Click here to Download Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book by Eliot Gregory Language English having PDF Size 1.3 MB and No of Pages 121.
Women endowed by nature with the indescribable quality we call “charm” (for want of a better word), are the supreme development of a perfected race, the last word, as it were, of civilization; the flower of their kind, crowning centuries of growing refinement and cultivation. Other women may unite a thousand brilliant qualities.
Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book by Eliot Gregory
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And attractive attributes, may be beautiful as Astarté or witty as Madame de Montespan, those endowed with the power of charm, have in all ages and under every sky, held undisputed rule over the hearts of their generation. When we look at the portraits of the enchantresses whom history tells us have ruled the world by their charm, and swayed the destinies of empires at their fancy.
We are astonished to find that they have rarely been beautiful. From Cleopatra or Mary of Scotland down to Lola Montez, the tell-tale coin or canvas reveals the same marvellous fact. We wonder how these women attained such influence over the men of their day, their husbands or lovers. We would do better to look around us, or inward, and observe what is passing in our own hearts.
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Pause, reader mine, a moment and reflect. Who has held the first place in your thoughts, filled your soul, and influenced your life? Was she the most beautiful of your acquaintances, the radiant vision that dazzled your boyish eyes? Has she not rather been some gentle, quiet woman whom you hardly noticed the first time your paths crossed. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book
But who gradually grew to be a part of your life—to whom you instinctively turned for consolation in moments of discouragement, for counsel in your difficulties, and whose welcome was the bright moment in your day, looked forward to through long hours of toil and worry? In the hurly-burly of life we lose sight of so many things our fathers and mothers clung to.
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And have drifted so far away from their gentle customs and simple, homeloving habits, that one wonders what impression our society would make on a woman of a century ago, could she by some spell be dropped into the swing of modern days. The good soul would be apt to find it rather a far cry from the quiet pleasures of her youth, to “a ladies’ amateur bicycle race.”
That formed the attraction recently at a summer resort. That we should have come to think it natural and proper for a young wife and mother to pass her mornings at golf, lunching at the club-house to “save time,” returning home only for a hurried change of toilet to start again on a bicycle or for a round of calls, an occupation that will leave her just the half-hour necessary to slip into a dinner gown. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book
And then for her to pass the evening in dancing or at the cardtable, shows, when one takes the time to think of it, how unconsciously we have changed, and (with all apologies to the gay hostesses and graceful athletes of today) not for the better. Full as small intellects are of queer kinks, unexplained turnings and groundless likes and dislikes.
The bland contentment that buoys up the incompetent is the most difficult of all vagaries to account for. Rarely do twenty-four hours pass without examples of this exasperating weakness appearing on the surface of those shallows that commonplace people so naïvely call “their minds.”
What one would expect is extreme modesty, in the half-educated or the ignorant, and self-approbation higher up in the scale, where it might more reasonably dwell. Experience, however, teaches that exactly the opposite is the case among those who have achieved success. The accidents of a life turned by chance out of the beaten tracks. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book
Have thrown me at times into acquaintanceship with some of the greater lights of the last thirty years. And not only have they been, as a rule, most unassuming men and women; but in the majority of cases positively self-depreciatory; doubting of themselves and their talents, constantly aiming at greater perfection in their art or a higher development of their powers.
Never contented with what they have achieved, beyond the idea that it has been another step toward their goal. Knowing this, it is always a shock on meeting the mediocre people who form such a discouraging majority in any society, to discover that they are all so pleased with themselves, their achievements, their place in the world, and their own ability and discernment!
Who has not sat chafing in silence while Mediocrity, in a white waistcoat and jangling fobs, occupied the after-dinner hour in imparting second-hand information as his personal views on literature and art? Can you not hear him saying once again: “I don’t pretend to know anything about art and all that sort of thing, you know, but when I go to an exhibition I can always pick out the best pictures at a glance. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book
Sort of a way I have, and I never make mistakes, you know.” Then go and watch, as I have, Henri Rochefort as he laboriously forms the opinions that are to appear later in one of his “Salons,” realizing the while that he is facile princeps among the art critics of his day, that with a line he can make or mar a reputation and by a word draw the admiring crowd around an unknown canvas.
While Rochefort toils and ponders and hesitates, do you suppose a doubt as to his own astuteness ever dims the self-complacency of White Waistcoat? Never! There lies the strength of the feeble-minded. By a special dispensation of Providence, they can never see but one side of a subject, so are always convinced that they are right, and from the height of their contentment.
Look down on those who chance to differ with them. A lady who has gathered into her dainty salons the fruit of many years’ careful study and tireless “weeding” will ask anxiously if you are quite sure you like the effect of her latest acquisition—some eighteenth-century statuette or screen (flotsam, probably, from the great shipwreck of Versailles), and listen earnestly to your verdict. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book
The good soul who has just furnished her house by contract, with the latest “Louis Fourteenth Street” productions, conducts you complacently through her chambers of horrors, wreathed in tranquil smiles, born of ignorance and that smug assurance granted only to the—small.
The complaint is so often heard, and seems so well founded, that there is a growing inclination, not only among men of social position, but also among our best and cleverest citizens, to stand aloof from public life, and this reluctance on their part is so unfortunate, that one feels impelled to seek out the causes where they must lie, beneath the surface.
