Saturday, 30 April 2016

5 June 1880 - 'Sunday School Treats'

Who that has had anything to do with the management of Sunday schools cannot recall some protracted teachers' meeting convened at the beginning of summer to discuss the plans  for the children's summer treat? First there is generally a warm discussion as to whether they shall have a treat in the summer at all, or whether an entertainment in the winter would not be better; but when everyone else is thinking of their approaching holidays, it seems hard that the poor little children, particularly those in the back slums of our large towns, should not have one day's enjoyment of the fresh pure country air.

We think a change of air once a year to the country or seaside almost a necessity to the children of the higher classes, but hundreds of poor little creatures, cooped up all the year round in close rooms and narrow alleys, would never have a change of air, nor see the fields and lanes of the country at all, but for the annual excursions which have now become so general in all Sunday and ragged schools.

For children living in the country, who have plenty of fresh air all the year round, and a far larger share of healthy play than falls to the lot of the little ones in towns, there is much to be said in favour of winter treats instead of summer excursions. Being held in the schoolroom, there is not the fear that a storm of rain will damp the children's spirits and spoil their best clothing, and the anxious and responsible teachers are not kept in a constant panic by rumours that a boy has fallen into the river, or a girl is lost in the wood; and last, but by no means least, it is considerably less expensive. But, on the other hand, a very strong argument  for the excursions in the summer is that they afford a great, often the only, opportunity for a teacher to become on a friendly footing with the scholars. The lower classes of scholars are too apt to look upon their teachers, either secular or religious, as their natural enemies, only one grade less obnoxious than the policeman, and these holidays give us an opportunity of showing them, by entering heartily into their happiness, that we are their friends as well as their teachers; and, indeed, that religion, of which we are in their eyes the representatives, makes us better able to sympathise with others in everything, their enjoyments as well as their troubles.

In most schools the discussion ends in favour of the summer holiday, and if this conclusion is come to, the next question to be decided is "Where shall we go to?" the details and minor arrangements being usually left to a select committee.

It has been said that if Rome had been built by a committee it never would have become the mistress of the world, and happy the school which has one competent person who will undertake all the arrangements and so dispense with the endless discussion of a committee meeting.

But to return to the question of a desirable spot  for the excursion. This is generally a very knotty point, and a unanimous verdict in favour of any one place is as difficult to arrive at as though it were left to the decision of twelve stubborn jurymen. One timorous person puts his veto upon a lace, perfect in other respects, because it is too near the river, and children seem to make a  point of getting drowned if within a mile of water. Another has a ghastly tale of tell of youthful scholars, decoyed away by gipsies, when it is proposed to pitch their camp  for the occasion in a wood.

In choosing a suitable place the distance should always be considered, as the cost of conveyance is a serious matter to a poor school. Except in large towns, it is seldom necessary to travel far; the convenience of the place is the chief thing to be considered in the selection, for beauty and scenery are not so much the attraction to the children as the novelty of a picnic out of doors and of having a whole day with nothing to do but play. Nothing can be better than a large field, particularly if it contains a few trees, to which swings can be attached; for though in a limited space like a field it is necessary to provide more amusements, the extra trouble is more than compensated for by the comfort of knowing that all the children are safely under your eye and not getting into any of the mischief which children are so expert in finding out. Failing a regular field, we might put up with a common, or wood, or any private park which is open for parties.

One important consideration which must not be overlooked is the chance of obtaining shelter in case of rain. No one who has not suffered it can fully sympathise with the despair a teacher feels who has no means of sheltering the children, on seeing them huddled together during a heavy storm, like a flock of sheep, and looking very minute more wet through and miserable. One experience of this kind is generally quite enough to prevent its recurrence. It is most important that the superintendent, or some other competent person, should visit the place first to ascertain that there is a barn or room that can be used if required. If there is no such accommodation to be had, the best plan is to hire one or more large tents, the comfort of which will be found quite worth the outlay, and as the owner will always send men to put up and remove them, they are no trouble.

In the country, when a field can be had for the purpose close at hand, the greatest difficulty of these summer treats, that of conveying the children to their destination, is avoided, an advantage which country teachers cannot too highly appreciate. Comparatively few schools, however, are so fortunate; but there are contractors to be found in nearly all towns who will provide covered vans at a moderate cost, and most of the railway companies make special arrangements to convey schools at less than half price, so that the travelling expenses need not be so large as is generally imagined. The trouble and anxiety is a much more serious consideration, though if the teachers will all come forward t do their part even that is a very trifling matter.

It is generally arranged to meet at the schoolroom, when the children are divided into small parties, each party being assigned to the care of a teacher, who undertakes to see that they neither get into a wrong train nor are left behind altogether. This arrangement saves the superintendent a great deal of anxiety, and, indeed, if going by train, is almost a sine qua non.

And now, having reached our destination, how are we to amuse our young guests? As usual, the boys are most troublesome to cater for; but we generally succeed in making them very happy by providing some cricket-sets, a large ball for football (the goals have to be improvised on the spot), some bats for rounders, and any other games after which boy-nature is supposed to hanker. The number of each provided depends, of course, upon the size of the school.

In addition, we generally organise some jumping and running-matches, and other athletic sports. The prizes need not be at all valuable. We give simply a rosette of ribbon, which makes the winner proud and happy for the rest of the day, and is a most trifling expense to the school.

 For the girls we take balls and a quantity of rope, to be cut up into swings and skipping ropes, both single and long ones; but they are much more easily entertained than the boys, and are usually quite content with different games which do not require any materials providing. Here comes in a splendid opportunity for a teacher who is fond of any kind of natural history to persuade those who are tired of games to notice the different flowers and birds and insects around them, explaining a little about each. It will be found that some of the girls will think little walks with their teacher a delightful change after a surfeit of games.

By the time the children have played for a couple of hours they will probably begin to get hungry. In most schools who go  for the whole day no dinner is provided, but the children are expected to take their own; generally, however, their provisions are eaten, if not before their arrival, at least very shortly after it; so that when the proper dinner hour arrives they are very hungry and have nothing left to eat. In anticipation of this, it is customary to give each child in the middle of the day, either a large biscuit and cheese, or a thick slice of bread and butter, on the strength of which they can go till tea-time, which is generally about four o'clock. This meal, being the only one, is an important feature of the day; and the arrangements for it, unless it is contracted for, generally fall into the hands of one of the lady teachers.

When practicable, it is very much less trouble to put the whole thing into the hands of a contractor, who will provide a good tea, with crockery, tables and seats, for about sixpence a head; some of the large contractors do it for less. In consideration of the great saving of trouble and the little extra expense, this plan is much to be recommended.

For the assistance of those who are out of reach of these advantages, and compelled to manage the commissariat themselves, I will give a list of the average quantities supplied for 50 children.

Tea, 1lb; milk, five pints; sugar 4lb, bread, four quarterns; cake, 20lb, butter, 2lb.

If the children have not left home till after their dinner rather less than these quantities of bread and cake will be sufficient; but when they have been playing all day, with only such dinner as they take with them, their appetites become sharpened to a marvellous extent, and this supply will not be found at all too large.

The best time for treats has not been mentioned, but no rule can be given for it; as it must depend upon the convenience of the teachers, their presence in good numbers being of the first importance. Generally speaking, July is the favourite month, because as far as we can judge at all in our variable climate we expect more settled weather then than earlier in the year; there is also the advantage that the hay harvest being over, there is less difficulty in obtaining the use of a field.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

5 June 1880 - 'Our Own Schools'

"Lay in wisdom as your store for your journey from youth to age, for it is the only certain possession". So said one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, and the advice is as good now as it was in his day.

Our object in this paper is to show the principal public schools of the country, by attending which girls may lay in this wisdom and prepare themselves for being useful members of society. We shall speak only of schools, and leave those institutions which deal with the higher education of women to be treated another time.

London is the best point to start from, and in London we find a number of schools quite as remarkable  for the excellence of their organisation as  for the thoroughness of the education they afford. There are not so many, it is true, as there might be, but the last few years have witnessed a great improvement, and now that the country has come to realise the value of sound training for "our girls," we may hope to have schools established equal in number, at any rate, to the demand.

We have a model institution, to begin with, in the North London Collegiate School for Girls, established by Miss Buss in 1850, and now endowed by a grant from the trust estate of the late Alderman Richard Platt, administered by the Brewers' Company. Here girls may acquire a thorough education, beginning with plain needlework and ending with political economy. Pupils can only be admitted as vacancies occur, and these are filled up according to the order of application, provided the entrance examination can be passed. The fees are sixteen guineas a year, but pupils entering above sixteen years of age pay nineteen guineas. Pianoforte, harmony, and solo singing are extras, as, indeed, is the case in most young ladies' schools. The number of pupils at present attending the North London Collegiate School for Girls is about four hundred and fifty.

The Camden School for Girls was founded by Miss Buss in 1871, and shares in the same endowment as the North London Collegiate. The pupils number about four hundred, who pay six and a half guineas a year, or four guineas and a half should they have entered before ten years of age.

In both these schools there are several scholarships, exhibitions, and prizes to be competed for.

At Queen's College School, in Harley-street, girls of from five to fourteen years old can receive

London is the best point to start from, and in London we find a number of schools quite as remarkable  for the excellence of their organisation as  for the thoroughness of the education they afford. There are not so many, it is true, as there might be, but the last few years have witnessed a great improvement, and now that the country has come to realise the value of sound training for "our girls," we may hope to have schools established equal in number, at any rate, to the demand.

We have a model institution, to begin with, in the North London Collegiate School for Girls, established by Miss Buss in 1850, and now endowed by a grant from the trust estate of the late Alderman Richard Platt, administered by the Brewers' Company. Here girls may acquire a thorough education, beginning with plain needlework and ending with political economy. Pupils can only be admitted as vacancies occur, and these are filled up according to the order of application, provided the entrance examination can be passed. The fees are sixteen guineas a year, but pupils entering above sixteen years of age pay nineteen guineas. Pianoforte, harmony, and solo singing are extras, as, indeed, is the case in most young ladies' schools. The number of pupils at present attending the North London Collegiate School for Girls is about four hundred and fifty.

