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WOMANKIND. 



CHARLOTTE MART YONGE. 



^(b JtDtli: 
MAGMILLAN AND CO. 

MOZLEY AND SMITH. 

18r7. 



TO THB DEAR 



F. JI, Y.— a. Y.— C. K. 



AND TO OTaBB mFLOBNCES i 
r CAIWOT BE NAMED AS THEY ARE STILL WITQ t 
TQESE TOOUGnTa OS WOMEN' ARE 



gibicatilr, 





CONTENTS. 


1 


F woman's 8T 


CHAFTKn I, 


^ 




CHAPTEK n. 


1 




UNISO 


■ ' '1 




CHAPTER III. 




r lARLY RELia 


WUSTl^ISIKO 


1* 




CHAPTER IV. 










HOIIE, 60 HOC 


CHAPTER V. 

L, OB Q0VE1!NE59 

CHAPTER VI. 


. E9 






. 3S 




CHAPTER VII. 








. GO 


I 







h Ti 


CONTENTS. 

CnAPTER vin. 


T 




CHAPTER IX. 


. 07 




CHAPTER X. 












CHAPTER XL 


80' 




CHAPTER XII. 










aUSBAY-ECnOOL 


CHAPTER XIII. 


. BO 




CHAPTER XIV. 




; ^^^-^>'"'- "■ 


°^'"-- 


. 119 


, 


CHAPTER XV. 








. lOS 




CHAPTER SVl, 






CHAPTER SVn. 






niLDBEV 


> \''J: 









CHAPTEK KVIII. 



CHAPTER X\X. 



CU&.TT?.n XX. 



CnAPTETl XXI. 



CHAPTER XXll. 



CHAPTER XXHl. 



CHAPTER XXIV, 



VIEwa AND OPINIONS 



CHAPTKR XXV. 



CHAPTER XXn. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 



^^ 






i^^H 


B 














1 


viii 


C0XT1!?ITS. 




'■ 




cnAPTER xxvni. 






»„™, . 


OVERDOlN-n . . , , . 
CnAPTER XXIX. 

CnAPTER XXX. 


. 240 
. E5a 






CHAPTEK XXX [. 
CnAPTEK XXXTI. 


. . . =74 


cnAPTER xxxni. 














CHAPTER XXXIV. 






aois-Q IV 






M 


' 


CHAPTER SXXV. 


J 



WOMANKIND. 



CHAPTEK I. 



woman's status. 



A WOMAN can hardly arrive at middle age without having 
thought over some of the duties and opportunities placed in the 
hands of her sex. To think is in the present day almost equi- 
valent with to express ; and it is in the hope that the expression 
of some of my thoughts may he in some degree an assistance 
to a few readers, that I venture to throw a fresh contribution 
into the seething cauldron of sayings and opinions with which 
we are regaled in the present day. 

Not that I have anything new to say — only that which is so 
old that it may seem new. I have no hesitation in declaring my 
full belief in the inferiority of woman, nor that she brought it 
upon herself. 

I believe — as entirely as any other truth which has been 
from the beginning — ^that woman was created as a help meet to 
man. How far she was then on an equality with him, no one 
can pretend .to guess; but when the test came, whether the 
two human beings would pay allegiance to. God or to the 
Tempter, it was the woman who was the first to fail, and to 
draw her husband into the same transgression. Thence her 
punishment of physical weakness and subordination, mit\^a.t«d 



if 



WOHANKIKD, 



I of 1)ringing^^^| 
the domimoa^^H 



hj tliB promiBe tbat she should be the means 
the Kedeemer to renovute the world, and break the 
of Satan. 

That there ia this inequality there is no reasonable doubt. 
4. woman of the highest facultiea ia of course superior to a. man 
of the luwest ; but she never attains to anything like the 
powers of a man of the higheat ability. There ia a diffi- 
culty, however, ia generalizing ; hecauai, owing to differenofl 
of climate, habit, and nunatitulion, there ie leaa inecjuality 
between the aexoe in aome races than there is in uthem 
The Koaian woman was superior to the Greek, the woman 
of the "West to her <jf the East ; and there ia fur Jesa dis- 
proportion between the negro and negrese than between the 
coolie and hia wife. 

Savage life renders the woman the slave. The man, having, 
to the full the animal instincts of pugnacity and indolence, puts^ 
all that is toilsome upon her, multipJiea wives in order that 
may have more obedient hewers of wood and drawers of wate*, 
and, OS all other male animals aiii the handsomer, he lavishea 
adornments on himself. 

Perhaps the very first stage from savagery to civilization 
marked by the preponderance of ornament on the female side. 
As soon as woman ceases to be the mere squaw, adornment is 
viewed as primarily her due. Her condition, where there is 
vilization without Christianity, ia extremely v.iriable, and 
liefly dependent on the national eharacter ; and everywhere, in 
the very lowest classes, there is the tendency to bring her to tha, 
squaw level. In the upper ranks, and among clasaes fairly at 
ease, the usual tendency has been to regitrd the splendour and 
indolence of the chief wife as testimonials to the wealth and 
grandeur of her lord and master. Thus, African chieftainessea 
fattened on milk like pig« lor a cattle-show; Chinese ladioB 
cultivate un .serviceable fingers and toes ; and Persian princeasw, 
of old deemed the loom degradation. Seclusion haa in theaft] 

a a good deal depended on the trust worth inoaa and nnd( 
standing of the women. Burmese women, who 



lan 
iis- 

ins^H 



eaft^H 

ler-^H 
faiy^H 



vroMAss BTAToa. 3 

aven^ capncity, are not iianiured, while Hindoo and Chinese 
ladies ore ; and before Mahanietanism had made the Arabian 
fashion universal, the Persian ladies do not appear to have been 
inmates of harems ; while European women always went at 
large, though with less liberty in Greece than among the Romans 
and more northerly nations. 

The state of the Jewish women seema to have varied. 
Orientalism and imitation of the nations around lowered them 
at times, bat the purity of the atandiird of faith on the other 
hand uplifted them. And in order that Holy Scripture might 
be truly universal, no maximB enforcing undue subjection have 
there received the seal of inspiration, ao aa to become permanent, 
even though the difference between the Eastern and Western 
minds may be traced every time an English child is taught to 
say the Tenth Commandment, when it is sure to try to forbid 
coveting the wife before coveting the house. 

It was from these people of Judah that the most beautiful 
image of dignified and perfect womanhood proceeded, " The 
words of King Lemuel, which his mother taught him," though 
seasoned with the aalt of Inspiration, are clearly a contem- 
porary picture, typical as well as applicable to all ^es ; and the 
nation that produced a Hannah, an Abigail, and a Shunammite, 
might well be able to conceive such a being as the virtnoua 

One of the very remarkable points in the history of woman and 
her position is the absence of any account of how polygamy came 
to be abolished, and of any direct precept on the subject, 

The words of our Lord applying to divorce plainly tUrect va 
to understand that "in the beginning," when Adam's prophetic 
command was given that " a man ahould leave his father and 
mother, and cleave unto hia wife, and they tviaiii should be one 
flesh," a single wife was implied, and that a plurality was 
BubsecLuently only permitted " because of the hardneaa of their 
hearts ; " while every possible precaution was taken for humanity 
and consideration towards the inferior wives. The desire to 
rival other kings iu the multitude of female attfitidimta se^oa Vj 



have plunged even tha beat of the aovereigne of Israel into 
the liarem ayatem, which wa^ (directly contrary to the Law; and 
up to the Buhyloniah Captivity ordinary Eusteta habits 
prevailed. 

But in the New Testament, the duty of monogamy ie eatab- 
liahed, and taken for granted from the first. How waa thial 
Had the Jewa learnt it from their licentious Greek and Roman 
masterBf In some degree perhaps they had, for the Roman had 
a much highfir standan! of doraeatic virtue originally than 
what he practised ; but it seema more lil(ely that tha great 
reformation under Ezra and hia followera, which cleared away 
idolatry for ever, and mailc the Jews exact observers of the Law 
of Moses, really purified and elevated them so much, that the 
plurality of wives came to fall into entire disuse and disrepute — 1 
this being no doubt assisted by contact with European civilisfr- ' 
tion, even in ita corrupted state. 

The position of woman was at once rpcognisod in Gospel 
teaching. The Blessing conferred upon the holy Mother of our 
Lord became the antidote to the punishment of Eve's transgroB- 
aiun ; iind in proportion to the foil reception of the spirit of 
Christianity has woman thenceforth been elevated to her rightful 
position as the help-meet. 

There, however, comes in the woman's question of the day — 
Is she meant to be nothing; but the help-meet t If by this is 
meant the wife, or even the sister or daughter, attached to the 
aid of some particular man, I do not think she is. It is her J 
most natural, most obvious, most easy destiny ; but one of thflfl 
greatest incidental baneiits that Christianity brought the whole n 
sex was that of rendering marriage no longer the only lot of all, 
and thus making both tho wife and the maiden stand on higher 
ground. 

" Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over 
thee," had been said to Eve. Without a husband the woman 
had hitherto been absolutely nothing. Wife, mother, or slave, 
were her sole vocations ; and if her numbers became super- -m 
fluous, polygamy and female infanticide were the aJtemativea. ■ 



I eoiidbiea 
icquired ^^M 

I the pnr^^l 



woman's status. 

Bat the Church did uway with this state of things, Wite- 
hood was digaifled by becoming a faint type or shadow of the 
Union of the Church with her Lord. Motherhood was ennobled 
by the Birth that saves the world ; and Maidenhood acquired 
glory it had never had before, and which taught the 
to regard themselves, not aa beings who bad failed i. 
pose of their existence, but as pure creatures, free to devot« 
themselves to the service of their Lord ; for if His Birth had 
consecrated maternity, it had iilso consecrated virginity. 

The dim idea of pure dedicated creatures had, in. the ancient 
days of Eome, suggested the order of Vestal Virgins. Borne 
had grown so corrupt, that it was almost impossible to keep up 
even the small number of these priestesses ; but there waa 
enough of the idea latent in the minds of the nation to make 
the consecration of Christian purity congenial ; and the high 
£oman courage, now refined, soon produced ita whole army of 
brave Virgin Martyrs. Then it booame understood that woman 
might look to no earthly lord, but might turn all her yearnings 
for love and protection to Him who has become the Son of 
Man, " her celestial Spouse and King," and that her freedom 
from other ties enabled her to devote herself wholly to Him. 
And how t Sal only by direct contemplation and devotion, but 
" Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these, ye 
have done it unto Me." 

So began the vocation of the dedicated Virgin, the Deaconess, 
the Nun. The life in community became needful when no 
security could be bad save in a fortress ; and this, together with 
the absolute need of the feminine nature for discipline and 
obedience, led to the monastic life being, with rare exceptiona, 
the only choice of the unwedded throughout the middle agea ; 
but this safe and honourable refuge for the single daughtera 
of families did, to take it on the very lowest grounds, much 
to enhance the estimation in which their secular sisters 
■were held. 

It is not, however, my purpose here to dwell on monastieism. 
All I want to do ia to define what I believe to be the safe and 



I 6 WOMANKIND. ^^^^^H 

true aspect in which wnman ought to repard bereeJf — namely,^ 

as the help-meet of man ; not necessarily of any individual man, I 

but of the whole Body whom CbriBt out Lord hoa left to be 1 

waited on as Himaelf, He is ber Lord. He will And her work 1 
to do for Him. It may be that it will he in the ordinary 

course of nature. It in alniost certain that she will begin as j 

help-meet to her father or brothers ; and to mauy, there comee , 
the Divinely -ordained estate of mnrriage, and the dutiea and 

blesainga it entails, all sanctilied through Him. It may bp, I 

again, tbut her lot is attendance on a parent — etili a work J 

of ministry especially hleet by Him ; and so with all those ] 

obvious family claims that Providence marks out by the 1 

mere fact of there being no one else to undertake tbera. And 1 

for those who are without Buch nalU, or from whom tbeir tasks 1 

have fallen away, what is there leftl Kaj, not left as a reranantj | 

for He has Iweu there through all, Their Lord is ready for their i 

direct, corajjlete, uneclipaed service in whatuver branch sneras J 

their vocation. Hia Chureh ie the visibly prBsent Mother to j 

gaide them; and as daughters of the Church their place and 1 
occupation is found. 

Previously they bud no atutas, except as appondt^jea to some 

individual man. Now, as menibera of one great Body, each baa- 4 

bur place and office, wliether domestic or in some special outer J 

field. Aud in proportiou as this is recognised, the single womoa ] 

ceases to be manqaee, and enjoys honour and happiness. J 

The change makes less visiljle difTerenue to the married I 

woman ; because, by the original Divine ordinance, bov husband I 

has always been so much her lord that ber duty to him becoiues ' 
a sort of religion, aud her cai'es as wife and mother occupy her 
mind and aU'ections. Thus there is no stale of society or 
raligiou — at least, whore the sactedness of the tie of marriage is 'J 
understood — that does not present instances of the exemplary 
woman, whose afleotioos have been a law to her, and have 
trained her in self-Jenial, patience, meekness, pity, and modesty. 
History, and the experience of travellers aud of i 
alike prove thiti fact. 



woman's status. 

Ent the woman dfistitute of sucL a dii-ect object for her 
obedience, cares, interests and affections, is apt, when her fLrst 
youth IB over, to ciave for something further, nnlesa she have 
recognised her relation to the uciveraal Body and to its 
Head. As long aa girlhood lasts — and this often is a good 
way on into life — she has anflicient food for her interests, 
at home or abroad, in etudies or amusements ; hut let her home 
break up, or let her not feel heraelf a necessary wheel in ita 
machinery, she becomes at a loss. The cat bono feeling comes 
over her studies 5 amnsemQBts become weary, or she finds herself 
looked at by the younger generation as de trap ; and she either 
Gtnks into dull routine in a narrow home, or is an aimless guest 
at country housee ; or, on the other band, she takes to being one 
of the equally purposeless traveUers and sight-seers — ever roving, 
ever gazing ; or lastly, she struggles for the position and privi- 
leges of a man. His independence she has, and a very doleful 
thing she finds it — vanity and vexation of spirit to heraelf,! 
and while she strips heraelf of all grace and softness, 
comes ridiculous and absurd in his eight, and renders hiiQ^ 
averse to the culture to which he erroneously ascribes her 
unf em in ineness. 

But let her feel herself responsible to the one great Society of 
which she is a part, and let her look for the services that she 
can fulfil by head or by hands, by superintendence or by labour, 
by pen or pencil, by needle or by activity, by voice or by music, 
by teaching or by nursing — nay, by the gentle sympathy and 
earnest prayers of an invalid ; and the vague discontent is 
appeased. She has found a vocation, or it has lieen found for 
her. It may lie an outwardly secular life that she lives, and 
there is no visible difference between her pursuits and those of 
others ; but they are dedicated, they have their object ; and if 
her heart rests in Him, she is content. 

I do not say that she will be in the least a faultless woman, 
or that she may not espose herself to ridicule — aa the lady with 
a hobby, the clerical woman, the fussy district-visitor, or the 
like. This depends upon tact, and the minor morals and graoe^ 



jful 

m 



1 



8 WOMANKIND. 

of life ; D or is it always possible to be as pleasant in looks* 
and ways in advancing life as in youth — at least, not to man- 
kind. To women, whose affection is more really valuable to a 
spinster, it is always possible to become more and more agreeable, 
as the period of rivalry is outgrown, and there comes 

"The heart at leisure from itself, 
With time to sympathize." 

It is only as a daughter of the Church that woman can have 
her place, or be satisfied as to her vocation. And happily, 
many who do not in word or heart feel for the Church as their 
Mother and Queen, yet do her work, looking to her and their 
Lord and King, and so are " blessed in their deed." 



CHAPTEK II. 

NURSERT TRAINING. 



I DO not mean this for a work on education ; but if I am to try 
to review the scenes and aspects of woman's life, I must begin 
at the beginning, and look at the little child, and what is being, 
or may be, made of her. 

It seems to me that the weak point of most books on educa- 
tion is, that they say boldly, " Do this, and you will produce 
that effect," without taking into account the exceeding variation 
in the dispositions of children, and how treatment that will barely 
touch one will terrify another, while the delight of one is the 
misery of another. Of course there are broad rules, and general 
observations, and to these it is needful to confine oneself. Actual 
management learns adaptation, and in all cases principles are 
better than rules, as being both more stringent and more elastic. 

Much has of late been said about training and education 
making the difference of habits between boy and girL I do not 



NTJBBERV TRAIlilNQ. 

think the notion can bo held by anyone who has often watched! 
the development of the two creaturea. The instinct of the boy, T 
long before imitation can have put it into hia head, is to drunt -I 
and atrika in a way that never seems to occur to his sister. 
in evvee to be eager for sticks, and esteems the eight of a horae 1 
more than anything elae ; while she almost aa certainly cudillea 1 
even the very eemblance of a child, and caresses what he boats. 1 
Both have a delight in produciog a noiae, but hers is seldom 1 
^greaaive like that of the boy. 

It often happens, however, that for the few years immediately ' 
following babyhood, from about four or five to six or aeven, the 
girl is reaUy the more enterprising and leas timid creature ; and 
this has perhaps given rise to the opinion above-mentioned. I 
believB the chief reason is that the inferior creature is of more 
rapid growth, and that she is really apt to be the stronger of the 
two, to Bay nothing of the fact that her tombojisma are repressed 
and complained of, while the poor boy is blamed for his 
cowardice. 

At about five years old hoys are often very thoughtful beinga. I 
They have just acquired fall power of speech and limb, and catt I 
&irly understand ttc scenes around them, while custom has not I 
taken away the novelty and wonder. If they have anyone who j 
cares to converse with them, this is a great period of memorable I 
— often original — sajings, unanswerable questions, and i 
times of precocious religion. It now and then happens that the 
presage of the future manhood is then to be seen in the child; 
and it is an age at which perhaps the fairest hopes are i 
tained^often, of course, to be disappointed, and almost always I 
overahadowed during the time when the growth of the animal ] 
frame gains the mastery over the spiritual and intellectual t 
— often for many years. These little pensive boys are ( 
exceedingly timid, as well as delicate in frame, and their aisteia ■] 
get credited with a great deal more courage, because they are J 
stronger, and either are or seem more daring. Indeed, this age 1 
of soul in boys is very apt to be in girla the age of coquetry. ' 
Thoughtful mother, aunt, or sister, will bring reflection out in j 



10 TOUAMEIiri). 

the boj ; while in the girl, notice from any mau who wanta to 
auuse himself with her will reudily take eifect, 

She is very amuaing, whether she be perfectly aimple and 
UDCunsci'iue, oi whether she take the line uf eentimeBt or eauci- 
neas. But ia it really for her good 1 Is it well to let this form 
of excitement in upon the young life] If she receives it a> 
mere petting, and aimply rej^rda the "other party" as hra 
kindest friend and playmatu, no barm is done : but it aeems to 
me that there ia a certiiin blighting of the perfect freshoeu 
and delicacy of the nature, when the simulation of real love and 
courtship ia permitted. It seems to me to be hard upon the 
dignity and innocence of childhood, thus to make it ape whal 
it canuot understand, and to deaiicrate the real beauty of \avt 
to foreataD it in ejiort j nay, may not the lingering recollectioa 
of Buch foolish ploy eometinies aasist to nuike the growing-iip 
girl think lightly of flirtjitioa I It is a difficult aubjeot ; but I 
think it might be impressed on both parties, that " Mamma 
doea not like that kind of play," and that no real happineai 
would be lost by such restraint. 

Some pain, too, might be saved, for ia vieiltase de Venfanct 
in soon enough ; and while the boy becomes a prey to Beraerkaf 
vmtk, and, unless he has hia own kind to play with, 
plenty of apace and liberty for voice and motion, is a burthen 
himeelf and all his family; the girl loaea her attractive kitten- 
Jike g«tce, so that the very admirers who lately called her 
delicious, and her apoeches " rich," now vote them pert and 
troublesome, and declare that she must be banished to the 
Bchool-room from aeven to seventeen. If she ia strong and 
henJthy, " tomhojism " by no meana vanishes at this period 
It is the beat sign for future health, for it to he retained up quits 
to the "teens." "What 1 mean by "tomboyism" is a wholesome 
delight in rushing about at full speed, playing at active games, 
climbing trees, rawing boats, making dirt-piea, and the like, 
P can all be done witli perfect modesty, provided the girls 
thoroughly nnderstand that what is permiseibte among them- 
Eelvea needs a little restraint if a boy not of their own family ' 



uma 
neaH 

elseH 
n toH 

.ten- f 



I 



1 



^^^B NnRBBRY TRAIKINO. 11 I 

among them, and that they must avoid all mdenesa. \PerhapB 1 
it ia beet, this principle being understood, to leave the carrying 
out to themfielvea. With them romping is sure to betray itself 
by the torn frock, dishevelled hnir, and over-heated state of | 
eshauation ; and a little improvement of the occasion generally 
brings shame and contrition, that will work gradually against 
the wildnoBS of high apirita. Besides, brotbera are almost always , 
faatidioQS gaardianB to their fiistera' propriety of demeanour, and , 
tell them much stronger truths than will go down from anyone 
else. Where an act that shoeka the elders' notions of pro- | 
priety comes under cognizance, a sudden ahurp demonstration 
of tbe shock it really eauaes, followed up, in a cooler, more : 
private moment, by a little conversation upon maidenliness, I 
based upon the " being grown older," wiU generally be effectuaL | 
Some girla have an instinct about them that never permits them I 
to offend ; others have strong frames and high spirits, which make 1 
the aenae of decorum slow ia coming j and a hint that will , 
cover one girl with, agonizing blushes is soai'cely obaerved by j 
another — a lecture which will be helpful to one in time of excite- J 
ment and temptation will be scorned by another ai 
or particularity on the elder's part. For this latter c 
one brief sharp ating of censure from father, uncle, 
brother, will do more than a hundred reproofs from her( 

It would bo pleasant to believe that, in all cases, 
modesty and regard to propriety ia the attribute of girls, and that, 
however rough, noisy, and bouncing they may be from aeven years 
old to twelve, they are sure to soften into maidenly reaerva j 
but, nnlackily, experience shows that this ia not so uniformly 
the case, as not to make it needful that the lesson of retenne 
and self-control should be enforced in early girlhood, if we wish 
to prevent the " fast " and bold development afterwards. 

Again I say that perfect liberty in the garden with brothers, j 
without objeeting to boyish sports, ia generally quite safe ; but i 
it is wiser to let it be uuderstood that masculine games such bA 
cricket, or rougher sports, such as climbing, are not allowable 
with any other boys ; and any outrageous laughter, or token of 



IS of girl, I 



1 delicate 



12 WOMANKIND. 

boiateroii8ne?a apart from merriment, had better lie suppreaset^. 
Prudery is a much leea danger than forwnrdnBBs, eepecially in tha 
present day. Eytinement is the real quality that stands between 
the two evils ; but it is one which, if it do not como by happy ■ 
nature, can be taught by direful repressive iutlueace better than m 
by direct reproof. I 

The kindest thing to be done by a child is to teayh it aelf- 
restraint. That the mere training in good manners and ordinary 
civiliavtion dues ranch in that way, is proved by the es<^eeding 
difficulty wo must all often have experienced in deahng with 
persona of the lower ulassea, from their inability to restrain 
themselves — nay, their want of appreciation of the possibility. 
Persons among them, whom we know to be thoroughly religious 
and high principled, seem to be entirely dependent on their 
natural temper, and whan removed from the restraint of u 
superior's presence, give way to their natural impulsos with 
absolute helplessness. Sometimes, indeed, we find (tis in the 
curiouH inslanoa of Archbishop Laud's Journal) that the whole 
force of religion has to be put in requisition to attain (and not 
always successfully) those little outward matters of Christian 
courtesy which gentle nurture makes matters of habit. 

In fact, it is a very curious question how much courtesy is an 
inbred quahty, a matter of race. Travellers and missionoriea 
alike ^'ree in telling us that they And the chiefs of savage races 
" perfect gentlemen ;" and it seems plain that high-bred bearing, 
and grace of manner, oro of long inheritance from families sure 
of theii place, used to command, and with too much elevation 
of rank to encouruge meanness or servihty. Caractacus or 
Veroingetorix, Ariovistus, Clovis, or Cerdic, were no doubt men 
of grand dignity of demeanour, aware of what was due to them- 
selves and all around ; and though their free warriors might on 
one side of their nature be ruthless ruffians, yet in their hours 
of peace they would no doubt be grave, punctilious, guarded, 
and as careful about giving oifence as men become when deadly 
weapons are always in their hands. 
The main body of the gentry of the civilized world is de- 



NUESERT THAINING. 13 

Bcended from these free-born lords find noblea ; and tliough of 1 
course there has been an immense intermixture from beneath, i 
eapeciaUy in England, yet a code of honour, courtcey, and , 
natural power of conforming to it, has been handed down, which ] 
has formed a standard which everyone who baa the tone of good 1 
society has learnt to accept, and which heeomee natural to tho.] 
newly elevated after a, generation or two. 

It is this which proscribes all the meaner fiiulta, by simply I 
regarding them as impossible in gentleman or lady; such, wo 
mean, as hatening at doors, looking into letters, playing unfairly 
at games, and the like — and likewise all struggles for place, rude 
and rough speech and manner, such as might become personal 
insult, "giving the lie direct," &a. Whetter our behaviour i 
these matters be Christian courtesy, or mere conventionality, is 1 
tested by finding whether we will give way to a stranger c 
Tisible inferior as to an acquaintance. 

Children of gentle biith learn these things they hardly know I 
bow, the happier ones from babyhood, the leas favoured by more. J 
direct and more painful lessons ; sometimes by the contempt and | 
indignation of their companions, or by the nnanirnous consent m 
of their story-books. And that they are leamt by the great | 
masH of ordinary people is a great safeguard to temper, and 1 
prevents many eoUisions, that might lead to evils fur deeperJ 
than such as seem to be involved in these minor morals. Good J 
habits, and self-control, seem to be what are especially within 1 
the power of education to accomplish. There are things thata 
no external power can accomplish, and that each must do fori 
himself; but the process can be made much easier by enforcing J 
good habits and repressing bad ones. 

Some parents teach their children sound principles, but leavB I 
them all the trouble of correcting tlieir fanlti for themselves a 
they grow older ; others take the task of training and correction ' 
into their own hands from the first ; and we need not say which 
wa think the happiest and wisest way, and which is moat likely 
to aave the little ones from those ingrained faults that become , 
besetting etas. 



WOMANKIND, 



CHAPTER in. 



EARLT RBLIOIOUS TRAININO. 



What ar^ then these hahitfl that can be taught, these faulta thsrl) 
can be uiaatered, in moat aaea by judioioue management 1 I 
am speaking' now of what cim be doae b; diacipline, even more 
than by personal rthgioo. The aoul is, as I aak! bfifore, very 
apt. til he almoat stifiei! by the animal and physical vigour of the 
growiiiK hoy or girl; there ia a great bodily restleasneaB, apt to 
lead to irreverence, an impatience of attention to what does not 
intersBt the onriosity ; and moreover, the outward machinery of 
the family, or the school, provides a whole a]»panituH of secondary 
motives for teaching morality, and fostering the idfeotione that 
in after life are to find their Home and Object ahove. 

It seems to me to he in the course of Providence that 
should bo 80. The faitli of the Patiiartihe — seeing at once 
the end — seems to answer to the spiritual clearneaa of the child 
emerging from infancy ; while we have St. Paul's own authority 
for the likeness of the Jewish dispensation, with its elabonite 
system of laws, and temporal reward and punishment, to the later 
childhood, trained in the rudiments by tutors and governors, 
until the fulness of time, when of course the Christian dispeuE 
tion answers to the faith of the niaturer natura 

Of course 1 do not mean by this that a child should not 
brought under the dominion of religion, or that religion di 
often supply direct motive?. What I do mean is, that ui 
as a child is reverent and dutifal, its spiritual feelings may 
allowed to grow unseen, and not forced or examined. 

I divide spiritiml feidiags from knowledge. It ia really tl 
time for learning and training. The actual personal religion 
that is to 1« expected and inculuited in these early years must 
bo the regular hahit of prayer, ami with attention — graftit>g 
upon thie the asking for what is wished for, and for protection 



m 

id-^ 

■ty 

ite 
rs, 

lon^^H 

'th^^l 

-ion 
uat 
ii>g 

ton ^H 



EABLY KELraioira training. 

from anything dreaded Tbia is the eureBt way to engender 
trnat, and the sense of dependence on the Father Who c 
grant what the earthly parent cunnot. B'or need we fear t 
child's asking for trivial things. Any temporal advantage w 
ask for is probably quite as trivial, aud things iihildish aai 
temporal are the training for things eternal. Reverence is th 
next great point. No familiarity, no levity, no aportiveness 
where holy things are concerned ! Acknowledge no offence a 
more seriooa than fsiliirea here ; and above all keep had examples 
out of the children's sight. 

The Sunday question is a hard one. I believe that in the J 
present day there ia an over-fear of Sabbatarianism with children, j 
and that they are left to their own will in the matter, with o 
regard to their present pkasure, rather than to their future ] 
liahite. They are apt to be allowed their choice about goirg to 1 
church, instead of viewing it as an absolute duty to offer their | 
service to God ; and they are pitied for the length of the s* 
instead of being told it is a great privilege to he allowed to ^ 
come to church at all, and that they will enter into it more 
they grow older. Will they ) Will they leatn thus to con- 
sider God's service their first object, and to set aside the lesser 
olgectiona about weather, comfort, cnM, and the like, which , 
make the bodyforemost? Is a little tedium and restleasness now i 
to be put in competition with the habit of rating the worship I 
of onr Maker above our own pleasure 1 Therefore I believe I 
that whatever amount of church-going is decided on as suitable I 
to the child's age should be regularly insisted on, with due, but I 
not fanciful, regard to health and wtather, and with the feeling I 
impressed by our being pervaded with it ourselves, that it cannot i 
be act aside for pleasure or converience, like anything else. Itis . 
a pity that it has become the fashion to laugh at the keeping a J 
Ifoah'a ark for a Sunday toy. There ie real benefit in making a I 
difference, and the esclusive enjoyment of so charming a toy on I 
the Sunday helps to give the festival feeling. I 

The relaxation of distinctive Sun<lay m cupations is producing 1 
^ •eriouB effect in children's ignorance «a religioMa sofcieiAs. \^ | 



18 



WOHANKIND. 




18 Btartlmg tft find how many boya and girla are left ignorant of 
the iiiBt rudiments of llivinity and Scripture hiatory. How 
ate they ever to leiim them nt idl, if not taught in tbeee early 
yeara of leisure! Nor will they regard such teaching as a 
penance, if it ia carried <m with kindneea and brightness, a very 
different thing from levity. 

Happiest are the homes where a sliort portion of Scripture is 
read, with exj/lanalion, with one of the parents every day, and 
on Sunday the Catechism, hymns, and aacred lessons, according 
to Hge, are gune threugh and made interesting — beat (if all hy 
the father. This cannot always he, especially where the father 
ij an over-taxed clergyman ; hut he at least teaches hy example 
what IS of chief importance. But laymen, whose hnaure day it 
is, would dfi inestimahle good if they would devote a little time, 
and a little interest, to their children's religious inatruction on a 
Sunday, showing that they care alwut it, learning with the little 
onea it may he, if unahle to teach. 

If this cannot he, the mother, or whoever in the family is 
hest qualified, should make it a point that in these years of 
advancing youth — namely from aix to twelve or thirteen, or 
whenever Confirmation preparation may hegin — the Catechism 
slioulii be learnt beyond power of being forgotten, together with 
its explanation, as well as Scripture history and the more re- 
markable prophecies, and that there should bo a tolerable know- 
ledge of the Prayer-book. 

If all ia left for the clergyman's few weeks of preparation 
hofore Confirmation, he has to spend much time, that ought to 
he uaed in strictly devotional training, in teaching the mere 
terms and meaning of phraaes, such aa may just as well be leamt 
at home. In fact, he finds nothing to build upon. What can 
he do, when young people — children of cultivated persons — 
come to him with the notion that they are going to be made 
responaiVile for the aina they suppose their Godfathers and God- 
mothers to have hitherto undertaken ! 

Now it is hard on a child of nine or ten years old to he set 
down to tbe small print in a Prayer-hook, to learn long answers 



EAHLT RELIOIOUS TRAINIXG. H3 

ty heart. But it is not at all hard, at four or five, to have them 
put into his lips Sunday after Sunday, or day after day, by the 
mother, while he thinks it an honour and promotion — till at 
seven, eight, or nine, he hits attained perfect familiarity with the 
words ; and after the first, younger children follow in the track 
of the eider, and repeat the easier answers, orally learning the 
haixler ones. j 

I believe it is a mistake to begin with hahy catechisms and'fl 
" First Steps ; " it is a mere waste of time and memory. Thai 
Church Catechism is more thoroughly luiown if repeated long ■ 
before the understanding ia eqnal to the memory, and there is 
plenty of time afterwards for breaking it up into questions and 
explaining it. Many well-niaunged children are uncomfortable 
if they do not repeat " their Catechism " straight through o 
Sunday, and tbink it a great privilpge to do so to Papa orB 
Mamma, Godfather or Godmother. Even hoys, if thoroughly! 
used to it before going to school, regard it aa a home inatitution,,r 
and are really pleased with the (tsaistanca, that they have fouarf 
it (it school. For their sakes, however, the parent's undertaking I 
it ia doubly desirable. They may be irreverent and idle with I 
a governess, but scarcely with a parent. 

A little piece should be explained and illustrated from soma J 
of the countless manuals in esiatence, ajid which are adapted to 1 
any age; and by this means there can hardly fail to be t 
working head-knowledge (at least) of " all that a Christian ought j 
to do and believe to liia soul's health." With elder obildren ] 
a good deal may be done in thia way by writing. 

It la also — I say it deliberately^a great unldndness not to i 
cause children to lay up in their memories a good store of pas- i 
ages of Scripture ho securely that agitation or grief can hardly " 
disturb the power of recalhng and repeating them. Our ow 
slenpless nights show the value of such recollections ; and t 
one has ever acted as a nurse without feeling the value of having i 
Psalms or southing passages at the tongue's end, to repeat when .' 
it may not be possible to read, besides that the voif« in reading i 
ia hardly ever so pleasant to hear us in repeating. Such facility I 



18 WOMASKISD. ^^M 

is only to be acquired ia very early youlb, ind ought to ba 
cu]tivftb''L The wretched old ctistnm of paDisUng by giving 
chapl«ia to be leamt by heart, produced a ffactioa wbicb has led 
to its being oDcommon to kDOw anything but the P§alnia, and 
not many of them ; but let it be really felt that the acquisition 
•it a Rmall portion to be repeated on Sunday pleases the pareute, 
l«t that portion be well chosen, and perfectioa at cert^n stages 
be fltiunkted by some saitable piize, sach as a photograph of 
a »acred subject— and the learuing will become a pleasticc. 
Hymns are also valuable, but I should put the Psalms and 
passages of the Bible first ; and as to all catechisms but that of 
the Church, they are all very well as guides to the teacher, but 
to have them committed to memory is only wasting the time 
llint might be given to holy words of perpetual benefit The 
Suiiday Goapela are very anitable for such learning ; but when 
taking the Fsalms, it is better to select — for if the child b^ius 
at the beginning, those from the third to the seventh interest it 
so little, that the task becomes a burtheu. The Songs of 
Dpgrees, the twenty third, fifteenth, and nineteenth, are the best 
to begin witL If the children go to the Daily Service, or take 
part in a family reading of the Psalms and Lessons, this must 
not be taken as supplying the place of real instmrtion. Too 
much — even with the new I^ection&ry — is read at a time, besides 
that, for great part of the year, the First Lessons are scarcely 
comprehensible to the very young. A portion about the length 
of a Sunday Gospel should be individually read every day, with 
some kind of comment, either oral, by questions, or from a 
book. This, as l>efore said, is best of all done by a parent (even 
without talent for teachbgl, bnt if regularity cannot be managed, 
let the child take the same time on some serious subject with the 
governess. If the choice be between governess and mamma, 
mamma will hove the preference ; but if mamma's occupation or 
illness leaves imcertnin and much-prized gaps for play, the religious 
lesson will be viewed as an infliction. 

Whatever the child learns, it should be carefully shown is 
mere knowledge, not to b'i confounded with goodness, and that 



VIRTUES AND FADLTS OP CHILDHOOD. 19 j 

Teal dutifulness and conscieatiousness stand far higher thaa J 
perfact repetitiop of hyoma, or accuracy in naming the Kinga of 1 
iBiael and Judah. 

But technical religious instruction ia a scaSolding, the lack c 
which 18 an immensi! hindrance in after life. 



CHAPTER IV. 

VlRTOEa AND FAULTS OF CHILDHOOD. 

And now, what are the virtues that are to spring out of thig J 
instruction and training in early childhood, and how far should M 
they be consciously connected with religion) 

Truth stands first, of course. Happily, public opinion in ' 
England is in favour of truth ; and there is hardly a child of 
any sort of education who does not view falaehood as the worst 
crime within its range. Little children's failures in veracity are 
apt to be from three causes— timidity, insulted reserve, and 
romancing. The timidity, apparently, is best treated by indul- 
gence to the utmost to confessed faults, and such pitying severity 
to the deceit, that the poor httle mind may be convinced that 
"honesty ia the beat policy." The child who denies because it 
thinks you have no right to question, is generally of stuff strong 
enough to bear and understand the penance ; and the romancing ■ 
inaccurate child wants constant training and bting brought to V 
book, sometimes laughed at, sometimes reproved, for every foolish I 
misstatement; and every means should be taken of setting 
before it instances of the evil consequences thence resulting. 
Though less bad in the child than the other causes of untruth, 
more in danger of being permanent, and of being a life-long 

I defect Some persons' minds really seem destitute of the powei 
of distinguishing details; they will persist that it is "all the 

I same," after being convicted of some flagrant misrepresentation, 
and cannot conceive what is found fault with. \ \j^\ctii 



r 




20 WOMASKIND. 

education doee rnucU to remedy this fault, liewmae, tTiongli 
pTeryone knowa only too many ladies and gentlemen euliject to 
it, many are strictly accurate, while it is alraoBt nniveraal among 
the uneducated of all agea. Try to got to the bottom of any story . 
current in any locality, and the contradictions and absurditiee j 
yon meet with make you wonder what prote.sa ie gone through I 
to bring the capacity of giving trustworthy eviden 

Children in general rued not labour under this defect. Their J 
memories are stronger than — and are not loaded with such i 
raaSB of past circutustancea, all much alike, as — thoGo of their 1 
elders ; and unleaa hereditary bias, or bad example, be very 1 
Htning, they can genemlly be entirely cured, and where inac 
racy is inveterate, be placed on their guard. 

Trustworthiness seems to me the next highest perf>^ction i] 
child. I place it before obedience, because that depends more I 
on the oldera than is always allowed for, and may be only fear J 
or pliability, whereas trustworthiness must be conscientious. 
The tme kindness to a child is to make the least command law, 
and to correct resistance aa disobedience. Everyone allows this, 
bnt everyone will not take the trouble, or has not the strength, 
to carry it out, and put im end to petty rebellion in trifles, i 
Almost every child, too, has the instinct of trying its strength | 
with its keeper, and experimenting how far it can go. It will I 
disregard the nagging prohibition, or the whining threat, becansB ] 
they have both become unnieaniag; and when after a time itl 
does something unbearable, it has a sense of injury that unex- , 
pected anger has fallen on it without sufficient warning. 

The very same child will be strictly obedient to a person I 
whose power it has learnt to respect, and wearisomely insubor- I 
dinate under a feebler or mora careless dominion ; yes, and J 
often when it has given a promise, or feels itself upon honour, ' 
it will bo scrupulously careful not to transgress, out of sight, I 
orders it would disobey in eigkl. Such a child is thoroughly I 
hopeful, and there is every reason to think its sense of duty will I 
grow wider and highur. And to make childi'en trustworthy, oz\ 
keep them so, tnist them entirely, until yon jjerceive som» I 



VIHTDES AND FAULTS OF CHILDHOOD. 21 ^ 

abuse of your tniflt, and then show aJl your grief, but give hopes 
that timst may be earned once more. Make also aa few rales 
possible for conduct out of sif^bt, especially when a child is 
redly forgetful, ilememhec that your rules may be causes of J 
■wrongdoing if they Bre such aa cannot easily be kept. 

Do not show suspicions till you can get them fuUy cleared up. 1 
And when, as sometimes happens, something utterly inexplicable^ 
rs, dismiss it when you hud it unfathomable. Youc grief ■ 
and dismay have been, very possibly, as complete a lesson t 
you could have given, had you traced ihe fault, and been able ■ 
to convict the olfender. Never lay the whole community under I 
punishment till the thing is explained. You will only get into 1 
an undignified position, and stimulate the worst side of all | 
the natures. 

Scarcely a large family or school but has experiences of 

me mischief wrapped in mystery ; anrl in talking these c 

after life, it will often turn out that the poor children suspected 1 

ive been so bewildered and worried by the interrogation, as to I 

lose all certainty whether they were guilty or not. In these I 

cases, it is better to treat the thing as if it had not happened, I 

than to make it a reason for continued distrust. 

Temper seems to me to be moulded by the health and circum- 
stances of the child, while it is still an infant. Healthy happy 
children are generally good-tempered for life ; and where they 
iail is in occa!?ional fits, either of obstinacy, which is misused 
s&ength of will, or of passion, which is the uncontrollable out- ■ 
break of excitability. It is weakness and tender nerves, ■ 
Bufiering in forms neither understood nor explained, that produca fl 
the fretful temperament, which lasts even after health has been ■ 
gained. There is an age too, some little time after speech is 
perfect, when children, aggrieved perhaps at losing the caresses 
of infancy, are very apt to get into a whining tone, and bring all 
their requests and grievances (sometimes their lessons) in the 
moat pitiful voice. It is better to stop this at once, by speaking 
gently but cheerfully, and saying " I will Hsten to you, if you 
will speak in youi' own voice." It really is an im^ottant Uast 



to correct; for there is Dothing more bnrtfiil to a 
position in her family, than the habit of letting ] 
liecome plaintive, the moment slie is unuomfortable 
Sometimes, too, an ordinarilj^ cheerful child fails into a stata of 
veak spirits, feeling everything an injury, and with tears 
sprbfpog on the slightest cause. This is sometimes conQect«d 
with change of teeth, Bometimes with rapid growth- In past 
days, there was little mercy to a child in this condition ; she 
wonld be scolded, laughed at, or threatened with crjing herself 
into a thread-jMiper ; and the other children, believing her wilfully 
naughty, teazed her [litilessly. How a tonic, a glass of wine, or 
s breath of sea air, is generally the remedy ; but with all 
consideration for the child, it is best, at the same time, to give 
some gentle stimulus to help her to acquire self-control, since it 
ia not likely that she will pnss through life without many moia 
periods of depressed power. Fretful uesa, whelht 
nature, or merely the effect of temiwmry languir, ia best dealt 
with by inducements on the side of reward. The punishmeDt 
should only be its natural consequence. " My dear, I cannot 
take yott this time — you were bo tiresome, and teazed everyone 
so much." 

Never let anything bo got by fretting, or the power of the 
engine will only too soon be discovered. Practically, the most 
fretful {lerson is sure to be the deB[)Ot of the family ; but fur her 
own mike, even more than that of others, the tyranny had belter 
be averted. And when conscience and determination shut the 
ntouth, the spirit of piteousness is in the way to be starved out. 

The two strong forms of temper are much more easily dealt 
with. Passion of the kicking and screaming form is so terrible 
a memory to the victim, that the will is likely to be in favon* 
of sulwluing it ; and it must he very bad management indeed 
that has not cured a girl of it by ten or twrfve years old. Thi 
test whether the evil ia conquered, and not merely that the 
lady-like instinct is awoke, is whether vmrd as well as gesture i* 
refl trained. 

Ubstiuacy often becomea a kind of stupor, in which the child 



t 
t 
t 

I 

I 



VIBTUEB AND FAULTS OF CHILDHOOD. 

has gone into such, a state of pasaiYe resistance, as not in 
least to underatand the efforts at persuasion, or the attempts 
coertioa, aimed at him. I beheve the best way then is 
ohserye that he ia not in his senses, and leave him to recover. 
There is so much pride in sullenneas, that to pay it too much 
attention flattera and inci-easea it. The way to he really 
mortifying is to avoid making the point of contest tuo 
portant, especially if it be what it ia quite impossible to make: 
another person do. " Ye may gar me greet, but ye canna gat' 
me tell," says Madge "Wildfire ; and TOhen the child refuses ta] 
Bpealt some word, or accost some visitor, punish it at once for' 
the disobedience, but do not enforce the matter tUl after the 
mood has passed, and the zest of resistance ia over. If possible, 
avoid that dreadful state of dogged perseverance which becomes 
a trial of strength of will ; but come off with dignity, by 
observing that since the child is so foolish, it must be punished, 
and then carry out the punishment, not letting it feel that it 
has gained the victory. 

After all, though, judicious management spares the child from 
giving way to the most visibly obnoxious forms of any kind of 
temper, the remedy ia only from within. External management 
trains in self-control, and gives power of repression. Keligious 
principle and practice in the child alone can really conquer the 
enemy, whether anger, obstinacy, or repining. 

These tendencies, together with failures in obedience, and 
falaehooda from timidity, are the errors the young spirit can 
thoroughly appreciate aa sina and temptations, lema to repent 
o^ pray against, and struggle with. It seems to be thus pro- 
videntially ordered that childish faults, which do not necessarily 
leave a taita] stain, should be made the means of teaching ths' 
eoul to depend on Divine help, and strive against temptation. 

Thus it is that the strong character, capable of doing far the 
most in the world by and by, ia oftfln apparently " the most 
naughty," before the force of will has been turned into the right 
direction ; and thus the finer qualities of the nature make it 
more sensitive to jars and misunderstanding than tte wts^. 



I 
I 



34 WOMANKIND. ^^^^H 

docile, tranquil, disposition, whict alipa along smootlily, without 
hiLving to fight out its pkce and to contend with itself and 
all around. 

Quarrelling, though of course depending much on temper, is 
not by any means a criterion of the unwortliiness or wortliiness 
of children. There are quarrels and quarrels ; and it often 
happens that the most unsatisfactory and neglected children dro 
far more peaceful and amiable to)retheT, than those who are tbe 
most carefully watched and taught. " A little grain of conscience 
miide him sour," is ha trne of the child as of the man ; only 
instead of sour — that is, exhausted and spoilt for want of outlet 
— we should read turbulent and efFervescing. A child with a 
Bti-ong sense of duty, tiuth, and uprightness, will in endeavours 
to assert these principles, often be tar more quacrelHome than 
the placid, easy-going, Buiooth-tsmpeied beings who dielike "a 
fuss" far more than a transgress ton. Again, one child of fixed 
determination and ready invention wOl k-ad and fascinate a nholu 
troop — for originahty ia not so universal but that the flock is 
happy to find a guide — till a second, with an equally strong 
will, brings war into the pluy.ground, As to knowing who is in 
the right, that is generally a hopeless matter. As Manzoni has 
told U8, there is very seldom a dispute where right and wrong 
are so neatly divided that each party can take the whole of one 
or the whole of the other ; and children, with their vehement 
little pasfliona distorting their point of view, have hardly the 
power of giving an impartal elatement of their mutual grievances. 

The habit of squabbling is, however, such a miserable thing, 
and one so likely to be lasting, and to be deetrnctive to family 
peace uud happiness, that it should be quashed by authority. 
The diBpute had belter he treated as the fault. The game 
Bhould he i>ut an end to at once, and the children sepirated fur 
the time. Where it is a questlou of mere taste, and having one's 
way, the senior child's undoubted right should Iw maintained ; 
but that same elder should be instructed that it is the privilege 
and grace of age to concede to the younger and weaker ; and 
nine cases out of ten, this will be willingly done, either from. 



t 



TIBTUES AND FAULTS OF CHILDHOOD. 



j;enerosity, or dislike of seeirg the little one unhappy 
juatice abould always be upheld, no one ever ahould ha forced 
yield a right, it only begets discontent, dislike, and leprisala. 

" I'iat jTistUia, ruat ccelum," should be the law of the nursery. 
Yea — ruat, not ixelum, perhaps ; but the reign of the favourite. 
Nurses and motherly elder sisters are apt to make everything 
give way to the baby-pet, and allow it to become the torment of 
the older children, whose toys are taken away to gratify its 
destractiveness, aud whose important little occupatj 
violently broken up to gratify its volatile spirit of imitatiou 
curiosity. To the elders the threading of beads, o; 
pictures, or making of models, may aeem even less importai 
than baby's gratification ; but to the child they are the busiiK 
of life, pursued with a sense of purpose and industry, and it 
both liarsh aud mischievous to sacrifice them uniformly to tl 
liltle one. True, he is very likely to scjuall, and obstinately 
insist on being amused with nothiag but invading the occupation 
that engrosses the older one ; and the child may be advised — but 
BO as to leave it entirely a matter of fcee-will — to give way to him 
or else put tbe coveted objsct out of sight. There will generallj' 
be enough love to the little one, and dislike of being ill-natui 
to lead to this being done, and probably to a more prudent 
choice of opportunities another time. K possible, children of 
this mote reasonable age ought to have some refuge from the 
meddlesomeness of the lesser ones. It would greatly conduce 
to their comfort, and even to the affection of both parties, 
there be not room to keep them in separate nurseries, surely' 
quiet, rational sports might be carried on in the drawing-room 
or Bchool-ioom. 

Giving up and foi^iving are great duties, and a child is 
capable of both, but compulsion will not succeed in either 
Moral influence alone is efl'ective ; and in a well-ordered family 
the dues of age never should be contested — the right of th«j 
eldest in succession to the first choice, the outing, the decision^] 
and the authority, should be fully established, but tempered by] 
training in the generosity of setting oneself aside. This system 



] 



are 

I 

«iy ^" 

ion 
but 

ired;^^! 
ient^B 

I 

i 
I 



obviates a good deal of dinputing, hy making it clear who u 
to Bay what is to lie done, and who is to be obeyed 
deal of uTiarelling is really for want of an acknowledged loader, 
a good deal mora ia a sort of police. This ia not said witb any I 
view to its toleratioa — for it is n griuvous blot on the bright \ 
page of childhood, a sad marring of family affection — but chiefly j 
to show that it may bo more the fault of the parents than of the ] 
childi'en ; and when there is good sound ])rinciple and love at 
the bottom, the effect on the gniwn-np fraternity is sometimes j 
to enable them to any the most impalatable home truths to one 
another in ttie most uncompromising manner, and then foi^et 
and forgivoj as if nothing had happened. However, family 
courtesy should hinder the violence; and therefore all mutual 
rudeneas and bickerings should be put down with the utmost 
decision, whenever they crop out. Blows, kicks, pinches, and f 
the like should most assuredly be punished sharply, especially | 
from the stronger to the weaker, and treated as a serbus offence. ( 
Some parents think it kaves lees ill blood, where boys are fairly i 
equal ia strength, to let them batter and buffet it out their own I 
way, and this may be a matter of family temperament and I 
management, only U.i he dealt with by experience ; but hetweea 
y boy and girl, or among girls, hurting by deed should be treated 
as a shameful offence. There is also great need to mateh o 
that strange melancholy instinct for giving pain by way of I 
feeling power, which exists in most boys, and results in tyranny f 
and bullying. Tortures to see how much fortitude a little girl 
will dtsjitay are very hard to detect, because the victim is apt to 
exert a dumfi resolution, half Spartan, half cowardly ; but they 
would, we imagine, be best cured by a father's indignation firsts 
and then by reasoning on the cowardliness of the action. Teazing 
a whining girl is more difficult to deal with, because the boy ] 
can never be convinced that her folly does not make her fair | 
game, and that he is not using wholesome discipline, and ti 
a certain extent is true ; but the borders between good-humoured 1 
banter and tyrannical tormenting, are eo very eseily passed, that i 
the only test ia whether the girl be redly unhappy, and the boy I 



TIliTHES AKD PAPLTS OP CHILDHOOD. 

I enjoying — not the fun, liut — the inflictioa of unhappuieas, and , 
I tiien he must be pimiflbflil. 

Girk' teazing of one another ia chiefly na^ng. In its woTBt 
I kinds it b a devBlopment mthei of schools than families. The 
1 feminine nature ia not one to improve by being massed together 
I and the girl does not naturally like those of her own sex who 
I are not old enough to be companions, and yet so little younger 
I than herself as not to elicit the sentiment of motherliness, 
I Spite and jealousy are dangers among girls thrown together 
t'dthout relationship, and without the gradations of age neces- 
I arily modifying family rivalries ; and where the elders lorm ona 
I, division and little ouea another, as in schools, the younger a 
I simply troublesome, instead of bringing out the aenttment of 
I afleotion. And as all parties are too old to fight it out other- 
L irise, the tongue is employed to taunt and teaze, and a lasting 
I bad habit is formed. Such things do prevail among sisters, but 
jmmonly. The tendency is often, however, on the part of 
I lbs eldest girl, to take the part of the little ones with undiacri- 
minating vehemence, and to he much less kind to la eadette 
unless she have paired with her in that intimate manner which 
\ realizes the old BimiJitude of "the double cherry seeming 
I parted," and ia one of the most pure and perfect affections 
\ in existence. 

Nothing can form this connection — nothing but nature, and 
r the peculiar construction of each character, either in similarity 
V OT diaaimilarity ; but a strong and wise hand, hindering all infrao- 
1 liona of the peace, and teaching to bear and forbear — showing 
I to the perpetrator that " a small unkindness is a great offence," 
L and to the sufferer that it is a very little one— does much to 
1 smooth the future path of life, and to make home a belo 

recollection. Patience and forgiveness are within the scope of a 

I child's virtue, and should be required as the test of its sincerity. 

Tet by this I do not mean that there should be a constant 

I appeal to the highest motives as an engine for management. If 

yon tell a child not to teaze its little brother, because if he does 

"God will not love him," you say what is not true. You break 



WOMAKKIND. 



the Tbird Commandment yourself, and you put tlie c 



duD^'er of doiug the a 



, and hating the appeal. It ie onaA 



tliut the religiime poor ace in the habit uf using ; and c 
ha taken in checking jounj; nuteery-maids in making it, to sho»l 
j'ou do not mean to prohibit rtiligioua subjects, only light uppeoU,. I 
To recall the fault at bed-time, when the temper ia over, and| 
teach the child to confesa it, and aak pardon in his player, is a 
entirely different thing. 

One more point in childish religion is almsgiving. If childranl 
have money of their own, the duty of reserving a tithe for J 
choriLy or the Ofl'ertojy should bo put in their way, aa an obliga- 
tion. Natural compaasion will do much, if properly managed ; 
und as the happy craaturea need never know of imposition, they 
may generally " find joy unmixed in charity." The gi'eat point J 
ia to let them feel the tithe the duty, the rest right, but noil 
compulsory. To let little girls' achool-room needlework be o(l 
garments for the poor, and if possible to let them give them inl 
jierson, ie an excellent plan ; and if they are not allowed tojl 
ohooae the object, or call the gift their own, unless they haral 
bought the material with their own money, they will genetalljl 
learn to prefer auuh a purcbaee to swesta or dolls' clothes. 

One great difference has come in of late. Greediness used to| 
be viewed as a degradation, now it is made light of. Children 
of the last generation, especially girls at home, were led to tbinkl 
the pucohagc of sweets with their own money a tbing no rationn' 
being would do, viewing the pleasure aa transitory, the w 
ahamefuL Why is it that now it is thought unkind and strict 
to train children in the disdain of mere pleasures of appetite and 
in the epirit of aelf-Jienial, which they must need all their life 1 

There was sometbing to he said for hoya at the old-fashioned 
schools, where mere neccsaariea alono were provided, and the 
deaire for variety of food was a sort of instinct; but that a 
child whose ordinary food comprises what is pleasant aa well ax 
wholesome, should not be dissuaded from spending money on so 
nnor and foolish an enjoyment as augar-pluma, seeina to me, I 
trango thing. It ia far better, for wiser, far happier, for I 



HOME, SCHOOL, OR GOVERSESS. 

ft child to eat at regnlnr times, than to be allowed to eat what- ] 
ever is before other people, only because it ia in eight and looks 
To some people it seems cruel not to give a child a 
apoonrul out of an egg, or to let it eat the fruit it helps to ga.ther. 
I can only say that I have been thankful all my life for tha ] 
hftbitg given to me of being able to see food without expecting 
I it, and of viewing niceties in ahopa withoiit thinking of buying i 
.them unnecGBsarily. 



CHAPTEE V. 



The ideal education for girls is that by the parents ; hut three 

I thinga are wanting to this, namely, power, time, and will, po far 

a actual instruction is concerned. As to that education which 

ia ftir more than actual teaching, the will is all that is needed. 

Let real interest be shown in the child's studies ; let there he 

[ aword of teaching, a little encouragement, a quarter of au honr'a 

I reading, as often as possible, an eye for a fair exercise in writing 

or achievement in drawing, an ear for a recitation or a piece of 

music ; lot the children feel that every step in learning renders 

them more companionable to their father, and he will do more 

for them than is in the power of any other creature.. If he be 

a man of leisure, he ought to do far more for them ; hut men ef 

leisure are so very rare, that it is hardly worth while to speak 

of them. 

There is an odd notion abroad, that children do not learn so 
well of their nearest relations as of strangers. The fact is, 
I aaspect, that the gift of teaclung is not universal, and that the 
parson wh se p t a n t ought— either from natural ability, 
I endowment o expen n e — t be better qualified than the 
othere ; he d wh h th e a no old habits of spoiling to 
be broken th n h St 11 t eal disadvantages ftial 



I 



30 WOMANKIND. 

do not attempt to teach more, or at any rate to be the presiding 
power in their Bchool-rnomB, Where mother or elder sister 
poasessea the powei, iiistiuction comes from no one eo weU, and 
ftom no one ia it so pwmanent or valuable. In a large fftmily, 
however, it is impossilile that the mother, however good as an 
instructreaa, can teaoh oonstaally, or have all the children 
depending on her; and a clergyman's wife is liable to be con- 
tinually colled ofT to " speak to aome one." Other excuses as to 
occupation are not always equally valid. No teaaonable person 
would take ofl'enee at a lady not being acceesibie to morning 
calls befoi« luncheon ; and visitora in the house for more than 
a aingie day do not lei^uire entertainment in the forenoon. Even 
a leisurely huahand, if he have any real regard fur his chUdcen, 
will surely not grutlge the mother two or tlu'ee quiet morning 
hours with them. Depend upon it, if she will make the school- 
room her resort, teaching whatever ehe is most (it to teach, 
whether the hearing great girls read, or taking the little boye' 
Latin, or the bahies' first lessons — doing whatever ia her strong 
point or the governess's weak one ; sometimes making her 
teaehing a reward, or in other cases taking in hand the cranky 
one who has some essential misunderstanding with the governess 
— she win gain a hold over her children's minds and afiections, 
their trust and confidence, far above what comes of only meeting 
in holiday hours. "The governess would not Uke it." Tliea do 
not keep hex, but take a young one, with t'resheF accomplish- 
ments, and thankful for supervision. 

I take it, the best education ia by the parents, supplemented 
by technical teaching in certain branches, such as languagee, 
music, drawing, and, if the parents be not qualified, in arith- 
metic ; the second best, that by a good governess or elder sister, 
superintended by the parent ; the third, a good schooL A really 
good school is very much better than an inferior governess left 
to herself; but as things stand at present, it is exceedingly 
difficult to find a good school that is not eo expensive as to be 
out of the reach of large families. 

One difficulty ia, that good tuition ia ao costly that it can 



31 

hardly be atbatned without large niimbers ; and it is not p 
to have large numliera of young girls boarding together, without 
injury to qualities more essential than intellect. It ia a curio 
thing, but of universal expetienee, thafwhile most boya £ 
improved by free intereouree with their own kind in largo 
numbera— generally the larger the better — girla aa certainly 
deteriorate in proportion as the sense of famil^life ia loat. 

There are reasons for it, of various kinds. lOne is the loss of 

privacy in the bed-roome — which blunts certain delicate edges.] 

I Sisters sleep together at home ; but this ia only a prolongation 

of the nursery, and quite different from the never being out of 

t the Bight of etrangera. Screens are a sine qua non, but even 

these cannot prevent a girl'a prayers, readings, and meditation, 

from being at the mercy of anyone possessed with the spirit 

; of mischief or curiosity. All, however, that ia to be said on 

thia point has been excellently put in Miss Sewell'a Principles 

^ Edvcotion. i 

Next comes the diaadvantage recognized not only in ladies' | 

echoola but in orphanages — that the tenderer parts of the 

character find no scope. Where a laige mass of girls, from ' 

sixteen to ten or eight, are thrown together, the little ones are 

I not smaU enough to draw out the affection of the elders. Even 

I at home, aa I said before, many an elder sister is as kind as 

\ possible to the babies, while she is harsh and impatient to the 

I middle-sized children ; and where there is no bond of relation- 

I ahip the younger children are, in the sight of the great ones, 

I a trOubleaome noisy herd. The institution of " school mammas " 

I" may aecure a protector for each, and there are occasional pets, 

I either from exceptional smallnesa or other charma ; but, in 

I general there is in the nature of things an antagonism that 

I bieeda party spirit, and takea off the s<jftne8a of both parties. 

I And mrst serious of all is the fact, that when once the 

I numbers are too large for the semblance of family life, confidence 

I between the head and the members becomes impossible. Unlesa 

I the chief can really be a mother to the pupils, and the teachers 

I and senior girls live in free intimacy with her and. Lha Utt.\ft 



32 WOMANKIKD, ^^H 

onep, Rupervisiiin becomes eiq>ion.nage^ and confidence tale-tell in;;. 
Wbere Buch lerma of friendship are impoaaible, there is no 
guarding sfs^ini^t unimagioable evils, which a sense of honour 
forbids the more conatientioos to disclose. 

Girls are more helpless than boys when they detect evil 
amon;; them. The rough police by which gi>od bnys indiRnantly 
crush the mianhief, while giiarding the delinquent from exposure 
to the master, ia impossible to the feminine creaturee. The 
pleasure of eluding Buspicion and discovery is part of human 
Hiiture, and is no small temptation to acquiesce in acted deceits ; 
and where once the feeling has set in that the authorities are 
natural enemies, there will come the spirit of evasion, and of all 
but flat untruth. Where there are numerous subjects too, the 
rules must be more strict, more numeroua, and less elastic, than 
among a few; they will therefure be more irksome, and the 
temptation to break them will be proportionably greater, so that 
the government is more galling, and those engaged in it are 
naturally looked on with less liking, 

The only thoroughly sotisfactory sort of boarding-school for 
girls, seems to be one not numbering more than from ten to 
twenty, where the head can, without loss of dignity, lie on such 
terms as a kind aunt or home governeaa wonld be on with the 
pupils ; where they can be aUowed to use their tongues at meals, 
and can spend the evening all tc^ether, sometimes with a book 
read aloud to them, sometimea in games ; where they can have 
ready access to their teacher, and it can be a treat to be her 
companion in a wulk, or to call her to join in their fun. Then 
there is a chance that they will really love her and one another, 
and that she will see enough of them unrestraiuedly to under- 
stand their dispositions. Then they can be led to explain tbeit 
troubles and difficnltiee ; her desire for the good of al! will be 
infused into the elder ones ; and auch as are set in any authority 
can, without sonse of unkindnesa, report their perplexities nt 
explain hers. 

Such a school a.s this cannot be remunerative without very 
heavy charges, if the tuition be of a superior order. In tlie 



HOME, BCUOOL, OB GOVERNESS. 

coantry, it would be hardly possible to carry it on without 
resident teachers of a high claas ; and in a town, the rent would 
ba 80 much higher as to le.seen something of the ndvantage of 
having masters close at hand. 

Would it not be possible to establish good day-schools, & 
ducted by really superior teachers, to whom the girla in et 
town might resort from their homes, establishing in combination 
with them small boarding-houses, under ladies of such qualifica 
tions aa would make real motherly homos of their houses, and 
under whose charge girls could be put, to form little families 1 
Many a widowed mother, wanting to educate her daughter 
would be thankful for such an opening ; nay, the wiTea of pro- 
fessional men would be often glad to add to their incomes by 
thtta taking in a few girla, who would often be supplied from 
among their country acquaintanci^ Different grades in social 
rank might probably meet at the school, but as it would be only 
in claas, it could hardly lead to inconvenient intercourse. 

However, thia ia a thing of speculation. Aa matters actually 
itand, I believe that if circiunstances render it necessary to send 
a girl from home at all, the moat UE-achool-like place ia best for 
her ; and even at the sacrifice of firatrale teaching, that it ia 
better to place her in some family, or in a very small party of 
pupils, till her character has settled itself AftenTards, a 
thoroughly good Bchool, from fifteen to seventeen, or from 
BJxteen to eighteen, will give method and instruction at an age 
when she is able to value and profit by them. It is the same 
■with girla brought up either entirely on domestic teaching, or 
wMi a governess able to lay foundations, but not to pass beyond ; 
a year or two at a good school may often be exceedingly valuable 
to Uiem, if they go prepared to make use of it, and with character 
and habits settled. 

Thorough goodness is, however, in this, aa in everything else, 
the requisite ; and there is at present much more power than 
uud to exist of gauging the capacities of teachers for young 
ladies aa well aa for the poor. No professional teacher now, (in 
1876), under fivc-and- twenty ouffkt to be engaged for gjrla (WM 



34 WOMANKIND. 

fourteen, who cannot produce a certificate from a University. Of 
course, such a governess requires a good salary, and to raise it 
would often be the truest economy. Sometimes it could be 
done by the union of two or three families with daughters 
of the same age, or sometimes by taking in a scholar to share 
the instruction. 

Of course, among ladies who grew up before these facilities 
for obtaining certificates existed, there are many of the highest 
attainments, and inquiry should be able to discover them ; but 
among the younger generation, proof ought to be ottered and 
given of capacity beyond the vagueness involved in " excellent 
references." No one ought to undertake what she is not qualified 
to perform, and if not able to obtain a certificate, a young person 
intending to teach should either take younger children, continue 
her studies, or find some other occupation. Fortunately, there 
ift much less nonsense now than formerly about losing caste ; and 
if she cannot be a first-rate governess, she can perhaps be a 
certificated schoolmistress, a nurse, or enter on some of the 
occupations that are becoming more and more open to educated 
women. 

It is the mediocre people, who take situations underpaid, and 
fill them in a half mechanical, half slovenly manner, who bring 
tuition into disrepute, and lower the public opinion of their 
class. Insolence to a governess is an old stock complaint. In 
real life, I never heard of it from anyone by birth and breeding 
a lady ; the only instances I can recoUect were in one case from 
a thoroughly vulgar employer, in the other from a servant, who 
was sharply rebuked, and, I think, dismissed for it. Persons 
with no consideration for those about them are to be found in 
any rank of life ; but where a lady is forgetful of little 
pleasures or comforts for her governess, she is probably no 
better towards her husband, her friends, or anyone she is not 
afraid of As to slights, anybody may find them anywhere, who 
looks for them and thinks about self. 

Perhaps it would be well if the lady and the governess both 
better understood the situation of the latter. She is a lady 



f HOME, SCHOOL, OR OOVEKNEBS. 35 I 

with a profession, just as mnch as a barrister is a gentleman | 
■with a profession. That profession is to teach the chiliJpeD, and I 
BUpplj the place of the mother when she is engaged. Por thia 
purpose, she is resident in the honse ; hut it does not at^ue 
either slight or inferiority, if she do not partake all the gaieties 
of the mother ami elder daughters. Her purpose is to be with 
har pnpils at such times as the mother cannot attend to them, 
and thus she must share their hours. Then as to her evenings ; 
where the family is large, or there is a contimiiU coming and' 
going of strangers, it is no interroptioa that she should be one 
of the circle ; but if the hosband and wife, and one son or 
daughter, or the like small numbers, are the ordinary home set, 
a person of really lady-like feehng would perceive it to be aa ' 
much of an intrusion to come constantly among them, as she 
would think it if she lived in another house. Most likely, if 
dhe be a sensible person, she is glad of a little peace to read in 
or write her letters. 

I have called a governess a lady with a profession. Let her 
think what that profession is, and what her place as a polished 
comer of the Temple. Is not the training of young maidena 
for their oflice in life a holy duty, an act of membership to the 
Church? la she not allowed to chip at the shaping and beauti- 
fying of those living atones, to be built up silently 1 Does she 
feel as if the being paid neutralized it aa direct work for the 
Church) Surely not. It rather gives it an earnestness and 
conaistency, aa making it a charge ; and the hire— if devoted, aa 
it BO often is, to maintain a parent or educate a brother — is 
"holiness unto the Lord." The governess who teaches history 
and geography, and hears scales practised, with the conscientious 
care of one who has the fear of God before her eyes, is just aa 
much a handmaid of the Church, as if she were a nursing or 
teaching Sister in a community. 

Surely this estimate of her own place should help her so to 
place her children and their welfare first, as to have little obser- 
vation to spend on the drawbacks of any family where she 
ought to engage heraeK. For, of course, I mean that a ChriatiB.ii. 



36 WOMANKIND. 

woman would not knowingly allow herself to be tempted by any 
advantages into a bousebold where Tcligiotk w.is systematically 
set aside or ignored. It is posHible that it might be tight for ber 
to go, in a miBaionary epirit, or to remain, in a family where there 
was a careless tone ; hut this she could hardly venture without 
trustworthy counsel, and in that case ahe should accept the 
annoyances in the same spirit us she would those of a rude 
cottager. Generally speaking, if aha avoided on principle, 
worldly ungoi.Uy house, she would also avoid any intentional 
miabehaviour or neglect towards heraelf. No situation is 
from the need of tracing and forbearing ; and a woman 
stranger household is more exposed to it than any other 
from the nuuibur uf tiny peculiarities that jar and rub 
either aide. 

Take the other side of the question. The mamma, persuaded 
reluctantly that the children need more teaching than she 
bestow, obtains tlie governesa in fear and dread. She is eqnally 
afraid of boring her husband with a etntngor, and of hurting 
the governess's feelings, and all she can do is to make n sort nf 
compromise, by bringing the govemefls into the drawing-room 
whenever there is any addition to the family party, or when hei 
lusband is out ; but if she haa a visit from a brother, sister, or 
ery intimate friend, it is due to their comfort not to interrupt 
their brief mtercourse witli lier, by hringijig in on them a person 
who may indeed bo on close terms of confidence with herself, 
but cannot ho the same with them. It is no slight, for she 
would do the same by jnyone with whom s!ie was not on formal 
terms; and a goierness of any tact, or good sense, will perceive, 
and accommodate ht^rstlf In the infinite vaiieties that exist, 
ral ndes.aro impossible; but it would seem the, governess's 
wisest way never to obtrude herself without being sure that her 
company is desired, and in the case of visitors, to observe 
whether they appear so intimate as to wish for privacy, 
whether the ladies of the house are glad of assistance in entt'i- 
taining them. " Do as, you would be done by " is the only rule' 
in all case a. 



I 

I 



i 



HOME, SceoOL, OR OOVERNEaS. 



37 1 



So as to the household wuys towacda the governesB. There is I 
DO need to he sentimental ahout h&r situation. If she he B 
good governesa and wise -woman, it ia as much her prafussion as 
law or medicine are those of men. Treat her aa a lady with a 
vocation, jour equal in hreeding, and your superior in certain 
acquirements ; hut do not Jet her indulgeacea interfere with her 
vocation, sav« exceptionally ; and always he considerate in ^ 
enahling her to see books and papers, or to take part i 
thing interesting. She should not feel — like Miss Thackera/ii 
Catharine — that she is cut off from all that ia hright an^^ 
pleasant, and set aside from all that OEcupiea young people c 
her own age. 

I think tbat two cluaaeB of books increase the evils. There 
is first the " pathetic governesa " style, the effect of which on 
the governess herself is excellently shewn in Miss logelow'a 
Slttdia for Stories. And there is the children's book, which 
represents the governesa aa a wooden, unsympathetic person, and 
quizzes her attempts to enforce good English and goo 
and to impart information. Ib it right thus to teach children 
naughtiness, and not to lead them to accept readily the training) 
needful for them 1 

The grown-up girls in the house can do muth for the gover. 
ness's happiness. Often she can be made a very delightfi 
Bympathizing friend, and audience for all their experiences 
even if she be not suited to this happy r6le, she can he made- 
much happier by their consideratenees in bringing her flowers,'] 
books, music, &c., and belling her hits of news. The treatmentrj 
she receives from the servants will often he decided by theiF' 
maimer towards her, and way of speaking of her. Whether 
the condition of governesses ever receives the change tbat is 
talked of, depends however not on employers, but on themselves ; 
upon their efficiency, and on their self- respect — by which I by no 
means intend that punctiho which can he wounded at all 
points, but that simplicity which knows its plaee, and is " not 
easily provoked." 

For my own part I much preftr English to foreign governesBea.- 



Id 

1 

sif^H 




ffS WOMANKIND. 

The alwence of nnit^ in doctrine eeems to mo a heavy price to 1 
pay for elightly better pronunciation of the language, ifec. What 
after all is the outward conformity of the Swiss or Germaa 
Protestant t Who knows unJerwhat ciioumatnnces the children 
may he left to the governess's guidance, and is it Dot best 
that she should he reuOy of their Church 1 Besides, if history 
is not to be learnt by rote, hut tboughtfully, should it not he 
read with one whose principles and opinions are the same with 
oars 1 And another point is worthy of consideratiou. It ia not 
right to cfindemn a whole nation, but it ie notorious that the 
French standard of truth ia very unlike tho English, especially 
in Koman Catholics, Uf course there are many excellent 
foreign goverueeses, but on the whole, it Beemg to me that the 
character has much greater chance of being formed by s, fellow-- 
countrywoman and Churchwomaii. 



CHAPTER Vr. 



1)CBING the Bchooboom years there ie a neeeesity of being 
taught. The old verb, to learn, was transitive, Mid I will take 
leave so to use it. In childhood we are learnt — afterwarda wb 
learn. 

"When will Miss Eoanmond have finished her education!" 
says one of Miss Edye worth's foolish Uidies. "Never," is 
answer. 

The difference is, or ought to he, that during the time of 
tutelage, much must he acquired irrespective of natural taste J 
and ability, while afterwards there is freedom to pursue what J 
ever line is most obvious and agreeable. 

In comee the question, Why do girls learn a Httle of every- 1 
thing! a smattering, as it ia contemptuously called. Let it not! 



be a smattering, but a foundation. The philosophy of the 
matter seems to be this : woman is the helpmeet, and it i 
impossible to predict in what line her aid and sfrapatb; may b 
needed ; therefore it is well to give her the germs of mai 
Tarieties of acquirement in readiness to be developed < 



Of course there are certain demands of the present level of 
culture to which every fprl has to be worked up alike, if she 
would be spared dipgrace and mortification, and be on equal 
t«rais with those about her. 

