The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX, No. 982, October 22, 1898

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX, No. 982, October 22, 1898

Author: Various

Release date: August 1, 2015 [eBook #49571]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Susan Skinner, Chris Curnow, Pamela Patten and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at




The Girl's Own Paper.

Vol. XX.—No. 982.]OCTOBER 22, 1898.[Price One Penny.

[Transcriber's Note: This Table of Contents was not present in the original.]



"'Can a woman's tender care
Cease towards the child she bare?
Yes, she may forgetful be,
Yet will I remember thee.'"

All rights reserved.]



By AGNES GIBERNE, Author of "Sun, Moon and Stars," "The Girl at the Dower House," etc.



"Hallo!—Keene!—Mr. Jack Keene! At your service, sir."

"Admiral! How do you? I was near giving you the go-by."

"Near running me down, you might say. Like to a three-decker in full sail. You are going indoors? Ay, ay, then I'll wait; I'll come another day. 'Twas in my mind that Mrs. Fairbank might be glad of a word. But since you are here——"

"She will be glad, I can assure you. Pray, sir, come in with me. This is a frightful blow. It was told me as I came off the ground after parade; and I hastened hither at full speed."

"Ay, ay; that did you!" muttered the Admiral. "Seeing nought ahead of you but the Corsican, I'll be bound."

"'Tis a disgrace to his nation," burst out Jack. "Sir, what do you think of the step?"

"Think! The most atrocious—the most abominable piece of work ever heard of. If ever a living man deserved to be strung up at the yard-arm, that man is Napoleon and none other."

"It can never, sure, be carried out."

"Nay, if the Consul choose, what is to hinder?"

"Government will not give up the vessels seized."

"Give them up! Knuckle down to the Corsican! Crouch before him like to a whipped hound! Why, war has been declared. Our Ambassador had had his orders to come home, before ever the step was taken. Give up the ships! Confess ourselves wrong, in a custom which has been allowed for ages. We'll give nothing up, nothing, my dear Jack! Sooner than that, let Boney do his best and his worst. Wants to chase our vessels of war, does he? Ay, so he may, when they turn tail and run away. We shall know how to meet him afloat, fast enough—no fear! With our jolly tars, and brave Nelson at their head, there's a thing or two yet to be taught to the First Consul, or I'm greatly in error."

The two speakers stood outside Mrs. Fairbank's house in Bath, where they had arrived from opposite directions at the same moment. Both had walked fast; and each after his own mode showed excitement. The older of the two, Admiral Peirce, a grizzled veteran, made small attempt to hide the wrath which quivered visibly in every fibre of his athletic figure. He had usually a frank and kindly countenance, weather-beaten by many a storm, yet overflowing with geniality. The geniality had forsaken it this morning, and he looked like one whom an enemy might prefer not to meet at too close quarters.

Jack Keene had, as he intimated, come straight from parade, not waiting to get rid of his uniform; and in that uniform the young ensign looked older than in civilian dress. Also he seemed older in this mood of hot indignation, his light blue eyes sparkling angrily, and his brows frowning. For once, whatever might usually be the case, he had fully the air of a grown man. Boys became men earlier in those days than they do in these, for the tension and stress of life were greater—albeit railways did not exist, and telegrams had not been heard of.

"His worst!" Jack repeated, with a note of inquiry.

"He'll not go beyond a point. Don't think it. No danger to their lives—none whatever, you understand! Only detention. That's bad enough, but that is all. And yon pretty sister of yours, the fair Polly, why, to be sure, and she is the betrothed of Captain Ivor."

Jack nodded. His mind had already made an excursion in that direction.

"Ay, ay. But it can't last. 'Tis a freak of Boney's. The whole civilised world will cry out upon him. Not that he greatly troubles his pate with what folks may say of his deeds!" added Admiral Peirce, reflecting that the civilised world had already, for many years, been crying out upon Napoleon, with no particular result, beyond relieving its own feelings. "Still, my dear sir, there are limits to everything. Yes, yes, I will come in with you. Doubtless the ladies will stand in need of consolation."

Jack led the way, and they found a forlorn trio within. Mrs. Fairbank knitted fast, with set jaw, and frequent droppings of stitches. Polly, white and dismayed, had an arm round Molly, whom she was trying to comfort, while much needing comfort herself. The news of this latest move of the First Consul had reached them less than an hour before.

"Will Roy ever come home again? Will my papa and mamma always be prisoners? Shall I never, never see them any more?" Molly had questioned pitifully, too much bewildered at first even for tears. Two days earlier a letter had arrived from Colonel Baron, with a cheerful report of Roy's improvement; and Molly's happiness was sadly dashed by this new complication.

"Oh, they will come back; of course they will come back," Polly assured her again and again. "Napoleon couldn't keep them always, Molly dear. It would be too cruel. We shall have them back by-and-by; perhaps very soon. Ah—here comes somebody; and we shall hear more about what it all means."

As Jack's face appeared, a cry broke from Molly. "Jack—oh, it is Jack. Jack will tell us."

Jack was speedily down by her side, comforting her. She was small and childish for her twelve years, and he felt himself older unspeakably, besides being exactly like her brother; so she cried quietly, leaning her face against his scarlet coat, while he whispered hopeful foretellings.

"This is truly a doleful state of things, ma'am," the Admiral observed, turning his attention first, as in duty bound, to the elder lady. "Who could have thought it? Dear, dear me; 'tis prodigiously sad. I vow there was never such a being as this First Consul since the world was created. But cheer up, ma'am, and pretty Polly too. Things will come right in time, there's no sort of doubt."

"'Tis a puzzle to us all," pretty Polly remarked, more anxious for precise information than for general abuse of Napoleon, however well deserved. "Is Colonel Baron indeed a prisoner? And Mrs. Baron and Roy? And—Captain Ivor?"

"Nay; not altogether so bad as that. The First Consul may be but a few degrees removed from a fiend, 'tis true; yet even he does not war with women and school-boys. Mrs. Baron is surely free to return when she will, and to bring Roy with her. 'Tis Colonel Baron and Captain Ivor who are to be accounted prisoners of war! An atrocious deed! But being both in His Majesty's Army, they have, I fear, no chance of getting off. Cheer up!" as Polly's tears began to flow. "'Tis but for a while. Just one of the chances of war; though 'tis a mighty shame it should be so, with harmless and innocent travellers, taking their pleasure abroad. But our Government will protest; and it may be Boney will think better of what he has done. Eh, Jack?"

"It says, Admiral—it says, my dear Jack——" Mrs. Fairbank knitted furiously as she spoke—"it says, in that most iniquitous paper——"

"Right, right!" nodded the Admiral. "The paper in truth is iniquitous!"

"That"—pursued Mrs. Fairbank, getting unexpectedly choky, and dropping stitches by the bushel, as her eyes fell on the pitiful faces of Polly and Molly—"that 'all the English, from the age of eighteen to sixty'—all—not men only!"

"Nay, nay, nay; it signifies men only, not women. None but savages fight against women," declared the Admiral, with vigour. "They will be right enough, my dear madam. 'Tis only the Colonel and the Captain who are included."

That "only" sounded hard to Polly, though it was meant in all kindness. The good Admiral was doing his best to cast a gleam of sunshine on the cloudy prospect.

Before anyone could answer him, the door opened, and in sailed Mrs. Bryce, followed by her husband. Mrs. Bryce was looking her gayest, as befitted a fashionable visitor to fashionable Bath.

When once Mrs. Bryce had come upon the scene, other people would not have a chance of saying much.

"So this is the outcome of it all!" she exclaimed, with uplifted hands.{51} "A fortnight in Paris! and only a fortnight! More like to be a matter of years. Nap has them there in safe keeping; and depend on't, he'll not let them go in no sort of haste. I protest, when Colonel Baron told me of his purpose, I had an inkling in my mind of what was to happen. Did I not warn him, Polly? Did I not tell him he should be content to stay at home? For you were there, and you heard. 'Tis now as I foretold. My dear Mrs. Fairbank, I do most sincerely condole with you all."

Mrs. Fairbank parted her lips, and had time to do no more. The Admiral looked at Mr. Bryce, and Mr. Bryce looked at the Admiral.

"'Tis done now, and it cannot be undone, but 'tis a lesson for the future. Had the Colonel but shown his accustomed sense, he would have taken warning by my words, and he might now be sound and safe in old England. But everybody has expected nothing less than war. Pray, my dear madam, what else could have resulted? If England will not give up Malta at the bidding of Nap, England has to fight. And England will never give up Malta."

"The Treaty of Amiens——" Mrs. Fairbank tried to say.

"O excuse me, I beseech—don't talk to me of the Treaty of Amiens! We agreed, doubtless, under certain conditions, to give over Malta to the Knights of St. John. And those conditions have been broke. Broke, my dear ma'am. Broke, my dear sir!" She turned eagerly from one to another, talking as fast as the words would leave her lips. "Give up Malta, quotha! Ay, we did arrange to give it up, but not to Nap! Why, the last new Grand-Master of the Knights of St. John has been appointed by the Pope, and the Pope himself, poor old gentleman, is Boney's humble slave. Give up Malta, under such circumstances! I protest, England is not yet sunk so low."

Mrs. Fairbank and the Admiral both tried to intimate that they entirely agreed with Mrs. Bryce. They failed to make her understand; and the lively lady went on—

"I have it all from my brother, who has it at first hand from his Grace, the Duke of Hamilton. One thing is certain—our friends over the Channel will not be back again this great while. I give them at the least two years. Nay, why not four or five?"

"Nay, why not forty or fifty?" muttered Jack. "Nay, Molly!" as he felt her start. "Who knows? The war may last but six months. And Roy is free." But he could not speak of Ivor as free, and he saw Polly's colour deepen, her eyes filling. This could not be allowed to go on. A diversion had become necessary; and Jack's voice was heard to say something in slow insistent tones, making itself audible through Mrs. Bryce's continued outpour.

"A very great friend of his Grace, the Duke of Hamilton," reached her ears; and Mrs. Bryce, being much of a tuft-hunter, stopped short.

"You were saying, Jack—What was that which you were pleased to remark?"

"I did but observe, ma'am, that the Duke of Hamilton's particular friend—who is also in my humble opinion and in the opinion of many others, the greatest of living Englishmen—chances to be at this instant staying in Bath."

"The Duke's particular friend! Then of a surety, 'tis somebody whom also we are acquainted with, my dear,"—turning to her husband. "Somebody doubtless in the world of mode and fashion; and 'twould be vastly odd if we had not come across him."

"We can scarce claim to be acquainted with all his Grace's friends," objected Mr. Bryce mildly.

"Well, well—that's as may be. But who is the distinguished person, Jack?"

"None less than General Moore himself, ma'am."

Mrs. Bryce held up startled hands, and vowed that the most ardent wish of her heart was to set eyes on this Hero of heroes, General John Moore, whom by a succession of mischances she had hitherto failed to meet.

"Though in truth, 'tis no such marvel, since the General is for ever away across the seas, fighting his country's battles," she added. "Except in the year of the Peace, when each time that I would have seen him fate prevented me. And he is in Bath at this moment, say you? General Moore—that was Governor of St. Lucia, and that was under Sir Ralph Abercrombie, both there and in Egypt! And that Denham Ivor was under also, in both places! General Moore, his very own self!"

"Ay, ma'am!"—when Jack could edge an answer in. "And if you desire to find another, who reckons General Moore to be the foremost English soldier of his time, and to be one of the noblest of men, why, I've but to refer you to Ivor."

