The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX, No. 984,
November 5, 1898, by Various

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Title: The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX, No. 984, November 5, 1898

Author: Various

Release Date: November 18, 2015 [EBook #50478]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Susan Skinner, Chris Curnow, Pamela Patten and
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The Girl's Own Paper.

Vol. XX.—No. 984.]NOVEMBER 5, 1898.[Price One Penny.

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



Heard ye the heavenly voice?
Solemn and deep, its warning soundeth near,
Falling like thunder on the careless ear,
Bidding the heart of humble faith rejoice:—
"Arise! and list not idly to my strain,
Fulfil your task while daylight may remain,
For the Night cometh on!"
Oh! while the morning hour
Of life is yours, upon the youthful brow
Be the pure seal of Heaven imprinted now!
Oft the "Great Reaper" culls the early flower.
But not untimely culled, to whom 'tis given
To show how brightly shines the light of Heaven
Through the Night coming on!
Oh! sound of joy to him
Who "the good fight" hath fought, and on the field,
So hardly won, may slumber on his shield,
Looking to Heaven, while Earth around grows dim.
Tracing his Saviour's footsteps to the tomb,
He sees no cause of fear, no shade of gloom,
In the Night coming on.
May we, too, see the light,
Shining beyond the darkness that we fear,
And tread the path, whereon its radiance clear
Shall guide our footsteps, if we walk aright.
Be ours to labour on, in humble trust
To share the blest repose that waits the just,
When the Night cometh on!

All rights reserved.]




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


Three or four more days of strain, and then the abscess in the ear broke, causing speedy relief. The first thing that Roy did was to fall into a profound sleep, which lasted some hours.

When he woke up, feeling markedly better, his murmur was for "Den!" as usual; and since no reply came, he said "Den!" more loudly.

Then he took a good look round. The light from the window was getting dim, and the pain in his ear was gone. He saw Denham near, leaning back in the only pretence at an easy-chair which the room could boast of. Ivor's head was resting against the wall, and he seemed to be in a heavy slumber. Boys of twelve or thirteen are not always thoughtful about other people; but an odd feeling came over Roy, as he noted the fine-looking young soldier in that attitude of utter weariness. All these days and nights of his illness he had actually never once seen Ivor asleep until now.

"He must be tired, I'm sure," Roy said aloud. "But I think I'm hungry. I wish he would wake up."

The room door opened very slowly and softly, and Roy's eyes grew round with astonishment. Nobody entered this infected place except the doctor and the old Frenchwoman in the mornings, and the latter always got away as fast as she could. This new-comer seemed to be in no hurry. She stepped inside, closed the door, and advanced towards the bed. There she stood still to look at Roy; and then she turned to gaze pityingly at Ivor.

Roy stared hard, fascinated. She was quite a girl, perhaps two or three years older than Polly. She was very slight, with a plain neatly-fitting dress. The lighted candle in her hand threw a strong glow upon her face. It was a particularly sweet face, delicate and gentle; and it would have been exceedingly pretty, but for the very evident ravages of a long-past attack of small-pox. There were no "pits" on her skin, but a certain soft roughness characterised the whole, as if, once upon a time, it had been covered with pits. Now it was pale, and the features were even, while short black hair curled over a wide forehead, and the dark eyes were full of an intense sadness. Even Roy could not but see that great sadness. As he looked at her she looked at him, and then she sighed.

"Pauvre petit!" she said softly.

She came close to the bed, and Roy put out his hand, only to snatch it back.

"Oh, I mustn't; I forgot. Den told me I must not touch anybody except him, not even that ugly old woman who comes in, because I'm all small-poxy, you know. And oh! I'm so thirsty. I wish he would wake up."

"Pauvre enfant!" She went to the table, and brought back a glass of milk, which she held to his lips. Roy drank eagerly. Then she smoothed his bed-clothes, and put his pillow straight.

"But you oughtn't to be here, you know; you might catch it," Roy's weak voice said. "Den would tell you to go. Can you talk English? I only know a wee bit of French."

"Yes; I can talk English." She said the words in foreign style, with a slow distinctness and separation of the syllables, but with a pure intonation. "I learnt English in your country. Yes, I have been there, for three, four years. Monsieur votre frère—your brother—il a l'air d'être très fatigué."

"Den isn't my brother. He's only—he's just Den, you know. Captain Denham Ivor, of His Majesty's Guards. He hasn't been to sleep for ever so long, and that's why he's tired. My ear has been so awfully bad, oh! for days and days. And I couldn't get to sleep, and Den was always by me—always."

The girl left Roy, and went closer to the sleeping man. He remained motionless; his arms loosely folded; a slight dew of exhaustion upon the brow; the face extremely pale. She sheltered the light from his eyes with her hand, and looked steadily. Then, turning away, she began putting things straight in the room. A few womanly touches altered wondrously the aspect of the whole. Roy lay and watched her.

"What's your name?" he asked. "Are you M. de Bertrand's daughter? I'm deaf in one ear still, so please don't whisper."

"No; I am Lucille de St. Roques. M. and Mme. de Bertrand are my good friends." She flushed slightly. "They are my best friends in all Paris."

"And do you live here?"

"No; I am come unexpected—quite sudden. My friends did not look for me. When they tell me of the English boy upstairs, and of the kind Monsieur who nurses him, then I say I will go and help. I have had the complaint, and I do not fear."

"I wonder where your home is?" Roy said, interested.

"Ah, for that, I have not now a true home. My home was in the south of France, but it is my home no longer. Cependant, I have kind friends at Verdun, where I live." She laid a hand on Roy kindly, murmuring, "Pauvre petit!"

"You don't call me 'little,'" protested the insulted Roy. "I'm nearly thirteen; almost a man. And I am going to fight Napoleon soon. Do you like Napoleon?" She shook her head. "That's right. Then you're Royalist; and I am glad, for I like you, and I don't like Napoleon. I shall soon be an officer in King George's Army. I'm going to have a commission as soon as I'm sixteen. And then I shall be a brave soldier, you know, like Denham. And have you a father and mother at that place, Ver—something?"

"Verdun." Little dreamt Roy how familiar a name it would soon become in his ears. "My father and mother, they were of the old noblesse, and they lost their lives in the Revolution, hélas! Thirteen years ago they were guillotined."

"Oh, I say, how horrid!" exclaimed Roy, at a loss to express the sympathy which he really felt. "How dreadful! Why, you must have been quite a child then."

"I was not yet eight years old. But that was in truth a terrible time. I was in prison with them for many, many weeks, before they went out to die."

Ivor woke suddenly, opening his eyes without warning. Then he stood up, leaning against the solid four-poster for support, since the room went round with him dizzily. He saw a girlish figure, and he vaguely felt that she had no business there, but a momentary pause before speech was necessary.

"Do not make so great haste. Will you not rest a little longer?" a kind voice said, and a soft hand came on his wrist.

"But indeed, mademoiselle, you must go away at once," he urged earnestly. "It is small-pox. It is——" And he tried in vain to recall the French word, though ready enough usually in talking French. "Pray go. You will take the infection."

"But me, I do not intend to go," she replied cheerfully, with her pretty foreign accent. "You need not be afraid for me, monsieur. See, I have had it. I am not in danger, not at all. You are fatigué, n'est-ce pas? It has been a long nursing—yes, so I have heard. When did you take food last?"


Denham confessed that he had not eaten for some time; he had not been hungry. Well, perhaps he was a trifle fatigué, but 'twas nothing, nothing at all. He was ready now for anything. If Mademoiselle would only not put herself in danger! By way of showing his readiness, he made a movement forward, but he was compelled to sit down, resting his forehead on his hand. The long strain had told upon even his vigorous constitution.

"Ah! C'est ça!" she murmured. "But you will be better, monsieur, for a cup of coffee."

Ivor had no choice but to yield, and she moved daintily about, making such coffee as only a Frenchwoman can, and bringing it presently to his side.

"This is not right," he protested. "I cannot allow you to wait upon me, mademoiselle."

She would listen to no remonstrances, however, and when he had disposed of it, she insisted that he should lie down on a couch in the small adjoining room, while she undertook to look after Roy. She had her friends' permission, she said, not explaining that she had refused to be forbidden, and Monsieur in his present state could do no more. How long was it since he had slept? Ah, doubtless some days!

Ivor gave in, after much resistance, and in ten minutes he was again heavily asleep, not to wake for many hours. Nature at last was claiming her revenge.

When he woke, after five hours' unbroken rest, he was another man. Roy seemed much better. The doctor had paid a visit and was gone; the room could scarcely be recognised as the same; and Ivor warmly expressed his gratitude, wondering as he did so at Lucille's look of steady sadness. She insisted on coming again the next day, while he should rest and have an hour's walk.

"Isn't she nice and jolly?" Roy demanded, when the door closed behind Lucille. "I like her, don't you? She has told me lots of things while you were asleep. Only think, her father and mother were both guillotined. Both of them had their heads cut off. And they hadn't done one single thing to make them deserve it. They were awfully good and kind to everybody, she says. And she was only a little girl then, and when they were dead, somebody took her away to England, and she was there three or four years. And then she came back to France, and she lives with some people at a place called Verdun. She says they give her a home, and she works for them. And she would like to go to England again some day."

But Lucille de St. Roques had not told Roy the most recent sorrow which had come to her. She let it out to Captain Ivor a day or two later. Only one year before this date she had become engaged to young Théodore de Bertrand, son of the old couple downstairs; and three months later he had been drawn for the conscription. No use to plead that he was practically an only son, since the second son Jacques was a ne'er-do-well, who had taken himself off, nobody knew whither. More soldiers were wanted by the First Consul for his schemes of foreign conquest, and young De Bertrand had to go. Scarcely four months after his departure, news came that he had been shot in a sortie in the Low Countries. Large tears filled Lucille's eyes, and dropped slowly.

"Ah, so many more!" she said. "Thousands, thousands, called upon to be slain, for nothing! Not for their country, but for the ambition of one bad man. It makes no difference, Monsieur, that they love not the usurper. My Théodore was of the Royalist party, yet he had to go. And the poor old father and mother—they are left without one son in their old age!"

(To be continued.)





That "The Pearls of the Mouth," according to an Eastern expression, are a great adjunct to the beauty of the face nobody will dispute. But that the irregular, saw-edged series of half-decayed stumps that not uncommonly take their place are disfiguring, every woman who possesses them knows to her cost.

Naturally the teeth form an almost even edge. There is no appreciable space between them. They are of a pure ivory white colour, and they are thirty-two in number. Very few of us, unfortunately, have our teeth in the natural condition. Too often, alas, do we lose one or two before growth is completed, and how few of us keep a respectable complement of teeth to the end of our three-score years and ten?

The reason why our teeth are so bad is partly due to our own faults and partly due to our civilisation.