I suppose the lowest standard for a lady mnet include, besides 
reading aloud, tolerable composition of a letter, and arithmetic 
enough for accounts, respectably grammatical language, and 
eorrect pronunciation; comtnand of the limbs and figure, 
facility in understanding French, history enough not to con- 
fuund Eomaus with Greeks, and some fuller knowledge of that 
of England, with bo much geography as to avoid preposterous 
blunders, dexterity in needlework, and general information and 
literature sufficient to know what people are talking about. 

This is indeed a minimum. Some knowledge of music is 
almost always added, and less invariably the power of using a 
pencil ; but without one or either of these, a person may pass in 
the crowd without being remarked for falling beneath ordinary 
mediocrity. The most frivolous mother knows that the most 
frivolous girl must learn thus much, and be up to a. kind 
of MangnaH'a Questions perception of things in general. 

Uf course this shallow surface ought to mean such gram- 
matical instruction in English as to make slip-slop impossible 
and disgusting, and render the language and its construction 
real matter of interest. This is perhaps best learnt, not \fj the 
old-fashioned theme, but by accounts of something that has 
been read, or by tranaliitions, very carefully revised, and made 
into good English. N.B, — Nobody would imagine how very 
few people there are capable of making a good prose translation, 
even when the original language ia perfectly understood 
early pains to make a translation good readable current Englial 



ib^ 



clEcgU^ ^^H 
1 and mora ^^M 



40 WOKUCCISD. 

atd jet ^T* U>e apiiit or the original, tend to teacli a 
of tb« idiom and ^oatamj of both languages. Cotrecl 
neither csreleas, eiQted, nor dangy, is beconuDg 
rare ; hat it lb a mark ot real relltieinent of mind and cattivation. 
If simple in the choice of words and turn of phrsfcs, it uetMi never 
give the idea of formal pret.'ision : e.g. " I shall begin Ui write ia 
my mother," is infioitelj lietter thuo " I ahall commence to writ« 
home," which h not grammatical, nnce eomnimce ought to be 
followed by a noun instead of an infinitive, and homt is not an 
adverb. " I shall commence mj lutler to my mother," in gram- 
matical, but hai) ft Bound of affectation. To learn gramme' 
thoTouglily, and then use it, should be the training of ever; lady 
in tbe limd ; and it is rather hard to lind that story-books 
unanimously represent insisUvnce on it us a goreme^'s way of 
making herself tiresome. Is it oving to this that the poor verba 
to lie and to lay are so cruelly misused, and that there is a 
general misapprehension about the verb to dare} 

People generally say that grammar is better learnt through 
another language than our own ; and tbis \a true to a certain 
extent, provided they do not mean colloquial French through a 
bonne, and German by the OUendorf method. I say only to s 
uertain extent, even when the second language has been reallj 
and grammatically learnt, becau^, though a general knowledge 
of grammar in tbe abstract b thus Bctjaired, the idioms and 
peculiarities of the acquii'ed tongue are the study, while our own 
sro left to tho light of nature, practice, and observation. It 
seems to me tbiit after the lirst baby foundations of tbe parts of 
speech ace laid, and ordinary speeiih and writing made correct, 
tbat one foreign grammar, no matter what, should be thoroughly 
tauglit, and then tbat the constructiuu of any aJditional language 
wfll be easily acquired, white in the latter year or two of educa- 
tion, some very thorough book on English grammar should be 
well got up. Those provided for training-schools are generally 
excellent of their kind ; and the practice of thorough analyzing 
a sentence is a very useful one. It is a good thing when gram- 
mar pusses into logic ; and though even the rudiments of logic 



e capacity n 



i schoolroom grasp of miad, a girl v 
. do well lo cultivate tlieia, not so mt 
for their own sake, as because the power of reasoning ia a moat , 
iniportaDt element in having a. right judgment in all things. | 

As to othef languages, Krenoh is a iieceasity. To apeitk it | 
with perfect case and a Parisian accent is a uam'ul and graceful i 
aocompliahnient, only to he acquired by intercourse with natives 
early enough in life for the organs to be flexible ; but this is 
jnly exceptionally an entire matter of neceaaity. Frecch afUr , 
"the school of K tratford-le-Bowe " haa been prevalent among 
educated Englishwomen ever aiuce Chaucer's time ; aud a 
thorough grammatical knowledge, with such pronuaciation as 
can be ohtained through good lesions, is to stay-at-home people 
more valuable than mere ease of speech, which tliey only rarely 
have to exercise. 

But if it he needful, fi German bo7inr is generally kind, true, 
and faithful, and not likely to do harm to little children. It 
"s the further advantage in making this prouunciation a nursery, ^ 
not a schoolroom matter, that no gii'l reading ancient history 
with a foreigner has a chance of hearing the usual English 
jironunciation of the classical names. To me it seems that the 
Jafihion of teaching German as a matter of course is rather a 
pity. I had rather make Latin the schoolroom lesson, and 
leave German to be volunteered afterwards. German ia su 
difBcult, as to require a great deal of time ; and it i? so irregular, 
sa Dot to he the key to nearly so much aa Latin — in learning which 

s quite pofsible to learn the great outlines of both French 
and Italian — at any rate, the study of both, alike in construction 
aud words, is much simplified, since both are Latin braken in 
different ways. German leads to nothing (except in the case oi 
philology] but reading its own literai.ure ; whereas Latin is 
needful for clear knowledge of our own tongue, and moreover 
I much greater facility of comprehension and power of 
ejtactnesa in the terminology of every other science, from. 
Theology downwards. Latin, and at kaat enough Greek to 
read the words and find them in the lexicon, are real powers. 




i2 WOMANKIND. 

■With the knowledge of grammar thus acquirad, German i 
be one of the studies taken up in the later young-lady daya 
though it is a pity it should now iilwaya have the preference t 
Italian, the language of Dante, Tasso, and Manzoni. 

A woman's practical arithmetic is eaid Ix) consist in keepingn 
her accounts. But if she undertnkea the care of any charity,^ 
she often noeda to know hook-keeping ; and for useful training ' 
of the mind, apart from utilitarianiam, I have great faith in 
arithmetic. Heads are very different ; and in some few citaea 
there would seem to he almost an incapacity for it, certoinly a 
great averaion. Often this dislike arises from had teaching at 
iirst, never entirely snrinounted, or from b'jing dragged on 
beyond the power of following. In mental arithmetic, the child 
of slow calculation should not be put in contact with the c|nick 
one, or it never understands at all. 

It seems to mo that intelligent arithmetic is sometimes 
attempted too soon. Some processes are really better done 
meohanically and hy the memory than hy intellectual force ; 
and moat people are capable of working a sum long before they 
can comprehend it. Few of us hut could do u long-multipli- 
cation or long^livieion sum on occasion, but I suspect that only 
persona employed in teaching could instantly explain why the 
one becomes a flight of steps, and the other " a long ladder of 
figures." I doubt if the brain can take in the full idea before 
eleven or twelve yeara old, though the mechanical operation may 
be performed with perfect ease, " a sort of conjuring," as some 
inspector contemptuously says of girls' arithmetic. 

Let it he conjuring then at first, only do not give very long 
difficult sums to be done without assistance. The strain of 
attention is too great and too long, and the toil caused by a 
blunder disheartening. Shorter " problems," alwai/i proved, 
teach a great deal more, with much less disgust. Proof should 
he required, for entablishing that the correctness of the answer 
doea not depend upon the caprice of the key, hut is really a faut 
and cannot be otherwise. It shows how and why a blunder in 
the working affects the result, and assists in understanding thaM 



LESBONB. 43 

priociple ; moreover, it assists iu preventing one rule from being 
foi^olten while another is being mastered. I believe we do not 
really know anything till it becomes the meaca of learning 
something elsa Oui last acquisition may always fly iiway till it 
has been rammed down with something ubiive it ; and thus the 
past rule ia best secured by becomiug the meaos of learning the 

Hechanical arithmetic extends, we should eaj, as far as 
Practice, and ought to be worked well through by eleven or 
twelve yeara old. It is beat to go through all the varieties of 
weights and measures, not for the sake of learning how to work 
them, but of fixing them in the memory, and using them 
does this for better than learning them bj he;LTt. There are 
exceptional being*, who like Mrs. Mozley's Beaaie Gray, leflrn 
arithmetic with their understanding, and cannot get on without 
appreciating the reason why ; but these are not common. 
S^ature makes the childish bi'^iin willing to take an immense 
deal of rote work rather than uso one elTort to think ; and 
we believe she is right. It is thinking, not learning nor work- 
ing, that damages ; and the memory may be stored, and facility 
of working caa he obtaiued, without that dangerous feat of 
comprehension and deduction which is what " pressing a child 
too much " really means. 

Between tenand thirteen, according to their powers, girls should 
beyin al the. beginning of some easy book of scientific arithmetic. 
De Morgan's is a very good one. I'hey should read it aloud 
with a thorongh-going person, who will not let them leap over 
the self-evident foundations that they will view as insults to 
their understanding. The real meaning of the working of the 
first four rules, there mastered, leads on the vulgar fractions, 
proportion, and decimals ; and only the minds whiuh are more 
than commonly blind to calculation can help comprehending 
and being interested. 

Somewhere about this time a beginning of mathematics should 
be made. Long previously the primary terras should have been 
accurately understood. Reading, or geography, in fact, must 



I 
I 



taad to the learning the ilifr<irence between an angle and a 
triangle, about pawJlel^, rectanglaa, and tbe like. N.B. — If 
the teacher happens to find bur own head in confusion on the 
Rubject, she bad better look tbe detinilioiiB up at tbe bej^inning 
of tbe books of Euclid. Nol>ody can teach properly or uuder- 
Btand accurately, who alternately tnlka of a hexagon aud a 
sexagon, or who does not perceive that nu angle of ninety 
dpgrees must be a tight angle. There ore things which a person 
of moderate capacity can gather while reading, but that ceauot 
be taoffht without being learnt instead of picked up. It is 
absolute amusement to children to bo taught to use a case of 
instruDiente, and the names and something uf the natures of 
the aiinpler mathematical hgutes j nnil the manner of drawing 
them eau be taught them aa part of that rational occupCLtion 
which is tba next thing to pUy. Evan girla' patcb-work con be 
the foundation of a good deal of teal experimental iufurmation, 
if it be drawn on a fljmmetrioal design, requiring as it di 
perfect exactness. 

But it is well towards tbe end of the Bchoolroom couree 
study the earlier bookB of Euclid, more perhaps for the sake of 
tbe reBBouing than of tlie kuuwlwdge. 01>8«rvo, this ja not to 
be enforced upon beings devoid of all matbematioo] capacity, of 
whom both sexea posaesa aome apecimena of average intellect 
in other respects. I'hese, if hai'd driven, will learn the propo- 
sitions by a feat of niertiury, but never coiuprebend a word of 
tliem. They muat be given uji, juxt aa the earlesa are given up 
as to muaie. 

Tbe discipline of mathematics is, however, very valuable to 
the feminine cieattire in itself, and it ia the key to a great deal 
more, above all when the point is reached where the properties 
of plane figures begin to meet aud explain tbe operations of 
arithmetic. I remeniber to this hour the delight of linding the 
meauing of the working of a aqu are-root a um. It'isanimmenae 
stage in life to rise, even for a moment, above the rule of tbumb. 

Algebra and the further study of geometry are very good to 
be curried on beyond tbe schoolroom. Indeed, those who baV!) 



in, 



capacity and opportunity, and who Lave gone through arithmetic, 
perhaps as far aa the cube root, by the kat year of their school- 
room life, had better bo then initiated into algebra, for the sake 
of eimplifftng the operations they are learning to understand, 
and for the benefit that the comprehension of the symbols will 
■faa in every other study. 

But we may hardly repeat too often, the schoolroom is the 
place for learning beginninga. Afterwards the pursuit of 
llie study depends upon taste and circumstance. Nobody is 
obliged to know more arithmetic than enough to keep the 
acoounta, but those who have the capacity will do well by ( 
themselves if they carry on the study ; and not only by 
themBelvEB, for who can tell what opportunities of assisting 
brother, father, husband, or son, this cultivated power may not 
give them ; nay, in the lowest and moat utilitarian view, tha 
(&me instruction that enables them to appreciate the vast theories 
of astronomy serves to reckon the quantity of carpeting needed 
for a room. 

So again, a moderate knowledge of history is de rigueur ; hut 
there are persona so constituted that they can take no interest 
in the past, ITeitber the great changes which deal with the 
weffara of nations, the striking characters, nor the romantic 
inddente, have power to touch them ; they cannot project their 
imagination into bygone days, nor care about that which is not 
in immediate action. These must go through historical study 
eaongli not to be liable to absurd blanders ; and intelligent 
teaching would probably make it much more interesting to them, 
1^ showing the hearing upon the present. 

History should be taught from the first moment that reading 
has. become not ao much an art as a atepping-stone. The names 
and dates of English kings arn, to the rest of history, much what 
the multiplication tahle is to arithmetic, and ao the auccepsiou 
and some idea connected with each name should be got into the 
head as soon as poasihle ; and many of the old traditions are 
just as necessary to be known as if they were arithmetic. King 
Alfred and the cakes, Enut and the tide, the Conqueror auAUia 



Wo MAN KIND. 

curfew, Eufus and the arrow — all are tonnectiona that can be 
establisbod in the first lustre, and serve as foundutiona for life. 
Some wise man recommended teaching history backwards, 
beginning ivith the Keform Hill. I wonder whether he ever 
tried it upon children, or reasoned only from men, to whom 
elections nn roalities, and who may need to be shown the wbj 
and wherefore, 

The childish mind can take in small personal details, but 
nothing of large interests ; and the beat way to give the frame- 
work upon whioh the structure of real knowledge is to be built, 
is to connect the name with an idea that can be grasped, and 
that gives a sense of amusement. If Little Artfuir'a 7/utorp 
were not bo flagrantly incorrect, it would answer the purpose ; 
but I have fell the need of another so much as to write Avnt 
Cliartottt'» Stories of the Histtrry of England. (Marcua Word,) 
On this the names and dates can be grafted, and ahoidd ba 
rehearsed often enough to make them always within call by the 
memoiy in after life. There is generally connection enough 
with France to make the nume of the king of one country 
recall that of bis contemporary, and almost nil the other conti- 
nental powers were in like manner connected with France, bo 
that a certain knowledge of English dates enables those of the 
rest of modem history to be perceived with sufficient accuracy 
for common puipoaes, though not for an examination. 

This course of easy English history should begin as aoon aa the 
art of reading has been attaioed with facility enough to allow of 
atory-books being laid aside as leaaons — a time varying from five 
to eight, according to the mechanical reading powers of the child 
or the abilities of the teacher in imparting what ia really the moat 
difficult though the earliest acquisition of our lives, the linking 
sounds to signs. If the child cannot read well enough, the 
names and stories ahould be told or read to it in aasociation with 
pictnrea. Anyway thia alphabet should be acquired by aeven or 
eight years old, and kept up hy rehearsals of dates or writing out 
when another hook ia taken in hand. 

This hook hod better bo some outline of ancient history. 



Here is sufBcient analogy between the childhood of individuala 
knd the chUdhood of nulions, to make early history, when 
motiveB are Biraple, and passions on the surface, much more 
easy to enter into than the later complications of politics, 
lloreover, at BeTen, eight, or nine, the mind is developed enoagh 
to acqnire that which is perhaps one of the great distinctions 
sen the cultivated and uncultivated — some sense of the 
perspective of history. And there is, or ought to be, sufficient 
knowledge of Scripture evonta to serve as some amount of 
ttffolding. If the child cornea to this poiat young, Jlaria Hack's 
frvje Stories frotn Aiunent History or Aunt Charlotte's Grecian, 
id Soman History serve very well to give a warm interest 
. individuals ; or for a somewhat more advanced child, 
Itatdmarki of Ancient History connect the " five empires " with 
be Bible narrative. 

This wiJt last about a year, by which time the mind will be 
pown enough for a somewhat more detailed English history, 
Bitfaer the " Kings of England " or the " New School History of 
I^Dgland" (Parker) — the ancient history being meantime kept 
vpi as the English before, by repetition of dates. That admir- 
ible chart, Stork's "Stream of Time," ought to be in every 
■ehool-room, if only it were adapted to modern discoveries and 
luought down to the present time. It teaches by the eye 






more plainly than almost any amount of study or of oral 
instruction, and it is preferable to Le Sage's tables (which also 
d renewing and modernizing), inasmuch as they are shut np 
in a book, and this hangs, or ebould bang, on the wall. Who 
that has loitered near it can forget the streams of ancient realms 
fallin g into the Macedonian Empire, and in one generation, break- 
g iorth from it again only to fatten the Eomau Empire, which 
Ml after its plethora begins to wax lean and emit the more 
aodern nations ) Who can forget this, who has seen it with 



48 ^^^^^^^H 

their eyes, and referred to it witli their reading 1 N.B,^^| 
Historical reailing should alwriye be accompanied by maps. ^H 

Looking out the places is one of the works most wearying tO*" 
human indolenco, but wliich best rewards itself in the clearness 
and interest it gives ; and as children like anything that breaks 
the continuity of a leason, they are sure to be pleased by it. 
Maps are eo cheap now that they can be had in sufficient 
numbers to pwjvide each child with one, and if intelligently 
used, i,r. pointing to the sbape of the harbour, the proximity of 
a mountain, or the river whose passiiga caused the battle, they 
ubtaia life and animation. 

After the more detailed Englieh history course, it may he well 
to go hack to ancient history with Miss Sewell's admirable 
"Greece" and "Rome." Mythology is so ontertaining, that it 
can be pretty well imparted hy a discreet u?e of Kingsley's and 
Cox's tales, which are just what might be read aloud to little 
girls at needlework; and then might follow a translation of 
Homer, which hardly ever fails to interest and delight much 
younger than some would suppose, Tranelationa of the Greek 
tragedians can carry on the courae, The jEneid, if girls learn 
Latin, should be reserved to be read in the original. 

After this ancient course, I believe my own Landmarks of 
the Middle Ag(s and of Modem Hutory will answer beat for 
sketching European history. And good historical novels and 
poetry had better be used to illustrate them, being either read 
aloud while the girls work or draw, or put into their hands as a 
favour. Many of G. P. E. James's novels may be very well 
apphed to this purpose. They by no means deserve the con- 
tempt that has been bestowed on them ; their romance is always 
pure and high-minded, and the characters and manners are 
carefully studied. The fan Its— namely, want of variety, and 
facb of power to rise to the highest class of portraiture — do not 
tell in this kind of reading ; and where there is a hiatus in the 
course of Scott, the " two travellers " will bo found very 
valuable, 

Sinkeapeare's historical plays should of course he read in 



their places, ancient and modem ; and Scott's poems in the same 



The eouiae of history described above will probably last till 
the girl is thirteen or fourteen years old ; and then, if she be 
intelligent and capable, I would entreat that her further his- 
torical reading should be of some real book^ not an abridgment 
or compilation. Tales of a Grandfather I should reckon as 
real reading; and if the child be not advanced or studiona 
enough to read them for herself, it would be hotter to make 
them the reading lesson. There are- historical errors here and 
there, hut these can he corrected ; and the contact with a really 
powerful thinking mind is so important a part of education, that 
it ought not to be sacrificed to the mere fact- cramming. The 
skeleton of chronology once learnt, and the power of easy writing 
attained, the facts can be kept up and put in by other means ; 
but after twelve years old, history should be read aloud from 
authors of real force and style. 

If French be by this lime familiar, French history had better 
be read throagh that medium, and stories be dropped into read- 
ing for amusement, or only used occasionally as a treat on semi- 
holidays after the language is once mastered. Historical reading 
ought to be the habit of many years, so that there is much mora 
advantage in giving the impulse to read a long book without 
alarm, than in galloping through any form of history made 
easy. The custom of hunting down a subject by its date in as 
full or as original a history as lies within reach, should also be 
taught about this time ; and this can often be done by proposing 
a subject — say the account of some battle, or siege, or soma 
biography, and awarding the meed of honour to the faUest and 
most accurate 



I 



WOMANKIND. 



CHAPTER Vir. 




After all, tho tme way to inako Ibssohs iiiiereHting, is to let 
the joUDg peojilu fiill naturally in the way of cultivated con- 
versation. When " George Eliot " aliow6 Mra. Holt cmliseyint; to 
the cast of a aatjr, under the iniprcHsion that he was no eccentric 
anDeBtor of the family, she showB that vaet diirerence in culture 
which renders iostruction so very shallow in those who do not 
belong to families where mattera of art or literature come iato 
daily life. Anyouo who has tried to teach poor children history 
or geography perceives this. They can apprehend the facta with 
as much intelligence as their cou temporaries of higher rank, but 
they forget theni instantly, because there is nothing connected 
with them in their daily life, aud no one at home would care to 
hear of them j aud thia indilference prevails a good way above 
poverty. If the parents aud the society core for cultivatioo, 
nothing ia so good for the intelligence of their growing girls as 
to be allowed to heai' interesting conversation, not ncceBsarily 
joining in it, but being taught to think it a privilege to sit and 
haten, and being summarily prevented from chattering among 
themijelvea. This, by the by, when begun as a school-girl hahit, 
adherea for life, and becomes a nuipance, with the best inten- 
tions. Some of the heat and kindest hulies in the world 
imagine that a person sitting silent must feel neglected, and will 
rush across to occupy, with some improvised commonplaee, the 
ears that were eagerly listening to an interesting discussion. 
These ate generally eithci' people who have been secluded in the 
school] oom aU their girlhood, or else who have belonged to 
Large famihes, and been accustomed to keep up an undercurrent 
of whispers, while their parents and their guests were talking. 
Those who have Dever lived out of the schoolroom, nor shared 
their parents' interests, but have depended for conversation on 



ODLTDBE. SI 

a governess, who liersplf ha^ no range beyond theirs, are often 
marvellously ignorant of common things and the ways of 
ordinary life, not *o much for want of having learnt tfaem., 
read them, as for want of seeing them put into practice, 
Stoiy-booka lire very apt, unkindly and mischievously, to 
dcaoribe the governeBS aa making herself disagreeable, by con- 
tinually calling the children to order for their elip-elop apeech, 
■nd by administering hits of information in the driest manner. 
Now if there is to he the culture of acenery and association in 
our Uvea, aurdy it is better to represent it aa pleasant, instead 
of oppreHsivB, to be ahown the curiosities and taught the history 
of our cathedrals and raiua ; and a, person is hardly to be called 
properly educated who is bored by the real peculiarities of the 
Bighta ahe aeea. Who does not know the difference between 
•boving a lion to an appreciative oliserver, and to one to whom 
it i^ only gape-seed and an excuse for an espeditiou) And this 
power of intelligent observation can beat he cultivated in 
children by heedful attention ; not tormenting or oppressing 
the holiday, but encouraging and following up the observations 
Ihey are quite willing to make for themselvea, though generally 
not at the time nor in the way their elders would cut out for 
them. Be content to accept their lead, and you can make a 
great deal of them — even though in the very midst they may 
turn into fairies, or anything else that is wholly irrelevant and 
bivoloaa. " How to aee sights " is no inconsiderable part of 



There are two classes of intelligent seers— one whose bent ia 
to what, for want of a better name, may be called the romantic ; 
'the other, to the acientilic. Sometimes these meet in the aame 
person, but not very often. The same, whether young or old, 
who ia excited about tbe baron who defended the ruined castle, 
or the monk who built the abbey, will probably be uninterested 
in the curve of the arch that has defied time, or the plants that 
wave on the battlements ; hut provided there is some real notion 
carried away, what it is must be left to character. Such a habit 
ia important, not only for the actual information deniei. ^^^ 
il1 



52 WOMANKIND. 

itself n thing of sm^U impurtiince), but because intelligant 
pursuits are among the roinor distractionB of grief or Buffering, 
and no small aids in bearing up through many of the troubles 

, of life. A clever German governess has lately said that Englitjh 
■, girls are stupefied by learning the alphabet of everything — music 

/ without concerts, drawing without pictares, history without 
museuma, botany without flowers, &c. This need surely never 
b(i with those in London, who can have easy access to every 
treiiHure of liistory or art; and in the country, true culture 
lihould make them thoroughly know the detailed history of each 
cutLOHity around, of town and down, chiaroh and ruin, and all 
th.it can awaken intelligent interest. 

Some good cleat book on matters of natural science oiiglit at 
some time to be read with the children, to prevent fldgiant 
ignorance. Pieluru of the Heaveni, or some other easy 
astronomical treatise, supplemented by the pointing out of the 
constellations at night by the help of a celeatial globe or Mr. 
Proctor's star maps, will spare the horrible blunders to be seen 
even in print— such as Mercury being detected near the top of 
tlie church tower in the middle of the night, new moons 
shining at midnight, or full ones coming twice in a month. And 
what is far more important, there is no study that so stretches 
the mind to the conception of Infinite Majesty, Wilson's Five 
Gateway! of Knowledge and Mace'a Morceau de Pain, trans- 
lated by Mrs, Gutty, open the way to what it is expedient 
to know about our own bodies. Some sensible little book on 
botany should also be read, not one on the Linnasan system, as 
this only gives much machinery to be discarded ; and some 
other on geology, I refmin from names, because these sciences 
are in a state of growth, which makes their rudiments change. 
If the child have a taste for any of these, it will be sure to 
pursue them ; and the natural love of collecting may stimulate 
the latter, Botany and ]>^ilieontology have this great merit, 
that collections involve no slaughter or cruelty. My own feel- 
ing is strong that gills at least should be taught to feel life too 
sacri'd, even in a butterfly, to be sacrificed to their childish love 



I 



of collecting. The alrange delight of killing grows by gratilii'u- 
tion, and children get pitiless to the insect ii' once slaughter is 
permitted. Of course man's right over creation peimita the 
killing of animals for use ; and a Bcientiflc collection made 
when there is sense, capacity, and power to inflict death pain- 
lessly, is perfectly justifiable ; but a child under fourteen or 
fifteen is not old enough to prove whether the desire to collect 
be merely imitation, or greed of possession. 1 have known a 
family where caterpillars were nuraed into chrysalides, and 
drawings taken of them in every stage, after which the 
butterfly was released. The collection ho made is far more 
valuable and less perishable than if it had been of impaled 
butterflies. This mode of collecting should be cherished and 
assisted ; but, ia girla at least, the other should he stopped to 
the utmost ; and with hoys there should be strong restrictions 
agHinet wanton deattuetion and needless cruelty, even if it bo 
found impossible to prevent what they see others do. But the 
feminine creature should shrink from eausing death for her 
pleasure. 

Natural Science must in its first laws ba taught, but in the 
detail never forced on children, or they get a distaste for ili To 
be teased with botany in. walks leads to a dislike to it, though, 
if the child have a turn that way, she wiD be grattful for any 
wonder shown to her in the flower she gathers. 

Kest come accomplishments. Of music I can say, because 
1 know, little or nothing ; but I believe the rudiments should 
he well taught, whether taste or ear exist or not. Afterwards,. 
if talent be lacking, it is waste of time and money to in- 
sist on a girl's playing. And if she have the power, surely cor- 
rect practice of real classieal pieces, and study of the science, 
ought to come before the desire tO' amuse drawing-room guests 
with the newest thing. Thoroughness in music, as in everything 
elM, is required, and ^1 the more because it is often the readiest 
mfttma by which a lady can assist in Divine Service. Her 
music ia worth something when she consecrates it by playing 
the instrument or training the choir, Nor ia it without its 



L 



ti4 ' WOMANKIND. 

blessed use ^hen it refreabes her wearied iiitlier, or attracta her 
brothers to a safe and happy amuaement,, softening and elevat- 
ing. The power of giring voice to praise is so precious, that it 
should ennoble the whole study, and be its prima object. Tha 
playing or singing to a party should be viewed as merely an 
accidental mode of giving pleasure. Opportunitiea of letting 
girls hear good muBic should be secured a<i the beat way of show- 
ing them the meaning of what they leatn, and giving them a 
real standard above mediocrity. 

It is not so hard to learn to draw proiierly as it used to be 
now that few large towns are dgvuid of aobools of art. It ought 
to be a universal art to be able to draw a straight line, to shade, 
and to produce a cori'ecl copy of an object. Tliis is merely 
learning to see. Without some such training, the eye has no 
d] ipreciation of what is Wore it, and unless naturally gifted, 
doi'B nut know how to look at a landscape or picture. TLis 
power of looking is much mure im|jortaut than the manual 
power of pn.iducing a drawing. That is to many an exquisite 
pleasure, but not to all alike ; and thoiie who do not care for it 
ne*d not pursue the study further than is practically needed. 
Those who have a talent or taste wilt do wisely to work either 
at a school of art, or from models and simple cnpiea. The olil- 
fashioned girla'-achool drawing, master is happily nearly extinct. 
He was apt to be rather worse tlian no teaching at all The 
wisest way for those out of reach of instruction is to get some 
good simple manual, such as Marcus Ward's series of copies, 
and work as sxaclly as they can ; and as in common life as well 
as in greater things, "to him that bath thall be given," good 
inftruction is likely to be attained by some chance that the 
diligent learner will thus be in a condition to profit by. 

Intelligent knowledge of art is a part of culture given 
indescribably. Miss Owen's Chrietian Art, and if possible 
Mis. Jameson's beautiful books, give much help in gi-tting art- 
knowledge. Londoners bavo opportunities in the public gnlleries; 
and when giria visit town, pains should be taken that they reaUy 
see tile Nalionul Gallery. The sight of tlie Eoyal Actidcmy ia 



I 

I 



^^^^^^^^^^B OULTURB. 65 I 

tea isfioitely lesa ueefu.1 achievement, and however deabable to 
their elders aa food for conversation, can in the nature of things 
be only bewildering instead of instructive to unformed taatea. 
The national Gallery well gone tbrougli, and wo( treated as 
gape-seed, is a key to volumes of art, and opens the miud to a 
sense of real beauty. and greatness, Photngrapha ate bringing 
he general form and distribution of the greater pictures home 
to almost every one, and it is well to encourage eoUections of 
them ; but the children should be taught to discriminate between 
Tsal beauty and mere sentimental prettiness, such as will be apt 
to take their fancy ; and if there are good books of reference 
within their reach, they should hunt up the subjects and the 
hiatorieB of the artists, and by this means they may acquire a 
very tolerable knowledge of art. 

Many children will produce exceedingly clever drawings when 
very young, but lose their taste for it when the drudgery of 
regular learning seta in. It ia a curious thing that an exceed- 
ingly bad drawing (technically) will often be full of spirit and 
expteeaion, which it is impossible to repeat, even by the moat 
complete transcript, which only gives the faults without the 
eharacter. The lesson generally drives away this fire. The 
child who bos carried out its idea of countenance or gesture 
with fashions of its own, is disgusted to be set to draw a box 
or an egg ; and when next it betakes iteelf to the delineation of a 
battle or a beauty, it finds its newly-acquired knowledge of the 
mloB of drawing hamper its power of expression. Unless duty 
and perseverance be strong, it " does not care for drawing any 
longer." Then it is well that the work should be compulsory, long 
enongh to bear the pupil over the practical diifioultiea; and then, if 
geniusbereally in him, it will come back, and the correct execution 
will be inspired by it. " Gette vilaine bSte egt vivante el la mienne est 
morte," will often be true of the works of untaught talent and 
tminspired skill ; but let talent never imagine that, in these days 
at least, fire and expression can be preserved without accuracy of 
'drawing. It is a matter of conscience to be Inie iind painstaking 
in every point of a peri'ormance. And thus it is that the most 



cDUScientioTwly diligent cliildren rtre often the least enterprising. 
They hnve an indolence of will that shrinks from the trouble 
they know anything new wilJ cfwt them ; and so they hiing back, 
while the slifjhter workers are ever beginning with zeal and not oon- 
Bidering the end. Nothing neeja to be more carefully imptesaad 
than this perseverance. Either in an ;i.nnua], or the Conlribu- 
tiovi of Q.Q., I remember a contmat between the little gitl who 
did a few things thoroughly and one who undertook mnny and 
completed none. To the one, a few perfectly hoished gilts were 
awarded ; the other, many more, but all useless because deficient 
in some member. Each was to be repaired as she finiflhod. 

Perhaps the conscience of thoroughness i^ the most imimrtnnt 
intellectual acquisition of early education. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



CHILDREN B PLBASUKES. 



In a happy, well-ordered, afiectionate home, child life is full 
of pleasure. 

" Whntavar joya to-day ra«y aliine, 
Whato'er may toaoh with Borrow, 
Yet it will b«, I will divina, 

A BamethiDg else to-niorrow ; 
Sach triQea wul tbair hearts employ — 

A eh«U, a flower, a fvather ; 
If none of these, a uup of joy 
It ia to be together. 

" Treats " are, however, a. great element in the joy of child- 
hood. The having something to look forward to is a real in- 
gredient in happiness, and to be without it is often depressing. 

But the treat should be sufDciently infnjquent to be a roiil 
subject of anticipation. It should he something not common- 
place, and then it is indeed a treat and a stimulus if rightly 
used. 



full 

I 



CHILDREN S PLEASUIiES. 



And the wholesomeBt treats a. 



» where the gratification 
is entirely apart from display or Tanitj. Perhaps the most 



truly delightful is the 



plat 



to 1 
e out-of-dot 



which ia an excuse fi 
nmn ing about, Bcramblicg, aod flower-gather 



c any 






T tea, and 



. litUe 

gathering of young friends enjoy this to perfection ; and it is 

no occasion for smart frocks, nor for food with any zeat save 

hunger and quaint contrivance. Even the London child in 

these railway days can enjoy auch an expedition from town, 

and most probably will be in the country for a few weeks at 

Theee are delights to all ages, from the very first where 

' there is strength enough for the bug day, withoat being a drag 

n the other children. 

The school tea is another cause of exceeding happiness, 

\ especially when the school-children are the real object, not the 

Lascnae, and their games are promoted and joined in by the 

B children. Then there is all the delight of usefulnoss and 

mce and real kindness. Fingers sticky with distributing 

I, firocks splashed or even inundated with tea poured from 

cumbioas pitchers into tiny mugs held aslant — these are natural 

I of the day, only requiring that the frocks should 

" wash ; " so that there need be no distieaa on their account, 

I even though the gathers ahouM come out at blind-man's-buff or 

I Tom Tiddler's ground. 

No, Ifet it be no beet-frock garden patty in disguise, with 
I croquet-grounds to amuse idle spectators, who have co busineps 
Ifliere. Have only those who come to wait on the echooi- 
I, ehildien, and do not insult childhood, gentle or simple, by 
' making its supposed pleasure a means of paying off jour own 
social debts. 
The garden party is the best form of child's party, though, to 

Ijny mind it is spoilt for them as soon as it passes into full dress, 
or includes large numbers who are not intimate. Children may 
think it will be a pleasure, but they are no judges before- 
hand, and they cannot bo taken to such an entertainment 
■inong numerous elders without being either troublesome and 



66 W0U\.NK1KD. 

forward, or elie under a reatmint uod gini only rendered endur- 
able by the pleaaiires of dress, eating, and aping grown-up 
manuers. And if this is eu with a garden-par ly, which at least 
has the merit of being in the open ait and by daylight, vhat 
can be said for the Cbrist mas-tree system 1 

The origiual GcrmiiD ChriatDiaa-tree, be it underatooJ, I think 
a charming custDm, when it is the real family celebrfition, and 
there ia " love seed " in every one of the parcels, which every- 
body directa to everyboily with delightful transparent mystery 
and Becrecy. Such trees deserve to grow in every houaehold, 
and all tbe better for bearing fruit for the lonely neighbour, the 
servants and dependants, children, the poor and the maimed, 
the halt, and the blind. Or to re-deck tho tree with freah con- 
trivances for eomo Sunday claM, some workhouse childreo, or 
tbe like, will make it a double fount of light and joy. 

But the frequent prooesa ia— " I suppose we must have a 
Christmas- tree. People will expect it. It is an intolerable 
trouble and expense; but if it is done at all, it must be hand- 
somely done." 

So cartloads of hon-hom are purchased in frail glittering 
tirifi'l contrivances, and a great outlay ia grudgingly made on 
artielea to be distributed at hap-hazaid, not out of love or 
regard, or adaptation to the children, but simply that tbe thing 
may bo done handauniely. 

The children stand round. They do not care fur the giver, 
they have no gratitude for tbe gift, they are merely eager for 
what they can get, and they are loaded with bon-bons in such 
qtiantities, that their best wishers are thankful if half are lost or 
crushed. Then comes the formal dancing, with all the fiirtationa 
and follies of grown-up people aped in it ; and at a prepos- 
terous hour the supper, as elaborate and coatly aa a regular ball 
supper, and more iVeely criticised by tbe precocious little 
epii^urea. 

Can this ha wholesome for body and mind 1 Will not 
parents have strength and unworldlinesa enough to be thought 



^^^^^ CHILDRF.NS PLEASURES. DU 

r^' paiticTjIar," and save their cbildren &ora such a, hotbed of all 
I tiiat no ono couJd wish to see in them 1 

L Hannah More, long ago, pleaded againet children's halla, 
I She waa set up in effigy, with a great rod in her hand, at the 
\ end of a hallroom in London, in consequence; hut her rolif;ioua 
I remoQBtrance, followed up hy Miss Edgeworth'a conimon-senae 
I one, really did make childish dissipation much less the faahioQ 
I for the time. Careful parents made their childiisii happy at 
L home, or in the small numbers where they could be freely happy 
I over their play in an innocent, inexpensive manner, such as left 
I them cbildren. But it is publicity and large numbers that spoil 
F everything with ua. Acting — a delightful holiday sport — i» 
made a dangerous cause of display and titillation of vanity to 
every clever or pretty child. Aa soon as the play gets beyond 
the intimate friends, and becomes the motif of a miscellaneous 
I party, including all the visiting list, the poor children, who 
f ought to be playing for their own and their familj 's wholesome 
I'tliveisioD, receive halE their stimulus from the detire of obtaining 
I admiration. 

Oh ! they are so simple, such dear little things, they never 
f think about it." 

Eaay to say ; hut does anyone know a. child's thoughta, and 
I eta it be right to put them into temptation? 

People will answer that it does not do much harm ; al.-o, that 
Blltey cannot offend inviting fiiends, or seem to the children to 
M "deprive them of enjoyment. 

As to tbe friends, they will be content to speak of such 

F'Jatenta a^ vtry "particular;" and for the children the old trust, 

that " Papa and Mamma know beat,'" may he reinforced by lepre- 

SBntatioDS of the weariness and stiffness, as well as the real 

temptations of the evenings ; and if a real genuine home 

. delight, shared hy their own little friends, or bestowed on the 

fcpoor by their hands, be provided for them, they will have no 

need to complain. Or if a child should wish and murmur 

BUthei infected by some playfellow, or admiring the nnkuown, 

Rtover mind. She will thaidi her parents for their wisdom in time. 



60 



The pantomimo may Iw one of these compeoaatuig tieata for 
a London cbild at CLristmiis, though to my mind the beauty 
of the soentry is much marred by the buileaquo words, ruiuing 
all the grace and poetry, and panJtring to the vulgar popular 
taste for pune a^nd stock aJIuaions. If there were but a panto- 
mime with the fairy world brought to life, with eimple straight- 
forward poetry and gracn, that would be the place for children ; 
but of that we fear thei'e is no chance. 

Sight-aeeing is a very important " treat." Only it should not 
begin too young. A child dragged to sights it cannot yet caru 
for, half frightened and wholly wearied, is a sad sight. Some 
children really experience a shock to the nerves when taken too 
young to the Zoologicid Gardens ; and any way it is wasting a 
great pleasure to take them ttiere before their curiosity has been 
excited by having heard or read something about the animals. 
I was seven or eight years old before any came in my way, and 
to this hour I remember vividly even the aspect and arrange- 
ment of the dens in which I saw them. 

To learn to look intelligently, as I said in the last chapter, is 
a great part of education. Who does not know the diilerence 
between the spectator who examines, Icnrna, and enjoys, and 
the spectator who gnzea vacantly, makes some silly jest, or some 
preposterous remark that becomes a byworill 

To take children to the British Museum, when their studies 
point to any division of the many subjects there contained, would 
at once vivify their lessons, teach thetn how to see, and give 
much pleasure. From ancient history to the Egyptian Hall one 
day, to the Nineveh sbibs soon after ; from Grecian history to 
the Mausoleum and the Elgin marbles; from the Punic Wars Ui 
the Carthaginian pavements ; or agam, from English history to 
the Tower and Westminster Abbey How easy to do this m 
a reward for diligence ; how the expedition would be enjoyed ; 
how much it would tell in vividne'^a of interest ' 

Yet, are not the Tower and Muaeum viewed aa only pasture 
for the greenest country coaains, while the most trumpery 
ephemeral exhibition has its multitudes of visitors 1 



^^^^ cmr-nnEs's fi.kasuees. 61 

Two or three chapters in Edgewortb'a Early Lessom, as well 
19 Bome in Harry and Lucy, show the keen enjoyment children 
can, with a little care, be nrnde to take in museums, or any 
ir eshihitiona ; and also how soan the attention becomes 
fatigueJ. Nothing ia better here than Miss Edgewoith'e 
continual protest against vacancy, listlessneaa, and spurious 
excitements ot display. 

Excitement is close at hand with almost all children. The 
hope of the least pleasure agitates them; and if the world 
would only leave them to the simplest, freest, moat inexpensive 
pleasures, they would be much happier, as well as much better 
Kills to enjoy in after years. 

But, alas ! who would imagine that in their name the pomps 
rad Vfinity of this world had ever been renounced ) 

A word or two further I should like to eay of home every- 
day pleasures. Tiie toy question helooga properly to a younger 
period, and most educational manuals speak very senaihly about 
them, though the truth is, that only experience really teaohea 
parents what is the best way of managing the toy question. 
Only when the eldest hope has bitten to pieces, spoilt, or dis- 
regarded a certiiin amount of expensive toys, do people really 
helieve that phdn articles, capable of rough ill-uaage, are the 
real promoters of pleasure. And it is a matter of family 
experience whether fur is a delightful " pusay," or gives i 
horrible sensation. 

The Edgeworth remarks about mechanical and useful toys 
being preferable, only fail in one respect, namely, their want o 
poetry, and failure to perceive the way in which toys deal with 
■ the imaginative, the tender, and the assthetic sides of children's 
minds, as well as the intplligent and mechanical ones. Miss 
Edgeworth, and still less her father, would never have undei^ 
stood Mrs. Gatty's touching memory of " rabbits' tails," nor 1 " 
"woolly lamhs standing on four pins," which a writer in i 
Magazine for t!ie Young speaks of as having been bought of 
a poor hawker, to " babble of green fields," as the perfectly 
formed lamb, which Mr. Euskin recommends, never could t 



WOKAItKISD. ^^^^^^H 

woald have dona, since the mera symbol is alniMt a jieMftil 
provocative of imaginatinn, as all tbeatrical lit«rmtnie proves. 

Nobndj, however, can give imigination, and the child must 
have what eoits its genuine taste beet The child who lovea 
the ornament or picture for ita little room, whether fi.tr beanty 
or siiggestivene^, is to be as much encouraged as the lover of 
the useful or mechaniual article. 

Encouraged, I say, but directetl ; for the purchase of things 
merely because they come before the eye and are " pretty," is to 
be decideilly dieconraged, though the taate fur the beautiful, 
noble, and Huggestive, should be encouraged. Buying for 
buying's sake, as well as tawdry trumpery, should be laughed 
at and proscribed, and the consideration, " WiU it last 1 " " Is 
this only for the pleasure of spending money ) " be enforced. 
" What will you do with it ] " " -Shall you get tired of it ] " " Do 
yon really need it t " all should be carefully asked, even while 
leaving the child a fn-e agent And when a bit of experience 
has been purchased, it had better not be forgotten; for the 
habit 'if triiUog away money is one of the hardest to cure. 

Bolls are very different institutions in different families. To 
some girls they are children, to others sist^ira ; while to othera 
they are mere milliners' blocks, and to another set mere deepised 
badges of feminiao inferiority. In geuoral, however, the notion 
that little girls learn needlework by dressing them ie a mere 
delusion. To make their clothes handily requires much more 
neatness than to make those of a poor child ; and shops and 
bazaars do all they can to remove the incentive, by offering 
every imaginable equipmont ready made. 

The real use and delight of a doll is, however, such as is 
shown in Mrs. O'ReiUy'a charming Doll Land, where the baby- 
house IN a real dreamland, and the puppets therein are the 
subjects of absolute afTectiun, and have individuality of character. 
People devoid of the peculiar ima^nation that can live in these 
fancies, will not credit them ; but " they are bom, they are not 
made," and all we are inclined to say about them is, that elders 
should not arbitrarily interfere with them, insist on the giving 



CHILRBBNB FLEABDBES. 63 

away of the cherisbed doll, or thu reeignation of the whole doll 
system, for there is no knowing what real pain and grief ib 
inflicted. 

Juat 80 with booIcB. No one Vnows what fibres of the heart 
may Lave twisted round aome dilapidated nursery hook, and 
how painfully the wrench of parting with it may be remem- 
bered in after life. 

Every generation complains that the one beneath it ia satarated 
with, story-hooks, and does not value tbem as of old. It is 
hardly true ; for multitudinous as the hooks are, children only 
value and love what aasimilatea itself to their minds. The 
disadvantage of the multitude is, that a sluggish or frivolous 
minded child reads nothing else, and keeps down to their levoL 
It ie a real lowering of the facidties to confine a child to hooka 
of fi,ction, history, and science, written down to it. It fails to 
leam the meaning of language, and finds " grown-up hooks " 
difficult and incomprehensible, even when outgroiving childhood, 
and sinks down upon the novel, because the powers have never 
trained themselves to attend to anything that stretches them. 

Careful parents once made it a rule to let their daughters read / 
nothing they had not read themeelvea. Nothing could he ^ 
wiser ; for not only was the quantity diminished, but moreover, 
much was weeded out that, though not exactly harmful, was 
undesirable. 

The rule ia even more expedient now, for the foolish notioa 
that didactic stories must he dull has made people absolutely 
proud of themselves for writing a perfectly unmeaning story, or 
one that exalts naughtiness into a sort of heroism, and lepreaents 
the authorities as tedious, hateful inflictiona. 

The stories that should be avoided are, firstly, those that 
most improperly and mischievously depreciate governesses and 
make them bores, and that represent aunts and uncles as uni- 
formly unjust and cruel to orphan wards. The cruel step- 
mother is gone out, the unjust aunt is come in her atead. The 
writers of such stories, in the wish to be pathetic, thoughtlessly 
add freah stings of terror to orphanhood. 



I 



8i 



WOM-INKISD. 




Next, 1 object to the conclusion to whicli these otphans 
^iMieruUy tend, namely that of the novel. The protecting 
cousin almost always turns into the lover; and eveQ if the 
cou«m do not appear, the most amiable lad of the dramatu 
pertonce is sure to raarry the heroine at laat. Now infuntine 
a'.tachmenta now and thnn ripen, but they ought never to be 
ehown to children. It fan only tend to do harm, and that to 
the weaker and mora passive party, namely the girl, who may 
dream over the possibility, while the boy treats it all as "bosh," 

Another stump of hook to be avoided is the weak religioue 
tale. Most varieties of religious puhliahers pour forth stories 
and tiny tracts that do not so much teach religion as party 
distinctions. They are generally written with the best inten- 
tions, by people whose minds are too small to perceive the 
diffurence, and who deal in the little child who goes about 
asking people whether tbey are Cliristians, or else in the equally 
unnatuml one who is always talking about its white robes. 
Both alike die young, and are equally unreal and nnpracticaL 
Most girls have a fit of imagining such children, and unfortu- 
nately too many get them stitched up into piak and hlue covers, 
and Bent forth as supposed good liooka, only to serve as trash, 
instead of bread, for Sunday-school children, and to sicklify 
and sentimentalise good girls ; while tbey are the derision of ail 
the stronger minded. The religious tale, above all, needs to be 
in the beet — not the worst— of writing ; and the same applies' 
to the allegory. Very few are really good, and have any point ; 
the others are mere dilutions of what ought to be taken as near 
the genuine article as possible. It is not so suddun a transition 
as it seems, to apply the same rule to fairy tales ; for a good 
fairy tale is often an allegory, or an old myth, once allegorical. 

For this class, the genuine old myth-like Beauty and the 
Beiut, Cinderdla, Pata in BooU, and the like, I have the deep 
respect befitting a classic; but I have none at all for the 
arbitrary modern fairy tale, now so much the fashion. Fairies 
have a genuine classical genealogy, and to disturb that is really 
a pity. Besides, too much of impossible unreality tends to 



OHILDILEN'a PLEaBDKEH. 65 

prodnce a morbid craviiig 'for esci-temeut, and a taate capable 
only of novel-reading, 

Burlesq^ue and caricature, and above all, alang literatuie, an 
in the same way nnfit for children ; and the love of exciting 
adventure may likewise grow exaggerated. 

There are, in fact, two classes of tastes in fiction — that for 
character, and that for adventtire. Charaotei-loving girls some- 
timea get eelf-conscioUB, and learn to look at themselves as if 
theywere sitting for their portraits in astory ; and the adventure- 
lovers fall into the condition of Leech's Master Jacky, when 
"he has read aU the books in the house," no author being 
approved but Mayne Eeid ! 

Perhaps a very slow child, that can hardly be got to read at 
all, or a very mercurial being who will never ait still, must be 
bribed by unlimited choice of whatever is innocent and free 
from vulgarity, for the sake of public peace ; but the ordinarily 
intelligent child, with a healthy appetite for books, had better 
be led towards the desirable ones, and saved from frivolity. An 
over-tasked girl, who is doing lessocs to the full powers of her 
mind, cannot be expected to rcposo upon anything but story- 
books ; but she would have more training for the future if ahe 
were obliged as a necessity to do leas, and encouraged to read 
Bomething improving in part of her leisure time. She will 
cease to do lessons, but she ougbt never to cease from rational 
reading. 

It is a good plan to make tlie amusmg book, especially when 
it is anything extra, conditional upon the previous reading of 
BOmething solid, whether history or science. My allowance wae 
a chapter of Goldsmith's Hume, to a chapter of Walter Scott, 
each day. 

And I believe it is the wisest way to let there be a free 
of Scott, Shakespeare, Spenser, and any other really sound 
English classic, in which I do not include modern novels, nor 
the Dickens school. Tte real romance does not do the barm 
that the baby novel does ; the taste is formed, familiarity with 
noble and elevating ideas and beautiful laaguage achieved, and I 



WaUANKIND. 

the undesirable pnassgM are far less perceived than tbej are 
later in life. Tho child knowa there are things it cannot 
understand, and pasaea them by, only acceptinR what it likes. 
Freedom to take down and nae the real library books has been, 
we always find in biography, a valuable part of tho education of 
every mind that baa corae to any real power. The cramping 
into childish fictions till seventeen, and then andden froodom to 
read sensation novels, has not been found to conduce to purity 
of taste or poetry of mind. 

Tho enthusiaam and riimanue of chivalry are congenial to the 
yonog life, Do not spoil it and tie it down, or you will only 
get Bensationalism instead of romance ; and the rude alang-hke 
lonn, which is supposed to mask feeling and deride sentiment, 
bocoinea little sliort of brutality and levity. There is far loo 
litUe chivalry, and too much groiMerfle, in the present 
fashion. May the latter never bo encouraged in our children I 
For it is encouraged by talking slang, with eicaggeratod violent 
expressions, and stock phrases, and making jokes of what is no 
subject of merriment. 

The other pleasures of girls are either out-of door exercise, or 
the little pursuits of after years beginning already. Peta are 
good for them, t/— and a great "if" it is— they can be properly 
attended to, and are safe from neglect; not otherwise. 

Needlework is, to almost all girls at this agp, a needful task. 
To only a few is it a pleasure, and these generally have a sort of 
mania for fancy-work, upon which the great experience generally 
needs to be, " Begin nothing of which you have ] ' **"" 
considered the end," 




THB TEEN'a. 



CHAPTER IX. 



THR TF.ESS. 



TTp to the age of fifteen or sixteen, childhood, dependent osl 
others, properly lasts. Afterwards, the relation to things I 
spiritual Ijecomes closer and more direct ; and while still under J 
obedience to parents, tutors, and governora, the nature i; 
manner outgrowing them. The character is, as it were, to ba I 
formed between (speaking reverently) God and itself. Jfobody 1 
else can do it It has teen truly aaid that we may make oup- f 
selves what we please between fifteen and five-and-tweaty. 

Of eourse, what we are and what we wish to be de] 
much on the bent given in. earlier years ; but it ia also the 
that if that bent has been an undesirable one, or we find our J 
Waye sucb as we disapprove, and our training deficient, there is stiE I 
time to take ourselves in hand before the real business of 1: 
begins, and do the work for ourselves. Or if, far happier, i 
have been trained in the way ia which' we should go, we ha 
only to walk in it as obediently but with more intelligence, and ' 
becoming more and more able to see over the hedges that guard I 
it on either side. 

It does often happen that Confirmation is the starting-point ii 
life. The Grace then imparted ie spiritual strength to those 
who have the will to use it Moreover, the previous preparation 
is, or ought to be, of a much deeper and wider nature than the 
religious lessons of childhood. More advanced devotional books 
are put into the hands ; and tJie access to the Holy Eucharist 
brings a continuation of higher Help. 

Thas, not merely from age, but from instruction, training, and 
above all Sacramental Grace, a higher level is obtained, clearer 
viawa of duty and more stringent obligations are felt ; and if 
the world is opening on us, there is greater strength to overcame 
the world. 



/ 



68 WOMANKIND. 

Sometimes here too begin the difficulties and questions of 
conscience. Family law settled everything before ; now the 
higher law is felt. Previously the child was sure she was doing 
right if she was pleasing her mother. "Now the thought of 
pleasing God has come before her more fully than before. 
" To examine themselves whether they repent them truly," is 
no longer only the signal that the Catechism is over, but a 
weighty jiresent command, leading to a far more anxious 
estimate of right and wrong than when a few months before 
the knowledge of the family and schoolroom code was sufficient 
guide to duty and conscience. 

Happy those who have but to obey more intelligently and 
with a deeper sense of obligation, and whose conscience con- 
tinues to be guided by the same hands tbat helped its first 
perceptions, with father and mother still the entire and final 
udges of what is good and right, ruling the mind and opinions 
as well as the actions. 

Of course this cannot always be the case. No person is 
infallible ; and in the present day, it has become so much the 
custom to entrust the education and religious training, even of 
girls, to outsiders, that it is not in the least to be wondered at that 
their o])inions and standards should not be uniformly after the 
parental pattern. The father and mother who have scarcely 
meddled with their daughter's religious instruction since it 
was pretty to hear her lisp her hymns, have been content to 
Icnow that the governess " read with her," and finally sent her 
to the young-lady Confirmation classes, are utterly taken aback 
when they find her notions of frequent Communions, almsgiving, 
&c., are on a much stricter scale than was dreamt of when they 
were young. 

It would not have been so if they had taught her themselves. 
Then they would have had their minds alive to the same course 
of religious thought, and would have been with her at every 
step, either directing or accompanying the bent of her mind, 
and at any rate remaining the mould of her opinions. 

But it is not so much in the parents that I want to live now, 



TUB TEENS. 69 ' 

as in tbe young girl juat come to the secund perioJ of life. For 
thus would I diviile moat livea : the period of heiug moulded 
by otbera, the period of moulding oureelves, the period of 
action, the period of influence, the period of rest. These last 
three are in fact the time for mouldinj; others, more or less. 

The girl of fifteen has generally not only reached her full 
stature within a few eighths of an inch, but she has passed over 
the chOdish animal restlessaesa and craving for motion that 
makes study or thought a trial She is a great deal older than ■' 
her brother at the same age, aad if of the same scale of abilities, 
appears far superior, because hia will grow later, when he will be 
in earnest about study that with her will have ceased to be 
compulsory J and yet, where he does do hia best and takes an 
interest, he succeeds better than she does, either from mascu- 
line force or being more trained to work. Hia essay will bo better 
constructed and more logical than hera ; if he takes up a modern 
language in earneat, he will acquire as much in one vacation 
03 she in a year or two ; or if he have a lit of botany, he will 
go down to first principles, and begin to teach her when she 
thought herself teaching him. 

But she thinks and reflects more. She baa altogether mora 
Belf-consciouBnesa and less simplicity than he, being in truth 
nearer to maturity, though of less power ; and she is looking 
oat upon life, and beginning to make herself. Books that she 
now reads will be landmarks, both in rebgioua and secular 
matters, and her tastes are entliusiastic. There is a great effei^ 
■yescenee of vehemence, admiration, and eagerness, with more or 
less solid materiid at the bottom ; an intensity of everything 
both of hope and fear, joy and grief, restlessness and enjoyment, 
hero-worahip and detestation ; and withal, a certain unfamiliarity 
with her own machinery of utterance and expression, that often 
makes the creature a trial to her friends and a still greater trid 
to heraelf. If she is at ease, her eagerness generally makes her 
commit herself by pertness — if shy or reserved, she falls into 
the miseries of embarrassment. Her inexperience tries experi- 
ments that become the laughing-stock of the family; her 



I 



) 



70 WOMAN'KIND, ^^^^^| 

eagerness importimea the eldera ; in fact, nothing but the fai{pj 
spirits of her age bear her through the eudJeas co/ilrHempa toij 
which her undeveloped state exposes her. 

The next two or tliree are generally her busiest years of study, 
at a good school, with a finishing goventces, or with masters. 
Even if hor family be ucintellectual, there is apt to he a feeling 
that now she must make the most of her time, and bring herself 
up to the ordinary level of society ; nay, perhaps, the pressure 
is the greater in such familieit, because in the first place, the 
foundations are apt to be much worse laid ; and in the next 
place, Beventeen or eighteen is supposed to " finish her educa- 
tion ; " and the stock ahe has laid up by that time ia to last her 
for life. After that, keeping up an available amount of 
, fashionable company, muaic is the most serious study required 
' of her. 

\( However, this clasa of young lady is fast diminishing, and I 
am not writing for such aa acquieace in ench a doom of dulness. 
The words may startle them as thoy sit over German exercises 
in the schoolroom and hear their sisters laughing on the stairs 
— but they may depend upon it that perpetual amusement io 
the dullest thing in the world. ^Nothing but aerioua employ- 
ment can give zest to recreation, only a real putpoae of soul 
secure a sense of variety and power of playfulness. 

The difference there is, or ought to he, ia that before a girl 

leaTOS the schoolroom ahe must acquire some knowledge of a 

good many aubjecta irrespective of her taste and abilities ; after- 

I wards she ia tree to pursue whatever course ahe is best fitted for. 

Then of course there are certain demands of the present 
level of cultivation to which every girl has to he worked np 
alike, if ahe is to be saved disgrace and mortification injurious 
to self-respect. 

Is not thia often the residuum of education, with a vague 
emattering of one or other aocompliahment on the top 1 

What the imaginary damsel of sixteen or seventeen does, 
fictioKj ia to read Dante and Goethe with ease, play ravish in gly^l 
I and draw like an artist, besides being ready to command 



I 



THE TEEKS. 71 



household, narae e. eiek person, and manage a Sunday- bcLooI, by 
nature — in fact, she is generally the only person gifted with' 
presence of mind or common senae. 

Now what should the possible girl he able to do when tha 
aehoolrooom life enda 1 According to om- notions, she ought to 
have been thoroughly well grounded in what is called an English 
education, and know French almost as well ils her own language. 
]f she also knows Latin grammar, and can construe a tolerably 
eaayclaBsio correctly, so much the better, German or Italian, or 
both, ought to have been begun, and brought to a state in which 
she can keep them up by reading, if no master be attainable. 

So with exact science, she mmt have learnt enoi^h to work 
with, and ought to kuow something of the higher branches. If 
she have the power, to go into algebra and mathematics is now a 
very beneficial study, and one much to be commended for the 
training in thought It is one, likewise, in which the female' 
mind can reach a very fair level, and which ia so progresf^ive, 
and 30 much connected with science and discovery, as to be full 
of new iuteresta. But it ia almost impossible to some intellects, 
therefore not to be universally recommended. 

History should be known by this time, so far as that the 
outlines of English and ancient history should be thoroughly 
familiar, and that names and dutes should be knowit bejond 
confusiom French history should likewise be known, partly as 
a key to that of other European states. And there should be 
an intelligent idea of the general course of European events ; 
but the details may remain to be obtained by the steady reading 
of a portion every day, or what was once known will soon become 
misty ; and it is reallff important to be thoroughly acquainted 
with history, for so much of opinion and judgment in politics, 
and all connected with national and individual welfare, is 
founded on past experience ; and biography ia so full of precious 
examples of our predecessors in the Church, that these studies 
are almost essential to the formation of the character. 

As to accorapltahments, it is well that the grammar of both 
music and drawing, and a certain facility of mechanical execution 



i 



T2 



■WOMANKIND. 




flhould be Hecnred, Btich as will give trained appreciation to iht* 
mind and usefulness to the hand. If there he a taient for either \ 
art, the girl of seventeen will of courae have gone beyond this j 
minimum; but even where ehe ie never likely to be either 1 
musician or artist, the training of ear and eye find hand on I 
Bnch additions to her faculties, that they ought by no mnanB to 
he neglected while still under the hands of her educators. She 
should know how to look at. and enjoy a picture, how to enter 
into the charin of a landaca[)e, how to group flowers, arrange 
furniture, and chwise dreasea with taste enough not to offend the 
eye ; and she will often he at a loaa if she cannot use u pencil ta I 
trace out a deaign or recall a memory. \ 

ThuB, again, she should be able to enjoy a concert " knoT- 
ledgeably," and to give intelligent aid if needed in Church 
music, even though her capacity do not rise above mediocrity. 
Either of theae accomplishmenta, or both, are however to bo 
pursued or let alone after tjie groundwork hfta been laid, acwjrd- 
ing to the bent of the powera and talents. 

The real point is, that when the educatora reaign their charge^ 4 
the papil should l)e turneil out with all her faculties of mind | 
and body in the best working order poseilile to them, 
the groundwork laid, and an intellif,'Pnt power of attentioa 
capable of being used in whatever direction circumstancoa may \ 




CHAPTER X. 

RELIGION. 

CoNFiRMATiOH has B6t the sea!, and tJie young have entared i 
on that stage which will in a manner endure for the rest of j 
their lives, and I therefore write mthor to them than of then 

Tliis period is the moat im[)ortant, for it is apt to iix tho 1 



bBUOIOITi 

Btaadard and tone for mauy years, if not for the -whole life. 
Even the phase of religion then adopted ia, in chnractera not 
nnnauaOy fickle, that which endures, except under the guidance 
of fl husband, or of some other atronf^ influence. In truth, 
most peraona adopt the doctrine which haa been most strongly 
presented to them at the moment when their aoula were in an 
earnest state. 

And what is a religioug person 1 The original meaning of 
the word Religion is " rule," Therefore the religious are those 
■who order their lives by tlie rule of God'a Law, and live as in 
Hia sight. The happiest are Eiich aa have the Bplritual sense so 
dear that they can perceive and rejoice in God's presence and 
consolation, and feel invigorated by His aid, warmed into a 
glow of personal love towiirds the Saviour aa Friend and Brother, 
take intense pleaaore in all that relates to Him, and feel that 
interest outweigh all others — living their Everlaating Life, aa it 
were — consciously and really longing for Heaven. 

These characters are, however, rare ; and much distress has 
been caused among many by the refusal of a certain school of 
thought to acknowledge any person to be religioua who is not 
conscious of having realized that the Atonement is personally 
applied to his individual sins, and has not gone through a keen 
Bense of sin, helplessness, and relief Very eoascientioua 
minds, of strong sense of truth, have often suffered terribly 
from being unable to work themselves up to this crisis of feeling, 
Blthoagh their faith and truat may be deep. 

Dutiful natures, absolutely shrinking from wilful evil, and 
moat anxious to obey and falfil their own eenae of right, are 
often despised and treated as under the bondage of the Law, 
putting their trust in their own worka, &c. But it is a safer 
way of looking at it, to regard them as obedient travellers in 
the highway of holiness, but not yet able to look over the 
hedges, and occupied with their surroundings, so as not yet to 
wish for the end of the journey, even though not doubting of 
its joy and blessedness. 

There are, in fact, three classes : those who have attained to 



I 



74 WpMANKlND. 

huppy personal love of Goil ; tliose who act from Btrong sense 
of duty ; ftnd those who arc abaoiutely careless and absorbed in 
the pleasures of the moment, only desirous to avoid whatever 
aeema to them dull, depressiug, or restraiiUDg. And, of course, 
most people belong a little, more or less, to each sort. Even the 
loving lose, for a time, their keen sense of spiritual thlng^t, and 
need the bracing of duty and fear of wruth to keep them from 
lapses; the dutiful win gleams of heavenly light and longing 
oa their best aide, and, ou their worst, are teutpwd to resist every 
fresh demand which principle makes ou Ihem, to do or not to 
do ; while even the carelosa shrink from some evils, and are tAM 
times awakened to thoughts of better things. fl 

Sauramenta are assuredly the great means of giving, upboldiiig|H 
and maintaining the spiritual life. The spiritually minded find 
in them actual bliss, and sense of union and strength ; the duti- 
ful obtain that force of wiil and cloamees of judgment which, 
enable them to persevere in their practical duties, althoiigli 
to these the temptation is apt to be that they do not, as 
they Bay, /eel the better ftir them. Let tbem be sure that if 
they do not feel the better, they would speedily be the morse 
without them, and that to go patiently on binding the attention, 
if nothing else can be bound, is the way to win the inward 
insight at last, though perhaps not till some external shook 
have lessened the charm of eartlily things. 

There is a danger greater than theirs— that, namely, of taking 
jntelleotual or testhetio interest in Church ordinances for devotion 
— yes, or merrly the excitement created by what must be called 
"religieus dissipation." In a secluded parish, or a strict iiimily, 
^ the Church servioea often form the only variety or interest, 
^ together with the occupation that b given by preparation for 
festivnis, church decking, choir practices, &e. ; while in towns, 
the comparison of ornaments, services, and sermons, the discus- 
sion of churches and clergymen, and strong expresaious respecting 
them, and the running after all remarkable functions, may be 
taken for religion. It is a fatal error, and calls for St. Junies'a 
awful words, " If any man among you seem to be religious, and 



HELIOION. 7S I 

bridltth not his tongue, but ileceiveth his own heart, this man'« 
religion is vain." 

Trial or tenpUition ou\y too bdod will show that this was but 
the seed without depth of eatth, which withereth awaj. 

Yet the suir.ty earth may ba deepened, and become a fruitful 
soil And how 1 By debris of weeds. Each temptation over- 
come deepens the soil, and gives a hold to the root. The great 
effort must V, not to dread or shun the services for fear of 
unreality, but to bring the Hie uji to them, and to bridle the 
tongue. To take the feast without the fast is a dangerous thing, 
and one to which we are far too prone ; fur unluckily, we have 
not only our own selfish selves in the way, but the world is far 
more angered at fasting than at feasting, and obstacles are thrown 
in the way on the plea of heulth and politeness, which bring in 
questions of obedience. Now, there can be no question that 
fasts are quite as much a Divine ordinance as feasts, and that a 
litHe extra going to church, especially to varieties of servicea 
and preachers, is not the only observance enjoined on Christians. 
Unless something be given up so as to form a real mortihcft- 
tion on the appointed days, abstinence is not used, and then 
is no safeguard against religion becomirg only excitement and 



This has become even more necessary, so far as character and 
training are concerned, by the relaxation of strictness ou Sunday. 
If the gravity and severity of the Lord's Day be changed for 
pleasure, and the Church services become (and fitly too) delights 
to the eye and ear, there is none of that bracing which the 
Puritanically inclined Christian had in giving up all secular 
recreation and listening to unornamented services. Noj a 
Cathohc Sunday of joy is only safe when preceded by a Catholio 
Priday, marked by the avoiding of some ordinary indulgence, 
tiie choice of some graver or more distasteful duty. 

If beads of families would abstain from Kriday parties, and 
housewives make it possible to fast at meals without atttacting 
observation, the assistance to the young would he great. But 
where this is not the household rule, it is stih possible to every- 



I 



70 WOMANKIND. 

one to abetain from Bomethin); preferred, and to do BOmethin^ 1 
lees itgreeablo, as a eimple net of cibedience to the Church n 
the Church's Head. 

The real maltei' to lemember is, that the sweet r^annot be l 
taken without the bitter. ChuRh-^ning and church decoration I 
become a mere indulgance nnd exfiitement, unlese they ba I 
accompanied with steady haliiti of private prayer, Bolf-disoipliiie, ( 
duty to the home uad to the poor, and bridling the tongue. 

And often the person who quietly and uufliutliingly doei I 
spend her time in unaelfiuh care of others, and in obedient a 
devout up lo her knowledge, is in a far safer state than ahe cm 4 
be who indulges in far more observance, has far more kiiuir- 
ledge, and indnitely more chatter and criticiam, yet whiyj 
uniformly ■' rthrinks when hard service must be done "- 
rather dreams of future hard service, and shrinks from liomBl^g 
present Be r vice. 

It is difficult, not to say impossible, to lay down abstnt 
rules of observouco for everyone, because duties and chataoterj 
differ so much, as well as degrees of spirituality, and ' 
would be an advance to one would be a falling off to ano 
But there is a standard required by the Church of all who 1 
would not lose their outward membership with her, and this is- I 
— according to her rei^^uirements as expressed in the Prayer* 
book— Communion three times a year, and attendance at public 
worship on Sunday. 

This is the lowest rule she acknowledges, as the test of actual ] 
visible union. The true inner life and perpetual struggle witll ] 
sin require far more ailment, and the faith in&nitely more I 
support, tiian tliis, which is, in fact, fixed at the lowest rate fw 1 
external practical purposes. 

Her rules for such members as wish to be trained up withia I 
her, are morning and evening prayer, frequent Communion, and 
the due observance of Sundays, Feast and Fast days. Into 
closer details she does not go, because she has, in making 
universal rules, to allow for the vast diiferences made by station, 
business, and education. 



sBLiGioir. 7T 

No one who reads these papers is likely to have been brought 
up without the habit of private morning aad eToning prayer ; 
and at Confirmation, it is likely that some manual has been put 
into her hands more advanced than the chOdiah prayers with 
which she began life. If she be seeking for something of the 
kind, I would suggest Eev. T. Carter's Treasury of Devotion, 
or E. Brett's GhuTchmaTi's Guide, or his Offict of llie most Holy 
Name. It is desirable also to use a mid-day prayer. There is 
generally an opportunity of short retirement at noon, or at any 
rate before the mid-day meal, whea the recollection of onr 
Blessed Lord's Passion on the Cross shouM bo caUed before ua. 
The devotions for the Hours will afford tis help here. That for 
the Sixth Hour is very short, and can be sold standing, so as 
not to attract observation. 

These are the fixed times of daily prayer, that ought not to 
be omitted. Many find it a great blessing to observe the other 
Day Hours ; others find it a great help to use a short prayer 
before going out of doors ; and good Mrs. Cameron used to 
teach her daughters, when they went into company, to tell each 
other of some text to he their guide and help. Girls at home may 
well and happily use some of theiv devotions in common, espe- 
cially those of praise, intercession, and memorial, and these 
leave precious and sweet bonds of love, " wreaths of hope for 
aye to live." But each soul must also have its own commua- 
inga with God, and these must ha alone. The individual life 
must have its private self-examination, confession of sins, and 
entreaty for pardon ; and help cannot be shared with any one, 
however near and dear. So devotional reading may well be 
done in common, especially the Psalms and Lessons, as the 
Bubstitnte where daily service is impracticable; but the verso 
which should be meditated and prayed over must be studied 

Make some Scripture reading, however brief, a daily obliga- 
tion ; and likewise some endeavour at meditation, if only for 
five minutes ; also some portion of devotional reading, such as a 
chapter of Thomas k Kempis's Imitation, of Taylor's Goldtn 



I 



I 



Grove, or a portion of some comment on the Psalma or Goapela. 
The tirao may bo either at rising, bed-time, or noon, according 
to the power of attention, or freedom from interruption ; but 
the duty is to be placed with one of the three times of daily 
prayer, as essential to the spiritual life. 

Sunday church-going is, of course, the next outwanl obaep 
anoo, Thia ought to be looked on aa our regular homage to 
God, and therefore to be made the first consideration in all our 
arrangements, nevn- to be aaerificed for any conaiileration short 
of illness or absolute duty. It ought never to be given up for 
mere matters of convenience or pleasure, weather or comfort, 
uttless it be a vital matter of health. 

And at Church, the resolutiuu to kneel really, in spite of bad 
example or adverse aiTangemente, and to have no silly fanciea 
about cushions and hassocks to kneel upon, is a great aid to 
devout reverence. These sound like mere formalisms, but they 
are not. The forcing ourselves to put our duty to God above all 
else, is the way to leurn tlio love of God. 

Eolyday services should also be deemed a duty, and not 
thrown aside aa non-essential when any tiifling pleasure comes 
in the way. Of course, if attendance thereat upsets a whole 
plan involving other people's gratification, tbey should not be 
made a burthen, at least those of Satnta'days ; but the great 
days, connected with our Lord Himself, should bo consecrated 
by worship to the fulL It is not difficult, by universal consent, 
to go to church on, and set apart, Christmas Day or Good 
Friday ; but the observance of both too often ends with morn- 
ing service. Pleasures on Christmas Day surely ought not to 
exclude a second kneeling in reverence before the mystery of the 
Incarnation, and they ought not to degenerate into mere sport 
and eating. 80 Good Friday ought to be kept as much in 
quiet and aoiemnity as possible, and no facilities given at Church 
for 80 doing should ho neglected. And on Ascension Day, a 
stand should be made against journeys or parties of pleasure, 
that would dash with as full an observance as on the other 
days. 



I 
I 



Where daily serrice ia within reach, I think I may securely 
say that attendance thereat becomes a blessing, if steadily 
persevered in, and not lightly omitted. The giving it up ba- 
rause " I have tried it, and I didn't seem the better for it," is 
a great mistake. Going to Church is not only, nor chiefly, 
to do ouraelvea good. It is primarily to praise God. Moreover, 
many of the interceaaions in the Litany are not to do ourselves, 
but others, good. But reasonable hindrances must, of co 
take more efiect in keeping from daily than Sunday ser 
only let us be quite sure that it ia only true duty to our neigh- 
bour that keeps us at home, and then wa shall not be failing in 
our duty to God. 

And above all stands the Holy Euchariat, aa the means of 
maintaining our inward life. This is not the place for detailed 
exhortations on that point ; but it is certain that those who 
love will come in reverence and godly fear full often ; and 
those who are hut trying to love wUl, if they are wise, cling to 
their Communions as the raeana of sustaining and quickening 
" the struggling spark of good within." 