Mrs. Bryce did not seem quite convinced even yet. "And you are not seeking to take me in, Jack! You are not jesting?"

"'Tis no matter for jesting, I do assure you, ma'am. The name of so gallant a hero as John Moore is not to be handled lightly."

"He has been of late in command at Brighthelmstone, and there is talk of his being sent to Chatham," observed Mr. Bryce.

"For my part, had I the choice, I would fain follow him to the world's end," murmured Jack.

"And now I bethink myself!" exclaimed Mrs. Bryce. "Was not that a Mrs. Moore, whom in the Pump Room yesterday forenoon Mrs. Peirce introduced me to, saying that I should feel myself honoured, knowing her son's name? I protest. I had forgot the matter till now, having my attention drawn off, and not thinking of the name of General Moore."

Mr. Bryce intimated that his wife was in the right. He, too, had exchanged a word with Mrs. Moore; and he had imagined that Mrs. Bryce understood who she was. General Moore's mother was the widow of a very able Glasgow physician, also a successful author, as he proceeded to explain.

"She appears to be of a singularly retiring and gentle disposition," he observed; "and genteel in her manners. The General, 'tis said, has been always distractedly fond of his mother and sister, and they are here together for a few days. War being now declared, I fear his services will be quickly needed elsewhere."

The attention of Mrs. Bryce was as effectively diverted as Jack had wished. "The General's mother—and friends of his Grace the Duke of Hamilton," she meditated aloud. "A most unassuming person. But since I'm introduced, I'll most certainly leave upon them my visiting-ticket."

"By all means, my dear, if you so desire," assented her husband. "'Tis reported that the good lady cares not greatly for society; but nevertheless she will take it well, in compliment to her son's merits and fame."

"It may be we shall see them in the Pump Room again. I'll away there at once, on leaving this. And if I may but speak with the General, 'twill be the proudest moment of my life. You doubtless, Jack, have seen him already?"

"I have had that honour, ma'am. His is a face that, once seen, can never after be forgot."

"With manners of extraordinary address and elegance," added Mr. Bryce.

"But I had not known him before to be so great a friend of the Duke of Hamilton," remarked Mrs. Bryce, in some amazement, it would seem, at her own ignorance. She was generally credited with knowing everything that was to be known about everybody, and she prided herself on this fact.

"'Tis a friendship singularly founded," Jack observed. "Some thirty years ago, the young Duke went for a tour on the Continent, under the charge of Dr. Moore, remaining abroad, if I mistake not, several years. Dr. Moore took his son—the present General Moore—with them. He was then but a boy of ten or twelve. The Duke one day, being in a mood for idle sport, drew his hanger, and fenced with the lad, making him skip to and fro to avoid his sham thrusts. Unluckily Moore chanced to spring suddenly in a line with the Duke's next thrust, and was wounded. He said no more than 'Ha!'—looking the Duke in the face; and the Duke, in extreme terror, ran for Dr. Moore. 'Twas found to be but a flesh wound, the sword having glanced outside the ribs, and the boy soon recovered. But from that date a most strong friendship has subsisted between the two—the Duke being by four or five years the elder. Indeed, as Ivor ever says, none who know General Moore can fail to be attached to him."

"My dear," Mrs. Bryce said to her husband, "'tis about time we should be hieing to the Pump Room. My friends will there be on the look-out for me. And it may even chance that we may meet the General himself." She stood up, eager to be off; but as she went, she gave a parting fling. "Depend on't, old Nap will be in no sort of hurry to let his prisoners go free. No one need think it."

(To be continued.)



'Twas the merry month of May
When the birds sing roundelay,
Each to cheer his brooding mate,
Nor was one disconsolate.
'Twas the golden evening hour
When the spells of thought had power,
Giving peace but chasing mirth,
Bidding spirits walk the earth.
'Twas the fairy's silver spring
With its magic murmuring;
By its side a maiden lay,
Weary both of work and play—
"Little life my past has brought—
What is in the present wrought?
Kindly fairy, let me gaze
In my future's tangled maze."
Came the answer soft and low,
Heard amid the water's flow—
"Maiden, perfect love is thine,
Seek no further to divine."
"Perfect love? How shall I know it?
Fairy, say, who shall bestow it?"
"Maiden! years shall wax and wane
Ere thou seek this spring again.
When thou comest I will tell thee
How that fairest fate befell thee."
'Tis the rosy break of day—
By the fountain's dancing spray,
Sword in hand, and sheathed in steel,
Three in early manhood kneel.
"Gentle fairy, hear us now—
We have ta'en the knightly vow—
Sworn to aid the fair and weak,
Grant the boons thy champions seek."
"Grant," saith one, "if death be nigh
Me, for her I love to die."
And the springlet, singing sweet,
Casts a white rose at his feet.
Prays the second, "Fairy, give
Me for her I love to live."
And the merry water flows
Bearing him a crimson rose.
Saith the third, "Of death or life
I myself can wage the strife—
Only let my love endure,
Given once, unchanged and pure."
Then the fountain sinks to calm,
On its bosom lies a palm.
In the forest, sore dismayed,
Cries for help the lovely maid;
Clutch of brigand fierce and rude
Holds her in that solitude;
Brigand hands seize gems and gold,
Brigand tongues with speeches bold
Offer her, since none can save,
Queenship of their robber-cave.
On the leaves the sunbeams glitter,
'Mid the boughs the wild birds twitter,
In the grass the foxgloves rise—
Is there none to heed her cries?
See the branches dashed apart!
Turns the chief with sudden start,
Feels a sword-thrust in his heart;
And another caitiff's groan
Speaks his coward spirit flown,
While, too swift for dying word,
Dagger-smitten, writhes a third.
Yet before the maid is freed
Victim for her life must bleed;
For the chief with parting breath
Gives one succourer to death;
And his comrades bending low
Over him their mantles throw,
While the maiden's tears betoken
Grief for gratitude unspoken.
Soon for him the death-bell pealeth—
She beside her champion kneeleth—
All in sable vesture dight
Scatters o'er him roses white.
One whose aid her thanks must own
Asks not gratitude alone:
Whispered words have soothed her fears,
Loving hand shall dry her tears;
Spring with all its visions tender
Shall to summer-joys surrender,
Hope who erst would dream apart
Yield to love the virgin heart,
Grateful tears no more be paid
Where the milky roses fade,
But the thoughts she cannot speak
Shall unbidden dye her cheek,
When their emblem she bestows,
Gives her knight the crimson rose.


Yet another champion stood
By the maiden in the wood,
Slew the foe, but, wounded sore
Saw her for awhile no more.
When he met her glance again
Was it joy or was it pain?
Joy her yielded hand to press,
Joy to hear her voice confess
He had helped her in distress,
Joy to see her eye bedewed
With a friend's solicitude,
Pain which would not be denied
For she was another's bride!
"Can I bear? He is fond
But unworthy of her—
The pleasures beyond
Can his light spirit stir;
Gay song, foolish story
Can lead him astray,
Vain glamour of glory
Entice him away.
"Must I speak? She is blind
Be his faults what they will
To her he is kind.
Let me watch and be still:
Her children beguiling
Each hour as it flies,
The world ever smiling,
Untroubled her skies.
"Shall I fly? If I would
She might look e'en on me;
She is true, she is good,
Yet I cannot but see
Some moment unwary
Might bring back again
That thought—— Ah! kind fairy,
Is true love all pain?"
Comes again the eventide:
Happy wife as happy bride,
Happy mother, she has dwelt,
Pain unknown and grief unfelt
Till her lord to rest was laid.
Now in mourning weeds arrayed
She has sought the fairy spring;
Hears once more its murmuring,
Sees once more the bees assemble
There the honeysuckles tremble,
Sees the armoured dragon-fly
And the kingfisher dart by,
Sees the blue forget-me-not
Cluster in the shielded spot,
Sees forsooth, with brimming eyes,
Children of the earth and skies;
Nothing harmful dares to roam
Near the fairy-haunted home.
"Fairy, he has gone to rest,
His the perfect love and best!"
Answered her the water's swell,
"Not the best—he loved thee well."
Wondering even in her tears
Fly her thoughts through bygone years—
"He who lay 'neath roses white,
Was he then the perfect knight?"
Came the answer soft and clear,
"Not the best—he held thee dear."
"Then, as thou didst promise, tell me
How that fairest fate befell me."
"Didst thou mark—a flame his crest—
Him who moved among the rest,
Yet no word of love addressed?
Him who, wounded for thy sake,
Scarce would thanks in guerdon take—
Speechless, though his heart might break.
Yea, thou didst, with laughing glance,
Bid him lead thee to the dance,
Bid him break for thee a lance.
Silently would he comply,
Or with half-averted eye
Watch thee gaily pass him by.
Yet he ever hovered near,
Lest the dawn of woe or fear,
Pain or trouble should appear.
Once in hour of sorest strife
For thy lord he risked his life.
Didst thou know it—thou the wife?
Once within the rushing river
Garments white an instant quiver,
'Twas thy child—a pause, a shiver.
All around in blank dismay
Watch her swiftly whirled away—
He won back the millstream's prey;
Placed her on the margent green,
Saw her maidens o'er her lean,
Parted ere his face was seen.
Death and life for thee were given,
For thy sake a heart was riven.
Was it hard—the yielded breath?
Harder far the living death.
True the love which won thee first—
Truer that in silence nursed.
Now he rests where flowers bloom—
Wilt thou crownless leave his tomb?"
Not with tears, but still and calm,
On his grave she laid the palm.



By JESSIE MANSERGH (Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey), Author of "A Girl in Springtime," "Sisters Three," etc.


A fortnight later Peggy Saville arrived at the vicarage. Her mother brought her, stayed for a couple of hours, and then left for the time being, but as she was to pay some visits in the neighbourhood it was understood that this was not the final parting, and that she would spend several afternoons with her daughter before sailing for India. On this occasion, however, none of the young people saw her, for they were out during the afternoon, and were just settling down to tea in the schoolroom when the wheels of the departing carriage crunched down the drive.

"Now for it!" cried Maxwell, and they looked at one another in silence, knowing full well what would happen next. Mrs. Asplin would think an introduction to her young friends the best distraction for the strange girl, after her mother's departure, and the next item in the programme would be the appearance of Miss Peggy herself. Esther rearranged the scattered tea-things; Oswald felt to see if his necktie was in position, and Robert hunched his shoulders and rolled his eyes at Mellicent in distracting fashion. Each one sat with head cocked on one side, in an attitude of eager attention. The front door banged, footsteps approached, and Mrs. Asplin's high, cheerful tones were heard drawing nearer and nearer.

"This way, dear," she was saying. "They are longing to see you."

The listeners gave a simultaneous gulp of excitement, the door opened, and—Peggy entered!

She was not in the least what they had expected. This was neither the fair, blonde beauty of Maxwell's foretelling, nor the small, black-haired elf described by Mellicent. The first glance was unmitigated disappointment.

"She is not a bit pretty," was the mental comment of the two girls. "What a funny little soul!" that of the three big boys, who had risen on Mrs. Asplin's entrance, and now stood staring at the newcomer with curious, bashful eyes.

Peggy was slight and pale, and at the first sight her face gave a comical impression of being made up of a succession of peaks. Her hair hung in a pigtail down her back, and grew in a deep point on her forehead; her finely marked eyebrows were shaped like eaves, and her chin was for all the world like that of a playful kitten. Even the velvet trimming on her dress accentuated this peculiarity, as it zigzagged round the sleeves and neck. The hazel eyes were light and bright, and flitted from one figure to another with a suspicious trinkling, but nothing could have been more composed, more demure, or patronisingly grown up than the manner in which this strange girl stood the scrutiny which was bent upon her.

