THE GIRL'S OWN PAPER
VOL. VIII.—NO. 354.
OCTOBER 9, 1886.
PRICE ONE PENNY.
In the heart of the heartless town, where hunger and death are rife; Where gold and greed, and trouble and need, make up the sum of life— A woman lives with her only child, And toils 'mid the weary strife.
No end to the tiring toil to earn a wage so small; No end to the ceaseless care—ah! the misery of it all! While the strongest snatch the hard-earned crust, The weakest the crumbs that fall.
Oh, look at the pallid face as it bends o'er the dreary work; The stitch, and stitch, and stitch that she knows she dare not shirk! Her strength is ebbing away so fast That she scarcely feels it go.
Oh, list to the weary sigh—a whole tale in one breath— A widowed life, and a mother's love, and the fear of an early death. While there at her feet a pale boy sits, And weeps for his mother's woe.
* * * * *
She has called to her boy in the night; he has nestled beside her bed, And clung to her neck with a smothered cry and a feeling of sudden dread. And thus they lie, till the mother strives To speak with her tears unshed.
And then she tells him—so sweet and low, it sounds like a fairy tale— How Jesus has sent His angels down to fetch her; that He won't fail To send His angel to watch o'er him When love can no more avail.
* * * * *
But still she holds him so gently firm, so close to her lifeless breast; She speaks no more, he weeps no more, for God knows what is best. He has taken both from a world of pain To endless peace and rest.
E. A. V.
THE SHEPHERD'S FAIRY.
BY DARLEY DALE, Author of "Fair Katherine," etc.
Up the old oak staircase three or four stairs at a time sprang the baron; then he walked quickly with beating heart down the long corridor to the west wing, where the nursery was, and pausing at the top of a spiral staircase which led to the side door he intended to go out by, he shouted impatiently to the housemaid who was left in charge of the baby.
"Marie! Marie! Vite, vite. Where is Monsieur Leon's malacca cane? It was in my dressing-room this morning. Fetch it directly."
The girl came running to do her master's bidding, and no sooner had the white streamers of her cap disappeared down the corridor than the baron darted into the nursery. A lamp was burning on a table at one end of the room, and at the other, carefully guarded from any draught by a folding-screen, stood a swinging-cradle, on pedestals of silver. The framework, the baron knew, was an old family relic, but the cradle itself was a new and wonderful creation of white swansdown and blue satin, lined with lace and trimmed with pale blue ribbons. In this mass of satin and lace lay the baron's tiny daughter, fast asleep, her small fingers grasping a lovely toy of pink coral with golden bells, which was fastened round her waist with pale blue ribbon. For one moment the baron hesitated. To tear the little creature from her luxurious home, and trust her to the tender mercies of some rough sailors for a day or two, and then leave her in the hands of strangers, who might or might not be kind to her, seemed hard even to the baron, whose mind was warped by jealousy; but then came the thought that all this luxury with which the child was so extravagantly surrounded was bad for her; if Mathilde persisted in pampering her in this way, she would grow up weak and delicate. The life he had chosen for her was far more healthy; and if she were inured to a harder life in her infancy, she was much more likely to develop into a strong, healthy girl; and as he quieted his conscience with these thoughts his hesitation vanished, and he stooped to pick her up.
But hark! there was a footstep. Was it Marie returning? What would she think to find him in the nursery, into whose precincts he had never before intruded, as the servants all knew well enough? No, it was a false alarm, no one was coming; and seeing that now or never was the time for him to carry out his plan, he picked up the baby, folded the quilted satin coverlet and the fine cambric sheet round it, and covered its face with a lace handkerchief that lay on the pillow; then, feeling that the swansdown quilt might not be warm enough on board the yacht, he glanced round the room, and seeing an Indian shawl which Mathilde often wore lying on a rocking-chair, he wrapped his burden entirely up in this, and then dreading every moment the child should cry and betray him, he stole out of the nursery to the spiral staircase. Here he paused for a moment to listen, but all he heard was Marie's voice far off entreating another servant to come and help her to look for the cane, as Monsieur le Baron was waiting for it.
"Be quick, Marie, I can't wait much longer," shouted the baron, and then, quick as thought, he dived down the spiral staircase, in his haste nearly precipitating himself and his little daughter, who still slept peacefully, to the bottom.
To let himself out at the side door was the work of a moment; and now, unless surprised by any of the servants who might be loitering about in the shrubberies with their lovers, he was safe. He had only to run down a winding path of about two hundred yards across the grounds to the gate where Leon was awaiting him. Once the baron started like a robber at a rustling in the bushes as he passed, but it was only a cat, and once again he breathed freely, and in less than five minutes from the time he entered the nursery he stood on the road by the side of the dogcart.
"Is it you, Arnaut?" asked Leon, anxiously peering through the twilight at his brother.
"Yes, yes, it is all right; here it is," said the baron, holding the bundle up to Leon.
"How on earth am I to take it? Where is its head? Can't you nurse it till we get to the yacht?" said Leon.
"No; how should I drive with this thing in my arms? Here, give me the reins, and take hold. This is its head. Thank you," said the baron, with an immense sigh of relief as he handed the baby to Leon.
Leon took the bundle so reluctantly, and handled it as delicately as if it were a piece of priceless china he was afraid of breaking by a touch, that the baron, who was not in the best of tempers, in spite of his successful expedition, growled out, "It won't bite you; you needn't be afraid."
"I am not, but my dear Arnaut you might make allowances; I never had a baby in my arms before in my life. I daresay I shall get used to it in time; use is second nature, they say. But I say, I don't believe it ought to be bundled up in this way; it can't breathe; it will be suffocated; I shall open this shawl a little," said Leon, proceeding to do so, and being immediately rewarded by a long, wailing cry from the infant.
"There," said the baron, with an impatient exclamation, "now you have woke it. Why didn't you leave it alone?"
"My dear fellow, it would never have woke again if I had; the poor little creature was choking," said Leon, sitting the baby up on his knees, as if it were a year old instead of a few months.
"It will cry the whole way now, and, if we meet anyone, betray our secret," grumbled the baron.
"Well, I'd rather it cried than have it suffocated, as it infallibly would have been but for me. Baby, in future years you may thank your uncle Leon for saving your life. Perhaps if I whistle it will stop howling. I'll try," said Leon, whistling, in which art he was a great adept.
But whistling had no effect on the baby, unless it was to make it cry louder, and Leon was in despair, and the baron getting furious, until it suddenly occurred to the former to jump the child up and down, as he had seen Mathilde do. This was successful; as long as Leon danced it about it was quiet; the moment he stopped it began to cry.
"I wish old Pierre joy if he has to spend the next twenty-four hours in this way. Drive on, Arnaut; my arms are aching so I can't keep this game up much longer," said Leon, as they entered the village of Carolles, where, luckily for them, all the inhabitants had already gone to bed, and they met no one till they reached the place where the yacht was lying.
A boat was waiting to take Leon on board with Pierre and the English carpenter, to whom Leon spoke in English, asking him if he were quite sure the baby would be well looked after where he proposed to place it, and on Smith's answering that he was certain it would, Leon turned to the baron, who did not understand a word of English, and told him he need have no anxiety about the child.
"All right; I don't want to know where you are going to take it; make any arrangements you like. If you want more money than I have given you, let me know and you shall have it. When do you expect to be back here, Leon?"
"Oh, not for a month at least; I shall keep away till all the fuss Mathilde will make about the baby is over; meanwhile, if you change your mind and want the baby back, write to me at my agent's and he will forward your letter. Adieu."
And Leon, who had handed the baby to Pierre as soon as they met, now kissed his brother on both cheeks and then sprang into the boat. Smith pushed her off and sculled them across the moonlit sea to the yacht, the baron watching them until they reached her and the boat was drawn up to its davits, when he turned and drove back to the chateau, wondering greatly how the baroness would bear the loss of her baby, and fearing a very bad quarter of an hour was in store for him when she learnt what had become of it.
A stiff breeze was blowing, but with wind and tide in her favour the yacht sailed smoothly across the Channel, all on board her, except the baby, being too inured to the sea to feel ill, and, luckily, the movement of the yacht seemed to lull the child to sleep. When she woke Pierre was always at hand with some milk, so that she was scarcely heard to cry during the whole passage, spending the time in sleeping and eating, and thereby enabling Pierre to earn for himself the character of a first-rate nurse.
From time to time during the next day Leon came into the cabin to look at his tiny charge, for whom an impromptu cradle had been made with some pillows in an easy chair, and who seemed to have the happy knack of adapting herself to circumstances, for she slept quietly on, with a smile on her little face, all unconscious of the waves from which a few planks divided her.
"Poor little mite; I hope they'll be kind to her, Smith, these friends of yours. I am half sorry I brought her, though the baron wished it," said Leon, as he left the cabin; but the next moment he was whistling on deck as though no such thing as the baby existed.
Towards evening they came in sight of Brighton, whose long sea front, even in those distant days, stretched for a mile or two along the coast, and Leon, who knew the town well, and considered it one of the few English towns in which he could spend a few days without dying of ennui, was anxious to put in there, but Smith dissuaded him.
"If we put in here, sir, they'll be sure to trace the child; it would be far better to let me go ashore with it in the gig, while you lay outside."
"But where are we to put in then? Having come to England, I mean to go ashore for a day or two."
"Why not run up to Yarmouth, sir; the wind is fair; it is south-west now. You have never been there, have you? And there'll be no fear of anyone tracing the child there. If madame sees in the paper that we touched at Yarmouth, she may inquire all over that part of the country without finding the baby down in Sussex."
