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Title: How to be Happy Though Married - Being a Handbook to Marriage
Author: Hardy, Edward John
Language: English
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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.

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  "_If wholesome advice you can brook,
    When single too long you have tarried;
  If comfort you'd gain from a book,
    When very much wedded and harried;
  No doubt you should speedily look,
    In 'How to be Happy though Married!'_"--PUNCH.

"We strongly recommend this book as one of the best of wedding presents.
It is a complete handbook to an earthly Paradise, and its author may be
regarded as the Murray of Matrimony and the Baedeker of Bliss."--_Pall
Mall Gazette._

"The author has successfully accomplished a difficult task in writing a
clever and practical book on the important subject of matrimony.... This
book, which is at once entertaining and full of wise precepts, deserves
to be widely read."--_Morning Post._

"An entertaining volume.... The new guide to matrimonial
felicity."--_Standard_, Leader.

"A clever, readable, and entertaining book.... This delicious
book."--_Literary Churchman._

"This most elucidatory treatise.... As a 'companion to the honeymoon,'
this orange blossom, true-love-knot ornamented volume should no doubt be
highly esteemed."--_Whitehall Review._

"The book is tastefully got up, and its contents adapt it very well for
a present to a young bride."--_Queen._

"One of the cleverest, best written books on the subject we have read at
any time. To girls contemplating marriage, the volume should be
presented as a wedding gift.... Grave and gay, but never for a moment
dull or tiresome. Each page sparkles with anecdote or suggestive
illustration."--_Ladies' Treasury._

"A highly ornamental yet handy, well printed, and admirably written
volume."--_The Lady._

"A rich store of entertaining anecdote, and full of thoughts beautiful,
pious, and wise. Has a tasteful binding."--_Bookseller._



Handbook to Marriage



  "Domestic happiness, thou only bliss
  Of Paradise that hast survived the fall!
  Though few now taste thee, unimpaired and pure,
  Or, tasting, long enjoy thee, too infirm
  Or too incautious to preserve thy sweets
  Unmixed with drops of bitters, which neglect
  Or temper sheds into thy crystal cup."--_Cowper._

"It is fit that I should infuse a bunch of myrrh into the festival
goblet, and, after the Egyptian manner, serve up a dead man's bones at a
feast: I will only show it, and take it away again; it will make the
wine bitter, but wholesome."--_Jeremy Taylor._


  26 Paternoster Square



Most of the books intended to give "counsel and ghostly strength" to
newly-married people are so like a collection of sermons that they are
given away rather than read. When writing the following pages I have
remembered that the only kind of vice all people agree to shun
is--advice, and have endeavoured to hide the pill. This is my excuse if
at times I seem to fall into anecdotage.

One day two birds were busy building their nest in Luther's garden.
Observing that they were often scared while committing their petty
thefts by the passers to and fro, the Doctor exclaimed, "Oh, poor little
birds! fly not away; I wish you well with all my heart, if you would
only believe me!" If any birds of Paradise, or, to speak plainly,
newly-married people, are a little scared by the title of this book or
by any of its contents, I assure them that, while trying to place before
them the responsibilities they have undertaken, I wish them well with
all my heart, and take great interest in their nest-building.

To ask critics to be merciful at a time when new books are so numerous
that our eyes ache with reading and our fingers with turning the pages,
would be to ask them not to do their duty. They are the policemen of
literature, and they are bound to make bad and worthless books "move on"
out of the way of their betters. I can only hope that if any notice this
little venture they may not feel obliged to "crush" it "among the
stoure," as the Ayrshire ploughman had to crush the "wee, modest,
crimson-tipped flower."

I take this opportunity of thanking M. H., my best friend, without whose
help and sympathy this book would be a worse one than it is, and my life
much more unsatisfactory.

Part of the first chapter was published in _Chambers's Journal_, and I
am indebted to _Cassell's Saturday Journal_ for two anecdotes. I now
tender my best thanks to the proprietors of those periodicals for
permission to reprint the passages.



The "wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower," as I called this book when it
first made its appearance, has not been crushed with the ploughshare of
criticism "among the stoure." On the contrary, it has been so well
received that I am full of gratitude to the reviewers who recommended it
and to the public who bought it. One critic suggested that to make the
work complete a chapter on second marriages should be added. My reason
for not writing such a chapter is that, not having myself been as yet
often married, I did not presume to give advice to widows and widowers
who have their own experience to guide them.

Taking up the book in a lending library a friend read aloud the title to
a lady who accompanied her--"How to be Happy though Married." _Lady_:
"Oh, bother the happiness; does it tell how to be married?" I hope that
I may be pardoned if I cannot always do this.


  CHAPTER I.                                      Page
  HOW TO BE HAPPY _THOUGH_ MARRIED                   1

  TO BE OR NOT TO BE--MARRIED?                       9

  MARRIAGE-MADE MEN                                 20

  THE CHOICE OF A WIFE                              33

  THE CHOICE OF A HUSBAND                           45



  BEING MARRIED                                     71

  HONEYMOONING                                      80

  MARRIAGE VOWS                                     87

  "DRIVE GENTLY OVER THE STONES!"                  101

  FURNISHING                                       113

  MARRIED PEOPLE'S MONEY                           119

  THE MANAGEMENT OF SERVANTS                       129

  PREPARATION FOR PARENTHOOD                       140

  "WHAT IS THE USE OF A CHILD?"                    146

  THE EDUCATION OF PARENTS                         155

  WANTED!--MOTHERS                                 162

  "NURSING FATHERS"                                172

  POLITENESS AT HOME                               184

  SUNSHINE                                         192

  THEY HAD A FEW WORDS                             201

  PULLING TOGETHER                                 211

  NETS AND CAGES                                   221

  HUSBANDS HAVE DUTIES TOO                         235

  THE HEALTH OF THE FAMILY                         244

  LOVE SURVIVING MARRIAGE                          254

      HAPPY"                                       260



  "How delicious is the winning
  Of a kiss at love's beginning,
  When two mutual hearts are sighing
  For the knot there's no untying!"--_T. Campbell._

     "Deceive not thyself by over-expecting happiness in the married
     state. Look not therein for contentment greater than God will
     give, or a creature in this world can receive, namely, to be free
     from all inconveniences. Marriage is not like the hill Olympus,
     wholly clear, without clouds."--_Fuller._

"How to be happy _though_ married." This was the quaint title of one of
Skelton's sermons, which would certainly cause a momentary cloud of
indignation, not to say of alarm, to pass over the minds of a
newly-married couple, should they discover it when skimming through a
collection of old volumes on the first wet day of their honeymoon.

"Two young persons thrown together by chance, or brought together by
artifice, exchange glances, reciprocate civilities, and go home to dream
of each other. Finding themselves rather uncomfortable apart, they
think they necessarily must be happy together." But there is no such
necessity. In marriage the measure of our happiness is usually in
proportion to our deserts.

  "No man e'er gained a happy life by chance,
  Or yawned it into being with a wish."

This, however, is just what many novices think they can do in reference
to matrimony. They fancy that it has a magic power of conferring
happiness almost in spite of themselves, and are quite surprised when
experience teaches them that domestic felicity, like everything else
worth having, must be worked for--must be earned by patient endurance,
self-restraint, and loving consideration for the tastes, and even for
the faults, of him or her with whom life is to be lived.

And yet before the first year of married life has ended, most people
discover that Skelton's subject, "How to be happy though married," was
not an unpractical one. Then they know that the path upon which they
have entered may be strewn with thorns instead of with roses, unless
mutual forbearance and mutual respect guard the way. The old bachelor
who said that marriage was "a very harmless amusement" would not have
pronounced such an unconditional judgment had he known more about it.
Matrimony is a harmless and a happy state only when careful precaution
is taken to defend the domain of the affections from harshness and
petulance, and to avoid certain moral and physical pitfalls.

Like government, marriage must be a series of compromises; and however
warm the love of both parties may be, it will very soon cool unless they
learn the golden rule of married life, "To bear and to forbear." In
matrimony, as in so many other things, a good beginning is half the
battle. But how easily may good beginnings be frustrated through
infirmity of temper and other causes, and then we must "tread those
steps with sorrow which we might have trod with joy."

"I often think," says Archdeacon Farrar, "that most of us in life are
like many of those sight-seers who saunter through this (Westminster)
Abbey. Their listless look upon its grandeur and its memorials furnishes
an illustration of the aspect which we present to higher powers as we
wander restlessly through the solemn minster-aisles of life.... We talk
of human misery; how many of us derive from life one-tenth part of what
God meant to be its natural blessedness? Sit out in the open air on a
summer day, and how many of us have trained ourselves to notice the
sweetness and the multiplicity of the influences which are combining for
our delight--the song of birds; the breeze beating balm upon the
forehead; the genial warmth; the delicate odour of ten thousand

What is said here of life in general is also true of married life. We go
through the temple of Hymen without noticing, much less appreciating,
its beauty. Certainly few people gain as much happiness from their
marriage as they might. They expect to find happiness without taking any
trouble to make it, or they are so selfishly preoccupied that they
cannot enjoy. In this way many a husband and wife only begin to value
each other when death is at hand to separate them.

In married life sacrifices must be ever going on if we would be happy.
It is the power to make another glad which lights up our own face with
joy. It is the power to bear another's burden which lifts the load from
our own heart. To foster with vigilant, self-denying care the
development of another's life is the surest way to bring into our own
joyous, stimulating energy. Bestow nothing, receive nothing; sow
nothing, reap nothing; bear no burden of others, be crushed under your
own. If many people are miserable though married, it is because they
ignore the great law of self-sacrifice that runs through all nature, and
expect blessedness from receiving rather than from giving. They reckon
that they have a right to so much service, care, and tenderness from
those who love them, instead of asking how much service, care, and
tenderness they can give.

No knowledge is so well worth acquiring as the science of living
harmoniously for the most part of a life with another, which we might
take as a definition of matrimony. This science teaches us to avoid
fault-finding, bothering, boring, and other tormenting habits. "These
are only trifling faults," you say. Yes, but trifles produce domestic
misery, and domestic misery is no trifle.

  "Since trifles make the sum of human things,
  And half our misery from those trifles springs,
  Oh! let the ungentle spirit learn from thence,
  A _small_ unkindness is a _great_ offence.
  To give rich gifts perhaps we wish in vain,
  But all may shun the guilt of giving pain."

Husband and wife should burn up in the bonfire of first-love all hobbies
and "little ways" that could possibly prevent home from being sweet. How
happy people are, though married, when they can say of each other what
Mrs. Hare says of her husband in "Memorials of a Quiet Life": "I never
saw anybody so easy to live with, by whom the daily petty things of
life were passed over so lightly; and then there is a charm in the
_refinement_ of feeling which is not to be told in its influence upon

A married pair should be all the world to each other. Sydney Smith's
definition of marriage is well known: "It resembles a pair of shears, so
joined that they cannot be separated, often moving in opposite
directions, yet always punishing any one who comes between them."
Certainly those who go between deserve to be punished; and in whatever
else they may differ, married people should agree to defend themselves
from the well-meant, perhaps, but irritating interference of friends.
Above all, they should remember the proverb about the home-washing of
soiled linen, for, as old Fuller said, "Jars concealed are half
reconciled; while, if generally known, 'tis a double task to stop the
breach at home and men's mouths abroad."

Why should love-making end with courtship, and of what use are conquests
if they are not guarded? If the love of a life-partner is of far more
value than our perverse fancies, it is the part of wisdom to restrain
these in order to keep that. A suggestion was recently made from an
American pulpit that there was room for a new society which should teach
husband and wife their duty to each other. "The first article of the
constitution should be that any person applying for membership should
solemnly covenant and agree that throughout married life he or she would
carefully observe and practise all courtesy, thoughtfulness, and
unselfishness that belong to what is known as the 'engagement' period.
The second article should be that neither member of a conjugal
partnership should listen to a single word of criticism of the other
member from any relative whatever, even should the words of wisdom drop
from the lips of father, mother, brother, or sister. The rules of the
new society need not extend beyond these two, for there would be nothing
in the conduct of members in good standing to require other special

The wife, on her part, ought not to be less desirous than she was in the
days of courtship of winning her husband's admiration, merely because
she now wears upon her finger a golden pledge of his love. Why should
she give up those pretty wiles to seem fair and pleasant in his eyes,
that were suggested in love-dreams? Instead of lessening her charms, she
should endeavour to double them, in order that home may be to him who
has paid her the greatest compliment in his power, the dearest and
brightest spot upon earth--one to which he may turn for comfort when
sick of business and the weary ways of men generally.

George Eliot tells us that marriage must be a relation either of
sympathy or of conquest; and it is undoubtedly true that much of the
matrimonial discord that exists arises from the mutual struggle for
supremacy. They go to church and say "I will," and then, perhaps, on the
way home, one or other says "I won't," and that begins it. "What is the
reason," said one Irishman to another, "that you and your wife are
always disagreeing?" "Because," replied Pat, "we are both of one
mind--she wants to be master and so do I." How shall a man retain his
wife's affections? Is it by not returning them? Certainly not. The
secret of conjugal felicity is contained in this formula: demonstrative
affection and self-sacrifice. A man should not only love his wife
dearly, but he should tell her that he loves her, and tell her very
often, and each should be willing to yield, not once or twice, but
constantly, and as a practice to the other. Selfishness crushes out
love, and most of the couples who are living without affection for each
other, with cold and dead hearts, with ashes where there should be a
bright and holy flame, have destroyed themselves by caring too much for
themselves and too little for each other.

Each young couple that begins housekeeping on the right basis brings the
Garden of Eden before man once more. There are they, two, alone; love
raises a wall between them and the outer world. There is no serpent
there--and, indeed, he need never come, nor does he, so long as Adam and
Eve keep him at bay; but too often the hedge of love is broken, just a
little, by small discourtesies, little inattentions, small incivilities,
that gradually but surely become wider and wider holes, until there is
no hedge at all, and all sorts of monsters enter in and riot there.

  "Out of the very ripeness of life's core,
  A worm was bred."

The only real preservative against this worm is true religion. Unhappily
for themselves the healthy and young sometimes fancy that _they_ need
not think of this. They forget that religion is required to ennoble and
sanctify this present life, and are too liable to associate it
exclusively with the contemplation of death. "So 'a cried out--God, God,
God! three or four times: now I, to comfort him, bid him 'a should not
think of God; I hoped there was no need to trouble himself with any such
thoughts yet." This advice, which Mrs. Quickly gave to Falstaff on his
deathbed, reflects the thoughts of many people, but it was not sound
advice. Certainly it would be cruel rather than kind to advise a young
pair who have leaped into the dark of married life not to think of God.
He is a Saviour from trouble rather than a troubler, and the husband and
wife who never try to serve Him will not be likely to serve each other
or to gain much real happiness from their marriage.

The following is related in the memoirs of Mary Somerville. When a girl
she and her brother had coaxed their timid mother to accompany them for
a sail. The day was sunny, but a stiff breeze was blowing, and presently
the boat began to toss and roll. "George," Mrs. Fairfax called to the
man in charge, "this is an awful storm! I fear we are in great danger;
mind how you steer; remember I trust in you!" He replied, "Dinna trust
in me, leddy; trust in God Almighty." In terror the lady exclaimed,
"Dear me, is it come to that!" To _that_ it ought to come on the day of
marriage quite as much as on the day of death. It is not only in times
of danger and distress that we want God's presence, but in the time of
our well-being, when all goes merry as a marriage bell. Live away from
Him, and the happiness you enjoy to-day may become your misery



     "A bitter and perplexed 'What shall I do?'"--_Coleridge._

  "Then, why pause with indecision
  When bright angels in thy vision
  Beckon thee to fields Elysian?"--_Longfellow._

To be or not to be--married? That is the question that may occur to
readers of the last chapter. If so much precaution and preparation are
necessary to ensure a harmless, not to say a happy marriage, is the game
worth the candle? Is it not better for the unmarried to cultivate the
contented state of mind of that old Scotch lady who said, "I wadna gie
my single life for a' the double anes I ever saw"?

The controversy as to whether celibacy or wedlock be the happier state
is a very old one, perhaps as old as what may be called the previous
question--whether life itself be worth living. Some people are very
ingenious in making themselves miserable, no matter in what condition
of life they find themselves; and there are a sufficient number of
querulous celibates as well as over-anxious married people in the world
to make us see the wisdom of the sage's words: "Whichever you do,
whether you marry or abstain, you will repent." If matrimony has more
pleasures and celibacy fewer pains, if loving be "a painful thrill, and
not to love more painful still," it is impossible exactly to balance the
happiness of these two states, containing respectively more pleasure and
more pain, and less pleasure and less pain. "If hopes are dupes, fears
may be liars."

It has been said of the state of matrimony that those who are in desire
to get out, and those who are out, wish to enter. The more one thinks on
the matter in this spirit, the more one becomes convinced that the
Scotch minister was by no means an alarmist who thus began an extempore
marriage service: "My friends, marriage is a blessing to a few, a curse
to many, and a great uncertainty to all. Do ye venture?" After a pause,
he repeated with great emphasis, "Do ye venture?" No objection being
made to the venture, he then said, "Let's proceed."

With the opinion of this Scotch minister we may compare that of Lord
Beaconsfield: "I have often thought that all women should marry, and no
men." The Admiral of Castile said, that "he who marries a wife and he
who goes to war must necessarily submit to everything that may happen."
There will, however, always be young men and maidens who believe that
nothing can happen in matrimony that is worse than never to be married
at all.

When Joseph Alleine, who was a great student, married, he received a
letter of congratulation from an old college friend, who said that he
had some thoughts of following his example, but wished to be wary, and
would therefore take the freedom of asking him to describe the
inconveniences of a married life. Alleine replied, "Thou would'st know
the inconveniences of a wife, and I will tell thee. First of all,
whereas thou risest constantly at four in the morning, or before, she
will keep thee till six; secondly, whereas thou usest to study fourteen
hours in the day, she will bring thee to eight or nine; thirdly, whereas
thou art wont to forbear one meal at least in the day for thy studies,
she will bring thee to thy meat. If these are not mischief enough to
affright thee, I know not what thou art." Most people will think that
such "inconveniences of a wife" are the strongest arguments in her
favour. Nearly all men, but especially bookish men, require the healthy
common-sense influence of women to guide and sweetly order their lives.
If we make fools of ourselves with them, we are even greater fools
without them.

With whatever luxuries a bachelor may be surrounded, he will always find
his happiness incomplete unless he has a wife and children to share it.

Who does not sympathize with Leigh Hunt? When in prison he wrote to the
governor requesting that "his wife and children might be allowed to be
with him in the daytime: that his happiness was bound up in them, and
that a separation in respect of abode would be almost as bad to him as
tearing his body asunder."

To be, or not to be--married? This is one of those questions in
reference to which the speculative reason comes to no certain
conclusion. _Solvitur ambulando._ It has nearly distracted some men,
whose minds were sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought. They have
almost died of indecision, like the donkey between two exactly similar
bundles of hay. An individual of this description, who was well known to
the writer, after dropping into a letter-pillar a proposal to a young
lady, was seen a few moments afterwards endeavouring to extract with a
stick the precious document. Failing in his attempt, the wretched mortal
walked round and round the pillar, tortured with the recurrence of
reasons against matrimony which he had lately argued away. Fortunately
for both parties the lady refused the tempting offer.

And yet this hesitating lover was, perhaps, but a type of many young men
of the age. Nowadays, it is often said they are giving up matrimony as
if it were some silly old habit suited only to their grandfathers and
grandmothers. The complaint is an old one. It was brought against pagan
youths more than eighteen hundred years ago, and yet the world has got
along. But can all the blame be justly thrown upon the one sex to the
exclusion of the other? Have thoughtless extravagance and ignorance of
household economy on the part of the ladies no share in deterring the
men from making so perilous a venture?

It is said that years ago in Burmah the ladies of the Court met in
formal parliament to decide what should be done to cure the increasing
aversion of young men to marriage. Their decision was a wise one. They
altered, by an order from the palace, the style of dress to be worn by
all honest women, reduced the ornaments to be assumed by wives to the
fewest and simplest possible, and ordained that at a certain age women
should withdraw from the frivolities of fashion and of the fashionable
world. Success was the result, and young Burmah went up in a body to the

Robert Burton, in his very quaint and interesting "Anatomy of
Melancholy," gives an abstract of all that may be said "to mitigate the
miseries of marriage," by Jacobus de Voragine. "Hast thou means? thou
hast none to keep and increase it. Hast none? thou hast one to help to
get it. Art in prosperity? thine happiness is doubled. Art in adversity?
she'll comfort, assist, bear a part of thy burden to make it more
tolerable. Art at home? she'll drive away melancholy. Art abroad? she
looks after thee going from home, wishes for thee in thine absence, and
joyfully welcomes thy return. There's nothing delightsome without
society, no society so sweet as matrimony. The band of conjugal love is
adamantine. The sweet company of kinsmen increaseth, the number of
parents is doubled, of brothers, sisters, nephews. Thou art made a
father by a fair and happy issue. Moses curseth the barrenness of
matrimony--how much more a single life!" "All this," says Burton, "is
true; but how easy a mater is it to answer quite opposite! To exercise
myself I will essay. Hast thou means? thou hast one to spend it. Hast
none? thy beggary is increased. Art in prosperity? thy happiness is
ended. Art in adversity? like Job's wife, she'll aggravate thy misery,
vex thy soul, make thy burden intolerable. Art at home? she'll scold
thee out of doors. Art abroad? If thou be wise, keep thee so; she'll
perhaps graft horns in thine absence, scowl on thee coming home.
Nothing gives more content than solitariness, no solitariness like this
of a single life. The band of marriage is adamantine--no hope of loosing
it; thou art undone. Thy number increaseth; thou shalt be devoured by
thy wife's friends. Paul commends marriage, yet he prefers a single
life. Is marriage honourable? What an immortal crown belongs to
virginity! 'Tis a hazard both ways, I confess, to live single, or to
marry; it may be bad, it may be good; as it is a cross and calamity on
the one side, so 'tis a sweet delight, an incomparable happiness, a
blessed estate, a most unspeakable benefit, a sole content, on the
other--'tis all in the proof."

In balancing this question Lord Bacon takes higher ground, and thinks of
the effect of marriage and celibacy on a man in his public capacity. "He
that hath wife and children hath given hostages to Fortune, for they are
impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
Certainly the best works, and of the greatest merit for the public, have
proceeded from the unmarried or childless men, which, both in affection
and means, have married and endowed the public. Yet it were great reason
that those that have children should have greatest care of future times,
unto which they know they must transmit their dearest pledges. Some
there are who, though they lead a single life, yet their thoughts do end
with themselves, and account future times impertinences. Nay, there are
some other that account wife and children but as bills of charges. Nay
more, there are some foolish, rich, covetous men that take a pride in
having no children because they may be thought so much the richer. For
perhaps they have heard some talk: 'Such an one is a great rich man;'
and another except to it: 'Yea, but he hath a great charge of children,'
as if it were an abatement to his riches. But the most ordinary cause
of a single life is liberty, especially in certain self-pleasing and
humorous minds, which are so sensible of every restraint, as they will
go near to think their girdles and garters to be bonds and shackles.
Unmarried men are best friends, best masters, best servants, but not
always best subjects, for they are light to run away, and almost all
fugitives are of that condition. A single life doth well with church
men, for charity will hardly water the ground where it must first fill a

After all, these enumerations of the comparative advantages of marriage
and celibacy are of little use, for a single glance of a pair of bright
eyes will cause antimatrimonial arguments to go down like ninepins. The
greatest misogamists have been most severely wounded when least
expecting it by the darts of Cupid. Such a mishap, according to the
anatomist of melancholy already quoted, had "Stratocles the physician,
that blear-eyed old man. He was a severe woman's-hater all his life, a
bitter persecutor of the whole sex; he foreswore them all still, and
mocked them wheresoever he came in such vile terms, that if thou hadst
heard him thou wouldst have loathed thine own mother and sisters for his
word's sake. Yet this old doting fool was taken at last with that
celestial and divine look of Myrilla, the daughter of Anticles the
gardener, that smirking wench, that he shaved off his bushy beard,
painted his face, curled his hair, wore a laurel crown to cover his bald
pate, and for her love besides was ready to run mad."

If it be true that "nothing is certain but death and taxes," we must not
seek for mathematical demonstration that the road we propose to travel
on is the right one when we come to crossroads in life. A certain amount
of probability ought to make us take either one or the other, for not to
resolve is to resolve. In reference to such questions as marriage
_versus_ celibacy, the choice of a wife, the choice of a profession, and
many others, there must be a certain venture of faith, and in this
unintelligible world there is a rashness which is not always folly.

There are, of course, many persons who, if they married, would be guilty
of great imprudence, not to say of downright crime. When, however, two
_lovers_--we emphasise the word--have sufficient means, are of a
suitable age, and are conscious of no moral, intellectual, or physical
impediment, let them marry. It is the advice of some very wise men.
Benjamin Franklin wrote to a young friend upon his marriage: "I am glad
you are married, and congratulate you most cordially upon it. You are
now in the way of becoming a useful citizen, and you have escaped the
unnatural state of celibacy for life--the fate of many here who never
intended it, but who, having too long postponed the change of their
condition, find at length that it is too late to think of it, and so
live all their lives in a situation that greatly lessens a man's value.
An old volume of a set of books bears not the value of its proportion to
the set. What think you of the odd half of a pair of scissors? It can't
well cut anything--it may possibly serve to scrape a trencher!"

Dr. Johnson says: "Marriage is the best state for man in general; and
every man is a worse man in proportion as he is unfit for the married
state." Of marriage Luther observed: "The utmost blessing that God can
confer on a man is the possession of a good and pious wife, with whom he
may live in peace and tranquillity, to whom he may confide his whole
possessions, even his life and welfare." And again he said: "To rise
betimes and to marry young are what no man ever repents of doing."
Shakespeare would not "admit impediments to the marriage of true minds."

The cares and troubles of married life are many, but are those of single
life few? The bachelor has no one on whom in all cases he can rely. As a
rule his expenses are as great as those of a married man, his life less
useful, and certainly it is less cheerful. "What a life to lead!"
exclaims Cobbett. "No one to talk to without going from home, or without
getting some one to come to you; no friend to sit and talk to, pleasant
evenings to pass! Nobody to share with you your sorrows or your
pleasures; no soul having a common interest with you; all around you
taking care of themselves and no care of you! Then as to gratifications,
from which you will hardly abstain altogether--are they generally of
little expense? and are they attended with no trouble, no vexation, no
disappointment, no _jealousy_ even? and are they never followed by shame
and remorse? To me no being in this world appears so wretched as an _old
bachelor_. Those circumstances, those changes in his person and in his
mind, which in the husband increase rather than diminish the attentions
to him, produce all the want of feeling attendant on disgust; and he
beholds in the conduct of the mercenary crowd that surround him little
besides an eager desire to profit from that event the approach of which
nature makes a subject of sorrow with him."

And yet it would be very wrong to hasten young men in this matter, for
however miserable an old bachelor may be, he is far more happy than
either a bad husband or the husband of a bad wife. What is one man's
meat may be another man's poison. To some persons we might say, "If you
marry you do well, but if you marry not you do better." In the case of
others marriage may have decidedly the advantage. Like most other things
marriage is good or bad according to the use or abuse we make of it. The
applause that is usually given to persons on entering the matrimonial
stage is, to say the least, premature. Let us wait to see how they will
play their parts.

And here we must protest against the foolish and cowardly ridicule that
is sometimes bestowed upon elderly men and women who, using the liberty
of a free country, have abstained from marrying. Certainly some of them
could give reasons for spending their lives outside the temple of Hymen
that are far more honourable than the motives which induced their
foolish detractors to rush in. Some have never found their other selves,
or circumstances prevented the junction of these selves. And which is
more honourable--a life of loneliness or a loveless marriage? There are
others who have laid down their hopes of wedded bliss for the sake of
accomplishing some good work, or for the sake of a father, mother,
sister, or brother. In such cases celibacy is an honourable and may be a
praiseworthy state.

To make "old maid" a term of reproach has mischievous results, and
causes many an ill-assorted marriage. Girls have been hurried into
marriage by the dread of being so stigmatized who have repented the step
to their dying day. The sacredness of marriage and the serious
responsibilities it brings are either ignored altogether or but lightly
considered when marriage is represented as the only profession for
women. There is no truth in Brigham Young's doctrine that only a woman
_sealed_ to a man in marriage can possibly be saved.

Let mothers teach their daughters that although a well-assorted marriage
based upon mutual love and esteem may be the happiest calling for a
woman, yet that marriage brings its peculiar trials as well as special
joys, and that it is quite possible for a woman to be both useful and
happy, although youth be fled, and the crowning joys of life--wife and
motherhood--have passed her by or been voluntarily surrendered.

But this fact that celibacy has many consolations need not prevent the
conclusion that as a rule married life is to be preferred.

"Jeanie," said an old Cameronian to his daughter, who was asking his
permission to marry--"Jeanie, it's a very solemn thing to get married."

"I ken that, father," said the sensible lassie, "but it's a great deal
solemner to be single."

Marriages are made in heaven: matrimony in itself is good, but there are
fools who turn every blessing into a curse, like the man who said, "This
is a good rope, I'll hang myself with it."



  "A wife's a man's best peace, who, till he marries,
  Wants making up....
  She is the good man's paradise, and the bad's
  First step to heaven."--_Shirley._

  "Th' ever womanly
  Draweth us onward!"--_Goethe._

                      "This is well,
  To have a dame indoors, that trims us up,
  And keeps us tight."--_Tennyson._

If there be any _man_--women are seldom anti-matrimonial bigots--who
seriously doubts that the _pros_ in favour of marriage more than
counterbalance the _cons_, we commend to his consideration a few
historical instances in which men have been made men in the highest
sense of the word by marriage.

We do not endorse the exaggerated statement of Richter that "no man can
live piously or die righteously without a wife," but we think that the
chances of his doing so are considerably lessened. It is not good for a
man to live alone with his evil thoughts. The checks and active duties
of marriage are the best antidote, not only to an impure life, but to
the dreaming and droning of a useless and purposeless one.

Certainly there are some men and women who without wives or husbands are
marriage-made in the sense of having their love and powers drawn out by
interesting work. They are married to some art or utility, or instead of
loving one they love all. When this last is the case they go down into
the haunts of evil, seek out the wretched, and spare neither themselves
nor their money in their Christ-like enthusiasm for humanity. But the
luxury of doing good is by no means confined to the celibate. On the
contrary, the man with a wife and children in whose goodness and
happiness he rejoices may be much better prepared to aid and sympathize
with the erring and the suffering. The flood-gates of his affections may
have been opened, and he may have become receptive to influences which
had upon him beforetime little or no effect.

Not a few good and great men have confessed that they were marriage-made
to a very considerable extent. The following testimony was given by De
Tocqueville in a letter to a friend: "I cannot describe to you the
happiness yielded in the long run by the habitual society of a woman, in
whose soul all that is good in your own is reflected naturally, and even
improved. When I say or do a thing which seems to me to be perfectly
right, I read immediately in Marie's countenance an expression of proud
satisfaction which elevates me; and so when my conscience reproaches me
her face instantly clouds over. Although I have great power over her
mind, I see with pleasure that she awes me; and so long as I love her as
I do now I am sure that I shall never allow myself to be drawn into
anything that is wrong."

Many a man has been shown the pathway to heaven by his wife's practice
of piety. "My mercy," says Bunyan, "was to light upon a wife whose
father and mother were accounted godly. This woman and I, though we came
together as poor as poor might be (not having so much household stuff as
a dish or a spoon betwixt us both), yet she had for her part 'The Plain
Man's Pathway to Heaven' and 'The Practice of Piety,' which her father
had left her when he died." By reading these and other good books,
helped by the kindly influence of his wife, Bunyan was gradually
reclaimed from his evil ways, and led gently into the way of

Nor does this companionship of good wives, which enables men to gain "in
sweetness and in moral height," cause them in the least degree to lose
"the wrestling thews which throw the world." Quite the reverse. Weak men
have displayed real public virtue, and strong men have been made
stronger, because they had by their side a woman of noble character, who
exercised a fortifying influence on their conduct. Lady Rachel Russell
is one of the many celebrated women who have encouraged their husbands
to suffer and be strong. She sat beside her husband day after day during
his public trial, taking notes and doing everything to help him.

In the sixth year of his marriage Baxter was brought before the
magistrates for holding a conventicle, and was sentenced to be confined
in Clerkenwell Gaol. There he was joined by his wife, who
affectionately nursed him during his imprisonment. "She was never so
cheerful a companion to me," he says, "as in prison, and was very much
against me seeking to be released."

There is a sort of would-be wit which consists in jesting at the
supposed bondage of the married state. The best answer to this plentiful
lack of wit is the fact that some of the best of men have kissed the
shackles which a wife imposes, and have either thought or said, "If this
be slavery, who'd be free?" Luther, speaking of his wife, said, "I would
not exchange my poverty with her for all the riches of Croesus without
her." In more recent times the French statesman, M. Guizot, says in his
"Mémoires": "What I know to-day, at the end of my race, I have felt when
it began, and during its continuance. Even in the midst of great
undertakings domestic affections form the basis of life, and the most
brilliant career has only superficial and incomplete enjoyments if a
stranger to the happy ties of family and friendship." Not long ago, when
speaking of his wife, Prince Bismarck said, "She it is who has made me
what I am."

And there have been English statesmen who could say quite as much. Burke
was sustained amid the anxiety and agitation of public life by domestic
felicity. "Every care vanishes," he said, "the moment I enter under my
own roof!" Of his wife he said that she was "not made to be the
admiration of everybody, but the happiness of one." A writer in a recent
number of _Leisure Hour_ relates the following of Lord Beaconsfield:
"The grateful affection which he entertained for his wife, whom he
always esteemed as the founder of his fortunes, is well known. She was
in the habit of travelling with him on almost all occasions. A friend
of the earl and of the narrator of the incident was dining with him,
when one of the party--a Member of the House for many years, of a noble
family, but rather remarkable for raising a laugh at his buffoonery than
any admiration for his wisdom--had no better taste or grace than to
expostulate with Disraeli for always taking the viscountess with him. 'I
cannot understand it,' said the graceless man, 'for, you know, you make
yourself a perfect laughing-stock wherever your wife goes with you.'
Disraeli fixed his eyes upon him very expressively and said, 'I don't
suppose you can understand it, B.--I don't suppose you can understand
it, for no one could ever in the last and wildest excursions of an
insane imagination suppose you to be guilty of gratitude!'"

It is true that there have been memorable celibates, but in the main the
world's work has been done by the married. Fame and reward are powerful
incentives, but they bear no comparison to the influence exercised by

A man's wife and family often compel him to do his best; and, when on
the point of despairing, they force him to fight like a hero, not for
himself, but for them. Curran confessed that when he addressed a court
for the first time, if he had not felt his wife and children tugging at
his gown, he would have thrown up his brief and relinquished the
profession of a lawyer.

"It is often the case when you see a great man, like a ship, sailing
proudly along the current of renown, that there is a little tug--his
wife--whom you cannot see, but who is directing his movements and
supplying the motive power." This truth is well illustrated by the
anecdote told of Lord Eldon, who, when he had received the Great Seal at
the hands of the king, being about to retire, was addressed by his
majesty with the words, "Give my remembrance to Lady Eldon." The
Chancellor, in acknowledging the condescension, intimated his ignorance
of Lady Eldon's claim to such a notice. "Yes, yes," the king answered;
"I know how much I owe to Lady Eldon. I know that you would have made
yourself a country curate, and that she has made you my Lord
Chancellor." Sir Walter Scott and Daniel O'Connell, at a late period of
their lives, ascribed their success in the world principally to their

When Sir Joshua Reynolds--himself a bachelor--met the sculptor Flaxman
shortly after his marriage, he said to him, "So, Flaxman, I am told you
are married; if so, sir, I tell you you are ruined for an artist."
Flaxman went home, sat down beside his wife, took her hand in his, and
said, "Ann, I am ruined for an artist." "How so, John? How has it
happened? and who has done it?" "It happened," he replied, "in the
church, and Ann Denman has done it." He then told her of Sir Joshua's
remark--whose opinion was well known, and had often been expressed, that
if students would excel they must bring the whole powers of their mind
to bear upon their art, from the moment they rose until they went to
bed; and also, that no man could be a _great_ artist unless he studied
the grand works of Raphael, Michael Angelo, and others, at Rome and
Florence. "And I," said Flaxman, drawing up his little figure to its
full height, "_I_ would be a great artist." "And a great artist you
shall be," said his wife, "and visit Rome, too, if that be really
necessary to make you great." "But how?" asked Flaxman. "_Work and
economize_," rejoined the brave wife; "I will never have it said that
Ann Denman ruined John Flaxman for an artist." And so it was determined
by the pair that the journey to Rome was to be made when their means
would admit. "I will go to Rome," said Flaxman, "and show the President
that wedlock is for a man's good rather than his harm; and you, Ann,
shall accompany me."

After working for five years, aided by the untiring economy of his wife,
Flaxman actually did accomplish his journey. On returning from Rome,
where he spent seven years, conscious of his indebtedness to his wife,
he devised an original gift as a memorial of his domestic happiness. He
caused a little quarto book to be made, containing some score or so of
leaves, and with pen and pencil proceeded to fill and embellish it. On
the first page is drawn a dove with an olive branch in her mouth; an
angel is on the right and an angel on the left, and between is written,
"To Ann Flaxman"; below, two hands are clasped as at an altar, two
cherubs bear a garland, and there follows an inscription to his wife
introducing the subject. Instead of finding his genius maimed by his
alliance with Ann Denman, this eminent sculptor was ever ready to
acknowledge that his subsequent success was in a great part

It was through the eyes of his wife that Huber, the great authority on
bees, who was blind from his seventeenth year, conducted his
observations and studies. He even went so far as to declare that he
should be miserable were he to regain his eyesight. "I should not know,"
he said, "to what extent a person in my situation could be beloved;
besides, to me my wife is always young, fresh, and pretty, which is no
light matter."

Sir William Hamilton of Edinburgh found his wife scarcely less helpful,
especially after he had been stricken by paralysis through overwork.
When he was elected Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, and had no
lectures on stock, his wife sat up with him night after night to write
out a fair copy of the lectures from the rough sheets which he had
drafted in the adjoining room. "The number of pages in her handwriting
still preserved is," says Sir William's biographer, "perfectly

Equally effective as a literary helper was Lady Napier, the wife of Sir
William Napier, historian of the Peninsular War. She translated and
epitomized the immense mass of original documents, many of them in
cipher, on which it was in a great measure founded. When Wellington was
told of the art and industry she had displayed in deciphering King
Joseph's portfolios, and the immense mass of correspondence taken at
Vittoria, he at first would hardly believe it, adding: "I would have
given £20,000 to any person who could have done this for me in the
Peninsula." Sir William Napier's handwriting being almost illegible,
Lady Napier made out his rough interlined manuscript, which he himself
could scarcely read, and wrote out a fair copy for the printer; and all
this vast labour she undertook and accomplished, according to the
testimony of her husband, without having for a moment neglected the care
and education of a large family.

The help and consolation that Hood received from his wife during a life
that was a prolonged illness is one of the most affecting things in
biography. He had such confidence in her judgment that he read and
re-read and corrected with her assistance all that he wrote. He used to
trust to her ready memory for references and quotations. Many wives
deserve, but few receive, such an I.O.U. as that which the grateful
humorist gave to his wife in one of his letters when absent from her
side. "I never was anything, Dearest, till I knew you, and I have been a
better, happier, and more prosperous man ever since. Lay by that truth
in lavender, Sweetest, and remind me of it when I fail. I am writing
warmly and fondly, but not without good cause.... Perhaps there is an
afterthought that, whatever may befall me, the wife of my bosom will
have the acknowledgment of her tenderness, worth, excellence--all that
is wifely or womanly--from my pen."

Mr. Froude says of Carlyle's wife that "her hardest work was a delight
to her when she could spare her husband's mind an anxiety or his stomach
an indigestion. While he was absorbed in his work and extremely
irritable as to every ailment or discomfort, her life was devoted to
shield him in every possible way." In the inscription upon her tombstone
Carlyle bore testimony that he owed to his wife a debt immense of
gratitude. "In her bright existence she had more sorrows than are
common, but also a soft invincibility, a capacity of discernment, and a
noble loyalty of heart which are rare. For forty years she was the true
and loving helpmate of her husband, and by act and word unweariedly
forwarded him as none else could in all of worthy that he did or
attempted. She died at London, April 21st, 1866, suddenly snatched away
from him, and the light of his life as if gone out."

What an influence women have exercised upon teachers of religion and
philosophy! When no one else would encourage Mahomet, his wife Kadijah
listened to him with wonder, with doubt. At length she answered: "Yes,
it was true this that he said." We can fancy, as does Carlyle, the
boundless gratitude of Mahomet, and how, of all the kindnesses she had
done him, this of believing the earnest struggling word he now spoke was
the greatest. "It is certain," says Novalis, "my conviction gains
infinitely the moment another soul will believe in it." It is a
boundless favour. He never forgot this good Kadijah. Long afterwards,
Ayesha, his young favourite wife, a woman who indeed distinguished
herself among the Moslem by all manner of qualities, through her whole
long life, this young brilliant Ayesha was one day questioning him: "Now
am I not better than Kadijah? she was a widow; old, and had lost her
looks: you love me better than you did her?" "No, by Allah!" answered
Mahomet: "No, by Allah! She believed in me when none else would believe.
In the whole world I had but one friend, and she was that!"

It will suffice to hint at the scientific value of the little that has
been disclosed respecting Madame Clothilde de Vaux in elucidating the
position of Auguste Comte as a teacher. Some may think that John Stuart
Mill first taught his wife and then admired his own wisdom in her. His
own account of the matter is very different, as we learn from the
dedication of his essay "On Liberty":

"To the beloved and deplored memory of her who was the inspirer, and in
part the author, of all that is best in my writings--the friend and wife
whose exalted sense of truth and right was my strongest incitement, and
whose approbation was my chief reward--I dedicate this volume. Like all
that I have written for many years, it belongs as much to her as to me;
but the work as it stands has had, in a very insufficient degree, the
inestimable advantage of her revision; some of the most important
portions having been reserved for a more careful re-examination, which
they are now never destined to receive. Were I but capable of
interpreting to the world one-half the great thoughts and noble feelings
which are buried in her grave, I should be the medium of a greater
benefit to it than is ever likely to arise from anything that I can
write, unprompted and unassisted by her all but unrivalled wisdom."

In a speech upon woman's rights, a lady orator is said to have
exclaimed, "It is well known that Solomon owed his wisdom to the number
of his wives!" This is too much; nevertheless, Sir Samuel Romilly gave
the experience of many successful men when he said that there was
nothing by which through life he had more profited than by the just
observations and the good opinion of his wife.

Most people are acquainted with husbands who have lost almost all
self-reliance and self-help because their wives have been only too
helpful to them. Trollope and George Eliot faithfully portrayed real
life in their stories when they put the reins into the hands of good
wives and made them drive the domestic coach, to the immense advantage
and comfort of the husbands, who never suspected the real state of the
case. No man has so thoroughly as Trollope brought into literature the
idea which women have of men--creatures that have to be looked after as
grown-up little boys; interesting, piquant, indispensable, but
shiftless, headstrong, and at bottom absurd.

But this consciousness which good wives have of the helplessness of
husbands renders them all the more valuable in their eyes. Before
Weinsberg surrendered to its besiegers, the women of the place asked
permission of the captors to remove their valuables. The permission was
granted, and shortly after the women were seen issuing from the gates
carrying their husbands on their shoulders. Indeed it would be
impossible to relate a tenth part of the many ways in which good wives
have shown affection for and actively assisted their wedded lords.
Knowing this to be the case, we were not surprised to read some time
since the following piece of Irish news: "An inquiry was held at
Mullingar on Wednesday respecting Mr. H. Smythe's claim of £10,000 as
compensation for the loss of his wife, who was shot whilst returning
from church. The claim was made under the nineteenth section of the
Crime Preservation Act, Ireland." The result of the inquiry we do not
know, but for ourselves we think that £10,000 would barely compensate
for the loss of a really good article in wives.

Some one told an old bachelor that a friend had gone blind. "Let him
marry, then," was the crusty reply; "let him marry, and if that doesn't
open his eyes, then his case is indeed hopeless." But this, we must
remember, was not the experience of a married man.

A friend was talking to Wordsworth of De Quincey's articles about him.
Wordsworth begged him to stop; he hadn't read them, and did not wish to
ruffle himself about them. "Well," said the friend, "I'll tell you only
one thing he says, and then we'll talk of other things. He says your
wife is too good for you." The old poet's dim eyes lighted up, and he
started from his chair, crying with enthusiasm, "And that's true! There
he's right!" his disgust and contempt visibly moderating. Many a man
whose faith in womankind was weak before marriage can a few years
afterwards sympathize most fully with this pathetic confession of the
old poet.

A Scotch dealer, when exhorting his son to practise honesty on the
ground of its being the "best policy," quietly added, "I hae tried
_baith_." So is it in reference to matrimony and celibacy. The majority
of those who have "tried baith" are of opinion that the former is the
best policy.

It would be absurd to assert that the marriage state is free from care
and anxiety; but what of that? Is not care and trouble the condition of
any and every state of life? He that will avoid trouble must avoid the
world. "Marriage," says Dr. Johnson, "is not commonly unhappy, but as
life is unhappy." And the summing up, so to speak, of this great
authority is well known--"Marriage has many pains, but celibacy no



  "Go, draw aside the curtains, and discover
  The several caskets to this noble prince:--
  Now make your choice."--_Shakespeare._

     "If, as Plutarch adviseth, one must eat _modium salis_, a bushel
     of salt, with him before he choose his friend, what care should
     be had in choosing a wife--his second self! How solicitous should
     he be to know her qualities and behaviour! and, when he is
     assured of them, not to prefer birth, fortune, beauty, before
     bringing up and good conditions."--_Robert Burton._

Whether a man shall be made or marred by marriage greatly depends upon
the choice he makes of a wife. Nothing is better than a good woman, nor
anything worse than a bad one. The idea of the great electrician
Edison's marrying was first suggested by an intimate friend, who made
the point that he needed a mistress to preside over his large house,
which was being managed by a housekeeper and several servants. Although
a very shy man, he seemed pleased with the proposition, and timidly
inquired whom he should marry The friend somewhat testily replied, "Any
one;" that a man who had so little sentiment in his soul as to ask such
a question ought to be satisfied with anything that wore a petticoat and
was decent.

Woe to the man who follows such careless advice as this, and marries
"any one," for what was said by the fox to the sick lion might be said
with equal truth to Hymen: "I notice that there are many prints of feet
entering your cave, but I see no trace of any returning." Before taking
the irrevocable step choose well, for your choice though brief is yet
endless. And, first, we make the obvious suggestion that it is useless
to seek perfection in a wife, even though you may fancy yourself capable
of giving an adequate return as did the author of the following
advertisement: "Wanted by a Young Gentleman just beginning Housekeeping,
a Lady between Eighteen and Twenty-five Years of Age, with a good
Education, and a Fortune not less than Five Thousand Pounds; Sound Wind
and Limb, Five Feet Four Inches without her shoes; Not Fat, nor yet too
lean; Good Set of Teeth; No Pride nor Affectation; Not very Talkative,
nor one that is deemed a Scold; but of a Spirit to Resent an Affront; of
a Charitable Disposition; not Over-fond of Dress, though always Decent
and Clean; that will Entertain her Husband's Friends with Affability and
Cheerfulness, and Prefer his Company to Public Diversions and gadding
about; one who can keep his secrets, that he may open his Heart to her
without reserve on all Occasions; that can extend domestic Expenses with
Economy, as Prosperity advances, without Ostentation; and Retrench them
with Cheerfulness, if occasion should require. Any Lady disposed to
Matrimony, answering this Description, is desired to direct for Y. Z.,
at the Baptist's Head Coffee-house, Aldermanbury. _N.B._--The Gentleman
can make adequate Return, and is, in every Respect, deserving a Lady
with the above Qualifications."

This reminds us of the old lady who told her steward she wished him to
attend a neighbouring fair in order to buy her a cow. She explained to
him that it must be young, well-bred, fine in the skin, a strawberry in
colour, straight in the back, and not given to breaking through fences
when it smelt clover on the other side; above all, it was not to cost
more than ten pounds. The steward, who was a Scotchman, and a privileged
old servant, bowed his head and replied reverently, "Then, my lady, I
think ye had better kneel down and pray for her, for ye'll get her nae
other way, I'm thinkin'."

