The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX, No. 991, December 24, 1898

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Title: The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX, No. 991, December 24, 1898

Author: Various

Release date: December 30, 2015 [eBook #50798]

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. 991.]DECEMBER 24, 1898.[Price One Penny.

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



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


All rights reserved.]


As Peggy sat writing in the study one afternoon, a shaggy head came peering round the door, and Robert's voice said eagerly:

"Mariquita! A word in your ear! Could you come out and take a turn round the garden for half an hour before tea, or are you too busy?"

"Not at all. I am entirely at your disposal," said Peggy elegantly, and the young people made their way to the cloak-room, swung on coats and sailor-hats, and sallied out into the fresh autumn air.

"Mariquita," said Robert; then, using once more the name by which he chose to address Peggy in their confidential confabs, "Mariquita, I am in difficulties. There is a microscope advertised in Science this week that is the very thing I have been pining for for the last six years. I must get it, or die, but the question is—how? You see before you a penniless man." He looked at Peggy as he spoke, and met her small, demure smile.

"My dear and honourable sir——"

"Yes, yes, I know; drop that, Mariquita! Don't take for granted, like Mellicent, that because a man has a title he must necessarily be a millionaire. Everything is comparative! My father is rich compared to the Vicar, but he is really hard up for a man in his{194} position. He gets almost no rent for his land nowadays, and I am the third son. I haven't as much pocket-money in a month as Oswald gets through in a week. Now that microscope is twenty pounds, and if I were to ask the governor for it, he wouldn't give it to me, but he would sigh and look wretched at being obliged to refuse. He's a kind-hearted fellow, you know, who doesn't like to say 'No,' and I hate to worry him. Still—that microscope! I must have it. By hook or by crook, I must have it. I've set my mind on that."

"I'm sure I hope you will, though for my part you must not expect me to look through it. I like things to be pretty, and when you see them through a microscope they generally look hideous. I saw my own hand once—ugh!" Peggy shuddered. "Twenty pounds! Well, I can only say that my whole worldly wealth is at your disposal. Draw on me for anything you like—up to seven and six! That's all the money I have till the beginning of the month."

"Thanks!—I didn't intend to borrow, I have a better idea than that. I was reading a magazine the other day, and came upon a list of prize competitions. The first prize offered was thirty pounds, and I'm going to win that prize. The microscope costs only twenty pounds, but the extra ten would come in usefully for—I'll tell you about that later on! The Piccadilly Magazine is very respectable and all that sort of thing, but the governor is one of the good old-fashioned, conservative fellows, who would be horrified if he saw my name figuring in it. I'm bound to consider his feelings, but all the same I'm going to win that prize. It says in the rules—I've read them through carefully—that you can ask your friends to help you, so that there would be nothing unfair about going into partnership with someone else. What I was going to suggest was that you and I should collaborate. I'd rather work with you than with any of the others, and I think we could manage it rather well between us. Our contribution should be sent in in your name, that is to say, if you wouldn't object to seeing yourself in print."

"I should love it. I'm proud of my name, and it would be a new sensation." But Peggy spoke in absent-minded fashion, as if her thoughts were running on another subject. Rob had used a word which was unfamiliar in her ears, a big word, a word with a delightful, intellectual roll, and she had not the remotest idea of its meaning. Collaborate! Beautiful! Not for worlds would she confess her ignorance, yet the opportunity could not be thrown away. She must secure the treasure and add it to her mental store. She put her head on one side, and said pensively:

"I shall be most happy to er—er——In what other words can I exactly express 'collaborate,' Rob? I do so object to repetition!"

"Go shags!" returned Robert briefly. "I would do the biggest part of the work, of course, that's only fair, because I want two-thirds of the money, but you could do what you liked, and have ten pounds for your share. Ten pounds would come in very usefully for Christmas."

"Rather! I'd get mother and father lovely presents, and Mrs. Asplin too; and buy books for Esther, and a little gold ring for Mellicent—it's her idea of happiness to have a gold ring. I'll help you with pleasure, Rob, and I'm sure we shall get the prize. What have we to do? Make up some poetry?"

"Goodness, no! Fancy me making up poetry! It's to make up a calendar. There are subjects given for each month—sorrow, love, obedience, resignation—that sort of thing, and you have to give a quotation for each day. It will take some time, but we ought to stand a good chance. You are fond of reading, and know no end of poetry, and where I have a pull is in knowing French and German so well. I can give them some fine translations from the Latin and Greek too, for the matter of that, and it will look kind of swagger to put the authors' names underneath. That will impress the judges, and make 'em decide in our favour. I've been working at it only three days, and I've got over fifty quotations already. We must keep note-books in our pockets, and jot down any ideas that occur to us during the day, and go over them together at night. You will know a lot, I'm sure."

"'Sorrow and silence are strong, and patient endurance is godlike,
Therefore accomplish thy labour of love, till the heart is made godlike,'"

quoted Peggy with an air, and Rob nodded approval.

"That's it! That's the style! Something with a bit of a sermon in it to keep 'em up to the mark for the day. Bravo, Mariquita! you'll do it splendidly. That's settled then. We shall have to work hard, for there is only a month before the thing must be sent off, and we must finish in good time. When you leave things to the last, something is bound to come in the way. It will take an age to write out three hundred and sixty-five extracts."

"It will indeed, for they must be very nicely done," said Peggy fastidiously. "Of course it is most important that the extracts themselves should be good, but it matters almost as much that they should look neat and attractive. Appearances go such a long way." And when Robert demurred and stated his opinion that the judges would not trouble their heads about looks, she stuck firmly to her point.

"Oh, won't they though. Just imagine how you would feel if you were in their position, and had to look over scores of ugly uninteresting manuscripts. You would be bored to death, and after plodding conscientiously through a few dozen, you would get so mixed up that you would hardly be able to distinguish one from another. Then suddenly—suddenly"—Peggy clasped her hands with one of her favourite dramatic gestures—"you would see before you a dainty little volume prettily written, easy to read, easy to hold, nice to look at, and do you mean to say that your heart wouldn't give a jump, and that you would not take a fancy to the writer from that very moment? Of course you would, and so, if you please, I am going to look after the decorative department and see what can be done. I must give my mind to it——Oh! I'll tell you what would be just the thing. When I was in the library one day lately I saw some sweet little note-books with pale green leaves and gilt edges. I'll count the pages, and buy enough to make up three hundred and sixty-five, and twelve extra, so as to put one plain sheet between each month. Then we must have a cover. Two pieces of cardboard would do, with gilt edges, and a motto in old English letters, 'The months in circling orbit fly.' Have I read that somewhere, or did I make it up? It sounds very well. Well, what next?" Peggy was growing quite excited, and the restless hands were waving about at a great rate. "Oh, the pages! We shall have to put the date at the top of each. I could do that in gold ink, and make a pretty little skriggle—er—'arabesque,' I should say, underneath to give it a finish. Then I'd hand them on to you to write the extracts in your tiny little writing. Rob, it will be splendid! Do you really think we shall get the prize?"

"I mean to get it! We have a good library here, and plenty of time if we like to use it. I'm going to get up at six every morning. I sha'n't fail for want of trying, and if I miss this I'll win something else. My mind is made up! I'm going to buy that microscope!" Robert tossed his head and looked ferocious, while Peggy peered in his rugged face, and womanlike admired him the more for his determination.

They lingered in the garden discussing details, planning out the work, and arranging as to the different books to be overlooked until the tea hour was passed, and Mrs. Asplin came to the door and called to them to come in.

"And nothing on your feet but your thin slippers? Oh, you Peggy!" she exclaimed in despair. "Now you will have a cold, and ten to one it will fly to your throat. I shall have to fine you a penny every time you cross the doorstep without changing your shoes. Summer is over, remember. You can't be too careful in these raw, damp days. Run upstairs this minute and change your stockings."

Peggy looked meek, and went to her room at once to obey orders; but the mischief was done, she shivered and could not get warm, her head ached, and her eyes felt heavy. Mrs. Asplin looked anxiously at her in the drawing-room after dinner, and finally called her to her side.

"Peggy, come here! Aren't you well? Let me feel your hand. Child, it's like a coal! You are in a fever. Why didn't you tell me at once?"

"Because I—really, it's nothing, Mrs. Asplin! Don't be worried. I don't know why I feel so hot. I was shivering only a minute ago."

"Go straight upstairs and take a dose of ammoniated quinine. Turn on the fire in your room. Max! Robert!{195} Oswald! Esther! Mellicent! will everyone please look after Peggy in the future, and see that she does not run out in her slippers!" cried Mrs. Asplin in a despairing voice, and Peggy bolted out of the door in haste, to escape before more reproaches could be hurled at her head.

But an alarm of a more serious nature than a threatened cold was to take place before the evening was over. The young people answered briefly, Mrs. Asplin turned back to her book, and silence settled down upon the occupants of the drawing-room. It was half-past eight, the servants had carried away the dinner things, and were enjoying their evening's rest in the kitchen. The Vicar was nodding in his easy-chair, the house was so quiet that the tick of the old grandfather clock in the hall could be heard through the half-opened door. Then suddenly came the sound of flying footsteps, the door burst open, and in rushed Peggy once more, but such a Peggy, such an apparition of fear, suffering, and terror as brought a cry of consternation from every lip. Her eyes were starting from her head, her face was contorted in spasmodic gaspings for breath, her arms sawed the air like the sails of a windmill, and she flew round and round the room in a wild, unheeding rush.

"Peggy, my child! my child! what is the matter? Oh, Austin—oh! What shall we do?" cried Mrs. Asplin, trying to catch hold of the flying arms, only to be waved off with frenzied energy. Mellicent dissolved into tears and retreated behind the sofa, under the impression that Peggy had suddenly taken leave of her senses, and practical Esther rushed upstairs to search for a clue to the mystery among the medicine bottles on Peggy's table. She was absent only for a few minutes; but it seemed like an hour to the watchers, for Peggy's face grew more and more agonised, she seemed on the verge of suffocation, and could neither speak, nor endure anyone to approach within yards of her mad career. Presently, however, she began to falter, to draw her breath in longer gasps, and as she did so there emerged from her lips a series of loud whooping sounds, like the crowing of a cock, or the noise made by a child in the convulsions of whooping-cough. The air was making its way to the lungs after the temporary stoppage, and the result would have been comical if any of the hearers had been in a mood for jesting, which, in good truth, they were not.

"Thank heaven! She will be better now. Open the window and leave her alone. Don't try to make her speak. What in the world has the child been doing?" cried the Vicar wonderingly; and at that moment Esther entered, bearing in her hand the explanation of the mystery—a bottle labelled "Spirits of Ammonia," and a tumbler about an eighth full of a white milky-looking fluid.

"They were in the front of the table. The other things had not been moved. I believe she has never looked at the labels, but seized the first bottle that came to her hand—this dreadfully strong ammonia which you gave her for the gnat bites when she just came."

A groan of assent came from the sofa on which Peggy lay, choking no longer, but ghastly white, and drawing her breath in painful gasps. Mrs. Asplin sniffed at the contents of the tumbler, only to jerk back her head with watery eyes and reddened lids.

"No wonder that the child was nearly choked! The marvel is that she had ever regained her breath after such a mistake. Her throat must be raw!" She hurried out of the room to concoct a soothing draught, at which Peggy supped at intervals during the evening, croaking out a hoarse, "Better, thank you!" in reply to inquiries, and looking so small and pathetic in her nest of cushions that the hearts of the beholders softened at the sight. Before bedtime, however, she revived considerably, and her elastic spirits coming to her aid, entertained the listeners with a husky but dramatic account of her proceedings. How she had not troubled to turn the gas full up, and had just seized the bottle, tilted some of the contents into a tumbler in which there was a small portion of water, without troubling to measure it out, and gulped it down without delay. Her description of the feelings which ensued was a really clever piece of word painting, but behind the pretence of horror at her own carelessness, there rang a hardly-concealed note of pride, as though, in thus risking her life, she had done something quite clever and distinguished.

Mrs. Asplin exhausted herself in "Ohs!" and "Ahs!" of sympathy, and had nothing harsher to say than—

"Well, now, dearie, you'll be more careful another time, won't you?" But the Vicar's long face grew longer than ever as he listened, and the lines deepened in his forehead. Peggy was inexperienced in danger signals, but Esther and Mellicent recognised the well-known signs, and were at no loss to understand the meaning of that quiet "A word with you in the study, Mariquita, if you please!" with which he rose from the breakfast-table next morning.

