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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Family, People and Relationships

Guide to the Work Household - To Young Married Couples

First published 1846

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -


Guide too Young Married CouplesTo Young Married Couples. — You are supposed to begin housekeeping with a decent competence, which, with industry and frugality, will enable you to live comfortably, and put something by. Never, therefore, dream of saving, except of saving yourselves trouble. Be sure to rise very late ; you will thus have the less time to spend in minding your affairs. Also, wives particularly, be as long as you can in dressing of a morning; whereby you will pleasantly get over two or even three hours, which might have been devoted to domestic drudgery. On no account do anything for yourselves that servants can do for you; and, therefore, do not be content with one servant. Bear constantly in mind the maxims following:— lt is impossible for a lady to darn stockings. She can by no means make a shirt for her husband, or a dress for herself. She must never be seen in the kitchen. As to looking after her linen, helping to make beds, or cook, the very thought of such exertions ought to kill her. You should have two dinners daily ; one for your servants at two, and another for yourselves at seven, until you are blessed with a family., and then you should have three. Hot dishes every day are indispensable; never, for economy's sake, put up with a cold dinner. Have fires in every room in the house. Strictly follow the fashions; you should not wear out an old dress, if ever so good. Use towels, handkerchiefs, and the like, without the least regard to your washing bill. In the matter of perfumes, gloves, and stationery, consult nothing whatever but your senses — common sense excepted. As regards eating and drinking, have the best of everything. Give plenty of parties ; and if you doubt whether you ought to keep a carriage or not, give yourselves the benefit of the doubt, and keep one. The extreme of luxury in furniture is too obviously advisable to be dwelt upon; and you will feel the advantage of it when it comes to be sold off. Indulge yourselves, generally, in every wish; and never put up with the least inconvenience to avoid the greatest expense. Do not bridle your respective wishes, or sacrifice anything, except each other's fortune, for each other; whenever you want what you cannot have, get into an ill-humour — and show it. Accustom yourselves to call every, the smallest, act of self-denial " horrid," " shocking," "miserable," "dreadful," "intolerable." Shut your ears against advice, and let your sole considerations be your own will and pleasure, and the world's opinion. Having five hundred a year, live at the rate of a thousand, and plunge without scruple headlong into debt. You will find these directions an infallible "Guide to the Workhouse." — Punch.

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