The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX, No. 992, December 31, 1898

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Title: The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX, No. 992, December 31, 1898

Author: Various

Release date: May 19, 2016 [eBook #52104]

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. 992.]DECEMBER 31, 1898.[Price One Penny.

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




All rights reserved.]


We have already pointed out the simplicity of outline observable in old English cottages, and the absence of exaggeration and that disagreeable fussiness brought about by too much striving after the picturesque. It must not, however, from this be concluded that ancient village buildings are always plain and do not at times possess elegant ornamentation and graceful details.

The general outline, however, is always simple and quiet, for, as will be seen by the examples we give (two of the most elaborate cottages in England), the roof lines are very little broken up or varied.

The first of these buildings is at Clare in Suffolk, and the second is at Newport in Essex, the latter being one of the richest counties in England for cottage architecture, many of its villages retaining quite a mediæval aspect down to the present time.

We will now say a few words upon the methods of applying ornamental detail to cottages adopted in mediæval times, and we shall commence with those structures erected in "Post-and-pan" construction. We trust that our readers have not forgotten what is meant by the ugly-sounding expression "Post-and-pan," and regret that we are quite unable to discover or invent some more elegant name for this description of building. Some years back a number of architects and{210} archæologists were examined before a parliamentary commission. The commission objected to the words "Post-and-pan" being used in their report, and suggested to the witnesses that they should find some more scientific expression for this kind of work! It was found, however, impossible to invent any one which conveyed the idea so concisely and satisfactorily, so the old-fashioned name "Post-and-pan" received parliamentary sanction! This being the case, our girls need not scruple to use it, and may it not, after all, be as valuable for the formation of the lips as the "prunes" and "prism" of Little Dorritt?

There are several ways of applying ornamentation to "Post-and-pan" buildings. The first is to add mouldings, tracery or carving, to the doorways, windows, cornices, corbels and other constructive parts of the building.

The second is to arrange the "posts" in patterns by introducing curved beams amongst them, or other woodwork, forming a kind of tracery pattern.

The third is to adorn the "pans" (panels) either with stamped plaster-work called "pargeting," or with coloured plaster-work, or wood-carving.

The first of these methods is seen in the beautiful example which we have sketched at Newport in Essex: here it will be noticed that the bow window of the upper storey is adorned with wood tracery, and its corbel richly carved with figure subjects, all executed in oak. The "spurs," as they are called, which carry the projection of the upper storey, are richly moulded and rest upon elegant little colonnettes. The pans are filled in with brickwork laid in herring-bone patterns. The centre of the building is recessed back, but in order to preserve the severe and simple lines of the roof, the latter does not follow the line of the recess, but is supported upon an arched beam, from the centre of which projects a lifting-crane, a treatment quite peculiar to the home counties and the south of England.

Of course this building is far more elaborate than most cottages, and the tradition of the place accounts for this by the supposition that it was formerly the dwelling of a farm bailiff to the Abbot of Westminster.

The beautiful little village of Newport has several examples of interesting domestic work and a very noble church.

The building which we illustrate dates from the 15th century, and is still in excellent repair though not in any way restored.

The very elaborate cottage represented in our first sketch is an excellent example of pargeting, the surface of the pans being covered by a rich kind of shawl-pattern executed in hard plaster, like the Newport example. The constructive portions of the building are elaborately treated. We are unable to account for the amount of elaboration bestowed on this cottage, but as it is close to the church, which is a very handsome building and liberally endowed with chantries, it is very probable that this may have been the dwelling of one of the chantry priests.

Clare was an important place in the Middle Ages and possessed a castle, remains of which are still to be seen. Richard Strongbow, the Conqueror of Ireland, is said to have lived in it.

The Manor of Clare in later times belonged to Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March. There was also a priory here, built in 1248 by Richard, Earl of Gloucester.

A very curious poem exists in the form of a dialogue, "betwixt a secular askyng and a frere answering at the grave of Dame Johan of Acris" (of Clare). It is a quaint example of Old English and begins in rather a curious manner.

Q. "What man lyeth here, sey me, Sir Frere?"

A. "No man."

Q. "What ellis?"

A. "It is a woman."

Then follows her pedigree all in rhyme, from which it appears that she was a daughter of King Edward I., and the remarkable circumstance is stated, that she was borne of her "moder"!

As the poem is about three pages long and all pretty much like the sample we have given, we will not inflict it upon our readers.

H. W. Brewer.




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


Peggy felt weak and shaken for some days after her fright, and was thankful to stay quietly indoors and busy herself with her new task. The gas fire could be turned on in her room whenever she desired, and at every spare moment she ran upstairs, locked her door behind her, and began to write. Robert insisted that the work should be kept secret, and that not a word should be said about the competition downstairs, for he was sensitive about the remarks of his companions, and anxious to keep a possible failure to himself. All the work had to be done upstairs therefore, and the frequent absence of the partners from the schoolroom, though much regretted, did not seem at all inexplicable to the others. It was understood that Peggy and Robert had some interest in common, but as winter advanced this was no unusual occurrence in a house where Christmas was a carnival, and surprises of an elaborate nature were planned by every member of the household. It was taken for granted that the work had some connection with Christmas, and inquiries were discreetly avoided.

With an old calendar before her as a model for the lettering, Peggy did her work neatly and well, and the gilt "arabesques" had an artistic flourish which was quite professional. When Robert was shown the first half-dozen sheets he whistled with surprise, and exclaimed, "Good old Mariquita!" a burst of approval before which Peggy glowed with delight. It had been agreed that, after printing the first ten days of January, Peggy should go on to the first ten of February, and so on throughout the year, so that Rob should be able to use what quotations had already been found under each heading, and should not be detained until the whole thirty or thirty-one had been chosen.

The partners were most fastidious in their selection at the beginning of their work, but when half the time had passed and not one-third of the necessary number of quotations had been found, alarm seized upon the camp, and it was realised that a little more latitude must be shown.

"We shall have to use up all the old ones which we struck off the list," said Rob disconsolately. "I'm sorry; but I never realised before that three hundred and sixty-five was such an outrageously large number. And we shall have to get books of extracts and read them through from beginning to end. Nearly two hundred more to find; a hundred and fifty, say, when we have used up those old ones! It will take us all our time!"

"I'll get up at six every morning and read by my fire," said Peggy firmly. "If it's necessary I'll get up at five, and if I can't find bits to suit all the stupid old things, I'll—I'll write some myself! There! Why shouldn't I? I often make up things in my head, and you wouldn't believe how fine they are. I think of them days afterwards, and ask myself,'Now where did I read that?' and then it comes back to me. 'Dear me; I made it up myself!' If we get very short, Rob, there wouldn't be any harm in writing a few sentences and signing them 'Saville,' would there?"

"Not if they were good enough," said Rob, trying to suppress the laugh which would have hurt Peggy's feelings, and looking with twinkling eyes at the little figure by his side, so comically unprofessional, with her lace collar, dainty little feet, and pigtail of dark brown hair. "You mustn't get up too early in the morning and overtire yourself. I can't allow that!" he added firmly. "You have looked like a little white ghost the last few days, and your face is about the size of my hand. You must get some colour into your cheeks before the holidays, or that beloved Arthur will think we have been ill-treating you when he comes down."

Peggy gave a sharp little sigh and relapsed into silence. It was the rarest thing in the world to hear her allude to any of her own people. When a letter arrived, and Mrs. Asplin asked questions concerning father, mother, or brother, she answered readily enough, but she never offered information, or voluntarily carried on the conversation. Friends less sympathetic might have imagined that she was so happy in her new home that she had no care beyond it, but no one in the Vicarage made that mistake. When the square Indian letter was handed to her across the breakfast table, the flush of delight on the pale cheeks brought a reflected smile to every face, and more than one pair of eyes watched her tenderly as she sat hugging the precious letter, waiting until the moment should come when she could rush upstairs and devour its contents in her own room. Once it had happened that mail day had arrived and brought no letter, and that had been a melancholy occasion. Mrs. Asplin had looked at one envelope after another, had read the addresses twice, thrice, even four times over before she summoned courage to tell of its absence.

"There is no letter for you to-day, Peggy!" Her voice was full of commiseration as she spoke, but Peggy sat in silence, her face stiffened, her head thrown back with an assumption of calm indifference. "There must have been some delay in the mail. You will have two letters next week, dearie, instead of one."

"Probably," said Peggy. Mellicent was staring at her with big, round eyes; the Vicar peered over the rim of his spectacles; Esther passed the marmalade with eager solicitude; her friends were all full of sympathy, but there was a "Touch-me-if-you-dare!" atmosphere about Peggy that day which silenced the words on their lip. It was evident that she preferred to be left alone, and though her eyes were red when she came down to lunch, she held her chin so high, and joined in the conversation with such an elegant flow of language, that no one dare comment on the fact. Two days later the letter arrived and all was sunshine again; but in spite of her cheery spirits, her friends realised that Peggy's heart was not in the vicarage, and that there were moments when the loneliness of her position pressed on her, and when she longed intensely for someone of her very own, whose place could not be taken by even the kindest of friends.

Like most undemonstrative people, Peggy dearly loved to be appreciated, and to receive marks of favour from those around. Half the zest with which she entered into her new labour was owing to the fact that Robert had chosen her from all the rest to be his partner. She was aglow with satisfaction in this fact, and with pleasure in the work itself, and the only cloud which darkened her horizon at the present moment was caused by those incidental references to the fair Rosalind, which fell so often from her companion's lips.

"Everything," said Peggy impatiently to herself, "everything ends in Rosalind! Whatever we are talking about, that stupid girl's name is bound to be introduced! I asked Mellicent if she would have a scone at tea this afternoon, and she said something about Rosalind in reply—Rosalind liked scones, or she didn't like scones, or some ridiculous nonsense of the sort! Who wants to know what Rosalind likes? I don't! I'm sick of the name! And Mrs. Asplin is as silly as the rest! The girls must have new dresses because Rosalind is coming, and they will be asked to tea at the Larches! If their green dresses are good enough for us, why won't they do for Rosalind, I should like to know? Rob is the only sensible one. I asked him if she were really such a marvellous creature, and he said she was an affected goose! He ought to know better than anyone else! Curls indeed! One would think it was something extraordinary to have curls! My hair would curl too, if I chose to make it, but I don't; I prefer to have it straight! If she is the 'Honourable Rosalind,' I am Mariquita Saville, and I'm not going to be patronised by anybody, so there!" and{212} Peggy tossed her head, and glared at the reflection in the glass in a lofty and scornful manner, as though it were the offending party who had had the audacity to assume superiority.

Robert was one with Peggy in hoping that his people would not leave town until such time as the calendar should be despatched on its travels, for when they were installed at the Larches he was expected to be at home each week from Saturday until Monday, and the loss of that long holiday afternoon would interfere seriously with the work on hand. He had seen so little of his people for the last few years, that he would be expected to be sociable during the short time that he was with them, and could hardly shut himself up in his room for hours at a time. Despair then settled down upon both partners when a letter arrived to say that the Darcy family were coming down even earlier than had been expected, and summoning Robert to join them at the earliest possible moment.

"This is awful!" cried the lad, ruffling his hair with a big, restless hand. "I know what it means—not only Saturdays off, but two or three nights during the week into the bargain! Between you and me, Mariquita, the governor is coming down here to economise and intends to stay much longer than usual. Hector has been getting into debt again; he's the eldest, you know—the one in the Life Guards. It's a lot too bad, for he has had it all his own way so far, and when he runs up bills like this, everyone has to suffer for it. Mother hates the country for more than a few weeks at a time, and will be wretched if she is kept here all through the winter. I know how it will be, she will keep asking people down, and getting up all sorts of entertainments to relieve the dulness. It's all very well in its way, but just now when I need every minute——"

"Shall you give up trying for the prize?" asked Peggy faintly, and Rob threw back his head with emphatic disclaimer.

"I never give up a thing when I have made up my mind to do it! There are ten days still, and a great deal can be done in ten days. I'll take a couple of books upstairs with me every night and see if I can find something fresh. There is one good thing about it, I shall have a fresh stock of books to choose from at the Larches. It is the last step that costs in this case. It was easy enough to fix off the first hundred, but the last is a teaser!"

