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WOMAN'S LETTER FROM

MELBOURNE.

July 31.

There is no end of tho social events this; year. Usually by August there is a very distinct fallihg-off, and ia »September quite a lull, until the ßpring racing carnival comes, but this season there is no appearance of the lessening yet awhüe. ït would, be very welcome, too, for the dancing folks are real- ly beginning to be somewhat fagged. It is peculiar, but still a-fact, that thc same set of people are seen at the hal's., but there seems only a certain ? limited number of ball goers. There are such a number of private dances nowadays that many who used to be often met at subscription func- tions are very rarely 6eeU there now, but quite a fresh lot have come to fill the gap. This was impressed very forcibly last night at the Brighton Hockey Club hall.. A sea- son or two ago at such a dance I should have known, by sight at any rate,' more than half thc girls and a very large propor- tion- of men in the room ; at this one- I knew at the most about half a dozen peo- ple iii all. It is probably evidence of bow the population of Melbourne is going ahead, for it is more and more difficult to keep track of whoa who. By the way, this Brighton Hockey Club dance was a very nico affair, held at they*popular St. Kilda Town Hall-popular because it has a good floor and grounds-that is, it is set in a garden, and folks can go out between the dances. We have three hails, no four, which stand in gardens like this, and ali are in great request, so it is evident that grounds of some sort are a great asset to a public hall. With all the halls we have we very badly need another for dancing 'inear the city. Thero are a few, but thej are too small, and tho Town Hall isjiofconlj rather too large, .but what tells more is sc outrageously expensive, and .there are sc many restrictions, and additional costs foi people to meet. Besides, which lt has the heaviest and most hopeless floor one coule imagine. Dancers describe it as "the glut pot." So it is distinctly unpopular for dances

The most notable'ball Of tho week was « combination one given by four-leading do'd tors' wives at the St. iKilda Town Hall. £ was one of. the best done things, of th< kind, and not only the guests were caterec fop lavishly, but also those too often for gotten folks, the waiting chauffeurs and dri vers outside. As they stopped ti set down their loads on arriva each ono was presented with a ticket and coffee stalls and carts were provided it the grounds. A driver had only to presehi his card and he could obtain hot pies..-save Joys, .and such delicacies with hot tea 01 coffee. ~ It was a thoughtful action, inuci appreciated, and those drivera were in i much fitter state than usual to steer "theil

vehicles home. Generally there is liowfaen for them to go, nothing to do'but adjoun to the nearest hotel. Can one wonder tba jt' is with disastrous results at times. A this ball, which also took place at the St Kilda Town Hall, the* decorations were beau tiful. Tho place was made tc» look liki a huge private room, with curtains, dra penes, etc., and quantities of lovely ..flowers

The"--Women's National Council had 1 meeting last Thursday night, but there wa nothing very important discussed, mainly thu routino work. This body is doing splendit work, not only here, of course, but all tin world over, for women and children. Au other organisation which is also doing splcn did work is the A.W.A. It is the women' branch which most interests me, and parti cularly on what may be termed its parents side, that is in the efforts to care for womel and girl workers. Tho women who ar leading members of the Association aro won derfully interesting to meet, because the; are so practical and earnest. There ar no theories about ..them ; they are honaelj every-day women, and it comes as a bi] surprise when they begiu to speak of th subject they have nearest at heart. The. know hy experience among the workers wha they are talking about. At present th vital thing they are working for is more prc tection for the factory girl, for they declar her life is surrounded with temptation Naturally they do not want to - take th old-time way of forbidding her any outing or pleasure;-they want to make possibl plenty of recreation, but of a sort that ah can enjoy with perfect safety and Innocent*

Then as a side issue they aro prosing about, is the hat-pin nuisance. They were explain- ing how many accidents moro or less serious have come under their own observation. They are not made public, but it is under tsood the injuries are very frequent. It is just this class of thoughtless girl, the young ones, who are-the worst offenders, their hats. One of our suburban and have hugo skewers sticking through councils, Richmond, has taken action and is going to proceed against people wear- ing hatpins which are a menace to public safety. In my limited circle of acquaintances I know of two cases of bad injury, a little giri'of three, who has loßt an eye througt tho hatpin of a visitor, who stooped dow* to kiss her good-bye; and a young eugineei who had his ey© pierced on a tram, so thal for weeks tho sight was despaired of. How ever it was saved eventually although h< will always have impaired vision.

