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GIVE US ROOM!

THE entertainments of this unusually
festive season, so far as I am personally
concerned, have at last subsided into a temporary
lull. I and my family actually have one or
two evenings to ourselves, just at present.
It is my purpose to take advantage of this
interval of leisure to express my sentiments
on the subject of evening parties and ladies'
dress.

Let nobody turn over this page impatiently
alarmed at the prospect of another diatribe
against Crinoline. I, for one, am not going
to exhibit myself in the character of a writer
who vainly opposes one of the existing
institutions of this country. The Press, the
Pulpit, and the Stage, have been in the habit
of considering themselves as three very
powerful levers, capable of being used with
terrible effect on the inert material of society.
All three have tried to jerk that flourishing
foreign plant, Crinoline, out of English earth,
and have failed to stir so much as a single
root of it. All three have run full tilt against
the women of England, and have not moved
them an inch. Talk of the power of the
Press!—what is it, compared to the power of
a French milliner? The Press has tried to
abridge the women's petticoats, and has
utterly failed in the attempt. When the
right time comes, a French milliner will
abridge them at a week's notice. The Pulpit
preaches, the Stage ridicules; and each
woman of the congregation or the audience,
sits, imperturbable, in the middle of her
balloon, and lets the serious words or the
comic words, go in at one ear and come out
at the other, precisely as if they were spoken
in an unknown tongue. Nothing so deplorably
deteriorating for the reputation of the
Press, the Pulpit, and the Stage has ever
happened, as the utter failure of their crusade
against Crinoline.

My present object in writing is likely, I
think, to be popularat least, with the ladies.
I do not want to put down CrinolineI only
want to make room for it. Personally, I
rather like itI do, indeed, though I am a
man. The fact is, I am a thoroughly well-
disciplined husband and father; and I know
the value of it. The only defect in my eldest
daughter's otherwise perfect form, lies in her
feet and ankles. She is married, so I don't
mind mentioning that they are decidedly
large and clumsy. Without Crinoline, they
would be seen; with Crinoline (think of that,
scoffing young men!) nobody has the slightest
suspicion of them. My wifeI implore the
reader not to tell her that I ever observed it
my wife used to waddle before the invention
of Crinoline. Now she swims voluptuously,
and knocks down all the light articles
of furniture, whenever she crosses the room,
in a manner which, but for the expense of
repairs, would be perfectly charming. One
of my other single daughters used to be sadly
thin, poor girl. Oh, how plump she is now!
Oh, my marriageable young men, how
amazingly plump she is now! Long life to the
monarchy of Crinoline! Every mother in
this country who has daughters to marry,
and who is not quite so sure of their unaided
personal attractions as she might wish to be,
echoes that loyal cry, I am sure, from the
bottom of her affectionate heart. And the
Press actually thinks it can shake our
devotion to our Queen Petticoat? The Press,
ladies? Pooh! pooh!

But we must have roomwe must
positively have room for our petticoat at evening
parties. We wanted it before Crinoline. We
want it ten thousand times more, now. I
don't know how other parents feel; but,
unless there is some speedy reform in the
present system of party-givingso far as
regards health, purse, and temper, I am a
lost man. Let me make my meaning clear
on this point by a simple and truthful
process. Let me describe how we went to our
last party, and how we came back from it.

Doctor and Mrs. Crump, of Gloucester
Place (I mention names and places to show
the respectable character of the party),
kindly requested the pleasure of my company
and my family's a week ago. We accepted
the invitation, and agreed to assemble in my
dining-room previous to departure, at the
hour of half-past nine. It is unnecessary to
say that my son-in-law (now staying with
me on a visit) and I had the room entirely
to ourselves at the appointed time. We
waited half-an-hour: both ill-tempered, both
longing to be in bed, and both utterly silent.
As the hall-clock struck ten, a sound was
heard on the stairs, as if a whole gale of

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