You never saw a savage whose teeth were either decayed or missing. Yet, as far as I know, no uncivilised person ever used a toothbrush. But, with ourselves, unless we use a toothbrush our teeth rapidly decay. What is the cause of this? It must be something in our civilisation. This we cannot alter. But we can preserve our teeth in face of their tendency to decay by a little care.

There is not one person in ten who knows how to keep her teeth really clean. You get up in the morning, and when you have dressed yourself you scrub your teeth with a hard brush, using some indifferent powder. This you consider is sufficient attention to the teeth for the day. Suppose that your work consisted of handling greasy bones all day, do you think your hands would remain clean if you only washed them once a day? The teeth have very dirty work to do, and they will not remain clean if only washed once a day. As a matter of fact your teeth will only remain clean till you have had breakfast—about ten minutes during the twenty-four hours.

This system of looking after the teeth is radically wrong. The teeth must be washed more than once a day. It is better to clean your teeth after every meal. This is often inconvenient, but they should certainly be cleaned at least twice a day, and always before going to bed. If the teeth are cleaned before going to sleep, they will remain clean throughout the night.

How any person can use a stiff toothbrush is beyond my comprehension. "Oh, but I cannot get my teeth clean if I use a soft brush!" Of course you cannot get your teeth clean if you only wash them once a day. Use the softest badger brush you can get, and gently wash your teeth twice or thrice a day instead of tearing your gums once a day with a hard brush. You must never make your teeth bleed. If you tear your gums every morning, can you wonder that your teeth get loose and decay? Whenever blood comes from the gum surrounding a tooth, it comes from a tear. That tear must be repaired by inflammation of the gum, and all inflammation around a tooth tends to loosen the tooth and causes it to die.

Any good tooth-powder may be used. A powder containing an antiseptic is better than any other. Carbolic acid toothpowder is the best of all. The powder should also contain some grit to give it a good "grip." Precipitated chalk alone is not a good powder, but it is an excellent basis for an antiseptic.

Sometimes the teeth get coated with "tartar." As the deposit gets thicker it tends to lever the tooth out of its socket. It has also an unsightly appearance and often gives the breath a bad smell, from particles of food getting beneath it and decomposing. If there is a considerable amount of tartar on your teeth, have the teeth scaled; it is not an expensive business, and well repays the fee and few minutes discomfort that it costs.

If it were only for their nasty appearance, decayed teeth should be treated at once. But besides being unsightly, they are a real danger to health. Have them stopped or extracted.

When a tooth falls out or is extracted, it leaves a gap. This gap gets smaller in time because the other teeth fall together to fill up the space. This causes a most disfiguring condition by leaving a small space between each tooth. When you have had a tooth extracted, have it replaced immediately by a false one, so that your teeth may form an even line without any gap between them.

Sugar, very hot and very cold drinks, tea and sweets, are great enemies to the teeth. How many girls have lost their teeth from eating chocolates!

Some drugs have a deleterious influence upon the teeth. Iron causes them to become a dirty transparent brown. It is only temporary, however, and if the teeth are well cared for during a course of iron, no permanent damage will ensue.

Calomel is supposed by nearly everybody to be a great enemy to the teeth, but given as it is now, in small doses, it in no way affects them.

(To be continued.)



So light and airy, dainty and delicate, is this delightful process, that it may well be called the fairy queen of the graphic arts. So white is the paper or card on which it is produced, and so beautiful the chemical changes of colour it undergoes when first produced, that no process of reproduction can give more than a faint idea of the beauty of an original silver point drawing.

Many times have I been told, "Oh, I have a silver point drawing by So-and-so," but on nearly every occasion, when inspected, the treasure has turned out to be merely a photographic reproduction, giving, it is true, the form of the original, but without a particle of its colour or daintiness of appearance.

Under these circumstances it will be well to commence by stating what a silver point drawing is, and how to tell an original from a reproduction.


A silver point is a drawing made with a stylus of pure silver on paper or card specially prepared for the purpose with a coating of chalk or china clay applied under heavy pressure. To tell a real silver point, hold the drawing to the light edgeways. You will then see in bright silver every stroke made by the stylus. Also you will find, when looking at the drawing in the ordinary manner, that its colour varies in different places; looking at one part a faint brown, another blue, another grey; in fact, assuming, where it has been much worked on, the appearance of the surface of a bright silver article which has been for some time exposed to atmospheric influence.


(By Ernest M. Jessop.)

Before the advent of lead pencils silver point was greatly in vogue with the old masters, and fine examples by some of the greatest of these are to be found in the national collections of England and France. Notable among them are drawings by Raphael, Perugino, Botticelli, Holbein and Albert Durer. The art, which had fallen into disuse, has of late been revived by many eminent artists. The late Sir Frederick Leighton was an ardent devotee of silver point, and has left many beautiful specimens of his own drawing.

Both the Prince and Princess of Wales are great admirers of the art and possess several specimens drawn by my friend Mrs. C. Sainton, R.I., and myself. The Princess, in the scant leisure allowed her by the cares of state, I have reason to believe, practises the art of silver point, as well as that of burnt wood work, a description of which will be given in these pages very shortly.

And now let me give a few hints on how to practise almost the most difficult of all the graphic arts. To begin with the tools. These are very simple. From a jeweller you may procure three pieces of round silver wire a few inches long. They should vary in thickness from that{86} of the thinnest lead in an ordinary pencil to that found in a six B, and may be used similar to the leads in an ordinary pencil case or mounted in wooden handles of the thickness of a lead pencil. You can buy (although only of the largest artists' colourmen) both silver point paper and card; the latter is the best from its non-liability to cockle.


(By Ernest M. Jessop.)

The silver wires may be sharpened to any point desired on a piece of very fine emery cloth. Two sizes of round and one flat point are those usually used.

As to the card or paper. This, it must be at once understood, is one of the most delicate of substances. Its surface once soiled, it is absolutely useless. No mark of any nature can be erased from it. There is no rubbing out or slurring over to be practised. If you scratch its surface with an erasing knife it alters the colour and the stylus will no longer mark on the scratched surface. The same result occurs from the contact of a hot or greasy hand or the spilling of a spot of water no matter how quickly removed.

For these reasons no silver point can be entirely drawn direct from nature. A fairly finished sketch must first be made; from this it is advisable to take a careful tracing. Through this tracing bore very small holes with a broken etching-needle or small piercer at all the salient points and at short intervals along the outline of your subject. Then lay your tracing on the silver point paper in the position you intend it to occupy, secure it by weights, and with your smallest silver point make a tiny dot through each hole on to the paper. This is the only guide you can make to help you. Now lightly indicate your drawing with fine strokes made diagonally from right to left downwards, always remembering that the silver point cannot be rubbed backwards and forwards the same as a pencil without destroying the surface of the paper. All shadows should be put in very lightly at first, as lights cannot afterwards be added, although they may be taken away where not required. To get your deeper shades you may go over the same places many times with the silver point if you continue to work downwards. Either parallel or diagonally crossed lines may be used to shade. It is as well to avoid all firm hard outlines, as silver point mainly depends for its beauty on its misty and shadowy effects.

As in all classes of art work portraits, after having been fixed from a sketch, should be finished direct from nature. Without using this method you may preserve the features of your model, but soul and character will always be wanting. For land and seascape silver point is peculiarly adapted, as some of the most delicately beautiful aerial effects may be attained by its use. For foliage also, used with a careful knowledge, it is incomparable. To look its best no silver point drawing should occupy more than one-fourth of the paper on which it is drawn, and any attempt to finish square up to a mount or frame must be studiously avoided. In fact, the edges of the drawing should imperceptibly melt away into the paper. In very fine work, such as the face of a baby or young girl, a singularly beautiful effect may be produced by finishing the features through the aid of a magnifying glass, thereby removing all traces of lines, and then in the ordinary manner and with bolder lines adding hair, figure, costume, etc.

One last word on the choice of paper. This is made with two kinds of surface, dull and slightly glazed, like the backs of playing cards. The latter I have found to give the best effect in colour. All drawings after they are completed should be exposed to the atmosphere (but not to dust) for at least a week, it taking some time for them to acquire their beautiful colouring. After the period above mentioned the colour is absolutely permanent.

In framing the edges of the paper should be hermetically sealed to the glass so as to exclude dust.

Frames are always a matter of taste. Personally I have used with the happiest effect a wide flat frame of white enamelled wood with a very narrow pale gold Louis Seize edging to enrich the opening of it. A fine silver point in a well-made frame of this kind is indeed one of those things of beauty which are joys for ever.

Ernest M. Jessop.

⁂ The original drawings from which these illustrations are taken were recently exhibited by desire to H.R.H. the Princess of Wales at Marlborough House, and H.R.H. was pleased to say that she had derived great pleasure from her inspection of them.

(All copyrights of drawings reserved by the artist.)



The Temple.

My dear Dorothy,—Accept my heartiest congratulations on your engagement to Gerald Anstruther. He is a good fellow, and I feel sure that you will be very happy together. Your engagement is not one that has been hurriedly rushed into. You have known each other for some time and have had an opportunity of discovering each other's merits and demerits, if any of the latter exist.

I am glad to hear that the wedding is to be an event of the immediate future, and I have no doubt that Gerald is quite of my way of thinking.

I am patriotic enough to be pleased that you are going to marry an Englishman. Not that I have any particular prejudice against foreigners; but their marriage laws differ from ours and thereby lead to complications.

For instance, a Frenchman, no matter what his age, cannot legally marry without the consent of his parents, a fact which it is just as well for English girls to remember.

Now I know that you will not be offended with me when I tell you that your fiancé, although a man of business, is not a business man.

This may sound contradictory, but is not really so. There are many men who follow regular occupations and attend to their own particular business and yet are not, strictly speaking, men of business habits and instincts. Literary men, musicians, artists, and inventors may be generally regarded as instances in point. And Gerald, who is an engineer and inventor, is not one of the exceptions to the rule, which is my reason for offering you the following suggestions.

In the first place I would strongly advise you to persuade Gerald to insure his life in some respectable English office; the American ones are risky.

It is true that he is making a good income, but he has very little money put by for a rainy day, for both of which reasons I would suggest that he takes out a policy for £1,000 with profits. The premium for insuring without profits would be a little less, but I am certain that it is better on the whole to insure with profits.

The policy he can assign to you or leave you in his will, or, if he waits till you are married, he can, if he likes, effect what is called a trust policy for your benefit, and, so long as any object of the trust remains unperformed, the policy will not form part of his estate or become subject to his debts. The last few words of the foregoing sentence you will be able to understand. You need not trouble your head about the meaning of "trust" and "performance"; it is sufficient for you to know that the arrangement is intended to benefit married ladies, and can be carried out under the provisions of the Married Women's Property Act.

