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Title: How to Behave and How to Amuse - A Handy Manual of Etiquette and Parlor Games
Author: Sandison, G. H.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  LOUIS KLOPSCH, Proprietor,

  Copyright 1895,



ETIQUETTE has been tersely defined as “the art of doing the proper
thing in the proper way.” An acquaintance with the rules of etiquette
is of the greatest service to all who are brought into contact with
Society, and in these days few, if any, are wholly outside of the world
of social usage and convention.

In this little Manual, it is not intended to lay down, in the fullest
sense, rules for the guidance of the reader in all stations of social
life, but rather to furnish hints that may prove useful in dealing with
those social events that are of most frequent occurrence. The etiquette
of the parlor, the assembly chamber, the street, the social function,
is something all should know, since to be ignorant concerning such
matters is to class one’s self as uninformed on many things that go to
make up the sum total of everyday life, and to know and practice which
adds greatly to the pleasure of living. The well-bred man or woman is
always welcomed, whereas the person who has no acquaintance with even
the most ordinary social rules is quite differently regarded by the
majority of people.

Nor is there any reason why an acquaintance with social usages should
longer be confined, as in the past, to certain classes. The farmer’s
boy, the intelligent mechanic and the humblest clerk or artisan, in
these days of widely-diffused knowledge, may familiarize themselves
with the customs and observances of polite society to an extent that
will go far toward placing them on a level with those who would
otherwise be regarded as their superiors. Refined manners are the
boundary line between the ignorant and the cultured, and it is within
the power of all to aspire to belong to that class of men and women
whose presence is always agreeable, and who combine, in rare degree,
that charm of manners and morals which is always allied with true
nobility of character.


  Anniversaries, Wedding                         53
  A Young Girl’s Social Life,                    70
  Address, Polite Terms of                       68
  Birthdays and Christenings,                    57
  Breakfast Parties,                             37
  Bowing and Salutation,                         16
  Behavior in Church,                            66
  Blushing,                                      82
  Christenings and Birthdays,                    57
  Correspondence, Etiquette of                   64
  Church Weddings,                               48
  Cards (see Invitations),                       46
  Calls and Calling Cards,                       18
  Church, Behavior in                            66
  Conversation, Art of                           89
  Dinner Table, How to Set the                   34
  Dress, Men’s                                   23
  Début, Young Lady’s                            27
  Dinner Parties,                                30
  Diners, Notes for                              36
  Dancing,                                       42
  Dozing in Public,                              78
  Enjoy the Present Hour,                        84
  Faulty Social Training,                        69
  Feet, Causes of Deformed,                      80
  Gifts (see Wedding Gifts),                     51
  “High Teas,”                                   40
  Home Weddings,                                 51
  Hands, Beautifying the                         79
  Hands, Management of the                       77
  Hint, A Useful                                 92
  Home Maxims,                                   87
  Innocent and Sinful Pleasures,                 73
  Introductions,                                 15
  Invitations,                                   46
  Kettle-Drums,                                  39
  Luncheons,                                 37, 39
  Ladies’ Cards,                                 21
  Make Home Attractive,                          84
  Men’s Dress,                                   23
  Mock Modesty,                                  88
  Monopolizing Talkers,                          90
  Mourning Etiquette,                            59
  Notes about Weddings,                          54
  Notes for Diners,                              36
  New Year’s Calls,                              55
  Private Weddings,                              51
  Posing for Effect,                             78
  Points on Being Well Dressed,                  91
  Servants, Treatment of                         77
  Sitting, Awkwardness in                        81
  Small Talk, when Timely                        89
  Stray Hints,                                   84
  Style of Cards,                                19
  Sunny Temper, A                                85
  Superior Hostess, The                          92
  Suppers,                                       37
  Tactful Hostesses,                             70
  Teas,                                          37
  Teeth, Care of the                             81
  True Politeness,                               87
  Various Points on Deportment,                  68
  Value of Female Society to Man,                86
  Weddings and Wedding Etiquette,                46
  Wedding Breakfasts,                            50
  Wedding Gifts,                                 51
  Wedding Anniversaries,                         53
  Wine Question, The                             35
  Winking in Public,                             78
  Young Lady’s Début,                            27
  Youth, Enjoy Your                              91

  All-around Story Game,                        103
  Anagrams,                                     270
  Ant and Cricket,                              132
  Answers to Conundrums,                        262
  Art Exhibition,                               213
  A Trip to Paris,                              291
  Balancing a Pencil,                           104
  Beast, Bird or Fish?                          123
  Bouquet,                                      102
  Bean Bags,                                    114
  Boston,                                       119
  Blind-Man’s Buff,                             115
  Children, Amusing the                         141
  Clumps,                                       131
  Crambo,                                        96
  Cross Questions,                               98
  Charades,                                     283
  Counting Apple-seeds,                         129
  Consequences,                                 122
  Conjuring Tricks with Coins,                  220
  Conundrums and Riddles,                       249
  Dancing Egg,                                   93
  Divided Pear,                                 101
  Doesn’t Like Peas,                            293
  Driving a Needle through a Cent,              107
  French Rhymes,                                 99
  Five Straw Puzzle,                             99
  Force of the Breath,                          111
  Funny Outlines,                               296
  Games of Arithmetic,                          143
  Going to Jerusalem,                           114
  Going Shopping,                               126
  Guessing Characters,                          133
  Guessing Eyes and Noses,                      123
  Globe, Rotation of the                        138
  Hanging Without a Cord,                       139
  Horse,                                        121
  How, When and Where?                          106
  Hunting the Ring,                             112
  Hit or Miss,                                  126
  I Love My Love,                               107
  Lighting the Candle,                          130
  Living Pictures,                              155
  Location, Game of                             131
  Logogriphs,                                   272
  Magic Candle Extinguisher,                    134
  Magic Figures,                                110
  Mary’s Little Lamb,                           295
  Mirror, The Broken,                           135
  My Grandfather’s Trunk,                       106
  Magic Music,                                  113
  Mesmerizing,                                  122
  Miscellaneous Tricks,                         233
  Needles and Pins Made to Float,               124
  Old Family Coach,                              94
  Optical Illusions,                            173
  Pictured Quotations,                           97
  Pin, a Wonderful,                             137
  Proverbs,                                     108
  Problem in Gymnastics,                        130
  “Punch and Judy,”                             201
  Quotations,                                    95
  Queer Candlestick,                            116
  Rebusses,                                     268
  Rooster,                                      121
  Rhymes,                                        98
  Redeeming Forfeits,                           131
  Scorpion,                                     140
  Shadows on the Wall,                     125, 137
  Spin the Plate,                               129
  Shadow Buff,                                  113
  Spinning a Cent upon a Needle Point,          128
  Sleight of Hand,                              179
  Three Matches,                                126
  Truth,                                        123
  Throwing the Handkerchief,                    115
  The Tailless Donkey,                          119
  Tongue Twisters,                              103
  Tossing the Rings,                            109
  Water, Through the                            139
  What D’ye Buy,                                289
  “What, Sir! Me, Sir?”                         121
  Where is Your Letter Going?                   100
  What is Your Age?                             120
  Weighing a Letter with a Broomstick,          117
  Wax-Works Gallery,                            162
  Word-making,                                  293
  Young Folks’ Concert,                         295
  Zoetrope, a Parlor                            135



Ladies who are on a social equality are introduced to each other, and
so also are gentlemen. The latter, however, are always presented to

When the difference between the parties is a debatable one, it is the
formal custom among many to say, “Mrs. A., this is Mrs. H.; Mrs. H.,
Mrs. A.”

Where a gentleman is presented to a lady by another gentleman,
permission must first be secured from the lady, and afterward the
presentation is made complimentary by this formula: “Mr. Mortimer
desires to be presented to Mrs. or Miss Fairfax.” Or if the individual
making the presentation desires the unknown parties to become
acquainted for his or her own personal reasons, this form can be used:
“This is Mr. Mortimer, Mrs. Fairfax. It gives me pleasure to present
him to you.” The married lady, if she be glad to know Mr. Mortimer,
says so frankly and thanks the presenting party, after which the latter
retires. The young lady expresses a polite recognition of the gentleman
presented, by bowing, smiling, and mentioning the name of the new
acquaintance as a response. The expressed gratification must come from
the gentleman, who will say some complimentary thing to her in regard
to the ceremony.

Hand shaking is not so common as it was formerly.

In introductions generally the younger is introduced to the elder,
except when a publicly admitted superiority exists. The unknown is
always presented to the famous. The single lady is introduced to the
married one, and the single gentleman to the married, other things
being equal.

A person must conduct himself or herself, while remaining in a house on
invitation, as if there were no more exalted society than that present.

To converse above the comprehension of others is an unpardonable
egotism, and to try to give the impression that superior surroundings
are the only ones with which you are familiar is evidence to the


Bowing means recognition and nothing else, and it is the lady’s
prerogative to offer this, and the gentleman’s to accept it. Between
intimate friends it is immaterial which bows first, the gentleman or
lady. The lady may be distant or cordial in her salutation, and the
gentleman must be responsive to her manner, and claim no more attention
than she offers.

If a gentleman lifts his hat and stops after a lady has recognized him,
he may ask her permission to turn and accompany her for a little, or
even a long distance. Under no circumstances should he stand still in
the street to converse with her, or be offended if she excuse herself
and pass on.

At entertainments a gentleman who is a formal acquaintance waits for
the lady-guest to recognize his presence.

On entering a parlor to pay a visit, a gentleman should always carry
his hat, leaving overshoes, overcoat, and umbrella in the hall if it be
winter time. The lady rises to receive him, unless she is an invalid,
or aged, in which case she receives him seated. If she extends her hand
to him, he takes it, but does not remove his glove. He never offers his
hand first. If it be a brief call, and others are present, he seldom
seats himself, and takes leave very soon after another gentleman
enters, the lady not extending her hand a second time. Hand-shaking is
falling into disuse in ordinary visits.

A lady should never accompany a gentleman to the door of the
drawing-room, much less to the vestibule, unless she entertains a
special regard for him. She introduces him to no one, unless there be
some reason why this formality should take place; and he talks with her
other guests just as if he had met them before. No after recognition is
warranted between gentlemen, or between ladies. If the parties desire
to be presented to each other, the hostess should not refuse this
formality if asked to perform it.

There may be cases when a gentleman may lift his hat to a lady, even
though he cannot bow to her.

It not infrequently happens when gentlemen are driving, that they
cannot touch their hats because too closely occupied; but a cordial bow
satisfies under such circumstances. When riding in the saddle he may
lift his hat, or touch its rim with his whip. Etiquette permits either
style of greeting.

In passing a group of mourners at a door-way, where their dead is being
carried forth, or a funeral procession in a quiet street, a gentleman
should uncover his head.

A gentleman should always lift his hat when tendering a service,
however slight, to a strange lady. It may be the restoration of
handkerchief or fan, the receiving of her change, opening her umbrella
or any other courteous act. To say “Thank you!” is not now considered
necessary; it has ceased to be etiquette.

A gentleman will open a door for a strange lady, hold it open with one
hand and lift his hat with the other, while she passes through. He
always quickly offers her the precedence.

A gentleman who is walking in the street with a lady, touches his
hat, and bows to anyone she salutes in passing. This is done in
compliment to her acquaintance, who is most likely a stranger to him.
If accompanying her across a drawing-room, and she bows to a friend,
he inclines his head also but does not speak. He always raises his hat
when he begs a lady’s pardon for an inadvertence, whether he is known
to her or not.


It is a rule among the best people to call upon the stranger who is
in town. If the visitor brings letters of introduction, an _entree_
to society is easy through the usually observed forms. If strangers
who have come to reside near us, or even to visit our locality, bear
credentials of respectability, courteous and hospitable residents
will call upon them, after sufficient time has elapsed for the
recently arrived to have adjusted themselves to their new positions.
No introduction is necessary in such a case. The resident ladies call
between two and five o’clock, send in their own with their husbands’
or their fathers’ or brothers’ cards, and if they find the strangers
disengaged, a brief and cordial interview ends the first visit. This
must be returned within a week, or a note of apology and explanation
for the omission is sent, and the return-visit is then paid later
on. If a card be sent in return for this visit, or is left in person
without an effort to see the parties who have made the first visit, it
is understood that the strangers prefer solitude, or that there are
reasons why they cannot receive visitors.

A gentleman should not make a first call upon the ladies of the family
of a new-comer without an introduction or an invitation.

When should a lady call first on a new desirable acquaintance? She
should have met the new acquaintance, should have been properly
introduced, and should feel sure that her own acquaintance is desired.
The oldest resident, the one most prominent in society, should call
first. Good expedient for a first call is the sending out of cards, for
several days in the month, by a lady who wishes to begin her social
life in a new place. These may be accompanied by the card of some
well-known friend, or they may go out alone. If they bring visits or
cards in response, the beginner has started on her career with no loss
of self-respect. First calls should be returned within a week.

After a dinner-party a guest must call in person and inquire if the
hostess is at home. For other entertainments the lady can call by
proxy, or simply send her card. In sending to inquire for a person’s
health, cards may be sent with a courteous message. No first visit
should, however, be returned by card only.

Bachelors should leave cards on the master and mistress of the house,
and the young ladies. To turn down the corners of the card has become
almost obsolete, except, perhaps, where a lady wishes it understood
that she called in person. The plainer the card the better. A small,
thin card for a gentleman, not glazed, with his name in small script
and his address well engraved in the corner, is in good taste. A lady’s
card should be larger, but not glazed or ornamented.


Ladies’ cards should be nearly square (about 2½ x 3 inches), of
smooth-finished card-board, medium weight, pearl-white in color, and
the engraving plain script.

A gentleman’s card is smaller and narrower, (about 1½ × 2¾ inches), of
heavier card-board, and the engraving larger and somewhat heavier.

If the surname is short, the full name may be engraved. If the names
are long, and the space does not admit of their full extension, the
initials of given names may be used. The former style is preferred,
when practicable. In the absence of any special title properly
accompanying the name—as “Rev.,” “Dr.,” “Col.,” etc.,—“Mr.” is always
prefixed. Good form requires this on an engraved card. If in any
emergency a man writes his own name on a card he does not prefix “Mr.”

Omit from visiting-cards all titles that signify transient offices,
or occupations not related to social life; using such titles only as
indicate a rank or profession that is for life; and which has become a
part of the man’s identity, or which is distinctly allied to his social
conditions. Thus: the rank of an officer in the army or the navy should
be indicated by title on his card. His personal card is engraved thus:
“General Green”—the title in full when only the surname is used; or,
“Gen. Winfield Green,” “Gen. W. S. Smith”—the title abbreviated when
the given names, or their initials, are used. Officers on the retired
list, and veteran officers of the late war who rose from the volunteer
ranks, retain their titles by courtesy. The official cards of political
officers and ambassadors, with the title and office of the man—with or
without his name—should be used only on official or State occasions,
and during the term of office.

Professional or business cards that bear ever so slight an
advertisement of occupations are not allowable. The three “learned”
professions, theology, medicine, and law, are equally “for life,”
and should appear on the card. On the other hand, the callings of
the clergyman and the physician respectively, are closely allied to
the social side of life, closely identified with the man himself.
Therefore “Rev.,” or “Dr.” may with propriety be considered as forming
an inseparable compound with the name. The title is an important
identifying mark, and its omission, by the clergyman, at least, is not
strictly dignified.

It is not good form to use merely honorary titles on visiting-cards.
In most cases, a man should lay aside all pretension to special office
or rank, and appear in society simply as “Mr. John Brown.” An engraved
address implies some permanency of location. Those who are liable to
frequent changes of address would better omit this addition to the
visiting-card, writing the address in any emergency that requires it.
No messages should be written on a man’s card, and no penciling is
allowed, except as above, to give (or correct) the address, or in the
case of “P. P. C.” cards, sent by post.


A woman’s name should never appear on a visiting-card without either
“Mrs.” or “Miss” prefixed. The exception would be in the case of
women who have regularly graduated in theology or medicine. Such are
entitled, like their brothers, to prefix “Rev.” or “Dr.” to their names.

A married woman’s card is engraved with her husband’s name, with the
prefix “Mrs.” No matter how “titled” the husband may be, his titles do
not appear on his wife’s visiting-card. The wife of the President is
not “Mrs. President Washington,” but “Mrs. George Washington.”

A widow may, if she prefers, retain the card engraved during her
husband’s lifetime, unless by so doing she confuses her identity with
that of some other lady whose husband is still living. It is more
strictly correct for a widow to resume her own given name, and to have
her card so engraved. An unmarried woman’s card is engraved with her
full name, or the initials of given names, as she prefers, but always
with the prefix “Miss.” The address may be engraved or written in the
lower right corner.

If a society woman has a particular day for receiving calls, that
fact is announced in the lower left corner. If this is engraved, it
is understood to be a fixed custom; if written, it may be a transient
arrangement. If a weekly “at home” day is observed, the name of the
day is engraved, as “Tuesdays.” This means that during “calling
hours” on any Tuesday the hostess will be found at home. A holiday, a
birthday, a wedding anniversary, or other event in a friend’s life may
be remembered by sending a card, upon which is penciled “Greeting,”
“Congratulations,” “Best wishes,” or some similar expression. Such
cards may be sent alone, or may accompany gifts.

Any brief message may be penciled on a woman’s card, provided the
message is sufficiently personal to partake of the nature of a social
courtesy. But the card message should not be sent when courtesy
requires a note.

In strictly formal circles a young woman, during her first year in
society, pays no visits alone. She accompanies her mother or chaperon.
She has no separate card, but her name is engraved, or may be written,
beneath that of her mother (or chaperon) on a card employed for these
joint visits. After a year or so of social experience the young woman
has her separate card, subject to the general rules for ladies’ cards.

During the first year after marriage cards engraved thus: “Mr. and
Mrs. James Wills Gray,” may be used by the couple in paying calls, or
returning wedding civilities. Such cards are also used when jointly
sending presents at any time. For general visiting, after the first
year, husband and wife have separate cards.

Cards are to be left in person in the following cases: After a first
hospitality, whether accepted or not; calls of condolence, and
after-dinner calls by cards. In such cases, when personal card-leaving
is impossible, the card is sent by a private messenger, and an
explanation, or apology, sent by note. Cards of condolence may be sent
by mail by friends at a distance; but not by persons residing in the
near vicinity. In cases where personal card-leaving is not imperative,
cards may be sent either by messenger or by mail.

Social observance allows a man to delegate the distribution of
his visiting-cards to a near female relative, whenever it becomes
impracticable for him to attend to the matter personally. Only the
women of his own household, or a relative with whom he habitually pays
visits, can thus represent him by proxy.


Good clothes are not alone sufficient to gain one admittance to the
better circles of society, but without them admittance is impossible.
When we go out into the world, it is not sufficient to do as others do,
we must also dress as others dress. The man is best dressed whose dress
attracts least attention. One’s dress must be seasonable, appropriate,
conform to the prevailing fashion, without going in the least beyond
it, and appear to be comfortable.

To dress well requires sense, taste and refinement. Dress is a safe
index of character, and few dress really well that would not be
considered persons of culture. The golden rule is to avoid extremes.
The man of sense and taste never wears anything that is “loud,” flashy,
or eccentric; he yields always to fashion, but is never a slave to it.

One good suit of clothes does more service than two cheap suits. The
low-priced suit never looks well, while the high-priced suit looks well
to the last, if kept clean and occasionally pressed into shape.

Linen is a test of good taste. Shirts should fit well and be of good
quality. Let your collars always be strictly within the fashion; cuffs
should be no larger than is necessary to admit of slipping the hand
through them when buttoned. Colored shirts may be worn traveling, in
the country, but most men of taste prefer white. The pattern of colored
shirts should be small and the color quiet. If the coat, trousers and
vest of business and morning suits are not made of the same cloth,
the coat and vest should be of the same goods, and darker than the
trousers. Men who cannot spend much money with tailors should always
select dark stuffs. A dark morning suit may be worn on many occasions
where the wearing of a light suit would be in bad taste.

Single-breasted overcoats, made with a “fly,” are most worn, and most
desirable. A man of taste always selects for his overcoats dark, quiet
colors. His boots and shoes are made long, broad in the sole and in the
shank, and with a big and only moderately high heel. Pinched toes are
an abomination. The shoe that does not look comfortable never looks
well. There are many women who wear shoes that distort the feet and are
most uncomfortable; such shoes, however, are rarely, if ever, seen on
the feet of well-bred ladies.

A man’s hat should be fashionable, and his jewelry should be good and
simple. False jewelry is vulgar. A watch, to be thoroughly in good
taste, should never be very large, nor very thick, nor elaborately
chased, nor should it have a hunting-case unless his business or
pleasure renders him liable to break a crystal, when he is out of the
easy reach of a jeweler to replace it. The watch chain should always
be small and the pattern plain. Indeed, the young man who wears a big
elaborate chain and attaches it in one of the lower button-holes of
his vest has made an egregious blunder. Watch chains that go around
the neck are no longer worn. The vest chain should be attached nearly
as high up as it will reach, in a button-hole. If a locket or seal
is worn, it should be very plain. A man’s ring should be on the
third finger of the left hand. All kinds of rings are worn by men
except cluster rings; they are worn by women only. Scarf-rings and
collar-buttons with settings are in doubtful taste. Diamond studs are
now very little worn by men of the better sort, and they never wear
them except with full evening dress. Three studs in a dress shirt are
to be preferred to one. Imitation diamonds are the extreme of vulgarity.

Nowadays, with few exceptions, men wear the hair very short, and the
exceptions are not found among men of taste. The most artistic and
becoming cut is that that trims the hair very short on the sides and
back of the head, and leaves it comparatively long on the top, for the
reason that a high head is always more pleasing than a low, broad one.
The “parting” should be high up—in the middle, if one chooses to put it
there. Pomatums and other inventions of the barbers are no longer used.
Most men look best with a full beard, if it is kept properly trimmed
and is well cared for. A man with a beard that reaches down over his
chest, or a moustache so long as to be in his way, is a disgusting
object to look on. If a man shaves a part of the face only, he should
shave that part that is most prominent. A man with a prominent chin and
thin cheeks should shave his chin and let his beard grow on the sides
of his face; on the other hand, a man with a retreating or a light chin
and full cheeks should shave his cheeks and let his beard grow on his
chin. In short, the beard should be so trimmed, if worn full, or so
cut, if only a part is worn, as to give regularity to the outline of
the face. Every man, no matter who he is, should learn to shave himself
quickly and well. Shaving should be as much a part of the regular
morning toilet as the brushing of the hair. Much depends on having a
good strap and knowing how to use it.

The finger nails should be kept moderately long, and be so cut that
they are a little more pointed than the upper ends of the nails are.
They should not be scraped, and in cutting, care should be taken not to
encroach too much on the angles.

Canes should be strong, plain, stiff, light and small. Very big canes
are in very bad taste, especially for young men.

A full-dress suit consists of a swallow-tailed coat, a low, white or
black single-breasted vest, black trousers, a white necktie, a stand-up
collar, a high black hat, and a pair of light kid gloves. This dress
should never be worn until evening, and never before the dinner hour. A
white necktie should not be worn except with a full-dress suit, save by
clergymen and a few elderly men who never wear any other color. Black
trousers should not be worn except with a dress coat, save at funerals.
A high hat should not be worn with a sack coat. A low hat should not be
worn with a long coat—a double-breasted frock, for example. Dark suits
are preferable for Sundays, especially in town, and light suits should
never be worn to church anywhere. Double-breasted frock coats should
always be black.

At small informal gatherings most men regard themselves as sufficiently
dressed when they wear black frock coats and dark trousers. At
public entertainments where ladies wear bonnets, the man who wears
a black frock coat, dark trousers, and light kid gloves is better
dressed—because more appropriately—than he that wears a full-dress suit.

No man who has any regard for the proprieties will ever appear at
table, even at home, whether there are strangers present or not, or
will show himself to any one with whom he is not on a familiar footing,
in his shirt-sleeves.


Social custom, both here and in Europe, has fixed the time for a
girl’s formal introduction to society as between the ages of seventeen
and twenty. Abroad, the daughter’s début means much more than with
ourselves, and the launching of a clever and prepossessing young girl
into the fitful sea of social life is quite an important function.

The mother invites only suitable people to her house, where she may
present her daughter to them as a member of their circle. This act
conveys the information to the polite world that the young lady has
been graduated in all the accomplishments and knowledge necessary as
the equipment of a woman of society.

Just previous to her formal presentation or début, her mother and her
elder unmarried sisters—if any—pay visits, or at least leave their own
with their fathers’ and brothers’ cards, upon all acquaintances whom
they intend to invite to be present at the début. Engraved invitations
follow this formality, and they are issued about ten days previous to
the event. If they are sent by mail, an extra outer envelope incloses
all the invitations that are directed to one family. If delivered by
messenger, the outer wrap is no longer used. The mail has become as
suitable a method as any for conveying social messages. One envelope
is directed to Mr. and Mrs. A. If there are more daughters than one,
the address is, “Misses A.,” or, if preferred, “The Misses A.” Each son
receives a separate invitation; it is the custom. Replies are sent in
the names of the parties addressed on the envelopes. The invitation is
engraved in script, or, if crest or cipher be used, it may be placed
on the envelope, and is in form similar to that used for parties. Cards
have been used on which the special purpose of the party is stated,
with the name of the young lady who is to make her début engraved
upon them; but this is seldom done, and is not considered in the best
possible taste. The following is the formula if such a card is used:


  _request the pleasure of presenting their
  eldest_ [or second, etc.,] _daughter_,




  _on Wednesday evening, April 11, at half-past
  eight o’clock_.

  No. 2002 Fifth Avenue.

A preferable method is simply to inclose the card of the young lady in
the envelope containing the invitation.

The reply is written and forwarded directly, and corresponds in style
to the invitation, in the following manner:


  _accept with pleasure_


  _kind invitation for Wednesday evening,
  April 11th_.

  No. 969 Irving Place.      March 12th.

The young ladies use the same form, and commence their note with
“The Misses Jones,” or in whatever style the invitation is sent to
them. Young gentlemen follow the same custom. Intimate friends may
send flowers on the day of the young girl’s first appearance, if they
please; but it is not an inflexible custom.

The young lady stands at the left of the mother during the reception
of guests, and is presented to her elders and to ladies. Of course,
welcomes and brief congratulatory compliments are offered to her by
each guest, and then place is made for the presentation of others who
are arriving. When supper is announced, the brother or father escorts
the young lady to the table, and the mother follows, accompanied by
some honored gentleman guest. If the brother takes the young lady in,
the father leads the way with the eldest or most distinguished lady of
the party.

Visits of ceremony paid to the hostess following this entertainment
should include this young lady, but during her first season in society
she has no card of her own, and does not pay formal visits alone. If
she be the eldest unwed daughter, her name is engraved as Miss Jones,
beneath that of her mother. If she have elder sisters at home, her
name is engraved as Miss Ada Anna Jones. During this first season
she does not receive visits from gentlemen without a chaperon under
any circumstances. If her mother be unable to receive with her, she
politely declines a visit. After the first season, her own separate
card may be left, either alone or with those of other members of her
family. This formality past, she may be considered launched into the
world of social intercourse.

Young gentlemen on the other hand, enter society without formality,
and without much difficulty. A youth usually begins by endeavoring to
assist his mother at her entertainments, and by being an escort to his
sisters on informal evening visits among lady acquaintances where his
agreeable traits win him a future invitation.


Next to a wedding, there is probably no social duty that taxes to a
larger extent the cleverness and originality of the mistress of a
modern household than a fashionable dinner. As a preliminary step to
such an event, she is careful to catalogue all the names of those
to whom she desires to extend the hospitalities of her house. From
all these she selects and groups those who will affect each other
pleasantly. The differences in social conditions often go far toward
deciding upon the groups, and the combinations of guests may be based
upon mental accomplishments, or family connection. In either case the
etiquette is the same.

To give a dinner in honor of some person, or “to meet” a particular
party, as the invitation should explain (provided the guest be not
well-known and famous), has an especial advantage in that it settles
who shall, and who need not, be present. This is a simple method of
disposing of our first difficulty when issuing invitations. In such
a case the card of invitation should be in the usual form with the
addition of an extra card as follows:



  Of New Mexico.

thus intimating that the dinner is to be given in his honor. The
regular invitation should always be given in the name of the host or
hostess, thus:

  _request the pleasure of_


  _company at dinner,

  on ..................................

  at seven o’clock._
  No. 94 Florida Avenue.

The custom of engraving the initials, R. S. V. P. (Answer, if you
please), on the lower left-hand corner is less followed than formerly.
Another and also quite proper form, when the dinner is given in honor
of some distinguished person, is to issue an invitation in this style:


  _request the pleasure of_


  _company at dinner, on Tuesday,_
  _January 12th, at seven o’clock, to meet the_


  No. 94 Florida Avenue.

The form used in writing an immediate reply is as follows:


  _accept with pleasure_


  _invitation to dinner, at seven o’clock, Tuesday
  evening, January 12._

If unable to come, the refusal should be worded in a manner expressive
of disappointment. The following is the popular style:

  _regret that a previous engagement_
  [or illness, or an unfortunate event]
  _prevents the acceptance of_
  _invitation for Tuesday evening, January 12._

The answer, whether affirmative or negative, should be addressed to the
mistress of the house, and dispatched, if possible, within twenty-four
hours of the receipt of the invitation. Having accepted an invitation,
be punctual. “To be too late is a crime, and to be too early a
blunder.” You should not fail to arrive within a very few minutes after
the time named, say within five, or ten at most. Well-bred people, and
people that dine out frequently, make a point of arriving in good time.
It is not well, however, to arrive before the hour named. On entering
the drawing-room, go and pay your respects to the hostess, then to the
other members of the family, and finally to any acquaintances present.
Do not offer your hand either to hostess, host, or to any member of the
family; any offer to shake hands should come from them. On leaving,
offer your hand, if you choose, to those of your entertainers that
offered their hands to you when you arrived. But it is well to confine
your leave-taking to the hostess and host. Do not go the rounds and
take leave of the whole company individually; such a course is vulgar.
If you have a lady with you, do not enter the drawing-room arm in arm
nor side by side. The lady, or ladies will enter slightly in advance.

Gentlemen do not wear gloves at dinner-parties.

Dinner being announced, the hostess gives the signal to leave the
drawing-room. The host or the hostess choose partners for their guests.
Offer either arm to the lady. In entering at doors a gentleman takes
the lead, until reaching the dining-room, when he may let the lady pass
first. If there are steps, you may allow the lady to pass first, or you
may go a step or two in advance. If you go down side by side, give her
the side next the wall.

In the dining-room, assist the lady to be seated, and wait till the
other ladies are in place before taking your seat. The host remains
standing until all are seated. He also selects the places for his

Sit erect and close to the table. Unfold your napkin and spread it over
your lap, or over one knee, as you prefer. Before being served and
during the intervals between the courses, do not toy with the knives,
forks, or spoons, or with anything on the table. As soon as helped,
begin to eat, but not hastily. Do not wait till your neighbors are

Dinners usually begin with a soup. This, you should sip from the side
of the spoon, without noise. Not only soup, but everything else eaten
with a spoon should be sipped from its side when practicable. The plate
should never be tilted to get the last teaspoonful. If the soup is too
hot, do not blow it, but wait till it cools. In eating it sit upright,
and do not rest your forearms on the table.

Fish is eaten with a bit of bread in the left hand and a fork in the
right. Neither soup nor fish is ever offered twice at a formal dinner.

As the fork is now used almost exclusively to convey all kinds of food
that have any consistency to the mouth, it is very desirable that one
should know how to use it properly. It should not be used in the left
hand with the tines pointing upward. Food conveyed to the mouth with
the fork in the left hand should be taken up either on the point of
the tines, or on their convex side. In the right hand, the fork may
be used with the tines pointing upward or downward, at will. It need
hardly be said that eating with the knife is a social offence not to be

Eat peas with a dessert spoon, and curry also. Asparagus may be handled
with the fingers of the left hand; also Saratoga potatoes and olives.
Green corn should be cut from the cob and then eaten with a fork.
Cheese is eaten with a fork, or is placed, with a knife, on bits of
bread and carried to the mouth with the thumb and finger. Pies and
_pâtés_, as a rule, are eaten with a fork only. Sometimes it may be
necessary to use a knife to divide the crust.


There is no pleasanter sight than an artistically set dinner table
just before the guests are seated and the repast is served. To set
it is, indeed, an art of itself. It should first be covered with a
mat of double-faced cotton flannel wide enough to fall several inches
below the edge, all around. This greatly improves the appearance of
the table-cloth, which can be laid much more smoothly over this soft
foundation. Small table mats for the purpose of protecting the cloth
are not fashionable at present. The table-cloth should fall about half
way to the floor all around. For a square or extra wide table a large
floral centre-piece, either round or oblong, is usually chosen, with
endless varieties in its component arrangement. It may be low and flat,
like a floral mat, in the middle of the table, or may be lofty. Small
fringed napkins of different colors are used with a dessert of fruits.
Napkin rings are discarded by many hosts. Fancy doylies of fine linen
embroidered with silk are sometimes brought in with the finger-bowls;
but these are not for utility, the dinner napkin doing service,
while the embroidered doyly adds a dainty bit of effect to the table
decoration. Good quality of chinaware and artistic glassware are also
essential. Any ostentation in the use of plated ware is vulgar. But one
may take a pride and satisfaction in the possession of solid silver.
Every ambitious house-keeper will devise ways of securing, little by
little, if not all at once, a neat collection of solid spoons and forks.

After the floral decorations and possibly a centre-piece of pond lilies
or other flowers have been put in place, with fruits and bonbons to
balance the flowers, and here and there at convenient points cut glass
decanters of fresh sparkling water, the next step is the laying of the
covers. The courses in their order are soup, fish, entrees (served on
hot plates), roast (which is carved at the side table), and game (if
in season). The heavy courses end, the table is swept for crumbs and
dessert is brought in. Finger-bowls and doylies are brought in on the
dessert-plates. Each person at once removes the bowl and doyly to make
ready for whatever is to be put on the plate. Strong coffee is served
last of all, in small cups, fashion directing that _café noir_ or black
French coffee be used.


The wine question is one that disturbs many a dinner-giving family.
Shall wine be served or not, is a growing problem. Society has at last
reached the point where it is not considered a breach of good form to
serve a dinner without wine. Such a course is sanctioned by the example
of many high social leaders; and when it is the result of a temperance
principle it has the respect of every diner-out. No lady or gentleman
will find fault with the absence of wine at his host’s table. It is
good form for a host to serve or not serve wine, just as he chooses.
Apollinaris can be made to take the place of stronger waters, and no
embarrassment follow. The hostess who simply does not offer wine to any
guest under any circumstances, is using her influence effectively and
courageously in the cause of temperance and in support of Christian


At a dinner served in courses, it is better, as a rule, not to take a
second supply of anything. It might delay the dinner.

Bread should be broken, not cut in small pieces. To butter a large
piece of bread and then bite it, as children do, is something the
well-bred never do.

In eating game or poultry do not touch the bones with your fingers.

Never gesticulate with your knife or fork in your hand, nor hold them
pointing upward, keep them down on your plate.

A gentleman wears a dress suit at dinner. A lady wears a handsome gown,
“dinner dress” being “full dress;” differing, however, from the evening
party or reception gown in the kind of fabrics used.

Gloves are removed by both ladies and gentlemen, after being seated at
the table, and they need not be replaced again during the evening.

Never load up your fork with food until you are ready to convey it to
your mouth.

Never send your knife and fork, or either of them, on your plate when
you send for a second supply. Do not hold them meanwhile in your hand,
but lay them down, with something under them—a piece of bread, for
example—to protect the table-cloth.

Don’t use a steel knife to cut fruit if there is a silver one.

Don’t hold your elbows out; keep them close to your sides.

When you eat fruit that has a pit or a skin that is not to be
swallowed, the pit and skin must be removed from the mouth with the
fingers of the left hand, or with a spoon or fork in the right.

Tea, coffee, chocolate, etc., are drunk from the cup and never from the
saucer. Never blow your tea or coffee; wait till it cools.

Don’t tip your chair, nor lounge back in it, nor hitch up your sleeves,
nor call “Waiter!” nor try to talk with a full mouth, nor masticate
so loudly that others can hear you, nor lay bones or bits of fruit
on the table-cloth, nor pick your teeth at table. If you must do the
last-mentioned, do it unobserved, if possible. Should you unfortunately
overturn or break anything, make no apology, but let your regret appear
in your face. Never fold your napkin where you are invited for one meal
only, but lay it loosely on the table. When the ladies withdraw from
the table, the gentlemen rise. Remain in the drawing-room at least half
an hour after dinner before bidding host and hostess good-by.


These, and all similar entertainments of the “At Home” order, are much
less formal than the dinner event. The breakfast invitation should read
in the customary form, and at the right hand lower corner the words:

  “Breakfast at ten o’clock,
  March 15.”

This breakfast should not be elaborate, but dainty in its food and
appointments. The best of everything, prepared in the choicest of
styles, but nothing heavy, nor excessive in quantity, should be
prepared. Walking costumes are worn by both gentlemen and ladies, also
visiting-gloves, which are removed at table. The descent from the
dressing-room and greetings between the hostess and guest are just the
same as at a dinner-party.

Suppers are usually gentlemen parties; and from nine to ten o’clock
is the usual time for them to be served. There are game suppers, fish
suppers, and several other kinds of suppers, each one of which differs
in the appropriate supplies for the table. But the formalities of the
occasion, or, rather, the informalities, are all of the same kind. The
invitations may be made at interviews, by friendly notes, or by the
host’s visiting-card, with this, written upon it:

  _Thursday, September 16_.

If it is a fish supper, only little food except that which once lived
in the water is provided; salads and fruits, without a sweet dessert,
complete it, with the addition of coffee.

It was surely a gracious social benefactor who introduced the afternoon
reception which, between the hours of four and six, summons a host of
friends to cross one’s threshold and meet informally, over a social
cup of tea, each group giving place to others, none crowding, all at
ease, every one accorded a gracious welcome from the hostess, who thus
has tacitly placed each guest on her evening list for the season. The
afternoon reception is much the same, whether it be a tea merely, or a
musicale, or a literary occasion. Conversation and the chat of society,
the greeting of friends, the tea and its pleasant accessories, fill
a half-hour or so very pleasantly. When a musicale is given, it is
usually in honor of some favorite amateur, a pianist, singer or reader.
Under such conditions the invitation cards should be a little more
explicit, and may state “Music at 4,” or whatever the feature of the
reception or sociable may be. Tea is served in the same room, when
the guests are few, and in another room if the reception be crowded.
Usually a single table is set, with coffee or chocolate at one end,
and tea at the other, served by young ladies. To be invited to preside
at the coffee-urn, or tea-kettle, is accounted a high compliment. The
refreshments may be very thin slices of bread and butter, or wafers, or
similar trifles; but if the occasion approaches the nature of a formal
reception a more elaborate preparation is made, and bouillon, oysters,
salads, ice-cream and cakes, delicate rolls and bonbons may be offered.


These are not as popular here as abroad, and the informal lunch is not
yet fully appreciated in this country. In rural districts it is called
early dinner, or ladies’ dinner; in the city, when the gentlemen are
all down town, it becomes the elaborate ladies’ lunch. The invitations
to luncheon are similar to those of a tea or reception, but the affair
itself is even less formal. All the dishes should be light. Broiled
fish, broiled chicken, broiled ham, broiled steaks and chops, are
always satisfactory. The house-keeper living near the sea has an ample
store to choose from. The fresh fish, the roast clams, etc., take the
place of the deviled kidneys and broiled bones of the winter; but every
housewife should study the markets of her neighborhood.


This is simply a reception under another name, which is given to
signify that the entertainment is not so pretentious as a formal
reception. The name “kettle-drum” signifies to a metropolitan
resident, a light entertainment, with _demi-toilette_ for both ladies
and gentlemen. Sometimes a tiny drum is beaten at intervals in the
vicinity of the tea-table, where a lady of the household or a friend
presides. Sometimes a young lady, costumed prettily as a _vivandiere_
sits or stands by the tea-urn as its presiding genius; but these
picturesque additions to an ordinary afternoon reception are not to
be considered in the light of customs, but simply as pretty caprices,
calculated to give vivacity to the entertainment, which any lady may
adopt. Not a few leaders in society choose the “kettle-drum” because
they dislike general gatherings, or are too absorbed to assist in
entertaining evening guests. It is simply an “at home” in the daytime,
or a social _matinée_.


The “High Tea,” as its name indicates, is a more formal and pretentious
entertainment than the ordinary afternoon tea. Special cards are
engraved, and if any special entertainment is provided, the fact may
be indicated by the words, “Music,” or “Miscellaneous Program” (when
readings and music are interspersed). Or, the announcement may be
omitted, and the program furnish a pleasant surprise for the guests.

The card for a “musicale” or similar occasion, is simply engraved:

  _Friday, October 11, from
  four to seven o’clock._
  1269 Seventeenth Street.

For a party or reception given in honor of another, the invitations
should be engraved with a blank space left for the name of the invited
guest; or, the form may be filled out, and the name of the guest appear
on the envelope only. It may read:


  _request the pleasure of


  company on Tuesday evening, June sixth,
  at nine o’clock,
  to meet_


  R. S. V. P.       64 Lark Street.

or, the wording may be “request the pleasure of your company,” etc.
The same form of invitation can be adapted to almost any reception,
party or other social entertainment, with such variations as suit the
circumstances. If a series of receptions are to be given, the lower
line on the left of the card may be simply:

  _Wednesdays in December,
  from three to seven o’clock._


There is no phase of social life that contains so much of hidden peril
as that which relates to dancing. Of itself, there is nothing sinful in
dancing; but its associations and temptations, and the tendencies of
modern dancing to frivolity, unhealthful dissipation and immorality are
so obvious as to need no enumeration here. It is a positive detriment
to the spiritual growth of young men and women, and is prolific of
promiscuous acquaintanceships that cannot be claimed to be safe or
desirable for any young person having a serious object in life. The
ball-room has to many thousands proved the first step to perdition.

