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Enquire Within Upon Everything - The Great Victorian Domestic Standby
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For preparing the several vegetables, the same directions may be observed as for pickling them separately, only following this general rule—that, if possible, boiling is to be avoided, and soaking in brine to be preferred. Be very particular that every ingredient is perfectly dry before it is put into the jar, and that the jar is very closely tied down every time that it is opened for the addition of fresh vegetables. Neither mushrooms, walnuts, nor red cabbage are to be admitted.

For the pickle:—To a gallon of the best white wine vinegar add salt three ounces, flour of mustard half a pound, turmeric two ounces, white ginger sliced three ounces, cloves one ounce, mace, black pepper, long pepper, white pepper, half an ounce each, cayenne two drachms, shalots peeled four ounces, garlic peeled two ounces; steep the spice in vinegar on the hob or trivet for two or three days. The mustard and turmeric must be rubbed smooth with a little cold vinegar, and stirred into the rest when as near boiling as possible. Such vegetables as are ready may be put in; when cayenne, nasturtiums, or any other vegetables mentioned in the first method of pickling (par. 1656) come in season, put them in the pickle as they are; for the preparation of vegetables mentioned in the second method (par. 1657), use a small quantity of hot vinegar without spice; when cold, pour it off, and put the vegetables into the general jar.

If the vegetables are greened in vinegar, as French beans and gherkins, this will not be so necessary, but the adoption of this process will tend to improve all. Onions had better not be wetted at all; but if it be desirous not to have the full flavour, both onions, shalots, and garlic may be sprinkled with salt in a cullender, to draw off all the strong juice; let them lie two or three hours. The elder, apples, peaches, and so forth, should be greened as gherkins. The roots, radishes, carrots, celery, are only soaked in brine and dried. Half a pint of salad oil is sometimes added. It should be rubbed up in a bowl with the flour of mustard and turmeric.—It is not essential to Indian pickle to have every variety of vegetable here mentioned; but all these are admissible, and the greater the variety the more the pickle is approved.

1672. To Pickle Gherkins.

Put about two hundred and fifty in strong brine, and let them remain in it three hours. Put them in a sieve to drain, wipe them, and place them in a jar. For a pickle, best vinegar, one gallon; common salt, six ounces; allspice, one ounce; mustard seed, one ounce; cloves, half an ounce; mace, half an ounce; one nutmeg, sliced; a stick of horseradish, sliced; boil fifteen minutes; skim it well. When cold, pour it over them, and let stand twenty-four hours, covered up; put them into a pan over the fire, and let them simmer only until they attain a green colour. Tie the jars down closely with bladder and leather.

1673. Pickled Eggs.

If the following pickle were generally known, it would be more generally used. It is an excellent pickle to be eaten with cold meat, &c. The eggs should be boiled hard (say ten minutes), and then divested of their shells; when quite cold put them in jars, and pour over them vinegar (sufficient to quite cover them), in which has been previously boiled the usual spices for pickling; tie the jars down tight with bladder, and keep them till they begin to change colour.

1674. Pickling, Mems. relating to.

Do not keep pickles in common earthenware, as the glazing contains lead, and combines with the vinegar. Vinegar for pickling should be sharp, though not the sharpest kind, as it injures the pickles. If you use copper, bell-metal, or brass vessels for pickling, never allow the vinegar to cool in them, as it then is poisonous. Vinegar may be prepared ready for use for any kind of pickling by adding a teaspoonful of alum and a teacupful of salt to three gallons of vinegar, with a bag containing pepper, ginger root, and all the different spices that are used in pickling. Keep pickles only in wood or stone ware. Anything that has held grease will spoil pickles. Stir pickles occasionally, and if there are soft ones take them out, and scald the vinegar, and pour it hot over the pickles. Keep enough vinegar in every jar to cover the pickles completely. If it is weak, take fresh vinegar and pour on hot. Do not boil vinegar or spice above five minutes.

1675. To Make British Anchovies.

Procure a quantity of sprats, as fresh as possible; do not wash or wipe them, but just take them as caught, and for every peck of the fish take two pounds of common salt, a quarter of a pound of bay salt, four pounds of saltpetre, two ounces of salprunella, and two pennyworth of cochineal. Pound all these ingredients in a mortar, mixing them well together. Then take stone jars or small kegs, according to your quantity of sprats, and place a layer of the fish and a layer of the mixed ingredients alternately, until the pot is full; then press hard down, and cover close for six months, when they will be fit for use.

1676. Aromatic/Moth Repellant.

A very pleasant perfume, and also preventive against moths, may be made of the following ingredients:—Take of cloves, caraway seeds, nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, and Tonquin beans, of each one ounce; then add as much Florentine orris root as will equal the other ingredients put together. Grind the whole well to powder, and then put it in little bags among your clothes, &c.

1677. Lavender Scent Bag.

Take of lavender flowers, free from stalk, half a pound; dried thyme and mint, of each half an ounce; ground cloves and caraways, of each a quarter of an ounce; common salt, dried, one ounce, mix the whole well together, and put the product into silk or cambric hags. In this way it will perfume the drawers and linen very nicely.

1678. Lavender Water.

Essence of musk, four drachms; essence of ambergris, four drachms; oil of cinnamon, ten drops; English lavender, six drachms; oil of geranium, two drachms; spirit of wine, twenty ounces. To be all mixed together.

1679. Honey Water.

Rectified spirit, eight ounces; oil of cloves, oil of bergamot, oil of lavender, of each half a drachm; musk, three grains; yellow sanders shavings, four drachms. Let it stand for eight days, then add two ounces each of orange-flower water and rose water.

1680. Honey Soap.

Cut thin two pounds of yellow soap into a double saucepan, occasionally stirring it till it is melted, which will be in a few minutes if the water is kept boiling around it, then add a quarter of a pound of palm oil, a quarter of a pound of honey, three pennyworth of true oil of cinnamon; let all boil together another six or eight minutes; pour out and let it stand till next day, it is then fit for immediate use. If made as directed it will be found to be a very superior soap.

1681. The Hands.

Take a wineglassful of eau-de-Cologne, and another of lemon juice; then scrape two cakes of brown windsor soap to a powder, and mix well in a mould. When hard, it will be an excellent soap for whitening the hands.

1682 To Whiten the Nails.

Diluted sulphuric acid, two drachms; tincture of myrrh, one drachm; spring water, four ounces: mix. First cleanse with white soap and then dip the fingers into the mixture. A delicate hand is one of the chief points of beauty; and these applications are really effective.

1683. Removing Stains.

Stains may be removed from the hands by washing them in a small quantity of oil of vitriol and cold water without soap. Salts of lemon is also efficacious in removing ink-stains from the hands as well as from linen.

1684. Cold Cream.

i. Oil of almonds, one pound; white wax, four ounces. Melt together gently in an earthen vessel, and when nearly cold stir in gradually twelve ounces of rose-water.

ii. White wax and spermaceti, of each half an ounce; oil of almonds, four ounces; orange-flower water, two ounces Mix as directed for No. i.

1685. To Soften the Skin and Improve the Complexion.

If flowers of sulphur be mixed in a little milk, and after standing an hour or two, the milk (without disturbing the sulphur) be rubbed into the skin, it will keep it soft and make the complexion clear. It is to be used before washing. The mixture, it must be borne in mind, will not keep. A little should be prepared over night with evening milk, and used the next morning, but not afterwards. About a wine-glassful made for each occasion will suffice.

1686. Eyelashes.

To increase the length and strength of the eyelashes, simply clip the ends with a pair of scissors about once a month. In eastern countries mothers perform the operation on their children, both male and female, when they are mere infants, watching the opportunity whilst they sleep. The practice never fails to produce the desired effect.

1687. The Teeth.

Dissolve two ounces of borax in three pints of water; before quite cold, add thereto one teaspoonful of tincture of myrrh, and one tablespoonful of spirits of camphor: bottle the mixture for use. One wineglassful of the solution, added to half a pint of tepid water, is sufficient for each application. This solution, applied daily, preserves and beautifies the teeth, extirpates tartarous adhesion, produces a pearl-like whiteness, arrests decay, and induces a healthy action in the gums.

1688. Camphorated Dentifrice.

Prepared chalk, one pound; camphor, one or two drachms. The camphor must be finely powdered by moistening it with a little spirit of wine, and then intimately mixing it with the chalk.

1689. Myrrh Dentifrice.

Powdered cuttlefish, one pound; powdered myrrh, two ounces.

1690. American Tooth Powder.

Coral, cuttlefish bone, dragon's blood, of each eight drachms; burnt alum and red sanders, of each four drachms; orris root, eight drachms; cloves and cinnamon, of each half a drachm; vanilla, eleven grains; rose-wood, half a drachm; rose-pink, eight drachms. All to be finely powdered and mixed.

1691. Quinine Tooth Powder.

Rose pink, two drachms; precipitated chalk, twelve drachms; carbonate of magnesia, one drachm; quinine (sulphate), six grains. All to be well mixed together.

1692 Hair Dye.

To make good hair dye some lime must be first obtained, and reduced to powder by throwing a little water upon it. The lime must then be mixed with litharge in the proportion of three parts of lime to one of litharge. This mixture, when sifted through a fine hair sieve, forms the most effectual hair dye that has yet been discovered.

