Saturday, 30 November 2013

23 February 1901 - Home Management Month by Month


In my last letter I gave you some hints about the arrangement of the store-room, and I promised a few more ideas on the same subject, before proceeding to the management of the larder.


Firstly, then, label all the jars and canisters in which you store your groceries, such as currants, rice, etc., and place the jars on the shelves, with the small jars in front if there is room for a double row, so that all the labels may be readily seen. All brushes should be hung up. If they are allowed to lie on the floor, the bristles become flattened and dirty, the broom does not sweep as well, and wears out much more quickly.

Keep a slate hanging in the store-room with a sponge and a piece of pencil attached, in order that when you find anything running short you may make a note of it. A small dustpan and brush and also a duster should be kept in the store-room for the use of the mistress of the house. She can then keep everything tidy in the store-room.

Candles keep best if stored in tin boxes; old biscuit boxes answer the purpose very well. The same rule applies to matches. They are less likely to be affected by damp if kept in this manner.

And now I will add a short list of things which easily deteriorate in a damp place, and which, whenever possible, should be kept dry. Sugar, flour, oatmeal, baking-powder, salt, soda, botax and blue are all things easily spoilt by damp.

Housewives will find it a good plan to set aside a shelf in the store-room for empty jam-jars, and see that as soon as the jar is empty it is washed, dried and returned to the store-room. Corks from bottles of all sizes may also be stored, and often come in useful. They should first be carefully washed and dried before they are put away.


The larder now claims our attention. Let us hope that it has been built on the cool and shady side of the house, and that it has a stone or brick floor, because it can then be swilled out daily, which keeps it both cool and clean. If however, the floor and shelves are of wood, it is advisable to scrub them thoroughly with hot water and soap, and then wipe them over with a cloth dipped in cold water to which has been added a small quantity of disinfectant – Condy’s fluid, Sanitas, or carbolic, as preferred. This should be done at least twice a week.

It is a good plan during hot weather to have a jar of fresh barm standing in the larder; this sweetens the air. The barm should be renewed weekly.

Milk or vegetables should never be kept in the meat larder. Milk quickly takes up germs and becomes sour, and green vegetables soon become stale and unwholesome.

If the larder has only sash windows and no perforated zinc, it is a good plan to stretch a piece of coarse muslin over the open sash. This may be made wet from day to day either with a solution of Condy’s fluid and water or carbolic. This keeps out both flies and dust, while at the same time it allows a free passage of air through the larder.

Many larders have not been constructed to allow a current of fresh air to sweep through them. This current of fresh air is very necessary; so if there is only one window, a good plan is to cut out one of the upper panels of the door, and fill in the aperture with either wire gauze or perforated zinc.


I will now give you a few hints about hanging up meat and game. First, be careful that the hooks on which you hang the meat are scrupulously clean. As meat-hooks in the larder are often fixtures, I prefer to use the double iron hooks to hang the meat on. These double hooks can be hung on to the fixed hooks. The reason that I prefer the double hooks is that they can be more easily kept clean and disinfected. Wash the hooks thoroughly in boiling water, then dip them in a solution of Condy’s fluid before passing the hooks through the meat.

In hot or damp weather wipe the meat dry then powder it well all over with a mixture of flour and black pepper, being careful to powder well under the flaps and creases of the meat. The meat should be examined each day, and any part which may have become fly-blown cut away.

The rule for hanging meat is to pass the hook through the sinewy part, and allow the meat to hang with the heaviest part downwards. This prevents the drip of blood which would result if the hook were passed through a fleshy part of the meat. All joints should be hung in an airy part of the larder, not over a shelf or near the wall.

Winged game should be hung by a string attached to one leg. By adopting this plan you spread out the wings and legs, and also, as the feathers are reversed, it allows the air to circulate more freely round the bird. Before being hung up, the bird should be well peppered round the vent, under the wings and legs, and round any parts which may have been shot. The birds should be examined daily.

Every morning all the cold meat should be put upon clean dry dishes, and placed in the most airy part of the larder. All stocks and sauces should also be examined to see if they require boiling up. The extra boiling will prevent them from turning sour.

Soups should be boiled up each day. If they contain vegetables, in hot weather they quickly ferment.

Never allow stock or soup to remain over-night in a metal vessel. The metal is liable to corrode, and this makes the soup turn sour. Great care should be taken that every vessel in which soup or stock is kept should be scalded and dried before being put away.


Bread should be kept in an earthenware pan with a closely-fitting lid. This prevents the bread becoming dry, and also by excluding the air you render the bread more wholesome, as it is liable to absorb any gases arising from meat.

One of the most common sources of waste in a household is bread. A careful housewife should look into her breadpan every morning, and instil into her maids the desirability of using up the pieces before cutting a fresh loaf. It is sometimes difficult to gauge exactly the amount of bread which will be required in a household, and should it happen that there is too much stale bread, the following is an excellent way of rendering a stale loaf fresh. Dip the loaf for one moment in some fresh milk or milk and water, making the bread wet all over, but on no account let it soak. Place the loaf in a moderate oven for about fifteen minutes, then allow it to get cold.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

16 February 1901 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

KATHERINE:- What are now called "transformations" cost from three to five guineas, and are really wigs, but so improved in every way and lightened that they are easy to put on and manage. They should be made of naturally curly hair, and, if made for the wearer at a good hairdresser's, should be delightful wear. We know several people who use them, but they find they need two, and also a stand upon which to dress them. They should also be sent back to the hairdresser's every few months. If your hair is only getting thin at the parting, why not try a different style of hair-dressing and do away with the parting?

T.I.F.:- Dear little girl of sixteen, you are far too young to be worrying yourself about engagements and lovers. Make up your mind not to think of them before you are five and twenty, and enjoy your beautiful youth. Besides, what about school and lessons, and making yourself valuable as a woman and to be a companion to anyone? We do not think you need be in such a dreadful fuss about your young man and his "broken heart". It is wonderful how much it takes to break one, and how little to mend it, and how soon youth recovers. There is nothing so unwise as these early marriages, and, alas! they are far too common.

F.A.T.:- Your writing, if not elegant, is very legible. Of course, in the highest ranks of society writing backwards is considered vulgar, at any rate, for women. This you could alter with a little practice.

ELAINE:- The invitations are issued in the names of your parents, to the church, and afterwards to the house. Unless there are a great number present, it is best to lay out the afternoon tea on the dining-table, pushing the latter up to the wall, so as to give more room. Provide tea, coffee, or iced coffee-cakes, and ices if possible. The wedding-cake should be in the centre of the table and the bride should cut it, or at least make an incision, when the tea is ready. The bride usually goes upstairs to change her gown before the tea is over, and the married pair leave in about half an hour or an hour. WE do not think you could do it more simply than this, and the expense of the tea would not be great.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Easter Egg: an advertisement for Webb Williams & Co Ladies' Tailors c. 1900

Opened vol.22 (1900-1901) and this advertisement fell out. My copy of vol.22 once belonged to a lady by the name of Julia Gambrill, Sandwich. 


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

25 March 1899 - 'Frocks for Tomorrow' by the Lady Dressmaker

One of the special colours of the coming season is said to be yellow, but no exact shade is quoted, and so I had better warn my readers and tell them that there are yellows and yellows, and some of them are calculated to make one look – dreadful! I think a lemon yellow is, as a rule, the safest shade of all.

White gowns are in preparation, and, so far as I can see, will be quite as much worn as they were last year by everyone, and really they seem universally becoming.

Black skirts are no longer correct when worn with light coloured blouses. There should always be a repetition of the colour of the skirt in the blouse. For instance, the skirt being of blue cloth, the blouse should repeat the blue, mixed with any other hue you may select.

