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to the benefit of the widow of a member of the dab. there are few who will refuse to purchase it. It is very pleasant to 6ee such camaraderie existing amidst literary men—a class supposed by outsiders to find their only pleasure in vituperating and backbiting their brethren— in the cause of benevolence and charity.

The art-loving public will be glad to hear that the dealers will not have the picture exhibitions entirely in their hands this spring. The British Institution—a corporation supposed to be defunct, or, at any rate, moribund—have, in compliance with a request from numerous artists, agreed to open their exhibition once more—from January to March. It is to be hoped this last exhibition will be a good one. Bat why should it be the last? There are plenty of exhibition rooms to let; and if the directors were only careful about the management of the matter, and could secure some body of gentlemen who knew something about art to superintend it, there might, even yet, be some hope for this ancient institution, whose name has been so associated with Reynolds and the revival of English art.

Talking of art reminds me that the " Langham Sketching Club" have issued invitations for the first of their series of Conversazioni. This will take place on the last day of the old year; too late, therefore, for Y. B. to report thereupon. But from having frequently been honoured with an invitation to this select cenacle before, he can predict with certainty a pleasant evening on this occasion. He has a vision that there will be some admirable pictures and clever sketches, with a quantity of hearty, jovial, bearded gentlemen. He has a notion of a sort of Bohemian supper, and has an indistinct recollection of certain foaming tankards, and filmy blue clouds of •moke, which, it is whispered, will not be omit- j ted from the programme on this present occasion.

Dr. Mary Walker, like the meteors of a few weeks ago, appeared for one night in a blaze, and again another night with less glory, and now seems to have disappeared altogether. Is it because she finds that she has become a champion to a cause that is already gaining ground, and which, in point of fact, needs no champion? or, that there is no chance of her htcoming a Christian martyr in the cause of the petticoats of the nineteenth century? There is do doubt about it, that short dresses are coming in, and even the over-zealous advocacy of the American doctrix will fail to throw discredit on their sensible adoption. If that lively little lady would take the trouble to turn over a few old English fashion-books, she would find that her ideas on the subject are no more original than those of Mrs. Bloomer were. The " short frock and white pantalettes," so eulogised by Dr. Mary, were the costume of an English fashionable belle of the year 1836; and although its adoption was, I believe, not altogether general amongst the ladies of the time, we can all remember how invariably it was adopted by children and young girls, at a more recent date.

It is quite evident to any one much about the streets of the metropolis, that the short dress and the necessary abandonment of crinoline is fast gaining ground. To eyes unaccustomed to the change, it certainly does appear at first a little singular. At first glance, especially at this holiday season, one is apt to fancy that a larger amount of school-girls than usual have been returned from the abodes of wisdom and propriety at Turnham Green or Brighton; and again, those ladies who will persist in gathering up their trains under their arms, invariably suggest the idea that they are waiting for their horses to be brought round.

I have been favoured with a glimpse of a book that is sure to be a favourite amidst the frequenters of Christmas and New-Year's parties. It is a book of comic songs, edited by Mr. J. E. Carpenter, whose name is a sufficient guarantee for the taste and care displayed in the selection. It is scarcely necessary to remark that the objectionable " music-hall" element is not represented in these pages. The work contains some of the most humorous effusions of those who are veterans in the art; namely, of Messrs. Jacob Cole, James Bruton, Jacob Beuler, E. L. Blanchard, S. Lover, and the talented editor himself. Besides these, we have many of our younger song-writers well represented; such as Messrs. H. J. Byron, Henry Leigh, E. Draper, F. W. Green, F. D. Cape, &c, Sec, with a large list of celebrities of times gone by. What a boon this book will be to the social gatherings of the present day! especially as it is a work which can be placed in the hands of any young lady; a qualification which scarcely any other collection of comic songs can boast.

One of the pleasantest entertainments Your Bohemian has been bidden to, during this season of festivity and conviviality, was at the annual supper of the "Reunion Club." This society, which is chiefly composed of authors, artists, and actors, may be almost accounted the father of many clubs of a similar nature which have sprung up around it since its foundation. On the occasion of my visit Mr. Carpenter occupied the chair, with Mr. Bruton as vicechairman. Many admirable speeches were made during the evening by those two gentlemen, also by Messrs. F. G. Tomlins, Jonas Levey, W. Sawyer, &c. The musical entertainment was very admirably arranged—thanks to the tact and management of Mr. Edw. Murray. We had Mr. Hughes with his ophecleide, and Messrs. Pratten and Lazarus with the instruments for which they are respectively celebrated. We had Mr. Ransford to sing Dibdin's songs; and we had, above all, Mr. George Perren to sing "My Pretty Jane;" and he never sang it better than he did on the occasion we allude to. What more could suppers-out desire?

