The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX. No. 996, January 28, 1899 by Various

[Illustration: THE GIRL’S OWN PAPER

VOL. XX.—NO. 996.] JANUARY 28, 1899. [PRICE ONE PENNY.]

“OUR HERO.”

A TALE OF THE FRANCO-ENGLISH WAR NINETY YEARS AGO.

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

[Illustration: “‘POOR FELLOW! HE DOES LOOK DONE!’” (_See_ p. 262.)]

_All rights reserved._]

CHAPTER XVIII.

ROY’S IMPRUDENCE.

The letter from Mrs. Fairbank to Colonel Baron, which Roy undertook to read aloud to Denham, was lengthy and verbose. Some extracts may be given from it, the remainder being, in old-fashioned phrase, “left to the reader’s imagination.”

It may be remarked here that much had happened during the last four years in European history, since the Barons had left their own country. Notable among famous events was the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, which crippled for half a century to come the naval power of France.

For three years at least previous to that date, England had been kept on tenterhooks of expectation, incessantly dreading a French invasion. Napoleon had talked largely of such an invasion, and had made preparations for it on no mean scale. England also had made ready for it, had feared it, had laughed at it. And at the last, partly through Continental complications, causing Napoleon to withdraw most of the great military force which had long sat at Boulogne, waiting for a safe chance of crossing the Channel, but much more through the magnificent and crushing victory of Nelson, in the course of which he received his death-wound, England escaped it.

She escaped it, seemingly, by a very narrow margin. But for Napoleon’s pressing need of more soldiers elsewhere, and but for this crowning victory of Nelson’s, the attempt might certainly have been made. As everybody knows, Nelson chased the combined fleets of France and Spain across the Atlantic to the West Indies and back again; and had he, by one little slip, just missed finding those fleets at the critical moment, a landing of French troops might actually have taken place.

Whether Napoleon could ever have done more than land his troops upon the coast, is a question which cannot now be answered. It is not absolutely inconceivable that, through superior numbers and possibly superior discipline,[1] he might have gained one or two small victories, thereby placing himself in a position to march towards London. Even so much is unlikely; and that he could ever in the end have conquered Britain is absolutely inconceivable, despite his own boastful assurance on that point, which lasted or appeared to last until the end of his life.

But that he might have done a large amount of damage, that his soldiers might have pillaged right and left, that villages and towns might have been destroyed, that widespread loss and misery might have been inflicted, of all this there can be small question, at least as to the bare possibility.

These fears, however, were now at an end. Napoleon’s career of conquest on land continued unchecked; but at sea the flag of Great Britain reigned supreme. Nelson’s body lay beneath St. Paul’s Cathedral: but before he went he had done his work. He had saved his country from the iron heel of Napoleon. So Mrs. Fairbank’s letter contained no further descriptions of invasion scares, such as she would have had to write two or three years earlier, though it did contain certain references to the Emperor, not too cautiously worded for a letter on its road to France. Some past hopes of a peace between England and France, now at an end, were alluded to also.

“I’ll read it aloud to you, may I?” asked Roy again, when Captain Ivor had made his appearance, refreshed and smartened as to the outer man, and had been made to sit down to a hastily-prepared meal, to which he failed to do justice. “And,” Roy added, recalling Lucille’s words, “you can get on the sofa, and have a rest.”

Ivor declined to pose as an invalid, and submitted only to being installed in the Colonel’s large arm-chair, while Roy plunged into Mrs. Fairbank’s epistle, wading through it on the whole perseveringly, though not without suggestions of skippings.

“It’s written, ‘Bath, August 4th, 1806,’—ever so long ago,” he remarked as a preliminary. “But she didn’t get it all done in one day—not near. I can leave out the other dates. They don’t matter.

“‘MY DEAR SIR,—Though ’tis somewhat hopeless work writing, under the present aspect of affairs, I will send another letter, wishing that it may by some means reach you in safety. We still look out perpetually, with Constant Anxiety, for any sort of news of yourselves, which indeed but seldom arrives. These passing years are tru’ly melancholy to think upon. Molly is now fifteen, and has not seen Roy for a space of three years and more! Who could have thought——’ O I say, can’t I skip this? She does go on so. Well, I won’t, if you’d rather not; but it’s no good, you know. ‘Who could have thought it, my dear Sir, when you and your wife unhappily decided to make that doleful excursion to France, intending to stay but one fortnight, which resulted in this continued separation? Alas, how little man knows ever what lies Before him, in the Future!’ But what’s the good of her saying all that?

“‘The late tremendous storms about Lon^{n} have caused much Alarm, but these terrors seem to be now somewhat Abating.... I have been to the Pump Room and to the Circulating Library, and find people are not much elevated at the prospect of Mr. Fox concluding a Peace in the present dolorous situation, it being confidently said he cannot live a fortnight, and that he knows his situation.

“‘Mackbeth said Lady Mackbeth Should have died yesterday.’

“‘I presume that you with ourselves greatly lamented the death of Mr. Pitt last spring; a sad event at so critical a period.’ But I don’t see what she means about Macbeth—do you, Den? It’s so funny. O do you know, we got the _Times_ with all about the ‘obsequies’ of Mr. Fox, and a picture of the hearse; and I kept it. I can show it to you by-and-by.

“‘A laughable jest was not long since in circulation here, that Bonaparte intended to compel the Pope to marry his Mother.... There are a society of monied people in Bath, buying all the Houses they can meet with, on Speculation, which raises them and also Lodgings, which, with the taxes, are high beyond any former period, and in the end will be a disadvantage to Bath; for the Keepers of Lodging-houses, if they can’t raise the price of rooms, oblige the strangers to take or at least pay for more than they want. The times do indeed afford a Melancholy Prospect. And still Bonaparte exists![2]

“‘If you have not, do read the _Secret History of the Cabinet of St. Cloud_.... I have had quite a levee this morning; two ladies quite in a pet that they cannot get genteel Lodgings for themselves and Maids under 80 or 90 pounds a year. Bath fills with Company.... It is rumoured that the Country Bankers are expected to have a run upon them for a little time; on what account I don’t clearly understand; therefore shall endeavour to get as many of their five-pound notes changed as I can at the Shops, by buying store of Candles, Sugar, etc., for they, the Bankers, will not part with any cash....’ O now we’re going to get to something more interesting.

“‘Jack is now with us for a fortnight, and he and Polly went this morning to the Public Library, and heard a Group of Gentlemen’s very serious opinions on the condition of Affairs at the present moment. What a succession of triumphs attends the Corsican, wicked Elf! Poor old England stands alone; but how long——?[2]

“‘General Moore, who as you doubtless are aware is now Sir John Moore, and has been these two years past, continues to Befriend Jack, when Opportunity offers. Jack is sorely Disappointed at not being of the number sent on this Expedition to Sicily. He hopes he may yet be ordered thither, if more troops are wanted. I don’t for my part know precisely what they may be doing there; but doubtless the Government has good Reasons for all that’s done. How much you in your long banishment may hear of Public News we have no means of guessing, my dear Sir, but most heartily do I wish it were over, and the Blessings of an assured Peace once more restored to Europe. Alas, while that persistent Disturber of Peace continues to flourish, what can be looked for but persistent War? ’Tis said that Mr. William Wilberforce declares that Austerlitz was the death-blow to Mr. Pitt.

“‘Polly desires me to send her due Remembrances to Captain Ivor, and her hopes that he continues well in health. She writ him but lately a long letter, tho’ ’tis disheartening work, none knowing if ever the letters sent do arrive. Polly is extremely well, and has her Roses in full Bloom, and is in vastly Good Spirits, albeit she was greatly Disappointed at the failure of the Peace negotiations, on which Mr. Fox built much, but without cause. ’Tis said that she grows a more elegant young woman each year; and for my part I know not if this be not the truth. Molly also is becoming fast a grown-up young woman; and there is in her face—altho’ she is not Handsome—an expression of such fine Moral Sensibility as cannot but gratify the Beholder.’”

Roy made a slight pause when Polly’s name came up, as if wondering whether Denham would say anything; but the break was not taken advantage of, and his still face said nothing. So Roy went on to the end, gabbling rather hurriedly through Molly’s affectionate and prim little composition to himself, which somehow always gave him a sense of stricture in the throat.

“That’s all. Nothing more,” said Roy.

“There may be scores of letters buried in official bureaux,” suggested Mrs. Baron. “From—Polly and all of them.”

Denham was looking steadily down, with an expression which to her as to Roy was inscrutable. No response came. He merely said, after a pause—

“I think that letter should be destroyed, Colonel. Unsafe to keep.”

Colonel Baron made a sound of assent. Home subjects then were dropped, and Denham was plied with questions as to his manner of life at Valenciennes. He had a good deal to tell, and his account of the Commandant there contrasted favourably with their experiences of General Wirion.

The next day was by common consent granted to Roy as a whole holiday. His studies had been carried on partly under the young clergyman, Mr. Kinsland, partly under his father, during the last eighteen months; but a free day seemed only fair, in honour of Denham’s return. The boy was in wild spirits, full of schemes for hunting up old friends in Denham’s company, Denham did not appear at all till after breakfast, just in time to attend _appel_, and Roy, having been withheld from disturbing him, was off on some business of his own. When, after _appel_, he rushed in, it was to find Denham in the Colonel’s chair, with a book open which he was not reading, and with the air of a man who would not be easily dislodged. His face told its own tale; and Roy’s look became suddenly blank.

“I’m afraid there is no help for it, Roy. You must give me a day’s grace. I’ve done a good deal of walking, you see;” which was a mild statement of the case.

“I thought you’d be rested by this morning.”

“Ought! but Morpheus declined to be courted.”

“Couldn’t you sleep? And you don’t want to go out again?”

“I don’t think a team of horses could drag me a mile. But you will look up the Curtises for me.”

“Yes, of course. Where are they? O you don’t know. I’ll find out. Is that it?”

“See where Carey is too.”

“Carey? Wasn’t it he that had your horse—the horse you ought to have ridden?”

“No ‘ought’ in the question. Don’t say a word of that sort to him. I want to know where he is putting up. And—Franklyn——”

“Roy, do not make him talk,” as Denham’s hand went over his eyes.

“No, ma’am, I won’t. Only just to know—but ’tis all right now. I’ll look everybody up, Den, and don’t you mind about anything till your head is better.”

Roy went off, and Lucille came softly to where Mrs. Baron was standing. “So changed!” Mrs. Baron murmured.

“_Oui_,” assented Lucille, under her breath. “There are creatures, Madame, that cannot live in captivity.”

“Somebody over there is talking not very good sense,” murmured Denham, with a touch of reproof. Lucille stopped instantly, with a flush. The remark had been involuntary, and she had not imagined that he could hear.

Roy went the round of a good many returned acquaintances, finding out, as he went, where to go for others. He discovered Franklyn and Carey without difficulty, and in time learnt where the Curtises had bestowed themselves. From one and all he heard one tale as to Denham. Captain Ivor’s kindness and generosity towards all who were in difficulties formed a general theme. “What we should have done, but for him——” was an expression which occurred again and again. Roy no longer wondered that he had been “cleared out” to his last sou.

“Of course he was wrong,” Major Woodgate said decisively. “Only half recovered from an illness, and undertaking such a tramp as that! Insane of him! but it’s the sort of insanity that one doesn’t get too much of in this world. No, Carey wasn’t fit for the march. Might have finished him off, poor boy. But Ivor was hardly better fit. He settled the point himself, and did it out and out, as he generally does. Why couldn’t they share the horse between them? Quixotic, of course, and one likes him all the better for it. He—in fact, Ivor is a dear fellow. How is he this morning? Done for? I expected as much. Where are you off to now?”

Roy had had twelve o’clock lunch with the Woodgates, finding himself at some distance from home, with his task not accomplished. He was by this time much excited, and rather off his balance.

