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´╗┐Title: Our Girls
Author: Lewis, Dio
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Our Girls" ***

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Publishing Overview Class (Ryan Ayers, Courtney Coats,
Chelsea Cohen, Elaina DeBoard, Katrina Gravel, Susanna
Kellogg, Bryan Lawver, Alexis Mackintosh-Zebrowski, Melissa
Malone, Anna Meier, Jennifer Riley, Kruthika Subramanyam)
at Emerson College, Boston, MA.

Our Girls
Dio Lewis, A.M., M.D.,
President of "The Normal Institute for Physical Education,"
Physician in Chief to "a Swedish Movement Cure," Author of "New
Gymnastics for Men, Women, and Children," "Weak Lungs, and How to
Make Them Strong," "Talks About People's Stomachs," etc.

That her hand may be given with dignity, she must be able to stand
alone.-Margaret Fuller
New York
Harper & Brothers, Publishers, Franklin Square, 1874.
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1871, by
Dio Lewis.
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

My Girls
I dedicate this volume
In the School at Lexington they taught me how pure and noble life
may become.

Will they listen to another of my "Talks about Health?"
The Author.


    Sure Way to get Broad Soles.
    Beauty of Broad Soles.
    Economy of Wide Soles.
    Thickness of the Soles.
    Of what shall the Uppers of Girls' Boots be composed?
    Should the Shoes support the Ankle?
    Rubber Boots and Shoes.
    Another Woman who Walked well.
    Still another Woman who Walked well.
    Important Help in Learning to Walk.
    Low Neck and Short Sleeves
    Letter from Washington.
    Excessive Ornamentation.
    Earrings and other Trinkets.
    Finger-rings, etc.
    Fashionable Sufferings.
    Why are Women so Small?
    A Family Counsel.
    How it Terminated.
    Work for Rich Girls.
    A true Love Story.
    Bank Clerks.
    Teachers of Gymnastics and Dancing.
    Teachers of Drawing and Painting.
    Aquaria Makers.
    Schools of Design.
    A Capital Investment.
    Other Occupations.
    Employment Agencies.
    Conservatism is Fashionable.
    "Woman's Rights" are Unfashionable.
    The Social Evil.
    My Text.
    You Want Husbands.
    Why Men do not Propose.
    Beauty of Woman's Body.
    This Dress Checks your Movements.
    Vocal Music.
    Bad Manners of Piano Players.
    Vices of Modern Music.
    Italian Opera.
    Disciplinary Value of French.
    Comparative Value of English and French.
    English Classics.
    Latin and Greek.
    Bowels of Compassion.
    Waists of Jolly Grandmothers.
    A few Plain Words to my Little Pale-faced Friends.
    Experiment upon a House-plant.
    Experiment upon a Rose-bush.
    Experiment upon a Rose Girl.
    Oil Secretions of the Skin.
    Importance of Soap.
    Details of the Bath.
    Hot and Cold Baths.
    Hair Gloves or Mittens.
    Jacob Schneider and his Doughnuts.
    Wines and other Alcoholic Drinks
    Noises in the Bowels.
    How to Manage a Cold.
    Fat and Thin Girls.
    Recreation vs. Propriety.
    Care of your Teeth.
    Flannels next the Skin.


My Dear Public:--

I write about the girls because I want to, and because, after a good
deal of self-examination, I candidly believe I have something to say
about them.

I have always been deeply interested in the girls; when a youngster
nothing so fascinated me; and, as I turn the corner, to go with the
old folks, I can't see that my interest in girls is a whit less

When I was occupied with the practice of my profession, my interest
in the girls was so well-known, that I had an unusual number among
my patients. During the years of my public lecturing, half, at
least, of my audiences were composed exclusively of girls and women.
When I established the school at Lexington, it was a school for
girls, and, during four years, I lived in the midst of a large
family of fine girls. It was a sweet, a delightful experience. My
hopes of the future rest upon the girls. My patriotism clings to the
girls. I believe America's future pivots on this great woman

I am not a Yankee, but I believe in Yankees. This first great
success in self-government, is a success, because guided by Yankee
brains. I tremble lest the rudder should fall to hands, which, in
other lands, have been found utterly incompetent. The Yankee brain
has realized the brightest hopes of the political seer. The United
States Government must not, cannot part with its wise, prudent

Is it not an alarming fact, that, among Yankees, marriage is
becoming unfashionable, and children still more unfashionable; that,
among the very few children born, so many die in infancy; and still
again, that, among the very small number who escape the perils of
childhood, so small a proportion are endowed with that vigorous
health on which alone can be planted a vigorous manhood. I am so
sure that I know where the trouble lies, and so strong is my
confidence that I can contribute something toward its removal, I
cannot refrain from speaking. May the Good Father help me to write
in a truly father-spirit to those dear, beautiful girls, upon whom
we are all so dependent for present happiness, and upon whom the
future America must rest.

And if any thought shall appear in this volume worthy their
attention, may they listen, think, act.

I have discussed many health topics, but this work, addressed to the
girls of America, I shall fill with my whole heart, and send out,
with a yearning for its success, which I have felt in connection
with no other literary venture.


One evening, at Lexington, I was discussing before the assembled
school the subject of shoes for women, and had been remarking that
the soles were uniformly too narrow, when Miss B. spoke up:--

"Why, Doctor, my soles are perfectly immense. Why, they are twice as
broad as my foot."

"Miss B., will you be kind enough to take off one of your shoes, and
send it forward?" It was cheerfully and quickly done.

"Henry, please bring the rule? Now we will measure this sole.

"Miss B., I find this sole is two and one-half inches wide; do you
think your foot is narrower than that?"

"Oh! a great deal. That shoe sole is twice as wide as my foot."

"Miss B., will you please come to the platform a moment?" So,
limping along, one shoe off and one shoe on, she presented herself.

"Miss B., will you be kind enough to put your foot upon that sheet
of white paper? Now hold up the other foot, and let your full weight
press upon this one. There, now, hold still a minute, and let me
draw the pencil around your foot. There, that will do. Now we will
measure this mark, and see just how broad your foot is. Why, Miss
B., I find that your foot is three inches and three-quarters broad;
--no, stop, it is three inches and seven-eighths;--no, stop
again, it really is four inches broad. Now what do you think? You
may take the rule and measure yourself if you doubt it. The sole is
two inches and a half, and your foot is four inches broad!"

"But, Doctor, it is four inches broad only when it is spread out by
standing my whole weight on this one foot."

"Yes, Miss B., but that is exactly what takes place every time you
step. For example, when, in walking, you lift up the right foot and
push it forward, your whole weight is not only on the left foot,
but, pushing with the left foot in propelling the body forward, you
have, in addition to your weight upon that foot, the effort of
pushing forward with it, which makes the toes still broader, and
that takes place every time you step. So I presume when you are
walking briskly, that if your foot were at liberty to spread, it
would reach four inches and a quarter.

"This shoe sole, which you think is immense, is two inches and a
half wide. Now what do you suppose becomes of the inch and a half of
foot which has no sole to rest upon? Either the upper leather holds
the foot, and prevents its spreading, or the foot spreads on either
side beyond the sole, and presses down upon the edge of the sole.

"Very few girls walk in a firm, strong way. Notice one. You can see
that she is balancing upon a narrow sole. There is an unsteadiness,
a sidewise vibration. Besides, as she has not breadth of toe enough,
she cannot push her body forward in that elastic way which we all so
much admire.

"Again, the pressure of the upper leather checks the circulation in
the foot and makes it cold. If you check the circulation in any
part, it becomes cold. The tight shoes, with an elastic worn about
the leg just below the knee, so check the circulation in the foot,
that the great majority of girls have cold feet. It would, indeed,
be rare to find one with warm feet like a boy."

Miss B. took her shoe and limped back to her seat quite crest-
fallen. Now a dozen girls eagerly put up their hands.

Selecting one, Miss R., I said, "What do you wish?"

"My shoe is broader than my foot."

"Well, send it forward and let me measure it."

I found it two and a half inches, or, perhaps, a shade less.

"Come, stand on the paper and let me measure your foot."

I found it fully three and three quarter inches; one inch and a
quarter of foot with nothing to rest upon.

Six or eight other girls insisted on having their shoes and feet
measured, but among them all we did not find one that had less than
an inch and a quarter of foot not matched by the sole.

Miss S., a quiet, earnest girl, who was always on the _qui vive_ for
the _ought_ of life, rose and said:--

"I have always thought that shoes should have broad soles, and I
have tried for years to induce my shoemaker to give me broad
soles. He always says he will, but he never does. How can a young
lady get broad soles if the shoemaker won't make them? I am sure I
should be glad to have mine as broad as the widest spread of my
foot, but I cannot get them."


"Miss S., if I will tell you how to induce your shoemaker to make
the soles of your shoes as broad as your feet, will you try it?"

"I will, and should be very thankful for the suggestion."

"Go to him and say, 'Mr. Smith, please let me put my foot on a sheet
of paper, resting my whole weight upon one foot, and then, if you
please, mark around it with your pencil.'

"Of course he will do it very cheerfully. Indeed, for some purpose,
which I am sure no man can explain, shoemakers are quite in the
habit of taking the size and shape of the foot. I am sure I never
saw any evidence that they paid the slightest attention to it in
making the shoes.

"Then say to Mr. Smith, 'Please measure that and tell me just how
wide it is.'

"Mr. Smith measures. You look on. He finds that the width is exactly
three inches and seven-eighths.

"'But,' he will say, 'Miss S., what is all this for?'

"'No matter. Now, Mr. Smith, will you please to make the soles of
this pair as broad as my feet?'

"'Certainly, Miss S., I will make them all nice and broad.'

"'Mr. Smith, please make the soles as broad as my feet this time.'

"'Why, certainly, Miss, what is the trouble? I will give them to you
real nice and wide.'

"'You always tell me so; but when they come home, they are always
those little narrow ones.'

"'Miss S., you shouldn't say so. I always make the soles of my shoes
very broad. It will be all right.. You needn't worry about that.'

"'Well, Mr. Smith, you need not send these shoes to me; I will come
for them. The width of my foot is three inches and seven-eighths.
Very well; when I come for these shoes, I shall measure the width of
the soles; if they are one-eighth of an inch less than three inches
and seven-eighths, I will not touch them.'

"That struggle is all over. Mr. Smith will, for the first time in
his life, keep his broad-sole promise."


'Besides the advantages I have named, broad soles are much handsomer
than narrow ones. They make the foot look smaller. If one puts his
foot into a shoe too short, and too narrow, and the toes and sides
of the foot press out all around over the sole, it makes the foot
look big; but if the sole be large enough to let the foot rest in
its natural relations, it looks much smaller. We men wear boots,
often, with broad soles that project well on both sides. Such boots
are thought to be particularly stylish.


"Another advantage may be mentioned for the benefit of those who
study economy. Such shoes will not only keep in shape, but they will
last two or three times as long as those with narrow soles. The
uppers, not being stretched, as they are with narrow soles, will, if
of good stock, almost never wear out, while the soles will remain
square and even.

"I have spoken of the advantage of a greatly improved circulation,
which would result from the introduction of the wide soles. I may
add that the change which would at once appear in the manner of
walking, would strike every beholder.


"The soles of girls' boots and shoes should be thick. They are not
always to remain upon carpets, but they must go out doors and walk
on the ground.

"Some people seem, somehow, to suppose that girls do not really step
on the ground, but that, in some sort of spiritual way, they pass
along just above the damp, unclean earth. But, as a matter of fact,
girls do step on the ground just like boys. I have frequently walked
behind them to test this point, and have noticed that when the
ground is soft, they make tracks, and thus demonstrate the existence
of an actual, material body.

"Now, while this is the case, and while it is indispensable to their
health that they go much in the open air, they must have thick
soles. Let these be made of the hardest and most impervious leather.
It is well, in addition, during eight months of the year, to have
the bottoms of the soles covered either with a sheet of rubber, or
simply covered with a spreading of some of the liquid rubber, which
will remain two or three weeks, and protect the sole from dampness.


"During the cold and damp months they should be made of thick, solid
leather. No matter about the name; some calfskin is very thin, while
morocco is often very thick. During the warm season they may wear
for uppers prunella, or other cloth."

This much was spoken to my girls. I might leave the shape and width
of the heel to the intelligence of the reader; but as the most
preposterous heels have been recently introduced, it is perhaps
judicious to point out the physiological mischief. The heels of the
fashionable ladies' shoes at the present moment--quarter past
three, P.M., August 4th, 1870,--are two inches high, and at the
bottom not larger than an old-fashioned silver quarter of a dollar,
if anybody can remember how large that was.

Need it be argued that this absurd fashion weakens the ankle, and
jams the toes into the sharp points of the boots?

If a woman were to walk as much as her health requires, with those
most unphysiological heels, her feet would soon be crippled. The
ankle, the heel, the arch of the foot and the toes must all suffer.
It need hardly be said that heels should be broad, long and low. The
great advantage in elasticity and firmness which would come at once
in the manner of walking, would, even as to stylishness, more than
compensate for the absence of the fashionable Shanghai heels.


Shoes of a peculiar structure have been employed to support the
ankle. Medical men have even advised the introduction of brass, or
other metallic straps, to be laced in the shoe about the ankle, to
give support in walking. The ordinary shoe is made so as to fit the
ankle very closely, under the impression that thereby the ankle is
supported. This is an error. If the ankles were to be used but a day
or a week, such support might serve; but as no one intends to rely
permanently upon such artificial support, and as any pressure checks
the circulation and the development of the parts, so a lacing to the
ankle, as a lacing about the chest, may feel comfortable and give a
sense of support for the time being, but, in either case, will, in
the long run, only produce absorption and weakness. The ankle joint
should be left entirely without ligature, without any pressure, and
by exercise be developed into a self-supporting institution.

If this were the place, I would give special directions for bathing
the ankle joints in cold water, morning and evening, and rubbing
them hard with the naked hands, if they are weak and need special


On the subject of rubber boots and shoes much has been said, and
well said. There can be no doubt that india-rubber boots are
mischievous; but I have at length reached the conclusion that the
injury is less than the constant in-door life among girls and women
which would result from an abandonment of the rubber protections.
The prejudice against such leather boots as would, alone, prove
adequate to our climate, is so determined, that I think it my duty,
in discussing the subject of shoes for girls, to advise that, in
this climate, every girl should have a pair of india-rubber over-
shoes, of the arctic or sandal pattern, and a pair of large-sized,
long-legged rubber boots for the roughest weather.

They should never be worn except when the streets are in a condition
absolutely requiring them, and should not be kept on, in the house.
If these rules be carefully observed, and, during the season of the
year when rubbers are worn, the feet are frequently washed in cold
water, and rubbed hard with rough towels, hair gloves and the naked
hand, they may be protected against the injurious influence of the
rubber boots and shoes.


A good many years ago,--let me look in the glass again,--never
use hair dye,--yes, a great many years ago, I was studying my
profession in a medical office with several other students. Just
below stood a book-bindery, and a little above, the residence of a
poor widow. A girl of twenty years passed backward and forward, from
one to the other, several times a day. Very rarely did she pass our
office without one or more of us observing her. Very natural, you
say. But you don't understand me. She was not a handsome girl. Her
dress was of the plainest calico, and, I suppose on account of her
occupation, it was not always clean. But, nevertheless, she was one
of our staple attractions.

Our office was on the main street, and above us were the residences
of the rich. Hundreds of girls with handsome faces and rich dresses
passed every day, but we were not on the lookout for them. It was
only the book-binding girl that drew us to the window.

One of our fellows would cry out, "Here she goes. Come quick, John;
quick, Henry."

Curious, wasn't it?

And what do you suppose so excited our interest?

She walked well! Ah! I can see her now! What a queen!

Queenly, we exclaim, with reference to a certain manner of walking.
We never say queenly mouth, or queenly eyes, or queenly nose. The
word is applied only to a certain style of personal carriage. When
we see a woman pass, carrying her head and shoulders in a peculiar
way, stepping off in a grand, elastic style, the word queenly leaps
to every lip.

Our book-binding girl was a Methodist; and I do not mind telling you
that I used to go to the Methodist church pretty often, and always
sat in the gallery, that I might see her come in and go out. She
frequented a little social organization, in which young men and
women assembled for conversation, reading, singing, etc. I joined,
although there was no other attraction than our queen.

You may think it very strange, but I was never introduced to her; I
never spoke with her. Indeed, I carefully avoided a personal
acquaintance, lest a lack of intelligence and sentiment might break
the charm of her peerless bearing. I think that nothing in any woman
has ever more deeply impressed my imagination than that young
woman's splendid mien.


Calling upon a legal friend in a western city about twenty years
ago, he asked me, while we were sitting at his front window,--

"Have you ever seen Mrs. W----e?"

"No. Who is she? what is she?"

"She is a remarkable woman."







"Well, do tell me what she is remarkable for."

"Oh, she walks well."

"And is it so rare for a woman to walk well, in your city, that one
who does, becomes famous?"

"Ah, but when you see her walk, you won't ask that question. She
walks splendidly; and what is very wonderful, she knows it; and,
knowing it, what is perhaps still more wonderful, she walks a great
deal. She generally goes down town about this time. If we keep
watch, we shall see her."

In a few minutes he exclaimed, "There she goes, there she goes!"

"Indeed, and that is your wonderful Mrs. W----e? She don't handsome
much. Eyes sunken, complexion dark, nose--well, her nose is
preposterous, mouth coarse,--but, she does, yes, she does walk
splendidly." I pushed out my head and watched her as she went down
the street.


We arrived at the Morley House about two o'clock in the afternoon.
It was my first visit to London. While in the dining-room, I made
one of those table acquaintances so common among travellers.

He asked:--

"Shall you visit one of the theatres this evening?"

"I hadn't thought of it; what is there worth seeing?"

"Have you ever seen Mrs. Charles Kean, Ellen Tree that was?"


"Well, you'd better go and see her. She is the finest walker I ever

"Glad you mentioned it. I shall certainly go."

It was one of Shakspeare's plays. When Mrs. Kean came in, she walked
across the stage two or three times before uttering a word. I never
saw anything so perfectly grand! The play had then run a hundred and
fifty nights. I afterward met several persons who had witnessed it
more than twenty nights, and most of them mentioned Mrs. Kean's
walking, as the great attraction.

Girls, the Creator has not made you all handsome. He has not given
you all fine faces, or noble proportions; but He has given every one
of you the capacity to learn to walk well.

Why, even a little woman, weighing but a hundred pounds, can make
herself grand by a certain style of walking.

How any of you who desire to appear well, to make a fine impression,
can consent to crawl about, poking your chins out, shoulder-blades
sticking out, and wiggling yourself along in that stubby, stumbling
way, amazes me.

Why, girls, if you were to give one-twentieth part as much time to
learning to walk, as you give to the piano, you would add immensely
to your attractions. Everybody plays the piano. It really is
refreshing to meet one who says, "I have never learned to play." Why
not a few of you, instead of sitting four hours a day on piano
stools, weakening and distorting your spines; why not just a few of
you, by way of variety, cultivate this beautiful, elastic, queenly
manner of walking? You have no idea how, to use a Yankee phrase, "it
would pay," as an attraction.


There are certain prerequisites.

First, you must have low, wide heels, and broad soles, especially
about the toes, affording a secure surface, upon which, in taking
each step, you can push the body forward.

Second, the body about the waist must be perfectly at liberty. The
corset is a deadly enemy to fine walking.

But given perfect freedom at the middle of the body, through which
all the movements in walking must pass,--given this freedom of the
trunk, with good shoes, and you have the prerequisites on which this
general exercise of the body depends.

Suppose, instead of a free body, that you press a corset into the
pit of the stomach, and press it in so as to make a scoop-shovel dip
in that part of the body, of course you draw the shoulders forward,
and push the bowels down out of their natural place. Then you walk
like a deformed person.

With liberty of feet and liberty of body, you are ready to take your
first lesson.

I once read a book about walking. It was a French book, and, if I
remember right, it contained about one hundred and twenty pages. In
it the most elaborate directions were given. We were told how to
hold our heels and toes, what part of the foot to bring down first,
how, when the foot had been brought down, it was to be moved during
the step, just what angle must be maintained between the two feet,
the style of movement in the ankle itself, management of the knees,
the hips, the shoulders, the head, the arms, the hands, the thumbs,
--the position of the thumbs was the subject of several pages.

I have sometimes thought that I would write a book on walking. I am
sure I can write a better one than that French book, and my book
would contain only four words. Let us see, we must have two leaves,
and each leaf must be as large as your thumb nail. We have four

Now we will proceed to print this book. On the first page we will
print one single word, "chin"; on the second a single word, "close";
on the third page, "to"; now we approach the end of the volume;
turn over, and on the last page we print the word "neck."

The volume is complete. No explanatory notes need be given, not
another word need be said. Whoever carries the "chin close to neck"
is all right from top to toe, and will walk well. Strange to say,
the chin is the pivot on which the whole body turns in walking.

"Miss Howard, please stand here before us. Now push your chin
forward after the manner of most girls in walking. There, girls,
don't you see, her shoulders are wrong, hips wrong, wrong

"Now, Miss Howard, draw your chin back close to your neck. See, she
has brought her shoulders into the right position, hips right, every
part is right. Now, please walk? Don't you see? Although, in this
first attempt, she seems a little stiff, and awkward, she exhibits
the elements of a fine, queenly bearing? If she were to keep it up a
few weeks, and make it easy, wherever she might go, people would
exclaim, 'Queenly! queenly!'"

Oh, it is pitiable to see fine American girls poke along the street
with their chins away on in advance, hastening to inform the people
that the girl is coming.

Come to this window with me, and look out a moment. There, there are
two girls passing. Now look at their chins. If these girls would
draw their chins back close to their necks, their whole appearance
would be changed in an instant.

I have often said if my adopted daughter should come to me, and say:

"Father, I am going to Japan; I don't expect to see you again in
this world, and, now as I am about to leave you, tell me how to
preserve my health." I should say:--

"My daughter, I am glad you came to me about this. I have given my
life to the study of the laws of health, and I am sure I can give
you valuable suggestions.

"Listen. I will give you five rules, and if you observe them, no
matter where you may live, you will be almost sure to maintain good

"Father, five rules; that's a great many. I am afraid I shall forget
some of them; give me one,--the most important one, and I promise
not to forget it."

"My daughter, if I can give you but one rule, it is this: Stand up
straight, walk erect, sit erect, and even when you are in bed at
night, don't put three pillows under your head, and watch your toes
all night, but keep yourself straight. If you do this, your lungs,
heart, liver, stomach, and all the other organs in the body, will
have room for work. My dear child, if you observe this rule, you
will not only bear with you the air of a noble woman, but you will
contribute more than by any other single rule, to the vigor of your
body, and the maintenance of your health.

"Why, my daughter, you cannot have a good voice even, unless you
stand erect.

"The Creator has fitted this little vocal apparatus in the throat to
a certain attitude of the body.

"The vocal apparatus of a cow is so fixed, that when her backbone is
horizontal, she can do her best bellowing. If she were to stand on her
hind legs, and stick her nose directly up towards the sky, she
couldn't half bellow.

"The vocal apparatus in a girl's throat is fitted, not to a
horizontal spine, but to a perpendicular one. The portion of the
spine in the neck determines, mostly, the action of the music box in
the throat.

"If you drop your-chin down on your chest, bending your neck, and
then try to sing, you will find at once that the vocal box is all
out of shape. Go to the opera and observe the singers. When they
wish to make a particularly loud or fine sound, they don't put the
chin down in the pit of the stomach, but they draw it back close to
the neck, and hold the upper part of the spine, and, indeed, every
part of the spine, in a noble, erect attitude. No, my dear Mary, you
can not even speak or sing well without attending to my volume on
the subject of the chin. Need I say again, that only in this upright
position of the body can your lungs and heart find room to do their
great and vital work? Need I say, that if you allow your head and
shoulders to fall forward, and the organs of the chest to fall down
on the organs of the abdomen, the stomach and liver and all the
other organs in your abdominal cavity will be displaced, crowded and
trammeled? My dear Japanese missionary, I have given you the most
important rule of health, and if you observe it during your life
among the Japs, it will do wonders in preserving your health and


You are in haste to become a queen? The ambition is a noble one. You
can hurry the change by another practice, which I will describe.

A charming lady of the grand, old-fashioned pattern, bore herself
like an empress at eighty-six. I ventured to ask her:--

"Madam, what was the source of this remarkable carriage of your
person?" She replied:--

"During my young life I carried a large book on my head one or two
hours every day. My mother had been taught the practice in an
English school, and she transmitted it to her daughters."

Some years ago there was devised a pretty iron crown, in three
parts, which has been much used for this purpose. The first part,
which rests upon the head, weighed nine pounds; when an iron ring
was placed inside of this, it weighed eighteen pounds, and when the
second one was added, the weight was twenty-seven pounds. This
device was ornamental and convenient. But, while the crown is the
best thing; any weight will do. A bag of corn or beans may be
employed, A book will answer very well. I have frequently seen books
used. You can use any large book of no value,--say a large law
book,--and you will find that the effort to retain it on the head
will secure a perfectly balanced, accurate movement of all the
muscles of the body. Whatever weight is employed, let it be carried
upon the top of the head, holding the chin close to the neck, thirty
minutes in the morning, and about the same time before lying down at
night. In this connection let me say that the use of thick pillows
tends to produce a curve in the neck. The pillows should be hard and
thin. I am glad to see that hair pillows of moderate size are being
generally introduced.

Let me explain the way in which carrying a load upon the head helps
the spine into an erect posture. The spine is composed of twenty-
four separate bones, which do not lie upon one another, but are
separated by cushions of elastic cartilage. Suppose the thickness of
these cushions to be a quarter of an inch. When the spine is erect,
they are of the same thickness all around. When the spine is bent
sidewise, say towards the right, the elastic cushions become thinner
on that side, and if the bending is decided, the edges of the spinal
bones themselves will nearly touch, while the mass of elastic or
india-rubber substance will be pressed over to the left side. Now
suppose that one follows an occupation requiring this position of
the spine. After a time, unless pains are taken to counterbalance
the mischievous influence of the occupation, these india-rubber
cushions between the spinal bones will become fixed in this wedge-
like shape, being thin on the right side and thick on the left side.

Now suppose, instead of bending sidewise, one bends forward, as nine
persons in ten do, exactly the same thing takes place in these
elastic, rubber cushions, only that the rubber is pushed backward,
and the spine bones come together in front.

When the chin is drawn back close to the neck, and the cushions are
brought into their natural equality of thickness all around, if, at
the same moment, a considerable weight is placed upon the head to
press hard upon the spinal cushions, much will be done in a little
time, to fix them in this natural shape. It requires but a few
months of this management to induce a very striking change in the
attitude of the spine.

Many years ago, when my wife was an invalid, we spent three winters
in the South. The plantation negro was a shambling, careless,
uncouth creature; but occasionally we saw a negro whose bearing
suggested a recent occupancy of one of the kingly thrones in Africa.
After a little we came to understand the source of this peculiarity.
These negroes, of the erect, lofty pattern, were engaged in "toting"
loads upon their heads.

Everywhere, in certain large districts of Italy, one is struck with
the singular carriage of the water-carriers, who bring from the
mountain springs, great tubs of water on their heads.

How often we see German girls bringing into town great loads of
sticks on their heads. And we never look at them, if we are
thoughtful, without contrasting their proud, erect carriage, with
the drooping shoulders, projecting shoulder blades, stuck-out chins,
and general slip-shoddiness of our wives and daughters.


The dress of a French peasant tells you at once of his place in
society. Throughout Europe the dress may be taken as the exponent of
the wearer's position. This is as true of women as of men. For good
reasons, the language of dress is not so definite and explicit in
America. But even here we may judge very correctly, in most cases,
by the every-day dress, of the position of the wearer.

The social character and relations of women, as a class, in any
country, may be clearly inferred from certain peculiarities of their

For example, we are in Constantinople. If, in a moment, we could be
set down in that city, and not know where we were, would any of us
doubt the language of that veil over woman's face? Would anybody
suppose her to be a citizen? Would anybody suppose she belonged to

Leaving Constantinople, let us visit an old-time fashionable social
gathering in Vienna. Women enter the ball-room. They are dressed in
gauze so thin that you can see their skins all over their persons.
Would any of us mistake the language of that kind of dress? Would
any of us be in doubt about their relations to men?

Come to America to-day. We attend a social gathering. Women appear
with their vital organs squeezed down to one-half the natural size,
their arms and busts naked, while their trails are so long that,
whenever they turn round, they are obliged to use their hands to
push them out of the way. As we all comprehend, at a glance, the
meaning of the veils in Constantinople, and the nudity of the women
in Vienna, so we all infer the position of woman in America from
these peculiarities of her dress.

I read thus: The compressed vital organs and the encumbered feet
mean, that women are dependent and helpless. Having but little use
for breath and locomotion, by a law of nature, they cramp the
instruments of breath and locomotion. While the nudity of the arms
and bust signifies a slavery to man's passions. No one supposes that
when woman becomes a citizen, and man's equal, she will compress her
lungs, fetter her legs, or appeal to his passions by any immodest
exposure of her person.


As I have said but little of the "low neck and short sleeves," I
want to add a word in this connection. Many a modest woman appears
at a party with her arms nude, and so much of her chest exposed that
you can see nearly half of the mammal gland.

Many a modest mother permits her daughters to make this model-artist
exhibition of themselves.

One beautiful woman said, in answer to my complaints, "You shouldn't

"But," I replied, "do you not adjust your dress in this way on
purpose to give us a chance to look?"

She was greatly shocked at my way of putting it.

"Well," I said, "this assurance is perfectly stunning. You strip
yourselves, go to a public party, parade yourselves for hours in a
glare of gas-light, saying to the crowd, 'Look here, gentlemen,' and
then you are shocked because we put your unmistakable actions into

In discussing this subject before an audience of ladies in this city
the other evening, I said:--

"Ladies, suppose I had entered this hall with my arms and bust bare,
what would you have done? You would have made a rush for the door,
and, as you jostled against each other in hurrying out, you would
have exclaimed to each other, 'Oh! the unconscionable scalawag!' May
I ask if it is not right that we should demand of you as much
modesty as you demand of us?"

But you exclaim, "Custom! it is the custom, and fashion is

If you could know the history of the "low neck and short sleeves,"
how, and for what purpose they were introduced, you would as soon
join the company of the "unfortunates," as to make this exhibition
of your persons.

