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Hatchelling and carding, spinning and reeling, weaving and bleaching, cooking, candle and cheese making, were not the only household occupations of our busy grandmothers when they were young; a score of domestic duties kept ever busy their ready hands.

Some notion of the qualifications of a housekeeper over a century ago may be obtained from this advertisement in the _Pennsylvania Packet_ of September 23, 1780:

     "Wanted at a Seat about half a day's journey from Philadelphia, on which are good improvements and domestics, A single Woman of unsullied Reputation, an affable, cheerful, active and amiable Disposition; cleanly, industrious, perfectly qualified to direct and manage the female Concerns of country business, as raising small stock, dairying, marketing, combing, carding, spinning, knitting, sewing, pickling, preserving, etc., and occasionally to instruct two young Ladies in those Branches of Oeconomy, who, with their father, compose the Family. Such a person will be treated with respect and esteem, and meet with every encouragement due to such a character."

Respect and esteem, forsooth! and due encouragement to such a miracle of saintliness and capacity; light terms indeed to apply to such a character.

There is, in the library of the Connecticut Historical Society, a diary written by a young girl of Colchester, Connecticut, in the year 1775. Her name was Abigail Foote. She set down her daily work, and the entries run like this:--

     "Fix'd gown for Prude,--Mend Mother's Riding-hood,--Spun short thread,--Fix'd two gowns for Welsh's girls,--Carded tow,--Spun linen,--Worked on Cheese-basket,--Hatchel'd flax with Hannah, we did 51 lbs. apiece,--Pleated and ironed,--Read a Sermon of Doddridge's,--Spooled a piece,--Milked the cows,--Spun linen, did 50 knots,--Made a Broom of Guinea wheat straw,--Spun thread to whiten,--Set a Red dye,--Had two Scholars from Mrs. Taylor's,--I carded two pounds of whole wool and felt Nationly,--Spun harness twine,--Scoured the pewter."

She tells also of washing, cooking, knitting, weeding the garden, picking geese, etc., and of many visits to her friends. She dipped candles in the spring, and made soap in the autumn. This latter was a trying and burdensome domestic duty, but the soft soap was important for home use.

All the refuse grease from cooking, butchering, etc., was stored through the winter, as well as wood-ashes from the great fireplaces. The first operation was to make the lye, to "set the leach." Many families owned a strongly made leach-barrel; others made a sort of barrel from a section of the bark of the white birch. This barrel was placed on bricks or set at a slight angle on a circular groove in a wood or stone base; then filled with ashes; water was poured in till the lye trickled or leached out through an outlet cut in the groove, into a small wooden tub or bucket. The water and ashes were frequently replenished as they wasted, and the lye accumulated in a large tub or kettle. If the lye was not strong enough, it was poured over fresh ashes. An old-time receipt says:--

     "The great Difficulty in making Soap come is the want of Judgment of the Strength of the Lye. If your Lye will bear up an Egg or a Potato so you can see a piece of the Surface as big as a Ninepence it is just strong enough."

The grease and lye were then boiled together in a great pot over a fire out of doors. It took about six bushels of ashes and twenty-four pounds of grease to make a barrel of soap. The soft soap made by this process seemed like a clean jelly, and showed no trace of the repulsive grease that helped to form it. A hard soap also was made with the tallow of the bayberry, and was deemed especially desirable for toilet use. But little hard soap was purchased, even in city homes.

It was a common saying: "We had bad luck with our soap," or good luck. The soap was always carefully stirred one way. The "Pennsylvania Dutch" used a sassafras stick to stir it. A good smart worker could make a barrel of soap in a day, and have time to sit and rest in the afternoon and talk her luck over, before getting supper.

This soft soap was used in the great monthly washings which, for a century after the settlement of the colonies, seem to have been the custom. The household wash was allowed to accumulate, and the washing done once a month, or in some households once in three months.