The Curtises came next, last on his round. He hunted out the rooms in which they had taken refuge, and again heard a good deal about Denham, besides much as to their own doings during the last few months.

“I say, I don’t think you’ve got into very nice quarters,” he said, surveying the walls.

“Best we can afford, old man. By-and-by we hope to change. I want to start painting again, and one must have a good light. Got a capital idea in my mind.”

“You won’t take the trouble to copy that, anyhow,” remarked Roy, pointing at a good-sized plaster bust of Napoleon, which stood on the mantel-piece. “I wouldn’t keep the wretched thing there, if I were you.”

“My dear boy, it’s from no sort of devotion to the original, I assure you. But what’s to be done? Our landlady is a flaring red-hot Bonapartist. Gushed about him for an hour this morning to my wife—didn’t she, dear?”

“I told her politely that I should like him better, if he would kindly allow us to go home,” added Mrs. Curtis.

“I’m afraid it wouldn’t suit her views, if we got rid of the Emperor, and put King George instead. Take care, Roy. Look out.”

Roy was standing by the table, on which lay a little heap of wood-chips. Curtis always had something in hand—either painting or moulding or carving. If no other occupation presented itself, he would content himself with whittling a piece of wood into scraps; and apparently this had been his last occupation. Roy took up a chip, aimed carefully at the bust, and flung it.

“Missed, by half-an-inch! I’ll try again. That’s right. Hit him fair and square on the nose. Now you, Curtis. See if you can beat that.”

“You’ll break something, I’m sure,” objected Mrs. Curtis. “And then we shall have to pay for it.”

“All right. I’ll pay. Now your turn. Whew! another miss. I’m getting out of practice. That’s it! Nose again.”

Roy was in a wild mood, delighted to find some vent for his happiness, and not to be easily checked; and Curtis was drawn in, hardly resisting. First one, then the other, aimed chip after chip at that self-contained face of worldwide fame, sometimes hitting, sometimes missing. When for the third time Roy succeeded in touching the nose, he was hilariously delighted. “Bravo, bravo!” he cried. “Down with the old fellow! _À bas l’Empereur!_”

“Sh—h! Roy, be careful. You’ll certainly get yourself into trouble.”

“All right—nobody here but ourselves. Now you again. I say, I wish I could do this to the real individual. Wouldn’t it be a game worth playing? _À bas_ the old chap! Now you—down with Nap! Now it’s me.”

Roy’s excitement went beyond bounds. He seized a solid ball, belonging to the baby, and aimed with precision.

“_À bas l’Empereur._”

Down came the bust, with a crash, into the fender, and was smashed.

Roy stood still, conscious of having done a very silly thing, and a shriek sounded in his rear. The door had just been opened, the landlady had appeared, and she was now shaking her fists, and executing a dance of rage.

“I say, Roy, stop! Don’t go on fooling like this. You’ll get us all into trouble.” Curtis spoke roughly, realising in a moment that matters might become serious. “Tell her you mean nothing by it.”

“Mean nothing. But of course I do mean——”

“Roy! Will you hold your tongue? Stop this foolery!”

Roy obeyed, while the woman, shaking her fists, continued to pour out a torrent of abuse, in the midst of which occurred several times the ominous word “gendarmes.”

Curtis went nearer to her, and spoke in his quietest tones.

“Madame is mistaken,” he said. “Nothing is intended. Monsieur is but a boy, and Monsieur was but in jest.”

“It is an insult to l’Empereur! It shall be made known,” screamed the other.

“I beg of you to hear me. It is no insult. This gentleman had no wish, none whatever, to break the figure. He did but aim at it in jest—as English Messieurs love to do. Not because it was a bust of the Emperor, but to have something to aim at,” explained Curtis.

He might as well have addressed himself to the winds.

“A jest!—and as to the Emperor! Truly a fit subject for a jest! But the thing shall be known. M. le Général Wirion shall hear. Ah—ha, and we shall see what the gendarmes will say to Monsieur’s little jest! Eh—hé, Monsieur, I know a thing or two as to _les Anglais_, I can tell you. And my ornament that is broken—broken all in pieces——”

“Madame shall have full value for the bust.”

Roy felt in his pockets. “I’ve only five francs here. But it can’t be worth more.”

“You won’t get off with the mere market value of the thing,” Curtis said in English. “I have five more, and not a sou besides in the house. Here, offer her the ten.”

Roy’s hand was thrust contemptuously aside.

“Non, vraiment! Dix francs! Does Monsieur think ten francs will pay for that!” tragically pointing towards the fragments in the fender. “An image of the Emperor! Non, Monsieur! I go to the General.”

“How much?” Curtis tried to make her say. She gesticulated furiously, and declined payment. It was an insult to the Emperor. Did Monsieur imagine that money would wipe out that? Did Monsieur suppose that she cared only for her own loss? Bah!—nothing of the kind, though Madame was a widow, and could ill afford to lose anything. But this was a profound matter. Madame had a duty to perform, and incontestibly she would perform it.

With which declaration the irate landlady disappeared.

“That’s awkward,” Curtis said seriously. “She is the first of the kind that I have come across yet. We had a nice little landlady at Valenciennes. Roy, you had better be off, sharp. She may not know your name.”

“And leave you to bear the blame for what I’ve done! I’m not so mean!”

“It’s not meanness. She may cool down when she does not see you, and I must make another attempt. Of course I know that your father will pay anything in reason to get you out of the difficulty. Be off, Roy.”

“But she knows my name well enough. She has seen me before, I’m pretty sure.”

“All the more reason why you shouldn’t stay here. Get home as fast as you can, and tell your father at once. Don’t put off. I hope it will come to nothing; but Wirion is certain not to lose his chance of putting on the screw, and squeezing some money out of your people. Run off, as fast as you can. I’ll tackle her again.”

Roy obeyed, by this time rather serious. “I wonder what does come over a fellow sometimes to make him make a fool of himself,” he cogitated.

(_To be continued._)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Not superior to that of the small force under Moore; but perhaps superior to that of the bulk of the then British Army.

[2] See footnote, p. 162.

IN THE TWILIGHT SIDE BY SIDE.

BY RUTH LAMB.

PART IV.

HOW TO GROW OLD.

“The hoary head is a crown of glory if it be found in the way of righteousness.”—Proverbs xvi. 31.

You, my dear girl friends, will not have forgotten our last talk about growing old, or that we left the most important part of it for this evening. We then dealt with externals, yet we realised that these were the outcome of our inner selves, and inseparable from them.

Let me ask you to impress on your memories the text I have just quoted—

“The hoary head is a crown of glory if it be found in the way of righteousness.”

There is no glory in gray hairs unless accompanied by the holy, Christ-like life. On the contrary, anything in a character which is pitiable, degrading, impure, or contemptible, seems more lamentable in old age than at any other period of life. Childhood is emphatically the “age of innocence,” or ought to be such. Of the children those sweet lines were written:

“They’ve the least taint of earthly sod; They’re freshest from the hand of God,”

and even when their young minds have been polluted and their simplicity smirched through evil surroundings, there is room for hope that in the years to come the seeds of evil may be uprooted, and the stains removed.

Girlhood is the step in advance, and suggestive of the opening bud which promises fulness of beauty to come.

Old age, that last stage in Life’s journey, ought to be the season of ripe wisdom, the period when everything that is good in us should be at its best, despite our failing bodily powers. Naturally, then, the sight of soured, unlovable, or degraded old age shocks us most of all, on account of its almost hopelessness. There is so little likelihood of any change for the better.

A bad habit long indulged in is a tyrant whose claim has been tightening round its wearer with every day’s indulgence in it. How small a chance is there that its hold will be relaxed in the time of hoar hairs and bodily weakness.

Let us look together at some types of old age, those which we admire, revere, love, and long to imitate, and others which make the very thought of age repulsive. From such a contemplation you must turn to yourselves, my dear ones, and search your hearts and lives in order that you may find out what they promise for that, to you, far-away future, old age.

If you discover the germs of an evil growth which will reach maturity with hoar hairs if left to increase, and will make your latest days a trouble to yourselves and to others, do not rest until you have exterminated them.

On the contrary, you must cherish every thought and aspiration after what is higher, holier, better, and more in harmony with the teaching of our perfect Pattern. The longings must find expression in prayer that they may become habits, which will grow and cling to you and gain strength daily, until the end of your earthly lives.

A good old age! What a beautiful expression this is! A Bible phrase applied, however, to very few even of the most famous of Bible characters.

Some of us may be apt to think that it merely refers to the great number of a person’s years. Surely this cannot be the only qualification for a good old age; for if so, it would have been written of Methuselah, the oldest man that ever walked this earth. His days were nine hundred and sixty-nine years. “And he died.” But of his father, who did not attain to half that age, we are told, “He walked with God and was not; for God took him.”

Abraham, again, was less than half the age of Enoch when he died “in a good old age.”

David, the man after God’s own heart, died, we are told, “in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour.”

Enoch was three hundred and sixty-five years old when “God took him.” Abraham, one hundred and seventy-five, and David only threescore years and ten, yet the term “good old age” was applied to both the last named, so it is plain that mere length of years was not all.

To you, to me, to every true servant of God who is spared to reach the season of hoar hairs, a good old age is as possible as it was to those of whom we read in the sacred pages of the Bible.

None of us can tell what was meant by the four words in which the story of Enoch’s earthly pilgrimage is told. God’s life histories are alike, so brief and yet so full. “Enoch walked with God,” says so little, but means so much, that we are lost in wonder at the vast possibilities suggested to our minds. Is not the first effect of the words good to ourselves? Do they not fill us with new yearnings and longings for closer communion with God than we have hitherto known?

It is sweet to think that each of you to whom I speak may also walk with God, may live in constant touch with Him, and have a delightful sense of His nearness to you and love for you. If you walk with God, your feet must be on the “narrow way” which leads to everlasting life. It will not be free from trouble, sorrow, temptation, or difficulty, but it will be a path of holiness, righteousness, peace and joy. If you thus “walk with God,” His presence insures fulness of joy whatever trials you may meet with on your way. Ever pressing onward, your latter days will be better than those of your youth, for “the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

Yours may sometimes be but trembling footsteps that you plant on that “narrow way,” and many a time and oft you will need to cry, “Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” But thoughts of joy and cheer will help you onward, for you will remember how near He is with Whom you are striving to walk, as well as all-powerful to keep you from falling. I say “you” instead of “we” and “us,” as I usually do. You will understand why. I am such a long way in advance of you in the journey of life, my dear girl friends, that in fancy I look back and see you comparatively near the beginning of it.

The first Bible character of whom it is said, he died “in a good old age,” is Abraham, who is called “the friend of God” by chronicler, prophet and apostle.

Surely this is the most glorious title ever given to a human being; yet if you and I walk in “the way of the righteous” we may joyfully claim to share it through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Did not He say to the little band of disciples who had journeyed with Him, seen His miracles, and sat as learners at His feet, “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you”?

To be called the servant of Christ is an honour unspeakable. But Christ’s words, which may be joyfully appropriated by every true disciple of His, are these. “Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth, but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”

You see then, dear ones, that if we know the will of God as Christ has revealed it, and knowing render hearty willing obedience, we, too, may claim the proud title of friends of God.

We may not attain to the close communion of that one who, in the early years of the world’s history, “walked with God.” We can never walk with Jesus as the disciples did in the days of His flesh, but we may call ourselves His friends, if, in humble dependence on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we follow in His footsteps and obey His commands. Only thus can we journey towards a truly “good old age.”

We must now go back almost to the point at which we started this evening.

There are many samples of old age from which the young, especially, shrink with pity, repulsion, or even dislike. The saddest and worst of all must be the man or woman who, in the time of hoar hairs, is living without God. Who could help grieving for that human being who knows nothing of God’s love in Christ Jesus? Who that does not know it could help doing the one thing which is in the power of all? The most helpless can pray for such a one.

