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is a singular pacificator. He is young, splendidly sound of mind, vigorous, active, ambitious; he is avowedly indifferent to every sentimental aspect of international peace, and for the moral ends involved, he does no more than admit their existence. He directs his energies exclusively to showing that war is bad business, and that peace means the material prosperity of nations and of individuals. For a token of the success of his enterprise, there are the arbitration treaties actually existing between France and Spain, and between France and England. When this Napoleon of Peace began his “parlé,” I found myself in the position of the critic who, being asked what he thought of Shakespeare's plays, replied that he never thought anything of them for thinking of Shakespeare. I was insensible to arguments on behalf of peace, being lost to the cause under the charm of the pacificator. Oh! It was delicious — the easy, finished play of the parleur's mind and the medium of its expression no less pleasing —voice, language, style, gesture, all peculiarly belonging to the highly educated French gentleman, while the audience was equally delightful, being moved by a spirit of simply rapt devotion to the idea under discussion. Every time the parleur made a point, whether logically or rhetorically telling, the audience all but rushed forward and embraced him; they cried “bravo,” “parfait,” “vous avez raison,” and I was quite prepared to see them fall to embracing one another, if not indeed my alien self, in the ardor of their emotion. Suddenly, absorbed as I was by the charm of the “parlé,” I was electrified to hear Baron d’Estournelles say: “One of the most serious obstacles with which the Peace Propaganda has to contend is the indifference— yes, the active opposition of women.” Then he proceeded to tell a story: “At a dinner recently, I was assigned to escort a lady who promised to be very interesting. Her mother was an American; her father, English; some five or six years ago she married a German army officer. By reason of the maternal and paternal liens of this woman, I expected to encounter a vigorous character, independent in both thought and action. As soon as we were seated at the table, she began to ridicule me for my hope of universal peace, and then declaring her personal devotion to the army, she proceeded thereafter throughout the dinner to regale me with conversation concerning her husband, the captain, his lieu
tenants, the colonel of his regiment—in short, with garrison gossip. We had barely finished our soup when I perceived that this woman, so far from being by her mother's right an American, or by her father's right an English woman, had no nationality at all—she was not even German; she was merely the wife of a captain in the German army. With respect to intellectual development, that, I regret to say, is what I find the majority of women—the wives of their husbands. Most husbands are too busy to think; the wives will not think, and thus does it happen that women, whose every sort of interest is allied with the disarmament of nations, do worse than nothing to advance our cause, resting content to be the mere echo of the man they marry.” The situation in France certainly seems to support Baron d’Estournelles’ charge against women. Individually and collectively, French women are devoted to the army, and this no doubt primarily because the army, instead of being, as it is with us, a commercial institution existing as far apart from the interests of the people in general as Standard Oil or the Northern Pacific Railroad, is in France an organization embracing every man. The French standing army, numbering approximately 600,000, is constantly recruited from the youth of the country. Every youth, as soon as he reaches his twenty-first year, goes into the army, and serves two or three years, the length of the term depending on how he has come out from school: certain honors gained in school now exempt a boy from one year’s military service. After having accomplished his two or three years' service, the Frenchman belongs to the reserve of the army for ten years, during which time he is twice called to spend four weeks in the service. Following this, for a period of six years, he belongs to the territorial army, and is required to make fifteen days of military service, after which he passes into the reserve of the territorial army for an additional period of six years, during which time he goes for one day into active service. Thus, every man in France, from the time he attains his twentyfirst year until his forty-second year is accomplished, is an actual part of the army, and thus, to every woman in France, rich or poor, high or low, the army means father, brother, husband, son. Every mother's boy, however well-bred and tenderly nurtured, goes for his turn in the barracks, where he must sleep and eat with his rough fellows, and perform any labor that the chance of army rule may impose upon him. This is supposed to be very good for his republicanism; it is known to be commonly very bad for his morals, but outside all that, the military organization of France is of such direct practical consequence to homes and to the family, that if women stop to think, they must realize the burden so placed upon them. The army costs the people of France in times of peace nearly a billion francs a year. That is what the state spends
