George Streynsham Master.

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say that nine-tenths of the paper money circulated
in the country has no gold or silver behind it, suffi-
cient to answer its demands. It is found that,
practically, every paper dollar that asks for redemp-
tion is redeemed — that, in fact, there is no paper
dollar or promise to pay that cannot on demand be
transformed into a gold or silver dollar — that in the
practical working of financial matters, there is gold
enough to redeem all the promises made by the
paper money, and still leave a heavy balance behind
uncalled for. It is understood, of course, through-
out the financial world, that if all the currency
afloat were presented for redemption at one time^
the system would break down; but such is the
public faith that such a crisis will not arise, and
that still all the gold called for will be forthcoming,
that paper is preferred to gold, and commands the
same price in exchanges. In short, no comparison
can be instituted between paper that promises
something and paper that promises and represents
nothing. Current money must, and always will be
a value, or a representative of value. "A horse can
climb a tree, in his mind," but no horse ever did
climb a tree, and a man can create money out of
paper " in his mind," but he cannot pass it, or ex-
change it for things that have value. Trade, as we
have said, is exchange, and that must have value in
itself, or in what it represents, which is exchanged
for value.

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An Ofajection to Bnglish Spelling Reform.
Editor of Scribner.

Sir : In Mr. Lounsbury*s article " English Spell-
ing, No. II," I take exception to several of his posi-
tions. First, the author takes it for granted that util-
ity is so very much superior to sentiment that the
latter deserves no quarter ; secondly, he decides that
the silent ** w " in such words as "wholly/* "war-
whoop,'* etc., have never been sounded in authorized
pronunciation. I pass by the latter because no
data is near enough to be within call. Even Dean
Trench comes in for his share of ridicule, because
he admits some force in the plea for historic asso-
ciation of ideas. One other point is the condemna-
tion of the letter "k" in "knave,'* as if "nave**
ought to serve every purpose for spelling. It would
be rather awkward if the nave of a cathedral were
indistinguishable from a living knave; here surely
utility would suggest that both forms of the word
be used as at present. The gravamen, however, in
the present strictures is that neither to literati nor
to lay students is any room permitted for sentiment.
Eliminate this from culture, or from the study of
belles-lettres, and the enthusiasm of the scholar,
alike with the interest of the common reader, van-
ishes. It is like the child asking for bread and re-
ceiving a stone. Literature would thus become a
soulless machine, a garden without a flower, fruit
without taste or beauty. Sentiment under regula-
tion gives scope to the affections ; the absence of
something to love, would chill ardor, and deprive
the world of ideals, without which there can be no
solid progress. Utilitarianism is good and proper
in commercial concerns, or in certain materials of
manufacture, but while mankind have heart and
soul, taste and imagination, let there be a healthy
play given to all the faculties.

Very truly yours,

N. L.


Editor of Scribner.

Sir: Your correspondent has been so carried
away by his love of the ideal, that doubtless with-
out intending it, he has put assertions into my
mouth that I never made. I said the w of whoU
had never been sounded. I did not say so of the
w of whoops for the very good reason that a w appears
in it during the period in which orthogpraphy repre-
sented pronunciation, just as during the same period
a w does not appear in whole. Your correspondent
also finds it "rather awkward** to distinguish "the
nave of a cathedral ** from " a living knave,** unless
the difference of meaning is denoted by difference
of spelling. It would be the mere wantonness of
cruelty to add any new disturbing element to the
confusion already existing in his mind ; for even as
things are now, whenever he hears the nave of a
cathedral mentioned, how can he tell that the refer-
ence is not, after all, to the nave of a wheel ?

Nor did I maintain or imply that utility was so
much superior to sentiment, that the latter de-
served no quarter. My assertion was that the
existing orthography rested for its support, not at
all upon reason, but entirely upon sentiment — the
sentiment of association; a sentiment which, of
course, would operate just as powerfully in the case
of a reformed orthography, when once established,
as it does now in the case of a corrupt one. Not
being an advocate of the present spelling, I am not
under the necessity of believing that an irrepressible
conflict exists between sense and sentiment ; nor
can I well imagine a much droller delusion than
any man's fancying, because he favors a system of
orthography, which has nothing in reason to recom-
mend it, that enthusiasm, and taste, and culture,
and the ideal, out of pure hostility to reason, will
fly to him as their friend and champion.
Very truly yours,



Qeneral PrlaciplM of Cookery. II. Stewing and
Making Soups.