Quite apart from those in whose lives God has no place are many in whom the beauty of old age is marred by some habit which ought never to have grown into one, and never would had it been checked in time. A tiny germ at first, but, unchecked, it grew into what dimmed and overshadowed a life.

Years ago, through being brought in contact with various samples of soured old age, I learned to dread the very thought of resembling them, and often exclaimed, “I hope I shall never become a grumbling, crabbed old woman!” I noted that old age was often lonely and neglected because it exercised a depressing effect on all who came within its reach.

I doubt not that amongst you, my dear girl friends, there are many who visit old people in various positions. In some cases, you look forward with gladness to the prospect of a welcome, a happy, helpful talk, and a lingering good-bye. As you leave, you look back at the window at which you know your old friend will be standing, to catch the last glimpse of the grandmotherly face and the wave of a wrinkled hand. You trip away, smiling as you go, or perchance with a look of sweet thoughtfulness on your face as you recall some wise words that have fallen from those aged lips and which are already influencing you for good.

Did you grudge the time spent with this friend, or pay your visit as a matter of duty? No, indeed. Almost before you reached home you were looking forward to your next meeting as a privilege and a pleasure. Your friend was a sample of good old age. She had begun to walk with God in her youth, and each year of life had drawn her into closer communion with Him.

Let us look at another picture. You have been paying a duty call, and as you closed the door behind you, it was with a sigh of relief and a feeling of thankfulness that a disagreeable task was ended for the present. No looking back at that house. No longing for a last glimpse of an old face at a window. You had gone thither in obedience to the call of conscience and because you wanted to do right in a patient, self-sacrificing spirit, remembering your divine Master, who “pleased not Himself.” All the same it had been hard for you to listen to ceaseless complaints, expressions of self-pity, hard judgments on your neighbours, or even on some who were dear to you, to which it was very difficult not to reply so as to give offence.

Then, when you had stretched your call to the utmost possible limit, you have perhaps heard words something like these: “Are you really going? So soon? It was very good of you to come at all, for you would naturally prefer more cheerful company than that of a lonely woman, who has no news to tell that is worth listening to. I have few visitors now. It was different once, but at my time of life I must expect to be lonely and neglected.” And so on.

Is it wonderful that age like this should be neglected or visited as a matter of duty only, or as a task in which love and inclination have no part? The soured nature which can find voice only for complaints and repinings, that regards a smiling face almost as a personal insult, and the sight of youth and bright spirits as an aggravation of chronic grievances, can expect only neglect save from those in whom the same mind that was in Christ Jesus overcomes all selfish considerations.

The most persistent grumblers are often those who have the least real cause for complaint, and who possess blessings and comforts which others might well envy. But they turn away from a heaven flooded with sunshine, and will only look at a single cloud overhead, or search the horizon on the chance of discovering others.

You will agree with me that such a case as I have described is almost, if not quite, past remedy. Have I not admitted this from the very beginning of our talk about growing old?

Prevention is better than cure, and I want to urge upon you to be, whilst youth is yours and life nearly all before you, what you would like to be, only in a still higher and better degree, when you reach hoar hairs. I want every one of you to live to a good old age. So you must crush out the first signs of discontent, silence the inclination to murmur and resolve to make the best of your lot. You must be cheerful, patient and gentle towards others, careful in speech so as not to give needless offence, true in word and deed, so that from your youth up you may each be looked upon as one who may be fully trusted.

You must be kind and considerate for the feelings and peculiarities of your neighbours, even including their prejudices, realising that all which you are called upon to render to them you also need from them in return.

You must try to avoid the temptation to hard and hasty judgments, and turn a deaf ear to slanderous tales and malicious words. If tempted to do or say things unbecoming to a servant of Christ, or to utter sharp, cutting words because they are witty and clever, though they are sure to wound, pause and ask yourself, “Should I like to be the subject of such a jest? How should I feel under the lash of a cruel though witty tongue?”

Cherish a grateful spirit. Never forget to acknowledge a kindness, and utter your thanks not as if they were a matter of form, but as if they came from your heart. When someone says a kind thing, or confers some unsought favour, do not begin to ask yourself whether the donor has something to gain by serving you. Take the service, remember the kindly words said, and believe in the possibility of unselfishness as you acknowledge them.

If you surprise yourself in the practice of habits which, without being absolutely wrong, detract from the charm and refinement of youth, you may be sure that, if not checked, they will sadly interfere with the beauty of old age.

Age should have a sweet graciousness of manner, without any sign of condescension. It should have even more winning and pretty ways, if I may call them so, than youth has, though the seeds of them will have been planted in its young days, and will have grown to fair maturity with the rest of the character. Youth is often excused because it is young for many things that would bring contempt on age; so practise now, my dear ones, every little thing that can give glory to the hoary head. Set yourselves to deserve love and to win it now, and you will never know the misery of a neglected, lonely, friendless age. So far from that, the young will seek your companionship for the sake of what you are, not for what you have. Parents will rejoice to know you for the sake of what you can teach themselves, and the blessing of your example to their children.

You cannot “walk with God” and think little and seldom of Him. Every instance of His providential care will stir you to thanksgiving and increase your love for Him. The thought of His love will make silence impossible, and as you go about your daily employments, little spontaneous bursts of praise will well straight upward from your hearts. Thus habits of praise and glad thankfulness will grow upon you from day to day.

Experience of His love in providence and grace will give you confidence, and so each want of yours will find utterance in the prayer of faith, not only for the supply of your own ceaseless needs, but for blessings on the souls and bodies of your neighbours also. You will want “to love the Lord your God with heart and soul and mind and strength, and your neighbour as yourself,” and you will want and ask for the same longings to be felt by every human being.

What a good old age will be the result of such habits of life, such communion with God!

What a beautiful old age will that be where the heart is full of love to God and man!

What a happy old age when there is the certainty of a place in the Father’s home above at the close of it!

One part of God’s promise to Abraham was, “Thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace.” A sweet assurance this to one who, rich in all that the world calls wealth, had known changes, troubles, and trials such as fall to the lot of few human beings. Age should be a time of peace, and it will be such to these who during past years have humbly “walked with God.”

To all who are children of God through Christ will come words straight from His lips as precious as was that old promise made by Jehovah to the man whom He called “friend.” “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

There can be no lonely old age for God’s true servants, the friends of Jesus, for our risen Lord’s last message to His disciples forbids the possibility. Did He not say, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world”?

(_To be continued._)

ABOUT PEGGY SAVILLE.

BY JESSIE MANSERGH (Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey), Author of “Sisters Three,” etc.

CHAPTER XVII.

Arthur Saville waited in vain by the schoolroom fire, for his sister did not join him. And when he entered the dining-room in response to the summons of the gong, she had not yet made her appearance.

Mrs. Asplin looked at him with uplifted brows.

“Where is Peggy?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t seen her since she went upstairs. The little wretch can’t have hurried very much.”

“She hasn’t been with you, then! Never mind, there is plenty of time to come. She must be making a special toilette for your benefit.”

But when the first course was nearly over and the girl had not yet appeared, Mrs. Asplin grew impatient and despatched the servant to hasten her movements.

“Just tell her that we have been at table for nearly ten minutes. Ask if she will be long.”

Mary left the room, was absent a short time, and came back with an extraordinary statement.

“Miss Peggy is not in her room, ma’am.”

“Not in her room! Then she must have come downstairs. Perhaps she didn’t hear the gong. Just look in the schoolroom, Mary, and in the other rooms too, and tell her to come at once.”

Another few minutes passed, and back again came Mary, looking flushed and mysterious.

“I can’t see Miss Peggy anywhere, ma’am. She has not come downstairs.”

“You have looked in the drawing-room—Mr. Asplin’s study?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Did you go upstairs again?”

“No, ma’am. I had looked there before.”

“Esther dear, you go!” cried Mrs. Asplin quickly. “Bring her down at once! What in the world is the child doing? It’s most extraordinary!”

“She’s not given to playing games of hide and seek just at dinner-time, is she?” asked Arthur, laughing. “I am never surprised at anything Peggy does. She has some little prank on hand, depend upon it, and will turn up in good time. It’s her own fault if she misses her dinner.”

“But it’s so extraordinary! To-night of all nights, when you have just arrived! I wish the child would come!” replied Mrs. Asplin, craning her neck forward to listen to the cries of “Peggy! Peggy!” which came from the upper storey.

The door stood open, and everyone ceased talking to follow Esther’s footsteps to and fro, to count the opening and shutting of doors—one, two, three, four, five—to look apprehensively at each other as the messenger returned—alone!

“Mother, she is not there! I’ve looked everywhere—in every corner—and she has not changed her dress, nor washed, nor anything. The room looks exactly as if she had never gone in; but she did, for we all followed her upstairs. I looked over the wardrobe, and all her dresses are there, and the can of hot water is untouched, and the gas left full up.”

“Oh dear, what can have happened?” Mrs. Asplin pushed back her chair and stood up, looking anxious and puzzled. “I cannot rest until she is found! I must look myself! Go on with dinner, all of you; I won’t be long. Where can the child be hiding herself?”

“Don’t worry, mater!” said Arthur kindly. “It’s very tiresome of Peggy to disappear at such an inopportune moment, but no harm can have happened to her, you know. It’s impossible! As I said before, she has probably some wild prank in her head of which this is a part. I’ll give her a lecture when I catch her for spoiling dinner like this, and such an uncommonly good dinner, too!” And Arthur smiled in cheery fashion and tried his best to keep up the failing spirits of the company by chatting away while his hostess was out of the room, as if nothing had happened which was the least unusual or alarming.

When Mrs. Asplin returned, however, after a lengthened absence, there was a simultaneous rising from the table to listen to her report.

“She is not in the house! Jane began at the top and I began at the bottom, and we searched every hole and corner. I have looked in the very cupboards and wardrobes! I even searched the cistern-room, but she is not to be found. I don’t know what to do next. It seems impossible that she can have disappeared—yet where can she be?”

“Have you looked in the cloak-room to see if any of her outdoor things are missing?”

“I went in, but I never thought of looking at her clothes. Outdoor? What on earth should take the child out at this hour in the dark and rain?”

“I can’t tell you that, dear, but we must think of every possibility. Esther, you know best what Peggy had in the cloak-room—see if anything is missing. Mellicent, run upstairs and find if any hats or jackets have been taken from their places. If she is not in the house, she must have gone out. It was most thoughtless and foolish to go without asking permission, and at such an hour; but, as Arthur says, there is not much chance of any harm befalling her. Try not to work yourself up into a state of anxiety, dear; we shall soon find your truant for you. Well, Esther, what is it?”

“Her mackintosh has gone, father, and her red Tam-o’-Shanter, and her snow-shoes. Her peg is next to mine, and there is nothing on it but her check golf cape.”

“She has gone out, then! What can it mean—to-night of all nights, when she was so happy, when Arthur had just arrived, when she promised to be downstairs in ten minutes——”

“It is most extraordinary! It must have been something of great importance, one would say. Does anyone know if Peggy had any special interest on hand at present? Was there any gift which she wished to buy? It does not happen to be anyone’s birthday to-morrow, does it? Yours, Arthur, for instance? No? The birthday of a school-friend, then? She might suddenly have remembered such an occasion and rushed out to post a letter——”

“But there is no post until to-morrow morning, so she would gain no time by doing that. The postman called at five o’clock, and the letters were on the hall table waiting for him as usual. I do not know of any work that she had on hand, but the girls have complained that she has spent all her spare time in her room lately, and when I spoke to her about it she said she was writing——”

“Perhaps she is writing a book,” suggested Mellicent thoughtfully. “She says she is going to be an authoress when she grows up. I think Robert knew what she was doing. They were always talking together and looking over books, and I heard him say to her, ‘Bring me all you have finished, to look over.’ I said something to her about printing some photographs for Christmas cards, and she said she could do nothing until after the nineteenth.”

