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he might be called upon to act as interpreter or peacemaker, or to explain away difficulties. He did not understand women, but only his wife, from whom he had taken various prejudices on the subject; neither did he understand girls, but only Frances, whom, indeed, he ought to have known better than to suppose either that she was likely to squabble with her sister, or call him in to mediate or explain. Frances was not at all likely to do either of these things; and he knew that; yet lived in a vague dread, and did not even sit comfortably on his chair, and tried to distract his mind with a novel-which was the condition in which he was found by Mr Durant. The clergyman's visit did him a little good, giving him at once a grievance and an object of ridicule. During the rest of the day, he was so far distracted from his real difficulties as to fall from time to time into fits of secret laughter over the idea of having been in all unconsciousness a source of danger for Tasie. He had never been a gay Lothario, as he said; but to have run the risk of destroying Tasie's peace of mind was beyond his wildest imagination. He longed to confide it to somebody; but there was no one with whom he could share the fun. Constance perhaps might have understood; but Frances! He relapsed into gravity when he thought of Frances. It was not the kind of ludicrous suggestion which would amuse her.
Meanwhile, the girls, who were such strangers to each other, yet so closely bound by nature, were endeavouring to come to a knowledge of each other by means which were much more subtle than any explanation their father could have supplied; so that he might, if he had understood them better, have been entirely at his ease on this point. As a matter of fact, though Constance was the cleverer of the two, it was Frances who advanced most quickly in her investigations, for the excellent reason, that it was Constance who talked, while Frances, for the most part having nothing at all interesting to say of herself, held her peace. Frances had been awakened at an unusually late hour in the morning, for the agitation of the night had abridged her sleep at the other end-by the sounds of mirth which accompanied the first dialogue between her new sister and Mariuccia. The Italian which Constance knew was not very much, and it was of a finer quality than any with which Mariuccia was acquainted; but still they came to some sort of understanding, and both repudiated the efforts of Frances to explain. And from that moment Constance had kept the conversation in her hands. She did not chatter, nor was there any appearance of loquacity in her; but Frances had lived much alone, and had been taught not to disturb her father when she was with him, so that it was more her habit to be talked to than to talk. She did not even ask many questions; they were scarcely necessary; for Constance, as was natural, was full of herself and of her motives for the step she had taken. These revelations gave Frances new lights almost at every word.
'You always knew, then, about us?' Frances said. She had intended to say about me,' but refrained, with mingled modesty and pride.
'Oh, certainly. Mamma always writes, you know, at Christmas, if not oftener. We did not
know you were here. It was Markham who found out that. Markham is the most activeminded fellow in the world. Papa does not much like him. I daresay you have never heard anything very favourable of him; but that is a mistake. We knew pretty well about you. Mamma used to ask that you should write, since there was no reason why, at your age, you should not speak for yourself; but you never did. I suppose he thought it better not.' I suppose so.'
'But I should not myself have been restrained by that,' said Constance. I think very well on the whole of papa; but obedience of that sort at our age is too much; I should not have obeyed him. I should have told him, that in such a matter I must judge for myself. However, if one learns anything as one grows up,' said this young philosopher, it is that no two people are alike. I suppose that was not how the subject presented itself to you?'
Frances made no reply. She wondered what she would have said had she been told to write to an unknown mother. Ought she to do so now? The idea was a very strange one to her mind, and yet what could be more natural ? It was with a sense of precipitate avoidance of a subject which must be contemplated fully at an after-period, that she said hurriedly: 'I have never written letters. It did not come into my head.'
Ah!' said Constance, looking at her with a sort of impartial scrutiny. Then she added with a sequence of thoughts which it was not difficult to follow: 'Don't you think it is very odd that you and I should be the same age?'
Frances felt herself grow red, and the water came to her eyes. She looked wistfully at the other, who was so much more advanced than she felt herself to be. I suppose-we ought to have been like each other,' she said.
