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´╗┐Title: Confidences - Talks With a Young Girl Concerning Herself
Author: Lowry, Edith B. (Edith Belle), 1878-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Confidences - Talks With a Young Girl Concerning Herself" ***

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CONFIDENCES



_By the same author_

  TRUTHS
  Talks With a Boy Concerning Himself
  _50 cents_.

  HERSELF
  Talks With Women Concerning Themselves
  _$1.00_.

  FALSE MODESTY
  _50 cents_.



CONFIDENCES

TALKS WITH A YOUNG GIRL CONCERNING HERSELF


BY EDITH B. LOWRY, M.D.


  CHICAGO
  1919



       *       *       *       *       *

  _To the daughters of my friends,
   but especially to
   MARY LOUISE
   this little book is lovingly
   dedicated._

       *       *       *       *       *



PREFACE


No one can come in contact with children and young people without
feeling the need of a united effort on the part of the parents,
physicians and teachers to lessen the immoral tendencies, with their
degrading effects, to which the present generation is subjected.
Knowledge of the right sort will prevent many wrecked lives. Ignorance
as to facts and to the best manner of presenting them prevents many
a parent from daring to trespass upon such sacred ground, and the
instruction is postponed from day to day until it is too late.

With the desire to aid mothers in giving the necessary instruction to
their daughters, this little book has been written. The author has tried
to tell in suitable language the facts that should be known by every
girl from ten to fourteen years of age. The book is of such a character
that it may be placed in the hands of the young girl, but better still
it may be read aloud by the mother to her daughter. It is hoped this
book will form the basis of a closer intimacy between mother and
daughter, and that the knowledge herein set forth will forestall that
which might be given in an entirely different spirit by the girl's
companions.



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER

  I. The Secret

  II. The Flower Babies

  III. The Bird Babies

  IV. Mother's Baby

  V. The Baby's Nest

  VI. Building the Nest

  VII. The Sign Language

  VIII. Rest and Sleep

  IX. Injury of the Nest



       *       *       *       *       *

  In all places, then, and in all seasons,
    Flowers expand their light and soul-like wings,
  Teaching us, by most persuasive reasons,
    How akin they are to human things.

  Longfellow.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER I

THE SECRET


Listen, Violet, I am going to tell you a wonderful secret. And this
wonderful secret is about your namesakes, the violets. Every little
flower that grows is a living being, as you or I--and every plant is a
household. How do I know this? The flowers told me themselves, and now
I am going to let you into the secret.

Of course, I must admit that the flowers do not talk as we do. Unlike
ourselves, they cannot express themselves aloud. They must show their
thoughts by their motions or by their change of expression. When a
flower is thirsty, how does it tell us so? By drooping its head and
looking sad. Then, if we give it a drink, how quickly it says, "Thank
you!" by lifting its head and smiling at us.

If we would have the flowers tell us their secrets, we must watch them
very closely so as to be able to hear what they say. Sometimes, however,
we must learn from others what the plants like, for at first, until we
are better acquainted, we will not be able to understand them, and might
make many mistakes; so I am going to tell you a few things today.

First, we must learn something about the flower's family, and where the
flower gets its food. The flowers are a part of the plant household just
the same as you or any little girl is only a part of the family. You
could not very well live without the rest of the family--your father and
mother, who do so many things for you and take such care of you, and
your brothers and sisters, who all help to make the home happy.

The flower is like a little girl and needs some one to care for her. Do
you know the other members of the plant household?

First, there are the roots, whose work it is to hold the plant in place
so it will not be tossed about by every wind. The roots also must draw
the water and nourishment from the ground. You know when the rain comes,
it soaks into the ground and then when the plant needs water the little
roots suck it out of the ground just as you could draw lemonade through
a straw, for every root is supplied with many hair tubes that serve as
straws. These hair tubes often are so small we could not see them
without a microscope, but it is through these tiny tubes the plant
receives nearly all the water it uses.

