xt75qf8jdm4c https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt75qf8jdm4c/data/mets.xml Fitch, Clyde, 1865-1909. 1897  books b92-203-30752381 English H.S. Stone, : Chicago : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Smart set  : correspondence & conversations, 1897 / by Clyde Fitch. text Smart set  : correspondence & conversations, 1897 / by Clyde Fitch. 1897 2002 true xt75qf8jdm4c section xt75qf8jdm4c 

The Smart Set

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              " MUMSY "



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    The Correspondence and the

THE MAKEWAY BALL                          3
THE PLAINTIFF                          43
THE SUMMER                             53
THE CHILDREN                           65
MATERNITY                              85
A LETTER OF INTRODUCTION               105
WAGNER, 1897                          113
ART                                    13 1
SORROW                                 139
THE THEATRE                           149
THE OPERA                              159
A PERFECT DAY                          167
THE GAMBLERS                           187

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The Makeway Ball

     Five Letters


Wm. H. Makeway
Mrs. Makeway
Miss Makeway
a Guest
an Uninvited


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The Smart


From Wim. H. Makeway to 7oseph K. Makle-
             way, of Denver.
             New York, Jan. 12, I89-.
My Dear Brother:
  You did well to stay West. Would to
God I had! Julia's big party came off last
night. I told her weeks ago, when she be-
gan insinuating it, that if it must be it must
be, of course, and that I would pay all the
bills, but I wished it distinctly understood I
would n't have anything else to do with it.
She assured me that nothing whatever would
be expected of me.    Unfortunately, she
wasn't the only woman with an American
husband, and that people would understand.
She promised me I should have a voice in the
matter of cigars and champagne-you can


know they were all right-and I believe the
success of the party was, in a great measure,
due to them.
  My having " nothing whatever to do" with
it consisted in hearing nothing else discussed
for days, and on the night in question hav-
ing no room I could call my own, my bed-
room being devoted to the men (of course
you know that Julia and I have n't shared
the same room for years, not since the six
months she spent with her married sister,
Lady Glenwill), my own sanctum down
stairs was turned into a smoker, and I
was obliged to hang around in any place I
could find, all ready for the guests a couple
of hours before they began to arrive. Of
course, too, she finally bulldozed me into
helping her receive.  You see, the little
woman really was worn out, for she had over-
seen everything. She is a wonder! There
isn't an English servant in New York, or
London, either, who can teach her anything,
altho' our second footman happens to have
been with the Duke of Cambridge at one
time. Not that I care a damn about such



things-except that the Duke is a soldier-
but in speaking of them I get to taking Julia's
point of view. I helped her receive some
of the people, to sort of give her a feeling of
not having the whole infernal thing on her
own shoulders.   Everybody Julia wanted
came, and a great many she did n't want. I
suppose out where you live you don't have
to ask the people you do n't want. Here it's
much more likely you can't ask the people
you do want. I have some business friends,
first-rate fellows, with good looking, dressy
wives, but Julia bars them every one because
they are n't fashionables. You ought to see
me when I'm fashionable! The most miser-
able specimen you ever saw. I look just like
one of the figures in a plate in a tailor's win-
dow, labeled " latest autumn fashions," and
I feel like one, too.
  Julia looked stunning!  By Jove ! she
was the handsomest woman there. There
isn't another in New York anywhere near her
age who can touch her. They say every one
asked about her in London when she went
out with her sister in English society, and I




do n't wonder.  You know she has a tall
crown of diamonds-tiaras, they call them-
I 've always been ashamed to tell you before!
She came home with it from Tiffany's one
day, and said it was my birthday present to
her, and I let it go at that. Well, last
night no Duchess could have worn the same
sort of thing any better. The young one,
too, looked as pretty as a  whatever you
like, only it must be damned pretty! It was
her first ball, you know; she's a  , you
know what, it 's her first time in society.
She had more bouquets than Patti used to
get when you and I were running about
town. And she was as unconcerned about
it! She 's fashionable enough-I only hope
she is n't too much so. I do n't want her to
marry this young Lord who 's hanging
around, and I say so three times a day. The
" young 'un " says I 'd better wait till he 's
asked her, but I do n't dare.  Julia 's fixed
on it.  She won't even argue with me,
so you can imagine how determined she
is. But I want my daughter to marry an
American, and live in her own home where



