A single "Answers to Correspondents" column has been transcribed from Volume 5 (1883-4) of the Girl's Own Paper. The column appeared on pages 159 and 735 of that volume. The first part, from page 159, is reproduced below. The second part, from page 735, is reproduced here.
CASSIE. – We may recommend two or three societies for your consideration. The Christian Women's Education Union, Secretary, Miss Caroline G. Cavendish, 3, Otway-terrace, South Lambeth-road. There is also the Bee Reading Club, Hon Secretary, Miss Rogers, 44, Henry-street, Limerick; and the Reading Society, Secretary, Miss McLandsborough, Lindum-terrace, Manningham, Bradford, Yorkshire. You write well, but might shorten your tails with advantage, and should cross the t's and dot the i's more carefully.
JANE BOND. – It would be impossible to enter into the question of the use of the words "shall," "will," "should," and "would" in so small a space. But we give you an easily remembered and infallible rule. When disposed to say one word, be perfectly certain that you should reverse your own habit, and say the other. This holds as good for an Irish person in reference to these words, as the rule in regard to the mute or aspirated "h" for an uneducated or vulgar Englishman. Yes, it would be correct to say, "Shall I send it?"
JEANNE OF NAVARRE. – There are training colleges nearer to you than Ripon for "elementary school mistresses;" the nearest, we think, is at Derby. Address the Rev T.H. Twist, St. Michaels Vicarage, Derby.
ONE WHO LACKS CONFIDENCE. – See page 794, vol. ii, for a list of good grammars. Many thanks for your pretty card.
M. DE LA H. – Why not make use of the excellent system in Glasgow for instruction by correspondence? Hon Secretary, Miss Jane MacArthur, 4, Buckingham-street. Write to the secretary, King's College, and inquire. Much obliged by your kind letter.
LOU. – Try the North Eastern Hospital for Children, Hackney-road, or St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, W.
ELLA CARSON. - Write to the secretary, King's College, London, W.C.
TIBBY. – We should advise you to remain at home, and study quietly for the examination, taking care of your health, eating nourishing food, and taking sufficient exercise.
A LITTLE TEACHER. – Either of the books would do. Try "Hall's First Latin Book."
E.J.H. – Miss Anne Pratt's would probably be the most complete work for you, but inquire for one on that especial branch of botany.
CALCUTTA. – "Slip-stitch" is much employed in raised crochet, both in joining together detached sprays and in passing from one part of the pattern to another at the back of the work. To execute it, put the hook through the foundation at the back part, and draw the cotton back with it through the loop already in the hook.
LITTLE ONE. – The specimen of home-made "point lace" which you sent us some time ago, we were unable to return as the address you gave was insufficient. When we hear again we will trust it to the post. It has no fixed market value; it is worth just what it will fetch. If you wish to make money by lace-making, you should show specimens in large shops and obtain orders from the trade, for which you can arrange a price. The piece you send does you credit, but we fear your eyes would soon suffer such very fine work in so delicate designs. Your letter was laid by and unfortunately forgotten.
E.G.B. – To work a knitted vest, see page 175, vol. iv.
MINNIE. – See "Knitted Designs," page 596, vol. iii; to knit petticoats, page 80, vol. iii.
BANTAM. – For a crochet jacket for a child, see page 149, vol. i.
IONA. – The original Maltese laces resembled Valenciennes and Mechlin without their fine groundings. In the present century, the Greek guipure style has been introduced, and the first black silk plaited laces came from Malta. The patterns are simple, and are worked on a pillow. These laces are also made in Ireland, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Auvergne, Le Ruy, and the Ceylon and Madras laces resemble them greatly.
EMMIE. – See "How to Ride," pages 3 and 130, vol. iii. There is nothing new to relate respecting the costume to be worn. We gave some illustrations. Your writing is legible, but too upright.
HUMBLE ALLEY will find everything in reference to the cleaning of materials in the new series, entitled "The Fairy of the Family." Also, in reference to a "Dutch heel" in stocking-knitting see "How to Re-foot Stockings," page 486, where the heel described is the "Dutch heel." 2. On the contrary, it is "too bad" to ask an Editor to repeat answers an unlimited number of times, and "too bad" to other readers of the magazine to fill the correspondence columns with old and uninteresting replies. Some of "our girls" appear to ignore the existence of any other reader than themselves, and a still larger proportion have actually got the volume in question but are too lazy to consult the index provided for their use. On such "allies" pity is wasted.