Peggy's throat was still sore, and she fondly imagined that anxiety on its behalf was the cause of the summons, but she was speedily undeceived, for the Vicar motioned towards a chair, and said, in short grave sentences, as his manner was when annoyed—

"I wish to speak to you about the event of last night, my dear. I am afraid that you hardly realise the matter in its true light. I was not at all pleased with the manner in which you gave your explanation. You appeared to imagine that you had done something clever and amusing. I take a very different view. You showed a reprehensible carelessness in trifling with medicines in the dark; it might have caused you your life, or, at best, a serious injury. As it was, you brought pain upon yourself, and gave us all a serious alarm. I see nothing amusing in such behaviour, but consider it stupid, and careless to an almost criminal extent."

Peggy stood motionless, eyes cast down, hands clasped before her, a picture of injured innocence. She did not say a word in self-defence, but her feelings were so plainly written on her face that the Vicar's eyes flashed with impatience.

"Well, what have you to say?"

Peggy sighed in dolorous fashion.

"I am sorry; I know it was careless. I am always doing things like that. So is Arthur. So was father when he was a boy. It's in the family. It's unfortunate, but——"

"Mariquita," said the Vicar sternly, "you are not sorry! If I had seen that you were penitent, I should not have spoken, for you would have been sufficiently punished by your own sufferings, but you are not sorry; you are, on the whole, rather proud of the escapade! Look into your own heart and see if it is not so?"

He paused, looking at her with grave, expectant eyes, but there was no sign of conviction upon the set face. The eyes were still lowered, the lips drooped with an expression of patient endurance. There was silence in the room while Peggy studied the carpet, and the Vicar gazed at her downcast face. A moment before he had been on the verge of anger, but the sternness melted away in that silence, and gave place to an anxious tenderness. Here was a little human soul committed to his care—how could he help? how best guide and train? The long, grave face grew beautiful in that moment with the expression which it wore every Sunday as he gazed around the church at the beginning of the sermon, noting this one and that, having a swift realisation of their needs and failings, and breathing a prayer to God that He would give to his lips the right word, to his heart the right thought to meet the needs of his people. Evidently sternness and outspoken blame was not the best way to touch the girl before him. He must try another mode.

"Peggy," he said quietly, "do you think you realise what a heavy responsibility we laid upon ourselves when we undertook the care of you for these three years? If any accident happened to you beneath our roof, have you ever imagined what would be our misery and remorse at sending the news to your parents? About their feelings I do not speak; you can realise them for yourself. We safeguard you with every precaution in our power; we pray morning and night that you may be preserved in safety; is it too much to ask that you will do your part by showing more forethought, and by exercising some little care in the daily duties of life? I ask it for our sakes as well as your own."

A faint pink flush spread over Peggy's cheeks; she gulped nervously and raised her eyes to the Vicar's face. Twice her lips opened as if to speak, but the natural reserve, which made it agony to her to express her deepest feelings, closed them again before a word had been spoken. The question was not answered, but a little hand shot out and nestled in Mr. Asplin's with a spasmodic grip which was full of eloquence.


"Yes, dear, I know you will! I know you will!" he said, answering the unspoken promise, and looking down at her with one of his sweet, kindly smiles. "It will be a comfort to my wife as well as myself. She is very nervous about you. She was upstairs three times in the night to satisfy herself that you were well after your fright, and is too tired herself to come downstairs this morning. She is always bright and cheery, but she is not very strong. You would be sorry to make her ill."

No answer, only another grip of the hand, and a sudden straightening of the lips as if they were pressed together to avoid an involuntary trembling. There is something especially touching in the sight of restrained emotion, and as the Vicar thought of his own two daughters, his heart was very tender over the girl whose parents were separated from her by six thousand miles of land and sea.

"Well, now, dear, I have said my say and that is an end of it. I don't like finding fault, but my dear wife has thrown that duty on my shoulders by being too tender-hearted to say a word of blame even when it is needed. Her method works very well, as a rule, but there are occasions when it would be criminal to withhold a just reprimand." The Vicar stopped short and a spasm of laughter crossed his face. Peggy's fingers had twitched within his own as he spoke those last two words, and her eyes had dilated with interest. He knew as well as if he had been told that she was gloating over the new expression, and mentally noting it for future use. Nothing, however, could have been sweeter or more natural than the manner in which she sidled against him, and murmured—

"Thank you so much. I am sorry! I will truly try," and he watched her out of the room with a smile of tender amusement.

"A nice child—a good child—feels deeply. I can rely upon her to do her best."

Robert was hanging about in the passage, ready, as usual, to fulfil his vows of support, and Peggy slid her hand through his arm and sauntered slowly with him towards the schoolroom. Like the two girls, he had been at no loss to understand the reason of the call to the study, and would fain have expressed his sympathy, but Peggy stopped him with uplifted finger.

"No, no—he was perfectly right. You must not blame him. I have been guilty of reprehensible carelessness, and merited a reprimand!"

(To be continued.)




I first made Belinda Ann's acquaintance at a social evening at a club in Bethnal Green to which I had been invited by the lady who had instituted it.

In my innocence and ignorance (for at that time I was unacquainted with the manners and customs of the East End) I took my little roll of music in my hand, thinking I should be expected to contribute to the evening's entertainment; but on arrival I found that this was not necessary, as the girls were quite capable of amusing themselves and us too.

On certain occasions a fixed programme was arranged and carried out by friends from the West End, but this happened to be an "off night," when the members did pretty much as they pleased, my hostess leaving them to their own devices entirely, and not interfering unless their spirits threatened to get too boisterous.

As she truly said: "You cannot expect the same manners and etiquette here that you find among Lady Clara Vere de Vere and her friends at their aristocratic club near Grosvenor Square, but my girls have a great sense of honour and chivalry, and a word from me is generally sufficient."

The club-room was at the back of a large, old-fashioned house which at one time, long, long ago, stood in its own extensive grounds in the midst of a peaceful, rural neighbourhood.

Now it was hemmed in on all sides by streets and houses teeming with life, and the only relic of its former grandeur left was a tiny piece of ground in front.

Still, a certain air of aristocratic calm hung about it, and after my recent long drive through the hot, crowded streets, I breathed a sigh of relief when the front door closed behind me and I found myself in the spacious entrance-hall.

I followed the neat maid-servant (herself an East Ender born and bred) along this out into a little paved yard, which we crossed, and up a flight of break-neck stairs into the club-room.

It was a long, narrow apartment, with a low platform at one end, and the wooden walls were hung with gay-coloured bunting interspersed with various flags, a few pictures from Christmas numbers, and some framed texts.

Odd strips of carpet, matting and rugs, covered the floor and on these stood small tables laden with magazines, books and games, while little chairs stood here and there not in stiff rows but in conversational attitudes, so to speak.

A fixed bench ran all round the walls, a piano (rather the worse for wear inside and out) stood in one corner of the platform, and a few plants in pots disguised by crinkled paper completed the furniture.

Judging from the noise that greeted me when I entered, the lungs of Belinda Ann and her friends were in fairly good condition, and I felt distinctly alarmed as I advanced, for they all turned and stared at me with one consent, making frank and audible remarks on my personal appearance and dress.

The room was crowded with girls, tall and short, dark and fair, fat and thin, very few of whom were playing games or reading, but all of whom were chattering as fast as their tongues would let them.

I was relieved when the lady who had invited me stepped forward to shake hands and at once piloted me up the room (for she knew I wanted to learn all I could about my East End sisters) whispering as she went, "I'm going to introduce Belinda Ann to you. You'll find out all you want to know from her," and next minute I found myself deposited next a girl who surveyed me with a mixture of good-humoured contempt and watchful suspicion.

The first was due to my small size, the second to a lurking conviction that I wanted to patronise, or as she afterwards expressed it, "Come the toff over her."

As soon as she found out I was far from wishing to do this, she became more friendly, and assured my hostess that she'd take care of the "lydy."

Belinda Ann was a head and shoulders taller than myself and broad in proportion, although she was only eighteen. She possessed a quantity of black hair which came down to her eyebrows in front in a thick, straight fringe and was beautifully bright and clean. Brown eyes looked fearlessly at you from under the fringe, and her whole manner was that of a girl who, ever since she could walk, had had to fight for herself and protect herself, and had done it too.

You couldn't imagine anyone taking a liberty with Belinda Ann, although she was hail-fellow-well-met with everyone.

She might be a little rough in her manners, and not always too refined in her speech, but Belinda Ann had a heart of gold, was as true as steel to her friends, and thoroughly enjoyed life, taking the sweet with the bitter, spending money royally when she had it, and cheerfully going without when times were bad.

This evening she was attired in a peacock-blue cashmere and plush dress, which had seen its best days, almost covered by a large apron, not so clean as it had once been, and surmounted by a limp black straw hat adorned with some dejected-looking black feathers without a vestige of curl about them, and various dirty white flowers which flopped aimlessly over the brim.

I noticed that her boots were strong and good, and that near her lay a thick, handsome shawl, and in time I learnt that these two items of dress rank next in importance to the famous feathers, and that every true East Ender insists on having them of the best quality, and pays a good price for them.

Belinda Ann, meanwhile, having exhausted{197} her interest in me, was turning to exchange "chaff" with her other neighbour, when, with an inward gasp, I plunged boldly into conversation.

"Do you come here every evening?" I asked.

"Depends!" was the abrupt answer, given in an off-hand, defiant sort of way which characterised her manner with strangers. "P'raps I do an' p'raps I don't!" and her look so plainly added, "What's it to you?" that I refrained from pursuing the subject.

"You all seem very lively," I hazarded next, with a look round.

"So you'd be to get a chance to do somethin' beside work!" was the fierce reply.

This made a capital opening to the question I was longing to lead up to, namely, "What do you do all day?"

"Oh, I'm engyged in chemistry," was the proud reply, accompanied by a visible swelling of her whole person.

"Chemistry!" I ejaculated, rather awe-struck at finding her so clever.

"'Ere, don't you believe 'er!" struck in a fair, florid girl next her on the other side. "She's bluffin' yer! She only sticks the lybels on the bottles at the cord-liver oil factry over the wy."

Whereupon Belinda Ann, with perfect good-humour, made a grab at the other's hat and a friendly little tussle ensued, accompanied by shrieks of laughter and a brisk interchange of chaff.

As soon as this interlude was over and they had once more settled down, I took up the thread of conversation again.

"And are all these girls engaged in sticking——I mean, in the chemistry?" I inquired.

"No," she retorted; "some's jam an' some's pickles, but the jams are a low lot!" and the air of inexpressible scorn with which she said it would not have disgraced a West End beauty alluding to another, "who is not in our set, my dear."

I began to think my hostess had made a mistake in assigning me to Belinda Ann, as the latter seemed more disposed to snub me than anything else, and I was rather relieved when the piano struck up and the girls began to dance.

There were no men present, but this did not at all interfere with their happiness, and I sat lost in amazement at their extraordinary agility and wonderful steps.

Belinda Ann (or as I heard her friends call her, Blinderann) was in no wise behind the others, and sprang hither and thither with the best.

My hostess sank into a seat beside me and murmured apologetically—

"I let them do this to work off a little of their exuberant spirits, for they would never sit still a whole evening, and would fight probably if they had no other outlet. Some nights, if there is any specially good concert or entertainment, I allow each girl to bring one male relative or friend, but oddly enough they don't often avail themselves of the permission. On an informal evening like this, when there are only girls, I don't think a little physical exercise does them any harm, and it tires them out so that they will listen to anything I have to say to them afterwards. If I drew the rein too tight, they would all disperse to the four winds and I should never get hold of them again."

I agreed, and presently seeing a girl leaning up against the wall, I plucked up courage and asked her if she would care to have me as a partner.

She seemed slightly surprised, but consented graciously, and we took a few turns together.

I flattered myself I had got on fairly well, and felt so elated at my success that by-and-by I sought Belinda Ann, who was fanning herself vigorously with her hat, and requested the pleasure.


Her answer rather stunned me.

"No, thank'ee. I've been watchin' yer an' your style won't do fer me!"

Before I had time to reply she was off again, taking part in some very pretty figures in which narrow coloured ribbons were plaited and unplaited as the girls holding the ends moved hither and thither.

As soon as everyone was thoroughly tired and disposed to sit quiet for half an hour or so, a girl (a stranger from the West End like myself) was asked by the hostess to play something, and accordingly, thinking as I should have done, that they preferred lively tunes, sat down and began to rattle off some "catchy" popular airs.

She was unceremoniously stopped by Belinda Ann—

"'Ere, we don't want that rot!"

"Oh," mildly replied the unfortunate pianist, not quite knowing what to say; "I thought you liked variety?"