Other members of the family, the leaves, are kept busy, for they must do
the breathing for the plant, as well as digest the food. You know water
is never quite free from mineral matter, so when the roots draw up the
water from the ground, they also draw up some mineral food for the plant
which is dissolved in the water. Before the plant can make use of this
food, it must be digested by the leaves, much the same as your stomach
must digest the food you eat. That is, it must change it into another
form. But in order that the leaves may do this, they must have plenty
of chlorophyll, which is the green coloring matter of the leaves. This
chlorophyll will grow in the leaves if they have plenty of sunlight, and
if it does not grow the leaves will not be able to digest the food and
the plant will starve. So you see how necessary it is for plants to have
plenty of sunshine, and why they lose their green color and then die if
they are kept away from the light. They really are starved to death.



       *       *       *       *       *

      Flowers are words
  Which even a babe may understand.

  Bishop Coxe.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER II

THE FLOWER BABIES


The flower itself has many parts, just as there are many parts to your
body. When the flower is a little bud, or baby, rocked by the breezes,
it is closely wrapped in a little green cloak. We call this cloak the
calyx, because when it opens it looks like a cup, and the word calyx
means cup. After the bud is grown, it opens its cloak and throws it
back. Then we see the pretty dress underneath. We call this dress the
corolla. Sometimes it is all in one piece, but often it is divided into
several leaf-like parts which we call petals.

If we look within the dress or corolla, we find the real body of
the flower, which is called the pistil. Its shape varies greatly in
different plants, but it always consists of two or three distinct parts.
One of these is the cradle for the seeds, and is called the ovary.
At one end of the ovary is usually a little tube leading down into it.
This tube is called the style, and the opening at the other end is
called the stigma. Each ovary or cradle contains one or more ovules
which by and by will grow into seeds. Just outside the pistil of a
flower you usually will find a row of slender, thread-like stalks, each
bearing a soft, oblong body at the top, falling out of which you will
see a fine yellow powder called pollen. It is a peculiar fact that these
seeds never can grow into new plants unless they are fertilized, that
is, unless they receive some pollen. It is another peculiar fact that
although nearly every flower has this pollen growing right near the
little ovules, yet they cannot be fertilized with this pollen, but must
receive some from the flower of another plant family.

This pollen is carried from one plant to another by the wind or by the
bees and butterflies that come visiting in search of honey. In fact, the
flower coaxes the bees and butterflies to come so they may bring her the
pollen. Soon after the seed is fertilized it is ripe; that is, it is
ready to leave its cradle, the ovary. It is now ready to grow into a new
plant. But before it can grow it must be put into a little nest in the
ground. But the poor plant is so helpless that she is unable to prepare
this nest herself, so all she can do is to scatter her seed babies out
on the ground and hope some one will take pity on them and make a nice
nest for them. Sometimes the wind helps her by blowing some dirt and
dead leaves over them, for you know the seeds cannot grow unless they
are covered nice and warm. Sometimes the children and grown people help
her by preparing a nice flower-bed.

For a long time the tiny seed lies very quietly in its warm nest, and if
we could peek at it we could not see it move at all, but all the time it
is growing very slowly, until finally some bright day it will send up
its little sprouts, and then we will see that all the time the seed was
lying so quietly it was growing into a baby flower.



       *       *       *       *       *

  "So the Bluebirds have contracted, have they, for a house?
  And a nest is under way for little Mr. Wren?"
  "Hush, dear, hush! Be quiet, dear! quiet as a mouse.
  These are weighty secrets, and we must whisper them."

  Susan Coolidge.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER III

THE BIRD BABIES


Today, Violet, I shall tell you another secret, but this time the secret
is not about flowers, but about something else we love very dearly.
I intend to tell you some secrets about the birds. I wonder if you know
how much they are like the flowers?

You remember, the flowers had a language which we could understand, even
if they did not talk out loud. The birds, too, have a language of their
own, and they can express themselves better than the flowers, for they
have a sign language, and are also able to make sounds. How much we
enjoy hearing the birds sing, not only because they make beautiful
music, but because they are telling us how happy they are!

If birds are in pain or in trouble, their notes are quite different
from when they are singing; while, if they or their little ones are
in danger, they quickly send forth a note of warning. The young birds,
in calling for food, make an entirely different sound, and the answer
of the mother bird is a sweet lullaby. One of the ways birds express
themselves in sign language is by their feathers. If they are sick,
their feathers droop. When they are well and happy, their feathers
seem much brighter.

