, re-bashed and given utter ance to. New Year day itself Is usually Coun ty Fair or "Patron Day," the blessing of Saint Patrick, the patron saint, being invoked upon all the sportive events. Tents are pitched along the village streets, with "Sally the sugar-1 I stick" and "Bess the pieworrmn" screaming the beauty of their wares from one end, while the proprietor and sole owner of the seven wonders of the world proclaims his own greatness from the other. He Is master of black art and legerdemain of all kinds, and with the gravest of airs, Invites the curious swain to take his girl in to "to see a game-cock walk off with a fifty pound piece of iron," and when the gullible countryman pays his slx- PT.ce and falls to see any of the wonders so glowingly described out side, he is told that he must have found a four leaf shamrock somewhere, because that breaks the spell of the blackest kind of black art There is a dance near the town pump where the spruce r.nd well groomed "peelers" stand around eyeing the Jig dancers with a conscious superiority of thalr own polished selves and the as surance that every girl in the place Is watching the shining boots, gleaming bayonet, perfumed mustache, and yellow cane that always goes to make up a Kerry peeler. The blind piper takes up a collection. He makes a lit tle speech about the best dancers, the proper way of shaking one's toes and of not shaking one's head, and then, to il lustrate his remarks, he seizes the girl next to him and they go through a merry breakdown while the onlookers clap hands and cry "Good for you, Bill!" "Bedad, Norah, ye'U bate him!" "Bill has a good shake In him yet!" etc. It is the race, however, that 's the feature of the day. The donkeys that have been primed with oats and In dian meal for weeks past are brought FATHER TIME GROWS DUDISH IN HONOR OF HIS NEW BRIDE forward and their owners in gaily col ored caps and jackets enter them for the great contest. Off they go, helter skelter, girls wave handkerchiefs, the riders whisper to the donkeys, prod ding them with their hob-nailed boots the while. Suddenly one of the four legged candidates kicks up his heels and refuses to move, while another lies down contentedly and turns a deaf ear to all persuasions. The onlookers laugh at the luckless ones, and when the winner arrives at the pole, they cheer as If he were the hero of a hundred battles. Copyright, 1897, by Bacheller Syndicate. Victoria's Crown, The crown used at the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, which is said to be the heaviest and most uncom fortable diadem in Europe, contains 1,273 rose diamonds, 1,363 brilliants, 273 round pearls, four large pendant shaped pearls, one immense ruby, four small rubies, one large sapphire, twen ty-six smaller sapphires and eleven emeralds. The large ruby is set in the center of a diamond Maltese cross at the front of the crown. This stone was given to Edward I. by Don Pedro the Cruel, and was worn by Henry V. at the battle of Agincourt, when it was set in his steel casque. It is peculiarly cut and its center is hollowed out to form a setting for a smaller ruby. Many of the stones were taken from old crowns, now unused, and others were furnished by the Queen herself. They are placed In set tings of both gold and silver, and en case a crimson velvet cap with an er mine border. Four imperial arches spring from the four sides and support the mount, which is composed of 438 diamonds, and the whole is surmount ed by a diamond cross whose center is a single rose cut sapphire. Not Handsome, The Bosjesmans, in South Central Af rica, are exceedingly ugly, and exist al most in a state of animalism. They dwell in holes, live on roots and rep tiles, and have very much the appear ance of the ape. The Calmucks of the great Tartar family are, although more civilized, extremely ugly. They have short, fat noses, small eyes, high cheek bones, and a protruding chin. THE WOMAN OF FASHION. Beginning of Season for Ringing Out Old Stuff on Bar gain Counters. THE NEW SLIPPER. Tan Kid With Tongue and Buckle—Guimpes and Tucked Velvet Collars. • -.ing out the old, ring in the new" means very little so frr as fashion is concerned. The merchants make a feeble attempt to get folks Interested In summer clothes at the beginning of the new year, but too many of us have just be gun to wear Christmas furs to be In terested In such a far-off thing as hot weather. The gauzy stuffs displayed In the windows make one '"liver and hurry inside to jget warm at the bar- gain counter—and doubtless this is the very object of displaying them, for it Is upon the counter within that the merchant centers his hopes of retriev ing the mistakes of his foreign buyers and his own private designers. The capes and jackets that did not take, together with job lots of cheap imita tions of imported styles that succeeded, will replenish the purse which he poured out in his semi-annual specula tion upon popular taste. The woes of the broker over the fluctuations in the stock market are as nothing compared