All the above I am aware sounds dreadfully technical; but it is extremely difficult when writing on legal matters to avoid legal phraseology, the danger being that the omission of a single word in a sentence may have the effect of giving a totally wrong interpretation of the law.

The Act which I have mentioned above also gives you the right to retain sole control of the money left you by your god-mother. It was not a very large amount—£50, if I remember rightly. I should advise you to deposit it in the Post Office Savings Bank if you have not already done so. You will receive two and a half per cent. annual interest for it, which is rather more than double what any ordinary bank would offer you.

There is only one thing more that I wanted to mention, and I have left it to the last because it is perhaps the most important thing of all—it is on the subject of wills. It is not generally known that every will is revoked by marriage.

You cannot make a will, my dear Dorothy, because you are not yet twenty-one years of age; but Gerald can, and I consider that it is his duty, and the duty of every man who gets married, to make his will, no matter however small the amount of the property he has to dispose of may be.

There is no great difficulty about making an ordinary will. All that is necessary is that the intentions of the maker should be clearly expressed, that he should sign it in the presence of two witnesses, who should also affix their signature, and that is all.

There is only one other thing to remember, and that is that the witnesses should not be people who benefit by the will, or rather, I should say, who are intended to benefit by it, for the result of such witnesses being left a legacy would be that, although the rest of the will would hold good, they would not get their legacies. Also it is important for anyone making a will to give the name of one willing to act as executor.

I need hardly say that, when any difficulty arises in the making of a will, it is advisable to consult a solicitor or a barrister such as

Your affectionate cousin,
Bob Briefless.





After we had very exhaustively explored this middle part of the State, we determined to go to San Francisco and see how we liked the conditions in the North.

We took rooms in a fairly comfortable boarding-house, and settled down for an indefinite time. Our boys went to the public schools, which, in the towns, are very good indeed.

We found a great charm and attraction about San Francisco, with its splendid bay and curious town; the latter, built partly on a tract of land snatched from the sea, and partly on the drifting shifting sand hills, which stretch for miles around, is a triumph of energy and enterprise. Some of the streets had to be carried up at an angle of almost forty-five degrees, and the quays, water front and business quarter are built on what was at one time a shallow part of the bay. Now innumerable electric and cable cars fly up and down the steep hill streets. It is a strange sensation to "go the round trip" on any of these beautifully built machines; a sensation not altogether comfortable at first. One seems to be either slipping down the polished seats, on to the top of the next person, from the steep upward incline of the car, or one is trying to look quite easy-minded as the thing glides smoothly up to the edge of a cliff, and, without pause, runs straight down the face of it. Accidents, however, seem very rare, and all is so well managed, that one soon forgets to be uneasy, and some of these rides are delightful. One in particular—to the Cliff House—where the railroad is cut out of the cliff half way up its steep side, with the beautiful Pacific Ocean spread out below, and the Golden Gate in full view, is magnificent. China Town was thrillingly interesting to us, and we behaved like veritable gamins, hanging and dawdling about, flattening our noses against windows, and trying to see all we could of the ways of these mysterious people. Our impressions were, and still remain, that they are marvellously quick and clever, but unlovely.

Now began again the same diligent search that had kept us so busy in the South; far and near, to different neighbourhoods on all sides we went, seeing a great deal, and receiving much kindness from strangers, anxious to aid us to find what we wanted. Indeed, all over the United States we were impressed with the goodwill everyone showed, taking trouble and thought to help us if possible, and ready to be most hospitable, though we were absolute strangers.

This was often very comforting during those long months of undecided wanderings, when we felt so particularly homeless, and so anxious about the future, and the great importance of choosing wisely.

We were often amused to find what very unexpected people had ranches, somewhere in the Golden State. The black porter on the train; the man who swept out and attended to the church opposite our boarding-house; the driver of the hotel omnibus; our Chinese laundryman, and the Irish woman who succeeded him. This last-named proprietor was very anxious to warn us against unwise speculations. She considered speculation the only business worth going into, and herself made quite a good deal in this way. Then there was the learnèd head of a university, and the pretty young lady teacher at one of the Normal schools; also the rich Easterner, coming over three thousand miles in his private car to escape the cruel winter of the East. All these had ranches of different kinds, and all were ready to help and advise.

The only people whom we were very shy of consulting were the "real estate" men. It is true we had many a useful drive with them to inspect new neighbourhoods, but we would never have dreamt of buying on their recommendation. We had heard too much from others of the tricks they play, and the schemes they carry through, to influence possible buyers, and we took a rather wicked delight in making them useful, while remaining perfectly independent of them. We discovered that everyone who had a ranch spoke as though that part of the State were the only possible neighbourhood where ranching was sure to pay; yet we could not but notice that each one was most ready to sell his ranch.

It is said that every ranch in California is for sale, if the proper price be offered. But an explanation of this is that there seems to be a kind of restlessness and a speculative spirit in all Americans, which leads them to undertake everything in a tentative spirit, and makes them always ready to change, if any profit or advantage can be assured. Most of the ranches have that air, very plain at least to English eyes; there is nearly always the appearance of the owner being ready to move on to something else.

Such changes are regarded in America as perfectly natural occurrences. A man who changes his business often, from whatever cause, in England is looked upon as unsteady and unreliable, almost good for nothing in fact; but here the habit is so universal that it calls forth no comment.

Considering how very difficult it is for an ordinary young man entering upon life to hit upon just the best thing for his abilities and tastes, it seems a sensible view to take that the door should be left open for change, without any slur being cast on the stability or steadiness of the worker.

The changes made by men over here are most unexpected and often quite startling. The man who did all the hauling of our heavy furniture out to the ranch from the water front in San Miguel, some seventeen miles by road, was once a lawyer in the East. The indoor life did not suit him, and he never really liked his profession, so he came out here and has drifted into this, becoming one of the most skilled teamsters in all the neighbourhood.

On a neighbouring large ranch, where a good deal of labour is employed, and which the proprietor only visits occasionally for a few odd days, the manager and overseer is, or rather was, a doctor, and a very good manager he makes.

An elderly rancher we came across had been a soldier during the Civil War; a farmer in the East; had driven an express waggon, and after ranching a short time in the South and finding it difficult to make both ends meet, emigrated to Oregon and became a member of the State Legislature, in which position the salary was probably not the only pecuniary advantage.

We had not been long in the North when we decided that the climate was not good enough. We had left home and come six thousand miles, and were critical. It was damp and windy. In the fruit valleys, the summers were quite as hot, if not more so, than in the middle South. Most of the early fruit comes from this part, and in the winter there was rain, more or less constantly, for four months.

In consequence of the heavier rainfall, the North is much greener than the South; the hills too are beautifully wooded with every variety of tree. But in many neighbourhoods the work of ranching is more fatiguing than in the South; the soil is heavier, and the longer wet season has many disadvantages for people who do their own ranching.

By this time the uncertainty and general homeless feeling of our lives was beginning to be almost unendurable.

There were so many things to consider; firstly, which kind of fruit paid the best and was the least subject to accidents and the disappointments of bad seasons; secondly, the quality of land best suited to such fruit and the conveniences for getting it to market; thirdly, the amount of water to be had; this last quite as vital as any point whatsoever about the land. In fact one might almost be said to buy water with land attached, so great is the value of a certainty of enough water.

We were so much impressed with this, that we were quite determined to buy land only where there was a well-tried and well-established irrigating system, and where all the water difficulties of the neighbourhood were solved and settled.

This resolve, with some others, had eventually to go by the board; but of this much we made sure when we bought, that there was water enough running in a satisfactory flume some two miles from our land. The part which had to be taken more or less on trust was the piping of the water to our little settlement, and the dividing of it in a fair and workable manner; this has given us more trouble than we would care to undertake again. The climate, too, had to be carefully examined, even in California. And the view meant a great deal to us; we were very unwilling to settle in a plain or valley, where soon our own windbreak trees would be the only outlook, year in, year out.

A school within reach for the younger boy was another point about which I was resolved to be stubborn.

Then, though we had so unhesitatingly chosen the absolute freedom of country life, in preference to pretentious villadom, we did not want isolation.

I was haunted with the remembrance of those terribly lonely farms which one passes as the train rushes through Kansas and Missouri, where each desolate building stands absolutely surrounded by miles and miles of dreary-looking prairie waste.

We realised before long that if we could find a place fulfilling some of the most essential qualities for which we were striving, we should have to let the rest go. Indeed, in our diligent search, which brought us into contact with so many ranchers of several nationalities, we heard and saw so much that was discouraging, that we determined not to take any definite or binding steps for some time, but go south, see how we liked the climate and other conditions of San Miguel, and then make our decision.

There is something of the same spirit of jealousy between San Francisco and San Miguel as there is (or used to be) between Manchester and Liverpool; we could therefore hear very little but the proverbial faint praise of San Miguel while in the North. All the same, we were resolved to try to find a better climate, after travelling six thousand miles in search of it.

(To be continued.)






Oh, the young eyes looking forward
Through the rosy mists of hope;
Oh, the young feet, glad and eager,
As they mount the sun-lit slope!
"'Twill grow fairer"—youth is saying,
"Better things before us lie,
Ah, how beautiful and happy
Looks the land of by-and-by!"
Oh, the old eyes looking backward,
From the hill-tops chill and wide,
Ere the old feet, in the sunset,
Journey down the further side:
"Life was fairer"—age is saying
"In the morning's golden glow—
Ah, how beautiful and happy,
Was the land of long ago!"
Yet, oh, young eyes looking forward,
And, oh, old eyes looking back,
Be it noon-tide—be it sunset,
That is shining on the track—
Life is beautiful and happy,
Unto all who look on high—
Unto all whose hopes are centred,
In the Heavenly by-and-by!



It was a glorious summer morning in the year of grace 1635, when a boy, aged some ten years, and a pretty fair-haired maiden five years his junior, were lolling in the shade of a gigantic copper-beech, which towered in front of the old manor house known by the name of Combe Abbey. Hugh Travers, the heir and only child of Sir Ralph Travers, was a sturdy, well-grown lad, who bade fair to follow in his father's footsteps as a soldier and a courtier, for even now his manner towards his little cousin, Cecily Wharton, was marked by gentleness and good breeding, and he was ever her protector and guardian in any childish scrapes or difficulties in which they might involve themselves.

Cecily was the orphan daughter of Lady Travers's only sister. The child had lost both her parents soon after her birth by the small-pox, and her aunt had brought her to Combe that she might be trained and educated under her own eyes, and fitted for the position which would be hers when she came of age, for she was no penniless waif, and also that she might be a companion for her own son Hugh. Lady Wharton, though a devoted mother, tempered her devotion with common-sense, and she well knew the temptation to selfishness and egotism which must assail a lad in her Hugh's position were he brought up without companions of his own standing, and amid the society of his elders only. Her plan had so far been marked by success. Hugh's gentle nature had been brought more to the fore by the companionship of the little girl, and her society had taught him that there was the pleasure of others to be thought of as well as his own.

