“True Christian politeness will always be the result of an unselfish regard for the feelings of others, and though you may err in the ceremonious points of etiquette, you will never be impolite.”

“If you wish to be a well-bred lady, you must carry your good manners everywhere with you. It is not a thing that can be laid aside. True politeness is uniform disinterestedness trifles, accompanied by the calm self-possession which belongs to a noble simplicity of purpose; and this must be the effect of a Christian spirit running through all you do, or say, or think; and, unless you cultivate it and exercise it, upon all occasions and towards all persons, it will never be a part of yourself.”

The Ladies Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness

Author: Florence Hartley Published: 1860


Chapter I.


Chapter II.


Chapter III.


Chapter IV.

How to Behave at a Hotel

Chapter V.

EVENING Parties--etiquette for the Hostess

Chapter VI.

EVENING Parties--etiquette for the Guest

Chapter VII.

Visiting--etiquette for the Hostess

Chapter VIII.

Visiting--etiquette for the Guest

Chapter IX.

MORNING RECEPTIONS OR Calls--etiquette for the Hostess

Chapter X.

MORNING RECEPTIONS OR Calls--etiquette for the Caller

Chapter XI.

DINNER Company--etiquette for the Hostess

Chapter XII.

DINNER Company--etiquette for the Guest

Chapter XIII.

Table Etiquette

Chapter XIV.

Conduct in the Street

Chapter XV.

Letter Writing

Chapter XVI.

Polite Deportment and Good Habits

Chapter XVII.

Conduct in Church

Chapter XVIII.

BALL ROOM Etiquette--for the Hostess

Chapter XIX.

BALL ROOM Etiquette--for the Guest

Chapter XX.

Places of Amusement

Chapter XXI.


Chapter XXII.


Chapter XXIII.

On a Young Lady's Conduct When Contemplating Marriage

Chapter XXIV.

Bridal Etiquette

Chapter XXV.

Hints on Health

Chapter XXVI.



For the Complexion



In the present age, when education is within the reach of all, both rich and poor, every lady will endeavor to become, not only well educated, but accomplished. It is not, as some will assert, a waste of time or money. Not only the fingers, voice, and figure are improved, but the heart and intellect will become refined, and the happiness greatly increased.

Take the young lady after a solid basis has been laid in her mind of the more important branches of education, and rear upon that basis the structure of lighter education--the accomplishments. To cultivate these, disregarding the more solid information, is to build your castle without any foundation, and make it, not only absurd, but unsteady. The pleasure of hearing from a lady a cavatina executed in the most finished manner, will be entirely destroyed, if her first spoken words after the performance are vulgar, or her sentence ungrammatical.

A lady without her piano, or her pencil, her library of French, German, or Italian authors, her fancy work and tasteful embroideries, is now rarely met with, and it is right that such arts should be universal. No woman is fitted for society until she dances well; for home, unless she is perfect mistress of needlework; for her own enjoyment, unless she has at least one accomplishment to occupy thoughts and fingers in her hours of leisure.

First upon the list of accomplishments, comes the art of conversing well. It is always ready. Circumstances in society will constantly throw you into positions where you can use no other accomplishment. You will not have a musical instrument within reach, singing would be out of place, your fancy work at home, on many occasions, and then you can exert your most fascinating as well as useful accomplishment, the art of conversing well.

Little culture, unfortunately, is bestowed upon this accomplishment, which, beyond all others, promotes the happiness of home, enlivens society, and improves the minds of both speaker and listener. How many excellent women are deficient in the power of expressing themselves well, or, indeed, of expressing themselves at all! How many minds "cream and mantle" from the want of energy to pour themselves out in words! On the other hand, how some, equally well-intentioned, drown the very senses in their torrent of remarks, which dashes, like a water-fall, into a sombre pool of ennui below!

One lady will enter society, well-dressed, well-looking, polite; she does not intend to chill it by her presence; yet her absence is found a relief. She takes her place as if she considered it sufficient to dress and look well. She brings no stock to the community of ideas. Her eyes return no response to the discourse which is going on. When you have once glanced at her, she becomes a mere expletive in the company.

Another one will be found a talker. She is like a canary bird; when others begin to speak, she hurries in her remarks, in an accompaniment. Her voice must be uppermost; conversation becomes a contest who can speak the most rapidly. The timid and modest retire from the encounter--she has the field to herself. She goes on, without mercy; the voice of a syren would fatigue, if heard continually. Others revolt at the injustice of the monopoly, and the words fall on ears that would be deaf if they could.

These are extreme cases; there are many other minor errors. The higher qualities of conversation must undoubtedly be based upon the higher qualities of the mind; then it is, indeed, a privilege to commune with others.

To acquire the power of thus imparting the highest pleasure by conversational powers, attention must be paid to literature. I am supposing the solid foundation of a good education already laid, but by literature, I do not mean only that class of it which is taught at school.

Reading, at the present day, is too much confined to light literature. I would not speak against this. The modern novels, and the poets of all ages, are good reading, but let them be taken in moderation, and varied by something more solid. Let them be the dessert to the more substantial dinner of history, travels, and works of a like nature.

Independent of the strength and polish given to the mind by a thorough course of reading, there is another reason why a lady should devote some portion of her time to it; she cannot do without it. She may, lacking this, pass through life respectably, even elegantly; but she cannot take her part in a communing with superior minds; she may enjoy, in wondering, the radiance of their intelligence; but the wondering must be composed, in part, of amazement at her own folly, in not having herself sought out the treasure concealed in the fathomless depths of books. She cannot truly enjoy society, with this art neglected. She may, for a few brief years, be the ornament of the drawing-room; but it must be, like many other ornaments there, in still life; she can never be the companion of the intellectual; and the time is gone by, when women, with all their energies excited, will be contented to be the mere plaything of brother, husband, or father.

Still it is not to the erudite, nor to the imaginative only, that it is given to please in conversation.

The art of imparting our ideas easily and elegantly to others, may be improved by ourselves, if there are opportunities of mingling in good society, with little study. The mind must first be cultivated; but it should not abash those who are conscious of moderate talents, or imperfect cultivation, from taking a due part in conversation, on account of their inferiority. It is a very different thing to shine and to please; to shine in society is more frequently attempted than compassed: to please is in the power of all. The effort to shine, when fruitless, brings a certain disgrace, and engenders mortification; all good people are inclined to take the will for the deed, when they see a desire to please. A gentle, deferential, kind manner, will disarm even the most discerning from criticising too severely the deficiencies of the inexperienced; confidence, disrespect of others, volubility, eagerness to dispute, must irritate the self-love of others, and produce an averseness to acknowledge talent or information, where they may even happen to exist.

It is wiser and safer for a young lady, in general, to observe the good, old-fashioned rule of being addressed first; but then she must receive the address readily, meeting it half way, repaying it by enlarging a little upon the topic thus selected, and not sinking into a dull silence, the moment after a reply is given. Some young ladies start, as if thunderstruck, when spoken to, and stare as if the person who pays them that attention, had no right to awaken them from their reverie. Others look affronted, possibly from shyness, and begin a derogatory attack upon the beauty of their dress by twitching the front breadth--or move from side to side, in evident distress and consternation. Time remedies these defects; but there is one less curable and less endurable--that of pertness and flippancy--the loud remarks and exclamations--the look of self-sufficiency and confidence. But these offensive manifestations spring from some previous and deep-seated defects of character, and are only to be repelled by what, I fear, they will frequently encounter--the mortification of inspiring disgust.

Neither is the lengthy, prosy, didactic reply, consistent with the submission and simplicity of youth; egotism, and egotism once removed, that is, the bringing into the topic one's own family and relations, are also antidotes to the true spirit of conversation. In general, it is wiser, more in good taste, safer, more becoming, certainly more in accordance with good breeding, to avoid talking of persons. There are many snares in such topics; not merely the danger of calumniating, but that of engendering a slippery conscience in matters of fact. A young girl, shy and inexpert, states a circumstance; she feels her deficiency as a narrator, for the power of telling a story, is a power to be acquired only by practice. She is sometimes tempted to heighten a little the incidents, in order to get on a little better, and to make more impression. She must of course defend her positions, and then she perils the sanctity of truth. Besides, few things narrow the intellect more than dwelling on the peculiarities, natural or incidental, of that small coterie of persons who constitute our world.

