Thursday, 30 June 2016

11 September 1880 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

W.A.A. - You ask no question, or we should have had more than ordinary pleasure in answering one who sends such a charmingly-expressed and gracious a letter, solely to express her thanks to the editor and his staff of contributors. Any trouble we take is amply rewarded by the receipt of letters like yours.

GLADYS - 1. It is very ill-bred to reply, "It is granted" when a person begs pardon for some trifling accident or little breach of etiquette, because by so doing you imply that such pardon was required. On the contrary, you should repudiate the idea that you had received any injury or slight, ad so set your friend at ease. "Not at all," "Don't mention it," or some such words suitable to the occasion, would be in better taste. 2. Never omit to thank either man, woman, or child (whether gentle or simple) for any little service or attention. Say "Thank you," or, "I am obliged to you," if to a gentleman, and you wish to be formal; never say "thanks" -it is a vulgar abbreviation, and to an inferior would be much too familiar. From so constantly hearing the word, even well-bred people have fallen into the habit of using it. 3. Be careful not to make any one repeat what they have said. Rather guess what has been said, and let them correct your mistake. To say, "I beg your pardon" has become such a trick amongst young people that they make themselves quite a nuisance. Never pass any acquaintance as if unknown to you; but a slight smile and equally slight inclination of the head would be sufficient, should your eyes meet the second time of passing them. 4. You should not say, "You are welcome" when a tradesman thanks you for paying his bill. 5. The lady has the right of bowing first; circumstances must regulate the question of which speaks first after the recognition.

GREEN PEA PODS - 1. Yes. 2. Feed your toy terrier as often as you feed yourself. Share your meals with it, but give plenty of exercise, else it will get fat. 3. No, we certainly do not admire your handwriting.

MAROON - So long as you find that your gums are not irritated by cleaning your teeth with soot, and that it does not go between the gums and teeth, you may continue its use.

CORA - I fear that you would not be suitable for a companion, as you do not express yourself in good English, for you should be able to undertake the correspondence of your employer, if required. The qualifications of a companion are similar, in many respects, to those of a governess. She should play fairly well, and be able to accompany any one who sings; should be a good needlewoman; understand something of both nursing and housekeeping, should be an agreeable reader, understanding how to modulate her voice, and where to lay the emphasis of any sentence. She should be equally agreeable in conversation, pleasing in manner; knowing how to maintain a certain degree of reserve, and how to keep up her own dignity, and yet not to place herself on an equality with her employer, which requires a good deal of tact. You say that you "move in genteel society"; this is a vulgarism, and if you made use of such an expression to the lady about to engage you - if a well-bred person herself - she would judge you by it, and decline your services.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

11 September 1880 - Answers to Correspondents - Cookery

M.S.T. - 1. To make a "corn dodger," pour boiling water on one quart of Indian meal till all be wet, but no water about it. Add two tablespoonfuls of flour and one teaspoonful of salt. Mix well and spread it smoothly on a plate or pan previously heated and oiled. Then set on the fire, and as soon as able pass a knife under the paste to turn it; and lastly, stand it up before the fire to toast. 2. "Imperial" is very easily made. Take cream of tartar 1/2 oz, lemon peel 3 oz, white sugar 4 oz, boiling water 3 pints. Mix all together, cover, and leave it to cool. It is a good beverage in cases of fever, or for ordinary use in hot weather.

LOTTIE - "Frumenty," otherwise called "furmety" and "frumenty," is popular in counties besides Lincolnshire. It consists of wheat boiled first in water and then in milk, with a little admixture of flour. Sugar and spice are added, and sometimes currants, raisins, eggs and lemon peel.

JEMIMA - To make lemon-kali, use of powdered white sugar 1/2 lb, tartaric acid and carbonate of soda of each 1/4 lb, and 40 drops of essence of lemon. Add the latter to the sugar, and mix well. Then the other powder; and having dried it well, pass through a sieve, and keep in a closely-corked bottle. A teaspoonful will suffice for a small tumbler of water, until it concretes into small grains, like salt of tartar; and pearlash is of the some nature. Your writing is not at all well formed, and we should imagine that you have been more in the habit of writing in the German character.

KITTY - Water and cream ices are of many kinds respectively, and one example of each must suffice. A strawberry water-ice is made thus: Pick 1 lb of strawberries and 4 oz of red currants; bruise all together, with a gill of syrup, in a basin with a wooden spoon, and rub the fruit through a hair sieve into another basin. Then add a pint of syrup, freeze, and set up. To make the same fruit into cream-ice, bruise a pound of them with 8 oz of sifted white sugar, rub through a hair sieve, add the pulp to a pint of thick cream, freeze, and serve. To make current and raspberry cream-ice, bruise 1 lb of red currants and 1/2 lb of raspberries, with 10 oz of sifted sugar; stir in a sugar boiler on the fire until it begins to simmer; then rub the fruit through the sieve, mix the pulp with a pint of cream, and freeze it.

ZARA - 1. To pot shrimps, remove the tails from the shells of a quart of shrimps freshly boiled. Pound the shells in a mortar with 4 oz of clarified butter, a small blade of mace, a teaspoonful of anchovy, and a little cayenne pepper. Place all in a stewpan with a small quantity of bruised lobster spawn, and stir over the fire for about eight minutes. Then rub it through a coarse hair sieve, and then add the tails. Make all hot together and fill the pots, covering with clarified butter. Lay them by in a cool place. 2. To glaze either a tongue or ham, boil a shin of beef for twelve hours in eight or ten quarts of water, and draw the gravy from a knuckle of veal in the same way. Put in spices and herbs, and add all to the shin of beef. Boil till reduced to a quart, and, when required, warm a little and spread it over the tongue or ham with a feather. It will keep good for a year in a cold place.

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS - 1. For a rich "Shrewsbury cake" take 1 lb of flour, 10 oz of finely-powdered loaf sugar, 10 oz of butter, 1/2 a nutmeg, grated, the same quantity of ground cinnamon, and two eggs. For a common one take 12 oz of flour, 4 oz of butter, 4 oz powdered loaf sugar, one egg, and sufficient milk to make a paste. If lightness be desired, add 1 dram of finely-powdered volatile salt. Rub the butter in with the flour till reduced to fine crumbs; and make a hollow, into which pour the milk, sugar, eggs, and spice. Make a moderately firm paste, roll out to about one-eighth of an inch in thickness; then divide into cakes with a round butter. Lay on buttered baking sheets, and bake in a cool oven.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

4 September 1880 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

Don't butter your cat. Okay? Okay.

KATHLEEN BARTON wishes for "a good remedy for bad temper, for frightened people, and for making dogs thin." For the first we might re-introduce the old English "ducking stool" - a cure for "scolds."  For the next, we should first know how they become "frightened people."  For the third, reduce their allowance of food.

 DOLLY VARDEN NO.2 - 1. You are quite right to hesitate over accepting even a flower from gentlemen with whom you have to do in your business; considering how familiar they frequently are, we strongly advise you to decline very politely, with a slight bow, saying, "You must kindly excuse me but I do not accept flowers from gentlemen" Of course your conduct and manner must be all "of a piece," and you should avoid joking and laughing with them. 2. Perhaps you might obtain a situation as a book-keeper.

SUSANNAH H - We advise you to banish from your mind all thoughts of being what you always call a "goveness". Your spelling, writing, grammar, and common style of expressing yourself render a girl, already nearly fifteen, quite incompetent to prepare for such a situation. We never before heard of such a person as a "short-hand goveness." From your desire to educate yourself, and thereby earn your living, we daresay you are a nice little girl; but if you applied as much zeal to e a good needlewoman, to make dresses, and to dress hair, you are still young enough to fit yourself for a good situation as a lady's maid. Or else you might learn to be a cook, and you could attend classes.

PUSSY - 1. Perhaps if you cut off a little of your cat's hair, and buttered the shortened coat, you might induce her to keep herself clean. 2. The Freemasons claim King Solomon as a member of their society, we believe, but a recent authority says that English Freemasonry does not date back further than Queen Anne's time, and the building of the cathedral of Cologne is given as the date of that on the Continent.

Friday, 24 June 2016

4 September 1880 - 'The Working Girls of London' by Mrs G.S. Reany, of Reading

I wonder how many readers actually had any real idea about what "temptations" are being referred to below?

The heart of some are strangely drawn today to protect from the sorrows surrounding them, and to win to a more happy and hopeful life, the 40,000 working girls who are to be found in the city of London alone.