While the possession of a little money is by no means a drawback, those
do not well consult their happiness who marry for money alone.

  "In many a marriage made for gold,
  The bride is bought--and the bridegroom sold."

Though Cupid is said to be blind, he is a better guide than the rules of
arithmetic. We have false ideas of happiness. What will make me
happy--contented? "Oh, if I were rich, I should be happy!" A gentleman
who was enjoying the hospitalities of the great millionaire and king of
finance, Rothschild, as he looked at the superb appointments of the
mansion, said to his host, "You must be a happy man!" "Happy!" said he,
"happy! I happy--happy!" "Aye, happy!" "Let us change the subject." John
Jacob Astor of America, was also told that he must be a very happy man,
being so rich. "Why," said he, "would you take care of my property for
your board and clothes? That's all I get for it." In taking a dowry with
a wife "thou losest thy liberty," says an old writer: "she will ride
upon thee, domineer as she list, wear the breeches in her oligarchical
government, and beggar thee besides."

Better to have a fortune _in_ your wife than _with_ her. "My wife has
made my fortune," said a gentleman of great possessions, "by her thrift,
prudence, and cheerfulness, when I was just beginning." "And mine has
lost my fortune," answered his companion, bitterly, "by useless
extravagance, and repining when I was doing well." The girl who brings
to her husband a large dowry may also bring habits of luxury learned in
a rich home. She may be almost as incapable of understanding straitened
circumstances as was the lady of the court of Louis XVI., who, on
hearing of people starving, exclaimed, "Poor creatures! No bread to eat!
Then let them eat cakes!"

Nor is it wise to marry for beauty alone: as even the finest landscape,
seen daily, becomes monotonous, so does the most beautiful face, unless
a beautiful nature shine through it. The beauty of to-day becomes
commonplace to-morrow; whereas goodness, displayed through the most
ordinary features, is perennially lovely. Moreover, this kind of beauty
improves with age, and time ripens rather than destroys it. No man is so
much to be pitied as the husband of a "professional beauty." Yet beauty,
when it betokens health, or when it is the outward and visible sign of
an inward and spiritual grace, is valuable, and has a great power of
winning affection.

Above all things do not marry a fool who will shame you and reveal your
secrets. For ourselves we do not believe the first part at least of
Archbishop Whately's definition of woman: "A creature that does not
reason, and that pokes the fire from the top." The wife who does not and
cannot make use of reason to overcome the daily difficulties of domestic
life, and who can in no sense be called the companion of her husband, is
a mate who hinders rather than helps. Sooner or later a household must
fall into the hands of its women, and sink or swim according to their
capacities. It is hard enough for a man to be married to a bad woman;
but for a man who marries a foolish woman there is no hope.

"One must love their friends with all their failings, but it is a great
failing to be ill," and therefore unless you are one of those rare men
who would never lose patience with a wife always in pain, when choosing
you should think more of a healthy hue than of a hectic hue, and far
more of good lungs than of a tightly-laced waist "See that she chews her
food well, and sets her foot down firmly on the ground when she walks,
and you're all right."

As regards the marriageable age of women we may quote the following
little conversation: "No woman is worth looking at after thirty," said
young Mrs. A., a bride with all the arrogant youthfulness of twenty-one
summers. "Quite true, my dear," answered Lady D., a very pretty woman
some ten or fifteen years older; "nor worth listening to before."

Please yourself, good sir! only do not marry either a child or an old
woman. Certainly a man should marry to obtain a friend and companion
rather than a cook and housekeeper; but yet that girl is a prize indeed
who has so well prepared herself for the business of wifehood as to be
able to keep not only her husband company, but her house in good order.
"If that man is to be regarded as a benefactor of his species who makes
two stalks of corn to grow where only one grew before, not less is she
to be regarded as a public benefactor who economizes and turns to the
best practical account the food products of human skill and labour."

Formerly a woman's library was limited to the Bible and a cookery-book.
This curriculum has now been considerably extended, and it is everywhere
acknowledged that "chemistry enough to keep the pot boiling, and
geography enough to know the different rooms in her house," is _not_
science enough for women. It is surely not impossible, however, for an
intending husband to find a girl who can make her higher education
compatible with his comforts, who can when necessary bring her
philosophy down to the kitchen. Why should literature unfit women for
the everyday business of life? It is not so with men. You see those of
the most cultivated minds constantly devoting their time and attention
to the most homely objects.

The other day, speaking superficially and uncharitably, a person said of
a woman, whom he knew but slightly, "She disappoints me utterly. How
could her husband have married her? She is commonplace and stupid."
"Yes," said a friend, reflectively, "it is strange. She is not a
brilliant woman, she is not even an intellectual one; but there is such
a thing as a genius for affection, and she has it. It has been good for
her husband that he married her." In the sphere of home the graces of
gentleness, of patience, of generosity, are far more valuable than any
personal attractions or mental gifts and accomplishments. They
contribute more to happiness and are the source of sympathy and
spiritual discernment. For does not the woman who can love see more and
understand more than the most intellectual woman who has no heart?

A vacancy in the floor sweeping department of a public institution
having been advertised, the testimonials to the intellectual and moral
eminence of an old woman were overwhelming; but after the election it
appeared she had only one arm! Not less unfitted to be a wife is the
woman who, with every other qualification, has no genius for affection.

Dress is one of the little things that indicate character. A refined
woman will always look neat; but, on the other hand, she will not
bedizen and bedeck herself with a view to display. Again, there is no
condition of life in which industry in a wife is not necessary to the
happiness of a family. A lazy mistress makes lazy servants, and, what is
worse, a lazy mother makes lazy children.

"But how," asks Cobbett, "is the purblind lover to ascertain whether
she, whose smiles have bereft him of his senses--how is he to judge
whether the beloved object will be industrious or lazy?" In answer to
this question several outward and visible signs are suggested, such as
early rising, a lively, distinct utterance, a quick step, "the labours
of the teeth; for these correspond with those of the other members of
the body, and with the operations of the mind."

Then we are told of a young man in Philadelphia, who, courting one of
three sisters, happened to be on a visit to her, when all the three were
present, and when one said to the others, "I _wonder_ where _our_ needle
is." Upon which he withdrew, as soon as was consistent with politeness,
resolved never to think more of a girl who possessed a needle only in
partnership, and who, it appeared, was not too well informed as to the
place where even that share was deposited.

It would be impossible even to allude to every point of character that
should be observed in choosing a wife. Frugality, or the power to
abstain from unnecessary expenditure, is very important, so is
punctuality. As to good temper, it is a most difficult thing to
ascertain beforehand; smiles are so easily put on for the _lover's_
visits. We know the old conundrum--why are ladies like bells? Because
you never know what metal they are made of until you _ring_ them. An
ingenuous girl thus alluded to the change that is frequently perceptible
after marriage. "Your future husband seems very exacting: he has been
stipulating for all sorts of things," said her mother to her. "Never
mind, Mamma," said the affectionate girl, who was already dressed for
the wedding; "these are his last wishes."

There is, however, one way of roughly guessing the qualifications of a
girl for the most responsible position of a wife. Find out the character
of her mother, and whether the daughter has been a good one and a good
sister. Ask yourself, if you respect as well as admire her, and remember
the words of Fichte: "No true and enduring love can exist without
esteem; every other draws regret after it, and is unworthy of any noble

Thackeray said of women: "What we (men) want for the most part is a
humble, flattering, smiling, child-loving, tea-making being, who laughs
at our jokes however old they may be, coaxes and wheedles us in our
humours, and fondly lies to us through life." And he says of a wife:
"She ought to be able to make your house pleasant to your friends; she
ought to attract them to it by her grace. Let it be said of her, 'What
an uncommonly nice woman Mrs. Brown is!' Let her be, if not clever, an
appreciator of cleverness. Above all, let her have a sense of humour,
for a woman without a laugh in her is the greatest bore in existence."
It is, we think, only very weak men who would wish their wives to
"fondly lie" to them in this way. Better to be occasionally wound up
like an eight-day clock by one's wife and made to go right. There is no
one who gives such wise and brave advice as a good wife. She is another,
a calmer and a better self. The heart of her husband doth safely trust
in her, for he knows that when her criticism is most severe it is spoken
in love and for his own good. Lord Beaconsfield described his wife as
"the most severe of critics, but a perfect wife."

Burns the poet, in speaking of the qualities of a good wife, divided
them into ten parts. Four of these he gave to good temper, two to good
sense, one to wit, one to beauty--such as a sweet face, eloquent eyes, a
fine person, a graceful carriage; and the other two parts he divided
amongst the other qualities belonging to or attending on a wife--such as
fortune, connections, education (that is, of a higher standard than
ordinary), family blood, &c.; but he said, "Divide those two degrees as
you please, only remember that all these minor proportions must be
expressed by fractions, for there is not any one of them that is
entitled to the dignity of an integer."

Let us add the famous advice given by Lord Burleigh to his son: "When it
shall please God," said he, "to bring thee to man's estate, use great
providence and circumspection in choosing thy wife, for from thence will
spring all thy future good or evil. And it is an action of thy life,
like unto a stratagem of war, wherein a man can err but once.... Inquire
diligently of her disposition, and how her parents have been inclined in
their youth. Let her not be poor, how generous (well-born) soever; for a
man can buy nothing in the market with gentility. Nor choose a base and
uncomely creature altogether for wealth, for it will cause contempt in
others, and loathing in thee. Neither make choice of a dwarf or a fool,
for by the one thou shalt beget a race of pigmies, while the other will
be thy continual disgrace, and it will yirke (irk) thee to hear her
talk. For thou shalt find it to thy great grief that there is nothing
more fulsome than a she-fool."

The ideal wife is either what Crashaw calls an "impossible she," or--

  "Somewhere in the world must be
  She that I have prayed to see,
  She that Love assigns to me."

But then--

  "Shall we ever, ever meet?
  Shall I find in thee, my sweet,
  Visions true and life complete?"

To the old question, "Who can _find_?" it may too often be replied, Who
_seeks_ "a virtuous woman"? Is she wealthy? is she pretty? is she
talented? are questions asked more frequently than Is she good,
sensible, industrious, affectionate? And yet that man takes to himself
one of the bitterest of earth's curses who marries carelessly instead of
seeking with all diligence for those qualities in a wife that are the
foundation of lasting happiness.

A minister's wife falling asleep in church, her husband thus addressed
her: "Mrs. B., a' body kens that when I got ye for my wife I got nae
beauty; yer frien's ken that I got nae siller; and if I dinna get God's
grace I shall hae a puir bargain indeed." If men would seek for wives
women with the grace of God, if they would choose them as they do their
clothes, for qualities that will last, they would get much better

One reason for this carelessness about the character of a wife may be
found in the prevailing opinion that there is little or no room for
choice in matters matrimonial. Sir John More (father of the Chancellor,
Sir Thomas) was often heard to say, "I would compare the multitude of
women which are to be chosen for wives unto a bag full of snakes, having
among them a single eel. Now, if a man should put his hand into this
bag, he may chance to light on the eel; but it is a hundred to one he
shall be stung by a snake."

Perhaps the lottery theory of marriage was never stated more strongly or
with greater cynicism; but is it true? If it were, to expend care and
attention in choosing a wife would be to labour in vain. If, however,
marriage is by no means such an affair of chance, a prudent choice may
prevent a man from being stung by a snake, and may give him a goodly eel
as his marriage portion. The important thing to do is to keep well in
mind the fact that a man's prospect of domestic felicity does not
depend upon the face, the fortune, or the accomplishments of his wife,
but upon her character. The son of Sirach says that he would rather
dwell with a lion and a dragon than to keep house with a wicked woman.
"He that hath hold of her is as though he held a scorpion. A loud crying
woman and a scold shall be sought out to drive away the enemies." On the
other hand, "the grace of a wife delighteth her husband, and her
discretion will fatten his bones. A silent and loving woman is a gift of
the Lord; and there is nothing so much worth as a mind well instructed."



  "How shall I know if I do choose the right?"--_Shakespeare._

  "God, the best maker of marriages, bless you!"--_Ibid._

     "And while thou livest, dear Kate, take a fellow of plain and
     uncoined constancy; for he perforce must do thee right, because
     he hath not the gift to woo in other places; for these fellows of
     infinite tongue, that can rhyme themselves into ladies' favours,
     they do always reason themselves out again. What! a speaker is
     but a prater; a rhyme is but a ballad. A good leg will fall; a
     straight back will stoop; a black beard will turn white; a curled
     pate will grow bald; a fair face will wither; a full eye will wax
     hollow; but a good heart, Kate, is the sun and the moon; or,
     rather, the sun, and not the moon; for it shines bright, and
     never changes, but keeps his course truly."--_Ibid._

They that enter into the state of marriage cast a die of the greatest
contingency, and yet of the greatest interest in the world, next to the
last throw for eternity. Life or death, felicity or a lasting sorrow,
are in the power of marriage. A woman, indeed, ventures most, for she
hath no sanctuary to retire to from an evil husband; she must dwell
upon her sorrow and hatch the eggs which her own folly or infelicity
hath produced; and she is more under it, because her tormentor hath a
warrant of prerogative, and the woman may complain to God, as subjects
do of tyrant princes; but otherwise she hath no appeal in the causes of
unkindness. And though the man can run from many hours of his sadness,
yet he must return to it again; and when he sits among his neighbours he
remembers the objection that is in his bosom, and he sighs deeply. "The
boys and the pedlars and the fruiterers shall tell of this man when he
is carried to his grave that he lived and died a poor, wretched person."

In these words Jeremy Taylor puts before men and women the issues of
choice in matrimony. What, however, concerns us in this chapter is that
"a woman ventures most." "Love is of man's life a thing apart, 'tis
woman's whole existence." How important that a treasure which is dear as
life itself should be placed in safe keeping! And yet so blind is love
that defects often seem to be virtues, deformity assumes the style of
beauty, and even hideous vices have appeared under an attractive form.

In Shakespeare's play Cleopatra speaks of an old attachment which she
had lived to despise as having arisen in her "salad days," when she was
green in judgment. In extreme youth love is especially blind, and for
this, as well as for other reasons, girls, who are yet at school, do not
consult their best interests when they allow love to occupy their too
youthful minds. It prevents the enjoyment of happy years of maidenhood,
and sometimes leads to marriage before the girl is fit, either
physically, mentally, or domestically, for the cares of married life.

"I believe," says R. W. Dale, of Birmingham, "in falling in love. The
imagination should be kindled and the heart touched; there should be
enthusiasm and even romance in the happy months that precede marriage,
and something of the enthusiasm and romance should remain to the very
end of life, or else the home is wanting in its perfect happiness and
grace. But take my word for it, solid virtues are indispensable to the
security and happiness of a home."

You would not like to live with a liar, with a thief, with a drunkard,
for twenty or thirty years. A lazy man will make but a weak band or
support for his and your house; so will one deficient in fortitude--that
is, the power to bear pain and trouble without whining. Beware of the
selfish man, for though he may be drawn out of selfishness in the early
weeks of courtship, he will settle back into it again when the wear and
worry of life come on. And remember that a man may have the roots of
some of these vices in him and yet be extremely agreeable and
good-looking, dress well, and say very pretty and charming things. "How
easy is it for the proper-false in women's waxen hearts to set their

In their haste to be married many women are too easily satisfied with
the characters of men who may offer themselves as husbands. They aim at
matrimony in the abstract; not _the_ man, but any man. They would not
engage a servant if all they knew of her were that she had, as a
housemaid lately advertised, "a fortnight's character from her last
place;" but with even less information as to their characters they will
accept husbands and vow to love, honour, and obey them! In comparison
how much more honourable and how much less unloved and unloving is the
spinster's lot! Women marry simply for a home because they have not been
trained to fight the battle of life for themselves, and because their
lives are so dull and stagnant that they think any change must be for
the better.

A friend--let us say Barlow--was describing to Jerrold the story of his
courtship and marriage: how his wife had been brought up in a convent,
and was on the point of taking the veil, when his presence burst upon
her enraptured sight. Jerrold listened to the end of the story, and by
way of comment said, "Ah! she evidently thought Barlow better than nun."
When girls have been given work in the world they do not think that any
husband is better than none, and they have not time to imagine
themselves in love with the first man who proposes. How often is it the
case that people think themselves in love when in fact they are only

There are hearts all the better for keeping; they become mellower and
more worth a woman's acceptance than the crude, unripe things that are
sometimes gathered--as children gather green fruit--to the discomfort of
those who obtain them. A husband may be too young to properly appreciate
and take care of a wife. And yet perhaps the majority of girls would
rather be a young man's slave than an old man's darling. "My dear," said
a father to his daughter, "I intend that you should be married, but not
that you should throw yourself away on any wild, worthless boy: you must
marry a man of sober and mature age. What do you think of a fine,
intelligent husband of fifty?" "I think two of twenty-five would be
better, papa."

Prophecies as to the probable result of a marriage are as a rule little
to be trusted. It was so in the case of the celebrated Madame Necker.
She had been taken to Paris to live with a young widow, to whom
Necker--a financier from Geneva--came to pay his addresses. The story
goes that the widow, in order to rid herself of her admirer, got him to
transfer his addresses to her young companion, saying to herself, "they
will bore each other to death, that will give them something to do." The
happy pair, however, had no such foreboding. "I am marrying a man,"
wrote the lady, "whom I should believe to be an angel, if his great love
for me did not show his weakness." In his way the husband was equally
satisfied. "I account myself as happy as it is possible for a man to
be," he wrote to a mutual friend; and to the end of the chapter there
was no flaw in that matrimonial life.

Never to marry a genius was the advice of Mrs. Carlyle. "I married for
ambition. Carlyle has exceeded all that my wildest hopes ever imagined
of him, and I am miserable." As the supply of geniuses is very limited,
this advice may seem superfluous. It is not so, however, for there is
enough and to spare of men who think that they are geniuses, and take
liberties accordingly. These are very often only sons of fond but
foolish mothers, who have persuaded them that they are not made of
common clay, and that the girls who get them will be blessed. From such
a blessing young women should pray to be delivered.

Perhaps it may be said that though it is easy to write about choosing a
husband, for the majority of English girls, at least, there is but
little choice in the matter. Dickens certainly told an American
story--very American--of a young lady on a voyage, who, being intensely
loved by five young men, was advised to "jump overboard and marry the
man who jumped in after her." Accordingly, next morning the five lovers
being on deck, and looking very devotedly at the young lady, she plunged
into the sea. Four of the lovers immediately jumped in after her. When
the young lady and four lovers were out again, she said to the captain,
"What am I to do with them now, they are so wet?" "Take the dry one."
And the young lady did, and married him. How different is the state of
affairs on this side of the Atlantic, where, if a young woman is to be
married, she must take not whom she will, but whom she can. "Oh me, the
word choose! I may neither choose whom I would, nor refuse whom I
dislike." But is it necessary to marry? Far better to have no husband
than a bad one.

There is a great deal of human nature in the account which Artemus Ward
gives of the many affecting ties which made him hanker after Betsy Jane.
"Her father's farm jined our'n; their cows and our'n squencht their
thurst at the same spring; our old mares both had stars in their
forrerds; the measles broke out in both famerlies at nearly the same
period; our parients (Betsy's and mine) slept reglarly every Sunday in
the same meetin-house, and the nabers used to obsarve, 'How thick the
Wards and Peasleys air!' It was a surblime site, in the spring of the
year, to see our sevral mothers (Betsy's and mine) with their gowns
pin'd up so thay couldn't sile 'em affecshunitly bilin sope together and
aboozin the nabers."

In this matter more than in most others "we do not will according to our
reason, we reason according to our will." True desire, the monition of
nature, is much to be attended to. But always we are to discriminate
carefully between _true_ desire and false. The medical men tell us we
should eat what we _truly_ have an appetite for; but what we only
_falsely_ have an appetite for we should resolutely avoid. Ought not
choice in matrimony to be guided by the same principle?

Above all things young ladies should ask God, the best maker of
marriages, to direct their choice aright.



  "How poor are they who have not patience!
  What wound did ever heal, but by degrees?"--_Shakespeare._

  "E'en now, in passing through the garden walks,
  Upon the ground I saw a fallen nest,
  Ruined and full of ruin; and over it,
  Behold, the uncomplaining birds, already
  Busy in building a new habitation."--_Longfellow._

But "the best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft a-gley." We are none
of us infallible, "not even the youngest." When the greatest care has
been taken in choosing, people get bad matrimonial bargains. From the
nature of the case this must often happen. If not one man in a thousand
is a judge of the points of a horse, not one in a million understands
human nature. And even if a young man or woman did understand human
nature, there are before marriage, as a rule, opportunities of gaining
only the slightest knowledge of the character of one who is to be the
weal or woe of a new home. It is related in ancient history, or fable,
that when Rhodope, a fashionable Egyptian beauty, was engaged bathing,
an eagle stole away one of her shoes, and let it fall near Psammetichus
the king. Struck with the pretty shoe, he fell in love with the foot,
and finally married the owner of both. Very little more acquaintance
with each other have the majority of the Innocents who go abroad into
the unknown country of Matrimony to seek their fortunes or misfortunes.

And then the temper and manner of people when making love are so
different from what these become afterwards! "One would think the whole
endeavour of both parties during the time of courtship is to hinder
themselves from being known--to disguise their natural temper and real
desires in hypocritical imitation, studied compliance, and continued
affectation. From the time that their love is avowed, neither sees the
other but in a mask; and the cheat is often managed on both sides with
so much art, and discovered afterwards with so much abruptness, that
each has reason to suspect that some transformation has happened on the
wedding-night, and that by a strange imposture, as in the case of Jacob,
one has been courted and another married."

Our conventional state of society curtails the limits of choice in
matrimony and hinders the natural law of the marriage of the fittest. We
knew a young gentleman living in a London suburb who bore an excellent
character, had sufficient income, and was in every respect marriageable.
He wished to try the experiment of two against the world, but--as he
told the clergyman of his parish--he was in the city all day, and never
had an opportunity of becoming acquainted with a young lady whom he
could ask to be his wife.

We have heard of the stiff Englishman who would not attempt to save a
fellow-creature from drowning because he had never been introduced to
him. In the same way unmarried ladies are allowed to remain in the
Slough of Despond because the valiant young gentlemen who would rescue
them, though they may be almost, are not altogether in their social set.

Every one knows Plato's theory about marriage. He taught that men and
women were hemispheres, so to speak, of an original sphere; that
ill-assorted marriages were the result of the wrong hemispheres getting
together; that, if the true halves met, the man became complete, and the
consequence was the "happy-ever-after" of childhood's stories. There is
much truth in this doctrine, that for every man there is _one_ woman
somewhere in the world, and for every woman _one_ man. They seldom meet
in time. If they did, what would become of the sensational novelists?

But are there not in reality too many artificial obstacles to happy
marriages? Why do the right men and women so seldom meet? Because
mammon, ambition, envy, hatred, and all uncharitableness step between
and keep apart those whom God would join together.

It is true that newly-married people when going through the process of
being disillusioned are liable to conclude much too quickly that they
have got bad matrimonial bargains. In a letter which Mrs. Thrale, the
friend of Dr. Johnson, wrote to a young gentleman on his marriage, she
says: "When your present violence of passion subsides, and a more cool
and tranquil affection takes its place, be not hasty to censure
yourself as indifferent, or to lament yourself as unhappy. You have lost
that only which it was impossible to retain; and it were graceless amid
the pleasures of a prosperous summer to regret the blossoms of a
transient spring. Neither unwarily condemn your bride's insipidity, till
you have reflected that no object however sublime, no sounds however
charming, can continue to transport us with delight, when they no longer
strike us with novelty."

Satiety follows quickly upon the heels of possession. A little boy of
four years of age told me the other day that he wished to die. "Why?"
"Oh, just for a change!" There are children of a larger growth who
require continual change and variety to keep them interested.

We expect too much from life in general, and from married life in
particular. When castle-building before marriage we imagine a condition
never experienced on this side of heaven; and when real life comes with
its troubles and cares, the tower of romance falls with a crash, leaving
us in the mud-hut of every-day reality. Better to enter the marriage
state in the frame of mind of that company of American settlers, who, in
naming their new town, called it Dictionary, "because," as they said,
"that's the only place where peace, prosperity, and happiness are always
to be found."

It would be contrary to the nature of constitutional grumblers to be
satisfied with their matrimonial bargains, no matter how much too good
for them they may be. They don't want to be satisfied in this or in any
other respect, for, as the Irishman said, they are never happy unless
they are miserable. They may have drawn a prize in the matrimonial
lottery, but they grumble if it be not the highest prize. They are
cursed with dispositions like that of the Jew, who, very early one
morning, picked up a roll of bank-notes on Newmarket Heath, which had
been dropped by some inebriated betting-man the night before. "What have
you got there?" exclaimed a fellow Israelite. "Lucky as usual!" "Lucky
you call it?" grumbled the man in reply, rapidly turning over the notes.
"Lucky is it! all fivers--not a tenner among them!"

Even a perfect matrimonial bargain would not please some people. They
are as prone to grumble as the poor woman who, being asked if she were
satisfied when a pure water supply had been introduced into Edinburgh,
said: "Aye, not so well as I might; it's not like the water we had
before--it neither smells nor tastes."

There is a story told of a rustic swain who, when asked whether he would
take his partner to be his wedded wife, replied, with shameful
indecision, "Yes, I'm willin'; but I'd a much sight rather have her
sister." The sort of people who are represented by this vacillating
bridegroom are no sooner married than they begin to cast fond, lingering
looks behind upon the state of single blessedness they have abandoned,
or else upon some lost ideal which they prefer to the living, breathing
reality of which they have become possessed. They don't know, and never
did know, their own minds.

Let us suppose, however, that a bad matrimonial bargain has been
obtained, not in imagination, but in sad earnest--How is the best to be
made of it? We must do as Old Mother Hubbard did when she found the
cupboard empty--"accept the inevitable with calm steadfastness." It may
even be politic to dissemble a little, and pretend we rather enjoy it
than otherwise. Above all, do not appeal to the girl's friends for
comfort or consolation. They will only laugh at you. Take warning from
the unfortunate young man who, every time he met the father of his wife,
complained to him of the bad temper and disposition of his daughter. At
last, upon one occasion, the old gentleman, becoming weary of the
grumbling of his son-in-law, exclaimed: "You are right, sir; she is an
impertinent jade; and if I hear any more complaints of her I will
disinherit her."

A writer in _Chambers' Journal_ gives some instances of matrimonial
tribulation that were brought to light in the last census returns.
Several husbands returned their wives as the heads of the families; and
one described himself as an idiot for having married his literal
better-half. "Married, and I'm heartily sorry for it," was returned in
two cases; and in quite a number of instances "Temper" was entered under
the head of infirmities opposite the name of the wife.

Confessions of this sort, besides being, as we have already hinted,
somewhat indiscreet, are often also supererogatory; for conjugal
dissension, like murder, will out; and that sometimes in the most
provoking and untimely manner. It would be much better to call in the
assistance of proper pride than to whine in this cowardly fashion. "We
mortals," says George Eliot, "men and women, devour many a
disappointment between breakfast and dinner time; keep back the tears
and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say,
'Oh, nothing!' Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only
urges us to hide our own hurts--not to hurt others." "To feel the
chains, but take especial care the world shall not hear them clank. 'Tis
a prudence that often passes for happiness. It is one of the decencies
of matrimony."

"Biddy," said Dean Swift one day to his cook, "this leg of mutton is
over-done; take it down and do it less." "Plaze, your Riverence,"
replied Biddy, "the thing is impossible." "Well, then," rejoined her
master, "let this be a lesson to you, that if you must commit mistakes
they, at all events, shall not be of such gravity as to preclude
correction." Well would it be if people never made mistakes that
preclude correction in reference to more important matters! Yet, for all
this, it is a good thing that we have no "fatal facility" of divorce in
this country, and that a marriage once made is generally regarded as a
world-without-end bargain.

A story has been told of a graceless scamp who gained access to the
Clarendon printing-office in Oxford, when a new edition of the
Prayer-book was ready for the press. In that part of the "forme" already
set up which contained the marriage service, he substituted the letter
_k_ for the letter _v_ in the word live; and thus the vow "to love,
honour, comfort, &c., so long as ye both shall live," was made to read
"so long as ye both shall like!" The change was not discovered until the
whole of the edition was printed off. If the sheets are still preserved
it would be a good speculation to send them to some of the States in
America, where people are "exceedingly divorced." May they long remain
useless in Great Britain! For nothing is more dangerous than to unite
two persons so closely in all their interests and concerns as man and
wife, without rendering the union entire and total.

In that very interesting Bible story of Nabal and Abigail, a noble woman
is seen making the best of an extremely bad matrimonial bargain. If her
marriage with Nabal, who was a churlish, ill-tempered, drunken fool, was
one of the worst possible, does not her conduct teach the lesson that
something may be done to mitigate the miseries of even the most
frightful state of marriage? Who shall say how many heroines unknown to
fame there are who imitate her? Their husbands are weak-willed, foolish,
idle, extravagant, dissipated, and generally ne'er-do-weel; but instead
of helplessly sitting down to regret their marriage-day, they take the
management of everything into their own hands, and make the best of the
inevitable by patient endurance in well-doing. It is sometimes said that
"any husband is better than none." Perhaps so; in the sense of his being
a sort of domestic Attila, a "scourge of God" to "whip the offending
Adam" out of a woman and turn her into an angel, as the wives of some
bad husbands seem to become.

"I will do anything," says Portia, in the "Merchant of Venice," "ere I
will be married to a sponge;" and in answer to the question--"How like
you the young German, the Duke of Saxony's nephew?" she answers: "Very
vilely in the morning, when he is sober; and most vilely in the
afternoon, when he is drunk: when he is best he is a little worse than a
man; and when he is worst he is little better than a beast: an the worst
fall that ever fell, I hope I shall make shift to go without him."

When a poor girl has not had Portia's discernment to discover such
faults before marriage, what can she do? She can do her best.

"What knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband?"
Endeavouring to do this, you will not only have the answer of a good
conscience, but will have taken the best precaution against falling
yourself, so that it never can be truly said of you--

  "As the husband is, the wife is; thou art mated with a clown,
  And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee down."

It has been said that to have loved and lost--either by that total
disenchantment which leaves compassion as the sole substitute for love
which can exist no more, or by the slow torment which is obliged to let
go day by day all that constitutes the diviner part of love, namely,
reverence, belief, and trust, yet clings desperately to the only thing
left it, a long-suffering apologetic tenderness--this lot is probably
the hardest any woman can have to bear.

  "What is good for a bootless bane?--
    And she made answer, 'Endless sorrow.'"

This answer should never have been made, for none but the guilty can be
long and completely miserable. The effect and duration of sorrow greatly
depends upon ourselves. "If thou hast a bundle of thorns in thy lot, at
least thou need'st not insist on sitting down on them." Nor must we
forget that there is a "wondrous alchemy in time and the power of God"
to transmute our sorrows, as well as our faults and errors, into golden

It is an old maxim that if one will not, two cannot quarrel. If one of
the heads of a house has a bad temper, there is all the more reason for
the other to be cool and collected, and capable of keeping domestic
peace. Think of Socrates, who, when his wife Zanthippe concluded a fit
of scolding by throwing at him a bucket of water, quietly remarked,
"After the thunder comes the rain." And when she struck him, to some
friends who would have had him strike her again, he replied, that he
would not make them sport, nor that they should stand by and say, "_Eia
Socrates, eia Zanthippe!_" as boys do when dogs fight, animate them more
by clapping hands.

If we would learn how to make the worst instead of the best of a
matrimonial bargain, Adam, the first husband, will teach us. He allowed
himself to be tempted by Eve, and then like a true coward tried to put
all the blame upon her. This little bit of history repeats itself every
day. "In the state of innocency Adam fell; and what should poor Jack
Falstaff do in the days of villainy?"

There is another way in which people make the worst instead of the best
of their bad matrimonial bargains. "Faults are thick where love is
thin," and love having become thin they exaggerate the badness of their
bargains. A man, having one well-formed and one crooked leg, was wont to
test the disposition of his friends, by observing which leg they looked
at first or most. Surely the last people we should draw with their worst
leg foremost are our life partners. The best of men are only _men_ at
the best. They are, as Sterne said, "a strange compound of contradictory
qualities; and were the accidental oversights and folly of the wisest
man--the failings and imperfections of a religious man--the hasty acts
and passionate words of a meek man--were they to rise up in judgment
against them, and an ill-natured judge to be suffered to mark in this
manner what has been done amiss, what character so unexceptionable as
to be able to stand before him?" Ought husbands and wives to be
ill-natured judges of what is amiss?

"Let a man," says Seneca, "consider his own vices, reflect upon his own
follies, and he will see that he has the greatest reason to be angry
with himself." The best advice to give husband and wife is to ask them
to resolve in the words of Shakespeare, "I will chide no breather in the
world but myself, against whom I know most faults." Why beholdest thou
the mote that is in the eye of thy matrimonial bargain, but considerest
not the beam that is in thine own eye?

When you find yourself complaining of your matrimonial bargain, think
sometimes whether you deserve a better one. What right and title has thy
greedy soul to domestic happiness or to any other kind of happiness?
"Fancy," says Carlyle, "thou deservest to be hanged (as is most likely),
thou wilt feel it happiness to be only shot." We may imagine that we
deserve a perfect matrimonial bargain, but a less partial observer like
Lord Braxfield might make a correction in our estimate. This Scotch
judge once said to an eloquent culprit at the bar, "Ye're a verra clever
chiel, mon, but I'm thinkin' ye wad be nane the waur o' a hangin'."
Equally instructive is the story of a magistrate, who, when a thief
remonstrated, "But, sir, I must live," replied, "I don't recognize the
necessity." It is only when we cease to believe that we must have
supreme domestic and other kinds of felicity, that we are able with a
contented mind to bear our share of the "weary weight of all this
unintelligible world."

In reference to marriage and to everything else in life, we should
sometimes reflect how much worse off we might be instead of how much
better. Perhaps you are like the man who said, "I must put up with it,"
when he had only turkey and plum pudding for dinner. If, as it has often
been said, all men brought their grievances of mind, body, and
estate--their lunacies, epilepsies, cancers, bereavement, beggary,
imprisonment--and laid them on a heap to be equally divided, would you
share alike and take your portion, or be as you are? Without question
you would be as you are. And perhaps if all matrimonial bargains were to
be again distributed, it would be better for you to keep what you have
than to run the chance of getting worse. A man who grumbled at the
badness of his shoes felt ashamed on meeting with one who had no feet.
"Consider the pains which martyrs have endured, and think how even now
many people are bearing afflictions beyond all measure greater than
yours, and say, 'Of a truth my trouble is comfort, my torments are but
roses as compared to those whose life is a continual death, without
solace, or aid, or consolation, borne down with a weight of grief
tenfold greater than mine.'"

  "Oft in life's stillest shade reclining,
  In desolation unrepining,
  Without a hope on earth to find
  A mirror in an answering mind,
  Meek souls there are, who little dream
  Their daily strife an angel's theme,
  Or that the rod they take so calm
  Shall prove in Heaven a martyr's palm."

One of these "meek souls" is reported to have said to a friend, "You
know not the joy of an accepted sorrow." And of every disappointment, we
may truly say that people know not how well it may be borne until they
have tried to bear it. This, which is true of disappointment in general,
is no less true of the disappointments of a married pair. Those who have
not found in marriage all that they fondly, and perhaps over sanguinely,
anticipated, may, after some time, become to a certain extent happy
though married, if they resolve to do their best under the



     "Certainly wife and children are a kind of Discipline of

     "I well remember the bright assenting laugh which she (Mrs.
     Carlyle) once responded to some words of mine, when the propriety
     was being discussed of relaxing the marriage laws. I had said
     that the true way to look at marriage was as a discipline of

"Did you ever see anything so absurd as a horse sprawling like that?"
This was the hasty exclamation of a connoisseur on taking up a small
cabinet picture. "Excuse me," replied the owner, "you hold it the wrong
way: it is a horse galloping." So much depends upon the way we look at
things. In the preceding chapter we spoke of making the best of bad
matrimonial bargains. Perhaps it would help some people to do this if
they looked at marriage from a different point of view--if they
considered it as a discipline of character rather than as a short cut
to the highest heaven of happiness. Certainly this is a practical point
of view, and it may be that those who marry in this spirit are more
likely to use their matrimony rightly than those who start with
happiness as their only goal. That people get happiness by being willing
to pass it by and do without it rather than by directly pursuing it, is
as true of domestic felicity as of other kinds.

"Ven you're a married man, Samivel," says Mr. Weller to his son Sam,
"you'll understand a good many things as you don't understand now; but
vether it's worth while going through so much to learn so little, as the
charity boy said ven he got to the end of the alphabet, is a matter o'
taste: I rayther think it isn't." Strange that a philosopher of the
senior Mr. Weller's profundity should underestimate in this way the
value of matrimony as a teacher. We have it on the authority of a
widower who was thrice married, that his first wife cured his romance,
the second taught him humility, and the third made him a philosopher.
Another veteran believes that five or six years of married life will
often reduce a naturally irascible man to so angelic a condition that it
would hardly be safe to trust him with a pair of wings.

Webster asks--

  "What do you think of marriage?
  I think, as those do who deny purgatory,
  It locally contains either heaven or hell,
  There is no third place in it."

Is this true? We think not, for we know many married people who live in
a third place, the existence of which is here denied. They are neither
intensely happy nor intensely miserable; but they lose many faults, and
are greatly developed in character by passing through a purgatorial
existence. Nor is this an argument against matrimony, except to those
who deny that "it is better to be seven times in the furnace than to
come out unpurified."

Sweet are the uses of this and every other adversity when these words of
Sir Arthur Helps are applicable to its victims or rather victors: "That
man is very strong and powerful who has no more hopes for himself, who
looks not to be loved any more, to be admired any more, to have any more
honour or dignity, and who cares not for gratitude; but whose sole
thought is for others, and who only lives on for them."

The young husband may imagine that he only takes a wife to add to his
own felicity; taking no account of the possibility of meeting a
disposition and temper which may, without caution, mar and blight his
own. Women are not angels, although in their ministrations they make a
near approach to them. Women, no more than men, are free from human
infirmities; the newly-married man must therefore calculate upon the
necessity of amendment in his wife as well as of that necessity in
himself. The process, however, as well as the result of the process,
will yield a rich reward. At a minister's festival meeting "Our Wives"
was one of the toasts. One of the brethren, whose wife had a temper of
her own, on being sportively asked if he would drink it, exclaimed,
"Aye, heartily; Mine brings me to my knees in prayer a dizzen times a
day, an' nane o' you can say the same o' yours."

If even bad matrimonial bargains have so much influence in disciplining
character, how much more may be learned from a happy marriage! Without
it a man or woman is "Scarce half made up." The enjoyments of celibacy,
whatever they may be, are narrow in their range, and belong to only a
portion of our nature; and whatever the excellences of the bachelor's
character, he can never attain to a perfected manhood so long as such a
large and important part of his nature as the affections for the
gratification of which marriage provides, is unexercised and
undeveloped. There are in his nature latent capabilities, both of
enjoyment and affection, which find no expression. He is lacking in
moral symmetry. The motives from which he keeps himself free from
marriage responsibilities may be worthy of the highest respect, but this
does not hinder his character from being less disciplined than it might
have been.

                     "For indeed I know
  Of no more subtle master under heaven
  Than is the maiden passion for a maid,
  Not only to keep down the base in man,
  But teach high thoughts and amiable words,
  And love of truth, and all that makes a man."

On both sides marriage brings into play some of the purest and loftiest
feelings of which our nature is capable. The feeling of identity of
interest implied in the marriage relation--the mutual confidence which
is the natural result--the tender, chivalrous regard of the husband for
his wife as one who has given herself to him--the devotion and respect
of the wife for the husband as one to whom she has given herself--their
mutual love attracted first by the qualities seen or imagined by each in
the other, and afterwards strengthened by the consciousness of being
that object's best beloved--these feelings exert a purifying, refining,
elevating influence, and are more akin to the religious than any other
feelings. Love, like all things here, is education. It renders us wise
by expanding the soul and stimulating the mental powers.

  "Yes, love indeed is light from heaven:
    A spark of that immortal fire
  With angels shared, by Allah given,
    To lift from earth our low desire.
  Devotion wafts the mind above,
  But heaven itself descends in love;
  A feeling from the Godhead caught,
  To wean from self each sordid thought;
  A ray of Him who formed the whole;
  A glory circling round the soul!"

It has been well said, "The first condition of human goodness is
something to love; the second, something to reverence." Both these
conditions meet in a well-chosen alliance.

Married people may so abuse matrimony as to make it a very school for
scandal; but it may and ought to be what Sir Thomas More's home was said
to be, "a school and exercise of the Christian religion." "No wrangling,
no angry word, was heard in it; no one was idle; every one did his duty
with alacrity and not without a temperate cheerfulness." This atmosphere
of love and duty which pervaded his home must have been owing in a great
measure to the household goodness of Sir Thomas himself. For though his
first wife was all that he could have desired, his second was
ill-tempered and little capable of appreciating the lofty principles
that actuated her husband. "I have lived--I have laboured--I have loved.
I have lived in them I loved, laboured for them I loved, loved them for
whom I laboured." Well might Sir Thomas add after this reflection, "My
labour hath not been in vain;" for to say nothing of its effect upon
others, how it must have disciplined his own character!

"There is nothing," you say, "in the drudgery of domestic life to
soften." No; but, as Robertson of Brighton says, "a great deal to
strengthen with the sense of duty done, self-control, and power. Besides
you cannot calculate how much corroding rust is kept off, how much of
disconsolate, dull despondency is hindered. Daily use is not the
jeweller's mercurial polish, but it will keep your little silver pencil
from tarnishing."

"Family life," says Sainte-Beuve, "may be full of thorns and cares; but
they are fruitful: all others are dry thorns." And again: "If a man's
home at a certain period of life does not contain children, it will
probably be found filled with follies or with vices."

Even if it were a misfortune to be married, which we emphatically deny,
has not the old Roman moralist taught us that, "to escape misfortune is
to want instruction, and that to live at ease is to live in ignorance"?
Misfortune to be married? Rather not.

  "Life with all it yields of joy and woe
  And hope and fear....
  Is just our chance o' the prize of the learning love--
  How love might be, hath been indeed, and is."



     "If ever one is to pray--if ever one is to feel grave and
     anxious--if ever one is to shrink from vain show and vain babble,
     surely it is just on the occasion of two human beings binding
     themselves to one another, for better and for worse till death
     part them."--_Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle._

An elderly unmarried lady of Scotland, after reading aloud to her two
sisters, also unmarried, the births, marriages, and deaths in the
ladies' corner of a newspaper, thus moralized: "Weel, weel, these are
solemn events--death and marriage; but ye ken they're what we must all
come to." "Eh, Miss Jeanny, but ye have been lang spared!" was the reply
of the youngest sister. Those who in our thoughts were represented as
being only in prospect of marriage are spared no longer. They have now
come to what they had to come to--a day "so full of gladness, and so
full of pain"--a day only second in importance to the day of birth; in
a word, to their wedding day.

                      "Are [they] sad or merry?
  Like to the time o' the year between the extremes
  Of hot and cold: [they are] nor sad nor merry."

And yet few on such a day are as collected as the late Duke of
Sutherland is said to have been. Just two hours before the time fixed
for his marriage with one of the most beautiful women in England, a
friend came upon him in St. James's Park, leaning carelessly over the
railings at the edge of the water, throwing crumbs to the waterfowl.
"What! you here to-day! I thought you were going to be married this
morning?" "Yes," replied the duke, without moving an inch or stopping
his crumb-throwing, "I believe I am."

To men of a shyer and more nervous temperament, to be married without
chloroform is a very painful operation. They find it difficult to screw
their courage to the marrying place. On one occasion a bridegroom so far
forgot what was due to himself and his bride as to render himself unfit
to take the vows through too frequent recourse on the wedding morn to
the cup that cheers--and inebriates. The minister was obliged to refuse
to proceed with the marriage. A few days later, the same thing occurred
with the same couple; whereupon the minister gravely remonstrated with
the bride, and said they must not again present themselves with the
bridegroom in such a state. "But, sir, he--_he winna come when he's
sober_," was the candid rejoinder. It is possible that this bridegroom,
whose courage was so very Dutch, might have been deterred by the
impending fuss and publicity of a marriage ceremony, rather than by any
fear of or want of affection for her who was to become his wife. Even in
the best assorted marriages there is always more or less anxiety felt
upon the wedding-day.

The possibility of a hitch arising from a sudden change of inclination
on the part of the principals is ludicrously illustrated by the case of
two couples who on one occasion presented themselves at the Mayoralty,
in a suburb of Paris, to carry out the civil portion of their marriage
contract. During the ceremony one of the bridegrooms saw, or fancied he
saw, his partner making "sheep's-eyes" at the bridegroom opposite. Being
of a jealous temperament, he laid his hand roughly on her arm, and said
sharply: "Mademoiselle, which of the two brides are you? You are mine, I
believe: then oblige me by confining your glances to me." The bride was
a young woman of spirit, and resenting the tone in which the reprimand
was made, retorted: "Ah, Monsieur, if you are jealous already, I am
likely to lead a pleasant life with you!" The jealous bridegroom made an
angry reply; and then the other bridegroom must needs put his oar in.
This led to a general dispute, which the Mayor in vain endeavoured to
quell. The bridegrooms stormed at each other; and the brides, between
their hysterical sobs, mutually accused each other of perfidy. At length
the Mayor, as a last resource, adjourned the ceremony for half an hour,
to admit of an amicable understanding being arrived at, both brides
having refused to proceed with the celebration of the nuptials. When, at
the expiration of the half-hour, the parties were summoned to reappear,
they did so, to the amazement of the bewildered Mayor, in an altogether
different order from that in which they had originally entered. The
bridegrooms had literally effected an exchange of brides--the jealous
bridegroom taking the jealous bride; and the other, the lady whose
fickle glances had led to the rupture. All four adhering to the new
arrangement, the Mayor, it is recorded, had no alternative but to
proceed with the ceremony.

The ruling passion is not more strongly felt in death than in marriage.
Dr. Johnson displayed the sturdiness of his character as he journeyed
with the lady of his choice from Birmingham to Derby, at which last
place they were to be married. Their ride thither, which we give in the
bridegroom's own words, is an amusing bit of literary history. "Sir, she
had read the old romances, and had got into her head the fantastical
notion that a woman of spirit should use her lover like a dog. So, sir,
at first she told me that I rode too fast, and she could not keep up
with me: and when I rode a little slower, she passed me, and complained
that I lagged behind. I was not to be made the slave of caprice; and I
resolved to begin as I meant to end. I therefore pushed on briskly, till
I was fairly out of her sight. The road lay between two hedges, so I was
sure she could not miss it; and I contrived that she should soon come up
with me. When she did, I observed her to be in tears."

On the wedding-day of the celebrated M. Pasteur, who has made such
extraordinary discoveries about germs, the hour appointed for the
ceremony had arrived, but the bridegroom was not there. Some friends
rushed off to the laboratory and found him very busy with his apron on.
He was excessively cross at being disturbed, and declared that marriage
might wait, but his experiments could not do so.

He would indeed be a busy man who could not make time for a marriage
ceremony as brief as that which was employed in the celebration of a
marriage in Iowa, United States. The bride and bridegroom were told to
join their hands, and then asked: "Do you want one another?" Both
replied: "Yes." "Well, then, have one another;" and the couple were man
and wife. Most people, however, desire a more reverent solemnization of
marriage, which may be viewed in two aspects--as a natural institution,
and as a religious ordinance. In the Old Testament we see it as a
natural institution; in the New, it is brought before us in a religious
light. It is there likened to the union of Christ and the Church. The
union of Christ and the Church is not illustrated by marriage, but
marriage by this spiritual union; that is, the natural is based upon the
spiritual. And this is what is wanted; it gives marriage a religious
signification, and it thus becomes a kind of semi-sacrament. The
illustration teaches that in order to be happy though married the
principle of sacrifice must rule the conduct of the married. As no love
between man and wife can be true which does not issue in a sacrifice of
each for the other, so Christ gave Himself for His Church and the Church
sacrifices itself to His service. The only true love is self-devotion,
and the every-day affairs of married life must fail without this
principle of self-sacrifice or the cross of Christ.

"Would to God that His dear Son were bidden to all weddings as to that
of Cana! Truly then the wine of consolation and blessing would never be
lacking. He who desires that the young of his flock should be like
Jacob's, fair and ring-straked, must set fair objects before their eyes;
and he who would find a blessing in his marriage, must ponder the
holiness and dignity of this mystery, instead of which too often
weddings become a season of mere feasting and disorder."

A new home is being formed in reference to which the bride and groom
should think, "This is none other but the house of God, and this is the
gate of heaven. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." The
parish church is called "God's House;" but if all the parishioners
rightly used their matrimony, every house in the parish might be called
the same. Home is the place of the highest joys; religion should
sanctify it. Home is the sphere of the deepest sorrows; the highest
consolation of religion should assuage its griefs. Home is the place of
the greatest intimacy of heart with heart; religion should sweeten it
with the joy of confidence. Home discovers all faults; religion should
bless it with the abundance of charity. Home is the place for
impressions, for instruction and culture; there should religion open her
treasures of wisdom and pronounce her heavenly benediction.

An old minister previous to the meeting of the General Assembly of the
Church of Scotland used to pray that the assembly might be so guided as
"_no to do ony harm_." We have often thought that such a prayer as this
would be an appropriate commencement for the marriage service.
Considering the issues that are involved in marriage--the misery unto
the third and fourth generation that may result from it--those who join
together man and woman in matrimony ought to pray that in doing so they
may do no harm. Certainly the opening exhortation of the Church of
England marriage service is sufficiently serious. It begins by
proclaiming the sacredness of marriage as a Divine institution;
hallowed as a type of the mystical union between Christ and His Church;
honoured (even in its festive aspect) by Our Lord's presence and first
miracle at Cana of Galilee; declared to be "honourable among all men;
and therefore not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand,
unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly; but reverently, discreetly,
advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes
for which Matrimony was ordained." These are explained in words
plain-spoken almost to coarseness before allusion is made to the higher
moral relation of "mutual society, help, and comfort" which marriage

Then follows "the betrothal" in which the man "plights his troth"
(pledges his truth), taking the initiative, while the woman gives hers
in return:

  "The 'wilt thou,' answered, and again
  The 'wilt thou' asked, till out of twain
  Her sweet 'I will' has made ye one."

The "joining of hands" is from time immemorial the pledge of
covenant--we "shake hands over a bargain"--and is here an essential part
of the marriage ceremony.

The use of the ring is described in the prayer that follows as the token
of the marriage covenant--from the man the token of his confiding to his
wife all authority over what is his, and for the woman the badge of
belonging to his house. The old service has a quaint rubric declaring it
put on the fourth finger of the left hand, because thence "there is a
vein leading direct to the heart." The Prayer Book of Edward VI. directs
that "the man shall give unto the woman a ring, and other tokens of
spousage, as gold or silver, laying the same upon the book." This is
clearly the ancient bride price. Wheatly's "Book of Common Prayer" says,
"This lets us into the design of the ring, and intimates it to be the
remains of an ancient custom whereby it was usual for the man to
purchase the woman." The words to be spoken by the man are taken from
the old service, still using the ancient word "worship" (worth--ship)
for service and honour. They declare the dedication both of person and
substance to the marriage bond.

The Blessing is one of singular beauty and solemnity. It not only
invokes God's favour to "bless, preserve, and keep" the newly-made
husband and wife in this world, but looks beyond it to the life
hereafter, for which nothing can so well prepare them as a well-spent
wedded life here.

It is said that among the natives of India the cost to a father of
marrying his daughter is about equal to having his house burnt down.
Although brides are not so expensive in this country much money is
wasted on the wedding and preliminaries which would be very useful to
the young people a year or two afterwards.

We would not advise that there should be no wedding-breakfast and that
the bride should have no trousseau; but we do think that these
accessories should be in accordance with the family exchequer. Again,
wedding presents are often the very articles that the young couple need
least, and are not unfrequently found to be duplicates of the gifts of
other persons. But we cannot linger over the wedding festivities.

Adieu, young friends! and may joy crown you, love bless you, God speed
your career!

  "Some natural tears they dropp'd, but wip'd them soon;
  The world was all before them, where to choose
  Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.
  They, hand in hand, with wand'ring steps and slow,
  Through Eden took their solitary way."



     "The importance of the honeymoon, which had been so much vaunted
     to him by his father, had not held good."--_The Married Life of
     Albert Durer._

The "honeymoon" is defined by Johnson to be "the first month after
marriage, when there is nothing but tenderness and pleasure." And
certainly it ought to be the happiest month in our lives; but it may,
like every other good thing, be spoiled by mismanagement. When this is
the case, we take our honeymoon like other pleasures--sadly. Instead of
happy reminiscences, nothing is left of it except its jars.

You take, says the philosophical observer, a man and a woman, who in
nine cases out of ten know very little about each other (though they
generally fancy they do), you cut off the woman from all her female
friends, you deprive the man of his ordinary business and ordinary
pleasures, and you condemn this unhappy pair to spend a month of
enforced seclusion in each other's society. If they marry in the summer
and start on a tour, the man is oppressed with a plethora of
sight-seeing, while the lady, as often as not, becomes seriously ill
from fatigue and excitement.

A newly-married man took his bride on a tour to Switzerland for the
honeymoon, and when there induced her to attempt with him the ascent of
one of the high peaks. The lady, who at home had never ascended a hill
higher than a church, was much alarmed, and had to be carried by the
guides with her eyes blindfolded, so as not to witness the horrors of
the passage. The bridegroom walked close to her, expostulating
respecting her fear. He spoke in honeymoon whispers; but the rarefaction
of the air was such that every word was audible. "You told me, Leonora,
that you always felt happy--no matter where you were--so long as you
were in my company. Then why are you not happy now?" "Yes, Charles, I
did," replied she; sobbing hysterically; "but I never meant above the
snow line." It is at such times as these that awkward angles of temper
make themselves manifest, which, under a more sensible system, might
have been concealed for years, perhaps for ever.

Boswell called upon Dr. Johnson on the morning of the day on which he
was to leave for Scotland--for matrimonial purposes. The prospect of
connubial felicity had made the expectant husband voluble; he therefore
took courage to recite to the sage a little love-song which he had
himself composed and which Dibdin was to set to music:


  "In the blythe days of honeymoon,
    With Kate's allurements smitten,
  I loved her late, I loved her soon,
    And called her dearest kitten.

  But now my kitten's grown a cat,
    And cross like other wives,
  Oh! by my soul, my honest Mat,
    I fear she has nine lives."

_Johnson_: "It is very well, sir, but you should not swear." Whereupon
the obnoxious "Oh! by my soul," was changed on the instant to "Alas!

If the kitten should develop into a cat even before the "blythe days of
honeymoon" are ended, it is no wonder, considering the way some young
couples spend the first month of married life, rushing from one
continental city to another, and visiting all the churches and
picture-galleries, however scorching may be the weather or however great
may be their secret aversion to art and antiquity. The lady gives way to
fatigue, and is seized with a violent headache. For a while the young
husband thinks that it is rather nice to support his Kate's head, but
when she answers his sympathetic inquiries sharply and petulantly, he in
turn becomes less amiable, dazzling, enchanting, and, in a word, all
that as a _fiancé_ he had been.

Winter honeymooning is even more trying to the temper, for then short
days and unfavourable weather compel the young couple to stay in one
place. Imagine the delights of a month spent in lodgings at the seaside,
with nothing to do except to get photographed, which is a favourite
pastime of the newly-married. The bride may be indifferent to the rain
and sleet beating against the windows, for she can spend the time
writing to her friends long and enthusiastic descriptions of her
happiness; but what can the unlucky bridegroom do? He subscribes to the
circulating library, reads a series of novels aloud to his wife, and
illustrates every amatory passage with a kiss. But the "dear old boy"
(as the bride calls him) tires of this sort of thing after a week, and
how can he then amuse himself? He stares out of windows, he watches the
arrival of the milkman and the butcher with the liveliest interest; he
envies the coastguardsman, who is perpetually on the look-out for
invisible smugglers through a portentously long telescope. Cases have
been known where the bridegroom--a City man--being driven to
desperation, has privately ordered the office journal and ledger to be
sent down by luggage train, and has devoted his evenings to checking the
additions in those interesting volumes.

When Hodge and his sweetheart crown their pastoral loves in the quiet
old country church, they take a pleasant drive or a walk in their
finery, and settle down at once to connubial comfort in the cot beside
the wood. Why do their richer neighbours deny themselves this happiness
and invent special troubles? Why, during the early weeks of married
life, do they lay up sad memories of provoking mistakes, of trunks which
will not pack, of trains which will not wait, of tiresome sight-seeing,
of broiling sun, of headache, of "the fretful stir unprofitable, and the
fever" of honeymooning abroad? Many a bridegroom but just returned from
a "delightful tour on the Continent" will be able to sympathize in the
remark of the country farmer to a companion in the train, as he went to
town to buy hay. "Yes, it's been a bad winter for some folk. Old
Smith's dead, and so is Jones, and my wife died yesterday. And how be
the hay, master?"

We do not want excitement during the honeymoon, for are we not in love
(if we are not we ought to be ashamed of ourselves), and is not love
all-sufficient? Last week we only saw the object of our affections by
fits and starts as it were; now we have her or him all to ourselves.

  "Who hath not felt that breath in the air,
  A perfume and freshness strange and rare,
  A warmth in the light, and a bliss everywhere,
    When young hearts yearn together?
  All sweets below, and all sunny above,
  Oh! there's nothing in life like making love,
    Save making hay in fine weather."

Let cynics say what they will, the honeymoon, when not greatly
mismanaged, _is_ a halcyon period. It is a delightful lull between two
distinct states of existence, and the married man is not to be envied
who can recall no pleasant reminiscences of it. What profane outsiders
consider very dull has a charm of its own to honeymoon lovers who
"illumine life with dreaming," and who see--

  "Golden visions wave and hover,
  Golden vapours, waters streaming,
  Landscapes moving, changing, gleaming!"

Still, we cannot but think that if a wedding tour must be taken it
should be short, quiet, free-and-easy, and inexpensive. At some future
time, when the young people are less agitated and have learned to
understand each other better, the time and money saved will be
available for a more extended holiday. During the honeymoon there should
be "marches hymeneal in the land of the ideal" rather than
globe-trotting; "thoughts moved o'er fields Elysian" rather than over
the perplexing pages of "Bradshaw's General Railway and Steam Navigation

In reference to the honeymoon, as to other matters, people's opinions
differ according to their temperaments and circumstances. So we shall
conclude this chapter by quoting two nearly opposite opinions, and ask
our readers to decide for themselves.

In the "Memoir of Daniel Macmillan" his opinion is thus stated: "That
going out for the honeymoon is a most wise and useful invention; it
enables you to be so constantly together, and to obtain a deeper
knowledge of each other; and it also helps one to see and feel the
preciousness of such intimacy as nothing else could. Intercourse in the
presence of others never leads below the surface, and it is in the very
depths of our being that true calm, deep and true peace and love lie.
Nothing so well prepares for the serious duties of after-life."

"As to long honeymoons," says the Bishop of Rochester, "most sensible
people have come utterly to disbelieve in them. They are a forced homage
to utterly false ideas; they are a waste of money at a moment when every
shilling is wanted for much more pressing objects; they are a loss of
time, which soon comes to be dreary and weary. Most of all, they are a
risk for love, which ought not so soon to be so unpleasantly tested by
the inevitable petulances of a secret _ennui_. Six days by all means,
and then, oh! happy friends, go straight home.... Whenever you come
back, six weeks hence or one, you will have just as much to stand the
fire of a little hard staring which won't hurt you, and of bright
pleasantness which need not vex you; and the sooner you are at home, the
sooner you will find out what married happiness means."



     "Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou
     shouldest vow and not pay."--_Ecclesiastes_ v. 5.

The honeymoon is over, and our young couple have exchanged their
chrysalis condition for the pleasures and duties of ordinary married
life. Let them begin by forming the highest ideal of marriage. Now, and
on every anniversary of their wedding day, they should seriously reflect
upon those vows which are too often taken, either in entire ignorance of
their meaning and import, or thoughtlessly, as though they were mere
incidents of the marriage ceremony.

A Hampshire incumbent recently reported some of the blunders he had
heard made in the marriage service, by that class of persons who have to
pick up the words as best they can from hearing them repeated by others.
He said that in his own parish it was quite the fashion for the man,
when giving the ring, to say to the woman: "With my body I thee wash
up, and with all my hurdle goods I thee and thou." He said the women
were generally better up in this part of the service than the men. One
day, however, a bride startled him by promising, in what she supposed to
be language of the Prayer Book, to take her husband "to 'ave and to 'old
from this day fortn't, for betterer horse, for richerer power, in
siggerness health, to love cherries, and to bay." We have heard of an
ignorant bridegroom, who, confusing the baptismal and marriage services,
replied, when asked if he consented to take the bride for his wife: "I
renounce them all!" It is to be hoped that the times of such ignorance
are either passed or passing; still, a little instruction in reference
to marriage vows might be given with advantage in some churches.

In one of his letters Byron tells a story of a learned Jew, who was
remarkable, in the brilliant circles to which his learning gained him
admittance, for his habit of asking questions continuously and
fearlessly, in order to get at the bottom of any matter in discussion.
To a person who was complaining of the Prince Regent's bad treatment of
his old boon companions, this habitual interrogator cried across a
dinner-table: "And why does the prince act so?" "Because he was told
so-and-so by Lord ----; who ought to be ashamed of himself!" was the
answer. "But why, sir, has the prince cut _you_?" inquired the searcher
after truth. "Because I stuck to my principles--yes, sir, because I
stuck to my principles!" replied the other, testily, thinking that his
examination was ended. "_And why did you stick to your principles?_"
cried the interrogator, throwing the table into a roar of laughter, the
mirth being no more due to the inquisitor's persistence than to his
inability to conceive that any man would stick to his principles simply
because he believed them to be right. Are there not some educated as
well as uneducated people who seem to be quite as incapable of
conceiving that they should keep their marriage vows, simply because it
is dishonourable and wicked to break them?

A mother having become alarmed about the failing state of her daughter's
health, and not being able to get much satisfaction from a consultation
with the village doctor, took her to a London physician for further
advice. He asked a few questions as to the girl's daily habits and mode
of life, carefully stethoscoped her heart and lungs, and then gave an
involuntary sigh. The mother grew pale, and waited anxiously for a
verdict "Madam," he said, "so far as I can discover, your daughter is
suffering from a most serious complaint, which, for want of a better
name, I shall call 'dulness.' Perhaps it is in your power to cure it. I
have no medicine which is a specific for this disease." Girls, who
suffer in this way, too often prescribe for themselves marriage with men
whom they cannot love, honour, and obey. This is as bad as
dram-drinking, or gambling; but what else can the poor things do? They
have not been trained like their brothers to useful work, and have
always been told that woman's first, best occupation is--to be a wife.
To which it may be answered--

  "Most true; but to make a mere business of marriage,
    To call it a 'living,' 'vocation,' 'career,'
  Is but to pervert, to degrade, and disparage
    A contract of all the most sacred and dear."

Nor will those vows be regarded with greater sanctity which are taken
against the inclination. Better to be as candid as the girl who, forced
by her parents into a disagreeable match, when the clergyman came to
that part of the service where the bride is asked if she will have the
bridegroom for her husband, said, with great simplicity, "Oh dear, no,
sir; but you are the first person who has asked my opinion about the

Let us think now what the vows are which, at the altar of God, and in
the presence of our fellow-creatures, we solemnly vow. Both the man and
the woman vow to love, honour, cherish, and be faithful, for better for
worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and health, till death part
them. Then the husband promises to comfort his wife, and the wife to
serve and obey her husband.

A Scotch lady, whose daughter was recently married, was asked by an old
friend whether she might congratulate her upon the event. "Yes, yes,"
she answered; "upon the whole it is very satisfactory; it is true
Jeannie hates her gudeman, but then there's always a something." The old
friend might have told this Scotch lady that in making light of love she
made light of that which was needful to hallow her daughter's marriage;
and that even the blessing of a bishop in the most fashionable church
does not prevent a loveless alliance from being a sacrifice of true

Contrast the indifference of this Scotch lady in reference to
matrimonial love, with the value set upon it in a letter which Pliny the
Younger, who was a heathen, wrote concerning his wife, Calpurnia, to her
aunt. It is quoted by Dr. Cook as follows: "She loves me, the surest
pledge of her virtue, and adds to this a wonderful disposition to
learning, which she has acquired from her affection to me. She reads my
writings, studies them, and even gets them by heart. You would smile to
see the concern she is in when I have a cause to plead, and the joy she
shows when it is over. She finds means to have the first news brought
her of the success I meet with in court. If I recite anything in public,
she cannot refrain from placing herself privately in some corner to
hear. Sometimes she accompanies my verses with the lute, without any
master except love--the best of instructors. From these instances I take
the most certain omens of our perpetual and increasing happiness, since
her affection is not founded on my youth or person, which must gradually
decay; but she is in love with the immortal part of me."

The second vow taken by both the man and the woman is to "honour."
"Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving
honour unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel." "And the wife see that
she reverence her husband." The weaker vessel is to be honoured, not
because she is weak, but because, being weak, she acts her part so well.

And even if the wife's courage and endurance should sometimes fail, a
good husband would not withhold honour from her on that account. He
would remember her weaker nature, and her more delicate physical frame,
her more acute nervous sensibility, her greater sensitiveness and
greater trials, the peculiar troubles to which she is subject.

In a lately published "Narrative of a Journey through the South China
Border Lands," we are told that a wife in this part of the world, when
mentioned by her husband, "which happens as seldom as possible," is
called "My dull thorn," "The thorn in my ribs," or "The mean one of the
inner rooms." This is the way _not_ to honour a wife. But the honour
which a husband should give is not merely that chivalrous bearing which
the strong owe to the weak, and which every woman has a right to expect
from every man. In describing a husband who was in the habit of
honouring his wife, Dr. Landels remarks that "one could not be in his
presence without feeling it. Never a word escaped his lips which
reflected directly or indirectly on her. Never an action he performed
would have led to the impression that there could be any difference
between them. She was the queen of his home. All about them felt that in
his estimation, and by his desire, her authority was unimpeachable, and
her will law. And the effect of his example was that children and
friends and domestics alike hedged her about with sweet respect. A man
of strong will himself, his was never known to be in collision with
hers; and, without any undue yielding, the homage which he paid to his
wife made their union one of the happiest it has ever been our privilege
to witness."

And the wife, on her part, is to reverence and honour her husband as
long as she possibly can. If possible, she should let her husband
suppose that she thinks him a _good_ husband, and it will be a strong
stimulus to his being so. As long as he thinks he possesses the
character, he will take some pains to deserve it; but when he has lost
the name he will be very apt to abandon the reality altogether. "To
treat men as if they were better than they are is the surest way to
_make_ them better than they are." Keats tells us that he has met with
women who would like to be married to a Poem, and given away by a
Novel; but wives must not cease to honour their husbands on discovering
that instead of being poetical and romantic they are very ordinary,
imperfect beings.

There are homes where poverty has never left its pinch nor sickness paid
its visit; homes where there is plenty on the board, and health in the
circle, and yet where a skeleton more grim than death haunts the
cupboard, and an ache harsher than consumption's tooth gnaws sharply at
the heart. Why do those shoulders stoop so early ere life's noon has
passed? Why is it that the sigh which follows the closing of the door
after the husband has gone off to business is a sigh of relief, and that
which greets his coming footstep is a sigh of dread? What means that
nervous pressing of the hand against the heart, the gulping back of the
lump that rises in the throat, the forced smile, and the pressed-back
tear? If we could but speak to the husbands who haunt these homes, we
would tell them that some such soliloquy as the following is ever
passing like a laboured breath through the distracted minds of their
wives: "Is this the Canaan, this the land of promise, this the milk and
honey that were pictured to my fancy; when the walks among the lanes,
and fields, and flowers were all too short, and the whispers were so
loving, and the pressure was so fond, and the heart-beat was so
passionate? For what have I surrendered home, youth, beauty, freedom,
love--all that a woman has to give in all her wealth of confidence?
Harsh tones, cold looks, stern words, short answers, sullen reserve."
"What," says the cheery neighbour, "is that all?" All! What more is
needed to make home dark, to poison hope, to turn life into a funeral,
the marriage-robe into a shroud, and the grave into a refuge? It does
not want drunkenness, blows, bruises, clenched fists, oaths, to work
sacrilege in the temple of the home; only a little ice where the fire
should glow; only a cold look where the love should burn; only a sneer
where there ought to be a smile. Husband! that wife of yours is wretched
because you are a liar; because you perjured yourself when you vowed to
love and cherish. You are too great a coward to beat her brains out with
a poker lest the gallows claim you; but you are so little of a man that
you poison her soul with the slow cruelty of an oath daily foresworn and
brutally ignored. If the ducking-stool was a punishment of old for a
scolding wife, a fiercer baptism should await the husband who has ceased
to cherish his wife.

As regards the vow of fidelity we need only quote these words of the
prophet Malachi: "The Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife
of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet she is thy
companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one?
Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously
against the wife of his youth." But there are absentee husbands and
wives who, though they are not guilty of breaking the seventh
commandment, do by no means keep the promise of keeping only to their
wives and husbands. If a man come home only when other places are shut,
or when his money is all gone, or when nobody else wants him, is he not
telling his wife and family, as plainly by deeds as he could possibly by
words, that he takes more delight in other company than in theirs?
Charles Lamb used to feel that there was something of dishonesty in any
pleasures which he took without his lunatic sister. A good man will
feel something like this in reference to his wife and children.

But though men should love their homes, it is quite possible for them to
be too much at home. This at least is the opinion of most wives. There
is everywhere a disposition to pack off the men in the morning and to
bid them keep out of the way till towards evening, when it is assumed
they will probably have a little news of the busy world to bring home,
and when baby will be sure to have said something exceptionally
brilliant and precocious. The general events of the day will afford
topics of conversation more interesting by far than if the whole
household had been together from morning till night. Men about home all
day are fidgety, grumpy, and interfering--altogether objectionable, in

As a rule it is when things are going wrong that women show to the best
advantage. Every one can remember illustrations. We have one in the
following story of Hawthorne, which was told to Mr. Conway by an
intimate friend of the novelist. One wintry day Hawthorne received at
his office notification that his services would no longer be required.
With heaviness of heart he repaired to his humble home. His young wife
recognizes the change and stands waiting for the silence to be broken.
At length he falters, "I am removed from office." Then she leaves the
room; she returns with fuel and kindles a bright fire with her own
hands; next she brings pen, paper, ink, and sets them beside him. Then
she touches the sad man on the shoulder, and, as he turns to the beaming
face, says, "Now you can write your book." The cloud cleared away. The
lost office looked like a cage from which he had escaped. "The Scarlet
Letter" was written, and a marvellous success rewarded the author and
his stout-hearted wife.

The care some wives take of their husbands in sickness is very touching.
John Richard Green, the historian, whose death seemed so untimely, is an
instance of this. His very life was prolonged in the most wonderful way
by the care and skill with which he was tended; and it was with and
through his wife that the work was done which he could not have done
alone. She consulted the authorities for him, examined into obscure
points, and wrote to his dictation. In this way, when he could not work
more than two hours in the day, and when often some slight change in the
weather would throw him back and make work impossible for days or weeks,
the book was prepared which he published under the title of "The Making
of England."

The husband's vow to "comfort" was never better performed than by
Cobbett. In his "Advice to Young Men" he says: "I began my young
marriage days in and near Philadelphia. At one of those times to which I
have just alluded, in the middle of the burning hot month of July, I was
greatly afraid of fatal consequences to my wife for want of sleep, she
not having, after the great danger was over, had any sleep for more than
forty-eight hours. All great cities in hot countries are, I believe,
full of dogs, and they, in the very hot weather, keep up during the
night a horrible barking and fighting and howling. Upon the particular
occasion to which I am adverting they made a noise so terrible and so
unremitted that it was next to impossible that even a person in full
health and free from pain should obtain a minute's sleep. I was, about
nine in the evening, sitting by the bed. 'I do think,' said she, 'that
I could go to sleep _now_, if it were not _for the dogs_.' Downstairs I
went, and out I sallied, in my shirt and trousers, and without shoes and
stockings; and, going to a heap of stones lying beside the road, set to
work upon the dogs, going backward and forward, and keeping them at two
or three hundred yards' distance from the house. I walked thus the whole
night, barefooted, lest the noise of my shoes might possibly reach her
ears; and I remember that the bricks of the causeway were, even in the
night, so hot as to be disagreeable to my feet. My exertions produced
the desired effect: a sleep of several hours was the consequence, and,
at eight o'clock in the morning, off went I to a day's business which
was to end at six in the evening.

"Women are all patriots of the soil; and when her neighbours used to ask
my wife whether _all_ English husbands were like hers, she boldly
answered in the affirmative. I had business to occupy the whole of my
time, Sundays and week-days, except sleeping hours; but I used to make
time to assist her in the taking care of her baby, and in all sorts of
things: get up, light her fire, boil her tea-kettle, carry her up warm
water in cold weather, take the child while she dressed herself and got
the breakfast ready, then breakfast, get her in water and wood for the
day, then dress myself neatly and sally forth to my business. The moment
that was over I used to hasten back to her again; and I no more thought
of spending a moment _away from her_, unless business compelled me, than
I thought of quitting the country and going to sea. The _thunder_ and
_lightning_ are tremendous in America compared with what they are in
England. My wife was at one time very much afraid of thunder and
lightning; and, as is the feeling of all such women, and indeed all men
too, she wanted company, and particularly her husband, in those times of
danger. I knew well of course that my presence would not diminish the
danger; but, be I at what I might, if within reach of home, I used to
quit my business and hasten to her the moment I perceived a thunderstorm
approaching. Scores of miles have I, first and last, _run_ on this
errand in the streets of Philadelphia! The Frenchmen who were my
scholars used to laugh at me exceedingly on this account; and sometimes,
when I was making an appointment with them, they would say, with a smile
and a bow, '_Sauve le tonnerre toujours, Monsieur Cobbett!_'"

Much is said both wise and otherwise in reference to the obedience which
a wife vows to yield to her husband. One who wrote a sketch of the Rev.
F. D. Maurice tells us that he met him once at a wedding breakfast.
Maurice proposed the health of the bride and bridegroom. The lady turned
round, and in rather bad taste exclaimed, "Now, Mr. Maurice, I call you
to witness that I entertain no intention of obeying." Maurice answered
with his sad, sweet smile, "Ah, madam, you little know the blessedness
of obedience."

Of course no one believes that it is a wife's duty to obey when her
husband wishes her to act contrary to the dictates of conscience. As
little is she expected to conform to a standard of obedience and service
such as was laid down in a conversation overheard between two children
who were playing on the sands together. Small boy to little girl: "Do
you wish to be my wife?" Little girl, after reflection; "Yes." Small
boy: "Then pull off my boots." We all rejoice in the fact that woman's
rights are very different now from what they used to be, at least in
Russia, where, Dr. Lansdell tells us, anciently at a wedding the
bridegroom took to church a whip, and in one part of the ceremony
lightly applied it to the bride's back, in token that she was to be in
subjection. Is there not still, however, much truth in the old couplet:

  "Man, love thy wife; thy husband, wife, obey.
  Wives are our heart; we should be head alway"?

On a great many points concerning the pecuniary or other interests of
the family, the husband will usually be the wisest, and may most
properly be treated as the senior or acting partner in the firm.

"The good wife," says Fuller, "commandeth her husband in any equal
matter, by constantly obeying him. It was always observed, that what the
English gained of the French in battle by valour, the French regained of
the English in cunning by treaties. So if the husband should chance by
his power in his passion to prejudice his wife's right, she wisely
knoweth by compounding and complying, to recover and rectify it again."
This is very much what the well-known lines in "Hiawatha" teach--

  "As unto the bow the cord is,
  So unto the man is woman;
  Though she bends him, she obeys him;
  Though she draws him, yet she follows;
  Useless each without the other!"

But indeed it is a sign of something being wrong between married
people, when the question which of the two shall be subject to the other
ever arises. It will never do so when both parties love as they ought,
for then the struggle will be not who shall command and control, but who
shall serve and yield. As Chaucer says--

  "When mastery cometh, then sweet Love anon,
  Flappeth his nimble wings and soon away is flown."



     "It were better to meet some dangers half-way, though they come
     nothing near."--_Bacon._

  "Rocks whereon greatest men have oftest wreck'd."--_Milton._

"Drive gently over the stones!" This piece of advice, which is
frequently given to inexperienced whips, may be suggested metaphorically
to the newly-married. On the road upon which they have entered there are
stony places, which, if not carefully driven over, will almost certainly
upset the domestic coach. To accompany one's wife harmoniously on an
Irish car is easy compared to the task of accompanying her over these
stones on the domestic car.

The first rock ahead which should be signalled "dangerous" is the first
year of married life. As a rule the first year either mars or makes a
marriage. During this period errors may be committed which will cast a
shadow over every year that follows. We agree with Mrs. Jameson in
thinking that the first year of married life is not as happy as the
second. People have to get into the habit of being married, and there
are difficult lessons to be learned in the apprenticeship.

A lady once asked Dr. Johnson how in his dictionary he came to define
_pastern_ the _knee_ of a horse; he immediately answered, "Ignorance,
madam, pure ignorance." This is the simple explanation of many an
accident that takes place at the commencement of the matrimonial
journey. The young couple have not yet learned the dangerous places of
the road, and, as a consequence, they drive carelessly over them.

How many people starting in married life throw happiness out of their
grasp, and create troubles for the rest of their days! The cause may be
generally traced to selfishness, their conceit taking everything that
goes amiss as meant for a personal affront, and their wounded
self-esteem making life a burden hard to bear, for themselves and
others. We can all recognize in every circle such cases; we are all able
to read the moral elsewhere; but in our own case we allow the small
breach--that might be healed with very little effort at first--to get
wider and wider, and the pair that should become closer and closer,
gradually not only cease to care for, but have a dread of each other's

There is one simple direction, which, if carefully regarded, might long
preserve the tranquillity of the married life, and ensure no
inconsiderable portion of connubial happiness to the observers of it: it
is--to beware of the _first_ dispute. "Man and wife," says Jeremy
Taylor, "are equally concerned to avoid all offences of each other in
the beginning of their conversation; every little thing can blast an
infant blossom; and the breath of the south can shake the little rings
of the vine, when first they begin to curl like the locks of a new
weaned boy: but when by age and consolidation they stiffen into the
hardness of a stem, and have, by the warm embraces of the sun and the
kisses of heaven, brought forth their clusters, they can endure the
storms of the north, and the loud noises of a tempest, and yet never be
broken. So are the early unions of an unfixed marriage; watchful and
observant, jealous and busy, inquisitive and careful, and apt to take
alarm at every unkind word. After the hearts of the man and the wife are
endeared and hardened by a mutual confidence and experience, longer than
artifice and pretence can last, there are a great many remembrances, and
some things present, that dash all little unkindnesses in pieces."

Every little dispute between man and wife is dangerous. It forces
good-humour out of its channel, undermines affection, and insidiously,
though perhaps insensibly, wears out and, at last, entirely destroys
that cordiality which is the life and soul of matrimonial felicity. As
however "it's hardly in a body's power to keep at times from being
sour," undue importance ought not to be attached to "those little tiffs
that sometimes cast a shade on wedlock." Often they are, as the poet
goes on to observe, "love in masquerade--

  "And family jars, look we but o'er the rim,
  Are filled with honey, even to the brim."

In the Life of St. Francis de Sales we are told that the saint did not
approve of the saying, "Never rely on a reconciled enemy." He rather
preferred a contrary maxim, and said that a quarrel between friends,
when made up, added a new tie to friendship; as experience shows that
the calosity formed round a broken bone makes it stronger than before.

Beware of jealousy; "it is the green-eyed monster, which doth make the
meat it feeds on." Here is an amusing case in point. A French lady who
was jealous of her husband determined to watch his movements. One day,
when he told her he was going to Versailles, she followed him, keeping
him in sight until she missed him in a passage leading to the railway
station. Looking about her for a few minutes, she saw a man coming out
of a glove-shop with a rather overdressed lady. Blinded with rage and
jealousy, she fancied it was her husband, and without pausing for a
moment to consider, bounced suddenly up to him and gave him three or
four stinging boxes on the ear. The instant the gentleman turned round,
she discovered her mistake, and at the same moment caught sight of her
husband, who had merely called at a tobacconist's, and was now crossing
the street. There was nothing for it but to faint in the arms of the
gentleman she had attacked; while the other lady moved away, to avoid a
scene. The stranger, astonished to find an unknown lady in his arms, was
further startled by a gentleman seizing him by the collar and demanding
to know what he meant by embracing that lady. "Why, sir, she boxed my
ears, and then fainted," exclaimed the innocent victim. "She is my
wife," shouted the angry husband, "and would never have struck you
without good cause." Worse than angry words would probably have followed
had not the cause of the whole misunderstanding recovered sufficiently
to explain how it had all happened.

A jealous wife is generally considered a proper subject for ridicule;
and a woman ought to conceal from her husband any feeling of the kind.
Her suspicions may be altogether groundless, and she may be tormenting
herself with a whole train of imaginary evils.

On the other hand a husband is bound to abstain from even the appearance
of preferring any one else to his wife. When in the presence of others
he should indulge her laudable pride by showing that he thinks her an
object of importance and preference.

In his "Advice to Young Men" Cobbett gives this interesting bit of
autobiography. "For about two or three years after I was married, I,
retaining some of my military manners, used, both in France and America,
to _romp_ most famously with the girls that came in my way; till one day
at Philadelphia, my wife said to me in a very gentle manner: 'Don't do
that, _I do not like it_.' That was quite enough; I had never _thought_
on the subject before; one hair of her head was more dear to me than all
the other women in the world, and this I knew that she knew. But I now
saw that this was not all that she had a right to from me; I saw that
she had the further claim upon me that I should abstain from everything
that might induce others to believe that there was any other woman for
whom, even if I were at liberty, I had any affection. I beseech young
married men to bear this in mind; for on some trifle of this sort the
happiness or misery of a long life frequently turns."

There may be a fanaticism in love as well as in belief, and where people
love much they are apt to be exacting one to the other. But although
jealousy does imply love, such love as consists in a craving for the
affection of its object, it is love which is largely dashed with
selfishness. It is incompatible with love of the highest order, for
where that exists there is no dread of not being loved enough in return.
In this relation as well as in the highest, "There is no fear in love,
but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment. He that
feareth is not made perfect in love."

It is generally admitted that conjugal affection largely depends on
mutual confidence. A friend quoted this sentiment the other day in a
smoking-room, and added that he made it a rule to tell his wife
everything that happened, and in this way they avoided any
misunderstanding. "Well, sir," remarked another gentleman present, not
to be outdone in generosity, "you are not so open and frank as I am, for
I tell my wife a good many things that never happen." "Oh!" exclaimed a
third, "I am under no necessity to keep my wife informed regarding my
affairs. She can find out five times as much as I know myself without
the least trouble."

"How," said a gentleman to a friend who wished to convey a matter of
importance to a lady without communicating directly with her, "how can
you be certain of her reading the letter, seeing that you have directed
it to her husband?" "That I have managed without the possibility of
failure," was the answer; "she will open it to a certainty, for I have
put the word 'private' in the corner."

These anecdotes put in a lively way the well-known fact that it is
impossible for married people to keep secrets the one from the other.
But even to make the attempt is to enter upon ground so dangerous that
scarcely any amount of cautious driving will prevent a catastrophe.
Unless husband and wife trust each other all in all the result will be
much the same as if they trusted not at all.

We believe that the Delilahs are few who would sell their Samsons to the
Philistines when these Samsons have told them the secret source of their
great strength. Still, there are secrets entrusted to the clergyman, the
physician, the lawyer, the legislator to betray which, even to a wife,
would be dishonourable and disgraceful.

A case beautifully illustrating this difficult point in matrimonial
relations occurs in the memoirs of Lady Fanshawe, wife of Sir Richard
Fanshawe, who was a faithful Royalist during the civil war. Soon after
Lady Fanshawe's marriage, she was instigated by some crafty ladies of
the court to obtain from her husband a knowledge of some secret
political events. The matter is best described in her own words: "And
now I thought myself a perfect queen, and my husband so glorious a
crown, that I more valued myself to be called by his name than born a
princess, for I knew him very wise and very good, and his soul doted on
me; upon which confidence I will tell you what happened. My Lady Rivers,
a brave woman, and one that had suffered many thousand pounds' loss for
the King, and whom I had a great reverence for, and she a kindness for
me as a kinswoman--in discourse she tacitly commended the knowledge of
State affairs, and that some women were very happy in a good
understanding thereof, as my Lady Aubingny, Lady Isabel Thynne, and
divers others, and yet none was at first more capable than I; that in
the night she knew there came a post from Paris from the Queen, and that
she would be extremely glad to hear what the Queen commanded the King
in order to his affairs; saying, if I would ask my husband privately, he
would tell me what he found in the packet, and I might tell her. I that
was young and innocent, and to that day had never in my mouth, what
news?--began to think there was more in inquiring into public affairs
than I thought of, and that it being a fashionable thing, would make me
more beloved of my husband, if that had been possible, than I was. When
my husband returned home from council, after welcoming him, as his
custom ever was, he went with his handful of papers into his study for
an hour or more; I followed him: he turned hastily and said, 'What
would'st thou have, my life?' I told him, 'I heard the Prince had
received a packet from the Queen, and I guessed it was that in his
hands, and I desired to know what was in it.' He smilingly replied, 'My
love, I will immediately come to thee; pray thee go, for I am very
busy.' When he came out of his closet I revived my suit; he kissed me
and talked of other things. At supper, I would eat nothing; he as usual
sat by me, and drank often to me, which was his custom, and was full of
discourse to company that was at table. Going to bed I asked again, and
said I could not believe he loved me, if he refused to tell me all he
knew; but he answered nothing, but stopped my mouth with kisses. So we
went to bed; I cried, and he went to sleep. Next morning early, as his
custom was, he was called to rise, but began to discourse with me first;
to which I made no reply; he rose, came on the other side of the bed and
kissed me, and drew the curtain softly and went to court. When he came
home to dinner, he presently came to me as was usual, and when I had
him by the hand, I said, 'Thou dost not care to see me troubled;' to
which he, taking me in his arms, answered, 'My dearest soul, nothing
upon earth can afflict me like that; and when you asked me of my
business, it was wholly out of my power to satisfy thee, for my life and
fortune shall be thine, and every thought of my heart in which the trust
I am in may not be revealed; but my honour is my own, which I cannot
preserve if I communicate the Prince's affairs; and pray thee with this
answer rest satisfied.' So great was his reason and goodness, that upon
consideration it made my folly appear to me so vile, that from that day
until the day of his death, I never thought fit to ask him any business
but what he communicated freely to me, in order to his estate and

When a man comes home tired, hungry, and put out about something that
has gone wrong in business, this is not the time for his wife to order
him to stand and deliver his secret troubles. Rather, she should give
him a well-cooked dinner and say little or nothing. Later on in the
evening, when he is rested and has smoked a pipe of peace, he will be
only too glad to give her his confidence in return for her sympathetic
treatment of him. It seems to me that there is more of vulgar
familiarity than of confidence in a man and wife at all times opening
each other's letters. A sealed letter is sacred; and all persons like to
have the first reading of their own letters. Why should a close
relationship abrogate respectful courtesy?

Artemus Ward tells us that when he was at Salt Lake he was introduced to
Brigham Young's mother-in-law. "I can't exactly tell you how many there
is of her, but it's a good deal." Married people require to drive gently
when there is in the way the stumbling-block of "a good deal" of
mother-or other relations-in-law. Certainly Adam and Eve were in
paradise in this respect. "When I want a nice snug day all to myself,"
says an ingenuous wife, "I tell George dear mother is coming, and then I
see nothing of him till one in the morning." "Are your domestic
relations agreeable?" was the question put to an unhappy-looking
specimen of humanity. "Oh, my domestic relations are all right; it is my
wife's relations that are causing the trouble." It is true we read in
the _Graphic_ a year or two ago an exception to the usual dislike to
mothers-in-law, but the exception was scarcely reassuring. A
well-dressed young woman of nineteen informed a magistrate that her own
mother had run away with her husband. This _mater pulchrior_ came to
stay with her _filia pulchra_, won the affections of the husband, and,
at last, withdrew him from his hearth and home. Still it is the duty of
people to keep on terms of at least friendly neutrality with their
relations-in-law. Where there is disunion there are generally faults on
both sides.

We know of a working-man who on the eve of his marriage signed a promise
to abstain from intoxicating liquor. He put the document into a frame
and presented it to his wife after the wedding as a marriage settlement.
And certainly there cannot be a better marriage settlement than for a
young husband to settle his habits.

The young husband or wife who is in the least degree careless in the use
of intoxicating drinks should read the following account which Mr. Gough
gives of a case which he met in one of the convict prisons of America.
"I was attracted, while speaking to the prisoners in the chapel, by the
patient, gentle look of one of the convicts who sat before me, whose
whole appearance was that of a mild-tempered, quiet man. After the
service, one of the prison officers, in reply to my question, stated
that this same man was serving out a life term. I asked what was the
possible crime for which he was serving a life term in a State prison.
'Murder.' 'Murder?' 'Yes, he murdered his wife.' Having asked if I might
have an interview with him, my request was granted, and I held a
conversation with him. 'My friend, I do not wish to ask you any
questions that will be annoying; but I was struck by your appearance,
and was so much surprised when I heard of your crime, that I thought I
would like to ask you a question. May I?' 'Certainly, sir.' 'Then why
did you commit the crime? What led you to it?' Then came such a pitiful
story. He said: 'I loved my wife, but I drank to excess. She was a good
woman; she never complained; come home when or how I might, she never
scolded. I think I never heard a sharp word from her. She would
sometimes look at me with such a pitying look that went to my heart;
sometimes it made me tender, and I would cry, and promise to do better;
at other times it would make me angry. I almost wished she would scold
me, rather than look at me with that patient earnestness. I knew I was
breaking her heart; but I was a slave to drink. Though I loved her, I
knew I was killing her. One day I came home drunk, and as I entered the
room I saw her sitting at the table, her face resting on her hand. Oh,
my God! I think I see her now! As I came in she lifted up her face;
there were tears there; but she smiled and said, "Well, William." I
remember just enough to know that I was mad. The devil entered into me.
I rushed into the kitchen, seized my gun, and deliberately shot her as
she sat by that table. I am in prison for life, and have no desire to be
released. If a pardon was offered me, I think I should refuse it. Buried
here in this prison, I wait till the end comes. I trust God has forgiven
me for Christ's sake. I have bitterly repented; I repent every day. Oh,
the nights when in the darkness I see her face--see her just as she
looked on me that fatal day! I shall rejoice when the time comes. I pray
that I may meet her in heaven.' This was said with sobbings and tears
that were heart-breaking to hear."

"There goes me but for the grace of God!" "What, is thy servant a dog,
that he should do this great thing?" No! not a dog, but a young man or a
young woman who is liable to forget that "small habits well pursued
betimes may reach the dignity of crimes." If you do not measure your
liquor with as much care as strong medicine; if you are not on your
guard against those drinking habits of society and business which first
draw, then drag, and then haul--beware lest tyrant custom make you a
slave to what has been called "the most authentic incarnation of the
principle of evil."



     "By wisdom is a house built; by understanding it is established;
     and by knowledge the chambers are filled with all pleasant and
     precious treasures."--_Solomon's Practical Wisdom._

     "We cannot arrest sunsets nor carve mountains, but we may turn
     every English home, if we choose, into a picture which shall be
     no counterfeit, but the true and perfect image of life

A condition of pleasantness in a house has a real power in refining and
raising the characters of its inmates; so home should not only be a
haven of rest, peace, and sympathy, but should have an element of beauty
in all its details. Ugliness and discomfort blunt the sensibilities and
lower the spirits. D'Israeli said, "Happiness is atmosphere," and from
this point of view a few words about furnishing may not be out of place
in our inquiry as to how to be happy though married. Certainly the
fitting up and arranging of a home will not appear unimportant to those
who think with Dr. Johnson that it is by studying little things that we
attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as
possible. "Pound St. Paul's church into atoms and consider any single
atom; it is, to be sure, good for nothing; but put these atoms together,
and you have St. Paul's church. So it is with human felicity, which is
made up of many ingredients, each of which may be shown to be very

The expense of furnishing is often a source of considerable anxiety to
young people about to marry. We think, however, that this matrimonial
care is, or should be, much more lightly felt than in past years.
Competition has made furniture cheaper, and it is now considered "bad
form" to crowd rooms or to have in them the large heavy things that were
so expensive. Elegance displayed in little things is the order of the
day. A few light chairs of different sizes and shapes, a small lounge,
one or two little tables, the floor polished round the edges and covered
in the centre with a square of carpet, or, if the whole room be stained,
with Oriental rugs where required; the windows hung with some kind of
light drapery--what more do newly-married people require in their
drawing-room? Oh! we have forgotten the piano, and we suppose it is
inevitable, but it can easily be hired.

It is a great gain for a young couple to be compelled to economize, for,
rich as they may become afterwards, habits of thrift never quite leave
them. Their furniture may be scanty and some of it not very new, but
common things can be prettily covered, and the dullest of rooms is set
off by the knick-knacks that came in so plentifully among the bridal
spoils. Besides, if they start with everything they want, there is
nothing to wish for, and no pleasure in adding to their possessions.
George Eliot has a subtle remark about the "best society, where no one
makes an invidious display of anything in particular, and the advantages
of the world are taken with that high-bred depreciation which follows
from being accustomed to them."

No doubt there will be pictures and photographs, the hanging of which
occasions considerable discussion, and perhaps involves the first
serious divergence of opinion. We must remember, however, that it is
much better to have no pictures than bad ones, and that photographs of
scenery are rarely decorative. As regards one's relations when they are
really decorative, even Mr. Oscar Wilde can see no reason why their
photographs should not be hung on the walls, though he hopes that, if
called on to make a stand between the principles of domestic affection
and decorative art, the latter may have the first place.

It is a safe rule to have nothing in our houses that we do not know to
be useful or think to be beautiful. We should show our love of art and
beauty in our surroundings, and bring it to bear in the selection of the
smallest household trifle. To have things tasteful and pretty costs no
more than to have them ugly; but it costs a great deal more trouble.
Simplicity, appropriateness, harmony of colour--these produce the best
results. When we enter a room, the first feeling ought to be, "How
comfortable!" and the second, as we glance quickly round to discover
_why_, ought to be, "How beautiful!" Not a touch too much nor too
little. The art is to conceal art. Directly affectation enters, beauty
goes out. But while there should be nothing bizarre in our method of
furnishing, rooms should reflect the individuality of their owners. They
should never look as if they were furnished by contract. People should
allow their own taste to have its way. Whatever we have, let it not be
flimsy, but good of its kind. Good things are cheapest in the end, and
it is economy to employ good dependable tradespeople.

When he heard of the occurrence of some piece of mischief, George the
Fourth used to ask, "Who is _she_?" This question may be asked with much
more reason when we enter a pretty room. Who is she whose judgment and
fingers have so arranged these unconsidered trifles as to make out of
very little an effect so charming? Compare a bachelor's house with the
same house after its master has taken to himself a helpmate. "Bless
thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art translated!" the friends of his
former state may well exclaim. Of course we are supposing the lady's
head to be furnished, for if that do not contain a certain amount of
common sense, good taste, and power of observation, the result will soon
be observed in her house. A drawing-room should be for use and not for
show merely, and should be furnished accordingly. It should be tidy, but
not painfully tidy. Self-respect should lead us to have things nice in
our homes, whether the eyes of company are to see them or not. It was
surely right of Robinson Crusoe to make his solitary cave look as smart
as possible. Who does not respect the wife whose dinner-table is
prettily adorned with flowers even on days when no one but her husband
has the honour of dining with her?

To furnish the kitchen is a troublesome and unsatisfactory business. It
is unsatisfactory because one expends on kitchen utensils, which are
rather dear, a considerable amount of money without having much to show.
And it is troublesome to have to distinguish between the many implements
a cook really does require and those which she only imagines to be
necessary. Still, cook must be supplied with every appliance that is
really necessary. Without these there may be an expenditure of time out
of all proportion to her task. On the equipoise of that lady's temper
depends to a not inconsiderable extent the comfort of the house. Have in
the kitchen a good clock, and teach your servants to take a pleasure in
making sweet and bright their own special chambers.

