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THE HOUSEWIFE

3. Cod Fisn To Boil.Choose a fish which is plump and sound near tlio tail, and which has a deep hollow behind the head. The firmness of the flesh is, however, the great point by which to judge: press the finger into the flesh, and if it rise immediately the fish is good, if not it is stale; and the glutinous parts about tho head lose their delicate flavour after the fish has been twenty-four hours out of the water. When the fish is large, and has to be divided, the head and shoulders always receive the preference. Cleanse the fish thoroughly, and rub a little salt over the thick part and the insido an hour or two before dressing it; lay it in the kettle with sufficient cold hard water to cover it, and with every quart of water two teaspoonfuls of salt: if a whole fish be covered with more than two or three inches of water the skin will crack, and the fish will not eat with so full a flavour. Never pour the water on the fish, and only keep it simmering; skim it carefully, and if the water boil away add a little, gently pouring it in at the side of the kettle, and by no means over the fish. Half an hour is an average time for dressing a Cod's head and shoulders, but you must calculate according to the weight of your fish; either more or less as the size may be. You may know when it is done by trying with a thin knife, if in the thick parts, the flesh is easily divided from the bone; if it firmly adheres it is not fully dressed; if it slips from the bono it is over done! This rule applies to all kinds of largo fish boiled. Take it out, and drain it, and serve on a hot napkin, garnish with sliced lemon, horse-radish, and tho liver of the fish. Oyster Sauce is generally eaten with it.

4. Ovstek Sauce.— Three dozen oysters will be sufficientlor a party of six people. Tho oysters must bo bearded if you wish a really good sauce. Open them carefully, strain tho liquor, and add to it as much milk as will make in all half a pint. Mix one teaspoonful of flour with two ounces of butter very smoothly; put it in a saucepan, and pour in the milk and liquor, with just a little sprinkling of salt, and if liked a blade of mace. Keep stirring it one tray over a clear fire, and let it boil quickly for a minute that it may thicken properly; put in the oysters,

S MISCELLANY.

and let them stand by the fire till thoroughly hot, but if the sauce boil after they are added it is spoiled, as the fish become leathery and tasteless. They should look quite plmap when heated enough. Cream instead of milk, or part cream makes this sauce delicious. Some people add a squeeze of lemon, and some grate a little nutmeg while the oysters are plumping: if any mace be put in, it must of course be taken out before sending to table. Serve in a Bauco tureen. If the boards are used fewer oysters are required, but the sauce is certainly inferior.

5. Sam Con should be soaked all night in water, in which is a quarter of a pint of good vinegar. Take it out, see that it is quite clean, and put it into the fish-kettle with sufficient cold water to cover it; let it heat gradually, and do not allow it to boil fast, or the fish will be hard. Skim well while boiling. Drain, and serve with egg sauce and parsnips. An hour will generally suffice for the cooking.

6. Egg Sauce.—Boil till quite hard four or six eggs, according to the thickness of the sauce you require; they will be done enough in about twenty minutes.. Let them lie in cold water for the same length of time, then strip off the shells and chop the eggs into little pieces, but not too fine. Make ready half a pint of melted butter, and stir in tho eggs as it comes to boiling point, and serve very hot. You may make the melted butter with water instead of milk if you choose, but it must be very smooth.

7. Salt Cod, The Second Day.— Carefully take the meat from the bones, and remove all the skin; chop up with tho fish the residue of yesterday's parsnips, potatoes and egg sauce; put the whole into a pie-dish and bake in the oven for half an hour. It should be watched during the baking, and a little fresh butter laid on the top, if it seems to be getting too dry. Fresh cold Cod-fish sprinkled with salt,mixed with oyster sauce, and covered with mashed potatoes, is also very good, baked in like manner.

8. Beef a la gout.—When you are tired of your cold beef, and particularly when it is at all underdone, you may achieve a very nice dish quickly, and at little cost, in the following way :—

Cut thin slices of lean beef, which deposit in a pic-dish in layers, sprinkling each layer with salt and pepper, and a very little flour. You may add onions if you liko, very finely sliced—or just before serving you moy throw in a dozen oysters. In either case put your meat into the oven, with any gravy which may remain from the roast, and a tea-cup full of water, or broth; cover over to keep the steam in, and let it gently stew for an hour. Some persons prefer to boil the onions first till tolerably tender. It is not so nice, served in the dish in which it is baked, but be

sure to send it to table in one which is thoroughly hot. Cold dishes spoil many a well cooked dinner.

N.B.—A tea-spoonful of Mushroom Catsup, or of "Lea and Perriris' Worcestershire Sauce," is an improvement.

9. Apiaixcake.—Rub together half a pound of good beef-dripping, and a pound and a half of flour; add half a pound of sugar, and half a pound of carraway seeds. Mix all well together with a pint of new milk, to which is added a table-spoonful of carbonate of soda—Bake directly: an hour and a half in the oven will be sufficient.

FEBRUARY SONNETS.

Uxxotkd month of desolate dark days,

Of frosts and thaws, wide floods and swollen streams,
And wearying drizzle—when most faintly gleams

The struggling sun, enshrouded in thy maze

Of ragged clouds.—gleams but on sudden wastes—
()ld February fill-dyke! leafless trees
Moan back long wails of sorrow to the breeze

In quivering echoes, and anon rude blasts

Join their bass voices to the weirdish song.
Unpitied winter, shivering in the cold.
And shorn of Christmas strength, and waxing old,

Drenched oft by careless storms, totters along.

shrill shrieks and frantic trumpeting^ of air

Sweep o'er the fields farewells of wild despair.

Yet, month of icy tears, thou boldest hidden

Blisses, rewarding patient search and skill;

As in our deepest griefs, love starcth still,
waiting to greet us when divinely bidden.
Our Sol-monath yields morning flowers; the Year

Smiles in his infancy. From nurturing sleep,

Buds, wakening one by one. begin to peep.
Upon the world with curious looks, half fear:
The golden crocus shoots; the snowdrops pale.

Fair Maids of February, above the snow

Lift their straight-veined green leaves. Wise gardeners sow
Our favourite mignonette; the homelier kale
And cabbage sprout: harsh missel-thrushes cry.
While early wood-larks make sweet melody. Edward W. II.

NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. Oakham.—We may as well at once express our determination not to insert "first attempt*."

A. K. B. B. -We cannot undertake to return copies of verses, and other short MSS.; the troublo would be endless. We have already some dozens of " Lines" and Poems which prudence compels us to decline.

Derby.—-The tone and matter is good, but there is too much of the amateur in tbo composition. Authorship does not come by intuition. "Fovta na.tcitur Erfit" we believe to be the more literal truth.

N.B.—Rejected Articles cannot be returned unless accompanied by postage stamps for the purpose. Persons sending short pieces, poems, &c, should keep copies, as the Editor cannot be responsible for contributions of this nature. In all cases, it is indispensable that the full name and address of the author should be legibly written on the first page of all 1ISS. forwarded for approval.

THE

Christian World Magazine.

March, 1866.

THE FORTUNES OF CYRIL DENHAM.

By The Editor.

CHAPTER VIII.

A QUIET SUNDAY.

Who shall paint the beauty of a Sabbath morning in the early spring ? A morning still, and calm, and clear, the sky all pure from cloud or mist, the sunshine sleeping on the yet bare woods, that are, however, black and dead no longer, but purple, flushed with polished buds thick ■•lusteringon the interlacingbranches! A morning, when the sweet south wind salutes you lovingly: not in boisterous embrace, like his rough and ready brothers of the north and west, or like that pitiless and relentless tyrant of the east, who chills your blood, and holds you shivering in his icy anus without compunction, though his cruel grasp should pale your face, turning the roses of your cheeks to dingy purple, or unhealthy blue, and

the lilies of your brow to ashengrey! The south wind comes caressingly, in little balmy breezes, and wanders through your hair, and kisses you all tenderly and fragrantly, for his breath is perfumed with the odours of fresh flowers and newly up-turned soils, and piny exudations from the quickening foresttrees. And not a sound breaks the sacred stillness^of the Sabbath morn, save the carols of the birds as they sing their matins in the woodlandrfioirs, and the solemn cawing of the rooks as they wheel about their lofty homes, high on the topmost branches of the tossing elms:—till presently the church-clock strikes and the bells begin to ring, and tho south wind wafts their pleasant music over down and dale, now swelling high and loud, now dying faint and low, like echoes of some far off melody; and then—

"The halls from old heroic ages grey
Pour their fair children forth; and hamlets low
Send out their inmates in a happy flow
Like a freed vernal stream."

Such a morning rose in all its when he came bearing his mother's

sweet spring beauty, on the Sunday ungracious acceptance of the invita

after Cyril's visit to Forest Range, tio.i she had received from Lady

VOL. I. L

Ashburner, the week before, at her own dreary house of Monkswood. Agnes Craven was up betimes; she was dressing when the golden mists were fading from the hills: she watched the ruddy glow athwart the red-leaved beeches pale and die; and she thought with tender yearning of her own old home among the mountains, where the rising sun showed ruby-coloured vapours, and lighted up great woods of solemn pine, and sparkled in the wavelets of innumerable streams and clear, broad lakes, whose shores were lovely with the vernal green of early spring.

But though, as the dear familiar scene rose up in all its fair. wild, beauty, a great longing filled her heart to gaze again on fell, rushing river and reed-fringed mere and tarn, she was not unhappy. Oh no! in some way, mysteriously enough, she thought life at Forest Range was already very sweet and pleasant; she felt at home; she could assimilate with these new friends easily and happily: whereas, since her father's death, she had been very much alone, her aunt being as differently constituted from herself as you can well'imagine. Indeed, Mrs. Ainslie and her niece never, as we say. "got on together." Agnes, trained in habits of obedience, and accustomed to regard unqualified submission to the will of elders as a cardinal virtue in young people, did not indeed often come to issues with her aunt, but she felt very often that's if it were not so very wrong she would dearly like to start up in rebellion, and at once and for ever shake off the thraldom which was certainly, to say the least of it, unwise and most oppressive. Mrs. Ainslie —now Mrs Atkinson, only every body seemed to concur in calling her still by the name of her first husband—had a great opinion of feminine reserve, an upright carriage, undeviating propriety of demeanour, and a thorough cultivation of the art of needlework. All good enough things in their way, undoubtedly; but the best of things carried too far becomes as much a nuisance as the worst! It was very