As much as I desire to live, so much do I long, by this book, to
help my country-women to a higher and purer life. Cherishing this
hope in my heart of hearts, and knowing that nothing but truth can,
in the long run, prevail, I have read this discussion of dress over
and over again, and asked myself, and asked my wife and my sister,
if the statements I have made are quite true, and if they are made
in the proper spirit.

Upon reading the preceding pages upon "The Language of Dress" with
my wife and sister, they say:

"These statements are just and true, and greatly need to be
uttered;" but my wife says, "I think you ought to say very plainly,
that a great many pure-minded women dress with 'low neck and short
sleeves,' without an impure thought, and simply because it is the

I have no doubt of it, and thought I had said as much. Indeed, have
I not been careful to state that I was discussing the language of
dress, and not the conscious purpose of each individual wearer. I
should never forgive myself if I thoughtlessly and unnecessarily
wounded the feelings of the thousands of young women who will, I
trust, read this volume.

But let me add, that I could not pardon myself; and the brave,
earnest women who may read these pages would not pardon me, if I
discussed this vital subject in a shilly-shally, easy-going,
disengenuous manner. If I can effect a sure and permanent lodgment
of vital truths in your minds, and, in my manner of doing it,
should, for the time being, provoke your anger, I am content.

This exposure of the naked bosom before men, in the most public
places, belongs not to the highest type of Christian civilization,
but to those dark ages when women sought nothing higher than the
gratification of the passions of man, and were content to be mere
slaves and toys.

Boston contains its proportion of the refined women of the country.
We have here a few score of the old families, inheriting culture and
wealth, and who can take rank with the best. A matron who knows
their habits, assures me that she never saw a member of one of these
families in "low neck and short sleeves."

In the future free and Christian America, the very dress of woman
will proclaim a high, pure womanhood. And that dress will be an
American costume. We shall then discard the costumes devised by the
dissolute capitals of Europe.

What a strange spectacle we witness in America to-day. Free, bravo,
American women hold out to the world the bible of social, political
and religious freedom; and, anon, we see them down on their knees
waiting the arrival of a steamer, from France, to learn how they
may dress their bodies for the next month.


I wonder women's cheeks do not burn at the sly contempt for
themselves, displayed in this constant description of their dress.
It hardly needs an illustration, though just now one comes to hand,
of which a word. A beautiful, noble girl was married, last evening,
in a neighboring city, and the Boston newspapers, of this morning,
are full of the wedding. In the first place, we have a long
description of the young woman's underclothing. Every article, worn
upon every part of her person, is described in elaborate detail,
with the number, style, make, trimmings, etc., etc. Running over the
description of the trousseau, my eye falls upon: "French exquisitely
daintily invisible finest delicate exquisite princess elegant
coquettish grace jaunty lavender reliefs stylish coquettish Parisian
stylish pretty striking tea-rose bouffant Cluny graceful
Valenciennes jaunty nondescript becoming square broad high tiny
stunning tiny China silk finest Valenciennes rose elegant
beautifully lovely unique elegant heliotrope artistic perfection
grace delicate rose-buds lovely exquisite finest delicate gossamer
airy fairy.


Reception at the White House. From "Our Washington Correspondent."

Senator A., General B., and Vice-President C. said and did so and
so. Mrs. A., Mrs. B., and Mrs. C. said nothing, did nothing; but
half the letter is devoted to gorgeous descriptions of their dress-
maker's spread. This silent contempt of the woman, and elaborate
detail of her dress-maker's style, must cut every proud, sensitive
woman to the very quick. It is another piece of what is called
"ladies' man," and "ladies' small talk." It is of a piece with this
taking off the hat, this excessive bowing and smirking to women,
while they are paid for equal services but one-third a man's salary.

We had a capital illustration of this gallantry and injustice, in a
speech made by a leading member of the American Homoeopathic
Institute, at its great meeting in this city.

A resolution was introduced inviting educated woman physicians of
the Homoeopathic school, to become members of the Institute. An old
and most respectable member of the Institute, from----, spoke very
warmly against the resolution.

He said: "I am a ladies' man; I never pass a woman with whom I am
acquainted without raising my hat. I do not keep my seat in the cars
while ladies are standing, as I see gentlemen do in Boston.

"Yes, I am the most obedient and devoted servant of the ladies,
gentlemen of the Convention, but when you would introduce them to
membership in the American Institute of Homoeopathy, I say no!

It is this making woman the occasion for a display of man's
gallantries, with this contemptuous disregard of her claims to
common justice; it is this spirit which passes the woman, and
devotes itself to a description of her dress, to outlining her "low
corsage," her "magnificent bust," etc., etc.

If I were a girl, and one of these besmeared, bescented, befaddled,
"ladies' man" puppies were to condescend to perform his whining and
barking for my special delectation, I should mildly suggest to him
the infinite wisdom of bestowing his precious slaver upon some
small, gentle poodle.


The trimming mania is frightful. What do you think of one hundred
and twenty yards,--three hundred and sixty feet,--four thousand
three hundred and twenty inches of ribbon in the trimming of one

I wish I could command for an hour the pen of a Jenkins, and give
the names of the various ribbons and shades of ribbons, of the
laces, their origin, style, and value. (Each kind of lace has a
history, which is dear to the heart of the devotee of fashion.) I
wish I could describe the hundred and one crimps and frills and
things. I wish I could command the pen of one of these amazing
writers about woman's dress. I would give you ten pages of it.

I say again, that the trimming mania has become insufferable. Unless
a woman has a dressmaker, she must be the veriest slave. She must be
at it morning, noon and night.

Gather in one place all the artists, authoresses, and women of
finest and highest culture, and how many of them do you suppose
could be bribed to go into the street all rigged out in ribbon,
gimp, frills, edgings, ruches, fringes, satins, velvets, buttons,
nail-heads, etc., etc., etc.

I have met many of the women who may be classed as above, and I
cannot now recall one who was fashionably trimmed.

This rage is, in essence, tawdry and vulgar. It is cheap in
everything but money.


What a barbarism to bore a hole in the flesh, and stick in a
trinket. I have seen several ears in which the ring had cut its way
out, making a slit, and a new hole had been punched in one of the

Men have fallen into this vulgar barbarism. American savages offer
many instances of men with gold or silver trinkets in the ears. But
among lower savages in different parts of the world the custom is
quite general, and many of them add an ornament in the nose.

My own wife, in her girlhood, had her ears pierced, but I have never
seen them embellished with trinkets.


What a vulgar show you sometimes see among the demi-monde,--a dozen
great gold and jeweled rings on the fingers, two large rings or
hoops about the wrists, a great buckle in the belt, a gold chain
about the neck, a gold watch, several charms, a locket or two, a
breast-pin,--what a barbarous, vulgar show; poor things, I suppose
they think it helps to advertise their unhappy trade.

My dear girls, leave this trinket show to the Indians, and use no
other jewelry than a neat small pin to hold the collar, and a
delicate small chain to guard your watch. The watch should be in a
pocket, and not slipped under the belt. The belt must be
mischievously tight to hold the watch. To wear a watch pushed half
way under the belt, is to constantly expose it to accident, and, at
best, to make a vain announcement of the fact that you have one.

In England it is a common remark, that you may know a nobleman by
his plain dress, and by the absence of all jewelry. And I will add,
that everywhere you may know a shoddy pretender by an excessive
display of jewelry.

No person of really fine culture delights in an exhibition of
trinkets or gew-gaws of any kind. The refined soul cannot make an
ornamental parade.


It is barbarous to tattoo the body. Among civilized men, only low
sailors, who spend their lives at sea, indulge in this barbarism;
and they confine the tattooing to a limited surface, "pricking in"
the figure of an anchor, or a ship.

The nose, lips, teeth, ears, and other parts of the body, are cut or
distorted by some of the savages of Africa.

Wherever we find among men the custom of tattooing, cutting or
distorting the body, we need make no further inquiry,--it is a land
of barbarians.

Undeveloped peoples, in the service of false religions, maltreat
their bodies; and even followers of Christ have immured themselves
in dark cells, and caves, carried the accumulated filth of years,
scrupulously avoiding water, starved themselves, pinched and whipped
themselves, made long journeys on their knees or bellies, made
pilgrimages with peas in their shoes, and kicked, cuffed and
outraged themselves in many other ways.

Among advanced Christian nations, even now we sometimes observe a
lingering reflection of this strange hallucination.

For example, a great many people rather fancy a dyspeptic, ghostly
clergyman, and can hardly bring themselves to listen to a prayer
from a preacher with square shoulders, a big chest, a ruddy face,
and a moustache. The ghost, they seem to think, belongs in some way
to the spirit world; while the beef-eating, jolly fellow is
dreadfully at home in this world.

The ghost exclaims:--

  "Jerusalem, my happy home,
    Oh! how I long for thee;
  When will my sorrows have an end?
    Thy joys when shall I see?"

The other, like Mr. Beecher, enjoys a good dinner, a nimble-footed
horse, a big play with the children and the dogs, seems joyous in
the sunshine, and,--wretched sinner,--does not sigh to depart.

So deep-seated is this old pagan prejudice, that a ringing shout of
laughter from a young woman is very suspicious to the deacons of her

Leaving the religious fanaticisms, we come upon another form of this

The fragile, pale young woman with a lisp, is thought, by many silly
people, to be more of a lady, than another with ruddy cheeks, and
vigorous health.

It is, perhaps, difficult to define it exactly, but there exists,
somehow, in the fashionable world, the notion that a pale and
sensitive woman is feminine and refined, while one in blooming
health is masculine and coarse.

But every acute observer knows that the feminine soul, like the
masculine, utters its richest harmonies only through a perfect

While the languid, low voice, and deliberate manner of the invalid
lady may suggest refinement to the casual observer, the
discriminating physician who probes the soul, as well as the body,
finds a marvellous correspondence between them.

Not only is it true that, in extreme cases of physical exhaustion,
the mind gives way with the body, but those keen, exquisite
sensibilities of the soul become weak and blunt. No physician of
large experience will fail to recal instances of extreme hemorrhagic
exhaustion, in which all sense of modesty disappears.

Assuming that the highest possible health of the body is represented
by 100, and the lowest possible by the figure 1, and assuming, what
no physiologist or metaphysician will question, that the head and
heart keep step with the body, we shall not hesitate long in
determining the state of the mind and soul of the fashionable,
languid, nervous lady whom we meet in America at every turn, and who
ranges from 10 to 50 on our scale.

It is but natural that she should be occupied with trimmings, and
feel no interest in the great social and moral movements of the day.

Caeteris paribus, a young woman whose physical health is represented
by 80 on our scale, has twice as much feminine delicacy and
character as another whose health is represented by 40. If this is
not a logical deduction from the laws of physiology and metaphysics,
I know of nothing that is. While, as already suggested, every
discriminating physician is constantly called upon to listen to the
harmony between the body and the soul.

The notion that delicacy of the body indicates delicacy of the body
indicates delicacy of the mind and heart, contributes more to the
fashion of delicacy than all other influences.

Miss Leonora, observing that Bridget O'Flaherty, the scrub-girl, who
is ignorant and coarse, has a large waist and a powerful chest, and
that Miss Seraphina Flamingo, who is a perfect angel, has a fragile,
delicate form, draws the inference that a woman with a strong body
is ignorant and coarse, while a sylphlike form signifies the

Besides this, a strong, muscular body is associated with work, with
a servant; while Miss Leonora is not long in discovering that the
mistresses,--the ladies,--are pale and sickly.

Don't you see now how it is? To have a strong and muscular body is
to be suspected of work, of service; while a frail, delicate
personnel is a proof of position, of ladyhood.

Go through the town and observe the women. Are any of the
fashionable ladies strong and muscular? Not one! Are any of them
able to perform hard work? Not one! But there are women who do hard
work, very hard work. They are not ladies, they are servants! The
ladies are delicate. The servants are strong. Don't you see what a
plain case it is? Miss Leonora desires, above all things, to be a
lady, and to be always, and everywhere, and immediately recognized
as a lady. How clear it is that the one, unmistakable, conclusive
proof is, that she should look and move like a lady. If she looks
strong, and moves with a will, she will be mistaken for a worker,
for a servant. If she looks delicate, and moves languidly, it will
be seen at once that she does not belong to the working class.

It is true that many strong, muscular women are coarse and ignorant;
they have given their lives to hard work, and have been denied all
opportunities to cultivate their minds and manners. To compare such
with the petted, pampered daughters of social and intellectual
opportunity, and then to treat the strong body of the one as the
source of the coarseness and ignorance within, and, in the other
case, to treat the weak, delicate body as the source of the fine
culture, is to reason like an idiot.

In order to arrive at anything like a fair illustration of the
influence of health upon the mind and temper, we must visit a family
in which there are daughters in sparkling health, and others who are
languid and delicate.

We visited such a family, in a neighboring state, three summers
since, and shall never forget our observations and experiences. The
oldest daughter was delicate. The youngest two were likewise
sensitive and delicate. But there were two girls who were in fine

When the stage stopped at the gate, the girls, who were expecting
us, came out on the piazza, and the healthy ones came rushing down
to the gate, and threw their arms around one of us, nearly
smothering that one with kisses, (I shall not tell you whether it
was my wife, or myself,) while they shook hands most cordially with
the other one. They took hold of our hands and fairly danced us up
the walk. On reaching the piazza, we were very cordially and
languidly welcomed by the other girls.

During our stay, the well girls ran over constantly. They devised
and executed scores of little plans for our amusement, while the
Misses Languid were the recipients of attentions from us all. The
Misses Vigorous ran over and flooded us all, while the Misses
Languid absorbed from us all.

Never have I more fully realized the common saying, that "sickness
is selfish." The Misses Vigorous had enough for themselves and all
the rest of us. The Misses Languid had nothing to spare, and were
constant borrowers and beggars. Do you imagine the well girls were
less lovely, less beautiful in heart and soul, than the delicate

Or, if you prefer, do you think a young lady who leaves the city in
June for the mountains, pale, nervous, unhappy, hardly able to take
care of herself, unable to even think of anything but her own
wretchedness, do you think her more lovely than when, returning in
October, she comes bounding in, all radiant with joy, and full of
sympathy and helpfulness?


So determined is the esprit du corps of the fashionables, that
ambitious young ladies secretly pride themselves upon the attainment
of womanly weaknesses.

There are certain "female weaknesses" which one would think young
ladies might hesitate to mention; but so strong is this secret pride
in the signs of ladyhood, that many fashionable young ladies go over
the details with real pleasure.

I once heard a conversation between an invalid aunt and four young
ladies. The young ladies were all unmarried, and the oldest not
above twenty-three. The aunt was a successful competitor in the race
for number and intensity of sufferings, and embraced every
opportunity to make a tabular statement. Her spine was the favorite
theme. The burning, the pain, the sharp and indescribable dartings
and excruciating tortures were something fearful to hear. But the
girls constantly interrupted her with saying, "That is just the way
I feel;" and, "I have exactly that pain;" and, "precisely, I have
had that pain for months."

The aunt replied, "Now, girls, don't tell me that. It isn't possible
for you to have such afflictions at your age." But they declared,
with sparkling eyes, that every one of the sufferings she had
described,--every one of them,--they enjoyed in the most dreadful
way. The aunt enjoyed another class of affections, upon which she
lingered with real gusto. I do not feel at liberty to go into
particulars; but here again the young ladies were enough for her.
They declared, without flinching, that every one of her sufferings,
they had, and what was more, they had certain horrible variations
which they described, and which, in fact, I thought rather outdid
the poor aunt. Aunt spoke of her headache in the most brilliant
style; but here the girls were not to be beaten. In fact, it was
neck and neck to the end.

I have heard conversations of another sort which are pertinent in
this discussion. A strong country woman, accustomed to work in the
garden, and to take long walks, mentions to a group of fashionable
young ladies, that she has just walked six miles. "Wonderful!
dreadful! is it possible? Why, I couldn't walk six miles to save my
life." Perhaps the country aunt says, "I finished a large washing
before leaving, and hung the clothes upon the line." Miss Araminta
exclaims, "I never washed anything in my life. Why, how is it done?
and how dreadful it looks to see all sorts of clothes hanging out in
a yard."

The common affectation of ignorance of all useful work is another
illustration. A young lady sometimes knows how to make certain rare
and delicate cake, but she never knows how to make bread; she knows
how to make pink dogs in worsted, but not how to make a shirt. She
knows how to crochet, but not how to make garments for herself or
her brothers; and thus on through the whole list. She knows nothing
whatever of useful work, in which the body and heart may be brought
into earnest, womanly play.

My dear girls, I could show you in this city a sight, which would
make you sick at heart. I know a home, in which you could see, on
any day, just before dinner, a pale, thin, overworked mother
hurrying to and fro in her kitchen, and in the parlor overhead four
daughters. One young lady is playing the piano (classical music),
and the others are crocheting, tatting, and feasting upon the "Awful
Secret of the Mysterious Milk-Maid," and one other thing--waiting to
be called to dinner. And, although the mother generally thinks it
very hard, I have known many cases where she joined in, and really
advocated this plan of bringing up daughters.

You may hear such a mother exclaim, "Well, I don't care; my girls
shan't be worked to death as I have been. Let them have an easy time
while they can; their turn will come soon enough."

So they screw up their waists, recline upon a couch, and ponder the
"Fearful Doom of the Mysterious Count," and thus get ready to take
their turn. Thousands of young ladies, in this city, are being
trained for wives and mothers by such means.


Here I want to group the outrages which woman perpetrates upon her
beautiful body.

To begin at the top, she almost never permits her hair an
opportunity to display its natural beauty. At the present moment, a
mass of Japanese bark, or false hair, or some other foreign stuff,
full of uncleanness, is piled upon the top of the head, while her
own natural hair is twisted, and turned, and pinned, and broken, and
ruined in doing subordinate, menial service to the dirty foreign
intruder. Besides this, her hair is bedaubed with nameless and dirty
greases and oils.

I asked one of the largest retail druggists in this city, "What one
article, or line of goods, do you sell most of?"

He replied, without a moment's hesitation, "Preparations for the
complexion." These preparations have for their bases three or four
deadly poisons. Thousands upon thousands of bottles and boxes are
used by the women of Boston every year.

Those glands which, in the economy of nature, are appointed to the
most sacred and precious of maternal duties and privileges, are, by
the pressure and heat of large artificial pads, almost uniformly
ruined. A dressmaker assured me that she very rarely made a dress in
which the bust was not padded. The heat and pressure soon spoil the

She bores holes in her ears, and hangs in various trinkets.

In this place I shall not speak at length of that culminating
outrage upon woman's body, known as lacing; (not in your case, dear
reader, of course, but among your friends.) Look about you, and see
what a hideous distortion of the beautiful Greek Slave you see in
living figures.

Below the waist there are enormous paddings, which heat and injure
the spine.

Below the knee, a ligature, seriously checking the circulation of
the feet.

Reaching the feet, we find in the fashionable shoe an ingenious
torture. What with the narrow soles and the high heels, the foot is
rendered almost helpless, while the ankles are made so weak, that
"turning the ankle" is a common occurrence.

In this category I have by no means included all the body tortures
in which women indulge; but I have included all that can be properly
spoken of in a work which is designed for general reading. Modesty
forbids the mention of two or three methods of body torture, in
which fashionable women very generally indulge.


Girls, I do not blame you for wishing to keep your stockings smooth.
Nothing looks more "shif'less" than stockings in wrinkles. How shall
they be kept smooth? The means usually employed, is to apply a
ligature just below the knee. If the calf of the leg be very large,
the knee small, and the circulation of the feet vigorous, I suppose
an elastic garter may be used, to keep the stocking smooth, without
serious injury. But, as most American girls have slender legs, as
there is but little enlargement at the calf, the pressure of the
garter required to keep the stocking in position, is very injurious.
It produces absorption of important muscles, and, therefore,
weakness of the legs; a lack of circulation, and, therefore,
coldness of the feet. The stocking must be drawn up and held. How
shall it be done?

Let me illustrate. In attaching a horse to a load, we never draw a
strap about its body and attach to that for draft purposes, but we
seek some part of the body where the draft may come at right angles,
or nearly so. That we find at the shoulder, and it is the only part
of the animal upon which, without great harm, a considerable draft
may be made.

When we wish to support the several pounds of skirts, the stockings,
or any other garment, we look over the woman's body, to determine at
what point such support, or draft, if you please, may be applied. To
apply it about her legs, or about her waist, is precisely the same
mistake that would be made if the draft were attached to the girth
of the harness. There is only one point of support, and that is her

In another part of this work I have discussed, in detail, the straps
applied to the shoulder in supporting the skirts.

In this place it is only necessary to say, that a strap should be
fastened to the skirt-band at the side, to run down over the hip,
and on the outside of the leg, above the knee to divide into two
straps, one of which is to be attached to the stocking on the front
of the knee, and the other on the back of the knee.

Somewhere in the course of the single strap, a buckle may be
introduced to regulate the tension of the support. This sort of
support has been very much used for children's stockings. It has now
been adopted by thousands of women, many of whom have spoken to me
very warmly of its value.


Petite, applied to a woman, is a very dear word to the fashionables.
Ah, the dear, delicate, petite creature! Ah, my darling, sweet

But oh, how dreadful and monstrous such words as--the great
creature!--She's as big as all out doors!--for mercy's sake, look at
that woman! why, she could lift an ox! Among fashionable simpletons
these words are applied to a woman who weighs, say, one hundred and
sixty pounds, who has a fine, noble physique, fully competent to the
labors and trials of motherhood and life.

By a large woman, I mean one who weighs one hundred and forty to one
hundred and sixty pounds. A small woman is one weighing from ninety
to one hundred and ten pounds.

The reason for this preference for little women, among men, is
simply this. Formerly, women were slaves to the passions of men. In
modern times they have, among our better classes, risen a little
above that, and have become the pets and toys of men. Now a pet or a
toy, say a black and tan, is valuable in proportion to its
diminutiveness. A man in selecting a wife that he intends to dress
in silks and laces, with trinkets hung in her ears, rings on her
fingers, and little ornaments stuck all over her, who is to sit in
his parlor while he is absent on business, to dress and redress
herself several times a day, to be ready to receive him, all
corseted, besilked, bejeweled and bescented, when he shall come from
his office,--a man who selects a wife as a pet, a toy, is very
likely to have the same sort of preference for a petite wife, that
he has for a petite black and tan.

This is the source of the preference for little women.

Whenever women shall rise to a true companionship with men, as their
equals, and not their toys, then a small woman will no more be
preferred than a small man.

When the great ideas of use, of citizenship, of a true womanhood, of
a dignified motherhood, shall come to prevail over this Turkish
notion of toy women, then women of noble bearing and commanding
presence will be the style; and the little woman will suffer the
same disadvantage, in the matrimonial market, that a little man

I beg you will not misunderstand me. I am only speaking of the
source of a fashion, a prejudice, a false preference. Some of the
most lovely, delightful women, as well as the most useful women I
have ever met, were small.

However, I am bound in truth to say that, during many years, I have
been on the qui vive with reference to the differences between the
large and the small, among women, and that I have reached the
conclusion that the average large-sized woman is, like the average
large-sized man, superior intellectually and otherwise, to the
small-sized one.

Women of commanding height, average, so far as my observation has
been able to determine, a higher morale, a more dignified character,
and greater amiability than the petite ones. I think this statement
is true of both sexes. Little men are more irritable, nervous and
unreliable, as a class, than large ones.

Some one says, "I don't believe it; it's no such thing; there's that
little Mr. R., who is the brightest, smartest man in town." This is
not at all improbable.

But what do you think of this fact: At one time in the history of
our great Revolutionary War, about fifteen of the most prominent
actors in that memorable struggle happened to meet at West Point.
They were weighed, and a record made. I have that record. Of the
fifteen, only one weighed less than two hundred pounds.

A small man weighs one hundred and twenty five pounds. How many men
of that size, or near that size, can you recall, who have figured
among the solid, great men in the world's history? We can recall two
or three brilliant poets, perhaps as many celebrated orators, who
were small men; but when we look among the men who have illustrated
the great, grand, solid, enduring traits of human character, in any
of the important departments of life, we find that, almost without
exception, they are above the average size.

If women were prized for solidity of character, dignity of bearing,
strength and reliability of judgment and behavior,--if they were
prized as women and citizens, rather than as darlings and toys,
there cannot be a shadow of doubt, that women of good size would be
greatly preferred, as a class, to small ones.


American women are becoming the smallest among the civilized
peoples, while the men are among the largest. Our army averaged
larger than the English, French or German. But look at the droves of
school girls, who, at eighteen or twenty years of age, are so small,
that it requires a stretch of the imagination to think of them as
wives or mothers.

In a neighboring state I was trying to find the house of a friend,
and, meeting a little girl, I said:--

"My little girl, will you please tell me where Col. Grant's
residence is?"

"Yes, my little boy; he resides in the second house on the right
hand, my little boy."

Now, as the scales always allude to two hundred and odd whenever I
step on, her remark struck me as sarcastic.

I said at once, lifting my hat, "I hope you will pardon me, I did
not intend any offence."

"All right," said she, "but I thought you were making fun of me, by
calling me 'little girl.'"

"I trust you will believe me when I assure you that nothing was
farther from my mind; but you were so small, I supposed you were a
little girl, and so, without thinking, I called you so; it is so
dark I could not see your face."

"All right, sir; but my husband would have been very angry if he had
heard you call me a little girl."

Born of the same parents, fed at the same table, educated at the
same school, why, in America, does a man weigh fifty pounds more
than a woman?

I know a good many young ladies, very active in the matrimonial
market, who do not weigh more than ninety pounds, and, poor little
silly geese, are squeezing themselves as tight as possible with

This petite size can be accounted for. Nothing, to my mind, is

Exercise is the great law of development Our girls have no adequate
exercise. Besides, the organs on which growth depends, viz., the
lungs, stomach and liver, are reduced, by the corset, to half the
natural size and activity. These two causes, with living in the
shade, explain the alarming decrease in the size of the average
American woman.


My friend Mr.---- has three daughters and two sons. The girls are
between eighteen and twenty-eight, one son is thirty-five perhaps,
the other is about fourteen.

The father keeps a trimmings store. The oldest son is somewhere in
the West, the youngest son has already left school to assist his
father in the store.

The three girls do nothing whatever but dress, play a little, make
calls, receive calls, and go a shopping, and, I should add, that
during the summer they visit the country, for their health.

Twice the father has compromised with his creditors, and he told me
a week ago, that sleep, appetite, and hope had all left him, that he
had just borrowed two hundred dollars to enable his girls to go up
into New Hampshire, that he saw nothing but ruin before him, that he
was completely exhausted, that he had recently felt symptoms of
paralysis, and that I must tell him, as a friend, what he could do
to save himself from insanity.

These ejaculations culminated in his covering his face with his
hands, and bursting into a flood of tears.

"Why, sir," said he, "I owe everybody. Even that faithful creature
in my kitchen hasn't had twenty dollars in a year."


He went on: "The other day when the girls got ready to go into the
country, we held our first family council. My poor wife, who is all
worn out, couldn't bear to have the girls troubled with it. She
thought it wouldn't do any good, and that we had better keep it to
ourselves. But I said, 'no, for once we will have a fair

"The girls were to go on Tuesday, so on Monday evening I said to
them, 'now, as you are going away to-morrow, let us spend the
evening, as a family, alone. I want to advise with you.' They were
very good about it; they sent, and broke an engagement with the
Browns, and we all got together in the parlor. I tell you it was
ticklish business, though. The fact is, we never had had a perfectly
frank talk about business with them.

"Mattie was all curiosity, and began at once: 'What in the world is
it all about? Why, father, what makes you look so awful solemn; and,
dear mamma, why, you're as pale as a ghost.'

"Well, I saw we were in for it, and so I just let right out. I said,
'Girls, mother and I have talked it over, night after night, and we
have concluded that we ought to tell you about our circumstances.
The fact is, not to be mealy-mouthed about it, we are all on the
brink of ruin. I am head over heels in debt, and can't see any way
of getting out. Your mother and I are nearly worn out; we can't last
much longer. And now, we both feel that we ought to have a plain
talk with you.'

"Fanny went into regular hysterics. My wife said, 'Don't, father,
don't!' Fanny then began to cry and sob, and declared she shouldn't
sleep a minute all night, she was sure she shouldn't sleep a minute.

"Mattie declared she had always lived like a beggar, never had a
sixpence to buy anything like other girls, and she wished she had
never, never been born.

"Angie, who is always good and loving, said she was very sorry for
us. She always was a dear child. She didn't care what the the other
girls said, for her part, she was real sorry for us, and what was
more, she hoped that business would soon be first-rate again, so
that we could all have plenty of money. That child has always been a
real comfort to us. She wished we could have another war, it made
money so plenty. I tell you she is a sharp one.

"Well, the whole thing ended just about as my wife said it would; it
really didn't do any good, but, you see, I was in hopes the girls
might help us to think of some way of cutting down. Of course I
don't blame them, for, you know, they can't help it.

"Now, my dear friend, what can you say? I feel as if my hands were
slipping, as if I were letting go of everything. What shall I do?
If you can think of anything, do tell me, for God's sake."

I replied: "My friend, I comprehend your difficulty; I believe I
understand it in all its bearings, and I am confident I can help you

"Send for your daughters to come home, at once. When they arrive,
call another family council. Say to them, 'My dear children, I sent
for you for imperative reasons. I am worn out, in debt, wretchedly
unhappy, disgraced.--I can't live in this way any longer. You alone
can save me. I ask you to abandon, at once, the life you are
leading, and help your mother and myself to bear these burdens. I
ask you to go with me to-morrow morning to the store, let me
discharge both of the clerks, and you become my clerks. My
daughters, if you will do this, we shall all be independent and
happy. Believe me when I tell you, that these tortures are killing
me. While you are all asleep in your beds, your mother and I are
grieving and often weeping over the impending ruin. My children,
will you save us? Your large acquaintance, your education, your
manners, your devotion to our interests, will turn the current in
the right direction.'

"Possibly," I said, "they may hesitate; but I don't believe it. In
any event, it is the right thing to do. If it should turn out that
they draw back, then stand up like an honest, christian man, and
declare, 'I will not live another day such a life of fraud; I will
not ask the jobbers to trust me with another penny's worth; I will
no longer obtain goods under false pretences. If worse comes to
worst, you, my daughters, must do what thousands of young women have
done before you,--go out into the world and earn your own bread.'