On the morning in question the two young people had been for a long ramble in the park with their dogs, and had returned in time for the midday meal, the summons to which they were awaiting under the beech-tree. As they thus rested, their gaze and their conversation had turned on the old pile of buildings facing them.

"Then Uncle Ralph did not build it," Cecily was saying, in connection with some remark of Hugh's on the weather-beaten appearance of the mansion.

"Uncle Ralph! Indeed, no! Why, Cecily, it was old, very old, before my father was thought of, or, for the matter of that, his father, and grandfather before him."

"Then it must be old! And didn't his father live here?"

"Yes; and his grandfather, too."

"Oh!"—in a puzzled tone from the child, as if her ideas were not equal to going back so far; and then, in a brighter key, consequent on feeling on safer ground, "Then who did build it?"

"The monks."

"What monks?"

"The monks who afterwards lived in it. It was an abbey till Harry the Eighth, of gracious memory, turned them out and gave it to one of my forefathers."

"What did he do that for?"

"Well, I know not for certain. Some say one thing, and some another, but he gave it to one of our forebears, and for that I bless his memory."

"But he was cruel, and killed his wives."

"Some of them; yet I doubt not they deserved it." And then, pointing to two niches or small alcoves high up in the outer wall, and only some ten feet or so below the parapet, "See, Cecily—there is one of the builders of the abbey, Abbot Swincow."

"That figure in the cowl?"

"Yes; and 'tis said he keeps guard over the place to this day, though he has been dead these hundreds of years."

"And is it true?" asked the little girl, turning a look of semi-wonderment and awe on her companion.

"Nay, I know not, save that no harm has befallen the place, or us who live in it, since I can remember."

"Then it is true, I make no doubt," said the easily convinced child. "But who stands in the other little hole?"

"No one now. I have heard father say that there was a figure of a Father Anthony once, but that stem of ivy you see crept up, and, getting into the joints of the stone at the base, loosened them, and in a storm one night it was blown down and broken to pieces."

"And did they never stick the poor man together again?"

"Never. His head now rests beside the fountain basin in the lower garden, and bits of his body and legs are in a heap against yon wall."

"Poor man, poor man! and the ivy is taking his place: one spray is growing right across the opening where he stood."

"I've oft thought I should like to climb up and get in the niche and see what the garden and park look like from there, but the ivy is not strong enough."

"Oh, no, no, Hugh—you must not! You'd be killed; and then what should I do?" And in her eagerness Cecily clasped her cousin's arm.

"Nay, I don't think I shall," replied Hugh, laughing. "I have no hankering for a broken neck; and, besides, you could not come with me, and it would be no sport alone."

"No, don't go. It must be much nicer down here than being like that poor broken man was up there."

"Well, Cecily, I don't feel much like an image just now, for there's the horn for dinner, and I'm hungry. Let us go." And scrambling to their feet the two happy children raced across the grass to the house, and left Abbot Swincow and the empty niche bathed in the midday sunshine.

(To be continued.)



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


In the explanations that followed, no one showed a livelier interest than Peggy herself. She was in her element answering the questions which were showered upon her, and took an artistic pleasure in the success of her plot.

"You see," she explained, "I knew you would all be talking about me, and wondering what I was like, just as I was thinking about you. As I was Arthur's sister, I knew you would be sure to imagine me a mischievous tom-boy, so I came to the conclusion that the best way to shock you would be to be quite too awfully proper and well-behaved. I never enjoyed anything so much in my life as that first tea-time, when you all looked dumb with astonishment. I had made up my mind to go on for a week, but mother is coming to-morrow, and I couldn't keep it up before her, so I was obliged to explode to-night. Besides, I'm really quite fatigued with being good——"

"And are you—are you—really not proper after all?" gasped Mellicent, blankly; whereat Peggy clasped her hands in emphatic protest.

"Proper! Oh, my dear, I am the most awful person. I am always getting into trouble. You know what Arthur was? Well, I tell you truly, he is nothing to me. It's an extraordinary thing. I have excellent intentions, but I seem bound to get into scrapes. There was a teacher at Brighton, Miss Baker, a dear old thing. I called her 'Buns.' She vowed and declared that I shortened her life by bringing on palpitation of the heart. I set the dressing-table on fire by spilling matches and crunching them beneath my heels. It was not a proper dressing-table, you know—just a wooden thing frilled round with muslin. We had two blazes in the last term. And a dreadful thing occurred! Would you believe that I was actually careless enough to plump down on the top of her best Sunday hat, and squash it as flat as a pancake."

Despite her protestations of remorse, Peggy's voice had an exultant ring as she detailed the history of her escapades, and Esther shrewdly suspected that she was by no means so penitent as she declared. She put on her most severe expression, and said sternly—

"You must be dreadfully careless. It is to be hoped you will be more careful here, for your room is far away from ours, and you might be burned to death before anyone discovered you. Mother never allows anyone to read in bed in this house, and she is most particular about matches. You wouldn't like to be burned to a cinder all by yourself some fine night, I should say."

"No, I shouldn't—or on a wet one either. It would be so lonely," said Peggy calmly. "No; I am a reformed character about matches. I support home industries, and go in for safeties, which 'strike only on the box.' But the boys would rescue me." She turned with a smile, and beamed upon the three tall lads. "Wouldn't you, boys? If you hear me squealing any night, don't stop to think. Just catch up your ewers of water, and rush to my bedroom. We might get up an amateur fire-brigade to be in readiness. You three would be the brigade, and I would be the captain and train you. It would be capital fun. At any moment I could give the signal, and then, whatever you were doing—playing, working, eating, on cold, frosty nights, just when you were going to bed, off you would have to rush, and get out your fire-buckets. Sometimes you might have to break the ice, but there's nothing like being prepared. We might have the first rehearsal to-night——"

"It's rather funny to hear your talking of being captain over the boys, because the day we heard that you were coming, they all said that if they were to be bothered with a third girl in the house, you would have to make yourself useful, and that you should be their fag. Max said so, and so did Oswald, and then Robert said they shouldn't have you. He had lots of little odd things he wanted done for him, and that he could make you very useful. He said the other boys shouldn't have you; you were his property."

"Tut, tut," said Peggy pleasantly. She looked at the three scowling, embarrassed faces, and the bright, mocking light danced back into her eyes. "So they were all anxious to have me, were they? How nice! I'm very pleased to hear it. Is there any little thing I can do for your honourable self now, Mr. Darcy, before I dress for dinner?"

Robert looked across the room at Mellicent with an expression which made that young person tremble in her shoes.

"All right, young lady, I'll remember you," he said quietly. "I've warned you before about repeating conversations. Now you'll see what happens. I'll cure you of that little habit, my dear, as sure as my name is Robert Darcy——"

"The Honourable Robert Darcy," murmured a soft and silvery voice from the other side of the fireplace. Robert turned his head sharply, but Peggy was gazing into the coals with an air of lamb-like innocence, and he subsided into himself with a grunt of displeasure.

The next day Mrs. Saville came to lunch, and spent the afternoon at the vicarage. As Maxwell had said, she was a beautiful woman, tall, fair, and elegant, and looking a very fashionable lady when contrasted with Mrs. Asplin in her plain, well-worn serge, but her face was sad and anxious in expression. Esther noticed that her eyes filled with tears more than once as she looked round the table at the husband and wife and the three tall, well-grown children, and when the two ladies were alone in the drawing-room she broke into helpless sobbings.

"Oh, how happy you are! How I envy you! Husband, children, all beside you. Oh, never, never let one of your girls marry a man who lives abroad. My heart is torn in two; I have no rest. I am always longing for the one who is not there. I must go back—the Major needs me; but my Peggy, my own little girl! It is like death to leave her behind."

Mrs. Asplin put her arms round the tall figure, and rocked her gently to and fro.

"I know! I know!" she said brokenly. "I ache for you, dear; but I understand! I have parted with a child of my own—not for a few years, but for ever, till we meet again in God's heaven. I'll help you every way I can. I'll watch her night and day; I'll coddle her when she's ill; I'll try to make her a good woman. I'll love her, dear, and she shall be my own special charge. I'll be a second mother to her."

"You dear, good woman! God bless your kind heart!" said Mrs. Saville brokenly. "I can't help breaking down, but, indeed, I have much to be thankful for. I can't tell you what a relief it is to feel that she is in this house. The principals of that school at Brighton were all that is good and excellent, but they did not understand my Peggy." The tears were still in her eyes, but she broke into a flickering smile at the last word. "My children have such spirits! I am afraid they really do give more trouble than other boys and girls, but they are not really naughty. They are truthful and generous, and so wonderfully warm-hearted. I never needed to punish Peg when she was a little girl; it was enough to show that she had grieved me. She never did the same thing again after that; but—oh, dear me!—the ingenuity of that child in finding fresh fields for mischief! Dear Mrs. Asplin, I am afraid she will try your patience. You must be sure to keep a list of all the breakages and accidents, and charge them to our account. Peggy is an expensive little person. You know what Arthur was."

"Bless him—yes! I had hardly a tumbler left in the house," said Mrs. Asplin, with gusto. "But I don't break my heart about a few breakages. I have had too much to do with schoolboys for that. And now give me all the directions you can about this precious little maid while we have the room to ourselves."

For the next hour the two ladies sat in conclave about Miss Peggy's mental, moral, and physical welfare. Mrs. Asplin had a book in her hand in which from time to time she jotted down notes of a curious and inconsequent character. "Pay attention to private reading. Gas-fire in her bedroom for chilly weather. See dentist in Christmas holidays. Query: gold plate over eye-tooth?{91} Boots to order, Beavan & Co., Oxford Street. Cod-liver oil in winter. Careless about changing shoes. Damp brings on throat. Aconite and bella-donna." So on, and so on. There seemed no end to the warnings and instructions of this anxious mother, but when all was settled as far as possible, the ladies adjourned into the schoolroom to join the young people at their tea, so that Mrs. Saville might be able to picture her daughter's surroundings when separated from her by those weary thousands of miles.