Of dancing, the Rev. Dr. Talmage has said:

“It is the graceful motion of the body adjusted by art to the sound
and measures of musical instrument or of the human voice. All nations
have danced. The ancients thought that Castor and Pollux taught the
art to the Lacedæmonians. But whoever started it, all climes have
adopted it. In ancient times they had the festal dance, the military
dance, the mediatorial dance, the bacchanalian dance, and queens and
lords swayed to and fro in the gardens, and the rough backwoodsman
with this exercise awakened the echo of the forest. There is something
in the sound of lively music to evoke the movement of the hand and
foot, whether cultured or uncultured. Passing down the street we
unconsciously keep step to the sound of the brass band, while the
Christian in church with his foot beats time while his soul rises upon
some great harmony. While this is so in civilized lands, the red men of
the forest have their scalp dances, their green-corn dances, their war

“The exercise was so utterly and completely depraved in ancient times
that the church anathematized it. The old Christian fathers expressed
themselves most vehemently against it. St. Chrysostom says: ‘The feet
were not given for dancing but to walk modestly, not to leap impudently
like camels.’ One of the dogmas of the ancient church reads: ‘A dance
is the devil’s possession, and he that entereth into a dance entereth
into his possession. As many paces as a man makes in dancing, so many
paces does he make to hell.’ Elsewhere the old dogmas declared this:
‘The woman that singeth in the dance is the princess of the devil, and
those that answer are her clerks, and the beholders are his friends,
and the music is his bellows, and the fiddlers are the ministers of
the devil. For as when hogs are strayed, if the hogsherd call one all
assemble together, so when the devil calleth one woman to sing in the
dance, or to play on some musical instrument, presently all the dancers
gather together.’ This indiscriminate and universal denunciation of the
exercise came from the fact that it was utterly and completely depraved.

“How many people in America have stepped from the ball-room into the
graveyard! Consumptions and swift neuralgias are close on their track.
Amid many of the glittering scenes of social life in America diseases
stand right and left and balance and chain. The breath of the sepulchre
floats up through the perfume, and the froth of Death’s lip bubbles up
in the champagne.

“It is the anniversary of Herod’s birthday. The palace is lighted.
The highways leading thereto are all ablaze with the pomp of invited
guests. Lords, captains, merchant princes, the mighty men of the land,
are coming to mingle in the festivities. The table is spread with all
the luxuries that royal purveyors can gather. The guests, white-robed
and anointed and perfumed, come in and sit at the table. Music! The
jests evoke roars of laughter. Riddles are propounded. Repartee is
indulged. Toasts are drank. The brain is befogged. The wit rolls on
into uproar and blasphemy. They are not satisfied yet. Turn on more
light. Pour out more wine. Music! Sound all the trumpets. Clear the
floor for a dance. Bring in Salome, the beautiful and accomplished
princess. The door opens, and in bounds the dancer. The lords are
enchanted. Stand back and make room for the brilliant gyrations. These
men never saw such ‘poetry of motion.’ Their souls whirl in the reel
and bound with the bounding feet. Herod forgets crown and throne and
everything but the fascinations of Salome. All the magnificence of
his realm is as nothing now compared with the splendor that whirls on
tiptoe before him. His body sways from side to side, corresponding
with the motions of the enchantress. His soul is thrilled with the
pulsations of the feet and bewitched with the taking postures and
attitudes more and more amazing. After awhile he sits in enchanted
silence looking at the flashing, leaping, bounding beauty, and as the
dance closes and the tinkling cymbals cease to clap and the thunders of
applause that shook the palace begin to abate, the enchanted monarch
swears to the princely performer: ‘Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me
I will give it thee, to the half of my kingdom.’ At the instigation
of her mother, Salome takes advantage of the extravagant promise of
the king and says, ‘Bring me the head of John the Baptist on a dinner
plate.’ Hark to the sound of feet outside the door and the clatter of
swords. The executioners are returning from their awful errand. Open
the door. They enter, and they present the platter to Salome. What
is on this platter? A new glass of wine to continue the uproarious
merriment? No. Something redder and costlier—the ghastly, bleeding
head of John the Baptist, the death glare still in the eye, the locks
dabbled with the gore, the features still distressed with the last
agony. This woman, who had whirled so gracefully in the dance, bends
over the awful burden without a shudder.

“In my parish of Philadelphia there was a young woman brilliant as
a spring morning. She gave her life to the world. She would come to
religious meetings and under conviction would for a little while begin
to pray, and then would rush off again into the discipleship of the
world. She had all the world could offer of brilliant social position.
One day a flushed and excited messenger asked me to hasten to her house
for she was dying. I entered the room. There were the physicians, there
was the mother, there lay this disciple of the world. I asked her some
questions in regard to the soul. She made no answer. I knelt down to
pray. I rose again, and desiring to get some expression in regard to
her eternal interests, I said: ‘Have you any hope?’ and then for the
first her lips moved in a whisper as she said: ‘No hope!’ Then she
died. The world, she served it, and the world helped her not in the

“With many life is a masquerade ball, and as at such entertainments
gentlemen and ladies put on the garb of kings and queens or mountebanks
or clowns and at the close put off the disguise, so a great many
pass their whole life in a mask, taking off the mask at death. While
the masquerade ball of life goes on, they trip merrily over the
floor, gemmed hand is stretched to gemmed hand, gleaming brow bends
to gleaming brow. On with the dance! Flush and rustle and laughter
of immeasurable merry-making. But after awhile the languor of death
comes on the limbs and blurs the eye-sight. Lights lower. Floor hollow
with sepulchral echo. Music saddened into a wail. Lights lower. Now
the maskers are only seen in the dim light. Now the fragrance of the
flowers is like the sickening odor that comes from garlands that have
lain long in the vaults of cemeteries. Lights lower. Mists gather
in the room. Glasses shake as though quaked by sullen thunder. Sigh
caught in the curtain. Scarf drops from the shoulder of beauty a
shroud. Lights lower. Over the slippery boards in dance of death glide
jealousies, envies, revenges, lust, despair, and death. Stench of
lamp-wicks almost extinguished. Torn garlands will not half cover the
ulcerated feet. Choking damps. Chilliness. Feet still. Hands closed.
Voices hushed. Eyes shut. Lights out.”

The dance must be classed with the wine-cup as the insidious enemy of
a pure, upright, wholesome society. Pleasant and fascinating at first,
it lures its victims to sacrifice after sacrifice until the end is
reached. No man or woman was ever benefited morally, intellectually or
physically by the dance; thousands and tens of thousands have found it
their bane, and date their ruin from the first step they danced to the
music across the floor of a lighted ball-room.



Socially considered, marriage is the most important and imposing
of all functions. It gives opportunity for the greatest display,
the most elegant toilets, and the most lavish and superb manner of
entertainment. Yet singularly enough, the etiquette of weddings is
probably more variable and subject to innovation than that of any other
event in the social calendar. At no two grand weddings is the etiquette
precisely the same.

Wedding invitations according to present custom are consigned to the
post from two to three weeks preceding the date of the event. Those
sent to friends and relatives abroad are sent quite three weeks
earlier. A representative invitation is given below:

  _request the honor of your presence
  at the marriage of their daughter,_
  _on Wednesday, June the twenty-first,
  at twelve o’clock, in
  The Church of the Pilgrims._

This is engraved in round-hand script, without flourish and with little
shading, and a tendency toward the medium and the small in size. The
lines are rather close together, allowing considerable margin at top
and bottom of the note. The paper most preferred has a white dull
kid and parchment finish, in size between octavo and billet. When
folded it fits an envelope that is almost square and which offers a
choice of either a pointed or square flap. In town the pointed flap is
considered the proper thing while the country favors the square one.
The envelope inclosing the note is without gum and of the same weight
as the inclosure, while the outer one, intended as a carrier only, is
of lighter quality and gummed for sealing.

Wedding invitations require no answer. But people living at a distance,
who cannot attend the wedding, should send their cards by mail, to
assure the hosts that the invitation has been received.

The usual form of invitation for a wedding reception is as follows:

  _At Home
  After the Ceremony,
  7 East Market Street_—

This is enclosed, with the cards of the young bride and of her intended
husband, to the favored ones only.

People with a large acquaintance cannot always invite all their friends
to a wedding reception, and therefore invite all to the church.
Sometimes people who are to give a small wedding at home request an
answer to the wedding invitation; in that case, of course, an answer
should be sent, and people should be very careful not to ignore these
flattering invitations. Any carelessness is inexcusable when so
important an event is in view. Bridesmaids, if prevented by illness or
sudden bereavement from officiating, should notify the bride as soon as
possible, as it is a difficult thing after a bridal program is arranged
to reorganize it.


We have gradually adopted feature by feature of the English style of
wedding in America until to-day the general order followed in both
countries may be said, in all essential particulars, to be identical.
The bridegroom is dressed in a frock-coat and light trousers of any
good pattern; in other words, he wears a formal morning dress, drives
to the church with his best man, and awaits the arrival of the bride
in the vestry-room. He may wear gloves or not as he chooses. The best
man is the intimate friend, sometimes the brother, of the groom.
He accompanies him to the church, follows him to the altar, stands
at his right hand a little behind him, and holds his hat during the
marriage-service. After that is ended he pays the minister’s fee,
accompanies the bridal party home, being in a coupé by himself, and
assists the ushers to introduce friends to the newly wedded pair.

The bridegroom is allowed to make what presents he pleases to the
bride, and to send some gift, such as a fan, locket, ring or bouquet,
to the bridesmaids; he also buys the wedding-ring, and, of course,
sends a bouquet to the bride; but he is not to furnish cards or
carriages or the wedding breakfast; that is done by the bride’s family.
In England the groom is expected to drive the bride away in his own
carriage, but in America this custom is not often followed. The bride,
beautifully dressed usually in white satin, with point lace veil and
orange blossoms, is driven to the church in a carriage with her father,
who gives her away. Her mother and other relatives precede her and take
front seats; her bridesmaids should also precede her, and await her
in the chancel. The ushers then form the procession with which almost
all city weddings are begun. The ushers first, two and two; then the
bridesmaids, two and two; then some pretty children—bridesmaids under
ten; and then the bride, leaning on her father’s right arm. Sometimes
the child bridesmaids precede the others. As the procession reaches
the lowest altar step the ushers break ranks and go to the right and
left and the bridesmaids also go to right and left, leaving a space for
the bridal pair. As the bride reaches the lowest step the bridegroom
advances, takes her by the right hand, and conducts her to the altar,
where both kneel. The clergyman signifies to them when to rise, and
then proceeds with the ceremony. The bridal pair walk down the aisle
arm-in-arm, and are conducted to the carriage and driven home, the rest
following. In some cases, a bridal register is signed in the vestry.

Formerly brides removed the whole of the left glove; now they neatly
cut the finger out of the glove, so that they can remove that without
pulling off the whole glove for the ring.

In a marriage at home, the bridesmaids and best man are usually
dispensed with. The clergyman enters and faces the company, the bridal
pair follow and face him. After the ceremony the clergyman retires, and
the wedded pair receive congratulations.


The English fashion of a wedding breakfast is not common here yet, but
it is well to describe the proper etiquette. The gentlemen and ladies
invited should be notified a fortnight in advance, and should accept
or decline immediately, as it has all the formality of a dinner. On
arriving at the house the gentlemen leave their hats in the hall, but
ladies do not remove their bonnets. After greeting the bride and groom
and the father and mother, the company talk together until breakfast
is announced. Then the bride and groom go first, followed by bride’s
father with groom’s mother, then groom’s father with bride’s mother,
then best man with first bridesmaid, then bridesmaids with attendant
gentlemen, and then the other invited guests, as the bride’s mother
arranges. Coffee and tea are not usually offered, but bouillon, salads,
birds, oysters, and other hot and cold dishes, ices, jellies, etc., are
served at this breakfast, and finally the wedding-cake is set before
the bride, who cuts a slice.

“Stand-up” breakfasts are far more commonly served, as the French say,
_en buffet_. More guests can come and it is far less trouble to serve a
collation to a number of people standing about than to furnish what is
really a dinner to a number sitting down.


If the marriage is to be solemnized at home, the date follows the
names in succession, and the place of residence is given last. The
invitation may vary, “the wedding reception of their daughter,” etc.
Or, accompanying the church wedding invitation may be a square card
bearing the lines: “Reception from half-past seven until nine o’clock,”
with place of residence on the line below.

If the ceremony is private, the immediate family and chosen friends
are invited verbally. It is then optional whether or not a formal
announcement shall be made to a wider circle of friends by sending
out engraved cards the day after the ceremony. These are, like the
invitations, printed on note sheets. The private wedding and after
announcement is often the most suitable method when a bride is
comparatively alone in the world, or has no near relatives. In such a
case the announcement is worded: “Mr. Walter Edward Brown and Miss Anna
Childers Wilson married; Wednesday, October twentieth, 619 Grace St.”
If no other place is given this is understood to be the place where to
address cards of congratulation. If the young couple are to receive
later, in a new home, that address, with date of the “at home,” is also
given, thus, “At home, after November fifteenth, 6417 Ocean Ave.” If
the change of residence is to another town, the name of the town is
also given.


There are probably few matters that are the occasion of more
troublesome study and vexation of spirit than the selection of wedding
presents. They should in all cases be chosen with due reference to the
circumstances of the bride. For the daughter of wealthy parents, who
marries a man of large means, rare and costly articles are suitable
wedding gifts. For a bride who is going to housekeeping on a moderate
income, articles that are useful as well as beautiful are appropriate.
A handsome chair, a china cabinet, or some china to put in it, a few
standard books, fine table linen, or one of the many other things
within the range of house-furnishing are acceptable.

Presents devised and made by the ingenuity and labor of the
giver—hand-painted screens or china, embroidered work, or a painting or
etching—are specially complimentary gifts.

A man should not make valuable presents to a lady outside of his own
family, unless she is very much his senior, and a friend of long
standing. A lady should not accept valuable gifts from a gentleman
unless his relationship to her warrants it. Trifling tokens of
friendship or gallantry—a book, a bouquet, or a basket of bonbons—are
not amiss; but a lady should not be under obligation to a man for
presents that plainly represent a considerable money value. When a gift
is accepted, the recipient should not make too obvious haste to return
the compliment, lest he or she seem unwilling to rest under obligation.

To refuse all trifling favors is regarded as rudeness. It is often the
greatest wisdom as well as kindness, to allow some one to do us a favor.

When some well-meaning person innocently offers a gift that strict
conventionality would forbid one to accept, it is sometimes better to
suspend the rules and accept the token, than to hurt the feelings by

Gifts of flowers to the convalescent are among the graceful expressions
of courteous interest. Even a total stranger may send these, without

Wedding gifts may be sent at any time within two months before the
wedding. All who send gifts should be asked to the wedding and


It is becoming more and more the custom, both in town and country,
to celebrate wedding anniversaries. These occasions, however, with
a few exceptions, are usually confined to the exchange of gifts and
expression of good-will by members of the immediate family. But when
a number of years have passed, a married pair, whose wedded lives
have been harmonious, begin to look forward to the approach of an
anniversary which can be celebrated by a much wider circle. The
marriage anniversary which falls after five years is sometimes called
“a wooden wedding;” after ten years, “tin;” after twenty, “crystal;”
at twenty-five, “silver;” at fifty, a “golden anniversary;” and at
seventy-five the “diamond wedding” occurs.

So general has been the custom, in the past, of making these
anniversaries occasions for the making of gifts of all descriptions
that self-respecting families have at last drawn the line at this
practice and engraved upon their anniversary invitation cards:
“No gifts received.” Still some old friends will take the liberty
sometimes of disregarding the engraved injunction, just as such valued
individuals indulge themselves in familiarities with the rules that
usually govern one’s private social affairs. But if remoter relatives
or mere society acquaintances send a gift other than flowers or a book,
after being requested to restrict their generosity, they need not
be surprised if the act be considered an impertinence, and resented

The prevailing style of cards of invitation to an anniversary party or
reception is the same as to any ordinary entertainment. A wedding-bell,
or a horse-shoe of white flowers, with the date of the marriage wrought
into it with colored blossoms, or a bride’s loaf dated in sugar and
placed upon a separate table, informs the guests of the reason for
rejoicing. Here is the correct form of invitation card for such

  _request the pleasure of your presence
  on Tuesday evening, January eleventh, at
  eight o’clock, to celebrate the
  twenty-fifth anniversary of their marriage._
  No. 47 Rylance Street.
  _No gifts received._

It is customary for the host and hostess to secure as many guests
as possible from among those who were present at their wedding. The
clergyman who performed the ceremony is bidden, and, if possible, the
wedding-garments are again worn.

Other interesting formalities are added, making the occasion
impressive, without being oppressive. Near kinspeople offer
congratulations first, when other guests follow after the manner of
a wedding reception. When a formal supper is provided, the host and
hostess lead together upon this peculiar occasion, and the guests
follow in convenient order, as at an ordinary party. The supper may be
in buffet style, if preferred.


When a honeymoon follows, the old customs are still maintained. The
father, mother and intimate friends kiss the bride, and, as the happy
pair drive off, a shower of satin slippers and rice follows them. If
one slipper alights on the top of the carriage, luck is assured to them

Many brides nowadays prefer to be married in traveling dress and hat,
and leave immediately without congratulations.

Wedding-cake is no longer sent about. It is neatly packed in boxes;
each guest takes one, if she likes, on leaving the house.

Wedding-favors of white ribbon and artificial flowers are used in
England, but not to any great extent in America. Here the groom wears a
_boutonnière_ of natural flowers.

A widow should never be accompanied by bridesmaids, or wear a veil or
orange-blossoms. She should wear a colored silk and a bonnet, and be
attended by her father, brother or some near friend. It is proper for
her to remove her first wedding-ring, as the wearing of that cannot but
be painful to the bridegroom. If married at home, she may wear a light
silk and be bonnetless.

It is an exploded idea that of allowing every one to kiss the bride.
Only near relatives have this privilege.

Wedding tours are no longer considered obligatory nor is the seclusion
of the honeymoon demanded by fashionable society.


The old-time habit of serving wines and liquors at these gatherings
has, happily, almost died out, in good society. Those who entertain
elaborately upon New Year’s Day sometimes send out cards of invitation
in the name of the hostess. They are handsomely engraved, and enclosed
in a single envelope. If a daughter or daughters receive with her,
“Miss Blank or Misses Blank” is engraved beneath her own name. If other
ladies than her daughters also receive with her, their visiting-card
may be enclosed in the same envelope with the hostess’ invitation.
Should the lady-guest invite her own personal friends to meet her at
the residence of her hostess for this day, she writes the number of
her residence where she is to receive on New Year’s upon her own card,
adding the receiving hours in ink, and she incloses the visiting-card
of her hostess.

The invitation of the hostess is engraved in the following form:



  _January first, from one until ten o’clock._

  No. 679 Little Silver Street.

All the ladies are in full toilets, and the house is lighted as if
it were evening. A table is spread, as if for an ordinary reception
or party, in the back parlor or dining-room. A servant opens the
street-door and the gentlemen leave their cards in the hall. They
enter the drawing-room with hat in hand, or they may leave it in
the hall with overcoat and cane. Ladies in full costume require the
atmosphere of their drawing-rooms to be kept comfortably warm. They
rise to receive their guests. The hostess offers her hand to the guest
when he enters, and, after an exchange of compliments he is presented
to her lady friends. After partaking of refreshments, which consist
of oysters, tea, coffee, chocolate, bouillon or lemonade, with cake
and cold meats, boned turkey, etc., he may retire soon from the house
without interrupting his hostess, provided she be occupied with later
visitors. He need only bow to each lady as he passes out.

Ladies who receive New Year’s callers less formally may write “January
1” upon their visiting-cards and send them to such of their gentlemen
acquaintances as they may like to see. They need not provide an
elaborate repast. They may wear a visiting costume with light gloves,
but they need not turn on the gas, because informal receptions are held
in daylight. If they do not mention upon their cards the hours for
receiving, it is etiquette for a gentleman to call at any time between
twelve m. and ten o’clock p. m. The formalities between hostess and
guest are the same as if the reception were held in grand toilet.

Gentlemen who cannot call enclose their visiting-cards in envelopes,
and send them by messengers on the morning of New Year’s, or by mail
the day before. Others drive from door to door and leave their cards,
the right-hand side folded over to signify that they delivered the card
in person. A gentleman leaves as many cards as there are ladies who are
old enough to receive visitors.

Gentlemen should wear a morning costume of dark coat and vest, with
lighter pantaloons, when they pay New Year’s calls. It is not uncommon
to see dress-suits, but they are never strictly correct until evening.
Gloves, while light in tint, should never be white. Medium tints in
scarfs and gloves are in taste upon these occasions.


There are occasions when family and friendly reunions of the
pleasantest character may be enjoyed. Christening ceremonials among
our superior citizens are becoming more and more beautiful each year
in New York. The formality which is most in favor is the giving of a
reception; the hours are fixed from three or four o’clock until six
p. m. It is equally proper to write the invitations, or to order them
engraved in script.

The engraved form is scarcely varied from the following:

  _request the honor of your presence at the
  Christening Ceremony
  of their son_ [or daughter] _at five o’clock,
  Thursday, December sixth.
  Reception from four to six o’clock._
  No. 1624 W. Eleventh Street.

This card calls for an early response.

At these parties, flowers ornament the house tastefully. The guests all
arrive in reception or visiting toilets, before five o’clock, and meet
the host and hostess just as they would at any reception.

There may be a band of music, or a pianist and a quartette of singers,
to entertain the guests.

Sometimes professional musicians are employed. A temporary font is
arranged in a prominent place in the room, and on a small round table
is placed a silver goblet or bowl, or one of crystal. The edge of the
pedestal is often hung with trailing flowers.

The child is brought to the parents, who stand by the font, and the
sponsors join them. If it be a girl, its selected guardians are usually
two young ladies, who are dressed in white and who arrange themselves
one at each side of the father and mother, and a hymn or chant is sung.
The clergyman performs the rite according to the formalities of his
own established church; more music follows, and then a benediction.
Directly after this, congratulations are offered to the father and
mother, and the child is admired and shortly afterward removed.

Refreshments are offered as at any afternoon entertainment.

Children’s birthdays are celebrated more and more after the customs
of Europeans. A little feast is made for the child, to which its
companions are invited, but the invitations seldom extend beyond a
number that may be seated at table. The feast is dainty but not rich,
and with a pretty cake in which may be placed as many toy wax-candles
as there are years in the age of the young host. They are already
lighted when the young people enter the room. Plays follow the supper.
Guests are not expected to make presents.

Among the elders of a family the yearly return of the birthday is
seldom celebrated except by his or her own kinspeople. The twenty-first
birthday of a young man is often made an occasion for a dinner, or a
party, but a lady’s age is not thus publicly celebrated. When the lady
or gentleman becomes very old, delightful attentions are often bestowed
upon them by their young friends, and by the companions of their youth.
Flowers, letters of congratulation, cards of inquiry and respect, gifts
that will interest, breakfast or dinner parties, and receptions, are
considered proper for such celebrations.


Death comes to all alike and custom has long established a conventional
observance in dealing with the presence of death, in our own homes or
elsewhere. In our own country black is worn as the typical attire of
sorrow, and it has come to be regarded as a token of respect to the
lost one. It is now decreed that crape shall only be worn six months,
even for the nearest relative, and that the duration of mourning
shall not exceed a year. A wife’s mourning for her husband is the
most conventionally deep mourning allowed. Bombazine and crape, a
widow’s cap, and a long, thick veil—such is the modern English idea.
Some widows even have the cap made of black _crêpe lisse_, but it is
generally of white. In this country a widow’s first mourning dresses
are covered almost entirely with crape. There are now, however, other
and pleasanter fabrics which also bear the dead black, lustreless look
which is alone considered respectful to the dead, and which are not so
costly as crape or so disagreeable to wear. The Henrietta cloth and
imperial serges are chosen for heavy winter dresses, while for those of
less weight are tamise cloth, Bayonnaise, grenadine, nuns’ veiling, and
the American silk.

Mourning is expensive, and often costs a family more than they can well
afford; but it is a sacrifice that all gladly make. Many consider it an
act of disrespect to the memory of the dead if the living are not clad
in gloomy black.

Widows wear deep mourning, consisting of woolen stuffs and crape, for
about two years, and sometimes by choice for life. Children wear the
same for parents for one year, and then lighten it with black silk,
trimmed with crape. Half mourning gradations of gray, purple, or lilac
have been abandoned, and, instead, combinations of black and white are
used. Complimentary mourning is black silk without crape. The French
have three grades of mourning—deep, ordinary, and half mourning. In
deep mourning, woolen cloths only are worn; in ordinary mourning, silk
and woolen; in half mourning, gray and violet. In France, etiquette
prescribes mourning for a husband—six months of deep mourning, six
of ordinary, and six weeks of half mourning. For a wife, a father,
or a mother, six months—three deep and three half mourning; for a
grandparent, two months and a half of slight mourning; for a brother or
a sister, two months, one of which is in deep mourning; for an uncle or
an aunt, three weeks of ordinary black. Here, ladies have been known
to go into deepest mourning for their own relatives or those of their
husbands, or for people, perhaps, whom they have never seen, and have
remained for seven or ten years, constantly in black; then, on losing a
child or a relative dearly loved, they have no extremity of dress left
to express the real grief. Complimentary mourning should be limited to
two or three weeks.

The duration of a mourner’s retirement from the world has been much
shortened of late. For one year no formal visiting is undertaken, nor
any gayety. Black is often worn for a husband or wife two years, for
parents one year, and for brothers and sisters one year; a heavy black
is lightened after that period. Ladies are beginning to wear a small
black gauze veil over the face, and are in the habit of throwing the
heavy crape veil back over the hat. It is also proper to wear a quiet
black dress when going to a funeral, although not absolutely necessary.
Friends may call on the bereaved family within a month, not expecting,
of course to see them. Kind notes expressing sympathy are welcome from
intimate friends; and flowers, or any similar testimonial of sympathy,
are thoughtful and appropriate.

Cards and note-paper are put in mourning, but very broad borders of
black are in bad taste. A narrow border of black is correct. The use of
handkerchiefs with a two-inch square of white cambric and a four-inch
border of black is to be deprecated.

Mourning which soldiers, sailors, and courtiers wear is pathetic and
effective. A flag draped with crape, a gray cadet-sleeve with a black
band, or a piece of crape about the left arm of a senator, a black weed
on a hat, are in proper taste.

For light mourning, jet is used on silk, and makes a handsome dress.

Elegant dresses are made with jet embroidery on soft French crape, but
lace is never “mourning.” During half mourning, however, black lace
may be worn on white silk; but this is questionable. Diamond ornaments
set in black enamel are allowed even in the deepest mourning, and also
pearls set in black. Gold is never worn in mourning.

The Swedish kid glove is now much more in use for mourning, and the
silk glove is made with such neatness and with such a number of buttons
that it is equally stylish, and much cooler and more agreeable.
Mourning bonnets are worn rather larger than ordinary bonnets.

People of sense, of course, manage to dress without going to
extremities in either direction. Exaggeration is to be deprecated
in mourning as in everything. The discarding of mourning should be
effected by slow stages. It shocks persons of good taste to see a widow
change into colors hurriedly. If black is to be dispensed with, let its
retirement be slowly and gracefully marked by quiet costumes, as the
grief, yielding to time, is giving way to resignation and cheerfulness.

Before a funeral the ladies of a family see no one but the most
intimate friends. The gentlemen, of course, see the clergyman and
officials who manage the ceremony. It is now the almost universal
practice to carry the remains to a church, where the friends of the
family can pay the last tribute of respect without crowding into a
private house. Pall-bearers are invited by note, and assemble at the
house. They, accompanying the remains, after the ceremonies at the
church, to their final resting-place. The nearest lady friends seldom
go to the church or to the grave. This is, however, entirely a matter
of feeling, and they can go if they wish. After the funeral only the
members of the family return to the house. It is not expected that a
bereaved wife or mother will see any one other than the members of her
family for several weeks.

All the preparations for a funeral in the house are committed to the
care of an undertaker, who removes the furniture from the drawing-room,
filling all the space possible with camp-stools. The clergyman reads
the service at the head of the coffin, the relatives being grouped
around. The body, if not disfigured by disease, is often dressed in the
clothes worn in life, and laid in an open casket, as if reposing on a
sofa, and all friends are asked to take a last look. The body of a man
is usually dressed in black.

The custom of decorating the coffin with flowers is beautiful, but has
been overdone, and now the request is frequently made that no flowers
be sent.

No one in mourning for a parent, child, brother, or husband, is
expected to be seen at a concert, a dinner, a party, or at any other
place of public amusement, before three months have passed. After that
one may be seen at a concert. But to go to the opera, or a dinner, or
a party, before six months have elapsed, is considered heartless and
disrespectful. If one choose, as some do, to wear no mourning, then
he can go, unchallenged, to any place of amusement, but if he put on
mourning he must respect its etiquette.

A woman may wear mourning all her life if she choose, but it is a
question whether in so doing she does not injure the welfare and
happiness of the living.


Good or ill-breeding is no more marked in general deportment than in
the writing of notes and letters. A gracefully and courteously worded
note is always pleasantly received. Very long letters are now rendered
unnecessary by the increase of mail and telegraphic facilities, but
the writing of notes has correspondingly increased; and the last few
years have seen a profuse introduction of crests, ciphers, designs, and
monograms in the corners of ordinary note-paper. The use of sealing-wax
has almost been abandoned, although it is still the only elegant,
formal, and ceremonious way acknowledged in England, of sealing a

Colored note-paper fell into disuse long ago, and for the last few
years we have not seen the heavy tints. Pale greens, grays, blues,
and lilacs have found a place in fashionable stationery, but now no
color that is appreciable is considered stylish, unless it be _écru_,
a creamy white. Fanciful emblazoned and colored monograms have been
dropped; the crest and cipher are laid aside, and ladies have simply
the address of their city residence, or the name of their country place
printed in one corner (generally in color), or, a fac-simile of their
initials, engraved and set across the corner of the note-paper. The day
of the week, also copied from their own handwriting, is often impressed
upon the square cards now so much in use for short notes, or on the
note-paper. Good, plain, thick, English note-paper, folded square, put
in a square envelope, and sealed with red sealing-wax is always stylish
in any part of the world.

The plan of having all the note-paper marked with the address is an
excellent one. It gives a stylish finish to the appearance of the
note-paper, is simple, and useful. The ink should be plain black ink,
which gives the written characters great distinctness.

Every lady should study to acquire a free, and educated hand; a
cramped, poor, slovenly, unformed handwriting is sure to produce a poor
impression upon the reader.

Custom demands that we begin all notes in the first person, with the
formula of “My dear Mrs. Brown,” and close with “Yours, cordially,”
or “Yours with much regard,” etc. The laws of etiquette do not permit
us to use numerals, as 3, 4, 5, but demand that we write out _three_,
_four_, _five_. No abbreviations are allowed in a note to a friend,
as, “S’d be glad to see you;” one must write out, “I should be glad to
see you.” The date should follow the signing of the name. A note in
answer to an invitation should be written in the third person, if the
invitation be in the third person. An acceptance of a dinner invitation
must be written in this form:


  _have great pleasure in accepting the polite
  invitation of_
  _for dinner, on the seventeenth inst., at seven
  18 Golden Square.
  July sixth._

Above all things, in letter writing, _spell correctly_. A word badly
spelled stands out like a blot on a familiar or ceremonious note. Do
not send a blurred, blotted, slovenly note to any one. The fashion is
not now, as once, imperative that a margin be left around the edge of
the paper. People now write all over the paper. Do not _cross_ your
letters: such letters are a nuisance to all people who have not the
keenest of eyes.

No letter or note should be written on ruled paper. Every person should
learn to write without lines. The square cards are much used, and are
quite large enough for the transmission of all that a lady ordinarily
wishes to say in giving or accepting an invitation. The day of the week
and the address are often printed on the card. Square envelopes have
also driven the long ones from the table of the elegant note-writer,
and the custom of closing all ceremonious notes with sealing-wax
is still adhered to by the most fastidious. Dates and numerical
designations, such as the number of a house, may be written in Arabic
figures, but quantities should be expressed in words. Few abbreviations
are respectful. A married lady should always be addressed with the
prefix of her husband’s Christian name. In this country, it is the
custom to abbreviate everything except the title of “Reverend,” which
we always give to the clergy. A properly written note honors the writer
and the person to whom it is written, while a careless one may injure


It may not be out of place to furnish a hint as to behavior in church.
There is, of course, such a thing as church etiquette, although its
code is rather implied than written. As a preliminary, it should be
assumed that the right spirit has drawn the worshiper thither and
that a reverent attention will be given to the service. The following
suggestion may be accepted as embodying the general view of church

1. If possible, be in time. You need at least five minutes after coming
to get warm or cool: to compose your body and mind, and to whisper a
prayer before the service begins.

2. Never pass up the aisle during prayer or Scripture reading. If you
do, your presence will distract the minds of many in the audience.

3. Be devout in every attitude; all whispering should be studiously
avoided. Find the hymn and sing it if you can. Share the book with your
neighbor. If in a strange church, conform to its customs.

4. If the sermon has begun, take a seat near the door—no matter if you
are “at home.”

5. Be thoughtful for the comfort of others. Take the inside of the pew,
if you are the first to enter, and leave all vacant space at the end
next to the aisle.

6. Speak a bright, cheery word to as many as possible at the close of
the service. If you are a stranger, ask one of the ushers to introduce
you to the pastor, or to some of the church officers. This will always
insure you a hearty welcome.

7. Never put on your coat, overshoes or wraps during the closing hymn,
and do not make a rush for the door immediately after the benediction
is pronounced.

8. There should be no loud talking and jesting after the service is
concluded. They are as much out of place in the house of God as at a
house of mourning.



Not every one who is accustomed to most of the usages of good society,
is familiar with the approved forms of address, even in the simplest
matters. A good authority writes:

Say “_Thank you_,” not “_Thanks_”—a lazy and disrespectful
abbreviation. If you say “Pardon me,” let your manner be appropriate
to your words. “I beg your pardon” is sometimes uttered in prefacing
the expression of a contrary opinion, and the insolence of the tone
and manner give the words all the force of a contradiction. In most
phrases of compliment the words are nothing, the manner everything. So
of adding “Sir” or “Ma’am” to “Yes” and “No.” “Yes, sir,” “No, sir,”
may be rude and defiant; “Yes” and “No” may be polite and deferential.
There is a difference of opinion as to whether it is necessary, or even
proper, for people of social equality to add _sir_ or _madam_ to these
responses, and especially as to whether children should be taught to do
so. It is a provincial custom, but the best usage does not allow it.
Children may be taught to say “Yes” and “No” with a well-bred courtesy
of tone and inflection to which the additional syllable “Sir” could
give no additional grace. It is an important point of training in
etiquette to enforce the truth that the _spirit_ of words and deeds is
the _essence_ of good manners, or good _anything_, in fact.


That society is bad whose members, however tenacious they be of forms
of etiquette and elaborate ceremonials, have one code of manners for
those whom they deem their equals, and another for those whom they
esteem to be of less importance to them by reason of age, pecuniary
condition, or relative social influence, writes Mrs. Sherwood. Bad
manners are apt to prove the concomitant of a mind and disposition that
are none too good, and the woman who slights and wounds people because
they cannot minister to her ambitions, challenges criticism of her own
shortcomings. A girl who is impertinent or careless in her demeanor to
her mother or her mother’s friends; who talks slang; who is careless in
her bearing toward young men; who accepts the attentions of a man of
bad character or dissipated habits; who is loud in dress or manner—such
a girl must be classed as ill-bred and undesirable in good society.

So with a young man who is indifferent to his elders, neglects to
acknowledge invitations, sits while a lady stands, does not speak to
his host; who is selfish, immoral and careless of his reputation. No
matter how rich, or how agreeable to those he may wish to please, he is
to be avoided by a wise host or hostess.

If a young girl comes from a secluded circle, and sees some handsome,
well dressed woman much courted, and observes in her what seems to be
insolent pretence, unkindness, frivolity, and superciliousness, let
her inquire and wait before she accepts her acquaintance. Good society
is the bringing together of the best men and women in a pleasant and
proper way. Good breeding, personal superiority, beauty, genius,
culture, are all estimable things, and every one likes a person of
charming manners; but the best society is that of those who have virtue
and good manners combined.


The capable hostess will give her instructions for the details of the
entertainment so explicitly that on the arrival of the guests she need
have no other care than their pleasure. If she is nervous, or shows
constraint, it affects the ease of her guests. Upon the demeanor of
the hosts the success of the occasion largely depends. Much tact may
be shown in placing the right people together at the table. If one is
a great talker let the other be a good listener; if one is dogmatic
let the other be without positive views, and so on; for every one is
happiest when appearing well. The guests, too, have their obligations,
and in recognition of the compliment of being invited where the number
of guests is limited to very few, each one should exert himself to
be as agreeable as possible, a dull dinner or tea companion being a
misfortune. At a dinner there is time, not given at most other forms of
entertainment, for rational and sustained conversation, and this may be
turned to durance vile if one victimizes by his egotism or caprice the
person who without power of withdrawal is assigned to his society for
perhaps two hours or more. Also, if one finds himself neighbor to some
one he dislikes, it must not be allowed to interfere with the general
pleasure; and should such a situation occur, there is nothing to do
but to make the best of it. The discovery is sometimes made that an
unfriendly person is more agreeable than was supposed, and a pleasanter
relationship results.


Here is a pretty and instructive little sketch by Ruth Ashmore from her
new book on “Sidetalks with Girls,” in which she pictures the “Social
Life of a Girl.” She writes:

You are just beginning to go out; you are twenty years old, and you
would like, as is perfectly natural, not only to have the love of
women, but the genuine admiration of men. The admiration of all men is
not worth having. You believe that you are pleasant to look at, but
when you meet strangers you are abashed, the blood rushes to your face,
and you don’t know what to say. Now a little bit of that is due to
self-consciousness; more of it to inexperience. When a man is presented
to you you need not expect to enter into an easy conversation with him,
as does the woman of forty, but you can get your thoughts away from
yourself and answer him as intelligently as possible. Make up your
mind to be a little slow in your speech rather than to give a foolish
answer, and after you have resolved to do this you will not find it
difficult to overcome that silly giggle so peculiar to young women, and
which is very often the result of great nervousness, and an effort to
speak quickly.

Don’t be too perfectly certain about things. The positive girl who, the
very minute a stranger speaks to her, gives him an answer which she
announces is her opinion, and which she permits no one else to doubt,
is quite as undesirable as the girl who is afraid to say anything.
I think you will be most successful socially if you are willing to
learn, and if you never permit yourself, from false shame, to tell
an untruth and say you do know of things about which you are totally
ignorant. Experience has taught most social leaders that men like to
give information, consequently when a stranger has been presented to
you, and after the first ordinary commonplaces, asks, “Did you meet
the Spanish Princess?” answer yes or no, as the truth may be, and
supplement this by another question, “Did you? And what did you think
of her?”

It is not difficult in this world to attract, if one is young and
pleasing to look upon.

It may be taken as a general rule that no woman can retain her friends
who cannot control her temper. What she thinks may be right, but,
because it is so, no excuse can be found for her going into a long,
quarrelsome argument, raising her voice, and making her hostess and all
the other guests uncomfortable. Then people must know that, socially,
a girl is to be relied upon; that she is not going to bring the daily
worries of her life into the social atmosphere, but that she is certain
to bring her mite of agreeableness to add to all the other mites until
the perfection of enjoyment is achieved, and the pleasant side of
everybody is seen and enjoyed. The woman who wishes to keep her friends
must steer clear of vital subjects on which they may differ.

Be pleasant and agreeable to all who may be in your own social world.
To retain one’s friends one must also respect their social rights.
That girl shows wisdom, who, invited to a very elaborate affair and
feeling that she cannot afford even a simple suitable dress, refuses
the invitation rather than mortify the hostess by being out of tune
in the general harmony. One has achieved a great wisdom when one has
learned how to say “no” in the social world without giving offence. So
it should be with any games, or any affair involving late hours, or at
which she would meet undesirable people. The saying “no” is right, but
it must be said at the right time, that is, it must be said before the
temptation arises and before you would be forced to appear as rude. You
cannot accept an invitation and refuse to meet your hostess’ friends.
Once there, you are bound to be polite to them, though afterward you
need only recognize them very faintly, and gradually the recognition
may die away altogether. A form of declination for those invitations
which you are sure will place you either in disagreeable positions or
among people whom you do not care to meet, is this:

  “_Miss Brown thanks Mrs. Charles
  Jones for the kind invitation for Wednesday
  evening, and regrets her inability to
  accept it._”

At your own home have the parlor the prettiest and most comfortable
room in the house, but don’t be alone there—have some of the members
of the family with you. Arrange the parlor with a view of furnishing
subjects for conversation. Have whatever illustrated magazines or
papers you have in view, or any photographs of celebrities; have the
piano open and the music on it.


It is frequently asked: “What pleasures or recreations may a young
man or woman share that are not objectionable.” There are a thousand
innocent pleasures within easy reach of all. Pleasures may be
classified as, (1) Recreative and helpful; (2) Harmless and enjoyable
but neither helpful nor otherwise; (3) Injurious for various reasons
and objectionable as being detrimental to spiritual growth and the
development of the finer qualities in either sex. To the latter
category belong gambling of all sorts, dancing, theatre-going,
flirtations and frivolous companionship, and all pleasures that merely
“kill time” and induce a temporary excitement. Objectionable pleasures
are never recreative—a term that implies healthful and upbuilding if
not uplifting qualities.

The greatest tonic, stimulant, and equalizer, writes Lyman B. Sperry,
is genuine pleasure. Contentment, satisfaction, joy, are remarkable
for their beneficial influence on mind and body. Occupations that are
inviting and pleasurable, whether they be called work or play, are
helpful to human development, longevity, and efficiency. Diversion,
recreation, pleasure, are demanded as an antidote to our feelings
of depression and fatigue, a stimulant to our courage, a basis for
satisfaction with life. All must have recreation and amusement in order
to thrive well, but in seeking them it is easy to find and to follow
those which, though apparently, and perhaps temporarily healthful,
are finally destructive of things good and satisfying. All amusements
which leave a sting, or feelings of surfeit or of regret, are either
essentially unhealthful (and therefore unjustifiable), or they are used
in such a way as, practically, to make them injurious. There are some
so-called amusements which are inevitably bad, and there are others
which are bad only when they are intemperately pursued. So much depends
upon the time, the manner, the amount, the associations, the tendencies
of various forms of activity called amusements, that it is impossible
to classify them rigidly as either commendable or objectionable. All
intelligent persons must admit that our lives should be conformed
to ways that are helpful to advancement in all that is really and
permanently good.

Amusements should secure _rest from irksome toil_ and conduce to
real recuperation. While they enable fatigued parts of the body to
rest, they should also bring into action other parts that need, for
the general good of the body, as well as for their own good, to be
called into exercise. Genuine and healthful amusements stimulate
mental emotion in such a way as to make one forget his burdens and
sorrows, they leave in the consciousness a sweet memory which spreads
its perfume over and through the succeeding period of toil, and even
into the toil of one’s neighbors. There should be no doubt about the
_effects_. Questionable amusements are usually injurious amusements.
Some really commendable forms may be in bad repute simply because they
are habitually in bad company, or possibly because of mere prejudice.
Each one should be intelligently examined as to its nature and
influence, and be accepted or rejected only after a fair judgment is
passed upon it.