Leon considered the matter for a few minutes, and finally consented to this arrangement; and about eight o'clock that evening the gig was lowered, and Pierre, who would not abandon his charge till the last minute, went ashore with John Smith and the baby.
They landed on a quiet spot between Brighton and Rottingdean, and here Smith insisted on Pierre's remaining in charge of the boat while he deposited the baby with his friends. Pierre protested against this; but the carpenter was firm. It would not be safe, he argued, to leave the boat alone for two or three hours, and he might be gone as long as that; and there could be no danger in leaving Pierre there, for if anyone did question him about his business, he would not be able to understand them, as he knew no English.
Pierre found it was useless to make any further objections, so, reluctantly handing the baby over to the carpenter, he prepared to make himself as comfortable as circumstances permitted during Smith's absence. It was a beautiful warm midsummer evening, but Pierre began to feel chilly and tired of waiting long before Smith came back, though he managed to get several naps, curled up in the bottom of the boat. At last, about eleven o'clock, just as Pierre was getting very nervous, and dreading every minute that one of the white ladies of Normandy (those dames blanches who are so cruel to the discourteous) should appear to him, or a hobgoblin or a ghost, in all of which he was, like most Norman peasants, a firm believer, to his intense relief he heard the carpenter whistling in the distance, and a minute or two later Smith arrived, hot and tired, and by no means in a communicative frame of mind, only vouchsafing to tell the anxious Pierre that the baby was safe.
To Leon he was bound to be less reserved, and, according to his own account, he had had no difficulty in persuading his friend the shepherd to take charge of the child. He had asked no awkward questions, and was quite satisfied with the sum of money Smith had left with him. Leon carefully entered the name and address of the shepherd in his pocket-book, and then dismissed the matter from his mind, and gave himself up to enjoying his cruise.
A day or two later they put into Yarmouth, and the arrival of the French yacht, L'Hirondelle, owner M. Leon de Thorens, was duly mentioned in the shipping news of the daily papers. Yarmouth was not a place after Leon's heart, and he would have left the next day, but John Smith had gone ashore and had not returned, so their departure was delayed at first for a few hours; but as Smith still did not appear, Leon began to get anxious, and made inquiries in the town for him, but in vain. At last, after delaying several days, it became evident the man had deserted, and finally Leon set sail without him. His intention on leaving Brighton was to cruise round the coast of Great Britain, visiting the principal seaports on the way; but on finding Smith did not return, his suspicions were awakened as to the safety of the child, and he determined to go back at once to Brighton and see if the child had really been left with the shepherd whose address Smith had given him.
But that night a dense fog came on, and a day or two later a paragraph in the English papers announced a collision had taken place off Harwich with an English trading vessel and the French yacht, L'Hirondelle, in which the latter sunk at once with all hands, not a soul remaining to tell the tale, but some life-belts and spars of wood which were picked up afterwards led to the identification of the yacht, which was known to have left Yarmouth the morning before the collision took place.
(To be continued.)
DINNERS FOR TWO.
Many housekeepers complain of the difficulty of providing a change of dishes where the family is small. Really, the number of things that may be served for one or two people is very great, but the serving is important. The writer has endeavoured in the following twenty-four dinners only to give such dishes as with a little care and attention may easily be cooked by a general servant with a rather limited knowledge of cooking. They are also chosen with due regard to expenditure. There are not any extravagant dishes, no stock meat is required for anything, nor is any pastry included in any dinner.
In arranging dinners for a number it is easy to give the weights of the different things that will be required, as there will probably be an average of appetites, but this is not possible for one or two people; for where one person will eat nearly a pound of meat, another will only eat two ounces, so that of quantity the housekeeper must be the best judge, as she knows the appetites for which she has to provide.
1. Mulligatawny soup; fillet steak with mushroom ketchup; baked batter pudding.
2. Flounders water souchet; piece of best end neck of mutton roasted; steamed semolina pudding, lemon sauce.
3. Potato soup; steak and kidney pudding; apples stewed in syrup.
4. Filleted plaice (dressed white); veal cutlets, bacon, and baked tomatoes; cheese fondu.
5. Lobster salad; stewed breast of mutton; cake fritters.
6. Brown onion soup; roast fillet of beef; Spanish rice.
7. Slices of cod fried; toad-in-the-hole; Melbourne pudding.
8. Curried eggs; Irish stew; rice meringue.
9. Potiron; beef steak stewed with vegetables; blancmange.
10. Baked haddock; calves' heart roasted; bread-and-jam pudding.
11. Shrimp toast; roast fillet of mutton; strawberry cream.
12. Turnip soup; breast of veal stewed; apple charlotte.
13. Fried mackerel; boiled rabbit and onion sauce; cheese toast.
14. Brunoise; stewed mutton cutlets; baked rice pudding.
15. Fried herrings, mustard sauce; rump-steak aux fines herbes; jam roll.
16. Dressed crab; boiled knuckle of mutton with caper sauce; bread-and-butter fritters.
17. Tomato soup; mutton cutlets with onion puree; cocoanut pudding.
18. Fried smelts; a currie; boiled batter pudding.
19. Vegetable soup; rump steak; macaroni cheese.
20. Stewed fish; leg of mutton cutlet; raspberry sponge.
21. Vegetable marrow soup; one rib of beef (boned and rolled) roasted; tapioca pudding.
22. Fried soles; pounded meat cutlets in Italian paste with sauce; macaroni with tomato sauce.
23. Fried whiting; boiled knuckle of veal with parsley and butter, and grilled bacon; baked currant pudding.
24. Semolina soup; part of loin of pork roasted; Spanish souffle.
Vegetables, though, of course, they are an important part of dinner, are not given, as they must vary according to the month of the year. The recipes which follow are as little complicated as possible.
Mulligatawny Soup (without meat).—Cut two onions and a small carrot into thin slices, put them into a stewpan with one ounce of butter, turn them about until they are a nice brown colour, but not burnt, then add a sprig of parsley and half an apple, stir in three teaspoonfuls of curry powder, add a pint and a half of hot stock from bones, or of hot water and a little piece of lean bacon, or a small bacon bone if you have one; let the soup simmer for an hour, skim the fat off, strain the soup, put it back in the saucepan, add to it the juice of half a lemon and a dessertspoonful of flour that has been baked a very light brown and mixed with a piece of butter the size of a pigeon's egg; salt to taste. Serve the soup very hot, and hand rice as boiled for curry with it.
Fillet Steaks with Mushroom Ketchup.—Beat the steaks with a beater or rolling-pin, put a very small piece of butter in a stewpan, place the steaks in it, and brown them slightly on each side; add one tablespoonful of ketchup and one tablespoonful of water, also a little black pepper; salt is not generally wanted with mushroom ketchup; cover the stewpan closely, and keep the fillets hot for three-quarters of an hour at the side of the stove; serve with the gravy poured over them.
Flounders Water Souchet.—Wash the fish and remove the heads. Put three-quarters of a pint of cold water into a stewpan, well wash two parsley roots and cut them in fine shreds, put them in a stewpan with a little pepper and salt, simmer a quarter of an hour, put in the flounders with a tablespoonful of parsley broken into small sprigs, not chopped, simmer eight minutes, and serve with a plate of brown bread and butter and a cut lemon.
Semolina Pudding.—Boil one and a half ounces of semolina in three-quarters of a pint of milk until it is cooked, take the saucepan from the fire, add a little sugar and a very small pinch of salt; then stir in two well-beaten eggs; butter a small mould or basin well, pour in the mixture, cover the top with buttered paper, and steam the pudding for an hour either by putting it into a steamer or into a saucepan with boiling water half way up the basin and keeping the water boiling. Serve with lemon sauce over. Sauce:—Take a quarter of a pint of cold water, mix a teaspoonful of cornflour with it, add the juice of half a lemon and a little white sugar; boil all together, stirring all the time.
Potato Soup.—Take one pound of potatoes weighed after they are peeled; cut them up and put them in a stewpan, with a piece of butter the size of a walnut, and an onion cut in slices; cover the stewpan, and shake the vegetables over the fire for five minutes; add a pint of hot water; simmer for an hour. Pass the whole through a sieve; put back in the saucepan. Add nearly half a pint of milk, and pepper and salt to taste. Cut a thin slice of bread in small dice; fry it in butter; put it in the bottom of the tureen, and pour the soup over.
Stewed Apples.—Boil together a teacupful of cold water, a teacupful of sugar, and a teaspoonful of lemon-juice; peel and core six small apples as soon as the syrup is clear. Put the apples in and cook them over a slow fire until they are tender. They must be turned while cooking, but must not be broken. When cold sprinkle a little chopped almond on each, or else a small piece of red currant jelly can be put on.
Fillets of Plaice.—Double the fillets, put them on a buttered tin, with pepper, salt, and a squeeze of lemon-juice over each; cover with buttered paper, and bake for ten or fifteen minutes; then put them on a dish, and serve with following sauce round them:—Boil the bones of the fish a quarter of an hour in a quarter of a pint of milk and water; mix a good teaspoonful of flour with a little butter, cayenne, and salt; strain the liquor from the fishbones to it, also the liquor out of the tin in which the fish were baked; put into a saucepan and boil for a minute or two, then, pour round the fish.