"My friend, I have given you the plan, act at once. Your girls will
join you with a whole heart, and, within a year, they will be ten-
fold more happy, and you can live an honest, manly life."


Of course you all wish to know how it came out. The reason for my
telling you this story, is, that I was made very happy yesterday, on
dropping in at my friend's store, to see, that he had three new
clerks, and, after a warn hand-shaking, I congratulated them, from
the bottom of my heart, on having gone into business. At this moment
the father called me to the rear of the store, where he wished to
consult me about a new window; but all he had to say, was, that I
must not drop a word of my acquaintance with the history of certain

"All right, my good friend;" but the caution was quite unnecessary.
Of course the public must understand that it was of their own brave
hearts, that they have gone into this thing.

The father dropped in last evening to tell me all about it. He wrung
my hand, laughed, cried, and, in fact, almost went into some of
Fanny's hysterics.

"Oh!" said he, "it's all right. I can see the light. And you don't
know how happy we all are. The girls spend their time in singing
about the house, and asking my forgiveness. It seems to me that we
never knew each other before. Oh! I can see the light now, I can see
the light! Give me one year, and I can shout victory!

"But you ought to have been concealed where you could have overheard
our council. It lasted till near morning, and the first half of it
was stormy enough. Fanny declared she would die first. Mattie said
she would put on an old dress, and go round begging cold victuals.
Angie proposed that they should go into the attic, and give their
rooms up to boarders, and have it understood that they had just
taken a few friends for company. But, before we retired, we were all
of one mind; we all saw that everything but the store was likely to
prove a weak, temporary dodge.

"It is just as you told me,--that their life of indolence and
selfish indulgence had brought every mean trait to the surface; but
that when the depths were stirred I should find they were true
women. Yes, thank God, they are true women, as brave girls as ever
lived. I can't tell you how happy we all are. They kissed us on
coming to the breakfast table this morning for the first time in
their lives. We are entering a new life. They already begin to
wonder how they could have lived such a life of idleness and good-

I can't thank you enough. When the girls are quite settled in their
new life, I will tell them all about it, and they will invite you
down to spend an evening, and then they will thank you themselves."

"Save yourself that trouble," I replied. "The fact is, the idea is
not original with me; half the men in town feel just as I do about
this fashionable idleness among fashionable women. In thousands of
families it involves a system of studied, mean pretence, fraud, and
final ruin.

"Besides, we all see that, under its baneful influence, women sadly

"Without a regular occupation, no person, male or female, can
preserve a sound mind in a sound body."


Nothing, perhaps, is more fashionable than idleness. We all agree, in
theory, at least, that the meaning of life is found in that little
word--use; that the happiness of life is found in--work; that to be
idle is to be miserable.

Here, however, we must make a distinction. This law is supposed to
apply only to men. Men must have an occupation. If a man is without
one, we at once begin to suspect he must have some evil designs upon
society. The law adds to the punishment, if the culprit has "no
visible means of support." That alone is a strong fact against him.

Not only the law, but public sentiment demands that every man shall
do something.

"He is an idler," disgraces a man almost beyond any other statement.

Now let us turn to the other side of the house. In America we have a
million young women without the slightest pretence of occupation.
They spend a portion of their time in visiting. Miss Blanche goes to
New York, in the winter, to spend three months with her very dear
friend, Miss Nellie, who, in turn, comes to spend three months with
Miss Blanche in the summer. This sort of exchange has become an
immense system. Blanche and Nellie, with this arrangement, work off
six months of the year, and, adding one or two other little affairs
of a similar kind, they fill up the residue of the time with the
dressmaker, piano practice, the theatre, working sickly-looking pink
dogs in worsted, lying late in the morning, dressing three times a
day, and reading a few novels. A million young women of the better
(?) classes, in America, are training themselves for the future by
these methods.

A single year of such life would half ruin a young man. His mind
would become unsteady, his will weak and vacillating, his body soft
and delicate. Add a "glove-fitting corset" to his wardrobe, and in a
few years he would be utterly unfit for husband, father or citizen.

Can any one give us a physiological or metaphysical reason why girls
should not suffer the same deterioration? Would you like direct
proof that they do? Listen to the conversation of young women,--
educated young ladies!--Beaux, bows, engagements, lovely, Charley,
bonnets, Gus, parties, splendid fellow, ribbons, trails, engaged,
etc., etc., till midnight.

Watch them as they walk past this window. Does that look like the
earnest pursuit of any object in life? If so, they certainly won't
catch it. Look at their bare arms,--candle-dips, No. 8.

No "right" of women is so precious, so vital to their welfare,
present and future, as the right to work.

Even if a girl had no other object in life than to get a husband, no
investment would pay like an occupation. It would give her
independence and dignity. Margaret Fuller says:--

"That the hand may be given with dignity, she must be able to stand

Nothing disgusts young men like the undisguised eagerness with which
their advances are met. Is a young man a "catch?" send him to
Saratoga and watch a few days. The girls do not get down on their
knees at his feet, and implore him to take pity on them and marry
them, but they do everything else that can be conceived of.

In order that women may marry generally, and without sacrificing
themselves, that their hearts may determine their choice; to the end
that marriage may be true marriage, and not a contract for board,
women must not be compelled to choose between marriage and

Of course you will say that men despise working-women, that they
pass them by on the other side, and seek ladies; by which you mean
such girls as have no regular occupation. For a consideration of
this point, the reader is referred to the article, "A Short Sermon
about Matrimony."


We all know that happiness comes of occupation; and the work must
not be irregular and occasional, and such as we have to look up for
exercise, but it must be regular; and, to produce the best results,
it must not be optional, but imperative.

What an ingenious device of the spirit of caste to represent that
work is a badge of the low class. How he cheats the possessors of
wealth out of all happiness by this mean lie.

A man, or, if you please, a woman, comes into possession of wealth.
With this there come the picture gallery, the beautiful grounds, the
perfect house,--everything to gratify her taste, every external
good; but caste whispers in her ear, that rich people must not
work,--work is a badge of poverty.

Caught with this trick, she soon has no palate for the delicious
fruits, no eye for beauty, no relish for the thousand sweet and
beautiful things which cluster about her; and, ere long, she would
fain change places with the jolly Irishwoman who sweats over her


You understand all this, and you want to work; but the difficulty is
to find something to do. Housekeeping, with its thousand and one
duties, offers a useful and pleasant field; but I will suppose that
you have already been too much in the house, and greatly need to go
out into the air and sunshine.

Now, dear girls, let me suggest something for you, something you
will like, and in which you will be, after a little, very happy. Go
to bed to-night early, say at half-past eight o'clock, and rise to-
morrow morning at six o'clock. I will suppose that you reside in a
large town, or a city. Go at once to the suburbs, and you will find
the abodes of poverty. March boldly up to one of them, and say:---

"Good morning; how de do, folkses? Thought I'd just come out and see
how the the morning air tasted!"

If you are in right down earnest, it won't take you five minutes to
establish yourself in the confidence of Bridget O'Flaherty. And if
your voice and manner are of just the right sort, there will follow
such a wondrous disclosure of family secrets! You will be told all
about Michael's stone-bruise, and Patrick's sore toe; probably the
boys will be hauled out of bed to show you. But I must leave the
secrets to your imagination, or, what is better, to an actual trial.

You find that the mother herself needs a new dress that she may
attend mass, and you make a note of it. The little girl needs a
dress, and a pair of shoes. The next morning you carry a bundle with
your own hands, and leave it with the promise that you will come
again in a few days.

Put together all the soft, polite things that your fashionable
friends have ever said of you, and as the zephyr to the tornado, so
would they all be compared to the gratitude, the admiration, the
"God bless her," the "dear swate angel," the very worship which that
household would pour out upon you during the few days before the
next visit; and when you do go again, the shanty has been thoroughly
cleaned and white-washed, the children's feet have been soaked and
scrubbed, so that the actual skin has been brought into view; and
everything has become wonderfully smart. Tell them of the heart
pleasure which all this change gives you, and then speak warmly of
the great advantage of such cleanliness, of ventilation, and of such
other matters as you see they are ignorant of.

And now you mustn't blame them for casting surreptitious glances at
your covered basket; they can't help it, poor things. They try not
to look that way, but their imaginations are very busy with the
contents of that basket. At length you open it, and taking out a
bowl, you say:--

"Mrs. O'Flaherty, I am really troubled about Katie's being so thin.
Here is some Scotch oat-meal, and if you will try her with some oat-
meal porridge, I am sure it will do her good. If you think, after a
little, that it's doing her good, I will bring you more of it.

But oh, how the youngsters long to see what else there is in that
basket. After a moment, you put your hand in, and begin to take out

"Now, Mrs. O'Flaherty, you won't blame me, will you? I just brought
down a few little things; they are of no great value, but I thought
you might as well use them, as to have them lie idle. Here are a few
pairs of woolen stockings which I have mended all nicely for you.
And here is a lot of collars and handkerchiefs which, perhaps, you
may make some use of; if so, I am sure you are welcome to them."

"And now, Katie, I have brought a picture for you. I saw it in a
shop window yesterday, and thought you might like it. There, do you
know what that is?"

"Why, yes mum; that's a picture of the Blessed Virgin! Be's you a
Catholic, mum?"

"No, Katie, I am not a Catholic; but I can't see any harm in a
picture of the dear Mother of Christ."

"Oh, I thank you mum, I thank you with all my heart."

"And now, Katie, can't you get a frame for this?"

"Oh yes, mum, I can get a frame; I will get a frame in some way."

When you go again, a week later, what a flutter in the neighborhood!
Eyes, eyes everywhere. All the neighboring shanties are alive to see
that "blessed, swate angel."

As you approach the O'Flaherty's, they are all out, looking
wondrously smart, and the old man, for the first time, is without
his pipe. Your remark about tobacco seems to be working. Katie is
the first to reach you, and she holds up in her hands the picture,
in a nice little gilt frame.

But how can I describe your reception? Talk of Jenny Lind at Castle
Garden,--that was a fashionable splurge. Talk of the reception of a
returning congressman,--that gives the Mayor and Aldermen a chance
to ride in barouches, make speeches, and dine at the expense of the
corporation. Your reception in Michael O'Flaherty's yard is more
hearty, grateful and earnest, than any of the fashionable welcomes.
It comes from their very hearts, and would be just as warm if they
knew you had come to bid them a final farewell.

Suppose some rich old curmudgeon had given them a few dollars, with
which they had purchased the things you have given them. Would they
rush out to welcome him? would they clean up the cabin? would the
children's eyes sparkle with gratitude and love? No, oh no! It is
not the mended stockings, the bowl of oat-meal, or the picture which
has so touched them, but it is the gentle, loving spirit in which
you have visited them. The poor and lowly are strangely and
wonderfully susceptible to such treatment.

A bright woman, residing in a small city in the state of New York,
who was a true follower of Christ, for, like him, she went about
doing good, happened to go into an Irish neighborhood where the
measles were raging, during October. She showed herself an angel of
mercy, though her health was so delicate that she could do nothing
more than to ride over in her carriage, and distribute gruel, soup,
and good counsel.

After the election in November, it came to be known that about
fifteen Irish voters, from the neighborhood where Mrs. M---- had acted
the good Samaritan, had put in Republican votes, whereat the
Democratic managers of the ward were exceeding wroth. The
delinquents were visited and labored with.

"What made you go and vote for that--nigger candidate?"

At first they refused to divulge. But, at length, it came out that
the candidate's wife, Mrs. M--, had helped their families through
the measles. And although their Mrs. M----- was not, in fact, the wife
of the candidate, was not even acquainted with him, it was enough
for those grateful Irishmen that the name was the same.


For years I have advised idle young ladies, who were longing for
something to do, to look up poor, unhappy families, and minister to
their hungry bodies and hungry hearts. I could give you a great many
interesting cases, but one is such a pleasant little love story, I
must tell it to you. With the exception of the names, the story is a
true one.

Twenty years ago I was practising my profession in a western city.
Among my patients was a Miss Dinsmore, a lady of nearly thirty
years. Her case was what she called the dumps. I thought it
indigestion and general debility. After two weeks, she began to ride
out again, and seemed to be doing well enough, when one day she
astonished me by exclaiming, "Oh! I wish I was dead!" After some
hesitation, she told me that she was perfectly disgusted with life,
etc., etc.

I advised her to go out a mile on Marble Street and look up a poor
widow woman, a patient of mine, and see if she could not do
something to make her comfortable. She couldn't think of it; she had
troubles enough of her own; but, after a little urging, she
consented to ride that way in the morning, and see if she could do
anything. Before the next noon she was at my office with a most
pitiful story about "that poor sufferer." I rode out with her at
once, and found that Mrs. Ramsey needed some beef-soup and some
flannels. Miss Dinsmore volunteered to bring them within an hour. My
poor Mrs. Ramsey had pretty good times after that.

I soon had about ten poor patients in Miss Dinsmore's hands. Her
sympathy and devotion were often more curative than my doctor-
stuffs. At length, she gave me carte blanche to send any poor, sick
ones, who needed help; and, from having been a slave to a round of
fashionable dissipations, she soon became the most devoted friend of
the sick and suffering. To those who have studied the causes of bad
health among the devotees of fashion, I need not say that Miss
Dinsmore soon became healthy and very happy.

Charles Finlay, a young man of twenty-five years, came to our city,
from Philadelphia, to establish a large manufacturing business. He
was immediately successful, and quickly won his way to the
confidence of our business men. Possessed of noble person, fine
culture, and singularly sweet manners, he was soon regarded as the
greatest "catch" in town, and innumerable caps were accordingly set
for him.

While trying an agricultural machine, one of his hands was seriously
hurt, and he sent for me. It was my first personal acquaintance with
him, though I had long known him by reputation. After amputating one
finger, I contrived to save the residue of his hand. Our daily
intercourse continued for several weeks, and we became very good
friends. Among other subjects, we discussed matrimony.

I said, one evening, "Finlay, why don't you get a wife?"

"Well, my friend," said he, "that's a long story. I will tell you
all about that, sometime."

At my next visit he said:--

"Doctor, speaking of matrimony, did you know that I had purchased
the Temple estate on Bernard Street?"

"No; and then you have concluded to establish a home of your own.
And who is the happy woman? for most sincerely I do regard her as
happy in such an union."

"Ah, my friend, you are getting on too fast. I have no definite
purpose in regard to matrimony. Mrs. Oliver, on hearing that I had
purchased a house, sought me out directly, and exclaimed, 'Now you
have a cage, of course you must have a bird to put into it.' I
wonder if she thinks me silly enough to marry one of her daughters?
Why, I should infinitely prefer one of those show-figures in the
shop windows. They look full as well, have about as much heart, and
then they won't get sick. I don't want a bird for my cage. That's
just what fashionable wives are,--pretty birds, kept in beautiful
cages. I don't want, and I won't have anything of the kind. What I
want is a true wife, a real, substantial woman, a companion, an
adviser, a friend, one whose voice is not a mere echo of mine, but
who has a distinct individuality, with judgment, opinions and will
of her own. Of course I know that most fashionable ladies are better
than they seem, that this contemptible disguise which they wear,--
this falsehood which they repeat in the hair, the skin, the shape
and form of each and every part of the body, is not deliberate
falsehood, but the result of a thoughtless compliance with fashion;
but it is very difficult for me to separate the woman from the lie.
And then their voices! how utterly affected! no matter what the
natural voice may be, every one learns exactly the same ridiculous

Here I interrupted him with:--

"Hold on, my friend, hold on! I really can't stand this any longer.
You greatly underrate fashionable ladies. They seem to you silly,
false and unworthy; but many of them are not a hundredth part as
false and silly as their dress and conversation. Many of these
ladies who now seem so preposterous and absurd, will, when married,
and fairly settled down, cast off this burlesque, and become sober,
solid women."

"But, as they all dress and talk exactly alike, how am I to tell
which is which and who is who?"

"Well, well, I must leave you; I have an engagement."

On my rounds I kept thinking what a perfect couple Miss Dinsmore and
Mr. Finlay would make! I determined, without saying a word to
either, to give them an opportunity to see each other. Fortunately
for my plan, Miss Dinsmore had just begun to make her rounds early
in the morning, and on foot. I advised Mr. Finlay to take an early
ride, and that he might have company, I invited him to go with me in
my early morning round. I took him through Miss Dinsmore's parish,
and, as I had calculated, we met her with a basket on her arm. I
drew up to make some inquiries about several poor and sick ones, for
whom we were both interested. Just before we started on, I said,
"Mr. Finlay, this is my friend, Miss Dinsmore." Five mornings in
succession we rode in the same direction, and every morning but one
we met Miss Dinsmore. I was pleased to notice that, as we approached
one particular neighborhood, my friend became a little wandering in
his conversation, and used his eyes with a marked earnestness.

It struck me as very curious that, although Finlay protracted the
conversation more and more each morning on meeting Miss Dinsmore,
making many inquiries about her proteges, and showing a singular
interest in her work, he did not allude to her during the subsequent
part of the ride, nor at any other time.

After a week or so, he said, when I called for him, that he was
getting so well, he thought it his duty to attend to business. The
very next day, when calling upon the poor widow, to whom I had first
sent Miss Dinsmore, she asked, as I was about to leave,--

"Doctor, who was that gentleman that came here with Miss Swan
yesterday? He seemed a very nice man." (I will here state that, to
save the feelings of her fashionable friends, Miss Dinsmore
introduced herself as Miss Swan to all her beneficiaries.)

"What kind of a looking man was he?" I asked.

"A large, tall man, with a black beard, and he carried his right
hand in a sling. He carried Miss Swan's basket in his other hand."

"Well," I said, "I suppose it's some friend of hers."

"Oh!" exclaimed the poor widow, "I trembled for fear that it might
be some one who was going to marry her, and take her away from me.
If that dear, blessed angel should be taken away from me, I am sure
I should die."

"Never you fear; I think I know all about him."

So, so, Mr. Charles Finlay, Esq., you are knocking all my plans into
"pi." I had got it fixed in my mind that I should invite you to
spend an evening at my house, and then I would invite Miss Dinsmore
to drop in on some pretence, and so on, and so on, and in less than
half a year, I should have you head over ears in love, and then all
your lives you would think of me as the occasion of all your
happiness; and here you are, just off a sick bed, with only one
hand, carrying round a big provision basket before breakfast, at
Miss Dinsmore's very heels. So, so, Mr. Charles Finlay, Esq.

Little Charley Finlay, during an attack of scarlatina, had a
convulsion. The fond parents urged me, as a special favor, to remain
during the night with them. As there was nothing to do but to wait
while the little one slept, we fell into a pleasant talk about old
times; and then I told them the part which I had played in their
first acquaintance, and the hearty laughs I had had over that tall,
black-whiskered porter, with one arm in a sling, following a quiet
lady, with a basket of provisions. And, although they had been so
very quiet about it all, and, although said porter had followed said
quiet lady about among the hovels every day for two or three months,
and, although both lady and porter saw me frequently, and always
kept profoundly mum about things, that I presumed I had heard all
about their doings and sayings among their parishoners, almost every
day, from the time I took the porter in my carriage down Marble
Street, one fine morning, on purpose to get him a situation, up to
the time when said black-whiskered porter came into my office one
evening, and revealed unto me as follows--

"My friend, do you remember that Miss Dinsmore, to whom you
introduced me one morning, down in the mud in Marble Street?"

"Let me see; was she a tall blonde?"

"Yes, that's the one."

"Oh, certainly, I remember her very well. Where is she now, I
wonder? (I had had an interview with her that very afternoon.)

And then the tall porter told me, with glistening eyes, that I would
receive, the very next day, an invitation card or cards inviting me
to attend, etc., etc. He was delighted at my surprise and

Notwithstanding the occasion of our long night-watch, the mother
declared she would, as soon as Charley was well, box my ears, while
she did not forget, the next time she had occasion to rise to attend
to our little patient, to take a seat by the side of her noble
husband, and assure him, by a fond pressure of the hand, that the
memories were all very precious to her.

Moral. Young women who desire the company and assistance of black-
whiskered porters, should go down Marble Street early in the
morning, with a basket of provisions for the widow Ramsey.


In the "Cyclopaedia of Woman's Work,", by Virginia Penny, I find
invaluable suggestions.

There are a great many occupations at present pursued exclusively by
men, which offer no considerable difficulties to women. Miss Penny
mentions more than five hundred employments in which there are no
insurmountable difficulties to women, but which are pursued almost
exclusively by men. I will mention some of these, without pursuing
the order which Miss Penny has chosen, or using her language. But it
must not be forgotten, that to this indefatigable woman I am
indebted for many of the hints given under this head.


The phonographic amanuensis has become an absolute necessity to
literary men, and to business men of large correspondence. The art
of phonography is not a difficult one to learn; a moderate degree of
rapidity is easily acquired, and first-class rapidity is not beyond
the reach of many persons. I have conversed with professional
phonographers, and the general impression is, that women are
particularly well adapted to the art of phonography. The
compensation, turning, of course, upon the rapidity, would range
from five hundred to ten hundred dollars a year. The hours would not
be long. The occupation is, in many respect, a happy one for women.


The clerk services of a bank may be performed by women. Their
writing is as neat, their reckoning as reliable, their devotion to
business as certain, while they would not be tempted, by gambling,
fast horses, and other expensive forms of dissipation, to steal. It
is quite clear that vast sums of money would be saved to banks by
the employment of women as clerks. Cases of defalcation would, under
their hands, become exceedingly rare.


Already we have firms of female brokers. This is wise and right.
Broker's establishments, whether conducted by men or women, must
have many clerks. What has been said about the employment of female
clerks in banks, is applicable to the establishments of brokers.


Already thousands of women are employed as copyists. Several hundred
find opportunity in Washington alone, and some of them receive
twelve hundred dollars a year. A great many lawyers in our cities
employ women as copyists. Indeed, in the thousand and one
institutions and business houses, lawyer's offices, and so on, women
are already employed as copyists. The occupation is a good one, well
adapted to women, and will engage a constantly increasing number.


Nothing has surprised me more, than that women have not engaged in
the profession of dentistry. Her gentle touch, the size and
flexibility of her fingers, her quick sympathies, her instinctive
sense of proportion and beauty, and her conscientiousness present,
altogether, singular qualifications for the dental profession.
Dentistry is a lucrative business, and the doors are wide open to


Theodore Parker said: "As yet, I believe, no woman acts as a lawyer
but I see no reason why the profession of law might not be followed
by women as well as men. He must be rather an uncommon lawyer who
thinks that no feminine head could compete with him. Most lawyers
that I have known are rather mechanics at law, than attorneys or
scholars at law, and, in the mechanical part, woman could do as well
as man,--could be as good a conveyancer, could follow precedents as
carefully, and copy forms as nicely. I think her presence would mend
the manners of the court, of the bench not less than of the bar."

Christina Pisani wrote a work, which was published in Paris in 1498.
It gives an account of the learned and famous Novella, the daughter
of a professor of law in the university of Bologna. She devoted
herself to the same studies, and was distinguished for her
scholarship. She conducted her father's cases, and, having as much
beauty as learning, was wont to appear in court, veiled. At twenty
six she took the degree of LL.D., and began publicly to expound the
laws of Justinian. At thirty she was elevated to a professor's
chair, and taught the law to a crowd of scholars from all nations.
Others of her sex have since filled professor's chairs in Bologna.

I have seen a good deal of lawyers, and I am free to express the
opinion that women would inevitably cleanse and elevate that
profession. As a very large portion of legal business consists in
writing out deeds, mortgages, wills, indentures, and other kindred
documents, no one will doubt that, at least in these departments,
women would prove successful. And after listening, from time to
time, during the last twenty years, to female lecturers, especially
in connection with the reforms in laws advocated by the "woman's
rights" women, I cannot doubt that they would make successful
advocates at the bar. I should not urge young women to prepare
themselves for the legal profession, as I think it would be better
to leave the question of propriety to their keen instincts; but if
they decide to enter that profession, I shall, if possible, be there
to hear their first speech at the bar.


It seems unnecessary to comment on the fitness of woman for the
platform. She has exhibited a singular adaptation to this, the most
public of all possible lives, and knowing, as I do, personally, most
of the female lecturers in the country, I would add, that the
platform has not demoralized them. The leading female lecturers in
America are among the most womanly women whom I have the honor to
know. The field is immense, and would welcome many additions.

Lectures upon health to women, by women, are very useful, and have
almost uniformly proved a success, pecuniarily and otherwise. I
should be rejoiced to see many hundreds added to the corps of woman
lecturers upon woman's health. It is a profession for which there
are now abundant opportunities to prepare.


A very large part of the work and remuneration incidental to the
management of libraries is in the hands of women. But many places
are still occupied by men, who might be spared for more muscular
forms of labor.


If I had been writing this work twenty years ago, it would have been
necessary to argue the fitness and propriety of women doctors.
Happily, such an argument is now unnecessary. All but such as live
in darkness welcome women to the medical profession. Already they
have become professors in medical colleges in this country, as they
were for many hundred years in Europe.

Whether a woman has nerve enough to perform a grave surgical
operation, I do not care to inquire.

No thoughtful man who has watched her in the character of nurse,
even when she is uneducated, will entertain a doubt about her happy
qualifications for the management of the sick.

The most important responsibilities of a physician have reference to
ventilation, cleanliness, bathing, feeding,--in brief, to nursing;
and no one but a stupid, obstinate man would suggest her inferiority
for such services.

I have no doubt that, finally, the medical profession will fall
almost exclusively into the hands of women, as its most important
part, nursing, already has.

A very large part of our medical business grows out of the diseases
of women, as such, and I shall not insult my readers by gravely
considering the question whether men or women should examine,
manipulate, and treat such affections. When I hear men protesting
that women cannot understand and manage these affections, I declare,
some very ugly suspicions occur to me. Women and children are the
sick ones. Very few men have occasion to seek the doctor.

If those who read these words understood as I do, how little brain
is used in the selection of drugs, how simple a routine is followed
by the doctor in selecting his medicines from day to day,--if those
who read this, knew as I do, how infinitely more important and
difficult are the duties devolving upon the nurse, who stands by,
and watches day and night, from moment to moment, the changes in the
condition of the patient, and who, without having been trained to
the profession, is entrusted with the responsibility of determining,
throughout all those trying hours, exactly what is to be done upon
the occurrence of this or that change; if those who read this,
understood, as I do, about these things, they would smile when asked
to consider the propriety or possibility of educating women for the
medical profession, so that, in addition to performing all the most
important services, they should be entrusted with the selection of
the drugs, if drugs must be given.


Female preachers have appeared among the most enlightened peoples,
and have risen to distinction and influence. In America, among the
Quakers, women have illustrated the finest pulpit oratory.

It has always seemed to me that women were especially adapted to the
pulpit. Their natural eloquence, their sweet persuasive voices,
their characteristic unselfishness, purity and piety constitute
their unanswerable claim to a place in the pulpit.

It is strange, how rapidly the prejudices of men against women
lecturers and women preachers have disappeared. These prejudices lie
on the surface; they do not rest upon organic instinct. So
completely has this prejudice disappeared from Boston, that a woman
is heard by many because she is a woman. If to-day one of our
churches should invite to its pulpit a woman of good capacity, of
fine pulpit manners, of a noble, sweet spirit, and of fine
personnel, its very aisles would be crowded. I should much prefer to
go there.

A few hundred educated women would find employment, and good
compensation, in New England pulpits.


This has become a distinct profession, and employs a great number of
persons. It is a profession to which women are perfectly adapted,
and in which a very considerable number could at once find
remunerative occupation.


I know of no good reason why women should not become publishers. Of
course they can do the work of a publishing house,--I mean the
correspondence, book-keeping, counting, making-up orders, and
packing books. But I know of no good reason why they should not
conduct the business, and receive the profits. Many authors, myself
among the number, would be especially gratified to have our works
placed before the public by women, because, when trained to
business, they have shown a singular exactness and honor; and,
secondly, because it would give assurance to the world that the new
book was fit to be read.


It seems unnecessary even to allude to the propriety of teaching as
a profession for women. It is, however, a modern notion.

At present, in New England, an immense majority of the teachers are

I have had a good deal to do with schools during the last twenty-
five years. I was a member of the Boston School Board for some time,
was at the head of the Seminary at Lexington during four years, an
have always been interested in the question of woman as a teacher.

I have interrogated, perhaps a hundred school committee men, in
different parts of the country. Their testimony, and my own, after
all this observation, is, that woman is a better teacher than man. I
think this is true even in the department of mathematics. I am sure
it is true in all those studies, in the teaching of which, the
social, moral or religious element is brought into play.

The proportion of female teachers in American schools is very
rapidly increasing, and it is noteworthy that they are constantly
rising into schools of a higher grade.

The state authorities in Massachusetts have recently placed a woman
at the head of one of our principal Normal schools. It is safe to
prophesy that, within fifty years, teaching, in the common schools,
High schools, and in the Normal schools, will be almost exclusively
in the hands of women. I think, within that time, a considerable
proportion of the professors in our colleges will be women. Already
several are doing themselves, and their sex, great honor, as
professors in colleges.

The only dark spot in this bright picture is, that women are starved
while performing this valuable labor.

I know a beautiful, bright young woman, in this city, who is
regarded as one of the best teachers in the city, who presides in
one of the most beautiful rooms in one of the grandest buildings in
Boston, but who, when out of the school palace, is obliged to crawl
away with her mother into a dingy, miserable garret, where they
spend their time in contriving how to make their pennies last
through the year.

The schools known as Kindergarten have already become quite
numerous. They will rapidly multiply. Within a few years, children
three years old will be sent to these beautiful Kindergarten
schools, where, in each others society, and under the management of
bright, cheery, loving teachers, they will engage in a great variety
of pleasant games and infantile studies.

The physical exercises which constitute a prominent feature of these
baby schools, are very fascinating and profitable to these little

In these schools children of from three to five years of age will
not only be brighter and happier, but they will be much healthier,
than when left to the chances of the average home, without system,
times or seasons.

It need hardly be said that such schools will fall into the hands of
women, and will, within a quarter of a century, employ a great
number of them. The hours will be short, the occupation perfectly
adapted to the finest girls, and, as these little ones are objects
of the tenderest love, the compensation for such persons as can
successfully manage them, will always be large.

Lord Brougham gave it as his opinion, that a child learns more
during the first eighteen months of its life, than at any other
period, and that it settles, in fact, at this early age, its mental
capacity, and future well-being.


Here is a field, at once healthful, respectable and immense. In this
field women have already displayed a remarkable capacity, and I have
no doubt, as in the progress of civilization special physical
training and amusements come to occupy a larger place in our life,
that women will find in this service employment for a large number
of the intelligent and ambitious.