to the grief of the importer at the freaks of wilful woman. At the "bargain counter both have their revenge, she, because she gets the once-rejected garment cheap, he, be cause she is compelled to buy it, for being such a bargain she cannot resist it. The twenty-dollar Jackets are now beginning to sell for fifteen, the twelve dollar ones for eight, and so on. Blouse suits that sold at the beginning of the season for twenty dollars are now marked down to thirteen. Even furs are growing cheaper, the change being noticeable as the days drew nearer to Christmas, in the frantic efforts of the furrier to dispose of his wares as holl- day presents. Twenty-flve-dollar hats sell for fifteen, and throughout all de partments of woman's dress the reduc tion Is so marked that those who prid ed themselves upon being the first to bring out a new fashion are now be wailing the fact that they could have bought nearly twice as much for their money if they had only waited—but then, one expects to pay something for the privilege of introducing a novelty. Meanwhile, we who were not so fore handed with our money at the begin ning are using our savings to the best advantage among the articles which are not absolutely cheap, but which have lost the inflated value which they possessed at first by reason of being novelties. There j.re Imported ties, for instance, which sold for a dollar and a half at first, but which are now worth little more than the ribbon of which they are made. Indeed, it is better merely to buy a yard and three quar ters of the Roman stripe rlbbjm and 1 make the tie oneself. It passes twice around the neck and ties In a four-ln hand in fronts, with ends a half yard in length. Soft scarfs tied in a butteri.y -ow In front are very much worn with the plaid silk or velvet shirt waist ot the winter. No bow at the back of the neck le allowable in any sort of stock or col larette. The fashionable world has grown tired of it and will tolerate it no longer. If you do not look well with a bow under the chin, tie your ribbon under the left ear—a bow there Is less objectionable than at the back. A great many girls have solved the question of the bow by dispensing with It alto gether and merely passing the ends of ribbon through a pretty buckle at the back of the neck. In this case, the rib bon is much shorter, being only long enough to go around the collar and slip the ends through the buckle. The Ingenious and thrifty girl will not be Bio ~- to recognise the economy of using up the good ends of her old ribbons in this manner. Yokes and gulmpes continue to flour ish. They are In order for any kind of suit, from a ball dress to a rainy day costume. In the latter, they are especially useful, because they serve to brighten an otherwise sombre gown In a portion of It not likely to be harmed by the dampness. The broad velvet collar that Is tucked Is a new feature of the blouse costume. It goes with the gulmpe, and hence does not start from the nape of the neck, but a few inches below. It is usually slashed on the shoulders and at the middle of the back, and is about Aye inches wide. The tucks are very fine and look odd enough In so heavy a material as velvet. I saw such a col lar on a green velvet blouse that was worn at a concert In New York's twin hotel yesterday. There was a gulmpe of turquoise blue velvet and white lace, and over this the loose green velvet blouse fastened to the left side, with lace trickling down the edge. The tucked velvet collar turned back around the lace gulmpe at the upper edge of the blouse. The skirt also was new, for it lapped at the left side in a velvet-edged fold that reached to the bottom. Four buttons had the appear ance of fastening it together near the top of this fold. The skirt was made of fawn colored broadcloth and the sleeves were of the same, so that all the velvet used was In the simple, sleeveless fclouse with its tucked collar. 'The same design might be carried out in any pretty wool goods, using no vel vet except for the tucked collar and the piped fold on the skirt. A cape that starts at the shoulders Is the natural outcome of the fondness for yoke effects. It is Uftally pleated to its yoke with a heading, but Is some times edged with fur or other trim ming, and the edges do not come quite together in front. It would be easy to have the yoke and front of one's dress heavily interlined - and then have a cape ,of the same material gathered or pleated on at the shoulders, and there would be a Jaur.ty street suit with wrap and all complete. An old cape that Is out of style can often be utilized in this way. I have a brown one with fringe which I have ripped from Its old fashioned velvet collar, and which I In tend to pleat around the shoulders of a blouse suit of harmonious shade. Then with a silk cord, or a buckle, or a Roman scarf to tie it together in front I shall have a very serviceable street suit for the days that are not cold enough for winter coats. Perhaps I shall have a Medici collar and yoke of velvet or some sort of fancy