In the bird family, as in the flower family, each member has a special
work to do. The mother bird and the father bird work together to build
the nest, but while the mother bird lays the eggs and then must sit on
them for a number of days, the father bird must bring her food and water
and sometimes take his turn watching the nest while the mother goes for
a little exercise. The mother bird's body resembles the plant, too, for
it needs fresh air, food and water. Instead of leaves to take in the air
it has lungs, which not only take in the fresh air but also send out the
impure air. Instead of the little rootlets to take in the food and water
from the ground, the bird has a mouth, and as the bird is not fastened
to the ground, but is free to fly or move about, it goes after its food.
Instead of sap, it has blood to carry the food to all parts of the body.

The birds have ovaries just the same as the flowers, and inside each
ovary are a number of little seeds or ovules which by and by will grow
into birdies. It takes quite a while for the ovules to ripen, just as it
took quite a while for the seeds to ripen, and when they are ripe they
must have a nest prepared for them, just as the flowers did. But the
birds are not as helpless as the flowers, and are able to make their own
nests. So when the ovules (which are called eggs when they are ripe) are
ready, the parent birds select a nice place for a home.

The father and mother work very hard until the nest is finished. Often
the mother will line it with some of her own feathers, so that it will
be soft and warm. After the nest is ready the mother bird lays the tiny
eggs in it. Then she must sit on them to keep them warm for many days,
for the eggs, like the seeds, cannot grow unless they are kept good and
warm. If we look at the eggs from day to day we will not be able to see
any change in them, but the change is inside the shell where we cannot
see it. Every day there is an alteration taking place, and the egg
gradually is being transformed into the little bird. After a while, when
the right time comes, the birdie will peck a tiny hole in the shell.
This will keep growing larger and larger until it is large enough for
the birdie to come through, then out it comes!



       *       *       *       *       *

  A sweet, new blossom of Humanity,
  Fresh fallen from God's own home to flower on earth.

  Gerald Massey.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER IV

MOTHER'S BABY


There is another wonderful secret that I have to tell you. I wonder
if you can guess what this is! No, it is not about a flower, nor a
bird--but, yes, you have guessed it right, for it is about a girl
just like you!

Is it not queer how much alike the flowers and birds and little girls
are, after all, even if they do not look at all alike?

You have lungs just the same as the bird, and breathe as it does. You
have two feet, but instead of wings you have arms and hands. You have a
sign language, as the flowers have, and you have a language of sounds
that is even better than the bird language. When you are happy, I can
tell it by the smiles on your face, and sometimes when you are a wee bit
cross, I know it by a tiny frown that mars the beauty of your face. But,
of course, that does not happen very often, because, you know, as we
grow older, our faces do not change their expressions as easily as they
do when we are young. And would it not be dreadful, if when you grew up,
you always had a frown on your face and were not nice looking at all?
You know the frown wrinkles try to stay, and every time we let them come
out they leave a tiny mark.

When the flower took in the fresh air it made green coloring matter, but
when you take in the fresh air it makes red coloring matter. So if you
want to have red cheeks and red lips you must have plenty of fresh air.
I know you get a great deal in the daytime when you are playing, but you
must be sure to get it at night, too, or you will lose all your pretty
color. Be sure that your window is open every night.

You remember, the leaves not only had to breathe but they had to digest
the food for the plant, too, but the bird had a stomach to perform that
work.

In this way you are like the birds, for you have a stomach which takes
care of the food you eat. If you wish to grow strong and well so as
to be able to run and play and also to help your mother with her work,
you must eat plenty of good, nourishing food. You know some food makes
muscles, but other things are not very good for people to eat. Plenty of
bread and milk and cereals, also meat, potatoes and fruit, are very good
things to make girls grow. You must take care of your stomach, too, and
give it time to rest, for it works very hard and might get tired out.
Then what would you do?

You have seen, Violet, that in a great many ways you are like the birds
and flowers, but now I am going to tell you something that perhaps you
did not know. Girls have ovaries just the same as flowers and birds, and
inside each ovary are a great many little ovules that after a while will
ripen as the seeds did, only instead of growing into flowers or birds
they will grow into babies. Is that not lovely, and are you not glad
that perhaps some day you will be able to have a baby all your own? But
of course that will not be for a great many years yet, for you must wait
until you have grown into a strong woman and have a home of your own and
a husband to help take care of the baby.

