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Image of Victorian letter folding

A Valuable Recipe

  • Folded note paper
  • Circa 1840
  • 114 x 178mm (4½ x 7in)

An example of the art of hand folding a letter. A sheet of note paper has been ingeniously folded so the recipient receives a charming triangular package. When unfolded the ingredients of "A Valuable Recipe" are revealed:

"A cure for a terrible disorder of the mouth called Scandal

Take of 'Good Nature' one ounce; of an herb called by the Indians 'Mind your own business' one ounce. Mix these with a little 'Charity for others' plus two or three sprigs of 'Keep your tongue between your teeth'. Simmer together in a vessel called circumspection for a short time and it will be fit for use.


When you feel a fit of the disorder coming on the symptons of which are a violent itching of the tongue and the roof of the mouth, which invariably takes place when in company with that species of animal called Gossips; take a tea spoonful of the mixture, hold it in your mouth which keeps closely shut till you get home and you will find a complete cure. Should you apprehend a relapse keep a small bottleful about you and on the slightest indication repeat the dose."



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