"What a bright, cheery room," she said smilingly, as she took her seat at the table, and her eyes wandered round as if striving to print the scene in her memory. How many times, as she lay panting beneath the swing of the punkah she would recall that cool English room, with its vista of garden through the windows, the long table in the centre, the little figure with the pale face and long plaited hair, seated midway between the top and bottom. Oh! the moments of longing—of wild, unbearable longing, when she would feel that she must break loose from her prison-house and fly away, that not the length of the earth itself could keep her back, that she would be willing to give up life itself just to hold Peggy in her arms for five minutes, to kiss the dear sweet lips, to meet the glance of the loving eyes——

But this would never do! Had she not vowed to be bright and cheerful? The young folks were looking at her with troubled glances. She roused herself and said briskly—

"I see you make this a playroom as well as a study. Somebody has been wood-carving over there, and you have one of those dwarf billiard-tables. I want to give a present to this room—something that will be a pleasure and occupation to you all; but I can't make up my mind what would be best. Can you give me a few suggestions? Is there anything that you need, or that you have fancied you might like?"

"It's very kind of you," said Esther, warmly; and echoes of "Very kind!" came from every side of the table, while boys and girls stared at each other in puzzled consideration. Maxwell longed to suggest a joiner's bench, but refrained out of consideration for the girls' feelings. Mellicent's eager face, however, was too eloquent to escape attention.

Mrs. Saville smiled at her in an encouraging manner.

"Well, dear, what is it? Don't be afraid. I mean something really nice and handsome; not just a little thing. Tell me what you thought?"

"A—a new violin!" cried Mellicent eagerly. "Mine is so old and squeaky, and my teacher said I needed a new one badly. A new violin would be nicest of all."

Mrs. Saville looked round the table, caught an expressive grimace going the round of three boyish faces, and raised her eyebrows inquiringly.

"Yes? Whatever you like best, of course. It is all the same to me. But would the violin be a pleasure to all! What about the boys?"

"They would hear me play! The pieces would sound nicer. They would like to hear them."

"Ahem!" coughed Maxwell loudly; and at that there was a universal shriek of merriment. Peggy's clear "Ho! ho!" rang out above the rest, and her mother looked at her with sparkling eyes. Yes, yes, yes; the child was happy! She had settled down already into the cheery, wholesome home-life of the vicarage, and was in her element among these merry boys and girls! She hugged the thought to her heart, finding in it her truest comfort. The laughter lasted several minutes, and broke out intermittently from time to time as that eloquent cough recurred to memory, but after all it was Mellicent who was the one to give the best suggestion.

"Well, then, a—a what-do-you-call-it!" she cried. "A thing-um-me-bob! One of those three-legged things for taking photographs! The boys look so silly sometimes, rolling about together in the garden, and we have often and often said, 'Don't you wish we could take their photographs! They would look frights!' We could have ever so much fun with a what-do-you-call-it."

"Ah, that's something like!" "Good business." "Oh, wouldn't it be sweet!" came the quick exclamations, and Mrs. Saville looked most pleased and excited of all.

"A camera!" she cried. "What a charming idea. Then you would be able to take photographs of Peggy and the whole household, and send them out for me to see. How delightful! Why, that's a happy thought, Mellicent. I am so grateful to you for thinking of it, dear. I'll buy a really good, large one, and all the necessary materials, and send them down at once. Do any of you know how to set to work?"

"I do, Mrs. Saville," Oswald said. "I had a small camera of my own, but it got smashed some years ago. I can show them how to begin, and we will take lots of photographs of Peggy for you, in groups and by herself. They mayn't be very good at first, but you will be interested to see her in different positions. We will take her walking, and bicycling, and sitting in the garden, and every way we can think of——"

"And whenever she has a new dress, or hat, so that you may know what they are like," added Mellicent anxiously. "Are her hats going to be the same as ours, or is she to choose them for herself?"

"She may choose them for herself, subject, of course, to your mother's refraining influence. If she were to develop a fondness for scarlet feathers, for instance, I think Mrs. Asplin should interfere; but Peggy has good taste. I don't think she will go far wrong," said her mother, looking at her fondly; and the little white face quivered before it broke into its sunny, answering smile.

Three times that evening, after Mrs. Saville had left, did her companions surprise the glitter of tears in Peggy's eyes; but there was a dignified reserve about her manner which forbade outspoken sympathy. Even when she was discovered to be quietly crying behind her book, when Maxwell flipped it mischievously out of her hands—even then did Peggy preserve her wonderful self-possession. The tears were trickling down her cheeks, and her poor little nose was red and swollen, but she looked up at Maxwell without a quiver, and it was he who stood gaping before her, aghast and miserable.

"Oh, I say! I'm fearfully sorry!"

"So am I," said Peggy severely. "It was rude, and not at all funny. And it injures the book. I have always been taught to reverence books, and treat them as dear and valued companions. Pick it up, please. Thank you. Don't do it again." She hitched herself round in her chair and settled down once more to her reading, while Maxwell slunk back to his seat. When Peggy was offended she invariably fell back upon Mariquita's grandiose manner, and the sting of her sharp little tongue left her victims dumb and smarting.

(To be continued.)


What "George Eliot" was Like.

A graphic portrait in words of the famous novelist "George Eliot" has been given by Mrs. Katherine S. Macquoid. "George Eliot," she says, "was very plain, much plainer than any of the portraits make her out to be. Her mouth was repulsive, and seen in some lights the nose seemed to protrude unnaturally over the mouth; it did not in reality, but one sometimes received that impression.

"Her eyes were of that greenish hue seen in the hazel nut; you might say almost that they were hazel eyes shot with green. They were not at all prominent, but had such a wonderful look in them as they gazed at you, or rather scanned you in a curious, sidelong manner, peculiar to her. The only person whom I can think of with eyes like George Eliot was Home the medium."

Get out of it.

Nothing is so narrowing, contracting, hardening, as always to be moving in the same groove, with no thought beyond what we immediately see and hear close around us.

The Great Creator.—"I feel profoundly convinced," says Lord Kelvin, "that the argument of design has been greatly too much lost sight of in recent biological speculations. Overpoweringly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us, and if ever perplexities, whether metaphysical or scientific, turn us away from them for a time, they come back upon us with irresistible force, showing to us through nature the influence of a free will, and teaching that all living things depend on one everlasting Creator and Ruler."






After the time of Adelicia of Louvaine there seems to have been a period wherein little or no special needlework was done by great and royal ladies, though its practice was kept up in what were called "The Schools." In these, young gentlewomen were taught fine needlework and embroidery to qualify them to beguile in a becoming manner the many enforced hours of leisure in their lives, brought about by the lack of outdoor amusements for women.

Many a rich and sumptuous vestment was made in these schools for the service of the Church, and some of the beautiful work done there found its way to the Palace of Westminster.

But towards the end of the 13th century, when Eleanor of Castille was queen of Edward I., needlework came to the front again with enthusiasm. She herself was a wonderful needlewoman, and her example made it the fashion in every class of life.

Before accompanying her husband on a crusade to the Holy Land, she embroidered a beautiful altar-cloth with her own hands, and gave it to the church at Dunstable.

It is to this queen we owe the use of needlework tapestry-hangings as furniture for walls. Up to this time tapestry had been used solely for the decoration of altars and other parts of churches.

Tapestry hangings were worked originally entirely with the needle, and they were found to be worth all the trouble and time bestowed upon them in the increase of comfort they brought into the palaces and castles of the great people of the land. At first they were rude in design, but those introduced by Queen Eleanor were in very superior workmanship. To her they must have been very welcome, for she felt the change from the sunny south to the damp, bleak English climate greatly.

Tapestries never remained permanently hanging on the walls of a special hall or castle, but accompanied the great people, when travelling from one residence to another, under the care of the grooms of the Chamber, whose special office it was to hang them.

The history of tapestry is full of romance, but can only be touched upon here when worked by special royal seamstresses.

Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI., was a very good needlewoman, although the troublous times in which she lived prevented her devoting much time to the art. It was she, however, who formed the first band of women needle-workers, known in history as the Sisterhood of the Silk Women.

Needlewomen found a very valuable patron in Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry of Lancaster. She and her ladies spent much time in needlework of all kinds.

"How oft with needle, when denied the pen,
Has she on canvas traced the blessed name
Of Henry, or expressed it with her loom
In silken threads, or 'broidered it with gold."

During the "Wars of the Roses" ladies of high rank were often compelled to earn their bread and that of their children by the use of the needle. The Countess of Oxford in the reign of Elizabeth of York was an example of this. She was the first peeress who is said to have earned her living by the use of the needle. Edward IV. had deprived her of her dower, and she and her little children would have starved had she not been a skilful needlewoman. She lived dependent on the work of her hands for fifteen years, until her husband's rank and fortune were restored.

Katherine of Arragon, the first wife of Henry VIII., was very skilful with her needle, having learned the art from her mother, Isabella of Spain, and it is more than likely that in her early days she took part in the trials of needlework established by Isabella among Spanish ladies.

She was in the habit of employing the ladies of her Court in needlework, working with them and encouraging them.

Her work with the needle has been celebrated both in Latin and English verse.

"(Although a queene), yet she her days did pass
In working with the needle curiously;
As in the Tower, and places more beside,
Her excellent memorials may be seen;
Whereby the needle's prayse is dignifide
By her faire ladies, and herselfe, a queene."

In a letter to Wolsey she writes, "I am horribly busy, making standards, banners and badges."

It is a matter of history that when Wolsey and the Pope's Legate went to Bridewell to visit Queen Katherine on the subject of her divorce, they found her and her maids at work, and she came to them with a skein of red silk round her neck.

Katherine of Arragon's successor, Anne Boleyn, could not help being a good needlewoman, for she had been educated at the Court of Francis I., under the superintendence of Anne of Bretagne who made needlework the business and the pleasure of her life. It was her habit to collect the children of the nobility within her Court daily and teach them tapestry, embroidery and plain sewing till they became accomplished seamstresses.

As wife of Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn and the ladies of her Court spent much time in making garments for the poor in plain sewing as well as in embroidery and tapestry—much of the last may still be seen in Hampton Court. All this notwithstanding, she did not love needlework and never resorted to it for solace or amusement.

Katharine Howard, another wife of Henry VIII., was skilful in making pretty kerchiefs and other dainty articles of the toilette, some of which she once made out of an old shirt of fine holland which had been given her by her lover Derham. She is said, in return for the shirt, to have worked for him with her own hand a band and a pair of finely embroidered shirt sleeves.

She and her maidens made a great many shirts and smocks for the poor.

Katharine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII., was almost as skilled a needlewoman as his first. When young she objected strongly to learning needlework; this was probably because it had been foretold by an astrologer that "she should sit in the highest seat of imperial majesty." At all events history reports her as saying—

"My hands are ordered to touch crowns and sceptres, not needles and spindles."

She must have thought better of it, however, for there are some beautiful specimens of her work preserved in Westmoreland; specially a counterpane and toilet cover.

Lady Jane Grey is said to have been a clever needlewoman, and that "instead of skill in drawing she cultivated the art of painting with the needle." There is still preserved at Zurich a toilet cover beautifully ornamented by her own hands and presented by her to Bullinger.