When the little ovules are ripe there must be a nest prepared for them,
just the same as there was one prepared for the flowers and birds. But
now I shall tell you another wonderful secret. Mothers do not have to
build nests, for they are already prepared for them right inside their
bodies close to their hearts. The nest is called the womb. Although we
do not have to build the nest, we have to take good care of it so it
may grow strong.

This nest and the tiny ovules are growing constantly from the time the
girls are babies, but they grow so very slowly that none of the ovules
are ripe until the girl is about twelve years old. After that one ripens
every month and passes to the nest or womb. At the same time an extra
amount of blood is sent to the womb to provide nourishing material for
the ovule to use in its growth. But the womb, or nest, is not strong
enough yet to hold a healthy baby, so this extra amount of blood with
the ovule is sent out of the body through the vagina, which is a
muscular tube leading from the womb to the external parts (private
parts). We call this flow the menstrual flow. This occurs every month
and each time the womb becomes a little stronger and better able to
hold a growing babe. But the womb is not fully developed until the
rest of the body is matured.

Menstruation is the sign of the possibility of motherhood. Realizing
this fact, one cannot fail to have a high idea of this function. Most
girls, naturally, desire children. Little girls love their doll babies,
and spend much time in caring for them, but as girls grow into womanhood
they desire real babies. A woman who does not desire children has had
her mind perverted by false ideas or fear.



       *       *       *       *       *

  Build me straight, O worthy Master!
    Staunch and strong, a goodly vessel
  That shall laugh at all disaster,
    And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!

  Longfellow.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER V

THE BABY'S NEST


You remember, Violet, I told you that although mothers do not have to
build nests, yet they have to take good care of them so they will grow
strong.

As the natural desire of every girl is to become a mother some time,
she must begin very early to prepare for it. By exercise, fresh air,
and good, nourishing food, she should make her body grow strong and well.
By studying she will develop her mind so as to be fitted to care for and
to teach her child. Shall I tell you some ways you can make the nest
grow strong?

First, I shall tell you more things about this mother nest. Although
it and the tiny ovules are growing all the time, yet there are greater
changes in them when the girl is from twelve to fourteen years old.
About this time they grow faster than at any other time. As these organs
grow, the pelvis, or the part of the body that contains them, also must
grow to make room for them. So the hips begin to grow broader. Other
parts of the body grow faster at this time, too, and often some parts
grow so much faster than others that they are out of proportion, and the
child becomes clumsy and feels awkward. But that will not last long,
for after a while the parts that are growing slowly will catch up to the
ones that grew fast, and then the body will be graceful again. Have you
ever watched a young puppy? You know how clumsy and awkward it is while
it is growing, but after a while, when it is fully grown, it will be
very graceful.

We know it is not wise to run or play or work hard right after eating a
large meal, for then the stomach is working very hard and needs a great
deal of extra energy, so the other muscles must rest a while, in order
to let it have it.

You remember, I told you, Violet, that every month, or every
twenty-eight days, there was an extra amount of blood carried to the
womb which it had to send out of the body. Of course that requires the
womb to work very hard for a few days, so, in order to help it, we must
be careful not to take any severe exercise at this time or overexert
ourselves in any way, for, if we did, the womb would not be able to
do its extra work properly.

You remember, I told you this flow, which we call the menstrual flow,
was the sign of the possibility of motherhood, so every girl should
be glad of the fact that she menstruates and should take good care of
herself at that time. She should pay especial attention to cleanliness
during this period. She should be provided with a circular girdle of
some strong material cut upon the bias, so it may be elastic, and
provided with tabs to which to pin the folded cloth. She also should
have a supply of sanitary cloths made of absorbent cotton fabric,
or pads made of absorbent-cotton enclosed in gauze. The latter are
especially convenient for the girl who is obliged to room away from
home, for they may be burned, and the cost of new ones is no greater
than the laundry of cloths. These pads or cloths should be changed
at least twice a day. It also is necessary that one should bathe the
parts in warm water with each change, as unpleasant odors can thereby
be avoided. At the close of each period she should take a bath and
change all clothing. One cannot be too careful about these matters,
so essential to cleanliness and health.