The preparations and self-examinations are indeed the tangible 
means of stirring up the soul, discovering its dangers and 
deficiencies. And let it be always remembered, that any 
occupation or amusement which dissipates the mind, and 
flutters the spirits too much for such preparation, and makes 
it seem like sacrilege to enter the Holy of Holies, must be, to 
one who so feels, dangerous and sinful, and a temptation that 
onght to be renounced. "VVill it be said that Sacraments, 
eervioes, devotions, readings, are not religion 1 No, they are 
not ; but they are the framework of religion. The manna, the 
water, and the Commandmenta, did not save those in whom the 
Word was not mixed with faith. The garments of Christ 
were nothing to those who merely thronged Him, but they 
wrought healing at the touch of faith. So must it he with 
ourselves. Here are the means, here is the connection with 
the great Body of Christ. Thus may we all be governed and 



> 



80 WOMANKIND. 

sanctified, if only we come, not in a light or frivolous, but in 
an earnest spirit, that strives both to pray and to " live more 
nearly as we pray." 



CHAPTER XI. 

Y O U N 0-L A D Y H O O D. 



Here is the girl out of her schoolroom ! What is she to 
do 1 Some will answer, " Amuse herself ; " others, " Amuse her 
family ; " and a third set, " Help her mother ; " while there are 
a certain number who would say, " Improve herself," or more 
wisely, " Prepare for future usefulness." 

Some recommend, especially in these days, a course of pre- 
paration such as learning to nurse, studying art, or house- 
keeping, or the like ; but I am inclined to think that definite 
courses had better not be decided on till one-and-twenty ; and 
that the maiden of seventeen or eighteen, without an obvious 
necessity, needs the training of home and family life, and the 
experience of society acquired in these years, before choosing 
any form of profession. 

It is possible she may marry before one-and-twenty, but a 
very small minority do so ; and they lose what is or ought to 
bo a very pleasant and instructive period of life. The element 
of girlhood in the house is a very desirable one, and the growth 
of these years is needed to mature the powers. But it must 
be growth. The great danger of this time of life is desultori- 
ness. It is the reaction from the methodical life of the school- 
room, or school ; and where the transition is violent from actual 
school life, or from the high pressure of a finishing governess, 
there has often been a strain which makes it very desirable, 
almost necessary, to unbend the bow, by a journey abroad, a 
sea-side sojourn, a visit, or a brother's holidays. It may be 
best to have a real vacation from all severe application. 



81 ' 

But this reat over, it is a great pity to leave the whole 
morning to chance. A little note-writing, a little vase-dressing, 
a little practising, a litlle reading, a little croquet, a great deal 
of chatter ; and worse than all, much running in and out i 
among near neighbours, till, even if there have been some 
capacity and will for selt-improvement, the power of steady I 
employmeDt is fiitteied away, and no progress is made. 

Mothers often contribute to this state of things, and there is I 
something to be said for them. They have looked forward to 
the having a daughter out of the achool-roora, to be a companion, 
writ* the invitations, set up the flowers, and entertain the 
visitors. And all thia ia good and right ; but a little i 
ment on their part may prevent them from making such calls 
on the girl's time aa to be perpetual interruptions, and give hi 
a sense that it ia vain to attempt anything contiuuoua. 

A couple of hours at leaat in the forenoon ought to 1 
secured for what girls call " something sensible," and then it is I 
that, having had the foundation laid in the schoolroom, she ' 
can go on to pursue her own special bent. 

The special direction is not the point, but the sobering effect I 
and the unconacioua training of regular application. Of 
yiaitora coming for a very few days require attention, and may 
disturb the habit ; but when they are staying for a long time, 
or where there is a constant succession, they ought not to 
trespass on the girl's time. Indeed, if they are her mother'« 
contemporaries they will not want her ; it her own, they will 
generally like to share some pursuit which can be modified for , 
their pleasure if needful. To many girls, a little bit of study | 
done tc^ether, with all the brightness of fresh intercourse, is a 
good as play. 

And nothing ia more certain than that visitors are always | 
happiest wlien the natives do not sit up to " entertain them," 
but let them share their home life instead of disarranging it. 

As to the habit that prevails where there are families of i 
gais of about the same age, of rushing into each other's 
houses at all hours, and standing gossipping there, the best 




3 WUMAXEiXD. 

thing the heads of honaes can do ia to prohihit it atterly tQI 
play-time, which may probablj' be the hoar of Inncheon. If 
the young people an really at -work together, these meetings are 
a diRerent thing; bat parposeless gossip aad dawdle should 
be avoided, either by their own determiniition or that of their 
parentH. 

The holiday-brother, or the over-worked gentleman needing 
entire rent, are the moat lawful interrupters of the morning, but 
thsif iocuraionB are brief, and they mnst sometimes be allowed 
to tyrannize. It is the going on day after day, week after 
week, without fixed occupation, with no "something attempted, 
something done," that weakens the whole nature, and induces 
frivolity and shallowness, with all their attendant mischiefs. 

Nor is it a mere matter of indifference whether the habit of 

culture and regularity is kept up. Silly, vacant women are, it 

is true, sometimes preferred by men, and obtain their affections ; 

w''^ but what a fearful charge it jajorawpraftn. to hava-tt-manla 

heart given lO-hei I 

A weak, narrow-minded woman, incapable of sympathy with 
the higher life, may be tender, kindly, affectionate, but she is 
the most fatal drag upon her husband or lover. Ho is hindered 
from all the nobler purposes of hia life, or he fulfils them at 
the expense of hia domestic peace. If he have to make a 
sacrifice of present advantage or income for the sake of 
principle, hia wife simply views it as robbery of her children ; 
she desires hie advancement merely as a matter of personal 
aggrandiMment, and his plana and wiahea are a mystery to her. 
The Lydia who would not encounter India, and saddened the 
deep true heart of Henry Martyn, and her shadow in Miss 
Parr's Ber Title to Honour, show what a piteous thing it is for 
a woman to fall short of the higher aim of her lover. 

On the other hand, has not many a woman aided her husband 
over some perilous moment of his life ) as Vittoria Colonna 
saved Peacara from becoming a traitor to his sovereign, when a 
smaller-minded woman would have only seen the hope of being 
Queen of Naples. ■ *■ 




YOONO- LADYHOOD. 83 

Bnt Bome will say these are mattera of right and wrong, not 
of learning and study. Ay ; but there arc cases in which a 
cramped uncultured mind is incapable of judging what i; right 
or what is wrong, like the good mother in Sanhury Milla, who 

IS atrictnesB itself in household honesty, yet was undisturbed by 
the dishonourable action that preyed on her husband's life, 
And as Archbishop Dupanloup has pointed out, the most 
excellent and pious of women loae all the power they might 
vith the men of their family, if their jninda 
are too limited to comprehend the force of the difficulties that 
are felt, and if they cannot understand or sympathize with 
fcrother, hushand, or son. " My dear, I can't hear you to talk in 
that horrid way. It makes me quite miserable. I'm sure it is 
urieked." This may silence the speaker in the lady's presence, 
itut will do him no good, hut rather make bim connect her 
(principles with her silliness. 

Schoolroom studies cannot raise the intellect eaough to 
prevent this contraction. They cannot possibly go far enough 
in the time, and even if they did so, it is constant use of the 
powers that is needed, not only dead acquirement unf[uickened 
"by exoitiom Moreover, the mind is capable of taking in and 
ligeating much more effectually in youth than iu girlhood. 

And apart from the desire of usefulness, far more happiness 
a laid up for after years by a person who occupies her mind 
iiaa by one who merely devotes herself to the pleasures of 
routh. Distresses, illness, nervous miseries, tedium, all may 
nitigated by the power of being interested in some intel- 
bctual pursuit. Even those whose abiHties are not great 

1 wonderfully improve and mature their powers, and keep 

hemaelves interested and alhused in no small degree, if they 

lave fostered any intelligent and industrious habits in their 

arlier days. 

Different dispositions must train themselves according to 

T own experience ; but it seems to me an excellent rale that 

« should be no novel touched in the forenoon, except in a * 
unfamiliar that it becomes an exercise. 
Some portion of a solid book should bsi TeaA iai'^ , w'Cwst lA. 



84 



WOMANKIND, 



history or acience ; there should be some keeping up of laTigiiages 
and of ftccomplishiaeiits. The language may often be kept up 
by teaching a younfj-er one, or hearbg her read. Or a new 
language may be studied where there are facUitiea and there b a 
turn that way, German ia too difliuult to be really acquired in 
the Bchoolroom without jjeculiar advantages, and much mora 
study neeJe to be spent on it afterwatda, if ita strength and 
beauty ia to be really appreciated. Italian, too, can be easily 
learnt enough to read a plain narrative in it ; but to enter into 
Dante roquirea a fiill-grown mind. Lutia and Greek, too, may 
be studied more effectually after eighteen. 

Perhaps the beat way is to go up for the Cambridge Esaniina- 
tions. As these are conducted ia writing, and are not competi- 
tive, they do not seem to tae to involve anything unfeminine or 
undesirable ; andtliu benefit of having a well-conaidored scheme 
and system given, and of being stimulated to work for an 
object, is very great. It is very desirable that all who are 
educated up to the needful point should work for it. 

It requires, however, an amount of previoua good teaching 
and ability, and also of leisure, which would put it out of the 
reach of many ; hut even these should not sit down content to 
be idle and trilling, but make it a duty to learn aomething, 
practise something, obtain some step in self -improvement every 
day, either carrying on the study they liked best, or filling up 
the most serious gap in their education, The self-conunand of 
setting oneself to work, and the perseverance of continuing it, 
would be great gain, even without any further reaidt. 

Essay societies are useful in supplying object and stimulus, but 
they will not serve alone, as it is in their nature to bo discur- 
sive. Their name ia rather unlucky, aa it leads young people to 
set to work on abstract subjects, on which they have not much 
worth saying, instead of going into positive matters of fact, on 
which they should collect information. 

Music and drawing, to those who have a turn for them, may 
now become arts instead of mere meclianical exercises. This ia, 
in fact, a valuable period of life to thoso who are wise enough 
oot to fritter it away. 



(fHAPTEE XIL 



IfoBODT can b 



e really trying to live a religious life who doea \ 
the poor." Almsgiving is, without a douht, 
closely connected with godliness tiiroughout the Holy Scriptures. 

The mode of doing so is the question ; and there is nothing 
upon which ways and means so vary — from the clergyms 
daughter, whose daily occupation ia necesaatily among 
villagera, to the London girl, who ia denied all access to them. 
Thifl entire seclusion from all means of reaching the poor, 
except perhaps an impnrtunate flower-giil at a carriage window, 
ia, however, far less frequent than it used to be, and is seldom 
found in the uppetmost classes. Even where it is thought 
unadvisahle for tbeir daughters to have anything to do with 
the London poor, the country life of the summer and autumn 
brings them in contact with the cottagers, and they generally 
have a warm interest in their own parish. Those who have 
least opportunity are the daughters of wealthy, and sometimes 
of professional, persons, whose out-of-town life is spent cither 
abroad or at watering-places, where they feel no local interest 
nor duty. Their parents, not having been accustomed to poor > 
people, distrust and dread them, and prohibit ail such work aaX^ 
the London clergy could put into their daughters' hands ; and 
there are no opportunities in their way, as it seems, of doing 
good. 

Many girls, full of the fresh impressions of their Confirmation 
classes, and whose books teach them that charity ia a duty, are 
rendered very unhappy by being thus withheld, and are puzzled 
as to where the duty lies. 

It seems to be clear that almsgiving, up to the tithe of the 
means, is a duty. A tithe of the allowance is God's part 
This may be given through the Offertory. A part will of courae 



/ 

i 




86 W0MA.VK1XD. 

BO bo given ; and if tbare lie no opportunity of direct testowal 
on the poor, another portion can he spent in the purchaae of 
materiaia to he made up at home for Missions— home or to the 
heathen — Orphanages, CrSches, or the lite. Such gifts to the 
etru^ling Miasions in large towns are invaluahle to the over- 
worked toilers in parishes consisting wholly of the poor, with 
no admixture of the riuh. To spend a daiiy hour in making ii\> 
children's clothes, for such a purpose, would ho a most whole- 
Bomit exercise for the young lady who longs to find means of 
usefulness ; and it is not difficult to discover opportunities of 
bestowing them on institutions where ihey will he distributed 
properly. 

Tu be thus isolated from direct contact with the poor is not, 
however, the usual lot of young ladies. Those who have homes, 
either in country towns or the eountry itself, usually are allowed, 
and for the moat part encouraged, to be useful to their poorer 
neighbours, so long as thoy do not obtrude their doings, or 
Upset the family by thera. Indeed, it often happens in those 
days, that the mother who iu her youth liad to light a battle to 
be allowed to minister to the poor, finds that her daughters 
view "pottering about the cottages" as Mamma's dull notion of 
occupation, and talk the modern jargon about Sunday-schoola 
being an inftiction. 

It is fjuite true that district-visiting is much better in the 
hands of the middle-aged than of the very young. The regu- 
lation of it is necessarily in the hands of the Incumbent ; and 
ho would never by preference assign a district to a young girl 
alone, though where it is the choice of such a one or nothing, 
he may be forced to do ao. The best way would be to assign a 
girl as a helper to each elder visitor, who would make her 
helpful, let her supply gaps, and use her bright youthfiUness to 
cheer the old, while letting her servo an apprenticeship, and 
keeping her from places where she can only do herself and the 
people harm. 

Unluckily, girls do not like apprenticeship. The younger 
and more inexperienced they are, the more they want to act for 



thcmselvea ; and clergymen's daughtera are apt to imagine thafr-1 
their fathers' position confers an authority by which a chit of 1 
eighteen, who perhaps has not been three months in the parish, "f 
may aseumo dominion over a lady, who for twice her life-timfti 
hae been doing real and earnest work among the poor. 

It should ever be remembered, that charity ia not charity, 
unless on all points it follows St. Paul's pattern in 1 Corinthians, 
xiiL The clergyman must of course fix the system and the 
rules, but his daughter ought to be specially cautious against the 
temptations to domineering and self-importance given by this i 
reflected dignity. 

In country parishes where there are several families of gentry, 1 
the ayatem of allotment of diatticts by the clergyman is re- 1 
quiaite, to prevent some families from being overhelped, and to-l 
hinder a habit of begging, which is one of the most ruinous that | 
the poor cau fall into. 

Where the gentry frequently change, and there ia no regular.'! 
system, it is certain that there will be some lazy and plausiblffB 
women who will besiege the new comers with tales of diatresB,.J 
It may nearly bo taken as a rule that those who bo come are 
least deserving, and that the only way not to do harm i 
promise to consult the clergyman, and to give no aid previously. 1 

Indeed, it is a fatality, observed by old inhabitants, that 
new settlers are sure to fall in with the forward and smooth- 
tongued parishioners, and be taken in by them. It is well if 
the di^uat that enaues does not extend to the struggling and ■ 
independent poor. ■ 

Cottage visiting should be regulated with a due regaid to the^ 
circumatances. Mere visits, where there is no special cause, aro I 
not always desirable from lay callers, especially the very young, 
A call with a purpose is one thing, a mere dropping-in is 
another. Where there is that sort of ill-health that reij^uirea 
dainties, or can be cheered with reading aloud ; where there are 
collections to be made for clubs or missionary societies ; where 
children's absence from school has to be iniiuired into, or their 
promotions explained — all these are good reasons for a visit rj 



} 



88 WOMANKIND. 

but one rule cftnnot be too strongly impresBed : cut abort the 
conversation, and go away, the moment there is any tendency to 
talk of the neighbours. Very few peasant women have any 
notion of governing the tongue, or of accuracy ; and if they 
once are allowed to run on and dutcuas the gossip of tbeil 
hamlet, there is no saying what scandals they may pou( 
forth. 

Old women are the worst in this respect They have grown, 
up in coarser and more uneducated days, and have 
ration after generation grow up and fall into error ; and they 
are very willing on the smallest encouragement to regale their 
visitors with scandal. Of course there are many who have 
natural and religious refinement, and have learnt reserve and 
prudence by experience ; but these will never trench on the 
dangerous ground, so that it is a safe rule to silence all such 
conversation. 

Daughters of old 'established squires are safer from theu 
mistakes, because the antecedents of everyone in the pari!)h are 
known in the family; but the new comers— olei^y men's 
daughters just imported, and still more those who have just 
arrived at some rented house, and are new to a country life- 
are always likely to take the old woman on the credit of hsr 
present tidy appearance, and never suspect that she has been 
anything but satisfactory in earlier life. 

Therefore, girls who cannot trust themselves, or be trusted,. 
to keep a conversation above chatter, bad better only read tO 
the old women they are not quite sure of, with only enough 
preliminary and concluding civility to satisfy the demands of 
good manners, and to hurt no one's feelings. 

School is a place where more good r;an be safely done ; but 
this must have a chapter to itself, and need not be more than 
mentioned here ; but there are a few other acts of diarity that 
are very beneficial, and in the power of those who may not 
have the ability to teach a class. One is to road with a servant 
preparing for Confirmation or for Communion — a thing much 
needed, for even when a girl hiis been at a good school, there 



1 



have often fceen Eeveral years almoat a blant aa to religion 
instruction or improaaion after she has gone out to si 

Or special instruction may lie given to piipil-teaohera, wht 
require contact with really superior and educated, minds, 
liring them up to present requiremcnta ; and to whom leasoM 
on any one or two subjects — such as music, history, or 
religious points given out by the diocesan inspectors- 
peculiarly useful. 

Again, there are children taken early from school, or unahlM 
to attend on Sundays, who will generally be most thankful t 
become private pupils ; and this is really the work that perbapaj 
fells the most of all on their affections and character ; and itf 
can be carried out by the most shy and diffident person who i 
really in earnest. 

Presiding over mothers' meetings bad better not be attemptedB 
by anybody under five-and-twenty, except as an extremelyB 
temporary substitute for the real president 

The principle of the thing must be that the care of the j 
either by our means or by our personal exertions, or both, i 
botmden duty. The mode must depend on oircumatancea a 
our personal fitness ; but always the work must 1 
rule of the Church and of lawful authority. 

Where there are large numbers of workers, and 
system, each may be fitted to the work she can best perform ; 
but where, as in many country pariabei, the workers are scanty, 
there is nothing for it but to be freely ready to do whatever 
comes to hand to do, and which circum stances show it to be 
right to undertake, without e\6r gmng way to the consideration 
whether one likes it or not 

Of coarse there are born nurses, and i 
work for the poor that no else can ; but the more ordinaq 
works — visiting, teaching, reading, night-school or day-st 
boys or girls, senior class or Junior class, attending to clubs ( 
libraries, Sm. Ac — all must be regulated by the necessities c 
the case. Only mind, nothing must be left undoi 

& vre do not like the doing of it. Obedience, other dotie^J 




90 WOMiNKIND, 

absolute incapacity, are real leasona to the contraiy ; not di»>^ 
tasto, and especially not the frequent excuse — "I can't do it'l 
regularly, so I had better not do it at all ; " " I shall be here such 
a short time, it is not worth while." Mauy and many a time 
this casual aid has chanced upon — or rather been providentially 
directed to — some persona whose aoul somehow was unattainable 
by the residents, oi the short period of intercourse with some 
invalid has loft precious memories with both parties for erei; <l 
Do what you can, and attend your best to what is thrown iq J 
your wuy, for Christ's sake; and thus best may you hope to baj 
doii)(j the "good works He hath prepared for us to walk ii 



CHAPTER XIII. 



Su.vpAY-acHOOLS were the fasliion of one generation, then the 
unfashion. They were in the first place often very inefficiently 
managed, and then were found fault with unreasonably, 

A penance to teachers and taught 1 This stock accusation is 
a sentimental one, hatched by outsiders. It is, at the utmost, 
only true of those places where the children's seats in church 
are utterly deficient in'comfort, and in opportunities for devo- 
tion. Even then it will generally be found, that the child has 
no dislike to the Sunday-school, and is luicomfortable when 
deprived of it. The pleasure of wearing best clotiies, of seeing 
those of others, and of the change of occupation and interest, 
allure it, together with a certain sense of self-approval in doing 
the light thing and having so much time disposed o£ To many 
this is the chief motive ; but to many others, the Sunday-school 
is the brightness of a dull life. 

And as to the teachers, no one who has the real faculty of 
teaching can fail to enjoy it. Moreover, where it is properly 
doiie, the training to the teacher's own mind on I'eligious subjects 



SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 91 I 

18 invEiIiiable, and the contact with varlona ranks above and \ 
twlo w veiy uaeful. 

As to results : when people complain of their failure, and of J 
the general iireligion of tho masses, they forget that the noiay, 
active, and worldly years of life are not the whole of it, and ] 
that they know not how many death-beds are soothed by tha 
inatractiona gained in those childish Sundays ; how many r&- 
pentanoes may be owing to old associations — nay, how many 
there are who have never lost the hold then acquired, but who 
do not make themselves prominent. AH those who work among 
the poor — soldiers, sailors, &o. — testify to the far greater posai- 
bilitj of dealing with those who have had some Sunday-school 
training than those who have learnt nothing, and whose ignorance 
18 unfathomable. Another charge against Sunday-achoola is, that i 
the tons of persona in the lower class does not improve more , 
rapidly. This is for want of reflecting that the more hopeful i 
children go forth into the world, rise, and are seldom the parents 
of the next generation of National-school children. The really 
good servants, a far larger class than popular literature allowa, 
are mostly the growth of country schools, National and Sunday, | 
They are often very intelligent in religious matters, faithful and 
devout. It is the idle, the dull, those who have fallen into sin, 
that remain at the bottom of the scale : and the same process | 
goes on with their children ; tho superior ones go away, the 
inferior remain. 

01 course, too, there is, or more truly there has been, a kind 
of Sunday-school that did an infinitesimal amount of good ; 
namely, those where everybody was accepted aa an assistant 
whether qualified or not — young lady, farmer's or tradesman's 
daughter, steady young man, anyone who would volunteer — 
without any system, or any examination as to what their know- 
ledge might be, and all were left to teach their classes by the 
light of nature ! Now the genera! nin of middle-class teachers 
have no idea of questioning ; and if a book with questio: 
supplied, they complain that they do not know 
if answers be given, they read thorn out in a dull voice, and \ 




ime 
fin 

BO 
■ "■■ 



make the children verbally repeat them. So that of course the 
children leamt nothing intelligently until they came tmder the 
hands of the very few comprehending teachers^ — by which time 
they had grown too stupid to take much in. Moreover, 
of the teachers— if they had any idea at all-^thoQght thi 
husiness was to preach, and cultivate among their pupila t 
peculiar Evangelical form of pioua expression. Just as in those 
days the Religious Tract Society thought itself bound to bring in 
the whole doctrine of the Atonement in every penny book ; bo 
the teacher was told to instil the whole idea into each child in 
each lesson ; aud of course this led to much more of preaehi 
than of leaching, while there was nothing definite — with tl 
one exception — inculcated. 

All those things have within the last half-century or mote 
hindered Sunday-achoola from having anything like a fair 
trial, though even thus, the good they have dona has been 
immeasurable. 

And now that secular instruction has become so much more 
engrossing and compulsory, and the time for religious teaching 
in the week is so much restricted, Sunday-school work is a 
double necessity, and has been taken up so as to make it far 
easier to act upon a eystem, and to obtain instruction as to the 
mode of teaching. But be it observed, that even more valuable 
than Sunday work is the taking a class during the hour for 
religious instruction on the week-days. If it be left entirely to 
the school atafi", some of the classes must receive very inferior 
teaching, and the clergyman can of course teach only one class 
at a time — while, besides the desirableness for the children, it is 
a great thing to set free the younger pupil-teachers to study, or t« 
share the lessons of the first class, instead of going over those 
first truths which in their young mouths can hardly fail of being 
mechanical and monotonous. 

It is very unfortunate that most people's breakfast hour 
coincides with this only period permitted for religious teaching ; 
but where there is no one else to undertake it, the efibrt of 
getting up earlier so as to breakfast by eight or half-past eight,. ^H 



auNDAY-aonooL. 93 ] 

and letting the lesa strong have theirs in their own room or later, 
really ought to bo made, for the good of the poor ; or else ihe I 
member of the family who can and will attend the school J 
regularly ahould not be tied down to the dawdling pleasure ol 1 
the latest comer. 

"What is to be the aim in Sunday-schools! Decidedly nol to 
preach, tut rather to prepare the way for preaching. The 
children are in hand for about seven or even ten years of their 
lives. In that time, they must learn " what things a Christian 
ought to know and believe to tiis soul's health," have a full coda 
of moral rules, be prepared to worship intelligently, and have 
the understanding opened sufficiently to read devotional books, 
and enter into sermons, through life ; and the ideas connected 
with the seasons of the Christian year should he ao instilled 
that the Church-going of future times shall recall the assooia- 
tioaa of earlier times, 

For this reason, I think the great snhject of every Sunday, 
in each class, should he its own peculiar teachings. The week- 
day hour of religious instruction should provide for the learn- 
ing of the Catechism, and for the reading of the Scriptures 
in narrative form ; also for the understanding of the arrange- 
ment and diction of the Prayer-hook ; hut the Sunday-school 
should apply all this to the aeaaans and festivals as they 
pass by. 

Eepotition of Scripture is one great point, for all the reasona 1 
urged before. It is by far the most valuable store to carry 
away, and it is to my mind the best criterion on which to givs 
rewards. Answering questions depends on readiness ; but there 
are few cases in which a perfectly repeated lesson does not prove 
real diligence. 

My own system is this ; Aa soon as the children can learn at 
all, they bring the Collect, {de rigueur,) and if they please, a 
couple of verses of Hymns Ancient and Modem, and a verse 
or two of a Psalm, chosen for them beforehand, They cannot 
understand them, of course, but it is a foundation ; they cannot 
know them too well, and they prefer them to anything of 



I 



J 



u 



WOMANKIND. 



narrative which involves hard names ; and they ehoiild he asbeoH 
eaay qneslions on them, I 

The next class still repeat the Collect, which probably th»S 
lapse ot a year has madu a novelty to them ; and more or laaafl 
of the Gospel, according to its lenyth or difficulty, is now added 'I 
to it; they may also learn a hymn or part of a Psalm, but they J 
ought not to Imve tioket'i for these latter if they have neglected.! 
Collect or Gospel for them. I 

The third must say tbo whole Collect and Gospel. A hynm 
and a parable, or part of the Sermon on the Mount (specified) 
are the volunteer extras, and the enterprising Bomotimea under- 
take the Epistle. Thia class also read one of the Lessons forthe 
Day, and are qnestioned on it. i 

The head class say Collect, Epistle, Gospel, hymn, and about ■ 
ten or twelve verses of Scripture bearing on or chimbg in wifli^ 
the Bubjoct of the day ; and they read one of the Lesaons. ■ 
Taking all the Morning First Lessons one year, all the After- 
noon another, all the alternative a third, they have gone over 
them between ten or eleven years old and thirteen or fourteen ; 
and the recurring cycle keeps up the knowledge of the whole 
range over which the Old Testament extends, without the too 
frequent recurrence of the very same chapter, 80, one year 
they are examined on tlio Collect, another on the Epistle, and 
the third on the Gospel. The repetition year by year becomea 
eaay to the children, while it secures the remembrance of the 
anbjects of their repetition ; and I take care to secure that the 
more important Psalros and other such portions of Scripture aa 
are peculiarly valuable storee for the memory, should often be 
repeated— i.e. the fifty-first Psalm on the First Sunday in Lent, 
sometimes also on the Sixth after Trinity ; the twenty-third 
either on the Second after Easter or the Third after Trinity ; the 
fortieth on Palm Sunday or the Fifth after Trinity; the fifty- 
third of Isaiali either at Passion-tide or on the Third Sunday J 
after Epiphany. In the same way, the hymns are alwayi I 
adapted to the Sundays. . I 

The Catechism is repeated straight through in all the claases; I 



I 

I 



I 



SUNDAT-SGOOOL. 95 

tba youager ones are questioned vim voce on it, the elder 'bring 
anBwera to twelve questions on it, writteji out in their oopy- 
booka. 

After this, a story is read to the children ; and I cannot say 
I have ever seen acy distaste to Sunday-school, but rather a 
vehement detecmination to come thither, even when there have 
"been ohstaclea in the way. I confess there are irregularities in 
the discipline. The first class. Laving much more to do, begin 
half an hour sooner than the younger ones, and thus there ie 
no " opening." Nor are mlea of perfect alienee so rigidly 
enforced as in the week. 

The attendants at the two schools are nearly the same ; there 
is a small margin of older girls who have left the weekly school, 
and there are little ones who do not come on Sundays ; but they 
are so much the same, that the teaching of the one school hecoi 
an element in the other. On every Monday, too, there is a 
lesson on the Prayer-book — an absolute necessity in school 
teaching, either Sunday or weekly, and the greatest of all 
preservatives from dissent. 

Where there are many real helpers, it is well to have 
numerous classes ; but it is much better to have eighteen 
twenty in one claas with an able and spirited teacher, than 
three classes of half a dozen children under two droning teachers 
and one child. Young or diffident helpers may be very well 
employed in assisting to hear the lessons by heart, and may eit 
by and listen to the questioning, and thereby learn to question 
themselves. This is a very desirable plan with unconfirmed 
young ladies, who only in cases of absolute lack of other teachers 
should be placed in charge of a class. Nobody ought to teach 
till the sentiment of justice and abstinence from favouritism 
is developed. This is even more important than knowledge. 

But knowledge is very important too. This sounds like s 
truism, and yet the usual aaaumption has been that anybody 
knows enough to teach poor children. Now putting out of 
sight that a child in the fourth, fifth, or sixth standtud is 
intelligent being, it is quite a mistake to suppose that the very 



96 



WOX&NCIXD. 



ignorant da not need an instracted teacher. Only real isfor- 
mation on a subject can take advantage of the dim perceptions 
of a pupil, and use its tiret footstep to lead it into the intended 
track, instead of turning tt right round Into the teacher's narrow 
line. lUuatration, varied manners of treating a subject, seeing 
what various traiiu ot thought lead to, the power of explaining 
words, the absolute avoidance of false doctrine and heresy — all 
depend on tolerable instruction, £.ff. — a sensible teacher can 
connect the words, scribe. Scripture, inscription, and super- 
scription, and thus interest the children and leave a deAnite 
impression. One who is conversant with history can explain 
the circumstances in which St. Paul found hijiiself, instead of 
going on in a blind way from chapter to chapter. I do not say 
that nn experienced teacher needs to prepare every lesson 
beforehanil, because such have been so often over the same 
ground as to havo at their Angers' ends all that needs to be, 
taught, and a reference Bible to brinjj the illuHtrative pas 
ki mind ie all that they need ; but young people cannot hope 
teach usefully unless they really get up their subject, 
literally, doctrinally, and practically, only actually using what 
may fit the needs of their scholars, but having all in their 
minds, even to the details of scenery and dress. This is the 
way to fix attention, and retain elder scholars, who cannot be 
expected to remain if they do not feol themselves learning 
something they did not know before, Considering the very 
great benefit of thus keo]iing a hold over elder young people, ~ 
should think it hotter to fly a little over the heads of tl 
younger and duller portion of the class in order to have 
elder ones intetosted. 

This of course applies to places where the number 
workers is too small for elassitication. Where it is possibi 
there ought to be separate classes for the confirmed, both boyi 
and girls, held anywhere btinthshl d Oiis is reallj 
one of the most beneficial f all u h und tak ngs ; it is 
seldom that willing sch lars ann t b btained, and 
age is a fur mora perman ally imp bl n than that oil 



to lw^^^_ 

issagaA^H 
3petq^H 



I 



I 



^^^V BUND AY-SCHOOL. 97 

■ ehildhood, besides that the alternatire is too apt to be one of 
JawleasneaB and irreligion. 

Where there aro factories, or small homo iadustries, such as 
glove or lace making, young women will preponderate in such 
classeB ; but in purely agricultural parishes the girlhood above 
twelve is chiefly out at service ; and there ia instead, a number 
of youths and boys, generally far from being ill-disposed, though 
very loutish and awkward, and nearly sure to respond to any 
kind and sensible cultivation. Some very bad ones there 
always are ; but the average English lad is very glad to be 
«ayed from these, and from himself. 

Where it is possible, these elder classes should be divided 
"between those who have left school well iastructed, and can go 
-on to higher thiugs, and those who iiavo missed, shirked, or 
forgotten everything, and must begin at first principles. Both 
'sorts are sure to be found, as outsiders from neglected parishes 
drop in ; but it is penance to them to be put together. However, 
the inj/uence of such teaching ia quite as needful to the youth 
or maiden who can pass an admirable examination, as to the 
poor drudge or wild waif who is not clear who Adam was ; so 
if possible make separate classes — read advanced books with 
the one set, and teach the others the rudiments ; there will be 
a most valuable intercourse in either course, often more useful 
than the instruction. 

Confirmed scholars should always have the Holy Communion 
kept as it were before their thoughts. Some special hymn or 
reading bearing upon it should be selected for tlie Sunday when 
the larger number is likely to communicate ; and the unconfirmed 
should be led to the thought. It is a great mistake to treat it as 
B subject quite out of the range of young children ; indeed, I 
verily believe that the deficiency of communicants is owing to 
the larger mass of the poor having been taught next to nothing 
about its necessity when they were at school. 

It ia, in fact, necessary to teach the poor far more theology 

early childhood than the rich, because this is the only time 
they are within reach. Just as a young gentleman's education 



98 WOHANEIKD, H 

is really hegiiming in a public achool, the poor Tmy's Is entirely 
stopped, excnpt for the opportunities of night or Sundny-Bchool ; 
and it is much the same vrith the girl. Service is but a. iotteiy 
as to religioue opportunities, and very, very few girls or parent! 
will be found to sacrifice worldly advantage for their Bake ; najTj 
the beat endeavouia to place a child out favourably are oftoa, 
frustrated by some ungueaaed-at peril — some unprincipled or ill-| 
tempered fellow-aervant, or some folly of the uhiid'i 
her parents. 

And after aU, what training do the most ordinary good families 
give, such aa are caught at for oiir girls 1 Kamily prayers, a, 
Sunday exposition, Church-going in turn. It is much if a watch 
be kept whether the younger servants have the opportunity of 
communicating — the young girl of fourteen or fifteen is un- 
usually favourably placed if these are her privileges. 

Must we not then strive that the aystem of faith and duty 
should be as complete and indelible aa we can make it before 
she leaves om carel She may fall on a family where special 
iDstruction ia given to young servants, or on a parish wliere 
there are communicants' claaecs ; but alas I these are but 
exceptions. 

But above all, let our Sunday-school children be taught 
prayer. If they truly pray, we may trust them. Their inter, 
course with Heaven ie open ; they will go on from strength to 
strength. 

Of course we can do no more than give them prayers, and 
entreat that they may be used. We cannot follow them home 
and see whether they are ; but we can pray for them — we can 
BOW the seed. 

But let U8 remember that the Divine Sower Himself only 
represented one-fourth part of the seed as bearing fruit, and 
that with patience. 

Hosts of iliaappointments we shall have. Even the responsive 
few we shall find more often due to good homes than to our 
school teaching. But there is this hope. Many of the good 
homes which now send forth children of high promise, aro the 



I 



REFINEMENT AND FINERY. 

homes of parents who weie great disappointments in their 1 
early youth, tut have considered their ways, and sought the I 
old paths. 

And shall we thiuk any pains too much to bestow, when w« 1 
lememher that this may indeed be " sowing the seed of eternal 1 
life)" 

" In the morning sow thy spod. 
And in. the ovaning withhold not thins hand ; 
For thou fciioweat not whather Blinll prosper, either this or that, 
Or whether they both shall ha alike good." — Ecclcs, xi. 6. 



CHAPTER XrV. 

BEFINBUENT AND FINEST. 

What is refinement 1 Is it a thing to be cultivated or not % ' 
The last generation would have answered the question with far ' 
leas hesitation than the present, except when the word is taken 
in the false sense of luxuriousness. 

Ey refinement, then, I mean the Christian's adoption of " what- ( 
soever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever 
things ore of good report ; " and liis shrinking from all that i 
coarse, gross, sensua!, or connected with any form of vice o 
meanness. Finery is the exaggeration of this quality, becoming 
weak, helpesa, sentimental, fastidious, affected, censorious, and 
ridiculous. Aa aooa as self comes in, refinement becomes 



Refinement is just as much a Christian grace in a man as in 
a froman; but he is not such a hateful unsexed creature without 
it as a woman ia. No one can truly keep that Eaptismnl vow 
to renounce the sinful lusts of the llesh without becoming 
refined; and thus we see that genuine refinement belongs to no 
station. It is simple delicacy both towards othtrs and oneself, 



100 WOHANKIND. 

IhoQgh the estimate of what auoh delicacy rei^uirea varieB wiw 



The connection with luxury ia perhaps this. ITie r 
and rudor the life, the fewer the protections from want of 
niceneEs. A pocket-handkerchief is a refiueintint ; but perhaps 
B paraaol ia only a comfort. Again, hard toil and scanty accom- 
modation, with brief time or space for attending to the person, 
lead to an obtuseness to the requiremente of decorum, which 
cultivation and more favourable circumstances again renew ; 
and thus a coiiiiretence is almost needful for the fostering of 
]>erfect reiineiuent, tliough it can, and does, exist in very arduous j 
cireumatances. 

It is, in fact, the outcome of purity of heart, showing itacU J 
in all our words and deeds, in appropriate actions or lefrainings, . 
and becoming a law to itself oa to what the innate spirit of j 
delicacy can accept or reject. 

Our bodies are the earthen vessels containing the treasure J 
of our souls, and of yet more— the Holy .Spirit. Wo have to j 
respect them as such, " and possess our vessel in sanctihcation 
and honour." This is the underlying principle ; and refinement 
draws the line between this reverence to our sanctified bodies, 
and the making idols of the flesh. Self-indulgence and coarse- 
ness are alike ruinous to it. 

To give an instance or two. An unrefined woman, deprived 
of servants, will live in a horrible state of slovenliness, because . 
ehe will not exert herself ; a refined woman wiU never rest till 
all around is clean and tidy. An unrefined woman is only just 
withhold from open indecorum by Mrs, Grundy, and indulges 
in whispers, and private discussions of transgressions or in- 
firmities, on which the refined one ia perfectly silent, or speaks . 
with Btinightforward modesty when forced to enter on the J 
matter. Both may bo equally ready to help in ttying or dis- 
gusting sicknesses, and it does not always prove that the refined 
one has the most shrinking to overcome; indeed, as she ia sure 
to be the least self-indulgent and best disciplined, it is more 
likely that her nerves will be leas in rebel lion, and her mind 



HEFINEMENT AKB FISERY. 

more occupied with the sufferer than with herself ; but this is ' 
too much a mattor of physical tempeniment to be decided thus. ' 
However, the most refined woman I know, is also the moat ' 
petfect nurse and assistant in all the little acciienta of life. It j 
was the tender and delieate woman, who would not adventure j 
to set her foot on the ground for tenderness and delicacy, whoao 
heart waa hardened in the straitness of the siege towards her 
own children — because her delicacy waa selfishness ; but it waa 
the king's sister, the saintly Elisabeth, who cut up her own 
dresses for her little companion in captivity, and smiled when | 
she waa obliged to bito off her thread for want of scii&ori when 
mending her brother's coat. 

There is a grand refinement of hardihood and exertion, and 
this is that to which the modern world is most averse That 
which saves it trouble, or is mere ornament, it is willing enough 
to ■call reflnemont ; hut it has no sympathy with the sensitive 
peticence tJiat will take any trouble rather thin endure a soil — 
that will abstain from a book or a newspaper rather tJian learn 
details of impurity, and will bear fatigue rather than lounge 
publicly in a self-indulgent way. Oh no ! this is prudery, 
absurdity, old-maidism I RcJinement, in most people's notions, 
is just what maltes life most comfortable. To my mind, on 
the contrary, it is that which makes it most nohle, most spiritual, 
farthest removed from, tlie animal. There was far more refine- 
ment in the never letting tbe back touch the bard wooden chair, 
than in lying back with raised knees and crossed legs on a 
spring-cushioned embroidered seat, in a room full of gentlemen, 
"Was the grandmother or the grand-daughter likely to be the 
most disciplined, self-controlled being 1 Kefineroent was much 
enltivated in the earlier years of the century, and had a tendency 
to degenerate into finery. Miss Lily Black, in I'/te Inhtritance, 
is a grand example ; but there was much to bo said for it. 
Look at those delicate miniatures of gentle-faced ladies, with 
little curls over their pensive brows ; people like sweet Fanny 
Price, in Mamjield Park, whose innate modesty was guarded on 
all sides. They shrank from all exposure ; never went by a 1 



103 TTOUANEIND. ^^^^^H 

} public conveyance, or were carefully escorted if they did ; neTfl^ 
walked iinfttteu'led in London, nor with an unmarried comvB 
panion of the other aex anywhere else, dropped correspondence J 
\ with mole cousins as soon as childhood ended, and in fact, liye^fl 
in what the present generation would view as an intoleraWttl 
bondage to proprieties. ■ 

Theao were the ordinary Menseaitces of young-ladyhood, atiSt I 
what sort of woman did they makel Where the original sub- 4 
stance was good, earnest, antl energetic, they made such womsa I 
BS we have learnt to know in Maria Hare, or as most of us stSf 
remember, as livbg models of gentleness, purity, and delicaoyi 
of thought, word, and deed, reigning over the affections of aSfl 
around them by a tender grace which age cannot take away. I 
,' Their manuscript books of extracts, chiefly of their favouritB J 
i poetry, in a delicate, peaked, Italian hand, their long crossed | 
\ letters, their dainty pencilled drawings full of endless lahoup, 
\ represent them almost perfectly ; but they were very steady and 
■ industrious, reading solid books, often abstaining from all 
.' ordinary novels, keeping up their accomplishments as a duty in 
I, requital of the money Bpent on them, and fully and completely 
\ acting up to the mission of the household spirit, brightening, 
i soothing, influencing, making home sweet and refreshing to 
'.■weary manhood. 

' The disadvantage lay in the temptation to weaker natares to 

become helpless and sentimental, if not afiected. Charity was 

( certainly crippled hy the resulation to see nothing that ought 

\ not to be seen ; and the persuasion that it would be absolutely 

f wrong to go where vice or rudeness would be encountered — a 

sort of offence against one's own modest dignity, and against 

the guardianship of father or husband. Much in the way of 

kindness, and something in the way of teaching, was done ; but 

great efforts, such as those of Miss Nightingale or Miss Rye, 

never could have been thought of ; and for a lady to pem.itrate 

the back slums of liondon, or even to keep a night-school for 

lads, or to train the Church choir, would have been thought 



REFINEMENT AND FINEEY. 103 

The doora have been, opened. Gicla have a much freer, bolder 
life, far less hampered bj scraplea. Waltzing baa become so 
uniyeraal, aftei long protest and resistance, that most of my 
yonnger readers will stare at the bare notion of any objection 
thereto ; hunting has ceased to be confined to " the Lady Di 
Spankers " of society ; real ice skating is as unimpeachable a 
feminine pastime as walking ; travelling alone is hardly doubted 
about ; and except in very early girlhood, there is really no place 
into which charity is not a passport for a lady. Nor do I say 
for a moment, that such things are censurable. There are many 
in which custom is really the rule ; but the point to be considered 
is, where it may safely be trusted. 

In the first place, all sports which the custom of the time 
appropriates to men, are to be avoided by women. Elding to 
the meet, and skating, can now he done by the quietest girls ; / 
and other like amusements, where numbers protect one another, 
and no remark is excited, are harmless, becausa there is no 
usurpation of manhood. For iny own part, I confess to a great 
dislike to any woman taking port in sports connected with the 
destruction of animal hfe. Toleration of riding to the meet 
sounds like an inconsistency here ; but it so seldom brings a 
quiet woman into close quarters with the actual destruction of 
tiie fox, that it is little more than an object for a ride ; but the \ 
walking out with Bhooting gentlemen, using a gun, or fishing, \ 
must involve so much actual sight of pain, terror, and death, 
that I cannot imagine how any gentle-hearted woman can endure / 
it. I do not think any amount of custom can reconcile shooting 
game with true womanhood ; though as to shooting at a target, 
there is no more hai'm in doing so with a pistol than in doing 
80 with a bow and arrow ; and there may be moments when the 
knowledge how to use a weapon may he needful in self-defenee. 
But as to the fashion of women looking on at pigeon-shooting 
matches, it is absolutely hateful It is a base cowardly sport 
for men themselves, devoid of all the exercise and spirit of the 
chase, which partridge-shooting has, and pheasant-shooting used 
to have before battues set in ; and ladies ought to use all theii 



I 



I 

1 



104 WOMANKINr. 

inflaeOce e^aioBt it, rather thun encourage it by looking oool^] 
on at the flattering agoaiea of dying birds. It is tbe firat atage 
towatda a bnll-fight, 

I know I shall much offend many of njy readers by saying 
that I think men have done much to lower tbe tone of refine- 
ment iji women by making them submit to smoking. Forty or 
■ fifty years ago the gentlemen I knew best (officers in tbe army, 
some of them) would have no more thought of accustoming their 
wivea, daughters, or sisters to the smoll of smoke than they would 
to the atmosphere of a public-house. They would have thought 
that something of the woman's grace was lost by treating her 
with tho disregard thus implied, and that they failed in respect 
to her sex. Most gentlemen were of this mind ; they seldom 
smoked themselves, and when their sons took np the pi'actic«, 
forbade it in the house, and vrere much displeased if they saw 
it done before their daughters. Clirls, however, are apt to takft 
the side of their brothers when Ihey think them deprived of a 
haimlesa pleasure. Fun did something, and so diil the pleasure 
and honour of being with a brother ; and the young men them- 
selves viewed the parental dislike as old-fogeyism, the feminine 
distaste as simple fidget and selfishness. I have even seen it 
argued that smoking is no more selfish than tea-drinking— as if 
tea poisoned the sweet air all around it, or left fumes in rooms 
and clothes I 

I do not say the sisters were always wrouj,'. It is better to 
put self aside than to drive away, and lose, a brother's confidence ; 
but I do say that the whole tone between man and woman is 
lower than it was in those days, and that the habitual self- 
indulgence ia a free-and-easy cuBtoro, hardly respectful, cannot 
but have assLtted in this. 

The custom has become such that it involves no discourtesy 
nor disrespect, and very few of our younger ladies would object 
to it in the open air, or whore furniture would not be infected. 
Indeed we are told that no lady who does not tolerate it can 
expect to keep her husband or sons at home. If that he indeed 
the case, she must give way rather than leave them to temptation ; 



1 



REFINEMENT AND FINERY. 105 

but I grieve for the loss of the chivalrous tone which upheld 
woman's self-respect hy not tacitly esBCting from her the endu- 
rance of a, free and easy habit belonging to times of unrestraint. 
Of the necessity in damp, unhealthy places, and perioda of expo- 
I aure, and the soothing at times of fatigue and nervous excitement, 
f coHTse every reasonable person is convinced ; but apart from 
\ this, it seems to me that a woman should use her influence as 
a against such a useless, and wasteful custom, and 
I try to prevent it becoming almost a necessary of life. 

And as to the custom creeping in of girls enjoying cigarettes 

—a thing begun in fastness and fun, and excused by the customs 

[ of foreigners — it is one of the readiest waya of unsesing them- 

B^lves, and losing all the reverence due to womanhood, which 

JJeverence is a greater benefit to man than even to woman. 

After this I need hardly say what I think of the practice of 

r going and sitting with men in their smoking-room, their avowed 

place of liberty and unreatraint. We may say we are at home 

witJi them and can trust them. I Lope we can, but to follow 

tbem into their own peculiar haunts is not fit for any woman 

r gir], o-ud if she does it in thoughtlessness at first, she will 

Ii«ither have to draw back, or will have tlie true eharm and grace 

Biof her sex spoilt. It is not a boon compatuon that a right- 

■minded man wants, it in something to call out hia higher feelings 

I'Of respect and honour. 

Going about alone in London, walking and corresponding 

ftvith young men, &c. — all the many daring things that young 

Jladies attempt out of what tiiej;want to consider innocence, but 

■which is really a spirit of defiance and desire of liberty, excite- 

sn niitoriety — all these things are, when not 

ucactly perilous, destructive to the gentleness and modesty, 

(frhich. — tell us what modernism will^are the chief grace of 

JWomanhood. " The ornament of a meek and quiet spiiit is in 

Bie sight of God of great price ; " and woe be to the nation if 

nre vomen throw it away, on the plea that we can guard our- 

elvsB. 

Guard ourselves 1 Take care of ourselves ! The very idea 



I 



tot ^^^^^1 

implies danger. Where there has been need of defence, there 
cornea a hardening ; and that delicate bloom of perfect modesty 
must needs he rubbed off. And it is a far greater and truer 
grace than any achievement nhich is at best only a feehla 
imitation of man. 

This is not saying that the woman should be prudish, or 
helpless, or inactive ; though on the whole, Mrs. Barbauld's 
mother was right, and prudiahness is the better extreme in a 
girl than fastness. 

Real refinement has the full play of all its faculties ; and its 
very modesty hinders it from dependence and feebleness. It is 
BO instinctive, that to lay down rules for it is almost injurious to 
it. All that can be said is, that it is the delicate aroma of 
Christianity. It shrinks from no task, however painful or 
disagreeable, that ought to be done ; but simply goes through 
with it. It makes no parade of sensitiveness or of decorum, but 
it silently stands aside from whatever jars on its sense of the 
fitting. It loves the shelter of home, the protection of parent, 
brother, or husband; yet it will pass over ordinary bounds 
when the call comes, not of pleasure, but duty. All that is 
tainted with evil, and bears the trail of the Serpent, is hateful 
to it No uniiesirable newspaper report, no novel founded on 
crime and full of questionable situations, are studied by it. It 
does not " take pleasure " in the story of the evils it is restiained 
from committing. Nay, its very words are pure from all those 
slang terms of doubtful origin, the charm of which is a certain 
audacity and naughtiness in usipg them, and the cheap wit of 
misapplying them. ' 

Very poor fun indeed it is, to borrow from a schoolboy what 
he has borrowed from the fashionable repertoire of his school, 
some expression, ludicrously inappropriate, ami to apply it luque 
ad nauieam, with the more /^st, because it is known to vex the 
ears ol elder people. And where did these terms come from 1 
Schoolboys are generally their most respectable origin. Many 
are borrowed from the lowest of the low, and are connected 
with the cant terms of vice. Alas for the pure grace of a 



I 



REFDCEMEKT AKD FINEET. 107 

I tongne, when lier speech and ideas ate moulded 'by 
1 

The saying ahout calling a spade a spade has also done harm. 
It was a reaction from the evil of veiling a coarse idea under an 
elegant periphrasis, and it goes on the principle that to change 
the name does not improve the idea. That is true, hut the 
Telnctance to mention at all what is not fit for polite eara is 
being fast lost. The rude outspokenness is becoming obtruded, 
and the ideas follow the words till we are in serious peril of 
forgetting the knowledge of evil ia not wisdom, and that St. 
Paul tells us that " such things ought not to be named among 
Christians." 

In those days when finery, i.e. over-refinement, was the danger, 
there used to be cmaodea against the use' of the term vulgar, 
■when it was misapplied to what was merely homely and simple. 
Kow vulgarity, in its true sense of the basely common, ia one 
great danger of our whole society. Bluntneas to real delicacy 
of thought, action, and word, is cultivated, under a supposed 
notion of liberty ; and our women and girls are doing their 
utmost to throw away all the restraints that authority, here- 
ditary delicacy, and conventionality, atill impose on them ; and 
therewith all true respect. For a man v,-il! never respect an 
inferior copy of himself, in boldness, skill, and loudness. He 
may laugh with her, and call her capital fun, hut he cannot 
honour her, nor feel tender fostering affection for her, nor will 
she ever assist him by purifying and refining society. She will 
be no restraint on his bad habits, no curb on the coarseness of 
Mb nature. All she will be, is an unsesed creature, lowering 
the whole standard of womanhood, and therewith of human 
nature. Where woman is not refined, man will not be cbivol- 



\ 



>h ! then, that oi 
[ the jewel that will n 



3 would beware of throwing away 
lover its lustre if they let it once be 



WOMANKIND. 



CHAPTER XV. 



Take it for all in all, I Buppoae dresa is' the greatoat torap* 
taLiou to the greatest number of wiimun in existence. 

The subject is the more difficult, TMuauae the taste ie to a 
certain degree ioatinctivc, and there is no reason to think that 
it ought to be totally repressed. Ahstinence from all adorn- 
ment is a part of asceticism — a token of repentance and 
mortification. Those who seek the counscb of perfection 
become rigidly heeJleaa of personal attire, alike from eonyiction 
of its worth less n ess, from contempt for the flesh, and fi 
the desire to waste nothing on it that can be devoted 
better purposes. 

But there wUl always be two schools of thought in the 
Church. Juat as in worship, one seeks the spiritual and 
severely simple, and another looks "for glory and for beauty ;" 
80 one school views, like St, Francis, the body as I'dneue, to be 
forced down, starved, and slight«d as an enemy ; another looks 
OB it as the Temple of the Holy -Giiost, to bo honoured as such, 
and as belonging to Christ, and therefore to be decked with 
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, what- 
Boevei things are of good report. And wisdom is justiHed in all 
her children, provided they be truly the childreu of wisdom, 
whether with Dr, Watts they say — 



1 to^l 



r mother, leanit t( 



or with Mr. Iveble— 



a jiledj^n , 



of Ood'a forgiving might. 

The garments given by God were skins of animals, no dontt| 
sacrificed, and thus an emblem of the robe of righteousnea 
given to the members of Christ, Surely thus to ennoble oiU 



Pticws of our raiment, and making them to the glory of God, ia 
[ a helter safeguard against their temptationa than it can he to 
I denounce them as badges of gnilt, and deliver them over to the 
I category of evU I There ia all the difference between the 
I wedding garment and the convict dress. 

F That the women of the Old Testament were dressed with 
Oriental richnesa there is no doubt, nor are they cenaured for bo 
arraying themselves. The virtuous woman clothed her house- 
hold in scarlet ; and the denunciations in the third chapter of 
Isaiah are rather directed against the priestesses of Ashtaroth 
than, gainst the ladies of Jndah. It is the Apostolical rule of 
St Peter that seems to go the most strongly against ornament in 
, dress : " Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning 
Lof plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of 
B apparel; but let it he the hidden man of the heart, in that 
• ■which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and 

■ quiet spirit, whicli ia in the sight of God of great price." 

It has been held from all time, that St Peter does not mean 

■"to forbid the plaiting of hair or wearing of gold ; hut merely 

|lo show that the woman's adornment is not to lie in these 

Ithinga, so much as in her meek and quiet spirit, which will of 

sourae show itself in her whole person. 

Person, as is well known, means a mask — our human 

Jame heing the gutae in which we act our part in the scene of 

p this world ; and the individuality of our souls is so strong, that 

' not only have they the power to mould the features, gestures, 

and expression of this permanent mask of theirs, but likewise 

to give each one's apparel a character of its own ; so that a 

familiar eye can discern individuals with full security, even 

Lwhen uniformly clad ; and we all of us know people to whom 

W varieties of dress make no difference — aomc who look dowdy, 

■ tumbled, and washed-out, in the newest and gayest clothes ; and 
Kothers who infuse into the shabbiest and oldest an air and a 
■grace of their own. 

I What then are the great requisites and duties of dress t Let 
Ins try to delinc them. Modesty, refinement, suitability to 



110 WOMANKIND. 

circuits tejicea and means ; aad incidentally, tiutlij chuity, Belf- 
denial, and honesty. 

Modesty, then, to Ijegin with — ainoe it was the firet and 
original object of drees. The standard, like everything else 
connected with this subject, is a variable one, as is shown by 
the contrasted feelings of the Eastern and Weatent women oa to 
uncovering the face or the feet ; and there are suinetiraes fashions 
which become indecorous merely from persons who have brought 
them into ill repute, like the yellow ruff in which the poisoning 
Mrs. Turner was hanged. 

Two temptations beaet the sense of modesty — namely, sloven- 
linesa and fashion. The tirat is more the trial of those who 
liave either weak health or indolent natures, and yet are forced 
to work hard. It ia an act of charity to excite the self-respect 
of such as these, by treating them with courtesy such as may 
prevent the hopeless dejection of self-neglect 

Fashion is a much more subtle temptation, because the eye 
and taste get gradually demoraliiied. Some periods are worse 
than others in this respect ; but there will always be tendencies 
to be guarded against — either those that are actually to indecency, 
or merely to indecorum ; e.g. the quietest bonnet of the fashion 
of 1875 would have been moat indecorous in 1830, and could 
have been worn by no respectable person, though now the 
" cottage bonnet " would be an enormity. But when in 
the beginning of the century, ladies, trying to be classical, 
wore hardly two pettiooata, and backed out of the room for 
fear their fathers and aunts should be horrified by the statue- 
like outline of their toraoa, fashion went a good way beyond 
the 8ira[J.y indecorous, And the same may be aaid of the 
height of the corsage, and probably always will be ; for some 
women will unfortunately always be found, who are sufficiently 
lost to modesty aa to be willing to attract by the displaying of 
themselves ; and there are others who thoughtlessly imitate 
them, because tliey will not bo outdone j and thus a public 
fashion is formed, which absorbs the thoughtlesa, and makes 
others afraid of the suspicion of prudery. 



' Once for all, expoaiire is always wrong ; -whatever bo tho 
fashion, it ia a Christian woman's duty to perceive when 
indecency comes in, and to protest against it by her own 
example and influence, though not by censoriousness. 

Eelfltiva indecorum should also be guarded against. The 
first entrance of a fashion that tends to a bold appearance, 
ought to be resisted. Mannish dresses are undesirable, on this 
account ; and it is well to cultivate the shading of the face 
&B much aa possible — not wearing such hats as are barely 
endurable because others have them. Exposiire of the face 
is one of the great tendraicies of the time ; and though it ia 
not exactly indelicate in itself, yet the hold confronting of 
notice that is involved in going out with a totally unprotected 
coontenance, thrown into prominence by the head-dress, caimot 
be modest in itself ; nor does a veil coming close over the nose 
materially alter the matter. Many perfectly retiring quiet girls 
adopt it simply from custom, and their refined faces cannot he 
entirely spoilt by it ; but when the same hat is perched on a 
coarse face, the evil of the example is apparent. It is one 
of the incidental ways in which charity can be home in mind — 
never to promote a fashion which is bad for the lower classes. 
And however prevalent a mischievous fashion may be, if good 
women will only stand by one another, they can always prevent 
non-compliance from being painfully singular. Crinoline was 
only absurd, not indecorous, therefore it was not worth while 
to go against the stream ; but the low corsage, and tight skirt, 
and some kinds of head-gear, should be avoided at any cost of 
BiDgularity. 

Colours likewise are involved in the matter of modesty. 
What is obtrusive is never fit to put on, for it brings eyes upon 
the wearer. There ia no need to give instances. Most of ua 
understand that there ia a difference between brightness and 
gaudinesB ; and if, unfortunately, we are bom without the eye 
to see what is appropriate, observation from others will generally 
teach it. To be conspicuous is the special thing to be avoided. 
Glaring contrasts, hatty adoption of fresh modea — all that 



U2 woMANKisr). 

cliallenges oljsorvation — wa inonaistBat with the soberness 
and " shftmefriatneaB " which, f jcm part of the Chriatian woman's 
adorning. 

Refinement comes next — nay, is a part of modesty; since 
in it is included all the purity which ia called for by the aeuse of 
the dignity of onr bodies — all the roRnement which cleanses that 
which ia within as well as tliat which is without, and would 
rather go through much additional fatigue than submit to any 
diaorclorlinesa. Hair as neat when we are alone as in company — 
aorupulousily bruilied, not surface amoothod— is one token of 
Huch a spirit ; and to our mtnd, certain fashiona which seem to 
revel in untidy arrangement or non-armngement thereof, scarcely 
are consistent with thn dainty niceneaa of true womanhood. 
The flaaooiationa of the looae unkempt looka of Sir Peter Lely's 
portraita are not those of pure and dignified maidens or matrons. 
Hair is the woman's glory ; but it ia often her torment in the 
earlier years of hor youth, when ahe has to contend with 
unmanageable treasKs, and her toilette is a struggle with them, 
especially when there ia any weakness of health, or extra chill 
of weather, But it is well if ahe bravely meet this minor 
misery, and reduce the hair to well-ordered obedience — not 
wasting time in needless elaboration, bat obtaining the fresh 
sensation of a head thoroughly brushed, and securely and 
neatly arranged. Tumble-down hair, falling diahevelled on the 
shoulders, sounds grand in fiction, but it ia disgusting in real 
life; and when once the melancholy moment of "turning up 
the hair" has come, no girl whose life is to be spent witliout 
a maid should be content till ahe has learnt to make her edilicc 
firm, and as graceful as nature will permit. But refinement — 
as well as truth — will forbid her eking out her own Iresses 
with other people'a, or changing the colour. This is finery — 
that very different thing ; though it ia one of the great dii£cu]ties 
to draw the line between the two, especially when dealing with 
classes below us ; and nothing is more undesirable than to 
check aspirations for refinement by treating them as mere 
ambition and vanity ; e.j. gloves, white pocket-handkerchiefs, 



DBIB?. 1 1! 

' muffs, "paraaola — nay, "evBn the nmbtoUa when first intro- 
duced — ^have in their turn been viewed by Ladies Bountiful 
lua inuoviitions ; yet thoy have no small effect iH 
refining the village girl. They become finery, and not roline- 
ment, if the needful imder-garment be sacrificed to them, or 
worn dirty and ragged, or not at all ; hut, thinigh we may laugh 
at the idea, it ia only exceptionally that a woman can be per- 
fectly refined over hopeless plainness of apparel, where she 
ia allowed no exercise of taste. Even Quakerism reacted in 
exquisite fineness of material and beauty of work ; and. 
conventual garbs are apt to lapse sometimes into slovonlineas, 
and aometimes into the little niceties which reforming ahbcssea 
so sternly condemned. You can hardly expect to get a liidy'fl 
sentiments into your maid or scbool-girl, unless you freely 
permit her to fulfil her ideal of a lady in matters that are not 
all foolish ornaments, but absolute comforts and refinements. 
Story-books for the poor have created a most impossible set of 
heroic girls and mothers, neat as new pins in the dullest 
imaginable wearing apparel, which, by the by, they could n 
procure. If an elderly lady wishes for the patterns of 
prime, she has to pay highly for them at her milliner's. Poor ] 
people's shops have only the popular extreme of the fashio 
The really kind thing to do by young girls, at service 
school, is to tcaiu their natural taste for embellishment, not to ' 
quash it and treat it as an offeace, so as to give every eomplianea 
with fashion the zest of a victory over authority.' What li 
really becoming and convenient, let us accept for thorn a 
would for ourselves, and acknowledge that it is as much ir 
course of nature for a maiden to enjoy arraying herself, as for a I 
bird to plume itself. And let us not be unreasonable enough to | 
expect in the most uneducated part of the community, e 
difference to ornament that is scarcely to be found in the moat \ 
educated, and not always for good there ! 

The hard mannish woman, who runs into harsh eceentricitiei 
in dreaa, ia not commendable on that score. It ia but ai 
kind of vanity. No ride for female dress was ever better than. ] 




114 WOMANKIND. 

that of the ailviaer of Maris Therise de I'Amoiirona, when he 
told her that whatertr attracted notice in dress, whether too 
much or too little, was an error. 

Suitahility to circumatancea and means brings in all the 
question of expense as well as taste. The matter of expense ia 
one of those questions with a sliding scale, on which it is so 
hard to lay down mlea. The ascetic, and even the philosopher, 
might say, " Spend not a farthing needleesly on the perishable 
body;" but other voices, eapetially while there are those around 
ns who love us, hid us think that the raiment of our station, 
fitly aiTanged, is a part of tho character of the virtuous woman, 
and enhancea the dignity and sweetness of her portrait. 

It 19 right, then, that the costlinoss of each person's dress 
should be in keeping with her means. Even very large means 
do net, however, justify wanton and wasteful osponditure — such 
as that of paying for the destruction of a pattern, that the dross 
purchased may bo unique ; or the inordinate desire for change 
and novelty, which pays a fancy price for some now invention. 
Freaks like this are the insolence of wealth and fnshion, and 
ate unjustifiable on any score; but chiefly because money is a 
stewardship, and there are thousands of objects for it, which 
make squandering it away a sin of omission. Besides, the 
example of extravagance is most contagious and mischievous. 
Are we not still suffering from the expensive style begun in the 
Second Empire, and since upheld by the American taste f 
Economy ia now shown in the choice of wretched cheap mate- 
rial, instead of in the durability and simplicity of the garment. 
Instead of ono handsome dress, simply mode, and capable of 
being turned and altered, half a dozen trunipry ones, with 
material not worth making up, are called for ; and if good stuff 
be employed, it is so cTit to pieces by the present fashion as to bo 
incaiiable of being used again ; and wo think of Petruchio'a 
indinnation — "I told you to cut the gown — I told you not to 
out it to pieces." 

A good silk made as simply as possible, and fitting perfectly, 
ia the most lady-like of dresses, and moreover does the least 



I 



I 



harm. Nine times out of ten, trimminga are only useful to 
conceal bad fit, or bad work, or sometimea wear ; -pmiv caeher la 
a Ihe Frenchwoman cleverly said. When thay are to 
hide honest wear, and to " gar auld claithea look amaist as weel 
aa now," they are highly rospeotahle and ingenious. But when, 
an Mrs. Whitney puts in it We Girls, they are merely a fidget, 
and a means of spending as much time and money with a 

I sewing-machine as with a needle, they are utterly unprofitable 
waste, and but that tho eye ia vitiated, we should not be able to 

I endure them. 

The duty of moat girla with regard to dreaa ia to be always 
Teady to appear in acme garb, quiet, yet fresh, and pretty, 
according to the occasion, hut without vain expenditure. 
Forethought and good sense will generally make this possible. 
Parents calculate allowances according to what they expect of 
their daughter, and according to whether sho has the use of a 
maid's needle, or depends on her own. When she haa to make, 
alter, or mend for herself, questions of expense often resolve 
themselves into questions of time, and she has to decide whether 
such and such a trimming ia to be paid for, made by herself, c 
dispensed with. It ia a matter only to be decided by the pn 
ponderance of the duty of saving money or time ; and some- 
times indeed it ia the tniest way of being charitable to employ 
soma needy and industrioua fingers. But with this proviso— 
Never employ such workers at a sum below the proper price, 
you are as bad aa the worat slop-shop. Economy is not economy 
but cheating, if you do not render to every man, and still mi 
to every woman, their due. Running after cheap advertising 
shops, and buying fabulously cheap ready-made garments, 
encouraging the cruel oppression of the poor workers. The 
money spent in the absurd advertising system must come out of 
someone, either the buyer or the worker ; and advertisements of 
tho same article running down a whole column of a paper, or 
flaring on every wall, ought to be a warning to every reasonable 
creature against the purchaso. The better sort of shop only advei- 
tiaes in a moderate degree, when there ia anything ex^edieut, 




116 WOMANKIND. 

to be made known. Everyone knows such Iriiatworthy ahopa 
of old-eatablialied tradeamen in London, and still more in 
country towns, where long custom and confidence creiitea a real 
UepondencB : and where one la safe in acceptinR the recommen- 
dation of the eellera. Such housea are considerate with their 
work-people, and their sellings ofl' of old season's stock are 
genuine. It is false economy to go after bargains, and leads to 
other evils. 

If it he an object not to be expensive, choose durable colours, 
and let thepiice de raigtance of your dress he one of those tints 
that " fight " with the fewest colours, fade the least, and clean 
the best. White, black, and delicate neutral tints, and brown- 
holland, are always aafo, and can be varied infinitely by delicate 
bright ribbons. Half the Imd taste for which Englishwomen 
are pioverbial comes of the improvident choice of uimiaiiageable 
colours, where the wardrobe is small A dross and its appliances 
may perhaps go together perfectly, but a little change in the 
season may necessitate the use of another wrap, or a different 
bonnet has to be worn ; and if the colours will not aasort them- 
Belve.4, it cannot be helped ; to get a new article would be wrong 
till the old is nearly worn out. Granted j but those who mean 
to lie economical should never buy what will only look well with 
one other colour. It is often true aelf-denial to wear unbecoming 
colours rather than go to needless expense ; but self-denial in 
choosing tlie less attractive but more useful article in the first in- 
stance would prevent the ugliness of the world from being in- 
creased. Bright delicate blues and pinks can be uaedin large masses 
by the young, either in morning muslins or evening silks ; but 
nothing but whites or blacks go well with them, and ordinarily 
these colours are better garnish than full material. The scarlet 
or crimaon ahawl or cloak ia a time-honoured wrap, in perfect 
taste over blacks, greys, or dark browns ; hut no two reda 
together are admisaibte. There is nothing wrong in taking 
questions of (!om]jIexion and hecomingness into account, though 
to dress ooquettisldy to attract notice is a very different thing. 
Omaraeat has next to be considered ; and first of all rul 



relating to it, cqmeB the mle of truth. All attempta to pretend 
to beauties that we do not possess are clearly falsehood, and 
therefore ■wrong in themselves, and injurious to the genuine, 
possessors. It is parting with all the true dignity of the virtuoufl. 
woman to try to change hair or complexion ; anil it is a strange 
and aad proof of the evil influences of fashion that so many 
good Tpomea should deck themaelvea with borrowed plaita. 
■without compunction, " because everyone knows it is not their 
own," and that in the face of universal protests against the 
angracef ul fashion of an unnaturally large head 1 

False pretencea at wealth are neatly as had as false pretences 
at beauty. In the last generation, mock jewellery was the acme 
of vulgarity. Now, love of trinkets has made tinsel ia reality 
more vulgar, because more common ; hut unfortunately not con- 
fined to the second-rate classes. Only the truly refined will now 
refuse to wear anything that is not what it pretends to be — 
will prefer an honest pebble to a sham jewel, and turn away 
from false coral and glass jet. The person who utterly repudiates 
unreal gew-gaws ia true and just ; and what is more, she saves a 
great many small sums for higher purposes. 

The higher rulers of good taste have shown us that nothing ia 
reaUy graceful that has not a raisoa tTltre. Dress should 
resemble early English, rather than Tudor, architecture, and its 
ornaments be beautiful necessary finishes and fastenings. The 
brooch is almost a necessity ; and the bracelet is a natural orna- 
ment-^as are the flowers in the hair, the feather in the hat. To 
the whole bird, or to an entire wing, I own a dislike, as looking 
murderous, and reminding me of the extermination of all the 
more beautiful birds, wherever the orders of fashion-mongers 

Skirts looped up with flowers, where it would be unnatural to 
fasten real ones, do not seem to me to he good taste ; though the 
associations of a hall-dross are in favour of them, and perhaps 
the dancer ia supposed for the nonce to he a fairy and in fairy 
costume. Artificial flowers do not exactly come under the 
category of shams, since no one 'svears them to deceive; and 



I 

I 

I 



118 WOMAKKIKD. 

though a battered flower in a dirty cap, or torn hat ia the most 
disguatuig ornament the poor bedei;k themselvoB with, tolerable 
flowers are so cheap, that the time is past for their inhibition, 
and it in wiser to sliow in what style they should be worn. 

Falaehood as to amount of material is thorough had taste, if 
no more. Tlie long train gathered up behind became our great- 
grandmothers ; but the real folds of drapery are ill-replaced by 
(t mechanical cushion standing out like an excrescence ; and a 
. flounce, with lining alone under it, gives a sense of spiteful 
triumph to those who detect the make-shift. 

And truth \D. dress leads to charity; not only by avoiding 
setting bad examples, but by making tho worn dress fit to be 
given away, or cut up for a poor child. To give away disused 
linery is no kindness ; but a good useful dross, past its first 
prime, is no small benefit to a poor woman, and if it have not 
been spoilt in the making, will last her for years. Such con- 
siderations as those are well worth keeping in mind when we 
choose our dresses, for they greatly inerease our powers of 
kinduess ; and if there be a little restraint as to shape and 
colour, it will probably rather improve than detract from the 
general effect. 

" Do all to the glory of God " is the rule of rules ; and 
above all, it should make our Sunday dress such as may really 
be one of the fair elements of brightness of the Lord's Day, 
and not a distraction to our fellow -worshippers. Whether they 
ore occupied in censuring its vanity, or contriving an imitation 
of it, it is making our sisters to offend. 

" The Sunday gnrment glittering gay 
Ma.y ateal the i!undiiy heart uuay," 

— not only of ourselves, hut of many more. 

Let us then be very careful bow we deal with that 
trial of womankind, the garb in which we clothe ourselves. 



J 



JLMCSEMEKT, 



CHAPTER XVL 



AMDSEHliNT. 



The amount of aocieiy and amuseraont thst young people 
enjoy is regulated by their parents' will and ctPCumstances, but 
the right and wrong of the matter needs consideration ; for 
perhaps the coneiatency of such with our vow to renounce the 
"wotld is one of our chief dil&cultiea. In' fact, it all dependa 
upon the spirit, not on the kind or quantity. 

The Evangelicd party took a much easier line when they 
flatly denounced all balls, theatres, and the like ; but it was not 
long before it was folt that there could be just as much worldli- 
ness at a religious tea as at a ball ; and the reaction from their 
severity is hardly having a happy effect at present, for there is a 
tendency to bring the utmost amount of amusement into the 
closest and most incongruous juxtaposition with the highest 
forms of worship. 

That strange and unsatisfactory book, Modem Ckriuianily a 
CivUised Heathenism, declares that any enjoyment of life ia 
absolutely inconsistent with the faith that there is danger of 
hell fire, and thus makes the cheerfulness of ordinary society \ 
an argum.ent against the reality of our Christian faith. This is 
absolute [orgetfuiness that we are the ransomed of the Lord, 
with everlasting joy on our heads ; that, our joy in the Eesut- 
rection of our Loni>, no man can take from us ; and that " the 
joy of the Losn is our strength," and mil show itself Dot only 
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, but in lightness and 
gladness of heart, and readiness to please and he pleased with 
the trifles on our way. 

St. Paul's is the perfect rule : " Rejoice in the Lord aiway, 
and again, I say rejoice. Let your moderation he known unto 
The LoHD is at hand." 

Alas, it is our want of moderation that is known unto all men. 
IV^e are most unlike George Herbert's birds, that do but sip and 




120 WOMANKIND. 

look up to the better joys above ; and thus our joy is not " in 
the Lord," and has not that restraint which alone can make it 
safe or innocent. Safe, indeed, nothing is, for ten thousand 
temptations beset us everywhere ; but in itself the pleasure need 
not be wrong. 

Of coiwse there is another way of looking at it, namely, that 
a penitent sinner has enough to do to keep the strait path in 
fear and trembling, without seeking after distractions that may 
lead to thoughtlessness and evil. Some temperaments see the 
dark side, and are so strict themselves, so earnest in their single 
aim, that thoy would restrain all others from what they only 
look on as waste of time and running into temptation; but 
these, however it may be for themselves, cause temptation to 
those under them, by the rebellion, if not hypocrisy, which is 
sometimes provoked by their intolerance. 

Just as play is necessary to children, so play or pleasure of 

some kind is wholesome for the average human being. In 

youth, the instinct is so strong, that, unless the spirits have been 

crushed, some outlet will and must be found — from " the maid's 

Sunday out " upwards. Happy homes, with varieties of simple 

diversions, find these recreations naturally ; but still there are 

pleasures enhanced by numbers, and there are duties of friend- 

r ship and neighbourhood that ought to bring people together. 