Thomas Tusser's rhymed instructions to good housekeepers as to the washing contain chiefly warnings to the housekeeper against thieves, thus:--

              "Dry sun, dry wind, Safe bind, safe find. Go wash well, saith summer, with sun I shall dry; Go wring well, saith winter, with wind so shall I. To trust without heed is to venture a joint, Give tale and take count is a housewifely point."

Abigail Foote wrote of making a broom of Guinea wheat. This was not broom-corn, for that useful plant was not grown in Connecticut for the purpose of broom-making till twenty years or more after she wrote her diary. Brooms and brushes were made of it in Italy nearly two centuries ago. Benjamin Franklin, who was ever quick to use and develop anything that would benefit his native country, and was ever ready to take a hint, noted a few seeds of broom-corn hanging on an imported brush. He planted these seeds and raised some of the corn; and Thomas Jefferson placed broom-corn among the productions of Virginia in 1781. By this time many had planted it, but no systematic plan of raising broom-corn abundantly for the manufacture of brooms was planned till 1798, when Levi Dickenson, a Yankee farmer of Hadley, Massachusetts, planted half an acre. From this he made between one and two hundred brooms which he peddled in a horse-cart in neighboring towns. The following year he planted an acre; and the tall broom-corn with its spreading panicles attracted much attention. Though he was thought visionary when he predicted that broom manufacture would be the greatest industry in the county, and though he was sneeringly told that only Indians ought to make brooms, he persevered; and his neighbors finally planted and made brooms also. He carried brooms soon to Pittsfield, to New London, and in 1805 to Albany and Boston. So rapid was the increase of manufacture that in 1810 seventy thousand brooms were made in the county. Since then millions of dollars' worth have gone forth from the farms and villages in his neighborhood.

Mr. Dickenson at first scraped the seed from the brush with a knife; then he used a sort of hoe; then a coarse comb like a ripple-comb. He tied each broom by hand, with the help of a negro servant. Much of this work could be done by little girls, who soon gave great help in broom manufacture; though the final sewing (when the needle was pressed through with a leather "palm" such as sailors use) had to be done by the strong hands of grown women and men.

Doubtless Abigail Foote made many an "Indian broom," as well as her brooms of Guinea wheat, which may have been a special home manufacture of her neighborhood; for many fibres, leaves, and straws were used locally in broom-making.

Another duty of the women of the old-time household was the picking of domestic geese. Geese were raised for their feathers more than as food. In some towns every family had a flock, and their clanking was heard all day and sometimes all night. They roamed the streets all summer, eating grass by the highways and wallowing in the puddles. Sometimes they were yoked with a goose-yoke made of a shingle with a hole in it. In midwinter they were kept in barnyards, but the rest of the year they spent the night in the street, each flock near the home of its owner. It is said that one old goose of each flock always kept awake and stood watch; and it was told in Hadley, Massachusetts, that if a young man chanced to be out late, as for instance a-courting, his return home wakened the geese throughout the village, who sounded the unseasonable hour with a terrible clamor. They made so much noise on summer Sundays that they seriously disturbed church services; and became such nuisances that at last the boys killed whole flocks.

Goose-picking was cruel work. Three or four times a year were the feathers stripped from the live birds. A stocking was pulled over the bird's head to keep it from biting. Sometimes the head was thrust into a goose basket. The pickers had to wear old clothes and tie covers over the hair, as the down flew everywhere. The quills, used for pens, were never pulled but once from a goose. Palladius, _On Husbondrie_, written in the fourth century, and Englished in the fifteenth century, tells of goose-picking:--

    "Twice a yere deplumed may they be, In spryngen tyme and harvest tyme."

The old Latin and English times for picking were followed in the New World. Among the Dutch, geese were everywhere raised; for feather-beds were, if possible, more desired by the Dutch than the English.

In a work entitled _Good Order established in Pennsylvania and New Jersey_, written by a Quaker in 1685, he urges that schools be provided where girls could be instructed in "the spinning of flax, sewing, and making all sorts of useful needle work, knitting of gloves and stockings, making of straw-works, as hats, baskets, etc., or any other useful art or mystery." It was a century before his "making of straw-works" was carried out, not till larger importations of straw hats and bonnets came to this country.