Cheese Fondu.—Melt one ounce of butter in a saucepan, stir one ounce of flour in; when quite smooth, add a quarter of a pint of milk and some cayenne pepper and salt. Stir the mixture over the fire until it is quite smooth; then add two ounces of cheese grated—Parmesan is the best, but any other cheese that is not blue and is dry enough to grate will do. Turn the mixture into a basin, add two beaten yolks of eggs, and, just before it is time to put it in the oven, stir in the two whites of the eggs, which must be beaten to a stiff froth; then put the mixture into a buttered tin large enough to hold double the quantity, as it will rise; bake twenty minutes in a brisk oven, and serve immediately.
Breast of Mutton Stewed.—Take a breast, or, if too fat, a scrag of mutton, brown it in a stewpan, add a sliced onion (which must also be browned), then pour in enough hot water to cover the meat. As soon as it simmers put in one turnip and one carrot cut into small dice, and a small head of celery cut fine, or a shred lettuce, according to the season, some black pepper, and some salt. Simmer for about an hour and a half before serving; mix a dessertspoonful of baked flour with a little cold water, and add it to the gravy. Skim, if too fat, before sending to table.
Cake Fritters.—Cut some thin slices from a stale cake, cut them in shapes, dip them in milk, then fry them in butter; spread jam or marmalade on the top of each, and serve them.
Brown Onion Soup.—Skin three onions, cut them in small dice; make an ounce of butter hot in a stewpan, and throw in the onions, shaking them about over the fire until they are golden brown (they must be coloured very slowly, or some pieces will get too dark); when they are brown, stir in a teaspoonful of flour, and add a pint and a half of liquor in which meat or poultry has been boiled, or the same quantity of water. Simmer for an hour, then rub through a sieve; put back in the saucepan; add pepper and salt to taste, and, if too thin, mix a little butter and flour together, add to the soup, and boil for three minutes before serving.
Spanish Rice.—Boil four ounces of rice, wash it in cold water, then dry it before the fire. Put half an ounce of butter in a frying-pan; when quite hot throw in the rice, fry it a light colour, add a dessertspoonful of grated cheese and a little cayenne and salt. A dessertspoonful of plain tomato sauce may be added or not. The rice must be served very hot.
Toad in the Hole.—Trim some neck of mutton cutlets nicely, or take some cold meat or fowl and place in the bottom of a pie-dish that you have first buttered. Then make a batter thus: take four ounces of flour, mix one egg with it, add half a pint of milk and a little salt, put pepper and salt over the meat in the dish, pour the batter in, and put in a tolerably quick oven; it will take about three-quarters of an hour to bake. Batter is best mixed some hours before it is wanted, but it must not be put in the dish with the meat until you are going to bake it.
Melbourne Pudding.—Boil half a pint of red currants with half a pound of loaf sugar for half an hour, add half a pound of raspberries and boil ten minutes. Butter a plain mould or pudding basin and line it with slices from a tin loaf or French roll, cut a quarter of an inch thick; the top pieces must be cut into triangles to make them fit neatly, while the side pieces are half an inch wide; pour the fruit into the bread while hot, cover the top with more bread, put in a cool place until the next day, then turn out and serve with custard or cream.
Curried Eggs.—Make a sauce with a quarter of a pint of milk, a teaspoonful of curry powder, a teaspoonful of flour, and a little salt; mix these ingredients together and boil them three minutes. Boil three eggs hard, remove the shells, put the sauce in a dish, put the eggs in it, then cut each egg in two and serve.
Rice Meringue.—Boil half a small teacupful of rice in milk; when done put it in a pie-dish, spread a layer of jam over the top of it, beat the white of an egg to a stiff froth, put it over the jam, sift about a tablespoonful of pounded sugar over it; put it in the oven to set, and serve hot.
Potiron.—Take one pound of pumpkin without seeds or rind, cut it into small pieces, put it in a stewpan with a quarter of a pint of water, simmer it slowly for an hour and a half; then rub it through a sieve with a wooden spoon, put it back in the saucepan, add three quarters of a pint of milk, a piece of butter the size of a walnut, a saltspoonful of powdered sugar and pepper and salt to taste, stir it occasionally, and serve it as soon as it boils.
Baked Haddock.—Wash and dry the fish, then mix a saltspoonful of salt with the juice of half a lemon, and rub it all over the fish and let it remain for three hours, then prepare some bread-crumbs, mix with them a teaspoonful of finely chopped parsley, a little grated lemon peel, cayenne pepper, and salt; next dry the fish and brush it over with egg, cover it with the prepared crumbs, put it in a greased baking dish with some small lumps of butter on the top of it, bake it from 25 to 35 minutes, according to the size of the fish. It must be basted with the butter that runs into the tin. When done put the fish on a dish, squeeze the other half lemon into the baking tin, pour it over the fish, and serve.
Bread and Jam Pudding.—Take a small pudding basin or mould, grease it well with butter; then shake brown sugar all over the butter. Take four ounces bread-crumbs, three ounces finely chopped suet, and three ounces of any preserve. Put these ingredients in the basin in layers, beginning with the bread-crumbs. Just before putting the pudding in the oven, mix an egg with rather less than half a pint of milk, and add it to it. Bake about three-quarters of an hour in a quick oven, turn out and serve.
Shrimp Toast.—Trim and fry three slices of bread in butter. Take two tablespoonfuls of shelled shrimps, put them into a saucepan with a dessertspoonful of milk, a lump of butter the size of a pigeon's egg, half a teaspoonful of anchovy sauce, and a little cayenne pepper. Shake in a dessertspoonful of flour, boil for two minutes, stirring all the time; then put on the fried bread, and serve very hot.
Roast Fillet of Mutton.—Procure the thick end of a leg of mutton. Have it boned and tied round. It may be stuffed where the bone is taken out, or skewered up and roasted plain.
Strawberry Cream without cream.—Take a quarter of a pound of strawberry jam; rub it through a sieve. Add two ounces of pounded sugar to it, and beat it up with the whites of two fresh eggs until it is all frothy (it will take some time to beat); put it in a glass dish and serve soon after it is made.
Turnip Soup can be made the same as potiron, but a teaspoonful of flour should be added with the butter.
Apple Charlotte.—Cut some strips of bread from a tin loaf or French roll; dip them in oiled butter, line a mould or pudding basin with them. Peel and cut up a pound and a half of apples; boil them with a little sugar. When done, put them in the basin you have lined; cover the top with bread dipped in butter; bake half an hour, turn on to a dish, and serve.
Cheese Toast.—Beat up an egg, add two ounces of grated cheese, one dessertspoonful of milk, cayenne, and salt to it, make it hot in a saucepan, and pour it on to a round of hot buttered toast; cut in pieces and serve immediately.
Brunoise.—Take two tablespoonfuls of carrots, the same of turnips, onions, and celery, all cut in very small dice. Put a piece of butter (about an ounce) in a stewpan with a small teaspoonful of powdered sugar, toss the carrots in this until they begin to take colour, then put in the celery, then the turnips, then the onions; when all the vegetables are coloured, put in a pint and a quarter of hot water or liquor in which meat or poultry has been boiled, let the soup simmer two hours, skim, and serve with the vegetables in it. The vegetables must not be burnt at all, but only slightly browned.
Stewed Mutton Cutlets.—Cut two carrots, two turnips, and two potatoes into dice, trim some cutlets and toss them in butter in a stewpan, with a sprinkling of pepper and salt, till they begin to colour, then put in the carrots and three-quarters of a pint of hot water, a tablespoonful of tomato sauce, and a small bunch of sweet herbs and parsley; stew gently fifteen minutes, add the potatoes and turnips, and simmer about an hour or until tender; add a piece of butter rolled in flour, a small piece of glaze, and pepper and salt to taste. Remove the herbs and serve the cutlets round the vegetables, with as much of the gravy as is required.
Mustard Sauce.—Mix one teaspoonful of flour with half a teaspoonful of mustard and one ounce of butter, add half a teacupful of water, boil for five minutes, add half a teaspoonful of vinegar, and serve.
Rumpsteak aux Fines Herbes.—Mince equal parts of tarragon, chervil, and garden cress with half a shalot, mix them with a little butter, pepper, and salt, broil the steak and place on it.
Dressed Crab.—Take all the meat from a crab, cut it up as for salad, mix a tablespoonful of bread-crumbs with it, mix together a saltspoonful each of pepper, mustard and salt, with a tablespoonful of vinegar and two tablespoonfuls of salad oil, mix all with the crab, put it back in the shell, cover it lightly with bread-crumbs, put a little piece of butter on the top, bake half an hour, and serve hot.
Bread and Butter Fritters.—Take some rounds of bread and butter that you have shaped with a pastry cutter, spread half of them with jam, cover the jam with the remaining pieces, dip them in batter and fry them; serve with sifted sugar over them.
Tomato Soup.—Boil a tin of tomatoes until well cooked, then press them through a sieve; to a pint of tomatoes add half a teaspoonful of carbonate of soda. Put a piece of butter the size of a pigeon's egg into a saucepan; when it bubbles stir in a teaspoonful of flour, cook it a few minutes; add half a pint of hot milk, a little salt and cayenne; when it boils add the tomatoes; make the soup quite hot (but do not let it boil), and serve.
Cocoanut Pudding.—Butter a small dish, cut a sponge cake in slices, place it in the dish, mix the yolk of an egg with a teacupful of milk, pour it over the cake, then strew two ounces of grated cocoanut over it; next beat the white of the egg to a froth, add a teaspoonful of pounded sugar, and put over the top of the pudding; bake in a moderate oven.