It is, in general, a wise rule, and one which will tend much to insure your comfort through life, to avoid disclosures to others of family affairs. I do not mean to recommend reserve, or art; to friends and relations, too great frankness can hardly be practised; but, with acquaintance, the less our own circumstances are discussed, the happier, and the more dignified will our commerce with them continue. On the same principle, let the concerns of others be touched upon with delicacy, or, if possible, passed over in silence; more especially those details which relate to strictly personal or family affairs. Public deeds are, of course, public property. But personal affairs are private; and there is a want of true good breeding, a want of consideration and deference, in speaking freely of them, even if your friend is unconscious of the liberty taken.

It seems paradoxical to observe that the art of listening well forms a part of the duty of conversation. To give up the whole of your attention to the person who addresses himself to you, is sometimes a heavy tax, but it is one which we must pay for the privileges of social life, and an early practice will render it an almost involuntary act of good breeding; whilst consideration for others will give this little sacrifice a merit and a charm.

To listen well is to make an unconscious advance in the power of conversing. In listening we perceive in what the interest, in what the failure of others consists; we become, too, aware of our own deficiencies, without having them taught through the medium of humiliation. We find ourselves often more ignorant than we could have supposed possible. We learn, by a very moderate attention to the sort of topics which please, to form a style of our own. The "art of conversation" is an unpleasant phrase. The power of conversing well is least agreeable when it assumes the character of an art.

In listening, a well-bred lady will gently sympathize with the speaker; or, if needs must be, differ, as gently. Much character is shown in the act of listening. Some people appear to be in a violent hurry whilst another speaks; they hasten on the person who addresses them, as one would urge on a horse--with incessant "Yes, yes, very good--indeed-- proceed!" Others sit, on the full stare, eyes fixed as those of an owl, upon the speaker. Others will receive every observation with a little hysterical giggle.

But all these vices of manner may be avoided by a gentle attention and a certain calm dignity of manner, based upon a reflective, cultivated mind.

Observation, reading, and study, will form the groundwork for good powers of conversation, and the more you read, study, and see, the more varied and interesting will be your topics.

A young lady should consider music as one branch of her education, inferior, in importance, to most of those studies which are pointed out to her, but attainable in a sufficient degree by the aid of time, perseverance, and a moderate degree of instruction. Begun early, and pursued steadily, there is ample leisure in youth for the attainment of a science, which confers more cheerfulness, and brings more pleasure than can readily be conceived.

A young lady should be able to play with taste, correctness, and readiness, upon the general principle that a well educated woman should do all things well. This, I should suppose, is in the power of most persons; and it may be attained without loss of health, of time, or any sacrifice of an important nature. She should consider it as an advantage, a power to be employed for the gratification of others, and to be indulged with moderation and good sense for her own resource, as a change of occupation.

Consider in this light, music is what Providence intended it to be--a social blessing. The whole creation is replete with music,--a benignant Power has made the language of the feathered tribe harmony; let us not suppose that He condemns his other creatures to silence in the song.

Music has an influence peculiar to itself. It can allay the irritation of the mind; it cements families, and makes a home, which might sometimes be monotonous, a scene of pleasant excitement. Pursued as a recreation, it is gentle, rational, lady-like. Followed as a sole object, it loses its charm, because we perceive it is then over-rated. The young lady who comes modestly forward, when called upon as a performer, would cease to please, were she, for an instant, to assume the air and confidence of a professional musician. There is a certain style and manner--confined now to second-rate performers, for the highest and most esteemed dispense with it--there is an effort and a dash, which disgust in the lady who has bad taste enough to assume them.

And, whilst I am on this topic, let me remark that there is a great deal in the choice of music, in the selection of its character, its suitability to your feelings, style, and taste, and this especially with respect to vocal music.

There is no doubt that a good Italian style is the best for instruction, and that it produces the most careful and accomplished singers. Suppose a case. Your parents, most fair reader, have paid a high price to some excellent professor, to instruct you--and, with a fair ear, and a sufficient voice, you have been taught some of those elaborate songs which are most popular at the opera. A party is assembled--music is one of the diversions. Forth you step, and, with a just apprehension of the difficulties of your task, select one of those immortal compositions which the most eminent have made their study; you execute it wonderfully, only just falling a little short of all the song should be; only just provoking a comparison, in every mind, with a high standard, present in the memory of every cultivated musician near you. A cold approval, or a good-natured "bravo!" with, believe me, though you do not hear it, a thorough, and, often, expressed conviction that you had better have left the thing alone, follows the effort which has merely proclaimed the fact that, spite of time and money spent upon the cultivation of your voice, you are but a second-rate singer.

But, choose a wiser, a less pretending, a less conspicuous path. Throw your knowledge into compositions of a less startling, less aspiring character. Try only what you can compass. Be wise enough not to proclaim your deficiencies, and the critics will go away disarmed, even if they are not charmed. But if there be any voice, any feeling, any science, the touching melody, made vocal by youth and taste, will obtain even a far higher degree of encomium than, perhaps, it actually merits. You will please--you will be asked to renew your efforts. People will not be afraid of cadenzas five minutes long, or of bravuras, every note of which makes one hope it may be the last.

It is true that, to a person who loves music, the performance of one of the incomparable songs of Bellini, Rosini, Flotow, or Mozart, is an actual delight--but; when attempted by a young amateur, it should be, like many other delights, confined to the private circle, and not visited upon society in general.

Do not suppose that I mean to recommend poor music, or feeble, ephemeral compositions. What is good need not, of necessity, be always difficult. Ballad music is rich in songs adapted for the private performer--and there are many, in Italian, of great beauty, which, though they would not be selected for a concert-room, or for brilliant display, are adapted for ladies.

Music is the greatest, best substitute for conversation. It has many merits, in this light. It can never provoke angry retort; it can never make enemies; it can injure no one's character by slander; and in playing and singing one can commit no indiscretion.

Music is a most excellent amusement, and, in society, an indispensable one. It aids conversation by occasionally interrupting it for a short period, to be renewed with a new impetus. It makes the most delightful recreation for the home circle, varying the toil and trouble of the father's or husband's working day, by the pleasures of the evening made by music's power to glide smoothly and swiftly.

There are but few persons who are entirely without a love for music, even if they do not understand it. They will be borne along upon the waves of a sweet melody to high, pure thoughts, often to delicious memories.

The piano is, at the present day, the most popular instrument in society. The harp has ceased to be fashionable, though it is sometimes heard. The latter is a most beautiful accompaniment for the voice, but requires a large room, as, in a small one, it will sound stringy and harsh.

The guitar, while it makes a very pleasant accompaniment for the voice, has also the advantage of being easily carried from place to place.

It requires as much judgment to select proper instrumental pieces for a parlor performance, as you would display in a choice of songs. Page after page of black, closely printed notes, will drive those who see them from the piano. They may be executed in the most finished style, but they are not suited to general society. In their place, for practice, or for a musical soiree, where every one puts forth her best musical powers, they are appropriate, and will give pleasure, but they are not suited for a mixed party. When asked to play, choose, if you will, a brilliant, showy piece, but let it be short. It is better still to make no attempt at display, but simply try to please, selecting the music your own judgment tells you is best suited to your audience.

Avoid the loud, thumping style, and also the over-solemn style.

Be sure, before you accept any invitation to play, that you know perfectly the piece you undertake. It is better to play the simplest airs in a finished, faultless manner, than to play imperfectly the most brilliant variations.

Avoid movement at the piano. Swinging the body to and fro, moving the head, rolling the eyes, raising the hands too much, are all bad tricks, and should be carefully abstained from.

With respect to drawing, modeling, or any pursuits of the same nature, so much depends on taste and opportunity, and they are so little the accomplishments of society that they require but few of those restrictions which music, in its use and abuse, demands. Drawing, like music, should be cultivated early. Its advantages are the habits of perseverance and occupation, which it induces; and the additional delight which it gives to the works, both of nature and of art. Like music, it gives independence--independence of society. The true lover of the arts has a superiority over the indifferent, and, if she be not better prepared for society, is much better fitted for retirement than those who are not so happily endowed with tastes, when in moderation, so innocent and beneficial.