On Saturday morning a dog-cart came over to convey Robert to the Larches, and the atmosphere of the vicarage seemed charged with expectation and excitement. The Darcys had arrived; to-morrow they would appear at church; on Monday they would probably drive over with Rob and pay a call. These were all important facts in a quiet country life, and seemed to afford unlimited satisfaction to every member of the household. Peggy grew so tired of the name of Darcy that she retired to her room at eight o'clock, and was busy at work over the September batch of cards, when a knock came to the door, and she had to cover them over with the blotting paper to admit Mellicent in her dressing-gown, with her hair arranged for the night in an extraordinary number of little plaited pig-tails.

"Will you fasten the ends for me, Peggy, please?" she requested. "When I do it, the threads fall off, and the ends come loose. I want it to be specially nice for to-morrow!"

"But it will look simply awful, Mellicent, if you leave it like this. It will be frizzed out almost on a level with your head. Let me do it up in just two tight plaits, it will be far, far nicer," urged Peggy, lifting one little tail after another, and counting their number in dismay. But no, Mellicent would not be persuaded. The extra plaits were a tribute to Rosalind, a mark of attention to her on her arrival with which she would suffer no interference, and as a consequence of her stubbornness, she marched to church next morning disfigured by a mop of untidy, tangled hair instead of the usual glossy locks.

Peggy preserved a demeanour of stately calm, as she waited for the arrival of the Darcy family, but even she felt a tremor of excitement when the verger hobbled up to the square pew and stood holding the door open in his hand. The heads of the villagers turned with one consent to the doorway; only one person in the church disdained to move her position, but she heard the clatter of horses' hoofs from without, and presently the little procession passed the vicarage pew, and she could indulge her curiosity without sacrifice to pride. First of all came Lord Darcy, a thin, oldish man, with a face that looked tired and kind, and faintly amused by the amount of attention which his entrance had attracted. Then his wife, a tall, fair woman, with a beautiful profile, and an air of languid discontent who floated past with rustling silken skirts, leaving an impression of elegance and luxury, which made Mrs. Asplin sigh and Mellicent draw in her breath with a gasp of rapture. Then followed Robert with his shaggy head, scowling more fiercely than ever in his disgust at finding himself an object of attention, and last of all a girlish figure in a grey dress, with a collar of soft, fluffy chinchilla, and a velvet hat with drooping brim, beneath which could be seen a glimpse of a face pink and white as the blossoms of spring, and a mass of shining, golden hair. Peggy shut her lips with a snap, and the iron entered into her soul. It was no use pretending any longer! This was Rosalind, and she was fairer, sweeter, a hundred times more beautiful than she had ever imagined!

(To be continued.)


By ELSA D'ESTERRE-KEELING, Author of "Old Maids and Young."



As translated by Cowley, Horace is made to say—

"Hence, ye profane, I hate ye all,
Both the great vulgar and the small!"
The small vulgar

There will be no attempt made in this paper to deal with the great vulgar, but some attempt will be made in it to deal with the small, being the category to which, it may be assumed, belongs the average vulgar girl.

It is of course impossible within the limits of a short essay to indicate more than a few of the leading characteristics of this girl. She it is who not only wants to monopolise the conversation, but who wants to confine it to one subject. She should remember the quaint counsel, "The honourablest part of talk is to give the occasion, and again to moderate, and pass to something else." Moreover in conversation she too often follows the rule laid down by a French author for those about to write love-letters:

"Begin without knowing what you are going to say, and end without knowing what you have said."

If at the end of a conversation she sometimes knew what she had said, the vulgar girl, who is not necessarily a callous girl, would feel very unhappy.

Her tendency to talk indiscreetly has doubtless its origin in the precipitancy which causes her to break in upon the speech of others. There is a lesson which she might learn from a certain polite echo. This echo may be heard opposite to Mugdock Castle in Scotland. It will repeat any sentence of six syllables in the exact tone in which it is uttered—waiting till the sentence is finished.

Another result of the lack of deliberation which characterises the vulgar girl is seen in the fact that the latest book, the latest play, the latest picture, is to her Thingimy by Thingimbob. That nomenclature is somewhat vague, and is moreover out of date, but it still commends itself to the vulgar girl, as does the soubriquet The Bard for Shakespeare.

Her singular phraseology, which she conceives to set her at an advantage, in reality sometimes sets the vulgar girl at a disadvantage. Of Tennyson she said the other day—

"I don't pretend to understand him any more than Browning, but then he tootles on prettily, and that's what I like in poetry."


A main difference between Browning and Tennyson was here correctly set forth, but the phrasing was in questionable taste. "Tootles" is a good word, but to say that Tennyson "tootles on prettily," is to understate his merits. It shall here be pointed out in passing that "I don't pretend" is a favourite form of asseveration with the vulgar girl, and is one which she should try to vary, if only because it inferentially asserts that other people do pretend.

The vulgar girl is "by way of being" (her own phrase) witty. One part of her wit is to say "muchly" for much, and another part of it is to say "free gratis" for free of charge.

Flippancy as a substitute for wit so often evokes mirth that the vulgar girl as would-be wit not incomprehensibly largely indulges in it. I sat beside her once during a performance of Beethoven's Septett, one of the loveliest things in music, with here and there a heart-delighting gaiety in it. During the fifth movement of it she whispered to me—

"Isn't it like 'The Bogie Man'?"

The levity in what follows was even more remarkable. The speaker was a young bride.

"I didn't feel a bit nervous at my wedding," she said. "You see, I have been used to private theatricals."

A girl like that mistakes gaiety of head for gaiety of heart.

Her first appearance in a new role

As a sample of vulgar girl-wit at its crudest, I give the following, in which a girl spoke of a lady—

"She couldn't turn white, but she went the colour of an unripe tomato."

Upset by Tomato sauce

The vulgar girl who is "by way of being" witty is not "by way of being" sentimental, and is rather addicted to signing her letters "Your's," which word she believes to be rightly written as above, with an apostrophe. This girl, for the rest, is generally good-natured, and her vein of censure is more often odd than terrible. Thus she said the other day of a dentist—

"He is a horrible little snob, but that doesn't matter when he gets into your mouth."

An old Fairy Tale

As often as not the vulgar girl has both sense and sensibility. Of the latter fact she is profoundly ashamed, and has been known to say of a book that has deeply agitated her—

"I got to feel quite eye-in-water over it."

She affects to care, only for the gaieties of life, but knows something of its gravities, and has often a bit of heroine in her. The worst thing about her is her speech. "Jolly" is her favourite adverb. She is jolly glad when she is not jolly mad, and she will soon describe herself as jolly sad. She uses the verb "mashed" hideously; where her prototype of twenty years ago said "swell" she says "swagger;" and she does not stick at saying "beastly." For the rest, she has always some pet word of the hour. Thus "dotty" is an adjective now much in favour with her. Thereby hangs a tale. The vulgar girl sometimes knows Italian, and it was she who translated a line from a famous lady's epitaph—

"Vergine magnanime, dotta, divina."
"A virgin magnanimous, dotty, divine."

On the other hand there are vulgar girls who do not know Latin, and one of them has been known to say "effluvia" for "smell," the Latin for "smell" being "effluvium."

The pronunciation of her own language is by some thought to offer insuperable difficulties to the English vulgar girl, who pronounces the "t" in "often" but does not pronounce it in "Westminster," whose favourite colour, she has been heard to aver, is "terrar cottar," who plays an instrument which she calls "the varlin," who says "towards" and "interesting," who pronounces "ate" "et," and whose vocabulary has been known to include the words "pantomine," "Feb'uary" and "sec'etary." So far is this list from exhausting the faults of pronunciation of the said vulgar girl, that it must be added that she gives to no one vowel its proper sound, while among the consonants "h" initial and "g" final stumble her. She is particularly careless regarding the latter consonant when the form which her vulgarity takes is that of would-be "smartness."

Very abominable to this girl is grammar, which is all but invariably set at defiance by her. Thus, even when she does not say "it were," as did Mrs. Cluppins, she favours such phrasing as "those sort of," "very pleased," "different to" and "between you and I."

A model

Her predilection for abbreviations is another marked feature of the vulgar girl. To "'bus" she has lately added "biz," and "spec" has found her approval.

The pity of it!

Just as she has always a favourite word, she has mostly a favourite phrase. In one instance known to me it is "You know what I mean," and everyone knows what she means, as well everyone may.

Take this assertion—

"It's one of those schools where they sleep in carbuncles—you know what I mean."

Of course everyone knows what she means.

not omnivorous

Or take this—

"I can't be in six or seven places at one; I'm not omnivorous—you know what I mean."

An extreme view

Of course everyone knows what she means.

They call her Mrs. Malaprop; but, in point of fact, her case is a notable improvement upon that of Sheridan's heroine, the ignorance of that lady having been of a shade by just so much deeper that it left her unwitting of the fact that she was wrong. The girl here in view has a shrewd suspicion that she is wrong, but pays her hearers the compliment of assuming that they will understand her. In only one instance, so far as has come to my knowledge, has she ever overtaxed her listener's powers of comprehension. She spoke of a living novelist.

"I can't bear his books," she said. "They're so very femme de chambre—you know what I mean."

Not only did the person addressed not know what she meant, but he will not now be induced to believe that she meant "fin de siècle," and unconsciously used what, it seems to some of us, was a very happy substitute for this rather hackneyed phrase.

I have in the foregoing dwelt more particularly on what is to me the most striking fact in connection with the vulgar girl, the base uses to which she puts her native speech; that my account of her may not, however, be wholly inadequate, I have also conferred with persons whose views on manners and deportment, as frequently expressed by them, have led me to believe that they may be better able than I am to point out what, from the social standpoint, constitutes a vulgar girl. Of the many data supplied me, I give below a few.

The vulgar girl is "arch."

The vulgar girl is "coy."

The vulgar girl loves "chaff."

The vulgar girl has sidelong looks.

The vulgar girl calls milk "cream" and bacon "ham."

The vulgar girl shouts or whispers.

The vulgar girl thinks all other girls vulgar.

The vulgar girl has never been told, or has been told in vain, to sit up and put her knees together.

The vulgar girl is the girl of whom the vulgar boy says that she is "not half a bad sort."

(To be continued.)




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



It was growing dark when at length they drove through the gates into Verdun.

No one then said a needless word, not even Roy. The sense of banishment and of captivity pressed upon them all with a new force, at the sight of this fortified town, with its massive encircling walls, its iron gates, its pervading gendarmerie. If any lack of realisation of their true position had helped them hitherto, it had small chance of surviving this hour.

At the gate they had to pause, a gendarme coming to the coach door. He said something to Denham, which made Colonel Baron ask sharply—

"Eh, what's that?"

"We are to go first to the citadel. Not necessary for Mrs. Baron and Roy. You and I might walk it, sir, and send them on."

"No, no," Mrs. Baron interposed; "I cannot go on alone. We will keep together."

"A pity," murmured Ivor; and Colonel Baron looked doubtfully from him to his wife.

"I am not going to do it," she repeated, with her manner of graceful determination; and then, earnestly, "Do not ask it of me—pray do not!" No more could be said, and the man was ordered to drive on.

Verdun at that date lay in the then French province of Lorraine, the then French department of the Meuse, upon which river it was built. Distant from Paris somewhere about one hundred and fifty miles, it was also within about fifty miles, in different directions, of two towns which have since become vividly historic, Sédan and Metz. The river thereabouts follows a tortuous course, and the lower part of Verdun stood mainly on little islands in the Meuse, while the upper part led to the French citadel, which crowned a rocky summit.

The valley, containing the town, ran north-west and south-east, being surrounded by hills.

On reaching the citadel Mrs. Baron and Roy were desired by the Colonel to remain in the coach, while he and Denham disappeared within, there to be carefully examined and closely questioned, and having again to give their parole. After which they came out, the Colonel saying shortly—

"That business is done! Tell them where to go, Den. They seem determined to know us again."

"Were they civil?" his wife asked.

"No end of a fuss, my dear. As if the word of an English gentleman were not sufficient. Close description of us both written in the register."