About this time the dress of the nobles was gorgeous and beautiful in the extreme; not that the materials themselves were so costly, but because of the exquisite work and embroidery bestowed upon them by ladies of high rank.

The beds also at this period owed their rich beauty to women's work; they were not at that time excluded from the day apartments and were frequently among the richest ornaments of the sitting-room, so much taste and expense were bestowed upon them.

The curtains of the bed were often of rich material adorned with embroidery.

"Her bed-chamber was hanged
With tapestry of silk and silver."


Royal seamstresses at this time worked rich needlework borders and belts for their dresses, but they put their richest work on the pouches or purses suspended from the waist of the dress.

Queen Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. and Katherine of Arragon, must have had fame as a needlewoman, otherwise John Taylor the historian would not have written of her—

"Her greatness held it no dis-reputation
To take the needle in her Royal hand,
Which was a good example to our Nation
To banish idleness from out her Land."

Indeed she seems to have been skilled in all sorts of embroidery, and beguiled the time after her mother's divorce peaceably and laudably with needlework. Some of her work is in the Tower. She was clever in embroidering the covers of books.

The book called St. Mary's Psalter contained the history of the Old Testament in a series of small paintings, with a very richly worked cover which is supposed to have been embroidered by Mary herself. The embroidery as far as one can see was done on fine canvas or coarse linen put on crimson velvet.

It never occurs to us to think of Queen Elizabeth as a needlewoman, yet to a certain extent she must have been one, for history tells us of a cambric smock which she made and presented to her brother Edward when he was six years old. She seems to have excelled however in embroidering the backs of books. Needlework although not enthusiastically practised in Elizabeth's reign was by no means despised.

But of all royal seamstresses, Mary Queen of Scots carries off the palm both for beauty, quantity and variety.

"She wrought so well in needlework, that she
Nor yet her workes shall ere forgotten be."—John Taylor.

Her teachers in the art were Lady Fleming—her governess—and Catherine de Medicis whose needlework was unrivalled. During the time the young Queen of Scots was at the French Court she and the French Princesses{93} assembled every afternoon in the private apartments of Queen Catherine, where for two or three hours all were occupied in needlework.

At no time of her life were her hands idle; she plied her needle even while listening to the discussions of her ministers. Needlework was to her a source of real pleasure.

While under the care of the Earl of Shrewsbury at Tulbury Castle she, with the help of Bess of Hardwick, her guardian's wife, worked a pair of curtains, a counterpane, and a vallance on green velvet.

In describing her daily life here, she said that all the day she wrought with her needle, and that the variety of the work made it seem less tedious.

In the drawing-room at Hardwick there are several pieces of her work well preserved, and in Scotland there are parts of certain bed-hangings in which M. S. is worked in very frequently.

Her tapestry work proved a blessing to her, as in the year 1586 she writes, "My residence is a place enclosed with walls situated on an eminence and consequently exposed to all the winds and storms of heaven.... I have for my own accommodation only wretched little rooms, and so cold that were it not for the protection of the curtains and tapestries which I have put up, I could not endure it by day and still less by night."

In the execution of all this work Mary Queen of Scots beguiled many a weary hour at Chatsworth, Buxton and Sheffield, while brooding over the plots for her escape and the intrigues and jealousies of Bess of Hardwick.

She made a vest for her only son but he ungraciously refused it because she addressed him as Prince and not as King of Scotland. She worked also with her own hands an altar-piece, and presented it to the church of the convent where she had been educated. She was the first, I believe, to do the raised work in crewels.

We now come to a very remarkable needlewoman, whose work is considered not only equal to that of Matilda, wife of the Conqueror, but superior to it, because it was all done with her own hands. Her name was Jean or Joan D'Albret, better known as the mother of Henry IV. of Navarre.

Her needlework which was the amusement and solace of her leisure hours was designed by her to commemorate her love for the Reformed faith which she publicly professed on Christmas Day, 1562. She worked several large pieces of tapestry, among which was a suite of hangings consisting of a dozen or fifteen pieces which were called "The Prisons Opened," on which she represented that she had broken the pope's bonds and shaken off his yoke. She had a great sense of satire and humour which showed itself in her work.

The Duc de Sully, when sent by King Henry IV. to receive the Cardinal of Florence at Paris in grand style, ordered the keeper of the castle at St. German-en-Laze to hang the walls and chambers with the finest tapestry of the Crown. This he did, but, unfortunately, for the Legate's own chamber he chose a suite of hangings made by the Queen Joan D'Albret herself. They were very rich, it is true, but they represented nothing but emblems and mottoes against the pope and the Roman Court, as satirical as they were ingenious. Fortunately the mistake was rectified by Sully before the Cardinal's arrival.

This clever needlewoman died suddenly at the Court of France in 1572.

(To be continued.)





"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all."—Gal. vi. 10.

Now that the days are shortening and the weather dull, those of us who took holiday during the summer and early autumn will once more gather round the fireside in the twilight, and find pleasure in looking back upon the happy time we spent in lovely inland places or by the sea. Our winter gatherings are brightened by such retrospections, and as we talk we seem to see again the waves glittering in the sunlight, or to hear their roar as they break angrily on the beach, more beautiful in storm than in calm. We tell of new experiences and impressions, of minds enriched, and of bodily strength renewed by change of scene and occupation, or it may be by rest and quiet surroundings.

These words apply specially to those amongst you, my dear girl friends and fortunate holiday makers, who were able to leave ordinary cares and anxieties behind you, and enjoy to the full the new beauties amid which you found yourselves.

To take holiday, without need for care about ways and means, and possessing a good share of health and strength to begin with, would seem to most of us the perfection of enjoyment. Yet I am by no means sure that we should judge rightly. Can you not well imagine that the rare holiday, obtained at the cost of long saving and even self-denial, may have brought to some an intensity of enjoyment unknown to those who have only to will in order to obtain any indulgence they desire. If each could give her personal experience this evening, what varied stories should we hear. Some, who longed for and much needed a holiday, would tell that they had been kept at home and at work all through the hot days by poverty or the sickness of one they loved and could not bear to leave.

Others, who left home hoping for renewed health, may have returned disappointed. Some may have expected only enjoyment, and have found pain and trouble as their constant companions. To those amongst you who have had all and even more than you hoped for, let me say, "Look back upon your happy experiences with heartfelt thankfulness to the Giver of all good, and resolve that, by the help of the Holy Spirit, you will use your increased knowledge and strength in His service and for your neighbour's good."

If any of you have spent money lavishly upon yourselves, or upon those who did not need your gifts, think, before another holiday season comes round, of some of those who are poor and longing for what you could so easily give them. You, who can take holiday and have change when you wish, might make some of your poorer sisters very happy by giving them a taste of what you can always enjoy even to repletion. Try to diffuse blessings by sparing something out of your abundance, and your own enjoyment will be doubled, as well as your sense of wealth, in the very act of imparting. I am speaking in time—am I not, dear girls? I think I hear some of you say, "When the days are lengthening again it will be time enough to talk of the next summer holidays."

It may be so with those who can give out of their abundance, but by far the greater number of us could only render such help by saving a little at a time the year round. In all earnestness, but leaving the method to yourselves, I ask such of you as are able to give in the future to some poor toiler a taste of the happiness you can now look back upon from the home fireside. If, in any neighbourhood, a few of you, my dear girl friends, will combine for this purpose, all your own pleasures will be increased, and your memories enriched by so doing.

To those amongst you who have this year been saddened by disappointment, I say, "Look forward hopefully, asking the while that the power to do this may be given you. Try not to look back upon the dark days, or to dwell mentally on what cannot be undone."

Several years ago, I was staying in a charming home, from the different sides of which we could look on scenery of very opposite kinds. The house stood just beyond what is called "The Black Country," and looking into a valley in one direction, we could see the glare of the smelting furnaces, and the smoke rising from the coal-pit banks. From these indications we knew that both aboveground and below it in the mines work never ceased.

If we looked from the other side, we saw a lovely range of beautifully wooded hills in the distance, and below them all the fair features of an English landscape. If we had kept our eyes fixed on the valley behind us, we should have seen only blackness and comparative desolation, whilst the sense of ceaseless toil would have been ever present to us.

So, dear disappointed ones, I pray you turn your backs on the inevitable, and, though there may be no fair landscape within sight,{94} you can always look heavenward with your mind's eye, even whilst your hands are busy, and, it may be, your spirit is heavy within you.

Friends may be forgetful. No human message of cheer or comfort may reach you, or bit of much needed help be in sight, but still there are messages which you can claim, and consolations meant expressly for you, which are better than the best which mortal lips can utter, for they come from Him Who cannot lie. You are invited to cast your care upon God, for "He careth for you." This one sweet assurance is like the fair landscape on which we can turn the eye of faith, and forget the gloomy realities which lie behind us.

But God works by human instrumentality, and it is for those whom He has helped with the power to exercise the precious privilege of brightening the lives of others. Let your givings be in accordance not only with your own means, but with the needs of those whom you help.

I daresay you have often noticed the number and costliness of the gifts bestowed upon those who have already much of this world's wealth. You have heard such words as these when a friend's birthday or some other festive occasion called for special remembrance: "I could not give a poor present. I felt that I must give something really handsome, or I should have been ashamed of my gift among so many beautiful things."

Oh! it is sad to think that our givings are influenced so much more by the thought of how they will impress our neighbours, and how the gifts will look in comparison with theirs.

There is a verse in the Book of Proverbs which I have seldom heard quoted, but which bears upon what I have said. "He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want." In beautiful contrast are the words also from the Book of Proverbs, "He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack" and "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will He pay him again."

So, dear ones who have enough and to spare, I ask you to make the Lord your debtor—precious thought!—by devising plans for the benefit of your poorer sisters, and be sure of this—your paymaster will not fail you. Your reward will not come to you in gold and silver, but it will satisfy you here, and you will reap an eternal harvest in return for every hour of happiness purchased for others by willing self-sacrifice on your part. I trust that by your efforts many hearts will be gladdened and bodies strengthened, through what we have talked about to-night, in the twilight side by side.

Now I want to ask you what precious opportunities you had, and whether you used or wasted them, during your summer holidays? When we last met, I quoted an expression I had heard from the pulpit, and which had impressed me deeply. "We should be misers in the use of time and opportunity." We talked at some length on one of these precious trusts, but little was said about the second.

I am sure you will feel with me that we cannot be amidst new scenes and brought into contact with fresh people, and fail to have new opportunities of speaking kind words, giving little messages of comfort, and showing, though it may be only by trifling actions, consideration for others. In order to take advantage of such openings we must not be self-absorbed. We must be on the look-out for opportunities, or we may miss them.