It is a real blessing to a neighbourhood when those who have 

large rooms, and gardens, and ample means, provide innocent 

occasions for meeting to those around them, and set the example 

as to style, time, and manner. Some people there will always 

be reckless of anything but pleasure and excitement ; and if 

the whole management be left to these, evil will be sure to 

accrue to the more undecided characters, who may be kept 

straight by the example and good management of those who 

can carry a sense of duty into the providing and partaking of 

amusement. 

I am leaving out all that marks these times of amusement 
with a really dark line of worldliness, namely, the treating them 
not as occasions of pleasure, but of speculation or ostentation. 



AMDSEMENT. 1211 

What T want to consider is the expedience of ordinary a 
menta for conscientious thongh lively girls, with a natural 
appetite for variety and gaiety. Such girls are to he foiindi | 
from the fashionahle young lady who hits seven engagements i 
day throughout the season, down to the maiden to whom i 
garden-party at the squire's is a bewildering delight. And the 
query, where is duty, and where is dissipation, is often equally 
hard to both. 

In hoth cases, quantity and quality, choice and compulsion, 
cause and effect, all come into consideration. 

The girl who goes where she is taken, delights in 
ticipatioD, and enjoys herself with all her might wherever she ' 
is, yet can he quite happy without gaiety, and can resign herself 
gooil-humou redly to disappointment, is likely to be pretty sife. 
So is she whose great aim is to make things pleasant for other 
people, and help her mother through the representation and ^ 
hospitality her father's station demands. What is dissipatio: 
to the damsel in private life, is to her an almost daily duty, and 
not at all an unimportant one ; for to have the drawing-rf 
a person high in command, rank, or station, made a place of 
kindly intelligent refinement, and lively innocent cheerfulness, 
makes an immense difference to all who revolve ahout that little 
centre, and sometimes gives a tone for life. 

But the danger begins where there seta in the strong passion ^ 
for pleasure which bears down opposition, is impatient and weary ' 
of all quiet home life, and which so occupies the mind and 
spirits, that devotion and duty alike are either neglected or 
perfunctorily performance. 

The young lady who drags out her weary or ailing mother, 
01 insists on going with some friend not quite approved 
as a chaperon, or who over-rules her father's questions as 
to expense or desirableness, ia transgressing those borders of 
safety that give us a right to pray, "Lead us not into temp^ 
tatiom" 

" Oh, never mind what anyone says — we must have o 
in spite of old-world fogeys ! Mother will like it when she is J 



I 

f 




122 woMANKisn. 

there. Father will afford it somthow, only lie likes to grumbl 
It IB all pccjiidicB and old-fashioned notione. Let me have toj 
awing ! " 

AVhsn a dsmsel has come to that state of mind, it is only to 
be hoped that it is a fever, which may paas at the touiAh of trial. 
But pliii will little het^d what ia hero said j so all that it is needful 
to add ia to bpg thoao who are yet in a lucid state to try and 
keep themaelvee from euch a condition — by not making their 
own pluaflure and arauBement the prime object of their lives, 
and by accepting all the little checks as to health, expense, con- 
venience, or the seasons of the Gburch, as ho many providential 
means of being guarded against what Bishop Wilson calls " living 
in such a state as we should fear to die in." 

We all know the story of St Carlo Borromeo, when he was 
asked what he would do if the last trumpet should sound when 
he was playing at billiards : " Try to make a good hit," he 
replied. If the thing be innocent recreation, do it us well as 
possible, and enjoy it without shame or fear. 

On the other hand, " Whatever ie not of faith is sin," Indeed, 
I beliove what St. Paul says to the Eomans and Corinthians as 
to healheu feasts is the storehouse of principle for Christians 
with regard to amusements. Whatever you can simply enjoy 
without a qualm of conscience, is rifeht; whatever costs you a 
scruple, is better avoided. A garden-party, if you go against 
home desires, if you flirt, or if you play unfairly, may be- 
come sin to you ; an opera or ball may be gone to in perfect 
innocence. 

In dancing as dancing, and in bolls in moderation, there is no 
necessary harm. It is true that fashion chooses the most absurd 
time for giving balls, partly no doubt for the sake of that 
feverish excitement which late hours produce ; hut as this is not 
likely to he reformed in our time, our young ladies are free to 
declare there would be no fun if it began early, &c., to enjoy 
their fairy-land, and unless they be very strong, pay for it the 
next day. It is better they should have the pleasure than thirst 
after it as a forbidden hut mysterious sweet, and in moderation 



123 1 

■ it does no harm. 11 jealouaiea come in as to partners, dances, 
i looks, or good dress, that is not the fault of the dancing, 
but of tbe world. These are the thbgs to he struggled with. 
When the grudge once comes in at being aurpasaed, then It is 
time to fear. 

It does not seem to nie that, in right measure, theatres or 
operas need be shunned by those in whose way they come 
naturally. Of course there ia a choice of pieces, and those on 
■which rests any reproach aa to tendency, or the character and 
language, must be a¥oided. Some of the great masterptecea ought 
to be seen and heard in as full perfection aa possible ; and for 
everyone's salje the performance should be encouraged. There ia 
1 against what ia merely aniusing and plcasureaLIe ia 
moderation, unless experience shows it to have a bad eftvct on an 
individual mind. For all these amusements are like articles of food. 
Most people, even healthy ones, find that some few things are 
poiaon to them, though eatable by others. One person cannot 
eat lobster, another cannot drink tea, &c. ; in the same way, 
the pleasure which is harmleaa to one mind, may dissipate or 
excite another. Some music, especially opera music, is found 
to be had for certain elates of mind. When this is the case, 
surely the pleasure should be given up. But to most the en- 
joyment ia a safe one, and a delightful study of the real beauty 
and parpojo of the isolated passages already learnt. The other 
consideration which strongly moves many against theao spectacles 
is the harm they do to the professionals and to the lower grade 

f persons they attract. This, besides the actual disgust of the 
sight, is an absolute reason against the ballet; but the other 
grades of actors and aingers in tbe well-regulated theatres are 
often beyond all reproach, and take delight in the exposition of 
the beauty of their parts. Of course it would be doubtful 
whether a profession involving so much display and simulating 

f aentiments ia always a safe one ; but it seems to me ttjat 
where gifts are bestowed in such manner aa they were upon the 
Kemble family, it is a token of their being intended to serve 

r the good of man, j 




124 WOMAXKISD. 



There i^ much more to be said for concert ainging, and 
" Mademoiaelle Mm" has shown U3 how the voice, even in 
Recular music, may be under n dedication to duty and noble- 
ness. So that these enjoyments, whether of the ear or the eye, 
need not be prohibited. 

Races appear to me by far the most qnestionabie of onr 
fasbionnble amusements ; and their tendency has been of late 
to grow more and more miBchievous, It ia true that the mere 
occasion for a drive and a pic-nic-ing luncheon, with the meet- 
ing of friends and neighbours, and the mere eight of a crowd 
of gay dresses, are innocent pleasures in themselves ; also, that 
those who understand horses may be intensely interested ; and 
those who do not, are carried along by feeling for their friends, 
OS well as by the excitement of the multitude. The thud of 
the advancing horses' feet, the rush, the breatliloss watch, the 
sight of the beautiful creatures os they flash along — all these 
excitements must be felt to be appreciated. The Derby Day is 
the great London holiday — so delightful to thousands, that it is 
very hard to condemn it ; and yet, is not Fritb's great picture 
a very sentence against it t 

Try it every way, and we find that there was a deep para. 
in the old Greek legend of the msrea of Dioraedes, who fed i 
human flesh, and ended by devouring their master. Only i 
very few men can be much "on the turf" without ruin in 
projietty or character. There are a few names, and these 
mostly of the last generation, that stand high and noble for 
honour and good influence ; but is the good influence they have 
exerted by any means equal to the evil influence of the being 
able to cite such names as the sanction for what is avowedly 
temptation 1 As to the benefit to the breed of horses, good 
juijges tell us that the racers are not the valuable kind for use ; 
but of this there is no need for an ignorant parson to speak. 
My argument ia with women, and amounts to this — that they 
have no right to sanction and foster, by their presence, what 
docs such infinite harm. 

For the evil to the owners of the boraea is a very slight part , 



AMUSEMENT. 125 

Tftf the matter, compared with the frightful betting system. It 

f has created a sort of predatory class, calling themselves gentle- 

L, and speculating on the folly and blindueas of others ; and 

9 the first step in rain of hundreds of young men, who run 

I into it as a mere act of manliness or fashion, or as a means of 

proving their interest or enhancing their escitement. How 

many families have heen impoverished, how many hearts have 

been broken, by the betting father, son, or brother! And this 

mischief extends even more deeply among the middle classes 

; than among gentlemen, and especially among men-servants. 

I How can any woman encourage the excitement that leads to 

L things like those 1 How can any woman touch the accursed 

■ thing, by betting for pairs of gloves, or the like? If 
liemember the sacred stewardship that money really is — a talent 
■dent to ua to be used with justice and discretion, to do our duty 

■ by all around us, and to serve God with —we can never feel it 
r-r^ht to stake any of it for the mere pleasure of excitement, 

1 support to our opinion, far less to join in what ao soon 
Jbecomea absolute vice. 

Nay, there is more behind among the evils attendant on 

Braces. Look at the crowds of godless nomads, who wander 

tfrom one such scene to another, with shows, shooting-galleries, 

[■and far less innocent attractions, for the visitors? Can the 

Ksyatjam be innocent that maintains such a class t Look at the 

P intoxication of the young farmers, shopmen, and clerks, who 

have spent the day in dissipation, licensed by the example of 

their betters. Ask any clergyman, whose parish is near any of 

e popidar race-coiirses, whether demoralization is not the 

J eonsequence, and whether there are not boys and girls in the 

■■place whose downward course dates from the race day. After 

lat, consider whether yon can tempt out the village girl by 

I ahowing your own gay bonnet in a place where you— in your 

guarded seat — catch no harm yourself, but where your presence 

heeomea one of the excuses that lead others to evil. 

I Tar be it from me to blame all who attend races in the 

^Kjgnorance that is hliss ; but I do say that I cannot understand 



K eonse 
^■'placo 

^V show 




126 woMASKisD. 

anyone promoting them who has once thought over the harm 
they tlo to all classes, and for the sate of a pleasure such as in 
itself can do nobody the slightest good ; and I think that all 
women who have any heed for their neighhour'a soul, oaght, as 
races are at present managed, to discourage them to the utmost 
of their power. 

The Eink is a fashion I regret. Skating could only be 
enjoyed for so short a time, and that so uncertain that it caa 
only be a bright incident anil winter pleasure ; hut our habit of 
over-doing our pleasure has brought in sham ice and sham 
skating all the year round, and, as it is often managed, with 
circumstances not favourable to a quiet, modest tone among the 
girls who amuse themselves in very mixed company and in 
an unguarded maaner, making themselves a public spectacle. 
The mischief ia not of course the exercise, but that there is no 
one of any authority to select the company or act as a check — 
no hosts or hostesses, aa there are in a manner with real ice in 
private grounds, — no one to be accountable ; and thus, though a 
welt managed, innocent and select rink is quite possible, " nice " 
girla would do well to abstain from those where a chance 
public shares the sport, and in no case should they go without 
a more real chaperon than a maid or a little sister's governess. 

Of one home amusement I would also say something, namely, 
reading. A good novel is a wholesome thing, full of useful 
experience, and extending the sympathies ; but of nothing 
more truly may it be said than of novels, that their ex- 
clusive use drives the seared taste to slake its lire at foulest 
wells. And let no one suppose that the reading of evil things 
is a matter of indifference. Some say that if such things are, 
they ought to know of them. Can this he so ! Can any 
one know of them safely who has not some duty in trying to 
prevent them, or rescue those who do them 1 la it well to 
defile the mind wantonly with the mischief 1 " The knowledge 
of wickedness is not wisdom ; " and to gloat over imaginary 
pictures of vice, made inevitable and interesting, is no occupa- 
tion for a Christian woman. How does she know whether they 



AMDSEMEST. 



137 



11 not haunt and throng her when ahe would give worldB to 

free of them 1 

Did not tit. Paul apeak of " not only doing such things, hut 
iaking pleasure in those that do them " 1 What would he haTO 
ttsought of taking pleasure in the studied delineation of " those 
ho do them " 1 IIow can thoae to whom their Lord apake the 
^blessing to the pure in heart, detUe their imaginations with 
dwelling on sin and sharae for absolutely no necessity, but mere 
emptiness and deaire for excitement } Or, " to know what 
ereryone is talking of," ia the favourite plea, which simply 
means, going by the hroad road, whore many go. 

If every modest woman ot girl would abstain from andh 
'iwoka as poison, and never order, nor even read, one that makes 
erime and impurity prominent, or tampers with dilemmas 
about the marriage vow, there would be fewer written and 
lished, Icaa wild-fire would be spread abroad, and the 
'women themselves would have made some effort to " purify 
Itbemselvea, as He is pure," 

To conclude. Pleasure is no sin : it ia the gay blossom of 
'happiness ; and it comes to the young of itself. To provide 
wholesome pleasure ia a duty ot those in authority ; and in 
■almoat all cases, the evil hea not in tlie amusements, but in the 
sentlmenta that they excite, and the inordinate appetite for 
them, and want of conaideration for others, especially eervanta. 

Excitement that makes lhe evening prayer impoasible ; 
8aturday-night fatigue that hindera Sunday morning's feast ; 
fast days of the Church invaded — all these are notes of evil. 
So ia the want of pity that kills ladies' maids by sitting up, or * 
calls up men-servants, after a night of waiting, to take the lady 
to an early Celebration. So ia the paaeionate determination not 
to miss a pleasure at any cost, and the disregard of parents' 
iwiahes, while an unwilling consent is, Balaam like, wrenched 
out. And such is the fluttering longing for attention, that feels 
omhitlered by being postponed to anyone else. 

All these, and many more templationa, turn that blossom, not 
to happiness, but to deadly poiaon-fruit. I 




CHAFIER XVir. 

FARBXTB ASD CHILDREN. 

It seenw & truism to say that the firet duty it to pareDts, b 
in tlivEC days the lifth comnmndmeRt is so mnch disused that 
we have need to remember the awful words with whiirh ^faUchi 
ended, and which St. John the Baptist took up — "To turn the 
hearts of the fiUhcrs to the children, aod of the children to the 
parents, lost I come and smite the earth with a curse." 

llow many homes do we know where the young [>eopIe rule, 
and the old i)eoplB submit; or if the parenta chuncti to havo 
strong wills, the next thing we hear is that the girl wants to go 
into a ustorhood " because she can't get on with her mother." 
Or the daughters are to be met with at every relation's or friend's 
house for long visits, while tho mother is left alone at huma 
And it is well if the young ladies are not openly taking up 
causes of which their parenta are known tii disapprove. 

There is no doubt that much of this is the outcome of the 
parents' disinclination to make themselves respected in early 
childhood. Liberties have been allowed and laughed at, indul- 
gence has been supposed to secure affection, authority has been 
laid aside, and there has been no habit of submission. The 
children have learnt to consider themselves the imjiortant crea- 
tures in the house, and being entirely educated by strangers, 
have their minds and opinions cost in dilferont moulds from 
those of their [larentf, and when their wills and tastes clash, the 
young onea see no reason for giving way. 

This is often the fault of the original mismanagement, but it 
is alflo the temptation of the age. Other young people are seen 
disregarding their pareuts, making light of their opinions, and 
holding home duties cheap ; and while the parents fear to be 
disadvantageously compared with others, the children grow 
ashamed of their restraints, and make excuses to their comjxtnions 
Ar submitting. It is to the children that I would now speak, 



[ 



^^^^ PAIIESTS AXB CHILBREK. 139 

especially tbe growiog-up girl^, and to beg them most earaestty 
to let filial duty have the foremost place with them. Only the 
highest duty of all should ever come before it, and that duty * 
ahonld never l>e treated as an excuse for disobedience in non- 
esaentiala. Tor instance, an absolutely sinful action most not 
tie done even at a parent's bidding ; iind on the other hand 
•Sacraments and prayers are not to be given up for any mortal's 
command, bnt the times and place of these are to ba decided by 
the parents. Yes, even though they seem to be holding their 
children bactc from the higher am! better part, obedience is still 
the duty and the rale, and there will bo nothing really lost by 
obedient waiting. 

Wliile writing this, I aeem to he committing high treason to 
parents to assume that they are ever toes to the higher course, 
instead of placing foremost those blessed homes where the father 
and mother are the guides and leaders, and every nobler and 
better thought of their children's is lovingly traced back to them ; 
where they hold by the hand as long as the paths lie close 
together, and give their aid, their blessing, and their sympathy 
when the children leave the nest. Oh ! glad homes, happy lives ! 
where such is the case ; where the father's loving, yet sometimes 
grave and stern authority, can really form the child's thought of 
his heavenly Father ; where the mother watches, loves, and 
sympathizes so as to be the likeness to her children of tbe 
Church ; where obedience is willing, honour comes of itself, 
and discipline is accepted as from indisputable authority ; where 
concealment is unknown, anil confidence is free, with the sense 
that no friend, no adviser, is eq\ial to the parents, and where 
errors are confessed not from the mere sense of duty, but because 
the grieved conscience can only find rest in earthly foigiveness. 
Here the children are the glad helpers, and as they grow older, 
the first councillors, making a little house of peers in the family 
plans. Hero " Papa " is not only the supreme authority, but 
the model of all that is good, wise, or noble, the prime hero of 
his daughters' imagination, and often loved by them (especially) 
with a deep and passionate enthusiasm; while "Mamma" is 



130 WOMAXKLtD. 

the anqaestioQed judge and arbitress in all qaeetioni of home, 

the comforter in all griefs ot pain!>, the intercessor in all truubtee ; 
one in heart with the girls, and the firet of women with her 
young sons, — whose whole notions of wotnankind are formed on 
their mothers and slaters. 

Such homes ns these do not need what I am saying, for they 
Lave their guides. Only 1 would beg and pray all parents 
whose children are yonng. not for present ease or indulgence, 
sake to waste the mutual bteiwiDg of such a home, or to get 
their children estranged by neglect, or spoilt by indulgence in 
their early days ; and above all to keep themselves loved and 
respected. 

But there are too many who do not come np — not to this 
idenl — but to this reality — which, thank Heaven, I have seen, 
and inlimately known, again and again. Weakness, neglect, ill 
judgment, and ill temper, have loosed these bands of love, and 
the young people feel the disadvantage, and are in difficulties. 
Sometimes the mother's religions standard is stricter than her 
daughter's, and yet narrower. This is most apt to be the case 
when the girl has hail little of her mother's influence during her 
education ; but it is inevitable that each generation should have 
somewhat different views of life from the last ; and where there 
is much difference of age between mother and cliild, and both 
are persons with much of the spirit of their time, the discordance 
is often strong. 

The mother crystallised her opinions when she became a busy 
housewife, the daughter's are those of her time. She despises 
her mother's quiet meditations and homely charities, as some- 
thing to which the present world is quite superior. Bho believes 
the one to be mere dreaming, the other to he against all rales of 
political economy ; and if Mamma holds hy the parish Church, 
whatever it he, and loves her Prayer hook, and the writers that 
touched her inmost soul, the daughter seeks the most exciting 
functions, talks of Catholicity and primitive usage, and has 
scornful words for simple piety. If the mother is strong and 
resolute, the girl is a munnuring victim in her own eyes ; if 



^^^ PARENTS AND CHILDREN. I3l" 

Mamma is weak and gentle, the girl takes her own way, aiid 
makea her wretched, unlcBa sometimes the father's authority 
cornea in. And thus it is that the daughters of widows are apt 
to be th^ most undutiful, reckless, and extreme in their ways, 
of all young ladies. Sons of widows, and especially eldest 
sons, have a sense nf protection, which makes them put on 
manhood early, and heoome noble and gentle characters in their 
very boyhood, and the same is often the ease with the eldest 
daughters of widowers, who often take the matron's duties on 
them with all their might ; but willows' daughters are far 
too apt to show too slight a regard for their mother, and treat 
her almost as an equal or inferior, while, for want of attention 
to her hints, they become the laughing-stock and the sorrow of 
their friends. 

There is nothing for it hut that the young people should 
make it their strongest and most decided duty to bow to their 
parents' will Long ago St. Paul wrote, " Let them learn first 
to show piety at home." If the parents will not or cannot 
enforce it, still the children must pay it of their own 
accord. . 

The old question is still true, " What is your religion worth I 
if it do not teach you to honour your parents 1 " 

So far as sons are concerned, after they have taken their 
place'in the world, and founded fresh families, they moat often 
use their own judgment, and when they take Holy Orders they 
come under our Lord's special call to His ministers to he ready to 
forsake father or mother for His sake and the Gospel's; but 
there is no excuse for an unmarried daughter's neglecting her 
parents' commands — and she must especially beware of fancying 
that direct call to the ministry, a call to herself to run inta a I 
self-chosen way of life. I 

When the parents, going on the principles held in their youth, 
shrink from dissipation for their children, and think certain 
amusements wrong, the daut;hter's duty is plain, whatever her 
convictions may be. What is not wronjf in itself, beoomea 
urong/or /(er the instant it becomes a matter oE wilfu-luess. <ii 




ISS 



If she diaobeyB, or extorts peimisBton, she 
hanlly honestly pray, " Lead us not into temptation,'" 

So again with the inteUectual training now offered. It may 
he a prejudice on the parents' part that ohjects to it, and the 
gir! may feel the deprivHtion unreaaonahle and hard ; Tjut no 
examination, no lectures are worth that extorted consent which 
is tantamount to a prohibition ; and quiet, steady home pei- * 
sevGranue will he hlesaed in its stead. M 

Ani when neither intellectual training, love of variety, nor* 
even the calls of schools and poor can be attended to without 
neglecting the comforts and pleasure of elderly parents, the 
homo duty Is the prime one. Visiting of rich and poor alike 
must ho given up to this. Girls shoulJ not he continually 
staying with friends, if their family is ao small that theift^ 
absence leaves their mothe^e day lonesome, their father's 
evening uncheored. 

Koppectfulnesa in wont ia another great point. Children 
who have been allowed to call their parents by ridiculoui 
names find it hard to leave off, hut it ahould be made B 
principle ol honour to use the parental name with truly 
courteous respect, when speaking to or of parents. These 
tokens form the mind more than we think, and as to wraiig- 
linga, contradictions, or ilisputinga, such as to an equal would 
be discouiteoua, what are they ta a parents Alas I that it 
should he needful to go over such ground. 

Young people may laugh, and ask if we wish to return to the 
days when the Duke of Somerset said his daughter's undutiful- 
ness had broken hia heart, because she aat down while he was 
asleep in liia chair, or even to the " sir and ma'am " of out 
grandfathers. Ko ; but what fa the only way to make house- 
holds happy, or to bring God's blessing on high or low, ia that 
the father and Kiolher should he " loved, honoured, and 
succoured." It is tiue that there ate bounds to ohedience — 
no child is jusrified in doing what he knows to be morally 
wrong at a parent's command, nor in neglecting a direct 
rtli^'iuua obligation. A daughtcr'a ohudience does not compel 



I 



PARENTS AND CHILDREN. 

her to marry wLore she does not love, but it does reij^niro lier 
not to marry without her parents' consent, even when she has 
the legal power to do so. Extraordinary tyranny overthrows 
general rulea, and here and there temperaments may be incap- 
able of being at peace together ; but in all ordmary cases, 
though there may be difficulties in implicit obedience, yet it is 
the certain way of obeying God ; and opposition or undutiful- 
nesa are fatal bJots in a Christian character. 

They are the peculiar temptation of any age of rapid pro- 
gress, and in religious matters the difficulty is often increased 
by the requirements of devotional books, and rules that startle 
the minds of the elder generation ; and it is not quite certain 
that the reviewers and promoters of these rules always do attend 
duly to the rights of parents, or think of the burthens laid on 
the conscience of children. Conscientious, pious parents, 
should not be spoken of aa being in outer darkness, because, 
though themselves reverent and devout at the Holy Communion, 
t^ey never heard of early or fasting Conunimions, and dread 
them for their child's health. 

And in our poor judgment the ease seems to be that "obedi- 
ence is better than sacrifice," and that no Eucharists, no con- 
fessions, ao prayers can do much for those who are undutilul in 
their way of seeking them. Non-essentials must give way to 
obedience, and the difficulty is, where lies the essentiaL 

Patient waiting, and meek obedience, whenever the conscience 
is not at stake, win the way at last, and bring a blessing, where 
a struggle would have driven it away. But for most, it is 
merely a little fret or annoyance, when temper, courtesy, and 
snbmJBsion are all that is wanting. And happy is the daughter 
who thus wins full confidence, who sometimes gains over the 
parents' hearts from this world, and brings her religious tiaiuing 
to help them. Happy is she — even if, while her brotheis and 
sisters have bright homes, she remains the stay and support of 
her parents' old age, giving to them the best years of her lifa 
ungrudgingly. She may be less cared for by the world, but ■] 
God's loTe is for the dutiful child. And oh ! above aR \«."«^"!'i lA 



I 

1 



134 ^^^^^^1 

Betting light by father and mother, however superior yon may™ 
think yourself. To judge by alJ Gad's word nothing is mon.l 
hateful in His sight; and the beginniiigs of the sin come !aV 
idle words, following the fashion of the day in pretending tarn 
doepiae authority, and in selfish neglect of parents' pleasun^ M 
and imiiatience of restraint. 

The jirevioiis papers have urged to devotion, to charity, to 
employment ; but none of these things, save the actual service 
to God, ai'e to be weighed in the scale with "piety at home." 
The girl who will not sacriiice her own pursuits to help or 
amuse her mother, and who refuses to play, sing, or read the 
paper to bei father because " she is so busy," is beginning a 
wrong course, however plausible her excuse. 

I do not mean that all occupations on which parents do jxtlM 
look with a favourable eye should be given up, unless there iCfl 
an absolute prohibition. 

If there be, obedience is the only oourse ; but if it be a 
matter of distaste, or wont of comprehenflion, or distrust of 
novelty, and if the daughter be thoroughly dutiful, acquiescence 
will generally bo granted, if she is perfectly truthful, and yet not 
obtrusive. 

Even when a life seems to be spoOt and made joyless hy such 
obedience, still it is truly earning tiie blessing beyond this 
world ; but the real truth is that the parents are much oftener 
the victims, than the children. It is they who sacrifice their 
comfort and happiness, they who submit to neglect, they who 
are dragged into expense, and endure fatigue, and who, too often, 
are rewarded with murmurs and disregard. 

Girla, ought tliis to be f Ought we to hear, " never mind 
Mamma, she will not care " J Or, " Papa ia cross, hut I'll have 
my pleasure 1 " or mayhap some equivalent in ruder slang, to ho 
heard from the lips of a Christian maiden. 

The poet Gray wroto sadly that he had made the discovery 
that wo can have but one mother, We all make it sooner or 
later, if our lives are of the ordinary length. Oh I do not let 
tho dlacoveiy be made among pangs of shamo and misery. J 



EeTerence your parents. Do not let your iather ba looked,! 
on merely as purae-boarei, from whom money and consent are to J 
be forced, or yonr mother as the slave of all youc whims, the 
household drudge, who bears all the cares, makes the contri- 
Tances, does what no one else likes, and endures to bo 
domineered over ; while you fancy yourself devout, intellectual, 
or charitable, or gay. Unless you bear your part with them, 
and make their happiness and good pleasure your prime earthly 
object BO long as you are a daughter at home, all the rest ia utter 
hollowness. Where there are many in family one may be more 
needful to her parents than the others, but that place jnust be 
filled by some one, or the daughters are not guiltless. 



CHAPTER XVIU. 



BKOTHERa AND BISTERS. 



4 



Sisters and brothers work on each other in different ways, bat 
very important ones. It depends jiartly on nursery management, 
partly on disposition, whether the elder brother starts as the 
tyrant and tormentor, or the champion and fondler, < 
the elder sister is the little mother, or the noisy, disre, 
opposer, or whether the two chUdren nearly of an b^b are olliea I 
or wranglers. 

Temper has much to do with it. Eoya have generally far 
more of the animal than the knight about them before they are 
twelve years old, and their instiuct is to feel their power by 
exercising it on the weak, so that a whining, fretful girl seems 
to them fair play. The male creature almost always requires to 
have some pretty retwn for his kindness, and a little sister who 
has not the grace to " purr when she is pleased," and cannot be 
amusing, has not much chance of tenderness from an elder 
brother ; nor Is he always sensible of charms in her that delight 
other people, but thinks her " a Jittle humbug," and feels it a J 



1 private for the Gocial Butmess 




136 



sort of duty to pay her off ii 
thinks undeserved. 

After all, thia does not make much difference in the afte 
TelatioDS between them, when the one is more manly, and thiffl 
other hae more self-command : it only spoils the recoUeotions ef ■ 
childhood. 

There is sure to be a butt in every hvely family, on which the 
othcra expend their shafts of wit. The qualtficatiooa for it are 
various. Sometimes stupidity is the cause of it, but it quite as 
often happens that the cleverest and most intellectual of the 
family takes that post. A certain simplicity or absence of mind, 
especially coupled with good humour, are the chief qualities in 
such a target, who is always giving occasion for those family 
jokes and anecdotes bo delightful at home. And if the B*id 
butt is not only passive, but reflective, and can laugh at 
itself, and can return the raillery, it becomes a charming 
institution, and is often the best loved of all, sure to bo 
mentioned with the fond prelix of " old," or " poor." M 

A girl is generally the butt, for though brothers and siatBts 
both laugh at sisters, and brothers use their brothers for the 
purpose, the sister very seldom does so ; she has far too much 
respectful love. If her brother is dull, she is too tender and 
too much grieved to joke about it, and will feet his failures far 
too deeply to tease him about them. la fact, she is often his 
guardian spirit, shielding him- — if she bo the pet — learning his 
lesson, and longing to impart to him her own faculty of under' 
standing. 

In a family where the sexes are mixed with tolerable equality, 
all the middle ones find their level according to their powers, 
and only the eldest and youngest have any special prerogativeii 
of position. The eldest, if a girl, is bound to bo helpful and 
motherly, to be domestic vizier almost as soon as she can sjieak, 
and to be an authority in the nursery — her mother's confidante 
and right hand. Often she ia much of all this, hut therewith 
come the many trials of the lot. She has to keep order before 
she has weight to do so, and when her eiideav 



^^^^ BHOTHERS AKD gISTKBS. 137 } 

impressive are received with derision, and peace can only Ire 
preaerved by sacrificea of her own property. Very little time 
is left her for her own pleasnreB and pursuits, and she often has 
more than half the cares of the family thrown on her. There 
must always be some one persiin in a house to whose lot fall the 
" must be donee," and this ia nearly sure to be, if not maninia, 
the eldest or the second daughter. If the eldest does not take 
tliia post, she is nearly snre to be a self- asserting, aelflah girl, 
taking the advantages -of her situation without attending to its 
claims {unless, indeed, health have set her aside). At the same 
time the helpful girl must not be bustling, rough, or domineer- 
ing, or her usefulness becomes disagreeable. Unobtruaiveness 
must accompany her readiness, or she will be officious ; and 
when she has the gift of keeping order, she must exercise it 
with real kindness, or she will lose the love and confidence of 
the younger ones. A hearty, good-humoured way of putting 
down a row will do no harm, while "nagging" or airs o( 
superiority alienate. Never lose youi temper, and idways be 
ready to be laughed at, or to help ; and tolerate whatever ia 
only trying to yourself. If you can do this, you will not ba 
wasting your strength for opposing what ought not to be 
tolerated, either as flat disobedience to authorities, moral wrong 
in itself, or as cruel and distressing to invalids, little ones, 
servants, or animals. Never give way to wbat is absolutely 
wrong, but stretch your endurance and sympathy to the utmost 
rather than lose your brother's heart. And when your power of 
arresting mischief snaps, the old Hnratian rule of not being too 
lavish of the De^ts car wachind applies to appeals to parents. 
Never say that if such a thing is done, you wUl tell, if you 
ever let yourself be teased, bullied, or worked upon not to per- 
form your threat. Your word mast be kept, however dreadful 
to yoniself and the victims, and the misery of the thing will 
hbder you from giving it lightly. 

A sister can do much to keep her brother within bounds if 
she haa hra thorough love and trust, and can sympathize with 
him heartily, ministtring to all his innocent pk'asuces as Ida 



138 WOUANEIKD. ^^^^^^^1 

willing slave, bat atutdlng reaolate if there be a spice of evil ia 
them. Xever should she favour any disobedience, or connive at 
anything dishonourable towards her parents ; it is doing nothing 
bnt harm. Yet it ia mischievous as well as hateful to be tale- 
bearer as to every escapade of a holiday gohoolboy, and the 
right medium Boemn to be to abstain Ijom aU participation in or 
profit through the escapade, to protest ai^inst it, and though not 
volunteering information, to refuse concealment in case of inter- 
rogation, because of the impossibility of a falsehood. To keep 
up a stindard of real honour, above schoolboy honour, is most 
needful. 

Id fact, brothers and sisters are designed to help one another. 
The boy, with bis greater and wider experience, and deeper and 
more thorough way of stutiying, and manly common sense, is 
able to see through the siatur's little enthusiasms, and to put 
them to that severe trial, "ridicule, the teat of truth." Oilen 
it will not be done gently, but it is a very useful crucible. Boys 
are apt to be jealous of anything that engrosses their sisters to 
the exclusion of their lordly selves, and to have a stroj)g love of 
teasing, which inspires banter after they have grown too old for 
the bodily tortures to which they put their little sisters. 

In boyhood, the Tartar is apt to be near the surface without 
any Bcratchiug, and the girl, it' souud in health and spirit^, can 
stand it, aud thus earn for herself power of endurance, and a 
curtain respect and coufidenco even from the bullying brother. 
Not that I am advocating bullying. Parents and authorities 
ehoold denounce and punish it sternly as cruel aud cowardly ; 
but where it is not preventible, I am only trying to show the 
victims how to make the beat of it by good-hum ou cud endurance, 
If they complain on their own account, their iutiui:Dce is lost ; 
if they endure, there is every hope for them when their tyrant 
grows into a reasonable being, and for savagery substitutes a 
certain stern cliivalry, insisting on bis sister's coming up to his 
idea of the perfect lady, and generally it is a very reasonable 
one. He wants to bo proud of hia sister, and though liking her 
to be " up to everything " in courage or dexterity, ia resolved 



^__ 139 

Fthat it shall be all in a ladylike way, and is determined to have 

[ her refined and well di-eased. His oriticiBma in tliis way are 

[ generally very useful ; in fact, whatever nonsenses he may have 

[ of his own, he is very clear-aighted as to her nonaenaea. Some- 

I times he is wiong, as when he resents devotional exercises, 

[ Belf-denials, or charities. Thoy had better not be obtruded on 

1 him ; and a non-essential should be good-naturedly given up to 

I him — i.e., a Communion or a Sunday-morning service, never; 

■ but a week-day attendance often had better ba left undone rather 

than not ho with him in some amusement, which respect for his 

eiater wiD render innocent j and even on a Sunday afternoon or 

evening, it seems to me that when he wilt not be brought to 

Church, and aska his sister to walk with him or sing to him, she 

I 'will be belter employed in giving him her presence and sympathy 

I than in going to Church, and leaving him to the thoughtless 

I companions whom her presence will keep aloof. 

When she is taking mere activity and occupation in rehgious 
I matters for real relijjion, ho will often, while sliocking her by 
dislike to these doings, be far deeper and more real iu his fueUnga 
than heraeli Very liliely, though he goes to fuwer services, aod 
likes them much less than she does, it is because he pays a much 
stranger and more real attention to them, and has a deiiper 

I reverence, which, while it is fretied by the gestures, that shock 
his reserve and seem absurd to him, will not permit him to he 
present at what he feeLi he cannot a,ttund or respond to with all 
hia BouL He is, froni his training, more thorough than she. 
Not for a moment would I acquiesce in the sort of under- 
standing prevalent ou the Continent and in some English 
femiliea, that the women are the religious part of the com- 
munity, who have to push, pull, and drrig their mankind into 
as much as they will endure for t/ieir aakes. Ko, indeed. 
Ever aJQoe the world began the man has been called on to serve 
God, and no woman should voluutajily enter a house without et 
religions man at the head of it ; and, if born in such a house, 
her prayers, her example, and her efforts slionld never cease to 
endeavour to win those connected with her to God. I am rather 



I 




140 WCIMANKIN'U. 



thinking of those homes where the b.iya and girls hare lieen 
tmined together till sohool-daye, nnd in their after-timea, when 
on the bounds of youth, the reiigiouB habits which are second 
nature to the girls, seem irksome to the creatures in whom the 
animal apirita are wilder, and who are impatient alike of 
restraiut or unre^ity. 

Unreality; yes, that is the point. "What ia humbug and B«lf- 
deceit in you, the brother wiH detect, even though it be per- 
fectly uucocHcious on your own part. If your rightcouBneBs 
have anything of the Pharisee in it, if it is outward ritnal 
alone, without good temper, kindnoss, {lutifulnesB, und perfect 
truth, he will see it, and think your faults the faults of your 
profession. Whereas — though even you be far from perfect — 
if he percoives that your religious feelings are sincere in making 
you struggle with your faults, and that they tell on your 
whole family conduct, then he will respect them and you, and 
be for more likely to share them, and to adopt your standard of 
right. 

And a high-minded good brother is an unspeakable blessing. 
Often education throws the men of a family under religious 
iutluencea far superior to what the girls meet at hoiao. They 
may meet at school, the University, or in London, with the 
leading spirits of the Church, and the training of their parents 
at home may be carried on by more deep and far-reaching 
instruction. Then their eistera have nothmg to do but gladly 
to reap the benefit of their guidance. ^_ 



may be said to Ihem, and the fraternal bond becomes infinitely 
more close and preckma. There are sympathy and help on both 
sides, and the two draw one another upwards, and work to- 
get.h.'r, share their books and thoughts, and have one hope. 
Then the sister can throw herself into her brother's projecta, 
and have her mind opened to far more than, left to herself, she 
would ever have thought of. 



I 



^^H BROTHERS AND BISTERS. HI 

These are the truly happy families ; such affections are the ' 
really deep oaea. Natural love goes far ; and even for hi 
unworthy hrother many a good girl wiD feel intense affection, 
lira with his lessons, shielding him in his acrapos, and 
eometimes sacrificing her whole life to him. How many maid- 
eervants and governeaaes Lave some horae-leecb brother, who 
consumes ttjeir savings, and often, when dissipation has ended 
liis days, his children remain to be their chaise, I will not say 
their drag, for often requital and comfort come from them. If 
self-sacrifice were really a misfortune, the spectacle wonld be a 
Bad one, but happily it is the glory of their lives. And as long 
as a man can believe in a good woman, mother, wife, or sister, a 
cord is near for pulling him out of the mire. 

The trial of the sister's love is that in the course of nature, 
it does not remain the prime love of the entire life. It ia 
everything till yooth seta in, and then it ia set aside fw other 
loves, and the sister has to lake an inferior place ; yea, and 
acquiesce and sympathize when her heart is sore at Bense ot 
neglect, and she is tempted to be moat jealous and most critical, 
and cannot believe man or woman to be worthy of her idol. 

She must bear it. The more she con divest herself of per- 
sonal feeling and go along with the new current, the better it 
will be for her, and she may have a double love, more in 
qnantitj, though not the same in quality, to make up for what 
she loses. But if she showa the least Jealousy, or is a bard 
critic of the new comer, she is making a rift which wOl widen, 
and she must always bear in minil that the wife has the para- 
mount right, and that any attemjit to meddle with her claims 
over the brother is treason. 

There ia Itsa danger in the case of a sister's husband, because 
women get on more easily with men than women, and because 
siat«rs have more common gronad even after one is married. 
The single sister ran be the devoted handmaid of the married 
one, with gteat benefit to both, and without exciting any 
jealousies, unless she ia more than ordinarily foolish or exacting. 
Besides, owing to the much-talked-of redundancy of femalca. 



H2 WOMANKIND. 

sistera often remain tbe first with each other through life, lean 
on one another, anlFer and rejoica together, and preserve the 
tame relative position with which thay started as soon as their 
a^e brought thum on such an equality that force of character 
could nsaert itself. One remains leatler and originator, house- 
keeper and manager ; the other is her complement for life, and 
the tie is never loosened. 

How needful this makes it to beware of evil habits of 
domineering, wmnglinp, or showing temper. How often has it 
been said that some families will behave better to anyone than 
to those they love Iwst I Family cmrtesy is almost a test of 
the honesty of our principles, for where there ia least restraint 
fflir true selves are shown. Children scream and struggle it 
out, BiiUt in a comer, or give a blow ; the stronger get their 
own way, then relent when the weaker suffer. And when they 
are of larger growth, no scheme, no party can he settled without 
snarling words, cross innuendoes, whining complaints, till very 
often the worst tempered gets his or her own way, because of 
the certainty that only ao ia there any chance of peace. 

In truth, giving up ought to be tavghl, and wrangling put 
down in such eariy life that it should seem as impossible as 
Ijing or steaHng ; but many persons are allowed to grow up 
without such training, and to them. I wouUI earnestly say, 
Make rides of sisterly charity and peace, and treat their trans- 
gression as serious sins to be repented of and confessed. Such, 
1 mean, as contradicting elders — yes, or eiuaJs — pressing 
forward your scheme — objecting to or sneering at those of 
others, being out of temper in your own peculiar fashion, if 
you do not get exactly the plan or the place you want— malting 

Some ]»ople have the spirit of objection or contradiction so 
strongly that they never at first sight tike what ia proposed. 
They had betl«r hold their tongues and consider, to find out 
whether they are in the right, or merely objecting. And when 
a scheme ia on foot, it ia hard to have tiresome people intruded. 
Of y OUT cpecial favourites excludtd by some contemptuous vote ; 



^^^^ BROTHCK3 AND SmxEBf. 143 % 

or to be put into the wrong boat or carriage ; or to be dragged 
on when you want to sketch or botanise. But if you put self 
oat of the way, you will get a very fair amount of enjoyment 
after all ; and if self ia in the way, however cockered, it will 
spoil all your pleasure. The parable about the uppermost ronma 
applies as much to pleasure as to pride. Those who may have 
to live together through life must learn to give up to one 
another ; and even if their course ia to be difi'erent, how nmch 
better it would be to have nndimraed recollections of delights 
enjoyed in common, than .of the struggles and the frets 
accompanying and spoiling all 1 

The single sister may be the resource of the widowed or 
disappointed sister, and sometimes the choicest tie, that with 
the brother, lasts through life. He has perhaps been dis- 
appointed, and has come back again to the old confidante, who 
has the home recollections that no one else can share, and who 
fills up the void as far as any woman can. The tender pro- 
tection often lasts even when the brother has a home of his 
own, and the piater nestles in or beside it. It is well for her if 
she have done nothing to lower or forfeit that blessed love — « 
love not only for earth, but for Heaven — the love sanctified by 
our great Elder Brother, 

One more thing I would mention in tiie sisterly relation. The 
eldest sister is often an excellent mother to the little ones, but 
rough and peremptory with those nearer to her, unless they 
happen to fit in with her own chaiacter ; and they are often 
unwilling to give way to her. Now, the only way to peace is 
for seniority to have its rights most distinctly acknowledged, 
and yet to be very forbearing in enforcing them. The younger 
girls should always own that their elder has the choice and the 
command, but she should be gracious and willing to yield to 
their tastes and wishes, "When she is made governess, her 
power should be exactly defined, and she should use it with 
steadiness ; never going beyond it, however provoked. As to 
this matter of teaching young ones, it seems to me that it 
would be much better if it were oftener done by elder sis 



Of courae, if tbey are devoid of good senae and Bteadiness, they 
cniinot do it: liut "Oh, I hats teaching;" "The little ones 
would not mind me ; " "I have no patience ; " or the fidse hut 
aentiraenf al Mctiae, " Children never love the person who teaches 
them," are very {>oot resaons for not returning to one's family 
the benefits of one's own education. As to the conhnement 
and the regularity, they are exactly what is most useful to the 
character, and the thoroughness and grounding are what the 
studies need to deepen them. A girl who will give her mind to 
teaching, and force herself to patience and good temper, is 
binding her young nisters closer to her and doing far more good, 
because the work can bo so much more complete, than by 
running after works outside her house. She must allow no 
liberties over the lessons while she ia acting govcmess, but after 
them let her be heartily the sister. 

Eldest daughters of a motherless family are often most 
excellent towards the children when they are little, but find 
it difficult to perceive when their sisters grow out of childhood 
and are on an equality, and try them much by unreasonably 
prolonging their tutelage and keeping them back. It is not 
exactly jealousy, but a certain pleasure in possessing power and 
the hahit of importance, and they ought to strive against it ; 
while the younger ones should remember that the eldest sister 
at home must always remain the head, and be deferred to. She 
is prima itiier pares, when all are on a level of age, and this 
ought to be frankly ownwl on all sides, if for no other reason 
than to prevent jangles; but lot her be most courteous and 
considerate, and bear her honours meekly. If a younger one 
surpass hor in any attractive quality, she must meet it gene- 
rously, and take pleasure in her sister's success — yes, oven if 
she seem to be more her father's companion. Rivalry and 
jealousy are the most terrible of all foes to sisterly love. Let 
them never be spoken of lightly, or treated as a kind of 
evidence of fine feelings. They are hateful passions, de- 
structive of all good, and should be prayed and struggled 
a^'ainst as belonging to the spirit of Cain. 



CHAPTEIi XIX. 



FHIENDSUIP. 



k 



FfliBNDSHipa are very sweet when they have grown with our 
growth and strengthened with our strength, Happy the 
children who have gathered bluebells together in the woods, 
and confided little plans to each other in almost infancy, 
their favourite heroes of history, and wandered over 
long scrambling walks or cosy nooks in girlhood, and 
their hair at night ia deeper conversations as they grew 
older. They may drift apart in after life, but they have a fund 
of precious recollections, ever green, and a love for one another 
that nothing can break. 

It ia quite possible that their original characters may be 
such that if they had only met in after Hfe they would never 
have made friends ; but having begun from more contact, they 
go on, and are perhaps more helpful to one another than if 
they had chosen each other from the first. 

Some people do not approve of chOdish friendahipa, and 
think that children of different families only make one another 
naughty, and that girls gossip folly and write nonsense. I can 
only Bay that such mothers can never have had a real child 
friend of their own. Indeed where sisters are nearly of the 
same age, and of dispositions that fit into one another, they do 
not want external friends ; and lai^e familiea sometimes cling 
together and contemn all outsiders bm iniemiptions, if no worse ; 
but this is not universal, and often while one pair of sisters 
hang together, sufficing one another, and quite inseparable, 
another girl in the same family is left to solace herself with a 
friend, and would be forlorn without her. 

Aa long as a mother has her daughter's confidence, and chooses 
well the families with whom to be intimate, there is no reason- 
able fear of harm being taught ; and as to correspondence, the 
children may waste time and write nonsense, hut no one, "«i\. w^-st 



I 



IIB 



WOMArfKISD. 



write an easy pleasant letter in after life who has not acinirod 
the art of lively uae of the pen ; and if, as is iisual, the letter is 
the family show, there cannot be harm in it, Still it ought 
to be the rule that only girl frienda should bo written to — not 
boys, except brothers. It is much safer both in childhood and 
later to exclude even couains. As to the showini;; of letters, 
when the child hegina to outgrow the triumphant delight of 
asking every one all round the house to read the great despatch, 
the wiaeat way is to live in confidence and honour. The 
mother shoidd read all iuteresting portions of the letters she 
receives to the rest of the family, and the girbt will imitate her, 
and generally bring their letters to her aa wanting her sympathy, 
and having no secrets from her. She con safely tell them that 
if their frienda object to this, they cannot be good friends ; hut 
as thoy grow older, some discretion and consideration become 
needful, A brother will aometimea confide to a sister what he 
will not tell hia parents ; and all hope of good influonce would 
l>c lost if he knew his letter would be public property. Or a 
friend may have to tell what it would not be honoiirable to 
disclose. Tbua after the girl has become formed enough to 
deserve trust, it should bo understood that she has the right to 
keep back any part of her correspondence that she may chooae. 

Indeed, some natures are so much more roaen'ed than others, 
that what seems to one only kind sympathy appears to another 
offensive curiosity, and they ninat be dealt with accordingly; 
though the tendency that aome girls have of making friendship 
con,«9t in whispering secrets about nothing cannot too soon be 
laughed at and cenaureJ. 

A mother can and should have her daughter's fullest and 
deepest confidence, but she cannot he quite instead of a friend 
to her, because there is a certain equality required in friendship, 
What the girl wants is not a wise counsellor, bat rather a play- 
fellow to share the ebullition of her youthful spirits, and a 
kindred spirit who can look at the world from the same point 
of view, with hopes and fears, guesses and fancies, like her 
own. Her mother has tried it all — it is not new to her ; but 



pRiEXDaEiP. 147 

! friend sees with the same ejea, and a Uttla bit of experience 
l.-gained hj one in advance is a delightful addition to the atock 
J.of common ideas. 

Some frieindships are drawn close hy a sharing of pnratiitB. 
I Studious and intelligent girls haYO very happy discuaaiona over 
I their opinions and their favourite characters, and when they 
K have a turn for romance (in its high aenae) they live in a worid 
T of chivalry. Or who does not recollect the Sunday 
l-oomparison of taste in hymnsj and puzzles over passages in the 
I Christian Year ? And when the affection is really valuahle, 
t there will he deep and earnest discussions, clearing the mind of 
ptdifficultiea by mutual help, and working out theories or entering 
a all the questions, trite and vexed to elders, but new to the 
young. These are the " blissful dreams in secret shared, serene 
or solemn, gay or bold," that "last in fancy unimpaired," and 
which are some of onr most delightful memories. 

Friendahip has the highest sanction. Love, as it has been 

well noted, deepens and intensifies by being exercised on those 

1 immediate contact. It is a mistake to think that shailow- 

ess enables it to spread wider, or that the glow is less diffused 

I. for being warmest near the centre. He, Whose Love is universal 

e friend above all, and gave His human affection to those 

[ who were with Him ; and His type and forefather after the 

I flesh wins our hearts by that noble and unselfish friendship 

' which has been a proverb through all time. 

It has been said that women are less capable of real friendship 

than men, and certainly historical friendships such as existed 

between even Greeks of the higher type, do not appear to have 

been known amongst women ; but this is because woman in her 

degraded state, uneducated, and only her husband's foremost 

slave, was incapable of more than gossip and rivalry with her 

^^ fellow-women. Friendship could not begin till woman was 

^L re6ned and eJevated, and then her first friendships were with 

^H men, such as that of Paula with St Jerome. It requires that 

^H the woman should have a mind and soul going beyond the 

^H actual interests of dross, marriage and family, in order to laa.i^ 



:ld ■ 

of /I 

he \ ■ 

1., ' 



1^ 



J 



148 WOMANKIND. 

substance enough to make n real friendsliip with man or woman. 
If she have not, it is in girlhood mere tittering and chatterinj^ 
iu a corner ; in maidenhood, petty gabble about dreau and 
tovera — often jealous and always foolbh ; ia later life, either 
scandal or the baby and cook storiea that are supposed to 
prevail over tea-tables. "Woman will talk, aitd talk to her like, 
but one woman will have a gossip while the other will have a 
friend. 

And it ia the early yeara of youth and character making 
which decide whether the playfellow shall grow into the friend, 
and in which fresh companions are gathered, and asaimilate into 
friends, whosu origin has still the brightness of the golden age ; 
the link, as Eugene do Guorin says, may still be of gorlands. 

These friends are made more by choice than by contact, like 
those of childhood. Two or three families of cousins or 
neighbours will pair in and out acooriling to their idiosyncrasies, 
their likenesses or dissimilarities, finding sympathy for tho 
diiforent needs of their natures. Or a friendshiii will begin 
between two widely divided in ago, where the fond and devoted 
allegiance on the one side ia all that can be given at the time 
in return for sympathy, guidance, and oaaistance often most 
precious. 

It is hardly possible to give advice about making friends. 
They come, and we become knit together for joy and mutual 
aid, and also for pain. We cannot give our heorta without 
giving them for grief. Love must have its passion. When we 
real/j/ make friends, we take on ourselves a share of all their 
perplexities and troubles and sorrows ; and unless our affection 
has grown cold, parting and pain and death must wring one 
heart or the other. 

Thus far it is safe to counsel. Do not be drawn into a 
friend.^hip by adulation or flattery. If you have any little 
advantages of wealth or position, and a person disapproved by 
your fomily, or your better sense, ijios to become a hanger- 
on by admiration of what nobody else honestly approves, or by 
/iwtt-ring what you know to be unadviaablo and underhi 



'anUB 



FRIENDSHIP. 14S 

;r clear of hei as a tempter. Again, if one less well off 
a yourself is outspoken auJ honest in her criticisms of jou, 
md will by do roeaaa condone your faults and follies, you 
' eafely trust bei as an honourable friend, likely to do 



Or, if you be the less well endowed, be careful that you do 

lot deceive yourself as to the attraction on the other side ; and 

d that you do not suppress your real opinion for the sake 

>f the lift in the pony -carriage, the invitation to the party, or 

) mere honour of intimacy at the great house. These things 
lonnd so mean that it is on insult to be cautioned against them ; 
jnt there is a certain glamour in the pleasure of intercourse with 
jirandees, and something, too, in the ease of their manner, 
whicb doei sometimes binder those associated with them from 
knowing in themselves that toadying temper thoy would 
. in the abstract. If the world do not tome in and 
spoil it, I do not myself boo any harm in what is called an 
unequal friendship. It is not unequal if the two minds and 
souls really chime together, and if there is fair giving and 
taking of counsel oa 'ther 'de — no patron^e on the one aide, 
cringing on the oth and t has this great advantage, tbat 
it apares both sides f m na owmss hj giving the one an 

ight into the class f elmgs of the other, and preventing 
them from being utte ly al en to ho 

The really unequal f end h p vhere one side is the "better" 
tin age, in experience, m mental endowments, and then the 
interchange of sentiments is of infinite value to the inferior in 
these respects, who seeraa to have nothing to give but her 
devotion and her little services, but who really gives the 
freshness of her unjaded mind, and an opening of the doors 
of sympathy with the younger generation, while she herself 
s the benefit of support and aid in tor own difficulties, and 
stance in knowing and forming herself such as can hardly be 
jippreciatcd by those who have not felt it. 

Mutual understanding seems to be the ground- work of friend- 
liiip. Toung people arc apt to thmk thoy have mat vj\S.\i. sii-ix 




150 WOMANKIND. 

comprehension on over-sliglit grounds, and to link 
together with an eagerneaa that may slacken. In fact, every 
fi'iondship has after tho very first, a time of proof and trial. 
After finding where tlioy agree, people have to find out where 
they disagree, and whether the disagreement be Bui:h as to 
hinder them from the necessary sympathy with each other. 
Then there is to come the trial of coufldence, and whether each 
side can trust the other, or is worthy of trust. The power of 
keeping a secret has to be tested. Absolute secrets are not 
HO very many, and it is easy to know what to do about them ; 
but ono use of a friendship is to be libh to talk over im]>re8sion8 
or perplexities that it would not be well to publish ; and judg- 
ment has to bo continually used as to what — without being 
absolutely sacred — itwould be unkind, treacherous, or inexpedient 
to repeat to some person, though it mi^'ht not be so to another. 
Those who cannot exercise such diaeretiona are not fit to be 
friends, and, though they may be pleasiiut companions, cannot 
be raoro. 

Again, a person who is full of frivolity and idleness must be 
kept in check ; and those who actually tempt to disobedience to 
parents, disregard of principle, or contempt of religion— either 
in practice, faith, or observances, — should be given up as a duty. 
If a parent have a strong dislike or disapproval of a daughter's 
friend, it is u matter of right to give up the intercourse ; but 
girls often get into trouble with brothers hy open-mouthed 
vehemence about friends. The boys have a certain amount of 
family jealousy and love of teasing, and greatly resent being 
bored with too much mention of their sister's friend, unless they 
adopt and engross her themselves to the exclusion of the original 
proprietor. 

As to correspondence, the gift of letter-writing ia unequally 
distributed even among educated people. It is a pain and 
penance to some and a solace to others. Some in writing to 
their dearest friend, can only mention the subject in hand ; 
others can pour out facts and opinions, criticisms and comments, 
making the pen anothpr tongue. It is really 



leiT^H 



I 



FRIENDSHIP. 

of communication guided the fingera of one, and was utterly 
■wanting in another. 

To my mind, letter-writing i3 too valuable a gift not to be 
cultivated. A friend who will correspond is three times the 
friend who can not, or will not ; and the value of this bridge over 
separation ia untold. Besides a detailed letter to an invalid, or 
to one whose home is in a colony, ia priceless, and such letters 
are not to be compoaed n-ithout an apprenticeship , — not of 
wiiting model letters, but of correspondence with friends or 
brothers. A letter describing an interesting scene, or giving a 
sketch of what is passing, gives not only great pleasure to the 
receiver, but deepens the impression on the writer's mind, and 
may even become a valuable record ; but the real point is the 
participation in an enjoyment that it gives those at a distance, 
perhaps delighting a colonial exile, or making sunshine in a sick- 
1 lonely life. A real discussion of right and wrong can 
well carried out on paper, and both sides will have 
their ideas cleared by thinking them out Depend upon it, 
there is selfishness as well as carelessness in neglecting letters. 
For the infirm, and those who cannot answer, a time should be 
ular letter, and no one can guess how these are 
looked forward to. Even the smallest home details of flowers, 
pet animals, children's witticisms, pretty sights in country walks, 
have their charm and value. Look at the life-long correspondence 
of Mrs. Grant of Laggan with Mrs. Smith of Jordan-hill, 
Elizabeth Carter with Catherine Talbot, and see how much 
pletiBnre and profit, how much real elements of friendship there 
is in letter-writing; and do not come down to slapnSash n 

id postal-cards. 

Life-long, friendships ! Yes, they are a precious gift — often 
the dearest tie of single women. Happily they are many. 
True friends should always mention one another in their prayers, 
and thus the tie becomes like that of brothers in arms of old. 
Montalembert dedicated his friendship in early youth with a 
short prayer and mutual vow and Communion together. We 
could hardly overtly do this ; but snrely we do feel that to kneel 




162 WOMANKIND. 

tojsther at the Altar may eanctify and ma):e permanent the 
love in our hpaitB, bear it above little misunderstandings, 
restrain «8 from being mutual temptations, and if death be to 
part us early, help the one who ia taken to be to the other " " ~ 
pure, calm, picture of a blameless friend," and make Fara 

n nearer and more homulike. While, if the two a 
out nearly all the span of their livee, Buch friendship may be^ 
the joy of their lives, their meetings may be holidays, thdl 1 
sympathy and support each other's strength ; they may improvs ' 
one another " as iron aharpeneth iron," and the higher light of 
the love of God may grow, as Dante says, " as light increases, by 
flashing bock and back again the radiance of the sun from one 
mirror to another." 



CHAPTER XX. 
Totrra akd maiden. 



I DEE these words because I want some term to express the >1 
spirit of that experimental time of life when young people ars-J 
full of the enjoyment of their mutual attractiveness, and when J 
the whole complexion of their lives depends on the use they J 
make of it, and the effects it produces. 

Just as the birds sing in the spring-time, so are young peopl 
delightful to one another. There ia sometimes the mere enjoy* 
ment of lively intercourse ; sometimes there is the excitement a 
a, certain amount of preference ; sometimes a true, deep friend* 
ship is founded ; and sometimes the attachment that leads tu I 
union for life then begins. 

Friendship can quite exist between persons of different sexes, • 

, and of equahty in age, but not often, except where there ia 

something that absolutely hinders the friendship from changing 

into anything else, such as the marriage or engagement of one 

or both of the friends, or cousinship such as ia understood by 



both to prevent any closer ties. Old acquaintatiee from early 
childhood sometimea forms an. almost brotherly link, and there 
are friendships formed by drawing close together over a grave 
where liea the nearest alite to both. These friendships are, 
however, of later life. What I am thinking of are those glad- 
some days when the youth is enchanted to escape from study or 
business, desk, ship, college, or barrack, to the bright, graceful, 
and gracious society of ladies ; and when the maiden finds 
her occupations and pleasures brightened and excited by his 
participation. , 

AU this may be perfectly free, happy, and innocent, and even 
beneficial to the whole character and nature, especially whea- 
amusement is not the only thing in view, but when deeper and 
graver thoughts are beneath, and enter into the discussion; but 
the difficulty is, that there is undoubtedly an excitement in such 
intercourse, felt more or less by different characters, and apt to 
produce an unguaidedness of manner, and a tendency to Bay i 
and do what the soberer sense would disapprove. ] 

This capacity of mutual love is of course the cause of the 
pleEisure that it is natural for each sex to take in intercourse 
with the other, and the curious way in which they regard one 
another. There is a certain party spirit en masse of mankind 
gainst womankind, and of women against " the men ; " hut, 
individually, men are seldom able tojudge a woman impartially, 
and women are far more lenient to a man than to one of them- 
selves. Meither can one sex live satisfactorily in entire sep 
lion from the other ; each needs the checks received from the 
other's presence. Men left to themselves become either mo; 
or coarsely and childishly boisterous ; and women in the hke 
condition, are apt to harden, to grow childish, and sometimes 
unrestrained in their talk and habits. 

Kot that the system now talked of, of sending boys and girls 
to the same schools, can ever he a good one. The creatures are 
at an age when a boy's chivalry is not developed, and it is far 
more likely to awaken at the sight of ladies as a holiday treat 
than by competition with them at school. The girls' bloom of 




X6i WOMAN KIND. 

modesty, too, must be endangered by the tuixtore with the boyr, 
who will Bometimes tyiaimiz«, sometimea torment in a way more 
dktreasbg and burtfuL Nothing but tbe direst necessity ehould 
ever tolerate mixed schools in villages, and, where they cannot 
be avoided, the boys and girls ought to have different play- 
grounds. Education will do little if modesty and propriety are 
not moat carefully studied iu all tlie adjuncts. 

This is, however, aside from the subjeut, namely, that whidt,A 
might bo called " love in idleness." It is not quite lore, it is^ 
rather attraction. Some people have it and feel it, and others 
are entirely devoid of it. Some baby-girls will be excited till 
every male being in the room has noticed them. Very few 
damsels fail to enjoy the delightful oxcbange of badinage, the 
play of apirita, tbe wit on eilber side, the many skirmiehes, and 
the little adventares, together with the attention they receive, 
all the mole if there be any speciality in it, which begins to 
deepen the cuneut eo spailding above. 

The special teuiptations of this period are very hard to dwell 
on without seeming either to maite too Light of them oi to treat 
them too gravely. The very words for them are liard to find. 
Coquetry was a foruign word borrowed by our refined grand- 
mothers, when they liardly acknowledged that the thing existed 
at all, flirtation was whispered by our mothers, as sometliing 
too vulgar to be freely spoken oven in censure, but tlie word is 
now freely flung about with an ease likely to make that which 
it is meant to express seem blameless. Tbe Italians speak of 
far la cinella, that is, of laying one's self out for admiration 
and attention like the httle civetta owls which make thomselvcs 
ridiculous by their airs and graces, on the roofs of houses in 
Eome. 

This Civetta spirit of absorbing everybody's notice and atten- 
tion, and feeling wronged by their being paid to any one else, is a 
very dangerous one. it is common to laugh at it, and coll it mere 
youthfuliiess and feminine nature, but it is really the outcome 
of vanity, and nearly idlied to envy and jealousy. A girl who 
huB been used to a monopoly of attention cannot be supposed 




I 



YOUTH AJSD MAIDES. 

not to feel neglected and mortified if another should receive 
what has hitherto been paid to her; indeed eometimea e 
absolutely woonded by auch desertion, but tliough the vexation 
is a real one, she must be careful of the feeling it evokes 
temper of bitterness or dislike to the often perfectly u 
rival, an inclination to detract from her beauty, or her other 
merits, or to accuse her of forwardness or flirting, stow the 
beginning of a spirit to be fought with. Perhaps it is not 
possible that she should appear to you as charming g 
whom she draws away from you ; and if she be your friend she 
may almost appear to 'you a trcachoroufl aupplanter; hut such 
opijiions had better not be uttered, you can at the veiy least resolve 
to say nothing against her, and you will almost certainly be very 
thankful that you have held your tongue. If she have any u 
deniable charm beyond you, beauty, wit, musical tsilent, clevemeaa 
or the like, freely own it, suppressing by force all criticisms, and 
make the prayer against " envy, hatred, malice and all uncharit- 
ableness," more than ever your own. Even if you know yourself 
her equal or superior, and think her advantages mere frivolous 
surface mattera, her powers so superficial that you cannot guess 
how people can be taken in by her, doubt yourself doubly, and 
strive the more to be both fair and kind towards her. Slake it 
a realJy religious matter to put away all that tends to envy and 
jealousy. 

Another temptation is that which springs of excitement and 
pleasure, namely, that of losing self-control and going too far. 

! to be observed that there is seldom any restraining powi 
the other side. In almost ail men there is a worse part which 
makes them willing to incite a girl to go as far as she will with 
them, and which is flattered at the approaches to indiscretion^ 
which all the time make her forfeit their respect. They want to 
be amused, and think it the girl's business to take care of hersell 
If she does what they would not tolerate from their sisters, they 
still lead her on, and though they do not think bettor of her, 
they will defend her when her own sex blame her. 

Kefinement, modesty, and strict obedience are her best aa.fe 




156 WOMiKKlND. 

guards liero, and again these Bhould guard her against tha 
manner which all women inatinctively disapprove, hut i ' 
many men (oven good ones) relish because it entertains theoL 
Nothing ia a more unfortunate sign in a woman than that she 
should he hetter liked by men than by woman. We shall often 
hear it said " the women were all against bet, beuause she was 
handsomer, or better bred, or better bom, or better dressed." 

No, the women would not have been all against her meraljr ] 
out of jealousy or rivalry, unless there were something objection- ' 
able about her. Either she did not bear her advantages meekly, 
and fiaunted tbom so as to moiiify those around her ; or else ehe 
offended against their good taste and principle. If a woman is 
truly kind, warmhearted, and affectionate towards her female 
friends, they are quite ready to he proud of her beauty, grace, 
or other charms ; they will love her heartily if she will let 
herself be loved by tbem, and will rejoice in a 
It is true that they are severer censors than men are, but in ■ 
general, if a woman may be allowed to say eo, they are niucli J 
better and les§ prejudiced judges, since the man — if not pet' I 
sonally flattered — has at least a secret behef, half-tender, bali- 1 
contemptuous, that notliing better can be expected of the sex. ( 
The desire to shine in society is not universal. The wish to J 
please is a feeling implanted by nature ; hut those are the safest I 
and best who simply do as they would he done by, without j 
attempting to produce an effect. It is only a few who can keep 1 
around tbem a court of admirers, and amuse themselves hy I 
playing them off one against anuther. This power is more apt 1 

be derived from siiarkle and vivacity, backed by i 
advantage of wealth or position, than from beauty alone. J 
Great beauty ia a very uncommon gift, and the regularity o( ^ 
feature that constitutes it ia not often compatible with quick J 

sitiveness or great intellect; and transcendent beauties aMl 

a generally tranciuii beings, not very easily stirred, and ofta 
perfectly simple, and much lesa desirous to attract than thos 

Qse good looks are a more uncertain matter. The greavl 
niajojitj oS Englishwomen are fair enough to be beautiful ial 



I AND MAID Elf. 



157 I 



loving eyes, and to have a good deal of prettmess dependent on. 
health, expreaaioo, or hecommg dresa, and there is much more 
inclination to think about the matter in auch cases than in those 
whose beauty is an acknowledged fact. In the paper on dress, 
I think it was said that due attention to whatsoever things are 
pure, whatsoever things are lovely, should make a woman in home 
and family Hfo wear what is modestly becoming and gives 
pleasure to her frienda ; but the instant I she begins to dress 
with the purpose of attracting notice, or outshining others, she 
erra, Over-plainneaa of attire, with the set purpose of mortify- 
ing her own vanity, is a much better extreme — though that has 
also its subtle dangers. 

The girl whoae effort it is to excite admiration or sentiment, 
that may bind one or more men to her service as slaves, and she 
who is continually putting on caprices, or expressing imperioua 
wants, that they may be occupied with her, and who has no 
aeriona feeling for them all the time, but ia merely playing witk 
them, are both making an evil use of their womanhood, and of 
their powers of pleasing. One danger in the matter is the habit 
they are forming. They fancy that when they arc married, all 
such flirtations will drop off of themaelvea. Such ia aometimes the 
case, but not always. The habit of receiving hom^e and 
exciting admiration, and the enjoyment of creating a kind of 
excitement by the appearance of preference, have so ingrained 
themselves that there is no laying them, aside, they recur witli 
company manners, and lower the married woman far more than 
even the girl — disturb family peace— lead her to the verge of 
evil. 

Equally weak and contemptible ia the girl who is always 
iro^inin-g love either to or from herself, "Thinking about 
lovers," is universally acknowledged to be a foolish pastime, 
and though a real contemplation of the subject of love and 
courtship is needful at times, and when such a matter really 
comes on, the discussion with sister or friend is quite right and 
natural; nothing ought to be more avoided than, a conclave of 
silly gltla, dwelling on "their conquests" real or imaginary. 



I 



168 



W0H4KK1ND. 



expressing hopes, fears, or (lespairs, and teasing one 
about neglects, or flattering each other with repetitions of ad- 1 
miration. It is to be hoped that good edncation and bctt«r 1 
kinds of oocupations are raising girls out of this depth of folly, t 
but it is well to utter a word of warning, since the pleasure of I 
talking of oneself is always apt to betray one, and there is 
certain importanee in being supposed to have a lover. 

But it should be remembered that grave evils often come from 1 

^rls, true, rightr-minded, religious, and charitable, and as nice J 

and good as poasible in feminine company, giving way to tho J 

temptation of making young men their slaves or playfellow I 

, When such young men are the curates of the parish, these habit* I 

. veiy mischievous to the work of their calling, Their4 
heads are turned, their time taken up with amuaementa atld.l 
chatter, the charitable occupatLons that ought to have been J 
properly divided are slurred or neglected, or made oocasions ol-l 
absolute bad example, and even church decoration become«| 
irreverent. Curates and young ladies have become au aliaolute 1 
stock subject of mockery, and though it is quite true that both 
are apt to be at an inflammable age, and that human nature is 
human nature, and that something more real and earnest may 
be springing up, unguarded folly and excitement is not the way 
to a blessing, and the girl who enjoys "turning the head " of a 
curate, as fair game, does not consider that in her thoughtless 
levity she may bo marring a priest ot God. "He that t^eapiseth 
you despiseth Me," is a saying that very few bear in mind in ■ 
their dealings with clergymen. 

But it will be asked, What is to be done 1 la a girl to b0 1 
stiff, prudish, and affected in her relations with men, as if Bh»M 

re afraid ot them, and always expecting to be carried too iaiU 
Ko, indeed. That is only another form of the same complaint 
Frank, yet quiet, easy manners are the right me<lium, guarded 
by the instmct of modesty and propriety, and especially avoidii^rS 
any puttbg forth of feelers by way of experiments in power, c 
the giving such commands to men, young or old, as presuppos 
a certain devotion to her service. 



YOUTH AND MAIDEN. 

The Tvliole question how to avoid flirtation, withont undue 
BtiffnesB, resolves itaelf into old primary rules. To set a watch 
tefore the lips, and to examine oneself daily, is the rule laid 
before every Christian. " If any man among you seem to "be 
religious, and bridleth not his tongue, this man's religion is vain," 
is quite aa true of woman as of man. 

If from the time of first serious thought a careful ■watch has 
been set to say no word to small or great, young or old, that haa 
not some kind, true, or faithful end in view, if an account ie 
kept of every swerving from these rules, of every lapse into 
thoughtlessnesa, negl^nce, vanity, irreverence, or the like, then 
without affectation or unkindness, the maiden will preserve 
herself, or be preserved by heavenly Grace, from the vulgar 
coarseness of flirtations and coquetries, and be ready in all fair 
inward purity of spirit, as well as outward purity of body, to 
give herself in the full dignity of her maidenhood to him whom 
she really and worthily loves. Or else, she will have a truly 
virginal spirit, not a merely baulked and disappointed one, to 
turn withal to be tlje unmarried woman, who careth for the 
things of the Lord. 



CHAPTEK XXI. 



COURTSHIP. 



It is a curious thing to observe how late in development was 
the higher love of woman for man previous to marriage. Only 
after centuries of generations nurtured in Christianity did she 
become fit to choose for herself, and thus there is less absolute 
direction in Holy Scripture on this matter than on almost any 
other. The daughter was bo entirely the parent's chattel that 
she had no wUl in the matter, and was disposed of, whUe a mere 
child, incapable of a real choice. 



160 WOMANKINP, 

Bebukah, indeed, wae allowed to decide, but about one 
unknown to ber, aud though Jticob might love, Leah and Eachel 
were alike paasively bestowed on him. If we accept the part 
of the Bride in the Canticlee as literal, it ia still the love of one 
already betrothed, not choosing for herself. 

The couiwel ia to the father when the aon of Sirach says : 
" Marry thy daughter, and ao shalt thou have performed a weighty 
matter, but give her to a man of underatanding ; " and when 
St. Paul speaks of the expediency or non-expediency of marriage, 
it is to the fathers that he speaks, not the virgins themselves. 
And if this were so in the Israelite world, far less is the high 
and pure type of love to bo found in heathen literature or 
history. Greek and Roman girls were bestowed in marriage hy 
their parents, aud often made tender and noble wives, bat they 
would never have thought of making a choice. Perhaps the 
nearest likeness to modern love is in the graceful story of Pene- 
lope, covering her face with her veiJ, and turning to Ulysses 
when her old father asked her weeping, whether she would 
leave him. There liave always been good wives, and also men 
who loved maidens, but maidens had little opportunity of loving 
in return, and, if they did, it was reckoned as indecorous. 

It ia a great mistake to hang a tale of the Early Church upon 
a modern love story. The Christian maiden, if destined for a 
wife, was given away too early to have a real choice, and the 
feeling we now call enthusiasm or romance, gcneraUy aspired to 
a life of dedicated virginity, as something far nobler than 
marriage. Legend tells us of virgin martyrs wooed by heathen 
youths, but never of any inclination on llie maidens' part to 
heathen or Christian man. But these very virgin martyrs did 
much to raise the ideal of woman, and together with the homage 
paid to the purity of the Blessed Mother, began to alter the 
position of the whole sex, and the northern nations bringing 
with them strong, brave d t d m n xcept in Spain, 

subjected them to easte n se lus n J man arose, but most 
of its glorification of lo e was t n y to avow, not of 

Jjjot pure and tefmed lo th 1 1 d t u rr a[, The dameel 



L 



comiTHHip. 1 6 

was alall given away by her parents with no volition of her 
owD, and eyen, when left early a widow, was scarcely ever at 
her own disposal ; and found no safety but in marriage or a 
convent. 