Sundry rumours of changes in the magazine world, and of new candidates for public favour in the same sphere, I hear whispered. Many of these are so vague and contradictory that it is impossible to know what they mean. Of others I am hardly at liberty to speak at present. "The People's Magazine," which is the youngest of our serials, looks healthy; and the latest comer in the domain of "ladies' literature," namely, "The Ladies' Own Paper," improves considerably. The last number published is far in advance of the first, and there seems every chance of its being able to hold its own amidst the great competition of works of that class of the present time. I see a new venture, called "The Pen," advertised. Is not that an old title? It seems familiar in connection with some publication of many years ago.

The year of 1866 has been one scarcely ever equalled in event and in rapid transition of event. First, there was the war, which everyone said would last for many years, was accomplished in a few weeks, and the map of Europe of 1865 has become a thing of the past. Secondly, there was the sad demonstration of the fallibility of limited liability, and the smash so long expected came at last, and hundreds of inoffensive people were heartlessly swindled out of their hardearned gains—their swindlers, perhaps, were enabled to retire on some hundreds a-year that had been settled on their wives; whilst aged widows, delicate orphans, and retired tradesman

of limited means, had to battle with the rough. world at a moment's warning, or lie down and die. Many who had not strength for the former bowed to the latter. The great scourge of cholera, we were enabled, thank Heaven, to combat; and, though it bore off many victims, by coolly tackling the foe, and looking it in the face, with absence of fear and panic, we were enabled to temper the virulence of its power. The rinderpest, too, we had at the beginning of the year; but that gradually faded as the season advanced, and has now almost totally disappeared. With political events the year '65 has been full: the most remarkable, perhaps, was the desertion by Mr. John Bright of his party— a desertion, by the way, which he never explained—at the memorable battle of Hyde Park.

But such things are not pleasant to think upon or write about; so, trusting that time may improve—thata more healthy tone of politics and matters monetary may obtain—that we may be spared famine, pestilence, or murrain—and furthermore, that all his readers may have A Happy New Year—is the most sincere wish of

Your Bohemian.

OUR LIBRARY TABLE.

Max Frere; Or, Overcome Evil With Good. By Miss Pinchard. {London: George Routledge Sf Sons.)—Amongst the juvenile giftbooks of the season Max Frere takes a high position—if excellence of purpose, an earnest and natural style, and a thorough acquaintance with boy-and-girl nature, their modes of thought, expression, and conduct, are qualities that ensure it to the author. Evidently at home in such family circles as that of the Frere's, Miss Pinchard paints her characterportraits with much skill, and with such nice distinctive shades, or broad contrast of temperament, as one frequently meets with in members of the same household. Max Frere, the hero, is the eldest son of a country lawyer, a high-principled, religious man, and who is happy in the possession of a wife who is the counterpart of himself—a gentle, loving Christian mother, the law of whose household is the law of love. Max, or the "Emperor," as his schoolfellows call him, in allusion to his name, partly, perhaps, on account of his lordly qualities and moral power, is no impossible boy: he is simply a brave, truthful, clever lad, with his temper and passions held in check by his Christianity. He is the guardian and hero of his brother Hugh, and the best-beloved of his numerous sisters, from "old Hurricane," as her pupils disrespectfully call their teacher Rachael, to little lisping Constance. The dis

content of the school-room under the rule of the former exacting and dominant young lady— the faults that it occasions in the little nervous, excitable "Pen," and the general feeling of dislike to which it subjects herself are well portrayed. The charm of the children, one and all, is, that they are real, petulant, wilful, jealous children, who teaze, and worry, and love one another after the manner of unsophisticated children generally, and have no stuck-up shams of perfectability amongst them. Even Max has a constant warfare with himself to maintain the even tenor of his way; and as for impetuous, truthful, quick-tempered Hugh, it requires somebody as thoughtful and sagacious as his brother to lead him through and clear of the scrapes into which he is constantly falling. The wicked boy of the book (Cousin John Orwell) is unfortunately as true in his way as are his cousins; and the hold he obtains of poor Hugh, and the trouble he brings him to, are exceedingly well described: nor does Miss Pinchard, in her love of Max, shirk the fact that the sun shines on the just and the unjust: but with great tact she involves both boys (the good and bad types of the book) in the same accident, and by making them fellow-sufferers, eventually makes this catastrophe the occasion of a change of heart and disposition on the part of John Orwell, through the example and religious character of his cousin. The latter boy has a

jsalous dislike of Max, from a sense of hi* su- i peiority to himself, and the general regard in which he is held by his schoolfellows. He is, himself, mean, unprincipled, and a bully. Here ire the three boys on a fishing expedition:

