December 29, 1883
Vol. XXVIII, No. 26
The corridors of Time
Are full of doorsthe portals of closed years;
Wo [sic] enter them no more, though bitter years
Beat hard against them, and we hear the chime
Of lost dreams, dirge-like, in behind them ring,
At memory's opening.
But one door stands ajar
The New Year's; while a golden chain of days
Holds it half shut. The eager foot delays
That presses to its threshold's mighty bar;
And fears that shrink, and hopes that shout aloud
Around it wait and crowd.
It shuts back the unknown,
And dare we truly welcome one more year,
Who down the past a mocking laughter here
From idle aims like wandering breezes blown?
We whose large aspirations dimmed and shrank
'Till the year's scroll was blank?
We pause beside the door,
Thy year, O God, how shall we enter in?
How shall we thence Thy hidden treasures win?
Shall we return to beggary, as before,
When thou art near at hand, with infinite wealth,
Wisdom and heavenly health?
The footsteps of a Child
Sound close behind us! Listen! He will speak,
His birthday bells have hardly rung a week.
Yet He trod the world's press undefiled,
"Come to me!" hear Him through His smiling say,
"Behold, I am the way!"
Against the door His face
Shines as the sun. His touch is a command;
The years unfold before His baby hand!
The beauty of his presence fills all space.
"Enter through Me," He saith, "nor wander more,
For lo! I am the Door."
And all doors openeth He,
The new-born Christ, the Lord of the New Year,
The threshold of our locked hearts standeth near;
And while He gives us back love's rusted key,
Our future on us with His eyes has smiled,
Even as a little child.
A great deal of poor food, especially cakes and other "recipe" preparations, is due to inaccuracy in measuring. "A pinch" of salt or pepper or other condiment may mean four times as much in hand as in another quite enough to entirely change the quality and flavor. Teaspoons, teacups and coffee cups now vary greatly. The old standard teacup held just half a pint, or four to the quart, and the coffee cup three-quarters of a pint, or two and two-thirds cups to a quart; but on testing several cups now in use we find that of one pattern of teacups three fill a quart; of another it takes five, and of another six; while of coffee cups, two of one set fill a quart, and of another it takes nearly four. It would be a simple matter, and a great convenience, for any housekeeper to keep always at hand accurate measuring cups of earthenware or tin. Let a teacupful or tumblerful always mean exactly half a pint, and keep a cup of that size. Or use a small tin cup one with a side handle being preferable. Spoon measuring is more important, especially in giving medicines. The top is so broad and it is so difficult to know when a spoon is evenly full that a "teaspoonful dose" of any medicine, or of a flavoring extract in cooking, may be double what is prescribed. The standard teaspoon, evenly full, holds an eighth of a fluid ounce, or 128 to a pint, and a standard tablespoon just three times as much, or forty-two to the pint. Sixty drops of water equal one teaspoonful, but drops of different liquids vary in size. Every family should have a "minim glass" (minim means a drop). This is a little tube or cup having a broad base and a lip for pouring out the liquid. There are marks on the sides, and figures 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, for so many drops the figures 60 making just a standard teaspoonful. With this at hand one is always able to measure off exact teaspoonfuls of anything. In giving medicine such regularity of doses may mean recovery of health. These glasses can be bought at most druggists' for fifteen to thirty cents each.
The mystery of the cat's character is probably the cause of a vulgar antipathy, but this is due to ignorance. The cat is not bound to furnish understanding in order to avoid prejudice. It is too high minded to care. Many benevolent persons, fearful of the multiplication of the household cat, drown her kittens. So, from a limited trust in Providence, many suppress populating. Some elegant families take a bag of kittens and distribute them in their drives. If they would let the mother cat alone she would provide for them without such cruelty. A cat blessed with a large litter does not settle it on the family. At a proper time she will settle her kittens among the neighbors, showing great discernment by her choice of places, and they show great intelligence by remaining as placed.
A society mother does not practice more consideration in finding husbands for her nine daughters than a mother cat in finding situations for her nine kittens. She will return to play with each, and then leave it without any movement on its part to go back with her. The mystery and supernatural part of the cat are very interesting, but its visible domestic qualities are admirable. Its modesty is exceptional among animals. Its dignity, composure and courage are wonderful. It will repose on the sidewalk, where at any moment its enemy, the dog, may come along, serene in its confidence in its ability to take care of itself. Even little kittens do this.
