I somewhat abruptly broke in upon the conversation, by suggesting that she had better look through the house, and inquire the conditions of tenancy. We consequently went through the various rooms, and in every one of them she had "an hobjection to this," or "a 'atred for that," or would give "an 'int which might be useful" to the lady when she removed. The young ladies were heard tittering very much whenever Mrs. H. broke out, in a loud voice, with her imperfect elocution, and I felt so much annoyed, that I determined to cure her of her defective speaking.
In the evening, after returning home, we were sitting by the fire, feeling comfortable and chatty, when I proposed to Mrs. Hitching the following enigma from the pen of the late Henry Mayhew:—
The Vide Vorld you may search, and my fellow not find; I dwells in a Wacuum, deficient in Vind; In the Wisage I'm seen—in the Woice I am heard, And yet I'm inwisible, gives went to no Vurd. I'm not much of a Vag, for I'm vanting in Vit; But distinguished in Werse for the Wollums I've writ. I'm the head of all Willains, yet far from the Vurst— I'm the foremost in Wice, though in Wirtue the first. I'm not used to Veapons, and ne'er goes to Vor; Though in Walour inwincible—in Wictory sure; The first of all Wiands and Wictuals is mine— Rich in Wen'son and Weal, but deficient in Vine. To Wanity given, I in Welwets abound; But in Voman, in Vife, and in Vidow ain't found: Yet conspicuous in Wirgins, and I'll tell you, between us, To persons of taste I'm a bit of a Wenus; Yet none take me for Veal—or for Voe in its stead, For I ranks not among the sweet Voo'd, Vun, and Ved!
Before the recital of the enigma was half completed, Mrs. Hitching laughed heartily—she saw, of course, the meaning of it—that it was a play upon the Cockney error of using the V instead of the W, and the latter instead of the V. Several times, as I proceeded, she exclaimed "Hexcellent! hexcellent!" and when I had finished, she remarked that is was very "hingenious," and enough to "hopen the heyes" of the Cockneys to their stupid and vulgar manner of speaking.
A more difficult and delicate task lay before me. I told her that as she was so much pleased with the first enigma, I would submit another by the same author. I felt very nervous, but determined to proceed:
I dwells in the Herth, and I breathes in the Hair; If you searches the Hocean, you'll find that I'm there. The first of all Hangels, in Holympus am Hi, Yet I'm banished from 'Eaven, expelled from on 'Igh. But though on this Horb I am destined to grovel, I'm ne'er seen in an 'Ouse, in an 'Ut, nor an 'Ovel; Not an 'Oss nor an 'Unter e'er bears me, alas! But often I'm found on the top of a Hass. I resides in a Hattic, and loves not to roam, And yet I'm invariably absent from 'Ome. Though 'ushed in the 'Urricane, of the Hatmosphere part, I enters no 'Ed, I creeps into no 'Art. Only look, and you'll see in the Heye I appear, Only 'ark, and you'll 'ear me just breathe in the Hear; Though in sex not an 'E, I am (strange paradox!) Not a bit of an 'Eifer, but partly a Hox. Of Heternity Hi'm the beginning! And, mark, Though I goes not with Noah, I am first in the Hark. I'm never in 'Ealth—have with Fysic no power; I dies in a Month, but comes back In a Hour!
In re-citing the above I strongly emphasized the misplaced h's. After a brief pause, Mrs. Hitchings exclaimed, "Very good; very clever." I then determined to complete my task by repeating the following enigma upon the same letter written by Miss Catherine Fanshawe and often erroneously attributed to Byron:
'Twas whispered in heaven, 'twas muttered in hell, And echo caught faintly the sound as it fell; On the confines of earth 'twas permitted to rest, And the depths of the ocean its presence confessed. 'Twill be found in the sphere when 'tis riven asunder, Be seen in the lightning, and heard in the thunder. 'Twas allotted to man with his earliest breath, Attends at his birth, and awaits him in death; It presides o'er his happiness, honour, and health, Is the prop of his house, and the end of his wealth. In the heaps of the miser 'tis hoarded with care, But is sure to be lost on his prodigal heir. It begins every hope, every wish it must bound, With the husbandman toils, with the monarch is crowned. Without it the soldier and seaman may roam, But woe to the wretch who expels it from home. In the whispers of conscience its voice will be found, Nor e'en in the whirlwind of passion be drowned. 'Twill not soften the heart, and though deaf to the ear, 'Twill make it acutely and instantly hear. But in shade let it rest, like a delicate flower— Oh, breathe on it softly—it dies in an hour.
She was much pleased, but seemed thoughtful, and once or twice in conversation checked herself, and corrected herself in the pronunciation of words that were difficult to her.
A few days afterwards., I called upon her, and upon being introduced to the parlour to wait for her appearance, I saw lying upon her table the following:
MEMORANDUM ON THE USE OF THE LETTER H.
Pronounce—Herb, 'Erb. " Heir, 'Eir. " Honesty, 'Onesty. " Honour, 'Onour. " Hospital, 'Ospital. " Hostler, 'Ostler. " Hour, 'Our. " Humour, 'Umour. " Humble, 'Umble. " Humility, 'Umility.
In all other cases the H is to be sounded when it begins a word.
Mem.—Be careful to sound the H slightly in such words as where, when, what, why—don't say were, wen, wat, wy.
I am happy to say that it is now a pleasure to hear Mrs. Hitching's conversation. I only hope that others may improve as she has done.
[GLASS MANUFACTURING IN ENGLAND A.D. 1457.]
There are many talkers, but few who know how to converse agreeably. Speak distinctly, neither too rapidly nor too slowly. Accommodate the pitch of your voice to the hearing of the person with whom you are conversing. Never speak with your mouth full. Tell your jokes, and laugh afterwards. Dispense with superfluous words—such as, "Well, I should think," etc.
[TABACCO BROUGHT TO ENGLAND FROM VIRGINIA A.D. 1588.]
217. The Woman who wishes her conversation to be agreeable
will avoid conceit or affectation, and laughter which is not natural and spontaneous, Her language will be easy and unstudied, marked by a graceful carelessness, which, at the same time, never oversteps the limits of propriety. Her lips will readily yield to a pleasant smile; she will not love to hear herself talk; her tones will bear the impress of sincerity, and her eyes kindle with animation as she speaks. The art of pleasing is, in truth, the very soul of good breeding; for the precise object of the latter is to render us agreeable to all with whom we associate—to make us, at the same time, esteemed and loved.
[TELESCOPES INVENTED IN GERMANY A.D. 1590.]
We need scarcely advert to the rudeness of interrupting any one who is speaking, or to the impropriety of pushing, to its full extent, a discussion which has become unpleasant.
Some Men have a Mania for Greek and Latin quotations: this is peculiarly to be avoided. It is like pulling up the stones from a tomb wherewith to kill the living. Nothing is more wearisome than pedantry.
If you feel your Intellectual Superiority to any one with whom you are conversing, do not seek to bear him down: it would be an inglorious triumph, and a breach of good manners. Beware, too, of speaking lightly of subjects which bear a sacred character.
221. Writing and Talking.
It is a Common Idea that the art of writing and the art of conversation are one; this is a great mistake. A man of genius may be a very dull talker.
222. Interesting Conversation.
The Two Grand Modes of making your conversation interesting, are to enliven it by recitals calculated to affect and impress your hearers, and to intersperse it with anecdotes and smart things. Count Antoine Rivarol, who lived from 1757 to 1801, was a master in the latter mode.
If you would write to any purpose, you must be perfectly free from without, in the first place, and yet more free from within. Give yourself the natural rein; think on no pattern, no patron, no paper, no press, no public; think on nothing, but follow your own impulses. Give yourself as you are, what you are, and how you see it. Everyman sees with his own eyes, or does not see at all. This is incontrovertibly true. Bring out what you have. If you have nothing, be an honest beggar rather than a respectable thief. Great care and attention should be devoted to epistolary correspondence, as nothing exhibits want of taste and judgment so much as a slovenly letter. Since the establishment of the penny postage it is recognised as a rule that all letters should be prepaid; indeed, many persons make a point of never taking in an unpaid letter. The following hints may be worthy of attention:
Always put a Stamp on your envelope, at the top, in the right-hand corner.
Let the Direction be written very plain; this will save the postman trouble, and facilitate business by preventing mistakes.
226. Postal District.
If the Address be in London add the letters of the postal district in which it happens to be, for this also saves trouble in the General Post Office. Thus in writing to the publishers of "Enquire Within," whose house of business is in the East Central (E.C.) postal district, address your letter to Messrs. Houlston and Sons, Paternoster Square, London, E.C.
At the head of your Letter, in the right-hand corner, put your address in full, with the day of the month underneath; do not omit this, though you may be writing to your most intimate friend for the third or even the fourth time in the course of a day.