'We are not, however, a bit. You are like mamma. I don't know whether you are like her in mind; but on the outside. And I am like him. It is very funny. It shows that one has these peculiarities from one's birth; it couldn't be habit or association, as people say, for I have never been with him-neither have you with mamma. I suppose he is very independentminded, and does what he likes without thinking? So do I. And you consider what other people will say, and how it will look, and a thousand things."
It did not seem to Frances that this was the case; but she was not at all in the habit of studying herself, and made no protest. Did she consider very much what other people would say? Perhaps it was true. She had been obliged, she reflected, to consider what Mariuccia would say; so that probably Constance was right.
'It was Markham that discovered you, after all, as I told you. He is invaluable; he never forgets; and if you want to find anything out, he will take any amount of trouble. I may as well tell you why I left home. If we are going to live together as sisters, we ought to make confidants of each other; and if you have to go, you can take my part.-Well, then! You must know there is a man in it. They say you should always ask, "Who is She?" when there is a row between men; and I am sure it is just as natural
to ask, "Who is He?" when a girl gets into a scrape.'
The language, the tone, the meaning, were all new to Frances. She did not know anything about it. When there is a row between men; when a girl gets into a scrape: the one and the other were equally far from her experience. She felt herself blush, though she scarcely knew why. She shook her head when Constance added, though rather as a remark than as a question: "Don't you know ?—Oh, well; I did not mean, have you any personal experience, but as a general principle? The man in this case was well enough. Papa said, when I told him, that it was quite right; that I had better have made up my mind without making a fuss; that he would have advised me so, if he had known. But I will never allow that this is a point upon which any one can judge for you. Mamma pressed me more than a mother has any right to do-to a person of my age.'
'But, Constance, eighteen is not so very old.' 'Eighteen is the age of reason,' said the girl somewhat imperiously; then she paused and added in most cases, when one has been much in the world, like me. Besides, it is like the middle ages when your mother thinks she can make you do what she pleases and marry as she likes. That must be one's own affair. I must say that I thought papa would take my part more strongly, for they have always been so much opposed. But after all, though he is not in harmony with her, still the parents' side is his side.'
'Did you not like the gentleman?' said Frances. Nothing could be more modest than this question, and yet it brought the blood to her face. She had never heard the ordinary badinage on this subject, or thought of love with anything but awe and reverence, as a mystery altogether beyond her and out of discussion. She did not look at her sister as she put the question. Constance lay back in the long wicker-work chair, well lined with cushions, which was her father's favourite seat, with her hands clasped behind her head, in one of those attitudes of complete abandon which Frances had been trained to think impossible to a girl.
Did I like the gentleman? I did not think that question could ever again be put to me in an original way. I see now what is the good of a sister. Mamma and Markham and all my people had such a different way of looking at it. You must know that that is not the first question, whether you like the man. As for that, I liked him-well enough. There was nothing to
dislike in him.'
Frances turned her eyes to her sister's face with something like reproach. 'I may not have used the right word. I have never spoken on such subjects before.'
'I have always been told that men are dreadful prudes,' said Constance. 'I suppose papa has brought you up to think that such things must never be spoken of. I'll tell you what is original about it. I have been asked if he was not rich enough, if he was not handsome enough, if he had not a good enough title, and I have been asked if I loved him, which was nonsense; I have not known him long enough. I could answer all that; but you I can't answer.
Don't I like him? I was not going to be persecuted about him. It was Markham who put it into my head. "Why don't you go to your father," he said, "if you won't hear reason? He is just the sort of person to understand you, if we don't." So, then, I took them at their word. I came off-to papa.'
'Does Markham dislike papa? he think '
I mean, doesn't
They don't think They think him have always been
'I know what you mean. that papa has good sense. romantic, and all that. I accustomed to think so too. But the curious thing is that he isn't,' said Constance with an injured air. 'I suppose, however foolish one's father may be for himself, he still feels that he must stand on the parents' side.'
'You speak,' said Frances, with a little indig nation, as if papa was likely to be against-his children: as if he were an enemy.'