Vegetable Soup without Meat.—Cut up a plateful of all kinds of vegetables, viz., onions, carrots, potatoes, beans, parsnips, celery, peas, parsley, leeks, turnip, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, or as many of these as you can procure. Put a large lump of butter (as big as a large egg) into a saucepan; when very hot, put in the onions, stir; when light brown, stir in a dessertspoonful of flour, fry until deep gold colour, stir in a pint of boiling water, some pepper and salt, add all the vegetables, let them simmer (adding more water if necessary) for two hours; put the whole through a sieve, make hot again, and serve.
Raspberry Sponge.—Dissolve half an ounce of gelatine in half a pint of milk. Beat three large tablespoonfuls of raspberry jam in another half pint of milk, and rub it through a sieve; add a teaspoonful of pounded sugar, a little grated lemon peel, the white of an egg, and the milk with the gelatine in it; whisk until it is all frothy. If the gelatine does not entirely dissolve in cold milk, it must be melted over the fire before being added to the jam and other ingredients.
Vegetable marrow soup is made like potiron.
Pounded Meat Cutlets in Italian Paste.—Take half pound of cold mutton, all lean, three ounces of cooked ham, one small shalot; chop and pound all together; add pepper and salt, one ounce of butter, and three tablespoonfuls of gravy. For the paste, one yolk of egg, three tablespoonfuls of cold water, with six ounces of dried flour; knead well to strong paste, roll out very thin, divide into six, put some of the meat in each, form into six cutlets; fry in boiling fat, and serve with sauce in a tureen or plain with fried parsley round.
Macaroni with Tomato Sauce.—Boil two ounces of macaroni in water, with a lump of butter, and a little salt. When nearly done, strain off the water; add three tablespoonfuls of milk, and a little (one ounce) Parmesan or other grated cheese and pepper to taste; stir until it is rather thick. Then dish it up with a little hot tomato sauce in the centre.
Semolina Soup.—Take a pint and a half of liquor from boiled meat, or stock from bones in which vegetables have been boiled. Add two ounces of semolina, and season to taste; if needed, a very small teaspoonful of Liebig extract, or a small piece of glaze can be added.
Spanish Souffle.—Cut two sponge cakes in slices. Spread apricot or other jam on them. Pile them on a dish, squeeze the juice of a lemon over them. Whip three teaspoonfuls of cream up with the white of one egg to a froth; put it over the cakes; blanch and chop four almonds; put them in the oven to colour, then sprinkle over the whip, and serve.
A DREAM OF QUEEN'S GARDENS.
A STORY FOR GIRLS.—IN TWO PARTS.
BY DANIEL DORMER, Author of "Out of the Mists."
A PRETTY QUEEN.
"Any letter for me this morning, Brightie?"
Hazel is leaning rather perilously over the banisters, trying to catch a glimpse of the old woman coming slowly up the stairs far below.
"Yes—one. Don't come for it, I'm coming up. And pray, child, don't hang over those rickety rails like that."
Miss Bright, or "Brightie," as Hazel Deane had grown affectionately to call her, is a heavy, strongly-made woman of sixty-three years. She finds the stairs in this house in Union-square, where she and Hazel lodge, rather trying; they are many and steep, so she pauses half-way to recover breath. Looking up she sees Hazel, a white, dark-eyed face, and a form so slender that even those unsafe rails could hardly give way under so slight a weight. "More than ever like one of my Cape jasmine stars," thinks old Brightie. She has always mentally compared the girl to one of those pure, white stars, which she used so specially to love, shining on their invisible stems, amidst the dark green leaf-sprays at her sister's home. Oh, how the poor, lonely old woman's heart had ached for that country home of her younger days, as she sat wearily at her business of plain sewing day after day in her attic in Union-square!
And Hazel, looking down, saw her one friend in the world. A ray of sunlight streamed in through the narrow staircase window on to Miss Bright. It makes the black cap which covers her whole head, with strings flying back over her shoulders, look very rusty. It makes her old alpaca gown, patched and repatched, and the little black silk apron that she wears, look more than ever shiny. It strikes upon the large, old-fashioned white pearl buttons down the front of her bodice, and upon the glasses of her spectacles, till she looks like some strange, black creature staring all over with big, round eyes. To Hazel's affectionate mind, however, there is nothing in the least ludicrous in the sight. She only notes the panting breath, and says, with a touch of impatience in her anxiety—
"Why will you persist in toiling up and down those horrid stairs, instead of sending me, Brightie? It is really very unkind of you."
When Brightie has delivered up Hazel's envelope, with its scrawled direction, she retires into her own room, next door, and shuts herself in. She is filled with an unwonted excitement, for she holds a second letter in her hand, and it is her own. The rarest thing it is for her to have a letter, and the post-mark is "Firdorf," the very same beautiful country place for which she had pined; there she and Janie, her only sister, had lived together, and Janie had died there. The hands, aged with work and deprivation more than with time, shake as they break the seal, the aged eyes grow dim again and again as they read.
It is fully three parts of an hour before Brightie has got through the letter—not that the words are many or hard to understand; but rather that the hindrances are many. The glasses of the large spectacles grow so misty from time to time that they require polishing. Then, too, Miss Bright's mind exhibits foolish tendencies, refusing to grasp the meaning of the words, and causing her to explain that she must be dreaming; and still further she is carried back in mind to days long since vanished, and scenes long unvisited, and these detain her long. But at last she rouses herself—has at length fairly accepted the astonishing good news her letter contains, and, with it open in her hand, hastens off to communicate the same to her young friend.
Hazel's door is locked, and Miss Bright has to wait a moment before it is unfastened. Hazel has been crying, and the tears must have been both plentiful and bitter, for unmistakable traces exist, in spite of hurried efforts to efface them. For once, though, Brightie is thoroughly self-engrossed, and fails to notice even Hazel's face.
"I have such wonderful news, my dear!" she exclaims, the moment she is admitted into the room.
Hazel expresses her interest, and, with her loving smile and tender way, ensconces her friend in the one attempt at an easy chair her room possesses, and then kneels beside her to listen.
"Well, my dear, you have heard me speak of my sister's house at Firdorf?"
"Of course! Often. Where you used to live, and the flowers were so lovely."
"Yes! and where the sweet white jasmine used to blossom, filling the air with its delicious fragrance when we sat in the summer evenings beneath the trellis work, in front of the dear old home."
As she speaks of the jasmine, old Miss Bright's hand is laid caressingly on Hazel's hair, and her eyes—happily not too keen without her glasses, or they would detect the tear marks—rest with softened look, full of tender memories, on the girl's sympathetic, upturned face.
"There were always we three there—I, and my sister and her boy. You have heard how the home was broken up, how Tom ran away, and how we lost our money, and how Janie's spirit broke down under it, till at length she gave up praying for Tom's return, and drooped and died?"
Miss Bright is making a long pause. Her large, rough face is heavy and sorrowful. She has quite forgotten her good news for the moment, has forgotten her friend kneeling beside her, has forgotten all save the memory of the sorrow which seemed to have terminated all of joy the world held for her. Hazel steals a gentle arm round the bowed neck, and kisses the worn, absent face as softly and soothingly as though it were some beautiful child's. The touch recalls the wandering thoughts, Brightie clasps the hand that she is holding in her own more tightly, and goes on:—
"Well, to be sure, and I haven't told you the news after all, dearie! It is that Tom has come back. He has made a great deal of money, and got quite reformed and come back. And he has bought back the old house, and now has just found out my address and wants me to go down and live with him; wants me to forgive him, he says, and let him be a comfort to me. I have, of course, nothing to forgive, except for Janie's sake."
"Oh, Brightie, what good, good news it is! I am so very glad. You will at last have some rest, and not be obliged to try your eyes over that fine sewing, and be taken proper care of, and have all sorts of nice things. I am so glad! How soon can you go, dear?—to-morrow? I should like you to go to-morrow."
Hazel began very bravely, went on unsteadily, and finally ended by laying her head down on Brightie's broad shoulder, fairly sobbing.
"I should like you to go to-morrow! Why, Hazel, Hazel, my tender-hearted little pet, are you crying, then? Because you are sure I am not going to-morrow? Neither to-morrow nor any other time. Don't you know I could not leave you without a friend in this great, careless world?"
Brightie's words are news to herself as she speaks them. She had not considered the possibility of such a thing before. Here was the longed-for home open to her, waiting to receive her again. Her one relation, her own nephew, the same merry-faced Tom of old, dear days, writing to her begging her to show her forgiveness and go to him to be cherished all the days of her life. And all this must be foregone—renounced. She must give it all up, and when Tom comes in two days, as he said he should, to fetch her, she must withstand his pleading and send him back alone, and never see the sweet garden and fresh sea again.
It is one of the cruellest days of bitter March weather. Yet early in the day after the talk with Brightie, Hazel goes out in spite of the cutting east wind. Wearily she drags herself about, making one more effort to dispose of the manuscript of a story she has written, which was ignominiously returned to her as useless this morning. Hour after hour she struggles on in a kind of desperation, trying every possible chance of getting rid of her laborious production. She is fully assured in her own mind that she will have no opportunity of getting out of doors, even to try and dispose of it, after to-day for many days to come. Her growing illness makes that certain. But all efforts are worse than useless. It is nearing seven o'clock, and growing quite dark, when she reaches Union-square and stumbles up those endless stairs at length. For the first two flights the stairs are comparatively broad and handsome, and they are thickly carpeted; but above they grow narrow and bare and steep. As she begins to ascend, Hazel meets a lady in a rich dress. There are preparations, too, in the lower rooms, which betoken the commencement of some festivity. Hazel is heartsick and footsore, and these slight matters intensify her loneliness and sadness, till as she enters her own dark, desolate room her swelling heart finds vent in a stifled sob. There has been no scarcity of trouble in the five-and-twenty years of Hazel Deane's life.