Comparatively few persons lack opportunities for amusement, and with
many the great question is what _not_ to do. With so much to select
from, how shall we amuse ourselves? The answer is, _In any way we
please_—provided, first, that we can _afford_ it; second, that we find
practically that it furnishes the rest and recuperation we _need_ and
that without leaving a residuum of regret or of lessened self-respect;
third, that our indulgence does not interfere with the natural rights
of others, or prove a stumbling-block to them; and fourth, that it is
not of such a fascinating nature as to induce us to consume an undue
amount of time and energy. It requires a goodly stock of intelligence
and conscience to determine, each for himself, what amusements he shall
seek, and where, when, and how they shall be sought.

The man or the woman who, at the social party or at the family
fireside, plays any kind of a game _for stakes_, even though they
may be trifling, thereby kindles and fans a flame that in many cases
becomes unquenchable. The person thus tempted easily follows his
impulses, and rushes into anything that will either arouse or gratify
the love of excitement.

The _moral_ quality of most forms of amusement may be determined simply
by their _physical_ effects. So intimately related are mind and body,
so influential is the conscience over physical processes, that nothing
which the conscience condemns can be healthful and recuperative. And it
is equally true that every form of physical excess or of dissipation,
inevitably leaves mental recoils and moral stings.

One of the best men of the day, who has seen much of life and who has
studied many of its problems, says: “If an amusement sends you home
at night nervous, so that you cannot sleep, and you rise up in the
morning, not because you are slept out, but because your duties drag
you from your slumbers, you have been where you ought not to have been.
There are amusements that send a man, next day, to his work, yawning,
stupid, nauseated, and with blood-shot eyes; they are wrong amusements.
There are entertainments that give a man disgust with the drudgery of
life; with work-tools because they are not swords; with working aprons
because they are not princely robes; with domestic cattle because they
are not infuriated bulls of the arena. If anything sends you home
longing for a life of thrilling adventure, for love that takes poison
or shoots itself, for moonlight adventures and hair-breadth escapes,
you may depend upon it you are the sacrificed victim of unsanctified
pleasure. Our recreations are intended to build us up, and if they pull
us down, as to our moral or as to our physical strength, you may come
to the conclusion that they are obnoxious.”

Wise people judge all so-called amusements by their actual fruits; by
their immediate and their remote influence on the body, the mind, and
the soul. It is the part of wisdom to cheerfully avoid all that prove
to be dissipating to physical energy, or degrading to moral character;
and the highest wisdom as clearly dictates that we cheerfully engage in
those things which rest, refresh, and energize our God-given powers.


There is no surer sign of ill breeding and ill feeling than the rude
treatment of dependents. The obligation of civility to servants should
be inculcated especially upon the young American, who ought to learn
at the earliest period that the accidental relation of advantage of
position, which is ever alternating in a country free from prescriptive
right, gives no title to a haughty demeanor and a domineering conduct.
The recognition of the mutual obligation of master and man, and
mistress and maid, is a certain sign of the true gentleman and lady,
who will never exact from those temporarily placed in subjection to
them the civility they are unwilling to bestow. The “thank you,”
“please,” and other courteous expressions of a kindly consideration
of the obligation of the employer to the employed, will be freely
proffered by all who are fully conscious of their social duties
and willing to acknowledge them. Policy, as well as good breeding,
inculcates the necessity of gentle treatment and courteous behavior to
servants, who will seldom fail to respond with a more zealous service
and a readier obedience to exactions and commands rendered less harsh
and domineering by a soft word and a subdued mastery.


The management of the hands in company seems to embarrass young people
greatly. This comes from the false modesty which induces them to
suppose they are the observed of all observers. Let them think only
of themselves in due proportion of estimate with the vast multitude
of mankind, and frequent habitually the company of the refined, and
they will probably overcome much of their awkwardness, if they do not
acquire a large degree of grace.


To attitudinize, with the view of producing an impressive effect
upon the beholder, seldom succeeds except with the rawest members of
society. When detected, as it always is by accomplished people of the
world, it creates, at first sight, a feeling of aversion which it is
not easy to eradicate. This _posing_ for effect is so old a trick, and
so easy of detection, that it is surprising any person who has reached
the years of discretion should attempt to play it. Yet how often do
we see it, in its various phases of the delicate young lady with the
languid air, the listless step, or _die-away_ posture!—the literary
young lady with the studiously neglected toilette, the carefully
exposed breadth of forehead, and the ever-present, but seldom read
book!—the abstemious young lady, who surreptitiously feeds on chops at
private lunch, and starves on a pea at the public dinner!—the humane
young lady, who pulls Tom’s ears and otherwise tortures brother and
sister in the nursery, and does her utmost to fall into convulsions
before company at sight of a dead fly!—the fastidious young lady,
who faints, should there be an audience to behold the scene, at the
sight of roast goose, but whose robust appetite vindicates itself
by devouring all that is left of the unclean animal when a private
opportunity will allow. We assure our young readers that such
affectations are not only absurd, for they are perfectly transparent,
but ill bred, as shams of all kinds essentially are.


Winking and all knowing glances had better be left to the horse
jockeys and the frequenters of the bar-rooms, billiard saloon, and
gambling-tables. It would seem hardly necessary to remind any one of
the indecorousness of sleeping in company, but it must be recollected
that the obligation is equally urgent upon all not to put people
to sleep. It is the duty of every one to be wakeful; it is equally
so to be as little somniferous in matter and manner as possible.
An illustration is given of the somnolency of Washington Irving,
who, according to the author, D’Israeli, was taken up bodily from a
dinner-table where he had fallen asleep, and did not awake until set
down in the midst of an evening party.


Much can be done by care to beautify the fingers, upon the grace
of which depends greatly the beauty of the whole hand. The natural
tapering length of these can only be preserved by removing from them
all pinching manacles of kid and jewelry. Much of the beauty of the
finger depends upon the proper treatment of the nails. These, if cut
too close, deform the finger-ends and render them stubby. The upper
and free border of the nail should always be left projecting a line or
so beyond the extremity of the finger, and be pared only to a slight
curve, without encroaching too much on the angles. To preserve the half
moon, or what the anatomists call the _lunula_, which rises just above
the root of the nail, and is esteemed so great a beauty, care must be
taken to keep down the skin, which constantly tends to encroach upon
it. This should be done with a blunt ivory instrument, and the growth
gently pushed away, but never cut. By this means, also, the production
of the annoying “hang-nail” will be prevented. The habit of filing
or scraping the nails is fatal to their perfection, as it thickens
their substance and destroys their natural transparency. The ordinary
finger-brush should alone be used for cleaning and polishing the
nails. The ugly habit of biting the nails is fatal to their beauty.
They become excessively brittle in consequence, not being allowed time
to acquire their natural toughness, and, moreover, the ends of the
fingers, being unsupported, turn over, forming an ugly rim of hard
flesh, which will prevent the regular growth of the nail.


The tight shoe or boot, too narrowly toed, is exclusively responsible
for that painful affection, _ingrowth_ of the toe-nail. If treated in
time, it can be easily and simply cured. All that is necessary is to
scrape down the nail until it becomes quite thin, and then cut the
projecting edge of it in a semilunar form, with its concavity looking
outward from the foot. The nail of the great toe should always be thus
pared, care being taken not to clip the angles. This causes it to grow
toward the centre, and shrink from the tender flesh at the sides.
Chloroform now happily fulfills the service for the rendering of which
this awkward process was barely a pretext. Though the operation has
thus become painless to the insensible patient, it has lost none of its
horror to the spectator. The surgeon, grasping the toe, thrusts the
sharp-pointed blade of a pair of scissors under the nail as far as it
will go, and then, cutting it in two, tears out each half with a pair
of pincers from the quivering flesh in which it has been long imbedded.
No one, not even the slave of fashion, should submit to any form of the
boot or shoe other than the broad-toed, which is fortunately now in

The foot, like the hand, is subject to the infirmity of excessive
perspiration. It is to be remedied by the same general and local
treatment. The habitual daily washing of the feet should be with cold
rather than with warm water, and a powder of starch or arrowroot,
which it would be well to perfume with bitter almonds, orris, or some
other no more intrusive odor, should be sprinkled in the inside of the


A wholesome condition of the teeth is not only essential to good looks,
but to daily comfort and permanent health. Chewing of the food, so
necessary to a good digestion, cannot be properly performed with weak
and diseased masticators, which are, in fact, the frequent cause of
dyspepsia and other affections of the stomach. Local diseases of the
most tormenting kind, such as neuralgia and the various painful face,
head, and earaches, and disorders of the eye, as well as the fatal
cancer and tedious ulcers of the tongue and lips, are often due to no
other cause than a decayed and ragged tooth.


Many ladies, by not bending the knees, render their walk very
ungraceful. The posture, moreover, if too rigid, particularly in
sitting, has an exceedingly ugly look. Some folks are unable to sit on
a chair, though they have so many opportunities of learning how to do
it. While some never fairly get on a seat but to their own manifest
discomfort, and that of all who look upon their misery, poise and
balance themselves on the sharp edge, there are others who roll their
bodies up into heaps, as it were, and throw them with an audible bounce
deep into the receptacle, whatever it may be. Every one seating himself
should take his place deliberately, and so completely that he may feel
the full repose of the chair, which it is designed to give. The limbs,
once at rest, should be moved, if moved at all, as noiselessly as
possible; and all extraordinary actions, such as lifting, for example,
one leg high upon the other, and holding it there manacled by a grasp
of the hand, should be avoided. A person striding a chair, and grinding
his teeth, and thrumming his hands on the back, has by no means an
elegant look to the observer before or behind. This practice, which is
never becoming in any company, is simply indecent in that of women.


Blushing, which, as a sign of modesty, may be commendable in the young,
especially of the female sex, is by no means always pleasing and worthy
of encouragement. When immoderate and inopportune, it becomes a social
nuisance. There is a false shame, which is the very reverse of true
modesty. The usual signs of the fictitious quality are shyness, with
the common accompaniments of frequent and ill-timed blushing, hesitancy
of speech, hanging of the head, downcast eyes, sidelong glances,
shambling and stumbling gait, restlessness of posture, and a general
air of voluntary shrinkage, if we may be allowed the term. This false
modesty is the result of a genuine vanity, which, overestimating self,
fancies it the object of universal attention. This naturally begets a
sensitiveness and an anxiety about personal appearance so great that
they embarrass the whole behavior; for these excessively vain persons,
fancying all eyes constantly upon them, would desire to make a figure
in society of which they are manifestly incapable. Of this they are the
first to become conscious, and their hopelessness of success is painted
in strong colors upon the face, and visibly impressed upon every limb
and feature. There are persons who live to an advanced life, and yet
retain this fault. It has often proved fatal to the social qualities
of some who have been otherwise singularly well adapted not only to
receive from society, but to bestow upon it, both distinction and



There is an Eastern legend of a powerful genii, who promised a
beautiful maiden a gift of rare value if she would pass through a field
of corn and, without pausing, going backward, or wandering hither and
thither, select the largest and ripest ear,—the value of the gift to be
in proportion to the size and perfection of the ear she should choose.
She passed through the field, seeing a great many well worth gathering,
but always hoping to find a larger and more perfect one, she passed
them all by, when, coming to a part of the field where the stalks grew
more stunted, she disdained to take one from these, and so came through
to the other side without having selected any. This little fable is a
faithful picture of many lives, which are rejecting the good things in
their way and within their reach, for something before them for which
they vainly hope, but will never secure. On a dark night and in a
dangerous place, where the footing is insecure, a lantern in the hand
is worth a dozen stars. It is well to look beyond the present into the
future, and in the season of strength and prosperity, to make provision
for a time when misfortune and old age may overtake us. But this does
not mean that we should ignore the present altogether, nor that our
pleasures should consist solely in the anticipation of some future
prosperity or expected success.


Some one has said that the three sweetest words in our language are,
“Mother, Home and Heaven.” We may well pity that being so unfortunate
as not to have enjoyed the blessings of a happy home, for in the
battle of life we need to be armed with the counsels and prayers
of a mother, and all holy and sweet home influences, if we are to
successfully meet the snares and perils which will beset us. Home
is the paradise in which this wonderful world is first revealed to
our growing consciousness, and as from its safe shelter we look out
upon life we form our estimate of it according to the impressions and
teachings we there receive. If the home is brightened with the sunshine
of love, its radiance is reflected in all around us, and the whole
world appears to us only as one family,—full of kind thoughts, tender
sympathies, gentle ministrations and noble deeds. If the home life
is sour, gloomy and unhappy, then we see the whole world through the
same atmosphere of misery and discontent; and it is to us only a dull,
dismal prison, crowded with selfish souls, whose petty strifes and base
actions cause perpetual turmoils and unhappiness.

Parents, depend upon it, you have no holier nor higher work to do than
to make home attractive. In after years your endeavors will be repaid
a hundred fold by the grateful affection, the happy memories, and the
noble lives of your children, who, whatever their success elsewhere,
will ever turn to the old homestead and its inmates as the Mecca of
their earthly pilgrimage.


If it were possible for us to invoke the aid of some powerful genii,
who, as we passed through life, could summon troops of loving friends
around us, and make our pathway radiant with their smiles and
blessings, we should think no labor too arduous, no sacrifice too great
to procure such inestimable happiness. If such a beneficent fairy held
court and dispensed such favors, though she dwelt in the uttermost
parts of the earth, what caravans of eager pilgrims would throng to
that favorite realm! We often forget that the priceless charm which
will secure to us all these desirable gifts is within our reach. It
is the charm of a sunny temper,—a talisman more potent than station,
more precious than gold, more to be desired than fine rubies. It is an
aroma, whose fragrance fills the air with the odors of Paradise. It
is an amulet, at sight of which dark clouds of perplexity and hideous
shapes of discord flee away. It wreathes the face with smiles, creates
friends, promotes cheerfulness, awakens tenderness, and scatters
happiness. It fills the heart with joy, it robs sorrow of its pain and
makes of earth a very heaven below.


One of the most marked men of this century, Disraeli, who achieved
distinction in many different lines of thought and action, toward
the close of a career of extraordinary success, made the remarkable
statement that “a female friend, amiable, clever and devoted, is a
possession more valuable than parks and palaces, and without such
a nurse, few men can succeed in life,—none be content.” The reason
why multitudes of gifted and brilliant men fail in their career, is
for want of the very traits of character which female society would
impart. How many men are intellectual, well informed, and possess a
complete practical knowledge of the pursuit they enter upon! but they
are _brusque_, imperious, and overbearing; they lack the urbanity of
demeanor, the consideration of others’ feelings, the gracefulness of
expression, which are necessary to conciliate men and to draw them
to themselves; and for the need of these qualities their progress is
impeded, or they fail in their plans altogether. The female character
possesses those qualities in which most men are deficient,—the delicate
instincts, the acute perceptions, the ready judgment, the wonderful
intuitions,—these all belong to her by native right, and are usually
acquired by men through her influence.


The following maxims, if put in practice daily, would do much to
promote harmony and good feeling in the home:

“Never make a remark at the expense of the other; it is meanness.”

“Never manifest anger.”

“Never speak loud to one another, unless the house is on fire.”

“Never reflect on a past action which was done with a good motive, and
with the best judgment.”

“Never part without loving words to think of during your absence.
Besides, it may be that you will not meet again in life.”

“Let each one strive to yield oftenest to the wishes of the other,
which is the mutual cultivation of an absolute unselfishness.”


Politeness has been called the oil which makes the wheels of society
run smoothly; and certainly it does greatly lessen the friction of
daily contact with each other. Keen perceptions, a wise discernment,
and a natural power of imitation, with much contact with the world,
are the essential requirements of polished manners. It has been said
“that the best bred man is he who is possessed of dignified ease, to
reconcile him to all situations and society.” This is not attained
so much from a knowledge of the rules of etiquette, as by an innate
nobility of character, a greatness of soul, and proper self-respect.
True politeness is never the product merely of punctilious conformity
to established usages, although it is necessary to have a knowledge of
these, but rather of an overflowing kindness of heart, a generosity
of spirit, and a sacred regard for the golden rule. Indeed, the grand
foundation on which the etiquette of all civilized countries is based,
is that of doing to others as you would they should do unto you, and in
preferring others to yourself.


A proper sense of modesty is a virtue which makes real merit more
charming, because seemingly unconscious of excellence. But carried to
an excess it will tend to dwarf the powers, cripple the energies and
defeat the great purposes of life. When a man is well qualified to
do a certain thing, and feels that he can and ought to do it, but is
impelled by modesty to shrink back into obscurity for fear of bringing
himself into notice, then has his modesty degenerated into cowardice,
and instead of consoling himself that he is cherishing a great virtue,
he needs the lash of stern rebuke for his lack of manliness. One of the
most charming of essayists, says: “I have noticed that under the notion
of modesty men have indulged themselves in a spiritless sheepishness,
and been forever lost to themselves, their families, their friends and
their country. I have said often, modesty must be an act of the will,
and yet it always implies self-denial, for if a man has a desire to do
what is laudable for him to perform, and from an unmanly bashfulness
shrinks away and lets his merit languish in silence, he ought not to be
angry with the world that a more unskillful actor succeeds in his part,
because he has not confidence to come upon the stage himself.”


To converse well requires more than mere information or knowledge,
combined with a ready facility of expression. There must also be
sound judgment and a good heart, for without these all other triumphs
are hollow and delusive. Our conversation should be such as will be
agreeable to others; the subject of it should be appropriate to the
time, place and company, and we should avoid all bitterness, all
thoughtless criticisms, all unseemly ridicule, and the heartlessness
which wounds the feelings and disturbs the peace of those who listen
to us,—and then our presence will be welcomed, and we shall diffuse
pleasure and promote friendship. All the resources of tact and wisdom
may be summoned into action in the exercise of our colloquial powers.
An ancient philosopher made it a rule to divide the day into several
parts, appointing each part to its proper engagement, and one of these
was devoted to _silence wherein to study what to say_. What innumerable
heart-burnings; what a multitude of quarrels; what a host of local
feuds would be avoided, if this wise rule were universally followed!


One of the first requisites of conversation is to have something
worth saying. Lowell once said, “Blessed are they who have nothing to
say, and cannot be persuaded to say it;” and another remarked, “There
are few wild beasts to be dreaded more than a communicative man with
nothing to communicate.” Clearly, this might be aimed at the small-talk
habits of some.

Carlyle, in his rugged, vigorous style, expresses himself quite as
strongly to the same point: “Thou who wearest that cunning, heaven-made
organ, a tongue, think well of this: Speak not, I passionately
entreat thee, till thy thought have silently matured itself, till thou
have other than mad and mad-making noises to emit; _hold thy tongue_
till _some_ meaning lie behind it to set it wagging. Consider the
significance of SILENCE; it is boundless,—never by meditating to be
exhausted; unspeakably profitable to thee! Cease that chaotic hub-bub
wherein thy own soul runs to waste, to confused suicidal dislocation
and stupor; out of silence comes strength.”

The ground-work of conversation is knowledge of the subject under
consideration, and without this words are but useless sounds. Yet there
are conditions in which a vigorous flow of “small-talk,” we talk with
no particular object or value. Live to enliven and keep in good humor,
is most desirable.


An eminent clergyman once administered this rebuke to a young lady,
who absorbed the entire time of the company by her small talk: “Madam,
before you withdraw, I have one piece of advice to give you, and that
is, when you go into company again, after you have talked half an hour
without intermission, I recommend it to you to stop awhile, and see if
any other of the company has anything to say.” There are few persons
of such rare learning and ability that one can afford, when in their
company, to be only a listener. There is a Chinese proverb that “a
single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten
years’ study with books.” But how comparatively few good talkers there
are, and how lightly is the art esteemed. And yet, will it not always
be true that “Words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in pictures of


A celebrated English divine once said to a lady: “Madam, so dress and
so conduct yourself, that persons who have been in your company shall
not recollect what you had on.” To be well dressed does not necessarily
mean that your apparel should be a copy of the latest whim of fashion,
or made of the costliest material. That person is well dressed whose
attire shows a suitableness to circumstances of time and place, and the
position and means of the wearer. Neglect and inattention to the small
externals of dress should be carefully guarded against.


Youth comes to us but once; it is the season of golden hopes, of
overflowing spirits and of joyous anticipations, and so it demands
surroundings suited to these emotions. You may require no recreation
but such as your business and daily toil supply; your mind may be
absorbed in your plans and schemes, which appear to you of almost as
much importance as the affairs of an empire, and with this you are
satisfied; but, if so, your eyes are not young eyes, and your heart
must have long ago been dead to the voices of your youth, to expect
that your children will be contented and happy, unless you respond to
some of the impulses of their joyous natures. If you have not already
the refining power of music in your little circle, procure a piano or
organ, and encourage your children to sing and play. Surround yourself
with a little social circle of your own. Adorn your walls with pictures
and thus cultivate a love of art; subscribe to a standard magazine or
two, and provide them with such books as will give them glimpses of
what is going on in the world around them.


A superior hostess does not make her house a spectacle. She infuses
into her hospitalities the charm of comfort and purity, the sweetness
of friendship, the sacredness of the relation between the entertainer
and the entertained; and between herself and even the humblest of her
guests there is a recognizable tie which is as dissimilar to that which
fastens her interest to another guest as its variation is charming.


At an evening visit or entertainment, if the invited person departs
before the usual and specified hour, he and she should omit formal
adieus, if possible, to avoid putting the thoughts of an unusually
early departure into the minds of other guests; but if an unnoticed
departure is impossible, the leave-taking should be quietly done, the
hostess expressing her regret at the early departure, but on no account
can she request a delay that some necessity has demanded. It would be
as unkind as it would be indelicate to urge a guest to inconvenience
himself for the sake of keeping a crowd intact at a fashionable crush,
or even at a small party.




Place the egg (which should be hard-boiled, not raw) upon the
under-side of a smooth tray, and move the tray round and round
horizontally, gradually increasing in speed. The egg, resting in the
middle of the tray, is carried round and round by the movement, and
gradually begins to revolve on its own axis, faster and faster, till at
last it is seen to rise on end, and spin away exactly as a top would do.

In all experiments involving egg-balancing, you will find it a material
aid to success to keep the egg upright in the saucepan while it is
being boiled. The air-chamber will, in such case, be kept central with
the longer axis of the egg, which will in consequence be much more
easily balanced.

To set the egg spinning as above described demands a considerable
amount of practice, not to mention some strength, and, still more,
address. For the benefit of those who may prefer to succeed at the
first attempt, I will indicate a simpler plan of proceeding:—

Place the tray on the table, letting it project so far over the edge
as to be readily and rapidly grasped by the hand. Place the egg in
the middle, and with the thumb of the left and the first finger of
the right hand placed at opposite ends, set it vigorously spinning.
It will immediately rise on end, still spinning. Quickly seize the
tray, and you will then have nothing to do but to keep the egg still
rotating, which is a very easy matter. This is done by moving the tray
in horizontal circles, but in the reverse direction to that in which
the egg revolves.


Miss Annie and Clara and the Little Dog decided to take a ride in the
Family Coach, so, whip in hand, the fat Coachman shut the Door, mounted
the box, the Little Dog barked, when they entered the Family Coach, and
almost fell among the Wheels. Miss Clara and Annie scolded the Coachman
for being so careless in starting the Family Coach too soon, and
putting the Little Dog in danger of falling among the Wheels. Finally
the Coachman cracked his whip and the Family Coach started in good
shape, the Little Dog barking furiously. Everything went well with the
Family Coach for a few miles, till the Coachman spied a pretty girl on
the road. He kept looking after her and did not see that he was putting
the Family Coach and horses in danger, when crash! went the Family
Coach. Miss Clara and Miss Annie screamed, the Little Dog barked; the
Coachman shouted, the Wheels went in different directions, and the
Axle, the Whiffle Tree and all the parts of the Family Coach were left
in a heap in the road, in care of the Coachman, while Miss Clara, Miss
Annie and the Little Dog went home on foot. Such were the adventures of
the Family Coach.

Assemble the company, and give to each one of the names that are
capitalized in the first paragraph, four being Wheels, two Axles, one
the Whiffle Tree and one the Door, the names of the ladies to two, and
select the tallest person in the room for the Little Dog. After all the
names of all the parts are given, some one stands in the middle of the
floor and reads the Adventures of the Family Coach.

Each time the Family Coach is mentioned every one in the room should
rise, turn around three times, and sit down again. When the wheels are
mentioned, four persons bearing the names of Wheels also rise, turn
around three times, and sit down. The Little Dog barks, the Coachman
shouts, the two ladies bow when their names (Miss Clara and Miss
Annie), are called. There is great fun when the Little Dog is called
on repeatedly to rise, turn, and sit down again. When the Horses are
mentioned four persons also rise, turn around, etc., and so until
disaster overtakes the Coach. This game causes much merriment, and
general good feeling.


All the members of the company being seated, each is provided with
pencil and paper. Some one gives a quotation, while the other players
write the speaker’s name upon their papers, and opposite it the name of
the author from whom they believe he has quoted. After each in turn has
given a quotation, the papers are collected and re-distributed, care
being taken that no one shall receive his own. Then each repeats the
quotation originally given, this time adding the name of the author;
the other players correcting meanwhile the papers held by them. The
person who has given the largest number of authors correctly wins a
prize. For example, the first player rises and says:

  Colors seen by candle-light
  Do not look the same by day.

The next says:

  Handsome is that handsome does.

And so on until all have given quotations. When the papers are
exchanged, No. 1, again rising says:

  Colors seen by candle-light
  Do not look the same by day.
                       Mrs. Browning.

No. 2:

  Handsome is that handsome does.

And so on through the list. If any player has substituted some other
name for Browning or Goldsmith, or has failed to write the name of any
author, it must be marked as incorrect. One player then collects and
compares all the papers and announces the winner of the contest.


Each member of the party is provided with paper and pencil, also with
two small cards or slips of paper, upon one of which is to be written
a question and on the other a single word. The questions and words are
collected separately and re-distributed, whereupon each player must
answer in rhyme the question he has drawn, introducing into the rhyme
the word on the other card. The time is limited to five minutes, and
when this has expired, each reads aloud the result of his labors,
first giving the question and word received. To make the game more
interesting it is sometimes required that the word received shall be
made a rhyming word. Here is an example: A writes for his question
“Where is the end of the rainbow?” and for his single word “goose.” In
the allotted time he writes the following:

  You ask where the end of the rainbow is found;
    Just answer yourself if you can, sir.
  For “anser” in Latin in English means “goose,”
    And I’m not such a goose as to answer.


At the top of a half sheet of paper (each player having one), a picture
is rudely drawn illustrating some quotation. When all the drawings are
finished each player passes his paper to his right-hand neighbor, who
writes his interpretation of the picture at the bottom of the paper,
turning the paper over to conceal the writing and passing it on to
the next player. When each has written on all the papers and they
have returned to their owners, they are unfolded and their contents
read aloud, the correct quotation being given last. As an instance,
A draws a casement window through which is seen a face gazing at a
cluster of stars. The paper is passed to No. 1, and he writes as his

  In the prison cell I sit, thinking mother dear of you.

No. 2 writes:

  Mabel, little Mabel, with her face against the pane.

None guess correctly, so A explains that it illustrates this couplet
from Tennyson’s “Locksley Hall:”

  Many a night from yonder ivied casement ere I went to rest,
  Have I looked on great Orion sloping slowly toward the West.


The company is divided into two equal parts, and blank cards and
pencils are distributed. One side writes questions on any subject
desired, while the other prepares in like manner a set of hap-hazard
answers. The question cards are then collected and distributed to the
players on the other side, while their answers are divided among the
questioners. The leader holding a question then reads it aloud, the
first player on the other side reading the answer he holds. Some of the
answers are highly amusing.


A variation of the former game. The game is begun by a young lady or
gentleman speaking a single line, to which the next nearest on the left
must respond with another line to rhyme with the first. The next player
gives a new line, of the same length, and the fourth supplies a rhyme
in turn, and so on. The game is provocative of any amount of fun and
nonsense. A sample may be given.

1st Player.—I think I see a brindle cow.

2d Player.—It’s nothing but your dad’s bow wow.

3d Player.—He is chasing our black Tommy cat.

4th Player.—Poor puss had best get out of that, etc.

Any amount of nonsense may be indulged in a game of this sort,
within proper limits. Clever players can easily give the game a most
interesting turn and provoke rhymes that are original and witty. Thus,
a subject once started, every phase of it may be touched upon before
the round closes.

[Illustration: THE FIVE-STRAW PUZZLE.]

You are supplied with five straws of equal length (about three and
a half inches), and you are required to lift all five, holding only
the tip of one of them. A glance will show you the arrangement of the
five little straws and the coin in their centre, which is, as will be
seen, as simple as possible—when you know it. The use of the coin is
an optional addition. It wedges all tight, and prevents the straws
slipping when once put together; but it is by no means indispensable.


Each member of the company writes upon a slip of paper two words that
rhyme. These are collected by one player and read aloud, and as they
are read everybody writes them down upon new papers. Five or ten
minutes being allowed, each player must write a poem introducing all
the rhyming words in their original pairs. At the expiration of the
given time the lines are read aloud. Suppose the words given are “man
and than,” “drops and copse,” “went and intent,” etc., these are easily
framed into something like this:

    Once on a time a brooklet drops,
    With splash and dash, through a shady copse;
  One day there chanced to pass a man,
  Who, deeming water better than
    Cider, down by the brooklet went,
    To dip some up was his intent.

Of course the result is nonsense, but it is pleasant nonsense, and may
be kept up indefinitely, to the entertainment of the participants.


All being seated, two of the company are chosen, one for postmaster,
the other for carrier. The Postmaster gives the name of some city to
each person, writing the names down upon paper as they are given. The
carrier, blindfolded, stands in the middle of the room and the postman
calls: “I have a letter to go from Philadelphia to St. Louis.”

As the names are mentioned, the persons representing these cities
change places, the carrier at the same time trying to catch one of
them. If he succeeds, and can, while blindfolded, give the name of the
captured player, the latter becomes carrier in turn. When the postman
says: “I have letters to go all over the world,” everybody rises and
changes places, and if in the confusion the carrier captures a seat,
the player who remains standing becomes carrier in turn.

[Illustration: THE DIVIDED PEAR.]

Problem: To find the position in which a knife must be held that a
pear, suspended high up near to the ceiling, shall, on the severing of
the thread to which it is attached, so fall as to cut itself in half
upon the blade. There is no necessity for line or plummet; we need only
dip the suspended pear in a glass of water, which we forthwith remove.
The water drips from it; we note the exact spot on floor or table where
the drops fall, and make a private mark on such spot.

This is done privately beforehand, so that the company, on their
arrival, find the pear suspended in readiness for the feat, and know
nothing of the tell-tale “drop.”

At the proper moment you hold the knife, edge upward, immediately over
the point which you have marked, while some one applies a lighted match
to the thread. If you have duly followed our instructions, the pear, in
falling, should cut itself in half upon the blade.

For the experiment as above described one knife only is used; but it
may also be performed with two knives, as shown in our illustration.


Each player composes in turn a bouquet of three different flowers,
that he names aloud to the person conducting the play. The leader then
writes the names of the flowers, and after them the names of three
persons in the room. He then demands of the player who has composed
the bouquet, what he intends doing with the flowers, and upon their
proposed disposition being declared, the names of the three persons
they represent are read aloud.


Leader.—“Miss A, choose three flowers.”

Miss A.—“A rose, an aster and a pansy.”

L.—“I have written them. Now what will you do with the rose?”

A.—“I will throw it out of the window.”

L.—“And the aster?”

A.—“I will put it in a vase.”

L.—“And the pansy?”

A.—“I will always keep it near me.”

L.—“Very well. You have thrown Mr. A out of the window, put Mr. B in a
vase and expressed a desire to keep Mr. C always near you.”


This is a very entertaining game and productive of general merriment,
if conducted at all cleverly by the players. One person in the room
begins to relate a story, and after telling enough to interest his
hearers and arouse their curiosity, suddenly breaking off, throws a
knotted handkerchief at some other member of the party, calling upon
him to continue the narrative. This is kept up as long as possible, the
more absurd and improbable the plot of the story the better. If any one
fails to respond upon receiving the handkerchief, he or she must pay a


The amusing game of tongue-twisters is played thus: The leader gives
out a sentence (one of the following), and each repeats it in turn, any
player who gets tangled up in the pronunciation, having to pay forfeit.

A haddock! a haddock! a black-spotted haddock, a black spot on the
black back of the black-spotted haddock.

She sells sea shells.

She stood at the door of Mr. Smith’s fish-sauce shop, welcoming him in.

The sea ceaseth and it sufficeth us.

Six thick thistle sticks.

The flesh of freshly fried flying fish.

A growing gleam glowing green.

I saw Esau kissing Kate, the fact is we all three saw; I saw Esau, he
saw me, and she saw I saw Esau.

Swan swam over the sea; swim, swan, swim; swan swam back again; well
swum, swan.

You snuff shop snuff, I snuff box snuff.

The bleak breeze blighted the bright broom blossoms.

High roller, low roller, rower.

Oliver Oglethorp ogled an owl and oyster. Did Oliver Oglethorp ogle an
owl and oyster? If Oliver Oglethorp ogled an owl and oyster, where are
the owl and oyster Oliver Oglethorp ogled?

Hobbs meets Snobbs and Nobbs; Hobbs bobs to Snobbs and Nobbs; Hobbs
nobs with Snobbs and robs Nobbs’ fob. “That is,” says Nobbs, “the worse
for Hobbs’ jobs,” and Snobbs sobs.

Susan shines shoes and socks; socks and shoes shine Susan. She ceaseth
shining shoes and socks, for shoes and socks shock Susan.

Robert Rowley rolled a round roll round; a round roll Robert Rowley
rolled round. Where rolled the round roll Robert Rowley rolled round?

Strict, strong Stephen Stringer snared slickly six sickly, silky snakes.


Dig the blade of a half open penknife into a pencil, a little above the
point, and to open or close the blade, little by little, till you find
that the balance is obtained. The combination of pencil and penknife
thus placing itself in equilibrio is an illustration of a familiar law
of mechanics; the centre of gravity of the combination falls below the
point of support (the finger, edge of the table, or the like), and thus
stable equilibrium is obtained.


By varying the degree of opening of the penknife, you impart
corresponding degrees of inclination to the pencil. When the centre of
gravity of the two combined falls in the same line as the axis of the
pencil, the latter will assume a perpendicular position.


A great game for young folks of a winter evening. The company being
seated in a circle, somebody begins by saying, for instance:

No. 1. “I pack my grandfather’s trunk with a pair of spectacles.”

No. 2. “I pack my grandfather’s trunk with a pair of spectacles and a
silk hat.”

No. 3. “I pack my grandfather’s trunk with a pair of spectacles, a
silk hat and a dime novel.” And so on, each person repeating all the
articles already mentioned, beside adding a new one.

If any one fails to repeat the list correctly, he drops out of
the game, which is continued until the contents of the trunk are
unanimously declared too numerous to remember.


One member of the company leaving the room, a word admitting of more
than one interpretation is chosen by the others. On his return, he asks
each in succession, “How do you like it?” The player questioned being
required to give an appropriate answer. He then inquires in similar
manner, “When do you like it?” and if the answer to that question still
give him no clue, proceeds to ask, “Where do you like it?”

When he at last discovers the word, the person whose answer has
furnished him with the most information, must in turn leave the room
and become the questioner.

We will suppose the word chosen to be “rain,” which can also be taken
as “reign” or “rein.”

The question “How do you like it?” receives the answers “tight,”
“heavy,” “short,” “warm,” etc.

The question “When do you like it?” “In summer,” “When I am driving,”
“In the nineteenth century,” etc.

“Where do you like it?” “In England,” “On a horse,” “In the sky,” etc.


A pretty game and a prime favorite with country lads and lasses. The
leader commences by saying, “I love my love with an ‘A’ because she is
Angelic, because her name is Araminta and because she lives in Atlanta.
I will give her an Amethyst, feed her upon Almonds and make her a
bouquet of Anemones.” The next player, taking the letter “B,” loves
his love in the same set of phrases, only because she is Bewitching,
her name is Belinda, etc. The next takes “C,” and so on through the
alphabet, omitting the letter X.

Any one failing to supply the required words promptly gives a forfeit.


To drive a needle through a cent, particularly if the needle be a fine
one, seems at first sight an impossibility. It is, however, a very easy
matter, if you set about it in the right way. Thrust the needle through
a cork, allowing the point to project slightly, and then, with a pair
of cutting-pliers, nip off all that remains exposed at the opposite
end. Place cork and cent as shown in our illustration, or simply let
the coin rest on a piece of soft wood, and hammer away vigorously on
the top of the cork.

The needle, being steel, is harder than the bronze of the coin, and
the cork preventing it from bending to either side, it may be driven
through the cent, or any other coin of like substance, with perfect

The cork should be kept in position with the left hand, while receiving
the blows of the hammer.



This game requires the players to be alert and on the watch for the
words that give the clue to the solution. One player (A) having gone
from the room, a proverb is selected by the others, of which each
person takes a separate word, in order. The absent player then being
recalled, proceeds to question the others singly, each introducing in
his answer the word of the proverb he has previously received. Suppose
the proverb selected to be “Nothing venture nothing have,” the game
would proceed thus:

A. “Is the proverb a long one?”

1st Player. “Nothing should be too long for you to guess.”

A. “Have you ever played this game before?”

2d P. “Really I cannot venture to say.”

A. “Are you fond of parlor games?”

3d P. “Nothing pleases me more.”

A. “Are you enjoying yourself this evening?”

4th P. “I have enjoyed myself thus far.”

If A has not by this time guessed the proverb, he continues his
questions until enlightened, when the player whose answer has given him
the most information goes from the room.

Rather a noisy way of playing the same game is to have all the players
at a given signal shout their words in unison, leaving the listener
to distinguish in the uproar some word that shall give him a clue to
the proverb. The shouting is repeated as often as desired until he is

In either modification of the game the player whose answer or word
leads the questioner to discovery becomes the one to go from the room.


Fasten securely a stick two feet long and an inch or more in diameter
to the centre of a block of wood or piece of board, so that the block
forms a substantial base for the stick, which should be slightly
tapered at its upper end. Make out of wire six hoops or rings, three of
them nine inches in diameter, two of them seven inches, and one five
inches. They should be heavy enough to toss easily, perhaps half an
inch in thickness. Wind these with cloth torn into strips, fastening
the ends with needle and thread. Use three colors of the cloth, the
rings of each size being the same color. Red, white and blue make a
pretty combination, using red for the largest size, white for the next,
and blue for the one small one. Now set the standard at some distance
from the players, and the game begins. One player takes all the rings
and tosses them one at a time over the upright stick. For each of the
large rings which he succeeds in getting upon the standard, he counts
ten; for each of the next size, fifteen; and for the smallest one,
twenty-five. Any number agreed upon may be called a game, and the
player first obtaining that number of counts wins. After one player has
thrown all the rings, another player takes them, tossing them in the
same way. Any number of players may take part in the game. When once
around, the first one tosses again, and so on until the game is out.
For small children, five or six feet is far enough to toss the rings,
but larger ones may increase the distance.



Upon a little square of ordinary writing-paper, sketch some geometrical
figure—square, rectangle, triangle, polygon, etc.—using for that
purpose a pencil whose tip has been moistened with water. Float the
paper, with the design upward, on the water in a basin, and fill up
with water the figure you have traced. With a little care you may do
this without difficulty, for the lines of moisture which form the
outlines of your figure (a triangle, we will suppose) will prevent the
liquid overpassing the limits thereby defined. The water thus enclosed
will rise in a little heap. Now take a pin, and placing the point at
any spot you please within the triangle, in such manner that the point
dips into the water but does not touch the paper itself, you will see
the paper begin to move horizontally in a straight line until the
geometric centre of the triangle places itself exactly under the point
of the pin. You can readily determine beforehand this central point,
which we will call A, and holding the pin as shown in the engraving,
you will find that the paper travels in the direction shown by the
arrow, till A comes just under the point of the pin, when it will stop
of its own accord. Repeat the experiment with a square or a rectangle,
and you will find that the spot which is beneath the pin-point, when
the paper comes to a standstill, is precisely the point of intersection
of the two diagonals.


When you blow into a paper bag in order to swell it out, afterward
bursting it with a blow to produce the familiar “bang,” have you ever
stopped to ask yourself what was the precise force of your breath?
You know that such force can be measured by the instrument known as
the spirometer, which you occasionally see at a railway station or a
country fair. But a simple paper bag may be made to answer the purpose
of the spirometer, as I propose to explain.

The bag must be rather long and narrow, airtight, and of thin, tough
paper. A bullock’s bladder will answer the purpose still better. A
tube should be inserted in the neck, through which to blow. Lay it
flat, near the edge of a table, with the mouth turned toward yourself;
place various weights upon it, increasing by degrees, and you will be
surprised at the weight that your breath will thus lift. To upset a
couple of big dictionaries, placed one upon the other, will be mere
child’s play, as you will find on putting the matter to the test.



All the players stand in a circle holding a long cord, which forms an
endless band upon which a ring has been slipped before it was joined at
the ends. This ring is passed rapidly from one player to another—always
on the cord and concealed by the hand—while somebody in the centre
endeavors to seize the hands of the person who holds it, who when
actually caught takes his place within the circle.

If the circle is very large two rings may be slipped upon the cord, and
two players placed in the centre together.

A small key may be used instead of a ring, while still another
variation is to have the concealed object a small whistle with a ring
attached. When this is adopted an amusing phase of the game is to
secretly attach a string to the whistle and fasten this to the back
of the player in the centre by means of a bent pin at the other end
of the string. Then while feigning to pass the whistle from hand to
hand, it is occasionally seized and blown upon by some one in the ring,
toward whom the victim is at that moment turning his back, causing that
individual to be greatly puzzled.


A sheet being stretched across one end of the room, one of the players
is seated upon a low stool facing it and with his eyes fixed upon it.
The only light in the room must be a lamp placed upon a table in the
centre of the room. Between this lamp and the person on the stool,
the players pass in succession, their shadows being thrown upon the
sheet in strong relief. The victim of the moment endeavors to identify
the other players by their respective shadows, and if he succeeds the
detected party must take his place.

It is allowable to make detection as difficult as possible by means
of any available disguise that does not conceal the whole person, any
grimacing, contortion of form, etc.


A beautiful game, which amuses even the mere spectator as much as it
does the actual players. One of the company sits at the piano while
another leaves the room. The rest of the party then hide some article
previously agreed upon and recall the absent player. At his entrance
the pianist begins playing some lively air very softly; keeping up
a sort of musical commentary upon his search, playing louder as he
approaches the goal, and softer when he wanders away from it. In this
way he is guided to at last discover the object of his search.