When the beautiful and intricate straw bonnets of Italian braid, Genoese, Leghorn, and others, were brought here, they were too costly for many to purchase; and many attempts, especially by country-bred girls, were made to plait at home straw braids to imitate these envied bonnets. Many towns claim the first American straw bonnet; in fact, the attempts were almost simultaneous. To Betsey Metcalf of Providence, Rhode Island, is usually accorded the honor of starting the straw-hat business in America. The earliest recorded effort to manufacture straw head-wear is shown in a patent given to Mrs. Sibylla Masters of Philadelphia, for using palmetto and straw for hats. This Mrs. Masters was the first American, man or woman, ever awarded a patent in England. The first patent issued by the United States to a woman was also for an invention in straw-plaiting. A Connecticut girl, Miss Sophia Woodhouse, was given a prize for "leghorn hats" which she had plaited; and she took out a patent in 1821 for a new material for bonnets. It was the stalks, above the upper joint, of spear-grass and redtop grass growing so profusely in Weathersfield. From this she had a national reputation, and a prize of twenty guineas was given her the same year by the London Society of Arts. The wife of President John Quincy Adams wore one of these bonnets, to the great pride of her husband.

When the bonnet was braided and sewed into shape, it had to be bleached, for it was the dark natural straw. I don't know the domestic process in general use, but an ingenious family of sisters in Newburyport thus accomplished their bleaching. They bored holes in the head of a barrel; tied strings to each new bonnet; passed the strings through the holes and carefully plugged the openings with wood. This left the bonnets hanging inside the barrel, which was set over an old-fashioned foot-stove filled with hot coals on which sulphur had been placed. The fumes of the burning sulphur arose and filled the barrel, and were closely retained by quilts wrapped around it. When the bonnets were taken out, they were clear and white. The base of a lignum-vitæ mortar made into the proper shape with layers of pasteboard formed the mould on which the bonnet crown was pressed.

Even before they could spin girls were taught to knit, as soon as their little hands could hold the needles. Sometimes girls four years of age could knit stockings. Boys had to knit their own suspenders. All the stockings and mittens for the family, and coarse socks and mittens for sale, were made in large numbers. Much fine knitting was done, with many intricate and elaborate stitches; those known as the "herring-bone" and "fox and geese" were great favorites. By the use of curious stitches initials could be knit into mittens; and it is said that one young New Hampshire girl, using fine flaxen yarn, knit the whole alphabet and a verse of poetry into a pair of mittens; which I think must have been long-armed mitts for ladies' wear, to have space enough for the poetry.

To knit a pair of double mittens was a sharp and long day's work. Nancy Peabody's brother of Shelburne, New Hampshire, came home one night and said he had lost his mittens while chopping in the woods. Nancy ran to a bundle of wool in the garret, carded and spun a big hank of yarn that night. It was soaked and scoured the next morning, and in twenty-four hours from the time the brother announced his loss he had a fine new pair of double mittens. A pair of double hooked and pegged mittens would last for years. Pegging, I am told, was heavy crocheting.

An elaborate and much-admired form of knitting was the bead bags and purses which were so fashionable in the early years of this century, though I have seen some knitted bags of colonial days.

Great variety and ingenuity were shown in these bags and purses. Some bore landscapes and figures; others were memorials done in black and white and purple beads, having so-called "mourning designs," such as weeping willows, gravestones, urns, etc., with the name of the deceased person and date of death. Beautiful bags were knitted to match wedding-gowns. Knitted purses were a favorite token and gift from fair hands to husband or lover. Watch chains were more unusual; they were knit in a geometrical design, were about a yard long and about three-eighths of an inch in diameter. One I saw had in tiny letters in gilt beads the date and the words "Remember the Giver." In all these knitted and crocheted bags the beads had to be strung by a rule in advance; in an elaborate pattern of many colors it may easily be seen that the mistake of a single bead in the stringing would spoil the entire design. They were therefore never a cheap form of decorative work. Five dollars was often paid for knitting a single bag. A varied group from the collection of Mr. J. Howard Swift of Chicago is here shown.