The assumption is that the dog and cat are natural enemies. The cat is too high minded to be a natural enemy to any creature. Such animals as it hunts its hunt [sic] for food, in which it shares the nobility of man; but it is contented to have its food without this trouble. The puppy and kitten brought up together will eat out of the same dish and will make a very jolly family party. Taking thought of their prolific habit, not yet repressed by fashion, the inquiry naturally arises, what becomes of the cats, that they do not overrun. Judging by their character, it may be presumed that they go to the place provided for cats, where all is well with them.
The unwritten history of Lord Coleridge's recent tour in this country would probably be far more interesting than the daily chronicles which were furnished by the press. The following is told in confidence and with bated breath by the inhabitants of a flourishing city in Western New York. The Chief-Justice was entertained at dinner one evening by a local magnate. A caterer well known in that part of the State furnished the refreshments and the china on which they were served, which, by the way, was a new and beautiful hand-painted set. During the course of the dinner it is related that Lord Coleridge said to his charming hostess: "You will excuse the comment, but I really must compliment you on the exquisite beauty of your china." My lady calmly appropriated the compliment, and gracefully replied: "Thank you, my lord. It is used for the first time in your Lordship's honor." Then the dinner moved on to a successful close. Judge of his Lordship's surprise when at a breakfast given next morning by a legal luminary he was confronted with the same beautiful set of china. But his surprise was augmented when on the following day the banquet in his honor given in a rival city, ninety miles away, was graced with the hand-painted china used for the first time in his Lordship's honor.
PARIS, Dec. 1
THE Princess Dolgorouki has purchased one of the most charming villas at Nice, with lovely gardens, and will take up her residence there this winter.
A WELL-KNOWN member of the sporting and aristocratic world created such a lasting impression upon a beautiful woman, just deceased, that she has left him all her ready money, her jewels, and her corpse. This is an embarras des richesses.
THE hereditary Prince and Princess of Denmark are expected in Paris to make a short stay when they leave their palace at Widd; after that they will proceed to Sandringham.
MORE Grand Russians in Paris! The latest to arrive is Prince Sergus, the brother of the Emperor. All the Russian Imperials patronize the Continental; and, certainly, it is in every respect a splendid hotel not even dear though offering every comfort and luxury.
THE on dit at a Paris club, where people are well-informed as to high life doings, is that the Prince of Wales will certainly come to Paris shortly; but this visit seems hardly possible, if the dates of his Royal Highness's arrangements have all been correctly given.
THE Parisians view with astonishment the preparations for the departure of the Marquis Tseng from Paris, with all his belongings. This appears at last to bring before them, and cause the realization, of the exact position of things. It was thought to be a mere game of diplomatic brag. "And they are really going to fight France," say many, with ill-disguised surprise.
THE celebrated museum at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which is the chief curiosity of that thriving town near Paris, is next year to be adorned with a large decorative painting representing the Age of Iroo [sic], which will be exhibited at next year's Salon. The author of this fine work is M. Cormon, who has already gained a reputation through paintings of the same character.
THE news has reached us of the death in Switzerland of a young wife and distinguished member of the aristocratic circle of Paris Madame de Boislaurent. She fell from an immense height, and died a few hours after, being in pursuit of her favorite flowers, edelweis [sic], and over-reaching herself. Wreaths of the blossoms were placed on her funeral bier at Vienna when she was interred. It seems a flower of evil, for the deaths that have been caused in pursuit of it have been innumerable.
NOTHING has turned up at Pompeii of late, but at last search has been rewarded by the discovery of a new house, almost less in ruins than many a "jerry" London construction, everything being as well preserved as if it had been treated with cosmetics for the eruption. The chambers are beautifully decorated some with very curious paintings, which cannot be brought to the hammer of the auctioneer, as they are frescoes on the wall. Doubtless the announcement will be followed by a rush of British savants.