This is another piano game, but does not require so much skill as
the former. One person goes to the piano, while the others arrange
in a line as many chairs, less one, as there are players; the chairs
alternately facing opposite directions. Then as the pianist begins to
play, the others commence marching around the line of chairs, keeping
time to the music. When this suddenly ceases, everybody tries to sit
down, but as there is one less chair than players, somebody is left
standing and must remain out of the game. Then another chair is removed
and the march continued, until the chairs decrease to one and the
players to two.

Whoever of these succeeds in seating himself as the music stops, has
won the game.


A game of skill, the equivalent of parlor quoits. It is played with
bean-bags and a board three feet long and two feet wide, elevated at
one end by another board to an angle of thirty degrees, and having some
six inches from the top an opening about five inches square. Station
this board at one end of a long room and divide the company equally.
Eight bean-bags are all that are required.

The leader of one side begins. Standing at a suitable distance from
the board, he endeavors to throw the bags, one at a time, through the
square opening. Every bag that reaches the goal counts ten, every one
that lodges upon the board five, and every one that falls to the ground
outside of the board a loss of ten.

Suppose A to have put two bags through the opening (twenty), and two
upon the board (ten),—that is a gain of thirty—but the other four bags
falling to the ground makes a loss of forty, so his real score is a
loss of ten.

B puts four through the opening (forty), three upon the board
(fifteen), and one upon the ground (ten), which gives him a gain of

The sides play alternately, and after three rounds for each, the
scores, which have been carefully kept by one member of the party, are
balanced, and the side having the greatest gain declared winners.

A prize may be given for the highest individual score.


A very old and still quite popular game. The company being seated
around the room in a circle, some one stationed in the centre throws an
unfolded handkerchief to one of the seated players. Whoever receives it
must instantly throw it to some one else, and so on, while the person
in the centre endeavors to catch the handkerchief in its passage from
one player to another. If he catches it, as it touches somebody, that
person must take his place in the centre. If it is caught in the air
the player whose hands it last left enters the circle.

The handkerchief must not be knotted or twisted, but thrown loosely.


A player is led blindfolded into the middle of the room, taken by the
shoulders, and turned around three times, after which he must catch
somebody to replace him. As he is being turned, the others say:

“How many horses have you in your father’s stable?”

“Three; black, white and gray.”

“Turn about, and turn about, and catch whom you may.”

This game belongs to many countries, and is known by many different
names. It is “Blind Cow” in Germany; “Blind Goat” in Sweden; “Blind
Mouse” in South Germany and Servia; “Blind Hen” in Spain; “Blind Fly,”
or “Blind Cat,” in Italy. To the English name, “Blind-man’s Buff,”
correspond the Polish “Blind Old Man,” and the Norwegian “Blind Thief.”

A familiar variation makes this a ring-game. The blindfolded person
stands in the centre, with a staff, while the ring circles about him.
When he strikes the floor three times, the ring must pause. The person
in whose direction he points must grasp the staff, and utter some
sound, disguising the voice as much as possible. The first must then
guess the name from the sound. This form of the game is called “Peg in
the Ring.”


Take a short piece of candle, and into its lower end thrust, by way
of ballast, a nail. You should choose a nail of such a size that the
candle-end shall be all but immersed, the water just rising to its
upper edge, though not so high as to overflow the top and wet the wick.
Now, light the candle, and you may safely make a wager that, in spite
of the apparently unfavorable circumstances in which it is placed, it
will burn completely to the end.

This may, at first sight, appear a rash assertion, but after a little
reflection, you will see how the arrangement works. The candle, of
course, grows shorter as it burns, and it seems therefore as if the
water must overflow the top and reach the wick; but on the other hand,
it grows proportionately lighter, and therefore rides higher in the

Further, the external surface of the candle, kept cool by the
surrounding liquid, melts much more slowly than it would in the open
air, so that the flame hollows out for itself a sort of little well, as
represented in the right-hand corner of our illustration.


This hollowing process further lightens the candle, and the wick will,
as you have stated, burn to the very end.


For the purpose of weighing light objects as, for instance, a letter,
a very delicate balance is required; and as such we recommend to our
readers our new broomstick letter-weighing machine. Cut off the end of
an ordinary broom-handle, to a length of about ten inches, and plunge
it into a tall glass jar full of water—first, however, weighting it at
bottom in such manner that about seven inches of its length shall be
under water. Attach to the upper end, by means of a tack, an ordinary
visiting card. This will form the tray or scale of the apparatus—and
behold your weighing-machine, complete. All that remains to be done is
to graduate it. Place on the scale a one-ounce weight, note how far
the stick sinks, and mark thereon, with a very black pencil, the point
where it meets the surface of the water.


The apparatus being so far graduated, take off the weight, and lay on
the card, in its stead, the letter you desire to weigh. If the pencil
mark remains above the surface of the water, your letter weighs less
than an ounce, and two cents will pay the postage; if, on the contrary,
the mark sinks below the surface, your letter is over-weight, and you
must pay accordingly.


An amusing game at which any size of party may play and enjoy it
for hours. Cut a large figure of a donkey, minus a tail, from dark
paper or cloth, and pin it upon a sheet stretched tightly across a
door-way. Each player is given a piece of paper, which would fit the
donkey for a tail, if applied. On each tail is written the name of the
person holding it. When all is ready, the players are blindfolded in
turn—placed facing the donkey a few steps back in the room—then turned
around rapidly two or three times and told to advance with the tail
held at arm’s length, and with a pin previously inserted in the end,
attach it to the figure of the donkey wherever they first touch it.
When the whole curtain is adorned with tails—(not to mention all the
furniture, family portraits, etc., in the vicinity)—and there are no
more to pin on, the person who has succeeded in fastening the appendage
the nearest to its natural dwelling place, receives a prize, and the
player who has given the most eccentric position to the tail entrusted
to his care, receives the “booby” prize, generally some gift of a
nature to cause a good-humored laugh.


This is a variation of “Blind Man’s Buff,” which is described
elsewhere. Seat the company round the room and give each a number.
Blindfold one person and station him in the centre of the room,
twirling him around several times so that he may successfully “lose his
bearings.” He must then call any two numbers included in the number of
players, and the two people representing them must at once rise and
change places, while the “blind man” endeavors to seize one of them. If
he succeeds in doing this he must, while still blindfolded, identify
the captive, who then in turn enters the circle.

More than two numbers may be called at once, and when the “blind man”
calls out “Boston!” and everybody changes places, he may, by slipping
into a vacant seat during the confusion, find a substitute in the
person left standing when all the chairs are occupied.


It is always a delicate thing to inquire a lady’s age, but the question
in this game will offend nobody. There must be at least two people in
the secret, and one of them leaves the room. Somebody in the company
tells his age to the others, and the absent player is recalled.
Everybody is at liberty to question him, but he only pays attention
to the one player he knows holds the secret of the game, and from the
first letters of the words introducing the remarks of this person he
takes his cue—the first ten letters of the alphabet standing for the
ten figures, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0.

A goes from the room and B asks for somebody’s age. C volunteers, “I am
twenty-five.” A being then recalled, there is a universal demand from
the company for the required age, and a great deal of doubt expressed
as to his ability to guess it. During the general confusion, B hastily
says: “Be sure before you speak,” and then again: “Enough thinking.
Tell us now.” Whereupon, A, guided by the first letter, “b,” of the
first remark, and the “e” of the second, which he knows represents the
digits “two” and “five” respectively, quickly says “twenty-five.”


One player says to another:

“Mr. Brown, I saw you on Broadway.”

Whereupon Mr. Brown says:

“What, sir? Me, sir?”

The other replies:

“Yes, sir; you, sir.”

“Oh! no, sir, not I, sir.”

“Who then, sir?”

“Mr. Smith, sir.”

Mr. Smith immediately replies:

“What, sir? Me, sir?”

And so on till each is mentioned in turn. Those who miss must pay a
forfeit. At the end of the game all the forfeits are redeemed.


The players are seated around the room. One person pretends to whisper
to each of the others in turn the name of a different animal. After
naming them all, he must call out the name of some one animal, and the
person having that name must run out at the door. Having given the
whole company the name of horse, he calls horse whereupon they all make
a simultaneous rush for the door. A narrow door should be chosen, if


This is a short game, reaching a quick conclusion and exciting a
hearty laugh. Tell everybody in the room that you will give to each in
a whisper, the name of some animal, whose peculiar cry they are to
imitate in concert at a given signal. To all but one person the simple
charge to “keep perfectly silent” is given. Upon that one is bestowed
the name of “Rooster.” Then saying, “All be ready when I say three!”
Count “one, two, three,” when a lusty crow from the victim of the joke,
and a laugh from the others, tell him that the general amusement has
been at his expense.


The players are each provided with a slip of paper and a pencil. Each
must write the name of some gentleman (who is known to the party),
turn down the end of the paper on which the name is written, and pass
the paper to the next neighbor. All must then write the name of some
lady (also known), then change the papers again and write “where they
met,” “what he said,” “what she said,” “what the world said,” and “the
consequences,” always passing the papers on. When all are written, each
player must then read his paper.

Mr. Jones....

And Miss Smith....

Met on a roof....

He said, “I trust you are not afraid.”

She said, “Not while you are here.”

World said, “It’s a match.”

Consequences, “He sailed for Africa next morning,” etc.


This may be made very amusing, although no actual mesmerism is
attempted. A member of the party announces that he has been declared to
possess a vast amount of mesmeric power; not enough to gain absolute
control over a person, but sufficient to at least prevent him from
rising from a chair alone. His challenge being accepted by some one, he
seats his victim in a low chair and himself in a higher one close at
hand. Then, solemnly demanding a complete relaxation of will power and
a sober countenance on the part of the subject, he begins making passes
with his hands, stroking the forehead of the person beside him, and
otherwise imitating a genuine mesmerist. After a short time he quietly

“Now see if you can get up alone!”

Of course, the subject rises to his feet at once, but so does the
mesmerist, thus proving to the former that having risen simultaneously
with himself, he has surely failed to rise alone.


A sheet is fastened up between two doors. Holes are cut in it, and
some of the party go behind the sheet and stand with their eyes at the
holes, while the others must guess to whom the eyes belong. Failing to
guess correctly they must give a forfeit.


The players sit round in a circle, and one player, who is “it,” points
to some one, and says either “beast,” “bird,” or “fish.” He then
counts ten as quickly as possible. The person pointed to must name
some “beast,” “bird,” or “fish” (whichever he was asked) before ten is
reached. If he fails, he must give a forfeit.


The players pile up their hands, choose a number, and draw out in turn,
and the person who draws his or her hand from the pile at the number
selected has to answer truly any questions put by the rest.


Take an ordinary pin, thoroughly dry. This is an object which water can
moisten, but less easily than glass. If, by some means or other, you
can manage to lay it on the water without wetting it, you will see the
water take a convex shape on either side of the pin, and this latter,
displacing a proportionate body of water, will float on the surface,
just as a lucifer match would do. The same experiment may be performed
with a needle, and it must not be supposed that a very fine needle or
pin alone is suitable.


[Illustration: SHADOWS ON THE WALL.]


Great amusement is excited by this game when played in the presence of
a company of guests. Spread a sheet upon the floor and place two chairs
upon it. Seat two of the party in the chairs within reach of each other
and blindfold them. Give each a saucer of cracker or bread crumbs and
a spoon, then request them to feed each other. The frantic efforts of
each victim to reach his fellow sufferer’s mouth is truly absurd—the
crumbs finding lodgment in the hair, ears and neck much oftener than
the mouth. Sometimes bibs are fastened around the necks of the victims
for protection.


A lively game of “talk and touch.” The company is seated in a circle,
and one who understands the game commences by saying to his neighbor at
the right:

“I have been shopping.”

“What did you buy?” is the required response.

“A dress,” “a book,” “some flowers,” “a pencil”—whatever the first
speaker wishes, provided always that he can, in pronouncing the word,
touch the object mentioned. Then the second player addresses his
neighbor in similar manner, and so on around the circle until the
secret of the game is discovered by all.

Whoever mentions an object without touching it, or names one that has
already been given, pays a forfeit.



With your penknife slit one end of a match, and trim that of another
into a wedge shape. Insert this latter into the split end of the
former, so that the two shall form an acute angle. Place them on the
table, the angle upward, and prop them up by leaning another match
against them, the whole forming a tripod, as shown in the figure. Now
hand a fourth match to one of the company, and request him to lift with
it the other three from the table. Such is the problem to be resolved.
All that you have to do is to insert the fourth match just inside the
point of the tripod, between the two conjoined and the single match;
and with it to press the two joined matches lightly outward till the
third falls with its upper end on the one you hold. You lower this
till the end of the single match passes within the angle formed by the
juncture of the two first. If you then raise the match you hold in your
hand, the three others will ride astride upon it, the single match
on the one side, the two joined matches on the other. The table used
should have a cloth on it, that the lower ends of the matches may not
slip. Some little delicacy of handling is needful to make the single
match fall just in the right position, but this once achieved, the
three thus slightly supported might be carried a mile without any fear
of dropping them.



Bend a hair-pin as shown in our illustration. Place a cent horizontally
on the right-hand hook, which should be narrow enough to clip it
closely, and hang upon the left-hand hook a tolerably heavy finger-ring
(or two, if one is found insufficient). Place the free edge of the
coin on some upright point (that of a lady’s bonnet-pin, for example),
and you will find that the combination can be made to balance itself.
Furthermore, by gently blowing upon the ring, you can set the
apparatus revolving rapidly, without any disturbance to its equilibrium.

If you spin the cent upon a very sharp steel needle, you will find that
the needle will at length work its way completely through the coin.
You may therefore, if you please, propound your puzzle in this rather
striking form—How to bore a hole through a cent by merely blowing upon


This rhyme, formerly used in England, remains unchanged, except the
omission of the last three lines. Apples were an essential part of
every entertainment in the country. The apple, having been properly
named for a person, with a pressure of the finger, was divided, to
decide the fate of the person concerned according to its number of

  One, I love,
  Two, I love,
  Three, I love, I say,
  Four, I love with all my heart,
  And five, I cast away;
  Six, he loves,
  Seven, she loves,
  Eight, they both love;
  Nine, he comes,
  Ten, he tarries,
  Eleven, he courts,
  Twelve, he marries;
  Thirteen, wishes,
  Fourteen, kisses,
  All the rest little witches.


A tin pie-plate is set spinning in the middle of the floor; someone is
called from the party, who must catch the plate before it stops, or pay
a forfeit.


This feat is a very amusing one and is performed as follows: Two
persons kneel on the ground, facing each other. Each holds in his left
hand a candle in a candlestick, at the same time grasping his right
foot in his right hand. This position compels him to balance himself
on his left knee. One of the candles is lighted; the other is not. The
holders are required to light the unlighted candle from the lighted
one. The conditions are simple enough, but one would hardly believe how
often the performers will roll over on the floor before they succeed in
lighting the candle. It will be found desirable to spread a newspaper
on the floor between the combatants. Many spots of candle-grease will
thus be intercepted, and the peace of mind of the lady of the house
proportionately spared.


Place a low stool on the floor, close against the wall, and yourself
facing the wall, with your feet distant from it just double the width
of the stool. Stoop down and grasp the stool with one hand on either
side, and rest your head against the wall. Now lift the stool from
the floor, and slowly raise yourself to the erect position—or rather,
endeavor to do so. It is better to try the experiment for the first
time on a well-carpeted floor. On polished oak or parqueterie you
would probably have a bad fall. We have here a curious effect of the
displacement of the centre of gravity of the body, which renders it
almost impossible to stand upright without first replacing the stool on
the ground, and resting the hand upon it to get the needful support.


The girl who is to name the penalty by which the forfeit must be
redeemed lays her face on the lap of another who sits on a chair, while
a third, standing behind, holds the article over her head and asks:

“Here is a forfeit, a very fine forfeit; what shall be done to redeem

“Is it fine or superfine?” (i. e., does it belong to a gentleman or to
a lady.)

The sentence is then declared.

Another formula, used in the Middle and Southern States, is: “Heavy,
heavy, what hangs over you?”

The German usage is nearly the same, the question being: “Judge, what
is your sentence, what shall he do whose pledge I have in my hand?” Any
proper penalty may be named.


Sides are chosen and the opposing parties stand in separate lines as
for a spelling match. No. 1 of one side mentions the name of some city
or town in any part of the globe, and No. 1 of the other side must
locate it before his opponent has finished counting ten or twenty, as
may be agreed. He then, in turn, names a city which No. 2 on the other
side must locate. If anyone fails to give the correct location before
the expiration of the ten counts, a member from the side he represents
is chosen by the other.


Sides are chosen, and a representative from each side goes from the
room. After choosing the object to be guessed, they return, each going
to his _opponent’s_ side, where he is asked questions to be answered
by “yes” or “no,” concerning the object selected. The side which first
guesses correctly has the privilege of choosing a member from the
opposing side. Then the successful guesser of one party and the player
who has been most nearly successful on the other go from the room
and choose a new subject. The two parties must be separated by some
distance and the questioning carried on in a low voice, so that nothing
said by one side can be heard by the other. An illustration:

For instance, the object chosen is the thumb on the right hand of the
Washington Monument.

Question. “Does it belong to the animal kingdom?”

Answer. “No.”

Q. “To the mineral kingdom?”

A. “Yes.”

Q. “Is it in existence now?”

A. “Yes.”

Q. “Is it in this country?”

A. “Yes,” and so on until a successful termination of the guessing is


One of the company being appointed to represent the _Cricket_, seats
himself in the midst of the other players, who are the _Ants_, and
writes upon a piece of paper the name of a certain grain, whatever kind
he pleases. He then addresses the first _Ant_: “My dear neighbor, I
am very hungry, and have come to you for aid. What will you give me?”
“_A grain of rice_, _a kernel of corn_, _a worm_,” etc., replies the
Ant, as he sees fit. The Cricket asks each in turn, and if one of them
announces as his gift the word already written upon the paper, the
Cricket declares himself satisfied and changes places with the Ant.

If the desired word is not spoken, however, the same cricket keeps
his place, scorning each article of food as it is suggested to him.
In either case the form of the question changes, and the supplicant
says: “My hunger is appeased and now I wish to dance. What dance do
you advise?” He therefore writes the name of a dance upon his paper
and the Ants advise in turn—“_A polka_, _a fandango_, _a minuet_,”
etc. The third Cricket declares himself unable to dance without music,
and requests that a suitable instrument be recommended. “_A lyre_, _a
kazoo_, _a mandolin_,” etc., say the Ants.

The fourth Cricket, tired of dancing, wishes to rest, and asks upon
what he shall take his repose. “_A rose-leaf_, _the moss_, _the heart
of a lily_,” are all suggested, but unless the name he has previously
written upon his paper is mentioned, he expresses himself dissatisfied.

The fifth and last Cricket confesses fear lest while sleeping he shall
be devoured by a bird, but requests advice concerning the choice of
a destroyer. “_A lark_, _a turtle-dove_, _a pigeon_,” are thereupon
mentioned by the Ants.

By carefully selecting the most uncommon names for replies, the same
Cricket may be kept through the entire set of questions. If the word
written upon his paper, however, is mentioned in any case, he must show
it to the unfortunate Ant, to whom he surrenders his place.


One of the party leaves the room while the others decide upon some
character, real or fictitious. The absentee is then recalled, and each
in turn asks him a question referring to the character he has been
elected to represent. When he guesses his identity the player whose
question has thrown the most light upon the subject has to go from the

For example: A goes from the room and the company decides that he shall
represent King Henry VIII. When he enters, No. 1 asks: “Which one of
your wives did you love best?” No. 2 says: “Do you approve of a man’s
marrying his deceased brother’s wife?” No. 3 adds: “Were you very sorry
your brother died?” etc., while A, after guessing various names, is led
by some question to guess correctly, and the fortunate questioner is
consequently sent from the room to have a new character assigned him in


Cut out of thin cardboard a couple of little figures, and insert in the
mouth of each, fixing it, say, with sealing-wax, a piece of quill (a
portion of a toothpick, for instance), through which he or she appears
to be blowing. Fill each tube with sand, but leave a minute space empty
at the end remote from the figure. In the cavity of the one place a
few grains of gunpowder, and in the other a tiny morsel of phosphorus.
The figures being thus privately prepared beforehand, you call for a
lighted candle, and announce that the one figure will blow it out and
the other relight it.

The moment the tube with the powder is brought near the candle, the
powder will ignite, and will produce an explosion of infinitesimal
proportions, but large enough to blow out the candle and cause a jet
of smoke in the direction of the second figure, which you hold in the
opposite hand. The heat of the smoke will cause the phosphorus to
ignite, and if you hold the tube which contains it pretty close to the
wick, the candle will again be lighted.

This is an experiment which should not be attempted by unskilled hands.
Both gunpowder and phosphorus require to be handled with great care,
but it might be possible to make, out of thin paper, little cartridges
containing a minute portion of each substance, to be introduced into
the tubes as occasion required. Unless the reader has some practical
knowledge of laboratory work, he should not attempt this experiment.


The painters have given the last finishing touches to the room
they have been redecorating, but before leaving they cannot resist
the temptation of a joke on whoever is sent to see that all is in
order. Imagine the horror of the servant-girl when she sees a great
crack, perhaps half a dozen, right across the big drawing-room
mirror. Meanwhile, behind her back the workmen are smiling over her
discomfiture. After having sufficiently chuckled over the success
of their innocent joke they offer to repair the damage, and, not to
keep their victim longer in suspense, one of them takes a wet cloth
and passes it over the supposed crack in the glass. Lo, a miracle!
The cracks disappear under the mere touch of the damp duster, and the
glass is whole again. She can hardly believe her own eyes. And yet
there is no witchcraft about the matter. If you are inclined to play a
similar trick, you have only to trace, with a small piece of soap, on
the mirror which is to appear broken, a few fine lines in imitation of
cracks. Their reflection in the glass will give them depth, and make
them seem as though they extended through the thickness of the glass,
while a rub with a wet flannel will make all right again.


We have here the game of the “little horses,” so popular at Continental
watering-places, brought in a simplified and innocent form within
reach of everybody. Glue round the inside of the rim of a circular dish
of white porcelain, a number of little cardboard figures of animals;
or simply sketch thereon, with ink, similar figures or numerals,
equidistant from one another. Place the dish thus furnished, in an
ordinary dish of somewhat larger size, and having its centre slightly
elevated—a not uncommon pattern. You will only have to give a slight
impulse with the hand to the smaller plate to set it spinning within
the other. Should the larger dish not be raised in the centre, you have
only to pour into it a little water, enough to make the inner dish
just float, and it will then revolve with great freedom, the water
practically destroying all friction.

You can repeat the same figure, but with, say, the arms in different
positions, so that, when the plate is set spinning, you may have
depicted, in due order, the successive positions of a man raising and
lowering his arms. Thus, for example, if the first figure has his arms
hanging down close by his sides, the next will have them a little
further from the body; the third will have them extended horizontally;
the next following a little higher; and, finally, the last will have
them raised above his head. Now peep, with one eye only, through a
little hole made with a pin in a visiting-card or playing-card, and
gaze at any given point of the circle described by the figures. When
the dish is set in motion, you apparently see one figure only, but
such figure seems to move like a living being, its arms appearing to
take in succession the various positions which are really those of the
separate figures. You may amuse yourself by thus arranging several
series of such figures, their positions varied in proper succession,
thus reproducing, at merely nominal expense, the scientific toy known
as the Zoetrope or Praxinoscope.


Take a piece of cord elastic, and through it thrust a pin bent by
twisting the ends of the elastic, held vertically between the thumb
and finger of each hand, and then drawing the hands apart, so as to
stretch the cord, you can communicate to this latter a movement so
rapid that the revolutions of the pin shall produce the shape of a
glass cup. The illusion will be the more complete if the pin is itself
brilliantly illuminated, while having a dark background behind it, the
operator should be in a darkened room, and a single ray of sunlight
from without, should fall through a hole in the shutters, upon the pin.
With a little skill in manipulation one can produce, using pins bent
in different ways, the semblance of the most diverse objects—say, a
cheese-dish, and aquarium, a bouquet-holder, or a goblet.

Should the form of the pin tend, by reason of centrifugal force, to
make it assume a horizontal position, this can be cured by securing
one end of it, by means of fine white silk, to the elastic. This
will usually be invisible when the pin is made to revolve as above
described, and, in any case, will not affect the appearance of the


The exhibitor, as well as the cardboard figures, is placed behind the
spectators, a position which has many advantages. Place on the table
a lighted candle, and in front of it, at two or three feet distance,
attach to the wall a sheet of white paper to form your “screen.”
Between the light and the screen interpose some opaque body, for
example, an atlas or other large book.

But under such conditions how are we to cast the shadows on the screen?
Simply by the use of a mirror, placed at the side of the table. The
reflection of the mirror will appear on the wall as a luminous space,
oval or oblong as the case may be, and if you have placed it at the
proper angle with reference to the screen, and move your cardboard
shapes about cleverly between the candle and the mirror, you will
forthwith see little fantastic figures projected in shadow on the
screen, while the uninitiated spectator is wholly at a loss to discover
how you produce them.


When you next chance to eat an egg for breakfast, do not fail to try
the following experiment. It is one which always succeeds, and is
productive of much amusement to the company.

Moisten slightly with water the rim of your plate, and in the centre
paint with the yolk of the egg a sun with golden rays. By the aid of
this simple apparatus you will be in a position to illustrate, so
clearly that a child can comprehend it, the double movement of the
earth, which revolves simultaneously round the sun and on its own axis.

All that you have to do is to place the empty half-shell of your egg on
the rim of the plate, and keeping this latter duly sloped, by a slight
movement of the wrist as may be needful, you will see the egg-shell
begin to revolve rapidly on its own axis, at the same time traveling
round the plate. It is hardly necessary to remark that the egg-shell
will not travel uphill, and the plate must therefore be gradually
shifted round, as well as sloped, so that the shell may always have an
inch or two of descending plane before it.

The slight cohesion caused by the water which moistens the plate
counteracts the centrifugal force, and so prevents the egg-shell
falling off the edge of the plate.


Into a basin full of water, throw a coin, or ring, or other suitable
object, and announce that you will take it out of the basin without
wetting your hand. All that is needed to effect this is to dust the
surface of the water with some form of powder having no cohesion with
water, and which, consequently, water does not moisten. Powdered
lycopodium, to be procured of any chemist, has this property.

Having sprinkled a little of this powder on the surface of the liquid,
plunge your hand boldly to the bottom, pick up the ring, and show the
company that your hand is as dry as it was before the operation. This
comes of the fact that the lycopodium has formed over your hand a
regular glove, to which the liquid cannot adhere any more than it can
to the plumage of the ducks, which we see plunge and plunge again, and
still come up dry as ever, by reason of the oily matter secreted by
their feathers.

Those who may care to carry the experiment further may try it with
_hot_ water, increasing the temperature at each attempt, when they
will find that it is possible, with the aid of the lycopodium, to lift
an article out of a kettle of all but boiling water. The sensation of
heat is not destroyed, but it causes no injury to the tissues—in other
words, no scald.


Soak a thread in strong salt and water; dry thoroughly, and repeat this
two or three times. This must be done privately beforehand. When you
bring forward the thread thus prepared, the spectators have no reason
to suppose that it is other than the ordinary article.

Use this thread to suspend a ring, choosing as light a one as possible.
Set fire to the thread, which will burn from end to end, but the
spectators will be surprised to see that the ring does not fall, being
supported by the ash resulting from the combustion. In reality, the
fibrous particles of the thread have been destroyed, but there remains
a tiny filament of salt, strong enough, if there is no draught in the
room, to support the weight of the ring.

This experiment may be varied in this manner:

Attach four pieces of thread to the four corners of a little piece
of muslin, so as to form a miniature hammock. Soak the whole in salt
water; then dry it, and repeat the operation three or four times.
When the threads and the muslin are thoroughly saturated with salt
and perfectly dry, place a blown egg in the little hammock, suspended
as shown in the figure. Set fire to the hammock, which will burn
freely enough, as also the fine threads, but if the experiment has
been properly carried out, the egg will remain suspended, to the
astonishment of all who behold it.


Place on the surface of the water in a glass or basin a number of small
pieces of camphor of various sizes, together representing the form of
some animal, say a scorpion. After a little while the scorpion will
begin to stir in the water; you will see him move his claws, as though
trying to swim, and curl his tail convulsively, as if in pain.

This amusing experiment is easy to perform, and costs practically
nothing, for camphor is to be found in every household; but in spite
of its simplicity we may deduce from it, as you will see, several
interesting observations.

1. Our scorpion floats on the water, but lies almost entirely below the
surface. This proves to us that the specific gravity of camphor is
nearly, but not quite, equal to that of water.

2. The animal does not dissolve. Camphor is therefore insoluble in

3. The different fragments of which our scorpion consists do not
separate, but remain one against the other as we originally placed
them. This is because they are held together by the force known as

4. Lastly, the eccentric movements we have mentioned depend on a
well-ascertained but mysterious property of camphor, viz., that when
placed on the surface of the water, it moves spontaneously. It is a
well-known fact that a morsel of camphor placed in a glass of water
will, after a few moments, begin to move either with a sidelong
or rotary movement; such movement being due, according to some
authorities, to the recoil produced by an escape of liberated gases;
according to others, to a mysterious force inherent in the surface of
liquids, and known as _superficial tension_.


A clever way to amuse a party of children is to invite them to a peanut
party. Tiny cards of invitation are sent out, on each of which two half
peanut shells are fastened. A large quantity of the nuts are hidden
about the house, and when the young folks arrive they are told to hunt
them. They who find the most and least of them receive prizes.

Another is a soap bubble party. The invitations for this should have a
pen and ink sketch of a pipe and bubble. Provide plenty of clay pipes,
with the name of a guest written on each, and make the soapsuds with
the addition of glycerine to make the bubbles strong and tough. For
the prizes for the most successful bubble blower, a fancy pipe is
suitable. It can be made by gilding the handle and outside of the bowl
of a clay pipe and painting the inside of the bowl in water colors. A
bow of baby ribbon to match the paint improves it. For the booby prize
a little pipe can be made from a match and half an acorn shell.

A penny party furnishes amusement for an evening. With the invitations
is sent a request for each guest to bring a penny, not for an admission
fee, but for use. For each guest there are provided two cards and a
pencil; one card is blank; the other has a list of the things to be
found on a penny. The list is numbered, and each person is expected to
name as many as he can, prizes being awarded for the best and poorest
list. Find—1. Top of hill. 2. Place of worship. 3. An animal. 4. A
fruit. 5. A common fruit. 6. Links between absent friends. 7. Union of
youth and old age. 8. A vegetable. 9. Flowers. 10. What we fight for.
11. A metal. 12. A messenger. 13. A weapon of defence. 14. A weapon of
warfare. 15. A body of water. 16. A beverage. 17. What young ladies
want. 18. The most popular State. 19. What men work for. 20. Sign
of royalty. 21. A jolly dog. The answers are—1. Brow. 2. Temple. 3.
Hare (hair). 4. Date. 5. Apple. 6. Letters. 7. 1894 (the date of the
penny). 8. Ear. 9. Tulips (two lips). 10. Liberty. 11. Copper. 12. One
sent (cent). 13. Shield. 14. Arrow. 15. Sea (c). 16. Tea (t). 17. Beau
(bow). 18. United States (matrimony). 19. Money. 20. Crown. 21. A merry
cur (America). Usually a half hour is allowed for filling out the blank
cards, and after that some time for correcting the lists and awarding

It is often hard to find games for evening amusements that will amuse
all. Some are so noisy that the sensitive cannot enjoy them, but the
following will instruct as well as amuse: One is to transpose the
misplaced letters of words, usually the name of a city. To prepare
for the game make a large quantity of small cards from pasteboards,
about an inch and a half square. Paste a large letter on each one, cut
from a newspaper or advertisement, having several for each letter of
the alphabet. Give to each the letters necessary to spell a word and
let him study it out. Thus the letters i l i s y a n t p can be made to
spell Ypsilanti, or s t o o n b Boston.

Another game which is quite entertaining is called a pronunciation
match. Any number can play. One is elected as leader. At first he will
call out a letter, as a, and each person must think quickly while he
counts five, and be ready to tell the name of a city in the State
agreed upon before the contest begins. For instance, the leader, while
he counts five, points to one of the company who must give the name of
a city beginning with the letter A, B or C, as the leader may announce.
When one answer has been given, he quickly counts again, and points to
another person until some one fails to respond, when he is declared
leader and also pays a forfeit. It is very amusing and teaches people
to think quickly and keep their wits about them.



Ask any person to think of a number, say a certain number of dollars;
tell him to borrow that sum of some one in the company, and add the
number borrowed to the amount thought of. It will here be proper to
name the person who lends him the money, and to beg the one who makes
the calculation to do it with great care, as he may readily fall into
an error, especially the first time. Then say to the person: “I do not
lend you, but give you $10; add them to the former sum.” Continue in
this manner: “Give the half to the poor, and retain in your memory the
other half.” Then add: “Return to the gentleman, or lady, what you
borrowed, and remember that the sum lent you was exactly equal to the
number thought of.” Ask the person if he knows exactly what remains; he
will answer “Yes.” You must then say: “And I know also the number that
remains; it is equal to what I am going to conceal in my hand.” Put
into one of your hands 5 pieces of money, and desire the person to tell
how many you have got. He will answer 5; upon which open your hand and
show him the 5 pieces. You may then say: “I well knew that your result
was 5; but if you had thought of a very large number, for example, two
or three millions, the result would have been much greater, but my
hand would not have held a number of pieces equal to the remainder.”
The person then supposing that the result of the calculation must be
different, according to the difference of the number thought of, will
imagine that it is necessary to know the last number in order to guess
the result; but this idea is false, for, in the case which we have here
supposed, whatever be the number thought of, the remainder must always
be 5. The reason of this is as follows: The sum, the half of which is
given to the poor, is nothing else than twice the number thought of,
plus 10; and when the poor have received their part, there remains only
the number thought of, plus 5; but the number thought of is cut off
when the sum borrowed is returned, and, consequently, there remain only
5. The result may be easily known, since it will be the half of the
number given in the third part of the operation; for example, whatever
be the number thought of, the remainder will be 36 or 25 according as
72 or 50 have been given. If this trick be performed several times
successively, the number given in the third part of the operation must
be always different; for if the result were several times the same,
the deception might be discovered. When the five first parts of the
calculation for obtaining a result are finished, it will be best not
to name it at first, but to continue the operation, to render it more
complex, by saying, for example: “Double the remainder, deduct two,
add three, take the fourth part,” etc.; and the different steps of the
calculation may be kept in mind, in order to know how much the first
result has been increased or diminished. This irregular process never
fails to confound those who attempt to follow it.


Tell the person to take 1 from the number thought of, and then double
the remainder; desire him to take 1 from this double, and to add to it
the number thought of; in the last place, ask him the number arising
from this addition, and, if you add 3 to it, the third of the sum will
be the number thought of. The application of this rule is so easy that
it is needless to illustrate it by an example.


Ask the person to add 1 to the triple of the number thought of, and to
multiply the sum by three; then bid him add to this product the number
thought of, and the result will be a sum from which if 3 be subtracted,
the remainder will be ten times of the number required; and if the
cipher on the right be cut off from the remainder, the other figure
will indicate the number sought.

Example—Let the number thought of be 6, the triple of which is 18;
and if 1 be added, it makes 19; the triple of this last number is 57,
and if 6 be added it makes 63, from which if 3 be subtracted, the
remainder will be 60; now, if the cipher on the right be cut off, the
remaining figure, 6, will be the number required.


Tell the person to multiply the number thought of by itself; then
desire him to add 1 to the number thought of, and to multiply it also
by itself; in the last place, ask him to tell the difference of these
two products, which will certainly be an odd number, and the least half
of it will be the number required.

Let the number thought of, for example, be 10; which, multiplied by
itself, gives 100; in the next place, 10 increased by 1 is 11, which,
multiplied by itself, makes 121; and the difference of these two
squares is 21, the least half of which, being 10, is the number thought

This operation might be varied by desiring the person to multiply the
second number by itself, after it has been diminished by 1. In this
case, the number thought of will be equal to the greater half of the
difference of the two squares.

Thus, in the preceding example, the square of the number thought of
is 100, and that of the same number, less 1, is 81; the difference of
these is 19, the greater half of which, or 10, is the number thought of.


If one or more numbers thought of be greater than 9, we must
distinguish two cases; that in which the number of the numbers thought
of is odd, and that in which it is even. In the first case, ask the
sum of the first and second; of the second and third; the third and
fourth; and so on to the last; and then the sum of the first and the
last. Having written down all these sums in order, add together all
those, the places of which are odd, as the first, the third, the fifth,
etc.; make another sum of all those, the places of which are even, as
the second, the fourth, the sixth, etc.; subtract this sum from the
former, and the remainder will be the double of the first number. Let
us suppose, for example, that the five following numbers are thought
of, 3, 7, 13, 17, 20, which when added two and two as above, give 10,
20, 30, 37, 23: the sum of the first, third, and fifth is 63, and
that of the second and fourth is 57; if 57 be subtracted from 63, the
remainder, 6, will be the double of the first number, 3. Now, if 3 be
taken from 10, the first of the sums, the remainder, 7, will be the
second number; and by proceeding in this manner, we may find all the

In the second case, that is to say, if the number of the numbers
thought of be even, you must ask and write down, as above, the sum of
the first and the second; that of the second and third; and so on, as
before; but instead of the sum of the first and the last, you must
take that of the second and last; then add together those which stand
in the even places, and form them into a new sum apart; add also those
in the odd places, the first excepted, and subtract this sum from the
former, the remainder will be the double of the second number; and if
the second number, thus found, be subtracted from the sum of the first
and second, you will have the first number; if it be taken from that of
the second and third, it will give the third; and so of the rest. Let
the numbers thought of be, for example, 3, 7, 13, 17: the sums formed
as above are 10, 20, 30, 24; the sum of the second and fourth is 44,
from which if 30, the third, be subtracted, the remainder will be 14,
the double of 7, the second number. The first, therefore, is 3, third
13, and the fourth 17.

When each of the numbers thought of does not exceed 9, they may be
easily found in the following manner:

Having made the person add 1 to the double of the first number thought
of, desire him to multiply the whole by 5, and to add to the product
the second number. If there be a third, make him double this first sum,
and add 1 to it, after which, desire him to multiply the new sum by 5,
and to add to it the third number. If there be a fourth, proceed in the
same manner, desiring him to double the preceding sum; to add to it 1;
to multiply by 5; to add the fourth number; and so on.

Then, ask the number arising from the addition of the last number
thought of, and if there were two numbers, subtract 5 from it; if there
were three, 55; if there were four, 555; and so on; for the remainder
will be composed of figures, of which the first on the left will be the
first number thought of, the next the second, and so on.

Suppose the number thought of to be 3, 4, 6; by adding 1 to 6, the
double of the first, we shall have 7, which, being multiplied by 5,
will give 35; if 4, the second number thought of, be then added, we
shall have 39, which doubled, gives 78; and, if we add 1, and multiply
79, the sum, by 5, the result will be 395. In the last place, if we add
6, the number thought of, the sum will be 401; and if 55 be deducted
from it, we shall have, for remainder, 346, the figures of which, 3, 4,
6, indicate in order the three numbers thought of.


One of the party having in one hand a piece of gold, and in the other
a piece of silver, you may tell in which hand he has the gold, and in
which the silver, by the following method: Some value, represented
by an even number, such as 8, must be assigned to the gold, and a
value represented by an odd number, such as 3, must be assigned to the
silver; after which, desire the person to multiply the number in the
right hand by any even number whatever, such as 2; and that in the left
by an odd number, as 3; then bid him add together the two products, and
if the whole sum be odd, the gold will be in the right hand, and the
silver in the left; if the sum be even, the contrary will be the case.

To conceal the trick better, it will be sufficient to ask whether the
sum of the two products can be halved without a remainder; for in that
case the total will be even, and in the contrary case odd.

It may be readily seen, that the pieces, instead of being in the two
hands of the same person, may be supposed to be in the hands of two
persons, one of whom has the even number, or piece of gold, and the
other the odd number, or piece of silver. The same operations may then
be performed in regard to these two persons, as are performed in regard
to the two hands of the same person, calling the one privately the
right and the other the left.


The plan is to let a person select several numbers out of a bag, and to
tell him the number which shall exactly divide the sum of those he has
chosen: Provide a small bag, divided into two parts, into one of which
put several tickets, numbered 6, 9, 15, 36, 63, 120, 213, 309, etc.;
and in the other part put as many other tickets, marked No. 3 only.
Draw a handful of tickets from the first part, and, after showing them
to the company, put them into the bag again, and, having opened it a
second time, desire any one to take out as many tickets as he thinks
proper; when he has done that, you open privately the other part of
the bag, and tell him to take out of it one ticket only. You may safely
pronounce that the ticket shall contain the number by which the amount
of the other numbers is divisible; for, as each of these numbers can
be multiplied by 3, their sum total must, evidently, be divisible by
that number. An ingenious mind may easily diversify this exercise, by
marking the tickets in one part of the bag, with any numbers that are
divisible by 9 only, the properties of both 9 and 3 being the same; and
it should never be exhibited to the same company twice without being


The discovery of remarkable properties of the number 9 was accidentally
made, more than forty years since, though, we believe, it is not
generally known:

The component figures of the product made by the multiplication of
every digit into the number 9, when added together, make NINE.

The order of these component figures is reversed, after the said number
has been multiplied by 5.

The component figures of the amount of the multipliers (_viz._ 45),
when added together, make NINE.

The amount of the several products, or multiples of 9 (_viz._ 405),
when divided by 9, gives, for a quotient, 45; that is, 4+5=NINE.

The amount of the first product (_viz._ 9), when added to the other
product, whose respective component figures make 9, is 81; which is the
square of NINE.

The said number 81, when added to the above-mentioned amount of the
several products, or multiples of 9 (_viz._ 405) makes 486; which, if
divided by 9, gives, for a quotient, 54: that is, 5+4=NINE.

It is also observable, that the number of changes that may be rung on
nine bells, is 362,880; which figures, added together, make 27; that
is, 2+7=NINE.

And the quotient of 362,880, divided by 9, will be, 40,320; that is

To add a figure to any given number, which shall render it divisible by
Nine: Add the figures together in your mind, which compose the number
named; and the figure which must be added to the sum produced, in order
to render it divisible by 9, is the one required. Thus

Suppose the given number to be 7521:

Add those together, and 15 will be produced; now 15 requires 3 to
render it divisible by 9; and that number, 3, being added to 7521,
causes the same divisibility: 7521 plus 3 gives 7524, and, divided by
9, gives 836.