her father and mother live. One thing, I
know: most of these marrying foreigners that
come over here want money, and I '11 be
hanged if I '11 give the young 'un a penny if
she takes this one. I mean it. I give you
my word. He led the cotillon with her
last night. I would n't watch it. I staid
in my den and helped smoke the cigars.
None better! I can tell you that !
  Well, good bye, old man. If you hear
of any thing good out your way to drop
a couple of hundred thousand in, let me
know-better wire me. Politics have played
the deuce with my Utahs. Julia sends her
love, and wants me to enclose you yards of
newspaper clippings about the party. Ha!
Ha! Not by a damn sight! It 's enough
that I was bored to death by it! The
"s young 'un " often speaks of you. She is
getting togged out to go with her mother
and do the town in the wav of At Homes
and such things. What a life! Yet they
seem to enjoy it, and pity us. Us! In
Wall street! The Elysian Fields of Amer-




ica ! Can I
know I am

do anything for you here  You
always glad of a chance.
Your affectionate brother,

  How about that girl you were running
after  Why do n't you give it all up  You
know what a bad lot she is. Settle down
and marry. It 's the only real happiness.
Believe your old brother.



Letter from  Mrs. Wim. H. Makeway to Lady
            Glenwill, of London.
My Darling Tina:
  It is over, and my dear, I 'm dead! Only-
such a success! Surpassed my wildest dreams!
If you had only been here. In the first place
every one of any consequence in New York
came; except, of course, those who are in
mourning.   There are certain people who
have always held off from me, you know;
but they 've come around at last, and were
all in evidence last night and in their best
clothes, and all their jewels, and you know
that always speaks well for the hostess. I
wore my tiara that Will so generously gave
me my last birthday (of course he hates it
himself, but I brought it home, and he had to
give in-the Dear!). My wedding necklace,
three strings of real pearls, and one string
of those "Orient " things we bought on



1o      THE    SMART       SET
Bond St.-no one could ever tell the differ-
ence except Will, who makes a fuss every
time I wear them. He swears he will give me
a new real string if I put them on again, but
I tell him we must economize now to make
up for what the party cost. My dress was
charming. Grace Nott brought it over from
Pacquin for her mother, and meanwhile this
cruel indecent new tariff came on! Get down
on your knees, my dear, and be grateful you
do n't live in this wretched country which is
being turned into one great picnicking ground
for the working classes. The custom house
wanted to make Grace pay an awful duty,
and then, fortunately for me, but of course it
was terrible for them, something in Wall
Street went up instead of down, or vice versa
(I never can understand those things), and
the poor Notts went to smash. The dress
was to be left in the custom house. When I
heard about it I bought it, duties and all.
My dear girl, it fitted me like a dream. Did
you ever hear anything like it Of course,
Mrs. Nott never could    have squeezed
herself into it, so it 's just as well she did n't



try!  It is the new color, and made in the
very latest way-in fact, the coming spring
mode. I really think Will's description is the
best. I '11 try to quote it to you: "It begins
at the top-i.e. decidedly below the shoulders
-to be one kind of a dress, changes its mind
somewhere midway, and ends out another
sort altogether. One side starts off in one
direction, but comes to grief and a big jewel,
somewhere in the back. The other side,
taking warning, starts off in an absolutely
different way, color, and effect, and explodes
at the waist under the opposite arm in a
diamond sunburst and a knot of tulle, on
accidentally meeting its opponent half."  It
really is quite like that, too!  Will is as
amusing as ever.  And he was so sweet
about the party. Of course, at first, I had to
be very diplomatic and get his consent with-
out his knowing. He still hates society in
the most unreasonable manner; would even
rather stay at home quietly than go to his
club. But last night he accepted the inevi-
table and behaved like a prince. I wonder
how many couples in New York who have




been married nineteen years are as happy as
Will and I are He made a great fuss, of
course, about the champagne and cigars. You
would have thought the whole fate of the
ball depended upon them; and I must say
they cost a ridiculous price.  However, he
pays for them, and they made him happier;
so I do n't complain. I am sure, after all, he
enjoyed the ball thoroughly, too. You could see
it in his face. And what perfect manners he
has! Do you remember Will may not be
" smart," but he 's a gentleman, and his grand-
fathers before him were gentlemen, and that
always tells.
  We do n't seem to have had many grand-
fathers, my dear-of our own, I mean, of
course. I know you've married a wonderful
collection of them, dating back to goodness
knows when, but it isn't so important for
American women; they can acquire breeding
in their own lifetime. I know no other na-
tion whose women can do the same, and even
our men have n't the same ability. Look at
the American duchesses-do n't they grace
even the parties at Marlborough House