ROSALIE. – It is stated by Fairholt that the first lace manufactory established in England was that at the village of Cranfield, Bedfordshire, due to the Flemish refugees. According to Beckman, lace-making on the Continent of Europe was invented by Barbara Uttman, in the year 1561, at St. Annaberg, in Saxony; but, according to Haydn it was made in Flanders and France in 1320. Its antiquity in the East is of very much earlier date, for it is represented on the frescoes of the Egyptian tombs, and from the Egyptians the Greeks, Jews, and Romans acquired the art; but no examples of it have been preserved from an earlier period than the Christian era. A rude description of gold lace was used by the Scandinavian kings, when real lace was made in the convents for ecclesiastical purposes.
LITTLE BETSY. – See "How to Make a Watch-guard" pages 319 and 501, vol. i. We thank you for your recipe.
HEXHAM. – We sympathise sincerely with you on the loss of power in your right hand through rheumatism. We can only say that you should practise doing everything with the left; and we believe you would succeed, as you have accomplished writing so well with it. Could you not go to Buxton and endeavour to restore the hand? Meantime, you might hold a frame for either embroidery or cross-stitch with it, and work with the left almost as well, with but little practice. The frame being larger than a little crochet-hook (which you drop), we think you might grasp it firmly.
GUSSIE. – To direct the execution of "honeycomb stitching," we cannot do better than quote from the standard work on needlework and textiles, "The Dictionary of Needlework" (Upcott Gill, 170, Strand, W.C.) "Take a piece of holland, set it in perfectly even gathers, draw these up, and stroke them down with a knitting needle in straight lines the length of the material. Thread a needle with black or dark-coloured purse silk. Commence at the right hand side of the work, bring it up from the wrong side of the material, and catch the first two gathers together with a 'back-stitch' about a quarter of an inch from the side of the gathers. Put the needle down at the back of the material a quarter of an inch, bring it up at the third gather, and catch the third and second gathers together with a 'back-stitch'. Return the needle to the back, and to the height of the first-made stitch, and catch the fourth and third gathers together with a 'back-stitch'; put it back in a line with the second stitch, and catch the fifth and fourth gathers together, and continue working in this way, first in one line and then in the other, catching a new gather and an old gather together with a 'back-stitch' every time, until all be secured. Work the third as the first (commencing at the right-hand side of the work), and the fourth as the second line, catching the gathers together in these lines in same order as the ones already worked." There is another variety of "honeycombing," but space will not allow of its insertion here. We have never given this stitch in THE GIRL'S OWN PAPER before.
KATIE FERGUSON (Queensland). – We shall be very glad to hear from you, and to add you to our other "corresponders," as you quaintly name them.
LAURA NICHOL. – The "Heralds' College" is the fountain, as it were, of all such lore, and the one authority. Many claim that their families "came over with William the Conqueror," but documentary proof should be produced before such assertions are made. Even the list on the roll of knights at Battle Abbey has been tampered with. Send any genealogy you possess to the Heralds' office for inspection, and notes of any historical allusions to the name that you can find, stating the county to which your family belongs, and how long they were seated there, and the alliances they made. Search the records of that county, and the parish registers, monuments, &c., in which your name appears. There is no legal appeal against the verdict of the college, and they will judge impartially. Authentic proof is indispensable.
M.J.A.H. – We see no necessity for returning the book or photograph. You write well.
OLD CHOKER. – The "Seven Wonders of the World" of antiquity (there are many more, and great ones now) were, the Pyramids of Egypt, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Tomb of Mausolus, Temple of Diana (Ephesus), Colossus of Rhodes, the Jupiter of Phidias, Pharos of Egypt (or else the Palace of Cyrus). Slope your writing, and use a better pen.
TOMY. – We decline the discussion of subjects on which conflicting opinions are held by religious persons, equally consistent in character and deserving of respect.