"No, we don't," retorted the other, misunderstanding her and thinking she meant the music hall close by; "the V'riety costs tuppence an' we can't 'ford it."

"Well, what would you like?" was the inquiry.

"Give us 'We are rout on the ocean syling,' or 'God be with you till we meet agyne,'" and this request being complied with, these favourite hymns were shouted out at the top of their voices, Belinda Ann's in particular being like a clarion.

After this a diversion was created by one of the "pickles" volunteering a recitation which she gave with a good deal of dramatic power; then another girl sang a little song, and Belinda Ann followed with a second, and so the evening wore away to its close; but I felt dissatisfied, for I seemed no nearer attaining my object than before.

Taking the opportunity, I forcibly detained Belinda Ann as she was drifting by, and diffidently observed—

"You've told me what you work at, but how do you amuse yourself?"

"'Ow? There ain't much difficulty 'bout that!" she returned scornfully. "There's this sort o' thing, an' bank 'ollerdys, an' weddins, an' funerals, an' launchin' ships, an'——-"

"I wish you'd let me go with you to some of these!" I eagerly interrupted.

She looked dubiously at me for a minute, thinking I was joking, but seeing I was in earnest, remarked casually—

"Well, I don't mind ef I do, but it's a bit rough sometimes fer the likes o' you."

"Oh, I sha'n't mind," I joyfully replied. "When can I begin?"

"A friend o' mine's goin' to be married the dy after ter-morrer," she said graciously. "I could get yer an invite, if yer liked."

"Do!" was my ecstatic response. "Where shall we meet?"

"'Ere," she returned. "Yer can't go wanderin' about these streets by yerself, an' it wouldn't do fer your grand friends to see me a-knockin' at your door!"

I was trying in vain to assure her that she was quite wrong, when she suddenly rammed her hat viciously down on her head, slung her shawl round her like a woollen whirlwind, and with the brief remark, "G'night," was gone. I also soon afterwards took my leave, having first told my hostess about the proposed expedition.

She looked a little anxious, but her face cleared when she heard that Belinda Ann was coming with me.

"That's all right," she observed, with a sigh of relief. "She's to be trusted to see that you come to no harm; but don't leave her for a minute, and don't wear jewellery or carry much money."

I promised, and went home full of anticipation at the idea of the new world about to open before my delighted eyes.

(To be continued.)





After the death of Jean D'Albret a hundred years or more passed before any Queen distinguished herself specially as a needlewoman, and by the time Queen Mary, Princess of Orange, came to the throne, needlework as an employment for the high-born had quite gone out of fashion.

She, however, seemed to have the love of it born in her. Every hour not occupied with devotion and business was spent by her in all kinds of needlework; in fact, she worked so well and so constantly that one might have supposed she was earning her daily bread.

She regarded idleness as the greatest corrupter of human nature, and she believed that if the mind had no employment it would create some of the worst sort for itself.

She tried to impress this upon the ladies of her Court, who had fallen into sad habits of idleness which, she assured them, not only wasted their time, but exposed them to many temptations.

It was to remedy this and to imbue them with her love of work that she assembled her ladies every day and worked with them for two or three hours, and while thus employed, one was appointed to read aloud some interesting book.

As usual, the Queen's example was followed by all classes of women and girls in the kingdom, and it became as much the fashion to work as it had been to be idle.

This example came in the very nick of time, for it was stated on good authority, that "women had become quite mischievous from lack of employment."

This action of the Queen, which seems but a small thing, was in reality a great step towards bettering the age.

For proofs of this Queen's own beautiful work, one has only to go to Hampton Court Palace where much of it is still to be seen.

(Before leaving the seventeenth century, I should like to mention a quaint fact. It is, that a Catherine Sloper is buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey—date 1620. Her epitaph is, "Exquisite at her needle." I thought it so curious, standing alone as it does.)

Coming to the middle of the eighteenth century, we find a group of royal needlewomen, most of whom found help and comfort in the art of needlework.

What, for example, would poor Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI., have done without it in prison, or Josephine, wife of Napoleon, in her retirement, or Queen Charlotte in her domestic sorrow?

To begin with Marie Antoinette. She was devoted to needlework, even in her happy and prosperous days. In her own private room at Versailles the low chairs surrounding that in which she usually sat were always full of workbaskets and bags containing wools, silks, and canvas; these, together with the beautiful designs for the tapestry, were bought at the firm of Dubuquoy.

The Queen's hands were never idle; she was like a busy bee always at work even when chatting with friends and visitors or waiting with her bonnet on for the King to walk with her.

Not only was she clever at embroidery and tapestry, but she could both mend and make her dresses, her mantles, and under-linen; she could also trim her hats and mend her shoes.

Madame Elizabeth, her sister-in-law, who was with her all through her sorrow, was equally clever with her needle, and the two together have left some beautiful work in silk and wool on canvas.

When she quitted her life at Versailles, she did not give up her needlework; but inquietude and anxiety assailed her as she feverishly sorted her wools in the Tuileries, hearing all the time the menaces and threats of the howling crowd outside.

Both in the Tuileries and in the Temple the Queen and Madame Elizabeth did very simple work, that is to say, work not requiring concentration of thought, which would have been impossible for them under the circumstances. One can picture them, silent and sad, with heads bent and speaking little, while their needles passed in and out the canvas watered with tears.

Yet so long as they were allowed to work there was some comfort left them, something wherewith to beguile the time.

Pauline de Tourzelle, the daughter of the governess, was taken with the Royal Family when they were imprisoned in the Temple, but she had no dress save that she had on. As some of Madame Elizabeth's clothes had arrived, she gave the girl one of her dresses, but it did not fit her, therefore the Queen and Madame Elizabeth set to work and re-made it.

One of the pieces of work Marie Antoinette did in the Temple fell into the hands of the Bernard family at Lille, by whom it is greatly treasured.

The account of the way the Royal Family passed their time in the Temple is very pathetic. When at four o'clock the King slept in his arm-chair, the Queen and Princesses worked at their tapestry or knitting, while the little Dauphin learnt his lessons, and after the King had retired for the night they mended their clothes or those of the King and the Dauphin.

It is stated that the King's coat became ragged, and as Madame Elizabeth mended it, she had to bite off the thread with her teeth, as the scissors had been taken away.

So long as they were allowed to employ themselves with needlework there was comfort for them, and yet more, for by their work they were able to keep up some sort of correspondence with their friends outside the prison. It is just possible that the jailors had a suspicion of this. Anyhow, the time came when all their sewing materials and tools were taken from them and they were desolate indeed.

Subsequently when Marie Antoinette was removed to the Conciergerie, a place of confinement of the lowest order, her suffering was greatly increased at not being allowed to work. The jailors refused even knitting-needles. At length the thought came to her of drawing out some threads from the stuffing of her bed, which, with two wooden skewers, she knitted into garters.

Some of the work done by Marie Antoinette and Madame Elizabeth during the last two years of their lives is still in existence, and consists of hangings six feet by four. The groundwork of the tapestry is in black wool, with bouquets of flowers, roses, pinks, and convolvulus, on coarse canvas.

Some of these hangings were acquired by Rome in 1881.

The Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon Buonaparte, both loved and excelled in the art of needlework, and it certainly was of the greatest possible comfort and solace to her during the years of her retirement.

Like Marie Antoinette, she always worked at her embroidery or tapestry when receiving her most intimate friends, and chatting with them late in the evening.

After her separation from Napoleon she took up her abode in beautiful Malmaison, where, between botany and needlework, she spent most of her time. The hangings of the saloon were entirely her own work, and the exquisite furniture of her drawing-room was upholstered in embroidery and tapestry worked by herself and her ladies in previous happy years.

Needlework was not infrequently put on one side during the evening hours, in order that Josephine, her ladies, and guests, might make lint for the Sisters of Charity, who were greatly in need of it for the wounded soldiers.

We now come to our Queen Charlotte, wife of George III. Had it not been for the intense delight she took in the cultivation of decorative needlework, the art itself might have been forgotten.

She was not only very fond of needlework, but exceedingly anxious that the Princesses should excel in the art.

In the room where she usually sat with her family were some cane-bottom chairs, and as an amusement in their play hours she taught the little Princesses the different stitches on this rough substitute for canvas. As the children grew older a portion of each day was devoted to needlework, and with their mother for teacher they became very accomplished needlewomen.

The Queen herself embroidered the dresses which the Princesses wore on the coming of age of the Prince of Wales. They were white crêpe embroidered with silver.

She worked several sets of chairs, which are now at Frogmore and Windsor. These she did in her early days. Later in life she employed herself almost entirely with knitting.

The Princess Royal, when only ten years old, was such an accomplished needlewoman that she worked a suit of rich embroidery for her brother, the Prince of Wales, which he wore on his birthday.

Queen Charlotte used to find the strict English Sunday hang heavily on her hands. Her industrious fingers "ached," as she said, "for employment. If I read all day my poor eyes get tired. I do not like to go to sleep, so I lock my door that nobody may be shocked, and take my knitting for a little while, and then I read a good book again."

Her chief delight was needlework. When in the morning the weather was unfavourable, her Majesty occupied herself with needlework, and in the afternoon she worked while the King read to her.

When it was known that the British troops in Holland required flannel waistcoats to screen them from the severe cold and insalubrity of the soil, the Queen Charlotte sent to London immediately for a large quantity of flannel, and she and the elder Princesses cut out several dozens on the very day it was sent. The poor in the neighbourhood of Windsor were employed in making the waistcoats.

One of her most important acts in connection with needlework was the establishment of an institution for training and educating in an accomplished manner the daughters of poor clergy and decayed tradesmen.

She purchased a house and grounds in Buckinghamshire, where a lady of high attainments was placed at a salary of £500 a year to instruct the pupils in plain needlework, embroidery, and tapestry.

The work done in this institution was exquisite. For example, the dresses worn at Court on New Year's Day, 1787, by Queen Charlotte and the two elder Princesses were made there. The state bed of Queen Charlotte, together with several ottomans now in{199} Hampton Court Palace, which are highly-finished pieces of embroidery, were executed by the pupils in this school.

Few people knew how much good Queen Charlotte did in a quiet way.

One never thinks of Catherine II. of Russia as devoting any time to needlework, yet we find that she worked and presented to Voltaire a likeness of herself, which he placed in his chamber at Ferney. It is still in existence in Ferney, but very much faded, and instead of hanging on the wall as formerly in the place of honour, it is now placed in a dark corner of the room.

Once again needlework took a back place until our Queen Adelaide introduced it as a fashion, and required of all ladies who were invited guests at her Court that they should be good needlewomen, otherwise she could not receive them.

It was a bold thing to do even for a queen, but it turned out well, causing ladies who took it up for convenience to become skilled workers and to like the occupation. Queen Adelaide herself was a beautiful needlewoman, and set an example to all her people.

Thus we have seen how our queens have kept alive the useful and ornamental art of needlework—an art invented by woman and kept going by her for the necessities, comfort, and ornament of the whole peoples of the world.

Dr. Johnson says: "Women have a great advantage, viz., that they may take up with little things without disgracing themselves; a man cannot except by fiddling." I suppose he refers to needlework.

It is an occupation that allows the thoughts and tongue of the worker full liberty; indeed, it is woman's pretty excuse for thought.

We have noted its power in the lives of the highest of the land—how it soothes sorrow, calms the troubled mind, and causes solitary hours to pass more pleasantly, and, as asserted by some rude man, it keeps us women out of mischief. But whatever it does or does not do, it is without doubt a gentle, graceful, elegant, and feminine occupation.

These papers would not be complete without mentioning the work of our dear Queen Victoria, who in her moments of leisure knits warm garments for the poor. These may be seen in many a cottage round about Balmoral.





The journey from San Francisco to San Miguel, some six hundred miles, we took by steamer, and it was the most delightful episode of all our Californian experiences. It was the month of April, and with exquisite weather; the sea was like a pond, so calm and still; the sun was not too hot, and there were numberless interesting living things to watch as we moved along the summer sea. Several enormous whales went past, generally in couples, their great fat backs rising out of the water side by side, and passing our boat swiftly and with the greatest ease, when we would see them in a few moments, far in the distance, spurting up big fountains of spray. Not far off from the whales were generally flocks of the tiny whale birds, which seemed to use these monsters as their jackals, feeding greedily on the shoals of fish they drive before them, so greedily indeed, that many of them were too gorged and heavy to rise out of the water and our way, but, after a helpless attempt, would duck under only just in time. The flying fish were more alert, and would rise away out of the water, going many yards through the air before dropping again into the sea, and glittering with every rainbow colour in the sunshine.