It was a lovely afternoon, and as the young fishermen walked onward together, the derail that had for a moment overcast Max's good hnmour vanished, and they all became u merry and frolicsome as boys should when out of school, and began to expend their overtaring spirits in all sorts of gambols and feats of

split*. "I'll bet yoa sixpence that you don't clear that

tank, Max," said John,

"1 won't bet about it; but I'll try the leap if you'll Idoow Im," replied Max,

•VtD, then, I'm your man," answered John. "Wei! kve a rnu of twenty yards."

"Very well," replied Max. And, having paced their distance, Max set out on his run, and with an artrve bound cleared the brook, and stood waving his hand in triumph on the opposite side.

John then took his ran, and leapt the brook, but fell u be touched the ground, and, slipping back, both legs went into the water, and he rose, not a little disconcerted at his failure, and disposed to be very angry with his cousins for the merry laugh with which they Tinu-aitd the catastrophe.

"Just try again, and sec if I do not do it as well as yqu\" exclaimed be, angrily.

"'With sumjr heart," said Max: "I daresay you will; but, even if yon do not, you must bear in mind

that I am hilf-a-year older, and a little taller and

stronger than yon; so that I have an advantage: bnt kt Ib fry it asain. Shall we take it from this side to at 6adt to our path, or cross over down there and leap again from the same placeP"

John chose the latter proposition, and, crossing at a narrow part of the brook, they again took their station and made the leap. This time both boys reached the ground safely, but Max stood at least two feet further from the water's edge than John, as well as alighted with more firmness and elasticity:

"Mai did it best," said Hugh, pleased at his brother's success, and unmindful of John's look of aaaovance. "Few can beat the Emperor 1" he added, as he hitched himself fondly on to his brother's arm, both bovs having now recrossed the stream, and re?uaed their walk.

But the cheerfulness of the little party was gone e Joha became sullen, and Max, feeling that his cousin was unjust in being put ont of temper by his haying aeelled him in a leap to which he had himself chalk-aged him, was silent, and indisposed to try to conekuxte. In this mood they reached Fordham Bend, •od, choosing their ground, the two Frerc9 had soon rapaelred their rods and begun to fish, but Max, as oefere, without success, though the fish were rising all rend him; whilst Hugh, a little lower down the rtream, was delightedly capturing one little fish after another as fast as he could desire. John meanwhile *as listlessly on the bank watching Max, but not speaking to either cousin.

At last Max, who was a very kind-hearted lad, and *as always uncomfortable when at variance with any of his companions, exclaimed,—

"Come, old fellow, don't be so glum. Come over here, and try a cast with my rod. There's no saying whether you may not hook one of those fine speckled fellows that seem disposed to bite at every fly but mine."

John, who was only waiting for Max to make the first advance, now rose from the ground; but with a manner as if he were doing Max a great favour, and came to where he Btood.

"Very well," he said, " I'll try; bnt I should like to put on another fly:" and selecting a small red hackle from his cousin's book, he affixed it to the line, and moving a little farther up the stream, began dapping with certainly more skill than Max had displayed; and presently an undoubted nibble was vouchsafed him. Both boys were in an agony of expectation and delight as the fish, which had now taken firm hold of the hook, began to dart about, making it very difficult to the inexperienced young fisherman to keep his rod and line from being twitched out of his hand. However, in spite of his lack of skill and habit, John, with Max's help, succeeded in landing his fish—a fine trout of about half a pound weight, and as beautiful a fish as a boy could desire to see.

The first trout caught with the new tackle, and. poor Max not the catcher I He was half disposed to be cross about it; but the inclination lasted only for a moment, and was manfully put down; so that all three boys rejoiced and exulted together over John's wonderful success, and in admiration of the brilliant gold and silver and scarlet that spangled the side of the beautiful trout.

"And Maggie will have her trout at last," said Hugh. "How pleased she will be 1"

"Indeed Maggie will not have this one," said John: "1 caught it, and I shall have it."