URSA MINOR. – You are quite right; in November Auriga is to the east of the Pole Star, and Lyra to the west, and not the reverse, as was accidentally mis-stated. As these constellations are constantly moving round the Pole Star, the easiest guide for children is that Vega is behind the Plough, while Capella moves round before it.
BEE should refer to our articles on the significations of girls' names in THE GIRL'S OWN PAPER. To destroy the eggs of moths in any woollen material, such as a carpet, it should be sent to an upholsterer to be baked, and the floor should be rubbed with a strong solution of alum and water or turpentine.
G DUTHIE (Cape of Good Hope). – We thank you for your gratifying letter. You shall have a few pressed flowers (offered by a friend). We can quite understand your wish to see some from the "old country," and elsewhere in Europe, and thank you for your kind offer.
ONE OF THE GIRLS. – 1. We thank you for the recipe you kindly give for preserving flowers. Many wish for one, and we give it with pleasure. "Get a quantity of fine sand, wash it until the last water be quite clear. Pour the wet sand on a board placed slantingly over a pan to drip dry, then place the sand in the sun or by the fire to dry it thoroughly before passing it through a fine sieve. Cut the flowers when nearly in full bloom, and in dry weather, neither moist with rain nor dew. Fill a box with sand sufficiently high to allow the flowers to stand erect in it on their stems. Then put some more sand in a sieve and sift it very carefully over the flowers so as not to break them nor crumple and displace a petal. Place the box in a warm dry place and as soon as you think the flowers are dry, open the box and let the upper sand run out gently. Then lift out the flowers by their stems, which will be rather brittle at first, but will become less so from exposure to the atmosphere." 2. Your writing is not sufficiently well formed.
RUBY. – Until you be sixteen you ought to retire to your room at nine o'clock. It will take you about three-quarters of an hour to perform all the duties of the toilet properly, and to attend to your religious duties likewise.
M. – Of course, lessening the quantity of butter, milk, bread, and certain vegetables may tend to check a tendency to excessive fat. But we warn you that to reduce your diet to meat and biscuits, and to attempt to "bant," is a very serious step to take. Your blood needs fruit and vegetables, and you may become diseased. Of course if a doctor told you that you were threatened with a "fatty degeneration of the heart" you would be wise in following some regimen prescribed by him, but to prescribe without personal acquaintance with you would be quackery. When consumptive people can be made to grow very fat, they recover. Your selection of a name was in very bad taste, and we decline to address you by it.
RUPAHLIE. – Your letter interested us much, and gave a sad account of the life of a little Indian girl, although a Rajah's daughter, "never obtaining a glimpse of the outside world, without books, without toys." You write a nice hand and express yourself well.
LOVER OF THE "G.O.P.." – We do not answer questions within "a fortnight." How many letters do you imagine we should have to write? Your writing is so illegible we do not know what name you have written. When you have learned to write it correctly, you can do so again, and we will answer if we can.
AGNES COPPERFIELD. – That you "have not had a lover in your life" when you have not yet completed your eighteenth year, is certainly no matter either of surprise or of commiseration. No sensible man worth your regard would think of marrying a little school girl, and no wise parent would encourage his diverting your thoughts from your education. We are glad to hear that you are making yourself useful at home, and please your parents. This is a good way of training you to be mistress, it may be, of a house of your own when really grown-up. But the less you think of leaving your home for a new and untried one the better, at least for the next three years.
A SCOTTISH MAIDEN. – "Sintram", and "Undine" were written by the Baron de la Motte Fouque, and have both been translated into English. You can make a riding habit at home by following the pattern of a well fitting dress bodice.
GRACE. – You are over the age, which is from fourteen to eighteen years of age. See pages 663 and 703, vol. iv. on "Female Clerkships," and an answer to correspondents.
KITTY MAREE. – We think your mother is your safest guide and confidant.
AN ANXIOUS ONE. – Consult an oculist, and procure proper spectacles without delay.
KATHLEEN R. MILLAR. – Camphor and borax is a very excellent hair-wash. We have been told that cleaning the teeth once a day with ordinary "flowers of sulphur" (powder) will preserve from both decay and toothache.
LILLIE DODD. – We advise you to ask for and obtain a class at once; if teachers be so much in need, your duty is clear.
