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aired. A face cloth always warm is one of the luxuries in our House
Comfortable.

After sanitation, ventilation takes its place in the home.
How to secure a constant supply of fresh air is a question
which demands most serious consideration. In ages past, houses
were unintentionally ventilated by the ill-fitting doors and
window-frames, wide chimneys, and open fire-places. But in our
modern buildings comfort is secured by almost air-tight doors and
windows. Ventilators at the top of such are delightful and necessary
for real comfort, or a Queen Anne casement may have a swing in its
upper frame. It is not always easy, however, to secure exemption
from draught in our modern mansions. When the brick-and-mortar fiend
has placed door, window, and fireplace exactly opposite each other,
screens must be judiciously used. A brass rod from which hangs a
curtain, screwed into the door jamb and suspended by a tiny chain
from the ceiling, is a good thing, or an ordinary _portière_ may be
allowed. The former plan, however, enables us to keep the door open
without feeling a wind.

Padded stair-carpets secure noiseless ascent in the House
Comfortable. Cork mats by the big bath are welcome to bare feet.
Many cupboards are a necessity. A place for everything and
everything in its place is one of the initial rules for everyone's
comfort. It is also Divine law. Hanging presses, medicine cupboards,
butler's pantry, housemaid's closets, keep dresses from dust,
poisons from the unwary, silver and glass intact, and brushes unworn.

The House Comfortable must not be over-servanted. Neither must it
be undermanned. Of the two evils, the latter is preferable, as the
mistress herself then looks after the minutiæ of her house. With all
deference to Matthew Prior, comfort does not flow on a line with
ignorance. It requires a cultivated intelligence to provide such in
our homes.

Education has done much for us on this point. How not to do it
in the House Comfortable is exemplified by the abodes of our
forefathers. Going over Beaumaris Castle the other day, I noted
the small apertures for exit; the high caverns of chimneys; the
windows of horn; the crooked stairs. Nowadays we find stoves and
slow combustion grates quite a necessity for comfort - whilst lofty
ceilings, broad staircases, and wide windows can be quite as
picturesque, and are far more to be desired.

The dictionary definition of the word "comfort" implies enlivenment
and capability for dispensing bodily ease. For this, moral qualities
are as necessary as well-planned, well-equipped houses.

Punctuality, for instance, is an ingredient required to secure a
comfortable home.

When breakfast and dinner are movable feasts, served up at the whim
of a lie-a-bed or a gad-about, they can only be make-believes,
after all. Cold coffee is unpalatable even when partaken of in a
sunny room. Whitey-brown sausages are unappetising unless piping
from the pot. Yet this - like all other virtues - may be strained
too far. Nothing is more uncomfortable than to feel no latitude is
allowed to a weary guest, or to find one's host at marmalade three
minutes after the time appointed for the disappearance of a savoury.
Courtesy in this must be our rule. Neatness is another necessity.
No house can be really comfortable that is littered with papers,
or in which boots lie in the drawing-room - yet finickiness in
arrangement makes the home unbearable. The most uncomfortable visit
I ever paid was to the most scientifically correct house. Chairs
were not allowed to touch the wall-paper; footstools never shifted.
A towel for wiping down the varnish of the bath was provided, and - I
was made miserable! By all means keep paint and paper in as much
primitive purity as possible, but let unobtrusive service guard
these points.

Much more could I discourse of the House Comfortable, but space
forbids. Let me only remind you that the veriest cottage - plenished
with wisdom and lovingly provided - may fulfil all its conditions
just as well as the most luxurious castle.

Told in Sunshine Room.]




[Illustration: DONKEY BOY]

DONKEY BOY TO THE QUEEN

_A TRUE INCIDENT._

By Alfred T. Story

Part II.


A week passed before anything further was heard. Then a summons came
for Tam to appear before her Majesty on the following afternoon. He
was duly in attendance, and had not long to wait before a man in
Highland costume came into the room where he was seated and said -

"Noo, my braw laddie, her Most Gracious Majesty and his Royal
Highness the Prince Consort will come in through that door in twa
seconds. When they enter all you hae to dy is ta stan' up an' mak'
yer obeisance. An' when they ax ye a question jist ye say yes or
nae, your Majesty, or your Royal Highness, as the case may be. An'
if they ax ye naething - weel, jist ye say naething in return."

