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THE LADIES' PAGE

NETTED TASSEL COVER.

Materials.—Boar's-head netting cotton, of a medium size, of Messrs. Walter Evans 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 double the size of the second.

Cast 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 2 stitches in each stitch; the next 11 rounds are plain.

Work 22 rounds over 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, hut 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.

Materials.—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.

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

flat meshes

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 6 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, 6 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,

MAURITIUS. —A SKETCH.

In the Indian Ocean, far beyond Good Hope, lies Mauritius, one of the most beautiful, and certainly one of the least often described, of our colonial possessions, of which we purpose to give a short sketch, written after a prolonged stay in the island some few years since:—

The island itself is of an oval form, and about 140 miles round, the interior abounding in beautiful mountains and mountain streams. The chief town, Fort Louis, lies on the northwest side, the leeward side in reference to the trade wind, and has a fine harbour. The town is situated, as it were, in an amphitheatre of hills, and is divided into three portions. The central portion contains some fine houses; for the original town, which was of wood, was destroyed by fire soon after the surrender of the island to the English, and it has gradually been rebuilt in stone. An English church (called a cathedral since the island has become a colonial bishopric), a Roman Catholic cathedral, the banks, Government offices, and the Governor's town house, are among them—all substantial buildings, but none possessing much beauty. The suburb on the west is termed the Malabar Town, that being a generic name for all natives of India, of whom there is a large immigration.*

At the time of our arrival the town was alive with the Yarasee, or Indian Carnival, which lasts about a fortnight, during which time there is an incessant beating of tomtoms, and parading of Indian idols and ghoons (tinsel pagodas), to the sound of all kinds of rude music, the procession being followed by all the population of that caste, with their faces duly daubed with coloured clay and turmeric.

The suburbs on the south are known as Black Town, with the old French "Quartier des Esclaves." The houses are small and poor, and nearly all occupied by blacks or mulattoes. Notwithstanding the large population, the town is very quiet after the firing of the evening gun, which takes place at eight o'clock in the winter months—i.e., from the 30th of April to the 1st of October, and at nine from the 1st of October to the 30th of April—scarcely any person is to be met in the streets. The latter, at the time the writer visited the island a few years since, were lit with olive oil; but gas, we believe, has been since adopted.

The theatre was at one time, we have been told, a very good one, but during our stay it was closed. Some of the actors and actresses were natives of the island, but the proprietors depended chiefly on companies visiting the island, en route to Calcutta, or from Calcutta to Cape Town. The theatre had been the scenes of many an emeiiie in the days when national prejudices between the French and English ran high

* Iu 1859 it amounted to 44,397 coolies.

The races, which are held onoe a year on a plain near the town, known as the "Champ de Mars," last over three days, and are wel attended. Some valuable English blood has lately been introduced. The greater number of horses, however, come from the Cape, and in some cases from India and Australia—an ordinary riding horse fetching from £60 to £100. A number of ponies are also imported from Timon and Pegu ; they are sturdy little animals, generally skewbald, and when once got into condition are up to any work; they fetoh about £20 to £25 each. Horses are chiefly fed on grain—a species of chick pea, which is imported from India. Mules, many of which are brought from Poitou, are used for draughts, Females seem to be preferred as most tractable. Those imported from the Rio Plata are the finest we have seen—some equal in size to an English cart-horse, and which were said to be worth from £70 to £100. Bullocks are chiefly brought from Madagascar. The beef certainly is not good, though it is sometimes sold at is. 6d. per lb.; however coarse and poor it may be, it is always disposed of. Fish, fowls, and fruit of all sorts are sold early in the morning, in the bazaar, a favourite resort of early risers.

There is a good public library in Port Louis, containing a fair collection of books, both French and English, and nearly all the English and French periodicals. There is also a Government college, with a staff of professors, a good library, and small museum attached to it.

The established religion is Roman Catholic, in accordance with the terms of the capitulation of 1810—the bishop, who has the title of Bishop of Ruspa, being an Englishman. Mauritius and its dependencies, the Seychelles Island (some 1,200 miles away), the oil islands, Amorantes, Rodriguez, and others, were constituted a Protestant bishopric in 1854, Dr. Ryan, the present bishop, being appointed, his previous experience in Alderney having fitted him well for the post. The Doctor's little work on Mauritius and Madagascar is, by-the-way, one of the best we have seen.

There are many public offices in the island, most of the appointments being made from home. The salaries are generally very good. The officers of the regiments in garrisons, which are generally two in number, besides some artillery and engineers, receive an extra allowance from the Colonial Treasury," generally known by the name " Colo." This was originally intended to compensate for the high rates charged for food and other necessaries; for the higher ranks it is very liberal, but the junior rank, as, in most other places, find themselves by no means over liberally remunerated. The rate of this "Colo," or island allowance, is about three-fourths of the rate of Queen's pay for each rank, staff officers receiving a higher > rate of allowance.