"Here are your new friends, Peggy," cried Mrs. Asplin cheerily. "They always have tea by themselves in the schoolroom, and do what they please from four to five o'clock. Now just sit down, dear, and take your place among them at once. Esther will make room for you by her side, and introduce you to the others. I will leave you to make friends; I know young people get on better when they are left alone."

She whisked out of the room in her impetuous fashion, and Peggy Saville seated herself in the midst of a ghastly silence. The young people had been prepared to cheer and encourage a bashful stranger, but the self-possession of this thin, pale-faced girl took them all by surprise, so that they sat round the table playing uncomfortably with teaspoons and knives, and irritably conscious that they, and not the newcomer, were the ones to be overcome with confusion. The silence lasted for a good two minutes, and was broken at last by Miss Peggy herself.

"Cream and sugar!" she said, in a tone of sweet insinuation. "Two lumps, if you please. Not very strong, and as hot as possible. Thank you! So sorry to be a trouble."

Esther fairly jumped with surprise, and seizing the teapot, filled the empty cup in hot haste. Then she remembered the dreaded airs of the boarding-school miss, and her own vows of independence, and made a gallant effort to regain her composure.

"No trouble at all. I hope that will be right. Please help yourself. Bread-and-butter—scones—cake! I must introduce you to the rest, and then you will feel more at home! I am Esther, the eldest, a year older than you, I think. This is Mellicent, my younger sister, fourteen last February. I think you are about the same age." She paused a moment, and Peggy looked across the table and said, "How do you do, dear?" in an affable, grandmotherly fashion, which left poor Mellicent speechless, and filled the others with delighted amusement. But their own turn was coming. Esther pulled herself together and went on steadily with her introductions. "This is Maxwell, my brother, and these are father's two pupils—Oswald Elliston, and Robert—the Honourable Robert Darcy." She was not without hope that the imposing sound of the latter name would shake the self-possession of the stranger, but Peggy inclined her head with the air of a queen, drawled out a languid "Pleased to see you," and dropped her eyes with an air of indifference, which seemed to imply that an "Honourable" was an object of no interest whatever, and that she was really bored by the number of her titled acquaintances. The boys looked at each other with furtive glances of astonishment. Mellicent spread jam all over her plate, and Esther unconsciously turned on the handle of the urn and deluged the tray with water, but no one ventured a second remark, and once again it was Peggy's voice that opened the conversation.

"And is this the room in which you pursue your avocations? It has a warm and cheerful exposure."

"Er—yes! This is the schoolroom. Mellicent and I have lessons here in the morning from our German governess, while the boys are in the study with father. In the afternoon, from two to four, they use it for preparation, and we go out to classes. We have music lessons on Monday, painting on Tuesday, calisthenics and wood-carving on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday and Saturday are half-holidays. Then from four to six the room is common property, and we have tea together and amuse ourselves as we choose."

"A most desirable arrangement. Thank you! Yes, I will take a scone, as you are so very kind," said Peggy sweetly, a remark which covered the five young people with confusion, since none of them had noticed that her plate was empty. Each one made a grab in the direction of the plate of scones; the girls failed to reach it, and Oswald, twitching it from Robert's hands, jerked half the contents on the table, and had to pick them up, while Miss Saville looked on with a smile of indulgent superiority.

"Accidents will happen, will they not?" she said sweetly, as she lifted a scone from the plate, with her little finger cocked well in the air, and nibbled it daintily between her small, white teeth. "A most delicious cake! Home-made, I presume? Perhaps of your own concoction?"

Esther muttered an inarticulate assent, and once more the conversation languished. She looked appealingly at Maxwell. As the son of the house, the eldest of the boys, it was his place to take the lead, but Maxwell looked the picture of awkward embarrassment. He did not suffer from bashfulness as a rule, but since Peggy Saville had come into the room he had been seized with an appalling self-consciousness. His feet felt in the way, his arms seemed too long for practical purposes, his elbows had a way of invading other people's precincts, and his hands looked red and clammy. It occurred to him dimly that he was not a man after all, but only a big, overgrown schoolboy, and that little Miss Saville knew as much, and was mildly pitiful of his shortcomings. He was not at all anxious to attract the attention of the sharp little tongue, so he passed on the signal to Mellicent, kicking her foot under the table, and frowning vigorously in the direction of the stranger.

"Er," began Mellicent, amicably anxious to respond to the signal, but lamentably short of ideas, "Er, Peggy! Are you fond of sums? I'm in decimals. Do you like fractions? I think they are hateful. I could do vulgars pretty well, but decimals are fearful. They never come right. So awfully difficult."


"Patience and perseverance overcome all difficulties. Keep up your courage; I'll help you with them, dear," said Peggy encouragingly, closing her eyes the while, and coughing in a faint and ladylike manner.

She could not really be only fourteen, Mellicent reflected. She talked as if she were quite grown up—older than Esther, seventeen or eighteen at the very least. What a little white face she had; what a great, thick plait of hair. How erect she held herself. Fraulein would never have to rebuke her new pupil for stooping shoulders. It was kind of her to promise help with those troublesome decimals! Quite too good an offer to refuse.

"Thank you very much," she said heartily, "I'll show you some after tea. Perhaps you may be able to make me understand better than Fraulein. It's very good of you, P——" A quick change of expression warned her that something was wrong, and she checked herself to add hastily, "You want to be called 'Peggy,' don't you? No? Then what must we call you? What is your real name?"

"Mariquita!" sighed the damsel pensively, "after my grandmother—Spanish. A beautiful and unscrupulous woman at the court of Philip the Second." She said "unscrupulous" with an air of pride, as though it had been "virtuous," or some other word of a similar meaning, and pronounced the name of the king with a confidence that made Robert gasp.

"Philip the Second? Surely not? He was the husband of our Mary—1572. That would make it just a trifle too far back for your grandmother, wouldn't it?" he inquired sceptically, but Mariquita remained absolutely unperturbed.

"It must have been someone else then, I suppose. How clever of you to remember! I see you know something about history," she said suavely, a remark which caused an amused glance to pass between the young people, for Robert had a craze for history of all description, and had serious thought of becoming a second Carlyle so soon as his college course was over.

Maxwell put his handkerchief to his mouth to stifle a laugh, and kicked out vigorously beneath the table, with the intention of sharing his amusement with his friend Oswald. It seemed, however, that he had aimed amiss, for Mariquita fell back in her chair, and laid her hand on her heart.

"I think there must be some slight misunderstanding. That's my foot that you are kicking. I cut it very badly on the ice last winter, and the least touch causes acute suffering. Please don't apologise; it doesn't matter in the least," and she rolled her eyes to the ceiling like one in mortal agony.

It was the last straw. Maxwell's embarrassment had reached such a pitch that he could bear no more. He murmured some unintelligible words and bolted from the room, and the other two boys lost no time in following his example.

In subsequent conversations, Mellicent always referred to this occasion as "the night when Robert had one cup," it being, in truth, the only occasion since this young gentleman entered the vicarage when he had neglected to patronise the teapot three or four times in succession.

(To be continued.)





What a great variety of shapes the noses of adults in a civilised country present! You will not find this diversity of shape in new-born infants. Where, then, is the cause of this? There must be some cause, and I think that I can tell you something about the ugly shaped noses, how they have arisen, why they exist, and how they may be prevented.

If you ask six persons what is the good of the nose, five at least will answer "to smell with." Is it likely that an organ so large and exceedingly complex as the nose would only serve the sense of smell—a sense which in man is extremely feeble! No! it has a far more important function to perform, for the nose is the organ through which we breathe. But surely we breathe through our mouths? I am afraid that most of us do, more's the pity! Children at school are often told to breathe through their mouths, and doubtless this helps the development of coughs and colds which are so common during childhood.

Everybody ought to breathe through the nose, but it is not everybody who can do so.

This is a country of catarrhs, and of all the organs in the body, the lining of the nose is the most prone to this form of inflammation. Catarrh of the nose prevents you from breathing properly by blocking up the passages through the nose. This is one of the forms of nasal obstruction, and it is nasal obstruction which produces ugly noses. Long continued obstruction, whatever it is due to, ends by deforming the nose.

To me, a turned up nose, a long thin nose, a very small nose, a nose with small nostrils, or a nose that is flat between the eyes, are the ugly forms, and every one of these may result from nasal obstruction. A few words of description as to how these various deformities of the nose are produced will help you to guard against letting your daughters grow up with deformed noses.

The turned-up nose is very common and when well marked is exceedingly ugly. People who cannot breathe easily through the nose are very fond of sniffing, and this of itself tends to produce a "snub nose." The chief cause, however, of all these forms of noses is that the nose does not grow properly when it is out of working order. Let me explain this more fully by an example. A girl of four years old has "adenoids" at the back of her nose. These prevent her from breathing through her nose. She has therefore to breathe through her mouth. When a girl gets to be thirteen, a great change should occur in the nose; it should get larger and its cavities become more capacious. It is at this period that the definite shape of the nose is fixed. In the case of the girl we mention her nose has been useless from childhood, and nature will never develop a useless organ. When she was a child she had a small nose on a small face, when she becomes a woman she will have a small nose on a big face. Whatever the size of the nose it should fit the face, and a snub nose, or a thin, or a very small, or a flat nose will be the result.

The obvious way to prevent your children from growing up with badly formed noses is to be very careful to see that they use their noses, and if they cannot breathe through them to have proper treatment to enable them to do so.

If you have grown to maturity with a malformed nose, can anything be done to lessen its ugliness? Well, here you see the body has finished growing, and one cannot be sure that any benefit will accrue from treatment. But in nearly every case that I have seen, some distinct improvement has occurred in the shape of the nose, after a very long-continued and neglected nasal obstruction has been remedied.

Those that have nasal obstruction would do well to have that condition seen to at once. For centuries this condition was neglected. It not only interfered with beauty, but it was and is the cause of many serious maladies.

A nose that is bent to one side almost invariably has its origin in a broken nose. Fortunately not every nose that is broken shows its misfortune on the surface. If you would examine the noses of five hundred people, I very much doubt if there would be more than three hundred in whom the nose was not broken.

If ever you have cause to think that you have broken your nose, go to a doctor and have it seen to, for very frequently, if it be properly "set," any possible deformity can be averted.

There is a little instrument which has been before the public for some time called a "nose machine." This instrument attempts to do by force what medicine tries to do by art—to cure nasal deformity. It cannot do what it is intended to; Nature may be encouraged by kindness, but she can never be overcome by force.

Now let us talk about another condition of the nose, which appears to trouble girls very much. Red noses are decidedly not beautiful. Common enough they are, but in very many cases they can be cured by a few trifling precautions. The commonest cause of red noses in girls is drinking tea; but anything that produces indigestion will cause a red nose: eating too fast; not masticating properly; eating indigestible food; drinking largely with meals; running about just after eating; tight lacing and lack of exercise are the common causes of indigestion, and these, therefore, are the causes of red noses.

Here the cure is simple enough. Avoid the exciting cause and the red nose will get all right again.

Continued indigestion, especially if it is due to excess of tea or spirits, produces a more permanent redness of the nose. This is called "rosacea" or more popularly "grog-blossoms." We rarely see the genuine "tippler's nose" except in persons who have indulged too freely in alcohol. But we do see a condition not very dissimilar from it in tea-drinkers and others who overtax their digestions.