The Camden School for Girls was founded by Miss Buss in 1871, and shares in the same endowment as the North London Collegiate. The pupils number about four hundred, who pay six and a half guineas a year, or four guineas and a half should they have entered before ten years of age.

In both these schools there are several scholarships, exhibitions, and prizes to be competed for.

At Queen's College School, in Harley-street, girls of from five to fourteen years old can receive preliminary education fitting them for entering on a four years' course of study at Queen's College. A general idea of the rate of fees may be gained when we state that the payment for a girl under ten is four guineas a term.

The City of London College for Ladies, City-road, Finsbury-square, embraces the whole world of education, from instruction on the Kindergarten system to preparation  for the Cambridge, Oxford and other higher examinations for women. In the senior departments the fee for ordinary class subjects (not extra subjects) is a guinea a term for each subject.

The Burlington Middle-class School for Girls in Boyle-street, Regent-street, was founded as far back as 1723, and has an income of £300 a year. Girls are admitted here at seven, and may remain till they are sixteen years of age. As an example of the scale of fees we may mention that pupils entering the school above ten pay £1 10s a term. AT this school there are two hundred and twenty pupils.

The St Martin-in-the-Fields Middle-class School for Girls is situated in Castle-street, Leicester-square. It was founded in 1700, and is endowed to the amount of about £400 a year. The number of scholars is about one hundred and fifty, who pay the same fees as those at the Burlington Middle-class School.

At Hackney there is Lady Holles's Middle School for Girls, attended at present by about two hundred and fifty pupils. Girls are eligible for admission here at eight years of age, and they may remain till sixteen. The fees per term are  for the general course; lower class, £1 6s 8d; middle class £1 13s 4d; and upper class, two pounds.

Another school for girls of considerable importance is the Haberdashers' Aske's Girls' School at Hatcham. Pupils are admitted here at the age of eight, and may remain till they are seventeen. Instruction is given in the English language and literature, French, German, Latin, arithmetic and mathematics, history, geography, natural sciences, drawing and music, household management and needlework. The fee for tuition is £8 a year.

The Mary Datchelor Girls' School at Camberwell is a school for girls of the middle-class, at which daughters of persons connected with the City of London are entitled to priority of admission. The fees are £3 a term.

We come now to speak of a great enterprise in connection with girls' schools. This is the work of the Girls' Public Day School Company. The object of this company is, by an ample staff of competent teachers, and by employing the best methods of instruction, to ensure for girls an education adapted to their requirements, and as sound and thorough as that now furnished to boys in the best grammar schools. The schools of the company are eighteen in number, and are the means of affording instruction to over two thousand six hundred and fifty pupils. They are situated in different parts of the country, several being in London, and the rest at Bath, Brighton, Croydon, Gateshead, Ipswich, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford and Sheffield.

Priority of admission is given to the nominees of the shareholders, and there is an entrance examination. The fees for pupils under ten are three guineas a term; for pupils remaining after ten, and for pupils entering the school between ten and thirteen, four guineas a term during their whole stay in the school, and for pupils entering above thirteen five guineas a term during their whole stay.

We have now mentioned the leading girls' schools of the metropolis, and may turn our attention to those in regions more remote.

In several of the busy towns of the West Riding of Yorkshire there are excellent public schools for girls. At Bradford, for example, there is a Girls' Grammar School, attended by two hundred pupils. To gain admittance an examination must be passed, varying in difficulty according to the age of the applicant. Pupils may remain at the school till they are nineteen years old. The fees are four guineas a term for those entering under twelve, and five guineas for those entering over that age. The scholarships to be competed for in connection with this school are worth noticing. Amongst them are two of a hundred pounds each, granted to girls who have been in the school for at least three years. The successful competitors must proceed to study at someplace of higher education for women, approved by the governors of the school. There is another scholarship of £50, the holder of which may study either at Girton College or at Newnham Hall.

At Leeds there is a Girls' High School founded in 1876, at which a sound education is to be obtained at a cost of four guineas a term for pupils under ten years old, five guineas for those from ten to thirteen, and six guineas for all over thirteen. Boarders with the second mistress pay fifty-four guineas a year.

Halifax has also a High School for Girls, founded in 1877. The teaching here is on a Scriptural, but unsectarian, basis, and is as sound and thorough as that which boys now receive in grammar schools of the highest class. In the Kindergarten school the fees are two guineas, in the preparatory school three guineas, and in the upper school four guineas a term. Board is charged at the rate of £40 a year.

The Endowed High School for Girls at Wakefield is also deserving of our notice. This school, which was begun in 1878, and now contains about a hundred and twenty pupils, is open to all girls of good character and sufficient health residing with their parents or guardians, or in some boarding-house established under sanction of the governors. An easy entrance examination has to be passed. The tuition fees  for the whole course are £3 6s 8d a term.

Lancashire can boast of good girls' schools, in both Manchester and Liverpool. The girls' school in Manchester was founded in 1874, and is now attended by four hundred pupils, who receive a sound education for four guineas a term in the case of girls entering under fourteen, and five guineas for those above that age.

In Liverpool there are the Liverpool College for Girls, at which the instruction is based upon the principles of the Church of England, and the Girls' School connected with the Liverpool Institute.

At Leicester we have Wyggeston Girls' School, possessed of a more ancient history than most of the institutions we have been considering. True, it was only founded as a school in 1878, but it had existed over three hundred and fifty years previously as a hospital. The tuition fee in the junior departments is, for girls under ten, £1 a term; from ten to twelve £1 6s 8d; above twelve, £1, 13s 4d. In the senior department it is, for girls under fifteen, £1 13s 4d a term; and above fifteen, £2. The number of pupils is now about three hundred.

Newscastle-under-Lyme possesses Orme's Girls' School, attended by a hundred and forty pupils. The fees per term are, for those over fourteen, £1 15s; and for all under that age, £1 8d. Board is thirty guineas a year.

Edgbaston High School for Girls, founded by a limited liability company, and opened in 1877, contains about a hundred and eighty-four pupils. The fees per term are, for girls nominated by the shareholders, between eight and ten, £5 5s; between ten and fourteen, £6 6s; over fourteen, £7 7s. For those not nominated by the shareholders the fees are in each case one guinea a term higher.

In the south of England we have the Southampton Girls' College, founded in 1875 by a limited company. This institution is divided into three departments - the Kindergarten preparatory school for both boys and girls between four and eight years of age, the middle school, and the upper school. The fees per term are, Kindergarten, £2; middle school, lower division, £3; middle division, £3 10s; upper division, £4; upper school, £5.

Proceeding westward, we find a large High School for Girls at Clifton, founded in 1878 by a limited liability company. The girls attending it - and there are at present about one hundred and seventy of them - pay five guineas a term when under twelve, six guineas from twelve to sixteen, and seven guineas above sixteen years of age.

At Exeter there is a High School for Girls, attended by a hundred pupils. This school, which was founded in 1876, enjoys an endowment of about £300 a year. The fees for tuition are £15 a year, and the charge for board - in the case of girls coming from a distance - is £40 to £50.

Plymouth forms the headquarters of a High School for Girls, where there are no fewer than two hundred and thirty-five pupils. The nature of the fees may be judged of by the quotation of six guineas a term for girls above sixteen, when their parents or guardians are shareholders in the limited liability company which owns the school, and a guinea more when they are not. Board is forty to fifty guineas, exclusive of school fees.

Scotland has always held a high place in matters connected with education, and at Edinburgh, in the Merchant Company's Ladies' Schools, we have educational establishment of a thoroughgoing-class. These schools include the Edinburgh Ladies' College and George Watson's College for Ladies, the arrangements in both being precisely the same. The education given includes all the branches usually taught in the principal institutions and boarding schools in the country for young ladies. It comprehends English, French, German, Latin, lectures on literature and science, writing, arithmetic, book-keeping, algebra, mathematics, drawing, vocal music, pianoforte, drill, calisthenics, dancing, needlework, cookery. The scholars are divided into three departments, elementary, junior, and senior, and the numbers in each class are strictly limited. The fees  for the entire course are,  for the elementary departments, 12s, 6d a quarter; for the junior departments, lower div £1 7s 6d; upper division £2; senior departments, £2 10s; advanced, £3. Boarders are received by the ladies' superintending both schools.

At the old university town of St Andrew's there is a school for girls established in 1877 by a limited liability company, and now numbering about eighty pupils. A girl here above fifteen would pay eight guineas a term for tuition, and should she be a boarder, thirty pounds additional for board. There is a scholarship of the value of £50 connected with this school, and falling to the lot of the schoolhouse girl who obtains the highest marks in the July examination.

The capital of Ireland has a large school for girls, known as the "Alexandra School." This was established in Dublin in 1873 by the authorities of Alexandra College, an institution at which girls over fifteen can obtain an advanced education. Alexandra School contains about one hundred and fifty pupils, all of whom are between the ages of ten and sixteen The fees  for the course are -  for the senior school, £9 per session, or £3 10s a term;  for the junior school, £8 per session, or £3 a term. Board and lodging is charged £45  for the school year.

There are many schools in England of a denominational character. Of these we may mention, as specially connected with the Church of England, St Anne's School at Abbot's Bromley, where the standard of education aimed at is one that qualifies girls to become governesses or school mistresses, and where they are also trained  for the homely duties of life, to become good accountants and good needlewomen,  and first-rate domestic managers. Other schools of this class are - St Michael's School, at Bognor; the Episcopal Middle School for Girls, at Exeter, now imparting instruction to about a hundred and ninety pupils; and at Leeds, the Parish Church Middle School where from a hundred and sixty to a hundred and seventy girls are taught.

