There should be no despair for you

While nightly stars are burning, While evening pours its silent dew,

And sunshine gilds the morning.

There should be no despair, though tears

May flow down like a river. Are not the best beloved of years

Around your heart for ever?

They weep, you weep; it must be so:

Winds sigh as you are sighing, And winter sheds its grief in snow

Where autumn leaves are lying.

Yet these revive, and from their fate

Your fate cannot be parted. Then journey on, if not elate,

Still never broken-hearted!

I am told by young married women that so very much attention has been given to cooking of late that most girls of the leisured classes now know something about it, or at any rate turn to books or go to some school of cookery to learn; but that they are quite ignorant about training servants in other work, especially inexperienced girls who have done more schooling than cleaning in their childhood, and who think anyone can be a housemaid. There is excellent instruction on many points in that book I named before, 'How to be Happy though Married.' It dwells, however, rather on management of husband and house than actually on teaching the servants their duties. A really well-housemaided room requires but very rarely that terrible turning-out - when everything is upside down for a day, and things are mislaid, and some things are never found again - which is the terror of all masters and mistresses. Two things are essential in a well-kept house, and unfortunately they war against each other; one is continually having plenty of open windows, and the other is a prevention of any accumulation of dust. This can only be fought by continual wiping and dusting. When the mistress of a house is looking through cupboards and larders, and insisting that they should be well aired, the servant's view is that then 'so much dust gets in.' And yet by a 'cussedness' peculiar to themselves they constantly leave ice-safes open, which of course - to act properly - should be kept tightly closed, and never opened at all except for the minute when things are taken out or put in. When the ice is melted they should always be carefully cleaned out. The following is, I consider, a good way of keeping things from dust in a larder without shutting the windows: Instead of the usual perforated tin covers, which get rusty and shabby and cannot be cleaned, I have neat covers of all sizes (made at home) of rather thick zinc wire, and then I cover these with clean butter-muslin, which can be renewed or washed directly it gets dirty. They should have a twisted zinc wire handle at the top, to lift the cover on and off quite easily. The principle is the same as the outdoor covers for keeping off spring frost on young plants, recommended in my former book.

The real fault of all the houses I go into to-day, my own included, though less so than some, is that they are far too full. Things are sure to accumulate. Avoid rubbish, frills and valances, draperies and bows, and all the terrible devices of the modern upholsterer. They all mean dust and dirt in a very short time, especially in London, and a labour to keep clean - which in fact no one carries out, and which is only very temporarily rectified by the spring cleaning once a year. I have a French domestic book which I think fascinating and instructive, just because it is French, and much less showy and more primitive than English books of the same kind. It is in two volumes, is called 'Maison Rustique des Dames,' and is by Madame Millet Robinet. It has had an immense sale in France, and all the little details of household life seem more dignified and less tiresome when read in excellent French.

I will translate one receipt for the destruction of flies that seems to me good, and I wish I had known of it when travelling abroad in hot weather and staying in small hotels: 'Half fill a tumbler with soapy water. Cut a slice of bread half an inch thick; cover the under side with honey, sugar, jam - anything that attracts flies. Cut a small hole in the middle, larger at the top than the bottom; fix the piece of bread in the top of the tumbler. The flies crawl in after the sweet jam, and are quietly suffocated.' The book abounds in useful hints of all kinds.

In my youth tea-leaves were always used for sweeping carpets. Then came the idea that they stained and injured the colour of light carpets. This is to be rectified by rinsing the tea-leaves well in cold water and wringing them out before they are used. There is no magic in the tea - it is the damp substance of the leaves that gathers the dust. There is an excellent thing now sold, called 'Carpet Soap,' which really revives the colour of dirty rugs and carpets. To sweep without using something moist merely diffuses dirt. Covering a broom with a wet cloth is the best way of cleaning under beds, wardrobes, etc. - anything to prevent the dust flying.

If every room is taken in turn and extra cleaned once a week, the necessity for the complete 'turning-out' is obviated. Most people will say, 'Everyone knows that'; and yet it is astonishing how one has to remember to tell the same things, over and over again, to each fresh young servant that comes. And one often lives a long life without knowing most commonplace things oneself. I never knew till the other day that black-leading firebrick destroyed all its qualities for radiating heat and made it like iron. It ought never to be black-leaded at all.

Tin jugs are excellent for hot water, but they must be cleaned inside with sand-paper, or they rust and spoil It is almost despairing how even excellent and experienced servants forget that no crockery can or will stand boiling water being poured into it suddenly, especially in cold weather; the quick expansion makes all glass and china fly. But the same thing goes on over and over again in every household, from expensive dishes or dairy-pans to servants' jugs and tumblers, and partly one is oneself to blame for not having explained the simple fact to each new girl who comes.

In the chapter on Furnishing in my first book I recommended that young people should go to sales instead of buying rubbish at wholesale furniture warehouses. Commenting on this, the excellent and amusing writer of 'Pages from a Private Diary' reproves me and says: 'Why drive good taste into a mere fashion, and so quadruple the price of pretty things for those who can appreciate them?' This was not my intention, though I admit it may be a result of my advice. But I only wish someone had given me the hint when I was young. However, if it does improve taste, and if it does raise the price of pretty things, surely one's sympathies in such matters are rather with those who have to sell the things they value than with those who can afford to buy them. My one object, both in this book and the last, is to give everyone - so far as I can - anything I know or have learnt in a long life. And in writing the first book, under the impression that it would be an absolute failure, I used to console myself by saying: 'Well, if it helps ten people just a little, that makes it worth while.'

Old Sir Thomas Browne, in his quaint and self-opinionative way, puts pretty strongly what I feel: 'It is an honorable object to see the reasons of other men wear our Liveries, and their borrowed understandings do homage to the bounty of ours; it is the cheapest way of beneficence, and, like the natural charity of the Sun, illuminates another without obscuring itself. To be reserved and caitiff in this part of goodness is the sordidest piece of covetousness, and more contemptible than pecuniary Avarice.'