To cure this complaint, scrupulous care must be taken with the diet and the exciting cause must be entirely suppressed. Locally an ointment of ichthiol (two per cent.) produces a rapid improvement.

(To be continued.)





"I have never been so happy before in all my life!" Alice said.

All around her was the common, seldom-heeded loveliness of an English lane in August.

A long colonnade of oaks barred the way with shadows. The bindweed hung its garlands of little leafy hearts across the hedges. The bramble showed an abundance of green fruit which would swell and turn black by-and-by; and among the ground-ivy and strawberry leaves a few poison-berries shone out brightly, like witches' jewels. This was the grassy road leading to Swallow's Nest, and Alice had loved it from the very first day when she came here with her luggage, just a fortnight ago.

The farmhouse was very old, and no one could ever remember a summer when the swallows had not built there. It was a place that did not change as other places do. The birds always knew that they should find a convenient shelter just under the roof of the ample porch. No matter how far they had flown, no matter what fairer scenes they had visited, they never failed to come back to this quiet English home.

Not only in the porch did they build, but under the eaves, in little nooks about the roof, in every place which would hold their funny nests, made of little lumps of clay artistically massed together. The house was haunted by shrill notes and glancing wings. You could not pass through the door without sending a swallow flying out into the sunlight.

They were not content merely with the outside of the old dwelling. Very often they flashed in through an open window and flew in circles round the room, chattering as they flew. Alice sometimes wished that she could understand that rapid bird-language, so full of hidden meanings and quick changes of expression. What a companion a swallow might be, if we could but interpret the wisdom that he brings!

Alice and her pupils were already getting plenty of work to do. She had dropped down, quite happily, into the middle of a very pleasant family who were all pulling one way—and that was a good way. But it took all her own good sense, and the judicious hints of Mrs. Bower, to reconcile her to making up the hideous materials brought by the surrounding neighbours. The crude reds and greens, the staring blues and yellows, filled her with disgust. And as she sauntered through the lane on a golden afternoon, she wondered why people did not study colour in the hedges.

Here was the delicate lilac of the wild geranium; here were the beautiful shades of olive and brown and buff so dear to an artist's eyes. Alice enjoyed them all; and drew in deep breaths of sweet-scented air, with a pitying remembrance of those who lived in the sickening atmosphere of heated London.

So the peaceful days went and came. Miss Harper's services became more and more in request, and by the time that the blackberries were ripe, she was employed by the "best families" in the neighbourhood.

One day a young lady trundled up to the gate in a pretty little pony-cart; and Ethel Bower, catching a glimpse of her through the open window, said in a low tone that it was Mrs. Monteagle.

"Our squire's wife," she added, as she went to the door. Alice, sitting among silks and cashmeres and tweeds, did not feel any special interest in the new-comer. But at the first sight of Mrs. Monteagle's pretty, piquant little face, she had a flash of remembrance.

The lady made just the slightest pause before speaking. Miss Harper, however, met her with grave politeness and an impassive face. So Mrs. Monteagle plunged into business at once, and explained that she wanted a really pretty tea-gown.

She had brought a parcel of soft rich silk, and plenty of delicate lace. Miss Harper examined and approved, and promised to execute the order in a week.

"Letty Foster always had good taste," she thought, as the cart trundled away, "And so she has married 'our squire.' Well, she will find that I, at any rate, can be utterly oblivious of our meetings elsewhere. It is quite a pleasure to make up such lovely silk as this; and I am really very much obliged to Mrs. Letty."

On the evening of the same day "Mrs. Letty" went to the door of her husband's dressing-room, just before dinner, and told him that she had made a discovery.

"Well, what have you discovered?" asked he. "Upon my word, I wish it was a pot of gold."

"It's not a pot of gold. It's a former acquaintance under the guise of a dressmaker!" cried Mrs. Monteagle gleefully. "It's Alice Harper, who used to live in Park Lane—Alice Harper, the daughter of that old company man who blew out his brains. Isn't it funny?"

"It doesn't strike me that it's funny when a man blows out his brains," said the squire. "I wish he hadn't done it. If he had lived I might have made him useful."

"What could he have done for you, Gerald?" asked Mrs. Monteagle, opening her eyes.

They stood fronting each other alone for a minute or two. She noticed that he had some deep lines on his face, and looked worn.

"Well, he could have got some money for me," said he simply. "I say, Letty, I don't want to bother you, but we must contrive to pull in a bit. Cardigan is coming here to-morrow. If I can, I shall get him to buy Swallow's Nest."

"Oh, the charming old farm! That's where Miss Harper is living," said his wife. "I am sorry that you must part with it. Yes, I will be very economical, dear. Mr. Cardigan is awfully rich, they say."

Robert Cardigan alighted at the little rural station in rather a gloomy mood. It is a truism that rich men are by no means the most cheerful; and Robert, perhaps, was feeling the embarrassment of wealth.

The squire's dog-cart was waiting, and, as he drove through the autumn lanes, the beauty of the country stole over him like a charm. He wished all at once that he could be a boy again, and go a-nutting in the deep woods. Monteagle, he thought, was a lucky man to own these acres of woodland, and these beautiful fields stretching away to ranges of quiet hills. It was the kind of country that he liked; neither wild nor grand, but just simply pastoral and sweet.

He hoped that he should not find a big house-party. Miss de Vigny had called him refreshingly natural, and it was certain that vanity was not his principal fault. But a man with many thousands a year is never left long in ignorance of his own importance. Cardigan had been hunted from pillar to post, pelted with showers of invitations, courted discreetly and indiscreetly, until he was weary of a life so over-sweet. What would he not have given for a true friend?

There was a certain face which rose up often in his memory; a girl's face, calm, and a little proud, with serious grey eyes. That girl had been always devising impossible plans for doing good to others. He had smiled while he listened to her earnest talk, and wondered how such notions could have got into the head of Harper's daughter.

He did not know what had become of her. Mary de Vigny seemed to know, but had not been disposed to say much. He wished now that he had plied the little maiden lady with questions. He would call on her, he thought, when he returned to town, and plainly ask her to tell him all about that girl.

To his relief he found that there were only a few people at Courland Hall.

The squire had been married only twelve months. He had chosen for a wife a thoughtless good-natured girl, with very little money. Letty had always been accustomed to rely to a great extent on her own brains when she was in want of a little extra finery. She had contrived to make a charming appearance on a small allowance. To marry Gerald Monteagle was, to her fancy, like coming into the possession of a gold mine.

She had begun by spending freely. Those few words, spoken in the dressing-room, had been the first hint of tightening the purse-strings. They had sobered her spirit, and brought her closer to her husband than she had ever been before.

No wedded pair can ever be perfectly united until they have passed out of the sunshine into the shade. When the sun goes down behind a bank of clouds, and a chill wind sighs across the roses, then the bride becomes the wife in real earnest, and creeps nearer to her husband's side. It is then that he discovers what a deep well of tenderness lies in the heart of the girl who was perhaps lightly wooed and easily won.

Letty's gaiety was just tinged with gravity, and Cardigan, who had thought to find her a mere trifler, liked her better than he had expected, and was ready to be a friend to the young couple. He went into the woods with the squire, and the two men grew intimate.

"I wouldn't part with a foot of my land if it could be helped," Monteagle confessed. "But times are bad, and I must let Swallows' Nest go."

"It's a beautiful country," said Cardigan.

"Swallows' Nest is one of our prettiest bits," the squire said. "Just come and have a look at it. You can get a good view from the top of that field."

The old farm-house was bathed in the mellow light of the October afternoon. A few late roses still lingered in the front garden, and clambered up the rough flint walls; and there were geraniums blooming on the ledges inside the porch. It was not a big house, by any means, and the latticed windows were small and mean. Looking down upon this dwelling, Cardigan only thought that it was not pretty enough to be set in such a lovely spot. It never occurred to him just then that it was a home.




"Upon my word, Monteagle," said he suddenly, "I'm half inclined to buy the place myself. It would be easy enough to pull down that ugly little barn, and put up something really picturesque."

"Quite easy," said the squire.

"I know exactly the sort of thing I should like to build there," Cardigan went on. "Nothing showy, you understand, but something that would harmonise with the surroundings. Well, Monteagle, we must talk the matter over."

And the matter was talked over, and settled after dinner that very evening. Cardigan was not the man to worry about the price. The squire went up to his room that night with a lightened heart.

"I am sorry that the Bowers will have to turn out; that's the worst part of it," he said to his wife.

"Mrs. Bower and the girls are so nice," Letty answered. "And, oh, Alice Harper lives there, I was forgetting that! But they will easily find a place somewhere else, darling. It is such a relief to me to see that you have cheered up."

"The money will just set me straight, Letty," said he.

Ill news generally flies apace. The Monteagles' butler was one of Bower's old friends. A few days after the arrangement was made the farmer came in one evening with a downcast face.

"I couldn't have thought the squire would have done such a thing!" he cried. "He's sold the old place right over our heads! My father lived here, and my grandfather, and my great-grandfather. And now its going to be pulled down, and a new place'll be stuck up to please a chap who comes from nobody knows where!"

Little Milly was listening with all her ears. She burst out crying, and ran at once into the next room to tell the doleful tidings to her sisters and Miss Harper.

Ethel Bower lifted her fair Madonna face from her work, and stared at the child in surprise. Ada, dark-eyed and pretty, tossed her head and said she didn't believe a word of it. And Alice Harper, putting the finishing touches to Mrs. Monteagle's tea-gown, said very earnestly that she hoped it was not true. But before she went to bed that night she learnt that it was really true.

With a sad heart she went to her latticed window and leaned out into the soft darkness of the autumn night. The air was full of those sweet earthy scents that breathed of home and rest. Under this peaceful roof she had found a safe refuge from the storms of life. A refuge, and something more. True hearts that turned to her for helpful love; young spirits trusting to her stronger spirit for that uplifting that she could give them. Simple souls, clinging in human fashion to the old walls that had sheltered them so long—must they be driven out to seek a new dwelling at a rich man's will?

Then Alice knelt down and prayed with all her strength, lifting up her face to the eternal stars above her. She prayed that she, who had come a stranger to this dear old house, might bring a blessing under its protecting roof. Lonely and sad, with a scanty purse and a tired body, she had come to dwell with these people, to work with them, and share their life. And He who had led her there would surely help her to assist them in their hour of sorrow and need.

She rose early next morning, and went downstairs to see sad faces at the breakfast-table. Just before the farmer went out to his daily tasks, it came into her head to ask him a question.

"Mr. Bower," she said, "did you hear the name of the person who has bought your farm?"

"Yes," he answered; "but it is a name not known to any of us. It's Cardigan. He's a young man, I'm told, who has come into a lot of money. The squire asked him to stay at the Hall, and it seems that he's taking a mighty fancy to the neighbourhood."

Alice's heart began to throb fast. If Robert Cardigan were the man that Mary de Vigny thought him, it might be very easy to move his heart. But when, and in what manner, could this be done?

Her brain was still busy with these thoughts while she was carefully folding up the tea-gown and packing it into a box to send it up to the Hall. It was carried to the house that very morning, and Mrs. Monteagle, when she took it out, was quite charmed with her new dressmaker's skill.

When the men came in from the covers that afternoon, the squire's eyes took note of the pretty gown.

"Why, Letty," said he, "where did you get that original-looking thing."