“The nineteenth!” echoed the Vicar sharply. “That is to-day. We gather from that, then, that Peggy had been busy with work, either by herself or in conjunction with Robert, which had to be completed by to-day. Nobody has the least idea of what nature it was? No? Then I shall go to Robert’s room and see if there is anything lying about which can give me a clue.”

“I’ll go with you, sir,” said Arthur, who was beginning to look a little anxious and uneasy as the moments passed by and brought no sign of his sister; but, alas, the scattered papers on Rob’s table gave no clue to the mystery!

When one is endeavouring to find a reason why a girl should mysteriously disappear from her home, it does not help very much to find a few slips of paper on which are written such items as “Tennyson’s Poems, page 26,” “Selections from British Authors, 203,” “Macaulay’s Essays, 97,” etc.

Arthur and Mr. Asplin looked at one another, puzzled and disappointed, and had no alternative but to return to the dining-room and confess their failure.

“Would not it be a good thing to go up to the Larches, and hear what Robert has to say on the subject,” Arthur asked, and when he was told that Robert was in London, he still held to his suggestion. “For someone else in the house may know about it,” he declared. “Rob may have confided in his mother or sister. At the worst we can get his address, and telegraph to him for information, if she has not returned before we get back. She might even have gone to the Larches herself to—to see Rosalind!”

“Peggy doesn’t like Rosalind. She never goes to see her if she can help it. I’m quite sure she has not gone there,” said Mellicent shrewdly. “It is more likely she has gone to Fräulein’s lodgings, to tell her about Arthur. She is fond of Fräulein.”

The suggestion was not very brilliant, but it was hailed with eagerness by the listeners as the most probable explanation yet offered.

“Then I’ll tell you what we will do. I’ll go off to the Larches,” cried Arthur, “and one of you fellows can see Fräulein and find out if Peggy has been there. We must try every place, likely and unlikely. It is better than sitting here doing nothing.”

Max frowned and hesitated. “Or—er—or you might go to Fräulein, and I’ll take the Larches! It is a long walk for you after your journey,” he suggested with a sudden access of politeness, “and there seems more probability that Fräulein may be able to help us. You could go there and back in a short time.”

“Just as you like, of course. It is all the same to me,” returned Arthur, in a tone which plainly intimated that it was nothing of the sort. Mrs. Asplin looked from one to the other of the flushed faces realising that even in the midst of anxiety, the image of beautiful, golden-haired Rosalind had a Will-o’-the-wisp attraction for the two big lads, but her husband saw nothing of what lay behind the commonplace words, and said calmly—

“Very well, then, Max, be off with you as fast as you can go. Find out if Robert has said anything about the work which he has had on hand; find out his address in town, and, if possible, where a telegram would reach him this evening. Arthur will call at Fräulein’s lodgings, and, Oswald, you might go with him so far, and walk through the village. Ask at old Mrs. Gilpin’s shop if Miss Saville has been there, but don’t talk about it too much; we don’t want to make more fuss than we can help. Keep your eyes open!”

The three lads departed without further delay; the Vicar put on his coat and hat preparatory to searching the garden and the lanes in the immediate neighbourhood, and the womenkind of the household settled down to an hour of painful waiting.

Mrs. Asplin lay back in her chair, with her hand to her head, now silent, now breaking out into impetuous lamentations. The fear lest any accident had happened to Peggy paralysed her with dread. Her thoughts went out to far-away India; she imagined the arrival of the ominous cablegram; pictured it carried into the house by a native servant; saw the light die out of two happy faces at the reading of the fatal words. “Oh, Peggy, Peggy,” she groaned. “Oh, the poor father—the poor mother! What will I do? What will I do? Oh, Peggy, dearie, come back! come back!”

Esther busied herself looking after a dozen little domestic arrangements, to which no one else seemed capable of attendance, and Mellicent laid her head on her mother’s lap, and never ceased crying, except for one brief interval, when she darted upstairs to peep inside the old oak chest, prompted thereto by a sudden reminiscence of the bride of the “Mistletoe Bough.” There was no Peggy inside the chest, however; only a few blankets, and a very strong smell of camphor; so Mellicent crept back to her footstool, and cried with redoubled energy. In the kitchen the fat old cook sat with a hand planted on either knee, and thrilled the other servants with an account of how “a cousin of me own brother-in-law, him that married our Annie, had a child as went a-missing, as fine a girl as you could wish to see from June to January. Beautiful, kerly ’air, for all the world like Miss Mellicent’s, and such nice ways with her! Everybody loved that child, gentle and simple. ‘Beller,’ ’er name was, after her mother. She went out unbeknownst, just as it might be Miss Peggy, and they searched and better searched”—cook’s hands waved up and down, and the heads of the listeners wagged in sympathy—“and never a trace could they find. ’Er father—he’s a stone mason by trade, and getting good money—he knocked off work, and his friends they knocked off too, and they searched the country far and wide. Day and night I tell you they searched, a week on end, and poor Isabeller nearly off her head with grief. I’ve heard my sister say as she never tasted bite or sup the whole time, and was wasted to a shadow. Eh, poor soul, it’s hard to rare up a child, and have it go out smiling and bonnie, and never see nothink of it again but its bones—for she had fallen into a lime pit, had Beller, and it was nothing but her skeleton as they brought ’ome. There was building going on around there, and she was playing near the pit—childlike—just as it might be Miss Peggy....” So on and on. The horrors accumulated with every moment. The housemaid had heard tell of a beautiful little girl, the heiress to a big estate, who had been carried off by strolling gipsies, and never been seen again by her sorrowing relations; while the waitress hinted darkly that the time might come when it would be a comfort to know force had been employed, for sharper than a serpent’s tooth was an ungrateful child, and she always had said that there was something uncanny about that little Miss Saville!

The clock was striking nine o’clock when the first of the messengers came back to report his failure; he was closely followed by a second; and, last of all, came Max, bringing word that nothing had been seen or heard of Peggy at the Larches; that neither Lord Darcy nor Rosalind had the faintest idea of the nature of the work which had just been completed; and, further, that on this evening Robert was escorting his mother to some entertainment, so that even if sent off at once, a telegram could not reach him until a late hour. Mrs. Asplin turned her white face from one speaker to the other, and when the last word was spoken, broke into a paroxysm of helpless weeping.

(_To be continued._)

HOUSEHOLD HINTS.

_Hot Sweet Mango Chutney._—One hundred green mangoes; syrup of four pounds of brown sugar; three quarts of vinegar; four pounds of tamarind, stoned and strained; eight or ten bay-leaves; one pound of ground chillies; two pounds sliced ginger; one pound of raisins; and two pounds of salt.

Peel and cut the mangoes into fine slices, and steep them in salt for twenty-four hours, remove the mangoes from the salt water, and boil in syrup and three quarts of vinegar. When quite cool lay in a preserving pan, sprinkle over the remaining salt, add all the condiments, tamarind, raisins, etc., and allow the whole to simmer for half-an-hour, stirring all the time. The ingredients should not be washed in water. When quite cold, put into bottles.

_Hungarian Tea Loaf._—As this is intended for slicing as bread and butter it should be at least a day old before being cut; if kept in an airtight tin it will remain moist for several days.

Of Hungarian flour take a pound and mix with it two ounces of castor sugar and a pinch of salt. Dissolve two ounces of fresh butter and add it to half a pint of warmed milk, then a whole egg well beaten and two tablespoonfuls of brewers’ barm, or an ounce of creamed German yeast. Make a dough with the flour and these ingredients and leave it to rise for an hour or two in a warm place. Place in a well buttered tin, which the dough should only half fill, and put this into a brisk oven; when well risen brush the top over with the white of an egg and sugar, shield with paper to keep from burning and finish baking in a slower heat. Let it cool on a sieve.

_Seed Bread_, made from bread dough into which two ounces of dissolved butter, as much sugar and a tablespoonful of crushed caraways to every pound of dough are kneaded together, then baked in small loaves, cut thinly and spread with butter, makes a welcome variety among plain cakes.

FROCKS FOR TO-MORROW.

BY “THE LADY DRESSMAKER.”

The principal thing that strikes one in the dressing of to-day is the great stress laid upon the ornamentation of the front portion of both the dress and the jacket, mantle or cape. In fact, here is centred the whole of the smart effect of the costume. The use of real lace seems very great, and I have noticed in the daily press a statement that the Queens of the various kingdoms have bonded themselves together, on the invitation of the Queen of Portugal, to wear nothing but real lace, and to encourage this industry to the utmost of their powers, as it seems its very existence is threatened by the machine-made laces, which have reached a great point of perfection within the last few years. It is even said that none but an expert would know the difference between some of the imitations and the real thing. Of course, we know that great efforts have been made to help the real lace industry already, but it is evident that it is not a thing that everyone could afford, so that the machine laces must be used; but it is quite befitting that the Queens of the many States interested should help by wearing it exclusively. Our own Queen has always been a great patron of the English-made laces, especially Honiton, and one cannot imagine her Majesty wearing anything but real laces, of which it is said she has an immense store.

I saw the other day a priceless cape or scarf of real French lace, worn over a sable cape; and the collars of capes are frequently lined with lace, which finishes in a bow and ruffles in the front. Entire lace fronts are worn both to dresses and coats. In fact, those who possess antique lace to-day are quite in luck, while those who do not, wear the machine-made, which looks (save to the eye of the initiated) quite as good, and in a great deal better state of repair, perhaps. Many old-fashioned women will not have their lace cleaned, but prefer to wear it yellow, and what the outside world might call dirty; and real lace, even when cleaned, never should look as if it were clean, as the cleaner should know how to bestow a yellow cast upon it, which a machine-made lace could not equal. All old laces seem to be fashionable, but the old French lace more than all. I have seen a good deal of Venetian point as well.

[Illustration: THREE NEW COATS.]

Our first large illustration shows three of the newest jacket shapes, or rather coats, of the present season. Two of them follow the fashion closely in being rounded at the front corners, with a wide effect at the shoulders, which comes to a point at the waist, thus giving that effect of length and thinness to the figure which is so much sought after. One really wonders sometimes where all the short-waisted people have gone. It is quite wonderful what changes Dame Fashion can work even in the human frame. Only think of the sloping shoulders in vogue fifty or sixty years ago, and then look at the square shoulders of to-day. Even in the matter of our foreheads we follow the orders of the reigning mode, and that decrees “that foreheads low and wide are to be worn,” and even these are veiled to the eyebrows with frizzled hair. But there is one fashion which mankind follows rather too closely, and that is bald-headedness. It is really dreadful to note the numbers of bald heads, and surely when we women have improved so much in the care and preservation of our locks, our hair doctors might do something for men. It is quite a common thing to see really fine heads of grey and white hair, and the wearing of caps has nearly ceased to be a fashion, for women wear the head covering with which nature provided them. Of course, there are probably a few added locks, but still the head shows no signs of baldness, and even the days of those terrible thin partings seem over. There is a great saving in this emancipation from caps, for they were a serious expense to the poor lady, which was only lightened when a woman was clever enough to make them for herself.

[Illustration: COSTUME OF GREY CLOTH WITH BLACK VELVET AND STEEL ORNAMENTS.]

But my chat about the illustrations has diverged from its course, though I am very glad to record here the disappearance of certain prejudices that used to be rampant amongst us. False teeth and false hair were things that one never dared to own up to having. Now we know that if we wish to retain our health and strength we must replace the teeth we have lost, and we have also learnt that a pleasant and taking appearance lends us favour and influence for good, and that it is our duty to attend to this matter as much as to any other, from higher reasons than from those of mere vanity.

[Illustration: IN THE HOUSE AND OUT.]

