Historical Article (1888)
A Dining Room Mystery
Good Housekeeping, December 24, 1888
A gentleman who was invited out to dine at a Delaware avenue residence lately observed that the chandelier over the dining-room table was of peculiar construction, so that there was a light over the head of each guest. The globes were of various colors, some amber, some red and some blue. "What is the object of having the globes of different colors?" the guest asked of his hostess.
"Why, you see," said she, "when one gives a dinner or tea, one must invite some people whom one perfectly hates. Now last Tuesday I gave a supper and I had to invite two women whom I despise. But I had to invite them or some of the young men I wanted wouldn't come. I had my revenge on my fair enemies, however. I placed each of these two women under one of those pale blue lights at the table. They're usually considered beautiful women, but under that light they had the most ghastly look you ever saw. They were perfect scarecrows. They seemed to have aged twenty years the minute that they sat down. The men noticed it of course, but they did not divine what caused it. They were quite taken aback and awfully glum at first. But finally one of them turned with a sigh and began talking to a real homely little thing that was sitting under a ruby-colored light. Why, she was perfectly charming under it. So, you see that when I want people to look perfectly hideous I put them under the blue lights. It kills everything." The gentleman looked up. He was under a blue light.
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