material, so that the cape may be removed. Some designers make a bolero front of the same material as the yoke and collar, whioh of course adds warmth over the chest. The effect o* the cape Is more graceful and Jaunty when the edges stop, say five inches short of one an other in front. Skirt flounces grow more and more rampant, some of them standing out at angles that would seem impossible did one not observe that they were made of taffeta or stiff moussellne and pleat ed in a million tiny pleats. It was at a musicale the other evening that I saw such flounces as these —three of them, several inches apart, near the bottom of a pale blue taffeta skirt. "With this skirt was a black beaded blouse which was unique, both because of the Jet butterfly that was perched just above the waist in front, and because of the peculiar low cut corsage with its pleat ed flounce of blue taffeta standing out like a fan around it. A grey cape v,:th ermine lining and lace edge made a gorgeous setting for such a pretty gown. The newest evening shoe is tan kid. It is shaped something like the opera toe in front, but has a large buckle with a wide tongue projecting above it. A similar slipper Is made of bronze and also of red kid. It is only within the last year that manufacturers have suc ceeded in getting a dye for kid slippers, and those who have wanted colored shoes to match gowns have been com pelled to wear either goat or satin. The tan slipper Is a very pale tint and Is suitable to wear with a gown of any color. Such a pair of slippers, even at tho price, five dollars, would therefore be a good Investment for the girl of slender purse, as she would be able to wear it with all the gowns she may have on hand, as well as any new one she may hope to have within the year. ANNIE LAURIE WOODS. Copyright, 1897, by Bacheller Syndicate. English Income Tax Since 1842 the English Income tax has been changed eighteen times. Sixteen pence to the pound is the maximum. GIFT GIVING IN JAP-LAND. January First Their Great Holiday When Everybody Gets a Present ENGAGEMENT BELT A "Noshl" Goes With Every Gift Lest Recipient Pay for It. The great holiday of the Japanese Is the New Year, when a general exchange of presents take place. Tradesmen send gifts to their patrons; scholars to their teachers; patients to their physicians; servants to their masters and mistresses and In like manner through every grade of society. All ob ligations are paid at that time, and everybody starts the new yecr with a clean record. On the seventh day of the seventh month there is another exchange of gifts, though not so universal as at the beginning of the year. Presents are given to servants semi-annually— what a comfort it would be If our system of feeing could be reduced to this! On the departure of a guest who has been paying a visit to the family, he makes a gift, not of money necessarily, to the servant who has waited upon him; this the servant immediately takes to the mistress and asks her to thank the donor for him. Those who return from long journeys bring with them gifts for the mem bers of their Immediate families, the costliness of which is regulated by the length of the Journey or the time of absence. Pleasure seekers who go for a day or an evening, to matsurl, fes tival or fair, invariably bring trifling gifts to those who have remained be hind. Gifts are sent by relatives and friends at the birth of a child, but the advent of a son and heir Is welcomed with more and far costlier gifts than is the birth of a daughter. Infants are named on the seventh day after birth, and the christening gifts are far more numerous than ours. Present giving with them is not limited to holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays, as with us; they send gifts upon any and every occasion, some times without the least 'apparent provocation. From the time of a child's birth" to the day of its death It may be reason ably sure of receiving a certain num ber of gifts, upon stated occasions. More presents at other seasons are con tingent upon special conditions, but It Is safe to say that scarcely a week passes in a Japanese family of the bet ter class without one member or an other receiving or sending from one to half a dozen gifts. These presents are by no means costly ones; they may consist of toys for children, rice, fruit, flowers, or eggs, which last are emblems of good luck, delicacies for the invalid, books, embroideries, fans, etc., etc. The present a lover makes to his in tended wife is usually a handsome JAPANESE "NOSHI," WITHOUT WHICH NO GIFT IS COMPLETE. I piece of silk to be used for the obi or girdle. The obi takes the place of the. engagement ring with us; it is the most expensive article of a Japanese lady's wardrobe and sometimes, being woven of real gold thread, costs several hundred yen or dollars. There Is a commercial side to this gift giving, as well as a sentimental one, as a return present must be sent for every gift received; X most be appropriate to the season or occa sion and the rank of tbe receiver, and