This exercise may be diversified by your specifying, before the sum is
named, the particular place where the figure shall be inserted, to make
the number divisible by 9; for it is exactly the same thing, whether
the figure be put at the head of the number, or between any two of its


Two persons agree to take, alternately, numbers less than a given
number, for example, 11, and to add them together till one of them
has reached a certain sum, such as 100. By what means can one of them
infallibly attain to that number before the other? The whole secret
in this, consists in immediately making choice of the numbers, 1, 12,
23, 34, and so on, or of a series which continually increases by 11,
up to 100. Let us suppose, that the first person, who knows the game,
makes choice of 1; it is evident that his adversary, as he must count
less than 11, can, at most, reach 11, by adding 10 to it. The first
will then take 1, which will make 12; and whatever number the second
may add, the first will certainly win, provided he continually add the
number which forms the complement of that of his adversary, to 11; that
is to say, if the latter take 8, he must take 3; if 9, he must take
2; and so on. By following this method, he will infallibly attain to
89; and it will then be impossible for the second to prevent him from
getting first to 100; for whatever number the second takes, he can
attain only to 99; after which the first may say—“and 1 makes 100.” If
the second take 1 after 89, it would make 90, and his adversary would
finish by saying—“and 10 make 100.” Between two persons who are equally
acquainted with the game, he who begins must necessarily win.


To tell the figure a person has struck out of the sum of two given
numbers:—Arbitrarily command those numbers only, that are divisible by
9; such, for instance, as 36, 63, 81, 117, 126, 162, 261, 360, 315,
and 432. Then let a person choose any two of these numbers; and, after
adding them together in his mind, strike out from the sum any one of
the figures he pleases. After he has so done, desire him to tell you
the sum of the remaining figures; and it follows, that the number which
you are obliged to add to this amount, in order to make it 9 or 18, is
the one he struck out. Thus:—Suppose he chooses the numbers 162 and
261, making altogether 423, and that he strike out the centre figure,
the two other figures will, added together, make 7, which, to make 9,
requires 2, the number struck out.


A King being desirous to confer a liberal reward on one of his
courtiers, who had performed some very important service, desired him
to ask whatever he thought proper, assuring him it should be granted.
The courtier, who was well acquainted with the science of numbers, only
requested that the monarch would give him a quantity of wheat equal
to that which would arise from one grain doubled sixty-three times
successively. The value of the reward was immense; for it will be seen,
by calculation, that the sixty-fourth term of the double progression
divided by 1: 2: 4: 8: 16: 32: etc., is 9223372036854775808. But the
sum of all the terms of a double progression, beginning with 1, may
be obtained by doubling the last term, and subtracting from it 1. The
number of the grains of wheat, therefore, in the present case, will be
18446744073709551615. Now, if a pint contains 9216 grains of wheat,
a gallon will contain 73728; and, as eight gallons make one bushel,
if we divide the above result by eight times 73728, we shall have
31274997411295 for the number of the bushels of wheat equal to the
above number of grains: a quantity greater than what the whole earth
could produce in several years.


A man took a fancy to a horse, which a dealer wished to dispose of
at as high a price as he could; the latter, to induce the man to
become a purchaser, offered to let him have the horse for the value
of the twenty-fourth nail in his shoes, reckoning one farthing for
the first nail, two for the second, four for the third, and so on to
the twenty-fourth. The man, thinking he should have a good bargain,
accepted the offer; the price of the horse was, therefore, necessarily
great. By calculating as before, the twenty-fourth term of the
progression 1 : 2 : 4 : 8: etc., will be found to be 8388608, equal to
the number of farthings the purchaser gave for the horse; the price,
therefore amounted to £8738. 2s. 8d.


A club of seven agreed to dine together every day successively as long
as they could sit down to table in different order. How many dinners
would be necessary for that purpose? It may be easily found, by the
rules already given, that the club must dine together 5040 times,
before they would exhaust all the arrangements possible, which would
require about thirteen years.


If a hundred stones be placed in a straight line, at the distance of
a yard from each other, the first being at the same distance from a
basket, how many yards must the person walk who engages to pick them
up, one by one, and put them into the basket? It is evident that, to
pick up the first stone, and put it into the basket, the person must
walk two yards; for the second, he must walk four; for the third,
six; and so on, increasing by two, to the hundredth. The number of
yards which the person must walk, will be equal to the sum of the
progression, 2, 4, 6, etc., the last term of which is 200, (22).
But the sum of the progression is equal to 202, the sum of the two
extremes, multiplied by 50, or half the number of terms: that is to
say, 10,100 yards, which makes more than 5½ miles.


There are few better amusements for a large party in the same house,
with plenty of time on their hands, than the organization of _Tableaux
vivants_. Tableaux, to be successfully represented, demand quite as
much attention to detail, and scarcely less careful rehearsal, than a
theatrical performance. The first element of success is a competent
stage manager. His artistic taste should be beyond all question, and
his will should be law among the members of his corps. The essentials
of a “living picture” are very much the same as those of a picture of
the inanimate description, viz., form, color, and arrangement. If,
therefore, you can secure for the office of stage manager a gentleman
of some artistic skill, by all means do so, as his technical knowledge
will be found of the greatest possible service.

Before proceeding to plan your series of pictures, it will be
necessary to provide the “frame” in which they are to be exhibited.
If the room which you propose to use has folding-doors, they will
of course be used. A curtain, preferably of some dark color, should
be hung on each side, and a lambrequin, or valance, across the top.
Where circumstances admit, the directions we give elsewhere as to the
construction of a stage and proscenium for private theatricals, may be
followed with advantage. In any case, a piece of fine gauze should be
carefully stretched over the whole length and depth of the opening.
This is found, by producing softer outlines, materially to enhance the
pictorial effect. If it is practicable to have a raised stage, it will
be found a great addition. Where this cannot be arranged, it is well to
place a board, six inches in width, and covered with the same material
as the rest of the frame, across the floor (on edge) from side to
side, in the position which the footlights would ordinarily occupy.

The next consideration will be the curtain. The ordinary domestic
curtains, hung by rings from a rod or pole, and opening in the middle,
will serve as a makeshift; but where a really artistic series of
tableaux is contemplated, the regular stage-curtain of green baize is
decidedly to be preferred.

The question of “background” will be the next point to be attended to.
_Tableaux vivants_ may be divided into two classes, the _dramatic_,
_i. e._, representing some incident, _e. g._, a duel, or a trial in
a court of justice; and the simply _artistic_, viz., such as portray
merely a group, allegorical or otherwise, without reference to any
particular plot or story. For the former, an appropriate scene is
required, varying with each tableau represented; for the latter, all
that is necessary is a simple background of drapery, of such a tone of
color as to harmonize with, and yet to give full prominence to, the
group of actors. The material of the latter, as also the covering of
the floor, should be of woolen or velvet, so as to absorb rather than
reflect light. A lustrous background, as of satin or glazed calico,
will completely destroy the effect of an otherwise effective _tableau_.

The lighting is a point of very considerable importance—the conditions
appropriate to an ordinary theatrical performance being here reversed.
In an ordinary dramatic performance all shadow is a thing to be
avoided, the point aimed at being to secure a strong bright light,
uniformly distributed over the stage. In a _tableau vivant_, on the
contrary, the skilful manipulation of light and shade is a valuable aid
in producing artistic effect. Footlights should, in this case, either
be dispensed with altogether, or at any rate used very sparingly,
the stronger light coming from one or the other side. A good deal
of experiment, and some little artistic taste, will be necessary to
attain the right balance in this particular. Where gas is available,
it will afford the readiest means of illumination. What is called
“string-light,” viz., a piece of gaspipe with fishtail burners at
frequent intervals, connected with the permanent gas arrangements of
the house by a piece of india-rubber tube, and fixed in a vertical
position behind each side of the temporary proscenium, will be found
very effective; one or the other set of lights being turned up as may
be necessary. Where a green or red light is desired, the interposition
of a strip of glass of that color, or of a “medium” of red or green
silk or tammy, will give the necessary tone. Colored fires are supplied
for the same purpose, but are subject to the drawback of being somewhat
odoriferous in combustion. Where, as is sometimes the case, a strong
white light is required, this may be produced by burning the end of a
piece of magnesium wire in the flame of an ordinary candle.

These points being disposed of, costume and make-up will be the next
consideration. As to the latter, the reader will find full instructions
in the chapter devoted to private theatricals. With respect to costume,
as the characters are only seen for a few moments, and in one position,
this point may be dealt with in a much more rough-and-ready manner than
would be advisable in the case of a regular dramatic performance. The
royal crown need only be golden—the royal robe need only be trimmed
with ermine—on the side toward the spectators; indeed, the proudest
of sovereigns, from the audience point of view, may, as seen from
the rear, be the humblest of citizens. Even on the side toward the
spectators a great deal of “make-believe” is admissible. Seen through
the intervening gauze, the cheapest cotton velvet is equal to the
richest silk; glazed calico takes the place of satin; and even the
royal ermine may be admirably simulated by tails of black worsted
stitched on a ground of flannel. Laces may be manufactured from cut
paper, and a dollar’s worth of tinsel will afford jewels for a congress
of sovereigns. Of course, there is not the least objection to his
wearing a crown of the purest gold, or diamonds of the finest possible
water (if he can get them), but they will not look one whit more
effective than the homely substitutes we have mentioned.

A “ghost effect” may, where necessary, be produced by the aid of a
magic lantern; the other lights of the tableau being lowered in order
to give sufficient distinctness to the reflection.

Dramatic tableaux may often be exhibited with advantage in two or more
“scenes;” the curtain being lowered for a moment in order to enable the
characters to assume a fresh position. Examples of this will be found
among the tableaux which follow.

Having indicated the general arrangements of _tableaux vivants_, we
append, for the reader’s assistance, a selection of effective subjects,
both simply pictorial, and dramatic.


(_With background of plain drapery, remaining unchanged._)

A magnificent flunkey, in a gorgeous suit of livery, standing (with
left hand on hip, right hand in breast), side by side with a very small
and saucy “boy in buttons,” upon whom he looks down superciliously. Boy
with both hands in trouser-pockets, and gazing up at his companion with
an expression of impertinent familiarity.


A pretty girl, in simple outdoor costume, standing sideways to the
spectators, with downcast eyes, and a half-smiling, half-frightened
expression. The fortune-teller faces her, and holds the young lady’s
right hand in her left, while her own right holds a coin with which she
is apparently tracing the lines of the young lady’s palm, at the same
time gazing with an arch expression into her face, as though to note
the effect of her predictions. The fortune-teller should be in gipsy
costume, a short, dark skirt, and a hood of some brighter material
thrown carelessly over her head. She should be of a swarthy complexion,
with a good deal of color, and jet-black hair.


A large cross, apparently of white marble (really of deal, well washed
with whitening and size) occupies a diagonal position across the centre
of the stage, facing slightly towards the left. Its base or plinth
is formed of two or three successive platforms or steps of the same
material. At the foot a woman kneels, clasping her arms around the
cross, as though she had just thrown herself into that position in
escaping from some danger. Her gaze should be directed upwards. A loose
brown robe and hood, the latter thrown back off the head, will be the
most appropriate costume. Magnesium light from above.


A female figure, clothed in sober gray, and seated on a very low
stool, facing R., and gazing heavenwards. (If a “sky” background is
procurable, a single star should be visible, and should be the object
of her gaze.) Her right elbow rests upon her right knee, and her right
hand supports her chin. Her left hand hangs by her side, and at her
feet lies the emblematic anchor. Red light, not too strong.


A ragged boy, barefooted, and clasping a worn-out broom, sits huddled
on the ground L., but facing R. His arms are folded and rest on his
knees, and his head is bent down upon them, so as to hide his face. A
girl, in nun’s costume, is touching him on the shoulder, and apparently
proffering help and sympathy.


Scene, a tolerably well-furnished but untidy sitting-room, with
numerous traces of bachelor occupation, such as crossed foils on the
wall, a set of boxing-gloves under a side-table; boots, hats, and
walking-sticks lying about in various directions. On one corner of the
table some one has apparently breakfasted in rather higgledy-piggledy
fashion. Near the table sits a young man, with a short pipe in his
mouth, and one foot bare, while he is endeavoring to darn an extremely
dilapidated sock.


Scene, a cottage home. A young man, in sailor costume, and with a
bundle on his shoulder, stands with his right hand on the latch of the
door, R.C., but looking back with a sorrowful expression at his wife
(personated by a young lady in short black or blue skirt, red or white
blouse, and white mob-cap), who sits with her apron up to her eyes
in an apparent agony of grief. Three children are present, the two
elder crying for sympathy, the youngest sitting in a crib or cradle,
and amusing himself with some toy, in apparent unconsciousness of his
father’s approaching departure. Soft blue light from L. Music, “The
Minstrel Boy.”


The same scene. Children a couple of years older. (This may be effected
by suppressing the youngest, and introducing a fresh eldest, as much
like the others as possible.) The sailor of the last scene, slightly
more tanned, and with a fuller, “made-up” beard, has apparently just
entered. The wife has both arms round his neck, her face being hidden
in his bosom. Of the children, the eldest has seized and is kissing her
father’s hand, while the two younger each cling round one leg. Soft
red light. Music, “A Lass that Loves a Sailor,” or “When Johnny comes
Marching Home Again.”


We have not space to give the complete _mise en scène_ of a larger
number of tableaux, but subjoin a list of favorite subjects, leaving
their actual arrangement to the taste and intelligence of the reader.
It will usually be safe to follow the hints in good illustrations.

“Choosing the Wedding Gown.” A charming scene, after Mulready, from the
“Vicar of Wakefield.”

“William Penn Signing the Treaty with the Indians.”

“Scene from ‘Pickwick.’” Mr. Pickwick, with Mrs. Bardell in his arms,
surprised by his four friends, whose countenances are just visible in
the open door-way. See illustrations to “Pickwick Papers.”

“The Drunkard’s Home,” “Signing the Pledge.” “The Temperance Home.” See
some good illustrations.

“Mary Queen of Scots and the Four Maries.”

“Mr. Pecksniff Dismissing Tom Pinch.”

“The Song of the Shirt.”

“Little Red Riding-Hood.”

“The Duel from the ‘Corsican Brothers.’”

“Héloïse in her Cell.”

“William Tell Shooting the Apple from his Son’s Head.”

Etc., etc., etc.


This capital form of amusement has attained great and deserved
popularity. It shares with Living Pictures the merit of giving
employment to several performers at once, and has the special advantage
of being far more easily organized. The idea is that of a Waxwork
Exhibition, the characters being personated, after a burlesque
fashion, by living performers. Each “figure” is first duly described
by the exhibitor, and then “wound up,” and made to go through certain
characteristic movements.

The collection is supposed to be that of the far-famed Mrs. Jarley,
of “Old Curiosity Shop” celebrity. She may be assisted, if thought
desirable, by “Little Nell,” and a couple of man-servants, John and
Peter. The costume of Mrs. Jarley is a black or chintz dress, bright
shawl, and huge bonnet; that of Little Nell may be a calico dress, and
white apron, with hat slung over her arm. John and Peter may be dressed
in livery suits, and should be provided with a watchman’s rattle,
screw-driver, hammer, nails, and oil-can. At the rise of the curtain
the figures are seen ranged in a semicircle at the back of the stage,
and Little Nell is discovered dusting them with a long feather brush.
Mrs. Jarley stands in front, and delivers her descriptive orations,
directing her men to bring forward each figure before she describes it.
After having been duly described, the figure is “wound” up, and goes
through its peculiar movement, and when it stops it is moved back to
its place.

If the stage is small, or it is desired that the same actors shall
appear in various characters in succession, the figures may be
exhibited in successive groups or compartments, the curtain being
lowered to permit one party to retire, and another to take their
places. After the whole of the figures of a given chamber have been
described, the assistants wind them all up, and they go through their
various movements simultaneously, to a pianoforte accompaniment, which
should gradually grow faster, coming at last to a sudden stop, when the
figures become motionless, and the curtain falls.

If it is found impracticable to procure a lady to deliver the
descriptions effectively, Mrs. Jarley may be made a silent character,
sitting on one side, and occasionally making believe to dust or
arrange a figure, while the “patter” is delivered by a male exhibitor.
Or Mrs. Jarley may, if preferred, be suppressed altogether, and the
exhibitor appear as (say) Artemus Ward, or in ordinary evening costume,
without assuming any special character. A good deal of fun may be made
of the supposed tendency of any particular figure to tip over, and
the application, by John and Peter, of wooden wedges, penny pieces,
etc., under its feet to keep it upright. Supposed defective working,
causing the figure to stop suddenly in the middle of its movement, and
involving the re-winding or oiling of its internal mechanism, will
also produce a good deal of amusement. The “winding up” may be done
with a bed-winch, a bottle-jack key, or the winch of a kitchen range,
the click of the mechanism being imitated by means of a watchman’s
rattle, or by the even simpler expedient of drawing a piece of hard
wood smartly along a notched stick. (This, of course, should be done
out of sight of the audience.) The movement of the figure should be
accompanied by the piano, to a slow or lively measure, as may be most

The arrangement being complete, and the curtain raised, Mrs. Jarley
delivers her opening speech, about as follows:—

“Ladies and Gentlemen,—You here behold Mrs. Jarley! one of the most
remarkable women of the world, who has traveled all over the country
with her curious Collection of Waxworks. These figures have been
gathered, at great expense, from every clime and country, and are here
shown together for the first time. I shall describe each one of them
for your benefit, and, after I have given you their history, I shall
have each one of them wound up, for they are all fitted with clockwork
inside, and they can thus go through the same motions they did when
living. In fact, they execute their movements so naturally that many
people have supposed them to be alive; but I assure you that they are
all made of wood and wax;—blockheads every one.

“Without further prelude, I shall now introduce to your notice each one
of my figures, beginning, as usual, with the last one first.”


    A man or woman standing on a high stool, chintz skirt
    round the waist, long enough to hide the stool, Chinese
    over-dress, hat, pig-tail, and moustache.

“This figure is universally allowed to be the tallest figure in
my collection; he originated in the two provinces of Oolong and
Shang-high, one province not being long enough to produce him. On
account of his extreme length it is impossible to give any adequate
idea of him in one entertainment; consequently he will be continued in
our next.

“He was the inventor, projector, and discoverer of Niagara Falls,
Bunker’s Hill Monument, and the Balm of Columbia. In fact, everything
was originally discovered by him or some other of the Chinese. The
portrait of this person, who was a high dignitary among them, may be
often seen depicted on a blue china plate, standing upon a bridge,
which leans upon nothing at either end, and intently observing two
birds which are behind him in the distance.

“John, wind up the Giant.”

The Giant bows low, then wags his head three times, and bows as before,
and after a dozen motions slowly stops.

“You will observe that I have spared no expense in procuring wonders of
every sort, and here is my crowning effort or master-piece.”


“A remarkable freak of Nature, which impresses the beholder with silent
awe. ‘Observe the two heads and one body.’ ‘See these fair faces,
each one lovelier than the other.’ No one can gaze upon them without
a double sensation ‘of sorrow and of joy’—sorrow that such beauty
and grace were ever united, and joy that he has had the pleasure of
contemplating their union.

“Wind them up, Peter.”

This figure is made by two young ladies standing back to back wrapped
in one large skirt. They hold their arms out with their hands hanging,
and slowly revolve when they are wound up.


“John, bring out the Sewing Woman, and let the ladies behold the
unfortunate seamstress who died from pricking her finger with a needle
while sewing on Sunday. You see that the work which she holds is
stained with gore, which drips from her finger on to the floor. (Which
is poetry!) This forms a sad and melancholy warning to all heads of
families immediately to purchase the best sewing-machines, for this
accident never could have happened had she not been without one of
those excellent machines, as no family should be.”


When wound up the figure sews very stiffly and stops slowly.


“Ladies and Gentlemen,—Permit me to call your attention to this
beautiful group, which has lately been added at an enormous expense to
my collection. You here behold the first privateer and the first victim
of his murderous propensities. Captain Kidd, the robber of the main, is
supposed to have originated somewhere down east. His whole life being
spent upon the stormy deep, he amassed an immense fortune, and buried
it in the sand along the flower-clad banks of Cape Cod, by which course
he invented the Savings Banks, now so common along shore. Having hidden
away so much property, which, like so many modern investments, never
can be unearthed, he was known as a great sea-cretur. Before him kneels
his lovely and innocent victim, the Lady Blousabella Infantina, who was
several times taken and murdered by this bloodthirsty tyrant, which
accounts for the calm look of resignation depicted upon her lovely

“Wind ’em up, John.”

Costumes.—Captain Kidd—White pantaloons, blue shirt, sailor hat,
pistol, and sword.

Victim.—Lady with flowing hair, white dress.

Movement.—The Captain’s sword moves up and down, and the victim’s arms
go in unison.


Two gentlemen dressed alike in ordinary costume; with a large bone
(attached by wire or string) between them. One arm of each over the
other’s neck. Pugnacious expression of countenance.

“The Wonderful Siamese Twins compose the next group. These remarkable
brothers lived together in the greatest harmony, though there was
always a bone of contention between them. They were never seen apart,
such was their brotherly fondness. They married young, both being
opposed to a single life. The short one is not quite so tall as his
brother, although their ages are about the same. One of them was born
in the Island of Borneo, the other on the southern extremity of Cape

When wound up they begin to fight, continue for a moment, and stop


Boy with red cloak, long white wig, bowl and spoon.

“This wonderful child has created some interest in the medical and
scientific world, from the fact that he was thirteen years old when he
was born, and kept on growing older and older until he died, at the
somewhat advanced age of two hundred and ninety-seven, in consequence
of eating too freely of pies and cakes, his favorite food. He measured
exactly two feet and seven inches from the crown of his head to the
sole of his foot, and two feet and ten inches back again. Was first
discovered ten miles from any land, and twelve miles from any water,
making the enormous total of ninety-one, which figure was never before
reached by any previous exhibition. Wind him up, John.”

Dwarf eats very stiffly with a large spoon in his right hand; in his
left hand he holds a bowl, which falls on the floor after a moment, and
is broken.

“John, get your tools and screw up that dwarfs hand, for it has become
so loose that it costs a fortune for the crockery he breaks.”

John screws up the hand, gets a new bowl, and again winds up the
figure, which now moves with much greater energy.


“Bring out the Vocalist. I now call your attention to the most costly
of all my figures. This wonderful automaton singer represents Signorina
Squallini, the unrivaled Vocalist, whose notes are current in every
market, and sway all hearts, at her own sweet will.

“Wind her up, and let her liquid notes pour forth.”

She gesticulates wildly, and sings a few notes in a very extravagant
manner, then stops with a hoarse sound.

Mrs. J.—“John, this figure needs oiling. Why do you not attend to your
duties better?”

John gets oil-can, which he applies to each ear of the figure, which
strikes a high note, and sings with much expression and many trills,
then makes a gurgling sound, as if running down, and suddenly stops

Costume.—Evening dress.


Description.—A tall, thin man, clean shaven but for a tuft on chin,
dressed in black, with broad-brimmed straw hat. He is seated on a low
rocking-chair, with his legs resting on the back of another chair. He
holds a wooden stick, which he is whittling with a jack-knife.

“You here behold a specimen of our irrepressible, indomitable, native
Yankee, who has been everywhere, seen everything, and knows everybody.
He has explored the arid jungles of Africa, drawn forth the spotted
cobra by his prehensile tail, snowballed the Russian bear on the snowy
slopes of Alpine forests, and sold wooden nutmegs to the unsuspecting
innocents of Patagonia. He has peddled patent medicines in the desert
of Sahara, and hung his hat and carved his name on the extreme top of
the North Pole. The only difficulty I find in describing him is that I
cannot tell what he cannot do. I will therefore set him in motion, as
he hates to be quiet.”

When wound up he pushes his hat back on his head and begins to whittle.


“Here you behold a curious Cannibal from the Feejee Islands, first
discovered by Captain Cook, who came very near being cooked by him. In
that case the worthy Captain would never have completed his celebrated
voyage round the world. This individual was greatly interested in
the cause of foreign missions. Indeed, he received the missionaries
gladly, and gave them a place near his heart. He was finally converted
by a very tough tract distributor, who had been brought up in a
Bloomsbury boarding-house, and was induced to become civilized. One
of his evidences of a change of life was shown by his statement that
he now had but one wife, like the English. ‘What have you done with
the other twelve which you said you had a month ago?’ asked the tract
distributor. ‘Oh, I have eaten them!’ replied the gentle savage. This
Cannibal was very fond of children, especially those of a tender age;
he holds in his hand a war-club, with which he prepared his daily
meals, also a war-whoop, which is an original one.”

Costume.—Brown jersey and drawers, face and hands colored to match,
very short skirt, feather head-dress, large rings in nose and ears. One
hand holds a war-club, the other a child’s hoop.

Movement.—When wound up he brandishes his club and raises hoop to his


Two men, the bigger the better, one dressed as a very small boy, the
other as a little girl; each holds a penny bun.

“In the next group you behold the Babes in the Wood, who had the
misfortune to have an uncle. This wicked man hired a villain to carry
these babes away into the wood and leave them to wander until death
put an end to their sorrow, and the little robins covered them up with
leaves. These lifelike figures represent the children just after taking
their leaves of the villain. By a master stroke of genius the artist
has shown very delicately that human nature is not utterly depraved,
for the villain has placed in the hand of each of the innocents a penny
bun as a parting present. I have been often asked ‘why I did not have a
figure of the villain also added to the group?’ but my reply always is,
‘Villains are too common to be any curiosity.’

“Wind ’em up, John.”

Each Babe offers to the other a bite of bun alternately.


A young lady carrying a basket on her arm. Costume in accordance with
the story.

“Here you behold Little Red Riding-Hood, a model of grand-filial
devotion, for she was so fond of her granny that she wandered through
the forest to take the old lady’s luncheon, and was eaten by the wolf
for so doing, which is a warning to all children to be careful how they
do much for their grandmothers, unless they are rich and can leave them
something in their wills. This personage was an especial favorite with
children, who love to read about her, and shed tears over her unhappy
fate, although some of them think that had she been as smart as her
dress, she would have been too smart to have mistaken the wolf for her
grandmother, unless _she_ had been a very homely old lady, or _he_ had
been much better-looking than most wolves.”

When wound up, the figure curtseys and holds out her basket.


Young lady, with long fair hair, flowing over her shoulders; holds
bottle (labelled Mrs. Blank’s Hair Restorer) and curling-tongs.

“This is one of the most expensive of my costly collection, for blonde
hair is very high, and you see how heavy and long are the golden locks
which adorn her beautiful face. I cannot pass this figure without
saying a few words in praise of the wonderful Hair Restorer, for this
image had grown so bald from the effect of long journeys by road
or rail that she was exhibited for two years as the Old Man of the
Mountain. One bottle of this wonderful fluid, however, restored her
hair to its present growth and beauty, and a little of the fluid being
accidentally spilled upon the pine box in which the figure was carried,
it immediately became an excellent hair-trunk.”

When wound up the lady applies the hair-restorative and curls her hair.

“You have all gazed with rapture upon my wonderful Collection, and your
bewildered senses may now prepare for a new sensation, as I am about
to wind up all these beautiful and lifelike figures at once, so that
you can see them all work together in harmony.

“John, set all the Waxworks going.

“I thank you for your attention and attendance, and cordially invite
you all to come again to-morrow and see ‘Jarley’s Far-famed Waxworks.’”

All the figures being wound up at once go through their motions in



Place a small magic lantern in a box large enough to contain a small
swing dressing-glass, which will reflect the light thrown on it by
the lantern in such a way, that it will pass out at the aperture made
at the top of the box, which aperture should be oval, and of a size
adapted to the cone of light to pass through it. There should be a
flap with hinges, to cover the opening, that the inside of the box
may not be seen. There must be holes in that part of the box which is
over the lantern, to let the smoke out; and over this must be placed a
chafing-dish, of an oblong figure, large enough to hold several lighted
coals. This chafing-dish, for the better carrying on the deception,
may be inclosed in a painted tin box, about a foot high, with a hole
at top, and should stand on four feet, to let the smoke of the lantern
escape. There must also be a glass planned to move up and down in the
groove, and so managed by a cord and pulley, that it may be raised up
and let down by the cord coming through the outside of the box. On this
glass, the spectre (or any other figure you please) must be painted, in
a contracted or squat form, as the figure will reflect a greater length
than it is drawn. When you have lighted the lamp in the lantern, and
placed the mirror in a proper direction, put the box on a table, and,
setting the chafing-dish in it, throw some incense in powder on the
coals. You then open the trap door and let down the glass in the grove
slowly, and when you perceive the smoke diminish, draw up the glass
that the figure may disappear, and shut the trap door. This exhibition
will afford much wonder. The lights in the room must be extinguished;
and the box should be placed on a high table, that the aperture through
which the light comes out may not be seen.


The light of the magic lantern, and the color of images, may not only
be painted on a cloth, but also reflected by a cloud of smoke. Provide
a box of wood or pasteboard, about four feet high, and seven or eight
inches square at bottom, but diminishing as it ascends, so that its
aperture at top be but six inches long, and half an inch wide. At
the bottom of this box there must be a door that shuts quite close,
by which you are to place in the box a chafing-dish with hot coals,
on which is to be thrown incense, whose smoke goes out in a cloud at
the top of the box: on this cloud, you are to throw the light that
comes out of the lantern, and which you bring into a smaller compass
by drawing out the movable tube. In this representation, the motion
of the smoke does not at all change the figures; which appear so
conspicuous that the spectator thinks he can grasp them with his hand.
In the experiment, some of the rays passing through the smoke, the
representation will be much less vivid than on the cloth; and if care
be not taken to reduce the light to its smallest focus, it will be
still more imperfect.


In showing the common magic lantern, the spectators see a round
circle of light with the figures in the middle of it; but, in the
Phantasmagoria, they see the figures only, without any circle of light.
The exhibition is produced by a magic lantern, placed on that side
of a half transparent screen which is opposite to that on which the
spectators are, instead of being on the same side, as in the ordinary
exhibition of the magic lantern. To favor the deception, the slides are
made perfectly opaque, except in those places that contain the figures
to be exhibited, and in these light parts the glass is covered with a
more or less transparent tint, according to the effect required. The
easiest way is to draw the figures with water colors on thin paper, and
afterward varnish them. To imitate the natural motions of the objects
represented, several pieces of glass, placed behind each other, are
occasionally employed. By removing the lantern to different distances,
and at the same time, altering, more or less, the position of the
lens, the images are made to increase and diminish, and to become
more or less distinct at the pleasure of the exhibitor; so that, to
a person unacquainted with the effect of optical instruments, these
figures appear actually to advance and recede. Transparent screens
for the Phantasmagoria are prepared by spreading white wax, dissolved
in spirits of wine or oil of turpentine, over thin muslin: a screen
so prepared may be rolled up without injury. A clearer screen may be
produced, by having the muslin always strained upon a rectangular
frame, and preparing it with turpentine, instead of wax: but such a
screen is not always convenient, and cannot be rolled without cracking,
and becoming, in a short time useless.


Cut out an aperture in a partition wall, of any size; for example,
four feet in length and two in breadth, so that the lower edge may be
about five feet from the floor, and cover it with white Italian gauze,
varnished with gum-copal. Provide several frames of the same size as
the aperture, covered with the same kind of gauze, and delineate
upon the gauze different figures, such as landscapes and buildings,
analogous to the scenes which you intend to exhibit by means of small
figures representing men and animals. These figures are formed of
pasteboard, and their different parts are made movable, according
to the effect intended to be produced by their shadows, when moved
backward and forward behind the frames, at a small distance from them.
To make them act with more facility, small wires, fixed to their
movable parts, are bent backward, and made to terminate in rings,
through which the fingers of the hand are put, while the figure is
supported by the left, by means of another iron wire. In this manner
they may be made to advance or recede, and to gesticulate, without the
spectators observing the mechanism by which they are moved; and as the
shadow of these figures is not observed on the paintings till they are
opposite those parts which are not strongly shaded, they may thus be
concealed, and made to appear at the proper moments, and others may be
occasionally substituted in their stead.

It is necessary, when the figures are made to act, to speak a dialogue,
suited to their gestures, and imitate the noise occasioned by different
circumstances. The paintings must be illuminated from behind by means
of a reverberating lamp, placed opposite to the centre of the painting,
and distant from it about four or five feet. Various amusing scenes may
be represented in this manner, by employing small figures of men and
animals, and making them move in as natural a way as possible, which
will depend on the address and practice of the person who exhibits them.


Make two openings, of a foot high, and ten inches wide, and about a
foot distant from each other, in the wainscoting of a wall; let them
be at the common height of a man’s head; and in each of them place
a transparent glass, surrounded with a frame, like a common mirror.
Behind this partition place two mirrors, one on the outward side of
each opening, inclined to the wainscot at an angle of forty-five
degrees; let them both be eighteen inches square; let all the space
between them be enclosed by boards or pasteboard, painted black, and
well closed, that no light may enter; let there be also two curtains
to cover them, which may be drawn aside at pleasure. When a person
looks into one of these supposed mirrors, instead of seeing his own
face he will perceive the object that is in the front of the other; so
that, if two persons present themselves at the same time before these
mirrors, instead of each one seeing himself they will reciprocally see
each other. There should be a sconce with a candle or lamp placed on
each side of the two glasses in the wainscot, to enlighten the faces of
the persons who look in them, otherwise this experiment will have no
remarkable effect.

This recreation may be considerably improved by placing the two glasses
in the wainscot in adjoining rooms, and a number of persons being
previously placed in one room, when a stranger enters the other, you
may tell him his face is dirty, and desire him to look in the glass,
which he will naturally do; and on seeing a strange face he will draw
back; but returning to it, and seeing another, another, and another,
what his surprise will be is more easy to conceive than express.

When one looks in a mirror placed perpendicularly to another, his face
will appear entirely deformed. If the mirror be a little inclined, so
as to make an angle of eighty degrees (that is, one-ninth part from
the perpendicular), he will then see all the parts of his face, except
the nose and forehead; if it be inclined to sixty degrees (that is,
one-third part), he will appear with three noses and six eyes; in
short, the apparent deformity will vary at each degree of inclination;
and when the glass comes to forty-five degrees (that is, half-way
down), the face will vanish. If, instead of placing the two mirrors
in this situation, they are so disposed that their junction may be
vertical, their different inclinations will produce other effects;
as the situation of the object relative to these mirrors is quite


Attach to a dark wall a round piece of paper an inch or two in
diameter, and, a little lower, at the distance of two feet on each
side, make two marks; then place yourself directly opposite to the
paper, and hold the end of your finger before your face in such a
manner, that when the right eye is open, it shall conceal the mark on
the left, and, when the left eye is open, the mark on the right; if
you then look with both eyes to the end of your finger, the paper,
which is not at all concealed by it from either of your eyes, will,
nevertheless, disappear.


Take a large drinking-glass, of a conical form, that is, small at
bottom and wide at top, and, having put into it a dime, let it be half
filled with water; then place a plate upon the top of the glass, and
turn it quickly over, that the water may not get out; a piece of silver
as large as half a dollar will immediately appear on the plate, and
somewhat higher up another piece of the size of a dime.



Lay a looking glass upon an even table; take a fresh egg, and shake it
for some time, so that the yolk may be broken and mixed up with the
white. You may then balance it on its point, and make it stand on the
glass. This it would be impossible to do if the egg was in its natural


Pare some large apples that are rather of a yellow tint; cut several
pieces out of them in the shape of a candle-end, round, of course, at
the bottom, and square at the top; in fact, as much as possible like a
candle that has burnt down within an inch or so. Then, cut some slips
out of the insides of sweet almonds, fashion them as much in the shape
of spermaceti wicks as you can, stick them into your mock candles,
light them for an instant, so as to make their tops black, blow them
out again, and they are ready for use. When you produce them, light
them (the almond will readily take fire, and flame for a few moments),
put them into your mouth, chew and swallow them one after another.


Select two pieces of ribbon, alike in length, breadth, and color;
double each separately, so that the ends meet; then tie them together
neatly, with a bit of silk of their own color, by the middle, or crease
made in doubling them. This must all be done in advance. When you are
going to exhibit this trick, pass some rings on the doubled ribbons,
and give the two ends of one ribbon to one person to hold, and the two
ends of the other to another. Do not let them pull hard, or the silk
will break, and your trick be discovered by the rings falling on the
ground, on account of the separation of the ribbons. Request the two
persons to approach each other, and take one end from each of them,
and without their perceiving it, return to each of them the end which
the other had previously held. By now giving the rings, which appeared
strung on the ribbon, a slight pull, you may break the silk, and they
will fall into your hand.


Take a ball in each hand, and stretch your hands as far as you can,
one from the other; then state that you will contrive to make both
the balls come into either hand, without bringing the hands near each
other. If any one dispute your power of doing this, you have no more to
do than to lay one ball down upon the table, turn yourself, and take
it up with your other hand. Thus both the balls will be in one of your
hands, without their approaching each other.


To fill a glass with water, so that no one may touch it without
spilling all the water. Fill a common glass or goblet with water, and
place upon it a bit of paper, so as to cover the water and edge of
the glass; put the palm of your hand on the paper, and taking hold of
the glass with the other, suddenly invert it on a very smooth table,
and gently draw out the paper; the water will remain suspended in the
glass, and it will be impossible to move the glass without spilling all
the water.


When a candle is burnt so long as to leave a tolerably large wick,
blow it out; a dense smoke, which is composed of hydrogen and carbon,
will immediately arise. Then, if another candle, or lighted taper, be
applied to the utmost verge of this smoke, a very strange phenomenon
will take place; the flame of the lighted candle will be conveyed to
that just blown out, as if it were borne on a cloud, or, rather, it
will seem like a mimic flash of lightning proceeding at a slow rate.


After having exhibited the trick of lighting a candle by smoke,
privately put a bit of paper between your fingers, and retire to one
corner of the room with a single candle, and pass the hand in which
you hold the paper several times slowly over the candle until the
paper takes fire; then immediately blow the candle out, and presently
pass your hand over the snuff and relight it with the paper. You may
then crumple the paper, at the same time extinguishing the flame, by
squeezing it suddenly, without burning yourself. If this trick be
performed dextrously, it is a very good one. It is not necessary for
the performance of this trick that all the other lights in the room
should be extinguished; in fact the trick is more liable to discovery
in a dark room, than in one where the candles are burning, on account
of the light thrown out by the paper while it is burning, previous to
the re-illumination.


Take a bird and lay it on a table; then wave a small feather over its
eyes, and it will appear as dead, but taking the feather away, it will
revive again. Let it lay hold of the stem part of the feather, and it
will twist and turn like a parrot; you may likewise roll it about, on
the table, just as you please.


Roll up a piece of paper, or other light substance, and privately put
into it any small insect, such as a lady-bird, or beetle; then, as
the creature will naturally endeavor to free itself from captivity,
it will move its covering toward the edge of the table, and when it
comes there, will immediately return, for fear of falling; and thus, by
moving backward and forward, will excite much diversion to those who
are ignorant of the cause.


Enclose a bullet in paper, as smoothly as possible, and suspend it
above the flame of a lamp or candle; you will soon see it melt and
fall, drop by drop, through a hole which it will make in the paper;
but the paper, except the hole mentioned, will not be burnt. The art
of performing this trick consists in using a smooth round bullet, and
enclosing it in the paper with but few folds or uneven places.


Pour water into a glass until it is nearly three parts full; then
almost fill it up with oil; but be sure to leave a little space between
the oil and the top of the glass. Tie a bit of string round the glass,
and fasten the two ends of another piece of string to it, one on each
side, so that, when you take hold of the middle of it to lift up the
glass, it may be about a foot from your hand. Now swing the glass to
and fro, and the oil will be smooth and unruffled, while the surface of
the water beneath it will be violently agitated.


A good deal of amusement may be occasioned by this trick. It is most
frequently performed by a lady, but the effect of it is considerably
increased when it is displayed by a boy. A piece of calico, muslin,
or linen, is taken in the left hand, a needle is threaded in the
presence of the spectators, and the usual, or even a double or treble
knot made at the extremity of one of the ends of it. The operator
commences his work by drawing the needle and the thread in it quite
through the linen, notwithstanding the knot, and continues to make
several stitches in like manner successively. The mode of performing
this seeming wonder, is as follows: a bit of thread, about a quarter
of a yard long, is turned once round the top of the middle finger of
the right hand, upon which a thimble is then placed to keep it secure.
This must be done privately and the thread kept concealed, while a
needle is threaded with a bit of thread of a similar length. The thread
in the needle must have one of its ends drawn up nearly close, and be
concealed between the forefinger and thumb; the other should hang down
nearly as long as, and by the side of the thread, which is fastened
under the thimble, so that these two may appear to be the two ends of
the thread. The end of the piece that is fastened under the thimble
is then knotted, and the performer begins to sew, by moving his hand
quickly after he has taken up the stitch. It will appear as though he
actually passed the knotted thread through the cloth.


Take three little hollow figures of glass, an inch and a half high,
representing imps, which may be obtained at a glass-blowers, with a
small hole in each of their legs. Submerge them in water in a glass
bottle, which should be about fifteen inches high, and covered with a
bladder tied over the top. A small quantity of air must be left between
the bladder and the surface of the water. When you think fit to command
the figures to go down, press your hand hard upon the top, and they
will immediately sink; when you would have them rise to the top, take
your hand away, and they will float up. By these means, you may make
them dance in the middle of the glass at your pleasure.


Take a box made with a false lid, on which glue some bird-seed;
privately put a bird into it, under the false lid; then show it, and
it will seem to be full of seed. Put on the true lid, and say,—“I
will command all the seed out of this box, and order a living bird to
appear.” Take off the covers together, and the bird will be seen.


This must be performed with a looking-glass made on purpose; the manner
of making it is this:—First, make a hoop, or fillet of wood or horn,
about the size of a half-dollar in circumference, and about a quarter
of an inch in thickness. In the middle, fasten a bottom of wood or
brass, and bore in it several small holes, about the size of peas;
then open one side of this bottom, set in a piece of crystal-glass,
and fasten it in the hoop close to the bottom. Take a quantity of
quicksilver, and put as much into the hoop as will cover the bottom;
then let into it another piece of crystal-glass, fitted to it; cement
the sides, that the quicksilver may not run out, and the apparatus
is complete. One side will reflect the beholder’s face as a common
looking-glass; in the other it will be multiplied according to the
number of holes in the wood or brass.


Privately cut the rim of the edge which is raised to protect the face
of a half-dollar, so that a little bit of the silver may stick up; take
the coin in your right hand, and by pressing it with your thumb against
a door or wainscot, the bit that sticks up will enter the wood, and
thus support the half-dollar.


Make a figure, resembling a man, of any substance, exceedingly light,
such as the pith of the alder tree, which is soft, and can easily be
cut into any form: then provide for it a hemispherical base, of some
very heavy substance, such as the half of a leaden bullet, made very
smooth on the convex part. Cement the figure to the plane part of
the hemisphere; and, in whatever position it is placed, when left to
itself, it will rise upright. The figure of a beau, or master of the
ceremonies, is appropriate for this trick.