The Primitive Methodists have a Ladies College at Clapham, established by authority of the Conference. Here the fees for board and tuition are thirty-six guineas if the girl is under twelve, and thirty-nine guineas should she be over that age. Music, drawing, German and Italian are extras We may add that there are classes for girls in connection with the Wesleyan Methodist College at Belfast. The fees for that these classes are reduced in all cases where the pupils are sisters or daughters of Wesleyan Methodist ministers.

At Bishop's Stortford there is a Nonconformist Girls' School, established in 171, by a limited company.

Daughters of clergymen and girls whose fathers have been officers of the army and navy, have had several schools devoted to their special service. Clergymen's daughters can go to Casterton, where there is a school, instituted in 1823, and now attended by about a hundred and twenty pupils. The object of its foundation was to enable clergymen with limited incomes to give a suitable education to their children. The charge for board and a complete English and French education is only £18 a year. There are eight scholarships of £30 a year to be competed for, and seventy exhibitions of £7.

Irish Clergymen's daughters may obtain a suitable education at the Irish Clergy Daughters' School, at Dublin.

There is a school  for the daughters of Independent Ministers only, at Gravesend - Milton Mount College. The fees and board are from fifteen pounds a year to thirty-five pounds, the number of pupils at present being one hundred and fifty.

In Queenswood School at Clapham Park, London, and in Trinity Hall, Southport, we have schools  for the education of the daughters of Wesleyan ministers. The former is attended by about sixty-two pupils, the latter by nearly as many.

At Walthamstow there is a school, founded in 1838,  for the education of the daughters of missionaries. The number of pupils is at present about sixty. For those under twelve the amount paid for fees and board is fifteen guineas a year; for those above twelve - and girls can remain in the school til they are seventeen - the charge is twenty guineas.

As to schools  for the daughters of naval and military officers, we have the Royal School for Daughters of Officers in the Army founded at Bath, in 1864. Girls are admitted here from ten to eighteen years of age, by the votes of subscribers, by payment of £80 a year, by purchased nominations of from £200 to £400, according to age, or a pupil may be kept in the school in perpetuity for a payment of £1,500. A liberal education is given of the highest order. There are about seventy pupils attending this school.

The Royal Naval Female School at Isleworth was established in 1840, for educating the daughters of naval and marine officers. Girls are admitted by the votes of subscribers. A limited number of pupils are received at £50 a year. Granddaughters of naval and marine officers are also admitted at this figure, priority of admission always being given to daughters.

We have now gone the round of perhaps the most conspicuous of "Our Own Schools." With few exceptions, it will have been seen, they are of recent origin. Our grandmothers had no such splendid opportunities of becoming well informed, and it is surely not too much to expect that, having such advantages within reach, we will make the best possible use of them.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

29 May - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

ELEANORA DE BERRI - We are much struck with your father's kindness, inasmuch as you have insulted him by a refusal to share his home, without having even made a trial of living with your future step-mother.  You are not even of age, and we consider that you have no right to say that, although "he wishes you to live with him," you "cannot do that!" Pray, what hinders your submitting to your parent's wishes? Of course, there are circumstances under which you would be quite justified in leaving home, and earning  subsistence for yourself. But it does not appear that you have any excuse for undutiful conduct. If you had, doubtless you would have availed yourself of it. We counsel you to return to your obedience. Do your utmost to leave peaceably with your father's wife. Try to earn her esteem, during the year of your minority yet to elapse, gratify your father by your submission to his wishes, and prove your thankfulness to him for his indulgence in placing a furnished house at the disposal of one who would wilfully abandon the home, and the living which he accorded to her gratis. In a year's time let us hear from you again. To say the least - your withdrawal from your home against a parent's wish and to occupy a house by yourself - without any chaperone or guardian, and especially as a minor - would seriously damage your character; and be likely to prejudice all right-minded people against you.

Monday, 25 April 2016

29 May 1880 - 'Lissom Hands and Pretty Feet' by Medicus

"Like dew on the gowans lying
Is the fa' o' her faity feet,
And like winds in summer sighing
Her voice is low and sweet."
"Annie Laurie."

The poet evidently sings of his lady-love; that a child might understand, and the simile expressed in the first two lines could not well be sweeter. "Gowans," I should tell my English readers, is a word signifying mountain daisies - the wee, modest, crimson-tipped flowers mentioned in the verses of the rustic bard. It is very natural for a young girl to wish to have pretty hands and I would have them lissom as well as pretty. A shapely hand is one that is moderately small and plump, the fingers beautifully tapered, the joints supple, and the nails delicate and well formed. it is in youth the hands should be take especial care of. I do not advocate too hard work for any girl, but I do aver that the hands, if they are to be shapely, are not to be idle. If they are, I'll tell you what will happen  they will grow long and lank, and bony; and if there is any tendency to indigestion or to rheumatism, it is just possible that the joints may get thicker than they ought. Even such simple work as sewing, knitting, embroidering, painting, or playing gives just that amount of exercise to the hands and fingers which is necessary to keep them in a healthy shape.

The nails require care to keep them nice. They should be seen to every day at toilet. What are called hang-nails, or, by some, rag-nails, is a very painful affection, which can very easily be prevented. In this way - three times a week the skin that overlaps the lower end of the nail should be well pushed downwards, because if it is allowed to attach itself to the nail the skin gets stretched and torn. It should always be pushed back but never cut. The free end of the nail should be pared with a knife or cut with a scissors into the shape required. The inner part of the free edge of the nails should be kept perfectly clean with a crush and soap and water, but not interfered with by knife or scissors. The surface of the nail should never be scraped. The white spots which appear on the nails of the young at times are not dangerous, although they don't look pretty. They are caused by hurts or blows.

When the hands are well taken care of and moderately exercised, they should be of a beautiful delicate pinkish white colour, and as soft as the finest satin. Exposure to any amount of daylight does them good, exposure to the sun turns them brown or yellow, exposure to cold and wet hardens and kills the skin, and produces roughness and chaps. Gloves, then, are worn in summer to protect the hands from the sun, and in winter from the cold. The wrists at both seasons should be protected - by kid in summer, by fur in winter. When at any time the hands feel uncomfortably hot the gloves ought to be taken off; by retaining them at such a time you are only spoiling the life and beauty of your hands. Some girls, especially those with a somewhat delicate constitution and tender skin, suffer much from chapped hands after exposure to cold or to wet. At times this is so painful and persistent an affection that the doctor should be called in. But if this should not be deemed necessary, so long as the hands are bad kid gloves should be worn not only by day, but by night as well. If it is persistent, the hands had better be damped with a solution of potash and water - half a dram of the solution to one ounce of water, and then afterwards dressed with the benzoated oxide of zinc ointment, to which a drop or two of otto of roses has been added.

But any one suffering from chapped hands should take a little medicine to cool the blood about twice a week, and if at all weak, either the quinine wine already recommended or the tincture of iron, or a little of both. If the stomach is weak, much advantage will be obtained by using a teaspoonful of gentian bitter in half a wineglassful of water before breakfast and dinner. As a mild application to the hands if rough or inclined to chap, I recommend camphor ointment, or, perhaps better than anything else, the preparation called rose glycerine. After exposure of the hands and before their exposure to cold or the sun, this rose glycerine is invaluable.

Now, here is a little bath  for the hands, for which I am sure you will feel grateful. It is easily prepared, and if the hands are soaked in it for about ten minutes morning and evening in summer, it tends to keep them nice and white and free from roughness. You put a pinch or two of powdered alum and a teaspoonful of powdered sal ammoniac in about a pint and a half of warm salt and water, and dissolve; then, when you have added a little toilet vinegar, this elegant hand bath is ready for use.

The same may be used for clamminess of the hands; but as this latter is generally a symptom of a low state of health, I would also advise the use of light-brown cod liver oil - about a dessert spoonful or more three times a day. "Nasty," did you say? Well, there you have me in a corner. But you soon get over the feeling of loathing which it at first excites, and, oh, dear me! There is really no end to all the good that cod liver oil is capable of doing. By the way, chewing a bit of orange peel before and after taking the little dose helps to disguise the taste of the oil.

Glycerine and water - rain-water, mind, always use rain-water for face and hands, at least - is a good application for damping the hands with. And a mixture of pure lime-juice, or lemon-juice, and lavender-water, equal parts, is another nice preparation for whiting the hands. The hands should never be rubbed with a coarse towel, but with a very fine one, and afterward with a piece of soft flannel. The soap you use should be very mild and transparent. Carbolic soap is, in cases of chapped hands, useful, and so is tar soap, but neither are very elegantly perfumed.

I hope I am not writing for any girl who bites her nails. It is a disfiguring habit, and any of my readers guilty of such a thing should be tried by court-martial by her brothers and sisters, and condemned to wear gloves day and night for a month, for beautiful nails are a very great adornment.

Both feet and hands, if at all tender - or I might almost say whether or not - should be washed every night before lying down, and every morning. If this is done, and sometimes a little alum added to the water, you will have very little trouble with corns or any other painful disfigurement. The feet should be wiped thoroughly dry, and the toes seen to. The nails should never be cut short; they should be a medium length, and, mark this, they should be cut straight across, and not from the sides like the fingernails. They ought to be well cleaned and brushed, but never scraped, and the scarf-skin should be gently pressed back.

There are few things more painful than an in-growing nail. It ought to be seen to at once, or the nail may have to be removed. It is generally caused by wearing too short shoes, which presses the nail back and causes it to thicken and grow downwards instead of forwards.

The feet should never be cramped up in a tight boot, while, on the other hand, a too loose boot or shoe is often the cause of corns. The stocking ought to be very soft, but not too thick, as thick stockings make the feet excessively tender.

When hands or feet are cold, warm them by exercise or friction; but never hold them to the fire, else chilblains may be the painful result.