I have known young women, neither beautiful nor educated, but with
devotion to their duties, to earn more than a thousand dollars a
year, in teaching gymnastics. Instructions in dancing have long been
given by ladies. So far as I have learned, they have been quite


The instruction of girls in drawing and painting has now so
generally fallen into the hands of female teachers that one need
hardly speak of it further than to say that it is an employment
entirely fit and proper for women, and one which usually affords a
generous remuneration.


Let us speak first of watch-cleaning. What are the qualifications of
a good watch-cleaner? Nimble, sensitive fingers, neatness, and

Now put your finger there, and let me show you a watch-cleaner. He
works in a window only two squares from my Boston residence. He
weighs about two hundred and twenty pounds, and has a fist big
enough to knock down an ox. The whole thing looked so comical to me,
I thought one day I would go in and plague him a little. So, after a
little chat about watches in general, I said:--

"By the way, it has occurred to me that women might work at watch-

"Women," said he, "why, they couldn't clean watches. They haven't
the skill, they haven't the mechanical genius for it, sir. I don't
go in for none of your 'woman's rights,' sir; I think women should
attend to their own business."

"And, pray, what do you regard as their business?"

"Why, staying at home in their own sphere, and attending to their
domestic concerns; taking care of their children, and keeping their
husband's clothes mended."

I saw at once that the case was altogether too deep for me, and so I
simply remarked:--

"Yes, to be sure, of course; and is it not strange, that they should
not be willing to stay at home, and rock their babies, especially
the seventy thousand in the state of Massachusetts who can never
expect to have husbands?"

Cleaning watches is a business that should at once pass into the
hands of women. The opinion that they have not the requisite
mechanical capacity to take a watch to pieces and put it together
again, is the opinion of a goose. They can do the work quicker and
better than men. It is an employment that naturally belongs to them.

In the watch-making establishment at Waltham, several hundred
bright, intelligent young women find employment and good pay.

"There is a manufactory in England, where five hundred women are
employed in making the interior chains for chronometers. They are
preferred to men on account of their being naturally more dexterous
with their fingers, and, therefore, being found to require less

It may be said, in one word, that, taking the world together, there
are many, many thousand women employed in manufacturing watches.
They do every part of the work, except what is called finishing, or
putting the pieces together, and in several establishments they do
even this, and finish the very best class of chronometer watches.

The making of watch chains is a business adapted to the delicate
fingers, and to the patience of women. Accordingly thousands are
occupied in this specialty.


The manufacturing of pens is an employment in which women can excel.
It requires patience and quick movements of the fingers. A certain
part of the manufacturing of gold pens, it has been objected, would
be too dirty for women.

By the way, this very objection is made with reference to a great
many employments. It is said, they are too dirty for women. Now,
really, is not this a good joke? Why, there is not a dirty task in
house-keeping,--and I certainly know of no occupation in which there
are so many dirty tasks,--which is not done by women. If there is a
dirty thing which men would not touch with the ends of their
fingers, it is sure to be left to girls.

The making of gold and steel pens should fall into the hands of
women. The making of gold pens is a profitable occupation, and, as
at present tending, bids fair, when women are fairly introduced, to
offer occupation for a great number of them.


"One of the most innocent and pleasant amusements that has attracted
attention for some time, is the making of aquaria. The cases are
formed of plate glass, square, oblong, circular, or any other shape
to please the fancy of the owner. The glass is tightly sealed when
joined. The aquaria are of two kinds. One is formed of salt water,
and contains marine plants and animals; the other contains fresh
water, and such plants and animals as are found in rivers and
smaller streams.

They form a beautiful addition to the garden, the conservatory, or
the drawing-room. Rocks form the foundation, and the soil on them
furnishes subsistence to the plants. Zoophytes, mollusca, and fish,
constitute the inhabitants of the aquarium. Insects also find a
place in this miniature ocean or river garden. The size for parlors
is from one foot to three feet in length."

This is an occupation happily adapted to the graceful, elegant
tastes of cultured women.


"Propersia di Rossi, born in Bologna in 1490, furnished some
admirable plans in architecture.

"Madame Steenwyck and Esther Juvenal, of Nuremberg, are mentioned as
eminent designers.

"In the 17th century, Plantilla Brizio, of Rome, was a practical
architect, and left monuments of her excellence.

"The wife of Erwin Steinbach materially assisted her husband in the
erection of the famous Strasburg Cathedral, and within its walls a
sculptured stone represents the husband and wife as consulting
together on the plan."

The ordinary course of training given, as a basis, and I have no
doubt that women will submit, in response to public invitations, as
handsome designs for public and private buildings, as men.


In the course of my experience as an author, I have had occasion to
procure eight hundred engravings on wood. I never see men at work
upon them, without thinking what a perfect employment this would be
for women. It is not a difficult business to learn, but requires
mostly a quick sense of touch, keen vision, with a patient, careful
manipulation of the fingers. A very large part of the wood engraving
should be performed by women.

What I have said of wood engraving is, perhaps, not less true of
copper and steel engraving.


Photography now employs many thousands in the country, and there is
no part of the business which may not be as successfully performed
by a woman as by a man. Already a very considerable percentage of
the operators and colorers are women.


Schools of design have long existed in Europe. There are quite a
number of them in Paris, some of them of prodigious proportions, and
about a third of them are for women. There are schools of design
scattered throughout the cities of the United States.

The object of these schools is to give a knowledge of some of the
industrial branches of the fine arts. In some of these schools
drawing is taught with marked thoroughness.

Designing for paper hangings, calico, wood engraving; designs for
carpets, silks, ribbons, furniture, laces, plated ware, silver,
jewelry, etc., are beginning to receive much attention.

Just think of the absurdity of employing men to design calicos. As a
woman has a keener instinct for delicate forms, and beautiful,
harmonious combinations of colors, so it is certain that she would
succeed best in designing for calicos and similar fabrics.

These schools of design are to open an unlimited field for the
remunerative employment of women. As our civilization is widened and
refined, this field will rapidly enlarge.

Already, if there were some thousands of women educated,--and they
may be educated, generally without expense to themselves,--they
could find immediate and well-paid employment in the industrial
prosecution of various branches of the fine arts.


This has long seemed to me an employment in which women would not
only gain health and strength, but in which the most modest and
retiring might find a congenial occupation, and the products of
which are never depreciated because raised by a woman. A peck of
peas has a certain market value, not dependant upon the hands which
raised them. A woman who works at making pants receives fifty cents
a day, not on account of the amount or quality of her work, but be
cause she is a woman. A man engaged upon the same garments receives
two dollars a day, not because of the amount or quality of his work,
but because he is a man.

It is doubtless true that, in very many cases, the man does his work
better than the woman; but it is not less true that, in a majority
of cases, the difference in price grows out of the difference in

So of the school. A male teacher receives a thousand dollars a year,
not because his moral influence is better, not because the pupils
learn more, but because he is a man. A woman teaches a similar
school, and receives four hundred dollars, not because of the
inferiority of her moral influence in the school, not because the
pupils learn less, but because she is a woman.

Now, happily, all this is avoided in gardening. A man who would sell
a beet is not obliged to put on a label, "raised by a man, ten
cents," and upon another, "raised by a woman, four cents," but the
article brings its market value. This is a great advantage, and one
affording a special gratification to women of spirit.

Besides, gardening is an occupation requiring very little capital,
and, except in the fancy departments, comparatively little training.
Near any of the cities a woman can earn more upon a half acre of
land, with four months' work, than she can earn by sewing twelve
months, saying nothing of the healthfulness of gardening, and the
unhealthfulness of sewing. A young woman, tired, disgusted with the
difficulties which hamper her on every side, asks:--

"What can I do to be saved?"

I reply, "Cultivate a half acre of ground."

You can sell the products of your garden to one of the market-men
who make it their business to purchase garden vegetables where they
are raised, and convey them to market. Nearly all of our men
gardeners sell at their doors, and have nothing to do with the

I do not know of another opening which women can enter so easily,
with so little wounding of their sensibilities, and which promises
such sure and generous remuneration.

A year ago I urged some young women who were out of employment to
engage in gardening. They said they had no capital, no experience,
but would be willing to try if the way could be made smooth for
them. I spent a couple of days in driving about among the gardeners,
in the neighborhood of Boston, and asked the following questions of
some fifty of them:--

"Is there any part of your work that women can do?"

"If so, what compensation would you give to attentive, quick-
fingered American girls?"

The answer to the first question was uniformly,--

"A large part of the work of a garden, or 'truck' farm, can be done
as well by women as by men."

To the second question, the answers ranged from five to eight
dollars per week.


Persons possessing capital, and interested in the welfare of women,
could hardly make a wiser or more beneficent investment of their
means, than in the purchase of small farms in the neighborhood of
cities, for the use of women.

Dividing these into half-acre lots, they should rent them to girls
and women, either without rent, or for a sum which would simply meet
the interest on the capital invested. In every case, probably, the
investments would pay well, without any rent, by the natural
increase in the value of real estate in the neighborhood of cities,
and the improvement incidental to nice gardening; but the occupant
would not hesitate to pay a small rent.

If entirely unacquainted with farming, three or four might join to
hire a gardener, and under his guidance they would all soon learn to
work advantageously in raising the common garden vegetables.

A dozen or twenty of these girls could board in the old farm house,
and would make a pleasant family. Naturally they would "exchange
works" with each other, and thus secure social enjoyment.

This is no dream, but only requires that one man or woman should
possess a few thousand dollars, which it is desired to invest in
property with sure returns, and given, besides, twenty girls who are
suffering the tortures of dyspepsia and hopelessness in city work,
and who desire a healthy, pleasant, remunerative employment.
Certainly, both these classes of persons are numerous.

I know a great many persons in the neighborhood of Boston, (and with
our rapid railway communications they may be located at considerable
distances,) I say I know of many persons who have farms which are
really producing nothing but a little grass and a few flowers, but
which, changed into such half-acre gardens, would become sources of
considerable income to all concerned. Twenty acres of good land, and
a good-sized farmhouse, with an advance of two thousand dollars to
prepare the land, and feed the company until their crops begin to
return something, would give a home and independence to forty girls;
and more than this, would fairly open and illustrate the
possibilities in gardening as an employment for women.

It need hardly be said that the cultivation of flowers is an
occupation perfectly adapted to the finest girls; and as flowers are
in constant demand, with regularly quoted prices, every day in the
year, this field bids fair to offer pleasant and profitable
occupation to many women. It is enough to say that women should at
once be introduced to this branch of industry.

It is hardly necessary, in this place, to point out the practical
difficulties, which are accessible to every inquirer. Under the
auspices of the New England Woman's Club, at No. 3 Tremont Place,
Boston, a horticultural school has been opened a few miles out of
Boston, for the training of young women.

As I said in the beginning, I do not know of another branch of
industry in which so many women could find immediate and
remunerative employment as in cultivating the land; and I cannot
doubt, now that the public mind has been awakened to the subject of
woman's employment, and as under the rapid spread of the social
evil, thousands not interested on the side of benevolence are
thoroughly awakened to the importance of multiplying occupations for
women, as a defence of public morals,--I cannot doubt that this most
promising field will soon be invaded by an army of American girls
and women.

It seems to me that one special advantage will be found in the
intimate relations between a productive garden and the comfort of a
family. What a stimulus to a loving mother, that the products of her
garden not only gratify the palates of her loved ones, but make
important contributions to their health. It seems to me that, more
than any other occupation I can name, the cultivation of a garden in
connection with a family, would come in to afford special
gratification to the wife and mother.

"Iowa has an Agricultural College on a plot of land of six hundred
and fifty acres, with over thirty young ladies and one hundred and
forty young men, whose tuition is free, and their daily work, which
all are to do, is credited towards their board. This year the
college building is to be enlarged to double its present capacity."

It is hardly necessary to repeat the facts found every day in the
agricultural and other papers, illustrating woman's capacity for
practical farming. Some of the rarest successes in general farming,
have been achieved by women. I have personally known several of
these farmers, who were intelligent and refined.


What an army of men, some of them big enough to carry an ox, are
engaged, in the United States, in selling silks, calicos, thread,
tape, needles and pins. Hundreds of thou sands of stalwart young
men, who might earn twice as much in more active, muscular, outdoor
occupations, are shut up in stores; while a corresponding number of
women; desperate for lack of bread, lie in wait at night, when these
men come out of their silken stores, to tempt them to vice and
disease, which may carry all into one common ruin.


A "kit" of carpenter's tools, and a carpenter's bench, may be
purchased for a few dollars. Every house should have such
provisions. It is curious how universal is the passion for the use
of such tools. Nine persons in ten, including both sexes, would, if
they enjoyed facilities, indulge this natural passion for straight
lines, angles and curves.

From my observation, I think girls possess this mechanical fancy and
tact quite as generally as boys.

In several homes where I have met facilities for making boxes,
frames, rulers, etc., the girls have displayed more interest in the
use of the beautiful carpenter tools, than the boys.

What a priceless knack of fingers, preparation and fancy for a
hundred different occupations, and healthful, muscular exercise
would thus be won.

My friend, Capt. R--, purchased a "kit" of carpenter's tools and a
turning lathe, nearly twenty years ago, and encouraged his six
daughters to use them. Scores of cupboards, shelves, frames, book-
holders, towel-racks, etc., etc., scattered all over his house,
testify to the mechanical taste and skill of his girls.

At the holiday season they send to friends many beautiful boxes and
book-shelves, made with their own hands.

But for the wealth of the family, I have no doubt that these girls
would have sought mechanical occupations.


Women would succeed well as engravers and chasers of gold and
silver, as etchers and stamp makers, herbarium makers, landscape
gardeners, lithographers, map makers, modellers, music engravers,
painters, picture restorers, piano tuners, painters of plates for
books, steel engravers, sculptors, telegraphic operators, wax
workers, book-keepers, book merchants, china merchants, keepers of
fancy stores, grocers, junk dealers, music sellers, sellers of
artists' materials, sellers of seeds, roots and herbs, small wares,
toys, in variety shops, as bird raisers, and bird and animal
preservers, fruit venders, dealers in pets, restaurant keepers,
thread makers, glove makers, makers of shawls, yarn, ribbons, sewing
silk, lace menders, makers of files, guns, hinges, nails, screws,
skates, shovels, wire, candle-sticks, hooks and eyes, lamps, pens,
rings, scales, buckles, needles, saws, scissors, spectacles,
surgical instruments, telescopes, thermometers, lanterns, thimbles,
gold and silver leaf, pencils, inkstands, paper cutters, porcelain
goods, beads, harnesses, pocket-books, trunks, whips, combs, piano
cases. They succeed well as pearl workers, tortoise-shell workers.
They succeed in manufacturing shoes of all kinds, and gutta-percha
goods. They succeed as hair workers, as artists, as merchants of all
kinds of goods. They succeed in manufacturing artificial flowers,
belts, bonnet ruches, dress trimmings, embroidery, feathers,
hoopskirts, parasols and umbrellas, and so on, and so on, to the
extent of several hundred occupations, with a large number of which
they have nothing whatever to do, and from which they are kept by
persistent, blind, stupid prejudice; the apology, explanation, or
whatever you may choose to call it, generally being, either that the
work is too dirty, too hard, requires too much patience, or, much
more frequently, that it requires too much skill.

With all these occupations open to them, it is hard to believe that
New England girls will consent to starve, or for lack of bread, will
wander off into bye and forbidden paths.


Nothing is more simple or easy than to extend the field of woman's

Let the young women and their friends call a meeting, and establish
an agency for the neighborhood. This meeting need not cost the girls
a penny. A committee of five intelligent ladies and gentlemen can
readily be found, who will undertake the management.

The duty of the committee will be to seek new employments for girls,
and smooth the way.


Everywhere, among all peoples, we find the spirit of aristocracy--
caste. The distinction between classes, in most countries, appears
in dress, intelligence and manners.

In the United States the distinctions are not thus marked.

In the cars, for example, you meet a gentleman, whose address and
conversation are very pleasing, and you are just in the act of
congratulating yourself upon the acquisition of a charming
acquaintance, when some one whispers in your ear the appalling fact
that he is nothing but a carpenter.

You meet a lady, exquisitely attired, with a beautiful face, sweet
manners, and brilliant conversation, and you wonder who she can be.
She must be the daughter of a leisurely, cultured banker; but, after
taking pains to ask the conductor, and several gentlemen in the car,
you are at last informed by the brakeman:--

"Why, darn it, she is that Lizzie Brown, the dress-maker."

The fact is, we cannot rely upon the European indications of high
and low classes, and so, in America, we have devised numerous
arbitrary, and often unreasonable and inconvenient habits, and
customs, which are learned and practised by "our set, you know," but
which are not generally caught up by the earnest, busy class.

One of these, which will serve for present illustration, is a rule
that you must, at table, put everything into your mouth with a fork.

In one of our most reputable monthlies, I read, a day or two since,
a chapter in a story, in which it was stated, as a shocking
exhibition of depraved vulgarity, that John Smith put his food into
his mouth with a knife,--the deplorable wretch!

Last summer, at a sea-side house, I was remarking to an intelligent
lady, in an after-dinner chat, that of all the gentlemen on the
ground, I was most interested in that tall, reserved, scholarly-
looking man.

She replied, with a toss of her head, "I can't bear him. Why, he
eats with his knife!"

Of course nobody supposes that for most sorts of food a fork is
better than a knife; but unless some tests of what is called
gentility can be maintained, you see we shouldn't know who's who and
what's what.

I learned somewhat early in life to use the fork almost exclusively;
but now that it is made a sign of gentility, I am learning to use
the knife.

I always enjoyed the anecdote of that "first gentleman of Europe," a
certain King of England, who, on a state occasion, invited to his
table a Scotch nobleman, with his two daughters. The nobleman was
one of the truest friends of the king, and the daughters were most
intelligent, worthy girls; but, living very much out of society,
they had not learned all the rules of table etiquette. So upon
sipping their coffee, and finding it too hot, they poured from the
cup into the saucer, and drank from the saucer. The king, who was at
the head of the table, heard a derisive laugh from some of the pets
of the court, and looking over where his Scotch friends sat, he saw
the occasion of it. Immediately he lifted his own cup, poured into
the saucer, and set the cup down on the table with a great noise,
whereupon the exquisites colored, and hushed.

Girls, I advise you to use the fork in eating such things as can be
eaten best with it, unless you wish to make issue with a false and
arbitrary test of gentility.

There are table habits, vital in their importance. I may here name
the practice of eating only simple food, with great deliberation,
maintaining, during the meal, your legitimate share in the
conversation, and constantly watching for opportunities to assist
those about you.


Nothing is more fashionable than conservatism. Slavery--what a hot-
bed of sensualism! What a pandemonium of cruelty and crime!

All over the North the merchant, the politician, and the clergyman
pledged each other to silence. It was the fashion.

A few brave souls protested. Sneers and ridicule followed them. Ah,
can it be believed,--the blue-eyed daughters of New England joined
in the sneers. They drew aside their skirts as they passed the
champions of liberty and virtue. No other memory connected with the
antislavery revolution is so hard for me to bear. If only they,
hearing the cry of agony from their outraged sisters in the South,
had listened, sympathized, and, in their own gentle way, striven to
help the torn and bleeding ones, I could bear the memory of the
brutal indifference of men.


In most of the states women have no legal claim to their own
children. In several of them the father may, in his will, commit the
little ones to the care of strangers, and the mother can only weep
and moan.

In many of the states the wife has no right to the property which
her father gave her, or to that which she has earned with her own

In not one of the states can a woman express her opinion or wish at
the ballot box. Her person, her property, her claim to her children,
--everything she holds most dear in this life, is controlled by the
ballot box. The most ignorant foreigners are invited to it; our
mothers and wives are forbidden.

Women and girls receive, for the same work, only half the
compensation of men and boys.

The "woman's rights" movement seeks the mitigation, and final
removal, of these outrageous wrongs.

My dear girls, think for yourselves this time. Don't simper and
giggle when the fools sneer at "woman's rights." They don't know
what they are talking about.

A few days ago I heard a sort of jackanapes ridiculing "woman's
rights," and several very sweet girls were listening to his coarse
scurrilities; and, must I say it, smiling their approval.

Wearing an unfashionable dress is not half so bad; going into the
street with the bonnet of two years ago, even, will not unsex you
like a smiling indifference to these desperate struggles of your
sisters. To avoid starvation on one hand, and crime on the other,
they plead with the world for justice.

In this city of Boston there are twenty thousand women starving on
needle-work, and five thousand who live, or die, by crime. A few
brave ones, driven to the wall, hope, by calling attention to their
helplessness, to obtain sympathy and justice. This is essentially
the "woman's rights" movement. Suppose you don't like the mode in
which they agitate. When you hear criticisms, or ridicule, if you
haven't the heart to say a word in defence, at least you can keep

I wish I dared to tell you how we men almost despise you, sometimes,
for this abandonment of each other.


Men go prowling about, seeking to seduce and ruin girls, and will
stand by each other, even in this infamous business. When a poor
girl, overcome by the arts of an oily-tongued villain, perhaps by a
promise of marriage, consents to sin, how you drop her, and shun
her, and sneer at her. A hundred times I have heard chivalrous men
declare that, "women have no honor; they never stand by each other.
If one gets into trouble, the rest forsake her, and run away."
Girls, if you care to commend yourselves to men, stand by these
unfortunate ones, encourage them, help them. You needn't fear being
soiled; the spirit in which you would engage in this angelic
service, would serve as a perfect shield.

I know something of men. I have lived in many countries. I have been
much in society, have been, to some extent, what is railed a man of
the world, and have talked with men about women, hundreds of times.

I am confident that nothing would so elevate a young woman in the
estimation of all noble men, as the brave defence of an unfortunate
sister. It would thrill us all, and lift you into a heroine.

If a few hundred of you would join hands around the social evil,
even in a city like this, where it has attained huge proportions,
you could bring it within easy reach of christian aid.

Nothing, this side of God, do men revere, as they revere virtuous
women. Let it be known among men, that the victims of their lust
have been taken under your protection, and the whole aspect of the
question would instantly change. Instead of looking upon the unhappy
ones as fair game, men would suddenly become conscious that they
were dealing with your friends, and, therefore, with you.


I would address those young women who want husbands. There are such;
I have noticed them. Girls, if any of you have really made up your
minds that you "wouldn't marry the best man that ever lived, there!"
skip this little sermon, because it really has no interest for you.

Men will shut their ears if they have a spark of delicacy; for every
word of this is private and confidential.


The text, or rather the occasion for what I am about to say on the
subject of marriage, was this:--

About a week ago, a young woman of twenty-six (she said twenty-six,
so I am sure about her age,) came to me in regard to her health; and
after the professional conversation was finished, we fell into a
general and pleasant chat.

She was delightfully frank, and said, while we were discussing the
ever fruitful subject of matrimony,--

"I wish I was little."

"That is too bad," I replied; "I have been admiring your grand,
queenly proportions ever since you came in; and now you spoil it all
by showing that you are not grateful."

"I can't help it; I wish I didn't weigh more than eighty pounds, and
wasn't more than four and a half feet high."

"I am shocked! Do tell me what makes you wish so?"

"To be frank with you, the reason is just this: Men are so fond of
saying, 'My little wife.'"

I laughed, thinking it was intended as a bright speech; but her
flushed face assured me that, instead, she was uttering her very

"Go on," I said, "tell me your thoughts."

"My thoughts are just these; and I believe they are the thoughts of
all unmarried marriageable women. I long for nothing this side of
heaven as I do to bury all my uncertainties and anxieties in the
love of a husband. Eagerly would I make any sacrifice to secure this
precious treasure. But I fear there is nothing left for me but to be
sneered at as an old maid. So while I might otherwise be grateful
for what you choose to call my queenly proportions, I can only wish
I was one of the little women whom men seem to fancy."

I shall not tell you any more of this conversation, and my friend
will excuse this much, as a text for my little sermon. Only she and
I will know to whom this refers.

I wonder if it is improper to speak plainly about what so many are
thinking of.

I will venture a little. Now don't take on airs and turn up your
noses. My hair is of a color which might introduce me to you in the
character of father. I shall speak very plainly. It cannot
compromise anybody, for, as I told you, this is all private and


Now don't deny it; it sounds silly in you. It is, all of a piece
with the earnest declaration of the mother who is managing her
daughters through Saratoga, Newport, and an endless round of
parties, but who constantly declares, in the most earnest way, that
she has no more girls than she wants, that she could not consent to
part with a single one of them, and who, at length, when pressed to
part with dear Arabella, gives a reluctant and painful assent, and
who may be seen on the wedding day penetrated with inconsolable
grief at parting with that dear child. Girls, don't join in this
farce; it is too thin.

You want husbands. You think of them by day, and dream of them by
night. You talk of nothing else. Think on, and dream on; even if you
never get them, it will make you better and nobler to think about

On our side of the house we are all thinking and dreaming of you,
and, although we may never marry, our hearts will be the warmer and
purer for having been occupied with thoughts of you.


In entering upon this most important and delightful relation, we men
are expected to take the overt initiative. You are perplexed and
grieved that so many of us hold back, and wander about, homeless
bachelors all our lives, leaving you to die old maids.

Let me whisper in your ear.

We are afraid of you!

As I am out of the matrimonial market, I will let my friend Robert,
who is in said market, explain.

Robert is a splendid fellow, and dying to have a home of his own. He
declared in my parlor the other evening, that he would prefer ten
years of happy married life to fifty years of this nothing and

My wife said, "Well, Robert, if you cannot find a wife, you had
better give a commission to somebody who can." With a flushed face;
he replied:--

"Now see here, Mrs. Lewis, I am a banker; my salary is two thousand
dollars. I cannot marry a scrub. I must marry a wife with manners,
one who knows what's what. My mother and sisters, to say nothing of
myself, would break their hearts if my choice were below their idea.
Just tell me how, with such a wife, I could pull through on two
thousand a year? Why, her dress alone would cost half of it. Board
for the two would cost at least fifty dollars a week, and even with
that, you know, we should not get first-class board.

"And then there are the extras,--the little trips, the lectures,
the concerts, the operas, etc.; one cannot live in society without a
little of such things.

"Oh no, unless I first make up my mind to rob the bank, I cannot
think of matrimony. If I had five thousand a year I would venture;
but with two thousand,--well, I am not quite a madman, and so I
stay where I can pay my debts.

"My lady friends think I am so much in love with the--Club that I
have no time for them. One of them said to me the other day, when we
were discussing this matter,--

"'Why, what you spend in that miserable club, would support a wife,

"'It wouldn't pay for her bonnets,' I replied."

Now ladies, Robert is getting extravagant, so we will let him
retire, and I will go on with my little sermon. I do not often
preach, but in this case, nothing but a sermon will do.


Firstly, you are perfect idiots to go on in this way. Your bodies
are the most beautiful of God's creation. In the continental
galleries I constantly saw groups of people, gathered about the
pictures of women. It was not passion; the gazers were quite as
likely to be women, as men. It was the wondrous beauty of woman's

Now stand with me at my office window, and see a lady pass. There
goes one! Now isn't that a pretty looking object? A big hump, three
big humps, a wilderness of crimps and frills, a hauling up of the
dress here and there, an enormous hideous mass of false hair or bark
piled on the top of her head, and on the very top of that, a little
nondescript thing, ornamented with bits of lace, birds' tails, etc.;
while the shop windows tell us all day long, of the paddings,
whalebones, and springs, which occupy most of the space within that
outside rig.

In the name of all the simple, sweet sentiments which cluster about
a home, I would ask, how is a man to fall in love with such a
compound, doubled and twisted, starched, comical, artificial, touch-
me-not, wiggling curiosity?


Secondly, with that wasp waist, your lungs, stomach, liver, and
other organs squeezed down out of their place, and into one half
their natural size, and with that long trail dragging on the ground,
how can any man of sense, who knows that life is made up of use, of
service, of work; how can he take such partner? He must be desperate
to unite himself for life with such a deformed, fettered, half
breathing ornament.

If I were in the matrimonial market, I might marry a woman that had
but one arm, or one eye, or no eyes at all, if she suited me
otherwise; but so long as God permitted me to retain my senses, I
could never join my fortunes with those of a woman with a small

A small waist! I am a physiologist, and know what a small waist
means. It means the organs of the abdomen jammed down into the
pelvis; it means the organs of the chest stuffed up into the throat;
it means a weak back; it means a delicate, nervous invalid; it means
a suffering patient, and not a vigorous helpmate.

Thousands of men dare not venture, because they wisely fear that,
instead of a helpmate, they will get an invalid to take care of.
Besides, this bad health in you, just as in men, made the mind, as
well as the body, faddled and effeminate.

You have no power, no magnetism. I know you giggle freely, and use
big words, such as splendid, awful, etc.; but then, this does not
deceive us; we see through all that sort of thing. The fact is, you
are superficial, affected, silly. You have none of that womanly
strength and warmth which are so assuring and attractive to men.

Why you have actually become so childish, that you refuse to wear
decent names even, and insist upon little baby names.

Instead of Helen, Margaret and Elizabeth you affect Nellie, Maggie
and Lizzie.

When your brothers were babies, you called them Bobbie, Dickie and
Johnnie; but when they grow up to manhood, no more of that silly
trash, if you please.

I know a woman, twenty-five years old, and as big as both my
grandmothers put together, who insists upon being called Kittie, and
her real name is Catherine; her brain is big enough to conduct
affairs of State, she does nothing but giggle, cover up her face
with her fan, and exclaim, "Don't now, you are real mean." How can a
sensible man propose a life partnership to such a silly goose?

My dear girls, if you would get husbands, and sensible ones, dress
in plain, neat, becoming garments, and talk like sensible, earnest

You say you don't care, you won't dress to please men, etc. Then, as
I said in opening this sermon, I am not speaking to you. I am
speaking to such girls as want husbands, and would like to know how
to get them.

You say that the most sensible men are crazy after these butterflies
of fashion. I beg your pardon, it is not so. Occasionally, even a
brilliant man may marry a silly, weak woman. But to say, as I have
heard women say a hundred times, that the most sensible men marry
women without sense, is simply absurd. Nineteen times in twenty
sensible men choose sensible women.

I grant you that in company men are very likely to gabble and toy
with these over-dressed and forward creatures; but as to going to
the altar with them, they beg to be excused.

Thirdly, among the men in the matrimonial market, only a very small
number are rich; and in America very rarely make good husbands. But
the number of those who are beginning in life, who are filled with a
noble ambition, who have a future, is very large. These are worth
having. But such will not, they dare not, ask you to join them,
while they see you so idle, silly, and so gorgeously attired.

Let them see that you are industrious, economical, with habits that
secure health and strength, that your life is earnest and real, that
you are willing to begin at the beginning in life with the man you
would consent to marry, then marriage will become the rule, and not
as now, among certain classes, the exception.

Ah, if ever the time shall come, when young women have occupations,
and can sustain a healthy, dignified attitude toward men,--if ever
the time shall come when women are not such pitiful dependents, then
marriage will become universal, and we shall all be happier, better,

I hear some plucky, spirited young woman exclaiming:--

"This is all very well. No doubt your sermon, as you call it,
contains a good deal of truth; but how about these young men who
spend their time drinking, smoking, loafing about club-houses, and
running after strange women? I suppose you think they are perfect

My dear friend, have I said anything in this sermon, or do I say
anything in this book, which leads you to suppose that I think men
better than women?

It is because I believe that, in the constitution of the race, you
are the fountain-head of social, moral and religious influence, that
I come directly to you.

My mother taught me, long ago, the great moral superiority of woman.
She taught me that most of the good and pure in this world comes
from woman.

So far from thinking that man is an angel, and woman a nothing, and
a bad nothing, the strongest article in my religious creed is, that
when woman has been redeemed from the shilly-shally, lace, ribbon,
and feather life, into which she has so unhappily drifted,--when
woman shall be restored to herself, she will be strong enough in
soul to take us men in her arms, and carry us to heaven.

I beg you will not suppose that, in my criticisms upon woman, I am
prompted by the belief that she needs special exhortation on her own
account. I appeal to her on account of us all, believing that the
most direct and effective way to redeem the race, is to induce woman
to lay aside every weight and the special sins that so beset her,
and to run the race with the highest womanly heroism.


Nothing so constantly troubled and pained me during the progress of
the school at Lexington, as the strange passion for the piano. Of
the one hundred and forty girls present during the third year, I
cannot recall more than three or four who possessed any decided
musical capacity, while nearly a hundred studied music. Fifteen
pianos were going constantly.

Take any one of sixty or seventy who were studying music, simply
because it was fashionable, and consider the waste. One hundred and
fifty to three hundred dollars a year for instruction, with two to
five hours' exhaustive daily practice. I cannot bear to think that
this foolish waste, and worse than waste, was going on for years, in
an institution under my management. But there are influences at work
stronger than the will of the teachers. Those influences come from
established prejudices.

Although the money and time given to the piano, among a large
proportion of the girls in our school, was worse than wasted, I soon
found that three out of four of them would refuse to enter the
school, or remain in it, if they were urged not to study music.

After a young woman has studied music for five years, and has
twisted her spine all out of shape in practicing upon the piano, she
marries, plays a little on the splendid "Grand" which "Dear Aunt"
gives her as a wedding present, and then drops it forever. If there
is decided talent, she may continue; but I speak of the results as I
have seen them.


If the voice be cultivated, and the piano used as an accompaniment,
the music in a girl's education would prove ten-fold more valuable.
Indeed, vocal music might prove, with many girls, the most valuable
part of education. It is more likely to be continued, because of the
greater pleasure it affords; while social singing serves more than
any other influence to bind the inmates of a home together. As a
source of general health, it stands unrivalled.

In this country of consumptives, it is especially valuable in
fortifying the pulmonary apparatus.

Let us, by every means, foster social singing. Its influence is, in
many ways, most precious. How interesting the group of sisters and
brothers gathered about the piano, and how blessed the home where
the evening is welcomed by family song.

Contrast this with the average mechanical execution of classical
music, by one of the girls, or with the fashionable operatic singing
by one of them.

And just here I wish to speak of a fashion which should be
deprecated. It is another piece of that growing vice, which would
remove music from the social sphere, and make it, like some
peculiarity of dress, a mere show. Suppose we have singing. Instead
of four persons performing the several parts of some rich melody,
Miss Arabella is invited to "give us that exquisite Aria," and we
all sit by, and wonder at her execution.

The great service of music is one of the heart, and not of the head.

There are departments of music, there are possibilities in this
divinest of the arts, which appeal to the subtlest appreciations of
the intellect, and the most exalted conceptions of the imagination;
but still it is true that the greatest service which music renders
to man is in the social sphere, is one of the heart When our voices
blend, our hearts will not long be kept asunder.

The whole tendency of the times is to deprive music of this, its
most precious influence. Indeed, so far has this gone, that even
that natural and most happy of all the harmonies of music,--that
between the male and female voice, is well-nigh lost. It is rare in
what is called the better class of music to hear them together. A
woman executes for awhile, then a man executes, then the woman
executes again, then the man executes a little, so they execute by

The great heart-service of music is subordinated to imagination and


It is a mistake to suppose that, even as an accomplishment, piano
playing is so very highly prized.

I dropped in to spend an hour with an intelligent friend. I was
particularly interested in the Franco-Prussian war, and, as he had
lived much, both in Paris and Berlin, I hoped to learn about some
things not discussed in the newspapers. His youngest daughter, a
beautiful girl, had just arrived, fresh from the glories of the
closing exercises of a seminary.

We were in the midst of our discussions, and he was repeating some
conversations with Bismark, in which I was intensely interested,
when the fond, proud mother said:--

"Now, if you will listen, Gertie will play the piece which she
played last Thursday evening at Madame--'s." Gertie began, alas,
and she kept on, and on, and on.

There were four of us gentlemen, three were callers, one the editor
of a city paper. We were all eager to listen to our host, of Bismark
and Napoleon.

That unhappy child kept at it. We sat there with a hypocritical
smile on our faces but, internally, as mad as we could be. When at
length, the sixteen pages had been finished, and the girl turned
around for the prescribed adulation, all but one of us exclaimed,
"wonderful, exquisite, delightful!" and the editor, (who, when
coming down in the car an hour later, emphasized his disgust with an
awful big word,) declared he had never heard anything so wonderful,
and added, that she really ought to go abroad to study with the
great masters. The lying executed by some of us was perfect. I have
forgotten whether this kind of falsehood is mentioned in the works
upon white lying, but if I ever write upon "white lies," I shall
give this kind a prominent place.

Girls, if you ever obtrude an average piano performance upon a
company of intelligent people, engaged in conversation, nine in ten
of them will secretly regard you as a nuisance, no matter how much
they exclaim "exquisite, delicious, wonderful!" Of course your
parents will be gratified with your performance; mamma will be
pleased and proud with the show-off, and papa will smile. How else
could he do, after paying $2,000 piano bills? It is a pretty picture
to their eyes--the loved one seated at a splendid, great
instrument, executing one of the grandest compositions of one of the
immortal masters. And, although you are not inspired with the
passion of the heaven-born composer, and your performance is a
mechanical, soulless hum-drum, that matters not to your father and
mother, their loving imaginations will supply all that is needed to
make the picture complete. But the rest of us will heartily wish
that you had not interrupted our conversation.

It is an amazing blindness on the part of parents. It always
astonishes me that they don't see the impertinence of the thing.
They certainly wouldn't think of asking the company to cease their
conversation to hear you speak your piece, or perform a dance. The
piano alone is licensed to say to everybody, "cease your
conversation, and listen to me; I am about to make a big noise!"

But the fashion has never imposed upon people of sense and real
politeness. When the piano has started up without even a notice, I
have seen such people flush with indignation.


It may be mentioned as illustrating still further, the false
tendencies in music, that it takes a brave man to ask for a sweet,
simple song. I tried it the other night. I asked a Flora McFlimsey
to give us "Way down upon the Swanee River." The words, it will be
remembered, are singularly pure, sweet and pathetic.

Many of the Italian songs just now so fashionable, are couched in
language, listened to by pure-minded people, only because they don't
understand it.

When I said, "Please sing 'Way down upon the Swanee River,'" Miss
McFlimsey replied, "Excuse me, I never sing that class of music. I
haven't sung one of those simple airs, I don't know when." I know,
by the way the girls looked at me, that their respect for my musical
taste vanished at once and forever. If I had asked her for "Ah, que
j'aime les militaire," or "Une Paule sur la mur," insufferable
trash, both as to music and words, utterly beneath contempt, she
would have eagerly screamed the bald bosh, and the weak ones would
have declared it ineffably exquisite.*


If you understand Italian, I need not explain; and if you do not,
purchase a libretto, with English translation, of almost any of the
operas, and read.

Among those most popular on the American stage, I cannot recall more
than two, that I should be willing to have my daughter read. But the
music pupil must study every word, often every syllable of a word.

The lascivious suggestion, the sly innuendo, the bold challenge,--
they are all exhausted in the language of the opera.

One of the charms of much of this class of music is similar to that
of a new dance introduced into this country last winter; and it
came, too, from the land of Italian opera. Of this dance I will only
say that I overheard a buxom lass telling her lady friends "that the
new dance was perfectly glorious; but," said she, "it's of no use to
put flowers or bows in your bosom, for they get pressed flat enough,
long before the first dance is over."

Is it not a simple fact that operatic songs are popular just in
proportion as they are indelicate? I have asked this question of
more than a score of devotees of the opera. Half of them, perhaps,
have said yes, the other half have said that the finest music
happened to be associated with naughty words. Read the words of "Un
mari sage" without the music. Where, outside of a brothel, could
there be found a company of girls, who, with men present, would keep
their faces uncovered, and listen.

I wish you would go to the opera with me; I will show you something
which will impress you more deeply than any words I can write.

Here we are, so placed, that we can look into the faces of a part of
the audience. Let us select a couple, and, with our glasses, watch

There is a beautiful black-eyed girl,--the one with that fat, red-
faced gentleman. She is about sixteen, and he about thirty. I know
him. He is a regular roue, although he has the entree of many of our
best homes. His companion seems a modest, sweet girl.

The opera is "Faust," one of the most unclean of the whole unclean

They are both using one and the same libretto, with an English
translation. This gives him an opportunity to put his arm behind
her, but of course he is careful not to touch her shoulder. But we
shall see, when we come to certain parts of the opera.

Now look at them. See the red spots on her cheeks; they tell us of
struggling modesty and innocence. The story proceeds; the lascivious
gestures, the lecherous gaze of the men and half-naked women on the
stage, are beginning to tell upon the whole audience. See our girl.
That arm is pressing her against his side, and her eyes are busy
with the words, as if she were completely absorbed. When she returns
to her home to-night, her mind will be filled with thoughts, of
which she will not speak to her mother.

God alone knows the number of pure souls that have been ruined by
the insidious poison of the opera.


All American girls of the rich class, and a very large number of the
poor class, study French.

The reasons given for this immense investment in time and money,

1st. That French words and sentences are common in our literature.

2nd. That educated people must speak French; for it is the language
of polite society everywhere.

3rd. Without a knowledge of French, you must forego the science and
literature locked up in that language.

4th. The study of the French language involves a peculiar mental
discipline of great value.

I am quite ready to admit that a knowledge of French is not only
convenient, but indispensable to a liberal education.

But, nevertheless, nineteen in every twenty girls, who study French,
simply waste their time and money.

It is not even intended, when they enter upon it, that they shall do
anything beyond a little grammar, and one or two readers. It is not
expected that they will speak the language, beyond the class

So whatever may be justly said of the value of French, in view of
the considerations I have named, its value, as managed in our
schools, cannot be seriously discussed.

As to the words and sentences which occur so frequently in our books
and papers, it would be easy for any one to learn the meaning of all
such as have been domesticated, in a few hours.

As to French being the language of polite society everywhere; in the
first place, it isn't true; and, in the second place, if it were
true, the fact would hardly be pertinent in this discussion. I think
this will be fully appreciated, when I state that, during my own
residence in Paris, I did not hear of more than two or three
American girls who could be said to really enjoy a social existence
among the French-speaking population. And yet, the American girls
residing in Paris had, generally, I presume, made special
preparations in the language.

As to the "science and literature locked up in the French language,"
I can only say, that those of us who know how much science and
literature our girls get through their knowledge of French, smile,
when we hear this claim mentioned.

As to the peculiar mental discipline involved in the study of the
French tongue, it is very easy to put forward this claim, but
difficult to defend it. That the study of this language is valuable,
as a mental discipline, I believe; but that it is peculiar, or if
peculiar, particularly valuable, I do not believe.

I have no doubt that nine-tenths of the money and precious time
given to the study of French, in our ladies' seminaries, is, in
great part, wasted.

French is studied, in most cases, for the same reason that the piano
is,--it is fashionable.

A gentleman without education outside of his store, takes his
daughter to a school, when about the following conversation might be

"I wish to place my daughter in your school."

"What studies would you have her pursue?"

"Well, she has finished the English studies, and I reckon she had
better take up music, French and Italian."

"Why do you select these studies?"

"Well, my daughter thinks she would like to finish off with these."

"Does she know anything of these languages?"

"No, I believe not."

"How much longer do you intend to keep her in school?"

"Only this year. I can't afford to send her more than one year

At this stage of the conversation the daughter is brought in; and
the teacher sees a pale, round-shouldered, sickly-looking young
woman, and, upon a little conversation, finds, judging from her
voice, manners and intelligence, that she greatly needs a thorough
course of physical and vocal training, with simple, rudimentary,
English studies.

The teacher asks her to go into an adjoining room, and write him a
letter, giving a brief account of her journey from home. In this
note she makes several mistakes in spelling and grammar, while the
chirography is very bad. If the teacher is a true educator, he
advises a course, which leads the father and daughter to consult a
little aside, after which they leave, with the promise that they
will think of it, and if he concludes to have her come, he will drop
a line.

Wouldn't they like to look at some rooms?

No, not just now; they would think of it, and drop a line.

In passing, let me say, that I can hardly think of a more trying
position, than that of the Principal of a private school, when he is
assisting parents to determine upon a course of studies for their

Perhaps his institution is financially weak. He must be full, or
stop. He advertises in the papers and sends out circulars. The
pupils come in slowly, and the Principal is anxious.

Most of the pupils of private schools are backward in the rudiments.
The young ladies, in a great many cases, seek private schools,
because they are ashamed to go to the public schools, where there is
no mercy for bad spellers and readers. They know that, although they
are grown women, and wear silks and gold watches, if they read badly
and don't know the multiplication table, they will have to stand up
with a row of small boys and girls. So it happens that many of the
patrons of private schools are singularly backward in the rudiments.

The Principal is dying for the patronage, and the young ladies are
resolved upon French and music. When he sits down to talk with them
and their parents, the temptation to acquiesce in their choice of
studies is very strong. Only in this way is he likely to get them at
all; besides, the departments of French and music are the most

After having been at the head of a large private school for years, I
can truly say that I heartily sympathize with managers of similar
institutions, exposed to this temptation.

Believing, as I do, that the study of languages, as such, has been
pushed to a most unfortunate, not to say absurd extent, and that, in
the case of the particular language under discussion, the waste has
become enormous, I will simply express the hope that soon, only
those who have the time, capacity and means to really accomplish
something, will undertake the French language; and that the millions
in our country who now waste months and much money in the "little
smattering," will turn their attention into other very important and
greatly neglected departments of education.

Perhaps I should add, that what I have said of the French, as
generally pursued in our schools, is applicable to the German,
Spanish and Italian languages.


But we are told that many studies are pursued in all schools, which
have no direct practical use; that they are introduced for their
disciplinary value, and that French is one of them. Twenty years ago
this statement would have ended the argument; but now the best
educators, on both continents, have something more to say.

A small proportion of the people have the means, leisure and wish to
devote their lives to self-culture. These may embrace the broadest
curriculum. But the million cannot give themselves up to such
indulgences. We must make our school education a means.

Let me illustrate. Learning to spell the words of our language is a
valuable discipline; besides, it has a direct, practical value. For
the disciplinary service, the Russian language might be added, with
great profit. But I should advise the million to forego the
intellectual drill involved in the study of Russian orthography,
and, in this department, to confine themselves to English words. I
should do this,--

1st. Because of the direct, important practical use; and,--

2nd. Because, in the case of the million, all the time which can be
afforded for orthographic studies, with reference to mental
discipline, may be very profitably devoted to our own language.


Our language is as superior to the French, as is our civilization.
The language of a people keeps pace with its mental and soul growth.
It would require more than a Lamartine to express our ideas of home,
and of civil and religious liberty with the French tongue.


For us, for our times, the "English classics" are infinitely above
the classics of any other language--of all other languages.

Our classics are laden with the richest, ripest, christian thought
and sentiment. They are indissolubly interwoven with all the great
intellectual and spiritual forces, which, at this hour, are marching
on "conquering and to conquer."

How utterly inexplicable that American educators should conduct
their pupils away from the vast, rich storehouses of the English
classics, radiant all over as the diadem of a queen, to wander amid
the lingual mysteries of the classics, of undeveloped, and even
pagan peoples.


With regard to the legitimate place of these languages in American
education, I can only refer my readers to the numerous and able
papers and books which have recently appeared in Great Britain and
America. Of these, Grimke's is one of the most philosophical and

A great number of educators and thinkers have reached the conclusion
that the present prominence of the ancient classics in our system,
is not only a barbarism transmitted from the dark ages, but that,
unlike most anachronisms which generally surprise and amuse us, this
emasculates and paralyzes us. This carries us from the real, living
present, way back into the dark past.

In the pursuit of the ancient classics we immure ourselves in a
cloister, we shut out things, facts, society, nature, and ponder
over the fancies and philosophies of peoples who treated woman as a
slave, and who never enjoyed the first glimmering of the true social
or religious light.

I speak feelingly on this subject. When a young man, I spent several
years almost exclusively upon Latin and Greek; first as a student,
and then as a teacher.

One of my sincere regrets in life is, that I prepared about fifty
young men for college.

But for a painful and rapidly deepening conviction, that the
profession of a teacher, which I had embraced with all my heart,
would, in the higher departments, bring me into constant collision
with my idea of use as the aim and purpose of a manly life,--but
for this, I should never have turned to the profession of medicine.

Gladly would I exchange all that the classics gave me, for a
familiarity with any one of several natural sciences, which I had
but little time to examine during my school days.

The colleges and universities are rapidly emerging from this
darkness of the past.


During the years of our school in Lexington, we danced from two to
four evenings a week. Beginning about half past seven o'clock, we
danced till half past eight, which was always our bed-time. In our
school family there were several gentlemen, among them the revered
Theodore Weld,--our most inveterate dancer.

The round dances were not admitted, for the following reasons:--

1st. The rotary motion is injurious to the brain and spinal marrow.

2nd. The peculiar contact between the man and the woman, may suggest
impure thoughts.

I have many times asked young men what they thought of it, and after
saying it was jolly, that they liked it first-rate, they have
generally, when urged to tell me seriously their convictions,
confessed that, knowing how men feel and sometimes talk about it, if
they were women, they should not indulge. I never talked with one
father or mother who was not gratified with my rule against round
dances, while a number of them wrote me the warmest commendation. I
wish I was at liberty to publish a letter on this subject, which I
received from a well-known lady,--giving the letter entire, with
the writer's name. I have requested her to allow me to publish it;
but she says the sneers at Puritanism are too much for her.

I ask my reader, if a mother, whether, if her daughter were away
from home, and attending dancing parties, dancing now with Lieut.
S., and then with Capt. W.; in brief, with such gentlemen as the
managers choose to introduce to her; whether she would like to know
that her daughter was being hugged up, and whisked about in the
German? Very few mothers would answer yes, to this question.

The square dances are certainly very beautiful, graceful, chaste,
and healthful. Besides, in a large and interesting way they are
social. A large company may join in these dances.

The round dance is another illustration of the tendency toward
individual display, so strikingly exhibited in the department of
music. How constantly we see at dancing parties a single young lady
and gentleman start out alone for a dizzy whirl about the hall. I
will not comment upon the wild whirligig of her skirts, for I don't
think a girl need be ashamed to show her legs. I only say that her
contact with her partner is not a modest one.

Let a couple stand, in the presence of a company, with their arms
about each other, and their persons in contact as for the "German,"
let them stand, thus intertwined, and what should we think? The
dance is made the excuse for what, without it, would be a gross
indelicacy. It is as with much of the opera, in which the fine music
is made the apology for words that could not be spoken without it.


Girls, I advise you not to go to the theatre. I know how much can be
said in its favor. I know that, at one time in the history of the
world, it really served the cause of morality and religion.

But how can we study Shakspeare so advantageously as in the
impersonations of the stage?"

I confess I do not know where the great master can be studied so
advantageously as in the best impersonations of the stage, but,
nevertheless, I strongly advise that you should stay away from the

My first objection to the theatre is, that it is never well
ventilated. You must breathe, three or four hours, a vitiated
atmosphere, which unfits you for the best physical and mental labor
during the whole of the next day, perhaps even longer.

My second objection, likewise physiological, is, that it keeps you
up till midnight.

My third objection is that which we all make to the yellow-covered
literature. While there may be a good thing here and there, the
general tone is morbid, not to say impure.

The managers are opening their theatres once or twice a week for a
matinee, and, knowing that women and children are likely to
constitute a large part of the audience, they present the most
decent representations. I advise that, if you attend the theatre at
all, you should attend the matinees.


Conceding the extremest views cherished by the Christian believer,
in regard to the influence of the Holy Spirit, in the redemption of
man's soul, we cannot shut our eyes to the intimate sympathy between
the stomach and the moral nature.

The moral sentiments and sympathies are bewildered and lost when the
intellect is deranged. No matter though the coronal portion of the
brain is grandly developed, if the intellect be insane, or if the
digestive function be insane, pure and noble moral impulses are no
longer possible. Man is one,--body, mind and heart. These are not
three distinct individual partners in a firm, but they are
interlinked and interwoven so completely that they are one and not
three. My highest conceptions of the Trinitarian idea find
illustration in this trinity in man.

The great function of digestion--assimilation--underlies, as a
foundation, the intellectual superstructure, while high above all,
rising into the very heavens, the moral nature lifts up its sublime


When a phrenologist is examining a man's head, and wishes to know
about his heart, he feels of the stomach. There's where the heart

The sacred writer understood it, when he spoke of the "bowels of

A man utters wiser than he knows, often, when, in a crowd
surrounding some object appealing to the heart, he cries out,--

"Gentlemen, have you no bowels?"

The dear Christ suggests the intimate relations between the soul and
the stomach, when, before appealing to the hearts of the multitude,
he filled their stomachs with good food.

In the Bible there are scores of expressions and phrases which point
to the stomach as the seat of the sympathies.

All the bright ones, with subscription papers in their hands, wait
till after dinner.

If they catch a man with a perfectly satisfied stomach, they are
likely to get a good round sum, even for the Hottentot-red-

The fact that the bumps of the heart are in the upper part of the
brain, matters little, if the condition of the digestive apparatus
controls their action. When I remark that the heart is located in
the stomach, it will, of course, be understood in a practical,
rather than in an anatomical sense.

The condition of the stomach determines the action of the emotions
to an extent which cannot be predicated of the intellectual
faculties. When one is dyspeptic, he may multiply and divide; he may
not disgrace himself even in the role of a logician; but if you
appeal to his sympathies,--to any of his emotions,--you will wake up
a pig, a porcupine, or, possibly, a tiger.

Leaving out the Bible intimations and statements, and the
illustrations which abound in English and German biography, no
observing person will fail to recall numerous illustrations in his
own experience.


What sort of a waist has the grandmother who comes in from the
country to take care of you through a typhoid fever?

When nine o'clock comes, she drives the young ladies off to bed. She
may not speak it out, but she thinks, "trash! trash! Oh, do get out
of my way, and lie down carefully on a soft couch, where you can
rest, or I shall soon have you too on my hands."

Has she one of these wasp-waists? No indeed; hers is a jolly one!

Who ever saw a happy, helpful grandmother with an hour-glass waist?

Is a grandmother full of tickle? Can she join with the young people
in laughter and sports? Can she? Then I know, without seeing her,
the style of her form.

You see all the tickle comes from that part of the body.

The conditions of the organs within that part of the body known as
the waist, decide whether you shall be happy or unhappy; jolly or
blue. One condition, and the most important one, is that those vital
organs shall have room to work in. If you squeeze them, you squeeze
and strangle all the jolly in you.

Tie a cord about a child's arms and legs, and then say, "Now, my
dear, you may run and play."

Ah, I used to know a grandmother, and, although she has been among
the angels thirty years or more, I can't think of her even now,
without a sigh of regret that she could not have lived forever in
this world, she was such a joy to us all.

She is happier in heaven, I suppose, but I don't see how she could
be happier anywhere, than she used to be here.

When her loving, laughing face appeared at the door, how we small
chaps did tickle and squirm all over. But I must stop writing of
her, or I shall have to lay down my pen. Never have I seen a girl of
eighteen who was half so lovely.

But let me think; why did I bring forward this treasure of my heart?
Oh, I remember; it was to speak of her waist. How we used to laugh
at her shape. We insisted that she was bigger around the waist than
anywhere else.

"Well, perhaps so, boys, but there is where all my jolly comes from.
Look at your little slender things, they aint jolly; they can't
laugh; they only give little giggles."

Ah, the dear, beautiful, blessed soul! What a jolly angel she must
make. Oh, I do hope, if I ever reach there, I may be a little angel,
so that she can take me into her arms, and press me into her warm,
loving bosom just as she used to. When I hear her laugh I am sure I
shall feel at home, no matter how grand and dazzling the great White
Throne may be.


Dear girls, bye and bye you will be wives and mothers, and will have
occasion to consider the treatment of various diseases. Not that
diseases are inevitable, but we must consider things as they are,
and not as they might be.

The mother, if she be wise, has the selection of the doctor, and the
management of the sick ones. This supervision of the health of the
household falls so naturally into the hands of women, the nursing
and other duties incidental to sickness, are so universally hers,
that even among peoples and tribes where women are but slaves, their
authority in all that concerns the management of the sick is

En passant it may be remarked that nothing but the blind, stupid
prejudice of men would oppose the introduction of women to the
medical profession.

It is a profession which belongs to them. Nature herself has decreed
it, and when the hard, selfish, overbearing tyranny of men shall
permit things to take their natural course, we shall have very few
men in the medical profession.

But my object in this chapter is to speak of a fundamental
misapprehension underlying the profession of medicine. This
misapprehension is, that diseases are local.

Let me give an illustration or two.

A doctor attempts a case of catarrh. He opens the nostril with his
speculum, turns in a strong light, takes a long, careful look, then
examines, perhaps with a microscope, some of the fluid which the
patient blows out of his nose, and then the doctor says, "Ahem!
ahem! this is a case of sick nose. It is a case of nasal catarrh.
The pituitary membrane is congested, and is secreting a morbid
mucus. Ahem! you really should have called upon me before."

Then the doctor proceeds to inject various stimulating caustic
fluids into the nostrils. He gives a snuff. He introduces a crooked
tube into the man's mouth, and turns the end up back of his palate,
and, getting into the back opening of the nostrils, he blows in
certain medicated powders. The nose is better at once, the treatment
is continued, the patient is soon cured; with the first cold or
stomach derangement the symptoms return, the second cure is more
difficult, the third is very difficult, and then the patient goes to
another doctor, who tells him he is very sorry that he has been so
quacked, but he will make a sure cure this time. He goes through
with the same performance, with similar results. The patient now
abandons hope, and goes snuffling about, to the great discomfort of
himself and friends. In just this way a hundred maladies are
treated,--an inflamed eye, a noise in the ear, a rheumatic knee, a
gouty toe, a pain in the liver or spine, a sore throat, and so on
through the whole list. The doctor finds the sick place, and then
proceeds to attack it.

The idea that the disease is in a certain part of the system, and
that the artillery must be directed to that precise spot, is not
only common among the doctors, but is so plausible that the people
all adopt it. This is the fundamental misapprehension underlying the
disastrous failure in medicine.

The catarrh is not of the nose, but of the man, showing itself in
the nose. The bronchitis is not a disease of the throat, but of the
man, showing itself in the throat. The sore eye is not a disease of
the eye, but of the man, showing itself in the eye.

A local disease is impossible. The organism is one and not many.
Even a gun-shot wound is not a local trouble. Suppose a man's little
finger is shot away. The man is not in the condition of a table with
a corner shot off; he is not even in the condition of a steam engine
with a valve or screw destroyed. Neither approaches the case of the
man with the maimed hand. The table is, except the small point
touched by the bullet, exactly as before. Feel of it. There is no
unusual warmth, no trembling, no sympathy with the wounded corner.
In fact, the table is quite well, thank you, except where it was
hit. Now examine the man with the hurt finger. Look at his face. How
pale and excited. Feel his pulse. It is 120 instead of 75. The skin
of his toes is in a peculiar condition. What is the matter with this
man's toes? They are suffering from a wound in his little finger.

While no doctor fails to talk much of the vis medicatrix naturae,
while the condition of the general system is constantly invoked to
explain this and that, the treatment of most local affections is
conducted on the plan of repairing the wound in the corner of the

Here comes a man with a limping gait. He shows an ulcer upon his
ankle. The disease, sir, is not of your ankle, but of your system. I
will direct you how to improve your general health, so that this
ulcer will disappear, with no other local treatment than
cleanliness. You can't be cured by any doctor stuff put upon the
sore. This is the flag of distress which nature hangs out to give
notice of trouble within.

We are at sea and descry a vessel with a flag of distress. Our
captain believes in the doctrine of local diseases, and sends a
boat's crew to cut down the flag; whereupon he struts about the deck
exclaiming, "We've done it! we've done it! we have cured them!" The
doctor who treats the ulcer, salt rheum, catarrh, or any other local
manifestation, as the disease itself, is about equally bright.

But here comes a bad case. How pale and weak he seems. His pulse is
110, he is distressingly emaciated, and seems ready for the grave.
His cough and labored breathing suggest consumption, and we apply
the stethoscope to the chest. Ah, it's all of a piece. His lungs are
terribly ulcerated. "Now," says some wise doctor, "here it is. We've
found his trouble. We must bring our medicines to bear upon these
ulcers." "Yes, Doctor, that's it," gasps the patient; "just fix me
there, and I shall be all right." Then the wise doctor proceeds with
his inhalations, and keeps up the pitiful, suffocating farce, until
the patient, notwithstanding this most skillful treatment, sinks and

As a matter of fact, this man's system, from some inherited taint,
or from some vicious habit, unhealthy mode of life, or some other
cause, was sick all through and through for months or years before
the malady was localized in his lungs. The ulcers in his lungs, like
his rapid pulse, emaciation, and sickening perspiration, are simply
manifestations of the disease. The real disease is systemic, like
all others, and must be treated like all other diseases, by lifting
up the general vitality.