Invariably arranged according to the prescribed etiquette. To fall in thia would be to .advertise oneself as 111 bred and wanting In respect to the es tablished customs which age has ren dered sacred. Every gift must be wrapped In white paper and must be .tied with a pecu liar red and white string, made ot strands of twisted paper. Into the double bow knot. Is Inserted the noshl, which is a bit of dried fish folded In a piece of colored paper. The noshl Is an Indispensable accompaniment of every preeent. except those sent upon funeral occasions. The stranger In Japan seeing these curiously folded bits of paper thrust under the knot of red and white cord which binds a gift from a friend or tradesman, little thinks what an an cient custom It Is, nor of its signifi cance to these people. One of the best authorities on Japan ese customs says the noshl-is supposed to be emblematic of humility, and that it Is used to remind the Japanese that they were once a race of poor fisher men, and that by being temperate and frugal they have risen to greatness, a condition which can only be preserved by continuing to exercise these virtues. Anciently, pieces of the raw fish, were cut Into stripe, and folded In little squares, several of which were strewn on the little salvers or trays on which the complimentary presents are al ways offered. The gifts, generally of trifling value, were always accompan ied with a complimentary paper, fold ed In a peculiar manner, and having a strip of the fucus pasted on each end of it. At the present time the raw fish and fresh sea weed, which formerly accom panied the folded paper are not In use; a tiny bit of dry sea weed fastened to the paper suffices to keep up the sig nificance of the offering, which Is made use of by the common people quite as much as by those of the better class. For Instance, your Japanese maid, if you be a foreign lady staying In Japan, will bring you a morning gift of buds and blossoms tied with a red and white string with golden ends and having the inevitable bit ot folded paper and sea weed thrust in with the knot The presence of the noshl warns you that the offering is a gift, for which you must not, upon any account, offer to pay—at the time, though later you may make a return gift of money or eo-nethlng else as you choose. The cortle who has run with your 'rickshaw up hill and down dale, al ways with nimble feet and cheerful as pect, will upon your departure, bring you a gift, of no appreciable value probably, but one -howlng his good will and knowledge of the tradition of his country, done up in the regulation manner and tied with the noshl. Two kinds of paper are employed for wrapping gifts, the nosho and sugitara, the first being the best and that usual ly employed. Two pieces are used and are secured with the red and gilt cord. This Is tied In a double bow knot and mounted with the noshl placed with its point downward towards the name of the sender, which Is plainly inscribed, usually on the right hand corner. The noshl, with the bit of sea weed, Is not usually employed in sending presents of fish, flesh or fowl, because it Is emblematic of life. In its place a feather of a crane or fowl is used; if this, cannot be procured, then a hanahl Is made to do service: this is a small piece of paper, about three Inch es square, folded to the width of half an inch and twisted at the middle, once on Itself. If a gift must be sent in haste and neither of these are at hard it Is permissible to write the word noshl on the wrapping paper. On special occasions, weddings or funerals, the midzu hikl is tied In a square knot and cut short. White cards are used for funeral gifts, and red and white for wedding presents, while red and gilt ones are tied around the gift parcels on ordinary occasions. In moot Japanese houses there is kept a stock of both papers and the various colored strings ready for an emergen cy. LAURA B. STARR. Copyright, IM7, by Bacheller Syndicate. Some Great Men's Wives. Ben Johnson had a shrew for a wife, who used to go to the ale room after him and bring him home, scolding all the way. Boswell, Johnson's biographer, mar ried a scold, and In his "Uxoriana" re corded faithfully all her snappish say ings and his own answers. Rohault, the philosopher, had a wife whose opinion of him was so high that she sat at the door of his lecture room and refused to admit any but well dressed persons. The great Dr. Cadogan married a lady several years older than himself. She was Jealous, and in company accused him of poisoning her; whereupon he told the company they were welcome to open her at onoe and show her mil take. The famous Rev. Andrew Bell had a virago wife, who left him and then de voted her time to abusing him by mail. She once addressed a letter to htm: "To that Sup rem est of Rogues, who looks the Hangdog that tie la, Doctor Andrew Bell." CALENDARS COMING YEAR The Latest Thing Is Home Mad and Poet Almanacs Are Passe. A NEW YEAR GIF! Signed Sentiments Are Dai! Reminders ol Friends Who Inscribed Them. It