There is no accomplishment more graceful, pleasing, healthy, and lady-like, than that of riding well. Avoiding, at the same time, timidity and the "fast" style, keeping within the bounds of elegant propriety, gracefully yielding to the guidance of your escort, and keeping your seat easily, yet steadily, are all points to be acquired.

To ride well is undoubtedly an admirable qualification for a lady, as she may be as feminine in the saddle as in the ball room or home circle. It is a mistaken idea to suppose that to become an accomplished horse-woman a lady must unsex herself. But she must have a reserve in her manner, that will prevent contamination from the intercourse which too much riding may lead to. To hunt, or follow the field sports, in a pursuit which is the track of blood, disgusts the true admirer of gentle breeding. And such diversions will certainly result in a coarseness of manner and expression, growing upon the fair equestrian slowly but surely. A harsh voice, loud tone, expressions suited only to manly lips, but unconsciously copied, will follow her devotion to the unfeminine pursuit.

Nothing is more revolting than a woman who catches the tone and expressions of men. To hear the slang of jockeyism from female lips, is very offensive, yet ladies who mix in field sports are liable, nay, almost certain, to fall into a style of conversation which is ten times worse than the coarsest terms from the lips of a man. Instances there are, of the fairest of our sex, from a fondness for such diversions, and a habitual participation in such society, becoming hard, bold, and disgusting, even whilst retaining all their female loveliness of person.

A lady, unless she lives in the most retired parts of the country, should never ride alone, and even then she will be awkwardly placed, in case of accident, without an escort. In the cities, not only is it unfeminine, but positively dangerous, for a lady to ride unaccompanied by a gentleman, or a man servant.

Although it is impossible, within the limits of this little volume, to give many hints upon riding, a few may not be amiss. Like many other accomplishments, a teacher is necessary, if you wish to attain perfection, and no written directions can make you a finished horse-woman, unless you have had tuition and practice.

1. In mounting you are desired, gentle Amazon, to spring gracefully into your saddle, with the slight assistance of a hand placed beneath the sole of the shoe, instead of scrambling uncouthly to your "wandering throne," as Miss Fanshawe wittily calls it, from a high chair, as is frequently done by those who have not been properly instructed. To mount in the orthodox manner, you should stand nearly close to the horse, level with the front of the saddle, and taking the reins slackly in your right hand, you should place that hand on the nearest pommel, to secure your balance in rising, and with your left hand gather up the front of the habit, so as to leave the feet clear. The gentleman should place himself firmly, near, but not so near to you as to impede your rising, and with the same view must hold his head well back, as should he lose his hat from a whisk of your habit the effect produced is not good. You should then present your left foot, and the gentleman placing one hand beneath its sole, and the other above, so as to possess a safe hold, should, with nice judgment, give just such assistance as will enable you easily, with a spring, to vault gracefully into the saddle. You will then arrange your right leg comfortably over the pommel, your cavalier will then place your left foot in the stirrup and arrange the flow of the habit-skirt, and all is complete. All this, though so seemingly simple and easy, requires some little practice to effect neatly and gracefully.

2. Secondly, when riding with a gentleman, remember that you are best placed on the left side; because in that position the graceful flow of your habit is seen to the greatest advantage, while it does not inconvenience the gentleman by getting entangled with his stirrup, nor does it receive the splashes of his horse.

3. But when you have a double attendance of cavaliers, if you be at all a timid rider, it may become discreet to "pack" you (forgive the homely phrase) between the two, since, in this position, you are the most thoroughly protected from your own horse's shying, or from other horses or vehicles approaching you too closely, being thus forced to take that part of the road to which the better judgment of your companions inevitably guides you. If you be an accomplished equestrian, you will prefer being outside, and (as has been said) to the left.

Sit erect in the middle of your saddle, turning your face full towards the head of your horse. Cling as closely as possible to the saddle, but avoid stooping forward, or using your hands to keep you in your seat. Nervous motions on horseback are not only ungraceful, but dangerous, as your horse will not make any allowance for the delicacy of your nerves, and may prove his objections to a jerking hand, or a twitching rein, in a most decided and disagreeable manner.

The riding-dress, or habit, is best made to fit the figure tightly, with tight sleeves. It may be open in the front, over a neatly fitting chemisette, or buttoned close to the throat, with a neat linen collar and cuffs. The loose sacque is ungraceful, but a basque is most becoming on horseback. Gauntlet gloves, of leather, are the most suitable, and must be loose enough to give your hand perfect freedom, yet not so loose as to interfere with its motions. Do not wear the skirt too long; it will be dangerous in case of accident, and it may prove annoying to your horse. Your habit must be made of a material sufficiently heavy to hang gracefully, and not move too much with the wind. For a winter habit, a warmly-lined basque, trimmed at the throat and hands with fur, is an elegant and appropriate dress, and a round cap of the same cloth as the habit, with a band, and pieces to cover the ears, of fur to match the dress trimmings, makes a handsome and appropriate dress.

In summer, your hat should be of fine straw, and slouched to shade the face; in winter, of felt, or, if you prefer, a close cap of cloth. The hat may be trimmed with feathers or knots of ribbon, and the shape should be one to protect the complexion, at the same time graceful and becoming.

Avoid any display in a riding dress. Choose a material of some dark or neutral tint, and never use showy trimmings.

Curls, or any flowing loose style of wearing the hair, will be found exceedingly troublesome on horseback. Arrange it neatly and compactly under your hat, for if a stray curl or lock annoys you, or is blown across your eyes by the wind, your hands will be too fully occupied to remedy the difficulty.

Your whip should be light and small, tasteful if you will, but not showy.

At the period for which these hints are intended, the Modern Languages should form a portion of acquirement. As in music, an intelligent and assiduous girl may, I believe, acquire an adequate degree of proficiency in French, German, and Italian, without having been abroad, though a foreign tour will be of the greatest use in the acquisition of the accent and niceties of each tongue. With respect to French, it is no doubt essential to comfort to understand it; it is one of the attributes of a lady to speak it well; still, it is not indispensable to speak it so well that the American lady is mistaken for a Parisian. This, which but seldom happens, can only be acquired, in most cases, by a residence abroad. But French is thoroughly and grammatically taught in America. It is only the habit of speaking, the idioms and niceties, which cannot be acquired except by converse with a native.

There are hundreds of competent instructors in this country, French ladies and gentlemen amongst the number, who form classes for conversation and familiarizing their pupils with these very idioms. After availing herself of such advantages, a young lady will find that a very short residence abroad will improve and facilitate her French conversation.

Much, however, will depend upon how you use the opportunities within your reach. There are many opportunities of practice in large towns; and foreigners give all facilities, by their readiness to converse, their good-nature in listening, and in helping the beginner by kind hints. If a young lady, with simplicity, good breeding, and good taste, endeavors to speak whenever she has an opportunity, words will come as if by intuition. Do not think of by-standers and lookers-on; think only of the individual to whom you are addressing yourself. If possible, be not abashed by one or two errors at the first plunge--swim on till you have confidence. The effort, I grant, is great, and it may be obviated by a foreign education; but where this is impossible, the freedom acquired will more than repay the exertion.

In foreign literature, walk carefully, and if you have an older, wiser head than your own to point out the best paths, improve the advantage.

One cannot help deeming it a great era in education that German is cultivated as well as Italian and French, and that stores of literature are opened, to vary the delights of intellect, and to give freshness and interest to the studies of youth.

The rapture with which the works of Schiller are perused in the original, seems to repay the hours devoted to German; and I am sure the perusal of Tasso, or of the Aristodemo of Monti, would reward the study of Italian, were not the acquisition of that exquisite language of itself a source of poetic pleasure.

The modern French writers have increased an everlasting responsibility in corrupting the sources of amusement, open to the young readers, and it is remarkable that most of the distinguished French authors seem to have felt that they had erred, and to have retrieved in some of their works the tendencies of their other productions. Take for instance, Madame de Stael; her books cannot be judged altogether; the effect of some of her eloquent and almost incomparable writings varies in an extraordinary degree. Whilst "Delphine" is unfit for the perusal of a modest woman, her "L'Allemagne" is finely written throughout, and her criticisms and analyses of German writers are full of instruction as well as interest.