Look at yourself, my dear girl. But you
won't, because you're too modest. Still you
must acknowledge your success in England
is conspicuous. Will's manners are perhaps
a little old-school, but that 's much better
than the new-school. Young men's manners
nowadays are becoming atrocious, and I'm
sorry to say I think they get them from
England. The first thing one knows the
only gentlemen left in America will be the
women. But I hope American men won't
lose their reputation-deserved, you must ac-
knowledge-of being the most courteous men
in the world to women. Well, to go back
to the ball. Of course, all my feelings out-
side my guests were centered in Helen.  I
might as well tell you at once, she is con-
sidered the most attractive debutante of the
year-not by me, I do n't mean, nor by my
friends, but by the people who hate us, and
everybody. I think she is very like you, a
sort of distingue air that you always had. I
sometimes wonder if some of our grand-
mothers (for even if we did n't have grand-
fathers we must have had grandmothers), if

1 3


14      THE    SMART       SET
some one of them-hope not two-did n't
make a wee slip once when royal personages
were about! Of course there is no use boast-
ing of royal blood in one's veins when it has
no business there, but that would account for
certain things. You may remember the old
portrait of mother's mother. She looked a
perfect duchess. Helen can have a title if
she wants it. I might as well tell you now.
Please find out all you can for me about
young Lord       .  He will be Duke of
     when his father or some one dies; so
find out if you can, too, how long you think
it will probably be before he becomes a duke.
And is he rich or poor He need n't be rich,
but I don't want to think it 's Helen's money
he's after. I'm  doing all I can to bring
about the match, and yet I'm not so worldly
after all as to want a daughter of mine to
make a loveless marriage.  Helen is n't ex-
actly pretty, but she 's extremely attractive.
Her figure is perfect, and she 's the most styl-
ish thing in the world. I am very happy to-
day as I think that I have lancied her in the
best New York can offer. It has not been



all downhill work.  Her father's name en-
titled her to it; but he hated society, so he
was more of a drawback than anything else.
I could n't boast of any social position in
Buffalo, and it's extraordinary how well that
was known here. However, the fact of my
being of a good, sterling, unpretentious family
did help in the end, when I got started, and
people saw I was serious about i" getting in."
Of course, vou gave us our first big push for-
ward, you darling.  An entree into smart
English society doesn't mean so much for a
New Yorker nowadays as it used to, but it
means a good deal. And a sister-in-law of
Lord Glenwill is a desirable person to know
when in London, so it is wise to take her up
at home, and I, always having Helen's future
in mind, took advantage of every possibility.
Perhaps I should n't have had to push my
way so much here if the Prince of Wales
were still making an American girl each sea-
son, but you know for several years now he
seems to have given it up. I think he was
discouraged by the last two he made at
Homburg; neither of them had any success



x6     THE     SMART       SET
here the following winter, " hall-marked " as
they were, and even London has n't found
them husbands yet.
  Of course, as to one of them, I remember
the gossip you wrote me about Colonel
But, as you said, he had a wife and other in-
cumbrances; so the least said about that the
  Under anv circumstances, I think it 's a
much bigger triumph to give Helen all New
York first, now, simply by our own right,
and then this May we '11 take her to an early
drawing-room, and see what happens next.
I shall depend upon you, dear, to see that we
go to one of the Princess' drawing-rooms,
and do n't get palmed off on one of the
Princess Christian's or anything of that sort.
  Helen was dressed very simply, of course,
and no jewels, but looked so sweet. Lord
     was devotion itself all evening. Nat-
urally every one is on the qui vive for
the engagement, but that 's all right. They
danced the cotillon together. We had charm-
ing favors, not too extravagant-that 's such
wretched taste-but things we bought inVen-



ice last year, and Hungarian things, and some
Russian, and a set of tiny gold things Tiffany
got up especially for us.
  I had several people down from Buffalo,
and mother, of course. I wish you could
have seen her, bless her heart. She had on
all her old lace, and my coiffeur did her hair
beautifully.  She looked so handsome, and
Will insisted on her dancing a figure of a
quadrille with him, and how graceful and
dignified she was. You would have been
very proud. I was. Lots of people asked
about her, and some seemed so surprised
when they heard she was my mother. How
rude people are; and what did thev expect
my mother to be like  After all, do I look
like the daughter of a washerwoman  I think
not. We might ask the Grand Duke    , if
we meet him again at Aix. You know I told
Will about my small, timid flirtation with the
Russian, and really he seemed proud of my
absurd little conquest ! A convenient hus-
band for some women we know, would n't
he be  Ah, but then you see they would n't
deserve him !