He spoke in an undertone, standing near her little tea-table, and looking at her with an amused smile. Cardigan came up at the moment to have his cup refilled, and caught her reply.

"Alice Harper made it. A wonderful woman, isn't she?"

Had Alice Harper taken to dressmaking? Miss de Vigny had told him that she was working for herself. Later, he contrived to lead the conversation back to that tragedy which had been enacted, nearly three years ago, in Park Lane.

"I have often wondered," he said, "what became of poor Harper's daughter."

(To be concluded.)





On a raw, foggy-looking morning in November, three happy-looking girls sat in their cosy little sitting-room, taking their breakfast by lamplight. Neither the bitter weather, nor the fact that it was only eight o'clock on a winter morning, had power to damp their spirits. Their lives were much too full and occupied for any time to be given to depression. The tall, handsome girl of eighteen, with the brilliant complexion and nut-brown hair is Jane Orlingbury, the slighter one who sits at the side of the table near the fire is her sister Ada, the elder by five years. They are both eating their early breakfasts with hearty appetites, and quickly too, for there is not much time to lose. Ada is a type-writer in a very good office in the City. She has got on so well that she is earning £100 a year. Jane is a cookery teacher in a distant parish, and she must start off with her sister, for although her work does not begin so early as Ada's, who is due at her office at nine o'clock, she has a good way to go, and the marketing for her classes to do before she starts work at ten o'clock. The bright-eyed little woman at the head of the table, who is pouring out the coffee, is Marion Thomas. In appearance she presents a marked contrast to the two sisters, for she is short, plump, and dark. She lives with them, and does the housekeeping of the joint establishment and nearly all the cooking. If it were not for Marion, Ada laughingly tells their friends, it is more than probable that she and Jane, who come back in the evening rather tired and certainly disinclined for housework, would live altogether on tea, eggs, and toast, as some flippant individual once remarked that all women would be sure to do if left entirely to themselves. The Orlingburys and the Thomases all lived in the same little village in Nottinghamshire. About a year and a half ago the Orlingburys' home was broken up when their father died. The two girls warehoused their little stock of furniture, and spent some of the little capital that was left them in training to earn their own living, and as they had no relations with whom they could conveniently live, they stayed in a boarding-house while Ada was at Pitman's and Jane going backwards and forwards to the cookery-school. But they both felt a great lack of cosiness about the arrangement, and they were more than thankful when their old friend Marion, who had come to town a little time before them, and was staying with some cousins in Norland Square whilst she worked up a connection of music pupils, arranged to come and live with them.

Three months before our story begins they had taken unfurnished apartments in a little house in West Hampstead, for which they paid fifteen shillings a week. These consisted of a nice little sitting-room, a moderate-sized bedroom for the sisters and a small one for Marion, and a little room on the floor above the sitting-room, which had been fitted up as a kitchen, and the glories of which we will reveal later. They all made their own beds, and dusted their rooms before breakfast. On alternate weeks they took it in turns to get up half an hour earlier, dust the sitting-room, and lay and prepare the breakfast, for which everything was put ready overnight. The breakfast generally consisted of ham, brawn, pressed beef, or something similar. If any cooking had to be done, it was something that was finished very quickly, such as fried bacon or scrambled eggs.

Most of the furniture in the rooms belonged to the Orlingburys; they had brought it from their old home, so there was very little to buy. Marion was not an orphan, as they were; she was one of a very large family, and her father was a hardworking doctor. She was an excellent pianist and a clever housekeeper, for she and her sisters all had to help at home.{59} She was sorry to leave her country home, but her parents were quite willing for her to do so, as there was little opportunity in their remote village for her to make practical use of her musical talent, which had been excellently cultivated. Marion had thirty pounds a year of her own that had been left her by her godmother, and she earned sixty pounds a year by her music pupils. As she taught only in the afternoons, her mornings were free for domestic matters.

Some of Jane's friends asked her once why she did not do the cooking instead of Marion, as she was duly qualified, but she declared that she had so much to do with food all the day long that she felt very disinclined to have to do with it after she got back in the evenings, whereas Marion had always been accustomed in her own home to spend her mornings in this manner, and she did not mind at all. In fact, the suggestion was Marion's own. Jane nearly always helped Marion in the final preparations, however, as we shall see. The friends had now been living together for three months, and the arrangement may be said to have answered in every way, for they were still on just as good terms as when they first set up house together.

"This ham toast is delicious, Jenny," said Ada. "You may make us some more whenever you feel inclined; but you must own you were lucky to have had Marion to cut it all up for you yesterday. Do you think you would have had the energy to do it all yourself this morning if she had not, or should we have had to eat the remains of the ham in all its bare coldness?"

"Don't tease, Jenny; I won't have it," laughed Marion. "I don't mind preparing the ham toast the least in the world. It is so seldom that we have anything for breakfast that needs more than five minutes cooking, and it would have been such a pity not to have ham toast when the opportunity came."

"Are you ever going to let Abigail do any of your cooking?" asked Ada. "Give us fair warning if you do, or, at all events, do not allow her to have too much scope for startling innovations."

At this the others laughed. Abigail was a girl of thirteen from the National School in the next street. She was a "half-timer." That is to say, she had only to spend half her time at school, either morning or afternoon, as she preferred. So she came from eight to nine every morning to brush the floors and wash up, and on every alternate morning she stayed until twelve o'clock and turned out a room, Marion superintending her work and giving her such help as she could spare from her cooking. Abigail was provided with breakfast, consisting of cocoa and bread and butter, and on days when she turned out a room she had dinner at twelve o'clock. Then she went home. She went to school in the afternoons, and at half-past six came back to "The Rowans," as the little house where the three friends lived was called (in honour of a mountain-ash in the front garden), to lay the table, dish up the seven o'clock dinner, clear away, wash up, and put everything ready for the next morning. Abigail's wages were two shillings and sixpence a week. Dinner was always over by a quarter past seven.

"I have not seen any signs of culinary genius at present," said Marion, "so I do not think you need fear for the present. In the meantime, have you two girls had enough? I must insist on your eating good breakfasts."

"Don't you begin to scold us, Mrs. Housekeeper," cried Jenny. "What about the lunches that you eat? You let out some shocking facts about some biscuits and a glass of milk the other day. I shall bribe the hand-maiden to watch you and see that you take proper care of yourself."

Marion meekly promised to be constant in her attentions to the brawn or similar solid dainties, and the two sisters, who by this time had finished their breakfasts and put on their things, kissed their friend affectionately and set off.

Marion helped Abigail to wash up the breakfast things, and then set her to work in the sitting-room. Abigail's full name was Susannah Abigail Bellamy.

"Please, ma'am, we call 'er 'Susie' at 'ome," said her mother when Marion went to engage her, but the Orlingburys thought the name "Abigail" such a delicious one for a little housemaid that they insisted on using it, and Abigail grinned delightedly.

Ada and Marion had provided her with neat print dresses and good serviceable aprons, and Jenny had prevailed upon her to put back the larger portion of a very unbecoming fringe, and had even managed to get her to do her hair so that it did not stick out in tufts.

When Abigail had got to work, Marion did her marketing, bringing most of the things back with her in a wonderful marketing-basket, and then she went to her kitchen. This, as we have said, was a little room on the floor above the sitting-room. Just outside was a housemaid's sink, which was very useful, as Marion had no scullery. A nice gas-stove had been fitted up on the "penny-in-the-slot" system which the gas company did free of cost, and by this all the cooking was done. Gas for five hours could be had by putting in a penny; if it was not wanted for five hours right off, the rest of the same pennyworth could be used next time cooking was to be done. This arrangement was very economical and formed their only gas bill, for they used a lamp in their sitting-room and candles in the bed-rooms. The gas bill was under a shilling a week.

Two shelves went all round the walls, one above the other, with nails in the edge for hanging jugs, measures, the dredger, and the grater. The shelves served instead of a dresser. A very small kitchen table stood just by the window, with two drawers in it. In one of these the tea and glass cloths in use were kept, and in the other the knives and forks.

The iron and wooden spoons used in cooking were kept in a box on the shelves. By its side the paste-board and rolling-pin might be seen, the latter a good straight thick one that rolled very evenly. The dripping-tins, baking-tins, baking-sheet, and meat-rack were on the shelves as well, and also the small dinner-service of which the establishment boasted.

Under the shelves on one side was a cupboard, which Marion now proceeded to unlock. On the top shelf of this was a row of coloured tins, containing tea, coffee, brown sugar, loaf sugar, rice, lentils, tapioca, and sultanas, several jars of jam (which had been sent them from the country), a packet of corn-flour, and a few other things. On the lower shelf were kept all cleaning materials, soap, soda, sand, emery, and house-flannel, and a spare scrubbing-brush.

Fortunately there was a cupboard under the stairs in which the housemaid's box with its blacking-brushes and the zinc pail and pan used for scrubbing and washing up could be kept. And on this cupboard Marion kept an sharp eye, and saw that it was kept very clean and the zinc pans well rinsed with hot water and soda after being used to prevent their getting greasy. The six enamel saucepans of varying sizes stood on a tripod stand in one corner.

The fittings up of the little kitchen were all new when the three friends started housekeeping, and it was economically managed, as the following account will show—

£s. d.
Two small enamel saucepans at 8½d. and 6½d.01 3
Two medium ditto at 1s. 2d. and 1s. 4d.02 6
Two enamel stewpans at 1s. 9d. and 2s.03 9
One paste-board01 9
One rolling-pin01 0
One dripping-tin00 8
One dripping-tin with meat-rack01 0
One baking-sheet00 8
Three pint pie-dishes at 3¾d.0011¼
Two large basins at 6½d.01 1
Three pudding-basins at 2d., 4d. and 6d.01 0
Three wooden spoons at 1d.00 3
Three iron spoons00 3
Flour dredger00 8½
Fine wire sieve01 9½
Enamel omelette-pan00 6½
Small iron frying-pan0010
Enamel pint and half-pint measures, 4½d. and 6½d.0011
Three jugs, quart, one and a half pints, and pint (to hold)01 9
Weights and scales014 6
Set of skewers00 4½
Tin fish-kettle08 6
£26 0¼

The pretty dinner-service that they used belonged to the Orlingburys, and the tea-service was Marion's. The tea-service and the tumblers and wine-glasses were kept in a cupboard in the sitting-room. The house-linen was kept in a cupboard on the landing outside the Orlingburys' bed-room. A good deal of it they had brought with them and the rest had been lent to the establishment by Mrs. Thomas, Marion's mother.

Coals were only needed for the sitting-room fire, as the three hardy country girls never indulged in such a luxury as a fire in their bed-rooms, and they found that half a ton of coals lasted them for six weeks.

Marion arranged her cooking so as to have as little as possible to do just before the dinner was served. For instance, on days when they had soup it would be made in the morning and warmed up at dinner-time; pies and milk puddings the same. Fish would be filleted, egged, and crumbed, ready to be fried at the last minute; and so would rissoles or cutlets. As there were only three of them, they never had big joints. Stews and curries were made early and warmed up; also such dishes as macaroni cheese.

By eleven o'clock Marion had generally done her cooking, and was free to read or work until two, when she went to her pupils. She came back at six o'clock, having had afternoon tea in the course of her work, and by that time the Orlingburys were back as well. She and Jane finished the preparations for dinner between them, and at half-past six Abigail returned to dish up and wait at table.

(To be continued.)



Every person needs some form of hobby—something to employ his time when the work of day is over. The mind wants some kind of recreation from the worries of business cares. We have felt this want, but we found that when we came to consider what our hobby should be many difficulties presented themselves.