On each side of a table-knife, place, in the presence of your company,
three wafers. Take the knife by the handle, and turn it over two or
three times, to show that the wafers are all on. Desire some person to
take off one wafer from one side of the blade; turn the knife two or
three times again, and there will appear only two wafers on each side;
remove another wafer, turn the knife as before, and there will appear
only one wafer on each side; take the third wafer away, turn the knife
as before twice or thrice, and there will appear to be no wafer on
either side. After a momentary pause, turn the knife again two or three
times, and three wafers will appear on each side.

The secret of this capital trick consists in using wafers of the
same size and color, and turning the knife, so that the same side is
constantly presented to the view, and the wafers are taken off that
side, one by one. The three wafers will thus remain untouched on the
other side, so that when you have first made it appear that there are
no wafers on either side, you may, apparently, show three on each, by
the same means. The way to turn the knife is as follows: when you lift
it up, turn it in your hand, with your finger and thumb, completely
round, until the side that was uppermost when you lifted it, comes
uppermost again. This is done in an instant, and is not perceptible, if
adroitly managed.


Conceal a piece of lace in your hand; then produce another piece
of the same pattern; double the latter, and put the fold between
your forefinger and thumb, with the piece which you have previously
concealed, doubled in the same manner; pull out a little of the latter,
so as to make a loop, and desire one of the company to cut it asunder.
If you have conveyed the concealed piece of lace so dexterously as to
be undetected, with the other between your thumb and forefinger, the
spectators will, naturally enough think you have really cut the latter;
which you may seem to make whole again, while repeating some conjuring
words, and putting away the two ends of the piece that is actually cut.


Stick a little wax upon your thumb, take a bystander by the fingers,
show him a dime, and tell him you will put the same into his hand;
then wring it down hard with your waxed thumb, and, using many words,
look him in the face; suddenly take away your thumb, and the coin will
adhere to it; then close his hand; it will seem to him that the dime
remains; now tell him to open his hand, and, if you perform the feat
cleverly, to his great astonishment, he will find nothing in it.


This feat has astonished crowds of spectators. It was one of the
favorites of a late popular professor, and is now first promulgated.
Before you perform it in public, you must practice it, until you are
quite perfect, in private, for it would be a pity to spoil its effect
by making a blunder in it. Begin by stating very seriously, what is a
well-known fact, that if a bucket full of water be hurled round his
head by a man, who is sufficiently strong, none of the water will fall
out. If this be at all discredited, be prepared not only to support
your assertion, but to carry the point still further by placing a
tumbler full of any liquid in the inside of a broad hoop, which you
hold in your hand by a small piece of string fixed to it, and twirling
it round at your side. If you do this with velocity, although the
tumbler, in the circles made by the hoop, is frequently quite bottom
upward, it will neither fall from the hoop, nor will any of the water
be spilt. To do this, however, requires even more practice than the
trick which it prefaces; as, although there is no difficulty in it
while the hoop is in rapid motion, yet there is some danger until you
are rendered expert by practice, of the tumbler’s falling, when you
begin to put the hoop in motion, and when you wish to stop it. If,
therefore, you are not perfectly capable of doing it, state the fact
only, which some or other of your auditors will most probably support,
as it is pretty generally known. You now go on to say, that the air,
under the water in the glass, when it is topsy-turvey, keeps it in; and
that upon the same principle, if you can turn your hand, upon which
you place a piece of thin wood (about one inch broad, and six inches
long), sufficiently quick, although the back be uppermost, the air
will actually keep the wood up against the palm of your hand, without
any support. This they will be readily inclined to believe. They will,
however, doubt your being possessed of sufficient manual dexterity to
perform it quick enough.

We must now tell you how it is to be done:—Lay the piece of wood across
the palm of your left hand, which keep wide open, with the thumb
and all the fingers far apart, lest you be suspected of supporting
the wood with them. Next, take your left wrist in your right hand,
and grasp it tightly, for the purpose, as you state, of giving the
hand more steadiness. Now, suddenly turn the back of your left hand
uppermost, and, as your wrist moves in your right hand, stretch out
the forefinger of your right hand, and as soon as the wood comes
undermost, support it with such forefinger. You may now shake the hand,
and, after a moment or two, suffer the wood to drop. It is two to one
but the spectators will admit it to be produced by the action of the
air, as you had previously stated, and try to do it themselves; but,
of course, they must, unless you have performed the feat so awkwardly
as to be discovered, fail in its performance. If you have no objection
to reveal the secret, you can do it again, and, while they are gravely
philosophizing upon it, suddenly lift up your hand and expose the
trick. This will, doubtless, create much amusement. Observe that in
doing this feat, you must keep your fingers so low, that no one can
see the palm of your left hand; and move your finger so carefully,
that its action may not be detected; and if it be not, you may rest
satisfied that its absence from round the wrist of the left hand will
not be discovered, some of the fingers being naturally supposed to be
under the coat; so that, if the spectators only see two or even one,
they will imagine the others are beneath the cuff. There is one other
observation necessary before we conclude; it is this, when you have
turned your hand over, do not keep the stick too long upheld, lest the
spectators should take hold of your hands, and discover the trick;
before their astonishment has ceased, adroitly remove your forefinger,
and suffer the stick to fall to the ground.


Take two pieces of thread, one foot in length each; roll one of them
round, like a small pea, which put between your left forefinger and
thumb. Now, hold the other out at length, between the forefinger and
thumb of each hand; then let some one cut the same asunder in the
middle; when that is done, put the tops of your two thumbs together, so
that you may, with less suspicion, receive the thread which you hold
in your right hand into your left, without opening your left finger
and thumb. Then, holding these two pieces as you did before, let them
be cut asunder in the middle also, and conveyed again as before, until
they be very short; then roll all the ends together, and keep that ball
of thread before the other in the left hand, and with a knife, thrust
the same into a candle, where you may hold it until it be burnt to
ashes; pull back the knife with your right hand, and leave the ashes,
with the other ball, between your forefinger and thumb of your left
hand, and with the two thumbs and forefingers together, rub the ashes,
and at length, draw out that thread which has been all this time
between your forefinger and thumb.


The following is a famous feat among those mountebanks who travel
the country with quack doctors. This pudding must be made of twelve
or thirteen little tin hoops, so as to fall one through another, and
little holes should be made at the biggest end, so that it may not hurt
your mouth; hold it privately in your left hand, with the hole end
uppermost, and, with your right hand, take a ball out of your pocket,
and say, “if there be any old lady that is out of conceit with herself,
because her neighbors deem her not so young as she would be thought,
let her come to me, for this ball is a certain remedy;” then seem to
put the ball into your left hand, but let it slip into your lap, and
clap your pudding into your mouth, which will be thought to be the ball
that you showed them; then decline your head, open your mouth, and the
pudding will slip down to its full length; with your right hand you may
strike it into your mouth again; after having done this three or four
times, you may discharge it into your hand, and put it into your pocket
without any suspicion, by making three or four wry faces after it, as
though it had been too large for your throat.


Borrow a watch from any person in company, and request the whole to
stand round you. Hold the watch up to the ear of the first in the
circle, and command it to go; then demand his testimony to the fact.
Remove it to the ear of the next, and enjoin it to stop; make the same
request to that person, and so on throughout the entire party.

_Explanation._ You must take care, in borrowing the watch, that it be
a good one, and goes well. Conceal in your hand a piece of loadstone
which, so soon as you apply it to the watch, will occasion a suspension
of the movements, which a subsequent shaking and withdrawing of the
magnet will restore. For this purpose, keep the magnet in one hand and
shift the watch alternately from one hand to the other.


You may cause a ring to shift from one hand to another, and make it go
on any finger required on the other hand, while somebody holds both
your arms, in order to prevent communication between them by attending
to these instructions:—Desire some lady in company to lend you a gold
ring, recommending her, at the same time, to make a mark on it, that
she may know it again. Have a gold ring of your own, which fasten by
a small piece of catgut-string, to a watch-barrel, and sew it to the
left sleeve of your coat. Take the ring that is given you in your right
hand; then putting, with dexterity, the other ring fastened to the
watch-barrel, near the entrance of your sleeve, draw it privately to
the fingers’ ends of your left hand. During this operation, hide the
ring that has been lent to you between the fingers of your right hand,
and fasten it dexterously on a little hook, sewed for the purpose, on
your waistcoat, and hidden by your coat. After that show your ring,
which hold in your left hand; then ask the company on which finger
of the other hand they wish it to pass. During this interval, and as
soon as the answer has been given, put the before-mentioned finger on
the little hook, in order to slip the ring on it; at that moment let
go the other ring, by opening your fingers. The spring which is in
the watch-barrel, being confined no longer, will contract, and make
the ring slip under the sleeve, without anybody perceiving it, not
even those who hold your arms; as their attention will be occupied
to prevent your hands from communicating. After this operation, show
the assembly that the ring is come on the other hand; and make them
remark that it is the same that had been lent to you, or that the
mark is right. Much dexterity must be made use of to succeed in this
entertaining trick, that the deception may not be suspected.


This feat, strange as it appears, is very simple; the performer must
have a confederate, who has two handkerchiefs of the same quality,
and with the same mark, one of which he throws upon the table,
to perform the feat with. The performer takes care to put this
handkerchief uppermost in making a bundle, though he affects to mix
them together promiscuously. The person, whom he desires to draw
one of the handkerchiefs, naturally takes that which comes first to
hand. The performer then desires to shake them again to embellish the
operation; but in so doing, takes care to bring the right handkerchief
uppermost, and carefully fixes upon some simpleton to draw; and if
he find the person is not likely to take the first that comes to
hand, he prevents him from drawing by fixing upon another, under
pretence of his having a more sagacious look. When the handkerchief
is torn, and carefully folded up, it is put under a glass upon a
table placed near a partition. On that part of the table on which the
handkerchief is deposited, is a little trap, which opens and lets it
fall into a drawer. The confederate, concealed behind the curtain,
passes his hand under the table, opens the trap, and substitutes the
second handkerchief for the first. He then shuts the trap, which so
exactly fits the hole it closes, as to deceive the eyes of the most
incredulous. If the performer be not possessed of such a table, he must
have a second handkerchief in his pocket, and change it by sleight of


Separate an egg in the middle, as neatly as possible; empty it, and
then with a fine piece of paper and a little glue, join the two halves
together, having first put a live canary bird inside it, which will
continue unhurt in it for sometime, provided you make a small pin-hole
in the shell to supply the bird with air; have also, a whole egg in
readiness. Present the two eggs for one to be chosen; put the egg,
which contains the bird, next to the person who is to choose, and,
for this purpose, be sure to select a lady; she naturally chooses the
nearest to her, because, having no idea of the trick to be performed,
there is no apparent reason to take the further one at any rate, if the
wrong one be taken, you do not fail in the trick, for you break the
egg, and say: “You see that this egg is fair and fresh, madam, so you
would have found the other, if you had chosen it. Now, do you choose
to find in it a mouse, or a canary-bird?” She naturally declares for
the bird; nevertheless, if she ask for the mouse, there are means to
escape: you ask the same question of several ladies, and gather the
majority of votes, which, in all probability, will be in favor of the
bird, which you then produce.


A piece of money, or a ring, is put into a box, in the presence of a
person who holds it; the operator stands at a distance, and bids him
shake the box gently, and the piece is heard to rattle inside; he is
desired again to shake it, and then it is not heard to rattle; the
third time, it is again heard, but the fourth time it is gone, and
is found in the shoe of one of the company. The box must be made on
purpose, in such a manner that, in shaking it gently up and down, the
piece within is heard; on the contrary, shaking it hard, horizontally,
a little spring, which falls on the piece, prevents it from being
heard, which makes you imagine it is not within. He who performs the
trick, then touches the box, under pretence of showing how to shake
it, and, although it is locked, he easily gets out the piece by means
of a secret opening, availing himself of that minute to put in a false
piece, and to leave the box with the same person, whom he causes to
believe that the piece is or is not within, according to the manner
the box is shaken: at length, the original piece is found in the shoe
of one of the company, either by means of the person being found in
confederacy, and having a similar piece, or by sending another to slip
it on the floor. In this last case, it is found on the floor, and the
person fixed on is persuaded that it fell from his shoe as he was
taking it off.


Take a few nut-galls, bruise them to a very fine powder, which strew
nicely upon a towel; then put a little brown copperas into a basin
of water; this will soon dissolve, and leave the water perfectly
transparent. After any person has washed in this water, and wiped with
the towel on which the galls have been strewn, his hands and face
will immediately become black; but, in a few days, by washing with
soap, they will again become clean. This trick is too mischievous for


Take one ounce of saltpetre; three ounces of powder; of sulphurvivuix,
three ounces; beat, sift, and mix them well together; fill a
pasteboard, or paper mould, with the composition, and it will burn
under the water till quite spent. Few persons will believe that this
can be done before they have seen it tried.


Put four ounces of bismuth into a crucible, and when in a state of
complete fusion, throw in two ounces and a half of lead, and one
ounce and a half of tin; these metals will combine, and form an alloy
fusible in boiling water. Mould the alloy into bars, and take them
to a silversmith to be made into tea-spoons. Place one of them in a
saucer, at a tea-table, and the person who uses it will not be a little
astonished to find it melt away as soon as he puts it into the hot tea.


Dissolve indigo in diluted sulphuric acid, and add to it an equal
quantity of solution of carbonate of potass. If a piece of white cloth
be dipped in this mixture, it will be changed to blue; yellow cloth,
in the same mixture, may be changed to green; red to purple; and blue
litmus paper be turned to red.


Dip a sheet of paper in strong alum-water, and when dry, repeat the
process; it will be better still, if you dip and dry it a third time.
After this, you may put it in the flame of a candle, and it will not


These are performed with French chalk, a natural production of the
earth, (sold in most oil-shops,) of a greasy, but extraordinary nature.
It is made use of to draw portraits upon looking-glasses; which may be
made visible and invisible, alternately, by breathing on and wiping
off, and they will so continue for many months. The lines will appear
very distinct where the glass is strongly breathed on, and disappear
entirely when it is wiped dry again.


Boil an egg hard, and peel off a small piece of the shell at one end;
then thrust in a quill filled with quicksilver, and sealed at each end.
As long as the egg remains warm, it will not cease to dance about.


You may make an egg enter a bottle without breaking, by steeping it in
strong vinegar for some time; the vinegar will so soften the shell,
that it will bend and extend lengthways without breaking; when put in
cold water, it will resume its former figure and hardness.


Cover a small portion of the upper end of a tallow candle with paper,
and give the remainder of it a coat of fine coal and powdered sulphur,
mixed together; dip it in water, and expose it to the air during a
hard frost, and a slight coat of ice will form round it, which may
be, subsequently, rendered thicker, in proportion to the number of
immersions and exposure to the air which it receives. When it arrives
at a sufficient consistency, take off the paper, light the upper end of
the candle, and it will burn freely.


Dip a rose-colored ribbon in nitric acid, diluted with eight or ten
parts of water, and as soon as the color disappears, which it will
do in a short time, take out the ribbon, and put it into a very weak
alkaline solution; the alkali will quickly neutralize the acid, and the
color will then reappear.


Some amusement may be obtained among young people, by writing, with
common ink, a variety of questions, on different bits of paper, and
adding a pertinent reply to each, written with nitro-muriate of gold.
The collection is suffered to dry, and put aside until an opportunity
offers for using them. When produced, the answers will be invisible;
you desire different persons to select such questions as they may
fancy, and take them home with them; you then promise, that if they are
placed near the fire, during the night, answers will appear written
beneath the questions in the morning; and such will be the fact, if the
papers be put in any dry, warm situation.


Write several questions and answers on paper; for the answers, instead
of nitro-muriate of gold, you may use the juice of a citron, or an
onion. Let any of the questions be chosen by a party, and placed in a
box, which may be called “The Witch’s Cave.” This box must be furnished
with a piece of hot iron, beneath a false bottom of tin; when the
paper is put in it, the heat will cause the answer to appear; you then
take it out, show it to the person who made choice of the question,
and, as soon as it is read, put it aside; the answer will vanish when
the paper becomes cold again.


Take a glass tube, about the thickness of a man’s finger, and securely
seal one end of it. Mark it, all round, with four equal divisions.
Introduce mercury, sufficient to fill the space below the first
mark; a solution of sub-carbonate of potass for the second division;
white spirit, to which a blue tint is imparted, for the third; and
turpentine, colored red, for the fourth. After these preparations are
completed, close up and seal the mouth of the tube, and you may then
give a fanciful exhibition of chaos and the four elements. Shake the
tube, and you will mix all the contents together, and this mixture
will represent chaos; in a short time, if the tube be not removed, all
the ingredients will separate, and each go to its allotted division,
placing itself according to its specific gravity, in comparison with
the others; the contents of the upper division, which is red, will
represent fire; the next, which has a blue tint, air; the third, which
is colorless, water; and the lower one, earth.


Take some very thick oyster shells, and cover them with some burning
coals; in half an hour take them carefully out of the fire, and it will
be only necessary to expose them to the light for a few minutes to be
convinced that they have become phosphorescent. In fact, if put in a
dark place, they shed a light accompanied by the greater part of the
prismatic colors. If the calcination be made in a closed crucible, the
colors will be less brilliant. If the crucible be of lead, the parts
that have come into contact with it will yield a reddish light; if a
few bits of steel be strewed about the crucible, the phosphorescence
will be more lively; but if some flat pieces of coal be used instead of
steel, the colors will be more beautiful, particularly the blue, red,
and green.


By compressing a bit of phosphorus between two pieces of wood, it will
inflame. The same effect may be produced by the friction of one piece
of phosphorus against another.


Take six parts of oil of olives and one of phosphorus, suffer them to
digest well together, and preserve the solution, which, in the dark,
will become luminous. An experiment that is considered amusing may be
performed by closing the eyes and lightly passing a sponge, dipped in
this solution, over the face and hands, which will then, in the dark,
appear covered with a light bluish flame. This trick is not at all


Let fall a few drops of phosphorized ether on a lump of loaf sugar,
place the sugar in a glass of warm water, and a very beautiful
appearance will be instantly exhibited; the effect will be increased,
if the surface of the water, by blowing gently with the breath, be made
to undulate.


Make two little figures of wood or clay, or other materials, with a
little hole in the mouth of each. Put in the mouth of one, a few
grains of bruised gunpowder, and a little bit of phosphorus in the
other. Then take a lighted wax candle, and present it to the mouth of
the figure with the gunpowder, which, taking fire, will put the candle
out; then present your candle, having the snuff quite hot, to the other
figure, and it will light again immediately.


Take a little piece of phosphorus, of the size of a pin’s head, and
with a piece of tallow, stick it on the edge of a drinking-glass. Then
take a lighted candle, and having blown it out, apply it to the glass,
when it will immediately be lighted. You may likewise write, with a bit
of phosphorus, on paper, some words, which will appear awful, when the
candle is withdrawn from the room.


This famous puppet-show can easily be arranged for the parlor. The
first requirement of the performance will naturally be the _dramatis
personæ_. These, in the drama as usually played, are as follows:—

1. Punch. 2. Judy. 3. The Baby. 4. The Dog Toby. 5. The Clown. 6. The
Policeman (or Beadle). 7. The Hangman. 8. The Doctor. 9. The Ghost.
The head for each character must be carved out of wood, with a tubular
cavity in the neck large enough to admit the first joint of the
performer’s forefinger. Wooden arms and legs must next be prepared.
These need only extend to the elbow and knee, and the Baby will require
arms only. Appropriate costumes must next be manufactured. Mr. Punch
will have the usual conical hat, and Judy a frilled cap and black
ribbons. The body of each figure is a mere bag, just large enough to
admit, through an opening behind, the hand of the performer, whose
forefinger is thrust into the hollow of the neck, and the thumb and
second finger into the sleeves, thereby giving motion to the arms.

The robes of the various characters are firmly attached to the
respective heads, and the arms glued just within the lower part of
the sleeves. By slipping his hand, therefore within the robe, his
forefinger being inserted into the hole in the neck, and his thumb
and middle finger into the sleeves, as above mentioned, the performer
not only keeps the robe properly distended, but is able to impart the
requisite appearance of vitality to the figures.

Having described the characters, it next becomes necessary to say a
few words as to the “stage” whereon they perform. Most of our readers
will be familiar with the portable theatre of the genuine street
artists; a sentry-box-like wooden framework with a green baize cover,
within which the performer stands, while a movable shelf in front of
him supports the box which contains the puppets and other “properties”
of the mimic drama. A little simple stage-carpentering will transform
the domestic clothes-horse into a capital Punch-and-Judy theatre. Some
sort of ornamental framework or border should be tacked all round
the outer edge of the opening, by way of a kind of proscenium, and a
slip of thin board, three or four inches in width, should be nailed
horizontally across from side to side, to form the stage. The remainder
should be covered with green baize, tammy, or any other available
material, reaching to the ground. The structure should be placed
against a wall or window curtain, which will close its vacant side, and
form a convenient background.

Where even this simple arrangement is deemed too elaborate, an open
door, with a slip of wood tacked across it about six feet from the
floor, and a table cover hanging from this by way of curtain, will
serve as a tolerable makeshift.

The “properties” of the drama are not numerous. They consist of a
gallows or gibbet, made to fit, when in use, into a mortice cut into
the piece of wood which forms the stage, a couple of wooden sticks,
about a foot in length and half an inch in diameter, and an instrument
known as the “squeaker,” which is said to be used to produce those
peculiar vocal effects in which Mr. Punch delights. It consists of a
couple of pieces of tin, each about an inch and a quarter in length,
and three quarters in breadth. These, which are slightly curved in the
direction of their length, are laid one against the other (the concave
faces inward), with a piece of tape or China ribbon, of the same
breadth, stretched tightly between them, and the whole bound firmly
together with thread. This instrument is placed in the mouth, and is
asserted to produce the Root-i-too-ti-too! and other eccentricities of
the Punch language, and it is possible that in the hands (or rather the
mouths) of those who cultivate the art professionally, it really does
so. We must confess, however, that our own attempts in that direction
have not been successful, and after several very narrow escapes of
swallowing the instrument, we have come to the conclusion that a less
perfect Root-i-too, produced by natural means, is on the whole to be
preferred. Should any reader, after this warning, still be disposed to
run the risk of choking himself in the pursuit of artistic effect, far
be it from us to discourage his noble ardor.

It is customary to have a second or assistant showman, who stands
outside the theatre, and forms the orchestra, for which purpose he is
supplied with a set of Pandean pipes and a drum, or, for lack of these,
with the best substitutes available. In a drawing-room, some obliging
young lady at the piano-forte will generally render the performance
independent of his musical aid. But he has a second function somewhat
akin to that of the “Chorus” of a Greek play. His duty is to converse
with Mr. Punch, to “draw him out,” to elicit his views on things in
general, and his own domestic arrangements in particular, and last,
but not least, by judicious repetition, in the form of questions or
otherwise, to translate, so to speak, his observations to the audience.

The drama of Punch and Judy is based on tradition. The plot is pretty
much the same in all cases, but the dialogue varies according to the
taste and invention of the individual performer. We subjoin a specimen,
representing pretty nearly the popular version, on which the reader
may engraft such variations as he pleases.

Punch (heard below).—Roo-it-oot-i-too-it!

Showman.—Good morning, Mr. Punch.

Punch.—Good morning, Mr. Showman. Have you seen my Judy?

Showman.—Have I seen your Judy? No, sir, I don’t know the lady.

Punch.—She’s such a beauty! I’ll call her. Judy, my dear! Judy!

  Enter Judy.

Judy.—Well, Mr. Punch, what do you want!

Punch.—Why, I want to give you a kiss, to be sure. (They embrace, then

Punch.—Now Judy, my dear, go and fetch the baby. (Exit Judy.) Such a
beautiful baby! Just like me!

Showman.—Just like you, is he? Then he _must_ be a beauty!

Punch.—Oh, here he is! Dance a bady-diddy!

(Judy appears with baby, which she hands to Punch, and exit.)

Punch.—There’s a little popsy-wopsy! (Nurses baby and sings),

  “Hush-a-bye, baby,
     On the tree-top;
   When the wind blows
     The cradle will rock;
   When the wind ceases
     The cradle will fall,
   Down will come cradle
     And baby and all.”

(Baby cries, Punch slaps it and continues)—

  “Hush-a-bye, baby,
     Sleep while you can;
   If you live till you’re older,
     You’ll grow up a man.”

Oh, you little duck! There never was such a good child.

Master Punch (cries).—Mam-ma-a-a!

Punch (knocking the Baby’s head against the wall).—Go to sleep, you
naughty boy! (Resumes his song.)

  “Hush-a-bye, baby——”

Master Punch (louder).—Mam-ma-a-a-a!

Punch (hitting harder).—Hush-a-bye!

Master Punch (yells).—Ya-a-a-ah-ah!

Punch (hitting him).—Be quiet, can’t you? Bless him, he’s got his
father’s nose! (The child seizes Punch by the nose.) Murder! Let go!
There! go to your mother, then. (Throws Master Punch into interior of
show, calls, “Judy, my dear! Judy!” then sings)—

  “She’s all my fancy painted her,
   She’s lovely, she’s divine.”

  Enter Judy.

Judy.—Where’s the baby?

Punch.—The baby?


Punch.—What! did you not catch him?

Judy.—Catch him?

Punch.—Yes; I threw him out of window. I thought you might be passing.

Judy.—Oh, my poor child!

Punch.—Why, he was as much mine as yours.

Judy.—Oh, you cruel monster! I’ll tear your eyes out!

Punch.—Root-to-to-to-too-it! (They fight. Ultimately Punch ducks down,
and brings up stick, and, after a further scrimmage, hits Judy on the
head and kills her. The body remains hanging over front of stage. Punch

Policeman (brandishing his staff).—Hullo! hullo! hullo! Here I am!

Punch.—Hullo! hullo! hullo! And so am I! (Whacks policeman over the

Policeman.—Do you see my staff, sir?

Punch.—Do you feel mine, sir? (Hits him again.)

Policeman.—No nonsense, Mr. Punch! You have committed murder, and you
must answer for it to the laws of your country.

Punch.—We don’t keep it.

Policeman.—No nonsense, Mr. Punch! I am a Policeman.

Punch.—And so am I!

Policeman.—You a Policeman?


Policeman.—Where’s your authority?

Punch.—There it is! (Knocks him down.)

Policeman (rising).—Mr. Punch, you are an ugly, ill-mannered fellow!

Punch.—You’re another!

Policeman.—Take your nose away from my face, sir!

Punch.—Take your face away from my nose, sir!


Punch.—Pooh! (Hits Policeman again.)

Policeman.—You have committed an aggravated assault and contempt of
court, and I am under the painful necessity of taking you up.

Punch.—And I am under the painful necessity of knocking you down.
(Kills him with a blow of his stick.)

Punch (dancing).—Root-to-to-to-too-it!

Showman.—Hullo, Mr. Punch, you’ve done it now!

Punch.—Oh yes, I’ve done it! What a day we are having! (Dances again.)

(Mysterious music. The Ghost rises and places its hands upon the bodies
of Punch’s victims. The bodies rise slowly and disappear.)

Punch (sings).—

   Pop goes——”


Punch.—A-a-a-ah! (He throws up his hands and kicks wildly.)


Punch.—Oh, dear! oh, dear! It wasn’t me!

Ghost (points at Punch).—Boo-o-o-o-oh! (Punch faints. The Ghost sinks.)

Punch.—Oh, dear! I’m a dead man; somebody fetch a doctor.

  Enter Doctor.

Doctor.—Who wants the doctor? Why, I declare, it is my old friend
Punch. What’s the matter with him, I wonder? (Feels the patient’s
pulse.) Fifteen—sixteen—eleven—nineteen—six. I don’t believe he’s quite
dead, though. Punch, _are_ you dead?

Punch (starting up and hitting him).—Yes, quite dead. Please bring me
to life again.

Doctor.—Where are you hurt? (Examines him. When he reaches the legs
Punch kicks him in the eye.) Oh, my eye, my eye! I must go and fetch
you some physic!                                            [Exit.

Punch.—A pretty sort of doctor, to come without any physic!

  Re-enter Doctor with stick.

Doctor.—Now, Mr. Punch, we’ll soon see whether you are dead? (Beating
him.) Physic! physic! physic!

Punch.—What sort of physic do you call that, Doctor?

Doctor.—Stick-licorice! stick-licorice! stick-licorice! (Repeats the

Punch.—Stop a bit! Give me the bottle in my own hands. (Takes stick
from the Doctor, and thrashes him with it.) Physic! physic! physic!


Punch.—Don’t you like your own physic? (Hitting him again.)
Stick-licorice! stick-licorice! stick-licorice!

Doctor.—For goodness’ sake, Punch, pay me my fee, and let me go!

Punch.—What is your fee? (Lays down stick.)

Doctor.—A five pound note.

Punch.—Give me the change out of a twopenny-halfpenny postage stamp.

Doctor.—I want five pounds.

Punch.—Let me feel for my purse. (Takes up the stick and hits
Doctor.) One! two! three! four! five! (Delivers five blows, and
Doctor falls lifeless.) The bill’s settled, and so is the doctor.
Root-to-to-to-too-it! (Sings and dances.)

  Enter Joey, the Clown.

Joey.—Hullo, Mr. Punch! (Disappears again.)

Punch.—Who called me? (Looks round, and seeing no one, resumes his

  “I dreamt that I dwelt in marble halls,
   With vassals and serfs at my si-i-ide——”

(Joey rises, and taking up the dead body of the Doctor, bobs its head
in Punch’s face.)


Punch.—Who said “Boo?”

Joey (pushing Doctor into his face again).—Boo! boo! boo!

Punch.—Boo! boo! boo! (Knocks Doctor out of sight, and discovers
Clown.) Ah, Joey! was that you?

Joey.—No, it was I.

Punch.—Well, don’t do it again, because I’m nervous. Come and feel how
my hand shakes. (Clown approaches. Punch tries to hit him, but he
ducks and avoids the blow.) Come a little nearer; I won’t hurt you.
(Joey again approaches Punch, and again avoids the blow intended for
him.) There! it didn’t hurt you, did it?


Punch.—Nor that? (Makes another failure.)


Punch.—Nor that?

Joey.—Not a bit.

Punch.—Then what are you afraid of? Come and shake hands. (Joey
approaches, but has to duck down as before, to avoid a blow which Punch
makes at his head.) Joey, you’re a coward!

Joey.—Come on, then.

(Music. Terrific combat between Punch and Clown. The Clown dodges
all Punch’s blows, and after bobbing up and down in every direction,
suddenly appears behind Punch.)

Joey.—Hullo, Punch! (Disappears.)

Punch.—Where are you, Joey?

Joey (appearing behind Punch).—Here I am. (Disappears again.)

Punch.—I see you. (Peeps round cautiously and comes into collision with
Joey. Both start back. Punch lays down his stick and peeps cautiously
round the curtains.) I’ve got him now!

Joey (rising behind him and seizing stick).—And how do you like him?
(Cudgels Punch.)

Punch.—Murder! fire! thieves! Toby, come and help your master! (Toby
barks below. Exit Clown.)

  Enter Toby.

Punch.—Good doggy! I knew you’d come to help your master. Poor little
Toby! (Rubs his head against the dog’s face.) Ain’t you fond of your
master? (Toby snaps.) Oh, my nose! Now, be a good dog, and you shall
have a pail of water and a broomstick for supper. (Toby snaps again.)
Be quiet, sir, or I’ll knock your brains out! (Toby barks, and Punch
attempts to strike him, but at the same instant Joey rises again.)

Joey.—Hullo! Why, that’s my dog Toby. Toby, old fellow, how are you?
(Toby barks.)

Punch.—He isn’t your dog.

Joey.—Yes, he is!

Punch.—No, he isn’t!

Joey.—He is, I tell you! A fortnight ago I lost him.

Punch.—And a fortnight ago I found him.

Joey.—We’ll soon settle which of us the dog belongs to, Mr. Punch.
We’ll fight for him. (Ducks down and comes up with a stick.) Now don’t
you begin till I say “Time.” (Punch knocks Joey down.) Mr. Punch, that
wasn’t fair.

Punch.—Why, you said “Time.”

Joey.—I didn’t.

Punch.—What did you say, then?

Joey.—I said, “Don’t you begin till I say ‘Time.’”

Punch (knocking him down again).—There! you said it again.

Joey.—Toby, assist your master. (Toby flies at Punch.)

Punch.—It isn’t fair; he didn’t say “Time.”

Joey.—At him again, Toby! (Toby barks, and Clown thrashes Punch.)

Punch.—Murder! call him off!

Joey.—Oh, you’ve had enough have you? Very well. Come along, Toby!
(Exit with Toby.)

Punch (calling after them).—I wouldn’t have him at a gift; he’s got the
distemper! Root-to-to-to-too-it!

  Enter Hangman with gallows.

Hangman.—Mr. Punch, you are my prisoner.

Punch.—What for?

Hangman.—For having broken the laws of your country.

Punch.—Why, I never touched them.

Hangman.—At any rate you are to be hanged.

Punch.—But I never was tried and condemned.

Hangman.—Never mind! We’ll hang you first and try you afterward.

Punch.—Hanged? Oh, dear! oh, dear!

Hangman.—Yes; and I hope it will be a lesson to you. (Erects the
gallows on the stage.)

Punch.—Oh, my poor wife and sixteen small children! most of them twins,
and the oldest only three years of age.

Hangman.—Now, Mr. Punch, you are ordered for instant execution.

Punch.—What’s that?

Hangman.—You are to be hanged by the neck till you are dead! dead! dead!

Punch.—What! three times?

Hangman.—No; once will be enough. Place your head in the centre of this

Punch.—Stop a bit; I haven’t made my will.

Hangman.—We can’t help that. Come, put your head in.

Punch (putting his head one side of the noose).—Where? There?

Hangman.—No; higher up.

Punch (putting his head over).—There?

Hangman.—No; lower down.

Punch.—Well, I never was hanged before, so how should I know how it’s

Hangman.—I suppose I must show you the way. Now, then, keep your eye on
me. I put my head in the noose—so! (Puts his head in the noose.)

Punch.—Oh, like that, is it? (Pulls the rope tightly, and hangs the
hangman.) Oee! oee! oee! I understand all about it. Root-to-too-it!
Here’s a man tumbled into a ditch, and hung himself up to dry.

  Hurra! hurra! I’ve done the trick!
  Jack Ketch is dead, and Punch is free!

(Ghost rises, and taps Punch on the shoulders.)

Ghost.—You’re wanted.

Punch.—Oh, dear! oh, dear! What for?

Ghost.—In the other world, to answer for your misdeeds.

Punch.—Stop a bit! whom were you to ask for?

Ghost.—Why, Punch, the man who was to be hanged.

Punch—Oh, the man that was to be hanged; then that’s the gentleman you
want! (Points to Hangman.)

Ghost.—Oh! I beg your pardon! Good night! (Carries off Hangman.)

Punch (hitting the sinking Ghost with the stick).—Good night! Pleasant
journey to you! (Sings).

  Root-to too-it! serves him right,
  All my foes are put to flight;
  Ladies and gentlemen all, good night,
      To the freaks of Punch and Judy!

(_Curtain falls._)


The elaborate “sell” which goes by this name is an institution which
has only sprung up within the last three or four years. We have seen
it introduced on two or three occasions at fancy fairs and charity
bazaars, at which it has proved a great attraction.

A regular printed catalogue is got up, containing apparently the names
of a collection of pictures or sculpture, each object duly numbered,
and with the name of the artist appended. In some instances the name of
a (supposed) picture is followed by an appropriate quotation in poetry
or prose, after the orthodox fashion of the American Academy and other
galleries. We append, by way of illustration, a selection from the
catalogue of a collection which has met with great success:





  1. Horse Fair      After Rosa Bonheur.

  2. A Brush with a Cutter off Deal      Carpenter.

  3. Caught in Squall off Yarmouth      Fisher.

  4. The Last of poor Dog Tray      Barker.

  5. “He will return, I know he will”      Lent by the Trustees of
                                                 the Parish.

  6. The Midnight Hour      C. Lock.

  7. Heroes of Waterloo      Schumacher.

  8. True to the Core      C. Odling.

  9. “Spring, Spring, Beautiful Spring!”      Mayne.

  10. “Tears, Idle Tears”      Strong.

  11. The Midnight Assassin      F. Sharpe.

  12. The Dripping Well      T. Inman.

  13. Family Jars      Potter.

  14. Never Too Late to Mend      S. Titch

  15. Past Healing      Köbler.

  16. The First Sorrow      Smalchild.

  17. Saved      S. Kinflint.

  18. Lost.

  19. First Love      Sweet.

  20. The Death of the Camel      After Goodall.

  21. His First Cigar      A. Young.

  22. A Good Fellow Gone      M. I. Slade.

  23. Portrait of a Gentleman      Anonymous.

  24. Portrait of a Lady      Anonymous.

  25. Our Churchwardens      Screw.

  26. Portraits of the Reigning Sovereigns of Europe      G. P. O.
  [Taken by special order.]

  27. Waifs of Ocean      Fish.

  “Strange things come up to look at us,
   The monsters of the deep.”

  28. The Last Man      Unknown.

  29. Contribution from the celebrated
  Sheepshanks Collection      Butcher.

  30. The Light of Other Days       Dimm.

  31. The Meet of Her Majesty’s Hounds      Pratt.

  32. Water Scene
                        “And I hear
  Those waters rolling from the mountain springs
  With a sweet inland murmur.”

  33. The Maiden’s Joy     Bachelor.

  34. The Fall      Adam.

  35. Motherhood

  “She laid it where the sunbeams fall
   Unscanned upon the broken wall,
   Without a tear, without a groan
   She laid it near a mighty stone
   Which some rude swain had haply cast
   Thither in sport, long ages past,—
   There in its cool and quiet bed
   She set her burden down and fled;
   Nor flung, all eager to escape,
   One glance upon the perfect shape
   That lay, still warm and fresh and fair,
   But motionless and soundless there.”
                         _C. S. Calverley._

  36. A Friendly Party on Hampstead Heath      Moke.

  37. Borrowed Plumes      Wigg.

  38. Out for the Night      Anonymous.

  39. Something to Adore      Anonymous.

  40. The Wearied Grinder      Mayne Force.

  “Change and decay in all around I see.”

  41. Repentance      G. Templar.

  42. Maggie’s Secret      Rossetter.

  43. Somebody’s Luggage      S. Canty.

  44. Eusebius      B. Linkers.

  45. Happy Childhood      Wackford Squeers.

  46. Not such a Fool as he looks      The Exhibitor.



47. A choice Collection of Old China.

48. A fine Specimen of Local Quartz discovered in the Possession of a
Workman during the Building of the New Town Hall.

49. The Skull of the Last of the Mohicans.

50. A Marble Group.

51. Bust.

52. The Puzzle.

53. The Instantaneous Kid Reviver.

54. The Earnest Entreaty.


Any one not in the secret perusing the above catalogue would naturally
conclude that the descriptions referred to pictorial art of some kind
or other. But such is by no means the case. The visitor, on being
admitted, finds, in place of the expected pictures, shelves or tables
on which are arranged sundry very commonplace objects, each bearing
a numbered ticket. On close examination he finds that the numbers
correspond with those in the catalogue, and that No. 1, “Horse Fair”
(_Fare_), is represented, after a realistic fashion, by a handful of
oats and a wisp of hay. No. 2, which he expected to find a spirited
marine sketch, is in reality only a tooth-brush lying beside a
jack-plane; while the supposed companion picture, “Caught in a Squall
off Yarmouth,” is represented by a red herring. No. 4, “The Last of
Poor Dog Tray,” is a sausage, and the exhibitor particularly begs that
no gentleman will on any account whistle while passing this picture.
No. 5, “He will return, I know he will,” presumably the agonized cry
of a forsaken maiden, is in reality a poor-rate collector’s paper,
marked “Fifth application.” No. 6 is represented by a numbered ticket
only, with no object attached to it. The exhibitor explains that “The
Midnight Hour” has not yet arrived, but that any gentleman who likes to
wait till it does (which will be at twelve o’clock punctually) is very
welcome to do so. The “Heroes of Waterloo,” Wellington and Blucher,
No. 7, are represented by a couple of the boots known by those
distinguished names. 8, “True to the Core,” is a rosy-cheeked apple.
9 is a coil of watch-spring. 10, “Tears, Idle Tears,” on which the
exhibitor feelingly expatiates as a noble example of the imaginative
in art, is—an onion! The space dedicated to No. 11 is occupied by the
numbered ticket only, the exhibitor explaining that “The Midnight
Assassin” (who is stated to be a large and lively _flea_) has strolled
away, and is wandering at large about the room; and he adds an entreaty
that any lady or gentleman who may meet with him will immediately
return him to his place in the collection. “The Dripping Well” (No. 12)
proves to be of the description more usually known as a dripping-_pan_.
“Family Jars,” by Potter, is found to consist of a pickle-jar and
jam-pot. No. 14, “Never Too Late to Mend,” is a boot patched all
over; while 15, “Past Healing,” is its fellow, too far gone to admit
of like renovation. “The First Sorrow” is a broken doll. “Saved” is
a money-box, containing twopence-halfpenny, mostly in farthings. The
next is a vacant space, over which the exhibitor passes with the casual
remark, “No. 18, as you will observe, is unfortunately _Lost_.” No. 19,
“First Love,” is a piece of taffy. 20, “The Death of the Camel,” is
a straw, labeled “The last,” and the exhibitor explains that this is
_the_ identical straw that broke the camel’s back. “His First Cigar”
is a mild Havana of brown paper. “A Good Fellow Gone” is suggested,
rather than represented, by an odd glove. Nos. 23, 24 are represented
by two small mirrors, which are handed to a lady and a gentleman
respectively, with a few appropriate remarks as to the extreme success
of the likenesses, coupled with critical remarks as to the “expression”
in each case. “Our Churchwardens” are a pair of long clay pipes. No.
26, “Portraits of the Reigning Sovereigns of Europe,” are represented
by a few cancelled foreign postage stamps. “The Monsters of the Deep,”
in No. 27, are represented by a periwinkle and a shrimp. “The Last
Man” (No. 28) is at present missing from his place in the collection,
but the exhibitor explains that he will be seen going out just as the
exhibition closes. The “Contribution from the Sheepshanks Collection”
(29) is a couple of mutton-bones; while “The Light of Other Days” (30)
is an old-fashioned lantern and tinder-box. “The Meet (_meat_) of Her
Majesty’s Hounds” is a piece of dog-biscuit. No. 32 is a leaky can of
water. “The Maiden’s Joy” (obviously) is a wedding-ring. “The Fall” is
a lady’s veil. No. 35, “Motherhood,” is the gem of the collection, and
should be kept carefully hidden (say by a handkerchief thrown over it)
until the company have had time to read and appreciate Mr. Calverley’s
graceful lines, when the veil is removed, and behold—an egg! No. 36,
“A Friendly Party on Hampstead Heath,” is represented by three toy
donkeys. “Borrowed Plumes” are represented by a lady’s false front.
“Out for the Night” is an extinguished candle. “Something to Adore”
is a rusty bolt. “The Wearied Grinder” is a back tooth of somebody’s,
very much the worse for wear. “Repentance” (No. 41) is represented by
a smashed hat and a bottle of soda-water. “Maggie’s Secret” is a gray
hair, labeled “Her first.” No. 43, “Somebody’s Luggage,” consists of
a broken comb and a paper collar. “Eusebius” is a pair of spectacles.
“Happy Childhood” is indicated by a lithe and “swishy” cane. When
the company arrive at No. 46, the corresponding object is apparently
missing. The exhibitor refers to his notes, and says, “46—46? I see
they have written down against No. 46, ‘The Exhibitor,’ but I don’t
see quite what they mean. Suppose we pass on to the curiosities,
ladies and gentlemen.” No. 47 is merely some smashed crockery, and
No. 48 a pewter quart-pot. No. 49 is again a vacant space, and the
exhibitor explains that ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ has just gone home
to his tea, and has taken his skull with him. No. 50 is, as its name
implies, a group of marbles (of the school-boy character). No. 51 is
a paper bag of peas, and, being too full, has “bust.” “The Puzzle”
(No. 52) is an old Guide-book. “The Instantaneous Kid Reviver” is a
baby’s feeding-bottle; and “The Earnest Entreaty” is the request of
the exhibitor that the visitors will recommend the collection to their

If the “showman” be possessed of a good fund of talk and a dash of dry
humor, the fun of the collection may be still further enhanced by his
explanations and criticism of the various objects. Poor Artemus Ward’s
celebrated lecture is an excellent model to copy; indeed, many of his
“bits” may be stolen bodily with very satisfactory result. Even without
the aid of a showman, the comparison of the poetical descriptions and
the sober reality will produce a good deal of fun; but, in this case,
the various _blanks_ or vacant spaces to be filled up by explanation
must necessarily be omitted—a good many telling items being thereby


Coin-conjuring, like card-conjuring, has its own peculiar sleights,
which it will be necessary for the student to practice diligently
before he can hope to attain much success in this direction.