Netting was another decorative handiwork. Netted fringes for edging the coverlets, curtains, testers, and valances of high-post bedsteads were usually made of cotton thread or twine, and when tufted or tasselled were a pretty finish. A finer silk or cotton netting was used for trimming sacks and petticoats. A letter written by Mrs. Carrington from Mount Vernon in 1799 says of Mrs. President Washington:--

     "Her netting is a source of great amusement to her and is so neatly done that all the younger part of the family are proud of trimming their dresses with it, and have furnished me with a whole suit so that I shall appear 'a la domestique' at the first party we have when I get home."

Netted purses and work-bags also were made similar to the knitted ones. A homelier and heavier netting of twine was often done at home for small fishing-nets.

Previous to the Revolution there was a boarding-school kept in Philadelphia in Second Street near Walnut, by a Mrs. Sarah Wilson. She thus advertised:--

     "Young ladies may be educated in a genteel manner, and pains taken to teach them in regard to their behaviour, on reasonable terms. They may be taught all sorts fine needlework, viz., working on catgut or flowering muslin, sattin stitch, quince stitch, tent stitch, cross-stitch, open work, tambour, embroidering curtains or chairs, writing and cyphering. Likewise waxwork in all its several branches, never as yet particularly taught here; also how to take profiles in wax, to make wax flowers and fruits and pin-baskets."

There was no limit to the beauty and delicacy of the embroidery of those days. I have seen the beautiful needlework cap and skirt worn by Governor Thomas Johnson of Maryland, when he was christened. The coat of arms of both the Lux and Johnson families, the name Agnes Lux and Anne Johnson, and the words "God bless the Babe" are embroidered upon them in most delicate fairy stitches. The babe grew up to be the governor of his state in Revolutionary times.

In an old book printed in 1821, a set of rules is given for teaching needlework, and it is doubtless exactly what had been the method for a century. The girls were first shown how to turn a hem on a piece of waste paper; then they proceeded to the various stitches in this order: to hem, to sew and fell a seam, to draw threads and hemstitch, to gather and sew on gathers, to make buttonholes, to sew on buttons, to do herring-bone stitch, to darn, to mark, to tuck, whip, and sew on a frill. There is also a long and tedious set of questions and answers like a catechism, explaining the various stitches.

There was one piece of needlework which was done by every little girl who was carefully brought up: she sewed a sampler. These were worked in various beautiful and difficult stitches in colored silks and wool on a strong, loosely woven canvas.

In English collections, the oblong samplers, long and narrow, are as a rule older than the square samplers; and it is safe to believe the same of American samplers. Fortunately, many of them are dated, but this ancient one from the Quincy family has no date. The oldest sampler I have ever seen is in the collection of antique articles now in Pilgrim Hall at Plymouth. It was made by a daughter of the Pilgrims. The verse embroidered on it reads:--

    "Lorea Standish is My Name. Lord Guide my Heart that I may do thy Will, And fill my Hands with such convenient skill As will conduce to Virtue void of Shame, And I will give the Glory to thy Name."

Similar verses, and portions of hymns, are often found on these samplers. A favorite rhyme was:--

    "When I was young and in my Prime, You see how well I spent my Time. And by my sampler you may see What care my Parents took of me."

A very spirited verse is:--

    "You'll mend your life to-morrow still you cry. In what far Country does To-morrow lie? It stays so long, is fetch'd so far, I fear 'Twill prove both very old, and very dear."

Strange trees and fruits and birds and beasts, wonderful vines and flowers, were embroidered on these domestic tapestries.

In the hands of a skilful worker, the sampler might become a thing of beauty and historical interest; and the stitches learned and practised on it might be used on more ambitious pieces of work, which often took the shape of the family coat of arms. Such was the work of Mary Salter (Mrs. Henry Quincy), who was born in 1726, and died in 1755. It is the arms of Salter and Bryan party per pale upon a shield. Rich in embossed work in gold and silver thread, it is a beautiful testimonial to the deft and proficient hand of the young needlewoman who embroidered it.