The coast scenery is not beautiful; it is too bare and dry-looking, especially after passing Santa Barbara, but the glamour of the southern sun is over everything, and gives all a caressing smile, at any rate, from a distance. It was a delight to see these wonderful effects again, and we felt glad to be once more in the warm sunshine.

When we arrived at the bay of San Miguel late in the afternoon of the fourth day, it looked so radiantly beautiful in the soft glow of the setting sun, as if it might indeed be the gate into a real land of promise; a land flowing with milk and honey.

It is a splendid bay, and the position of the town is quite ideal, and though the most has not been made of its possibilities, many improvements are going on steadily. Given money and taste, it should be one of the most lovely places in the world.

We found comfortable rooms in a boarding-house, and settled down to rest awhile from searching and questioning. The boys went to school as in San Francisco. These free State schools are exceedingly good. The teachers are among the most charming ladies we have met, and the plan of using the same books, and the same system of teaching all over the State, saves much loss of time, since a child coming to a new school can at once be placed in exactly the same position where he left off, in his former school, some three hundred miles away.

But in spite of our determination to let ourselves drift for a time, we were very soon drawn into the same old probing and exploring, more especially as we were delighted with the climate of San Miguel. On the strength of this, and because our English hearts were hungering for some place more homelike than any boarding-house can ever be, we took a little house, hired the necessary furniture, and began our first experiences of Chinamen as general servants.

We had the most wonderful procession of Celestials through the little kitchen before we left that wee house. There was no room convenient for the Chinaman's bedroom, without giving him one close to our own, which was not to be thought of, so the arrangement was, that when supper was over, and the work done, he should retire to Chinatown, coming back in good time in the morning to get breakfast and do his other duties. He seemed quite pleased with this plan, and we got along swimmingly for a fortnight. Then he dropped the news casually to me that he was going to Los Angeles the next day. When I exclaimed at the shortness of the notice, he beamed all over, and said, "Me bling other boy, him allie lightie, him stay."

Before I had quite made up my mind what to do, I heard breathless jabbering in the kitchen, and on going in there, was introduced by Sing Lee to Quong Wong, our new cook. Both of them were very friendly and smiling. No. 1 was showing No. 2 where everything was kept, and giving him what sounded like most eloquent instructions about his duties, both of them being very grave and business-like over this. I did not seem to be needed, and so quietly went back to the sitting-room. Supper was prepared and cooked by the two together to an unending accompaniment of Chinese chatter.

This was the beginning of the procession. Some men stayed a week, others three weeks or a month, and each brought and carefully installed his successor, I taking no part whatever, except to learn a new Chinese name. We had tall fat fellows, tall lean ones, little dumpy ones and spare wiry ones; all of them clever and quick beyond anything I had ever seen or known. They keep themselves exquisitely neat, in their white linen coats and aprons, which seem always to remain spotless. Their hands are perfectly fascinating; such delicate tapering fingers, and such a masterly way of touching everything. One member of the profession, I remember, who had the most dainty taper fingers, was very fond of music, and, seeing that I was interested, sat down very simply at my Broadwood grand (the only piece of furniture which we had brought from Frisco) and played some hymns quite nicely. He used to sing, too, at his work—all day—in a curious high falsetto, of which he seemed very proud. He had learnt to play the piano at the mission schools, where many of them go, and are converted—so they say. But they find the free lessons in English, which are given there, so cheap and convenient, that their motives in being converted are rather mixed. When he left me, it was to go the very next day to San Francisco on most important business, so he said. That, of course, was only the usual way of giving notice, and did not prevent his greeting me smilingly whenever I chanced to meet him in the streets of San Miguel. He came to the rescue also, when, through some hitch, the chain of succession was broken, and I was left to struggle alone in my little kitchen, and he stayed with me till he could find another "boy." I began to be haunted by a story I had heard often repeated. A certain lady was much puzzled and distressed because she could never keep any Chinaman beyond a few days; they would arrive, smiling and seemingly much pleased with everything, but invariably on the third or fourth day they would insist upon leaving at once. At last, in despair, the poor mistress persuaded her Chinaman to explain the mystery to her, before he had carried himself and his bundle away.

He led her to a dark corner of the kitchen, and showed her some Chinese writing high up on the wall, which be interpreted, "too much talkee here." That was all. But it had been enough to upset all the comfort of the household.

Probably after that she took the hint and let her Chinaman do the work in his own way, with as few words or instructions from her as possible. They are so marvellously clever in taking up the work of a new place the very moment they arrive, exactly as though they had been always in this one house only, that it is no wonder they resent any interference; and the sooner one learns to leave them entirely to themselves, the sooner one reaches some kind of peace.

However, I found to my relief, that no secret sign had gone out against myself or the house; the difficulty was the long daily walk to Chinatown. With their small feet and uncomfortable shoes, they are all bad walkers, and each in turn had tired of the effort, and handed the place over to a friend. This explanation, kindly given me by Mr. Kee Mane, who kept the Chinese stores, lifted a weight from my mind, and I resigned myself to continuing my lessons in fresh Chinese names.

(To be continued.)






'Twixt snow and snow in their poor apparel
The singers come with their lightsome carol,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day.
The singers come in a huddled crowd
Singing "Gloria" low and "Gloria" loud,
On Christmas Day in the morning.
Under the tread of so many feet
Snow turns mud in the lamplit street,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day.
Yet you may see while the dawn endure
Shining footsteps from door to door,
On Christmas Day in the morning.
Shining prints of a little child,
Feet in the mud set, undefiled,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day.
A little while do the footprints stay
Till the clear dawn deepens to rosy day,
To Christmas Day in the morning.
And those who have looked on the footprints bright,
They know, in the dusk 'twixt day and night,
(On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day,)
That Christ has passed with the passing feet
Of folk that praised Him in carols sweet
On Christmas Day in the morning.


By JEAN A. OWEN, Author of "Forest, Field and Fell," etc.



Can any pleasant moral lesson be learned from the spider? I fancy some of our readers asking—the spider, whom many regard as the most treacherous, cruel, and unrelenting of those creatures who lie in wait for prey? By the song "Will you walk into my parlour? said the spider to the fly," in the nursery, several generations of children have been early prejudiced against this useful and most intelligent insect.

When they are a little older, it is true, the spider is held up to them as a wonderful example of perseverance in that story of King Robert the Bruce, who, when he was banished from his country, lying in concealment in a miserable hovel, and considering whether it would not be well to give up the struggle to secure his own, and with it restore freedom to his country, was attracted by the sight of a spider hanging at the end of a thread and trying to swing from one part of the cabin roof to another in order there to fix its line. Six times whilst the King watched it attempted to do this and failed. The Bruce remembered then that he also had made just six attempts—that is, fought six battles with his enemies, and without success. "Now," thought he, "if that spider tries a seventh time and succeeds, I will take it as a good omen for myself, and will also try my fortune a seventh time." The spider reached the beam, and Bruce went forth to victory after victory.

The disgust aroused by the spider is by no means a just one, and the fear some people have of these insects is most unreasonable and absurd. In tropical countries the bites of some are dangerous, but not nearly so much so as is supposed. Our own spiders are harmless enough. I never destroy the webs they make in my garden, the circular nets which they stretch from one branch to another, which are considered by experts to show a perfection of weaving, whilst those webs which are woven in odd corners of our dwellings reveal an intelligence in their arrangement which is perfectly marvellous. I heard a clever man say lately that spiders were the greatest engineers in the world.

In some corner of your room you may study the horizontal net, covered with dust, perhaps, which is the base of the structure. Irregularly-crossed threads above this cause the prey to become entangled, and its end is inevitable. Most ingenious is the den in which the hunter is hidden in waiting. It consists of a circular tunnel with a double outlet. One of these, being horizontal, opens on to the web. The other is vertical, with a passage below, which serves as a trapdoor, whilst from the former the spider darts out on his prey. As soon as a fly has been destroyed—its blood sucked—it is seized by its captor and dragged to the tunnel to be thrown out at the trapdoor. This is no doubt lest the débris should alarm other flies. The hunter can also escape itself, when necessary, by this exit. This does not often happen, perhaps, and the main use of the trapdoor, says M. Pouchet, an interesting French naturalist, is to get rid of the remains of the spider's repasts.

"The poison apparatus of spiders," says the same author, "is precisely analogous to that of serpents, only it is of microscopic size. It possesses mobile teeth, hollow fangs which distil the poison into the wound, and this is secreted by a peculiar gland situated in the interior of the palpi attached to the under jaws which effect the bite. In the large tropical species this lethal fluid is so active that it kills in an instant animals of a far superior size, and is often employed against the birds which the spiders seize on the trees." The so-called Bird-eating Spider attacks the lovely humming-birds. It is called the Great Spider in South America, and its cocoon is three inches long and one broad.

Thinking of the creatures of prey and their quarry is always a painful subject. Yet we know surely that the all-wise Creator would not order the balance of nature to be kept up in this way if it involved cruelty. There is cruelty in some of the methods of vivisection—in the horrible way, for instance, in which one French scientist at least has studied and tested by torture how far a poor loving mother dog will bear being maimed, before it can be induced to leave its offspring. And there is a brutality, as demoralising to the men who have to carry out their master's orders in felling oxen for the market, as it is torturing to the poor beasts. Nature's methods of killing are, as a rule, mercifully rapid. It seems to be a part of the Creator's plan that some of His creatures should live on the rest, and "some," says a thoughtful writer on God's providence, "have suggested that such a state of things implies a reflection upon the Divine goodness, ... but by the means{202} now specified some classes of animals are held in check which would otherwise so multiply as to become an intolerable nuisance."

And so we consider with complacence the fact that the cat kills the mouse, the owl catches up the field vole and the beetle; the swallow rids the air of insect pests which would render life intolerable, the ladybird lives on the aphides that devour our plants—those fat green insects which destroy our roses and honeysuckle.

The spider does his own appointed work in a way which shows astute intelligence. Death is the common lot, and most of the creatures preyed on pass swiftly away in the full height of enjoyment without lingering sickness or decay. I have known a spider's web put to a very odd purpose by a lady I knew well in New Zealand, a very successful poultry rearer. When her chickens had "the pip," she declared that she cured them by a buttered pill consisting of spiders' webs. And I have known also Chinamen give dying men, as a last remedy, a tiny chicken pounded up in a mortar, bones, feathers, and all, and welded into a huge pill. They declared that it often cured when all else had failed. But this is a digression.

To return to our spiders. Besides the geometric spiders (sic) we have the gossamer spiders, little creatures that make floating webs in the air and on the ground in the autumn. These avail themselves cleverly of the currents of air in attaching their lines, raising their arms to test the direction of the light winds. Her webs are often destroyed by rain or wind, or broken by some large creature like a bee or a wasp getting entangled in one; but the patient worker is not so discouraged as to give up. She patiently fasts, until the damage is repaired. And spiders seem to be weather prophets, for it has been stated that when it threatens to become wet and stormy, the outdoor spider will make the threads which support its net short, but if they expect finer, settled weather, these will be long. As is the case with ants, some species are more provident than others, and one has been described which suspended its prey in the meshes above and below the centre of the net, having quite a well-stocked larder. In the Fen countries a raft of a ball of weeds, held together by slight silken threads or cords, is often observed, on which the spider floats down a stream in quest of drowning insects.

The "Mason Spider's" home consists of a hole several inches deep in the ground, and perfectly cylindrical. It is lined with hangings. The one nearest the rough sides is thick, and carelessly woven. Over this, like a skilful decorator, he places a hanging of fine silk, carefully wrought. The door or lid of this dwelling is furnished with a cushion of silk inside, whilst above it is made of the same material as the soil, so that when the master is at home there is nothing to reveal that fact, his door being closed. Layers of earth and silk compose the lid.

Kate Dalrymple, as the old Scottish ballad tells us, was "Aye eident and thrifty." Eident is a rare word, expressive of great perseverance and application. "To be called eident and thrifty" was the greatest commendation to the good graces of the desired mother-in-law. I am not sure, however, apart from this, that it is always a very desirable thing to be coveted as a wished-for daughter-in-law. A very shrewd friend of mine, a witty Scotchwoman, when young was told that the mother of one of her suitors was very anxious that she should marry him. "'Deed," said the girl, "I'd sooner marry a man whose mother was not so anxious to get him married." And she was quite right.

But to be persevering as well as brave, and to be gifted with physical energy and endurance, is a rare endowment for any woman. Mrs. Scott Gatty, in one of her stories, tells of a preacher who used to say, "Girls, be brave; boys, be pure." I used to hear this story many years before, as a child. It was told then of an old superintendent of a Sunday-school. He would say, "Boys, they bid you be brave and girls be pure; but I say, Girls be brave and boys be pure." Then the world would be far on in a better way than it is now.

