Tuesday, 29 December 2015

20 August 1887 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

A lot of snark and boy troubles this month. 

POOR JANE: - All our readers of Answers to Correspondents know very well that we make no invidious distinctions between the upper classes and the poor. You have certainly no cause for complaint, since we answered your first letter at once. The tone of this second letter is impertinent, in suggesting that perhaps we shall not reply "because you are poor". You are mistaken in thinking that the use of a "J" pen will make you "write like a lady". Write careful copies with any pen you like. We do not care to advertise books on palmistry.

E.G.A.C.B.: - How many initials you need for identification! The rule is  for the lady to bow first, and then the man to take off his hat. There is no occasion for stopping to speak in the street; far better not to do so.

ELEANOR M.E.:- You might do so in private, and it would give pleasure. But you do well in pausing to ask advice in such matters.

SIS WIN:- No girl at seventeen should be liable to forget herself in saying or doing what is indiscreet. She should not be so taken by surprise by words or acts of others as to be betrayed into making unwise confidences, nor consenting to unsuitable proposals. If self-possessed, she will be armed against indiscretion. Your writing is stiff - does not slope the right way.

WHITE HEATHER:- It is said "Doctors differ, and patients die"; so we do not desire to render "confusion worse confounded" in your case, which appears to have proved a bone of contention amongst your advisers so far. Your person and circumstances are quite unknown to us, and we could not venture to solve the difficult question. Getting all your teeth extracted seems to us like horse practice.

ELIZABETH B:- On no account marry any man that you neither have nor feel confidence in his late improvement in conduct. If the very thought of marrying him makes you ill, and you are not strong, do not be persuaded to do so. No parent has any right natural or legal to force a child into a marriage against her inclination. Tell your mistress all your trouble, and remain in your situation. You would be quite justified in going away unknown, if you had any respectable place to go to, and that were your only way of escape. In any case, even when in the church you can say "No!" when the clergyman asks you whether you will have the man. Tell your case to a magistrate and ask for his protection.

TROUBLED SIS: It is not only indiscreet, but wrong, to correspond with any man other than with him to whom you are engaged; more especially when he had the audacity to put you "on your honour not to show the letters" and presumes to address you as "Darling Sis!"  Of course your affianced husband has a right to see the letters of any man who writes to you. His chatting in a friendly way, or even flirting with a lady friend, does not justify you in doing the same. If he does wrong, why should you follow suit? Be off with the old love before you are on with the new.

HAMLET:- You need to be taught to ride a tricycle and to wear a suitable dress that will not be entangled in the wheels. Under other circumstances it would be dangerous to ride one.

LIZZIE LANDSDOWNE should make rosemary tea just as she would make drinking tea, or sage tea for application to a sunburnt face.

J.H.:- WE do not think you could teach, or rather un-teach your bird its present habit of taking its bath without a companion to give it a lesson. Of course it would not understand how to begin.

IVY LEAF must find something useful and interesting to think about. An idle mind will naturally dream and wander like a rudderless ship. The cure depends on her own will.

A.B.C. has no idea of versification.

ONE OF THE GIRLS:- Your lines show religious feeling, not genius.

GERTRUDE M. DUTTRY:- The lines have some merits, but the handwriting is extremely hard to decipher, and also ugly.

MARIE STUART:- We advise our taking more exercise, leaving off tea and coffee, and stimulants if you take them. Take cocoa instead, also fruit cooked and uncooked, and cultivate happiness in yourself; it will grow if you really begin to see the bright side of life.

F.M.T.W.:- The person who wrote your quotation must have been ignorant and foolish to the last degree; the Coronation Stone, even for its antiquity and association, is an interesting and wonderful relic.

SPRING FLOWERS:- The composition you send to us for insertion is of the usual schoolgirl kind. By-and-by you may do better, and achieve some originality of thought.

HELEN:- It is anything but "the beauty of the hair to be so greasy"! Wash it once a week, and keep it thoroughly brushed daily, using clean brushes perpetually.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to see you posting again! Thank you! Oh my, the amount of snark displayed makes me think the girls who wrote there must have been very brave... or very desperate.