I do not see any sign of that disappearance of the blouse which has been so often threatened; but I see that the advent of the tight-fitting small coat may render them unnecessary, as the small coats are made in such a dressy style, with fronts of lace, and pretty decorations, so that they take the place of a bodice.

There is also a very decided advance in the popularity of the Princess dress. Indeed, so tight-fitting are the present styles, that we might really just as well adopt it, for we are wearing what is next akin. In evening gowns there is a great liking for it, and a desire to do away with the waist-band that has been worn so long; and as we must be slim and slight this year, if we are to be at all in the fashion, so we shall see that all styles will tend to help this one. What a sad thing for the extremely stout! But I think it is in reality a good thing that some women and men should never allow themselves to become so, for if we think the matter over seriously we shall soon arrive at the conclusion that it spoils our usefulness both to ourselves and to others, and makes our days a burden. So if Dame Fashion steps in to decree against it, we may hail her interposition as a blessing indeed.

The “tunic” drapery is the new note of all the spring skirts, and really so tight-fitting are all of them, that we wonder how we are going to sit down! In Paris this form of trimming has been most popular,  and there the blouse and skirt are arranged so as to look exactly like a polonaise.

The new toques are larger than those of last year, and much wider. They generally should match the colour of the gown with which they are worn. The trimmings are put on both in front and on the left side, and consist of ostrich tips, chou bows, or rosettes. It is said that gold ornaments are to take the place of paste ones in all the hats of next season; and I notice that steel buttons are more used than anything else for gowns and blouses.


The edges of so many of the new gowns are cut in scallops that this mode of decoration seems to be quite one of the fashions of the year, and a glance at the drawings for the month shows how extremely short the coats have become. That called “Four Spring Gowns” shows some of the prevailing modes with great accuracy. The figure on the extreme left wears a cloth Princess gown made up with tartan velvet yoke, sleeves, and panels. The colour of the cloth was blue, and the tartan was one of the blue and green ones, with a tiny red line. The front is decorated with embroidery. The next figure wears a velvet or cloth gown of black, with a coat scalloped and braided. The collar is of white silk embroidered with black; hat of velvet, with white silk and white feathers. The third figure wears a gown of sage green cloth, trimmed with a green silk check and bands of green velvet, front of chiffon and white silk. The seated figure wears a plain walking gown of grey cloth; the bodice is a tight-fitting one, with a very short basque; and the whole is edged with rows of machine stitching on the bodice and skirt.


There is a great liking this spring for shepherds’ plaid, and it seems likely to be used for gowns and blouses as well as capes. Our sketch shows a tailor-made gown, which is trimmed with black braid, and has one of the shaped flounces on the skirt. The collar is lined with white silk, and there is a front of tucked silk muslin, and a tie and bow of the same. The hat is of a white straw, and is trimmed with white plush, black velvet, and black and white feathers. Veil of white, with black dots.  The second figure for this illustration wears a charming costume of pale grey cloth which shows the manner in which braid is put on and mingled with embroidery. The braid in this case is of white silk; the edges of both coat and epaulettes are scalloped; and the braiding is arranged in a pointed shape on the skirt. The toque is a very pretty one of a grey shade to match the gown; and is of velvet, ornamented with a wreath of green leaves and an arrangement of white wings.


It is sometimes useful to know how to make a tea-gown for a young lady which will be useful and pretty and youthful enough in its style for the years of its wearer. The tea-gown illustrated is of black silk, and is cut very plainly. It opens over a skirt of white satin, with a vest of the same. This last is covered with white net with jet embroidery. There is a flounce of the silk on either side of the front, which is lined with white satin, and the high collar is lined with the same. The lady in out-of-door costume who stands beside her is dressed in a dark blue cashmere or cloth gown, scalloped and trimmed with white braid, a hat of fancy straw, with pink roses and quills.

I have no doubt that many people are wondering whether capes are going to be worn still, and how they will be made; so I must proceed to answer that question now. The new capes are much like the best winter ones have been, cut very round in front and scant as to fullness, rather longer too than they have been worn at the back, and with the same very wide and full flounce surrounding them. There are also some very short ones, but just now it is said to be too soon to speak of capes, or indeed is there much known about purely summer things, though I hear that thin materials will be worn over silk as much as they were last year, and some new materials which combine the thin and the thick together have been brought out; they are woven together making one material. But I do not know whether they will be popular, and most people like the silk undergown and its pleasant rustle. The effort to deprive us of them resulted in failure, and nun’s veiling and all soft linings were pronounced a failure.

Amongst other novelties, there is a new shape of Tam-o’-Shanter, which has a kind of peak added to it in front, rather after the manner of a jockey’s cap. This makes them far more becoming, as well as more serviceable in all weathers, and in every way they look more close fitting than of yore. This new Tam has been worn during the last winter at many of the country meets, accompanied by a long tight-fitting coat. A bright red, a light mauve, and a pretty stone colour have all been seen, and very well and suitable they looked. There has been a universal tendency to wear light-hued cloth this season, and nearly every shade of red and scarlet.

I suppose everyone has seen by the papers that the latest idea at weddings has been to have the wedding breakfast in the train which conveyed the bride and groom, as well as the whole wedding party, to London from the country town which had been the scene of the marriage. This fashion will of course be reserved for millionaires only, but as straws show how the wind blows, at several recent marriages the newly-wedded pair have made their escape from the door of the church and there has been no wedding reception of any kind. So perhaps even our very modified form of wedding entertainment will be reduced still further and end off at the church.

The going-away gown at all the recent smart weddings seems to have been invariably made of cloth: man-colour, petunia, light grey, turquoise blue, dark and light mauve, and heliotrope are all colours that have been seen at recent marriages in good society. The first-named was lined with a shot-blue glace silk and was made with a bodice which had a full vest of cream-coloured lace and revers of dark blue velvet. The dress of petunia cloth had a coat of petunia velvet, slashed with mauve; and as a rule gowns of pale grey are trimmed with grey velvet of a darker shade, with a hat to match. The turquoise blue was an embroidered gown with chenille and silk, and was relieved by cream-coloured lace and a collar. All of these gowns will be useful afterwards, and were none of them too grand for daily life. This is a point that many girls with a limited allowance have to think of, as the going-away gown often has to become the walking and visiting dress of the future days. So it must be chosen with deliberation and care.

I hear that in Paris the popular gown for the early spring for ordinary wear will be black serge; this is made as a coat or Directoire coat bodice, braided or not as is preferred, in fact maybe in any way that seems suitable to everyday use. The best gown as I have said is of some light-hued cloth, and for best summer wear the thin grenadines over silk are most fashi8onable as well as the most useful of dresses. So there is no doubt as to the gowns that will be wanted. The next thing to consider is what are the requirements of our own wardrobes, and what can we do without, alter or purchase for the coming season.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

3 December 1898 - 'Three Soups'



Ingredients – One oxtail, one large carrot, two onions stuck with cloves, one turnip, four sticks of celery, four mushrooms, half a parsnip, a bunch of herbs, two blades of mace, twelve black peppercorns, three ounces of butter, one dessertspoonful of red currant jelly, two quarts and a half of water, a wine-glass of sherry, three ounces of fine flour, salt.

Method – Wash the oxtail and chop it; put it in a saucepan and cover with cold water; bring to the boil and throw the water away. Fry the oxtail gently in the butter until it is a good brown; prepare the vegetables and slice them and put them in a saucepan with the oxtail, water, herbs, mace, salt and peppercorns; put on the lid and simmer gently for five hours. Strain the stock and skim off the fat; pick out the meat and put it aside to keep hot; pick out the vegetables and pound them finely, add the stock by degrees, return to the stove and reheat; melt the rest of the butter in a small frying pan and stir in the flour, fry it a good dark brown over the fire, stir in a little of the hot soup and add this thickening to the soup; add the sherry and red currant jelly and the pieces of oxtail, and serve.