I 7



  Sherry did my supper. He imported some
birds from Austria especially for it, and in-
vented some dishes of his own. I think it
was all right. People said so, but, of course,
you can't believe people. I can vouch at
any rate for the serving of it. It was like
magic. We seated every one at little tables
which seemed to come up thro' the floors.
They were everywhere except in the ball-
room; that was left clear.
  WAe 've built the ball-room since you were
over.  Will bought the house next to us
(such a sum as they asked when they heard
we wanted it!) and the whole lower floor we
made into a ball-room.  It just holds my
series of Gobelins we bought for that out-
rageous price two years ago in Paris at the
Marquis de Shotteau's sale. For flowers, I
had quantities of gorgeous palms and lovely
cut flowers in bowls and vases wherever it
was possible. That was all,-I hate this
stuffing a house with half-fading flowers, it
always suggests a funeral to me, with the
banked-up mantels for coffins.  It 's horrid,
I know, but I can 't help it. However, if



I am writing in this vein it 's time I stopped.
My letter is abnormally long as it is-I hope
the right number of stamps will be put on it.
Forgive me for mentioning it, my dear, but
we always have to pay double postage due
on your epistles. I do n't mind at all-they
are quite worth it-only I thought you might
like to know.
  I have all the newspapers about the ball
for you, but I will wait till after Thursday
and then send them on in a package. I want
to see what Town Topics will say. Nobody
cares, of course, only you do n't like to see
horrid things about you in print. Some-
times it treats me very well, and it 's devoted
to Helen, but once in a while it's atrocious.
I 'm only a little worried about Lord
I do n't want it to say I am after him for
Helen, because I am not!  If the English
papers have anything in, please send them
over-I know some articles are going to be
written. If there are any of them absurd
and extravagant accounts, of course you will
take pains to contradict them. The English




press seems often determined to make Amer-
ican society ridiculous.
  Will says we will be greatly indebted to
your husband if he will get us a house for
the season, as you   proposed.  Carleton
House Terrace, if possible; if not, use your
own judgment, only not Grosvenor Square-
they make too much fun of strangers who
go there. I hope you are well and taking
some sort of care of yourself, which you
know you never do. And please, if you go to
Paris at Easter, be sure to write us at once
if sleeves are still growing smaller, if hats
are big or little, and whether it's feathers or
flowers, or both. Also, of course, anything
else that will help us. And do n't forget to
find out all you can about Lord . And
do you advise announcing the engagement
before her presentation, or afterward   And
by no means say a word to anybody, as he
has n't proposed yet. By the wav, Will is
violently opposed to it. But I think Helen
and I together will be too much for him, and
if absolutely necessary my health can give out!
That had to happen, you remember, before I



could get him out of I5th street and up
  My love to the Hon. Bertha.    How is
the dear child  I long to see you. Say
what you like, this society life is n't alto-
gether satisfactory.  I think after Helen is
happily married-to whomever it is-I shall
drift quietly out of it, and gradually take to
playing Joan to Will's Darby. I 'm sure
Will would love it.
  Love to you both, and a heart full to your-
self, Tina, dearest.
         Your affectionate old sister,
  P. S.-Don 't laugh at what I said about
a society life. Of course I do n't mean it.
I don't believe I could live without it
now.   I 'm tired after the ball, that's all.
To tell the truth I don 't quite know where
my head is. I shall take two phoenacetine
powders right away. Do you know about
them; they 're so good. Did I ask you if you
went to Paris Easter to be sure and write me
if sleeves -   0 yes, I remember, I did.

2 1


From Miss Makeway to Miss Blanche Mathe-
              son in Rome.
My darling Blanche:
  Of course I know you are Having a wonder-
ful time in Rome with Royalties and all sorts
of smart people and gav entertainments, but
still I wish you had been at our ball last
night. I believe you would have enjoyed it.
I don 't think anyone can deny we know how
to give balls in America, and mama is a
wonder! You know she's been fishing for
guests for this ball for years.  And she
wouldn 't give it till she was sure of a list of
people who would be present that would bear
comparison with anybody's; and, my dear, we
had it ! And I am sure mama feels more
than repaid. With such a culmination every-
thing has been worth while-the French chef
and his terrible extravagances, for you must
pay to be known as a good house to dine at-