'Taking sides is not exactly being enemies, said Constance. We are each of our own faction, you know. It is like Whigs and Tories. The fathers and mothers side with each other, even though they may be quite different, and not get on together. There is a kind of reason in it. Only, I have always heard so much of papa as unreasonable and unlike other people, that I never thought of him in that light. He would be, though, except that for the present I am such a stranger, and he feels bound to be civil to me. If it were not for his politeness, he is capable of being medieval too.'
'I don't know what medieval means,' said Frances, with much heat, indignant to hear her father thus spoken of as a subject for criticism. Perhaps she had criticised him in her time, as children use; but silently, not putting it into words, which makes a great difference. besides, what one does one's self in this way is quite another matter. As she looked at this girl, who was a stranger, though in some extraordinary way not a stranger, a momentary pang and impotent sudden rage against the web of strange circumstances in which she felt herself caught and bewildered, flamed up in her mild eyes and mind, unaccustomed to complications. Constance took no notice of this sudden passion.
'It means bread and water,' she said with a laugh, and shutting up in one's own room, and cutting off of all communication from without. Mamma, if she were driven to it, is quite capable of that. They all are-rather than give in; but as these are not the middle ages, they have to give in at last. Perhaps, if I had thought that what you may call his official character would be too strong for papa, I should have fought it out at home. But I thought he at least would be himself, and not a conventional parent. sure he has been a very queer sort of parent hitherto; but the moment a fight comes, he puts himself on his own side.'
She gave forth these opinions very calmly, lying back in the long chair, with her hands clasped behind her head, and her eyes following abstractedly the lines of the French coast. The voice which uttered sentiments so strange to Frances was of the most refined and harmonious tones, low, soft, and clear. And the lines of her slim elastic figure, and of her perfectly
appropriate dress, which combined simplicity and costliness, carelessness and consummate care, as only high art can, added to the effect of a beauty which was not beauty in any demonstrative sense, but rather harmony, ease, grace, fine health, fine training, and what, for want of a better word, we call blood. Not that the bluest blood in the world inevitably carries with it this perfection of tone; but Constance had the effect which a thoroughbred horse has upon the connoisseur. It would have detracted from the impression she made, had there been any special point upon which the attention lingered -had her eyes, or her complexion, her hands, or her hair, or any individual trait called for particular notice. But hers was not beauty of that description.
Her sister, who was, so to speak, only a little rustic, sat and gazed at her in a kind of rapture. Her heart did not, as yet at least, go out towards this intruder into her life; her affections were as yet untouched; and her temper was a little excited, disturbed by the critical tone which her sister assumed, and the calm frankness with which she spoke. But though all these dissatisfied, almost hostile sentiments were in Frances' mind, her eyes and attention were fascinated. She could not resist the influence which this external perfection of being produced upon her. It was only perhaps now in the full morning light, in the abandon of this confidence and candour, which had none of the usual tenderness of confidential revelations, but rather a certain half-disdainful self-discovery which necessity demanded, that Frances fully perceived her sister's gifts. Her own impatience, her little impulses of irritation and contradiction, died away in the wondering admiration with which she gazed. Constance showed no sign even of remarking the effect she produced. She said meditatively, dropping the words into the calm air without any apparent conception of novelty or wonder in them: 'I wonder how you will like it when you have to go.'
DOMESTIC SCHOOLS IN GERMANY. In England, indeed throughout the United Kingdom, schools of cookery-as described in this Journal for 6th December 1884-are gradually becoming a recognised national institution. Admirably conducted they are too; there is nothing of the young-ladyism' principle about them, for the teaching combines the kitchen-maid's with the cook's duties. The students must learn not only how to arrange the contents of a pan, but also how to clean it afterwards; how to prepare the fire, cleanse the flue, blacklead and polish the range; even to scrub the floor. If their position is above the need of making these as daily duties, the knowledge fits them for directing others, and thus preventing those domestic troubles, in the form of wastefulness of time and means, that too often mar the home-peace of young housekeepers. In some of these schools, efforts are made to add lessons in dressmaking and getting up fine linen. As yet, however, this is only tentative. Still, it shows that the spirit of educational energy is rousing the middle classes to raise even 'household cares' to the dignity of an art.