And now the trouble that weighs upon her this dreary night is the rejection all round of the treasured writing, offered everywhere with diffidence and hope, received back always with mortification and despair. It is now finally flung aside. Then there is the trouble of losing her friend—her one friend, Miss Bright—for Hazel's delicate little body holds a resolute mind and strong will, and she is determined her friend shall not forego the so long needed rest on her account.
The moon is looking in through the uncurtained window, looking into the cold, bare room, where only two or three cinders glow a dull red in the grate. Beside it Hazel leans back in her chair, musing bitterly on all the gladness gone out of her life. "I am one of those who have none to love them," she thinks, and the tears gather in her eyes again.
She is quoting from Mr. Ruskin's "Queen's Gardens," the book which enabled her to bear patiently a long delay at one of the publishers she had tried that day. She had found it lying upon the table beside her as she waited, and picking it up, had become engrossed in it.
"And I am a woman, and I suppose, therefore, a queen—at least a possible queen," she muses—"a pretty queen!"
(To be concluded.)
 Sesame and Lilies. By John Ruskin, LL.D. 1. Of King's Treasuries. 2. Of Queen's Gardens.
THE WEATHER AND HEALTH.
We have all heard tell of the "Clerk of the Weather." What a poor, ill-used, roundly-rated, over-worked individual he must be! His whole life must be spent in an impossible endeavour to please everybody. We may imagine the poor man going of a morning towards his office with languid steps and weary, wondering all the while to himself what sort of weather he ought to give the public to-day.
Arrived in front of his desk, he must stagger back with dismay at the piles on piles of letters heaped thereon. To read them all is out of the question; so he sits down and draws one forth, just as you would draw a card from the hand of someone who pretended to tell fortunes.
He opens the letter. It isn't a pleasant one by any means. There is a tone of growling impatience in every line of it. How long, the writer, who is an invalid, wants to know, are these horrible east winds going to prevail down in Devonshire? She has come here for her health's sake; she has been here for three weeks, and all that time it has never ceased to blow, and she has never ceased to cough and ache.
The clerk throws this epistle into the Balaam box and listlessly draws out another. "Don't you think," the writer says, "that a blink of sunshine would be a blessing—and a drop or two of warm rain to bring the fruit on, and the garden stuff? What is the good of having a Clerk of the Weather at all if he cannot attend better to his duties?"
That letter is also pitched into the Balaam box, and a third drawn—a delightful little cocked-hat of a letter, written on delicately-perfumed paper, probably with a dove's quill. She—of course it is a she!—is going to a garden-party on Tuesday week; would he, the Clerk of the Weather, kindly see that not a drop of rain falls on that day? Only bright sunshine, and occasional cloudlets to act as awnings and temper its heat.
The Clerk with a smile places that letter aside for further consideration, and goes on drawing. All and everyone of them either demand impossibilities or merely write to abuse the poor Clerk for some fancied dereliction of duty. One wants rain, another growls because there has been too much wet. This one is grumbling at the fogs, this other at the sunshine; this one suggests snow for a change, and this other begs for a thunderstorm to clear the atmosphere.
And so on and so forth. No wonder the bewildered Clerk jumps up at last and over-turns the table, letters and all, and audibly expresses a desire to let all the winds loose upon the world at once, to revel and tear and do as they like, to bring blinding snow from the far north and drenching rains from the torrid zone, to order a select assortment of thunderstorms from the Cape of Good Hope, and a healthy tornado from the Indian Ocean. But he thinks better of it, burns all the letters, and goes quietly on with his day's duty.
We see, then, that no matter what state of body of mind we may be in, we cannot get weather to order. We really commit an error, if nothing worse, in asking for weather to suit us.
We cannot alter our climate. December and January will bring their frosts and snows without asking our permission; easterly or nor'-easterly winds will prevail in the spring months; March will bluster, April will weep; May will smile through her tears by day and freeze us with her frosts at night, and July will stupefy us with thunderstorms, and August scorch us with heat one day and drench us to the skin the next.
Now I am happy to say that a very large percentage of the readers of THE GIRL'S OWN PAPER are so healthy in lungs and in nerves, and so stout-hearted and strong-limbed, that it is, as a rule, a matter of entire indifference to them how the wind blows or how the weather is. But all are not so, and it will seem a matter of surprise for the really robust to be told that many girls are so delicately constituted that they actually can tell if the wind is from the east before they draw the blind and look out. It is for this section of our girls that I am writing to-day. They may not be invalids, but may simply labour under a great susceptibility to atmospheric changes.
Such as these will be glad to be told that there is every possibility of their growing out of this disagreeable susceptibility, much depending upon how they use and treat themselves when young. Spring winds are very hard upon those who are subject to chest or throat irritation—in other words, to common colds—and I must take this opportunity of entreating girls of this class never to neglect a cold. Why? Because one cold on top of another, as the saying is, will certainly result in the end in thickening of the delicate mucous membrane that lines the lungs, and if this takes place you may look forward to being in time a confirmed invalid the greater part of the year through winter cough.
It is not a very difficult thing to get clear of a cold if taken in time. Confinement to the house for a day, or even two, a lowered diet, a mixture of the solution of acetate of ammonia and spirits of sweet nitre the first day, some aperient medicine and an ordinary cough mixture the second or third day, warmer clothing and avoidance of exposure to high winds; this treatment will be found successful in nine cases out of ten.
Sudden changes in temperature are apt to induce illness in the delicate. Mild weather may have prevailed for some days, when all at once the wind veers round to the north-east and at the same time it blows high. Exposure to weather of this kind may induce whatsoever kind of ailment an individual is subject to.
Well, there is one way and only one, to avoid it, and that is to dress in proportion to the cold. No need for the clothing to be thick or heavy. It should rather be the reverse, only soft and warm. Heavy clothing is sure to cause fatigue in walking, and also perspiration, and both states of body lay open the pores for trouble to enter.
No need, either, for even the delicate to confine themselves to the house during the cold spring weeks or days. Confinement to the house means want of exercise, want of an abundance of fresh air, and very often want of appetite. Well, the strong may exist intact for a long time without much exercise or ozone, but, mind you, the delicate cannot.
On wet days a mackintosh may be worn, though a good large umbrella is far better. But if you will have a waterproof, let it be a cloth one, one that will admit of ventilation, and not an india-rubber article. This last is only fit for a Scottish cabman, with muscles of iron and sinews of steel.
Here is an extreme case by way of example. A lady goes out to take a walk on a damp day thus accoutred: An extraordinary bulk and weight of clothes, and over all an india-rubber mackintosh; on her feet are those abominations called goloshes; over her mouth she has stuck a respirator, and over her head and shoulders she carries an enormous umbrella. The windows and doors of this lady's house are always kept shut, and rendered hermetically sealed by woollen sand-bags and other oxygen-banishing contrivances. Is it any wonder that she is pale and flabby in face, that her very hands are sickly, soft, and puffy, and that she is continually at war with the cook?
Be warned, dear reader; take all reasonable precautions against catching cold, but do not render your body unwholesome from over-clothing, nor your lungs sickly for want of the pure air of heaven that you can no more live well without than a fish can survive in a muddy stream. Sore throat and tic doloreux, or face-ache, are very common complaints in cold weather with high winds. But I really think they are more easily prevented than cured. Both may be produced in the same way—namely, from exposure to cold. It is a draught blowing directly on the face and into the eyes or upon the neck that brings on these distressing complaints. Beware of such a draught, and beware of damp or wet feet. Beware, also, when walking out, of having too thick a muffle around the neck, for this is apt to sweat it.
Whenever you feel the slightest touch of sore throat, examine it at the glass, and if there be any redness, do it over with your camel's-hair pencil dipped in a mixture of glycerine two parts and tincture of iron one part.
As for tic, you protect yourself against cold and damp, but you ought also to take an occasional tonic, and there is nothing I know better than the citrate of iron and quinine. If, however, this medicine should produce a disagreeable feeling of fulness in the head, it had better be avoided and some other tonic substituted. Well, there is cod-liver oil in conjunction with the extract of malt. This is the only form in which cod-liver oil can be taken by many.
I should mention that an occasional aperient pill will do good, but that the habit of taking medicine of this kind as a regular thing should be avoided.
In cold weather the feet should be kept very comfortable, but you must avoid sitting too much by the fire. I have already said that sudden atmospheric changes are dangerous, but girls often manufacture these changes for themselves, quite independent of the weather, by keeping themselves too warm indoors and hugging the fire too much.
In cold weather the food should be more nourishing, and soups are good for the health. Soups should be avoided when the weather changes to warm.
Sugar, sweets, puddings, and fatty foods are all good in cold, bleak weather, but in summer these do harm, if used to any great extent, by heating the blood.
The change in this country from cold with high winds and perhaps frosts at night to warmth and even scorching heat is often very sudden. Even the delicate are then very apt to throw off their winter or spring clothing. But to do so suddenly is highly injudicious. Girls who are not strong should wear some woollen material all the year round. This should of course be of a lighter texture in summer, but woollen it ought to be, without doubt.
It is, I believe, a fact that there are fully as many disagreeable colds caught in summer as in winter, and this can only be owing to the greater recklessness with which people expose themselves to the influence of the weather.
During sultry and thundery weather, as it is called, many of the delicate suffer from languor, listlessness, and headache. These symptoms usually go away suddenly when the weather breaks or the storm comes on and rolls over. Exertion in cases of this kind should be avoided, as well as anything like heavy meals. The sufferer is better out of doors than in, and better reclining in a hammock or easy-chair out of a draught than standing or walking about.