for its support. Beyond this a further cost, directly impoverishing the homes of the people, is the amount of earnings lost to the soldier during his military service (the French soldier is paid by the state one sou a day), and still another certain, though indefinite, loss accrues in consequence of diminished efficiency of the man’s labor resulting from the interruptions and limitations which army service puts upon his application. Again, the productive force of the people being depleted each year by the number of men appropriated by the army, compels a certain number of women to make good this deficiency. Thus we see a near approach to economic equality existing between the sexes in France—not at all the gay and glorious privilege which aspiring ones in the United States would fancy— women toiling in the fields; women sweeping the streets of Paris; women hitched in the same harness with dogs drawing carts; and to an enormous extent, women engaged in mercantile pursuits, to the exclusion of any genuine home life, home being at best a room or two, stone-paved, dark, stifling, in the rear of the shop which compasses the woman's whole existence. As a rule, the children of these women workers are taken from the mother immediately at birth, and sent away for rearing. Of such recognized importance is the purely economic production of women in France, peasants renting a farm are commonly obliged to write in the lease that no child born to the woman shall be reared at home. This is to insure that the proprietor shall suffer no possible loss resulting from the woman’s labor being in the least diverted from the farm to the care of her babies. A most casual survey of the conditions re
sulting to women from the existence of the army in France would seem to disclose good and sufficient cause why women should advocate disarmament. But here, as everywhere, the French are incomprehensible in their indifference to material considerations. Frenchwomen appear to see in the army the beauty and the strength of France—the glory of their sons “writ large"—and they make sacrifices for the perpetuation of this glory with all the ardor of a singularly devoted maternal sentiment. The charities which they conduct for the benefit of the army are astonishing. An incredible number of wealthy Parisiennes, members of one or another of three associations forming the national Red Cross, utterly abandon fashion and pleasure to take an extensive course of study, for which, when completed, they are given a certificate enabling them to go as nurse in event of war.
These society women, like American women medical students, are to be found in hospitals in poor quarters of Paris, laboring there day after day, to familiarize themselves with disease and acquire skill in ministering to the needs of the suffering. At the present moment the members of the French Red Cross are hard at work for the soldiers of their Russian ally. During the first month of the war they have sent to the front two completely equipped field hospitals, each containing two hundred beds. I noted a droll, small incident the other day, which is a pretty bit of evidence of the Frenchwoman’s spirit of devotion to the army. A distracted father and mother of the –th arrondissement of Paris informed the police, about seven o’clock one evening, that none of their three children had returned home after school; the oldest was a boy of ten; the youngest, a little girl aged seven. Towards two o'clock in the morning, word came from a village in the environs of the city that three children had been found, tired, hungry, miserable. With nothing to eat, they had been tramping nearly ten hours through rain and mud when a policeman encountered them. Asked what they were doing, the eldest boy said that they had started out to join the Russian army, and the little girl, piping up for herself, added, “And I-I was going to join the ambulance of the Red Cross.”
ing characteristic of summer gowns, and this season Dame Fashion has
apparently planned everything to that end. Surely never were there such dainty and attractive combinations of coloring and material. Short skirts are inevitably more or less businesslike in appearance, but the short skirts this summer are not the plain, serviceable design of the last two or three seasons. They are tucked, flounced, pleated, and trimmed until they differ only from the long skirts in their length. Then, too, a degree of perfection has been reached in their cut and “hang’” that makes them far smarter and more becoming.
Small black and white checks, commonly known as shepherd's plaid, and checks in colors such as red and white or mauve and white, are made up in mohair, taffeta, louisine, or a lightweight cloth in a number of different designs with the short skirt.
Pleated or tucked skirts are the most fashionable, , , and are often quite elabo: "o rately trimmed o around the foot with rows of braid or with one band of wide mohair braid headed by a narrow soutache in a series of loops.