The sympathy thus felt has taken practical form in the establishment of houses where board and lodging may be procured at a very nominal charge. Three houses of this description have been opened in the past two years, while we believe one or two others with a similar object have actually been in existence for some long period before. But as the united efforts of all the houses now in active operation would not do more than accommodate some 300 working girls, it will be readily admitted that before the actual needs of the 40,000 are met very much more has to be done.

And who is to do it?*

It must not be supposed that the whole of the 40,000 working girls of London are without good homes at the present time, for many of that number "live at home with their parents" and have no need to take lodgings anywhere. But at the same time there are several thousand who have found their way up from the country, owing to the scarcity of the work there, or because London always presents attractions to the young, who cannot be persuaded, until experience has proved to the contrary, that London wages are not always good, and that you have no need to ask twice before securing just the work you require. And it is for these, many of them young girls in their teens, for whom we would to-day ask sympathy.

After leaning by bitter experience that work cannot so readily be had, and that when obtained it often brings but a low wage, these girls find that they are obliged to keep themselves in board, lodging and clothing on the scanty pittance of 4s 6d a week, not to say anything about a wage which in some cases never exceeds half-a-crown.

This fact necessitates a very low-priced lodging - the half of a bed, probably in a well-packed lodging-house, where the overheated room causes headache and sleeplessness, and has, in time, a most deleterious effect upon the health. But what else can be done under the circumstances? One shilling a week for a bed - and this is, probably, placing it at the lowest cost - makes a large hole in the wage of 4s 6d. Out of the remaining 3s 6d food has to be obtained for seven days, averaging, at least, two meals a day; and some few coppers have to be spared to pay off the debt already incurred for boots or just so much clothing as helps to make the wearer respectable.

We must let down the curtain before the awful temptations which so surely present themselves to girls of this class to enable them to obtain a few additional shillings from time to time to eke out their scanty little income. But, dear sisters in sheltered homes, remember, though we have let down the curtain, the temptations are there, real, painfully real. We spare your eyes, your hearts; but those of whom we write will not be spared; possibly their trial may double what it need be because you know nothing of it, for if you did know, at least you would help them with your sympathy and means, and give them, if nothing else, hope of better things.

We have heard of a mother who, when wishing to bring home to her children their dependence upon others, with the desire to call forth sympathy for those who might otherwise have been slighted and scorned, would say, "Well, now let us consider where all the things you wear came from, by whom they were produced and made just what they are. Now, let us think of what you use, of things which may be but luxuries in your life, but which have come to you through the toil and earnest labour of others." A very wholesome lesson this. Would that more mothers gave it. Were it given with faithfulness in every detail we feel sure the working girls of London would have more of our thoughts and sympathy than the now possess.

I learnt to realise this more one certain evening, in the autumn of '78. I had been invited to give an address at one of the Working Girls' Homes alluded to above, which, because it had been called a home, and not a house (committees learn wisdom by experience), had been held lightly in esteem by those for whom it was intended. A free tea, with the promise of this address, formed evidently a great attraction, for, at the time named upon the ticket of admission, the basement of the house was crowded with just the girls who, until to-night, had passed and repassed the home with scornful indifference. More were waiting outside when I gained the Honorary Secretary's permission to draw off some who had already finished tea to the upper part of the house, where they could inspect bedrooms, bath-room, etc.

Some twenty or more followed me upstairs, quite unconscious that I was "the lady" whose address they were supposed to have come to hear. This gave me a grand opportunity of having a friendly talk with them. They spoke without any reserve, and, after a little while, we sat down in one of the upper bedrooms, and had a regular "experience meeting," but of a somewhat novel kind and character.

"Ah, dear," said one of the saddest-looking of my friends to me, putting her arm round my waist, and giving me a hearty kiss (which I greatly enjoyed, and felt grateful to her for giving) - "ah, dear, if only ladies would give us time, our life would be far less of a drudgery. How many ladies never take the poor dressmaker into consideration when they give their order for a dress to be made! They leave it all until the last moment, and then they are in such a dreadful hurry that poor we have to suffer. If they would but think that we, too, had our lives to live."

"In what way do you mean?" I enquired, a little wondering what explanation she would give to me.

"Why I mean this," she replied. "You know I'm married. Ah! I don't look old enough, do I, but I was but a girl when I settled down. Well, last week my baby was ill. I pay a neighbour to take charge of her, but one morning I left home with a very heavy heart. I longed for night to come to go back to the child. I am forced to go out; if I did not help to keep the pot boiling we should be nowhere. When seven o'clock was nearly come that day my heart was all of a tremble with longing to go back to my Annie - bless her! When in comes our forewoman and says she, 'You'll all have to stay on until that dress is finished. I've just received a note from the lady you are making it for, and she says if not home to-night it will be of no use to her, as she leaves  for the Continent in the morning!' Home that night, and the order had only come in a few hours before! We had to work hard until eleven, and every stitch I put in had a heart yearning for little Annie in it! I had said I should be back soon after seven, and I wondered what the neighbour would be after when she found I did not come. Now if that lady happened just to have known all the circumstances would she not have regretted hurrying us so?"

Of course she would! But how was she likely to know? Only by coming in close personal contact with these busy workers. Perhaps the simplest and the easiest way of doing this would be to attend one of Mrs. Fisher's meetings at 165 Aldersgate-street, held daily from 1 p.m. until 1.40 for these dear girls. Yes! Dear girls, it only needs to know them to care for them, to sympathise with them, and to long to be helpful to them.

We are so apt to forget that they are women as well as workers. That they have their thoughts and feelings, their joys and sorrows, their home life cares and responsibilities. That they are in short what we ourselves would be if the circumstances of our lives were changed, and if instead of being the favoured daughters of well-to-do or wealthy homes, we were the children of the poor who had to work in order that they might eat.

The three homes established in London during the past two years are Alexandra House 88 St. John's-street, West Smithfield; Victoria House, 135, Queen's-road, Bayswater; and Mortley House, 14 Fitzroy-street, Fitzroy-square.

In these houses board can be procured for 4s 6d a week, or, when preferred, each meal may be paid for separately, at a charge of 2 1/2d for breakfast, 6d for dinner, 2 1/2d for tea, or 1d for supper. Each resident in the house has to be 2s 6d or 3s a week for lodging, and she has to also pay for her own washing.

To charge more than the above quoted price would be to close the door practically to just the class of working girls most in need of these houses; therefore, it becomes needful to supplement in some form the income secured by the payment of the girls alone, in order to meet the very heavy outlay of rent, rates, taxes, and coal. And it is to aid in this that an appeal is made to our "English girls" of happier circumstances.

A lady much interested in the Zenana Mission wondered how she could find the means to send an annual subscription to the funds and out of her wonderings grew a shorter train, and thereby the saving of material in her dress, less costly bonnets, and a variety of those small self-denials in dress which do cost a woman something but which may most cheerfully be given to Him who said "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me;" and the result of it all has been the sum of £2 10s a year saved out of personal expenditure on dress, and devoted to the great work of sending messengers of glad tidings to the sad and sorrowful women who people the Zenanas of India, to whom the Gospel of Peace has never been brought.

Gnetle reader, is there no small self-sacrifice you could make in dress, to put within your hands some offering to make the Master Himself, in the form of helping forward the great work of providing comfortable homes - with all that that thought may mean -  for the working girls of London?

Will you seriously think the matter over?

*If all who read THE GIRL'S OWN PAPER would contribute the sum of one shilling, sending it to J. Shrimpton, Esq., 38, Lincoln's Inn Fields, Hon. Secretary of the Working Girls' Homes, a fund would at once be started out of which many new houses might be planted in the neighbourhoods most needing them.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

28 August 1880 - 'Baths at Home and Baths by the Sea' by Medicus

The morning bath, or tub, as it is often called, is eminently suited  for the constitution of everyone, young or old, unless exceedingly delicate. If you have not been in the habit of indulging in this luxury I do not advise you to commence the habit of matutinal cold water bathing all at once. The tepid soap bath will, in nine cases out of ten, suit young girls better, and they will not have taken a dozen morning baths of this kind before they become sensible of an increase in the appetite, in strength, and in good spirits, and in the capability of enjoying life and everything of good that is in this life. By the use of the soap bath, too, the complexion gradually becomes more clear and delicate, the roseate hues of health begin to bloom on the cheeks, and the skin is rendered as soft and pliant as that of a little child. This bath, too, causes the eye to become beautifully clear, and I know of nothing else that will do this.