provoking never to be allowed to speak your mind, never to have an opinion of your own; if you tried to discuss any subject to be told that you were unlady-like, or perhaps indelicate; to sit always perfectly erect, not poking as you valued your peace for days and days to come; your shoulders down, your elbows back, your feet uncrossed, and if you were really conscientious,—in the first position! Ah! that "first position!" I wonder whether as a mild form of torture it was ever used by tyrants and persecutors of the olden time? After standing many hours with your heels pressed together, and your toes diverging as far as nature would permit, and your hands stiffening on the arms of an uncompromising "back-board," I think you would be quite ready to succumb to any thing that did not absolutely involve dishonour, sacrilege, or perfidy. It was provoking too to sit and stitch by the thread through sunny summer afternoons, and glorious autumn mornings and evenings, when the earth and sky were all one glow of pomp and festal splendour: especially if you felt that "making shirts " was not your vocation, and never could be while books lay waiting to be read, and nature beckoned you to come out into the sunshine, where she would receive you with a radiant smile and open arms.

And this was Agnes Craven's portion for four years of her life; she had to live by rule, and one day was to be precisely like another, and she must learn to make sliirts. though she had no near male relation living, and to make them too as shirts were made in the good old days, when such wicked, lazy things as sewing-machines were all undreamt of, to make them perfectly and expeditiously and solemnly; with rows on rows of stitching, and "gusset, and band, and seam," all sewed like " strings of pearls," seedpearls of course, the smallest of their Irind. And the gathers were to be "set-in " with infinite precision and due pains, and when the ruffles were hemmed and whipped, and the front was duly ornamented, and the huge collar in its place and the whole garment finished, then came the marking with fine crimson thread, on threads finer still. The whole name sometimes, alas, with number and with date! No wonder that our grandmothers took to spectacles so early.

But strange to say, though shirtmaking was for one while the chief point in her education, Agnes Craven never made a shirt; her needles had a trick of breaking, her cotton would get tangled, and oh, so dirty! her hands grew damp and warm, even in frosty winter days, and as all that was not done well was immediately unpicked, and as Agnes seldom did do stitching or seaming, or gathering or settingiu really and truly well, as Mrs. Ainslie counted "well," at least; it is not surprising that the unlucky shirt became a sort of Penelope's web. and grew to be so limp and ravelled, and so jagged with sundry cuts from hasty scissors in wouldbe expeditious "pickings out "that it was laid aside, a sorrowful memento of idleness and incapacity, and want of character generally.

Then Mrs. Ainslie was anxious that her niece should become an adept in fancy-work! and here she had a little more success, but when all was said and done Agnes flew from her work-basket with delight, and to her piano-forte with something like rapture, or escaped, if she could, into the woods, or on the heath, or " anywhere, anywhere out of the world" of prying eyes and stiff rebukes and perennial finding fault that was never in the sere and yellow leaf, but in full bloom and bud the whole year round from New Year's Day to Christmas.

Harassed and worried and almost persecuted by the well-intentioned but injudicious kinswoman who was only making the too common mistake of forcing a convolvulus to grow after the manner of a standard rose, Agnes ran the risk of becoming morbid, cross, sullen, and ridiculously sentimental. But at this era, when she was just sixteen, and when a crisis seemed most imminent, as the youthful will grew

stronger, and the reigning power required the same unreasoning obedience that had been exacted in the days of childhood,—a friend of her father's visiting the lakes seeing her so quaint and dull, and selfrepressed, so thoroughly unlike a girl without an earthly care, just blossoming into womanhood, asked her aunt to permit her to accompany him with his wife and only daughter on a continental tour which was to last a year.

As might be expected, the answer was decidedly a negative; Mrs. Ainslie did not think foreign travel good for women, her niece would learn French ways, she would turn Papist, she would read light books, and her morals would be corrupted. But Mr. Harold was not the man to take " No !" for an answer; he persevered in his suit, Mrs. Harold united with him. and they jointly prayed, and argued, and flattered, and importuned, till at length consent was won, and the young girl, who had never travelled further south than Kendal, found herself on the way to London, where her new friends lived, whence after a week or two of rest and needful preparation they were to set out for Switzerland and Italy, returning by way of Germany and Belgium or France the following year.

That was a happy time to Agnes, those fifteen months of travel would ever be a bright spot in her life. The Harolds were excessively rich and excessively land; and they spared neither pains nor money to make the journey a delight to her and to their only child, a sickly, irritable girl, finding little pleasure in the scenery that kindled Agnes' enthusiasm to the highest pitch. Still, when the time came to return to England she was well content, and actually glad to see her aunt, glad almost to rapture to behold again the mountains rising round her home, to her not a whit less grand and beautiful for her Alpine and Rhino experiences. Shortly afterwards, like a shock of sudden tempest, came 11 rs. Ainshe's imprudent marriage, proving that very wise women have generally some weak

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