Ingredients – One pound of kidney, half each of carrot, turnip, onion and parsnip, two sticks of celery, one tomato, one bay leaf, one sprig of parsley, one dessertspoonful of Harvey’s sauce, a little browning, one quart of water or stock, one ounce of butter, pepper and salt.

Method – Wash the kidney and cut away any fat; cut it in dice and fry gently in the butter; prepare the vegetables, cut them in pieces and put them in a saucepan with the kidney, bay leaf, parsley, water or stock and salt. Put on the lid and let all simmer gently for four hours; strain off the soup, pick out the pieces of kidney and put them aside to keep hot. Return the stock to the saucepan, add the Harvey’s sauce and the browning; put back the pieces of kidney, reheat and serve.


Ingredients – One large onion, one apple, one tablespoonful of good curry powder, one ounce of flour, half an ounce of grated cocoanut, a few drops of lemon juice, one dessertspoonful of red currant jelly, one dessertspoonful of chutney, salt, one quart of chicken or veal stock, three ounces of butter, one ounce and a half of cornflour, some well boiled rice.

Method – Skin the onion, slice it and pound it in a mortar; chop and pound the apple. Mix the curry powder smoothly with half a teacupful of cold water, melt the butter in a stewpan, stir in the curry powder and water and the pounded onion; cook and stir until the water cooks away and the onion browns in the butter; add the apple, cocoanut, chutney, salt and the stock (warm); put on the lid and simmer for half an hour; rub through a sieve, mix the flour with a little cold stock, re-heat the soup and when it boils stir in the flour; add the lemon juice and red currant jelly; hand well-cooked rice with this soup.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

21 January 1899 - 'Two of the Greatest Afflictions of Girlhood: Blushing and Nervousness'

Medicus again, in a quite lengthy (even he acknowledges it) article about how to deal with social anxiety.

Some years ago an enterprising physician discovered that the whole human race was insane. This doctrine naturally drew forth from the public considerable indignation. We do not believe that we are insane. But the answer of the author was concise: “You cannot prove that you are sane, therefore you are insane!”

And a large number took his word and believed it. Nay; even now people are to be met who believe that everyone is insane. Nay – further! There are many persons who not only believe everyone to be insane, but believe that all physicians hold the same opinion!

And yet, if you ask one of these philanthropists if he thinks that he himself is insane: “Oh well – no; you see I am an exception. I do not mean to say that I am better than anyone else, but I am different from everybody that I know. No, I do not think that I am insane.”

Yesterday we were interviewing a gentleman “lodger” in an asylum, who had come to the conclusion that all the inmates of the house – nurses, patients, physicians and servants – were all insane, himself alone excepted. This is a common creed in lunatic asylums.

No, everyone is not insane. The doctrine is fallacious. But we all pass through phases in our lives when our minds are not capable of fully grasping every detail of the situation. In other words, we are all liable to nervousness.

What is nervousness? Think for yourself and try to answer the question.  It is difficult, we admit.

Is not nervousness a state in which the mind does not rise to the situation? Is it not a condition of uncertainty? Is it not, as it were, a feeling that you know not what step to take next or what answer to give to a question?  Is it not a conviction that you are out of place?

Indeed, it seems to us that nervousness is the expression of being mentally ill at ease.

Few persons realise what a terrible disease nervousness really is. It is one of the greatest annoyances of youth. It renders many girls utterly miserable when they first “come out”. It is most fearful suffering, and one which brings many girls to a life of misery.

There is but one other condition which troubles girls more than nervousness, and that is excessive blushing and blushing is but a physical expression of nervousness.

It is commonly held that the work of physicians is confined to the body, and that they have no knowledge of the troubles of the mind. It follows from this that the study of the mind has been grossly neglected by medical men, and even the simplest mental aberration will baffle many worthy practitioners simply because they consider that the mind is not their province. We can delay no further and must get on to consider the practical side of our task, the causes and treatment of blushing and nervousness.

We suppose that we must first mention the physical causes of blushing and nervousness. Many would consider these to be of the first importance. They are not. Blushing is a momentary relaxation of the minute blood vessels of the skin of the face, caused by an impression received by the brain. The vessels relax, they become distended with blood, and the face becomes red, hot and swollen. If this phenomenon lasts but a minute it is called a blush; if it lasts for a longer period it is called a flush. The former is usually due to mental causes, the latter invariably to physical conditions.

Blushing is the direct effect of a more or less powerful stimulus passing to the brain from one of the special senses. Flushing is the effect of a stimulus from one of the internal organs, usually the stomach. Anaemia, indigestion, constipation and various other ailments cause flushing, and very rarely they produce blushing. This is all we have to say of the physical causes of blushing and nervousness, except that people who are ill or run down are often irritable and nervous. But the illness is not the cause of the nervousness, it only paves the way for it to become manifest; it only reduces the force by which nervousness is normally overcome.

It is in the workings of the mind that we must seek the causes of nervousness.  We are not all born with the same mental powers. Each inherits from her parents certain hereditary tendencies. We all know that insanity runs in families; so does nervousness; so does every kind of mental inclination, but only to a certain extent. We do not inherit the virtues, the vices, the powers or the mental shortcomings of our parents; we inherit a tendency to them – a tendency which may develop and reproduce in us the minds of our fathers. Or these tendencies may be modified or suppressed by education; or they may be overwhelmed by some individual peculiarity which we have not inherited from our parents, but which had its beginning in our own minds.

The mind of anyone is an individual in itself. It has its own passions and inclinations different from those of any other, but it must be educated. Each of us must have a solid basis of general knowledge ere she can use her mind. In other words we must all be educated. And in education, or rather in the lack of some portions of education, you will find the causes of blushing and nervousness.  Nervousness is more common amongst the highly educated classes than amongst others. And yet you say that nervousness is caused by defective education! How can this be?

You have not got a true notion of education! You say education but you mean study; you confine the term to that part of education which is learnt at school and from books; you have fallen into the common error of the age by supposing that education is synonymous with schooling!

At school we learn to read, to write. We learn a little science, perhaps a smattering of art and the elements of a language or two. Is this all the education required by man? Is this sufficient food for the mind of man for threescore years and ten?  Do you learn nothing else in your life than this little handful of unimportant subjects? No, you do not! Far more than nine-tenths of your education is gained without your knowing how; not without effort, but without your knowing that you are educating yourself.

Our forefathers had no books; they never went to school; they knew but little of art or science, and their technical skill was of the rudest. We call them barbarians, but why? They had their passions as we have them; they had their joys and their sorrows; they had their thoughts; they were educated. The viking of old was a man with a highly wrought mind. Though differing in details his education was the same as ours. It was the study of himself and his companions.

Let us glance a little into these defects of education which cause nervousness.  From what has been said, the reader will perceive that the lack of knowledge of herself or her companion is the commonest cause of nervousness; this indeed is the case. The girl who leaves the nursery for the first time is shy and retiring; she cannot speak to anyone without confusion; she has no experience of life. A new episode has occurred and she cannot at once rise to the situation. She is not at home; she is nervous. And so if you think over the position in which you have been nervous, you will see that in the majority of cases your trouble was due to inexperience.