Our present sanitary ideas will tolerate no longer curtains on beds, or
heavy carpets on the floors of sleeping apartments. Both foster dust,
and dust conceals the germs of disease. That carpets are sometimes made
a too convenient receptacle for dust is evident from the answer that was
once given by a housemaid. Professing to have become converted to
religion, she was asked for a proof of the happy change, and thus
replied: "Now," she said, "I sweep _under_ the mats." For bedrooms there
should be narrow, separate, tight-woven strips of carpet around the bed
and in front of furniture only. These are easy to shake, and in every
sense in harmony with the simplicity and cleanliness which, if health is
to be preserved, must pervade the bedroom. The more air it contains the
better, and hence everything superfluous should be banished from it. But
we shall not specify the different things which, in our opinion, should,
or should not, be found in the several rooms of a house, for after all
it is the arrangement of furniture rather than the furniture itself that
makes the difference.

If the question be asked, Is it better to pick up furniture at auctions
or to buy it in shops? we reply, Avoid auctions. Things are varnished up
to the eye, and it is seldom possible to examine them. So you generally
find on returning home from a sale that your purchases are by no means
what they seemed.

As regards the expense of furnishing a small house such as young
housekeepers of the middle class usually hire when first they settle
down in life, this of course varies with circumstances, but even one
hundred pounds ought nearly to suffice. To estimate the cost rightly,
one should know the tastes of the people concerned, their social
position, the size of their house, and the style of the locality in
which they propose to live. Very good furniture can sometimes be
obtained secondhand, but one must be on their guard against "bargains"
that are worthless. There are certain articles, such as lamps, beds, and
bedding, that should as a general rule be purchased new.

People are generally in too great haste when furnishing. They should be
prudent, deliberate, and wait with their eyes open until they see the
sort of things that will suit them. They should buy the most instantly
necessary articles first with ready money, and add to these as they can
afford it to carry out ideas formed by observation. They should buy what
can be easily replaced after legitimate wear and tear, what their
servants can properly attend to, and what will save labour and time.



  "Never treat money affairs with levity--money is character."--_Sir E.
                                                         Bulwer Lytton._

A Scotch minister, preaching against the love of money, had frequently
repeated that it was "the root of all evil." Walking home from the
church one old person said to another, "An wasna the minister strang
upon the money?" "Nae doubt," said the other, and added, "Ay, but it's
grand to hae the wee bit siller in your hand when ye gang an errand." So
too, in spite of all that love-in-a-cottage theorists may say, "it's
grand to hae the wee bit siller" when marrying; unless, indeed, we
believe that mortality is one of the effects of matrimony as did the
girl, who, on meeting a lady whose service she had lately left, and
being asked, "Well, Mary, where do you live now?" answered, "Please,
ma'am, I don't live now--I'm married." To marry for love and work for
silver is quite right, but there should be a reasonable chance of
getting work to do and some provision for a rainy day. It is only the
stupidity which is without anxiety, that complacently marries on
"nothing a week; and that uncertain--very!" And yet such flying in the
face of Providence is often spoken of as being disinterested and heroic,
and the quiverfuls of children resulting from it are supposed to be
blessed. As if it were a blessing to give children appetites of hunger
and thirst, and nothing to satisfy them.

On the other hand, there is some truth in the saying that "what will
keep one will keep two." There are bachelors who are so ultra-prudent,
and who hold such absurd opinions as to the expense of matrimony that,
although they have enough money they have not enough courage to enter
the state. Pitt used to say that he could not afford to marry, yet his
butcher's bill was so enormous that some one has calculated it as
affording his servants about fourteen pounds of meat a day, each man and
woman! For the more economical regulation of his household, if for no
other reason, he should have taken to himself a wife.

Newly-married people should be careful not to pitch their rate of
expenditure higher than they can hope to continue it; and they should
remember that, as Lord Bacon said, "it is less dishonourable to abridge
petty charges (expenses) than to stoop to petty gettings." That was
excellent advice which Dr. Johnson gave to Boswell when the latter
inherited his paternal estate: "You, dear sir, have now a new station,
and have, therefore, new cares and new employments. Life, as Cowley
seems to say, ought to resemble a well-ordered poem; of which one rule
generally received is, that the exordium should be simple, and should
promise little. Begin your new course of life with the least show, and
the least expense possible; you may at pleasure increase both, but you
cannot easily diminish them. Do not think your estate your own, while
any man can call upon you for money which you cannot pay; therefore
begin with timorous parsimony. Let it be your first care not to be in
any man's debt."

The thrifty wife of Benjamin Franklin felt it a gala day indeed when, by
long accumulated small savings, she was able to surprise her husband one
morning with a china cup and a silver spoon, from which to take his
breakfast. Franklin was shocked: "You see how luxury creeps into
families in spite of principles," he said. When his meal was over he
went to the store, and rolled home a wheelbarrow full of papers through
the streets with his own hands, lest folks should get wind of the china
cup, and say he was above his business.

Although the creeping in of luxury is to be guarded against at the
commencement of married life, people should learn to grow rich
gracefully. It is no part of wisdom to depreciate the little elegances
and social enjoyments of our homes. Those who can afford it act wisely
when they furnish their houses with handsome furniture, cover the walls
with suggestive paintings, and collect expensive books, for these things
afford refined enjoyment. One day a gentleman told Dr. Johnson that he
had bought a suit of lace for his wife. _Johnson_: "Well, sir, you have
done a good thing, and a wise thing." "I have done a good thing," said
the gentleman, "but I do not know that I have done a wise thing."
_Johnson_: "Yes, sir, no money is better spent than what is laid out for
domestic satisfaction. A man is pleased that his wife is dressed as
well as other people; and a wife is pleased that she is dressed."

We should be particular about money matters, but not penurious. The
penny soul never, it is said, came to twopence. There is that
withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. People are
often saving at the wrong place, and spoil the ship for a halfpenny
worth of tar. They spare at the spigot, and let all run away at the

She is the wise wife who can steer between penuriousness and such
recklessness as is described in the following cutting from an American
periodical. "My dear fellow," said Lavender, "it's all very nice to talk
about economizing and keeping a rigid account of expenses, and that sort
of thing, but I've tried it. Two weeks ago I stepped in on my way home
Saturday night, and I bought just the gayest little Russian leather,
cream-laid account-book you ever saw, and a silver pencil to match it. I
said to my wife after supper: 'My dear, it seems to me it costs a lot of
money to keep house.' She sighed and said: 'I know it does, Lavvy; but
I'm sure I can't help it. I'm just as economical as I can be. I don't
spend half as much for candy as you do for cigars.' I never take any
notice of personalities, so I sailed right ahead. 'I believe, my dear,
that if we were to keep a strict account of everything we spend we could
tell just where to cut down. I've bought you a little account-book, and
every Monday morning I'll give you some money, and you can set it down
on one side; and then, during the week, you can set down on the other
side everything you spend. And then on Saturday night we can go over it
and see just where the money goes, and how we can boil things down a
little.' Well, sir, she was just delighted--thought it was a first-rate
plan, and the pocket account-book was lovely--regular David Copperfield
and Dora business. Well, sir, the next Saturday night we got through
supper, and she brought out that account-book as proud as possible, and
handed it over for inspection. On one side was, 'Received from Lavvy, 50
dols.' That's all right! Then I looked on the other page, and what do
you think was there? '_Spent it all!_' Then I laughed, and of course she
cried; and we gave up the account-book racket on the spot by mutual
consent. Yes, sir, I've been there, and I know what domestic economy
means, I tell you. Let's have a cigar."

It is the fear of this sort of thing, and especially of extravagance in
reference to dress, that confirms many men in bachelorship. A society
paper tells us that at a recent dance given at the West-end, a married
lady of extravagant habits impertinently asked a wealthy old bachelor if
he remained single because he could not afford to keep a wife. "My
innocent young friend," was the reply, "I could afford to keep three;
but I'm not rich enough to pay the milliner's bills of one."

A wife who puts conscience into the management of her husband's money
should not be obliged to account to him for the exact manner in which
she lays out each penny in the pound. An undue interference on his part
will cause much domestic irritation, and may have a bad influence on
social morals.

In "Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson," his wife says, "So
liberal was he to her, and of so generous a temper, that he hated the
mention of severed purses; his estate being so much at her disposal
that he never would receive an account of anything she expended."

No one can feel dignified, free, and happy without the control of a
certain amount of money for the graces, the elegant adornments, and,
above all, for the charities of life. The hard-drawn line of simply
paying the bills closes a thousand avenues to gentle joys and pleasures
in a woman's daily life.

We would advise all wives to strike the iron when hot, so to speak, by
getting their husbands, before the ardour of the honeymoon cools, to
give them an annual allowance. The little unavoidable demands on a
husband's purse, to which a wife is so frequently compelled to have
recourse, are very apt to create bickering and discord; and when once
good-humour is put out of the way, it is not such an easy matter to
bring it back again.

A Chicago young lady, on being asked the usual question in which the
words "love, honour, and obey" occur, made the straightforward reply:
"Yes, I will, if he does what he promises me financially." The conduct
of some husbands almost justified this answer.

As regards the important subject of Life Insurance there are few
husbands and fathers who can afford to be indifferent to the possibility
of making adequate and immediate provision for those dependent upon
them, in case of their sudden removal.

This matter of Life Insurance should be settled before marriage, as well
as all other monetary and legal arrangements that have to be made either
with the wife that is to be, or with her relations, because
post-matrimonial business details may introduce notes of discord into
what might have been a harmonious home. "When I courted her, I took
lawyer's advice, and signed every letter to my love--'Yours, without
prejudice!'" It may not be necessary to be quite so cautious as the
lover who tells us this; but he was certainly right in transacting his
legal business before marriage rather than afterwards.

"Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you
will find it a calamity." Douglas Jerrold says that "the shirt of Nessus
was a shirt not paid for." Those who would be happy though married must
pitch their scale of living a degree below their means, rather than up
to them; but this can only be done by keeping a careful account of
income and expenditure. John Locke strongly advised this course:
"Nothing," he said, "is likelier to keep a man within compass than
having constantly before his eyes, the state of his affairs in a regular
course of account." The Duke of Wellington kept an accurate detailed
account of all the moneys received and expended by him. "I make a
point," he said, "of paying my own bills, and I advise every one to do
the same. Formerly I used to trust a confidential servant to pay them,
but I was cured of that folly by receiving one morning, to my great
surprise, dues of a year or two's standing. The fellow had speculated
with my money, and left my bills unpaid." Talking of debt, his remark
was, "It makes a slave of a man." Washington was as particular as
Wellington was in matters of business detail. He did not disdain to
scrutinize the smallest outgoings of his household, even when holding
the office of President of the American Union.

When Maginn, always drowned in debt, was asked what he paid for his
wine, he replied that he did not know; but he believed they "put
something down in a book." This "putting down in a book" has proved the
ruin of a great many people. The regular weekly payment of tradesmen is
not only more honest, but far more economical. I know a wife who says
that she cannot afford to get into the books of tradesmen, and who
prides herself upon the fact that she will never haunt her husband after
her death in the shape of an unpaid bill. These principles will induce
married people to always try to have a fund reserved for sickness, the
necessity of a change of abode, and other contingencies.

Perfect confidence as regards money matters should exist between married
people. In a letter to a young lady upon her marriage, Swift says, "I
think you ought to be well informed how much your husband's revenue
amounts to, and be so good a computer as to keep within it that part of
the management which falls to your share, and not to put yourself in the
number of those polite ladies who think they gain a great point when
they have teased their husbands to buy them a new equipage, a laced
head, or a fine petticoat, without once considering what long score
remained unpaid to the butcher."

With regard to keeping up appearances it must be remembered that few
people can afford to disregard them entirely. A shabby hat that in a
rich man would pass for perhaps an amiable eccentricity, might
conceivably cause the tailor to send in his bill to a poorer customer.
In this matter, as in so many others, we may act from a right or from a
wrong motive. Nowhere is the attempt to keep up appearances more
praiseworthy than in the case of those who have to housekeep upon very
small incomes. The cotter's wife in Burns's poem who--

        "Wi' her needle and her sheers,
  Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new"--

deserves the title of heroine for her efforts to keep up appearances.

But the senseless competition that consists in giving large
entertainments, the huge "meat-shows" which got under the name of
dinner-parties, have no tendency to promote true happiness. Homes are
made sweet by simplicity and freedom from affectation, and these are
also the qualities that put guests at their ease, and make them feel at
home. A Dublin lady took a world of trouble to provide a variety of
dishes, and have all cooked with great skill, for an entertainment she
was to give in honour of Dean Swift. But from the first bit that was
tasted she did not cease to undervalue the courses, and to beg
indulgence for the shortcomings of the cook. "Hang it," said Swift,
after the annoyance had gone on a little, "if everything is as bad as
you say, I'll go home and get a herring dressed for myself."

I once heard of a lady, who, not being prepared for the unexpected
visitors, sent to the confectioner's for some tarts to help out the
dinner. All would have gone off well, but that the lady, wishing to keep
up appearances, said to the servant: "Ah! what are those tarts?"
"Fourpence apiece, ma'am," was the reply.

There are thousands of women in these islands who cannot marry. But why
can they not marry? Because they have false notions about
respectability. And so long as this is the case, young men will do well
to decline the famous advice, "Marry early--yes, marry early, and marry

"Why," asked a Sussex labourer, "should I give a woman half my victuals
for cooking the other half?" Imagine the horror of this anti-matrimonial
reasoner if it were proposed that he should give half his victuals for
not cooking at all, or doing anything except keeping up appearances. "He
was reputed," says Bacon, "one of the wise men that made answer to the
question, when a man should marry? _A young man not yet, an elder man
not at all._" This answer would not appear so wise, if we had less
erroneous notions on the subject of keeping up appearances.



  "A good mistress makes a good servant."--_Proverb._

In England _materfamilias_ is always complaining of servant
difficulties. Those, however, who have lived in some of our colonies
know that the very thought of an English servant conveys a certain
soothing sensation to feelings that have been harassed by the
servants--if we may so name such tyrants--in these places. A friend of
mine in Bermuda wished to hire a nurse. One day, as she was sitting in
her verandah, a coloured person appeared before her and suggested,
laying great emphasis on the words in italics, "Are you the _woman_ that
wants a _lady_ to nurse your baby?"

The servants in this and some other parts of the world consider
themselves not merely equal but much superior to their employers, and
there is a consequent difficulty in managing them. If you show any
disinclination to their giving to friends much of the food with which
you had hoped to sustain your family, they will disappear from your
establishment without giving the slightest warning. A servant wishes to
keep one or two members of her family in your house. If you dare to
object, your widely-spread reputation for meanness will prevent any
other servant applying for your situation for months. In a word, the
employers of these helpful beings are every day reminded of the servant
who said to his master: "I don't wish to be unreasonable, but I want
three things, sir: more wages, less work, and I should like to have the
keys of the wine-cellar."

Though matters are not quite so bad at home, there are nevertheless many
much-tried masters and mistresses. Certainly some of them deserve to
suffer. They have not given the very least attention to the art of
managing servants. As parents spoil their children and wonder at the
results, so do these masters and mistresses their servants. At one time
they provoke them to anger about trifles, at other times they allow them
to do as they like. Now they treat them with extreme coldness, on other
occasions undue familiarity is permitted. In a word, they forget the
fact that there is a common human nature between the kitchen and the
parlour which must be admitted and well studied.

The ancient Romans, though they were heathen, and though with them
servants meant slaves, included in the idea of _familia_ their servants
as well as their children. So, too, it was once amongst ourselves.
Servants used to "enter the family," and share to some degree its joys
and cares, while they received from it a corresponding amount of
interest and sympathy. All this is changed. Servants are now
rolling-stones that gather no moss either for themselves or their
employers. They never dream of considering themselves members of the
family, to stick to it as it to them through all difficulties not
absolutely overwhelming. To them "master" is merely the man who pays,
and "missis" the woman who "worrits." They think that they should change
their employers as readily as their dresses, and never imagine that
there could be between themselves and them any common interest. Only the
other day I heard of a lady who had in one year as many as fourteen
cooks! How could this mistress be expected to take any interest in or to
consider herself responsible for the well-being of such birds of

And yet surely the heads of a household are nearly as responsible for
their servants as they are for their own children. We _are_ the keepers
of these our brothers and sisters, and are in a great measure guilty of
the vices we tempt them to commit. A lady was engaged in domestic
affairs, when some one rang the street-door bell, and the Roman Catholic
servant-girl was bidden to say that her mistress was not at home. She
answered, "Yes, ma'am, and when I confess to the priest, shall I confess
it as your sin or mine?"

It is an unquestioned fact that many of the faults of servants are due
to a want of due care on the part of their mistresses, who put up with
badly-done work and make dishonesty easy by leaving things about.

If we want really good servants we must make them ourselves; so even
from selfish motives we should do all we can to influence them for good.
But it is much easier to mar than to make, and with servants the
easiest way of doing this is to let them see that we are afraid of them.
People spoil their servants from fear oftener than from regard. Some are
afraid of the manner of their servants. They pass over many faults
because they do not like the sulky looks and impertinent reply with
which a rebuke is received.

Fifty years ago servants might be allowed to consider the warning of
masters as a poor attempt at wit, as the Scotch coachman evidently did
who, on being dismissed, replied, "Na, na; I drove ye to your
christening, and I'll drive ye yet to your burial;" and the cook who
answered in similar circumstances, "It's nae use ava gieing me warning;
gif ye dinna ken when ye hae gotten a gude servant, I ken when I hae a
gude master." As, however, servants are now seldom attached to a family
by old associations they look upon the withdrawal of notice as a sign of
weakness, and give themselves airs accordingly.

We should give our orders in a polite but firm manner, like one
accustomed to be obeyed. It sometimes simplifies matters considerably to
make a servant understand that she must either give in or go out. When
fault has to be found, let it be done sharply and once for all, but
nagging is dispiriting and intolerable. "Why do you desire to leave me?"
said a gentleman to his footman. "Because, to speak the truth, I cannot
bear your temper." "To be sure, I am passionate, but my passion is no
sooner on than it's off." "Yes," replied the servant, "but it's no
sooner off than it's on." Still we must never forget that the greatest
firmness is the greatest mercy. Here is an illustration. The Rev. H.
Lansdell tells us in his book "Through Siberia," that a Siberian friend
of his had a convict servant, whom he had sent away for drunkenness. The
man came back entreating that he might be reinstated, but his master
said, "No; I have warned you continually, and done everything I could to
keep you sober, but in vain." "Yes, sir," said the man; "but then, sir,
you should have given me a good thrashing." Many a servant girl has gone
to the bad because at some critical moment her mistress did not give her
a good tongue-thrashing.

It cannot spoil tried servants to ask their opinion and advice on
certain occasions, but we should not expect them to think for us
altogether. To do this makes them as conceited as the Irish servant who
replied to his master when that inferior being suggested his views as to
the way some work should be done, "Well, sir, you may know best, but I
know better!" Still, it is well to let servants know as often as we
conveniently can the reason of our commands. This gives them an interest
in their work, and proves to them that they are not considered mere
machines. Never let a mistress be afraid of insisting upon that respect
which her position demands. In turn she can point out that every rank in
life has its own peculiar dignity, and that no one is more worthy of
respect than a good servant. We should feel just as thankful to our
servants for serving us, as we expect them to be for the shelter and
care of the home which we offer them. There is a perfectly reciprocal
obligation, and the manner of the employer must recognize it. "Whereas
thy servant worketh truly, entreat him not evil, nor the hireling that
bestoweth himself wholly for thee. Let thy soul love a good servant, and
defraud him not of liberty." We have no right to every moment of a
servant's time, and he or she will work all the better for an occasional

Those who feel that they are responsible for the character of their
servants will endeavour to provide them with innocent amusements. When
papers and books are read above stairs they might be sent down to the
kitchen. If this were done, literature of the "penny dreadful"
description would to a great extent be excluded.

Many employers behave as if the laws of good manners did not apply to
their dealings with servants. Apparently they consider that servants
should not be allowed any feelings. This was not the opinion of
Chesterfield, who observes: "I am more upon my guard as to my behaviour
to my servants, and to others who are called my inferiors, than I am
towards my equals, for fear of being suspected of that mean and
ungenerous sentiment of desiring to make others feel that difference
which fortune has, perhaps too undeservedly, made between us." It is
difficult, perhaps, to strike the exact mean between superciliousness
and excessive familiarity, but we must make every effort to arrive at
it. There is nothing more keenly appreciated by servants than that
evenness of temper which respects itself at the same time that it
respects others. A lady visited a dying servant who had lived with her
for thirty years. "How do you find yourself to-day, Mary?" said her
mistress, taking hold of the withered hand which was held out. "Is that
you, my darling mistress?" and a beam of joy overspread the old woman's
face. "O yes!" she added, looking up, "it is you, my kind, my _mannerly_

Part of Miss Harriet Martineau's ideal of happiness was to have young
servants whom she might train and attach to herself. In later life, when
settled in a house of her own, she was in the habit of calling her maids
in the evening and pointing out to them on the map the operations of the
Crimean war, for she thought that young English women should take an
intelligent interest in the doings of their country. Mrs. Carlyle was
another tender mother-mistress to her servants, though her letters have
made the world acquainted with the incessant contests which she was
obliged to wage with "mutinous maids of all work" as Carlyle used to
call them. "One of these maids was untidy, useless in all ways, but
'abounding in grace,' and in consequent censure of every one above or
below her, and of everything she couldn't understand. After a long
apostrophe one day, as she was bringing in dinner, Carlyle ended with,
'And this I can tell you, that if you don't carry the dishes straight,
so as not to spill the gravy, so far from being tolerated in heaven, you
won't be even tolerated on earth.'" It was better to teach the poor
creature even in this rough way than not at all, that she ought to put
her religion into the daily round and common tasks of her business; that

  "A servant with this clause
    Makes drudgery divine:
  Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws
    Makes that and the action fine."

So much of the comfort of home depends upon servants that a wise
mistress studies them and values their co-operation.

              "She heedeth well their ways,
    Upon her tongue the law of kindness dwells,
  With wisdom she dispenses blame or praise,
    And ready sympathy her bosom swells."

She sees that their meals are regularly served, and that they are
undisturbed during the time set apart for them. She does not think that
any hole will do for a servant's bedroom. When caring for the children
that they may have their little entertainments and enjoyments to
brighten their lives, she includes the servants in the circle of her
sympathies; and is always on the watch to make them feel that they are
an integral part of the home, and that, if they have to work for it and
to bear its burden, they are not excluded from a real share in its
interests and joys. In a word, she feels for them and with them, and as
a rule they do their best for her. That servants are not always
ungrateful every good mistress is well aware. Among the inscriptions to
the early Christian martyrs found in the catacombs at Rome there is one
which proves that there were in those days, as no doubt there are now,
grateful servants. "Here lies Gordianus, deputy of Gaul, who was
murdered, with all his family, for the faith. They rest in peace. His
handmaid, Theophila, set up this." Gentle, loving Theophila! There was
no one left but thee to remember poor Gordianus, and perhaps his little
children, whom thou didst tend.

In managing servants a little judicious praise is a wonderful incentive.
The Duke of Wellington once requested the connoisseur whom the author of
"Tancred" terms "the finest judge in Europe," to provide him a _chef_.
Felix, whom the late Lord Seaford was reluctantly about to part with on
economical grounds, was recommended and received. Some months afterwards
his patron was dining with Lord Seaford, and before the first course was
half over he observed, "So I find you have got the duke's cook to dress
your dinner." "I have got Felix," replied Lord S., "but he is no longer
the duke's cook. The poor fellow came to me with tears in his eyes, and
begged me to take him back again, at reduced wages or no wages at all,
for he was determined not to remain at Apsley House. 'Has the duke been
finding fault?' said I. 'Oh no, my lord, I would stay if he had; he is
the kindest and most liberal of masters; but I serve him a dinner that
would make Ude or Francatelli burst with envy, and he says nothing; I go
out and leave him to dine on a dinner badly dressed by the cookmaid, and
he says nothing. Dat hurt my feelings, my lord.'"

On the vexed question of "visitors," mistresses might say to their
servants, "When we stay in a lady's house, we cannot ask visitors
without an invitation from our hostess, and we wish you to observe the
same courtesy towards us. When we think it advisable, we will tell you
to invite your friends, but we reserve to ourselves the right to issue
the invitation; and if your friends come to see you, we expect that you
shall ask our permission if you may receive them." A mistress who does
not forget the time when she used to meet her affianced thus writes. "I
always invite their confidence, and if I find any servants of my
household are respectably engaged to be married, I allow the young men
to come occasionally to the house, and perhaps on Christmas Day, or some
festival of the kind, invite them to dine in the kitchen, and I have
never yet found my trust misplaced. I should not like my own daughters
only to see their affianced husbands out of doors, and, though the
circumstances in the two cases differ materially, as a woman I consider
we ought to enter into the feelings of those other women who are serving
under us."

Half the domestic difficulties arise from a want of honesty among
mistresses in the characters which they give each other of the servants
they discharge. Many a servant receives flattering recommendations who
does not deserve any better than the following: "The bearer has been in
my house a year--minus eleven months. During this time she has shown
herself diligent--at the house door; frugal--in work; mindful--of
herself; prompt--in excuses; friendly--towards men; faithful--to her
lovers; and honest--when everything had vanished."

It is often advocated that training-schools should be established for
domestic servants, as a remedy to meet the domestic-servant difficulty.
But improvement must begin at the head. If we are to have
training-schools for domestic servants, the servants may very well say
that there ought to be a training-school for mistresses. To rule well is
even more difficult than to serve well.

The mistress then should learn how and when everything ought to be done,
so that in the first place she can instruct, and, in the second,
correct, if her orders be not carried out. If she does any of the
household work herself, let it be to save keeping a servant, not to help
those she has. The more you do in the way of help, the worse very often
you are served. Let your servants understand that you also have your
duties, and that your object in employing them is to enable you to carry
on your work in comfort. So much have young women been spoiled by this
system of auxiliary labour, that one cook who came to be engaged asked
who was to fill her kitchen scuttle, as she would not do it herself.
Mistresses must unite in the interest of the servants themselves, as
much as in their own, to put down this sort of thing, for the demands
have become so insolent, that, as a smart little maid once expressed it,
"They're all wanting places where the work is put out."



     "If a merchant commenced business without any knowledge of
     arithmetic and book-keeping, we should exclaim at his folly and
     look for disastrous consequences. Or if, before studying anatomy,
     a man set up as a surgical operator, we should wonder at his
     audacity and pity his patients. But that parents should begin the
     difficult task of rearing children without ever having given a
     thought to the principles--physical, moral, or
     intellectual--which ought to guide them, excites neither surprise
     at the actors nor pity for their victims."--_Herbert Spencer._

Whether as bearing on the happiness of parents themselves, or as
affecting the characters and lives of their children, a knowledge of the
right methods of juvenile culture--physical, intellectual, and moral--is
a knowledge of extreme importance. This topic should be the final one in
the course of instruction passed through by each man and woman, but it
is entirely neglected.

"If by some strange chance," says Mr. Herbert Spencer, "not a vestige of
us descended to the remote future save a pile of our school-books or
some college examination papers, we may imagine how puzzled an antiquary
of the period would be on finding in them no sign that the learners were
ever likely to be parents. "This must have been the _curriculum_ for
their celibates," we may fancy him concluding: "I perceive here an
elaborate preparation for many things, but I find no reference whatever
to the bringing up of children." They could not have been so absurd as
to omit all training for this gravest of responsibilities. Evidently,
then, this was the school-course of one of their monastic orders."

Parents go into their office with zeal and good intentions, but without
any better knowledge than that which is supplied by the chances of
unreasoning custom, impulse, fancy, joined with the suggestions of
ignorant nurses and the prejudiced counsel of grandmothers. "Against
stupidity the gods themselves are powerless!" We all understand that
some kind of preparation is necessary for the merchant, the soldier, the
surgeon, or even for making coats and boots; but for the great
responsibility of parenthood all preparation is ignored, and people
begin the difficult task of rearing children without ever having given a
thought to the principles that ought to guide them.

How fatal are the results! Who shall say how many early deaths of
children and enfeebled constitutions, implying moral and intellectual
weakness, are caused by ignorance on the part of parents of the
commonest laws of life? Every one can think of illustrations. Our
clothing is, in reference to the temperature of the body, merely an
equivalent for a certain amount of food, for by diminishing the loss of
heat, it diminishes the amount of fuel needful for maintaining heat.
Those parents cannot be aware of this who give their children scanty
clothing in order to harden them, or who only allow a dawdling walk
beside a grown-up person instead of the boisterous play which all young
animals require and which would produce warmth.

Fathers who pride themselves on taking prizes at cattle-shows for their
sheep and pigs are not at all ashamed never to ascertain the best kind
of food for feeding children. They do not care if their children are fed
with monotonous food, though change of diet is required for the
preservation of health.

And then as to the intellects of children. Ignorance puts books into
their hands full of abstract matter in those early years when the only
lessons they are capable of learning are those taught by concrete
objects. Not knowing that a child's restless observation and sense of
wonder are for a few years its best instructors, parents endeavour to
occupy its attention with dull abstractions. It is no wonder that few
grown-up people know anything about the beauties and wonders of nature.
During those years when the child should have been spelling out nature's
primer and pleasurably exercising his powers of observation, grammar,
languages, and other abstract studies have occupied most of his
attention. Having been "presented with a universal blank of nature's
works" he learns to see everything through books, that is, through other
men's eyes, and the greater part of his knowledge in after life consists
of mere words.

We are aware that it will provoke laughter to hint that for the proper
bringing up of children a knowledge of the elementary principles of
physiology, psychology, and ethics are indispensable. May we not,
however, hold up this ideal of Mr. Herbert Spencer to ourselves and to
others? "Here are," he says, "the indisputable facts: that the
development of children in mind and body follows certain laws; that
unless these laws are in some degree conformed to by parents, death is
inevitable; that unless they are in a great degree conformed to, there
must result serious physical and mental defects, and that only when they
are completely conformed to can a perfect maturity be reached. Judge,
then, whether all who may one day be parents should not strive with some
anxiety to learn what these laws are." "I was not brought up, but
dragged up," said the poor girl in the tale; and she touched
unconsciously the root of nine-tenths of the vice and misery of the

Great as is the importance of some information, if children are to be
properly reared, still knowledge is by no means all that preparation for
parenthood should include. While Doctor Johnson was musing over the fire
one evening in Thrale's drawing-room, a young gentleman suddenly, and,
as Johnson seems to have fancied, somewhat disrespectfully, called to
him: "Mr. Johnson, would you advise me to marry?" _Johnson_ (angrily):
"Sir, I would advise no man to marry who is not likely to propagate

Would the doctor have extended this restriction to all men and women who
are not likely to propagate good bodies and souls? We know that there
are people whose misfortunes and vices will spoil and ruin, not merely
the lives of those they marry, but the lives of their children too. The
miserable inheritance of their imperfections will be transmitted to
coming generations. If it were only possible to keep all these people
single, those who will be living thirty years hence would be living in a
very different world from this.

The only restriction public opinion now puts to any marriage is that it
should not be forbidden by the "Table of Kindred and Affinity" contained
in the Prayer Book. When will all improvident marriages be equally
illegal? When will scrofula, madness, drunkenness, or even bad temper
and excessive selfishness be considered as just causes and impediments
why parties should not be joined together in holy matrimony. Only the
best men and women of this generation--could these be discovered--should
become the parents of the next.

It has been flippantly asked why we should consult the interests of the
next generation since the next generation has done nothing for us. The
answer is plain. We have no right to bequeath to it an heritage of woe.
Every man and woman can do much to make themselves worthy of the honour
and responsibility of being a parent. Let them preserve their health,
cultivate their social affections, and, above all, abstain from those
sins which science and bitter experience assure us are visited on
children. It is only when they do this that a new edition of themselves
is called for.

  "Who is the happy husband? He
    Who, scanning his unwedded life,
  Thanks Heaven, with a conscience free,
    'Twas faithful to his future wife."

And who are the happy parents? Those who, scanning their unwedded lives,
thank Heaven they were faithful to future children.

It is to be hoped that few men now are as careless or as ignorant of
consequences to children as was Mr. Tulliver in George Eliot's "Mill on
the Floss," when he picked his wife from her sisters "o' purpose, 'cause
she was a bit weak, like." We have come to see that, in order to be good
mothers, women must be very unlike Mrs. Pullet in the same story, who
was bent on proving her gentility and wealth by the delicacy of her
health, and the quantity of doctor's stuff she could afford to imbibe.

But parents have not altogether given up sacrificing their own health
and the health of their children to the Moloch of fashion. They have not
quite ceased to burn incense to vanity. We have still to complain, as
did Frances Kemble, that the race is ruined for the sake of fashion. "I
cannot believe that women were intended to suffer as much as they do,
and be as helpless as they are, in child-bearing; but rather that both
are the consequences of our many and various abuses of our constitutions
and infractions of God's natural laws. Tight stays, tight garters, tight
shoes, and similar concessions to the vagaries of feminine fashion, are
accountable for many of the ills that afflict both mother and child."

When King David was forbidden to build a temple for God's service
because he had shed blood abundantly, with noble self-forgetfulness he
laid up before his death materials with which Solomon his son might have
the honour of building it. If parents would imitate his example and lay
up the materials of good character and health, what glorious temples
they might erect to God in the bodies, minds, and souls of their



  "A dreary place would be this earth
    Were there no little people in it;
  The song of life would lose its mirth
    Were there no children to begin it.

  "No babe within our arms to leap,
    No little feet toward slumber tending;
  No little knee in prayer to bend,
    Our lips the sweet words lending.

  "The sterner souls would grow more stern,
    Unfeeling natures more inhuman,
  And man to stoic coldness turn,
    And woman would be less than woman.

  "Life's song, indeed, would lose its charm,
    Were there no babies to begin it;
  A doleful place this world would be,
    Were there no little people in it."--_John Greenleaf Whittier._

When Franklin made his discovery of the identity of lightning and
electricity, people asked, "Of what use is it?" The philosopher's retort
was: "What is the use of a child? It may become a man!" This
question--"What is the use of a child?" is not likely to be asked by our
young married friends in reference to the first miniature pledge who is
about to crown their wishes. They believe that one day he will become
"the guardian of the liberties of Europe, the bulwark and honour of his
aged parents." What a bond of union! What an incentive to tenderness!
That husband has an unfeeling disposition who does not find himself
irresistibly drawn by the new and tender tie that now exists.

I hope I appreciate the value of children. We should soon come to
nothing without them. What is a house without a baby? It may be
comparatively quiet, but it is very dull. A childless home misses its
discipline and loses its music.

Children are _not_ "certain sorrows and uncertain pleasures" when
properly managed. If some parents taste the stream bitter it is very
often they themselves who have poisoned the fountain. They treated their
children when very young merely as playthings, humouring every caprice,
and sacrificing to present fancies future welfare; then, when the charm
of infancy had passed, they commenced a system of restraint and
severity, and displayed displeasure and irritability at the very defects
of which they themselves laid the foundation.

"In an evening spent with Emerson," says one who knew him, "he made one
remark which left a memorable impression on my mind. Two children of the
gentleman at whose house we met were playing in the room, when their
father remarked, 'Just the interesting age.' 'And at what age,' asked
Mr. Emerson, 'are children _not_ interesting?'" He regarded them with
the eye of a philosopher and a poet, and saw the possibilities that
surround their very being with infinite interest. Each of his own
children was for him a harbinger of sunny hours, an angel sent from God
with tidings of hope.

Jeremy Taylor says, "No man can tell but he that loves his children how
many delicious accents make a man's heart dance in the pretty
conversation of those dear pledges; their childishness, their
stammering, their little angers, their innocence, their imperfections,
their necessities, are so many little emanations of joy and comfort to
him that delights in their persons and society." And what shall be said
of the man who does not love his children? That he, far more than the
unmusical man--

  "Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
  The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
  And his affections dark as Erebus.
  Let no such man be trusted."

"Civic virtues, unless they have their origin and consecration in
private and domestic virtues, are but the virtues of the theatre. He who
has not a loving heart for his child, cannot pretend to have any true
love for humanity."

"I do not wonder," said Dr. Arnold, "that it was thought a great
misfortune to die childless in old times, when they had not fuller
light--it seems so completely wiping a man out of existence." "Write ye
this man child-less." Cuvier's four children died before him. In his
sixty-seventh year we find Moore writing, "The last of our five children
is now gone, and we are left desolate and alone. Not a single relative
have I left now in the world." How Hallam was successively bereaved of
sons so rich in promise is well known. There is a touching gravestone in
the cloisters of Westminster Abbey with the inscription, "Jane Lister,
deare child, died Oct. 7, 1688." These parents knew only too well the
value of a child.

A merchant in the city was accustomed to demand an excuse from his
clerks whenever they arrived late. The excuse given, he invariably
added, "Very well; but don't let it happen again." One morning a married
clerk, being behind time, was promptly interrogated as to the cause.
Slightly embarrassed, he replied, "The truth is, sir, I had an addition
to my family this morning, and it was not convenient to be here sooner."
"Very well," said the merchant, in his quick, nervous manner, "very
well; but don't let it happen again."

There are people who think one, or, at most, two children, very well,
but they don't wish it to happen again and again. So frequently do
additions happen at Salt Lake City that nine families can, it is said,
fill the theatre. One must love children very much to see the use of
possessing the ninth part of a theatre-ful. And yet a family that is too
small is almost as great an evil as one that is too large. It may be
called a "large little family." Often an only child gives as much
trouble as a large family. Dr. Smiles tells us that a lady who, with her
husband, had inspected most of the lunatic asylums of England and the
Continent, found the most numerous class of patients was almost always
composed of those who had been only children, and whose wills had
therefore rarely been thwarted or disciplined in early life.

What constitutes a large family? Upon this point there is much
difference of opinion. A poor woman was complaining one day that she did
not receive her proper share of charitable doles. Her neighbour Mrs.
Hawke, in the next court, came in for everything and "got more than ever
she was entitled to; for Mrs. Hawke had no family--not to speak of; only
nine." "Only nine! how many then have you?" was the natural rejoinder.
"Fourteen living," she replied. But even fourteen is not such a very
large number when one is used to it. Some one is said to have begun a
story of some trifling adventure which had befallen him with the words,
"As I was crossing Oxford Street the other day with fourteen of my
daughters"--Laughter followed, and the narrator never got beyond those
introductory words. We do not believe this anecdote, but if it were
true, was there not something heroic in the contented, matter-of-fact
way in which the man spoke of his belongings? "Fourteen of my
daughters!" An unsympathizing spectator might have said that any one
with such a following ought to have been crossing not Oxford Street, but
the Atlantic.

A nursery-maid was leading a little child up and down a garden. "Is't a
laddie or a lassie?" asked the gardener. "A laddie," said the maid.
"Weel," said he, "I'm glad o' that, for there's ower mony women in the
world." "Heck, man," was the reply, "did ye no ken there's aye maist
sown o' the best crap?" This rejoinder was more ready than correct, for
as a matter of fact more boys are born than girls. It is natural for
parents to desire offspring of both sexes. Both are required to complete
a family. Being brought up together the boys acquire something of their
sisters' delicacy and tact, while the girls learn something of their
brothers' self-reliance and independence.

"Desire not a multitude of unprofitable children, neither delight in
ungodly sons. Though they multiply, rejoice not in them, except the fear
of the Lord be with them. Trust not thou in their life, neither respect
their multitude: for one that is just is better than a thousand; and
better it is to die without children, than to have them that are
ungodly." In reference to children quality is far more to be desired
than quantity. Without accepting pessimism, we may deny that the mere
propagation of the human race is an object which presents itself as in
itself a good. The chief end of man is not simply to have "the hope and
the misfortune of being," but to glorify God and to serve humanity. What
is the use of a child who is likely to do neither?

If it be the will of God to withhold offspring from a young couple,
nothing should be said either by the husband or wife that could give the
other pain on the subject. To do so is more than reprehensible; it is
odious and contemptible. How unlike Elkanah, when, with sentiments at
once manly and tender, he thus addresses his weeping wife--"Hannah, why
weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am
not I better to thee than ten sons?"

                      "We, ignorant of ourselves,
  Beg often our own harms which the wise powers
  Deny us for our good; so find we profit
  By losing of our prayers."

Writing on this subject a lady tells us that she had a relation who was
married some years without having a child. Her feelings partook not only
of grief, but of anguish: at length, a lovely boy was granted her.
"Spare, O God, the life of _my blessing_," was her constant prayer. Her
blessing _was_ spared: he grew to the years of manhood; squandered a
fine fortune; married a servant-maid; and broke his mother's heart!

Another intimate friend of the author's was inconsolable for not having
children. At length, the prospect of her becoming a mother was certain,
and her joy was extreme. The moment of trial arrived: for four days and
nights her sufferings and torture were not to be allayed by medical
skill or human aid. At length her cries ceased; and, at the same moment
that she gave birth to _two_ children, she herself had become a corpse.
"Give me children," said the impatient and weeping Rachel, "or else I
die" (Gen. XXX. 1). Her prayer was heard, and in giving birth to her boy
the mother expired.

Another impassioned mother, as she bent over the bed of her sick infant,
called out, "Oh, no; I _cannot_ resign him. It is impossible; I _cannot_
resign him." A person present, struck with her words, noted them down in
a daily journal which he kept. The boy recovered; and that day
one-and-twenty years he was hanged as a murderer!

How terrible it is when a much-desired child is born to a comparatively
useless existence by reason of some deficiency or deformity. Very
touching is the story of a lady who, though deaf and dumb, became the
wife of an earl through her beauty. In due course the king o' the world,
the baby, presented himself--a fine child, of course, and a future earl.
Soon after its birth, as the nurse sat watching the babe, she saw the
countess mother approach the cradle with a huge china vase, lift it
above the head of the sleeping child, and poise it to dash it down.
Petrified with horror, wondering at the strange look of the mother's
face, the nurse sat powerless and still; she dared not even cry out; she
was not near enough to throw herself between the victim and the blow.
The heavy mass was thrown down with a tremendous force and crash on the
floor beside the cradle, and the babe awoke terrified and screaming,
clung to his delighted mother, who had made the experiment to discover
whether her child had the precious gift of voice and hearing, or was
like herself, a mute.

In his "Bachelor's Complaint of the Behaviour of Married People,"
Charles Lamb speaks of "the airs which these creatures give themselves
when they come, as they generally do, to have children. When I consider
how little of a rarity children are--that every street and blind alley
swarms with them--that the poorest people commonly have them in most
abundance--that there are few marriages that are not blest with at least
one of these bargains--how often they turn out ill and defeat the fond
hopes of their parents, taking to vicious courses, which end in poverty,
disgrace, the gallows, &c.--I cannot for my life tell what cause for
pride there can possibly be in having them. If they were young
phoenixes, indeed, that were born but one in a hundred years, there
might be a pretext. But when they are so common----"

It is, however, far better for married people to take pride in their
children than to be as indifferent to them as was a certain old lady who
had brought up a family of children near a river. A gentleman once said
to her, "I should think you would have lived in constant fear that some
of them would have got drowned." "Oh no," responded the old lady, "we
only lost three or four in that way."

What is the use of a child? Not very much unless its parents accept it,
not as a plaything, much less as a nuisance, but as a most sacred
trust--a talent to be put to the best account. It is neither to be
spoiled nor buried in the earth--how many careless mothers do this
literally!--but to be made the most of for God and for man. Perhaps
there was only One who perfectly understood the use of a child. "Suffer
the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is
the kingdom of God." In some lines to a child Longfellow has well
answered the question we have been considering.

  "Enough! I will not play the Seer;
  I will no longer strive to ope
  The mystic volume, where appear
  The herald Hope, forerunning Fear,
  And Fear, the pursuivant of Hope.
  Thy destiny remains untold."

In the next chapter we shall point out how useful children are in
educating their parents.



  "O dearest, dearest boy! my heart
    For better lore would seldom yearn,
  Could I but teach the hundredth part
    Of what from thee I learn."--_Wordsworth._

     "How admirable is the arrangement through which human beings are
     led by their strongest affections to subject themselves to a
     discipline they would else elude."--_Herbert Spencer._

"My friend," said an old Quaker, to a lady who contemplated adopting a
child, "I know not how far thou wilt succeed in educating her, but I am
quite certain she will educate you." How encouraging and strengthening
it should be for parents to reflect that, in training up their children
in the way they should go, they are at the same time training up
themselves in the way _they_ should go; that along with the education of
their children their own higher education cannot but be carried on. In
"Silas Marner," George Eliot has shown how by means of a little child a
human soul may be redeemed from cold, petrifying isolation; how all its
feelings may be freshened, rejuvenated, and made to flutter with new
hope and activity.

Very simple is the pathos of this matchless work of art. Nothing but the
story of a faithless love and a false friend and the loss of trust in
all things human or divine. Nothing but the story of a lone, bewildered
weaver, shut out from his kind, concentrating every baulked passion into
one--the all-engrossing passion for gold. And then the sudden
disappearance of the hoard from its accustomed hiding-place, and in its
stead the startling apparition of a golden-haired little child found one
snowy winter's night sleeping on the floor in front of the glimmering
hearth. And the gradual reawakening of love in the heart of the solitary
man, a love "drawing his hope and joy continually onward beyond the
money," and once more bringing him into sympathetic relations with his
fellow men. "In old days," says the story, "there were angels who came
and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction.
We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from
threatening destruction; a hand is put into theirs which leads them
forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more
backward, and the hand may be a little child's."

Children renew the youth of their parents and enable them to mount up
with wings as eagles, instead of becoming chained to the rock of
selfishness. We do not believe that "all children are born good," for it
is the experience of every one that the evil tendencies of fathers are
visited upon their children unto the third and fourth generation.
Nevertheless all men are exhorted by the highest authority to follow
their innocency, which is great indeed as compared to _our_ condition

  "Through life's drear road, so dim and dirty,
  Have dragged on to three-and-thirty."

"Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he
shall not enter therein." Evil tendencies are checked and good ones are
educated or drawn out by children, for they call to remembrance--

  "Those early days, when I
  Shined in my angel-infancy,
  Before I taught my tongue to wound
  My conscience with a sinful sound,
  Or had the black art to dispense
  A several sin to every sense,
  But felt through all this fleshly dress
  Bright shoots of everlastingness."

When daily farther from the east--from God who is our home--we have
travelled, children are sent to recall us or at least to make us long
"to travel back, and tread again that ancient track."

Whatever we attempt to teach children we must first practise ourselves.
Whatever a parent wishes his child to avoid he must make up his mind to
renounce, and, on the other hand, if we leave off any good habit, we
need not expect our children to continue it. Only the other day I heard
a boy of five say to his father, "You must not be cross, for if you are,
I shall be that when I grow up." "Mother," said a small urchin, who had
just been saying his prayers at her knees; "Mother, when may I leave off
my prayers?" "Oh, Tommy, what a notion! What do you mean?" "Well,
mother, father never says his prayers, and I thought I was old enough to
leave them off."

In young children the capacity for mimicry is very strong. They imitate
whatever they see done by their elders. How wrong, then, is it for
people to say or do before even a very young child what they would not
say or do before an adult, supposed to be more observant! We must not
say, "Oh, there's no one present but the child," for "the child" is
reading, marking, and inwardly digesting character as it is exhibited in
words, looks, and deeds. For the sake, then, of their children, if not
for their own sakes, parents should seek to be very self-restrained,
truthful, and, above all things, just. Right habits are imparted to
children almost as easily as wrong ones.

The education of parents begins from the day their first child is born.
A young man and woman may be selfish and egotistical enough until the
"baby" comes as a teacher of practical Christianity into their home. Now
they have to think of somebody beside themselves, to give up not a few
of their comforts and individual "ways," for the one important thing in
the house is King "Baby." If they really love their children, parents
will become truthful in act as well as in word, knowing that truthful
habits must be learned in childhood or not at all. They will be so just
that "You'r' not fair" will never be rightly charged against them. And,
as regards sympathy, they will try to be the friends and companions in
sorrow and in joy as well as the parents of their children.

Nor is it only the moral nature that is developed in the school of
parenthood. Even to attempt to answer the wise questions of children is
a task difficult enough to afford healthy exercise to the greatest
minds. When a child begins to cross-examine its parents as to why the
fire burns, how his carte-de-visite was taken, how many stars there are,
why people suffer, why God does not kill the devil--grown-up ignorance
or want of sympathy too often laughs at him, says that children should
not ask tiresome questions, and not only checks the inquiring spirit
within him, but misses the intellectual improvement that would have come
from endeavouring to answer his questions.