In “Three New Coats,” the centre figure wears a black _Velours du Nord_, or velvet coat, which is cut quite without fulness at the back, and has a chinchilla collar and wide revers. The skirt is of grey, and it is also trimmed with narrow bands of chinchilla, put on in a pointed shape in the front, and going round the edge of the skirt at the back. The hat is of black velvet and white feathers, with paste buckles. The jacket of the next figure sitting down is made of light brown cloth, trimmed with bands of lighter brown braid. The collar and revers are made of a darker shade of brown velvet and edged with beaver. The skirt is of the same cloth, but made in quite a plain fashion. The standing figure has a coat made with one of the new capes fitted to the shoulders and neck. The dress itself is of rifle green cloth, made without trimming, and the coat is short. The front is a plastron edged with dark beaver fur, and trimmed across with cords to match the green of the dress. The hat is green, with white feathers.

A great number of white fox boas and muffs are to be seen this winter, and the figure in the illustration we have called “In the House and out” wears one of them. They are very becoming and pretty, and look well with everything. In this case the toque is made to match the boa and the gown, which is of violet velveteen. The new boas of this winter are made flat, not round, and they are lined with either satin or a pretty fancy silk, so they protect the shoulders in a slight degree. There is also white Tibet lamb, which is now dyed to resemble the blue fox. The second figure, dressed for indoors, wears a dress of the new red. The collar and revers of the short Eton coat are trimmed with black satin ribbon. A silk vest underneath the coat is made of a red silk broché with a black pattern on it. The skirt is trimmed with a black ribbon, and has a rounded front, which is brought up as far as the waist at the side. There is a lace necktie and some trimming inside the high collar. The leading colour in Paris just now is red, and the trimmings for it are generally bands of black velvet or satin. For the red hats to be used with these dresses Parma violets are the favourite trimming.

The shade of red worn may be best described as a hunting pink, in fact, a real scarlet, and as it must always be trimmed with black, astrachan is in great favour for its decoration. So is black velvet, and thus toned down, it cannot be called ugly. It is, moreover, very becoming to people with good complexions and fair skins. The small red jackets are seen very frequently worn with a skirt of another colour, which really ought to be black, and which harmonises with them best of all. These little jackets are worn by the best-dressed people, and are especially nice and bright for young girls, not in their teens, but in their twenties, perhaps.

Never has velvet been so popular as this winter, and, of course, in naming velvet I include velveteen, which is often of so good a quality that it looks like the real thing. I have always found a good velveteen an excellent investment, and if treated with care, and used as the “going-out-of-doors” dress which it really ought to be, it is very valuable. Every tone and shade of colour can be obtained in it, and as velvet blouses are still in fashion, we can select with ease either for day or evening wear.

Our third illustration shows a single figure wearing a costume of grey cloth, which is cut into what is called by some of our writers an eel-skin skirt. But I observe that in France it is merely called a fitted skirt, which really means that the dressmaker must bestow just as much trouble upon it as she does on the bodice, and that you must distrust everyone who wishes you to believe otherwise. I notice that paddings for the back and hips are already for sale, and much advertised, but this tightly-fitted skirt is not for the short and stout, nor for the tall and very thin. On neither of them can it be esteemed a success. The dress in our illustration is in grey cloth, with black velvet trimmings and bands, and steel ornaments, a delightful combination of colour. The back of this dress is really princess, while the front has the style of a short double-breasted jacket, very short. This combination is one of the new cuts of the season. The shaped flounce is headed by rows of black velvet, and the sleeves are made with square cuffs, not the much-worn “flare” cuff. The toque is of grey velvet, white silk and feathers, and grey tips, with steel ornaments.

One can scarcely see any real change in the dressing of the hair. All that one can say is that there is a decided tendency for it to go lower on the head, and the present hats and bonnets really answer better when the hair is rather high. There are plenty of small ornaments for the hair to be seen in the shops, but the most popular of all for the evening is, I think, the black velvet bow.

The favourite perfume is still violet, and _Violette de Parme_ seems to be the correct kind. I note that the pretty black _moiré_ ribbons with slides have now been applied to the muff, and have taken the place of muff chains with many people.

One of the odd fashions of the day is a single eyeglass, and many women have taken to it. This hitherto has not been a woman’s fashion, but a man’s, and has even been thought rather an affected one; but I hear that these single eyeglasses are prescribed by doctors, as so many people require help in one eye and not in the other. Just now, however, they look odd, as we have not been used to them, and it is certain that both eyes should be worked alike, the strain being too much for one. Besides, the eye that may need extra help may be the left one. So an oculist should decide the question as to which eye should wear the glass.

GIRLS AS I HAVE KNOWN THEM.

BY ELSA D’ESTERRE-KEELING, Author of “Old Maids and Young.”

PART IV.

THE MOODY GIRL.

As there are few things more certain than that girls are given for what stars are given—to give light upon the earth—the moody girl fails lamentably to fulfil her vocation.

[Illustration: ALAS(S)]

Some are of the opinion that this girl is a nineteenth century product, but so far is that from being the case, that she figures in a play of a hundred years ago. Says Miss Biddy in Garrick’s comedy “Miss In Her Teens”—

“When I say ‘Heigho,’ it means ‘Yes.’”

Yes could hardly be said in a mournfuller way, and the case of Miss In Her Teens to-day is only by so much more mournful than that of her prototype of Garrick’s day that when she says “Heigho” it as often as not means “No.”

Her cause of grief is what the moody girl is rarely able to state. There are people whom this surprises; yet there is nothing surprising in it. The lives of most pessimists, looked at closely, show these persons to have lived under fair advantages, and not, as they would make out, under unfair disadvantages. Many of them follow a process uncommonly like that followed by certain “sturdy beggars,” who, if rumour concerning them be true, rubbed their skins with blistering plants—wild ranunculus and the like—to cause sores which should excite sympathy. The moody girl is she who picks from life’s full garden wild ranunculus only, and puts it to a wicked use devised by “sturdy beggars.”

Has she no aspirations? In truth, she has no fewer than Ovid had, and, like Ovid, she might say, “I see and approve the better things; I follow the worse”—in Ovid’s language, _Video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor._

What is she like to look at? Lean as a rake? Not necessarily. Watts’ famous picture named “Aspirations” is the presentment of a fat-faced, woolly-haired boy. A moody girl known to me has nothing bodeful in her face, and has a little, plump, white hand—Napoleon’s hand. Her wail, too, is Napoleon’s: “Nothing is left to do!” Another has a round, troubleful little face with _poco fatto_—“little done”—written all over it. One moody girl only known to me looks the part she elects to play. This girl has a thin, pallid face, with thick, straight, black, moist, heavy hair. She says dreamily, and says often, “I know I’m disagreeable.” She says little more than that.

[Illustration: What she was hoping for]

The moody girl has rarely a wide range of conversation. She is apt to end her most voluble narrative with a portentous “But however.” There is a moody girl now living who goes by the name of “But However.” Of another moody girl now living a tradition has it that she never speaks, except to ask, “Is there a letter for me?” Howbeit sometimes a moody girl can string twenty and odd words together, and there is on record a very notable statement in the form of a paradox once made by such a girl; to wit, this—

“When married I shall never know happiness until I have shown my husband that I am master, and then I shall be miserable because I shall despise him.”

Well-a-day!

This is the place perhaps in which to tell of the slaty-blue girl.

Figure to yourself a damsel in a slaty-blue dress and slaty-blue hat, wearing slaty-blue gloves, and having slaty-blue eyes and slaty-blue lips, and figure her to yourself as “footing slow,” to borrow a phase from Milton, and as doing this as one of a party of us making a rush for a train “already in.” And figure us seated in a third-class compartment, a little child in which is drawing his finger down the window-pane. To whom the slaty-blue girl says (as we phase it, “dyingly”) from the end of the seat—

“Don’t, please. That gets on my nerves.”

The moody girl is hyper-nervous.

[Illustration: smelling to agony a genuine case]

Here is another story of her. She was my visitor, and I led her to a seat and spoke of this and that. She listened absently, then said, as she glanced at a penny bunch of sweet violets distant from her by the length of a large room—

“Would you mind that bouquet’s being taken away? I smell to agony.”

Rather unamiable that, but not intentionally unamiable. Now there are moody girls who are intentionally unamiable—Baubles, for instance. We call her by that name, because she has the word “baubles” much on her lips, and in sound it is not very remote from Barbara, which is her baptismal name.

Baubles is always in deadly earnest; that one may be in lively earnest she does not dream. Another thing; she knows that there is such a thing as “a foolish face of praise.” She has still to learn that there is such a thing as a foolish face of blame. Bauble’s face is her misfortune. In the following I give a conversation which I once had with another girl regarding her.

“She loves you,” said this other girl.

“Does she?” I asked, pleased, but surprised. “She looks at me as if I were especially abhorrent to her.”

“She always,” was the answer, “looks like that at people whom she loves.”

A girl like that is scarcely in the possession of her full reason, and what shall be said of a girl like this? She met a woman of her friends some little time since in the street, and responded to her greeting by a stare of blank non-recognition. The following day brought an apology, coupled with the intimation that she had moments when she could not bow.

[Illustration: The Anatomy of Melancholy

The vertebral column]

A case like that becomes interesting in connection with the anatomy of melancholy. The girl who has moments when she cannot bow is suffering from a form of the disease known in mental pathology as “impulsive insanity.” The victims to this disease lapse into states of defective control.

What shall one say to the moody girl? Shall one not tell her to face life cheerily? There has never been known a year of nights on every one of which the stars shone, but no more has there ever been known a year of nights on not one of which the stars shone. The moody girl takes life as if all her years of days had been years of nights, and as if on not one of these nights the stars had shone. She has much to learn, this chiefly, that there are compensations for almost everything.

“Look at my teeth,” so said a moody girl to a German philosopher, “look at my teeth, and I am a singer.”

[Illustration: _Good sound_ teeth]

Her teeth were large and protruding.

“Those teeth are good for a singer,” said the German philosopher.

Envy—this thing may not be said aloud, but it may be said in a whisper to the moody girl—is at the bottom of much self-made misery. The cry of Shakespeare’s Helena is the cry of many Helenas.

“How happy some o’er other some can be!”

This, too, is true of the moody girl. She is pre-eminently a faultfinder. In this she is the more to blame that they who find fault are they who seek fault. She is lavish of her censure and is chary of her praise. She should be told what a Frenchwoman has said—

“’Tis in a sort to participate in good deeds to praise them.” In the Frenchwoman’s language, “_C’est en quelque sorte se donner aux belles actions que de les louer._”

The suppositions of a moody girl are sometimes singular. “I suppose,” says one Sybil, “any of us could remember six unpleasant circumstances in our lives more easily than six pleasant.”

This Sybil it was who cited to her father the famous line regarding “the loud laugh,” and who learnt from him that the loud groan shows every whit as much “the vacant mind.”

What makes for moodiness? A life of ease according to the poet to whom belongs the phrase “stretched on the rack of a too-easy chair.” The rich girl who wishes she was poor is full as common as the poor girl who wishes she was rich.

Her brother does not spare the moody girl. Sometimes his gibes are stupid; once in a while they are fairly clever. As boy’s satire, what follows appears to me rather good.

“Any baby can put its finger in its eye and cry.”

As girl’s satire, what next follows—being the speech of a girl not moody on the subject of a moody girl—is excellent.

“She is one of those people who always bring up miserable subjects and—sympathise.”

[Illustration: A HINT

_The pathetic onion as a studio property_]

A rather common type of moody person is that composed of girls who not only themselves wear habitually a dolorous expression, but who admire this expression on the faces of others. I sat to such a girl once for my portrait. She surprised me by her variant of the photographer’s familiar request. “Will you,” she said mellifluously, “please try to think of something—unpleasant?”

I tried my hardest and succeeded, within the limitations set to Irishwomen.