Once more they drove on, Roy gazing from side to side, noting the small insignificant shops, and exclaiming at occasional peeps of the river with an interest which never quite failed him. The others were for the most part silent. Mrs. Baron's eyes were dim, the Colonel was pre-occupied, and Ivor, usually the most observant of men, seemed to see nothing.

Presently they stopped before the gateway of a large old house or small private "hôtel," with an untidy little courtyard. An old Frenchman, in quaint dress, grey-haired, with an imposing pig-tail, came to meet them, bowing profoundly to the gentlemen, and still more profoundly to Mrs. Baron.

"C'est, sans doute, Monsieur le Colonel—et Madame——"

Colonel Baron's particular gift did not lie in the direction of foreign languages. He never could talk French, and probably he never would, no matter how many years he might be compelled to live in France.

"Oui, monsieur. Bon jour. C'est nous qui sont viendrai," he responded, feeling it incumbent on him to say something, as he descended from the old coach. "J'espère que vous êtes bien. Je suis bien aise que nous sommes haut—pas bas—pas près de le rivière. Bother their grammar, Denham; you can do it better than I. Just say what's suitable."

Denham obeyed, and the next object which dawned upon Roy's perceptions was the sad and gentle face of Lucille de St. Roques. He seized her hand vehemently.

"I say, mademoiselle, it's nice to find you here. Isn't it, Den? Mamma, this is Mademoiselle de St. Roques. Papa, you know she helped to nurse me after I'd had small-pox. Are we going to live upstairs, mademoiselle? Is that what it's to be? The whole upstairs, all to ourselves? What fun! Which way is it? Oh, I see! This way, mamma. Those poor horses do look tired, just half-starved, and so skinny. Is there a stable for them? Are we to have tea? Dinner! that's right. We didn't get half a dinner to-day, and I'm famished. What a droll old staircase? Do look out of this window, mamma."

Roy's flow of spirits helped them all. The Colonel and his wife gratefully expressed their thanks to the French girl for her past kindness to their boy, both being much attracted by her face and her pretty manner as she led the way upstairs to the first floor. There stood Madame Courant, a fat and smiling little Frenchwoman, ready to bestow unlimited welcomes upon the unfortunate foreigners.

Lucille had exchanged bows with Ivor at first, and then had a few words with him, scanning his face as she talked, with rather troubled glances. There was, however, small leisure at first for any quiet conversation. The rooms had to be inspected, and they were found to be not at all bad as to size, though meagrely furnished. Lucille had set her heart on making everything wear as far as possible an English look, using her childish recollections of a home across the Channel; and if she was less successful than she had hoped, nobody betrayed the fact. It was clear to them all how hard she had worked to render the place comfortable.

"But it has been no trouble—non, vraiment—not at all," she assured them, with her pensive smile, when they apologised.

While sincerely anxious to help, full of sympathy for their position, and most desirous to cheer them up, she plainly feared to be guilty of intrusion, and very soon she took herself off with Madame Courant to the ground floor. A somewhat clumsy but well-intentioned maiden had been deputed to wait upon the upstairs party—probably had been hired for the purpose, since Madame Courant did most of her own house-work—and dinner was laid in the smaller salon in readiness for their arrival.

On the whole that first meal might be reckoned a success. Madame Courant was no mean cook; and though not much could be said as to the actual waiting, from an English point of view, that was a minor matter, compared with the comfort of finding clean and cosy quarters, not to speak of a kind reception. Roy did his best to supply all deficiencies in the conversational line, and his efforts were seconded, though not vigorously, by Denham.

When, however, dinner was at an end, and they had moved into the larger salon, which was to be their drawing-room—when a long evening lay before them, and there was nothing that had to be done, beyond a certain amount of unpacking and arranging, which no one felt disposed to begin upon at once—then a change came. Then the shadow of their captivity descended heavily upon them all, even upon the valiant Roy; and for once the spirit of cheerfulness and of keeping up seemed to vanish.

For a quarter of an hour they all remained together, no one speaking. No one was able to speak. They had nothing whatever to say. And presently, when this had gone on a little while, Mrs. Baron made a move, retreating into her own bedroom, avowedly to "see to a few things," but in reality,{215} as they all knew, to indulge in a breakdown—her husband, after a brief hesitation, going thither also. Denham had flagged completely, retreating to a shady corner near the big fireplace, where he could scarcely be seen; and for Ivor to flag meant the flagging of everybody. As for Roy—but that he would have been ashamed, counting himself already almost a man, he could at this stage have flung himself on the ground and cried like a little child for very home-sickness.

He wanted Molly—oh, most awfully! He wanted her this evening more than he had ever wanted anything or anybody in his whole life. The craving that took possession of him for Molly's face, Molly's voice, Molly's companionship—the passionate desire to have dear little Molly once more by his side—was a pain never to be forgotten.

Roy did not know how to bear himself under it. He had nothing to do, nothing with which to pass the time. He stood at the window, looking out upon the darkness, trying desperately to be cool and stoical, as one five minutes crawled by after another. Denham never moved, never spoke a word. Roy could just make out his dark outline, as motionless as a carved image, a few yards distant. If only Denham would have talked, if something would have happened, if somebody would have come in, it would have been easier to keep going. But nobody came, nothing happened, and Denham did not stir.

Roy drummed with his fingers on the window-sill. He could hear shrill voices out in the street, not far off, and the sound of some tuneless instrument. One of the two candles was gone with Mrs. Baron, leaving the room dim. He tried to listen, tried not to think. And just when he counted himself victorious, there was a queer little catch of his breath which sounded suspicious. Roy drummed again angrily, hoping that Denham had not heard. He might be asleep, he was so still. But, after a slight break, he said—

"Come here."

Roy unwillingly obeyed. He would have liked to refuse, but he looked upon Ivor as in some sort his commanding officer, so of course he had no choice.

"They're making no end of a row out there," he remarked in a tone of profound indifference, as he lounged nearer. "Can't think what it's all for. Just listen."

"Yes; I wish they would stop."

"Don't know what's it's all about. Something or other—going on. I shouldn't wonder—if they're quarrelling."

That odd little catch again.

"Feel very bad this evening, Roy?"

The question took Roy by surprise, and a lump in his throat prevented an immediate reply.

Denham understood.

"Never mind," he said. "It's the same with all of us, you know. And there's one comfort for you—that Molly wants you at least as much as you want her. Some people would give a good deal for that certainty."

Roy tried to explain matters away.

"I didn't say——"

"My dear boy, there's no need for you to say anything; I know well enough. Don't you see?"

Denham's chair shook as Roy leant against it, but no further sound came. He fought his battle courageously, and Denham waited.

"We shall all feel better to-morrow," the latter presently remarked. "It's a strange place, and things look uncomfortable to-night—can't well do otherwise. Suppose you and I have a game of chess. Better than to sit brooding over what can't be cured. My little travelling set is somewhere about, I believe."

"O yes." Roy's voice told of instant relief. "You gave it to me to take care of. Don't you mind a game, really? I should like that. Will you give me your queen?"

"No; not to-day. I'm not at my best. We'll try on even terms. Get out the pieces."

Roy obeyed with alacrity, and whatever the move meant to Denham, it served to lift Roy out of his unwonted fit of misery. He was soon deeply absorbed in the mimic fight, and for once he found himself on the way to win an easy victory. Roy became exultant—till the honour and glory of success were impaired by the casual discovery that Ivor could not tell a knight from a bishop except by feeling. Roy stared wonderingly into the spare bronzed face.

"Why, Den!"

"All right; this is my bishop."

"I say, you didn't take that for a knight?"

"I believe I was under the delusion for a moment."

"But why? There, now it's your turn. Oh, I say!—you're going to move my king."

Denham laughed slightly.

"I am rather a futile opponent, seemingly. Never mind. Now it is your turn."

"What's the matter? Can't you see?"

"Not well; just a headache. Go on; you'll soon end the game at this rate."

Roy showed himself capable of heroism. Though he had never yet beaten Denham in full fight, without having some of his adversary's best pieces presented to him, though the desire of his heart was for a victory, and though he was on the high road to administering checkmate, one more glance decided him. He swept his arm over the board.

Denham half smiled, and made no protest.

"You are a kind fellow," he said, as he went back to his former retreat; and Roy dropped on the floor to pick up the scattered pieces.

"Why didn't you tell me? You'd no business to play. Can't I do anything for you?"

"Yes, if you don't mind"—after a moment's racking of his brain to think of anything that might keep the boy occupied. "I wish you would unpack my valise—just the things that I shall want to-night."

Roy was delighted and went off at full speed. In the passage he found himself face to face with Lucille, and all but rushed into her arms. Lucille drew back.

"I say! Oh, I beg your pardon, mademoiselle. I'm going to unpack for Den. He's just floored; can't even play chess. It's all this horrid beastly bother, having to come to Verdun, you know. He never used to be like that. Den was always up to anything. What have you got there?" as she held up one hand. "A letter!"

"It is medicine for Monsieur le Capitaine—from England," Lucille said, with a look of heartfelt pleasure.

"It really is from England! Won't he be glad? Where did you get it from? You shall give it to him yourself. Yes; I declare you shall."

Roy flung open the salon door, and announced, "Here's Mademoiselle de St. Roques. Den, she's got something for you! Guess what it is. Come in, Mademoiselle."

Ivor stood up, not grateful to Roy at this moment.

"Pray take a seat," he urged.

"It's a letter—a letter—a letter from England," cried the boy.

"You have brought this from the post?" asked Denham, as he received from her hand a folded and sealed packet.

"Non, it is not that. The letter arrives from M. de Bertrand. It was send to him from England under cover, and he waited till he should learn your address and have opportunity to send it with safety. When I wrote to him that you all were ordered to Verdun, then he sent the letter to me by one travelling this way. It is but now arrived. I am glad!" Lucille added, under her breath.

Denham bent nearer to the candle, trying with drawn brows to make out the handwriting. As he did so, a curious light crept over his face. Lucille thought she could read its meaning.

"You are very good, mademoiselle. I am much indebted to you and to M. de Bertrand," he said.

"Den, I do believe it's Polly's writing!" exclaimed Roy.

Denham glanced towards him.

"Yes; it is from Polly."

(To be continued.)





The winter is always distinguished by a rather dowdy style of dress, especially in town, where, for at least three months of the year, the days are so dark and the light so poor at best that everyone says, "It really cannot matter what one puts on in such sombre weather as this." Such is the sentiment expressed by the general public, but, of course, does not apply to those who, having carriages at their disposal, can blossom out like the lilies of King Solomon, and be carried over the mud and through the gloom without let or hindrance. It is only on sunny days during the winter and at Church Parade in Hyde Park that one sees the brighter side of winter dress. Otherwise it only blooms in the shops, at the dressmakers', and at the endless afternoon teas which constitute the main amusement during the winter. One must have at least one nice walking-dress for the winter, in spite of the gloom, for these last-named festive occasions, and one generally needs a cape or mantle as well to wear in turn with our costume or with it as we may require. Besides this, most women have a certain amount of "wearing out" to do of clothes that must put in a second winter. Those wise people who have established a kind of rule for themselves in the purchase of dress get a handsome cape or mantle one year and a handsome gown the next, the latter becoming less visible and important the second year when worn under the new mantle. Both of these should come from first-rate shops, in order to get the full value out of them. Then there are the people who wait for the sales to supply themselves with winter clothes, and say they manage to finish out the last year's stock by this means in the still darker and shorter days before Christmas. I always consider the wearing out of one's winter things a grievous bother which falls most heavily on the shoulders of those who are very careful wearers of their garments. I know people who really are never able to wear out their clothes, and become quite dispirited at the constant sight of them. I know one lady who is able to clothe several others poorer than herself because she takes such good care of what she wears, and things are hardly worn in appearance when she has them repaired and brushed up.

The class which has the most difficulty in clothing themselves so as to present a respectable appearance is composed of these very{217} poor ladies, who are governesses, lady-helps, or companions, and no doubt my readers will have noticed the moving appeals issued by many of the societies and agencies which are interested in procuring work for them. As we are always anxious to find out good works for our women and girls, we commend to them this one, as one of the most blessed both to giver and receiver.