Still the works open to readers of French are numerous. The tragedies of Corneille and Racine are forcible and finished, and should be read because classical. The "Alzire" of Voltaire and his "Zaire" with the dramas of Casimir de la Vigne are also worthy of perusal. It is not an inspiriting kind of reading, but it is rich in sentiment, and perfectly unexceptionable in moral tone.

Although the scepticism of most German writers renders this literature dangerous to a young mind, there are fields of pure, noble writing open in that language. The works of Schiller, for example. His mind was originally noble, his heart good, his love to mankind, and his enquiry after truth were sincere. In early life, he wavered; and the besetting scepticism of the Germans dimmed, for a time, his perceptions of all that is most sublime, as well as true, in our finite knowledge. He was chastened--he suffered--he believed. He died an early but a bright instance that great genius may exist with true and humble piety, and that the mind is never so powerful as when illumined by divine light. His works are a magnificent library in themselves--and I could almost say, be contented to learn German and to read Schiller. Some of his works are open to objection, his "Bride of Messina," portions of "The Robbers," are better omitted from your collection, but "Wallenstein" and "Maria Stuart" are noble and admirable productions. On this subject, and, indeed, on the whole of German literature, Madame de Stael is an excellent guide in her "L'Allemagne," to which I refer the young German student, who is sincerely desirous of gleaning the good, and avoiding the evil in German compositions.

Italian literature furnishes a delightful theme for comment. It is singular that an enslaved, and, during many ages, a depraved and degraded people, should have possessed the purest poetry, the least exceptionable drama, in Europe. There is little to exclude, and much to recommend, in this beautiful language. The works of Tasso abound with high sentiment; the "Inferno" of Dante is a sublime picture of eternal retribution, softened with most touching pictures of human woe. Happy are those who have leisure to pursue extensively the acquisition of Italian literature, they may read and commit to memory without fear of an insidious meaning beneath the polished verse, or the prose which has all the charm of poetry.

Spanish literature will require the same judicious pruning which is necessary in French and German, but of all languages, it is the most musical for speech, and singing.

A lady in society must, if she would not grow utterly weary in company, know how to dance. It has been the practice among many excellent people to represent the ball room as a "pitfall covered with flowers;" a sheet of breaking ice; above, all gayety and motion; below, all darkness and danger. It may be that to some minds the ball room may be replete with temptations; but there are minds which find temptations everywhere. The innocent may be innocent, nay, the pious may feel devout, even in a ball room. There is nothing immoral or wrong in dancing; it is the tendency of youth to dance--it is the first effort of a child--the first natural recreation. It seems so natural that I confess I am always doubtful of the sincerity of those young ladies who profess to dislike the ball room.

In the present day, you must understand how to move gracefully through quadrilles, to dance polka, Schottische, Varsovienne, and waltz. To these you may add great variety of dances, each season, probably, bringing a new one.

"Dancing," says Mr. Sheldrake, "is one of the most healthy, as well as one of the most pleasing amusements that can be practised by the young. If it is learned from those who are well qualified to teach it, and practised, as it ought to be, consistently with the instructions given, it will contribute more to improve the health, as well as the form of the human frame, than any other exercise. For the discovery and promulgation of the true and correct principles according to which dancing should be taught, the world is indebted to France, a country which has long taken the lead in the elegant arts. In France, dancing was first raised to the dignity of a science, a royal academy being founded for the purpose of teaching and perfecting it, in the reign of Louis Quatorze. In this academy were trained many of the most distinguished dancers of both sexes." One of the most celebrated, Madame Simonet, gave the following account to Mr. Sheldrake of the mode of instruction pursued in the academy:--"All the pupils, before they were permitted to attempt to dance, were completely instructed in what were called the preparatory exercises; that is, a system of exercises, which endued all their limbs with strength, firmness, elasticity, and activity; when they had acquired these properties, they began to dance.

"In these preparatory exercises, the motions were of the most simple kind, the object being to teach the pupil, gradually and separately, all those movements which, when combined, and rapidly executed, constitute dancing." Madame Simonet thus described those elementary instructions, as gone through by herself:--"She successively learned to stand flat and firm upon both her feet, with her limbs quite straight, and the whole person perfectly upright, but not stiff; then to lift one foot from the ground, and to keep it so for some time without moving any part of her body; she then replaced that foot on the ground, and raised the other in the same manner. These simple actions were repeated till the pupils were quite familiar with them; they were then directed to keep the body quite erect, but not stiff, and bearing firmly upon one leg, to raise the other from the ground, gradually and slowly, by bending the upper joint of the limb, at the same time making the knee straight, and putting the toe to its proper extent, but no more. The foot, after it had been kept in this state for some time, was returned to the ground from whence it was taken, and the other foot treated in the same manner; when quite familiarized to these actions, they were directed to walk (march, as some people will call it) slowly, performing the same motions with the feet alternately." The exercises which followed these, were upon the turning out of the feet, the balancing of the body, and other attitudes, which need not be particularized.

Mr. Sheldrake gives several examples of persons trained upon these initiatory principles to the profession of dancing, who have lived in health to a great age. "This," says he, "is not the chance lot of a few; for I have, through life, been accustomed to see many persons of the same profession; I have communicated my own observations to many others, and all have agreed in remarking, that those who follow this profession have, very generally, excellent health, which very many of them carry into extreme old age. This indisputable fact can only be accounted for by supposing that the preparatory exercises which these persons go through, are a modification of what I have called regulated muscular tension, or action, and the early and constant practice of which lays a firm foundation for that high health which accompanies them through life. It is upon the same principle that a soldier is never seen with spinal curvature, or other personal deformity, or a stage dancer of either sex with a deformed person; it is, perhaps, impossible that such things should exist, for the plain reason, that the exercises which they begin to practice early in life, and continue regularly through its whole course, render it impossible for them to become so.

"The inference to be drawn from these incontrovertible facts is, that if we, in very early life, teach young children to practice similar exercises, and follow them steadily afterwards, we shall confirm them in excellent health, and prevent the accession of those evils which so often cause deformity to the figure, and destruction to the constitution, at later periods of life. I do not propose to make every boy a soldier, or every girl a dancer upon the stage, but to adopt the principles, by the application of which those persons are trained to the successful practices of their several occupations, and so to modify them, that they may qualify other classes of society to follow their different pursuits with equal success; and I am not without hopes that this undertaking will contribute something towards producing this desirable effect."

Dancing is an exercise which has been practiced by mankind from the most remote ages. With the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Persians, the founders of the three great empires of the ancient world, dancing was the favorite exercise or accomplishment, and the practice was not less prevalent among their successors in power and importance, the Greeks and Romans. The Jews, also, we learn from Scripture, were strongly attached to the exercise at all periods of their history.

At the present day, almost every people that exist, whether barbarous or civilized, has its own form of dancing. It is this universality of the exercise that makes dancing a subject of importance. Being so extensively practiced, it must be the instrument either of good or evil to the human race.

It is one of the most healthful and elegant amusements, and cannot be too highly recommended. Among a rude and dissolute people it may degenerate into something worthy of condemnation; but all the blessings we have are similarly liable to abuse, and it would be most unjust to condemn a cheerful domestic amusement, merely because it has, at times, been degraded by people of low, vulgar, immoral tastes. By all physicians, dancing, when pursued in moderation, is recommended as highly conducive to bodily health; and it may be truly said, that, allied with music, nothing is more conducive to mental health, more calculated to drive away melancholy, and put the whole temper into good humor.

Dancing is the poetry of motion. It must be performed with ease and grace, and always with a perfect regard for propriety of movement.

As an art it is taught by professed masters; and one of the leading rules given to the learner is to raise and lower herself gracefully on the elastic part of her feet, and to keep perfect time to the music. Dancing is really a simple and elegant gliding on the toes, which bend more or less to accommodate the steps, and prevent harsh, ungraceful motion.

The most popular dances of the present day, are, first, the quadrille.

These are of French origin, comparatively tranquil in their character, and generally danced once or more in every party. They are danced by four couples, one standing on each side of a square. There are many sets of quadrilles, the figures in each varying from the others. But there are five figures in each set. The plain, fancy, Lancers, Polka, Mazourka, and German, are among the most popular.

In plain quadrilles, a lady takes no steps, merely walking gracefully through the figures, but her feet must keep perfect time to the music, and she must know the changes of position perfectly.