It has been said here that no fixed type of face belongs to a moody girl. Everyone therefore, who could paint such a girl would paint a different face. The one that I would paint would be that of one Maud Mary. It is a wonderful face, even without the smile. Something can be told of it, but all could never be told. The colouring of it is rich brown and red, the lips are the line of scarlet praised by the Psalmist, the eyes are pitch-black in shadow and golden-brown in light, the eye-brows and lashes are black, like the hair, and a black frown is much on the face, this with the result that a smile coming to it is like the flashing of light out of darkness. Maud Mary asked me once for a motto. I gave her one which is from Pythagoras, and has been praised by Bacon: “_Cor ne edito_,” “Eat not the heart.”

Maud Mary asked for another motto, a motto in rhyme, and in English. I gave her one from Shakespeare—

“Jog on, jog on, the footpath way, And merrily hent the stile-a; A merry heart goes all the way, Your sad tires in a mile-a!”

(_To be continued._)

VARIETIES.

FORETELLING THE WEATHER.

One morning a countryman knocked at the door of the celebrated astronomer, Sir Frederick William Herschell, and requested the favour of a few words with him.

When Sir William entered the hall the countryman said—

“I ask pardon, Doctor, for disturbing you, but I am in a quandary, so I have made bold to call and ask your advice. You must know that my meadows are a great deal too long for cutting, but before I begin I should like to hear whether you think the weather will soon break up?”

“First look round,” said the astronomer, “and tell me what you see.”

“See,” said the countryman; “why hay that is not worth saving. What dunderhead owns it that lives so near you and cuts it without asking your advice?”

“I am the dunderhead,” said Sir William, “and had it cut the very day before the rain came on.”

WORK FOR ALL.—No girl is born into this world whose work is not born with her; there is always work and tools to work withal for those who will.

RETURNING GOOD FOR EVIL.

An old man of the name of Guyot lived and died in the city of Marseilles. He amassed a large fortune by the most laborious industry and the severest habits of abstinence and privation. What appeared his miserly ways made him anything but popular, and the populace pursued him with hootings and execration whenever he appeared.

In course of time he died, and when his will was opened the following words were found: “Having observed from my childhood that the poor of Marseilles are ill-supplied with water, which can only be procured at a great price, I have cheerfully laboured the whole of my life to procure for them this great blessing, and I direct that the whole of my property be laid out in building an aqueduct for their use.”

LET THE FLOWERS LIVE.—“I like to see flowers growing,” writes Charlotte Brontë, “but when they are gathered they cease to please. I look upon them as rootless and perishable; their likeness then to life makes me sad. I never offer flowers to those I love; I never wish to receive them from hands dear to me.”

RAILWAYS WERE NOVELTIES THEN.

When railway travelling was in its infancy an old Scotch woman was about to make her first railway journey. While waiting at the station she began to ask the passengers, one after the other, “Are you gaun to Perth?”

On receiving from each one an answer in the negative she exclaimed in amazement, “Guidness me! Will the railway folk send a train a’ the road to Perth juist wi’ a’ puir auld wife like me?”

THE SECRET OF HIS SIMPLE STYLE.

When Charles Dickens was editing _Household Words_, he one day wrote to a contributor asking him to call.

The contributor came with an uneasy feeling that he was going to get a scolding about something, but it turned out that his chief wished to compliment him.

“I am constantly struck,” said Dickens, “by your admirable simple style. How did you attain it?”

“Well, you see, Mr. Dickens,” said the contributor, “there are so many words I don’t understand, and so many words I can’t spell, that I have to use a very simple sort of language.”

OUR LILY GARDEN.

PRACTICAL AIDS TO THE CULTURE OF LILIES.

BY CHARLES PETERS.

[Illustration: _Lilium Candidum._]

The genus _lilium_ is a large one, containing as it does over fifty species. The species themselves are very distinct and differ remarkably from each other in their forms and habits. It has therefore been thought advisable to sub-divide the genus into certain groups or sections which are distinguished chiefly by the shape of the flower.

There have been many divisions of the genus, and, as in every other classification of natural objects, all are very imperfect. It is extraordinary the contempt that nature has for human classifications and statistics! However you may divide any set of objects, you will find that there are many of them which will stick on the wall and refuse to be included in any one of your orders. And so it is in the present instance. The most approved division is given below; but you will see that there are grave objections to it. Personally we cannot see the scientific reason for the division of the genus at all. This is our excuse for not following the generally received classification. The arrangement of lilies which we are going to adopt does not pretend to be scientific. It is merely adopted in order that we can group together species which are more or less like each other. It is a classification for the flower grower and not for the botanist.

One of the latest, best, and most generally accepted classifications is the following division of the genus into six groups thus—

SECTION I.—_Cardiocrinum._

Perianth[3] funnel-shaped, with oblanceolate[4] segments, falcate[5] only at the apex. Leaves heart-shaped, ovate, and stalked, 1. _Cordifolium._ 2. _Giganteum._

SECTION II.—_Eulirion._

Perianth same as _Cardiocrinum_. Leaves linear or lanceolate, not stalked.

(_a_) Tube scarcely widened from base to middle. 3. _Philippinense._ 4. _Wallichianum._ 5. _Longiflorum._ 6. _Neilgherrense._

(_b_) Tube widened from neck to base, (α) Leaves scattered. 7. _Japonicum Odorum._ 8. _Brownii._ 9. _Krameri._ 10. _Nepaulense._ 11. _Candidum._ 12. _Belladonna._ (β) Leaves in whorls. 13. _Washingtonianum._ 14. _Parryi._

SECTION III.—_Archelirion._

Perianth open and funnel-shaped. Segments deeply spreading and broadest about the middle. Stamens diverging from the style, which is curved.

(_a_) Leaves sessile. 15. _Tigrinum._ 16. _Oxypetalum._

(_b_) Leaves stalked. 17. _Speciosum._ 18. _Auratum._

SECTION IV.—_Isolirion._

Perianth erect. Segments falcate, but not revolute. Stamens diverging on all sides.

(_a_) Leaves in whorls. 19. _Philadelphicum._ 20. _Medeoloides._

(_b_) Leaves scattered, (α) Style shorter than ovary. 21. _Concolor._ (β) Style longer than ovary. 22. _Bulbiferum._ 23. _Croceum._ 24. _Davuricum._ 25. _Elegans._ 26. _Catesbaei._

SECTION V.—_Martagons._

Perianth cernuous with the segments very revolute. Stamens diverging on all sides.

(_a_) Leaves in whorls. (α) American species; bulbs annual bearing rhizomes. 27. _Canadense._ 28. _Pardalinum._ 29. _Superbum._ 30. _Lucidum._ 31. _Roezlii._ 32. _Columbianum._ 33. _Humboldti._ (β) Old world species. 34. _Martagon._ 35. _Avenaceum._ 36. _Hansoni._

(_b_) Leaves scattered, (α) Leaves lanceolate. Many-nerved. (i.) Perianth falcate above middle. 37. _Monadelphum._ (ii.) Perianth revolute to below middle. 38. _Polyphyllum._ 39. _Ponticum._ 40. _Carniolicum._ (β) Leaves narrow. With one or few nerves. (i.) Segments of the perianth from six to twelve lines broad in the middle. 41. _Testaceum._ 42. _Leichtlini._ 43. _Batmanniae._ 44. _Pseudo-Tigrinum._ 45. _Wallacei._ (ii.) Segments of the perianth from three to six lines broad in the middle. 46. _Pomponium._ 47. _Chalcedonicum._ 48. _Callosum._ 49. _Tenuifolium._

SECTION VI.—_Notholirion._

50. _Hookeri._ 51. _Roseum._

We said that in all divisions of natural objects there were “aberrant” types which refused to be located in any one group and remained sitting on the wall between several of the divisions. And in this group there are likewise some which stick upon the wall. The chief reasons we have for not using this classification will be apparent from the following criticism of it.

The first section, _Cardiocrinum_, forms a very natural group. _L. Cordifolium_ and _L. Giganteum_, though distinct species, are yet very near akin and are totally different from any other lilies.

Of the _Eulirion_ section, the first or _Longiflorum_ group, containing _L. Longiflorum_, _L. Wallichianum_, _L. Philippinense_, _L. Neilgherrense_, and the new _L. Formosanum_, forms as natural a division as is _Cardiocrinum_. But the other members of the _Eulirion_ group are by no means so easy to classify.

_L. Japonicum Odorum_ and _L. Brownii_ are very nearly allied. _L. Krameri_, with the new _L. Rubellum_, more nearly resemble the _Archelirion_ than the present group.

In certain characters _L. Nepaulense_ nearly resembles _L. Monadelphum_, a member of the _Martagon_ group.

_L. Candidum_ bears but little resemblance to the other _Eulirions_. Its flowers are short and numerous, and the bulb sends up an autumn crop of leaves. In the last characteristic it differs very markedly from every known lily.

_L. Belladonna_ is unknown to us.

_L. Washingtonianum_ and its varieties resemble _L. Candidum_ in bearing numerous small short flowers. Its bulb is very similar to that of _L. Humboldti_ in being an oblique, almost rhizomatose, structure.

_L. Parryi_ resembles _L. Nepaulense_ in some particulars, and _L. Washingtonianum_ in others. Its bulb, however, is more like that of _L. Pardalinum_ than that of any other species.

Of the _Archelirion_ section, _L. Auratum_ and _L. Speciosum_ have much in common. But _L. Tigrinum_ has but little relation to the former two lilies; its drooping flowers strongly suggest that this lily should be placed with the _Martagons_.

_L. Leichtlini_ and _Pseudo-Tigrinum_ are placed among the _Martagons_; yet these two lilies bear a very strong resemblance to _L. Tigrinum_.

_L. Oxypetalum_ differs from all other lilies in many respects. It resembles the fritillaries in most points and was formerly included with those plants.

As regards the _Isolirion_ group, in which the flowers are erect, we would place _L. Medeoloides_ with the _Martagons_, next to _L. Hansoni_—the plant which it most resembles.

[Illustration: _L. Umbellatum._ (Showing abnormal development of aerial bulblets.)]

_L. Concolor_ and its varieties should form a group of themselves.

_L. Batmanniae_[6] and _L. Wallacei_ should certainly be included with the _Isolirions_, and not with the _Martagons_.

[Illustration: LILY LEAVES. (_From a photograph. Quarter diameter._)

1. Leaf from upper part of stem, _L. Giganteum_. 2. Basal leaf of _L. Cordifolium_. 3. Leaf of _L. Auratum_. 4. Leaf of _L. Auratum Platyphyllum_. 5. Leaf of _L. Pyrenaicum_. 6. Leaves of _L. Longiflorum_, showing injury done by green fly. 7. Leaves of _L. Brownii_, showing commencement of disease. 8. Deformed leaf, _L. Longiflorum_. 9. Leaves and bulblets of _L. Tigrinum_.]

The _Martagons_ fall naturally into several groups. The first group, which we might call the swamp lilies,[7] includes _L. Superbum_, _L. Canadense_, _L. Pardalinum_, _L. Roezlii_, and one or two new species. All these lilies have but slightly recurved flowers and rhizomatose bulbs. They are all natives of North America.

Another group which we might call the true _Martagons_ would include _L. Martagon_, _L. Pomponium_, _L. Pyrenaicum_, _L. Avenaceum_, _L. Tenuifolium_, _L. Callosum_, _L. Chalcedonicum_, and _L. Hansoni_, etc.

_L. Humboldti_ is different from any other lily in many points. Its bulb somewhat resembles that of _L. Washingtonianum_.

_L. Polyphyllum_ and _L. Monadelphum_ much resemble each other in the form of their flowers.

_L. Testaceum_ is a hybrid. _L. Ponticum_ is a variety of _L. Monadelphum_. _L. Lucidum_ is unknown to us.