Now, what is it you require in order to render this bath of mine quite a luxury, as well as an invigorator of both mind and body? Why, the soap bath is simple in the extreme. In your dressing-room you have cold soft water and a sponge, probably placed there over night, so that it is, in the morning, of the same temperature as the air; then you have a nice soft Turkish washing glove, and a piece of plain yellow or primrose soap - not scented, that were dangerous to health; then standing before a basin of hot water, the whole body is quickly lathered and rubbed thoroughly. This ought to occupy not more than say three minutes, and after this comes the cold sponge bath, which need not take more than a minute and a half. A moderately coarse towel should be used, and the skin should be thoroughly dried. Remember that the towel must not be rough enough to irritate the skin, but only to produce a pleasant glow; remember, too, that there must be no dawdling over the bath - dawdle as much as you please over the dressing, but bathe with judicious celerity; and remember, thirdly, that you must never neglect to wet the head with cold water, else disagreeable sensations may be the result.

The bath is to be taken on an empty stomach, and immediately after getting out of bed. The slight shock caused by the cold water will be succeeded by feelings very delightful indeed, feelings which I might describe if I chose but will not, as I want you to experience them.

There are sponge baths, and plunge baths, and shower baths, all of which may be taken at home, but of all forms of household bathing commend me to the one I have just tried to describe. In cold weather, I may tell you, great advantage will be found from drying and dressing in front of a fire. Having dressed and had breakfast, eaten I trust leisurely, half an hour's brisk walking will do you all the good in the world.

This walk greatly aids the effect of the bath, and tends to raise the spirits and cause everything to appear couleur de rose during the rest of the day.

I said take the bath in your dressing-room, because the air of the bed-room is generally more or less vitiated, but if the convenience of the former is not to be had, better have it in the room in which you sleep rather than not at all. The air of a bed-room, however, has no right to be impure, if people would only take my advice and sleep with a little bit at the top of the window open; the most delicate maiden can do this with impunity almost, if not quite, all the year round.

The soap bath renders those who take it regularly hardy and happy. They come in time to have the keenest relish for life-existence, the appetite is increased, and indigestion kept at bay; and if ever they do catch cold, which is unlikely, the complaint lasts but a very short time indeed, and is seldom painful or dangerous. Of course, during a cold, the bath must be foregone for a few days. You may commence the use of the soap bath at any age, or at any time of the year.

Just one or two additional remarks, and I have done with the morning bath at home, and will then take you off to the seaside.

1. Then you must consult your own feelings as to whether or not you ought to continue the bath through the livelong winter. I should say "Try to do so."

2. Let the first sponge, full of cold water, be applied to the head and shoulders and down the spine.

3. If you feel too much exhausted in the morning for a cold bath, from having been up late, raise the temperature of the cold bath several degrees.

4. Be guided by your own feelings as to the temperature of the hot and cold water. You ought to have a small bath thermometer, price about 1s, in order to regulate the temperature; from 32 to 60 degrees would be right  for the cold bath, and about90 degrees  for the water in the basin.

5. A cold bath may be taken with advantage when the body is heated, from whatever cause, so long as there is no exhaustion or fatigue; but never go into the water if there be the slightest feeling of chilliness, nor after a full meal.

And now for a word by the sad sea wave. A course of sea-bathing, even if it only lasts for a week or a fortnight, and if taken judiciously, is extremely invigorating. The first thing that most young girls do when they first go to the seaside is to "go wild." You will pardon me the expression, I am sure; it is meant for your good, and to warn you against that over-excitement which the very sight of the ocean hardly ever fails to induce in the young. This ought to be kept within bounds; pleasure to be obtained at the seaside, if it is to be beneficial, ought to be more of the quiet and dreamy kind. While feeling thus you are laying up a store of health and vigour which will do you excellent service when you get back to town or to your own inland home.

I do not advise any girl to begin bathing the very first day of her arrival at the seaside. Better she should spend this day loitering on the sands or among the rocks, where, if she has any taste  for the beautiful, she will find a thousand and one objects to interest her. Indeed, at the seaside one cannot be too much out of doors, and as for children they may with benefit paddle about among the wavelets, or build sand castles all day long. Avoid parties and concerts while on your maritime holiday. Your pleasures ought to be of the very quietest nature possible.

Take plenty of exercise, but do not fatigue yourself, and beware of a too hot sun. Go to bed early and be up before the mists of morning have quite gathered themselves off the sea. Do not forget that the evenings are often chilly; it is well, therefore, if you mean to enjoy a walk after nightfall, to change your dress for it, putting on thicker boots, and flannels ought always to be worn,  for the changes of temperature are often very trying even to the robust.

While at the seaside you ought to enjoy yourself all you can. I only want to warn you against excitement and fatigue.

Now as to actual sea-bathing. If you are really strong and hardy you may have a dip in the ocean before breakfast; in most cases, however, it is far better to wait until the day is more advanced - about three hours after the morning meal would therefore be the best time. DO not hurry down to the seaside, but walk at a moderately brisk rate, so that you may be neither very hot nor too cold. Nothing is more dangerous than going into the water either fatigued or cold.

If you can swim by all means do so; if not, there is nothing more easy than to learn; it is a very nice accomplishment even for a lady, and if you once gain confidence it is one that is easy of acquisition and impossible to forget.

I advise the use of a bathing cap in order to prevent the hair from being injured with the salt water. When you go first into the sea lave the face well, and afterwards get the whole body under water as speedily as possible.

Never stop very long in the water - three minutes will be long enough  for the first day, and ten minutes will be found long enough for any young girl.

As soon as you come out rub the body instantly with a roughish towel, and finish drying with a smoother one; then dress leisurely, and if you should feel at all faint or sick lie down for a short time, it will soon pass off.

After dressing is just the time for a nice brisk walk, and it is the time for something else which you ought not to feel ashamed to carry in your pocket - I mean a light biscuit.

Great benefit while at the seaside will be got from having the usual soap bath in the morning before going down to breakfast, followed by a sponge bath of salt instead of fresh water.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

28 August 1880 - 'The Dress of the Month' by Dora de Blaquiere

The June roses have fled, the heat of July and August is over, and before us spreads the cool September, from whence we shall gradually slide into the chilliness of October almost without recognising the change of seasons. In our dress, however, we are obliged to make some alteration, and for this, of all months, it is perhaps the most difficult to dress. The summer garments are a little too cool; the autumn ones not yet thought of, much less purchased. In this dilemma there is always black to fall back upon; black, in which everyone looks well, and in which no one can err on the side of over-dressing. It has been more valuable than ever to us since the introduction of the coloured kiltings, or balayeuses, enabled us to give a touch of colour, in a natural way, to the blackness of the costume. Nothing was ever more easy to make than they are, or more inexpensive to purchase. Turkey-red twill is quite good enough for a girl's use, and the kilting of the two-inch-wide frill can be done at any shop in town where the kilting machine is kept, for about a half-penny a yard. The kilting may be of any and every colour, but red and old-gold are the most popular; and the possessor of two or three sets of different colours need not be considered very extravagant.

The colour of the balayeuse must be repeated on the bonnet or hat, which, if red, may be effected by a red poppy or red satin bow at the throat as well. Small artificial sunflowers are now made, to be worn at the side of the neck, ensconced in the black lace necktie, quite a bunch being used. Indeed, these flora ornaments are quite a feature in everyone's dress, and I must confess that I like them, for what could be more suitable than flowers to the young? The floral bonnets have always been peculiarly pretty, and I shall never forget the pretty effect of a small bonnet of blue forget-me-nots which was worn by the fair-haired daughter of a noble family when they first came out, and the extreme suitability of the style to her modest and flower-like face.

In the evening young girls may wear the new floral collar, which is a ruffle of leafless flowers, tied round the throat, and having a few tendrils of hanging buds and leaves. Buttercups on black, scarlet pimpernel on pale blue, or violet would make pretty necklaces. Two of the most fashionable collars of the day - both to be worn with the lace frill - are illustrated on this page, the first being made of coloured-crossway-cut silk or India muslin, gathered at the back and on the shoulders, and extending scarf-like down the front, the edges being trimmed with lace, and a tiny flower bouquet making a finish at the neck.