A quadrille may be very properly described as a conversation dance, as there are long pauses between the figures, when the dancers must have a fund of small talk ready for their partners.

When moving in the figures, hold out your skirt a little with the right hand, merely to clear the ground, and prevent the possibility of treading upon it.

Next come the round dances, the Valse, Polka, Schottische, Varsovienne, and Redowa.

The Waltz is danced both a troistemps and deuxtemps. In the waltz, the position is a most important point. You may so lean upon your partner's arm, and so carry your figure, that the prudish can find but little fault, but you can also make the dance a most immodest one. I cannot, within the limits of my book, go into a long argument as to the propriety of these round dances. Opinions differ, and I am not writing a sermon, but giving, as far as is in my power, hints to ladies in society. It is, therefore, enough for me to know that these dances are tolerated, and that, even were I so inclined, I could not exclude them.

To return to the position. Stand a little to the right of your partner, that, in clasping your waist, he may draw you upon his arm to his shoulder, not his breast; the last position is awkward. By observing the first, you have your head free; turn it a little towards the left shoulder; need I say, never lay it upon your partner's shoulder? Throw the head and shoulders a little back, not too much to be consistent with easy grace, place one hand upon your partner's shoulder, and the other in his disengaged hand. So, you are ready to start.

The waltz may be danced to very fast time, or to slow music. The last is the most graceful, and there is not so much danger of giddiness. Grace can only be gained by a perfect timing of the steps to the music, and also evenness of step. It is, when properly timed with perfect step, and easy, gliding motion, the most graceful of dances. The Germans, who dance for the sake of dancing, will only allow a certain number of waltzers on the floor at one time, and these waltz in streams, all going down one side of the room and up the other, thus rendering collisions impossible.

An English writer, in a recent work published on etiquette, speaks of waltzing thus:--

"It is perhaps useless to recommend flat-foot waltzing in this country, where ladies allow themselves to be almost hugged by their partners, and where men think it necessary to lift a lady almost off the ground, but I am persuaded that if it were introduced, the outcry against the impropriety of waltzing would soon cease. Nothing can be more delicate than the way in which a German holds his partner. It is impossible to dance on the flat foot unless the lady and gentleman are quite free of one another. His hand, therefore, goes no further round her waist than to the hooks and eyes of her dress, hers, no higher than to his elbow. Thus danced, the waltz is smooth, graceful, and delicate, and we could never in Germany complain of our daughter's languishing on a young man's shoulder. On the other hand, nothing is more graceless and absurd, than to see a man waltzing on the tips of his toes, lifting his partner off the ground, or twirling round and round with her like the figures on a street organ. The test of waltzing in time, is to be able to stamp the time with the left foot. The waltz is of German origin, but where it is still danced in Germany in the original manner, (as, for instance, among the peasants of the Tyrol,) it is a very different dance. It is there very slow and graceful; the feet are thrown out in a single long step, which Turveydrop, I presume, would call a jete. After a few turns, the partners waltz alone in the same step, the man keeping the time by striking together his iron-shod heels, until with a shout and clapping of hands he again clasps his partner and continues in the same slow measure with her."

The position for the polka, redowa, and other round dances, should be the same as that for the waltz, and for the steps, they can only be acquired from a dancing teacher, and are impossible to describe properly.

One of the most delightful accomplishments which a lady can possess, and one which is unfortunately but little cultivated, is the art of reading aloud well; reading with expression, taste, animation, and correctness; and this art once acquired, let her also be able to recite well.

Long lectures may be given upon elocution, but the advice can be condensed into two directions. First, be sure you pronounce, accent, and enunciate every word correctly; then, throw your whole soul into the words. Study your author carefully, that you may know precisely what he means by each expression, and then try to bury your personal identity, to become, for the time, the character you represent.

One of the most delightful ways to spend a social evening, is to devote it to dramatic literature. Invite only guests who read well, or who are really interested listeners, and select a play, or scenes from several plays, and cast the parts among your guests. All jealousy must be put aside, and to-night's Hamlet must condescend to direct Richard to

"Stand by, my lord, and let the coffin pass,"


After a few meetings, the peculiar talent of each reader will be recognized, and you can select your tragedy hero, comedy hero, queen, chambermaid, and other members of the force, with a view to the display of each one's best powers. Vary the entertainment by reciting monologues and dialogues. A whole play will often be found tiresome; it is best to select several scenes, keeping up the thread of the plot, and introducing the best characters, and leave out what is mere interlude, and dispense with some of the subordinate characters.

Leave one end of the room entirely vacant for the readers. You will find it more interesting to have the readers stand, and use some little motion; the words will flow more easily, the expressions come more forcibly if the appropriate gesture is made. Love scenes will, of course, require delicate handling, and embracing can be easily omitted; neither would I recommend the action of a dueling scene, or a murder, but merely to add gesture enough to give interest to both readers and audience.

You will find some little difficulty from bashfulness, and the "don't like to" people at first, but soon you will discover with delight how many of your friends possess the talent for reading well, and never knew it themselves.

You will do well to take a few lessons in elocution, but you need not fear to read if you have never made the accomplishment a study. With a correct knowledge of your own language, and a love for fine writing, you will soon read well.

Give to every part you undertake, the full effect intended by the writer. Do not throw all your energy, your whole soul, into a leading part at one time, and slight a subordinate character at another. If you have but five words to read, read them as they would be spoken were you the character you represent for the time. To hear a splendidly written, tragic burst of passion read in a weak, whining voice, is no worse than to have a few simple words from a servant's lips delivered with the gesture and emphasis suited to a Medea or Lady Macbeth.

I shall be condemned by many serious and well-judging persons, if I say one word in favor of private theatricals; yet, as it appears to me, there are in these diversions some advantages which are not to be found to excuse the waltz, or the polka, or the ballet, or the hunting field. In private theatricals there is the possibility of some benefit. The study of the finest dramatists, especially of Shakespeare, is not likely to demoralize the mind, or to cool the enthusiasm for what is good. We can scarcely know too well those works which have tended more to form character than any collection of any kind whatsoever.

Shakespeare, Sheridan, Bulwer,--but I cannot go through the list of fine dramatic writers whose works elevate the mind and taste. The plays of Sheridan, Knowles, and Bulwer, are, in most instances, well adapted for private representations--the most exquisite delineations of female character may be found in the dramatic library, and high, pure, manly thoughts, may be traced, line after line, to the same source.

Private theatricals should, however, be regulated with much judgment. I see no reason to restrict too severely talent of this kind where it exists, any more than to crush a dawning taste for the other fine arts. What we have to do is to raise and direct it; never to let it occupy too much time, nor to become the business of life; never to let it infringe upon duties; never to allow it to lead us into an unreasonable, and, therefore, criminal expense. Our ancestors were content to strew their stage at the end of their halls with rushes, and to hang up the name of the scene, instead of a scene, before each act. The best preparations, which generally render private theatricals both laborious and expensive, add but little to the pleasure of the beholders, whose attention is fixed upon the actors, and who can always see far finer scenes at a minor theatre than at any private theatricals. Were we content with greater simplicity in our amusements, how much vain ostentation, heart-sickening expense, self-recrimination, and trouble, might be avoided!

As a valid objection to private theatricals, it has been urged that they are apt to encourage a taste for the green-room of the public theatre in young men and boys; in women the risk is less, for few women are ever known to go on the stage except from necessity. I own this objection to theatricals is the greatest that can be urged. It can only be answered in mitigation that, where there exists a taste of the kind, it is better that it should be indulged at home, instead of at the theatre, with the modest inmates of a well-governed house, instead of with professional actors. Like all other amusements, the abuse is probable, but the power of restraint rests within ourselves.

Under the same head as private theatricals may come dramatized charades and proverbs, so much in fashion at the present time. These last have some great advantages over the standard plays; they are better suited to a parlor; they do not provoke comparison between the young actors, and the favorite public idols; they require but little scenery and arrangement; they are short; and they do not require so many subordinate characters.

Impromptu charades and proverbs are delightful, and are the occasion for much merriment; the mistakes, the absurd contrasts between character and costume, the scenery--a deep, hanging wood, the court of Louis Quatorze or the deck of a man of war, being improvised at a moment's notice, only add to the merry enjoyment.

