The Ladies' Tea Guild

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and The Young Lady's Toilette, from 1858.

Image: Simon Howden.

Tomorrow marks the day when England's Queen Elizabeth II equals her predecessor Queen Victoria in one thing -- a reign of 60 years!  Queen Victoria is the only other English monarch to live to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, and hers was in 1897.  The U.K. and the Commonwealth nations will celebrate this anniversary with speeches, a flotilla on the Thames, statue dedications, garden parties, and of course, lots of tea.  The Queen is scheduled to host a tea party for thousands of people at one point!  The festivities will continue through the summer, picking up frequency around the first week of June, which is the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty's coronation.  Whether you are a citizen of Great Britain or just a fan, why not take some time in the coming months to raise a cup of tea to Queen Elizabeth and the tact and intelligence that have kept her sanity intact doing government work for so long!

And now, another extract from a Victorian domestic volume.  This is from Inquire Within for Anything You Want To Know, from 1858.


750. Self-Knowledge—The Enchanting Mirror.
This curious glass will bring your faults to light,
And make your virtues shine both strong and bright.

751. Contentment—Wash to smooth Wrinkles.
A daily portion of this essence use,
‘Twill smooth the brow, and tranquillity infuse.

752. Truth—Fine Lip-salves.
Use daily for your lips this precious dye,
They’ll redden, and breathe sweet melody.

753. Prayer—Mixture, giving Sweetness to the Voice.
At morning, noon, and night, this mixture take,
Your tones improved, will richer music make.

754. Compassion—Best Eye-water.
These drops will add great lustre to the eye;
When more you need, the poor will you supply.

755. Wisdom—Solutions to prevent Eruptions.
It calms the temper, beautifies the face,
And gives to woman dignity and grace.

756. Attention and Obedience—Matchless Pair of Ear-rings.
With these clear drops appended to the ear,
Attentive lessons you will gladly hear.

757. Neatness and Industry—Indispensable Pair of Bracelets.
Clasp them on carefully each day you live,
To good designs they efficacy give.

758. Patience—An Elastic Girdle.
The more you use the brighter it will grow,
Though its least merit is external show.

759. Principle—Ring of Tried Gold.
Yield not this golden bracelet while you live,
‘Twill sin restrain and peace of conscience give.

760. Resignation—Necklace of Purest Pearl.
This ornament embellishes the fair,
And teaches all the ills of life to bear.

761. Love—Diamond Breast-pins.
Adorn your bosom with this precious pin,
It shines without, and warms the heart within.

762. Politeness—A Grateful Bandeau.
The forehead neatly circled with this band,
Will admiration and respect command.

763. Piety—A Precious Diadem.
Whoe’er this precious diadem shall own,
Secures herself an everlasting crown.

764. Good Temper—Universal Beautifier.
With this choice liquid gently touch the mouth,
It spreads o’er all the face the charms of youth.

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)