The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX. No. 1010, May 6, 1899

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Title: The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX. No. 1010, May 6, 1899

Author: Various

Release date: March 3, 2019 [eBook #59003]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chris Curnow, Susan Skinner, Pamela Patten and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at




The Girl's Own Paper.

Vol. XX.—No. 1010.]

[Price One Penny.

MAY 6, 1899.

[Transcriber’s Note: This Table of Contents was not present in the original.]




By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN, Author of “Greyfriars,” “Half-a-dozen Sisters,” etc.


All rights reserved.]




“I’ve just been telling Effie that we must do something to cheer her up and put heart into her. She’s got the summer before her now, and she’s getting stronger. We can’t let her shut herself up much longer. We must get her out into the fresh air and sunshine, and make a new woman of her.”

Cyril was the speaker, and he looked at Effie with a kindly smile. She smiled back, and her cheek glowed. There was an animation and brightness about her that Sheila had not seen before.

“I should like that,” she said eagerly, “but they will hardly let me do anything. I’m always asking to do things; but I can never get leave—hardly.”

“Then we’ll take French leave,” said Cyril gaily. “Look here, Effie; suppose I dress up in a wig and spectacles, and play the part of a new doctor, will you let me prescribe for you?”

She clapped her hands and laughed.

“I should think I would indeed! Oh, Cyril, do be doctor for a little while and tell me what to do! You have such splendid ideas!”

“Well, my first idea would be to get you out on to horseback. You would like it no end if you once got used to it, and it would be a capital thing for you. Here’s Sheila with her horse to be a companion, and I can always hire a decent hack from Lovejoy and take you out. Your father would make nothing of getting you a little easy-paced cob, gentle, and used to a lady; and there’s the park for you to take your first rides in, till you have got your nerve and seat well assured. It would be no end of a good thing for you; don’t you think so yourself?”

“Oh, yes, Cyril!” cried Effie eagerly, and Sheila’s eyes were shining, for she saw that if Effie once took to riding, she would get her share of her favourite exercise. “You know I used to have my pony, but when I outgrew him they never got me another. Mother is nervous, and there was so much trouble and illness in the house, and then I got ill myself. But I’ll talk to father. I’ll get his leave, and you’ll choose me a cob, won’t you, and teach me how to ride again? I hope I sha’n’t be very stupid; but you know I do get rather nervous sometimes now; I suppose it’s being ill. Things get on my mind and I can’t get them off; but I should feel safe with you.”

“Oh, I’ll take care of you!” answered Cyril. “We shall just have to get the doctor on our side and everything will be right, you’ll see.”

“I don’t care what the doctor says!” cried Effie. “I mean to do as I like now. I’ve obeyed doctors quite long enough, and I’m not a bit better for it. You shall be my doctor, Cyril. I shall obey you and defy everybody else. Won’t it be fun? Do ask about a nice horse for me. Father will give me anything I want, I know. And he thinks such a lot of you, Cyril. If you’ll only be there to help me, he won’t mind what I do.”

“And when once you can ride, there’ll be plenty of fun for us all in the summer,” went on Cyril. “We can get up picnics and water-parties and things like that; and when your birthday comes we might have a regular fête in the park, with sports or mild polo or steeplechase, and you should show off your prowess. Perhaps by the autumn you might be promoted to a hunter and ride to hounds. There’s some very good country all round here, and I don’t see why you shouldn’t take your place as the heiress of Cossart Place, which is what you are, Effie. You ought to be quite a great lady in Isingford and its vicinity.”

When Cyril was gone, after spending an hour with the two girls and leaving them quite roused up and full of pleasureable excitement, Effie turned to Sheila and exclaimed eagerly—

“Isn’t he splendid!”

“He’s very kind and nice,” answered Sheila, “so different from the rest. I don’t mean that they’re not all nice; but Cyril seems to belong to a different world.”

“Yes, doesn’t he? That’s just how I feel. He’s always been so different from the rest. The funny thing is, that father does not think half as much of him as he does of North; but I never could care a bit for North. Cyril is worth ten of him.”

“He has been brought up so differently—has been to public school and college. I like University men; they are quite different from others. I can’t bear that Oscar shouldn’t finish his course there; but still, he always will have the air of an Oxford man everywhere!”

Sheila spoke with sisterly pride, but Effie was not listening. Her thoughts had gone off on their own tack. Presently she asked with a would-be air of carelessness—

“Did Cyril ever talk about me to you, those days you were in River Street?”

Sheila paused and hesitated. Cyril had sometimes spoken of Effie, but always in a rather slighting fashion, not unkindly exactly, but as though he held her in rather small estimation. If Sheila had not hurt Effie’s feelings once already to-day, she might have answered with more truth than diplomacy, but she had had a lesson and was too good-natured to give pain willingly, so she replied after a moment’s pause—

“Yes, he talked about you several times. He is fond of coming here, I think. He likes the house and the park and garden. Are you and he great friends, Effie? I thought you seemed to be.”

“Yes, I think we are,” answered Effie with a pleased and conscious smile. “You see, Raby and Ray aren’t a bit intellectual, they don’t care to read or talk about books, and Cyril is so clever. He reads to me sometimes and lends me books, and we talk about them afterwards. I have a lot of time for thinking about things. Cyril thinks a great deal too. I suppose that’s why he likes coming. Do you think he thinks me clever, Sheila?”

“I don’t know. He did not say.”

“I don’t call myself clever,” went on Effie, “but I think in my own way; I don’t go by what other people tell me. I like to have my own ideas about things. One ought to be original, don’t you think? Mother often says I have such an original mind. I think perhaps I shall write some day when I am stronger. I have done a few things. Cyril saw one or two. I think he was rather anxious for me to go on. Perhaps I’ll show them to you some day. I took a prize once at an essay competition; Cyril helped me. He was very proud when I got the prize.”

Effie was quite happy now, fairly launched upon her favourite topic. Sheila listened and tried to be sympathetic, but wished that Cyril had stayed longer. His conversation was more interesting a good deal than Effie’s. Presently there was rather a long silence between the girls, and then Effie asked suddenly—

“Sheila, do you think there’s any harm in cousins marrying?”

“I don’t know,” answered Sheila, waking from her day-dream. “Why should there be? Don’t they often do it?”

“Yes, very often; but some people don’t like it. I never quite know why. I can’t see why they shouldn’t.”

Sheila turned a glance rather full of interest upon Effie.

“Does Cyril want to marry you?” she asked, with the outspoken candour of girlhood.

Effie’s face flamed, but there was a lurking smile in her eyes. She looked down and twisted her hands together.

“I don’t know. He has never said so. Did you think that yourself, Sheila?”

It had not entered Sheila’s head till Effie’s own words had suggested it; but certainly Cyril had paid a good deal of attention to Effie, and had seemed anxious to see more of her.

“I’ve never seen people in love,” she answered; “I don’t know what they do, or how they look. Do you think you would like to marry Cyril, Effie?”

Effie blushed, but looked up with a sparkle of defiance in her eyes.

“He’ll have to fall in love with me first, and then I’ll perhaps think about it. You don’t suppose I’m going to care for anybody in that way if he doesn’t care for me? I’m the heiress of Cossart Place—you heard Cyril say so himself. I believe I shall have a very big fortune some day. You don’t suppose I’m going to be had just for the asking—not even by Cyril!”

Sheila held her peace; her ideas about love and marriage were very elementary and immature, but she did not see that what persons had could make very much difference. It was whether they cared for each other, she thought.

The following weeks were rather amusing ones for Sheila and Effie. Cyril had taken up in earnest his plan for getting Effie to ride again; and Mr. Cossart had been talked over when he found that the doctor approved and that Effie’s heart was set upon it.

Cyril was the master of the ceremonies throughout. He first hired for her a trained circus pony, who would obey at a word, and who carried Effie patiently round and round the sweep of{499} the drive till she had regained some of her former aptitude for the saddle. Meantime he was scouring the neighbourhood in search of a suitable cob for her future use; and when he had heard of a likely animal, he would call for Sheila to accompany him to the place, because, as he said, though she might not know whether the creature were sound or not, she could give a very good opinion as to whether its paces were easy and comfortable, and whether it was the kind of creature Effie would like.

These rides were a source of great enjoyment to Sheila. She found Cyril a delightful companion, and he seemed to find her the same. It was a relief to get away from the atmosphere of Cossart Place for a few hours—away from Effie’s companionship, and the feeling of irritation and constraint which she often experienced there.

“I suppose it is my fault,” she sometimes said to Cyril, if he chanced to find her in one of her stormy moods. “I want to be nice to Effie; but she does aggravate me sometimes! When she is ill, I am really very sorry for her. It must be dreadful to feel as though you couldn’t breathe. But I do think she would be better if she wasn’t always talking and thinking about her symptoms. It’s partly Aunt Cossart. She is always asking her about them. But—oh, dear, I do get so tired of it! And then if I am cross, I get into such disgrace!”

“Poor little thing!” said Cyril kindly. “Yes, it must be a trying life for you; but I will do all I can to brighten it up for you. We will try to get some fun out of the summer. Uncle and Aunt Cossart will do anything and agree to anything if they think it is in the interest of their darling! So we can make a capital stalking-horse of Effie!”

Sheila suddenly raised her clear glance to Cyril’s face. Something in the tone of the last words struck her with a momentary sense of uneasiness. Surely he was sincere in wishing to do Effie good and rouse her up? Anything the least bit untrue went against the grain with Sheila terribly. He seemed to see the question in her eyes, and at once continued—

“You can see for yourself how much she wants taking out of herself; and that will never be done at home. We must get her out into the world amongst other people. As it is, she thinks she is rather a wonderful being. When she goes out more and rubs against others, she will find her level, and it will do her a world of good.”

“Don’t you like Effie, then?” asked Sheila.

“Oh, yes, in a way, poor little thing! I am sorry for her, and we have always been good friends. She was a merry little soul once, though too cheeky for my taste. Perhaps she will be better of that as she grows older. But she has had no advantages. She has never seen society—as you and I call it—and she shows it in every word and thought. She has no charm about her—that great possession of womanhood—and when one sees her beside somebody who has so large a share, one feels the absence of it more than ever.”

Sheila felt Cyril’s eyes upon her, and blushed crimson. She was not used to compliments, yet there was no misunderstanding the meaning of his words. She could not help quivering with a sort of pleasure, yet felt as though it were somehow treachery to her cousin. For that Cyril was Effie’s hero Sheila could not doubt, though she would never exactly admit as much.

The cob was selected at last, had up on trial, and finally purchased; and Cyril was to be found at Cossart Place most mornings in the week to take the girls out for a ride.

Effie could only go short distances as yet, and her steady cob did not require more exercise than the daily amble. But Shamrock was young and mettlesome, and so was the horse Cyril had hired for his own use; and often, after Effie had dismounted and gone in, the other two would betake themselves for a canter across the park, or a ride on some errand or other, generally of Cyril’s devising.

The Cossart cousins had always been on brotherly and sisterly terms, and nobody took exception to this arrangement. Sheila was delighted to get the long breezy canters through the budding lanes or across a stretch of park-land, and Cyril’s companionship was always pleasant. Her little worries seemed to smooth themselves down when he was near; and he had a way of saying flattering things, which, if a little embarrassing sometimes, was rather delightful too.

The only thing that Sheila did not quite like or understand was his way of half laughing at Effie behind her back—making out that what he did for her was a kind of duty and treadmill, whilst he was all the while longing to be off with Sheila.

Effie did not take this view of matters. To her he professed himself the most devoted of knights. She fully believed that he enjoyed riding beside her more than anything in the world, and he certainly seemed to profess as much. But when off and away with Sheila, he would give her a laughing look, and say—

“There, now we can enjoy ourselves. Aren’t we good to be so patient over our task? But it’s worth it, for what we get afterwards. Don’t you find it so too, little cousin?”