Fig.2 is a linen collar, rounded at the corners, edged with lace, and tied with a coloured cord and tassel at the neck. Then there are the bows  for the neck, of lace and muslin, which form a finish to any dress. Little floral trinkets are much worn by young ladies, sprays of forget-me-nots and lilies of the valley being particularly popular.

I daresay that most of my readers have seen the small head-nets made of gold or silver thread. They are very easily manufactured for oneself, with a rather coarse steel crochet-hook. The pattern may be taken from any antimacassar wheel, or even a square which has a rounded centre, both of them being very open. The edges are finished with pearl beads, or else with tiny gold sequins, which can be purchased by the dozen at any fancy shop. These gold squares form a pretty finish to the hair-dressing of a young lady or to the top of a cap for her mamma. The border of the cap may be a wreath of some small buds and leaves, mounted on a wire, and the net laid lightly over them. "Mamma's caps" are a subject of great interest to so many girls, that I give them this hint in passing.

At Fig.3 an easy method of trimming-up an elbow sleeve, to be worn in the evening, is shown.

The newest lawn-tennis aprons are made of ecru silk sheeting, edged with red of the same material, as a border, on which is embroidered a wreath of flowers, the pockets and the bib are also red. Many young ladies are making themselves caps for tennis in the shape of the well-known Neapolitan fisherman's, which resembles a pointed jelly-bag more than anything else. It is finished by a tassel at the end, and may be of a dark red, or else may match the costume in colour. Many people crochet them in ordinary double crochet, but nearly any material answers for them, such as cashmere or sateen, as the cap can be made to fit the head by means of a wide elastic band run into it. Talking of aprons reminds me that I have seen some very pretty and useful ones made of the ordinary glass cloths, with their red and blue cross-bars, the border for them being made of crewel, or ingrain cotton, stars or sprays, embroidered in the squares of the border. These aprons, being of linen, are, of course, perfect as to their washing capabilities. The bibs of aprons are now gathered into the neck and waist-bands, and handkerchief aprons are more diversified than ever. The last one I saw was very simple, and consisted almost entirely of one large handkerchief, hemmed with a small gathering made to mark the waist-line, about five inches from one of the points. This turned that point into a bib, the gathered part being the waist, the two points on either side being tied back by ribbon strings. A square pocket of plain sateen was placed in the centre.

Everyone is still wearing the jaunty "creole turbans," or "toques"; they are so comfortable, so pretty, and so easily made at home to match any dress. The cost of them is a mere trifle. A net foundation, price sixpence; a quarter of a yard of velvet, 1s 6d, or less; and the top is found at home in the material of the dress, or else in one of the pretty Indian-looking materials to be found in every shop.

And now I must have a little chat about colours. Black and white, of course, are once more in fashion, especially in spots and stripes; and they will remain so during the autumn. Old-gold or buff and dark brown are frequently mixed in hats and bonnets, particularly for young people. Crimson and mauve, deep pink and violet, scarlet and deep plum colour, pale blue and violet, crimson and dark blue, purple and old gold, are all contrasts or harmonies of colour, allowable both in the dress and on the hat. All these facts are useful in guiding us in our way to making up either new or old dresses. Also that cotton and silk are now worn together, and linen and silk also. Cashmere is constantly made up with foulard and sateen, while serge may also be mixed with both. I have lately seen several old silks - especially black ones - "done up" most cleverly with spotted sateens, and made to look almost better than new. The same may be said of the deep red Turkey twill, which has been utilised for gathered fronts, sleeve gatherings, and the balayeuse kiltings; and there is no doubt but that clever people, having old dresses of any kind to "do up," are now revelling in the delights of an almost endless choice of material.

The dress illustration of the month gives a useful afternoon toilette - blue foulard, having spots of various colours. Under-skirt is of silk or cashmere and trimmings of foulard. The flounce is pleated and headed with flat loops of satin arranged in rows. The bodice trimmed with folds of foulard, and a plastron of satin. A satin scarf is folded round the basque, and is trimmed with two rows of loops; the folds are finished at the back by bows of satin. Another bow is placed at the side of the collar. The sleeves are finished with cross folds of satin.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

21 August 1880 - 'How I Managed My Picnic' by Dora Hope

It was a week to my birthday and I had not yet decided how to celebrate the great anniversary. My parents had always allowed us children the privilege of having some sort of treat on these occasions, but this year, being the first since my leaving school, I was very desirous of inviting some of my young friends to spend part of the day with me, and of entertaining them in a manner worthy the dignity of a grown-up young lady, no longer a school-girl.

Many ideas on the subject had suggested themselves to me, and been banished as unsuitable for one reason or another, and at present I was wavering between a tea-party in the garden and a picnic. As I sat pondering the matter my brother came into the room.

He is a year or two my senior, and possesses largely all those habits of teasing and jeering peculiar to brothers. He had been known, however, when in certain rare and happy moods, to do me some really "good turns"; so, hoping to find him by chance in one of these delightful humours, I ventured to ask his advice.

"Tom, dear," I said, "what - or what do you think of picnics? I want to have an excursion to some nice pretty place, and having tea gipsy fashion, you know - in fact, a picnic; what do you think of the girls and me having one next Thursday? Don't you think it would be nice?"

The creature fell back in his chair and laughed aloud. "Why, Gerty," he cried, "the idea is really too amusing. Have you so soon forgotten that ghastly entertainment given by the Somers's last year, and when dinner time came everybody had brought cold chickens, and there was nothing but teaspoons to carve them with? Oh, yes, have a picnic by all means; you'll have a jolly time of it no doubt, particularly when it begins to rain, as it is certain to do. Only don't expect me to come, that's all."

" 'Nobody asked you, sir, she said.' I'm not going to ask anybody at all, except some of the school girls."

Being rather of a contrary disposition, I determined now that it should be a picnic, if only to show Tom that they can be well managed.

That affair of the Somers's certainly was a failure. There were twenty guests, and each had been asked to bring a contribution to the feast. We had driven in breaks to the place decided upon, and had a very pleasant morning. But, as Dr. Johnson aptly remarks that the loveliest view possible is improved by a good hotel in the foreground, so the success of a picnic depends a good deal, though it sounds gluttonous to say so, on the arrangement of the luncheon. Of course, everyone must go prepared not to mind having salt put on one's tart instead of sugar, or to find sugar and salt forgotten altogether. One must smile and appear to enjoy it when the salad is emptied upon one's lap, and drink with a relish though the beverage is sprinkled with expiring flies and spiders. Trifling accidents of this sort are unavoidable, and indeed add to the excitement and novelty of the meal. But when, as at the Somers' picnic, there is really not enough to eat, and one's appetite is sharpened by a long morning in the fresh air, it is certainly dampening to the spirits.

Most of the guests had thought they were only expected to provide some small accessory to the meal, so had brought a basket of fruit, some salad, or such like slender provision. Several had indeed brought a cold fowl, and it was not until we were waiting to be served that, as Tom said, the dreadful discovery was made that knives and forks had been omitted altogether, though there was a plentiful supply of spoons. Mrs. Somers had intended each of her guests to bring sufficient for his or her own luncheon, and had herself provided only for her own family and the guests in her house. Happily she had over calculated their appetites, and was able to offer some little provision to the other hungry ones. So I believe in the end every one made a tolerably good lunch, though Tom declares that he and the other gentlemen had to satisfy the cravings of hunger with salad and ginger-beer corks.

But the most painful part of the luncheon was when someone discovered a leg of lamb which had been overlooked, and produced it triumphantly. But we might as well have been without it, so insurmountable was the difficulty of carving it with a teaspoon. Salt had also been omitted from the list, though this is a very trifling thing, and many people do not take any when there is plenty to be had; yet when they know there is none, they feel the greatest craving for it, and the meal seems very unpalatable without it.

With the remembrance of this unsatisfactory repast fresh in my mind, I resolved to be very careful that nothing was forgotten, and, above all, that there was plenty to eat. So I went straight away to have a consultation with my mother as to ways and means.

"Well, dear," she said, "the first thing to decide is, I think, where to go to; and I do not think you could do better than Vudley. You could ramble about the old castle before lunch, and afterwards go into the woods to get some wild flowers to bring home. And there is the waterfall only a short distance from the castle, so you will not be at a loss for amusements."

"But, mother, how shall we get there? It is too far to walk, and we cannot all get into the pony carriage," said I.

"I was just thinking of that, dear; but I think five of you might drive, and the rest will have to go by train to Vudley station, which is not more than half a mile from the castle and woods."