1693. Directions for Application.

Put a quantity of the mixture in a saucer, pour boiling water upon it, and mix it up with a knife like thick mustard; divide the hair into thin layers with a comb, and plaster the mixture thickly into the layers to the roots, and all over the hair. When it is completely covered with it, lay over it a covering of damp blue or brown paper, then bind over it, closely, a hankerchief, then put on a night-cap, over all, and go to bed; in the morning brush out the powder, wash thoroughly with soap and warm water, then dry, curl, oil, &c. Hair thus managed will be a permanent and beautiful black.

1694. Hair Dye, usually styled Colombian, Argentine, &c., &c.

Solution No. i., Hydrosulphuret of ammonia, one ounce; solution of potash, three drachms; distilled or rain water, one ounce (all by measure). Mix, and put into small bottles, labelling it No. i.

Solution No. ii. Nitrate of silver, one drachm; distilled or rain water, two ounces. Dissolve and label No. ii.

1695. Directions for Application.

The solution No. i. is first applied to the hair with a tooth brush, and the application continued for fifteen or twenty minutes. The solution No. ii. is then brushed over, a comb being used to separate the hairs, and allow the liquid to come in contact with every part. Care must be taken that the liquid does not touch the skin, as the solution No. ii. produces a permanent dark stain on all substances with which it comes in contact. If the shade is not sufficiently deep, the operation may be repeated. The hair should be cleansed from grease before using the dye.

1696. To test Hair Dye.

To try the effect of hair dye upon hair of any colour, cut off a lock and apply the dye thoroughly as directed above. This will be a guarantee of success, or will at least guard against failure.

1697. The proper Application of Hair Dyes.

The efficacy of hair dyes depends as much upon their proper application as upon their chemical composition. If not evenly and patiently applied, they give rise to a mottled and dirty condition of the hair. A lady, for instance, attempted to use the lime and litharge dye, and was horrified on the following morning to find her hair spotted red and black, almost like the skin of a leopard. The mixture had not been properly applied.

1698. Compounds to Promote the Growth of Hair.

When the hair falls off, from diminished action of the scalp, preparations of cantharides often prove useful; they are sold under various high-sounding titles. The following directions are as good as any of the more complicated receipts:

[THRIVE BY HONESTY, OR REMAIN POOR.]

1699. Pomade against Baldness.

Beef marrow, soaked in several waters, melted and strained, half a pound; tincture of cantharides (made by soaking for a week one drachm of powdered cantharides in one ounce of proof spirit), one ounce; oil of bergamot, twelve drops.

1700. Erasmus Wilson's Lotion against Baldness.

Eau-de-Cologne, two ounces; tincture of cantharides, two drachms; oil of lavender or rosemary, of either ten drops. These applications must be used once or twice a day for a considerable time; but if the scalp become sore, they must be discontinued for a time, or used at longer intervals.

1701. Bandoline or Fixature.

Several preparations are used; the following are the best:

i. Mucilage of clean picked Irish moss, made by boiling a quarter of an ounce of the moss in one quart of water until sufficiently thick, rectified spirit in the proportion of a teaspoonful to each bottle, to prevent its being mildewed. The quantity of spirit varies according to the time it requires to be kept.

ii. Gum tragacanth, one drachm and a half; water, half a pint; proof spirit (made by mixing equal parts of rectified spirit and water), three ounces; otto of roses, ten drops; soak for twenty-four hours and strain. Bergamot may be substituted for the otto of roses.

1702. Excellent Hair Wash.

Take one ounce of borax, half an ounce of camphor; powder these ingredients fine, and dissolve them in one quart of boiling water; when cool, the solution will be ready for use; damp the hair frequently. This wash effectually cleanses, beautifies, and strengthens the hair, preserves the colour, and prevents early baldness. The camphor will form into lumps after being dissolved, but the water will be sufficiently impregnated.

1703. Hair Oils.—Rose Oil.

Olive oil, one pint; otto of roses, five to sixteen drops. Essence of bergamot, being much cheaper, is commonly used instead of the more expensive otto of rose.

1704. Red Rose Oil.

The same. The oil coloured before scenting, by steeping in it one drachm of alkanet root, with a gentle heat, until the desired tint is produced.

1705. Oil of Roses.

Olive oil, two pints; otto of roses, one drachm; oil of rosemary, one drachm: mix. It may be coloured red by steeping a little alkanet root in the oil (with heat) before scenting it.

1706. Pomatums.

For making pomatums, the lard, fat, suet, or marrow used must be carefully prepared by being melted with as gentle a heat as possible, skimmed, strained, and cleared from the dregs which are deposited on standing.

1707. Common Pomatum.

Mutton suet, prepared as above, one pound; lard, three pounds; carefully melted together, and stirred constantly as it cools, two ounces of bergamot being added.

1708. Hard Pomatum.

Lard and mutton suet carefully prepared, of each one pound; white wax, four ounces; essence of bergamot, one ounce.

1709. Castor Oil Pomade.

Castor oil, four ounces; prepared lard, two ounces; white wax, two drachms; bergamot, two drachms; oil of lavender, twenty drops. Melt the fat together, and on cooling add the scents, and stir till cold.

1710. Superfluous Hair.

Any remedy is doubtful; many of those commonly used are dangerous. The safest plan is as follows:—The hairs should be perseveringly plucked up by the roots, and the skin, having been washed twice a day with warm soft water, without soap, should be treated with the following wash, commonly called MILK OF ROSES:

Beat four ounces of sweet almonds in a mortar, and add half an ounce of white sugar during the process; reduce the whole to a paste by pounding; then add, in small quantities at a time, eight ounces of rose water. The emulsion thus formed should be strained through a fine cloth, and the residue again pounded, while the strained fluid should be bottled in a large stoppered vial. To the pasty mass in the mortar add half an ounce of sugar, and eight ounces of rose water, and strain again. This process must be repeated three times.

To the thirty-two ounces of fluid, add twenty grains of the bichloride of mercury, dissolved in two ounces of alcohol, and shake the mixture for five minutes. The fluid should be applied with a towel, immediately after washing, and the skin gently rubbed with a dry cloth, till perfectly dry. Wilson, in his work on Healthy Skin, writes as follows:

"Substances are sold by the perfumers called depilatories, which are represented as having the power of removing hair. But the hair is not destroyed by these means, the root and that part of the shaft implanted within the skin still remain, and are ready to shoot up with increased vigour as soon as the depilatory is withdrawn. The effect of the depilatory is the same, in this respect, as that of a razor, and the latter is, unquestionably, the better remedy. It must not, however, be imagined that depilatories are negative remedies, and that, if they do no permanent good, they are, at least, harmless; that is not the fact; they are violent irritants, and require to be used with the utmost caution."

1711. To Clean Hair Brushes.

As hot water and soap very soon soften the hair, and rubbing completes its destruction, use soda, dissolved in cold water, instead; soda having an affinity for grease, it cleans the brush with little friction. Do not set them near the fire, nor in the sun, to dry, but after shaking well, set them on the point of the handle in a shady place.

1712. To Clean Sponge.

Immerse it in cold buttermilk, and soak for a few hours, then wash out in clean water.

1713. The Young Lady's Toilette.

i. Self-Knowledge—The Enchanted Mirror.

This curious glass will bring your faults to light, And make your virtues shine both strong and bright.

ii. Contentment—Wash to Smooth Wrinkles.

A daily portion of this essence use, 'Twill smooth the brow, and tranquillity infuse.

iii. Truth—Fine Lip-salve.

Use daily for your lips this precious dye. They'll redden, and breathe sweet melody.

iv. Prayer—Mixture, giving Sweetness to the Voice.

At morning, noon, and night this mixture take, Your tones, improved, will richer music make.

v. Compassion—Best Eye-water.

These drops will add great lustre to the eye; When more you need, the poor will you supply.

vi. Wisdom—Solution to prevent Eruptions.

It calms the temper, beautifies the face, And gives to woman dignity and grace.

vii. Attention and Obedience—Matchless Pair of Ear-rings.

With these clear drops appended to the ear, Attentive lessons you will gladly hear.

viii. Neatness and Industry—Indispensable Pair of Bracelets.

Clasp them on carefully each day you live, To good designs they efficacy give.

ix. Patience—An Elastic Girdle.

The more you use the brighter it will grow, Though its least merit is external show.

x. Principle—Ring of Tried Gold.

Yield not this golden bracelet while you live, 'Twill sin restrain, and peace of conscience give.

xi. Resignation—Necklace of Purest Pearl.

This ornament embellishes the fair, And teaches all the ills of life to bear.

xii. Love—Diamond Breast-pin.

Adorn your bosom with this precious pin, It shines without, and warms the heart within.

xiii—Politeness—A Graceful Bandeau.

The forehead neatly circled with this band, Will admiration and respect command.

xiv. Piety—A Precious Diadem.

Whoe'er this precious diadem shall own, Secures herself an everlasting crown.

xv. Good Temper—Universal Beautifier.

With this choice liquid gently touch the mouth, It spreads o'er all the face the charms of youth.

1714. Bathing.

If to preserve health be to save medical expenses, without even reckoning upon time and comfort, there is no part of the household arrangement so important as cheap convenience for personal ablution. For this purpose baths upon a large and expensive scale are by no means necessary; but though temporary or tin baths may be extremely useful upon pressing occasions, it will be found to be finally as cheap, and much more readily convenient, to have a permanent bath constructed, which may be done in any dwelling-house of moderate size, without interfering with other general purposes. There is no necessity to notice the salubrious effects resulting from the bath, beyond the two points of its being so conducive to both health and cleanliness, in keeping up a free circulation of the blood, without any violent muscular exertion, thereby really affording a saving of strength, and producing its effects without any expense either to the body or to the purse.