And then Sheila would feel guilty and uncomfortable, and ask herself if she were being hypocritical. But surely Cyril could not be that, and she quickly drove away the unwelcome misgiving.

Once rather a strange thing happened whilst they were riding together. A man on horseback suddenly joined them—rather as though he were waiting for them. She thought Cyril changed colour and looked angry; and he said to her at once—

“Ride on, Sheila. I will join you almost at once. I have a little business to talk over with this gentleman.”

Sheila did as she was bid. She rode ahead; but she heard the voices of the men behind in argument, and what sounded rather like disagreement. At least, the other man seemed angry. Sometimes he spoke quite loud and roughly, and once Sheila heard him say—

“Is that the heiress you are riding with, then?” But she could not hear Cyril’s reply; and when he came back to her, his face was pale and very much clouded over.

“Is anything the matter, Cyril?” she asked. But he tried to laugh as he answered in an off-hand way—

“Oh, we all have our little worries, Sheila! It’s nothing much! It’s nothing to bother over! I’ve squared the fellow for the present. He won’t trouble us again; and don’t you say anything about this to anybody! It’s nothing to anybody but myself!”

(To be continued.)


“Mother” in fourteen languages.—Here are fourteen varieties of the word “Mother,” all bearing a distinct resemblance—Anglo-Saxon, Modor; Persian, Madr; Sanscrit, Matr; Greek, Meter; Italian, Madre; French, Mère; Swedish, Moder; Danish, the same; Dutch, Moeder; German, Mutter; Russian, Mater; Celtic, Mathair; Hebrew, Em; Arabic, Am.

Don’t be Indiscreet.—An indiscreet girl does more harm than an ill-natured one, for the latter will only attack her enemies and those she wishes ill to, but the other injures indifferently both friends and foes.

Ladies and Gentlemen.—Coolness and absence of heat and haste indicate fine qualities. A gentleman makes no noise; a lady is serene.—Emerson.

The Greatest Event in Life.—Marriage is the greatest event in life. It is also a new beginning of life. It is a home for the lonely, a haven of rest for those who have been too much tossed by the storms of life. It is the best and most lasting thing. It is heaven upon earth to live together in perfect amity and disinterestedness and unselfishness to the service of God and man until our life is over.—Jowett.

Words for Music.—Too much thought in words intended for music has a disturbing and over-weighting effect. Music does not only deepen emotion, it sometimes obscures the meaning. Hence the poet must meet it with a concession. The most effective words for songs are simple, slight, lucid, with unity—a simple idea worked out to one climax.

Avarice.—A neighbour once refused another the loan of his well. The latter was thus compelled to sink one himself, and in so doing he tapped his neighbour’s spring, so that his neighbour’s well ran dry. Thus avarice ofttimes defeats itself and benefits its enemy.





Under the above title it is intended to give a series of six papers on the subject of “Practical Bee-keeping,” of which this one is the first.


It is presumed that the reader is a stranger as yet to the pleasures of bee-keeping, but has some desire to know a little about these extraordinary, interesting and useful insects, and thus to solve some of the mysteries of the hive. The best way to do this is to keep a hive of bees of your own, and the following papers, as they appear month by month, will aim at giving seasonable directions for establishing and managing it.


Bee-keeping is a pursuit that has several peculiar advantages to recommend it. Much pleasure is derived in obtaining an insight into the habits and requirements of these interesting insects by actual handling and observation. There is also the aid to health, which a moderate amount of exercise in fresh air and sunlight, with a restful change of occupation for the mind, cannot fail to bring. And last, but not least, there is the honey—the prize at the end of the season for the diligent bee-keeper, the sum-total of little tokens of gratitude contributed by thousands of little workers, each so tiny, but which, when put together, form a very substantial and adequate return for all the trouble and attention bestowed upon them. This last brings with it the pleasure of being able to place on the family table the product of one’s own bees, or if it amounts to more than can well be disposed of at home, there will be the profit that will accrue from disposing of it at a fair price to friends. There are, indeed, many people living in the country who are able to make quite a useful addition to their income by following this pursuit.

Perhaps the only thing that can be said against commencing bee-keeping is the possibility of getting stung, but this is almost always the result of too frequent or careless handling; it is seldom worse than a passing inconvenience, and the bee-keeper soon learns to look upon it as a factor not worth taking into account. The timid, however, may render themselves nearly sting-proof by the use of india-rubber gloves lined with wool, besides the veil usually worn by bee-keepers to protect the face.

Few people are unsuited for bee-keeping. The invalid can manage to attend to a few hives during the warm sunny weather in summer without fatigue. The only persons who are really unfitted to take up bee-keeping are those who have not the desire or opportunity to attend to the bees regularly, or those who at first, perhaps, take up the new hobby with great zest, only to leave their pets to neglect when the novelty of the thing has somewhat worn off, or on the occasion of the first difficulty. Such a one should not keep bees. When we become the possessors of dumb animals, which depend more or less upon human aid for their well-being and comfort—and bees certainly do—a responsibility rests upon us which it would be wrong to ignore.

There are few places in this country where bees may not be kept. The heart of a large city is perhaps the most unfavourable place for bee-keeping, but even in London bees have been kept successfully in Regent Street, Holborn, and in other parts. Wherever flowers flourish, bees will generally find a subsistence. In country districts where Dutch clover and sainfoin are largely cultivated, and on the heather-clad moors of Yorkshire and Scotland, they will yield considerable returns of honey in favourable seasons.

On the whole, bee-keeping is a fascinating pursuit to those who are engaged in it, and thus almost every intelligent bee-keeper is more or less of an enthusiast, and there is, I think, a general fellow-feeling and desire to help one another amongst all interested in the craft, be they old hands, beginners, or even merely desirous, would-be bee-keepers, which is a pleasing indication of genuine love of the work they have at heart.


The best advice I can give to those who intend to start bee-keeping is to go and see a practical bee-keeper living in the neighbourhood, who keeps a few colonies of bees in the modern wooden hives. Choose a warm, sunny day sometime this month for the visit, and ask him to open one of the hives before you, and to explain its contents to you and how to handle the bees.

It will be seen that a bee-hive consists essentially of three separate parts, (1) the floor, (2) the stock-box, and (3) the roof.

The stock-box contains the combs and bees. The combs vary in number from eight to twelve, or more; they are built in wooden{501} frames which hang from the sides of the stock-box, and are kept a certain distance apart by means of metal ends, so that the bees may have free passage between them. The number of the frames of comb may be varied according to “the strength of the bees.”[1] When there are fewer frames than the stock-box is capable of containing, the empty space beyond them is shut off by means of a close-fitting board called a dummy. The entrance is a narrow slit on one side of the hive between the floor and the stock-box through which the bees pass in and out. The portion of the floor which projects beyond the entrance is called the alighting-board. Several thicknesses of cloths, or quilts as they are called, are placed on top of the frames to keep the bees warm.

Besides these simple essentials of every hive, there should be an upper story or lift to contain the super, which is a box placed over the frames in summer, in which the bees may store all honey beyond what is required for their own use. In many hives the lift is made so that by inversion it will drop down over the stock-box for the winter, and so help to keep the bees extra warm.

It will not be necessary to trouble the reader at present with any details of the structure of the bee-hive, these being of use chiefly only to those who intend to make their own hives; and this is not recommended, as good hives can now be obtained ready-made from the leading dealers, which are much more satisfactory.

A hive with the combs fixed in movable frames like the one described above has a great advantage over the old-fashioned round straw hives or skeps in which the combs are fixed immovably. In the former, any or all of the frames of comb may be lifted out and examined, and the exact state of the colony ascertained in a few minutes, while with the latter the bee-keeper could never tell what was going on inside the hive. Without knowledge there cannot be much progress, and we can understand how, by keeping bees in this latter style, our forefathers for so many centuries never dreamt of any improvement on their barbarous plan of destroying the bees by burning brimstone when they wanted to obtain the honey.

In this country we have now a further advantage in the movable comb system by the universal adoption of a standard size of frame, which has been fixed by the British Bee-keepers’ Association. These standard frames are of course interchangeable, and will fit any hive made to take them.

There are one or two ways of making a start in keeping bees, but the best for this time of the year is to procure a swarm. Two swarms obtained in May or the early part of June would make a very good beginning. It is not advisable to start with more, until a little experience is gained, and thus the chances of failure and disappointment will be diminished.

The following is a list of articles necessary for commencing bee-keeping which should now be procured, so that all may be in readiness for the swarm when it comes, some directions for hiving which will be given in the next paper.


1.Hive, with 10 standard frames and 2 dummies, 10s. to200
2.Super, containing 21 1-lb. sections26
3.Sheet of queen-excluding zinc08
4.Brood foundation, 1½ lbs.33
5.Super foundation, ¼ lb.08
6.Bottle feeder with wooden stage10
7.Smoker, with guard23
8.Bee-veil; net, with black before the face10

(To be continued.)


By ISABELLA FYVIE MAYO, Author of “Other People’s Stairs,” “Her Object in Life,” etc.



Florence Brand presented herself at her sister’s house on the following morning, to take her to a large registry office, “You’ll see plenty of girls there,” she said. “You must be prepared to wait a while if you are told that a suitable article is not then on the premises.”

“I suppose I shall get home before my half-past-one dinner-hour?” said Lucy.

“It is not in the power of woman to prophesy when you will get home,” Florence answered. “But surely,” she cried, as her little nephew came in equipped for a walk, “you do not dream of taking Hugh with us?”

“Certainly I do!” answered Lucy. “It may not be much of a pleasure for him; but he is good and patient. Indeed, there is nothing else to be done.”

“Cannot you leave him with your charwoman?” asked Florence. “Don’t you think she is respectable?”

“Hugh,” said his mother, “run upstairs and find my gloves in my bedroom. Yes,” she replied to her sister as the child ran off, “Mrs. Sim is perfectly respectable as a charwoman. But I know nothing of her as regards children. She might think it kind to indulge Hugh with lumps of sugar, or by telling him stories of ghosts or murders.”

“Well,” said Florence, “you think I am hard on the lower orders; but I’m sure I’d leave my youngsters in their charge for a few hours—in one’s own house too, where there can be nothing dirty or infectious. I don’t know much more of the nurses I hire than you do of your Mrs. Sim.”

“I could trust Hugh with Pollie without any misgiving,” answered Mrs. Challoner. “I knew her ways with him as I know my own.”

She said no more, though she might have added that nothing but bitter compulsion would induce her to trust her darling to the tender mercies—mental and moral—of many women not of the “lower orders,” even of Florence herself!—whose motherly methods were by no means those of her sister.

The registry office was kept in an old-fashioned house in an old-fashioned street. A few men, with that undefinable stamp which marks a manservant, were lounging about the door, while dotted over the pavement were groups of smart and voluble young women. Now and then one of them raised a shrill mirthless laugh.

Lucy’s heart sank within her.

“Of course, some of all sorts come to these places,” said Florence reassuringly. “Let me tell you these very girls would pass muster in any respectable house once they are arrayed in their caps and aprons. They put on their good manners with their livery.”

Lucy wondered whether it may be true wisdom to insist on a garb which so easily becomes a mere domino in which very unexpected human nature may masquerade.

“We shall have to go up to the second floor,” whispered Mrs. Brand. “The menservants are seen on the ground floor, cooks and head-housemaids on the first, and smaller fry, such as we want, on the second. Possibly lodging-house keepers interview their little slaveys in the attics.”

Women hanging about on the landings managed to make plain their contempt for ladies who were manifestly seeking a mere “general.” The front room on the second floor was so thronged that the sisters could scarcely find standing room. It was not easy to distinguish between mistresses and maids, for nobody was of a refined type, and in dress—at least, on first glance—all seemed equally smart and fashionable.