Everyone knows what a common chilblain is, so I need not take up space by describing it, but content myself by giving a prescription for its cure. It is as follows - Soap liniment, one ounce; tincture of lytta, two drams; laudanum, two drams. Mix and apply three or four times a day.

Friday, 22 April 2016

29 May 1880 - Answers to Correspondents - Cookery

LADY JANE GREY and JOSEPHINE - To make tea cakes, put 2lbs of flour into a basin, and half a teaspoonful of salt, and rub in 1/2lb of butter or lard. Heat up one egg, and add to it a piece of German yeast of the size of a walnut, with enough of warm milk to make the flour into dough. Knead it well, and let it rise near the fire. Make into eight tea cakes, and bake from a quarter to half an hour.

JOLETTE and E. WITHERS - To make a Madeira cake, take three eggs, the grated rind of a lemon, 6oz of lump sugar, and half a gill of water; make a syrup of the lemon, sugar and water, and add it to the eggs - when well beaten - at boiling point. Beat the eggs and sugar, keeping them as hot as possible for 15 minutes, then add 5oz of flour, warmed, 2oz of butter, creamed to the cake batter, beating all thoroughly. Pour it into a mould, and bake for 15 minutes, then add a slice of citron peel to the top, when 15 minutes extra will be needed to finish the baking.

WEE BAIRNIE - Cut half a pound of beef into small square pieces, and place in a baking jar with a well-fitting lid. Add to it 1 pint of water and a little salt and bake for three or four hours in a warm but not a hot oven, or else leave it all night in the oven. This will make good beef-tea.

NELL - To make dessert biscuits, take 1lb of flour, and mix with the yolk of an egg to make into a stiff paste. Add sugar according to your taste, and flavouring; roll out very thinly, and cut them into small biscuits. Then bake them in a slow oven.

VEASE - To make mushroom katsup break up the mushrooms, and add 1/4lb of salt to every 3 1/2lb of mushrooms. Let them stand for a couple of days, and drain all the juice you can procure from them by pressure. Then boil it slowly for an hour, with 2oz of salt, a few cloves, and 1/4oz of peppercorns and whole ginger to each quart. Then strain, and when cold bottle - using new corks, and sealing them down.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

29 May 1880 - 'Bread and Bread-Making, in two chapters' by Ruth Lamb - Chapter One

I wonder how many out of the millions of people who sit down two, three or even four times a day to eat bread together ever bestow a thought as to the origin of the loaf of which they partake so frequently, and which forms a portion of nearly every meal. Most of us know that our ordinary bread is made from wheaten flour, water, salt and yeast in some form. Everybody eats it, from the Queen upon the throne to the meanest of her subjects, and knows  that to want bread is deemed one of the most terrible calamities that can fall on any person.

Yet bread, being such a very common thing, we are rather apt to class it with water, and to look upon it as a mere matter of course.

Few of us consider how many experiments must have been tried, failures experienced, and inventions perfected before the fair white loaf, as we have it now, was ever placed upon a table, to say nothing of the endless varieties which have sprung from it.

When I was a little girl, and for a good many years afterwards, it used to be considered no mean accomplishment to make good bread; and children were taught to do it very early, especially in country homes. Well can I recall the feeling of pride when as a little mite of a lass I was first allowed to try my hand at bread-making. How I put on my wide pinafore, and scrubbed and washed at hands and nails until they satisfied my mother, one of the most particular of human beings as to cleanliness. We children had nothing but short sleeves in those days, so there were none to tuck up, and I plunged my little red arms up to the elbows in flour in a sort of ecstasy of delight.

I felt positively almost grown-up, so impressed was I with the importance of my work as family bread-maker.

Betty, our old kitchen servant, looked on approvingly, and was little less interested than myself. I had seven pounds of flour in a yellow earthenware pancheon, a small handful of salt, some brewer's yeast, and a large jug of warm water, and I supposed nothing else was wanted. But Betty said - "Now, Miss Ruth, if you want your bread to be real good, you must not stint it of one thing."

"What is that?" I asked. "Mother told me there were only these four things wanted to make my bread with."

Betty replied to my question b asking another. "Do you remember going with me to my old mother's cottage last summer, and asking what made the round table that was turned up in the corner, as bright as a looking-glass?"

"Yes, and you told me 'nothing but elbow grease.'

"I asked where it was bought, and you all laughed at me; but when I came home mother told me it meant good rubbing, which exercised elbows, and was called in joke 'elbow grease.'"

"That's it, my dear," said Betty, "and you want plenty of it in bread too; not in the way of rubbing, but kneading. Work it well. Don't spare labour and the bread will pay for it."

"So it did. I thought no loaf had ever tasted so sweet as did my first. My little arms ached, but I forgot that when they all praised my bread next morning; but I never forgot Betty's lesson, though conveyed in a homely fashion, that one  great secret of good bread-making is good kneading, or, in her words, plenty of elbow-grease.

I cannot help regretting that amongst city girls especially bread-making is daily becoming a rarer accomplishment.

I have asked many girls, "Have you learned to make bread?" and the almost invariable answer has been, "No, the baker brings ours." I am tempted to wish that they might all in turn be transplanted for a few weeks to some out-of-the-way country place, where a baker's visits are unknown, and obliged to make and bake their bread before they ate it.

The world was more than two thousand years old when bread, as such, was mentioned in the Bible, as being brought out by Melchisedek  for the refreshment of victorious Abram. But of what kind it was we know nothing.

It is, however, possible to tell what the first loaves ever used were made of, and there is at present no kind of bread which at all corresponds with them. The grain was neither ground nor bruised. IT was soaked, or in some cases boiled wheat, pressed into shape and dried. A very sticky indigestible sort of cake this would be, not too pleasant to the taste; probably a little of it would go a very long way.

The next step was when the happy thought struck somebody to bruise or pound the grain. Hard work it would be, and even when another step was achieved and corn was actually ground, the labour was very great, as it was all done by hand. The women slaves were employed to do the grinding by means of portable millstones, the uppermost being turned by a sort of wooden handle.

Such mills were used in Egypt, as named in Exodus. Such were still in existence in this country not so many generations back, and they were called querns.

Who first found out the art of making leavened bread is as much a mystery as the inventor of the first mill, and the process of fermenting dough by means of leaven was as tedious as the primitive mode of grinding corn and separating the husk from the finer portion of the grain, which we call flour.

This would be the reason whether Abraham, Lot and, several centuries later, Gideon offered unleavened cakes baked on the hearth to their angel visitants. The use of leaven was known; but leavened bread could not be quickly prepared, baked and served fresh and hot from the hearth like those cakes made without it.

Look back, dear girls of this nineteenth century, some nineteen hundred years more, beyond  the era from which we date, and try to realise what sort of a batch of bread was baked by Sarah  for the entertainment of the guests who were espied by her husband as he stood at his tent door on the plains of Mamre.

As nearly as can be calculated those three measures of mine meal - they had learned the art of sifting it, you see, in those days - made fifty-six pounds weight of bread, all baked in thin cakes on the hearth.

This would be heating by means of a fire which was burning on the bread stone, while the meal was simply mixed with salt and warm water into a stiff dough, and rolled out into very thin cakes. Then the hearth-stone was clean swept, the cakes placed on it and hot cinders above them. In this primitive fashion was the great batch of unleavened bread prepared; and by whom?

Not by servants, but by a lady, a princess by station, who had a vast retinue of attendants ready to do her bidding; the wife of an enormously wealthy man, who was the ally of kings, the friend of God Himself!

A beautiful lady, too, - so fair, indeed, that twice in her life, at the age of sixty-five and at ninety, she was admired and sought after by kings. But when Abraham bade her get ready the meal, knead the dough, and bake the cakes, she simply and cheerfully obeyed him whom she called "lord."

Not many of you, dear girls, are born to fill such a position as here was; but I am afraid plenty of modern young ladies are to be found who would rebel if requested even to superintend such a baking. But if any of you should be tempted to despise what may appear in your eyes such menial work, think of this princess of a bygone age, rich and fair, and learn a lesson as you catch a glimpse of her on a baking-day.

In these days unleavened bread still appears in many forms, and as this is the most primitive kind we will look at its varieties first. Amongst these are the Jewish Passover cakes - extremely thin, crisp biscuits, still eaten for a week by Jews during the seven days of the Passover.

Scotch oat bread, made of oatmeal, salt and water, into a stiff paste, rolled thin and baked on an iron girdle or thick plate of iron with semi-circular handle. In the North Riding of Yorkshire girdle or griddle cakes used to be baked on the top of a flat stone heated from below in the same way as the iron article. It was called a bak'ston', or bakestone, by country folk.

A farmer's wife was made extremely happy by the gift of an iron girdle; but she retained the old name for her baking apparatus, and was wont to shout to her serving maid, "Jenny, bring me the iron bak'ston'."

American damper is made without leaven, but the cakes are thicker than the Scotch oaten bread.

Then there are corn cakes," made of the meal of Indian corn. "Hominy cake," the same grain boiled to a pulp, and afterwards baked in thin cakes.

In Lincolnshire, my native country, unleavened cakes are very common. They are precisely the same thing as those made by Abraham's wife, only they are rolled out round and thin, and baked in the oven instead of on the hearth.

In the mowing season and during the harvest the labourers' wives would be up between four and five in the morning to bake these cakes for their husbands. They were eaten very hot, and either split open and buttered or accompanied by thin slices of fat bacon. Then a goodly pile of these bacon sandwiches, prepared while hot, would be packed up  for the good man's refreshment when afield.

I asked the wife of one why she got up so early to bake every morning, and made this kind of cake. "Oh!" she said, "they stay on the stomach longer, and a man can work far better on these than on lighter bread. I never grudge the trouble for our George (her husband), for mowing's hard work."