1715. Fitting up a Bath.

Whoever fits up a bath in a house already built must be guided by circumstances; but it will always be better to place it as near the kitchen fireplace as possible, because from thence it may be heated, or at least have its temperature preserved, by means of hot air through tubes, or by steam prepared by the culinary fireplace without interfering with its ordinary uses.

1716. A Small Boiler.

A small boiler may be erected at very little expense in the bath-room, where circumstances do not permit these arrangements. Whenever a bath is wanted at a short warning, to boil the water necessary will always be the shortest mode; but where it is in general daily use, the heating the water by steam will be found the cheapest and most convenient method.

1717. Cleanliness.

The want of cleanliness is a fault which admits of no excuse. Where water can be had for nothing, it is surely in the power of every person to be clean.

1718. Perspiration.

The discharge from our bodies by perspiration renders frequent changes of apparel necessary.

1719. Change of Apparel.

Change of apparel greatly promotes the secretion from the skin, so necessary to health.

1720. Cause of Illness.

When that matter which ought to be carried off by perspiration is either retained in the body, or reabsorbed in dirty clothes, it is apt to occasion fevers and other diseases.

1721. Diseases of the Skin.

Most diseases of the skin proceedfrom want of cleanliness. These indeed may be caught by infection, but they will seldom continue long where cleanliness prevails.

1722. Vermin.

To the same cause must we impute the various kinds of vermin that infest the human body, houses, &c. These may generally be banished by cleanliness alone.

1723. Inducing Cleanliness.

Perhaps the intention of Nature, in permitting such vermin to annoy mankind, is to induce them to the practice of this virtue.

1724. Cause of Fevers.

One common cause of putrid and malignant fevers is the want of cleanliness.

1725. Incubation of Fevers.

These fevers commonly begin among the inhabitants of close dirty houses, who breathe bad air, take little exercise, eat unwholesome food, and wear dirty clothes. There the infection is generally hatched, which spreads far and wide, to the destruction of many. Hence cleanliness may be considered as an object of public attention. It is not sufficient that I be clean myself, while the want of it in my neighbour affects my health as well as his own.

1726. Avoid Dirt.

If dirty people cannot be removed as a common nuisance, they ought at least to be avoided as infectious. All who regard their health should keep at a distance, even from their habitations. In places where great numbers of people are collected, cleanliness becomes of the utmost importance.

1727. Tainted Air.

It is well known that infectious diseases are caused by tainted air. Everything, therefore, which tends to pollute the air, or spread the infection, ought with the utmost care to be avoided.

1728. Clean Streets Necessary.

For this reason, in great towns, no filth of any kind should be permitted to lie upon the streets. We are sorry to say that the importance of general cleanliness in this respect does by no means seem to be sufficiently understood.

1729. Imitate the Dutch.

It were well if the lower classes of the inhabitants of Great Britain would imitate their neighbours the Dutch in their assiduity in cleansing their streets, houses, &c.

1730. No Excuse.

Water, indeed, is easily obtained in Holland; but the situation of most towns in Great Britain is more favourable to cleanliness.

1731. Good Impression.

Nothing can be more agreeable to the senses, more to the honour of the inhabitants, or conducive to their health, than a clean town; nor does anything impress a stranger sooner with a disrespectful idea of any people than its opposite.

1732. Cleanliness in Religion.

It is remarkable that, in most eastern countries, cleanliness makes a great part of their religion. The Mahometan, as well as the Jewish religion, enjoins various bathings, washings, and purifications. No doubt these were designed to represent inward purity; but they are at the same time calculated for the preservation of health.

1733. Not Only Ceremonial.

However whimsical these washings may appear to some, few things would seem more to prevent diseases than a proper attention to many of them.

1734. Wash Your Hands.

Were every person, for example, after handling a dead body, visiting the sick, &c., to wash before he went into company, or sat down to meat, he would run less hazard either of catching the infection himself, or communicating it to others.

1735. Frequent Washing.

Frequent washing not only removes the filth which adheres to the skin, but likewise promotes the perspiration, braces the body, and enlivens the spirits.

1736. Including the Feet.

Even washing the feet tends greatly to preserve health. The perspiration and dirt with which these parts are frequently covered, cannot fail to obstruct their pores. This piece of cleanliness would often prevent colds and fevers.

1737. Warm Water After Exposure.

Were people to bathe their feet and hands in warm water at night, after being exposed to cold or wet through the day, they would seldom experience any of the effects from these causes which often prove fatal.

1738. Especially Among the Sick.

In places where great numbers of sick people are kept, cleanliness ought most religiously to be observed. The very smell in such places is often sufficient to make one sick. It is easy to imagine what effect that is likely to have upon the diseased.

1739. Bad Chance.

A person in health has a greater chance to become sick, than a sick person has to get well, in an hospital or infirmary where cleanliness is neglected.

1740. Animal Example.

The brutes themselves set us an example of cleanliness. Most of them seem uneasy, and thrive ill, if they be not kept clean. A horse that is kept thoroughly clean will thrive better on a smaller quantity of food, than with a greater where cleanliness is neglected.

1741. Our Feelings.

Even our own feelings are a sufficient proof of the necessity of cleanliness. How refreshed, how cheerful and agreeable does one feel on being washed and dressed; especially when these have been long neglected.

[EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE IS A PAGE IN YOUR HISTORY.]

1742. Gains Esteem.

Superior cleanliness sooner attracts our regard than even finery itself, and often gains esteem where the other fails.

1743. Notification of Infectious Diseases.

By a recent enactment (52 and 53 Vic. c. 72) it is made compulsory that notice of infectious disease shall in all cases be given to the local authority. By section 3 this duty is imposed on the head of the family, or, failing him, the nearest relative of the patient. The notice must be in writing or print, in an approved form, and must be sent to the medical officer of health of the district. In addition to this, the medical man attending the patient must send a certificate, with all particulars, to the same official. Omitting to send either the notice or the certificate, renders the legally responsible person liable to a fine not exceeding L2. Each local authority must publish a list of the diseases to which the Act applies in its district.

1744. Exercise.

Exercise in the open air is of the first importance to the human frame, yet how many are in a manner deprived of it by their own want of management of their time! Females with slender means are for the most part destined to indoor occupations, and have but little time allotted them for taking the air, and that little time is generally sadly encroached upon by the ceremony of dressing to go out. It may appear a simple suggestion, but experience only will show how much time might be redeemed by habits of regularity: such as putting the shawls, cloaks, gloves, shoes, clogs, &c., &c., or whatever is intended to be worn, in readiness, instead of having to search one drawer, then another, for possibly a glove or collar—wait for shoes being cleaned, &c.—and this when (probably) the outgoing persons have to return to their employment at a given time. Whereas, if all were in readiness, the preparations might be accomplished in a few minutes, the walk not being curtailed by unnecessary delays.

1745. Three Principal Points.

Three principal points in the manner of taking exercise should be attended to:

i. The kind of exercise.

ii. The proper time for exercise,

iii. The duration of it.

With respect to the kinds of exercise, the various species of it may be divided into active and passive. Among the first, which admit of being considerably diversified, may be enumerated walking, running, leaping, swimming, riding, fencing, different sorts of athletic games, &c. Among the latter, or passive kinds of exercise may be comprised riding in a carriage, sailing, friction, swinging &c.

1746. Active Exercises.

Active exercises are more beneficial to youth, to the middle-aged, to the robust in general, and particularly to the corpulent and the plethoric.

1747. Passive Exercises.

Passive kinds of exercise, on the contrary, are better calculated for children; old, thin, and emaciated persons of a delicate and debilitated constitution; and particularly for the asthmatic and consumptive.

1748. Time.

The time at which exercise is most proper depends on such a variety of concurrent circumstances, that it does not admit of being regulated by any general rules, and must therefore be collected from the observations made on the effects of air, food, drink, &c.

1749. Duration.

With respect to the duration of exercise, there are other particulars, relative to a greater or less degree of fatigue attending the different species, and utility of it in certain states of the mind and body, which must determine this consideration as well as the preceding.

1750. Accustomed Exercise.

That exercise is to be preferred which, with a view to brace and strengthen the body, we are most accustomed to. Any unusual one may be attended with a contrary effect.

1751. Gradual Beginning and End.

Exercise should be begun and finished gradually, never abruptly.

1752. Open Air Preferable.

Exercise in the open air has many advantages over that used within doors.

1753. Over-Indulgence.

To continue exercise until a profuse perspiration or a great degree of weariness takes place, is far from being wholesome.

1754. Early Exercise.

In the forenoon, when the stomach is not too much distended, muscular motion is both agreeable and healthful; it strengthens digestion, and heats the body less than with a full stomach; and a good appetite after it is a proof that it has not been carried to excess.

1755. Care Before Eating.

But at the same time it should be understood, that it is not advisable to take violent exercise immediately before a meal, as digestion might thereby be retarded.

1756. Time Before Eating.

Neither should we sit down to a substantial dinner or supper immediately on returning from a fatiguing walk, at the time when the blood is heated, and the body in a state of perspiration from previous exertion, as the worst consequences may arise, especially when the meal is commenced with cooling dishes, salad, or a glass of cold drink.