This must be done through sunshine, fresh air, exercise,
cleanliness, much sleep, cheerful society, and a wise diet. To give
such a patient medicated vapors, drugs for his stomach, or whiskey,
is a barbarism, that must soon give way before the advancing light
of our civilization.


Five or six years ago, when "Our Young Folks" was first published,
Messrs. Ticknor & Fields asked me to write some articles for that
magazine, about the management of children. One of those articles
was the following. It was published in the September number of the
year 1865:--

A Few Plain Words to My Little Pale-Faced Friends.

Three years ago I visited my dear young friend, Susie. Although she
lives in the country, in the midst of splendid grounds, I found her
with a very pale face, and blue semi-circles under the eyes. Her
lips were as white as if she had just risen from a sick-bed; and yet
her mother told me she was as well as usual. Susie was seven years
old, and a most wonderful child.

I said to her, "Well, my little chick, what makes you so pale?"

She replied, "Oh, I was always pale. Annie says it is pretty."

When we were all sitting around the dinner-table, I introduced the
subject again, for it was very sad to find this beautiful and
promising child so fragile. Before I left, I took little Susie's
hand and we walked into the garden. "And now," said I, "my little
one, you must show me your favorite flower."

She took me to a beautiful moss-rose, and exclaimed, "Oh, that is
the most beautiful flower in the world; don't you think it lovely,

I said, "Now, Susie, I shall come here again in two weeks. I wish
you would dress up that rose-bush in a suit of your own clothes, and
allow the dress to remain till I return."

She laughed, and said, "Why, how queer! why do you want me to do

I replied, "Never mind, but run and get the clothes, and I will help
you dress it up, and see if it looks like you."

So off she ran with loud shouts to ask mamma for a suit of her
clothes. Of course, mamma had to come and ask if I was serious, and
what were my reasons. I said, "I cannot give you my reasons today,
but I assure you they are good ones, and when I come again I will
explain it all to you."

So a specimen of each and every kind of garment that Susie was in
the habit of wearing was brought forward, and Susie and I spent some
time in rigging out the rose-bush. First came the little shirt,
which made it look very funny; then came the little waist and skirt,
then the frock, then the apron, and, finally, over all, a little
Shaker sun-bonnet. When we had reached this point, Susie cried out,
"Now, how can you put on stockings and shoes?" I said, "We will cut
open the stockings and tie them around; the shoes we cannot use." Of
course we all laughed, and Susie thought I was the funniest man in
the world. She could hardly wait for me to come again, to tell her
why I had done such a funny thing.

In two weeks, according to my promise, I was at my friend's house
again. Susie had watched her little rose-bush, or, rather, the
clothes which covered it, and longed for my coming. But when we took
the bonnet, gown, skirt, shirt and stockings away, lo and behold,
the beautiful rose-bush had lost its rich green, the flower had lost
its beautiful color,--had become, like its mistress, pale and

"Oh!" she cried, "what made you do so? why, you have spoiled my
beautiful rose-bush."

I said, "Now, my dear little one, you must not blame me, for I did
this that you might remember something of great importance to you.
You and this rose-bush live out here in the broad, genial sunshine
together. You are pale and sickly; the rose-bush has been healthy
and beautiful. I put your clothes on this rose-bush to show you why
you are so white and weak. If we had kept these clothes upon the
bush for a month or two, it would have entirely lost its color and

"But would you have me go naked, sir?"

"No, not altogether; but I would have you healthy and happy. And now
I am going to ask your papa to build out here in the garden a little
yard, with a close fence, and when the sun shines you must come out
into the yard with your nurse, and take off all your clothes, and
play in the sunshine for half an hour, or until your skin looks
pretty red."

After a hearty laugh, the good papa asked if I was serious about it.
I told him, never more so, and that when I should come to them
again, a month hence, if Susie had such a baptism in the sunshine
four or five times a week, I could promise that the headache and
sleeplessness from which she suffered so much would be lessened, and
perhaps removed.

The carpenter was set at work, and in two days the enclosure
surrounding a bed of flowers was completed. At eleven o'clock the
next morning, a naked little girl, with a very white skin, might
have been seen running about within the pen; papa, mamma, and the
nurse clapping their hands and shouting. I had been careful to say
that her head should be well protected for the first few days with a
large damp towel, then with a little flat hat, and, finally, the
head must be exposed like the body.

I looked forward with a good deal of interest to my next visit.
Susie met me with, "Oh, I am as black as an Indian."

"Well, but how is your health?"

The good mother said, "She certainly has greatly improved; her
appetite is better, and I never knew her to sleep so well before."

There were four children in the family, and all of them greatly
needed sun-baths. As there were two boys and two girls, it came to
pass soon that another pen was built, and four naked children
received a daily baptism in the blessed sunshine. And these children
all improved in health, as much as that rose-bush did after we
removed its funny dress. The good Lord has so made children that
they are as dependent upon the sun for their life and health as
plants are. When you try to make a house-plant grow far removed from
the window, where the direct rays of the sun cannot fall upon it,
you know it is small, pale and sickly; it will not long survive. If,
in addition to keeping it from the window, you dress it with the
clothes which a child wears, it will very soon sicken and die. If
you keep within doors, and do not go into the sunshine, or if, when
you do go out, you wear a Shaker bonnet and gloves, you must, like
the house-plant, become pale and sickly.

Our young folks will ask me, "What is to be done? Are we to go

Oh no, not naked, but it would add greatly to your health and
strength, and your ability to work with both mind and body, if every
part of your body could be exposed to the sunshine a little time
every day. And if you are pale and feeble, the victim of throat,
lung, nerve, or other affection, you must seek a new life in this
exposure of your whole body to the sun-bath. But if you go a great
deal in the open air, and expose your face and hands to the direct
rays of the sun, you will probably do very well.

Just think of it, your whole body under the clothes, always in the
dark, like a potato-vine trying to grow in a dark cellar. When you
take off your dress and look at your skin, are you not sometimes
almost frightened to see how white and ghastly it seems? How
elastic, tough and cheerful our young folks would become, could this
white, sickly skin be exposed every day to the sunshine! In no other
way could they spend an hour which would contribute so much to their
welfare. Carry that white, sickly potato-vine from the cellar out
into the blessed sunshine, and immediately it begins to get color,
health and strength. Carry that pale little girl from the dark
parlor, where she is nervous, irritable and unhappy, into the
sunshine, and immediately the blood starts anew; soon the skin takes
on a beautiful tinge, the little one digests better, her tongue
wears a better color, she sleeps better, her nerves are quiet, and
many happy changes come.

Twenty years ago I saw a dear, sweet child, of two years, die of
croup. More than thirty hours we stood around its bed, working,
weeping, praying, hoping, despairing; but about one o'clock in the
morning the last painful struggle for breath gave way to the
peaceful sleep of death.

On the following Sunday we gathered at the sad home to attend the
funeral. The little coffin was brought out under a shade-tree, and
placed upon a chair, just under the window of the bedroom where the
little one had always slept, and there the heart-broken mother and
father, with many neighbors, and the kind-hearted minister, all wept
together. And then we all walked to the graveyard, only a little
distance away, and buried the little one in the cold ground.

On the very evening of that day, the brother of Charlie, who was
about two years older, was taken with the same disease. I was called
in to see him. Oh, how pitiful, how very touching, were the moanings
and groanings of that mother! When the sun rose the next morning,
the sufferer was better; as night came on he was much worse again,
but on the following day was able to ride out.

Within a few days I sought an opportunity to speak with the parents
about the management of their little son. It was painful to tell
them that I thought they might have prevented the death of Charlie.
But I said what I thought was true, and then advised a new policy in
the case of the remaining child. I said to them, "Your son who has
been taken from you, was carefully screened from the sunshine. When
he rode out in the baby-wagon, it was always under cover. And he
slept always in that bedroom, into which the direct rays of the sun
never come; that great tree makes it impossible. A child cannot live
where a plant will not grow; and if you doubt what I am telling you,
try a pot of flowers in Charlie's bedroom. You will find that, in a
single month, the leaves will fall, and the plant will die. Charlie
spent three quarters of his life in that bedroom."

The mother, at length, when convinced, cried out in very anguish of
soul, "What shall we do? what shall we do?"

"Well," I said, "my dear friend, if you would save this child, and
that is the only available sleeping-room for it, I advise that you
have the trees which shade that part of the house cut down. Trees
should never be allowed to shade human dwellings. They are very
beautiful and noble objects, to my own fancy more beautiful and
noble than any other productions of our planet, and I would have
them multiplied, but would not have them near our houses."

The trees were cut down, the blessed sunshine came in to dry,
sweeten and purify the bedroom. Its atmosphere was so changed that
no one could fail to observe it. The child was kept much in the open
air, and when taking his midday nap, he was occasionally laid naked
upon a mattress, near a window, in the direct rays of the sun, his
head protected, but the rest of the body exposed to the sunshine.
The little fellow's health greatly improved. I believe he never had
another attack of croup.

Our young folks should never sleep in bedrooms that have not the
direct sunshine. They should never sleep in bedrooms the windows of
which are shaded by a piazza or a tree; and if they would have the
very best health, they must live as constantly as possible in the
sunshine. And all who have delicate health must, with their clothes
removed, take daily sun-baths during the summer season. Such a bath
will give them very little trouble, and they have no idea how much
it will add to their health and happiness. One good bath in the
sunshine is worth more than many baths in water, valuable as these
are. Some people admire pale girls. They make very good ghosts, but
are not worth much as girls. God hung up that great sun in the
heavens as the fountain of light, health, beauty and glory for our
earth. Our young folks, by living in houses with piazzas, shade-
trees, close blinds and curtains, and by using in their walks broad-
brimmed hats, gloves, parasols and veils deprive themselves, in
great part, of the many blessings which our Heavenly Father would
confer on them through the great sun.

The above was widely circulated in "Our Young Folks," and has been
copied into other magazines and papers. I can but trust it has been
productive of good.

For many years I have advised, in the case of a weak, emaciated
child, the sun-bath. These little, frail, half-baked creatures that
die of marasmus, would, in hundreds of cases recover, if they could
be thoroughly cooked, or baked over in the sun. With what magical
rapidity I have seen little, ghostly, dying things recover, by two
or three hours daily sleeping and rolling about naked in the

We all know that hot fomentations, sharp friction, mustard
poultices, blisters, and other counter-irritants constitute the most
effective part of medical treatment; it is the only feature which
has continued from age to age in the art of medicine. In everything
else there has been constant change, revolution, contradiction. But
the practice of counter-irritation has continued, without essential
modifications, from time immemorial to the present hour. In exposing
the skin to a burning sun, we get more of counter-irritation than by
all other means; it reaches every part of the surface, and more than
all this, there is, in the sun's rays, a vitalizing power which
comes from no other source. Plants soon die in any other light. The
strongest gas-light will not help them; but they reflect the
gorgeous beauty of the sun, and send up a fragrance of thanksgiving.
Men would become ghastly in the concentrated light of a thousand
gas-burners; it is only in the sun-light that they can live. If this
vitalizing power could flood the entire skin of a pale girl two or
three hours a day, in a few months she would astonish us with her
abounding vitality and spirit.


I made an experiment upon a house-plant. It had been standing for
several weeks in a southern window, and was just beginning to
blossom. The flowers and leaves were particularly rich and
beautiful. I removed the plant to a shelf on the rear wall of the
room, and then holding the newspaper near it, found every word quite

In forty-eight hours the delicate tints began to grow a little dim.
In six days, flower and leaf were drooping; in two days more, the
petals began to fall away; in two weeks from the beginning of the
experiment, the leaves were yellow, and many of them had fallen.


I want to tell you of another experiment. In my friend's garden
there stood a beautiful rose-bush. It had just begun to bloom, and
it gladdened our eyes with twelve full blossoms and eighty-six buds.
I directed my carpenter to build a little shanty over it. The bush
was thus closed in on every side except the north. But it was light
enough inside to read the finest print without difficulty. The
little shanty closed over our beautiful roses on Wednesday evening.
On the following Sunday afternoon we visited the poor prisoner, and
found that already it was beginning to look sad.

On the following Sunday our beautiful rose-bush was in a pitiful
condition. All the exquisite tints and shades were beginning to fade
into a common dullness, while the whole expression was weak and

Buds that would have displayed their full beauty in two days were
still hesitating.

After watching our sweet, patient, and dying prisoner for awhile,
and wondering that with so much light it could not see its way, we
tore away the envious, cruel boards, and let in a flood of sunshine.

The following Sunday we paid another visit to our rose-bush, and I
cannot tell you what a glad sight it was. Although the neighboring
bushes were much more advanced, nevertheless ours had become
brilliant and joyous again.


We selected another vigorous bush, and simply put a board cover over
it, leaving the sides open; and then we removed even this cover one
hour in the middle of each day. When this treatment had been
continued for eleven days, we took away the cover, and asked a few
lady friends to visit the garden with us. On coming to the clump of
rose-bushes, they exclaimed:--

"Oh! how beautiful; how very beautiful."

"Young ladies, which of all these rose-bushes do you most admire? I
must first tell you that, some days since, I asked the Deacon which
he thought the most fresh and beautiful, and he selected this one."

"What, that one?"

"Yes, he thought this one looked the strongest, and had the richest

"Now, is that really so?"

"Yes, I brought him out here on purpose to ask him, and he selected
this one at once."

"Well, he must have queer eyes. That's just like these men, they
don't seem to know anything; why, that is really the meanest one in
the whole lot. It looks as if it had a fit of the dumps."

Then I had to tell them that the Deacon was right, and that, in his
selection, he had shown the characteristic discrimination and taste
of men! but that, during a number of days, the great solar artist
had been partially interrupted in his exquisite touches upon this
particular bush,--in fact, I gave them a little lecture, then and
there, upon the relations between sunshine and beauty.


One of my neighbors, Major P----, has a daughter, whom we will name
Rose. The Major not having a rose-bush, tried an experiment on his
Rose-girl. This was his method:--

In the first place, he sent her up into New Hampshire in June, and
kept her there, living out in the sunshine, till the last of
September. Then he brought her in town, and we all had a chance to
examine her. She was really in a very strange condition. In the
first place, her manner of walking was singular. I cannot describe
it better than to say that she seemed to go by jerk. In putting one
foot forward to take a step, the foot behind gave a sudden and
vigorous push.

My opinion, as a medical man, was not asked; but my diagnosis,
before a medical class, would have been this:--

"Gentlemen, in the case of Miss Rose P---- there is considerable
physical vigor, which seems to show itself by an extraordinary
activity and strength of muscle, and an unusual ebullition of animal
spirits. And, gentlemen, although these manifestations are
extraordinary, and very rare among young ladies, I do not regard the
case as immediately alarming. Indeed, gentlemen, it is my opinion
that this remarkable malady will disappear without active treatment,
if the patient be confined in a strait jacket, and kept quiet in a
dark room.

"That peculiar sparkle of the young lady's eyes will, likewise, soon
disappear, under this treatment."

Without asking my opinion, or a prescription, the Major did exactly
what I have suggested. The daughter was laced in a strait jacket, or
a corset, (which squeezes a good deal harder,) and she remained in a
dark parlor and curtained bedroom all but about an hour a day; and
then, unless it was particularly bright and pleasant, she rode
during that one hour in a covered carriage.

In two months the experiment was a complete success. As in the case
of the rose-bush, so in the case of the Rose-girl, the absence of
sunshine had produced a limp, weak, sick state.

Miss Rose had lost all the elastic bound in her manner of walking,
all the hearty ring in her laugh, all the color in her face, all the
shine of her eyes, all her power of diffusing joy about her.

There are other experiments of a similar kind in progress, and
persons who are interested in this sort of scientific observation,
will, by calling at their next door neighbor's, find very
interesting opportunities to prosecute such studies.

Shade-trees, piazzas, blinds, curtains, carriage-tops and parasols
produce weak eyes, weak nerves, weak digestion, weak spines, weak
muscles, weak volition, and, in brief, weak women.

As argued in my recent work, "Talks about People's Stomachs," the
function of digestion is powerfully affected by the light.

Place the richest earth and plenty of water about a potato-vine in
the cellar; it can't digest its food, and must remain pale and weak.

Go up stairs into the drawing-room, and you will find girls, (excuse
me, I mean young ladies,) who look so exactly like the potato-vine
in the cellar, that you are not at all surprised to find them under
the same roof, for they are clearly members of the same family,--
the anti-solar family.

The next system of treatment for invalids will be the "Sun-Cure."
Institutions will be established, to which patients will flock for
the cure of chronic maladies. Affections of the stomach and liver,
will, by the "Sun-Cure," be relieved almost as if by a miracle. One,
two or three hours a day, patients will be exposed nude, to the sun,
either in part,--for example, the abdomen or back, or over the entire
person, when the fault is one of digestion and assimilation. Young
ladies in the matrimonial market, who are such ghosts that the men
shudder and run away front them, will spend three months in one of
these institutions, and return as brown and sweet as their admirers
could wish. In the coming "sun-cure," diseases which are now
regarded as well-nigh incurable, for example, some forms of
neuralgia, will be quickly relieved.

Whether the banks pay specie or not, whether trade flourishes or
languishes, whatever may be our success or failure in life, let us
keep wide open the flood-gates of life; let us be true children of
the sun, worshipping, not with prostrate forms, but, standing
upright in the image of God, express our gratitude by baptismal
evolutions in the all-glorious light.


My dear girls, I want to speak to you very plainly about baths.

The clearness of the mind, the brightness of the spirits, the beauty
of the skin,--in one word, the purity of the whole system, depends
upon the free escape of the worn-out matter. You all know about this
economy of nature.

Look at this dish of fruit,--grapes, peaches, pears; how beautiful,
how fragrant, how delicious. How lusciously they melt in the mouth!

Transfer them to the stomach. If we could watch the interior
processes, we should find, in a few hours, these exquisite fruits
changed into filthy, poisonous liquids and gases. How shall
we get rid of  this stuff? The most simple avenue of escape is found
in millions of small holes through the skin. Out of these the effete,
poisonous matter passes away.


The skin is constantly secreting oil. It oozes out and lies on the

We live in an atmosphere filled with dust, besides, there is
constantly escaping from our clothes, dust and dirt of various
kinds. These things, with the oil of the skin, plug up a portion of
the pores, so that the effete, dirty matter cannot escape.

Keeping these poisons in the system, not only produces pimples upon
the face, and discoloration of the skin, but dullness and heaviness
of the whole system. The mind becomes foggy, the spirits low, the
muscles stiff and sore, the breath and perspiration offensive, the
whole system unclean.

Those portions of our skins that we cover with clothes are somewhat
difficult to keep clean. Roll up your sleeve when your arm is
perspiring, and rub the skin hard with your naked hand. You will be
surprised at the rolls of dirt which the rubbing will bring away.
You may rub some minutes in the same place, before the little rolls
will stop coming. This dirt is held by the oil of the skin.


Nothing cleans the skin like soap. Wetting the skin every morning
with simple water, and wiping it off, will not keep it clean. Such
simple water baths contribute to cleanliness, and are useful; but
the cleanest condition of the surface cannot be secured by such


Let me tell you just how to manage your daily baths. You must have a
bathing mat, which you can procure at any rubber store. It consists of
a  circular, thin rubber sheet, four or five feet in diameter, with the
edge turned up two inches. This, during the day, has been folded up
and thrown aside. When you want to bathe, spread it out, and you
have a tub four feet in diameter, and just as good as though the
sides were two feet high. This is all the bath-tub you need. Perhaps
I ought to say, that if it is not convenient to purchase one of
these at a rubber store, you can make one with a large piece of
oil-cloth, by sewing a rope into its edge. Of course you must have a
wash-bowl with two or three quarts of water. Next, a pair of bathing
mittens,--simple bags,--loosely fitting your hands. These are made
of the ends of a worn-out crass or Turkish towel, though any thick
linen will do.

Now with a piece of good soap,--it matters little what kind,--you
are ready.

You have removed your night-dress, you are standing upon the centre
of your bathing mat, with your mittens or bags upon your hands.
Seize the soap, make abundant soap-suds, and go over every part of
the skin. Rub the soap several times, that every portion of the skin
may be thoroughly covered with soap-suds. Now, dipping your hands
into the water, rinse off the soap, although if it is winter, and
the free use of water chills you, you may apply very little water,
and wipe the soap-suds from your skin. Indeed, with many persons, it
is an excellent practice to leave a certain portion of the soap on
the skin. It will continue the process of neutralizing the oil. I
have myself derived advantage and satisfaction, during the cold
season, by the free use of soap, with very limited quantities of


The ordinary bath-tub is a humbug. That zinc coffin, in which you
lie down, put your head upon a strap at one end, to keep yourself
from drowning, and then balance yourself for a while in a sort of
floating condition, is simply a stupid absurdity. You can't even rub
yourself to advantage; and if you are determined to rub your body,
you are sure to bruise your elbows against the sides of the coffin.

With the exception of those baths which are given for some special
remedial purpose, all baths should be hand baths. The bather should
apply the soap and water to her own skin, and that she may use it
freely and in her own comfortable bedroom, the bath-mat, which I
have described, is indispensable. It never wears out, gives no care,
and is on the whole, a most happy device.


The application of cold or hot water to the skin, produces two
effects,--a primary and a secondary,--action and reaction.

If the water be _cold_, the _primary_ effect is to make the skin
cold. When the _secondary_ effect or reaction comes on, the skin
becomes _warm_. If _hot_ water be applied to the skin, the _primary_
effect is to make the skin hot; the _secondary_ effect, or
reaction, leaves it cold.

The first effect is a momentary one; the second effect, or reaction,
continues a long time.

Timid girls exclaim:--

"_Cold_ water! of course you don't mean _cold_ water! What, _cold_
water, right _on_ me and _all over_ me? Why, Doctor, I couldn't
stand it! it would kill me!"

"Do you think you could take a hot bath?"

"Oh, certainly; I could take a hot bath easy enough." This
conversation occurs in January.

My dear child, you are entirely mistaken. Everybody can take a cold
bath, if properly managed, every day of the year; but, during the
cold weather, it takes a strong constitution to bear a hot bath; for
although the first, or momentary effect, is to make the skin warm
and comfortable, the secondary effect, or reaction, which comes on
very soon and lasts a long time, is to make the surface very cold.

During the warm weather, the hot bath is a great luxury. For the
moment it makes you warm, but the secondary effect, or reaction,
which will continue for a long time, leaves you in a cool,
comfortable state.

Foot baths afford a happy illustration of this Homoeopathic law,
"_Similia Similibus Curantur_,"--"_like are cured by like_."

You are troubled with cold feet. Dip the bottoms of your feet in
cold water. Let the water be half an inch deep. Hold the feet there
four or five minutes, and then give them a good rubbing. Perhaps
stand on the carpet with your naked feet, and twist from side to
side, until your feet are burning. Not only will your feet remain
warm all night, but after practicing this two or three weeks, unless
your digestion is _very_ weak, your feet will become warm as a

On the contrary, if you are troubled with burning feet, a frequent
hot foot bath will cure you.

But in every case the employment of hot foot baths will give
tendency to cold in the head.

But you say again that you like cold baths well enough in warm
weather; but if you use the cold bath in the winter, it makes you
cold and shivery, it gives you headache and depresses you.

Ah, I see you haven't taken the bath in the right way. If you take
it in the way I suggest, no such effects will follow. Apply soap to
every part of your skin rapidly with your bathing mittens. That is
the most important part of the bath. Now put on just as much or just
as little water as your comfort may suggest. If you can bear a good
deal, you may put it on; but if you are sensitive to the cold,
manage in the way I have suggested,--put on the soap, follow with a
damp mitten, and do it all just as rapidly as your hands can move,
so that from the time you take off your night dress, until the soap
has been applied to every part of the body, and followed by the damp
mitten and dry towels, will not be more than one to two minutes. If
this is done in your bedroom, instead of a cold bath-room, you will
hardly be chilled or depressed by it. If you are so exceedingly
sensitive that even this momentary exposure with a moist skin
produces an unpleasant chilliness, then follow the soap bath by the
most vigorous use of a pair of hair gloves.


For three thousand years, hair mittens have been in use. Hippocrates
rubbed himself with a pair.

Girls, you should all have a pair of hair mittens. Buy Lawrence's
English patent. They are the best in the market. At night, when you
are about to retire, rub every part of the skin till it is as red as
a boiled lobster. Ah, how sweet it makes the sleep, how sure to
remove all tendency to morning headache. I have seen this practice
entirely break up unpleasant dreams. Your skins are always in the
dark. They become pale and bloodless. The blood which should
circulate in the skin, retires within the body, producing congestion
of the liver, with bad complexion; congestion of the stomach, with
dyspepsia; congestion of the heart and lungs, with short and labored
breath, and congestion of the brain, with headache.

If the skin, which has so many blood-vessels, and is designed to
hold so large a quantity of blood,--if the skin enjoyed a constant,
free, vigorous circulation, it would relieve the organs within the
body of most of their sufferings. I know of no other simple or
single means, by which such circulation can be established and
maintained in the skin, as by the constant and spirited use of the
hair mittens. Besides, it will do wonders for the beauty of your
face. Giving the skin of the residue of the body a free circulation,
the skin of the face is not likely to be called upon to do more than
its share of removing the effete matter in the system, and,
therefore, is not likely to take on pimples and other evidences of
impurities in the blood.


The effeminacy of our civilized life, with the employment of
machinery for the hard work, necessitates a resort to artificial
physical exercise.

Every home, especially where there are children, should have a room
devoted altogether, or, on occasions, to gymnastic exercises.

Happily, Schreber, the most eminent of the German school of physical
training, has devised a complete apparatus for family use, to which
he has given the name of "Pangymnastikon," (which may be translated
as meaning all exercises upon one piece of apparatus).

This piece of apparatus weighs not more than ten pounds, may be put
into a small box, can be hung up in any room or hall, a parlor, for
example, in a minute, and offers complete facilities for a greater
variety of fascinating and effective physical exercises than can be
found in a gymnastic hall a hundred feet long, fifty feet wide, and
filled with the ordinary gymnastic apparatus.

When no longer needed, it may be taken down and put away in a

This piece of apparatus is pretty, inexpensive, and perfectly safe.
The manufacturers furnish with it six little wall maps, on which are
represented, in engravings, one hundred different exercises,
arranged in six groups, and adapted to the varying strength and
capacity of the pupils. A very considerable number of the best of
these can be performed by girls and women in their ordinary long

But if I had daughters in my own family, and we were using the
Pangymnastikon, I should urge them to drop their long skirts at the
hour of exercise, and wear a pair of loose pants and a jacket. Such
a dress would permit many profitable exercises for the legs and
hips, which women greatly need.

They seem now, except, perhaps, in the case of dancing girls, to be
almost as helpless, in any extraordinary circumstances, as our
wooden-legged soldiers.

For example, if a woman undertakes to step upon a street car when it
is motion, she is sure to lose her balance; and if she steps off the
car when it is in motion, though the horses are only walking, down
she goes. An hour's exercise each day with the Pangymnastikon would
soon cure her of this awkward helplessness, and, at the same time,
would develop the muscles about the lower part of her body, and thus
save her numberless weaknesses and sufferings.


In all countries where food is plenty and cheap, excessive eating is
well-nigh universal.

The parents indulge in excesses, the father inflames his appetite
with narcotics, the children inherit an unnatural craving; during
the nursing period they are fed constantly; during childhood they
are bated with cakes, candies and other sweetmeats, and afterwards
they are tempted with a variety of condimented meats, and these are
followed with appetizing desserts, fruits, and other tit-bits.


The results are seen on every hand, in almost every individual. The
stomach becomes weak and deranged, the body heavy and in-elastic,
the mind foggy and sluggish, the temper irritable.

In no other department of American life do we so much need a
thorough reform. Fashionable people hate the word _reform_, but in
this connection no other word will answer; we must set about a
thorough, earnest, radical _reform._

The Creator has so contrived our bodies, He has made them so
resistant and elastic, that an occasional abuse seems to make little

For example, a man may get drunk once a month, and at the end of a
dozen years he seems scarcely touched by the vice; although, as the
physiologist has shown us, upon each indulgence the lining coat of
the stomach is strangely inflamed, and changed in appearance;
indeed, for three or four days after each debauch the mucous lining
of the stomach continues to exude a matter which closely resembles
pus. Besides these marked and apparently alarming effects, it is
well known that alcohol is a powerful poison to every tissue of the
body, especially to the nerve; and yet the alcohol is not digested,
but goes, bodily and unchanged, creeping through every atom of the
brain itself; nevertheless, after hours of deep, death-like
lethargy, the man awakens, and his wonderful mechanism is ready to
grapple again with the duties of life.

A child takes into its mouth a bit of tobacco. It is followed by a
pale face, cold sweat, alarming palpitations, and violent vomiting.
And yet, after a little practice, the human system may be deluged
with this powerful, narcotic poison,--a man's mouth may be kept
swimming, month after month, with the strongest juice of the
strongest tobacco,--his very perspiration may be so filled with
this intense poison, that, falling on the battle-field, the most
loathsome beast of prey will not touch his body. Yet so complete is
his facility of adaptation, so immense his power of resistance,
that, for a life-time, his bodily, mental and moral machinery will
struggle on in the midst of this sea of poison.

And so it is with this almost universal vice of improper and
excessive eating. The stomach and liver are clogged and deranged,
the blood is filled with crudities and impurities, the brain is
crowded with this vicious blood, and yet the Good Father has given
us such an immense reserve, that we can bear all this, and still
have force enough left to move about, to think, to feel, and
sometimes to have hours of real enjoyment.

Our Father gives us "signs;" he hangs out "flags of distress,"--
pimples, and blotches, and sores, a red nose, inflamed eyelids,
etc.; besides, he gives us rheumatism, gout, and numerous other
aches, but he lets us live on for years, apparently in the hope that
we may learn something.

Our American system of diet is altogether bad. There is too great
variety, the food is too rich, the cooking is often very bad, we eat
too frequently, and we eat at the wrong times.

I confess to a deep personal interest in this subject. It is my sad,
but most deliberate conviction, that I have wasted a large part of
my life-force by taking too much food. I have not made this mistake
for some years; but the gray hairs began to make their appearance
before I learned about it.

Ah, my dear young friends, how deeply do I yearn to help you in this
vital department of your life!