During this period, girls naturally have a feeling of lassitude or
disinclination to do any great mental or physical work, accompanied,
perhaps, by a slight feeling of uneasiness in the pelvic region (the
part of the body that contains the womb and ovaries). Because so many
do suffer at this time, it often is considered "natural" and allowed
to continue, but now that you know so much about the body you will
understand that it is not necessary to have any pains at this period.
If there is pain, it shows that we are not taking proper care of
ourselves. Even our stomach will give us severe pain if we do not
take proper care of it or if we overload it.

The monthly discharge varies in quantity with the individual. Usually
fleshy girls flow more than thin ones, and dark complexioned girls than
light ones. The discharge lasts about four days, and is the only symptom
that many girls experience in menstruation. This usually is the case
with those who are well and whose lives are happily employed.

I wanted you to know all these things, Violet, for sometimes when little
girls do not understand what this flow means they are frightened when
they see the blood. Some women even dread motherhood because they do not
know what to expect at that time nor how to care for themselves. All
women naturally love babies and if taught correctly would want to have
them. If they do not, it usually is because they have known of other
women suffering through ignorance and are afraid. If they would learn
more about these wonderful bodies of ours and more about the care of
little babies, they would understand how to care for themselves so as
to have healthy, happy babies. Not only that but they would see it was
the natural and the best thing for them to have children. In any work
we undertake, in everything we do, there is a possibility of an accident.
So it is in motherhood. A woman in normal health whose home life is
congenial, who loves children and who desires to have one, never should
have any serious trouble nor great pain. Painless childbirth is a
possibility if women only understood the care of themselves.

The modern athletic girl glories in her strength. She feels it a
disgrace to be a frail flower that cannot enter into the best enjoyment
of life. She glories in her strong, well-trained body. She walks with
free yet graceful step, holding her head high, for she knows she is
queen of her kingdom--her body. Her lungs are well developed and her
body well cared for, so she has no fear of disease. But the modern girl
does not stop there. She wants to have healthy sexual organs with room
for development of the babe, and strong muscles to perform their work in
expelling the babe. So she discards clothing that restricts her organs.
She wears comfortable, well-fitting clothes. The old-fashioned corsets
pushed the organs out of place, but the modern ones, made to conform to
nature's lines, serve only as a support. As nature did not make a waist
line, the one-piece dresses are especially desirable. Besides developing
every organ and muscle of her body and training her mind, the modern
girl goes to a training school to prepare for the mother calling.
Recently, in a few schools, a course of study has been provided for
the girls in the care of children, hygiene and nursing. Even women who
never become mothers themselves in this way learn general principles of
psychology, hygiene and the care of the sick that they might make use of
in every station of life. I hope, Violet, that after a while you will be
able to learn many of these things, so that when you are a grown woman
and the time comes for you to marry and have a baby you will know just
how to care for it.



       *       *       *       *       *

  Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. As by the one,
  health is preserved, strengthened, and invigorated; by the other,
  virtue (which is the health of the mind) is kept alive, cherished,
  and confirmed.

  Addison.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER VI

BUILDING THE NEST


Now that I have told you so many things about the mother-nest,
especially about how it is growing all the time, I must tell you more
about the many helpers you have who assist in its growth. This they do
by providing it with food and by carrying away the waste material. We
found the body was composed of many parts or organs, each one of which
had its own especial work to do. If any one organ could not perform its
work, some other one would have to assist it, but, although the organs
are willing to help each other, it would not be fair to make one do
more than its share of work, except for a short time.

You remember, the stomach had a great deal of work to do in digesting
the food or preparing it so it could be taken up by the blood and
carried to the womb and all parts of the body. But the stomach does not
have to do this all alone. It has several helpers. One set of helpers is
the teeth, which cut and grind the food into small particles. In order
to do this, they must be kept in very good condition; otherwise, they
could not do their work. You know if your mother would let the kitchen
knives get dull or rusty, she would be unable to cut the bread, meat and
other food materials with them. The same is true of the teeth. We can
keep them in good condition by brushing them. It is as important to do
this as to wash the dishes. Then, too, we must be careful not to break
the teeth by biting nuts and other hard things. Nothing so detracts from
a girl's appearance and nothing is more conducive to indigestion than
poorly cared for teeth. They should be brushed at least twice daily and
the mouth afterwards rinsed with a mild antiseptic solution. The teeth
should be thoroughly examined by a good dentist at least every six
months.

Another assistant that the stomach has is the intestines or bowels,
which not only help to digest the food but also carry off the waste
material. The bowels are very good, and will tell us when they have
waste material to be disposed of, but sometimes people are too busy and
do not pay attention. If we neglect them many times the bowels get tired
of telling us, and then their work is not done. We think they are lazy
and so we try to whip them up by taking a laxative. This seems to help
at first, but we soon find we have to do the same thing every day.
All this time the fault was our own, for we did not understand. The
best way is to have a regular time of going to the toilet, say, right
after breakfast. If we always go at the same time the bowels will
remember it. Then we need have no trouble with constipation nor take any
horrid medicine to whip the bowels. A regular daily action of the bowels
is necessary to health. Constipation often may be relieved by drinking
a glass of cold water upon rising, at intervals during the day, and
upon retiring. Fruit at breakfast or figs taken after meals often will
relieve a tendency to constipation. Regularity in going to the toilet is
one of the most important measures in treating constipation. Laxatives
or cathartics should not be taken except for an occasional dose or
during illness, upon the advice of a physician. So common is the
practice of taking daily laxatives that it has become a "national
curse." People do not realize that they are slaves to this habit. So
cleverly worded are the advertisements of many of the laxatives that
people are led to believe that if they drink certain "waters" or "teas"
they are avoiding medicine, while often these same teas and waters
contain drugs more powerful and harmful than any pill.

The bowels have some one to assist them, too, for the kidneys carry off
much of the waste material of the body. Indeed, they carry off so much
that they sometimes are called the sewers. It often is necessary to
flush the sewers of the city, that is, to send quantities of water
through them to clean the system. In the same way it is necessary to
flush the kidneys. We do this by drinking plenty of water. Every one
should drink about two quarts of water a day.

There is another worker that helps both the kidneys and the bowels.
This is the skin, which sends off waste material through the tiny pores
or openings. If dirt accumulates on the skin, it clogs the pores so the
skin cannot use them. So you see how necessary it is to take frequent
baths to keep the pores open.

Other helpers that carry some of the waste material from the body are
the lungs, which send out the impure air. The lungs also take in the
pure air, which, you remember, helps to make the red coloring matter
in the blood. If you want to have nice red cheeks, you must breathe in
plenty of fresh air. Also you must have plenty of exercise, so as to
help send the blood all over the body. You know when you run, the blood
flows much faster than when you are quiet. It is a good plan to stand by
an open window every morning and every evening and fill your lungs with
good, pure air, taking about twenty-five deep breaths.



       *       *       *       *       *

  I want to help you to grow as beautiful as God meant you to be when
  He thought of you first.

  George MacDonald.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER VII

THE SIGN LANGUAGE


Do you know one way we can tell if all the organs are doing their work
well? By watching for the sign language. If the blood is not carrying
the skin sufficient nourishment, it will be very pale and dull looking.
If the waste materials are not being carried off, they may accumulate in
the skin and clog the pores. Then we will have pimples or blackheads.
Each person's skin is a law unto itself, and what is beneficial to one
may not be to another. Generally, though, it will be found helpful to
bathe the face at night with hot water, to remove all dirt; then, if the
skin is rough, massage with good cold cream. In the morning a quick rub
with cold water should be taken (and do not be afraid to rub the face a
little). If you are going out in the sun or wind, follow with a little
good talcum or rice powder, to protect the face from the raw winds,
or, if the skin is inclined to be dry, apply a little cold cream before
using the powder. Any eruptions on the face show a defect in the
circulation. The blood is not disposing of the waste material properly,
and it is being left to clog the pores of the skin. These eruptions
should not be neglected, as they sometimes indicate a serious condition
of the blood or circulation.

The eyes tell if we are tired or unwell, for then they will be dull,
while, if we abuse or strain them, they often are red. This not only
makes them less attractive, but it shows we must attend to them. Would
it not be dreadful if they became so tired or worn out that we could
not see with them? The care of the eyes is very important. When you are
reading or writing, the light should come over your left shoulder, and
you should never try to read in a poor light. Sometimes, if the eyes are
tired, it will rest them to bathe them in warm, boiled water in which
some boracic acid crystals have been dissolved. You may even put a few
drops of this solution right in the eye, but never put anything else in
it except by the directions of a physician, as the eyes are too precious
to take any risks, and sometimes they are injured by various eye waters.

