I suppose every newspaper office having a household department receives letters from young housekeepers and brides-to-be asking what must be purchased for the new home, how many sheets and pillow-cases, how many tablecloths and napkins, how they should be marked, and where, how large the letters should be, whether a color should appear or the marking be done in white. No one should begin housekeeping with less than a dozen sheets for each bed, except where there are two beds of one size, when she can get along with eighteen or twenty for the two. There should always be a surplus to be called upon in cases of necessity.

A short upper sheet is an abomination, the very desolation of wretchedness. For that reason many housekeepers have separate upper and lower sheets, the upper sheet made long enough to fold half-way down over the blanket. This upper sheet is often elaborately trimmed with embroidery, heavy lace, and hemstitching. It not only adds to the general appearance of the bed, but preserves the blankets as well. Unless the lace and embroidery are in themselves both beautiful and appropriate, the simple unadorned sheet is preferable.

The monogram, or letters, always appears in the middle of the sheet, just above the hem. Colors are not used in the marking of bed-linen. The best sheets are of linen, although there are some persons who dislike the feeling, preferring a fine cotton.

When a bed is to be made up with a chintz or an embroidered silk cover, there is always a thin spread, or cover, put over the blankets. This is also laid across the bed when one is ill, and there is much passing back and forth by the bedside. Nothing heavy should be used.

Pillow-cases, like sheets, should be marked just above the hem. Sometimes the monogram appears in the centre of the pillow, but the work must be fine or the effect is unpleasant. When letters are used, either on the sheet or the pillow-cases, they should not be more than an inch in height.

It would be altogether delightful if each person could have all the pillow-cases and linen needed, but even when one can afford to buy them, there is not always, in most houses, room to keep them stored. A linen-closet, that delight of all housekeepers, is out of the question, for instance, in the average apartment, and only sufficient linen to supply actual need may be purchased. The number to be bought by brides, therefore, must depend upon the number of beds to be furnished, and then upon the amount of space available for keeping that which is in use; but in these days of ready-made household articles, it is always easy to replenish stores quickly, when emergencies arise. A pretty fashion, when there is no room for a linen-closet, is to keep the linen in a cabinet having glass doors and sides. Everything can be put away in sets, and tied together with ribbons. Elastic bands finished with bows of ribbon and with clasps, like garters, may be used to secure the pile of pillow-cases, saving the housekeeper the trouble of tying a fresh bow every time the set is disarranged. Underclothes are often kept in similar cabinets when the closet room is limited.

Besides the linen pillow-cases, there should be thin inside slips to put under them. This inner cover, made with buttons and buttonholes, need not be changed as often as the outside case. It serves to protect the ticking and keep it clean, - a desirable object. These slips are of especial importance in rooms used by servants, where they can be of unbleached cotton, tied with tapes, the cotton to be as thick as the ticking itself. They should be carefully fitted.

No bedroom linen is complete unless it includes a number of covers for bureaus and tables. Face towels, used for covering these pieces of furniture, are well enough in their way, but only in cases of necessity. When a costly piece of heavy lace is used on a bureau or dressing-table, a piece of thick glass with bevelled edges, and exactly matching the table top in size, is sometimes placed over the lace, the dusting and cleaning of the glass being an easy matter, while the lace underneath is kept spotless. The toilet articles then stand on the glass. Covers of drawn linen-work made to fit the tables should be included in a list of bedroom linen. A fine bird' s-eye makes a pretty cover, trimmed with narrow fluted ruffle of white cambric or wash lace. Fine white linen, embroidered with the owner's monogram, and trimmed with white lace or finished with hemstitching, always suggests the careful and fastidious housekeeper. Dutch, Hungarian, and German embroideries are good. Dotted-muslin covers trimmed with wash lace are very dainty for tables and bureaus. They can be changed as often as necessary.

The prejudice against feather beds and down comforters is so strong in some houses that even an eider-down quilt is prohibited. Extra blankets are used on cold nights, or comforters of medicated wools, covered with silk, and trimmed with lace. Many people prefer buying new comforters each season, covering them with a cheaper material, and throwing them away when they are soiled. Pink, or blue and white worsted blankets and af-ghans, trimmed with lace and ribbons, are used on beds and couches; so are silk blankets. When the eider-down quilt appears it is generally of satin and embroidered. Laces and ribbons are used in profusion on quilts, comforters, and knit blankets, but are only admissible when, as insistence has often been made, the householder can afford to throw away or replenish articles as they grow shabby.