It was easy to understand this explanation. These hot cakes were less digestible than ordinary bread; and hard work in the open air, with the profuse perspiration caused by labouring in the broiling sun, made him require frequent nourishment and of a very solid kind.

"He'd feel empty and hungry directly on light bread. 'Sad cakes' are best," said she, "for working men."

A visitor in my old home heard the expression "sad cakes" - meaning unleavened - and inquired what kind of things they were. On being told, she looked much astonished, and said, "I thought they must be cakes used for funerals."

"Sad bread" is simply heavy bread, whether made without yeast or any kind or with yeast that has done its duty imperfectly, and has left the loaf close and sticky, instead of light and full of small holes.

Before leaving the unleavened varieties of bread, I should like to show you how those large, thin, crisp sheets of oat-cake are made and baked in the west of Yorkshire, where I spent one very happy year as a girl in a country parsonage.

I was told when I went there from a county in which oat cake was unknown that I should soon learn to like it. And so I did; and I was curious to know how these large sheets could be rolled to such a delicate thinness.

"They are not rolled at all," said my friend, "they are thrown."

I was more puzzled than before, and asked what she meant.

"You had better go to our baker's and see the process," she replied, "and you will understand it much better than by my description. To-morrow is a baking day and you can go in the morning with Lily," meaning her daughter. "Many of the cottagers take their own meal to the baker, or bakeress. Mrs Marsden, and she charges them three-halfpence per four pounds weight for making and baking it."

The next morning we went to the bakehouse and found Mrs Marsden literally at full swing with her oat cake. Her stove was a thick iron plate, about two feet long, set in brickwork, and heated by a fire underneath it. Beside her stood a wooden vessel like a barrel churn, containing a batter made of oatmeal, salt and water. I am inclined to think a little yeast was used to lighten this, as bubbles kept rising on the surface. A bowl of dry meal, a pasteboard scored in diamonds instead of being smooth as is usual, a wooden ladle, and an oblong piece of coarse linen, completed her materials. First throwing a handful of dry meal o board, she next poured on it a ladleful of the batter, and shook it into an even shape. Then she dexterously transferred the latter from the board to the mealy cloth, which she lifted with both hands, laying lightly hold of opposite corners. Then, with a rapid movement, she threw the batter in a large oblong sheet on the heated iron plate, dropping the lower corner of the cloth as she did so. In half a minute the cake was ready to be turned with a wooden spatula, and in a similar time to be taken off and hung across a wooden rail.

The rapidity with which this operation was performed showed the fruits of long practice, together with the steady hand and correct eye of the baker. The stream of batter always ran along the iron plate almost to its edges, and so thinly was it spread that it was absolutely in small holes, yet without ever being broken. T throw oat cake very thin is deemed a mark of an accomplished hand.

Whilst we stood waiting and looking on, piles of these newly baked and perfectly soft cakes were brought away by the neighbouring cottagers. Each had with her a clean towel, folded lengthways in the middle. This was thrown across one arm, opened, the dozen of oat cakes placed on it; then they were covered with the other portion, and so carried home to be hung on the rack - a wooden frame suspended from the kitchen ceiling. IN a few hours, the cakes would be perfectly crisp and as brittle as thin glass.

Biscuits of various substantial kinds contain no leaven, especially those used at sea. They are made with very little water, and dried very much in the baking. The name means twice baked.

In another short chapter an account will be given of the various kinds of leaven, yeasts, and of plain and fancy breads now in use in various countries, with reliable recipes for young readers to follow, if they wish to become good bread-makers.

Monday, 18 April 2016

22 May 1880 - Answers to Corresponents - Miscellaneous

MINNIE - Ladies do not accepts presents from gentlemen as a general rule, unless from near relatives or very old family friends. If there be any question of possible proposals of marriage, accept no present until engaged.

GRACE - The three balls of the pawnbrokers form part of the arms of the Dukes of Medici; from whose States, and from Lombardy, nearly all the early bankers  came. These capitalists advanced money on valuable goods, and gradually became pawnbrokers. Hence the name Lombard-street, in the heart of the money-making part of the city, where these Lombards established themselves, and were the first moneylenders in England. The origin of the arms of the Medici is traced to the fact that they were doctors of medicine, and the balls were gilded pills; at the same time that they were amongst the richest merchants and money-lenders of Florence. In the first instance, the pills were blue, and were afterwards gilded - probably in reference to their dealings with gold.

MARIOTTA - You ma "leave off playing with dolls" when you can cut out and make all their clothes neatly and creditably for your age.

MABEL wants "a remedy for stopping decayed teeth."We advise her not to stop them, if doing so requires "a remedy." If, on the contrary, she requires a remedy for teeth *not stopped, we advise her to fill her teeth with a bit of soft wax, until she can go to a dentist and have it properly done.

HYACINTH - Do not attempt to "improve your figure" otherwise than by holding yourself well up, and resting your back when fatigued by lying down on a hard sofa.

AMABAL - 1. Your writing is peculiar which you evidently design it to be. 2. The first day of January became our New Year's day, legally, in the year 1752, in the reign of George II. England was the last amongst all European nations to adopt the change of the day from the 25th of March, which was the date of the commencement of the old Jewish year.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

22 May 1880 - 'Our Cookery Class' by Phillis Browne - 'The Gridiron'

There is no more excellent way of cooking small things than broiling them. There are all sorts of advantages connected with broiling. It is quickly done, makes meat or fish tasty, and it preserves the goodness of the meat. When it is well done it is always approved, and when it is once understood it is not at all difficult. The only thing that we need make up our minds to about it is, that while it is going on it must be looked after and cared for. We may put meat in the oven or hang it o spit, or place it in a saucepan and leave it for awhile; but if we tried to attend to any other business while engaged with the gridiron, most woeful would be the result.

Therefore,  if you have made up your mind to broil anything (and there is no greater delicacy than a well broiled chop or steak), determine that you will give your exclusive attention to it during the ten or twelve minutes that it is on the fire.

And in order that you may do this you must think about all the outside details beforehand. The first of these is the meat. Small portions of food are reserved for broiling, and as the method adopted for one thing calls for knowledge that is useful with all, I will take a steak as a sample of what is to be done. There are various kinds of beef-steak, but the best kinds of all for broiling are rump-steak and fillet-steak; and of these, in my opinion, rump-steak is to be preferred. Fillet-steak is exceedingly tender, but it does not contain quite as much favour as rump-steak. The beef should have been well kept, and the steak should be freshly cut from it. Also, it should be cut an inch, or very nearly an inch, thick. I daresay there will be a little difficulty in getting the butcher to cut it of an equal thickness all the way along. If he is simply ordered to do it he won't do it; but if you go and stand by him while he cuts it off, and impress what you want upon him, you will very likely get it. But supposing - and it is always well to be prepared for all sorts of "supposings" - the weather is frosty and the meat is frozen; then we must be careful to put our steak into a warm kitchen for an hour or two, that it may thaw before it is cooked. If it were cooked as it is it would most certainly be tough.

The next consideration is the fire. This must be perfectly clear, bright and red; and in order that it may be so it must be made in good time, so that the coal may have time to get hot throughout, and not be smoky and throwing out little jets of gassy flame. Broiling could not be satisfactorily done with a fire that had been lately mended, and had only black smoky coal on the top. The best fire  for the purpose is either a coal fire that has burnt low or a fire that was made up with cinders free from dust.

Then there are the gridirons, for there should be two gridirons in every kitchen, one for meat and one for fish; indeed, it would be an advantage if three gridirons were provided, and one of them kept especially for bloaters, which are so strongly flavoured that they generally leave their odour behind them. There are various kinds of gridirons. The ordinary thick iron ones answer very well indeed for ordinary purposes, though there is a superior kind with fluted bars, by means of which a good deal of the gravy that would otherwise be wasted is saved.

Very much more important, however, than the kind of gridiron is its cleanliness. Perhaps you will say, "Oh, cleanliness; of course, everything we use is clean. That goes without saying." IT does, and, I am afraid, very often without doing either. At any rate, I don't think there is a gridiron now in use that I should like to use without giving it a little additional rub beforehand. Meat comes into direct contact with the bars of a gridiron. When we fry anything the meat is covered with the fat; when we boil anything it is surrounded by water; when we roast or bake anything it is basted with dripping; but there is nothing between it and the gridiron, and if the latter is left at all dusty or grimy, both the food and those who partake of it get the benefit thereof. This is why it is desirable to have a distinct gridiron for fish. Beef-steak a la bloater is not agreeable.

Therefore, let a gridiron be well cleaned as soon as it is done with, that is, washed thoroughly all over with hot water, soda and a little sand; no soap. If the bars are bright, to begin with, they should be kept so by being rubbed with scouring paper. Take particular care to rub in and between the bars; and when it is quite clean hang the gridiron in some airy place where it will be free from dust. Before using it make it hot, and wipe it well with a piece of clean paper; then make it hot again, rub it with clean mutton suet to prevent the meat sticking to the bars, and it is ready. As it is very important that the meat should be taken straight from the fire to the table, we must be quite sure, before we lay the meat on the gridiron, that everything is quite ready for it, and that the cloth is laid, the dish and plates quite hot, and everything likely to be wanted provided. If, when the steak is done, we have to spend a minute looking  for the salt here and two more making the dishes hot there, our broil will not be perfection, and, of course, nothing less will satisfy us. The French always season the steak with pepper and salt, and brush it over with oil before broiling it, and the plan, though unusual in English kitchens, is to be recommended. The gridiron should be placed slanting to begin with, and should be about two inches above the fire. It is our object to surround the meat as soon as possible with a brown coat that will keep in the juice, and therefore we expose it to a fierce heat at first. As the time goes on we may raise it to the height of about five inches. And, above all, we must remember to turn the steak every two minutes til it is done.