A clerk of the office was edging about, note-book in hand. She was a red-faced middle-aged woman, wearing a dusty, jet-trimmed black alpaca gown.

“A general servant is scarcely to be had, madam,” she said.

“Then what are all these?” asked Mrs. Brand. “I thought this was the ‘general servants’ department.”

“So it is. But most of these are general servants ‘where another is kept.’ They would not go as a single hand,” explained the clerk.

“I must have one who will consent to do so,” said Lucy. Something in her low clear voice and simple decision of manner made the registry office clerk turn and look at her. This was not the style of mistress with whom she was best acquainted.

“I will try to please you, madam,” said the clerk. “I fear there is nobody suitable in the house at present. But one may come in at any moment. A great many girls do not appear till about noon. May I ask you to take a seat? There is a sofa vacant near the window.”

As the sisters took their seats on the shabby little sofa, two or three gaudy girls strolled past them, inspecting them from their hats down to their boots.

Lucy whispered—

“This puts me in mind of what we used to read about the slave marts in the States.”

“Yes, only it is the employers who{502} are now on view!” said Florence snappily.

“I don’t know whether that makes it either worse—or better,” Lucy answered, drawing Hugh closer to her side.

The next moment a tall raw-boned woman with a forbidding countenance stepped up and bluntly asked,

“Are you wantin’ a general servant?”

“Yes, I am,” Lucy replied, her heart sinking within her.

“I’m looking for a place. What wages do you give?”

Lucy named the sum she had paid Pollie.

“That’s not very high for a general,” observed the woman.

“It is a very quiet situation,” said Lucy.

“H’m!—out in some country place, I suppose?”

“No,” answered Lucy, “my house is in Bloomsbury.” She was cowed into giving answers when she should rather have retorted by questions. Really she did not want to question this woman, or to have anything to do with her. Yet in this place she had not courage to say so. Mrs. Brand did not come to the rescue.

“Bloomsbury houses are pretty big—too big for one woman.”

“Mine is a small house,” faltered Lucy.

“How many in family?”

“Only two,” Lucy answered; “myself and this little boy.”

“D’ye expect me to do the washing?”

Lucy was ready to cry out that she did not “expect” her to do anything, except to go away! But she was so demoralised that she meekly replied—

“My last servant did the washing, with help; but if I get one who suits me in other ways, I am willing to put the washing out.”

“Are you a widder, then?”

Lucy’s heart thumped.

“No, my husband is on a long voyage.”

“A ship-captain is he?”

“No, he is travelling for his health. He will be at home within the year.”

An expression came into the woman’s insolent eye, which Lucy did not understand, though it made her feel hot. The woman gave her head a significant little wag. It meant something apart from what she said, though her words were insolent enough.

“I reckon there won’t be much regular cooking in your place. There never is, where there isn’t a proper master. I don’t think your place will suit me.”

“I am sure it will not!” said Lucy quietly.

One or two tawdry girls who had come up to listen to this colloquy nudged each other and laughed at the discomfiture of their fellow-worker.

“Well, you’ve got rid of her,” observed Florence. “The idea of her asking all those questions! What right have they to know anything except the work which will be required of them and the wages they are to get?”

“I don’t say that,” said Lucy. “Before a woman accepts a place, I think she has a right to know whether it is quite respectable—and many little details beside. But she might have waited till I had first put some questions to her. Fancy, if I had behaved so when I went, a stranger, to look after the first appointment I had at the Institute!”

Florence made an impatient gesture.

“You compare things which have no standard of comparison,” she said. “You are a lady and know how to behave and to keep your proper place. These creatures don’t. They must be taught. If you had taken that woman in the right way, and talked down to her and cheapened her well, she would have respected you, and she might have turned out a servant good enough.”

“Florence, dear,” pleaded Lucy, “I would not wish to take any woman into my house who could behave so. And her appearance was horrid!”

“She would have done up decently enough if you had insisted on it,” said Florence. “Why need you care how uncouth a servant looks so long as you can get plenty of work out of her? It is not as if you had a professional man in your house, and had to think of a girl’s appearance in opening the door. Do better next time. Here comes another.”

“Are you wanting a general servant, ma’am?” said the girl, advancing towards Mrs. Challoner.

This was a younger woman than the last. Better looking too, despite the draggled feather which overhung her hat. There was some pertness in her voice and manner. But Lucy was not repelled by her as by the other, and was therefore brave enough to carry on some catechism on her own side.

“You have been a general servant before?”

“Yes, m’m; I’ve never been anything else.”

“Then you have plenty of experience, and know what you are undertaking?”

“I’ve been in places, m’m, since I was fifteen. I’m twenty-two now.” She looked at least four years older.

Again Mrs. Challoner stated the wages she gave, adding some rough sketch of the duties of the place.

“I am sure a reliable girl will find it comfortable,” she said. “And now—if we agree on other things—what references have you to give me?”

The rather haggard face fell; but the pert voice answered undauntedly—

“I was three months in my last place, m’m, and they’ve got nothing to say against me.”

“Three months is a very short time,” commented Lucy. “Why did you leave?”

“Well, m’m, the missis had such a temper as never was.” A pause. “She couldn’t get no girl to stay.”

“She will give you a character?”

“Well, m’m, it’s a shame if she didn’t! I’ve had nothing against my character.”

“She could not know you very well in three months’ time,” mused Lucy. “But she could at least tell me the character she got when she engaged you.”

“She never asked a character,” said the girl. “Ah, m’m, she was too glad to get anybody. She knowed her own temper and that no one wouldn’t stay.”

Lucy looked at her with considering eyes.

“If I were a servant,” said she, “I would not go where my character was not sought for. I should feel sure it could not be a good place.”

The girl muttered something about ladies being sometimes hard put to it and in a dreadful hurry, and about “a poor girl having to get her bread.”

Lucy’s charity instantly accepted all such possible excuses.

“If you explained the circumstances to the mistress you lived with before this last, perhaps she would allow me to make a few inquiries about you?”

“She might,” the girl said; “but some ladies do not like to be troubled.”

“How long were you in that situation?” asked Lucy.

“Six weeks,” answered the girl. “There was a fire, and after that they made some changes, and that was why I came away.”

“But I do not like the look of this,” observed Lucy. “And what about the situation before that?”

“I don’t know where those people are,” said the girl, a sullenness coming over her. “The master bankrupted, and it was as much as I could do to get my wages.”

“You have been very unfortunate,” remarked Lucy, pondering whether this might not be simple fact, and whether justice might not demand that she should give the girl “another chance.” Still it was her present duty to get a reliable household helper, and other considerations must take second place to that absolute duty. Yet she shrank from coming to any harsh decision.

“What is the longest time you have kept any situation?” she asked.

“I was a whole year in one,” said the girl, with great self-satisfaction.

“How long is that ago?” inquired Lucy.

“It was my second place,” returned the girl, rather defiantly. “And it was a hard one. For it were a public, an’ the master, he drank, and the missus were dead, and there were six children. I might have been there till to-day,” she went on, “but I had to go into ’orspital, I were that worn out.”

What a life history if it were true! And what a terrible imagination if it were false! But why had the girl found it so hard to keep other places if she had so readily endured the slavery indicated in her words?

“I am afraid you will not suit me,” said Lucy, very gently. “I fear you have had no opportunity to get the experience and training I require.”

“I’ve always been in places, m’m,” answered the girl tartly. “If ten years o’ different places doesn’t give one experience, I don’t know what will!”

“Experience of changes,” said Lucy, “but not experience in work and in regular household ways.”

The girl looked in Lucy’s face and saw that her dismissal was decided.

“Oh, well, m’m, please yourself!”{503} she said. “There’s plenty o’ places goin’ that’ll suit me, and I’d not care to stay long anywhere!”

“You did better this time, Sis,” whispered Florence Brand as the damsel flounced away. “But you must not be too particular. Don’t peep too closely behind their set scenes. If they tell you a lie decently, make believe to believe it. Then, if anything turns out wrong, why, you’ve been deceived, you know, and your credit is saved.”

Lucy scarcely heard what her sister said. The squalid horror of the lives opening before her sickened and suffocated her soul, just as the fetid atmosphere of the crowded room was sickening to her body.

“Poor girl, what chance has she enjoyed?” she said. “She had not a bad face. If I had not been fixed as I am, I might have given her a trial, and have helped her to be glad ‘to stay long somewhere.’ One couldn’t wonder that she wasn’t, if all she told is true.”

Florence laughed.

“True?” she echoed. “Not one word of it! I believe she found out that you weren’t the mistress for her before she told you about ‘the public.’ She reckoned that would choke you off. They are cute enough for anything. True! Why, she openly told you one flaring fib, and you never noticed it!”

“What was it?” asked the bewildered Lucy.

“She said she went into service at fifteen and is twenty-two; and next she said she had been in service ten years. And yet you’re ready to cry over her! Oh, my dear, simple sister! You need not be so sorry for her—be sorry for yourself, in the power of such as she. She needs no pity!”

“This only shows her greater need of pity,” said Lucy; but she had to stoop and soothe Hugh, who was plucking at her dress and saying—

“Let us come away, mamma! I don’t like these people, and the room is so nasty!”

“Poor little dear, he isn’t used to it!” said a voice which Lucy had not heard before.

It was that of a lady seated on a chair half behind the little sofa, which was drawn forward crosswise. This lady was knitting a child’s stocking. She was quietly and neatly dressed, and did not look much more than thirty years of age. She had a pale face, with a sort of enduring stillness upon it, not unlike that of one bearing up against some chronic pain or trouble. She patted Hugh’s shoulder kindly and smiled up into Lucy’s face, adding—

“It’s a great pity any of us have to get used to it!”

“Yes, indeed,” Lucy responded, instantly recognising that she was addressed by another “expectant mistress.” “We have been here more than an hour already, and nobody has even approached me but two most unsuitable women! It is a terrible waste of time!” she added, thinking of the brief wintry daylight in which she had to finish her seaside sketches, which the picture-dealer desired to have in hand before the New Year, and which she herself wished to complete before she took up her teaching at the Institute.

“You don’t know what it is yet!” said the lady, quite cheerfully. “This is the third day I’ve been here—staying on till the afternoon. I’ve seen nobody suitable yet.”

“May I ask if you have ever hired a servant here before?” said Mrs. Challoner.

“I have not,” replied the stranger; “but my husband’s sister did. She came here daily for nearly a week, and when she got a suitable girl, she only stayed two months, because she heard of another place in a neighbourhood she liked better!”

“I wonder almost that you are making this experiment after that experience!” remarked Lucy.

“It does not seem very encouraging,” answered the other; “but what is one to do? And when we get them they don’t work, and don’t they waste and destroy! I wish we could do without servants altogether! I think I could get along finely—if it wasn’t for opening the street door. One cannot do that, you know.”

Lucy was silent, considering. It seemed to her, at that moment, that if Charlie was at home, and no duty of breadwinning lay upon herself, then rather than endure a prolongation and repetition of her present experience, she would spend the remainder of her life in opening her street door to all comers.

The lady accepted her silence as sympathy.

“My sister-in-law says the same,” she went on. “She and her husband have a flat—a pretty little flat near the Parks, where they are rather expensive, so they have one with only five rooms—and they’ve just got one little child. And Minnie says she could manage quite well, if it wasn’t for taking out the perambulator.”

“I always took out my boy myself,” said Lucy, with her arm about Hugh’s neck, “and I often opened the hall door—generally, indeed—because I could see who was coming from my window, and it saved my maid’s running up a flight of stairs.”

The stranger looked at her rather coldly.

