« AnteriorContinuar »
THE LADIES' PAGE.
Materials.—Boar's-head crochet cotton, No. 16, of Messrs. Walter Evans and Co., Derby, and needle No. 4.
Commence by working a foundation chain of the length required.
1st row. 6 chain, miss 3, and 1 plain; repeat to the end and turn back.
2nd. 6 chain, miss 5, andl plain in the 6 chain of the last row. Repeat.
3rd. Work the same as the 2nd row.
4th. Work 1 chain and 1 treble 6 times, all in the 6 chain of the last row; then 1 chain and 4 plain in the next 6 chain. Repeat.
5th. Work 3 plain on the 4 plain of the last row; then 1 chain, miss 1, and 1 treble in each one chain. Repeat.
6th. Work 2 plain on the 3 plain of the last row; then 1 chain, miss 1, and 1 treble in each one chain. Repeat.
7th and 8tb. Work as the 6th row, making 2 chain instead of 1 chain each time.
A ROUND FOOT-CUSHION.
Materials.—Five shades of crimson and two of 5-thread Berlin wool.
This very pretty cushion is covered with roses worked in crochet. Each rose is made separately; nineteen are required.
For the centre rose take the darkest green wool and make a circle of 7 chain, work a second circle of 5 chain, with black wool now * work a circle of 7 chain, 1 chain, 1 double in the nearest stitch of first circle, repeat from * 4 times more.
1st round. Lightest red. Over each loop or circle work 5 treble, 1 double in the nearest double. Work 4 petals in this manner.
2nd. Work 4 loops of 3 chain at the back of the petals of preceding round.
3rd. In each loop work 3 double and 1 double over each double of last row.
4th. Take the middle shade of red. Over each petal work 1 double, 2 treble, 3 long treble, 2 treble, 1 double, and one slip stitch between each petal.
5th. Work 7 loops of 3 chain at the back of petals of last round.
6th. 3 double within each loop, one double between each.
7th. Work over each petal in the same way as in the 4th round.
In the 8th round work 9 loops of 3 chain; the 9th and 10th are worked in the same way as the 5th and 6th with darker wool.
Now work two more circles of petals, increasing in the same proportions. This is the centre rose; the 18 others are completed with the 7th round; they are grouped round the centre rose and all firmly fixed on to the cushion. Two circles of scallops of treble stitches in two shades of green wool are added as an edging round the roses. A border of plain crochet also in green wool is placed round the sides of the cushion, which should be well-stuffed and lined with green glazed calico.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
Poetbt received, with thanks.—" In the Watches , of the Night;" "Blessings in Disguise;" "The Schoolmaster's Idyl;" "Treasures;" "Blossoms;" "Children."
Declined.—" Owe Volunteers;" "The River;" "The Little Vines about our Home;" "Dulness."
Prose received and accepted.—" A Night's Walk in the Tyrol;" "Concerning Comic Songs;" "Seeing a few Friends;" "Over the Hills" (The writer shall hear from us); "Relating to the Fine Arts" (We
have accepted a paper on this subject—M. C.'s most stand over); "The Rose of Riversdale" in its torn.
E. R., Ringwood.—We are obliged for the vigilance of our correspondent. The coincidence is quite natural. Both publications are indebted to the same source—an American reprint.
To Contributors. — Our rule for the return of manuscripts has been so frequently published that it ought to be unneecessary to repeat it. If stamps are not sent, we will not hold ourselves responsible for the return of manuscripts.
Pbintbd By Rogerso.n And Tuxpord, 246, Strand.
All betting London was in a ferment of excitement; knots of disreputable men were gathered at the corners of the street, whose vocation no one would be in the slightest degree ignorant of, after a single glance at the cut of their clothes—the white hat and black band, which was once the sign of a Radical, in the palmy days of the madman Henry Hunt; the face under that hat, which seems to have reached the acme of human sharpness and human cunning; the bird's-eye fogle, the closely-cut suit of tweed, and the tight trowsers— all that make up the character which I must be forgiven for calling "horsy;" for no other word can express it half as neatly.
What a wonderful insight into human character does Charles Dickens possess, when he says that these men seem to have been imbued with the very spirit of the animals they attend to, and when he makes "Rob, the grinder," querulously wonder why horses and dogs and sporting pigeons should do men such harm— innocent things like them!
Hoarse mysterious whispers are circulated amongst these men, and secret offers of "five to four on 'Paddle your own Canoe,'" or of "taking the odds against' Lord Strathmore's *%,'" are bandied freely about; for in a few days the greatest race in sporting England will be ran, and the mingled fun and misery which make np the great play of the " Derby Day" be enacted.
The horse that Grantley had laid so much pioney on seemed to be in everyone's mouth, in that sporting circle, and men would remove the eternal bit of straw from between their lips to give utterance to the wish "that they might die if they wouldn't back 'Peep o' Day' with Challoner on his back, agin the whole bilin' of 'em at any odds." And the knowing ones winked mysteriously, and hinted that they might have seen him take his gallop, and that nothing on four legs could ever hope to touch him. And clean through the blazing May-day the devoted band remained at their corner, talking still in mysterious confidential whispers,
and monotonously giving and taking the odds, while the noble owner of this much-praised animal was amusing himself in the same way in some more aristocratic region.