"The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces," says the wise man in Proverbs xxx. 28. What a picture in a few simple words of the industry, courage and perseverance with which this little creature is gifted! and of the reward which would seem to be implied. Shall we seem to be straining the image if we allow our thoughts to be carried by this picture to the home of our heavenly King, where, as we are promised, our eyes shall see Him "in His beauty"? "To patient faith," says the hymn, "the prize is sure."

The spider, we might say, is essentially of an aspiring nature. She weaves her net high up in corners where the duster and broom of the busy housemaid will not easily reach her. She fasts long and is not drawn away from the spot where she expects to get the reward of her patience. Many of us can work hard and well by fits and starts, but we weary of sustained effort, and we are "found sleeping." Or like the pilgrims to the Celestial City we are tempted to stray and delight ourselves in flowery "Bypath meadows." Play, healthy recreation, we must have, but it must be such as helps us in the race of life and not such as weakens our purpose and hinders us from reaching the desired goal. I look back sometimes on the companions of my girlhood, and I must often acknowledge that certain boys and girls whom we were wont to reproach as being dull plodders, have beaten many of their fellows in the battle of life.

There is a species of spider which carries, attached to her body, a round, white, silky bag of eggs, just about as big as a pea. It is heavy, but nothing would induce the affectionate mother to part with it. The French naturalist, Bonnet, in order to test this love for her offspring, once threw such a mother spider into the hole of an ant-lion, in the sand where the great insect lay in hiding for its prey. The poor spider tried to run away but the ant-lion caught at the bag of eggs and tried to drag it under the sand. At last he succeeded in breaking the gluten by which her bag was attached to her. Instantly the spider seized this in her jaws and she struggled hard to bear it away. It was in vain however; her precious burden was dragged under. Then the poor mother might have escaped with her own life, but she preferred death to the loss of her offspring, and if the naturalist had not taken her out of the pit she would have been buried with them. She would not leave the spot however, although Bonnet tried to make her do so, by moving her with a little twig, over and over again. In reading this one cannot help wishing that she had not been so tortured. Some of our scientists, as I said before, have pushed their studies of moral qualities in the so-called brute world to a most unjustifiable extent, it would seem.

When the young of this affectionate mother are hatched, and they have got out of the bag where they were kept so safely, they attach themselves to her body. She carries them everywhere she goes and feeds them until they are able to fend for themselves.

Referring to persevering industry, we recall the pretty story of William Cobbett's courtship and marriage, as told by Dr. Smiles, from his "Life." Cobbett was a practical man, full of blunt common sense. When he first saw the girl who afterwards became his wife, she was only thirteen years of age, he being twenty-one, and at the time sergeant-major in a foot regiment stationed at St. John's in New Brunswick. Passing her father's door, on a cold winter's day, he saw the girl out in the snow, scrubbing a washing-tub. "That's the girl for me!" he cried, mentally, and he set about making her acquaintance. As soon as he could get discharged from the army, he determined that he would persuade her to become his wife. The girl returned to Woolwich with her father, who was also a sergeant-major, but in the artillery. The night before they left St. John's, her lover sent her a hundred and fifty guineas which he had saved, begging her to accept it, so that she might not be obliged to do any hard work until he also could return to England and marry her. She took the money, and it was five years before Cobbett obtained his discharge and was able to go to see the girl he loved. "I found," he said, "my little girl a servant of all work—and hard work it was—at five pounds a year, in the house of a Captain Brisac; and, without hardly saying a word about the matter, she put into my hands the whole of my hundred and fifty guineas unbroken." Soon afterwards they were married, and he delighted later in attributing to her "the comfort and much of the success of his after life." In his "Advice to young men" he drew from his wife his picture of a true and womanly helpmate, with "a vividness and brightness and, at the same time, a force of good sense that have never been surpassed by any English writer."

What Sarah Martin, who was left an orphan very young, and who as a woman went out dressmaking first at one shilling a day, was able to achieve in visiting and helping to reclaim poor prison women, and not only them but dissolute men and boys, loving, praying, and watching by them, you ought all to read fully. I think the story of her life was published by the Religious Tract Society. She gave six and seven hours to this work every day. For twenty years she did this without help or reward—her grandmother having left her ten or twelve pounds a year; the rest of her income coming from her hard work during part of each day as a dressmaker. At last the gaol committee told her that she must become their paid servant at twelve pounds a year or "be excluded from the prison." Although she shrank from this payment of her labours of love, she had to accept it, or give up her charge, and for two years she had that poor stipend until her health failed. She was in point of fact schoolmistress and chaplain and seamstress to the scum of Yarmouth. But what a reward was hers!

In my last paper I quoted Matthew Arnold's lines—

"Tasks in hours of insight willed
May be through hours of gloom fulfilled."

"Les beaux esprits se rencontrent," and it will perhaps interest some of you, as it has done myself, to hear that Professor Tyndall used to say of Professor Faraday that "in his warm moments he formed a resolution and in his cool ones he made that resolution good." We cannot all be active scientists or philanthropists, but let us end this little study by resolving that we will be less discouraged and hindered by difficulties in our own special work, or by the consideration of what we are apt to deem our unfitness for the appointed task, our own inadequacy, than we have hitherto been.

"With one hand work and with the other pray,
And God shall bless them both from day to day."

(To be continued.)




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



Roy did not soon lose sight of those words of Ivor—"Why, Roy, don't you know that you are the one bit of cheer left to us?"

He had not perhaps hitherto been more disposed to put himself into the place of another than most boys of thirteen; but the events of the last few months had tended to make him thoughtful; and close intercourse with Ivor could hardly fail to pull him mentally upwards.

Denham was not only considerably better educated and better read than the average young officer of his day—a matter for congratulation in respect of Roy's present education—but also his intellectual gifts were well above the average level. The main force of the man lay, however, rather in the direction of character than of pure intellect. There was about him a soldierly directness and simplicity, and a thoroughness which often belongs to that type of nature. Whatever might befall, he would do his duty, not only with no thought of consequences to himself, but in the most direct and complete mode possible.

He was a good man as well as a most gallant soldier, and that in the best sense of the word. He was one who might say little, but who would at all costs do what he believed to be right. He was honourable, true, pure-minded, chivalrous towards women, tender towards little children, reverent and faithful towards his God. He was indomitable in courage, when he faced a foe; but so soon as fighting ceased he would be the first to succour a wounded enemy. All this means largely, as has been earlier stated, that Denham Ivor had taken shape under the influence and the example of John Moore. Ivor was the pupil, Moore the master.

The prolonged banishment from England and captivity in France were a terrible trial to him; not only because he was cut off indefinitely from the girl whom he loved with whole-hearted devotion, but because also he was cut off in his young full vigour from every hope of promotion and honour, and debarred from serving under the Commander whom he loved with a devotion no less whole-hearted. Yet he seldom spoke about the greatness of the trouble. It seemed as if his spirit of soldierly obedience had taught him submission to the Divine Will.

It is easy to see that a friendship of this kind could not fail to be good for Roy. And the friendship was not such in name only, for there were advantages on both sides. Much as Ivor could do for the lad, in the way of teaching him and keeping him out of mischief, there was an opposite view of the matter. Roy, by his light-heartedness and his spirit of unconquerable fun, could and did do much to lighten the weight of the young Guardsman's wearisome captivity.

Thus far Roy had done it, not knowing. Now the fact had dawned upon him, as a novel idea, that he might be some little help to Ivor. He was delighted; yet almost immediately he found the task less easy than when he had carried it out unconsciously.

The journey from Fontainebleau to Verdun, a matter of one hundred and seventy miles or more, would be no great matter in these days of steam-power, but it was a considerable matter in those times of slow travelling. It seemed to weigh upon Ivor's spirits more than anything had yet weighed upon them; or Denham was less successful in hiding what he really felt. Mrs. Baron was brighter than for months past; her relief at not being forced to leave her husband or to part yet with Roy tending to cheerfulness; and Colonel Baron, glad to see her happy, was the same himself. Roy as usual was in good spirits. Ivor alone appeared to have parted with his elasticity. He did not give in to the mood of depression, but it was patent enough to Mrs. Baron, whose concerned gaze wandered often in his direction.

No one except Ivor himself could know the haunting vision of Polly Keene, which floated before his eyes, through all those miles of driving, driving, ever farther away from where he craved to be. He might respond readily to Roy's chatter; but so soon as silence recurred, up again would come that picture of Polly, with her soft velvet eyes, her delicate colouring, her arch smile. And then he would hear the tender yielding in her voice, as she confessed that she did like Captain Ivor—well, just a little! and that she might perhaps be willing to marry him—well, some day!

Out of this Denham would awake to the dreary flat of the surrounding country, in its wintry colouring; and the wonder would suggest itself—how many years might not creep slowly by before that could ever be? He might even grow old and grey in this miserable banishment before he should see Polly again. Why not?

In those times wars had been wont to last in one unbroken stretch, for such periods as seven years, ten years, twenty years, thirty years.

Would Polly be content to wait for him?

This question took him by surprise one day, with nothing especial to call it forth. Ivor had not before so much as thought of the reverse possibility. The idea that she might not be willing to wait came freshly; but having once come, it did not soon depart.

He never afterwards lost the impression of that moment. The scene around was deeply stamped upon his mind, in connection with the one thought.

They had just reached the end of a stage, and were entering a small town, where fresh horses would be in waiting. Ivor was listening to Roy, responding in a half-absent fashion, and gazing down the street, when, without prelude or warning, that query burst upon him.

Would Polly indeed be willing to wait? Did she care enough? She was very young; hardly more than a child in age. If he were to be years away from her, the two never meeting, letters seldom passing between them, could he expect—would it even be fair and reasonable to expect—that he should remain enshrined in her heart, as surely as she would remain enshrined in his? Polly had known him intimately but a few weeks, though their acquaintance extended farther back; and impressions made upon the mind and imagination at seventeen are not always deep or lasting. Moreover, Polly was exceedingly pretty, quite unusually charming. Other men would wish to marry her. Could he expect such constancy on her part, as to wait through long years for her absent lover, refusing every other chance that might present itself? What would her grandmother think and say? Polly, with all her charms, was a portionless maiden.

The whole question rolled itself out before Denham's mental gaze, as they drove along the chief street of the place, exciting less attention than commonly on such occasions. With his bodily eyes he saw little, yet in a manner he was aware that a considerable stir prevailed, and he heard, almost without hearing, Roy's rapid questions.

"I don't in the least know," he replied mechanically, as they came to a halt before the inn.


"Den, look! What a lot of people outside the maison de ville! What's it all about? And don't some of them look miserable? What are they after?"

"I have not the slightest idea. Something seems to be wrong. Easy to find out."

The mystery was soon explained. This happened to be a day appointed for drawing for the conscription; and around the door of the little town hall opposite were gathered the near relatives of the young fellows who were eligible. There was no mistaking the dread written upon their faces.

One woman in particular drew notice. She was bent and old in appearance, with grey hair, though very likely not beyond middle age; and she wore a short, very full skirt, with a long-waisted bodice, and big brass buckles on her shoes. From under the wide-brimmed hat her face waited with a consuming eagerness for news, the lips working, the eyes staring.

"I wonder if she's got a son. I hope, if she has, he won't be taken," exclaimed Roy. "What are they doing inside?"

"Drawing lots, to see who must go to the wars. All the young men in the neighbourhood, of a certain age, have been called together, probably; and then those who are passed by surgeons as whole and healthy are made to draw lots. Some will escape, and some will have to go."

"O look—they are coming out. And something is being said—what is it?"

"Hush—the names of those who are drawn."

All listened intently; and the elderly woman, clasping her worn hands, leant forward, with a face of concentrated suspense.

"Jean Paulet——" sounded clearly.

A bitter wailing cry burst from her, drowning what followed.

She held out wild appealing arms. "Mon fils! Mon fils!" she gasped, and dropped senseless to the ground.

"Can nothing be done?" exclaimed Mrs. Baron, in distress. "The poor creature! George, will they not let him off? Surely they need not be so cruel as to take him away!"

"I am afraid the only chance would be a substitute—and not much hope of that."

"Do ask. Find out something. Do, please."