It happens, not infrequently, that a holiday-time is regarded as a season of pure self-indulgence. We have worked hard for our holiday, or we can afford to have whatever we desire. So we decide to fill our daily cup of enjoyment to the brim. We care little what trouble we give by our untidy habits to the tired workers who serve in the houses which are our temporary homes. We leave orderly ways and punctuality behind us, and rather enjoy the idea of having escaped from home rule in every shape, saying to ourselves, "It is holiday-time. Surely we may follow our own inclinations."

We laugh perhaps over nearly empty purses when packing-up day comes, and are apt to wonder where the money has gone. If we ask ourselves the questions, "How much has been devoted to others? What have I given towards the expenses of the church I have attended during my stay in this place?" I fear a blush of shame would often come to the owner of that purse whose contents have been so carelessly scattered.

I have known, and I still know, dear friends both young and old who, when going for a holiday, put aside a weekly sum in accordance with their means to be spent in good doing as opportunities present themselves. This is their thank-offering to God for their own bright holiday. Those who have pinched and saved and been obliged to calculate every penny before leaving home, and who, whilst absent, have "to turn a penny both sides up before spending it," as I heard a poor woman remark, cannot spare coin from their purses. But opportunities come, nevertheless. The possessor of a comfortable seat on shore or promenade, or beneath a sheltering tree, may give place to a wan-faced mother, weary with carrying her baby, and looking longingly but vainly for an empty place whereon to rest.

Ailing people are often eager to speak of the sad time of sickness they have passed through, and it is no small comfort to them if a stranger, resting on the same bench, will listen patiently, sympathise with their weakness and encourage their budding hopefulness by cheering words. What opportunities these incidental meetings give for saying something about the Great Physician of souls; of God's love in Christ; of our daily needs and dependence upon God, and His willingness to supply all our needs.

If the help of a girl's strong arm can aid age and weakness in the journey from the shore to the humble lodging, why should any young servant of Christ wait to compare her pretty summer dress with the faded black—the badge of poverty and widowhood—worn by the feeble, old body she would like to help? Should we not try to think how God regards even the smallest labour of love undertaken for our weak neighbour, rather than of what our fashionable friend will say if she sees us in such lowly company?

It needs a very grateful and a very loving nature to be constantly on the look-out, so as to lose no opportunity of good doing. The heart must be full of gratitude to God for mercies bestowed, and of tender consideration towards every human sister and brother, for His dear sake.

Many years ago, I was honoured by the friendship of a good man who possessed such a nature as I have described. In whatever place or company he might find himself—and more especially if he had been unexpectedly brought into it—his first thought would be, "I am not here for nothing;" his first question, "What work has God for me to do in this place?"

Stranded on one occasion at a country railway station through the lateness of a train which caused him to miss another, he was for the moment inclined to chafe at the delay. Time was very precious to him that day, and two hours of waiting would probably hinder him from saying farewell to a son about to start on a long voyage. But the habits of submission to the inevitable, and of looking around him for some opportunity of doing his Master's will and serving his neighbour, asserted themselves. A few minutes later, a young man, a passenger delayed by the same cause as he was, sat down beside him, and, after remarking, "You and I are in the same boat, I suppose, sir," began to find fault with the bad railway arrangements, and to threaten all sorts of things against the Company—actions for damages, and so on.

My friend could hardly help smiling at his neighbour's impetuosity, but he listened patiently, and at length the young man cooled down and laughed also.

"I daresay this seems foolish talk," he added; "and it is a great deal easier to threaten than to do, when it is a question of taking the law against a big railway Company; but this delay is a serious matter to me, as you would say, if you knew all about my business. You are a clergyman, I see. I am the son of one. May I——"

The young man paused, and my friend, thinking to himself, "I am not delayed for nothing," finished the question, or rather answered it by saying, "You may look on me as your father's representative, if you will, or as a friend to whom you may speak freely."

I am not going to tell you what followed. The story would be too long in detail, but I may say this much. To the end of his days my friend thanked God for that delay at the railway station, and the young man had still greater cause to do so. He was about to take a rash step, which would have caused sorrow to those who loved him and spoiled his own career; but, won by the fatherly manner of the old minister of God, he was induced to confide in him, and the wise advice he received set him thinking. Thought was followed by repentance, and this by change of purpose. Instead of continuing his journey, he took the homeward train, and before my friend resumed his, the two had parted with a warm hand-clasp and a promise of letters to follow.

Years after, when the old pastor told the story, he said, "I felt sure that I was not stranded at that railway station for nothing, but that there must be some chance of usefulness, some work that my Master meant me to do. The chapters of that young man's life story that have been written since are very different from what they might have been but for that opportune delay which gave him time to pause and think. Thank God! His father never knew how near the lad was to life wreckage, and to-day he is proud of the son who is the staff and comfort of his age.

"Did I see my own son before he sailed? you ask. No—I was too late, but the telegraph took him my farewell and blessing, and we have had many happy meetings and hopeful partings since then."

My dear old friend's earthly labours have long been ended; but, as I think of him, I seem to see his face shining with glad thankfulness, as he recalled this opportunity of usefulness given him by God and so happily utilised, though the delay in another sense cost him a disappointment.

Had my friend spent the time in grumbling at the delay, instead of thinking how it could be turned to good account, how different would have been the result! Or, if he had kept sullenly aloof, or answered his young neighbour's remark curtly, thus repelling his half-offer of confidence, the current of a life would have set in the wrong direction, and the chances of doing and receiving good would have been lost for ever.

Opportunity comes under so many forms, means so much, and is so often lost.

We live, it may be, near places of beauty and interest. Because we are near, we think we can visit them at any time, but we never see{95} them at all. We have opportunities of obtaining useful information, of gaining valuable experiences and increasing our stores of knowledge. We put off availing ourselves of them until some unknown future time, which never comes.

But the time does come to most of us when we want just the knowledge or experience that we might have had if we had utilised past opportunities, and then, we either gain it at much greater cost of time and trouble, or we suffer for the want of it, to say nothing of the additional pang of self-reproach which comes with the need.

Money frittered away in vanity and folly means the loss of chances for making others happy and lifting the burdens from overweighted shoulders. Lost opportunities for giving pleasure to those we love are brought home to us with a terrible sting afterwards.

Do we ever lose a relative or beloved friend without feeling our sorrow intensified by the thought of some little wish neglected, some opportunity for giving pleasure lost?

It is generally the little ones that are missed, when they concern those we dearly love. Great opportunities are seldom ignored. But when it is too late and we feel, oh, so sadly, that we might have availed ourselves of the lesser ones also, these, however trifling, assume an importance not realised until, with the sense of omission, comes the thought that they are lost for ever.

I should feel guilty were I to close our talk to-night without reminding you, dear girl friends and companions, of the supreme importance of some opportunities which you may not have valued, because they are always open to you; I mean the blessed privilege of coming to God as your Father and unchanging Friend; a Father whom you have often disobeyed and neglected—even forgotten, but who yet loves you with an everlasting love, loves you so much that He did not spare His own beloved Son, "but delivered Him up for us all," that through His death eternal life might be purchased and bestowed—a free gift on you and me.

May our Father bestow His Holy Spirit upon us all, so that, seeing our sinfulness and need, we may go to His footstool pleading Christ's sacrifice, and thus obtain pardon, joy and peace in believing.

(To be continued.)



Waiting in Hope.—Freckles are undoubtedly due to the sun. They are not caused by heat but by light. There is always a certain amount of pigment in the skin, and under the influence of strong light this pigment increases greatly in quantity, and becomes gathered together in small patches. These patches are freckles. Where the light of the sun is more intense than it is in our climate, the patches of pigment coalesce, and the face and other exposed parts of the body become uniformly discoloured. Constant exposure to the intense light of the tropical sun, through many generations, has produced the black or brown skin of the coloured races. Since the light rays which cause freckles cannot pass through substances coloured red, persons inclined to freckles should always wear a red veil, or carry a red parasol. Remaining in a darkened room for an hour or so after exposure to the sun will often prevent the face from becoming freckled. The best preparations to apply to the face for the removal of freckles are glycerine and rose-water, glycerine and lime-water, and toilet vinegar. Peroxide of hydrogen bleaches the pigments of the skin, but it is rarely necessary to resort to it for the removal of freckles, unless all other methods fail.

Curious Enquirer.—This is something new to us! That photographic films should be "splendid to put on the nose to remove red spots, or any redness," we have certainly never before heard, nor could we have guessed this curious and unexpected development of photography. Films consist of albumen, gelatine, or collodion, impregnated with an emulsion of an insoluble salt of silver, and how any of these could influence face "decorations" due to indigestion we cannot tell. Perhaps the silver might turn the spots black, but what other benefits the films could produce we cannot conceive.

W. P. W.—Your case is easy to understand, if it is true that you have heart disease. What do you eat, and how do you eat it? Do you swallow down a cup of tea and a bite of something for breakfast before rushing off to catch your train? Do you snatch a hasty lunch at any hour at which you are at leisure? or do you forego lunch altogether, and take nothing between breakfast and dinner? If you are guilty of any of these acts of indiscretion, you must expect to suffer. Your unpleasant symptoms are probably in the main due to errors of diet. You must be very careful about your feeding; never take any indigestible food; never eat in a hurry, and never, not if a whole year's income depends upon it, must you run off directly after a meal to catch a train. You should eat slowly; little at a time and often, and take at least four meals a day. You should take tea in great moderation, and you should carefully guard against constipation from any cause.

E. T.—What is the size of the spot on your chin? If it is small, it is a "spider nævus," and can be readily removed by touching its centre with a red-hot needle. Of course this must be done by a surgeon. No other form of treatment is of any avail. If the spot is larger than a split pea, it can hardly be removed in this way, but it will probably be amenable to some other form of surgical procedure. In any case we advise you to go to a surgeon about it, and not to try to meddle with it yourself, for you can do no good by external application.

Mizpah.—We cannot advertise any special soap in this column. All soap used for the skin should be hard, opaque or semi-opaque, and either scented or medicated with carbolic acid, tar, etc. Never use any patent soap, and above all, never use arsenical soap.


Ajax.—It is delightful and rare for us to be able to offer musical commendation twice consecutively. Your compositions are good enough for us to urge you, in reply to your question, at once to take harmony lessons. In spite of the merit of the chants, there are blemishes in them—consecutive fifths, etc.—which good teaching would enable you to avoid. We particularly like the close of the "Kyrie"; it is very musical. You should work hard, and may hope to succeed.

Tam o' Shanter.—1. Much depends on individual taste and preference in the selection of a subject to study alone. If you are fond of languages, we should advise you to take up Italian, and get Dr. Lemmi's Italian Grammar. You might with advantage join the National Home Reading Union. Address the Secretary, Surrey House, Victoria Embankment, London.—2. Your friend could certainly study French alone; if she could get a little help with the pronunciation, it would be better. We should recommend her to procure Havet's French Course.