The girl who has never spoken to anyone except her own friends is nervous when she first speaks to a stranger. After she has been introduced to one or two persons her nervousness vanishes, for she has become used to her new situation. Who has not felt nervous when she first appeared in public? Who has not felt most unpleasant sensations when she first sang or played before an audience? Yet after her second or third appearance all traces of nervousness vanish, because now she is accustomed to her surroundings.

The warrior who will face death on the field without compunction may fly in terror if he hear the buzz of a moth. Or if he is unused to feminine society he will be completely cowered by a single woman. The scientist who has astonished the world with his inventions is yet too nervous to deliver a lecture to a half-dozen students, for he is used to his laboratory but is a stranger to the lecturer’s chair. These are examples of what may be called healthy nervousness. They are transient and can be overcome by the will. We will now talk of some more complicated causes of nervousness.

There are many girls (and we are sorry to say there are a great many of them) who between the ages of fifteen and twenty do nothing but loll on a sofa and read cheap novelettes and other wretched and unwholesome literature. These persons usually blush like beetroots when spoken to. They are always nervous and usually silly and rude. Self-consciousness is one of the greatest and most important causes of nervousness. The fear of “giving oneself away” is a very potent factor in the causation of nervousness. Some people confuse self-consciousness with self-conceit. But they are diametrically opposite conditions. The self-conceited girl believes herself perfect. She cannot make a mistake. What she says must be right. She has no fear of committing herself. Why should she ever be nervous? And she never is nervous. The self-conscious girl is the reverse. Not only does she know her shortcomings, but she takes an exceedingly gloomy view of everything. Truly she is always thinking about herself, but her thoughts are not flattering. She puts herself in the worst light and imagines that everyone else sees her in the same way. She imagines everyone is laughing at her. She is confused. She is nervous.

Not all girls are nervous or blush from the same cause, nor are they nervous in the same way nor in the same situations. Some girls blush only when in the company of strangers, others even when speaking to their greatest friends. Some blush or are nervous only when talking to persons of the opposite sex, others when talking to anybody.

We can divide the various kinds of nervous girls into the following groups.

  1. Girls who blush or are nervous when talking to strangers, but are not nervous among their friends.
  2. Girls who are nervous when talking to friends or strangers.
  3. Girls who are more nervous with their friends than with strangers.
  4. Girls who are not only nervous when talking to one person, but who are quite at home in a crowded room.
  5. Girls who are nervous in a crowded place even when they are talking to nobody, or when they neither know nor are known to anybody.
  6. Girls who are only nervous when talking to persons of the opposite sex.
  7. Girls who are nervous at all times and everywhere.
  8. Girls who are only nervous when they are run down in health.
  9. There are many other kinds of nervousness, but we cannot enter into the discussion of them here.

To everyone who glances down this table it will be apparent that the same explanation will not accord for all these conditions. Such diametrically opposite states as that of Nos.4 and 5 cannot be due to the same cause. We must therefore briefly describe the various mental states on which each form of nervousness depends.

The first case, girls who blush or are nervous when talking to strangers but are perfectly at home when talking with their friends, is one of the commonest of the eight types of nervousness. This is the purely natural result of inexperience. The very many girls who are exceedingly annoyed to find that they cannot be introduced to anybody without blushing or stammering or vainly trying to break a distressing silence, may be comforted by the assurance that ere many months are passed they will have become more accustomed to the very strange conditions imposed upon us by social usage and to abruptly starting a conversation with a person whom they have never seen before.

To some girls it may be a relief to know that young men are very much more bashful, more inclined to blush, and find much greater difficulty in starting a conversation to the first person to whom they are introduced than girls do. The news will certainly be well received by all girls suffering from this form of nervousness that a very short space of time will see the end of their annoyance.

The sixth division of nervousness, that condition in which girls are only nervous when talking to persons of the opposite sex, is only a mild form of the first and, like it, it is a very transitory state.

The second class of nervous girls is that in which the members of nervous when talking to friends as well as to strangers. This is the most numerous class of all. This form of nervousness is sometimes due to indigestion or other derangements of health. It is to this class that we shall more especially refer when considering the treatment of nervousness.

That form of nervousness in which the sufferer is perfectly at ease in the excitement of a crowded room but who cannot endure to talk with one person alone is a comparatively rare condition. It is typically met with in cases of nervous exhaustion. It is tolerably common in persons who have just recovered from some forms of depressing diseases.

The fifth class contains two very distinct groups of cases. There are many people who are distressed in a crowded place. Many persons who are not feeling up to the mark are often depressed and get a headache in a crowded place, even where there is no noise or conversation going on. This is a form of nervousness that is almost exclusively met with in elderly or middle-aged persons.

it is in the second of the groups of people who are nervous in large assemblings that we see the most advanced grades of self-consciousness. We have seen girls in drawing rooms, at concerts, and even in church, suffering from this malady (for though it appears as vanity or self-conceit, it is neither one nor other, but a true disease). They shift about, looking from one person to another, wondering what the various members of the assembly are thinking about them. If anyone happens to turn his glance in the direction of a girl with this form of nervousness, a regular outburst occurs; she blushes and perspires profusely, putting her hand up to her hat or fringe or rearranging some part of her dress, wondering what can be amiss, or she wipes her nose with her handkerchief, thinking that there must be a smut there to cause the unknowing agitator to turn round and look at her. It will never strike her that the unwelcome gaze of the stranger is purely accidental, or may be excited by the elegance of her dress or person. No, there must be something “funny” for anybody to turn round and stare at her like that!

The two last divisions of nervousness need but little comment. They are due to bodily ill-health and are part and parcel of physical weakness.
We must now turn to the most important and most difficult part of our task – the description of the means by which these various forms of nervousness may be overcome. We have several times mentioned that many forms of nervousness are commonly caused by ill-health and we may now state that all forms are rendered worse by any departure from physical health. It is therefore obvious that if the sufferer is anaemic or has indigestion, or any of the other ten thousand diseases to which we poor humans are subject, it is essential that the unhealthy state of her body should be cured ere she should try the special methods of treatment to cure herself of nervousness.

As nervousness is so frequently the result of a one-sided education and lack of experience, we would expect that persons who have secured a varied tuition would be less subject to nervousness than their less widely but perhaps more deeply educated sisters. And this we find to be the case. It is a knowledge of a wide scope of learning, of the little ins and outs of our very elaborate social customs, of a more or less superficial knowledge of current views and events, which will help a girl be at home in society rather than a deep knowledge of any one subject. This is the proper place to point out that the popular idea that nervousness is due to a feeble intelligence is totally untrue. It requires a considerable amount of mental power to be able to be nervous. Some of the greatest men in history have been conspicuously nervous.

The girl who rapidly falls in with social customs, who can join in conversations on the ordinary subjects of talk, and who can grasp and retain the little ways of society which she cannot fail to observe, need never fear of retaining any temporary nervousness she may have experienced when she first “came out”. Since experience is so antagonistic to nervousness, it follows that the pursuit of experience is a very necessary point in the treatment of nervousness. Of all ways of acquiring experience none can equal travelling; for the experience gained by moving from place to place is exceedingly varied, and it is this varied experience that is needed to cure nervousness. Often when nervousness is so intractable that it cannot be cured by other means, we advise the subjects to leave society for a year or two, to travel, if possible, or else to gain an insight into the ways and working of the world before again attempting to face the terrors of social life.

In many parts of this article we have maintained that self-consciousness was an exceedingly common and important factor of nervousness and blushing. If we could remove self-consciousness we could cure most, if not all, forms of nervousness. Suppose that a girl is self-conscious and she enters into conversation with another girl who is not self-conscious. The question is broached by the healthy-minded girl. She asks –

“Do you think that Mr Jones’ French poodle would look better if he were shaved?”