The return to fashion of dresses made from the same material entirely instead of those which have been so long in wear, which consisted of a blouse, more or less handsome, and a skirt, has brought in a necessity for mantles and capes, and so these are really the most fashionable of the out-of-door garments for the winter months. There is no fear, however, of the skirt and jacket disappearing from amongst us, for they have been found too useful to lose their place in our esteem; and the winter jackets are, some of them, very pretty and tight-fitting, with large buttons, and generally of three-quarter length, though there are many quite short ones, but which seem more used for cycling or golf than for real walking or driving.


One of these costumes with a tight-fitting coat is shown in our illustration of "a gown with braid and fur," which is a very handsome example of the walking-gowns of the winter. The skirt is made with the fashionable tightness, the much-worn shaped flounce, and the braiding is carried down the front on either side in a graceful arabesque design, which is wider and fuller in detail at the top near the waist. The points are braided in the same manner, and the tops of the sleeves. The fronts have revers of mink fur. The dress itself is in dark blue cloth, and the braiding is in black. The hat is of blue velvet, with white and green wings, and blue and green velvet trimmings. This admixture of blue and green seems more popular than ever this winter, and I have frequently seen a blue hat with a bright green velvet choux bow placed in a conspicuous position in front.

The choux and the Louis XII. or true lovers' knot are the two fashionable bows of the season, for hats and bonnets as well as for dress. The first-named seems ubiquitous in evening dress, where black velvet also appears to be most popular as a trimming.


Both velvet and velveteen are much worn, and are suited to the fashions of the day, and the velveteen blouse retains its popularity, but is more dressy and fanciful than it was. In some cases velvet is used for the coat-shaped bodices, with short square tails that are much seen, and these have almost invariably fancy vests or yokes. In most instances, too, these are of finely tucked silk muslin, which, in cream or white, is quite the most popular material for them, in spite of its perishable nature and apparent unseasonableness.

So far as materials are concerned, everything that is clinging and soft is sought after, and even the rustling silks that lined our skirts and gave us such a feeling of opulence have been relinquished in favour of something more clinging. Cashmere and nuns' veiling are used for the lining of day dresses, and China silks for evening ones. For slight people this clinging effect is sometimes trying, but where stout people are concerned the matter becomes worse, and we shall hear of all kinds of cures for obesity in order to wear the new skirts.

Of course, as is usual at this season, many evening dresses for small Christmas festivities are simple, and our illustration shows three of these, which are inexpensive and pretty. The first seated figure to the right wears a pink silk muslin, plain for wearing over the accordion-kilted skirt, and having a small black leaf-like pattern on it for the pointed overskirt; a ruching of rose-coloured silk goes round the latter part of the bodice and sleeves, and the back is finished with a wide band and bow with ends of rose colour. This can, of course, be carried out in any hue, but in white or cream-colour it is very pretty, and there are such numbers of fancy gauzes and nets that a pretty choice can be made which would be more inexpensive than the model we present.

The centre figure wears a dress of mousseline-de-soie of a pale shade of Parma violet, which is trimmed with narrow ribbons, drawn{218} up to form small ruches. These are of a slightly darker violet. The small Eton jacket is of the same shade of violet velvet or satin, with bands of velvet and paste buckles. The standing-up figure wears a dress of jet-embroidered net, with bands of passementerie on the front of the bodice. The evening wrap is of a soft yellow brocade, which is lined with a pale violet, and trimmed with flounces of lace and silk. The collar is edged with white fur, and a bow of chiffon ornaments the neck at the back. In giving these dresses I should observe that, although they seem costly, they can be copied in less expensive materials. Nuns' veiling, China silk, velveteen, taffetas, Russian net, and Brussels net are all in fashion, and all are comparatively so moderate in price as to be attainable by those who have slender purses. This season we also have the embroidered net skirts that were introduced last year, with the improvement that this season the bodice-piece is sold as well. So we have not to make troublesome inquiries and huntings for the material to decorate them. There seems to be a tendency likewise to return to the use of a three-quarter length sleeve, which fits the arm smoothly as far as the elbow and terminates in a frill. The long net and chiffon sleeves are still worn, and I notice that there are some very pretty high net bodices without sleeves, or, at least, with a few folds of satin, which answer the purpose. These will be a novelty if they should be adopted, and will be charming for the evening with all thin materials.

The illustration of two winter gowns shows one of the new skirts and a bodice fastened at the back. The skirt is also fastened there in the newest fashion; the trimming consists of rows of fine black braid, the dress being of fine cloth, of a pervenche blue. The bodice is trimmed with points of velvet, of a darker shade of blue, and the same is used for the bows at the back. The second dress is one of those tucked throughout. It is of a soft satin cloth, of a pale shade of grey. The revers are braided, and there is a front of dark-grey velvet and a high collar, with the lining braided, like the revers. I hope you will notice that this skirt opens on one side, usually the left, and it is finished by a row of tiny buttons, or by a small ruching of ribbon.

A great deal of this ribbon ruching is seen, as well as much piping. Silk braids, very fine and very narrow, in black and white, form a feature of this year's decorations, and silver braids as well. Crystal buttons are more liked than paste or steel ones, and there is a craze for old lace and for mixing fur with it. Black and white are in as much favour as this mixture has always found during the last four years, and the two are constantly mixed in trimmings.

I think I mentioned in my last that the hair was worn low on the neck—certainly far lower than has been the custom for some little time. But I do not find that the knot of hair is quite so low just now. Evidently the idea has not quite "caught on," as the slang phrase has it, and most of the well-dressed heads I have lately seen have had the coil of hair at the back of the head midway down. Perhaps, later on, we shall see more of the low hair dressing than we do now.

Truly the swing of the pendulum has quite carried us away from the neat and ever-becoming black stockings, and the new ones are a study in colour and design. I think the tartan ones will be worn, and will look well; but I cannot say I like the others; nevertheless, that may be because one has grown used to a lack of colour for so long.

So far as boots and shoes are concerned, the most fashionable people wear the American ones with their extremely pointed toes and narrow feet, but it is open to the sensible to wear something more comfortable if they do not mind a loss of style, for we cannot be really smart unless our poor feet be pinched and pointed to the last degree.




A Roundel.

Time hastens onwards to the day
When our good, trusty printer ought
Upon our numbers to display
Another naught.
Oh! how tremendous is the thought:—
A thousand weeks have passed away
Since out our magazine was brought!
We love our work, it is but play;
"Bon Voyage" to the bark high-fraught;
And printer, sing as you in-lay
Another naught.

Prize Winners.

Ten Shillings Each.

Five Shillings Each.

Very Highly Commended.

Mrs. Acheson, Eliza Acworth, Lottie R. Biddle, E. J. Cameron, Mrs. J. Cumming, May Merrall, E. C. Milne, Lilla Patterson, Constance Taylor, Connie E. Thompson, Daisy Tyler, Martha Wood.

For Artistic Execution.

Maud Abbott.

Highly Commended.

Annie A. Arnott, Fanny Ashby, Ethel M. Atkins, Margaret Bailey, Eva M. Benson, R. S. Benson, E. K. Berry, Mary A. Blagg, Nancy Bolingbroke, M. S. Bourne, May Burlinsay, Annie J. Cather, Mabel E. Davis, Mrs. Deane, Edward R. Duffield, Alice M. Feurer, Emily Francis, Mrs. W. H. Gotch, Mrs. Grubbe, Edith E. Grundy, A. Hughes, George L. Ingram, Annie G. Luck, C. Y. MacGibbon, E. Mastin, Jessie Middlemiss, Mrs. Nicholls, Percy J. Powell, Alice M. Price, Gertrude Saffery, A. C. Sharp, Isabel Snell, Norah M. Sullivan, A. C. T., Phyllis Toker, Ann Toplis, Florence Whitlock, Mrs. Wigglesworth, E. Wilson.

Honourable Mention.

S. Ballard, Mary I. Chislett, Helen M. Coulthard, Mrs. H. Keel, K. H. Ingram, E. M. Le Mottée, Charlotte Hayward, Florence Hayward, Ethel C. Hobbs, Edith L. Howse, Annette E. Jackson, Alice E. Johnson, Fred Lindley, Ethel C. McMaster, Elsa P. Neel, Charles Parr, Elizabeth A. Reynolds, Annie Saunders, Dorothy Smith, Ellen R. Smith, Gertrude Smith, May Tutte, Anna Walker, J. Walker, Julia Waltenberg, John R. Whyberd, G. Watherston.


The insatiability of an editor who is clamouring daily for our words of wisdom compels us to be very brief. This is all the more to be regretted because with such a subject to handle we could have risen to great literary heights. But to work!

The title was not "Another aught," the reason being that aught is not synonymous with naught. The difference between the two is considerable, "aught" signifying anything, "naught" nothing. The importance of this pleasing fact is often overlooked, especially by schoolchildren, who frequently speak of a cipher as "an aught," or, as they in their childish wisdom spell it "ought."

In many solutions the final letter of "onwards" was omitted. Doubtless, "onward" is grammatically just as good, but as the "s" was in the puzzle it was a pity not to transfer it to the solution.

The beginning of the third line seems to have caused trouble. Those who failed to find the true solution generally gave "On our three figures," or "On our first numbers." Both readings are good interpretations of the text, but the first is meaningless and the second is incorrect. With "On all our numbers "—adopted by a few solvers—we have little fault to find.

Many competitors kindly pointed out that the minus sign in line 6 ought to have been the sign of division. Let us examine their contention closely. Two weeks divided by two yields one week and the beginning of the line would run "A thousand one week." Two weeks minus two yields weeks, clearly, and we need pursue the instruction no further. Some of the readings at this point were remarkable, e.g., "A thousand days"; "Twelve thousand days": "A thousand years," and "A million weeks."

We have always been accustomed to regard The Girl's Own Paper with much veneration, but the idea of its having first seen the light something like fourteen thousand years before Adam is somewhat startling.

In the next line, "G. O. P." often took the place of "magazine." Our dislike of such irritating abbreviations did not prevent us from doing justice to the reading which is rhythmically correct.

The number of solvers who wrote "barque" for "bark" was amazing. The latter was in the puzzle and signifies any small vessel. The former was not in the puzzle and defines a vessel of a particular rig. And there is really no need for more.






"They shall still bring forth fruit in old age" (Psalm xcii. 14).

When I was a child a dear old lady, who had been asking questions about my lessons, laid her gentle hand on my head and said, "I see you love school, my child. 'Learn young, learn fair.'"

You, dear girl friends, will be at no loss to understand the teaching of the proverb. It says, in few words, that those lessons which are early imprinted on our minds are likely to have an abiding place in our memories and a lasting influence over our lives.

There is one lesson amongst many which we ought to be constantly learning from the time that we can understand anything. It is, how to grow old.

Do I see some of you smiling at each other, as if old age were such a far-away subject that it ought not to be introduced to my great gathering of girls? Why, if I could have spoken to you as children, one by one, I would have asked, "Are you learning how to grow old?"

You ought to be, for the moment you began to live you started on the path that leads to old age. From that path none of us can turn aside and, perhaps without thinking much of the inevitable ending, we pursue our course thereon steadily and uninterruptedly. We may start on many other paths—those of duty, work, mental culture, etc.—and we may take up certain pursuits and relinquish them at our will, but the one onward journey is continuous. We travel by night and by day. Sleeping or waking, resting or working, we are ever progressing towards old age, whether we live to reach it or not.

It is often said that every age has its special beauty, and yet I daresay many of you have never dreamed of associating the idea of beauty with old age. You are apt to claim it as the special prerogative of youth. Yet I believe that old age may be—and I assert that it ought to be in certain senses—the most beautiful of all, despite the white hair, the tremulous hand, the feeble step which seeks support from the strong arm of the young, and the wrinkles on brows that were once as smooth and fair as the fairest amongst yours.

The young often shrink from the very thought of being old. One hears the girl in her teens whisper to her companion, as she glances at a third who is not out of her twenties, "She is getting to look quite old already. She might be five-and-thirty."

The tone is half pitying, half disparaging, as if the object of the remark were somehow in fault because a few more years had passed over her young head than over the speaker's.