But with us, domestic instruction is confined to lectures and class-lessons given in courses for specified charges. We have no organised system of domestic education, such as exists in Germany. Even there, domestic schools are the comparatively recent introduction of private enterprise. They are increasing in number and influence, and may ultimately, as most things do there, meet with the paternal attentions of the government, and be expanded into public institutions. So far, they are on a simple, even homely scale. One at Freiburg, in Baden, is conducted by a lady who started it on her own resources of spirited energy. Suddenly deprived by adverse fortune of a leading social position, she resolved to utilise those talents which hitherto had been exercised only in the way of general household superintendence. Her reputation as a Hausfrau and for having the deftest fingers for needlework, had made her lady-friends regard her as a domestic authority. Acting on this, she decided on organising a school, modelled on one then acquiring repute in Berlin. Her only shortcoming was dressmaking, as taught on scientific principles of cutting out and blackboard drawing. With patient courage, she went to a large city, and there placed herself for some months under the necessary tuition; so that when her undertaking was fairly started, she was competent to fulfil all its responsibilities.
On one point, domestic schools differ from all other educational establishments-they are intended only for grown-up young ladies. Madame Kuenzer, at Freiburg, receives no pupil under fifteen to sixteen years of age, when school-books are closed, and a knowledge of home practical duties is required. Where it is desired to pursue accomplishments, arrangements are made for lessons in music, drawing, languages, &c. these lie outside of the school scheme, which aims only at the prosaic utilities of domestic life; which, in fact, for the moment shuts out the drawing-room, and embraces the regions of the kitchen, the laundry, the workroom, and general household departments.
Germany's reputation for Hausfraus has hitherto been too easily gained, on the strength of the custom for its young girls, especially on the eve of marriage, to put themselves for a few weeks under the chef at an hotel, or one holding sway in the kitchen of some great house. At Freiburg, for instance, the chef at the bishop's palace is often called on to direct young ladies' white hands in the making of pastry or stirring of sauces. the domestic schools, however, such mere fancylessons are distinctly refused. Against them, Madame Kuenzer at once set her face, accepting only those pupils who wish to be thoroughly initiated in the whole course of domestic training, for which she considers twelve months not too long an apprenticeship. To secure this, her pupils must board and lodge with her, in a simple, homely, family-life sort of way. English fastidiousness might consider this way as primitively rough and ready, unless insular notions have been blunted by much brushing up against continental habits. To preserve the home character, Madame Kuenzer limits her school to ten or twelve pupils; a lady assists her to superintend the arrangements; servants are there as solid aids; the house is pleasantly situated; its young
inmates are busy as bees under their active directress, whose gracious manners and vivacity betray the partly French origin of her characteristics.
fully stored, as, mixed with yolk of eggs, it plays a large part in soups, &c. Then there are the pickling and preserving, which are the very coat of arms of German storeroom dignity; and all sorts of other preparations that must be kept ready for need.
Besides all these extraneous duties, there is the keeping in order of the numerous cooking utensils. The Germans have certainly a wonderfully inventive faculty for kitchen vessels and implements, the use of which, until the recent introduction by the schools of cookery of many of them, would have bewildered English housekeepers, but which in Germany are as invaluable as they are ingenious. To keep them in spotless condition is one of the lessons Madame Kuenzer's young pupils have to learn, as also to understand the methodical system of the cleaning, polishing, &c. of the kitchen and all its fixtures.