One rule you must observe if you join in these amusements: never to carry your gayety into romping. Merry and laughing you may be, yet never forget you are a lady. You may personate a newly-caught Irish chambermaid, use the broadest brogue, wear the commonest dress, throw yourself heartily and thoroughly into the part, losing your personal identity almost entirely, and yet you may retain that nameless charm, which will place you in the mind of each of the audience as a lady of refinement.

You must also be perfectly good-natured and self-sacrificing; ready to play the smallest parts with the same interest you would throw into the principal ones. Try to throw out all the good points in the parts taken by the other members of the company. If you play an insignificant part, play it well, with all the grace you can, make the most of it, but do not try to raise it to the first place. Yield gracefully the prominent position to those who claim it in the plot of the play, and never try by conspicuous dress or by play, to go beyond the position set down for you.

Another delightful accomplishment, and one which will aid you if you are studying drawing and painting, is that of arranging tableaux vivants.

Mrs. Severn gives the following hints upon this subject:

"Perhaps there is no intellectual amusement in fashionable life, the nature of which is so little understood, as the tableau vivant; it being generally considered as only a vehicle for display, whereas its real purpose is to arrange scientifically a combination of natural objects, so as to make a good picture according to the rules of art.

"A tableau vivant is literally what its name imports--a living picture composed of living persons; and, when skilfully arranged and seen at a proper distance, it produces all the effect of a real picture. It is said, that the first living picture was contrived by a profligate young German nobleman, who having, during the absence of his father, sold one of the celebrated pictures belonging to the old castle, which was an heir-loom, to conceal the deficiency, placed some of his companions behind the frame, so as to imitate the missing picture, and to deceive his father, who passed through the room without being conscious of his loss.

"A tableau vivant may be formed in two ways: it may consist of a group of persons, who take some well-known subject in history or fiction to illustrate, and who form a group to tell the story according to their own taste; or, it may be a copy, as exact as circumstances will permit, of some celebrated picture. The first plan, it may be easily imagined, is very rarely effective; since, as we find that even the best masters are often months, or even years, before they can arrange a group satisfactorily on canvas, it is not probable that persons who are not artists should succeed in making good impromptu pictures. Indeed, it has been observed, that artists themselves, when they have to arrange a tableau vivant, always prefer copying a picture to composing one.

"Copying a real picture, by placing living persons in the positions of the figures indicated in the picture, appears, at first sight, an easy task enough; and the effect ought to be easily attained, as there can be no bad drawing, and no confused light and shade, to destroy the effect of the grouping. There are, however, many difficulties to conquer, which it requires some knowledge of art to be aware of. Painting being on a flat surface, every means are taken to give roundness and relief to the figures, which qualities of course are found naturally in a tableau vivant. In a picture the light is made effective by a dark shadow placed near it; diminished lights or demi-tints are introduced to prevent the principal light appearing a spot; and these are linked together by artful shades, which show the outline in some places, and hide it in others. The colors must also be carefully arranged, so as to blend or harmonize with each other. A want of attention to these minute points will be sufficient to destroy the effect of the finest picture, even to those who are so unacquainted with art as to be incapable of explaining why they are dissatisfied, except by an involuntary liking or disliking of what they see.

"The best place for putting up a tableau vivant is in a door-way, with an equal space on each side; or, at least, some space on both sides is necessary; and if there is a room or a passage between the door selected for the picture and the room the company is to see it from, so much the better, as there should be a distance of at least four yards between the first row of the spectators and the picture. It must be remembered that, while the tableau is being shown, nearly all the lights must be put out in the room where the company is assembled; and, perhaps, only one single candle, properly placed, in the intervening space between the company and the tableau, must be left slightly to illuminate the frame. In the above-mentioned door-way a frame, somewhat smaller than the original picture, must be suspended, three, four, or even five feet from the floor, as may suit the height of the door; or, if the door is not very high, the frame may be put one or two feet behind, to gain space; but care must be taken to fill up the opening that would, in that case, show between the door-way and the frame; also a piece of dark cloth ought to be put from the bottom of the frame to the ground, to give the appearance of the picture hanging on the wall. The most important thing is, that the chairs or tables ought to be placed behind the frame, so that the persons who are to represent the tableau may sit or stand as nearly in the position, with regard to the frame, as the figures appear to do in the real picture they are trying to imitate, and at about two feet from the frame, so that the light which is attached to the back of the frame may fall properly on the figures. In order to accomplish this, great study and contrivance are required, so that the shades may fall in precisely the same places as in the original picture; and sometimes the light is put on one side, sometimes on the other, and often on the top; and sometimes shades of tin or paper are put between the lights and the tableaux, to assist in throwing a shadow over any particular part. The background is one of the most important parts, and should be made to resemble that of the picture as nearly as possible; if it is dark, coarse cloth absorbs the light best; but whether it is to be black, blue, or brown, must depend on the tint of the picture; should the background be a light one, colored calico, turned on the wrong side, is generally used. If trees or flowers form the background, of course real branches or plants must be introduced to imitate those in the picture. Even rocks have been imitated; and spun glass has often successfully represented water. A thin, black gauze, black muslin, or tarlatan veil, should be fastened to the top of the frame, on the outside of it, through which the tableau is to be seen.

"Care ought to be taken to conceal the peculiarities of the different materials used in the draperies, and it is even sometimes necessary to cover the stuffs used for the purpose with a gauze of a different color, so as to imitate the broken and transparent colors found in most good pictures. This, carefully attended to, will give a quietness and simplicity to the whole, which will greatly add to the illusion."

The next subject upon the list of accomplishments, should be filled by some words upon fancy sewing. Under this head will come--Crochet, Knitting, Tapestry work, Embroidery, Chenille work, Netting, Canvas work, Berlin wool work, Frame work, Braiding, Bead work, etc.

Small social gatherings will be much more entertaining, the time will pass much more quickly, and the conversation flows more freely if the fingers are employed with some light work.

Pretty presents--nay, beautiful ones--may be made in this way, when the fingers would otherwise be idle, and these will have an additional value in being the work of your own hands.

From the most remote ages needlework has been, not only a source of pecuniary advantage for poor women, but also of pleasant pastime for the rich. It is one of the most elegant of the imitative art, and from time immemorial it has been an amusement for otherwise idle fingers, from the cottage to the palace.

I have not space for a long disquisition upon the uses and pleasures of fancy work; every woman has moments when such pretty playwork will be a valuable recreation. The taste for fancy work increases daily, and can be made not only ornamental, but useful. A ladies' wardrobe consists of so many, and such varied objects, that the evenings of an entire winter may be spent in making various useful garments, which are, at the same time, suitable for company sewing. Opera hoods, wool shawls, sleeves, Sontags, and other ladies' articles, may be varied by embroidering smoking caps, slippers, or handkerchiefs for gentlemen.

Embroidering on canvas, or tapestry work, opens a large field for taste and skill in execution. Beautiful articles for presents, chair covers, sofa cushions, slippers, may be worked in the otherwise idle moments spent in familiar society, and the fingers will soon acquire skill and astonishing rapidity.

The German ladies have constantly on hand a piece of netting or other fancy work, which they carry from place to place, and take out when conversing; and so far from entirely engrossing their thoughts, they chat more readily and freely with their fingers thus employed.

American ladies will find the custom worth imitating. Many tedious hours will be smoothly, pleasantly passed, with the mind free, but the fingers pleasantly occupied.

An evening passed in sewing or knitting, with one good reader to entertain the industrious workers, will be found very pleasant. I have known a circle of young people meet every week to work in this way, the reader being changed twice or three times in the course of the evening, and these meetings have proved so pleasant, that scarcely any member failed to plead "prior engagement" if invited out upon the evening appointed to read and sew.

It was formerly objected by the adversaries to mental cultivation in women, that the acquirement of book learning would make them neglect needlework; but so far from this being the case, the present, which is often called the age of learning, is preeminently a working age. Never were fingers more actively engaged than those of the rising female generation; braiding, embroidery, Berlin work, knitting, netting, and crochet, are all in full play. A long neglected work has been recently revived, called by the French "La Frivolite." It is very pretty evening work, partly because it does not impede conversation, for it may be carried on almost without looking at it, and partly because no other work shows to so much advantage the grace and delicacy of the hands. The most simple form of this work was anciently known under the name of Tatting, but that only consisted of a series of loops in a straight line, which were used for trimming linen articles, and which was not so pretty as La Frivolite, which has varieties which are a good imitation of point, and may be used for collars and sleeves.