Listen again to words from the lips of a girl who is just "sweet seventeen." (Alas that seventeen does not always deserve the adjective!) She has just stigmatised a friend of thirty as "a cross old thing." And for what? She has only been trying to bring her good common sense and sound judgment to bear upon the other's wilfulness. She is anxious to save her from doing a foolish thing on which her childish will is stubbornly set and which is certain to be followed by remorse and trouble.

"Sweet seventeen" purses her pretty lips and tosses her foolish head whilst saying, "As if I were going to be ordered about by her! Cross old thing!" And she goes on her wilful way and pays for it.

Still we must acknowledge that a dozen extra years do not always bring proportionate wisdom, any more than does the seventeenth birthday invariably carry sweetness in its train. We have to learn to grow old in such wise that each year's passage means also progress in everything that is best.

It seems very strange—does it not?—that whilst everyone desires long life, so many dislike to look forward to old age in connection with themselves. Or, if they do, it is not so much in a frank and natural manner as in a secret and stealthy fashion. If they speak of it at all, they speak as of something which may be near to others, but is still far, far away from themselves. Such people would never tell you that they are learning how to grow old—striving each day after some knowledge which will tend towards the attainment of a really beautiful and lovable old age.

The need for such a study is ignored by so many up to and beyond middle age, that one wonders little at its being ignored by the young. Yet other questions occupy their earnest attention in connection with increasing years.

How to ward off the semblance of old age, for the reality cannot be deferred. How to look young in spite of it. How to conceal the number of the years that have passed over their heads. How best to utilise art so as to simulate the complexion of youth and to hide the marks of time on their features.

Time is readily given in order to solve such questions to the exclusion of those higher lessons, attention to which would make old age the most beautiful and lovely of all.

Girls, dear girls! you are generally keen observers of externals, and especially so in matters of female dress and adornment. If one of you has been at a social gathering, whether amongst humble workers or leaders in society, what is usually the first question asked by sisters or acquaintances on her return? Is it not about the dresses worn? You inquire how such a one looked, or if another again wore a dress which is too well known on account of its age. You want to hear all about novelties in the fashioning of new garments, and whether they were of a mode likely to be becoming to yourselves. It may be you give a little laugh as you say that such a girl would be sure to look dowdy, or inquire if the good taste of another was as conspicuous as usual.

I am inclined to doubt whether you were as anxious to know how your friend was impressed by the words and conduct of those with whom she had been associating, or whether she had, during this little season of social enjoyment, received impressions likely to influence her for good. We ought to be learners in every place, but not merely in regard to externals.

Now I want to ask you a question. I have given you credit for being keen observers. Tell me, can you imagine a picture more truly pitiable and contemptible than that of a woman on whose face is the stamp of age, but who imagines that she has succeeded in hiding it by paint and powder?

One who hugs the thought that she has rendered her wrinkles invisible, or that her dyed hair, with its tell-tale line of grey near the roots, or the cunningly arranged golden hued substitute for whitened locks, deceives anyone but herself? All such shams make the old look older still. They add to the appearance of age instead of taking from it, and they rob old age of much of the beauty which is as real as that which pertains to the youth it tries to simulate. I am alluding to externals first because everyone sees them.

I have no doubt that you have all discovered my liking for proverbial expressions. My native county is rich in these pithy sayings which convey so much meaning in few words. The subject of our present talk brings to mind one of these proverbs, which was often quoted in my hearing when I was a girl. I recall one occasion especially. A ruddy farmer turned to look after an elderly woman who had just passed him. She was girlishly dressed, and she strove to trip along in youthful fashion, feeling evidently well satisfied with herself, and claiming admiration by every gesture.

What had our countryman to say about her appearance? He jogged his neighbour's elbow, and quoted the proverb, as he indicated the retreating figure with a jerk of his thumb: "Old ewe dressed lamb fashion."

"Aye," said his friend, "and it's no good. Age will show in spite of paint and finery. She was turned twenty when I was twelve, and I'm over fifty-three to-day. Why, deary me! There's always somebody that remembers."

These added words were as true as the proverb itself. There is always someone, amongst our many acquaintances and kinsfolk, who has a good memory for dates, and who can refer to the number of Life's milestones we have passed with unerring accuracy.

I asked you if there could be anything more pitiable and contemptible than the sight of an elderly woman trying to defy time and age by such means as I have named?

I will answer my own question, "Yes, there is. The sight of a girl who, possessing youth, health, and the share of good looks and attractiveness which must accompany these two things, is ever striving to improve Nature's handiwork by the use of unnatural means." Believe me, my dear girl friends, the sight of a young face disfigured by artificial colouring and unnaturally whitened by powder, of blackened eyebrows and eyelashes, together with similar shams, excites in my mind a feeling of true motherly regret. I love girls too well to say hard things or to speak of contempt for such practices; though they ought to be contemptible in the eyes of all pure and right-minded girls.

One associates the use of them with small minds and natures whose chief end and aim are to gratify personal vanity and attract admiration, instead of striving to win respect by the exercise of far nobler powers. Can any girl be so self-deceived as to think she will win honest affection by such means?{220} She may win it in spite of them, but it will be because the one who gives it is able to discover something better and more deserving of love beneath this miserable upper crust of deception.

One is always ready to recognise, with gratitude, even a mistaken attempt made by the young with a view of giving pleasure to others. But I am sure that self-pleasing and the gratification of vanity are, in nearly every case, the incentives to such displays as I have condemned.

In looking round me, I have been struck with the fact that some of the girls who use paint, powder, and what are, I am informed, known under the general name of "make-ups," are just those to whom Nature has been specially liberal in the gift of beauty.

Beauty, when joined to vanity, has an insatiable longing to add to its attractions. It is more than conscious of all that it has, but it is never satisfied, because it craves to combine, in its own person, the attractions of every style which is, from time to time, commended in its hearing. Hence all these useless and foolish efforts to improve on Nature's handiwork.

Do not misunderstand me so far as to think I condemn the use of many little toilet accessories, which add greatly both to comfort and health. It would be insulting to the good sense of my girls, if I were to specify what things are lawful and useful, and what are contemptible and to be avoided.

You would smile, in pitying fashion, at the sight of an old lady, whose grey locks having become too scanty to cover her head, had thought fit to crown her wrinkled face with a wig and fringe of golden hair. But if the addition matched what remained of her own growth, I hope you would be glad to think that art had done something on behalf of comfort and comeliness for old age, as well as for youth. Depend on it the natural colour of your hair is that which agrees best with your features and complexion, and if there is anything really wrong with the latter, it will be better for you to consult your doctor than a manufacturer of cosmetics.

I am glad to think I have not known many girls whose vanity led them to spoil their appearance in the manner I hope you join me in condemning, but we have all seen plenty of such. I picture two, however, both rather exceptionally attractive. One had beautiful, glossy, dark hair, with eyes to match, and a complexion like a blush rose.

I did not see her for some time, and when we met I was horrified at the change. A mop of yellow, frizzled hair surmounted a face whence the blush-rose tint had fled, or been hidden under glaringly false red and white. All the dainty charm of the face was gone, and I am fain to confess that I went a little out of my way to avoid a closer meeting with my changed acquaintance. Happily I can tell of a pleasant sequel in this case. Some good influence has been brought to bear, or perhaps the girl's innate good sense has overcome her vanity, and she has found out that such shams are unworthy of a self-respecting girl.

She has given fair play to Nature, and that just in time to save the blush-rose complexion from ruin, and to be once more her bonny self.

The second girl possessed remarkable beauty especially of complexion, and her vanity and greed of admiration were in proportion to it. These impelled her to be ever experimenting on herself to produce greater perfection, with the result that whilst still a girl she looked many years older than her age, and I hear, though I do not see her now, that she is daily becoming less attractive, though no less vain than of old.

Quite apart from the harm done to personal appearance by these foolish practices, but of far greater importance, is the moral injury they cause. One might call the exhibition of paint an acted falsehood, because it is an attempt to make ourselves appear what we are not.

But such devices are too transparent to deceive. If begun, they become more and more injurious and difficult to discontinue, and those who practise them live in an atmosphere of anxiety and disappointment. Age comes, despite all efforts to delay its progress, and it leaves footprints which baffle art to disguise or obliterate.

Doubtless you have all heard this expression used in relation to someone you know—"She knows how to grow old gracefully." You understand it to picture one who accepts age as the natural and inevitable sequence of youth; who is above the paltry vanity which would hide it—or, rather, try to hide it—yet who neglects nothing which can help to make it externally attractive, and especially to the young. For, if age is to have its full legitimate influence over youth, it must be beautiful in itself, both without and within.

I will not ask you, my dear ones, to look again at that pitiable picture of Vanity battling with Age, despite the certainty of defeat and disappointment. But be assured of this—that the girl who starts on the same lines will reach the same goal; but it will not be that of a beautiful and lovable old age.

Do not imagine that I undervalue externals. I would have you all be habitually careful about them. Let your complexion be kept at its best by scrupulous cleanliness. If your hair is beautiful and abundant, take pains to dress it in the fashion that best sets off such good looks as you possess. If you are less favoured in this respect, give the more care and pains so as to make the best of what you have.

Exercise good taste in your dress, whilst carefully keeping your expenditure within your means. The girl who dresses quietly and becomingly will not make herself conspicuous in later years by the use of glaring colours or fantastic garments.

Try to be graceful and quiet in your movements, and scrupulous in avoiding all little ways and habits likely to be disturbing, unpleasant, or offensive to others. And do not be offended if a well-meaning friend ventures to point out a tendency to any growing habit of the kind, knowing that if once established it will be almost impossible for you to overcome it. Bear in mind that such a warning can be only intended for your benefit and to help you on your way towards growing old gracefully.

Study to modulate your voices so that the sound of them may fall pleasantly, even musically, on the ear. Shrill, harsh, and loud youthful voices become something too terrible when they accompany age.

I wonder if any of you have heard our dear Queen speak? I regret to say that I have not, but friends have told me that they never heard a voice which equalled hers for its melodious tone, perfect clearness, and faultless enunciation.

Try to avoid affectation in gesture and movement, and any form of facial contortion. Habit makes all these painful to witness, and age exaggerates them. Sometimes a habit of knitting the brows is contracted early in life, with the result that the forehead is furrowed and a forbidding expression given to the face which permanently spoils it. Age intensifies what is forbidding and disagreeable, but shows to the greatest advantage all that is most lastingly attractive in us, just as the flower fulfils the promise of the bud.

In this lesson on "How to grow old" I have confined myself to externals. It is time for us to part, but when we meet again we will study the subject from the highest standpoint.

Before then a new year will have dawned on us. Let me suggest as a fitting motto for it, "I will go in the strength of the Lord God." May it prove a very happy one to you all.

(To be continued.)


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


Granny 20 was in one of her most garrulous moods, but who was there to listen? She tried to catch a nurse or probationer as they hurried by the end of the bed, with a "Listen to me now, nurse." But a smile and a nod and a "By-and-by, Granny," was all she got for her pains.

Her nearest bed-fellows were too sleepy for anything, and she had to content herself with murmuring to an imaginary audience until Sister had a moment's leisure, and came to her bedside.

"I was saying, Sister, that Mrs. 21 there is one with me. We both rue our wedding-day! And we thought—bless yer!—we thought, when we stood up so proud and made our vows, that we was the luckiest women in the world."

"And it all turned out badly, Granny?"

"Oh, well! It might have been wuss for some of us. I won't say it mightn't; but me was in too much of a hurry—that was the mischief. Why, bless yer! Mrs. 21 there says she wasn't more'n sixteen when she took a 'usband! And me? I was only just turned eighteen. We didn't know no better. We were took by a 'andsome face."

"Well, Granny, I cannot err on the side of marrying too young, whatever I do."

"Sister! You ain't never thinking of matrimoany? Don't 'ee, dear! Don't 'ee! Just take the advice of a old woman what knows. This is what I say. If a man comes to you and seems true enough, don't trust him! No, not if trust was to sparkle like a diamond from the end of every hair on his head, don't trust him!"

Hardly knowing how to contain herself for laughter, Sister promised to be very careful, and thanked Granny for her wise words.

"They aire wise. You may well say so," chuckled the old lady. "Now I could tell you——"

"Another time, Granny dear—and see! Here's nurse with your tea. A cup of tea! There's nothing like it, is there?"