The barracks are roomy stone buildings, those at Port Louis having, we believe, been originally storehouses of the French East India Company. The roofs are of wood, covered with wooden shingle or "hardeaux," and strengthened in all kinds of ways to resist the force of hurricanes. These roofs, like those of some of the "moulins," or sugar-mills, in the interior of the island, which are of very considerable span, are ingenious and complicated specimens of joinery. A charge of 25s. per month is made to each officer for the quarters he occupies.

The island is divided into districts, of which Port Louis, Pamplemousees, Riviere du Rempart, Flacq, Grand Port a Mahebourg, Riviere Noir or Black River, Plains Wilhelm and Moka (so called from coffee planting having been first tried by the French there) are the chief. Each district is presided over by a resident magistrate. There is a considerable force of gendarmerie in the island; the European portion consisting chiefly of discharged soldiers, who wear a blue uniform, with caps resembling those worn by the "out-pensioners" in England; they are armed with a staff and rattle, and on necessary occasions with cutlass and pistols. There are a considerable number of peons, or Indian police, attached to the force, who wear the native dress, and are distinguished by a coloured belt worn over the shoulder. The force is under a chief of police, an officer of the Royal Artillery, who receives a salary of about £1,200 a year.

The Governor receives a salary of £7,000 per annum (the allowance was, we believe, formerly greater), and has a good town as well as a pretty country residence, the last-named retreat having been the Governor's residence in the days of the French occupation. The salary is large, though perhaps not too much so, compared with the revenue* of the Island, which is more than double that of the largest West India islands.

There is a very considerable portion of the island under cultivation, though it appears difficult to ascertain the exact number of acres. The greater part of this was covered with dense forest when the island was first discovered. Large tracts of forest land still exist in the interior of the island, and which from the luxurious growth of creepers or " lianes;" many, of great beauty, are almost impassable. A great many spotted deer and wild hogs exist in the woods. These animals are said to have been first introduced by the French. Large numbers of martinsf of the small green parrokeet, and a small grey monkey also exists; the two latter are said to have been introduced by the Portuguese, and are sometimes eaten by the blacks.

* The revenue was estimated in 1861 at 330,000/., and the expenditure at 230,000/.

t Indian starlings, said to destroy the borer or worm in the sugar canes.

The woods contain many curious trees, among which we may mention the ebony tree, the pandanas or screw palms,* the traveller's tree, and many others. Nearer the coast we find the singular mapon trees, with their huge swollen trunks, and plenty of cocoa-nut palms.

The growth of orchidaceous plants too in the woods is very luxurious. The knowledge of simples among some of the old blacks is said to be very great, and we believe many curious properties of the great variety of plants found here might be collected by any one who took the trouble to do so, and spoke the Creole patois of the island Vith sufficient facility.

Sugar heing the staple of the island, the sugar plantations, or habitations as they are called, demand a short notice. These are generally laid out in rectangular forms of about 200 acres each, and divided by narrow roads, the sides of which are generally planted with trees to break the force of the wind. Tamarind trees are most commonly thus planted. Near the coast, however, the Madagascar pine or "Filhao" {Casuarina laterifolia) has been extensively planted. The stems of these trees are as remarkable for their elasticity and power of resisting the force of the wind as the trees themselves are for their rapidity of growth. The soil is a rich red loam, in some cases closely approaching in colour to black, formed by the disintegration of the Busatos, which is here everywhere present.

Much guano, chiefly from Ichaboe, is used in the older plantations, as well as "poudrette," the latter being formed out of the town sewage. The sewage matter being removed nightly, and manufactured by a company known as "La Societe des Inodores," a very profitable investment, the shares of which, a few years ago, were yielding dividends of 20 to 22 per cent. Canes from nearly every sugar-producing country may be seen under growth; the sugar-making season beginning about August and ending about Christmas.

The coolies or Malabars are located in small villages, or, as they are termed, camps on each plantation, to the cleanliness of which great attention is paid.

The mountains in the interior, as we have already stated, are very numerous. We give the heights of some of the principal ones:—

Montagne do Pieterbotte 2691 English feet.

Montagne de la Ponce 2665 „

Montagne de la Riviere Noire.2717 „ Montagne de la Deconverte ...1063 „ Montagne du Corps de Garde 2364 „ We must not conclude this hasty sketch without saying a word on the hospitality shown to strangers. The hearty welcome with which all new-comers are greeted, must leave pleasing recollections in the memories of all wanderers whose fate has led them to sojourn for a time on the bright and sunny shores of "La Belle Maurice." Viator.