This settled, I flew off and issued my invitations, nine in number, asking my friends to be at our house by half-past nine on Thursday morning, unless it were wet or showery, in which case the picnic would be postponed to the first fine day.

Many were the consultations mother and I had as to what we should take for luncheon. I had very much set my heart on the popular idea of boiling a kettle and making tea; but as mother pointed out it would involve so many more implements and so much more trouble that I willingly gave it up, and was not at all sorry afterwards that I had done so.

Several times, when we thought our bill of fare very complete, one of us would be seized with a new and superior idea, quite upsetting the former arrangement. First we settled to take a joint of cold lamb, a bottle of mint sauce, a jar of dressed salad, rolls, butter (in a preserve pot with ice), two fruit pies, and a jar of Devonshire cream. This we thought complete, when an amendment was suggested by Tom, who could not refrain from taking a lively interest when eatables were in question, though he poured scorn and derision on the idea of my having a picnic at all.

Haunted by the conviction that we should forget to take knives and forks, he suggested a couple of cold fowls, ready cut up, in place of the joint; and, as this would save me the trouble and responsibility of carving, to which I was but little accustomed, it was agreed upon unanimously, and mother went off to give cook her orders.

In a minute I heard her voice calling to me from the kitchen:

"Gerty, dear," she said, when I went in, "cook has just been saying how would you like a dozen little meat pies, instead of the chickens? I think you would find them very convenient, and you will not then have to consider who must put up with the drumsticks in helping the fowls."

"Yes, mother, it will be a great improvement. As I could not eat four or six drumsticks myself, I should have to inflict them on several of my guests, which would not be polite, would it? I think the pies a splendid idea."

Finally our luncheon hamper contained the following: - One meat pie each, and two or three over in case of anyone's appetite being inordinately large; a dozen and a half rolls, a jar of salad ready dressed, a cucumber, a jar of butter packed with ice and wrapped in a flannel, a jelly in the mould to be turned out when required, one raspberry and one gooseberry tart, and a jar of Devonshire cream. The sugar and salt were put in bottles and well labelled, and by way of beverage we had a dozen bottles of assorted drinks, such as lemonade and gingerbeer, of course in a hamper by themselves, which also contained two corkscrews. I may mention that the meat pies were not taken out of their tins till we were ready to eat them, which insured their carrying well.

In the hamper we took a tablecloth, and a knife and fork and spoon for each person, with one or two of each extra for serving; two plates each, and a few tumblers, and one dish  for the salad and cucumber. This was everything we could think of, and it proved to be everything that was necessary, which was a great relief to me.

The important day arrived at last, and was, as we had hardly dared to hope, bright and warm, and my friends assembled in due time. The driving party had to start shortly before those who went by train, so carefully stowing our hampers underneath the seats of the pony carriage, with a bundle of rags and cloaks, we despatched them, to meet again at Vudley station, whence we proceeded all together, "ride and tie," to the spot we had fixed upon to spend our day.

We explored the ruined castle and its grounds, and at one o'clock assembled for what was, I am afraid, really the event of the day. I and one other girl had gone to the spot shortly before that time to lay the cloth and spread the feat under the welcome shade of a large old oak; and very pretty it looked when all was read. We had originally intended to lunch in one of the old roofless halls of the castle; but its ivy-clad walls, though picturesque when looked at with a poetic eye, appeared to us too thickly populated with spiders and earwigs to make close proximity to them pleasant for any length of time, so we preferred to remain under the shadow of the trees outside the edifice.

We spread shawls, upon which to sit, all round the tablecloth, and at each person's place, by their knife, fork and roll, was laid a little bunch of flowers, which we flattered ourselves, to quote Mr. Spriggins, "imparted an air of botanical elegance to the scene." Having collected our party together, which we did by means of repeated performances on a loud and ear-piercing whistle, borrowed  for the occasion to take the place of a dinner bell, we seated ourselves as gracefully as might be, and prepared to fall upon the banquet.

But before sitting down I suggested that we should sing our usual school grace, so with loyal hearts and true, we sang, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." And I do believe that with the music of our fresh young voices our hearts blended harmoniously. God ever keep them so!

Our meat pies were highly appreciated, as indeed were all the viands. I found that we had just hit the right quantities required, and there was neither too much nor too little of anything, though I had thought mother had provided too bountifully. But, then, I had forgotten that a whole morning out of doors is highly conducive to hunger.

When we had finished, and whilst still reclining round what had once been a sumptuous repast, but was now only a wreck, one of my friends rose to her feet, and in most appropriate and flowery language, proposed the health of "their noble and honoured hostess," by which she meant me. I responded, and, though very short, and somewhat faulty in construction, I fear, my maiden speech was received with rounds of applause. After a little more eloquence from others of the guests, we packed up the plates and dishes in their hampers again, and then, digging a hole with a stick, we interred all pieces of paper, bottles and other remnants of the feast that were to be left behind.

Some of those present rather made fun of this proceeding, but I insisted upon it, as I have often thought it such a shame to leave paper and all sorts of unsightly odds and ends about, to disfigure the place where a picnic has been.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in rambling about the woods, which were radiant with flowers and ferns, and musical with birds' songs. After a visit to the waterfall, we found the dusk was beginning to creep on, and that we must turn towards home, very much to our regret,  for the day had passed away too quickly for all of us.

I must mention that, when dragging our hampers from under the carriage seats before lunch, I discovered a smaller one which I had not seen before. It was found to contain a good supply of splendid strawberries, and had been put in by Tom as his contribution to our much-abused picnic.

That boy really has some good points, after all.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

14 August 1880 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

ALIGHTAH - 1. It is a pity that you should be "much older than your age." You have three years at least before you begin to think of "coming out." 2. It would be very improper for any young girl to ride out alone, or with a riding master, unless accompanied by one or more companions. We do not consider it seemly for a girl to ride into the country even, accompanied only by her groom Such rides should be restricted to the parks and public places. 3. We do not perceive any suitability in the name "Madcap" to a tennis club. If you wore any distinguishing uniform you might reasonably call the club the blue, red, green, or black-caps. Black and gold would be a well-selected combination  for the uniform.

MARY (Southbro') - You cannot want a "receipt for cracked lips," as you have never sent us any to be acknowledged; nor even a recipe for them, as they would not prove an agreeable acquisition. If you want a cure for them we should advise you to invest a penny in a little lip salve, to be had at all chemists' shops. Avoid altogether wetting your lips with the tongue - a common and injurious habit. Apply the lip slave whenever you take your daily walk, and on going to bed every night. We are obliged to you for your kindly-expressed thanks. Excuse our pointing out that you should not say that it is "published for we girls," but for us.

CORALINE - It would be a great impertinence and breach of etiquette in any private gentleman or lady to call upon one of the royal princes or princesses, however near their residence might be. It is not according to the usages of polite society  for the untitled gentry to take the initiative and to call upon a peer or peeress, unless at their special request. Supposing even that you were visiting in a house where one of the Royal Family was likewise a guest, the hostess would not have the right to present you without any desire on their part that she should do so.

HAPPY-GO-LUCKY - It would be better to defer your perusal of such books until you are old enough to understand their humorous character.

ESME - It is not usual to accept "valuable presents" from a man to whom you are not engaged; or, at least, whom you do not intend to accept should he offer you marriage. Consult your mother or guardian. If you accept the gift, he will regard it as an indication of your intentions to accept his offer of marriage. 2. A man who is "always speaking disparagingly of women's intellect," would not "make a good husband"; for two good reasons, viz - he is grossly ignorant of the very first principles of good breeding, in expressing such an opinion in the presence of any woman; and if so unmannerly before marriage, he would prove even less scrupulous after it. Secondly, he must be wilfully ignorant and prejudiced to express such an opinion/ face of the tests supplied by the recent competitive examinations of female students in every branch of literature, science, and art, in which they have attained to the highest standard ever reached by men.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

14 August 1880 - 'Economical and Wholesome Dishes Made Without Meat' by Phillis Browne

Vegetarian dishes Victorian style: white bean soup (make with pork stock if possible), macaroni cheese, cauliflower cheese, and cheesy rice.

A good deal has been said of late years about the desirability of doing without meat altogether, and living upon nothing but milk, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and grains. I have no intention of entering into the subject here, for I do not suppose it would interest you very much. But I know there are several excellent and nourishing dishes into which meat does not enter, and which cost very little; and as you might like to try some of them I will describe how two or three of them are made.