What you have to say in your Letter, say as plainly as possible, as if you were speaking; this is the best rule. Do not revert three or four times to one circumstance, but finish as you go on.
Let your signature be written as plainly as possible (many mistakes will be avoided, especially in writing to strangers), and without any flourishes, as these do not add in any way to the harmony of your letter. We have seen signatures that have been almost impossible to decipher, being a mere mass of strokes, without any form to indicate letters. This is done chiefly by the ignorant, and would lead one to suppose that they were ashamed of signing what they had written.
230. Crossing the Page.
Do not cross your letters: surely paper is cheap enough now to admit of using an extra half-sheet, in case of necessity.
231. Return Envelope.
If you write to a Stranger for information, or on your own business, be sure to send a stamped envelope with your address plainly written; this will not fail to procure you an answer.
232. Good Materials.
If you are not a good writer it is advisable to use the best ink, paper, and pens. For although they may not alter the character of your handwriting, yet they will assist to make your writing look better.
233. Clean and Neat.
The paper on which you write should be clean, and neatly folded.
There should not be stains on the envelope; if otherwise, it is only an indication of your own slovenliness.
235. Individual Respect.
Care must be taken in giving titled persons, to whom you write, their proper designations.
236. Addresses of Letters.
As this branch of epistolary correspondence is one of the most important, we subjoin a few additional hints which letter writers generally would do well to attend to.
i. When writing several letters, place each in its envelope, and address it as soon as it is written. Otherwise awkward mistakes may occur, your correspondents receiving letters not intended for them. If there be a town of the same name as that to which you are writing existing in another county, specify the county which you mean or, the address. Thus, Richmond, Yorkshire.
ii. When the person to whom you are writing is visiting or residing at the house of another person, it is considered vulgar to put "at Mr. So-and-So's," but simply "Mr. So-and-So's," at being understood.
iii. It is more respectful to write the word "Esquire" in full. The ——substituted for initials is vulgar, and pardonable only in extreme cases; if the Christian name or initials of your correspondent do not occur to you at the moment, endeavour to ascertain them by inquiry.
iv. When addressing a gentleman with the prefix "Mr.," the Christian name or initials should always follow, being more polite, as well as avoiding confusion where persons of the same surname may reside in one house.
v. In addressing a letter to two or more unmarried ladies, write "The Misses Johnson," and not "The Miss Johnsons;" and, lastly, always write an address clearly and legibly, so that it may not be delayed in delivery, nor be missent.
237. Addresses of Persons of Rank and Distinction :
238. The Royal Family.
Superscription.—To the Queen's (King's) Most Excellent Majesty.
Commencement.—Most Gracious Sovereign; May it please your Majesty.
Conclusion.—I remain, with the profoundest veneration, Your Majesty's most faithful subject and dutiful servant.
239. Princes of the Blood Royal.
i. The Sons and Daughters, Brothers and Sisters, Uncles and Aunts of the Sovereign.—Sup.—To His (Her) Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (Princess Beatrice).
Comm.—Your Royal Highness.
Con.—I remain, with the greatest respect (I have the honour to be), your Royal Highness's most obedient servant.
ii. Other branches of the Royal Family.—Sup.—To His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge.
Comm.—Your Royal Highness.
Con.—I remain, with the greatest respect, your Royal Highness's most humble and obedient servant.
240. Nobility and Gentry.
i. Duke or Duchess.—Sup.—To His Grace the Duke (Her Grace the Duchess) of Northumberland.
Comm.—My Lord Duke (Madam).
Con.—I have the honour to be, My Lord Duke (Madam), Your Grace's most devoted and obedient servant.
ii. Marquis or Marchioness.—Sup.—To the Most Honourable the Marquis (Marchioness) of Salisbury.
Comm.—My Lord Marquis (Madam).
Con.—I have the honour to be, My Lord Marquis, Your Lordship's (Madam, Your Ladyship's) most obedient and most humble servant.
iii. Earl or Countess.—Sup.—To the Right Honourable the Earl (Countess) of Aberdeen.
Comm.—My Lord (Madam).
Con.—I have the honour to be, My Lord, Your Lordship's (Madam, Your Ladyship's) most obedient and very, humble servant.
iv. Viscount or Viscountess.—Sup.—To the Right Honourable Lord Viscount (Lady Viscountess) Gough.
Comm. and Con. same as Earl's.
v. Baron or Baroness.—Sup.—To the Right Honourable Lord (Lady) Rowton.
Comm. and Con. same as Earl's.
vi. Younger Sons of Earls, and all the Sons of Viscounts and Barons.—Sup.—To the Honourable Arthur Hamilton Gordon.
Con.—I have the honour to be, Honoured Sir, Your most obedient and very humble servant.
vii. Baronet and His Wife.—Sup.—To Sir Stafford Northcote, Bart. (Lady Northcote).
Con.—I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most humble and obedient
viii. Knight and his Wife.—Sup.—To Sir Francis Wyatt Truscott (Lady Truscott).
Comm. and Con. as preceding.
ix. Esquire.—This title is now accorded to every man of position and respectability, but persons entitled to superior consideration are distinguished by "&c., &c., &c.," added to their superscription.
The wives of Gentlemen, when several of the same name are married, are distinguished by the Christian name of their husbands, as Mrs. John Harvey, Mrs. William Temple.
x. Privy Councillors.—These have the title of Right Honourable, which is prefixed to their name thus:
Sup.—To the Right Honourable William Ewart Gladstone, M.P.
Con.—I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient very humble servant.
[Footnote 1: Adapted from the "Dictionary of Daily Wants," published by Houlston and Sons, Paternoster Square, E.C., in one volume, half bound, at 7s. 6d., or in three separate volumes, cloth, each 2s. 6d.]
241. The Clergy.
i. Archbishop.—Sup.—To His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Con.—I remain, Your Grace's most devoted obedient servant.
ii. Bishop.—Sup.—To the Right Reverend the Bishop of Winchester.
Comm.—Right Reverend Sir.
Con.—I remain, Right Reverend Sir, Your most obedient humble servant.
iii. Doctor of Divinity.—Sup.—To the Reverend James William Vivian, D.D., or, To the Reverend Dr. Vivian.
Con.—I have the honour to be, Reverend Sir, Your most obedient servant.
iv. Dean.—Sup.—To the Very Reverend The Dean of St. Paul's; or, To the Very Reverend Richard William Church, M.A., D.C.L., D.D., Dean of St. Paul's.
Comm.—Mr. Dean; or, Reverend Sir.
Con.—I have the honour to be, Mr. Dean (or Reverend Sir), Your most obedient servant.
v. Archdeacon.—Sup.—To the Venerable Archdeacon Hessey, D.C.L.
Con.—I have the honour to remain, Reverend Sir, Your most obedient servant.
vi. Clergymen.—Sup.—To the Reverend Thomas Dale.
Com. and Con. same as the preceding.
vii. Clergymen with Titles.—When a Bishop or other Clergyman possesses the title of Right Honourable or Honourable, it is prefixed to his Clerical title, but Baronets and Knights have their clerical title placed first, as in the following examples:—
Sup.—To the Right Honourable and Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells.
Sup.—To the Honourable and Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Norwich.
Sup.—To the Right Honourable and Reverend Lord Wriothesley Russell, M.A.
Sup.—To the Honourable and Reverend Baptist Wriothesley Noel, M.A.
Sup.—To the Reverend Sir Henry R. Dukinfield, Bart, M.A.
No clerical dignity confers a title or rank on the wife of the dignitary, who is simply addressed Mistress, unless possessing a title in her own right, or through her husband, independently of his clerical rank.
242. Judges &c.
i. Lord Chancellor.—Sup.—To the Right Honourable Roundell Palmer, Lord Selborne, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain.
ii. Master of the Rolls.—Sup.—To the Right Honourable the Master of the Rolls.
iii. Chief Justice.—Sup.—To the Right Honourable the Lord Chief Justice; or, the Right Honourable Lord Coleridge, Lord Chief Justice of England.
The Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas is addressed in the same form, and are all styled My Lord.
iv. Lords Justices of Appeal.—The Lords Justices of Appeal are Knights, and should be addressed thus:
Sup.—To the Right Honourable Sir W. Milbourne James, Knt.
v. Judge of County Courts.—Sup.—To His Honour John James Jeffreys, Judge of County Courts.
[A DIRTY GRATE MAKES DINNER LATE.]
243. Officers of the Navy and Army.
i. Naval Officers.—Admirals have the rank of their flag added to their own name and title thus:
Sup.—To the Honourable Sir Richard Saunders Dundas, Admiral of the White.
If untitled, they are simply styled Sir.
Commodores are addressed in the same way as admirals.
Captains are addressed either to "Captain William Smith, R.N.;" or if on service, "To William Smith, Esquire, Commander of H.M.S.—"
Lieutenants are addressed in the same way.
ii. Military Officers.—All officers in the army above Lieutenants, Cornets, and Ensigns, have their military rank prefixed to their name and title.
