Once upon a Time there was a long-headed Girl who used to sit in her own Room on Rainy Afternoons and evolve Theories. Her principal Ambition in Life was to stand Ace High with all the Nice Men of her Set. She hoped in the course of Time to tease one away from the Drove and gallop him into the Branding Pen.
Now this Girl was so Foxy that at times she got in front of herself and blocked off her own Plays. Her scheme for getting all the Real Boys intoxified with Love for her was to engage them in Conversation and find out what kind of Girls they liked. Then her Play was to be that Kind. She had no Difficulty whatever in inducing her Men Friends to talk about the Opposite Sex. They were all keyed up on the Subject and full of Information. Just as a Feeler one Evening she asked an eligible Charley if he didn’t think that the Woman of To-day was too Extravagant.
“That’s just why so many of us shy at the Matrimonial Jump,” he confided to her. “There was a time when the Man who got $75 per Month and had about $200 planted could take a Chance at the Game. But now that measly Allowance wouldn’t keep a High Roller supplied with Violets. The up-to-date Maudine isn’t happy unless she has a Gray-Squirrel Coat, an Auto Car, $11,000 worth of Twinklers and a fourteen-room Apartment. That’s why these Society Shawl-Holders keep on making Love right and left but never come down to Cases.”
This was a valuable Tip, so the crafty Maiden put it down in her little Note-Book that she who would make a Hit must convince the Men that her Tastes were simple and inexpensive. Another one gave her a learned Talk on the frivolity and Two-by-Fourness of the typical Seraphine.
“You cannot expect a Man to hand over his serious Affections to one of these Feather-Heads,” he said, as he gazed thoughtfully at the Floor. “Woman should be Man’s Intellectual Helpmeet. Now and then a Man may have a Passing Fancy for a Lizzie who talks Piffle and gets an Attack of the Giggles every few Seconds, but when it comes to the grand Hook-Up he wants one who is there with the Gray Matter–one who can play up to his loftiest Ambitions and supply his Home with that Atmosphere of Culture which is the true Ozone of Married Life.”
So she put it down that it was her Cue to chop out the Twaddle and be a sort of Lady Emerson. Incidentally she resolved to cut out all kinds of Slang, for she got a very straight Line of Talk from an Amateur Philosopher who was in the Wholesale Grocery Business.
“If there’s anything that gives me a quick, shooting Pain it is to hear some delicate Nectarine dealing out Slang,” said Mr. Gentleman Friend. “Now in England, where I spent Two Weeks once, the Ladies never use Slang. They simply say that a Thing is either Perfectly Charming or Most Extraordinary and let it go at that. They may be Short on Vocabulary, but they are Long on Respectability. Besides, I was reading in a Magazine the other Day that Slang is Vulgar and that no one should take up with a Slang Word until Long Usage has given it the right to break into the Lexicon.”
Also this Girl with the Absorbent Mind would clip out Hints to the Young, and Confidential Charts warning the Just-Outs against taking Presents from Strangers and putting them next to Rules of Conduct that would be sure to please and fascinate Proper Young Men. It seemed strange at Times that these Head Coaches who knew just how to jolly up any Man were not out spending some Millionaire’s Money instead of writing Pieces for the Paper.