Eight or Nine Wise Words about Letter-Writing/On Stamp-Cases
§ I. On Stamp-Cases.
Some American writer has said "the snakes in this district may be divided into one species—the venomous." The same principle applies here. Postage-Stamp-Cases may be divided into one species, the "Wonderland." Imitations of it will soon appear, no doubt: but they cannot include the two Pictorial Surprises, which are copyright.
You don't see why I call them 'Surprises'? Well, take the Case in your left-hand, and regard it attentively. You see Alice nursing the Duchess's Baby? (An entirely new combination, by the way: it doesn't occur in the book.) Now, with your right thumb and forefinger, lay hold of the little book, and suddenly pull it out. The Baby has turned into a Pig! If that doesn't surprise you, why, I suppose you wouldn't be surprised if your own Mother-in-law suddenly turned into a Gyroscope!
This Case is not intended to carry about in your pocket. Far from it. People seldom want any other Stamps, on an emergency, than Penny-Stamps for Letters, Sixpenny-Stamps for Telegrams, and a bit of Stamp-edging for cut fingers (it makes capital sticking-plaster, and will stand three or four washings, cautiously conducted): and all these are easily carried in a purse or pocket-book. No, this is meant to haunt your envelope-case, or wherever you keep your writing-materials. What made me invent it was the constantly wanting Stamps of other values, for foreign Letters, Parcel Post, &c., and finding it very bothersome to get at the kind I wanted in a hurry. Since I have possessed a "Wonderland Stamp Case", Life has been bright and peaceful, and I have used no other. I believe the Queen's laundress uses no other.
Each of the pockets will hold 6 stamps, comfortably. I would recommend you to arrange the 6, before putting them in, something like a bouquet, making them lean to the right and to the left alternately: thus there will always be a free corner to get hold off, so as to take them out, quickly and easily, one by one: otherwise you will find them apt to come out two or three at a time.
According to my experience, the 5d., 9d., and 1s. Stamps are hardly ever wanted, though I have constantly to replenish all the other pockets. If your experience agrees with mine, you may find it convenient to keep only a couple (say) of each of these 3 kinds, in the 1s. pocket, and to fill the other 2 pockets with extra 1d. stamps.