M. E. J. (Malvern) kindly sent us some information about an extract we have repeatedly tried to trace. In consequence of her suggestion, we wrote to Messrs. Bemrose & Sons, 23, Old Bailey, E.C., who have forwarded us a small pink card headed "Resolve." On one side are the words:

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to a human being, or any word that I can speak for Jesus—let me do it now. Let me not neglect or defer it, for I shall not pass this way again."

On the reverse side of the card we read:

"This Resolve was written by a New York lady, much impressed with the thought of the uncertainty of life. Not many days after, she was at a meeting in Madison Square Gardens, where she had distributed some printed leaflets with the Resolve, when the hall roof fell in and she was one of those killed by its fall."

The sentence has been frequently referred, by our correspondents, to Marcus Aurelius. We give the information just as we have received it. The cards, we may add, are 5d. per dozen, post free.

M. H. Coupland sends Lilian the verse inquired for in "The Lesson of the Water Mill," by Sarah Doudney. Laira, A. S., Acacia, A Schoolgirl, point out that the verse Lilian quotes is the fourth, not the last. The last verse runs as follows:

"Oh, the wasted hours of life
That have drifted by!
Oh, the good that might have been!
Lost without a sigh.
Loved ones that we might have saved,
Maybe, by a word;
Thoughts conceived, but never penned,
Perishing, unheard.
Take the proverb to thine heart,
Take, and hold it fast:—
'The mill cannot grind
With the water that is past.'"

The whole poem may be obtained for 1s. a hundred, from Andrew Stevenson, Stationer, Mound, Edinburgh; also as a "Stirling Leaflet, No. 52," from Peter Drummond, Stirling; also in the Practical Elocutionist, published by Blackie & Son. If Lilian will send her name and address to Mrs. Pawlby, 7, Maida Vale Terrace, Mutley, Plymouth, she will receive a copy.


Anxious.—With reference to pensions accruing to the widows of officers, that of a captain is £50 per annum, and £12 to each child yearly; but should death have resulted from exposure, privation or fatigue, incident to active duty in the field, fifty per cent. more is allowed. If from wounds received in action, and within twelve months after having been invalided, his widow would receive twice the ordinary pension. But there are certain conditions to be considered.

Isabel.—As much may be said in favour of one place you name as another. In the Isle of Wight, Ventnor is much esteemed. In the south of England, Bournemouth, Torquay, and Penzance. In the Channel Islands, the south aspects and shore of Guernsey and Jersey; and the Island of Sark for asthma. We know of no "papers nor magazines" that give the local information you require. But there are little guides, as well as local papers, respecting each place, in which you could find addresses and advertisements as to situations for persons needing employment.

Pin-basket.—1. The Mosaic-work made of broken china is called "crazy-china," of which two illustrations were given in vol. xvi., page 636. The weekly number (doubtless to be had at our office) was for July 6th, 1895.—2. The German-speaking men of Europe wear wedding-rings. We have not observed whether in other countries the practice obtains as a rule of national observance.

Petruchio's Kate.—We could not answer you in a few sentences, so must recommend you to procure a book on such games, viz., Brand's Observations on Popular Antiquities (Chatto & Windus), see pages 205-215.

Brown Bee.—If you failed to get that description of chocolate at the Junior Army & Navy Stores, and at so many shops, we recommend her to visit some of the large confectioners and grocers' stores in the City.

M. S. C.—We do not know to which you refer, but a "thunder-bolt" is a shaft of lightning, or stream of electricity passing from the thunder-cloud to the earth. In geology it means a belemnite or meteoric stone, or fire-ball, which sometimes falls to the earth; an aërolite, at times found of enormous size; aer signifies "air," and athos a stone. It is a combination of metal and stone. Fire-balls, (bolides) and meteors are explosive, the meteors appearing during the day, and the fire-balls at night. Iron is specially present, but the metals appear to be an alloy.

M. A. D.—We do not think you read our answers, or you would not ask a question already so often answered. There is no rule for the wearing of a ring on any special finger, excepting only the wedding-ring. But the third finger of the left hand is not kept exclusively for that.

Mildred.—Your writing is too large and coarse-looking. Slope it a little from left to right, and reverse the plan in reference to the light and heavy strokes, the downwards heavy, the upwards light. It will be more graceful and artistic.

Dear Mr. Editor,—I have begun making a collection of photos of bridges, and am very anxious to get some from everywhere (except Australia), especially Norway and Russia. Would some of your girls kindly lend a hand? and in return, I could send, not bridges, as I live in the bush, but hornets, beetles, or stamps. The bridges must be named, unmounted, and not more than 8×6 inches, as I put them in a book.

Yours faithfully,
Aunt Scis.

Mrs. Geo. Barnard, Coomooboolaroo, Duaringa, Rockhampton, Queensland.




One glance round the markets and shops in any week of December tells us that Christmas is the prominent thought in the minds of all who have anything to sell, and that royal bird, the turkey, is very much en evidence. But we cannot eat turkey all the weeks of December, and every day is not Christmas Day. Let us, therefore, take a look round with the object of seeing what else there is that is peculiar to the month, and that will help us in compiling our daily menus, as well as to make variety on extra occasions.

Among fish we have the dory—supposed by some to be the fish blessed by our Lord in the miraculous feeding of the five thousand. It is an unsightly fish, but most excellent for flavour and delicacy, very much resembling turbot, and it should be boiled and served the same as the latter.

Turbot is also in excellent condition now, so is cod; then we have ling, a cheap and nourishing fish, thought much of by dwellers on the northern coasts, and we have smaller fish in abundance.

All meat is, of course, in prime condition—almost too prime for some tastes—and we may even indulge in an occasional little roast pork, for if ever pork may be said to be wholesome it is now. Hams and pickled tongues make a feature in the shops now, also pork pies of every imaginable size, weight and kind. The wise and happy are they who can cure their own hams, pickle their own tongues, make their own sausages and bake their own pies—these have not to be taken on trust.

The list of vegetables and fruits is a long one; what we have not in a fresh state we can purchase dried, and there is no lack of variety either way.

Brocoli, savoys, celery, seakale and Scotch kale are all at their best; a touch of frost improves their flavour, but the later severe frosts of January are apt to kill them off entirely. We should make plentiful use of these now, for there will come a time later on when green food will be scarce, and we can then bring out our dishes of carrots, parsnips and the like.

As long as the supply of English apples and pears lasts we should have them frequently, we can have recourse to the cheaper foreign kinds when our own are all gone. Almonds, walnuts, filberts, hazel nuts, and many more, are very plentiful, and this shows us they are the natural food of winter time.

It might be well this month to devote one of our menus to such dishes as are Christmas-like in character, and to make the other festive without being suggestive of this special feast at all.


MENU No. 2.

A recipe for Clear Gravy Soup may not be unnecessary. A pound of gravy beef, and a small knuckle-bone of veal; simmer these in a glazed earthenware vessel, that will hold about two quarts of water, for several hours, but never allow the liquor to boil. When about half cooked add to it a whole carrot cut in four, two or three onions and a bunch of savoury herbs, but no turnip. Strain off the liquor when done enough so that the fat may settle on the top, and then carefully remove it all. When about to re-heat it, pour it into a fresh vessel and season it to taste, then add a teaspoonful of cornflour wet with water, and a teaspoonful of Liebig's Extract of Meat, to give a little more "body" to the stock. Any special flavouring liked may be added at this time, but if the liquor has been properly cooked its flavour will be sufficiently good.

When we speak of "boiled" fish of any kind, it must be remembered that it should never by any means actually "boil," but only simmer gently until done. To boil anything is to spoil it, although, as a cookery term, we speak of it so.

Of the sauces, it may be needful to mention one in detail, namely, the Genoise sauce.

For this take half a pint of milk and put it into a saucepan with a few strips of thin rind of fresh lemon; when it boils pour it on to a spoonful of cornflour previously dissolved in a little cold milk, add this to the yolks of two eggs, an ounce of butter, pepper and salt, and stir these carefully over the fire. When the mixture boils, withdraw it, and add gradually the juice of half a fresh lemon. This sauce should be a clear bright yellow and of the consistency of good cream.

It is usual to stuff a turkey with sausage-meat at the breast end and put a veal stuffing in the body of the bird, or a mixture of boiled chestnuts, breadcrumbs and forcemeat is very good, but somewhat rich. The time the bird will take to roast depends entirely upon its weight, a quarter of an hour to a pound is the correct proportion to allow. Keep well basted, and shield it from the fierce heat.

If intended for eating cold a turkey is never so nice as when "braised," if only a vessel can be found large enough to contain it and keep it covered. A few slices of fat bacon should be put with it, and plenty of good dripping, and rather more time allowed than for roasting; moreover, the cover should be kept tightly closed to keep in the steam. Drain away all the fat, but leave the bird to get cold in the pan. Garnish with its gravy when that has set to a jelly.

The sauce for a salmi should be prepared first, and the joints of the birds just allowed to simmer in it for a little while. Make the gravy from very good strong stock, adding a thickening that shall be transparent, and whatever drops of gravy can be gathered together. A little beef essence may be needed to enrich the stock, also plenty of seasoning. Chopped mushrooms should be added whenever possible, not many will be required. Serve fried potato chips with a salmi, but no other vegetable.

Almost everyone has a recipe for plum pudding; it is one of those possessions about which every woman is more or less conceited, so we will not take up space by giving another here. Neapolitan Pudding may, however, be new to some of our readers, and it is one that is well worth being known by all. For it a few macaroons, some sponge cakes, a little apricot jam and a pint or more of rich well-flavoured custard will be needed. Half an ounce of dissolved isinglass should be stirred into the custard, and this should be flavoured with some essence. Arrange the macaroons at the bottom and round the sides of a buttered mould. Spread the sponge cakes with jam, and fit them in, pouring a little juice over all. Pour in the custard while it is hot, and cover the mould tightly, setting it aside to become cold and stiff. When it is turned out, heap some bright jelly around the base and garnish the top with preserved cherries and greengages cut small.

Meringues are more difficult to make, and require practice to do them well. The cases require the frothed whites of the eggs to be whisked until very firm, and the sugar should be beaten in with a light hand. Drop this by small spoonfuls on to greased note-paper; bake to a very pale brown, slip off the paper with a sharp knife, scoop out a little of the inside and fill up with cream whipped very stiffly. Any flavouring that may be liked can be used.

Croustades of various kinds have been given so often in these pages that it is hardly necessary to repeat the recipe here. Fry the bread in butter or lard, and spread with whatever mixture is chosen whilst they are warm, garnish prettily, and serve warm and fresh though not hot.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX, No.
984, November 5, 1898, by Various


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