One seems to have an idea that soup, if it is to be worth anything, must be made from meat. And yet some very excellent and nourishing and most palatable soups can be made without it. One of them is haricot soup.

I suppose you know the white haricot beans that are sold at the cornchandlers at a price varying from 4d to 6d per quart. Procure a print of these, wash them well, and pick out any beans that float or look black. Put the rest to soak all night in plenty of cold water. The next morning drain them and place them in a saucepan with two quarts of cold water and a large onion cut into slices, and boil them for four hours, by which time they will be soft. (And by the way I may say that white soups and white sauces are more likely to be a good colour if they are made in a white or enamelled saucepan rather than in an iron one.) Invert a wire sieve in a large bowl, turn the beans with the liquor upon it into this, and with a wooden spoon rub beans and onion through the sieve. The skins will not go through, and they should be thrown away. Stir the pulp that has been passed through the colander with the liquor, and season the mixture liberally with pepper and salt, and then return it to the saucepan, and put it on the fire, stirring it now and then. Boil a pint of milk separately. Mix this with the puree at the last moment, put it into a hot soup tureen, and it is ready.

If we can procure them, we may sue red haricot beans instead of white ones, and then we can make what is called soup a la Conde. We must proceed exactly in the same way as with white haricots, but we shall not need to add milk to our puree. The soup will be a rich, deep red colour, and will taste excellently. Red haricots are not, however, much used in England, and cannot be bought at every shop, though they may generally be had if ordered beforehand.

Peas, lentils and haricot beans are all very nearly as nourishing as meat, and very good soup may be made of each of the three by following the idea given in this recipe, that is, soaking them for a time, boiling them till soft with suitable flavourings, and rubbing them through a sieve. Milk, however, will be required for haricot soup alone, although many people think it is an improvement to throw a cupful of boiling milk into a tureen of lentil soup.

The flavouring of the different soups must be suitably varied. Celery stalks or celery seed certainly be boiled with both lentils and peas, and onions are called for with all three soups. It is very usual to add also carrots and turnips to lentil and to pea soup. But in every case the particular point that needs attention is to pass the boiled beans through a sieve. The skins are too coarse to enter into the soup, and they would only spoil if they were put in. One word I must say about lentils. It is commonly understood that the Egyptian or red lentils are to be preferred to the German or green lentils. To my mind this is a mistake. I prefer the German lentils for every purpose. However, tastes differ, and the way to decide between the two is to first try both.

People who do not care  for the trouble of rubbing the beans through the sieve frequently buy what is called pea flour or lentil flour, thickening their soups with it. Their plan is not, however, to be recommended. Too often, these prepared meals are mixed with inferior meal of different kinds, and they are rarely to be relied on. We want real lentil soup or real pea soup, and we had better make it the right way.

If we were not "set" against using meat in some form or other the liquor that pork or fat bacon had been boiled in would be better than water for making pea or lentil soup. Not so, however, with haricot soup. We want this to look white and delicate, and therefore pure water will answer our purpose for it better than anything, besides which the milk that is put with it will help to make the soup nourishing.

So much for soups. And now for two or three savoury dishes made without meat. Amongst the best of these are Italian macaroni and cauliflower au gratin, and rice and cheese.

Macaroni is a preparation of flour. It is very wholesome and good, but few English people care for it. I do not think, however, that anyone could help liking it if made in the way I shall describe.

There are different qualities, too, of macaroni, and we may take it as a general rule that the commoner the kind the more quickly it is boiled. We must, however, procure the best, that is Naples macaroni, and the fresher and smoother it is the better.

Supposing we take half a pound of macaroni. We first wash it for safety's sake in lukewarm water, break it into three inch lengths and throw it into two quarts of boiling water, seasoning it with plenty of pepper and some salt. We then let it simmer very gently for about twenty minutes, though if the macaroni is very superior, it will take half-an-hour. At any rate it ought to simmer until a little piece taken between the thumb and finger feels tender, but it is not at all broken or pulpy. We now drain the macaroni carefully and put it back into the stew-pan with half-a-pint of milk, and simmer it again for a minute or two until this is absorbed. Meanwhile we have read-grated and mixed two ounces of Parmesan and two ounces of Gruyere cheese. Half the quantity must be sprinkled over the macaroni and tossed over the fire well till it is well mixed in. An ounce of fresh butter is now put with it in the same way, and this is tossed about till melted. Last of all the remainder of the cheese is added. When the macaroni begins to get stringy it is ready to pour upon a hot dish and to be served.

Real Italian macaroni would be made with broth or gravy instead of milk, but of course if we are to do without meat we cannot have broth, and milk will do very well for our purpose. It may happen, however, that the cheese becomes oily when melted, and if this should be, one or two additional table-spoonfuls of moisture must be added and gently stirred in for about a minute.

I have said that equal quantities of Parmesan and of Gruyere cheese are to be used in making Italian macaroni. These cheeses are not very common in England, and perhaps might be difficult to get, although they could be obtained easily enough by ordering them beforehand. They are suitable for this purpose simply because they are so dry that they can be grated to powder as a nutmeg is, though on a cheese grater. If we could get an English cheese dry enough to grate in this way it would do instead of the foreign cheese, though it would not be quite so good. You can see, however, that a rich cheese could not be grated to a fine, dry yellow powder; it would cake together in a mass and it would become oily when tossed in the macaroni.

I am afraid I cannot say that cauliflower au gratin is a very nourishing dish, but it is so delicious that I must tell you of it. We shall want for it one large or two moderate-sized cauliflowers and 2 ozs of grated Parmesan, or any other dry cheese, half an ounce of butter, 1 oz of flour, 2 tablespoonfuls of cream, or milk. Boil the cauliflower in the usual way, and take it up when it is slightly underdone. Whilst it is boiling prepare the sauce. Melt half an ounce of butter in a small stewpan, and beat smoothly with it off the fire 1 oz of flour Add a gill of cold water and stir the sauce over the fire till it boils, put in two tablespoonfuls of cream and half the grated Parmesan, and the sauce is ready. Trim away all the green leaves from the cauliflower, and break the white part into sprigs. Lay half of these on a dish, and pour half the sauce over them; arrange the remainder on the top, pour the rest of the sauce over, and sprinkle the other half of the grated cheese over all. Brown the cauliflower before the fire, and serve it very hot. An girl who wishes to give a little treat to her father or brother could not do better than prepare this dish for them.

We all know that rice is very nourishing and wholesome; indeed, it is said to constitute the chief food of one-third of the human race. Rice and cheese cooked together are excellent. For this we take any quantity of rice - say half a pound. Wash it well, for if rice is well washed in the first instance it is not so likely to burn afterwards. Put it into a saucepan with cold water to cover it, and bring it to a boil, then drain it and return it to the saucepan with a pint and a half of milk, a little pepper and salt, and a piece of butter the size of a fourpenny piece. Let it simmer gently till it is tender, and if necessary add a little more milk, but it ought not to be moist. While it is boiling prepare a quarter of a pound of grated cheese. Grease a dish with bacon fat [What???] spread the rice and cheese upon it in alternate layers, the cheese forming the uppermost layer. Put a little more bacon fat over all, [FFS, Phillis.]  and put the rice in the oven to brown. Serve as hot as possible.

Monday, 13 June 2016

7 August 1880 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous - and a Word from the Editor

A few of this week's Answers to Correspondents, and then the Editor lays down the new rules for said Corresponding lest we descend further into a Yahoo!Answers-sounding kind of hell. 

DEWDROP - 1. We advise you to keep a little book and make notes of all you wish to do, in reference to your home duties. At the same time, endeavour to strengthen your memory. Do not submit yourself to what is familiarly called "wool-gathering," thinking of other things than the matter you have in hand. Give your whole attention to your duties while engaged in them. Try to collect your thoughts at those times in the day, when certain little duties devolve upon you. 2. If your young brothers need a hand at cricket, it would be ill-natured to refuse your assistance, but it is, otherwise, scarcely, a game for girls. We are much obliged to you for your appreciation of our paper.

MOSS ROSEBUD - 1. It is injurious to the eyes to read in bed. 2. It is not usual for such a little girl to wear rings.

DEADLY NIGHTSHADE goes to bed much too late for her age, and too late  for the health of any one, old or young. Go to bed at nine o'clock, or a little past that hour, you will then have sufficient time for your devotions and ablutions, and attention to your hair; and yet be in bed by ten o'clock. You can then get up as the clock strikes seven, and be ready for breakfast at eight. The two hours preceding midnight afford what is called "beauty sleep."

