Special Dinners, Dances and Luncheons 541
All such resources for supplementing my deficiencies in the charming art of entertaining were exhausted. Recalling the remark of a noted caterer, that "if you invite people to eat, they always accept with pleasure," I determined to ask all our little club to a dinner, and to request them to come in costume—Shakespearian, of course.
Women like to "dress up," and enjoy taxing their ingenuity, so I knew that I could count upon them; and, as all the men were married except one—who was a natural dandy—I relied upon wifely influence. Besides which, we had all come to know one another well enough to dare to wear what we pleased, and to depend upon home talent for our effects of costume.
On the evening named, our guests all appeared in gala attire and in high good humour. Our worthy Doctor's rotund proportions were little exaggerated to represent Falstaff. Lady Macbeth was magnificent in a trailing robe of black and a diadem of gilt paper, a toy dagger at her belt. Malvolio came in "cross-gartered hose." Katherine, the Shrew, looked very fierce—when she could remember not to smile, and Ophelia appeared bewitchingly mad, with straw and poppies in her hair, which she insisted upon wearing in a Psyche knot.
Our dandy as Hamlet looked like an undertaker or a hired "mute " at an English funeral, and Othello like a plain, unheroic mulatto, his face stained with walnut-juice and wearing a wig of tightly curled horse-hair.
My husband was gorgeous as Cardinal Wolsey in a cassock of the material known as Turkey red. His tonsure had been the work of time. Lastly, I appeared as Portia in my husband's old college gown and "mortar-board."
The composition of the menu, which was expressed