A WITTY Frenchman says : "To make good soup,
the pot should scarcely smile.** This is as true of
stewing meat, as of making soup. To do either
well, the whole process must be exceedingly slow,
from beginning to end ; the saucepan should only

To make good soup, the meat should be put on
in cold water, and slowly brought to the boil, that
Vou XIX.— 34.

the juices may be drawn out. Before it comes to
the boiling point, the scum will rise freely ; take it
off before ebullition has broken and scattered it;
then when it does boil, throw in half a cup of water,
and skim again — add this water just as it comes to
the boil two or three times ; it brings all remaining
scum rapidly to the surface, and when this rises no
longer, set aside to simmer. It must never go be-
low boiling point after this until made. This is
the whole secret of clear soup. I will here give
Jules Gouff6*s receipt for Pot-au-ftu; if carefully

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followed, a clear brown bouillon will be the result,
and this bouillon is the foundation of most soups.
Boiled down to one-half its bulk it becomes con-

Pot-au-feu requires four pounds of beef, six quarts
of water, eight ounces of carrot, eight ounces of
turnip, same quantity of onions, and three ounces
of celery and cloves. After once or twice making
this soup, the cook will be able to judge by the size
of the vegetables the required quantity, but weigh-
ing is advisable at first, as much depends on perfect
proportion. The meat must slowly simmer for
three hours, then add the vegetables, not before \
simmer till done. The pot in which bouillon is
made should have a very closely fitting lid.

Quick boiling and careless skimming are the
causes of cloudy bouillon ; supposing, as a matter
of course, that all the vegetables have been perfectly

While on the subject of soups, I will give an ex-
cellent receipt for a white soup, not well known,
and very delicious.

To make celery cream soup : boil a small cup of
rice in three pints of milk, until it will pass through
a sieve. Grate the white part of two heads of celery
(three if small) on a bread grater; add this to the
rice milk after it has been strained; put to it one
quart of strong white stock. Let it boil until
the celery is perfectly tender; season with salt
and cayenne, and serve. If cream is obtainable,
substitute one pint of it for the same quantity of

It often happens that soup intended to be brown
is not sufficiently so to be inviting without coloring.
Caramel is generally used for this purpose; but
onions cut in slices and left in a moderate oven until
they are black chips (not charred, however), may be
kept bottled for this purpose. They are preferable
to burnt sugar, as a small quantity added to a stew
or soup improves the flavor ; or, they may be fried
each time (in their own juice without grease) and
added with the other vegetables.

For white stock, use veal or fowls instead of

Many a chagrined woman knows what it is to at-
tempt a rago{lt from a receipt, and to fail signally,
to see the rich crfcmy fricassee her fancy has painted
resolve itself into an insipid mess of broth and cur-
dled eggs. The ideal brown ragotkt turns out an
unsavory brown (act In making brown stews, it is
advisable to put the meat and onions in a stew-pan
without water, cover closely, let them simmer until
they are brown and the pan is covered with a rich
glaze — be careful not to bum — then add a littU water
and any other vegetables your receipt may direct.
Just before serving, skim off carefully all fat ; then
add a small piece of butter rolled in flour, and let it
all simmer again a few minutes.

The above method will make a tough piece of
meat tender, and if a dessert-spoonful of vinegar
or lemon juice is put in with the meat and onions,
the sourness disappears before the meat is done,
"•aving only the scarcely perceptible dash of acidity,
' *h is the characteristic of most French dishes.

Poultry and game, unless the former is to be
firicasseed, are always better thus first stewed with-
out wate^. It is not, however, an absolute rule ; an
excellent dish maybe made by merely putting meat»
water, and seasoning, as directed, in the stew-pan to-
gether, if- the process is very slow. But who doe*
not remember with a shudder, an island of hai«'s
meat, in a lake of gray flavorless liquid ? When
meat has been partly cooked in its own steam it will
brown without effort on the cook's part, and the
flavor will be fine ; whether it will be tender depends
on the slowness with which it simmers after the
water is added.