Both jackets and waists are made to match
D AINTINESS is or should be the lead
most practical costumes have the loose shapeless coat to be worn over the thin waist of muslin and lace or embroidered lawn. The taffeta or mohair blouse of solid color, to be worn with the check skirt, is also fashionable and is most useful, for it can be worn with other gowns as well. The favorite style is worn with one of the popular leather belts or with braid to match the skirt. Muslin, batiste, and lace gowns are as popular as ever this summer, which means that they are absolutely necessary for comfort. During the last two summers the weather has' been so cool that the unlined muslin frock has not always been exactly comfortable, so the dressmakers this season have gone back to the fashion of a silk lining for muslins or any such thin material. The silk lining is, however, not made up with the gown, but is entirely separate, and for each waist there are made both a high and a low lining, so that no matter what weather may prevail, the gown will be suitable. Valenciennes lace is for the moment most popular and is used in entre-deur, in ruffles and flounces, and in what is called the all-over —that is, like lace net. A white batiste or fine lawn trimmed with Valenciennes makes a most charmingly dainty gown, which, if worn over any color straightway takes a different appear
and evening wear gowns of this description are in great demand, and are exceedingly becoming and effective. Taffeta gowns are included in the summer outfit, and although taffeta is not a cool fabric, there are some qualities quite possible even for warm weather, and the unlined lace yoke and elbow sleeves make a great difference. All the old-fashioned bright shades of color are fashionable—apple green, sky blue, rose pink, and cherry red, such as were in style so many, many years ago — and are made up in many of the same styles. The full skirts, pleated, tucked, or gathered at the sides and back, with tucks and ruchings, are worn with full baby waists. Tace or ruche trimmed taffeta fichus or mantillas—or odd shapeless little unlined coats that do not
come to the waist-line and have wide, open sleeves, are worn over lace or net blousewaists. Wide belts of the taffeta in bodice effect add still more to the picturesque appearance. Midsummer evening gowns are or should be on decidedly more simple lines than those designed for the winter season. Chiffon, net, lace, and thin materials, among which should be included muslin, are all appropriate, and it is a comparatively easy task to have a variety of color and effect even though the general plan be the same. The colored chiffon or satin crêpe gowns are always effective, and, trimmed with lace and velvet ribbon, can be as simple or as elaborate as desired. The more vivid colors are for the moment considered smarter than the pale shades, but conservative-minded individuals will certainly choose the latter for midsummer wear, especially now that contrasts in color are permitted, for the introduction of a much stronger note of color in the sash or bodice will completely transform a gown and make it becoming if the very pale tint has proved too trying. Almost without exception evening gowns are elaborately trimmed. One of the favorite designs requires not less than two hundred and fifty yards of narrow Valenciennes lace. This is made into full gathered ruchings, which are put on in irregular lines, in loops and festoons, often between straight lines of velvet or satin ribbon. A pink silk with satin finish and large polka dot of a lighter shade of pink is trimmed in this way and with bands of tucks between the lace ruchings, while a gray crêpe de Chine has lines of velvet ribbon in place of the tucks. The great disadvantage in using velvet ribbon is that so often either the material of the gown or the velvet ribbon changes color after a few weeks of constant wear (and in gray sooner than in any other color), so that the effect is given of the gown being old before its time. Accordion-pleated gowns are certainly not novelties, and yet the fashion still continues in favor, especially for evening gowns. There are many new styles of pleated or tucked or shirred skirts this season, so that it is by no means necessary to use accordion-pleating, but it is wise to include one such skirt in the outfit. The soft silks and satins or chiffons in plain effects are the most satisfactory, as lace and figured materials of all kinds look far better in other styles. Skirts grow fuller and sleeves grow larger as the season progresses, and in truth many of the present fashions are so exaggerated that the rumors of a complete change and a return to marked simplicity—to close-clinging skirts and tight sleeves— seem not improbable. It may be remembered that whenever any fashion assumes such a point of exaggeration as to be ludicrous, that is the time a change is near at hand. For the moment, however, sleeves with one, two, and even three puffs are fashionable, and skirts of such width as to require not only the aid of featherbone, but stiff foundation in drop-skirt, to prevent a most ugly appearance. Wide pointed bodices, wide both back and front or much wider in front than in the back, are worn by both stout and slender women. This fashion is not so impossible for stout figures as might be supposed, for the long line gives the same effect as did the straight front. Of course, though, for an unusually large waist the belt of uniform narrow pleats is always the best. Long shoulder seams and big puffed sleeves may be becoming to slender figures. For any woman in the least inclined to be large they are most unbecoming, and should be carefully avoided. Not so new are the mediumlength shoulder seams and sleeves of sensible proportions, but it is far wiser to choose what is becoming in such cases rather than what is Fashion’s latest fad, for Dame Fashion is no respecter of persons.
The revival of the fad for the old-fashioned English embroidery which the grandmothers of the present generation used to make by hand is a marked feature of this summer's fashions. It is all holes, embroidered around the edges and arranged in elaborate patterns. This work was always done on lawn or batiste, but now one sees it also on pongee and taffeta. The smartest, however, is the exact reproduction of the old-time work on lawn. Much of that used is, in fact, really old, resur