"Little people should be seen and not heard" is a stupid saying, which
makes young observers shy of imparting to their elders the things that
arrest their attention. Children would gladly learn and gladly teach,
but if they are frequently snubbed they will do neither. Men such as
Professor Robinson of Edinburgh, the first editor of the "Encyclopædia
Britannica," have not been above receiving intellectual improvement and
pleasure from a little child. "I am delighted," he wrote in reference to
his grandchild, "with observing the growth of its little soul, and
particularly with its numberless instincts, which formerly passed
unheeded. I thank the French theorists for more forcibly directing my
attention to the finger of God, which I discern in every awkward
movement and every wayward whim. They are all guardians of his life and
growth and power. I regret indeed that I have not time to make infancy
and the development of its powers my sole study."

Some parents seem to imagine that they sufficiently perform their duty
when they give their children a good education. They forget that there
is the education of the fireside as well as of the school. At schools
and academies there is no cultivation of the affections, but often very
much of the reverse. Hence the value to the young of kindly home
influences that touch the heart and understanding.

Among the poems of George Macdonald are the following pretty and playful
lines called simply "The Baby"--

  "Where did you come from, baby dear?
  Out of the everywhere into here.
  Where did you get your eyes so blue?
  Out of the skies as I came through.
  What makes your forehead smooth and high?
  A soft hand stroked it as I went by.
  What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
  I saw something better than any one knows.
  Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?
  Three angels gave me at once a kiss.
  Where did you get that coral ear?
  God spoke, and it came out to hear.
  Where did you get those arms and hands?
  Love made itself into bonds and bands.
  Whence came your feet, dear little things?
  From the same box as the cherubs' wings.
  How did they all first come to be you?
  God thought about me, and so I grew.
  But how did you come to us, you dear?
  God thought about you, and so I am here.

Yes, God is thinking about our highest interests when He sends children
to us. They are sent as little missionaries to turn us from evil and to
develop within us the Divine image. When we see sin stirring in our
children, no stroke seems too heavy to crush the noxious passion before
it grows to fell dimensions and laughs to scorn the sternest
chastisement. Heaven is saying to us, "Physician, heal thyself; strike
hard, strike home; purge thine own heart of the evil. Lest your
children should suffer, restrain your temper, curb your passions, master
your unholy desires."

This, then, is one of the most important reasons why God "setteth the
solitary in families." He desires not only that they should train up
children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but also that they
may by doing so be brought to Him themselves. When the day of account
comes, after life's brief stormy passage is over, He wishes them to be
able to say, "Here am I, for I have been educated by the children whom
Thou hast given me."



     "There are comparatively very few women not replete with maternal
     love; and, by the by, take you care if you meet with a girl who
     '_is not fond of children_,' not to marry her _by any means_.
     Some few there are who even make a boast that they 'cannot bear
     children,' that is, cannot _endure_ them. I never knew a man that
     was good for _much_ who had a dislike to little children; and I
     never knew a woman of that taste who was good for anything at
     all. I have seen a few such in the course of my life, and I have
     never wished to see one of them a second time."--_Cobbett's
     "Advice to Young Men."_

Napoleon Buonaparte was accustomed to say that "the future good or bad
conduct of a child depended entirely on the mother." In the course of a
conversation with Madame Campan he remarked: "The old systems of
instruction seem to be worth nothing; what is yet wanting in order that
the people should be properly educated?" "Mothers," replied Madame
Campan. The reply struck the emperor. "Yes!" said he, "here is a system
of education in one word. Be it your care, then, to train up mothers
who shall know how to educate their children."

"She who rocks the cradle rules the world," for she it is who guides and
trains the opening minds of those who shall influence the coming
generation. In its earliest years, the mother's every look, tone of
voice, and action, sink into the heart and memory of her child and are
presently reproduced in its own life. From this point of view the throne
of motherhood ought, as Madame Lætitia Buonaparte believed, to take
precedence of that of kings. When her son, on becoming an emperor, half
playfully, half gravely offered her his hand to kiss, she flung it back
to him indignantly, saying, in the presence of his courtiers, "It is
your duty to kiss the hand of her who gave you life."

No wonder that a good mother has been called nature's _chef d'oeuvre_,
for she is not only the perfection of womanhood, but the most beautiful
and valuable of nature's productions. To her the world is indebted for
the work done by most of its great and gifted men. As letters cut in the
bark of a young tree grow and widen with age, so do the ideas which a
mother implants in the mind of her talented child. Thus Scott is said to
have received his first bent towards ballad literature from his mother's
and grandmother's recitations in his hearing long before he himself had
learned to read. Goethe owed the bias of his mind and character to his
mother, who possessed in a high degree the art of stimulating young and
active minds, instructing them in the science of life out of the
treasures of her abundant experience. After a lengthened interview with
her a traveller said, "Now do I understand how Goethe has become the
man he is." Goethe himself affectionately cherished her memory. "She was
worthy of life!" he once said of her; and when he visited Frankfort, he
sought out every individual who had been kind to his mother, and thanked
them. The poet Gray was equally grateful to his mother. On the memorial
which he erected over her remains he described her as "the careful,
tender mother of many children, one of whom alone had the misfortune to
survive her." In a corner of his room there was a trunk containing the
carefully folded dresses of his dead mother, whom he never mentioned
without a sigh.

When a mother once asked a clergyman when she should begin the education
of her child, then four years old, he replied: "Madam, if you have not
begun already, you have lost those four years. From the first smile that
gleams upon an infant's cheek, your opportunity begins." Cowper's mother
must have well used this opportunity considering the impression her
brief companionship made upon the poet. She died when he was six years
old, and yet in after-life he could say that not a week passed in which
he did not think of her. When his cousin one day presented him with a
portrait of his mother he said: "I had rather possess that picture than
the richest jewel in the British crown; for I loved her with an
affection that her death, fifty-two years since, has not in the least
abated." Surely it is better for a mother to merit such love than to
leave the care of her children almost entirely to servants because all
her time is occupied "serving divers lusts and pleasures."

"Give your child to be educated by a slave," said an ancient Greek, "and
instead of one slave, you will then have two." On the other hand, "happy
is he whom his mother teacheth." One good mother is worth a hundred
nurses or teachers. If from any cause, whether from necessity, or from
indolence, or from desire for company, children are deprived of a
mother's care, instruction, and influence, it is an incalculable loss.

Curran spoke with great affection of his mother, as a woman of strong
original understanding, to whose wise counsel, consistent piety, and
lessons of honourable ambition, which she diligently enforced on the
minds of her children, he himself principally attributed his success in
life. "The only inheritance," he used to say, "that I could boast of
from my poor father, was the very scanty one of an unattractive face and
person, like his own; and if the world has ever attributed to me
something more valuable than face or person, or than earthly wealth, it
was because another and a dearer parent gave her child a portion from
the treasure of her mind."

Mrs. Wesley, the mother of John Wesley, made it a rule to converse alone
with one of her little ones every evening, listening to their childish
confessions, and giving counsel in their childish perplexities. She was
the patient teacher as well as the cheerful companion of her children.
When some one said to her, "Why do you tell that blockhead the same
thing twenty times over?" she replied, "Because if I had told him only
nineteen times I should have lost all my labour." So deep was the hold
this mother had on the hearts of her sons, that in his early manhood she
had tenderly to rebuke John for that "fond wish of his, to die before
she died." It was through the bias given by her to her sons' minds in
religious matters that they acquired the tendency which, even in early
years, drew to them the name of Methodists. In a letter to her son,
Samuel, when a scholar at Westminster, she said: "I would advise you as
much as possible to throw your business into a certain _method_, by
which means you will learn to improve every precious moment, and find an
unspeakable facility in the performance of your respective duties." This
"method" she went on to describe, exhorting her son "in all things to
act upon principle;" and the society which the brothers John and Charles
afterwards founded at Oxford is supposed to have been in a great measure
the result of her exhortations.

The example of such mothers as Lord Byron's serves for a warning, for it
shows that the influence of a bad mother is quite as hurtful as that of
a good one is beneficial. She is said to have died in a fit of passion,
brought on by reading her upholsterer's bills. She even taunted her son
with his personal deformity; and it was no unfrequent occurrence, in the
violent quarrels which occurred between them, for her to take up the
poker or tongs, and hurl them after him as he fled from her presence. It
was this unnatural treatment that gave a morbid turn to Byron's
after-life; and, careworn, unhappy, great, and yet weak as he was, he
carried about with him the mother's poison which he had sucked in his
infancy. Hence he exclaims, in "Childe Harold"--

  "Yet must I think less wildly:--I have though
  Too long and darkly, till my brain became,
  In its own eddy boiling and o'erwrought,
  A whirling gulf of phantasy and flame:
  And thus, _untaught in youth my heart to tame_,
  _My springs of life were poisoned_,"

In like manner, though in a different way, the character of Mrs. Foote,
the actor's mother, was curiously repeated in the life of her joyous,
jovial-hearted son. Though she had been heiress to a large fortune, she
soon spent it all, and was at length imprisoned for debt. In this
condition she wrote to Sam, who had been allowing her a hundred a year
out of the proceeds of his acting: "Dear Sam, I am in prison for debt;
come and assist your loving mother, E. Foote." To which her son
characteristically replied--"Dear mother, so am I; which prevents his
duty being paid to his loving mother by her affectionate son, Sam

Mothers ought not to deceive themselves so far as to think that when
they over-indulge their children they are exhibiting genuine mothers'
love. In reality they are merely shifting their method of self-pleasing.
We believe the love of God to be the supreme love; but have we ever
reflected that in that awful love of God for His poor children of clay
there must be mingled at once infinite tenderness and pity, and at the
same time a severity which never shrinks from any suffering needed to
recall us from sin? This is the ideal of all love towards which we
should strive to lift our poor, feeble, short-sighted, selfish
affections; and which it above all concerns a parent to strive to
translate into the language of human duty. This is the truest love, the
love which attaches itself to the very soul of the child, which repents
with it, with tears bitterer than its own, for its faults, and, while
heaping on it so far as may be every innocent pleasure, never for an
instant abandons the thought of its highest and ultimate welfare.

The loving instruction of a mother may seem to have been thrown away,
but it will appear after many days. "When I was a little child," said a
good old man, "my mother used to bid me kneel down beside her, and place
her hand upon my head while she prayed. Ere I was old enough to know her
worth she died, and I was left too much to my own guidance. Like others,
I was inclined to evil passions, but often felt myself checked and, as
it were, drawn back by a soft hand upon my head. When a young man I
travelled in foreign lands, and was exposed to many temptations; but,
when I would have yielded, that same hand was upon my head, and I was
saved. I seemed to feel its pressure as in the happy days of infancy;
and sometimes there came with it a voice in my heart, a voice that was
obeyed: 'Oh do not this wickedness, my son, nor sin against God.'"

With children you must mix gentleness with firmness. "A man who is
learning to play on a trumpet and a petted child are two very
disagreeable companions." If a mother never has headaches through
rebuking her little children, she shall have plenty of heartaches when
they grow up. At the same time, a mother should not hamper her child
with unnecessary, foolish restrictions. It is a great mistake to fancy
that your boy is made of glass, and to be always telling him not to do
this and not to do that for fear of his breaking himself. On the
principle never to give pain unless it is to prevent a greater pain, you
should grant every request which is at all reasonable, and let him see
that your denial of a thing is for his own good, and not simply to save
trouble; but once having settled a thing hold to it. Unless a child
learns from the first that his mother's yea is yea, and her nay nay, it
will get into the habit of whining and endeavouring to coax her out of
her refusal, and her authority will soon be gone.

Unselfish mothers must be careful not to make their children selfish.
The mother who is continually giving up her own time, money, strength,
and pleasure for the gratification of her children teaches them to
expect it always. They learn to be importunate in their demands and to
expect more and more. If the mother wears an old dress that her idle son
may have a new coat, if she works that he may play, she is helping to
make him vain, selfish, and good-for-nothing. The wise mother will
insist upon being the head of her household, and with quiet unobtrusive
dignity she will hold that place. She should never become the subject of
her own children. Even in such mere external matters as dress and
furniture her life should be better equipped. The crown should be on her
head, not on theirs. Thus from babyhood they should be habituated to
look up to, not down on, their mother. She should find time, or make it,
to care for her own culture; to keep her intellectual and her art nature
alive. The children may advance beyond her knowledge; let her look to it
that they do not advance beyond her intellectual sympathies. Woe to both
her and them if she does not keep them well in sight!

Happiness is the natural condition of every normal child, and if the
small boy or girl has a peculiar facility for any one thing, it is for
self-entertainment. One of the greatest defects in our modern method of
treating children is to overload them with costly and elaborate toys, by
which we cramp their native ingenuity or perhaps force their tastes into
the wrong channel. The children of the humbler and the unpampered
classes are far happier than are those children whose created wants are
legion and require a fortune for their satisfaction.

Some mothers believe that they are exhibiting the proper "maternal
feelings" in keeping their children at home when they should send them
forth into the world, where alone they can be taught the virtue of
self-dependence. A time will come when the active young man who is
checked by foolish fondness will exclaim with bitterness--

  "Prison'd and kept, and coax'd and whistled to--
  Since the good mother holds me still a child,
  Good mother is bad mother unto me!
  A worse were better!"

Far more truly loving is the mother who sends her son into the battle of
life preferring anything for him rather than a soft, indolent, useless
existence. Such a mother is like those Spartan mothers who used to say
to their sons as they handed to them their shields, "With it or upon it,
my son!" Better death than dishonour was also the feeling of the mother
of the successful missionary William Knibb. Her parting words to him
were "William, William! mind, William, I had rather hear that you had
perished at sea, than that you had dishonoured the Society you go to

Never promise a child and then fail to perform, whether you promise him
a bun or a beating, for if once you lose your child's confidence you
will find it all but impossible to regain it. Happy is the mother who
can say, "I never told my child a lie, nor ever deceived him, even for
what seemed his good." Robert Hall once reproved a young mother because,
in putting a little baby to bed, she put on her own nightcap, and lay
down by it till it went to sleep. "Madam," said the eloquent preacher,
"you are acting a lie, and teaching the child to lie." It was in vain
that the mother pleaded that the child would not go to sleep. "That,"
said Hall, "is nonsense. Properly brought up it must sleep. Make it know
what you want; obedience is necessary on its part, but not a lie on



  "And kings shall be thy nursing fathers."--_Isaiah_ xlix. 23.

It is an old saying, "Praise the child and you make love to the mother;"
and it is a thing that no husband ought to overlook, for if the wife
wish her child to be admired by others, what must be the ardour of her
wishes with regard to _his_ admiration! Cobbett tells us that there was
a drunken man in his regiment, who used to say that his wife would
forgive him for spending all the pay, and the washing money into the
bargain, "if he would but kiss her ugly brat, and say it was pretty."
Though this was a profligate he had philosophy in him; and certain it is
that there is nothing worthy of the name of conjugal happiness unless
the husband clearly evince that he is fond of his children.

Where you find children loving and helpful to their mothers, you
generally find their father at the bottom of it. If the husband respect
his wife the children will respect their mother. If the husband rises to
offer her a chair, they will not sit still when she enters the room; if
he helps to bear her burdens, they will not let her be the pack-horse of
the household. If to her husband the wife is but an upper servant, to
her children she will easily become but a waiting-maid. The first care
of the true, wise husband will be to sustain the authority of the wife
and mother. It must be a very remarkable exigency which allows him to
sit as a court of appeal from her decisions, and reverse them. But
although husbands ought not to vexatiously interfere with their wives in
the management of children, especially of young children, still they
must not shirk their share of care and responsibility. It was not
without reason that Diogenes struck the father when the son swore,
because he had taught him no better.

There is no effeminacy in the title "nursing fathers," but the contrary.
Fondness for children arises from compassionate feeling for creatures
that are helpless and innocent.

Napoleon loved the man who held with a steel hand, covered with a silk
glove; so should the father be gentle but firm. Happy is he who is happy
in his children, and happy are the children who are happy in their
father. All fathers are not wise. Some are like Eli, and spoil their
children. Not to cross our children is the way to make a cross of them.
But, "Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath." That is, do not
irritate them by unwise or capricious rules and ways. Help your wives to
make the home lively and pleasant, so as to keep the children from
seeking pleasure and excitement elsewhere. The proverb says that
"Clergymen's sons always turn out badly." Why? Because the children are
surfeited with severe religion, _not_ with the true religion of Christ,
who was Himself reproved by the prototypes of such severe men.

"Where," asks Mr. James Payn, "is the children's fun? Boys are now
crammed with knowledge like turkeys (but unfortunately not killed at
Christmas), and there is absolutely no room in them for a joke." An idol
called "success" is put up for worship, and fathers are ready to
sacrifice the health and happiness of their children upon its altar.
"The educational abomination of desolation of the present day," says
Professor Huxley, "is the stimulation of young people to work at high
pressure by incessant examinations." Some wise man (who probably was not
an early riser) has said of early risers in general, that they are
"conceited all the forenoon, and stupid all the afternoon." Now whether
this is true of early risers in the common acceptation of the word or
not, I will not pretend to say; but it is too often true of the unhappy
children who are forced to rise too early in their classes. They are
"conceited all the forenoon of life, and stupid all its afternoon." How
much unhappiness might children be spared if fathers would goad them
less, and sometimes cheer up that dulness which has fallen to most of
us, by saying:

  "Be good, dear child, and let who will be clever;
    Do noble things--nor dream them all day long;
  And so make life, death, and that vast for ever
    One grand, sweet song."

What to do with our boys and girls is certainly a serious question, but
the last thing we should do with them is to make them miserable. Why not
disregard all false notions of gentility, and have each child well
taught a manual trade? Then they will have riches in their arms, and you
will have escaped the unpleasant alternative of the Jewish proverb,
which says that he who does not teach his son a trade teaches him to

We give here a sketch of Canon Kingsley as a father, because we do not
remember any home life more beautiful and instructive. Because the
Rectory-house was on low ground, the rector of Eversley, who considered
violation of the divine laws of health a sort of acted blasphemy, built
his children an outdoor nursery on the "Mount," where they kept books,
toys, and tea things, spending long, happy days on the highest and
loveliest point of moorland in the glebe; and there he would join them
when his parish work was done, bringing them some fresh treasure picked
up in his walk, a choice wild-flower or fern or rare beetle, sometimes a
lizard or a field-mouse; ever waking up their sense of wonder, calling
out their powers of observation, and teaching them lessons out of God's
great green book, _without their knowing_ they were learning.
Out-of-doors and indoors, the Sundays were the happiest days of the week
to the children, though to their father the hardest. When his day's work
was done, there was always the Sunday walk, in which each bird and plant
and brook was pointed out to the children, as preaching sermons to Eyes,
such as were not even dreamt of by people of the No-eyes species.
Indoors the Sunday picture-books were brought out, and each child chose
its subject for the father to draw, either some Bible story, or bird or
beast or flower. In all ways he fostered in his children a love of
animals. They were taught to handle without disgust toads, frogs,
beetles, as works from the hand of a living God. His guests were
surprised one morning at breakfast when his little girl ran up to the
open window of the dining-room, holding a long, repulsive-looking worm
in her hand: "Oh, daddy, look at this _delightful_ worm!"

Kingsley had a horror of corporal punishment, not merely because it
tends to produce antagonism between parent and child, but because he
considered more than half the lying of children to be the result of fear
of punishment. "Do not train a child," he said, "as men train a horse,
by letting anger and punishment be the _first_ announcement of his
having sinned. If you do, you induce two bad habits: first, the boy
regards his parent with a kind of blind dread, as a being who may be
offended by actions which to _him_ are innocent, and whose wrath he
expects to fall upon him at any moment in his most pure and unselfish
happiness. Next, and worst still, the boy learns not to fear sin, but
the punishment of it, and thus he learns to lie." He was careful too not
to confuse his children by a multiplicity of small rules. "It is
difficult enough to keep the Ten Commandments," he would say, "without
making an eleventh in every direction." He had no "moods" with his
family, for he cultivated, by strict self-discipline in the midst of
worries and pressing business, a disengaged temper, that always enabled
him to enter into other people's interests, and especially into
children's playfulness. "I wonder," he would say, "if there is so much
laughing in any other home in England as in ours." He became a
light-hearted boy in the presence of his children. When nursery griefs
and broken toys were taken to his study, he was never too busy to mend
the toy and dry the tears. He held with Jean Paul Richter, that children
have their "days and hours of rain," which parents should not take much
notice of, either for anxiety or sermons, but should lightly pass over,
except when they are symptoms of coming illness. And his knowledge of
physiology enabled him to detect such symptoms. He recognized the fact,
that weariness at lessons and sudden fits of obstinacy are not hastily
to be treated as moral delinquencies, springing as they so often do from
physical causes, which are best counteracted by cessation from work and
change of scene.

How blessed is the son who can speak of his father as Charles Kingsley's
eldest son does. "'Perfect love casteth out fear', was the motto," he
says, "on which my father based his theory of bringing up children. From
this and from the interests he took in their pursuits, their pleasures,
trials, and even the petty details of their everyday life, there sprang
up a friendship between father and children, that increased in intensity
and depth with years. To speak for myself, he was the best friend--the
only true friend I ever had. At once he was the most fatherly and the
most unfatherly of fathers--fatherly in that he was our intimate friend
and our self-constituted adviser; unfatherly in that our feeling for him
lacked that fear and restraint that make boys call their father 'the
governor.' Ours was the only household I ever saw in which there was no
favouritism. It seemed as if in each of our different characters he took
an equal pride, while he fully recognized their different traits of good
or evil; for instead of having one code of social, moral, and physical
laws laid down for one and all of us, each child became a separate study
for him; and its little 'diseases au moral,' as he called them, were
treated differently, according to each different temperament....
Perhaps the brightest picture of the past that I look back to now is the
drawing-room at Eversley, in the evenings, when we were all at home and
by ourselves. There he sat, with one hand in mother's, forgetting his
own hard work in leading our fun and frolic, with a kindly smile on his
lips, and a loving light in that bright gray eye, that made us feel
that, in the broadest sense of the word, he was our father."

Of this son, when he was an undergraduate at Cambridge, his father (then
Professor of History) writes: "Ah! what a blessing to be able to help
him at last by teaching him something one's self!" And to a learned
"F.G.S." he says very seriously: "My eldest son is just going off to try
his manhood in Colorado, United States. You will understand, therefore,
that it is somewhat important to me just now whether the world be ruled
by a just and wise God, or by o. It is also important to me with regard
to my own boy's future, whether what is said to have happened to-morrow
(Good Friday) be true or false."

Writing to his wife from the seaside, where he had gone in search of
health, he says: "This place is perfect; but it seems a dream and
imperfect without you. Kiss the darling ducks of children for me. How I
long after them and their prattle! I delight in all the little ones in
the street, for their sake, and continually I start and fancy I hear
their voices outside. You do not know how I love them; nor did I hardly
till I came here. Absence quickens love into consciousness. Tell Rose
and Maurice that I have got two pair of bucks' horns--one for each of
them, huge old fellows, almost as big as baby."

Writing from France to "my dear little man," as he calls his youngest
son (for whom he wrote the "Water Babies"), he says: "There is a little
Egyptian vulture here in the inn; ask mother to show you his picture in
the beginning of the bird-book." There was little danger that the sons
of such a clergyman as this would turn out badly.

A companion picture of Dr. Arnold as a father, has been drawn by Dean
Stanley: "It is impossible adequately to describe the union of the whole
family round him, who was not only the father and guide, but the elder
brother and playfellow of his children; the gentleness and tenderness
which marked his whole feeling and manner in the privacy of his domestic
intercourse. Enough, however, may perhaps be said to recall something at
least of its outward aspect. There was the cheerful voice that used to
go sounding through the house in the early morning, as he went round to
call his children; the new spirits which he seemed to gather from the
mere glimpses of them in the midst of his occupations--the increased
merriment of all in any game in which he joined--the happy walks on
which he would take them in the fields and hedges, hunting for
flowers--the yearly excursion to look in the neighbouring clay-pit for
the earliest coltsfoot, with the mock siege that followed. Nor, again,
was the sense of his authority as a father ever lost in his playfulness
as a companion. His personal superintendence of their ordinary
instructions was necessarily limited by his other engagements, but it
was never wholly laid aside. In the later years of his life it was his
custom to read the Psalms and Lessons of the day with his family every
morning; and the common reading of a chapter in the Bible every Sunday
evening, with repetition of hymns or parts of Scripture by every member
of the family--the devotion with which he would himself repeat his
favourite poems from the Christian Year, or his favourite passages from
the Gospels--the same attitude of deep attention in listening to the
questions of his youngest children, the same reverence in answering
their difficulties that he would have shown to the most advanced of his
friends or his scholars--form a picture not soon to pass away from the
mind of any one who was ever present. But his teaching in his family was
naturally not confined to any particular occasions; they looked to him
for information and advice at all times; and a word of authority from
him was a law not to be questioned for a moment. And with the tenderness
which seemed to be alive to all their wants and wishes, there was united
that peculiar sense of solemnity, with which, in his eyes, the very idea
of a family life was invested. The anniversaries of domestic events--the
passing away of successive generations--the entrance of his sons on the
several stages of their education, struck on the deepest chords of his
nature, and made him blend with every prospect of the future the keen
sense of the continuance (so to speak) of his own existence in the good
and evil fortunes of his children, and to unite the thought of them with
the yet more solemn feeling, with which he was at all times wont to
regard 'the blessing' of 'a whole house transplanted entire from earth
to heaven, without one failure.'"

What Luther was as a father may be imagined from a letter which he wrote
when absent at the Diet of Augsburg, to his little boy, aged five years.
The mother had written the home news, especially telling the loving
father about his first-born, so to him, as well as to her, Luther wrote
the following letter, full of fatherly fondness and charming

"Grace and peace in Christ, my dear little boy. I am pleased to see that
thou learnest thy lessons well, and prayest well. Go on thus, my dear
boy, and when I come home I will bring you a fine fairing. I know of a
pretty garden where are merry children that have gold frocks, and gather
nice apples and plums and cherries under the trees, and sing and dance,
and ride on pretty horses with gold bridles and silver saddles. I asked
the man of the place whose the garden was, and who the children were. He
said, 'These are the children who pray and learn and are good.' Then I
answered, 'I also have a son, who is called Hans Luther. May he come to
this garden, and eat pears and apples, and ride a little horse, and play
with the others?' The man said, 'If he says his prayers, and learns and
is good, he may come; and Lippus and Jost [Melanchthon's son Philip, and
Jonas' son, Jodecus] may come, and they shall have pipes and drums and
lutes and fiddles, and they shall dance, and shoot with little
crossbows. Then he showed me a smooth lawn in the garden laid out for
dancing, and there the pipes and crossbows hung. But it was still early,
and the children had not dined, and I could not wait for the dance. So I
said, 'Dear sir, I will go straight home and write all this to my little
boy; but he has an aunt, Lene (great-aunt Magdalen) that he must bring
with him.' And the man answered, 'So it shall be! go and write as you
say.' Therefore, dear little boy, learn and pray with a good heart, and
tell Lippus and Jost to do the same, and then you will all come to the
garden together. Almighty God guard you. Give my love to Aunt Lene, and
give her a kiss for me.--Your loving father, MARTIN LUTHER."

What is chiefly wanted in the education of children is a wise mixture of
love and firmness. Parental authority should be regarded as vicegerent
authority, set up by God and ruling in His stead. A parent is to a child
what God is to a good man. He is the moral governor of the world of
childhood. Parental government is therefore only genuine when it rules
for the same ends as God pursues.

When children accord willing obedience the end of family government is
gained. To attain this end a parent should be careful to observe the
following rules. First, never to hamper a child with arbitrary
restrictions, but, if possible, always to let the reasons of each
command or prohibition be apparent; secondly, to let every punishment
have some relation to the offence, and so imitate the great laws of
nature, which entail definite consequences on every act of wrong; and,
thirdly, never to threaten a punishment and afterwards shrink from
inflicting it; finally, punishments should be severe enough to serve
their purpose, and gentle enough to ensure the continuance of affection.
Nor should the child be left alone until he feels that the punishment
has been for his own good, and gives assurance of this feeling by
putting on a pleasant face.

Human nature requires amusement as well as teaching and correction. One
of the first duties of a parent is to sympathize with the play of his
children. How much do little children crave for sympathy! They hold out
every new object for you to see it with them, and look up after each
gambol for you to rejoice with them. Let play-time and playthings be
given liberally. Invite suitable companions, and do everything in your
power to make home sweet. Authority, so unbent, will be all the
stronger and more welcome from our display of real sympathy. If family
government were well carried out in every home, children would be
happier and better than they are now. Then there would be, even in our
own great towns, a partial realization of the words of the prophet
Zechariah, in reference to Jerusalem delivered: "And the streets of the
city shall be full of boys and girls, playing in the streets thereof."

The home of our children ought never to be a prison where there is
plenty of rule and order, but no love and no pleasure. We should
remember that "he who makes a little child happier for an hour is a
fellow-worker with God."

It was bitterly said of a certain Pharisaical household that in it "no
one should please himself, neither should he please any one else; for in
either case he would be thought to be displeasing God." This reminds us
of the Scotchman who, having gone back to his country after a long
absence, declared that the whole kingdom was on the road to perdition.
"People," he said, "used to be reserved and solemn on the sabbath, but
now they look as happy on that day as on any other." It is a blessed
thing for the rising generation that such grotesque perversions of
religion are seldom presented to them now; for every well-instructed
Christian ought to be aware that religion does not banish mirth, but
only moderates and sets rules to it.



     "Manners are of more importance than laws. Upon these, in a great
     measure, the laws depend. The law teaches us but here and there,
     now and then. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify,
     exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady,
     uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe
     in. They give their whole form and colour to our lives. According
     to their quality, they aid morals, they supply laws, or they
     totally destroy them."--_Burke._

About twelve thousand police in London are able to take care of about
four million people. How is it done? Chiefly by moral force, and, above
all, by civility. Sir Edmund Henderson, the Chief Commissioner of the
force, said on a recent occasion that it was by "strict attention to
duty, by sobriety, and, above all, by civility," that the police
endeavoured to do their duty. "I lay great stress upon civility," said
the Chief Commissioner, "for I think it is the great characteristic of
the metropolitan police force."

If civility and politeness have such an influence upon the hard, rough
world of London how much greater will be the effect of good manners or
beautiful behaviour, not only in rendering comparatively safe the many
difficult crossings in the path of newly-married people, but also in
adorning even the smallest details of family life! True courtesy
exhibits itself in a disposition to contribute to the happiness of
others, and in refraining from all that may annoy them. And the
cultivation day by day of this sweet reasonableness is almost as
necessary to the comfort of those who live together as the daily calls
of the milkman and the baker. If no two people have it so much in their
power to torment each other as husband and wife, it is their bounden
duty to guard against this liability by cultivating the habit of
domestic politeness. It is a mistake to suppose that the forms of
courtesy can be safely dispensed with in the family circle. With the
disappearance of the forms the reality will too often disappear. The
very effort of appearing bright under adverse circumstances is sure to
render cheerfulness easier on another occasion.

Good manners like good words cost little and are worth much. They oil
the machinery of social life, but more especially of domestic life. If a
cheerful "good morning" and "good evening" conciliate strangers they are
not lost upon a wife. Hardness and repulsiveness of manner originate in
want of respect for the feelings of others.

"Remember," says Sydney Smith, "that your children, your wife, and your
servants have rights and feelings; treat them as you would treat persons
who could turn again. Do not attempt to frighten children and inferiors
by passion; it does more harm to your own character than it does good
to them. Passion gets less and less powerful after every defeat. Husband
energy for the real demand which the dangers of life make upon it." Good
manners are more than "surface Christianity." Rowland Hill was right
when he said, "I do not think much of a man's religion unless his dog
and cat are the happier for it."

"Woman was made out of a rib from the _side_ of Adam--not out of his
head to top him, not out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out
of his side to be equal to him: under his arm to be protected, and near
his heart to be loved."

  "Use the woman tenderly, tenderly;
  From a crooked rib God made her slenderly:
  Straight and strong He did not make her,
  So if you try to bend you'll break her."

Men are cautioned by the Jewish Talmud to be careful lest they cause
women to weep, "for God counts their tears."

There are some people who stretch their manners to such an unnatural
degree in society that they are pretty sure to go to the opposite
extreme when relaxing at home. Feeling released from something that was
hanging over them they run wild and become rude in consequence of their
late restraint.

Is it not, to say the least, probable that such patient humility as the
following would be followed by a reaction? Bishop Thirlwall was
generally regarded, except by the small circle of those who knew him
intimately, with much awe by his clergy, who thought that they had
better keep as far as possible out of the way of their terribly logical
and rather sarcastic diocesan. The legend was that he had trained a
highly sagacious dog into the habit of detecting and biting intrusive
curates. An amusing story is told of a humble-minded Levite who was
staying at Abergwili Palace on the occasion of an ordination. An egg was
placed before him, which, on tapping, proved a very bad one indeed. The
Bishop made a kindly apology, and told a servant to bring a fresh one.
"No, thank you, my lord," replied the young clergyman, with a
penitential expression of countenance; "it is quite good enough for me."
We think that the clergyman's wife would have acted rashly if, soon
after this occurrence, _she_ should have tried the patience of her Job
with an antiquated egg.

The proverb "familiarity breeds contempt" suggests another reason why
the manners displayed at home are not, generally speaking, as good as
they should be.

There is generally greater harmony when a husband's duties necessitate
his remaining several hours of the day from home. "For this relief, much
thanks!" will be the not unnatural sentiment of a grateful wife. And to
the husband, on his return, home will appear far sweeter than if he had
idled about the house all day with nothing to do but torment his wife.
Richter says that distance injures love less than nearness. People are
more polite when they do not see too much of each other.

Madam! no gentleman is entitled to such distinguished consideration as
your husband. Sir! no lady is entitled to such deferential treatment as
your wife.

Awkward consequences that could not have been foreseen have sometimes
followed domestic rudeness. It is related of Lord Ellenborough that,
when on one occasion he was about to set out on circuit, his wife
expressed a wish to accompany him; a proposition to which his lordship
assented, provided there were no bandboxes tucked under the seat of his
carriage, as he had too often found there had been when honoured with
her ladyship's company before. Accordingly they both set out together,
but had not proceeded very far before the judge, stretching out his legs
under the seat in front of him, kicked against one of the flimsy
receptacles which he had specially prohibited. Down went the window with
a bang and out went the bandbox into the ditch. The startled coachman
immediately commenced to pull up, but was ordered to drive on and let
the thing lie where it was. They reached the assize town in due course,
and his lordship proceeded to robe for the court. "And now, where's my
wig?--where's my wig?" he demanded, when everything else had been
donned. "Your wig, my lord," replied the servant, tremulously, "was in
that bandbox your lordship threw out of the window as we came along."

Sir Robert Walpole used to say that he never despaired of making up a
quarrel between women unless one of them had called the other old or
ugly. In the same way married people need not despair of realizing truly
united and therefore happy lives if they will only study each other's
weak points, as skaters look out for the weak parts of the ice, in order
to keep off them.

Nothing is more unmanly as well as unmannerly than for a husband to
speak disparagingly of either his wife or of the marriage state before
strangers. Lord Erskine once declared at a large party that "a wife was
a tin canister tied to one's tail;" upon which Sheridan, who was present
when the remark was made, presented to Lady Erskine the following lines:

  "Lord Erskine, at woman presuming to rail,
  Calls a wife a tin canister tied to one's tail;
  And fair Lady Anne, while the subject he carries on,
  Seems hurt at his lordship's degrading comparison.

  But wherefore degrading? Considered aright,
  A canister's polished and useful and bright;
  And should dirt its original purity hide,
  That's the fault of the puppy to whom it is tied."

The "puppy" only got what he deserved.

When a husband happens to be a mere goose, happy if only a goose, though
he may keep up the delusion that he is the "head of the family," it
becomes the wife's duty to exercise real control. But she may be a
responsible Prime Minister without usurping, much less parading, the
insignia of Royalty. And if she have the feelings of a gentlewoman she
will not allow every one to _see_ the reins of government in her hand as
did a colonel's wife known to me, of whom even the privates and drummer
boys in her husband's (?) regiment used to say: "Mrs. ----, she's the
colonel." What Burke said of his wife's eyes describe woman's proper
place in the domestic Cabinet: "Her eyes have a mild light, but they awe
when she pleases; they command, like a good man out of office, not by
authority, but by virtue." Too often it is the poor wife who has to bear
the heaviest part of the burdens of domestic life while the unchivalrous
husband struts before as head of the house quite unencumbered.

Even the youngest child may claim to be treated with politeness. "I
feel," said President Garfield, "a profounder reverence for a boy than
for a man. I never meet a ragged boy in the street without feeling that
I may owe him a salute, for I know not what possibilities may be
buttoned up under his coat." Fathers should look upon their children
with respect, for he who is "only a child" may become a much better and
greater man than his father.

Without spoiling our children we should make their lives as pleasant as
we possibly can, always remembering that the poor things never asked to
be born, and that they may "not long remain." The boy dies perhaps at
the age of ten or twelve. Of what _use_ then all the restraints, all the
privations, all the pain, that you have inflicted upon him? He falls,
and leaves your mind to brood over the possibility of your having
abridged a life so dear to you.

For good and for evil home is a school of manners. Children reflect, as
in a mirror, not only the general habits and characters of their
parents, but even their manner of gesture and of speech. "A fig-tree
looking on a fig-tree becometh fruitful." If "a gentleman always a
gentleman" and "a lady always a lady" are the examples set by papa and
mamma, the children will take them in almost through the pores of the

"For the child," says Richter, "the most important era of life is that
of childhood, when he begins to colour and mould himself by
companionship with others. Every new educator affects less than his
predecessor, until at last, if we regard all life as an educational
institution, a circumnavigator of the world is less influenced by all
the nations he has seen than by his nurse."



  "Love is sunshine."--_Longfellow._

     "God wishes us to have sunlight in our homes. He would have in
     them a tender play of laughter and humour, a pleasant interchange
     of light and colour and warmth, in word and mirth, which makes
     the brightness perfect, and is as much the work of the sunlight
     in the house, as the delightful gaiety of nature is the doing of
     the sun."--_Stopford Brooke._

It is a comparatively easy thing to preserve a cheerful appearance when
away from home, or even to present a brave front to meet the great
emergencies of life. And yet the most genial-hearted of diners-out may
be a domestic bully in the privacy of his own household; and the hero
who has faced a battery without shrinking may be unable to take a cup of
lukewarm coffee from his wife's hands without a grumble. The real
happiness of a home depends upon a determination to lay no undue stress
upon little matters, and a resolve to hold one's own irritability in
constant check. For it is the sum of trivial affairs that make up the
day's account, and it is the--

    "Cares that _petty shadows_ cast,
  By which our lives are chiefly proved."

True home sunshine, if it consistently brighten the features of one
member in a family, is pretty sure to be reflected from the faces of the

"I thought," said a father, the other day, "as I sat in the railway
carriage on my way home, of my impatience with the members of my family,
and I felt ashamed. As soon as they are out of my sight I see clearly
where my mistakes are; but when they are around me I forget my good

It is quite true that the dear ones at home are more to us than Kings
and Queens, than House of Lords or House of Commons, than the mightiest
and noblest in the world. And yet we often treat them worse than we
treat strangers. With others, whom we meet in business or in society, we
are half unconsciously on our guard. Hasty words are repressed, and
frowns are banished. But the dear ones at home usually have the pleasure
or the pain of seeing us precisely as we are in the mood of the moment.
To their sorrow we "make no strangers" of them. If our nerves are
overstrung, or our tempers tried, so far from endeavouring to conceal
the fact we make them feel it. The hero in great crises may be moved by
the pressure of small annoyances to throw a boot at his _valet de
chambre_, or to snarl at his wife. Individually these faults of temper
may be small, but so are the locusts that collectively conceal the sun.
"Only perfection can bear with imperfection." The better a man becomes
the more allowance will he make for the shortcomings of others.

In order to have sunlight at home, it is not enough negatively to
abstain from fault-finding and general peevishness. We should recognize
praise as a positive duty. If a thing is done wrongly, better sometimes
to say nothing about it. Wait until it happens to be done rightly, and
then give marked praise. The third time, the charm of your approbation
will produce a much better performance. If it is possible to "damn with
faint praise," how much more damaging must be--no praise at all. How
much potential goodness and greatness would become actual but for the
wet blanket of sullen silence! "As we must account for every idle word,
so we must for every idle silence." This saying of Franklin should
suggest speech in season to ungrateful husbands who never throw a word
of encouragement to their wives however deserving. In military riding
schools may often be heard the command--"Make much of your horses!" The
horses have been trotting, galloping, and jumping. They have had to
stand quietly while the men dismounted and fired their carbines kneeling
before them. They have gone through their parts well, so after the men
have again mounted, the order is given--"Make much of your horses!" and
all the riders pat simultaneously the proudly-arched necks of their
deserving steeds. Husbands, take the hint and make much of your wives!

We may here introduce some words of Miss Cobbe in reference to the moral
atmosphere of the house, which depends so immensely on the tone of the
mistress. "I conceive that good, and even high animal spirits are among
the most blessed of possessions--actual wings to bear us up over the
dusty or muddy roads of life; and I think that to keep up the spirits of
a household is not only indefinitely to add to its happiness, but also
to make all duties comparatively light and easy. Thus, however naturally
depressed a mistress may be, I think she ought to struggle to be
cheerful, and to take pains never to quench the blessed spirits of her
children or guests. All of us who live long in great cities get into a
sort of subdued-cheerfulness tone. We are neither very sad nor very
glad; we neither cry, nor ever enjoy that delicious experience of
helpless laughter, the _fou rira_ which is the joy of youth. I wish we
could be more really light of heart." We all share this wish; but how is
it to be realized? By living simple, well-regulated lives, and by
casting all our anxiety upon God who careth for us.

Professor Blaikie commences a paper on "How to Get Rid of Trouble," by
saying that once he had occasion to call on the chief of the
constabulary force in one of our largest cities. "The conversation
having turned on the arrangements for extinguishing fire, the chief
constable entered with great alacrity into the subject, and after some
verbal explanations, added, 'If you can spare half an hour, I will call
out my men, and you shall see how we proceed.' I was taken aback at the
idea of the firemen and engines being called out on a fine summer day to
let a stranger see them at work; so I thanked him for his offer, but
added that I could not think of giving him so much trouble. 'Trouble!'
said he; 'what's that? That's a word I don't know.' 'You are a happy
man,' was the reply, 'if you don't know the meaning of trouble.' 'No,
indeed,' he said. 'I assure you I do not. The word is not in my
dictionary.' As I was still incredulous, and wondering whether or not he
had lost his senses, he rang the bell, and bade his clerk fetch him an
English dictionary. Handing it to me, he said, 'Now, sir, please look
and see whether you can find the word "trouble."' I turned to the proper
place, and there, to be sure, where the word had been, I found it
carefully erased by three lines of red ink. Of course I caught the idea
at once. In a great work like that of the police in such a place,
trouble was never to be thought of. No inroad that might be required on
the ease, or the sleep, or the strength of any member of the force was
ever to be grudged on the score that it was too much trouble. In the
work of that office the thought of trouble was to be unknown. I felt
that I had got a sermon from the chief of police, and a notable sermon,
too. The three lines of red ink were as clear and telling as any three
heads into which I had ever divided my discourse. It was a thrilling
sermon, too--it set something vibrating within me."

This incident refers to trouble in the active sense; but even trouble in
the sense of sorrow and disappointment may be to a large extent effaced
from the family circle by certain red lines. Here is one of them. _Do
not make the trouble worse than it really is._ Rather let us resolve to
look at the bright side of things. If we had nothing more to think of,
the proverbs that have been coined in the mint of hope ought to
encourage us. "Nothing so bad but it might have been worse;" "'Tis
always morning somewhere in the world;" "When things are at the worst
they mend;" "The darkest hour of night is that which precedes the dawn."
Let us try to form the habit of thinking how much there is to cheer us
even when there may be much to depress; how often, on former occasions
of trouble, we have been wonderfully helped; how foolish it is to
anticipate evil before it comes.

"How dismal you look!" said a bucket to his companion, as they were
going to the well. "Ah!" replied the other, "I was reflecting on the
uselessness of our being filled, for let us go away ever so full, we
always come back empty." "Dear me! how strange to look at it in that
way!" said the other bucket. "Now I enjoy the thought that however
_empty_ we come, we always go away _full_. Only look at it in that
light, and you will be as cheerful as I am."

Another red line which effaces trouble is _patience_. Speaking of the
cheerful submission and trust of the London poor a well-known clergyman
says: "Come with me; turn under this low doorway; climb these narrow
creaking stairs; knock at the door. A pleasant voice bids you enter. You
see a woman sixty-four years of age, her hands folded and contracted,
her whole body crippled and curled together, as cholera cramped, and
rheumatism fixed it twenty-eight years ago. For sixteen years she has
not moved from her bed, nor looked out of the window; and has been in
constant pain, while she cannot move a limb. Listen--she is thankful.
For what? For the use of one thumb; with a two-pronged fork, fastened to
a stick, she can turn over the leaves of an old-fashioned Bible, when
placed within her reach. Hear her: 'I'm content to lie here as long as
it shall please Him, and to go when He shall call me.'"

The third red line we would suggest is--_Try to get good out of your
troubles._ Undoubtedly it is to be got, if the right way be taken to
extract it. Scarcely any loss is without compensation. How often has the
dignity of self-support and self-respect been gained when an external
prop has been removed! How often have we been eventually glad that our
wishes were not fulfilled! Plato tells us that "just penalties are the
best gifts of the gods," and Goethe said he never had an affliction that
he did not turn into a poem. The daylight must fade before we can behold
the shining worlds around us, and the rigour of winter must be endured
before our hearts can thrill with delight at the approach of Spring.

For the sake of household sunshine we should endeavour to keep in
health. Lowness of tone, nervous irritability, the state of being
ill-at-ease--these and many other forms of ill-health may, as a general
rule, be avoided by those who endeavour to preserve their health as a
sacred duty. If most people have but little health, it is because they
transgress the laws of nature, alternately stimulating and depressing
themselves. For our own sake and for the sake of others whom we trouble
by irritability, we are bound to obey these laws--fresh air, exercise,
moderate work, conquest of appetite.

"The deception," says Sydney Smith, "as practised upon human creatures,
is curious and entertaining. My friend sups late; he eats some strong
soup, then a lobster, then some tart, and he dilutes these esculent
varieties with wine. The next day I call upon him. He is going to sell
his house in London, and to retire into the country. He is alarmed for
his eldest daughter's health. His expenses are hourly increasing, and
nothing but a timely retreat can save him from ruin. All this is the
lobster: and when over-excited nature has had time to manage this
testaceous encumbrance, the daughter recovers, the finances are in good
order, and every rural idea effectually excluded from the mind. In the
same manner old friendships are destroyed by toasted cheese, and hard,
salted meat has led to suicide. Unpleasant feelings of the body produce
correspondent sensations in the mind, and a great scene of wretchedness
is sketched out by a morsel of indigestible and misguided food. Of such
infinite consequence to happiness is it to study the body!"

On the other hand, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." We should
"laugh and be well," as enjoined by an old English versifier.

  "To cure the mind's wrong bias, spleen,
  Some recommend the bowling-green;
  Some, hilly walks; all, exercise;
  Fling but a stone, the giant dies;
  _Laugh and be well._ Monkeys have been
  Extreme good doctors for the spleen;
  And kitten, if the humour hit,
  Has harlequined away the fit."

It is the bounden duty of those who live together to cultivate the sunny
side of life. To rejoice with those who rejoice is as much a duty as to
weep with those that weep. Many have not that "great hereditary
constitutional joy" which springs from a natural genius for happiness,
but all may at least try to add to the stock of the household's
cheerfulness. It is about the most useful contribution that any member
of a family can make.

  "As, although in the season of rainstorms and showers,
    The tree may strike deeper its roots;
  It needs the warm brightness of sunshiny hours,
    To ripen the blossoms and fruits."

Sunlike pleasures never shine in idle homes. If a useful occupation or
innocent hobby be not provided for the several members of a family, they
are sure to spend their time in maliciously tormenting each other.

Those whose only care in life is to avoid care make a great mistake.
They forget that even roses have thorns, and that pleasure is
appreciated and enjoyed for its variety and contrast to pain. After all
there is but one way of producing sunshine in our homes. We must first
let the light into our own souls, and then like burning glasses we shall
give it out to others, but especially to those of our own household. And
whence comes the soul's calm sunshine and joy in right doing but from
the Sun of Righteousness?

If there are many unhappy homes, many wretched families--more by far
than is generally supposed--what is the cure for this? "Sweet
reasonableness" as taught by Jesus Christ. If we would let Him into our
houses to dwell with us, and form one of our family circle, He would
turn our homes into little Edens.