Hot weather greatly depresses the vital energy, because it usually comes on so suddenly. On very warm days the delicate should avoid the sunshine's glare during the heat of the day. But exercise must be taken if health is to be retained, so in summer even girls that are not strong should get out of bed soon and take a tepid if not cold bath. About half-an-hour after breakfast is the best time for exercise, and again about an hour before sunset, just when the day is cooling down, but before the chill, night air has begun to blow.
I have no intention at present to take up the subject of food in its relation to weather, but I must be permitted to say that in our country, as a rule, summer dinners are served on mistaken principles. Why, they differ but little, if at all, from the same meals as placed before us in the winter season—soup, fish, and great joints, pastry and cheese.
To the robust I have nothing to say. Let them eat what they choose; in time they will find out their mistake. But I do seriously advise delicate girls to live rather abstemiously and on light, easily digested dishes during the hot weather. Salads (and fruit, if good and ripe) may, however, be taken with great benefit.
We constantly hear young folks complaining of thirst during very warm weather. The reason is not so much to be sought in the heat itself as in the way they live. Overloading the stomach with strong meats in the summer season not only induces thirst but positively enfeebles the body and hurts the digestion.
Ice and ices should be avoided as much as possible; at the best their use is but a very artificial way of cooling the overheated body. A mixture of ice and stimulants is worse ten times. A cup of good tea is one of the most wholesome beverages one can take in warm weather. It exhilarates, it cools, and while it cools the body it calms the mind.
Lime or lemon juice and water make a good drink. It should be sipped.
Ginger beer is somewhat too gassy for a delicate stomach. Raspberry syrup in water, acidulated to taste with a little citric acid, is very refreshing, and the same may be said of many other of the fruit syrups.
Raspberry vinegar is made by placing three pounds of the picked fruit into a glass vessel and pouring over them a pint and a half of white wine vinegar. It should stand for a fortnight and then be strained without pressure.
Buttermilk is as good for a drink in summer as it is for the complexion. Whey is also an excellent drink in summer, and I cannot refrain from suggesting as a summer dish curds and cream.
Ripe fruit may be eaten during hot weather with great benefit, only it must be ripe and not over ripe.
To conclude, I shall give a prescription for a summer drink which is worth making a note of. Take the thin peel and the juice of a good-sized lemon and add a small teaspoonful of citric acid and a wine-glassful of fruit syrup, then pour on of boiling water one quart. Let it stand till cold, and then strain.
By the Author of "Flowering Thorns."
I don't suppose there are many girls between the ages of sixteen and twenty-three who have not a great friend—a particular friend; and if there are, it is my opinion they cannot be the best kind of girls, because unnatural.
Some one—I think it is the author of "John Halifax, Gentleman"—has called friendship a "Foreshadowing of love"; and if it is natural for a woman to have a lover, it is no less natural for a girl to have a great friend among her girl associates.
How do girls make friends? and why do their friendships last very often but a short time? or, again, how is it they ever endure a long time? are questions which people who have forgotten their own early friendships, or, perhaps, never gave much thought to them, puzzle over in vain. And they may have puzzled you too, my thoughtful girl-readers, who want the ideal friend you have read of or dreamed of in day-dreams, but neither possess nor know how to acquire.
To begin with—What is friendship? and I am inclined to define it as a bond of mutual affection, sympathy, and help. If it is lacking in any one of these particulars, just so far does it fall short of ideal friendship.
Test your present so-called friendship by these tests, and I think you will find that any dissatisfaction you may feel in them can be accounted for by a failure to pass one or other.
There is, perhaps, not much difficulty about the first of these. Young people feel quickly and strongly, and if girls did not honestly love one another, or imagine—also honestly—that they did, the friendship, if, indeed, it could exist at all, would be shorn of half its charm. But love must be fed, and will only starve on a diet of respect and admiration, without a very large admixture of sympathy. Sympathy, fellow-feeling, mutual sensibility—call it how we will—is a simple necessity to our ideal friendship, and by no means compels the two friends to unvarying likeness either in character or tastes. But our ideal friends—let us call them Alice and Maud—must be united so wholly by this subtle bond that the pleasure, pain, or interest of the one touches, through her, the other, who shares in what I may call this reflective way the emotion originating with her friend.
Alice, who does not personally care for music in the least, yet thoroughly enjoys a concert, because she is feeling (reflectively) all the time the keen delight with which Maud is listening to every note; and Maud, for the same reason, has true pleasure in reading that rather dry volume of essays, because that scattered throughout are sentiments and expressions which she knows very well Alice will greatly appreciate.
Mutual sympathy between friends is, of course, the outcome of love; and yet it is surprising how little sympathy sometimes exists between girls who to all appearance are really fond of one another.
This may arise from selfishness, unselfishness, or unintelligence—that density of mental vision which has never been educated to perceive the subtle bonds which bind soul to soul.
Now let us take Edith and Amy as examples of an imperfect friendship, in contrary distinction to the ideal or perfect. They are fond of one another, but there is a lack of mutual sympathy. Amy is full of ideas and projects, which she sows broadcast during their long confidentials, and which spring up in great beauty (to her mind, at least) in the fertile soil of Edith's admiration. But all the giving is on one side. Edith listens and wonders, applauds or condoles, as her stronger-minded friend may give her the cue, too unselfish, and perhaps, also, too timid, to intrude her own less thrilling interests and hopes upon Amy's self-absorption; so that when the latter comes to an end of her confidences, and has leisure and recollection enough to say, "And now, Edith, what have you been doing?" she hastily replies, "Oh, nothing particular," glad to be able to shield her insignificance in silence.
Amy does not miss the return confidence which makes friendship so sweet; she is too full of her own affairs to be a listener. Edith is her overflow, whom she leaves saying mentally, "What a dear little sympathetic thing she is! What should I do without her?"
But what is Edith to do? Where is her overflow? This is a very one-sided friendship: the companionship of giant and dwarf, which sooner or later must come to an end or be very uncomfortable for the dwarf. The friends, as I said, need not be alike, need not even be of equal capacity, intellectually or practically, but the sympathy, rooted in affection, must be mutual; it must be equal give and take, or the friendship is miserably stunted and incomplete.
And this brings me to speak of the third ingredient in what I have defined as a perfect friendship—mutual help, which, of course, supposes the two friends to be somewhat different, whether in character, tastes, or surroundings, so that one can supply what the other lacks.
If two countries in friendly relations both produce one article abundantly, and are both lacking in some other article, there can be no commerce—which is the symbol of friendly relations—between them. Both must apply to a third country for that in which both are deficient. And if Edith cannot get help from Amy when she is in need of it, not necessarily advice, but some new view of the situation occasioned by Amy's different character or life, and which would enable Edith to face the trouble or difficulty with more courage or intelligence—if, I say, Edith cannot get this help from Amy, before long she will find Clara, and the friendship will be dissolved or cooled; while undiscerning people will say, "How fickle these girls are!"
Not at all. They obey a subtle, spiritual law, which makes it impossible for friendship long to exist on insufficient food, and when it is said that women are unreasoning and exacting in their friendships, it is simply because people don't see that it is the nature which is in them crying out to be fed with that without which it must die.
But if after, it may be, years of affectionate intercourse, you still find that your friend gives you absolutely nothing which you have not already got—that she communicates no thought or experience to you that will stimulate your mind or aid you in the practical work of life—do you not begin to lose interest in her, strive as you will against the consciousness of it? Does not the friend quit her hold on you and slide down to the level of those of whom an hour or a letter every few weeks gives you enough? You may feel affectionately towards such, but not friendship.
Our ideal friends, Alice and Maud, are very different. Alice is studious and thoughtful, leading a quiet, uneventful life; Maud is high-spirited, devoted to art and music, and sees considerably more of "the world," as it is called. But they are a constant source of interest and assistance to each other. Alice's thoughtful mind finds the meaning to the puzzles of Maud's more superficial existence, who in turn puts the light touches to Alice's grave conclusions, which often give them reality. These two, as it were, sketch life's island from different points. One takes the outline of cliff or shore, dashing in what I may call the aggregated tints of forest and hill; the other paints by turns each special crag or ravine, with their colours in detail; yet both are correct, and we want both if we are to understand the island.
I can imagine Maud in difficulty thinking, "I must go and see Alice, she will help me out of my perplexity; she takes such different views of things from those I do, and I have really come to an end of my ideas."
Or Alice, also in difficulty, though probably of a very different character, exclaiming, "I only wish Maud were here. She would know just how to arrange this; and I cannot imagine what to do."
Emerson tells us that as soon as we come up with a man's (or woman's) limitations it is all over with us. Before that he might have been infinitely alluring and attractive—"a great hope—a sea to swim in"; but you discover that he has a shore—that the sea is, in fact, a pond—and you cease to care for it.
There is something in this to explain the languidness or cessation of many girl friendships. There is nothing more to be learned—nothing more to teach. They have come to an end of their resources; there is no more help to be got, and the interest dwindles. A long walk or talk with one another becomes stale, each prefers her own society, and by degrees the unfed affection cools, and they find themselves unconsciously groping about for souls whose limitations they have not yet reached.
This is not fickleness; it is Nature; and there is a natural remedy—progress. If day by day your shores—to use Emerson's simile—widen, if you will not allow your mind to remain at a standstill, like the stagnant pond, but are constantly receiving and constantly using varied stores of knowledge and experience, you need not fear to crush your friend by the discovery of your limitations. She will have to progress too, if she is to come up with that; and as there is no reasonable probability that you will advance in precisely the same direction, you will each find increasing interest and help in the other's society.