BLACK BEETLE. – When the weather is too cold or damp, you can air the room of an invalid by opening the door, and then the nearest neighbouring window. But an invalid's room may be aired quite safely if you procure a strip of wood to fit the window at the bottom, so that you can raise the sash about an inch; the air will then come in gently between the sashes in the middle.
CHRISTOWEL. – They must be very inexperienced and incapable judges indeed of what true believers do and ought to feel of their unworthiness if they be "surprised" at any hard things they may say of themselves. To judge you to your discredit, from your own humble confession of shortcomings, was very unjust. If you thought better of yourself, your spiritual condition would be much less satisfactory. "Unto this man will I look, even to him that is of a humble and a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word," (Isaiah lxvi. 2). Your whole letter is full of contradictions, for amidst all your self reproaches you say you have "always desired to live to God's praise and glory." We can only say, take courage, think less of your own feelings and frames of mind, and more of Christ's infinite love and forbearance, and that "He is able to save, unto the uttermost, all that come unto God through Him" (Heb. vii. 25).
LOUIE M. ASHTON. – Velvet cannot be dyed at home, but may be cleaned by the aid of a bit of bacon rind and some crape; the former will take off all the dirt, and the latter is the best kind of brush. If the pile be flattened, hold it wrong side over the steam of boiling water. A "cabinet" is now fashionable.
EVA, MINNIE, and MARY. – These are three very silly little girls, who must be content with this expression of our opinion, in lieu of any answer to their questions.
DAISY. – We are very glad to hear that you found the shoulder straps and the advice assisted to cure you of stooping; when it is not a question of weakness, it is usually one of "will." You will find a recipe to clean carpets in the "Fairy of the Family."
AUNT SUKEY. – You are a very little girl to be learning so much. Music since you were six, and French also, and able to write and spell so well, at only seven! We hope you have plenty of time for play, and good long nights of sleep. The meaning of the word andante means "going easily," "advancing steadily." Moderato, "moderately," means a kind of music which the writer composes much after his own fancy, rather than according to strict rules. Vivaci means "lively." You are too young yet to understand our explanations.
FOX GLOVE. – Your brother's not being of age would make no difference, he would act as his father's representative in the matter of giving his sister away.
CONSTANT READER. – We feel much for you in your great affliction, but we think there is hope for you if you will try electric baths, as we have seen some wonderful cures of paralysis by their means.
MOTHERLESS. – We sympathise much with you in the great loss sustained, and the responsibilities that have so early devolved upon you. With reference to the care of the delicate little children, you may obtain many hints from a shilling manual before recommended, "Sick Nursing at Home", (Upcott Gill, 170, Strand, W.C.) In reference to the "getting-up of collars and cuffs," see "How to Wash and Iron", Chapter ii., in the " G.0.P." page 107, vol. ii. Your hand is peculiar, but legible and not unladylike.
BLACK INK. – Your grateful letter is as gratefully acknowledged, and your handwriting is pretty. We do not remember having heard from you before.
R. BRAHMIN. – We thank you for your kind letter, but are unable to avail ourselves of your proposal. People in England are much better acquainted with the mode of life in Australia and out in the Bush than you imagine.
A.L.B. – The reason that the sapphire of the ancients was described as an opaque stone, is explained by the simple fact that it was Lapis- Lazuli, and the sapphire was called by them Hyacynthus.
EMILY. – Flowers may be sent by post in a tin box; before closing which they should be lightly sprinkled with water. The pressed flowers must have the paper changed every day.
G.B. – You will find a list of Her Majesty's ships in commission, with their stations, in Whitaker's Almanack, issued every year.
UNHAPPY JEANIE. – We do not believe anyone has any business to be always unhappy, and we cannot help thinking you are idle or are thinking too much of self. Try to make others happier and you will find happiness yourself.
E.C. – Write to the publisher, Mr. Tarn, office of the "G.0.P.," 56, Paternoster-row, E.C. for the back numbers you require; they would cost the same as at present. We could not say, as we never give private addresses.
PENITENT MEG. – It is not necessary to do more now than to confess your omissions of duty to God, and, asking His grace, to strive earnestly to fulfil them with scrupulous regularity henceforth. "Sin repented of is sin forgiven," but then repentance is not of a genuine description that is unaccompanied with amendment of life. Its profession otherwise is mere hypocrisy.