  "Something light as air--a look,
  A word unkind or wrongly taken--
  Oh, love, that tempests never shook,
  A breath, a touch like this hath shaken,
  And ruder words will soon rush in
  To spread the breach that words begin."--_Moore._

     "Married life should be a sweet, harmonious song, and, like one
     of Mendelssohn's, 'without _words_.'"--_Judy._

When the sunshine of domestic bliss has become more or less clouded by
quarrels between a husband and wife, observers very often describe the
state of affairs by the euphemism at the head of this chapter. "They had
a few words"--this is the immediate cause of many a domestic
catastrophe. A young man was sent to Socrates to learn oratory. On being
introduced to the philosopher he talked so incessantly that Socrates
asked for double fees. "Why charge me double?" said the young fellow.
"Because," said Socrates, "I must teach you two sciences; the one how to
hold your tongue, and the other how to speak." It is impossible for
people to be happy in matrimony who will not learn the first of these

We do not know whether Simonides was or was not a married man, but we
fancy he must have been, for he used to say that he never regretted
holding his tongue, but very often was sorry for having spoken. "Seest
thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than
of him." Sober second thoughts suggest palliatives and allowances that
temper prevents us from noticing. The simple act of self-denial in
restraining the expression of unpleasant feelings or harsh thoughts is
the foundation stone of a happy home. For nothing draws people so
closely together as the constant experience of mutual pleasure, and
nothing so quickly drives them asunder as the frequent endurance of pain
caused by one another's presence.

                    "One doth not know
  How much an ill word may empoison liking."

Sometimes the husband blames the wife and the wife the husband when
neither of them is at fault. This always reminds us of Pat's mistake.
Two Irishmen walking along the same street, but coming from opposite
directions, approached, both smiling and apparently recognizing one
another. As they came closer they discovered that it was a mutual
mistake. Equal to the occasion one of them said, "Och, my friend, I see
how it is. You thought it was me, and I thought it was you, and now it's
naythur of us."

Burton tells of a woman who, hearing one of her "gossips" complain of
her husband's impatience, told her an excellent remedy for it. She gave
her a glass of water, which, when he brawled, she should hold still in
her mouth. She did so two or three times with great success, and at
length, seeing her neighbour, she thanked her for it, and asked to know
the ingredients. She told her that it was "fair water," and nothing
more, for it was not the water, but her silence which performed the

There are people who are kind in their actions and yet brutal in their
speech, and they forget that it is not every one who can bear, like
Boswell, to be told he is a fool. A woman may think she is always right
and her husband always wrong, but it does not make the wheels of
domestic life run smoother to say this in plain English. A man may have
a contempt for his wife's dearest brother, but to tell the wife or
brother so is not conducive to harmony.

It has sometimes been remarked that the marriage of a deaf and dumb man
to a blind woman would have obvious advantages. Each of the parties
would acquire an opportunity to practise little pantomimic scenes from
which ordinary married folks are debarred. When they quarrelled, for
instance--the wife being unable to see, while the husband could not hear
or speak--she could hurl at him broadside after broadside of
steel-pointed invective; and the poor man could but stand there, study
the motion of her lips, and fondly imagine she was telling him how sorry
she was that anything should come between them. He, on the other hand,
could sit down, shake his fists, and make hideous grimaces, she all the
while thinking he was sitting with his face buried in his hands, and
hot remorseful tears streaming from his eyes. Husbands and wives who are
not deprived of the use of their faculties might take the hint and
resolve not to use them too keenly on certain occasions. In a
matrimonial quarrel they need not hear or see everything.

  "If you your lips would keep from slips,
    Five things observe with care:
  _Of_ whom you speak, _to_ whom you speak
    And _how_, and _when_, and _where_.

The "last word" is the most dangerous of infernal machines. Husband and
wife should no more fight to get it than they would struggle for the
possession of a lighted bomb-shell. What is the use of the last word?
After getting it a husband might perhaps, as an American newspaper
suggests, advertise to whistle for a wager against a locomotive; but in
every other respect his victory would be useless and painful. It would
be a Cadmean victory in which the victor would suffer as much as the
vanquished. A farmer cut down a tree which stood so near the boundary
line of his farm that it was doubtful whether it belonged to him or to
his neighbour. The neighbour, however, claimed the tree, and prosecuted
the man who cut it for damages. The case was sent from court to court.
Time was wasted and temper lost; but the case was finally gained by the
prosecutor. The last of the transaction was that the man who gained the
cause went to the lawyer's office to execute a deed of his whole farm,
which he had been compelled to sell to pay his costs! Then, houseless
and homeless, he thrust his hands into his pockets, and triumphantly
exclaimed, "I've beat him!" In the same way husband and wife may become
bankrupt of heart-wealth by endeavouring to get the last word.

Men sometimes become fractious from pure monotony. When they are unable
to find subjects for profitable conversation there arises a propensity
to "nag" and find fault. In a Russian story, the title of which in
English is "Buried Alive," two prisoners are talking in the night, and
one relates: "I had got, somehow or other, in the way of beating her
(his wife). Some days I would keep at it from morning till night. I did
not know what to do with myself when I was not beating her. She used to
sit crying, and I could not help feeling sorry for her, and so I beat
her." Subsequently he murdered her. Are there not men above the class of
wife-beaters who indulge in fault-finding, "nagging," and other forms of
tongue-castigation? They have got into the habit. They do not know what
to do with themselves when not so employed. The tears of their wives
only irritate them.

Of course some wives are quite capable of giving as much as they get. It
is said that at a recent fashionable wedding, after the departure of the
happy pair, a dear little girl, whose papa and mamma were among the
guests, asked, with a child's innocent inquisitiveness: "Why do they
throw things at the pretty lady in the carriage?" "For luck, dear,"
replied one of the bridesmaids. "And why," again asked the child,
"doesn't she throw them back?" "Oh," said the young lady, "that would be
rude." "No it wouldn't," persisted the dear little thing to the delight
of her doting parents who stood by: "ma does."

"As the climbing up a sandy way is to the feet of the aged, so is a
wife full of words to a quiet man." She who "has a tongue of her own"
has always more last words to say, and, if she ever does close her
mouth, the question suggests itself whether she should not be arrested
for carrying concealed weapons. On the tombs of such wives might be
inscribed epitaphs like the following, which is to be found in a
churchyard in Surrey--

  "Here lies, returned to clay,
    Miss Arabella Young,
  Who on the first of May
    Began to hold her tongue."

Poor Caudle, as a rule, thought discretion the better part of valour,
and sought refuge in the arms of soothing slumber; but there are some
men who do not allow their wives to have it all their own way without at
least an occasional protest. "Do you pretend to have as good a judgment
as I have?" said an enraged wife to her husband. "Well, no," he replied,
deliberately; "our choice of partners for life shows that my judgment is
not to be compared to yours." When they have "a few words," however, the
woman usually has the best of it. "See here," said a fault-finding
husband, "we must have things arranged in this house so that we shall
know where everything is kept." "With all my heart," sweetly answered
his wife, "and let us begin with your late hours, my love. I should much
like to know where they are kept."

Such matrimonial word-battles may amuse outsiders as the skill of
gladiators used to amuse, but the combatants make themselves very
miserable. Far better to be incapable of making a repartee if we only
use the power to wound the feelings of the one whom we have vowed to
love. There is an art of putting things that should be studied by
married people. How many quarrels would be avoided if we could always
say with courtesy and tact any unpleasant thing that may have to be
said! It is related of a good-humoured celebrity that when a man once
stood before him and his friend at the theatre, completely shutting out
all view of the stage, instead of asking him to sit down, or in any way
giving offence, he simply said, "I beg your pardon, sir; but when you
see or hear anything particularly interesting on the stage, will you
please let us know, as we are entirely dependent on your kindness?" That
was sufficient. With a smile and an apology that only the art of putting
things could have extracted, the gentleman took his seat. There is a
story of a separation which took place simply because a gracious
announcement had been couched by a husband in ungracious terms. "My
dear, here is a little present I have brought to make you
good-tempered." "Sir," was the indignant reply, "do you dare to say that
it is necessary to bribe me into being good-tempered? Why, I am always
good-tempered; it is your violent temper, sir!" And so the quarrel went
on to the bitter end.

It is a very difficult thing to find fault well. We all have to find
fault at times, in reference to servants, children, husband, or wife;
but in a great number of cases the operation loses half its effect, or
has no effect at all, perhaps a downright bad effect, because of the way
in which it is done. Above all things remember this caution, never to
find fault when out of temper. Again, there is a time _not_ to find
fault, and in the right perception of when that time is lies no small
part of the art. The reproof which has most sympathy in it will be most
effectual. It understands and allows for infirmity. It was this sympathy
that prompted Dr. Arnold to take such pains in studying the characters
of his pupils, so that he might best adapt correction to each particular

The very worst time for a husband and wife to have "a few words" is
dinner-time, because, if we have a good dinner, our attention should be
bestowed on what we are eating. He who bores us at dinner robs us of
pleasure and injures our health, a fact which the alderman realized when
he exclaimed to a stupid interrogator, "With your confounded questions,
sir, you've made me swallow a piece of green fat without tasting it."
Many a poor wife has to swallow her dinner without tasting it because
her considerate husband chooses this time to find fault with herself,
the children, the servants, and with everything except himself. The beef
is too much done, the vegetables too little, everything is cold. "I
think you might look after something! Oh! that is no excuse," and so on,
to the great disturbance of his own and his wife's digestion. God sends
food, but the devil sends the few cross words that prevent it from doing
us any good. We should have at least three laughs during dinner, and
every one is bound to contribute a share of agreeable table-talk,
good-humour, and cheerfulness.

"In politics," said Cavour, "nothing is so absurd as rancour." In the
same way we may say that nothing is so absurd in matrimony as sullen
silence. Reynolds in his "Life and Times" tells of a free-and-easy actor
who passed three festive days at the seat of the Marquis and Marchioness
of ---- without any invitation, convinced (as proved to be the case)
that, my lord and my lady not being on _speaking terms_, each would
suppose the other had asked him. A soft answer turns away wrath, and
when a wife or a husband is irritated there is nothing like letting a
subject drop. Then silence is indeed golden. But the silence persisted
in--as by the lady in the old comedy, who, in reply to her husband's
"For heaven's sake, my dear, do tell me what you mean," obstinately
keeps her lips closed--is an instrument of deadly torture. "A wise man
by his words maketh himself beloved." To this might be added that on
certain occasions a fool by his obstinate silence maketh himself hated.

"According to Milton, 'Eve kept silence in Eden to hear her husband
talk,'" said a gentleman to a lady friend; and then added, in a
melancholy tone, "Alas! there have been no Eves since." "Because,"
quickly retorted the lady, "there have been no husbands worth listening
to." Certainly there are too few men who exert themselves to be as
agreeable to their wives (their best friends), as they are to the
comparative strangers or secret enemies whom they meet at clubs and
other places of resort. And yet if it is true that "to be agreeable in
our family circle is not only a positive duty but an absolute morality,"
then every husband and wife should say on their wedding day--

  "To balls and routs for fame let others roam,
  Be mine the happier lot to please at home."

In one of the letters of Robertson, of Brighton, he tells of a lady who
related to him "the delight, the tears of gratitude which she had
witnessed in a poor girl to whom, in passing, I gave a kind look on
going out of church on Sunday. What a lesson! How cheaply happiness can
be given! What opportunities we miss of doing an angel's work! I
remember doing it, full of sad feelings, passing on, and thinking no
more about it; and it gave an hour's sunshine to a human life, and
lightened the load of life to a human heart for a time!" If even a look
can do so much, who shall estimate the power of kind or unkind words in
making married life happy or miserable? In the home circle more than
anywhere else--

  "Words are mighty, words are living:
    Serpents with their venomous stings,
  Or bright angels, crowding round us,
    With heaven's light upon their wings:
  Every word has its own spirit,
    True or false that never dies;
  Every word man's lips have uttered
    Echoes in God's skies."



  "When souls, that should agree to will the same,
  To have one common object for their wishes,
  Look different ways, regardless of each other,
  Think what a train of wretchedness ensues!"

Said a husband to his angry wife: "Look at Carlo and Kitty asleep on the
rug; I wish men lived half as agreeably with their wives." "Stop!" said
the lady. "Tie them together, and see how they will agree!" If men and
women when tied together sometimes agree very badly what is the reason?
Because instead of pulling together each of them wishes to have his or
her own way. But when they do pull together what greater thing is there
for them than "to feel that they are joined for life, to strengthen each
other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to
each other in all pain, to be one with each other in the silent
unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?"

What is meant by pulling together may be explained by referring to the
custom of the "Dunmow flitch," which was founded by Juga, a noble lady,
in A.D. IIII, and restored by Robert de Fitzwalter, in 1244. It was that
any person from any part of England going to Dunmow in Essex, and humbly
kneeling on two stones at the church door, may claim a gammon of bacon
if he can swear that for twelve months and a day he has never had a
household brawl or wished himself unmarried. Hence the phrase "He may
fetch a flitch of bacon from Dunmow," _i.e._, He is so amiable and
good-tempered that he will never quarrel with his wife. To eat Dunmow
bacon is to live in conjugal amity. There were only eight claimants
admitted to eat the flitch between the years 1244-1772, a number that
seems to justify Prior's sarcastic couplet:

  "Ah, madam, cease to be mistaken,
  Few married fowl peck Dunmow bacon."

It is a great pity that "few married fowl peck Dunmow bacon," for those
that do are so happy that they may be called birds of Paradise.

"A well-matched couple carry a joyful life between them, as the two
spies carried the cluster of Eshcol. They multiply their joys by sharing
them, and lessen their troubles by dividing them: this is fine
arithmetic. The waggon of care rolls lightly along as they pull
together, and when it drags a little heavily, or there's a hitch
anywhere, they love each other all the more, and so lighten the labour."
When there is wisdom in the husband there is generally gentleness in the
wife, and between them the old wedding wish is worked out: "One year of
joy, another of comfort, and all the rest of content."

When two persons without any spiritual affinity are bound together in
irrevocable bondage, it is to their "unspeakable weariness and despair,"
and life becomes to them "a drooping and disconsolate household
captivity, without refuge or redemption." Such unions are marriages only
in name. They are a mere housing together.

However, this doctrine may easily be exaggerated, and certainly married
people ought to be very slow in allowing themselves to think that it is
impossible for them to hit it off or pull with the partners of their
lives. Those who cherish unhealthy sentimentalism on this subject would
do well to brace themselves up by reading a little of the robust common
sense of Dr. Johnson. Talking one evening of Mrs. Careless, the doctor
said: "If I had married her, it might have been as happy for me."
_Boswell_: "Pray, sir, do you not suppose that there are fifty women in
the world, with any one of whom a man may be as happy as with any one
woman in particular?" _Johnson_: "Ay, sir, fifty thousand." _Boswell_:
"Then, sir, you are not of opinion with some who imagine that certain
men and certain women are made for each other; and that they cannot be
happy if they miss their counterparts." _Johnson_: "To be sure not, sir.
I believe marriages would in general be as happy, and often more so, if
they were all made by the Lord Chancellor, upon a due consideration of
the characters and circumstances, without the parties having any choice
in the matter."

The following, too, is interesting, for we may gather from it how, in
Johnson's opinion, the feat of living happily with any one of fifty
thousand women could be accomplished. The question was started one
evening whether people who differed on some essential point could live
in friendship together. Johnson said they might. Goldsmith said they
could not, as they had not the _idem velle atque idem nolle_--the same
likings and the same aversions. _Johnson_: "Why, sir, you must shun the
subject as to which you disagree. For instance, I can live very well
with Burke; I love his knowledge, his genius, his diffusion, and
affluence of conversation; but I would not talk to him of the Rockingham
party." _Goldsmith_: "But, sir, when people live together who have
something as to which they disagree, and which they want to shun, they
will be in the situation mentioned in the story of Bluebeard, 'You may
look into all the chambers but one.' But we should have the greatest
inclination to look into that chamber, to talk over that subject."
_Johnson_ (with a loud voice): "Sir, I am not saying that _you_ could
live in friendship with a man from whom you differ as to some point: I
am only saying that _I_ could do it."

In matrimony, as in religion, in things essential there should be unity,
in things indifferent diversity, in all things charity.

In matrimony, though it is the closest and dearest friendship, shades of
character and the various qualities of mind and heart, never approximate
to such a degree, as to preclude all possibility of misunderstanding.
But the broad and firm principles upon which all honourable and enduring
sympathy is founded, the love of truth, the reverence for right, the
abhorrence of all that is base and unworthy, admit of no difference or
misunderstanding; and where these exist in the relations of two people
united for life, love, and happiness, as perfect as this imperfect
existence affords, may be realized. But the rule is different in
matters that are not essential. In reference to these married people
should cultivate "the sympathy of difference." They should agree to
differ each respecting the tastes and prejudices of the other.

At no time are husbands and wives seen to greater advantage than when
yielding their own will in unimportant matters to the will of another,
and we quite agree with a writer who makes the following remark: "Great
actions are so often performed from little motives of vanity,
self-complacency, and the like, that I am apt to think more highly of
the person whom I observe checking a reply to a petulant speech, or even
submitting to the judgment of another _in stirring the fire_, than of
one who gives away thousands!"

In all things there should be charity. Dolly Winthrop in "Silas Marner"
was patiently tolerant of her husband, "considering that men would be
so," and viewing the stronger sex "in the light of animals whom it
pleased Heaven to make troublesome like bulls or turkey cocks." This
sensible woman knew that if at times her husband was troublesome he had
his good qualities. On these she would accustom herself to dwell.

A Scotch minister, being one day engaged in visiting his flock, came to
the door of a house where his gentle tapping could not be heard for the
noise of contention within. After waiting a little he opened the door
and walked in, saying, with an authoritative voice: "I should like to
know who is the head of this house?" "Weel, sir," said the husband and
father, "if ye sit doon a wee, we'll maybe be able to tell ye, for we're
just tryin' to settle the point." Merely to settle this point some
married people are continually engaging in a tug of war instead of
pulling comfortably together. But what a mean contest! How much better
it would be only to strive who should love the other most! To married
people especially are these words of Marcus Aurelius applicable: "We are
made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the
rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another, then, is
contrary to nature."

That union is strength is forcibly, if not very elegantly, illustrated
by Erskine's description of a lodging where he had passed the night. He
said that the fleas were so numerous and so ferocious that if they had
been but _unanimous_ they would have pulled him out of bed. If husband
and wife would be but unanimous they would be a match against every
enemy to their felicity. On the other hand, how impossible it is for
those who work against each other to live together with any advantage or
comfort. We all remember the illustration of Æsop. A charcoal-burner
carried on his trade in his own house. One day he met a friend, a
fuller, and entreated him to come and live with him, saying that they
should be far better neighbours, and that their housekeeping expenses
would be lessened. The fuller replied, "The arrangement is impossible as
far as I am concerned, for whatever I should whiten, you would
immediately blacken again with your charcoal."

One secret of pulling together is not to interfere with what does not
concern us. A man who can trust his wife should no more meddle with her
home concerns than she should pester him with questions about his
business. He will never be able to pull with her if he pokes over the
weekly bills, insists on knowing how much each thing is per pound, and
what he is going to have every day for dinner. It is indeed almost a
_sine quâ non_ of domestic felicity that _paterfamilias_ should be
absent from home at least six hours in the day. Jones asked his wife,
"Why is a husband like dough?" He expected she would give it up, and he
was going to tell her that it was because a woman needs him; but she
said it was because he was hard to get off her hands.

Of course, like every other good rule, this one of non-intervention may
be carried too far, as it was by the studious man who said, when a
servant told him that his house was on fire, "Go to your mistress, you
know I have no charge of household matters." No doubt occasions will
arise when a husband will be only too glad to take counsel with his wife
in business cares; while she may have to remember all her life long,
with gratitude and love, some season of sickness or affliction, when he
filled his own place and hers too, ashamed of no womanish task, and
neither irritated nor humiliated by ever such trivial household cares.

"Parents and children seldom act in concert, each child endeavours to
appropriate the esteem or fondness of the parents, and the parents, with
yet less temptation, betray each other to their children; thus some
place their confidence in the father, and some in the mother, and by
degrees the house is filled with artifices and feuds." These words point
to a danger to be guarded against by married people who desire to pull
together. It is sad when a child is not loved equally by both its
parents. In this case, however innocent and blessed the little one may
be, it is liable to become the disturber of parental peace.

Perhaps the way Carlyle and his wife pulled together is not so very
uncommon. His mother used to say of him that he was "gey ill to live
with," and Miss Welsh whom he married had a fiery temper. When provoked
she "was as hard as a flint, with possibilities of dangerous sparks of
fire." The pair seem to have tormented each other, but not half as much
as each tormented him and herself. They were too like each other,
suffering in the same way from nerves disordered, digestion impaired,
excessive self-consciousness, and the absence of children to take their
thoughts away from each other. They were, in the fullest sense of the
word, everything to each other--both for good and evil, sole comforters,
chief tormentors. The proverb "Ill to hae but waur to want" was true of
the Carlyles as of many another couple.

Sir David Baird and some other English officers, being captured by Tippo
Saib, were confined for some time in one of the dungeons of his palace
at Bangalore. When Sir David's mother heard the news in Scotland,
referring to the method in which prisoners were chained together and to
her son's well-known irascible temper, she exclaimed: "God pity the lad
that's tied to our Davie." How much more to be pitied is he or she whom
matrimony has tied for life to a person with a bad temper!

Over-particularity in trifles causes a great deal of domestic
discomfort. The husband or wife who, to use a common phrase, wishes a
thing to be "just so," and not otherwise, is uncomfortable to pull with.
For any person to be thoroughly amiable and livable with, there should
be a little touch of untidiness and unpreciseness, and indifference to
small things. A little spice--not too much--of the Irishman's spirit
who said, "If you can't take things asy, take them as asy as you can."

There is no more beautiful quality than that ideality which conceives
and longs after perfection; but if too exclusively cultivated it may
drag down rather than elevate its possessor. The faculty which is ever
conceiving and desiring something better and more perfect must be
modified in its action by good sense, patience, and conscience,
otherwise it induces a morbid, discontented spirit, which courses
through the veins of individual and family life like a subtle poison.

Exactingsness is untrained ideality, and much domestic misery is caused
by it. A little bit of conscience makes the exacting person sour. He
fusses, fumes, finds fault, and scolds because everything is not perfect
in an imperfect world. Much more happy and good is he whose conceptions
and desire of excellence are equally strong, but in whom there is a
greater amount of discriminating common-sense.

Most people can see what is faulty in themselves and their surroundings;
but while the dreamer frets and wears himself out over the unattainable,
the happy, practical man is satisfied with what _can_ be attained. There
was much wisdom in the answer given by the principal of a large public
institution when complimented on his habitual cheerfulness amid a
diversity of cares: "I've made up my mind," he said, "to be satisfied
when things are done _half_ as well as I would have them."

Ideality often becomes an insidious mental and moral disease, acting all
the more subtlely from its alliance with what is noblest in us.

The virtue of conscientiousness may turn into the vice of censoriousness
if misapplied. It was the constant prayer of the great and good Bishop
Butler that he might be saved from what he called "scrupulosity." Dr.
Johnson used to admire this wise sentence in Thomas à Kempis: "Be not
angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you
cannot make yourself as you wish to be." Searching for domestic
happiness would not be as unsuccessful as it is with some people if they
were not continually finding fault.

Jeremy Taylor impresses this fact by one of his quaint illustrations:
"The stags in the Greek epigram, whose knees were clogged with frozen
snow upon the mountains, came down to the brooks of the valleys, hoping
to thaw their joints with the waters of the stream; but there the frost
overtook them, and bound them fast in ice, till the young herdsmen took
them in their stranger snare. It is the unhappy chance of many men
finding many inconveniences upon the mountains of single life, they
descend into the valleys of marriage to refresh their troubles, and
there they enter into fetters, and are bound to sorrow by the cords of a
man's or woman's peevishness."

The Psalmist says that "God maketh men to be of one mind in a house."
Let husband and wife live near Him, and He will enable them to avoid
domestic strife which Cowper declares to be the "sorest ill of human



     "I think for a woman to fail to make and keep a happy home, is to
     be a 'failure' in a truer sense than to have failed to catch a
     husband."--_Frances Power Cobbe._

     "We think caged birds sing, when indeed they cry."--_Vittoria

When Mr. Wilberforce was a candidate for Hull, his sister, an amiable
and witty young lady, offered a new dress to each of the wives of those
freemen who voted for her brother. When saluted with "Miss Wilberforce
for ever!" she pleasantly observed, "I thank you, gentlemen, but I
cannot agree with you, for really I do not wish to be _Miss_ Wilberforce
for ever."

We do not blame Miss Wilberforce or any other young lady for not wishing
to be a "Miss" for ever; but we desire to point out in this chapter that
all is not done when the husband is gained.

  "Even in the happiest choice whom fav'ring Heaven
  Has equal love and easy fortune given;
  Think not, the husband gained, that all is done,
  The prize of happiness must still be won;
  And oft the careless find it to their cost;
  The lover in the husband may be lost;
  The graces might alone his heart allure;
  They and the virtues meeting must secure."

According to Dean Swift, "the reason why so few marriages are happy is
because young women spend their time in making nets, not in making
cages." Certainly a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and girls
are quite justified in trying in all ways, consistent with modesty and
self-respect, to net husbands. Still, she is the really fine woman who
can not merely net the affections of a husband during the honeymoon, but
who can cage and keep them throughout a long married life. Only the
other day, a man told me that after forty years of married life, he
loved his wife almost better than the day they were married. We are not
told that Alexander the Great, after conquering the world, kept his
conquest very long, but this wife kept her conquest forty years. Woman
in her time has been called upon to endure a great deal of definition.
She had been described as, "A good idea--spoiled!" This may be true of
one who can only make nets, but it certainly is not true of a
cage-maker. Always do--

  "Her air, her smile, her motions, tell
    Of womanly completeness;
  A music as of household songs
    Is in her voice of sweetness.

  Flowers spring to blossom where she walks
    The careful ways of duty;
  The hard stiff lines of life with her
    Are flowing curves of beauty."

Men are often as easily caught as birds, but as difficult to keep. If
the wife cannot make her home bright and happy, so that it shall be the
cleanest, sweetest, cheerfullest place that her husband can find refuge
in--a retreat from the toils and troubles of the outer world--then God
help the poor man, for he is virtually homeless!

In the home more than anywhere else order is Heaven's first law. It is
the duty of a wife to sweetly order her cage so that it may be clean,
neat, and free from muddle. Method is the oil that makes the wheels of
the domestic machine run easily. The mistress of a home who desires
order, and the tranquillity that comes of order, must insist on the
application of method to every branch and department of the household
work. She must rise and breakfast early and give her orders early. Doing
much before twelve o'clock gives her a command of the day.

A friend of Robert Hall, the famous preacher, once asked him regarding a
lady of their acquaintance, "Will she make a good wife for me?" "Well,"
replied Hall, "I can hardly say--I never lived with her!" This is the
real test of happiness in married life. It is one thing to see ladies on
"dress" occasions and when every effort is being made to please them; it
is quite another thing to see them amidst the varied and often
conflicting circumstances of household life. Men may talk in raptures of
youth and beauty, wit and sprightliness; but after seven years of union,
not one of them is to be compared to good family management which is
seen at every meal, and felt every hour in the husband's purse. In the
"Records of Later Life," Fanny Kemble (Mrs. Butler), shortly after she
had begun housekeeping with a staff of six servants, writes from America
to a friend, "I have been reproaching myself, and reproving others, and
heartily regretting that instead of Italian and music, I had not learned
a little domestic economy, and how much bread, butter, flour, eggs,
milk, sugar, and meat ought to be consumed per week by a family of eight
persons." There is no reason why she should not have learned all this,
and Italian and music as well.

Gradually it has come to be seen that practical cookery, which might be
classed under the head of chemistry, is an excellent intellectual
training, as it teaches the application in daily life of knowledge
derived from a variety of branches of study. From this point of view
even sweet girl-graduates may take pride in being good cooks, while as
regards women of the working classes hardly anything drives their
husbands to drink so much as bad cookery and irregular meals.

Leigh Hunt used to say that "the most fascinating women are those that
can most enrich the every-day moments of existence." If we are to
believe Mrs. Carlyle, who lived next door to the Hunts at Chelsea, Mrs.
Hunt did not do much in the way of domestic economy to "enrich the
every-day moments of existence." "I told Mrs. Hunt, one day, I had been
very busy _painting_." "What?" she asked, "is it a portrait?" "Oh! no,"
I told her; "something of more importance--a large wardrobe." She could
not imagine, she said, "how I could have patience for such things." And
so, having no patience for them herself, what is the result? She is
every other day reduced to borrow my tumblers, my tea-cups; even a
cupful of porridge, a few spoonfuls of tea, are begged of me, because
"Missus has got company, and happens to be out of the article;' in
plain anadorned English, because 'missus' is the most wretched of
managers, and is often at the point of having not a copper in her purse.
To see how they live and waste here, it is a wonder the whole city does
not 'bankrape, and go out o' sicht';--flinging platefuls of what they
are pleased to denominate 'crusts' (that is, what I consider all the
best of the bread) into the ashpits.' I often say, with honest
self-congratulation, 'In Scotland we have no such thing as "crusts."' On
the whole, though the English ladies seem to have their wits more at
their finger-ends, and have a great advantage over me in that respect, I
never cease to be glad that I was born on the other side of the Tweed,
and that those who are nearest and dearest to me are Scotch.... Mrs.
Hunt I shall soon be quite terminated with, I foresee. She torments my
life out with borrowing. She actually borrowed one of the brass fenders
the other day, and I had difficulty in getting it out of her hands;
irons, glasses, tea-cups, silver spoons are in constant requisition; and
when one sends for them the whole number can never be found. Is it not a
shame to manage so, with eight guineas a week to keep house on! It makes
me very indignant to see all the waste that goes on around me, when I am
needing so much care and calculation to make ends meet."

When Carlyle was working hard to support himself and his wife by
literature at the lonely farmhouse which was their home, Mrs. Carlyle
did all she could to mitigate by good cookery the miseries which
dyspepsia inflicted upon him. She thus writes of her culinary trials:
"The bread, above all, brought from Dumfries, 'soured on his stomach'
(Oh Heaven!), and it was plainly my duty as a Christian wife to bake at
home; so I sent for Cobbett's 'Cottage Economy,' and fell to work at a
loaf of bread. But knowing nothing about the process of fermentation or
the heat of ovens, it came to pass that my loaf got put into the oven at
the time that myself ought to have been put into bed; and I remained the
only person not asleep in a house in the middle of a desert. One o'clock
struck, and then two, and then three; and still I was sitting there in
an immense solitude, my whole body aching with weariness, my heart
aching with a sense of forlornness and degradation. That I, who had been
so petted at home, whose comfort had been studied by everybody in the
house, who had never been required to do anything but cultivate my mind,
should have to pass all those hours of the night in watching a loaf of
bread--which mightn't turn out bread after all! Such thoughts maddened
me, till I laid down my head on the table and sobbed aloud. It was then
that somehow the idea of Benvenuto Cellini sitting up all night watching
his Perseus in the furnace came into my head, and suddenly I asked
myself: 'After all, in the sight of the Upper Powers, what is the mighty
difference between a statue of Perseus and a loaf of bread, so that each
be the thing one's hand has found to do? The man's determined will, his
energy, his patience, his resource, were the really admirable things of
which his statue of Perseus was the mere chance expression. If he had
been a woman living at Craigenputtoch, with a dyspeptic husband, sixteen
miles from a baker, and he a bad one, all these same qualities would
have come out more fitly in a good loaf of bread.' I cannot express what
consolation this germ of an idea spread over my uncongenial life during
the years we lived at that savage place, where my two immediate
predecessors had gone mad, and the third had taken to drink."

Though the life of that tragic muse Mrs. Siddons was girded about with
observance and worship from the highest in the land, though her mind and
imagination were always employed in realizing the most glorious
creations of the most glorious poets, Mrs. Siddons in her home was at
once the simplest and the tenderest of women. She did a great deal of
the household work herself, and her grand friends, when they called,
would be met by her with a flat-iron in her hand, or would find her
seated studying a new part, while, at the same time, she rocked the
cradle of her latest born, and knitted her husband's stockings. When she
went to the theatre she was generally accompanied by one or more of her
children, and the little things would cling about her, holding her hand
or her dress, as she stood in the side scenes. The fine ladies who
petted her could not put one grain of their fine-ladyism into her. To
the end of her life she remained a proof of the not-generally-believed
fact that an artist can be, at the same time, a most purely domestic
woman. The same too may be said of a mathematician, for the greatest
woman-mathematician of any age, Mary Somerville, was renowned for her
good housekeeping.

An American newspaper lately addressed the following wise words to young
women: "Learn to keep house. If you would be a level-headed woman; if
you would have right instincts and profound views, and that most subtle,
graceful, and irresistible of all things, womanly charm; if you would
make your pen, your music, your accomplishments tell, and would give
them body, character, and life; if you would be a woman of genuine
power, and queen o'er all the earth, learn to keep house thoroughly and
practically. You see the world all awry, and are consumed with a desire
to set it right. Must you go on a mission to the heathen? Very well, but
learn to keep house first. Begin reform, where all true reform must
begin, at the centre and work outwards; at the foundation and work
upwards. What is the basis and centre of all earthly life? It is the
family, the home; these relations dictate and control all others. _There
is nothing from which this distracted world is suffering so much to-day,
as for want of thorough housekeeping and homemaking._"

But a cage-making wife is much more than a good cook and housekeeper.
Indeed it is possible for a wife to be too careful and cumbered about
these things. When such is the case she becomes miserable and grumbles
at a little dust or disorder which the ordinary mortal does not see,
just as a fine musician is pained and made miserable at a slight discord
that is not noticed by less-trained ears. Probably her husband wishes
his house were less perfectly kept, but more peaceful. A woman should
know when to change her _rôle_ of housewife for that of the loving
friend and companion of her husband. She should be able and willing to
intelligently discuss with him the particular political or social
problem that is to him of vital interest. We will all agree with Dr.
Johnson that a man of sense and education should seek a suitable
_companion_ in a wife. "It was," he said, "a miserable thing when the
conversation could only be such as, whether the mutton should be boiled
or roast, and probably a dispute about that." A good and loyal wife
takes upon her a share of everything that concerns and interests her
husband. Whatever may be his work or even recreation, she endeavours to
learn enough about it to be able to listen to him with interest if he
speaks to her of it, and to give him a sensible opinion if he asks for
it. In every matter she is helpful.

Women's lives are often very dull; but it would help to make them
otherwise if wives would sometimes think over, during the hours when
parted from their husbands, a few little winning ways as surprises for
them on their return, either in the way of conversation, or of some
small change of dress, or any way their ingenuity would have suggested
in courting days. How little the lives of men and women would be dull,
if they thought of and acted towards each other after marriage as they
did before it!

Certainly, it does a wife good to go out of her cage occasionally for
amusement, although her deepest, truest happiness may be found at home.
She, quite as much as her husband, requires change and recreation, but
while this is true she must never forget that a life of pleasure is a
life of pain, and that if much of her time is spent in visiting and
company, anarchy and confusion at home must be the consequence. "Never
seek for amusement," says Mr. Ruskin, "but be always ready to be amused.
The least thing has play in it--the slightest word wit, when your hands
are busy and your heart is free. But if you make the aim of your life
amusement, the day will come when all the agonies of a pantomime will
not bring you an honest laugh."

Nothing renders a woman so agreeable to her husband as good humour. It
possesses the powers ascribed to magic and imparts beauty to the
plainest features. On the other hand, the bright, sparkling girl, who
turns, after marriage, in her hours of privacy with her husband, into
the dull, silent, or grumbling wife has no one to thank but herself if
he is often absent from his home.

Men hate nagging, and, indeed, husband-nagging is almost as cruel as
wife-beating. There are women whose perpetual contentiousness is a moral
reproduction of an Oriental torture, that drops water on you every ten
seconds. The butler of a certain Scottish laird, who had been in the
family a number of years, at last resigned his situation because his
lordship's wife was always scolding him. "Oh!" exclaimed his master, "if
that be all, ye've very little to complain of." "Perhaps so," replied
the butler; "but I have decided in my own mind to put up with it no
longer." "Go, then," said his lordship; "and be thankful for the rest of
your life that ye're not married to her."

The methods which women adopt in managing husbands vary with the
characters of the individuals to be guided. In illustration of this here
is a short story. Two women, Mrs. A. and Mrs. B., were talking together
one day with some friends over a cup of tea, when the subject of the
management of husbands came up. Each of these two wives boasted that she
could make her husband do exactly what she liked. A spinster who was
present, Miss C, denied the truth of this statement, and this led to
high words, in the course of which it was agreed that each wife should
prove her power by making her husband drive her on a particular
afternoon in a hired carriage to an appointed place, which we will call
Edmonton. The test was considered a good one, because the two husbands
were individuals inclined to economy, who in the ordinary course of
events would never think of hiring a carriage or driving anywhere,
excepting in a 'bus to the City. Mrs. A. was a strong-minded, determined
woman, and Mr. A. was meek and gentle; no one doubted, therefore, that
Mrs. A. could get what she wanted. But Mr. B. was an argumentative,
contradictory, wilful, and pugnacious individual, while Mrs. B. was
sweet and good. It was expected that Mrs. B. would have to own herself
defeated. However, the day arrived and the hour, the unbelieving
spinster repaired to the spot, and up drove the two husbands with their
wives sitting in state by their sides. "How did you manage it?" said
Miss C. "Oh," said Mrs. A., "I simply said to my husband, 'Mr. A., I
wish you to hire a carriage and drive me to Edmonton.' He said, 'Very
well, my dear, but I----,' and here I am." "And how did you manage it,
Mrs. B.?" Mrs. B. was unwilling to confess, but at length she was
induced to do so. "I said to my husband, 'I think Mr. and Mrs. A. are
very extravagant: they are going to hire a carriage and pair to-morrow
and drive to Edmonton.' 'Why should they not do so if they like it?'
said Mr. B. 'Oh, no reason at all, my dear, if you think it right, and
if they can afford it; but we could not do anything of that kind, of
course. Besides, I fancy Mr. A. is more accustomed to driving than you
are.' 'A. is not at all more accustomed to it than I am,' said Mr. B.,
'and I can afford it quite as well as he. Indeed, I will prove that I
can and will, for I will hire a carriage and drive there at the same
time.' 'Very well, my dear, if you think so; but I should not like to go
with you, I should feel so ashamed.' 'Then I wish you to go with me,
Mrs. B.; I insist upon your accompanying me.' So," said quiet little
Mrs. B., "that is the way I manage Mr. B."

Neither of these women is to be congratulated on her method of
management. Each despised her husband, and what sort of basis is scorn
for happiness in married life? If a man's own wife does not believe in
him, and look up to him, and admire him, and like him better than anyone
else, poor man, who else will? If he is not king at home, where is he

Once upon a time, according to an old heathen legend, the gods and
goddesses were assembled together, and were talking over matters
celestial, when one of the company, who was of an inquiring mind, said,
"What are the people who live on the earth like?" No one knew. One or
two guesses were made, but every one knew that they were only guesses.
At last an enterprising little goddess suggested that a special
messenger should be sent to visit the earth, to make inquiries, and to
bring back information concerning the inhabitants thereof. Off the
messenger went. On his return, the gods and goddesses once more
assembled, and every one was very anxious to hear the result of this
mission. "Well," said Jove, who constituted himself speaker on the
occasion, "what have you learnt? What are the people of the earth like?"
"They are very curious people," said the traveller. "They have no
character of their own, but they become what others think them. If you
think them cruel, they act cruelly; if you think them true, they may be
relied on; if you think them false, they lie and steal; if you believe
them to be kind, they are amiability itself."

May not the secret of how to manage a husband be found in this small
fable? A woman has power over her husband (that is, legitimate and
reasonable power, not power to make him hire a carriage, but power to
make him kind, true, and persevering) in proportion to her belief in
him. She is never so helpless with regard to him as when she has lost
faith in him herself.

Milton tells us that a good wife is "heaven's last, best gift to man;"
but what constitutes a good wife? Purity of thought and feeling, a
generous cheerful temper, a disposition ready to forgive, patience, a
high sense of duty, a cultivated mind, and a natural grace of manner.
She should be able to govern her household with gentle resolution, and
to take an intelligent interest in her husband's pursuits. She should
have a clear understanding, and "all the firmness that does not exclude
delicacy," and "all the softness that does not imply weakness." "Her
beauty, like the rose it resembleth, shall retain its sweetness when its
bloom is withered. Her hand seeketh employment; her foot delighteth not
in gadding about. She is clothed with neatness; she is fed with
temperance. On her tongue dwelleth music; the sweetness of honey floweth
from her lips. Her eye speaketh softness and love; but discretion, with
a sceptre, sitteth on her brow. She presideth in the house, and there is
peace; she commandeth with judgment, and is obeyed. She ariseth in the
morning, she considers her affairs, and appointeth to every one their
proper business. The prudence of her management is an honour to her
husband; and he heareth her praise with a secret delight. Happy is the
man that hath made her his wife; happy is the child that calleth her

The married man must have been blessed with a cage-making wife like this
who defined woman as "An essay on goodness and grace, in one volume,
elegantly bound." Although it may seem a little expensive, every man
should have a copy.



     "A good wife is the gift of a good God, and the workmanship of a
     good husband."--_Proverb._

     "My dear sir, mind your studies, mind your business, _make your
     lady happy_, and be a good Christian."--_Dr. Johnson's advice to

A highland horse dealer, who lately effected a sale, was offered a
bottle of porter to confess the animal's failings. The bottle was drunk,
and he then said the horse had but two faults. When turned loose in the
field he was "bad to catch," and he was "of no use when caught." Many a
poor woman might say the same of her husband. She had to make many nets,
for he was "bad to catch," and when caught--well, he forgot that
husbands have duties as well as wives. Some men can neither do without
wives nor with them; they are wretched alone, in what is called single
blessedness, and they make their homes miserable when they get married;
they are like the dog, which could not bear to be loose, and howled when
it was tied up.

There are men with whom all the pleasure of love exists in its pursuit,
and not in its possession. When a woman marries one of this class, he
seems almost to despise her from that day. Having got her into his power
he begins to bully her.

If it be true that there are more people married than keep good houses,
husbands are quite as much to blame as wives. The proverb tells us that
good wives and good plantations are made by good husbands. In the last
chapter we ventured to suggest that women should make cages as well as
nets; but all their efforts will be in vain if they have ill-birds who
foul their own nests. To complete the subject, therefore, something must
be said about the behaviour of the male bird when caught and caged.

First of all he should sing and not cry. How many women are there who
suffer from the want of a kindly love, a sweet appreciation of their
goodness and their self-sacrifice! How often will wives do tender and
loving offices, adorn the home with flowers, making it as neat as the
nest of a bird; dress their persons with elegance, and their faces with
smiles, and find as a reward for this the stolid indifference of the
block or the stupid insensibility of the lower animal! "She was a
woman," wrote one who knew her sex well; "a woman down to the very tips
of her finger-nails, and what she wanted was praise from the lips that
she loved. Do you ask what that meant? Did she want gold, or dress, or
power? No; all she wanted was that which will buy us all, and which so
few of us ever get--in a word, it was Love."

Priscilla Lammeter, in "Silas Marner," well understood the selfish way
many husbands fall into of relieving their feelings: "There's nothing
kills a man so soon as having nobody to find fault with but himself.
It's a deal the best way o' being master to let somebody else do the
ordering, and keep the blaming in your own hands. It 'ud save many a man
a stroke I believe."

"If he would only be satisfied!" Mrs. Carlyle used sometimes to complain
of Carlyle, "but I have had to learn that when he does not find fault he
is pleased, and that has to content me." On one occasion when Carlyle
was away from home Mrs. Carlyle described her charwoman sort of work to
get all in perfect order for her husband's arrival; and when all was
complete--his dinner ready, his arm-chair in its usual attitude, his
pipe and tobacco prepared, all looking as comfortable as possible--Mrs.
C. sat down at last to rest, and to expect him with a quiet mind. He
arrived; and "after he had just greeted me, what do you think he did? He
walked to the window and shook it, and asked 'Where's the wedge of the
window?' and until we had found that blessed wedge nothing would content
him. He said the window would rattle and spoil all." When a great and
good man gives such inordinate prominence to trivial worries, how
intolerable to live with must be the baser sort, who scarcely know the
meaning of self-control!

Some men may deserve rewards for distinguished service in action; but
they certainly do not for distinguished service in passion or suffering.
In this respect they are far less brave than women.

The fault of many husbands is not the absence of love, but their failure
to express it in their daily lives, and the self-absorption which
prevents them from knowing that their wives want something more than
they give them. They do not pay that attention to little things on which
so much of a woman's happiness depends.

"Instead of love being the occasion of all the misery of this world (as
is sung by fantastic bards), the misery of this world is occasioned by
there not being love enough." Certain it is, that as time goes on
married life is not usually found to want less love, but more; not less
expression of love, but more. Caroline Perthes, writing to her husband,
is not content he should love her, but wishes the phlegmatic German
would sometimes tell her so.

Husbands would be more considerate and less exacting if they realized
the fact that a wife's work is never done. I have heard more than one
lady remark that the greatest pleasure of hotel life, and of a visit to
one's friends, is to be able to sit down to dinner without a knowledge
of what is coming in the various courses.

The wife whose sympathy is always ready for her husband's out-of-door
difficulties naturally expects that he should at least try to understand
her housekeeping troubles. How many they are is known to every one who
has "run" a house for even a short time. A woman may have much
theoretical knowledge, but this will not prevent unlooked-for obstacles
from arising. Annoyances caused by human frailty and the working of
natural agents beset every practical housekeeper.

It is the unexpected that constantly happens, and the daily girding up
to meet the emergencies of the hour is the task of every wife who seeks
to make her home a comfortable, habitable abode. It is work--real,
earnest work, quite as hard in its way as the husband's.

Husbands should know the value and the difficulty of the work of their
wives, and should never forget that a little help is worth a great deal
of fault-finding.

The husband's affection must never be merged in an overweening conceit
of his authority. His rule must be the rule of reason and kindness, not
of severity and caprice. He is the houseband and should bind all
together like a corner-stone, but not crush everything like a
mill-stone. Jeremy Taylor says: "The dominion of a man over his wife is
no other than as the soul rules the body; for which it takes mighty
care, and uses it with a delicate tenderness, and cares for it in all
contingencies, and watches to keep it from all evils, and studies to
make for it fair provisions, and very often is led by its inclinations
and desires, and does never contradict its appetites but when they are
evil, and then also not without some trouble and sorrow; and its
government comes only to this, it furnishes the body with light and
understanding; and the body furnishes the soul with hands and feet; the
soul governs, because the body cannot else be happy; but the
_government_ is no other than _provision_, as a nurse governs a child,
when she causes him to eat, and to be warm, and dry, and quiet."

It sometimes happens that she who ought to have most influence on her
husband's mind has least. A man will frequently take the advice of a
stranger who cares not for him, in preference to the cordial and
sensible opinion of his own wife. Consideration of the domestic evils
such a line of conduct is calculated to produce ought to prevent its
adoption. Besides, there is in woman an intuitive quickness, a
penetration, and a foresight, that make her advice very valuable. "If I
was making up a plan of consequence," said Lord Bolingbroke, "I should
like first to consult with a sensible woman." Many a man has been ruined
by professed friends, because when his wife, with a woman's quick
detection of character, saw through them and urged him to give them up,
he would not do so. And if a wife is the partner of her husband's cares
surely she ought also to be the companion of his pleasures. There are
selfish husbands who go about amusing themselves; but in reference to
their wives they seem to be of the same opinion as the ancient
philosopher, who only approved of women leaving home three times in
their lives--to be baptized, married, and buried! Does it never occur to
such Egyptian taskmasters that all work and no play is quite as bad for
women as for men, and that the wife who makes her cage comfortable
should occasionally be offered and even urged to take a little
amusement? I know of one wife who struck under such treatment. Whenever
her husband spent his money and time too freely away from home, she used
to take her child and go for a little excursion, which of course cost
money. If he gave more "drinks" than he could afford to himself and to
his club-companions, she used to frighten him into good behaviour by
ordering a bottle of champagne for herself. Giving in this way a Roland
for every Oliver, this really good wife soon brought her husband to see
that his selfishness was a losing game.