all the deadly afternoon parties, all the ex-
orbitant fees paid for years to the opera sing-
ers to sing, the house at Newport-and the
one at Lennox, the seasons in London, that
shooting box in Scotland (it bored us to
death ), it was all worth while now that we
have arrived at the toppest top. And no one
could become her position better than mama.
A society matron of the first water is cer-
tainly her metier.
  Lord     is very much struck with mama.
I will tell you about him later. Of course poor
papa looks a little what that amusing young
Englishman would call perhaps I872. He
was n't in it for a minute; bored to death, poor
thing. You know he hates parties. Thank
heaven I am "1 out" at last, for now I can go to
everything that comes on. And do as I please,
that is if I want to, because I may marry soon!
I wish I could see your expression when you
read that. Of course it is Lord  . He
proposed last night, but I told him he must
wait, and propose again in a couple of weeks.
I wasn 't ready to decide yet. I must be free
" out " for a couple of weeks at least.


24      THE     SMART       SET
  He will be Duke of     , some day. As
the Duchess I shall have precedence over
Mamie Smith, Gertrude Strong, and Irene
van Worth, and even over all the older
women who have married abroad, except the
Duchesses of      and      . Think what
fun it would be to sail in everywhere ahead
of Mamie Smith, after all the insufferable
airs she has put on!  I don't believe I could
make a better match.  Besides he's youngish
and good-looking, has splendid estates, and I
really like him. I mean I think he is the
sort of man you can get very romantic about.
And of course there 's no real social life any-
where but abroad, and there 's no other life
that would n't bore me to death.  It 's only
natural, for my whole childhood was spent
in an atmosphere of searching after it. Ever
since I can remember the chief occupation
and interest of mama was how diplomat-
ically to get into the smartest set with
dignity.  It seemed as difficult as the pro-
verbial camel and eye of a needle and the
rich man getting into heaven, and in my
younger days the three were all very much



mixed up together in my mind. I think I
should prefer London to Paris. Smart life
in Paris seems to be so very much more im-
moral than in London, judging from what one
hears and the books one reads, and you know I
don't care about immorality. I get that from
mama, too. She is shocked all the time
in the " world," over here even, tho' she tries
to hide it.
  Our house looked lovely last night. We
had powdered footmen, and just enough
music and just enough supper and just
enough people. One of the secrets of suc-
cess in society is not to overcrowd anything.
  Of course there were some drawbacks to
the ball, but small things that did n't really
count. Mary Farnham came and sat the
whole evening thro', as usual, without once
dancing. Even papa said he "drew the line
at that." Why does n't she take something 
You see lots of things advertised that change
people almost as big as she into a perfect
shadow in no time. You feel so sorry for
her when she 's your guest.  I had a great
mind to put Lord      to the test, but I




did n't quite dare! Then Tommy Baggs
came and repeated his customary gymnas-
tics-waltzed on everybody's toes in the
rooms (slipper sellers ought to pay him a
commission), tore two women's gowns nearly
off their waists and spilled champagne frapp6
down Mrs. Carton's back; would have ruined
her bodice, if she 'd had any on, at the back.
She bore it like a lamb.  Her teeth were
fairly chattering, but she laughed and said it
was rather pleasant.
  Good heavens! Who do you suppose is
down stairs Lord      ! It 's going to be
a bore if he 's coming every day. I shall go
down and tell him these two weeks I am to
have a con plete holiday.
  Do write t.- all you 're doing.
                 With love always,
  Later-I have accepted him ! He was so
perfectly charming! I could n't help it!



              From a Guest.
My dear Claire:
  I was so glad to hear from you about
Florida, and, as you are having such an
amusing time, and as the season here is prac-
tically finished now that the much-talked of
Makeway ball is over, I 've decided to join
you next week. Besides, I've missed you
awfully, and it will be so nice to be with you
again. Will you be so good as to engage my
rooms for me-a bedroom with two wind-
dows facing south; not near the elevator by
any means; not above the third floor-but not
on the first. Please see that the coloring is
blue or pink; I'm not particular about de-
sign or material, or anything of that sort (I
do n't think people should be too exigeant)-
only yellow, or red, or white, or green rooms
are too awfully unbecoming to me. Have
drawing-room to connect with the bedroom