I give a few specimens of pretty work for evening sewing, and refer the reader to "The Ladies' Handbook of Embroidery," published by G. G. Evans, for a full, complete description of every kind of fancy work, with specimens, patterns, and clear, plain directions.

NETTED CUFFS--These cuffs are very pretty, and easy to make. They are in plain netting, and will require white, and five shades of scarlet wool.

Set on thirty-five stitches of the white wool. Net five rows, then take a mesh a very little larger, and widen by netting two stitches in every stitch. Then net with the smallest mesh the two lightest shades, one row of each, and two rows of the other three shades. Then graduate the shades back again to white, narrowing the first row of white with the larger mesh. Net ten rows with the smaller mesh, widen again, repeat the shades of red, narrow again, and finish with the five rows of white.


MATERIALS REQUIRED--Half an ounce of white and half an ounce of shaded Berlin wool will be sufficient.

Cast on a hundred stitches with white wool, and knit and pearl alternately for four rows.

Shaded wool--Knit one row plain; next row bring forward, and take two together to the end.

White wool--Knit and pearl alternately four rows.

Shaded wool--Knit plain six rows.

White wool--Knit a row, decreasing it by taking the first two stitches together, and the last two. Pearl a row. Knit a row, decreasing it as before. Pearl a row.

Shaded wool--Knit a row, decreasing at the beginning and end. Next row, bring forward and take two together to the end.

White wool--Knit a row, decreasing at both ends. Pearl a row. Knit a row, decreasing as before. Pearl a row.


SHADED WOOL--1st row--Slip one. Knit two plain stitches (a.) Wool forward. Knit one. Wool forward. Knit two together. Knit one. Knit two together. Repeat from (a.)

2nd row--Pearled.

3rd row--Slip one. Knit two plain stitches (b.) Wool forward. Knit three plain stitches. Wool forward. Slip one. Knit two together. Pass the slipped stitch over the knitted ones. Repeat from (b.)

4th row--Pearled.

5th row--Slip one. Knit two plain stitches, (c.) Wool forward. Knit two together. Knit one. Knit two together. Wool forward. Knit one. Repeat from (c.)

6th row--Pearled.

7th row--Slip one. Knit two plain stitches (d.) Wool forward. Slip one. Knit two together. Pass the slipped stitch over the knitted ones. Wool forward. Knit three plain stitches. Repeat from (d.)

8th row--Pearled. Repeat the last eight rows.

White wool--Knit and pearl alternately for four rows; decrease at the beginning and ending of the two plain rows.

Shaded wool--Knit one plain row; decrease at the beginning and ending. Next row; bring the wool forward, knit two together to the end of the row.

White wool--Knit and pearl alternately for four rows; decrease at the beginning and ending of the two plain rows.

Knit eighteen plain stitches, run a piece of cotton through the remaining sixty-two stitches. Pearl and knit alternately, decreasing at the beginning and ending of every plain row, until you have four stitches remaining; cast them off; then take up eighteen stitches on the opposite sides, and work a piece to correspond; leaving forty-four centre stitches on the cotton.

Take up the centre stitches on a needle pointed at both ends, draw the cotton out; then pick up fourteen stitches at each end of the needle.

Shaded wool--Knit two plain rows.

White wool--Knit one plain row. Next row; wool forward, knit two together to the end of the row.

Shaded wool--Knit two plain rows and cast off. Join the two points together at the back of the cap. Fold the front at the first pattern row, and hem it to form the scallop at the edge. Pick up eighty stitches at the back of the cap.


It is well known that worked muslin collars, particularly if the work is good, very soon wear out; as the work is too heavy for the muslin, which, when it has been washed two or three times, becomes full of slits and holes, though the work is still as good as ever. When this is the case, cut the muslin off the work with a pair of sharp scissors, and lay the work on the pattern of a collar cut in paper, so as to fill the whole of the pattern. The work may be taken from two or three collars; the arrangement of it must depend upon taste. When the cut-out work is properly arranged, it must be tacked or basted to the paper pattern; and this is best done with colored thread, that no mistake may arise when the basting threads are to be drawn out. Four or six threads are then drawn from one piece of work to another, with a needle and cotton, so as to attach them together, and the loose threads are then overcast like button-holes, so as to imitate the uniting threads of point lace. When well done, with a sufficient quantity of the uniting threads, to make the work firm, these collars are handsome, and will wash and wear well.


It is now customary to knit white veils of what is called Lady Betty's wool, for babies to put over their faces when they are carried out in cold weather, instead of pocket-handkerchiefs, which were formerly used for the purpose, though they were very unfit for it. Knitted veils in black silk or worsted are also worn by grown-up persons. The veils for babies are very simple in their construction; they consist of oblong pieces of knitting of any width and depth that may be required, with knitted lace at the bottom and sides, and a string case at the top. The following pattern is the most common:

Knit and pearl alternately four rows, so that there may be two of each; then bring forward and take two together an entire row. This pattern is repeated through the entire veil; and it must be observed, that as many stitches must be cast on as will make it of the necessary width. The needles should be of the smallest size, of bone. Any lace will do; but the following pattern, though not new, is both pretty and suitable; and has, besides, the important recomendation of being very easy.

Cast on eleven stitches and knit a row plain, then begin the pattern.

1st row--Knit three; bring forward and take two together; knit one, take two together; put the thread twice round the needle, take two together, and knit one.

2nd row--Knit two, pearl one, knit one, put the thread twice round the needle, take two together, bring forward, and knit five.

3rd row--Knit three, bring forward, take two together, knit one, bring forward, knit two, pearl one, bring forward, take two together, and knit two.

4th row--Knit two, bring forward, knit five, bring forward, take two together, knit five.

5th row--Knit three, bring forward, and take two together, knit the rest plain.

6th row--Cast off four, and knit the rest plain.


Examine carefully the form of the needle, and try the hook, to ascertain that it is perfectly smooth. Some are so sharp and ill-made as to tear the cotton. Select those which are not of uniform thickness up to the hook; the best are those which are thinner there than an inch farther up. Where the needle is not proportionally fine near the hook, it is almost impossible to keep the work even.

Chain stitch ought to be done rather loosely, as working on it afterwards contracts it, and is apt to give it a puckered appearance. It is often advisable to use a needle one size larger for making the chain than for the rest of the work, especially in edgings. It will be found much easier to work the succeeding rows when this precaution is taken. Crochet needles should be kept in a housewife similar to those used for ordinary needles. The slightest soil or rust should be effaced with fine sandpaper.


Take two pieces of fine silk braid, scarlet or royal blue, and a No. 3 bone crochet hook.

Make a chain of eight stitches, unite the ends, and then D. C. the first round, putting two stitches into each loop; there will now be sixteen stitches and in the next round one long must be worked into every stitch, and two chain between each long; the round will now consist of forty-eight stitches, and we commence the pattern, or diamonds.

3rd round--Three long, two chain, four long with two chain after each, and these long put into every second loop; repeat.

4th round--Five long, two chain, five long with two chain after each, and these long put into every second loop with the exception of the fifth or last of them, which must skip two stitches instead of one; repeat.

5th round--Seven long, two chain, seven long with two chain after each, and each of these long put into every second stitch; repeat.

6th round--Five long, two chain, five long with two chain after each, and each of these long put into every other stitch, three long, two chain, five long again with two chain after each, and each put into every second stitch; repeat from beginning.

7th round--Three long, two chain, five long with two chain after each and worked in every third loop, five long, two chain, five long again with two chain after each, and these long worked as aforesaid in every third loop; repeat from beginning.

8th round--One long, two chain, five long with two chain after each and these long put into every third stitch, seven long, two chain, again five long, &c. &c.; repeat from beginning.

9th round--Six long with two chain after each and work in every third stitch, (five long, twelve long with two chain after each, these long put in every third stitch); repeat the pattern in brackets.

10th round--Nine long with two chain after them, these long being worked in every second loop, (three long, two chain, nineteen long with two chain after them, and the long worked in every second loop); repeat the pattern in brackets.