With these words the wise servitor withdrew. Barely had he gone out
of one door ere the other opened, and the same lady he had seen
before, leaning on the arm of the gentleman he likewise remembered,
appeared before friend Tam. They were both dressed much more richly
than when he had previously seen them, the lady having a brilliant
star on her breast, and the gentleman wearing a silken sash over his
shoulder.

For a moment the boy was confused, but he recovered himself
sufficiently to recollect that he had to make an "obeisance." He had
omitted to ask the Highland gentleman what that was, but he thought
it must be something like the soldier's salute, and so he stood
perfectly upright and saluted.

"So you have come, my lad, to see her Majesty about the position of
donkey-boy?" said the gentleman.

"Yes, sir - your Royal Highness," replied Tam. Only when he had got
out the word "sir" did it flash upon him that he was standing before
the Queen and her Royal Consort.

"Well, her Majesty has caused inquiries to be made about you, and
she finds that, although you are a little wayward and sometimes
disobedient to your grandparents, you are not on the whole a bad
boy."

"No, your Royal Highness," said Tam.

"Does that mean that you are not a bad boy, or that you do not
sometimes disobey your grandparents?"

This question, though backed by a genial smile, somewhat
disconcerted the would-be donkey-boy. He was silent for a moment,
then he answered, looking first at one and then at the other, with
that straight glance of his, "I hae sometimes been disobedient to
my grandparents, but I think I have learned better now."

"I am glad to hear that," said the Prince.

Then, speaking for the first time, the Queen said, "Well, Tam, if I
make you my donkey-boy, will you promise to be obedient to all my
slightest wishes and commands? Do not answer lightly. I am a severe
mistress in that I expect the strictest obedience and attention
to duty. But I, in return, am strict in doing my duty to those I
employ."

"And if you prove a worthy and trustworthy servant," added the
Prince, "your position is secure for life."

"Not, however, as a mere donkey-boy all your days," put in the Queen
with a smile.

Said Tam with a faltering tongue: "If ye'll try me, your Majesty,
I'll do my best, and," he added, as though struck with a sudden
thought, "I'll no need to lick the donkeys, 'cos I ken hoo ta mek
'em run 'thout the stick."

[Illustration: Yetta threw up her hands in amaze.]

"And how do you do that?" asked the Prince with a smile.

"I meks 'em carry a bunch o' thistles afore 'em."

"Well, we will see," replied her Majesty, smiling. "Now you may run
home and tell your grandparents you are to be ready to begin duty
this day week. But before you go you will see the gentleman who
spoke to you a minute or two ago."

With these words and a kindly smile the Sovereign and her Royal
Consort withdrew.

The one door closed, the other immediately opened, and again entered
the Highland gentleman. "Sae ye hae been engagit ta look after ta
cuddies, eh?" he questioned.

Tam said he had.

"Aweel, it's a verra guid step in life for a young callant to
begin wi', an' if ye tek heed there's nae telling whereto it may
lead - ablins even to the primiership, if ye ken what that is. For ye
mun know, the gift o' the heaven-made Prime Minister is just to ken
hoo ta manage a' th' human cuddies that are sent to Parliament to
bother 'em. But mebbe a' that's a wee bit abune yer understanding as
yet, and sae we'll just leave it an' speer aboot yer claes."

Needless to say how surprised Donal and Yetta were to hear Tam's
story, how thankful to reflect that their boy was to have such a
start in life. He reported to them what had been said, and the
promise he had given, and they believed that, like the Jamison he
was, he would be true to his word. All the same, they did not omit
to pray for that guidance and support for him without which his own
efforts would be vain.

The evening before Tam's week was up a parcel was delivered at
Jamison's door, addressed to his grandson. It contained a complete
new suit, as the Highland gentleman had said, "from the skin
outwards." Never was seen such a brave outfit, to Tam's thinking. He
turned it over and admired it, article by article, for at least a
couple of hours, but would not try it on, or any part of it, until
he had had a good wash. The tub was never a thing he was shy of, but
on this occasion it was used as though he intended to wash out his
every fault, as well as all the merely superficial smuts and stains
that had accumulated, so as to appear before his Queen a spotlessly
clean cuddy-tender.