The first faculty which the novice must seek to acquire is that of
“palming”—_i. e._, secretly holding an object in the open hand by the
contraction of the palm. To acquire this power, take a half-crown,
florin, or quarter (these being the most convenient in point of size),
and lay it on the palm of the open hand. Now close the hand very
slightly, and if you have placed the coin on the right spot (which a
few trials will quickly indicate), the contraction of the palm around
its edges will hold it securely, and you may move the hand and arm in
any direction without fear of dropping it. You should next accustom
yourself to use the hand and fingers easily and naturally, while still
holding the coin as described. A very little practice will enable you
to do this. You must bear in mind while practicing always to keep the
inside of the palm either downward or toward your own body, as any
reverse movement would expose the concealed coin.


Being thoroughly master of this first lesson, you may proceed to
the study of the various “passes.” All of the passes have the same
object—viz., the apparent transfer of an article from one hand to the
other, though such article really remains in the hand which it has
apparently just quitted. As the same movement frequently repeated would
cause suspicion, and possibly detection, it is desirable to acquire
different ways of effecting this object. It should be here mentioned
that the term “palming,” which we have so far used as meaning simply
the act of _holding_ any article, is also employed to signify the act
of _placing_ any article in the palm by one or other of the various
passes. The context will readily indicate in which of the two senses
the term is used in any given passage.

PASS 1.—Take the coin in the right hand, between the second and third
fingers and the thumb, letting it, however, really be supported by the
fingers, and only steadied by the thumb. Now move the thumb out of the
way, and close the second and third fingers, with the coin balanced
on them, into the palm. If the coin was rightly placed in the first
instance, you will find that this motion puts it precisely in the
position above described as the proper one for palming; and on again
extending the fingers, the coin is left palmed. When you can do this
easily with the hand at rest, you must practice doing the same thing
with the right hand in motion toward the left, which should meet it
open, but should close the moment that the fingers of the right hand
touch its palm, as though upon the coin which you have by this movement
feigned to transfer to it. The left hand must thenceforward remain
closed, as if holding the coin, and the right hand hang loosely open,
as if empty.


In the motion of “palming” the two hands must work in harmony, as in
the genuine act of passing an article from the one hand to the other.
The left hand must therefore rise to meet the right, but should not
begin its journey until the right hand begins its own. Nothing looks
more awkward or unnatural than to see the left hand extended, with
open palm, before the right hand has begun to move toward it.

PASS 2.—This is somewhat easier than Pass 1, and may sometimes be
usefully substituted for it. Take the coin edgeways between the first
and third fingers of the right hand, the sides of those fingers
pressing against the edges of the coin, and the middle finger steadying
it from behind. Carry the right hand toward the left, and at the same
time move the thumb swiftly over the face of the coin till the top
joint passes its outer edge, then bend the thumb, and the coin will be
found to be securely nipped between that joint and the junction of the
thumb with the hand. As in the last case, the left hand must be closed
the moment the right hand touches it; and the right must thenceforth
be held with the thumb bent slightly inward toward the palm, so that
the coin may be shielded from the view of the spectators. This is an
especially quick mode of palming, and if properly executed the illusion
is perfect.

PASS 3.—Hold the left hand palm upward, with the coin in position.
Move the right hand toward the left, and let the fingers simulate the
motion of picking up the coin, and instantly close. At the same moment
slightly close the left hand, so as to contract the palm around the
coin, and drop the hand, letting it hang loosely by your side.


A word of caution may here be desirable. These “passes” must by no
means be regarded as being themselves _tricks_, but only as processes
to be used in the performance of tricks. If the operator, after
pretending to pass the coin, say, from the right hand to the left, and
showing that it had vanished from the left hand, were to allow his
audience to discover that it had all along remained in his right hand,
they might admire the dexterity with which he had in this instance
deceived their eyes, but they would henceforth guess half the secret of
any trick in which palming was employed. If it is necessary immediately
to reproduce the coin, the performer should do so by appearing to find
it in the hair or whiskers of a spectator, or in any other place that
may suit his purpose, remembering always to indicate beforehand that
it has passed to such a place, thereby diverting the general attention
from himself. As the coin is already in his hand, he has only to drop
it to his finger-tips as the hand reaches the place he has named, in
order, to all appearance, to take it from thence.

The various passes may be employed not only to cause the disappearance
of an article, as above described, but to secretly exchange it for a
substitute of similar appearance. These exchanges are of continual use
in conjuring; indeed, we may almost say that three parts of its marvels
depend on them. Such an exchange having been made, the substitute
is left in sight of the audience, while the performer, having thus
secretly gained possession of the original, disposes of it as may be
necessary for the purpose of the trick.

With this brief practical introduction, we proceed to describe a few of
the simpler tricks with coins.


You borrow a quarter, and spin it, or invite some other person to spin
it, on the table (which must be without a cloth). You allow it to spin
itself out, and immediately announce, without seeing it, whether it has
fallen head or tail upward. This may be repeated any number of times
with the same result, though you may be blindfolded, and placed at the
further end of the apartment.

The secret lies in the use of a quarter of your own, on one face
of which (say on the “tail” side) you have cut at the extreme edge
a little notch, thereby causing a minute point or tooth of metal to
project from that side of the coin. If a coin so prepared be spun on
the table, and should chance to go down with the notched side upward,
it will run down like an ordinary coin, with a long continuous “whirr,”
the sound growing fainter and fainter till it finally ceases; but if
it should run down with the notched side downward, the friction of
the point against the table will reduce this final whirr to half its
ordinary length, and the coin will finally go down with a sort of
“flop.” The difference of sound is not sufficiently marked to attract
the notice of the spectators, but is perfectly distinguishable by an
attentive ear. If, therefore, you have notched the coin on the “tail”
side, and it runs down slowly, you will cry “tail;” if quickly, “head.”

If you professedly use a borrowed coin, you must adroitly change it for
your own, under pretence of showing how to spin it, or the like.


You take a handful of coins, and invite another person to do the same,
and to ascertain privately whether the number he has taken is odd or
even. You request the company to observe that you have not asked him
a single question, but that you are able, notwithstanding, to divine
and counteract his most secret intentions, and that you will, in proof
of this, yourself take a number of coins and add them to those he has
taken, when, if his number was odd, the total shall be even; if his
number was even, the total shall be odd. Requesting him to drop the
coins he holds into a hat, held on high by one of the company, you drop
in a certain number on your own account. He is now asked whether his
number was odd or even; and, the coins being counted, the total number
proves to be, as you stated, exactly the reverse. The experiment is
tried again and again, with different numbers, but the result is the

The secret lies in the simple arithmetical fact, that if you add an odd
number to an even number, the result will be _odd_; if you add an odd
number to an odd number, the result will be _even_. You have only to
take care, therefore, that the number you yourself add, whether large
or small, shall always be odd.


This is a simple little parlor trick, but will sometimes occasion a
good deal of wonderment. Procure three dimes of the same issue, and
privately stick two of them with wax to the under side of a table,
at about half an inch from the edge, and eight or ten inches apart.
Announce to the company that you are about to teach them how to make
money. Turn up your sleeves, and take the third dime in your right
hand, drawing particular attention to its date and general appearance,
and indirectly to the fact that you have no other coin concealed
in your hands. Turning back the table-cover, rub the dime with the
ball of the thumb backward and forward on the edge of the table. In
this position your fingers will naturally be below the edge. After
rubbing for a few seconds, say, “It is nearly done, for the dime is
getting hot;” and, after rubbing a moment or two longer with increased
rapidity, draw the hand away sharply, bringing away with it one of the
concealed dimes, which you exhibit as produced by the friction. Leaving
the waxed dime on the table, and again showing that you have but one
coin in your hands, repeat the operation with the remaining dime.


Take a number of coins, say from five-and-twenty to thirty, and arrange
them in the form of the letter Q, making the “tail” consist of some
six or seven coins. Then invite some person (during your absence from
the room) to count any number he pleases, beginning at the tip of the
tail and traveling up the _left_ side of the circle, touching each
coin as he does so; then to work back again from the coin at which he
stops (calling such coin _one_), this time, however, not returning down
the tail, but continuing round the opposite side of the circle to the
same number. During this process you retire, but on your return you
indicate with unerring accuracy the coin at which he left off. In order
to show (apparently) that the trick does not depend on any arithmetical
principle, you reconstruct the Q, or invite the spectators to do so,
with a different number of coins, but the result is the same.

The solution lies in the fact that the coin at which the spectator ends
will necessarily be _at the same distance from the root of the tail as
there are coins in the tail itself_. Thus, suppose that there are five
coins in the tail, and that the spectator makes up his mind to count
eleven. He commences from the tip of the tail, and counts up the left
side of the circle. This brings him to the sixth coin beyond the tail.
He then retrogrades, and calling that coin “one,” counts eleven in the
opposite direction. This necessarily brings him to the fifth coin from
the tail on the opposite side, being the length of the tail over and
above those coins which are common to both processes. If he chooses
ten, twelve, or any other number, he will still, in counting back
again, end at the same point.

The rearrangement of the coins, which is apparently only intended to
make the trick more surprising, is really designed, by altering the
length of the tail, to shift the position of the terminating coin. If
the trick were performed two or three times in succession with the
same number of coins in the tail, the spectators could hardly fail to
observe that the _same_ final coin was always indicated, and thereby to
gain a clue to the secret. The number of coins in the circle itself is
quite immaterial.


Have ready two dimes, each slightly waxed on one side. Borrow a dime,
and secretly exchange it for one of the waxed ones, laying the latter,
waxed side uppermost, on the table. Let any one draw two squares of
ordinary card-board. Take them in the left hand, and, transferring them
to the right, press the second waxed dime against the centre of the
undermost, to which it will adhere. Lay this card (which we will call
_a_) on the table, about eighteen inches from the dime which is already
there, and cover such dime with the other card, _b_. Lift both cards a
little way from the table, to show that the dime is under card _a_, and
that there is (apparently) nothing under card _b_. As you replace them,
press lightly on the centre of card _a_. You may now make the dime
appear under whichever card you like, remembering that, if you wish the
dime _not_ to adhere, you must bend the card slightly upward in taking
it from the table; if otherwise, take it up without bending.


For the purpose of this trick you require half a dozen cents, of which
the centre portion has been cut out, leaving each a mere rim of metal.
Upon these is placed a complete cent, and the whole are connected
together by a rivet, running through the whole thickness of the pile.
When placed upon the table, with the complete coin upward, they have
all the appearance of a pile of ordinary pennies, the slight lateral
play allowed by the rivet aiding the illusion. A little leather cap
(shaped something like a fez, with a little button on the top, and
of such a size as to fit loosely over the pile of cents), with an
ordinary die, such as backgammon is played with, complete the necessary

You begin by drawing attention to your magic cap and die, and in order
to exhibit their mystic powers, you request the loan of half a dozen
cents (the number must, of course, correspond with that of your own
pile). While they are being collected, you take the opportunity to slip
the little cap over your prepared pile, which should be placed ready
to hand behind some small object on the table, so as to be unseen by
the spectators. Pressing the side of the cap, you lift the pile with
it, and place the whole together in full view, in close proximity to
the die. The required cents having been now collected, you beg all to
observe that you place the leather cap (which the spectators suppose
to be empty) fairly over the die. Taking the genuine coins in either
hand, you pretend, by one or other of the “passes,” to transfer them
to the other. Holding the hand which is now supposed to contain the
coins immediately above the cap, you announce that they will at your
command pass under the cap, from which the die will disappear to make
room for them. Saying, “One, two, three! Pass!” you open your hand, and
show that the coins have vanished; and then, lifting up the cap by the
button, you show the hollow pile, covering the die and appearing to
be the genuine coins. Once more covering the pile with the cap, you
announce that you will again extract the coins, and replace the die;
and to make the trick still more extraordinary, you will this time
pass the coins right through the table. Placing the hand which holds
the genuine coins beneath the table, and once more saying, “One, two,
three! Pass!” you chink the coins, and, bringing them up, place them on
the table. Again picking up the cap, but this time pressing its sides,
you lift up the hollow pile with it, and disclose the die. Quickly
transferring the cap, without the pile, to the other hand, you place it
on the table, to bear the brunt of examination, while you get rid of
the prepared coins.


This is a small tin box, of the pepper-box or flour-dredger shape,
standing three to four inches high. The “box” portion (as distinguished
from the lid) is made double, consisting of two tin tubes sliding the
one within the other, the bottom being soldered to the inner one only.
By pulling the bottom downward, therefore, you draw down with it the
inner tube, telescope fashion. By so doing you bring into view a slit
or opening at one side of the inner tube, level with the bottom, and of
such a size as to let a half-dollar pass through it easily. The lid is
also specially prepared. It has an inner or false top, and between the
true and false top a loose bit of tin is introduced, which rattles when
the box is shaken, unless you at the same time press a little point of
wire projecting from one of the holes at the top, and so render it,
for the time being, silent. The box is first exhibited with the inner
tube pushed up into its place, and the opening thereby concealed. A
marked coin is borrowed, but either before or after the coin is placed
therein, as may best suit his purpose, the performer secretly draws out
the inner tube a quarter of an inch or so, thus allowing the coin to
slip through into his hand. As he places the box on the table, a very
slight pressure suffices to force the tube up again into its original
position, and close the opening. Having made the necessary disposition
of the coin, the performer takes up the box and shakes it, to show
(apparently) that the coin is still there, pressing on the little point
above mentioned when he desires it to appear that it has departed, and
immediately opening the box to show that it is empty. The pepper-box
will not bear minute inspection, and is in this particular inferior to
the rattle box.


This consists of half a dozen circular wooden boxes, one within the
other, the outer box having much the appearance, but being nearly
double the size, of an ordinary tooth-powder box, and the smallest
being just large enough to contain a quarter. The series is so
accurately made that, by arranging the boxes in due order, one within
the other, and the lids in like manner, you may, by simply putting on
all the lids together, close all the boxes at once, though they can
only be opened one by one.

These are placed, the boxes together and the lids together, anywhere
so as to be just out of sight of the audience. If on your table, they
may be hidden by any more bulky article. Having secretly obtained
possession, by either of the means before described, of a coin which is
ostensibly deposited in some other piece of apparatus, you seize your
opportunity to drop it into the innermost box, and to put on the united
lids. You then bring forward the nest of boxes (which the spectators
naturally take to be one box only), and announce that the twenty-five
cent piece will at your command pass from the place in which it has
been deposited into the box which you hold in your hand, and which you
forthwith deliver to one of the audience for safe keeping. Touching
both articles with the mystic wand, you invite inspection of the first
to show that the money has departed, and then of the box, wherein it
is to be found. The holder opens the box, and finds another, and then
another, and in the innermost of all, the marked coin. Seeing how
long the several boxes have taken to open, the spectators naturally
infer that they must take as long to close, and (apart from the other
mysteries of the trick) are utterly at a loss to imagine how, with the
mere moment of time at your command, you could have managed to insert
the coin, and close so many boxes. If you desire to use the nest for a
coin larger than a quarter, you can make it available for that purpose
by removing beforehand the smallest box.


An easy and effective mode of terminating a money trick is to pass the
marked coin into the centre of a large ball of Berlin wool or worsted,
the whole of which has to be unwound before the coin can be reached.
The _modus operandi_, though perplexing to the uninitiated, is absurdly
simple when the secret is revealed. The only apparatus necessary over
and above the wool (of which you must have enough for a good-sized
ball), is a flat tin tube, three to four inches in length, and just
large enough to allow a quarter or half-dollar (whichever you intend to
use for the trick) to slip through it easily. You prepare for the trick
by winding the wool on one end of the tube, in such manner that when
the whole is wound in a ball, an inch or so of the tube may project
from it. This you place in your pocket, or anywhere out of sight of
the audience. You commence the trick by requesting some one to mark a
coin, which you forthwith exchange by one or other of the means already
described, for a substitute of your own, and leave the latter in the
possession or in view of the spectators, while you retire to fetch your
ball of wool, or simply take it from your pocket. Before producing it,
you drop the genuine coin down the tube into the centre of the ball,
and withdraw the tube, giving the ball a squeeze to remove all trace
of an opening. You then bring it forward, and place it in a glass
goblet or tumbler, which you hand to a spectator to hold. Taking the
substitute coin, you announce that you will make it pass invisibly into
the very centre of the ball of wool, which you accordingly pretend to
do, getting rid of it by means of one or other of the “passes” already
described. You then request a second spectator to take the loose end
of the wool, and to unwind the ball, which, when he has done, the coin
falls out into the goblet.

The only drawback to the trick is the tediousness of unwinding. To
obviate this, some performers use a wheel made for the purpose, which
materially shortens the length of the operation.



This noble animal is constructed as follows:—A muscatel raisin
forms the body, and small portions of the stalk of the same fruit
the head and legs. With a little judgment in the selection of the
pieces of stalk and the mode in which they are thrust into the body,
it is surprising what a lifelike tortoise may be thus produced.
While the work of art in question is being handed round on a plate
for admiration, the artist may further distinguish himself, if the
wherewithal is obtainable, by constructing


The body of the pig consists of a lemon. The shape of this fruit
renders it particularly well adapted for this purpose, the crease or
shoulder at the small end of the lemon being just the right shape to
form the head and neck of the pig. With three or four lemons to choose
from, you cannot fail to find at least one which will answer the
purpose exactly. The mouth and ears are made by cutting the rind with
a penknife, the legs of short ends of lucifer matches, and the eyes
either of black pins, thrust in up to the head, or of grape-stones.


The requirements for this touching picture are an orange, a
pocket-handkerchief or soft table-napkin, and a narrow water goblet.
The orange is first prepared by cutting in the rind with a penknife
the best ears, nose, and mouth which the artist can compass, a couple
of raisin-pips supplying the place of eyes. A pocket-handkerchief is
stretched lightly over the glass, and the prepared orange laid thereon.
The pocket-handkerchief is then moved gently backward and forward
over the top of the glass, imparting to the orange a rolling motion,
and affording a laughable but striking caricature of the agonies of a
seasick passenger.


Take four raisins or bread-pills, and place them about a foot apart, so
as to form a square on the table. Next fold a couple of table-napkins,
each into a pad of five inches square. Take one of these in each hand,
the fingers undermost and the thumb uppermost. Then inform the company
that you are about to give them a lesson in the art of hanky-panky,
etc., and in the course of your remarks bring down the two napkins
carelessly over the two raisins farthest from you. Leave the right-hand
napkin on the table, but, in withdrawing the hand, bring away the
raisin between the second and third fingers, and at the same moment
remarking, “You must watch particularly how many raisins I place under
each napkin,” lift the left-hand napkin (as if merely to show that
there is one raisin only beneath it), and transfer it to the palm of
the outstretched right hand, behind which the raisin is now concealed.
Without any perceptible pause, but at the same time without any
appearance of haste, you replace the folded napkin on raisin No. 2,
and in so doing leave raisin No. 1 beside it. Now take up raisin No 3
(with the right hand). Put the hand under the table, and in doing so
get raisin No. 3 between the second and third fingers, as much _behind_
the hand as possible. Give a rap with the knuckles on the under-side
of the table, at the same time saying, “Pass!” and forthwith pick up
the left-hand napkin with the left hand, showing the raisins 1 and 2
beneath it. All eyes are drawn to the two raisins on the table, and as
the right hand comes into sight from beneath the table the left quietly
transfers the napkin to it, thereby effectually concealing the presence
of raisin No. 3. The napkin is again laid over raisins 1 and 2, and No.
3 is secretly deposited with them. No. 4 is then taken in the right
hand, and the process repeated, when _three_ raisins are naturally
discovered; the napkin being once more replaced, and No. 4 left with
the rest. There are now four raisins under the left-hand napkin, and
none under that on the right hand, though the spectators are persuaded
that there is _one_ under the latter, and only _three_ under the
former. The trick being now practically over, the performer may please
himself as to the form of the _dénouement_ and, having gone through any
appropriate form of incantation, commands the imaginary _one_ to go and
join the other three, which is found to have taken place accordingly.


The performer commences by borrowing two hats, which he places, crown
upward, upon the table, drawing particular attention to the fact that
there is nothing whatever under either of them. He next demands the
loan of the family sugar basin, and requests some one to select from it
a lump of sugar (preferably one of an unusual and easily distinguished
shape), at the same time informing them that, by means of a secret
process, only known to himself, he will undertake to swallow such lump
of sugar before their eyes, and yet, after a few minutes’ interval,
bring it under either of the two hats they may choose. The company,
having been prepared by the last trick to expect some ingenious
piece of sleight-of-hand, are all on the _qui vive_ to prevent any
substitution of another lump of sugar, or any pretence of swallowing
without actually doing so. However, the performer does unmistakably
take the identical lump of sugar chosen and crush it to pieces with his
teeth. He then asks, with unabated confidence, under which of the two
hats he shall bring it, and, the choice having been made, places the
chosen hat on his own head, and in that way fulfills his undertaking.


This is another feat of the genus “sell,” and to produce due effect
should only be introduced after the performer has, by virtue of a
little genuine magic, prepared the company to expect from him something
a little out of the common. He begins by informing the spectators that
he is about to show them a great mystery, a production of nature on
which no human being has ever yet set eye, and which, when they have
once seen, no human being will ever set eyes on again. When the general
interest is sufficiently awakened, he takes a nut from the dish and,
having gravely cracked it, exhibits the kernel, and says, “Here is
an object which you will all admit no human being has ever seen, and
which” (here he puts it into his mouth and gravely swallows it) “I am
quite sure nobody will ever see again.”


A very fair giant, for domestic purposes, may be produced by the simple
expedient of seating a young lad astride on the shoulders of one of
the older members of the company, and draping the combined figure with
a long cloak or Inverness cape. The “head” portion may, of course,
be “made up” as much as you please, the more complete the disguise
the more effective being the giant. A ferocious-looking moustache and
whiskers will greatly add to his appearance. If some ready-witted
and genial member of the party will undertake to act as showman, and
exhibit the giant, holding a lively conversation with him, and calling
attention to his gigantic idiosyncrasies, a great deal of fun may be
produced. The joke should not, however, be very long continued, as the
feelings of the “legs” have to be considered. If too long deprived of
air and light they are apt to wax rebellious, and either carry the
giant in directions he would fain avoid, or even occasionally to strike
altogether, and bring the giant’s days to a sudden and undignified


This is a much more finished deception, and is not unfrequently seen
exhibited at theatres and circuses. The figure is constructed as
follows:—You procure a stout broomstick, four feet long, and on one end
thereof fasten firmly a grotesque pasteboard head, with appropriate
headdress. Next construct an extinguisher-shaped robe of some dark
material (a coarse black muslin or canvas is the best, as allowing a
reasonable amount of light and ventilation to the performer). It should
be gathered in with a frill round the neck of the figure, and should
be of such a length that when the performer stands beneath, with the
stick extended at full length above his neck, it shall all but reach
the ground. The robe should taper gradually outward, from a diameter
of about eight inches at the top to about two feet six at the bottom.
A cane hoop should be fastened horizontally within it at about the
height of the performer’s knees, and another at about the level of his
chin. These keep the garment distended, and give the operator much
greater freedom of movement than he would otherwise enjoy. The lower
hoop should be attached by four pieces of tape to a belt around the
performer’s waist, this arrangement keeping it at a uniform height from
the floor, and preventing the skirt getting under the performer’s feet
in walking.

With a little practice the figure thus composed may be made to go
through a variety of the most eccentric manœuvres. For instance, by
gradually lowering the stick, and at the same time contracting the body
into a crouching position, it may be made to sink to the dimensions of
a dwarf.

By bending the body, and at the same time lowering the stick into a
horizontal position, the figure will be made to salute. While in this
position the head may be made to describe a circle of three or four
feet in diameter, with inexpressibly comical effect. The stick may then
be sloped backward. By way of finale, the figure may be made to pass
its head between its legs, and in that position make its exit. Some
little practice is required to work the “Nondescript” effectively.


Our next three or four sections will be devoted to the description of
the after-dinner menagerie. We will begin with the “What-do-you-Think?”

The exhibitor begins, in proper showman style, “Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the pleasure of exhibiting to your notice the celebrated
‘What-do-you-Think?’ or Giant Uncle-Eater. You have all probably
heard of the Ant-Eater. This is, as you will readily perceive, a
member of the same family, but more so! He measures seven feet from
the tip of his snout to the end of his tail, eight feet back again,
five feet round the small of his waist, and has four feet of his own,
making twenty-four in all. In his natural state he lives chiefly on
blue-bottle flies and mixed pickles, but in captivity it is found
that so rich a diet has a tendency to make him stout, and he is now
fed exclusively on old champagne corks and back numbers of some daily
paper. His voice, which you may perhaps have an opportunity of hearing
(here the ‘What-do-you-Think?’ howls dismally), is in the key of B
flat, and is greatly admired. People come here before breakfast to hear
it, and when they have heard it, they assure us that they never heard
anything like it before. Some have even gone so far as to say that they
never wish to hear anything like it again.” Etc.

The “What-do-you-Think?” is manufactured as follows:—The performer, who
should have black kid gloves on, places on his head a conical paper
cap, worked up with the aid of the nursery paint-box into a rough
semblance of an animal’s head. This being securely fastened on, he
goes down on his hands and knees and a shaggy railway rug (of fur, if
procurable) is thrown over him, and secured round his neck, when the
animal is complete.


A grotesque head, as nearly approaching the required shape as possible,
is securely fastened to the end of a long stick, which is held by the
foremost of the two performers who form the body beneath. To this head
is attached the cloth which is designed to form the body of the animal,
and which should be pinned round the bodies of the two performers. A
rope tail may be added.

A good deal of fun may be produced by the efforts of the animal to
scratch his head with his hind leg, etc.


The Dwarf can scarcely be said to belong to the menagerie, but may
appropriately follow in this place. He is constructed as follows:—A
table, with cover, is placed just in front of the drawn curtains of a
window. The performers, of whom there are two, place themselves behind
the table, the one in front of the other. The foremost either stands,
or kneels on a stool, as may be found most convenient, and rests his
hands, which are encased in a pair of boots, upon the table. These form
the feet of the Dwarf. The second performer stands behind the first,
concealed by the curtain, and passes his arms, which are the only part
of his person in view, over the shoulders of the first performer, to
form the arms of the dwarf. The above arrangements are, of course, made
before the company are admitted into the room. The dwarf then proceeds
to make a speech or sing a song, which the arms accompany with (as a
rule) singularly inappropriate gestures. Thus, at a very impressive
portion of (say) Hamlet’s soliloquy, the right hand will be seen to
tweak the nose violently, or even to “take a sight” at the assembled
company. The arms have even been known to stop the eloquence of the
mouth, by violently cramming a pocket-handkerchief into it. The legs
are equally eccentric in their behavior, the Dwarf not hesitating, on
an emergency, to scratch his nose with his foot, and so on.

The representation of the Dwarf demands a little practice, but, if
it is well worked, the effect produced will fully repay the trouble
expended in arranging it. A child’s pinafore will be found the most
appropriate garment.


This is a modern version of the old “Game of Contraries.” The leader
brings forward two hats; one he places on his own head, and hands the
other to one of the company, with whom he enters into conversation.
The person addressed must stand when the leader sits, and sit when he
stands, take off his hat when the leader puts on his, and _vice versa_.
A failure in any of these particulars is punishable by a forfeit. The
conversation may be somewhat as follows:

Leader (standing and wearing his own hat). Allow me to offer you a hat,
sir. (Sits down.)

Victim (standing up). I am much obliged to you, but I already have one.

Leader. Scarcely so becoming as this one, I think. But won’t you try
it on? (Stands up, and victim sits down.) Allow me to place it on your

Victim. Not at present, thank you, though I quite admit it is a very
charming hat.

Leader (throwing himself into a chair, and fanning himself with his
hat). Dear me, how very hot the room is! Pray don’t rise on my account.
(Victim stands up, but omits to put on his hat, whereby he incurs a
forfeit, and the leader passes on to endeavor to entrap some other


This is a capital game for everybody but the victim, and produces much
fun. Some one who does not know the game is chosen to be Knight of
the Whistle, and is commanded to kneel down and receive the honor of
knighthood, which the leader (armed with a light cane, the drawing-room
poker, or other substitute for a sword) confers in due form.

While placing him in position, opportunity is taken to attach to his
back, by means of a bent pin or otherwise, a piece of string about a
foot in length, to which is attached a small light whistle. Having
been duly dubbed, in order to complete his dignity, he is informed
that he must now go in quest of the Whistle, which is in the hands
of one of the company, and will be sounded at intervals, in order to
guide him in his search. Meanwhile the other players gather in a circle
round him, making believe to pass an imaginary object from hand to
hand. The victim naturally believes that this imaginary object must be
the long-lost Whistle, and makes a dash for it accordingly, when the
player who happens to be behind his back blows the actual whistle, and
instantly drops it again. Round flies the unhappy Knight, and makes a
fresh dash to seize the Whistle, but in vain. No sooner has he turned
to a fresh quarter than the ubiquitous Whistle again sounds behind his

If the game is played smartly, and care taken not to _pull_ upon the
cord, the Knight may often be kept revolving for a considerable period
before he discovers the secret.

Sometimes a lady is chosen to “dub” the intended Knight, and the
following piece of doggerel is repeated, the leader prompting:—

  Lady. Why do you kneel thus low to implore?

  Gentleman. That I may remain a mere gent no more.

  Lady. How can I help your being a gent?

  Gentleman. Dub me a Knight—you shall not repent.

  Lady. If I should yield to your request,
  What knightly duty will please you best?

  Gentleman. To wait on ladies from morn till night,
  And meet their foes in deadly fight.

  Lady. Will you promise to heed all I may say,
  And my will or whim henceforth to obey?

  Gentleman. Yes, whatever you bid me do
  Shall be my law—I belong to you.

  Lady. Go, then, and be no longer blind,
  And the troublesome Knight of the Whistle find.

The lady then strikes his shoulder with her fan or handkerchief, and
says, “Rise up, Sir——”

In this case the victim is not told, but is left to discover that he
himself is the Knight of the Whistle.


This is another “sell” of almost childish simplicity, but we have seen
people desperately puzzled over it, and even “give it up” in despair.

The leader takes a stick (or poker) in his left hand, thence transfers
it to his right, and thumps three times on the floor, saying, “He
can do little who can’t do this.” He then hands the stick to another
person, who, as he supposes, goes through exactly the same performance,
but if he does not know the game, is generally told, to his disgust,
that he has incurred a forfeit, his imitation not having been exact.

The secret lies in the fact that the stick, when passed on, is first
received in the left hand, and thence transferred to the right before
going through.


Two of the company agree privately upon a word (which as before, should
be one susceptible of two or three meanings), and interchange remarks
tending to throw light upon it. The rest of the players do their best
to guess the word, but when either of them fancies he has succeeded,
he does not publicly announce his guess, but makes such a remark as to
indicate to the two initiated that he has discovered their secret. If
they have any doubt that he has really guessed the word, they challenge
him, i. e., require him to name it in a whisper. If his guess proves to
be right, he joins in the conversation, and assists in throwing light
on the subject; but if, on the other hand, he is wrong, he must submit
to have a handkerchief thrown over his head, and so remain, until by
some more fortunate observation he shall prove that he really possesses
the secret.

We will give an example. Mr. A. and Miss B. have agreed on “Bed” as the
word, and proceed to throw light upon it; alternating upon its various
meanings of a place of repose, a part of a garden, or the bed of a

Miss B. I don’t know what your opinion may be, but I am never tired of

Mr. A. Well, for my part, I am never in a hurry, either to get to it or
to leave it.

Miss B. How delightful it is after a long tiring day!

Mr. A. Yes. But it is a pleasure that soon palls. The most luxurious
person does not care for too much of it at a stretch.

Miss B. Oh! don’t you think so? In early spring for instance, with the
dew upon the flowers!

Mr. A. Ah! you take the romantic view. But how would you like it
beneath some rapid torrent, or some broad majestic river.

Miss C. (thinks she sees her way, and hazards a remark). Or in a

Mr. A. I beg your pardon. Please tell me, in a whisper, what you
suppose the word to be?

Miss C. (whispers). Fish! What! isn’t that right?

Mr. A. I am afraid you must submit to a temporary eclipse. (Throws her
handkerchief over her face.)

Mr. A. to Miss B. You mentioned spring, I think. For my own part, I
prefer feathers.

Mr. D. (rashly concludes, from the combination of “spring” and
“feathers,” that spring-chickens must be referred to). Surely you would
have them plucked?

Mr. A. (looks puzzled). I think not. May I ask you to name your guess?
Oh, no, quite out. I must trouble you for your pocket-handkerchief.

Miss B. It is curious, isn’t it, that they must be made afresh every

Mr. A. So it is; though I confess it never struck me in that light
before. I don’t fancy, however, that old Brown the gardener makes his
quite so often.

Miss B. You may depend that he has it made for him, though.

Miss C. (from under the handkerchief). At any rate, according as he
makes it, his fate will be affected accordingly. You know the proverb?

Mr. A. (removing the handkerchief). You have fairly earned your
release. By the way, do you remember an old paradox upon this subject,
“What nobody cares to give away, yet nobody wishes to keep?”

Miss E. Ah! now you have let out the secret. I certainly don’t wish to
keep mine for long together, but I would willingly give it away if I
could get a better.

Miss B. Tell me your guess. (Miss E. whispers.) Yes, you have hit it.
I was afraid Mr. A.’s last “light” was rather too strong.

And so the game goes on, until every player is in the secret, or the
few who may be still in the dark “give it up” and plead for mercy.
This, however, is a rare occurrence, for, as the company in general
become acquainted with the secret, the “lights” are flashed about in a
rash and reckless manner, till the task of guessing becomes almost a
matter of course to an ordinarily acute person.


Before quitting the subject of fireside amusements, we may give a
passing mention to the subject of the curious optical illusion called
“The Multiplying Shadows,” sometimes also known, from one form in which
it is presented, as The Witches’ Dance. A dummy figure (suppose that of
a witch, riding on the conventional broomstick) is suspended by fine
threads or wires on the side of the screen remote from the spectators.
Behind this are ranged, one behind the other, and at right angles to
the screen, a row of lighted candles. Being all in the same line,
they throw one shadow only on the screen. The figure is now made to
oscillate slightly, so as to impart some little motion to the shadow.
One of the candles is now removed from its place in the row, and waved
gently about, now high, now low, the effect to the spectators being
that a second shadow springs out of the first, and dances about it on
the screen. A second and third candle is then removed, and waved up
and down, each candle as it leaves its place in the line producing a
separate shadow. It is well to have three or four assistants, each
taking a candle in each hand.


For this trick you must use a silk handkerchief. Twisting it
rope-fashion, and grasping it by the middle with both hands, you
request one of the spectators to tie the two ends together. He does
so, but you tell him he has not tied them half tight enough, and you
yourself pull them still tighter. A second and a third knot are made in
the same way, the handkerchief being drawn tighter by yourself after
each knot is made. Finally, taking the handkerchief, and covering the
knots with the loose part, you hand it to someone to hold. Breathing on
it, you request him to shake out the handkerchief, when all the knots
are found to have disappeared.

When the performer apparently tightens the knot, he in reality only
strains one end of the handkerchief, grasping it above and below the
knot. This pulls that end of the handkerchief out of its twisted
condition and into a straight line, round which the other end of the
handkerchief remains twisted; in other words, converts the knot into
a slip-knot. After each successive knot he still straightens this
same end of the handkerchief. This end, being thus made straight,
would naturally be left longer than the other, which is twisted round
and round it. This tendency the performer counteracts by drawing it
partially back through the slip-knot at each pretended tightening. When
he finally covers over the knots, which he does with the left hand,
he holds the straightened portion of the handkerchief, immediately
behind the knots, between the first finger and thumb of the right
hand, and therewith, in the act of covering over the knots, draws this
straightened portion completely out of the slip-knot.


The Dancing Sailor is a figure cut out of cardboard, eight or nine
inches in height, and with its arms and legs cut out separately, and
attached to the trunk with thread in such a manner as to hang perfectly
free. The mode of exhibiting it is as follows:—The performer, taking
a seat facing the company, with his legs slightly apart, places the
figure on the ground between them. As might be expected, it falls flat
and lifeless, but after a few mesmeric passes it is induced to stand
upright, though without visible support, and, on a lively piece of
music being played, dances to it, keeping time, and ceasing as soon as
the music ceases.

The secret lies in the fact that, from leg to leg of the performer, at
about the height of the figure from the ground, is fixed (generally by
means of a couple of bent pins), a fine black silk thread, of eighteen
or twenty inches in length. This allows him to move about without any
hindrance. On each side of the head of the figure is a little slanting
cut, tending in a perpendicular direction, and about half an inch in
length. The divided portions of the cardboard are bent back a little,
thus forming two “hooks,” so to speak, at the sides of the head. When
the performer takes his seat, as before mentioned, the separation
of his legs draws the silk comparatively taut, though, against a
moderately dark background, it remains wholly invisible. When he first
places the figure on the ground, he does so simply, and the figure
naturally falls. He makes a few sham mesmeric passes over it, but still
it falls. At the third and fourth attempt, however, he places it so
that the little hooks already mentioned just catch the thread, and the
figure is thus kept upright. When the music commences, the smallest
motion, or pretence of keeping time with the feet is enough to start
the sailor in a vigorous hornpipe.


These are by no means of modern origin: the Sphinx puzzled the brains
of some of the heroes of antiquity, and even Alexander the Great, as it
is written, made several essays to untie the knot (a practical riddle)
with which Gordius, the Phrygian king, who had been raised from the
plow to the throne, tied up his implements of husbandry in the temple,
in so intricate a manner, that universal monarchy was promised to
the man who could undo it: after having been repeatedly baffled, he,
at length, drew his sword, considering that he was entitled to the
fulfillment of the promise, by cutting the Gordian knot.

The modern riddle or conundrum, however, is a simpler affair, invented
to amuse. We append a list of some that will keep the company in good
humor. The key or solution appears on a later page.


1. He loved her. She hated him, but, woman-like, she would have him,
and she was the death of him. Who was he?

2. Why is life the greatest of riddles?

3. If a church be on fire, why has the organ the smallest chance of

4. Why should a sailor be the best authority as to what goes on in the

5. What does a cat have that no other animal has?

6. When is a man behind the times?

7. What is the difference between a baby and a pair of boots?

8. Use me well, and I’m everybody; scratch my back, and I’m nobody.

9. What word becomes shorter by adding a syllable to it?

10. If a stupid fellow was going up for a competitive examination, why
should he study the letter P?

11. Why is buttermilk like something that never happened?

12. Why is the letter O the noisiest of all the vowels?

13. Why is a Member of Parliament like a shrimp?

14. Why is a pig a paradox?

15. Why is a bad half-dollar like something said in a whisper?

16. Why do black sheep eat less than white ones?

17. Why is a barn-door fowl sitting on a gate like a halfpenny?

18. Why is a man searching for the Philosopher’s Stone like Neptune?

19. What is the difference between a much-worn fourpennypiece and a

20. Why is the nose placed in the middle of the face?

21. What is most like a hen stealing?

22. What is worse than “raining cats and dogs?”

23. When is butter like Irish children?

24. Why is a chronometer like thingumbob?

25. Of what color is grass when covered with snow?

26. Name in two letters the destiny of all earthly things?

27. What is even better than presence of mind in a railway accident?

28. What word contains all the vowels in due order?

29. Why is a caterpillar like a hot roll?

30. What is that which occurs twice in a moment, once in a minute, and
not once in a thousand years?

31. What is that which will give a cold, cure a cold, and pay the
doctor’s bill?

32. What is that which is neither flesh nor bone, yet has four fingers
and a thumb?

33. What is the difference between a rhododendron and a cold

34. Why has man more hair than woman?

35. What is that which no one wishes to have, yet no one cares to lose?

36. Why is the letter G like the sun?

37. Why is the letter D like a wedding-ring?

38. What sweetens the cup of life, yet, divested of its end, embitters
the most grateful draught?

39. Why should ladies not learn French?

40. Which tree is most suggestive of kissing?

41. What act of folly does a washerwoman commit?

42. Why should a cabman be brave?

43. What is the most difficult surgical operation?

44. Why is it difficult to flirt on board the P. and O. steamers?

45. What letter made Queen Bess mind her P’s and Q’s?

46. Why is it an insult to a cock-sparrow to mistake him for a pheasant?

47. What is that from which the whole may be taken, and yet some will

48. Why is blind-man’s buff like sympathy?

49. When may a man be said to have four hands?

50. Why is it easy to break into an old man’s house?

51. Why should you not go to London by the 12.50 train?

52. Why should the male sex avoid the letter A?

53. When does a man sneeze three times?

54. What relation is the doormat to the scraper?

55. Why does a piebald pony never pay toll?

56. When does a steamboat captain say that he is what he is not?

57. Why is the letter S like a sewing-machine?

58. Why need France never fear an inundation?

59. What is the difference between a cow and a rickety chair?

60. What flower most resembles a bull’s mouth?

61. What does a stone become in the water?

62. If the alphabet were invited out to dine, what time would U, V, W,
X, Y, and Z go?

63. Why are sailors bad horsemen?

64. When was beef-tea first introduced into England?

65. What letter is the pleasantest to a deaf woman?

66. Why are ladies like churches?

67. When is love a deformity?

68. Why is a mouse like hay?

69. Why is a madman equal to two men?

70. Why are good resolutions like ladies fainting in church?

71. Which is the merriest letter in the alphabet?

72. Why is a horse like the letter O?

73. What is the difference between a bankrupt and a feather-bed?

74. What is that word of five letters from which, if you take away two,
only one remains?

75. Why is the letter B like a fire?

76. What word is pronounced quicker by adding a syllable to it?

77. Which animal travels with the most, and which with the least,

78. How many sticks go to the building of a crow’s-nest?

79. Which is the best-behaved food, cake or wine?

80. Which member of Congress wears the largest hat?

81. Why are bakers the most self-denying people?

82. Which of the constellations reminds you of an empty fireplace?

83. What relation is that child to its own father who is not its own
father’s own son?

84. When does a pig become landed property?

85. Which is the heavier, the full or the new moon?

86. What is the best way to make a coat last?

87. Why is an alligator the most deceitful of animals?

88. Why are fowls the most profitable of live stock?

89. What is that which comes with a coach, goes with a coach, is of no
use whatever to the coach, and yet the coach can’t go without it?