The loves of the earliest genuine romance are of Lancelot and 
Guinevere, Tristram and Tssulte, Orlando and Angelica. The 
courts of love ui Provence were to decide on the cases of fantastic 
adoration between knights and ladies ; the latter always married, | 
for no one had seen or heard of them previously. The true ' 
Provenjal histories are divided between the absurd and the 
liorrihle. On the one hand there is the history of the troubadour 
who languished and died for love of a lady he had never seen ; 
on the other, the tragedy of the husband who served up the 
heart of his wife's lover to her, upon which she vowed that food 
less noble should never pas^ her lips, and starved herself to death. 
Both are given as facta by 'SismondL 

It seems as if a go»d woman could not help or prevent this 
troubadour devotion ; and Blanche of Castile used that of 
Thibanlt of Champagne for political purposes, but the right- 
minded woman in general would ignore it completely, and would 
have been shacked at the notion of falliug in love as a maiden, 
or chooeing her husband. She vowed love to him together with 
obedience at her wedding, and in a true and pure heart the love 
was providentially always brought, even though the man might 
be utterly unworthy of it. Novels made out of medimval love- 
stories, like those of our own time, are mere anachronisms, 
Ivanhoe might love liowena, but Kowena would have been given 
to him or to Athelstane long before his evasion. The wardship 
and marriage of the young heir as weU as the heiress was the 
perquisite of the guardian, and was granted by the king to some 
favoured noble, who either sold the child's hand, or gave it to 
one of his own family, 

Dante and Petrarch, by making glorious ideals of Beatrice and 
Laura, did much to purify the sentiment of " minstrel love," 
and it began to grow into a more innocent and refined feeling 
of distant adoration as it is seen in Surrey aud Sidney, while 



ueither Ihouglit of Geraldino, nor of Penelope Ricli, oa posaihia 
wives, only as Boureea of poetical inspiralion. 

In the meantime, however, mutual liking had obtained some 
recognition as a ground of marriage. Two children of Edward 
III., BUGceBBfully, and by dint of constnucy, accomplished love- 
matches. Anne of Brittany, and Jeanne of Navarre, heiresses 
though they were, succesafuily resisted dietasteful suitors ; yet, 
on the other hand, the intense proBaioalnesa of common life is 
shown in the Paston letters, where the girls pray for husbands, 
with apparently perfect indifference as to who they may be, and 
the family history bears no traces of anything like a courtship 
from personal affection. What we call the days of romance 
were the most devoid of it in marriage. Yet the Marts 
d' Arthur was a great advance upon the continental tales of the 
same kind. Its blighted and repentant Lancelot would never 
have perverted Franceaca da Uimini ; and in literature, in 
England at least, a tone of innocent romance began to set in, 
immensely aided by iShabespeare, who, considering the almost 
universal example of romance, deserves infinite honour for 
never enlisting sympathy on the side of any but pure and 
innocent love. Romeo and Juliet is, however, probably the 
earliest of novels which treats love from a modern point of view. 
Its date as an Italian novel is before the end of the fifteenth 
century, and the main incidents ore said to be true, the Capel- 
letti and Montagudi being real Veronese families, and the 
monument still remaining. The point in it is, that though 
disobedient, passionate, and culminating in euicide, still the 
love is free from the stains to be found in ordinary ballad and 
romantic literature, and Shakespeare, by endowing the story 
with all hia own graces, no doubt did much to excite sympathy 
with lovers, and make parents dread the effects of crossing them 
tyrannically. In fact, in the Kli^iabctlian age, the real and ideal 
were blending. People were no longer contented that their 
imagination and thuir sense of duty should lie in entirely 
separate worlds ; they acknowledged the power of love, and 
sought to purify and make it innocent, Lucy Apaley's account 



of her own feelings for Colonel Hutchinaon is a teautiful picture ' 
of maidenly love, but for the most part the power of choice 
was in inverse ratio to the value of the lady'a hand ; and as to 
its teing a sin to many without being in love, no one dreamt of 
such a thing. What would the judicious Hooker have said if 
it had been suggested to liim that he did wrong in marrying 
Joan without auch a puerile prelimiuarj t No ; marriage was a 
business transaction ; the code was, as it is in France at this 
moment, that the parents knew much better than tbeir cbOdren 
what was good for them, and though they were gradually becoming 
convinced that to oppose a violent aversion, or thwart a strong 
attachment, might have very misebievous results, yet the girl 
was thought to be best and safest who exercised the least 
volition iu the matter. Up to the reigns of the House of 
Hanover this seema to have been the universal way of thinking 
among the higher ranks, and among all who bad anything to 
bestow with tbeir daughters. 

Perhapa Kicbardson did the moat to overthrow the whola 
system by bringing a tyrant father into universal detestation ia 
one novel, and in another giving what was at the time taken as 
a picture of noble and respectful mutual love ; and though 
we now laugh at the formality and stiffness of Sir Cbarles 
Grandiaon, and the sentimental confidences of Harriet, still 
theirs was a high-minded refined love for what was best and 
greatest in one another, and it no doubt did much to convince 
the world that this was the right way of bringing about a 
marriaga. 

Physical force on the parents' part to make a girl accept their 
favourite suitor bad become impossible. Moral force and tacit 
persecution still were in their power, then, as now, but public 
opinion waa going further and further away from all exertion of 
it, and before the end of the eighteenth century, the absence of 
the practice of inariages de convenaiice would have been reckoned 
as one of the honours of England, at least by her own children, 
for a French or Italian woman would deem the freedom at once 
perilous and improper. 



104 WOMANKINn. ^^^^H 

It is aaid, with wLat truth we know not, that the proportion 
of happy marriagea ia about equal in either case, and the risk of 
a wrong choice is lefts in the experienced parents than in the 
girl herself. This, however, leaves out of night that worldly 
considerations are stronger in the old than in the younR. The 
reply again is that the maiden's freshnoae is spoilt if she have 
to take these same matters of worldly prudence into account, 
and that she is more simple and charming if her parents have 
judged for her. But in the main there can bo no doubt that 
where she ia allowed to grow to her full power of judgment, 
and left free to choose for herself, tliere is much leas risk of 
the horrible chance that her luisband mny he a person not, 
easy to love, and that she may see the man she could have been 
happy with too late. This, as we nil know, has always been the.' 
bane and scandal of France ; where flirtation ajier marriage hflf 
met with the same toleration as with ns flirtation does bffort, . 
There must of course be this essential diJTerenco, that the maiden's 
flirtation may always be the beginning of a genuine attachment,, 
while that of the matron cannot be wholesome, and scarcely can 
be innocent. 

Flirtation even here is, however, not the r^ht beginning. 
The spark of true love ia so sacred a fire, that it should not be 
fanned by folly and rattle. There is no reason that playful 
mirth should not be excited around love and lovers, but there 
should be something deeper below. 

There are many miataken ways of treating the matter. In 
one the mother says, " I wish my daughter never to think of 
love and nonsense," and hushes her about it, so that when her 
natural curiosity about woman's destiny awakens, she is left to 
pick up her notions, either from novelettes, or from girls like 
herself; In dealing with village girls, this kind of mistake is 
made by the best-in to ntioned people, who will not read them a 
story with any mention of lovers in it, either because it 
thought an improper subject, or because they giggle and tittfflt 
at the mention, and thus the chance is lost of raising and 
reHning their notions on the matter, 



ttat^H 
>nd^H 



CODRTSHIP. 



161 



Another, and a. worae error, is tha continual diacnsaion of | 
posaible symptomB, and tiie perpetual family joke of ascribing 
saitoia to one another, and teasing ahout them. And worst of i 
all is the apeaking of a, wealthy match, as if it must needs be a ' 
good one for that reason, and a magnificent achieTement of ths 
family. In truth, what ia due to the young maiden on whoso 
choice rests the whole colour of hei' future life, is to bring hor 
up to the knowledge that Providence will decide for her 
whether she shall be married or single, will fix, in fact, "the 
state of life to which it shall please God to call her." That 
call, in our present state of society, ia given through mutual 
love and eligible cii'cumstances, aud this truly seems hy far the 
most suitable way. But the whole knowledge of the responsi- 
bility of such choice and the duties it involves ought not to be 
left to the agitated period of courtship, or as it sometimes 
actually is, to the wedding-day. Brides have been known to 
say that they had no notion how eolemn a service was that of 
Holy Matrimony tUl they actually were going through it, at the 
conclusion of all the whirl of preparation, fine clothes, and all 
the inevitable (!) adjuncts of a wedding. 

Sensihle observations on books and on real life ought tc 
so contrived ns to show young people the spirit of these lines of .1 
the Kev. Isaac "Williama ; — 



" 'TwsB God Himself tfl Adam brought 
His own appointed bridu, 
And by Himself the gift that wrought 
The gift was danctifled. 



" And for hia aon, wbeu Abraham aeut 
To seek the destined moid, 
God's angal watch before him went, 
And all their path armyed. 

» An angel at Tobias' side 

By Tigris' banks ia bound. 
An unknown yet protecting guide 
To Sara bath been found. 



WOHANEIKI), 

" I deem that Ibese, and Bach as theM, 
UnkDDwn tn sight or Bsnae, 
Do speak in marriage destinies 
Uuwoiitiid proviileDcu. 

" A special guiding beyond all 
Mysteriously atb^udB 
By I^Itm who niakes the setnt call 
And hallnWB all the enda. 

"And, therefurc, those 1 depni nnwise. 
Fund tales of eartlily love, 
Whiuli seem to trifle with the tisa 
Hid in God's Hsiid above. 

" Of patient fear we need far more, 

And more of faith's repoao, 

Of looking more to Cod before. 

Till He His will duoloau. 

" Far, better far, than passion's glow, 

Or aught of worldly choice, 

To listen His own will to know. 

And liateuing hear His Voice.'' 

Love there mutt Ijo. A marriago of obedience, without 
previoua love, was no Bin in the nniiden of former limes, nor is it 
80 in Boine countries now, but ia the English girl it is a sin ; for 
to her " to love, honour, and obey " means so much more than it 
did to hei ancestress, that the words cannot be honestly uttered 
without a real present seneo of love and honour. 

Secondly, it is not right to represent love as a lawless, in fact, 
Bensual passion, o^ccitod by mere chance, and entirely uncon- 
nected with esteem. It might be so in the untaught woman, 
witQ the more violent paasione of southern climates. It is nob 
so in the average woman of the north. She has diacrimi nation 
and control of herself, and she can learn that tliere are Bome 
whom she ought not to love. Let me add, that those talea 
which treat of the maniage of first-cousins as simple and , 
uaohjectionabh do no kindness. It is not ewy to put before ' 



167 i 

yoTing girls why it Bhould not be, but it seems to me misplaced 
delicacy, which forhids them being told that though there is no 
doubt a proportioQ of healthy iamiliea born of firat-couainB, 
yet that long experience has gone to show that hereditary 
diseases are intensified in the childreo, and that idiotuy, in- 
Eanity, and defective oi^anization are so often the result, that 
it is most undesirable, if not wrong, to run the risk of pro- 
ducing such offspring. To marry in the foil knowledge of theae 
facts is not trusting God, but tempting God. Fathers and 
mothers know them, and forbid. Young people cannot under- 
stand why, point to the instances among their I'rienda, and 
those with which novels unfurtunately provide them, and try 
to wear out opposition. It is very destructive of peace, for tha 
{□tercoorse between cousins is so pleasant, that it almost natur- 
ally leads to something warmer, and however much each side 
may be certain of the disapproval of the parents, the examples 
they see before them make them still hope on, till either there 
18 a broken heart or an extorted sanction. They ought to be 
taught the real grounds of objection, and that where Heaven has 
entailed such consequences. His "Will is manifest, and that 
their parents are therefore inexorable. This would not he a 
remedy in all cases, but it would be a preventive in a great 
many. 

Keasoning about love ie very difficult, because it varies so 
much ; but I believe it is a rule that pore and noble love muBt 
have begun in esteem, at least on the woman's side. Men know 
so little in reality of women, and credit them with ao much, that 
they are ready to fall in love with mere beauty, fancying that 
the fair face must be the indes to every perfection. But 
woman's aiiection is generally much more independent of mera 
externals. If she can honestly believe livn\ to be the moat 
perfect specimen of manly beauty in the universe, it is an 
additional pleasure to her, and she thinks better of handsome 
men on his aecoimt ; hut it is not his physical beauty that has 
won her heart. Either it is his loving her, or elsi 
high or supposed high quality on hia part. 



mo^^J 



168 WOM-IKKIND. 

There is a love, very deep and triio, that sometimes has heea 
excited by one known in early youth, Itefore he proved himself 
unworthy ; and there are hearts which, when, thus given, can 
never be taken away again, but love on in sadness, distin^niighing 
between the sinner and the sin. Such love is faithful and 
tender, and as long as it does not love the sin as well 
sinner it is fiinoblbg ; but if it excuses or defends the e 
pulls down the woman from the standard to which at length she 
might yet raise him. 

But love to one who is not worthy of it in the first instance ib 
beneath a woman of right mind, and hoppily not common. Mr. 
Trollope has represented his Emily Hotspur as dying of love for 
the good-for-nothing cousin, whom she first met with the perfect 
knowledge of his being a scamp, and with no subject in common 
but horses. It is an insult to womanhood to represent such 
things as possible, and I do not think they are. Good girls may 
be deceived, may have illusions, but they are not attracted by 
what is esseutially base, mean, and dissipated. 

The sweet moment of the discovery of loving and heing lovoi 
comes, and therewith the trials. Parents may not see as maiqr 
perfections in the lover as the young lady herself, and m^ 
hesitate to entrust her to him j or there may be considerations of 
prudence, which render them unw illin g to give a free consent ; 
or there may he objections on the part of the gentleman's family. 
In all these cases, there is nothing for it but patience and 
obedience. Take the fust case. The father has far better meana 
of knowing the tnitb as to the man's character than the 
herself can have. What may seem to her horribly unjust and' 
prejudiced may be the sad truth, and to persist in an engagementn 
in the teeth of such opposition is flat disobedience. Nobody 
can deprive her of the power of loving and praying for him J' 
tut if the opinion of him be ill-founded, he will prove it so in 
time } and if his affection be worth having, he will return to 
her. If he were really unworthy, there will be reason fo^- 
thankfulnosa that submission has eaved her from unhappinsM 
far worse than bur youthful disappointment, though it may not 



4 
4 

I 



^^^^^^■^^ COUKTSHIP. 169 fl 

80 Heem to her at the time. She may suppose that if she we»^ 
permitted to see, or write, or be engaged to him, she could aav^B 
him ; but let her remember that, however prejudiced her pareuta I 
may be, or may seem to her, diaobedien.ee is evil, aud she haa.l 
no right to do evil that good may come, No good will come if 1 
she is overcome of evil. She must overcome evil with gooU. I 

So, also, when there is the question of discrepancy of faith. A 1 
Church-woman ought not to suffer herself to become attached to a i 
man outside her own Church If he be in earnest in his religion, 
he cannot hut try to bring her over to him j if he be not, she i 
ought not to marry him at all. In the heyday of youth aud 
life religious differences seem of no great moment, when, as 
people say, their hearts are right, and their hopes the same; but , 
when trouble or any stringency of hfe comes, then the difference 
of the foundations becomes pain and grief, and the most pioua 
of the two will absorb the other. 

And as to the more common trial, alas 1 of the [ircseiit day, 
that of finding the maji a sceptic, yet talking of being so i 
unwillingly, and still unblemished in character. Then St. Paul 
speaks plainly about the being yoked with unbelievers. The 
believing wife, who may sanctify her husband, is one already 
married before her own conversion ; but no woman has a right 
to marry a man who, in the pride of intellect or out of n 
imitation, has thrown away the faith once deUvered to the saints. I 
He may say that he respects her faith, but his contempt for it 1 
as. fit for women acta on her. Much bettei that hearts should 
break than the sin be done, and mayhap her martyrdom 
steadfastness is the surest way to bis conviction. 

The case is harder when the objection is on the ground of 
insuf&ciont means. There is so much to be said about not looking 
forward, and the present misery is so great, that it is not e 
to believe that those who inflict it do so from the desire to prevent 
greater distress in future ; but, here again, obedience must be the 
principle, and those not under tho glamour of actual love cannot 
fail to see that to bind upon a man the weight of a family he ca 
barely support and cannot educate, is often the destruction < 



170 WOMANKIND. 

Ilia health, spirits, and efficiency. The girl may fancy that ehe will 
be his help and not hie hindrance, but Bbe cannot answer for her 
own health and strength. The place where bis business lies may 
disagree with her, and all her best designs and youthful energy 
may fade Into querulous slorenlineas, under the depressing 
influence of constant ailments. She will see her husband 
haggard, worn, and altered, and feel incapable of cheering 
him. 

Thia is what her father and niothpr see before her, and dread, 
while she ia thinking them cruel and worldly, and wishing she 
could reduce them to reaiuiQ by a little bod health ; nay, 
sometimes contriving actually to do so, by pining and fretting 
herself ill. 

But am I defending worldlinese, or wishing no one to marry into 
poverty 1 By no means ; but I ilo not think that such marriages 
ought to be made very early, and without full trial of the atfection 
that prompts them. 

It is a strange thing to say, but experience proves it, that 
nothing is so uncertain as constancy. J'rimd facie we should 
say, that to " love one and love no more," and never to swerve 
from tha first serious attachment of a life, was the part of the 
finest and greatest characters ; but real life does not show that 
it is always so. Some natures recover, and open to a new 
affection after being thwarted and separated from the iirat ; 
others never cease to retain the first treasure of their hearts, and 
can be happy with no one else. 

Now if the love be of this kind, it will bear waiting till 
industry shall enable a suflScient provision to be made to prevent 
actual living from band to mouth on the gains of the bread- 
winner, so that any breakdown on his part must lead to distress. 
If the man cannot, while single, exercise self-command enough 
to do this, he certainly is not fit to trust a wife to. Frofessional 
men ought to make such saving, and, in these days of employ- 
ment for women, it might be possible for the lady to work on 
her side for some years. And in the case of clergymen, it Is aa 
'ihsolute duty to the Church not to burthen her revenues with 



CODRiaUIP. 

the support of wives and children. A clergyman wlio marriea 1 
without & private fortune may have to saddle his clerical income i 
with much that it waa not intended for ; and if he be the incum 
bent of a poor living, or a curate, he brings his profession into 
contempt, and cripples his charities. A girl who likes to visit 
cottages, train the choir, and teach at school, is said to be cut out 
for a clergyman's wife ; hut if she marry on an income too small 
to provide servants to loot after her honaehold and children, she 
will have no time to assist her husband in his parish earea, and 
no alms to bestow ; nay, she and her family are themselves 
consuming what the Church provides in. order that her priest 
may be her almoner. " A good living " ought not to be looked on 
simply as a good thing to marry on, but as a means of doing a 
great deal for our Lord in Hia Church. Private means alone 
give a right to a marrit^e with a clergyman ; and if an affection 
springs up, and an engagement ensues, the lady, as the lay 
party, ought to work, save, or inherit enough for a provision I 
before she marries. Of course, no one thinks that celibacy ought 
to be the rule, or that a clergyman's wife and family are not 
often a great blessing to a parish ; indeed, the clergyman's sons, 
who are to be found in every profession, are one great means of 
keeping up a good understanding between clergy and laity, 
rich and poor. But this benefit can seldom come when o 
side or the other there are not means to bring up a family 
without such support from the benefice as renders it either ] 
totally dependent on the father's life, or during bis life, obliges i 
him so entirely to apply to his parishioners for all needs of 
Church, school, or charity, that it almost amounts to the I 
voluntary system. The laity should for _tbeir own sake supply | 
snch needs, but for every reason, the clergyman should bt 
to do without them. 

The Greek clergy must, indeed, marry, and their families are 
provided for ; but their social status is like that of a Scottish I 
or German minister, and no one could bear to see our clergy no ] 
more influential than these last. " They who preach the Gospel I 
should live of the Ciospel ; " hut this can hardly W s,'^^p.V'i\\'si. "iss I 




172 



mean the snperior education and general ease and liberality 
with which a clergyman must live if he is to have his mind 
free for his duties, and be leapected. Debt, the need of pupils, 
want of freedom to act, or even to aid, lie in wait fur the 
clergyman who has overburthened himself with family carea j 
and this should he home in mind by the young girls who think 
it a grand unworldly and pious thing to engage themselves to 
clergymen without a hope of any inheritance on either side, 
and with the remote chance of living. 

Xhia eounds hard-hearted ; but it must be remembered that 
the position of most clergymen in England makes them marry 
into a class which cannot well dispense with comforts and 
luxuries, and that stem severe poverty in a single man does not 
impede usefulness nor diminish resfwct ; but that they do so in 

a married man, A shabby wife — poor little Mrs. , whom 

everybody pities and patronizes — is no benefit to the Church. 

But this is not saying that people had not much better marry 
when they have all human aoourity of proviaion to fall hack on 
in case of need. It is very good fur them to begin imui, and to 
dispense with display, and uome merely conventional wants. If 
tbey have affection enough to do this and he happy in it, then 
tiiey may well marry with brave heart and hope. 

How much ought to he secure, I will not say, because every- 
thing is relative. "I waited till I had two pigs in my sty, and then 
I knew I was a match fur any woman," said an old cottager ; and 
the foi'usight and self-denial which enabled bim to start with the 
two pigs are the real essentials, without which none can prosper. 

Long engagements then, with patient steady diligence and 
hope at the end, do not seem to me to he deprecated, hut rather 
to be good for both parties, who can lean on each other's 
characters while working and waiting for one another. Noi 
need the man do all the working and the woman all the waiting, 
according to the traditional fashion, in which nhe has nothing to 
do but to be resigued, and pine and be a faded old rag by the 
time he is ready fur her. This is what parents fear when they 
nay they do net approve of long engagements, hut there ia no 



3RTBHIP. 1 73 ' 

reason why the daughter should pine. She will probahly not 
earn money (though in some cases she might do so), but she can 
surely find some occupation which will prepare her for being of 
use as a wife, whether in domestic economy, or in cultivating 
some art or other pursuit likely to be congenial to her future 
husband. Moments of weariness and sickness of heart will 
certainly come, but in general a cheerful resolution, strong 
faithful trust, and sustained activity will bear the spirita 
through. 

Trust there must be. Love without trust ia no love at all, 
and there should he a stout resolution taken t^ainat frets, 
jealousies, and esaetingness. The old Latin Grammar proverb 
that the ire of lovers is the re-integration of love, is a dangerous 
one, for if true once, each successive re-integralion will be 
In fact, most of the stock sayings about 
the uncertain, wayward, petulant creature 
,n " was before she was educat«d and self- 
es, and squabbles, and reconciliations here 
I couple of children always quarrelling 
yet who cannot play apart, not those of beings in eameat , 
Fretful complaints of supposed neglect — nay, of real neglect — I 
are not the way to keep affection. 

One proverb is indeed eminently and exceptionally true, 
namely, that on Love's blindness. Some time or other, either 
before or after marriage, part at least of the dimness will bo 
removed, and the parties will have to perceive that they must 
make the best of one another, instead of finding absolute and 
adoring perfection, ready to have only one will between them. 

Now, a real engagement, though not ratified as betrothah 
ought to be a sort of marriage of the spirits, the gaining to each , 
of the " angel friend to share in everlasting rest," and therefore 
the entering on it should not be lightly made, far less should it 
be lightly abandonud. That it is not irrevocable is indeed well, 
since there may be cases where the comprehension of each other 
was imperfect, or where some unhappy change has come c 
one or other, and to persist would be the greater evil ; hut e 



I 



shghter and slighter, 
lovera are founded o; 
that the " very worn 
restrained. Tl 
meant are like 



174 ffOMAXKlNK 

tfaen there is a broken pledge, and the one n 
much to answer for. Once engaged, a girl has need to tate 
nare that her spirits and love of notice do not betray her into 
looks and words disloyal to her lover and nnfair to other men. 
She may bo secure in her own heartfelt allegiance to him, but to 
toy with it is not only unsafe but wrong. 

Why do I say these things t Everybody knows them, every- 
body liiids fault with those who do thom, and yet when the 
trial comes, Kirla do them, and laugh off the censure, and throw 
away — I will not say thoir happiness — but the true glory of 
fidelity. 

One more thought. When a man gives a woman hia love in 
full earnest, thenceforth her personal qualities are so much 
positive or negative quantity added to his own. If the moth^ 
of both alike be 



I^vecl I not honour m 

tbe woman will be even here in her own way her lover's Beatrii^ 
raising and lighting him with her own spiritual nature, . 
purifying the current of earthly love with the Water of I 
itself. 

" For surely tbfy are most iu loie 
Who love but only Thee. 
Or ir upon earth's ilarksoaie bmost 

They find some BpiHt rare, 
Which, bright uad tiue beyond the re 

Givca buck Thina Xinage fair ; 
With tliaiikful, not adoring gaze, 
'Tls theirs to look and r 



How glori 
If »uch the 



meridian b. 
tnilight hues.' 



Happy are hearts linked together " in Christ," with Hii^ 
honour and glory ruling over their love for one another, 
are safe ; whatever storms may blow over them, theita i 
emphatically true love, refining and ennobling each. 



cofHTsnip. 175 I 

The atrong man ■will make all BacriBces to the right with a ' 
freer and more gladsome spirit, if she whom he loves goes a' 
with him, and cheers him to the effort, yea, even if it be one 
which keeps them apart; but if she weepe over what he thinks 
his duty, tries to find reasons why he may do otherwise, thinks 
his sacrifice ahnoat an unkindness to herself, she may perchance 
break hia resolution and draw him down to her own level ; 
he be too strong for this, she will send him forth on hia way 
wounded and sore with resistance. 

Since vanity and worldliness, or weary affectionate impatience 
for their union, may turn the scale in some decision on some 
situation of doubtful good, or lead to questionable means to 
secure promotion, in such matters nothing is so important as 
that her eyes should be clear, her heart true and faithful^ aa 
a course of endless evil may be begun, the wreck of a whole 



Yes, from the moment a man puts his heart into the hands 
of a woman she has the responsibility of hia life, She should 
try her utmost to keep her thoughts in a different region from 
the conventionalities that surround lovers, and which are j 
only innocent when they are the mere outward sport of ] 
happiness, not interfering with the deeper, loftier, more solemn j 
thoughts. 

The flutter of excitement and importance, the presents, I 
wardrobe, tlie dress, the bridesmaids, are so much brought 
forward in these days, that there is often a risk of greater things 
being forgotten. It is true that marriage is a joyful rite, and 
an emblem of a great and joyful mystery, and a wedding is 
looked on as an occasion for gratifying all manner of friends and 
relations on either side, who would he hurt if there were not a 



all the expense and turmoil it is 
hard to say. Certainly not for the bridegroom's, who only, 
wishes he could go through it under chloroform, and has had 
besides to present out of means which sometimes can ill afford 
it, an unmeaning gardener's boucLuet, and an expensive present 




176 WOMANKIND, 

to ten or twelve girls ho neither knowa nor cares about, and some 
of whom are only chosen to make up the pairs, and that their 
dress may serve as a milliner's advertisement in the country 
papers. Nor can it be much pleasure to the bride's mother to 
be contrivinR for a breakfast beyond the capadties of house or 
servants. While as to many of the guests they have felt it a 
heavy tax to have to make a present, not out of love, but because 
it is espeeted of them, and not vith a view to use or appro- 
priateness, but to the figure it will cut in the trophy of presents 
erected on a side-table to ho enumerated in the county paper by 
the reporter. And where the name is well known, family 
affection cannot make a simple gift without being stuck up, 
enumerated, and commented on perhaps through a whole series 
of newspapers. There Js a general misery about speeches, and 
much fulsome folly talked. The briile's good-byes are interrupted 
by the neocBsity of exhibiting her to gosaipping friends, and 
she drives away amid the old shoes, which, if they have any 
meaning at all, have a heathen moaning. Everybody wandera 
about disconsolately, wishing to get away. They tell the mother 
it is a very pretty wedding, but they agree afterwards that 
nothing is so dulL Who is the happier 1 Perhaps the youngest 
guests, and certainly the little nursemaids and idle boys who 
crowd into church after the procession, so that the service is 
interspersed with infantine murmurs. And the readers of the 
county paper have a few idle moments amused by the techni- 
calities of the report, which tells every dreaa like a fashion-book 
(I have even seen " washing silks" particularised), and enumerat«a 
all the tradesmen who fumiahed eatables, flowers, &o. 

And for this the great proportion of English weddings are 
made affairs of flurry, worry, and display, so as to put to flight 
not only all the poetical graces, but too often all the higher and 
purer thoughts. The true Feast which sanctifies the wedding 
and brings Christ to bless the rejoicings is often omitted from a 
sense of incongruity with such a mere spectacle, or from fear of 
offending somebody on one side or another ; and when it ■ 
take place, it is a slumbling-hlock to some, while this and 



tb^ 



WIVES. 



171 



presence of the ctoir ottain for it in the newspapers that vul 
announcement, " A Ritualistic Weddiag." 

"What is to ha done then 1 The Eeast of Cana was a feast* ] 
indeed, hut have not we renounced the pomps and vanities of 
this wicked world 1 and why should they he showered on these 
occasions so as almost to emother the service of God undet that 
of mammon 1 Why should not the announcement with which 
people 80 ft n b th t it is to be a quiet wedding, he adhered 
to) Why h Id core of civility be paid off to indifferent 
people, add j.! y he p ovided to amuae them t Why should 
not the m fe t I* place in really early morning, with the 
Celebrat t t ht t me, and only attended by the bride's 

maidenp, th t d dearest to both, and by those friends 

and relatives whcse hearts are in the matter 1 

Later in the day there might, according to the circnm stances 
of the family, he full festival, including neighbours, and above 
aU, those special guests of our Lord's own Wedding Feast, the 
poor and the maimed, the halt and the blind. 

Might not this, for the very reason that it would be a grievance 
to this world, be more like a Christian wedding, and a safer ' 
beginning of the joint journey through life 1 



CHAPTEK XX n. 



The new lights contemn the vow of obedience. Some clergy- 
men say that they find brides trying to slur over the word obey ; 
and the advanced school are aaid to prefer a civil i 
because it can thus he avoided. 

Womankind in general is, however, still Christian enough to 
accept her lot, and though often thinking of her obedience 
lightly, and as a sort of joke, she knows by general example, 
even if she have no deeper thonghts, that her husband uiHs.i \«. 



178 W0HA^E1>1>. ^^^^^H 

master, and that here mtut be the second place. If her thongUn 
are deep, they go to the great myetery of which mairiage is theJ 
type:— J 

" Showint: how beat the son) majr cling I 

Tu her celestial SpouM and King, H 

How He should nil«, and xhe with meek desira apjirovs.'' ■ 

In these days of early love she realizes no difficulty, and cao 1 
only think of the wills and taateH as one, as no doubt they am I 
irben fused together in the golden mist of happiness in the 
festal days of the honeymoon. 

Sy the by, may it be hinted here that it would often be mso 
when the bride is very young, has never been abroad, and has 
no maid with her, not to make the wedding trip amid the. 
discomforta and novelties of foreign hotels, involving fiitignei T 
and embairassmente not only very distressing, but sometimes i| 
leaving lasting effects on the health, when the young husband, 1 
ignorant what his now charge can do, overtaxes her strengthi^j 
and she, unwilling to hang back or complain, undergoes se 
damage. Besides, they will really enjoy every novelty much J 
more when they are used to one another ; for at the Arst it i 
each other's presence in peace that they really care for, and thai I 
can best be had in some quiet pretty resort in England, or in & J 
tour amid the best homo scenery. Thou comes that first yeai^ I 
which those who have had happy lives now and then confess to J 
have been the most tiying. There must 1m a time in aU new 1 
companionships when the company feeling goes off, and what 1 
has been unconsciously kept back of the true selves begins to J 
show itself. No two people can be so absolutely alike as not to J 
have some different wishes and opinions, some unlike tt 
some habits that jar on one another ; and a compromise must-1 
be found, before they grow into that absolute oneness whioti'l 
happOy is so frequent. Love and unselfishness beat lea 
that compromise, not fretting and wearing ; but it is well if that 1 
aceordsnce be by drawing one to a higher level, not by theij 
other coming down. I do not mean down in a social point of 1 



I 



view, but in a moral and religious. It is one thing to acquiesce 
in " poor Clare's " abhorrence, a bread and cheese supper, and 
another to give up a Sunday afternoon to amuseraont. 

The apprenticeship to the new trade of nustresa of a house is 
apt to be severe, even if the young wife have any former 
knowledge, for she has to adapt herself to a different scale, and 
to rule over a new set of servants. Theory, if she have ever so 
much, ia very difficult to reduce to practice, and she ie pretty 
Bure ti> have failures and difficulties which interfere with that 
excellent ideal with which she started of always having the 
most delicious little dinners in the world for her husband, at 
the least possible cost, and with the most cheerful face. 

And if the servants are troublesome, or the butcher vexatious, 
it is not easy to realize at once that tbe repetition of such 
niisfortunes is not entertaining to the man who has hitherto 
shown such sympathy, but who proves on trial to believe that 
women can always produce excellent meals without any trouble 
or preparation worth mentioning ; and, moreover, feels himself 
a most seriously injured party in any failure. 

However, failures work experience, and a woman of any 
iense or spirit will learn her way through these details in a 
year or two, if she really tries, and does not lapse into either a 
helpless, or a scrambling state. 

There are four kinds of wives — the cowed woman, the dead- 
weight, the mattresee femme, and the helpmeet, 

Of the cowed woman there is not much to say. Poor thing ! 
she has generally made a mistake. She is a weak woman, 
married to a rough, hard, sneering, or violent man, so that her 
life is spent in trembling endurance, and endeavours to avoid 
exciting his anger towards herself or his children ; often, ton, 
in the piteously loyal attempt to conceal from her nearest and 
best friends that anything is amiss. Her great danger is of 
being driven into falsehood by her timidity, of acquiescing in 
what she knows to be wrong, and often of becoming dull and 
dead to the only Voice of comfort, like the Israelites when they 
■would not hearken to Moses fi 



I 



bondsge. If ahe can keep her heart npen to this meaaage, iTm 
abe can ba firm in acting up to her owa standard, if abfti 
preserVK perfect trnth, 'and never let herself fall into the snare I 
of fthnfllin;^ to aroid acgcr, bnt b olvays gentle and patient, 
then ahe a no longer cowed, and is moet likely in time to gain 
the reward of meekofrsa. Only she miwt remember that meek- 
ness ilofW not mean looking like a reproachful victim. Geal 
Me«knea« nniles even with the tear in her ejra, and does her 
host to malce the soft answer a checrfnl one. 

The deadweitfht cannot exint withoot a fond husband, who 
will let her He [imne upon him. She has generally been a 
telflih, spoilt child, and she goen on expecting everything to be 
done for her, and everything to give way to her convenience. 
Hhe does nrit demnnd it in a loud or vehement way, bnt she 
just sinkfi down in despair with a soit and piteons glance, or ic 
few plaintive words of submission to the direst consequences. 
It is not acting ; she really believes in the danger, and it gener- 
ally en»urea her the vict'jry. The fear of her being ill will make 
hor biuband consent to almost anything, and she has only to be 
unhappy, fretful, and iill<)gether " disoomfortnble " lung enough ■ 
to get her own way, keep him from turrying out any plan &h»l 
dislikes, and jjometimes to maku him act against his own bettapl 
judgment, and give up liis plain duty. The very beet of n 
finds it almost beyond human nature to cany out some noble 1 
scheme of self-anoriBce, if, so far from being encouraged at 1 
home, ho ifl fretted at, moaned at, and treated with reproachfQl4 
resignation, as one who bos no love of, nor head for, tli9>> 
interests of his wife iind children. 

Tliet'e are two ways of being deadweights, physically i 
itiornlly. The first comes by paying great attention to i 
ailiiinntt or fatigues, and making them a ple^ for being waito 
on, and being oi no use, though of a good deal of importa 
while doing nothing save for one's own pleiLsure. The othe 
deadweight is almost worse, though she may be an exccllant J 
housewife and can^ful mother. If she ia like the wife ofT 
Mjas TliBckemy'a Giant Killer, or like Mrs. Gaskell's Mrs; J 



Dobaon, without mind or Bnergy for anything but the physical 1 
well-being of her family, her own amuaement, dreaa, or aggran- 
disement, discouiagiug everything above the ordinary com- 
monplace staadftrd of conventionality, hating almost jealously I 
conversation that interests her husband, but is Ijeyond her powers, • , 
and grudging all that ia not spent on her own petty notions of 1 
the suitable ; then ahe ia indeed a deadweight on bis soul 

Another sort of deadweight wife is she who thinks her dreM 
and pleasure the aim and purpose of her family's exiateuoe, 
neglects every thing else for these, or else makes all subservient, J 
and aulks or cries if any attempt is made to set bounda to hot 1 
expectations of amusement. If a wife be occupied, not with I 
what she would call frivolity, but with literature, scieu' 
even philanthropy, and leaves h«r husband to be uncomfortable, ] 
and with the burthen of the family cares on hJa shoulders, she | 
is a deadweight wife. 

There are two tarrildB instances of deadweight wives tm \ 
record. One in the Great Eebellion, whose tenor at the 
of the castle, her husband commanded, bo unnerved Lim that he 
aurrendered, and was shot as a traitor to his cauao ; the otJier, 
the lady whose behaviour in a shipwreck had the same effect oa 
her husband, leading to the rule which forbids officers in the 
navy from taking their wives in the same ship. Many women 
do rise in the supreme moment There is truth in the lines in 
Marmion, but it ia not a universal rule, for the woman who 
has only thought of herself may, " when pain and anguish wring 
the brow," be too much occupied Avith her own hysterica to bo 
a ministering angel. 

Sometimes these deadweight women, by leaving all the home 
burthen on their husband's shoulders, and thus depriving him 
of all rest and ease of mind, break down his health and 
spirits ; and when he is dying they come to life too late- — but 
generally to relapse and become a deadweight again on sob, i 
daughter, friend, or patron. 

Nobody wishes or intends to be this kind of inconvenient | 
being ; but there ia an easy slope lending to tKal iaaT.4il!C"v<i'' 



183 



WOKANKrfTD. 



Aa soon as a wife begins to give way more than can te helpt 
to languor or lassitude, to use ailments aa an excuse for oot J 
trying to exert herself, and, to make her husbanil the ]>erson to 1 
hear the brunt of everything, sparing herself instead of him, sb* M 
ja eatering on that alopo which conducts a woman to be nothing 1 
better than a cumberet of the ground. I believe nothing should, J 
be so dreaded by a woman as to liud that she has not convincaj,.-! 
her husband's judgment, but made him consent to eom»f 
Samson's wile did, by making 



doubtful ploasuTo, 
miserable. 

The mailretse fern 
ncss. She likes hi 



grey-mare, disdains to rnle by weak* - 
1 way, and viiU have it, getting itJ 
generaUy by jjerseverunce in arguing, sometimes by giving way 1 
to temper, sometimes by sheer obstinacy and going hei owS I 
way, sometimes by more subtle management. If she be » I 
woman of good taste, she will keep the fact out of sight aa 1 
much as possible ; if of bad taste, her ex.cliisive self-impoitancs'l 
will cEop out everywhere, and it will be no secret that it is ahe I 
who. must be consulted and propitiated. Whora the greatet ^ 
force of character is on the lady's side, it is perhaps inevitable 
thut she should be the ruler; but this does not necessarily 
make her the obnoKious matlresie femme, who governs with a 
high hand by force of vehemence and determination. Hei will 
is never broken or bent ; she will give up nothing, and she Is 
never in the wrong. Either she volubly argues that hers is 
the only right way, or she cannot argue at all ; but when the 
most convincing reasons against her proposition have beea M 
adduced, reproduces it in the original form. Moreover, it j 
becomes well known in the household that nothing will be i 
accepted that doss not emanate from herself, and ingenious 
means are sometimes invented of so suggesting a plan tliat she 
may think it originated with her. She is Jealous and distrustful 
of all her husband's belongings, friends, or pleasures, and he j 
generally has to give them up for the sake of peace. Indeei}.!fl 
she generally gets him into c«pital order in a few years, for hsia 
kiiowB tliat she can make herself so disagreeable if he resists, 1 



I 



^^^^^^^^ wiTi». 183 1 

tliat, having no escape, he makes the best of hia thraldom, 
eometimea indulging in a little subdued quizzing of himself 
and hex, and infinitely enjojing any chance of free action, 

" A very good thing for him too," says the lady who has a 
very poor opinion of the good sense of the other sex. la it 
a good thing ! Why, is it not, if he and the chOdren are all 
kept in good discipline J Why is the general instinct of the 
world against it J or is that instiact only the old prejudice 1 

I suppose, for one thing, that a usurpation can never he 
wholesome ; moreover, the unyielding will, struggling against 
and conquering God-given authority, must have evil in it : and 
it will generally he found that whore one passionate will has 
thus assumed the whole management, some great and ruinous 
mistake of judgment will ensue, either ia, faroily affairs, or in 
the bringing up of the children, or both. The chQdren may be 
thoroughly kept in subjection, hut they will have a sense of 
harshness, and will generally be found to have less love for such 
a mother than ia often felt by the children of the deadweight, 
who are apt to feel a sense of tender protection. The grey-mare 
may keep down the husband who chose her, who still viewa her 
with the old love, and who depends on her by habit for all his 
comforts ; hut she cannot restrain her gromng-up sons, who 
shake off the yoke when it galls, and over whom she has no 
tender influence of love ; so that people wonder why the family 
that seemed so well discipUned is turning out so ill. 

The truth is that self-will is as fatal as selfishness, being ia 
fact another form of self-love ; and there is no true success or 
happiness for any woman who has not learned to efface her self; 
and even when she makes the utmost sacrifices, to do so without 
seeking the smallest credit for it. 

But if the man be really the weaker vessel, and the rnle is 
necessarily in the wife's hands, how ia it then to be ! To tell 
the truth, I believe that the really loving, good wife, never finds 
it out. She keeps the glamour of love and loyalty between 
herself and her husband, and so infuses herself into him tliat 
the weaknesses never becomo apparent eitl\M to 'Qfft,'uiV\ov,'3t 



164 VOXASKISD. ^^^^H 

to most lookers-on, and those who do perceive on whicti side 
lies the atrBngtb, roapect her too much to hetray their suapicions, 
nay, reapect him too. Often no one knowa what she was save 
by the difference when she is taken aWBy. She never thinks 
about her individual self at all, — she only dwells on whiit 
best for him nnd what will help him most, and he leana more 
aad more on her, generally only half knowing that he does so tiR. 
he has to think of ntanding aiiart. His physical strength aal! 
the place he naturally occupies give him the vaatage-grouud, 
and thus the right relation is kept up. 

It often docs happen that the hueband'a tone of religioTW' 
thought, and sometimes bis principles and habits, ore of 
inferior kind to hia wife's, who has married in blindness ot ig 
ranee. She Bometimes has to sutFur much in consequence, whea 
he first begins to tiie of the quiet lifu and lock of excitement at 
home. Those who have gone tbrough such au ordeal are too 
loyal to describe it ; and men on their side have been heard to 
say that they wish some one wimUl show what it is to have 
wife, who fancies that they nre in raiscbief, whenever they comO 
home on hour later than usual 

I believe the wife should do her best never to suspect hi 
husband of being in mischief; certainly never be like Tai]i<i 
O'Shanter's proverbial wife, " nursing ber wrath to keep 
warm ; " hut if she ho lonely and anxious, she should try firstly 
to pray, and then amuse her ansiety away, and keep a brigfa^ 
unsuspicious face to greet the truant without reproach or plain- 
tiveneea. If she can find anything lively or pleasant to tell 
him, so much the beti«r ; and if be bestows any tidings on her, 
or shows that be bas been entertained, she had much better smile 
and aympathiae. The worst thing she can do is to seem hurt 
or injured, or say a word to remind him of her weary waiting, 
He is far more likely to feel compunction, if he find her good- 
humoured, than if she complains, and rousea him to self- 
and assertion of his liberty. Her chance is in making 
ploasanter than hia ciub or his friends, and if she makes it 
diiagi-oeabie by melancholy, upbraiding looks or words, she. 



I 

at 

'i 



naturally drives him away. Her annoyance will not win him, 
hut her oheeriulnKsa will, almost certainly in the lung run, 
though she may have much to go through in the meftutime, 
■while old hahita are racurring and aaaarting their power. 

To love him heartily, and let him feel himself her sunshine, 
is her heat expedient, backed of course by earnest prayer aad 
self-devotiou ; and if his dissipations are only skin deep, and 
resumed half from idleness and half from defiance of being 
tamed by marriaye, the better side of bis character and his 
deeper affections will most likely outgrow them, and they will 
die away. 

No one ought to marry a man whom she does not know to bft 
religious and sound in faith and doctrine. Men resent this 
maxim, for many a semi-sceptic knows that a woman is hardly 
evfp good and trustworthy without faith, and he thinks that the 
ordinary worldly and domestic moral code is all that she has a 
right to expect from hini. The beat thing imaginable for him 
is to find himself mistaken. 

But if folly, love, or worldliuess have made the match — if the 
woman's religious convictions have only awakened since her 
marriage, or if the man have lapsed from his faith afterward^ 
then she finds herself unequally yoked. When her husband is 
merely careless, and not giving his mind to religion because he 
fancies it wearisome and womanish ; steady, quiet, unobtrusiVB 
religious practice on her part, influenuing evei-ything and show- 
ing her deep wishes, often has a great itnd gradual effect ; not 
always in the fulness of youth and prosperity, but the first 
trouble will probably make no small cliimge, and show what 
time has done. Any way, a woman's duty is to love, pray, and 
hope on, and speak, or abstain, at^cording to the character she 
has to deal with, taking untiring care that no word or action of 
hers belies her principles, taking care also not to fret and provoke 
by non-essentials, or to excite jealousy of clerical influence or 
interference — men's great bugbear. The less silly she ia, the 
^'reater chance is there that her influence will prevail, especially 
if, as sometimea happens, the doubts are the £ernicn.U,^\.Cixv -A SJift, 



I 



4 



first genuisQ consideratioa of truths piaviaiisly held carelessly 
from tradition. 

Whether to discuss and enter into the sutiject, read the satae 
books, and think out the matter, must be left for individual 
casL's, and be according to what the husband aelcB of his wife. 
If he do not talk to hor about the matter, moat likely ha ia so 
working it out alooe that her interference would do more harm 
than good ; and if she have only guessed his opinion from what 
she has heard him say to others, chance-words dropped here and 
there, mayhap a careless aneer, or by his abstinence from religious 
ordinances, it is probable that he wishes her to continue in her 
own faith, and has little respect for her powers of argument. In 
that case she will be wiser in praying for him than enforcing on 
him the arguments, which he will despise, and which she cjinnot 
long sustain against him. 

But if he do wish to tnlk things out with her, it is plain that 
be has a. respect for her understanding, and needs her sympathy. 
St. Louis' famous counsel about not arguing, but answering with 
the sword, docs not stand here, not only because she cannot use 
the sword, but because she is likely to have a good deal more 
foundation of knowledge, from which to argue, than the knight« 
of the thirteenth century could have had. 

Indeed, I suppose everyone finds out by experience whether 
he or she can argue and discuss to any good etTect, whether 
there be only loss of temper, mere repetition of the old 
propositions, or if there be an invariable drawing over by the 
other side for want of answer, though afterwards the better sense 
recoils and sees the time reply ; or whether clearer views and 
B<jmething like a right conclusion get elicited. Of course all this 
depends on the relative power of the other side, and the dis- 
cussion must be accepted or avoided accordingly ; but if it be 
undertaken it must in these serious matters be in all earnestness, 
and yet without loss of temper, showing that flippancy gives 
absolute pain, and with the understanding that there is an ardent 
seeking lor tnith. There is danger ia such disoussions, but it ia 
ihs dangur of one standing on a ruck, stretching out to save one 



n tlie waters — a generous danger, and one to be met by diligent 
prayer, leaning on the SacramentB, and reading of snch booka aa 
may atrengthen the faith ; when telling and eunvincing passages 
must often occur to be ebown or quoted. 

It ie a much more common caae, however, to find the husband, 
who had seemed perfection, more careless and irreverent in. speech 
and habits than he hadahown before ; perhaps prejudiced against 
the clergy, or unwilling to be troubled in hia own house with 
the religious habits he accepted when a guest in his wife's 
home. 

Here the die app ointment la keen. The words may, I fancy, 
best be dealt with by private entreaty, and letting it be under- 
stood that they give absolute personal pain, though not by 
constant repetition of the protest, nor by such demeanour as to 
roDse the spirit of teasing. Most Itkely the seeming surprised 
and ahocked that be will say before her as a wife what he would 
not have let her hear before marriage will make him ashamed 
enough to abstain before her, and this is one step. 

As to the prejudice against clergy, it is very often mere young 
men's talk nd rather like the masculine aversion for cats, with 
e pt n n fa ur of all with whom there ia personal contact. 
Of rs th re evil in it, and danger of incurriog the sentence 
of our L d H. that despiseth you, despisethMe." Itrises, I 
eupp e pa tly nt of dislike and jealousy of authority, which 
some men w 11 n t acknowledge, but see accepted by women, 
from a class of men who seem to them so set aside from manly 
spoilH and habits as to be half women — partly out of the stories 
that are current of injudicious clergy. The dread of " priestcriift '' 
is however the strongeot of these two motives, mixed with a 
yague idea that the quieter manners, &o., are a sort of humbug, 
and that the men, intended to read prayers and be a moral police 
over the poor, want to usurp the same power over their mighty 
Selves and their wives. 

When a man has this foolish conventional tone, his wife had 
better not exasperate it by unnecessary acts, which she ktiows 
he disapproves, or by words that only strengthen his view ol 




188 W0M4NB1ND. 

female delusion. Let her do her best to hring the manly and 
upright acts of individual clergy before him, or get him obliged 
to work with hia pmiah clergynian, and if the latter be a 
Beneible man, a good deal of the merfl conventional surface way 
of thinking will die away. Good aenfle, coupled with her own 
Btaiinch adherence to principle, is really the best reply, avoiding 
all that can be po?aibly thought underhand, and not doing battle 
lot what is not worthy of defence. 

What the wife w, tella more than all her ailments, and as 
time goea on, and joys and sorrows are felt together, she daily 
becomes more India jien sable, ii she be the titie kind of wife, 
whose great work and delight in life is to be the complement of 
her husband, doing for him all those things that he need not do 
for himself — sparing hira all vexatious details— giving him her 
sympathy in all his desirable pursuits, and exerting herself to 
share whatever he tikea her to share in, and adapting herself to 
his moods with ready tact. He should always he sure of her glad 
acquiescence in all that is best and noblest, so sure, indeed, that 
the absence of such eager congratulation should be a eufflcient 
damper for all her judgment does not approve — when now and 
then her instincts go against plans oi acquaintances he has 
impetuously taken up. 

Efficiency, sympathy, cheerfulneaa, unaelEshness, nod sweet 
temper : these ate chie&y what go to make the leal helpmeet 
wife. Even weak health or absolute invalidism need not disable 
her from these. Her utmost will be gladly accepted and met 
with love, whether that he the active aid Mrs. Kennicott gave 
her husband with hia Hebrew — or Lady Calcott'e sympathy 
from her couch — or Gertrude von der Wart's martyrdom o 
love. The helpmeet with a true and supeiiof lord of her heart 
and home is so happy and blessed a being, that I baldly dare 
say anything of or to her. The thought of her brings the noble 
ligure that Sing Lemuel's mother drew for him. 

How beautifid the whole picture ia^-of the woman whose 
price is far above rubies ! It is her husband's perfect trust in 
Jier, eurs that all his secrets are safe with liis other self, and 



vms. 189 

that lie can to enjoy the safety-valve of talking out his cares 
fend perplexitiea without feat of their being gossiped about. 

How some of the verses reminil ua of the good wives who 
have been shown to ub beside their husbnnda ! " She will do 
liim good, and not evil, all the (lays of hjs life." It brings 
before U3 Mrs. Gray of Capetown, spending her whole life in 
smoothing the way of her liiiaband, saving him trouble and 
every care, and arranging for him every journey he took, so as 
to leave him as free as possible for the labours and troubles of 
his office. 

Then follows the beautiful deseription of the well-ordered, 
hospitable, industrious household, happy, well clothed, well feJ, 
beautiful, yet in due subjection and disciphne to a mistress " on 
"whose hps is the law of kindness." Her hnaband is inown 
when he aitteth among the elders ia the gate, because the ease 
of mind and encouragement given by his well-ordered home 
strengthenj brighten, and make him doubly able to take hia 
place. 

In their degree there are many such households. Indeed the 
true lady — or loaf-giver— is sure to make homes that radiate 
light and warmth from their glowing central hearth. 

And how exquisite is the climax I " Her children arise up, 
and call her blessed ; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou exoellest 
them all. Favour ia deceitful, and beauty is vain ; but n 
woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her 
of the fruit of her hands ; and let her own works praise her 
in the gates." 

In the gates, I suppose, of death, where her works do follow 
her! 

Tea, in the loving husband's eyes, she excels all others first 
Mid la?t She did so when he chose her ia her bloom, and if 
she be gentle and yet resolute, diligent a^id yet tender, true and 
just and striving to conquer her failings, she will never cease to 
excel them all in his sight. 



190 WOMANKIND. 

She may have to steer a difficult course between the twofamilies 
on either side, she inoy make blunders ; but she will be pardoned 
if she is thoroughly open about them, and if she dcserres entiie 
trust 

There may be a few claahea at first. Tempera will have to 
wear into one another, tastes to be learnt ; but in time there is 
anch a fusion together that even the countenances and hand- 
writings acquire a sort of similarity, and the delight in one 
another is still such that to be left alone together is still a sort 
of honeymoon. 

Favour is deceitful, the grace of merry youthful spirits may 
not last, and a bland engaging manner may be only put on for 
selfish purposes ; and beauty is vain. Nothing hut " the 
fuar of the Lord" can enable a woman to meet the wear and 
tear of life, and bear up through it " cheered and cheer- 
ing," with a BweetoeHs that makes her countenance ever more 
lovely in the eyes of those who seek there for a response to 
all their feelings, and view it aa the sure index of lore and 
sympathy. 

This is woman's beat portion, the primary object of her crea- 
tion, and that which above all makes her a creature as nearly 
perfect aa can be moulded on this earth — self-forgetting, self- 
devoted, and viewing the utmost aacriiice of herself as simply 
natural ! 

Here is part of an old Scotch tradesman's address to his old 
wife after forty-two years' marriage, espreasing to the full the 
feelings that often live on to the golden- wedding. 

" A n*e!(ling heat a' atrong yonng )oto 

"Will laHt through winWra miuiy ; 
Tliu froata of yeam bat tend to prove 

The links that hind to Kapnie. 
Though teeth are fled and locks grown grey, 

She's yet aae bind and camiie, 
Love that outiaats young life's heydey 

I» the love I bear my Nannie. 



MI3TKESS AND SERVANT. 

" Mid a' the thonfiihta tliat troulile ma, 

The EiddeBt ihonght o' an? 
Ib wha may eloae each other's a'a, 

May it be me or Nannie. 
The ane that's left will sairly feel 

Amid s. warld ^nl^a□lliE ; 
I'd rather face auld agn myaell 

Than lanely leave my Nannio." 



CHAPTER XXni. 

MISTRESS AND SEKTANT. 

THRonGHCDT the world there is a cry that there are no such 
things Ets good servants left, that raaida change their mis- 
tresses as they change theii caps, and have no feeling, no 
gratitude, &c., &c. 

Of the a,bBolute truth of this I beg leave to doubt. I Areow 
of numerous attached and faithful servants who seem almost a 
part of theii mistressea, and who count up one another's years 
of service ahnoat as badges of honour, viewing parting as almost 
an impossihility, heedfuUy watching over the interests of the 
family, and ready on an emergency to turn their hands to any- 
thing requisite. Not are they aU country servants. Some have 
had their share of London varieties and temptations, and yet 
have remained aa unspoilt, faithful, and attached as ever. 

Of course there is a large number on whom the ordinary 
saying is founded, maids who havo a restless feeling for " better- 
ing themselves " think it dull to stay longer in a place than 
is absolutely necessary to secure a character, and fly off at the 
least cause of offence. They are in fact young people who 
wish to enjoy life, and being under the disagreeable necessity 
of earning a hvelihood, render the process as little irksome aa 
possible. 

the other hand, having no trust or faith i 



192 



WOMAKKIXD. 



Uieai, limit their endeavoura to getting the work properly done, 
and so construct their diaoipline that as little enjojqnent as 
possible can be had, nnd what the young spirit seeks g£ inter- 
course with its like can only l>e got by atealth. 

Now let U8 look at the hisfcjry and briuging-up of servants. 
The best used to be the daughters of small fanners, but this 
clusa is all but extinct ; and the best we have now are the 
children of coachmen, gardeners, gamekeepers, and village trades- 
men. Their mothers have usually been good aervnnta themselves 
and train them with some knowledge of what will be required 
of them; they are kept at school long enough to be fairly 
educated, and their homes are comfortable and well furnished 
enough to give them a real attachment to cleanliness and nicety, 
while their manners have the tone of the servants' hall ; and 
though the good housewifely mothers are too apt to do all 
the housework insteail of teaching them, they are by far tba 
most likely to be in their element, and be able to keep a good 
place when once they have it. Now and then, however, the 
having a comfortsbli- home to fall ba'jk upon spoils them for a 
time, and makes them less willing to exert themselves ; but take 
them all together, they are the most desirable class from whom 
to take nursery girls, or such as are to be in any place where 
there will he intercourse with children, since they have been 
generally carefully kept from knowledge of evil and had 
habits. 

Orphanage girls are next best in this respect, but they are apt 
to have less resource from not having lived a family life, and 
having worked more as pieces of mechanism, so that thi^y do 
not know how to manage with chance materials, and as they 
have always worn a uniform, their notions about dress and 
prices are perfectly wild and vague ; and they are likely to 
array themselvea much more abaurdly than those who have been 
used to pretty things and to computations of price. And having 
neither home nor motlier, their mistress must oither supply the 
lack herself, oi have a servant on whom she can depend for bq 
lioing. 



HIaTKGgS AND BEBVAKT. 



^r Next comes the thorough cottage girl only civilized by school. 
^P This girl is best to take as fresh from school aa possible. There 
" she ia under discipline, and though often perfectly ignorajit of 
all household work, excepting how to keep herself tidy and per- 
haps how to carry a baby, she has not leamt wrong waya of d 
things, and ia ready to obey, whereas if she has a year or two at 
home without school, she has seldom been Tinder any governi 
at all after she grew too big to be beaten; and the work she 
may chance to do about the cottage is only so much to be 
unlearnt. And an intellectual, clever school-girl, though ii 
end she will probably make a superior maid-servant, does ofteH 
take more breaking-in than a quiet, meek, dull one, Just as tht 
clever girl in a schoolroom is apt to be the moat unhandy. Ii 
these cottage-girls can be got, aa their mothers say, " into b 
gentleman's family," it is the greatest advantage to them; but 
there is this difficulty, that the change is so very great that they 
are apt to be daunted. Whereas one blunt knife served at home, 
everybody uses three or four ; pots and pans, plates, dishes, cups, 
and cloths, are in the same proportion, and it is a deadly aifence 
— disgusting to everyone — to apply any one of these to the us© 
destined to another. No one can tell till the girl ia tried 
whether she will have eneigy and discernment to conquer the 
difficulty, or whether she will blunder on in a hopeless confused 
way, and be returned on one's hands as " ineotrigibly dirty." 
And little girls of thirteen or fourteen, especially those whose 
mothers have brought them up on a system of monstrous, but 
never fulfilled, threats, really do not believe it when they are 
told that they will be sent home if they do not mend their 
ways. It often taltea an ignominious dismissal to show them 
that something depends on themselves, and then comes another 
turning-point, deciding whether they will vigorously work up 
again, or sink into slatterns either at home or in low places. 

Here and there a good, old, retired servant or tradeswoman is 
to be found, who keeps a little maid and makes her almost a 
companion ; and the very women whom I mentioned as the 
mothers of the best servants, often, when their cUiidt^iv wi'^ 



I 



194 WOMAXKtND. ^^^^^^^1 

young, want a girl to help, and will train her conscientioasly. 
All these make the sort of places where it is well for a girl to 
begin, und (the has Home chance of being trained into a good, 
attaehed, and superior servant. But when ladies close their 
LouaeB agitiiist anybody under eighteoa, rather than have the 
trouble of teaching them, the process is that which creates 
" Serrant-galiam." 

The first place is as drudge in some family where the miatresa 
does the household work, but wants a tsmfre-dovleur tax the 
children, and the little maid ia all day carrying the baby or 
driving the perambulator in the street. Church, prayers, good 
habits are forgotten, and the girl's clothes would nob hang 
togetlier if ber mother did not take them home to wash and 
mend them. Nothing' is gained but the abaencA of one mouth 
from tlie cottage table, ona body from the over-crowded room. 
The girl is induced to submit by the hope of chatnge when she 
can bring a year's growth and a year's character, but she. ia not 
fit for aiiytliing much batter, except that she is somewhat bigger 
and stronger, and her next place is principally pleasanter by 
giving her a little more money to spend on dress, and an utterly 
unsupervised " Sunday out." 

If she bo a dull, two-Ssted girl, unwilling to take the paina 
required for niceness, and with plenty of strength, she will 
become the untidy drudge of a lodging-hous& — too often an 
utterly godless occupation — or else she will do the rough work 
of a farm-house, fall into very undesirable ways with the ruder 
sort of farra-boy, and probably marry one of them, and begin a 
rough, thriftless houseliold in a disreputable manuer. If girls 
have dexterity and ambition, they make their places a ladder to 
rise by, seldom staying more than a year in each ; and when 
they are tali enough and polished enough, offer themselves for 
the house and parlour work in gentlemen's families. Eegistry 
offices are their familiar resorts ; they have never loamt to 
regard their mistresses with any affection or consideration, and 
service is to them a means of obtaining food, lodging, and fine. 
clothes till they can moiTy, for which purpose they " wb''^JU 



I 
I 



) HERVAKT. 1&5 

I with aa many young men as posaible, viewing their mistress as 
he natural enemy of such acquaintances, 
Oiice n&i into a course of maids of this kind, and your 

' domestic life will be nothing but a Beries of cook-stories anJ 

[ miseries. 

But perhaps the true way of looking at uur relations with 
servante is to remember that the time of Bervice to them is that 
which answers to our time of young ladyhood, and is their 
period of domestic traioins., 'i'hey begin younger, and often 
leave off later ; but domestic service is really a profession with 
them, lasting till marriage, and it ia much more gnatded, and 

I gives them much more useful attainments, than the exereise of 
any little home employment. But their own saying, " Service is no 
inheritance," iB so far true — that no one has any i:ight to be vesed 
with a maid for having a lover, provided he be a fit one. Any 
engagement ought to be avowed, and the times of meeting 
Banctiuned ; but there is a semi-engaged state of " walking " 
with a man on trial which is more difficult to deal with, since it 
is experimental, and really, as sensible maids have been known 
to say, the only way of becoming acquainted. 

Servants who have once, as young girls, been landed in a 
kind, sound place, whore they are well cared for, and made 
happy without being spoilt, and where they see others viewing 
long continuance in the same place as highly creditable, are not 
apt to be restless, pt course, follies will come over them : 
some giddy fi'iend may unsettle them, stories of high wages may 
fire their ambition, some love affair may disturb them, or some 
fret of temper seize them. They are hut girls after all ; but in 
spite of all the evil that is said of them, many and many a 
family could show nice, fresh, bright, good young maids, 
attached and happy, and only meaning indefinitely to part when 
the time of marriage shall come. 

Where there is a perpetual change of servants there is almost 
certain to ba a fault either in tie mialress, the upper servant, 
or the house. Sometimes there is some inherent defect in the 
maids' quarters, which keeps thorn cramped, uncomfortable, and 



196 WOUANKINS. ^^^^^^H 

irritable, and, of eouree, longuig for a change, Sometimofl a 
tnistwortliy, valuable old servant will be very disagreeable and 
tyiaimical to those with her ; and sometimes the mietress worrieB 
veiatioualy. 

To be ■' very particular" every one knows is right. It ia no 
kindness to a servant, but quite the reverse, to take negligence 
or neglect of rules easily. It may seem like daintiness and 
aeliiahness to complain when the meat is underdone, when there is 
a taste of emoke in everything, and caterpillars drop out of the 
cauliflowers, but if the maida are our charge, it ie our duty to 
see that they do theirs. Cobwebs and duat, bruahes in wrong 
places, and candles left to waste their sweetnesa on the desert 
air, ought to be noticed. So should unauthorized voices in the 
kitchen, liageringB at the back door, and unpermitted abaencea. 
No servant worth keeping will resent the being obliged to 
observe rules, and to do her work thoroughly. K she does, she 
had better go j but if she have any sense, she will for ever 
he grateful to "my old miaaua;" "to be sure she was 
particular ! " 

Itia not atrictneaa that alienates aervants — it is want of trust, 
and nagging aurveillance. To be always peeping Eind apying is 
a continued insult. Keep a quiet check on waste, and do not 
leave temptation in the way, but do not show diatrust or 
anspioion, or you spoil a good girl's sense of honour. Orders 
should be given decidedly, as if you meant them to be kept — 
not worried over, aa if you did not believe they would be ; and 
one thorough reproof for their transgression will go much 
further than a hundred little frets and reminders. 

And consideration needs to be shown therewith. Children 
from the first should bo taught not to give servants needless 
trouble, nor to leave wanton footmarks or litter, to soil and tear 
■without mercy, nor to use unlimited plates at luncheon to be 
■washed up by the poor scullery-maid, who never bus her hands 
free. And the mistress should recollect the same, and be kind 
tu aihuents, and thoughtful when maids have home troubles, 
instead of viewing their summons to a parent's sick-bed, or 



197 

I their tearful eyes, as an injury to her own Groat Mogulahip. It 
aeems impertinent to a Chriatian woman, to remind her of this 
duty, and yet I have known of instances where a lady has, from 
the habit of thinking hei maida aa mere " hands," shown most 

I cruel neglect and hardness towards their sorrows. 

Good mistresses and good servants alike are for the most part 

I independent of the registry. There ate great ramiflcationa of 
ac(jnaiiitance, and a place that is known to be comfortable is 
almost sure to he applied for by persons of whom fuller know, 
ledge can be obtained than by the mere character. Cooks are 
the chief exception, because they require more skill, training, 
aud experience ; and the preliminaries of their work are dis- 
tasteful to moat young girls at an age when present difiagreeablea 
are not weighed against future high wages — and thus there are 
fewer in number of them. On the whole, for houses where 
there ia no call for display, the homo-made article is the safest 
and best. A kitchen-maid straight from a good great house, 
where her character can be answered for, is the best material ; 
: youthfulness is a much less dangerous defect than 
those which may exist in people you get from advertisements. 
If she can train a girl under her to take her post when she 
T ia otherwise disposed of, a succession is established, 
and traditional habits kept up. This ia certainly a case of 
"first catch your hare ; " but as there are plenty of hares — *.«. 
good servants — -in the world, make a start with one, and tiuat 
her, and she will train the teat. It seems to me that if there 
e good, sensible, well-principled servant in a small house. 

I hold — say of two or three — and she is not very young, whether 
, or parlour-maid, it ia better to give her 
authority, and then not be afraid of youth in the others. Sha 
n judge much better than a lady what is dangeroaa for them, 
and ia a peraon who can have better knowledge of the character 
of their "young men." A woman over thirty and a girl of 
seventeen will he more to he trusted than two young things 
about twenty. 

In fact, I think the prejudice against giillitxA iota tiw^ '^ 




198 WOMASKIND. 

pevpetunte the faults complained of in aervanta. A little thiDg 
of fourteen, enchanted with promotion, haa time to herome 
attached, and haa given her confidence before the lover-period 
seta in. 8he ie far mote likely to go through it well than if 
ahe comes from a eeriea of chance plarps, for she will have 
fonned steady hahits. Bcaidea, a girl taken fresh from school, 
eithor preparing for Confirmation or newly-confirmed, can he at 
onca taken in hand with religioua teaching, and hronght to 
Holy Communion ; whereas the girla who have taken their 
chance in aocond-rate places have too often entirely lost the 
habit, or have never fonned it. They have aeon a great deal 
too much of the world, and not often for their good. Of them 
nothing is known bnt that in their last place they have been 
" honest, sober, active," &c. ; while a girl whose antecedents are 
known, and whose mother has put her into our hands, or for 
whom we feel accountable to our friend, the clergyman's wife 
of her pariah, comes to ua far more likely to make our house a 
home for the time being, and to accept advice or reatraitit. 
But we must beware of selfishnesa in the matter. It may vex 
U3 that the girl aspires to better herself as soon as we have had 
the trouble of teaching her, but we ought not to call her 
ungrateful. Rather we ahould remember that it is not well for 
anyone to outgrow a situation, and we should do our beit to 
find a aafe and wholesome place for her, where she may atill be 
watched over by friends. And it is not my own experienca 
that there is this haste for change and promotion. I do not 
think I should he believed, if I told how many girls I have 
known clinging to their first place at low wngea because it waa 
a happy home to them, even after it eeemed to their mistress as 
if they ought to rise higher. 

As to taking girla from the immediate village, the ailvisahility 
entirely depends on the character of the place, and its tone of 
opinion. If it is a place where petty peonlation is common, or 
where there is any very strong habit of gossip, it may he much 
better to Bend the girl where she haa no acquaintance a, especially 
it the dangeroiiB though charitable experiment bo made with 



illorBESa AND SERVANT, 109 

her of tating the good one of a biid family. But my own 
experience has ncTcr led me to regret the taking girls vih 
home Jay close at haud. 

The truth is Ihat as long as we view our maids as cranky 
self-willed machines for getting oiir work done, we and they 
shall be one perpetual plagiio to each other. If we view them 
as fellow-membera of Christ, to whom we have our office i 
the one great Body, who are a part of our homes, and at home, 
likewise in them, we shall, with some disasters of course, get 
on in the main with peace and mutual love. 

Kot that we need be for ever teaching or advising them. 
yooDg thing, or aa ignorant one, needs special instruction and 
leading, but after that—if wo know she has had good teaching, 
' some reg^ular reading at family prayers, lending of books, and 
general inflaence is enough. The reading should he short a 
spirited. Comments on the Bible and Prayer-book always 
seem' to be liked and should be pointed — not of tlis oid- 
fashioned, dreamy kind. Aa to hooks, I believe it is a great 
mistake to have a special library of " books adapted for 
servants," There is nothing they so dislike, or that is ao 
nnHke themsdvea, as the model Thomases and Maries in hooka, 
except, perhaps, that well-meaning literature' in which little 
nursery-maids convert all the children, while the head-nurse 
drinks wine in the pantry, and hides her lady's jewels in their 
boxes. Kemember that the servants can, if they choose, read 
any book of yours they like, and that many of them have' been 
well educated. Tell' them, therefore, freely what yon think is 
pleasant reading, and give tham a turn of a book from your bos, 
if it is suitable. They are no more likely to soil it than you 
are, and if there bo any reason for special care, yon have only 
to mention it, and jou may bo snre it will he taken. In 
general, either a religious book, or a good, rather exciting, 
atory, are the best Uked — the present amount of cultivation 
generally appreciates these, but not often history, travels, 
or tales connected with unfamiliar scenes — and it ia best 
to give such tales, or the perilous cheap literature will 



ting and ag|^^l 
courae far lew^^ 



300 

supply the appetite for something int«re8ting 
innocent. 

The valuable aerrant of a certain age 18 of c 
common than the bright, lateUigent, neat-handed girl of whom 
anytliing may he made. Sometimes she has loved her miatreaa 
and the children too much to seek any other home ; aomotimea 
she haa been disappointed in a love affair ; aometimea she has a 
grim contempt for men, and a belief in the proverb about needles 
and pins ; sometimes she is waiting in a long, lingering, highly 
respectable engagement for a nodonger-" young man," waiting 
fer the change that ia to enable him to marry. 

She must any way be grown in the family, or at least 
transplanted from intimate frienda. She ia too valuable to bo 
adrift, B«ekipg a chance aituation, and in general, unleas she he 
a widow forced to go out iu the world again, or a daughter who 
has hTcd at home until her parents' death, she is only to be had 
ia the break-up of aome household. " Treasures," too, do not 
always bear to be transferred, and on a new ground will be 
touchy and tyrannical. Moreover, it ia quite aa necessary to 
have a character of the lady who givea the character, as of the 
Herrant. Whether conscientious truth, timid dread of con- 
sequences, easy good-nature, or angry temper actuate the writer 
of the "character," there is no knowing without personal 
acquaintance ; but, on our own side, let us bear in mind that 
there ia nothing in which the rule " to be true and just in all my 
dealings " cornea ao much into play. 

Good nurses can generally be procured by getting young 
women who have been trained in good nuiaeriea. The care of 
children is so congenial to women, that it bringa out their best 
points ; and there is much to ho said in favour of the having a^ 
lady-nurae in those large nurseries of wealthy families whiobf 
form a world apart. Many a young widow, or a nursetjM 
governess, would make an excellent motherly nutse, and givtfl 
the refinement which ia sometimea lacking with leaa educate^| 
women. ^ 

Ladiea' maids are a much maligned race, for in general the^B 



MIBTRKSS AND SERVANT. 



201 



i 



are a very kindly, affectionate class of women, theii mistresa'a 
real frieads, who will undergo great fatigue and exertion, for them 
in illness, and support them throngh sniall ailments, eympathizi 
■with their griefs and joys, and often show much tact and 
discretion in dealing with them and their friends. Literature 
Tepreeents them as affected, deceitful, gay in their dress, and 
altogether with the air of the Abigail or smbrette ; whereas, in 
fact, they are generally quiet, rather superior people, necessarily 
refined in their ways, though sometimes erring a little oi 
over-refined side, dressing not indeed gaily, hut with the degree 
of fashion that their profession almost requires, and usually 
extremely careful of their demeanour. They are often deeply 
rel^ious persons, and a little care on their mistress's side is almost 
always repaid, even when they come young, thoughtless, or spoilt 
by a careless family. It is a very good plan for a lady to make 
a practice of reading to the maid — who is brushing her hair — -a 
short piece from some religious hook, or a hymn in the morning 
perhaps, and something amusing in the evening. This i 
especially to be recommended in the case of young girls, who 
may thus be prevented from forming habits of chatter and 
gossip. 

Ladies' maida however are but a small class, recruited either 
from the ranks of upper house-maids and nurse-maida, or 
from those who may be termed the eadettes, who belong to 
famOies who can apprentice them to dresamakers before sending 
them out as young lady's maid. 

But whatever servant it lacks, every house must have its 
cook, and hence the great difficulty in finding them, added to 
which, they have many more opportunities of marrying than 
other servants, and shrewd men, of their own class, well know 
the advantage of having a cook for a wife. However, it is no 
nse to begin on cook stories. I do not helievo in the dismal 
allegations that drinking and dishonest cooks are inevitable ; I 
am certain that where there is care taken that the household J 



should have sound religious habits and morals, and there is 
kindly care and supervision without spying — not i 



\ 



20a WOMANKIND. 

