Saturday, 4 January 2014

19 November 1881 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous advice

CHRISSIE PARKER -1. Your first question is a silly one.  2. There seems little room for doubt that Lady Jane Grey was placed on the throne much against her own wish and better judgment. The first thermometer was constructed by Fahrenheit, a native of Amsterdam, about the year 1720.

LAUGHING WATER: - Use a little weak ammonia and water to the stains on your dress. The “Man in the Iron Mask” is now, we believe, generally supposed to have been Count Mathioli, the Prime Minister to the Duke of Mantua who, having been bribed by Louis XIV, betrayed him to his master, and was seized treacherously and immured for life in France.

YELLOW BUTTER wants us to tell her “which is the proper height for a young lady”. The “proper height” is not an invariable one, as it depends on the proportions of the head and figure, and the due proportions to be maintained. Abut supposing the symmetry were perfect, you might just as well be a “pocket Venus” as a grand specimen of perfect and extra development. There is no “proper height” for a tree, nor “proper height” for a building. There is a charm in variety, if combined with correct proportions. The question of size is a matter of individual taste.  2. People do not continue to bow every time they meet a friend during a promenade, but should your eyes chance to meet you may make a slight smile of recognition.

ROSEBUD – 1. Your gentleman acquaintance needs not to stop to introduce his lady relative with whom he is walking merely because he has raised his hat in acknowledgement of your bow.  2. Unmarried girls have their names engraved under that of their mother on her visiting card, but if she be dead, and they out in society, they may have a card of their own.

CLARA DESMOND – The “gentleman” who was introduced to you by your host was guilty of ill-breeding in replying to your first remark by saying, “I did not catch your name”. It seemed like a distrust of his host’s discretion. If he did not know to whom he was presented, he should have taken an opportunity of making a private inquiry elsewhere. In replying, you should have said, “My name is Desmond”. You write neatly.

HESTER – We do not think you have quite considered the foolish nature of the question you have put to us. If everyone born at sea could claim a pension, imagine the amount of money required to be invested to pay such pensions. The people who told you such a story must have been mischievous, foolish, or very ignorant.

A MACDONALD OF GLENCOE – You say that you are still only a school-girl, yet wish to leave home as a Zenana missionary, although adverse at present to the wishes of your parents. Go home first and show dutiful obedience to your parents until a little older, for very young women are not sufficiently experienced, and do not carry sufficient weight, to be suitable for the work you desire. Your home training, in loving submission to those who are “over you in our Lord” will render you more fit to be a trainer and teacher of others, for it is not merely scholarship and a knowledge of the Indian languages that will form a due and efficient training for such a life. You know your wishes, and when you have exercised patience and “shown piety at home”, for a time, your parents will be more ready to accede to your wishes later on. It is no trifling duty to set an example of filial submission to your sisters.

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