"Oh no, John," exclaimed Max; "that is not fair. I told you from the first that I had promised little Mag that the first fish caught with the new rod should be hers, and you surely would not disappoint the sick child? I do not care a straw about the fish except for her sake; and if wc cither of us catch another, you shall be welcome to it; but Maggie must have this."

But Maggie did not have the first fish caught with her brother's new rod, though we have not space to quote what followed.

WINTER EXHIBITION OF SKETCHES AND STUDIES BY PAINTERS IN WATER-COLOURS,

At Tiikih Gallery, 5, Pall Mall East.

One of the most remarkable of the landscapes (which predominate in this winter exhibition of "studies and sketches," as in our summer shows of finished pictures, to a comparative dearth of genre and figure subjects) is Mr. A. D. Fripp's study of a "Ruined Tower on the Compagna of Rome" (170); remarkable for its breadth of handling and effective treatment. The rugged building rising in the midst of the desolate scene is boldly rendered, and its wild aspect enhanced by the dark and stormy clouds that appear to roll up from the horizon and gather in a rugged pall above it; while the solitary shepherd lad, who, attended by his half-starved dog, is evidently hurrying homeward, is admirably in keeping with the weird scene—his skin garments, his cloak extended from hand to hand over the crook he carries across his shoulders, till it looks like the impish wings of a bat, show a true feeling for the poetry of painting, that lures us back again and again.

In charming contrast with this powerfullyrendered scene is Mr. G. A. Fripp's studies in frame 174, and Mr. Collingwood Smith's study of " Sunset" (169), with the softened light breaking through the smooth-barked beeches.

Mr. Jas. J. Jenkins has appropriated some sweet bits and bends of the Thames, which, in spite of its flat scenery, is full of pictorial capabilities—witness his "Wargrave (21), and "At Shiplake" (175).

Mr. Alfred P. Newton's "Loch Eil, Inverness-shire (99), with its lovely loneliness, the water curdling under the crisp, cool evening air, and the shadows of the land darkening over the belated boats rowing along in-shore.

"A Summer Twilight" (100), S. P. Jackson, a river scene, with the glowing sun reddening the distance, exhibits exquisite softness and lovely colouring.

Mr. J. Gilbert flushes three sides of the walls with the florid tints with which he has identified himself. A Standard Bearer (36)—one of the legion of those he has painted—is remarkable for the effective treatment of the steel breastplate. He has not lost an atom of the bold swagger of his predecessors.

Mr. Holland's "Rotterdam" (24), though rather crowded and sketchy (less perhaps than ordinary), is a pleasant and truthful picture.

Mr. H. Brittan Willis's " Sketches of Cows, Calves, and Oxen" (frame 46) are admirable in their truth of form, colouring, and composition; see also, on the fourth screen, a delicious "Scene at Port Madoc, North Wales" (411), by this artist.

Birket Foster's "Trees" (408) like his " Skies" (417) are painted with his usual delicacy and truth to nature—notably the summer-evening sky, flecked with rosy colour, deserves and will repay attention. Not less graphic and full of feeling for his subject are his studies of "Cottagers" (frame 375), girls such as we may see posed at cottage doors, or gathering flowers in many a rustic village of England.

"The Street Cookham" (360), Mr.F. Walker, deserves notice, not less for its originality of conception than for the painstaking carefulness with which it is coloured. It is only a straight village street, with a flock of white geese shuffling through it, and a few gossips at their doors, having their say upou their condition; but regard the light and shadow in the picture, and the drawing of the birds and the texture of their feathers!

Mr. G. P. Boyce's study of a "Cornfield at Goring, Showery Weather" (384) commends itself to our attention: a full-eared, gloriouslyripe cornfield, relieved by green tree tops and the roofs of the adjacent village houses that peep up beyond it; one may almost Bee the grey shadows of the watery clouds as they pass over the golden field. The whole is suffused with a true and loving feeling of nature.

Mr. S. Palmer's study of "Tintagel, Cornwall" (353), is finely conceived. The subject is a magnificent one, and the artist's treatment of it masterly. Nor is there any reason, while upon the spot, that we should not draw attention to Mr. T. P. Jackson's picture, *' Heavy Weather, Tintagel, Cornwall" (23). Another view of the same storm-beat coast, painted with exquisite softness, but powerful rendering of the stern rocks, and turgid sky and sea. It is a great skip from the graphic presentments of such scenes to the studies of floral nature by Valentine Bartholomew: "Fuchsias" and "Iris" (140 and 148), both in their way transcripts as true to the still life they represent; the first graceful and fresh and pure in colouring as when the hand of the artist was in its full vigour: the " Iris," with every line and tint of its pencilled petals as truly rendered. Close at hand, a study of " Cactuses" (146), by Marie Harrisson, deserves notice as a faithful delineation of a thorny subject.