Belf-defenoe or police, but simply because aa mistresses ve are 
responaible, and have a duty to oiir aervaiits' Boula— there a 
spirit win fonn itself that will attach and raise the household to 
a trustworthy leFcl. Those who Jook on all servants as a class 
or a hostile race, to "be treated na inachinea, and watched like 
thievish Arctic fosea, never deserve to have a pood servatit, and 
never will get one. There never was a truer proverb than' — 
" Like master like man." Like miatresa like maid. If you are 
conacientious yourself, you will get conscientious aervants, either 
by forming thera or attracting them. 



CHArxER xxrv. 



SPIRITUAL DIRECTION. 




The child grows up in happy families watched and'checfcecl 
and when she has done wrong, pours out her griof for her error 
to her parents and ia forgiven. She is taught her duty to God, 
and she foUowa the leading Of her home and the circumstances 
round her through the earlier years of her womanhood. 

But she mny have had to form her principlea for heraelf, and 
even when 'well trained her soul and apirit often awaken to 
needs that cannot be satisfied with what contented her girlhood. 
Perhaps she can no ionger take family dicta or home habits for 
granted as perfection. Some unhappy crifis may have deprived 
her parenta of their entire infallibility in her ejca. Or she baa 
feelings and longings with which they caimot sympathize, con- 
victions they do nut comprehend, or something' has revealed to 
her that there are questiona they cannot anawer so as to satisfy 
her— in short, that she cannot keep any longer in the old groove 
vrithont some certainty that it is the right one. Or again, death 
and change have left her altogether independent, and forced her 
to think and act for herself, whOe abe haa left behind all the 



spi RITUAL rniEOTioN. 



203 



familiar voices of outspoken praise and blame that LDstimtly 
took her to task for hef foibles. 

What has she when she haa lost or outgrown her home guides 1 
8hS has her God. She haa porhapa knelt with a new and 
overwhelming aenaation as she saiJ, " Our Father, which art in 
heaven," and she knows what it ia to have prayers made nearer 
and more real hy the troubles that have left her to that true 
Father. Some ininds feel this intimate support ao deeply and 
intirely, and are so reaerved, that they would shrink from all 
helps external thereto. No one would dare to say that they 
in error. They watch themselves, confess their daily short- 
comings with deep repentance, and take home the promise of 
pardon through the Infinite Merita hold out to them in the 
Abaolution and sealed in the Holy Eucharist, and a stranger 
doth not intermeddle with them. The Absolutions in the 
Communion Office, and at Matins and Evensong are spoken in 
virtue of our Lord'a commission to the Apostles, and to thoae 
who truly repent and unfeignedly believe carry the full message 
of pardon. 

The fun efficacy of these public Absolutions haa been of late 
called in question ; but the whole body of English divines ever 
since they were frameil have regarded them aa true authoritative 
Absolutions It may be enough to mention Bishops feparrow 
Mid Wilson and Keble Nay the fact thjt they can onlj be 
spokettby a priest hia position an! the Iangua,^e they contain 
seem to me to make it conclusive th t thpy were thus framed 
erve the needs of those with whom private confession was 
onger made compulsory The grace of Absolution is only 
ftranted to the truly pemtent but amnn^ those who all alike 
hear, the true Pirdoner cin single out the cases where the word 
is mixed with faith m the hearers Tbt question surely is not 
what the early Church meant by the m itual confession and 
Absolution of pnest an 1 pe pie in the analogous part of the 
Liturgy, but m what sense our Piahojs and jriests meant the 
priest to pron unce the worda they fnmed and put into his 
mouth. 




304 womjlnkind. 

Therefore it does not aeem to me that a person who ia not in 
danger of complacent aelf-deceit, and 13 eure to find out, or be 
shown his or her faults, is neeeaaarily in need of any other con- 
fession than that direct to God Himself. And in the case of 
very young girls (sa?6 on very exceptional grounds), private 
confession has been often found not to work well, partly, per- 
haps, from the present stute of things where it does not come 
as a matter of course, and therefore (especially in girls' schools) 
is an excitement and a distinction. Nay, oven, if we may judge 
from tlie reports of those who have seen the ways of Eoman 
Catholic girls of the same age, thora is a strange levity, a bunt- 
ing-up of faults, aa if their recapitulation were a mere lesson, 
and a tendency to treat them as something with which to 
answer the ptieat'e questiona. Then there ia the excitement of 
talking about oneself, especially to one of the other sex, and 
the uncertainty of the perfect judgment of the hearer. Marie 
Louise do I'Amourous complained that her confessors were con- 
stantly being (aiew in, unintentionally, by her penitents; and 
Mire Angehque was whole years in finding any one who could 
deal with her nuns. A sensible woman is generally much better 
able to discipline a tolerable girl's little follies than any man 
can do ; and, as we have said before, when she ia really penitent 
there is the Absolution for her jn Church. 

Of boys I am not speaking. I do not know enough of the 
evidence of the advantage or disadvantage of the practical 
working. They have worse temptations j they do not so much 
love to talk of themselves ; and tbiit may be Rood for them 
which does not seem to be beneficial to their sisters. Yet my 
feeling ia that private confession ought not to be forced on any 
one as a prescribed duty or matter of course ; but rather its 
theory should be explained, as showing the way to a privilege 
which may be much needed, hut not certainly. 

I would not link it, as some do, with a young girls Confirma- 
tion and first Communion ; nor prescribe g la bn f intervals 
for her, while she has a careful home and hg us pa nt ; but 
only lead her to self-examination and dire t onf ss a n hn 



isgaud 
Q direct 



} twenty 



^^^^^ 8PIKITUAL DIRECTION. 205 

heart, going along with the two forms in Church, and accepting 
the Absolution as freeing her. 

By and by, with circumstances will come the deepem 
the craving for more ; but if that more can be attained ii 
oommunion with God, all is well. 

Yet for one spirit that can thus stand alone, there a 
.(at least among women) who need counsel and gioidan 
Buch the vivd voce confession, the direct individual Absolution, 
and the counsel for the future are an unspeakable comfort. 
The iraguenesa of the silent confession is removed, and the 
watchfulness necessary for a future one is a great assistance both 

self-examination and in governing the actions. Of course it 
is easy to say that the confession to God alone ia more direct, 
and that we mtisl be honest with the All-seeing. No doubt 
many have so found it, and they have walked and still walk in 
light J hut they should not constrain all others to measure by 
the same rule as themselves. 

The popular objections to confession are, first, that whidil 
should be ashamed to mention, but that it really is sometimea 
by people who ought to know better, and is founded on 
atoriea occurring in foreign lands, with a rude peasant priest- 
hood, namely, the insinuation of evil This is too absurd and 
ous to be made by any one who knows the character of 
the English deigy. 

The next is family dislike to any external person knowing 
not only the sins of the individual, but the difficulties and 
- secrets of the household, which are supposed to become 
matter of gossip ; also a fear of undue inliuence. This is for 
want of properly understanding the system. Not only is the 
priest hound to absolute secrecy, hut it is one of the primary rales 
that no irrelevant matter should be introduced, nor anybody 
else accused. And if people doubt of the judiciousness of the 
director, they have done their very best to cause the difficulty, 
ly the furious outburst of clamour which met the petition that 
confessors might he licensed by the Bishops. This, though 
-avery priest has ex o^ao the power of Absolution, ■wovjii.V'Kfl*. 



20G WOMA-VKIND, 

maTked ofT those with wisdom, judgmont, and eiEperience enough 
to he safe spiritual guides. Most likely Buch a. plan was 
contemplated by the composers of the exhortation in the 
Liturgy, when the officiating minister ia made to say, " Let him 
come to me, or to aome other discreet and learned minister." 
And in gonenkl, clergymen have far too much on their hands to 
mih, to listen to anything superfluous from their penitents. 

Another ohjection, and one which deserves respeut, ia that 
the leaning on another mind ia fostering wciiknes?, and that 
direction deatroya strength of cVracter. But Ja not this 
siiying that to lean on a stafF makea one weak, and that 
therefore the weak must not uae one! It may be so in soma 
casi^a. There is a school of discipline in the Homan Cathohc 
Church which makes implicit submission the great perfection, 
but even there it is only one school that does w, and that one 
so late as to be of our own day. It is never likely to be a 
frequent danger of our sturdy English nature, which fmda a 
dogged aEEertiuu of freedom of action far more congenial. Even 
if it were, it must be taken as one of the minor counter- 
balancing evils that beset everything, however good. 

Another of these evils, and the worst of all, ia the fancy 
that, freedom from the past sin being thus gained, a new score 
may be begun. Nobody in these days would dare to put this 
into words, for of course any auch fueling shows that there is 
no repentance, that the confession haa been only outward, and 
that there is no hatred of the sin, so that the very conditions 
of Absolution are not fulfilled. 

Such are the objections usually made, even by those who are 
fully instructed in the meaning of Sacramental Confession, and 
would acknowledge the need thereof on a deathbed, or in the 
case of the conversion of an ungodly person, who could not be 
admitted to Communion without evidence, of sincerity. They 
would make the rule rest on " if he cannot quiet his own 
conscience." , , 

Tliia is the rule, the Church rule, and a perfectly safe one. 

I that ia unquiet nceda spiritual comfort aadj 



SPIBITITAL DIBECTIOX. 207 ] 

coQiiBel, and ought not to lie debtured from it; and the 
science ought to be disq^uieteJ, not only about some great I 
palpable oft'encp, but about the multituilo of petty sins that — I 
as it has been well said — are like falling leaves, each one very I 
small iu itself, but forming a choking masa of decay and ] 
corruption if not cloarcd away. 

A general sense ia awakened in a person's mind, that be c 
she ia not going on vury well Prayers are languid, there is 
duiness and wandering at Church, no eneigy in the few good 
works in hand, or it may be a sense of diasatisfaction with 
oneself after a time of pleaaui'e and excitement ; or a doubt I 
whether all one's habits are right in themselves, or whether o 
is acting from worldlincss or obedience. Attempts at self- I 
examination often only pnzzle for want of definiteness, or from I 
raising ap conflicting questions of duty. The numerous I 
manuals given for the purpose seldom can. probe to the point, f 
It is like reading medical books instead of going to the doctor, 1 
a. proverbial way of getting into a morbid state of mind. I 
classes of mind do fall into a distressed and melancholy state k 
from never being sure that they are not deceiving themaelves, J 
while others wear through the time, and lose the sense of 1 
present pain, whether for their own good or not cannot be toldj 
whUe others,' as diaries show, go on struggling and yearning 
still. 

Would it not be wiser to turn to the remedy the Church has 
provided ! A priest ia of course not infallible, but, even humanly 
speaking, if he be known as a spiritual guide, he must have I 
had experience in dealing with souls, such as will enable him to \ 
explain how to arrive at the bottom of the vague disquietude, 
and show where is the untraccd sin, and advise how to conquer 
it, or 'satisfy the inquirer as to what is the paramount duty 
where two are conflicting, guide to books and devotions that 
might otherwise never have been heard of, aiid point out modes 
of self- discipline or duties neglected. And if there be some 
remembered misdeed making the conscience bovb, some choice 
for the worse that lias thrown the wbolu course aalray, ( 



208 

accmniilation of offences committed in igaorance, or thouglit- 
lesaness, tbea how infiiute is the comfort of the authoritative 
ladividoal Abeolutioa, in the 14'ame of Him. Who gave power 
to hind and to loose, how bleaaed to leave the hartben at the 
foot of the Cross ! 

It Hcems to tao that during the childhood and aimplicitj of 
the child or woman in the hands of her parents, this other 
guidance is not needed, and that the pardon she needs is pro- 
nounced in the public rites of the Church ; but that when the 
time cornea that she passes beyond these home props, and 
becomes uneasy and perplexed in the deepening of her character 
and her perception of higher aims, the " spiritual comfort and 
counsel " become most desirable. Some crisis in earlier times 
sometimes makes it well to begin, such as some great mis. 
demeanour, or some fault that no one has been able to correct. 

For my own part, I would never press on anyone the need of 
confession, unless I saw that the conscience was troubled and 
restless, or I had reason from my own observation to think that 
there was some evil habit visible to others yet undetected by 
the individuoL But the whole doctrine involved in the 
explanation of the article, "The forgiveness of sins," and the 
commission of Christ to Hia Apostles should be taught to 
everyone. And if the desire for confession were awakened, 
I would never attempt to hinder it, not knowing what niay be 
the need of the soul that I cannot see, nor what serious loss 
and damage may be inflicted by withholding it from what it 
may justly claim as part of its present right in the inheritance 
of the Kingdom of Heaven. 

In the choice of the Spiritual Cluide, circumstances are the 
leading of Providence, and the parents, when consenting or 
promoting, have a full right of decision. There may often be 
reasons why the parish priest (even if he be willing to hear 
confeesions) may not be the best for an individual case, A 
comparative stranger may be tho best judge of the amount of 
failure, and the lack of knowledge of the surroundings may 
be » poaitive advantage ; while to another, the fathcrliiu 



DIKECTION. 

of the cletgyman known from infancy may be 
liloBaing. 

In the absence of any anthotitative regulation, nothing is 
possible bui adrice and hints given with ranch diffidence. One 
of these would be, that the choice had better fall oa an elderly 
priest rather than a Tery young one, since it is certain that the 
former must have more experience ; and besides be is a tried man, 
and fat lesa likely to try to carry out theories of hi 
imitations of practices the fitness of which for English chaiacter I 
has not been proved. 

The other question.3, of freqaency of confession, and also 1 
whether it shall be only to the Spiritual Guide, or to any I 
other priest when he is not within reach, these must be left ta 1 
his decision, and there is no more to say about them. 

A hint or two more must be given. It ia almost incrediblo J 
that snch should be needed, but the want of them has made^ I 
itaelf only too evident, though, perhaps, more in those who I 
have been taught to use this privilege when not ripe enough to I 
appreciate it, or who have only taken it up from a sort of I 
fashion. 

Of all hateful kinds of gossip, one of the moat shocking i 
that about the different ways of confessors. It is not only I 
irreverent, but a disbonourabla breach of sacred con£.dence. J 
The priest is bound to absolute secrecy with regard to his 1 
penitent ; the penitent ia just as much so with regard to any J 
peculiarities of his. Besides, where can the real penitence be, I 
if there be levity enough to make such observations 1. 

Again, we know bow the poor plead that they do not * 
that such and such a person is the better for going to church, or J 
being a communicant, and bring up all his faults against him. I 
It ia the same with those who are known to be in the habit of i 
confession. The world has laid hold of a truth hera They 
ought to be better than other people, or else they bring scandal 
on their profession. Relations are quick to note the errors of 
one another, especially if their notions aie not the same, and 
outbreaks of temper, selfishness, evil-speaking, or woridlin 



210 WOKASKISD. 

will be cited aa proofs of the mcompetency of the sjsiein that 
has not cured tbem. 

Sow iU-temppf U Hometimea a, bodily or nerrona aRection, 
snd Bomrtimeg it really springs from int«nae aenaitiveitess not 
yet uoder co<Dtrol ; bnt the other faults are all wilful ones, and 
their eontinuanM anreprensed can only spring either from 
dishonest confessions, from vont of eamestaess in following ont 
the reraediee, or from that terrible levity, beforo mentioned, 
which premunea on pardon to go on in sin. Therpforc. the 
petBiiB who is not striving to improve under this system is in 
the doable danger which ia enhanced by all miansed helps. 

And this ia one reaaon for which I would ao strongly depre- 
cate its being enforced liefore the soul has reached maturity 
enough to feel the need of it. And if a young person asked for 
it nnder drcumatances that made it poasible that she was led by 
imitation, or fancy, or desire of making a aensation in her 
family, it would be well to show her the great solemnity of the 
rite, and beg her to make as sure as poasible of her own 
motives, before granting the request. 

It should Ije rememberefl that the law, univeraaUy enforcing 
private confeaaion before Communion, was not one of the 
Universal Church ; but was made in the thirteenth century, in 
hopes of restraining the lawlessneas of the times. Public con- 
fession, general enough for all to join in with personal recollooi' 
tion, and public Absolution, applied no doubt to those w] 
truly repent and believe, have been afforded by our Church 
but where there la a difficulty in knowing whether the repentanos: 
be tme, or in detecting the ain, then private confeaaion is thul 
means sanctioned for the recovery of the soul. 

Nor does Spiritual Guidance at all mean putting oneself into 
the hands of one who will exact blind obedience, or exercise 
priestcraft, as it is called. Such influence aa wc were reminded 
o( in Dominie Frefflinffhamen exiata wherever there are weak 
women and miniaters who try to rule them. The Pharisees 
devoured widows' houaes, and there were those in St. Paul's 
tiiao who led captive silly womea MoliSre has shown off B 



in 

m 



BPlRITUAl DIBBCTION. 211 

Tartuffe and Dickens a Gradgrind. But these men prevailed by 
flattery and outward show, not by the ateni and strictly-guarded 
relations of priest and penitent. The leading is not an attempt 
to direct in the common ways of life, but an assistance iu deal- 
ing with sina, and in rising to higher and deeper devotion. To 
thdse who feel the exceeding danger of drifting into bad habits 
and worldly cnstonis, and heaping sin upon sin for want of 
warning, it is an inestimable boon, supplying the lack of those 
voices of home whose praiae or blame were our "way-marks 
sure " in our childhood. If we look at biography, we shall 
find religious melancholy far more common among those who 
try to do everything for themselves, trusting merely to their 
own sensations, than to those who have kept to the way traced 
by OUT Lord for His Church, in which is found the constant joy 
of Pardon and Peace. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

VIEWS ANn OPINIONS. 



J 



Most writers take the line of declaring that what opinions 
are held is immaterial provided we are in earnest about them ; 
nay, most boolts of advice for women never enter on the choice 
of religion or politics at all. They ignore politics altogether, 
and as to religion, they tell us to be religious without being 
theologians, which seems to me impossible in intelligent crea- 

But in uniting for the many, it ia the most popular way to 
assume that there are many ways of being in the right — which 
ia pretty much as if we were to say that it was very harsh to 
say that only one line between two paints can be straight, and 
very illiberal to declare that only one answer to a sum can bo 



212 WOUANKIND. 

The real difficulty is that, except in what is strictly revealed 
and commanded in matters of faith and practice, nobody is 
really riyht, and every question has two aides, on which viewa 
are vibrating, some nearer the exact right than others. 

In our country of open diacussion and strong parties, this 
will always be eapeoially the case. " Her Majesty's Opposition " 
is sure to be an inatitution, and our balance both in Church and 
State is preserved by the watchfulness and caution of both 
pat'ties, and by the swinging of the pendulum to one side or 
the other. Ever since we have had a country, there baa been 
always a strife between loyalty to the sovereign and to the law, 
and whether the will of tlie monarch or of the people, of the 
few or of the many, nhoitld be paramount. 

In like manner, ever since we have had a Church there have 
Iwcii questions on authority, on patronage, on all sorts of details ; 
and ever since the Eeformation there have been two sets of 
opinions running along side by side — the Catholic and the 
Calvinist, Our Church has kept both within her pale, for surely 
it is better that there should be " no schism in the Body," so 
long as the vital articles of the faith are not impugned — even 
though the privileges she oilers are not understood in theLr 
fulness. 

The worst times of England were those when the moat fervent 
of the Church party had resigned their benefices as non-jurors ; 
and the indifference of the Court told in universal laxity. 
John Wesley, the Hrst to awaken from the lethargy, was dis- 
Irusted and discouraged till he formed a schism, but the spirit 
he bad aroused showed itself in many excellent persons within 
the Church. For the most part, however, they held Calviniatic 
opinions, and trusted more to the feelings, than to the faithful 
reception of the Sacraments. With them, the one great point 
was the conviction of sin, and the assurance that it had been 
atoned for by our Lord. To produce and maintain these feelings, 
constant sermons wore needed on the one suhjeet, and whatever 
could excite them was eagerly sought for. The intense love 
and clinging to our Lord was the blessed tiling in the holier 



VIEWS AND OFINIOSa. 213 

among tUose who held these opinions, hut the weak points were 
thiit they held ao exclusively to this feeling as to disregard the 
Sacraments, and that in their dread of trusting to works they 
forgot that sanctification is the will of God. The endeavour at 
obedience when the soul was not yet conscious of direct iUumi- 
natioa was viewed by them as mere legality. There were 
many saintly- minded people among them who loathed sin for 
the love of Christ, and for the same reason exercised the greatest 
love to all ; hut those who were not of such a fiame were 
tempted to think no effort at goodness of any use so long as 
they were not coa verted," when they expected that the Infinite 
Merita would hide all their sin. 

Al l this time there were sober-minded quiet people who held 
the old doctrines of the English Church. Thoy believed that 
Begenecation comes in Baptism, and that some go on living 
their new life without any palpable conversion, and that where, 
after a course of evil, their conversion takes place, it is a rousing 
of baptismal grace, not a new birth in itself. They believed 
that Sacraments are the means of evidencing our faith and 
coming for our Lord's promised pardon to he applied to ourselves, 
and that a holy life of obedience is the best evidence of faith ; 
nay, that though man's doings are imperfect, yet that what 
deeds he does under the guidance of the Holy Spirit are accepted 
of God, and are steps towards Heaven. And when the Bible 
as the only ground of faith, they held th^it the 
teaching of the Church must he accepted to explain it, and 
guide ua ia our understanding of it. And especially were thoy 
jealous of all teaching not sanctioned by the Church ; hut they 
tjok the Prayer-book as the rule, and clung fast to the appointed 
ministry. 

From among these rose the deeper thinkers who took up, 
explained, and strengthened all that was held by the English 
Church, and developed her tnie powers, dwelling on her Catho- 
licity, and realizing what is meant when the Apostles tell us of 
one glorious, spotless, and united Church. 

The Prayer-book had been the witness of the truth throughout. 




314 WOUANKIND. 

These persona began by acting up to the BtaniJacd there set 
forth, which had been thought obsolete, and behold ! it developed 
into a thing of power and might far beyond what thay had 



But herewith came one danger. There wae a habit dee] 
looted in the English mind of regarding everything done 
believed by Koman Catholics as necessarLy wrong, and of con- 
founding what is permitted with what is enjoined ; bo that 
many persons, when they discovered that the Roman theory had 
been so much misrepresented, felt a strong reaction towards it, 
which was increased by the determination of the Evangelicals 
to view every attempt at following up the English Prayer-hook 
as a retui'a to Romanism. And when this cry was echoed in 
high places, some grew impatient, and thought Catholicity was 
disowned by the Church of England, and others were attracted 
by the strong claims that Eome can show to continuity and 
unity within herself. Their defection made the trial greater to 
the loyal love and faith of the others, who held fast by their 
Mother, and by their steadfastness liave obtained the almost 
tmivereal recognition of much which was viewed as a strange 
novelty when first brought forward. 

Religious people in England are, as a rule, belonging to one 
or other of these two camps — tboae who hold to the Evangelical 
side, which lays stress on tbe individual sense of pardon through 
faith in the Atonement, and the Catholic, which builds on that 
faith the behef in the power of the Sacraments, and of personal 
holiness and meritorious action through the aid of the Holy 
Spirit. 

Between these two poles there are many degrees of differ- 
ence, some Evaugolicals in the essentials of their doctrine being 
attached to the framework of the English Church, from asso- 
ciation and loyal feeling ; while of tlie other side there are 
many who have a strong faith in the teachings of the Church, 
yet who dread whatever tbey have not been used to, or that 
they think savours of liome. There are somo who wish to be 
ill harmony witli the whole Church, Eastern and Western 






viBwa AND oPiNiONa. 216 

and thoiefora adopt customs whicli to others appear like meie 
imitations of Rome. 

Another thing muat he allowed for, namely, that one class of 
minds ia helped and another hindered by external ornament 
and these aie apt to be intolerant one of another. 

Of late years, too, a third party has sprung up. It is what 
can only he called the Eationaliatic Both High and Low 
Church had heen agreed in viewing Holy Scripture aa the finffl 
appeal as to truth, liiit this third party. Broad as it has come to 
be called, insists on examining into the authenticity of Holy 
Scripture itself, and only accepting in a modified degree what 
approvea itself to them. They demand a close definition of 
inapiration, and the moat rigid evidence of the authenticity of 
each hook, and thoy refuse to be bound by anything they 
cannot sympatliize with. 

The High Churchman can meet all this better than the Low 
Churchman. He bases his acceptance of the Holy Word, not 
only on its interna! evidence, but on the authority of the Church, 
which he can distinctly prove. He has never said that "the 
Bible and the Bible only " is his religion, but that the religion 
the Church has taught him may be proved in all its details from 
the Bible. 

Both High and Low are equally sure that Holy Scripture ia 
God's Holy Word, and as His Word beyond om; understanding. 
As to criticism, that may come, for there is no need to fear it ; 
the " Word shall not pass away," it will only be made clearer 
in the end, though difficulties may be revealed by half know- 
ledge. And it often ends by showing that what we have taken 
for a direct Scriptural statement is really no such thing, only 
a sort of traditional understanding of it, put into words, 
perhaps, in our first nursery-book of stories from the Bible, 
and thenceforth confounded with the absolute words of Holy 
Writ. _ 

There were Pharisees and Sadduceea from the time Judah 
ceased to live under immediate inspired guidance, and there 
always will be persons who cling devoutly to ordinances, persons 




216 WOMANKIND. 

who care most for spiritual feeling and do not heed externala, 
and persons of a critical spirit. 

The higher and nobler of all these do not differ greatly. They 
all hold the same Faith and I.ova, and nil walk together in light. 
Sadoo and Gamaliel, if they had been contempotarics, would not 
have differed as to the Love of God being the foremost motive 
of good men. It ia the followers, the ignorant and the narrow 
on both sides, who have party spirit and run into hatred and 



Yes, we must, as things are, belong to a party. It is impossible 
to defend a cause except by banding together, and " Have we 
not a cause 1 " We must belong to a party, but we must not 
indulge in party spirit. 

It sounds paradoxical, but let us see what party spirit means, 
and how it shows itself. It does not occupy itself with the 
great questions at issue, whicli it will not or cannot understand, 
but with the little outside matters, utterly unimportant except 
when they are made into badges and wiitchwnrdB, and by either 
attacking or defending these, it renders them outposts around 
which the real champions have to spend their strength. 

Party spirit is equaily ready to give offence and to watch for 
it. It will trail its coat like the Irishman in the fair, and on 
the other hand will treat the smallest difference of habit as a 
challenge. It will detect a badge in the wearing of a glove at 
church, or in making the contraction of Saint, 8t, or S. 

It is the young and eager and the narrow-minded who are 
most liable to these follies, which really do harm to themselves 
and their cause. One difficulty is that thoy do not always know 
whether a custom is really of importance, or whether it is 
indifferent. Take this of the word "saint." S. is the mora 
correct in Latin, because it will do us well for Sancta as for 
Sanctna, but in English is quite indifferent. 

So of customs at church. Party spirit looks out, instead of 
minding its own devotions, for what others do, and takes a note 
for future discussion of whoever hows or does not bow at certain 
places, cenaures in fact everybody who is not exactly 



VIEWS AND OPINIONS. 217 

level of the observer. And where there ia the opportunity it 
to make its own divergence from the ways of the place 
manifest. 

Here is indeed one difficulty, namely, that to abstain from 
habits of reverence in a strange place may seem a shrinking from 
coafessing our faith before men. I think the only way is to try 
the importance of the custom by the teat of its reason. Kneeling, 
and bowing at the Name above every Uame ate commands, 
therefore must not be given up for any fear or favour. Turning 
eastward at the Creed is an old habit of the Church, but there 
are other customs, reverent in themselves, which, among 
Suspicious strangers, it might be well to omit rather than cause . 
them to he mocked. 

If again we know that a custom is very strongly condemned 
by trustworthy clergy, and we do not know the reason, we had 
better try to learn it. Thus, at first sight the reasons against an 
Evening Communion do not appear manifeet, but a clergyman 
TPonld show how it is contrary to all the customs and canons of 
the Church Universil, and how much fitter the quiet fresh morn- 
ing hour is than the time after the tear and wear of the day. 

We are all prone to love the flags and colours of our causei 
and it is well. We may have to fight our tattle round them. 
At the same time there is a tendency to dwell on them, and on 
the catchwords, as if they were the important point. Each party 

liable to have both its twaddle and its cant. Emblems to 
which we give no heartfelt significance and only use out of 
imitation, phrases caught from others and meaningless to us, 
of lowering our cause by endowing it with our 
own silliness, sometimes our irreverence. 

:e aa well as love of our ne^hbour are needed to 
try all our habits before we form them. 

There ia likewise a wholesome reserve which shrinks from 
obtruding itself or flaunting its badges either for praise or 
blame. Also, conaideration for the feelings of others and 
respect for elders tend to make outward demonstration be kept 
where it would be misunderstood. 



1 



218 WOMANKIND. 

Perbapa the worst numifestationa of party Bpirit are in towns 
where there are many churches of slightly diiferent ahadea oi 
practice. The clergy thcmaelves may be perfectly friendly, but 
the lodiee of their congregations are full of rivalship, unwilling 
to believe any good of the aermons at each other's Churches, 
critical of the decorationa, scornful about the schools and 
charities, jealous of any benefit given to another parish, as 
they would not be of another person, and glad to gossip over 
any story to the disadvantage of the rival Church. If the 
same opinions ae their own prevail there, the hostility is much 
greater than to one of another school. If it is more advanced, 
it is continually blamed for "going too far;" if it be more 
njodemte, it is the constant theme of sneers. 

The fault is as old as the days when the Corinthians aaid : 
"I am of Paul," "I am of Apollos," "I am of Cephas." It 
is true that it is well " to provoke one another to love and good 
works," and that there is a right rivalry, which spurs people 
on ; but the borders of evil are not far off, and the moment we 
transgress the spirit of love, are pleased at the failures of 
othei's, sneer at tbuir ahorteomings, and delight in fault-fiuding, 
wo are in danger. 

"Oh I do you know what theyliave been doing at St. 'aV 

is a very dangerous beginning, and when there is a slighting 

tone in saying " She goes to St. 's," the speaker had better 

bethink herself. Attachment to our own need nut be disdain 
of others. 

The great thing is to depend on principles, not on persons. 
It is the great difficulty to learn not to erect for ourselves popes 
or idols, whom to follow implicitly. We must prove all things 
and hold fast that which is good, looking to our One Great 
Head, above and beyond all under-ahepberds He has given to 
us. Those ahepherds can indeed lead us and aid us, but the 
entire surrender of our judgment into a Bpirit of blind parti- 
zanship is perilous. Idolatry b^ins as soon as " persons are 
held in admiration," and we follow blindly without the honest 
endeavour to think out and understand all we do, and abovs bU' 



1 



VIEW3 AND OPINIONS. 219 

the constant reference as it were to our Lord in prayer for 
Bteadfaatness in the faith and a right jtidgment in all things. 

So while beloDging to what may bo called a party that is 
distinctly holding to the cause of the Church, we must beware 
of all party spirit and unfairness, and watch over our deulings 
with the other side so as to endeavour to keep the " unity of 
the spirit " hy walking in love, and by absence of all bitterneaa 
and evil speaking. AnJ where we have to do with the young 
and ignorant, let us take care that they are imbued with the 
fundamental truths we hold in commou rather than let them 
only catch up extemala. 

There is a talk about its being very wrong that there should 
be dissension about religion. It is said to be contrary to the 
Gospel of peace, &c., and we are made to suppose that the 
right way would he to have aU articles of faith in some vague 
solution, and if we differ in believing more or less not to say 
anything about it. 

It is true that it is a wretched thing that there should be 
divisions, but that is not a reason for not contending earnestly 
for the faith once deUvered to the Saints. Our Lord, though 
the Prince of Peace, sent a sword, and when the true faith in 
Him and in His ordinances is denied, wc must use it for Ilia 
sake as well as our own and those who come after us. Therefore 
we must stand banded together, and maintain our cause : but 
our aword is not that of injury, or ill words, or hitter thoughta 
— it is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, the 
open defence and proclamation of the truth, the living as far as 
we can up to it, and the foregoing any advantage, giving any 
offence, rather than deny it. In a book containing many 
beauties, St. George and St. Michael, we are told that to 
join in an act of worship with one whose faith does not agree 
with our own ia a high act of love of God. This might be 
true if we had only a God to guess about, instead of Him 
Who said, "Thou ahalt have none other gods hut Me," 
and then carried on Hia revelation of Himself unfolding 
from Mount Sinai to the Isle of Patmos. To allow that my 



I 



I 



WOMANKIND. 



1 



S20 



neighbonr, who doea not hold what has bEen handed down to 
8 from that day by the Church is not in lamentable error, may 
16 very charitable to man, but it cannot be more faithful U> 
God than was a Jewish king's sanction of the high places. 
Therefore without hostility, or breaking the tie of love, we 
muat guard our faith and our worship by standing aloof from 
those not of our own Communion, and by thus standing apart 

are forced into forming a party. But let not what has been 
said of this necessity lead ua into a ligbtminded giving and 
accepting the names of jHitties. One silly girl will call herself 
a tremendous Ritualist" because she hkes Church decorations, 
another will declare tliat eomeborty else is "shockingly Low" 
for not standing or kneeling at some part of the service. There 
ia evil and danger in such ignorant playing with grave matters. 
If we take our aide, it must he because we care for our Lord 
and His Church, not because we like music and ftowers. This 
would be on a par with saying one would be a cavalier for the 
sake of the plumes and love-locks. 

And if, as some tell us, the forces of the world and of sin 
are marshalling themselves for that groat assault in which, if 

were possible, they should deceive the very elect, it is more 
than ever needful that every one who has mind and soul to do 
should clearly and deflni'tely master, as far at possible, his or 
ler own faith, and study its details, strengthening it by 
Eucharists, prayer, and good works, lest it be swept away 

iwarea ; and for the same reason all in our power to strengthen 
and instruct others and to raise a standard for the right should 
be done. In the present state of tho country, matters are 
carried by demonstrations of power and numbers, and thus the 
adherence of every unit tells on the mass. Evil may be 
averted and good gained by the pressure of numbers, and it 
becomes our bounden duty to give our small weight and let our 
voice swell the appeal. 

In politics it is more possible to divide the right than in 
religion. Loyalty is a duty, but there have been two ways of 
reading the word. It may he either faithfulness to the State ot' 






VIEWS AND OPINIONS. 



221 



to the King. Cicero and Cato were loyal, though to no king, 
and Ciesar was the rebel because he transgressed the law of 
the commonwealth; and in such a country as ours there is 
Bcope for two aets of opinions as to the expediency of throwing 
the chief weight of power into the hands of the upper or lower 
cloasea. 

A thoughtful woman, accustomed to hear of the affairs of the 
luntry, cannot help having opinions and wishes. It is of no 
use to say she need have nothing to do with them. Individual 
measures which have so gi'eat an effect on the condition of 
I around her must afl'ect her, and happily they stand and 
fall much more on their own merits than on party as formerly 
— in the end, that is to say, for pressure of business and 
waves of temper often postpone them. 

^Sympathy with father or husband usually forma the woraan'a 
politica. In former times terrible animosities prevailed, and 
even now a general election rubs np many sores. A lady's part 
is generally simply to make things pleasant for those concerned 
with the men of her famQy, and to act in a quiet way as their 
helper. But important matters may often turn oi 
readiness and intelligence, and it is the duty of every English- 
woman, who can do it, to get as clear an understanding as she 
can of the great points that affect the glory of God and the 
good of her neighbour, and when she knowa her side, to si 
it in the quiet ways of elucidation, sympathy, and such other 
forma of help as she can unobtrusively give. The ready ear 
and wana entliusiaam of an appreciating woman will make a 
man go forth nerved for his battle, -and a right understanding 
and glow of feeling for his cause will make her strive beside 
him to the utmost. 



WOMANKIND. 



CHAPTER XXTL 



HONEY-HAKINO. 



This is an odd title, but everylwdy dots want to make money 
in these daya. Elder people can recollect when it w-oidd have 
been thought actually nndignifled to make any gain by any 
performancB of a lady, and when, if her talent were too strong 
not to seek an opening, she would have shrunk from and put 
aside any payment as an insult. 

There was foolish punctilio in this, and it led to perplexities 
and awkward positions; but tlie whole tone of mind was a 
curious contrast to the present, when everybody of every rank is 
only trying what ia the market value of their accomplishments, 
and all the compunction displayed in the sale and barter of 
keepsakes and old clothes resides in the warning — "No cards." 

I suppose the bazaar system fiist led to the change of tone, 
and that the ease of communication through the penny post, 
with the opening of literature to almost everyone, have all 
conduced to the present state of feeling, besides the m.idtipli- 
cation of good purposes and of needs. 

The objects vary, from those of the women who seriously 
wish for a profession to relieve their parents from their main- 
tenance, through those who wish to raise money for a good 
purpose, down to those who only " think it would be nice to 
have something of their own to spend" — nor is this an 
unworthy motive, if the spending be of the right and unselfish 

Let us put in a different category all those who have a 
profession, whether teaching, nursing, or any other by which 
an entire livelihood is gained ; and speak only of that money- 
making which is in a manner supplementary, whether used for 
^>ersonaI or beneficent objects. 
Two prinaiples should be indelMy uivftesBfti isa. raaalexir 



MONET-MAKING. '. 

worters, and these are — never to aell inferior work, and 
never to imderaell real worlcera, who have their bread to. 

Unfortunately, human nature does not recognise its own 
inferior work, any more than the Archbishop ol Granada did 
that the apoplexy affected hia sermons. Whether it can com- 
mand a market price ia really the only test. All that cornea 
under the denomination of bazaar work, even when disposed 
of in private, but which good-natured people buy when they 
had rather not, at some exorbitant price, " to encourage the 
child," to be rid of ber importunity, or for the sake of the 
object, ia all a sort of amiable illuaion, and another form of 



I 



If some new design be imported or invented, and people seek 
after it for its own sake, and are willing to pay for it, then the 
gain is probably real and legitimate earning, and it is qnite feir 
to take full advantage of it, before the fancy shops find it oat, 
copy it cheaply, and vulgarize it. 

There are things too that can only he properly done by loving 
hands that can spend much taste and time over them. Such 
are Church embroideries and single illuminationa. These cannot 
any how be done by wholesale or supplied to order, and though 
Sisterhoods supply Church needlework, there is at this time no 
fear of an overstock of ffood work. For real goodness is a sine 
jMtt won, goodness not only in the design and fancy part of 
the work, but in the plain needlework and the making-up, the 
prose of the matter. A chalice veil may have a lovely pattern 
of embroidery, but just not in the middle, and the hemming 
may be unworthy of Standard I. in the national school ; or 
a cushion may be in a bright well-chosen pattern but pulled all 
to one side ; or aa illumination may be rich as gold and blue 
and crimson can make it, but with all the letters crooked 
and a smudge in the corner. These are not right offerings, 
whether to give or to sell. Conscientious completeness, such as 
would be required by an ordinary employer, is an absolute duty 
in whatever work is done for the Church, whether to be given 



1 



334 WOMA.NE1KD. 

or sold for its benefit. Slovooly work is dishonoBty, and if yoa 
Inspect to sell it for charity it is double dialionesty. 

Perhaps we had better look firafc at the whole principle of 
" olTBring to the Loi'cl." Tho Sanctuary in the wilderness was 
made of the precious jewels of which tho Israelito men and 
women deprived themselves. David would not offer what 
coat him nothing, and the gifta his people brought, for which he 
gave such glorious thanka, were the wealth of a people who 
wore their treasures in jowels and gold. Mary's alabaster-box 
was very precious, and the widow's mite was half her living. 

No trace ia to aoen here of its being good to become an 
importunate beggar even for a religious work, certainly not that 
it is well to do trivial amueing work and sell it, instead of 
making some personal sacrifice Have tlierenot been ladies who 
would tease their friends for shillingg or half-crowns on a 
collecting card, at the same time that Ihey were ordering a dress 
costing hve times tbe amount the card professed to raise, and 
when asked why they did not buy a leas expensive garment 
instead of taking the card, answering " Oh, collecting ia auch 
fun"l 

There is no pretenee at good motives in auch a saying as this, 
but it shows the uttennost abuse of the system. Nor have I 
any hesitation in condemning the cards wholesale. Mites are 
not mites unless they are half our living, nor do I believe that 
a sixpence, or even a succession of half-crowns, given avowedly 
because they are no soerilico, will ever bring a blessing on a 
work. To ask for subscriptions from those who have soma 
connection with the place where the work is to he done is fair 
and right, but to print myriads of begging circulars and send 
them round the country to perfect strangers does not seem to 
me to he the way to do tho thing. Would it not be better to 
spend the coat of printing and postage on the work itself, 
find Wait in faith and something worthy of the name of aelf- 
denioll 

Is there any ground for thinking mendicancy virtuous t Tha 
Urdera of Friars who began it liad absolutely nothing, but ha4[ 




MUNEV-MAKING. 225 

come up to the Apostoiic rule of holy poverty, therefore they 
ate no examjile for those who take aome work on their hands, 
and go about begging for its maintenance. Some give, out of 
their abundance, a mere unbleat trifle to be rid of them ; othera, 
hard pressed already by legitimate calls, have to pinch one of 
these rather than deny the request. The example of doing and 
giving everything is far more likely to "provoke to good 
works," and bring in means that will be blessed, than this 
constant asking. 

Of bazaars bo much has been said in other places that I will 
only sum up the objections in short. They are entirely inad- 
missible for Church building. What ia given for the honour of 
God should be really given in His honour, not through the 
medium of the purchase of trifles, or still worse, through the 
gambling of raffles. If you say you must have your Church, 
and the bazaar is the only way, so you hope it is not wrong, are 
you not forgetting that He Who made the fisher-boy's gift feed 
the multitude can enable you to raise what He needs for Hia 
house if you trust Him entirely, and do not have recourse to 
doubtful means 1 

Some bazaars have more justification — convalescent homes, 
orphanages, and the like, can periodically produce an amount 
of needlework and fancy-work which with additions from friends 
may be very properly sold to raise the funds. To this there is j ■ 
no objection at all, if the sale be properly conducted, i.e. in a<^ M 
manner that would make it entirely unattractive to the young ^, ■ 
lady in search only of diversion and flirtation. A fair price and ^ 
a quiet sale, though these sound dull enough, are the only right 
ways of doing the thing, and the whole afiair is very difficult 
to manage satisfactorily. 

Of private sale I have already spoken. If you can make a 
thing worth selling, sell it by all means, as a legitimate way of 
assisting and giving time and talents, but avoid fictitious prices, 
A drawing that can be sold in an art shop, or take rank in an 
exhibition, is worth its price ; but an ill-drawn monster that 
can only be sold at a bazaar, or in a basket, is mere trumpery. 



I 



1 



226 wosiaNKixP. 

Altogether there are many who would do mcch more tor 
thfiir cause by money-saving than by money-getting — by rigid 
economy in dreas, rather than by poor performances eold at 
fancy piices. If they remember the penny saved is a penny 
gained, and nae their own needles for what they would otherwise 
pay for, giving the price to the good work, there would be more 
reality and aelf-denial than in buying exixjnsive materiiils for 
fancy-wort and giving the proceeds. Still, as before, those who 
can do anything really good- — lace-makers, embroiderers, fancy 
knitters — or who can ride in on the crest of a wave of new 
fashion, are welcome to do so. Only the great tiling to bear 
in mind is that money is not everything, and that God's 
blessing is. 

When Zenibbabel's poor little temple was being built, God 
said, " The silver is Mine, and the gold ia Mine." Hut what 
did He soy when Herod's temple was being " restored " in sur- 
passing beauty, and the rich were easting in out of their abun- 
dance 1 Itseemato me that money to be spent in ornament, 
squeezed by all sort^ of importunities out of careless uninterested 
givers, who do not so much as breathe a prayer for its succeas, 
ia not worth the picking up. 

The ways in which young ladies most often endeavour to 
obtain money are illustrations and literatute. Their drawing 
needs to be of a very superior order to he of any use for the 
first. It is a great ])ity that they do not really study drawing 
more — real, good, artistic drawing — before they attempt it. 
Hundreds of girls can do figures with a pretty expression and a 
good deal of feeling, which look in the pencil or pen-and-ink 
of the first sketch as charming as they can desire ; but when 
subjected to any process for repeating them, come out with none 
of the air of the original, only with its big head, impossible 
legs, and dolly fingers. Why! Because the designer has never 
really learnt to draw, or her eye would never have endured the 
disproportion which is the ruin of her sketch. In general, 
therefore, ladies' attempts at illustration are received with dia- 
truat by publishers, and the work falls to people who do not-l 



MOSEV-MAEINO, 

seem to read the tales they iire emplojed upon, or else whose 
sole idea is to represent n mm and woman hand in hand, 
very acme of the lost fashion. II ladies would learn thoroughly 
to draw before they attempt to design, they would he really 
valuahle, bringing their refined and deyotional feeling to bear ;" 
and they would also he valuable to struggling magazines, 
breaking down from the impossibility of getting good " pictures," 
or of getting on without them. But how often does the old 
proverb need repeating — " Nothing is worth doing at all that ia 
not worth doing well" 

Lastly, the gams of writing come into account. These 
generally do depend on their own merite. A very brilliant 
name may give a lift for once, and of course there may be a 
work sold favourably at a fancy price " for " some special pur- 
pose, which ia only the bazaar in another form. But magazines 
and publishers ultimately pay according to merit, and the 
difficulty is, or aeema to be, the opening. 

Girls hear of (generally in Btories) a hundred pounds paid oa 
the spot for a MS. ; they write something, send it oJi', and are 
wofully disappointed when, if it be not declined with thanks 
on the spot, it ia kept for montha or years, and only brings 
in its small proht when the special original need is almost 
forgotten. 

But is this the way to think of writing T Surely if for every 
id!o word we speak we shall have to give account, it must be 
more serious still to write what will go forth to hundreds. 
Have we any right to write what people are to road, and which 
will, in a measure, leave a mark on their minds, merely for our 
own pleasure or gain, without pains or consideration whether 
we do good or mischief? 

Of course, if a story is to he natural and amusing, it must 
have a good deal in it not directly didactic ; but there 
are certain rules that each person ought to make, namely, to 
consider whether what is written is likely to do harm, or 
leave a had impression, e.j/. it is not right to speak lightly o£ 
authorities, or treat governesses as natural enemies, to utU, 



I 



938 



WOMANKIND, 



terrors to orphanhood by representing unjust nunlii, t 
riiliculouB ideas with sacretl Buhjeota, or to Bxcaae anythin( 
diphonourable, 

Somothing of wit and pathos may have to be sacrifLced, but 
botter BO by far than leave a niiBohievoiis impreaBion. And 1te 
quite sure that you have something to any, teach, or tell before 
you write it, and then write your very beat; and take real pains 
with your English, avoiding ehpshud phrases, not for fpar of 
being laughed at, but liecause it is not right not to do your beat ; 
and bad grammar U quite as injurious to your writing aa bad 
drawing to your sketch. No one haa a right to write who has 
not studied a good English grammar, and read really good 
authors enough to havo lisarnt to avoid the disgraceful blunders 
that meet us in half the childreo's books and maoy of the 
iiovhLs we take up. 

Observe, wanting money is not a sufficient reason for writing. 
It may be a full reason for selling a yard of lace, but not fur 
selling a sheet of words, which arc living things, and have an 
effeot. If thoy are poor, weak, silly, ill-expresBed sayings on 
some sacrod subject, sentimental raptures, or unreal, unnotund 
stories, they do harm, by weakening the cause, and helping to 
make it despicable in the eyes of the enemy. And, alas 1 in 
Klepiture necessity is not the mother of invention, and very few a 
can write worthily who only write, or at least have begoikifl 
writing, from desire of the payment. 

No one can tell whether a t4dent be an avaUable one withotq 
the inqiartial public judgment, marked by saccesa or failui 
can tell at least while the nowly-hatched bantling is still dog 
though in after years the causes of failure become laughaU 
evident. But if there be suisess, and the ear of the public l 
gained, the responsibility is increased, and the rule of oai.y|^ 
writing as a Christian, with the gloi'y of God in view, ueedi 
be kept in mind, among the temptations to win a wider cird 
of readers by keeping principle out of sight, 

Authorship must ntvcr be viewed as a mere trade for gainiii| 
money, apart from the duty of topping the works ihcmsolvt 



ip to a high, pure standard that may benefit, not di^grade the 
readers. 

I say all this because dabbling in authorship ia so unifcisal 
.n experiment in these days, and one that often meets with a 
icertnin amount of BUcoess, which in the lon^ run depends on 
c and ability ; for if an aiithor cannot write in a style 
"to command popularity, no advantages of connection or intro- 
duction will avail after the very flrat. People will only read 
and buy what they like. 

It 13 unfortunately more difBcult to make an immediate profit 
□f what costs more pains and labour. A translatiun ia seldom 
acceptable either to a publisher or a magazine, and tiere let me 
hint that every one thinks nothing so easy as to trandate, 
whereas nothing ia really so difficult. People who can write 
inteucea quite fairly, entirely fail to see when they are 
importing a foreign idiom bodily, or failing to render a word. 
They will call the French navy the marine, and make a Germ.in 
^hero childish when ho was only childlike. A real comprehen- 
sion of the niceties of each tongue is required, and in general 
each phrase requires not to he translated word for word, but to 
be thought out and reconatmcted iu EngHsh. To translate is moat 
excellent trainiug for oneself, and an employment very advisable 
for those under any pressure which makes easy occupation of 
ihe mind desirable ; hut it is not often that it will bring in 
much remuneration, or indeed any, save under exceptional 

latancea. But why must eveiything he done for gain 

i of for culture 1 

dies of history, bits of biography, and the like, are moat 
useful to the worker. Indeed, I do not helieva that much good 
original work can be done without such studies to fertilise the 
mind, but they need to be very well and thoroughly doao. A 
life of Mme. de Sevign^ must not content itself with saying 
that M. de Grignan " held some office " ia Provence ; and many 
a dt'tail that never appears must be mastered, or there will be 
some absurd and impossible statement. Except as magazine 
"padding," however, these papers require to be by a \iersciu. 



1 



230 WOMAN-KINP. ^^^^1 

of made farao, or to be very brilliant indeed to be very 

gainful. 

Others write for somo direct need in their parish or teaching. 
They find nothing to serve their turn with their own Bpocial 
pupils, itnd write to and for them. This generally goea to the 
point, and is really valuable. 

But the upshot of it uU la, that brain-work reruwB to bo 
properly done, if the payment bo originally the inciting cauao. 
It may become a profeFsion and a knack, but the need of ex- 
pression must in some way have been the original cause of 
putting pen to paper, if ilio production is to succeed. 

And whpn wo regret that the poor -will do nothing for us 
without expecting a sixpence, are we not growing rather like 
them, when we are so very eager for gain that we cannot 
exercise our talents, or cultivate our powers, without a view to 
it, even for a good object I 

Money is tenipting, and peems like the whole means of doing 
everything, but orfself is a greater thing. Our means go with 
ourselves as part of the work, but it aeems to me that there is 
far too much desire abroad to collect from all qnartern, instead 
of doing the work to the utmost of our own powors — praying 
and trusting to God to bring the help, if it he Uis will. I do 
not moan that we should never ask, but I do not think it a 
dcty; and when we are told tliat it is a wholesome abasement 
of pride, I cannot see any Scripture example of it. And I niu 
still farther from sayiug that we should not use our industry or 
talent to earn what may lie needed either for religious and 
charitable purposes or to supply family needs, hut I want such 
gains to be sought, not in a light easy petty way by inferior, 
poorly-liniehed work at fancy prices, but by true, honest, con* 
scientioua labour, neither cheating others nor ourselves, and ihiit 
where that lalxmr is literary, we should remember that it is 
not simply a matter of so much writing for so many pounds, 
but that we are seriously accountable for the effeote of the 
words and ideas we send out into the world. 

We may bo told that our novel will not succeed unless there 



t 
I 



STRONG-MINDED WOMEN. 231 

IB more sensational writing in it, and it foUowa the taste of the 
day. But may not there be some who will rise up in the judg- 
ment and condemn those who have palliated Bin and made it 
seductive, even like Paolo and Fraocesca, when they spoke of 
the romance of Lancilotto 1 

And as a great consolation for those who feel the terrible 
heart-thrill to have no power of giving, I would say that ono's 
heart, one'a prayers, ono's peraoniil labour aro far more than any 
material gift ; nay, that there are nwny cases when the know- 
ledge that gifts come from an abundant store only leads to that 
careless daintiness which is apt to be resented as ingratitude in 
the poor, whereas they really and justly esteem that which. 
is afforded to them by the efforts of one little better off than 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

STRONG-MINDED WOMEN. 



" Does she go in for being strong-minded 1 Pray don't be a 
strong-minded woman." What do we mean by these expressions T 
Generally, it may be feared that a strong-minded woman is a 
term for one who is either ungentle, or unwilling to be bound ' 
by the restrictions of her sex. It is a piece of modem slang, 
and it is unfortunate in its effeut in two ways ; first as disturb- 
ing respect for true feminine strength of mind, and secondly a 
being a compliment to those who " go in " for bravado of 
mind, not strength of mind. 

The real article, if we may so call it, la essentially feminine. 
Every woman ought to be strong-minded enough not to tlinch 
from her immediate duty, whether it be to rule a family, to 
rebuke a dependant, to assist at a painfid operation, to announce 
heart-breaking tidings, even to penetrate into scenes of sin and 
I, if she have a call to seek and save eome one there. 



232 WUMANKIND. ^^^1^1 

nay, to refuBe to transgress the commands of conscience under the 
(lompulaion of love or fear, and to ntter her testimony in eeason, 
without fear of man. Without a strong mind, a woman ia 
nothing better than an inteUigent bit of drift weed, driven 
hither and thither by force of circumstances, and totally ilepen- 
dent on her surroundings. 

She will worry her husband, he overcrowed by her children 
and dependanta ; or if single, she will hang prone upon some 
friend and probably end by becoming a prey to her servants. 
Instead of raising the tone of those about her, she will sink to 
whatever ia the level around ber, and will continually realize the 
comparison of the broken rend to any one who leans on her. 

Happily there are many whose love gives them strong hearts 
to hear and to do, and who, though frivolous in ordinary times, 
seem to change their whole nature in the time of distress or 
danger. The modern idea of strength of mind, liowever, includes 
something intellectual as well as soiiiething reaolute. 

The ideal strong-minded woman — for, like other ideals, she haa 
probably never been found with all points of perfection at once — 
is supposed to have an aptitude for aU kinds of severe studies, 
and to insist on pursuing them on equal terms witii men. She 
will go anywhere and do anything with perfect coolness, trust- 
ing to an invisible armour of proof to protect her. She will 
also say anything to anybody, and never spare her censure or 
interference for the trilling consideration that it ia no business of 
hers. Her chief dread ia of prejudice, and of ancient conclu- 
sions, and she therefore thinks it weak not to read all kinds of 
books, especially the sceptical and the sensational, and the line 
she admires most in Tennyson is that in praise of " honest 
doubt." The popular idea of her appearance is that she ia tall, 
grim, gaunt, and harshly strange in attire, but she is much more 
apt to be in the height of tho fashion, and young and pretty, 
though sometimes she tries dressing artistically and individually, 
and thus manages to be most conspicuous and generally moBt 
expensive. 

To men these strong-minded women, or those approaching to J 



STRONG-IUNDED WOMEN. '2ii 

I Jaugbiag-atock and a terror. When the sttong- 
lan has the graces of treahneas and beauty, they are 
led away by her, vote her " capital fun," and try how far she 
will go, hut they do not respect her, they only see in her a bad 
fanitatioQ of themselves, and mako game of her little affectations. 
When she has no beauty or charm, her pretensions make her 
Jnerely obnosioua to them, and deprive her of that tender hnlo 
dI sweet kindness and sympathy that attracts friendship and 

But to please men we are told is one of the moat unworthy 
tnotivea imaginable to hold up to woman. 

So in a degree it is, but approbation is a standard by which 
o judge. That which a man would not tolerate in his sister or 
daughter is not becoming, and is uusexing. 

But this is what the strong-minded woman wants. N.B. — 
She does not want to cease to be a woman, but she wanta to 
e out that the woman is physically as well as mentally the 
superior creaturf, and that she should therefore be on an equality 
md perhaps take the lead. 

To argiie the caeo as to the physical conformation is impossible, 
ftut I would just observe that one fact which seems to me to 
overthrow this theory entirely is that though courtesy, fine 
slothes, and clearness of skin may perhaps give the woman the 
advantage in early youth, she is beginning to lose it when the 
iinan has only just attained his prime. The man improves as he 
grows older, provided ha leads a good and healthy life ; the 
■woman's bloom is a much more fleeting thing. 

And mentally, where has the woman ever been found who 
jproduced any great and permanent work ) What woman has 
written an oratorio, or an epic, or built a cathedral f It is not 

k of education. Women have at times been highly educated^ 
jnany great men have been self-taught. The difierence can only 
K in the mental texture. 

And here comes in that which is said with some apecionsness ; 
namely, that women are capable of greater spirituality than men. 
e that women claim, and men are ready to 



1 



grant them in a. semi-contemptuous, yet half -sen tiinental aara- 
trouble way, which views the spiritual virtues as essentially 
feminine. 

Shame on those who have lowered the idea of religion by 
such teaching. Nay, they have even ao rear] the Gospels as to 
fancy that the holiness of Him. Who was Perfect Goil aa well 
aa Perfect Man, wiw of feminine type. They do not see the 
might of Him Who etood alojie, sometimes confronting, some- 
times leading a whole populace, winning them so iLat they were 
ready to take Him by force and make Him a King, and then 
stopping their manifestation at its height and sending them 
away, just when an ordinary leader would have been coerced by 
their enthuaiism. They do not see the courage that twice cleared 
the temple of the profane, in the teeth of all the authorities, 
that detied and denounced the Scribes and Pharisees on their 
own ground, and that went steadfastly on with Face set as a flint 
to the end foreseen from the beginning, The intense calmness 
and absence of all violence have perhaps been some excuse for 
those who have missed the impression of undaunted, unflinching 
resolution, and atem indignation i^ainet evil ; but it is a miserable 
error, a sin in itFolf because it is derogatory to the honour of 
the Lord Who bought us, and false when it alienates from His 
example as if not meant for men aa much as for women. 

Struggle hotly and resolutely against the notion, half mawkish, 
half flattering, that men are not meant to be as good ns women, 
either religiously, morally, or in the way of self-sacrifice. Both 
are meant to aim at perfection, and to help one another to 
attain it, and the man, if he chooses and seeks for grace, will 
attain the higher, nobler type. Woman will not do her part by 
him unless she really believes this and does her utmost to help 
him to make the most of himself, not accepting his shortcomings 
as masculine weakness which give occasion to show her strength 
and superiority. 

But we are told that if we acknowledge our inferiority, and 
make no struggle for our rights, we induce men to despise us, and 
thus assist in the weight of oppression under which women groan. 



STRONO-MISDED WOMEN. 235 

Let ua see" what tliia oppression amounts to. An unmarried 
woraan is only oppressed, I suppose, by not having the 
franchise, and on the whole, I douht if the lack weighs as 
heavily on her as the responsihility of a vote would do. 
In all other matters her sense of propriety is really her only 
restraint. 

It is the wife who is the injured creatTire. She vows to 
obey ; her property, unless put under special restrictions, is her 
husband's, he can oblige her to live with him unless he can 
show strong cause to the contrary, and in case of separation, 
the children after seven years old are given to him unless he 
have done something of which the law can take cc^niwmce. 
To him alao belongs the right of appointing their guardians. 

No doubt here and there the law presses hardly on individuals. 
2To law can be framed so that some one will not suffer under it ; 
snd till recently there were reasons of complaint, when a 
Vorthlesa man could absorb hia wife's earnings. Now, however, 
she can secure them from him, and it ia her own fault if she do 

;. No law can make a woman strong against the man she 

es. And thus the marriage settlements which put a woman's 
capital entirely out of her own reach or her husband's are prob- 
ably much better /or families than if she retained full command 
over her share. Hundreds of families have thus been saved 
Irom utter ruin where a, loving wife would have given and lost 
sU that she had. 

In the charge of children in case of a separation, the utmost 
B generally done to come to a just decision as to which parent 
ia the safest for them to be intmsfed with. When the decision 
is committed to the law the grievance-making books assume 
that it is the father who is always in the wrong and who makes 
his wife's life intolerable, and then that she has to part with her 
little ones at seven years old to undergo his bad example. But 
there really are women whose violent tempera and other evil 
ways have made life unbearable to the husband, ivho i 
looking and longing for the time when he may resn; 
children. 



236 WOMANKIND. ^H 

As to the father's prior power of appointing guardians, thie 
has sometimes been spoken of aa a grievance, enabling him to 
indulge spite or projudiue against the mother, but thia must be 
BO exceptional a case that provision need hardly be maile for it, 
and it is surely reoEonable to suppose that most men would 
have a wish for their children's welfare, and be able to judge 
what was best for them when their own selfishness no longer 
clashed with the children's interests. 

Aa to tlie wives who are beaten, no law of equality would 
make much difference to them. The way to prevent their 
miBeries would be, if possible, to raise the notions of the aervant 
and factory-claaaes about marriage, and prevent their drifting 
into it in the reckless godless way which may well prevent them 
from being respected. 

In truth our jiosition entirely depends on what we are in 
oureelveB, not'what we claim. 

As to patha in life and education, womanhood is no obstacle 
to our being as highly educated as our bruins will allow. 

That this should be done in cIobh jiixtapontion with a number 
of male pupils doeB not, however, seem deairabla, because there 
is a tendency in large niasses to rub ofT the tender home-bloom 
of maidcnlinesB, which is a more precious thing than ejiy 
proficiency in knowledge. 

So too with medical education for women, for which so hard 
a struggle haa been made. An exceptional woman hero and 
there may be so absorbed in ecienco, so devoted to humanity, 
as not to be hurt by it, but promiaciious teaching could not be 
possible to the majority, without harm to both parties, Nor 
have I much failh in the eifect of creating a race of lady 
doctors. Nuraea medically instructeil would be most valuable, 
and do much that now falls to the hands of the doctor, but in a 
really very serious case I doubt the cajiability of most women 
to endure the responsibility, especially where it ia a matter of 
resolute abstinence from action. Nurses do indeed often show 
nerve and decision, but then they have the doctor to fall back 
upon, Olid are within prescribed limits. ^M 



I 



8TRON0-MINDED WOME«f. 237 

The watching of a nureery of ailing children, or the Jaily 
visit to an iovaliii old lady, might be aa usefully done by a well- 
instructed lady doctor aa by the pet apothecary — but would the 
old lady think so 1 

No, except for certain kinda of practice, and for superior 
nursing, it does not aeem as if enough would be gained to make 
it desirable to outr^e feminine instincts, ay, and those of men, 
by the full course of scientific training. 

A person engaged in hospital nursing has told ua that the 
hardening effect of witnessing constant suffering can hardly be 
counteracted without special religious discipline and training ; 
and how much greater must be the danger of mischief to mind 
and aoul alike in the technical display of the wonderful eecrots 
of the temple of the human body without any special safeguard, 
We know that medical students often do not come out unscathed 
from the ordeal, and can it be well to let women be exposed 
to hi 

Such scientific instruction as can be had from hooka or special 
lectures would of course raise the character of nurding, and I 
believe there are ladiea trained to watch some special class of 
illness requiring minute and skilled attention, who are sent to 
take charge of patients in the country. 

This, and hospitd nursing, or the charge of Torkhonse i 
infirmaries, are real professions, aa well as outlets for zeal and 
beneficence. ' 

To become an upper nurae would often be an exoeUent plan 
for a lady no longer young, who has perhaps brought up her 
own brothers and aisters, or nephews and nieces, or has launched 
her children into the world. Servants ore so scarce that she 
would he taking no one's place, and would he much happier 
and more valuable than moping and half starving in a wretched 
little lodging. 

And for the younger who need support, it would be well, 
if they have no special talent, to try to learn to bo tele^r^iph 
clerks, oi even dreaa-making, or whatever is possible in their 
Btation. 




238 WOMAKKrN-n. 

" The Year Book of Wuinan'a Work " will point to the 
rrieaaa of getting inetraction aud employment, and there ia 
much less every year of the fear of losing caste by absolute 
labour. 

Teaching, of cgur^e, stands higher, but nobody ou){ht to 
teauh who has uot the power of learning or teacbing. If 
govemessing is to bo a profession worth having, a certilicat« 
ought to be worked for and gained. It wiU open a sure 
command of situations either in schools or families, and if 
greater freedom be preferred, a course in a diocesan college for 
BchoolmistresBes will give the complete training required. The 
Otter College at Chichester, especially f jr ladies, may enable 
many to have happy village homes, in which perhaps to receive 
a widowed mother, while niisiug the tone of the children. 

To these professions may bo added those which reiiuiie a 
special talent aud training — music, art, and literature. 

If a woman have musical gifw of a high order, it is plain 
that they are meant for the glory of God and the joy of 
mankind. She is bound to use them to the best advantaga in 
these ways, not to win admiration, but to devote them, with 
God before all, or they become a snare. 

Even choir practice add singing of hymns is often a snano, 
both in irreverenue, conceit, and levity of demeanour. Amateur 
and village concerts are in like manner great delights, and often 
innocent ones, but needing great circumspection and isstiDctive 
modeaty on the lady performers' part to keep all as it should 
be ; and when the talent needs to be used as a means of 
support, the same quiet soberness and refinement must be the 
preservative, as in fact they are with many a professional singer 
and music-inietresB. In fact, all depends not on what we do, but 

Of art and literature I spoke in a former chapter. Neither 
become professions without a good deal of expeiience and ex- 
cellence; indeed, except in the case of editors of journals, 
literature is generally onlt* an addition implanted on some 
other means of Hvelihood. 



BTRONO-MINDED WOMEN. 239 -J 

The strong-minded literary woman generally writes up woman's I 
perfections and superiority.^ Her world ia a sort of bee-bive, I 
all the males dronea and the single sisters doing all the work, i 
She speaks on platforms, gives lectures, and endeavours to per- 
suade UB of the wrongs we have suffered since man had the ' 
upper hand through brute force. 

It is not of much use to fight the battle and contradict her. 
If she does accept the original account of the matter, she will 
only tell us that it was because Eve was more iiitelleetual than 
Adam that she wanted to be " as gods knowing good and evil," 
Ala3, in this at least she resembles Eve, and let us remember ' 
who it was that whispered to our first mother, and " stand fast 
in the liberty wherein Christ has made ua free." 

We have liberty to say or do anything that it ia right or 
reasonable to say. If we do understand a matter, v 
listened to on our own merits as much as men are. 
Christian women of education, each one of us can take exactly 
the place she deserves, bo long as by a foolish struggle for we 
know not what, we do not bring opposition and ridicule t 
ourselves. 

To a certain degree the world will always be aomewhat cniel'r^ 
to distinguished women. They are flattered up, told it is 
honour to see thom, their autographs and photographs 
sought after, anl they are complimented, and then the moment 
they are persuaded to believe themselves something remarkable, 
and comport themselves accordiugly, tliey become a laughing- 
stock. Women are as guilty in this waj as men, aud it is really ] 
an additional reason for keeping in the back-ground, thougb j 
after all, the discomfort and danger must have been much 
greater when fewer women wrote, open compliments were the 
fashion, and there were not such hosts of reviews to give a 
judgment, not in all cases fair or unbiased, but enough 
give a fair estimate of success. 

Nothing but that really strong mind, which is in fact eithet | 
true humility or freedom from self-coasciousnefls, can bear s*.! 
woman through these dangais of vanity. 




? 




240 WOHANHIN'D. 

ISe strong-miuded, then. AVith all my might I say it. 
alrong-minded enough to stand up for the right, to bear pain 
and danger in a good causa, to aid others in time of suffering, 
to venture on what is called wean or degradbg, to withstand a 
foolish fashion, to uae your own judgment, to weigh the value 
of uompliments. In all these things be strong, Be the valiant 
woman, but do not be strong-minded in a bad sense in discards 
ing all the graces of humility, moakness, and subtnisE 
whiuh are the true strength aud beauty of womanhood. 



CHAPTER XXVIIT. 

DHDERDOINO AND OVURDOINO. 



TonNG people are supposed to improve themselves, but 
seems to be the general opinion that marriage, or the ceasing to 
be youug, ia a dispensation from what girls call " anything 
sensible." "There are other things to be done." So there are, 
\ but house-keeping takes only a very abort time in the morning, 
except on a few great occasions, or in periodical audits of 
accounts, d'c. Even where small means cause the lady of the 
house to undertake some part of the work of the house, and all 
the needlework, she will, at all events in the earlier years of her 
married life, have a good many ailent hours, if her husband be a 
profeaaional man. And moat women, whether married or single, 
have time to diapoae of, which may either be frittered away in 
busy idleness or turned to valuable account. The great 
hindrances are want of method, unpunctuality, dawdling and 
b^ talk. To take them in their order. Method is almost con- 
Btitutional. Some peo])le are never happy without a framework 
for their day and week ; others feel intolerably fretted by any 
rule, and are wearied by the tedious vista of the same thiog to 
bo done at the same time at regular intervals, instead of when 
tlic humour for it comes. 



lut i^* 



ii»li 



UNDERDOINO AKD OVERDOIWa, 



2411 



To them, of course, the danger is that the humour for doing the 
more unpleasant pacta of their duty never does come, and that 
much that ia really importaut ia apt to be forgotten and put 
aside, kindnesses neglected, and promises brokeDj and " the eyes 
of the needy" left to "wait long;" while the clanger to the 
methodical is that they are so much jarred by any disarrangement 
of their routine that temper frequently fails, and bewilderment 
makes them loae head and presence of mind. 

But method is on the safe side, and is above all desirable ia 
thoae who are ia authority. A housekeeper, a schoolmjatreas or 
governess, would be totally inefficient without method, and surely 
the miatreaa of a house must need it even more. 

It ia a discipline too which all who deal with mattera of 
oorkseience strongly recommend, and therefore should be made 
a principle, when no greater call breaks it up. A girl, who ever 
since she left the schoolroom has been at every one's beck and 
call all day long, and then has had all her habits deranged by 
her halcyon days of courtship, and afterwards by bridal travels 
and visits, may often feel it difficult to settle into r^ularity when 
in her own house. But then is her time. Most likely, though 
her avocations are more needful, the arrangement of them is more 
in her own hands than when she was only one member of a 
household. If her husband be a busy man, he is probably bound 
to certain hours, and she knows exactly what time he will have 
to bestow on her. If he has a good deal of time on hia handa, 
and ia apt to want her at all hours, though all plans must be 
postponed to hia pleasure, still it is well to have certain fixed 
landmarks in the day, to which to persuade him to conform, or 
that strange wild thing will grow up, a ramshackle household, in 
which no one knows when anything is to be done, 
any one is to be found, and there is continual fret and worry to 
all who do not chance to be born with a reckless 
temper. 

Let not the young wife be led away by the foolish saying 
that only tiresome people do things at regulsJ times. Probably 
she has a good many hours of the day before her while 



y to 

oing ^^^ 

^bly H 

her ^^H 



; 



242 WOMANKIND. 

hiiaband is engngerl, and she will do much mora wisely if she 
resolves ugainat being desultory. If she picks up her work or 
her hook, or tries the last hit of muaic, jiiat when the humour 
, takes her ; rushes out to garden or to shop the moraent an idea 
' or a want strikes her, encourages gaddinga at all hours with the 
friend nest door, and writes her lettera either on the spiir of 
the incoming post or in a frenzy of haate at its departure, she 
will ere long he weary, find nothing done, and have begun on a 
course that will not he easy to break. 

She will be much wiser, and much less likely to spend a 
wearisome life of muddle, and of running after omissions, if 
she fixes with herself certain tasks at certain hours, and on 
regular days — putting foremost those that she is most disposed 
to shirk. Domestic afi'airs naturally are periodical, and good 
servants are only to he made, or kept, by regularity in all that 
uoncema them. 80 charitable works (except on emeigenciea) 
are better followed out at regular times. Poor people do not 
like to he visited till they are clonned up for the day. Even 
the bed-ridden are disturbed by inroads before they have been 
put into trim, and no great good is to be done in schools 
without conformity to their clock-work regulations. And as to 
keeping up knowledge or accomplishments, these are the first 
things to sink in the turbid eddy of hurry, while sometimea 
things undone have to come in to disturb the husband's leisure 
hours when his wife ought to be free for him. 

What is the use of keeping up studies or arts after marriage! 
some ask. To be an intelligent agi'eeable companion to the 
husband ; or, even if he he not inclined to care for that, to be fit 
to bring up children, and to have some real and rational 
opinion, without adding to the already overtuppling mass of 
froth of female silliness. 

Rational opinions cannot bo formed, nor reasonable advice 
given, by mere intuition, or without more knowledge than ie 
brought from the schoolroom. Indeed, the same fauts acquire 
a different colouring to a matured mind, to say nothing of the 
progress which is every year made in discovery and research- 



ch.^^ 



W UNDERDOING AND OVERDOING. 243 

[ To'appoint a aet time every day for some UHeful reading would / 
generally be a great assiataaoe in balancing and steadying tbe > 
I tone of mind. 

I All uiuat be done subject to intemtptioniS, -which to some are 
r welcome, to othera a trial ; but perseverance in some system — 
I not wilfully neglected — will generally be found to give a back- 
I bone to the whole body of employment. 

I Babies when they come are creatuiea of routine. Theyhave 
I tiie animal instinct of expecting the same events at the same 
k honis ; good nurses promote the regularity, and the hours of 
I attendance on them sometimes are the heginning of regularity 
I in a mother who has hitherto been desultory. It will be much 
I better for her and for them as f hey grow olderj if fehe have atill 
I persevered in some self-cultivation, and not allowed herself to 
[ get into a whirl of hurry. Society, charitable business, and 
I domestic cares, sometimes make the lady of the house so busy 
t and careworn that she has no time to know her own children as 
I they ought to be known. And yet, it is really as a matter of 
I fact the idlest people who have the least time, the biraieat who 
[liave the most — generally because these latter have methods, 
I and reaUy do instead of dawdling. 

I As the girls grow old enough, it is a very good plan for the 
I mother to undertake to hear their English reading- It gives 
1 her a fixed time of quiet every day ; she can do some of the 
I needlework that is nearly sure to be required while listening, 
I and she can make them read to her books that would hardly be 
I used in the schoolroom, and which do not dwarf the mind as a 
I series of books written doinji are apt to do. Above all she will 
I keep on a level with her children's minds, and not lose her 
I grasp over them. I remember a mother who said of an 
I only daughter, that up to her fourteenth or fifteenth year, 
I ahe could trace whence every thought or idea the girl uttered 
f came from ; and though afterwards there might be the 
i natural shooting beyond of the young branch, the perfect 
•liarmony and accordance were never lost between the two 
Kmids. 