In the early mornings, at the quaint Market Place, one may meet Madame Kuenzer and two or three of her young pupils. They are busy pricing and buying the day's needs; the girls learning how to choose provisions, to modify extortionate market charges, and to keep a wary eye on just scale-weights. The girls left at home are occupied with room-cleaning, tidying, dusting, bed-making, &c. Some are told off to trim the lamps-a necessary duty in a foreign gasless house -or restore table and pantry order after the breakfast debris, for the preparations of which meal several had previously assisted. On the return of the marketers,' those whose turn it is flock into the kitchen. This is large and light; in the centre is the cooking-stove, open all round, A more important lesson still is impressed on and admitting four young cooks at a time-a them-never to waste a fragment that can be veritable multum in parvo of hot and cold water utilised for present or after purposes. It is this arrangements, and utensil and implement com- kitchen economy in foreign households which partments. Here the cooking lesson is given-marks so great a contrast with English wastefulgetting ready the soup, a process in Germany ness. It is to be hoped that our schools of cookery of the most complicated nature; preparing the will reform all that. meat; washing, cleaning, cutting the vegetables; measuring and mixing spices and condiments; making and rolling the pastry; seeing after and stirring the sauces-for every dish at every course has a sauce, and that a different one-attending to the progress of the various pans on the fires in their boiling or simmering duties—the laborious operation of preparing a German dinner ending in results much appreciated by those who practically test it.
German cooking does not terminate with a meal. There are endless adjuncts that have to be prepared and kept ready. An English cook considers herself rather exemplary if she takes care of stock; she often, too, seeks to enforce her general reputation by filling the house with nauseous odours from the rendering of fat.' With a German cook, the first is just a part of her daily routine; while in the latter respect she far surpasses her British sister by doing it on a more magnificent scale. For instance, she procures five or six pounds of raw mutton fat; after carefully paring, trimming, and cutting it into about halfpound pieces, she puts it into a pan on a slow fire. In another pan she puts the same number of pounds of pork fat similarly prepared. After some hours' simmering, the contents of the pans become perfectly liquid, and are then mixed together. Five or six pounds of butter, previously heated into positive oil, are stirred into them. The whole is then clarified, poured into a stone jar, left to cool, and serves for some months as cooking-butter. Then, also, a good Hausfrau has the coffee roasted at home. If in the cookingbutter operation, open windows have to be resorted to, in the coffee-roasting, open outdoors have to be added. Even then, one longs for all the perfumes of Arabia' to relieve olfactory sufferings!
While Madame Kuenzer's kitchen is full of bustle, the work room, though quieter, is not less a scene of industry. A large room with four windows; a centre table where 'cutting-out' is practised; a blackboard whereon part of a dress is sketched for a pupil to copy by mathematical measurement, before venturing to mismanage material. The young girls are scattered about the room, at the windows or elsewhere, some at dressmaking; some at plain-sewing; some learning to mend stockings with the knitting-stitch, which, when well done, shakes credibility as to a previous hole. There is no need to teach actual knitting, for, as Spartan babies used to get spears as playthings, German baby-girls get knitting-needles as toys, and have their stockings ready by the time they can walk. At least, so jesters say, a still more incorrigible one declaring that, at the last trumpet-call, German women will arise placidly, stocking-knitting all the time! Madame Kuenzer's pupils, however, do not limit themselves to stockings. Endless are the knitted articles they turn out, both of a useful and an ornamental nature. Then there is a frame, curiously nail-tacked out in design, at which one of the girls is sitting, and really fabricates a shawl. Another is occupied making beaded lace. A third is busy re-fashioning an old dress, and re-piecing parts in a way to defy the cavils of the microscopic eye. New bonnets are being trimmed, or old ones modernised; or there is an umbrella getting re-covered; or fancy-shoes being renovated; or personal or household linen being darned in a way-if of damask material, the design is perfectly preserved to defy the most critical scrutiny. In short, it would be difficult to give a comprehensive view of the varieties of needlework practised in that busy room.
Some of the cooking stock-in-trade, however, is On laundry-days, there is a great activity. of a more acceptable nature. There are the odd For the washing of the heavy things, special cuttings of bread, which are carefully kept until laundresses are engaged. Still, the young girls well hardened; they are then buttered over, and look on and learn, while giving a helping hand. left a long time in a pan in the oven; then pestled When ironing and clear-starching time arrives, and mortared into dust, and kept in reserve for the girls stand to the fore and receive regular frying fish, cutlets, &c. Sour cream, too, is care-working instructions. With the ordinary teaching
of 'getting up' linen, laces, muslins, &c., there is
Madame Kuenzer, believing that all work and no play dulls girls as well as boys, provides
various means of relaxation. She has her box at the theatre, to which those of her pupils who choose may join in the subscription, so as to take it in turn to accompany her. As this only amounts to eighteenpence per performance, there is no tendency to extravagance; and as the theatre opens at six o'clock and closes at nine, there is not much fear of encouraging dissipation. Neither is there toilet outlay, for a pair of gloves added to the home dress, with a shawl for the shoulders and a hood for the head as protection while quietly walking to and fro, are all that a lady deems necessary for the enjoyment of the always excellent performances at the theatre.