The nervous girl will undergo severe agitation as to what she ought to answer. “You see, if I say ‘no’ it may show that I do not know anything about dogs. In fact I must be very careful not to give myself away as an ignoramus”.

As a matter of fact neither of these girls knows much about dogs, perhaps neither would recognise a French poodle if she saw one. The questioner, still waiting for the simple reply which her question needs, looks into the face of her nervous companion and at once the latter’s wits desert her altogether. “Why did she look into my face? I must be looking very ugly today? I know my dress is old-fashioned but it is very rude of her to notice it!” etc., etc. This poor girl cannot bring her mind to bear on the subject of the conversation; she is eternally thinking of herself. If she would only think about what her questioner is talking of, instead of thinking about what her companion is thinking about her, she would no longer be self-conscious, no longer nervous.

The conversation concerning the French poodle has upset her altogether; she leaves her first companion and seeks another. But here she can boast no greater success. Perhaps she will brave a third effort at conversation, but it is all to no purpose; she is either too fearful of committing herself or saying something unseemly, or else she knows that her companion is secretly laughing at her. Utterly downhearted she eventually sits down in a corner and remains silently agitated for the rest of the evening.

What a terrible state is that of self-consciousness, and yet how common! And yet of the large number of persons who suffer from it how many try to overcome it? Because it is far easier to foster than to subdue these feelings is no reason for not making any attempt to quell them.

A very important piece of advice to give to all nervous girls is to avoid all trivial conversations, especially talking scandal. It is unfortunately a fact that nervous girls are often quite themselves when discussing the weaknesses of their friends and neighbours, but such conversation begets a distrust of their friends, and we have no doubt that the habit of talking against one’s neighbours is sometimes a direct cause of that form of nervousness in which girls cannot talk to their own friends without blushing. They know what their friends say about others behind their backs, and they fear that they too will be discussed in their absence. To such girls as these we may say, give over such worthless friends and try to know others who use their tongues to a more proper purpose, and never under any circumstances talk scandal yourselves.

Self-conscious girls must get out of the habit of revolving in their minds what answer to give a simple question. When you are talking socially, it is really of very little consequence whether your answer is correct or not. You should indulge in conversation with everybody whom you wish to know, and with whom your parents o guardians wish you to be intimate. You must not sit in a corner and mope because you thought that Miss Smith was criticising your dress when you were trying to converse with her. Be a woman and bravely attempt to join in conversation. It does not matter if you make mistakes. We are all human. We all make mistakes. But it would indeed be a funny world if we never attempted to open our mouths lest we should say what is indiscreet or fallacious. Remember that when you have once braved your inclination to sit down and be silent, half the battle is over, and you will soon grow to look with astonishment at your foolish behaviour of some weeks back. Since experience is the great cure for nervousness, gain all experience you can both by reading, by the study of the arts and sciences and by observation of the doings of others and the workings of this great world. Keep your eyes open and look around you. However limited your own circles may be, it still contains more to be studied than you can learn in your lifetime. Trivial literature, and especially cheap novelettes, should be avoided, for they give you a false notion of life and deal with silly and impossible predicaments.

There are doubtless many people who think that nervousness can be cured by diet, exercise and drugs. To such as hold this view we readily admit that when nervousness is caused by bodily ill-health or by lack of precautions to the laws of well-being, such is the case. But the true nervousness, seen so commonly in perfectly healthy persons, who rigorously follow all the laws laid down by physicians and general experience, is totally uninfluenced by physical treatment of any kind.

Blushing, which is one of the forms of nervousness, most frequently due to physical causes, is often to be cured by careful diet and other therapeutical measures. There is one drug which is often of use in this condition. Icthiol taken in 2 ½ grain doses will often help to cure blushing due to physical causes. No drug whatsoever is of use in “nervousness”.

We have now finished our account of nervousness. If it has been somewhat lengthy, it is nevertheless extremely brief when the gravity and complexity of the subject is considered. We have not described all forms of nervousness, nor do we expect to cure all persons suffering from those varieties that we have described. But we hope and trust that those who suffer from these most distressing ailments will derive some benefit from our task.

21 October 1893 - 'Angels Food' by Dora de Blaquiere

Dora goes straight from recipes for cake into recipes for, I don't know what, is it an eau de toilette maybe? But it's nice to know that homemakers were getting all misty-eyed about how much more simple and romantic things were in the good old days in the 1800s too.

The cake – or perhaps as it would be better called, the sweetmeat – known today under the name of “angels’ food” is by no means of modern origin. Indeed, the basis of the mixture may be found as far back  as the days of Queen Elizabeth, when a very light porous kind of sweetmeat was made, in a rather more clumsy mode of manufacture,  under the name of “angelic sweetmeat”. The foundation of all “angel’ cakes is much the same, the chief distinction between them consisting in the number of eggs used, which varies from eight to one dozen. Nor need the housekeeper, who is anxious to make the attempt to manufacture “angel cake” of any kind, be deterred by the seeming expense for there are plenty of good eggs to be obtained, hailing from “foreign parts” – from Normandy, Brittany, or Holland – at the comparatively small price of thirteen a shilling, or in the summer time even less.

The first recipe I shall give is quite a new one, and hails from America; it is called “angels’ food” – 1 ½ cups of pulverised (castor) sugar; 1 cupful of flour; 1 teaspoonful of cream of tartar; the whites of ten eggs beaten to a stiff froth.

The newest English-American recipe I can find differs but little from it, and is as follows: The whites of eleven eggs which have been kept in a very cool place, or upon ice, before they are used; one tumbler and a half of castor sugar; three-fourths of a tumbler of flour; one level teaspoonful of cream of tartar, and one teaspoonful of flavouring – almond, lemon or vanilla, whichever is preferred – lemon being the best, I think, of all.

The following instructions for making should be strictly followed – The ingredients should be all carefully gathered together before their blending, that they may be all to hand conveniently. Mix the cream of tartar and the flour together and sift the mixture several times, adding a small pinch of salt. Beat the eggs (whites only) to a very stiff froth, and add the sugar to it very quickly and quietly; then, when these are well mixed, put in the flour in the same manner, sprinkling both through your fingers and being careful to avoid any lumps of either. One of the secrets of making “angel cake” is the method of mixing it. You do not exactly either beat it or stir it, but you lift it up and down with your fork from the bottom of the tin; and if the first cake should turn out either tough or sticky you will know that your mixing has been too violent, and with your next you must be more gentle. Put your cake into a clean bright cake-tin (and some good authorities will tell you on no account to butter it); the oven should be a cool one, or at least very moderate, and you may bake for forty-five minutes. Wait a quarter of an hour before you look at it, and be careful not to keep the oven-door open too long. You can try the cake with a straw to see if it be done. Many people cool this cake off by leaving the oven-door open and allowing it to remain for a time, and then taking it out and standing it upon the table to cool off. Before putting it into the oven you should sprinkle the top lightly with powdered sugar; but not so much sugar should be used as would make the cake fall in baking it.

Amongst the varieties of angels’ food which are indulged in in America, are “angel surprise cake”, “almond angel cake”, “angel custards” and angels’ cake made with peaches, bananas and pineapples. The first named “surprise cake” is made with a freshly-made angel’s cake, which for this purpose should be baked in a round tin, and left in the tin until it be quite cold. When turned out, the first thing to do is to cut off the top, about half an inch thick, then take a sharp knife and cut round the inside of the cake, about half an inch from the crust, or the outer wall of the cake, and so take out the soft white centre. Then to whip a pint of fresh cream into a stiff froth and flavour with vanilla or lemon; pour it into the hollow cake and smooth it over the top so that you can replaced the lid, and make it look as if it were quite undisturbed. This of course constitutes the “surprise” when cut. Many people add candied fruit or almonds to the cream.

“Almond angel cake” is also a delicious confection made in much the same manner as the preceding, except that the cake is cut in layers and the whipped cream is mixed with half a pound of almonds, blanched, and cut in small pieces. The cream is then put in between the layers, and the top is cut open, so as to allow the cream to be the top layer; and some of the almonds, cut into long and thin pieces, are stuck into it; so as to make it look “porcupiny”.

“Angel custards” are made in a rather different manner, for the angel batter must be baked in muffin rings and, as usual, the cakes when baked must be left to get perfectly cold before being turned out. Then the top must be cut off each cake, and some of the inside taken off, which you must replace with a custard, which you may make as rich, or as simple, as you please. The following is a cheap and good recipe for a custard which you may use with angel cake, or in any other way. Take the yolks of two eggs, a tumbler of milk, and four lumps of sugar. Simmer till thick, stirring the mixture carefully to prevent burning. Add a few drops of vanilla flavouring, and pour into a clean jug. Stir till cold.

I have left the preparation of “angel fruit cakes” until the last. They are nearly all made in the same way, namely, the angel batter, instead of being baked in only one cake, is baked in layers in the small round tins to be purchased at any tinsmith’s, made for that purpose. They must not be very brown nor burnt. The lower layer of all must be spread with whipped, sweetened and flavoured cream, and then you should cover this with a layer of bananas, peeled and daintily sliced. Then put on another layer of cake, and repeat the addition of cream, and the sliced bananas. There are generally three layers of cake used, the top layer being completely covered up with the whipped cream.

Angel peach and pineapple cakes are made in the same manner, and both can be made of the preserved or canned fruits instead of the fresh, and so are suitable for winter as well as for summer use.

And no account of angels’ food would be quite complete unless it were supplemented by a mention and a recipe for “angel water” called in French Eau d’Ange. This is of very ancient use in England and is often spoken of during the time of the plague. It was also called “Portugal water” and was in great repute at one time for its healing properties. Simple “angel water” is made of the flowering tops of the myrtle only, distilled with water; but there are three or four kinds of aromatic waters under the same name, that contain many more ingredients, and are known under the various names of “distilled musk” and “boiled angel water”. In a very old cookery-book in my possession there are at least half a dozen recipes for “angel water”. A simple one that could be made at home was – 1 pint of orange-flower water, 1 pint of rose-water and ½ pint of “myrtle water”; to these put ½ ounce essence of musk and 1 ounce of essence of ambergris; shake the whole together. This recipe is marked “to be made in small quantities only, soon spoiled, either by heat or cold”.

I find a recipe for distilled “angel water” is made thus – Gum benzoine (crushed small), 4 ounces; liquid styrax, 2 ounces; cloves (bruised), ½ ounce; Calamux aromaticus (bruised), ¾ ounce; cinnamon (bruised), ¼ ounce, coriander-seed (bruised), 1 drachm, water, 7 pints; distil ½ gallon.

We have left off the home manufacture of all these fragrant water, which used to form a great part of the duties of our ancestresses. The “still room maid” retains her name, but has other duties to perform, and the recipes are shut up in mouldy and unused books. But I am aware much of the beauty of our lives went out with these old avocations and fashions; and in order to regain something lost we shall have to make our tastes more simple, and go back to that almost forgotten love of the country, its quiet and peace, and from the hurried and unrestful life of the great city.

18 May 1901 - 'Practical Points of Law - Popular Errors' by A Lawyer

Finding’s not keeping – it’s stealing; if you know where to find the owner or do not take any steps towards discovering the owner of the lost article, such as giving information to the police, or advertising the discovery in such a way as to give the owner an opportunity of recover his loss. If, however, you have taken proper steps towards finding the owner but without success, no one has a better claim to the article than you.

“Possession is nine point of the law.”

If you happen to come across valuables that have been abandoned or stolen from their rightful owners many years ago, such a discovery is called a treasure trove. No one has a right to retain treasure trove. It belongs to the Crown. The Crown will reward the finder of treasure trove who voluntarily delivers it up.

If you give a cabman a sovereign in mistake for a shilling and he takes advantage of your mistake, he is guilty of theft.

If you find yourself in possession of a bad con, you have no right to try and pass it. If you are doubtful about it, you should take it to a bank or to Somerset House.

If a person tenders you a gold or silver coin which you suspect to be light or counterfeit, you may cut, bend or break it. If you are wrong you will have to accept it. If you are right the other person must bear the loss.

You must not insert an advertisement offering a reward for the recovery of property which has been lost or stolen and ending with the words ‘No questions asked’, because no one may compound a felony which is what it practically amounts to. But you may offer a reward and you need not question the person who returns the article to you, although you may suspect him of having stolen it for the sake of the reward.

“Trespassers will be prosecuted.” It’s all nonsense unless you are trespassing in search of game, or have done damage to the grass or to growing crops. Sometimes one may trespass upon a person’s private property without being aware of the fact. When in such a case it is brought to your notice, you should offer to leave by the nearest way. You are not bound to go back by the way you came. If you are accused of having done any damage to the grass or the footpath, you should tender a small coin as compensation for such damage as you may have caused.

A man has no right to set spring guns or man traps for the purpose of catching trespassers. Neither has he the right to have a dangerous pit in his field within twenty-five yards of the road.

12 April 1902 - 'Some Continental Recipes for Eggs'

Considering the size of the egg, it contains more nourishment than any other food, and its use in soups, puddings, vegetables, etc., is invaluable. In France, Italy and Switzerland, where eggs are so numerous, they are introduced largely into the cuisine, not only for the inevitable omelette or custard, but also for thickening gravies, flavouring soups, or giving a dainty colouring to blancmanges, etc. In one Swiss hotel, where I studied cooking, I noticed that soup was never sent to table without being first poured over one or two raw, beaten-up eggs, and the practice of beating a new-laid egg into one’s coffee or chocolate is not uncommon. In families where it is not customary to have two meat-meals daily, the egg plays a conspicuous role, and many a dainty and inexpensive dish may be prepared from it.

VOGELHEU (Eggs and Bread).
Ingredients – Four eggs, a cupful of broth, salt and chopped parsley.
Beat up the eggs with about two tablespoonfuls of broth, and add the salt and a handful of chopped parsley. Cook in the same way as an omelette. Make a brown sauce in the following manner:- Stir a tablespoonful of flour into an ounce of steaming butter until it is of a light brown colour, add a cupful of broth and a little Harvey sauce or ketchup. Pour this sauce over the omelette and serve at once.

Ingredients – Four eggs, parsley, bread-crumbs, two ounces of grated cheese, butter, pepper and salt.
Take four patty-pans, butter them well and break an egg into each, taking care not to break the yolks, put over them a little grated cheese, chopped parsley, bread-crumbs and a small lump of butter, pepper and salt. Bake in an oven for about five minutes.

Ingredients – Two ounces of butter, one tablespoonful of flour, a cupful of milk, minced parsley, four eggs.
Heat the butter and stir in the flour, add the parsley and milk, pepper and salt, and simmer for five minutes. Boil the eggs hard. Cut into halves and pour over the sauce. A little lemon juice or vinegar makes the sauce piquant.

Ingredients – The yolk of an egg, a teaspoonful of mustard, a small lump of butter.
Beat all the ingredients well together and send to table, spread on thin slices of white or brown bread.

Ingredients – Two tablespoonfuls of flour, five eggs, one teaspoonful of sugar, one pint of milk, two ounces of butter, salt.
Make a paste with the flour, yolks of three eggs, and two whole eggs, sugar, milk, a pinch of salt, and the butter, which must be melted. Make a small omelette-pan warm and grease it with a little butter. Put one tablespoonful of the paste in the pan at a time and make thin pancakes. Spread jam or jelly over the pancakes and roll. Send to table with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Ingredients – Two ounces of butter, four eggs, half a pint of milk, one tablespoonful of flour, pepper and salt.
Stir the flour into the butter in a frying-pan, and add by degrees the milk, and pepper and salt to taste. When the sauce boils, add the four eggs, taking care not to break the yolks. Let the eggs cook in the sauce until the whites are set. Take the eggs out, lay them on buttered toast, and cover with the milk sauce.

BRAUNE EIER (Brown Eggs).
Ingredients – Raspings of crusts, butter and eggs.
Butter some little tin pans and cover with rasping. Into each pan break an egg and bake in a moderate oven or, better, on the hot plate until the whites are set. Turn the eggs out on a hot dish.

Ingredients – One Spanish onion, half a pound of mushrooms, five eggs, pepper, salt, a cupful of broth or gravy, a small lump of butter.
Cut up the mushrooms and onions and fry in butter. Boil the eggs hard. Slice them and add to the mushrooms and onions. Simmer all together in the gravy and serve very hot.

DEUTSCHER OMELETTE MIT FRUCHTEN (German omelette with fruit)
Ingredients – Four tablespoonfuls of flour, half a pint of milk, four eggs, two ounces of butter. Any sort of fruit.
Make a stiff and smooth paste with the flour and milk, and then add the eggs one by one, and half a teaspoonful of salt until the paste is the consistency of cream. Heat the butter in the pan and cook as an ordinary omelette, a nice brown on both sides. Serve the omelette with cooked apples, pears, cherries or plums,. In the case of stoned fruits it is better to remove the stones.

Ingredients – Three eggs, two ounces of flour, one pint of milk, half a teaspoonful of salt.
Mix all the ingredients well together and lay in a well buttered pan. Bake in a moderate oven for twenty to thirty minutes. The same can be placed in cups or basins, and boiled in water for half an hour.

EIER ALS GEMUSE-GARNITURE (Eggs as Vegetable Garnish)
Ingredients – One teaspoonful of flour, two eggs, a pinch of salt, two tablespoonfuls of milk.
Make a firm paste with the flour and milk, beat the yolks and whites of the eggs separately and add also. Put a piece of butter the size of a walnut in the pan, and when quite hot add the above mixture (about two tablespoonfuls at a time), and make very thin pancakes. Roll these and cut them into pieces two inches in length and garnish round spinach, beans, peas, etc.

NUDELN (Home-made Macaroni)
Ingredients – Four eggs, half a cupful of milk, half a pound of flour.
Mix the above ingredients together until a stiff paste is formed. Knead well on a paste-board and roll out over and over again until as thin as the blade of a knife. Hang up the paste for about an hour to dry. When dry, cut the paste up to four or five pieces, lay them one on top of the other, roll and cut into fine strips. Boil till tender in boiling and salted water, and serve up either with gravy, butter and grated cheese, fried onions or stewed fruit. Nudeln, thus prepared, have a much finer flavour than macaroni. They can be kept for several weeks.

Ingredients – Six eggs, three ounces of butter, half a pound of cheese, minced chives or parsley, pepper and salt.
Smear a baking tin thickly with butter, and lay half the cheese cut in thin slices over it. Break the six eggs carefully, and over each egg grate some cheese, put a teaspoonful of minced chives or parsley and a lump of butter. Bake in the oven for ten minutes.

Ingredients – Ten eggs, parsley, two cloves, one bay-leaf, savoury herbs, flour, salt, a few mushrooms (if possible), half a cupful of cream or milk, white stock.
Put the stock into a pan with the cloves, bay-leaf, a tablespoonful of savoury herbs, the mushrooms and half a teaspoonful of salt. Let it boil for an hour, strain it and thicken with flour. Cook the eggs hard, peel them, take out the yolks and thinly slice the whites. Pile the yolks up in the middle of a hot dish, place the slices of white round and cover all with the white sauce and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

OUOVI E POMEDORO (Eggs and Tomatoes)
Ingredients: One Spanish onion, half a pound of tomatoes, water or broth, pepper and salt, butter, three eggs.
Chop the onions fine and fry in butter until brown, add the tomatoes, also cut up, flavour with pepper and salt, add half a cupful of broth or water, and simmer for a quarter of an hour. Have ready three hard-boiled eggs, shell them and cut them in quarters lengthwise. Lay them on a hot dish and cover with the tomato sauce. A few croutons or slices of toast should be served round the dish.

Ingredients – Three eggs, half a pint of melted butter, a little minced parsley.
Boil the eggs hard and chop into small pieces. When the butter is hot, stir in the eggs and add a sprinkling of parsley. A good sauce for fish, such as cod, etc., is made by adding the chopped eggs into an ordinary thick white sauce and flavouring with a little lemon juice.

Ingredients: A chicken, one Spanish onion, two tomatoes, broth or water and meat extract, pepper, salt, two eggs, butter.
Cut the chicken into joints. Chop up the onion and fry in an ounce of butter, add the tomatoes and, after five minutes, add the pieces of chicken. Let all cook together for five minutes more, and then add half a pint of water or broth, pepper and salt. After about half an hour, add two beaten-up eggs to thicken the sauce and serve. This is a most dainty way of serving chicken. An old fowl cooked this way loses its toughness, but then a longer time must be allowed for the cooking. Any kinds of meat or bird or even fish prepared in this way will be found appetising. In Italy cod and hake are generally treated in this manner.

Ingredients – Thin slices of ham, two ounces of butter, two eggs, pepper and salt.
Fry the ham lightly and lay it on a warm plate, beat up the eggs with pepper and salt, fry lightly, cover the ham with them and serve.

28 December 1901 - 'Health Hints for Winter Months' by Gordon Stables M.D., C.M., R.N., aka 'Medicus'

Once upon a time, girls, there lived, as far away up among the bonnie Highland hills and shaggy forests above Beauly (Inverness-shire) a beautiful old lady and her husband Ian (pronounced Zean, please). They belonged to the clan Dannachie, being Robertsons of Struan. They were not considered extremely aged by their neighbours, for the wife was barely ninety-seven and her husband was only a hundred and one, and Scotchfolks, you know, who dwell among the heather and inhale mountain ozone, and the sweet balsamic breath of the pine-trees, who eat plain wholesome food and all that, can live as long as they please.

And so one day, when Ian did not return from the forest in time for his frugal one o’clock dinner, and the ghillies were sent in search of him and found him, snuff-box in hand, seated at the foot of a pine-tree dead, it was only considered an accident. It was winter, and the beautiful spruce-tree branches were all pointing downwards with the load of snow they bore; but as the roses never left the dear old man’s cheeks, he was kept near to the fire rolled in blankets and rubbed with whisky for six long days and nights before hope was given up. Then came the wake and the funeral.

Well, this was my maternal great-grandfather, and his wife, certain in her simple soul that she had only to die in order to meet her Ian once again on a happier shore, lived for many years after this. I think that the secret of long life in this good and virtuous old couple lay in their love and respect for fresh air and cleanliness, and the their mantle – or rather Highland plaid – has fallen on me, their unworthy great-grandchild. Not that I expect to have a long life, but just in order that I might breach yet a while the doctrines of health to my GIRL’S OWN PAPER readers, I might, you know.