1757. Not After Meals.

Exercise is always hurtful after meals, from its impeding digestion, by propelling those fluids too much towards the surface of the body which are designed for the solution of the food in the stomach.

1758. Walking.

To walk gracefully, the body must be erect, but not stiff, and the head held up in such a posture that the eyes are directed forward. The tendency of untaught walkers is to look towards the ground near the feet; and some persons appear always as if admiring their shoe-ties. The eyes should not thus be cast downward, neither should the chest bend forward to throw out the back, making what are termed round shoulders; on the contrary, the body should be held erect, as if the person to whom it belongs were not afraid to look the world in the face, and the chest by all means be allowed to expand. At the same time, everything like strutting or pomposity must be carefully avoided. An easy, firm, and erect posture is alone desirable. In walking, it is necessary to bear in mind that the locomotion is to be performed entirely by the legs. Awkward persons rock from side to side, helping forward each leg alternately by advancing the haunches. This is not only ungraceful but fatiguing. Let the legs alone advance, bearing up the body.

1759. Utility of Singing.

It has been asserted, and we believe with some truth, that singing is a corrective of the too common tendency to pulmonic complaints. Dr. Rush, an eminent physician, observes on this subject:

"The Germans are seldom afflicted with consumption; and this, I believe, is in part occasioned by the strength which their lungs acquire by exercising them in vocal music, for this constitutes an essential branch of their education. The music master of an academy has furnished me with a remark still more in favour of this opinion. He informed me that he had known several instances of persons who were strongly disposed to consumption, who were restored to health by the exercise of their lungs in singing."

1760. The Weather and the Blood.

In dry, sultry weather the heat ought to be counteracted by means of a cooling diet. To this purpose cucumbers, melons, and juicy fruits are subservient. We ought to give the preference to such alimentary substances as lead to contract the juices which are too much expanded by the heat, and this property is possessed by all acid food and drink. To this class belong all sorts of salad, lemons, oranges, pomegranates sliced and sprinkled with sugar, for the acid of this fruit is not so apt to derange the stomach as that of lemons; also cherries and strawberries, curds turned with lemon acid or cream of tartar; cream of tartar dissolved in water; lemonade, and Rhenish or Moselle wine mixed with water.

1761. How to get Sleep.

How to get sleep is to many persons a matter of high importance. Nervous persons who are troubled with wakefulness and excitability, usually have a strong tendency of blood on the brain, with cold extremities. The pressure of the blood on the brain keeps it in a stimulated or wakeful state, and the pulsations in the head are often painful. Let such rise and chafe the body and extremities with a brush or towel, or rub smartly with the hands, to promote circulation, and withdraw the excessive amount of blood from the brain, and they will fall asleep in a few moments. A cold bath, or a sponge bath and rubbing, or a good run, or a rapid walk in the open air, or going up and down stairs a few times just before retiring, will aid in equalizing circulation and promoting sleep. These rules are simple, and easy of application in all cases.

1762. Early Rising.

Dr. Wilson Philip, in his "Treatise on Indigestion," says:

"Although it is of consequence to the debilitated to go early to bed, there are few things more hurtful to them than remaining in it too long. Getting up an hour or two earlier often gives a degree of vigour which nothing else can procure. For those who are not much debilitated, and sleep well, the best rule is to get out of bed soon after waking in the morning. This at first may appear too early, for the debilitated require more sleep than the healthy; but rising early will gradually prolong the sleep on the succeeding night, till the quantity the patient enjoys is equal to his demand for it. Lying late is not only hurtful, by the relaxation it occasions, but also by occupying that part of the day at which exercise is most beneficial."

1763. Appetite.

Appetite is frequently lost through excessive use of stimulants, food taken too hot, sedentary occupation, costiveness, liver disorder and want of change of air. The first endeavour should be to ascertain and remove the cause. Change of diet, and change of air will frequently be found more beneficial than medicines.

1764. Temperance.

"If," observes a writer, "men lived uniformly in a healthy climate, were possessed of strong and vigorous frames, were descended from healthy parents, were educated in a hardy and active manner, were possessed of excellent natural dispositions, were placed in comfortable situations in life, were engaged only in healthy occupations, were happily connected in marriage, and kept their passions in due subjection, there would be little occasion for medical rules."

All this is very excellent and desirable; but, unfortunately for mankind, unattainable.

1765. More than Man.

Man must be something more than Man to be able to connect the different links of this harmonious chain—to consolidate this summum bonum of earthly felicity into one uninterrupted whole; for, independent of all regularity or irregularity of diet, passions, and other sublunary circumstances, contingencies, and connections, relative or absolute, thousands are visited by diseases and precipitated into the grave, independent of accident, to whom no particular vice could attach, and with whom the appetite never overstepped the boundaries of temperance. Do we not hear almost daily of instances of men living near to and even upwards of a century? We cannot account for this either; because of such men we know but few who have lived otherwise than the world around them; and we have known many who have lived in habitual intemperance for forty or fifty years, without interruption and with little apparent inconvenience.

1766. No Link to Background.

The assertion has been made by those who have attained a great age (Parr, and Henry Jenkins, for instance), that they adopted no particular arts for the preservation of their health; consequently, it might be inferred that the duration of life has no dependence on manners or customs, or the qualities of particular food. This, however, is an error of no common magnitude.

1767. Moderation.

Peasants, labourers, and other hard-working people, more especially those whose occupations require them to be much in the open air, may be considered as following a regulated system of moderation; and hence the higher degree of health which prevails among them and their families. They also observe rules; and those which it is said were recommended by Old Parr are remarkable for good sense; namely,

"Keep your head cool by temperance, your feet warm by exercise; rise early, and go soon to bed; and if you are inclined to get fat, keep your eyes open and your mouth shut,"

in other words, sleep moderately, and be abstemious in diet;—excellent admonitions, more especially to these inclined to corpulency.

1768. Corpulence.

The late Mr. William Banting, author of a "Letter on Corpulence," gives the following excellent advice, with a dietary for use in cases of obesity (corpulence):

i. Medicine.—None, save a morning cordial, as a corrective.

ii. Dietary.

Breakfast.—Four or five ounces of beef, mutton, kidneys, broiled fish, bacon, or any kind of cold meat except pork, a large cup (or two) of tea without milk or sugar, a little biscuit or dry toast.

Dinner.—Five or six ounces of any fish except salmon, any meat except pork, any vegetables except potatoes; one ounce of dry toast; fruit out of a pudding; any kind of poultry or game, and two or three glasses of claret or sherry. Port, champagne, and beer forbidden.

Tea.—Two or three ounces of fruit; a rusk or two, and a cup or two of tea, without milk or sugar.

Supper.—Three or four ounces of meat or fish as at dinner, with a glass or two of claret.

Nightcap (if required).—A glass or two of grog,—whisky, gin, or brandy,—without sugar; or a glass or two of sherry.

Mr. Banting adds,

"Dietary is the principal point in the treatment of corpulence (also in rheumatic diseases, and even in incipient paralysis). If properly regulated, it becomes in a certain sense a medicine. It purifies the blood, strengthens the muscles and viscera, and sweetens life if it does not prolong it."

1769. Advantages of a Regular Life.

The advantages to be derived from a regular mode of living, with a view to the preservation of health and life, are nowhere better exemplified than in the precepts and practice of Plutarch, whose rules for this purpose are excellent; and by observing them himself, he maintained his bodily strength and mental faculties unimpaired to a very advanced age. Galen is a still stronger proof of the advantages of a regular plan, by means of which he is said to have reached the great age of 140 years, without having ever experienced disease. His advice to the readers of his "Treatise on Health" is as follows:

"I beseech all persons who shall read this work not to degrade themselves to a level with the brutes, or the rabble, by gratifying their sloth, or by eating and drinking promiscuously whatever pleases their palates, or by indulging their appetites of every kind. But whether they understand physic or not, let them consult their reason, and observe what agrees, and what does not agree with them, that, like wise men, they may adhere to the use of such things as conduce to their health, and forbear everything which, by their own experience, they find to do them hurt; and let them be assured that, by a diligent observation and practice of this rule, they may enjoy a good share of health, and seldom stand in need of physic or physicians."

1770. Health in Youth.

Late hours, irregular habits, and want of attention to diet, are common errors with most young men, and these gradually, but at first imperceptibly, undermine the health, and lay the foundation for various forms of disease in after life. It is a very difficult thing to make young persons comprehend this. They frequently sit up as late as twelve, one, or two o'clock, without experiencing any ill effects; they go without a meal to day, and to-morrow eat to repletion, with only temporary inconvenience. One night they will sleep three or four hours, and the next nine or ten; or one night, in their eagerness to get away into some agreeable company, they will take no food at all, and the next, perhaps, will eat a hearty supper, and go to bed upon it. These, with various other irregularities, are common to the majority of young men, and are, as just stated, the cause of much bad health in mature life. Indeed, nearly all the shattered constitutions with which too many are cursed, are the result of a disregard to the plainest precepts of health in early life.

1771. Disinfecting Liquid.

In a wine bottle of cold water, dissolve two ounces acetate of lead (sugar of lead), and then add two (fluid) ounces of strong nitric acid (aquafortis). Shake the mixture, and it will be ready for use.

A very small quantity of the liquid, in its strongest form, should be used for cleansing all kinds of chamber utensils. For removing offensive odours, clean cloths thoroughly moistened with the liquid, diluted with eight or ten parts of water, should be suspended at various parts of the room.—In this case the offensive and deleterious gases are neutralized by chemical action.