Cobbett protests against a husband getting to like his club, or indeed
any house, better than his own. When absent from necessity, there is no
wound given to the heart of the wife; she concludes that her husband
would be with her if he could, and that satisfies. Yet in these cases
her feelings ought to be consulted as much as possible; she ought to be
apprised of the probable duration of the absence, and of the time of

And what Cobbett preached upon this text he himself practised. He and a
friend called Finnerty were dining with a mutual friend. At eleven
o'clock Cobbett said to the host, "We must go; my wife will be
frightened." "You do not mean to go home to-night," was the reply. "I
told him I did; and then sent my son, who was with us, to order out the
post-chaise. We had twenty-three miles to go, during which we debated
the question whether Mrs. Cobbett would be up to receive us, I
contending for the affirmative and he for the negative. She was up, and
had a nice fire for us to sit down at. She had not committed the matter
to a servant; her servants and children were all in bed; and she was up,
to perform the duty of receiving her husband and his friend. 'You did
not expect him?' said Finnerty. 'To be sure I did,' said she; 'he never
disappointed me in his life.'"

We ourselves heard a wife saying to her husband only the other day, "I
would rather you had done that than given me ten pounds." What had he
done? Only put himself out a little to return home at the exact hour he
had appointed to be with her. That the little attention gratified her so
much will not seem strange to any one who has observed the power of
little things in imparting either pleasure or pain.

A kind husband, when he goes from home, generally brings back some
little present to his wife. Attentions like this keep fresh that element
of romance which should never be entirely absent from married life. They
remind the now staid, but still impressible matron, of the days of her
maiden power, when a cold look from her brought winter into the room,
and when the faintest wish would have sent a certain young gentleman on
a walk of a dozen miles for the first violets. Yes, now and then give
your wife a present--a real present, which, without involving undue
expense, is good enough to compel a certain sacrifice, and suitable
enough to make her cheek flush with delight at seeing that just as the
bride was dearer than the sweetheart, the wife is yet dearer than the
bride. There is quite as much human nature in a wife as in a husband
(men forget this), and a little tender petting does her a great deal of
good, and may even be better than presents.

What a model husband and father Macaulay would have been if he had
married! His sister, Lady Trevelyan, says, that "those who did not know
him at home, never knew him in his most brilliant, witty, and fertile
vein." He was life and sunshine to young and old in the sombre house in
Great Ormond Street, where the forlorn old father, like a blighted oak,
lingered on in leafless decay, reading one long sermon to his family on
Sunday afternoons, and another long sermon on Sunday evenings--"where
Sunday walking for walking's sake was never allowed, and even going to a
distant church was discouraged." Through this Puritanic gloom Macaulay
shot like a sunbeam, and turned it into a fairy scene of innocent
laughter and mirth. Against Macaulay, the author, severe things may be
said; but as to his conduct in his own home--as a son, as a brother, and
an uncle--it is only the barest justice to say that he appears to have
touched the furthest verge of human virtue, sweetness, and generosity.
His thinking was often, if not generally, pitched in what we must call
a low key, but his action might put the very saints to shame. He
reversed a practice too common among men of genius, who are often
careful to display all their shining and attractive qualities to the
outside world, and keep for home consumption their meanness,
selfishness, and ill-temper. Macaulay struck no heroic attitude of
benevolence, magnanimity, and aspiration before the world--rather the
opposite; but in the circle of his home affections he practised those
virtues without letting his right hand know what was done by his left.

Writing to his oldest and dearest friend in the first days of her
overwhelming grief, Her Majesty the Queen described the Prince Consort
as having been to her "husband, father, lover, master, friend, adviser,
and guide." There could scarcely be a better description of what a
husband ought to be.



  "Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
  Lie in three words--health, peace, and competence.
  But Health consists with temperance alone,
  And Peace, O Virtue, peace is all thy own."--_Pope._

  "Better to hunt in fields for health unbought,
  Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught."--_Dryden._

     An eminent physician gave four rules for the preservation of
     health. When he died, his books were sold; one, which was said to
     contain very valuable precepts of health, but which the bidders
     were not permitted to open, sold at a high price. When the
     purchaser got it home he hastily proceeded to examine it, and was
     much disappointed at finding that it contained nothing more than
     four simple rules. He thought he had thrown his money away. But
     on further consideration he was induced to put the rules in
     practice; by doing so he was restored to a state of health to
     which he had long been a stranger. He often spoke of the old
     physician's book as the cheapest and most valuable purchase he
     ever made in his life. The rules were these: _Keep the head cool;
     Keep the feet warm; Take a light supper; Rise early._

The old word for "holy" in the German language also means "healthy,"
and, in our own, "hale," "whole," and "holy" are from the same root.
Carlyle says that "you could not get any better definition of what
'holy' really is than 'healthy--completely healthy.'" _Mens sana in
corpore sano._ There is no kind of achievement you could make in the
world that is equal to perfect health. What are nuggets and millions?
The French financier said, "Alas! why is there no sleep to be sold?"
Sleep was not in the market at any quotation.

What boots it to have attained wealth, if the wealth is accompanied by
ceaseless ailments? What is the worth of distinction, if it has brought
hypochondria with it? Surely no one needs telling that a good digestion,
a bounding pulse, and high spirits, are elements of happiness which no
external advantages can out-balance. Chronic bodily disorder casts a
gloom over the brightest prospects; while the vivacity of strong health
gilds even misfortune. Health is not merely freedom from bodily pain; it
is the capability of receiving pleasure from all surrounding things, and
from the employment of all our faculties. It need scarcely be said that
without this capability even marriage cannot make us happy. Indeed,
without a fair share of health to start with people are not justified in
taking upon themselves the responsibilities of matrimony, and running
the risk of introducing into the world weak children that may be said to
be damned rather than born into it.

It has been remarked that the first requisite to success in life is to
be a good animal. Will it seem shockingly unpoetical to suggest that
this is also a very important element of success in marriage? Certainly
beauty has great power in retaining as well as in gaining affection, and
health is a condition of beauty. A clear complexion and laughing eyes, a
supple and rounded form, and a face unmarked by wrinkles of pain or
peevishness, are the results of vigour of constitution.

Overflowing health produces good humour, and we all know how important
that is to matrimonial felicity. I once knew an old lady who used to say
that it was a duty to sometimes take medicine for the sake of one's
friends. She was thinking of the effect of dyspepsia, congested liver,
and other forms of ill-health upon our tempers. The chief misery of
dyspepsia is that it is not merely pain, but pain which affects the
intellect and feelings alike; in Carlyle's vivid words: "Every window of
your feeling, even of your intellect, as it were, begrimed and
mud-bespattered, so that no pure ray can enter; a whole drug-shop in
your inwards; the foredone soul drowning slowly in the quagmires of

Oliver Wendell Holmes speaks of a man in the clothing business with an
impressible temperament who let a customer "slip through his fingers one
day without fitting him with a new garment. 'Ah!' said he to a friend of
mine, who was standing by, 'if it hadn't been for that confounded
headache of mine this morning, I'd have had a coat on that man, in spite
of himself, before he left the store.' A passing throb only; but it
deranged the nice mechanism required to persuade the accidental human
being, _x_, into a given piece of broadcloth, _a_."

How many more happy days would a husband and wife spend together were it
not for confounded headaches which cause foolish, bitter words to be
spoken. If a man cannot do business when the nice mechanism of his body
is deranged, neither can he be gentle and kind in the family circle.
This is what Dr. Johnson meant when he said that a man is a villain when

"Smelfungus," says Sterne, "had been the grand tour, and had seen
nothing to admire; all was barren from Dan to Beersheba; and when I met
him he fell foul of the Venus de Medici; and abused her ladyship like a
common fish-fag. 'I will tell it,' cried he, 'I will tell it to the
world!' 'You had better,' said Sterne, 'tell it to your physician.'" So
too when a man falls foul of his wife, and abuses her ladyship like a
common fish-fag because his liver is out of order, he had better go to a
physician and take every means of clearing his clouded temper.

How much a husband can do by sympathy and kindness for a sick wife! Mrs.
Carlyle used to say, "The very least attention from Carlyle just
glorifies me. When I have one of my headaches, and the sensation of
red-hot knitting-needles darting into my brain, Carlyle's way of
expressing sympathy is to rest a heavy hand on the top of my head, and
keep it there in perfect silence for several seconds, so that although I
could scream with nervous agony, I sit like a martyr, smiling with joy
at such a proof of profound pity from him." The truth is that happiness
is the most powerful of tonics. By accelerating the circulation of the
blood, it facilitates the performance of every function; and so tends
alike to increase health when it exists, and to restore it when it has
been lost.

If acts of kindness from a husband are necessary in all cases, they are
especially so in cases of his wife's illness, from whatever cause
arising, and most of all when there is a prospect of her becoming a
mother. This is the time for him to show care, watchful tenderness,
attention to all her wishes, and anxious efforts to quiet her fears. Any
agitation or fatigue at such times may cause the remaining years of her
life to be years of pain and weakness. If he value happiness in married
life and would escape bitter self-reproach, the husband will be very
careful of his wife when in this condition. And it is the duty of the
young wife, on her part, to take care of her own health, because of the
manner in which hers will affect the health of her expected child. And
as the moral and mental nature of the child is scarcely less dependent
on her than the physical, she should cherish only such mental frames and
dispositions as she would like to see reproduced in her child. How much
her husband can help or hinder her in doing so! Then when the child is
born she ought if possible to give it the food which nature provides and
which is its birthright. No other is so congenial, and the consequences
of unnatural methods of feeding are sometimes most injurious to the
bodies and minds of children.

In these hard times of great competition in every kind of business, it
is a sad fact that many men have to overwork themselves, or at least
fancy they have, in order to get a living for their families. But there
are others who kill themselves by overwork and over-anxiety, for what?
To amass more money than they can well spend, or to catch the
soap-bubble called fame--

  "And all to leave what with his tact he won,
  To that unfeathered two-legged thing, a son."

Alas! that such men never think of His considerate words to His
disciples who was the great Physician of the body as well as of the
soul--"Come ye apart, and rest awhile." If they did they would be able
to show to their friends at home what the Lord had done for them. Rest
to their overstrung nerves would make them less peevish, discontented,
and generally disagreeable.

More open-air amusements, and more indoor gaiety, would save a great
many failing brains and enfeebled hearts.

Of course health may be impaired quite as much by doing too little work
as by doing too much. This truth was enforced by Thackeray, when,
addressing a medical friend, he exclaimed, "Doctor, there is not in the
whole of your pharmacopoeia so sovereign a remedy as hard work." All
depends upon the temperament and constitution. What kills one man cures
another. General Sir Charles Napier, who was not physically a strong
man, declared that for the first time he had discovered what total
immunity from "malaise" meant when he took to working seventeen hours a
day at Cephalonia, as acting Governor or Commissioner of the Ionian

Not all but by far the largest part of the cure of nervous depression
rests with the patient. Change, exercise, fresh air, diet, tonics--all
these together will not cure any one who gives up and gives way.

Above all, we should try to be cheerful. A clerical friend, at a
celebrated watering-place, met a lady who seemed hovering on the brink
of the grave. Her cheeks were hollow and wan, her manner listless, her
step languid, and her brow wore the severe contraction so indicative
both of mental and physical suffering, so that she was to all observers
an object of sincere pity. Some years afterward he encountered this same
lady; but so bright, and fresh, and youthful, so full of healthful
buoyancy, and so joyous in expression, that he questioned the lady if he
had not deceived himself with regard to identity. "Is it possible,"
said he, "that I see before me Mrs. B. who presented such a doleful
appearance at the Springs several years ago?" "The very same." "And pray
tell me the secret of your cure. What means did you use to attain to
such vigour of mind and body, to such cheerfulness and rejuvenation?" "A
very simple remedy," returned she, with a beaming face; "I stopped
worrying and began to laugh; that was all."

We would call the attention of heads of families to the following
mistakes which the "Sanitary Record" lately enumerated: "It is a mistake
to labour when you are not in a fit condition to do so. To think that
the more a person eats the healthier and stronger he will become. To go
to bed at midnight and rise at daybreak, and imagine that every hour
taken from sleep is an hour gained. To imagine that if a little work or
exercise is good, violent or prolonged exercise is better. To conclude
that the smallest room in the house is large enough to sleep in. To eat
as if you only had a minute to finish the meal in, or to eat without an
appetite, or continue after it has been satisfied, merely to satisfy the
taste. To believe that children can do as much work as grown people, and
that the more hours they study the more they learn. To imagine that
whatever remedy causes one to feel immediately better (as alcoholic
stimulants) is good for the system, without regard to the after-effects.
To take off proper clothing out of season because you have become
heated. To sleep exposed to a direct draught in any season. To think
that any nostrum or patent medicine is a specific for all the diseases
flesh is heir to."

There are few things more important to health than the due adjustment of
play and work. The school at which a boy ten years of age is made to
work at his tasks for the same time as a lad of sixteen ought to be
avoided by all parents. If health is to be preserved in early youth, the
child must be treated on the same principle as a foal would be. He, or
she, must be allowed to a great extent to "run wild," and "lessons" must
be carefully graduated to the bodily powers.

Those mothers who are inclined to dose their children too much should be
reminded that it was during the days when physic flourished in the
nursery that the greatest amount of disease was found. It is not by
medicine, but by acting in accordance with natural laws, that health of
body and health of mind and morals can be secured at home. Without a
knowledge of such laws, the mother's love too often finds its recompense
only in the child's coffin.

In the management of their children's health some mothers are guided by
everybody and everything except by nature herself. And yet the child's
healthy instincts are what alone should be followed.

Sir Samuel Garth, physician to George I., was a member of the Kit-Kat
Club. Coming to the club one night, he said he must soon be gone, having
many patients to attend; but some good wine being produced, he forgot
them. Sir Richard Steele was of the party, and reminded him of the
visits he had to pay. Garth pulled out his list, which amounted to
fifteen, and said, "It's no great matter whether I see them to-night or
not; for nine of them have such bad constitutions that all the
physicians in the world can't save them; and the other six have such
good constitutions that all the physicians in the world can't kill

Probably the carelessness of many people about their health may be
explained in the same way. They think either that their constitutions
are so good that nothing can injure them or else that they are so bad
that nothing can make them better. And often it is a bottle of wine or
some other indulgence of appetite that keeps health away. We have heard
of a well-known character who, having had many severe attacks of gout,
and who, getting into years, and having a cellar of old port wine, upon
which he drew somewhat considerably, was advised by his physician to
give up the port, and for the future to drink a certain thin claret not
very expensive. Said the gentleman in reply to this suggestion: "I
prefer my gout with my port, to being cured of my gout with that claret
of yours!" Of a delicate man who would not control his appetite it was
said, "One of his passions which he will not resist is for a particular
dish, pungent, savoury, and multifarious, which sends him almost every
night into Tartarus." Talking of the bad effects of late hours Sydney
Smith said of a distinguished diner-out that it would be written on his
tomb, "He dined late." "And died early," added Luttrell.

Such people ought to be told that in playing tricks with their health
they are committing a very great sin. "Perhaps," says Mr. Herbert
Spencer, "nothing will so much hasten the time when body and mind will
both be adequately cared for, as a diffusion of the belief that the
preservation of health is a _duty_. Few seem conscious that there is
such a thing as physical morality. Men's habitual words and acts imply
the idea that they are at liberty to treat their bodies as they please.
Disorders entailed by disobedience to Nature's dictates, they regard
simply as grievances, not as the effects of a conduct more or less
flagitious. Though the evil consequences inflicted on their dependents,
and on future generations, are often as great as those caused by crime;
yet they do not think themselves in any degree criminal. It is true
that, in the case of drunkenness, the viciousness of a bodily
transgression is recognized; but none appear to infer that, if this
bodily transgression is vicious, so too is every bodily transgression.
The fact is, that all breaches of the laws of health are _physical

Certainly there are many great sufferers who are not responsible for
their ailments, and sometimes they teach lessons of patience and
resignation so well in the world and in their families, that their work
is quite as valuable as that of the active and healthy. Robert Hall,
being troubled with an acute disease which sometimes caused him to roll
on the floor with agony, would rise therefrom, wiping from his brow the
drops of sweat which the pain had caused, and, trembling from the
conflict, ask, "But I did not complain--I did not cry out much, did I?"

Sydney Smith may have dined out more than was good for his health, but
he never allowed infirmities to sour his temper. At the end of a letter
to an old friend he adds playfully, "I have gout, asthma, and seven
other maladies, but am otherwise very well." For the sake of domestic
happiness let us preserve our health; but when we do get ill we should
endeavour to bear it in this cheerful spirit.



  "Thou leanest thy true heart on mine,
    And bravely bearest up!
  Aye mingling Love's most precious wine
   In life's most bitter cup!
  And evermore the circling hours
    New gifts of glory bring;
  We live and love like happy flowers,
    All in our fairy ring.

  We have known a many sorrows, sweet!
    We have wept a many tears,
  And after trod with trembling feet
    Our pilgrimage of years.
  But when our sky grew dark and wild,
    All closelier did we cling;
  Clouds broke to beauty as you smiled,
    Peace crowned our fairy ring."--_Massey._

Marriage is sometimes said to be the door that leads deluded mortals
back to earth; but this need not and ought not to be the case. Writing
to his wife from the sea-side, where he had gone in search of health,
Kingsley said: "This place is perfect; but it seems a dream and
imperfect without you. Blessed be God for the rest, though I never
before felt the loneliness of being without the beloved being whose
every look and word and motion are the key-notes of my life. People talk
of love ending at the altar.... Fools!"

Of course the enthusiastic tempestuous love of courting days will not as
a rule remain. A married couple soon get to feel towards each other very
much as two chums at college, or two partners in a business who are at
the same time old and well-tried friends. Young married people often
think that those who have been in the holy state of matrimony twenty or
thirty years longer than themselves are very prosy, unromantic, and by
no means perfect examples of what married people ought to be. We would
remind persons manifesting this newly-married intolerance of what an old
minister of the Church of Scotland once said to a young Scotch Dissenter
who was finding many faults--"When your lum (chimney) has reeked as long
as ours perhaps it will have as much soot."

"There is real love just as there are real ghosts; every person speaks
of it; few persons have seen it." This cynical remark of Rochefoucauld
is certainly not true in reference to love before marriage and the
existence of love even after it rests on far better evidence than the
existence of ghosts. I have never seen a ghost, but I have seen love
surviving matrimony, and I have read amongst very many other instances
the following.

Old Robert Burton relates several cases of more than lovers' love
existing between husband and wife. He tells us of women who have died to
save their husbands, and of a man who, when his wife was carried away by
Mauritanian pirates, became a galley-slave in order to be near her. Of
a certain Rubenius Celer he says that he "would needs have it engraven
on his tomb that he had led his life with Ennea, his dear wife,
forty-three years and eight months, and never fell out." After
twenty-eight years' experience, Faraday spoke of his marriage as "an
event which more than any other had contributed to his earthly happiness
and healthy state of mind." For forty-six years the union continued
unbroken; the love of the old man remaining as fresh, as earnest, and as
heart-whole, as in the days of his youth. Another man of science, James
Nasmyth, the inventor of the steam-hammer, had a similar happy
experience. "Forty-two years of married life finds us the same devoted
'cronies' that we were at the beginning." Dr. Arnold often dwelt upon
"the rare, the unbroken, the almost awful happiness" of his domestic
life, and carried the first feelings of enthusiastic love and watchful
care through twenty-two years of wedded life.

There are such things as love-letters between married people. Here are
two extracts from one written by Caroline Perthes to her absent husband:
"I have just looked out into the night, and thought of thee. It is a
glorious night, and the stars are glittering above me, and if in thy
carriage one appears to thee brighter than the rest, think that it
showers down upon thee love and kindness from me, and no sadness, for I
am not now unhappy when you are absent. Yet I am certain that this does
not proceed from any diminution of affection. If I could only show how I
feel towards you, it would give you joy. After all I may say or write,
it is still unexpressed, and far short of the living love which I carry
in my heart. If you could apprehend me without words, you would
understand me better. The children do their best, but you are always the
same, and have ever the first place in my heart. Thank God, my Perthes,
neither time nor circumstances can ever affect my love to you; my
affection knows neither youth nor age, and is eternal."

If love never survived matrimony would Mrs. Carlyle have written a
letter like the following which she did to a friend who made a special
effort to console her soon after the death of her mother?--"Only think
of my husband, too, having given me a little present! he who never
attends to such nonsenses as birthdays, and who dislikes nothing in the
world so much as going into a shop to buy anything, even his own
trousers and coats; so that, to the consternation of cockney tailors, I
am obliged to go about them. Well, he actually risked himself in a
jeweller's shop, and bought me a very nice smelling-bottle! I cannot
tell you how _wae_ his little gift made me, as well as glad; it was the
first thing of the kind he ever gave me in his life. In great matters he
is always kind and considerate? but these little attentions, which we
women attach so much importance to, he was never in the habit of
rendering to any one; his up-bringing, and the severe turn of mind he
has from nature, had alike indisposed him towards them. And now the
desire to replace to me the irreplaceable makes him as good in little
things as he used to be in great."

Carlyle never forgot her birthday afterwards. Once she thought that he
had, and she told the story of her mistake and its correction thus: "Oh!
my dear husband, fortune has played me such a cruel trick this day! and
I do not even feel any resentment against fortune for the suffocating
misery of the last two hours. I know always, when I seem to you most
exacting, that whatever happens to me is nothing like so bad as I
deserve. But you shall hear how it was. Not a line from you on my
birthday, the postmistress averred! I did not burst out crying, I did
not faint--did not do anything absurd, so far as I know; but I walked
back again, without speaking a word; and with such a tumult of
wretchedness in my heart as you, who know me, can conceive. And then I
shut myself in my own room to fancy everything that was most tormenting.
Were you, finally, so out of patience with me that you had resolved to
write to me no more at all? Had you gone to Addiscombe, and found no
leisure there to remember my existence? Were you taken ill, so ill that
you could not write? That last idea made me mad to get off to the
railway, and back to London. Oh, mercy! what a two hours I had of it!
And just when I was at my wits' end, I heard Julia crying out through
the house: 'Mrs. Carlyle, Mrs. Carlyle! Are you there? Here is a letter
for you.' And so there was after all! The postmistress had overlooked
it, and had given it to Robert, when he went afterwards, not knowing
that we had been. I wonder what love-letter was ever received with such
thankfulness! Oh, my dear! I am not fit for living in the world with
this organization. I am as much broken to pieces by that little accident
as if I had come through an attack of cholera or typhus fever. I cannot
even steady my hand to write decently. But I felt an irresistible need
of thanking you, by return of post. Yes, I have kissed the dear little
card-case; and now I will lie down awhile, and try to get some sleep. At
least, to quiet myself, I will try to believe--oh, why cannot I believe
it once for all--that, with all my faults and follies, I am 'dearer to
you than any earthly creature.'"

Hundreds of other cases of love surviving matrimony might be cited but
we shall only add one more. On the fifty-fourth anniversary of his
marriage, Mr. S. C. Hall composed the following lines, a copy of which I
had the pleasure of receiving from himself:

  "Yes! we go gently down the hill of life,
    And thank our God at every step we go;
  The husband-lover and the sweetheart-wife.
    Of creeping age what do we care or know?
  Each says to each, 'Our fourscore years, thrice told,
  Would leave us young:' the soul is never old!

  What is the grave to us? can it divide
    The destiny of two by God made one?
  We step across, and reach the other side,
    To know our blended life is but begun.
  These fading faculties are sent to say
  Heaven is more near to-day than yesterday."



  "To veer how vain! on, onward strain,
    Brave barks! in light, in darkness too;
  Through winds and tides one compass guides,
    To that, and your own selves, be true.

  But, O blithe breeze! and O great seas,
    Though ne'er that earliest parting past
  On your wide plain they join again,
    Together lead them home at last.

  One port, methought, alike they sought,
    One purpose hold where'er they fare.
  O bounding breeze, O rushing seas!
    At last, at last unite them there!"--_Clough._

"He will not separate us, we have been so happy"--these were the last
words of Charlotte Brontë when, having become Mrs. Nicholls, and having
lived with her husband only nine months, death came to snatch the cup of
domestic felicity from the lips of the happy pair. A low wandering
delirium came on. Wakening for an instant from this stupor, she saw her
husband's woe-worn face, and caught the sound of some murmured words of
prayer that God would spare her. "Oh!" she whispered, "I am not going to
die, am I? He will not separate us, we have been so happy."

Mrs. Elizabeth Fry, when a girl, loved her family so dearly that she
used to wish that when they had to die, two large walls might press
towards each other, and crush them all, that they might die all
together, and be spared the misery of parting. Loving husbands and wives
will sympathize with this wish, for they must sometimes look forward
with dread to the misery of parting from each other.

  "To know, to esteem, to love--and then to part,
  Makes up life's tale to many a feeling heart!"

In all ages the anticipation and the reality of separation has been the
greatest and sometimes the only sorrow in the lot of united couples.
Many very touching inscriptions have been found in the Catacombs at
Rome, but none more touching than those which record this separation.
Here is one of them. It is in memory of a very young wife, who must have
been married when little more than a child (fourteen), and then left by
her husband, a soldier, called off probably to serve in the provinces.
He returns to find his poor little wife dead. Was she martyred or did
she fret herself to death, or was she carried off with malaria in the
Catacombs? We know nothing; but here is her epitaph full of simple
pathos, and warm as with the very life blood: "To Domina, 375 A.D., my
sweetest and most innocent wife, who lived sixteen years and four
months, and was married two years, with whom I was not able to live
more than six months, during which time I showed her my love as I felt
it; none else so loved each other." When Sir Albert Morton died, his
wife's grief was such that she shortly followed him, and was laid by his
side. Wotton's two lines on the event have been celebrated as containing
a volume in seventeen words:

  "He first deceased; she for a little tried
  To live without him, liked it not, and died."

When Colonel Hutchinson, the noble Commonwealth officer, felt himself
dying, knowing the deep sorrow which his death would occasion to his
wife, he left this message, which was conveyed to her: "Let her, as she
is above other women, show herself on this occasion a good Christian,
and above the pitch of ordinary women." Faithful to his injunction,
instead of lamenting his loss, she indulged her sorrow in depicting her
husband as he had lived. "They who dote on mortal excellences," she
says, in her Introduction to the "Life," "when, by the inevitable fate
of all things frail, their adored idols are taken from them, may let
loose the winds of passion to bring in a flood of sorrow, whose ebbing
tides carry away the dear memory of what they have lost; and when
comfort is essayed to such mourners, commonly all objects are removed
out of their view which may with their remembrance renew the grief; and
in time these remedies succeed, and oblivion's curtain is by degrees
drawn over the dead face; and things less lovely are liked, while they
are not viewed together with that which was most excellent. But I, that
am under a command not to grieve at the common rate of desolate women,
while I am studying which way to moderate my woe, and if it were
possible to augment my love, I can for the present find out none more
just to your dear father, nor consolatory to myself, than the
preservation of his memory, which I need not gild with such flattering
commendations as hired preachers do equally give to the truly and
titularly honourable. A naked undressed narrative, speaking the simple
truth of him, will deck him with more substantial glory than all the
panegyrics the best pens could ever consecrate to the virtues of the
best men."

When death removed Stella from Swift, and he was left alone to think of
what he had lost, he described her as "the truest, most virtuous, and
valuable friend, that I, or perhaps any other person, was ever blessed
with." Henceforward he must strive and suffer alone. The tenderness, of
which his attachment to Stella had been the strongest symptom, deeply as
it had struck its roots into his nature, withered into cynicism. But a
lock of Stella's hair is said to have been found in Swift's desk, when
his own fight was ended, and on the paper in which it was wrapped were
written words that have become proverbial for the burden of pathos that
their forced brevity seems to hide--"Only a woman's hair." It is for
each reader to read his own meaning into them.

Dr. Johnson's wife was querulous, exacting, old, and the reverse of
beautiful, and yet a considerable time after her death he said that ever
since the sad event he seemed to himself broken off from mankind; a kind
of solitary wanderer in the wild of life, without any direction or fixed
point of view; a gloomy gazer on the world to which he had little
relation. After recording some good resolution in his Journal he was in
the habit since her death of writing after it his wife's name--"Tetty."
It is only a word; but how eloquent it is! When a certain Mr. Edwards
asked him if he had ever known what it was to have a wife, Johnson
replied: "Sir, I have known what it was to have a wife, and (in a
solemn, tender, faltering tone) I have known what it was to _lose a
wife_. I had almost broke my heart." Nor did he allow himself to forget
this experience. To New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Day, and his own
birthday, which he set apart as sacred days dedicated to solemn thought
and high communion with his own soul, he added _the day of his wife's

Nor are such separations less felt in humble life. A year or two ago the
newspapers in describing a colliery accident related that upon the tin
water-bottle of one of the dead men brought out of the Seaham Pit, there
was scratched, evidently with a nail, the following letter to his wife:
"DEAR MARGARET,--There was forty of us altogether at 7 A.M., some was
singing hymns, but my thought was on my little Michael. I thought that
him and I would meet in heaven at the same time. Oh, dear wife, God save
you and the children, and pray for myself. Dear wife, farewell. My last
thoughts are about you and the children. Be sure and learn the children
to pray for me. Oh, what a terrible position we are in.--MICHAEL SMITH,
54, Henry Street." The little Michael he refers to was his child whom he
had left at home ill. The lad died on the day of the explosion.

A writer on _The Orkneys and Shetland_ tells the following. A native of
Hoy went one day to his minister and said, "Oh! sir, but the ways of
Providence are wonderful! I thought I had met with a sair misfortune
when I lost baith my coo and my wife at aince over the cliff, twa
months sin; but I gaed over to Graemsay, and I hae gotten a far better
coo and a far bonnier wife."

That a wife is not always so easily replaced is evident from the
following letter which appeared in the Belfast papers: "SIR,--I request
permission to inform your readers of the fair sex that I have just
received a letter from a young man residing in a rapidly-rising town of
a few months' growth, and terminus of several railways, in one of the
Western States of America, telling me that he has lost his wife, and
would wish to get another one--a nice little Irish girl, just like the
other one; that she should be 'between twenty and twenty-five years of
age, of good habits, of good forme, vertchaus, and a Protestant.' My
correspondent, who is a perfect stranger to me, informs me that he is 28
years of age, and 'ways' 150 lbs.; that he is a carpenter by trade, and
owns a farm of 65 acres, and that he can give the best of references. I
am writing to him for his references and his photograph, and also for a
photograph and description of his late wife, on receipt of which I will
address you again.--VERE FOSTER, Belfast, Jan. 5, 1883."

This poor, uneducated carpenter was so happy with his nice little Irish
girl that when taken from him he could not help trying to get another
one just like her, and sends more than three thousand miles for a chip
of the old block. If any blame him for seeking for a second wife let
them reflect on the awful solitude of a backwoods settlement when the
prairie flower represented by a nice little Irish girl had faded and
died. By desiring to marry again he paid the highest compliment to his
first wife, for he showed that she had made him a happy man.

It is sometimes said that the happiest days of a man's life is the day
of his wedding and the day of his wife's funeral. And the _Quarterly
Review_, in an article on Church Bells, related that one Thomas Nash in
1813 bequeathed fifty pounds a year to the ringers of the Abbey Church
at Westminster, "on condition of their ringing on the whole peal of
bells, with clappers muffled, various _solemn and doleful changes_ on
the 14th of May in every year, being the anniversary of my wedding-day;
and also on the anniversary of my decease to ring a grand bob-major, and
_merry, mirthful peals_, unmuffled, in joyful commemoration of my happy
release from domestic tyranny and wretchedness."

As a rule, however, no matter how much a husband and wife have tormented
each other the separation when it comes is very painful. How true to
life is Trollope's description of the effect of Mrs. Proudie's death
upon the bishop. "A wonderful silence had come upon him which for the
time almost crushed him. He would never hear that well-known voice
again! He was free now. Even in his misery--for he was very
miserable--he could not refrain from telling himself that. No one could
now press uncalled for into his study, contradict him in the presence of
those before whom he was bound to be authoritative, and rob him of all
his dignity. There was no one else of whom he was afraid. She had at
least kept him out of the hands of other tyrants. He was now his own
master, and there was a feeling--I may not call it of relief, for as yet
there was more of pain in it than of satisfaction--a feeling as though
he had escaped from an old trouble at a terrible cost, of which he could
not as yet calculate the amount.... She had in some ways, and at certain
periods of his life, been very good to him. She had kept his money for
him and made things go straight when they had been poor. His interests
had always been her interests. Without her he would never have been a
bishop. So, at least, he told himself now, and so told himself probably
with truth. She had been very careful of his children. She had never
been idle. She had never been fond of pleasure. She had neglected no
acknowledged duty. He did not doubt that she was now on her way to
heaven. He took his hands down from his head, and clasping them
together, said a little prayer. It may be doubted, whether he quite knew
for what he was praying. The idea of praying for her soul, now that she
was dead, would have scandalized him. He certainly was not praying for
his own soul. I think he was praying that God might save him from being
glad that his wife was dead.... But yet his thoughts were very tender to
her. Nothing reopens the springs of love so fully as absence, and no
absence so thoroughly as that which must needs be endless. We want that
which we have not; and especially that which we can never have. She had
told him in the very last moments of her presence with him that he was
wishing that she were dead, and he had made her no reply. At the moment
he had felt, with savage anger, that such was his wish. Her words had
now come to pass, and he was a widower; and he assured himself that he
would give all that he possessed in the world to bring her back again."

Richard Cobden once asked in reference to a famous and successful but
unscrupulous statesman, "How will it be with him when all is
retrospect?" Husband and wife, how will it be when death has separated
you, and your married life is retrospect?

Many a man or woman, going on from day to day in the faithful
performance of duty, without any sweet token of approval to cheer the
sometimes weary path, would find it act as the very wine of life could
he or she only hear by anticipation some few of the passionate words of
appreciation or regret that will be spoken when the faithful heart,
stilled for ever, can no longer be moved by the tone of loving
commendation. Do not in this way let us keep all the good hermetically
sealed up till the supreme touch of death shall force it open.

  "Alas! how often at our hearths we see--
  And by our side--angels about to be!"

But somehow the selfish absorption of life acts as a soporific to our
truer sense, and our "eyes are holden that we do not know them," until,
alas! it is too late, and they have "passed out of our sight."

  "Could ye come back to me, Douglas, Douglas,
    In the old likeness that I knew,
  I would be so faithful, so loving, Douglas--
    Douglas, Douglas! tender and true!

  Never a scornful word should grieve ye,
    I'd smile on ye, sweet as the angels do;
  Sweet as your smile on me shone ever--
    Douglas, Douglas! tender and true."

"The grave buries every error, covers every defect, extinguishes every
resentment. From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and
tender recollections. Who can look down upon the grave of an enemy and
not feel a compunctious throb that he should have warred with the poor
handful of dust that lies mouldering before him?" If the love that is
lavished on the graves of dead friends were bestowed on living darlings
in equal measure, family life would be a different thing from what it
sometimes is.

As George IV. put on the statue of George III. "pater optimus," best of
fathers, though he had embittered his father's life, so many a husband
tries to relieve his remorse by extravagantly praising the wife who when
alive never received any kindness from him. What is hell but truths
known too late? and the surviving one of a married pair has to the end
of life, if duty in matrimony has been neglected, the incessant wish
that something were otherwise than it had been. The one regret to avoid
is, that when married life is over, over for ever, to the survivor
should come the unutterable but saddening thought, that now, in the late
autumn of life, when experience can be no longer of any possible value,
he or she understands, at last understands, all that the chivalry of
holy matrimony implies and claims on both sides, in manly forbearance,
in delicate thoughtfulness, in loving courtesy. Too late now!

Over the triple doorways of the cathedral of Milan there are three
inscriptions spanning the splendid arches. Over one is carved a
beautiful wreath of roses, and underneath is the legend "All that which
pleases is only for a moment." Over the other is a sculptured cross, and
there are the words, "All that which troubles is but for a moment."
Underneath the great central entrance in the main aisle is the
inscription, "That only is which is eternal." Make the most of the
happiness of your marriage, and the least of its vexations, for it is a
relation that will not last long.

_Respice finem_, the old monks used to say in their meditations on life.
And if we would behave rightly in married life we must "consider the
end." Affections are never deepened and refined until the possibility of
loss is felt. "Whatsoever thou takest in hand, remember the end, and
thou shalt never do amiss." Spare all hard words, omit all slights, for
before long there will be a hearse standing at your door that will take
away the best friend that you have on earth--a good wife. Then the
silence will be appalling; the vacancies ghastly. Reminiscences will
rush on the heart like a mountain current over which a cloud has burst.
Her jewels, her books, her pictures, her dresses will be put into a
trunk and the lid will come down with a heavy thud, as much as to
say--"Dead! The morning dead. The night dead. The world dead." Oh! man,
if in that hour you think of any unkind word uttered, you will be
willing to pay in red coin of blood every drop from your heart, if you
could buy it back. Kindly words, sympathizing attentions, watchfulness
against wounding the sensitiveness of a wife or husband--it is the
omission of these things which is irreparable: irreparable, when we look
to the purest enjoyment which might have been our own; irreparable when
we consider the compunction which belongs to deeds of love not done.

Carlyle never meant to be unkind to his wife, but in his late years he
thought that he had sacrificed her health and happiness in his
absorption in his work; that he had been negligent, inconsiderate, and
selfish. "For many years after she had left him," writes Mr. Froude,
"when he passed the spot where she was last seen alive, he would bare
his grey head in the wind and rain--his features wrung with unavailing
sorrow. 'Oh!' he often said to me, 'if I could but see her for five
minutes to assure her that I had really cared for her throughout all
that! But she never knew it, she never knew it!'"

Sorrow, however, may teach us wisdom, and if we study patience in the
school of Christ much comfort will from thence be derived. And much hope
too. He is the resurrection and the life, and if we believe in Him we
believe that there is a Friend in whose arms we ourselves shall fall
asleep, and to whose love we may trust for the reunion, sooner or later,
of the severed links of sacred human affection.

  "And in that perfect Marriage Day
    All earth's lost love shall live once more;
  All lack and loss shall pass away,
    And all find all not found before;
  Till all the worlds shall live and glow
  In that great love's great overflow."


  Adam and Eve, their history repeated every day, 61;
    had no relations-in-law in Paradise, 110.

  Advertisement, An, 34.

  Affection, A genius for, 39;
    conjugal, largely depends on mutual confidence, 106.

  Age, Marriageable, of women, 37;
    proper for a husband, 48.

  A Kempis, Thomas, Wise sentence of, 220.

  Alderman, Exclamation of the, 208.

  Alleine, Joseph, describes the inconveniences of a wife, 11.

  Appearances not to be entirely disregarded nor regarded too much, 126-8.

  Arnold, Dr., on dying childless, 148;
    as a father, 179-80;
    adapted correction to each particular case, 208;
    the "almost awful happiness" of his domestic life, 256.

  Astor, John Jacob, on the care of property, 35.

  Attila, A domestic, 59.

  Aurelius, Marcus, on co-operation, 216.

  Bacon, Lord, on marriage and celibacy, 14;
    on abridging expenses, 120;
    quotes the saying of a wise man, 128.

  Baird, Sir David, Anecdote of, 218.

  Baxter nursed in prison by his wife, 23.

  Beaconsfield, Lord, his opinion about marrying, 10;
    anecdote of, 23;
    his description of his wife, 41.

  Beauty, Not wise to marry for, 36;
    health a condition of, 245.

  Bells, why are ladies like them? 40;
    article on, in the _Quarterly Review_, 266.

  Belfast papers, The, letter in, 265.

  Bismarck, Prince, made by his wife, 23.

  Blaikie, Professor, on "How to get rid of trouble," 195.

  Boswell, his "matrimonial thought," 82.

  Braxfield, Lord, on the benefit of being hanged, 62.

  Bridegroom, Dutch courage of, 72;
    driven to desperation, 83.

  Brontë, Charlotte, her last words, 260.

  Bunyan shown the pathway to heaven by his wife, 22.

  "Buried Alive," a Russian story referred to, 205.

  Burke on his domestic felicity, 23;
    describes his wife's eyes, 189.

  Burleigh, Lord, advice to his son on the choice of a wife, 42.

  Burmah, Young men of, cured of aversion to marriage, 12.

  Bermuda, Servants in, 129.

  Burns on the qualities of a good wife, 41.

  Burton, Robert, for and against matrimony, 13, 14;
    tells of a remedy for a husband's impatience, 203;
    gives instances of love surviving marriage, 255-6.

  Byron, Lord, tells a story of a learned Jew, 88;
    spoiled by his mother, 166.

  Carlyle, Thomas, his inscription upon his wife's tombstone, 28;
    advice to the discontented, 62;
    cautions a servant "abounding in grace," 135;
    the way he and his wife pulled together, 218;
    his definition of "holy," 244;
    on dyspepsia, 246;
    his way of expressing sympathy, 247;
    birthday presents to his wife, 257-8;
    his remorse, 270.

  Carlyle, Mrs., her advice, 49;
    her "mutinous maids of all work," 135;
    describes Mrs. Leigh Hunt's housekeeping, 224-5;
    her culinary trials, 225;
    "If he would only be satisfied!" 237.

  Castile, Admiral of, his saying about marrying a wife, 10.

  Catacombs at Rome, Inscriptions in, 136, 261.

  Celibacy has less pleasure and less pain than marriage, 10;
    an unnatural state, 16.

  Cobbe, Miss, on the moral atmosphere of the house, 194.

  Cobbett on the wretchedness of old bachelorship, 17;
    on industry in a wife, 39;
    "comforts" his wife, 96;
    an interesting bit of autobiography, 105;
    a soldier's philosophy, 172;
    "He never disappointed me in his life," 241.

  Conjugal felicity, Secret of, 6;
    largely depends on mutual confidence, 106.

  Connoisseur, Hasty exclamation of a, 65.

  Courtship, Love-making should not end with, 5, 229;
    people unknown to each other during, 53, 80;
    with lawyer's advice, 125;
    the tempestuous love of does not remain, 255.

  _Chambers' Journal_ gives instances of matrimonial tribulation, 57.

  Chesterfield on behaviour to servants, 134.

  Chicago, A young lady of, 124.

  Children, Only, 149;
    quality more to be desired than quantity of, 150;
    imitate their elders, 158.

  China, Narrative of a journey through the south border lands of, 91.

  Clarendon printing-office, 58.

  Clergymen, Sons of, 173.

  Clerk, A married, excuses himself, 148.

  Cowper and his mother, 164.

  Curran felt his wife and children tugging at his gown, 24;
    his mother and father, 165.

  Dale, R. W., of Birmingham, believes in falling in love, 47.

  Daughters, Fourteen of my, 150.

  David, King, lays up materials for his son, 145.

  Dealer, A Scotch, "tried _baith_," 32;
    confesses the failings of a horse, 235.

  De Sales, St. Francis, on quarrels, 103.

  De Tocqueville, Letter of, about his wife, 21.

  Dickens tells an American story, 50.

  Dictionary, a town--why so called, 55.

  Digestion disturbed by "a few words," 208.

  Diogenes, why he struck a father, 173.

  Dress indicates character, 39.

  Dulness a "serious complaint," 89.

  Dunmow flitch, The, 212.

  Edison, Anecdote of, 33.

  Emerson thinks children always interesting, 147.

  Eliot, George, on marriage, 6;
    on disappointment, 57;
    remarks about the best society, 115,
      weak women, 145;
    "Silas Marner" referred to, 155, 215, 236.

  Ellenborough, Lord, Anecdote of, 188.

  Erskine illustrates the fact that union is strength, 216.

  Eve "kept silence to hear her husband talk," 209.

  Exactingness causes domestic misery, 219.

  Family, A "large little," 149;
    what constitutes a large, _ibid._;
    government of, 182-3.

  Fanshawe, Sir Richard, and his wife, 107-9.

  Faraday on his marriage, 256.

  Farmer, country, a, Remark of, 83;
     story of, 204.

  Farrar, Archdeacon, on non-appreciation, 3.

  "Faults are thick where love is thin," 61;
    difficult to find fault well, 207.

  Financier, Saying of the French, 245.

  Flaxman, sculptor, and his wife, 25-6.

  Foote, Sam, and his mother, 167.

  Franklin, Benjamin, approves of marriage, 16;
    afraid of luxury, 121;
    answers the question, "Of what use is it?" 146;
    on "Idle Silence," 194.

  Fry, Mrs. Elizabeth, A wish of, 261.

  Fuller on domestic jars, 5;
    on the obedience of a wife, 99.

  Furnishing, its importance, 113;
    A safe rule in, 115:
    its expense, 118.

  Garfield, President, U.S., reverenced boys, 190.

  Garth, Sir Samuel, Anecdote of, 251.

  Girl, Question of a little, 205.

  Goethe and his mother, 163;
    turned every affliction into a poem, 198.

  Gough, temperance orator, gives the case of an American convict, 111.

  _Graphic, The_, Case quoted from, 110.

  Gray the poet grateful to his mother, 164.

  Green, John Richard, the historian, his life prolonged by his wife, 96.

  Guizot, his estimate of domestic affections, 23.

  Hall, Robert, preacher, reproves a young mother, 170;
    "I never lived with her!" 223;
    his brave patience, 253.

  Hall, Mr. S. C, on the fifty-fourth anniversary of his marriage, 259.

  Hamilton, Sir William, greatly assisted by his wife, 27.

  Hare, Mrs., Saying of about her husband, 4.

  Happiness, A natural genius for, 199;
    the most powerful of tonics, 247.

  Hawthorne, Story of, 95.

  Helps, Sir Arthur, quoted, 67.

  Henderson, Sir Edmund, on civility, 184.

  Hill, Roland, his practical view of religion, 186.

  Holmes, Oliver Wendell, describes the effect of an headache, 246.

  Home, a school of manners, 190;
    the real happiness of, 192, 200, 202.

  Honeymoon, The, "above the snowline," 81;
    in winter, 82;
    halcyon period, 84;
    two opposite opinions about, quoted, 85.

  Hood, his gratitude to his wife, 27.

  Housekeeping, Knowledge of, 38, 227.

  Huber worked with the eyes of his wife, 26.

  Humour, Good, has a magical power, 229.

  Hunt, Leigh, his happiness in his wife and children, 11;
    saying of, 224.

  Husbands, absentee, 94, 240;
    may be too much at home, 95;
    the management of, 230-2;
    as much to blame as wives, 236;
    often fail to express love, 237;
    the duties of, 217, 237, &c.

  Hutchinson, Colonel, his generosity to his wife, 123;
    his message to her, 262.

  Huxley, Professor, on the "educational abomination of desolation," 174.

  Incumbent, A Hampshire, on blunders made in the Marriage Service, 87.

  Insurance, Life, 124.

  Irishman, The, his reason for disagreeing with his wife, 6;
    sayings of, 55, 203, 219.

  Jameson, Mrs., 101.

  Jealousy, amusing case of, 104;
    incompatible with love of the highest kind, 106.

  Jerrold, Douglas, a comment of, 48;
    defines the shirt of Nessus, 125.

  Jews, Anecdotes of, 56, 88.

  Johnson, Dr., his estimate of marriage, 16, 32;
    his journey to Derby to be married, 74;
    his definition of the honeymoon, 80;
    "Ignorance, Madam," 102;
    influence of little things upon happiness, 114;
    on spending money, 120-1;
    answers the question, "Would you advise me to marry?" 143;
    "Ay, sir, fifty thousand," 213;
    a wife should be a companion, 228;
    on sickness, 246;
    "Tetty," 263.

  Keats, 92.

  Kemble, Frances, on feminine fashion, 145;
    on domestic economy, 224.

  Kingsley, Canon, sketch of as a father, 175-8;
    letter to his wife, 254.

  Lady, Story of a deaf and dumb, 152;
    a Scotch, 9, 71, 90;
    an old, on the loss of children, 153.

  Laird, A Scotch, answer of, to his butler, 230.

  Lamb, Charles, and his sister, 94;
    on children, 152.

  Landels, Dr., describes a husband, 92.

  Lansdell, Dr., tells of an ancient Russian custom, 99;
    of a convict servant, 133.

  "Laugh and be well," 199.

  Leg, a well-formed and a crooked, 61.

  Legend, An old heathen, 232.

  Levite, An humble-minded, 187.

  Little things, effect of, on happiness, 4, 7, 193, 241.

  Locke, John, on keeping accounts, 125.

  Longfellow, his lines to a child, 154.

  Lottery, Is marriage a? 43.

  Luther, his estimate of marriage, and of his wife, 16, 23;
    letter to his little boy, 180-1.

  Macaulay, Lord, at home, 242.

  Macdonald, George, his lines on "The Baby," 160.

  Maginn, his answer, 126.

  Martineau, Harriet, and her servants, 135.