11th, 12th, and 13th rounds--A long and two chain all round, and the long being worked alternately in every second and third loop; care being taken to bring one into the position to complete each diamond as it is come to.

A crochet edging, begun with braid, and the last two or three rows worked with gold twist as nearly the size of the braid as may be, and a cord and tassels, finish off this elegant head-dress.

The cord should be run in and out through the thirteenth round. We, however, prefer a single-crochet band of some fifty stitches long and six or eight wide, worked in the same material as the net, to a cord, and this band may be finished off with a piece of gold fringe instead of tassels at the ends, or with a scallop of edging crocheted in gold twist.


Take three pieces of fine embroidery chenille, and a No. 3 bone crochet hook.

Make a chain of about forty stitches, or one long enough to go round the wrist; Dc one row.

3rd row--Two long, one chain and miss a stitch--repeat this all along. Then one row Dc.

6th row--Long crochet worked very loosely, so much so as to leave these stitches at least half an inch high; two stitches to be put into every second or third loop and one in each of the others all the way along; fasten off.

Join the chenille now on to the first row, and work a similar row or frill to the one just directed, so that there be one on each side.

Run a narrow velvet through the holes of the third row and affix wider velvet ends, or chenille tassels to each extremity. Finish off with a button and loop, and flute the frill on each side over the finger to make it set.

We need scarcely say that the chenille used should be selected to match or agree with the evening dress, and that the velvet must match the chenille.

These bands may be made to look very handsome by working a row of Dc loosely and evenly along the edge of each frill with gold or silver twist, and running a band of gold or silver braid or trimming through the holes in the third row instead of velvet. Then small bullion tassels to match the twist will form a suitable and elegant finish.

These bands may be worked round and slid over the hand like muffatees, or made open as we have directed and buttoned, like the glove. The buttons should be covered with crochet, and the loops crocheted.


Three ounces of Three thread White Fleecy Wool. Pair of No. 10 Bone Knitting Pins. Cast on forty-five stitches.

Knit three rows.

4th row--Knit ten; X make two and knit two together; knit one; X knit the last six stitches.

5th row--Knit, dropping the second of each of the two made stitches all along.

Knit eight rows.

14th row--Knit ten; X make one and knit two together X repeat until six remain; knit three; make one; knit three.

15th row--Knit six; X make one and knit two together X repeat until ten remain, which knit.

Repeat these two rows three times more each, only not enlarging one (as in the end of row fourteen), every time, but only once in four rows, merely knitting the six in the intervening rows.

22nd row--Knit. Knit the next seven rows.

30th row--Same as 14th.

31st row--Same as 15th.

Keep on alternately knitting eight open, and then eight knitted rows, and enlarging one stitch at the end in every fourth row until there are a hundred and twenty-four rows.

Then decrease one stitch at the beginning or front in every other row for thirty-two rows, still continuing the pattern as before, and still enlarging one stitch in every fourth row, at the end or back. This shapes one side of the neck.

Now knit forty-eight rows without increase or decrease at either end, continuing the pattern or alternation of eight open and eight plain knitted rows. This forms the back of the neck and the bottom of the back of the habit-shirt.

In the next thirty-two rows we diminish one in every fourth row, by knitting two together at the back, while at the same time in every fourth row, at the back, we knit two together, and make one in order to form a series of holes, or pattern parallel to that on the other side caused by enlarging in every fourth row. We also cast on one, at the opposite end, in every other row, to shape the second side of the neck. We then knit one hundred and twelve rows, having each ten knitted stitches in the front of the habit-shirt, as on the opposite side, and six at the back, and decreasing one in every fourth row, at the back, and continuing the pattern, and also the series of holes at the back.

Knit eight rows.

Knit ten stitches, X make two and knit two together; X knit six at end.

Knit all, dropping the second of each of the two made stitches. Knit two rows; cast off.

Now, with same needles, pick up the stitches all along the right front of the habit-shirt; knit two rows and cast off. Do the same on the left front. Then pick up those of the neck, and do the same, shaping it, if necessary, by knitting two together occasionally. These finishing-off rows look pretty done in pale pink or blue wool. Button-holes may be made thus:--in the front or where the ten stitches are, and about once in thirty rows, knit three; cast off four; knit three instead of knitting the ten as usual. Next row, when we get back to the ten stitches, knit three; cast on four; knit three.


Half an ounce of White Lamb's Wool. Three No. 13 Knitting Needles. Cast on Thirty stitches.

1st row--Knit.

2nd row--Knit two; make or enlarge one stitch by picking up one from the previous row and knitting it; knit all the rest.

3rd row--Knit. Repeat second and third rows alternately four times more each of them.

12th row--Knit two; make a stitch according to directions above given; knit rest until four remain; knit two together; knit two.

13th row--Knit. Repeat these two rows alternately three times more each.

20th row--Knit two; enlarge one as before directed; knit rest until two remain; enlarge one; knit two.

21st row--Knit. Repeat these two rows alternately three more times each.

28th row--Knit.

29th row--Knit fourteen stitches, and leave the other upon the needle. Take up the third needle and knit twenty rows more, of fourteen stitches each.

49th row--Knit two together; knit twelve; on same needle, and with same wool, cast on twenty-seven stitches.

50th row--Knit.

51st row--Knit two; knit two together; knit rest until four remain; knit two together; knit two.

52nd row--Knit. Repeat these two rows alternately twice more each.

57th row--Knit two; make one in manner directed; knit rest until four remain; knit two together; knit two.

58th row--Knit. Repeat these two rows alternately three times more each.

65th row--Knit all until four remain; knit two together; knit two.

66th row--Knit. Repeat these two rows alternately four more times each.

75th row--Knit.

76th row--Cast off.

This completes the slipper portion of the sock. We now begin the instep-piece. Take the wool and knit off ten stitches from the needle on which the twenty-seven stitches were left; knit these ten from the toe-end, or that where the twenty rows of fourteen stitches each has been made; leave the remaining seventeen stitches still on the same needle. Knit twenty rows of ten stitches, and in every other one pick up the edge-stitch of the toe-piece and knit it with the tenth stitch, so as to unite these two portions, viz: the toe and the instep. With each stitch of the twentieth row, an edge-stitch of the side at the toe-end of the slipper must be picked up, knitted and cast off, and a neat and entire union of the toe of the slipper and the instep piece formed.

This instep piece is to be ribbed in rows of four, viz: four rows in which the plain side is uppermost, and four rows in which the pearled side is uppermost.

We now commence the leg portion of the sock.

With the needle which has been left in the first side of the slipper carefully pick up the edge-stitches all along the instep-piece and side of the slipper; when this is done, there should be about fifty on the needle. Take the wool and knit all along, including the picked up stitches, and the seventeen originally on the needle. Knit two rows.

4th row--Knit two; X make two (not by picking up, but in the ordinary way, by passing the wool twice over the needle), and knit two together; knit one; X repeat.

5th row--Knit all; casting off one of each of the double made stitches. Now knit twenty rows ribbed like the instep-piece.

26th row--X Knit one; make one and knit two together; X repeat all round.

27th row--Knit.

28th row--Knit two; X make one and knit two together; knit one; X repeat.

29th, 30th, and 31st rows--Knit.

32nd row--Cast off.

Take a wool needle, thread it with wool, and sew up the sock neatly, stitch for stitch, from the top of the leg to the point of the sole; then sew the toe; turn it; put on a little rosette of raveled wool; run a ribbon in and out through the holes at rows 4 and 5, of the leg portion, and it is completed.

As this is intended for an Infant's Sock, we have ordered white wool, that being most useful; should it, however, be wished to knit socks for an older baby, the slipper may be made of Cerise, Scarlet, Pale Blue, Green, or Straw-colored wool; and the 26th, 27th, and 28th rows, of the leg portion, and the casting-off done in the color of the slipper; while the instep-piece and the rest of the sock are made in white wool.

The sock may also be enlarged by casting on extra stitches in the beginning, and adding a couple of rows to each of the divisions of the slipper part, and enough to the toe to preserve its form and symmetry.

Almost any of the open anti-maccassar patterns may be used for knitting the sock and instep-piece, if a light lace-like appearance is desired. The well-known rose-leaf pattern looks particularly pretty.

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