Fumigation in the usual way is only the substitution of one odour for another. In using the above, or any other disinfectant, let it never be forgotten that fresh air, and plenty of it, is cheaper and more effective than any other material.

1772. Disinfecting Fumigation.

Common salt, three ounces; black manganese, oil of vitriol, of each one ounce; water two ounces; carried in a cup through the apartments of the sick; or the apartments intended to be fumigated, where sickness has been, may be shut up for an hour or two, and then opened.

1773. Coffee a Disinfectant.

Numerous experiments with roasted coffee prove that it is the most powerful means, not only of rendering animal and vegetable effluvia innocuous, but of actually destroying them. A room in which meat in an advanced degree of decomposition had been kept for some time, was instantly deprived of all smell on an open coffee-roaster being carried through it, containing a pound of coffee newly roasted. In another room, exposed to the effluvium occasioned by the clearing out of the dung-pit, so that sulphuretted hydrogen and ammonia in great quantities could be chemically detected, the stench was completely removed in half a minute, on the employment of three ounces of fresh-roasted coffee, whilst the other parts of the house were permanently cleared of the same smell by being simply traversed with the coffee-roaster, although the cleansing of the dung-pit continued for several hours after.

The best mode of using the coffee as a disinfectant is to dry the raw bean, pound it in a mortar, and then roast the powder on a moderately heated iron plate, until it assumes a dark brown tint, when it is fit for use. Then sprinkle it in sinks or cess-pools, or lay it on a plate in the room which you wish to have purified. Coffee acid or coffee oil acts more readily in minute quantities.

1774. Charcoal as a Disinfectant.

The great efficacy of wood and animal charcoal in absorbing effluvia, and the greater number of gases and vapours, has long been known. Charcoal powder has also, during many centuries, been advantageously employed as a filter for putrid water, the object in view being to deprive the water of numerous organic impurities diffused through it, which exert injurious effects on the animal economy. Charcoal not only absorbs effluvia and gaseous bodies, but especially, when in contact with atmospheric air, oxidize, and destroys many of the easily alterable ones, by resolving them into the simplest combinations they are capable of forming, which are chiefly water and carbonic acid. It is on this oxidizing property of charcoal, as well as on its absorbent power, that its efficacy as a deodorizing and disinfecting agent chiefly depends.

1775. Charcoal as an Antiseptic.

Charcoal is an antiseptic, that is to say, a substance which arrests the decay and decomposition of animal substances. Meat, poultry, game or fish, &c., may be preserved for a longer period in hot weather by sprinkling it with powdered charcoal, which should be washed off in clean cold water before the article is cooked.

1776. Charcoal Respirators.

It has been proposed to employ charcoal ventilators, consisting of a thin layer of charcoal enclosed between two thin sheets of wire gauze, to purify the foul air which is apt to accumulate in water-closets, in the close wards of hospitals, and in the impure atmospheres of many of the back courts and mews-lanes of large cities, all the impurities being absorbed and retained by the charcoal, while a current of pure air alone is admitted into the neighbouring apartments. In this way pure air may be obtained from exceedingly impure sources. The proper amount of air required by houses in such situations might be admitted through sheets of wire gauze or coarse canvas, containing a thin layer of coarse charcoal powder.

A tolerably thick charcoal ventilator, as described above, could be very advantageously applied to the gully-holes of common sewers, and to the sinks in private dwellings, the foul water in both cases being carried into the drain by means of tolerably wide syphon pipes, retaining always about a couple of inches of water. Such an arrangement would effectually prevent the escape of any effluvia, would be easy of construction, and not likely to get soon out of order.

In respirators for the mouth the air is made to pass through a quarter of an inch of coarsely powdered charcoal, retained in its place by two sheets of silvered wire gauze, covered over with thin woollen cloth, by which means its temperature is greatly increased. The charcoal respirator possesses a decided advantage over respirators of the ordinary construction, in that all disagreeable effluvia are absorbed by the charcoal, so that comparatively pure air is alone inhaled. Adaptations may be made to cover the nostrils as well as the mouth, for protecting the wearer against fevers and other infectious diseases, and chiefly for use in chemical works, common sewers, &c., to protect the workmen from the noxious effects of the deleterious gases to which they are frequently exposed.

1777. Charcoal applied to Sores, &c.

Charcoal powder has been most successfully employed at hospitals, to arrest the progress of gangrene and other putrid sores. The charcoal does not require to be put immediately in contact with the sores, but is placed above the dressings, not unfrequently quilted loosely in a little cotton wool. In many cases patients who were rapidly sinking have been restored to health.

1778. Disinfection of Rooms.

Any room, however offensive it may be, can be perfectively deodorized by means of a few trays filled with a thin layer of freshly-heated wood charcoal. From these and other considerations it is evident that charcoal is one of the cheapest and best disinfectants. Unlike many other disinfectants, it evolves no disagreeable vapours, and if heated in close vessels will always act, however long it has been in use, quite as effectively as at first. The efficiency of the charcoal may be greatly increased by making it red-hot before using it. This can easily be done by heating it in an iron saucepan covered with an iron lid. When the charcoal is to be applied to inflammable substances, such as wooden floors, &c., of course it must be allowed to cool in close vessels before being used.

1779. Sir William Burnett's Disinfecting Fluid.

Of late years new disinfectants for the removal of disagreeable and offensive odours, and the preservation of meat, &c., have been brought into use. Sir William Burnett's disinfecting fluid is too well known to require description. It is invaluable in a sick room, and is sold by all chemists and druggists.

1780. Glacialine.

This is a new disinfectant and antiseptic, which is highly recommended and largely used for the preservation of meats, liquids, and all goods of a perishable character from acidity, as in the case of beer, or decomposition. It is sold by most chemists, druggists, and oilmen.

1781. Chloride of Lime.

This substance, which is well known for its bleaching properties is a useful disinfectant. It will neutralise the foul smell arising from drains, closets, &c., when mixed with water and thrown down the pipes whence the smell proceeds. A little dissolved in a bucket of water, when used in scrubbing rooms and passages, will purify them and render them wholesome, and also whiten the boards. It is sold by oilmen &c., at 3d. or 4d. per lb.—a much lower rate than that at which it is sold by chemists.

1782. Carbolic Powder and Fluid.

Carbolic acid in a fluid state is a highly concentrated disinfectant, and a strong irritant poison. Care should be taken in its use and storage, as many lives have been lost through taking carbolic acid under the impression that it was some medicine or beverage. It is far safer when in the form of powder which has been impregnated with the acid. The powder has a pink colour, is recommended by the Government, and is sold at the rate of 2d. per pound by oilmen, &c.

1783. Domestic Hints (Sheep Near Sea).

Why is the flesh of sheep that are fed near the sea more nutritious than that of others?

Because the saline particles (sea salt) which they find with their green food give purity to their blood and flesh.

1784. Domestic Hints (Marbled Fat in Meat).

Why does the marbled appearance of fat in meat indicate that it is young and tender?

Because in young animals fat is dispersed through the muscles, but in old animals it is laid in masses on the outside of the flesh.

1785. Domestic Hints (White and Red Meat).

Why is some flesh white and other flesh red?

White flesh contains a larger proportion of albumen, (similar to the white of egg) than that which is red. The amount of blood retained in the flesh also influences its colour.

1786. Domestic Hints (Raw and Cooked Oysters).

Why are raw oysters more wholesome than those that are cooked?

When cooked they are partly deprived of salt water, which promotes their digestion; their albumen also becomes hard (like hard boiled eggs).

1787. Domestic Hints (Green Oysters).

Why have some oysters a green tinge?

This has been erroneously attributed to the effects of copper; but it arises from the oyster feeding upon small green sea-weeds, which grow where such oysters are found.

1788. Domestic Hints (Twice-Boiled Cabbage).

Why is cabbage rendered more wholesome by being boiled in two waters?

Because cabbages contain an oil, which is apt to produce bad effects, and prevents some persons from eating "green" vegetables. When boiled in two waters, the first boiling carries off the greater part of this oil.

1789. Domestic Hints (Just-Scraped Horseradish).

Why should horseradish be scraped for the table only just before it is required?

Because the peculiar oil of horseradish is very volatile; it quickly evaporates, and leaves the vegetable substance dry and insipid.

1790. Domestic Hints (Mint with Pea Soup).

Why is mint eaten with pea soup?

The properties of mint are stomachic and antispasmodic. It is therefore useful to prevent the flatulence that might arise, especially from soups made of green or dried peas.

1791. Domestic Hints (Apple Sauce with Pork and Goose).

Why is apple sauce eaten with pork and goose?

Because it is slightly laxative, and therefore tends to counteract the effects of rich and stimulating meats. The acid of the apples also neutralizes the oily nature of the fat, and prevents biliousness.

1792. Domestic Hints (Thunderstorms Souring Milk).

Why does milk turn sour during thunderstorms?

Because, in an electric condition of the atmosphere, ozone is generated. Ozone is oxygen in a state of great intensity; and oxygen is a general acidifier of many organic substances. Milk may be prevented from becoming sour by boiling it, or bringing it nearly to boiling point, for, as the old proverb says, "Milk boiled is milk spoiled." Heating the milk expels the oxygen.

1793. Domestic Hints (Butter from Churning).

Why does the churning of cream or milk produce butter?