The French are, as a rule, so much cleverer than we in cookery, that when we do have the advantage of them I think we may be pardoned if we make the most of it; and this is such an opportunity. They make it a practice to turn the steak only once; we turn it continually, and our way is the more successful of the two as well as the more reasonable, because, by being continually turned, the inside of the meat is cooked gently, and so is made tender. Sometimes the steak is turned every minute, instead of every two minutes, and then it needs to be cooked a little longer.

I should hope that no one who had read these papers, and I am sure no one who had tried to carry them into practice at all, would think of putting a fork into the meat in order to turn it. It will have been seen that almost the chief object in cooking is to keep in the juices, and, of course, if a fork were thrust into the lean the gravy would escape through the holes made by the fork. Steak-tongs are frequently used to turn meat on the gridiron; but even with them care should be taken not to squeeze the meat. A spoon and a knife will help us to turn the steak as well as anything, the flat side of the knife being used. If a fork is used, it should be placed in the fat or skin of the meat.

I said that the gridiron should be held slantwise over the fire, and the object of this is that the fat which drops from the meat should run downwards instead of dropping into the fire, where it would be likely to make a smoky flare. This flare is not entirely objectionable, because it helps to harden the outside of the meat. If, however, there should be too much of it, the gridiron should be lifted up for a minute and a little salt sprinkled upon the coal, and this will do as much as anything to get rid of the blaze.

As to the time that a steak will take to broil, it is impossible to speak exactly. If the steak were an inch thick, and the fire fierce and clear, a gridiron were placed from two to five inches above the embers, and the steak were turned every two minutes, perhaps it would be safe to say it would take about twelve minutes. But experience alone can decide this for a certainty, and there are details which must cause variation. What is wanted is that the steak should look a very dark brown, almost black, outside, and a deep red, not blue, within. If when pressed the meat feels perfectly firm without being hard, it is most likely done. All that now remains is to raise the steak from the gridiron for a minute to let the fat drop from it, put it on a hot dish, and send it to table hot. It will be a dish fit for a king.

Broiling is sometimes carried on before, instead of over, a fire. The arrangement is necessary because with some closed ranges it cannot be done any other way. The same precautions need to be observed in the one case as in the other.

And now we have gone through the five principal processes of cookery. I have tried to describe them to you clearly, and I hope I have succeeded in showing you not only that we should do so and so, but why we should do it. A little later I hope to go farther into detail on the subject, and to give one or two particulars as to the cooking of various dishes. In all of them, however, we must remember to carry out these useful general principles. If any departure from them is desirable, there is a reason  for the change, and it will be well worth our while to find out what this is.

There is a good deal of talk at the present time about the higher education of women, and girls now pursue studies that would never have been dreamt of twenty-five years ago. I am very glad of it. I hope the result will be that they will do their work in the world better than their mother and grandmothers have done before them. Judging by those of my own acquaintances, I believe that the girls of to-day are earnest in purpose and wish to make the most of their opportunities. But amongst these other studies I do hope they will take an interest in, and endeavour to obtain a knowledge of, cookery and needlework. Latin and mathematics mare strengthen their minds, and enable them to take broader views of things, and so make them intelligent companions and friends; but cookery and needlework will teach them to do a woman's special work; which is to provide  for the comforts of everyday life and thus to render home happy.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

15 May 1880 - 'The Dress of the Month' by Dora de Blacquiere


The new dresses produced  for the warmer weather have already enabled us to see that the dark hues, hitherto supposed to be suitable alone to the winter months, are to be worn quite as much now. A very comfortable conclusion for many of y readers who have not quite worn out their winter dresses, and that thus can make them available to bridge over the gap between winter and summer.

A really good costume of any colour will clean and do-up like new, and is always worth sending to a dyer's. Black can be washed at home with ox-gall or fig-leaves, and pressed careful on the wrong side. Black cords of various kinds - such as the Russell and James - are excellent, both for washing and waring and are the same on both sides, so that they can be turned when slightly worn. They require no more care in washing than ordinary dresses; a tepid lather, one rinsing water, and one strong blue water being used. The dress should then be rolled up when partly dry, and should then ironed on the wrong side when damp.

I have been thus particular in my chat about old black dresses, as I know how fond everyone has been of wearing the this last three or four years; and I also know that a shabby, greasy, black dress is a great puzzle to most girls. An old black kid glove, boiled in a pint of water till reduced to half a pint, and then used to rub on an old black dress, using the liquor, will often be found a wonderful reviver It is a very usual recipe with the negresses in the Southern States of America, who are amongst the most clever managers in the world. Black dresses are quite as fashionable as they were this spring; and so, perhaps, our elderly dress, well cleaned or washed, and trimmed with bands of Indian broche, spotted black and white foulard, or a jetted galloon, will appear as good as a new one.

The new colours in dresses and bonnets are so much brighter than anything we have had of late that it takes some time to get reconciled to them. Old gold in all shades and materials is used for bonnets and hats more than ever; in fact, every description of yellow, cowslip, primrose, lemon, orange, and an odd yellow called yeux de chat, are all most fashionable. The number of new shades of pink is also great, rose, rose cendre, blush-pink and also "shrimp" will be worn for hats, bonnets and dresses. Every possible shade of lilac, the deepest royal-purple to the old shade worn by our granddames under the name of "peach-bloom"; grey-blues and blues are also much in favour.

Nothing can exceed the brightness of the sunshades and parasols. Red, red and black, red and yellow, in stripes, patterns, and dots, black and white ones embroidered with flowers in their natural hues, and old gold trimmed with black lace. Satteen and cotton parasols, trimmed with white embroidery and torchon lace, are made to wear with costumes of those materials, and the same as regards foulard. Some very stylish-looking parasols have been brought out, trimmed round and round with black or white lace, in rows one above the other to the top of the parasol. This would be an excellent method of doing up an old parasol, either light or dark in colour, and as plenty of cheap lace may be had it would be also very economical.

Some very pretty and inexpensive jerseys, made of bead netting, have been brought out, which form a complete evening costume over a black silk skirt. They are of black beads, as well as every other hue, and are got up in cheap imitation of the bead-embroidered cuirasses which have been worn in Paris so long. Stockingette, or jersey-cloth, is made into jackets, which are worn with hoods of the same lined with gay Indian handkerchiefs. This material has the advantage of sitting closely to the figure when made up into an out-of-door garment. These hoods are made to take off, and are only buttoned on the neck of the jacket, so that they need not be worn always. They also accompany ulsters and costumes made with a  waistcoat front, and will form one of the out-of-door garments of the summer season, as they are being made in black and white lace, to be used either with or without satin or cashmere mantles. Small capes will be used again this year; however, they are longer than they were the last, and come quite to the elbow, in order to give the tightened-in appearance which is so desired. Capes with long pointed fronts are also still used, and have hoods. Quantities of black lace are used to trim all mantles, jackets and capes; and camels'-hair and cashmere are the favourite materials for them. Youthful-looking scarf mantelets are made of the figured material of the dresses, and are trimmed with bands of the plain stuff, a collar of the same being used at the neck. Jackets similar to the dress are also used, but they are quite tight-fitting, and are figured - never plain.

A new idea in both short and long costume is the narrow kilting of bright colour which is added to the edge of the skirt, below the hem, or just below the lower flounce. On plain grey, drab, brown or black costumes this little addition is very effective, and gives a piquant effect to an otherwise plain dress. It will be pretty  for the short, black dresses of young people. The same hue should be used  for the bow in the hat.

One of the fabrics of this season will be the undyed silks of India and China These yellow Indian and Chinese "Pongees," and the Indian "Corah," were much worn at one time, but of late years have been neglected. The first-named wash beautifully, and wear for ever as every-day dresses; while the same may be said of the Corah, which is white, for evening wear. All of them are inexpensive, and last so long that they are an excellent investment for those of moderate means. The Tussore silk is put up in pieces of 9 1/2 yards, and ranges from 21s to 45s the piece.

I have given an illustration of a pretty handkerchief embroidered in colour, the pattern being simple and easily drawn. These little additions to the toilette are not difficult to work, and the satin and stem-stitch in which they are done are very speedy work in the hands of a good worker. The summer or spring waistcoat, next illustrated may be made of any washing or unwashable material. The pattern used for it might be that of an old, long basque, or even of a petticoat-bodice. The material might be of pique and nainsook for a summer waistcoat; thin muslin  for the evening, and silk or brocade for day wear. Waistcoats appear quite as much in vogue at present as they were last year.

The ruff, jabot and cuffs are made of sprigged muslin or yet, the method of putting together being clearly shown. They are intended for afternoon or evening wear, with a high bodice; and may be made in lace, if it be preferred or considered more dressy. Black and white lace, mixed gold outlined and coloured lace may all be used, or painted and embroidered lace. This high ruff is quite one of the great fashions of the day, and many ladies who desire to keep it stiff and high use a tiny invisible wire to keep it up round the neck. Of course the hair must be coiled higher on the head, and, for this new fashion combs are very much used.

The Corah is in lengths of seven yards, is thirty-four inches wide, and costs from 17s 6d to 25s the piece. Three pieces should be sufficient to make two dresses, and the cheapest plan is to purchase them in this way, with a friend, if there be not two sisters to share the material, as it is not sold by the yard. For best summer dresses for young girls this pretty cream-coloured India silk is most useful, and it can be done up and retrimmed over and over again.


The illustrations of the month give a walking dress with a long walking jacket and waistcoat, to which a hood may be added of the figured material. The hat or bonnet is also made of it; the edges of both must be bound with satin or velvet.