Will you permit me a little of my own experience? I believe that, in
this way, I can speak more acceptably and more effectively, than by
giving the deductions of physiology.

For nearly thirty years I have been in the habit of visiting one
dear woman, in the State of New York, once or twice a year. (She
does not seem any older to me now, than she did when, from the front
window, she watched me on my way to Sunday-school, on a beautiful
Sabbath morning, forty years ago.

On my visits at the old home for these thirty years, I have been
tempted by those dishes which no one but a mother can make, and have
eaten more than usual; and, although the visit was, otherwise, such
as freshens and invigorates the faculties, I constantly observed
that, upon my return, my lectures were duller rather than
sprightlier as they should have been after such a pleasant rest. At
length, I came to suspect that visiting, even with my own mother,
did not agree with me. But it occurred to me, a few years ago, to
deny myself the custard pie so thick and luscious, to refuse the
chicken pie, with its rich crust, to deny myself all the desserts
and other tit-bits, and live on a moderate quantity of plain beef
and bread. Since then, my pilgrimages to the home-shrine have
greatly refreshed both body and soul, and I return home to resume my
duties with new pleasure and new strength. Why will people, (I trust
my mother will pardon the question,) why will people prepare such
elaborate and tempting dishes for their friends? If one has a keen
appetite, and sits at the table in a social spirit, and takes even a
little of each article urged upon him, the variety and quantity must
derange his digestion, and then his capacity for enjoyment is at an

I was invited, a few months ago, to dine at the house of a lady, who
is recognized as standing at the head of the intellectual
aristocracy of a most intellectual and refined city. The lady is
noted, likewise, as the best of housekeepers, and as a most charming
hostess. The plate and crockery were the finest I have ever seen at
a private table. We had four courses: 1st, a small glass of
lemonade, 2nd, a bit of melon, 3rd, roast beef and sweet potatoes,
4th, ice-cream.

Our hostess, with her fine conceptions of life, could no more have
given us soup, fish, meat, game, puddings, pies, raisins, nuts,
fruits and ice-creams, than she could have offered us whiskey, rum,
gin, brandy and all the rest of them. All this sort of thing,
whether of foods or drinks, belongs to the vulgar and barbarous.

Some time since an august Medical Association assembled for its
annual meeting in Boston. The city government voted a large sum of
money to the entertainment of the "distinguished visitors." It was a
precious opportunity for the homoepathic physicians of the city,
under whose management the money was to be spent, to show what a
generous and refined hospitality could do.

Boston has a peculiar reputation. In some respects it stands alone
among American cities. And this was a peculiar occasion. Several
hundred representatives of a dominant school of medicine, one which
now commands the intelligence of the country, were to convene in
Boston. The strangers stopped at hotels and with the brethren, and,
it may be fairly presumed, got enough to eat.

What do you suppose our doctors did? I will tell you. The evening
before the convention, the delegates were invited to attend a
preparatory meeting, at which meeting the _preparation_ consisted in
eating, in the evening after supper, sundry salads, cold chickens,
cakes, oysters, creams, &c.

The convention adjourned next day at twelve o'clock, for a
collation, although it may be supposed that the members had all been
to breakfast. After the collation, many of them went to dinner, then
came the afternoon session, then another stuffing, then an evening
session, then a surfeit, and even when the entertainment was given
in Music Hall, which was really fine, the members were invited to
another hall to fill up their stomachs before they went to bed.

If this meeting had occurred in some frontier town, where they had
nothing but victuals, it would have been tolerable, as a good-
natured back-woods hospitality; but in Boston, something better was

If I had been a member of that convention, I could have said:

"Gentlemen, we can get cold turkey and chicken salad at home, but if
you will permit us to assemble in the art gallery of your splendid
Atheneum, and your artists who have made this gallery a special
study, will give us their bright thoughts in connection with the
works of the great masters there collected; if you will allow us to
spend a half day in your 'Natural History Building,' and give us
Prof. Agassiz to explain things; if you will permit us to assemble
in that crowning glory of New England Education--'The Institute of
Technology,' and give us President Rogers for a brief explanation;
yes, gentlemen, if you will show us any of twenty Boston
institutions with the assistance of intelligent guides, we shall be
most grateful. Gentlemen, don't be afraid of us, we shall not be
offended if you happen to appeal to something above our stomachs.
Gentlemen, we have come from the West to Boston, imagining that your
two hundred years of uninterrupted growth and accumulations, have
enriched you with something besides chicken salad, but here we find,
that nothing is thoroughly organized and placed within our reach,
except another dinner, exactly such as we get at home at any of our
village taverns. Gentlemen, you think we can't appreciate anything
else, and so you kindly condescend to our condition and feed us, but
really we could appreciate your finest music, and best dramas, your
great pictures, und your matchless educational institutions. At any
rate you should have given us a chance at some of these things,
under the guidance of your eminent specialists, and if we had shown
that lack of appreciation which Red-Cloud and Spotted-Tail--the
Indian chiefs--exhibited when taken through the Patent Buildings in
Washington, then you could have fallen back on victuals again; but
until we had shown that utter lack of sense seen in R. Cloud, Esq.,
and S. Tail, Esq., it was hardly fair to deny us all opportunity to
examine the treasures of your city.

Two or three years ago, while visiting a dear friend in the country,
in a neighborhood where I knew many of the people, my friend
proposed to invite in my acquaintances for an evening's chat. I
replied that I should be most happy, should feel myself honored, but
could not consent to such a gathering on my account if there was to
be any eating. Mrs. L. was already overwhelmed with cares; if these
were to be increased by the re-union, I should be obliged to
decline; besides, on principle I was opposed to evening suppers.
Mrs. L. couldn't think of such an omission for a moment, it would be
the talk of the town for months; but I insisted, and finally she
consented if I would take the responsibility, and explain it to the
company. I did explain it, and gave my reasons for it. Most of them
thought it was the right thing to do, several wished with all their
hearts that the practice could become general, but one embryotic
clergyman said he thought it well enough, perhaps, but it was
pleasant, and he did not think it hurtful, to take refreshments in
the evening; since that time, however, under the lash of dyspepsia,
he has changed his opinion.

If people have beautiful homes and wealth, and desire to make the
party a _recherche_ affair, are there not professional players,
singers, actors, readers, florists etc., etc.? Something grand could
be given for half the expense of an elaborate supper.

I need hardly hint to bright people of a less pretentious class,
that social singing, dancing, charades, and a hundred beautiful
games are all open to them. These are ten-fold more enjoyable than
the more stately methods of the rich.

The time will soon come when people of really fine culture will not
think of giving their guests a late supper; indeed, of the twenty
most intellectual and refined homes to which I have been invited in
America and Europe, not one gave any refreshments at an evening
party, with perhaps the exception of wine in France, and lemonade in
this country.

If people have no brains, but have good stomachs, then I advise
eating on all occasions; in fact it is the only thing left. Such
people may have already eaten three meals, but when they assemble in
the evening at a sociable, they had better feed again, and feed
hearty; what else is there to do? They can't sit and stare at each
other by the hour, and it wouldn't be good manners to lie down on
the floor and go to sleep. After they finish the more substantial
meats and things, they can fill up the rest of the evening with
nuts, doughnuts, apples, cider, and other trifling things.

But if people happen to have a love of music, paintings,
conversation, (the finest of the fine arts,) bright games, charades,
dramatics, or any other of twenty amusements; if they happen to have
a love for anything above cold pork, then I advise them, when
assembled in a social way, to give their brains a chance, and not
stuff their stomachs; the former is human, the latter is piggish.

Few changes in our social life have afforded me such genuine
satisfaction as the recent changes, among a few of our best people,
in the forms and methods of hospitality. Only a few years ago, even
among the intelligent class, the first question was:

"Will you have something to eat?"

Now you frequently hear such questions as:

"Have you seen those new stereoscopic views of the Yosemite?"


"Please come this way and I will show you one of the most beautiful
series you ever saw!"

Or: "Do let me read you, or you read to me, three of the funniest
anecdotes I have seen for months!" Or: "Have you seen that
remarkable statement in the papers this morning, in the circular
letter from Bismark? He affirms that in twenty wars between Prussia
and France, France has been the aggressor every time! If this be
true, our sympathy for the French would seem to be thrown away; for
after such a history, Prussia can hardly be blamed for wishing to so
cripple France that she shall be unable for half a century, at
least, to trouble her neighbors."

The change from "Will you have a glass of whiskey?" which was
addressed to callers fifty years ago, to the question, "Will you
have something to eat?" which was addressed to them twenty-five
years ago, was, on the whole, a great improvement. The change which
has now been inaugurated of addressing your hospitality to something
above the stomach, is a still greater improvement.

When this has been fairly established, housekeepers can entertain
company, in the evening, with real pleasure and profit to all
concerned. When an evening sociable means a "big feed," it involves
a great sacrifice; there is roasting, baking and fussing for two or
three days, and the expense is such as only a few can well afford.
And what is it all for? Why, I can't think of anything, unless it is
to make the company sick. Does anyone doubt that eating late in the
evening is injurious? And does any one doubt that the preparation
and cost of the supper involve a sacrifice to the housekeeper? If
these are admitted, I can't imagine any decent apology for the

What shall be done? Every important movement must be inaugurated by
individual action. Let those who have the idea, and the moral
courage, excuse themselves from all evening refreshments, and the
fashion will soon become general. It is a real pleasure to say, that
already thousands have determined upon this course, so that now it
is quite safe to entertain company without refreshments.

Well, after all this about what and how you should _not_ eat, now I
will tell you what and how you _should_ eat.

To secure a clear, fresh skin, bright eye, active limbs, a quick
brain, and a cheerful, pleasant temper, and if you would enjoy a
long life, you should live about as follows:--


Oatmeal porridge with milk and sugar. Or, Graham mush with a little
good syrup. Or, cracked wheat, with milk and sugar. Or, baked
potatoes with bread and butter. Or, beef-steak or mutton-chop with
baked potatoes, and bread and butter.

If you are thin, and need fat, use the first three, if you are too
fat, use the last named two. Drink cold water or a little weak


Beef or mutton, roasted, or stewed, with any vegetables you may
like, (though tomatoes should be used very sparingly,) good bread
and butter, and, close the meal with a glass of weak lemonade. Eat
no dessert, unless it be a little fruit, and eat nothing more till
the next morning.

There is no rule in regard to diet about which I am so fixed in my
convictions as, that nothing should be eaten after dinner, and I
think that the dinner should be taken early in the day; not later,
if it can be so managed, than two o'clock. In regard to the precise
hour for the dinner, I am not so clear, though for myself one
o'clock is the best hour; but in reference to the omission of the
third meal, I have, after long observation, _no doubt whatever_.

Hundreds of persons have come to me with indigestion in some of its
many forms, and have experienced such relief in a single week from
omitting the supper, that I have, for a number of years, depended
upon this point in the diet as the best item in my prescriptions for
indigestion. I have never met one person suffering from indigestion,
who was not greatly relieved at once, by omitting the third meal.

Eat nothing between meals, not even an apple or peach. If you eat
fruit, let it be with the breakfast and dinner. Cooked fruit is best
for persons of weak digestion. I have met hundreds of people who
could digest a large beefsteak without a pang, but who could not
manage a single uncooked apple. I think certain dietetic reformers
have somewhat overrated the value of fruit.

_Avoid cake, pie, all sweetmeats, nuts, raisins and candies_.

Manage your stomach as above, and at the end of ten years you will
look back upon these table habits as the source of great advantages,
and happiness.

For thirty years I have been a constant and careful observer, (I
have no hobbies about diet,) and in the light of my own experience
and these long observations, I assure you that the table habits I
have advised, are vital to your health and happiness.

Pimples, blotches, yellow spots, nasal catarrh, biliousness, liver
torpidity, constipation, sleepiness, dullness, low-spirits, and many
other common affections would generally disappear with the adoption
of these rules.


I cannot close this subject better than with a "little story" about
my friend Jacob.

I called upon him about nine o'clock in the evening, and found him
alone, and very seriously occupied with a big wooden bowl of
doughnuts. I asked him:

"How many, so far?"

"Oh, eight or ten, perhaps."

"Did you have supper?"

"Oh, yes; I ate supper, and I shouldn't touched these, but somehow I
didn't feel very well, and was sorter lonesome, and these doughnuts
are kinder company for me, ye know. The old woman always fries them
in the evening, and when they are nice and hot I sometimes eat more
'n twenty on 'em, just to sorter pass away the time, ye know."


Woman rules in the social sphere, and is responsible for its vices.
If women would expressly disapprove of wine-drinking, soon, among
the decent classes, it would become obsolete.

Clara P. came from Portsmouth to Boston about twenty years ago, to
seek her fortune as a teacher of the piano. Wholesome in person, and
interesting in manners, she not only won pupils, but social

At a reception in Somerset St., she was asked to join in a glass of
wine. Hinting at a shadow in her family history, she quietly
declined, and fell into a sad, thoughtful mood.

A month later, at a similar gathering in the same house, she was
confidentially told by the lady of the house, that two gentlemen who
were present at the previous reception, had just requested her not
to offer wines, as Miss. P. was made unhappy by it. The wines were
not brought out, and no farther allusion was made to the subject. At
several other social gatherings, when Miss P. was present, the same
respectful deference was paid to her feelings; and yet this young
woman did not belong to the most influential class.

Mrs. F. was married two years, when rum turned her little quiet home
into a hell. Broken-hearted and sick, she left her baby son with her
sister, and came to Boston to rest her aching head and sore heart,
and to earn a living. She advertised for a place as housekeeper, and
had several interviews with ladies and gentlemen who were in pursuit
of a housekeeper. She told her story to each one in turn, and was
quickly dropped by one and another, until her last dollar had been
paid for bread and shelter; and then came a manly man who was
touched by her sad recital, and said at once:

"Come, work and rest with us."

He took her to a beautiful house in Mt. Vernon St. and left her in
charge of a fashionable, helpless family. Mrs. F. soon established
herself in the confidence of the household. In a few days there came
a party, and the housekeeper was busy enough. Among other duties was
the delivery to the waiters of bottles of wine. Mrs. F. called the
gentleman of the house, and said:

"You have been very kind to me, and I will do anything for you, but
I hope you will excuse me from this; my hands refuse." The Colonel
called one of the colored boys, and gave him the key of the wine-
cellar, and the entertainment went on as usual. Up stairs the
housekeeper's notion was mentioned, and one of the young men cried

"Come gentlemen, fill up, fill up; here's to the health of the brave
housekeeper, and long may she wave."

The lady of the house thought it very queer, and next day sought an
explanation. It was, after some reluctance, given with tears and
passionate ejaculations. The lady thought there might be danger;
indeed her husband and oldest son had of late seemed too fond of
wine. Several conversations followed between the two mothers, and
the lady, just previous to the next social gathering, said to her
husband at the breakfast table, in the presence of her sons:

"What do you say to having no wine tonight? That story of Mrs. F.'s
has really frightened me?"

"Now," said the husband, "don't _you_ go to preaching temperance;
it's enough to have one woman in the house teaching morals."

"But," said the anxious wife and mother, "I was not preaching; I was
just asking what you thought of it; and if you were willing, I had
made up my mind to turn over a new leaf in our receptions."

_Husband_,--"Well, then I shall go in for abandoning coffee and tea.
I think they do a great deal more harm than wine!"

_Herbert_,--"Yes, and how it would sound with all our fellows here,
to tell them with solemn faces, that we were afraid they would all
become drunkards, and so we must deny them. Oh, pshaw! I should
never hear the last of it."

_Mother_,--"I can only say that when they were here last, several of
them, including my own dear Herbert, drank too much."

_Herbert_,--"I think we had better turn it into a prayer-meeting at

_Father_,--"Oh well, mother, let us eat our breakfast in peace. We
will speak of it some other time."

During the day the two mothers held a long conversation, in which
Mrs. F described the beautiful, fresh face and spirit of Charles,
before the dreadful thirst took possession of him, and the horrible,
brutal oaths and passion which followed.

The two sad ones closed their long conversation, as women are wont
to when in real trouble, by earnest, tearful prayer.

The lady of the house said to herself, "My husband is always
declaring that I am the queen of his castle; that he attends to
everything in his business outside, and never wants me to interfere;
but that he leaves everything at home to me,--that here I am
mistress of all. I wonder if this is so. God helping me, I will try
my authority, this very night."

John was ordered to bring round the carriage, and soon after, a lady
might have been seen down in Kilby St., in earnest conversation with
a certain well-known wine merchant; and just before dark, two men,
with a wagon at the back door, were very busy up in the rear of Mt.
Vernon St.

About eleven o'clock that evening, the Colonel rang the bell for
Richard, when the good wife interrupted him by saying:

"Gentlemen, will you not join me in a cup of coffee to-night,
instead of the wine?"

"Certainly, madam, most certainly! while we are your guests, we
place ourselves at your disposal!"

The bright urn was brought in, and placed upon the side-board, and
the waiters, who had received special instructions, acquitted
themselves with marked success.

If you could have placed your ear at a certain keyhole, after the
family had retired that night, you would have heard a very earnest

A woman is heard to say, "But, husband, what do you mean, when you
say that I rule here, just as you rule in your business? Do you mean
to say that when I see my own darling son entering the path that
leads to a drunkard's grave in our own house, I have nothing to say
or do, but must wait for you to determine the details of our social
entertainments? What do I rule over in our home, if not over the
entertainment of our guests? What would you say if I were to go down
to your counting room to-morrow, and attempt to over-rule your
decisions? You are always saying that I am supreme here in our home,
and now when I alter a little the details of our social
entertainments, you say that I have assumed to determine what you
shall eat and drink, that you won't be henpecked, and that you won't
stand it, and all that sort of thing. Will you be kind enough to
tell me which portion of the housekeeping you intend to leave to me,
and exactly, in detail, what I may attend to here in our home,
without asking your permission. It's of no use for you to say that I
may attend to everything else but this one thing; God has given me a
yearning for our boy, and, if you will force me to say it, for my
own dear misguided husband, which forbids my abandonment of my
duties and rights in this matter. In the light of this poor woman's
dreadful history, God has shown me my duty, and, my dear husband, I
shall perform it in His fear. No more wine will be served in our
house, on any occasion, with my consent."

_Husband_,--"I will turn that meddlesome woman into the street to-
morrow morning before breakfast, bag and baggage!"

"You will do nothing of the kind, for I have determined to keep

"Well, we'll see; I will hustle her off as soon as I am out of my

Of course she was not sent away; and when, a year after, that family
was earnestly pushing the interests of the cause of Temperance, the
Colonel went himself with Mrs. F., the housekeeper, to bring her
little son to the city, where in the beautiful home on Mt. Vernon
St. he soon became not only a pet, but, as usual, a king and tyrant.

These events occurred about twenty-seven years ago. To-day Herbert,
--the oldest son--and Mr. F., the housekeeper's husband, are partners
in one of the largest concerns in this city.

If women knew how complete is their dominion in the social sphere,
and would exercise their power, rum and tobacco would quickly
disappear from the better classes, throughout the civilized world.

An effort among a few young women in the neighborhood of this city,
induced more than fifty young men to abandon cigars. One young
fellow swore by all the gods that he would smoke as long as he
pleased, and so he did; but he did not _please_ to continue very
long after several of the young ladies had had interviews with him.

In Dixon, Ill., fifty good women called at every rum-hole in town.
There were forty nine of them. In each place they read a touching
"Appeal from the Women of Dixon to the Venders of Intoxicating
Drinks in Dixon," joined in a brief prayer, sang a verse, and went
on to the next "rum-hole." This they repeated every day for a week,
when there were no places left to visit.

The women of Battle Creek, Mich., tried the same thing. One hundred
of them went, without parade or notice, to all the "rum-holes" in
the city every day, till there was not one that dared open its
doors. I was there at the time, and could tell you thrilling stories
of the encounters of these noble, brave women with the venders of
what a clergyman--a friend of mine--calls "liquid hell-fire."

But I hasten on to give you a very interesting illustration of the
power of woman in the summary abatement of social nuisances.
Although in lecturing upon "Woman's Influence in the Cause of
Temperance," I have frequently given the facts entire, with the
names of the parties, it has occurred to me that in writing it out
for a book, it would be only just to avoid mentioning names, as many
members of the families involved, are now most respectable people,
and earnest advocates of Temperance.

Well, this is the story:--In a small factory village (say in
Pennsylvania) with a thousand inhabitants, there were five "rum-
holes." The men of the little community spent their time in the
drinking places, while their children earned the family bread by
long hours in the mills. The mothers were busy in caring for their
children and drunken husbands, and many of them strove to add to the
comforts of the family, by the use of the needle.

At length, on a Saturday night, several boys, coaxed by a scamp,
drank freely of whiskey, and were taken home helplessly intoxicated;
two of them came near dying. The good mothers were on fire. They had
long since abandoned all hope for their husbands, but they would
never, _never_ consent that their boys should become drunkards. By a
common impulse they gathered in the little church on the hill, and
held a meeting for prayer and weeping. After three hours of
passionate ejaculation, tears and heart-breaking agony, they
resolved as follows:

"We will make a banner with our own hands. On one side it shall bear
the figure of a child drinking from a bucket, that beverage, which
God has prepared for his creatures. On the other side we will work
this sentiment, 'Mothers will sacrifice all for their Children.'
When it is done, we will go to these men with our banner for the
rallying flag, pray with them, plead with them, and never give up
till they stop."

In two weeks they were ready, and eighty-four women (all mothers but
four) with their little silken banner at their head, marched down to
the first of the "rum-holes," and were met by the _landlord_
(curious misnomer) and told that they could pass on; that if they
came in there, they would be sorry for it, &c. They had had no
experience, did not know their power, were frightened, and hurried
on. The second _landlord_ was a younger man, not so hard, and said,
after looking over the company:

"Why, is it possible that all the good women in town are after me in
this way? Why, of course I will stop, if they all wish it; that is
to say, I will stop if the rest will."

"Mr. Warner, here is our paper; put down your name and say exactly
what you will do; we are here on no idle errand."

So he put down his name with the words:

"I will stop if the rest will."

"John Warner."

They went on to the next one, who kept a bowling and billiard saloon
as well as a drinking "hole," and laid their case before him.

He was a young man, and enjoyed a prodigious reputation as a "ladies
man," and of course put down his name under John Warner's, and was
careful to prefix the words,

"Ladies, I am your most obedient servant.

Henry Hinkle."

To make the story as short as possible, I will simply state that all
but the first one on whom the ladies called--Hank Otis--stopped at
once (doubtless at first to see how the thing would turn out) and
then the ladies went down early in the morning and crowded into
Hank's den. He came in, just out of bed, and was astonished to find
his "grocery" crowded full of women. He had sworn to his cronies
that if he ever caught "them women here, I will pitch 'em all into
the street;" but on that morning, looking into the earnest faces of
the crowd gathered about him, it occurred to him that pitching them
into the street might not be a popular neighborhood movement, and so
he did the next best thing--sent for his big easy chair, had a
pillow brought for his head, another chair and pillow for his heels,
and then cried out:

"Ladies, I am glad to see you; I an always glad to see my neighbors,
especially the ladies. Now, ladies, do take seats (there was not
another chair in the room) and go on; I shall be delighted to hear

They did go on; they cried, begged, plead, argued, reasoned and
expostulated; they read from the Bible, they prayed, sang, and kept
it up till twelve o'clock. A relative and very dear friend of mine
was one of the company, and she has told me that she never witnessed
such a scene,--it was enough to break a heart of stone.

About twelve o'clock, they said:

"Good morning, Mr. Otis; we will come again to-morrow morning."

"Do come, ladies, and come early; I hope you will never pass without
dropping in. I am always glad to see my neighbors, especially the

The women went next morning before Hank was out of bed; as soon as
he came in and took his chair, they began with singing and prayer.
Pretty soon Otis pretended to be asleep, and snored prodigiously;
but they knew he was awfully wide awake. During the whole forenoon
they sang, prayed, begged, plead, expostulated, and then sang and
prayed again.

About noon Otis noticed that they suddenly ceased, and he wondered
what was to come next. He opened one eye a little, and saw they were
pulling out their luncheons. He groaned in spirit, but comforted
himself with the reflection, that he could sit as long as they could
stand. Soon they began again with prayer, and after another hour
they closed with a song, and saying:

"Good afternoon, Mr. Otis; we will come again to-morrow morning,"
they left him.

Hank had nothing to say, for he felt that soon he must give way. But
the next morning he was up early, and ready to receive them.

They began, and when they came to the part where they said, "we will
support your family with our needles; we should be proud and happy
to do so, if you will only close your place," he could stand it no
longer, and springing to his feet, cried out:

"There is one thing I want to know, and that is, how long is this
infernal business going to last?"

One of the earnest mothers replied:

"What God has in reserve for us we can't say, but if He permits us
to live, we shall come here every day till this place is closed. Mr.
Otis, you think we are joking, that it is a foolish whim of ours;
but, sir, we have entered into a solemn vow to struggle against this
curse, which threatens to engulf our all, as long as God gives us
the breath of life."

"Ladies, how long will you give me to stop?"

"You will have to take your own time."

"Well, in ten days I will stop, and on my honor as a gentleman, I
will never begin again, in this town!"

"Oh, Mr. Otis," exclaimed one poor sufferer, "don't go on ten days;
my poor Sam may become a drunkard in that time; stop now, and God
will bless you."

"Well, ladies, I will pour out my liquors to-morrow morning at nine
o'clock, and that shall be the last of it."

The next morning the whole village was there to see; the liquors
were brought out with a great flourish, poured into the gutter, and
they ran down into the stream below.

Although that village was so situated as to be peculiarly exposed to
the evils of intemperance, and although this happened many years
ago, I believe that not one glass of strong drink has been sold
within its precincts, from that day to this. Those brave women have
ever stood ready to attack, with their own peculiar weapons, the
enemy who would open a pitfall for their sons.

Here and there, throughout the country, earnest mothers, wives,
sisters and daughters have undertaken to exterminate the
neighborhood grog-shops; and while men have constantly failed, these
determined women have rarely failed to achieve a complete victory.

_Women rule in the social sphere, and are responsible for its

In all this world, there is no other spectacle so bewildering and so
sad, as this queen of the social sphere, living in the midst of
drunken howls, the sickening fumes of tobacco, and in a hot-bed of
licentiousness, and hiding the magic wand with which she might
dispel every social iniquity, and then standing before a mirror,
paint her cheeks and eyebrows, and adjust her curls, and ribbons,
and flowers, and bows and jewelry.

It is no mere figure of speech, to say that God will hold her
responsible for all this silly, shameless abandonment and betrayal
of her high and sacred trusts!


I am astonished that a young woman who is ambitious of a clear, fine
skin should drink tea. It is a great enemy to a fair complexion.
Wine, coffee and cocoa may be used without tinging the skin; but as
soon as tea drinking becomes a regular habit, the eye of the
discriminating observer detects it in the skin. Tea compromises the
complexion, probably, by deranging the liver.

Weak tea or coffee may be used occasionally, in moderate quantity,
without harm; and those who live much in the open air, and are
occupied with hard work, may drink either, in considerable
quantities, without noticeable harm; but I advise all young women
who would preserve a soft, clear skin and quiet nerves, to avoid all
drinks but cold water.

_It is an excellent practice to drink one or two glasses of cold
water on lying down at night, and on rising in the morning._

If you have good teeth, and can help the food into your stomach
without using any fluid, except the saliva, it will, in the long
run, contribute much to your health.


It is impossible in preparing a work of this size, upon the broad
and inexhaustible subject of Education, to maintain a logical

If my hopes in reference to the favor which this book will receive,
are half realized, the reader will, perhaps, seek some of my works
which are exclusively devoted to physical health. I take the liberty
to name "_Weak Lungs, and How to make them Strong_," and "_Talks
About People's Stomachs_;" both of which are published by Fields,
Osgood, & Co., of this city (Boston).


What a mortification it is, when a lady is in company, to hear, from
her bowels, that gurgling, glug-glug noise. A great many women have
these peculiar sounds. And, generally, they are produced by tight
stays. A portion of the small intestine is compressed so that its
size is reduced. The contents of the intestine are constantly moving
on, and when they come to the portion of the bowel under the
whalebone bodice, they find it contracted; and in pressing through,
the noise is produced. The cure for these peculiar and disagreeable
noises, as well as for many other affections in the organs of the
abdomen, including frequently torpid liver, constipation, and some
peculiar forms of indigestion, is to be found in removing all
pressure, and giving the entire abdominal viscera perfect liberty.

If, after removing all pressure, and giving those wonderful organs
in the abdominal cavity full opportunity to perform their vital
functions, the mischievous effects of the long continued pressure do
not at once disappear, you may percuss and knead the abdomen a few
minutes, morning and evening. Weak digestion, torpid liver and
constipation are, by this simple means, frequently cured, and
invariably relieved.


In the first place, you mustn't catch it. If you keep your
extremities warm by substantial flannels, exercise much in the open
air, eat the right quantity of plain food, sleep with open windows
and shun hot drinks, you will avoid colds.

But, suppose you have a cold? Eat nothing but a piece of toast;
drink freely of cold water; walk twice a day till you are in a
gentle perspiration, and go to bed early. These rules observed, and
colds, which produce so much mischief, would be shorn of their power
of harm.


_Are you too fat?_ Eat less food, with a larger proportion of meat;
rise early in the morning and exercise much. This will reduce your
weight. Even diminishing the quantity of food alone, without any
other change, will be sure to do it. It is impossible that excessive
fat, either in horse or man, can hold out against a persistent
reduction in the quantity of food. And if the reduction be gradual
and judicious, the strength is not lessened, but is steadily
increased, until the _excess_ in fat is all gone.

And I will add, that after two or three days, there will be no sense
of hunger until the _excess_ has been removed.

_Are you too thin?_ Sleep more by going to bed earlier; do not
overwork; eat freely of oatmeal porridge, Graham mush, cracked
wheat, and hulled corn; and all with milk and sugar. Cultivate a
cheerful, happy temper.


The noblest women I have personally known, were "regular tom-boys"
in their girlhood. I have made many inquiries about the women who
figured conspicuously in the "Sanitary Commission," the "Christian
Commission," and in the hospitals, and so far as I have been able to
learn from them, and their friends, not one began with being a
"_proper_" _young lady!_ I venture the opinion that not one of the
women who has risen to literary distinction in America, was a
"_proper_" _young lady!_

In brief, I don't believe proper young ladies amount to much. As
with a colt and a boy, neither of which, if quiet and staid, is
likely to accomplish anything very grand in this world; so if a girl
is prim and nice and proper, it is easy to write out the story of
her life in five lines; and without waiting for her to live it.