Boileau declares, emphatically, that ^ A warmed-
over dinner is never good for anything,'* in which he
is entirely wrong. There are some things which»
warmed over, are as acceptable as when first cooked ;
what more delicious than minced veal ? (not hashed
veal by any means) ; what more excellent than cur-
ried diicken ? All curries may be made as weQ
from cold meat. Of course, the general idea of
hashed and stewed meat is Justified by the wretched-
ness of it as usually served. Father Prout relates,
that when young Thackeray was married and very
poor, he asked some one piteously : *' Can't you teU
my wife how to hash mutton, that it may taste of
something besides hot water and onions?" Cold
mutton makes an excellent dish, if one will slice half
a dozen small onions, or three if large, and put them
in a stew-pan, then add a tea-spoonful of vinegar,
or juice of half a lemon, lay the meat on them, and
cover the stew-pan tightly. In an hour, over a slow
fire, the meat will be hot through, the onions brown
and tender. Add a piece of butter rolled in floor,,
a dessert-spoonful of sauce (Worcestershire, walnut
catsup, or Harvey) and — for those who like it— just
enough curry powder to give an almost impercep-
tible flavor, say a small tea-spoonful, and an excellent
dish is the result.

As receipts for warming-over meats are abun^mt^
I need not quote them here, but only say that the
first necessity is to have gravy or soup to warm
them in, and to heat the meat vtfy shwly. The
smallest family may have such gravy alwa3rs on
hand, by carefully saving cold gravy, or soup, and
also by making stock of all bones, trimmings, and
bits of cold meat, slowly stewing such fragments
(bones must be cracked up) for some hoars.
When rich, strain and set by for use. Carefully
remove every suspicion of fat from stews or soup.

Catherine Owen.

Two Kinds of Decoration.

Passing down Broadway the other day, I was
attracted toward a shop window that bore on the
sill that much-abused expression, " Decorative Art,"
and near at hand the word, " Decalcomanie. " The
connection between decorative art and decalcomanie
I could hardly understand, so I stopped and looked
in the window for an explanation. If decorated
simply means ** painted upon," then every thing in
that window was decorated. There were plaques

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with odalisque heads painted on gold bockgromids ;
gilded horse-shoes, with pansies twining around the
mil-holes ; bottles covered with silk, with lilies of
the valley and moss-rosebuds reposing on a blue
ground ; paper-cutters covered with splatter- work ;
jars covered with decalcomanie, and everything
that the ingenuity of man or woman could devise.
I never pass that window that there is not an
admiring crowd looking in. In Broadway, also,
another day, I saw a lady who walked in front of
me for several blocks, the crown of whose bonnet
was painted with a delicate vine and blossoms !
I have seen in houses of people of means and edu-
cation screens made up of scraps of colored
lithographs. A sample of one of these atrocities
was on exhibition in the Woman's Pavilion at the
Centennial, and won the admiration of crowds. I
haTe known people to take handsome black frames
and paint autunm leaves over them— not in a decora-
tive way, but with an attempt to make a close copy
of nature. The most monstrous thing in the way
of decoration that I ever came across was a fire-place
in the house of a well-known artist, not many miles
from New York. The fire-place in question was in
a sumptuous library, and the tiles— if I may so
call them— were of looking-glass, with long grasses
and flowers painted on them. I have found that it
is often people who spend the most money who dis-
play the worst taste. The days of red-worsted cats
worked on green-worsted grounds, let us hope, are
past But in the place of these we have worsted imiu-
tions of leaves and flowers which, if not quite so bad,
ought to be suppressed. So long as the needl^-
worker confines herself to the suggestive in design,
she is likely to make something pretty ; but when she
attempts to paint a picture with worsted, she will
probably (aiL There is a branch of needle-work that
is an art, but there is very little of such to be seen.

All this decoration, or whatever it may be called,
comes from the desire possessed by people to fill a
room with their own handiwork. •* An ill-favored
thing, sir," says Touchstone of Audrey, "but my
own." But we hear some one ask : " If you don't
want us to decorate firames or work flowers on our
table-cloths, how do you expect us to make our
rooms beautiful, if our means are limited ? " The
answer is simple enough : Get things that are decora-
true iff themselves, . Of these are Japanese, Chinese
and India goods. "Yes, but they are expensive."
Not necessarily. I can go to the twenty-five-cent
counter at Vantine*s and pick out any number of
really beautiful things. One need only have a little
patience and a fiiir amount of taste to make a very
attractive room.