2il WOMANKIND. ^^^^^^H 

And this conld nevei have been without the link of regular 
ay sterna tic occupation, ahared together. 

Punctuality is, ot course, a. great element in method. The 
worst of it in that eseentially punctual and unpuuctual people 
are coupled together, to the terrible fret of the former, while 
the latter are quite callous to the inconvenience they occaeion. 
Each Bex thinks the other incorrigible, while probably they are 
on ft par. T^len are bound to abaolute punctuality by most 
profesaiona, but they think they may make up for it at home, 
and are both morc aheei'ly lazy than women, and more apt to be 
really delayed by unforeaeen hnsineas, or by those inconvenient 
people who " come to apeak " just at breakfast or dinner-time. 

Women are in general anxiouB to be punctual, and worn 
and wearied by waiting after they are ready, with aU their 
nervea on the atretch. But domestic matters do interfere with 
their [Hsrfect punctuality, and so does dreaa. George Herbert 
might Bay, " Stay not for the other pin," but would he have 
liked to see his wife make her appearance in church without 
the other pin, put in not for finery's but for neatness' and 
propriety's sake 'i It is quite true that she might have gone 
vo get ready in good time to stick in all her pina, but a fractious 
child or a blundering aervant might detain her, till the only 
applicable maxim would be "Better late than never." It 
seems to me that the oflice of the lady of the house is to have 
her machinery — aa far as depends on her — perfectly punotnal, 
not putting her guests to the extreme discomfort of hurrying 
down at the appointed hour for breakfast to find a forlorn 
dining-room and wait, staring at the family portraits or reading 
the advertisements in last week's county paper for half-an- 
hour before any one appears. Preauming the next morning, 
the unhappy gueat at the aame hour finds prayers long over, 
the whole family sitting over half-finished egga, and the tea 
and kidneys both cold ! 

Even if the head of the family be incorrigibly unpunctual, 
it is utill the duty of the lady not to let herself be demoralised, 
nor to let her children stray off to use the waiting tims ^h 



DNDEHDOISG AND OVEBDOIKG. 24! 

their own concerns, or endleaa time is ■wasted by the whole 
community rushing the one after the other as soon as the 
signal ia given. The heat means of avoiding fret of temper 
for herself and for them when kept waiting, is to keep some 
specially charming diversion or employment exclueively itiT 
■waiting times, some game, ludicrous verses, or exciting story, 
such as may brighten the faces, instead of letting them contract 
with fidget, or lengthen with temper. A piece of knitting, or 
some kind of work one may wish to finish ia ft good panacea 
for the weariness of waiting in the punctual member of an 
wnpunctual family. 

Nobody but the elders ought ever to bo ■waited for. Boys 
and girls should aufTer the in conveniences of tardiness, and, 
if necessary, be punished for it, since it is a eerioaa evO, as 
every one owns when suffering from it on the part of another, 
reckless as we are when our own amusement or laziness is the 
cause of delay. 

To bo absolutely and constantly punctual ia scarcely possible 
considering the accidents of time and place, but to be regularly 
and steadily punctual is in our power and ought to be made a 
duty, both aa self-discipline and as doing as we would be done 
by, jes, and as avoiding many faults. 

For hurry is an ■ungentle state, and leads to hasty words and 
actions that would never have stained a calmer moment ; and 
how many negligences have not also been committed in the 
flurry which prevents all recollected ness 1 

The only wise way is to begin preparations well before the 
fixed time, and keep the repose or the pleasure for the interval 
aft-er, entirely distrusting the perilous last minute. On the 
other band, we must beware of a nervous fidget which is always 
too early with everything, and torments other people long 
before the time with hints that they will be too late. It is 
generaUy the safest way to take care to be in time ourselves, 
but to guard against fussing other people, and indeed to keep 
our minds as calm as possible and not trouble ourselves about 
the arrangements of those not under our control. We cannot 



% 



S46 ^^^^^^H 

jJwaya judge of their speed in gcttiog ready, nor of the im- 
portance of their occupations, and it they are of the " unready " 
disposition, worrying ia very likely to make them worse out of 
sheer contradiction and contempt of what seema to them 
intolerable solicitude. 

And even if our pleasure he perilled by their tanlinesa, we 
may pacify ourselves by the hojje that after all this will be one 
of their hairbreadth escapes of being too late. Or there ia the 
better consolation of knowing that to be patient and repress 
all tokens of fretfulnees will really be a little victory, a little 
training in bearing a tiny Croaa, It ia so, moat truly, but in 
most cases after the first repressive thought of this kind, the 
wisest way of enduring Is to cheat the present vexation and 
anxiety by some amuaement or occupation. To learn to wait 
is quite aa needful as to learn to be in time. For these little 
waitings are playing at the great lessons of " abiding patiently " 
anil " tarrying the Lord's leisure," of wliich life is made up. 
" L'immobUiU at k premier mouiieTnent du eoldat," and to foree 
ourselves to sit absolutely still and quite calm may sometimes 
be a valuable preparation for times when " in quietness and 
confiilence shall be our strength," and lives may depend on 
calmness and stillness. These two are the parents of meditation, 
so great a help in the Christian character. 

Such atillness is essentially removed from dawdling, one of 
the banes of life. It is not possible for all persona to be 
equally rapid. The pace which aeema tardy to one can only be 
kept hy another at breathless haate. Even among cultivated 
people, one person's eye will gather up the import of a poge in 
a book at a glance, wliile another requires to read every word. 
Thought and dexterity vary in quickness in every one, nay, even 
at dilierent times in the same individual ; but the rule of doing 
all things with all our might decides the point that whatever 
we undertake should be carried through at the rate at which 
we can give our host care and attention, " redeeming the time," 
and not suffering ourselves either to alur or loiter over our task, 
however trifling in itself. >J 



UNDERDOING AKD OVEaDOISO. 247 

Talk is one of the great enemies of living a wise and uaefnl 
life. It is even mora a, snare to the grown-up woman than to 
the chiiJ. Nobody hushes her, nobody suggests being eeen 
and not heard, hei tasks are aJl self-imposed, and there is 
nothing to hinder her long le from running on from morning 
to night, to the overthrow of any real employment in herself 
or any one ahe may happen to he with. 

To many women, rapecially those who have belonged to 
large families, one continual stream of purring chatter seems a 
neceasary of life. They are unhappy when alone, and cannot 
sit at home for want of some one to speak to. And there are 
others, busy and useful women too, who have no notion of 
time when they are talking, but who pour forth such a torrent 
when once they begin that they are the dread of every one. The 
clergyman, their favourite victim, drops out of sight if he sees 
a in the distance, well knowing that if he once falls in with 
a, he will be kept half an hour and be behindhand with all 
lie has to do. 

Everybody agrees as to the evils of over-talkativenesa, and 
unfortunately it is the greatest talkers who are most sensibla of 
it, because they suffer most when another of their own kind 
jnonopolises the conversation. The lady who said " Mot, je n« 
parlejaToaii de moi " was a perfect sample of the unconsciousnea^ 
of loquacity. 

And a good deal more is to be said for talk than is generally 
Allowed. Most of the good advice about it seems to think that 
it is possible to abstain from conversation, or at any rate froni 
everything that is not improving, and rules are laid down that 
■inight he followed iu a convent, but certainly not in a family or 
in society. An unreasonably silent person, who will not entertain 
seem to be entertained, is a burthen and a distress, though 
error is a less harmful one than the more common tailing. 
Parhapa it is only these who had rather hold their ton|jui.'s who 
•re safe from over-talk. 

The difficulty is for the grown-up person to know when it 
■becomes escesaive in herself after the age when no one dares to 



S48 .o«AKKl»». 

crII her to her face a chatterbox. Some years back a reporter, 
whose proximity to a party of ladies prevented him from catch- 
ing the speech he had come to hear, took an excellent revenge 
by writing down the scraps he caught interspersed with the 
chatter behind him. It was a good lesson on talk at unfitting 
seasons. Indeed one would hardly boHeve hdw impossible 
silence is to people who ought, from age and position, to know 
better; if one did not see and iiear them whispering at concertsi, 
public meetinRS, and alas, even at chureh. To be abaoiutely 
silent at such times is a] tvays courteous, and sometimes reverent. 

Sometimes, when people of a higher class patronise entertain- 
ments to which they think themselves superior, they either 
assert themselves, or try to find diversion by whispered wit and 
criticisms, interspersed with htdf- disguised laughter. How ill- 
mannered this is need hardly be said, and yet how many young 
- — yes, and older people too — will fall into it ! 

And the tongue that is not controlled really loses the power 
of stillness. Therefore, it is much better never to let slip the 
schoolroom training in silence over occapation that needs atten- 
tion, or that will be unreasonably prolonged by chatter, such as 
letter-writing or serious reading. I believe it would be much 
better for grown-up girls and their mother to ait together silently 
and steadily employed in the morning, than for those to whom 
silence is necessary to have to seclude themselves in their own 
rooms with their business. It shouU of course not he grim 
compulsory silence, bnt a tacit mutual agreement not to disturb 
one another, a sociable siieuce, so to say, which is a much 
greater token of intimacy than talk. A few other tiroes it 
would be well to mark with absolute silence, such as the walk to 
Church before an early Celebration, such decoration of churches 
as ia done in^the Church itself, and when girls occapy the 
same room, the time after their private prayers at night. 

The time while going to bed is sometimes the only opportunity 
of eonfideuees, and every woman knows how sweet those 
dressing-gown conversations are, so, within rational limits aa to 
lateness, they become a " time to speak " — but after the prayM 



UNDERDO I NQ AKD OVERDOING. 

has closed tlie day, thero should be no more chatter in or out I 
of bed. 

" We to Thee oursflvos resign [ 
May our latest thought be Thine," 

is not compatible with a renewal of the interests lately discussed. 

Spaces of silence only add zest to the conversation. MeaL 
times, and all the leisure hours that belong to recreation 
the amusing of others, will be all the better and brighter 
for the tongue's having had some stillness, the ideas some 
recruiting. 

Conversation is emphatically an art to he studied for hom» 
consumption. " Tenir un talon " is the highest accomplishment 
of a French lady. To keep her own drawing-room in I 
should he the aim of the mother of a family, above all for her. 
own circle. To teach her hoya and girls to take their proper 
places in brightening up the home and contributing to ita 
pleasantness, to keep down jarring elements, to turn off gossip, 
check ill-natured stories, confute exaggeration, and all good- 
humourecily and without apparent interference, is one of the 
most unassuming and yet the most valuable of motherly arts. 

Talkee-talkeo seems to some to be the whole of female life, 
and it is certain that conversation is one of the greatest enjoy* 
ments of life, from the refined and lively intercourse of tha 
choicest society down to the old village dames wagging theif 
chins over their saucers of tea. 

Moreover, almost all the good we can do Is by our words, not, 
of course, half so much by direct admonition as by the tone 
and manner in which we handle every subject, those utterances 
that are really a part of ourselves. Therefore it is a duty, 
besides doing as we would he done by, to share in conversation, 
and talk with full spirit and interest. But to avoid over-doing 
in quantity, it needs to be very observant of others. Are wo 
talking them down 1 Do they seem bored ? Are there indica- 
tions of a wish to escape ? Are we occupying them when they 
must wish to attend to something else 1 If we do not look out 



I 



250 WOMANKISD. 

tor tokens like these we may be making ourselves very tronlll 



Overdoing is the great habit of our day. We cannot h 
fasbiun but it is exaggerated to caricature pitch ; we cannot hava 
a new game but it is trumpeted forth and overworked till every- 
one is sick of it. If WL> give a party, it is crowded ; >nd 
whatever we take up is ao immediately assisted by all sorta of 
faciUties and inventions that' we are fably carried olf our feet 
and driven on beyond our intentions. 

To be thoroughly occupied and employed is almost neconsaty 
to the happiueas of an energetic nature, but it is hardly possible 
that the casual and extraaeoua work will not jKiur in, which 
goes beyond the limits of the convenient and possible, and ends 
by making time all one drive and race. If this happen only at 
intervals, and on extraordinary occasions, well and good ; but if 
it is the normal habit, it is wiser to drop or delegate some of 
the works, if possible, rather than continue at the rushing 
speed, which must break down and destroy all calm and " rpcol- 
lectedneas." That love of doiug everything ouraelvea, and 
thinking no one else can do it, is a great anare to those who have 
" faculty." Perhaps the injier side of it (if we may call it so) 
is best shown in "Joyce" in F. M. P.'s One Year. If on- 
checkeii, that spirit runs on into the masterful woman — a very 
obnoxious personage — who directs every body, from the clergyman 
to the shoeblack ; and with the utmost simplicity describes the 
superhuman exertions she has made to come to your assistance 
when you are only wishing she had stayed away. 

We are all of us ready to say we could not grow into so 
dreadful a person, and yet it is q^uite possible to any one who 
has an energetic, active nature, and a dash of self-importanoa 
and self-confidence. As soon as the temper of patronising and 
directing develops itself, in young or old —in the daugliter of 
the parsonage, the lady of the manor, or the benevolent old maid 
— there is nothing for it but " a grain of humbleness," to con- 
sider, as St. Paul bids us, othei's as better than ourselves, and 
*hen to " order ourselves lowly and reverently to all our betterB,"*B 



UN'DERDOING AND OVERDOING. 251 

If OUT advice or aid be needed, lowly and revereotly let it be 
given, and let the dread of doruiiieering be before our ejes, so 
i age or station puta the temptation in our way. It is 
mply because it makes us absurd and dls^eeable, but 
e it is absolutely wrong to thrust oiir=eIves into matters 
that concern others, and to attempt to be one of " many 
masters." Suggestions are all very well, but vehement ea- 
foreing of them, or manifestations of displeasure when they 
not adopted, or the conviction that our way is the only right 
, are no part of lowliness. This busybody spirit is one 
the reproaches of good women, and a soie trial to the clergy in 
contact with them. Let those whose conscience amitea them 
with some overbearing moment pray for the " ornament of a 
meek and quiet spirit." 

Yea, life consiata in first being stirred to do, and then learning 
how to do. We sometimes seem to rush out of leaving undone 
what ought to bo done, only to do a great many things that 
not to be done. To timid and indolent natures it see 
fest way to do nothing. For it is easier to avoid all 
exertion on behalf of our neighbours than to begin only to find 
that we have encouraged an impostor, easier to delegate authority 
than to have a battle with an ill-tempered chOd, or to dive into 
lOmless well of half-truths making one great falsehood, 
much easier to stay at home in our drawing-room than to consult 
■with ladies' committees, be doubtful whether we have acted , 
right, and perhaps have all our paina sneered at, and decried \ I 
by our family as fancies and hobbies. While, if activity be a ) | 
pleasure to us, there is the continual need of holding it in check, 
avoiding whirl, or if whirl comes to us, trying to beep calmnea 
and judgment in the midst, and letting others have their dm 
turn and weight in management. It is a perplexing world that 
live in, and all that is plain to us is that the sitting still 
doing no good work is no more safe than the laying up the 
talent in the napkin was, and that we must be content to strug 
on with our work, blundering and floundering on, as it wi 
even at the best, foiled in our schemes, or finding out their 



J52 WOMANKIND. 

ill succobb; submitting to repression we think ill-judged, or else 
finding we have ridden rough-shod over the humble counsel that 
we wish we had followed, learning by sad and bitter personal 
experience that we are indeed unprofitable servants, yet 

"Finding, following, keeping, atruggling, 
Is He sure tolilcsu! 
Angels, martjrs, prnphets, virgins. 
Answer jes." 



CHAPTER XXDL 



How different is the lot of different households ! There are 
some that go on year after year "wholly at ease and quiet." 
Their children scarcely know a serious ailment ; they grow up, 
go out into the world, and marry, and atill the parents can 
count their flock unbroken ; no lamb is missing from the roll- 
call, and they begin to count up in thankfulness, but in trembling 
tones, years of undimmed peace and joy, — happy, indeed, if 
prosperity has made them more loving, more grateful, and rich 
in happy memoriea to bear them through the years that must 



And others have struggled with uneeaaing anxiety and 
sorrow, with disease ever at hand, maiming the young Uvea 
even when it epares them, leaving gaps in the circle and aches 
in the hearts of the loving, and rendering life one course of 
suffering, and a continual round of precaution. 

Such extremes as tliese are not common. Fair working 
health is tlie ordinary rule, though tliere is nothing more 
vme'iually balanced than the aiuonnt of comfort or discomfort 
with which people go about the world. A habitually ailing 
jterson will go through the husincsa of the day with a head 



HEALTH. 253 

and hack that would entirely disable and terrify the atrong and 
healthy, and not unreasonahly, since in them it would probably 
mean serious miachief, while the other knows that it ia only her 
daily cross, to bo borne patiently and cheerfully, and not likely 
to lead to anything further. 

ia a truth, or truism, that it ia right to take care of the 
health. Yet it is a saying of the Anglican comfortable order, 
and would be utterly denied and scorned by any medieval saint 
who would view the keeping the body under, and bringing it 
into subjection, as meaning that the poor thing was to be 
neglected, misused, and in short treated as I'dnesge. 

The Fort-Royal nuns died like sheep in the malarioua 
atmosphere, and no one saw any harm in the shortening of 
their probation on earth. Faith was strong, and saw in sick- 
ness only a cross, in death only a release, and deliberately 
postponed the body to the soul as deliberately as we postpone 
the soul to the body, and view it as a heinous offence not to do 
exactly the thing best calculated to keep the body in high con- 
dition. Nay, if the transgression bo only an imptudence for 
pleasure's sake, it is easily forgiven ; but let it be for a religious 
acruple, and there ie an immediate outcry. 

To keep the body, as far as lies in our power, in good and 
effective order and working power, and to avoid what we know 
to be harmful to it, or likely to bring on an illness, is, of 
course, a duty. Imprudence is an actual sin when it is wilful 
recklessness and disobedience ; and it is often an act of true 
self-denial to submit obediently to eueh precautions as interfere 
with enjoyment — avoiding damp graaa or evening chills, and 
enduring langhter from othera who can venture on the forbidden 
liberty. The lively and high-spirited sutfer a good deal of 
vexation, and endure much wholesome discipline when thus 
forced to consider delicate health ; but, on the other hand, it 
is quite possible to make health a sort of idol, and an excuse 
for doing nothing but what happens to be easiest and niost 



to lay down general rules. With 



It is almost 



254 WiMASKlSD. 

Bomc girls neithw froat nor (lamp does harm ; a walk in pouring 
rain only j^'ivea a glow to tlieir cheeks, and the only thing that 
does seem to try them is being shut up in the liouse nil day. 
It is well for them to rejoice in their strength, and make the 
best use of it, cultivating hardy habits by avoiding the little 
indulgences that are not needful for them, keeping their bed- 
rooms cool and ^ry, and taking plenty of exercise, though even 
for them some precaution ia needed. It is wiser not to take 
walks of extra length more than occasionally, and to be 
thoroughly rested from one before taking another ; and indeed, 
where fatigue is hardly felt or acknowledged at the time, 
eiibsequent harm is often done by want of moderation in 
-exercise, such as strong, high-spirited girls will often take in 
rather wilful disregard of the warnings of mothers and aunta. 
Wet feet do not always injure everybody ; but it ie never safe 
to presume on former escapes ; and no sports ought ever to be 
permitted that may keep the delicate or thinly-shod on dewy 
grass in the evening. For those who are strong, the hardiest 
and simplest habits are the safest and best. Avoiding chille, 
and using warm clothing enough, it will gpnerally be the best 
way to use cold water in the morning and warm at night as 
plentifully as possible, and to avoid stimulants. Those who 
start OS water-drinkers have a great advantage in the benefit 
that in time of need any extra strengthening gives them. But 
some are too delicate, some too weakly for such treatment, and the 
vigorous alone can profit by the freehneas and activity it gives. 

The healthy are very apt to disdain and laugh at their care- 
ful companions, and tease them for coddling, little knowing the 
penalty and danger of the hardihood that comes so naturally to 
them ; how the damp walk is at the coat of a perilous cough, 
andTthe draught brings on neuralgia or rheumatiam. Such girle 
Boraetimea esereise absolute tyraimy in their love of ait and 
seom of coddling, and their laughter makes it much harder to 
the conacientious friend who ia already afraid enough of " being 
tiresome," in taking the needful care of herself 

lint fresh air ia life, and it ia a happy thing that 



nuM^J 



educated people of the present generation have learnt a due 
esteem for it ; but those who love it best must learn to act 
with consideration. Those who suffer from heat and cold are 
not quite on equal terms, for in general the damage done by 
cold is much more serious and lasting than the discomfort of a 
close room or a closed railway-carriage, which, at the worst, 
only cauM headache, or even faintness. 

In youth, obedience must rule ; afterwards, it ought to be, 
true that every one after forty is either a fool or a physician. 

A certain amount of time is really necoasary for petting 
acquainted with one's own constitution, and gaining experience 
of what it will bear ; after which our common sense and discre- 
tion have to avoid trifling with it, and at the same time to 
guard against making the body too important. Sometimes to 
run a risk would be folly; at others, to avoid it would b*- 
seliishness. 

There must he a due and seasonable regard to probable con- 
Bequences. The risk of a serious attack on the chest is a very 
different thing from the certainty of a bad headache of tbft 
nervous order. The one requires the sacrifice of what would 
otherwise be a duty, the other often is bravely faced asi 
endured. 

Many of the best and most earnest works of charity now in 
hand are actively carried on under the pressure of constant 
suffering and ill-health, and it will be often found that, though 
no one has a right to do that which has been said to be directly 
injurious, yet a brave straggle not to be made useless has 
resulted in the lightening of the load. 

The continual depression of a low condition is one of the 
trials that comes to many. Children show it in a perpetual 
fretfulnesa and crying, and their elders sometimes envy them 
for their power of indulging in tears. It is a very " 
when everyone seems to be unpleasant. A clever old lady once 
said, " If one person is cross, I suppose he is out of tempf 
'f two people are cross, I still think it may be their fault; \ 
if everyboily is cross, I go to my medicine-chest." 



I 



256 WOH*SKIXD. 

Then it is that we, like her, muat decide that the f&ult cannot 
be in everybody at once, but in ooi own temper and spirits ; 
and while using remedies, we must keep a good and careful 
guard over thought and word, and do our very best to keep the 
peaci', and take a cheerful view of things. When we become 
conscious of being in this mood ; nay, when we are accused of 
it, and feel roost persuaded that the cross one is the speaker, we 
had better keep that resolution, which is the best cure for the 
spirit of contradiction, not to oppose except on second thoughts. 
Probably it is the lot of more than half the world to go about 
and do their work in life under the pressure of undefined or 
detined ailment, needing a continual exertion to keep good- 
tempered and active. 

In most cises resolution, and an endeavour not to be 
disagreeable to others, is the best remedy. It is much better 
and wiser not to give way unless we have been told, or know 
from experience, that serious consequences will result tram 
disregard of such discomforts. There are symptoms not to 
be neglected, or fatal illness may be the consequence, and 
the merest trifle may seem quite as distressing at the momenL 
But if we give way to the unimportant indisposition, and 
nurse and make much of it, we give it an advantage over us, 
we occupy our minds with it, magnify it in imagination, and, 
besides the immediate duty left undone, we disqualify our- 
selves for future exertion by promoting languor, laziness, and 
nervousness. Moreover, it is often possible that the very 
exertion, by turning the course of the thoughts, actually worka 
a cure. 

Eomember, too, it is a very suspicious circumstance when an 
ailment makes a duty seem intoleiuble, but shrinks into nothing 
on the announcement of a pleasure. It is quite true. Our 
nerves and our wills, or whatever they may be, in this strange 
frame of ours, are so mixed up together, that even when we hat« 
ourselves for it, we got well for what we like, and the only 
revenge we can take is to force ourselves to do the thing we 
don't like, whether we feel up to it or not, and if we once 



Iwgin to do it heartily, it will he as good a cure as thsil 
pleasure. 

This is not advising any trifiiag with healtli. Ko ons baa a 
right to do that. It is too pieciouB to be sacrificed to carelessness, 
■wilfulness, fashion, or amusement ; though sometimes there am 
higher services that require it to be disr^arded. A child nursing 
a sick parent, a wife accompanying her husband, and again, 
those who are called to work for God's service, often have to put 
their personal risk of damaged health out of the queatiom It is 
all a matter of comparison, duty, and obedience. Sharp loual 
suffering is to sonie people more, to some less, disabling, often 
according to its frequency, but something depends on the 
endurance and sensitiveness of the individual nervous system. 
Thinking about it as little as possible is, as usual, the moat 
practical way of enduring. Such occupation as may be possible 
should be sought, and though submission to the cross, and 
prayer for relief or for resignation, must underlie everything, yet 
cheerfulness should find support and outlet in the interests 
around, the sympathy of friends, and the little alleviations and 
amusements to be found. 

" There is no such waste as to pity oneself," as the old nurse 
said ; and it may be a wholesome recollection to many called on 
to endure pain, from a toothache up to the truly severe sttfferii^ 
that falls to the portion of some. 

The same rules apply when Church rules or religions 
observances are in question. If a fast really disorders the frame 
and leaves had consequences, the " abstinence " must not be from 
solid food, but if it only produces a little depression and yawning 
that is only a sign that it is a reality. Or if kneeling produces 
faintness there may be real cause for giving it up ; but in nine 
cases out of ten it will turn out to be merely from casual 
exhaustion, from heat, or fatigue or nervousness. 

Nerves and hysteria in all their forms are the great perplexity, 
for the BufFering ia real, and yet is almost viewed as unreal. In 
general the tendeneies (before the malady is confirmed) arc beat 
dealt with by resolution on the part of the victim or her friefids. 



I 



r 



258 WOMANKIND. 



'I 



Quietnesa and an endeavour to occupy the ftttention will 
Bometimee ward off an attack, and to make a change and avoid 
the associfttiona under which tho Biiffflring has occurred is a help. 
Morhid nervous fancies ahout oneself, frights and frets, are often, 
cured by some great excitement that entirely takes us out of 
ourselves. But engroasing occupation, above all in the cause of 
the poor and suffering around, must BOioly have the same effect, 
if tried for their sakea, not our own. Locality has an effect on 
health and epirita that aometimea cauBca a difficulty. It is a 
great trial to feel better, lighter, more active, and therefore more 
good, wherever one's station baa not called one, and to find 
dreary " all-overishneaa " and general depression awaiting one in 
one's appointed home. Hero, again, is one of the points for 
duty and unaelflthTiese to decide. If there is nothing to fix one 
to the place, of courae it is best to go where one ia moat strong 
and efficient, but even then it ia not wiae to encourage a restless, 
vague temper of roaming. If we cannot be well in a bracing air, 
let UB try a warm one ; if relaxation unatrings us, let us try 
brisker air ; but when two or three places have disagreed in the 
same manner, and we are simply weary of them, it may be aa 
well to question whether the wandering habit is a good one, 
and whether settling down to lose the thought of self by 
finding interests and ties might not relieve some part of the 
ailment. 

And whore the vocation of father or husband lies in the very 
atmosphere most depressing to the daughter or wife, and she can 
only freshen herself by an occasional holiday, it is indeed a trial, 
and one often met with brave fortitude and patience. The 
restlessnesa that unsettles him ia often absolutely kept imder, 
and sometimes prayer and patience succeed in fitting the back 
to the burthen, the health strengthens, or some change of house 
makes all the difference. Any way, when it ia a clergyman's 
wife who finda her husband's pariah disagree with her, she should 
be very careful how she lets herself interfere with his duties. 
Not only ia it a grievous thing to carry him away from hia 
parish, but serious temptations to faith and doctrine aometi 



L^ 



>UI1M^H 



■beset cleT^ forced to become idlers, which would never have 
befallen them in their full career of work. 

Of course when physicians say it ia matter of life or death, 
of recovery or lingering disease, and when there are means for a 
journey, the matter is taken out of the patient's hands, and it 
is a duty to obey. But when the means are wanting and the 
move ia well-nigh impoasihle, there is much compensation and 
comfort ia reaignation, in the being spared the farewells and the 
journey, and an invalid will do well to look resolutely on this 
aide of the question, and remember there is no restraint to the 
Lord to save by an English winter or by a Mediterranean ona 
Yes, let those who cannot spend what they would like on advice 
or on remedies for themselves, or their dear ones, remember that 
unlimited power of this kind really often increasea the harass 
and worry by bringing in conflicting opiuiona, and fretting, and 
wearying the patient with long journeys and endless expevimontB, 
often in themselves distressing and painful. 

Much the same is to be said about advice as about chai^ of 
air. It is reasonable and wise to consult some medical man of 
eminence when our ordinary attendant has evidently exhausted 
his reaonrees without effect, but after that, it is much better to 
tranquillize oneself, and not wander from one system to another 
with vain impatient expectation of a cure. If ill-health does 
set in, though of course we must " give place to the physici 
and obey his directions, the only way not to be a bnrtlien to 
ouiselves and all around is in the double meaning of the third 
petition of the Lord's Prayer, submission to His will and doing 
it, first accepting the Cross ajid then thinking of it and oneself 
as little as possible. 

To use aU means for the preservation of our own health and 
that of others is almost a branch of the Sixth Commandment. 
To do our best to prevent carelessness such as imperils life or 
damages health is a clear duty. H^o one ought to rest contented 
where there are any tokens that sanatory measures are needful, 
though nothing is so difficult as to accomplish them, and those' 
who meddle in them are thought fanciful and meddling. 



I 
I 

I 
) 

1 



260 WOMAXKIXD. 

Howerer, the spirit of the age is in favour of thia 1 
the anbject, and the matter ia likely «veij year to become ei 
MDce every epidemic geneially causes some place to t 
slann and look to ita dnins. 

Bat people ought to be reminded that unselfishness or i 
to complain and give trouble must not make them keep s 
about nnpleasant smells or ill-tasting water, for the conseqoemMS 
of lilence may be very dreadful 

When the epidemic has begun Us cotme comes the question 
of infection, and this is, as uaual, to be judged by good sense 
and unselfishness. A morbid horror of infection is selfish want 
of trust in God, and a reckless exposure of oneself is equally 
selfish, and is tempting Him. 

Most people being in nil probability franked af;;ainst all the 
common epidemics they have once had, except, perhaps, scarlet 
fever, may reasonably venture among them if any good purposo 
is to be fulfilled by so doing in the way of nursing or consolation, 
but this nevei should be done without precautions against 
carrying away the seeds of contagious disorders in the dress to 
those who liave never had them. A doctor's orders in thia 
matter are Tiewer to he ditobeytd. Yonng ladies are apt to have 
a sort of contemptuona antagonism to no doctor, and to think 
him an ally of those at home, who would moke them useless, 
and thus tfaey defy his rules, and rush from one cottage to 
another, perhaps carrying infectious fever in their woollen 
dresses to a peison in a state to whom it is doubly dangerous. 
Why should they carry it, they say, when the doetor does not ) 
They may depend on it that he arranges his visits so as not to 
go immediately from the fever case to the otlier, or that be has 
used some means of lessening the infection. Disobedient im- 
prudence of this kind has sometimes done fatal mischief, and 
also retarded and caused mistrust of the good cause for a long 
time after. 

Those who have never had these disorders will generally do 
more kindly by keeping out the way of them ; though, if they 
find their cure necessary, or have incurred the risk of infection 



HEALTH. 261 

without knowing it, they will do most wisely to throw off self, 
thiiit as little about fears and risks as possible, leave it in God's 
hands when they say their prayers, and go cheerfully about 
their work, whether it be that of common life or of miraing. 
Whether they are to be ill or well, this will be the best 
preparation. 

There are many books, sueh as Miss Maurice's Sickneig, tit 
Trials and BlMsmgt ; Suntkine in Sichiesg ; Out Invalids ; and 
above all the AhbiS Henri Perreyve's La Joum&e d'ltm Malade, 
anglicised as From Morning to Evening, which treat of the 
spiritual way to endure long, permanent, and severe sioknesa ; 
and there are others on nursing, entering into the practical 
details of care. On these, therefore, I will not enter, for these 
books are written from practical personal experience, such aa no 
healthy person can really have. I would only pass on to remind 
those who have an invalid in the family of the great care and 
consideration needed. 

The invalid of books, who lies on the sofa ready to do every- 
thing for everybody, and to hear every care and trouble, is an 
excellent ideal foe the invalid herself, and is often bo carried 
out as to make the sick-room the care and centre of the family. 

But all invalids have not the free head and nerves, lively spirits, 
and unfailing temper, required for such a post to be easily ful- 
filled. Heads and nerves will be shaken and need silence, 
backs will be jarred by hasty or heavy steps, or fidgety handa 
playing with the couch, attention will fiag to the heat devised 
amusement, and the young brothers and sisters will go off 
declaring that their patient is so cross there is no pleasing her, 
and then, when she could be amused but has no enei^ 
to amuse herself, they are all gone, and she is left to utter' 
loneliness. 

The great thing to leam in such invalid companionship, is to 
follow the will of the patient instead of your own, not to be 
despotically bent on carrying out your own views of what is 
diverting, and to manifest neither surprise nor disappointment 
at the failure of any plan of yours for giving pleasure. Bn 



I 



262 WOMANKIND. 

not think it ia unreasonableness or ingratitude when yonr 
favourite plan is received lauguidly, and what has cost so much 
trouhla to procure is put aside with feeble thanks — if any. 
You little know what an oppression your very eagerness is, 
how great the disft]>]>ointineut may be in having no relish for 
what has been looked forward to, nor how much effort there 
has been in squeezing out those thanks. Vary likely tlie 
capacity for enjoying and the gratitude will come in a day or 
two ; but on the whole the love is beat that taken kindueBs aa 
80 natural that gratitude seems uncalled for. 

At the same time, the power of creating variety, and inventing 
resources, either for comfort or for amusement, is a great benefit 
and gift; but the great thing ia to watch the right moment, 
not force on your invention. Talk when it is likely to be a 
pleasure, and not only when you are eager ; and make it your 
business whenever you go out, to bring something home to 
onhven the prisoner, be it flowers, or leaves from the lanes, or 
descriptions of scenes and adventures, or scraps of newH. 
Many a ilull call or disagreeable interview may become a great 
entertainment, if rehearsed with liveliness and drollery. It 
seems as if the most ordinary sense would tell us such things as 
these ; and so they will, if we give our mind to them, and yet 
people are strangely tlioughtless, above all, when uuused to 
anything like permanent illness. They take no pains not to 
tread heavily ; they lean against the couch and shake it as they 
talk ; they mend the fire noisily, and scrape the cinders with a 
worrying sound ; they leave the sun streaming in, or blinds to 
" come tapping " with distracting monotony ; and if any 
favuurit« friend bo sitting with the invalid, they flock in to 
enjoy her society, forgetting that even if they do not destrtiy 
the only chance of a tlte-^t^, they oppress by their numliers, 
and consume the air that it ia not always easy to renew. 

When outsidera come to see a sick person, there should be 
strength of mind on the friends' side to shut the door when the- 
visit would be wearisome, and there should be rational kindneaa 
on the part of the visitor so as not to take offence o 



1 



of jealousy. " Some other person was admitted — I was not t 1 
I will not go again," Probably that was the very reason 1 ^ 
One visitor may be a benefit, two a fatigue. 

Throaghout it is the same story — leave self behind, and you 
will do well. And to the invalid, whose self is so painfully 
present in pain, weakoess, or lassitude, shall I venture to Bay 
anything that has not been much better said in the books I 
mentioned 1 

Tea, one word I will try to aay. Perhaps you are grieved at 
feeling yourself so unlike the gracious invahds you read of, ao 
loved by all. You feel it very hard and neglectful if jou are 
left alone, yet you do not know how to bear with the others 
when they come, and you are glad when you can manage to be 
only dull, not snajipiah. People petted you, and thought 
nothing too much for you, when you were very ill ; now that 
ailment is permanent, they are getting tired of you, when you 
reaUy want them. 

There is nothing for it but to dwell more and more on Him, 
"Who is shutting you into your chamber to commune with Him. 
Dwell on His Love and His Sufferings for you, and you will 
find it easier to give the love and sympathy that will draw 
others to you. And do your best to be of use 
Tour work may be for the poor ; you may make scrap-books, or 
dress dolls for children ; you can do easy matters the busy have 
no time for ; you can be their memory, send kind messages, or 
a share of your dainties to other sick persons, or write letters 
that sometimes are much valued. It is the old story so often 
enforced in parable and allegory— our cross grows lighter bo 
soon as we set our hand to aid in bearing that of another. 



I 



u 



CHAPTER XXX. 



The Altar and the hearth I Well may tboy be coupled 
together, anii well does Wordsworth in his " Lark " describe the 
faithliil heart as — 

"True to tho kiiidrod points of Heaven and Home ! " 

Home-making is perhaps the most essential of all the dnties 
of womankind. Above all it belongs to the wife and mother, 
but it often falls to the lot of daughter, sister, or aunt, and 
woe to the family that bus not a home-maker in ite house- 
wife I Men can seldom, if ever, make a home by themselves, 
and though they can live their lives without a present one, 
sometimes tising above the need, sometimes falling below, it 
is seldom that there is not either in memory or in hope, some 
precione spot that has been — nay, that still is the home of 
their ail'ectionB, or to which they hope yet to attain. 

Home need not be a iixed spot. Wandering families of 
officers, &c., who spend their lives in a succession of furnished 
houses, yet contrive to carry about with them a perfect sense 
of home that is wonting in some houses whose owners might 
almost look down on Domesday Book. 

And yet there are palaces with a core of home, and single 
back rooms in lodging-houses which have that in them that 
holds fast the heart of the inhabitant. 

What is this element of homel Is it not above all that 
of being the place where one is always welcome, and above all 
sure of sympathy and easel A place to gravitate to, not 
merely as one to cat and sleep in and serve as a shelter in 
case of illness, but the place where, in spite of all love of 
■■.hange or society, one always comes back as the dearest and 
pleasantest to us, whatever may be its disadvantages. 



Tt is woman'a work to make Buch homes, aa the safegaaitl 1 
and earthly anchor of the men she is connected with, "Wliile I 
the family abode is merely an uncomfortable place of runniag j 
in and out for meala, without any common centre or gi 
united family life, they will bestow thi?maelvea and their time | 
elsewhere, and too often not innocently. 

The forlorn places are generally where there ia no mother, 1 
and the eldest daughter is unequal to the position or careless of 
her duty ; bat, even where the mother is living, there is < 
dreariness where she is too gay, too ijuerulous, or too indolent 
to make home pleasant enough to keep her children from flying 
off in all directions, dreading nothing so much aa domestic 
dreariness, or atill worse, domestic wrangling. 

To make a really happy home the father must co-operate i 
with her. If he is thought of with terror for his temper, oi j 
if he cannot or will not tolerate his children's interruptioufl, 1 
there will be less peace and gladness, but still the mother can ' 
keep up the home element if she gather the children round | 
her, keeping him and his requirements foremost ia her own ] 
estimation and the children's with the dutiiuluess of love. 

The hardest task is, however, that which falls to a widower'^ I 
daughter, who has been left too young, or too much imprisoned | 
in tbe schoolroom to begin at once on her mother's death to take I 
her place, and who has to reconstruct after her father has | 
leamt to despair of finding happiness in the family, and 1 
brothers have acquired rougl;, careless fashions of treating their J 
meeting-place. In fact it should be the great endeavour of I 
any person who is put in churge of a newly motherless houae- I 
hold tolieipthe eldest girl to take up her position as centre from .J 
the first, and to infuse into her the sense of responsibility as. J 
companion to her father and sympathizer with the boys, 
never to let the continuity of home be lost. There was a story I 
a few years ago in tlie Churdiman'i Companion called " Eegenii J 
Eosalind " which showed, much better than any discourse, how | 
a sensible and motherly girl can line again the shattered neat J 
of ber home. 



266 WOMANKIND. 

Tlie wife has the great advantt^ of beginning from tho first. 
Her husband has married her to make a home for him, and 
louks to her as the brightness and joy of his house, and her 
cliildren are one by one born into it, and look to her with 
a natural loving instinct which can only be thrown away 
by her own fault, in eilher neglecting or overdoing her 
duties. 

To her, home-making is from the time of her marriage her 
paramount earthly duty, and as long as huahand, sons, and 
daughters need her, all other good works and even extra 
indulgences in devotional habits must be kept Bubordinats 
thereto. It is not so essential that she should sit on ladies' 
committeea, preside at mothers' meetings, hear locturea, or evea 
attend week-day services, as that she should prevent her husband 
and sons from being alienated from a fireside with no one to 
greet them, or her girls from being formed by stranger hands. 

If she have really free time, or can make it, by all means 
let her so use it, and this ia often the case, but always as an 
object aocondary to the welfare and comfort of home. What 
has been undertaken when there were no children, or they were 
smaller, may have to be dropped when they require more 
attention. Of course good works are not to be dropped entirely; 
no one can be in a wholesome state who does not live in the 
constant exercise of deeds of love to the poor, and the children 
have to be trained to them, but the charity of a wife and 
mother ia truly bound to begin at home. 

If charity has to be made secondary to home, how much less 
there is to be said for gaiety and love of society. Moderate 
variety, pleasant intercourse with friends, and interchange of 
visits there should he in moat cases ; but when there is a shrink- 
ing from the dulnesa oi disputatiousness of an unbroken eveninff, 
and when the girls are often left all the evening to schoolroom 
undrnsB, and the boys to find what sport they can among the 
servants, and engngementa are ho frequent that no one knows 
how to spend a day without company, the precious homeaeed 
has been thrown away. A lady who makes her drawing-room 



80 gorgeous as to be only fit for receptions, drives off her 
husband as efl'ectuiilly aa the poor woman who receives hers 
■with her one chamber all over half-dried linen and aoap-auda. 

If the poor woman ia wise and energetic she will have her 
work done, herself and her room tidy, and her hosband's sujiper 
and chair ready for him, and if the rich woman be equally 
rational, she will leave her reception-rooms for the days when 
she must fill them, and keep a cheery family apartment for 
common life and ease^ — where a shooting-coat ia not out of place, 
and where children can play in a civilised manner. 

From tiie palace to the lodging-house, the great essential 
of home, which the true woman will create aa surely as a. bird 
will build a nest, is a living room that gives a sense of comfort, 
oheerfulsesa, and pleasantness. The cottage kitchen, tidied up 
before " the master " comes home from work often fulfils this 
office to perfection, but among the womankind principally 
addressed here, it is the drawing-room that generally answers 
the purpose, or, in some large houses, either the library or the 
moming-room. 

The having t«o many rooms is, however, a disadvantage in 
home feeling. No room has a thorough atmosphere of comfort 
that is not lived in and worked in, as well as used for viaitora 
and for the evening place of assembly. There ia sure to be a 
atifTness and formality about it, and nothing that ia wanted can 
be found. It is certainly convenient to have a room " to make 
a mess in " or to carry on an occupation such aa will not brook 
interruption ; hut if everybody ia away in boudoirs and morning- 
rooms from breakfast to luncheon, when there are visitors, and 
the drawing-room ia left bhnded and tenantlesa, it will never be 
comfortable, and when guests tie down the denizens into sitting 
there, they are all stiff and dreary together. 

When the wife takes possession she will make herself and, 
every one else more at home if she sits in it for her morning 
avocations, not deserting it except for anything unusually, 
untidy, which makes a litter beyond bounds. Her furniture 
has, I hope, been choaen by herself, unlesa it he inherited, and 



2S8 ^^^^^^H 

even then she will give it a character and individnality. 
Architectural furniture, professionally adapted and chgeen, 
seems to rae simply fitted for puppet?, not for living and breath- 
ing men and women who connect themaelvea and their higtoriea 
with their surroundings. 

If the lady of the house is sitting there with her hook, work 
or letters, she will get on much more eemfortably with the 
callers than if they have been shown into a flapping blind 'or a 
dull fire, to glance at the prim circle of wedding preaenta on 
the table till she is fetj:hBii down to them. If her furniture 
doea lose its first glose a little sooner, it is more comfortable 
for all parties. Everything brand new together is trying, 
Frealinesa is a different thing from newness. The husband will 
be sure to like better to find his wife over ready for him in her 
drawing-room than to have to hunt her from up stairs whenever 
he wants her. And when the children come, the dmwing- 
room Bhouid be a place of honour and enjoyment to tliem, but 
of self-restraint enough to make them " behave themselves 
discreetly." The furniture need not be aacrificed to them nor 
they to the furniture. A child can leam often before it can 
walk what maybe touched and what may nut; and there can be 
always extra toys and books produced in the drawing-roora 
alone which render the time spent there a pleasure as well as 
Bi privilege, which should be ended on any misbehaviour. Self- 
restraint and domestic courtesy are two great elements in home 
joy, and these, to he consiatent with ease and freedom, must bo 
acquired from the first. Therefore, rudeness, boiaterouanesa, 
quarrelling, and ill-temper should be met by instant expulsion, 
and so should all ill manners, whether ahyueBa or forwardness. 
Cliildren should be warned that if they will not behave 
properly to visitors they must not stay in the room, and the 
personal remarks of the enfant terrible should be demolished 
as improper, and never so repeated or laughed at that he can 
ieam to take a pride in them. 

Of course it is better that young children should be only for 
i' short time every day under the constraint of drawing-rooin 



HOHB. 



369 



The garden and nuiseiy aie tlie place where tbeii limbs 
jand their voieea should have free play and full eujojinent, bat 
AD increasing length of time of quiet civilized life and superior 
Boeiety is needed aa they grow older. 

',0 time for this is better than th^Lt of meals. The moat 
homelike families are those where the meals are taken together, 
■nd the children after learning to comport themselves properly 
■e in the conversation merriJy, but like reasonable creatures, 
and can listen as well as talk. Most mothers do have their 
children to make their early dinner at luncheon time, and 
bring the lesser ones down for the auhserjuent hour to play in 
the drawing-room. The other meals are too late for them, and 
since dinners have come to be so very late, they have destroyed 
the family evening. The mother can have the children, with 
r till the bedtime of the very Hitle ones, but the elder ones 
have to return to the schoolroom while she goes down to dinner, 
and have very little chance of seeing their father. 

The families certainly seem the moat thoroughly homelike 
and comfortable where the family breakfast is early enough for 
the children to join in it, where the dinner is early, and the 
evening meal "high tea." It is not always practicable, when 
the master of the house is out all day, though some busy fathers 
prefer calling their evening meal tea, that they may not he 
mtirely cut off from all social life with their children. 

Most men have, however, auch a rooted dislike to the system, 
that, as the comfort of the husband must be the wife's first 
object, she cannot introduce it. Some ladies too, and a great 
many schoolboys, are absurd enough to imi^ne early dinners 
Unariatocratic. Where the custom is established, the mother 
will indeed hardly be able to carry it on, unless she can make 
her gentlemen confess that the eatables are quite as good and 
agreeable as if they had come in regular courses. 

When " late " dinners were at what we now view as the 
barbarous hour of five or six, they did not break up home half 
so much, as they left an hour or two for the children to come 
down and amuse themselves quietly under their parents' eyes, 



370 WOHAKSmD. 

"be played witli by their father, show liim their performances, 
perhaps be read to by him. 

Nothing so binds a party together as some employntent and 
interest in common, with which memories get associated, and 
round which hang family eayings and family jokes i 
long after. Thus, readings, music, and gamee are excellent 
e of gathering and keeping together the whole set in a way 
that is much safer and better for growing young people than 
when they retreat in parties of twos and threes to chatter iu 
nooks in the schoolroom or smuldng-room. Except on tUoEn 
! aummei evenings when the twilight garden is full of. 
channa, all the young people should be considered as " due " in 
the evening ; but not for dulncss or vacancy. There should'' 
always he something pleasing in hand (or thera, in which eacb. 
has some place, so that they would miss each other, and fed' 
mwilling to make a gap. 

Of course there are interruptions and breaks, from 
without and duties to frionda and society, The best frionda 

e those who amalgamate with the home Hfc, and love it, andl 
indeed it is a great mistake to treat guests aa " company," and' 
give up all occupations for the sake of entertaining them. But 
the home is a happy one where, though there may be plenty 
freah taste for society and amusement, thsy are enjoyed 
variety, not as a relief, and the great deJight is in the 
rehearsal of ail that has been seen or done. Indeed such homi 

u rather apt to breed a spirit of family exclnsiveness, whii 
has not much toleration for outsiders, and is alow to 
them ; growls at interruptions, and contemna all that is unliks 
the circle at home. 

There is not much of this narrowness left now. Perhaps if 
was a hotter extreme than that which at present makes young' 
ladies be foimd anywhere but at home, and prompts them to 
pour into any ear they suppose conSdential, the wrongs and 
errors of their disobedient parents, and all that they have to 
tolerate and endure — till they can almost think themeelvet 
persecuted ! They would nut after all be like this if home had 



1 

ad ^n 



HOME. 271 

been home to them, and if their father and mother had not let 
them get out of their hands foi want of cheriehing, fostering, 
and training in thoir own mould. 

The sons, who only come home periodically, need the influence 
even more. But the way to make their home a true anchor for 
their hearts is not to let the holidays be aa oi^'ie of indulgence, 
riot, and discourtesy ; but to accept the boys as reaaonahle 
creatures, returning to their old places in a loving home, and 
give as well as receive affection and sympathy. 

Toleration of bad or selfiah habits, or the sacrifice of one 
part of a family to another does not tend to make a home 
enjoyable. Willing 3e//-sacrifice does, but not the immolation 
of other people. There must be justice, and everyone must 
her due place and security of rights ; each ought to 
he a part of the machine with a sense of usefulnesss, and thus 
well very early to assign little oflicea to growing girls, 
which become charges and duties, such as giving out stores, 
arranging flowers, feeding pets, or even stamping letters, or 
finding and posting newspapers sent on to friend, hospital, or 
Anything that takes them out of being mere 
Bchoolroom machines, and makes them members of the house- 
hold is valuable. 

Bat after all these are only external details. Nothing will 
illy make a home but keeping the fii'st and great command- 
ment, and the second, which is like unto it. These alone can 
make happy homes of peace, and of innocent mirth, precious 
in thought to the very last breath. 

The women who come from such homes make others ; not 

ily in the full perfection of a family, but true women will 

make a home of the rooms they hvo in — perhaps as a party of 

the remnants of a family, who gather round either the 

or the strongest, and make their abode — albeit smaller 

and poorer — seem that of their childhood still, "a household 

A very great act of kindness, especially with weekly pspera, snoh as 
the Guardian or Illustrated Londatt News, only they must be sent within 
week if to gu abroaJ, or they are stopped. 



272 WOMANKIND. 

nook, the haimt of all affections pure," and often a haven to 
young people who hare no other aympathetic resting-place. 

Where such a. Iionielike nest is open to young men whoeo 
profeaaion keeps them at a distance from, their kindred, the 
effect ia often to preserve them frum many temptations, and 
save them from bciog hardened for want of Bome safe place 
where to spend leisTwe momenta. 

A bright fire, or cheery window with flowfira iit hand, easy 
chairs for the weary, and an air at once of calm and of the 
fresbneas of occupatiun, the pervading eense of kindliness and 
refinement, — these constitute no amaU charm to those who are 
roughing it among men and to husineas men, and though the 
instant love aeta in, they will follow it away from the old friend, 
atill, aa long aa it does not come, they will often be thankful for 
a resort where no " intentions" can he suspected. 

Even the solitary woman will make her sitting-room homelike 
and enjoyable ; alone, she will people it with shadows like those 
in Longfellow's poem, and she wOl be ever ready to welcome 
those who come to rest and refresh thomselvea in the calm that 
her quiet dwelling makes, when their own are full of the cares 
and joys of life j or the lonely will seek to her for relief. And 
she will listen to each in turn, and open her stores of sympathy 
fur thoae who rejoice and those who weep, and yet it is not 
change or variety she seeks or needs, for she le r 
than when alone. 

With her the long abaent brother or son, returning to find.- 
the old household broken up, and scarce a relic remaining, in i 
new room, and strange place will atUl cry — 



'* It's home, i 



's Ijome, an' it's home." 



For the old aroma will be there. Tes, home is sweet 1 
and yet 

"E'en here may lurlt a bhito." 

The exclusiveneas mentioned above is of no great importanol 
It^i^^y a form of loyalty, and though aometimea it mal 



Idolatry of liome is moc 
the children, for in fact it 
in it is the choicest time 
and are ruling it, aa nearly 
costs them a pang 



273 

young people faroudw, eometimes conceited, for a time, it ia 
quite certain to rub off in a few years, and thoae who have it 
are less likely than others to stray into such folly as silly lova 
affaire. 

a temptation to the parents than 
the parents' neat, and their reign 
1 their lives. They hare made it, 
i they can, up to their ideal, and it 
nestliag thinks of flying, or 
dares to think that any perch heyond has a more extended view. 
That sona should go out into the ivorld, and daughters 
marry, parents know is in the common course of things. They 
do not murmur at that—unless they are exceptionally foolish 
or selfish — though the match-making mother is far leas common 
in real life than in hooks ; but it is their nature to glory in 
seeing their daughters happy wives, nud only a father here and 
there indulges an absolutely morbid and selfish dread of losing 
his daughter from his side. 

But when it is not marriage, but something higher that 
claims the children, the solemn words of our Lord as to the 
renunciation of home delights have to be considered and 
duly weighed both by parents and children. False vocations 
and mere restless fancies should indeed be combated, and time 
and reflection should be insisted on, but fathers and mothers 
should bear in mind that it ia an awful responsibility to insist 
on son or daughter serving the world and themselves instead of 
■embracing the direct service of God, The young people ma,y 
1)6 sure that disobedience will never be blest and must submit ; 
but the parents will find that after the repreeaioa (if it has 
been selfish or ill-judged) the home they valued will never be 
the same again. Clerical duties and calls stand above other 
claims. It ia home idolatry that would tie a clergyman down 
to the neighbourhood of hia parents when he is summoned to 
harder or higher work elsewhere ; it is home idolatry still more 
which insists on his conforming to hours and family traditions 
that interfere with hia work. 



S74 WOMANKIND. 

Home is a treasure. Its training ia precious. Its value U 
immonEe both to the young and to the husy, harasaed roan, who 
can do hattle with a full spirit, rofreshed and supported, if 
he have a home to strengthen and enliven him, where hiH 
carea are laid oBide aa reposed on hia wife ; and yet it is but 
ft step. 

" Swnet ia tlie smile of home, the mutual look, 

When hearts are of each other euro, 
Bweot all the joya that trown the hoQBeholcl nook. 

The httuiit of all affeclioui pure ; 
Vot in the world even thase abide, and we 

AboTB Uio world our calling boast. 
Once gain the mountain -top and thou art frea ; 
Till then, who rest, preaume, 

Who turn to look are loat." 



CHAPTER XXXL 

THE WORLD. 



" I RBNODNOB the poinpB and vanity of this wicked world.' 
We ask our little children what this means, and the y< 
lips make answer that it is the fine and gay things of this 
and if the young brains reflect at all, they decide that 
pomps and vanities are whatever ja finer than they possess tl 
selves, and that ia possessed by some one whom they do not 
Happily for them, at their age they have a groat deal too mi 
faith in father and mother ever to suspect that the paina ta! 
that they may look nicGi than Mrs. So-and-So's children 
have something to do with the vanity of this wicked world ! 

Happily I Yes, faith in parents is happiness. And yet is 
not that faith abused when they hear mamma triumph in their 
dress having excelled evoryboiJy elae'fi, and in their complacency 
id the church and plume tlmmselves on tho resnlta tMf; 




1 



THi: WORLD, 2T5 I 

the comparison, or set their small hearts on some bit of fiDery ! 
And roamma would open her eyes with amazement if she were 
blamed. She would say a little girl's pleasure in dress was 
natural and harmless, and that it is her own duty to make her 
children nica She could not bear not to hare them nicet than 
other people's. 

Ah ! there's the rub ! Nicer than other people's. It is tha 
rivalry that brings in the world here. 

And yet again, the world is so mixed with the claims of duty 
and affection, that it is almost impossible to tell when we are 
doing our duty, or when we are being led by the world. I am 
Tery much afraid that a large proportion of fairly good and 
religious people, if suddenly told that they had renounced the 
world, would reply that they had done no such thing, and 
would tacitly confess it to he impossible without going into a 
convent. 

As to not being conformed to this world, if the words were 
quoted to them, they would say, " that — " and there break 
oS, and look for aa answer, not exactly 'liking to dispute it and 
to express in words what is conveyed in their tone—" that might 
apply to the Romans in St. Paul's time, hut it can't be meant 
for us, and only an unreasonable person would press it. Besides, 
are there not extremes to which we never went, nor had the 
opportunity of going ! We never bought 300-guinea shawls, nor 
sets of diamonds, never gambled, never wont to three parties a 
night, never committed any of the sins we had no mind to. 
Fashionable people, who have very gay seasons, are conformed 
to the world, we are not." 

Nay, but why does our friend the defendant wear such a mass 
of false braids on her head I Because she must be like other 
people. Why has she a poor helpless cheap governess for her 
girls instead of giving them a thorough education 1 Because i 
is necessary to keep up appearances, and be like other peopli 
Why does she dress her children in unnecessary feathers and 
ribbons, and give the smallest sums her position der 
pariah charities? Because she must belike other people. Why 



I 
J 



276 



WOMANKIND. 



does she encourage that disreputable young man about the house, 
amongher growing daughters t Because he is an Honourable, 
or, may be, because he is heir to a fortune. Uay, why docs she 
make much of that cioes old lady I Because she is a baronet's 
daughter or a knight's widow, and it is gratifying to be intimate 
with her. 

The world's conscience is on a sliding seale, shifting with 
pnblic opinioD. Sometimes, when " religion walks in his silver 
slippers," it demands a very large amount of religions observance 
and expenditure, and is rigidly hard in exacting propriety of 
conduct. But at other times this same conscience tolerates vice, 
cruelty, dishonesty of all kinds ! And it is in reality so difficult 
and unusual to have an original conscience that Bishop Wilson 
may well bid us pray to be delivered from the " vices of the age 
and place we live in." 

And this conscience of the world's not only varies with periods 
of time, but with classes in society, High life has a different 
code from the middle classes, and they again from the poor- 
nay, each parish, each family has its own public opinion. Nor 
is there anything against which this conscience of the world 
bears a more tyrannous hate than the rare original conscience. 
It is dreadfully scandalized at the presumption of setting up to 
think for oneself, and avoid practices good enough for one's 
neighbours. Ever since Abel's sacrifice was accepted suub dif- 
ferences have been intolerable, and must be put down till — till 
they are found to be too strong to be iiuaahed, and then to bo 
reputable and satisfactory, whereupon the world adopts them, 
and does its beat to corrupt and poison them. 

The world is, I suppose, the most present and subtle 
tempter of the respectable and good. It has worked up a set 
of duties, which it really is so impossible to disentangle from 
the duties of one's station, that one scarcely wonders at those 
who gave up the whole effort, and fled to convents, or, 
finding that there could be a world there, retreated to 
solitudes. 

For to ourselves we can make a world out of the presence of 



THE WORLD. 277 

the best and holieat if we act foe Lis praise, and show off for 
his approval, rather than with thought of God aione. 

When our Lord spake Hia Bermoo on the Mount, He stormed 
the world in its citadeL And what do we do with that sermon 1 
We prabe it, we think we love it ; hut whenever a phrase is 
brought home to ua, we say it is an Orientalism ; and one of the 
great endeavours of our lives is to prove that serviog Mammon 
ia the way t Gr d 

But wh 1 13 t b d 1 We are born into families. We 
have to tak pi d fulfil our duties in them. Tliere is 

no condemn t f d n ry social life ; but the rules given in 
the Sew T t m t mply the existence of society, and the 
division of las I what sense then are we to make " I 

renounce the world " a truth instead of a mockery, and to be 
really " in and not of the world," a saying quoted by ao 
many, without considering what it means. 

First let us see what are the principal branches of the world's 
temptations. Perhaps they are to be defined by the baptismal 
vow, " the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous 
desires of the same, so that thou wilt not follow nor be led by 
them." Sometimes it may be feared the very choice of the 
sponsor who utters the vow proves that the parents are following 
and being led by them. 

The vain pomp may be taken to mean all matters connected 
with display of any kind ; the glory to mean fame, honour, and 
opinion, and the covetous desires, all seeking for wealth, rank, 
or station. 

Display then begins with the child. Vanity ia dreas ia the 
first temptation to most girls, and even when they are exempt 
from it as children their mothers have it for them. Exultation 
in their beauty ia a loving motherly instinct, but it would be 
well if this were aU. Mrs. Gilbert had the good taste to say 
that the prettiness of little children was best seen in the 
of dress ; and the real sense of mankind agrees with this, for 
what raptures there are over a tiny child in its little petti- 
coat ! The velvet frocks, broad sashes, delicate lace, the fashions 



1 



I 




878 WOMAKKISD. 

ridiculoualy imitating grown-up people, are sometimes only bad ^ 
t«ate, and that form of afiection which ehowa itself in giving its 
darling tbe beat and raoat costly ; but too often there is really i 
worldly display in them, and pride in sending out tbe child ( 
the public walk to eclipse aa many others as possible with its ] 
finery, or at any rate not to be pitied, aooraed, and wondered at ] 
for it« simplicity. 

When a chUd is dreeaed cumbronaly or unhealthUy because it \ 
is the faahion, or bo expensively that more needful outlay, caj 
nkiiritiea, are sacrificed to it, (here is vain pomp in its attin 
And when it knows it is got up to be admired, and is encourage 
to be pleased with tbe exliibition, seerls of mischief are bi 
forever. There is a natural pleasure in a protty thing; 
that ehonld be kept apart from the desire to be admired in in 
or because of it. Kobody ever should admire a child t 
clothes before its face. If a motber ia wiae and sensible, she im 
only distressed at such food for vanity being administered ; i 
she is otherwise, we need not add to the child's vanity. Bundan 
freahneas and constant ncatneas should alone be impresGed c 
the child for whom we have renounced vain pomp. 

Again, it is said that in places where young ladies' schooU 
abound, the style of dress ia kept up to an expensive pitch by i 
the rivalry — -not only ot girl with girl in the same school, but 
of school with school aa they pass one another in their walks, 
or see one another at church ; and yet aome of these schools at 
least teach the catechism. The French peniioimairt's uniform 
would be far better than this, or at least some rule that the dreafl 
should not go beyond a certain style. Itut people are not in the 
habit of thinking a girl's vanities wrong — unless they are offen- 
sively visible, or offend one of the world's tender points, iti ] 

The booka she reads, even the better sort, do all they can td ] 
encourage these aanie vanitiea by their descriptions of " fairy ] 
Jigurea," "golden curls," "violet eyes," uniionacious attitude! 
that entrance aome beholder, dresses which the writer has dwet^ 
m amore, grand houses, and little lords and ladies. 



THE WORLD. 279 

arranged as, in spite of the eupposed moral, to make beauty, 
dress, and ranlt appear the eummum honum. 

Prohahly most little girls do indulge in the dream of how 
delightful it would be to find oneself Lady Edith or Lady Alice ; 
but it is well if they have a strong interior consciousness of 
their own foDy in wbhing it, and are not maintained in the 
belief by ohserviiig mamma's pride in a titled guest or any 
connection with the nobility. 

Yet ranks are to be acknowledged and treated with their right 
amount of respect, whatever it be, that the society of the time 
imposes. All outward tokens of courtesy that are the due of 
persons of rank onght to be paid ; hut when they overpass that 
just due, and the desire of intimacy or profit influenca our 
attentions, then begins servility, and the world again is " telling 
on us." 

So when we are led hy example or hahita of society into 
■what simple sense of right forbids, is not this the world once 
morel Those untruths which pass as a mere hahit; those 
questionable amusements which we permit ourselves or 
families ; those omissions of devotional observances, or practices 
lest somebody should be offended, because we don't set up to be 
better tlian our neighbours, or lest we should seem to cens 
Bomehody else — what are these but snares of the world 1 

And the difficulty is terrible, for some of these things 
recommended hy our elders, or hy those we respect — nay, they 
are sometimes enjoined as matters of obedience ; and they blind 
the eyes and blunt the conscience, so that those who w 
dragged into such customs against their clearer sense in early 
youth have, hy the time they are free to act for themselves, 
become habituated to them as second nature. 

"When thoughtful young people or simple children startle ns 
by some question, " Why, ia this right 1 " it is a terrible respon- 
sibility to set to work with specious arguments to prove 
ingenuous first impressions mistaken, " very good in the dear 
child," hut to be got over. 

The people whom general consent calls worldly are only those 



280 W0B4NKIRD. ^^^^H 

whose pnrsnit of rank and wealth or position is too evidenQH 
aiiil petbaps too eucceaaful to please their neighbours. Ooifl 
may bu quite aa perilously worldly when one's sole purpose U 
just to Uod a comfortable life, standing well with society, and 
falling neither above Dor below its etandard. If we must needs 
have champagne and ice at oui dinner-parties because some one 
else hoe, and we cannot be outdone, though wo cannot properly 
afford the style these involve, can we be forsaking pompa and 
vanities T If we pine for a carriage, not as a convenience, but 
BB a bodge of grandeur, what then 1 Oi to ascend a little in the 
scale : is there any truth in the allegations that ladies penuude 
their husbands to go into Parliament, not for any desire or com- 
prehension of their duty to the country, but simply to gratify ■• 
their own vanity, to enjoy the honour of the thing in thin 
country, and to have a house in London ! Does no clergymao^u 
wife over give her weight to the scale of aelf-interest rathan 
than duty, and dread offending a patron or a rich parlahioDer'H 
And when " good introductions " are talked of, do they noH 
genendly mean what will lead to society of rank and wealth I ■ 

The vain pomp and glory of the wcrld ate closely linkeoV 
with the covetous desires of the sama Generally, indeed, thqi^ 
arc a sort of fiower or blossom of wealth — the very means oj9 
displaying it ; as when display is thought to win conlidencB ta^U 
attract notice, or when daughters are dressed and sent iatfl 
public to attract suitors. To enjoy luxury and make a disjJi^H 
is perhaps the usual English notion of wealth. Witness tjjjH 
workpeople, whose first stage above spending their earnings iiS 
drink, is to lay them out on iinery and furniture, while ^^M 
French of the same class never increase their material comfortJB 
but love to hoard. H 

The view of the necessities of each station does differ a gOo^H 
deal in the two countries : whether for the better or the worse msifl 
be doubtfuL Comfurt and cleanliness are so much more valus^H 
in Kogland, that they require a different amount of laba«]H 
and expense ; and whether it be bad taste or franknaaqM 
most English people value wealth more for what it gives iflfl 



^^ THE WORLD. 28l 

distmotion, luxury, amusement, ami ornameut, tbaa for the 
tense of possession. PuWic opinion is against what it calla 
itouaness or avarice. It expects that a ehayr shonld be 
mode for money, and ia altogethei averse to aoy stinting, 
being entirely of the opinioa expressed in the 49th Psalm: 
" So long as thou docat well unto thyself, men will speak good 
of thee." Indeed, it will praise a considerable amount of 
liberality, provided it costs no self-denial and is no rebuke to 
any one else, when blame, in the most sensible, regretful voice, ia 
-uttered. 

How to have an unworldly conscience in this matter of 
oovetousness is another difficulty. Views on the matter change 
irith life. Young people, who have never felt care, cannot 
inaagine themselves growing anxious and saving in their t^e, 
and, without realizing what they mean, will sometimes declare 
that affection is everjthing, and they do not care for riches, and 
■Bometimes will long for large estates, with castles, horses, jewels, 
'power of travelling, &e. Their mothers have perhaps only 
ileamt what money means after their marriage, and, while 
'striving on themselves, among anxieties present and future, 
, cherish wishes that their girls may " marry well ; " i.e. richly, 
and begin to forget the dreams of their own youth, or to 
^Bsuade husband or eon from the higher, purer course. Or, 
may be, let their minds dwell on the advantages of wealth till 
Bpeculation, or even more doubtful means, are tried. Duty to 
one's family is indeed duty, but it is very, veri/ hard to disen- 
tangle it from the claims of this world. No wonder St. 
James makes one-half of pure religion to consist of keeping 
oneself unspotted from the world ! 

How ia it possible to keep from following the drift J Two or 
'three books have been written lately to startle us, by showing 
that the true likeness to Chrbt is absolutely impossible in the 
modern world, or can lead to nothing but martyrdom. But 
they beg the question. Their ideals are made to do what their 
Example would not have done in their place; i.e., the school- 
boy who refuses at the command of his master to mention the 



name of a Greek god, entirely forgetting that he was trying to 
resemble One Who was obedient Again, we are told iio one 
can be sincere who does not liiy down all his goods, like the finst 
Christiana at Jerusalem ; hut when we look into the matter, wo 
find that this was only done by the first Chriatiana at Jerusalem 
in their new fervour. It was onjoijied on no one, save on the 
young ruler, who no doubt was Been by the AU-aeeing Eye to 
need that crucial t«at, "if he would be perfect." Indeed, it 
looba much as if the fall of Ananias and Sapphira had shown 
the Apostlea that ordinary characters could not bo aafely 8ab- 
jeoted to the test ; and both in the Gentile churches, and in the 
Jewish, in the time of St James, people evidently retained 
their poseessiona, and yet "the world" is ever as much onr 
enemy as Satan himself; and as our blessed tflrd had to en- 
counter its allurements after He had overcome the desires of the 
flesb, so its temptations lie ready for those to whom the conunou 
Bensual pleasures have little attraction; and to others it gilds 
their baseness and grossness. The world infused itself into the 
Church even in the times of persecution ; how much more when 
there was no danger to sift out the half-hearted, and when 
nothing was to be lost, but a good deal gained, by keeping at a 
certain level of religious profession I 

The practical question seems to be how to keep the world 
out of our conscience, so as neither 

"For pleaaure, wealth, or power. 
Our Ilea VOQ -bought soul to nell," 

and to keep our eyes clear to see that what is offered us for out 
birthright is really nothing but a mesa of pottage, and tbat it i£ 
not our pressing duty to tike it. 

I believe the only way is to reaolve against anything onr 
instinct ohjecta to, and not hston to any excuses in its favour. 
If WG begin hy persuading ourselves that what we wish cannot 
be really wrong, and may under the circumstances be done, we 
are acting as Balaam did when be kept the messengers. 

There is a necessary obedience to parents and to husbands. 



THE WOULD. 283 

but where the will is allowed free play tho only safuty is in 
giving up the doubtful. " Let every man be fully persuaded 
in hia own mind." "Weigh prevalent cuattima by the scales of 
truth, not by general consent. If you think a fashion in- 
decorous, and even foolish, do not conquer the feeling becauBO 
other people adopt it. If tho expense he beyond due limit, let 
nothing persuade you to transgress. Imitation does not improve 
the matter. If you recoil at the first proposal of some popular 
amusement, do not let example lead jou to it, still less run 
about trying to persuade some one you respect to say something 
in its favour that may restore your self-approvaL Never omit 
what ia r^ht for fear of offending some person with whom 
Tanity or self-interest makes you wish to keep on good terms. 
Never withhold a protest gainst evil because it is done by 
those from whom you hope or fear something. Whenever duty 
to God and the claims of society clash, put the right claim 
foremost, and do your best to keep from any longing con- 
templation of those advantages which you fancy wealth or 
rank would bring, but rather dwell on the abaolnte hleeaing 
and glory of poverty, showing it all honour and respect in 
others. 

Again, it ia surely the safest way to avoid putting oneself 
forward for display, or trying to do what we excel in for the 
Bake of admiration. The right medium seems to be to do what 
we are asked to do, and aa simply and well as possible without 
any fuss — to use our talents really and truly for our neighbouTB 
and not ourselves. What comes to ua of itself within certain 
rules is generally safe to do ; and so, again, is the amount of 
society that is thrown in our way, corrected always by considera- 
tions of expense, and by attention to the seasons of the Church, 
and likewise of the fitness of the thing ; hut in all this, we can 
but return to what we started from, namely, that the conscience 
Is so easily perverted by example, persuasion, self-interest, or, on 
the other hand, by love of singularity and desire to produce an 
effect, that the only safety lies in constantly referring every 
decision to the rule of God's Word and Commandments, and 



I 



2Si 

dreading nothing so muct as the twisting and distorting that 
Word to suit our owa code, or [lersuadiog oiuBelvea that the 
living oracles of God are not meant for the present state of 
society. 



CHAPTEK XXXIL 



I 



Dear old Miss Matty vaa heard to observe that there were not 
so many old ladies in Cranford as there used to bo when she 
was a girl. There may possibly be a delusion of this kind in 
my imprcaHion that either the last generations must have faded 
much faster than women do now, or that aouiety has become 
much more merciful ; for whereas in most old-fashioned novels 
the heroines ranged from fifteen to eighteen years of age, and 
ladies of twenty-five or thirty were absolute old maids who 
made themselvea absurd by pretending to youthful aits, in the 
present state of the world a woman, whether married or single, 
would be ridiculous if she did not keep in the ranks of youth 
up to thirty, ay, or five-and-thirty. In this northern climate, 
beauty, unleaa marred by iilaeas, anxiety, or diasij»ution, gene- 
rally increases rather than lessens for the Hrat half of life. 
There is an exquisite bloom in some fair girls of seventeen, an 
applo-bloBsom-look of innocence, which, under unfavourable 
circumBtanoes, does not last two years, but under favourable ones, 
will continue for years. In general, however, English women 
are better looking at aeven-and-twenty than at eeventeen, and 
have seldom begun to fade at seven- and- thirty, if all have gone 
well with them. 

When the parents live on in health, sph'its, and efficiency, the 
daughters never seem to grow older after they have once come 
out of the schoolroom. They are still "the girls," and neither 
they nor their parents, nor any one else, is inclined to think 



^^H^^V 380 

HNlbetn otherwise. It is only when they see their nephews and 
Bsieces growing up round them that they hegin to find theraaelvee 
HiOf an elder generation, and to recDgnise the fact that, by years 
V at least, youth is past. 

B This is the way with tranquil lives, especially with those who 
B.baYe superior parents to whom heart and head can loyally look 
vnp, and in these the happy period of tutelage lasts even to 

■ middle age, with the freshness and usefulness of spirit it 

■ pieserrea. 

m With others, womanhood comes early. Sometimes the sick- 
Bness, incapacity, or death of a parent, force the daughter to come 

■ forward and leave her no youth at all, or love affairs come early 
B and unprosperously, or some great family shock matures her. 

Girlhood can really take no thought for the morrow ; other 
heads fix for her what may and may not be done, and cheerful 
acquiescence is all that is wanted of her, but womanhood has to 
take responsibility, decide, and govern. 

In early life the vigorous among us long for this responaibility. 
"We think we could do the thing so much better than we see it 
l.lieiDg done. We are so ready with our censures and advice. 
"We think ourselves so wasted ia a subordinate position. We 
talk so recklessly, half because we know nobody will mind us. 
All on a sudden promotion comes. We have to try. Either we 
liave to organize a new foundation, or we have mounted up to 
the seats of office in our own little sphere, or come into one in 
.•iLOther place ; or we suddenly find that our words have weight. 
We may have been wont to speak as one of the rabble of tbe 
femily, wishing and censuring, grumbling or castle-building, with 
the comfortable freedom bred of out minds having no weight, 
.when we find them actually taken into consideration, and pro- 
ducing an effect I Sometimes this effect actually startles us, if 
ttie grumble was only a grumble, not meant to be acted on, nor 
make any one uncomfortable, but merely to relieve our minds. 
■ It is the old story — the family Whiga turning Tories and coming 
io the top. 

