Let every young housekeeper do her best to simplify life. It will only add to her powers of hospitality, which should always be without competition - nothing should be done with the idea of surpassing others. The great use of stores and wholesale shops is the knowledge they give of the market price of goods, and, as a matter of fact, often when things are cheapest they are best, as they are then plentiful and in their prime. Never buy anything out of season, is one of the best rules, and on the whole I think it makes the best living. Season in London does not apply to what grows in our gardens. There is, of course, a season for imported goods, such as cranberries, oranges, or the beans from Madeira, and these things vary considerably in price from week to week. Never forget one of my favourite precepts, that if luxuries are bought they should be of the very best, and come from the very best shops. This applies especially to wine, which can only be got good through the thought and knowledge of the host, not forgetting that bad wine is by no means always cheap wine. Flowers have become a somewhat wasteful luxury in London. I see no reason why a table should not be made to look quite as pretty with plate and china, without any flowers at all, or say one Japanese arrangement, which means trouble and taste, not expense. I remember, some years ago, thinking how beautiful a flower decoration was on a dinner-table, and on expressing my admiration to my young hostess, she said, 'I am so glad you like them. They were so cheap. I do not think the whole lot cost more than 5l.!'

To return to the household. By far the easiest servant to secure is a housemaid. This by no means implies that she knows her work. Even trained housemaids are sometimes wrongly trained, and the mistress of the house is often very incapable of teaching even the simplest rules of how to keep a house well aired and yet clean; the London housemaid's idea is to keep it clean by shutting the windows. The right way is to keep windows open day and night, and dust certain pieces of furniture several times a day. It is both economical and clean to make an arrangement with the laundress to do the maids' washing at so much a week a head, instead of giving 'washing money' to the servants themselves. I also think it of great importance that the beer money, instead of being paid weekly, should be added to the wages and paid quarterly. If masters and mistresses only realised the number of young servants who have been taught to drink by being tempted to help themselves to the brandy and whisky on the cold grey mornings when they come to their work, masters and mistresses would be more careful to lock away these things before they go to bed; as, alas! even those who believe that taking spirits before going to bed is very injurious to health, are forced by the laws of hospitality to produce the decanters before the departure of their guests.

Nothing oils the machinery of the household such as I have been describing so much as the introduction of a very young footman or boy, and in case of the man servant being a soldier servant it becomes almost a necessity, for he has his master's uniforms to attend to, and is often called away by various duties into the country. The boy cleans knives and boots, carries coal, which is injurious heavy work for women; sleeps in the pantry if the man-servant is married, which often means a better class of servant. The boy's help also enables the housemaid to keep entirely to her own work all day, very desirable in London, instead of being called down constantly to answer the door. Once more referring to the list of expenditure for 1,800l. a year, the items marked No. III. will be thought by many to be over-estimated at 100Z. a year, but this is certainly not too much, taking one year with another, if the house, which is so constantly the case in London, has to be painted outside every three years. Others may think 60Z. a year too heavy a charge for coal, but this must include wood for lighting fires, no inconsiderable item in a London house. 20Z. a year for keeping up the stock of linen is rather under than over what I should deem necessary, unless the young menage is very much better set up than is usually the case in England. My estimate for living in London leaves us with the very narrow margin of 150l. a year, but my calculations were upset by finding on inquiry that the rent of even small houses in good localities south of the Park are so much higher than I expected. Some years ago excellent houses were to be had on the north side for 125Z. a year. After all, everything I have said resolves itself into what applies to every income - i.e., to pretend to yourself that you have less than you have got, and then live at that rate, and you will always be rich. This is the honest and comfortable way of living, but it does not perhaps always appear worldly wise, as experience shows us that feckless and extravagant people generally get paid for, somehow, and very often at the expense of those who are careful. It will always be so more or less, and is only the old story of the Prodigal and the son who stays at home.

Living in the country on an income of 1,800 l. a year changes the expenditure in many ways; in some more expensive, and in others cheaper. Shall we not throw into the balance all the unbuyable luxuries the country gives us? Sun and light, air and cleanliness inside and outside the house, winter hoar-frosts and summer's radiant colours, flowers growing at their own sweet will, the song of birds and the ceaseless interest of insect life. 'Life is sweet, brother, there's day and night, brother, both sweet things ; sun, moon and stars, all sweet things; there's likewise a wind on the heath' - so says old George Borrow in'Lavengro,' and few men's writings can take us into the country as his do. The 'wind on the heath,' what is it not worth ? Keats, too, speaks of it in his own gentle way: