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An enamelled or iron preserving pan is to be preferred to one of brass or copper, on account of the injurious action of the fruit acid on the latter metals.
The fruit should be gathered in dry weather, otherwise the jam will not keep. A coarse white sugar, at fourpence per pound by the loaf, will be the best to use. Allow three-quarters of a pound of sugar to each pound of fruit. Damsons, however, will require a quarter of a pound more.
The great secret of preserving well is to boil sufficiently long and sufficiently quickly. When the fruit has been picked from the stalks and weighed, put it into the pan, with the sugar, and boil quickly, stirring it continually with a wooden spoon, and carefully skimming off the froth as it rises. As some fruits require longer time than others, no rule as to the exact time can be given, but it may be seen when the jam has been boiled sufficiently by putting a little on a plate to cool. It will form a firm jelly if quite done, and may be put into the pots, which must be kept uncovered for a day before tying down. Tissue paper, saturated with white of egg, spirits of wine, may be laid on the top of the jam, but stout brown paper should form the outer covering.
When it is possible to get fruit cheap, it is advisable to make a plentiful supply of jam, as it is much more wholesome for children and young people than the too frequent meal of bread and butter.
Black currant jam is so valuable for colds, hoarseness, and sore throat, that every housekeeper will like to have a good supply. Dissolved in hot water, and taken at bed time, it is an excellent remedy for a cold.
Lemons will be useful for many purposes, particu. larly for making excellent puddings and cheese-cakes in winter. They should be bought in early spring, and hung in nets, in which they will keep good for a considerable time. With the store-room well provided, the housekeeper can command very pleasant varieties in the way of sweet dishes, which would have been impossible had not the necessary ingredients been at hand.
In ordering dinner, if the family be large, there is the nursery dinner, or luncheon, to be considered, and the task of providing for a large establishment is often much easier than that of managing for a small family, where economy must be studied. It is better in either case to plan the dinners beforehand, as they may be much better economized. Large joints are much better value, and contain more nutriment than small ones, and if not overroasted, may be used, minced, curried, or made into rissoles. The bones of beef will make excellent soups, which
be varied in flavour. As too much animal food is found to be less wholesome than a varied diet, puddings or pies should form part of the plainest dinner. Milk puddings, with rice,
tapioca, or maccaroni are excellent, as also are puddings of finely shred suet and four, with any fruit that may be in season, but these must be made with care, and very well boiled.
Stewing meat with vegetables is an excellent and nutritious method of cooking it, and very economical, as the less expensive parts of beef can be made tender and delicious. Many people visiting the continent have been delighted with the homely dish the French call "pot au feu.” Nothing can be more simple, few simple dishes more nutritious and wholesome-only a piece of beef (it need not be a prime part, but should be rather lean) put into water just lukewarm, with vegetables of every kind that can be procured, nicely trimmed, and a bunch of herbs, etc.
This must be simmered (never boiled) for three hours, carefully skimming it very frequently. The result is, a piece of very tender meat, excellent vegetables, and (if the meat has been kept from boiling) a delicious soup, clear and bright as sherry.
Many simple and excellent French dishes might be used in English households with much advantage to the health, and their method of cooking vegetables ought to be studied by all good housekeepers. Soups are very little used by middle class English houses, except at ceremonious dinners, and it is a great pity, as well made soup is a most nutritious article of food, and one that admits of almost endless variety. It ought to form an important part of the diet of young children, combining, as it does, meat, bread, and vegetables, in a light and digestive form. When the nursery dinner is ordered, the cook should be told to be sparing of eggs in the puddings for that meal, as a very wholesome pudding either of rice, tapioca, bread, or maccaroni, may be made with one egg, and it is more digestible for children or delicate persons.
After the stores have been given out, and the dinner arranged, the housekeeper must make a note of all that is required in the house, and enter all the payments she may have made into her day-book. A strict account of all expenditure must be kept, as otherwise no accurate knowledge of housekeeping will ever be acquired. The book must be balanced every day if possible, and the weekly or monthly settlement of accounts adhered to if convenient, as it is much more easy to check the expenses when the settlements are regularly made. It is not advisable to give servants the power of ordering articles for consumption. If not able to see the tradespeople yourself. send a written order.
The regular discharge of these little household duties will soon become quite easy, and even pleasant; and the young housekeeper will be well repaid for all her trouble in seeing her family well managed, happy, and healthy, a result which will be mainly due to her thoughtful care and intelligence.
NOTABLE LIVING WOMEN AND THEIR DEEDS.
THE "HE subject of the present biography is a lady who This eleventh child of his, however, was bent on
has built up for herself a name which will long reading and cultivating her mind. She borrowed books, be uttered with feelings of love and admiration. Her and in the perusal of them stole many an hour from midwritings are popular wherever the English language is night and repose. spoken, and we are as likely to hear them quoted and sung She now began to write poetry, expressing her earnest in the backwoods of America, or in the bush of Australia, thoughts and generous feelings in stirring song. “My as in the midst of civilized society at home.
earliest rhymes,” she says, “ were written from intuitive Eliza Cook is the youngest of a family of eleven chil. impulse, before hackneyed experience or politic judgment dren ; she was born on
could dictate their tenthe Christmas Eve of the
dency.” Many of her Her father
poems, since well known, was a respectable trades
were composed before man in London Road,
she had reached the Southwark: if we are
of fifteen-among them not mistaken, his busi
may be named “The Star ness was that of a brazier.
of Glengarry," "Lines to Our heroine early
my Pony," "I'm Afloat," showed signs of great
and “ Charlie O'Ross." mental activity, espe
Besides these, there were cially in the direction of
about a score of others, imagination and poetry.
which, one day, when in She was an eager de
a fit of mortified temvourer of fairy tales, and
per, she consigned to the such-like nursery lore,
flames. and would sit a whole
But her excursions evening in the chimney
into the ideal world were nook sighing over the
rudely interrupted for a sad fate of the Babes in
time. Her mother died. the Wood. Her mother
This was a severe blow, -a woman of superior
for Eliza's attachment to intellect-encouraged
her mother was pro-, Eliza's growing facul
found. Her love for her ties; instead of, as a prac
and her devotion to her tical work-a-day mother
memory have indeed all might have done, de
along formed one of the crying both poetry and
prominent features in imagination
Miss Cook's character, moonshine.
one which links
ELIZA Cook. When Eliza was about
itself closely with her nine years old, her father
The holy retired from business, and took up his abode for some expression of filial love, the devotion, reverence, and gratime at a small farm in St. Leonard's Forest, near Hor- titude with which she mentions a name so hallowed, and sham, in Sussex. The rural scenes and pursuits of this embodies the recollection of one so dear to her heart, quiet retreat greatly assisted the development of her poetic form some of the most delightful traits in her poetry. taste. Mr. Cook was rather an eccentric character, it is Let the reader only turn, for example, to “Stanzas to a said, and his eccentricity did not take the form of cram- Bereaved One," “ Mother come Back," and those touching ming the heads of his children with school-learning. On verses of " The Old Arm-Chair." the contrary, he let their intellects look pretty much after Deprived of her much-loved parent, the young girl themselves, and discouraged books in every form.
was thrown back upon her intellectual pursuits. She
diligently studied the works of our great national poets, and gradually recovered her usual cheerful tone of mind.
In 1835 our poetess was induced to collect her juvenile pieces for publication. They were published in that year, under the title of “ Lays of a Wild Harp: a Col. lection of Metrical Pieces, by Eliza Cook.” A modest preface concluded by promising, that "Should this, my first offering, be received in a manner evincing it not entirely worthless, I may chance some future day
"" To sweep the silver strings again,
And strive to wake a nobler strain.''
This little volume, the fruit of such early years, met with a sufficiently favourable reception to encourage the authoress to further exertions. She wrote several new poems, and sent them anonymously to various journals--namely, the “ Weekly Dispatch," the "Metropolitan Magazine, " «the “New Montbly," and the “Literary Gazette.” The respective editors, judging from the style of her writings, concluded at once that she was one of their own sex. Indeed, the Editor of the “Literary Gazette " praised her poems as the production of a gentleman who reminded 'him of “ the style and power of Robert Burns.”
These verses being well received, our heroine's destiny was from that time fixed, as she herself tells us, “to teach in song much that she had learned in suffering.”
Though she had sent verses to several periodicals, the first-named, the “Weekly Dispatch," had the good fortune, in the end, to secure the monopoly of her compositions. For the history of her connection with this journal we are indebted to a gentleman long on the staff of the “ Dispatch," whose courtesy we have here much pleasure in acknowledging.
Eliza Cook's first contribution to the paper was a -song, which appeared, with the initial “ C.” appended, on the 27th of November, 1836. The chorus, beginning,
Then sing to the holly, the Christmas holly,
That hangs o'er peasant and king,” was very characteristic of the writer.
On the 8th of January, 1837, another poem appeared, also signed “C.” It was called “The Heart that's True,'' and was more sentimental than the first one.
The following week appeared a version of " Jim Crow," at that time a highly popular ditty, sung at every street corner. There was no initial appended to this :song-apparently, Miss Cook, who wrote it, did not think it worth preserving.
Other poems followed at short intervals, amongst them being a jeu d'esprit, hitting at Morrison's pills, then prominently before the public in connection with an action for libel.
In May, 1837, another initial was added to the signature—it was now “E. C.” This was first appended to “The Old Arm-Chair”-one of the very best of Eliza Cook's domestic poems, and one which is enshrined in many a heart.
In almost every week's issue of the “ Dispatch”
there was now an "E. C.” poem ; and in July she addressed some really powerful and feeling verses to the young Queen, who had just ascended the throne. They began
“ Lady, perchance an untaught strain
May little suit a Royal ear,
Ere aught it yield be insincere.' Naturally enough, the curiosity of the reading public as to the authorship of these poems regularly appearing in a newspaper of such great circulation and influence was excited.
The proprietors, too, were anxious to get acquainted with the real name of their contributor. An intimation to this effect was inserted in the “Dispatch.''
Our poetess, who by this time had removed from the country, and was residing with one of her brothers in the neighbourhood of St. George's Road, Albany Road, Walworth, near the Surrey Canal, saw the intimation. She replied to it, telling who she was.
The proprietors of the paper were not slow in communicating what they had thus learned to the public. On the 17th of September, 1837, the following lines appeared amongst the " Answers to Correspondents":
In reply to a great many inquiries, we have to state that the author of the and
poems which during the last six months have enriched our columns of Facts and Scraps,' is a young lady named Eliza Cook. The highly favourable reception which these truly poetic effusions have experienced from the public, renders it hardly necessary for us to repeat an opinion already given in this journal, viz., that they are marked by genius of a high order. They are rich in originality, feeling, and expression, and, unless we are greatly mistaken, the lady is destined to occupy a distinguished station among the metrical writers of our country.”
Eliza Cook read this editorial notice with deep emotion. Her calm estimate of her own powers was confirmed by the writer. When she learned that others thought her verses worth something, and that they gave delight to old and young all over the country, she was roused, she tells us, to enthusiasm. "Then was I made to think,” she says, “that my burning desire to pour out my soul's measure of music was given for a purpose. My young bosom throbbed with rapture, for my feelings had met with responsive echoes from honest and genuine Humanity, and the glory of heaven seemed partially revealed, when I discovered that I held power over the affections of earth.” Visions of a brilliant poetic future arose in her mind, and she resolved then and there to devote all her talents to the cultivation of poetry.
The proprietors of the “Dispatch” did more than indulge in compliments and favourable criticism. They sent the young writer a handsome pecuniary acknowledgment. This was an additional stimulus to exertion ; it is wellknown that both poets and prose-writers work best to the jingling of money-bags.
From this time Miss Cook was a regular contributor
to the paper, poems from her pen appearing almost every week. All the best known of her compositions were first given to the world in the columns of the “Dispatch." We may mention, as examples, “ The Englishınan;" "The Mother who has a Child at Sea ;
» « Old Dobbin ;
Old Pincher ;” and the “ Old Straw Hat.”
Business relations soon became those of friendship. Our poetess was invited to Ingress Abbey, in Kent, the seat of Alderman Harmer, the principal proprietor, at that time, of the “ Dispatch." The Alderman had a granddaughter, to whom she became warmly attached, and her visits to the Abbey for a long time were very frequent.
There are some people who, unhappy themselves, cannot bear to let others be at peace, and it is a well-known fact that, live as you please, you cannot escape calumny. The poetess's intimacy with the family of the Alderman did not escape the notice of a few of those miserable beings. They ridiculed it, and in the scurrillous prints of the day-and they were scurrilous, with a vengeance, then-indulged in insinuations of the most absurd kind. One of the fraternity, a clever versifier, vented his malice, by weekly parodying Eliza Cook's poems, appending her name, and making the parody anything but complimentary to the poetess.
No doubt this worse tban ill-natured proceeding was a source of great annoyance to Eliza Cook. Then, why speak of it again, at this time of day? Just for this reason, that the reader may see that brilliant lives are made up of shadow as well as sunshine, and that in a high station in literature or anything else, one is, as some writer has said, only a more conspicuous mark than ordinary for envy to shoot at.
In 1839 Mrs. Osgood, the American poetess, met Eliza Cook in London. She thus describes her: Eliza Cook is just what her noble poetry would lead you to imagine her--a frank, generous, brave, and warm-hearted girl of about twenty, with a face very intelligent. Her hair dark brown and very luxuriant, her eyes grey and full of expression, and a mouth indescribably sweet."
A volume of poems was now projected. It was published in London in 1840, under the title of “Melaia, and other Poems." Melaia, the principal piece, is an eastern tale of the attachment of a dog to his master. There is a generous tone and much kindly teaching in the story, and it abounds in fine passages of poetic power and noble sentiment. This volume of poems was handsomely illustrated, and met with great success, not only in England but in America. The author was now universally recognized as a writer of sound and enduring fame.
Our poetess went on writing for the “Dispatch,"and her name became more and more widely known, till at last it is no exaggeration to say, she was one of the most popular women in England. When her portrait was published, it was with the utmost difficulty that the supply kept pace with the demand. Its circulation extended over the whole kingdom, and the likeness-a very bad one, by the way-was carefully framed and reverently
hung on countless walls. Such a popularity is worth having. “To be loved for one's work!” says Emile Souvestre, “that is the praise which brings gentle tears to the eyes, and makes the heart throb deliciously.” And the full meaning of the words of the French writer must have been felt by Eliza Cook, when in an humble cottage in an obscure hamlet, she came upon her portrait, and saw it numbered among the most precious of the household gods.
Eliza Cook now resolved to start a weekly periodical under the title of “Eliza Cook's Journal.” It was something in the style of the still popular “Chambers's Journal," and the first number appeared on Saturday the 5th of May, 1849. In her opening address the poetess assures her readers, “While venturing this step in the universal march of periodicals, let it be understood that I am not playing with fortune at 'pitch and toss,’ in a desperate or calculating mood of literary gambling, nor am I anxious to declare myself a mental Joan of Arc, bearing special mission to save the people in their noble war against Ignorance and Wrong. . . I am only anxious to give my feeble aid to the gigantic struggle for intellectual elevation now going on, and fling my energies and will into a cause where my heart will zealously animate my duty.”
The Journal attained to considerable popularity. It appealed to the middle classes of society. It showed an intimate acquaintance with their wants and feelings, their ways and habits of life, and a true sympathy with all the better parts of an honest Englishman's character, especially his love of hearth and home, and wife and child. But the health of the editress failed, and the more penetrating of readers did not take long to discover that she was not particularly well qualified for editorial duties. Nature has been very sparing in turning out characters possessed of all the thousand and one gifts and graces necessary for the successful occupation of the editor's chair.
Unfortunately, the establishment of her periodical led to a misunderstanding between Eliza Cook and the proprietors of the “Dispatch,” in which hitherto-in spite of considerable temptations to do otherwise-she had given almost all her poetical pieces to the world. In 1850 her connection with the “ Dispatch"' entirely ceased.
On the 25th of November, 1854, “Eliza Cook's Journal” appeared for the last time. The last number was the 291st, and it formed the conclusion of the first part of the twelfth volume. There was “A Word to my Readers ” from the poetess, at the end.
“It would be as ungrateful," she said, “as unseemly, if I breathed no farewell word to those subscribers who have so generously patronised my earnest though trivial efforts in the cause of simple poetry and popular progression. I shall not say much, for the subject I am communicating is too painful to dwell upon.
“Suffering of an unusually severe character attacked me soon after the commencement of my ‘Journal'; but I endured and laboured with, I trust, a brave heart and patient spirit. After sleepless nights, morning has found me at my desktrembling in frame, but firm in purpose ; and, without a shadow of pretence, let me say that I have worked less with the desire of gaining my daily bread than with the wish to be of use to my fellow-creatures. I am at length compelled to yield to circumstances, and
ust retire—at least for a time from the field of terature.”
She held out a prospect of her again undertaking iterary pursuits, should her health admit of it; but from that time her pen lay idle for many years.