Because the action of stirring, together with a moderate degree of warmth, causes the cells in which the butter is confined to burst; the disengaged fat collects in flakes, and ultimately coheres in large masses.

1794. Domestic Hints (Blue Mould on Cheese).

What is the blue mould which appears sometimes upon cheese?

It is a species of fungus, or minute vegetable, which may be distinctly seen when examined by a magnifying glass.

1795. Domestic Hints (Tenderness in Birds).

Why are some of the limbs of birds more tender than others?

The tenderness or toughness of flesh is determined by the amount of exercise the muscles have undergone. Hence the wing of a bird that chiefly walks, and the leg of a bird that chiefly flies, are the most tender.

1796. Domestic Hints (Tea Curing Headache).

Why does tea frequently cure headache?

Because, by its stimulant action on the general circulation, in which the brain participates, the nervous congestions are overcome.

1797. Domestic Hints (Clothes for Hot Weather).

Why are clothes of smooth and shining surfaces best adapted for hot weather?

Because they reflect or turn back the rays of the sun, which are thus prevented from penetrating them.

1798. Domestic Hints (Loose Clothing Warmer).

Why is loose clothing warmer than tight articles of dress?

Because the loose dress encloses a stratum of warm air which the tight dress shuts out; for the same reason, woollen articles, though not warmer in themselves, appear so, by keeping warm air near to the body.

1799. Domestic Hints (Tea Made Best with Boiling Water).

Why should the water poured upon tea be at the boiling point?

Because it requires the temperature of boiling water to extract the peculiar oil of tea.

1800. Domestic Hints (First Infusion Best).

Why does the first infusion of tea possess more aroma than the second?

Because the first infusion, if the water used is at the boiling temperature, takes up the essential oil of the tea, while the second water receives only the bitter extract supplied by the tannic acid of tea.

1801. Domestic Hints (Sky-Blue for Fair People).

Why does a head-dress of sky-blue become a fair person?

Because light blue is the complementary colour of pale orange, which is the foundation of the blonde complexion and hair.

1802. Domestic Hints (Brighter Colours for Dark People).

Why are yellow, orange, or red colours suitable to a person of dark hair and complexion?

Because those colours, by contrast with the dark skin and hair, show to the greater advantage themselves, while they enrich the hue of black.

1803. Domestic Hints (Light Green for Fair Complexions).

Why is a delicate green favourable to pale blonde complexions?

Because it imparts a rosiness to such complexions—red, its complementary colour, being reflected upon green.

1804. Domestic Hints (Light Green Unfavourable for Ruddy Complexions).

Why is light green unfavourable to ruddy complexions?

Because it increases the redness, and has the effect of producing an overheated appearance.

1805. Domestic Hints (Violet Unfavourable for All).

Why are violet draperies unfavourable to every kind of complexion?

Because, reflecting yellow, they augment that tint when it is present in the skin or hair, change blue into green, and give to an olive complexion a jaundiced look.

1806. Domestic Hints (Blue Unsuitable for Brunettes).

Why is blue unsuitable to brunettes?

Because it reflects orange, and adds to the darkness of the complexion.

1807. Domestic Hints (Blue Veils for Complexion).

Why do blue veils preserve the complexion?

Because they diminish the effect of the scorching rays of light, just as the blue glass over photographic studios diminishes the effect of certain rays that would injure the delicate processes of photography. [1]

[Footnote 1: "Housewife's Reason Why," containing upwards of 1,500 Reasons upon every kind of Domestic Subject. London: Houlston and Sons. 2s. 6d.]

1808. Fancy Needlework.

Although there is a continual change in designs and materials for fancy needlework of every description, the fundamental principles on which this kind of work in all its various branches is executed remain the same. These are carefully, though briefly set forth in the following series of instructions on this subject.

1809. Instructions in Crochet.

1810. Popularity of Crochet.

Perhaps no kind of work has ever attained such popularity as Crochet. Whether as a simple trimming, as an elaborate quilt, or as a fabric, almost rivalling Point Lace, it is popular with every woman who has any time at all for fancy work, since it is only needful to understand the stitches, and the terms and contractions used in writing the descriptions of the different designs, to be enabled to work with ease the most beautiful pattern that ever appeared in crochet.

1811. Stitches used in Crochet.

These, with their abbreviations, are:

Ch., chain stitch; S., single crochet; Dc., double crochet; L., long stitch; Double and treble long.

1812. Chain Stitch, ch.

Hook the cotton into a loop, and keep on looping the cotton through a previous stitch till a succession of chains are made to form a foundation.

1813. Single Crochet, S.

This occurs only in working designs; the hook is inserted in a stitch, and the cotton is pulled through that and the cotton which is on the hook at the same time; it thus makes a close tie.

1814. Double Crochet, or Dc.

With cotton on the hook insert the latter into a stitch, draw the cotton through; there are now two loops on the hook, take up the cotton on the hook, and with cotton again upon the hook draw it through the two loops.

1815. Long Stitch, or L.

With the loop of last stitch on the hook, twist the cotton over the hook, place the latter through a stitch, draw the cotton through, then put the cotton over the hook, draw the cotton through two loops, and again through two loops.

1816. Double and Treble Long.

With the hook in a loop, twist the cotton twice or three times over the hook, and draw the hook successively through either two or three loops.

1817. Square Crochet.

Square crochet is also sometimes used. The squares are either open or close. An open square consists of one L, two Ch, missing two on the line beneath, before making the next stitch. A close square has three successive L's. Thus, any given number of close squares, followed by an open, will have so many times three L's; consequently any foundation for square crochet must have a number that can be divided by three.

1818. To Contract an Edge.

This may be done in Dc, or long stitch. Twist the thread round the hook as often as required, insert it in the work, and half do a stitch. Instead of finishing it, twist the thread round again, until the same number of loops are on, and work a stitch entirely; so that, for two stitches, there is only one head.

1819. To Join on a Thread.

Joins should be avoided as much as possible in open work. In joining, finish the stitch by drawing the new thread through, leaving two inches for both ends, which must be held in.

1820. To Use several Colours.

This is done in single crochet. Hold the threads not in use on the edge of the work, and work them in. Change the colour by beginning the stitch in the old colour, and finishing it with the new, continuing the work with the latter holding in the old. If only one stitch is wanted in the new colour, finish one stitch, and begin the next with it; then change.

1821. To Join Leaves, &c.

When one part of a leaf or flower is required to be joined to another, drop the loop from the hook, which insert in the place to be joined; draw the loop through and continue.

1822. To Work over Cord.

Hold the cord in the left hand with the work, and work round it, as you would over an end of thread, working closely. When beads are used they must be first threaded on silk or thread, and then dropped, according to the pattern, on the wrong side of the work. This side looks more even than the other: therefore, when bead purses are worked from an engraving, they are worked the reverse of the usual way, viz., from right to left.

1823. Oriental Crochet erroneously termed Tricotee.

This is worked by just making a chain the length required. Then put the hook through a loop of the chain, pull the wool through without twisting it, and so continue to the end, keeping all the stitches on the hook. In returning, twist the wool over the hook, pull it through the first loop, twist the wool again over the hook, pull it through the next, and so continue to the end. There will now be a row of flat loops, but not on the edge. Work exactly as at the first row which was worked with the chain row, but in this there is no chain row.

1824. Instructions in Netting.

1825. Regularity in Netting.

The beauty of netting consists in its firmness and regularity. All joins in the thread must be made in a very strong knot; and, if possible, at an edge, so that it may not be perceived.

1826. Implements used in Netting.

These are a netting needle and mesh. In filling a netting needle with the material, be careful not to make it so full that there will be a difficulty in passing it through the stitches. The size of the needle must depend on the material to be employed, and the fineness of the work. Steel needles are employed for every kind of netting except the very coarsest. They are marked from 12 to 24, the latter being extremely fine. The fine meshes are usually also of steel; but, as this material is heavy, it is better to employ bone or wooden meshes when large ones are required. Many meshes are flat; and in using them the width is given.

1827. Diamond Netting.

The first stitch in this work is termed diamond netting, the holes being in the form of diamonds. To do the first row, a stout thread, knotted to form a round, is fastened to the knee with a pin, or passed over the foot, or on the hook sometimes attached to a work cushion for the purpose. The end of the thread on the needle is knotted to this, the mesh being held in the left hand on a line with it. Take the needle in the right hand; let the thread come over the mesh and the third finger, bring it back under the mesh, and hold it between the thumb and first finger. Slip the needle through the loop over the third finger, under the mesh and the foundation thread. In doing this a loop will be formed, which must be passed over the fourth finger. Withdraw the third finger from the loop, and draw up the loop over the fourth, gradually, until it is quite tight on the mesh. The thumb should be kept firmly over the mesh while the stitch is being completed. When the necessary number of stitches is made on this foundation, the future rows are to be worked backwards and forwards. To form a round, the first stitch is to be worked into immediately after the last, which closes the netting into a circle.

1828. Round Netting.

Round Netting is very nearly the same stitch. The difference is merely in the way of putting the needle through the loop and foundation, or other stitch. After passing the needle through the loop, it must be brought out, and put downwards through the stitch. This stitch is particularly suitable for purses.

1829. Square Netting.

Square Netting is exactly the same stitch as diamond netting, only it is begun at a corner, on one stitch, and increased (by doing two in one) in the last stitch of every row, until the greatest width required is attained. Then, by netting two stitches together at the end of every row, the piece is decreased to a point again. When stretched out, all the holes in this netting are squares.