One thing more the ideal friendship needs, but it is one most girls' friendships, whether ideal or not, possess. I mean confidence. It is not till the twenties are well into that reserve and reticence take their place in a woman's friendship; it is not till then that she questions with herself how far she will trust her friend with her hopes, fears, and troubles. The younger we are, the more generous, trusting, and unsuspicious we are; which is, I suppose, the great reason why we never make such particular friends when the period of trust is past. If your friend is worthy of the name, trust her wholly. How can you sympathise with or help one another if you only tell half your troubles and difficulties? I do not mean that all should wear their hearts upon their sleeves. Every girl has, and should have, her private sanctuary of thought, where none may enter; but in the matters which are discussed between friends let there be no half-confidences.
I have tried to sketch what I call an ideal friendship. If they are rare, they are possible—most possible if you only study their construction.
I think all thoughtful and imaginative girls long for this ideal friendship; but I wonder if they all reflect that the ideality does not all depend on the friend, but on themselves. If it takes two most emphatically to make a quarrel, it needs two to make a friendship. Do your best to make it ideal.
I have known such a friendship; I know that it is possible; and I know that it is one of the most perfect experiences our life can give us.
You do not need to live exceptional lives in order to love, sympathise, and help. Experience is the best teacher, and gives lessons to all. Use that intelligently as a means of moral, mental, spiritual progress, remembering that it does not come to you by chance, but rather as the work of
"The hands Which reach through Nature, moulding men."
(To be continued.)
BY ROSA NOUCHETTE CAREY, Author of "Aunt Diana," "For Lilias," etc.
AN UNPREACHED SERMON.
Such an odd thing happened a few minutes afterwards. I was sitting quite quietly in my corner, turning over in my mind all the arguments with which I had assailed Aunt Agatha that Sunday afternoon, and watching the pink glow of the firelight in contrast to the whiteness of the snow outside, when the door bell rang, and almost the next moment Uncle Keith came into the room.
I suppose he must have overlooked me entirely, for he went up to Aunt Agatha and sat down beside her.
"Sweetheart," he said, taking her hand, and I should hardly have recognised his voice, "I have been thinking about you all the way home, and what a pleasant sight my wife's face would be after my long walk through the snow and——" But here Aunt Agatha must have given him a warning look, for he stopped rather abruptly, and said, "Hir-rumph" twice over, and Aunt Agatha blushed just as though she were a girl.
I could not help laughing a little to myself as I went out of the room to tell Patience to bring in the tea, and yet that sentence of Uncle Keith touched me somehow. Were middle-aged people capable of that sort of love? Did youth linger so long in them? I had imagined those two such a staid, matter-of-fact couple; they had come together so late in life, that one never dreamt of any possible romance in such a courtship, and yet he could call Aunt Agatha "Sweetheart" in a voice that was not the least drawling. At that moment one would not have called him so plain and insignificant with that kind look on his face. I suppose he keeps that look for Aunt Agatha, for I remember she once told me that she had never seen such a good face as Uncle Keith's "not handsome, Merle, but so thoroughly good."
Patience was toasting the muffins in her bright little kitchen, so I sat down and watched her. I was rather partial to Patience; she was a pretty, neat-looking creature, and I always thought it a great pity that she was engaged to a journeyman bootmaker, who aspired to be a preacher. I never could approve of Reuben Locke, though Aunt Agatha spoke well of him; he was such a weak, pale-faced young man; and I think a man, to be one, ought to have some spirit in him, and not possess only the womanish virtues.
"How is Reuben, Patience?" I asked, somewhat amiably, just for the pleasure of seeing our little handmaid's dimples come into view.
"Reuben's but poorly, miss," replied Patience, as she buttered another smoking muffin, the last of the pile. "He was preaching at Whitechapel the other night and caught a cold and sore throat; his mother says he will not be at chapel to-night."
"I do not approve of street preaching myself," I remarked, a little severely.
"Indeed, miss," replied Patience, innocently, as she prepared to carry in the tea-tray, "Reuben always tells me that the Apostles were street preachers, and Reuben is as clear as Gospel in what he says." But here the drawing-room bell broke off Patience's argument, and left me somewhat worsted. I went to church by myself that evening, and I am ashamed to say I heard very little of the sermon. I knew Aunt Agatha would be taking advantage of my long absence to retail what she termed my preposterous scheme to Uncle Keith, and that I should have the benefit of his opinion on my return, and this thought made me restless.
I was not wrong in my surmise. Aunt Agatha looked a little pale and subdued, as though she had been shedding a few tears over my delinquencies, but Uncle Keith was simply inscrutable; when he chose, his face could present a perfect blank.
"Hir-rumph, my dear, what is this your aunt tells me, that you are going to Prince's Gate to-morrow morning to offer your services as nurse in a gentleman's family?"
"Yes, Uncle Keith."
"Do you mean to tell me seriously that you have really made up your mind to take this step?"
"Oh, I am quite serious, I assure you."
"Your aunt's objections and mine do not count for much, then?"
"I should be sorry to go against your wishes or Aunt Agatha's," I returned, trying to keep cool; but his manner, as usual, aggravated me; it said so plainly, "What a silly child you are, and yet you think yourself a woman," "but I must do as I think right in this matter. I hope to prove to you and everyone else that there is nothing derogatory in the work I mean to undertake. It is not what I would choose, perhaps, but everything else is closed to me," thinking sorrowfully of my life-long misfortune, as I always called it, and my repressed longings for hospital training.
"Perhaps if you waited something else might turn up." But I shook my head at this.
"I have waited too long already, Uncle Keith; idleness soon becomes a habit."
"Then if you have made up your mind, it is useless to try and alter it," returned Uncle Keith, in a slightly ironical tone, and he actually took up the volume he was reading in a way that showed he had dismissed the subject. I was never more astonished in my life; never had Uncle Keith so completely baffled me.
I had spent the whole time during which I ought to have been listening to the sermon, in recapitulating the heads of my arguments in favour of this very scheme; I would show Uncle Keith how clearly and logically I could work out the subject.
I had thought out quite an admirable little essay on feminine work in the nineteenth century by the time Mr. Wright had finished his discourse. I meant to have cited the Challoners as an example. Aunt Agatha had stayed in their neighbourhood of Oldfield just before her marriage, and had often paid visits at Longmead and Glen Cottage.
The eldest Miss Challoner—Nan, I think they called her—was just preparing for her own wedding, and Aunt Agatha often told me what a beautiful girl she was, and what a fine, intelligent creature the second sister Phillis seemed. She was engaged to a young clergyman at Hadleigh, and there had been some talk of a double wedding, only Nan's father-in-law, Mr. Mayne, of Longmead, had been rather cross at the notion, so Phillis's was to be postponed until the autumn.
All the neighbourhood of Oldfield had been ringing with the strange exploits of these young ladies. One little fact had leaked out after another; it was said their own cousin, Sir Henry Challoner, of Gilsbank, had betrayed the secret, though he always vowed his wife had a hand, or rather a tongue, in the business; but anyhow, there was a fine nine days' gossip over the matter.
It seemed that some time previously Mrs. Challoner and her three daughters had sustained severe losses, and the three girls, instead of losing courage, had put their shoulders to the wheel, and had actually set up as dressmakers at Hadleigh, carrying on their business in a most masterly fashion, until the unexpected return of their relative, Sir Harry Challoner, from Australia, with plenty of money at his disposal, broke up the dressmaking business, and reinstated them at Glen Cottage.
A few of their friends had been much offended with them, but as it was understood that Lady Fitzroy had spoken warmly of their moral courage and perseverance, it had become the fashion to praise them. Aunt Agatha had often quoted them to me, saying she had never met more charming girls, and adding more than once how thoroughly she respected their independence, and of course in recalling the Challoners I thought I should have added my crowning argument.
There was so much, too, that I longed to say in favour of my theory. The love of little children was very strong with me. I had often been pained as I walked through the streets at seeing tired children dragged along or shaken angrily by some coarse, uneducated nurse. It had always seemed rather a pitiful idea to me that children from their infancy should be in hourly contact with rough, menial natures. "Surely," I would say to myself, "the mother's place must be in her nursery; she can find no higher duty than this, to watch over her little ones; even if her position or rank hinder her constant supervision, why need she relegate her maternal duties to uneducated women? Are there no poor gentlewomen in the world who would gladly undertake such a work from very love, and who would refuse to believe for one moment they were losing caste in discharging one of the holiest and purest duties in life?
"What an advantage to the children," I imagined myself saying in answer to some objection on Uncle Keith's part, never dreaming that all this eloquence would be silenced by masculine cunning.
"What an advantage to these little creatures to hear English pure and undefiled from their cradles, and to be trained to habits of refinement and good manners by merely instinctively following the example before their eyes. Children are such copyists, one shudders to think of these impressionable little beings being permitted by their natural guardians to take their earliest lessons from some uneducated person.
"Women are crying out for work, Uncle Keith," I continued, carrying my warfare into a fresh quarter; but, alas! this, with the rest of my eloquence, died a natural death on my way home. "There are too many of the poor things in this world, and the female market is overstocked. They are invading telegraph offices, and treading on the heels of business men, but sheer pride and stupidity prevent them from trying to open nursery doors."
"Unladylike to be a servant," another imaginary objection on Uncle Keith's part. "Oh, fie, Uncle Keith! this from you, who read your Bible and go to church; and yet I remember a certain passage, 'Whosoever will be chief among you let him be your servant,' which has hallowed the very idea of service ever since.
