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which they are destined. The yard-wide linens are not thought so strong and well-made as those of the narrower width, but the latter will not always cut out to the same advantage as the wider linens.
I recommend you to resort to good and oldestablished shops, rather than to those which are considered cheaper: the former rest their prosperity upon the approbation of steady customers, and will not knowingly offer them goods which are bad in quality, and which would prove unserviceable, while the latter are eager to attract vagrant purchasers, alluring them by the promise of bargains - a delusive promise, the goods thus offered for sale being usually of so flimsy a texture as to prove, on trial, scarcely worth the trifling sum that had been given for them.
This love of bargain-making is another of the many failings of which our sex is accused. I cannot understand why it is that a feeling of exultation springs up within us the moment we fancy ourselves possessors of a bargain. It seems scarcely an honest principle which can induce us to be pleased at a supposed advantage we gain over the manufacturer or tradesman.
MRS. B.. It would be a far better and more upright feeling which prompted you, on entering a shop with a view to purchase, to desire only a just exchange between the dealer and yourself of commodity and specie. You yourself must endeavour to decide upon the real value of the articles laid before you, and to satisfy yourself that you are not called upon to pay more for them than
what is reasonable. If the price exceeds your expectation, it then becomes more just to bring down your wishes to the purchase of articles of lower value, rather than to attempt, as many do, to beat down to your own terms the price of those of higher value. This I cannot but consider as a wrong principle to act upon, and I should be inclined to withdraw my custom from any tradesman whom I found to be in the habit of asking one price for his goods and accepting another. He is unjust to himself, if he permit you to purchase from him at too low a rate, and unjust to you, if he require from you more than the goods in question are worth. In all steady, reputable shops, you will find the prices nearly the same, according to the state of the markets. Some variation there may be, occasionally, amongst them, arising, perhaps, from accidental circumstances, but, generally speaking, you will find this assertion
Those, also, who are fond of bargains, lose more time in hunting after them than the difference of the price in the articles they purchase can compensate, were even the principle upon which they act a proper one. This ranging from shop to shop has also given origin to a fashionable method of killing time, which is well known by the term shopping, and is literally a mean and unwarrantable amusement, at the expense of the tradesmen and shopkeepers who are subjected to it, and an insulting trial of the tempers of these poor people.. I have seen ladies get down half the goods in a haberdasher's shop upon his counter, and, after talking
for an hour or two on their qualities and prices, leave the shop without making a purchase. I do not judge too harshly in saying that they entered without any intention of purchasing, and merely for amusement.
With regard to family-linen, bargains are particularly to be avoided by the economist, as table and other household linen should be purchased on the presumption that they have strength and durability for the wear of many years, and this no bargain, which I have ever seen, could fairly promise. It is not convenient to every one to purchase these expensive articles of very fine materials, but, when it can be done, I am persuaded it answers well, as to durability; and in washing, the colour is more easily preserved in fine than in coarse linens.
MRS. L-What a serious expense is washing in a family! I am desirous of ascertaining the least expensive way of having it well done.
MRS. B.-I am glad to hear you lay an emphasis on the words well done. Bad washing can never be at a cheap rate; however little you may fancy you pay for it, it is still too dear. It will ruin your clothes and linen, which will not serve half the time they might have done, with a good clean washing, and a proper getting up.
MRS. L. Is it better to have the washing done at home, or to send it out to a laundress?
MRS. B.- Our grandmothers would be surprised at that question, and particularly with modern management in respect to washing, could they see it. In their day a family-wash was a matter of deep in
The clouds and the weather-glass were examined, and all the usual domestic arrangements were made subservient to the happy accomplishment of this grand event. A wash was a season of toil and anxiety both to mistress and maiden, and, I believe, of dismay and discomfiture to every other member of the family. Its advantages, however, were great, though not in proportion to the inconveniences endured. The whiteness of the linen, and the superior clear-starching and ironing of those days, are not, by any means, equalled in modern washing; nor can our economists boast of any mode by which it can be done at so comparatively trifling an expense. But the presence and scrutiny of the mistress or housekeeper were essential to the good progress of the work, as well as to prevent any waste provisions. That presence and scrutiny were in fact the soul, without which the whole body would have done almost nothing. No hands would have been diligent and no tongue silent; and gossiping, I need scarcely say, is not a trifling enemy to dispatch and industry.
The present habits, both of the heads of families and their servants, render the old-fashioned monthly wash out of the question, in these days; and if that were not the case, I doubt whether, taking every thing into consideration, it would be desirable to revive the custom. To keep a laundry-maid, and to send the linen out weekly to a laundress, are the two modes of management, now, generally adopted. The expediency of the first plan depends upon the size of a family, and the conveniences which the house may afford for this
arrangement. When a family is large enough to employ the whole time of a laundry-maid, in washing, getting up, and in assisting to repair the linens, I am inclined to think it a desirable plan to be adopted. It almost ensures good washing, and the proper airing of the linen. The inconveniences are, the danger of extravagance in soap, candles, and coals, which would render it very expensive. The laundry, also, is often a place of resort and gossip for the other servants of the family, which is an evil difficult to prevent, unless a very strict observation is kept up on the part of the mistress. It is perhaps the most convenient and least troublesome plan to send the linen to a laundress, though, if your family be large, the expense is immense; each article being separately charged makes the whole amount to a considerable sum weekly. The expense may, in some degree, be diminished, by stipulating that the smaller articles, such as pocket-handkerchiefs, neckcloths, and frills, be charged by the dozen, instead of each article being separately charged. Some good managers get their washing done by contract, and this, when you can ensure its being well done, is a pleasant plan, because you ascertain the exact sum your washing will cost you during the year. But it often happens that the laundress does not discharge, very conscientiously, her part of the contract, but sends home the linen miserably got up, and badly aired. When this happens, you cannot consider such washing as cheaply performed.
MRS. L. Are there any ation of linen and clothes?
rules for the preserv