Sup.—To General Sir Frederick Roberts.
Subalterns are addressed as Esquire, with the regiment to which they belong, if on service.
244. Municipal Officers.
i. Lord Mayor.—Sup.—To the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor (The Lady Mayoress) of London, York, Dublin; The Lord Provost (The Lady Provost) of Edinburgh.
Comm.—My Lord (Madam).
Con.—I have the honour to be, my Lord, Your Lordship's (Madam, Your Ladyship's) most obedient humble servant.
ii. The Mayors of all Corporations, with the Sheriffs, Aldermen, and Recorder of London, are styled Right Worshipful; and the Aldermen and Recorder of other Corporations, as well as Justices of the Peace, Worshipful.
Ambassadors have Excellency prefixed to the other titles, and their accredited rank added.
Sup.—To His Excellency Count Karolyi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from H.I.M. (His Imperial Majesty) The Emperor of Austria.
Sup.—To His Excellency The Right Honourable Earl of Dufferin, K.P., G.C.M.G., K.C.B., Her Britannic Majesty's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Sublime Ottoman Porte.
Con.—I have the honour to be, My Lord, Your Excellency's Most humble obedient servant.
The wives of Ambassadors have also Excellency added to their other titles.
Envoys and Charges d'Affaires are generally styled Excellency, but by courtesy only.
Consuls have only their accredited rank added to their names or titles, if they have any.
246. Addresses of Petitions, &c.
i. Queen in Council.—All applications to the Queen in Council, the Houses of Lords and Commons, &c., are by Petition, as follows, varying only the title:
To the Queen's most Excellent Majesty in Council, The humble Petition of M.N., &c., showeth That your Petitioner.... Wherefore Your Petitioner humbly prays that Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to.... And Your Petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray.
ii. Lords and Commons.—To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal (To the Honourable the Commons) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled.
The humble Petitioner &c. And your Petitioner [or Petitioners] will ever pray, &c.
247. To those who Write for the Press.
It would be a great service to editors and printers if all who write for the press would observe the following rules. They are reasonable, and correspondents will regard them as such:
i. write with black ink, on white paper, wide ruled.
ii. Make the pages or folios small, one-fourth of a foolscap sheet is large enough.
iii. Leave the second page of each leaf blank; or, in other words, write on one side of the paper only.
iv. Give to the written page an ample margin all round; or fold down the left hand side to the extent of one-fourth the width of the entire paper so as to leave a broad margin on the left side of the paper.
v. Number the pages; in the order of their succession.
vi. Write in a plain, bold, legible hand, without regard to beauty of appearance.
vii. Use no abbreviations which are not to appear in print.
viii. Punctuate the manuscript as it should be printed.
ix. For italics underscore one line; for small capitals, two; capitals, three.
x. Never interline without the caret (^) to show its place.
xi. Take special pains with every letter in proper names.
xii. Review every word, to be sure that none is illegible.
xiii. Put directions to the printer at the head of the first page.
xiv. Never write a private letter to the editor on the printer's copy, but always on a separate sheet.
248. Hints to those who have Pianofortes.
i. Damp is very injurious to a pianoforte; it ought therefore to be placed in a dry place, and not exposed to draughts.
ii. Keep your piano free from dust, and do not allow needles, pins, or bread to be placed upon it, especially if the key-board is exposed, as such articles are apt to get inside and produce a jarring or whizzing sound.
iii. Do not load the top of a piano with books, music, &c., as the tone is thereby deadened, and the disagreeable noise alluded to in the last paragraph is often produced likewise.
iv. Have your piano tuned about every two months; whether it is used or not, the strain is always upon it, and if it is not kept up to concert pitch it will not stand in tune when required, which it will do if it be attended to regularly.
v. An upright instrument sounds better if placed about two inches from the wall.
vi. When not in use keep the piano locked.
vii. To make the polish look nice, rub it with an old silk handkerchief, being careful first of all to dust off any small particles, which otherwise are apt to scratch the surface.
viii. Should any of the notes keep down when struck, it is a sure sign that there is damp somewhere, which has caused the small note upon which the key works to swell.
249. Gardening Operations for the Year.
250. January.—Flowers of the Month.
Christmas Rose, Crocus, Winter Aconite, Alyssum, Primrose, Snowdrop.
251. Gardening Operations.
In-door preparations for future operations must be made, as in this month there are only five hours a day available for out-door work, unless the season be unusually mild. Mat over tulip beds, begin to force roses. Place pots over seakale and surround them with manure, litter, dried leaves, &c. Plant dried roots of border flowers in mild weather. Take strawberries in pots into the greenhouse. Take cuttings of chrysanthemums and strike them under glass. Prune and plant gooseberry, currant, fruit, and deciduous trees and shrubs. Cucumbers and melons to be sown in the hot-bed. Apply manures to the soil.
252. February.—Flowers of the Month.
Snowdrop, Violet, Alyssum, Primrose.
253. Gardening Operations.
Transplant pinks, carnations, sweet-williams, candy-tuft, campanulas, &c. Sow sweet and garden peas and lettuces, for succession of crops, covering the ground with straw, &c. Sow also Savoys, leeks, and cabbages. Prune and nail fruit trees, and towards the end of the month plant stocks for next year's grafting; also cuttings of poplar, elder, willow trees, for ornamental shrubbery. Sow fruit and forest tree seeds.
254. March.—Flowers of the Month.
Primrose, Narcissus, Hyacinth, Wallflower, Hepatica, Daisy, Polyanthus.
255. Gardening Operations.
Seeds of "spring flowers" to be sown. Border flowers to be planted out. Tender annuals to be potted out under glasses. Mushroom beds to be made. Sow artichokes, Windsor beans, and cauliflowers for autumn; lettuces and peas for succession of crops, onions, parsley, radishes, Savoys, asparagus, red and white cabbages, and beet; turnips, early brocoli, parsnips and carrots. Plant slips and parted roots of perennial herbs. Graft trees and protect early blossoms. Force rose-tree cuttings under glasses.
256. April.—Flowers of the Month.
Cowslip, Anemone, Ranunculus, Tulip, Polyanthus, Auricula, Narcissus, Jonquil, Wallflower, Lilac, Laburnum.
257. Gardening Operations.
Sow for succession peas, beans, and carrots; parsnips, celery, and seakale. Sow more seeds of "spring flowers." Plant evergreens, dahlias, chrysanthemums, and the like, also potatoes, slips of thyme, parted roots, lettuces, cauliflowers, cabbages, onions. Lay down turf, remove caterpillars. Sow and graft camelias, and propagate and graft fruit and rose trees by all the various means in use. Sow cucumbers and vegetable marrows for planting out. This is the most important month in the year for gardeners.
258. May.—Flowers of the Month.
Hawthorn, Gentianella, Anemone, Ranunculus, Columbine, Honeysuckle, Laburnum, Wistaria.
259. Gardening Operations.
Plant out your seedling flowers as they are ready, and sow again for succession larkspur, mignonette, and other spring flowers. Pot out tender annuals. Remove auriculas to a north-east aspect. Take up bulbous roots as the leaves decay. Sow kidney beans, brocoli for spring use, cape for autumn, cauliflowers for December; Indian corn, cress, onions to plant out as bulbs next year, radishes, aromatic herbs, turnips, cabbages, savoys, lettuces, &c. Plant celery, lettuces, and annuals; thin spring crops; stick peas, &c. Earth up potatoes, &c. Moisten mushroom beds.
260. June.—Flowers of the Month.
Water-lily, Honeysuckle, Sweet-william, Pinks, Syringa, Rhododendron, Delphinium, Stock.
261. Gardening Operations.
Sow giant stocks to flower next spring. Take slips of myrtles to strike, pipings of pinks, and make layers of carnation. Put down layers and take cuttings of roses and evergreens. Plant annuals in borders, and place auriculas in pots in shady places. Sow kidney beans, pumpkins, cucumbers for pickling, and (late in the month) endive and lettuces. Plant out cucumbers, marrows, leeks, celery, broccoli, cauliflowers, savoys, and seedlings, and plants propagated by slips. Earth up potatoes, &c. Cut herbs for drying when in flower.
262. July.—Flowers of the Month.
Rose, Carnation, Picotee, Asters, Balsams.
263. Gardening Operations.
Part auricula and polyanthus roots. Take up summer bulbs as they go out of flower, and plant saffron crocus and autumn bulbs. Gather seeds. Clip evergreen borders and edges, strike myrtle slips under glasses. Net fruit trees. Finish budding by the end of the month. Head down espaliers. Sow early dwarf cabbages to plant out in October for spring; also endive, onions, kidney beans for late crop, and turnips. Plant celery, endive, lettuces, cabbages, leeks, strawberries, and cauliflowers. Tie up lettuces. Earth celery. Take up onions, &c., for drying.