28      THE     SMART       SET
please, and then a room for my maid. I
hope you won't have to pay more than seven
dollars a week for her (all included, natur-
ally). She is n't at all particular. I 'm sure
I could n't afford to keep her if she were, and
she 's such a treasure. Of course she reads
all my letters and minds my own business
more than I do myself, and uses up my
crested writing paper at a terrific rate; but
that one expects-do n't you think so-with a
good servant 
  I know you are mad to hear all about the
ball, so I'll tell you. In the first place it
was a great success, and that settles it ! The
Makeways are now a power in New York
society, and there's really no reason why
they should n't be. His family are all right
and her English connections are better;
and then what a charming women she is!
She makes a perfect hostess. Such tact!
Everything was carried out in the best of
taste.  If they erred at all it was on the side
of simplicity; and yet that gives you a wrong
idea about the ball, because it really could
boast of splendor. Yes, I mean it, but of a



solid, real kind. There is nothing papier
mach6 about the Makeway house; nor about
its owners, nor about their entertainment.
You can 't help but believe this, and it gives
you a sense of social security! Everyone any-
one would want in their house was there. If
any line was drawn tightly inside the smart
circle, it defined the pseudo-declass6. Mrs.
kMakeway might be described in England as a
slightly early-Victorian hostess, or if our pres-
idents had at all the position and social power
of royalties, she would be ticketed perhaps as
of the Hayes period, except that would imply
"Total Abstinence," which would mean
instant death to anyone in smart society,
thank goodness!  I suppose you 've heard
that old mot of the dinners at the White
House during the Hayes administration, that
water flowed like champagne! Well, that will
never be said of the Makeways. Their wine
was the very best, too; I never had better at
any party, seldom as good, and even John,
who scoffs at the idea of women being a
judge of wines, confesses, that, though we 've
entertained everybody all our lives, we 've



30      THE     SMART      SET
never had such a good wine inside our doors.
The supper was, in the first place, comfort-
able, and, in the second place, faultless.
(There was a queer kind of game, which I
loathed, but of course I knew, whatever it
was, under the circumstances it was the right
thing, so I choked it down.) The music was
superb-all the good Hungarian orchestras in
town. The cotillon favors were lovely, and
some very stunning gold and jeweled things
from Tiffany's must have cost a fortune.
  But of course what you want to know about
most is the people and what they had on. I
wore my-but you '11 see my dress in Florida,
so never mind. Mrs. Makeway had a superb
dress, but she always dresses handsomely.
What a nice man Mr. Makeway is. You felt
sure he was bored to death by the party, and
all of us at it, but he concealed it with such
charming manners and such natural courtesy
that you really felt somehow it was a pleasure
to come and put him out. The daughter is a
great success; there 's no denying that. She
has a perfect figure, and is very graceful. She
seems to have her father's manners, brought



up to date by her mother. She 's going to
be a leader, you can tell that, and apparently
she can be an eventual duchess, if she wishes.
Young Lord       is still here, and his de-
votion in the Makeway quarter is undis-
guised.  Everyone likes him, and says he
is n't the sort of young fellow to be merely
after her money; but no one can tell if Helen
is going to take him or not. I am sure of
one thing, she will do as she pleases.
  There were beautiful jewels in evidence
at the ball. Mrs. Makeway wore, I believe,
a dozen strings of the most gorgeous pearls.
All real, of course, with their money. They
must represent a fortune in themselves.
Poor old Mrs. Hammond Blake came with
all her Switzerland amethysts, and a few new
topazes mixed in (she must have been at
Lucerne last summer). She looked like one
of those glass gas-lit signs. But really, all
the best jewels in New York were there.
And it is wonderful to see how the women
whose throats are going the way of the
world have welcomed the revival of black
velvet if they have n't the pearl collarettes.



32      THE    SMART       SET
I shall be wanting something of the sort
myself soon. Woe is me! And John does
keep looking so abominally young. I tell
him out of courtesy to me he must get old
more quickly, or people will be saying I
married a man years younger than myself!
  John says I need n't trouble to furnish
people with subjects for talking; they can
make up their own. But I do n't think we
are gossips nowadays here in America; do
you Which reminds me that everybody says
the Mathews are going to separate at last.
She 's going to Dakota, and get it on incap-
tability, or cruelty, or some little thing like
that. Everybody wondered at first why,
since she 'd stood it so long, she was going to
divorce Ned now, at this late day, but it has
leaked out. Think of it-Charlie Harris!
Are n't you surprised  It's only about two
years since he divorced his wife. Mrs.
Harris got the children, so I presume Mrs.
Mathews will keep hers to give Charlie in
place of his own. If I remember the num-
ber he will be getting compound interest!
You know the Mathews babies came with



such lightning rapidity we lost count. One
was always confusing the last baby with the
one that came before it. Anyway, I think
Charlie Harris gets the best of it; so, even
if it is n't altogether ideal to possess your
children "i ready made," as it were, st