  Maurice, Rev. F. D., answer of, 98.

  Mayoralty of Paris, Marriage at, 73.

  Milan, Cathedral of, inscriptions over the doorways, 269.

  Mill, John Stuart, dedication of his essay "On Liberty," 29.

  Minister, A Scotch, 10, 43, 67, 76, 119, 215, 255.

  Money, Do not marry for, 35;
    necessary for marriage, 119;
    we should be careful but not penurious, 122;
    "Spent it all," 123;
    a wife's allowance, 124.

  Monotony makes men fractious, 205.

  Moore, Sir John, on the lottery of marriage, 43.

  More, Sir Thomas, his home, 69.

  Morton, Sir Albert, grief of his wife for him, 262.

  Mothers, true and false love of, 167;
    their instruction never lost, 168.

  Nabal and Abigail, 59.

  Nagging often caused by _ennui_, 230.

  Napier, Sir Charles, benefited by hard work, 249.

  Napier, Lady, the literary helper of her husband, 27.

  Napoleon Buonaparte on mothers, 162;
    referred to, 173.

  Nasmyth, James, his married life, 256.

  Necker, Madame, Anecdote of, 49.

  Nursery-maid, Rejoinder of a, 150.

  Orkneys and Shetland, The, a writer on, 264.

  Parents, who should and who should not be, 144;
    rules for, 182.

  Pasteur, M., his marriage, 74.

  Payn, Mr. James, asks "Where is the children's fun?" 174.

  Perthes, Caroline, and her husband, 238, 256.

  Pitt, his butcher's bill, 120.

  Plato, his theory about marriage, 54;
    on just penalties, 198.

  Pliny the Younger, Letter of, 90.

  Portia, 59.

  Praise a positive duty, 194.

  Pulpit, Suggestion from an American, 5.

  Putting things, The art of, 207.

  Quaker, Saying of an old, 155.

  Queen, Her Majesty the, describes the Prince Consort, 243.

  Quickly, Mrs., her advice to Falstaff, 7.

  Record, The Sanitary, enumerates some common mistakes, 250.

  Religion required in marriage, 8, 76;
    grotesque perversions of, 183.

  Remedy, A very simple, 250.

  Reynolds tells of a free-and-easy actor, 209.

  Rhodophe, Anecdote of, 53.

  Richter, his estimate of a wife, 20;
    on love, 187;
    on childhood, 190.

  Robertson (of Brighton) on the drudgery of domestic life, 70;
    a girl's gratitude for a kind look, 210.

  Robinson, Professor, on infancy, 159.

  Rochefoucauld, An untrue remark of, 255.

  Romilly, Sir Samuel, his experience, 30.

  Sainte-Beuve on family life, 70.

  Scotchman, A, on the Sabbath, 183.

  Scott, Sir Walter, ascribed his success to his wife, and to his
    mother, 25, 163.

  Seneca quoted, 62.

  Sheridan, his poetical defence of Lady Erskine, 189.

  Siddons, Mrs., at home, 227.

  Silence may be an instrument of torture, 209.

  Simonides never regretted holding his tongue, 202.

  Smith, Michael, Letter of, 264.

  Smith, Sydney, his definition of marriage, 5;
    on the rights and feelings of others, 185;
    "All this is the lobster," 198;
    on late hours, 252;
    his cheerful spirit, 253.

  Smyth, H., claims £10,000 for his murdered wife, 31.

  Socrates, Quiet remark of, 61;
    asks for double fees, 202.

  Somerville, Mary, anecdote in the memoirs of, 8;
    a good housekeeper, 227.

  Spencer, Herbert, on preparation for parenthood, 140, 143;
    on physical sins, 253.

  Sterne, on the best of men, 61;
    answers Smelfungus, 246.

  Steward, A Scotch, answer of, 35.

  Stratocles a woman-hater, 15.

  Submission, Cheerful, of the poor, 197.

  Sussex, labourer, a, asks a question, 128.

  Sutherland, Duke of, believes he is going to be married, 72.

  Swift and his cook, 58;
    letter to a young lady, 126;
    his answer to a Dublin lady, 127;
    reason why so few marriages are happy, 222.

  Talmud, The Jewish, on the treatment of women, 186.

  Taylor, Jeremy, on choice in matrimony, 45;
    offences to be avoided by the newly-married, 102;
    on children, 147;
    a quaint illustration, 220;
    on the dominion of a husband, 239.

  Thackeray, on the sort of wives men want, 41;
    on hard work, 249.

  Thrale, Mrs., letter of, 54.

  Trollope describes the idea women have of men, 30;
    Mrs. Proudie's death, 266.

  Trouble, how it may be effaced, 196-8.

  Walpole, Sir Robert, saying of, 188.

  Ward, Artemus, and Betsy Jane, 50;
    introduced to Brigham Young's mother-in-law, 109.

  Webster, what he thought of marriage, 66.

  Weinsberg, women remove their valuables from, 31.

  Weller, Mr., on matrimony as a teacher, 66.

  Wellington, Duke of, on paying bills, 125;
    his cook, 136.

  Wesley, Mrs., as a mother, 165.

  Westminster Abbey, Gravestone in Cloisters of, 148.

  Wheatly on the wedding-ring, 78.

  Wife, A good, more than a cook and housekeeper, 228;
    requires change and recreation, 229, 240.

  Wilberforce, Miss, 221.

  Wilde, Oscar, on the photographs of relations, 115.

  Wish, The old wedding, 212.

  Woman, Definitions of, 37, 222, 234;
    value of her advice, 239.

  Word, The last, what is the use of? 204.

  Word-battles, Matrimonial, 206.

  Wordsworth, Anecdote of, 31.

  Young, Brigham, his doctrine, 19;
    his mother-in-law--how many? 109.









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Autumn-Christmas Season, 1886.

       *       *       *       *       *

"HISTORIA SANCTÆ CRUCIS." _With Illustrations._

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE LEGENDARY HISTORY OF THE CROSS=: A Series of Sixty-Four Woodcuts,
from a Dutch book published by VELDENER, A.D. 1483. With an Introduction
written and Illustrated by JOHN ASHTON, and a Preface by the Rev. S.
BARING-GOULD, M.A. Square 8vo., bound in parchment, old style, brass
clasps. 10s. 6d.

     "The mediæval romance of the Cross was very popular. It occurs in
     a good number of authors, and is depicted in a good many churches
     in stained glass.... It would seem that it was made up by some
     romancer out of all kinds of pre-existing material, with no other
     object than to write a religious novel for pious readers, to
     displace the sensuous novels which were much in vogue."--FROM THE

This pictorial version of the Legend is taken from a work that is now
almost unique, only three copies being known to be in existence. The
Editorial portions contain, besides a full paraphrase of the woodcuts, a
fac-simile reprint of the Legend from Caxton's "Golden Legends of the
Saints," also much curious information respecting the early History of
the Legend, the controversies in which it has been involved, and the
question of relics. Copies are also given of some Fifteenth Century
frescoes of English workmanship formerly existing at Stratford-on-Avon.
Altogether the book forms an interesting memorial of the quaint lore
that has gathered round this "religious novel" of the Middle Ages.

       *       *       *       *       *



=ROMANCES OF CHIVALRY=: Told and Illustrated in Fac-simile, by JOHN
ASHTON, Author of "The Dawn of the Nineteenth Century in England," &c.
Forty-six Illustrations. Demy 8vo., cloth elegant, gilt tops. 18s.

The "ROMANCES OF CHIVALRY" were the Novels of the Middle Ages, from the
13th to the 16th centuries. They are highly sensational, full of
incident, and never prolix. To render these Romances more interesting to
the general reader, Mr. Ashton has fac-similed a number of the
contemporary engravings, which are wonderfully quaint, and throw much
light on the Manners and Costumes of the period.

     "An interesting feature in the book consists in the
     illustrations, which are fac-similes done by the author himself,
     and done with much success, from the early engravings.... This is
     likely to prove a useful and welcome book."--_Contemporary

       *       *       *       *       *

With full-page Illustrations in Photogravure by HAROLD COPPING. Fcap.
4to., cloth. 10s. 6d.


      I. Aquelarre.
     II. Arguiduna.
    III. Maitagarri.
     IV. Roland's Bugle-Horn.
      V. Jaun-Zuria, Prince of Erin.
     VI. The Branch of White Lilies.
    VII. The Song of Lamia.
   VIII. Virgin of the Five Towns.
     IX. Chaunt of the Crucified.
  X.-XI. The Raids. The Holy War.
    XII. The Prophecy of Lara.
   XIII. Hurca Mendi.

Fine edition of 100 copies of the above, medium 4to., numbered and
signed by the Author, printed on Dutch hand-made paper, with
India-proofs of the Photogravures £1 1s. net.

     "Deeply interesting. There is much in them that is wierd and
     beautiful, much that is uncouth and grotesque. To the student of
     folk-lore they will be as a mine of newly-discovered wealth. As
     to the literary merit of the book, it is by no means

       *       *       *       *       *

=MODERN HINDUISM=: Being an account of the Religion and Life of the
Hindus in Northern India. By W. J. WILKINS, of the London Missionary
Society, Author of "Hindu Mythology--Vedic and Puranic." Demy
8vo., cloth. 16s.

       *       *       *       *       *


=IN THE TIME OF ROSES=: A Tale of Two Summers. Told and Illustrated by
FLORENCE and EDITH SCANNELL, Author and Artist of "Sylvia's Daughters."
Thirty-two full-page and other Illustrations. Square Imp. 16mo., cloth.


Capri.--Isolina.--"Good-bye, Capri."--The Yellow Cottage.--The School
Treat.--Home Again!--The Garden Party.--Geraldine makes a
discovery.--Isolina's Flight.--Wedding Bells.

     "A very charming story, superior in literary style and as food
     for the mind and the taste to most books written for girls. Miss
     Edith Scannell's illustrations are very happy."--_Scotsman._

       *       *       *       *       *


=PRINCE PEERLESS=: A Fairy-Folk Story-Book. By the Hon. MARGARET COLLIER
(Madame Galletti di Cadilhac), Author of "Our Home by the Adriatic."
Illustrated by the Hon. JOHN COLLIER. Square Imp. 16mo., cloth. 5s.


Fairy Folk.--The Great Snow Mountain.--The Ill-Starred Princess.--The
Sick Fairy.--Two Fairies.--The Shadow World.--Prince
Peerless.--Something New.

     "Simply delightful in style and fancy, and in its perfect
     reproduction of the old fairy world. These stories will be a
     valuable addition to our literature for children; and will be
     read with no less enjoyment for their literary and artistic
     excellence by their elders. The illustrations by the Hon. John
     Collier are artistical and beautiful."--_Scotsman._

       *       *       *       *       *


=BOYS' OWN STORIES.= By ASCOTT R. HOPE, Author of "Stories of Young
Adventurers," "Stories out of School Time," &c. Eight Illustrations.
Crown 8vo., cloth. 5s.

     "This is a really admirable selection of genuine narrative and
     history, treated with discretion and skill by the author. Mr.
     Hope has not gathered his stores from the highway, but has
     explored far afield in less-beaten tracks, as may be seen in his
     'Adventures of a Ship boy' and 'A Smith among
     Savages.'"--_Saturday Review._

       *       *       *       *       *

=TALES OF THE CALIPH.= By AL ARAWIYAH. Crown 8vo., cloth. 2s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

By Author of "How to be Happy though Married."

"=MANNERS MAKYTH MAN.=" Imp. 16mo., cloth, 6s.; fine edition, bevelled
edges, in box. 7s. 6d.

_The First Edition of "Manners Makyth Man" was exhausted on the day of
Publication. A Second Edition is now ready._

     EXTRACT FROM PREFACE.--"I am showing my gratitude to the public
     for their very kind reception of 'How to be Happy though Married'
     by now presenting to them another little book with my best
     'manners!' It is not a book of etiquette, for I am by no means a
     master of ceremonies; nor does the motto of Winchester College,
     'Manners Makyth Man,' refer to those social rules and forms which
     are often only substitutes for good manners, but rather to
     manners in the old sense of the word which we see in the text,
     'Evil communications corrupt good manners.'"

     "The volume is a bright one, and should rival its predecessor in
     popular esteem."--_Publishers' Circular._

       *       *       *       *       *

Author of "The New Godiva," "A Tourist Idyl," &c. Crown 8vo., cloth. 6s.

CONTENTS.--Part I.--A Comtist Lover: Being a Dialogue on Positivism and
the Zeitgeist--The Extension of the Law of Kindness: Being an Essay on
the Rights of Animals. Part II.--The Delphine of Madame de Staël--Some
Immortality--Thoughts--Some Novels of William Black.

       *       *       *       *       *


=THE LAZY MINSTREL.= By J. ASHBY-STERRY, Author of "Boudoir Ballads,"
"Shuttlecock Papers," &c. With vignette frontispiece. Fcap. 8vo., cloth,
printed on hand-made paper. 6s.

Fine Edition of 50 copies of the above, crown 4to., printed on Dutch
hand-made paper, each copy numbered and signed by the Author. £1 1s.

     "Emphatically 'nice' in the nicest--the old-fashioned--sense of
     the word.... Altogether, a delicate little tome.... Graceful and,
     on occasion, tender."--G. A. S., in _The Illustrated London
     News_, Oct. 31, 1886

       *       *       *       *       *

=SAINT HILDRED=: A Romaunt in Verse. By GERTRUDE HARRADEN. Illustrated
by J. BERNARD PARTRIDGE. Small crown 8vo. 2s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *


=THE BIRD'S NEST=, and Other Sermons for Children of all Ages. By Rev.
SAMUEL COX, D.D., Author of "Expositions," &c. Imp. 16mo., cloth. 6s.

     "Possess a singular charm, due to their expository character, to
     the labour expended upon them by a master-mind, and to the
     writer's felicitous style.... A volume which every parent may
     gladly see in the hands of children, for whom it will have a
     great attraction, and to whose hearts its words cannot fail to
     win their way."--_Church Sunday School Magazine._

       *       *       *       *       *


=THE BIBLE AND THE AGE=; or, An Elucidation of the Principles of a
Consistent and Verifiable Interpretation of Scripture. By CUTHBERT
COLLINGWOOD, M.A., and B.M. Oxon., Author of "New Studies in Christian
Theology," &c. Demy 8vo., cloth. 10s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE BERWICK HYMNAL.= Edited by the Rev. A. W. OXFORD, M.A., Vicar of
St. Luke's, Berwick Street, Soho. Imp. 32mo. 2s.

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE PAROUSIA.= A Critical Inquiry into the New Testament Doctrine of
Our Lord's Second Coming. By the Rev. J. S. RUSSELL, M.A. New and
cheaper Edition. Demy 8vo., cloth. 7s. 6d.

     "Critical, in the best sense of the word. Unlike many treatises
     on the subject, this is a sober and reverent investigation, and
     abounds in a careful and instructive exegesis of every passage
     bearing upon it."--_Nonconformist._

       *       *       *       *       *

=ANNE GILCHRIST=: Her Life and Writings. Edited by HERBERT HARLAKENDEN
GILCHRIST. Prefatory Notice by WILLIAM MICHAEL ROSSETTI. 10 Illusts.
Demy 8vo., cloth. (_In preparation_). 16s.

I. Ancestry.--II. Childhood.--III. Schooldays.--IV. The Honeymoon.--V.
The First Home.--VI. Life at Chelsea. VII. A Letter from Jane
Carlyle.--VIII. A Present from Jane Carlyle.--IX. Dante Gabriel
Rossetti.--X. Last Year of Life at 6, Great Cheyne Row.--XI Jane Welsh
Carlyle writes to her Neighbour.--XII. Shottermill.--XIII. Letter from
Dante Gabriel Rossetti.--XIV. Last Letter from Jane Welsh Carlyle.--XV.
Letter from Christian G. Rossetti.--XVI. Letter from Christian G.
Rossetti.--XVII. Jenny.--XVIII. George Eliot.--XIX. The New
Country.--XX. The Return.--XXI. Mary Lamb.--Essays.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "The series is likely to be found indispensable in every school
     library."--_Pall Mall Gazette._

A Series of Short Popular Histories, printed in good readable type, and
forming handsome well-bound volumes. Crown 8vo., Illustrated and
furnished with Maps and Indexes, price 5s. each.

       *       *       *       *       *

=ROME.= By ARTHUR GILMAN, M.A., Author of "A History of the American
People," &c. Second Edition.

     "We heartily commend this volume."--_Schoolmaster._

     "A clear and complete view of the rise and progress of the Roman

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE JEWS=: In Ancient, Mediæval, and Modern Times. By Prof. J. K.

     "The story of the Jews, when well told, as it is here, is one of
     thrilling satisfaction, and fruitful in
     instruction."--_Educational Times._

       *       *       *       *       *

=GERMANY.= Rev. S. BARING-GOULD, Author of "Curious Myths of the Middle
Ages," &c.

     "Mr. Baring-Gould tells his stirring tale with knowledge and
     perspicuity. He is a thorough master of his subject."--_Globe._

       *       *       *       *       *

=CARTHAGE.= By Prof. ALFRED J. CHURCH, Author of "Stories from the
Classics," &c.

     "A trustworthy and well-balanced delineation of the part played
     by Carthage in European history.... The illustrations are
     numerous and have considerable archæological

       *       *       *       *       *

=ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE.= By Prof. J. P. MAHAFFY, Author of "Social Life in
Greece," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE MOORS IN SPAIN.= By STANLEY LANE POOLE, Author of "Studies in a
Mosque," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

=HUNGARY.= By Prof. VAMBÉRY, Author of "Travels in Central Asia," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

=EGYPT.= By Prof. GEO. RAWLINSON, Author of "The Five Great Monarchies
of the World," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

=SPAIN.= By Rev. E. E. and SUSAN HALE.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Other Volumes in preparation._

       *       *       *       *       *



J. A. PARTRIDGE, Author of "Democracy: Its Factors and Conditions,"
"From Feudal to Federal," &c. Demy 8vo., cloth. 6s.

     "This is a complete handbook on the Irish question.... The whole
     case is stated by Mr. Partridge in the clearest and most cogent
     fashion. As a piece of literary workmanship, the book is for the
     most part of the highest class. The style is lofty, the tone is
     often passionate and extreme, but the argumentation is throughout
     sound."--_Lancaster Guardian._

       *       *       *       *       *

=LABOUR, LAND, AND LAW=: A Search for the Missing Wealth of the Working
Poor. By WILLIAM A. PHILLIPS, Member of the Committee on Public Lands,
Forty-third Congress, and on Banking and Currency, Forty-fifth Congress.
Demy 8vo., cloth. 9s.

     "He writes in a clear, brisk American style, which leaves his
     readers in no doubt as to what he means. He is evidently a man of
     considerable ability and a student of social and economical
     problems.... There is a great deal of statistical information to
     be found in 'Labour, Land, and Law.'"--_St. James's Gazette._

       *       *       *       *       *

THORPE. Edited and Revised for the English public by the Author. With a
new chapter bringing events up to date. 8vo., cloth. _In preparation._

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE BRIDE OF GREENLAWNS=; or, William Woodman's Trust. A Parable of Mr.
Gladstone and Ireland. Fcap. 8vo. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

"=DOTTINGS OF A DOSSER.=" Being Revelations of the Inner Life of Low
London Lodging Houses. By HOWARD J. GOLDSMID. Fcap. 8vo. 1s.

       *       *       *       *       *



=HOW TO BE HAPPY THOUGH MARRIED.= Being a Handbook to Marriage. By a
Graduate in the University of Matrimony. Imp. 16mo., white vellum cloth,
extra gilt, bev. boards, gilt edges, in box. 7s. 6d.

Fifth and Popular Edition. Small square 8vo. 3s. 6d.

     "We strongly recommend this book as one of the best of wedding
     presents. It is a complete handbook to an earthly Paradise, and
     its author may be regarded as the Murray of Matrimony and the
     Baedeker of Bliss."--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     "The author has successfully accomplished a difficult task in
     writing a clever and practical book on the important subject of
     matrimony.... This book, which is at once entertaining and full
     of wise precepts, deserves to be widely read."--_Morning Post._

            *       *       *       *       *

=CHARLES DICKENS AS I KNEW HIM=: The Story of the Reading Tours in Great
Britain and America (1866-1870). By GEORGE DOLBY. New and cheaper
edition. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d.

     "Will certainly be read with interest by all who admire the great
     writer."--_Daily Telegraph._

       *       *       *       *       *

Times. By JOHN ASHTON, Author of "Social Life in the Reign of Queen
Anne," &c. Cheaper ed., in 1 vol. Illus. La. cr. 8vo., 10s. 6d.

     "The book is one continued source of pleasure and interest, and
     opens up a wide field for speculation and comment. No one can
     take it up in a moody moment without losing much of his
     discontent, and many of us will look upon it as an important
     contribution to contemporary history, not easily available to
     others than close students, and not made into its pleasing and
     entertaining form without a literary skill which is not by any
     means common."--_Antiquary._

       *       *       *       *       *

A New and Cheaper Edition (being the Fifth) of

With New Preface and Supplementary Chapter by the Author. Four
Portraits, Four Illustrations (two of which are new), and Two Maps.
Crown 8vo., cloth. 7s. 6d.

Presentation Edition. Full gilt elegant, bevelled boards, gilt edges, in
box. 10s. 6d.

     "An inspiring record of calm, brave, wise work, and will find a
     place of value on the honoured shelf of missionary biography. The
     biographer has done his work with reverent care, and in a
     straightforward unaffected style."--_Contemporary Review._

       *       *       *       *       *

"Ottilie," &c. Demy 8vo., cloth. 7s. 6d.

     "These studies show a wide range of knowledge of the subject,
     precise investigation, abundant power of illustration, and
     healthy enthusiasm.... The style of writing is cultivated, neatly
     adjusted, and markedly clever."--_Saturday Review._

     "A singularly delightful and very able volume."--_Westminster

       *       *       *       *       *

=EUPHORION=: Studies of the Antique and the Mediæval in the Renaissance.
By VERNON LEE, Author of "Belcaro," &c. Cheap Edition in one volume.
Demy 8vo., cloth. 7s. 6d.

     "The book is bold, extensive in scope, and replete with
     well-defined and unhackneyed ideas, clear impressions, and
     vigorous and persuasive modes of writing."--_Athenæum._

       *       *       *       *       *

=BELCARO=: Being Essays on Sundry Æsthetical Questions. By VERNON LEE,
Author of "Euphorion," "Baldwin," &c. Crown 8vo., cloth. 5s.

     "This way of conveying ideas is very fascinating, and has an
     effect of creating activity in the reader's mind which no other
     mode can equal. From first to last there is a continuous and
     delightful stimulation of thought."--_Academy._

       *       *       *       *       *

=POETS IN THE GARDEN.= By MAY CROMMELIN, Author of "Joy," "In the West
Countrie," &c. Cheap and Popular Edition, with Coloured Frontispiece.
Square pott 16mo., cloth binding. 6s.

     This edition is printed on a thinner paper, and more simply
     bound. The text, however, is identical with the half-guinea

     "Decidedly a happy idea.... The volume is finely printed, and
     gracefully designed."--_Times._

     "Merely to describe this book is to write its commendation. It is
     an anthology in double sense."--_Academy._

Still on sale, a few copies of the First Edition, containing Eight
Coloured Illustrations. Square pott 16mo., cloth elegant, fine paper,
gilt edges, bev. boards. 10s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *


=HEROIC TALES.= Retold from Firdusi the Persian. By HELEN ZIMMERN,
Author of "Stories in Precious Stones," &c. With Etchings by L. ALMA
TADEMA, and Prefatory Poem by E. W. GOSSE. Pop Ed. Cr. 8vo., cl. extra,

     "Charming from beginning to end.... Miss Zimmern deserves all
     credit for her courage in attempting the task, and for her
     marvellous success in carrying it out."--_Saturday Review._

       *       *       *       *       *

=A DIARY OF GOLDEN THOUGHTS FOR THE YEAR.= New edition, interleaved with
ruled paper. Can be used as a Birthday and Event Book of the Home Life.
Cloth boards, 2s.; Parchment. 1s. 6d.

     "A little oblong book, very daintily and tastefully got-up,
     containing admirably selected brief extracts from great

       *       *       *       *       *

=A ROLL OF GOLDEN THOUGHTS FOR THE YEAR=; or, Permanent Diary of Wise
Sayings from the Best Writers of all Times and Climes. Contents
identical with the above, but arranged in oblong shape. Mounted on gilt
wire, and suspended by ribands. 1s. 6d.

     "Choicely and delicately produced."--_Christian._

       *       *       *       *       *

KROEKER. Twenty-two Illustrations by F. CARRUTHERS GOULD. Cheap and
Popular Edition. Square Imp. 16mo. 3s. 6d.

     "The extravagance of invention displayed in his tales will render
     them welcome in the nursery. The translation--not an easy
     task--has been very cleverly accomplished."--_The Academy._

     "An admirable translator in Madame Kroeker, and an inimitable
     illustrator in Mr. Carruthers Gould."--_Truth._

       *       *       *       *       *

=WHEN I WAS A CHILD=; or, Left Behind. By LINDA VILLARI, Author of "On
Tuscan Hills," &c. Illustrated. Square 8vo., cloth, gilt edges. 3s. 6d.

"It is fresh and bright from the first chapter to the last."--_Morning

"A very clever, vivid and realistic story."--_Truth._

       *       *       *       *       *

=SOUTHWOOD=: A Tale. By CATHARINE STURGE, Compiler of "A Diurnal for the
Changes and Chances of this Mortal Life," &c. Frontispiece. Sm. cr.
8vo., 2s. 6d.

     "A thoroughly healthy and well-written tale. The plot is very
     good."--_Presbyterian Messenger._

       *       *       *       *       *

COUSIN GRACE. 32mo., red edges, cloth elegant, or wood: maple, cedar,
walnut, or cycamore. 1s.

     "Love for the little ones has clearly been at work in the making
     of this selection good taste as well, and a most catholic
     sympathy."--_Christian Leader._

       *       *       *       *       *


=FORTUNE'S BUFFETS AND REWARDS.= Three vols. Crown 8vo. (_In November_)
31s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE TOUCHSTONE OF PERIL=: A Tale of the Indian Mutiny. By DUDLEY
HARDRESS THOMAS. Two vols. Crown 8vo. £1 1s.

     "Amusing and exciting."--_Athenæum._

       *       *       *       *       *

=A YEAR IN EDEN.= By HARRIET WATERS PRESTON. Two vols. Crown 8vo. (_In
November_) £1 1s.

       *       *       *       *       *

Recent Novels. Two Volumes. Price £1 1s. each.


     "Brightly written.... It is from first to last a favourable and
     pure-toned specimen of Anglo-Italian fiction."--_Morning Post._


     "Bright and readable."--_Athenæum._


     "It is indubitably the work of a clever woman."--_Athenæum._


     "A good translation of a very pretty story."--_Guardian._



     "A clever and original story."--_Daily Telegraph._


     "An agreeable novel."--_Spectator._

       *       *       *       *       *

=HENRY IRVING=: in England and America, 1838 1884. By FREDERIC DALY.
Vignette Portrait by AD. LALAUZE. Second thousand. Crown 8vo., cloth
extra. 5s.

     "Mr. Daly sets forth his materials with a due sense of
     proportion, and writes in a pleasing vein."--_Daily News._

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN.= From Shakespeare's "As You Like it." POPULAR
EDITION. Illustrated. Sq. pott 16mo., cl. elegant, bev. boards, gilt
edges. 5s.

     "Strongly contrast the old and new style of engraving.... The
     various artists have all been well chosen."--_Graphic._

       *       *       *       *       *


Large Crown 8vo., cloth.

=MELITA=: A Turkish Love-Story. By LOUISE M. RICHTER.

     "Her story is interesting on its own account; but its background
     of Turkish life and character gives it an additional charm of

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Animated pictures of nature Easy lightness of style."--_Saturday

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE LAST STAKE=: A Tale of Monte Carlo. By MADAME R. FOLI. Illustrated.

     "Madame Foli's graphic narrative will do much to lift the veil
     from the horrors and seductions of the gaming tables of Monte

       *       *       *       *       *

=TARANTELLA=: A Romance. By MATHILDE BLIND, Author of "Life of George
Eliot." Second edition.

     "Told with great spirit and effect, and shows very considerable
     power."--_Pall Mall._

       *       *       *       *       *


     "A remarkable historical romance Forcibly written."--_Morning

       *       *       *       *       *

=GLADYS FANE=: The Story of Two Lives. By T. WEMYSS REID. Fourth and
popular edition.

     "A good and clever book, which few readers who begin it are
     likely to put down unfinished."--_Saturday Review._

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE AMAZON=: An Art Novel. By CARL VOSMAER. Preface by Prof. GEORG
EBERS, and Front. drawn specially by L. ALMA TADEMA, R.A.

     "It is a work full of deep, suggestive thought."--_The Academy._

       *       *       *       *       *

=MAJOR FRANK=: A Novel. By A. L. G. BOSBOOM-TOUSSAINT. Trans. from the
Dutch by JAS. AKEROYD.

     "It is a pleasant, bright, fresh book."--_Truth._

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE POISON TREE=: A Tale of Hindu Life by Bengal. By B. CHANDRA
CHATTERJEE. Introduction in EDWIN ARNOLD, M.A., C.S.I.

     "The healthiness and purity of tone throughout the


Crown 8vo., cloth.

=ASSERTED BUT NOT PROVED=; or, Struggles to Live. By A. BOWER.

       *       *       *       *       *

=FRANCIS=: A Socialistic Romance. Being for the most part an Idyll of
England and Summer. By M. DAL VERO, Author of "A Heroine of the

     "A very bright, cheery and pretty story."--_Academy._

       *       *       *       *       *

Theatres of Paris," &c.

     "Mr. Brander Matthews' new novel is one of the pleasantest and
     most entertaining books that I have read for some time. There is
     vigorous character-drawing; and the characters are, for the most
     part, men and women in whose company one is pleased to pass the
     time. There are many clever and shrewd remarks, considerable
     humour, and some wit."--_Academy._

       *       *       *       *       *

=A LOST SON.= By MARY LINSKILL, Author of "Hagar," "Between the Heather
and the Northern Sea," &c.

     "The book's doctrine is wholesome, and its religion free from any
     trace of cant."--_Spectator._

     "Miss Linskill not only shows a quick power of observation, but
     writes with good taste and without affectation."--_Athenæum._

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE BECKSIDE BOGGLE=, and Other Lake Country Stories. By ALICE REA.

     "The interest of the volume lies in its evidently faithful
     reproduction of Lake Country speech character, and manners.... A
     pleasant one and wholesome."--_Graphic._

       *       *       *       *       *


English History," &c. Illustrated. Crown 8vo., cloth. 6s.

     "We can say honestly to everyone who can lay hands on them--Read

     "Sweetly and powerfully told."--_Manchester Guardian._

       *       *       *       *       *

Illust. Crown 8vo., cloth. 6s.

     "Major Harrison has a fresh and lively style, he is so far from
     being tedious that he rather tends to the opposite extreme, and
     he shows considerable versatility of powers, with an extensive
     knowledge of the world."--_Times._


=BALDWIN=: Being Dialogues on Views and Aspirations. Demy 8vo., cloth.

     "Worth careful study from more than one side. It has a message
     for all people, to which only indolence or indifference can be
     deaf.... The subjects proposed are discussed courageously and
     conscientiously, and often with a compression and force which
     fills part of the book with pregnant suggestion.... One cannot
     read a page of 'Baldwin' without feeling the wiser for

       *       *       *       *       *

=EUPHORION=: Studies of the Antique and the Mediæval in the Renaissance.
Cheap ed. Derm 8vo., cloth. 7s. 6d.

     "The book is bold, extensive in scope, and replete with
     well-defined and unhackneyed ideas, clear impressions, and
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       *       *       *       *       *


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     "A singularly delightful and very able volume."--_Westminster

       *       *       *       *       *

=BELCARO=: Being Essays on Sundry Æsthetical Questions. Crown 8vo.,
cloth. 5s.

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       *       *       *       *       *

=OTTILIE=: An Eighteenth Century Idyl. Square 8vo., cloth extra. 3s. 6d.

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       *       *       *       *       *

=THE PRINCE OF THE HUNDRED SOUPS=: A Puppet Show in Narrative. Edited,
with a Preface by VERNON LEE. Illust. Cheaper edition. Square 8vo.,
cloth. 3s. 6d.

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       *       *       *       *       *

=SUMMER=: From the Journal of HENRY D. THOREAU. Edited by H. G. O.
BLAKE. Index. Map. Cr. 8vo., 7s. 6d.

     "A most delightful book."--_Times._

     "As pleasant a book as can well be imagined."--_Athenæum._

       *       *       *       *       *

=ECHETLUS=: Considerations upon Culture in England. By GEORGE WHETENALL.
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       *       *       *       *       *

His Life told by His Children. In two vols., with upwards of 20
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     cannot for a moment be disputed."--_Times._

       *       *       *       *       *

=OLE BULL=: A Memoir. By SARA C. BULL. With Ole Bull's "Violin Notes"
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       *       *       *       *       *

=THE LIFE & TIMES OF SAMUEL BOWLES=, Editor of _The Springfield
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       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

"Camilla's Girlhood," &c. Illust. Square Imperial 16mo. 7s. 6d.

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       *       *       *       *       *

=LONDON AND ELSEWHERE.= By THOMAS PURNELL, Author of "Literature and its
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       *       *       *       *       *


"=EXPOSITIONS.=" First Series. Dedicated to BARON TENNYSON. Third
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       *       *       *       *       *

"=EXPOSITIONS.=" Second Series. Demy 8vo., cloth. 7s. 6d.

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=THE REALITY OF FAITH.= By the Rev. NEWMAN SMYTH, D.D., Author of "Old
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       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

SECULAR ASPECTS.= By FRANCIS BOWEN, LL.D. Crown 8vo., cloth. 4s. 6d.

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=THE UNKNOWN GOD=, and other Sermons. By the Rev. ALEXANDER H. CRAUFURD,
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=MY STUDY=, and other Essays. By Professor AUSTIN PHELPS, D.D., Author
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=THE CHRIST OF HISTORY.= By JOHN YOUNG, LL.D., Author of "The Life and
Light of Men," &c. Seventh and Popular Edition. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

=PAYING THE PASTOR=, Unscriptural and Traditional. By JAMES BEATY,
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       *       *       *       *       *

=THE TEMPLE=: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations. By Mr. GEORGE
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_This is a fac-simile reprint by typography of the Original Edition of

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=I'VE BEEN A-GIPSYING=; or, Rambles among our Gipsies. By GEORGE SMITH,
of Coalville. Illustrated. New and Revised edition. Crown 8vo., cloth.
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       *       *       *       *       *

the Original Editions. Twenty Coloured Illustrations by KAUFFMAN. Fcap.
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       *       *       *       *       *


=MEDICAL MISSIONS=: Their Place and Power. By JOHN LOWE, F.R.C.S.E.,
Secretary of Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society. Introduction by Sir
WILLIAM MUIR, K.C.S.I., LL.D., D.C.L. Medallion Frontispiece. Second
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       *       *       *       *       *

Author of "Christianity and the Religions of India." Introduction by Sir
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       *       *       *       *       *

=MODERN MISSIONS=: Their Trials and Triumphs. By ROBERT YOUNG, Assistant
Secretary to the Missions of the Free Church of Scotland. Map and
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     "This book should certainly be placed upon the shelves of parish,
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       *       *       *       *       *

Missions." Illustrated. Second edition. Crown 8vo., cloth extra. 6s.

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       *       *       *       *       *

=THE TREASURE BOOK OF CONSOLATION=: For all in Sorrow or Suffering.
Compiled and Edited by BENJAMIN ORME, M.A., Editor of "The Treasure Book
of Devotional Reading." Cr. 8vo., cl. extra, gilt top, 3s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

16mo., cloth, bev. boards, gilt edges. 3s.

Large paper, Royal 16mo. (only 100 copies printed), with proof
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       *       *       *       *       *


     Fcap. 12mo., antique paper, parchment boards, 2s. each. Nos. 1
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1. =JOHN WICLIF=, Patriot and Reformer: his Life and Writings. By RUDOLF
BUDDENSIEG, Lic. Theol. Leipsic.

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       *       *       *       *       *


     "Deserves the very highest praise. Great discrimination has been
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       *       *       *       *       *

3. =DOCTOR JOHNSON=: His Life, Works and Table Talk. By Dr. MACAULAY,
Editor of _The Leisure Hour_.

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       *       *       *       *       *

=ABOUT THE THEATRE=: Essays and Studies. By WILLIAM ARCHER, Author of
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       *       *       *       *       *

Crown 8vo., 7s. 6d.

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       *       *       *       *       *

Cheap and Popular edition. Crown 8vo., cloth. 5s.

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       *       *       *       *       *


=AN ITALIAN GARDEN=: A Book of Songs. By A. MARY F. ROBINSON, Author of
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=A TIME AND TIMES=: Ballads and Lyrics of East and West. By A. WERNER,
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Author of "Verses of Varied Life," &c. Cheap edition. Crown 8vo. 5s.

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       *       *       *       *       *

Whitehead," &c. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d.

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=MEASURED STEPS.= By ERNEST RADFORD. Crown 8vo., cloth. 4s.

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       *       *       *       *       *

=A MINOR POET=: And other Verses. By AMY LEVY. Crown 8vo., paper board
style, uncut edges. 3s. 6d.

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       *       *       *       *       *

=HOPE'S GOSPEL=, and Other Poems. By ARTHUR STEPHENS. Fcap. 8vo., cloth,
bevelled edges. 3s. 6d.

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       *       *       *       *       *

=ORPHEUS=, and Other Poems. By ALFRED EMERY. Fcap. 8vo., cloth. 3s. 6d.

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       *       *       *       *       *

ADAMS. 16mo. Roxburgh, gilt tops, 3 vols., in cloth box. 15s.

The Volumes may also be had without box. 13s. 6d.

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     Oratory."--_Whitehall Review._

       *       *       *       *       *

=REPRESENTATIVE AMERICAN ORATIONS.= With Introductions, &c., by Prof.
ALEXANDER JOHNSTON, of New Jersey. 3 vols. 16mo., Roxburgh, gilt tops,
in cloth box. 15s.

     "By way of conclusion, we venture once more to strongly recommend
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       *       *       *       *       *

=DECIMAL TABLES=, for Calculating the Value of Government Stocks and
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Stock (advancing by eighths). By T. M. P. HUGHES, of the Stock
Department, Messrs. Williams, Deacon & Co. Demy 8vo., cloth. 12s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

=UNITED STATES NOTES=: A History of the various Issues of Paper Money by
the Government of the United States. By JOHN J. KNOX. With
Photo-Lithographic Specimens. Demy 8vo., cloth. 12s.

     "A very minute historical sketch of the treasury and other notes
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       *       *       *       *       *

HEATON, Editor of "Cassell's Concise Cyclopædia." Crown 8vo. 5s.

     "As readable as a novel, and as instructive as an important
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     "An admirable and accurate summing-up of the great Reform
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       *       *       *       *       *

=ARMINIUS VAMBÉRY=: His Life and Adventures Written by Himself. With
Portrait and 14 Illustrations. Fifth and Popular Edition. Square
Imperial 16mo., cloth extra. 6s.

     "A most fascinating work, full of interesting and curious
     experiences."--_Contemporary Review._

     "It is partly an autobiographic sketch of character, partly an
     account of a singularly daring and successful adventure in the
     exploration of a practically unknown country. In both aspects it
     deserves to be spoken of as a work of great interest and of
     considerable merit."--_Saturday Review._

     "We can follow M. Vambéry's footsteps in Asia with pride and
     pleasure; we welcome every word he has to tell us about the
     ethnography and the languages of the East."--_Academy._

     "The character and temperament of the writer come out well in his
     quaint and vigorous style.... The expressions, too, in English,
     of modes of thought and reflections cast in a different mould
     from our own gives additional piquancy to the composition, and
     indeed, almost seems to bring out unexpected capacities in the

     "Has all the fascination of a lively romance. It is the
     confession of an uncommon man: an intensely clever,
     extraordinarily energetic egotist, well-informed, persuaded that
     he is in the right, and impatient of contradiction."--_Daily

     "The work is written in a most captivating manner, and
     illustrates the qualities that should be possessed by the
     explorer."--_Novoe Vremya, Moscow._

     "We are glad to see a popular edition of a book, which, however
     it may be regarded must be pronounced unique. The writer, the
     adventures, and the style are all extraordinary--the last not the
     least of the three. It is flowing and natural--a far better style
     than is written by the majority of English travellers."--_St.
     James's Gazette._

     _Over Eighty other English and Foreign Periodicals have reviewed
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       *       *       *       *       *


=ARMINIUS VAMBÉRY=: His Life and Adventures. Written by Himself. With
Introductory Chapter dedicated to the Boys of England. Portrait and
Seventeen Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 5s.

     This new edition was prepared by M. Vambéry at the suggestion of
     several of his English friends and critics during his late visit
     to this country, that the story of his life was one well adapted
     to form the subject of a book for boys. He has carefully revised
     it throughout, eliminating all political and other matter that
     would possess but little interest for boys. A new Introductory
     Chapter is added, giving a more extensive insight into his boy
     life than the previous volume, and showing how even the humblest,
     poorest, and most delicate lad can, with perseverance and
     industry, rise to prosperity and renown. It possesses several
     additional Illustrations and a new Portrait of the Author.

       *       *       *       *       *

=FRANCE AND TONGKING=: A Narrative of the Campaign of 1884, and the
Occupation of Further India. By J. G. SCOTT (SHWAY YOE), Author of "The
Burman." Map and Two Plans. Demy 8vo. 16s.

     "Very graphic and exceedingly interesting pages."--_Spectator._

     "Will be perused with interest both by military men and by the
     general reader."--_Globe._

       *       *       *       *       *

Sewed, 1s.; cloth, 1s. 6d.

     "Pleasant and instructive reading."--_Athenæum._

       *       *       *       *       *

=INTRODUCTORY STUDIES IN GREEK ART.= Delivered in the British Museum by
JANE E. HARRISON, Author of "Myths of the Odyssey in Art and
Literature," &c. Map and 10 Illusts. Square Imperial 16mo., 7s. 6d.

     "Admirable work in every way. The lady has mastered her subject;
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     talent of exposition; she understands, and her readers have no
     choice but to understand with her. To students, not only of Greek
     art, but of art in general, her book is really
     indispensable."--_Magazine of Art._

       *       *       *       *       *

YOUNG, Author of "The Comic and Tragic Aspects of Life," &c.
Seventy-seven Illustrations. Demy 8vo., cloth. 7s. 6d.

     "It will be found a very valuable manual of the history of the
     Netherlands by all young men who, for any reason, have to become
     students of it."--_Spectator._

     "A careful and readable history."--_Daily News._

       *       *       *       *       *

THORPE. Revised by the Author. Portrait of the Author. Crown 8vo. 6s.

     "Read... the second series of 'Letters from Italy,' lately
     published by E. de Laveleye, a man of European fame in regard to
     political and social economy."--_Christian World_ of August 27,
     1885, in leader reviewing the original edition.

       *       *       *       *       *

OLIVER, F.S.A., F.R.G.S., late R.A., Author of "Madagascar and the
Malagasy," &c. With a Chapter by F. W. CHESSON, Hon. Sec. of the
Malagasy Committee. Map. Demy 8vo. 9s.

     "A very straightforward and ungarnished account of the dispute
     between France and Madagascar."--_Contemporary Review._

     "Captain Pasfield Oliver's very interesting and informing

       *       *       *       *       *

=CENTRAL ASIAN QUESTIONS=: Essays on Afghanistan, China and Central
Asia. By DEMETRIUS C. BOULGER, Author of "The History of China," &c.
With Portrait and Three Maps. Demy 8vo., cloth. 18s.

     "Ought to be read by everybody interested in the Central Asian
     question.... Mr. Boulger's essays are a magazine of information
     relating to the people and country of Central Asia, Afghanistan
     and China."--ARMINIUS VAMBÉRY, in _The Academy_.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "In delineation of character the authoress is extremely

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE ROMAN STUDENTS=; or, On the Wings of the Morning. A Tale of the
Renaissance. By the Author of "The Spanish Brothers," &c. Illustrated by
G. P. JACOMB HOOD. Cheaper ed. Imp. 8vo., cloth, 4s. 6d.

     "One of the best stories of the year."--_British Quarterly

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE HOUSE BY THE WORKS.= By EDWARD GARRETT, Author of "Occupations of a
Retired Life," &c. Frontispiece. 3rd edition. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

=SETTLING DAY=: A Sketch from Life. By SOPHIE ARGENT. Crown 8vo., cloth.
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     "A charming story of real life, and one that is as true to human
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     "A pleasant and wholesome little novelette.... It is agreeably

       *       *       *       *       *

=OFF DUTY=: Stories of a Parson on Leave. By CHARLES WRIGHT. Crown 8vo.,
cloth. 2s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

Author of "Over the Seas and Far Away." With Illustrations by M. E.
EDWARDS. Second Edition. Small 8vo., cloth extra, gilt edges, 2s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

Author of "Papers for Thoughtful Girls," &c. Illustrated by M. E.
EDWARDS. Second edition. Small 8vo. 2s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Minna's Holiday," &c. Illustrated. Small 8vo., cloth extra. 1s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *


Illustrated. Crown 8vo., cloth extra, 3s. 6d. per vol.

1. =LEADERS OF MEN=: A Book of Biographies specially written for Young
Men. By H. A. PAGE, Author of "Golden Lives." Fourth edition.

     "Mr. Page thoroughly brings out the disinterestedness and
     devotion to high aims which characterise the men of whom he
     writes. He has done his work with care and good

       *       *       *       *       *

2. =WISE WORDS AND LOVING DEEDS=: A Book of Biographies for Girls. By E.
CONDER GRAY. Sixth edition.

     "A series of brightly-written sketches of lives of remarkable
     women. The subjects are well chosen and well treated."--_Saturday

       *       *       *       *       *

3. =MASTER MISSIONARIES=: Studies in Heroic Pioneer Work. By ALEX. H.
JAPP, LL.D., F.R.S.E. 3rd ed.

     "An extremely interesting book. The reader need not be afraid of
     falling into beaten tracks here."--_The Guardian._

     "A really excellent and readable book."--_Literary Churchman._

       *       *       *       *       *

4. =LABOUR AND VICTORY.= By A. H. JAPP, LL.D. Memoirs of Those who
Deserved Success and Won it. Third edition.

     "We should be glad to see this volume in the hands of thousands
     of boys and young men."--_Leeds Mercury._

       *       *       *       *       *

5. =HEROIC ADVENTURE=: Chapters in Recent Explorations and Discovery.
Illustrated. Third edition.

     "Gives freshness to the old inexhaustible story of enterprise and
     discovery by selecting some of the very latest of heroes in this
     field."--_Daily News._

       *       *       *       *       *

=PLANT LIFE=: Popular Papers on the Phenomena of Botany. By EDWARD STEP.
148 Illustrations by the Author. Third edition. Crown 8vo., cloth extra,
3s. 6d.

     "More delightful reading for the country at this season of the
     year authors and publishers have not provided for us."--_Pall
     Mall Gazette._

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE WAY TO FORTUNE=: A Series of Short Essays, with Illustrative
Proverbs and Anecdotes from many sources. Third Edition. Small 8vo.;
cloth extra, 2s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

=AMERICAN DISHES=, and How to Cook Them. By an American Lady. Crown
8vo., cloth extra, 2s. 6d.

     "A smart little tome."--G. A. S., in _Illustrated London News_.

       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

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=THE ILLUSTRATED POETRY BOOK= for Young Readers. Small crown 8vo.,
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=INDUSTRIAL CURIOSITIES=: Glances Here and There in the World of Labour.
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       *       *       *       *       *

=FOOTPRINTS=: Nature seen on its Human Side. By SARAH TYTLER, Author of
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     "A book of real worth."--_Spectator._

       *       *       *       *       *

=GUDRUN, BEOWULF, and ROLAND.= With other Mediæval Tales. By JOHN GIBB.
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1. =GEOMETRICAL DRAWING=: Containing General Hints to Candidates, Former
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de la Légion d'Honneur, French Examiner for Military and Civil

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A HANDBOOK TO =THE FERNERY AND AQUARIUM.= Containing Full Directions how
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  Life of Wm. Bowles                       17
  Touchstone of Peril                      13
  Wilbourne Hall                           13


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  Anne Gilchrist                            7
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  Amazon, The                              14
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  House by the Works                       26
  How to be Happy though Married           10
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