She was tall and strong, and she walk'd along

With a firm substantial tread, Like one who knows that wherever she goes

She is earning her daily bread.

Her frock was print, and there was not a hint

In the whole of her simple dress Of that milliner's touch which adds so much

To a lady's comeliness.

Yet she is aware that her face is fair ;

But she also understands That the best of her charms are her stout red arms

And her strong hard-working hands.

It's them,' says she,' as has work'd for me,

Wherever my work has been; And as for my face, why it's no disgrace,

For I reckon it's always clean.

Well, there's Jack, I know, he bothers me so -

But what do I care for him ? I'll ha' nothing to say to a lad that's gay,

So long as I've life and limb !

Such chaps may do for a wench like you,

As is fond of an easy life ; But if I get a man, I shall do what I can

For to make him a working wife.'

She smiled as she spoke, and she settled her yoke

On the back of her shoulders broad, And she stoop'd to her pails by the area rails,

And harness'd herself to her load.

Then she went on her beat through bustling street

With a step like a martial man's ; A step that suits her iron-shod boots,

And the weight of her clanking cans.

For her cans and she had the bulk of three,

And deftly as she might steer, 'Twas the silent might of her strength and her height

That kept the pathway clear.

There were many who eyed her stately stride, As she moved through the yielding crowd,

With her hands on her hips, and a smile on her lips, And a look both calm and proud.

But none, or few, of the gazers knew

The worth of her humble trade; And beauty alone may never atone

For the lot of a milkman's maid.

They could not see what was clear to me -

That the loftiest lady there Might envy the part in Dame Nature's heart

Which is owned by Kitty Clare.

When first people begin strict diet they are very apt to think they will die without change. It has been a great humiliation to me to find how much more easily the young take to living on nothing but bread, fruit, potatoes, vegetables, and cheese than their elders do. A contemporary said to me in such a sad voice the other day, 'Is it not distressing to find out how one pines sometimes for some of the old foods, which at the time we ate them we hardly knew how much we enjoyed?' I earnestly caution people against not only bought breads, but also bought biscuits. I am sure that they are not the same help to health as things made at home, and biscuit-making, which by universal consent is now left entirely to manufacturers and bakers, takes even less time than boiling potatoes; for a skilful cook can make and bake a piling plate of biscuits or wafers in fifteen minutes. The exception to my mind is Lemanns, 28 St. Swithin's Lane; especially his thick captains.

One's great wish when practising diet is not to make the cook feel she is no longer wanted, but that her skill can be adapted to all sorts of new requirements. In staying away at a friend's house lately the cook was quite miserable because she felt she had nothing to do for me.

In another house I was unfortunately half-poisoned by the home-made bread being ruined by much salt, and the vegetables tasted as if steeped in brine.

From a German friend I received in late autumn last year a list of what the work had lately been in her kitchen. The winter climate is so severe in mid-Germany that nothing can be left in the ground and storing away from frost is very difficult. Everything is so easily brought to our shores all the year round now that we have almost forgotten the old days when preserving went on in our own country houses. Now most people say it is cheaper to buy; so it may be, but it is not so good. My friend complains that she cannot get twice-ground whole-meal flour in Germany, and she adds that she cannot get bread-making done at home, as her cook has such heaps and heaps of preserving to do. My answer would be that her family and her household would be in far better health with good sound bread to eat and much less preserved fruit and vegetables. She asks: 'Would you like to hear all we do?' and then gives the following list : Thirty or thirty-five tins of strawberry compote, two dozen marmalade and jams in pots (this does not mean orange marmalade, which would be out of season); ditto clear fruit juice to drink with water, also thick juice to use for puddings, sauces ; cherry compotes in tins, ditto stoned in glass pots ; marmalades and jams, half-fermented juice to drink with water, fifty or more pounds of apricots dried in oven for winter, servants' compotes, mira-belles, the same as above. Cucumbers, two barrels, filled and preserved in salt; cucumbers, small green, pickled in vinegar; mushrooms dried in oven and pressed in tins, ten quarts of tarragon vinegar for winter use, three dozen tins of flageolet beans, three dozen tins of shelled and preserved green beans, two barrels cut beans preservedin salt;choucroute, one barrelful preserved in salt; blue plums peeled and preserved in bottles, ditto not peeled, preserved in vinegar and sugar; tomatoes preserved whole in tins to use for 'garniture,' artichoke bottoms the same way, and many bottles of tomato pure'e. A good deal of this kind of luxury it seems to me desirable to reduce as much as possible, but of course everything depends on the size of the household.

I must not fail to mention one of the most useful articles for domestic purposes that has come out to my knowledge in the last few years - a powdered soap in tins, not expensive, to be bought at Harrod's Stores, or others, and called Sapon. Its especial use is for the washing of all nursery woollen things, Shetland shawls, under-clothing, blankets, &c. Everyone I have recommended it to has been delighted with it.

Another very charming but expensive luxury has been imported from France by Messrs. Goode & Co., of the china shop in Audley Street, and if I were going to begin life again I should certainly have it - copper stewpans of all sizes lined with silver beaten into the copper, in the old Sheffield-plate manner, before it is made up, and so thick that nothing will wear it off. This saves all the bother and expense of re-tinning, and the risk to health of copper pans being neglected, and not tinned soon enough. The price is not at all prohibitive, considering the goodness of the pans.