264. August.—Flowers of the Month.
Geranium, Verbena, Calceolaria, Hollyhock.
265. Gardening Operations.
Sow annuals to bloom indoors in winter, and pot all young stocks raised in the greenhouse. Sow early red cabbages, cauliflowers for spring and summer use, cos and cabbage lettuce for winter crop. Plant out winter crops. Dry herbs and mushroom spawn. Plant out strawberry roots, and net currant trees, to preserve the fruit through the winter.
266. September.—Flowers of the Month.
Clematis, or Traveller's Joy, Jasmine, Passion Flower, Arbutus.
267. Gardening Operations.
Plant crocuses, scaly bulbs, and evergreen shrubs. Propagate by layers and cuttings of all herbaceous plants, currant, gooseberry, and other fruit trees. Plant out seedling pinks. Sow onions for spring plantation, carrots, spinach, and Spanish radishes in warm spots. Earth up celery. House potatoes and edible bulbs. Gather pickling cucumbers. Make tulip and mushroom beds.
268. October.—Flowers of the Month.
Asters, Indian Pink, Chrysanthemum, Stock.
269. Gardening Operations.
Sow fruit stones for stocks for future grafting, also larkspurs and the hardier annuals to stand the winter, and hyacinths and smooth bulbs in pots and glasses. Plant young trees, cuttings of jasmine, honeysuckle, and evergreens. Sow mignonette for pots in winter. Plant cabbages, &c., for spring. Cut down asparagus, separate roots of daisies, irises, &c. Trench, drain, and manure.
270. November.—Flowers of the Month.
Laurestinus, Michaelmas Daisy, Chrysanthemum.
271. Gardening Operations.
Sow sweet peas and garden peas for early flowers and crops. Take up dahlia roots. Complete beds for asparagus and artichokes. Plant dried roots of border flowers, daisies, &c. Take potted mignonette indoors. Make new plantations of strawberries, though it is better to do this in October. Sow peas, leeks, beans, and radishes. Plant rhubarb in rows. Prune hardy trees, and plant stocks of fruit trees. Store carrots, &c. Shelter from frost where it may be required. Plant shrubs for forcing. Continue to trench and manure vacant ground.
272. December.—Flowers of the Month.
Cyclamen and Winter Aconite Holly berries are now available for floral decoration.
273. Gardening Operations.
Continue in open weather to prepare vacant ground for spring, and to protect plants from frost. Cover bulbous roots with matting. Dress flower borders. Prepare forcing ground for cucumbers, and force asparagus and seakale. Plant gooseberry, currant, apple, and pear trees. Roll grass-plats if the season be mild and not too wet. Prepare poles, stakes, pea-sticks, &c., for spring.
274. Kitchen Garden.
This is one of the most important parts of general domestic economy, whenever the situation of a house and the size of the garden will permit the members of a family to avail themselves of the advantages it offers. It is, indeed, much to be regretted that small plots of ground, in the immediate vicinity of the metropolis more especially, are too often converted into flower gardens and shrubberies, or used as mere play-grounds for children, when they might more usefully be employed in raising vegetables for the family. With a little care and attention, a kitchen garden, though small, might be rendered not only useful, but, in fact, as ornamental as a modern grass lawn; and the same expense incurred to make the ground a laboratory of sweets, might suffice to render it agreeable to the palate as well as to the olfactory nerves, and that even without offending the most delicate optics. It is only in accordance with our plan to give the hint and to put before the reader such novel points as may facilitate the proposed arrangement. It is one objection to the formation of a kitchen garden in front of the dwelling, or in sight of the drawing-room and parlour, that its very nature makes it rather an eyesore than otherwise at all seasons. This, however, may be readily got over by a little attention to neatness and good order, for the vegetables themselves, if properly attended to, may be made really ornamental; but then, in cutting the plants for use, the business must be done neatly—all useless leaves cleared from the ground, the roots no longer wanted taken up, and the ravages of insects guarded against by sedulous extirpation. It will also be found a great improvement, where space will admit of it, to surround the larger plots of ground, in which the vegetables are grown, with flower borders stocked with herbaceous plants and others, such as annuals and bulbs in due order of succession, or with neat espaliers, with fruit trees, or even gooseberry and currant bushes, trained along them, instead of being suffered to grow in a state of ragged wildness, as is too often the case.
[A WAITING APPETITE KINDLES MANY A SPITE.]
275. Artificial Mushroom Beds.
Mushrooms may be grown in pots, boxes, or hampers. Each box may be about three feet long, one and a half broad, and seven inches in depth. Let each box be half filled with manure in the form of fresh horse-dung from the stables, the fresher the better, but if wet, it should be allowed to dry for three or four days before it is put into the boxes. When the manure has been placed in the box it should be well beaten down. After the second or third day, if the manure has begun to generate heat, break each brick of mushroom spawn (which may be obtained from any seedsman) into pieces about three inches square, then lay the pieces about four inches apart upon the surface of the manure in the box; here they are to lie for six days, when it will probably be found that the side of the spawn next to the manure has begun to run in the manure below; then add one and a half inch more of fresh manure on the top of the spawn in the box, and beat it down as formerly. In the course of a fortnight, when you find that the spawn has run through the manure, the box will be ready to receive the mould on the top; this mould must be two and a half inches deep, well beaten down, and the surface made quite even. In the space of five or six weeks the mushrooms will begin to come up; if the mould then seems dry, give it a gentle watering with lukewarm water. The box will continue to produce from six weeks to two months, if duly attended to by giving a little water when dry, for the mushrooms need neither light nor free air. If cut as button mushrooms each box will yield from twenty-four to forty-eight pints, according to the season and other circumstances. They may be kept in dry dark cellars, or any other places where the frost will not reach them. By preparing in succession of boxes, mushrooms may be had all the year through.—They may be grown without the manure, and be of a finer flavour. Take a little straw, and lay it carefully in the bottom of the mushroom box, about an inch thick, or rather more. Then take some of the spawn bricks and break them down—each brick into about ten pieces, and lay the fragments on the straw, as close to each other as they will lie. Cover them up with mould three and a half inches deep, and well pressed down. When the surface appears dry give a little tepid water, as directed for the mode of raising them described above, but this method needs about double the quantity of water that the former does, owing to having no moisture in the bottom, while the other has the manure. The mushrooms will begin to start in a month or five weeks, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, according to the heat of the place where the boxes are situated.
[SOME HOURS WE SHOULD FIND FOR THE PLEASURES OF THE MIND.]
276. Dwarf Plants.
The following method of producing miniature trees is taken from an article on this subject in 'Gardening Illustrated'.
"Take an orange, and having cut a hole in the peel about the size of a shilling, take out the juice and pulp. Fill the skin thus emptied with some cocoa-nut fibre, fine moss, and charcoal, just stiffened with a little loam, and then put an acorn or a date stone, or the seed or kernel of any tree that it is proposed to obtain in a dwarfed form in this mixture, just about the centre of the hollow orange peel. Place the orange peel in a tumbler or vase in a window, and occasionally moisten the contents with a little water through the hole in the peel, and sprinkle the surface apparent through the hole with some fine woodashes. In due time the tree will push up its stem through the compost and the roots will push through the orange peel. The roots must then be cut off flush with the peel, and this process must be repeated at frequent intervals for about two years and a half. The stem of the tree will attain the height of four or five inches and then assume a stunted gnarled appearance, giving it the appearance of an old tree. When the ends of the roots are cut for the last time, the orange peel, which, curiously enough, does not rot, must be painted black and varnished."
The writer of the article saw this process carried out by a Chinaman that he had in his service, and the trees thrived and presented a healthy appearance for eight years, when the Chinaman left his employ and took the trees with him. He tried the plan which has been described but failed, but he was successful with an acorn and a datestone which were planted each in a thumb-pot in a mixture of peat and loam. The dwarfing was effected by turning the plants out of the pots at intervals of six weeks and pinching off the ends of the roots that showed themselves behind the compost. This shows that the production of dwarf plants is chiefly due to a constant and systematic checking of the root growth.
277. To Clear Rose Trees from Blight.
Mix equal quantities of Sulphur and tobacco dust, and strew the mixture over the trees of a morning when the dew is on them. The insects will disappear in a few days. The trees should then be syringed with a decoction of elder leaves.
278. To prevent Mildew on all sorts of Trees.
The best preventive against mildew is to keep the plant subject to it occasionally syringed with a decoction of elder leaves, which will prevent the fungus growing on them.
279. Your Friend the Toad.
Toads are among the best friends the gardener has; for they live almost exclusively on the most destructive kinds of vermin. Unsightly, therefore, though they may be, they should on all accounts be encouraged; they should never be touched nor molested in any way; on the contrary, places of shelter should be made for them, to which they may retire from the burning heat of the sun. If you have none in your garden, it will be quite worth your while to search for them in your walks, and bring them home, taking care to handle them tenderly, for although they have neither the will nor the power to injure you, a very little rough treatment will injure them; no cucumber or melon frame should be without one or two.
280. Slugs and Snails
are great enemies to every kind of garden plant, whether flower or vegetable; they wander in the night to feed, and return at daylight to their haunts. In order to catch them lay cabbage leaves about the ground, especially on the beds which they frequent. Every morning examine these leaves, and you will find a great many taking refuge beneath, and these may be killed by sprinkling them with a little lime or salt. These minerals are very annoying to snails and slugs; a pinch of salt kills them, and they will not touch fresh lime. It is a common practice to sprinkle lime over young crops, and along the edges of beds, about rows of peas and beans, lettuces and other vegetables; but when it has been on the ground some days, or has been moistened by rain, it loses its strength.
[LET THE TICKING CLOCK GUIDE THE BOILING CROCK.]
281. Traps for Snails.
Snails are particularly fond of bran; if a little is spread on the ground, and covered over with a few cabbage-leaves or tiles, they will congregate under them in great numbers, and by examining them every morning, and destroying them, their numbers will be materially decreased.
Grubs on orchard trees, and gooseberry and currant bushes, will sometimes be sufficiently numerous to spoil a crop; but if a bonfire be made with dry sticks and weeds on the windward side of the orchard, so that the smoke may blow among the trees, you will destroy thousands; for the grubs have such an objection to smoke, that very little of it makes them roll themselves up and fall off: they must be swept up afterwards and destroyed.
283. Caterpillars and Aphides.
A garden syringe or engine, with a cap on the pipe full of very minute holes, will wash away these disagreeable visitors very quickly. You must bring the pipe close to the plant, and pump hard, so as to have considerable force on, and the plant, however badly infested, will soon be cleared, without receiving any injury. Afterwards rake the earth under the trees, and kill the insects that have been dislodged, or many will recover and climb up the stems of the plants. Aphides may also be cleared by means of tobacco smoke, but after this has been applied the plant should be well syringed.
284. Butterflies and Moths,
however pretty, are the worst enemies one can have in a garden; a single insect of this kind may deposit eggs enough to overrun a tree with caterpillars, therefore they should be destroyed at any cost of trouble.
To prevent destruction of fruit buds by birds.—Just before the buds are ready to burst, and again when they have begun to expand, give them a plentiful dusting with chimney soot. The soot is unpalatable to the birds, and they will attack no bush that is thus sprinkled. It in no way injures the nascent blossom or leaf, and is washed off in due course of time by the rain.
Wasps destroy a good deal of fruit, but every pair of wasps killed in spring saves the trouble and annoyance of a swarm in autumn.
287. Cure for Sting of Wasp or Bee.
A little ammonia applied to the puncture will speedily relieve the pain, and so will the juice of an onion obtained by cutting an onion in half and rubbing the cut part over the part affected. It is necessary, however, to be very careful in any attempt upon a wasp, for its sting, like that of the bee, causes much pain and frequently induces considerable swelling. In case of being stung, get the blue-bag from the laundry, and rub it well into the wound as soon as possible. Later in the season, it is customary to hang vessels of beer, or water and sugar, in the fruit-trees, to entice them to drown themselves. A wasp in a window may be killed almost instantaneously by the application of a little sweet oil on the tip of a feather.
288. To protect Dahlias from Earwigs.
Dip a piece of wool or cotton in oil, and slightly tie it round the stalk, about a foot from the earth. The stakes which you will put into the ground to support your plants must also be surrounded by the oiled cotton or wool, or the insects will climb up them to the blossoms and tender tops of the stems. Insects may be prevented from climbing up stakes, trees, &c., by encircling them with a broad ring of tar, which may be renewed as often as may be necessary. Small pots inverted and placed on the top of stakes form a useful trap for slugs, snails, earwigs, &c., which crawl into them for shelter in the early morning, and may thus be caught and destroyed. When it is sought to take earwigs by this means, the bottom of each pot should be filled with a wisp of hay or dried grass, or a little cotton wool.
289. To free Plants from Leaf-Lice.
The following is recommended as a cheap and easy mode of getting rid of this pest:—Mix one ounce of flowers of sulphur with one bushel of sawdust; scatter this over the plants infected with these insects: they will soon be freed, though a second application may possibly be necessary.
290. A Moral.
I had a little spot of ground, Where blade nor blossom grew, Though the bright sunshine all around Life-giving radiance threw. I mourned to see a spot so bare Of leaves of healthful green, And thought of bowers, and blossoms fair, I frequently had seen.
Some seeds of various kinds lay by— I knew not what they were— But, rudely turning o'er the soil, I strewed them thickly there; And day by day I watched them spring From out the fertile earth, And hoped for many a lovely thing Of beauty and of worth.
But as I marked their leaves unfold As weeds before my view, And saw how stubbornly and bold The thorns and nettles grew— I sighed to think that I had done, Unwittingly, a thing That, where a beauteous bower should thrive, But worthless weeds did spring.
And thus I mused; the things we do, With little heed or ken, May prove of worthless growth, and strew With thorns the paths of men; For little deeds, like little seeds, May flowers prove, or noxious weeds!
291. Taking a House.
Before taking a house, be careful to calculate that the rent is not too high in proportion to your means; for remember that the rent is a claim that must be paid with but little delay, and that the landlord has greater power over your property than any other creditor. It is difficult to assign any fixed proportion between income and rental to suit all cases, but a reasonable basis for the settlement of this point may be found in the assertion that while not less than one-tenth of a man's entire income need be set apart for rent, not more than a sixth, or at the very utmost a fifth should be devoted to this purpose, and this amount ought to include parochial rates and taxes.
292. Having determined the Amount of Rent
which you can afford to pay, be careful to select the best and most convenient house which can be obtained for that sum. And in making that selection let the following matters be carefully considered:
293. First—Carefully regard the Healthfulness of the Situation.
Find out the nature of the sub-soil on which the house stands—for example, a gravel or chalk subsoil is better than a subsoil of clay, because the former admits of a speedy escape of the surplus water in time of heavy and continuous rain, while the latter does not. Avoid the neighbourhood of graveyards, and of factories giving forth unhealthy vapours. Avoid low and damp districts, the course of canals, and localities of reservoirs of water, gas works, &c. Make inquiries as to the drainage of the neighbourhood, and inspect the drainage and water supply of the premises. A house standing on an incline is likely to be better drained than one standing upon the summit of a hill, or on a level below a hill. Endeavour to obtain a position where the direct sunlight falls upon the house, for this is absolutely essential to health; and give preference to a house the openings of which are sheltered from the north and east winds.
294. Second—Consider the Distance of the House
from your place of occupation: and also its relation to provision markets, and shops in the neighbourhood.
295. Examine the House in Detail.
Having considered these material and leading features, examine the house in detail, carefully looking into its state of repair; notice the windows that are broken; whether the chimneys smoke; whether they have been recently swept; whether the paper on the walls is damaged, especially in the lower parts, and the corners, by the skirtings; whether the locks, bolts, handles of doors, and window fastenings are in proper condition; make a list of the fixtures; ascertain whether all rates and taxes have been paid by the previous tenant, and whether the person from whom you take the house is the original landlord, or his agent or tenant. And do not commit yourself by the signing of any agreement until you are satisfied upon all these points, and see that all has been done which the landlord may have undertaken to do, before you take possession of the house.
[A BLUNT KNIFE SHOWS A DULL WIFE.]
296. If you are about to Furnish a House,
buy merely enough to get along with at first, and add other things by degrees. It is only by experience that you can tell what will be the wants of your family. If you spend all your money, you will find you have purchased many things you do not actually want, and have no means left to get many things which you do want. If you have enough, and more than enough, to get everything suitable to your situation, do not think you must spend all, you may be able to lay out in furniture, merely because you happen to have it. Begin humbly. As riches increase, it is easy and pleasant to increase in comforts; but it is always painful and inconvenient to decrease. Neatness, tastefulness, and good sense may be shown in the management of a small household, and the arrangement of a little furniture, as well as upon a larger scale. The consideration which many purchase by living beyond their income, and, of course, living upon others, is not worth the trouble it costs. It does not, in fact, procure a man valuable friends, or extensive influence.
In buying carpets, as in everything else, those of the best quality are cheapest in the end. As it is extremely desirable that they should look as clean as possible, avoid buying carpeting that has any white in it. Even a very small portion of white interspersed through the pattern will in a short time give a dirty appearance to the whole.
298. A Carpet in which all the Colours are Light
never has a clean, bright effect, from the want of dark tints to contrast and set off the light ones.
299. For a Similar Reason,
carpets whose colours are all of what artists call middle tint (neither dark nor light), cannot fail to look dull and dingy, even when quite new.
300. For a Carpet to be really Beautiful
and in good taste, there should be, as in a picture, a judicious disposal of light and shadow, with a gradation of very bright and of very dark tints; some almost white, and others almost or quite black.