ARIADNE. – The method of cleaning brushes without wetting them is very simple, and far preferable, as the bristles do not lose their elasticity, nor the backs their polish. Rub some flour well into them and round the sides with your fingers, and they will become perfectly clean in a few minutes. You should put on an apron, turn up your sleeves, and place half a teacupful of flour in a washand basin.
MAUD. – Your proper course is to apply to the rector of your parish, and he will give you full directions, and will prepare you in the usual way.
GANGLIANA. – We think by-and-by you will cease to suffer so much from your misfortune. We should keep it bound up, and think your parents are quite right in declining to have any operation performed.
MIGNONNE. – To pronounce vase as " vaws " is quite out of date. Say the "a" as in "mars."
A LANGHOLM LASSIE. – Write, enclosing the money, to Mr. Tarn, 56, Paternoster-row, E.C.
BLUE BELLE, AND BLUE BELLE'S BROTHER. – The lines, "Stone walls do not a prison make," are by Richard Lovelace, A.D. 1658.
N.D. AND E.C. – Hampton Court Palace was built by Cardinal Wolsey, on the site of the Manor House of the Knights Hospitallers, and was in 1525 presented by him to Henry VIII. Edward VI. was born there, and his mother, Queen Jane Seymour, died there. William III. added the grand inner court, and laid out the gardens; the great vine was planted in 1769. Mary, Elizabeth, Charles I. and II., and most of our later sovereigns resided there.
ATTEL. – We do not know to what letter you refer, nor the question asked, nor who you are. What you are we do know, viz., a rude little girl, who does not know how to spell, and sends a poor specimen of scribbling.
UNE FLEUR ROBUSTE. – It is better to bathe in the sea when the sun shines, than when cold and dark; but not to go in when heated. Wait until cool, or it might make you ill. The first manufactory for producing woven tapestry was established in England in 1509; when one William Sheldon, with the co-operation of one Robert Hicks, set it up at Barcheston, Warwickshire. But hand-worked tapestry was introduced into England as furniture hangings by Queen Eleanor of Castile.
VENETIA. – "The Light of the World" is a picture painted by Holman Hunt. It is, we believe, at Keble College, Oxford.
"FIFTEEN MILES PER DAY." – We think the money would be sufficient, but we could not recommend a tour in that part of England, nor indeed in any part, unless your parents fully understood the plan and approved of it.
HOUSEWIFE. – Pour a little sweet oil round the stopper, and make the glass as hot as you can without breaking it.
A YOUNG HOUSEKEEPER. – You will find an excellent home-made filter described at page 454, vol. iii. You may always render water safe by boiling it and drinking it cold.
IGNORAMUS. – We advise you to apply to your school-mistress or governess.
KITTY. – Certainly, ask him to come in. Use a fork always for both when possible. Table-napkins are placed between the knife and fork in the centre of the person's place at table.
MARGARET HELT. – The Editor does not sell THE GIRL'S OWN PAPER. Apply for the index, and all else you require in reference to it, to Mr. Tarn, 56, Paternoster-row, E.C.
E.D.L. – Clean the skin with any nice wash or egg, making partings for the purpose in every direction; but (excepting by a hairdresser) do not wet the long thick hair, or you may suffer in your eyes by inability to dry it. Your handwriting is fairly good, and your assurance of the spiritual benefit you have derived from reading our paper is indeed most encouraging.
BESS. – Shakespeare wore the dress of Queen Elizabeth's time, carried out in black velvet. A wide frill round the neck, doublet, trunk-hose, shoes with buckles, pointed hat with wide brim. Sometimes he is represented as wearing a turned-down pointed collar, and a tie round it furnished with tassels.
WAITING. – We regret that you should wait for disappointment only. We could not honestly do otherwise than tell you that the brief story lacks any originality, and is defective in composition. But you might make it your study to write a thoroughly satisfactory letter in good plain English; and this will be of greater value to you, and to your family, than to write little love stories. Read our article on "The Art of Letter Writing."
MIGNONETTE. – Consult our indexes, and you may find what you require. You omit to name the nature of the stains, so you must judge for yourself. The 16th of October, 1861, was a Wednesday.