IT»»a*~ »m* fashionable within tl lasx (tW|Bui to crlve ornamental cs en dare to oners Intends for Nsw Tei presents. Printers cmd publishers ha' accumulated a considerable amount revenue from the custom, and a constantly making more and more a tractive designs. There are the I»w« Calendar, the Longfellow, Shakespear and other poets' calendars rotten i by different publishers, with a quot tlon from the literary patron saint each for every day of the year. Whether it is because the sayings the standard poets have become c haueted or whether the general publ has acquired a too Insatiable thirst f. originality, the popularity of the poet calendar Is waning, and is giving pla. to the erase for conglomerate almana made up by one'e friends. This ne kind of calendar, like a surprise part Is undertaken and engineered by on or possibly two acquaintances, in th manner: Mrs. Brown, we will suppos is compiling an almanac for her dei friend, Mrs. Jonea, and her first tai is to make out three hundred and si ty-flve slips of paper or pieces of cai board, writing or lettering thereon t: successive days and months of tl year. She malls or carries one or mo of these to various mutual friends ai acquaintances, who are requested write a quotation or an original sent ment on each of the slips, appropria to the dates which they bear, and sign and return at the earliest posslb date. The promoter of the scheme tht fastens all the slips together in the o der of their dates in any form si Chooses, puts a decorative design «rle terlng around or about It somewher with something to hang It by, and tl calendar is complete. These dlreotiot are purposely made somewhat Indel nlte because there are as many wa; of making a calendar as there are cti tlonery manufacturers In the country to put it mildly—and as there Is i copyright on that part of It, one ma simply select the kind one likes be: and follow that. In the distribution of the slips wit their dates It is well to scatter tl same names through the year at t long intervals as possible, in order thi the same friend may not come up tt frequently for a little while and the be dropped for the rest of the yea One's friends may be permitted to ci press as tender sentiments as they cat to do, and It Is by no means necessar to confine the expression of them t the women of one's acqualntanc Since no one but the "promoter" ot tl calendar and the recipient are eui posed to see these sentiments, thei need be no embarrassment about wrt Ing any sort of foolishness, which oe cares to express for perusal by a dee friend at some future day ot the yea as the promoter Is bound In honor nc to reveal any such confidences whic come to her knowledge In this manne All In all, the Idea is a very pleasar of being unexpectedly r< minded of some dear friend by tearin off the old slip of the day before an finding underneath some kind words It scribed months before in the hand-wrii Ing of that very person. The ski lift and tactful compiler will alternate, th names of her friend's mere acquaint ances with those whom she knows t be nearer and dearer. If she happe to be clever with brush or pen, sh will make decorative designs for th beginning of each month, and' wit thus much devotion to the happiness c her friend her gift may become a wor of art, as well as a treasure of swec memories from one's dearest associate: A. L. W. Copyright, 1897, by Bacheller Syndicate A Painful Decoration. This anecdote Is told of the late 14 Carnot, President of the French R< public. Whenever "en tour," he too with him a collection of decoration and other distinctions for distribution among the notables of the towns he passed through. The President of the Republic, in order to enhance the valur of the decoration, was accustomed t< pin it himself on the breast of the hap py recipient. On one provincial tou it appears that he made a mess of th operation. A statue had Just been up veiled and the customary speeches d( Mvered, when the persons to be decoi aited were invited to get upon the pla' form. Among them was a fat farra< to whom the Academic Palms were a lotted. M. Carnot approached him ar proceeded to pin the blue ribbon »n h breast, but whether the pin was blui or the cloth of the farmer's coat har he found the task difficult. Howevt at length he succeeded. But Judge hie surprise on seeing tl.e farmer tret bling and pale ea a ghv-et. He at fir thought it was simply emotion, but t farmer gettlng.worse, General Bruge advanced and found that the pin h stuck in the farmer's breast, and th he was bleeding freely. To extract was, of course, but the work of a si ond, and the farmer recovered; but will be a long time before he forg< the first day he wore his decoration- Wild Animals in Oregon, Panthers are reported as very mi erous In some well settled parts of O gon. In Coos County a farmer kit two In one night, and another had visit from three of these beasts at i place on the following night. Deer « plenty in the vlclmty, too, and 1 hunters say that every deer track nearly covered with panther tracks.