We have been having quito an clevatiitf experience dramatically lately. First ai Oscar Wilde^play at tho Princess Theain -by tho Plimmer-Denniston Co:, then th< Repertory Theatre, with tho Russian play . bv Auton Tchékhov, a gloomy depreasinf

thing, wherein all folks are the basest 01 heines. I told vou of it in a previous let ter. Ï think. Theu there was a very bright ? and really clever plav by an Australian

Louis E-sson, "The Time is not yet Ripe,' also produced by the Repertory Thea-t-r* Club. He is undoubtedly the most promis- ing of our young dramatists, for he writes in" a polished way. and his plays have grip, His characters have personality, and he get« that difficult Thing atmosphere. This is where 60 many people fail in writing for the stage. Besides his dialogue is crisp and witty, with a quaint Whimsical turn of hum- our. This plav was also mentioned hr a former letter, I fancy. Anywav, it ii founded en the political Question in Austra- lia treated in a emito Gilbsrtian fashion. Louis Esson has had far more experience than the avoraee Australian writer. When he finished his University course he went to EuroDe. staying for some time in London aud Paris, seeing the best of everything in a dramatic wav, and meeting interesting people. Then later he was sent on a sne oial mission to China and the East bv thc "Lone Hand" to write a series of articles on the situation there.

Bernard Shaw at the Thcrft.ro R.oval hy tho Blue Bird Company, pr'tho Iciest nro dnction. They have chown "You Never Can Tell," which is certa-inlv not Shaw, ot his best. but. is verv-tvpically Shavian. It sets out as thous-h to show us the author's opi- nion upon the modem marriaee cuestión, the solution of the troubles which arise when a modern woman and au old-fashioned do- mineering man aro the couple, and tho first act promises well. However, after that Shaw veers round, makes fuq of everything, holds bis- own teaching, as Bet forth in the carly part, tip to ridicule, and ends by show- ing nature will have her way, and the old order of things will always obtain, the deter- mined masculino mau will always dominate oven the strongest woman despite all teach- ings au-d theories ; that she will go down un- conditionally in, face of the old-fashioned love. It is evenly acted, the men being particularly good, tho women not quite so successful, more by reason of tho fact they are rather unsuited physically to tho parts. Miss Madge McIntosh, for instance, has to play a young and beautiful . girl, with a ? beauty that it is all compelling, and all

hièn go down before her. She is described as being the most beautiful woman in Madeira. Wel^ she cannot look it by any stretch of the imagination, for Miss McIntosh is one of thc plainest actresses we have had on our stage; but with a curiously fascinating attractive kind of plainness. At the same time, when they kept insisting upou Elona's great beauty, it seemed decidedly incongru- ous, and it was little wonder there was a snigger all round the audience. Then some- how Miss McIntosh cannot convey the ¡ni' pression of youth. She looks slim and young enough in figure, but there is something iii her movements and gestures which, nega- tives thc effect. Then Miss Caroline "Bayley, who played tho mother, really is young aud pretty, and^cpuld not get the weight -into it to suggest maturity. She acted the part well, and dressed it appropriately to give dignity, hut all the- time there^was the sense of youth behind tho impersonation.

Miss Mary Proctor, the astronomer, arriv- ed hero last ^Saturday, and was received by the Austral Club on Monday afternoon, when they gave an "At Home"" in her honour. She is a little woman with a very attractive man- ner, and does not at all give tho impression of "a pedant or learned pelion. x Yet she is

said to be the -¡oidy lady astronomical obser-: j ver" in the world. She is th© daughter of \ ¿lie celebrated astronomer^ eo I, expect the | taste for it was born with' her, and grew | with her growth.. She speaks nicely. She ¡ made a little speech of thanka which gave us a specimen of her style, so l am looking forward to hearing her lecture. She starts a series on Monday.- ; Her object is to raise funds to build an astronomical observatory 'somewhere in Australia to watch tho pro- gress audvthel; influence of those mysterious sunspots.: Australia is now the onlv opun >try which has not such a place of observa- ron, and one * is' Seeded^ here to complete the world chain'and make-the circle com- plete, so that the spots calf bo watched all

the time: " .

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