Sometimes pretentious pictures representing events in public or family history, were embroidered in crewels on sampler linen. The largest and funniest one I have ever seen was the boarding-school climax of glory of Miss Hannah Otis, sister of the patriot James Otis. It is a view of the Hancock House, Boston Common, and vicinity, as they appeared from 1755 to 1760. Across its expanse Governor Hancock rides triumphantly; and the fair maid looking over the garden wall at the Charles River is Dorothy Quincy, afterwards Madam Hancock. This triumph of school-girl affection and needle-craft, wholly devoid of perspective or proportion, made a great sensation in Boston, in its day.

Another large piece of similar work is here represented. The original is in the library of the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a view of the Old South Church, Boston; and with its hooped dames and coach and footman, has a certain value as indicating the costume of the times. It is dated 1756.

Familiar to the descendants of old New England families, are the embroidered mourning pieces. These are seldom more than a century old. On them weeping willows and urns, tombs and mourning figures, names of departed friends with dates of their deaths, and epitaphs were worked with vast skill, and were so much admired and were such a delightful home decoration, that it is no unusual thing to find these elaborate memento moris with empty spaces for names and dates, waiting for some one to die, and still unfilled, unfinished, blankly commemorative of no one, while the industrious embroiderer has long since gone to the tomb she so deftly and eagerly pictured, and her name, too, is forgotten.

Tambour work was a favorite form of embroidery. In 1788 Madam Hesselius wrote thus in jest of her daughter, a Philadelphia miss:--

    "To tambour on crape she has a great passion, Because here of late it has been much the fashion. The shades are dis-sorted, the spangles are scattered And for want of due care the crape has got tattered."

Tambouring with various stitches on different kinds of net made pretty laces; and these were apparently the laces usually worked and worn. In the form of rich veils and collars scores of intricate and beautiful stitches were used, and exquisite articles of wear were manufactured.

A strip of net footing pinned and sewn to paper, with reels of fine linen thread and threaded needle attached, is shown in the accompanying illustration just as it was left by the deft and industrious hands that have been folded for a century in the dust. The pattern and stitches in this design are simple; the design was first pricked in outline with a pin, then worked in. Other stitches and patterns, none of them the most elaborate and difficult, are shown in the infant's cap and collars, and the strips of lace and "modesty-piece."

In the seventeenth century lace-making with bobbins was taught; it is referred to in Judge Sewall's diary; and a friend has shown me the cushion and bobbins used by her far-away grandmother who learned the various stitches in London at a guinea a stitch.

The feminine love of color, the longing for decoration, as well as pride in skill of needle-craft, found riotous expansion in quilt-piecing. A thrifty economy, too, a desire to use up all the fragments and bits of stuffs which were necessarily cut out in the shaping, chiefly of women's and children's garments, helped to make the patchwork a satisfaction. The amount of labor, of careful fitting, neat piecing, and elaborate quilting, the thousands of stitches that went into one of these patchwork quilts, are to-day almost painful to regard. Women revelled in intricate and difficult patchwork; they eagerly exchanged patterns with one another; they talked over the designs, and admired pretty bits of calico, and pondered what combinations to make, with far more zest than women ever discuss art or examine high art specimens together to-day. There was one satisfactory condition in the work, and that was the quality of the cottons and linens of which the patchwork was made. They were none of the slimsy, composition-filled, aniline-dyed calicoes of to-day. A piece of "chaney," "patch," or "copper-plate" a hundred years old will be as fresh to-day as when woven. Real India chintzes and palampours are found in these quilts, beautiful and artistic stuffs, and the firm, unyielding, high-priced, "real" French calicoes.