“That is the way servants get spoiled,” she remarked. “And they don’t stay with you a bit longer for all your pains.”

“Mine stayed with me seven years, and has only gone away to get married,” said Lucy quietly.

The other gave a little laugh.

“You had better mention that to the girls,” she answered. “I believe it recommends a place. But most of them will feel they have been deceived with false hopes unless the event comes off within seven months! Seven years! Well, you’ve got something to learn now. You have not cut your mistress-teeth yet.”

Lucy felt that her mind was opening to new lines of thought in the world about her. She had always known that Florence thought in these ways; but she had thought that was just Florence. Her own small circle of intimates were people of another sort, being all people who had done real work of some kind or another, and were proud of it, and would have felt hurt to be suspected of idleness. But here were women who were prepared to work (for a glance at the knitter’s hands revealed that truth about her), but who were so ashamed of work that they could do it only out of sight, and were under the mean necessity of hiring a mask to do whatever people must see! How odd it was! And then it flashed into Lucy’s mind that one can scarcely expect very worthy girls to rush eagerly to discharge tasks that other women are simply ashamed to do! If it be so disgraceful to open one’s own door, or to wheel out one’s own baby, why should other women not feel it still more disgraceful to open other people’s doors and wheel out other people’s babies? Why should they not be eager to rush from these discredited duties towards others not yet lying under the same ban?

At that moment the groups in the middle of the room parted a little, and the elderly female clerk of the registry came towards Mrs. Challoner with an unctuous smile spread over her face. Following at her heels was another woman, who was, however, nearly eclipsed by her ample figure.

“I think I have found somebody to suit you, ma’am,” she said. “I think we have been most fortunate. Just the sort of person to please you is not to be found every day. It is quite Providential. I’m so glad you should see her before there is any chance of her being snapped up. I’d advise you to settle with her, madam,” she added, bending over, in a familiar whisper which made Lucy draw back. “She’d have a dozen chances if she were here half an hour. Her very appearance is enough. You’ll speak to me, please, madam, before you go away.”

As she moved aside for her “introduction” to step forward, Lucy beheld a neat, crisp little figure which might have stepped out of a Royal Academy picture of a happy cottage home or mansion nursery. This was not a young woman; she was between forty and fifty, dressed in black, with a small prim bonnet enclosing a neat white cap and tied with narrow white ribbons. The face within the bonnet was well-featured and softly ruddy, the pleasant middle-aged bloom being set off to advantage by the slight frosting of the hair visible beneath the cap. A small straw basket was held firmly in the neat cotton-gloved hands. An angel with shining wings could have hardly looked more apart than she did in that throng of coarse tawdry femininity, nor have been a more unexpected apparition. A well-trained respect, without a dash of servility, was in her voice and manner as she said—

“I am Jessie Morison, ma’am. I understand you want a servant.”

“She’s just your style, Luce,” whispered Florence; “but she’s too old! It’s no use taking people after others have got all the work out of them.”

(To be continued.)





But few of the many who yearly stroll through the lovely glades of Windsor Park know or think of the infinite variety of bird life contained within its boundaries. Many and wide apart in nature and disposition are its feathered rovers. From the tiny tomtit to the lordly golden eagle, from the motherly white Dorking to the wild turkey of Canada, all make or have made for them their homes or their nests.


Many years since (in fact, over thirty) signs of the presence of a great depredator were noticed in the more secluded parts of the forest: one day the remains of some luckless rabbits, another a dead or dying lamb. Traps were set, and a strict watch kept for the poacher. Within a very short period was caught a splendid male specimen of the golden eagle. He was promptly housed in a large wooden enclosure near the head keeper’s house, where he has lived and flourished for more than thirty years; his eye as bright, his talons as strong, his spirit as fierce as when he roamed at will the emperor of the air.


Some four or five years since a comrade was also caught and placed in a similar enclosure beside him, so that, day after day, when sociably inclined, they can exchange harsh-noted confidences. They have so far got used to the presence of their captors as to allow of a man entering their enclosures to sweep them out; but the boldest keeper in{505} the Queen’s employ will not yet venture to touch such fearful wild fowl.

Not very far from the eagles’ domain, one may perchance see a flock of Canadian wild turkeys. These birds (almost as large as our toothsome Christmas friends) are more wild in name than in nature, for instead of haunting trees and coverts to be shot in the manner of pheasants at the proper season, they at present insist on being domesticated and partaking of the head keeper’s hospitality when the members of his household feed the numerous song-birds which gather around the house for their daily meals.

But we must leave the keeper’s house with its fascinating surroundings and make for our proper destination, which is the aviary at Frogmore.

Over the verdant turf and under the wide-spreading trees, mainly following the private road traversed every day by Her Majesty when residing at Windsor, past the kennels with their noisy occupants, past the lovely fruit and flower gardens, just outside of Frogmore House, and beside the beautiful dairy, stands the object of our walk.


Below the level of the road in a gently-sloping grass-grown dell is built the aviary. Originally the site was occupied but by some dilapidated outbuildings. The present construction is entirely due to the designs of the never-forgotten Prince Consort. He it was who saw the capabilities of the site, and with his usual forethought added art to utility.

Although originally designed for the reception of rare and curious birds presented to the Queen, the aviary has for many years past been mainly used as a miniature poultry farm. Now and again may arrive some showy feathered biped from foreign lands to lead a quiet happy life, well tended and cared for; but in the main ducks and chickens, turkeys and pigeons form the bulk of the population. It is a charming, peaceful little scene to gaze upon, this fine summer morning, the fountain and pond with its fat white ducks in the foreground, behind the well-kept terrace with its summer-house at one end, with rustic seat so often occupied by the Royal couple in days gone by, and a background formed by the neat range of brick buildings and spreading trees.

Let us go and interview its keeper. This is a fine stalwart specimen of a retired policeman. Thirty years does Hammond tell us he served in Her Majesty’s household police, and now, in the Indian summer of his days, he quietly lays down the law to turkeys, and takes the smallest of chicks and the most amiable of pigeons into custody. Before the advent of Hammond, the aviary, which was for forty years under feminine supervision, had somewhat declined in usefulness; but, as its new guardian is a practical man as well as a poultry-fancier, the whole of his little domain looks well kept and prosperous.


The eighteen pens with brick roost-houses behind, which form the front of the aviary, are mostly occupied by very fine specimens of domestic poultry, the breed of its occupants being indicated by an enamelled iron label affixed to the front of each pen, every breed being kept absolutely separate.

The breeds of poultry kept are too many to describe here; suffice it to say that Hammond thinks his best birds are white Leghorns and black Minorcas. For laying purposes, he prefers a cross between Leghorn and Plymouth Rock; for winter laying, Plymouth Rocks; and for the table, white Dorkings to his mind bear the palm.

The aviary does not supply all the poultry required for the Castle, the first idea being to keep all its pens well stocked with good handsome birds, and to send the surplus to the Castle kitchens. The eggs, ranging between forty and fifty daily, are sent to Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, and Osborne House only, the Queen’s other residences procuring their supplies elsewhere. About one hundred birds are required each year for stocking the pens, the remainder bred going, as I before remarked, for table purposes. Here I may mention that the only fowls served at Her Majesty’s own table are white Dorkings.


After acquiring much useful information on poultry farming, I am taken to the rear of the premises, where breeding operations are mostly{506} carried on. Incubators, I am told, are not in use or desired at Windsor. Every convenience is, of course, provided for the sitting hens, but with seemingly a natural perverseness they occasionally prefer the oddest of nests chosen by themselves to the most comfortable ones provided for them. Here, for instance, in a dark corner is a stout foster-mother of a hen bringing up a handsome family of ducklings in a bushel basket. It was noticed that her own eggs were invariably laid in this receptacle, and so when breeding time came the basket was duly filled up for her accommodation.


All chickens for the first three weeks of their lives have the run of the pretty old-fashioned garden attached to Hammond’s cottage; but as soon as that age is attained, over-indulgence in horticultural pursuits compels their removal.

In addition to chickens some fifty to sixty Aylesbury ducks are annually reared and fattened for Castle use. Some of these are now wandering about with happy and contented looks, little recking of the use of those succulent peas shooting up so tall and straight in their keeper’s garden. Here, too, in the yard are a few portly Rouen ducks, the female of which breed some time since distinguished herself by laying an egg five ounces in weight; but, remarks Hammond when relating the incident, “she does not often do it.”

In the four pigeon lofts which surmount the roof of the aviary there live at present some forty pigeons mainly of the “Foreign Owl” and “Jacobin” breeds. The youngsters bred and not required for stock purposes go the way of all pigeons—that which leads to pies. At the aviary are also kept some beautiful white doves purchased abroad by H.R.H. Princess Beatrice.

Next I am shown some representatives of the turkey race. These are of a very handsome race known as the Cinnamon turkey. Their native home in Britain is as far north as Caithness; but it is believed the breed was originally brought from the United States or Canada.

The male bird (some three years of age) is of most imposing presence. His colour is a rich chestnut brown, with a black edge to each feather and white wing flights. As he marches to and fro with slow and stately step over a measured track, his prismatic-hued head and neck, combined with his brown and white uniform, irresistibly remind one of the chief hall porter at some stately hotel or theatre.

He is pleased to express his approval of the appearance of my coadjutor with the camera by giving vent to a series of gobbles which sound like the prelude to a solo on the big drum. He then proceeds to disperse the small crowd of humble feathered admirers who have gathered around him, and poses himself for the coming picture.

Sad to relate though, the sharp click of the rapid shutter of the camera quite destroys his self-possession, and he flies for protection behind an old chicken coop, for ever losing caste in the eyes of a small white bantam looking on, who gives vent to his disgust at this craven conduct by a series of ear-piercing challenges.

Some years since, the Queen possessed a beautiful breed of pure white turkeys. Of these there are not any specimens surviving at Windsor, although, as pairs of the birds were given to the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Connaught, and the late Duke of Albany, it is possible that the breed is not extinct.

And now once more to the front of the aviary. Here are a splendid pair of golden pheasants, the male bird as he darts about in the sunshine looking a perfect vision of beauty. He was reared at Windsor from parents bred at the Zoological Gardens. The eggs of his mate are given to a sedate hen to hatch, for greater safety than they would get in the nest of their somewhat frivolous mother, who in her turn receives those of a bantam to take care of.

In the same pen with the golden pheasants lives a pretty little family of buff and white pied pigeons—the property of the Queen’s Indian Secretary.

Near by one may see a small party of ringdoves assuming the most graceful attitudes as they whisper soft nothings to one another in the bright warm sunshine. These pretty creatures are a living reminder of the innate gallantry of the Irish race. During the Queen’s first progress through Ireland after her marriage, as the Royal carriage was slowly passing through a triumphal arch, a pair of ringdoves were gently lowered almost into Her Majesty’s hands. It is from this pair that the pretty little family before mentioned is descended. The doves are great favourites with the Queen, who always relates the history of their origin with special pleasure.

Before leaving, one must have a glance at the Queen’s room, situated in the centre of the aviary, which remains practically the same in appearance as when first fitted under the superintendence of the Prince Consort. It is a very simple but bright apartment of moderate size, with a big bay window overlooking the terrace and fountain.

The walls are papered with a light chintz pattern, and the furniture is framed in light oak and upholstered with a flower pattern cretonne. The principal ornament of the room is a large case of stuffed birds shot by the late Prince Consort. The case is about six feet in height, and has a rustic oak framework. Its occupants are grouse, black cock, and capercailzie. Carved on the frame of the case is “Taymouth, Sep. 8th and 9th, 1842.” All around the walls of the room are other cases of old favourites which in days gone by adorned the pens of the aviary. There is a{507} splendid pied peacock, Amherst pheasants, Indian pigeons, a bantam formerly belonging to the Prince of Wales, and many others. One should also notice the head and claws of a gigantic emu, who in his lifetime was the proud representative of Australia at Windsor. In the corridor leading from the Queen’s room to the garden stands a group of kangaroo rats, a big bustard, a Muscovy duck, and a splendid peacock, once the property of the Earl of Beaconsfield. This last bird was removed to the aviary from Hughenden shortly after the late Earl’s death.