I know a young man near New York who had but
twenty-five dollars with which to furnish his room,
and he made such a " den " that no one could enter it
without envying him. The room was entirely bare
when he took possession. The first thing he did was
to tear down the common-place marble mantel.
Being handy with tools, he built one of white pine,
with a high, broad shelf and several smaller shelves,
the whole covering the chimney-piece. Then he
painted the wood-work black, and the bricks a dark

red. At a junk-shop he bought a pair of andirons
for a dollar and fifty cents, and as his hearth was
wide he dispensed with a fender. The walls he
kabomined with dark red of the color seen on wood-
work in country kitchens. Two pieces of plain olive
green wall-paper frimished the dado. Pine strips*
turned out at the planing mill and painted black,
made the railings. He ran a narrow strip of pine
painted like the railing along the wall about a foot
from the ceiling, for a curtain rod, and above that
he tacked Japanese fans for a frieze. Now for the
floor! A carpet was impossible, and h^ decided to
use stain. At the paint shop he bought two pounds
of stain for sixty cents, and gave the floor two good
coats. But when it was all stained it had a very
dull look, so he concluded that he must have a rug —
not a $600 one, but one of modest cost, yet of gay
pattern. He came to New York and got a very
nice one, four by seven feet, rather coarse, to be sure*
but thick and bright, for seven dollars, and it looked
very pretty when spread upon the dark floor. For
curtains he bought dark-brown canton-flannel at
twelve cents a yard. It took two widths for each side
of the window. The cross strips he nuule of old gold
canton-flannel, and when the curtains were done*
he got rods and rings of pine from the village plan-
ing-mill at a cost of one dollar a window, and these
he painted black. He also painted the wood-work
around the windows black.

The room was now ready for the furniture, but
where was that to be found? He waited a little
while, and " picked up " just what he wanted at an
auction sale store in a back street For five dollars he
got an old-fashioned desk with a row of drawers with
brass handles and innumerable pigeon-holes. To
be sure it wanted polishing, but he went to work on
it with a piece of an old felt hat and some powdered
pQmice-stone, and after the stains were all taken off
he rubbed it with linseed oil. A cabinet-maker
would have charged him anywhere from five to
fifty dollars for the job : it cost him just thirty
cents. For three dollars he bought an old-fashioned
mahogany table, which he treated in the same man-
ner. This he set in the middle of the room and
covered with wide canton-flannel, the same shade as
the curtains, and put a band half a foot wide of the
old gold about six inches from the edge. His
mother did the necessary stitching by hand, not on
a sewing-machine. An old-fashioned looking-glass*
which had been given to him by his grandmother*
he hung over the mantel-shelf with peacock's feathers
stuck all around it. A pair of brass candlesticks
from the same source did duty as mantel ornaments*
with a pair of Japanese vases that cost twenty-five
cents. A few engravings and one or two etchings
hung on the walls ; one of the former the portrait
of Mme. Modjeska, that appeared in Scribnbr,
mounted on a piece of Bristol board; another*
Whistler's "White Lady," from the same magazine.
The frames were white pine shellacked, and cost
with the glass about thirty cents each. Japanese
fans were placed on the walls at irregular intervals
and made bright bits of color. For fifty cents apiece
he bought three battered-up chairs, which he painted

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black, all except the rush bottoms, which were
painted yellow. The gas fixture in the room was
an abomination, but a new one was out of the ques-
tion. Again Japan came to the rescue, and a rose-
colored umbrella was purchased and fastened on to
the pipe, handle upwards, so that when the gas was
lighted it threw a delicate roseate hue over all who
sat beneath. The effect of the room was remark-
ably pretty, and no one could believe that it had not
cost an immense sum to arrange it.