Denham crossed the road with his rapid stride, followed closely by his shadow, Roy, while the Colonel came after in more leisurely style. The poor woman's friends were attending to her, and Ivor, always the Colonel's spokesman in a foreign language, made inquiries of a respectable man, perhaps a small shopkeeper, standing by. The man shrugged his shoulders as he replied. It had to be, he said, not unkindly but resignedly. All young men equally were subject to the conscription, and he who "fell" had to go. There was no escape, no remedy. None, except through the purchase of a substitute, and Marie Paulet, he feared, could not manage that. She was a good woman, truly estimable, and he was sorry for her, yes, sincerely sorry; but what was to be done? The First Consul required soldiers, and, in fact, he would have them! Another expressive shrug.

How much would be required for a substitute? Eh bien—one hundred livres would doubtless suffice. Mme. Paulet, foreseeing this day, had toiled hard and saved assiduously during many years; but with her utmost exertions, as he knew, for she had told him, she had managed to get together only fifty-five livres. No substitute could be obtained for only fifty-five livres. No, no, impossible! Jean would have to go, and his mother would grow used to it, like other mothers. How soon? Sans doute he would be marched away at once—immediately—to the nearest depôt, there to be exercised. The thing had to be. There was no remedy. All France was giving up her best men, by tens of thousands, to feed the Army. In parts already none but women and old men remained to till the soil.

Was Mme. Paulet a widow? asked Denham.

"Oui, oui, oui, oui," the man said, fast as the words could come. Certainly she was a widow; but then she was not over sixty, nor was Jean her only son. Had she been over sixty, and depending for her subsistence upon an only son, then vraiment her case would have been easily pleaded. Marie Paulet was under fifty in age, though she looked more, since she had toiled hard and had known much sorrow. She had a second son too, young and somewhat lame, but able to work, though in truth more of a burden than an assistance. Jean, however, would have to go. This was a supplementary conscription for the year, more men being urgently required by the First Consul.

Jean Paulet stood with a face of sullen despair beside his mother, saying not a word. He was scarcely over nineteen, only one fortnight past the day, Ivor's informant remarked; and he looked young, being loose-limbed and shambling, though broad-shouldered.

"Ask them how much they could make up among themselves towards the purchase of a substitute. Some may be willing to help."

Denham obeyed, and a discussion took place in raised voices. The two Englishmen waited gravely, Mrs. Baron watching affairs from the coach, while Roy stood close by, scanning the conscript with interested gaze. Marie Paulet sat upon the cold ground, weeping bitterly.

"About fifteen livres seems to be the outside, sir. They are poor here. It is a marvel how the woman has managed to save so much. But I am ready to give fifteen livres."

Colonel Baron's eyebrows stirred. "More than you can afford, I should have imagined, but you know your own business best. Well, tell them that if they can find a substitute for one hundred livres, you will give that, and I will give another fifteen. Of course, we can't wait now to see the end of the affair. Tell them we promise it on the word of an English gentleman—that's understood everywhere. Give our Verdun address to the Curé yonder—he looks an honest man. For my part, I doubt if a substitute can be procured, the drain on the country has been so severe of late. But they may succeed. Anyhow, it will soften matters a little to the poor woman. One rather grudges letting the money go into French pockets, but I defy anyone with proper sensibilities to stand out against that poor creature's misery."

Denham listened with his air of half-military, half-courtly, attention to this somewhat prolonged exposition of the Colonel's views. Then he explained what "Monsieur le Colonel Anglais" had said, failing to make clear his own share in the matter, though from no lack of power to express himself. The scene that followed was eminently French in its abandon of joy. One of the young men present, who was eligible but who had not been drawn—had not tombé, as the saying was—came forward, and offered for the sum of one hundred livres to go as the substitute for Jean Paulet. This settled matters; and without hesitation Colonel Baron produced notes for the amount he had named, Denham adding his own donation with a rapid movement, which drew no attention.

Whereupon enthusiasm rose to its height. The people of the town, with whom Marie and her son were plainly favourites, shouted their approval; while Marie crept close to Colonel Baron, knelt at his feet, sobbed out her wordless rapture, and even kissed his hands, to the Colonel's discomfiture.

"I say, Den, I'm going back to the carriage. Say whatever you choose to them. It's all right, but I vow this sort of thing doesn't quite suit a Britisher. And it strikes me you haven't made 'em understand that you're doing as much as I am. Tell 'em that, and talk as much as you think right, and then come along."

A murmur in French from Roy to Jean Paulet gave the further explanation, which would not have been forthcoming from Denham; and he had to submit to some of the vehement demonstrations from which his Colonel had basely fled. Denham endured them, with a certain reticent indifference of manner, which did not mean true indifference. A slightly quizzical smile stirred his lips, but the dark eyes, bent upon poor old Mme. Paulet, were infinitely kind.

Then he too made a move towards the coach; and Roy, lingering one moment more, held out a hand to Jean, who seemed half stunned with his unexpected escape.

"Bon jour, monsieur," the boy said frankly. "I'm glad you are not going to fight against the English just yet."

Jean muttered broken words—something of a faltering hope and prayer that a day might come when he should have it in his power, perhaps—who could tell?—to do some benefit for Monsieur le Colonel, or for Monsieur le Colonel's friend.


It seemed very unlikely—most unlikely—that he and these passing English prisoners should ever meet again, still more that he should be able to do aught for them. Yet most improbable events do take place in this world of ours. Roy had not that day seen the last of Jean Paulet.

As the coach started, in the midst of grateful acclamations, Marie Paulet held up mute hands, tears streaming down her faded cheeks. Such a look was hers, that even Colonel Baron was conscious of moisture in the region of his eyes, though by no means easily moved to outward emotion. Mrs. Baron was weeping outright, with the thought of what such a parting would be between Roy and herself. As for Denham—nobody managed to get a clear sight of his face for a quarter of a minute.

Then once more they were rolling along the interminable roads, Roy declaiming with boyish vehemence against Napoleon, and wondering whether Jean Paulet would ever again be drawn, and would have after all to go. They found a good deal to say on the question, and for a while the interest of the subject kept them going.

But Denham's mind, like a spring slowly released, went back before long to the one engrossing question, which for a space had been thrust into the background. Would Polly indeed wait for him—no matter how long his imprisonment might last? Or would she grow tired of waiting, forget his love and some day become the wife of another?

He could not look that possibility in the face with any sort of inward composure. It held him in thrall, both day and night, through the remainder of this wearisome journey.

Roy was perplexed, during the last two or three days of their progress towards Verdun, at Ivor's absorption of mind. For the first time in his experience, his remarks failed repeatedly to reach the other's understanding. So new a phase of matters was bewildering. Not, however, till they were within three hours of Verdun did he note his friend's face with sufficient care to exclaim—

"I say, Den, I do believe you're tired! Are you?"

"Been a dull companion to-day—have I?"

"Why—but, Den!" Roy spoke in accents of amazement. "You never used to be anything of that sort! You never usen't to have anything at all the matter with you."

"Didn't I? All right—what do you want me to look at now?"

"Is it because you're a prisoner? Do you know, I couldn't get to sleep last night for ever so long—not till past eleven—thinking about it all. I say—don't you hate old Boney? I do. He makes everybody unhappy. Just think of that poor Marie and her son; if you and papa hadn't been there, she would have lost Jean, and perhaps she'd never have seen him again. Wasn't it horrid? And I don't see how men can fight properly, when they don't want to fight at all. Our soldiers fight, because they choose, not because they're made to whether they want it or not. I'm sure Jean didn't want to be a soldier, or he wouldn't have been so glad to get off."

Mrs. Baron leant across to say softly, "Roy, do leave Denham in peace for a little while."

"Why, ma'am, he likes me to talk. He always says so."

Mrs. Baron looked again towards Ivor, with a dubious expression.

(To be continued.)


"Willie only took a Horse."

Horse-stealers in our time are a good deal handicapped by a change that has come over public opinion. The Government used to hang them, but the populace were by no means horrified at the crime.

Here is a story indicating considerable former leniency in popular thought. A horse-coper "took" a horse and was discovered and convicted, but owing to some assistance he had given the police, he received a light sentence.

He settled in a Norfolk village, turned an honest stock-breeder, and prospered greatly; but there was always a rumour that he had been convicted of some sort of stealing.

A farmer's daughter, however, fell in love with him and he asked her from her father.

"No," said the old yeoman; "I've nothing against you, but no child of mine shall wed a man who has been in trouble for stealing."

The daughter cried and implored, and at last sobbed out, "Willie only took a horse."

"Why," exclaimed the farmer, "didn't ye say so before! Here have I been treating a respectable man as if he had been a thief!"

The Dead Defunct.

A learned weaver, in stating his case before the provost of Irvine in Ayrshire, in the days when hand-loom weaving was a leading industry in that town, having had occasion to speak of a party who was dead, repeatedly described him as the defunct.

Irritated by the iteration of a word which he did not understand, the provost exclaimed—

"What's the use o' talking so much about this child you call the defunct? Cannot ye bring the man here and let him speak for himsel'?"

"The defunct's dead, my lord!" replied the weaver.

"Oh, that alters the case," gravely observed the wise provost.

The Art of Conversation.

"Tell me," pleaded the artless maid, "wherein lies the secret of the art of conversation."

The sage struck the attitude he was wont to assume when in the act of imparting wisdom and said—

"My child, listen!"

"I am listening!" breathlessly she answered.

"Well, my child," he rejoined, "that is all there is in the art of conversation."

How to be free from Discontent.

A philosopher offered sacrifice every day in the temple of Jupiter and made always the same prayer.

At last Jupiter grew tired of hearing over and over again the one request and said, "What would you have?"

"I crave to become a contented man," replied the philosopher. "Never yet have I enjoyed a really peaceful day, for I have never been entirely contented. Even now, aged as I am, there is always something that I long for."

"Consider well what you ask," said the god sternly; "there is but one way in which you can secure the boon you seek."

"And what is that?" asked the philosopher eagerly.

"I must strike you dead; for in death only can man be free from discontent."

"Upon consideration," replied the philosopher, "I think I should be better contented to remain discontented."

And so saying he put on his hat and hastily withdrew from the temple.

Don't be Discouraged.

"Trust yourself to God who calls you,
Then no harm can e'er befall you;
Don't be discouraged. Do the right,
And day will chase away your night."

How she showed her Gratitude.

The present Bishop of Gibraltar, Dr. Sandford, tells the following story. When a young man, and a shy, very shy curate, he called to see an old woman among his parishioners, who complained to him that all she had to live on was half-a-crown a week which she received from the parish.

"And out of that, sir," she went on, "I have to pay two shillings for rent, a shilling for firing, sixpence for bread, fourpence for——"

"Stop, stop, my good woman," said the young curate, "you can't pay all that out of half-a-crown."

"Yes, sir, but I do," she persisted, "I pay——" and she ran through her accounts again.

Finding she was not to be convinced of her arithmetical errors, and that she was both poverty-stricken and deserving, Mr. Sandford promised to send her an extra half-crown on his own account each week.

"For this she rewarded me," says the bishop, "by coming much more regularly to church, but to my horror she never caught my eye while I was in the reading desk or pulpit without promptly jumping up and bobbing me a little curtsey to show her gratitude. Imagine my feelings as a shy young curate."

How The Ducks were Taught.—An officer in the British navy tells us that on one of his voyages, he saw a Chinaman, who kept ducks for a living, practise an odd piece of ingenuity. In the daytime the ducks were permitted to float about on the river, but at nightfall they were carefully collected. The keeper, when it began to grow dark, gave a whistle, when the ducks always flew towards him with violent speed, so they were all invariably safe at home in less than a minute. How do you suppose he had educated his flock so effectually? He always beat the last duck.




"Her air, her manners, all who saw admired;
Courteous though coy, and gentle though refined.
The joy of youth and health her eyes displayed,
And ease of heart her every look conveyed."

This well-known magazine of ours, the dear old "G. O. P.," is read wherever in this wide world the English language is understood, and it is this very fact that puzzles and worries me a good deal when I am commencing to write a paper for my readers. You see it is like this: things I may say, and advice I may give, may not suit everyone, as the "G. O. P." finds its way into cottage as well as mansion-house. I have seen its welcome face while travelling in my caravan, in many a stately home in England and in many a feudal castle in bonnie Scotland; and I know too it is read by the farmer's fireside in this country and by the ingle-side in the far north, when the snow-wind goes howthering round the house and mourns in the chimney like the sound of sea and wind on a surf-beaten shore.

And I "dinna forget" either that I have many thousands of lassies in the city, who have but little time to open it till eventide or even till Sunday itself.

Nor do I forget that the things I tell girls at home here to do, may not altogether apply to those in Australia or Africa. Never mind, I try to do my best. Who can do more?