Sometimes when we thus begin to act for ourselves with our 



286 WOMiKKlND. 

own contemporaries, tliere i3 an odd enrt of feoling (even in the 
midst of grief) as it what we were doing was somehow 
unauthorised, and wanted conlirmation from our elders before it 
can liecorae valid, 

£c it how it may, the time of reBpoDBLbility does come, and 
we have to assume authority and to rule. One counsel it may 
bo well to give to those who have to take up work already in 
progreafl, but new to them, namely, not to be hasty in bringing 
innovatioDs that are not necessities. It was the advice Dr. 
Arnold gave a fellow head-roaster, saying, that whatever changes 
he had made during hia own first year at Kugby he had regretted. 
Ko one can tell without experience of the individual working of 
any machinery,^ what necessities the lack of theoretical perfec- 
tion may be to meet. And besides the dismay and opposition 
produced by sudden alterations by a new comer, it is quite 
possible that a little real experience will show that tliey would 
have been mischievous. We much recommend to the consider- 
ation of those who are going to have authority in a new scene, 
that story of the Rev. F. Paget, entitled " The Curate of Cumher- 
worth," where the zealous youth eaters on a parish where ho 
must needs set something to rights, and can find nothing to 
meddle with but the church-clock, which accordingly ho puts 
^vrong. 

Often young brides come in, just a little spoilt by the pettinjf 
and other charms of the courtship, and too often prepared by 
the general drift of opinion to see in the mother-in-law a foa 
and a rival hoth in influence, affection, and power. Half shy, 
half jealous, frightened and deficient, eager to feel themselves 
mistresses of the situation, anxious to try their rights, they 
know not one quarter ot the pain they inflict, nor how often 
it is resolutely hidden, rather than cause disunion. Public 
opinion generally goes with youth and joy, hut a little tender- 
ness and .consideration on their part towards her who asks 
nothing but to see her son happy will save many a heartache 
to all, and so will a little humility, and recolJection that much 
' Vidt Mrs. Gattj's eicellant paruljlB of the OrgaD-pij) 



J 



AinooRiTY. 287 

rhioh seetQB to the new eye duU, anti coated, or belonging to 
.Bome barbarous age, may be very dear and precious to older ones, 
and that to root up is much easier than to renew. 

Many a good, right-minded, well-intentioEed clergyman's wiie 
or daughter sows thorns in her path for years to come by her 
persuasion that a dark age preceded her coming to the parish, 
"by expecting every one to be delighted by the changes they can 
ifcarely endure; and by speaking compassionately of the late 
incumbent, who has still their reverent love. Let the charities 
appear to be on the moat pauperising system, let the harmonium 
bray and growl, let the Sunday-school system run counter to 
every theory or practice of your own, and hold your peace, of 
only speak out your mind on compulsion, and when you intro- 
duce the improvement do it gently and humbly, and not trium- 
phantly. When people have learned a little confidence in yon, 
they will go along with you in your changes and see the need 
of them ; if, oa the other hand, your own experience does not 
prove that many would have been hasty and ill-advised. Those 
■old iucumbninces, sexton, choir-leader, schoolmaster, parson's 
man, whose deficiencies are so glaringly evident to you, may 
merits you little know of, and a little patience on your 
jjart will prove whether they are improvable; or if they cannot 
rise to your standard, and voluntarily retire, it is far better than 
if you discarded them and pensioned them off on your first 
f their incompetency. And oh 1 beware of a 
Trhisper, even to your dearest friend, " Before 1 came things 
■were ao and so." With the very best and most affectionate 
^intentions, she will gloiy in your success and set up everybody's 
bristles. 

injury to you it they do love what is gone before, 
Bay, it is a pledge that they will be loyal to you when their 
allegiance has been gained. Yet, after all, love and allegiance 
.are not to be sought after. Your duty is to be true and faithful, 
and to let the law of kindness sit on your lips, and then no 
matter about what comes of it. 

But it is quite certain that when people go about talking of 



1 



388 ITOHAKEIXD. 

in^titude, the; liare done BometbiDg to binder gratitude. 
Either they have done nothing for their neighbour, or they have 
spoilt their benefits by liwJt of love. 

"AIss, tbe gratitnde of men 
Hath often left me moaming." 

Assamption of authority comes naturally to some people, &nd 
ia a terrible effort to others. When position requires it to be 
asserted, it ia needful to lash ooeRelf up to do so, and it is a 
great conifort that reproofs seem to he effective almost in pro- 
portion to the effort they coat. The reproofs of the nagging or 
Bcolding nature are like the wind that blows, -while the reboke 
given gently and with pain, even timidly, goes much further, 
from its very rarity, provided the speaker be in full earnest. 

To take the projjer place, and exact due respect and obedienM, 
may be very unpleasant, but ia an absolute duty. It is no 
kindness to those who depend on us to let them be familiar, 
negligent, or insubordinate ; they are our eliarge, and it is out 
duty to fulfil it, in a considerate, and not in a slovenly, manner, 

If the question be asked, how are wo to know when to come 
forward without being assuming, surely sometimes position 
settles the question, and at all times, if there ia something to 
be done, and nobody else can or will do it. Providence is calling 
UB, and " as our day, so will our strength be." 

Mere matters of dignified presence, " faculty," or readiness of 
speeeh, often mark out tlie person who can become manager, 
and if she he absorbed in the business and not in herself, others 
will follow her as cows follow their senior out of a field ; for 
there is so little originality in the world that most people are 
glad to imitate, provided they do not find it out. The really 
clever head will direct either openly or through others if only 
it be a humble head, and keep in its right pla 
less able, who have to act, will repose upon it for aid 
suggestions, and the guidance will tail to it, as "the one indi»- 
penaable person who knows all about it." 



r the I 

and 
indi»- ^j 

1 



AUTHORITY. 289 

As things stand in England now, Bmaller coiratry places 
ve their tone given either by the Bfpire'a wife or the clergy- 
in's, according to the circumstances or birth of one or the 
other. Such places are generally much more peaceable than 
those wheTe there is a kind of republican equality, and some 
half-dozen ladies are jealous of one another's claims, 
the richest, perhaps, being looked down on for having come of 
relationB in trade, and the one with the most ostensible rank 
being of lowest birth ; whOe the truest lady of all hangs back 
disgusted at their jealousies, the most effective is the most 
domineering and distasteful, and the clergyman's wife is too 
poor, or sickly, or oppressed with ehildren, to reckon for any- 
real blessing when some one of undoubted position 
either by rank, wealth, or standing, comes among them and can 
iake the lead naturally ; nor should she hesitate to do so out of 
indolence, shyness, or false humility, for the influence of station 
IB really a talent committed to her trust, and a little quiet 
unassuming way saves an infinity of jangling 
and uncharitableness. 

There is nothing against humility in so doing. Ihe great 
practical portions of St. Paul's writings make our conduct hinge 
on our office as members of Christ, parts of tlie great Body, 
the component parts of which have to act in haxmony. One of 
these rules is that we should each think of ourselves " soberly 
OS we ought to think," that is, with a just estimate of our 
position and what is required of us. Observe, this does not 
mean what we should think beneath us to do for those who 
need it, but when it is our place to undertake direction and 
management. To abstain from what is questionable, and pro- 
mote what is good, is a personal duty in all cases, but what as 
girls we may have done with doubt and timidity, as women 
must be done openly, and giving reasons. 

For instance, a good eonacientious girl may quietly and 
steadily refuse persuasion to have her fortune told, to witness 
any of the pcrUoua tricks connected with spiritualism, to go to 



S90 ^^^^^1 

races or pigeon-BhootingH, to read a " delightfully wicked " 
botik, Ac. If thoaa about her require to know the motives of 
her refusal, she should jpye them as briefly, truly, and modestly 
as she can, with due regard to her relations with the inquirer. 
Again, a young girl has nothing to do with anyone's dreas but 
her own or her sister's — and must conform to the style that the 
neighbourhood rules iis fit for varioas occasions, but the lady of 
the great house can — especially in the heyday of her bloom — 
have a very cousiderable influence on the habits and expenses 
of those around. If she encourages simplicity and quietness, 
and inexpensive i^ood taste in hetaelf and her daughters on all 
but the absolutely needful occasions of full dress, it will be 
thought vulgar to outshine her. Her straw hat at a garden 
party will save countless artificial flowers and tulle, to which 
those who can leas afford them will otherwise egg each other on. 
Let her be past her first youth, a matron, a lady of position, 
the mother of daughters, or a single woman of a certain 
influence in her circle, it then becomes a duty to discourage 
the undesirable pleasure to the best of her abilities, and show 
that fashion, amusement, and tho desire to please, or dread 
of being thought over striet, have no efi'ect upon her. If she 
have bred up hat children properly, ehv will only have to speak 
to lead them, and among her neighbours, if she be kind and 
pleasant, she con hardly fail to have iufluence enough to make 
her serious diBap])robation powerful, unless the habit of growl- 
ing at anything new have lessened her weight. To learn not to 
treat everything new as necessarily wrong is highly necessary 
to such of us as have the feminine conservative element in us, 
and we should always consider a novelty well before objecting, 
lest it should merely be painful to our prejudices, not to our 
better judgment. Those persons are wisest who have great 
toleration for uU that is innocent and can be carried on with due 
regard to kindness uad propriety, who love and enjoy harraleas 
merriment, and will take any amount of trouble for other 
people's enjoyment, but can therefore with all the more efi'eot 
put on the curb when required. 



AUTHORITY. |B91 

If the elder friend have laughed, eet young people to dance, 
Bct charailea, play games in the Christmaa holidays, or provided 
tennis aud pic-nica for tbem in the suranier, she will he 
attended to all the better if she wish to mark that mirth is 
going too far, if she thinits some sport " not nice," or finds it 
needful to remind her young friends where they are when 
decorating the Church Or she can bring them to join in what- 
pver form the pariah good works take, or if there is nothing set 
foot, she can begin something herself which will help them 
usefidnefis. Most young ladies of any education and station 
re such aspirations rather in excess just now, and her in- 
iuence may have to be used to restrain and moderate aberrations 
[timely zeal, but there are a good many girls just within 
the borders of gentility with about the same amount of educa- 
!tion as squire's daughters seventy years ago, who lead terribly 
flat, stale, and unprofitable lives ; and yet who have a great deal 
of good in them. Schemes of good in which they can take 
part and which can be baited for their mothers with the 
participation of the lady of the manor, are very often very 
"beneficial. 

The great point in all this is unanimity. To act as one with 
the clergyman ia almost aneceasity for the well-being of a parish. 
Where there are great differences of views, this is difficult, 
but the difficulty can best be met by a resolution on the lady's 
part never to transgress her pastor's orders in dealing with his 
flock, aad never to comment on his sermons or manner of con- 
ducting the service. This caution seems unnecessary to people 
of moderate sense, yet I have known ladies encourage cottage 
friends to bemoan and to find fault" with the sermon, and laugh 
at it themselves at dinner before children and servants. 
Whatever may be thought of his preaching or hia doctrine, 
any token of opposition will only be mischievous, and must be 



The cleigyraan's wife must remember too that she is not the 
clergyman. Let her beware of jealousies and collisions over the 
details of charities, and of pouring out her regrets. Courtesy 



392 WOMANKIND. 

and good breoding ate a great protection, and if it be impossible 
to feel cordial or to think alike, let these be acrupulously 
observed. It ie better to give up a great deal of what is only 
toato than to oSend and alienate, and many a wife and daughter 
in a parsonage sow ill-will and cause distrust and disturbance by 
forcing on changes against the more cautious and better judg- 
ment of the head of the family. Improvemente may have to 
bo brought in. The obstructive may be in the Hall or the 
Vicarage, but in either cose the moving power had best be 
cautious, not from policy only, but from sympathy, love, and 
TCHpect, and it is seldom that opposition will not be worked 
down or worn out. After all, the great rule is, "Let each esteem 
other better than himself" It is the only way to obtain real 
influence, and to avoid giving offence. 

Force of character is sure to assert itself wherever it is. I 
remember hearing of an English lady who had lieen a good deal 
in Cliina, and who said that much as the Chinese ladies despised 
her large feet, there was a perfect etruggle among them to loan 
upon her whenever a party of them moved from one room to 
another, for one push would send down the whole row. So the 
person who really knows what is to be done and how to do it, 
is Biire to become the mainstay the moment theje is a perplexity, 
though it sometimes happens that like Solomon's poor wiM 
men who saved the city, she is forgotten as soon as the need 
is over. 

To those who are " bom great," and to tliose who " achieve 
greatness," those who have strength of will and readiness of 
reaouTce, power of execution and presence of mind, authority 
comes naturally, and the exercise of it seems aa epontaneoua 
and easy as any other ordinary action of life. The child leads 
the games of the others and keeps ordor in the nursery, or else 
is ringleader in a riot ; the young lady knows the mind of her 
sisters when they don't know it for themselves, cuts the bread, 
orders the library books, decides the colours of the sisterly 
uniform, eettles the point when the weather mokes an outii^ 
doubtful, chooses the music, and administers the scoldings. 



AUTHOKirr. 393 

Who writaa ths notes and mends the pans I 
Who darns the aocka and feeds the hens I 
Who beards churuhwurdens in their dens! 
My Lily I 

" My Lilies " are often irresistible when their power is only 
the effect of grace, readiaeas, and audacity joined with capahility. 
And if there be anything in them, when they really acquire 
weight and position they grow into full-blown Liliea of very 
considerahle weight and force, matrons who rule their house- 
hold so as to render it a centre of blessing and school of good 
training. 

The noble dame, spinning among her maidens, and teaching 
religion and courtesy to her husband's young pages and sciuires, 
tras the old idea.1, the Lady above all. Her modern descendant 
•may not spin in the castle-hall, or teach pj^es their Ave ; hut 
she can be a far greater power for good, not only to her own 
chiJdren, but all who come in contact with her. Her children's 
governess will be a better, braver, wiser woman for her intluence ; 
her servants one after another will grow into the ways of her 
■household, and either remain training others, or go out to carry 
into other houses the benefits of the impression she has made 
on them ; her neighbours will look to her for sympathy and 
advice, and follow her lead; her children's friends and guests 
win catoh the tone and be the better for each visit,— and all this 
will be assuredly the effect produced by a sensible woman trying 
to do her duty in the best way possible to her, and to make all 
those with whom she is concerned as happy and as good as 
possible. The matron should always he in a measure such a 
centre, — and so she is. We all of us know of people in all 
nnks, cottage-women especially, who are icflueacea — looked up 
to, trusted, called ia and consulted in all troubles and griefs, 
end with husbands and children who " rise up and call them 
ihleased." 

Every matron ought to he a queen-consort in her own house, 
■and make her rule a blessed ona One thing should be guarded 
.against, i.e. patronising. It is a tempting thing to condescend 



2!)4 WOMiSKIND. 

and be gracioos, especially if we have juat gained some elevation 
we are very conecioua of. but tt is the way to poison our bene- 
ficence, both to ourselvea and the Buhject of it. " He that 
giveth, let him do it with Bimpliuity." The old etory — humility 
alone on our part can make our favours tolerable to the recipient 
—good nature without delicacy is a hard trial, and cansee half 
the ingratitude complained of. It would bo no unwholesome 
exercise for anyone, highly delighted with the great kindness 
she ia going to confer on some one she thinks her inferior, to 
study the demeanour of Mrs. Elton when she proposes ti take 
Jane Fairfax to explore in the barouche landau. 

All of us are not bom with ^ood sense, and the best of us 
have to work out our own experience through a series of blunders 
and disappointments. 

And whatever we undertake, the cmx is pretty sure noi to he 
what we reckoned on. We set up some charity, — say a soup- 
kitchen ; and either some one objects to giving soup to dissenten, 
or the Irish suspect it is a means of conversion, or else a report 
gets about that it is " Horsetralian meat" We begin an orphan- 
nge, and immediately are bewildered by the incompatibility of 
the orphans of decent families, and those of the workhouse 
level. We build model cottages, and the wrong people are sure 
to get into them — our coadjutors upset everything by ridiculous 
tempers. Or the parents of the children we want to benefit 
drive us distracted by utter want of appreciation of aught but 
our material benefita. Some disheartening revelation cornea 
which sliowa us how little all our ecdeavoura have availed to 
make us even understand the persons who have seemed cloaest 
to uB, and we find that some of those we have tnistod, praised, 
boasted of, and felt to he real testimony to our principles and 
labours, have been deceiving us all the time, and perhaps laughing 
at the lady so easily humbugged. 

Yes, there will be vexations and disappointments exactly 
where we did not expect them, and we shall find ourselves like 
the doe who was ahot from a boat on the blind side, which sbe 
kept turned to the sea as sure to be safe from hunters. ^M 



AUTHORITT. 296 I 

Some people drop it all in despair, and get a l>ad opinion of 
everyone. These are those who — whether they know it or not 
— have worked for their own glory and satiafactiotL Others, 
■who are ready to persevere, give way to hastiness and injustice. 
It is very difficult to a woman to he perfectly just. She feels 
60 strongly, and her indignation is so warm, that it is very hard 
to he impartial where she is keenly touched. We all want to 
Ije like the judge who wished only to hear the witnefises on one 
side because the other confused him ; and we are only too apt 
to act jury, judge, and executioner, all in one, upon the evidence 
of the first accuser, and when we have passed some terrible 
sentence, of dismissal or punishment, some contradiction or 
qualifying circumstance causes a sudden revulsion. 

And then — oh, beware, beware of being too proud to own 
your mistake. " It would be bo bad for the children or seiranta, 
or the village." Would it) Depend upon it the sight of a 
little honest humility will be much better for them than any 
assumption of infallibility on your part. Never let us hesitate 
to own that we have been wrong. It is not concealed, people 
inow it all the time, and we do not gain one atom of respect 
by our refusal to avow the mistake, to say nothing of the 
actual sinful pride that refuses the humUiation of confessing 
the error. 

These hasty judgments and executions are much more frequent 
in early life, from several causes. There is a certain sweet 
eeverity of innocence — like that of Hilda in Traneformaiiona — 
which is really dreadfully pained and shocked at the first great 
evil-doing which is brought before it, and thinks nothing was 
ever like it, or can be suffioient punishment This kind of 
Bternness is as hard on itself as on others, and is really hatred 
of sin, which caanot at first understand — 

" If thej who hate the treapaaa most, 

Yet whan all other love is lost, 

Love the poor rinner." 

ner be brought before these 




296 woMAXKiJfn. 

hard jadges, the; will soon be pitifol enough and grieve orar 
their own harahoesa. 

Another softening experience will be that eveT^oiie who hat 
once been disappointing is not a hardened reprobate, and that 
the preeiding geniiu of fiction is consideiabl^ more acute than 
nne'a own instincta, and that, as in nursery squabbles we eud 
before, right and wrong are seldom bo equally divided in a 
quarrel that each party haa the whole for his portion. 

Moreover, if in onr little way we rush into rooting np the 
tareii, behold what wheat we have torn np with them, how many 
innocent onea are made to auffer with the guilty! 

Ay ! we read it, we moralize over it, we even may wril« 
pretty stories about it, but nothing brings the conviction home 
to us save burning otir fingers — and we have seen the mother aa 
wife broken-hearted by justice on some evU-doer. Then, like 
Mr. Brooke, we find how much easier it is to be strict when the 
peraon is not before ns, and therewith come diffidence and re- 
luctance to press hard measure tUl the duty is clcaj, and thus 
we become a little more worthy to hold the reins, For it is the 
greatest mistake of all to drop them because we are disheartened 
by our own mistakes, that is if they naturally belong to us, and 
we have not snatched at them improperly. If we have, the 
discomfiture is our due requital, and we had belter put them 
into the right hands. 

There are others who have greatness thrust on them. Many 
B young girl who married, merely seeing before her the belonging 
to her lover, finds that she is not only the head of his household, 
but that she has to be lady of his circle, he it parish, neighbour- 
hood, colonial station, or regiment. It does not always begin 
with her bridal days. If her husband be in a subordinate 
position, she may have to learn experience on her own domestic 
affairs, but when he reaches the higher grades of his profession, 
or if his suiwriors in it bring no ladies to take the precedence, 
it is sure to fall to her. 

And she may be shy, gentle, indolent, timid, or wavering, 
lulling the stglit of a stranger, wretched at having to difier frOl 



■ot^m 



^^^^m AUTHORITY. 297 

any speaker, longing to save lieraelf trouble, scared at the notion 
of reproving, seeing both sides of a question too plainly to mate 
a decision, never happy but when alone with her husband. Yet 
ehe must take her place and do her duty in that state of life to 
which she is called I Most likely the more it goes against the 
grain, the more efl'ective will some of her work be, especially 
the reproving and eshorting. Grentleneas set in motion by a 
strong aenso of duty produces an immense effect. The impetuous 
need to school themselves in a grace which the gentle only 
lose when the thinking about themselves and getting into a 
fright drive them into sharpness and coldness, which are taken 
lor pride. 

Even an undecided will can learn strength. "Always have 
a choice " is a useful saying, and though we may not care about 
a matter, and may be ready to give it up in a moment, we 
should as a matter of seU-training, and doing as we would be 
done by, have an answer ready when asked whether we will 
walk or drive, eat boiled or roast. Even such petty decisions 
as these help to fix an infirm will, as well as saving trouble, as 
" I don't care, thank you," or " Which do I like, dear 1 " never 

And such training in resolution may be wanted to guide the 
lot of a family of sons and daughters, to give a voice in favour 
of some unpopular good work or persecuted person, or to stand 
against some popular evil. 

Every Christian has to be the salt of the earth. How much 
may women serve to be the salt of their homes and the society in 
which they live, above all in the isolation ia which the wives of 
officers often are left, with strongly defined positions and much 
influence for good or evil, both on the young subalterns far 
away from home, and on the soldiers' wives. Happily there ia 
an increasing sense of responsibility in these days, and many 
women in all places and stations have awakened to the sense 
that each has her world of duty, and that pleasing her husband 
and making him comfortable and atteuding to ber children is 
only a part of her oflice j but that what she is, the opinions she 



i99 woMAyEDnx 

utten, tbe mflaeiic« ibe exerts, have a pomtr for vhidi 
accoantaUcL 

It is setdom ibai a woman does not sooner or later 
rnl«T of a bonae eitber jointlT with her hnsbaad or a] 
an upper serrsnt or person in anthoritj. In all case«, ber aafs 
maxim is St. Paul's, " He that ruteth with diligeom." For a 
canleea, luedless, micertain rale, where easiness is diver^fied 
fita of t«nper, ia the woiat and most dangerons of alL 



CaAPTEE XXXIV. 



I 



" Man is bom to trouble as the sparks fly upward." Heathen- 
dom saw and wavered between belief in malignant deities, and 
the notion that success provoked tbe jealous; of the immortala. 
Job and Asaph were perplexed and bewildered at the mjsterious- 
nees of calamity befalling the deserving. Solomon caught a 
glimpse of tbe truth when he wrote : " For whom tbe Lord 
loveth He chastenetb, and scourgetb every son whom He re- 
ceiveth." The idea of chastening could be grasped by the 
Israelite who had before him the perfeet standard that he could 
never reach ; but there is a further explanation only understood 
by the Christian since the Lord of Creation came to bear 
suffering, and all pain and grief have had His impress upon 
them, and have become our share of His cross. 

The Christian no longer feels as if " some strange thing 
happened to him," hut remembers that the Saviour's prayer, 
" Not My will, but Thine he done," has been handed on to him, 
He knows that His Master does not feel for Him mere external 
pity, but the actual sympathy of a fellow-sufferer. 

Yes, it is easy to talk till the trial comes, and the agonised 
heart feels aa if it were all a failure and a holiowness, and these 
things were utterly powerless as a comfort Sometimes this ii 



^^ 



tai^J 



I 



^^^^^^^^H BORROW. 299 

I fancy, becaUBe the afflicted peraong have been in the habit of 
viewing the "consolations of religion" as a aort of medicine to 
be carefully bottled np out of the way for the time of need, 
or perhapa just tasted periodically, like a regular spoonful of 
cod-liver oil. This is not the way. It ia only the religion that 
is already a part of out Uvea that gives us real strength and 
comfort in trouble. It must he real loYe to our Blessed Lord 
that makes His croas welcome. Sometimes even then the 
agony of loss is so great that the aease of being itnreaigned 
adds self-reproach to the grief. I think this great misery of 
sorrow is, as tar as I have observed, when the bereavement has 
been one out of the ordinary course of nature, — the loss of 
a child, a brother or sister, a young friend, or husband or wife, 
in the earlier portion of life. The sense of nntimeliness adds 
poignancy to the grief, and though deaths of older people 
may come quite as near, aud change and devastate the survivor's 
life even in a greater degree, there may indeed be more forlorn- 
ness, but not that passionate pleading sense of pity which 
makes the thing so grievous. It is part of human nature, and 
it will make itself felt even when the spirit has bowed itself to 
reaignatioD, Often it will keep itself in abeyance in the chief 
aufierer for the sake of one whose first grief is more manifestly 
overpowering. The mother will be so wrapt up in the father or 
in one of the other children aa hardly to feel her own wound, 
and then, when time has begun to heal them, and all outside ia 
as usual, comes the sick unappeasable yearning ; or it will be so 
with a aiater or with a friend, who often suffers all the more 
because there ia no relationship to shelter her grief, when, with 
a part of her very life cut away, she has all the sooner to 
undergo that strange sense of sitting in the midst of a buza 
and clatter of tongues one neither heara nor heeds. 

There are some who have, long before a blow comes, suffered 
it over and over again in anticipation. Some natures toiment 
themselves with constant alarms and expectations. I beh'eve, 
for one real foreboding that we hear of because it is fulfilled, 
there are thousands that come to nothing. That we may pray 




800 WuSASKISD. 



agunat the troiihle, nuiy be the vety cause wbjr the tmor ■ 
UDt to ufl. It may thus be aveited. Or when it ao adrtinces 
thai we caonot doubt that it w God's will to send it, we may 
Btiil pray that whatever is specially dreadful in it may be spared. 
We vtag BO pray ; the higher perfection is to resign the will, 
and iMtumit ourselves or our dearest into God's hands, sure that 
the verff worst, if He sends it, niuat be good. But we may 
pray bgaiRnt it, and ufien the prayer is granted — what we feared 
was the slurp ixlge, uod tltift is turned a»ide. 

And the reality often provea quite different from the anlici- 
patiun that has cost so much terror. If it is worse in sorae 
ways it is >jett«t in others. It takes ua by surprise, both in the 
pain and the alleviation, and the greater store of prayers we 
have laid up the better will it be when the crisis actually 

To those who have to help others to bear a great affliction I 
would say, us I did about the sick. Follow their lead, and do not 
try to manage them your own way, but be ready to help. To 
■ome, exertion is impossible ; to others, it is a relief. Some find 
comfort in talking, others cannot bear to speak. Some are 
absolutely stunned as to tbeb feelings, and yet mechanically 
active and alert, just excited enough to think of everybody and 
everything, and really not able to feel at all till all iho bustle 
has subsided, and the funeral is over. Children are often very 
hardly judged at such times. Some shed frightened tears, and 
if very little, ask pretty and touching questions ; but they are 
niucli more apt to struggle and rebel against the gloom they 
cannot understand, till their worn spirits break out in some loud 
noise, sharp quarrel or fit of Tiaughlin«s«, which brings blame 
down on them for being unfeeling; when, poor things, their 
hearts are heavy as lead, and are full of resentment at the 
injustice, though the very idea that tear^ are required of them 
driiiH up the source. 

The child who does cry should never be made an example to 
tliB one who does not, though the child who ia careful not to be 
noisy and jar on the feelings, may be spoken of as kind 



1 



301 



coneiderata The kindest thing to do ii 
pation according to age, such as copying o 



find innocent occu- 
illnminating hymiis 
making devices with flowers ; but even if an out- 
"bteak should happen, or if the child should vex ns by appajent 
abBorption in some frivolous amusement, never let ue reproaeh 
it with being unfeeling. We little know what it is suffering at 
the time, or bow we add to its pain, unless indeed we have 
nndei^one the like aecusation. 

One really kind way of helping the nearest mourners is to take 
as many letters as possible oif their hands. To some very near 
ones it ia a solace to write ; but the wear of going through the 
same aad details, time after time, is almost unbearable ; and even 
if there ia a dread that there will be vexation if the letter be not 
ftom the nearest — "They will not like to hear not from myself," — 
still sometimes a line would suffice, and some other pen might 
go through the needful information. On the other hand, people 
hesitate about letters of condolence lest they should be trouble- 
some. In general, however, the reception of a letter is a kind 
of pleasure, and the reading of it an occupation, as it need not 
be read at the moment it arrives. But such letters should 
always beg not to be answered. Eeplies to them, if pressed, are 
Tery trying, and it should be made cleat that no olfence o 
of alight wOi be felt if there is no answer ever made to them. 
The response is the oppression, not the receipt. 

It may seem a truism to say that sorrow has a very d 
effect at different times of life. But it also happens that loa 
—the actual stroke of which fell before consciousness began — 
are most acutely felt. An old labourer, considerably past 
seventy, and, as it proved, within a few weeks of his death, 
suddenly burst out crying while his wife was reading to him n 
story of a young mother dying soon after her child's birth, at 
the thought of his never having known his own mother, but 
having thus been left at six weeks old. Many a child who 
cannot remember the death of the brother or sister who would have 
been its companion, baa yearned after it for ever after ; and most 
tender ideals arc built up of lost parents by orphaned childre 



303 

SomelimeB there is a little sentiment or ^If-pity minted witli 
the feeling, and at times it partakes of tlie pfiueroto mood, 
which 18 a sort of luxury to joung people. But there is a safe 
way always to treat it, namely, by making as help to dwell 
the Commimion of Saints, and to remember where it is that 
may indeed meet those whom we love and ioDg for, witl 
ever remembering their embrace. They are waiting for ua, and 
we shall know them by and by. And, oh ! how different is this 
tender feeling from the anguish when someone, who seemed 
a very jwrt of oarselves, is torn from us — a jewel of the 
heart rent out, leaving a wound never to be healed in this 
world. 

Some go on through more than the tirst half of their lives 
without meeting with such a stroke. So death has touched 
them nearly enough to make a change in their lives, or burthen 
their spirits. I cannot help thinking that when this immunity 
from grief comes, combined with good health, it is on purpose to 
make them " spirits full of glee," with a streiigth of cheerful ueaa 
and joyousness such as can hardly be aci^uired when youth 
been saddened by many strokes, and that they may be abls 
brighten others with their suoshitie. 

Yet it is those who are most lamented who have 
unclouded lives. The old heathen proverb, " Whom the gods' 
love die young," had a certain truth ia it, though we, who have 
been taught that one star dilfereth from another in glory, con 
believe that those of whom it can be said " theb works do follow 
them," even though those works be those of an unprofitable 
servaut, have moro intensity of bleaseilnoHS than the babe "just 
bom, baptized and gone." 

Yet that babe's certainty of Paradise ia its parent's consolation, 
or will be when the agony of parting is wearing away. Alas 1 
many a mother has come to have more joy and comlbrt at 
the thought of the infant of days, who she knows is awaiting 
her in Paradise, than of all the Living children round her, when 
iiho may have had to know the sorrow that is worse than the 
sono^v of death. 



'J| 



^HB BOitBow, 30S 

And in ita measure it ia tlia same with all early deaths. 
They cost the auivivors the utmost agony, llumaa natuie 
recoils at the iintimeliness, grieves over the t)lightingof promise 
ttaj possihly all the fairer because of the early ripening, and 
toidorneBS feels the void ; and yet those whom we thus mourn 
the very creatures who are most free from care and grief, 
iuid have gone in undimmed brightness, never knowing the 
are feeling, 
lo again, when the young mother is snatched away from 
ing family — she has had the joy and dehght, she has 
not known the loss of children nor widowhood; her sweet, 
tmclouded looks live with her husband, and he grows to be 
thankful in later years that she is spared the griefs that would 
ive wrung her heart. 

And even when the man's sua is gone down, when it is yet 
day, when 

" He ia gone &om the moontain, 
He is last to the forest 
Like a sommer- dried fonntftiti, 
Wlieu our ueed was the sorest," 

i to him like the falling on a battle-field, and he is spared 
the failing powers and disappointments of old age. Yea, and 

V often have we not to feel in its measure that the righteous 

re been taken away from the evil to come. The nest great 
sorrow is often that which most reconciles us to what has 
liappened before. We know what the loss would have been to 
those to whom it is now gain. 

The three last clauses of the Creed are, as we all know, the 
"great healers for sorrow, and none can meet it so well as those 
^who are best able to realize the Comjnunion of Sain1« as an actual 
mt privilege of their Church membership. People confuse 
■their minds with unauthorised language when they try to speak 
of those departed aa " gone to be Angels in Heaven." Partakers 
•■with the Angels our Lord Himself aaya we shall be, but not 
• Angels ourselves. Thero is nothing in the Book of Eevelatiouto 



304 WOJIASKIND. 

show tliat the ppirita and souls of the righteoos becoiDB Angelflor 
meeeenger epirita ; all we are permitted to ksow is of their white 
fobeti, their palm«, and their rapture of praiae in that song ia 
which we on earth can me«t and unite with them — the sot^ 
which becomes ever dearer to na, " as grows in Paradise onr 
rtore." There and then we know that all those who have 
leparted this life in God's faith and fear are with as. Our own 
Church teaches us to give thanks for them, and though 
providing do form, has never forhiilden the primitive custom of 
each for ourselves etill bearing precious names on oar hearte 
when we pray and give thanks, and asking their God and oa» 
for their rest and peace, and the entire consummfttion of their 
perfection. 

T)ie recoil from a nyBtem where definition had grown presump- 
tuous, and avarice had taken advantage of ignorant superstition, 
has been such that to leave the departed out of our prayers has 
Tieen treated as a matter of duty ; and those who would strive 
JD prayer vehemently for the sufferer at night would omit him 
in the morning and for ever after. 8ome indeed would say he 
was safe and beyond the reach of prayer, but many another has 
felt the giving up the dear name at prayers the saddest of all 
the incidents of the loss. 

Nay, this need not bo. No doubt the final lot of each person 
is irrevocably fixed at his death. He is either in a state of 
salvation or not ; but in that unseen world, surely as our prayers 
help others here, they may brighten the joy and purification and 
nid in the washing and cleansing. 

Kiich has been the belief of the Church in all ages, and we 
surely do o«r dead a wrong to withhold from them our prayer 
that God will remember them in His mercy, that they may rest 
in peace, and that the light of His Countenance may sbine on 
them ; and for ourselves, that He will grant us such communion 
witli them as to Him may neem meet, and bring us all to be 
with Him ia Paradise, only without shame or sin. 

Ko P.iiihop Andrewes taught us to pray, ao surely we ought to 
pray for their sakes, and for the sake of that onenesB 



:hiM^ 



-SOBBOT. Son ' 

wiicli cannot lie seTered by life or death. So love will indeed 
"be fltronger than death. 

How and then may come a strange flashing thought of what 
Paradise is to those gone thither — how they may be realizing 
Bome beloved hint of the life to come, or learning to know one 

those whose history or memory they have loved. 

"Thou WEBt the first of all I knew 

To puss unto tha Aeai, 
And heareiily things have eaenied more truu. 
And came down closer to my yiew, 

Since there thy presence led." 

This is what we wish to feel, and idealize OTirselves as feeling ; 
what may be called the physical feelings of grief 



but 



I numb and stone-like, 

1 dream, and hear people 

e believe we are only unfeeling, 

■ by the grief or the sacred 

e of the ludicrous is just a 



ider this sense, everything e 

m to ourselves going about i 
talking of our resignation when w 
for we do not seem touched eitbc 
"words of consolation — nay, our Si 
slive as ever, and we cannot help seeing and being after a 
fashion diverted at the incongruities that of course come before ua. 

This stunned state is very common, and it is much wiser to 
let it alone in others, or if we are sensible of it in ourselves, 
not to fret ourselves about being hard, unfeeling, and unloving, 
tut go on (luietly and naturally, not thinking about ourselves 
at all, or if we cannot help it, remembering that our dulled 
sensation may be really the best thing to enable us to go through 
with it all without a break -down that would distress others. 

There is also the broken-down, outspoken, weeping state, 
when disabling gusts of overwhelming grief come at once and 
will have their way. It is a simple state ; actual tenderness and 
Boothing have more power to comfort here, and there is gene- 
jally relief in the tears, though their danger is of becoming 
passionate, and complaining, and in some cases of being fostered 
out of a sort of self-complacency in such utterly inconsolable 



306 WOMANKIND. 

There is a great difference as to tears ; they come mnch more 
readily to some persona than to others, and prove nothing as to 
depth of feeling ; many indeed weeping more from sympathy or 
from some touch of pathos than at their oiro most grieToiia 
affliction. Those to whom the overflow of weeping is very 
easy should learn to control it as much as possible, and in times 
of great trouble ; unselfishness and unobtrasiveness tend to the 
endeavour to practise self-restraint, so as to prevent oneself from 
Ijeing a deadweight on the hands of kind consolers, or useless to 
fellow-sufferers. It is never safe to say to ourselves, " This falls 
harder on me than on anyone else, therefore I have a right to 
pve way and let everybody try to comfort me, though they 
never, never can. 

Often, on the other hand, there is a state of exaltation 
and excitement which bears the mourners through the first 
days, with the true and blessed sense of the gain of their 
dear one, to the exclusion of grief for themselves. Generally 
the last hours have made the end a matter of present relief 
and thankfulness, and the spiritual atmosphere still bears up 
those who have gone with him to the borders of the valley of 
the shadow of death, and helped him to lay hold of the rod 
and staff. The peace of that hour lingers still, and is so 
sustaining that the acuteness of the loss will not make itself 
felt till the calm around the bereaved household has passed 
away, and ordinary life begun again in its changed aspect 
Coupled with this, there is in a few cases a hurry of spirits 
which undertakes everything and gives a restless activity and 
a preternatural lucidity of recollection. This often befalls 
one on whom the death has brought the burthens and carea 
of life, and made it needful that she should become the 
head of the family and think for others instead of being 
thought for. 

Where there ia this excitement it should be tenderly watched ; 
often conversation will work it off beneficially, hut to overload 
its activity, and rush from one thing to another, is perilous both 
to the bodily and the mental health. 



" Ho that lacks Id 



and those who atifle grief in buatle and worldly eare may ha 
leaving the enemy to bring them down and grapple with them 
in any illnesa, or they may, by driving it out altogether, lose all 
the mellowing and softening, all the drawing to a world above, 
and become the more unfit for what is laid on them. The 
Burial Service most wonderfully corresponds to the need of 
encouragement to those who have to turn from the grave back 
to an altered home r — 

" Prosper Thou the work of our hands upon na ; 0, prosper 
Thou our handiwork." And again, " Be ye steadfast, immove- 
able ; always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that 
your labour ia not in vain in the Lord." 

With these cheering words we have to go back to take up the 
shattered fragments, and piece them together as heat we may. 
Life may never be the same again, but we have to live it out. 
Few griefs come very near, save the loss of those who have 
intertwined themselves with our minds and hearts, ot who have 
been one with us in our homes, either leaning on us or we on 
them. The loss of a child stands apart ; the anguish is partly 
the natural instinctive yearning— -partly the loss o( hope for ite 
sake and trust in its love. It is one of the anfferings that leave 
the deepest traces. Mothers who have grieved for grown-np sons 
and daughters have wept in their dotage for the first infants 
they lost ; and other mothers have found joy in passing away, in 
the anticipation of knowing the babes they scarcely saw. 

Some time or other though falls the blow that makes a 
widowhood of the heart, and desolatioa of the affections, 
leaving us alone to breast the storm, and taking away the voice 
" more comfortable than the day," and the step " with 
music in't as he comes up the stair." Of course this is above 
all the loss of a husband, but to the unmarried there is sure to 
be some analogous loss — father, mother, brother, sister — some 
one whose absence makes them lonely for ever, and darkens 



10b womaxeind. 

the whole world to them. "Well, if it be with the feelii 



" Tlieir wings were grown, H 

To HeaTfD they're Howd ; H 

'Cauiie 1 haJ none, I'm left" H 

It aeema as if wb were mcaot to form our afTectiona on tltsH 
father whom we have seen here, and then, when he is taken from 
us, raise them more entirely, more fully, knowing tlie meaning 
and value of saying " Our Father which art in Heaven," 

And ao with other losses of those on whom wu leant. They 
aie to make ns lean more entirely on God. Our treasure ia 
taken and set on high, that our heart may follow it ; and being 
thns drawn up by those who havB gone before, may fix itself 
not HO much on them as on the Author of all love and comfort 

How to be the better for a, grief or a warning is indeed a 
question, and therefore it ia not well to try to drive off or con- 
fuse grief by bustle or variety. When a change of home and 
arrangementB for children, &c., are imminent, of course exertion 
is necessary, and it would be selfishness to avoid it ; but even 
then there ought always to bo an endeavour to do things 
quietly and recollectedly, and a breathing of the spirit of the 
prayer, " Caim me, God, and keep me calm," 

If there be no such necessity, it seems wise quietly to resume 
the more needful of our work, not turning away from what is 
intended to cheer us, but trying to be gratefully pleased, even 
if our heart is too sick to enjoy it. But there had better be no 
hurrying into the more busy or amusing scenes that some may 
think will distract or amuse us ; and distract they do, though 
in a diiTereut manner. Trying to do extra kindnesses, spending 
more time in devotional reading, meditation, prayer, or in Church 
— even if we cannot actively attend, and can only be soothed 
by trying to lay our grief before God, and make it a sacrifice 
by shniing His prayer, " Thy will he done "—these best compose 
us, and send us out cheerful and sympathizing, so as not to 
Had den others. 

It is often supposed that a change of scene is the best t 



^^■^^^^^ HORBOW. 309 1 

for the spirits. People riisli away to the sea or into foreign 
travel a^ soon as the grave has closed, and think it will ilo them 
good, but often this is a mistake. The grief is still too fresh 
for enjoyment or interest in the new scenes; they pass hy like 
the fair hefore Elizabeth Barrett's — 

" Tired child at a show, 
Seeing thPDUgh tears thejaggler leap," 

and all the time there ia the return to the altered home to tenew 
the first grief. It se«ma to me wiser to stay in the midst of the 
inevitable asaoeiations till we have heuome accustomed to see 
them without the dear one, and to face the new beginnings in 
the strength of 

" Hearts new braced and set," 

not trying to drag ourselves into new enjoyments till they coma 
naturally. It ia when patience is beginning to wear the bodily 
health that a change if possible ia very valuable, and then some 
new interest, unconnected with the memories that have become 
pain, is most beneficial. 

There ia nothing those who have to act the part of comforters 
need so much to know as that they miiat not hurry the apirita. 
It is Hke dealing with illnesa, it is well to auggest, but not to 
insist — unless, indeed, they have to deal with a weak, sluggish, 
helpless nature, that needs to be roused. 

Often when those who have been touched lees heavily 
have recovered and thrown off their sorrow, it presses with 
the more dreary and burthensome weight on the chief sufTerer, 
just when she is expected to be like others, more cheerful, and 
she cannot bear to be a drag on them or seem ungtatefuL 
" Alone, alone, thou'rt fearfully alone," seems to ring in her ears. 

Alone, but not fearfully alone, if she can cast her burthen on 
the Lord. Then He will lead her into the wilderness and speak 
comfortably unto her, and make the valley of Achor (weeping) 
a gate of blessing. In Him Who bore our griefs is the only cure, 
or comfort, or certain symjxithy. 



310 



WOMANKIND. 



To talk of tile dear ones on the other side the veil with 
cheerfulness as atiil our own, not dread their names, nor call 
them poor, but refer cheerfully to their habita, tbeii sayings and 
little anecdotes of them, seems to me the way to keep up fellow- 
ship in an outward manner, and to lessen the sense of gloom 
in the young ; but there are others who cannot bear the mention 
of the name, and some who feel it an irreverence to speak of 
the lighter ways and merry doings of those in the unseen and 
awful world. 

Such ways must be left to family character and feeling. 
The real point to all alike is not to treat grief as an enemy 
and try to run away from it, b«t m a measenger bringing ub our 
share of the ciusa and leading our thoughts above. There are 
other crosses. There is the wearing cross of suspense, the long 
anxiety for some beloved one, sick, absent, ot in danger, ot 
doubtful about what may make or mar a whole life. We may 
have ti) wait, unnblo to ilo anything, uncertain of intelligeneej 
and anioDg those who care not in the same degree — our hearts 
sick with hope deferred. What can we do? May not the 
delay lie to give ns time for ihe many, many prayei'a, like those 
of the widow, or the man knocking—" tarry thou the Lord's 
leisure ; be strong, and Ho shall comfort thine heart ; and put 
thou thy trust in the Lord." David knew what it was to wait 
patiently til! the Lord beard bim ; and he has left us his prayer^ 
book. When with others, we must beware of harping on 
our anxiety, even if they shore it and sympathize. K they are 
equally concerned, we only work ourselves and them up into 
nervous ejccitability, unprepared for God's will ; if they do not, 
we bore them and wear out their sympathy. It is better to try 
to amuse and occupy ourselves by some fictitious interest. We 
may hate the association afterwards, but that ie no matter. To 
keep the attention at work without overstrain is very useful. 
Some extra attention to the poor or schools, or some parish 
detail, might serve, nay, even making a scraphook or a screen, 
or translating some foreign book — anything to keep the mind 

11 preying on itself, and the spirits from a state of tension. 



J 



BORROW. 311 

I have not entered on other griefa caused by reverses of 
fortune, estraugementa oi disappointments, still less on the 
more terrible ones of gross sin and shame in those connected 
"with us. 

We shrink from the Tery thought of this last j we know 
that this does indeed break the heart j we feet it almost shocking 
even to think such things possible enough to pray against them. 
Yet there are those to whom these troubles have come, and who 
bear them by humble meekness, ever praying, ever hoping even 
against hope, ever remembering thai shame may yet work godly 
Borrow, and that there is Joy in the presence of the angels over 
one sinuer that repenteth. 

Let them pray on, like S. Monica for her son ; let them pray 
to Him Who wjlieth not the death of a sinner j and even if they 
have to go down mourning to the grave, who knows what fruit 
of tbeii piayeia and tears they may meet at the Besonection 
Day! 

Nor have I spoken of low spirits and religious melancholy. 
Both are often, though not always, connected with physical 
health. Beligious melancholy is, as a fact, much more common 
among those who have been taught Calvitdst doctrines than 
among such as have been bred up in the full Church system. 
It is naturally so, both from the harshness of Calvinistic 
theology and from the manner in which the salvation of the 
individual ia made to depend on a set of feelings which all 
cannot command. They are driven into the Slough of Despond, 
and too often they never come out of it again for life. 

Still even among persons obedient to the Church, a 
despondent tone will sometimes prevail, a weariness and hope- 
lessness, or a morbid introspection which makes the conscience 
always prey on itself. Some forget that Hope ia as much a 
Christian grace as Faith and Charity, and almost admire them- 
selves for their depression ; but this is not so common as the 
scrupulosity which exaggerates its own despair at each failing, 
and will not forget the things behind and reach forward to the 
things that are before, but worries itself and all around with 



313 wqxaskisd. 

discnssioD and eelf-blama. Here the beet advice is to beulraij 
as potsible, body and mind, and to remember that it is an eril 
angel, not a good ons, who holds up to us the perpetual 
mirror of our own ogliness ; when in attending to oui duty we 
ought to keep self out of our minds altogether, and at any rate 
to beware of the ^otiam that can never be satisfied with self- 
discuadon with a mncb-bored friend. 

The low spirits of natural temperament and the hypoci 
driacism of disease are among the saddest trials of alL 
times a real trouble, or sudden shock, actually dispels themf' 
sometimes they pass away, but it sometimes happens that the 
cloud rests till the very last ; but even then, if the sufferer 
cannot think it out for himself, stilt at least those around have 
the comfort of knowing that this too was endiired for us by our 
dear Lord, and that He who cried, " Eloi, £loi, lama eabacfa- 
thani," is near at hand to make all glad surprise when the eyes 
shall open in Paradise. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

001 NO IN. 



I 



Onob in our lives we came out, and we well remember that 
great occasion. Most likely we know the exact pattern of our 
dress, and view it as the most becoming and unexceptionable 
fashion that ever prevailed, unless we reserve that pre-eminence 
for the dreas we wore when, as Froisaart says, " the fine spark 
of love " was first lighted in some one's heart. 

W« don't quite so well know when we fall into that state 
which some people call "gone in." Nay, there is generally no 
going io for a happy wife, so long as her husband Uvea and 
holds his place, nor for the mother of daughters who is needed 
to be their chaperon. Indeed, to an agreeable woman, of some 
tact, the only limit to enjoyment of society is her strenj 




^^^■H iif. 813 

FKnd epirits. If she can talk well, and not too much, and ie 
cheerful and lively, she will be sure of a welcome till she 
Taecomes like the old woman in the Servian proverb, who gave a 

• dollar to go to the fair, and would have given twenty to get 
away from it. 

But it ia not the enjoyment of society that I meant when 
I choee this title, so much as that riding on the crest of the 
'e, and then beginning to fall below it, which must befall 
many of ua. Heniy Taylor, in one of the wonderful epigram- 
maticol lines of Philip van Artevelde, haa told us that 

" Success but signifieB viciBaitads ; " 

rod Sir Arthur Helps, in an eloquent passage in that poem-like 
lx)ok on the Spanish Conquest of America — which, alas 1 he 

. never reprinted — spoke of the pale phantom that follows close 
in the wake of hope accomplished, " Make my day-dreams 
earnest," has been chosen as a motto, and we believe that in 
many and many a case such day-dreams have become earnest, 
only in some way very different from what imagination had 
painted. The things that seemed the wildest dreams of felicity 
are taking place in sober sadness, and not mOre delightful than 
" sailing upon a cloud " proved to the young lady in " Uncle 
Peter's Fairy Tale." The girl who dreamt of converting the 
heathen, marries a colonist, and finds herself surrounded with 
tlack or brown servants, her nfighbours declaring that the 
attempt to Christianize them destroys all the little native good 
there is in them, and pointing to the runaways who would 
not endure missionary training as instances of the truth of their 
words. If she perseveres, she finds her natives presume and 
treat her as a sort of amateur missionary, and her mistakes seem 

,to her to do much more harm than her efforts do good. 

)r we find ourselves in the very station with the exact work 
growing up under our hand that we devised at first, or the plan 
of our heart for our family or surroundings, our village or our 
a children, is put into our hands. Sometimes this is after 
long endeavour, soinetimos it comes suddenly so that we can 



3H WOIIASKISD. 

hardly believe it. We toil all night and take notliing, and in the 
morning the draught of fishea is given to ua. Some indeed ate 
lacking in the elementa of succesti, and for want of talent, 
presence of mind, indoatry, or pereeverance, always aeeni to bo 
among the disappointed ; but among those who have the geneial 
lot of man or woman, there seeme to be in most careers a time 
of growth and subordination, a time more or leas of prosperity 
and succeaa, and a time of findiog oneaelf anpersoded. 

And it ia of this that I wish to speak, for I do not think it 
is a trial on which people reckon, and it ia one which comes 
often of their very success. 

There was a generation that built echools and toiled hard to 
teach them reading, Catechism and needlework. Another genera- 
tion grew up and called for arithmetic and writing, geography 
and grammar. Some there were who saw they had made a 
stepping-etone, and that others were mounting on iL Others 
declared that no good servants would ever be found again, and that 
maids would spend their time in writing letters to their sweet- 
hearts, and theae did all in their power to obstruct the change. 

This is but an instance, and it is pretty well a matter of the 
past ; I mention it to show that wo enjoy progress as long as we 
go along with it, but that there often comes a time when the 
progress gets beyond us. And then ! Are we to be drags, 
or a tumbling-blocks, or to throw ourselves out of the course 
altogether 1 

Take another instance. We may have had some standard of 
culture which wo would fain have attained to. We have worked 
and toiled up to it, and sorely felt the disadvantages which kept 
us back. Our daughters, or the young people connected with ua, 
shall not Buffer in the same way. Wo lavish on them what wo 
would have given worlds to have obtained at their age. They 
take it as a matter of course, and perhaps when they are grown 
up, we find that it trammelled, vexed and impeded them ; or 
even if they have accepted and loved it, that they want to ahoot 
far ahead of what we ever dreamt of. 

The book that was to us a discovery and revelation, a land- 



^^ GOING IN. 316 

mark in the iistory of our minda, is turned over with a smile as 
something dull and of the old world, a sort of epecimen of what 
people used to like. Are these impertinent young things right or 
wrong 1 Or are they impertinent at all, and are we the ones 
in the wrong 1 

What shall we say 1 Eaeh generation must think for itself ; 
and each will best love all that was the achievment of its prime. 
The power of sympathy, with what lies behind us and what 
advances beyond ua, is very diffarent in different persona. Some 
young people treat all that their elders thought or did as old- 
urorld mbbish, barely tolerate their mothers, and openly contenm 
their aunts. These wiU advance the shortast distance of all, 
and be the very first to be utranded and left behind breathless, 
grumbling and scolding at the wavB,which passes beyond them, 
for their powers and sympathies are the shallowest and weakest. 

Others have a deep love of the past, and strike their roots far 
down ; they honour, and feel with, those who have built the steps 
which they stand, and, striking a just balance between old 
'efforts and new culture, life's experiences and hope's intuitions, 
tut themselves be guided so far that their own spring forward 
is the longer and more secure, and their power of going along 
Tnth the coming generation is much greater, 

ive and loyalty complicate all this a good deal, especially 
vbere there is more atfection than intellect. Many widows 
crystallise just where their husbands left them, and make " your 
jKKir dear pupa " a di'eary warning to their sons and daughters, 
ire apt to think that had he been alive, he might have gone on 
lrith the age, and never objecteil to tlieir doiugs. Other women's 
faith is pinned on son or nephew, who can do no wrong in their 
eyes. And in religious mattors, almost every woman fixes on the 
level to which she was carried by the clei^jman whose work 
told moat upon her, and whose ideas she has striven to carry 
■out. Everything unlike the model of her best days must be 

liss. 

Changes are not always for the better, and the loss of autho- 
Jity and influence is often rendered trying by the reversal of 



316 woHASxiKn. 

what has been achieved with strong effort. A frivoloiu dsn^itev- 
in-law, or one full of nuBchievooB " science, falselj so-called " 
will come in with a high hand and overthrow all the well- 
conndered model arrangementA of her mother-in-law, disposing 
of them 38 "goody." The widow and daughters of the last 
incumbent may see all oTerthroim which they accomplished 
with self-sacrificing labour of love, and to which they cling the 
more for the Bake of " a voice that is atilL" ^\^lether advanced 
or retrngrade, it is almost equally bard to them not to look on 
the alteration as well-nigh sacrilege. It ia natural to most women 
to be like poor Caroline Herscbel when Lord Roaae's telescope 
made her long tn say, " Der Mann iit Hn y<xrr." 

Or our pet institution becomes a little too onerous for as, and 
we call in a youthful helper ; we go away for a holiday, and 
behold ! we find everytliing developed and altered in an astonish- 
ing way, and when we look round for sympathetic indignation 
at the unauthorised novelty, we find every one thinking that it 
ia a great improvement ! 

It ia not apt to be a safe state of mind for the tniddle^ged 
when the word "new-fangled" often rises to their lips. Bat 
what is to be donel Are we to yield to the dislike, and do our 
utmost to prevent innovation 1 arc we to retire murmuring and 
either piteous or ironicaH or are we to go on with the stream 
against our judgment 1 

The question needs to be faced, for if we live long enough, 
the setting aside is sure to come, either by the death of him jfi 
whose right our authority was exercised, by the marjia^a of & 
son, by removal, by failure of health, or by being outgrown by 
the spirit of the time. 

It«movaI does save a great deal of pain and perplexity. It 
is much wiser and safer in moat ua^ea for the iucuiiibent^l 
widow to leave the parish while her grief is fre^h, and the pitin 
of removing is lost in the greater pain. She had bett'-r nob 
expose herself, and perhaps her family, to the diihculty and tlill 
of seeing a new rule, and to the temptation of trying t^i k(4p 
the allegiance of the parishioners. Haraan nature is loo wnak 



^^^^^H 317 

VBot to liks to hear regrets and murmurs on unnvoidatla changes, 

I and heartbuminga and evila may be prepared for ever. If the 
new incumbent does nothing worse than cut down the shrubs 
in the paj?sonage garden, that is still vexatious ; and it is scarcely 
possible that any two people should be cast in so exactly the same 
mould as that they should follow on precisely the same lines. 
Small matters of detail fret women much more than they do 

[ jnen, and tbia is one cause of the proverbial difficulties between 

\ lelationa "in law." 

The widowed mother and sisters have a trying time when the 

[ liride is brought home, and the home ia no longer their own. 

t Bisters often feel with all the acuteness of youth, not only the 
coming into a secondary place in their brother's affections, but 
the deposition from being the daughters of the house. The 
young ones sufier a good deal, and feel themselves much to he 
pitied, hut while they are young and fresh, and can begin again 
tiiay can bear it. It is far worse to the mother, who is often so 

I calm, tender, and sweet, that they sometimea think mamma 
does not care, and have some theory, that as she was not born in 
the old house, she cannot feel the change as they do. She heeds 
herself so little that she really thinks it is so, and, in the fulness 
of her love, actually believes them the most to be pitied. 

I "Withdrawal and self-effacement, to leave the field free for 

■ ft new-comer, arc actual duties for the sake of peace; and 
■therewith, if we still remain in the immediate neighbourhood, 

■ Rn. abstinence from murmuring, or criticism, or jealousy. It is 

■ ft strange thing to say, hut if the alteration be absolutely very 
■much for the worse, our task is really the less subtly difficult. 
Kit is the broad duty of forgiveness and forbearance, chiefly 
Bcomplicated by experiments in remonstrance, and endeavours to 
pnaintajn the right without making a breach— or by holding 
Pliack the zeal of over-warm partizans. One useful rule under 

this form of trouble is never to take notice of what is only 
brought before us by hearsay, not by our own personal know- 
ledge. Of course it is the saddest of these trials, and can only 
be home by patience and prayer, which will help through the 



316 woMAXKim. ^^^^^H 

details, even tbat of seeing the deterioration of character in oat 
best loTed, and having to remember the e&jiiig about the child 
of eo manj prayera. 

Or there in that overthrow of well-arranged plans that comes 
to Bome when they are in full work. 'Some blast of evil 
influence,' some strong worldlj attraction, some popular prejudice, 
or some tyrannical requisition of oni ground, may upset onr 
doingfl just when from age, or bcaltVi, or want of means we can- 
not reconstmct or reconquer the fabric lost, and we hare to 
leave off with faUure stamped on our labour ! Ts it all failure) 
A great deal of it is. The higher onr aim, the great«r will 
be our sense of failure, Moses left olT with a aense of failure, so ' 
did David, so did Elijah, bo did Josiah and Jeremiah, yea, and 
even the mission of the Greatest was outwardly like faQnre, and 
ever since, as well as before. His coming, Hia true servanta have 
been most victorious when most disappointed. DidSt, AthanaduR 
fail, though five times exUed ! Did St. Augustine fail, though the 
Vandals were sweeping away his Church when he closed his eyest 
Did St. Chrysostom fail, when he died on his weaiy journey 1 
Our efforts and our failures are notlike th<we, hut like these they 
are not to be gauged by visible prosperity. If the outward, 
material institution be lost, the seed sown in it may be in the 
heart, and bear its fruit in many n place we never heard of. 

But there is another trial, that of seeing greater success than 
our own achieved by pinna which we do not thoroughly apjirove, 
anil tliink hollow anil fsllacious. We are expected to admire, 
and it seems like jealousy if we do not. Seems ) It is our great 
trouble and difficulty that we do not feel at all sure whether our 
distrust and distaste is not absolutely envy, hatred, and malice. 
For we do certainly feel gratified and triumphant at any report 
of the failure of the new arrangements, and are sure euch thingi 
never happened in our time. 

It we hav? striven to keep our minds open, we shall be much 
better able to judge of things on their own merits than as they 
affect our prejudices or self-importance. Strong faith aud strong 
principle are not illiberality, though some may tell ua so. Let 



GOING IS, 3Tfi 

8 take tte Creed, and the duty of God and onr neighbour, ae 

I our Btand-point, by which to judge of the right or irrong of 

I what cornea before us, and we shall not find that every- 

K thing IB neceasarily miachievoue hecauae Tve never thought of it 

I before. " Prove all things." Let ua do our very beet to object 

E only to what we see to be actually wrong ; or if we think it rash 

L or aUly, and yet it succeeds before our eyes, let ua struggle and 

I.BlTiveto rejoice with those who have made it answer, and be 

F candid enough to own ouraeives mistaken, instead of sitting by 

croaking and hoping for some misadventure to prove our own 

sagacitrr. If wo can sympathize, and we generally may, at least 

with the zeal and good intention, may be our experience will be 

conaulted and valued, as it never will if we follow the propensity 

of the mortified to become birds of evil omen. A welding together 

of the new and old is the thing needful, not that the old should 

treat everything new as trumpery and mischievous, and the 

young, everything old as worn out and ridiculous. It has been 

the strength and glory of England that she has buUt on her old 

foundations instead of sweeping them away ; but when we pass 

the bound of our own youth, we have to bear in min d that it is 

narrow intolerance, on the part of the elder generation, which 

provokes the younger into a general overthrow as soon as they 

I have the power. 

I The review in the Literary Chtirckman of the Idylh of 
' Ae King drew forth a beautiftil moral, namely, that Arthur had 
' made the Round Table his ideal of the perfection of manhood 
and knighthood, and for that very reason arose the quest of 
the Sane Greal, leading above and beyond, and breaking up the 
Kound Table, to the grief and sorrow of Arthur. And it ie 
this which befalls every generation unless they live in an age 
of decadence. A Queat will rise out of their Eound Table. 
Their juniors will not rest with their idea of perfection, but 
1 will strain on to something beyond, and more their own. It 
will often aeem to spoil and break up the older schema That 
[ which was the vision of youth, and of which fruition has 
barely come, is viewed with patronising pity as a mere first 




820 vai(i5Encc. 

eiisay, and the lesson of good hamour we learnt when onr towers 
of wooden bricks were overthrown, that the youngUnga might 
use their tnateriaU, wae to lon^; sgo that it is hard to recall it, 
eipeciallf when we see many a flaw in the new structuie, and 
apprehend many more; but the very eame qualities have to 
be called into play, unseltiahneas and candour. If we can 
only eliminate telf and get rid of personal feeling, we shall be 
able to judge much more fairly whether our knights hare gone 
off after a Sane Greal or a phantom^ — a Tina or a Duesso. 

Generally this candour and generosity cornea more readily to 
men than to women, to principals than to subordinates, because 
they have larger and fuller views, and can better see the 
imperfections of their work. A man will take disappointment, 
neglect, and even injustice in a brave patient way, allowing for 
the needs that have led to his being superseded or set aside, 
when his wife will fill the world with her complaints and feel 
bitterly slights he has forgiven, or he will sympathize with the 
changes and opinions of a younger generation in a way she can- 
not undcrBtand. She fancies him to be almost false to his own 
colours when he approves the changes which are the natural oat- 
come of his own doings. If it be the other way, and he ia grieved 
and resentful, either opeuly or privately, she is pretty sure to feel 
with him ; but if she can help him to patience and forbearance, 
instead of stirring up the vexation by her own murmurs and 
gossipings, it will he generally happier and better for both. 

But men are seldom set aside whOe tbeir health, strength, 
and vigour remain to them, and their wives generally relain 
full possession of their position and influence as long as 
they liva It is widowhood that sometimes brings the 
ohMigea^ometiines simply the being outrun and surpassed in 
progress as our breath gets shorter and our enterprise less 
aident. 

Well, what is our part t Surely to try to be helpers to the 
best of our abiUties. There will be some who lag behind, and 
who will still be g!nd of a helping hand, and to whom our old-_ 
fashioned aid may be valuable. And if we endeavour to 1 



GOING IN. 331 

kind and friendly, nnderstanding the purport of the novelties, 
and granting the good in them, we shaD get our counsel listened 
to, and mayhriag about that happiest union of " fervent old age 
and youth serone " which is symbolised by onr grey old Grothic 
buildings mantled hy their green creepers. 

Yea, but when we are elderly, and not old, we don't seem to 
attain these venerable graces. Indeed, we often do not feel our- 
selves ageing, and we are surprised and half afironte-l when our 
contemporarios are called by the young old; and for ourselves, 
we are half diverted, half saddened, by finding that we have 
come in for the same epithet. 

Often this youthfulness of heart and spirits will last U8 on 
to the end. Even influence sometimes does, either from 
circumstances or character ; hut where it paases away our effort 
must he to take things patiently, nnmurmuringly, and humbly, 
and to endeavour to feel that if our occupation is taken away, 
it is to give us time for the quieter meditation and devotion for 
which a more active life has left leas space. 

Open air, cold water, active usefulness and habits of 
locomotion, have pretty well destroyed the danger of falling 
into the stufiy spinster, the scandal-monger of the country 

But it is quite possible still to fall into ways that have very 
little more to be said for them. A resolute determination still 
to affect youth, externally ; or again, diligent cultivation of some 
form of bad health, or anything that puts us out o( real 
sympathy with the younger generation, and fises our attention 
on ourselves, our grievances and our comforts, is a form of this 
dangerous elderliness — dangerous, because it is lotting the heart 
go to sleep. 

It seems to me that the way to go through this elderly period, 
when our strength and power have not failed us, hut our vigour 
and enterprise have, and the young are getting a little impatient 
of us, is to recollect that whatever drops from us here should be 
Bo much taken away from between us and our view of heaven. 
If we are becoming leas necessary here, it is surely that the 



! WOMASXIXIlL 

liaki ami bonds of ooi eutUjr life 01*7' fall awaj, and viir ga# 
npwaida be cleuet and iteadier. 

To Me tlw bnth and take it cbeafull^ ia wiedom, and if «« 
find oonelrcB shelved before our time, it is mU to readlact that 
after aD we wen but God's inB^mnenta, and that He knows 
beat whether we are blanted or noL 

Hay, our netghbotin m»j know what we do not. 
Arcbbiabop of Cordora thought that his beat sermon whidi C 
Bias was forced to declare "lentait uh pat rapopUxie," and ] 
may be best to take a hint in all homility. 

" A calm andreming, waiting eilentlj-," is the best thing that a 
befall lu as weU as the trees. And though it is pleaeanter to fraj 
things up than have them tdien away, let as remember tiiat m 
are " nerer so aife as when our wiD yields ondiscenied 1 
all but God." 



CHAPTER XXXV. 



E8E chapters would liatdly be complete withoat a few 
words on old age, and yet it seems presumptuous to write on 
mioh a topic. We all have a dim idea of wishing for life, yet 
we all dread extreme old ^e, and we rest with hope on tfaa 'i 
instances we know of lively and active persons of a great agel 
who preserve their spirits aud fnculties to the very last, and aie | 
the priilo and delight of all around them. 

Where the trials of elderliness have either been unfelt c 
safely weathered, the earlier years of old age are often veij 1 
pleasant and happy ones. The land of Beulah has beenl 
reached, the rest and absence of responsibility are refreshing, 1 
the health often improves, mid where there are grandchildren, J 
they are a n;newal of all the joys of motherhood without i 
cares and troubles. 



323 



The little aanoyances because mamma brings them up with 
some points of her system diametrically opposite to those ol 
the last generation — -gires jam instead of butter, tea instead of 
boiled milk, and the like, have passed off. Mother-in-law and 
daughter-in-law have agreed to differ, and after the fret of 
elderliness, the calm aoquieBcence of age has begun. 

It may be safer to say, it ought to have begun. As a looker 
on, with due heed to one's own part, it seems to me that as age 
advances it is wise to endeavour as much as possible not to 
volunteer interferences not absolutely needed. When referred 
to, experience may well be made useful, but even while health 
and bodily activity last, there is a certain drawing apart and 
Belf-eonseeration in some old people, which seems above all 
things venerable and beautiful. They seem to live already in 
a soft halo of heavenly light, resdj to interest themselves 
kindly in what concerns us, but their minds and thoughts 
chiefly occupied with the home that they are nearing, " the 
Land of the LeaL" 

If there is not this drawing apart and making ready, if there 
be a struggle to be young, and to clutch to the utmost at the 
sports, the occupations, the gains, the society of middle life, 
there is what may be called the physical danger of a sudden 
collapse from the overstrain, followed by a miserable mechaid- 
cal effort to go on in the same grooves ; and there is the far 
greater danger involved in the liaving loved the world to the 
last, and never having turned with the whole heart and 
unclouded faculties to God. And as the force of mind and 
body lessen, the old tendencies, kept in check by custom or regard 
to opinion, get the mastery, such as querulousnoss or peevish- 
ness, hasty exertions of authority from a piteous doubt whether 
it can still be exercised, apparent avarice from the want of 
power to judge of expenditure, terrible distrust of others and 
their motives, constant self-assertion, alienating all, and then 
repeating their standing aloof. 

Oh, mournful condition ! And yet may it not await any one 
of us 1 " Forsake me not, O God, in mine age, when I am 



I 



rbon Goi ^^^| 
slant OBotiaa^^^H 



b 



224 woJUSECrcL 

gKj-bmled." TboM^ as br as ve c* 

pnanra bom this state, are those who hare gaaided tl 

cantnUf ttuoo^ life bom gtviog way to petnlant e 

and have tried to lire in the lore and fear of God, not otly 

doing obriona ontward doty, bat miilHng oommniuoii with 

God re»t ood joy. Those who thus live may hope to n ~ 

the linoi, 

" Sur shall doll tge, u votlilljiigi ay. 

The beaveowKrd flama uuioj ; 
The SiTJODr cannot pia» »aj. 

And witb Him lirea aarjtty.'' 

Snrely it in well to piay for sQch an old age, if age is to t 
oar p'jrtion. Wc are in Gvd'a Ilands, and know not vbt 
we may be meant to pass away with foU cunscioiisneaa, joy, ■ 
hope Ui the end, or whether there may be a time of helplea 
with shattered faculties that shut ub up from iatereoDne i 
our fellowB, or of broken miiid, without power of compre 
sion or expression. We cannot g\x<!S». The approaches to tl 
daik tiver, whetht^c we come to it in youth or a^e, aie oftea 
shrouded in 'mist, where no ej-e can follow. We only remem> 
ber how our dear ones have eeemed to be drifted, drifted away 
ont of our reach. We think of the awful truth, "Je ntourrai 
Kul." We dread to think whether there be any awful contUct, 
while doctors tell us there ia no consciousness at all. and we turn 
back to the one trust, " Thy rod and Thy stjiff comfort me." 
And oh I that we may lay up in store many entreaties not in 
vain. " In the hour of death and in the Day of Judgment, 
Good Lord, deliver us." 

Before concluding I must take a few sentences on old ago 
from Madame Neckar. " Old age requires from women two 
(jualiticB, dignity and humility. Doth, for different causes, call 
for iiiuch self-rcHtraint. Dignity ia the attribute of an im- 
mortal beiug, already in thought inhabiting its future abode, 
and, as it feels its wings expanding, slightly valuing things here 
below. Humility becomes the feeble woman, now mora 



dependent than ever, judging herself inferior to her hopea, 
unii only trusting for their realisation to merits not her own. 



" The atmosphere of old age ooght to be quietude, the result 
of selflessneea and softening. "When this restfulness is gained, 
it is possible to be of much use without thinking about it. There 
ia an example set, an influence exercised, the thoughts that are 
uttered have weight, and good impressions are scattered around. 
"WTaen there has long been perfect agreement hetween a mother and 
those around her, her last days are full of sweetness. She likes to 
see the wheels of the machine she wound up going along 
inthout needing her hand; and indeed it sometimes seems to 
her as if her spirit had passed the bounds of earth, and were 
looking down from above. 

"Acquiescence in the consequences of old age is a necessary 
condition in such repose. A woman who ia submiaaive to the 
will of God accepts the various effects of the decline of life 
without too much anticipation of them. Thus she accepts both 
the joke of dependence, and the necessity of receiving everything 
from those she loves, without having anything to give them in 
return. She even accepts the idea of becoming to them an 
object of duty aa much aa of affection. If she could go ao far 
as not to wish for that ardour of affection which must bo soon 
cost them tears, she would have overcome the last weakness of 
a woman's heart. 

" Thus, detached already, yet still loving, her tender participa- 
tion in the sentiments of her kindred does not prevent her from 
feeling that ahe has herself only one concern left. The one only 
concern is to die well, to die in hope, with suffioient foretaste of 
the joy on the other side of the river to cheer the crossing. It 
seems as if Divine Goodness had taken away the vigour of 
activity from old t^e to render it a state of contemplation. The 
Christian woman, aa we would think of her, lives in the future. 
All her earthly affections have a heavenly and immortal element : 
and in spite of the privations she experiences, she is not devoiu 



32b WOM^XKIKD. 

of comfort, or even of joy. The dear ones around her, and whose 
departure she has moamed, ore now together in her mindi 
placed as it were in the Bosom of her God. Her conversation^ 
as the Apostle says, ' is in heaven.' . . . 

"Thus she patiently endores the trials that may still be in 
Btore for her. The decay of the organs of sense is a great one. 
When the eyes refuse their service there is no more enjoyment 
in nature, no more consolation in the Sacred Books, no more 
solace in the sight of dear faces. Such a misfortune has been 
made iilustrious, and blindness has had its poets ; but who has 
ever been able to glorify deafness, that infirmity which breaks ofT 
communication hatweea souls. Nothing external shows its 
existence, and a deplorable state of isolation is little pitied 
because often forgotten. Ah ! when this misfortune withers the 
flower of life, when the sweet prattle of childreu and the fond 
words of the dearest can no more be heard, the world wa still 
loved becomes a desert, and a de«crt peopled with delusive 
phantoms which stray around us but never speak to us. Yet 
this partial death is a preparatiou for real death. In the 
universal silence, the Voice of God makes itself heard by the 
chastened spirit. ' I will lead her out into the wilderness and 
speak comfortably to her.' Ah ! may it be thus with us, when 
we go down into the last shadows ! 

" Sharper pains may come ; but are there any that a lively faith 
iiannot soften ! Suffering has been in a manner made divine 
by our blessed Lord. By our union with Him, who became a 
Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief, a heavenly affection 
endows us with patience. What fellow feeling for the innocent 
weakness of mankind is expressed in the words, ' Jeaut wept.' 
'Jesiu was troubled in spirit.' Jesus knew that fainting, fail- 
ing state, when the cry is, ' My God, my God, why hast Thou 
forsaken me 1 " Where besides can be found such experience 
of trouble, such pity for the poor beings who are undergoing it I 
And what a blessing it is that there is a sanctifying power in 
the contemplation of our own sufferings in the Saviour. 

" Entire trusting ourselves as to our God both in time and