At a first glance they are not apparent. Why should not the honor of representing one’s town or locality be as eagerly sought after with us as it is by English or French men of position? That such is not the case, however, is evident. Speaking of this the other evening, over my after-dinner coffee, with a high-minded and public-spirited gentleman, who not long ago represented our country at a European court. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book Download
He advanced two theories which struck me as being well worth repeating, and which seemed to account to a certain extent for this curious abstinence. As a first and most important cause, he placed the fact that neither our national nor (here in New York) our state capital coincides with our metropolis. In this we differ from England and all the continental countries.
The result is not difficult to perceive. In London, a man of the world, a business man, or a great lawyer, who represents a locality in Parliament, can fulfil his mandate and at the same time lead his usual life among his own set. The lawyer or the business man can follow during the day his profession, or those affairs on which he depends to support his family and his position in the world.
Then, after dinner (owing to the peculiar hours adopted for the sittings of Parliament), he can take his place as a law-maker. If he be a London-born man, he in no way changes his way of life or that of his family. If, on the contrary, he be a county magnate, the change he makes is all for the better, as it takes him and his wife and daughters up to London. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book Download
The haven of their longings, and the centre of all sorts of social dissipations and advancement. With us, it is exactly the contrary. As the District of Columbia elects no one, everybody living in Washington officially is more or less expatriated, and the social life it offers is a poor substitute for the circle which most families leave to go there.
That, however, is not the most important side of the question. Go to any great lawyer of either New York or Chicago, and propose sending him to Congress or the Senate. His answer is sure to be, “I cannot afford it. I know it is an honor, but what is to replace the hundred thousand dollars a year which my profession brings me in, not to mention that all my practice would go to pieces during my absence?”
Or again, “How should I dare to propose to my family to leave one of the great centres of the country to go and vegetate in a little provincial city like Washington? No, indeed! Public life is out of the question for me!” When sixty years ago Lord Brougham, en route for Italy, was thrown from his travelling berline and his leg was broken, near the Italian hamlet of Cannes. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book Download
The Riviera was as unknown to the polite world as the centre of China. The grand tour which every young aristocrat made with his tutor, on coming of age, only included crossing from France into Italy by the Alps. It was the occurrence of an unusually severe winter in Switzerland that turned Brougham aside into the longer and less travelled route via the Corniche.
The marvellous Roman road at that time fallen into oblivion, and little used even by the local peasantry. During the tedious weeks while his leg was mending, Lord Brougham amused himself by exploring the surrounding country in his carriage, and was quick to realize the advantages of the climate, and appreciate the marvellous beauty of that coast.
Before the broken member was whole again, he had bought a tract of land and begun a villa. Small seed, to furnish such a harvest! To the traveller of to-day the Riviera offers an almost unbroken chain of beautiful residences from Marseilles to Genoa. A Briton willingly follows where a lord leads, and Cannes became the centre of English fashion, a position it holds to-day in spite of many attractive rivals. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book Download
And the defection of Victoria who comes now to Cimiez, back of Nice, being unwilling to visit Cannes since the sudden death there of the Duke of Albany. A statue of Lord Brougham, the “discoverer” of the littoral, has been erected in the sunny little square at Cannes, and the English have in many other ways, stamped the city for their own.
No other race carry their individuality with them as they do. They can live years in a country and assimilate none of its customs; on the contrary, imposing habits of their own. It is just this that makes them such wonderful colonizers, and explains why you will find little groups of English people drinking ale and playing golf in the shade of the Pyramids or near the frozen slopes of Foosiyama.
The real inwardness of it is that they are a dull race, and, like dull people despise all that they do not understand. To differ from them is to be in the wrong. They cannot argue with you; they simply know, and that ends the matter. I had a discussion recently with a Briton on the pronunciation of a word. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book Free
As there is no “Institute,” as in France, to settle matters of this kind, I maintained that we Americans had as much authority for our pronunciation of this particular word as the English. The answer was characteristic. Paris is beginning to show signs of the coming “Exhibition of 1900,” and is in many ways going through a curious stage of transformation, socially as well as materially.
The Palais De l’Industrie, familiar to all visitors here, as the home of the Salons, the Horse Shows, and a thousand gay fêtes and merry-makings, is being torn down to make way for the new avenue leading, with the bridge Alexander III., from the Champs Elysées to the Esplanade des Invalides.
This thoroughfare with the gilded dome of Napoleon’s tomb to close its perspective is intended to be the feature of the coming “show.” Curious irony of things in this world! The Palais De l’Industrie was intended to be the one permanent building of the exhibition of 1854. An old “Journal” I often read tells how the writer saw the long line of gilded coaches (borrowed from Versailles for the occasion. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book Free
Eight horses apiece, led by footmen—horses and men blazing in embroidered trappings—leave the Tuileries and proceed at a walk to the great gateway of the now disappearing palace. Victoria and Albert who were on an official visit to the Emperor were the first to alight; then Eugénie in the radiance of her perfect beauty stepped from the coach (sad omen!
That fifty years before had taken Josephine in tears to Malmaison. It may interest some ladies to know how an Empress was dressed on that spring morning forty-four years ago. She wore rose-colored silk with an over-dress (I think that is what it is called) of black lace flounces, immense hoops, and a black Chantilly lace shawl.
Her hair, a brilliant golden auburn, was dressed low on the temples, covering the ears, and hung down her back in a gold net almost to her waist; at the extreme back of her head was placed a black and rose-colored bonnet; open “flowing” sleeves showed her bare arms, one-buttoned, straw-colored gloves, and ruby bracelets; she carried a tiny rose-colored parasol not a foot in diameter. Worldly Ways And Byways PDF Book Free