There are so many things that are pretty and
decorative in themselves that we cannot but lament
that amateurs spend so much time in trying to
rival nations and artists of established reputation.
A plain red earthen jar is much more artistic, if it is
of good form, than the same thing covered with
sprawling flowers painted by an inexperienced hand.
What is more decorative than a bunch of pea-
cock's feathers, or Florida grass, yellow and fleecy
— not those gaudy, unnatural colored grasses to be
found in the shops ? If you want to put a shell on
your mantel do so, but do not gild the inside and
paint a landscape on it. Nature has painted shells
with the most exquisite colors. A great many peo-
pie are bothered to know what to do with the fire-
place in summer, for there is nothing uglier than a
black blower staring you in the face. Twenty-five
cents will buy a beautiful Japanese umbrella. Cut
the handle off to within a few inches of the top and
place the circle of gorgeous color over the square
of sheet-iron. I have been in handsome houses
where the fire-places were filled with cut tissue
paper of different colors, in some cases pinked

along the edges and hung up in front of the grate
like an apron ! I should as soon think of decorating
a black coal-scuttle with decalcomanie. I was in at
Vantine*s one evening just as the gas was lighted, and
noticed that all the lamps were covered with beau-
tiful shades. Closer examination proved them to
be of some Japanese material with a very costly
look. ** I should like one of those shades if they
are not very expensive," I said to the salesman.
•* You can have all you want for ten cents apiece,"
he replied, and then showed me that they were lit-
tle umbrellas with the handles and ribs taken out»
and the tops cut off to fit over the porcelain shades.
I immediately invested to the extent of forty
cents. I wanted to get some window-shades the
other day, and found that the common brown Hol-
land were the cheapest I could get at the upholster-
er's. They cost one dollar and fifty cents a window,
and were ugly at that. By accident I heard of the
Wakefield rattan shades, and found that they were
just what I wanted. They are sold at sixty-eight
cents the square yard, and came to one dollar
and thirty cents a window, including fixtures.
The canton-flannel for curtains now comes in all
shades and of all widths and qualities, and costs
ftt>m twelve cents to one dollar a yard. Jute for
this purpose is both cheap and pretty. I know of a
lady, who has made a beautiful portihne of a horse-
blanket. It is difficult to understand why a person
should go to work and furnish a house in an ugly
conventional fashion when it costs just as little to
make it unconventional and pretty.

M. L. £.


Arnold** "Light of Aaia."*

If we look back to the time when the heathen
Jutes and Saxons had gradually occupied the East
and South of England, destroying the warlike among
the Britons, or driving them into the West and North,
and enslaving the weak and marrying the women,
we find examples of the powerful effect made by
the Jewish-Greek Scriptures upon minds which, then
for the first time, grasped the beauty of the Christian
faith. Left over from the ravages of centuries and
the neglect of inferior and self-conceited men, we
have relics of at least one such example. The great
Saxon poet Csedmon sang of the life and death of
Christ with a vigor that has not lost iU trumpet
note in all the years since he first succumbed to
the new religion, and turned from lays of war and
love to paeans on the meekness of Christ. To com-
pare small with great is to compare Edwin Arnold
with Csedmon. Yet the analogy is deep-reaching

* The Light of Asia; or, The Great Renunciatioii
(Mahabhinishkiminaiui). Being the Life and TeachinM of
Hiuitama. By Edwin ArnoldT Boston: Roberta Brouien.

and can be pushed far. Csedmon was a barbarian
who bowed before the creed of the Roman Empire ;
Arnold is another who bows before the creed of the
Indian Empire. For Indian the Buddhistic creed
is, although at times it may have been driven from
the land of its origin into countries where its ene-
mies were not strong enough to pursue. As the Ger-
manic-Celtic tribes conquered and plundered Italy
before the tenth century, so has a Germanic-Celtic
nation conquered and plundered India. As Italy
has been revenged by conquests of the mind, so
India is being revenged by conquering her con-
querors in the spirit Every year sees more Eng-
lishmen beginning to doubt the beauty and utiUty
of their own religious and philosophical ideas, and
preparing to accept in their place more or less of
the theories elaborated in a greater land. Mr.
Edwin Amold*s poem marks the extent to whidi
Anglo-Indians have already changed English thought
and English taste. Fifty years ago such a thing as
an epic describing the life of the Christ of India
would have remained unprinted. Yet a Buddhist
now points to the much-admired fragments of Csed*

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mon and asks wherein radically lies the difference
between the Saxon of the ninth and the Anglo-
Saxon of the nineteenth century.

Online LibraryGeorge Streynsham MasterThe Century, Volume 19 → online text (page 81 of 160)