[ONE KIND WORD MAY TURN ASIDE A TORRENT OF ANGER.]

1830. Darning on Netting.

Square and diamond netting are the most frequently used, and are ornamented with patterns darned on them, in simple darning or in various point stitches. In the latter case it forms a variety of the sort of work termed guipure d'Art.

1831. Grecian Netting.

i. Do one plain row. First pattern row. Insert the needle in the first stitch, and, without working it, draw through it the second stitch, through the loop of which draw the first, and work it in the ordinary way. This forms a twisted stitch, and the next is a very small loop formed of a part of the second stitch. Repeat this throughout the row.

ii. The second row is done plain.

iii. The third like the first; but the first and last stitches are to be done in the usual manner, but begin the twisting with the second and third loops.

iv. The fourth is plain. Repeat these four rows as often as required.

v. Use No. 20 mesh for the fancy rows, and No. 14 for the plain.

1832. Counting Stitches.

Stitches in Netting are always counted by knots.

1833. Instructions in Tatting, or Frivolite.

1834. Implements for Tatting.

The only necessary implements for tatting are a thin shuttle or short netting-needle, and a gilt pin and ring, united by a chain. The cotton used should be strong and soft. There are three available sizes, Nos. 1, 2, and 3. Attention should be paid to the manner of holding the hands, as on this depends the grace or awkwardness of the movement. Fill the shuttle with the cotton (or silk) required, in the same manner as a netting needle. Hold the shuttle between the thumb and first and second fingers of the right hand, leaving about half a yard of cotton unwound. Take up the cotton, about three inches from the end, between the thumb and first finger of the left hand, and let the end fall in the palm of the hand; pass the cotton round the other fingers of the left hand (keeping them parted a little), and bring it again between the thumb and forefinger, thus making a circle round the extended fingers. There are only two stitches in tatting, and they are usually done alternately; this is therefore termed a double stitch.

1835. English Stitch.

The first stitch is called the English stitch, and made thus:—Let the thread between the right and left hands fall towards you; slip the shuttle under the thread between the first and second fingers; draw it out rather quickly, keeping it in a horizontal line with the left hand. You will find a slipping loop is formed on this cotton with that which went round the fingers. Hold the shuttle steadily, with the cotton stretched tightly out, and with the second finger of the left hand slip the loop thus made under the thumb.

1836. French Stitch.

The other stitch is termed French stitch; the only difference being, that instead of allowing the cotton to fall towards you, and passing the shuttle downwards, the cotton is thrown in a loop over the left hand, and the shuttle passed under the thread between the first and second fingers upwards. The knot must be invariably formed by the thread which passes round the fingers of the left hand. If the operation is reversed, and the knot formed by the cotton connected with the shuttle, the loop will not draw up. This is occasioned by letting the cotton from the shuttle hang loosely instead of drawing it out and holding it tightly stretched. When any given number of these double stitches are done, and drawn closely together, the stitches are held between the first finger and thumb, and the other fingers are withdrawn from the circle of cotton, which is gradually diminished by drawing out the shuttle until the loop of tatting is nearly or entirely closed. The tatted loops should be quite close to each other, unless directions to the contrary are given.

1837. Ornamental Edging.

The pin is used in making an ornamental edge, something like purl edging, thus:—Slip the ring on the left-hand thumb, that the pin attached may be ready for use. After making the required number of double stitches, twist the pin in the circle of cotton, and hold it between the forefinger and thumb, whilst making more double stitches; repeat. The little loops thus formed are termed picots.

1838. Trefoil Tatting.

This is done by drawing three loops up tightly, made close together, and then leaving a short space before making more. The trefoil is sewed into shape afterwards with a needle.

1839. To Join Loops.

When two loops are to be connected, a picot is made in the first, wherever the join is required. When you come to the corresponding part of the second loop, draw the thread which goes round the fingers of the left hand through the picot with a needle, pulling through a loop large enough to admit the shuttle. Slip this through, then draw the thread tight again over the fingers, and continue the work. In many patterns a needle is used to work over, in buttonhole stitch, the thread which passes from one loop to another. A long needleful of the same cotton or silk used for the tatting is left at the beginning of the work, and a common needle used to buttonhole over bars wherever they occur.

1840. Alternative Picots.

Picots are also sometimes made with the needle and cotton in working over these bars.

1841. Instructions in Knitting.

1842. Improvements in Process.

Although the art of knitting is known perhaps more generally than almost any other kind of fancy work, still as the knowledge is not universal, and there have been of late years great improvements in many of the processes, we hope that a short account of all the stitches, and the elementary parts of the craft, will be welcomed by many of our friends—and most seriously would we recommend them to attain perfection in this branch of work, because, above all others, it is a resource to those who, from weak eyes, are precluded from many kinds of industrial amusement, or who, as invalids, cannot bear the fatigue of more elaborate work. The fact is that knitting does not require eyesight at all; and a very little practice ought to enable any one to knit whilst reading, talking, or studying, quite as well as if the fingers were unemployed. It only requires that the fingers should be properly used, and that one should not be made to do the duty of another.

1843. Implements for Knitting.

These are rods or pins of ivory, bone, or steel. The latter are most commonly used, and should have tapered points, without the least sharpness at the extremity.

1844. Casting On.

The first process in knitting is casting on. To effect this, hold the end of cotton between the first and second fingers of the left hand; bring it over the thumb and forefinger, and bend the latter to twist the cotton into a loop; bend the needle in the loop; hold the cotton attached to the reel between the third and little fingers of the right hand, and over the point of the forefinger; bring the thread round the needle by the slightest possible motion; bend the needle towards you, and tighten the loop on the left-hand finger, in letting it slip off to form the first stitch.

1845. Formation of Stitches.

Now take that needle with the loop on it in the left hand, and another in the right. Observe the position of the hands. The left hand needle is held between the thumb and the second finger, leaving the forefinger free, to aid in moving the points of the needles. This mode of using the forefinger, instead of employing it merely to hold the needle, is the great secret of being able to knit without looking at the work, for so extremely delicate is the sense of touch in this finger, that it will, after a little practice, enable you to tell the sort of stitch coming next, in the finest material, so that knitting becomes merely mechanical. Insert the point in the loop, bringing it behind the other needle, slip the thread round it, bring the point in front, and transfer the loop to the left-hand needle without withdrawing it from the right hand. Repeat the process for any number of stitches required.

1846. Plain Knitting.

Slip the point of the right-hand needle in a loop, bring the thread round it, and with the forefinger push the point of the needle off the loop so that the thread just twisted round forms a new one on the right hand.

1847. Purling.

The right-hand needle is slipped in the loop in front of the left-hand one, and the thread, after passing between the two, is brought round it; it is then worked as before. The thread is always brought forward before beginning a purled stitch, unless particular directions to the contrary are given.

1848. Mode of making Stitches.

To make one, merely bring the thread in front before knitting, when, as it passes over the needle, it makes a loop; to make two, three, or more, pass the thread round the needle in addition, once for 2, twice for 3, and so on.

1849. To Decrease.

Take one stitch off without knitting; knit one, then slip the point of the left-hand needle in the unknitted stitch and draw it over the other. It is marked in receipts d. To decrease 2 or more, slip 1, knit 2, 3, or more together, as one, and pass the slip stitch over.

1850. How to Join a Round.

Four or five needles are used in round work, such as socks, stockings, &c. Cast on any given number of stitches on one needle, then slip another needle in the last stitch, before casting any on it; repeat for any number. When all are cast on, knit the first 2 stitches off on to the end of the last needle. One needle is always left unused in casting on for a round.

1851. How to Join Toe of Sock, &c.

Divide all the stitches on to two needles, hold both in the left hand, as if they were one, and in knitting take a loop off each one, which knit together.

1852. To Cast off.

Knit 2 stitches; with the left-hand needle draw the first over the second; knit another; repeat. Observe that the row before the casting off should never be very tightly knitted.

1853. To Knit Three Stitches Together.

To knit three stitches together, so that the centre one shall be in front.—Slip 2 off the needle together knit the third, and draw the others over together.

1854. To Raise a Stitch.

To raise a stitch is to knit the bar of thread between the two stitches as one.

1855. Abbreviations.

The abbreviations used are:

K, knit; P, purl; D. decrease; K 2 t, knit two together; P 2 t, purl 2 together; M 1, make one.

1856. Size of Needles.

Take care to have needles and cotton or wool that are suitable to each other in size. The work of the best knitter in the world would appear ill done if the needles were too fine or too coarse. In the former case, the work would be close and thick; in the latter it would be too much like a cobweb.

1857. Instructions in Embroidery and Canvas Work.

1858. Embroidery.

Embroidery, properly speaking, includes every sort of ornamental work done with a sewing needle of any kind; but in its popular acceptation, it applies only to the ornamentation of any article by the eye, or from drawn or marked patterns—whatever may be the material, or combination of materials employed; Berlin or canvas work, on the contrary, is the usual designation of all kinds of embroidery on canvas, done by counting threads, and frequently by the aid of a painting on checked paper.

1859. Distinction in Embroidered Work.

Although these two different sorts of work are really equally entitled to the designation of embroidery, yet for the sake of making our hints as intelligible as possible, we will adopt the popular terms, and confine our present remarks to that sort of embroidery which is not executed by the stitch.

[BE A FRIEND TO VIRTUE—A STRANGER TO VICE.]