It was getting dusk in the streets of London, when Grantley left his club, and strolled carelessly down Piccadilly, apparently as heedless of the life surging round him as if he saw no one. The pace was getting a very killing one with him now. He couldn't conceal from himself that he had been losing greatly lately, and that he looked forward with feverish anxiety to Peep o' Day's running first to set him all right again. He passed a knot of sporting men, who were reading the latest intelligence, and heard the running fire of whispered remarks that rose as he went by:
"He'll make a good thing of it if Peep o' Day does the trick. He has put a most tremendous pot of money on, and, by George, if anything does happen wrong, won't it be a come-down for him i"
It was sickening, and this was the reward he was attaining to—to have his name and prospects canvassed by every dirty snob in the street. "Devil's own get the devil's wages," came home forcibly enough to him then, by way of proverb. He strolled on, though, as careless and haughty as the best of his "swell" class, and pursued his way till he reached a small mean-looking house, with an undefinable air of something wrong clinging to it—a house in which the blinds were all down as close as though it held the dead—and gave a gentle tap at the door.
London people are very incurious as a class; but even they, as they passed, turned and looked with astonishment at the swell gentleman, and wondered what his business might be in that out-of-the-way spot.
The door was opened by a dark Jeweylooking man, with a quantity of Mosaic jewellery in the shape of rings and charms, and whose face, in contrast with the captain's high-bred features, looked ludicrously different. Grantley whispered some talisman and was admitted to an inner sanctum, where were assembled some half-dozen men, who were so intently occupied over a green table that they scarcely raised their heads as Grantley entered} but kept on repeating, in a monotonous way, such words as "I mark the king," "Your deal," and remarks to the like effect.
It really is too bad. I must apologise for leading my readers into such bad company; but it is no use my concealing the fact that the house was one of the most notorious gambling hells in wicked London, and the men in the room were playing unlimited loo. It is not worth my while to try and do a little bit of word-painting here, in the style of the great novelists, or in the language of that life-like play "Rouge-et-Noir," so you must imagine for yourselves the frenzied gestures, the clenched hands, the muttered imprecation, as large sums changed hands, and the illconcealed cry of joy as a lucky player pocketed his gains. Any ordinary observer who didn't enjoy the insight into these things that the novelists aforesaid do, might imagine that the proceeding was one of the most common everyday kind, for there was certainly nothing of the Maurice d'Arhel sensation here.
"Ah! you are come at last, Grantley. Now I'll trouble you to give me my revenge. I feel rather like winning to-night. You know the cards are with me."
"As you like, my lord," answered Grantley, calmly, " and 1 think we'll treble the stakes."
"Now or never!" thought he, as he sat down with his opponent to begin the "unlimited."
The good-tempered-looking young nobleman (who had not left Christ-church very long, and was seeing life in this ingenuous way) seemed to have spoken with the spirit of prophecy, for they had not played long before Grantley had to write a cheque of some magnitude.
"There, now we will leave off if you like, Grantley," said the mere lad, his adversary j " I havn't now much more than I dropped the other night."
It was kindly meant, but fell very short.
"The night is very young yet," said Grantley, "and you are surely not afraid"
"That I shall have to use my latch-key?" laughed the young fellow. "Oh dear me, no. Let us double again, if you like."
And the stakes were doubled, and again Grantley lost, with a terrible curse on his- ill luck trembling on his lips.
"I'll have some brandy before we begin again," he said, hoarsely, "I am off my play to-night, that's certain."
And all this time did no compunction cross his mind that he was breaking his plighted word to bis wife?—that she was sitting wearily, sadly, waiting his arrival, with the bitter tears which she could not repress falling on her cheek, and the weary heart-wrung moan escaping her lips: "I know he has broken his word and is gambling again"?
Does any one of ray readers remember a ■ong, by Mr. Henry Russell, which used to be a great favourite with the people onoe, before the reign of the besotted comic songs, such as "Champagne Charlie" and "Slap Bang," at
tracted their fickle allegiance? A good many people used to laugh at that song, and called it overdrawn "all stuff and nonsense j" but I believe it was much more true to life than would be agreeable for some gentlemen who shake the elbow to suppose. It was the old old story of the ruling passion—a passion before which love and honesty, and manly feeling and Christian charity, pale their fires—a passion which makes the votaries to the full, aye more infatuated than were those wretched dupes whom the Horse) Venus held in her fell bondage.
It might have been the chance recollection of his suffering wife that made Grantley's hand shake, and his nerve weak to-night; but he certainly played as badly as the merest tyro who might be handling the cards for the first time; and luck—that Bona Dea of the gambling mysteries—seemed entirely to have deserted him. And yet the coolness of the man was wonderful. He remained cool and impassive, taking his immense losses in a calm way which Campbell's "stoic of the woods" would have admired immensely.
Men came dropping in from the Opera and the House "to finish their night," and he talked to them carelessly and with the utmost nonchalance:
"Tietjens was in great form, I suppose, as Lucia—and Gardoni as good as ever? Did Disraeli say anything about the new Reformbill? and was Lowe as savage as ever?" and all that kind of thing, while the passions of hell were raging at his heart, and something very like ruin was staring him in the face, and when other men as luckless as himself were wildly cursing their lossee, or drinking brandy furiously to drown all reflection.
Would his luck never turn? Was there no chance of his making some great coup yet, and winning something back out of his immense losses?
It didn't matter to the young nobleman who was winning his money so much. He was certainly one of the richest peers in the list of those who adorn the pages of the "golden book." A thousand or so would not make any difference in the rent-roll of young Viscount Salford; but to him he couldn't conceal from his mind that this kind of game, if carried on long and equally unfortunate, must end in utter ruin, and the consequences. Even now pictures crossed his mind of the breaking up of his establishment; the seedy half-pay kind of life*' some foreign watering-place, where he would be obliged to herd amongst the Englishmen who had been "unfortunate"—that is, had cheated their creditors; and where he would be compel'^ to exercise the arts of a bird of prey to kwp body and soul together. And then the bou«e and furniture in the hands of the greasy villanous Children of Israel, with their long dirty talonB, handling and appraising all the sumptuous furniture of the great house in Portmsnstreet, where, even now, his wife sat waiting and weeping—through all the weary watches «W' waiting and weeping.