ESTELLE - Always pay your own expenses, when you happen to be with any gentleman, merely a friend, or acquaintance.

NIGER - 1. We do not advise your cutting your eyelashes, you wear your spectacles too close to your eyes, which is likely to heat them. 2. When you wash with buttermilk, you should dry your face just as after washing with water. 3. We do not know what you mean by "a sewed work stool."

SNOWDROP - Such a grave question as that of marriage should be referred to your parents, or guardians, or minister. A difference off creed can always constitute an ample excuse for accepting a proposal without giving personal offence to any reasonable man. But if you have been imprudent, and have thoughtlessly given any encouragement to the hopes entertained, we can suggest no way by which you can escape the well-merited pain of "wounding the feelings" of one attached to you.

LUCY - We cannot prescribe  for the prevention of growing of hair on the forehead, beyond advising you to brush it back.


Our readers will, doubtless, have observed that more space than usual has lately been given to that departments of our paper called "Answers to Correspondents." This has, of course arisen from an increase in the number of letters received from the girls since the commencement of the magazine.

It must not be supposed, however, that these extra answers represent replies to all questions sent to us, as some of our correspondents seem to suppose. Indeed we regret to say that it is far otherwise, for every morning we receive letters answers to which would occupy more than half a weekly number.

It is, therefore, certain that many letters must remain unanswered.

Now with a view to fewer disappointments in the future, the editor wishes to say that no girl should ask more than two questions in one letter, and these should be sensible questions, clearly and briefly stated.

From this date, therefore, any letters containing more than two questions will be destroyed unanswered.

The correspondents should select initials or short and uncommon pseudonyms, avoiding "A Constant Reader," "A Lover of the G.O.P.," and other such hackneyed phrase. They should also refrain from calling themselves by such flattering names as "Fair Maid of Perth," etc., and from giving themselves the names of men.

Many letters are sent to us from various parts asking one and the same question. In this case we give one answer only, leaving the others to receive the information from that.

Of course, many questions are put to us, which, from an insufficient knowledge of various facts, we are totally unable to answer. Other letters, again, are frivolous, and prove the writers to possess an undue anxiety as to their personal appearance, as, for instance, questions on the complexion, figure, colour of the hair, etc. Such questions will,  for the future, remain unanswered, as being contrary to the aims and objects of the paper.

It is therefore needless for girls to send us locks of hair and photographs for criticism.

When our girls need information that would be of real service, relating to education, domestic economy, work, recreation, and other subjects, we shall consider it a privilege to supply it, if it be in our power; and we shall also be heartily thankful to continue to give our counsel and advice to any anxious and troubled soul needing it; for, did we not say at the outset that we should "aim at being a counsellor, playmate, guardian, instructor, companion, and friend, and that we should help to prepare our readers  for the responsibilities of womanhood and for a heavenly home"?

Saturday, 11 June 2016

7 August 1880 - 'Our Own Colleges'

In a previous article we dealt with the subject of "Our Own Schools," and it is our intention in the present to speak of those more advanced institutions whose special care is, to use the phrase of the day, "the higher education of women." There is no question as to the importance of the subject. Addison, in one of his essays, pictures the human soul as a block of marble in a quarry which shows none of its inherent beauties till the polisher sets to work and brings out the colours, makes the surface shine, and discovers every ornamental spot and vein that runs through it. So, he says, it is with education: "when it works upon a noble mind, it draws out to vice every latent virtue and perfection, which without such help are never able to make their appearance."

Cambridge will be our starting point. The Cambridge institution which comes first to mind in connection with woman's education is Girton College. This college dates its origin from the year 1869, when it was opened at Hitchin. It was incorporated in 1872, removed to the parish of Girton, near Cambridge, in 1873, and had its accommodation considerably enlarged three years ago.

Candidates for admission to Girton College must pass an entrance examination, and furnish satisfactory certificates of character. Except in special cases students are not received under eighteen years of age. Entrance examinations are held in London in March and June, the fee being one pound. The subjects include the principles and practice of arithmetic, English grammar, physical and political geography, English history, and Scripture history - not required, however, in the case of conscientious objections - and any two of several optional subjects, of which one must be a language.

The instruction given by the college consists of divinity; modern languages - English, French and German; classics; mathematics (pure and mixed); moral science, natural science, history, and vocal music. Students are at liberty to select  a course of study but no student may take more than a maximum or less than a minimum number of subjects.

Degree certificates are conferred by Girton College on such students as are proved by examination to have arrived at a fixed standard of proficiency. The course for an ordinary degree certificate occupies about three years, half of each year being spent in college; for honours the time allowed is somewhat longer. A certificate called a college certificate is conferred on any student who passes, to the satisfaction of the college, examinations similar in subjects and standard to those qualifying for B.A. of the University of Cambridge. The following deviations, however, are permitted: French and English, or German and English, may be substituted for Latin or Greek, and English, French, and German for both Latin and Greek. The theological part of the examination may also be omitted, of objected to.

The charge for board, lodging and instruction at Girton College amounts to £35 per term. This covers the whole of the college expenses.

Girton College being a model institution of its kind, has received substantial support from many of the leading friends of progress. Several scholarships have been founded, and, to speak only of what is recent, considerable grants have been made by some of the wealthy companies of the city of London to the building fund of the college. The assistance given in this way has been specially opportune, as, in consequence of the rapid increase in the number of students, it became necessary to add to the building, and a debt was thus incurred, of which about £5,000, we believe, still remains to be paid off.

The number of students at present attending Girton College is over forty. One of them, our readers will most likely recollect, attracted considerable attention early this year by passing an examination, which but for her sex would have placed her in the position of Eighth Wrangler.

Newnham Hall is another Cambridge institution which owes its origin to the increased interest taken in the higher education of women. It was founded in 1875 to receive students coming from a distance to attend lectures, and the demands on its accommodation have been such that a sister establishment, under the name of Norwich House, was opened in the October of 1877,  for the reception of sixteen students. The students at Newnham Hall number thirty-three, and the Principal has at present applications from far more than she can admit.

To enter Newnham Hall the student must first of all furnish the Principal with satisfactory reference. Then, unless under special circumstances, she must, if she means to qualify  for the Cambridge Higher Local Examination, pass in English history, English literature, and arithmetic before coming into residence. Those who have taken honours in the Cambridge Senior Local Examinations are exempt from this rule. No student must be under seventeen years of age.

The charge for board and lodging is twenty guineas for each term of eight weeks. The fees for instruction vary slightly according to the line of study, but they will, in most cases, be covered by four and a half guineas a term.

In connection with Newnham Hall there are several entrance exhibitions of five guineas a term, awarded to students who require assistance and whose ability is unmistakeable. These exhibitions are tenable with scholarships, and the scholarships to be competed for are becoming every year of greater importance. A limited number of fifteen guineas a year are awarded to students whose means are small and who have attained some intellectual distinction. Not to speak of others, three scholarships of fifty pounds a year for two years were given at the Higher Local Examination in June of this year by the Cambridge Association for Promoting the Higher Education of Women.

The lectures delivered at Cambridge under the auspices of the association we have just named embrace all the subjects included in the Cambridge Higher Local Examination, combined with more advanced teaching in the different subjects of the University course for students who have passed this examination. They are open to women not under seventeen years of age, who must reside in some house approved of by the committee of the association.

There are over thirty professors whose lectures at Cambridge are open to women, indeed women may derive benefit from almost the entire teaching staff of the University. The subjects of these lectures are: astronomy, botany, archaeology, law, moral philosophy, pure mathematics, civil law, fine art, Sanskrit, natural experimental philosophy, political economy, international law, geology, anatomy, Hebrew, Greek, medicine, chemistry, Latin, mineralogoy, Arabic, modern history, Anglo-Saxon, mechanism, applied mechanics, and divinity.

Oxford, in 1879, followed the example so nobly set by Cambridge, and Lady Margaret Hall was opened  for the benefit of women desirous of improving themselves by study. Its special object is to afford such students the protection and training of an academical house on the principles of the Church of England, but ample provision is made  for the liberty of members of other religious bodies.

Those desirous of admission to Margaret Hall must of course forward unexceptionable references to the Principal, and students coming from any other place of education must bring a letter of recommendation from its authorities. Students will not be allowed to reside for less than an academical year without special leave.