Miss Gillies has, amongst other pretty sketches, " Fisher boys at play, Isle of Wight" (347); boys on a raft sailing a boat in a tidepool. The earnest interest of the children in the craft is well expressed in their action and faces.

Mr. Goodall has two noticeable pictures of women, the " Emigrant" (13). and the "Nun" (104), painted with great tenderness and expression; but of all the studies of women in the collection, commend us to those of Mr. Smallfield, which, in form and drawing, exhibits surpassing skill. Especially note the mystically named "A. M. M. C" (144). The face, not truly handsome, has a power of expression in the heavy lidded violet eyes; the sad mouth, with a phrase of grief or regret upon it, and the grand rounded forceful chin. Look at the thin nostril; it is real: and though we may object to the rigid outline of the throat, that is real also, but too anatomically so to be graceful.

Mr. Burton too has a study (395), of a sweet and earnest girlish face.

Mr. F.Tayler's Study, "A Lady WoodlandHunting" 221, is full of grace and vitality. The same qualities may be observed in the frame 293, "Hunting Sketches," which, by the way, approach so near to finished pictures as to be difficult to conceive of as " Sketches.'' In any case, they are too good to find fault with.

Many other pictures in this delightful exhi" bition demand notice, which only want of space prevents our giving them. Lovely bits of woodland scenery by Mr. G. Dodgson, who still lays "Knowle Park " under contribution, and D. Cox, junior, who is as happy in his transcript from "Holwood" (117). "Larpool Beck" (119), by the former artist, shows exquisite feeling for, and love of, nature. We regret to pass over a number of other sketches and studies which we had marked for notice.

C. A. W,

THE LADIES' PAGE.

NETTED TASSEL COVER.

Matieials.—Boar's-head netting cotton, of a medium size, of Messrs. Walter Evan9 and Co., Derby; a shuttle, and three meshes of different sizes: the first mesh is a common knitting needle, the second a quarter of an inch round, and the third donble the size of the second.

Cut on 20 stitches upon the largest mesh, then work. 16 rounds over the knitting needle. The first round is plain; in the 2nd round work i Hitches in each stitch; the next 11 rounds ire plain.

Work 22 rounds orer the second mesh, and then the edging, as follows:—

1st round. Take the largest mesh, work 4 stitches in one, and repeat.

2nd. Take the knitting needle for this and the next round. Plain netting.

3rd. Work 3 stitches in succeeding loops; miss 1, and repeat.

4th. The same as the 3rd, but with the largest mesh.

5th. The same as the 3rd, with the knitting needle, round [which the cotton must be passed twice for the long stitches.

Now work pattern of leaves, dots, diamonds, or crosses over the nettin in darning stitch with soft knitting cotton.

SQUARE ANTI-MACASSAR FOR DARNING.

Mii£XiiL!.—Boar's-head knitting cotton, No. 12; of Messrs. Walter Evans, Derby, steel mesh, No. 12.

Begin with one stitch, and increase every row till you have forty-six stitches. Net one row without any increase, and then reverse it, and decrease it by taking two together at the end of the row. Before darning the pattern, let the square be washed and stiffened.

For the Border.—With a flat mesh the following size:

net three into every one; then, with a smaller round mesh, net two rows all round. They should be darned with knitting cotton, No. 20, and care taken to fill the holes well in, as they wash much better.

Any Berlin-wool pattern may be traced in darning stitch in the centre and corners.

CHAIR-COVER.

JfimiALS.—One ounce and a half of shaded single Berlin wool, a round mesh, No. 14, two flat meshes (the largest three-fourths of an inch, and the small one-third of an inch in width).

Make a foundation of 72 stitches on the largest mesh.

1st row.—(same mesh), net three together, then net 2 more stitches iu the space formed by former stitch, repeat to end of row.

2nd.—One in each on mesh 14.

3rd.—One in each on largest mesh.

4th.—Like first row.

Net C rows, one in each, on mesh 14.

Commence again from 3rd row, and repeat

the last 6 rows 6 more times, after which net on in each on largest mesh; next row like 2nd row; next row, one in each on smallest mesh; next row, one in each on largest; next row like 2nd row.

For the edge, net 1 in each stitch at the ends, C in each corner stitch, 6 in each long stitch, and 1 in each short, down the sides, and finish with three rounds, one in each, on mesh No. 14,

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