The cooking receipts caused panic in some minds and indignation in others. One poor bachelor told his housekeeper to try the receipt in 'Pot-Pourri' for making a soup. She happened to hit upon the French chef's extravagant directions for making consommÚ and, horrified by the numberless pounds of beef recommended, said: 'Really, sir, it would be far cheaper to have down a quantity of tinned soups from the Stores!' Another careful mistress of her own house complained very much of different meats amounting to six pounds being used for one pie. But in her case the household consisted of one thin brother and two thinner maids. My receipts, of course, were jumbled together for big and little establishments, to be used at the discretion of the housewife. A French lady writes that I make a mistake in thinking that it is usual in France to baste chickens with butter, and that they are much better done with the fat of bacon, or suet, or even common lard. I myself generally roast chickens with butter, and find that people like them very much. But of course only fresh butter must be used; never that horror called 'cooking butter.' It is true that basting them with the fat of good bacon does make them a better colour.

In a most humorous article from that delightful writer of the 'Pages from a Private Diary' in the 'Corn-hill' there were several funny allusions to my book. I quote the following as a specimen: 'While "doing" my Michaelmas accounts this morning, I found that the butter book (for we use Tom's dairy) was half as much again as last quarter, and the reason given by the responsible Eugenia is that Mrs. Earle protests against economy in butter. On referring to the passage I find that she suggests instead an economy in meat, and I pointed this out to E.; but the butcher's book shows no proportionate diminution. This has led me to reflect how much more infectious extravagance is than economy.'

One of my most complimentary letters was from an old friend, Mrs. Roundell, asking me to allow her to quote some of my receipts in a new cookery book she was compiling. This has since appeared under the name of 'A Practical Cookery Book' (Bickers & Son), and is so excellent that it thoroughly convinces me of my wisdom in declining to write one myself. My praise of this book almost suggests a mutual admiration society, as Mrs. Roundell is very complimentary to me. She begins by thanking me for my receipts, and ends by a quotation from 'Pot-Pourri' on hospitality and house-keeping. It will be many a long year before her own book is superseded. The receipts are clear and economical, and its only fault seems to be that at present it costs seven-and-sixpence.

A literary friend writes that he has a point of dissent - 'a bit of pedantic purism. You say "chickens." There is no such word: chicken is a plural. Hose, hosen; chick, chicken; and in old days many more - as house, housen; place, pleńsen. A farmer's wife, at least in the west, says correctly that she is going to feed her chicken - meaning not one, but many.' It is difficult to know when custom asserts itself sufficiently to change grammar, and my critic himself admits that many of the words he quotes are obsolete. I fear I shall hardly have the courage to say 'truss two fine chicken' if I come across such a phrase in a receipt.

I received very few letters on the nurse question. It had been a good deal discussed in periodicals just before the book came out.

An old friend, a doctor, wrote: 'Your chapter on health I take some exception to; on the question that starvation is a cure for most of the minor ailments of life I agree with you, but I think you are wrong on the subject of nurses. You may get some affection and kindness on the part of a mother, or a sister, or a wife, but I have always held that in really bad cases all three make the worst possible nurses, because so few women can really control their feelings, and where there were great affection and grave anxiety they would be apt to fail in some small details which might be of the utmost importance, where a good trained nurse would not, because she looks on the patient only as a "case," which, if she is a conscientious woman, it is her one object to get well. My experience also does not tally with yours, that the nurse is the tool of the doctor and is bound to approve and agree with him. On the contrary I think many of them, through "a little learning," think they know quite as much as, if not more than, the doctor, and often use their own discretion (?) as to whether they will carry out all the orders given them. If the doctor finds out this and remonstrates, he then makes an enemy of a person who at any time may have an opportunity of doing him much professional injury.' I am quite ready to acknowledge the correctness of these remarks, and if the nurse and doctor do not work well together any opposition on the part of the nurse might make the situation very disagreeable for the doctor, and vice versa. If, on the other hand, they work extremely well together, the patient may be the sufferer, supposing the doctor were mistaken about the case, which does happen with men of the greatest talent. The too literal carrying-out of the doctor's orders, especially with regard to medicines and sleeping-draughts, is often very injurious to the patient. I did not for a moment mean to imply that love and devotion could supply the qualities that are the result of training. But a kind of clear-sightedness and instinct that comes from love and devotion is by no means always to be found in the professional nurse.

I continue to quote typical letters on various subjects as they crop up. One kind old clergyman thought so flatteringly of my powers that he suggests that I should 'utilise the genius which has popularised your book in some of those fields into which your book affords glimpses - why not write on heredity?' The fact is, as I have already said, I am not able to write a treatise on cooking and gardening, much less could I pretend to give the world any information on great subjects connected with science; and heredity more especially is peculiarly buried in darkness, even for experts. He concludes a long and interesting letter as follows: 'some years ago Sir F. Galton sent me a paper of inquiries (which he was circulating among doctors) as to the physical and psychical history of three generations of ancestors.' This idea of Sir F. Galton's has been a favourite one with me for years. I have always thought that it would be of the greatest interest in families if a careful register were kept of people's health, diseases, and death, so that some idea might be formed of the general tendencies of family diseases, with their succeeding development and treatment during three or four generations.