When the operation was completed, Tam indued himself in his new
garments and went on parade, so to speak, before his grandmother.
Yetta was busy stirring the matutinal porridge when he walked into
the ben and said:

"How do I look, granny?"

Yetta, turning round, threw up her hands in amaze. She hardly knew
him, so great was the transformation effected by the new clothes and
the scrubbing he had given himself. Donal was no less surprised when
he came in from his morning milking. Tam looked two inches taller
and a lot sprucer.

"Ye mind me of yer puir father," said the old man as he sat down to
breakfast.

That was a note of sad recollection which brought tears to Yetta's
eyes; but a smile was soon gleaming through them when Tam, getting
sight of Meg, who was eyeing him as it were askance, said drily,
"Meg looks as if she hardly kenned what ta mek of her handiwark; for
the beginning o't was a' her doing."

Just then the noise of wheels was heard on the road, and as the
messenger who brought the clothes left word that one of the Queen's
carriages would pick him up on the morrow, Tam thought surely this
was the one. But it was not. Indeed, he ran to the door at least
twenty times ere, towards eleven o'clock, his vehicle arrived. It
was a quaint affair, half carriage, half wash-basket, drawn by two
asses, creatures as beautiful of their kind as could be found. It
was driven by her whom he knew, and by her side were several bright
little faces, while the Highland gentleman, riding behind on one
pony, as sturdy and Hielan' as himself, led another by the bridle.

Donal and Yetta came out and with bowed heads thanked the august
though simple-hearted lady for the great kindness she had shown to
their boy. She replied with a kindly smile:

"There appears to be the making of a good man in him, and, with
God's help, we will do our best to make him one."

Little more was said, and, mounting the led pony, Tam rode off by
the side of the faithful retainer, who never got further away from
the carriage than the dust raised by its wheels.

* * * * *

Thus commenced Tam's career in life. Though he served the noblest
lady in the land, he did not find his way one altogether of buttered
parsnips and cream. The one thing abhorrent to his royal mistress
was idleness and indifference. The motto of her establishment - of
all her establishments - was "The diligent eye." In this principle
she found not only the best interests of her own house, but the best
interests also of those who served her.

Tam could not be called idle, nor could he be called exactly
indifferent; but during the years of his tending of cattle and
sheep on the brae-side he had got into the habit of liking to loll
about, to saunter and dream, and then to make up, or try to make
up, the leeway of work or duty by a spurt of energy. Another fault
he had was to leave things about - for others to "side" or put in
order. This arose, no doubt, from the narrow dimensions of his home,
where there was hardly room for everything to have its particular
place. It was, however, neither a very grievous nor a deeply rooted
fault; and a little sharp drilling, not unfrequently at the hands
of the Highland gentleman - a sort of major of the household, who
possessed "the diligent eye" _par excellence_ - soon corrected Tam's
delinquency in this regard.

But the other fault was more deeply rooted and cost the young
donkey-boy many a bad quarter of an hour. Indeed, on one occasion it
nearly cost him his place. He had been given a task to do, and in
place of doing it with all diligence he had been found with his feet
growing to the ground, as it were. The consequence was an interview
with the Highland gentleman, who told him, "Tam, ye have either ta
pe punisht or to leave her Majesty's service: which shall it pe?"

"I'll tek the punishment, sir, if you please," he answered.

"Tam, ye are a wise poy, an' we'll mebby mek a man o' ye yet," said
the major-domo.

Tam took his punishment, and was the better for it; but he still
failed to come up to his royal mistress's ideal of a servant. Like
his fellow-servitors, he had plenty of time for rest and recreation:
hours of labour were by no means long. So much time had he, indeed,
for himself, that the Highland gentleman put suitable books before
him, and counselled him to improve his mind by reading and study.
He failed, however, to profit by the advice, and was presently made
aware of his error by a violent thunder-clap.

He was in attendance on his royal mistress one day, when she and
the children were out for a drive. A poor body was met, in apparent
distress, by the wayside. Inquiry was made as to her condition,
present help was extended, and a promise of future beneficence given
if further investigation should warrant its bestowal. Hence the
necessity arose for an address to be written down, and Tam, who was
that day the only person in attendance, was requested to do it.