In snowy winters, when King Frost makes it hard and glistening, Madame Kuenzer takes her pupils on a sleigh picnic into the wonderful Black Forest, that almost incloses Freiburg in its mystical grandeur. In the summer-time, many are the delightful excursions that relax the labours of her busy young bees, who are thus led to think that a thorough training in the practical duties of life is worthy of acquisition in itself, and rendered none the less beneficial when brightened by such judicious recreations.
Is a domestic school so conducted possible in this country? As a boarding-school, it would be scarcely possible. But might not the present cookery schools be expanded into further branches of practical life? If the teaching were put within the means of small tradesmen's' daughters-from which class Madame Kuenzer mostly recruits her pupils the undertaking could not but be a
THE FEN FLOOD.
A TALE OF THE LAST CENTURY.
'DID father say he would come home to-morrow,
'Yes, Ruth; but he may be detained another day. I never knew so many cases at assizes before; and I reckon Harry Knott's case won't come on this side to-morrow anyway.' The speaker was a young man about twenty-five years of age, who had just entered the roomy kitchen of Greendykes farmhouse, travel-stained and tired. The shaggy dreadnought which he doffed was dripping
'Ah, Ruth!' said George with a sigh, but with a good-humoured smile on his rather unintellectual face.
'Ah, Master George!' retorted the girl, with a dexterous imitation of his voice and manner, 'what harm is there in wishing that, I wonder?' fairs and dancing, or something.' 'Your head is always running on gewgaws and
'La! there now. And what should a young woman think about, sure? And if it comes to that, the "thinking" about them is the biggest part of them that falls to our share in the Fen. Dancing! Why, I haven't had a dance since last May-day, when Will Elliot'Can't ye
'Ruth! How can ye go on so! see Master George is too tired to be plagued with your nonsense, wench?-Draw in your chair, George, and have a bit of supper, lad.'
The young man answered this invitation with alacrity. Ruth followed his example, with a colour slightly heightened, and with an unmistakable pout upon her lips. The last speaker was her mother. And now that the trio are enjoying their evening meal, we shall take the opportunity of introducing them to the reader.
Jabez Godfrey was tenant of Greendykes farm, in Stetton Fen, easy in his circumstances for one of his class, and simple in his manners and style of living, according to the primitive ways of the Fen farmers in those days-some ninety years ago-to which our true story relates. There was therefore nothing incongruous whatever in the fact that his wife and daughter should receive and entertain chance visitors in the roomy and comfortable kitchen, instead of in one of the two equally spacious sitting-rooms. The glories of the latter, with their chintz-covered chairs and couches, the old-fashioned spinet, the walls decorated with showy prints, and the floors of squares of red bricks, covered in the centre with Kidderminster, and the sides with untanned sheepskins, were indeed seldom revealed except on Sundays, on occasions of more formal hospitality, or when a visit was paid by the landlord or his agent.
Mrs Godfrey was seated in a cosy, leather-lined, and well-cushioned armchair, set on one side of the wide, hospitable-looking fireplace, now piled high with crackling logs. This position she invariably occupied from the time she was carried down-stairs in the morning until she was similarly assisted to her bedroom at night; for the old lady had some years ago partially lost the power of her limbs by paralysis. To look at her, a stranger would never have suspected her infirmity. She was plump and hearty; and her round, bright, kindly face showed no trace of suffering. Her laugh was genial and frequent; nor would she accept any condolence, however well meant, upon her condition, holding firmly to the conviction that she would one day recover from her affliction. Her armchair was her throne, from which she issued the necessary