"To serve others seems the very meaning of womanhood; in some sense, a woman serves all the days of her life. No, I am not farfetched and unpractical." Another supposed masculine tirade. "I have thought over the whole thing most carefully. I am not only working for myself, but for others. I want to open the eyes of my generation, and, like the Challoners, to lead a new crusade against the mighty sham of conventionality. Understand me, Uncle Keith, I do not say to these young gentlewomen, put your pride in your pocket and wheel your perambulator with the twins, or carry the baby into the park before the eyes of your aristocratic acquaintance; that would be unnecessary and foolish; you may leave that part to the under-nurse, who brings your meals and scours your nurseries; I simply say to them, if you have no capacity for teaching, if nature has unfitted you for other work, and you are too proud and conscientious to live a dragging, dependent life under the roof of some overburthened relative, take the charge of some aristocratic nursery. Do not think it beneath your womanhood to feed and wash and clothe an infant, or to watch over weak, toddling creatures. Your work may be humble, but you will grow to love it, and if no one else will put the theory to the test, I, Merle Fenton, will do so, though I must take the plunge unaided, and alone."
But all these feeling observations were locked up in my own inner consciousness, for during the remainder of the evening Uncle Keith simply ignored the subject and read his book with a pretence of being perfectly absorbed in it, though I am certain that his eyes twinkled mischievously whenever he looked in my direction, as though he were quite aware of my flood of repressed oratory.
I determined to have it out with Aunt Agatha, so I followed her into her room, and asked her in a peevish voice what she meant by saying Uncle Keith would be so angry with me, as he had not raised a single objection, and, of course, as silence meant consent, I should most certainly keep my appointment at Prince's Gate.
Aunt Agatha looked a little distressed as she answered me.
"To tell you the truth, Merle, I did not quite understand your uncle myself; I expected a very different reception of my news."
"Tell me all about it from the very beginning," I returned, eagerly. "Patience has made such a nice fire, because she said she was afraid you had a cold, and I can just sit by it and brush out my hair while we talk."
"But I am tired and sleepy, child, and after all there is not much to tell," objected Aunt Agatha; but she was far too good-natured to refuse for all that, so she seated herself, dear soul, in the big chair—that she had christened Idleness—and tried to remember what I wished to hear.
"I told him everything, Merle: how your one little defect hindered you, poor child, from being a nursery governess or companion, and how, in spite of this serious obstacle, you were determined to work and be independent."
"Well, and did he say nothing to all that?" I asked, for I knew in what a feeling manner Aunt Agatha would have described my difficulties.
"Oh, yes; he said, 'poor little thing,' in the kindest possible way, 'and quite right—very proper,' when I spoke of your desire for work."
"Well," rather impatiently.
"He listened very attentively until I read him out the advertisement, but that seemed to upset him, for he burst out laughing, and I thought he would never stop. I was half crying by that time, for you had worried me to death all the afternoon, Merle, but nothing I could say would make him grave for a long time. He said once, 'What could have put such a thing into her head?' and then he laughed again as though the idea amused him, and then he rubbed his hands and muttered, 'What an original child it is; there is no deficiency of brain power as far as I can see; who would have dreamt of such a thing?' and so on."
"Then I may flatter myself that Uncle Keith approves of my scheme," I observed, stiffly, for I was much offended at the idea of his laugh.
"Oh dear, no," returned Aunt Agatha, in an alarmed voice, "he expressed his disapproval very strongly; he said it was all very well in theory, and that, on the whole, he agreed with you that the nursery was undoubtedly a lady-like sphere, but he was far from sure that your scheme would be practical. He foresaw all kinds of difficulties, and that he did not consider you at all the person for such a position."
"Why did not Uncle Keith say all this to me himself?" I demanded.
"Because he said it would only be sowing the wind to raise the whirlwind. In an argument he declares women always have the best of it, because they can talk the fastest, and never will own they are beaten; to raise objections would only be to strengthen you more in your purpose. I think," finished Aunt Agatha, in her softest voice, "that he hoped your plan would die a natural death, for he recommended me to withdraw all opposition."
Oh, the cunning of these men. I would not have believed all this of Uncle Keith. I was far too angry to talk any more to Aunt Agatha; I only commanded my voice sufficiently to say that I fully intended to keep my appointment the next day; and as she only looked at me very sadly and said nothing, I had no excuse for lingering any longer, so I took up my candlestick and marched into my own room.
It felt cold and desolate, and as I sat down by the toilet table, such sad eyes looked into mine from the depths of the mirror, that a curious self-pitying feeling made me prop my chin on my hands and exchange looks of silent sympathy with my image.
My want of beauty never troubled me; it has always been my private conviction that we ought to be thankful if we are tolerably pleasant in other people's eyes; beauty is too rare a gift to be often reproduced. If people thought me nice-looking I was more than content; perhaps it was surprising that, with such good-looking parents, I was just ordinary and nothing else, "But never mind, Merle, you have a good figure and talking eyes," as Aunt Agatha once said to me. "I was much plainer at your age, my dear, but my plainness never prevented me from having a happy life and a good husband."
"Well, perhaps I should like a happy life, too, but as for the husband—never dream of that, my good girl; remember your miserable deficiency in this enlightened age. No man in his senses would condone that; put such thoughts resolutely away and think only of your work in life. Laborare est orare."
(To be continued.)
THE CONTENTS OF MY WORK-BOX.
HOW BUTTONS ARE MADE.
It is scarcely possible to determine when buttons, which are both useful and ornamental, were first made. In the paintings of the fourteenth century they frequently appear on the garments of both sexes, but in many instances they are drawn without button-holes, and are placed in such situations as to suggest that at that time they were used more for ornament than usefulness.
It was towards the close of the sixteenth century that button-making was first considered a business, and that the manufacturers formed a considerable body.
Button-making was originally a very tedious and expensive process. The button consisted of one solid piece of metal; the ornaments on the face of it were the work of an engraver. To obviate the expense connected with such a method of production, the press, stamp, and engine for turning the moulds were introduced. This improvement led the way for other improvements, both with regard to the materials from which buttons were afterwards made and also the process of manufacture. The plain gilt button, which was extensively used in the early part of the present century, was made from an alloy called plating metal, which contained a larger proportion of copper and less zinc than ordinary brass. The devices on the outer surface were produced by stamping the previously cut out blanks or metal discs with steel dies, after which the necks were soldered in. At the present time every possible kind of metal, from iron to gold, whether pure or mixed; every conceivable woven fabric, from canvas to the finest satin and velvet; every natural production capable of being turned out or pressed, as wood, horn, hoof, pearl, bone, ivory, jet, ivory nuts; every manufactured material of which the same may be said, as caoutchouc, leather, papier mache, glass, porcelain, etc., buttons are made in a great variety of shape; but at the present time they may be classed under four heads: buttons with shanks, buttons without shanks, buttons on rings or wire moulds, and buttons covered with cloth or some other material.
In the process of metal button-making by means of fly presses and punches, circular discs, called blanks, are cut out of sheets of metal. This work is usually done by females, who, while seated at a bench, manage to cut out as many as thirty blanks per minute, or twelve gross in an hour. On leaving the press the edges of the blanks are very sharp. When they have been smoothed and rounded, the surfaces are planished on the face by being placed separately in a die, under a small stamp, and causing them to receive a sharp blow from a polished steel hammer. The next process is that of shanking, or attaching small metal loops, by which they are fastened to garments. The shank manufacture is a distinct branch of the trade in Birmingham, although at times carried on in the same factory.
The shanks are made by a machine, in which a coil of wire is gradually advanced towards a pair of shears, which cut off short pieces. A metal finger then presses against the middle of each piece, first bending it and then pressing it into a vice, where it is compressed so as to form a loop; a hammer then strikes the two ends, spreading them into a flat surface, and the shank is pushed out of the machine ready for use. The shanks in some instances are attached to the blanks by women with iron wire, solder, and resin, after which they are placed in an oven, and when firmly united are removed and form plain buttons. In the majority of cases, however, soldering is dispensed with, the shanks being made secure in the press.
If the button is to be finished without a shank, it is passed on from the press, which it leaves as a blank, to another where the holes are pierced, and then to a third where the roughness is removed from the edges of the holes.
The commonest metal buttons which I have seen in process of making were cut out of scraps of tin, similar to what may be seen on the refuse heap of any shop where tin goods are made. The hand presses worked by women cut out the blanks, made a simple impression on the outside, and turned up the edges all round at the same time. The blanks were then passed on to another press, where pieces of cardboard were inserted, and the edges turned over to keep them firm. The holes were next pierced, and a finish given by a blow from a stamp.
I felt deeply interested in seeing all kinds of buttons in process of being made, some for India, others for Chili, and our own army, but the prettiest and most interesting to witness while passing through the presses, stamps, and hands of the workers were some which were being made for Malta. In passing through the first press the blank was embossed and cut out. By another press the edge was scalloped, and by a third press the open work was effected. The next process was that of so pressing each disc to such an extent that the scalloped edges of two might meet, and thus form a round button of pretty design when united, and a shank fastened in the centre of one of the blanks.
Military buttons, like many others, are made of two discs of metal, the impression on the outer ones being produced by a sharp blow in a stamp, the under ones having two holes pierced in them for the shanks, which are put through and bent flat on the inside. They are next passed through another press which firmly fastens the two discs together, and holds the shank so securely as to obviate the necessity of having recourse to soldering.