The other illustration shows a simple method of making a young girl's evening or home costume in a manner which partakes somewhat of our fashionable "high art" proclivities. The materials used may be cashmere, Corah silk, or any soft stuff which flows in harmonious lines, and the effect is at once graceful and youthful - two qualities which should be aspired to by all young girls.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

1 May 1880 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

"VERE CASSILLIS" - We are very sorry that we have no prescription to give you for changing the red shade of your hair. But, comfort yourself with the assurance many admire it, and the Old Masters delighted in depicting their beauties with glowing locks. Keep your hair beautifully smooth - not frizzy; plait it, and make it into a coil at the back of the head, and wear pale blue, black, white, violet or sage green. Beside, your manners might be so attractive, and all your words and ways so gentle, sweet, and kind, that the colour of your hair would never be thought of - quite lost in the generally agreeable impression produced by that greater and better part of you, the heart and mind.

CONSTANTINE - 1. Charcoal may be used occasionally as tooth-powder. Your second question has frequently been answered. 3. We have no recipe to offer you for making hair grow long without thickening it. 4. You should pronounce the first z in an Italian word as a t; not the second. 5. We are not disposed to alter the arrangement of our paper; others appreciate the illustrations. 6. Your handwriting is bad and often illegible.

MARIE S. - Very old, as your cat is, its fur is very likely to come off. Take care to give it no greasy food, no fat - and very little meat; which latter should always be cooked. Milk and water sop, and this rather warm, is the best food for it. You would write better if you had a better pen.

ALICE DODD - You have asked us a lot of absurd questions, which of course we do not intend to answer; but, before consigning your letter to the waste paper basket we wish to ask you to learn the spelling of the following easy words; raspberry (you had it as rasberry), whose (whos), amiss (amis), right (write!). Also we might mention that you mix the singular number with the plural punctuate in the wrong places, omit capital letters, and write a disgraceful hand. It would be wiser of you to try to improve your education instead of "reading jollie novels."

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

24 April 1880 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

CHARIS - Perhaps you are not aware that you are only one, out of some hundreds of correspondents, all equally anxious for replies; and moreover, that but one page in each week's paper is devoted to them. WE do not undertake to give answers by the "next week." Should you wish to make the life of Caroline Herschel, the subject of your Prize Essay, you may. Your question has been answered already.

TOPSY - Never attempt to remove moles. Warts may be destroyed by caustic. See article on "How to Look your Best."

LOTTIE - We advise you to go to college; both on the account of the wishes of your parents, and because it will be of great advantage to you, to complete your education. 2. In reference to the craze which appears to exist amongst young people to make themselves thin when nature intended them to be fat, we can only refer you to the answer just given to a fellow-sufferer, who calls herself "Ross". Besides, a lean teacher, or governess, is a very unattractive looking object to children. They are always supposed to be cross.

BERTHA ALICE - Your verses, though not poetry, evince a spirited nature and have a good wholesome ring about them. Perhaps, if you made composition a stud, you would be able to do better by and by. To this end, we could not recommend you a better instruction book than the "Handbook of the English Tongue" by Angus; published by the Religious Tract Society, 56, Paternoster Row. But to be a poet, you must produce original and beautiful ideas, apt similes, original thoughts, clothed in forcible language. It is not sufficient to express sensible views of life in a swinging sort of metre - jogging along like an old horse cantering to market, with a jingle of cart-bells about his neck.

ROSS - We are at a loss to understand why so many girls are demented on the subject of the natural plumpness which nature bestows on youth. It is a sign of health, unless your doctor have pronounced it to be dropsy in your particular case. And indeed, if you attempted to upset nature's arrangements and to use artificial means for making yourself a scarecrow, dropsy might be a very probable winding up of the little game. Your suggestion respecting the applicability of vinegar quite shocks us. You little know how ill you soon would be.

RUBY complains that "the skin of her face has been peeling for some weeks." This is certainly a distressing state of things. Try bathing in oatmeal gruel, very thinly made, and wear a veil when you go out. Always keep away from the fire.

PUSSY is "very much troubled with styes." We advise her to bathe them frequently with warm milk and water, and, if come to a head, she may get her mother to pass a wedding ring - or the smooth hoop of the under part of any gold ring - once or twice across them, to relieve them of the matter that has formed. It may be necessary to poultice them at night, with a warm application of white bread and water. They are usually the result of too poor living, bad air, thin blood, or impure water; and a doctor's advice - both as to the nature and removal of the cause and the cure by diet, and, perhaps a tonic - is much to be recommended. Whitlows are often produced as styes are; and need the same kind of treatment.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

24 April 1880 - 'The Dress of the Month' by Dora de Blaquiere


Great preparations are being made in view of a favourable season, and of a return to sunshine, summer, and all the pleasant things which are hoped for from the various prophecies of weatherwise and scientific people. There are, apparently, only a few changes in dress to speak of this spring, for short dresses, so much worn in the autumn and winter, are now quite the rule, even at very large evening parties. The changes in the mantles are also but few, and the same may be said of the bonnets, which are smaller than ever they were; while hats remain the same, and everyone wears what suits them best as to shape and size.

This lack of uniformity is exceedingly pleasant to everyone, especially to those who seek to make every shilling go its farthest, and every shilling's worth to look its very best, to the very end. It is a matter of no small wonder that girls who have but little to spend on their dress ever employ a dressmaker at all; for, instead of wasting money and time on fancy work for sale, they would save both by making their own dresses. The idea that lessons are needed in the art is quite an erroneous one, for if a girl be a good needlewoman to begin with, everything that is necessary can be learned from the dresses already made in the house. From an old bodice and skirt a well-fitting pattern might be procured, and if the old bodice lining be mounted on stiff brown paper, with some paste, the pattern will last for ever. It is, fortunately, much more the custom in England than it was to employ a dressmaker by the day at home, and if she be a clever woman much may be learned from her; but unless she can work a machine, or you can work it, with her preparation for sewing, it is not a cheap way of making dresses.

Last month we went carefully through the underclothing part of our wardrobes, and put everything in perfect order, so that this month we have time to think over and consider the new spring costume which we shall probably require, and the best material to purchase. If chosen aright, this costume should last us, and look pretty, throughout the summer and the early days of autumn. There is no prettier stuff than the ever-popular Beige, and fortunately this year it is produced in the most charming shades of colour. Over an old silk skirt it makes a very stylish, best-looking dress, and especially so when silk trimmings can be added to the bodice and sleeves. A very pretty way of making a Beige dress would be to kilt the short skirt entirely to the waist; have a scarf tunic edged with a band of silk folded round, and falling in a pointed end at one side. The bodice to be made with a gathered front and back, and the waist with a band. The sleeves with a puff at the top, and opened on the outside of the arm, with a lacing of cord, or buttons and button-holes. See also fig.1 for a pretty Spring dress.

The Jersey costumes will be much worn during the spring and summer. They can now be purchased at so moderate a price that any girl can have one if she fancy it; and as they are ready to wear, perhaps nothing more inexpensive could be obtained. Some of those with what is called a "cashmere finish" are very fine, and would answer for new bodices for elderly silk, or silk and cashmere skirts. There is no change in the method of making these, the kilted skirt and scarf over the end of the Jersey bodice being as much in favour as ever. The material for making these Jerseys may now be purchased in every dark and light colour, and ranges in price from 7s 6d to 10s per yard. It is used for shirts as well, and the new spring riding habits are made of it also. It is not suitable for deep mourning, and one of the leading London warehouses prefers not to make up Jerseys with crape at all.

Last month, the probability of the striped Galateas making their appearance again was mentioned and the last few days has brought some very pretty costumes of that material into notice, which are sold with enough sateen of the colour of the stripe to make them up. For instance, a dark brown and white striped Galatea will have a petticoat and trimmings of brown satin. There are also some revivals of the old-fashioned "polka" dots, which we have not seen for many years. The imitations of Indian shawls in palm-leaf patterns and colours have been introduced into prints, which are also used with plain materials. Later on we shall have brighter colours, such as the dull red of terra-cotta or the Kaga ware of Japan, peacock-blue, or the lovely old blue of Nankin porcelain. The first thing that the careful housewife will consider will be the washing of these prints, for although they may be dark, so to say, some day they will require washing, and great will be our disappointment to see that their lovely hues have taken wings and flown away out of the washtub.

So, in order to be beforehand, we will give instructions how this sad fate may be averted There is no doubt that great care is needed in the washing, and the colours must first be "set" as it is called. For blue, sugar of lead is used, alum for green, and salt for a varied combination of colours. The water should be tepid, not hot, and the wearers are advised to wash them before they be too much soiled .

Another novelty in these new prints is that they are manufactured without dressing or glaze, or any stiffening whatever, so the laundress must omit starch from her list of requisites, and must iron the dress on the wrong side to restore as nearly as possible to its original appearance.

It seems likely that the linen torchon lace will be a favourite trimming this year, as it is produced in such quantities, and it is very suitable for washing-dresses. It is so moderate in price, and so lasting in its wear, that it far surpasses Swiss or Madeira edgings in both of these qualifications, and has the advantage of being "real" lace. It is made on the pillow, chiefly in the common schools in Belgium, where instruction in its manufacture forms part of each child's education.

Black bugle trimmings will be one of the features of the spring costumes. Everything - bonnets, mantles, and dresses - are to glitter with the, and as they do not constitute a cheap form of decoration, we must remind our readers that lace, fringe, and silk galloons are very easily embroidered with beads, and that they may produce this effective trimming at very little cost - save of time and trouble - for themselves. Beaded lace is very pretty for making up the small fichus  for the neck which are so popular now, and a small addition of this kind makes any toilette both dressy and pretty.

There are so many people "doing up" old dresses just now that we must not forget to mention the "chine silks", foulards, velvets, and cottons which have just appeared in a variety of well-harmonised colours, and are most suitable for trimmings, and for reviving old materials by the addition of new collars, cuffs and revers. A good example of this is seen at fig.2, which might be an old dress revived. This favourite colour for the season seems to be that dull shade of violet-purple called heliotrope, after the dark shades of the flower of that name. The deepest of browns also called pain brule (burnt bread) is particularly preferred, and from all we hear these two, with old-gold, will be the prevailing hues of dresses  for the spring. The first is most becoming, and the two last are very useful, as the old-gold shades are said to wear well and keep very clean.