Until the last few years, the aviary was a favourite place for the Royal Family to partake of afternoon tea, and here in the Queen’s room is still kept the neat dark blue-and-white Dresden china service which was in ordinary use by Her Majesty. The Queen still drives round the aviary in her daily visit to Frogmore, but rarely alights from her carriage.

Of Royal and distinguished visitors there are many, but not any so regular or so welcome as the children of H.R.H. Princess Beatrice, who seldom allow a day to pass, when staying at Windsor, without “coming to feed the birds”; and right well do those same birds know and welcome the youthful visitors. From the big turkey to the tiny doves, all are on the alert when the sound of carriage wheels is heard, and a universal chorus of approval bursts from the feathered throats as the Royal party distribute their largesse.

The family of the Duke of Connaught also have a special interest in the aviary in the shape of some dozen or so of long-haired white Canadian guinea-pigs (a present from their aunt, the Princess Louise), which live and flourish under Hammond’s fostering care.

And now old Time is fast a-flying, so one must think of taking leave; but I cannot, without great discourtesy, omit a mention of one of the most important characters on the establishment. This is “Toby,” a tiny white bantam cock with a beautiful rose-coloured comb. Throughout the morning he has carefully followed his master’s footsteps, seemingly under the idea that his protection was necessary from the evil designs of journalists and photographers. Too near an approach to the beloved governor was at once resented, while when a halt was called for descriptive purposes, he would stand patiently by with head on one side, crooning his satisfaction with the explanation, and anon darting a sharp look at the man with the note-book as though he would say, “Now, have you got that down?”

So satisfied with our attention is he that at his master’s desire he proceeds to show us a small specimen of his talents. Standing on the ground, with Hammond’s hands linked together before him, a short run is taken and the hands are neatly jumped five or six times in succession.

Other tricks were to follow, but unfortunately Toby’s father just then appeared from behind a coop, followed by a numerous harem. Something cynical with regard to frivolous amusements was evidently said by the newcomers, for without the slightest warning Toby at once proceeded to assault the man with the camera, and, as the bird must weigh a pound and a half, whereas the artist is not more than thirteen stone, we deemed it prudent to say good-bye, and beat a hasty retreat, followed by triumphant crowing from Toby and his sire, who, by the by, gives himself airs on the strength of being a prize-winner at one of the great Norwich shows.


The oven door of a kitchen range should be left open at night to air the oven, unless a cat is left in the kitchen. Cats sometimes get into the oven for warmth if it is left open, and that is not advisable.

Care should be taken when giving fruit to children to remove any pips or core, which might prove dangerous if swallowed.

The hall door of a house should now and then be set wide open to air the passages thoroughly, someone being at hand to see that no one enters unbidden.

A tablespoonful of washing-powder in the hot water in which china and silver are washed is of great value; but the water should be very hot.

In arranging a new house, it is rather a good plan to have distinctive names for the bedrooms, and it is a pretty idea to name them after jewels or flowers, and have the rooms decorated with colours and designs to match, so that there might be the Emerald, Ruby, Turquoise, and Amber rooms, or the Forget-me-not, Rose, and Primrose rooms. The hand-candlesticks, match-box cases, and hot-water cans should be painted to suit each room.

Never use any but the best soap for the face. If this is not obtainable or within reach of your purse, use only a little oatmeal in the water. Common soaps produce blotches and skin irritation, especially those that are highly coloured and scented.

Both woollen and cotton stockings should be mended with silk rather than cotton or wool. It is more comfortable, resists wear and tear longer, and does not easily discolour.

There is scarcely anything more injurious to health and spirits than a damp house. Leave it as soon as possible.

Fur worn round the throat has a certain danger, not only that of making the throat delicate, but also that the fine hairs find their way into the stomach and lungs, and become injurious.

If a kettle or saucepan has to be put away and not used for some time, see that it is quite dry inside, for if put away wet, rust will accumulate and make a hole in the metal.







was sitting in the study one morning busily writing, when sounds of an altercation in the hall were followed by the door opening and the appearance of our parlour-maid, with indignation expressed in every line of her expressive and superior person. She had always been very superior, so much so that I frequently wondered why she continued to grace our quiet house, but now, as I glanced at her, I thought I perceived signs of her removing the light of her presence from us at no distant date.

“What is it, Jane?” I inquired mildly.

“If you please, miss,” she replied, with an evident effort, “there’s a young—pusson ’as come, what says she must see you at once, which I told her you never saw no one in the mornin’, an’ ast ’er ’er bizness, which she says as it’s ’ers an’ not mine!” Here her emotion choked her, and enabled me to get in a word edgeways.

“What is she like?” I asked, rising hastily.

“Tall an’ brazen-faced, with a fringe down to ’er eyes, an’——”

But I heard no more, for I was already in the hall, where I discovered Belinda Ann standing on the mat in an aggressive attitude, bristling all over, and with her arms akimbo.

At sight of her old enemy, the parlour-maid, who had followed me down, she gave an expressive snort, which was replied to by that functionary by a toss of her head and the uplifting of an already “tip-tilted” nose. Fearful of the renewal of the “few words” they had evidently already had, I hurriedly greeted Belinda Ann, and drew her after me to a room at the top of the house, which at this time of day was always secure from interruption. Here I set to work to soothe her ruffled temper and hurt dignity, which had evidently been seriously upset, as for a long time all I could get out of her was, “What call ’ad she to give ’erself airs? Set ’er rup indeed! I don’t ’ave ter ’ire soldiers ter walk out with me o’ Sundys!” and suchlike unprofitable exclamations.

By-and-by, however, she became more cheerful, and when I produced some refreshments in the shape of lemonade, biscuits and bananas, she had regained her usual serenity. I may as well say here that there was a curious point of resemblance between Belinda Ann, a daughter of the people, and the highest in the land, and that was, that no matter how strange her surroundings might be to her, she adapted herself to them at once, and never exhibited vulgar curiosity or “gave herself away,” as she would have put it, by expressing surprise or admiration.

Thus, if I had expected her to be impressed by the size of the house or elegance of the furniture, I should have been disappointed. Like the thorough woman of the world that she was, she lounged in a velvet arm-chair as if she had been accustomed to it from babyhood, and though her bright, dark eyes glanced into every corner, not a word or a look escaped her to prove that it was all new to her. As a rule one finds this calm sang-froid and savoir faire only at the extreme ends of the social scale, though of course there are exceptions.

All this time I was quite in the dark still as to why she had honoured me with a visit, but when she had eaten her third banana, swept all the biscuit crumbs in her lap into her mouth, and finished the lemonade, she remarked, with her usual abruptness, “Want ter see a launch?”

“Certainly!” I replied, with commendable presence of mind. “When, and where?”

“Now!” she returned with equal brevity. “There’s one on to-day down at Victoria Docks at three o’clock, an’ I think we can just abaht do it.”

“But it isn’t Bank Holiday! How is it you are able to leave your work?” I injudiciously asked, for Belinda Ann stiffened and froze at once, and looked for a minute as if she repented of having come.

She thought better of it, however, for presently she remarked briefly, “Don’t often get a launch, when we do we tyke a holiday. If they don’t like it at the factry, they ken lump it. Needn’t come if yer don’t want!” I was getting used by this time to her curious way of talking like a sixpenny telegram, so I hastened to assure her I wanted to come very much, and as it was obviously now or never, I left a hurried note for my absent family to say where I had gone, dressed in frantic haste, and was soon ready to accompany Belinda Ann.

There were two ways of getting to the docks, by Underground or omnibus. The latter took much longer, but as I have a constitutional dislike to the Underground, I proposed the alternative route, and my companion politely assented.

“We must take a Blackwall from Piccadilly,” I remarked, as I stepped briskly out, “but when we get there, I’ll put myself into your hands, Belinda.”

Again she agreed, having become unusually quiet, and not till we turned into Regent Street did she regain her cheerfulness. I did not particularly notice it at the time, but long afterwards I found out the reason, which was briefly this. There were two ways of reaching Piccadilly from our house, one being down Regent Street, crowded at that time of day, and the other down deserted back streets.

Luckily I chose the former, and Belinda had been watching to see which I should take, being quite ready to assume that I was ashamed of her if I had gone the quiet way.

I certainly had no idea of minding being seen with her, as the worst thing that could happen would be that my friends might think me rather eccentric in my choice of society, but as I was doing nothing wrong, their opinion troubled me little.

Belinda Ann had evidently got herself up with a special eye to my company. A well-worn but neat black serge skirt was surmounted by the inevitable blouse, evidently picked up cheap at some second-hand clothes shop. It had once been handsome, being of shot pink and blue glacé silk trimmed lavishly with iridescent trimming and quantities of cheap lace, but now most of its glories had departed, and personally I should have preferred their absence altogether, but still it suited her in a bizarre, picturesque way, although it attracted more attention than was quite desirable. It was surmounted by her old black straw hat, from which, however, she had removed the dirty white flowers.

She looked better in her workaday dress and apron, but it would be difficult to tell her so, and I was still busy revolving plans in my mind for her education in taste, when we arrived in Piccadilly, and in the wild excitement of “boarding” the Blackwall omnibus, my thoughts were reduced to chaos. Belinda Ann, with rare delicacy, climbed on the top, leaving me to sit inside alone, so I had plenty of leisure for thinking during the long hot drive.

Oh, it was long and it was hot! Many times during our progress I thought regretfully of my favourite window-seat at home, with its usual accompaniments of an interesting book or a little languid work.

I was in for it now, however, as I realised more fully when the omnibus stopped and we got out. Belinda Ann indicated another very small specimen of the same vehicle round which a surging crowd was having a sort of free fight, at sight of which I basely deserted my colours.

“Let’s take a cab, Belinda!” I suggested weakly, but this proved easier said than done. Not a single cab was to be had for love or money, and it really looked as if we should get no further.

At last a small but sympathetic bystander volunteered the information that the omnibus yard was not far off, and if we went there we should have the first choice. Cheered by this idea we hastened thither, and though our joy was rather damped by finding that the same happy thought had struck about twenty other people, we dashed recklessly into the thick of the fray, and after a breathless struggle, landed in a triumphant heap on the floor inside. Someone trod on my skirt and nearly tore it off, but Belinda Ann did such noble execution with her sharp elbows and sharper tongue that this was my only mishap, and we subsided into seats with just elation.

Belinda Ann especially was so pleased at our success that it made her unusually “chirpy,” which state of mind led up to a regrettable incident. A gentleman in corduroy mounting to the roof discovered that his “young lydy” was seated inside the omnibus. Pausing therefore half-way up the staircase, regardless of the impatient throng behind him, he poked his head under the lamp and tried to persuade her to come outside with him. The lady was coy and the gentleman urgent, which somewhat prolonged matters, until at last a West-Ender immediately behind the impatient lover lost his temper and observed irritably—

“Now then, my good fellow, don’t keep us here all day! If you’re going up, get on!”

The “good fellow” turned on him at once, his “young lydy” of course sided with her fiancé, and Belinda Ann stuck loyally to her class by remarking in her peculiarly penetrating voice—

“Ho, yuss! ’Cause ’e’s got on a nigh ’at, ’e thinks the ’ole bloomin’ ’bus berlongs ter rim! Yuss hindeed.”

I was covered with confusion, and vainly tried to quiet her, but the unlucky young “toff” made matters worse by defending himself.