Lilium Giganteum. Lilium Cordifolium.

In the first place, we wanted a hobby which would really interest and instruct us; one which would tell us something which we would be glad to know. Secondly, as our lives are spent in the heart of London, we wanted some form of recreation which would prove healthful and invigorating. We can find but one amusement which fulfils this last necessity, and that is the study of natural history.

But natural history is a very large subject, and we have not the time to study all its branches. We must decide on one branch. And here the great difficulty occurred. Which branch shall we take up? Well, after discussing the various pros and cons of the subject we at length determined upon gardening. But gardening is a very hackneyed subject, and besides, it has too wide a scope. Let us decide to cultivate one family or genus of plants. But which shall it be? Let us think. We do not want to grow vegetables; we want flowers. Shall we say roses? No, we have numbers of roses already, and besides, our country garden is in the most sandy part of Surrey, the very worst soil for many kinds of roses. Well, shall we try lilies? Ah, why not? No one, we know, gives special attention to lilies. Yes; let us decide upon lilies.

You see, there are so few lilies that we can easily grow them all! Why, we only know of five or six different kinds, and are quite sure that there cannot be very many other varieties! Fond delusion! There are not only five, nor fifty, different varieties of lilies; there are over one hundred and twenty varieties known to botanists. This was rather a damper to our enthusiasm, but on further consideration we congratulated ourselves upon this discovery. For if there are one hundred and twenty distinct varieties of lilies, and only some half-a-dozen kinds are well known, what a chance there is for us to do something original!

How splendid it would be to be able to grow lilies which not one person in a thousand has ever seen! With what pride could we show to our friends a beautiful garden filled with magnificent flowers, not one of which they had ever seen before. What interest will this spirit of adventure lend to an otherwise tame recreation! Yes; lilies are the plants for us. Yes, and we hope that we can instil into the reader an enthusiasm for growing lilies.

Most rare plants are curious rather than beautiful, and nothing palls so much as curiosity alone. But the little known lilies are beautiful; they are among the most magnificent flowers that grow. Have you ever seen a row of stately Madonna lilies in an old cottage-garden? Is it not a sight to remember throughout your life? The beauty of its pure white flower, with which the bright yellow of its anthers forms such a striking contrast, renders this lily one of the most delightful of all flowers.

And then its scent, filling the air for yards around on a still, warm evening at the end of July! Or, if later in the summer, while strolling in a large, well-kept garden in the evening of a fierce day in August, you have beheld, in a shady nook, a clump of the magnificent "Golden Lily of Japan"[A] standing as high as yourself, with its small leaves and crown of immense white blossoms, striped and spotted with gold, and have recognised the luscious scent exhaled from the blossoms, you will no longer wonder at the enthusiasm of the lily-grower. For many of the almost unknown lilies are quite as beautiful as these.

We were pleased to find that most of the lilies are but little known, but we were destined to find that this same fact had its own particular disadvantages. We found difficulties which were by no means trivial. Lilies will not grow of themselves. Like most plants which bear blossoms out of proportion{61} to their leaves, lilies are rather difficult to cultivate. If you merely stick the bulbs in the ground, the chances are that they will either be eaten by slugs or die. Again, not all the one hundred and twenty kinds of lilies want the same treatment. Coming, as they do, from every part of the northern temperate zone of the earth, some from the vast mountains of the Himalayas, others from the plains of India, and others from the woodlands of Japan or the swamps of North America, lilies will not all grow in the same soil or situation. Each wants its own particular treatment, and if this is denied it, failure must of necessity follow. But when we consider the different habits and habitats of this wonderful genus of plants, it is astonishing that, with the exception of two or three kinds, all the lilies are hardy in our English gardens. Although this family of flowers has the name amongst gardeners for being unsatisfactory and difficult to grow, we have found the reverse to be true, and that, if their few requirements are attended to, you need not fear disappointment.

Suppose this day is the 1st of November. We are going to-day to a sale of lily bulbs. What lilies shall we get? How shall we choose our bulbs? What price ought we to pay for them? Let us glance through our gardening books and see. What do these books tell us? Nothing whatever! Or rather nothing which is of any value. You will find so little information about lilies in books on gardening, and that little is so full of errors, that it is best to ignore it altogether, except in the case of lilies which are commonly cultivated. And there is no practical book upon lilies alone before the public. Elwes' Monograph of the Genus Lilium is a good book in its way, and the plates are excellent, but the information is much too scanty, and it is also out of date. As this book is not published by any house, is out of print, and is very rarely met with, and as its price is about £12, we may well say that this volume is impracticable. Wallace's little volume on Lilies and Their Culture is twenty years old. There is practically no satisfactory book about lilies, and it is to fill this blank that we write these papers. Our knowledge of the subject is mainly the result of actual experience, for we have grown eighty-seven distinct varieties of lilies, to which is added a little information obtained from books tested by ourselves, and a good many valuable hints derived from gardeners and others who have devoted some of their time to the study of these plants.

Determination will solve nearly all difficulties. We have been to the sale and bought our lilies; now how are we to grow them? In pots? In the ground? Will they grow out of doors, or must they be kept in the greenhouse? When we first took up our hobby we could not have answered these questions, but we can do so now, for we have found out these points for ourselves, and are more than satisfied with our results.

Upon arriving at the conclusion, that if we wished to cultivate lilies we must find out all about them, we got a large note-book, and therein we kept a record of the year's work. We will describe this book a little later in the year, when we will not be so busy in the garden.

For the lily grower, November is one of the busiest months in the whole year. It is during this month that most of the planting should be done, for though lily bulbs are perhaps better planted a month or two earlier than this, they are exceedingly difficult to obtain until November has begun.

If you wish to grow lilies, the first necessity is to obtain your bulbs. You can grow lilies from seed, and we will explain how to do this later, but for a beginner it is a most tedious and unsatisfactory proceeding. Whichever way you may grow lilies when you thoroughly know them, commence by growing them from bulbs only. Well, we must get these bulbs, and how are we to obtain them? We can either go to a seedsman and buy what we choose, or we can obtain our lilies from public auction-rooms. Both methods have their advantages, and both have their disadvantages. If you go to the seedsman you can buy all your bulbs at once, you can make your choice, and you need buy but one lily of each species. But you will have to pay high, often fancy prices for them, and you can never be sure that the bulbs are fresh. On the other hand, in the auction-room you usually must get a large number of one variety, and you cannot obtain all kinds at the same auction. But you will have but a small price to pay, in fact, only the current market price of the day. You will usually find that the bulbs are fresh, and when you know how to choose bulbs you will be able to secure first-rate articles for your money.

LILY BULBS. (To scale ¼ of original diameter.)
  • 1. Lilium Umbellatum.
  • 2. Lilium Auratum (small but good bulb).
  • 3. Bulb and rhizome of Lilium Canadense.
  • 4. Bulb of Lilium Wallacei.
  • 5. Bulb of Lilium Roezlii.
  • 6. Bulb of Lilium Hansoni.
  • 7. Bulb of Lilium Humboldti.

The next question which you will ask is, "How much ought to be paid for the bulbs?" The bulbs vary much in price from several causes. Of course the price of one kind of lily is very different from that of another kind. For instance, bulbs of Lilium Davuricum can be purchased at an auction for half-a-crown a dozen, whereas you will have to pay about a sovereign for a moderately good bulb of Lilium Dalhansoni. Again, the bulbs vary in price according to their size and condition; Lilium Auratum bulbs cost from fourpence to half-a-crown each. The time of year also greatly influences the price of lily bulbs. Last May we bought twenty-five bulbs of Lilium Auratum for a shilling. Six months previous, these same bulbs would have fetched about twenty-five shillings. Then the price varies much in different years owing to the success of the growers in Holland or Japan. For the{62} guidance of our reader we will give some average prices for a few lilies. Lilium Brownii, ten for nine shillings. Lilium Longiflorum (several varieties) from two to five shillings for ten. Lilium Auratum about four shillings for ten. Lilium Giganteum, nine shillings for a single bulb. Lilium Tigrinum, Candidum, Calcedonicum, Pyranaicum, Speciosum, and Elegans, from four to six shillings a dozen.

BULBS OF Lilium Candidum OR MADONNA LILY. (To scale ¼ of original diameter.)
  • 1. Good sound bulb showing one crown.
  • 2. Bulb showing two crowns.
  • 3. Mammoth bulb.
  • 4. Young bulb of two years' growth.
  • 5 and 6. Bulblets removed from No. 1.
(From photographs of fresh bulbs exhumed in August. The roots have been left entire.)

We said that lily bulbs are very much cheaper at the end of the season than they are in October or November, and some persons might be tempted to put off buying their bulbs till March or April. But this is a great mistake, for very few of such bulbs ever live to flower.

The greatest difficulty in lily culture is to know how to choose the bulbs. There are so many ways in which the unwary may be "done," that many persons give up growing lilies from the constant disappointment which results from their ignorance of how to choose good, sound, flowering bulbs.

Lily bulbs vary a good deal in appearance and size, but there are certain qualities by which the value of any bulb can be more or less accurately determined. All the bulbs should be of moderate size for the species; very firm and compact; fresh and not withered; not broken; showing one or two points from which the shoot will appear (they should not show the flower spike itself); well ripened; not in any way attacked by vermin, or spotted by mildew, and if possible home grown.

We said lily bulbs should be of moderate size. No point is more misleading or less important than this question of size. Mere size goes for nothing! Some of the "mammoth" bulbs of auratum, so much advertised by nurserymen, often send up a miserable spike of flower-buds which wither ere the flowers open. We think that we know what is the cause of so many large bulbs going wrong. If the buds of a lily be cut off, the bulb increases enormously in size, and next year sends up a very superior shoot bearing many fine blossoms. Lily growers often cut off the flower buds from their lilies so as to improve the bulbs. These large bulbs are excellent. But the bulbs greatly increase in size if the plant does not flower for a year. Even if the whole plant dies from drought (a very common cause of failure with lilies), or if the roots are destroyed by vermin or by disease, the bulbs often become enormous. These large bulbs rarely do well, as the disease which killed their shoots the first year will probably do so again the second year.

Good bulbs are very firm and compact. This is much more important than that they should be large. We would rather have a small, compact, but heavy bulb than a light bulb with wide open scales, even though it be twice the size of the smaller bulb.

Always choose bulbs which are fresh and plump. Bulbs which have been kept one or two years out of the ground very rarely blossom or, indeed, come up at all. Such bulbs may be recognised by the outside scales being dry and withered. Always choose bulbs which are entire, if you can. But it is not very important that the bulbs should be perfect. We have done very well with bulbs which have lost the majority of their outer scales. Beware of purchasing bulbs which have begun to grow. Bulbs must be planted in the dormant condition. If you plant a bulb which has already thrown up an inch or two of flower-spike, the chances are that it will form no root, and that the stem will wither ere the flowering period arrives.

Unfortunately we have no way of telling whether bulbs are thoroughly ripened. Many bulbs, especially those of Lilium Auratum, come over from Japan, which, though they look perfectly sound and healthy, never live to flower. This is due in part to the bulbs having been sent from abroad in an immature state. Foreign bulbs purchased in July, August or September, must either be immature, or else rubbish left over from last year.

Examine the outer scales of the bulbs for little worms or mildew spots, and do not purchase any which show either of these parasites.

We are always told that lilies give greater satisfaction if grown from bulbs which have been established in England for some years. You should, therefore, choose these in place of those imported from Japan or Holland. English bulbs are, however, a little dearer than imported bulbs.