301. The Best Carpets
The most truly chaste, rich, and elegant carpets are those which are of one colour only, the pattern, if pattern it may be called, being formed by a judicious arrangement of every variety of shade of this colour. For instance, a Brussels carpet entirely red; the pattern formed by shades or tints varying from the deepest crimson (almost a black), to the palest pink (almost a white). Also one of green only, shaded from the darkest bottle-green, in some parts of the pattern, to the lightest pea-green in others. Or one in which there is no colour but brown, in all its various gradations, some of the shades being nearly black, others of a light buff.
302. The Curtains, Sofas, &c.,
must be of corresponding colours, that the effect of the whole may be satisfactory to the eye.
303. Colours of Carpets.
Carpets of many gaudy colours are much less in demand than formerly. Two or three colours only, with the dark and light shades of each, make a very handsome carpet.
If you cannot obtain a Hearth-rug that exactly corresponds with the carpet, get one entirely different; for a decided contrast looks better than a bad match. The hearth-rug, however, should reflect the colour or colours of the carpet if possible.
305. Sheepskin Rugs.
Large rugs of sheepskin, in white, crimson, or black, form comfortable and effective hearth-rugs for a drawing-room or dining-room. In the winter these may be removed and an ordinary woollen rug laid down as long as fires are kept up.
[A BAD BROOM LEAVES A DIRTY ROOM.]
In choosing paper for a room, avoid that which has a variety of colours, or a large showy figure, as no furniture can appear to advantage with such. Large figured papering makes a small room look smaller, but, on the contrary, a paper covered with a small pattern makes a room look larger, and a striped paper, the stripes running from ceiling to floor, makes a low room look higher.
307. Kitchen Floors.
The best covering for a Kitchen Floor is a thick unfigured oil-cloth, of one colour. Linoleum or kamptulicon is warmer to the feet than the ordinary painted oilcloth.
308. Family Tool Chests.
Much inconvenience and considerable expense might be saved if it were the general custom to keep in every house certain tools for the purpose of performing at home what are called small jobs, instead of being always obliged to send for a mechanic and pay him for executing little things that, in most cases, could be sufficiently well done by a man or boy belonging to the family, if the proper instruments were at hand.
309. The Cost
of these articles is very trifling, and the advantages of having them always in the house are far beyond the expense.
310. Example Contents.
For instance, there should be an axe, a hatchet, a saw (a large wood saw also, with a buck or stand, if wood is burned), a hammer, a tack-hammer, a mallet, three or four gimlets and bradawls of different sizes, two screw-drivers, a chisel, a small plane, one or two jack-knives, a pair of large scissors or shears, and a carpet fork or stretcher.
Also an assortment of nails of various sizes, from large spikes down to small tacks, not forgetting some large and small brass-headed nails.
An assortment of screws, likewise, will be found very convenient, and iron hooks of different sizes on which to hang things.
The nails and screws should be kept in a wooden box, made with divisions to separate the various sorts and sizes, for it is very troublesome to have them mixed.
314. Maintain Supply.
And let care be taken to keep up the supply, lest it should run out unexpectedly, and the deficiency cause delay and inconvenience at a time when some are wanted.
315. Tool Closet.
It is well to have somewhere, in the lower part of the house, a roomy light closet, appropriated entirely to tools, and things of equal utility, for executing promptly such little repairs as may be required from time to time, without the delay or expense of procuring an artisan. This closet should have at least one large shelf, and that about three feet from the floor.
Beneath this shelf may be a deep drawer, divided into two compartments. This drawer may contain cakes of glue, pieces of chalk, and balls of twine of different size and quality.
There may be shelves at the sides of the closet for glue-pots, paste-pots and brushes, pots for black, white, green, and red paint, cans of oil and varnish, paint-brushes, &c.
318. Hanging Tools.
Against the wall, above the large shelf, let the tools be suspended, or laid across nails or hooks of proper size to support them.
319. More Effective.
This is much better than keeping them in a box, where they may be injured by rubbing sgainst each other, and the hand may be hurt in feeling among them to find the thing that is wanted.
But when hung up against the back wall of the closet, of course each tool can be seen at a glance.
There is an excellent and simple contrivance for designating the exact places allotted to all these articles in a very complete tool closet.
322. Outlined Tools.
On the closet wall, directly under the large nails that support the tools, is drawn with a small brush dipped in black paint or ink, a representation in outline of the tool or instrument belonging to that particular place.
[A HUSBAND'S WRATH SPOILS THE BEST BROTH.]
323. Examples of Outlining.
For instance, under each saw is sketched the outline of that saw, under each gimlet a sketch of that gimlet, under the screw-drivers are slight drawings of screw-drivers.
324. Place Shown.
So that when any tool that has been taken away for use is brought back to the closet, the exact spot to which it belongs can be found in a moment; and the confusion which is occasioned in putting tools away in a box and looking for them again when they are wanted, is thus prevented.
325. Wrapping Paper.
Wrapping paper may be piled on the floor under the large shelf. It can be bought at a low price by the ream, at the large paper warehouses; and every house should keep a supply of it in several varieties. For instance, coarse brown paper for common purposes, which is strong, thick, and in large sheets, is useful for packing heavy articles; and equally so for keeping silks, ribbons, blondes, &c., as it preserves their colours.
326. Printed Papers.
Printed papers are unfit for wrapping anything, as the printing ink rubs off on the articles enclosed in them, and also soils the gloves of the person that carries the parcel.
327. Waste Newspapers.
Waste newspapers had best be used for lighting fires and singeing poultry. If you have accumulated more than you can use, your butcher or grocer will generally buy them of you if they are clean.
328. Waste Paper.
Waste paper that has been written on, cut into slips, and creased and folded, makes very good allumettes or lamp-lighters. These matters may appear of trifling importance, but order and regularity are necessary to happiness.
329. Beds for the Poor.
Beech-tree leaves are recommended for filling the beds of poor persons. They should be gathered on a dry day in the autumn, and perfectly dried. It is said that the smell of them is pleasant and that they will not harbour vermin. They are also very springy.
330. To Preserve Tables.
A piece of oilcloth (about twenty inches long) is a useful appendage to a common sitting-room. Kept in the closet, it can be available at any time, in order to place upon it jars, lamps, &c., whose contents are likely to soil your table during the process of emptying or filling them. A wing and duster are harmonious accompaniments to the oilcloth.
331. Protecting Gilt Frames.
Gilt frames may be protected from flies and dust by pinning tarlatan over them. Tarlatan fit for the purpose may be purchased at the draper's. It is an excellent material for keeping dust from books, vases, wool work, and every description of household ornament.
332. Damp Walls.
The following method is recommended to prevent the effect of damp walls on paper in rooms:—Line the damp part of the wall with sheet lead, rolled very thin, and fastened up with small copper nails. It may be immediately covered with paper. The lead is not to be thicker than that which is used to line tea-chests.
333. Another Method.
Another mode of preventing the ill effects of damp in walls on wall-paper, is to cover the damp part with a varnish formed of naphtha and shellac, in the proportion of 1/4lb. of the latter to a quart of the former. The smell of the mixture is unpleasant, but it wears off in a short time, and the wall is covered with a hard coating utterly impervious to damp, and to which the wall paper can be attached in the usual way.
334. No Wet Scouring In Winter.
Bedrooms should not be scoured in the winter time, as colds and sickness may be produced thereby. Dry scouring upon the French plan, which consists of scrubbing the floors with dry brushes, may be resorted to, and will be found more effective than can at first be imagined. If a bedroom is wet scoured, a dry day should be chosen—the windows should be opened, the linen removed, and a fire should be lit when the operation is finished.
[A WIFE'S ART IS DISPLAYED IN A TABLE WELL LAID.]
335. To Get Rid of a Bad Smell in a Room Newly Painted.
Place a vessel full of lighted charcoal in the middle of the room, and throw on it two or three handfuls of juniper berries, shut the windows, the chimney, and the door close; twenty-four hours afterwards, the room may be opened, when it will be found that the sickly, unwholesome smell will be entirely gone. The smoke of the juniper berry possesses this advantage, that should anything be left in the room, such as; tapestry, &c., none of it will be spoiled.
336. Smell of Paint.
To get rid of the smell of oil paint, let a pailful of water stand in the room newly painted.
337. Airing a Larder.
If a larder, by its position, will not admit of opposite windows, a current of air should be admitted by means of a flue from the outside.
338. Keeping a Door Open.
To keep a door open, place a brick covered neatly with a piece of carpeting against it, when opened sufficiently.
339. To Ascertain whether a Bed be Aired.
Introduce a drinking glass between the sheets for a minute or two, just when the warming-pan is taken out; if the bed be dry, there will only be a slight cloudy appearance on the glass, but if not, the damp of the bed will collect in and on the glass and assume the form of drops—a warning of danger.