“Well,” he said fiercely, “he has no right to block the whole staircase!”

“No, in course not!” agreed Belinda Ann, with dangerous politeness and withering sarcasm. “Most inconsidrate I calls it. Boo—hoo—hoo—oo!”

The war-cry was taken up all round till its unfortunate victim was only too glad to hide his diminished head in its despised “topper” anywhere “out of the four-mile radius” of the savage whoops with which the neighbourhood fairly rang.

As for me, I sat in my corner scarlet with{509} embarrassment and an hysterical desire to laugh, and was thankful when at last the omnibus moved off.

The rest of the journey was accomplished in peace, but we still had some distance to walk when we got out and joined the throng of happy, careless, jovial holiday-makers trudging along in the sun.

The crowd was a queer mixture of West and East, grand ladies in the most fashionable toilettes being obliged to elbow their way through the friendly costers and merry factory girls amid a chorus of “What ho! What price me? ’Ow’s thet fur style?” and so on.

I was thankful that so far I had escaped their embarrassing notice, and kept close to Belinda as we streamed over a level crossing and approached the water’s edge.

Do not suppose she was dumb all this while. Far from it, for she it was who led the various war-cries, and, as she would have termed it, “kept her end up”; but in the midst of her wildest sallies, she never forgot me, and more than once when some rough girls and men jostled against me unnecessarily, she gave them “what for!” vigorously.

At last she landed me, flushed, panting and dishevelled, but triumphant, in a cosy nook on the wharf formed by huge piles of timber on three sides and the water on the fourth. The planks were so arranged as to form a seat below and a little pent-house roof above, while I enjoyed an uninterrupted view of the beautiful battleship which was to be launched presently.

There was just room for one and no more, so Belinda Ann stood at the entrance and surveyed me as if I were her invention and she had just taken out a patent for me! I was less amused by this than usual as I was lost in admiration at the sight before me.

I had always heard that a launch at the docks is made a general holiday in the neighbourhood, which accounted for the dense crowds around. I am not now alluding to the stands erected for the aristocratic spectators—though these were packed—but to the uninvited guests, who literally swarmed everywhere, so that you might have walked on their heads. Every roof, bridge, hole and corner was thick with sightseers, and the water was black with boats. The ships being built in various other parts of the docks had also been “boarded,” and not a square inch of ground or water was uncovered.

I recognised many of the girls I had seen at the Club, some with a bashful-looking young man in attendance, with whom they were evidently “walking out,” but most of them arm-in-arm with four or five girl-friends, all in a state of innocent high spirits, shrieking with laughter at nothing at all and indulging in practical jokes at each other’s expense.

Presently a flourish of music from various bands in the vicinity announced the arrival of the Royal personages who were to launch the boat, and a long string of firemen came hurriedly through the crowd to form a guard of honour.

Each man had to bend under a rope which was stretched across the path, and this formed fine sport for Belinda Ann’s irrepressible friends, who knocked off their helmets, tripped them up, and otherwise harassed them as long as they were within reach.

I thought Belinda Ann looked on rather regretfully, but she would not desert her self-imposed sentry duty, and turned a deaf ear to her “pals’” invitations to join them.

From my place I could not see distinctly what happened, although I knew the Royal duchess was to strike away the supporting posts with a mallet which would launch the ship, and then smash a bottle of champagne against its side to name it; but all I actually saw was its huge bulk gliding majestically at first and then more quickly down and away, while a chorus of shouts, bells, and indiscriminate noises arose as it went.

Then Belinda Ann bent down to me and whispered, almost savagely, “Let’s get out o’ this, d’yer ’ear? Somethin’s bound ter ’appen!”

“Why? What?” I gasped, rather taken aback by her manner and words, and disposed to remain in my comfortable corner until the crowd had dispersed a little.

She vouchsafed no reply, but, clutching my arm, dragged me unceremoniously to my feet and piloted me back the way we had come, clearing a path through the throng as if by magic, interposing her broad person between me and the rough element, and forging ahead as if pursued by wild beasts. I could not understand her sudden haste, and, being quite breathless, tried to stop and rest, but she pulled me relentlessly on.

Once, near the level crossing, I saw a girl being led past, as if ill, followed by someone carrying a bundle of wet clothes, and I tried to draw Belinda Ann’s attention to it, but she chose that identical moment to dash across the rails in face of the warning shout, “Express coming!” and I had to fly after her. She never stopped or spoke till we got to the Underground Railway Station, when, for the first time, she looked at me and said shortly—

“What next?”

Then I noticed that she was white and looked strangely scared, and concluding she was faint, I replied, “We’ll go home by train!” and diving into the station I committed the extravagance of buying two first-class tickets, as the crush in the third class was not to be thought of.

A train came in five minutes afterwards, and we secured two seats so that the journey home was quickly accomplished, rather to my relief, for Belinda Ann really looked ill.

As we drew near home I heard boys shouting, “Haccident at a Launch! Horful Scenes!” but somehow I did not associate it with what I had just come from, and Belinda Ann never said a word till I had landed her in the upstairs room at home which we had left so gaily that morning.

I plied her with tea and cake and bread-and-butter until the colour began to come back to her face, and then I said—

“Why, Belinda, what has come over you, and why were you in such a tearing hurry, and what did you mean by saying something would happen?”

“What I said,” she replied shortly; “and I was right too. That ship’ll be unlucky, you see if ’taint, and what’s more, they’ll ’ave trouble in gettin’ sailors to man ’er, you mark my words!”

“I don’t understand you one bit,” I said impatiently.

“Then you didn’t ’ear as the bottle was filled with seltzer or some such stuff ’stead o’ champagne?” she asked excitedly.

“No,” I answered, “but I don’t see what difference that could make.”

“Sailors would,” she returned darkly. “An’ besides, the bottle didn’t break an’ ’ad ter be smashed afterwards.”

“Belinda Ann,” I exclaimed severely, “how can you be so wicked? Don’t you know that it’s very wrong to take notice of omens and to be superstitious and to believe in luck and chance?”

She screwed up her mouth and pouted her lips in a way she had when not convinced and too polite to say so (which latter was not often!), and then said doggedly, “Then why was it all those people were thrown into the water by the back-wash, an’ lots on ’em drownded?” which was the first intimation I had of what turned out to be a terrible accident.

I regret to say that on this occasion (the first time I had tried to get in “a word in season”) Belinda apparently got the best of it, but for once she bore her victory modestly, being too subdued by the catastrophe and the danger which had approached me to be very jubilant or to triumph openly.

Now I understood her flight, for she was afraid lest more horrors were to come, and, regarding me as a precious piece of costly treasure in her care, she had never rested till I was landed in comparative safety.

She had even shielded me from the sight of it all, and the chivalrous soul, who would never have known fear on her own account, had yielded to panic for my sake.

Thus I was made aware of another characteristic of my East-Ender, namely, the vein of superstition which underlay the practical matter-of-fact front she presented to the workaday world.

There was a deep-seated belief in her mind in such things as luck and chance, as I now found out, and when she left me that night she was still firmly convinced that the ship we had seen launched that day would never come to any good!



By AGNES GIBERNE, Author of “Sun, Moon and Stars,” “The Girl at the Dower House,” etc.



Well might Moore cast anxious glances towards the harbour of Coruña, where the vessels from Vigo should have been. They had been delayed by contrary winds; and this failure on their part to arrive in time was a most serious matter. The British Army, brought thus far in safety, would now lie without the means of escape in a narrow trap, between Scylla and Charybdis, hemmed in by the pitiless ocean on one side, by the ever-increasing hordes of the enemy on the other.

With unfaltering courage he at once set himself to examine the position, assigning the troops to their various quarters, some in the town of Coruña, some in villages hard by. One range of rocky hills, three or four miles off, would have been the right line of defence; but Moore had not men enough to occupy it. He saw at once that, should he attempt to do so, the French might be able to turn his position, and to cut him off from embarkation.

That post of vantage had to be left to the foe. Moore was obliged to content{510} himself with a lower ridge, nearer to the walls, which was quickly put into a state of defence.

A short rest was given to the soldiers, new muskets and ammunition were supplied, and the officers strenuously exerted themselves to restore discipline. But this was no longer difficult. When once the Army stood at bay, facing the enemy, every trace of insubordination vanished. The greater number of Moore’s soldiers were young; yet in their fighting powers they could not have been outdone by veterans.

So desperate did the condition of things seem to be for the English, with the transports not yet come, and with a greatly superior force occupying a greatly superior position, that, though Moore’s heart never failed him, the hearts of some did sink at this juncture, even of brave men, high in rank.

Moore called no Council of War; he asked no man’s opinion. But certain of his Generals ventured to offer unsought advice. They put before him the extreme unlikelihood that they could long resist an enemy descending upon them from the heights; and they represented the heavy loss to life which would certainly result from an attempt to embark in the transports during such attacks. Then they suggested that, since affairs had reached so perilous a stage, it might be well to send a flag of truce to Soult, asking permission, on honourable terms, to depart unmolested.

Moore disdainfully flung the counsel from him, without an instant’s parley. Capitulate! Never! If the French came on, let them come! He would fight to the last. The Generals bowed to his fiery decision, and said no more.

Indomitable as Moore was, however, the strain of the last few weeks had been tremendous, and it had told upon him heavily. All through the 12th of January he was hard at work, preparing for the battle which might take place. Everything was thought of; every possible precaution was taken. He reviewed the troops; and by his own splendid confidence and dauntless air he breathed fresh energy into their jaded ranks.

The evening of that day saw him nearly worn out with his ceaseless exertions; yet at daybreak he was once more in the saddle, reconnoitring the enemy’s camp, and visiting every part of his own.

By eleven o’clock strength failed, and he came back to headquarters utterly spent. Rest had become a necessity before he could do more. He sent for Stuart, brother to Lord Castlereagh, who was suffering from his eyes, and, therefore, was unfit for active service. Moore desired him to start at once for England, in a vessel then about to leave, and to place before Ministers the precise position of the Army. In an ordinary way Sir John would have written details with his own hand, but his present exhaustion made this impossible.

“I cannot write—I am too tired,” he said wearily. “But there is no need. You understand everything, and you will explain all fully.”

For two hours prostration had the upper hand. Then came a rally. Moore sat up, called for paper, and finding that the vessel was not yet under weigh, he wrote to Lord Castlereagh a rapid semi-confidential statement of affairs, in his terse easy modern English, always singularly free from the little tricks of expression peculiar to his time. His despatches might for the most part have been almost as well penned in the ninth decade as in the first decade of the century. Had Moore not devoted all his energies to soldiering, he might have become great in literature.

This was the last despatch that he ever penned.

Next day, the 14th, some cannonading took place; but there was no serious fighting. The French did not move. They were still concentrating their forces, having suffered greatly, like the English, in those terrible marches.

In the evening at last the transports made their appearance; and all next day the embarkation of the sick and wounded, as well as of the cavalry, was going on. Moore had found that, in the country around Coruña, cavalry could be of little use.

By noon on the 16th everything was in train. Unless they should be attacked by Soult, the whole English Army would be on board that night. Moore placed all arrangements for the embarkation in the hands of Colonel Anderson; and then again he went off to review his troops, finding them in excellent order and in the highest spirits.

They to a man wished for nothing better than a fight. That question, however, was left to Soult to decide. No matter how intensely Moore might long for a victory over the enemy, he would not make the first move. He knew well that, in the then condition of Spain, even a battle won could do little practical good to the cause in hand. It might cover his name with glory. But from first to last a higher aim than mere glory for self had been before Moore’s eyes.

Between fourteen and fifteen thousand infantry now remained on land to oppose the twenty thousand already entrenched on the opposite heights; and further French reinforcements were constantly arriving. Moore’s cannon were far inferior to those of the French, alike in number and in weight of metal. The French guns, indeed, dominated the English position.