90. If your uncle’s sister is not your aunt, what relation is she to

91. Why does a duck put its head under water?

92. Why does it take it out again?

93. What vegetable products are the most important in history?

94. Why is the letter W like a maid of honor?

95. What letter is always invisible, yet never out of sight?

96. What is an old lady in the middle of a river like?

97. Why are E and I the happiest of the vowels?

98. Why is the letter F like a cow’s tail?

99. On which side of a pitcher is the handle?

100. What is higher and handsomer when the head is off?

101. Why is a pig in a parlor like a house on fire?

102. What is the keynote to good breeding?

103. What is the best thing to make in a hurry?

104. What Queen Mary, of England, had before, poor thing! what King
William had behind, poor thing! what Queen Anne never had at all, poor

105. What do you add to nine in order to make it three less?

106. Why is a tallow-chandler like a villain exposed?

107. What is it that walks with its head downwards?

108. Why could not Lord Beaconsfield insure his life?

109. Why is a lame dog like a schoolboy adding six and seven together?

110. Why is the Brooklyn Bridge like merit?

111. What we all require, what we all give, what we occasionally ask
for, yet very seldom take?

112. A man remarks, looking at a portrait, “Uncles and brothers have I
none, but that man’s father is my father’s son.” What relation is the
original of the portrait to the speaker?


  Formed long ago, yet made to-day;
    Employed while others sleep;
  What few would wish to give away,
    Yet no one cares to keep?

114. What did Adam first plant in the Garden of Eden?

115. Four men went to sea on a marble slab. The first had no eyes, the
second had no hands, the third had no legs, and the fourth was naked.
The first saw a bird, the second shot it, the third ran and picked it
up, and the fourth put it in his pocket. What is that?

116. What is Majesty, deprived of its externals?

117. If you saw an egg on a music-stool, what great poem would it
remind you of?


  Can you tell me why
  A hypocrite’s eye
  Could better descry
  Than you or I
  On how many toes
  A pussy-cat goes?

119. How would you make a thin man fat?

120. What is the difference between a young maid of sixteen and an old
maid of sixty?

121. When was fruit known to use bad language?

122. If a man gets up on a donkey, where should he get down?

123. Why were Adam and Eve a grammatical anomaly?

124. What is lengthened by being cut at both ends?

125. Why are men like gooseberries?

126. Why should you never write a secret with a quill-pen?

127. “I am what I am; I am not what I follow. If I were what I follow,
I should not be what I am.” What is it?

128. Which is the most cautious of birds?

129. Which is the strongest day of the week?

130. If a pig wanted to build himself a house, how would he set about

131. Why does a donkey prefer thistles to oats?

132. Where can you always find sympathy?

133. What is the difference between a lady and a looking-glass?

134. Why need a man never starve in the desert?

135. Why are oysters the best food for dyspeptic people?


  If by chance a man falls
  From the top of St. Paul’s,
  What does he fall against?

137. What was Joan of Arc made of?

138. Why is a kitten biting her own tail like a good manager?

139. Why is the figure 9 like a peacock?

140. Why did Adam bite the apple when Eve gave it to him?

141. Which are the most contented birds?

142. What animals have only one leg between them?


143. In my _first_ my _second_ sat; my _third_ and _fourth_ I ate.


  Cut off my head, and singular I seem;
    Cut off my tail, and plural I appear;
  Cut off both head and tail, and—wondrous to relate!—
   Although my middle’s left, there’s nothing there.

  What is my first? It is a sounding sea,
   What is my last? It is a noble river,
  And in their mingling depths I sportive play,
   Parent of sweetest sounds, though mute for ever.


  Cato and Chloe, combined well together,
  Make a drink not amiss in very cold weather.


  My _first’s_ the joy of every cozy dame,
  And in my _second_ o’er to England came.
  My _whole_ of every household forms a part.
  Thou art not Science, but thou teachest art.


  My _first_ is won, and never lost,
    Reversed, it’s now before ye;
  My _next_, reversed, is red as blood
    In veins of Whig or Tory.

  My _whole’s_ so wond’rous strange, that I
   Must candidly confess it,
  Though you’re ingenious, it will be
   A wonder if you guess it.


  If I had been in Stanley’s place,
  When Marmion urged him to the chase,
  A thing you quickly would espy
  Would bring a tear to many an eye.


  You eat me, you drink me, deny it who can,
  I’m sometimes a woman and sometimes a man.


  The beginning of eternity, the end of time and space,
  The beginning of every end, and the end of every place.

151. My _first_ I hope you are; my _second_ I see you are; my _whole_ I
know you are.

152. My _first_ is French, my _second_ English, and my _whole_ Latin.


  My _first_ the fair Ophelia gave the Queen;
  My _next_ a steed, as ancient legends make it;
  If fair Ophelia’s gift my _whole_ had been,
  Pray, would her majesty do right to take it?

The following fine example of the charade is from the facile pen of W.
M. Praed:


  “The canvas rattled on the mast
     As rose the swelling sail,
   And gallantly the vessel passed
     Before the cheering gale.
   And on my _first_ Sir Florice stood,
     As the far shore faded now,
   And looked upon the lengthening flood
     With a pale and pensive brow.
   ‘When I shall bear thy silken glove
     Where the proudest Moslems flee,
   My ladye-love, my ladye-love,
     Oh, waste one thought on me!’

  “Sir Florice lay in a dungeon-cell,
     With none to soothe or save,
   And high above his chamber fell
     The echo of the wave;
   But still he struck my _second_ there,
     And bade its tones renew
   Those hours when every hue was fair,
     And every hope was true.
   ‘If still your angel footsteps move
     Where mine may never be,
   My ladye-love, my ladye-love,
     Oh, dream one dream of me!’

  “Not long the Christian captive pined,
     My whole was round his neck,
   A sadder necklace ne’er was twined
     So white a skin to deck.
   Queen Folly ne’er was yet content
     With gems or golden store;
   But he who wears this ornament
     Will rarely sigh for more.
   ‘My spirit to the heaven above,
     My body to the sea,
   My heart to thee, my ladye-love,
     Oh, weep one tear for me!’”

We cannot better conclude than with the beautiful, though hackneyed,
enigma on the letter H, one of the most perfect ever written. The honor
of its authorship belongs to Miss Ferrier.


  “’Twas whispered in Heaven, ’twas muttered in Hell,
   And Echo caught faintly the sound as it fell;
   On the confines of Earth ’twas permitted to rest,
   And the depths of the Ocean its presence confessed.
   ’Twill be found in the sphere when ’tis riven asunder,
   Be seen in the lightning, and heard in the thunder;
   ’Twas allotted to man with his earliest breath,
   Attends at his birth, and awaits him in death;
   Presides o’er his happiness, honor and health,
   Is the prop of his house and the end of his wealth.
   In the heaps of the miser ’tis hoarded with care,
   But is sure to be lost by his prodigal heir.
   It begins every hope, every wish it must bound;
   With the husbandman toils, with the monarch is crowned;
   Without it the soldier, the sailor may roam,
   But woe to the wretch who expels it from home!
   In the whisper of conscience its voice will be found,
   Nor e’en in the whirlwind of passion be drowned.
   ’Twill not soften the heart; but, though deaf to the ear,
   ’Twill make it acutely and instantly hear.
   In shade let it rest—like a delicate flower,
   Or breathe on it softly, it dies in an hour!”


1. A flea.

2. Because we must all give it up.

3. Because the engine cannot play upon it.

4. Because he has been to sea (see).

5. Kittens.

6. When he’s a weak (week) back.

7. One I was and the other I wear.

8. A looking-glass.

9. Short.

10. Because P makes “ass” “pass.”

11. Because it hasn’t a curd (occurred).

12. Because all the rest are in-audible.

13. Because he has M. P. at the end of his name.

14. Because it is killed first and cured afterward.

15. Because it is uttered, but not allowed (aloud).

16. Because there are fewer of them.

17. Because its head is on one side and its tail on the other.

18. Because he is a-seeking (sea-king) what never was.

19. Two-and-twopence.

20. Because it’s the scenter (centre).

21. A cock robbing (cock-robin).

22. Hailing omnibuses.

23. When it is made into little pats.

24. Because it’s a watch-you may-call-it.

25. Invisible green.

26. D K.

27. Absence of body.

28. Facetiously.

29. Because it’s the grub that makes the butterfly.

30. The letter M.

31. A draught (draft).

32. A glove.

33. The one is a rhododendron and the other is a cold apple-dumpling.
(You surely wouldn’t wish for a greater difference than that.)

34. Because he’s naturally her suitor (hirsuter).

35. A bald head.

36. Because it is the centre of light.

37. Because _we_ cannot be _wed_ without it.

38. Hope—hop.

39. Because one tongue is enough for any woman.

40. Yew. (This is a riddle which should be used with due precaution.)

41. Putting out tubs to catch soft water when it rains hard.

42. Because none but the brave deserve the fair (fare).

43. To take the jaw out of a woman.

44. Because all the mails (males) are tied up in bags.

45. R made her (Armada).

46. Because it is making game of him.

47. The word “wholesome.”

48. Because it is a fellow feeling for another.

49. When he doubles his fists.

50. Because his gait (gate) is broken and his locks are few.

51. Because it is ten to one if you catch it.

52. Because it makes men mean.

53. When he cannot help it.

54. A step farther (step-father).

55. Because his master pays it for him.

56. When he says he’s a bacca’-stopper (ease her, back her, stop her).

57. Because it makes needles needless.

58. Because in France all the water is “l’eau.”

59. The one gives milk and the other gives whey (way).

60. A cowslip.

61. Wet.

62. They would go after tea (T).

63. Because they ride on the main (mane).

64. When Henry VIII. dissolved the Pope’s bull.

65. A, because it makes her hear.

66. Because there is no living without them.

67. When it is all on one side.

68. Because the cat’ll (cattle) eat it.

69. Because he is one beside himself.

70. Because the sooner they are carried out the better.

71. U, because it is always in fun.

72. Because Gee (G) makes it Go.

73. The one is “hard up” and the other soft down.

74. Stone.

75. Because it makes oil boil.

76. Quick.

77. The elephant the most, because he never travels without his trunk.
The fox and the cock the least, because they have only one brush and
comb between them.

78. None; they are all carried to it.

79. Cake, which is only occasionally “tipsy,” while wine is always

80. The one who has the largest head.

81. Because they sell what they knead (need) themselves.

82. The Great Bear (grate bare).

83. His daughter.

84. When he is turned into a meadow.

85. The new moon; because the full moon is a great deal lighter.

86. Make the waistcoat and trousers first.

87. Because he takes you in with an open countenance.

88. Because for every grain they give a peck.

89. Noise.

90. Your mother.

91. For divers reasons.

92. For sun-dry reasons.

93. Dates.

94. Because it is always in waiting.

95. The letter I.

96. Like to be drowned.

97. Because they are in happiness, while all the rest are in purgatory.

98. Because it is the end of beef.

99. The outside.

100. Your pillow.

101. Because the sooner it is put on the better.

102. B natural.

103. Haste.

104. The letter M.

105. The letter S. S(IX).

106. Because his wicked works are brought to light.

107. A nail in a shoe.

108. Because no one was clever enough to make out his policy.

109. Because he puts down three and carries one.

110. Because it is very often passed over.

111. Advice.

112. His son.

113. A bed.

114. His foot.

115. A lie, of course.

116. A jest.

117. “The Lay of the Last Minstrel.”


  A man used to deceit.
  Can best counterfeit (count her feet);
  And so, I suppose,
  He could best count her toes.

119. Throw him out of a second-story window, and let him come down

120. The one is happy and careless the other cappy and hairless.

121. When the first apple cursed the first pair (pear).

122. From a swan’s breast.

123. Because they were two relatives without an antecedent.

124. A ditch.

125. Because women make fools of them.

126. Because it is apt to split.

127. A footman.

128. The dove, because she minds her peas and coos (p’s and q’s).

129. Sunday, because all the others are _weak_ days.

130. Tie a knot in his tail, and call it a pig’s tie (pig-stye).

131. Because he’s an ass.

132. In the dictionary.

133. The one speaks without reflecting, the other reflects without

134. Because he can always eat the sand which is (sandwiches) there.

135. Because they die just (digest) before they eat them.

136. Against his inclination.

137. Maid of Orleans, of course.

138. Because she makes both ends meet.

139. Because without a tail it is nothing.

140. Because he had no knife.

141. Rooks, because they never complain without caws.

142. A pair of post-horses (which have only the postilion’s leg between

143. Insatiate.

144. Cod.

145. Chocolate.

146. Tea-chest.

147. Won-der.

148. On! Stanley! on!—On-i-on.

149. A toast.

150. The letter E.

151. Wel-come.

152. La-tin.

153. Rhu-barb.

154. Bow-string.

155. The letter H.



1. A child’s plaything.

2. What we all do at every meal.

3. A disorder incident to man and horse.

4. Nothing, twice yourself, and fifty.

5. What we should always be ready to do to persons fighting, and the
top of a house.

6. Equality and decay.

7. A celebrated English architect.

8. A tailor’s implement.

9. A lever.

10. An instrument for raising weights.

11. Three-eighths of a monthly publication, with a baked dish.

12. A valuable species of corn, and a very necessary part of it.

13. A cheated person.

14. A distant country.

15. Spoil half a score.

16. The defence of a bridge.

17. An instrument of diversion for men and boys.

18. A piece of wood, and a fashionable name for a street.

19. To cut off, and a vowel.

20. A piece of land, and a good thing which it produces.

21. What we say a person has got when he falls into the water.

22. An Animal which a Jew must not eat, a vowel, and a preposition.


  I am found in a jail; I belong to a fire;
  And am seen in a gutter abounding in mire:
  Put my last letter third, and then ’twill be found
  I belong to a king, without changing my sound.


  Ye rebus wits,
  Now mind your hits;
  For your’s the task
  My name to unmask:
  A fruit we eat,
  As sauce to meat;
  And with fish too,
  That wants a _gout_;
  One letter, pray,
  Take quite away;
  A point of land
  You’ll understand
  Which sailors dread
  Too near their lead,
  But when embay’d,
  Enjoy its shade:
  One more letter
  Then unfetter
  The thing that’s left,
  When thus bereft,
  Is worn by all,
  Both great and small,
  From king and queen
  To beggar mean.


1. Ten tea pots.

2. Sly Ware.

3. It’s in charity.

4. Golden land.

5. Great helps.

6. Rare mad frolic.

7. Honor est a Nilo.

8. Hard case.

9. Claims Arthur’s seat.

10. No, appear not at Elba.

11. No more stars.

12. O poison Pitt.

13. I hire parsons.

14. Got as a clue.

15. To love ruin.

16. Best in prayer.

17. Nay, I repent it.

18. Veto. Un corse la finira.

19. Comical trade.

20. Spare him not.

21. Real fun.

22. In Magic tale.

23. Evil fast.

24. Yes Milton.

25. ’Tis ye govern.

26. See a pug dog.

27. A just master.

28. Made in pint pots.

29. A hot pen.

30. I call many sot.

31. A nice Pet.

32. The bar.

33. The law.

34. Truly he’ll see war.

35. I send into Siam.

36. True, I am in.

37. Hire a prison.

38. There we sat.



A creature was formerly seen in England, which has lately been expelled
from it, and which has some very peculiar properties appertaining to
it. It stands upon one leg,—on which, without any body, is seen a great
square head. It has three eyes, of which the centre is by far the
largest; indeed so much so, that it has before now contained two more.
The head is of a very peculiar construction, but exactly suited to its
design: whenever it is about to be used, it is separated in halves,
and, when reconnected, is held up to the gaze of an insolent rabble.
All the notice, however, which it generally attracts, results from
its being the effectual means of exhibiting another to the gaze of a
hostile crowd. Such is this when entire; but when divided, and cut to
pieces, a curious and careful observer may collect all that follows, by
a selection and appropriate arrangement of its fragments.

A dose of medicine conveyed in a very agreeable manner, as, however
nauseous its ingredients may have originally been, it is quite
tasteless. Such a state of the physical powers as requires such a dose.
A part of the face, of a color quite different from the rest, and the
more handsome, the greater the difference. A public record on which
many are very anxious to get their names entered; or, to descend from
great things to small, a substance that is devoured every morning for
breakfast. A river which flows through a very delightful and agreeable
part of Europe. What curious people are very fond of doing. What a
candidate, for your vote at the next general election, if he should
think it worth his while, will demand. A very poetical portion of the
watery element, which murmurs and meanders in the description of many
a poetaster. A quality of resinous substances. A female nickname.
What is very necessary to be done occasionally in your shrubbery.
An exclamation of surprise. A flower displaying more to admire than
Solomon in all his glory. To tear. The expressed juice of olives,—and
its adjective. A conjunction. And two initial letters, whose reiterated
sounds have drowned the voices of strutting monarchs and ephemeral


  Ye who in mystic lines delight,
  Unveil and bring me forth to light,
  Nor deem me tiresome, if my song
  Should, like myself, prove wondrous long.
  It may perhaps excite your mirth,
  That animals to me give birth;
  Yet vegetables oftener claim
  The honor to produce the same.
  One time as white as snow I’m seen,
  Another, red, blue, yellow, green;
  The friendly brown I also wear,
  Or in a sable garb appear:
  The rhetorician owns my power,
  For though well dressed with many a flower
  His florid speech would gain no praise,
  But, losing me, contempt would raise.
  But now my name you surely know,
  Dissected in the lines below.
  That power to which we all must bend;
  And what we call a valued friend;
  A goddess of revengeful fame;
  And Abram’s near relation’s name;
  Two articles in common use;
  And what we oft complain of news;
  A weed which grew upon the plain,
  Suffer’d till harvest to remain;
  Two quadrupeds will next appear,
  Which both conduce to sport and cheer;
  A third, a noxious little creature;
  And what adds charms to simple nature;
  A fruit; a color; and a date
  A firm support of Britain’s state;
  What high, yet low, we wish to be;
  A term for one who goes to sea;
  One thing another oft put over;
  Two things by this you may discover,—
  To make my hint somewhat more plain,
  One keeps the other from the rain;
  The vital spring of every woe;
  And every pleasure that we know;
  What’s always done whene’er we walk;
  And what we do when others talk;
  With what we’ve done when they give o’er
  Two notes in music next explore;
  What, join’d to _home_, is sent about,
  As invitation to a rout;
  What oft we see upon the plain;
  Two little words denoting pain,
  Or quick surprise, or laughter vain
  A sign of sorrow; mark of spirit;
  What envy bears superior merit;
  A fragrant shrub we oft infuse:
  Two pronouns in most frequent use;
  A passion which the envious feel;
  A weapon pointed oft with steel;
  One of the properties of stone;
  A term for misanthrope well known;
  What oft in summer months we feel;
  What aids when secrets you reveal;
  What sinful deeds should ever be;
  What’s daily done by you and me.
  If all these meanings you expound,
  Just five and forty will be found.


  I was before the world begun,
  Before God made the rising sun;
  Before He made the lesser lights
  To drive the darkness from the nights.
  I’m at the bottom of the sea,
  And I am in immensity;
  The daily motion of the earth
  Dispels me, and to me gives birth;
  You cannot see me if you try,
  Although I’m oft before your eye.
  Such is my whole. But for one part
  You’ll find in taste I’m rather tart;—
  Now I become th’ abode of men,—
  And now for meaner things, a pen;
  I am a man who lives by drinking,—
  Anon I keep a weight from sinking;
  To take me, folks go far and near,
  I am what children like to hear;
  I am a shining star on high,
  And I’m its pathway through the sky;
  I take the strength from iron and steel,—
  Am sometimes left behind a wheel;
  I am a term of due respect,—
  Am used in English to connect;
  I’m made to represent a head,—
  Am found on every loaf of bread.
  Such are the many forms I take,
  All these, and many more I make;
  Yet, after all, so strange am I,
  Soon as you know me, then I die.


  The man of letters finds me in his books;
  The angler by the side of babbling brooks;
  The sportsman seeks me with his dog and gun;
  In foreign lands the traveler thinks I’m won;
  The spendthrift hopes to buy me with his gold;
  And childhood has me when a tale is told;
  The love of me decoys the giddy youth,
  From useful studies, till he learns this truth,
  “All those who seek me _only_, most I fly;”
  Lastly, when you my hidden sense descry,
  You’ll own that for my sake you pondered long
  The countless changes, that to me belong.
  Such am I as a whole—but for _one_ part,—
  The youth invokes me when he feels love’s dart;
  The Swiss, when exiled from his native vales,
  Hears me with anguish, and his fate bewails;
  New zest I add to scandal’s busy hour;
  And adverse winds and tides confess my power;
  I am the dazzling source whence colors flow;
  The sluggard’s teacher; and your equal now;
  Without me sails were useless; then a word
  Expressing like; and now meek woman’s lord;
  To measure next; anon to add; to vex;
  The gentle office of the weaker sex;
  I’m flesh, not fish—I’m silent ever;
  Sought by all ranks, on earth found never;
  Your near relation, and the squirrel’s food;
  What you would keep when in a lazy mood;
  Neptune’s abode; the forest monarch’s pride;
  A term to the departed souls applied;
  What you possess, but others oftener use;
  Your coat must have me, spite of what you choose;
  Now the soft clime of “the cedar and vine;”
  And last, a short word importing new wine.
  More could I tell, but I bid you adieu,
  Lest by prating I cause my own loss to you.


1. Kite.

2. Swallow.

3. Thrush.

4. OWL.

5. Partridge.

6. Parrot.

7. Wren.

8. Goose.

9. Crow.

10. Crane.

11. Magpie.

12. Wheatear.

13. Gull.

14. Turkey.

15. Marten.

16. Starling.

17. Bat.

18. Sparrow.

19. Snipe.

20. Fieldfare.

21. Duck.

22. Pigeon.

23. Grate; great.

24. Caper; cape; cap.


1. Potentates.

2. Lawyers.

3. Christianity.

4. Old England.

5. Telegraphs.

6. Radical reform.

7. Horatio Nelson.

8. Charades.

9. Charles James Stuart.

10. Napoleon Bonaparte.

11. Astronomers.

12. The opposition.

13. Parishioners.

14. Catalogues.

15. Revolution.

16. Presbyterian.

17. Penitentiary.

18. La Revolution Française.

19. Democratical.

20. Misanthrope.

21. Funeral.

22. Enigmatical.

23. Festival.

24. Solemnity.

25. Sovereignty.

26. Pedagogues.

27. James Stuart.

28. Disappointment.

29. Phaeton.

30. Monastically.

31. Patience.

32. Breath.

33. Wealth.

34. Arthur Wellesley.

35. Dissemination.

36. Miniature.

37. Parishioner.

38. Sweetheart.


1. Pillory: in which may be found pill; ill; lip; roll; Po; pry; poll;
rill; ropy; Polly; lop; lo; lily; rip; oil; oily; or; O. P.

2. Thread: in which may be found, death; dear; Ate; Terah; the; dearth;
tare; hare; hart; rat; art; a; date; red; era; trade; rated; tar; hat;
head; heart; tread; hear; heard; re; da; at, herd; ah; ha; tear; dare;
hate; tea; her; eh; hated; dart; hard; hater; heat; ear; hatred; eat.

3. Obscurity: in which may be found, sour; city; sty; sot; buoy; tour;
story; orb: orbit; rust; rut; sir; or; bust; crust.

4. Amusement: in which may be found, Muse; tea; stream; sun; ant; mate;
mast; as; man; mete; sum; tease; amuse; meat; mute; ease; aunt; nut;
seat; sea; mane; manes; name; seam; east; strum.

Some persons cannot, without considerable difficulty, find the proper
answer to an enigma or a rebus; while others, of no greater general
acuteness, do so with ease. It is no proof, therefore, of inferiority,
not to be able to reply to a quaint conundrum, so quickly as another.
Many young people have displayed much ingenuity in the construction
of different sorts of riddles in rhyme,—they are, in general, the most
happy in solving those of others. The admirers of these frequently
amusing trifles, consider opposition in their component parts, or
curious combinations, to be most essential in the construction of good


In some form or other, the game of charades is played in almost every
country under the sun. The most popular form is as follows:

Send one-half the company out of the room, the others remaining as
audience. Rooms separated by double doors or portières are best for the
scene of action.

The party outside thinks of some word which can be represented entire,
in pantomime or tableau. Thus, the door opening, discloses a half dozen
young girls standing in a line, while one of the acting party announces
that this striking tableau represents the name of a famous orator. The
audience failing to guess, is told that Cicero (Sissy-row) is the man.

Again just as the clock strikes ten, the doors opening, reveal a lady
eating an apple or any convenient edible, while a gentleman who stands
near, points to the clock and then at her. This being correctly guessed
to represent “attenuate,” (at ten you ate) the other side goes from the
room and the previous performers become the audience.

There are a host of words which, with a little ingenuity and the aid of
a dictionary, may be turned to account. For example:

Ingratiate. (In grey she ate.)

Catering. (Kate. Her ring.)

Hero. (He row.)

Tennessee. (Ten, I see.)

And so on. Clever players will devise new and amusing combinations in
the game.

Charades may be performed after a variety of different fashions. First
is the highly finished charade, with speech and action carefully
prepared and duly rehearsed. Secondly, the spoken charade, got up on
the spur of the moment, words and action alike _ex tempore_. We have
seen a good deal of fun got out of charades of this description; but
unless the actors are of more than average ability, and have some
little dramatic experience, the chances are much against any very
satisfactory result. On the whole, we should strongly recommend, that
where a charade is got up _ex tempore_, it should be acted in pantomime
only. It is of course understood that, whatever be the particular mode
of performance, a charade always represents a “word” to be guessed,
with one scene to each syllable (or group of consecutive syllables),
and a final scene representing the whole word. The successive scenes
are sometimes wholly independent of each other, but in the more
finished class of charades are made parts of a complete drama. The
following are good charade words:—


It will be obvious that in some of these instances, as, for instance,
“Sweepstake,” “Housekeeping,” two syllables must be taken together to
supply the _motif_ for a single scene.

We will take the word “Windfall,” as affording a ready illustration of
the pantomime charade, and be it remembered that, in charades of this
description, the shorter and simpler the action the better. Thus the
scene, “Wind,” may be represented by a German Band, puffing away at
imaginary ophicleides and trombones, with distended cheeks and frantic
energy, though in perfect silence. The next scene, “Fall,” may be a
party of boys on a slide, who “keep the pot-a-boiling” for a moment
or two, and then _exeunt_. Enter an elderly gentleman, with umbrella
up; walks unsuspectingly on to the slide, and falls. It should be
mentioned, that the expedient adopted in the _very_ early days of the
drama, of putting up a placard to notify, “This is a street.” “This is
the quarter-deck of the _Baltimore_,” is quite correct in the case of
a pantomime charade. The complete word, “Windfall,” may be represented
by a young man sitting alone, leaning his elbows on his hands, and
having every appearance of being in the last stage of impecuniosity.
To produce this effect, he may go through a pantomime of examining his
purse and showing it empty, searching his pockets, and turning them
one by one inside out, shaking his head mournfully, and sitting down
again, throwing into his expression as much despair as he conveniently
can. A letter carrier’s whistle is heard; a servant enters with a
legal-looking letter. The impecunious hero, tearing it open, produces
from it a roll of bank-notes (these, if a due supply of the genuine
article does not happen to be readily obtainable, may be of the “Bank
of Elegance” description), and forthwith gives way to demonstrations of
the most extravagant delight, upon which the curtain falls.

A very absurd, but not the less meritorious, charade of this class is
represented as follows:—The curtain rises (_i. e._, the folding-doors
are thrown open), and a placard is seen denoting, “This is Madison
Square,” or any other place where professional men most do congregate.
Two gentlemen in out-door costumes cross the stage from opposite sides,
and bow gravely on passing each other, one of them saying, as they do
so, “Good-morning, doctor.” The curtain falls, and the audience are
informed that the charade, which represents a word of six syllables, is
complete in that one scene. When the spectators have guessed, or been
told that the word is “met-a-physician,” the curtain again rises on
precisely the same scene, and the same performance, action for action,
and word for word, is repeated over again. The audience hazard the same
word “metaphysician,” as the answer, but are informed that they are
wrong,—the word now represented having only three syllables, and they
ultimately discover that the word is “metaphor” (met afore).

In another charade of similar character, if the audience be classically
inclined, when the curtain rises, nothing is seen but a little toy
wooden horse, such as can be bought for fifty cents. The spectators are
told that this forms a word of two syllables, representing an island
in the Ægean Sea. If the spectators are well up in ancient geography,
they may possibly guess that Delos (deal ’oss) is referred to. The
curtain falls, and again rises on the same contemptible object, which
is now stated to represent a second island in the same part of the
world. The classical reader will at once see that Samos (same ’oss)
is intended. Again the curtain rises on the representation of another
island. _Two_ little wooden horses now occupy the scene, Paros (pair
’oss) being the island referred to. Once more the curtain rises, this
time on a group of charming damsels, each reclining in a woe-begone
attitude, surrounded by pill-boxes and physic-bottles, and apparently
suffering from some painful malady. This scene represents a word of
three syllables, and is stated to include all that has gone before.
Cyclades (sick ladies), the name of the group to which Delos, Samos,
and Paros belong, is of course the answer.

Another comical charade is a performance representing the word
“imitation.” The spectators are informed that the charade about to be
performed can only be exhibited to one person at a time. One person is
accordingly admitted into the room in which the actors are congregated.
The unhappy wight stares about him with curiosity, not unmingled with
apprehension, fearing to be made the victim of some practical joke; nor
is his comfort increased by finding that his every look or action is
faithfully copied by each person present. This continues until he has
either guessed or given up the word, when a fresh victim is admitted,
and the new initiate becomes in turn one of the actors. Sometimes,
however, the victim manages to turn the laugh against his persecutors.
We have known a young lady, seeing through the joke, quietly take a
chair, and remain motionless, reducing the matter to a simple trial of
patience between herself and the company.

Acted charades, to be successful, demand much care and preparation.
There are numerous printed collections of charades of this kind,
obtainable from any bookseller. Whatever be the charade selected, we
cannot too strongly impress upon the reader the advantage of frequent
and careful rehearsal.



This game may be played by any number from three to thirteen. There
are a dozen good-sized pieces of cardboard, each bearing a colored
illustration of one of the “trades” following: viz., a milliner, a
fishmonger, a greengrocer, plumber, a music-seller, a toyman, mason,
a pastrycook, a hardware-man, a tailor, a poulterer, and a doctor.
Besides these there are a number of smaller tickets, half a dozen to
each trade. Each of these has the name of the particular trade and also
the name of some article in which the particular tradesman in question
may be considered to deal. A book accompanies the cards, containing a
nonsense story, with a blank at the end of each sentence.

One of the players is chosen as leader, and the others each select a
trade, receiving the appropriate picture, and the six cards containing
the names of the articles in which the tradesman deals. He places his
“sign” before him on the table, and holds the remainder of his cards in
his hand. The leader then reads the story, and whenever he comes to one
of the blanks, he glances towards one of the other players, who must
immediately, under penalty of a forfeit, supply the blank with some
article he sells, at the same time laying down the card bearing its
name. The incongruity of the article named with the context make the
fun of the game, which is heightened by the vigilance which each player
must exercise in order to avoid a forfeit. Where the number of players
is very small, each may undertake two or more trades.

We will quote a small portion of the story, by way of illustration. The
concluding words indicate the trade of the person at whom the leader
glances to fill up a given hiatus.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I propose to relate some curious adventures
which befell me and my wife Peggy the other day, but as I am troubled
with a complaint called ‘Non mi ricordo,’ or the ‘Can’t remembers,’ I
shall want each of you to tell me what you sell: therefore when I stop
and look at one of you, you must be brisk in recommending your goods.
Whoever does not name something before I count ‘three’ must pay a
forfeit. Attention!

“Last Friday week I was awoke very early in the morning by a loud
knocking at my door in Humguffin Court. I got up in a great fright, and
put on”—(looks at Toyman, who replies, “a fool’s cap and bells,” and
lays down that card).

“When I got downstairs, who should there be but a fat porter, with a
knot, on which he carried”—(Poulterer) “a pound of pork sausages.”

“‘Hallo!’ said I, ‘my fine fellow, what do you want at this time of
day?’ He answered”—(Fishmonger) “A cod’s head and shoulders.”

“‘Get along with you,’ I said; ‘there’s my neighbor, Dr. Drenchall, I
see, wants’”—(Butcher) “a sheep’s head.”

“I now went up to shave, but my soap-dish was gone, and the maid
brought me instead”—(Milliner) “a lady’s chip hat.”

“My razor had been taken to chop firewood, so I used”—(Greengrocer) “a

“I then washed my face in”—(Doctor) “a cup of quinine,” “cleaned
my teeth with”—(Fishmonger) “a fresh herring,” and “combed my hair
with”—(Pastrycook) “a jam tart.”

“My best coat was taken possession of by pussy and kittens, so I
whipped on”—(hardware-man) “a dripping pan.”

“The monkey, seeing how funny I looked, snatched off my wig, and
clapped on my head”—(Poulterer) “a fat hen.”

“I now awoke my wife, and asked her what she had nice for breakfast;
she said”—(Doctor) “a mustard plaster.”

“Then I scolded Sukey, the servant, and called her” (Poulterer) “a
tough old turkey.”

“But she saucily told me I was no better than”—(Music-seller) “an old

“I soon had enough of that, so I asked my wife to go with me to
buy”—(Tailor) “a pair of trousers.”

“But she said she must have her lunch first, which consisted of——”
etc., etc., through half a dozen pages, the tradesmen supplying more or
less appropriate articles to fill up the gaps in the discourse.


There is another game on the same principle, known by the somewhat
ambitious title of “The most Laughable Thing on Earth; or A Trip to
Paris.” The tickets for this game are nearly 150 in number, each
containing name and grotesque sketch of some article or articles, as “a
hod of mortar,” “a guinea-pig,” “a basin of gruel,” “a wheelbarrow,”
“a jar of pickles,” “a tub of soft soap,” “two dozen eggs,” “Jemima’s
new bonnet,” “some castor-oil,” “a penny whistle,” “a peck of peas,”
etc., etc. The game is full of innocent nonsense and played precisely
as in the last case (save that there is no reference to any particular
trades). The story to be read by the leader commences as follows:

“Brown, Jones, and Robinson were walking together in the streets of
Boston, when Brown suddenly exclaimed, ‘I will go to Paris, and return
the personification of ——’

“‘I, too,’ said Jones, ‘should like to see Paris, but I have not got ——’

“‘And I should like to accompany you,’ said Robinson, ‘if I knew ——’

“‘Go with us then,” said Brown, ‘and we’ll have ——’

“‘There’s an excursion train to New York in the morning; we can see the
“lions” there on our way, and then take ——’

“It was now ‘Pack and off!’ Brown went to bid his friends good-bye,
giving to each a parting gift. To an old schoolfellow he gave ——

“To Matilda Jane, a young lady who laid claim to his heart, he gave,
with a kiss, ——

“Now, Matilda Jane would not be outdone, so she kissed him twice, and
begged him to accept of ——

“Brown was perplexed, but he took the gift, and going home was saluted
by the children, who shouted, ‘There goes a man with ——’

“That night he had wonderful dreams; he thought he was chased by ——

“And that he was trying to crowd into his carpetbag ——

“When a man came along and charged him with stealing ——

“He was enraged at this, and was about to pitch into the man, when he
awoke, and found it all a dream, caused by his having eaten for supper

“He was early at the station, and on asking for a ticket, the clerk
gave him ——”

And so on, in like manner. These last games, as a change from graver
recreations, make a good deal of fun, particularly with young players.


The fun of this game depends on a fair proportion of the players not
being acquainted with it. The leader begins, addressing the first
player, “I have a cook who doesn’t like peas (_p’s_); what will you
give her for her dinner?” The person addressed, if acquainted with
the secret, avoids the letter _p_ in his answer, and, for example,
says, “I will give her some walnuts.” The question is then asked of
the second person, who, if unacquainted with the trick, is likely
enough to offer some delicacy which contains the letter _p_; _e. g._,
potatoes, asparagus, pork, apple-pie, pickled cabbage, peanuts, etc.,
etc. When this occurs, the offender is called upon to pay a forfeit,
but the precise nature of his offence is not explained to him. He is
simply told, in answer to his expostulations, that “the cook doesn’t
like _p’s_.” When a sufficient number of forfeits has been extracted,
the secret is revealed, and those who have not already guessed it are
aggravated by being told over and over again that the cook did not like
_p’s_, and if they would persist in giving them to her, they must, of
course, take the consequences.


It is surprising what a fund of amusement may be derived by the
children from four or five alphabets, printed on card-board, and then
cut up into, say, half-inch squares, with a single letter on each. A
double supply of vowels will be found an advantage. The most simple
mode of using the alphabets is for one person to pick out the letters
forming some word, _e. g._, “nevertheless,” and then hand them, well
mixed together, to another player, who endeavors to discover what word
they form.

Another game is played as follows.—The players, each of whom is
supplied with paper and pencil, are divided equally into two sides,
and the leader having selected a word, suppose “notwithstanding,”
each party sets to work to see how many different words they can make
of the same letters. (Thus from the word above suggested may be made
“not, with, stand, standing, gin, ton, to, wig, wit, his, twit, tan,
has, had, an, nod, tow, this, sat, that, sit, sin, tin, wing, what,
who, wish, win, wan, won,” and probably a host of others.) A scrutiny
is then taken, all words common to both parties being struck out. The
remainder are then compared, and the victory is adjudged to the one
having the largest number of words.

Sometimes the division into sides is dispensed with, and each player
depends on himself. Another purpose for which the alphabets in question
is used is that of forming _anagrams_, in the composition of which
they are a very great assistance, but this is hardly simple enough
for children. We are inclined to doubt whether the results obtained
in this game bear a fair proportion to the labor involved; though it
is unquestionable that once in a way an anagram is produced that is
curiously appropriate. We may instance the following:

  Telegraph,                Great help,
  Florence Nightingale,     Flit on, cheering angel,
  Astronomers,              Moon starers.

A fourth Spelling Game is played by each person drawing, say twenty
letters hap-hazard, and trying to form them into a sentence, the palm
of merit being awarded to the player who at the same time produces
the most coherent phrase, and also succeeds in using the greatest
proportion of the letters assigned to him.


The little players sit or stand round the room in a circle. The leader
assigns to each some musical instrument, as harp, flute, violoncello,
trombone, etc., and also selects one for himself. Some well-known tune
is then given out, say “Yankee Doodle,” and the players all begin to
play accordingly, each doing his best to imitate, both in sound and
action, the instrument which has been assigned to him, the effect being
generally extremely harmonious. The leader commences with his own
instrument, but without any warning suddenly ceases, and begins instead
to perform on the instrument assigned to one or other of the players.
Such player is bound to notice the change, and forthwith to take to
the instrument just abandoned by the leader, incurring a forfeit if he
fails to do so.


This is a great favorite with the young folks. When everything else has
become tiresome, some one starts the first line of the verse,

  Mary had a little lamb,
    Fleece as white as snow, etc.

All sing, and on the second verse being reached the last syllable _of
the first line_ is dropped, then the next to the last, the third,
the fourth and so on, until the line is totally omitted. The aim of
the singers is to keep exact time, counting a beat for each omitted
syllable, and any one whose voice breaks in when all should be silent,
pays a forfeit. The same can be done with “John Brown’s Body,”
repeating the first verse and omitting syllable after syllable at the
end of the first line until there is nothing left to sing but the


The artistic faculty of the young folks is in this case brought into
requisition. Slips of paper being distributed, each young player
marks on his slip a crooked line of any shape he or she pleases. The
papers are then exchanged, and each has to draw some sort of figure,
working in as part of the outline the crooked line already drawn by his

The best plan in this game is to allow the line already drawn, if
possible, to suggest some figure, and to work out that idea. It
is of course understood that the works of art to be produced are
only expected to be of the very roughest description. If there is a
difficulty in dealing with the outline as it stands, the player is
entitled to place it on its side, or even upside down, if he prefers it.

Thus a curve may suggest a swan, a square may give a hint of a house, a
wave-line of a snake or an eel, a long sweeping curve may fit in as a
horse’s back, or an irregular outline may afford an idea for a comical
face. The sketches produced with strict regard to the conditions of the
game will be found full of fun and novelty, if not characterized by any
high degree of art.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page 64, “initals” changed to “initials” (of their initials)

Page 65, for the text version the superscripted “d” was changed to “’d”
(S’d be glad)

Page 67, repeated word “the” removed from text. Original read (If the
the sermon has begun)

Pages 99 and 103, the illustration caption is the section header for
the next problem.

Page 134, “Where” changed to “Were” (Were you very sorry)

Page 170, “villian” changed “villain” (leaves of the villain)

Page 173, “o” changed to “to” (adapted to the cone)

Page 205, “gallaries” changed to “galleries” (and other galleries)

Page 230, “quart” changed to “quarter” (to contain a quarter)

Page 250, “noisest” changed to “noisiest” (O the noisiest of all)

Page 274, “liftle” changed to “little” (noxious little creature)

Page 287, “surrround” changed to “surround” (surrounded by pill-boxes)

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