Board and lodging at this Hall costs £25 a term, or £75 a year, exclusive of charges which are strictly personal. The authorities hope that, as the Hall grows, it will be found possible to reduce this amount. Sisters or other ladies sharing the same room are allowed a reduction, and provision is made in certain cases, by exhibitions or otherwise for students whose resources are limited. The fees for instruction amount to about £15 a year.

Somerville Hall at Oxford was also opened in 1879. It is intended  for the reception of students who have left home to attend the lectures of the Oxford Association for Promoting the Higher Education of Women. Whatever the religious denomination to which its inmates belong they are all placed on the same footing. The life of the students is modelled on that of an English family. Prayers are read daily, and on Sundays students are expected, as a rule, to attend some place of worship. The students must be at least seventeen years old.

There are four exhibitions of twenty-five pounds each tenable at this Hall by students who are preparing to become teachers. Students have also a chance of winning the "Mary Somerville" scholarship of thirty pounds a year for three years for mathematics This scholarship is awarded after examination by a Committee of the Association for Promoting the Higher Education of Women in Oxford.

Turning our attention now to the Metropolis, we find much to speak about. First of all, there is Queen's College, in Harley-street, an institution founded in 1848 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1853. It is intended for the general education of ladies and for granting certificates of knowledge.

There is a useful four years' course at Queen's College, to which girls are admitted at the age of fourteen. The higher course is for students above eighteen. It prepares  for the first B.A. examination of the University of London, and includes such subjects as church history, botany, English language, French literature, Greek, Latin, mathematics, physiology, Roman history, English history, German, harmony, chemistry, geology.

The fees are one guinea for each course of ten lectures; four guineas  for the lectures of a whole term. The first lecture of each course is free, and five shillings is charged for any subsequent single lecture.

Two scholarships of thirty guineas each for two years are open to competition, at the beginning of the Michaelmas term, to students preparing  for the B.A. examination. Candidates must be at least eighteen years of age.

Certificates of associateship, which may prove of considerable use in making one's way in the world, are given to scholars of not less than six years' standing, on their proving their proficiency in the subjects studied by them, and paying a fee of one guinea. Certificates of proficiency in any single subject are granted to ladies, whether connected with the College or not, on their fulfilling certain conditions and passing the required examination.

Trinity College, London, has recently opened its examination in arts and music to women. Special classes for ladies at cheap rates are conducted by qualified professors, and the examinations are open to candidates who have been educated there or elsewhere.

At Bedford College in York-place, Portman-square, young women may also pursue their studies with advantage. The work of the classes here prepares for matriculation and graduation at the University of London. The fees for regular students who pursue a systematic course of study, are eight guineas a term; for occasional students, who may select any number of separate classes, the charge is two guineas a term for one class meeting twice a week, and one guinea and a half for any additional class after the first.

Regular students not under eighteen years of age, who have diligently attended classes for at least three sessions, and have passed with credit the examinations of those classes, are entitled to the diploma of "Associate of Bedford College."

The ladies' division of the Crystal Palace School of Art, Science and Engineering now numbers about five hundred pupils. It was established about twenty years ago, with the idea of utilising the valuable courts and collections of the Crystal Palace for instruction in art. The system of tuition is in some subjects in the style of private tutorial instruction by the best masters, but other subjects are taught on the University method, in accordance with the regulations of the Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, by whom some lectures and classes are conducted. The number of students admitted into any class is strictly limited.

The City of London College for Ladies has a senior departments, in which there are classes for ladies who wish to study special subjects and for pupils wishing to prepare  for the Cambridge, Oxford, and other higher examinations for women, including those of London and St. Andrew's Universities. We must not omit also to notice that the highest division of the North London Collegiate School for Girls takes rank as a college for women.

At the University College, London, classes in all subjects are open to both men and women, who are taught in some classes together and in others separately. Particulars as to these classes may be obtained from the College Calendar. This well-known institution was founded in 1826, and opened two years later as "The University of London." A change, however, was made in 1836, when it received a charter as University College. The Royal Charter of 1856 was annulled and the college was re-incorporated with additional powers in 1869.

For advancing the education of women of limited means and little leisure several institutions have been established in London and other large towns. The Brompton Evening College for Women is one of these. This college was founded by the Women's Educational Union to supply women employed during the day with systematic teaching by evening classes, and to provide a comfortable resort and pleasant occupation for leisure hours. There are classes in various subjects, both elementary and advanced.

Another institution of the same class is the College for Working Women in Fitzroy-square. An endeavour is made here, by systematic teaching, to supply women occupied during the day with higher education than has generally been within their reach, and also to promote mutual help and fellowship between teachers and students and all members of the college. Periodical examinations are held, and at these students may obtain certificates of the Society of Arts free of expense.

The College for Men and Women, in Queen-square, Bloomsbury, was founded in 1863, with much the same object as the two just mentioned. The number of students at present is about three hundred and fifty. The fees for each course are from one shilling to four shillings a term. To all establishments of this class one cannot but wish success. Young ladies who have little else to do than attend classes and study their lessons can hardly realise the enthusiasm that must exist before one can throw one's heart into learning after a hard day's work.

Before we leave speaking of education in London we must devote a word or two to London University. This is not an institute for teaching, nor a body of teachers and scholars, but a body of persons empowered to examine candidates and confer degrees. It was created under a Royal Charter in 1836, at the same time that the University of London, as we have already mentioned, received its charter and changed its name to University College. A totally new charter was granted in 1863.

Women are now admitted to all degrees at London University without exception. This is under a supplemental charter, granted on the 14th of May, 1878.

The degrees obtainable are those of Bachelor and Master of Arts, Bachelor and Doctor of Medicine, Bachelor and Doctor of Laws, Bachelor and Doctor of Science, Bachelor and Master of Surgery, Bachelor and Doctor of Music, and Doctor of Literature. For information as to the examinations for these degrees, and also the exhibitions and scholarships to be competed for in connection with the University of London, we must refer the reader to the University Calendar, our own space not being equal to the occasion.

Some provision is made in Bristol  for the higher education of women in the University College. This college is intended to supply for persons of either sex above the ordinary school age the means of continuing their studies in science, languages, history, and literature. The fees for day lectures are generally five guineas for each course, for three terms, and four guineas for two consecutive terms. Those for evening lectures are seven shillings for one term, half-a-guinea for two terms, and fifteen shillings for three terms. There are several college scholarships open to women as well as men, and the Clifton Association for Promoting the Higher Education of Women offers four scholarships for women, each forth fifteen pounds, and tenable for one year.

At the Liverpool Institute there are classes for women specially designed for such as wish to work their way in the world. No students are received under sixteen. The fees for each class are ten shillings a term.

Dublin possesses a useful institution in the shape of Alexandra College, established in 1866, to the classes of which girls above fifteen years of age are admitted. We meet here with the novelty of correspondence classes, the students belonging to which reside at a distance and are supplied with the regular weekly work of any class and with examination papers. The themes and exercises are corrected and the examination papers marked by the regular professors on payment of the college fees.

Certificates of general proficiency are granted at Alexandra College to such students as pass a satisfactory examination in English language and literature, and in at least four other subjects, literary or scientific, selected by themselves. Special certificates are also granted in separate subjects to pupils who have studied the subjects in which they desire to be examined for six terms, or for any less number of terms within which a course of lectures is completed.

Queen's College, in Molesworth-street, Dublin, is also devoted to the general education of women. There is a finishing course here, recommended to governesses, embracing English language and literature, English composition, ancient and modern history, geography, mathematics, drawing and painting, natural science, one modern language, Latin, Greek, pianoforte, and theory of music, choral singing, elocution, political economy, logic, and the art of teaching.

In Belfast, at the Methodist College, there are classes for lady students. The rate of fees may be judged by the quotation of one guinea a term for one subject of two hours a week. Admission to all the classes is four guineas and a half per term. At the end of year ladies who have attended a class in any subject regularly, and who pass the final examination satisfactorily, receive a certificate. Special certificates of general proficiency are given to any student who, after having regularly attended classes for two years, passes a satisfactory examination in no fewer than five subjects, two of which must be English and French.

And so ends this paper. We have mentioned briefly the leading colleges in the country, for women, and we shall not detain the reader by enlarging on the advantages to be gained by attending them. It will be enough if we all lay to heart this sage advice: "Above all things, study. Whether  for the sake of learning, or for any other reason, study. For, whatever the motives that impel you at first, you will soon love study for its own sake."