* Here known as the Vacoa.

THE TOILET.

(Specialty from Parti.)

First Figure: Visiting Toilet.—Dress of pou de soie, with figured satin stripes, body round, sleeves close-fitting, finished with bias pieces at the bottom. As outer garment, a velvet jacket trimmed with swan-down. Catalane bonnet, in the Sicilian style, made of velvet, and fastened on the head by a crape scarf of the same tint as the velvet, bordered with white blond.

Second Figure: Full Toilet.—Pou de soie dress, with a long train cut in deep Vandykes at the bottom, bordered by a narrow plaited flounce; black velvet collar, studded all round with white beads; sleeves tight, ornamented at top with a bias piece and guipure, and at bottom with the same trimming, simulating a mousquetaire cuff. In the hair a comb with a jet gallery.

The usual style of coiffure is a round waterfall, surrounded by a heavy plait, and worn rather high on the head. The front hair frequently adjusted in three or four curls or puffs, pinned at the ends, and raised high over the forehead. Diadems of plaits are more generally becoming: these are elevated in the centre, and are studded for dress with various ornaments. In all cases the headdress is very voluminous, proving Nature a pinching step-mother in the quantity of her supply, which, however, the hair-dressers take care to handsomely rectify. For a large proportion of the beautiful waterfalls, coils, curls, and braids that adorn our modern beauties, we are indebted to some "stocking-knitting Auvergnat, or cow-keeping Dauphinois." "We are, however," observes an American writer on the subject, "well assured that the hair is well cleansed from all impurities by a chemical process." This writer assures us that if two ounces of sick hair, or hair from the head of a sick person, were mixed with two pounds of good hair, the dealers would instantly detect it; but this must be while in its natural state, and not after it has been subjected to the chemical process—the boiling and baking which it undergoes before being worked up by the hair-dresser : one of whom, working only amongst the upper ten thousand, tells us that not only do dealers visit the hospitals of Paris to purchase the hair

shorn from the heads of the sick, but the locks of the dead are cut off for the same purpose; and the sale of this article is one of the man; modes by which the hospitals of France add to their income.

From prisons also not a little human hair finds its way to the market; and, in contrast with this source of supply, there are the convents, from one of which alone one hundred pounds' worth of hair has been obtained—the shorn locks of young ladies who have taken the veil.

What a wondrous scene would a modern ball-room present, could each lady, old and young—for your snow-white octogenarian hair fetches a higher price than any other—be accompanied by the appearance of the original owner of her borrowed coiffure. I think I see the shudder, and the blanched cheeks that would ensue, despite the liberal bloom de A'l'nra and pearl powder that too frequently accompanies them. While on the subject of the head-drm it is as well to observe that all sorts of fancy combs, generally made with a broad band, or gallery as it is now called, and decorated with chains a la Beneton, large beads, crystal or enamelled flowers, are very much in favour.

For evening wear, the corsage is generaflyhw. and tight-fitting at the waist, but laid in bos plaits round the neck; a strap constitutes the sleeve, and with it is worn a chimisette of nwlin and lace, with a short puffed sleeve. Erwing peplums are generally of bright-coloured silk over a white skirt, and the antique style u frequently adopted: these are fastened on the shoulders by cameos or medallions; they fit the neck in box plaits, and are not confined at the waist, but fall a little below it, and gradually slope into deep points at the side, when a white peplum is desired to be worn with a white or light-coloured dress, if bordered with wild roses or scarlet geranium, and made of r osgrain: it has a very pretty effect.

For dinner-dress, sleeveless jackets of Chan tilly are in vogue, made with an epaulet. and worn with coloured silk dresses—loose saques of Cluny lace are also much admired. Here the threatened short dresseR are left to the demi-monde, with whom they originated.

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.

Poetry accepted, with thanks. — "Dangerous;" •'Alice Gray;" "Trying and Failing;" "Absence;" "The Ship's Return."

Prose received, but not read.—Continuation of "Shadow on the Wall"—3 parts. "The Lees of Calthorpe;" " Rambles, &c.;" "School-girl Honour" —too long for the " Leaves."

The Moon.—We have received communications from "CM.," Cork; "M.C.," Stockport; "C. H.,"

Hulme; on the above subject, for which « arc much obliged. \¥c are desirous of further communications, especially from Ireland, Scotland, and the Midland Counties of England.

Poetry.—Onee more we repeat that we do not purchase poems.

MSS. returned in authors.—" Meteors, Sic.;" f Village Sketch;" "The Happy Village;" "What a Wit '<" "Captain Cavendish's Story.

Printed By Rogerson And Tuxford, 246, Strand.

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