The illustration of a new method of putting on a flounce will also be welcomed by our readers as a pleasant change. There are two rows of kilting - the lower one being broad, and the upper one narrow. Then over the top of narrow kilting are placed tabs of the material, bound either with silk or the same stuff, and tacked on the top of the kilting. The edges are hidden by a flat hand, which may be stitched along the top with the machine, or run along on the wrong side, and turned up, and then stitched down. This trimming may be as wide or as narrow as required, and will answer for a petticoat or a dress,  for the cuffs of the sleeves, or  for the trimming of a mantle and, of course, may be made of two different materials, such as satin and cashmere, silk and cashmere, or velveteens.

The design given for a collar and cuffs shows how a plain linen set may be retrimmed and finished at home, with new points of linen, and a narrow edging of Madeira embroidery.

Fig.5 shows a linen collar and cuffs with lace edge, the tie of which is of Indian muslin.

The small illustration of a satin-stitch embroidery edging is intended for use on flannel or cashmere, for flannel petticoats, or jackets, or for bands of trimming on an under petticoat.

Jackets like the dress will, it is said, be worn, but the newest thing will be a deep cape to the waist, made so tight, that it quite holds in the elbows to the side. The pattern of a jacket that was given last month in the paper is extremely fashionable, with the addition of a small hood lined with a colour, at the back. The small round toque hats, made of the same material as the dress, are more worn than any other shape, by young girls.

Friday, 8 April 2016

24 April 1880 - "Health and Beauty for the Hair" - by Medicus

"The bridegroom, with his locks of light,
Came, in the flush of love and pride,
And scaled the terrace of his bride;
When, as she saw him rashly spring,
And midway up in danger cling,
She flung him down her long, black hair
Exclaiming, breathless, 'There, love, there!'"

Pride, in the incident to which these verses refer, had nearly had a fall, and probably a very ugly one too. The bridegroom, with his locks of light - by which, I suppose, the poet means bonnie yellow hair - was far too impatient to join his bride, on the balcony, else he might have rung the bell, and waited until Mary Ann opened the hall door, and then have gone quietly up stairs in the usual non-poetic fashion. But, no! Heart was light and limbs were young; he scorned the hall door and humble Mary Ann; he would spring. And he did, and had to thank his bride that she possessed presence of mind and hair probably two yards long. "Two yards long!" you exclaim; "is it possible?" "Quite," your "Medicus" replies. Your "Medicus" has travelled a good deal in Eastern countries, and has more than once met with young ladies whose hair was, indeed, a glory to them, and when let down would almost cover them. But then, that was in Eastern countries, and there, I believe, young ladies know more of the art of keeping the hair bright and beautiful, and making it grow long and glossy and soft, than almost any one in this country does.

And now, having travelled so far, and having lived long in the land of the rising sun, perhaps you may imagine that I have possessed myself of some wonderful secret regarding the human hair, and that I have obtained, by hook or by crook, some infallible specific for making it very lovely, and am forthwith to tell you how this recipe is made and all about it, so that henceforth the gentle readers of the GIRL'S OWN may be the envy of the readers of any other magazine in the world. I am going to do nothing of the kind, but something much more sensible and serviceable to you, and the advice I give you, if faithfully followed, will most assuredly increase both the health and beauty of your hair.

Well, then, I want you first and foremost to disabuse your mind once and for ever, of the foolish notion that the hair can be permanently improved by the use, alone, of any outward application whatever. No; the hair cannot, I say, be permanently improved by external means only. Let me tell you the reason why. You have, no doubt, often seen a barber's block with a wig on it. The hair on the wig, perhaps, did not look particularly beautiful, but the barber could easily make it so. He would gently comb and brush it with a clean dry brush, then he would sprinkle on his brush some wonderful oil or gloss-giving preparation of glycerine, and brush again; and lo! It would glitter and shine like a thing of lie; and if the barber then put this block with the wig on it under a glass case, that dead hair would retain its beauty for any length of time. On the other hand, supposing you were to apply the same process to your own hair; suppose you comb it ever so gently, brush it ever so softly and tenderly, and oil it as well, with the most precious cosmetic that money could procure, do you think it would retain its beauty long? Nay, reader, nay; not although (pardon me) you sat all day long with your pretty head in a glass case to keep out the dust, and away the draughts. And the reason why is not far to seek; the hair on the wig is dead hair - it is affected by no change from within; but the hair of the human head is living, growing, ever-changing tissue. It is supplied with nutriment from the skin in which it grows; it is supplied even with its gloss and beauty from within the body.

Just cast your eyes for one moment on the diagram below; it will give you some notion of the delicate anatomy of a human hair, and easily explain to you its structure. Here you have an enlarged view of a single hair growing in the skin, and being supplied therefrom with all its needs to keep it not only healthy but lovely. a a represents the surface of the skin, b the hair itself, which is in reality a hollow tube, and grows in a flask-shaped depression in the skin, the mouth of which is seen at c. The depression is in reality somewhat the shape of a Florence flask. Indeed, if you took a flask of this kind and placed a long rush in it, it would give you a capital notion of a hair growing from its bed in the skin. At d in the diagram you will observe that the bottom of the depression in question is raised upwards and inwards just like that of a wine bottle, and it is to this raised part that the root of the hair is attached, and it is from this raised part that the hair receives its nutriment by means of two blood vessels seen at e and f. Now you will perceive that the hair is quite free to move and wave about in a manner, in the sac from which it grows, just as free as your rush in the Florence flask; it is only attached to the bottom. Well, you will notice at g g two little rounded bodies. They are little glands, and two or more of these lie alongside every hair in your head, and they are really little oil flasks, they secrete a lubricating oil more pure and fine than any perfumer in the world could prepare; this oil, then, is carried from the little flasks by two tubes, h h, and is poured into the sac from which the hair grows, and thus finds its way not only on to the skin, to keep that soft and pliant, but along the hair to its very point - so fine is it - to give to each hair a natural gloss. This natural gloss is part of the glory of a young girl's hair; it is most beautifully seen in those whose hair has been cultivated by natural and not by artificial means. It is a sunny radiance that no art can imitate. My little favourite Matty had it in perfection.

And now, I think, I have proved to you by the aid of my little diagram that each hair on your head is a living, growing thing, just as much as yonder standard rose-tree on the lawn. If you wanted the tree to grow lovely, to have fresh leaves of softest green, and roses on it, that would make you feel a joy even to behold, it is not to the outside of the bush you would direct most attention, is it? You might freshen it up now and then, and water away the dust, but if you were anything of a gardener it would be the kind and quality of the soil about it that would most concern you. And so it is with our heads; if we would have our hair grow thick and soft, and glossy, it is to the roots we must direct our attention.

I'll tell you what I saw a lady doing one time. She had in her study a large and beautiful evergreen, and she was watering it with water in which a little glycerine had been dissolved. "It makes the leaves retain so sweet a gloss, doctor," she said, "you cannot think." But I did think and speak too, and when I explained to her that the pretty plant breathed with the pores in its broad green leaves, which she was varnishing over and choking, she saw her error at once. In the same way I am dead against plastering the hair or skin of the head with the thousand and one nostrums that are sold in the shops. They really do more harm than good - indeed, the good is nil, the harm much.

Now, the great secret of getting anything to grow well and luxuriantly, whether it be a plant or a hair in one's head, is to supply it with proper and sufficient nutriment. The little oil-flasks or gland, g g and the small eminence d, on which the hair itself grows, are all supplied with blood-vessels, little branches of those that are spread out in the skin. If the blood thus supplied be pure and healthy, and be in abundance, can you not see that the hair itself must grow, and be sheeny and glossy? But if, from some cause or other, the supply of blood is limited or impure, it is surely plain that the hair itself must suffer both in quality and in appearance. If ever you had a pet dog who was sick, you could scarcely help noticing how different his coat looked, how it stared, and how dry it appeared. The reason was that the blood being, through illness, driven away from the surface of the skin, the hairs were no longer supplied either with nutriment or the natural oil. There are many different kinds of oils, and other applications for making the hair grow, and they all act in the same way; they contain stimulating liquids, which bring the blood to the surface, and thus supply the roots of the hair with extra blood on which to live and grow. and the hairs do for a time, and alas! Only for a time. The tiny glandlets, g g, get bunnaturally large, their outlets are choked by the greasy mess, the hair itself gets in time diseased, and premature greyness or baldness is the unhappy result. You see, I grant that stimulation makes the hair grow, but this stimulation must be natural, not artificial.

The blood cannot be too pure if you would have beautiful hair. Hence anything that heats it must be carefully avoided. You cannot be too careful in what you eat and drink. Wines, too, and piquant sauces or dishes should be especially avoided; but in summer and autumn ripe fruits may be freely partaken of. If you want to have a good head of hair you ought to cultivate a calm and unruffled frame of mind. Nervous, fidgety folks seldom have nice hair. One young lady I can easily call to mind had the finest and longest hair ever I saw. She was also the sweetest-tempered and most amiable girl I ever knew.

Exercise greatly promotes the health and beauty of the hair. So does the bath. This latter should be taken every morning and as cold as can be borne. EXERCISE AND THE BATH. (Printer, put it in large type.)

The comb and brush come under the category of natural stimulants to the hair; both should be used several times a day. There is no need always to use a hard brush. But every morning the hard brush is to e used for at least five minutes to the skin of the head as much, if not more, than the hair itself. The soft brush I recommend is the metallic one; I think they are half-a-crown. If used after coming in from a walk or a run they will be found deliciously cooling and soothing.

To ensure perfect cleanliness, the hair should be washed once a fortnight. Do not use soap; the yolks of two new-laid eggs must be used instead. The water should be rainwater filtered - lukewarm to wash with, cold to rinse out. Afterwards, dry well and brush.