In 1859 a new and cheap edition of the works of Eliza Cook was brought out. “I have long," said the poetess, “had an earnest desire to present my writings to the public in a form and at a price that would place them within the reach of the many, and on the promptings of this desire I have foregone propositions for an expensive work, feeling that I shall derive much greater pleasure from seeing my poems widely circulated, than from any increase of pecuniary benefit."
In the following year appeared "Jottings from my Tournal," but this was but a reprint of the poetess's prose contributions to the defunct periodical.
An elegant illustrated edition of her poems came out in 1861, and then we lose sight of Eliza Cook till 1864, when her “ Diamond Dust " appeared. This was a collection of sparkling sentences and commendable maxims, original, selected, and adapted. Like all collections of the words of the wise, it is a pleasant book to take up at odd moments. The reading is disjointed, but the reader is thick-headed indeed if he is not edified.
Our heroine in the same year published a small volume entitled “New Echoes, and other Poems." It contained some very characteristic pieces, but nothing which so affects and captivates the heart as a few of the household favourites she had previously written--poems such as the “Old Arm-Chair,'' “ Home in the Heart," “ The Last Good-bye,” and “ I Miss Thee, my Mother."
A literary pension was now-we are still speaking of 1864-conferred upon Miss Cook. It was only £100, a very small reward of merit, when we think of the happiness she has given to thousands, and of her contribution to the stock of healthy English literature.
Four years now passed by, and in 1868 the “Weekly Dispatch” was transferred to other hands. Eliza Cook's once familiar name appeared again in its columns. She only, however, contributed three or four poems. Rest, it may be, had rusted her poetic powers. Her writings, at any rate, were noticed to lack the old glow of enthusiasm, Perhaps she observed this herself. She laid aside her pen with a sigh. Ill-health was against the pursuit of her vocation.
But Eliza Cook may well be satisfied. “A single lyric," says Oliver Wendell Holmes, " is enough to give a name, if one can find it in his soul, and finish it in his intellect." Miss Cook has done more than that; she
has given us half a dozen lyrics which will endure as long as the language they are written in.
She has the pleasure, also, of knowing that her writings are known and admired in foreign countries. Two volumes of her poems have been translated into German by Carl Hermann Simon, and many of her pieces have been translated into French.
The next event, and the last for the present to be told in connection with our heroine's life, is that one fine morning, two years or so ago, the newspapers startled us with a very circumstantial account of the termination of her earthly career. But not all the reports in the world can make one die before one's time. Eliza Cook's health, it is true, was far from good, but she was then more alive than a great many of us perhaps ever are, and living, as she does still, in a pretty little house near Wimbledon. Some other Eliza Cook had died; a sharp-witted reporter had jumped to the conclusion that she was the Eliza Cook, and so the mistake had arisen.
The characteristics of Eliza Cook's poetry are great freedom, ease, and heartiness of sentiment and expression. She makes you feel at once that her heart is in all she writes; that she gives full utterance to the depths of her soul-a soul that is in sympathy with all that is pure and true. “She evidently,” says one writer, “has no regard for conventionalism, but presents, without fear, her own actual thoughts, and yet never transcends the limits of taste and delicacy." Her language appears to have flowed spontaneously into rhyme, for there is hardly a trace of labour or study in her poetry.
The following estimate of our poetess, as a writer, is from the pen of Frederick Rowton, in his “ Female Poets of Great Britain "_" By the simple force of genius alone,” says this writer, “and without any aid from adventitious circumstances, Miss Cook has pushed her way into the front ranks of female talent, and stands acknowledged as one of the most attractive writers of song in our literature.
“If I may venture to express plainly my estimate of Miss Cook's powers, I would say of her that hers is one of those strong, truth-seeking, fearless souls, which, disdaining the aids of artificial refinement, and careless alike of censure and applause, present their thoughts in their first shape to the world, and give free, bold utterance to every sentiment and feeling that they experience. There is no bowing to established opinion, no deprecation of criticism, no respect for conventionalism, in Miss Cook.
“Miss Cook has, I think, the boldest spirit of any poetess in our language. The subjects of her verse, the thought it embodies, and the language in which she expresses herself, are all of the same free, sinewy, large, and massive nature. There is no timidity, no reserve, no rounding off in her poetry; but all is plain, terse, energetic, and muscular. It might all have been written by a man, and not better written either. She has a man's sense of freedom, a man's sceptical spirit, a man's wide, grasping,