We are not going to adhere to this division. The one we are about to tabulate seems to us to be more useful. It is tentative, and is subject maybe to grave objections; but on the whole we think that it will be more generally useful to the lily grower. Obviously it is founded on the former classification, and we have used the names of the groups which are generally accepted.

We append no description to each group, for, though we could do so if we were pressed, we wish it to be clearly understood that the division is purely experimental, as what classification is not?

GROUP I.—_Cardiocrinum._

1. _Giganteum._ 2. _Cordifolium._

GROUP II.—_Eulirion._

_Longiflorum_ Section: 3. _Longiflorum._ 4. _Formosanum._ 5. _Philippinense._ 6. _Wallichianum._ 7. _Neilgherrense._

_Japonicum_ Section: 8. _Japonicum Odorum._ 9. _Brownii._

_Candidum_ Section: 10. _Candidum._

_Washingtonianum_ Section: 11. _Washingtonianum._ 12. _Parryi._ 13. _Nepaulense._ 14. _Lowi._

GROUP III.—_Archelirion._

_Auratum_ Section: 15. _Auratum._ 16. _Speciosum._

_Krameri_ Section: 17. _Krameri._ 18. _Rubellum._

_Tigrinum_ Section: 19. _Tigrinum._ 20. _Leichtlini._ 21. _Maximowiczi._ 22. _Henryi._

GROUP IV.—_Isolirion._

23. _Bulbiferum._ 24. _Catesbaei._ 25. _Batmanniae._ 26. _Wallacei._ 27. _Philadelphicum._ 28. _Elegans._ 29. _Croceum._ 30. _Davuricum._

GROUP V.—_Martagon._

True _Martagon_ Section: 31. _Martagon._ 32. _Pomponium._ 33. _Pyrenaicum._ 34. _Hansoni._ 35. _Medeoloides._ 36. _Avenaceum._ 37. _Callosum._ 38. _Tenuifolium._ 39. _Carniolicum._ 40. _Chalcedonicum._

Swamp-lily Section: 41. _Columbianum._ 42. _Humboldti._ 43. _Canadense._ 44. _Parvum._ 45. _Maritimum._ 46. _Superbum._ 47. _Roezlii._ 48. _Pardalinum._ 49. _Californicum._ 50. _Grayi._

_Monadelphum_ Section: 51. _Monadelphum._ 52. _Polyphyllum._

GROUP VI.

53. _Concolor._ 54. _Davidii._

GROUP VII.

55. _Oxypetalum._ 56. _Roseum._ 57. _Hookeri._

There are therefore fifty-seven distinct species of lilies; but of these there are over one hundred and twenty varieties. Besides these there are four double-flowered varieties, and four definite hybrids.

In our next number we will proceed with the description of these various species and varieties. But before we attempt to describe the individual species, let us glance at some of the chief characteristics of the various parts of lilies.

The lily has two sets of roots. One set develops beneath the bulb, the other is given off by the flower shoot above the bulb. Each set serves a definite purpose, and both are absolutely necessary to the welfare of the plant. The lower roots are concerned chiefly with the development of the bulb; the upper roots, or those given off by the flower-shoot, are the main source of supply to the stem and flowers. Unless these roots develop and are well covered with earth, the plant will not flower.

If the flower stem is removed from the bulb and the upper roots are not disturbed, it will continue to grow unchecked. Or, again, if the bulb be destroyed by disease, or its lower roots do not develop, the lily may still flower; but if the stem roots are destroyed, the shoot dies, even though the bulb and lower roots are quite perfect.

All the lilies possess bulbs. These bulbs are exceedingly characteristic, and differ greatly from those of any other plant. The bulbs of all lilies are imbricate—that is, consist of a number of scales united at their bases.

A typical bulb, such as that of _Lilium Longiflorum_, consists of numerous scales, closely packed together, united to a firm, fleshy part—the base of the bulb. It is from the base that the lower roots spring. In a perfectly sound fresh bulb the outer scales are approximated to the next layer, but in dry bulbs the outer scales wither and are but loosely applied to the inner ones.

The bulb is narrow at the base, whence it rapidly increases towards the middle, being thickest about one third of the way up from the base. From the middle it rapidly dwindles towards the crown, which usually ends in a point. In the centre of the bulb is the flower spike, which is the densest part of the bulb.

Lily bulbs vary in size, in colour, in shape, and in structure, according to the species. The bulb of _Lilium Giganteum_ is from four to five inches in diameter, whereas that of _L. Wallacei_ is barely half an inch across. As a rule, the larger the plant the larger is its bulb; but this is by no means always the case. The bulb of _L. Tigrinum var. Fortunei Giganteum_ is no larger than that of _L. Longiflorum_, whereas the former plant is quite three times the size of the latter.

When freshly dug up, most lily bulbs are nearly white in colour; but after exposure to the air for a short time, they get tinted with various shades, which differ remarkably in the different species.

The bulbs of _L. Elegans_, _L. Bulbiferum_, _L. Croceum_, and _L. Umbellatum_, and others usually remain pure white. _L. Longiflorum_ and a great many others become of a yellowish tint. _L. Speciosum_ and _L. Auratum_ usually become a dark brown or purplish colour. The bulb of _L. Giganteum_ is usually a deep russet colour.

Lily bulbs vary greatly in shape and structure. The typical bulb is ovate or pyramidal in shape, with small regular scales. There are many variations from this. Some are more or less rounded, others, notably that of _L. Polyphyllum_, are very long and narrow. Some have large flat scales, whilst in others the scales are small and rounded. Some bulbs, such as those of _L. Superbum_, _L. Canadense_, and many others, are borne upon a perennial rhizome, the bulbs themselves being annual.

The bulbs of _L. Humboldti_ and _L. Washingtonianum_ are curiously unlike those of any other lilies, being flat and oblique. Some bulbs possess a large number of minute scales, others have but a few large scales.

The bulbs of _L. Roseum_ and _L. Hookeri_ are invested with a dense membranous sheath like the bulbs of the tulip. No other lily bulb possesses this sheath. These are some of the varieties of lily bulbs; an accurate description of most will be found in connection with the accounts of the various species.

The stem of the lily is usually straight and unbranched. Very rarely the stem is branched. It varies in diameter and toughness in the various species. In some species it is covered with down.

The leaves are subject to even greater variety than is the bulb. They may be few or many, arranged in whorls or scattered, and of various colours and shapes.

_L. Chalcedonicum_ has many hundred leaves, whilst _L. Auratum_ rarely has more than thirty. In some lilies, such as _L. Washingtonianum_, _L. Humboldti_, _L. Martagon_, etc., the leaves are arranged in whorls, but in most kinds the leaves are irregularly scattered.

In colour the leaves of the lilies present much variety. Usually the leaves are deep glossy green. In _L. Longiflorum Foliis Albo-Marginatis_ the leaves are pale green bordered with white. In one variety of _L. Candidum_ they are edged with yellow.

Lily leaves are usually linear or lanceolate; but they vary in shape from the thin pine-needle-like leaf of _L. Pyrenaicum_, to the broad heart-shape leaf of _L. Cordifolium_.

Usually but one kind of leaf is present, but in _L. Giganteum_ at least three distinct forms of leaves are developed. And in _Lilium Candidum_ the autumn or base leaves are totally distinct from the linear leaves borne on the stem.

The leaves of _L. Bulbiferum_ and _L. Tigrinum_ bear bulblets in their axils. Other lilies occasionally bear bulblets in the axils of their leaves, especially if the plant fails to flower. A bulb is only a modified bud, so that it is not surprising it should occasionally develop above ground. _L. Umbellatum_ and _L. Longiflorum_ are the commonest lilies to bear these aerial bulblets, except of course _L. Tigrinum_ and _L. Bulbiferum_, in both of which lilies they are always present.

The flowers of the lilies vary immensely in most particulars. There are always three sepals, three petals, and six stamens. The flowers are either solitary, or there may be two or three or many borne in a pyramidal inflorescence. The flowers are borne terminally on the stalk. It is upon the characters of the flowers that the classification of the genus is based.

The fruit is a six-sided capsule, and the seeds are flat with broad membranous wings.

(_To be continued._)

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[3] Perianth. Scientific term for the floral leaves.

[4] Oblanceolate. Narrowing towards the point of attachment.

[5] Falcate. Curved, sickle-shaped.

[6] This is the right way of spelling the word. The lily was named after Mrs. Bateman.

[7] _L. Superbum_ is _the_ swamp lily. It is one of the most typical of the group.

OUR PUZZLE POEM REPORT: AN IDEAL GARDEN.

SOLUTION.

AN IDEAL GARDEN.

A garden like a room should be, With carpet green to rest the eye; Where tread is cool and soft and free;

And on it here and there a tree To give us shade from noonday sky: To give the birdies room for glee.

And all around us we should see, And all be fain to specify, Blossoms in luxuriancy.

And oh the happiness! that we Should be so blessed to testify That it is good alive to be.

PRIZE WINNERS.

_Seven Shillings Each._

Eliza Acworth, 9, Blenheim Mount, Bradford. Miss W. M. Cassan, 25, Lee Terrace, Blackheath, S.E. M. A. C. Crabb, Ipplepen, Alexandra Road, Hemel Hempstead, Herts. Jessie F. Dulley, Lindens, Wellingborough. Emily Francis, 9, Darlington Street, Egremont, Cheshire. Herbert V. French, 19, Hart Street, Carlisle. Miss F. M. Goodchild, Burton Bradstock, Bridport, Dorset. Annie M. Goss, 4, Blenheim Terrace, St. John’s Wood, N.W. Mrs. Nicholls, Parlors Hall, Bridgnorth, Salop. N. E. Purvey, Penrhyn, Hayward’s Heath. Mildred Richardson, Glentworth, Queen Anne Terrace, Bowes Park, N. Wm. Dunford-Smith, 71, Ondine Road, East Dulwich, S.E. Mrs. W. C. Stevenson, Knockan, Londonderry. Norah M. Sullivan, 2, Ortranto Place, Sandycove, Co. Dublin. Elizabeth Yarwood, 59, Beech Road, Cale Green, Stockport.

_Most Highly Commended._

M. S. Arnold, Annie A. Arnott, Helen M. Coulthard, Dr. R. Swan Coulthard, Mabel E. Davis, S. Dewhirst, Miss Flinn, M. Evangeline Hulse, Mrs. H. Jordan, Mata Kelway, E. E. Lockyear, E. Lord, Annie J. McConnell, A. Phillips, Lucy Richardson, Edith S. Russell, C. E. Thurgar, Mrs. B. M. Welford.

_Very Highly Commended._

_Division I._

May Adamson, Mrs. Adkins, Ethel Anderson, “Annis,” Mrs. Astbury, A. Burgeis Badcock, Mary H. Barlow, Mabel Barnicott, Maud F. Bazeley, Frances Beach, Alice M. Berry, Clara A. Binks, Gertrude Bowdler, Ina M. Broad, Lillie and Daisy Browell, Violet Byrne, Agnes Clark, Mary A. Collins, Maud G. Collins, A. C. Crabb, E. V. Davies, C. M. A. Fitzgerald, Grace I. Gibson, Mrs. W. H. Gotch, Florence Graves, E. M. Hartill, Edith M. Higgs, Rose A. Hooppell, Eva Hooley, Muriel Howie, Mabel Howitt, “Iseult,” Mary Jolliffe, Helen Jones, L. Foster-Jones, Ethel Knight, Mrs. Latter, Clara E. Law, Edith Leadbeater, Edith M. Letch, Mary Lethbridge, M. H. Longhurst, M. A. Lowe, Annie G. Luck, Helen A. Manning, Nellie Meikle, Emilie Mills, E. C. Milne, Elizabeth Morgan, A. Morris, E. M. Le Mottée, Harriet Moule, Jessie Neighbour, Ethel C. Newell, Agnes Nicholls, Kate D. Norris, Edith Nye, Marion T. Ockleston, E. A. O’Donoghue, Janie Olver, Blanche E. Patch, G. de Courcy Peach, Mrs. N. M. Pollard, Mrs. W. Porritt, E. Preston, Elizabeth Rodgers, Muriel E. Scott, Agnes A. M. Shearer, Katherine H. Shorto, Caroline Skinner, Mary E. Spencer, Sadie Stelfox, Miss Stephenson, Alice E. Stretton, Gertrude M. Stott, Emily M. Tattam, Constance Taylor, L. M. Todd, Mabel Wearing, Caroline Weitzel, A. D. Wood, Emily M. P. Wood, David Young, Katherine Young.