The hair also shows the state of the health, and it shows if we are
careless. Nothing so detracts from a girl's appearance as soiled or
untidy hair. One of the most potent charms a woman can have is a
well-kept, luxuriant, glossy head of hair. Just think how quickly one
notices thin, dry, stiff hair on a woman's head. And as for those that
carry around diseased scalps, plastered with offensive oils, they are
perfectly hideous. If people only knew how much esteem they lose through
such defects, they would give more attention to the matter. The hair
should be shampooed often enough to keep it clean and fluffy. How often
that is depends on the nature of the hair and the occupation of the
owner. Usually once in two weeks is often enough, but light, oily hair
may require it more frequently, for it loses much of its beauty when
oily. To promote the growth of the hair, massage of the scalp usually
brings very satisfactory results, stimulating a new growth and healthy
appearance. The value of tonics often is in the massage. Many of the
hair tonics and shampoos on the market not only are not beneficial, but
are dangerous. An ordinary egg shampoo, which may be prepared at home,
is perhaps the best, for it not only cleanses but nourishes the hair.

I must remind you of a part of your body that many people notice very
often and by it judge if you are careless. That is your hands and nails.
People who are careful about the appearance of their nails usually are
careful about other things. You will find as you grow older that you are
judged a good deal by the little things. It will pay you to get up half
an hour earlier if necessary so as to give yourself time for those
little personal attentions that help to make a girl dainty. You will be
surprised at the effect on your mind of extra well-brushed hair, clear,
bright complexion, polished nails and a well-put-on tie, also neat
gloves and shoes.



       *       *       *       *       *

  Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber,
    Holy angels guard thy bed!
  Heavenly blessings without number
    Gently falling on thy head.

  Watts.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER VII

REST AND SLEEP


You have seen, Violet, how all the parts of the body work together,
although each one has its especial part to do. You remember, we found
the stomach must have a time to rest between meals. The other parts of
the body require rest, too. This they usually get while we are asleep.
We must not be neglectful and fail to give them enough rest, or they
will soon get worn out and give us trouble. Most little girls require
eight or ten hours' rest every night.

Sometimes, when people are not well or are all tired out, they find they
cannot sleep well at night. There are a number of little things that
can be done to induce sleep. A warm bath before retiring, followed by
a gentle massage, especially along the spine, often will, by relaxing
the nerves and muscles, produce very good results. A hot foot bath,
which draws the blood away from the brain, frequently will be found
beneficial. A glass of hot milk or cocoa, taken just before retiring,
often will have the same effect. If the sleeplessness is a result of
indigestion, a plain diet will relieve. Sleeping upon a hard bed without
any pillow sometimes produces the desired effect. Always have plenty of
fresh air in the room. Keep the mind free from the cares of the day.
If they will intrude, crowd them out by repeating something else--some
soothing sentence or bit of poetry. One good plan is to close the left
nostril by pressing on it with the finger, then take four deep breaths
through the right nostril. Then close the right nostril and take four
deep breaths through the left one. Repeat this about four times. Then
breathe slowly through both nostrils, but count your breaths. You seldom
will count very many. Never take any sleeping powders or tablets except
upon the advice of a physician, for they usually contain drugs that
will injure the heart.

You will find, Violet, that you will meet a number of women who are
nervous, which means they have not control of their nerves, but let
them run away with them. Sometimes this is shown in palpitation of
the heart, headache, backache, and many other disorders. There may
be a tendency to cry at trivial things, or a feeling of having "the
blues." The cause usually can be found in uncongenial surroundings or
occupation, loss of friends, or real or fancied troubles. Whatever the
cause, it should be removed, if possible, and measures taken to restore
the worn out nerves that are crying for rest or food. Tonics help, so
does nourishing food, such as eggs and milk; also a change of scene and
occupation, if possible. A woman who is nervous frequently does not
realize what is the cause of her condition, and considers only the
symptoms. So when she has a headache, resorts to headache powders or
various effervescing drinks. In taking these she only is deadening the
pain and not removing the cause, so the pain is liable to return. Most
of the remedies taken for headache contain some harmful drug. If you
look carefully at the label, you usually will find that they contain
morphine, phenacetin, or acetanilid, which are very depressing to the
heart. Pain is the cry of tortured nerves, so if one suffers from
headaches or backaches, she should not take any of these harmful
drugs, but should hunt for the cause of the pain and remove that.