When Tam entered the royal service he could read a bit and write
very imperfectly; but there had been time, had he followed the
counsel given him, to have greatly improved himself in both those
accomplishments. Not having done so, he fumbled egregiously over the
task set him, and, in short, made such a hash of it that an eye of
wrath was turned upon him.

Tam had seen that eye in all its moods - of laughter and smiles, of
grief, of earnestness, of affection, even of solemnity and awe, but
he had never as yet beheld it flash in indignant wrath. He felt as
though the muscles of his knees had been cut away and the ground
was sinking from under his feet. What would he not have given to be
miles away! But he had to face the storm, and it came in this way:

"Were not books and paper and ink put before you? And were you not
advised to improve your reading and writing?"

Tam falteringly admitted that such was the case.

"Why did you not attend to the advice?"

"I - I - - " stammered the ease-loving Tam.

"Had you not the time?"

"Yes."

"Then why did you not do as you were wished?"

Tam hung his head in shame.

"Tam Jamison, listen to me. I will have those in my employ attend
to my wishes, and attend to them with all their might. Do you wish
to be ignorant all your life, when the time and the means for
improvement are placed at your command? In three months' time I
shall expect you to read and write in such a way that you will be
able to fulfil in a creditable manner a simple duty like that you
have to-day so grievously failed in. Now we'll go on."

Tam Jamison wanted no more speaking to. He was now thoroughly awake:
and he went to work with all his might to do the behest of his
mistress and Sovereign, and, in truth, he made prodigious progress;
so that when it happened one day - he being then in attendance on her
Majesty in another part of the country - that she required the names
of several rare plants to be written down for her future use, he did
it so cleverly that he was rewarded with a pleased smile.

Tam felt that he had acquired wings that afternoon, and the
strangest part of the affair was, that when he came to reckon up
precisely, he discovered that it was three months to a day since his
"royal earwigging," as the Highland gentleman called it.

To that worthy man Jamison communicated his delight. "Ah," said he,
"ye thocht, like many anither, that ye were doing a great service to
her gracious Majesty by your few hours of daily labour; but, guid
faith, she does a mighty deal mair for ye than ye, or ony the likes
o' ye, can do for her. Serve 'maist onybody else in the kintra, an'
they'll take yer service an' gie ye yer wage, an' there's an end.
But when her Majesty teks ye intil her household she teks ye to mek
a man o' ye - if it's in ye, ye ken. An' weel she knows hoo ta do
it - nane better. Sae ye just go on as ye've begun, Tam Jamison, an'
ye'll mebbe no bide a feckless cuddy-callant till ye're auld an'
blind."

Jamison did not need to be taught his lesson a second time. He made
diligent use of his opportunities, and improved so much and so
visibly that when he was fifteen he was raised to the position of
page. A greater mark of appreciation could hardly be given to one
in the royal employ; for her Majesty's pages are amongst the most
trusted of her servants.

At first the humbler duties of a page fell to his lot; but as he
improved in thoughtfulness and intelligence, and in his knowledge
of the manifold and delicate duties which fell to his care - in which
he had the aid and instruction of one of her Majesty's oldest and
most experienced pages, a man who had been in her service ever since
she ascended the throne - he rose higher and higher in the royal
service and the royal consideration, until at last his services were
rarely required except on State and exceptional occasions only.

[Illustration: Tam hung his head in shame.]

Scarcely a week passed that he did not recall the words of him we
have called the Highland gentleman, when he said that the Queen
did more for those in her service than they could ever do for her,
in that she not only made men and women of them, but treated them
more as gentlemen and ladies than as mere domestics. There were no
servants in her employ, no matter how humble their sphere, but she
knew them by name and had their welfare at heart; and if they served
her well, she never lost sight of them, or forgot them - no, not even
when the grave took them into its transitional embrace.

Jamison had had abundant opportunities to note and set these
things down in his heart, but he was never so much impressed by
her Majesty's deep regard for those who served her faithfully and
well as when, one dripping autumn day, he was required to accompany
her to the churchyard of a rural village, halfway betwixt London
and Windsor - in which, a day or two before, the aged servant above
referred to had been buried - in order that she might lay a wreath
upon his grave. It bore the words, "In grateful remembrance of a
devoted and faithful servant, V.R.," and as she bent down to place
it with her own hand upon the grave a tear fell upon the flowers
that outshone the brightest jewel of her crown.