_Division II._

Mr. A. W. Blackburn, G. Brightwell, E. Burrell, Jenny M. Carmichael, Helen A. Carpenter, Leonora E. L. Clark, Gracie Davidge, Katherine Davids, Bessie Dominey, Ada E. Edmonds, Alfred G. Everett, Dorothy Felce, Mary E. Foley, J. Gutteridge, Ellen Hambly, Ellie Hanlon, Minnie C. Harris, Hilda M. Harrison, Maude Hayward, Blanche Holmes, Percy H. Horne, Lennox Howse, K. H. Ingram, Eva M. Jeayes, Eugenie Marinscheck, E. Mastin, Laura E. Mellor, Jessie Middlemiss, Katharine E. Moreton, E. Moss, Robert Murdoch, Mary M. Murray, Nita Nettleton, Grace Neville, Charles Nunneley, Mrs. A. Paulin, Lizzie Peacock, Mary Pennell, J. A. Emerson Reynolds, Florence E. Russell, J. Sedgwick, Agnes Smith, Mrs. G. W. Smith, A. M. Somersgale, B. M. Stagg, Mrs. H. F. Staunton, M. Stuart, H. H. Taylor, Edith Tichener, Nora S. Townshend, Freda Walter, Edith G. Wheeler, E. F. Woodhams, Emily C. Woodward.

_Division III._

M. S. Baker, Lily Belling, Hetty Blakeston, Ines Bryson, F. Chute, Edith Collins, George R. Davidge, A. S. K. Ellson, Henry Goodwyn, Caroline S. Gregory, Caroline Gundry, Beatrice A. Hawes, Mrs. Hartnell, Marguerite Hendley, M. Hodgkinson, E. St. G. Hodson, Frances E. Kershaw, Mildred E. Lockyear, Winifred A. Lockyear, Jessie Mack, R. Pitman, E. G. Potter, Henzell G. Robson, Edward Rogulski, Annie Saunders, L. W. Siffken, Margaret B. Strathern, L. M. Todd, Mrs. C. E. Walker, Wm. Wearing, Gertrude Wearing.

* * * * *

EXAMINERS’ REPORT.

Once again we have good cause to lament simplicity, nearly three hundred solutions being all but perfect. All those mentioned are word perfect, and the differences which separate the various classes are so slight as to be almost trivial. Let us be explicit: The prize-winners are perfect in every way. The most highly commended are perfect in word and form. Ten group the lines into two stanzas, four leave out the second e in blessed, three omit the note of exclamation in the last verse, and one writes an interjection o! with a small letter.

The “very highly commended” list mentions those solvers whose only important fault was a failure to indent the second and corresponding lines. In division I. the lines were grouped into four verses; in division II. into one verse, and in division III. into two verses.

Following close upon the steps of perfection is a batch of ninety-six solutions which give “noonday” as a compound word or, even worse, as two words. We do not attempt to deny that solutions with only so trifling an error are deserving of high commendation, but before their turn came the space at our disposal was filled.

Some of our readers with that perversity which is the heritage of many puzzle solvers, will doubtless fail to discern the basis of sound common sense underlying our ruling and will denounce it as arbitrary. Candidly, it is sailing quite as near to the wind as we like; but necessity knows no law, so why should an examiner? And after all we are confident that the sweet reasonableness of our decisions will appeal to all but the unwise and prejudiced.

A few solvers still persist in ignoring rule 2. It can hardly be because they fail to understand it, and this time we have refrained from mentioning any solver who has transgressed it.

Two or three solvers spelt “luxuriancy” with an e instead of an a. This was a pity, because it is much safer in a close competition to spell correctly.

There were not many fantastic readings to while away the tedium of adjudication. Perhaps the most curious was a rendering of the eighth line, found in several solutions:—

“And all be thine, O specify!”

Although the reading can be justified by the text, it has nothing else to commend it unless it be its eccentricity.

The eleventh line was often translated:—

“Should be so blind to testify.”

This we fail to understand from any point of view, because if the minus sign be taken for a _line_ the text runs blineed, which, when you come to think of it, is rather a clumsy way of spelling blind. It is clear, at any rate to us, that the stroke cannot do duty for both the minus sign and _line_. If it could all would be well, thus:—

b _line_ - ed = blind.

But enough! for our brain reels.

* * * * *

A SHORT STORY IN VERSE.—In this competition a perfect solution was sent by Alice M. Seaman of St. Peter’s Park. By a clerical error it was misplaced, and did not reach us until some time after our adjudication. A prize has since been sent to this competitor, from whom, by the way, we received no complaint.

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.

MISCELLANEOUS.

IRENE.—Grease may be removed from paper by laying over the stain a clean sheet of blotting-paper, and then holding a very hot iron upon it, but not hot enough to burn of course. Some people take out grease-marks by merely holding a red-hot poker over the mark, which will take a slight grease-mark out at once. But do not scorch the paper.

NEMO.—Some of the characters in the book are historical, such as the Emperor Nero and his wife Poppea. The others are not so, but are depicted as they might very well have been.

SARAH.—1. The meaning of the term borough is a town which can send members to parliament. The Scotch equivalent for it is burgh, of which there are four kinds, viz.:—parliamentary burghs; municipal, or police burghs; the royal, which are governed by crown charters; and burghs of barony, which are governed by magistrates, though subject to the superior of the barony.—2. Do not postpone using glasses, carefully selected for your sight by an optician, if you feel any aching at the back of the eyes and round the balls, on using them. You will injure the sight if you do not at once provide the assistance they require. Nature has given due warning and called for it.

FANNY WRITING II.—Ink stains may be removed by the use of salts of sorrel. Dip all articles first into boiling water for a few minutes, then tighten the part to be treated over a basin and rub in some salts of sorrel. They are poisonous, but will not damage textile fabrics. Then rinse thoroughly in hot water. Repeat if the stains be not extracted.

RENÉE.—We have received your dear little note, and are very sorry that we cannot give you the information you need about a dog. Would it not be better to consult your father or brother about it, and let them procure you one nearer home? Many thanks for the kind things you say about the “G. O. P.”

OUR PUZZLE POEMS.

A NEW DEPARTURE.

We are publishing Three Puzzle Poems in succession dealing with accidents and the way to meet them, and the following is the third and last of the series. The lines should be carefully committed to memory for the sake of the valuable instruction they contain.

In addition to the ordinary monthly prizes THREE SPECIAL PRIZES are offered for the best solutions of the whole series.

The first Special Prize will be THREE GUINEAS; the second Special Prize, TWO GUINEAS, and the third Special Prize, ONE GUINEA.

A careful record of mistakes will be kept, and these prizes will be awarded to those competitors who perpetrate the fewest in all three puzzles.

If a winner of one of these prizes has already received an ordinary prize in the series, the amount of the smaller prize will be deducted. This will then be sent to the most deserving non-prize-winner in the list relating to the puzzle for which the prize in question was awarded.

OUR NEW PUZZLE POEM.

[Illustration: Anaccidentalcycle. III.]

⁂ PRIZES to the amount of six guineas (one of which will be reserved for competitors living abroad) are offered for the best solutions of the above Puzzle Poem. The following conditions must be observed.

1. Solutions to be written on one side of the paper only.

2. Each paper to be headed with the name and address of the competitor.

3. Attention must be paid to spelling, punctuation, and neatness.

4. Send by post to Editor, GIRL’S OWN PAPER, 56, Paternoster Row, London. “Puzzle Poem” to be written on the top left-hand corner of the envelope.

5. The last day for receiving solutions from Great Britain and Ireland will be March 17, 1899; from Abroad, May 17, 1899.

* * * * *

The competition is open to all without any restrictions as to sex or age.

OUR SUPPLEMENT STORY COMPETITION.

A LITTLE EXILE.

A STORY IN MINIATURE.

FIRST PRIZE (£2 2s.).

Eva Mary Allport, Earl’s Court, S.W.

SECOND PRIZE (£1 1s.).

Jessie E. Jackson, Beverley, E. Yorks.

THIRD PRIZE (10s. 6d.).

M. F. Jamieson, Portbello, N.B.

HONOURABLE MENTION.

Ethel Mary Wake Cleveland, Bedford; Mary Adèle Venn, West Kensington Park, W.; A. Abigail Binns, Rochdale; Edith Alice White, Balham, S.W.; Mabel Moscrop, Saltburn-by-the-Sea; Frances Carr, Princes Park, Liverpool; L. M. Barber, Brixton, S.W.; Edith B. Jowett, Grange-over-Sands; Mary Amelia Rudd, Bussage, near Stroud; Rose S. Bracey, Hastings; Margaret E. Crellin, Longsynt, Manchester; G. M. Lang, Sunderland; Lucy Richardson, York; Ellen M. Price, South Shields; Kate Kelsey, Montpelier, Bristol; R. Holman, Paris; Mary Maile, Provost Road, N.W.; Minnie Curry, Bradford, York; Annie C. Herbertson, Ealing, W.; Margaret Taylor, Birkdale, Lancashire; Lucy Bourne, Winchester; Bessie Hine, South Tottenham, N.; C. Winifred Dyer, Wandsworth, S.W.

* * * * *

DEAR MR. EDITOR,—I have given very careful consideration to the Prize Competition papers on _A Little Exile_, and am sending a list of those which seem most to deserve the awards.

The selection has been the less easy since the papers present a very general level of excellence, and are all intelligently written, showing that the story has been carefully read.

Some few exceed the prescribed space, and others fall into the very natural error of enlarging on the opening incidents of the tale and leaving out a few lines for its development and conclusion.

Those contributors selected for prizes have, it seems to me, best observed the balance and proportion of the story, and have thus given the fairest idea of what it is all about.

But it gives me much pleasure to praise, with scarcely a reservation, the care and neatness which the many aspirants have bestowed on their papers; the correctness of the spelling, and the legibility of the writing.

May I venture to hint that a little more care given to punctuation would, in this instance, have still further lightened the reader’s pleasant task.

Faithfully yours, LESLIE KEITH.

⁂ We quite endorse all that the Author says in the above letter.—ED.

OUR NEXT STORY COMPETITION.

STORIES IN MINIATURE.

_Subject:_—“THE G. O. P. SUPPLEMENT FOR FEBRUARY.”

UP-TO-DATE MAIDENS: A STORY FROM WOMAN’S CLUBLAND.

BY JEAN A. OWEN, Author of “Candalaria,” etc.

We offer three prizes of TWO GUINEAS, ONE GUINEA, and HALF-A-GUINEA for the three best papers on our “Story Supplement” for this month. The essays are to give a brief account of the plot and action of the story in the Competitor’s own words; in fact, each paper should be a carefully-constructed _Story in Miniature_, telling the reader in a few bright words what THE GIRL’S OWN STORY SUPPLEMENT for the month is all about.

One page of foolscap only is to be written upon, and is to be signed by the writer, followed by her full address, and posted to The Editor, GIRL’S OWN PAPER, in an unsealed envelope, with the words “Stories in Miniature” written on the left-hand top corner.

The last day for receiving the papers is February 20th; and no papers can in any case be returned.

_Examiners:_—The Author of the Story (Jean A. Owen), and the Editor of THE GIRL’S OWN PAPER.