But, if a young woman, of fair mental capacity, breaks through the
trammels of propriety, rides the saddle astride, climbs fences and
trees, joins a base-ball club, or acquires distinction in any
roystering game which demands pluck and endurance, you may expect
something; she possesses the elements of a strong womanhood. I would
prefer one such woman, either in the hospitals at Gettysburg, or at
the head of a family of children, to a dozen women who were chiefly
distinguished in girlhood for immaculate collars and bows.


"What a fine face!" I exclaimed; "What a very beautiful girl!" By
and bye I whispered to my wife, to ask who that young lady was?--
pointing to the left. While she was looking, I remarked, "What a
very plain face she has!" My better two-thirds replied, with the
slightest possible sneer:

"It seems to me that you men haven't five grains of common sense
about women. Now you don't pretend that you have forgotten that
_very beautiful girl!_"

"But you don't mean to say that that is the same one I was

"The same," quietly observed my better three-quarters. In a moment a
bit of humor came from the platform; the large mouth flew open, and
thirty magnificent pearls darted into view.

"Oh, yes, to be sure; why of course, who couldn't tell that?" I
remarked, as brave as a sheep.

"My better seven-eighths quietly suggested, from behind her fan,
"Now, suppose you attend to the lecture, and stop looking at the
girls; how would you like it if you were lecturing, and one of your
auditors should be looking all over the house?"

From that moment I kept my eyes on the speaker, but the _points_ in
the lecture were very few, and between them I had time to think
"what a magic there is in fine teeth!" If a young woman has a
mouthful of beautiful teeth, I don't care how long her nose is, nor
what the color of her eyes; she looks sweet, wholesome, handsome!

On the other hand, no matter how exquisitely moulded the face, if,
when the mouth is opened, decayed, blackened teeth appear; you cease
to admire, and exclaim, "poor thing! poor thing!"

Besides this, if you lose your teeth, you can no longer speak

But more than both of these considerations put together and
multiplied by a hundred, if you lose your teeth, you can no longer
grind your food well; and then comes indigestion with its train of

How may the teeth be preserved?

Simply, by keeping them clean! A clean tooth cannot decay. You may
eat sweet things, acids, take hot drinks, ice creams,--you may abuse
your teeth in a hundred ways,--if you will keep them clean, they
will not decay. I will show you as many white blackbirds, as you
will show me clean white teeth beginning to decay.

How shall they be kept clean? I answer with a tooth-pick, used
thoroughly after eating, and followed by rinsing the mouth, and the
morning and evening use of a tooth-brush with a powder composed of
pulverized soap and prepared chalk.

In addition to this, cultivate the habit of sleeping with your mouth
shut. That dryness and bad taste in the mouth which come of sleeping
with it open, is always injurious to everything within the mouth,
including the teeth.

And, perhaps, this is the best place to speak of the error or
misfortune of sleeping with the mouth open, in its influence upon
the respiratory apparatus.

I cannot agree with the famous Catlin, who attributes so much to
this bad habit. But really it is difficult to read his remarkable
little work, without being convinced that sleeping with the mouth
open is a most unfortunate habit. The most obvious mischief is the
introduction through the open mouth and wind-pipe of dust and other
minute objects, which the nose would strain out. The opening in the
nose through which the air must pass, is only a narrow fissure, and
its sides are armed with numerous hairs, which reach over and
intertwine with those of the opposite wall, thus making it very
difficult for particles of dust to pass through into the lungs. This
point in Mr. Catlin's argument is too obviously true to need any
special proofs; and perhaps another point of less moment is
sufficiently obvious; viz., if the air be allowed to pass directly
through the wide-open mouth into the lungs, its temperature when
permeating the lung tissue is too low, and thus injury to that
delicate tissue results; but if the air passes through the tortuous
and contracted nasal passages, it is brought into such immediate
contact with the blood in the lining membrane of those passages,
that it is modified, and the lungs themselves are saved from the
rude shock of a raw cold breath.

I have now given the more patent of the reasons for keeping the
mouth shut while sleeping, and will only add that the habit of
sleeping with the mouth shut, may be formed by a careful clearing of
the nasal passages on lying down, and by going to sleep with a
determination to keep the lips closed. Observing these rules, and
being careful not to sleep with the head too low, you will soon
awaken in the morning with the lips closed, and with the mouth moist
and sweet.


If the air of the bed-room be impure, the complexion, eyes and
nerves must soon suffer. The hours of sleep are hours of
recuperation. But that the building-up work may go on, pure air is
indispensable. During the night the doors are not opened; there is
no moving about; all is at a stand-still. Now the windows must be
wide open. Unless there be a storm or the weather be intensely cold,
the upper sash must come half way down, and the lower sash go half
way up. If your ears are cold cover them, but give your lungs and
blood pure oxygen, and plenty of it.

If you would have beauty of skin and eyes, if you would enjoy a
cheerful temper, and retain a youthful bloom, you must breathe a
pure air all night, and all day, and always. No other law of health,
no condition of beauty, is so imperative as this.

When you go into the street, don't wear a veil and keep the air away
from your lungs. Let it come in freely; it is your best friend.


Young ladies take pride in the fact that their skins are so
delicate, they can't wear flannels.

"Why, I couldn't live in flannels, my skin is so delicate."

It is to be deeply regretted that this passion for delicacy and
debility has taken such strong hold of young ladies.

"Miss Fitznoodle, you must wear flannels next the skin, they will
save you from colds, and keep up a fine, healthy circulation."

"Oh, my! I couldn't wear flannels next my skin; it would set me
crazy; my skin is so delicate!"

"Miss Fitznoodle, you must rise early in the morning, take a bath,
and go out for the fresh air."

"Oh, my! I couldn't think of it; I should be sick in bed all day, I
am so delicate!"

"Miss Fitznoodle, you must sleep with your windows open."

"Oh, my! I can't, I am so delicate!"

I am always sorry to meet a young lady with weak, delicate morals;
but rejoice to meet one with steady, fixed, determined morals. I am
always sorry to meet a young lady with weak, delicate mind; but
rejoice to meet one with clear, sharp, sturdy mind. And so I am
sorry to meet a young lady with weak, delicate body; but rejoice to
meet one with plump, elastic, sturdy body.

If your skin be so sensitive that you can't wear flannels, use a
pair of hair gloves morning and evening; put on strong flannels, be
patient, and in two weeks you will have conquered your delicacy, and
be able to enjoy what, in this climate, is an immense advantage in
many ways.


_Croquet_ is fashionable and useful, certainly better than nothing;
but any game which can be played in a tight corset and long skirt
cannot serve the muscles much; but it keeps the players out-doors,
and so far is useful.

_Skating_ is fashionable, and better than nothing; but the finest
skating may be performed with arms folded; showing that the upper
half of the body, which needs exercise ten-fold more than the lower
half, receives little or nothing in this amusement. In addition to
this, the sudden change from the furnace heat of our close houses to
the piercing winds of the frozen pond, is often very damaging.

_Dancing_ is beautiful and profitable. But the profit depends upon
certain conditions, not always observed, viz., seasonable hours,
healthy dress, and a pure atmosphere. Without these conditions
dancing may be seriously mischievous.

Besides, it may be observed that dancing only brings into play the
muscles of the legs and hips; while the arms and chest, which are
dying for motion, are not even _invited_ to join in the fun.

_Walking_ might be spoken of as an amusement among those who walk
with real gusto; but this snail pace, with the two hands crossed in
front, can hardly be regarded as an amusement except to those who
are amused with a funeral procession.

While _walking_ is the best possible single exercise for reasons
mentioned in another place, it is defective in the same particular
mentioned in skating and dancing; viz., it brings into play
principally the lower extremities, which already are well developed,
and neglects the arms, shoulders and chest, which are starving for
work. But I must not forget to speak very earnestly of the great
value of walking when it is of a vigorous sort, and the arms are
freely swung. In this way even the shoulders and chest perform a
good deal of work.

I have spoken in a separate chapter of the great SCHREBER's
invention for home exercise--the Pangymnastikon--which is not only
the best means of training the upper part of the body that I have
ever seen, but is really one of the most fascinating of amusements.
The reader is referred to the chapter "THE PANGYMNASTIKON, OR HOME

_Battledoor_, and _Graces_ or _Grace-Hoop_, are capital amusements;
and bring into varied and vigorous play the muscles of the upper
part of the body; besides, the interest is permanent and constantly
increases as the skill increases.

_Base-ball clubs_ have been organized among young women, with the
happiest results to their health, spirits, activity and grace. They
look very pretty in their gymnastic costume, and really they play
wonderfully well.

The great physiological need of our artificial life is something to
save the upper part of the body from falling into weakness and
deformity. Our exercises fall almost exclusively upon the lower half
of the body--we walk, dance and skate; but women of the better
class do nothing with their upper limbs except to dress and feed
themselves. The result is that their arms become consumptively
emaciated, their shoulder-blades project, their chests become thin,
flat, concave, and the vital organs within are correspondingly weak
and uncertain.


The School at Lexington, up to the time the buildings were burned,
was the truest exponent of education for girls, which has been seen
in our country. I say in _our_ country, because my acquaintance with
the German methods is not sufficiently complete to justify any
comparison between them and the school under consideration.

And yet, as has been shown in other chapters in this work, the
curriculum at Lexington was far from philosophical or wise.

The waste of time and money on music and the languages, was
immense; the thought of it, even now, awakens in my mind the
keenest regrets.

But in this respect, it was no worse than other first-class schools,
while in several important particulars, it was greatly superior.

1_st_.--It was a school for _girls_ and _young women_, and not for
_young ladies_. This is a very important distinction.

2_nd_.--It had a very strong corps of resident teachers, who mingled
with the pupils in all their many amusements. In this way a
vigilant, earnest public sentiment was developed, which made the
trammels and friction of school government quite unnecessary. The
girls bore themselves precisely as they would in a drawing-room, in
the presence of men and women of dignified manners and fine culture.
Indeed, such were the persons constantly mingling with them. They
could not escape the feeling that they were placed on their honor.
What is called school government, or discipline, we had little or no
occasion to think of. If I had space I could tell you some really
very touching stories, illustrating the experiences of girls who,
for the first time, were in a school where they were not _told_, but
were _expected_ to behave their best.

In so large a company, definite rules were indispensable to concert
of action. We had as many rules as other schools, but the spirit in
which they were observed, was the distinctive feature of which I
have spoken.

I will venture to give one little anecdote, which will serve to
illustrate the point under consideration.

One of our bright girls, Mary----, retired on the ringing of the
first bell, at half-past eight o'clock; but when the watchman made
his nine o'clock round, he found a light burning in Mary's room, and
at once left his beat, to report to me. I sent hint to ask if Mary
was sick. He returned to say that the light was now out, and that
the young woman said she was not sick. He had hardly reported,
before Mary appeared at my door in her morning-gown, and said that
she was sorry for having failed to observe the hour for turning out
the light, but that she had just received a letter from her mother
which she wanted very much to answer; that she hoped I would excuse

I said, "all right," and she was turning to go back, when, looking
very earnestly at me, she said:

"If you knew how much better I behave here, than I ever did at any
other school, I am sure you would not blame me for this. When I was
at the ---- Seminary, we girls spent nearly half our time in
devising tricks and dodges. We liked to come it over them, because
they were always watching us. Lots of us corresponded with young
men, and we left our letters for each other in the crevices of the
garden wall; I used to say that if we were half as much interested
in our studies, as were in cheating our teachers, we should become
as wise as Solomon. But here--why, sir, during all these months that
I have been here, I have never heard a word from any girl, which
looked like deception. You trust us so completely, and treat us with
such respect, that I don't see how the worst girl that ever lived,
could even think of doing wrong. It really seems to me, that this
spirit in your school is worth more to us than every thing that we
could possibly get in our studies."

My own horror of these seminaries, where girls study (under the
suggestions and example of the worst among them,) every species of
deception and trick, is such, that I would prefer that my daughter
should never learn to read the name of the God who made her, rather
than acquire all learning and accomplishments, under such
demoralizing influences. Thousands of young women while learning a
little music and French, acquire a habit of concealment and
indirection, which marks all their subsequent career.

In discussing the peculiarities of the Lexington School, I would

3_rd_.--The physical exercises and amusements. The "New Gymnatics"
were taught to every member of the school, and practised daily by
all, from half an hour to an hour and a half, while dancing was
introduced three or four evenings of each week. Besides these, we
indulged in many amusing games.

Physical education constituted a part of the regular system, and
nothing was left to chance, or to individual proclivity.

In most seminaries, physical exercise is optional with the pupil. If
arithmetic were treated in the same way, necessary as it is to
civilized life, I fear but little progress would be made.

The average American girl has a delicate body, with numerous aches
and weaknesses. The School which does not provide in its curriculum
for this average and fundamental condition, seems to me strangely
deficient in its educational provisions.

The graduate of a Woman's Seminary, should, like the graduate of a
German University, be as much improved in body as in mind.

Young women, on completing the prescribed course, should be fitted
for the active duties of life. This involves, as primary and
fundamental, a healthy and vigorous body.

Girls came to our school with the stipulation that they should not
room above the second story, not being able to climb higher, who
within five months, walked ten miles in three hours, without

I was asked to visit a Female Seminary, some miles out of Boston, to
witness the exercises of a "Commencement." Seated on the platform
with the Principal, she called my attention to the graduating class.
Covering her lips with a book, she whispered to me, that "that class
of young ladies seated by the organ is the graduating class."

"And they have finished their education?" I asked. She nodded

I gave them a good long look, and felt the wrong so deeply, that I
could not resist the temptation to whisper back:

If you had said the _girls themselves_ were _finished_, I should
have understood you; but if you mean that their _education_ is
_finished_, I can only say that it seems to me they have not laid
the first stone In the foundation of a true education.

Pale, thin, bent--they had been outrageously humbugged. What amount
of languages and music could compensate for this outrage upon the
very foundations of their being?

In the Lexington school the course in physical training was very
complete. The muscle training was varied and abundant, the pupils
retired at half-past eight o'clock, wore no corsets or close dress,
kept their extremities warm with flannels and strong shoes, ate
plain food, and enjoyed many amusing games and much hearty laughter.

We measured them about the chest, under the arms, on entering the
school, and again on leaving, and found that a common increase in
eight months was three inches. There was a still more remarkable
enlargement of the arms and shoulders, while the change in their
manner of walking never failed to impress us all. Female weaknesses,
which, in some form, nearly all of them brought to the school, were
quickly relieved; and headaches, after the first month of the school
year, were almost unknown among us.

I do not wish to protract this discussion of the possibilities in
physical development in our girls' schools; but I will say, after
such opportunities for observation as no other man on either
continent has enjoyed, that it is my deliberate conviction that
ninety-nine in every hundred girls, may be so developed, physically,
in two years of school life, that they can walk ten miles without
fatigue, be free from aches and weaknesses, and be nobly fitted for
the grave responsibilities of citizenship and motherhood.

4_th._--I would add that the true school will magnify nature--will
make conspicuous in its programme the natural sciences, will push
very far the rudimentary English training, will give the most
emphatic and determined attention to composition and conversation,
and will watch over the manners of the pupil with a truly parental

I have seen coarse, unmannerly boors engaged in teaching girls Latin
and Trigonometry. It seems to be thought if they understand the
technics of the books, that is enough. Of course they must
comprehend what they attempt to teach; but the rare and precious
graces in a teacher, are fine manners and conversational powers.
More is learned in an hour's conversation with refined, cultured
people upon almost any topic, than can be learned in a day from
books, even with the assistance of an unrefined, mechanical teacher.

I shall be happy to correspond with parents about the schools of New
England, which are earnest in regard to physical education.


Without pursuing any special order, I will mention Hypasia, the much
calumniated Aspasia, and the Athenian courtezan Leaena, who, when
put to the torture to make her betray her friends and accomplices in
a political conspiracy, bit out her tongue, and spat it in the face
of her tormentor.

In more modern times, as education is placed within the reach of
all, these "burning and shining lights" become less conspicuous,
set, as they are, amid a galaxy of scarcely less brilliant
luminaries. Instances might be cited by the dozen of women who have
taken degrees in theology, who have lectured in public, and been
celebrated as _savans_ and philosophers.

As for those who have received the dignity of canonization, the
Roman calendar alone is capable of keeping any account of them.

Yet amongst them, let us give one word of admiration to that brave
Irish Abbess,--Ebba of Coldingham, who, to preserve herself from
the brutality of the Danish soldiers, cut off her nose and lips. Her
nuns followed her example, and the enraged barbarians burnt them
all, together with their convent.

To whom do we owe the preservation of the New Testament but to the
heroic girl-martyrs among the first Christians, who, under the Roman
persecutors, endured unheard-of tortures, rather than betray the
hiding place of the Sacred Writings?

_En passant_ I may mention the first woman who used her literary
abilities to support her household, was Christine Castel, a French
woman by education, though by birth a Venetian. She lived in the
reign of the English king Henry IV.

Have you ever heard of Arnande de Rocas? She must have been a brave,
high-minded girl! When her native town was taken by the Turks,--
somewhere in the clark sixteenth century, when Turks were not the
civilized gentlemen that many of them now are,--she and a number of
her young and beautiful companions were placed in a vessel bound for
Constantinople,--their destination the Sultan's seraglio. In the
dead of night, she gained access to the powder magazine, and blew up
the ship, with her innocent companions and their captors.

Now let us come nearer home, and recal the name of Martha Bratton.
She was a woman for any country to be proud of, for she helped, hand
and heart, in establishing the freedom of her native country. Her
husband was a Colonel in the first army of America, and in his
absence she took charge of, and defended the ammunition and
supplies. Think of her courage in blowing up the powder, rather than
suffer it to fall into the enemy's hands! Think of her nobility
avowing the act that no one else might suffer for it. Threats of
instant death had no power to make her betray a trust. And she was a
womanly woman too, for she saved the life of an English officer, who
had rescued her by his intervention, and kept him concealed in her
house till he was exchanged.

Grizel Cochrane! It's not a romantic name, but what a romance in her

Her father lay a prisoner in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, condemned to
death for high treason. Her grandfather, the Earl of Dundonald; was
moving heaven and earth to obtain his son's pardon. But it was known
that the warrant for his execution was on its way from London.

Grizel was only eighteen. But she was strong and resolute. She rode
on her own fleet horse two days on the road to England, where a
trusty friend lent her a suit of man's clothes and a pair of
pistols. Thus armed, she attacked the postman, robbed him of the
mail bags, and destroyed her father's death warrant. The time thus
gained saved his life.

A better Grizel this, I think, than the celebrated Grizel who is so
often held up as a model of womanly virtues.

Think of the peasant girl, inspired by spirit voices, throwing aside
the timidity of her country breeding, her youth, and her sex,
adopting the costume of a soldier, heading the armies of France,
leading them to victory, and placing the national crown upon the
head of the feeble Dauphin, much more of a girl than herself. Then
change the scene, and behold the bigoted and fanatical priests
conspiring against her; see her abandoned by her friends; abandoned
even by the English whom she had conquered; see her at last led
forth to the fatal pile, and her ashes cast into the Seine.

How different, yet how grand, is the gentle Heloise, more remarkable
for her faithful affection, than for her learning and talents,
choosing rather to be dishonored in the world's estimation, than to
injure her craven husband by avowing their marriage.

What Roman or Spartan mother excelled in heroism that Lady Seton,
who, while she saw from the beleagured tower the preparations of the
brutal English king to put her two sons to death, urged her wavering
husband rather to let them die for their country, than to save their
lives by ignoble surrender of his great trust. Her sons were
murdered, but her husband was not dishonored, and the town was

Who has not heard of the heroic Maid of Saragossa? No matter that
she was really the wife of one of the soldiers engaged in defending
the city, that she had come upon the ramparts to carry some
refreshments to her husband the story is not the less thrilling that
it was from _his_ hand that she snatched the burning fuse, and fired
the cannon near which he had fallen. Calling on the shrinking
soldiers to reload the gun, she avowed her resolution to stand by
it, and fire on the French enemy till they were beaten, or she was
dead. She turned the tide of battle, and will be remembered as long
as the world lasts.

Charlotte Corday! The name alone is enough to conjure up a moving
panorama before one's eyes. We see the beautiful, heroic girl,
nursing in the depths of her heart the project which, she fondly
hopes, will free her country from a hideous tyrant. It is not murder
that she contemplates, for she will give her own pure life for that
of the savage steeped in every crime. We see her on her journey to
Paris, gentle and affable, rousing no suspicion of the terrible
errand on which she is bound. We see her when the deed is done,
sitting calmly in the outer room, and thoughtfully passing her hand
across her brow. We see her before her judges, "Serene, and
resolute, and still, and calm, and self-possessed." We see her on
her way to the guillotine, unconsciously inspiring such a strange
and sudden passion, as surely never man felt before, and yet a true
love, as poor Adam Luz proved by writing her defence, and dying for
it and her. We may all join with the royalist lady, who fell on her
knees and called her _saint_, when she heard what she had done.
Alas! that it was done in vain! The tyranny that crushed France was
hydra-like, and for one head that was struck off, a hundred more

"The mother of the country." Is not that a name that any queen be
proud to gain?

She lived in Saxony three hundred years ago, and is still remembered
by the peasantry as _Mother Anna_. What had she done to deserve the
title? She studied several sciences, and applied her knowledge to
promote the good of her people. She multiplied schools, and
encouraged education. She incited the people to redeem waste lands,
taking a spade in her own honest, busy hands, to encourage the
workers when the ground looked particularly unpromising. She
fostered trade and manufactures, and when she and her husband
travelled about, they took with them supplies of the best seeds for
raising fruit, and distributed them among the people. The good soul
was a careful housewife, and more than all, a self-sacrificing
Christian, teaching more by example than precept.

Amid all this hard work, public and private, she became the mother
of fifteen children. I have heard of ladies who complained being
fearfully overburdened with two or three.

The end of this noble woman was worthy of her life. She died of the
plague, caught while attending on the sick, like a true Christian
and _Mother_.

You may never be called upon to perform such acts of heroism as
distinguished many American women during the struggle for
independence; but it will be good for you to imbibe, from their
contemplation, a touch of the spirit which prompted them. Who would
not wish to resemble Mrs. Motte, when her large new house was
garrisoned by the English. The American generals, loth to destroy
the widow's home, hesitated to expel them by fire. She presented to
them the Indian bow with its apparatus for igniting the shingle
roof, counting ruin as nothing in the scale against patriotism.
Then, again, the gentlewoman succeeds the patriot as she receives
the vanquished foes in her poor termporary home, entertains them
hospitably, and, womanlike, endeavors to soothe the mortification of

Picture to yourselves a group of despairing wretches, clinging all
night to a fragment of a wreck, and to the remorseless rock on which
it had been dashed. All through the stormy Autumn night they had
clung there, amid rain, and wind, and darkness, holding on still,
yet without hope; they are miles from the shore, and they know that,
as the tide rises, they must be swallowed up, one by one, or all
swept off at once by the hungry waves.

Far away, during that terrible night, they had seen a faint,
twinkling light. It was from a lighthouse--a sailor who was among
the group of miserable creatures, told them it was the Longstone
Lighthouse,--a mile away, too far for any one to see them down there
on a level with the sea; and even if they were seen, there was no
life-boat there, and no person but an old man and woman, with their
son and daughter. _They _could never bring a boat to their

There were fewer people than he supposed at that time in the
lighthouse, for the son was absent,--the only one, it would seem,
who might have had the strength and courage to venture to their
assistance. Besides, what chance was there that they would be

Yet, at that very moment, clear, bright eye, looking through a
telescope for signs of the storm's cruel havoc, lights on them, and
takes in at once all the perils of their position. It is the eye of
a girl of eighteen; she has the courage of a Roman, the compassion
of a Christian. Calling to her father to accompany her, she hastens
to their boat. Remonstrance is in vain. She will not listen to her
parents, she will not wait a moment; all she thinks of, is those
unhappy sufferers, for the returning tide _must_ wash them off. If
her father will not go, she will go alone, and, live or die, make
the attempt to save them.

Her energy bears down all doubts; the boat is launched,--even the
poor wife and mother helping. And, ah! think of _her_, as she sees
it leave the rock to which it may never return. Think what _she_
gives to the service of mercy. She must have been a worthy mother of
such a daughter. Father and child, each take an oar, and pull, not
for their lives, but for the lives of others.

Ah! what a struggle that was, through a mile of angry, tumbling
waters, now from the crest of a wave catching a glimpse of thosethey
go to rescue, now sunk in a deep hollow that threatens to engulf
them. Through all, the little frail boat goes on its errand of
mercy. Can we not imagine how the wife and mother watched it through
the lighthouse glass? Let us take our post by her, and try to feel
for a moment as she felt. From her lofty post she can mark the
progress of the boat. It is slow but sure. When first it sank out of
her sight in the trough of a great billow, her heart sank too; but
see, rises again, and with it a prayer and thanksgiving ascend from
the mother's heart. The daughter rows with a manly strength,--no
signs of fatigue. Will they reach the wreck in time? Oh! the boat
goes so slowly, though those two devoted ones work so hard. On, on,
still on, nearer and nearer. Now comes the moment of greatest
danger. Ah! they are too eager to get in,--they will swamp the boat.
No, their very weakness prevents that. The stronger help the more
feeble; they are all in now; all safe so far; nine human beings
saved so _far_; but can eleven come safe to land? Once more the boat
mounts on the creasts of the waves, once more she sinks into the
hollows, and nearer, nearer, nearer she creeps on.

Other duties now claim the attention of the anxious watcher. Fires
must be kindled, and food must be prepared, or the good work will be
left unfinished; and from time to time she runs to the window to
watch their progress.

The keel grates upon the beach,--voices are heard; they are all
safely housed, and the loved girl comes up smiling, happy in the
success of her good deed, and all unconscious that her name is
henceforth famous through the world.

England need not envy France her Charlotte Corday, while the name of
Grace Darling shines, in letters of gold, upon the pages of her own

The renowned Hugh Grotius had a wife who ought to be called the
renowned Mary Grotius.

When he was condemned for his political writings, to be imprisoned
for life, she accompanied him, though the hard condition was, that
she too was to remain a prisoner. After a while she was allowed to
go out occasionally. She borrowed books for him, which were carried
to and fro, with his linen, in a chest. When long custom had made
the guards careless in examining this chest, she packed her husband
in it one fine day, and sent him to the wash, staying in the prison
herself, and pretending that he was ill in bed.

She was let out too, after some severe treatment.

There was a woman who never performed any grand, heroic action, who
lived a quiet, domestic life; did nothing brilliant, wrote no poems,
suffered no martyrdom. For thirty-eight years she was a ministering
angel to her husband; and he was not an invalid, whose caprices
tried her temper, and made her life a lasting trial. On the
contrary, his health was good, and his spirits ever equal.

Yet the world is much indebted to that woman. She was to her husband
what the cipher is after the figure one. Alone, it is a unit; with
the cipher by its side, it becomes ten.

She was the wife of John Flaxman, the Sculptor.

"Down with the Austrian woman," shouted the infuriated mob of Paris,
supposing that they saw before them the ill-fated Marie Antoinette.
An officer corrected their mistake, and the lady, just rescued from
the most terrible of deaths,--that of being torn to pieces by
savages,--said to him, "Why undeceive them? You might have spared
them a greater crime."

She was the same, who, when asked her name and rank before the
revolutionary tribunal, replied, with dignity, "I am Elizabeth of
France, the aunt of your king."

She was compelled to witness the execution of twenty-four of her
fellow-prisoners, and then met her own death without a complaint.

Among savage nations what could be more terrific than a volcano? And
when, in addition to its natural mysteries, a cunning priesthood has
invested it with the attributes of a malignant and revengeful deity,
who but an enlightened and civilized person would dare to approach
it? It was _tabooed_, and whoever insulted it, would be destroyed by
its shower of liquid fire.

It is hard to shake off the prejudices and superstitions of a life-
time. Yet Kapiolani, a woman of Hawaii, who had already done much to
raise the character of her countrymen, set the heathen priests at
defiance, declared the volcano to be the work of a merciful God, and
boldly descended some distance into its crater. There she composedly
praised the Lord in the midst of one of His wonderful works. The
effect of her faith upon the minds of her countrymen was wonderful.

"In all that is known of Assyria, the most ancient empire of the
earth, every extant fragment, moral or material, bears evidence of a
sex to which that land of wonders owes the immortality of its
grandeur. The name of Semiramis has preserved (what Sardanapalus
could not destroy, nor Cyrus bury under the ruins of Babylon,) the
memory of the greatest combination of wealth, power, art, and
magnificence, which the world had till then witnessed, or has since
conceived. For the greatest capitals of the most powerful and
refined of modern states, supposed to have reached the acme of
civilization, have but one epithet to mark their supereminence; and
Rome and London (in boast, or in reproach,) have each been called
the Babylon of their own proudest times.

"Babylon, with its hundred gates and towers, was founded by a woman
of low origin and destitute youth, who attained to supreme power by
her genius alone; and though all that has been ascribed to her may
not be strictly true, though Diodorous Siculus in his enthusiasm may
have exaggerated, and Ctesias may have too vividly colored his
brilliant delineations of her greatness, yet that such a woman lived
and reigned in Assyria, that she founded its capital, and influenced
her age by her works and her talents, that she built cities, raised
aqueducts, constructed roads, commanded great armies in person, and,
both as conqueror and legislator, was among the earliest agents of
Asiatic civilization, there remains no room for historic doubt.

"Her passage over the Indus, her conquests on its shores, the
brilliant triumphs she obtained abroad, the astute wisdom with which
she met conspiracy at home, and the bold confidence she expressed in
the decisions of posterity, are stubborn facts. These obtained for
her the sympathy of the greatest character and conqueror of a nearer
antiquity; but Alexander, taking Semiramis for his model, vainly
tried to restore her gorgeous city, on her own plans, and with her
own views.

"Posterity has nobly ratified the appeal of Semiramis to its
verdict. At the end of three thousand years, her life and character
have been taken as the inspiration of its genius, and the spell of
its attraction. Semiramis, however, has paid the penalty of her
sex's superiority, and has been the mark of calumnious pedantry
through succeeding ages."

*Since the above was in type, Mlle. Nilsson has several times sung
"Way down upon the Swanee River" at her concerts.

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