1860. Materials.

Every sort of embroidery material may be used for embroidering upon. The most common are muslin, cambric, velvet, satin, cloth, and leather.

1861. Application.

The simplest style of embroidery is that termed Application,—that is, where the pattern is in one material, laid on another which forms the ground. In this way muslin is worked on net, velvet is laid on cloth, or on another velvet, and cretonne designs cut out and laid on another material, the edges being either sewed over, or ornamented with fancy cord, braid, gold thread, or any other appropriate material.

1862. Braiding.

Another very easy style of ornamentation is that known as braiding. Children's dresses are worked with narrow silk or worsted braid, the latter being also used for ladies' aprons, flounces, &c. Gold and silver braid enter largely into various sorts of decorated needlework, and the Victoria braid, of cotton, which has something of the appearance of satin stitch, is generally known.

1863. Stitches in Braiding.

There is considerable art required to achieve putting on the Victoria braid evenly and firmly. The stitches should be taken across the braid. This makes it lie flat.

1864. Elaborate Embroidery.

But the most elaborate kinds of embroidery are those which represent flowers, fruit, and other devices on any material; and these may be divided into white and coloured embroidery.

1865. Broderie Anglaise.

White embroidery, or embroidery on muslin, is used for a great variety of articles of ladies' dress. The simplest is termed Broderie Anglaise. In this style, the pattern is either in satin stitch, or from left to right, formed of holes cut out of the muslin, and sewed over with embroidery cotton. The great art in working broderie is to make the holes all of the same size, and to take the stitches closely and regular.

1866. Satin Stitch.

Satin stitch is a smooth raised work, used for leaves, flowers, &c. It is done by first tracing the outlines accurately with soft cotton, then taking stitches from point to point of the part to be raised, so as to have the greatest thickness of cotton in the centre, and sewing it over, in stitches taken close together, but slightly slanting, and completely across the part outlined. The veining of leaves is generally formed by taking the stitches from the vein to the edge, first on one side and then on the other. The borders of embroidered muslin collars, &c., are usually finished with buttonhole stitch, worked either the width of an ordinary buttonhole, or in long stitches, and raised like satin stitch. Eyelet holes are made by piercing round holes with a stiletto, and sewing them round.

1867. Fancy Stitches.

There are many fancy stitches introduced into muslin work, but these require to be practically taught.

1868. Frame for Embroidery.

The kind of frame on which muslin is most easily worked, consists of two hoops of wood, about eight inches in diameter. One is rather smaller than the other. On it the muslin is stretched, and the larger one being slipped over it, and fitting tightly, keeps the muslin in its place.

1869. Embroidery on Satin, &c.

Satin and velvet are embroidered in coloured silks, gold and silver bullion, pearls, &c. A very fashionable style is the work with ombre or shaded silks.

1870. Netting Silk in Embroidery.

The most delicate kinds of embroidery are worked with fine netting silk, one strand of which is drawn out. This makes the silk appear softer and richer.

1871. Shading in Silks.

It requires considerable care to work well with ombre silks, to avoid incorrect shading. Nature should be followed as closely as possible. Not only must the form be carefully preserved, but the lights and shades must be disposed in an artistic manner. For instance: the point of a leaf is never the darkest part, nor should the lower leaves and flowers of a group of the same kind be light.

1872. Materials used in Embroidery and Canvas Work.

The materials for canvas work and embroidery may be classed under the names of wool, silk, chenille, and braid; beads, straw, and a variety of other fancy materials, are also brought into use. A knowledge of the proper mode of using them, and the varieties of each which are made, is one of the most useful things it is possible for the amateur needle-woman to become acquainted with. We will, therefore, take them in their order.

1873. Wool.

German wool (or Berlin wool, as it is commonly called) is the most beautiful material manufactured for canvas-work. The vast variety of shades, the exquisite tints produced, the softness and evenness of the fabric, are beyond all praise. We speak of Berlin wool as it ought to be; for no article is more frequently of inferior quality. From damp, or bad packing, or many other causes, it is frequently crushed and injured, and in that state is not fit to be used for good work. Berlin wool is supposed to be all dyed, as well as made, abroad; at present a large proportion is entirely produced in our own country, which is little, if at all, inferior to the foreign. Berlin wool is made only in two sizes, 4-thread and 8-thread; unless the latter is specified in directions, the other is always implied.

Berlin wools are either dyed in one colour, or in shades of the same colour, or (very rarely) in shades of several colours. Technically, a silk or wool dyed in shades of the same colour, going gradually from light to dark, and from dark to light again, is termed an ombre, or shaded wool or silk, whereas chine is the term employed when there are several colours used. There are, also, what are called short and long shades; that is, in the former the entire shades, from the lightest to the lightest again, will occur within a short space, a yard or so; whereas, in long shades the gradation is much more gradually made.

We notice these apparently trifling differences that readers may comprehend the importance of obtaining precisely the proper materials for each design. If we prescribe a certain article, it is because it and no other will give the effect. Transparent, white, or silver beads are usually worked with white silk, but clear glass beads, threaded on cerise silk, produce a peculiarly rich effect by the coloured silk shining through transparent glass. The silk used must be extremely fine, as the beads vary much in size. A change of material, which might appear of no consequence whatever, would completely spoil the effect of the design.

1874. Fleecy Wool.

Fleecy wool is the sort of wool used for jackets and other large articles. Some of the tints are quite as brilliant as those of Berlin wool. It is made in 3, 4, 6, 8, and 12 threads, and is much cheaper than German wool. It does very well for grounding large pieces of canvas work.

1875. Shetland Wool.

Shetland wool is very fine and soft, is much used, and prized for shawls and neckties and for veils.

1876. Eis Wool.

A pure German wool of silky brightness, is used for the same purpose as Shetland wool excepting for veils. It is also used instead of silk for embroidering on velvet, as tea cosies, &c.

1877. Andalusian Wool.

Andalusian wool is a medium wool, less thick than Berlin wool, is used for cuffs and shawls.

1878. Other kinds of Wool.

There are also other names given to wools by the vendors or manufacturers of them: for instance, "The Peacock Wool" and "The Coral Wool" are trade marks, and not particular wools.

1879. Scotch Fingering Wool.

Scotch fingering wool is used for knitting stockings and socks, and gentlemen's kilt hose.

1880. Thin Lambs' Wool and Wheeling Yarn.

Scotch yarns, used principally for children's socks and stockings.

1881. Merino Wool.

Merino wool is the produce of a Spanish breed of sheep. The wool was introduced into this country about the close of the last century. George III. was a great patron of this breed. French Merino is made from this peculiarily soft wool; so also Berlin wool, used for canvas embroidery.

1882. Angola Wool.

The produce of an African breed of sheep; is a soft hairy wool. Is used for making Angola shawls and gloves, valued for their extreme softness and warmth. These were popular till the cotton manufacturers introduced a very poor imitation make entirely of cotton.

1883. Camel-hair Wool.

Camel-hair wool is the production of the llama, or al-lama, a native of South America. This ruminant animal resembles in its nature, but not in its form, a camel. The back and sides of the llama are clothed with fine long woolly hairs, becoming smooth, silky, and shining towards the tips, the general colours being of a uniform bright brown. The native Indians use it in the manufacture of stuffs, ropes, bags, and mats.

1884. Alpaca.

Al-Paco produces the alpaca wool. This creature is also a species of camel, though different in shape. Cavier regarded the paco as a variety of the llama; so also the vicugua. The llama is generally used as a beast of burden, while the former are used chiefly for their flesh and wool.

1885. Yak Lace and Fringe.

This is said to be made from the tail hair of an animal resembling an ox, a horse, and sheep; the first for its shape, the next for its tail, and the third for its wool. The tail, under the Indian name of Chowrie, is often mounted in horns and silver, and used as a switch to keep off flies. The yak inhabits the coldest parts of Tibet, India.

1886. Silk.

This well known production of the silk-worm in its natural state, as reeled from the cocoon, is termed "raw silk;" and before this can be used for weaving it requires to be twisted, or, as it is technically termed, "thrown;" that is to say, it is not two threads twisted one over the other, but the single filament itself is twisted so as to render it firmer; this is termed "singles." The next process is termed "tram." This is two threads loosely twisted together. This usually constitutes the "weft" silk, which is thrown by the shuttle across the long threads, or "warp," of the piece-silk.

1887. Organzine.

Organzine, or hard silk, generally constitutes the "warp," or length of the silk. This is made by first twisting each individual thread of silk, and then two or more of the threads are twisted together by the "throwing" mill (throw one thread over the other). In this state it must be boiled, to discharge the gum which renders the silk hard to the touch, and unfit to receive the dye. It is now boiled in soap and water for four hours, and then boiled in clear water to discharge the soap; after which it is glossy, soft, and fit for wearing.

1888. Filoselle Silk.

Filoselle silk was formerly a "spun silk," and the product chiefly of the silkworm, which naturally eats its way through its cocoon. It is only comparatively of late years that this silk has been used. The short filaments are spun in the same way that cotton and wool are spun, and is afterwards woven. A great deal of this silk is used for stockings and socks, and for weaving in with wool-fabrics, but there is also another kind of Filoselle used in needlework. This is two-thread silk, or "tram." Eight or ten of these slightly twisted threads form a strand of silk, so that, according to the purpose required, one, two, or more threads of it can be used for embroidery. This is glossy as satin.

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