There is a popular delusion that you can grow lilies in sand. You cannot do so. All lilies require a rich soil; many require peat, and some excel only when grown in earth strongly enriched with manure.

The question of soil for lilies is an important one, and, as it is in general overlooked, we will carefully describe in tabular form the soils suitable for various lilies. For this purpose we will divide lilies into various classes dependent upon what soil they require.

Class 1.—Lilies which will grow in any good soil: Tigrinum, Bulbiferum, Croceum, Davuricum, Elegans, Hansoni, Henryi, etc.

Class 2.—Lilies which require a moderately light soil with a slight admixture of peat and leaf mould: Auratum, Speciosum, Longiflorum, Krameri, Brownii, Japonicum odorum, etc.


Class 3.—Lilies which want a heavy loam, well enriched and of good depth: Cordifolium, Wallichianum, Candidum, Washingtonianum, Humboldti, Martagon, Testaceum, Calcedonicum, etc.

Class 4.—Lilies which require a large admixture of peat and leaf mould with plenty of sharp sand: Canadense, Superbum, Pardalinum, Roezlii, Leichtlini, Philadelphicum, etc.

Class 5.—Lilies that want a very rich soil with large quantities of well rotted manure and leaf mould of great depth: Giganteum, Monodephum.

As a matter of fact many lilies will grow in two or three different kinds of soil. We have only given the form of culture by which we have ourselves obtained, or friends have obtained, the best results.

Position is of first importance in the cultivation of lilies. All kinds like partial shade, but not a position overhung with trees. It is best to plant them in a place where they can get the full sun for two or three hours daily, but where they are sheltered from the sun at midday. The position chosen should be well drained, preferably on the slope of a hill, and protected from high winds which can do very serious damage to plants which grow to such a height as these.

The best position in which to plant lilies is a bed devoted to azaleas, rhododendrons, or other shrubs. These protect the bulbs from severe frost in winter and shelter the young shoots from the high winds in spring. Moreover the soil which suits rhododendrons—a peaty leaf mould—is also an admirable soil for many lilies.

We planted a number of lily bulbs among beds of pinks last year, thinking that this situation would afford all that was required. But, alas! we had forgotten an enemy, of which you will hear more later, which has proved the very worst of our foes—the slugs. Oh, those slugs! We go out on a warm morning in March and see five hundred thick, healthy, green shoots, looking like tender asparagus. We have a slight rain in the night and go out next morning to see how our lilies are faring. During the night the slugs have eaten the tops off all those that were most promising!

The swamp lilies such as L. Canadense, L. Pardalinum, and L. Superbum, are best grown in damp situations, as these lilies require plenty of moisture. The dry bank of a stream suits them admirably.

Let us now proceed with the planting, which should be done at once. Take the bulb you are going to plant, examine it carefully and pull off any diseased or mildewy scale. Wash it well in lime water to destroy any hidden enemy and leave it a few hours to dry.

While the bulb is drying dig a hole, which must vary in size according to the size of the bulb, in which to plant your bulb. Suppose Lilium Auratum be the kind that you are planting. Dig the hole two feet deep. Place an inch or two of broken crocks in the hole, and fill half full with the compost which the species requires.

Take the bulb and dust it over with powdered charcoal, which prevents the development of mildew. Place it in the hole prepared with a thin layer of peat (preferably burnt or previously strongly heated to kill all insects, etc., which it may have contained) below and around it and with a good handful of sharp river sand. Then fill up with the soil suitable to the species.

Our work for November is done, and we return to town to tell our friends of our new venture. We meet with nothing but discouragement. One says, "Oh, you cannot grow lilies satisfactorily!" Another tells us that she has never yet succeeded in growing these troublesome plants. One gardener tells us that lilies are the most difficult of all plants to grow. Another gravely informs us that though some lilies will grow in pots, only one or two kinds will do anything in the ground. But next day we read in a gardening paper that lilies cannot be grown in pots, but some will do well in the open border! What are we to believe? Shall we be successful, or are we doomed to disappointment?

We have gone through the year, having grown lilies both in the ground and in pots. Several hundreds were planted in the ground, and one hundred and three (eighty-seven varieties) in pots. Of the latter we have lost four plants. Twenty-two have not flowered but will flower another year; so that we are highly delighted with our success. To see the constant succession of the loveliest blooms filled our heart day after day with delight, and we trust many of our readers will receive for themselves pleasure as innocent and great.

(To be continued.)



A Boy Reader.—1. Candidates for appointments as Engineer Students in Her Majesty's Navy must not be less than fourteen or more than seventeen years of age on the first day of May in the year in which they are examined. Their parents or guardians must pay £40 a year during their training, which may in certain cases be reduced to £25. The pay begins at once at 1s. a week. You can get full particulars by writing to the "Admiralty," London, when papers will be sent you.—2. Barnard Smith's arithmetic is excellent. You can procure it either with answers to the problems or without at a low price. If you want to prepare for any special examination you had better use the prescribed handbooks.

S. T. P. Q.—1. We find it a little difficult to select one play exactly fulfilling all the conditions you describe. Home Plays for Ladies (French, 89, Strand), is published in parts containing three or four plays each, price 1s. each part. Scenes from the Novels of Jane Austen, arranged by Mrs. Dawson, published at 2s. 6d., by J. M. Dent & Co., might suit you; or Fairy Tale Plays and How to Act them, by Mrs. Hugh Bell (Longmans & Co.). We should obtain French's Catalogue in the first instance and send for one or two of the "parts" mentioned.—2. Your writing is very clear. We think it would be better if the loops to your l's, d's, y's, etc., were not so black, and if you avoided the inclination to make your letters pointed.

Rex.—1. There are a great many good French dictionaries, published at prices varying from 21s. to 1s. 6d. As you do not name any sum we may mention Feller's Pocket Dictionary, or Cassell's Dictionary; net cost of either, 2s. 7½d. Do not rely on any dictionary for the proper pronunciation of French.—2. Your writing is very well formed. There is not quite enough freedom about it; it looks too "copperplate" and stiff. But we do not advise you to introduce flourishes. Practice will improve it with regard to the point we criticise.

Marita (an Australian admirer).—1. The best hand-book to help you in composition is How to Write Clearly, by Dr. Abbott; but in order to store your mind with beautiful ideas, you should read the best of all literature, poetry and prose,—Shakespeare, Scott, Ruskin, and so forth.—2. We like your writing. It seems to us characteristic, and as you grow older it will more and more take your own impress. A good distinct sort of handwriting at seventeen is far better than an indefinite scrawl, and makes a more satisfactory foundation for what comes afterwards.

A Grateful Reader, A. L. B.—Would you not like to take a situation in a very good boarding school, and receive painting lessons from the master who teaches there in whole or part return for your services? The only way to hear of such a situation is to advertise in some London paper, or apply to a registry office, saying exactly what you want. You might find a situation on the Continent, entering a family (for instance in Dresden) to teach English, and studying under some artist. There is a Governesses' Home at Dresden, and the Lady Principal might give you some hints. Address, Fr. Hartung, Lehrerinnen Heim, Cranach Strasse, 11, Dresden. Again, you might give some household assistance in return for a home in London, and so attend either the Academy Schools or one of the numerous Metropolitan District Schools of Art. Advertising and private inquiry are the only means of finding what you want.

Othello.—You can obtain Milton's Paradise Lost (abridged) for one penny, in the "Masterpiece Library," but we advise you to spend about 1s. 6d., and to get such an edition as that in the Temple Classics (J. M. Dent & Co., London). We are glad you intend to read it.

Ivanhoe.—1. Are you not thinking of Bulwer Lytton's historical play, "Richelieu"? You can obtain an acting edition for 6d.—2. October 12th, 1875, was a Tuesday. Two questions are our limit.

Veilchen.—Mudie's Library, New Oxford Street, London, supplies a large number of the best foreign books, and as boxes are sent to the country we suggest that you should write there for particulars.


Cornflower.—Starch, being one of the chief foods of man, cannot be injurious to the blood. If taken in excess it has a tendency to make you fat. It is most undesirable to get into the habit of sucking alum, for this drug has an exceedingly injurious effect upon the stomach and bowels. Chalk will cause indigestion and constipation. This habit of taking chalk, starch, etc., is due to what is sometimes called depraved appetite, but it is most commonly merely a silly habit, easily broken by a little determination.

Anxious.—You certainly suffer from some trouble with your lungs and need further treatment. You had far better see a skilled physician and have your chest thoroughly overhauled. From your letter, we think that you would obtain great advantage from spending the winters abroad, if you can do so. But do nothing until your chest has been examined.

E. H.—That we do not write for London girls only is abundantly proved by this correspondence column. We have this morning answered letters from all of the five continents. In fact, very few of our medical correspondents are Londoners, which is not surprising, for medical advice is so easy to obtain in the great Capital. Most of our correspondents live in out-of-the-way places—very many in the Australian bush or North American prairies. Of course, the science of medicine is much the same all over the world, and the advice that we give to a person in London is usually applicable to everyone suffering from the same affection in Europe, Asia, Africa or America.

Bivalve.—The question of the causation of typhoid fever by oysters created a great sensation last autumn, and it will doubtless do so again this year. Typhoid is infinitely more common in autumn than at any other season. It is caused by a definite well-known microbe, and it never occurs without the presence of this organism. The question of oysters conveying typhoid, therefore, depends upon the answer to the query, "Can the bacillus of typhoid live in the oyster?" It appears to be an undoubted fact that the living microbe can exist in the living oyster. Some men tried to prove that the organisms only occurred in oysters that were bad; but this was proved to be incorrect. Having decided that oysters can harbour the bacillus, the next question is—"How does the oyster obtain this microbe?" The answer to this is easy. The bacilli can only come from a patient with the disease, and so the oysters must obtain the poison from sewage. As far as we know oysters which are unable to feed on sewage matter cannot possibly obtain the typhoid poison. By no means everybody who swallows typhoid bacilli gets the fever. Typhoid is a distinctly infectious disease, but is rarely, if ever, caught from person to person as scarlet fever and small-pox are. The disease invariably results from taking food contaminated with sewage. Water is the chief vehicle by which the disease is spread, and therefore during epidemics of typhoid all water that is intended for drinking purposes should be boiled. Milk, watercress, oysters, salads, etc., also convey the disease. Milk is a common method of spreading typhoid, either by the milk being diluted with water, or else the cans having been carelessly washed out. Pure milk, absolutely free from water, cannot convey typhoid. Typhoid fever rarely attacks the same individual twice.

Effie.—You can do nothing to alter the colour of your eye. It is not at all uncommon for the eyes to be of different colours, but nothing can be done to cure it.


C. A. E. F.—That you have had gastric ulcer is of course unquestionable, but from what you say you have apparently been well treated. Gastric ulcer is a dangerous disease, and is very liable to recur unless stringent precautions are taken. If, however, patients with gastric ulcer are very careful, the disease gets less and less and usually ends in complete cure; but careful diet is always essential. As you know, the treatment is practically the same as that for severe dyspepsia. As regards your diet, we should not advise much alteration. You must not take oats in any form, for they are indigestible. We would suggest milk instead of cocoa, for notwithstanding all that has been said about cocoa, we have considerable reason for suspecting that it is anything but easy of digestion. When you have pain, you would do well to eat nothing but bread and milk for a day or two, and you should remain in bed during that time. As you get better you might take a little chicken or hashed mutton. It is extremely probable that you will soon get well enough to do some work. You should be careful to be near a doctor to whom you can send immediately that any untoward symptoms become manifest.