"THE height of "impudence" has been reached; indeed, a more severe word could be justly used, in the matter of palming off false pictures for originals, not forgetting to imitate the signatures. This has induced M. Jacques de Biez to hold a conference of his brethren of the brush, at which he made the singular proposition that each picture which an artist completes should be entered in a sort of stud book giving a photo and full partieulars [sic] of the dimensions of the work. "Thus," says M. de Biez "it will receive civil rights, like a citizen of France, and being inscribed become protected."
THE Duchess Dowager of Hamilton will winter in Paris.
THE veteran Earl Grey, son of the great Premier, and himself a distinguished ex-Cabinet Minister, in a recent number of the Nineteenth Century, says Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Bright and Mr. Chamberlain have contributed more than anything done by the Land League to encourage lawlessness in the Irish people.
GERMANY, like England, has obtained a revised edition of the Bible. Or, rather, we have not yet obtained it; Germany has obtained it. Recently the final emendations which scholarship has made in Luther's famous translation were presented to Emperor William. Perhaps, after all, this is the best Luther commemoration.
ABOUT twenty years ago the late Lord Overstone had printed, for his own use merely, a collection of extracts which he had made in the course of his reading in English literature. The collection was a large one, and was an evidence of wide and careful reading. It is an excellent idea to abstract all that one likes in books, so as to make one volume, which would henceforth be one's whole library.
AT the beginning of the year an interesting experiment will be made in journalism. A magazine will be published containing articles written exclusively by members of the upper classes. It will be edited by a member of the House of Peers, and it is to be entitled The Lords. The latest venture is to open with a feuilleton by the Earl of Desart.
A NEW tenor is likely soon to appear on English boards, and the more welcome because he is an Englishman. Most musical Londoners have heard him in sacred music. He is the son of Canon Wade, at whose church in Soho, Bach's Passion Music has for many successive seasons of late been so beautifully rendered. The tenor parts used to be taken by Mr. Arthur Wade, who has now for some years been studying in Italy. We have so few tenors now, and so very few who can sing sacred music, that Mr. Wade will be quite an acquisition to the stage.
THE anecdotes told of "the wise genteel economy," observed by the late Lord Overstone rival those of some of the professed economists of the early part of the century. A gentleman who was once invited to dinner at Overstone House relates that on the appearance of two partridges on the table the noble host had looked daggers at the butler, and on distributing the bird in economical portions between himself, the guest, and another visitor, and leaving the other untouched, he remarked to the trembling servant, "Did I not tell you this morning that one would be enough?"
SOME amusement has been occasioned lately by the erratic conduct of the "People's William." Mr. Gladstone conveyed his thanks to the Hackney Radical Club for their high approval of Lord Ripon's policy in India, but, on the following day, the Prime Minister abandoned the greater part of his lordship's policy in that country. The next morning the Political Council of the Hackney Club had the audacity to publish his letter, and now opinion is divided respecting the merit and motive of Mr. Gladstone's perversion from Conservatism to Whiggery and his ultimate degeneration to Radicalism.
ONE of the private or personal objects of Cardinal Manning's visit to Rome is, says a society journal, to obtain the nomination of Bishop Vaughan, of Salford, as his coadjutor with right of succession. In Bishop Vaughan the Cardinal sees, if not a second self, one who, sympathizing with his views will carry out his policy. Dr. Vaughan, who is a member of an old English Catholic family, would be more welcome, perhaps, to the leading laity, by whom he is well known, than to the clergy. It is not, however, very likely that Pope Leo XIII. will interfere on Cardinal Manning's account with the right of canons to present, when a vacancy occurs, three candidates to the Holy See for approval or rejection.
PULPIT popularity has come to have a false meaning. The popular preacher now is not the one who stirs men's hearts but the one who draws money at charity sermons. He is judged like an actor, by the receipts at the box-office. Whether or not his congregation show any advancement in spirituality under his exhortations, or his people learn to adorn their daily lives with simplicity, and earnestness, and trust, or the poor and unhappy find succour and comfort at his door, are questions which trouble the admiring public very little. They measure the popular clergyman's success by secular standards; and he is but too apt to accept their measure as a just one.