A sense of the idealization of quilt-piecing is given also by the quaint descriptive names applied to the various patterns. Of those the "Rising-sun," "Log Cabin," and "Job's Trouble" are perhaps the most familiar. "Job's Trouble" was simply honeycomb or hexagonal blocks. "To set a Job's Trouble," was to cut out an exact hexagon for a pattern (preferably from tin, otherwise from firm cardboard); to cut out from this many hexagons in stiff brown paper or letter paper. These were covered with the bits of calico with the edges turned under; the sides were sewed carefully together over and over, till a firm expanse permitted the removal of the papers.

The name of the pattern seldom gave an expression of its character. "Dove in the Window," "Rob Peter to Pay Paul," "Blue Brigade," "Fan-mill," "Crow's Foot," "Chinese Puzzle," "Fly-wheel," "Love-knot," "Sugar-bowl," are simply whims of fancy. Floral names, such as "Dutch Tulip," "Sunflower," "Rose of Sharon," "Bluebells," "World's Rose," might suggest a love of flowers. Sometimes designs are appliqued on with some regard for coloring. I once saw a quilt that was a miracle of tedious work. The squares of white cotton each held a slender stem with two leaves of green or light brown calico, surmounted by a four-petalled flower of high-colored calico,--pink, red, blue, etc. This design was all carefully hemmed down. The effect was surprisingly Oriental.

When the patchwork was completed, it was laid flatly on the lining (often another expanse of patchwork), with layers of wool or cotton wadding between, and the edges were basted all around. Four bars of wood, about ten feet long, "the quiltin'-frame," were placed at the four edges, the quilt was sewed to them with stout thread, the bars crossed and tied firmly at corners, and the whole raised on chairs or tables to a convenient height. Thus around the outstretched quilt a dozen quilters could sit running the whole together with fanciful set designs of stitching. When about a foot on either side was wholly quilted, it was rolled upon its bar, and the work went on; thus the visible quilt diminished, like Balzac's Peau de Chagrin, in a united and truly sociable work that required no special attention, in which all were facing together and all drawing closer together as the afternoon passed in intimate gossip. Sometimes several quilts were set up. I know of a ten days' quilting-bee in Narragansett in 1752.

In early days calicoes were not common, but every one had woollen garments and pieces, and the quilts made of these were of grateful warmth in bleak New England. All kinds of commonplace garments and remnants of decayed gentility were pressed into service in these quilts: portions of the moth-eaten and discarded uniforms of militia-men, worn-out flannel sheets dyed with some brilliant home-dye, old coat and cloak linings, well-worn petticoats. A magnificent scarlet cloak worn by a lord mayor of London and brought to America by a member of the Merritt family of Salisbury, Massachusetts, went through a series of adventures and migrations, and ended its days as small bits of vivid color casting a grateful glory and variety on a patchwork quilt in the Saco valley of Maine. To this day at vendues or sales of old country households in New England, there will be handed out great rolls of woollen pieces to be used for patchwork quilts or rag carpets, and they find purchasers.

These woollen quilts had a thin wadding, and were usually very closely quilted, so they were quite flat. They were called "pressed quilts." An old farm wife said to me in New Hampshire, "Girls won't take the trouble to make pressed quilts nowadays, it's as much as they'll do to tack a puff," that is, make a light quilt with thick wadding only tacked together from front to back, at regular intervals. A pressed quilt which I saw was quilted in inch squares. Another had a fan-pattern with sunflower leaf border; another was quilted in the elaborate pattern known as "feather-work."

As much ingenuity was exercised in the design of the quilting as in the pattern of the patchwork, and the marking for the quilt design was exceedingly tedious, since, of course, no drawings could be used. I remember seeing one quilt marked by chalking strings which were stretched tightly across at the desired intervals, and held up and snapped smartly down on the quilt, leaving a faint chalky line to guide the eye and needle. Another simple design was to quilt in rounds, using a saucer or plate to form a perfect circle.

The most elaborate quilt I know of is of silk containing portions of the wedding-dress of Esther Powel, granddaughter of Gabriel Bernon; she was married to James Helme in 1738. When her granddaughter was married in 1795, the quilt was still unfinished, and a woman was hired who worked on it for six months, putting a miracle of fine stitches in the quilting. I think she must have been very old and very slow, for the wages paid her were but twenty cents a week and "her keep," which was very small pay even in that day of small wages. When Washington came to Newport, this splendid quilt was sent to grace the bed upon which the hero slept.