TEMPERANCE NOTES AND NEWS.

By a Leading Temperance Advocate.


THE TEMPERANCE HOSPITAL.

[Illustration: DR. J. J. RIDGE.

(_Photo: J. Bacon, Newcastle-on-Tyne._)]

The story of the Temperance Hospital in Hampstead Road forms one
of the most interesting chapters in temperance history. When
the experiment of treating accidents and disease without the
administration of alcohol was first mooted, the idea was assailed
with a storm of criticism in which the medical profession found a
most active ally in the public Press. A quarter of a century has
now elapsed since the first patient was received in the temporary
premises in Gower Street, and although the medical staff have full
permission, under certain regulations, to administer alcohol if
deemed expedient, the last Report states that out of a total of
13,984 in-patients, alcohol has only been resorted to in twenty-five
cases. The percentage of recoveries compares most favourably with
the ordinary hospitals, and the cases include every variety of
disease and accident. The present head of the medical staff is Dr.
J. J. Ridge, who has been connected with the institution from the
first. For many years it has been the custom of the United Kingdom
Band of Hope Union to organise a Christmas collection in aid of
the Temperance Hospital. The amount thus realised has reached many
thousand pounds, and it is hoped that this year's collection will
prove the best of the series. The body of evidence in favour of
total abstinence which the Temperance Hospital has accumulated
certainly entitles the institution to the cordial support of the
temperance public.

[Illustration: THE TEMPERANCE HOSPITAL, HAMPSTEAD ROAD, LONDON.

(_Photo supplied by the Press Studio._)]


COMING EVENTS.

Among the fixtures worth noting may be named the New Year's Meeting
of the United Kingdom Band of Hope Union on Saturday, January 7th;
the Annual Meeting of the London United Temperance Council, to be
addressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, on February 13th, in the
Queen's Hall; a great Industrial Exhibition, promoted by the Hackney
and East Middlesex Band of Hope Union, on April 10-13; Temperance
Sunday for London Diocese April 23rd (St. George's Day, a grand
opportunity for the clergy to strike a national note); and, as it is
well to look ahead, a World's Temperance Convention to be held under
the auspices of the National Temperance League in 1900.


THE NEW ENGLISH DICTIONARY.

It may be news to some of our readers that Dr. James A. H. Murray,
the editor-in-chief of the monumental literary work which has been
in progress for so many years, is an earnest total abstainer and a
Vice-President of the National Temperance League. Dictionary-making
and total abstinence seem to run together. In William Ball's "Slight
Memorials of Hannah More" is this remark: "I dined last week at
the Bishop of Chester's. Dr. Johnson was there. In the middle of
dinner I urged Dr. Johnson to take a _little_ wine. He replied:
'I can't drink a _little_, child, therefore I never touch it.
Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.'" It
is rather curious to note that it is only within recent years that
our dictionaries have taken any cognisance of the meaning which
temperance people give to the word "pledge." More than this, in
the early dictionaries the word was almost exclusively given up to
the other side of the drink question. For instance, in Bailey's
Dictionary (1736) we have the following definition of the word
"pledged": - "Having drank by the recommendation of another."...
"The custom of pledging in drinking was occasioned by the Danes,
who, while they had the superiority in England, used to stab the
English or cut their throats while they were drinking; and thereupon
they requested of some sitter-by to be their pledge and security
while they drank; so that 'I will pledge you' signifies 'I will be
your security that you shall drink in safety.'"

[Illustration: "DICTIONARY" MURRAY.]

Contrast this with the definition given in the last edition of
Webster's Dictionary: -

"A promise or agreement by which one binds one's self to do, or to
refrain from doing something; especially a solemn promise in writing
to refrain from using intoxicating liquors or other liquor; as to
sign the pledge."

No doubt, when Dr. Murray reaches the letter "P," we shall have a
definition even still more illuminating. The New English Dictionary
viewed from a temperance standpoint would make a delightful study.
Take, for instance, volume one, in which "Alcohol" has more than
a column to itself, while "Ale" has two columns, "Beer" two and
a half columns, and "Abstain," "Abstainer," and "Abstaining" are
treated with a wealth of illustration and meaning derived from such
authorities as Wyclif in 1382 down to J. W. Bardsley (the present
Bishop of Carlisle) in 1867, who is pressed into the service in this


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