       *       *       *       *       *

  Even from the body's purity, the mind
  Receives a secret sympathetic aid.

  Thomson.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER IX

INJURY OF THE NEST


We who love birds would not do anything to injure their homes, but
there are some children who have not learned to love birds or who are
thoughtless and injure their nests, sometimes even tearing them to
pieces or breaking off the limb of the tree.

There also are thoughtless children who do things to injure their
bodies. You would think it very foolish to allow someone to put a bee
on your face that would sting you and yet there are some thoughtless
children who would do just that if you would let them. They might even
try to tell you it would not hurt you, but of course you would know
better. You, who know how necessary is every part of the body, would not
allow anyone to injure any part of it, especially the part that contains
the mother nest. Think how badly the mother bird must have felt when the
child destroyed the nest, and think how badly you would feel, when it
came time for you to marry and have a baby, if you found the nest had
been so injured that you could not have any. You know, the nest as well
as the rest of the body belongs to you alone, and no one has a right to
injure it, but sometimes girls are as careless or as thoughtless as the
boy with the bee and do things that are harmful. I have told you how to
care for this mother nest so it will grow well and strong, but now I
must tell you something more. As you go out in the world you will meet
some girls and some boys who have never been told these things and do
not understand all the things you do. Sometimes they have very wrong
ideas and will do many things that are harmful. Not only that, but they
will try to get you to do them. Some little girls who do not understand
what their organs are for will even play with them, for they think it
gives them a pleasurable sensation. I am sure they would not do this if
they understood that by so doing they were injuring the precious nest.
You know if you or anyone else would put things into your eyes or ears
or play with them in any way you might lose your sight or hearing. It is
the same way with the mother nest and other organs. The best plan is to
just keep them clean and then not touch them at any other time nor allow
anyone else to do so. But in bathing the parts you must be careful to
have your own towel and not use any cloths that have been used by other
people, for there are some dreadful diseases, called the black plagues,
that can be carried to these organs by anything that is not strictly
clean, and these diseases sometimes destroy the nest and ovules. So you
must be careful in all you do.

If at any time, Violet, questions come up in your mind as to what is the
best thing for you to do, remember that mother will be glad to answer
them or will help you obtain books that will explain things to you.
Do not go to your companions, for they might not understand and would
give you wrong ideas. In school we have text books and a teacher, who
is older and more experienced than we, to whom we can go for help in our
school problems. We know she will tell us the right solution and we know
it is better to go to her than to the other pupils. So in this study of
our bodies and the care of them, we must learn from some one older and
more experienced, or we must study books that have been written for that
purpose. Then we will be sure to obtain the right ideas.

After a while, when you are grown and it is nearing the time for you to
marry, I will tell you some things about the care of the baby and how
you may have a good-natured, healthy child. But now all you need to do
for a number of years is to take good care of this mother nest and the
rest of your body, so it will grow strong and well.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE GIRL WANTED

BY

NIXON WATERMAN

Cheerful, friendly talks to young women, telling them how they can mould
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  Every young woman should read this book. Every parent should make
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  Will at once win the reader's heart. In these pages one does not rake
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Illustrated.  Beautiful cover.  Cloth, 8vo.

PRICE, $1.25

_For sale by all booksellers or sent postpaid by the publishers_

FORBES & COMPANY, CHICAGO

       *       *       *       *       *


HAPPY SCHOOL DAYS

A BOOK FOR GIRLS

BY MARGARET E. SANGSTER


In this book Mrs. Sangster writes charmingly and sympathetically of the
things nearest to the hearts of girls. It discusses the school, home and
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  It ought to reach the hands of every girl.--_St. Paul Pioneer Press._

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Handsome cover.   Decorated box.   Cloth, 12mo.

PRICE, $1.25

_For sale by all booksellers or sent postpaid by the publishers_

FORBES & COMPANY, CHICAGO

       *       *       *       *       *





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