I said a few summers ago to a farmer's wife who lived on the outskirts of a small New England hill-village: "Your home is very beautiful. From every window the view is perfect." She answered quickly: "Yes, but it's awful lonely for me, for I was born in Worcester; still I don't mind as long as we have plenty of quiltings." In answer to my questions she told me that the previous winter she had "kept count," and she had helped at twenty-eight "regular" quiltings, besides her own home patchwork and quilt-making, and much informal help of neighbors on plain quilts. Any one who has attended a county fair (one not too modernized and spoiled) and seen the display of intricate patchwork and quilting still made in country homes, can see that it is not an obsolete accomplishment.

A form of decorative work in which many women took great delight and became astonishingly skilful was what was known, or at any rate advertised, by the ambitious title of Papyrotamia. It was simply the cutting out of stiff paper of various decorative and ornamental designs with scissors. At the time of the Revolution it was evidently deemed a very high accomplishment, and the best pieces of work were carefully cherished, mounted on black paper, framed and glazed, and given to friends or bequeathed by will. One old lady is remembered as using her scissors with extraordinary deftness, and amusing herself and delighting her friends by occupying the hours of every afternoon visit with cutting out entirely by her trained eye various pretty and curious designs. Valentines in exceedingly delicate and appropriate patterns, wreaths and baskets of varied flowers, marine views, religious symbols, landscapes, all were accomplished. Coats of arms and escutcheons cut in black paper and mounted on white were highly prized. Portrait silhouettes were cut with the aid of a machine which marked and reduced mechanically a sharp shadow cast by the sitter's profile through candle-light on a sheet of white paper. Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney wrote in rhyme of a revered friend of her youth, Mrs. Lathrop, of a period about a century ago:--

    "Thy dextrous scissors ready to produce The flying squirrel or the long-neck'd goose, Or dancing girls with hands together join'd, Or tall spruce-trees with wreaths of roses twin'd, The well-dress'd dolls whose paper form display'd, Thy penknife's labor and thy pencil's shade."

I once found in an old lacquered box in a cupboard a paper packet containing all the cut-paper designs mentioned in this rhyme--and many more. The workmanship of the "spruce-trees with wreaths of roses twin'd" was specially marvellous. I plainly saw in that design a derivative of the English Maypole and encircling wreaths. This package was marked with the name of the paper-cutter, a Revolutionary dame who died at the beginning of this century. Her home was remote from the Norwich home of Mrs. Lathrop, and I know she never visited in Connecticut, yet she made precisely the same designs and indeed all the designs. This is but a petty proof among many other more decided ones of the fact that even in those days of scant communication and infrequent and contracted travel, there were as in our own times waves of feminine fancy work, of attempts at artistic expression, which flooded every home, and receding, left behind much decorative silt of varying but nearly universal uselessness and laborious commonplaceness.

One of the cut-paper landscapes of Madam Deming, a Boston lady who was a famous "papyrotamist," is here shown. It is now owned by James F. Trott, Esq., of Niagara Falls. It is a view of Boston streets just previous to the Revolution. In that handsome volume, the _Ten Broeck Genealogical Record_, are reproductions of some of the landscape views by Albertina Ten Broeck at the same date. They show the house and farm surroundings of the old Ten Broeck "Bouwerie," the ancestral home in New York, and give a wonderfully good idea of it. These are not in dead silhouette, for an appearance of shading is afforded by finely cut lines and intervening spaces. The highest form of cut-paper reproduction and decoration ever reached was by the English woman, Mrs. Delaney, who died in 1788, the friend of the Duchess of Portland, and intimate of George III. and his queen. She reproduced in colored paper, in what she called "paper mosaics," the entire flora of the United Kingdom, and it is said it was impossible at first sight to distinguish these flowers from the real ones.