At two o’clock, as Moore was on his way to the outposts, a messenger came from General Hope, to inform him that the enemy “was getting under arms.” The radiant delight which glowed in his face, when he found that a battle was to be forced upon him, was recorded later by one who saw it. He expressed his gladness, regretting only that the lateness of the hour, upon a short winter’s day, would hardly leave him time to make the most of the victory which he expected to gain.

Then he spurred away, full gallop, to the field. Soon the roar of cannon told that action was begun; and in a little while, along the whole front, both Armies were hotly engaged.

Upon the main ridge of the English position Moore had placed two Divisions—Baird’s on the right, Hope’s on the left. A third Division—Fraser’s—occupied high ground, well in rear of the right, to prevent any possibility of the French making their way to Coruña by a road which ran in that direction, and so cutting off the British force from the town.

Paget’s Division was held in reserve behind the ridge; and for a while Roy chafed impatiently, fearing to have no share in the battle that day. Even had it been so, the Reserve would have had small reason to complain, since they had borne the lion’s share of fighting during the retreat. But their turn would come.

The first and heaviest brunt of the onset was to fall upon Baird’s Division,—more especially upon the 4th Regiment, the 50th, which was commanded by Charles Napier and Charles Stanhope, and the 42nd Highlanders.

With their usual vehement swiftness the French advanced, in separate columns, against the right, the left, and the centre of the British line; while another powerful column sought to pass, as Moore had foreseen, down the valley which lay between Baird’s and Fraser’s Divisions, towards Coruña; and yet a fifth column waited in reserve.

But the peril of that fourth column’s advance no sooner became apparent than it was met. The right wing of the 4th British Regiment, on the extreme right of the ridge, was promptly thrown back, so as to face the flank of the adventurous French column, which was seeking thus boldly to turn the English position; and into the column was poured a crushing fire.

Moore, alert, cool, intent, watching every movement, called out, “That was exactly what I wanted to be done.”

Nor was this all. For General Paget, with his Reserve, advanced upon the column in front, doubled it completely up, and like a whirlwind swept onward, clearing the valley of the foe.

Roy had his chance then, and he did not fail to use it. His was the honour of bearing the King’s Colour belonging to his Regiment. The Royal and the Regimental Colours are, as we know, always consecrated with religious ceremony at the time of presentation, and they are looked upon with the most intense veneration and pride by every British soldier. Not least were they so regarded by Roy Baron!

Right proudly he carried his royal burden; and though its folds were rent in more places than one by the hail of bullets, and though Roy exposed himself with all that reckless gallantry which is natural to the British officer, he had the good fortune to escape with no wound worth mentioning. He had his fair share of hard knocks, notwithstanding; for Paget’s Division, once engaged, fought on till the close of the battle.

The French attack was directed with greatest force against the three regiments, already named. Their piquets, which occupied the little village of Elvina, beyond the ridge, were driven in by the energy of the enemy’s onset, and Elvina for a time fell into the hands of the French.


That of course could not be allowed, and orders were given that the 42nd and the 50th should advance to expel the foe from the village.

Moore, always to be found at the point of greatest danger, where his presence would most be needed, was at hand. His voice could now be heard to ring out in his characteristic challenge—

Highlanders—remember Egypt!

Like greyhounds from the leash, in response to those beloved tones, they leaped to the charge, carrying everything before them. Moore, in his passionate ardour, actually charged with them, and he told the men that he was “well pleased” with their conduct. Baird, the second in command, leading his Division, had his arm shattered with grape-shot, and was carried from the field.

Before Moore appeared, the officers and men of the 50th Regiment—ordered to advance with the 42nd—had been eagerly looking out for him, realising that this would be the crux of the English position, and feeling one and all that “under him they could not be beaten!” that, if only Moore were present, victory was absolutely secure. “Where is he? Where is the General?” was heard in eager murmurs along the line.

As they asked the question, he came, bearing down upon them at headlong speed on his cream-coloured charger, a fiery animal, with flying black mane and tail tossed in the breeze. The force with which Moore reined in flung him forward almost upon the horse’s neck, while his head was thrown back, and he examined the enemy with a gaze of such extraordinary and searching intensity, that Charles Napier, in after years, seeking to describe the scene, could find no language with which he might fitly describe that look.

Without a word Moore then galloped off; but he soon returned; and hereabouts it was that, as he was speaking to Major Napier, a round shot from the heavy French guns on the height struck the ground between them. Both horses swerved sharply, but Moore instantly urged his back to the same spot, asking calmly if Napier were hurt, and receiving a quiet, “No, sir.”

Then, as he watched the spirited charge of the 50th regiment, led by Napier and Stanhope, he exclaimed—

“Well done, Fiftieth! Well done, my Majors!”

The French were rapidly driven out of Elvina, with heavy loss, both regiments pursuing them beyond the village, into ground much broken by stone walls. By this time the English were without supports, and the French, having received strong reinforcements, rallied and turned upon them with fresh fury. Napier got too far in advance of his men, received five wounds, and was taken prisoner; and Stanhope was killed.

Moore, grappling anew with the danger, hurried up a battalion of the Guards to reinforce the 50th, which was being slowly forced back, and the 42nd, which had come to an end of its powder and shot. He galloped to the latter regiment, and again his voice rang out with inspiring energy—

“My brave 42nd, join your comrades! The ammunition is coming! And you have your bayonets still!

That was enough. The 42nd had believed itself about to be relieved by the coming Guards; but armed or unarmed the men would have gone anywhere for Moore. Once again, without ammunition, yet undaunted with fierce impetuosity, they dashed against the foe.

Both here and elsewhere throughout the line fighting raged furiously. Sir John rode back to the ridge, where he could overlook the whole battle. In all directions the British were holding their own, and signs of approaching victory were clear.

Those signs came true. A little later, and the French were finally driven out of Elvina. On the left of the British line, they not only were repulsed with very severe loss, but were attacked in their own position by the conquering English, and were followed even into the villages beyond their ridge. The column which had essayed to turn the British right had been utterly wrecked, crushed out of existence, by Paget’s Division, which would in turn have stormed the great French battery of eleven guns, had daylight lasted long enough.

But before matters had advanced thus far, and while the 50th and the 42nd were still hard beset and strenuously resisting, something else happened, of terrible import to England.

Hardinge[2] came up to report to Sir John that the Guards were advancing. And as the words passed his lips, as he pointed out the position of the Guards, a round shot from the battery opposite struck Moore, hurling him to the ground.

(To be continued.)



Minerva.—How often we hear a girl say, “Oh! I have such a bad memory.” You do not often meet with a person who complains, “Oh! I am so very stupid,” or “My intelligence is strictly limited,” at least, not in earnest. Yet of all the powers of the mind, the memory is the one which is most easily trained. We are not going to say that if a person has a bad memory it is her own fault; but in the majority of cases it is due to neglect either by herself or by her tutors. You say you are twenty years old, and ask us if you are not past the age at which it is possible to educate the memory? No! most certainly you are not too old to learn. One method of learning is as follows:—Take an interesting, well-written and instructive book; carefully read through one chapter on Monday morning. On Monday afternoon write a short epitome of what you have read; and in the evening re-read the chapter, and read your own account afterwards. Next day write another account, and compare that with the original text and with your first manuscript. Then wait till Saturday and write a third treatise, and compare this with the original one and see how you have improved. The next week read two chapters, and increase your amount gradually every week till you can read a book in the first week of the month, and write a brief account of its chief features a month or two hence. This is the kind of memory to aim at; the mere parrot memory is worth very little. You should also read and write as much as you can, learn a little poetry by heart, and attempt to master the elements of some simple science.

Courage.—Your complaint is too serious for us to deal with. There are so many possible causes for your trouble, and most of them are so important, that it would be extremely wrong to treat you without a personal examination. The best advice we can give you is to go to your doctor at once.

Esther.—1. We published an article on blushing some short time ago. Read the answer to “Minerva” for the treatment of a feeble memory.—2. The food you mention should not be given to children.

Charlotte M.—1. We thank you very much for your letter. Let your sister bathe her legs in warm water every day. Gentle massage may do her good. See that her boots fit properly and do not bend at the waist. Flat foot is a very common cause of cramps in the legs.—2. April 2nd, 1884, was a Wednesday.

Buttercup.—The condition of your head is known as “alopecia areata.” We do not think that it was caused by your wearing a comb; but as the disease is exceedingly obscure, we have no alternative cause to suggest. The best thing to do for it is to paint the place with tincture of iodine every day till it becomes slightly sore. Another way of treating it is to use white precipitate ointment. How much good is done by treatment we cannot say; we have never yet seen a case in which the hair did not grow again, whether the condition had been treated or not. Sometimes the patches remain bald for a considerable time; at other times hair begins to grow again in a week or so.

Lizzie.—The best way to treat warts is the following. Wash your hand well with soap and water, and then let the hand soak in hot water for two or three minutes so as to soften the wart; wipe your hand quite dry, and apply a little vaseline round the wart. You must not let the vaseline get on the wart. It is painted on the skin to prevent the caustics applied to the wart from injuring the adjacent skin. Now drop one drop of glacial acetic acid on to the wart; leave it one minute, and then rub the wart thoroughly with a stick of lunar caustic. This treatment may need to be repeated, but it rarely fails if properly done. Solvine is also of value in removing warts. Warts are frequently due to irritation of the skin, and are undoubtedly locally infective.

Morella.—It is easy enough to account for boils recurring. It is by no means uncommon to hear this sort of account, “Six months ago I had a boil; it went away after a time, but another one developed shortly afterwards. This in its turn went away, and another came, and in this manner I have had twenty boils in succession.” In days when nobody knew anything about the diseases of the skin, this was explained thus—“The blood is in a bad state, and the matter in the boil is the impurity of the blood finding its way out.” This, we now know, is incorrect. The proper explanation is this—the first boil resulted from the inoculation of microbes into a hair follicle or sweat gland. These germs increased, poisoned the part, and produced the pus by their irritation. The boil was untreated, it burst and set free these organisms, which at once started to find a new home in a fresh follicle or gland. Had the boil been properly treated at first by destroying the microbes, the trouble would then and there have ceased. Boils are not dependent upon bad blood, nor are they influenced by internal treatment or dieting. They can be completely cured by applying hot fomentation wrung out in solution of carbolic acid (1 in 40). Poultices should never be applied to boils.

Tearful.—You have a serious disease of your eye. In all probability the tube which conveys the tears from the eye into the nose is blocked. Go to a surgeon at once and have the eye seen to. At present a trivial operation will cure you, but if you wait many months you will probably lose the use of your eye.

Mercia.—Anæmia or indigestion or both are causing your symptom. Of course it may be due to chest disease, but it is exceedingly unlikely. We cannot here repeat the treatment for these conditions. We have done so times without number during the last two years. The answers to correspondents in back numbers of this paper will tell you all you require.



I.No charge is made for answering questions.
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III.The Editor reserves the right of declining to reply to any of the questions.
IV.No direct answers can be sent by the Editor through the post.
V.No more than two questions may be asked in one letter, which must be addressed to the Editor of “The Girl’s Own Paper,” 56, Paternoster Row, London, E C.
VI.No addresses of firms, tradesmen, or any other matter of the nature of an advertisement will be inserted.


Chickweed.—1. For the London B.A. you must pass the Matriculation, Intermediate B.A., and Final B.A. in separate years. Apply for all information as to fees and subjects, Registrar, University of London, Burlington Gardens, W. There is no limit of age. We presume the London B.A. would serve your purpose better than that of the University of Ireland or University of Durham, but you can obtain particulars from all three.—2. Your handwriting is good and clear; if you always take pains and never scribble, it will be an excellent hand.