THE Exhibition that is to succeed the Fisheries has been at length resolved upon. It is to be a Food and Health Exhibition. This is a kindred theme to the Fisheries, and ought to be even more interesting and attractive. Cookery will play a part, and cheap lunching and dinners will move again to the fore, while there will be more certainty of the million being well and comfortably catered for. The evening entertainment will chime in excellently with the gastronomic feature. There will be a great competition of wines, and the champagne growers and dealers are already arranging to glean fame and profit. The buildings which have been in use will be turned to account, though, sooth to say, they were rather boothlike and deficient in proper accommodation. This ought to be rectified, as the Fisheries left an immense balance that can be dealt with, and the food show will doubtless add to the fund.
WHAT is the difference between a "Dhutuja Chula Chom Klao" and a "Phra Wongs Th'oe Ong Chow?" It ought to be something big, for a good deal of money and a vast amount of ceremonial is to be expended at the house of the Siamese Ambassador on Monday next in the conversion of his Excellency from one rank to the other. Oriental ceremonies always have a singular charm for the Western mind, and all and sundry of the great have been invited to the investiture of Prince Prisdang on Monday. The Siamese Ambassador to this country, in spite of the unpronounceable names of his various decorations and ranks is one of the most popular of the Corps Diplomatique. He must be equally popular in his own country, to judge by the distinction which is about to be conferred on him, and which in plain language means that he is to be elevated from the rank of a Councillor of the King to that of a Royal Prince, and virtually a member of his family. The attention paid by these potentates of the Far East to European manners and customs is a hopeful sign and a strange reversal of the ideas which used to prevail among them as to the barbarians of the West. There is now more than one Siamese Prince receiving his education in this country, while several have previously tasted the delights of Continental cities.
MR. TENNYSON has usually strong objections to 'prentice or other hands taking his life before he is done with it, but he has forborn his veto power in [sic] behalf of the pleasant sketch of him which Mrs. Ritchie, Thackeray's daughter contributes to the Christmas number of Harper's Magazine. For this he himself told her many things about his early life, which she supplements with reverent feeling and deft touch, from her own remembrances of the great poet as a guest and home-friend long ago at her father's house, and from reminiscences of the few living members of that famous and charming circle which included Tennyson, Thackeray, Carlyle, and other great men. One of them, Edward Fitzgerald, the translator of Omar Khayam, and friend of friends to Thackeray himself, has died since the article was in proof. Mrs. Ritchie's paper will be richly illustrated with views of Tennyson's birthplace and homes, and of places associated with his works, drawn by Alfred Parsons; with portraits, including a picture of Mr. Tennyson and the charming heads of the Tennyson children painted by G. F. Watts, R. A., which Mr. Tennyson permitted to be copied for this purpose; and with several unpublished sketches by Thackeray, Frederick Walker, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, whose early sketch of Tennyson reading "Maud" was lent by Mr. Robert Browning. The Critic.
THE omission of a great public ceremony, generally observed in families of the Jewish persuasion in England, on the occasion of a marriage that of the old traditional "Sitting for Joy" occurred on the occasion of the great Sassoon wedding. Contrary to the usual custom, the ceremony was entirely private, none but members of the family being invited. The "Sitting for Joy" is one of the most beauiiful [sic] and touching ceremonies among all those bequeathed by the ancient Hebrews to their descendants. It answers in a pure and primitive manner to that of the signing of the contract observed abroad. The bridegroom and the bride-elect sit side by side and hand in hand in the best room in the house. The door is left open that all friends may enter. The relatives are first admitted they alone are entitled to be seated. Then come the intimate friends, who pay their compliments in the ancient tongue, and then the host of acquaintances, who are entitled only to walk round the affianced pair and bow. On the table, before which the latter are placed, stands a bowl, in which are deposited the offerings of the company, from the shekels of gold and the shekels of silver contributed by the rich to the widow's mite and scanty obolum of the poor. The sum thus collected is always despatched to the chief rabbi to distribute among his Jewish pensioners, so that the wedding day may be one of rejoicing for high and low. In wealthy Jewish families the offerings sometimes rise to an immense sum, and large checks and bank-notes of importance are found among the gold and silver and even the humble copper coins that help to fill the joy bowl, which is always preserved as a sacred relic of the ceremony.