I have a friend who marches in the vanguard of woman’s progress. When my old fashioned feet lag behind in the miscellaneous rearguard, she reports to me the prospect in front, the habits of the new country we march in to conquer and inhabit. In this new country, she tells me that the women smoke with grace and ease, the daintiest of cigarettes.
I think, although she does not say so, that to do this with dash and effect, you must be young. If you have a pretty mouth, glittering teeth, a nose of the saucy order and a graceful hand, you may safely invest in a cigarette case. Not else, until we have quite entered into and possessed this land.
You must beware of investing in ordinary stumpy cigarettes. They must be long, so that you may hold them between your lips with careless grace while lighting, without sticking out your chin and mouth in the approved masculine fashion. The cigarette must be smoked “with a difference.”
It is not without its uses, other than that of grace, in the vanguard. When they puncture their bicycle tyres, they sit on a stone and have a smoke while the patch dries.
They have jolly times there in front, of which we behind know nothing. Why, I never saw a woman smoke but once, and that was a beggar wife on a dykeside, with a short, black cutty.
It is curious that we should think smoking “fast” when we know that it is a universal habit with Turkish and other Eastern women whose position is anything but advanced. After all, we are the slaves of habit, convention, and prejudice, and any argument against women smoking cigarettes, tells with the same force against men.