"Bless yer—no!"

And Nurse Hudson—what of her? Had{221} the episode of yesterday's carelessness with the words of reproof that followed been the warning Sister Warwick hoped? The watchful eyes could detect very little that was amiss that day. But she was obliged to acknowledge that the nurse's manner towards herself was not what it should be. With her new efforts not to repel her nurses by the stiffness of her own manners she ignored what she could. Later she felt glad she had done so.

After tea the medicines were given out. It was the staff-nurse's duty to-day, and following the instructions on her chart, Hudson went to and fro, pouring out the draughts, and bringing them to each bed in order.

Sister, seated by No. 10, watched her silently. But when she brought the dose for this "typhoid," she took it from her hand to administer it herself.

What instinct made her pause, before giving it, to ask:

"Is this the new medicine, nurse?"

"Of course it is, Sister!" The tone was offensive, but, ignoring it, Sister Warwick leant forward to hold the glass to the girl's lips. Again she paused. What was it stayed her hand?

She raised the glass, smelt it, and then put it to her own lips and tasted the liquid, her eyes on the chart.

"This is an overdose!" she said sternly. "Here are four times the right amount!"

For she knew in a flash what the nurse had done, and she shuddered at the thought! Hudson had certainly, as she said, given the fresh medicine the chart directed, but in her heedlessness she had not looked to see if the quantity was altered too. She had poured out two tablespoonfuls instead of two teaspoonfuls—a dose that would have caused intense suffering, if nothing worse, to the sick girl.

Sister Warwick rose from her chair and looked Nurse Hudson full in the face. Her utter scorn and indignation at this culpable carelessness rendered her speechless.

But her glance was enough!

Turning on her heel, she carried the medicine-glass into her room, placed it in a cupboard there, and locking it up, removed the key.

Nurse Hudson watched it all—miserable and self-condemned—knowing what the action meant. Now that it was done, she would have given anything to have been more careful. Her colour came and went. She stood irresolute. Her better self was urging her to go at once and with a humble apology plead for another trial with an earnest promise of a different course in the future. But she could not bring herself to do that. Pride and Selfishness had been too closely her companions lately, excluding better impulses.

No, she would not believe that Sister Warwick meant to report her to the Matron. Perhaps she would only ask for her removal to another ward; there she could make a fresh start. But she did not ask herself with what motive.

Nurse Hudson's work had always been tarnished with the discolouring influences of her own low aims. No wonder now that she failed, and did not take the one step that might have saved her nursing career.

She left the ward that evening without another word with the Sister—miserable, self-pitying, undecided, little thinking that she would never enter it again.

"The whole affair shall be stopped at once!" The Matron's voice was full of decision and very stern. "I will send for Hudson and tell her I cannot keep her here any longer. Nor will I sign her certificate! I am not justified, after all you tell me, in sending her away to pass herself off as a qualified nurse."

"You take a harder view of her conduct than I do, Matron." And Sister Warwick then and there began to plead for the nurse who had been such a "thorn in her side."

"You will not move me, Sister! Hudson will go! It will seem right, from many points of view, when you can look at it dispassionately. I am only very thankful that we so rarely have such a failure among the nurses, and thankful most of all that no worse harm has been done. We might have had a case for the coroner."

Sister Warwick knew the Matron's words were just. She left her and went back to her own room, sinking into her leaning-chair with the consciousness that an upset like this "took it out of her" far more than even an operation involving pain and suffering to one of her dear ward babies. And, sad at heart, she began to think of Ellen Hudson's future, then to search back in her own mind for possible opportunities missed in the past when she might have helped her more kindly. She realised bitterly that she herself might have done better too.

She sat forward then and wrote a little note and sent it round to the Nurses' Home, timed to reach Nurse Hudson just after her interview with the Matron.

It was to ask her staff-nurse to come and see her before she left. But she never came. She passed out of Sister Warwick's life from that hour, and her place knew her no more.

Nurse Carden's bright face and ready sympathy were a pleasant interruption to the Sister's mournful ruminations that evening. She came in a little before her usual time, and the two had a quiet chat in the "Sisters' Room" before the night work began.

Here Sister Cumberland joined them. These three women—so different in character, so united in aim and purpose—felt then the sustaining power of a friendship that was standing the wear and tear of life.

Seeing how worried the elder "Sister" was by the present, the other two drew her thoughts back to the past and to their earlier experiences in the ward.

"Do you remember?" was the introduction to many reminiscences Sister Cumberland recalled that night on duty, when she fought her fiercest fight with the craving for sleep.

Nurse Carden talked of Tommie the waif and his whimsical ways. He could not be forgotten, for it was not many days since at the lodge-gate of her own home she had seen the Tommie of to-day. Such a contrast! A sturdy, ruddy, honest country lad, loving his life as a gardener's boy, and always ready, if questioned, to say, "Oh, I belong to Nurse Carden, I do! I ain't got nobody else! But she is good to me, she is!"

So the three talked until the hour struck which took them to their various duties and closed the second of these days my pen has tried to describe—days chosen not because they were remarkably different from many others, but because they give an average picture of the cares and anxieties, the pleasures and interests that belong to a hospital Sister's life; because, too, they tell of an experience that had a lasting effect in softening Sister Warwick's character and in extending her influence over the nurses in her charge.



Ya want ti knaw aboot ma maate Gus? Set ya doon, then, an' ah'll tell ya all aboot it.

Me an' Gus wer friends fra' t' first. 'E wer a shy, quiet soort o' lad, an' t' other chaps didn't seem ti taake ti 'im at first, an' it wer soort o' loansoom for a yoong chap lodgin' aloan i' a straange plaace, specially as 'e didn't seem ti care mooch for t' public-'oose o' neets. Soa wun evening, as we wer leavin' woork, ah says ti 'im, "Coom in an' 'ave a bit o' soopper wi' ma an' ma missus, lad."

'E looked real pleased, an' said 'e would coom, bud 'e wouldn't coom straight 'oam wi' ma, as ah wanted 'im ti. Noa, 'e mun gang back ti 'is lodgins an' fettle issen oop.

My missus weant best pleased when sha 'eard 'e wer coming; mebbe, theer weant ower mooch for soopper, an' sha niver were fond o' straangers; bud 'e 'adn't been i' oor lahtle room aboove 'alf a minute afoor ah seed as sha'od taaken a fancy ti 'im. 'E com in rather shy an' bashful loike, for all 'e'd maade 'issen soa graand wi' 'is Soonday coate an' all, an' ma missus, she says—

"Set ya doon an' maak yersen at whoam, while ah get summat for ya ti eat," an' 'e set doon reet theer by t' door, on t' edge o' 'is cheer, an' 'adn't a woord to say for 'issen.

Oor lahtle lass Polly—she wer nobbut fooer year owd then—shoo com in an' stood starin' at 'im wi' 'er finger i' 'er mooth, an' at sight o' 'er 'e foond 'is tongue.

"Coom 'ere, lahtle ma'ad," says 'e; "ah'm wonnerful fond o' childer. Coom an' see what ah've got i' ma pocket."

Bud t' lahtle lass still stood beside ma, starin' at 'im as if 'e wer summat i' a show.

Gus didn't saay nowt moor, but 'e oots wi' 'is knife an' a bit o' wood and starts carvin' summat.

"Noo," says 'e, arter a bit, "what shall it be? Shall ah maak tha a 'orse, or a coo, or what?"

T' lahtle lass foond 'er toongue at that.

"A lad," says she, an' cooms a step nearer ti see what 'e wer at.

"Shoo'll be a rare wun for t' lads when shoo's a bit bigger, ah'se warran'," says 'e, wi' a laugh; an' 'e goes on carvin' t' bit o' wood in a waay 'at wer wunnerful ti me. Soon t' head an' shoolthers appeared, an' then t' legs an' arms, an' all t' while t' tahtle lass crept nearer an' nearer, an' by t' tahm t' lad wer doon, shoo wer sittin' on 'is knee an' chatterin' awaay ti 'im as if 'e wer' an owd friend.

That woon moother's 'eart, for shoo's powerful set on t' lahtle lass, seem' shoo's t' oanly wun wi' 'ave—an' ah reckon ah weant far be'ind 'er i' that—an' befoor 'e left shoo'd arst 'im ti taake 'is dinner wi' us Soonday next. Arter that, Gus wer in an' oot continual, an' 'e an't' lahtle lass wer as thick as thieves. It wer pratty ti see 'er perched o' 'is knee, wi' 'is arm roond 'er, an' ti 'ear 'er pratty prattle, all aboot 'er dolls an' toys an' sooch-like. 'E used ti call 'er 'is lahtle sweet-'eart, an' saay sha mun marry 'im{222} when sha wer growed a bit, an' t' lahtle lass 'ud look oop i' 'is faace, as graave as graave, an' promise ti be 'is lahtle wife. 'Twer as pratty a pictur as 'eart could wish to see them thegither, an' 'e niver seemed ti tire o' 'er coompany, or care ti talk wi' me or t' missus when t' lahtle lass wer theer.

Well tahm went on, an' t' job e'd coom doon 'ere for wer nigh finished—layin' rails o' new line it wer—an' 'e wer talkin' o' leavin', for 'e weant fra' oor parts; when wun daay—ah mind it wer t' first o' April, for theer'd been soom foolin' amoong t' lads earlier i' t' daay, an' t' blackthorn wer buddin' i' t' 'edges—we wer setting on t' railway bank eatin' oor dinners. Gus wer moor talkative than ordinary that daay; ah mind 'e'd been tellin' us o' t' waay they did 'arvestin' i' 'is parts—Lancashire waay—an' 'arvest-'oams, an' sooch-like, when all of a soodden ah caught sight o' ma lahtle lass runnin' along t' line. It did gie ma a toorn, for t' doon traain 'ad been signalled two or three minutes sin', an' even as ah caught sight o' 'er, ah 'eerd it roombling along i' t' distance.

"Ma God!" ah cried. "Look theer!"

Jack Wilson—'im as lives i' yon cottage wi' t' creepers doon by t' church—shoots as lood as 'e could, "Get oft t' line, bairn! Get off t' line!" Bud Polly, sha didn't taak noa 'eed ti 'im.

Then afoor ah 'ad got ma wits aboot ma, or 'ad ony idea what 'e wer goin ti do, Gus 'ad joomped doon fra' t' bank, an' were roonnin' for 'is loife doon t' line ti meet t' lahtle lass. It wer awful to see 'im, while every moment t' thoonder o' t' train com nearer.

"Is t' man mad?" cried Wilson. "It's certain death." An' even as 'e spoke, t' train com roond t' corner.

Polly stood still, terrified, an' Gus ran on reet inti t' teeth o' t' train. Ah turned deadly sick, for ah niver thowt 'e would be i' tahm, an' it seemed nobbut a waaste o' two lives; bud 'e reached 'er joost afoor t' train did. Ah seed 'im catch 'er oop an' toss 'er on ti t' bank, an' then—then t' traan wer on 'im, an' we saw noothing moor till it 'ad past. Then ah ran ti wheer 'e wer lyin', an' an awful sight it wer. It 'aunts ma yet, thoo it's nigh on ten year sin. 'E wer livin', poor chap, an' 'e looked up at ma wi' a smile, though t' death dews were gathering on 'is faace.

"T' lahtle lass?" 'e asked anxiously.

"Saafe an' well," ah answered. "Eh, Gus, lad, tha' shouldn't 'a doon it. Ah reckon she weant woorth it."

"Niver saay that!" 'e said. "Wheer is sha? Ah'd like fine to bid her good-bye."

Polly wer cryin' wi' fright on t' bank cloas at 'and. Ah called 'er, bud at first sha 'ung back, not knawin' as it wer 'er friend as lay theer, a sickenin' sight, an' not fit for a bairn ti see.

"Niver mind, John," 'e said, sadly enough. "It's better soa. Ah wouldn't like 'er ti think o' ma like this." But ah went an' fetched 'er, an' bade 'er ti thank 'im for saavin' 'er loife.

"Nay, nay," 'e said, smoilin' oop at 'er. "Good-bye, lahtle sweet'eart. Tha'lt 'ave ti get anoother lad noo."