340. To prevent the Smoking of a Lamp.
Soak the wick in strong vinegar, and dry it well before you use it; the flame will then burn clear and bright.
341. Encrusted Tea-Kettles.
Water of every kind, except rain water, will speedily cover the inside of a tea-kettle with an unpleasant crust; this may easily be guarded against by placing a clean oyster-shell or a piece of stone or marble in the tea-kettle. The shell or stone will always keep the interior of the kettle in good order, by attracting the particles of earth or of stone.
342. To Soften Hard Water.
or purify river water, simply boil it, and then leave it exposed to the atmosphere.
343. Cabbage Water
should be thrown away immediately it is done with, and the vessel rinsed with clean water, or it will cause unpleasant smells.
A little charcoal mixed with clear water thrown into a sink will disinfect and deodorize it. Chloride of lime and carbolic acid considerably diluted, if applied in a liquid form, are good disinfectants, and carbolic powder—a pink powder with a smell resembling tar, and sold at about 2d. per lb.—is both useful and effective. The air of a bedroom may be pleasantly sweetened by throwing some ground coffee on a fire shovel previously heated.
345. Chimney Smoking.
Where a chimney smokes only when a fire is first lighted, it may be guarded against by allowing the fire to kindle gradually, or by heating the chimney by burning straw or paper in the grate previous to laying in the fire.
346. Ground Glass.
The frosted appearance of ground glass may be very nearly imitated by gently dabbing the glass over with a paint brush dipped in white paint or any other oil colour. The paint should be thin, and but very little colour taken up at one time on the end of the bristles. When applied with a light and even touch the resemblance is considerable.
347. Oiling Clocks.
Family clocks ought only to be oiled with the very purest oil, purified by a quart of lime water to a gallon of oil, in which it has been well shaken, and suffered to stand for three or four days, when it may be drawn off.
348. Neat Mode of Soldering.
Cut out a piece of tinfoil the size of the surfaces to be soldered. Then dip a feather in a solution of sal ammoniac, and wet over the surfaces of the metal, then place them in their proper position with the tinfoil between. Put the metals thus arranged on a piece of iron hot enough to melt the foil. When cold the surfaces will be found firmly soldered together.
[WHO NEVER TRIES CANNOT WIN THE PRIZE.]
349. Maps and Charts.
Maps, charts, or engravings may be effectually varnished by brushing a very delicate coating of gutta-percha solution over their surface. It is perfectly transparent, and is said to improve the appearance of pictures. By coating both sides of important documents they can be kept waterproof and preserved perfectly.
350. Temperature of Furniture.
Furniture made in the winter, and brought from a cold warehouse into a warm apartment, is very liable to crack.
351. Paper Fire-Screens
should be sized and coated with transparent varnish, otherwise they will soon become soiled and discoloured.
352. Pastilles for Burning.
Cascarilla bark, eight drachms; gum benzoin, four drachms; yellow sanders, two drachms; styrax, two drachms; olibanum, two drachms; charcoal, six ounces; nitre, one drachm and a half; mucilage of tragacanth, sufficient quantity. Reduce the substances to a powder, and form into a paste with the mucilage, and divide into small cones; then put them into an oven, used quite dry.
353. Breaking Glass.
Easy method of breaking glass to any required Figure.—Make a small notch by means of a file on the edge of a piece of glass, then make the end of a tobacco-pipe, or of a rod of iron of the same size, red hot in the fire, apply the hot iron to the notch, and draw it slowly along the surface of the glass in any direction you please: a crack will follow the direction of the iron.
354. Bottling and Fining.
Corks should be sound, clean, and sweet. Beer and porter should be allowed to stand in the bottles a day or two before being corked. If for speedy use, wiring is not necessary. Laying the bottles on their sides will assist the ripening for use. Those that are to be kept should be wired, and put to stand upright in sawdust. Wines should be bottled in spring. If not fine enough, draw off a jugful and dissolve isinglass in it, in the proportion of half an ounce to ten gallons, and then pour back through the bung-hole. Let it stand a few weeks. Tap the cask above the lees. When the isinglass is put into the cask, stir it round with a stick, taking great care not to touch the lees at the bottom. For white wine only, mix with the isinglass a quarter of a pint of milk to each gallon of wine, some whites of eggs, beaten with some of the wine. One white of an egg to four gallons makes a good fining.
355. To Sweeten Casks.
Mix half a pint of vitriol with a quart of water, pour it into the barrel, and roll it about; next day add one pound of chalk, and roll again. Bung down for three or four days, then rinse well with hot water.
356. Wrinkly Paintings.
Oil paintings hung over the mantel-piece are liable to wrinkle with the heat.
357. To Loosen Glass Stoppers of Bottles.
With a feather rub a drop or two of salad oil round the stopper, close to the mouth of the bottle or decanter, which must then be placed before the fire, at the distance of about eighteen inches; the heat will cause the oil to insinuate itself between the stopper and the neck. When the bottle has grown warm, gently strike the stopper on one side, and then on the other, with any light wooden instrument; then try it with the hand: if it will not yet move, place it again before the fire, adding another drop of oil. After a while strike again as before; and, by persevering in this process, however tightly it may be fastened in, you will at length succeed in loosening it.
358. The Best Oil for Lamps,
whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, is that which is clear and nearly colourless, like water.
359. China or Wedgwood Teapots.
China teapots are the safest, and, in many respects, the most pleasant. Wedgwood ware is very apt, after a time, to acquire a disagreeable taste.
[THE BEST PHYSICIANS ARE DR. DIET, DR. QUIET AND DR. MERRYMAN.]
360. Care of Linen.
When linen is well dried and laid by for use, nothing more is necessary than to secure it from damp and insects. It may he kept free from the latter by a judicious mixture of aromatic shrubs and flowers, cut up and sewed in silken bags, which must be interspersed among the drawers and shelves. The ingredients used may consist of lavender, thyme, roses, cedar shavings, powdered sassafras, cassia, &c., into which a few drops of otto of roses, or other strong-scented perfume may be thrown.
361. Repairing Linen.
In all cases it will he found more consistent with economy to examine and repair all washable articles, more especially linen, that may stand in need of it, previous to sending them to the laundry. It will also be prudent to have every article carefully numbered, and so arranged, after washing, as to have their regular turn and term in domestic use.
When you make a new article always save the pieces until "mending day," which may come sooner than expected. It will be well even to buy a little extra quantity for repairs. Read over repeatedly the "DOMESTIC HINTS" (pars. 1783-1807). These numerous paragraphs contain most valuable suggestions, that will be constantly useful if well remembered. They should be read frequently that their full value may be secured. Let your servants also read them, for nothing more conduces to good housekeeping than for the servant to understand the "system" which her mistress approves of.
363. Cleansing of Furniture.
The cleaning of furniture forms an important part of domestic economy, not only in regard to neatness, but also in point of expense.
364. Method of Cleansing.
The readiest mode indeed consists in good manual rubbing, or the application of a little elbow-grease, as it is whimsically termed; but our finest cabinet work requires something more, where brilliancy of polish is of importance.
365. Italian Varnish.
The Italian Cabinet-Work in this respect excels that of any other country. The workmen first saturate the surface with olive oil, and then apply a solution of gum arabic dissolved in boiling alcohol. This mode of varnishing is equally brilliant, if not superior, to that employed by the French in their most elaborate works.
366. Another Method.
But another Mode may be substituted, which has less the appearance of a hard varnish, and may always be applied so as to restore the pristine beauty of the furniture by a little manual labour. Heat a gallon of water, in which dissolve one pound and a half of potash; and a pound of virgin wax, boiling the whole for half an hour, then suffer it to cool, when the wax will float on the surface. Put the wax into a mortar, and triturate it with a marble pestle, adding soft water to it until it forms a soft paste, which, laid neatly on furniture, or even on paintings, and carefully rubbed when dry with a woollen rag, gives a polish of great brilliancy, without the harshness of the drier varnishes.
367. Marble Chimney-Pieces.
Marble chimney-pieces may also be rubbed with it, after cleaning the marble with diluted muriatic acid, or warm soap and vinegar; but the iron or brass work connected with them requires other processes.
368. Polished Iron Work
may be preserved from rust by an inexpensive mixture, consisting of copal varnish intimately mixed with as much olive oil as will giye it a degree of greasiness, adding thereto nearly as much spirit of turpentine as of varnish.
369. Cast Iron Work
is best preserved by the common method of rubbing with black-lead.
If rust has made its appearance on grates or fire-irons, apply a mixture of two parts of tripoli to one of sulphur, intimately mingled on a marble slab, and laid on with a piece of soft leather. Or emery and oil may be applied with excellent effect; not laid on in the usual slovenly way, but with a spongy piece of fig wood fully saturated with the mixture. This will not only clean but impart a polish to the metal as well.