"A West Country Inquirer" asks us to explain the following circumstance—"I poured some permanganate of potash solution through the charcoal of my filter—as it were, washing out the filter with it—and the solution retained its bright proper colour. Must not this prove that my filter—a glass one with charcoal for the water to pass through—must be quite free from germs?" We will tell her that it by no means follows that her filter is free from germs. It is true that organisms (or rather their products) do destroy the colour of permanganate of potash, but they can only do so to a certain extent. She says that she used the solution to "wash out the filter." Probably she used some pints. It would require a vast host of microbes to destroy the colour of this quantity of solution. Her filter is, we take it, one with a carbon block, and usually in this kind of filter at least ninety per cent. of the water flows through holes in the carbon and corks, very little of it indeed going through the mass of carbon. Animal charcoal of itself will often decolourise potassium permanganate. If this correspondent wishes to test her filter more thoroughly, let her take out the carbon block and place it in a clean jug full of water, to which one or two drops of the permanganate solution has been added so as to make it a very, very pale pink. Having left it an hour or so, let her place a sheet of white paper behind the jug and see if the solution round the carbon block is paler in tint than the rest of the fluid. Even if this test is negative it will not prove that the carbon block is free from germs; nothing but a bacteriological investigation could prove the block to be sterile.


A Constant Reader (Teaching).—You are thinking of entering the Oxford Senior Local Examination. This undoubtedly would be a wise step. To pass this examination, however, even with the highest honours would not qualify you to take a very good position in the teaching profession, though it would help you towards such a position. A very good plan, if finances must be carefully considered, would be on passing the Oxford examination to proceed to some training college for elementary teachers. At Whitelands College, Chelsea, there is now a course of training that has been arranged specially for girls possessed of a superior general education. If you pass the Oxford examination, you would be eligible to avail yourself of this, and the expense is not very great. The Secretary of Whitelands College would doubtless send you a prospectus on application. Elementary teaching offers, on the whole, better opportunities than does the career of private governess. To become a fully-qualified High School teacher would probably entail too much expense, as you ought to obtain a University degree, if later you wish to secure a good salary and promotion. Your handwriting is neat, clear, and good for your age.

Erica.—Your position is indeed a hard one, and it is difficult to advise you satisfactorily. But the future must be considered as well as the present, and it seems to us that this future is decidedly cloudy unless you can be trained for some employment now. If friends could come forward with an offer to train you for any of the occupations mentioned here from time to time, we think your mother would see the propriety of your availing yourself of the chance, sad though it would be to part, and much though there is to say in favour of the immediate economy of living together. We would suggest that you should learn either dressmaking or drawing—the latter with a view to newspaper and magazine illustration or fashion drawing. It is evident you have some talent for art, or your pictures would not have been exhibited; but as money is so much needed, we advise you not to go in for painting. You write a good hand, and a letter which leads us to think you have more than average ability. At the same time your health is possibly not robust. Cannot a little council of relations and friends be held so as to decide what plan should be taken to enable you to earn a living?

Lady Udina S. (Working for Charity).—The circumstance that your presentation at Court has been postponed leaves you with more time free than you would have had if you had entered into the regular round of engagements during the London season. These engagements, however, do not occupy all a girl's time. We are glad to observe that girls and young married women, occupying the very highest positions in London society, set apart some portion of their time for work of public usefulness. Like yourself, they are not content to lay aside only one-tenth of money that has cost them no effort to obtain (though the subtraction of such an amount for God is obligatory), but they wish also to do work for others. It is not always easy to decide what a young and inexperienced girl can do. To help in a Working Girl's Club is suitable and often most interesting; or you might join the local committee of the Children's Country Holidays Fund. The Charity Organisation Society, and the Metropolitan Association for Befriending Young Servants, are both societies that can sometimes delegate practical duties to young assistants. In the meantime you should still pursue your general education notwithstanding the fact that your governess is no longer needed. It is education that will make you of service in the world. Read the standard works of the best writers, study the course of history in the newspapers and with the aid of a map. Try almost every day to give some time both to study and to practical duties. We commend the motive that prompts you to wish to earn money in order to have more to give away. But the earning of money is a serious matter. It can only be performed successfully by girls who have had some special training or who possess special gifts. You give us no information in regard to these points. On the whole it would be better that any work you now do should be voluntary. At the same time, circumstances may occur to almost anyone to render it most desirable that one should be able to earn money. Try, therefore, within the next few years so to educate and train yourself that, if need arose, you could turn your hand profitably to something. A knowledge of housewifery, for instance, is a splendid possession for any girl and can never prove useless.

Yvonne (Hospital Nursing or Teaching).—Since you feel drawn towards hospital nursing, you might do wisely to enter one of the largest London hospitals as a probationer, when you are twenty-three or twenty-four. Having only passed the Oxford Senior Local Examination, your prospects as a teacher cannot be very brilliant, and in the long run you might find yourself more favourably placed in life as a nurse. But in the meantime you had better continue to teach. It hardly seems to be advisable that you should give up your present situation when you appear to be kindly and fairly treated. People who hold the same opinions as ourselves even on the highest subjects are not always pleasant in their dealings. You can at all events strive to show the beauty of your creed in your life and conduct; for a noble example is often more persuasive than doctrine. In hospital wards, moreover, you will find quite as great a diversity of beliefs as you could possibly encounter on the Continent.


Mary L.—We quite agree with you. Our advice to you is not to miss reading Ruth Lamb's supplemental story—"Friend or Self"—for we feel sure, judging from your letter, that you will enjoy it quite as much as we have done.

Anxious.—The account of the very unnatural and unamiable state of mind of your "female friend" is a grievous one; but as she is only a little school-girl of fifteen, she may improve. We do not know of any book likely to effect a change. Such a girl would not care to read one giving advice. Talk to her of the love of our Divine Redeemer and of the obligation resting on us to "show piety at home," and to "requite our parents." It is His will that we should do so, and although we cannot purchase our salvation by our good works, we are bound to produce them in proof of our faith and our gratitude. "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." "Ye call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not the things that I say." "Every tree is known by its fruits," and our first duty is to our parents.

Melissa.—We recommend you to procure Home Handicrafts, published at this office. Chapter ix., p. 95, supplies the information you require on mirror painting. Instruction in fifteen different kinds of artistic and useful work are given in this book, and all equally suitable for both sexes.

Amy.—There is certainly a family similarity evidenced in the handwriting, which is very general. It sometimes skips a generation and crops up again, just as personal features and peculiarities, as well as intellectual gifts. This fact is noted by Darwin and Lord Brougham (whose peculiar hand resembled his grandfather's). George Seaton expressed the same opinion, and so do others. But we all have the power to improve upon the family style, or change it.

Lover of Art.—We believe that the oldest known English pictures are two portraits, one of Chaucer, and the other of Henry IV. The former is painted on a panel, the date about 1380; that of the king, 1405.

Carrie.—If a sufferer from anæmia, we think you could not do better than go for a month's treatment to Buxton, Derbyshire. Of course you should neither take the waters, nor use the baths, without medical advice, as your dietary should be prescribed as well as treatment by the waters. You will find much to interest you in the neighbourhood when able to walk, or drive, such as Haddon Hall, Chatsworth, and Old Hall; and a little diversion of the mind, and turning of the thoughts from personal ailments, will also tend to restoration. If you have a kodak, or have any taste for sketching, you will have plenty of subjects—objects for a walk. Should you prefer to go abroad, Royat near Clermont-Ferrand (France), which stands on an elevation of 1,400 feet above the sea, is a charming place; the waters of four springs—of mixed alkaline, gaseous, ferruginous, slightly arsenical and lithia waters—are to be had in the ancient Roman baths. Anæmia, lymphatic and other affections may find alleviation, if not a cure, in this beautiful mountainous locality. We have ourselves inspected these baths, and are likewise acquainted with Buxton and its neighbourhood.

Song-bird.—The instrument for regulating time in the performance of instrumental music, called the metronome, was invented by Johann Nepomuk Maelzel, a German machinist, in 1812, and patented in England in 1815. His younger brother was also an inventor, and produced two remarkable instruments, viz., one imitating an orchestra, called a panharmonicon and an automaton chess-player.

A. B. C. inquires what the "Ptolemaic system" was, and who Ptolemæus was? He lived in the reigns of Adrian and Antoninus, a native of Alexandria, and was celebrated in those times as both an astronomer and a geographer. His system was quite erroneous, and was confuted by Copernicus, for he supposed the earth to be the centre of the universe. Do not confound him with Ptolemæus (called Ptolemy), and surnamed Lagus—as also Soter, on account of the assistance he gave to the people of Rhodes against their enemies. He was king of Egypt, and died 284 years B.C. This Ptolemæus I., though not an astronomer, was a man of learning, and laid the foundation of a library which became the most celebrated in the world.

Marian.—The origin of the name Albion (by which the French elect by preference to call England) has its origin in mythology. For Albion was the reputed son of Neptune and Amphitrite, and was said to have come to Britain and established a kingdom, where he introduced the art of shipbuilding and the science of astrology.

D. L.—It is not generally known that any disease in dogs or cats, from which they lose their hair, is most contagious, and if touched by a human hand, would probably result in the same loss. We lately read of a gentleman whose retriever was thus diseased, and those who washed, or even played with the animal lost their own hair in quantities. The dog should at once be sent to a veterinary surgeon, and prompt measures be taken for the cure of those infected. More than once we have been consulted by correspondents about their cats and dogs, whose hair came off in patches, but quite in ignorance of the danger to themselves in touching them, or even in having them in the house.

Janie.—There are no free passages to any of the Colonies for female domestic servants, except to Western Australia. You can obtain all information, and penny circulars, at the Emigration Office, 31, Broadway, London, S.W., and letters to the Secretary need not be stamped. The voyage to Western Australia takes about thirty-five or forty days; to Canada, from nine to ten only. Free grants of land are made in both these Colonies, and in the first-named of the two there are numerous public works now under construction involving a good demand for carpenters, bricklayers, and mechanics, and labourers generally; and a considerable number of free homesteads to be had. A tailoress can always get work at Sydney, New S. Wales, and a few first-class lithographers would find employment at from £3 to £4 a week. In reference to Western Australia, and the demand for maid-servants, mechanics and labourers, the town of Coolgardie must be named as an exception.

Young Housekeeper.—There are several kinds of cheese-cakes. One, for example, is made with cocoanut. For this, take equal parts of the latter, grated, and of sifted sugar, say, one pound of each, the yolks of four, and whites of three eggs. Mix these thoroughly and boil for twenty minutes. Then pour the mixture into jars, closely covered, and keep till required in a cool place. When used, line patty-pans with puff-paste, and bake. Cheese pastry for the cheese course is easily made. Roll out some puff-pastry, sprinkle it well with grated cheese, and a little cayenne pepper, repeating three times, mix well and bake lightly. Serve hot. A very nice dish is one of stewed pigeons and mushrooms. Two pigeons divided into halves (each) should be placed in a stew-pan with one ounce of fresh butter, stew a little, then adding a pint of good gravy, of mushroom ketchup, a little salt and pepper. Stir till it boil, and then let it simmer for three-quarters of an hour. The mushrooms must now be added, say, a couple of dozen smallish ones. Stew for ten minutes longer, and add two tablespoonfuls of cream. The mushrooms should be placed round the pigeons, and the dish served hot.


[A] Lilium Auratum.