"Nay, ah'll waait for thee an' be thy lahtle wife," says Polly sturdily, not un'erstan'in', poor lahtle lass, as 'e wer dyin'.

"Tha'lt 'ave ti waait till tha gets ti t' New Jeroosalem, then," 'e answers, "if soa be as they'll let ma in." An' at that 'e looks serious.

Ah maade 'aste ti cheer 'im oop.

"Nay, lad, thoo need 'ave noa fear o' that," ah says. "Tha mind hoo He said, 'Inasmooch as ye 'a doon it to wun o' t' least o' these, ye 'a doon it unto Me.'"

Hoo 'is faace lighted oop at that word! Then a spasm o' agony crossed it, an' t' death rattle began i' 'is throat.

'E couldn't speak, bud 'e maade ma a sign ti send t' lahtle lass away, an' ah bade 'er roon 'oam ti 'er moother. Then ah knelt doon an' raised 'im in ma arms, an' it weant long—thank God, it weant long.

Well, it's ten year sin, as ah said, an' it's an owd story noo, an' t' grass is green on 'is graave. T' lahtle lass keeps it rare an' gay wi' flooers. Shoo's growin' a graat gell noo, an' it weant be long afoor t' lads begin ti coom aboot 'er, for shoo's growin' bonny; bud shoo's niver forgotten Gus, an' if shoo iver did, ah wouldn't oan 'er as ma darter, that ah wouldn't!



Freda.—Of the cause of exophthalmic goître but little is known for certain. Worry or anxiety often precede the onset of the disease. Unlike ordinary goître this affection is not limited in any way to certain districts, but occurs in every part of the country. "Is it curable, and if so, how long should a moderate case take to cure?" Yes, many cases do recover. When the disease is very marked, recovery is unusual. But now that surgeons have directed their attention to the disease there is every reason to believe that the severer grades of the affection may yield to operative treatment. We can no more tell you how long an attack of exophthalmic goître will last than we could tell you the day of your death. Sometimes the disease disappears in six months or a year, often it drags on for many years. As a rule, if the symptoms develop rapidly, the disease runs a rapid course. Men are comparatively rarely attacked. We can, however, call to mind a fair number of cases of exophthalmic goître in the male sex. Unmarried women of from twenty to thirty years of age are the usual victims of this disease.

Worried.—1. In all probability your sister would get better and stronger after marriage. Of course it depends a good deal upon the cause of her malady. She had far better go to her family doctor and get his advice upon the matter. We cannot take the responsibility of giving a definite answer to your question from such a very scanty amount of information.—2. There are so many books on travel and science, suitable to ordinary readers, that it is rather difficult to choose any particular volume. One of the best books on science for a beginner—that is, a person who is beginning to read science—is a little work called Ants and their Ways, by the Rev. Farren White. It is a charming little volume which will instil into anyone who reads it the habit of observation—so all-important in science. The book is very moderate in price. It is published by the Religious Tract Society. If you turn to the advertisement sheets at the back of this paper you will see notices of a number of very good books on both science and travel.

Matron.—Obviously the book you want is the British Pharmacopœia. This gives definite instructions how to make up every official preparation. There is a new edition just published. For the drugs which are not in the British Pharmacopœia, Squire's Companion to the British Pharmacopœia may be consulted. You will do well to thoroughly master the decimal measures, and to use them exclusively, as they are now official and will alone be used in the future. The old and confusing apothecaries' measures are now out of date.

Alta.—For the bites and stings of midges, etc., rub a little dilute ammonia on the bite. This usually relieves the pain instantly. It is better to put a drop of dilute carbolic acid (about 1 in 100) upon the bite after using the ammonia. The reason for this is that the trouble from an insect's bite is dependent upon two causes. In the first place the insect actually drops poison into the bite. This, which is usually formic acid, makes the wound smart at once, but its effect passes off in a little time. Ammonia neutralises this acid and so gives instant relief. But there is a second cause of trouble which is far more serious. The bite of a fly has caused more deaths than you would think, and from this reason. Flies of all kinds are given to feed on garbage, and as they have not yet learnt to use a toothbrush, their mouths are always swarming with germs. Usually these germs are not of a very virulent kind. But suppose that a midge has been eating the carcase of an animal which has died from peritonitis. That fly is now more deadly than a viper, for on its tongue it has a poison which is capable of rapid increase if it ever finds a suitable home. If this fly bites you, you may die from the bite. Everyone knows that often an insect sting or bite does not ache or swell at first; but after several hours the place becomes hot and swollen, and if the place bitten be the hand, the arm begins to swell and the glands in the armpit enlarge. In this case a mild dose of microbes has been innoculated. Ammonia will not in most cases destroy these microbes. Therefore, we say, put a drop of dilute carbolic acid on the place as soon as you can. The ammonia simply relieves a little itching (for the poison of the insect itself is rarely dangerous), but the carbolic acid destroys organisms which are capable of great mischief. Rubbing the face and hands with oil of eucalyptus, or paraffin, will sometimes prevent insects from coming near you.

Lily, My Queenie.—1. Is the skin round your eyebrows scarred? Hair never grows on scars, nor can it be made to do so by any means in our power. If there are no scars, try a little white precipitate ointment applied carefully to the eyebrows.—2. Moles cannot be cured. They can be removed by operation. If they are large and noticeable it is better to have them removed. Otherwise leave them severely alone.

Pearl.—Take our advice and see a doctor at once. Severe headache is a very common symptom, and though it is usually caused by some trivial ailment, it is often the only subjective sign of a serious disease. Your attacks suggest megraine, but they might be due to far more serious things. Without a complete personal examination no man living could diagnose your malady.

Fox.—What size corsets do you wear? Tight lacing is, or rather was, a very common cause of fatness about the face. What age are you? It is very common for women to get double chins and extra plump cheeks when they have passed their thirtieth year. Very many diseases cause fatness of the face. Kidney disease is one of the commonest of these. All we can advise you to do is to be careful about your diet. Avoid farinaceous puddings and sweets. Take plenty of exercise. No drug is of much good in obesity of any kind. Some of the mineral waters, especially Vichy, are sometimes useful to stout persons.

A Weary and Careworn Girl.—We are exceedingly sorry that we could not answer your letter earlier. The troubles that you have gone through are enough to depress any girl of twice your age. We think that all your sufferings are due to nervousness resulting from being "run down." What the impediment in your speech is, is not quite clear from your letter. Probably it is far less than you imagine, else your mother would certainly have noticed it. The difficulty which you find in commencing to talk is due to nervousness. As your health improves, and as you grow older this will tend to disappear. We will publish an article on blushing and nervousness next month. To the last of your questions your clergyman would be more competent to give you an answer than ever we could be. Go to your pastor and tell him your troubles. He is sure to be able to comfort you in your affliction and to help you to bear your cross with patience for the sake of Him who laid down His life for you.

Croyden.—The habit of taking acids to cure indigestion is greatly to be deprecated. Acids and bitters are very useful in some forms of indigestion, but they should never be taken unless ordered by a physician. Alkalis, such as bicarbonate of soda, are on the other hand of great value in the majority of cases of indigestion. Indeed we will go further than this: we have never met with a case of indigestion from any cause which was not benefited, sometimes only temporarily, by alkalis. We have seen very few cases of indigestion which have been relieved by acids. Our candid opinion is that the habit of taking acids and bitters to cure disorders of the stomach or loss of appetite, is a very fertile cause of the life-long indigestion so common nowadays.

Black Eyes.—In an answer to "Fair Isobel," which was published some months ago, the treatment of blackheads was thoroughly discussed.

Emily Phelps.—Your glasses do not suit you. Go to an oculist and get his prescription for another pair. Your symptoms are very common in people who use unsuitable spectacles.


Buttercup.—Bunions are due to the pressure of badly-fitting boots. In the human foot the great or innermost toe bends away from the other toes. This gives to the inner border of the foot a direction slanting inwards towards the middle line of the body. Most boots are made with their inner border slanting outwards away from the middle line so as to meet the outer border of the boots at a more or less acute angle. We have therefore the great toe naturally tending to depart from its fellows, and we have the boot forcing the great toe towards, and possibly under or over, the other toes. The boot is an unyielding structure. The inner border of the foot is also practically unyielding, except at one spot, the joint of the great toe. The first toe is therefore forced inwards and its joint projects as an angle. The boot presses upon this joint, a corn forms, inflammation is set up, and the joint becomes diseased, forming a bunion. When once a bunion has developed, it is no good talking about its prevention. We must attempt to cure it, and it is not so very difficult to cure it, and keep it cured, if you fully understand how it originated. A bunion is caused by pressure upon the joint. The cure of the bunion consists of removing the pressure from the joint. To do this you should wear boots in which the inner border slopes away from the centre of the boot. We advise you to get a pair of boots of this shape made for yourself. If the bunion is intractable, you may need a "post" in the boot between the great and the second toe. Keep your foot scrupulously clean, and take a foot-bath every evening.

J. S. N.—As your mother died from heart disease, it is no wonder that you imagine your own symptoms to be likewise due to heart trouble; but the symptoms you mention are all characteristic of simple dyspepsia; not one of them is common in heart disease. When you say "at times my pulse beats very fast and sometimes irregularly," we presume that you mean that you feel your heart beating fast or irregularly, in other words, that you have palpitation. When the heart is beating fast or irregularly, as it frequently does in heart disease, it produces no symptoms which might inform the sufferer of her state. It is only by feeling the pulse that irregularities in its action can be detected. We will not say that heart disease is not hereditary, but the importance of this factor has been greatly over-estimated. Disease of the heart is very frequently due to rheumatic fever; and the tendency to rheumatism is; to a certain extent, hereditary. You will find plenty of information about indigestion in our last year's volume.

Esther.—We can well understand that you feel a little nervous about your chest, when you tell us that both your parents died of phthisis. You know that the risk of your developing the disease is considerable, yet it by no means follows that you will get phthisis. By no means are you certain to get phthisis. You must be very careful about yourself, and the least bit of a cough or cold which may attack you must be carefully attended to. Indeed we advise you to call in your family doctor the moment that you have any cough or other untoward symptom. Certainly you would do well to spend your winters in Switzerland.

Canary.—1. A little dumb-bell exercise every morning will improve the form of your back and shoulders. The dumb-bells should be made of wood and not weigh more than two pounds each. Heavy bell exercise is very dangerous. It has always been considered beautiful for women to possess broad hips.—2. Why? Why do so many of our correspondents call themselves "constant readers"? Perhaps it is that they think that by using that pseudonym they will get answered sooner, or perhaps it is merely from lack of sufficient imagination to think of some phrase less commonplace.

E. M. Walker.—Cinnamon is more at home in the pantry than in pharmacy. The only medicinal action it possesses is that of all aromatic substances. It is occasionally used as a stomachic, but its chief use is for flavouring. Sometimes it is given for diarrhœa as it is a mild astringent. Cinnamon has no action on cancer, neither has any drug the slightest effect upon the course of this disease. Indeed one might put down the medicinal action of cinnamon at zero.

Mabel B.—It is not at all uncommon for the hair to fall out after a severe illness. It is, however, rare for permanent baldness to result. Usually after combing out in large quantities for some weeks or months the hair grows quickly and luxuriously again. A mildly stimulating hair-wash is often useful in these cases. Brilliantine, bay rum or rosemary hair-washes are suitable. We much doubt whether taking cod-liver oil would have any effect upon your hair, but it might help to restore your strength.

Florrie.—1. We know of no recipe which will remove hairs from the face without doing serious damage to the skin at the same time.—2. Try sulphur soap for a shiny face. Do not use face powder.

Helena.—Read the answer to "Florrie" above. The Laws of Libel prevent us from giving you our opinion on the preparation which you mention. We are allowed, however, to warn you to have nothing to do with any patent medicine of which you do not know the composition. It has not been our experience that peroxide of hydrogen makes the hair grow quickly.


Irish May Flower.—It is rather difficult to dispose of such sketches as you describe. We should suggest that you took them to any picture dealer in your neighbourhood, and asked him to try to sell them for you. Or you might write to the Irish Ladies' Work Society, 47, George Street, Kingstown, inquiring if that would be of any use to you.