Brass Ornaments, when not gilt or lacquered, may be cleaned in the same way, and a fine colour given to them, by two simple processes.
372. First Brass Process.
The first is to beat sal ammoniac into a fine powder, then to moisten it with soft water, rubbing it on the ornaments, which must be heated over charcoal, and rubbed dry with bran and whiting.
373. Second Brass Process.
The second is to wash the brasswork with roche alum boiled in strong ley, in proportion of an ounce to a pint; when dry, rub it with fine tripoli. Either of these processes will give to brass the brilliancy of gold.
If the corner of a carpet becomes loose and prevents the door opening, or trips every one up that enters the room, nail it down at once. A dog's-eared carpet marks the sloven as well as the dog's-eared book. An English gentleman, travelling some years ago in Ireland, took a hammer and tacks with him, because he found dog's-eared carpets at all the inns where he rested. At one of these inns he tacked down the carpet, which, as usual, was loose near the door, and soon afterwards rang for his dinner. While the carpet was loose the door could not be opened without a hard push; so when the waiter came up, he just unlatched the door, and then going back a couple of yards, he rushed against it, as his habit was, with a sudden spring, to force it open. But the wrinkles of the carpet were no longer there to stop it, and not meeting with the expected resistance, the unfortunate waiter fell full length into the room. It had never entered his head that so much trouble might be saved by means of a hammer and half a dozen tacks, until his fall taught him that makeshift is a very unprofitable kind of shift. There are a good many houses in England where a similar practical lesson might be of service.
375. Cleaning Carpets.
Take a pail of cold water, and add to it three gills of ox-gall. Rub it into the carpet with a soft brush. It will raise a lather, which must be washed off with clear cold water. Rub dry with a clean cloth. Before nailing down a carpet after the floor has been washed, be certain that the floor is quite dry, or the nails will rust and injure the carpet. Fuller's earth is used for cleaning carpets, and weak solutions of alum or soda are used for reviving the colours. The crumb of a hot wheaten loaf rubbed over a carpet has been found effective.
Beat a carpet on the wrong side first; and then more gently on the right side. Beware of using sticks with sharp points, which may tear the carpet.
377. Sweeping Carpets.
Persons who are accustomed to use tea-leaves for sweeping their carpets, and find that they leave stains, will do well to employ fresh cut grass instead. It is better than tea-leaves for preventing dust, and gives the carpets a very bright, fresh look.
378. Making a Carpet Last Longer.
A half-worn carpet may be made to last longer by ripping it apart, and transposing the breadths.
379. Sweeping a Stair-Carpet.
A stair carpet should never be swept down with a long broom, but always with a short-handled brush, a dust-pan being held closely under each step of the stairs during the operation of sweeping.
380. Cleaning Oilcloth.
Oilcloth should never be scrubbed with a brush, but, after being first swept, it should be cleansed by washing with a large soft cloth and lukewarm or cold water. On no account use soap or hot water, as either will injure the paint, and in time remove it.
381. Cleaning Straw Matting.
Straw matting may be cleaned with a large coarse cloth dipped in salt and water, and then wiped dry. The salt prevents the matting from turning yellow.
[EAT NOT TO DULNESS—DRINK NOT TO ELEVATION.]
382. Method of Cleaning Paper-Hangings.
Cut into eight half quarters a quartern loaf, two days old; it must be neither newer nor staler. With one of these pieces, after having blown off all the dust from the paper to be cleaned, by the means of a good pair of bellows, begin at the top of the room, and, holding the crust in the hand, wipe lightly downward with the crumb, about half a yard at each stroke, till the upper part of the hangings is completely cleaned all round. Then go round again, with the like sweeping stroke downwards, always commencing each successive course a little higher than the upper stroke had extended, till the bottom be finished. This operation, if carefully performed, will frequently make very old paper look almost equal to new. Great care must be taken not to rub the paper hard, nor to attempt cleaning it the cross or horizontal way. The surface of the bread, too, must be always cut away as soon as it becomes dirty, and the pieces renewed as often as may be necessary.
383. Cleaning Rosewood Furniture.
Rosewood furniture should be rubbed gently every day with a clean soft cloth to keep it in order.
384. Cleaning Ottomans and Sofas.
Ottomans and sofas, covered with cloth, damask, or chintz, will look better for being cleaned occasionally with bran and flannel.
385. Polishing Dining-Tables.
Dining tables may be polished by rubbing them for some time with a soft cloth and a little linseed oil.
Mahogany frames of sofas, chairs, &c., should be first well dusted, and then cleaned with a flannel dipped in sweet oil or linseed oil.
387. To Clean Cane-bottom Chairs.
Turn the chair bottom upwards, and with hot water and a sponge wash the canework well, so that it may become completely soaked. Should it be very dirty you must add soap. Let it dry in the open air, or in a place where there is a thorough draught, and it will become as tight and firm as when new, provided none of the strips are broken.
Stains may be removed by washing with soap and water, then whitewashing the stained part, letting it stand some hours, then washing off the whitewash, and rubbing the stained part with a flannel moistened with lukewarm soap and water.
389. To Clean Marble.
Take two parts of common soda, one part of pumice stone, and one part of finely powdered chalk; sift it through a fine sieve, and mix it with water. Rub the marble well all over with the mixture, and the stains will be removed; then wash the marble with soap and water, and it will be as clean as it was at first.
Glass should be washed in cold water, which gives it a brighter and clearer look than when cleansed with warm water; or, what is better, wash in warm water and rinse in cold water.
391. Using Charcoal (1).
Glass vessels, and other utensils, may be purified and cleaned by rinsing them out with powdered charcoal.
There is no easier method of cleaning glass bottles than putting into them fine coal-ashes, and well shaking, either with water or not, hot or cold, according to the substance that fouls the bottle. Charcoal left in a bottle or jar for a little time will take away disagreeable smells.
393. Cleaning Japanned Waiters, Urns, &c.
Rub on with a sponge a little white soap and some lukewarm water, and wash the waiter or urn quite clean. Never use hot water, as it will cause the japan to scale off. Having wiped it dry, sprinkle a little flour over it; let it remain untouched for a short time, and then rub it with a soft dry cloth, and finish with a silk handkerchief. White heat marks on the waiters are difficult to remove; but rubbing them with a flannel dipped in sweet oil, and afterwards in spirits of wine, may be tried. Waiters of 'papier mache' should be washed with a sponge and cold water only, and dredged with flour while damp. After the lapse of a few minutes the flour must be wiped off, and the article polished with a silk handkerchief.
[DISEASE IS SOON SHAKEN BY PHYSIC SOON TAKEN.]
394. Papier Mache.
Papier Mache articles of all kinds should be washed with a sponge and cold water, without soap, dredged with flour while damp, and polished with a flannel or a silk handkerchief.
395. Brunswick Black for Varnishing Grates.
Melt four pounds of common asphaltum, and add two pints of linseed oil, and one gallon of oil of turpentine. This is usually put up in stoneware bottles for sale, and is used with a paint brush. If too thick, more turpentine may be added.
396. Blacking for Stoves
may be made with half a pound of black-lead finely powdered, and (to make it stick) mix with it the whites of three eggs well beaten; then dilute it with sour beer or porter till it becomes as thin as shoe-blacking; after stirring it, set it over hot coals to simmer for twenty minutes; when cold it may be kept for use.
397. To Clean Knives and Forks.
Wash the blades in warm (but not hot) water, and afterwards rub them lightly over with powdered rotten-stone mixed to a paste with a little cold water; then polish them with a clean cloth.
398. For Cleaning Painted Wainscot or Other Woodwork,
fuller's earth will be found cheap and useful: on wood not painted it forms an excellent substitute for soap.
399. To Scour Boards.
Lime, one part; sand, three parts; soft soap, two parts. Lay a little on the boards with the scrubbing brush, and rub thoroughly. Rinse with clean water, and rub dry. This will keep the boards of a good colour, and keep away vermin.
400. Charcoal (2).
All sorts of glass vessels and other utensils may be purified from long-retained smells of every kind, in the easiest and most perfect manner, by rinsing them out well with charcoal powder, after the grosser impurities have been scoured off with sand and potash. Rubbing the teeth and washing out the mouth with fine charcoal powder, will render the teeth beautifully white, and the breath perfectly sweet, where an offensive breath has been owing to a scorbutic disposition of the gums. Putrid water is immediately deprived of its bad smell by charcoal. When meat, fish, &c., from intense heat, or long keeping, are likely to pass into a state of corruption, a simple and pure mode of keeping them sound and healthful is by putting a few pieces of charcoal, each about the size of an egg, into the pot or saucepan wherein the fish or flesh is to be boiled. Among others, an experiment of this kind was tried upon a turbot, which appeared to be too far gone to be eatable; the cook, as advised, put three or four pieces of charcoal, each the size of an egg, under the strainer in the fish-kettle; after boiling the proper time, the turbot came to the table sweet and firm.