And now, first and foremost, I must wish you all a very healthy New Year. This is from my heart. Dinna forget that. For, if you have health, you are bound to have happiness, so long as shocks of grief and real sorrow keep aloof. Even then, if you are strong, you will be better able to withstand these, than if you were chicken-hearted and weakly.

There is one symptom of weakness, by the way, that is often over-looked. A girl may be as fresh and bonnie as a thistle or a rose, yet if she is too sensitive and too sentimental she cannot be really well. Over-sensitiveness may be caused in a good many ways, but it is very apt to lead on to hysteria, and this is a very serious ailment.

Not going to Repeat.

I am not going to repeat to you all the various rules of health I have already, in these columns, laid down scores of times, for the very best of dishes may be served up once too often.

Just one thing, however, I must mention, and you may consider me talking figuratively or not, as you please.

I have a pet swift—the biggest kind of swallow that visits this country—but, being a pet, he never leaves me more than twelve hours at a time, and in that brief space he may have flown one thousand miles, and perhaps visited the rooms of more than one hundred of my girl readers. He can speak various languages almost as well as Rougemont, and a little nearer to the truth, and I sit up to listen to him sometimes till long past twelve at night.

Dinna forget to look out for my birdie. He can see you when you little know of it. But one thing which he has recently told me is that a very large number of you have given up your bath, to which I fondly fancied I had inured you. This vexed me a deal; but you will promise to begin it again very soon, won't you? It is the greatest invigorator of the muscles and nervous system in the world. So "dinna forget."

Colds and Coughs.

Dinna forget that colds and coughs are rampant about this time of the year. I am writing these lines long before Christmas, and I have been prophesying for England an open winter. But dinna forget that a green Yule makes a fat kirkyard, and colds are more easily caught from the green cold earth and the damp cold winds than even from frost and snow. The more you are out-of-doors in snow-time—which ought to be glow-time—the better you will be, provided you are not too warmly and heavily clad and do not wear india-rubber clothing in any shape or form.

When a cold comes on, take a warm drink or posset of some kind at bed-time and eight to ten grains of Dover's powder. Get thus a good sweat and a good sleep. Then take an aperient (apenta water) next morning, but I advise you to remain in bed till eventide. This is one of the best ways of cutting short a cold that I know of.

But if coughing continues, you must see a doctor. Coughs may be far more dangerous than you think, and may lead to mischief. Dinna forget that death respects neither beauty nor sex. Indeed, it is often the sweetest flowers of earth that leave us first.


A great many young ladies from seven to seventy complain about this terrible trouble in some form or another. If it is what we call hemi-crania, engaging, if I may use the term, the whole half of the face and head, it may proceed from a bad tooth, or from what is the worst sort of a tooth anyone could be plagued with—a tooth with one small hole in the side. Have this seen to as soon as the first attack has gone. Probably a clever dentist may be able to fill it for you. Some girls go hurrying away to the dentist at once, have gas, and have it out. Such a pity, for as you get older what a blessing you will find your own teeth!

Thank Heaven, I have never worn a false tooth, but it strikes me the sensation can be far from agreeable. If one uses the toothbrush, with a good disinfectant powder, such as borax or charcoal, followed by a rinse of water tinged red with permanganate of potash (and this is usually sold as Condy's fluid), she will have teeth that will last as long as they're wanted.

But what I wish to tell you here is this: apart from actual decay of a tooth and consequent irritation of the nerve, a girl need never have facial neuralgia, nor sciatica, nor any other "algia" if she but lives in such a way as to make herself hardy as a heather stem. Dinna forget that.


Dinna forget that medicines are, as a rule, but palliative, and to call them curatives is, in nine cases out of ten, a very great misnomer. All doctors will tell you the same; but they are exceedingly useful and even most necessary at times. Only dinna forget that they do not repair, nor rebuild the framework of our bodies. Only good, well-chosen food can do that. But, as it does not do to eat when you are not hungry, because then the stomach and other organs are too delicate to digest, you must get up an appetite by exercise, recreation and fresh air.

I don't want you to go about as if you were an invalid. That will make you worse, and your friends will pretend to pity you, and this acting on your mind will soon make you an invalid in earnest. No, keep up bravely and do not complain. Fate will then say—

"Oh, there is no frightening that girl to death! She doesn't scare worth sixpence. Look at her now, on her bit of a bike, with her lips like a half-cut cherry, and the rose tint upon her cheek. Bah, I'll go and try to frighten someone else!"

Then your nerves are re-strung, muscles get hard, you grow a biceps, and every ache and pain flies away to the Back o' Bell-Fuff.

At this time of Year.

At this time of year many girls whose nerves are finely strung suffer from hypochondriasis, or lowness of spirits, more especially if the ground is soft and the sky grey and ugly.

The real hypochondriac is more or less verging on lunacy, because she has delusions. Nothing seems to go right with her, nothing ever will be right again. There is no beauty anywhere in life, which, taken on the whole, is a great big fraud. Why was she ever sent into this world at all, at all, against her will? She is sure she didn't wish to be born, and she wishes she were well out of it. She is sad, melancholy, abstracted, and does nothing with any will.

Well, what shall we do with a girl of this kind? What say you, mother? Medicine? Was that what you suggested? Well, medicine, even if she could swallow the whole pharmacopœia, would do her no more good than a pinch of snuff; in fact, not so much, for the snuff would make her sneeze, and that would help her for a time. She must have a change.

"A change, a change, and many a change,
Faces and footsteps and all things strange."

Dinna forget that. If she cannot get away, she must get a new fad of some kind. Only there is one thing, mother, which pray dinna forget. You must never let her think that you think she is ill. You've got to draw her away from her imaginary miseries, and all will soon be well.

"What would you prescribe for my daughter?" a lady once asked me. "She must eat."

"Then let her have a Shetland pony," I replied abstractedly.


"A Shetland pony, and a young one. Oh, not to eat, to ride on, and make a general favourite of. For a time the pony will manage her; then with love and a tiny switch she will learn to manage the pony. After that the fun will begin, and her imaginary troubles will all fly away."

In a month or two the cure was complete, and I used to see the girl—she was young—careering across the common, her bonnie yellow hair and the pony's mane streaming{207} out in the wind and her face as merry as a May morning.

Does Winter damage Beauty?

It need not, if beauty is only looked well after. But how shall it be? Not by powders and paint, dear young readers—dinna forget that. Leave rouge and the rest of it to Miss So-and-so and all the other "quite old things" whom you know. Be ye natural; unless, indeed, you have some real blemish. Dinna forgot you have youth on your side, and youth and beauty are almost synonymous terms. You like Miss So-and-so very well indeed, and my swift has just told me she heard you make the following remark the other day to a companion—

"Know Miss S.? Oh, yes; have known her for ages. Poor, dear, old thing, how well she makes up!"

Well, hug the happiness you possess in being young, to your heart of hearts; but a little tinge of sadness must mar it at times, when you remember that you too must get older and be fain to assume the attractions you shall then no longer possess.

But beauty in winter? Well, it must be kept up, and can only be kept up by rational means. If you expose yourself to high cold winds while biking or driving, you may spoil your complexion for weeks to come. I declare I should hardly like to enter the breakfast-room with such a cold as your own folly has brought you, accompanied by watery eyes that blink at the sunshine, and that wicked, wee red nose. Well, exposure is unnecessary, so we shall leave that alone.

Next comes ablution and clothing. If you care a French penny for the beauty you possess, you will be careful as to both. If you won't, can't or sha'n't take your bath, dinna forget to have very frequent changes of underclothing. But in some form or other thorough ablution is imperative.

Food comes next. Never touch stimulants. I know some young ladies do, but it is the biggest mistake in the world, quite an elephantine error. Dinna forget that. As regards solid food, the more solid it is the better; and you should now—unless stout—have plenty of sugar and fatty food. Potatoes and other starchy foods should be taken also. You want to keep up the strength? Sugar is power! Dinna you forget that.

Dinna forget this either: that pudding after dinner helps to spoil the complexion. Have fruit instead. A little vaseline—cold cream at night will preserve the skin. You need nothing else. Good-bye! Dinna forget!


By H. MARY WILSON, Author of "In Warwick Ward," "In Monmouth Ward," "Miss Elsie," etc.


Towards the end of a busy morning Sister Warwick was cheered by the bright face of her youngest sister, who had come up for a day's shopping, and who appeared in the ward for a few moments.

She went with a smile and something sunny to say to the bedside of the one or two patients she remembered to have seen during her last visit. Mrs. 13 she asked after with special interest, and paused with sudden gravity to look at the lines on the suffering face, just now at rest in sleep.

She knew Mrs. 13's story, and her heart burnt within her as she recalled it. How she longed for those who say that the sweating system of ill-paid and unwholesome work is a thing of the past to stand where she stood and see for themselves!

Presently the warm-hearted girl had other thoughts—still kind ones—in her pretty head. She begged her elder sister to come into her room and see what she had put there.

Oh, such a glorious basket of roses!

Sister Warwick plunged her face among them and sighed her enjoyment, not only of the scent, but because they had come from home, and because a dear mother's hands had helped to cut and pack them there.

"They are not for the ward or the patients this time," said the eager young voice. "Mother and I thought of it together. We want one to be laid on each of the nurses' plates at dinner to-day as a little surprise. Do you think Miss Jameson would say 'Yes' if I took them to the Nurses' Home?"

"Of course she would, dear! Only try! And how I wish you could hear what the nurses will say and the look on their faces when they see a pretty, gay table where there is usually a desert-plain of white china! It is a nice thought!"

"Well, mother and I have come to the conclusion that you working-women want freshening with a flower sometimes as well as the rich folk. We mean to do it again some day. Oh, and there are quite enough to go all round, I hope, and to leave a supply for the Sisters' dinner this evening. We weren't going to leave you out, you poor, tired old thing. You look rather washed out, dear."

There was an anxious question in these last words.

Sister Warwick told her a little about her disturbed night, and got a loving kiss of sympathy. Then the merry girl bustled away, leaving behind her an atmosphere the brighter for her coming.

Who more than hospital nurses appreciate these short-lived breaks in their lives, these little visits from their own people that flash sunshine and warmth into the dark corners?

And the flowers too. What would hospital life be without the flowers? Have we not already seen some of the many happy uses to which they may be put?

The typhoid—No. 10—was a poor flower-girl. She had not failed to notice how the nurses loved the fair blossoms, and with reviving life her warm little heart filled with gratitude for the tenderness and care she had received. She could only think of one vent for her feelings.

"Look here, Sister," she said. "I generally stand at the top o' Cheapside or thereabouts. Do come my way. I'll be looking out for you. And I'll give you such a bowkay!"

Susie, if she was inclined to fret for "mother" and "home," had a plucky little soul with which to greet other woes. Just to-day she was feeling it very perplexing that, in spite of a decidedly hungry appetite, she was knocked off her dinner altogether. She tried not to grumble, but her face was very wistful until Sister came and explained that the doctors wished it, and that in the afternoon she was to "have on a clean night-gown and such a pretty bed-jacket that is waiting in my room, and I shall tie up your hair with this nice piece of blue ribbon. We are going to take you to see the doctors instead of their coming to see you to-day. You know how kind they are, don't you, little maid?"

Susie had nothing but gentleness to remember, and fortunately she did not connect Sister's words with the great cruel lump on her leg that was sapping her little life and giving her those sudden sharp pains that often drew her little lips together with a pathetic "Oh!"

It was thus that Sister Warwick tenderly shielded the child as much as possible from the terrors of anticipating an unknown ordeal, and Susie went smiling in Sister's arms to the operating theatre. She only had one short moment of fear when she found herself laid on that very strange bed, with so many strange faces round her.

Then she went to sleep. She supposed so, for she opened her eyes again in the long, quiet ward, with the bright flowers on the table and Sister beside her, one hand resting on her curls, and the other holding her tiny wrist. Sister was smiling too. Seeing this, Susie guessed there was nothing to be frightened at, though down in her little heart she fancied she should have been afraid of something—she did not know what—if she had waked to find herself alone.

She drank the milk that was given her, and feeling drowsy sighed a "Good night, Sister," turned a very white little face sideways upon the pillow, and slept again—this time a natural satisfactory slumber.

Susie never realised what a blessed thing had happened to her during that confused time. For she was hardly old enough to connect that "going to see the doctors" with the fact that her "poor, poor leg," as she called it, grew rapidly well from that day.

Happy Susie, to pass so calmly through such a crisis in your life! and to lie in your little cot all unconscious of the interest you cause, not only to your doctors and nurses, but to all the elder women in the beds up and down this long room, who were well enough to enter into what went on around them. The flower-girl was one of these, and Mrs. 13 was another.