Mabel Entwistle.—We are very glad that you have been enabled through our means "to make the acquaintance of two extremely nice French girls." Your writing we like very much. It is clear, definite, and has a character of its own. If we gave any hint for its improvement, it would be to avoid the lapses in the middle of a word, making the writing flow consecutively.

La Petite Violette.—We have not forgotten you, and are very glad you have taken up some special study. We have placed your request in "Our Open Letter Box."

Wild Rose.—1. Your first quotation is from Tennyson's In Memoriam, xxvii., stanza 4.

"I hold it true, whate'er befall,
I feel it when I sorrow most,
'Tis better to have loved and lost,
Than never to have loved at all."

2. Look through the poetry of Thomas Moore for your second extract, and if you cannot find it there, send it again and we will place it in "Our Open Letter Box."

Catalina.—1. Apply to the Church Sunday School Institute, Serjeant's Inn, Fleet Street, E.C., or to the Sunday School Union (undenominational), 57, Ludgate Hill, and you will receive the fullest information. The lessons for each Sunday are set forth in certain inexpensive books in detail, with comments and information upon every verse. In addition to these "lesson helps" you should read and study books upon the Old Testament and upon the life of our Lord, such as Farrar's Life of Christ. The Religious Tract Society has published one (The Life of Jesus Christ the Saviour, by Mrs. S. Watson), which is not too ambitious, and might help you. The net price is 3s. 9d.—2. Your writing is good for your age, but might be improved if the tails to your "g's," "y's," etc., were less straggling.

Erin-go-bragh.—1. We have inserted your request, but (as you give a pseudonym) not your address.—2. Your handwriting is too upright and irregular, but there is the foundation of a good hand in it.

Exile of Erin.—The "Fragment" you enclose is above the average of poems submitted to us, but your metre does not flow quite smoothly enough. You should avoid too many monosyllables in these long lines.

L. A. T.—We should advise you to read Homer's "Odyssey," translated by Butcher and Lang, and if you find difficulty in understanding it, a "Primer" on the subject as well. But we think you will enjoy it. As for Plato, read "The Trial and Death of Socrates," translated by Dean Church, and consult a small history of Greece on the period (399 B.C.) Do not attempt too much at once, nor read Plato's deeper "Dialogues" to begin with. Your letter, which you ask us to criticise, is clearly written, with only one mistake in spelling.

Miss Bealey.—We undertake no communication by post (see "Rules" in our November part and elsewhere). You will find the "Home Reading Union" an excellent society; apply to the Secretary, Surrey House, Victoria Embankment. Consult this column for amateur societies occasionally mentioned.

Miss Florence E. Smith calls attention to the "Bedford Practising Society," of which she is secretary. She will be delighted to send particulars to any fellow reader of the Girl's Own Paper. Address to her at Winfrith, The Crescent, Bedford.

Hoffnung.—Many thanks for your letter. By all means try again.


Mademoiselle Marguerite Gontard (address "Nikopal Mariopol Co., Mariopol, South Russia, Engineer Prauss for M. Gontard"), wishes to be put into communication with a young English lady, resident in either of the continents of Asia, Africa, America, or Australia. She desires to correspond with her either in English or French. We thank Mademoiselle Gontard for her pretty English letter. She may certainly write to us in French if she prefers to do so.

"Erin-go-bragh" would like to correspond with a French girl of about her own age—twenty-one.

Florence writes a kind letter from which we quote a sentence. "I am wondering whether some little girl belonging to the readers of our Girl's Own Paper would care to have an older friend to write to; she would receive in return sympathy if in trouble, and an interest would be taken in all she might care to confide to one whom she could perhaps learn to look upon in the light of an elder sister." We regret that it is against our rules to undertake direct postal communication; but if any little girl sends us her address, we will insert it here for "Florence" to see. Perhaps some lonely, or motherless, or sad little girls might be glad to find a friend.


La Petite Violette wishes to find a poem with a refrain to each verse "Belle Marquise." She saw a quotation from it as a heading to a chapter in a book entitled Woman and the Shadow.

Miss M. A. C. Crabb and Elpis answer Lennox by referring the verse she quotes—

"Alas! how easily things go wrong,"

to a poem in the 19th chapter of George Macdonald's "Phantastes: a Faerie Romance." They agree in saying that the second verse is not by the same pen.

Peterkin, Gertrude Ashworth, Klondyke, B. D. Ward, M. E. Bates, "Stick," R. M. Cooke, Mabel Entwistle and "The Eldest Girl," inform Ethel Rimmer that Christina Rossetti's poem beginning—

"When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me,"

has been set to music by Malcolm Lawson, and is entitled "Hereafter," in keys E♭ and G. It appeared in the June number of the Strand Musical Magazine for 1895. "A Lover of the 'G.O.P.'" says it has been set to music by C. A. Lee, either for a soprano or an alto voice.

R. C. R. suggests to Gold Dust that the poem "Tit for Tat" is contained in "Original Poems for Infant Minds," by Jane Taylor, her sisters and brother. If this is the poem sought for, we may add that the volume is published by Routledge.

One of the First Readers, Azie, asks for the author of a poem entitled "Maggie and the Angels," containing two lines—

"Maggie, are they the angels?
And be they always there?"

Perseveranza would be glad to know the publishers of a picture-book of performing frogs or cats from which she could copy for painting on dessert doyleys.

L B. N. R. wishes to know the author of the following lines—

"There is a river which flows for ever,
And the flowers that bloom on its banks
Grow bright, as they glitter in grateful endeavour
To vie in a perfume of thanks."


Edith.—The origin of the Lions as a device on the Royal Arms we trace to William the Conqueror, who introduced those of Normandy. These two original Lions were supplemented by a third, added by Henry III., it is generally supposed, for Aquitaine.

Mater.—To make an economical Christmas cake, take half a pound of butter, place in a bowl, and break five eggs over it, stirring continuously, while a second person sifts in slowly a pound and a half of currants (well washed, dried, and carefully picked), three-quarters of a pound of flour, and two ounces of citron peel chopped to moderately small pieces. Place in a papered shape—not buttered—several folds of paper being laid at the bottom of the tin, and bake in moderately hot oven during three hours.

Semper paratus.—We answer two questions, and you have asked nineteen! It is impossible to describe the several Scotch tartans otherwise than by coloured illustrations. These you will find in a book published by W. and A. K. Johnston (Edinburgh and London), entitled, The Scottish Clans and their Tartans, now in its second (if not third) edition. Some account of every Clan is given.

Anxious.—Rheumatism will, no doubt, be made worse by exposure to damp and draughts; but the origin is in acidity, which crystallises in the joints and muscles. You should abstain for a time from butchers' meat, and from sweet things. Attend to the action of the liver, which may be torpid; and if the pain be in the arms and shoulders, you should perform all kinds of exercises with them, and employ friction and rubbing with suitable embrocation. If you do not perform exercises, the joints and sinews will become stiff.

A. E. C.—Noah's Ark, by Darley Dale, is published as a book by F. Warne, Bedford Street, Strand. Price 3s. 6d.

Helen of Troy.—You will find several families of the name Marshall—though not necessarily related—in Burke's Landed Gentry. Perhaps you can claim your connection with one of them. The first on the list is G. H. Marshall, of Patterdale Hall, Westmoreland, descended from John of Yeadon Hall, Co. York, who made a large fortune from the mechanical improvements in a branch of the linen manufacture. There is Marshall of Treworgley, Cornwall; Marshall of Penwortham Hall, descended from M. of Ardwick, near Manchester; Marshall of Ward End House, Co. Warwick, descended from M. of Perlethorp, Co. Nottinghamshire; and Marshall of Broadwater, Surrey, apparently the oldest family of that name, anciently spelt Marchal, and long resident in that county. None of these families have the same arms, nor crest. The first-named (of Patterdale) has none ascribed to them in the Landed Gentry. You had better consult the second volume in some library.




We are publishing Three Puzzle Poems in succession dealing with accidents and the way to meet them, and the following is the second of the series. The lines should be carefully committed to memory for the sake of the valuable instruction they contain.

In addition to the ordinary monthly prizes Three Special Prizes are offered for the best solutions of the whole series.

The first Special Prize will be Three Guineas; the second Special Prize, Two Guineas, and the third Special Prize, One Guinea.

A careful record of mistakes will be kept, and these prizes will be awarded to those competitors who perpetrate the fewest in all three puzzles.

If a winner of one of these prizes has already received an ordinary prize in the series, the amount of the smaller prize will be deducted. This will then be sent to the most deserving non-prize-winner in the list relating to the puzzle for which the prize in question was awarded.


Prizes to the amount of six guineas (one of which will be reserved for competitors living abroad) are offered for the best solutions of the above Puzzle Poem. The following conditions must be observed.

1. Solutions to be written on one side of the paper only.

2. Each paper to be headed with the name and address of the competitor.

3. Attention must be paid to spelling, punctuation, and neatness.

4. Send by post to Editor, Girl's Own Paper, 56, Paternoster Row, London. "Puzzle Poem" to be written on the top left-hand corner of the envelope.

5. The last day for receiving solutions from Great Britain and Ireland will be February 17, 1899; from Abroad, April 17, 1899.

The competition is open to all without any restrictions as to sex or age.




First Prize (£2 2s.).

Margaret A. Fish, 49, Foregate Street, Worcester.

Second Prize (£1 1s.).

Rose Cook, 2, South Cliff, Lowestoft.

Third Prize (10s. 6d.).

Edith Ivens, Mayfield, Station Road, Llandaff, nr. Cardiff.

Very Highly Commended.

Emily M. P. Wood, Woodbank, Southport.

Honourable Mention.

Mary Adamson, Eastbourne; Lucy H. Chapman, Weston-super-Mare; "Conor," Bonchurch, I.W.; Rose L. Connor, Greenock, N.B.; "Editha," Birmingham; Kate Collins Ensor, Atherstone; "Excelsior," North Bow, E.; Annie F. Hepple, N. Shields; E. Marian Jupe, Warminster; "Mignonette," New Cross, S.E.; Edith Miller, Judd St., W.C.; Agnes Osborne, Sidcup; Minnie Reeves, Twyford; Lucy Richardson, York; Enid G. St. Aubyn, Retford; Mary Adéle Venn, West Kensington Park; L. M. Willis, Harrogate; Mabel Wilson, Bedford Park.

To the Competitors.

My dear Girls,—To the prize winners and to those of you also who failed to gain prizes, I offer my hearty congratulations on the excellent papers you sent in. The work of selecting the very best was much less difficult than that of choosing a few for "Honourable Mention," out of hundreds of really good ones.

It may interest you to know why some of you failed to obtain a place in the list of honours. Twenty-eight competitors were disqualified by breaking the rule as to size of paper and space to be filled. Then there were several charming essays on the story which were not miniatures of it. In a considerable number necessary parts of the outline were omitted, hence the work was incomplete.

It gave me true pleasure to note how thoroughly most of you grasped the lesson which the story was intended to convey.

Do not be disheartened. Try again. Such good papers cannot be called failures, and the exercise will benefit you whether you gain prizes or not.

Your affectionate old friend,
Ruth Lamb.



Subject:—"The G. O. P. Supplement for January."


By SARAH DOUDNEY, Author of "A Cluster of Roses," "A Flower of Light," etc.

We offer three prizes of Two Guineas, One Guinea, and Half-a-Guinea for the three best papers on our "Story Supplement" for this month. The essays are to give a brief account of the plot and action of the story in the Competitor's own words; in fact, each paper should be a carefully-constructed Story in Miniature, telling the reader in a few bright words what The Girl's Own Story Supplement for the month is all about.

One page of foolscap only is to be written upon, and is to be signed by the writer, followed by her full address, and posted to The Editor, Girl's Own Paper, in an unsealed envelope, with the words "Stories in Miniature" written on the left-hand top corner.

The last day for receiving the papers is January 20th; and no papers can in any case be returned.

Examiners:—The Author of the Story (Sarah Doudney), and the Editor of The Girl's Own Paper.

Transcriber's Note: The following changes have been made to this text.

Page 218—prevenche changed to pervenche.

Page 222—parafin changed to paraffin.