Cleanliness, however, was a craze with the old lady whom I have mentioned.  No one, for example, dared ever to eat with the same knives or forks or from plates, etc., appropriated to her use alone. She had an easy-chair in which nobody ever sat but herself, a Bible that she alone was allowed to use, and, still more strange, a well of her own, with lid and lock and key, the water from which no one else ever drank. But I don’t want my girls to be faddists, although as regards hygiene it is better to err on the right side than the wrong. Moreover, I wish my girls to be always fresh and happy because healthful, and to live to ninety or thereabouts.

Oh, I have no doubt that I have harped upon this string before now, and may again, just to keep it fresh in the memory of our regular subscribers, and by way of teaching the regiment of new girls that annually join our ranks.


Fresh air constantly renewed is quite as necessary to a healthful existence as food itself, and those unfortunate girls who are confined to office-stools or shops where this never exists soon deteriorate. They do not develop well; they become weakly anaemic, and suffer from loss of appetite, backache of a wearisome character, restless nights and irregularities of every sort. I am sorry to add that the minds of such girls are usually on a par with their bodies, and that scarcely even religion itself suffices to keep them altogether in the right path. I assure you that my heart bleeds when I think of all that these poor lassies have to suffer and endure. But many of these mercantile offices would like to have the windows open if their elders or superiors would only permit it.

In Government offices it is just the same, only for the most part worse. Some of our post-offices, fir instance, are never ventilated, and when you enter one early in the morning the air is of such a foul and ghastly nature that I verily believe blue-bottle flies would drop dead if they came under its influence. Instead of getting fresh air to breathe all day long, as they ought to, these poor hard-worked girl-clerks, shopkeepers, seamstresses, etc., only manage to get a puff of oxygen as they hurry to or from their meals. Is it any wonder that – but there, I’m not going to preach! If, however, girls value beauty of complexion and skin generally, bright eyes and a happy disposition, they will endeavour to obtain at night that of which they are bereft all day, namely fresh air. Let them sleep in it, and this is easily done, as I will presently show you.

The lungs are, so to speak, a pair of bellows which keep up the fires of life. In them the blood, which returns from every part of the body vitiated by carbon or soot,is purified and sent back to the heart, to be pumped out again by that marvellous organ to supply all the needs of nature. Pure blood is supplied to the most minute and uttermost regions of the body, and these make use of it and its oxygen to warm the body and make up for waste of tissue. The blood, darkened now by carbon, returns to the heart, and is sent thence to the lungs to meet fresh air and be once more purified. You cannot see the red or arterial blood circulating from the heart because it is so light in colour, but you cannot look at hand or arm without noticing the veins in which the black blood is rushing backwards to heart and lungs.


We often hear of people being found dead in bed. A man or woman does not appear at the breakfast-table, but this gives rise to no concern. “She was rather late up last night,” someone may remark. “Let her rest.”

But when the forenoon slips away and there are still no signs of the sleeper, someone more anxious than the others goes to her bedroom door and taps. No answer. Then alarm becomes more general and the door is forced, to find that poor Miss or Mrs Blank sleeps

“The sleep that knows not breaking,
Morn of toil nor night of waking.”

And so the mourners go about the streets.

It is usually about three or four in the morning that such an accident occurs. This is the truth, but I have never heard anyone wonder why. If you ask a medical man, he will tell you that at this hour the powers of life are at their lowest ebb. This may be correct, but in all such cases as I myself have investigated, I have found the bedroom almost hermetically sealed, and believe that had the window been open and the pure air been circling in the apartment, Miss Blank would not have died.

You see that in a close room nearly all the oxygen is exhausted by four o’clock in the morning, and carbonic acid gas has taken its place. There is barely enough pure air therefore to keep body and soul together, and so the weakly one runs a very great risk. I think that the sleep one gets in such a vitiated atmosphere is of no account and very unrefreshing. It is a poisoned sleep of lethargy, such as that which Greenland bears and other hibernating animals obtain, and which reduces them to living skeletons before they emerge in springtime; but these wild animals are possessed of a strength and a vis naturae that is not granted to human beings.

There is another bedroom danger to which I must briefly allude. If one has eaten too freely before going to bed, or of that which may create fermentation, the stomach gets distended and presses against the heart, causing the dreadful nightmares which, combined with the want of fresh air, may end fatally.  Concerning nightmares, I have heard it said that if the wild bull you are chased by overtakes you, or if you do in that terrible dream reach the bottom of the precipice over which you feel yourself falling, you never wake again. There is doubtless truth in this.

It must be obvious, then, to the youngest girl who reads this paper, that we cannot have health if we exclude fresh air from the bedroom. I want you to remember too that fires in rooms use the oxygen up and so do lamps and even candles, and that for this very reason you are better to sleep in total darkness. The dangers of bedrooms are very much increased by putting woollen list around the edges of the door, of making use of that awful and deadly sand or sawdust sausage-looking business either at the foot of the door or on the windows. The want of ventilation in the bedroom is very apt indeed to engender colds and to render the lungs themselves ready for the seeds of consumption to be sown therein. You must understand the physiology of this. It is not so much, then, on account of the extra heat of the bedchamber as that the vitiated air renders the system weak; so a girl that has passed the night in such an apartment is in a fit condition to be attacked by any microbe that happens to be afloat.


First I must inform you that the larger the apartment is the better, because the greater is the space for oxygen. Therefore, the less furniture there is in a bedroom the better, and no curtains should be hung either around the windows or bed, nor should dresses be hung up therein. These all harbour dust, and in the dust lives the microbes of almost any disease you can name. But if the room you occupy is small and low in ceiling, it is ever so much more unhealthy, and ventilation is imperative. Ventilation is very simple. For instance, one pane of glass may be taken out and a jalousied glass-work substituted, or the window may be lifted about six inches, and the lower sash allowed to rest upon a board that quite fills up the open space. The air, you see, thus gets in only between the two sashes, and blows right up towards the roof, thus mingling with the rising gases, and rendering them pure and innocuous. Or the upper sash may be lowered and the space filled up with a piece of framed perforated zinc.

But in summer keep the windows wide open all the time, not a wee bit, mind you, but that would mean a roaring draught, but widely, generously open. Your reward will be a total disappearance of all languor on first getting up, the rose tints on lips and cheeks, brighter eyes, and that calm contented feeling which is never experienced by any but the strong.


Begin now at once to put by small sums for this. If you don’t think yourself too old to put money in the savings bank, do so by all means, and little by little your fresh air fund will mount up, and how very useful this will be when you do get your summer or autumn holiday time will prove. Try this scheme. Mind that pennies saved result in pounds gained.


I am really putting the cart before the horse, because it is in the weakness which causes the nervousness, and the symptoms of this trouble are far too numerous even to name. This ailment is called neurasthenia by medical men, a word compounded of two Greek ones, meaning absence of strength in the nervous. It usually arises from want of proper food, fresh air, and pleasurable exercise. Cycling girls who spurt or scorch are subject to it, because they weaken or stretch their hearts. Overwork won’t induce it, but work and worry will. Eating more than enough at meal-times is a very common cause of neurasthenia, owing to the strain on the internal system to get rid of the superabundance. A girl who is fond of the table is always more or less in a state of fever, especially if she uses much meat, flour puddings and sugar.

In cases of this kind, the ignorant fly to physic and dose themselves with tonics, which are most pernicious. The meals should be, breakfast at eight or earlier, having taken a large glass of hot water half an hour before it. Dinner at half-past twelve to one, a small cup of tea with milk and sugar, but nothing to eat, at five, and supper at eight. A light biscuit or two before going to bed, and a glass of milk will do good if hunger is felt, or any gnawing sensation at the pit of the stomach. You may drink if thirsty between meals, but a mere mouthful of water with dinner is enough.