A Daughter of Terra Nova.—Many thanks for your bright letter. We are glad to find our magazine has warm friends so far away.—1. Your writing is not “very bad.” It is clear, and if the letters were more regularly formed, it would soon become good. Your ink seems to vary in thickness as you write, some letters being faint, others black. Always use the best ink you can get.—2. This question does not belong to our province, but as we cannot divide a letter for reply, we may assure you that neuralgia in the face in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred is due to decayed teeth, and a visit to the dentist is the best cure. Remedies for neuralgia proper are quinine and “Tonga.” If the pain is acute and persistent, you should consult a doctor. Your request for a correspondent is inserted in the proper place.

Gribbite.—The metre of your blank verse is quite correct. The writing of blank verse that shall be really musical is very difficult, for the author has no rhymes to depend upon, and the arrangement of ideas and words has to be of peculiar charm and melody. But we can honestly praise your effort. “Good-bye, old year” is not quite so satisfactory. Never make an elision obviously for metre’s sake, especially where you only do it in one instance, as

“Whenever, where’er ’tis said.”

Here both “evers,” or neither, should be written in the abbreviated form.

Emma Portlock.—Unfortunately your hymn could not find acceptance for publication. The metre is very faulty, and the thought expressed is familiar. “Farewell, Canadian friends!” is better, but we cannot encourage you to do more than to write for your own gratification.

Country Lass.—We are sorry we omitted to criticise your writing in our answer some weeks ago. To begin with, you should use better ink that will not turn brown. Keep a regular space between your lines, and refrain from leaving a margin at the end of some of them. The writing itself would be improved by more decision and firmness, the letters being larger. You can easily make it into a good hand.

Mabel Brown.—1. We have inserted your address for “Florence” to see.—2. No doubt character to some extent can be described from handwriting; for instance, a neat precise person seldom writes a bold, sketchy, untidy hand; a very excitable, nervous person seldom writes a neat, close hand, and so on; but we do not believe that every moral and intellectual quality can be deciphered by this means. Of course we cannot tell how far the estimate you enclose is correct, but we thank you for your pleasant letter.

Dolly.—We do not think any permission is needed for reciting the poem you name. Many thanks for your answer to “Ninette.”


Kyle, Victoria, Australia, writes to inform “Gold Dust” that “Tit for Tat” is published as a song, in two keys, E♭ and C. The words are by “Nemo,” and the music by Henry Pontet. The song can be procured at Enoch and Sons, 14 and 14A, Great Marlborough Street, London. “Kyle” would copy out and forward the song to “Gold Dust,” if she knew her address.

Ninette” (Budapesth) again has answers—from “Dolly,” who says “Somebody’s Darling” is to be found in Walker’s Golden Reciter (William Walker and Sons, Otley, Yorkshire, price 1s. 6d.); from “Victoria,” who refers it and the “Song of the Shirt” to Recitations for Recreation, in verse, collected by Mary Trebeck (Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., 44, Victoria Street, London, S.W., price about 1s.), and from “A. A. L. S.,” who mentions the Royal Reader, No. VI. Miss Marguerite Fitzroy Dixon, 1919, Florence Street, Ottawa, offers to copy out and send “Ninette” the poem, “Somebody’s Darling,” on receipt of her address.

Molly Darling wishes to know the author of a “poem,” which we can inform her is a well-known nursery rhyme, beginning—

“When good King Arthur ruled this land
He was a worthy King.”

Ivy” is anxious for a copy of a poem containing the words—

“She will stand at the altar,
Modest, and white, and still.”

E. M. Crabb inquires for a recitation in which the expression “A little chap curly and brown” occurs several times. We cordially respond to E. M. Crabb’s kind wishes.

S. W. H. wishes to find a hymn containing the lines—

“Oh, make my spirit worthy
To join that ransomed throng.”

Doubtful” is informed by Elaine Steddall, Clara M. Smith, and Ellen Ward that the words she quotes are the two first lines of a poem called “Somebody’s Mother.” It can be found in Blackie’s Comprehensive Fourth Reader (School Series), or in one of the parts (I. or II.) of Alfred Miles’ A 1 Reciter, price 6d. We thank Ellen Ward for kindly copying out the words, which “Doubtful” may receive on sending her address.

Tregelles,” 5, Rothsay Road, Bedford, is anxious to obtain the two volumes of Denis O’Neil, by Mary Bradford Whiting, now out of print. If any reader of the “G. O. P.” has disused copies—old, but complete—“Tregelles” would gladly give 3s. for the pair.

E. H. K. asks for the names of four newspapers in which an account of the Fancy Dress Ball at Northampton House was issued, about two years ago. The papers she kept have been accidentally destroyed.

Bessie inquires for the words and music of a song, the refrain of which runs as follows—

“You’ll never miss the water till the well runs dry.”

H. M. C. kindly writes: “The refrain, ‘Belle Marquise,’ asked for by ‘La Petite Violette,’ occurs in a poem entitled, ‘Une Marquise’ in Old World Idylls, by Austin Dobson. The poem occurs also in his ‘Collected Poems,’ published about the end of 1897.”


A Newfoundland Girl, who writes a bright letter, asks us to insert the following—“Miss M. P. (18), 37, Monkstoun Road, St. John’s, Newfoundland, would like to correspond with an English or Irish girl of the same age, with some fun in her.” Girls with a sense of humour, please make a note of this request!

Valentina, Bozzotti, St. Giuseppe 11, Milan, Italy, would like to correspond with an English girl, from 13 to 16 years of age, and wishes her to know that she loves English people!

A young Irish lady, “Primrose,” would like to hear from a young lady in Tasmania, as to the country, houses, climate, mode of life, etc., and, if possible, particulars as to the voyage from England to Tasmania.

Giglio, Florence, Via della Dogana 2, Italy, would like to exchange Italian post-cards, “artistic, and with views,” with English ones; also to exchange post-cards with “O Mimosa San.” (See “G. O. P.” November number).

Rose Beckett, 30, Victoria Grove, Folkestone, Kent, wishes for a French and German correspondent, about 20 years of age; also a correspondent, “living in India, who is interested in the mission work out there,” and would write to her about it.

Margaret H. Settle, The Elms, South Shore, Blackpool, would very much like to correspond with a French young lady, 20 to 22 years of age.

Maude and Frances F. Carrall, care of Commissioner of Customs, Chefoo, China, would like to correspond with “Miss Inquisitive,” or with any French or German girl who would like to exchange stamps. They have a variety of Chinese stamps for disposal.

Olivia Garde, Biana, Eccleshall, Staffordshire, would like to correspond with a young lady about her own age (17), who collects foreign stamps.

May, Broadstairs, would like to correspond in English with a young lady, aged about 27, of good family, in India or “somewhere abroad,” married or single. She writes a pathetic letter, saying that she is an invalid, and letters afford her so much pleasure that she hopes some of our girl readers in distant lands will not think it too much trouble to write to her. We wish she had put her full address, as it would save time.

Florence” has two would-be correspondents—Mabel Brown, 24, Brigden Street, Brighton, and Amy Day, 70, Broomfield Street, Crisp Street, Poplar. Will “Florence” kindly write at once?

Miss Madge Hatten, Middleton Cheney, Banbury, Oxon, wishes to correspond with a French girl of the same age (12), who is requested to write to this address.


Ivy.—“Yours sincerely” is the ordinary phrase, and would be quite suitable. You should begin your note, of course, with “Dear Dr. So-and-so,” and tell him then, in a few words, what you wished.

I. G. L. (South Africa), Elephanta and Rhinocerina.—We gave a series of articles in vol. x., “G. O. P.,” beginning October, 1888, to which you might refer, if you have the volume. Cochins, Brahmas, Plymouth Rocks, and Langshaus all do well in confinement. They are placed in order of hardiness. L. U. Gill, 170, Strand, publishes several excellent manuals—Popular Poultry Keeping, Poultry for Prizes and Profit, and How to Keep Laying Hens; also there are constant discussions going on in the pages of The Exchange and Mart, published at the same address, three times weekly. There is a small manual on Incubators and their Management, by J. H. Sutcliffe, illustrated, and published at 170, Strand, which you would find useful. Of course you could make an incubator at a cheap rate.

One who wants to know.”—Messrs. Cassell have published a good Dictionary of Cookery. The term “receipt” means an acquitment in writing, duly signed, and in some cases stamped, for money or other valuables received; an acknowledgment of having taken into possession or charge. The word is pronounced as if written “re-ceet.” The term “recipe” should be pronounced as a three-syllable word, i.e., as “res-cip-pee,” meaning a medical, cookery, or other prescription, or statement of ingredients, and the method of making up the same to produce desired results of any description. It is generally, though incorrectly, pronounced as “re-ceet.”

Tomel.—We have made inquiries, and can hear of nowhere in London where the Norwegian ornaments can be obtained. We can only suggest that you should write to the Norwegian Club, 11, Charing Cross—the Rev. T. B. Willson, Hon. Sec.—and ask for the address of a reliable jeweller in Norway, to whom you could write. Mr. Willson knows Norway well, and is the author of a guide-book which is well known and approved.

Subscriber.—Suites are not in fashion just now, as everyone seems to prefer to select their own shapes for chairs, and every chair, large or small, is different one from another. Small tables and a Chesterfield sofa seem to complete the furniture of a modern drawing-room, to which you must add pictures, growing palms and other plants, and pretty ornaments.

A Lonely Lover.—You might try to learn a concertina or an accordion. The latter would be the easiest to play. The name Mildred is from the Anglo-Saxon, mild and red, or mild in counsel.

Inquirer.—We should think you had better get one of the new Encyclopædias, which will answer all the questions on the very varied subjects in which you are interested. There are several published at moderate prices.

E. Wahall.—Swinton is in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 10½ miles from Sheffield. Here the Rockingham porcelain manufactory was established, so called after the Marquis of Rockingham, on whose estate it was established—not in the village of that name, which is in Northamptonshire, on the river Welland.

Ignoramus.—The Mormons owe their origin to one Joseph Smith, who, in 1830, established himself at Utah. He pretended that in his boyhood he had visions, in which he was told that all existing religions were false; and later on, that at a place indicated he would find gold tablets, and inscribed with the inspired instructions of the ancient prophets, buried in the ground. Also a pair of spectacles, a sword, and a breastplate. The inscriptions were in the reformed Egyptian language. Eleven persons were said to have seen these things besides Smith, which were all, he said, returned to the Angel, and were seen no more. Afterwards, he and his coadjutor, Cowdery (a schoolmaster), had a vision of St. John the Baptist, who consecrated them priests of the Order of Aaron, and commanded them to baptise each other, after which the “Holy Ghost fell on them, together with the spirit of prophecy.” Smith was succeeded by Brigham Young, Smith having been murdered by Indians who broke into the prison where he was confined.

Lucy Waygood.—We do not quite see on what point you need advice. From your own account you seem to have behaved badly enough, as you (being engaged to one man) appear to have encouraged another lover to pay you attention, and to visit you. No wonder the first became angry and jealous. Now you seem not to know your own mind, and “don’t want to pass your life with either of them.” You are very young, which is your best excuse, and our only advice is that you should wait for a year or two before accepting any lover, as you evidently do not know your own mind.


[1] An expression used to denote the quantity of bees in the hive. The bees are said to be “so many frames strong,” that is, so many frames are covered by bees.

[2] Afterwards Lord Hardinge, Governor-General of India, and Commander-in-Chief of the British Army.

[Transcriber’s Note.—The following changes have been made to this text:

Page 499: missing word “was” added—“she was bid”.

Page 506: favourities to favourites—“old favourites which”.

Page 507: cotten to cotton—“cotton stockings”.

Page 512: Doubteul to Doubtful—‘“Doubtful” may receive’.]