Patty, being a spoilt little mortal, expressed a wish that she too might "have a pretty hair-tie, and go to see the doctors with Sister." She was quite jealous of all the attention Susie was receiving, and thought herself neglected by contrast.

Sister laughed, and made it all right by saying:

"You shall do better than that, dear. Some day soon we will put you into the mail-cart, wrap you up in a pretty blue shawl, and you shall go under the trees in the gardens."

So Patty had the pleasure of anticipation, too.

(To be concluded.)




A New Correspondent.—1. Take a lukewarm bath every day. Where you perspire most profusely sponge the parts over with toilet vinegar and water. A very good way to check excessive sweating, especially if it is offensive, is to dust the inside of your gloves, stockings and sleeves with a powder consisting of ninety-nine parts of silica and one part of salicylic acid, finely powdered. Wash your feet and hands every night in warm boracic acid solution (two teaspoonfuls of boracic acid to the quart of water). Change your linen frequently during hot weather.—2. The voice of the girl does not alter so much as does that of the boy. It also "forms" more gradually, and there is rarely or never a distinct "cracking" of the voice of the girl like that which usually occurs in the boy. At nineteen years of age the speaking voice is fully formed, but the singing voice may go on improving till thirty or even later.

Daisy.—Anything which disturbs the health will cause a dark sallow complexion and dark rings round the eyes. Defective hygienic surroundings, lack of exercise or sufficient nourishment, overwork, or indeed anything which interferes with perfect health will cause a sallow complexion. The way to improve your complexion is to take plenty of exercise, eat well, and pay attention to the general laws of health. Cosmetics and other applications would make your face worse.

Daughter.—Your mother suffers from hay fever. Let her follow the advice we gave to Josephine last week. If this proves successful so much the better. But hay fever is a ticklish thing to treat, and but rarely does the first treatment tried effect a cure. Snuffs of various kinds are often used for this ailment. We have seen better results from snuffs containing menthol or aristol than from others. Very often a trivial surgical manœuvre, such as destroying a sensitive spot with a prick of the electric needle will permanently cure hay fever. Sometimes nothing seems to do any good. Hay fever is thought by some people to result from the pollen of flowers irritating the mucous membrane of the nose. This may be a cause in some cases, but it cannot be invariably the rule. As a matter of fact a large number of totally dissimilar affections are lumped together and called "hay fever," and so it is not difficult to see why the same treatment will not be of avail to every sufferer from this complaint.

Pussy.—Can indigestion be cured at home? Of course it can. Better at home than anywhere else. The person who told you that indigestion could not be cured without sea air is not a reliable authority. Attention to diet is everything in indigestion. Last year in The Girl's Own Paper we published two articles on indigestion. Let your friend read these, and also the answers to correspondents which deal with the subject of indigestion. We seem to be always discussing indigestion, nervousness or face spots. She must not eat apples either raw or cooked. She may relieve her constipation if necessary with a little liquorice powder or a teaspoonful of cascara sagrada. If your friend reads what we have advised, she will find all she needs to cure herself of indigestion.

Stavesacre.—We are thoroughly aware that this drug is used to destroy lice in the hair. It is not a drug which we would advise anyone to use. It is a violent poison, and in our experience it does not do what it is intended to do.

Mimosa.—1. It is hardly correct to say that "nearly every girl is anæmic." A great many girls do suffer from that malady, but "nearly every girl" is an exaggeration. We do not think that anæmia is on the increase, if you take into consideration the conditions under which girls live. Anæmia is always much more prevalent in cities than it is in small towns and villages. Consequently, as our towns grow larger, a greater number of girls get anæmia. In London we think that anæmia is slightly less common than it was formerly.—2. In severe anæmia the legs very often do swell. In the slighter grades of the affection they only swell after severe exertion.

Fond Mother.—There are few places in the world more deadly to Europeans than the Gold Coast. If you can possibly prevent your son from going to such an unhealthy place we strongly advise you to do so. Very few Europeans who have set foot upon "The White Man's Grave" recover their health when they return home. And it is but a small number that ever do return.

Pure Water.—You say that you have a porcelain filter. Do you mean a charcoal filter in a porcelain jar, that is, a cottage filter? or do you mean a filter in which the water is forced through porcelain? The latter kind of filter is thoroughly efficient. The former kind is far worse than useless. The question of the use and abuse of filters has been considered by two commissions. The latest commission was held last year. It dealt chiefly with the value of the pocket filters used by British soldiers. The report was very condemnatory.


Ben Bolt.—1. We smiled at your amusing French-English letter, but we can inform you that we only criticise the handwriting of our correspondents when we have been asked to do so. The request very usually accompanies the MSS. sent to us.—2. There is certainly room for improvement in your English prose, but we should judge you quite capable of making yourself competent to undertake translations.

Miss Hathway, whose society we have frequently mentioned, writes to say that her address is now Chambers' Library, Wokingham. Her "Excelsior Literary Club" for essays, stories, research, subjects of discussion, with criticism and prizes, originated in 1877. The second term of her classes for English subjects, French, and Italian, is now beginning. Terms (moderate) on application, with stamp for reply.

Agatha.—We feel much sympathy for you.—1. Your drawing is good, the shading being well managed for one who has never learned. We advise you to persevere.—2. Your writing is very clear and excellent, considering that you have to write lying on your back. We hope you will soon be stronger.

Ardchullary.—1. You have not given your quotation quite correctly—

"The light that never was, on sea or land,
The consecration, and the Poet's dream."

These magnificent lines are from a poem by Wordsworth, "suggested by a picture of Peele Castle in a storm." They mean the light of poetic imagination, which irradiates life, although it is not seen with the outward eye.—2. Your writing is neat and good, but the tails to your g's and y's, etc., are too long.

Bougie's Friend (Belgium).—1. We answered your first question some time ago.—2. In reply to your inquiry as to whether "there is no harm in flirting," we must tell you that there is a type of flirting which is distinctly vulgar, and does not elevate a girl in the eyes of the man who is amusing himself with her. On the other hand, it is only fair to say that some people apply the term "flirting" to very harmless and innocent gaiety and brightness, which is perfectly natural when young people meet together.


"Lys de France" writes to inform her many would-be correspondents that she has already made her choice. She adds, "You cannot imagine the pleasure your 'International Correspondence' has afforded me."

"Erica," Buda-Pesth, Hungary, has offers of correspondence from Miss Edwards, Bibbenluke, New South Wales; and Miss Green, G. M. King, Esq., Glen Rock, Spring Valley, Tarkastad, Cape Colony.

Marie Arapian has an offer of correspondence from Miss Julia Ina Fraser, Egypt House, Newmarket Place, Westmoreland, Jamaica.

Miss Fraser would "like to correspond with some nice ladylike girls about her own age (seventeen) in England, France and Italy, or India."

Miss Clarissa J. Ault and her sister would be glad to have a French girl correspondent of about their own age (nineteen to twenty-one). Address, Aulton House, Church Gresley, Burton-on-Trent.

Miss Emma L. Young is anxious to obtain a French correspondent aged twenty-one. Address, 2, Sans Souci, Harold Cross Road, Dublin.

"Poker," Cholwell House, Temple Cloud, Bristol, wishes to correspond with a French girl aged about eighteen, of good family. She suggests that "they should correct each other's letters."

Miss Lilian A. J. Slade, Lawn Villa, Crewkerne, Somerset, would like both a French and German correspondent aged about eighteen.

"One who is puzzled" wishes to correspond with Miss Florence A. Jeffery (New York). She should write to the address we gave.

Miss Violet Goodhart Godfrey, M.L.S., wishes for an American correspondent; she is eighteen next January. Will an American girl (either the one whose request we published on August 6th, or another) write to her at Ivy Hatch, Horsham?

Gertrude wishes for a French correspondent.

Clem wishes to exchange letters with a French, German, or Italian lady.

Miss E. Watkinson, Wanaka, The Vale, Chelsea, wishes to correspond with a young lady of her own age (twenty-four) in Canada.

Ignoramus wishes for a French girl correspondent of seventeen to twenty.

Dorothy Cross, Minterne, Cerne, Dorset, and Miss Madelina Pullin, The Parsonage Farm, Warminster, Wilts, wish to correspond with French girls aged about fourteen.

"Cissie," Southend, should send her full name and address.

"A Reader of the 'G. O. P.,' J. B. Ashford," a girl aged seventeen, wishes for either a French or German correspondent, or both. Address, 55, Marlow Road, Anerley, London, S.E.


Dombey.—We have not made the experiment ourselves, but we have heard that you may restore a faded photograph by placing it in a saturated solution of bichloride of mercury, leaving it in the bath for a few minutes, and then washing and drying it; of course it must be unmounted. There is another method; but whatever experiment you make should be first tried on one which is of no value to you. For our part, we should prefer to leave the photo in the experienced hands of a professional artist, and we cannot take any responsibility in giving the foregoing recipe.

Marta.—There is no cruelty attached to the trade in ostrich feathers. The birds are not killed, excepting only at Buenos Ayres, to provide the market with them; nor are they made to suffer from plucking like the poor geese, to supply quill pens. Each plume is cut with a sharp knife close to the skin, and this gives no pain any more than the cutting of our hair. The stumps wither and fall out; or after ten days may be removed. The greatest supply comes from the Cape; but they are also produced in Tripoli, Egypt, and Morocco. But the trade prices for birds has much gone down.

A. B.—The name "Collect," as applied to the short prayer employed before the Epistle and Gospel, simply expressed the fact that it has reference to the main subjects of the latter extracts collected together. The term "Bible" only meant "a book" in the time of Chaucer. It has been restricted in its application to the Divinely-inspired collection of writings, and the article "the" was super-added. And so the term "Scriptures" is employed with the definite article, to show that these writings are separate from all others; sometimes the word "holy" being further employed to mark them as standing alone, and in a rank superior to that of any others, however distinguished and authoritative.

Edith.—Should anyone step on your foot, or accidentally push against you, and apologise, say "Not at all, don't mention it." Do not say "All right," and certainly not the vulgar reply, "Granted," from which an inference could naturally be drawn that you considered an apology was due, which would not be complimentary.

L. E. Bird.—The initial letters placed on an invitation card—"R. S. V. P."—are those of the French words, Répondez, s'il vous plait, which, translated into English, means, "Answer, if you please." Your handwriting is scarcely formed, but very legible, and promises well for a running hand, with practice.

Beatrice.—You had better transact the business through the Exchange and Mart. Get one of the papers to see their terms (70, Strand, W.C., Office of the Bazaar. E. & M.).

Florence A. Jeffery.—A halfpenny of William and Mary, with plain edge, and the date under Britannia, "1694" (in copper) is worth from 1s. to 5s.; but some examples have sold for much more. Three halfpennies, one Irish, have been sold for £1 12s., but they were very fine specimens. Another of 1694, of bold work, extremely fine, realised £7 10s. A halfpenny of George II. is worth from 6d. to a 1s. The head of the date you name, "1754," is an old one.

H. Maxwell.—We must refer you to the 1st volume of The Oracle Encyclopædia (Geo. Newnes, Ltd.), page 619, where you will read—"In the old Church of St. Martin, built in the 12th or 13th c., Roman bricks and Norman sculpture have been worked-up in the walls!"

M. D.—We recommend you to dispose of the medical books through the Exchange and Mart (70, Strand, W.C.).

Silkworm might offer her silk for disposal through the medium of the above-named paper.

Lizzie.—The French obtained the soubriquet of "frogs" not because of their using these creatures as food, because we find that the southern Germans, Austrians, and Italians esteem the green ones in the same way, as delicacies of the table, but the name was derived from the original heraldic device of their kings, who bore on their escutcheons "three toads (or frogs) erect, saltent." In the year 1791, "What will the frogs say?" was a common phrase of the Court at Versailles, applied to the citizens of Paris. The site of this city was once a quagmire, or swamp, like that of London, and was called Lutétia, or "mud land," its inhabitants living like the frogs, in the mud. September 20th, 1885, fell on a Sunday.

C. W. N.—We like your "Reverie." It shows much poetical feeling; but a little flaw at the commencement might be corrected. The nave cannot be said to be "pierced" by the aisle, an arch, nor even by the column. They do not go through the roof. We do not say this satirically, but because the full and correct meaning of words must be remembered and strictly employed in their true sense.

May.—Hermanszoon van Rhyn Rembrandt was a Dutch painter and engraver; born in 1608, and died in 1669. If your picture be signed, it is valuable. Search the corners carefully for any initials, date, or mark. You do not name the subject.

Transcriber's note—the following changes have been made to this text: