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Title: Folly as It Flies; Hit at by Fanny Fern

Author: Fanny Fern

Release date: July 17, 2012 [eBook #40263]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by sp1nd, JoAnn Greenwood, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
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G. W. Carleton & Co. Publishers.


Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York
Lovejoy, Son & Co.,
Electrotypers & Stereotypers
15 Vandewater Street, N. Y.


Robert Bonner,


For fourteen years, the team of Bonner and Fern, has trotted
over the road at 2.40 pace, without a snap
of the harness, or a hitch of the
wheels.—Plenty of oats, and
a skilful rein, the


Yours Truly,



Discourse upon Husbands11
Grandmother's Chat about Children33
Women and their Discontents50
Women and some of their Mistakes68
Notes upon Preachers and Preaching88
Bridget as she was, and Bridget as she is103
A Chapter on Tobacco118
Give the Convicts a Chance127
A Glance at Washington133
Glimpses of Camp Life142
Unwritten History of the War151
My Summers in New England163
Boston and New York182
Some things in New York188
Working Girls of New York219
Washing the Baby230
Children have their Rights232
To Young Girls244
A Little Talk with the Other Sex253
A Chapter on Men269
Literary People274
Some Varieties of Women280
Mistakes about our Children295
Thoughts of Some Every Day Topics312
A Trip to the Northern Lakes328




WISH every husband would copy into his memorandum book this sentence, from a recently published work: "Women must be constituted very differently from men. A word said, a line written, and we are happy; omitted, our hearts ache as if for a great misfortune. Men cannot feel it, or guess at it; if they did, the most careless of them would be slow to wound us so."

The grave hides many a heart which has been stung to death, because one who might, after all, have loved it after a certain careless fashion, was deaf, dumb, and blind to the truth in the sentence we have just quoted, or if not, was at least restive and impatient with regard to it. Many men, marrying late in life, being accustomed only to take care of themselves, and that in the most erratic, rambling, exciting fashion, eating and drinking, sleeping and walking whenever and wherever their fancy, or good cheer and amusement, questionable or unquestionable, prompted; come at last, when they get tired of this, with their selfish habits fixed as fate, to—matrimony. For a while it is a novelty. Shortly, it is strange as irksome, this always being obliged to consider the comfort and happiness of another. To have something always hanging on the arm, which used to swing free, or at most, but twirl a cane. Then, they think their duty done if they provide food and clothing, and refrain (possibly) from harsh words. Ah—is it? Listen to that sigh as you close the door. Watch the gradual fading of the eye, and paling of the cheek, not from age--she should be yet young—but that gnawing pain at the heart, born of the settled conviction that the great hungry craving of her soul, as far as you are concerned, must go forever unsatisfied. God help such wives, and keep them from attempting to slake their souls' thirst at poisoned fountains.

Think, you, her husband, how little a kind word, a smile, a caress to you, how much to her. If you call these things "childish" and "beneath your notice," then you should never have married. There are men who should remain forever single. You are one. You have no right to require of a woman her health, strength, time and devotion, to mock her with this shadowy, unsatisfying return. A new bonnet, a dress, a shawl, a watch, anything, everything but what a true woman's heart most craves—sympathy, appreciation, love. She may be rich in everything else; but if she be poor in these, and is a good woman, she had better die.

There are hard, unloving, cold monstrosities of women, (rare exceptions,) who neither require love, nor know how to give it. We are not speaking of these. That big-hearted, loving, noble men have occasionally been thrown away upon such, does not disprove what we have been saying. But even a man thus situated has greatly the advantage of a woman in a similar position, because, over the needle a woman may think herself into an Insane Asylum, while the active, out-door turmoil of business life is at least a sometime reprieve to him.

Do you ask me, "Are there no happy wives?" God be praised, yes, and glorious, lovable husbands, too, who know how to treat a woman, and would have her neither fool nor drudge. Almost every wife would be a good and happy wife, were she only loved enough. Let husbands, present and prospective, think of this.

"Now, I am a clerk, with eight hundred dollars salary, and yet my wife expects me to dress her in first-class style. What would you advise me to do—leave her?"

These words I unintentionally overheard in a public conveyance. I went home, pondering them over. "Leave her!" Were you not to blame, sir, in selecting a foolish, frivolous wife, and expecting her to confine her desires, as a sensible woman ought, and would, within the limits of your small salary? Have you, yourself, no "first-class" expenses, in the way of rides, drinks and cigars, which it might be well for you to consider while talking to her of retrenchment? Did it ever occur to you, that under all that frivolity, which you admired in the maid, but deplore and condemn in the wife, there may be, after all, enough of the true woman, to appreciate and sympathize with a kind, loving statement of the case, in its parental as well as marital relations? Did it ever occur to you, that if you require no more from her, in the way of self-denial, than you are willing to endure yourself—in short, if you were just in this matter, as all husbands are not—it might bring a pair of loving arms about your neck, that would be a talisman amid future toil, and a pledge of co-operation in it, that would give wings to effort? And should it not be so immediately—should you encounter tears and frowns—would you not do well to remember the hundreds of wives of drunken husbands, who, through the length and breadth of the land, are thinking—not of "leaving" them, but how, day by day, they shall more patiently bear their burden, toiling with their own feeble hands, in a woman's restricted sphere of effort, to make up their deficiencies, closing their ears resolutely to any recital of a husband's failings, nor asking advice of aught save their own faithful, wifely hearts, "what course they shall pursue?"

And to all young men, whether "clerks" or otherwise, we would say, if you marry a humming-bird, don't expect that marriage will instantly convert it into an owl; and if you have caught it, and caged it, without thought of consequences, don't, like a coward, shrink from your self-assumed responsibility, and turn it loose in a dark wood, to be devoured by the first vulture.

The other day I read in a paper, "Wanted—board for a young couple." What a pity, I thought, that they should begin life in so unnatural and artificial a manner! What a pity that in the sacredness of a home of their own, they should not consecrate their life-long promise to walk hand in hand, for joy or for sorrow! What a pity that the sweet home-cares which sit so gracefully on the young wife and housekeeper, should be waved aside for the stiff etiquette of a public table or drawing-room! What a pity that the husband should not have a "home" to return to when his day's toil is over, instead of a "room," as in his lonely bachelor days!

"Oh, you little rascal" said a young father doubling up his fist at his first baby, as it lay kicking its pink toes upon the bed; "oh, you little rascal, precious little attention have I had from your mamma since you came to town. I don't know but I am very sorry you are here."

Now, this is a subject upon which I have thought a great deal, and often wished I had wisdom to write about. It is a very nice point for a young wife to settle rightly—the respective claims of the helpless little baby, and those of the young husband, who has hitherto been the sole recipient of her caresses and care. The cry of that little baby is painful to him. He has not yet adjusted himself to the position of a father. It is a nice little creature, of course; but why need she be so much in the nursery and so little in the parlor? Why can't she delegate the washing, and dressing, and getting-to-sleep, to a nurse, and go about with him, as she used before it came. It is very dull to sit alone, waiting until all these processes have been gone through; and, beside, it is plain to see that, when he does wait till then, her vitality is so nearly exhausted that she has very little left to entertain him, or to go abroad for entertainment; and if she does the latter, she is so fearful that something may go wrong with that experimental first baby in her absence, that her anxiety becomes contagious, and his pleasure is spoiled.

Now, to begin with: it takes two years for a young married couple to adjust themselves to their new position. "His mother never fussed that way over her babies, and is not he a living example of the virtue of neglect?" Now "her mother preferred to do just as she is doing, and thought any other course heartless and unnatural, at least while the baby is so very little." Now stop a bit, my dears, or you never will get beyond that milestone on your journey. You have got, both of you, to drop your respective mothers, as far as quoting their practice is concerned. Never mention them to one another, if you can possibly keep your mouths shut on their superior virtues, when you wish to settle any such question; because it will always remain true, to the end of time, that a husband's relations, like the king, can do no wrong, though they may be in the constant practice of doing that in their own families, which they consider highly improper in yours.

Now, do you and John—I suppose his name is John—two-thirds of the men are named John, and the Johns are always great strapping fellows—do you and John just paddle your own canoe, as they do. It is yours, isn't it? Well, steer it, day by day, by the light you have, as well as you know how. Mind that you both pull together; shut down outside interference, which is the cause of two-thirds of the unhappiness of the newly married, and you will be certain to do well enough, at last.

When a clergyman comes to a new congregation, or a school-teacher to an untried school—when a new business partner enters a firm—nobody expects things to go right immediately, without a hitch or two, till matters adjust themselves. It is only in the cases of newly converted persons, or the newly married, that people insist upon human nature becoming immediately, and instantaneously, sublimated and fit for heaven. Now in both cases, as I take it, time must be given, as in the other relations, for assimilation.

This point being conceded,—and I am supposing, my dear reader, that you are not quite a natural fool,—why should you or the young couple consider the whole thing a failure, merely because this process cannot be accomplished in a day and without a few mistakes, any more than in the cases above cited?

But we have left that little experimental first baby kicking too long on the bed—it is time we return to him. Now, I am very sorry that John said what he did to that young mother, even "in joke." She knew well enough that he meant two-thirds of it. She is not quite strong yet either, for the baby is but three months old; and it is very true that it does cry a great deal; and though she don't mind it, John does; and really, she can't leave it much with a nurse, while it is so very little. And yet, it is dull for John to sit alone in the parlor while she is soothing it; and what shall she do? That's just it,—what shall she do? She really gets in quite a nervous tremble, when it is time for him to come home—what with hoping baby will be on its good behavior, and fearing that it may not. Not that, for one instant, she has ever been sorry that she was a mother—oh no, no! You may burn her flesh with a red-hot iron, and you can never make her say that. God forbid!

Now, John, if your little wife loves her baby like that, is not it a proof that you have chosen a wife wisely and well? and are you not willing to face like a man—I should say, like a woman,—the petty disagreeables which are consequent upon the initiatory life of the little creature in whose veins flows your own blood? Surely, you cannot answer me no. When you married, you did not expect to live a bachelor's life. If you did, then I have nothing more to say. I shall pay that compliment to your manhood to suppose, that you did not so deceive the young girl, who trusted her future in your hands, and that you did not expect that she alone was to practice the virtue of self-abnegation.

Well, then, be patient with the wife who is so well worthy of your sympathy and co-operation, in this, her conscientious attempt to bring up rightly the first baby. When the next comes, and I know you will have a next, or your name isn't John, she will not be so anxious. She will not think it will die, every time it has the stomach-ache. But at present it is cruel in you to say those things which distress her, even "in joke," because, as I tell you, she is trying faithfully to settle these important questions, which take time for each of you to decide, so that you may not wrong the other. Help her do it. Soothe her when she is nervous and weary. Love that little baby, though at present it does not even smile at you. If you can't love it, make believe love it, till the little thing knows enough to know you. Do it for her sake, who has earned your tenderest cherishing as the mother of your child. Begin right. Know that whatsoever people may say, that Love and Duty are all there is of life. Out of these two grow all the pleasure and happiness mortals can find this side of the grave. So, John, don't wear out your boots trudging round elsewhere to find them, for it will be a miserable failure.

I think every woman will agree with me, that it is perfectly astonishing the "muss" (to use a New Yorkism) which a male pair of hands can make in your room in the short space of five minutes. You have put everything in that dainty order, without which you could not, for the life of you, accomplish any work. There is not a particle of dust on anything, in sight, or out of sight—which last is quite as important. All your little pet things are in the right location; pictures plumb on the wall, work-box and ink-stand tidy and within hail. Mr. Smith comes in. He wants "a bit of string." Mr. Smith is always wanting a bit of string. Mr. Smith says kindly (good fellow) "don't get up, dear, I'll find it." That's just what you are afraid of, but it won't do to say so; so you sit still and perspire, while Mr. Smith looks for his "bit of string." First, he throws open the door of the wrong closet, and knocks down all your dresses, which he catches up with irreverent haste, and hangs in a heap on the first peg. Then he says (innocently,) "Oh—h—I went to the wrong closet, didn't I?" Then he proceeds to the right closet, and finds the "bit of string." In taking it down he catches it on the neck of a phial. Down it comes smash—with the contents on the floor. Mr. Smith says "D—estruction!" in which remark you fully coincide. Then Mr. Smith wants a pair of scissors to cut his "bit of string;" so he goes to your work-box, which he upsets, scattering needles, literally at "sixes and sevens," all over the floor, mixed with bodkins, spools, tape, and torment only knows what. He gathers them up at one fell swoop, and ladles them back into the box, in a manner peculiarly and eminently masculine; and asks if—the—hinge—of—the—lid—of—that—box—was—broken—before, or if "he did it." As if the rascal didn't know! But of course you tell the old fib, that it had been loose for some time, and that it was no manner of consequence; all the while devoutly hoping that this might be the last mischance. Not a bit of it. "He thinks he will take a little brandy to set him right." So he uncorks the bottle on the spotless white toilet-cover of your bureau, spills the brandy all over it, powders the sugar on the covers of a nice book, and lays the sticky spoon on a nice lace collar that has just been "done up." Then he uncorks your cologne-bottle to anoint his smoky whiskers, and sets down the bottle, leaving the cork out. Then he takes up your gold bracelet and tries it on his wrist, "to see if it will fit." The "fit" need I say, is not in the bracelet—the fastening of which he breaks. Then he throws up the window, "to see what sort of a day it is;" and over goes a vase of flowers, which you have been arranging with all the skill you were mistress of, to display the perfection of each blossom. He looks at the vase, and says, "Miserable thing! it was always ricketty; I must buy you a better one, dear," which you devoutly hope he will do, though a long acquaintance with that gentleman's habits does not authorize you in it. Then Mr. Smith goes to the glass and takes a solemn survey of his beard. Did you ever notice the difference between a man's and a woman's way of looking in the glass? It is wonderfully characteristic! Woman perks her head on one side saucily and well pleased like a bird; man strides in a lordly, dignified way up to it as if it were a very petty thing for him to do, but meantime he'd like to catch that glass saying that he is not a fine-looking fellow! Well—Mr. Smith takes a solemn survey of his beard, which he fancies "needs clipping," and takes your sharpest and best pair of scissors, for the wiry operation; the stray under-brush meanwhile falling wheresoever it best pleases the laws of gravitation to send it. Then Mr. Smith, says, "Really, dear, this is such a pleasant room, one hates to leave it, but—alas! business—business."

"Business!" I should think so—business enough, to put that room to rights, for the next three hours!

Did you ever hear an old maid talk about matrimony, or a girl who was trembling on the brink of old-maidism, and feared to launch away? If there is anything that effectually disgusts a married woman, it is that. What can an old maid know about such things? As well might I write an agricultural and horticultural description of a country by looking on a map. What pitying compassion she has for married men, every one of whom is victimized because he did not select her to make him "the happiest of men"—I believe that is the expression of a lover when on his suppliant knees; if not, I stand ready to be corrected—by anybody but an old maid. With what a languishing sigh she marvels that Mrs. Jones could ever be so criminal, as to neglect to sew on an ecstatic shirt-button for such a man as Jones; for whom it would be glory enough to hold a shaving-box while he piled on the soap-suds, which is her particular element. What a shame that Jones cannot stifle his own baby, if he feels like it, by smoking in its face, and leave his boots, and coat, and vest on the parlor floor, if he takes a fancy to do it.

Ah—had Jones but a different wife! (And here imagine a sigh which, for depth and pro-fun-dity, none but a sentimental old maid on the anxious-seat can heave.) What pleasure to black his boots for him of a morning; to get up in the middle of the night, and cook a tenderloin beefsteak; to prove her devotion by standing on the front doorstep, with chattering teeth, in a cold northeaster, waiting for the dear coat to come home; to hang up his dear hat for him, to put away his dear cane, to take him up gently with the sugar-tongs, and lay him on the sofa till tea was ready, and then feed him like a sweet little bird, bless his shirt-buttons!

How hot his toast should always be; how strong his tea and coffee; how sweet his puddings; how mealy his potatoes; how punctually his clean shirt should be taken out of his drawer for him to put on; how sweetly his handkerchief should be cologn-ed with her own cologne, and his cigar-case magnanimously placed by her own hands in his dear little side-pocket, and how it should be the study of her life to find out when he wanted to sneeze, and arrest a sunbeam for the purpose.

Do you know what I wish?

That all the die-away old maids, who go sighing through creation with a rose-leaf to their noses, lecturing married women, and sniveling for their little privileges, had but one neck, and that some muscular coat-sleeve, equal to the occasion, would give them one satisfying hug, and stop their nonsense.

I never witnessed an execution; but I saw a man the other day, married he surely was, trying to select a lace collar from out a dainty cobweb heap, sufficiently perplexing even to a practised female eye. The clumsy way he poised the gauzy things on his forefinger, with his head askew, trying to comprehend their respective merits! The long, weary sigh he drew, as the shopman handed him new specimens. The look of relief with which he heard me inquire for lace collars, saying, as plain as looks could say, "Ah! now, thank Heaven, I shall have a woman's view of the subject!" The disinterested manner in which, with this view, he pushed a stool forward for me to sit down, to watch upon which collar my eye fell complacently, all the while turning over his heap in the same idiotic way. Oh, it was funny! Of course, I kept him on the anxious seat a little while, persistently holding my tongue, the better to enjoy his dilemma. Didn't he fidget?

At length, fearful he might rush out for strychnine, I spake. I descanted upon shape, and texture, and pattern, and upon the probability of their "doing up" well, to all of which my rueful knight listened like a criminal who scents a reprieve. Then I made my selection; then he chose two exactly like mine, before you could wink, and with a sublime gratitude, refused to let the shopman consider the bill that was fluttering in his gloved fingers, "till he had made change for the lady." We understood each other, for there are cases in which words are superfluous. No doubt his wife thought his taste in collars was excellent.

Men have one virtue; for instance: How delicious is their blunt, honest frankness toward each other, in their every-day intercourse, (politicians excepted,) in contrast with the polite little subterfuges, which form the basis of women-friendships. When one man goes to make a man-call on another, he talks when he pleases, and puts up his heels, and don't talk when he don't please. He is free to take a nap, or to take a book; and his host is as free, when he has had enough of him, or has any call away, to put on his hat and go out to attend to it: nor does the caller feel himself aggrieved. Now a woman's nose, under similar circumstances, would be up in the air a month, with the "slight" her female friend had put upon her. The more a woman don't want her friend to stay, the more she is bound to urge her to do it; and to ask her why she hadn't called before; and to wish that she might never go away, and all that sort of thing. What she remarks to her husband in private about it, afterward, is a thing you and I have nothing to do with. When two men meet, after a long absence, ten to one the first salutation is, "Old boy, how ugly you've grown." In the female department we reverse this. "I never saw you look prettier," being the preface to the aside—(what a fright she has become). Then—("blest be the tie that binds")—mark one man meet another in the street—light his cigar at that other's nose, and pass on—without knowing the important fact, whether he lives in "a brown-stone front" or not. How instructive the free-and-easy-and-audacious-manner in which, after this ceremony, they go their several ways to their tombstones, without a spoken word. See them in the streets, my sisters, exchanging passing remarks on any object of momentary street-interest, looking over one another's shoulders at each other's "extras," all the same as if they had been introduced in an orthodox Grundy fashion.

See them walk boldly up to a looking-glass, in a show window, and honestly stare at their ridiculous solemn selves, whereas, you women, pretend to be examining something else, when you are bent on a like errand, intent on smoothing your ruffled feathers.

The other day, in an omnibus, a man took a seat near the door, and not willing to step across the ladies' dresses, "nudged" a man above him to hand up his fare. Now the nudged creature was out of sorts—wanted his dinner or something—and so sat like an image, without responding; another nudge—with no better success—not a muscle of the nudged man's face moved. At last, with a heightened color, the new-comer handed it up himself; but he didn't talk to his next elbow-neighbor about "some people being so disagreeable," or call him a "nasty thing;" or try to look him into eternal annihilation, for what was really an ungracious action. He only rubbed his left ear a little, and put his mind on something else, and he looked very well while he was doing it, too.

If one woman is visiting another at her house, and the latter goes up stairs for anything, her female guest trots right after her, like a little haunting dog. If she goes to the closet to get her gaiters, the shadow follows; she must be present when they are laced on; and discusses rights and lefts, and hosiery, etc. When her hostess goes to the glass, to arrange her hair, or put on her bonnet, the shadow follows, leaning both arms on the toilet-table to witness the operation. Without this bandbox-freemason-confidence, you see at once that female-friendship could not be that sacred intermingling of congenial natures that it is. Your friend would weep, sirs, and ask you "what she had done to be treated so."

A mouse and a woman! I know one of the latter, who always gets upon a table if she sees either coming. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu said a very witty thing once. I am afraid that not even her discovery of inoculation will cancel the sin of it. It was this: "The only comfort I ever had in being a woman is, that I can never marry one."

The moral of all this is, that women need reforming in their intercourse with one another. There should be less kissing among them, and more sincerity; less "palaver," and more reticence. But if you think I am going to tell them this in person, you must needs suppose that I have already arranged my sublunary affairs in case of accident. This not being the case, I decline the office, except so far as I can fill it at a safe distance on paper.

But then again what poor creatures are men when sick.

One might smile, were it not so pitiful, to see the impatience with which strong, active men succumb to the necessity of lying a few weeks on a bed of sickness. The petulance which they in vain try to smother, at pills and potions, in place of their favorite dish, or drink, or cigar. The many orders they give, and countermand, in the same breath, to the wife and mother, who calmly accepts all this as part of her woman lot, and who dare not, for the life of her, smile at the fuss this caged lion is making, because his rations are cut off for a few days. This "being sick patiently," is a lesson we think man has yet to learn; but it is a good thing that they are sometimes laid on the shelf awhile, that they may better appreciate the cheerful endurance with which the feeble wife-mother bears the household cares all the same—on the pillow where lies with her the newly-born. Pain and weakness never interrupt her constant, careful forethought for her family. Husbands are too apt to take these every-day heroisms as matters of course. Therefore we say again, it is well sometimes that their attention should be awakened to it, when the doctor has vetoed for them awhile the office and the counting-room, and they are childishly frantic at gruel and closed blinds.

A woman's education is generally considered to be finished when she is married, whereas she has only arrived at A B C. If husbands took half the thought for, or interest in, their wives' minds, that wives are obliged to take for their husbands' bodies, women would be more intelligent. A missing button or string is often the cause of a bitter outcry; but what of the little woman who sits twiddling her thumbs in the presence of her husband's intelligent visitors, because she has not the slightest idea what they are all talking about, and because, if she wouldn't mortify her husband, she must forever keep speechless? The intelligent husband, who, from fear of jeopardizing his puddings or his coffee, rests contented with this state of things, is guilty of an injustice toward that little woman, of which he ought to be heartily ashamed. True, when he married her this difference did not exist, or if it did, the glamour of youth and beauty, like a soft mist-veil over a landscape, hid, or clothed with loveliness, even defects. Because her youth and beauty have been uncomplainingly transmitted to his many children, whose little mouths must be fed, and little feet tended, not always by a hireling, through the long day; and whose little garments must be often planned and made, when she would gladly rest, while they sleep: should he, who is free to read and think, he who, coming in contact with strong, reflecting minds, has left her far behind, never turn a loving glance back, and with his own strong hand and encouraging smile, beg her not to sit down discouraged by the wayside—she, who "hath done what she could?" It is a shame for such a man to put on his soul's festival-dress for everybody but her who should be his soul's queen. It is a shame for a man to be willing so to degrade the mother and teacher of his children. It is a shame for him, while she sits sewing by his side, never to raise her drooping self-respect, by addressing an intelligent word to her about the book he is reading, or the subject upon which he is thinking, as he sits looking into the fire. I marvel and wonder at the God-like patience of these upper housekeepers, or I should, had I not seen them dropping tears over the faces of their sleeping children, to cool their hearts.

I want to hear no nonsense about the mental "equality or inequality of the sexes." I am sick of it; that is a question men always start when women ask for justice, to dodge a fair answer. They may be equal or unequal—that's not what I am talking about. Napoleon the Third gives his dear French people diversions, fête days, and folly of all kinds, if they will only let him manage the politics. Our domestic Napoleons, too many of them, give flattery, bonnets and bracelets to women, and everything else but—justice; that question is one for them to decide, and many a gravestone records how it is done.

An intelligent man sometimes satisfies his conscience by saying of his wife, Oh, she's a good little woman, but there is one chamber in my soul through whose window she is not tall enough to peep. Get her but a footstool to stand on, Mr. Selfishness, and see how quick she will leap over that window sill! In short, show but the disposition to help her, and some manly, loving interest in her progress, instead of striding on alone, as you do, in your seven league mental boots, without a thought of her, and take my word for it, if you are thus just to her, and if she loves you, which last, by the way, all wives would do, if husbands were truly just, and you will find that though she has but average intellect, you will soon be astonished at the progress of your pupil.

I am not unaware that there are men whom the tailor makes, and women who are manufactured by the dress-maker, and that they often marry each other. Let such fulfill their august destiny—to dress. I know that there are women much more intelligent than their husbands; let such show their intelligence by appearing not to know it. Still, it remains as I have said, that there exist the wives and mothers whose cause I now plead, fulfilling each day, not hopelessly—God forbid! but sometimes with a sad sinking of heart, the duties which no true wife or mother will neglect, even under circumstances rendered so disheartening by the husband and father, of whose praise, perhaps, the world is full. Let the latter see to it, that while the momentous question, "What shall I get for dinner?" may never, though the heavens should fall, evade her daily and earnest consideration, that he would sometimes, by his intelligent conversation, when there is no company, recognize the existence of the soul of this married housekeeper.



HAT can fascinate you in that ugly beast?"

This question was addressed to me, while regarding intently a camel in a collection of animals. "Ugly?" To me he was poetry itself. I was a little girl again. I was kneeling down at my little chair at family prayers. I didn't understand the prayers. "The Jews" were a sealed book to me then. I didn't know why "a solemn awe" should fall upon me either; or what was a solemn awe, anyhow. For a long time, I know, till I was quite a big girl, I thought it was one word—thus, solemnor—owing to the rapid manner in which it was pronounced. Where the heathen were going to be "brought in," or what they were coming for, I didn't understand; and as to "justification," and "sanctification," and "election," it was no use trying. But the walls of the pleasant room where family prayers were held, were papered with "a Scripture paper." There were great feathery palm-trees. There were stately females bearing pitchers on their heads. There were Isaac and Rebecca at the well; and there were camels, humped, bearing heavy burdens, with long flexile necks, resting under the curious, feathery trees, with their turbaned attendants. I understood that. To be sure, the blue was, as I now recollect it, sometimes on their noses as well as on the sky; and the green was on their hair as well as on the grass; but at the pinafore-age we are not hypercritical. To me it was fairy-land; and often when "Amen" was said, I remained with my little chin in my palms, staring at my beloved camels, unconscious of the breakfast that was impending, for our morning prayers were said on an empty stomach.

I hear, now, the soft rustle of my mother's dress, as she rose after the "Amen." I see the roguish face of my baby brother, whose perfect beauty was long since hid under the coffin lid. I see the servants, disappearing through the door that led down to the kitchen, whence came the fragrant odor of coming coffee. I see my mother's flowering plants in the window, guiltless of dust or insect, blossoming like her virtues and goodness, perennially. I see black curly heads, and flaxen curly heads, of all sizes, but all "curly," ranged round the breakfast table; the names of many of their owners are on marble slabs in Mount Auburn now.

So you understand why I "stood staring at that ugly beast," in the collections of animals, and thinking of the changes, in all these long years, that had passed so swiftly; for now I am fifty-four, if I am a minute. And how wonderful it was, that after such a lapse of time, and so thickly crowded with events, that this family-morning-prayer-hour should come up with such astonishing vividness, at sight of that camel. Oh! I shall always love a camel. He will never look "ugly" to me. I am not sorry, nor ever have been, that I was brought up to "family prayers," unintelligible though they then were to me.

I hunted up those "Jews" after I got bigger, and many other things, too, the names of which got wedged crosswise in my childish memory, and stuck there. They never did me any harm, that ever I found out. I have sent up many a prayer, both in joy and sorrow, since then, but not always "on my knees," which was considered essential in those days. As to the "solemn awe," I don't understand it now any better than when I was a child. I can't feel it, in praying, any more than I should when running to some dear, tried friend, with a burdened heart, to sob my grief away there, till I grew peaceful again. And all this came of a Camel.

And now I am a grandmother! and here come the holidays again. As I look into the crowded toyshops, I think, how lucky for their owners that children will always keep on being born, and that every one of them will have a grandmother. Uncles, and aunts, and cousins, are all very well, and fathers and mothers are not to be despised; but a grandmother, at holiday time, is worth them all. She might have given her own children crooked-necked squashes, and cucumbers, for dolls; with old towels pinned on by way of dresses, and trusted to their imaginations to supply all deficiencies. But this grandchild—ah! that's quite another affair. Is there anything good enough or costly enough for her? What if she smash her little china tea-set the minute she gets it? What if she break her wax doll? What if she maim and mutilate all the animals in her Noah's Ark? What if she perforate her big India-rubber ball with the points of the scissors? What if she tear the leaves from out her costly picture books? They have made the little dear happy, five minutes, at least; and grandmother has lived long enough to know that five minutes of genuine happiness, in this world, is not to be despised. And that, after all, is the secret of a grandmother's indulgence. It isn't a weakness, as your puckery, sour people pretend. Grandmother has lived. She knows what life amounts to. She knows it is nothing but broken toys from the cradle to the grave. She knows that happy, chirping, radiant little creature before her, has all this experience to go through; and so, ere it comes, she watches with jealous care that nothing shall defraud her of one sunbeam of childhood. Childhood! She strains her gaze far beyond that, away into misty womanhood. She would fain live to stand between her and her first inevitable woman's heartache. From under her feet she would extract every thorn, remove every pebble. The winds that should blow upon her should be soft and perfumed. Every drop of blood in her body, every pulse of her heart, cries out, Oh! let her be happy. Alas! with all her knowledge, and notwithstanding all her chastening, she forgets, and ever will forget, when looking at that child, that the crown comes after the cross.

Broken Toys! As I picked them up under my feet this morning, where they had been tossed by careless little fingers, I fell thinking—just what I have told you.

I wish some philosopher would tell me at what age a child's naughtiness really begins. I am led to make this remark because I am subject to the unceasing ridicule of certain persons, who shall be nameless, who sarcastically advise me "to practice what I preach." As if, to begin with, anybody ever did that, from Adam's time down. You see before I punish, or cause to be punished, a little child, I want to be sure that it hasn't got the stomach-ache; or is not cutting some tooth; or has not, through the indiscretion, or carelessness or ignorance of those intrusted with it, partaken of some indigestible mess, to cause its "naughtiness," as it is called. Then—I want those people who counsel me to such strict justice with a mere baby, to reflect how many times a day, according to this rule, they themselves ought to be punished for impatient, cross words; proceeding, it may be, from teeth, or stomach, or head, or nerves; but just as detrimental as to the results as if they came from meditated, adult naughtiness.

Scruples of conscience, you see—that's it. However, yesterday I said: Perhaps I am a little soft in this matter; perhaps it is time I began. So I stiffened up to it.

"Tittikins," said I to the cherub in question, "don't throw your hat on the floor; bring it to me, dear."

"I san't," replied Tittikins, who has not yet compassed the letter h. "I san't,"—with the most trusting, bewitching little smile, as if I were only getting up a new play for her amusement, and immediately commenced singing to herself:

"Baby bye,
Here's a fly—
Let us watch him,
You and I;"

adding, "Didn't I sing that pretty?"

Now I ask you, was I to get up a fight with that dear little happy thing, just to carry my point? I tell you my "government" on that occasion was a miserable failure; I made up my mind, after deep reflection, that if it was not quite patent that a child was really malicious, it was best not to worry it with petty matters; I made up my mind that I would concentrate my strength on the first lie it told, and be conveniently blind to lesser peccadilloes. This course is just what I get abused for. But, I stood over a little coffin once, with part of my name on the silver plate; and somehow it always comes between me and this governing business. I think I know what you'll reply to this; and in order that you may have full justification for abusing me, I will own that the other day, when I said to Tittikins, "Now, dear, if you put your hands inside your cup of milk again, I must really punish you," that little three-year-older replied, in the chirp-est voice, "No, you won't! I know better." And one day, when I really shut my teeth together, and with a great throb of martyrdom, spanked the back of that dear little hand, she fixed her great, soft, brown, unwinking eyes on me, and said, "I'm brave—I don't mind it!" You can see for yourself that this practical application of the story of the Spartan boy and the fox, which I had told her the day before, was rather unexpected.

Tittikins has no idea of "the rule that won't work both ways." Not long since, she wanted my pen and ink, which, for obvious reasons, I declined giving. She acquiesced, apparently, and went on with her play. Shortly after, I said, "Tittikins, bring me that newspaper, will you?" "No," she replied, with Lilliputian dignity. "If you can't please me, I can't please you." The other day she was making an ear-splitting racket with some brass buttons, in a tin box, when I said, "Can't you play with something else, dear, till I have done writing?" "But I like this best," she replied. "It makes my head ache, though," I said. "You poor dear, you," said Tittikins, patronizingly, as she threw the obnoxious plaything down, and rushed across the room to put her arms around my neck—"you poor dear, you, of tourse I won't do it, then."

I have given it up; with shame and confusion of face, I own that child governs me. I know her heart is all right; I know there's not a grain of badness in her; I know she would die to-day, if she hadn't those few flaws to keep her alive. In short, she's my grandchild. Isn't that enough?

But all this does not prevent my giving sensible advise to others. Now I am perfectly well aware, that there comes a time in the life of every little child, how beautiful, winning and pleasant soever it may be, when it hoists with its tiny hand the rebel flag of defiance to authority. You may walk round another way, and choose not to see it, and fancy you will have no farther trouble. You may hug to your heart all its sweet cunning ways, and say—after all, what does it matter? it is but a child; it knows no better; it will outgrow all that; it is best not to notice it; I can't bear to be harsh with it; it will be a great deal of trouble to fight it out, should the child happen to be persistent: it is a matter of no consequence; and such like sophistries. I say you may try in this way to dodge a question that has got some time or other to be met fair and square in the face; and you may persuade yourself, all the while, that you are thus loving your own ease, that you are loving your child; but both it and you, will at some future day see the terrible mistake.

"Oh, why did my father, or my mother, let me do thus and so?" has been the anguished cry of many a shame-stricken man and woman whose parents reasoned after this manner.

Now, the point at issue between the child and yourself may seem trifling. It may be very early in its life that it is made. Perhaps scarcely past the baby age, it may insist, when well and healthy, upon being sung or rocked in the arms to sleep, and that by some one particular person. Now, you are perfectly sure this is unnecessary, and that it would be much better for the child, apart from the inconvenience of the practice, to be laid quietly in its bed, with only some trustful person to watch it. But you reason, it has always been used to this, and I may have to hear it cry every night for a week before I can teach it. Well—and what then? The child, to be good for anything, must be taught some time or other that it cannot gain its point by crying. Why not now? Of course it should not be placed in bed till it is sufficiently weary; nor should it be frightened at being left in a dark room alone, or left alone at all, while the trial is being made. This attended to, if it cry—let it cry. It will be a struggle of two or three nights and no more; perhaps not that; and the moral lesson is learned; after that obedience comes easy.

It is a mistake to suppose, you who are so greedy of a child's love, that it is more attached to that person who indulges its every whim, than to the one who can firmly pronounce the monosyllable no, when necessary. The most brutal word I ever heard spoken, was from a grown man to a widowed mother, who belonged to that soul-destroying class of parents who "could never deny a child anything" and whose whole life had been one slavish endeavor to gratify his every whim without regard to her own preferences or inclination; and whenever you see such a man, you may know he had just such a mother; or, having one wiser, that her attempts at government had been neutralized by one of the don't-cry-dear-and-you-shall-have-it fathers. It is so strange that parents who crave to be so fondly remembered by their children in after years, should be thus short-sighted. It is so strange, that when they desire next to this, that everybody else should consider their children supremely lovely and winning, that they should take so direct a method to render them perfectly disagreeable. Strange that they should never reflect that some poor wife, in the future, will rue the day she ever married that selfish, domineering tyrant, now in embryo in that little boy. Strange that the mother of that blue-eyed little girl never thinks that the latter may curse her own daughter with that same passionate temper, which never knew paternal restraint. Stranger still, that parents launching these little voyagers on the wide ocean of time, without chart, rudder, or compass, should, when in after days they suffer total shipwreck, close the doors of their hearts, and homes, in their shamed and sorrowful faces.

I think there is nothing on earth so lovely as the first waking of a little child in the morning. The gleeful, chirping voice. The bright eye. The lovely rose-tint of the cheek. The perfect happiness—the perfect faith in all future to-morrows!

We who have lain our heads on our pillows so often, with great sorrows for company; who have tossed, and turned, and writhed, and counted the lagging hours, and prayed even for the briefest respite in forgetfulness; who have mercifully slept at last, and our dead have come back to us, with their smiles and their love, strong enough to cover any shortcomings of ours. We who have awoke in the morning, with a sharp shuddering cry at the awful reality, and closed our eyes again wearily upon the sweet morning light, and the song of birds, and the scent of flowers, every one of which have given us pangs keener than death; we who have risen, and with a dead, dull weight at the heart, moved about mechanically like one walking in sleep, through the gray, colorless treadmill routine of to-day, a wonder to ourselves;—ah! with what infinite love and pity do we look upon the blithe waking of the little child! As it leaps trustfully into our arms, with its morning caress and its soft cheek to our face, how hard it is sometimes to keep the eyes from overflowing with the pent-up pain of the slow years. Oh, the sweet beguilement of that caress! The trustful, lisping question, which shames us out of our tears, for that which tears may never bring back. The unconscious bits of wisdom stammeringly voiced, and left disjointed, and half expressed, in favor of some childish quip or prank of the moment, which makes us doubt whether we have most sage or most baby before us. The saucy little challenge "to play!"

We play? We swallow a great sob and get obediently down on the carpet to "build block-houses;" and when the little one laughs, as the tall structure reels, and topples, and finally falls over, and merrily stands there, showing the little white teeth, clapping hands, and peeping into our faces, and says reproachfully, "What are you thinking about? Why don't you laugh?"—we thank God she has so long a time before she finds out that grieving "why." We thank God that deep and keen as the child is at one moment, she is so ridiculously butter-fly-ish the next.

And then, at its bidding, we set up the chairs and tables in the baby-house, and locate the numerous families of dolls, in cradles and beds, and in parlors; and answer the mimic questions about how "live people" keep house; and play "doctor," and play "nurse," and "play have them die," and see them twitched out of bed five minutes after they have departed this life, to be dressed for a party. And in spite of ourselves, we laugh at the absurd whimsicalities carried out with such adult earnestness and gravity.

And yet there are people in the world who don't see a child's mission in a household; who look upon it as a doll to be dressed, or an animal to be fed, or a nuisance to be kept out of sight as much as possible. Heaven bless us, when no other voice or touch or presence can be borne, a child is often the unconscious Saviour who whispers to the troubled elements of the soul, "Peace, be still!"

Has it ever happened to you that life's contrasts were so sharply presented, that you were smitten with shamed pain at being housed, and clad, and fed, and comfortable, as if you had been guilty of a great wrong, or injustice, that should be immediately wiped out.

Soon after a deep fall of snow, when fleet horses were flying in all directions to the tune of merry bells, and the sharp, crisp air was like wine to the fur-robed riders, I saw a little creature, muffled to the tip of her pretty nose by the careful hand of love, led down the steps of a nice house, to a little gaily-painted sleigh, with cushioned seat, and pretty bells, and soft, warm wrappings, to take her first ride in the new present "Santa-Claus" had brought her. Three grown persons were in waiting, to see that she was lifted gently in, and tucked up, and her hands and feet comfortably bestowed, before starting on this, her first sleigh-ride. Her bright eyes sparkled with delight, her voice was merrier than the bells, and the bright rose of her cheek told of warmth and happiness and plenty. Just three years old: and as far as she had ever known, life was all just like that. Just at that minute came along another little creature, also just three years old, and stood by the side of the gaily-painted little sleigh, looking at its laughing little occupant. Her face was blue and pinched. A ragged handkerchief was tied over her tangled brown hair. Her thin cotton dress scarce covered the little purple knees. Her blue, small fingers held the inevitable beggar's basket, and the shawl for which the cold wind was contending, left her little breast and shoulders quite bare. And there she stood, and gazed at her happier little sister. Merciful Heaven! the horrible contrast, the terrible mystery of it! Only three years of her sad life gone! So much of this to endure! and so much still more dreadful that "three years" could not yet dream of. What had the one child more than the other done, that each should stand—one with steady, one with tottering feet—on either side of that dreadful gulf, eying one another in that guileless, silent way, more terrible to witness than pen of mine can ever tell?

Well, the little painted sleigh slid away with its merry freight, and "three years old" stood still and looked after it. She could not comprehend, had she been told, the sad thoughts that sent down the shower of pennies from the window above on her little beggar's basket. But she looked up and said, timidly, "Thank you," with a shy, little happy smile, as she scrambled them up out of the snow at her feet. Poor, little baby!—for she was nothing more. And there are hundreds just like her in New York. There's the pity of it. Your men beggars don't fret me, unless crippled. If a woman can earn an honest living in the face of so many society and custom-dragons, surely a man ought, or starve. But these babies—oh! it is dreadful. And the more pitiful you are to them, the harder their lot is; since the more substantial pity they excite, the more profitable they become to the callous wretches who live by it.

And after all, these two little "three years old" may yet change places. God knows. Often I meet, in my walks, a lady elegantly apparelled—sometimes in her own carriage, sometimes walking—who once stood shivering at area doors, like that little owner of the beggar's basket—now an honored and happy wife and mother. They don't all go down—down—as inexorable time grinds on. Still the exceptions are so rare, unless they are snatched away by the sheltering arms of death, or love, before pollution becomes indelible, that they are easily counted.

Back comes the gay little sleigh and the rosy "three years old!" Now she is taken carefully into the house, and some warm milk prepared for her, and slippers are warmed for her feet, and her face covered with kisses; and playthings, which are legion, spread before her; and the whole house is on its knees, listening to her prattle, and rejoicing in her presence, that fills the house like the perfume of a sweet flower, like the warm rays of the sun, like the song of a bird. And the other? Read this from the daily paper: "Yesterday, a little beggar-girl, three years old, was run over by the street-car, at —— street, while attempting to cross, and instantly killed." Better so. One short pang, and all the suffering over.

Walking behind a father and his prattling child—a fairy little girl—the other day, I heard a bit of human nature. "I mean to have a tea-party," lisped the little thing; "a tea-party, papa." "Do you?" said the father; "Well, whom shall you invite?" "I shan't ask anybody who don't have tea at their houses," replied the little woman. "There's worldly wisdom," thought we, "in pantalettes. So young and so calculating!" We smiled—who could help it?—at the little mite; but we sighed, also. We would rather have heard those infantile lips say: "I shall ask everybody who don't have tea at their houses,"—not as a mocking-bird or parrot would say it, as a lesson taught, but because it was the out-gushing of a warm little unspoiled heart. That child but echoed, probably, what she had listened to unobserved, from mamma's lips, on the eve of some party or dinner. The child who sits playing with its doll, be it remembered, oh mothers, is not always deaf, dumb, and blind to what is passing around, though it may seem so. The seed dropped carelessly then, may take root, and develop into a tree, under whose withering influence your every earthly hope shall perish.

Sometimes one thinks what a pity children should ever grow up. The other day, passing through an entry of one of our public buildings, I saw two little boys, of the ages of six and eight, with their arms about each other's neck, exchanging kiss after kiss. It was such a pretty sight, in that noisy den of business, that one could but stop to look. The younger of the children, noticing this, looked up with such a heaven of love in his face, and said, in explanation, "he is my brother!" Pity they should ever grow up, thought we, as we passed along. Pity that the world, with its clashing interests of business, love, and politics, should ever come between them. Pity that they should ever coldly exchange finger-tips, or, more wretched still, not even exchange glances. Pity that one should sorrow, and grieve, and hunger, and thirst, and yearn for sympathy, while the other should sleep, and eat, and drink, unmindful of his fate. Pity that one with meek-folded hands should pass into the land of silence, and no tear of repentance and affection fall upon his marble face from the eyes of his "brother." Such things have been. That is why we thought, pity they should ever grow up!—"Heaven lies so near us in our infancy."



GENTLEMAN asked me the other day, "Why are the women of the present day so discontented with their lot?" Now there was no denying the fact, staring, as it does, from every page of "women's books," peeping out under the flimsy veil of a jest in their conversation, or boldly challenging your attention in some rasping sarcasm, according to the taste or humor of the writer or speaker. "Men can't be such devils as these women seem to suppose," said a gentleman anxious for the credit of his sex; "and women ought to be able to fulfill the duties of wives and mothers without such constant complaint. Now my grandmother"—Here I laid a finger on his lip. Do you know, said I, that you have this very minute, to use a slang phrase—unladylike, perhaps, but expressive—do you know that you have this very minute "put your foot in it?" Do you know that if there is anything in the world that makes a woman discontented and discouraged, it is to have some piece of ossified female perfection, in the shape of a relative, held up to her imitation by her husband—some woman, with chalk and water in her veins, instead of blood, who is "good" merely because she is petrified? Now, how would a man like his wife constantly to remind him of the very superior manner in which her grandfather conducted his business matters? how superior to his was his way of book-keeping, and of managing his various clerks and subordinates? how like clockwork he always arranged everything?—and suppose she says this, too, at moments when her husband had done his very best to be true to his duties. I wonder how long before he would exclaim, Oh! bother your grandfather; he did business his way, and I shall do my business mine.

Now you see how I have lost patience, as well as what I was going to say, by the vision of your grandmother, sir. What I was going to remark when you interrupted me, was this: that, in my opinion, the root of all this discontent is the prevailing physical inability of women to face the inevitable cares and duties of married life. Added to this, the want of magnanimity and unwisdom that men show, in lifting the eyebrow of indifference, or ill-disguised vexation, when the very fragility they fell in love with, staggers and falls under the burdens of life. Now were these husbands about to possess a horse, they would consider first whether they wanted a farm-horse or a fancy horse—a working animal or an ornamental one. Having chosen the latter, they would be very careful to choose a carriage of light weight for it to draw, and not finding one sufficiently light, would be very apt to have one manufactured on purpose, rather than run the risk of overtasking the animal's powers. They would treat him carefully, feed him well, see that he rested sufficiently when weary; pat him, coax him, instead of lashing and goading him, when, for some unknown reason, his steps seemed to falter. Now is a man's wife of less consequence than his horse? Is it less necessary he should stop to consider, before he marries her, why he wants her? and having settled that question, make his choice accordingly, after having also considered what means are at his disposal to carry out his intentions as to their mutual comfort? In old times, many men married only to get their butter churned, their cheese made, their clothes mended, and their meals prepared, their wives raising pigs and children in the intervals. By this humanitarian process, all that was left of a wife at thirty, was a horn-comb, inserted in six hairs, on the top of her head, and a figure resembling the letter C. The men of the present day seemed to have learned no better how to husband their wives. Their eye is caught by a pretty pink-and-white creature, who steps about gracefully and gleefully in her father's comfortable, well-appointed house. They never consider has she good health? Will she make a healthy Mother? nor the good sense to turn resolutely away, and say, it would be cruelty in me to take her feeble prettiness from that warmly lined nest, to a home in the performance of whose duties she would inevitably break down. Nor do they say, when they have made the irretrievable mistake of marrying her, and find this weary, discouraged little woman crying over it, "Poor child, I ought to have foreseen all this, but as I didn't, I must love and comfort you all the more." Not a bit of it. The more they have been to blame, the more they blame her, and point with exacting finger to that horrid, stereotyped piece of perfection, "my grandmother." Then they prate to her about patience—"Job's patience." Now if there is a proverb that needs re-vamping, it is "The patience of Job." In the first place, Job wasn't patient. Like all the rest of his sex, from that day to the present, he could be heroic only for a little while at a time. He began bravely; but ended, as most of them do under annoyance, by cursing and swearing. Patient as Job! Did Job ever try, when he was hungry, to eat shad with a frisky baby in his lap? Did Job ever, after nursing one all night, and upon taking his seat at the breakfast-table the morning after, pour out coffee for six people, and second cups after that, before he had a chance to take a mouthful himself? Pshaw! I've no patience with "Job's patience." It is of no use to multiply instances; but there's not a faithful house-mother in the land who does not out-distance him in the sight of men and angels, every hour in the twenty-four.

Think of the case of our farmers' wives. Now, just consider it a little. Next to being a minister's wife, I think I should dread being the wife of a farmer. Sometimes, indeed, the terms are synonymous. Raising children and chickens, ad infinitum; making butter, cheese, bread, and the national and omnipresent pie; cutting, making and mending the clothes for a whole household, not to speak of doing their washing and ironing; taking care of the pigs and the vegetable garden; making winter-apple sauce by the barrel, and pickling myriads of cucumbers; drying fruits and herbs; putting all the twins through the measles, whooping-cough, mumps, scarlet-fever and chicken-pox; besides keeping a perpetual river of hot grease on the kitchen table, in which is to float potatoes, carrots, onions and turnips for the ravenous maws of the "farm-hands."

No wonder that the poor things look harassed, jaded and toil-worn, long before they arrive at middle age. No wonder that a life so hard and angular, should obliterate all the graces of femininity—when no margin is left, year after year, for those little refinements which a woman under any pressure of circumstances, naturally and rightly desires, and lacking which, she is inevitably unhappy and coarsened.

Now your farmer is a round, stalwart, comfortable animal. There is no baby wailing at his pantaloons while he ploughs or makes fences. He lies down under the nearest tree and rests, or sleeps, when he can no longer work with profit. He comes in to his dinner with the appetite of a hyena, and the digestion of a rhinoceros, and goes forth again to the hayfield till called home to supper. There is his wife, and too often with the same frowsy head with which she rose in the morning, darting hither and thither for whatever is wanted, or helping the hungry, children or the farm-hands. After the supper is finished come the dish-washing, and milking, and the thought for to-morrow's breakfast; and then perhaps all night she sleeps with one eye open for a baby or a sick child, and rises again to pursue the same unrelieved, treadmill, wearing round, the next day.

Now the uppermost idea in the minds of too many farmers is, how to get the greatest possible amount of work out of their wives. A poorer policy than this can scarcely be. They treat their cattle better. If they are about to be presented with a fine calf or colt, they take pains that the prospective mother is well cared for, both before and after the event. The farmer who would not do this would be considered extremely short-sighted. Their cattle are not allowed to be overworked, or underfed, or abused in any way. Now, pray, is not a farmer's wife as valuable an animal as a cow, or a horse, even looking at the practical side of it? Is it not as important to have a sound, healthy mother of children, as to have a healthy mare or cow? You may say that no woman should marry a farmer, who does not expect to work. I say, in reply, that woman was never intended to split or carry wood, or to carry heavy pails or buckets of water. And yet how many farmers can we count who ever think of the women of the house, in regard to the distance or proximity of the wood or the water to the kitchen? while too many grudge to these overworked women that labor-saving apparatus in every department of their work, which would prolong their lives years, to a family of growing children. Then, to grudge such an industrious wife decent raiment, wherewith to make herself and her children neat and comfortable, is a shame. To oblige such a woman to plead like a beggar for the dollar she has earned a thousand times over in any family but his own, should make him blush. Look at our farmers' wives all over the land, and see if, with rare exceptions, their toil-worn, harassed faces do not indorse my statement. Every mother should have time to talk with her children—to acquaint herself with their souls as well as their bodies—to do something besides wash their faces and clothes. And how are these hurried, weary women to find it? Of what avail is it to those children who come up, but who are not brought up, that another meadow, or another barn, is added to the family inheritance, when the grass waves over the mother's tombstone before their childhood and youth is past? or when they can remember her only as a fretted, querulous, care-burdened, over-tasked creature, who was always jostling them out of the way to catch up some burden which she dare not drop, though she drop by the way herself.

Sunday, "the Day of Rest," so called, to many mothers of families, is the most toilsome day of the whole week. Children, too young to go to church, must of course be cared for at home; domestics on that day, of all others, expect their liberty. The father of the family, also, in many cases, thinks it hard if, after a week's labor, he too cannot roam without his family; never remembering that his wife, for the same reason, needs rest equally with himself, instead of shouldering on that day a double burden. Weary with family cares, she remembers the good word of cheer to which she has in days gone by listened from some clergyman, not too library-read to remember that he was human. The good, sympathetic word that sent her home strengthened for another week's duties. The good word, which men think they can do without; but which women, with the petty be-littling every day annoyances of their monotonous life, long for, as does a tired child to lay its head on its mother's breast. A mother may feel thus and yet have no desire to evade the responsible duties of her office. Indeed, had she not often her oratory in her own heart, she would sink discouraged oftener than she does, lacking the human sympathy which is often withheld by those upon whom she has the nearest claim for it. To such a woman it is not a mere form to "go to church;" it is not to her a fashion exchange; she really desires the spiritual help she seeks. You may find nothing in the words that come to her like the cool hand on the fevered brow. The psalm which is discord to your ear, may soothe her, like a mother's murmured lullaby. The prayer, which to you is an offence, brings her face to face with One who is touched by our infirmities. If an "undevout astronomer is mad," it seems to me that an undevout woman is still more so. Our insane asylums are full of women, who, leaning on some human heart for love and sympathy, and meeting only misappreciation, have gone there, past the Cross, where alone they could have laid down burdens too heavy to bear unshared. A great book is unwritten on this theme. When men become less gross and unspiritual than they now are, they will see the great wrong of which they are guilty, in their impatience of women's keenest sufferings because they "are only mental."

Ladies, many of you attempt too much. I am convinced that there are times in everybody's experience when there is so much to be done, that the only way to do it is to sit down and do nothing. This sounds paradoxical, but it is not. For instance: the overtasked mother of a family, in moderate circumstances, who must be brains, hands, stomach and feet for a dozen little children, and their father, who counts full another dozen. Do the best she may, plan the wisest she may, her work accumulates fearfully on her hands. One day's labor laps over on the next, till she cannot sleep at night for fear she shall oversleep in the morning. And though she works hard all day, and gives herself no relaxation, she cannot see any result at the close, save that she "hath done what she could." Of course you say, let her be satisfied with that, and not worry about it. That is only another proof how easy it is for some people to bear the troubles of other people. Suppose her nervous system has been strained to the utmost, so that every step is a weariness, and every fresh and unexpected demand sets her "all of a tremble," as women express it, what is the use of reasoning then about not working? The more she can't work, the more she will try to, till she drops in her tracks, unless, catching sight of her prospective coffin, she stops in time. Now there are self-sacrificing mothers who need somebody to say to them, "Stop! you have just to make your choice now, between death and life. You have expended all the strength you have on hand—and must lay in a new stock before any more work can be done by you. So don't go near your kitchen; if your cook goes to sleep in the sink on washing-day, let her; if your chambermaid spends the most of her time on ironing-day with the grocer-boy in the area, don't you know anything about it. Get right into bed, and lie there, just as a man would do if he didn't feel one quarter as bad as you do; and ring every bell in the house, every five minutes, for everything you want, or think you want; and my word for it, the world will keep on going round just the same, as if you were spinning a spasmodic tee-totum, as hens do, long after their heads have been cut off. Yes—just lie there till you get rested; and they all find out, by picking up the burdens you have dropped, what a load you have been uncomplainingly shouldering. Yes—just lie there; and tell them to bring you something nice to eat and drink—yes, drink; and forbid, under dreadful penalties, anybody asking you what the family are to have for dinner. Let them eat what they like, so that they don't trouble you, and season it to their tastes; and here's hoping it will do them good."

And now having located you comfortably under the quilt, out of harm's way, let me tell you that if you think you are doing God service, or anybody else, by using up a year's strength in a week, you have made a sinful mistake. I don't care anything about that basket of unmended stockings, or unmade pinafores, or any other nursery nightmare which haunts the dreams of these "Martha" mothers. You have but one life to live, that's plain; and when you are dead, all the king's men can't make you stand on your feet again, that's plain. Well, then—don't be dead. In the first place, go out a part of every day, rain or shine, for the fresh air, and don't tell me you can't; at least not while you can stop to embroider your children's clothes. As to "dressing to go out," don't dress. If you are clean and whole, that's enough; have boots with elastics at the side, instead of those long mile Balmorals that take so long to "lace up,"—in short, simplify your dressing, and then stop every wheel in the house if necessary in order to go out, but go; fifteen minutes is better than nothing; if you can't get out in the day-time, run out in the evening; and if your husband can't see the necessity of it, perhaps he will on reflection after you have gone out. The moral of all which is, that if nobody else will take care of you, you must just take care of yourself. As to the children—I might write a long book on this head, or those heads, bless 'em! They can't help being born, poor things, though they often get slapped for that, and nothing else, as far as I can see. It is a pity you hadn't three instead of six, so that the care of them might be a pleasure instead of a weariness; but "that's none of my business," as people say after they have been unusually meddlesome and impertinent. Still I repeat it, I wish you had three instead of six, and I don't care if you do go and tell John.

Women can relieve their minds, now-a-days, in one way that was formerly denied them: they can write! a woman who wrote, used to be considered a sort of monster—At this day it is difficult to find one who does not write, or has not written, or who has not, at least, a strong desire to do so. Gridirons and darning-needles are getting monotonous. A part of their time the women of to-day are content to devote to their consideration when necessary; but you will rarely find one—at least among women who think—who does not silently rebel against allowing them a monopoly.

What? you inquire, would you encourage, in the present overcrowded state of the literary market, any more women scribblers? Stop a bit. It does not follow that she should wish or seek to give to the world what she has written. I look around and see innumerable women, to whose barren, loveless life this would be improvement and solace, and I say to them, write! Write, if it will make that life brighter, or happier, or less monotonous. Write! it will be a safe outlet for thoughts and feelings, that maybe the nearest friend you have, has never dreamed had place in your heart and brain. You should have read the letters I have received; you should have talked with the women I have talked with; in short, you should have walked this earth with your eyes open, instead of shut, as far as its women are concerned, to indorse this advice. Nor do I qualify what I have said on account of social position, or age, or even education. It is not safe for the women of 1868 to shut down so much that cries out for sympathy and expression, because life is such a maelstrom of business or folly, or both, that those to whom they have bound themselves, body and soul, recognize only the needs of the former. Let them write if they will. One of these days, when that diary is found, when the hand that penned it shall be dust, with what amazement and remorse will many a husband, or father, exclaim, I never knew my wife, or my child, till this moment; all these years she has sat by my hearth, and slumbered by my side, and I have been a stranger to her. And you sit there, and you read sentence after sentence, and recall the day, the month, the week, when she moved calmly, and you thought happily, or, at least, contentedly, about the house, all the while her heart was aching, when a kind word from you, or even a touch of your hand upon her head, as you passed out to business, or pleasure, would have cheered her, oh so much! When had you sat down by her side after the day's work for both was over, and talked with her just a few moments of something besides the price of groceries, and the number of shoes Tommy had kicked out, all of which, proper and necessary in their place, need not of necessity form the stable of conversation between a married pair; had you done this; had you recognized that she had a soul as well as yourself, how much sunshine you might have thrown over her colorless life!

"Perhaps, sir," you reply; "but I have left my wife far behind in the region of thought. It would only distress her to do this!" How do you know that? And if it were so, are you content to leave her—the mother of your children—so far behind? Ought you to do it? Should you not, by raising the self-respect you have well nigh crushed by your indifference and neglect, extend a manly hand to her help? I think so. The pink cheeks which first won you may have faded, but remember that it was in your service, when you quietly accept the fact that "you have left your wife far behind you in mental improvement." Oh! it is pitiable this growing apart of man and wife, for lack of a little generous consideration and magnanimity! It is pitiable to see a husband without a thought that he might and should occasionally, have given his wife a lift out of the petty, harrowing details of her woman's life, turn from her, in company, to address his conversation to some woman who, happier than she, has had time and opportunity for mental culture. You do not see, sir—you will not see—you do not desire to see, how her cheek flushes, and her eye moistens, and her heart sinks like lead as you thus wound her self-respect. You think her "cross and ill-natured," if when, the next morning, you converse with her on the price of butter, she answers you listlessly and with a total want of interest in the treadmill-subject.

I say to such women: Write! Rescue a part of each week at least for reading, and putting down on paper, for your own private benefit, your thoughts and feelings. Not for the world's eye, unless you choose, but to lift yourselves out the dead-level of your lives; to keep off inanition; to lessen the number who are yearly added to our lunatic asylums from the ranks of misappreciated, unhappy womanhood, narrowed by lives made up of details. Fight it! oppose it, for your own sakes and your children's! Do not be mentally annihilated by it. It is all very well to sneer at this and raise the old cry of "a woman's sphere being home"—which, by the way, you hear oftenest from men whose home is only a place to feed and sleep in. You might as well say that a man's sphere is his shop or his counting-room. How many of them, think you, would be contented, year in and year out, to eat, drink, and sleep as well as to transact business there, and never desire or take, at all costs, some let-up from its monotonous grind? How many would like to forego the walk to and from the place of business? forego the opportunities for conversation, which chance thus throws in their way, with other men bent on the same or other errands? Have, literally, no variety in their lives? Oh, if you could be a woman but one year and try it! A woman—but not necessarily a butterfly—not necessarily a machine, which, once wound up by the marriage ceremony, is expected to click on with undeviating monotony till Death stops the hands.

I am often asked the question, "Do I believe that women should vote?" Most assuredly. I am heart and soul with the women-speakers and lecturers, and workers in public and private, who are trying to bring this thing about. I have heard and read all the pros and cons on this subject; and I have never yet heard, or read, any argument in its disfavor, which is worth considering by whomsoever uttered, or written. Everything must have a beginning, and no noble enterprise was ever yet undertaken that did not find its objectors and assailants. That is to be expected. These women-pioneers are prepared for this. It is not pleasant, to be sure, to see those men in their audiences, who should give them a hearty, manly support, making flippant, foolish, shallow remarks on the subject; or thanking God that their wives and daughters are not "mixed up in it." Meantime their wives and daughters may be "mixed up" in many things much less to their credit, and much more to the detriment of their relations as mothers and wives. And when I hear a woman making fun of this subject, or languidly declaring that, for her part, she wouldn't give a fig to vote, and she is only glad enough to be rid of the whole bothering thing, I feel only pity, that in this glorious year of our Lord, 1869, she should still prefer going back to the dark ages. I feel only pity, that, torpidly and selfishly content with her ribbons and dresses, she may never see or think of those other women, who may be lifted out of their wretched condition, of low wages and starvation, by this very lever of power.

As to the principal objection urged against voting, I think a woman may vote and yet be a refined, and lady-like, and intelligent person, and worthy of all respect from those who hold womanhood in the highest estimation. I think she may go to the ballot-box without receiving contamination, just as I believe that she may walk in the public thoroughfares, and pass the most desperate characters, of both sexes, without a spot on her spiritual raiment. Nay, more—I believe that through her the ballot-box is to become regenerated. Nor do I believe that any man, educated or uneducated, unless under the influence of liquor, would in any way make that errand a disagreeable one to her. You tell me, but they are under that influence more or less on election day. Very well—the remedy for that is in closing the liquor-shops till it is over.

As to women "voting as their husbands tell them," I have my own opinion, which I think results would prove to be correct. I think, for instance, that no wife of a drunkard would vote that any drunkard should hold office, howsoever her husband himself might vote, or tell her to vote. Then, why is it any worse for a woman "to vote as she is bid," than for an ignorant male voter to vote as he is bid. And as to the "soil and stain on woman's purity," which timidity, and conservatism, and selfishness insists shall follow the act, it might be well, in answer, to draw aside the veil from many homes in New York, not in the vicinity of the Five Points either, where long-suffering, uncomplaining wives and mothers, endure a defilement and brutality on legal compulsion, to which this, at the worst estimate ever made by its opponents, would be spotlessness itself. No—no. Not one, or all of these reasons together, is the true reason for this opposition; and what is more, not one, or all of these reasons together, will eventually prevent women from having the franchise. It is only a question of time; that's one comfort.



UT, then, it is not altogether the fault of men, that women have so poor a time in this world.

If I had a boy, my chief aim would be to make him yield to his sisters. Why? Because so many boys have been taught a contrary lesson; their selfishness every day growing stronger and stronger, till the day when they marry some woman, who is expected to "fall into line"—toes out, head erect, shoulders squared—at the word of command, like their sisters. It is a very common thing to hear a mother say to her daughters, you must do this, or that, or omit doing this, or that, or some day you will cause the unhappiness of the man you marry. When was a parent ever known to say this to a boy about his future wife? The idea, I have no doubt, would be considered quite ludicrous. But I have yet to learn why it is not as necessary in one case as in the other. Now, to oblige the girls of a family to be punctual to their meals, on penalty of displeasure, and cold food, and to save a warm breakfast for the boy, whenever he chooses to lie in bed an hour or two later than the rest of the family, is making a fatal mistake, so far as the boy is concerned, and educating a selfish husband for some unfortunate girl who may be entrapped by him. Then this foolish mother will be the very first to lament to her circle of sympathizing friends, that "her John" should have married a woman who is so exacting and unyielding. Then, these sisters will mourn publicly that dear "John" should have made such a terrible matrimonial blunder as to marry a woman who was not enamored of mending his stockings every evening in the week, which he spent out doors, in any kind of amusement that the whim of the hour suggested. Then—aunts, and cousins, and uncles, of the hundredth degree, will join and swell the chorus, till "dear John," if he has not sense enough to see the discrepancy between their preaching and their practice, as exemplified in their exactions towards their own husbands, will believe himself entitled to honorable mention in "Fox's Book of Martyrs."

The evil, I have said, begins with the boy's home education. "Sister" must mend his gloves and stockings, and alter his shirts, whenever he wishes; but "brother" may altogether decline waiting upon his sisters to evening visits, or amusements, in favor of other ladies, or may, in any other way, show his utter selfishness and disregard of their natural claims upon him.

This is all wrong, and boys so brought up must of necessity resist, when matrimony presents any other side of the question than that of blind, unswerving obedience.

Now, imagine this selfishness intensified a thousand fold by solitary years of bachelorhood, and you have a creature to whom "The Happy Family" would forever be a myth.

Perhaps you think that I imagine selfishness to be peculiarly the vice of the other sex. Not at all. There are women who are most disgustingly selfish; wives and mothers unworthy both these titles; but I shall find you ten selfish husbands to one selfish wife, and therefore I call the attention of parents to this part of their sons' education. If half the admonitions bestowed so lavishly upon girls were addressed to their brothers, the family estate and the public would be the gainers.

There is one class of women that in my opinion need extinguishing. I think I hear some male voice exclaim, One? I wish there were not a great many! Sir! know that the foolishest woman who was ever born is better than most men; but I am not treating of that branch of the subject now. As I was about to remark, there is a class of sentimental women who use up the whole dictionary in speaking of a pin, and circumlocute about the alphabet in such a way, every time they open their mincing lips, that nobody but themselves can know what they are talking about, and truth to say, I should have been safe not to admit even that exception. Their "ske-iy" must always be heavenly "ble-u;" to touch household matters with so much as the end of a taper finger would be "beneneath them," and that though Astor may have considerable more money in the bank than themselves. To sweep, to dust, to make a bed, to look into a kitchen-closet, to superintend a dinner—was a woman made for that? they indignantly exclaim. Now, while I as indignantly deny that she was born with a gridiron round her neck, I repudiate the idea that any one of these duties is beneath any woman, if it be necessary or best that she should perform them. I could count you a dozen women on my fingers' ends, whom the reading world has delighted to honor, who held no such flimsy, sickly, hot-house views as these. Because a woman can appreciate a good book, or even write one, or talk or think intelligently, is she not to be a breezy, stirring, wide-awake, efficient, thorough, capable housekeeper? Is she not to be a soulful wife and a loving, judicious mother? Is she to disdain to comb a little tumbled head, or to wash a pair of sticky little paws, or to mend a rent in a pinafore or little pair of trousers? I tell you there's a false ring about women who talk that way. No woman of true intellect ever felt such duties beneath her. She may like much better to read an interesting book, or write out her own thoughts when she feels the inspiration, than to be much employed this way, but she will never, never disdain it, and she will faithfully stand at her post if there can be no responsible relief-guard. You will never find her sentimentally whining about moonshine, while her neglected children are running loose in the neighbors' houses, or through the streets. You may be sure she is the wrong sort of woman who does this; she has neither head enough to attain to that which she is counterfeiting, nor heart enough really to care for the children she has so thoughtlessly launched upon the troubled sea of life. I sincerely believe that there are few women with a desire for intellectual improvement, who cannot secure it if they will. To be honest, they find plenty of time to put no end of embroidery on their children's clothes; plenty of time to keep up the neck-and-neck race of fashion, though it may be in third-rate imitations. They will sit up till midnight, but they will trim a dress or bonnet in the latest style, if they cannot hire it done, when the same energy would, if they felt inclined, furnish the inside of their heads much more profitably; for mark you, these women who are above household cares will run their feet off to match a trimming, or chase down a coveted color in a ribbon. That isn't "belittling!" That isn't "trivial!" That isn't "beneath them!"

It is very funny how such women will fancy they are recommending themselves by this kind of talk, to persons whose approbation they sometimes seek. If they only knew what a sensible, rational person may be thinking about while they are patiently but politely listening to such befogged nonsense; how pity is dominant where they suppose admiration to be the while; how the listener longs to break out and say, My dear woman, I have washed and ironed, and baked and brewed, and swept and dusted, and washed children, and made bonnets, and cut and made dresses, and mended old coats, and cleaned house, and made carpets, and nailed them down, and cleaned windows, and washed dishes, and tended the door-bell, and done every "menial" thing you can think of, when it came to me to do, and I'm none the worse for it, though perhaps you would not have complimented my "intellect," as you call it, had you known it. Lord bless me! there's nothing like one's own hands and feet. Bells are very good institutions when one is sick, but I never found that person who, when I had the use of my feet, could do a thing as quick as myself, and as a general thing the more you pay them the slower they move; and as I'm of the comet order, I quite forget it is "beneath me" to do things, till I've done them. So you see, after all, so far as I am concerned, it is no great credit to me, although it is very shocking to know that a woman who writes isn't always dressed in sky blue, and employed in smelling a violet.

Then there is another subject to which I wish women would give a little consideration; and that is the reason for the decline of the good old-fashioned hospitality. I think the abolition of the good old "tea" of our ancestors has a great deal to do with it, and the prevalent and absurd idea that hospitality is not hospitality, unless indorsed by a French cook, and a brown-stone front. Now, dinner takes the place of this meal. Dinner! which involves half a dozen courses, with dessert and wines to match. That is an affair which requires the close supervision of the wife and mother of the family, even though she may have a cook well-skilled, and attendants well-drilled. Now, as most American wives and mothers, have about as much strain on their vitality from day to day as they can possibly, with their fragile constitutions, endure, they naturally prefer as few of these domestic upheavings as they can get along with, and retain their social footing; nor for one do I blame them for this. The blame, is in a system which subordinates everything lovely and desirable in the way of hospitality, to the coarse pleasures of show and gluttony. Who shall be the bold lady pioneer of reform in this matter?

Certainly, ladies have a personal interest in abolishing this state of things, when gentlemen's dinner-parties, including half a dozen invitations, to the exclusion of every lady, except the hostess, are becoming so common. Make your dinners more simple, fair dames, and make your dress as simple as your dinners. Restore in this way the power to invite your friends oftener, and let your and your husband's invitations to dinner, include gentlemen and their wives. If the latter are fools, they will not become less so by being excluded from rational conversation. If they are not fools, it is an outrage to treat them as if they were. It would be useless, of course, to hint that dinner had better be at midday. Fashion would turn up her nose at the idea. And yet you know very well that that is the natural and most wholesome time to dine. As to gentlemen "not being able to leave their business," to do this, I might suggest that they go to bed earlier, to enable them to go earlier to that business in the morning. I might also add, that gentlemen generally can find time to do anything which they greatly desire to do. I might also add, that for one child or young person who eats this heartiest meal of the day, and goes directly to bed upon it without harm, thousands bring on an indigestion, which makes life a curse instead of the blessing it ought to be.

Where do you ever hear now, the frank, hearty invitation, "Come in any time and see us?" How is it possible, when a table preparation that involves so much thought and expense, is considered the proper way to honor a guest, and conversation and cordiality are secondary matters, if not altogether ignored? Of what use is it to have a fine house, and well-stocked wine-cellar, and drilled servants, when the passion for show has reached such a pitch, that public saloons and suites of rooms in vast hotels, must be hired, and a man leave his own house, be it ever so fine, because he must have more room and more parade, than any private house can by any possibility furnish, without pitching the whole family into inextricable chaos and confusion for a month.

This is all false and wrong, and demoralizing. It is death to social life—death to the true happiness and well-being of the family, and in my opinion, ladies are to blame for it, and ladies only can effect a reform.

Simplify your toilets—simplify your dinners, ladies. There are many of you who have sufficient good sense to indorse this view of the case; how many are there with sufficient courage to defy the tyranny of omnipotent fashion and carry it out?

Now, let me tell you how it was in good old-fashioned New England towns; when people enjoyed life five times as well as now. Then husbands, wives, and children had not each a separate circle of acquaintances, and their chief aim was not to regulate matters, with a view to be in each other's society as little as possible. That fatal death-blow to the purity, happiness, and love of home.

Then you went at dark to tea. I am speaking of the old-fashioned New England parties. You and your husband, and your eldest boy or girl; the latter being instructed not to pull over the cake to get the best piece, or otherwise to misbehave themselves. There were assembled the principal members of the church, and, above all, its pastor and spouse, and deacons ditto. The married women had on their best caps and collars, and the regulation black-silk-company-dress, which, in my opinion, has never been improved upon by profane modern fingers. The young girls wore a merino of bright hue, if it were winter, with a little frill of lace about the shoulders; or a white cambric dress if the mildness of the weather admitted. The men always in black, laity or clergy, with flesh-colored gloves, of Nature's own making, warranted to fit.

All assembled, the buzz of talk was soon agreeably interrupted by the entrance of a servant bearing a heavily-laden tray of cups and saucers, filled with tea and coffee, cream and sugar. This tray was rested on a table; and the host, rising, requested Rev. Mr. —— to ask a blessing. He did it, and the youngsters, eying the cake, wished it had been shorter. So did the girl in charge of the tray. "Blessing" at last over, the tea and coffee were distributed. The matrons charging their initiatory fledglings "not to spill over," often wisely pouring a spoonful of coffee or tea, from the cup into the saucer, to prevent the former from any china-gymnastics unfavorable to the best gown or carpet. The men turned their toes in till they met; spread their red silk handkerchiefs over their bony knees, and on that risky, improvised, graceful lap, placed the hot cup of tea, with an awful sense of responsibility, which interfered with the half-finished account of the last "revival." Then came a tray of thinly-sliced bread and butter, delicate and tempting; rich cake, guiltless of hartshorn or soda, with delicate sandwiches, and tiny tarts.

This ceremony gone through, the young people crawled from the maternal wing, and laughed and talked in corners, as freely and hilariously as if they were not "children of damnation," destined to eternal torment if they did not indorse the creed of their forefathers. Their elders, with satisfied stomachs, and cheerful voices and faces, seemed to have merged the awful "hell," too, for the time being; and nobody would have supposed them capable of bringing children into the world, to be scared through it with a claw-footed devil constantly at their backs.

As the evening went on, the buzz and noise increased. The youngsters giggled and pushed about, keeping jealous watch the while, for the nine o'clock tray of goodies, which was to delight their eyes and feast their palates. This tray contained the biggest oranges and apples, the freshest cluster-raisins, and almonds, hickory nuts, three-cornered nuts, filberts and grapes. After this came a tray of preserved quinces, or plums, or peaches, with little pitchers of real cream. Then, to wind up, little cunning glasses filled with lemonade, made of lemons.

Now the youngsters had plenty to do. So absorbed were they, cracking nuts and jokes, that when the minister, seizing the back of a chair in the middle of the room, said, "Let us pray," the difficulty of cutting a laugh off short in the middle, and disposing of their plates, presented itself in such an hysterical manner, that a pinch of the ear, or a shake of the shoulders, had to be resorted to, to bring things to a spiritual focus. After prayers came speedy cloakings, shawlings, and kind farewells and greetings; and by ten, or shortly after, the hour at which modern parties begin, visitors and visited were all tucked comfortably between the sheets.

Now. Nobody can give a party that does not involve the expenditure of hundreds of dollars. Dinner, or evening party, it is all the same. The hostess muddles her brain about "devilled fowl," "frozen puddings," "meringue" things, of every shape—floral pyramids, for which she has my forgiveness, for fashion never had a more pardonable sin than this. She must have dozens of hired silver, and chairs, and hired waiters, and the mantua-maker must be driven wild for dress trimmings, and the interior of the house must be thrown off of the family track for days, before and after. And the good man of it must have a dozen kinds of wines, and as many kinds of cigars; and there must be more "courses," if it is a dinner, than you could count; and you must sit tedious hours, while these are trotted on and trotted off, by skilled skirmishers; and what with the necessity of all this restaurant-business, and the stupidity that comes of over-feeding, one might as well leave his brains at home when he goes into modern "society." Not to speak of the host and hostess, whose attempts at conversation are fettered, and spasmodic in consequence; for, have as many servants as you may, mistakes will happen, crushing mistakes, such as a dish located east instead of west, or wine wrongly placed, or the wrong wine rightly placed, or a dish tardy, that should be speedy; all of which momentous things, to the scholastic mind of the host, or the intelligent brain of the hostess, being sufficient to make them forget that "the chief end of man" was not to cultivate his stomach. Now, if one must needs lure one's friends with a vulgar bill of fare, like a hotel, in order to ensure their presence; if one must think of the subject days beforehand, in one shape and another, and be bored, and worried, and badgered with these material things; if bellies, to speak politely, are to domineer over brains this way, then I say that "society," at such a price, isn't worth having. For one, I had rather go back to the weak lemonade and strong prayers of our forefathers.

Then, as to the dress of women. If there is one phrase more universally misapplied than another, it is the phrase "well-dressed." The first thing to be considered in this connection, is fitness. A superb and costly silk, resting upon the questionable straw in the bottom of an omnibus, excites only pity for the bad taste of the luckless wearer. A pair of tight-fitting, light kid gloves, on female fingers, on a day when the windows are crusted with frost, strikes us as an uncalled-for martyrdom under the circumstances; also a pair of high-heeled new boots, with polished soles, constantly threatening the wearer with a humiliating downfall, and necessitating slow and careful locomotion, on icy pavements, in company with a very pink nose. Bows of ribbon, jewelled combs and head-pins at breakfast, either at a hotel table or at home, do not convey to me an idea of fitness; also, white or pink parasols for promenade or shopping excursions, whether the remainder of the dress is in keeping or not, and more often it is the latter. A rich velvet outer garment over a common dress; a handsome set of furs with a soiled bonnet; diamond earrings with shabby gloves; gold watch and trinkets, and a silk dress ornamented with grease pots; sloppy, muddy pavements and pink silk hose—all these strike the beholder as incongruous.

There are women who are slow to understand these things. The season, the atmosphere and the hour of the day have no bearing at all upon their decisions as to costume. A woman with restricted means, and unable to indulge in changes of apparel, instead of selecting fabrics or trimmings which will not invite attention to this fact, will often select such a stunning, glaring outfit, that the truth she would conceal, is patent to every beholder; an inexpensive dress, provided it be whole, clean, well-fitting and harmonious in its accessories, conveys the idea of being "well-dressed" quite as emphatically as a toilette five times more costly. But what is the use of talking? One woman shall go into her room, and, without study or thought, instinctively harmonize her whole attire, so that the most fastidious critic shall find no fault with her selection. Another shall put on the same things, and then neutralize the whole by some flaring, incongruous, idiotic "last touch" which she imagines her crowning success. She can't do it! and, what is worse, she can't be persuaded that she can't do it.

After all, what does it matter? growls some believer in "Watts on the Mind;" what does it matter what a woman wears? It is a free country. So it is; and yet I am glad the trees and the grass in it are green, not red. I am glad that the beautiful snow is not black. I am glad that every flower is not yellow, and that the sky is not a pea-green. Woman is by nature a neat and tidy creature; grace and beauty she strives for, be it ever so dimly. All that intelligently helps to this, I affirm to be a means of grace. It would not be amiss to inquire how much moral pollution and loss of self-respect among the women in our tenement houses is consequent upon their inability, amid such miserable surroundings, to appear in anything but their unwomanly rags. If a woman has a husband who is indifferent whether her hair is smoothed once a day or once a year, still let her, for her children's sake, strive to look as attractive as she can. "My mother is not so pretty as yours," said one child to another. The keen little eyes had noted the rumpled hair, the untidy wrapper, the slipshod shoe, which were considered good enough for the nursery, unless company was expected. Sickness excepted, this is wrong and unnecessary. Nothing that tends to make home bright is a matter of inconsequence, and this least of all. How many young mothers, sitting in their nurseries, love to recall the pleasant picture of their mother in hers. The neat dress—the shining hair, the beaming face. So let your children remember you. Be not pretty and tidy, only when company comes.

Then there is the school question, which is never long out of my mind. The papers are full of "school advertisements," of every kind, "Which is the best?" ask the bewildered parents as they look over the thousand-and-one Prospectus-es and read the formidable list of "branches" taught in each, between the hours of nine and three, for each day, Sundays excepted. They look at their little daughter. "It is time, they say, that she learned something;" and that is true; but they do not consider that is not yet time for her to learn everything; and that in the attempt she will probably break down before the experiment is half made. They do not consider, in their anxiety, that she should be educated with the railroad speed so unhappily prevalent; that to keep a growing child in school from nine till three is simply torture; and to add to that lessons out of school, an offence, which should come under the head of "Cruelty to Animals," and punished accordingly by the city authorities; who, in their zeal to decide upon the most humane manner in which to kill calves and sheep, seem quite to overlook the slow process by which the children of New York are daily murdered. That "everybody does so;" that "all schools" keep these absurd hours; that "teachers want the afternoons to themselves,"—seem to me puerile reasons, when I meet each day, at three o'clock, the great army of children, bearing in their bent shoulders, narrow chests and pale faces, the unmistakable marks of this overstrain of the brain, at a critical age. And when I see, in addition, the piles of books under their arms, effectually to prevent the only alleviation of so grave a mistake, in the out-door exercise that their cramped limbs, and tired brains so loudly call for, after school hours, I have no words to express my sorrow and disgust of our present school system.

It is not teachers, but parents, who are to right this matter. The former but echo the wishes of the latter. If parents think physical education a matter of no consequence, why should teachers love those children better than the parents themselves? If parents are so anxious for the cramming process, which is filling our church-yards so fast, why should teachers, who "must live," interfere? Now and then, one more humane, less self-seeking, than the majority, will venture to suggest that the pupil has already quite as much mental strain as is safe for its tender years; but when the reply is in the form of a request from the parent that "another branch will not make much difference," what encouragement has the teacher to continue to oppose such stupidity? Not long since, I heard of a mother who was boasting to a friend of the smartness and precocity of her little daughter of seven years, "who attended school from nine till three each day, and studied most of the intervening time; and was so fond of her books that all night, in her sleep, she was saying over her geography lessons and doing her sums in arithmetic." Comment on such folly is unnecessary. I throw out these few hints, hoping that one mother, at least, may pause long enough to give so important a subject a moment's thought. That she may ask, whether it would not be wise occasionally to visit the school-room where her child spends so much of its time; and examine the state of ventilation in the apartment, and see if the desk, at which the child sits so long, is so contrived that it might have been handed down from the days of the Inquisition, as a model instrument of torture. I will venture to say, that her husband takes far better care, and expends more pains-taking thought, with his favorite horse, if he has one, than she ever has on the physical well-being of her child. What right, I ask, has she to bring children into the world, who is too indolent, or too thoughtless, or too pleasure-loving to guide their steps safely, happily, and above all, healthily through it?

There is another topic on which I wish to speak to women. I hope to live to see the time when they will consider it a disgrace to be sick. When women, and men too, with flat chests and stooping shoulders, will creep round the back way, like other violators of known laws. Those who inherit sickly constitutions have my sincerest pity. I only request one favor of them, that they cease perpetuating themselves till they are physically on a sound basis. But a woman who laces so tightly that she breathes only by a rare accident; who vibrates constantly between the confectioner's shop and the dentist's office; who has ball-robes and jewels in plenty, but who owns neither an umbrella, nor a water-proof cloak, nor a pair of thick boots; who lies in bed till noon, never exercises, and complains of "total want of appetite," save for pastry and pickles, is simply a disgusting nuisance. Sentiment is all very nice; but, were I a man, I would beware of a woman who "couldn't eat." Why don't she take care of herself? Why don't she take a nice little bit of beefsteak with her breakfast, and a nice walk—not ride—after it? Why don't she stop munching sweet stuff between meals? Why don't she go to bed at a decent time, and lead a clean, healthy life? The doctors and confectioners have ridden in their carriages long enough; let the butchers and shoemakers take a turn at it. A man or woman who "can't eat" is never sound on any question. It is waste breath to converse with them. They take hold of everything by the wrong handle. Of course it makes them very angry to whisper pityingly, "dyspepsia," when they advance some distorted opinion; but I always do it. They are not going to muddle my brain with their theories, because their internal works are in a state of physical disorganization. Let them go into a Lunatic Asylum and be properly treated till they can learn how they are put together, and how to manage themselves sensibly.

How I rejoice in a man or woman with a chest; who can look the sun in the eye, and step off as if they had not wooden legs. It is a rare sight. If a woman now has an errand round the corner, she must have a carriage to go there; and the men, more dead than alive, so lethargic are they with constant smoking, creep into cars and omnibuses, and curl up in a corner, dreading nothing so much as a little wholesome exertion. The more "tired" they are, the more diligently they smoke, like the women who drink perpetual tea "to keep them up."

Keep them up! Heavens! I am fifty-five, and I feel half the time as if I were just made. To be sure I was born in Maine, where the timber and the human race last; but I do not eat pastry, nor candy, nor ice-cream. I do not drink tea! I walk, not ride. I own stout boots—pretty ones, too! I have a water-proof cloak, and no diamonds. I like a nice bit of beefsteak and a glass of ale, and anybody else who wants it may eat pap. I go to bed at ten, and get up at six. I dash out in the rain, because it feels good on my face. I don't care for my clothes, but I will be well; and after I am buried, I warn you, don't let any fresh air or sunlight down on my coffin, if you don't want me to get up.



CAN imagine nothing more disheartening to a clergyman, than to go to church, with an excellent sermon in his coat-pocket, and find an audience of twenty-five people. I was one of twenty-five, the other night, who can bear witness, that having turned out, in a pelting rain, to evening service, the clergyman preached to us with as much eloquence, good sense and zeal as if his audience numbered twenty-five hundred. You may ask why shouldn't he? If he believes one soul is more value than all the world, why shouldn't he? Merely because there is as much human nature in a clergyman as in anybody else. Merely because he is, like other people, affected by outward influences; and a row of empty seats might well have a depressing physical effect, notwithstanding his "belief."

When I go to church I want to carry something back with me wherewithal to fight the devil through the week. I don't want the ancestry of Jeroboam and Ezekiel, and Keranhappuck raked up and commented on; or any other fossil dodge, to cover up the speaker's barrenness of head or heart. I want something for to-day—for over-burdened men and women in this year of our Lord 1869. Something live; something that has some bearing on our daily work; something that recognizes the seething elements about us, and their bearings on the questions of conscience and duty we are all hourly called on to settle. I want a minister who won't forever take refuge in "the Ark," for fear of saying something that conservatism will hum! and ha! over.

One day I heard this remark, coming out of church where that style of sermon was preached: "Well—what has all that to do with me?" Now that's just it. It expresses my idea better than a whole library could. What has that to do with me? Me individually—bothered, perplexed, sore-hearted, weary me, hungry for soul-comfort. I think this is the trouble; ministers live too much in their libraries. If they would set fire to them, and study human nature more, the world would be the gainer. They need to get out of the old time-crusted groove. To stir round a bit, and see something besides Jeroboam; to know the tragedies that are going on in the lives of their parishioners, and find out the alleviations and the remedy. We have got to live on earth a while before we "get to heaven." It might be as well to consider that occasionally. It is quite as important to show us how to live here as how to get there.

I don't believe in a person's eyes being so fixed on heaven, that he goes blundering over everybody's corns on the way there. If that's his Christianity, the sooner he gets tripped up the better. I saw "a Christian" the other day. It was a workingman, who, noticing across the street a little girl of seven years, trying to lift with her little cold fingers a bundle, and poise it on her head, put down his box of tools, went across the street and lifted it up for her, and with a cheery "there now, my dear," went smiling on his way.

Oh, if clergymen would only study their fellow men more. If they would less often try to unravel some double-twisted theological knot, which, if pulled out straight, would never carry one drop of balm to a suffering fellow-being, or teach him how to bear bravely and patiently the trials, under which soul and body are ready to faint. If, looking into some yearning face before them on a Sunday, they would preach only to its wistful asking for spiritual help, in words easy to be understood—in heart-tones not to be mistaken—how different would Sundays seem, to many women, at least, whose heart-aches, and unshared burdens, none but their Maker knows. "Heavy laden!" Let our clergymen never forget that phrase in their abstruse examination of text and context. Let them not forget that as Lazarus watched for the falling crumbs from Dives' table, so some poor harassed soul before them may be sitting with expectant ear, for the hopeful words, that shall give courage to shoulder again the weary burden. I sometimes wonder, were I a clergyman, could I preach in this way to nodding plumes, and flashing jewels, and rustling silks? Would not my very soul be paralyzed within me, as theirs seems to be? And then I wish that nobody could own a velvet cushioned pew in church; that the doors of all churches were open to every man and woman, in whatsoever garb they might chance to wear in passing, and not parcelled and divided off for the reception of certain classes, and the exclusion (for it amounts to that) of those who most need spiritual help and teaching. You tell me that there are places provided for such people. So there are cars for colored people to ride in. My Christianity, if I have any, builds up no such walls of separation. How often have I seen a face loitering at a church threshold, listening to the swelling notes of the organ, and longing to go in, were it not for the wide social gulf between itself and those who assembled—I will not say worshipped—there, and I know if that clergyman, inside that church, spoke as his Master spake when on earth, that he would soon preach to empty walls. They want husks; they pay handsomely for husks, and they get them, I say in my vexation, as the door swings on its hinges in some poor creature's face, and he wanders forth to struggle unaided as best he may with a poor man's temptations. Our Roman Catholic brethren are wiser. Their creed is not my creed, save this part of it: "That the rich and the poor meet here together, and the Lord is the Maker of them all." I often go there to see it. I am glad when the poor servant drops on her knees in the aisle, and makes the sign of the cross, that nobody bids her rise, to make way for a silken robe that may be waiting behind her. I am glad the mother of many little children may drop in for a brief moment, before the altar, to recognize her spiritual needs, and then pass out to the cares she may not longer lose sight of. I do not believe as they do, but it gladdens my heart all the same, that one man is as good as his neighbor at least there—before God. I breathe freer at the thought. I can sit in a corner and watch them pass in and out, and rejoice that every one, how humble soever, feels that he or she is that church, just as much as the richest foreigner from the cathedrals of the old world, whom they may jostle in passing out. Said one poor girl to me—"I don't care what happens to me, or how hard I work through the week, if I can get away to my Sunday morning mass." She was a woman to be sure, and women, high and low, have more spirituality than men. They can't do without their church—sometimes, I am sorry to say, not even with it; for, as the same servant solemnly and truthfully remarked to me, "Even then the devil is sometimes too strong for 'em!"

A fashionable church is more distasteful to me because memory always conjures up certain pleasant country Sundays of long ago. Ah! that walk through the shady sweet-briar roads, full of perfume, and song, and dew, to the village church, in whose ample shed were tied Dobbins of every shape and color, switching the flies with their long tails, and neighing friendly acquaintance with each other. Oh! the wide open windows of the church, guiltless of painted apostles and dropsical cherubs, where the breeze played through, bringing with it the sweet odor of clover and honeysuckle and new-mown hay, and the drowsy hum of happy insect life, and now and then a little bird, who sang his little song without pay, and flitted out again. Oh! the good old snow-haired patriarchs—who didn't dye their hair or whiskers—leaning on their sticks, followed by chubby little grandchildren, whose cheeks rivalled the reddest apples in their orchards. Then the farmers' wives, with belts they could breathe under, with ample chests and sunny glances of content at Susan, and Nancy, and Tommy, in their best Sunday clothes. Then the good old-fashioned singing, with which nobody found fault, though a crack-voiced old deacon did join in, because he was too happy to keep silent about "Jordan." Then the hand-shaking after service, and the hearty good-will to "the minister and his folks." Then the adjournment to the grove near by, to pass the intermission till the afternoon service, and the selection of the sweetest and shadiest spot to unpack the lunch baskets. The shifting light through the branches, upon the pretty heads of the country girls, with their fresh cheeks and shining hair and blue ribbons. And after doughnuts and cheese and apple-pie, were shared and eaten, the ramble after wild-flowers round the roots of the mossy old trees, or the selection of the prettiest oak leaves to make wreaths for pretty heads, and the shy looks of admiration of the rustic beaux as they were severally adjusted. Then the little group under the trees, singing psalm tunes, as the matrons wandered over to the grave-yard to read for the hundredth time the little word "Anna," or "Joseph," or "Samuel," inscribed on some headstone, from which they pulled away the intrusive grass or clover, plucking a little leaf as they left, and hiding it in their ample, motherly bosoms.

All this came to me as I sat in that hot, stifled, painted-window, fashionable church, listening to the dull monotone about the Hittites, from which I reaped nothing but irritation; and I wished I was a school-girl again, back in that lovely village in New Hampshire, where Sundays were not opening days for millinery; where people went to church because they loved it, and not because it was "respectable" to be seen there once a day; where heaven's light was not excluded for any dim taper of man's lighting, and one could sing though he had not performed during the week at the opera; and the doxology rang out as only farmers' lungs can make it. I am glad I had this school-girl experience of lovely, balmy, country Sundays, though it spoils me for the formal, city Sunday. Every summer, when I go to the country, I hunt up some old church like this, which all the winter I have longed for. Though, truth to tell, what with city boarders who infest them, with their perfume and point-lace, and rustling silks, my country church is getting more difficult every year to find. How it spoils it all, when some grand city dame comes sailing in, with her astounding millinery devices, to profane my simple country church and astonish its simple worshippers! My dear madam, for my sake, please this summer "say your prayers" on the piazza of the grand hotel, afflicted by yourself and your seven mammoth travelling trunks.

I strayed into a strange church not long since, chose my seat, and sat down. Sextons are polite; but they have a way of marching one up, through a long aisle, under the very shadow of the pulpit, and under the noses of an expectant congregation, when unfortunately I have a fancy for a quiet, out of the way corner. The church was plain and neat, and nicely dressed, with its shining bunches of holly, and its stars, and its green wreathed-pillars. The temperature of the place was pleasant, and the bright lights, and the sweet tones of the organ, were all promotive of serenity and cheerfulness. The congregation dropped in, in groups and families, and took their places. They were not fashionable people; evidently they were workers on week-days. The men and the women, and even the children, had that look, in spite of their Sunday clothes. So much the more glad was I that they had such a bright, cheerful church to come to. By and by the minister came in. Now, thought I, God grant his sermon be cheerful too; for these are people who lead no holiday lives, and all the more need a lift out of it on Sunday. The burden of the first hymn he chose was "death's cold arms;" read in a tone studiedly corresponding to its cheerful sentiment. A wail from the organ preceded the singing, whose dolor affected me like a toss-out into a snow-drift. Then the minister rose. His first salutation was "My dying friends." Then he proceeded to inform them that the old year was dying. That there it lay, with its great hands crossed over its mighty heart, and the sepulchre yawning for its last pulsation. Then he reminded them that very likely many of those present would be in that very condition before the close of the new year. Then he told the young folks a frightful story about a dying young man whose friends sent for him (the speaker.) A young man who hadn't joined the church. When he got there, he said, "reason had deserted its throne;" which was his way of saying that the young man was crazy, and his way of inferring that it was a judgment on him for not "having joined the church." Then he said, that though they waited and waited for his reason to come back, his soul fled away without, and the inference was that it fled to hell. He didn't recognize any charitable possibility that much might have passed between that young man's soul and its Maker, though not expressed either to friends or pastor, which might savor of heaven instead of hell, and that—although he had not joined the church;—not a clue was left for the faintest hope for any of his friends that might happen to be present, that this young man's soul was not eternally dammed.

What right, indeed, had the Almighty to know more of one of his congregation than he himself? What right had He to pardon a fleeting soul, with no shriving from its pastoral keeper? I say this in no spirit of irreverence. But, oh! why will clergymen persist in scaring people to heaven? Why darken lives heavily laden with toil, discouragement, and care through the six days of the week, by adding to its depressing weight on Sunday? Has "Come unto me ye heavy laden" no place in their Bible? Is "God is Love" blotted from out its pages? Is the human heart—especially the youthful heart—untouchable by any appeal save the cowardly one of fear? Would those young people, when out of leading-strings, continue to look upon life through the charnel-house spectacles of this spiritual teacher? Would there come no dreadful rebound to those young men and young women, from this perpetual gloom? These were questions I there asked myself; wisely, or unwisely, you shall be the judge.

"Like as a father pitieth his children," I talismanically murmured to myself, as I left the church, with the last dolorous hymn ringing in my ear—

"When cold in death I lie."

How great the change in the temporal condition of the Minister of Old and Modern Times. The half-fed, ill-paid, scantily-clothed, over-worked, discouraged "minister" of the olden time is—where is he? The "minister," before whose pen and paper came the troubled faces of wife and children; who dreaded the knock of a parishioner, lest it should involve the diminution of a "salary" which a common day-laborer might well refuse for its pitiful inadequacy; the minister whose body was expected to be so Siamesed to his soul, that the "heavenly manna" would answer equally the demands of both. The minister who must plant and hoe his own potatoes, but always in a black coat and white neckcloth. The minister whose children must come up miniature saints, while all their father's spare time was spent in driving his parishioners' children safe to heaven. The minister who, when he was disabled for farther service, was turned out like an old horse to browse on thistles by the road-side;—that minister, to the credit of humanity be it said, is among the things that were. Instead—nobody is astonished at, or finds fault with, paragraphs in the papers announcing that the Rev. Rufus Rusk was presented by the board of trustees, in the name of many friends of his congregation, with a costly autograph album; upon every page of which was found a $10 greenback, amounting in all to $1,000; and that afterward he was invited to partake of an elegant collation. Or—that the Rev. Silas Sands received from his church and congregation securities to the amount of $10,000, as a testimonial of their esteem for his faithful services for many years. Or, that the Rev. Henry Cook had a gift of a commodious and pleasant residence from his church; or, that his health seeming to require a voyage to Europe, the necessary funds were promptly and cheerfully placed in his hands by his affectionate people.

The community do not faint away at these announcements, as far as I can find out. They seem to have come to the unanimous conclusion that the "minister," like other laborers, is "worthy of his hire." For one, I could wish this knowledge had come sooner; for I bethink me, in my day, of the good men and true, who have staggered to their graves without a sympathizing word, or the slightest token of recognition for services under which soul and body were fainting; and whose bitterest death-pang was the thought that their children, too young to help themselves, must, after all this serfdom, be the recipients of a grudging charity.

The presence of a clergyman is not now the signal for small children to be seized with mortal terror; he no longer sits like a night-mare on the panting chest of merriment. He is merry himself. The more Christianity he has the more cheerful he is, and ought to be. He talks upon other things than the ten commandments. He joins in innocent games and amusements. If he has an opinion, he dares express it, though it may differ from that of some "prominent man." He can fish and shoot, and drive and row, and take a milk punch, like other free agents without damaging his clerical robe or his usefulness. He can have beautiful things to make his home attractive, without being accused of "worldliness." He can wear a nicely fitting coat, or boot, or hat, without peril to anybody's salvation. He can give a good dinner, or go to one. He can go to the circus. He can attend the opera. He can own and drive a fast horse. His stomach consequently does not, as of yore, cling to his miserable backbone; nor are his cheeks cavernous; since he draws a free breath, and sneezes when he see fit, like the laymen. Every day I thank God that the clergyman's millennium has begun. That his wife looks no longer like a piece of worn-out old fur, nor his children like spring chickens. That congregations now feel a pride in their minister, and an honest shame when he really needs anything which they have, and he has not. That they no longer hurt his self-respect by their manner of "giving" what he has earned a thousand times over. In short, "the minister" is no longer a cringing creature, creeping close to the wall, lest he offend by the mere fact of his existence; but a brisk-stepping, square-shouldered, broad-chested, round human being, whom it is pleasant to look at and comforting to listen to, since his theology is no longer as pinched as his larder.

As to "the minister's wife" of the olden time, where is she? The ubiquitous "minister's wife," who must make and mend, and bake and brew, and churn, and have children, and nurse and educate them, and receive calls at all hours, with a sweet smile on her face, and thank everybody for reminding her of what they consider her short-comings; who must attend funerals, and weddings, and births, and social prayer-meetings, and "neighborhood-meetings," and "maternal meetings;" and contribute calico aprons for the Fejee Islanders, and sew flannel nightcaps for the Choctaw infants, and cut and make her husband's trousers; and call as often on Mrs. Deacon Smith, and stay as long to the minute, as she did on Mrs. Deacon Jones; and who must call a parish meeting to sit on her new bonnet, if so be that the old one was pronounced by all the Grundys unfit for farther service. The minister's wife, who was hunted through the weeks and months and years, by a carping, stingy parish, till she looked like a worn-out old piece of fur; behold her now!

For one, I like to see her pretty bonnet, I like to see her children shouting in the sunshine, all the same as if their "Pa" wasn't a minister. I like her daughters to play on the piano, and her boys to kick round independently and generally like the boys of other men. I like to see them live in a comfortable house, hung with pictures and filled with pretty things. I like their table to have nice cups and saucers, and table-cloths and napkins, and good things to eat on it. I am glad the minister's wife can stay at home when she feels like it; and not be trotted out with the toothache of a wet day to see if there is not danger of Squire Smith's baby sneezing because the wind is east; under penalty of her husband's dismissal from his pastoral charge. It does me good to see modern ministers' spouses hold up their heads and face the daylight like other men's wives, instead of creeping round on all fours, apologizing for their existence, and inviting cuffs from people who, born without souls, consequently can have no call for "a minister."



SQUARE, solid form, innocent of corsets; a thick, dark "stuff"-dress, raised high above ankles which are shaped for use; stout leather shoes; hands red and gloveless; a bonnet of obsolete shape and trimmings; a face round as the moon, from which the rich red blood, made of potatoes and pure air, seems ready to burst; great, honest eyes, always downcast when addressed by those whom the old country styles "superiors." Such is Bridget when she first steps from the deck of the good ship "Maria," at Castle Garden.

Bridget goes to a "place." The pert house-maid titters when she appears, square and wholesome, like a human cow. Bridget's ears catch the word "greenhorn," and "she might as well be a grandmother as to be only seventeen." Bridget looks furtively at the smart, though cheap dress of the chambermaid, with its inevitable flimsy ruffled skirt and tinsel buttons, and then at her despised "best dress," which she has been wont to keep so tidy for Sundays and holidays. She looks at the thin, paper-soled gaiters of the critical housemaid, and then at her stout, dew-defying brogans. She looks at her own thick masses of hair, fastened up with only one idea—to keep it out of the way—and then at the housemaid's elaborate parlor-imitation of puff and braid and curl. The view subdues her. She is for the first time ashamed of her own thick natural tresses. She looks at her peony-red cheeks, and contrasts them with the sickly but "genteel" pallor of the housemaid's, and gradually it dawns upon her why they whispered "greenhorn" when she stepped into the kitchen that first day. But the housemaid, overpowering as she is to Bridget, suffers a total eclipse when the lady of the house sweeps past, in full dress. Bridget looks—marvels, adores, and vows to imitate. That hair! Those jewels! That long, trailing silk skirt and embroidered petticoat! Did anybody ever? Could Bridget in any way herself reach such perfection? She blushes to think that only last night in her home-sickness she actually longed to milk once more the old red cow in the cherished barn-yard. How ridiculous! She doubts whether that sumptuous lady ever saw a cow. The idea that she—Bridget—had been contented all her life to have only cows look at her! By the way—why should that curly-headed grocer-boy talk so much to the housemaid, when he brings parcels, and never to her? A light dawns on her dormant brain. She will fix her hair the way to catch grocer-boys. She too will have a ruffled skirt to drag through the gutter, though she may never own any underclothes. She will have some brass ear-rings and bracelets and things, and some paper-soled boots, with her very first wages; and as to her bonnet, it is true, she can afford only one for market and for "mass;" for rain and shine; for heat and for cold; but by St. Patrick, it shall be a fourteen-dollar "dress-hat," anyhow, though she may never own a pair of India-rubbers, or a flannel petticoat, or a pocket-handkerchief, or an umbrella. Just as if this wasn't a "free country?" Just as if that spiteful housemaid was going to have all the grocer-boys to herself? Bridget will see about that! Her eyes are a pretty blue; and as to her hair, it is at least her own; yes, ma'am; no "rats" will be necessary for her; that will save something.

And so the brogans, and the dark "stuff"-dress, and the thick stockings, and shawl, come to grief; and in two months' time flash is written all over Bridget, from the crown of her showy hat to the tips of her crucified toes, squeezed into narrow, paper-soled, fashionable, high-heeled gaiters. And as to her "superiors," gracious goodness! America is not Ireland, nor England either, I'd have you to know. You had better just mention that word in Bridget's hearing now, and see what will come of it!

Stealing is a rough, out-and-out word, generally most obnoxious to those, who are in the daily and hourly practice of it. Now domestics too often consider that everything that drops upon the carpet is their personal property, from a common pin to a pair of diamond ear-rings. "I found it on the floor," is considered by them sufficient excuse when detected in any felonious appropriation.

Now the laws of gravitation being fixed, this view of the case is rather startling to mistresses; particularly as childish fingers will pull at belts till buckles and clasps drop off; at chains till trinkets are dissevered; at hair till ornamental combs or head pins tumble out; at fingers till rings slip off on sofas or chairs.

When dropped, "has Bridget seen them?" No! though she may have swept the room ten minutes after. No!—though you are sure of having them on when you came into that room, and of not having them on when you left. No!—Bridget confronts you sturdily—No! You bite your lips and pocket the loss, with the pleasant recollection that the missing article was a gift from some dear, perhaps dead friend. Once in a while, to be sure, you may be fortunate enough, by making a sudden and successful foray among her goods and chattels, to seize the lost treasure; but as a general rule, you may as well turn your thoughts upon some less irritating subject. According to Bridget's code, it is not "stealing," constantly to use your thread, needles, spools, silk, tape, thimble and scissors, unlimitedly, to make or mend her own clothes. Is it not just so much saved from her pocket, toward the purchase of a brass breast-pin, or a flashy dress-bonnet? India-rubbers and umbrellas, too, being merely useful articles, she cannot be expected to provide them for her own use; therefore yours, one after another, travel off in new and unknown directions, until you are quite weary of providing substitutes. Occasionally, your spangled opera-fan spends an evening out, where you yourself never had the felicity of an introduction; or—your gloves take a short journey, and return as travellers are apt to do, in rather a soiled and dilapidated condition. As to cologne and perfumes of all kinds, pomade and hair-pins, they disappear like dew before the rising sun. "Where all the pins go" is also no longer a mystery. Of course "real ladies" never notice these little thefts; but accept them in the light of Bridget's perquisites, only too thankful if she leaves to them the private and unshared use of their head-brush and tooth-brush. To sum up the whole thing, there would seem to be only two ways at present of getting along with servants. One is to be deaf, dumb and blind to everything that is out of the way; or else to live in a state of perpetual warfare with their general shortcomings. A man's ultimatum is, "just step into an Intelligence Office and get another." Alas! what this "getting another" implies, with all its initiatory vexations, is known only to the mistress of the house. To make the moon-struck master of it comprehend that his wife cannot at once, upon the entrance of a bran new Bridget, dismiss dull care, would take more breath than most mothers of young and rising families are able to spare.

Then again, if there is anything calculated to "rile" the mistress of a family, it is this common rejoinder of domestics to any attempt to regulate the household work. "When I lived with Mrs. Smith I did thus and so." Will they never be made to understand, be they English, Irish, German, or Yankee, that Mrs. Smith's way of managing her family affairs can have no possible connection with Mrs. Jones's plans for the same. That, on the contrary, Mrs. Jones does not care a d——ime what hour of the day Mrs Smith breakfasts, dines, or sups; what days she goes out, or stays in; or in what manner she has her washing, clear-starching and cooking done. In short, that it is not only totally irrelevant to the subject to mention her, but a nuisance and an irritation. Can Betty, or Sally, or Bridget ever comprehend that, when they engaged to work for Mrs. Jones, they were not engaged to work according to Mrs. Smith's programme, or their own, or that of any mistress who has ever existed since Eve, who, blessed be her name, lived on grapes and things that involved no servants. And can any phrenologist inform us whether a kitchen-bump exists, which, if patiently manipulated for a series of months, might in time convey the idea, that while roast-beef, done to leather, may be palatable to Mrs. Smith, rare beef may be equally palatable to Mrs. Jones? Also, if by any elaborate and painstaking process of instruction, Sally, or Bridget, or Betty might be taught, that the hours for meals in different families may be allowed to vary, according to the different tastes and occupations of each, and that without endangering the Constitution of the United States. In short, that it is about time that the kitchen-traditions, with which domestics usually swathe themselves round, like so many mummies, were abolished; and every family-tub be allowed quietly to repose on its own independent bottom.

We often wonder how Mr. Jones or Mr. Smith would fancy it, should Tom Tiddler, their clerk, answer their orders by informing them gratuitously of the manner in which the firm of Jenkins & Co. conducted their mercantile business; and how they would stand being harrowed within an inch of their lives while busily taking an account of stock, by any such irrelevant nonsense.

Also: I would respectfully submit whether the petty, every-day irritations over which Mr. Jones or Mr. Smith smoke themselves stupid, or explode in naughty words, should not, in the case of Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Smith, be allowed some other escape-valve than that of the "Woman's Guide Book's"—sweet smile.

The other day, in running my eye over a daily paper, I read this advertisement: "A genteel girl wishes a situation as chambermaid." Now if there is one word in the English language that I hate more than another, it is the word genteel. No matter where, or how, or to whom, or by whom it is applied, my very soul sickens at it. It is the universal and never-failing indorser of every sham ever foisted upon disgusted human nature. From the "genteel" cabbage-scented boarding-house, where tobacco emasculated young men "feed," and mindless, be-flounced, cheap jewel-ried married and unmarried women smile sweetly on them, to the seventh-rate dry-goods store in some obscure street, whose clerk sells only the most "genteel" goods at a shilling per yard; to the "genteel" school-girl who, owning one greasy silk dress, imagines that she understands her geography better in that attire than in a quiet, clean, modest "de laine;" to the "genteel" shop-girl who, pitiably destitute of comfortable underclothes, yet always owns a "dress hat," and swings about the last showy fashion in trimming, on some cheap fabric; to the "genteel" cook who goes to market with her hair dressed as near as may be like her mistress, fastening it up with a brassy imitation of her gold comb; to the "genteel" seminary for young ladies, who ride to school in a carriage with liveried servants, their papa having formerly been one himself.

But a "genteel" chambermaid! Now, why should this patrician creature seek such a prosaic, vulgar occupation? Could she be aware that chambermaids must wield brooms, and dust-pans, and scrubbing-brushes, and handle pokers, and shovel, and tongs, and ashes. That they may even be asked to stand at the wash-tub, and be seen by the neighbors in the disgraceful occupation of hanging out clothes. That they may occasionally have to answer the door-bell in an apron, and usher finely-dressed ladies into the parlor; or be asked to take a baby out for an airing, and be stamped at once by the public as a person who "works for a living." How can a "genteel" chambermaid calmly contemplate such degradation, least of all perform such duties faithfully and well? Would not any sensible lady, wishing a chambermaid, see at once that the thing was impossible? Would she not know that she might ring her bell till the wire gave out, before this "genteel" young woman would think it expedient to answer it till she was ready? And when she sent her up stairs to tidy her chamber, would she not be sure that this "genteel" creature would probably spend the time in trying on her mistress' last new opera-hat before the toilet-glass? And if she sent her out on an errand, involving even a moderately sized bundle, would not this "genteel" young woman probably take a circuitous route through back streets to hide her ignominy?

Heavens! what a relief it is to see people self-poised and satisfied with their honest occupations, making no attempt to veneer them over with a thin polish of gentility. Such I am happy to say there still are, in humble circumstances, notwithstanding the bad example constantly set them by the moneyed class in our country, who are servilely and snobbishly bent on aping all the aristocratic absurdities of the old country. "Genteel!" Faugh! even the detestable expression-word "FUST-rate" is music to my ears after it.

After all, I am not sure that my sympathies are not enlisted much more strongly on the side of servants than of their mistresses, who at any moment can show them the door at their capricious will, without a passport to any other place of shelter. Their lot is often at best a hard one;—the best wages being a very inadequate equivalent for the great gulf which, in many cases, separates the servant from her employer as effectually, as if her woman's nature had no need of human love and human sympathy; as if she did not often bear her secret burden of sorrow with a heroism, which should cause a blush on the cheek of her who sits with folded hands in the parlor, all neglectful of woman's mission to her dependent sister. They who have listened vainly for kind words know how much they may lighten toil. They who have shut up in their aching hearts the grief which no friendly look or tone has ever unlocked, know how it will fester and rankle. They who have felt every ounce of their flesh taxed unrelentingly day by day to the utmost, with no approving "well done" to lighten slumber when the heavy yoke is nightly cast down, know what is servitude of soul, as well as body.

I could wish that mistresses oftener thought of this; oftener sat down in the gloomy, underground kitchen or basement, and inquired after the absent mother, or brother, or sister, in the old country; oftener placed in the toil-hardened hand the book or paper, or pamphlet, to shorten the tedious evening in the comfortless kitchen, while the merry laugh in which the servant has no share, resounds from the cheerful parlor above.

I do not forget that there are bad servants, as that there are unfeeling, inhuman mistresses who make them. I know that some are wasteful and improvident; and I know, from experience, that there are cases where the sympathy and kindness I speak of are repaid with ingratitude; but these are exceptional cases; and think how much hard usage from the world such an one must have received, ere all her sweet and womanly feelings could be thus blunted. I must think that a humane mistress generally makes a good servant. I know that some of the servants of the present day dress ridiculously above their station,—so does often the mistress; and why is a poor, unenlightened girl more reproachable, for spending the wages of a month on a flimsy, gaudy bonnet, or dress, than is her employer, for trailing a seventy-five or one hundred dollar robe through ferryboats and omnibuses, while her grocer and milliner dun in vain for their bills?

Let the reform in this and other respects begin in the parlor. Our mothers and grandmothers were not always changing servants. They did not disdain to lend a helping hand, when a press of work, or company, made the burden of servitude too heavy. A headache in the kitchen, to them, meant the same as a headache in the parlor, and, God be thanked, a heart-ache too. The soul of a servant was of as much account as that of her mistress; her creed was respected, and no elaborate dinner came between her and the church-door. How can you expect such unfaltering, unswerving devotion to your interests, when you so wholly ignore theirs?—when you spur and goad them on like beasts of burden, and with as little thought for their human wants and needs? No wonder if you have poor service—eye-service. I would like to see you do better in their place. Lift up the cloud, and let the sun shine through into their underground homes, if it is not a mockery to use the word home. We exact too much—we give too little,—too little sympathy—too little kindness—too little encouragement. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" would settle it all. You don't do it—I don't do it, though I try to. Human laws may require only of the mistress that she pay her servant's wages punctually; God's law requires much more—let conscience be its interpreter;—then, and not till then, we shall have good servants.

I suppose the most jealous fault-finders on this subject will concede that mistresses themselves are not quite perfect; of course, they have often real causes of irritation and vexation apart from the kitchen, which, we are afraid, do not dispose them to look leniently upon any additional trouble there. A "flare up" with Betty or Bridget, is apt to be the last drop in the bucket, the last feather in the balance. But, unfortunately, it is not taken into account that Betty and Bridget, being human, may have their little world of hopes and joys, fears and sorrows, quite disconnected with your gridiron, and dustpan, and ash-barrel. They also have heads and backs to ache, and hearts too, though this may not always be taken into the account, by employers, who, satisfied with punctually paying the stipulated wages when due, and getting as much as possible out of them as an equivalent, consider their duty ended. Some day your dinner is over or under cooked; that day Bridget received a letter from the "old country" with a "black seal." She did not come to you with her trouble; why should she? when she might have been a mere machine for any sympathetic word or look that has ever passed from your woman's heart or eyes to hers. All you know is that your dinner is overcooked, and a sharp rebuke follows, and from the fulness of a tried spirit an "impertinent" answer comes, and you show Bridget the door, preaching a sermon on the neglectfulness and insolence of servants. Had you been the mistress you should have been, Bridget would naturally have come to you with her trouble, and you would willingly have excused at such a time any little oversight in her duty to you, even though on that day you "had company to dinner." Take another case. On some day in the week, when the heaviest family labor falls due, your girl whose province it is to accomplish it, rises with an aching head, or limbs, as you sometimes do yourself, and as you do not, she rises from bed all the same as if she were well. As you have no use for your lips in the kitchen, save to give an order, and no eyes, save to look after defects of economy or carefulness, you do not see her languid eyes, or ask the cause of any apparent dilatoriness; you simply "hurry up" things generally, and go up stairs. Now, suppose you had kindly asked the girl if she felt quite well, and finding she did not, offered to lift from her aching shoulders that day's burden; suppose that? why, ten to one, it would have done her more good than could any doctor who ever took a degree, and the poor thing, under its inspiration, might actually have staggered through the day's work, had you been so cruel as to allow her.

I wish mistresses would sometimes ask themselves how long, under the depressing conditions and circumstances of servitude above alluded to, they could render faithful conscientious labor? Feeling that doing well, there was no word of praise; and that doing ill, there was no excuse or palliation; that falling sick or disabled, from over work or natural causes, there was no sympathy, but only nervous anxiety for a speedy substitute.

Again. Many mistresses utterly object to "a beau" in the kitchen. Now could anything be more unnatural and absurd than this? though, of course, there should be limitations as to late hours. Marriage, with many of these domestics, is the heaven of rest and independence to which they look forward; and even if they are to work quite as hard "for a living," as a poor man's wife, as they have for you, they may possibly have, as wives—heaven help them—a little love to sweeten it; and surely no wife or mother should shut her heart utterly to this view of the case. As to the girl's "bettering herself," let her take the chances, if she chooses, as you have. Possibly, some lady who reads this may say, oh, all this talk about servants is nonsense. I've often petted girls till I have spoiled them, and it is of no use. Very true, madam, "petting" is of no use; but it is of use to treat them at all times kindly, and humanely, and above all things justly, as we—women—in their places, should wish to be treated ourselves. It is of use to make a little sunshine in those gloomy kitchens, by a kind good night, or good morning, or some such recognition of their presence, other than a desire to be waited upon. It is of use, when they are sick or down-hearted, to turn to, not from them. All this can be done, and not "spoil" them. And how much better, even as far as yourself is concerned, to feel that their service is that of love and good-will, instead of mere "eye-service." A lady once asked a servant for her references. There was more justice and less "impertinence," than appears at the first blush, in her reply, "and where are yours, ma'am?"



HATE Tobacco. I don't hate all its devotees. Oh, no. In its ranks are men who would gladly die for their country if need be; and yet no slave whom they would lay down a life to free, shall be more truly a slave, than are these patriots to the tyrant Tobacco.

Well—what then? manhood inquires, with his hat cocked defiantly, and his arms a-kimbo. What then? Only this: we women so wish you hadn't so disgusting and dirty a habit. Now reach out your hand, take a seat beside me, and let me talk to you about it.

In the first place, bear with a little egotism. I am not six feet high; I belong to no Woman's Rights Convention, if that be a crime in your eyes. I'm just a merry woman, four feet in stature, who would much rather love than hate everything and everybody in this lovely world, if I could; who had much rather have friends than enemies if I could, without muzzling my thoughts, or my pen.

If not—I am going to shut up my umbrella, and let the shower come. I hate tobacco. I am a clean creature, and it smells bad. Smells is a mild word; but I will use it, being a woman. I deny your right to smell bad in my presence, or the presence of any of our clean sisterhood. I deny your right to poison the air of our parlors, or our bed-rooms, with your breath, or your tobacco-saturated clothing, even though you may be our husbands. Terrible creature! I think I hear you say; I am glad you are not my wife. So am I. How would you like it, had you arranged your parlor with dainty fingers, and were rejoicing in the sweet-scented mignonette, and violets, and heliotrope, in the pretty vase on your table—forgetting in your happiness that Bridget and Biddy had vexed your soul the greater part of the day—and in your nicely-cushioned chair, were resting your spirit even more than your body, to have a man enter, with that detestable bar-room odor, and spoil it all? Or worse: light a cigar or pipe in your very presence, and puff away as if it were the heaven to you which it appears to be to him. The "Guide to Women" would tell you that you should "let him smoke, for fear he might do worse." Suppose we try that boot on the other foot, and let women drink for the same reason? Of course you see, to begin with, that I consider woman as much an individual as her husband. With just as much right to an opinion, a taste, a smell, or a preference of any kind, as himself; and just as much right to express and maintain it, if she see fit. Now, to my belief, drinking would brutify her physically and morally no quicker than tobacco does him. Because a man is able to stand on his two legs, it does not follow that his perceptions are clear; that his temper is not irritable, or morose; that his vitality by long abuse is not nearly exhausted, and that, when he should be in the prime and vigor of a glorious manhood. It does not follow that there are not empty chairs around his table, and little graves in the churchyard, for which he is responsible. It does not follow that a sharp answer, a careless indifference, has not taken the place of loving words and an earnest desire to contribute his share of sunlight in his home. When I say that tobacco brutifies its devotees, I know what I am talking about. When a man carries his lighted pipe, or cigar, into the bed-room of a sick child, to whom pure air is life or death, we may infer that his selfishness in this regard has reached its climax. Or when he continues to smoke in the presence of his wife, knowing that sick headache is the sure result, we may draw the same inference. Not to mention that your smoker always selects the pleasantest window, or the best seat on a piazza, or the shadiest seat under a tree, forcing the ladies of the family, or the circle, wherever he is, to breathe this bad odor, or remove to some other locality. Nor does the bland "I trust this is not unpleasant to you" help the matter; while women, so much more magnanimous than men, receive this reward for their "polite" evasion of the subject.

I go into a newspaper store to purchase a magazine; there stands a gentleman (?) at my side with a lighted cigar in his mouth, coolly looking over the papers at his leisure. If I beat a hasty retreat to another establishment of the same kind, I find other gentlemen (?) similarly employed. If I get into a street car, even if no one is "smoking upon the platform," five out of ten of the male passengers will have parted with their cigars only at the moment of entering, poisoning still further the close car-atmosphere with this hated effluvia. At places of evening amusement, concerts, lectures and the like, the same thing occurs; indeed, they often repeat the horror by renewing the tobacco-smoke in the intervals during the performance. If I walk in the street, vile breaths are puffed in my face from pipes or cigars by every second gentleman (?) who passes. I am getting sick of "gentlemen;" it would be a relief if the great showman would advertise us a man. If a "gentleman" comes in to make an evening call, he deposits his cigar stump on your front steps just before entering, and very likely lights another in your front entry before departing. The man who brings you a parcel, often stands in the entry smoking, while waiting further orders. The emissary of the butcher, or grocer, perfumes your kitchen and area in the same manner. Your cook's male "cousin" smokes when he makes his evening calls. In the railroad car you are stifled with the remains of tobacco-smoke. In steamboats, in hotels, it is the same, whensoever a male creature enters. If a lady exerts herself to get up, or oversee, or engineer, a nice dinner for some gentleman (?) friends of her husband's, they prove their appreciation of her good dinner and her good company, by retiring to another room than that the hostess is in, the moment they have eaten to satiety, in order that they may smoke till it is time to leave her very hospitable house.

Said a prominent editor one day to me: "You are right, madam, the moment a man becomes wedded to tobacco he becomes a—hog!" This is a strong way of putting it, but the subject is strong in every sense. Physicians will tell you that men who would resent the imputation that they were not good husbands and fathers, will selfishly poison the air of a sick-room and distress the breathing of the invalid without remorse. I repeat it, I am firmly of the opinion, that tobacco brutifies equally with drink. The process may be slower, but it is just as sure. A drunkard will sometimes own that drink hurts him; or that he drinks too much; or would be better without it; a smoker never. 'Tis true, he will admit that Tom Jones, or Sam Smith, smokes too much; but not that he ever did, or shall. In fact, he is sure that in his case tobacco is beneficial; "it soothes him when he is irritable," which, thanks to tobacco, is so often, that the soothing process is perpetual. A man said one day to his comrade in the street cars, "Tom, I really think I should have given up smoking long since, had not my wife constantly said it was so disagreeable." What better proof could he have given of its brutalizing tendency?

I know no place where "smoking not allowed," is not a dead letter, except in church. Even there the cigar stump is often tossed away at the church porch, and men sit impatiently fingering the vile weed which is destined to console them, the minute the benediction shall have been pronounced; now, when a gentleman (?) becomes so enslaved by this bad habit, that neither the disgust of the female inmates of his own house, or other houses, who suffer by it, fails to move him, even though they may not, for the sake of peace, complain; and when the terrible sight of this smoker's own little son, already going to and from school with cigar and satchel in company, does not shame him; when any society, how intelligent soever, is distasteful, nay, unbearable to him, where tobacco is not permitted, for one I would not toss up a pin for the choice between that man and a drunkard.

People say: Whence all these matinées of all kinds, operatic and other, that are springing up in our cities? I answer—Tobacco! "No smoking allowed here"—if over the entrance of Paradise—and the men would prefer their pipe with the accompaniment of the infernal regions. A man can't very well talk with a pipe in his mouth. If a pipe he prefers to all things else, from the time he returns to his house at night till he goes to bed, his wife naturally wearies of watching that smoke curl, though she may be an angel in his eyes in every other respect. It is dull music, after the petty little musquito-stinging household cares of the day, to which even the best mothers and most capable housekeepers are subject, in a greater or less degree. "When he lights that cigar every night I want to scream," said a lovely woman to me. "I am so tired of the house at night; I want him to talk to me, or go out with me; I should take hold of my cares and duties the next day with so much more heart if he did. I love my home; I love my babies; I love my husband; but oh, he don't know how tired and nervous I often get by night, and that silence, and that suffocating smoke, are so intolerable to me then." Why don't she say so? you ask. Why? because women are so hungry for a little love, and find it so impossible to live without it, that they often endure any amount of this kind of selfishness rather than hazard its loss for a day. Now, is this right? Is it what a wife is entitled to, after trying all day to make home bright and happy for her husband?

"And all this fuss about a little smoke," I hear Tom exclaim.

Not exactly. It is the injustice of men toward women for which it stands the horrible, nauseating symbol. Suppose your wife, fancying the smell of asafœtida, should keep an uncorked phial of it in her parlor and bed-room? How long would you stand it? Suppose she should smoke herself or "dip" in self-defence? Suppose that sweet breath were to become nauseous? her curls unbearable in near proximity? Suppose she grew slatternly in her habits in consequence, as all smokers eventually do? Suppose her little baby's clothes were saturated with tobacco? In short, that you were disgusted with its presence or results every hour in the twenty-four, as you would be in your wife's case.

Now I ask, isn't it just as much a man's duty to be clean and presentable and inviting to his wife, as it is hers toward him? Well, replies Tom, men don't look at the subject in that way, and never will, and now, what are you going to do about it?

Me? nothing. The men will continue to put up their heels at night, and smoke till bed-time, and think it a bore to go out, i. e. with their wives, and the disgusted women, who really want to be good wives, and would, if their husbands were more just and manly, will go as they have begun to do, to the next day's operatic matinée for relaxation; and after the matinée, a cup of chocolate or an ice-cream tastes well; and sometimes one meets an agreeable male friend there, who does not prefer a solitary pipe or a cigar to a little bright and enlivening conversation with this tired lady.

Women have a right to protest against that which withdraws husbands, fathers and brothers from their society as soon as they cross the threshold of home, or else dooms them to inhale a nauseous atmosphere, and watch the unsocial puff—puff—which is monotonous enough to drive any woman crazy who already has had quite too much monotony during the day, and finds little variety enough, in watching the curl from that eternal pipe. I blame no woman whose only evening amusement is this, after her children are put to sleep, for protesting, and roundly too, against such unmitigated selfishness; I blame no woman, whose husband, when he does occasionally drum up sufficient vitality to wait upon her out, for requesting that the omnipresent pipe or cigar may for once be dispensed with, as she takes his arm, on that memorable occasion. As I said before, men become so utterly brutified by this disgusting habit, that they lose all sense of politeness and cleanliness. It is quite time they were reminded of it.



T seems to me that of all the charities in our great city, none is more deserving of the attention of the benevolent, than that which takes the little children of our poor, from the moral and physical filth of their wretched surroundings, and places them in healthy, pure homes in the country. No one, who has ever had heart and courage to penetrate the terrible lanes, alleys and by-ways of poverty and crime in New York, but asks himself with a shudder, as he looks at the little ones there, what sort of men and women will these children be? How far will He who counteth the fall of the sparrow, hold them responsible for the dreadful teachings of their infancy? Infancy? the word is a mockery. They have none. To feign—to cheat—to steal—this is their alphabet. As to the fathers and mothers, who fold their lazy hands and sit down in these pestiferous places to await the "penny" pittances their children may collect, or their little pilferings which may be turned into "pennies," the sooner the doors of our jails and penitentiaries close on them the better. Their case is hopeless; since sin has reached its climax when it deliberately and systematically debauches childhood. But the little ones? They might be saved. They are being saved; that's a comfort to know. Daily they are being collected, by good men who make it their chief occupation to wash, feed, clothe and transplant these sickly shoots of poverty, into the fair garden of the West. Many a farmer's family there has a rosy face by its hearth, which you would never recognize to be the squalid little creature, whose shivering palm was extended to you at midnight, as you returned home from some place of amusement in the city. There it is being taught useful and happy labor. There is pure air—sweet food, and enough of it. Good company and good books. There are Sundays. Blessed be Sundays! for injudiciously as they are sometimes observed even by good people, be sure that sweet old hymn will go singing through the future life of these children, like a golden thread, gleaming out from the dark woof of care and trouble:

"Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee;
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee."

No matter where they go, this hymn, and others like it, shall go with them; cleansing and purifying, like a breath of sweet air, all the dreadful remembrances of that foul home from which they were rescued. Think what it were to change the life, temporal and eternal, of one such child! And God be praised, the number of the saved is Legion. How like a dreadful dream to the girl, in a happy home of her own, with her own innocent baby on its father's knee, will be the pit of degradation, where, but for this charity, she might have been lost. She realizes it fully now, when she looks into her little baby's face, and grows chill with fear as she kisses it. And her brother! the hale, sturdy-honest, well-to-do farmer, who comes in of an evening to talk about his farm and his crops, and his barns full of plenty—can that be Johnny? once with the hat guiltless of a brim, the coat with one flap, the trousers with half a leg, and the mouth full of oaths and obscenity! Can that be Johnny, who dodged policemen so adroitly, and was on the high road to the gallows in short jackets? This is not fiction. This is not imagination. The biographies of great men and women will yet adorn your library shelves, whose childhood had such rescuing as this. One gets the heart-ache at every step in New York, if he has eyes or ears for aught save Mammon; and yet how like sun-beams, now and then, across this darkness, comes some noble charity, of whose existence you knew nothing, till some unpretentious sign arrests the eye, in some street never before travelled by you in your daily rounds—some "Asylum," or "Retreat," or "Home," or Hospital, at whose gate Mercy stands with outstretched arms, nor asks the poor unfortunate whom it shelters, its creed or its nationality, but says only—Here is comfort and help.

This much concerning organized Charities. But of the noble women, and men, too, who daily and quietly stretch out helping hands, giving time and money, without other reward than the satisfaction such acts bring to a kind heart—of them, surely there is One who will keep record.

I see other signs of the millennium. In Massachusetts they have Evening Lectures for the benefit of the convicts in the State Prison. I shall never forget my tour through a State Prison, one bright summer day. The hopeless faces of the men in the workshops. Their sullen looks when by twos they marched in long procession across the yard, under guard, to their dinner. I shall never forget the poor wretches in the carding-room, breathing all day, and every day, the little fuzzy, floating particles, which set me coughing painfully the moment I entered the door; and when I asked the attendant if it did not injure their lungs, the cool matter-of-fact manner in which he answered, "Yes—they didn't live very long." I remember well the horrid, contracted cells, against whose walls I know I should have dashed out my brains, were I locked in long enough. And well too could I understand what a horror Sunday must be, imprisoned there, all day, with only the interval of an hour of church; alone with torturing memories; till they prayed for the light of Monday morning and work—work!—ever so hard work, so that it only brought contact and companionship with their kind, speechless though it were.

I remember, too, being told, on inquiry, that the convicts were allowed books to read in their cells on Sunday; but on examination of the cells, I found many so dark that even at midday the offer of "books to read" would have been a mere mockery. I remember, too, the emaciated, hollow-eyed sick men, lounging on benches in the yard, and, when I pitied them, being told that they often "feigned sickness." Heaven knows I should not have blamed them for feigning anything, when humanity so slept that visitors were told in their hearing of their crimes, as they were severally pointed out, and their names and former professions and places of residence given; here a doctor, there a minister, who had fallen from grace.

Surely, thought I, there must come a time when a better way than this shall be found to "reform" men. Surely it can never be done by driving them mad with unrelieved severity like this. For I remembered a letter I received from a convict, to whom some printed word of mine had accidentally floated through his prison bars, and "helped him," so he wrote me, "to bear up till the time for his release came, when he hoped to be a better man."

Had I never written but that one word, I am glad to have lived for that man's sake.

And now what a change! These poor creatures, instead of darkness and solitude—with hate, and revenge, and despair maddening them—have evening lectures for their profit and encouragement. Something to think about in the long hours of wakefulness and sickness; something to look forward to when the day's unrewarded toil is done; something to rout the demons that crouch in their cells and wait their coming at night, till any other hell than this would seem heaven. Let us hope that the example of good old Massachusetts in this and many other praiseworthy regards may be widely imitated.

Surely as God lives, there is a window in the soul of every debased man and woman, at which Love and Mercy may knock and whisper, and be heard. Nor can warden or overseer or chaplain ever be sure that from those convict cells is not issuing the stifled cry—No man cares for my soul.



HAVE no means of judging what Washington may look like in sunny weather; sleet and rain having combined on my visit there, for a "spell" of the most detestable weather ever encountered by a traveller. The streets were a quaking jelly of mud, filled with a motley procession of dirt-incrusted army-wagons, drawn by wretched-looking horses, the original color of whose hide was known only to their owners. Military men swarmed on the sidewalks, gossipped on the steps of public buildings, filled hotel entries, parlors and dining-rooms, and splashed through mud-puddles with a recklessness born of camp-initiation. To escape from wet sidewalks into street-cars was to wade to them literally ankle-deep in mud-jelly. To the resolute, however, all things are possible; especially when millinery and dry-goods are counted as naught; I went there to see what was to be seen, and I saw it.

The night before I visited the Capitol there came a heavy fall of snow; the long avenues of trees leading to it looked very beautiful, bending under their pure white burden, or tossing it lightly off, as the wind swept by. Every garden seat had a round white cushion, every statue a snow-crown. No art of man could have improved upon this festal adorning of nature. The "prospect from the dome" we had to take, by faith, more's the pity, the snow-king having drawn a veil over it. Of course I stared about the Rotunda, like my betters. As I have never "been abroad," I suppose I am not entitled to an opinion upon the pictures I saw there; but it did strike me that De Soto, the discoverer of the Mississippi River, who travelled through the wilderness for that purpose, thousands of miles, exposed to all dangers and weathers; who lost cattle and men by fatigue and famine, and was otherwise harassed to the verge of dissolution, could not, at the moment, when success crowned his efforts, have been found in a rich crimson jacket with slashed Spanish sleeves, and silk stockings drawn over well-rounded calves, and an immaculate head of hair, looking as if it had just emerged from a fashionable barber's shop. I say it struck me so, but then I'm "only a woman," and have never been to Italy. It struck me also that their rags, and their dirt, and their uncombed locks, and their jaded horses, would have looked quite as picturesque, and had the added advantage of being true to nature. It occurred to me also that some of the horses of the victorious generals in the other pictures were very impossible animals, but that may be owing to some defect in my early education. I could not help thinking that our great-great-great-grand children might possibly wish that we had left the art-selection to themselves. It won't matter much to us then, however.

How patriotic I felt when I stood on the floor of the Senate! A minute more, and I should have forgotten my bonnet, and made a speech myself. It might not have been "in order," but I think it would have been listened to while it lasted, though when my enthusiasm was over, I should probably have collapsed into shamefaced consciousness, very much as do the restored breathers of "the laughing gas." I never heard a more eloquent or appropriate prayer than was offered at the opening of the Senate, that day, by a clergyman, whose name I did not learn. Years ago, and what clergyman would have dared utter such bold words in such a place? There were no speeches made that morning; and there was no need; the place itself was inspiration. My breath came quick as I looked about me.

As to the "White House," I have no doubt that the upholstery and carpets are all right—also the chandeliers. For myself I coveted the green-house and garden, and the fine piazza at the back of the house, with its view of Arlington Heights and the white tents of the encampment in the distance. The "East Room," with its Parisian carpet, would have astonished the ghost of Mrs. John Adams, who used to dry her clothes there, when it was in an unfinished state. How very strange it looked to see sentinels on duty before the doors; one realizes that there "is war," when in Washington and its surroundings, where railroad gates and public buildings are guarded, and at every few miles of road up starts a sentinel, and camps are so plentiful that one ceases to regard them with a curious eye.

After walking through the Patent Office at Washington, I had several reflections. First, a feeling of thankfulness that our innocent ancestors died without knowing how uncomfortable they were,—minus these modern improvements. Secondly, how many heads must have ached, hatching out the ideas there practically perfected. Thirdly, did the real inventors themselves reap any reward, pecuniary or otherwise, or, having died "making an effort," did some charlatan, with more money than brains, filch their discovery and, attaching his name to it, secure both fame and gold?

Leaving these vexed questions unsettled, the place is of rare interest even to the ordinary curiosity-hunter, destitute either of philosophical or mechanical proclivities. Looking at General Washington's relics, one cannot but be struck with the simple tastes of that time. The plates, knives and chairs, which formed part of his household furniture, would—apart from their associations—be sniffed at in any fashionable mansion of the present day. And as to his camp-chest and writing-desk, every mother's 1862-pet, whose budding moustache is half demolished by parting kisses, is provided with a better as he goes to "the war." And Washington's coat, waistcoat and breeches are of a fabric so coarse, that our present officials would decline wearing the like except under compulsion. The same may be said of the coat worn by the immortal General Jackson; at the mention of whose name I will forever remove my bonnet, for his unswerving loyalty toward, and manly defence of, his zealously slandered wife. Alas for some of the pluck and spirit that animated the sometime wearers of those faded old military clothes. But it is too aggravating a theme; though I did linger over those military buttons, with divers little thoughts which I should like to have whispered into the President's ear, and which, if properly carried out, would no doubt save this nation!

As to the fifteen flashy silk robes presented by the Japanese government to ours, I had no desire to get into them. A strange soldier standing near while I was gazing, stepped up, and with camp frankness said to me: "now I suppose, being a lady, you can form some idea of the value of those things." "Oh, yes," said I, "they are like the bonnets of to-day, expensive in proportion to their ugliness." Penetrated by the wisdom of my reply, he answered feelingly, "Just so,"—and touching his cap, passed on. Among General Washington's relics I saw a cane presented to him by Franklin, and a chandelier presented to Washington by some French magnate, so awkward, inferior and crude, compared with the splendid affairs of the present day, that one compassionately wishes, for the donor's sake, that his name were withheld. I saw also, under glass, the original treaties of several foreign nations, French and others, with our government. The autographic signatures of great potentates, yellow with time, was suggestive. The models of steam-engines, revolvers, torpedoes, mowing-machines and excavators, were "too many for me;" I might have looked wise over them, to be sure, like other folks, but had I stood staring till the millennium I couldn't have comprehended them, so where was the use of shamming? I just said, that's not in my line, and inspected the different varieties of hoop-skirts; and though the masculine mind may not recognize the fact, the perfection to which those things have arrived by gradual stages is comforting to contemplate. I say "comforting" advisedly; because if one must drag round so many yards of dry goods, a cage is better adapted to hang them on than the human hips. It is my opinion that notwithstanding the torrent of abuse to which the hoop is and has been subjected, it will never be dropped—save at bed-time.

It is a melancholy affair to visit public institutions that have sprung from the legacies of wealthy persons, so often do they fail to carry out the philanthropic results so enthusiastically programmed by the donors. This reflection seemed to me not out of place when leaving the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. The building itself is fine, and favorably located, and the grounds about it very attractive; but dust-covered statues, cobwebs, and a general and indescribable air of inefficiency in the interior, were painfully palpable, and stood as a type of other posthumous charities which have come under my notice. In fact, "wills" oftener turn out, "wonts" than one imagines, codiciled and guarded as they may be by the best human ingenuity and foresight. Snakes are not the only wriggling animals, and dead men are happy in not being able to return to their old haunts. Some of the pictured celebrities in the place would have leaped from their frames, had they heard the irreverent bystanders, who were "doing" the lions, asking who they were, and gaping at the guide-book recital of their greatness and goodness, from some companion; or turning an indifferent joke, in the middle of the narration, upon the cut of the pictured coat, or hair, or beard. It was an excellent comment upon the wearing, toil and fret of ambition, which eats the heart out of life, and often sets aside everything worth living for, to gain—a name. The collection of animals there would be interesting doubtless to the naturalist; but we often wonder who but he, could take pleasure in bottled snakes, sprawling, impaled bugs, and stuffed monkeys and baboons. As to the latter, they are too painful a burlesque upon human beings, to be regarded with complacency. Their horrible and fiendish exaggeration of some faces, which all of us have, once or more, in our lives met, is anything but agreeable. The collection of stuffed birds in this place is exquisitely beautiful. One lingers there, oblivious of wide-mouthed, hungry-looking bears, standing on their hind legs, or grinning skulls of Indians, or other delightful monstrosities. These brilliant birds, orange with black wings, or scarlet wings with black bodies, or drab with bright little heads, or with the whole body of the loveliest blue, were beautiful as the most brilliant hued bouquet. So perfectly were they prepared and mounted, that one waited expectant for a sweet trill, or an upward flight. There was also a very curious and pretty exhibition of bird's eggs, of every size and color, some of them "cuddled" comfortably in little nests. I would have agreed to leave to the Institution the numerous and precious volumes of "De Bow's Review" which graced it, for the liberty of appropriating those bright birds and those pretty eggs.

One feature in the place was quite novel. Specimens framed under glass of the hair of some of the Presidents of the United States. Either these gentlemen were not liberally endowed with this commodity, or inveterate lion-hunters had taught them a niggardly caution on the distribution of this article, in view of baldness or a future wig; for under the names of some of them were only four or six hairs. Most of them were white or grey; suggestive of rather equivalent repose, for the craniums from whence they sprang. Of course, one's organ of reverence would not admit in this case the possibility of the trick adopted by "pestered" celebrities—attacked in the hair—viz: wickedly substituting something else for the original coveted article. Of course not! As to the soldiers and military men passing through Washington, they must be pleased to know how comfortably they can be "embalmed," should a chance shot render it necessary. Large signs to this effect, conspicuously placed, and running the whole length of a block, stare them remindingly in the face, at every turn. As to Jackson's equestrian statue, fronting the President's house, I opine that nobody but General Jackson could have sat on a horse's back in that rearing condition, without slipping backward over the tail. However, one forgives everything to an admirer of General Jackson; and the sculptor evidently had strong faith in his omnipotence, as well as in the wonderful upward, danger-defying curve of his unique horse's tail!



VISIT to the head-quarters of an executive General is a means of grace. I recommend it to all ladies who, year after year, closing their disgusted ears to what limpingly passes below stairs, accept its dawdling results as inevitable. For my own part, my back is up. So imbued am I with the moral beauty of military discipline, that unless I can inaugurate its counterpart from garret to cellar, I shall return in disgust to army-life.

The idea struck me forcibly one morning before breakfast as I stepped out into the bright sunshine, to behold a captain drilling his company for the day. As each musket was presented for inspection, turned quickly from one side to the other, and tossed lightly back into its owner's waiting hands, I rushed back to tent and exclaimed: "General, can you give any reason why we ladies shouldn't do with our pots, pans and gridirons, each day, what your captain is doing yonder with the muskets of his men; and with a 'guard-house' to back us up in case of default or impertinence." "Why—don't you ladies inspect your pots, pans and gridirons?" inquired General Butler. "When our cooks are out, never for our lives else," I replied. "Poor slaves!" was his feeling reply.

"Poor slaves!" I echoed, as I returned to my lovely "drill" and grew more righteously mad each minute. As I stood there, my dears, I for one resolved never again to be the pusillanimous wretch to say, "If you please, Martha," or "will you please, Bridget, bring me this or that." No—instead, I boldly propose: "Orderly! bring me that baby!" and when Bridget comes in, with a well-feigned sorrow for the decease of that stereotyped "friend" who is always waiting to be "waked," and begs leave of absence, let us answer, à la militaire, "Yes—you can go for awhile; but your 'friend' is not dead, neither are you going to a wake. I want you to understand that I am not deceived." And when, after repeated instructions, the roast-beef is still overdone, with executive forefinger let us touch the bell, and in the lowest but firmest of tones remark, "Orderly! put the cook in the guard-house."

But stay—women can never manage women that way. They are too cat-ty. Let us have men-cooks, my dears, and science as well as civility with our sauce. Yea—men-cooks, who will not "answer back;" men-cooks who will not need to be an hour at the glass "prinking" before they can look a tomato in the face; men-cooks, who, having once done a thing "your way," can ever after reproduce it, and not, with feminine caprice, or heedlessness, each time lessen the sugar and double the salt, and vice-versa; men-cooks, whose "beaux" are not always occupying the extra kitchen chair; men-cooks, who understand the economy of space, and do not need a whole closet for every tumbler, or a bureau-drawer for each towel.

Oh! I have not been "to camp" for nothing. There are no carpets there to spot with grease. There are no pictures whose golden frames are wiped with a wet dish-cloth. There are no velvet chairs, or ottomans, upon which they can lay red-hot pokers or entry-mats. There is no pet china they can electrify the parlor with smashing, to the tune of hundreds of dollars. But instead, there are little tents dotted about, furnished with brave men; and for pictures, long lines of army wagons trailing their slow length along; and yonder, against the burnished sunset sky, gallop the cavalry, with glittering arms; and there are "squads" of secesh coming into the lines, with most astounding hats and trowsers and no shoes, who hold up the wrong hand when they take the oath of allegiance, and make their "mark" in the registry book instead of writing their names, and some of whose "profession," when questioned, is—"to shoemake;" and there are grotesque-looking contrabands; and rat-ty looking, useful mules; and in the evening there are fire-fly lamps gleaming from the little tents; and of a cool evening lovely, blazing camp-fires, round which you can sit and talk with intelligent men till the small hours, about other things than "bonnets;" and there's reveille, and—good heavens! why did I come back to New York, with its "peace-men" and its tame monkeys.

While waiting at City Point for the "flag-of-truce boat," we sauntered up from the wharf. There was an encampment not far from the river, and the first thing that attracted my notice was a sutler's establishment—in other words, a little shed with a counter, two men behind it, and a little bit of everything displayed inside. "Now," said I, "I will just bother that man asking him for something which I am sure he has not for sale." "Do it," answered my companion; "I will wager something he will have it." With triumph in my step, I inquired—"Have you ladies' fans?" "Yes ma'am," was the reply; "here is one, made in prison by a Union soldier." In my eagerness to secure it, for it was a marvel of ingenuity, apart from the interest attached to it, I forgot to collapse at my defeat—doubly defeated, too, alas! "as it was not for sale." But there were books, and tobacco, and combs, and suspenders, and pocket looking-glasses, and everything, except "crying babies." A little farther on was a soda-fountain, then a watch-maker, then an ice-cream shanty. Still I was not surprised; for I lost my capability for a new sensation while staying in General Butler's encampment. Strolling off, one lovely morning, in the woods, for wild-flowers, I was overtaken by a shower of rain. Spying a little shed at a distance under the trees, I made for it with all speed; and found it full of bottles and a young man. The latter politely rose and offered me the only stool in the establishment, and when I and my hoop-skirt had entered, I regret to say that there was no room left, save for the bottles above alluded to; and their safety consisted in my remaining quite stationary. "What is this place?" asked I, staring about me. With a pitying smile the youth drew from a corner some fine photographic views of "Dutch Gap," the site of General Butler's canal; and then proposed my sitting for my picture. Had he produced a French dress-maker from the trunk of one of the trees, I should not have been more astonished. When the fickle Virginia sun again shone out, and I had said the pretties, in the way of thanks, I resumed my walk; and though on my way home I stopped to witness the fascinating operation of felling trees, and to admire the vigorous strokes of the woodman's axe, and listen to its far-off echoes through the woods, I still kept on saying to myself—Well, I never! a photographic establishment in these woods!

While wandering round at the landing at City Point, waiting to take passage for Annapolis, I saw at a distance some tents, exquisitely trimmed with green boughs. "How very pretty!" I exclaimed; "I must go up there and have a peep." "But it won't do to go nearer," suggested my companion. "I must," said I; "I never saw anything half so pretty. I must see them nearer." Gradually approaching, I saw that the floor of the tent was ingeniously carpeted with small pine boughs. In the middle of it was a round table covered with green in the same manner; while in either corner stood a small rustic sofa, cushioned with green leaves. No upholsterer could have improved the effect "How very pretty!" I again exclaimed, growing bolder as I saw it temporarily unoccupied. As I said this, two officers made their appearance from a tent near, and said—"Walk in, madam, and look at it; it is not often that we see ladies at our encampment." So we accepted the invitation, and then and there I penitently and publicly dropped a theory I had hugged for years—viz., that a man, left to himself, and deprived of the society of woman, would gradually deteriorate to that degree, that he would not even comb his hair, or wash his face, much less desire ornamentation in his home surroundings. And now here was a bower, fit for the prettiest maiden in all the land, made without any hope that a woman's eye might ever approve it; made, too, though its owner might be ordered to pack up his one shirt and march to battle the very next day; made for the sheer love of seeing something home-like, and beautiful. I bade its gallant proprietors good-bye, and went my ways, a humbler and a wiser woman.

While absent on this excursion I had several times the pleasure of observing the fine soldierly appearance of our colored troops. When I saw them form into line to salute the General as he passed, it gave me a thrill of delight; because I knew that it was not a mere show performance, on their part, toward one who has been so warmly, and bravely, their friend and protector.

The farther a New Englander goes South, the gladder he is to return. Blessed is it to pass the line, where doors will shut; where windows will open; where blinds will fasten; where chairs will maintain their usual uprightness; where wash-bowls are cleansed; where one towel for half a dozen persons is not considered an extravagance, and where the glass-panes in the windows are not so elaborately mended with putty that a street view is impossible. In short, blessed is the Yankee "faculty," as opposed to all this hanging-by-the-eyelids thriftlessness. In Virginia the grass is too lazy to grow. Now and then a half-dozen spears poke above-ground, and having done that, seem to consider their mission accomplished; then comes a bare spot of sand, until you come to the next five enterprising spears. However, the North before long will teach Virginia grass what is expected of grass. The James River appeared very lovely with its soft shadows that beautiful afternoon I stood upon its banks; and incongruous enough seemed the murderous-looking black Monitor resting upon its placid bosom; and the screeching shells flying overhead, with the soft hues of the rainbow against the blue sky. I said to myself—"Now, Fanny, you too would have loved this beautiful country, had you been born here instead of at the North; but, having ever been to the North and seen what Southern eyes must see there, whether they admit it or not, could you again have been contented and happy with your Southern birthright and its accompanying curse? That is the question. I think not." Everywhere now, in that region one is struck with the absence of all the peaceful signs of domestic life. True, there are beautiful trees and vines, and the same sweet wild-flowers in the odorous woods skirting the roadside, that are to be found in New England. There are houses, but the fences have been torn away; and from the skeleton window-pane no fair faces look out. No chickens run about in the yards; no little children swing upon gates; no young maidens stand in the deserted gardens; but, instead, there are soldiers and sentinels; and the negro huts belonging to these houses are empty, and on the walls of the family mansions are rude charcoal drawings of ships, and well-remembered faces, and Northern homesteads; and there are verses of poetry, and names, and dates, and arithmetical calculations; and upon floor and stairway and threshold the omnipresent evidences of that male-comforter and solace—Tobacco! As you ride miles along, under the soft blue sky and through rows of majestic old trees, missing the sight of human faces, suddenly, upon one of the tree trunks, you are startled with this inscription, "Embalming the dead here," or "Coffins here," or you see in the distance the creeping ambulance, or in a sudden turn of the road an "abatis," or some fortification. One realizes in such scenes the meaning of the word "war." Strange enough it seems, to come back from all that, to city theatres and their mock woes.

As to Annapolis—one feels, upon walking through it, as if Herculaneum and Pompeii after all might be no fable. Going from its one-horse hotel, to the model hotel of Philadelphia, was almost too sudden a change even for my excellent constitution. The brass door-knocker of antiquity, placed high up out of reach of human hands save those of well qualified adults, exists in Annapolis in full splendor. The windows, too, are all on the second and third stories; and one must get up early in the morning if he would ascend their front steps. I invaded their legislative halls, and got as far as two huge piles of earthen spittoons, reaching high above my head, awaiting the advent of their august legislative proprietors, at which point I expressed myself perfectly satisfied with my exploration, nor waited to be shown the room in which "General Washington publicly resigned his commission." With my hand on my heart to the General, I must still be permitted to say, that being born fatally wanting in the bump of reverence, I could never lose my breath in any such place if I tried, and that I am quite willing, after having been assured that certain skeletons of the past are to be evoked in certain places, to let more pious hands feel of their bones.

The present only, now seems to me real. In the streets of Annapolis I could only feel that here General Butler landed the 8th Massachusetts, and showed the New York Seventh the way to Washington.



HAT a four years we had of it! And now that our cheeks no longer grow hot at the name of Bull Run, and peace and victory—terms which no loyal heart ever wished to dissever—are ours; now that we have laid down our muskets and stop to take breath, how strange it all seems! Now that we can snap our fingers at those precious "neutral" friends; now that we can smile complacently upon croakers this side of the water, and enjoy the wry faces which suddenly converted patriots make, swallowing their allegiance; now that we sleep peaceably nights, without tossing up window-sashes and thrusting out night-capped heads, regardless of the modest stars and a shivering bed-fellow, to hail some lightning "Extra;" now that our pockets are no longer picked for standing gaping on the streets spelling out bulletins; now that six-foot cowards have done squabbling about the "draft" that is to tear them from families for which they never half provided, and for which they have suddenly conceived such an intense affection; now that our noble soldiers look back upon their sufferings and privations as some troubled dream, so happy are they in the love of proud wives and glad children and friends; now that Libby—thank God!—holds only its jailer, and kindred spirits, and on the prison ground of Andersonville loyal philanthropy already talks of erecting an institution for the benefit of our brave soldiers; now that Broadway has time to cool, between regiments coming and regiments going; now that the rotten thrones of the old country will have as much as they can do to prop up their shaky foundations, without making mouths at the new cap-stone of our glorious republic, phew! now we can untie our bonnets and toss them up in the air, without caring for their descent. For have not dry-goods and groceries gone down? and can't we buy needles, threads and pins without beads of perspiration standing on our faces at the thought? are not pennies plenty? and won't we soon have the dear little clean silver pieces back again, instead of greasy stamps? and isn't there a prospect that when hanging is good for a man he will now be sure to get it? and if I am a woman, can't I fold my arms and strut about a little, even though I didn't help fight? Come to think of it, though, I did; I can show you a spoiled dress I got, touching off a thirty-two pounder Parrot gun commissioned to throw shells into Petersburg; and I never got a shoulder-strap for it either, like many another fellow, and never grumbled about it, un-like many another, but was satisfied with that spot on my dress, and none on my soldierly honor, and when it was told me that "that lady had better leave the field and go somewhere else," I went there.

We've done so much grieving lately, that it is a relief to be silly; so you'll excuse me; but deep down in my heart, I thank God that the dear lost lives, from our President down, have not been in vain; that the blood the monster slavery would have lapped up triumphantly has only gone to strengthen the roots of the tree of Liberty.

Ah! think if tyranny all over the world had flaunted more defiantly for our uncrowned struggle! If every despotic chain, the earth over, were fresh riveted! Ah! then indeed we might mourn.

But now!—with tender compassion for the bereaved,—for in many a home that bright flag will always wear its mourning-border—to-day! Joy—joy to it! I never see its dear folds waving in and out against the clear blue sky, that my eyes do not fill; I want to fold it round my shoulders, I want to wear it for a dress. I want to sleep under it for a bed quilt—and I want to be wrapped in it when I die.

Bye and bye what a glorious history of our war may be written. Not that the world will not teem with histories of it. But I speak not of great generals and commanders, who, under the inspiration of leadership, and with the magnetic eyes of the world upon them, shall have achieved their several triumphs; but of those who have laid aside the plough, and stepped from behind the anvil, and the printing press, and the counter, and from out the shop, and with leaping pulses, and without hope of reward, laid an honest heart and a strong right arm on the altar of their country; some to languish in prison, with undressed wounds, defying taunts and insults, hunger and thirst, their places of sepulture even unknown, and their names remembered only at some desolate hearthstone, by a weeping widow and orphans, and yet whose last pulse-beat was "for their country." By many a cottage fireside shall old men tell tales to wondering childhood, that shall bring forth their own precious harvest; sometimes of those who, enclosed in meshes too cunningly woven to sunder, wore hated badges over loyal hearts, and with gnashing teeth and listening ear and straining eyeballs, bided their time to strike! Men who planted, that the tyrant might reap; whose wives and children went hungry and shelterless, that he might be housed and fed. Nor shall woman be forgotten, who, with quivering heart but smiling lip bade God-speed to him, than whom only her country was dearer, and turned bravely back to her lonely home, to fight the battle of life, with no other weapon than faith in Him who feedeth the ravens. All these are the true heroes of this war; not alone they who have memorials presented, and if they die, pompous monuments erected, but the thousands of brave fellows who know, if they fall, they will have mention only among the "list of the killed and wounded." Who, untrammelled by precedents, shall write us such a history?

Let me tell you a story I heard the other day.

He was home at last! It was for three years he he had enlisted. When his term was nearly out, and just as his heart leaped at thought of going home, he was taken prisoner. We all know what that word means in connection with "Andersonville" and "Libby." No shelter from rain, or sun, or night dew; stung by vermin; devoured by thirst and hunger. So day after day dragged by, and fewer and fewer came thoughts of home; for the light was fading out from the sufferer's eyes, and one only thought, day and night, pursued him—food, food! At last came the order for exchange, and John was taken with the rest, as he could bear the removal—slowly—home! Oh, how joyful they all were as they waited for his coming! How tenderly he should be cared for and nursed. How soon his attenuated form should be clothed with flesh, and the old sparkle of fire come back to his faded eyes. How they would love him ten thousand times better than ever for all the dreadful suffering he had undergone for his country's sake. And when he got better, how they would have the neighbors come and listen to his stories about the war. Oh, yes—they would soon make John well again. Nine—ten—eleven o'clock—it was almost time for him to be there. Susy and Jenny were quite wild with joy; and mother kept saying "Girls, now be quiet;" but all the time she kept smoothing the cushions of the easy-chair by the fire, and fidgetting about more than any of them. Then there was such a shout went up from Susy, who was looking down the road from the end window. He's coming! father's coming! and fast as her feet could carry her through the door and down the road she flew; and Jenny followed, and mother?—well, she stood there, with beating heart and brimming eyes of joy, on the threshold. But what makes the girls so quiet as they reach the wagon where "father" is sitting? Why don't father kiss and hug them, and he three long years away? He is alive, thank God, else he couldn't be sitting there—why don't he kiss his girls? He don't kiss them: he don't speak to them; he don't even know Susy and Jenny, as they stand there with white lips and young faces frozen with terror. It is father—but, look! he is only a crazy skeleton. And when they came to him, he only stretched out his long, bony fingers, and muttered, feebly—"Bread! bread! Oh, give me some bread!" And when they brought him in, crowded round and kissed him, and carried him to the warm fire, and, with streaming eyes of pity, showed him the plentiful table, he only looked vacantly in their faces and muttered, "Bread! bread! Oh, give me some bread!" And to everybody who came into the door till the hour he died, which was very soon, he said still, "Bread! bread!" and this was the last word they ever heard from "father."

And yet they say we must forgive the leader of the rebellion who did such things as these! Spirit of Seventy-six! Can I believe my ears? What sort of mercy is this, that sets the viper of to-day free to raise up a brood of hissing vipers for the future? What is this mercy for one, and this injustice for the million? This mercy which hangs little devils, and erects no gibbet for the arch-fiend himself? This mercy which lets Jeff. Davis glide safely out of the country with his money-bags, and claps the huge paw of the law upon some woman, for giving so much aid and comfort to the enemy as she could carry in her little apron-pocket? What! Forgive Jeff. Davis, with the fresh memory of Forts Pillow and Wagner? What! because your son, or your husband, are now smiling at you across your table, are you to ignore that poor mother, who night after night paced up and down her chamber floor, powerless to release her husband or boy, who, at Libby or Andersonville, was surely, horribly dying with the slow pangs of starvation! The poor mother, did I say? The thousands of mothers, whose wrung hearts cry out that the land be not poisoned with the breath of their children's assassinator. To whom the sight of the gay flags of victory, and the sound of the sweet chiming bells of peace are torture, while this great wrong goes unredressed. Who can see only by day and night that dreadful dead-cart, with its unshrouded skeleton-freight, and uppermost the dear face, rumbling from that loathsome prison, to be shovelled, like carrion, underground.

Tell me? Is it in nature or grace, either, for these parents to vote that Jeff. Davis and his like be neither expatriated nor deprived of the rights of citizenship? In the name of that "mercy" which would be so burlesqued, let them not suffer this crowning injury. Let them not be pained with this mock magnanimity which so "forgivingly" crosses palms with this wrencher of other people's heartstrings. Let it not be said thoughtlessly, "Oh, we are too happy to think of vengeance." Say rather, "Let us not, in our joy, forget to be just."

And let me, individually, have due notice, if it be in contemplation to present these traitors, either with a costly service of silver plate or an honorable seat in the United States Senate.

Overhead floats the dear old flag, thank God! but countless are the homes where the music of "the holidays" has forever died out; where sorrow will clasp its hands over an aching heart, or sit down by a solitary hearth, with a pictured face it can scarce see for the tears that are falling on it. There seems nothing left now. The country is safe, the war has ended; that rifled heart is glad of that; but oh! what shall make its terrible desolation on these festival days even endurable? That's the thought that can't be choked down even by patriotism. It comes up all over the house, at every step. It meets you in parlor, and chamber, and entry. It points where the coat and hat used to hang; it whispers from the leaves of some chance book you listlessly open, where are his pencil-marks. Even the dish on the table you loved to prepare for him is turned to poison. The sun seems merciless in its brightness; the music and dancing in unrifled homes is almost heartless. What can you do with this spectre grief, that has taken a chair by your fireside, and, change position as you may, insists on keeping you torturing company? You may walk, but it is there when you return. You may read, but you feel its stony eyes on you the while; you may talk, but you keep listening for the answer you will never hear. Oh, what shall you do with it? Face it! Move your chair up as closely to it as you can. Say—I see you; I know you are here, and I know too that you will never, never leave me. I am so weary trying to elude you. Let us sit down then together, and recognize each other as inseparable. Between me and happiness is that gulf—I know it. I will no longer try to bridge it over with cobwebs. It is there. As you say this, a little voice pipes out—mother, when is Christmas? Ah!—you thought you could do it; but that question from that little mouth, of all others! Oh, how can you be thankful?

Poor heart, look in that little sunny face, and be thankful for that. Hasn't it a right to its share of life's sunshine, and are you not God-appointed to make it? There's work for you to do—up-hill, weary work, for quivering lips to frame a smile—I grant, but there's no dodging it. That child will have to take up its own burthen by and by, as you are now bearing yours; but for the present don't drop your pall over its golden sunshine. Speak cheerily to it; smile lovingly on it; help it to catch the floating motes that seem to it so bright and shining. Let it have its youth with all its bright dreams, one after the other, as you did. They may not all fade away; and if they should, there's the blessed memory of which even you would not be rid, with all the pain that comes with it. Now would you?

So, little one—Christmas is coming! and coming for you. There's to be turkey and pie, and you shall stuff your apron full. There's to be blind-man's buff, and hunt the slipper, and puss in the corner, and there shall be flowers strewn for your feet, you little dear, though we all wince at the thorns.

But for our soldiers' homes where death has literally taken all; where the barrel of meal and cruse of oil too has failed; let a glad country on festival days, of all others, bear its widows and orphans in grateful remembrance.

Speaking of "Unwritten History," reminds me of some curious written chapters of it that I saw the other day.

I begin now to think that an "All-Wise Providence" spent more time finishing off human beings than was at all necessary. I arrived at this sapient conclusion, the other evening, while looking at some hundreds of specimens of the handwriting of our disabled soldiers. Before this I had always supposed that hands and arms were necessary preliminaries to chirography, and right hands and above all arms. And there I was, brought up all standing, with the legible, fair proofs to the contrary before my very face. Positively there was one specimen written with the soldier's mouth, both hands being useless. It was enough to make an able-bodied man or woman blush to think of cowering for one moment before the darkest cloud of fate. As a moral lesson I would have had every boy and girl in the land, taken there to see the power of the mind over the body. The potency of that one little phrase, "I will try." The impotency of that cowardly plea, "I can't." I wished, as I examined these interesting and characteristic papers, with the signatures and photographs of the writers annexed, that all our schools in order, should be taken there, to learn a lesson that all their books might never teach so impressively. I wished that every man in the nation, whose patriotism needed quickening, (alas that there should be any!) might see that these men who have fought for the peace we are now enjoying, who have languished long months in wretched prisons for us, and through all have but just escaped, maimed and disabled, to reach their homes, are yet self-helpful and courageous, fearing nothing, hoping all things, since they have helped save the nation. Is it safe? That is a question I shall not meddle with here. Meantime I, for one, feel proud as an American loyal woman that this collection of manuscripts has been made. I believe it to be purely an American idea. I am not aware that in any other country such a novelty exists. I think it as highly creditable to the head and heart of the originator, as to the skill and patience of our soldiers. I felt as though it should have, like a great national picture, its appropriate framing and setting in the most conspicuous spot in the Capitol. How often I think of these "privates," as they are called, when grand "receptions" and "balls" are in progress for some great "General" in our midst. All honor to him; but meantime what of these brave maimed "privates?"

Therefore I was rejoiced when John Smith and Thomas Jones had succeeded in "making their mark" on paper as well as in battle. I was glad that they had placed it on record that an American soldier is still wide awake and hopeful, though he may be so hacked and hewed to pieces that not half his original proportions remain. I wanted to sing "Hail Columbia," and "The Star Spangled Banner," and "John Brown," and "Yankee Doodle," and more than all, I wanted those people who are sticking pins through curious sprawling bugs, and paying fabulous sums for shells, and taking their Bible oaths over some questionable pictures "by the old masters," would just turn their attention to something not only veritable and unique, but honorable and worthy as a legacy to every American child that shall be born to the end of time, or—the end of our Republic, which is one and the same thing.



OU should have lived there to understand the delight with which I linger about an old farm-house, to see if the old familiar objects were all there. The clump of tall, nodding hollyhocks, many-hued, and gorgeous in the sunlight; the lovely, evanescent morning-glories, always reminding me of the clear eyes and silken locks of childhood; the big tree, the pride of the homestead, under which it nestles, elm, locust, maple or willow, it matters not; the hen, with her busy brood; the old dog, of any breed Providence wills, lying with his nose between his paws, lazily winking at the sun; the row of shining milk-pans turned up against the wooden fence; the creaking well-sweep; the old tub under the eaves; the neatly arranged wood-pile; the honest, homely sun-flowers at the back door, and the scarlet bean-blossoms; oh, how I love them all!

Let us go in; any excuse—a glass of water—will serve. They are not ashamed to be caught working.

Bless you, no! One person is as good as another in New England, and better, too. Observe how stainless are the steps, threshold and entry; see the little mats, laid wherever a heedless foot might possibly mar their purity. How white are the curtains and table-covers, and the napkins pinned upon the backs of the chairs; see how nicely that patch has been placed over the stain upon the wall-paper; look at that book shelf hung in the corner. Surely some hand not devoid of daintiness, arranged those pretty touches of color, in the scarlet cord and tassels that support it, and the pretty little blue vase upon its top shelf. Then there are picture-frames made of pine cones, quite as pretty as any Broadway dealer could show; and the chairs, with their flowered-chintz coverings, and now you look to see some sweet maiden trip in, with pure eyes, and soft, smooth hair, and her name shall be Mary. Nor are you disappointed; and as you look at her, as the softened light comes in through the vine-leaves at the window, you see how it is that flowers of beauty are wreathed round the rugged trunk of New England asceticism. You see how no home, without a foundation of thrift, can be anything like a home to this New England girl. You can see how, in her married far-off abode, when reverses come, she is not the woman to fold her hands and sit down and cry about it. You see how she can make bread one minute, and ten to one, write a poem the next; how she can trim a bonnet or row a boat; how she can cut and make her own and her children's dresses, and keep her kitchen in a state of polish, to make the haunter of Intelligence Offices stare with wonder.

I adore it all! I know that wheresoever fortune, in its vagaries, tosses a New Englander, male or female, that individual will always come up like a cat, on its feet. Meantime, they can bear your gibes at their time-honored dishes of "pork and beans," and "apple-dowdy," and "fish-balls" and "brown-bread." You can no more see "anything in them" with all your tasting, than you could imitate the moral courage of their makers in finding out what a thing will cost before they order it home; and you will always manifest the same astonishment that you do now, that these same economical, careful New Englanders are always ready with open hearts and purses, whenever a fire lays waste a city, when stormy winds send shipwrecked families upon their coasts, or when any great philanthropic object challenges their pity or assistance.

You can't understand it—how should you? You who think it "mean" and "unlady-like" to inquire the price of a thing before you buy it, or to decline buying it, not because you do not like it, but for the honest and sensible reason that it is beyond your means. You can never solve the problem how a just economy, and a generous liberality, can go hand in hand, or how one legitimately follows the other and makes it possible.

Then perhaps you smile when you see what a prominent place has Watts' Psalms and Hymns, and the Bible upon the table yonder. Oh, if you could hear the Sunday night singing in that little "keeping-room!"

"Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood,
Stand dressed in living green."

You remember that hymn? You who had its lullaby sung to you, countless starry nights by your own mother; you, who repeated it to her in broken accents when she was dying—"Watts' Psalms and Hymns" is to you as sacred as her memory. And the Bible? You don't think, more than myself, that mankind have furnished us anything better, as yet, in the way either of morality or literature. You know that it is not a mere lesson-book to that soft-eyed girl with the brown hair.

I pity a genuine New Englander, who migrates from a land in which every inhabitant is born with a faculty of doing everything in the best manner, and in the very "nick of time," and settles down among a Penelope race, who weave their webs in the morning, only to find them irretrievably unravelled every night. Thriftless! You may think there are worse qualities than this in a person's moral make-up. I believe it to be the foundation of sand upon which any permanently useful superstructure is impossible. Thriftless! The gods remove me far from this aimless specimen of adult infancy, who crawls a mile on all fours to pick up a straw; who, forgetting where he placed it the moment after he gets it, makes a series of circuitous journeys in search of it; who is constantly placing things on their tops that are not self-supporting unless set upon their bottoms; and who, though warned by repeated thumps and bumps, that there are better ways than those he chooses to crawl in, still persists in scratching and scarring himself, and driving you wild with wondering what mischief he can do next that he has not already done. I say that a lunatic asylum can be the only end of a New Englander who is forced into a daily yoke-ship with your "thriftless" person.

New England! bless it! Isn't it thorough? Does their sewing ravel out? Do their shoes rip at the first wearing? Don't their children's "bought" clothes hang together, at least till you get them home? Isn't a New England-buttonhole exhilarating to the moral eyesight? Don't their blinds keep fastened? Don't their doors shut without bringing them "to" with a bang like the explosion of a Parrot gun? Haven't the women sense "into" them? Don't the men know what they know? Haven't their children a backbone, moral and physical? and haven't they a right to boast of the "hub?" And as to their kitchens, my very soul yearns for those shining tin pans and pewter pots, and immaculate dishcloths. I am homesick for an old-fashioned "dresser," with the kitchen spoons laid in a row after every meal. I long for a peep into the kitchen closet, where the tea isn't in the coffee-thing, and the starch mixed with the pepper; where the rolling-pin hangs up, white and suggestive of flaky pie-crust; where the clothes-pins are shrouded in a clean bag till next Monday's wash; where the lids of the coffee and tea-pot are left open, for those vessels to air, and no yesterday's "grounds" are permitted to repose over night; where—but what's the use? Gotham is Gotham—Erin always will be Erin—and New England, God be praised! will always be New England; for were there not that leaven to infuse thrift through the veins of the country——Well, you perceive that I am a New-Englander.

While in Brattleboro I obtained permission to write in the quiet empty school-house, during the summer vacation. I thought while seated there of the probable fate and fortunes of their absent occupants. How many Senators, how many Presidents, how many Artists, how many Sculptors, how many Authors, how many men, and women, of note, might make their starting-point from that very school-house.

I should like to keep the statistics from this time had I leisure. You must know that it is an article in my creed that a New England cradle is the safest and fittest to rock a baby in. In other words, that a New England foundation is sounder and better than any other; the superstructure may be laid elsewhere—I had almost said anywhere—this being secured.

With these views, from which I am quite willing you should dissent, should it so please you, I look around on these vacant seats of our future men and women, with intense interest. "The war is over," I hear people say; I say it has just begun. The smoke of battle having cleared a little, he that hath eyes to see, shall note the dead who are to be carried out of sight, the maimed who are to be tenderly cared for, and the vultures who are to be driven, at all costs, from feeding on that which is as dear to us as our heart's blood. This work these children will have to do. Pinafores and blouses they will not wear forever. Balls, kites and dolls are but for now. Earnest men and women they must be, being New England born. Earnest for the Right, I plead, as I glance at the Teacher's Desk. I do not know him, who wields a power for which I would not exchange a monarch's throne—who must face in this world, and account for in the next, these boys and girls, who look to him for guidance and help; but whoever he may be, I trust that he holds his office, for sublimity and honor, second to none. I trust he looks beyond to-day, when he gazes into those clear, bright eyes, where his teachings are mirrored like the branches and blossoms in the clear, still lake beneath. I trust he sees in those boys something beyond a trousers-tearing, bird's-nest-robbing crew, out of whose craniums must be thumped fun, and into whose craniums must be bored grammar. I trust he sees in those girls something besides machines for sewing on buttons, and frying "flap-jacks," and making cheese. I trust he does not expect to run all these children, like a pound of candles, into the same shaped and sized mould. I trust he knows a properly developed head when he sees it, and believes in individuality of character, whether male or female. I am glad to hear that he does not see only dollars and cents in the glorious vocation he has adopted.

Schoolmaster! Why, Emperor, King, President, are nothing to it. There is only one thing before it, and that is—"Mother." Let the world look to it who are its schoolmasters. Let schoolmasters look to it that they are God-appointed to their places. If a conscientious clergyman need ask God's blessing on his Sunday message before delivering it to his flock, so much the more need the schoolmaster take the shoes from off his feet; because the place where he treads is holy ground.

Meantime, I sat there in the empty school-house, and watched the birds flit in and out through the open window, while the breath of the clover and the smell of the new-mown hay came pleasantly enough to my city-disgusted nose. So now, dear children all, whoever you may be, I leave you my hearty and sincere benediction for the pleasant hour in your school-house, when you had "a vacation" and I had none.

Now let me tell you a little story about a Green Mountain Sculptor. The town of Brattleboro', wrapped in its mantle of snow, looked very lovely one crisp, cold winter night. There were no operas, no theatres, no racketing or frolicking of any sort going on. The snow and the stars had it all their own way. I said it was "quiet," and yet, from the windows of one pretty little white house, lights were gleaming; and now a young man, warmly muffled to the ears, crosses the threshold, and is joined by two or three young companions, who commence gathering the snow in heaps in front of the house, while he shapes it with his benumbed fingers into the form of a pedestal; occasionally stepping back and looking at it, or slapping his hands together to produce circulation. Now upon the pedestal he commences modeling a figure; while his companions continue patiently to supply him with fresh heaps of the pure white snow, one holding a lantern while he proceeds with his work. Noiselessly and industriously they toil, no policeman disturbing them with curious inquiries or a threatened "station house." Occasionally they glide into the house, where warm flannels, and warm beverages, and a good fire, and "mother's" encouraging smile, await them, to inspire the party with new energy. It is near daylight, and still our snow-sculptor toils on, hour after hour, till, fair and lovely, stands before him, on this night of the New Year, the form of a Recording Angel, writing upon a scroll. Now, the party, taking one long look, quietly retire, leaving the figure conspicuously standing at the meeting of two roads. The stars gradually fade out, and Brattleboro' begins to be astir. First comes the earliest riser of all, poor "crazy Jim," who never seems to weary of wandering to and fro on the earth, and up and down on it. Dim in his confused brain lie tangled memories of childhood's "angels." He stands and gazes, awe-struck and wondering, while his busy, chattering tongue is for the time quite still. Now a farmer from the mountains glides over the snow with his fleet horse and sleigh, with tinkling bells, and reins up, and shares crazy Jim's amazement. As the morning wears on, the news flies that there is "an angel" among them. Schoolgirls and boys forget that it is "past nine," and stand spell-bound by the side of their parents, whose wonder at the marvellous beauty of the figure is only equalled by their curiosity as to the fingers that so cunningly shaped it. Had Brattleboro', with its other natural marvels, furnished also a genius? Was Vermont, rich in so many other treasures, to "keep" a sculptor? Artists were not wont to swarm in Brattleboro' in mid-winter, how long soever might be the list of "arrivals" during the balmy days of summer. There was no name of distinction now on the hotel books. Who could it be? And what a pity such a beautiful thing should perish, and fade away with the first warm rays of the sun. Among the crowd who gathered to wonder and admire came an editor. This editor was intelligent, and what is more, sympathetic and appreciative. He wrote a glowing account of the "snow-angel." The paper containing it met the eye of rich old Nicholas Longworth, of Cincinnati. He immediately sent an order to the young sculptor, who was then modestly enjoying his first triumph from the windows of his father's little white house, to perpetuate it for him in marble, not forgetting to send with the order a generous check in advance. This was substantial praise. This looked like beginning the world right. For once, Fortune, too often churlish to genius, seemed about to take it at once into her ample lap.

But our sculptor did not presume on this. He finished his beautiful statue to the satisfaction of his patron, and with the proceeds went to Italy, where he could more easily command the requisites of the profession for which Nature had ordained him. One lovely creation after another has succeeded the snow-angel, and are now cherished household treasures in his native land and State. I am not a Vermonter, unless strong love for its grand mountains and intelligent people can make me one; still, though suffering under the disgrace of not having been born in that glorious old State, I feel just as proud of that young Green Mountain sculptor and his beautiful works, as if its lovely valleys had cradled me.

So, lest other States begin to wrangle by and by as to the honor of producing him, I wish to place it on record that Larkin G. Mead was born and reared in Vermont, and nowhere else.

While in Vermont, it seemed to me that every State in the Union should consider it a religious duty to gather, in some shape, form or place, every relic of the war with which the people of that State were in any way connected. The golden moment of action in this regard will pass, is passing, with each fleeting day. Life presses heavily on most of us. The shuttlecock of the present is so busy and swift, that its whirr may well distract us from aught else. But think! to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren what these relics would be. This coat, torn, blood-stained, bullet-riddled in so many battles. This shoe, patched with improvised needle and thread in the horrible prison pens of Andersonville and Libby. This—but time would fall me to tell of the relics and memorials which every farm-house in the country might yield, and which might so easily now become a nation's property and pride. I was particularly awake to this subject because I lately saw, up here in Brattleboro', a private by the name of Colt, with his right arm now quite useless, who has in his possession a fiddle manufactured by himself, while in camp, from a maple stump, with no other tools than a jackknife, and a piece of broken bottle, a gimlet and an old file, which he made into a chisel.

It was in Virginia, on the Potomac, below Washington, that his regiment was located. "Boys," said one of them, as they lounged in their tents at nightfall, when it will not do to think too long or too much of the dear faces they might never more see—"boys, if we had a fiddle here we might have some music." "I could play on it," says one, (what can't a Yankee do?) "So can I," said another. "Well," said our hero, "the only way for us to have a fiddle is to make one." No sooner said than begun, at least. A maple stump was found, and comrade after comrade, when off duty, watched its transformation to a fiddle with the intensest interest. Some laughed, some cheered; praise, blame or indifference were all alike to our indomitable private, who was bound to get music out of that maple stump.

Still the fiddle grew. Still the chips flew. A good piece of wood was desirable for what I shall designate as the lid;—the bottom and sides being finished. Our private looked about. There was an old box in camp, sent from prolific Vermont, with "goodies" for her valiant boys. He seized upon the best part of it, and shaped it to its purpose, polishing it smooth with the broken bit of glass. The pegs he made from the horns of secesh cattle slaughtered by the rebels, when they didn't dream our boys would rout them to take possession. The strings for the fiddle-bow he made of hairs from the tail of the General's horse. Just at this juncture in fiddle-progress, came a pause. Where are the fiddle strings to come from? Away there in camp; even a Yankee might well stop, and scratch his head. Up comes an officer, and gazes with dumb wonder on that improvised fiddle. When he found his tongue, he offered our private to send to Washington by the sutler for the desired strings. These were obtained, and straightway fastened in their places. And now behold a pretty, delicate little affair, in color resembling the satin wood-fans sent us from Fayal. But did it have music in it? Most assuredly. There is the beauty of it. The tone of our Yankee fiddle is irreproachable.

Now I ask, is that fiddle to become the property and pride of Vermont, and be handed down, as it should, to its future sons and daughters, with the name of its enterprising maker? As I sat in that low-roofed wooden house, listening to his simple story, and looking first at the fiddle, and then at his twisted and useless arm, and then at a little fat roly-poly of a dimpled baby on the carpet, I thought—well, I said, Fanny, thank God that you were born a Yankee; and now go home and tell the world the history of that fiddle. And I have done it. Now, millions of relics, most interesting, like this, lie scattered all over the land. Let each State garner its own. It is due to the brave fellows who, modest as brave, will never do it themselves. It is due to these "Privates" to whom no splendid residences in our cities are presented, ready furnished and victualled. Let them have the reward of remembrance and appreciation, at least from a grateful posterity.

After leafy, lovely Vermont, to come back to the dusty city! To lose October! the golden month of all the year in the country, that one may come to town, to see that a dusty house is put in shining order: that's what I call a trial. Of course, I anticipate your provoking rejoinder—"What if you had no house to put to rights?" And now, if you have done interrupting me, I will proceed to say, that to decide between poultry, beef, mutton or veal for dinner; to make the disgusting tour of closets and cupboards that have enjoyed a long summer vacation in company with mice; instead of strolling "down to the river" and watching the little boats glide on its polished surface, or gaze at the mist lazily rolling off the mountain; while sweet odors of flowers, and the fresh smell of grass, make breathing itself a luxury, for which you can find no words of thanks—this change, I say boldly, is not to my taste. Not to mention, of a hot morning, when you innocently thought hot mornings were quite gone till next season, sitting in Intelligence Offices trying to decipher the countenances of various applicants for the care of your kitchen-range, or dining-room, or bed-chamber, when your tantalizing thoughts were far away on delicious roads, shaded so thickly with trees that in the hottest noon scarce a sun-ray penetrated, while the cool water dripped from mossy rocks, or rushed foaming over them, with a glad free joy that set you wild with longing. To fight rabid city mosquitoes all night, after a blessed freedom from the wretches all summer; to listen to the shrieks of infuriated cats, in the intervals, instead of the whisper of the soft leaves almost within your bed-room window; to hear the ceaseless click, click, of the tireless street cars, instead of the solitary musical "peep, peep" of some little bird; to be woke in the morning, when exhausted nature craves so madly that one little restoring-nap before breakfast, by the whooping of infuriated milk-men, and the thumping and ringing of bakers; in short, after kicking your heels like a colt in a pasture all summer, to be suddenly noosed, caught and harnessed to a relentless dray-cart which keeps on going up hill, regardless of your disgusted puffing and panting and attempts at halting; well—I trust now you understand what my emotions are on returning to this Pandemonium of a city, after a breezy, care-free, delicious summer sojourn in the mountains.

What do I care for the "new style of bonnets," when I have found it so much pleasanter to stroll out without any covering for the head? What to me are "top-boots" with red and blue tassels and lacings, when any old shoe served my turn if a lovely country tramp was in prospect? What to me are new dresses? involving weary hunts for buttons, and "bones," and hooks, and eyes, and cord, and tassels, and lace, and bugles, and gimp, and facings, and linings, and last, but not least, a "lasso" to catch a dress-maker?

That's what I said to myself as I sat down on my dusty travelling trunk, with my hair full of cinders, and both fingers stuffed in my ears to keep out the questions that were pouring into them about what was to be done with this and that and t'other thing; and if I wanted the windows cleaned first or last; this paint or that paint scrubbed. Good heavens! said I, what is woman that she should be thus tormented?

That was the first onslaught, you see, and I am not naturally a patient animal. But now that the wheels are greased and the household machinery "whistles itself," it is a comfort to sit down again in my own favorite little chair, which must really have been made for my particular shoulders and back. It is a comfort to have a nail and a closet and a shelf for everything, and see my worldly effects neatly placed away from dust, each in its own niche, where I can find them on the darkest night without the aid of a light. It is a comfort to have many rooms, instead of two. It is pleasant, after all, to feel that you yourself have brought all this order out of chaos, although man—ungrateful creature—gobbles up the results without any such reflection.

After all, I'm going to be proud of myself, since nobody else will praise me; I'm proud of myself, I say, as I take a cake of glycerine soap to remove the working traces from my hands and put my fingers in writing order. And then, after all, this had to be done; and one's life can't be all play, and I must be woman enough to take my share of the disagreeables, instead of shirking them like a great coward; for all that, I like a tree better than a broomstick; a fine sunset better than a gridiron; also I prefer a flower-garden to a sewing-machine, if the truth must out.

But back again in town, how shall we adapt ourselves to its unnatural ways? Every thing in the country, animate and inanimate, seems to whisper, be serene, be kind, be happy. We grow tolerant there unconsciously. We feel that in the city we are not only hard, but that we by no means get the most out of life. We wonder if, after all, the opera is better than the gushing melody which is ours for the listening, whenever we will. We wonder if the silken sheen of the Queen of Sheba fabrics, which our splendid store-windows display, quite comes up to the autumnal splendor of the woods and mountains. Our bones ache with the necessity of spick-and-span-ness trammelling every movement indoors and out. And if, as Goethe asserts, "the unconscious are alone complete," what chance do city people stand of ever being rounded out, mentally and morally, where everybody is on the qui vive lest his neighbor outshine him? Where the must haves multiply faster than rabbits, and grow so clamorous that we forget there is a possibility of silencing their tyrant voices? It is so long, too, since we have seen a drunkard, or a beggar, or a wretched woman who dare not think of her sinless infancy, that these things come to us with such an appalling newness, that we are shocked and pained that we could ever have become accustomed to their presence, or shall ever grow so again, by daily contact.

We almost dread ourselves. Our life seems puerile, and ignoble, and cruel. It seems dreadful to take all this wretchedness, and waste of life, as a matter of course, and that with which we have nothing to do. We can't get used to the worn faces, the hurried footsteps, the jostling indifference, the dust, and grime, and shabbiness through which we plunge at every turn. Visions of moss-dripping rocks, huge and grand; sweet, grassy roads, full of birds, and darting squirrels; plentiful orchards and barns; stout, round, rosy children, tumbling therein. Cows, with their rich burdens, going slowly homeward. The farmer, brown and happy, sitting with his happy wife, in the low doorway, at eventide, with peace written upon their faces. Oh, we had much rather think of these, and close our eyes on all this maelstrom-misery, and tinselled grandeur. We feel stifled. We throw up the window, and wonder what can ail us? for unrest, unquiet, and strife seem to be in the very atmosphere that we breathe.

We want to get out of it, since the times are out of joint, and we can't help everything, at least. We feel a cowardly desire to fly, and simply enjoy ourselves; somewhere, anywhere, but in this Babel of odds and ends; where everything is always beginning, and never is finished; where mouths keep opening, faster than loaves of bread can be baked; where churches are built so grand, that poor people can't say a prayer in them; where rulers are elected by whiskey, instead of wisdom; where, on the other side of the thin wall which frames your home, the awful tragedies of life and death go on, without a thought or care from you; where bitter tears fall, which you might, but don't assuage, because your neighbor, having enough of this world's goods, is supposed to need nothing else.

Oh, I dare say I shall ossify in time; but at present these thoughts keep me quite miserable after the serene, heavenly peace, and plenty, and content of the country.



O live in Boston is to feel necessitated to wear your "Sunday clothes" all through the week. To live in New York is to wear a loose wrapper every day in the seven if you choose, without danger of being sent to Coventry for so doing; not because Gotham admires your wrapper, but because it has not time or inclination to overhaul so minute a circumstance. In New York, you may wash your one pair of stockings every night; or you may have seven changes of the same for all New York will care about it. In Boston the pedigree of your stockings, shawls, and bonnets is, by no contrivance of ingenuity, hidden. In New York, good Christians can take a walk on Sunday, if it does not lead straight to the church door. In Boston, one perils his salvation, and business standing, by taking a breath of air that has not first blown round a pulpit. In Boston, a rich man or woman must, in public places, keep within the talismanic circle marked out for them, nor cross the line of demarkation at peril of non-recognition. In New York a rich man or woman, by virtue of such position, feels at liberty to take any loafer-ish jump over the customary fence that inclination shall dictate. In Boston, the literary knee is not literary, if it has not knelt before certain shrines. In New York, if it is a genuine knee, it may kneel or not kneel, so far as perilling its safe foundation is concerned. In Boston, one who carries a parcel is supposed not to be able to hire it sent. In New York one may carry a double armful, without being suspected of living at the Five Points. In Boston, people settle your claims to notice by inquiring if you know Mr. This or visit Mrs. That. New York is more interested to know, whether you are eligible by virtue of good manners, and general jolliness, without reference to your tailor, hatter, or dressmaker. In New York, if you choose only to board two servants instead of five, and decline wasting your life in superintending their neglect of upholstery, silver, and china, your intelligence, and irreproachable grammar, are considered an equivalent. In Boston, under such circumstances, the golden gate turns not on its hinges to let you into the crystal city.

In other words, well as I love old Boston—and I do love it—I must own that it is a snob of the first water. It makes a vast difference what my opinion is, of course; but for all that, when Boston stays all its life in Boston, it becomes fossilized, mummy-ized, swathed round and round, from neck to heel, so that growth and expansion are morally impossible.

Still, let Boston always be born in Boston; but after it grows vigorous, if it would stay vigorous, and not get the cramp of self-conceit till it can't turn its "Boston neck," no matter how loudly the wheel of progress is dashing past, let it migrate betimes to New York; where it will get wholesomely thumped and bumped, and its conservative corns pounced upon by the rushing crowd; who will knock its respectable shiny hat over its eyes fifty times a day, all the same as though it was not one of the "highly respectable citizens," the state of whose kitchen-chimney is gravely reported to a gaping universe, in their daily papers.

I don't know what would become of New York had it not its Paradise in the Central Park. I never go there without blessing its originator, and wishing it might be baptized with a more suggestive and prettier name. But never mind names. In its lovely October dress, with its sparkling lake, and drooping willows, its white swans, its lovely velvet greensward; the myriads of sweet children alighting here and there, in their bits of gay dresses, like little humming birds or orioles, with happy mothers and fathers who have left their cares and frets in the city, and come there to be young again for too brief an hour, with the little ones; all this is a picture to feast the eye and gladden the heart. In one respect Central Park might borrow a hint from Boston Common. There the little children are allowed to run upon the grass at all times; not on certain days of the month or week as in Central Park. Said a bright little child of six the other day, when asked if it would like to go to Central Park: "No! (emphatically) no! I don't want to waste my time going where they won't let me step on the grass."

I sometimes wish that the policeman on duty there—so Argus-eyed to arrest the tiny shoe, when temptation is too strong for childhood which has always been cooped within city limits—would bestow some of their notice upon the men-loafers who stretch themselves at full length upon benches, occupying them to the exclusion of the children; puffing vile tobacco, and making a spittoon of the path through which ladies pass. It strikes me there might be an improvement on the strain-at-a-gnat and swallow-a-camel system now in vogue there.

To return to Boston, which I always like to do occasionally: that city needs not our Central Park drives, with its lovely and easily accessible environs.

Here in New York one does not get to the environs until it is time to come home; what with clogged streets and ferry-boats, and Babel-hindrances too numerous to mention, such as scratched sides of the pet carriage, and often-recurring "locked wheels," the fright of prostrate horses, and the music of profanity, from the lips of hurried and irate drivers of teams, and drays, in every direction. All this is death to the repose one seeks in "a drive." Therefore we New Yorkers love our quiet accessible Central Park. May its boundaries be limitless as our tax bills! I couldn't say more. But my first love—that dear old gem of a Boston Common! How happy were the Saturday and Wednesday afternoons, when, under the blessed old school system, before children were forced with grammar and geography, like hot-house plants,—and we had short forenoon and afternoon sessions, with the exception of the above-mentioned holidays; how happy were the afternoons I spent there, picking buttercups, and blowing off thistledown, "to see if mothers wanted us at home;" which by the way, was sure to be answered in the negative. And as to the Frog-Pond—what was the Atlantic Ocean to that? On the Atlantic Ocean, they had dreadful ship-wrecks; on the Boston Frog-Pond, we sent out our tiny ventures, sure to find safe arrivals when we ran round the other side of the Pond. And the big Tree—hooped all round like a modern belle—with what big eyes of wonder we looked up into its branches, as our elders told us wonderful stories of what it had seen in its long, eventful life. And now there are many big trees where little ones used to stand. Bless me! it shows how old I must be; just as it does to go back there and meet in the street some radiant fresh young girl, "the very image of her mother," with whom I used to play buttercups, on Saturday afternoons. There are the same bright eyes, and lovely hair, and smiling lips—bless me, how old I really must be! and why don't I walk with a stick?

And then I laugh as I look up at Boston State-House and its awe-inspiring dome of our childhood; and recall the "members of the Legislature," crawling up and down stairs and galleries like great black ants; and think of the terrific "Inquisition"-doings which we used to be sure must be going on, inside those wonderful halls, and to which Blue-Beard's locked apartment was nothing. Oh, it is all very funny now, when I go there; and though I sit on a seat in the Common, and try to conjure all the myriad hours, and days, and years, between then and now, and try to feel like the second Methusaleh I am, I declare to you I never can do it,—but, instead, catch myself trotting off home under the trees, as briskly as a squirrel. I suppose, some day, I shall be dead though, for all that.



HE Battery was my first New York love. I shall never forget how completely it took possession of me, or how magnetically it drew me under the shade of its fine trees, to breathe the fresh sea-breeze, and watch the graceful ships come and go, or lie calmly at anchor, with every line so clearly defined against the bright sky. It was not "the fashion," even then, to go there; so much the better. It is still less the fashion now; but there I found myself, one bright Sunday not long since, as I left the leafy loveliness of Trinity church, with its sweet choral music still sounding in my ears.

Alas! for my dear old Battery. The sea is still there, to be sure—no "corporation" can meddle with that; and still the picturesque ships come and go; but the blades of grass grow fewer and thinner, and the dirty, dusty paths call aloud for a "vigilance committee." What a sin and shame! I exclaimed, that this loveliest spot in New York should present so forlorn an appearance. Is there not room enough in the purses and affections of New Yorkers for the Central Park and the Battery too? In good truth, when I reflect upon it, I am jealous of this new aspirant for the public favor. What is a horse to a ship? sacrilege though it be to say so. What is the gaudy, over-dressed equestrian "swell" of fine ladies and fine "Afghans" to the majestic swell of the sea? What are the stylish equipages and liveries, to the picturesque crowd of newly-arrived emigrants, with their funny little, odd-looking babies, their square, sturdy forms and bronze faces, chattering happy greetings in an unknown tongue, and gazing about them bewildered, at the strange sights and sounds of a great new city; or sauntering up to Trinity church, and in happy ignorance of novel steeples and creeds, dropping on their catholic knees in its aisles, in thankful, devout recognition of their safe arrival in a new country. What is the pretty toy-lake, and the hearse-like "gondola," and "the swans," and the posies, and the "bronze-eagle," and the blue-coated policemen, who stand ready to handle rogues with gloves, and white ones at that, to my dear old Battery, battered as it is.

I call capricious, fickle New York to order, for thus forsaking the old love for the new. I demand an instant settlement of any protracted dispute there may be on hand, as to "whose business it is" to renovate the Battery, before it quite runs to seed, like the City Hall Park. Not that I won't keep on going to the Battery, though they should build a small-pox hospital on it; for it is not my way to forsake an old friend because he is shabby; but I should like to be a female General Butler, for one month, and put this business through in his chain-lightning executive fashion.

It is a great plague to be a woman. I think I've said that before, but it will bear repeating. Now the wharves are a great passion of mine; I like to sit on a pile of boards there, with my boots dangling over the water, and listen to the far-off "heave-ho" of the sailors in their bright specks of red shirts, and see the vessels unload, with their foreign fruits, and dream away a delicious hour, imagining the places they came from; and I like to climb up the sides of ships, and poke round generally, just where Mrs. Grundy would lay her irritating hand on my arm and exclaim—"What will people think of you?"

I am getting sick of people. I am falling in love with things. They hold their tongues and don't bother.

I like also to stroll forth in New York, just at dusk, and see the crowds hurrying homeward. The merchant, glad to turn his back at last on both profit and loss. The laboring man with his tools and his empty dinner pail. The weary working-girl, upon whose pallid face the fresh wind comes, like the soft caressing touch of her mother's fingers. The matron, with her little boy by the hand, talking lovingly, as he skips by her side. The young man, full of hope for the future, looking, with his eagle eye, and fresh-tinted cheek, as if he could defy fate. The young girl, rejoicing in her prettiness, for the power it gives her to win love and friends. The little beggar children, counting their pennies on some doorstep, to see how much supper they will buy. The small boot-blacks, who stoop less, after all, than many men whose feet they polish, singing as merrily as if they were sure of a fortune on the morrow. The bright glancing lights in the shop windows, touching up bits of scarlet, and yellow, and blue, and making common beads and buttons gleam like treasures untold. The lumbering omnibuses, crawling up and down, heavy with their human freight. The rapid whirl of gay carriages, with their owners. The little bits of conversation one catches in passing, showing the depth or shallowness of the speakers. The tones of their voices, musical or otherwise. The step, awkward or graceful, and the sway of the figure. The fading tints of the sky, and the coming out of the stars, that find it hard to get noticed among so many garish lights. The interior glimpses of homes, before caution draws the curtains. Now—some picture on the wall. Now—a maiden sitting at the piano. Now—a child, with its cunning little face pressed close against the window. Now—a loving couple, too absorbed in the old—old—but ever new romance, to think that their clasped hands may be noted by the passer by. Now—a woman for whom your heart aches; walking slowly; glancing boldly; going anywhere, poor thing! but—home. Now—oh! the contrast—a husband and wife, with locked arms, talking cheerily of their little home matters. Now—a policeman with folded arms, standing on the corner, past being astonished at anything. Now a florist's tempting window, whence comes a delicious odor of tube-roses, and heliotrope, and geranium. There is a huge, fragrant pyramid for some gay feast. There is a snowy wreath and cross, white as the still, dead, face, above which they are soon to be laid. There is a snowy coronal for a bride. There is a gay, bright-tinted bouquet for an actress. Lingering, you look, and muse, and spell out life's alphabet, by help of these sweet flowers; and now you are jostled away by a policeman, dragging a wretched, drunken woman to the station-house.

People talk of Niagara, and tell how impressive is its roar. What is the roar of a dumb thing like that to the roar of a mighty city? There, souls go down, and alas! the shuttle of life flies so swiftly that few stop to heed.

There are persons who can regard oppression and injustice without any acceleration of the pulse. There are others who never witness it, how frequent soever, without a desperate struggle against non-interference, though prudence and policy may both whisper "it's none of your business." I believe, as a general thing, that the shopkeepers of New York who employ girls and women to tend in their stores, treat them courteously; but now and then I have been witness to such brutal language to them, in the presence of customers, for that which seemed to me no offence, or at least a very trifling one, that I have longed for a man's strong right arm, summarily to settle matters with the oppressor. And when one has been the innocent cause of it, merely by entering the store to make a purchase, the obligation to see the victim safe through, seems almost imperative. The bad policy of such an exhibition of unmanliness on the part of a shopkeeper would be, one would think, sufficient to stifle the "damn you" to the blushing, tearful girl, who is powerless to escape, or to clear herself from the charge of misbehavior. When ladies "go shopping," in New York, they generally expect to enjoy themselves; though Heaven knows, they must be hard up for resources to fancy this mode of spending their time, when it can be avoided. But, be that as it may, the most vapid can scarcely fancy this sort of scene.

The most disgusting part of such an exhibition is, when the gentlemanly employer, having got through "damning" his embarrassed victim, turns, with a sweet smile and dulcet voice, to yourself, and inquires, "what else he can have the pleasure of showing you?" You are tempted to reply, "Sir, I would like you to show me that you can respect womanhood, although it may not be hedged about with fine raiment, or be able to buy civil words with a full purse." But you bite your tongue to keep it quiet, and you linger till this Nero has strolled off, and then you say to the girl, "I am so sorry to have been the innocent cause of this!" and you ask, "Does he often speak this way to you?" and she says, quietly, as she rolls up the ribbons or replaces the boxes on the shelves, "Never in any other!" It is useless to ask her why she stays, because you know something about women's wages and women's work in the crowded city; and you know that, till she is sure of another place, it is folly for her to think of leaving this. And you think many other things as you say Good-morning to her as kindly as you know how; and you turn over this whole "woman-question" as you run the risk of being knocked down and run over in the crowded thoroughfare through which you pass; and the jostle, and hurry, and rush about you, seem to make it more hopeless as each eager face passes you, intent on its own plans, busy with its own hopes and fears—staggering perhaps under a load either of the soul or body, or both, as heavy as the poor shop-girl's, and you gasp as if the air about had suddenly become too thick to breathe. And then you reach your own door-step, and like a guilty creature, face your dressmaker, having forgotten to "match that trimming;" and you wonder if you were to sit down and write about this evil, if it would deter even one employer from such brutality to the shop-girls in his employ; not because of the brutality, perhaps, but because by such a short-sighted policy, he might often drive away from his store, ladies who would otherwise be profitable and steady customers.

There is an animal peculiar to New-York, who infests every nook and corner of it, to everybody's disgust but his own. He is a boy in years, but a man in vicious knowledge. Every woman who is unfortunate enough to be in his presence is simply a she—nothing more. He may be seen making a charmed circle of expectoration, about the seat he occupies in a ferry-boat, ferry-house, or car, while she stands half fainting with exhaustion, in hearing distance of his coarse, prurient remarks to some other little beast like himself. Pea-nuts are the staple food of this creature, the shells of which he snaps dexterously at those about him, when other means of amusement give out. When a public conveyance has reached its point of destination, this animal is the first to make an insane rush for egress, treading down young children, and tearing ladies' clothing in his triumphal march. Sometimes he stops on the way to "bung out the eye" of an offending youngster, in so tight a place for a combat that somebody's corpse seems inevitable. Terrified ladies, who would fain give him elbow room if they had it, faintly ejaculate "Oh!" as they squeeze themselves into the smallest breathable space; nor does he desist, till his adversary is punished for the crime of existing, without this brute's permission; he then emerges into the open street, settling his greasy jacket and indescribable hat, muttering oaths, and squaring off occasionally, as he looks behind him, as though he wished somebody else was "spiling for a licking."

Often this animal may be found in the city parks; where the city corporation generously furnishes about one seat to every hundred children, and selecting the shadiest and most eligible, stretches himself on it upon his stomach, while tired little children and their female attendants, wander round in vain for a resting-place. Sometimes sitting upon it, he will stretch out his leg so as to trip some unwary, happy little child in passing; or perhaps he will suddenly give a deafening shout in its ear, for the pleasure of hearing it cry; or from a pocket well stuffed with pebbles will skillfully pelt its clean clothes from a safe distance; and sometimes this animal, who smokes at ten years like a man of forty, will address a passing lady with such questions as these:

"Oh, aint you bully? Oh, give her room enough to walk!—oh, yes!" Or, "Who's your beau, Sally?" which last cognomen seems with them to constitute a safe guess.

When not otherwise occupied, this young gentleman writes offensive words on door-steps and fences with bits of chalk, which he keeps on hand for this purpose. Or, if a servant has just nicely cleaned a window, he chews gum into little balls wherewith to plaster it; or he kicks over an ash-barrel in passing upon a nicely swept side-walk; or he rings the door-bell violently, and makes a flying exit, having ascertained previously the policeman's "beat" on that district; or he climbs the box round a favorite tree, which has just begun by its grateful shade to refresh your eye and reward your care, and, stripping off the most promising bough for a switch, goes up street picking off the leaves and scattering them as he goes; or he will stand at the bottom of a high flight of steps, upon the top step of which is a lady waiting for admittance, and scream, "Oh, my—aint you got bully boots on?" He also is expert at stealing newspapers from door-steps, and vociferating bogus extras about shocking murders and fires, and "lass of life;" and flowers out in full glory in a red shirt, in a pit of a Bowery theatre of an evening.

Sometimes he diverts himself throwing stones at the windows of passing cars, and splintering the glass into the eyes of frightened ladies and children, and suddenly disappearing as if the earth had opened and swallowed him, as you wish some day it would.

What this boy will be as a man, it is not difficult to tell. He counts one at the ballot-box, remember that, when you deny cultivated, intelligent, loyal women a vote there.

If there is one sight more offensive to me in New York than another, it is that of a servant in livery. Daily my republican soul is vexed by the different varieties of this public nuisance. Sometimes he appears to me in the sacerdotal garb—a long, petticoat-y suit of solemn black, with stainless stiff white cravat. Then again he crosses my path, bedizzened in blue, with yellow facings, and top-boots. Then again he flames out like a poll-parrot, in green coat, and scarlet waistcoat. Again, his white gloves, and broad hat-band, are the only public advertisements of his servitude. Generally upon the hat of this animal is mounted the "cockade," which his parvenu master imagines is just the thing, but which in reality is in "the old country" only worn by servants of military men. Yesterday I saw a vehicle, in which was seated a gentleman, driving a fine pair of horses, and behind him, on a small seat, was his man-servant with his arms folded like a trussed turkey, and his back turned to his master. This last fact seemed to me a very funny one; but, I dare say, it is satisfactorily accounted for in some book of heraldry, unfortunately not in my library. Now, it is not for a moment to be supposed, that when but so lately the nation was struggling for its "God-given rights," that the men of America are interested in these finikin-equine-millineries. Of course not. They are to be pitied; they are undoubtedly the too compliant victims of weak wives and silly daughters. For themselves, I have no doubt they are sick at their manly hearts at these servile and badly-executed imitations of old-country flunkeyism, and blush, with an honest shame, at being obliged to parade this disgusting and ill-timed exhibition, in the same streets where our maimed soldiers are limping home, with our torn and blackened flag, which tells so well its mute, eloquent story.

Let me speak of a pleasanter topic: my visit to the newsboys. One Sunday evening I went to "The Newsboys' Lodging House, 128 Fulton Street, New York." Few people who stop these little fellows in the street to purchase a paper, ever glance at their faces, much less give a thought to their belongings, associations or condition. Oh! had you only been down there with me that evening, and looked into those hundred and fifty intelligent, eager faces, numbered their respective ages, inquired into their friendless past, given a thought to the million temptations with which their present is surrounded, spite of all the well directed efforts of Christian philanthropy, and looked forward into their possible future, your eyes would have filled, and your heart beat quicker, as you have said to yourself, Oh, yes; something must be done to save these children.

Children! for many of them are no more. Children! already battling with life, though scarce past the nursery age. Imagine your own dear boy, with the bright eyes and the broad, white forehead, whom you tuck so comfortably in his little soft bed at night, with a prayer and a kiss; whom you look at the last thing on retiring; for whom you gladly toil; whom you hedge around with virtuous, wholesome influences from the cradle; who does not yet know even the meaning of the word "evil;" who jumps into your arms as soon as he wakes in the morning, with the sweet certainty of a warm love-clasp; who has the nicest bit, at breakfast, laid on his little plate; whose little stories and questions always find eager and sympathizing ears; imagine this little fellow of seven or eight, or ten years, getting out of his bed at one or two o'clock in the morning, going out into the dark, chill, lonesome street, half-clad, hungry, alone to some newspaper office, to wait for the damp morning papers, as they are worked from the press, and seizing his bundle, hurrying, barefoot and shivering, to some newspaper stand or depot, at the farther part of the city. Imagine your little Charley doing that! Then, if that were all! If this drain on the physical immaturity of childhood were the worst of it. The devil laughs as he knows it is not. Big boys—men, even—cheat; why not he? If he can pass off bad change—surely, who has more need to make a sixpence, though it be not an honest one? What care customers if he grow up a good or a bad man, so that the newspaper comes in time to season their warm breakfast? Who will ever care for him living, or mourn for him dead? What does it matter, anyhow?

That's the way this poor friendless child reasons. I understood it all last night. All too that this noble philanthropy called "The Newsboys' Lodging House" meant. And as I looked round on those boys, I felt afraid when they were addressed, that the right thing might not be said to so peculiar an audience. For children though they were, they had seen life as men see it. Untutored, uneducated, in one sense, in others they knew as much as any adult who should address them. Sharpened by actual hard-fisted grappling with the world, let him be careful who should speak to these grown-up children of seven, and ten, and fourteen years. Thinking thus, I said, as their friend, Mr. C. L. Brace, rose to speak—pray God, he may take all this into consideration. Pray God, he may give them neither creeds nor theology; but, instead, the wide open arms of the good, pitiful, loving Saviour, whose home on earth was with the lowly and the friendless. And he did! It was a human address. The God he told them of was not out of their reach. It was every word pure gold. Bless him for it! He had them all by the hand, and the heart too. I saw that. Promptly, frankly, and with the confidence of children in the family, they answered his questions as to their views on the chapter in the Bible he read them. And if you smiled at some of their queer notions, the tear was in your eye the next minute at the blessed thought that they had friends who cared whether the immortal part of them slumbered or woke; who recognized and fanned into a flame even the smallest particle of mentality. Now and then among the crowd a head or face would attract your eye, and you would be lost in wonder to see it there! The head and face of what I call "a mother's boy." God knows if its owner had one, or, if it had, if she cared for him! And as they sang together of "The Friend that never grew weary," my heart responded, aye—aye—why should I forget that?

I hope you will go—and you and you—on some Sabbath evening, if you come to New York. They love to feel that people take an interest in them. It brightens and cheers their lives. It gives them self-respect and motive for trying to do right; and don't forget to ask the Superintendent, Mr. O Conner, to show you the nice little beds where they sleep. Do go; and if you can say a few words to them, or tell them a bright short story, so much the better. They will know you next time they sell you a newspaper; don't forget to shake hands with them then. And take your little pet boy Charley down there. Show him the little fellows who go into business in New York at seven and ten years old, and have no father or mother at night to kiss them to sleep. It will be a lesson better than any he will ever learn at school. He will find out that all boys are not born to plum-cake and sugar candy, and some of the best and smartest boys too. He will open his eyes when you tell him that without plum-cake, or candy, or a grandpa, or an aunt, or father or mother to care for them, some of the newsboys who came from that very house, to-day own farms in the West, that they earned selling newspapers, and have since come back for other newsboys to go out there and help them work on it. Tell Charley that. I think he will be ashamed to cry again because there was "not sugar enough in his milk."

People who visit a great city, and explore it with a curious eye, generally overlook the most remarkable things in it. They "do it up" in Guide-Book fashion, going the stereotyped rounds of custom-ridden predecessors. If my chain were a little longer, I would write you a book of travels that would at least have the merit of ignoring the usual finger-posts that challenge travellers. I promise you I would cross conservative lots, and climb over conservative fences, and leave the rags and tatters of custom fluttering on them, behind me, as I strode on to some unfrequented hunting-ground.

That's the way I'd do. Never a "lord" or "lady," or a "palace," or a "picture gallery," should figure in my note-book. "Old masters" and young masters would be all the same to me. When my book was finished, if nobody else wanted to read it, I'd sit down and read it myself. Of course you know such a method pre-supposes a little capital to start with, at the present price of paper; but really, I put it to you, wouldn't that be the only honest and racy way to write a book?

Don't be alarmed—there's no chance of my doing it. I dream of it, though, sometimes—this deliciousness of "speaking right out in meetin'" without fear of the bugbear of excommunication. And speaking of "meetin,'" that's what I have been coming at. The "Fulton-street daily prayer-meeting." It is one of the most wonderful sights in New York. In the busiest hour of the day, in its busiest business street, noisy with machinery of all kinds, even the earth under your feet sending out puffs of steam at every other step, to remind you of its underground labor, is a little plain room, with a reading-desk and a few benches, with hymn-books scattered about. Take a seat, and watch the worshippers as they collect. Men, with only a sprinkling of bonnets here and there. Business men, evidently; some with good coats, some with bad; porters, hand-cartmen, policemen, ministers; the young man of eighteen or twenty, the portly man of forty, and the bent form, whitening head, and faltering step of age. For one hour they want to ignore, and get out of, that maelstrom-whirl, into a spiritual atmosphere. They feel that they have souls as well as bodies to care for, and they don't want to forget it. How lonely soever yonder man, in that great rough coat, may be, in this great, strange city, to which he has just come, here is sympathy, here is companionship, here are, in the best sense, "brethren." Never mind creeds; that is not what they assemble to discuss. But has that man a burden, a grief or a sorrow, which is intensified tenfold by want of sympathy? Nobody knows his name; nobody is curious to know. He has sent a little slip of paper up to the desk, and he wants them all to pity and pray for him. It may be the man on this seat, or that yonder—nobody knows. Yes—"pray" for him. Perhaps you are smiling. You "don't believe in prayer." Oh, wait till some strand of earthly hope is parting, before you are quite sure of that. Was there ever an hour of peril or human agony through which he or she who "did not believe in prayer," was passing, that the lips did not involuntarily frame the short prayer, "Oh, God?"

Well, they "pray" for him. He feels stronger and better as he listens. He has found friends, even here in this great whirling city, who are sorry for him; of whose circle he can make one, whenever he chooses; and to whom he can more fully introduce himself, if he cares to be better known.

I say it is a good and a noble thing. It warmed and gladdened my heart to see it. And all the more, that at every step, on leaving, I saw the "traps" of the Evil One, sprung for that man's return footsteps.

One of the pleasantest features of this "one-hour meeting" to me was the hymns. I don't know or care whether they were "sung in tune." It wasn't hired singing, thank God! It came straight from orthodox lungs, with a will and a spirit. Those old "come-to-Jesus" hymns! I tell you I long for them sometimes with a homesick longing, like that of the exiled Swiss for his favorite mountain song. You may pick up the hymn-books containing them, and with your critical forefinger point to "hell" and "an angry God," and all that. It makes no difference to me. Don't I take pleasure in looking at your face, though your nose isn't quite straight, and your eyes are not perfect, and your shoulders are not shaped to my mind. I don't mind that, so that there's a heart-tone in your voice, a love-look in your eye, when I'm heart-sore—don't you see?

Oh! I liked that meeting. I'm going again. It was so homely, and hearty, and Christian. One man said, "them souls." Do you think I flounced out of the meeting for that? I liked it. One poor foreigner couldn't pronounce straight, for the life of him. So much the better. His stammering tongue will be all right some day. I haven't the least idea who all those people were, singing and praying there; but I never can tell you how I liked it. That "Come to Jesus" was sung with a heart-ring that I haven't stopped hearing, yet, though I have slept on it once or twice. You may say "priestcraft!" "early education!" and all that. There are husks with the wheat, I know; but for all that—I tell you there is wheat!

With submission, to the authorities it seems to me that the Sunday Schools of to-day are somewhat perverted from the original intention of their founders. As I understand it, their object was to collect the children of poor, ignorant parents for Biblical instruction. I look out of my window, every Sunday morning, upon the spectacle of gaily attired little ladies and gentlemen, leaving their brown-stone fronts of handsome dwellings, and tripping lightly in dainty boots to the vestries of well-to-do churches. As I watch them, I wonder why their parents, educated, intelligent people, or at least with plenty of leisure, should shift upon the shoulders of Sunday-school teachers so responsible a duty? I say "duty," and it is a cold, hard word to use, in connection with a dear little child whose early lessons on religious subjects should be carefully and cautiously and judiciously unfolded. I cannot understand, and I say this without meaning any disrespect to the great army of well-meaning, good-hearted Sunday-school teachers all over the land, how these parents can reserve to themselves on Sunday morning only the dear pleasure of decking their little persons in gay Sunday attire, and never ask—never inquire—never think—what may be the answer given by a Sunday-school teacher, to the far reaching childish question, which may involve a lifetime of bewilderment, perplexity, and spiritual unrest, to the little creature, each shining fold of whose garment has been smoothed and patted into place by these "doting" parents; it may be treasonable to say so, but it seems to me an unnatural proceeding. Then again I think these children should not occupy the time and attention of teachers, while the poor, who are always with us, are totally uninstructed, far beyond all the humane attempts that have been made, and are daily making, to accomplish this purpose. Surely no teacher whose heart is in his or her work, would let the want of fine clothes stand in the way of such effort. Now when I see the children in a locality like the Five Points, or in the various mission schools established for the benefit of children, I say—Now that is "a Sunday-school" after the plan of the founders. These children, who have nothing inviting at their miserable homes on Sunday; whose weary parents have no heart or strength or knowledge for these things; gathered in here by kind men and women; to whom this weekly reunion is perhaps the only bright spot in their whole little horizon; who sing their little songs with real heart and feeling; who believe in their teachers, because they know they have come down to inodorous, disagreeable localities, and love them because their lives are not cast in pleasant places; these teachers who, if the children have had no dinner or breakfast, give them dinner or breakfast—why—that I call a practical Sunday School! It is a blessed thing; and no one can listen to the hearty singing of these little uncared-for waifs of the street, without a choking feeling in the throat, that, if voiced, would be, God bless these teachers? If they were taught nothing but those simple little songs, it were worth all the time, and money, and self-sacrifice involved in the teaching.

Those words ring in their ears during the week. They sing them on the door-steps of the miserable dwellings they call home; there is a "heaven" somewhere, they feel, where misery, and dirt, and degradation are unknown. The passer-by listens—some discouraged man, perhaps, whom the world has roughly used—some wretched woman who weeps, as she listens; and this little bit of Gospel, so unobtrusive, so accidental, so sweetly voiced, is like the seed the wind wafts to some far-off rock—when you look again, there is the full-blown flower; no one knew how it took root or whence it came, but, thank God, winds and storms have no power to dislodge it. My heart warms to such Sunday-schools; and, without any wish to disparage others, I cannot but think that, if the parents who are in condition to instruct their own children, would not delegate this duty, the hundreds of teachers by this means freed, might gather in the stray lambs, whose souls and bodies no man cares for.

The stranger in New York will not find that its population affect Evening Lectures as much as in smaller cities, and in rural districts, owing to the surfeit of all kinds of amusements there; but it is very curious to study an expectant audience in New York. Some sit resignedly upon their seats, comfortable or the reverse, as the case may be; thinking of nothing, or thinking of something, just as it happens, in a sort of amiable-chew-the-cud-stupor, oblivious of the slow-dragging moments. Others pull out watches for frequent consultation, shuffle feet, and take an affectionate and mournful and fond look at a furtive cigar, which can be of no possible present use. Others, with an enviable forethought, draw from the depths of coat-pockets the daily papers, and studiously apply themselves to the contents, to the manifest envy of that improvident class who are obliged to fall back upon the unsatisfactory employment of twiddling their fidgety thumbs. As for the ladies, bless 'em! they are never at a loss. Are there not gloves to pull off, to show a diamond ring to advantage, and glistening bracelets to settle, and the last finishing polish to put upon hair, already groomed to the satin smoothness of a respectable hair-sofa? This duty done, the first bonnet within range passes under the inspection of an inexorable martinet, viz: "Did she make it herself?" or, "Is it the approved work of a milliner?" "Does her hair curl naturally?" or, "Does she curl it?" "Is her collar real lace?" or, "Only imitation?" These professional detective-queries, so amusing to the general female mind, while away the time edifyingly, especially when there is a variety of heads within eye-range for minute inspection.

"What can she have to tell us that we did not know before?" I heard some one say, as we took our seats in the Lecture-room to hear a Female Lecturess. Have you always, thought I, heard new and original remarks from the male speakers, whose audiences yawned through fifty-cents-worth of bombast, and platitudes, and repetition, in this very place? And is it not worth while, sometimes, to look at a subject from an intelligent woman's stand-point? And granting she were wanting in every requisite that you consider essential in a public speaker, if she can draw an audience, why shouldn't she fill her pocket? Is it less commendable than marrying somebody—anybody—for the sake of being supported, and finding out too late, as many women do, that it is the toughest possible way of getting a living? As I view it, her life is not unpleasant. She takes long journeys alone, it is true—and very likely so she would have to do, if she took any, were she married. At least, she circulates about in the fresh air, among fresh people, makes many acquaintances, and, let us hope, some friends; instead of gnawing the bone of monotony all her colorless life. And what if a hiss should meet her sensitive ear from some adder in her audience? Does it sting more than would a brutal word at her own fireside, whither she was lured by promises of love until death?

If conservatism is shocked to hear a woman speak in public, let conservatism stay away; but let it be consistent, and not forget to frown on its own women, who elbow and push their way in a crowded assembly, and with sharp tongue and hurrying feet "grab"—yes, that's the word—the most eligible seat, or who push into public conveyances already filled to over-flowing, and, with brazen impudence, wonder aloud "if these are gentlemen," as they try to look them out of their seats. There be many ways a woman can "unsex" herself, beside lecturing in public.

Not that I see, either, how they can get up and do it. Somebody would have to put me on my defence; or somebody I loved dearly must be starving, and need the fee I should get, before I could muster the requisite courage? but none the less do I honor those who can do it. So many have acquitted themselves honorably in this field of labor, that this subject needs neither defender nor apologist; but still, much of the old spirit of opposition occasionally manifests itself, even now, in spiteful comments from lip and pen, particularly with regard to the more fortunate.

They can stand it!—with a good house over their independent heads, secured and paid for by their own honest industry. They can stand it!—with greenbacks and Treasury notes stowed away against a rainy day. They can stand it!—with any quantity of "admirers" who, not having pluck or skill enough to earn their own living, would gladly share what these enterprising women have accumulated. May a good Providence multiply female lecturers, female sculptors, female artists of every sort, female authors, female astronomers, female book-keepers, female—anything that is honest, save female sempstresses, with their pale faces, hollow eyes and empty pockets, and a City Hospital or Almshouse in prospective.

Certainly these earnest women lecturers are in pleasant contrast to many of the young men of the present day, to whom nothing is sacred, to whom everything in life is levelled to the same plane of indifference. Nothing is worth a struggle; nothing worth a sacrifice to them. Evils, they say, must come; and, folding their hands idly, they say—let them come. In their moral garden, weeds have equal chance with the flowers; and it is very easy to see which are in the ascendant. To be in the blighting proximity of such a person is to breathe the air of the bottomless pit. Every noble aspiration, every humane and philanthropic feeling, shrivels in such an atmosphere. What is it to them that the poor bondman points to his chains? What is it to them that the world groans with wrong that they can and should at least begin to redress. The mountain is steep, the top is hidden in clouds, and they have no eye to discern that they are even now parting that a glory may gild its summit. It is bad enough—humiliating enough—to hear the aged express such chilling sentiments. One can have a pitying patience with them; but when masculine youth and vigor, born to the glorious inheritance of 1864, tricks itself out in these old moth-eaten, time-worn garments, instead of buckling on sword and helmet for God and the right, it is the saddest, most disheartening sight that earth can show.

And speaking of young men, did you ever, when shopping in New York, notice the different varieties of clerks one sees. There is your zealous clerk, who thinks fuss is impressive. When you enter, he places one hand on the counter and turns a somerset over to the other side, with an astonishing agility equalled only at the circus; he twitches down the desired piece of goods from the shelf and slaps it down on the counter with a whirlwind velocity that would send your bonnet through the door into the street were it not fastened firmly on by the strings. You catch your breath and sneeze at the dust he has raised, and trust that this part of the performance is over. Not at all; he repeats it with another elevation of the piece of goods in the air, announcing the price per yard, just as its second flapping descent makes said announcement inaudible. You sneeze again as the dust fills your nostrils, and stoop to pick up your handkerchief which he has sent flying to the floor. By this time, if you can recollect what it is you came to buy, or how many yards of the same you desire, you have more self-possession and patience than I.

Then there is your stupid clerk, who thinks you mean blue when you say green; who thinks flannel and ribbon are one and the same article; who gives you short measure and short change if you buy, and impresses you with the idea that he "don't come home till morning." Then there is your impertinent clerk, who puts his face unnecessarily close to your bonnet; who assures you that every article he sells is "chaste," if you know what that means in such a connexion; who inquires, before you have even glanced at the fabric, "how many yards you said you would require?" who leans forward on both elbows and stares you in the face as if his very soul were exhaling. He's a study! Then there's your inattentive clerk, who makes you wait for an answer while he finishes some discussion with a brother clerk, or details to him some grievance he has suffered with the principal of the establishment, or narrates to him some personal affair, apart from business; meanwhile tossing for your inspection, as one would throw a bone to a troublesome dog, any piece of goods that comes handiest, to occupy your mind till he gets ready to attend you. Then there's your surly clerk, who acts as though he were afflicted with a perpetual cold in his head, that incapacitates him from giving any information you require, save by piecemeal, and at long intervals, but who has yet a marvellous quick ear to catch any conversation that may be going on between you and your companion; who, if the latter ventures to remark to you confidentially that she has seen the article under consideration at less cost, at such or such a place, volunteers the civil remark "that it must have been a beauty!" Then, there's your clerk with a high and mighty presence. What! ask him the price of a ribbon, or a yard of silk? Shade of Daniel Webster forbid! The idea is sacrilege. You pass to another counter as fast as possible, in search of some more ordinary mortal, capable of understanding petty human wants. Then, there's your dandy clerk. Isn't that cherry-colored neck-tie killing? And the sleeve-buttons on those wristbands? And the way that hair is brushed? And the seal-ring on that little finger? And the cut of that coat, particularly about the shoulders, and the lovely fit of the sleeves. Don't he consider himself an ornament to the shop?

Last, not least, there's your sensible, self-respecting, gentlemanly clerk—young or old, married or single, as the case may be—incapable alike of officiousness or inattention; who gives you time silently to look at that which you desire to see; who answers you civilly and respectfully when you speak to him; who counts your change carefully for you, and sends you off with the desire to make another purchase at that shop the very first opportunity.

As to the female clerks, my pen is fettered there; as I always make it a rule to stand by my own sex in any and every attempt to earn their own livelihood innocently and honestly, no matter how many blunders they make in doing it. Suffice it to say that there is quite as much variety in their deportment as in that of the males. I think if I were about to join them, I should be sadly puzzled whether to choose a male or female shop-proprietor. When a man is a brute, he is such a brute! And when one's bread and butter depends on him, heaven help the dependent. Now, one could call a woman-proprietor a "nasty thing," and then she'd say, "you are another," and there'd be an end of it. But a man-brute would "know the law," as he calls it; and swear that he'd "paid you your salary, and didn't owe you a cent;" and scare you, if you were not up to such rascality, with what he could say if you made him any trouble. Or, if you were young and pretty, you might have to choose between the endurance of his condescending attentions or the loss of your place. That much I can say on the subject. Also that I have seen some of the prettiest and most lady-like women I ever saw, employed as clerks in New York; also there are some so ill-mannered that they pretend not to hear what you inquire for, and keep you standing till they have taken a minute inventory of the dry-goods on your back. Then there are some who look so utterly weary and homesick and heartsick, that you long to say—"Poor thing! come cry it all out on my shoulder."


It is not often that I treat myself to a stroll into Stewart's great shop. Mortal woman cannot behold such perfection too often and live. It is like a view of the vast ocean, so humiliating and depressing by its immensity and sublimity that little atoms of humanity are glad to creep away from it, to some locally-big elevation of their own. Once in a while, when I feel strong enough to bear it, when the day is very bright, and the atmosphere propitious, I put on a bold face and plunge in with the throng. When I say "throng" I don't wish to be understood as meaning anything like a mob. It is a very curious circumstance that how objectionably soever "throngs" may behave elsewhere, even that most disorderly of all throngs, a woman-throng—yet at Stewart's so suggestive of order and system is the place, that immediately on entering, they involuntarily "fall into line," like proper little Sunday scholars in a procession, and never shuffle or elbow the least bit. Perhaps they are astonished into good behavior by the sight of those well-behaved statuesque clerks—I don't know. Perhaps with the artistic manner in which yonder silky-inky bearded Italian-looking, red-neck-tied gentleman, has arranged the different shades of silk on yonder counter; so that, as the light falls on it from the window, it looks like a splendid display of folded tulips and roses. Perhaps it is the imposing well-to-do portly individual who walks up and down between the rows of counters, snapping his eyes about, as if to say—"Ladies, if this don't suit you, what in heaven's name will?" Perhaps it is the eel-like manner in which little "Cash" winds in and out, with his neatly-tied parcels, and bank-bills and change. Perhaps it is the astounding sight of yonder fur-cape, as displayed to advantage on one of those revolving lay-figures. Perhaps it is the cloak room up-stairs, where the ladies sigh as they tumble over heaps of beautiful garments, unable to choose from such a superfluity. "How happy could I be with either, were the other dear charmer away!" Perhaps 'tis the thought of the money that must have been expended in this wonderful Juniper store, inside and out, first and last, and "if they only had it," how many diamonds, and laces, and silks it would buy, all at once; instead of taking it in disgraceful little installments from their stingy husbands, so that they positively blush when Stewart's factotum inquires, "Any thing more this morning, ma'am?" to be obliged to answer "No." I don't pretend to comprehend the talismanic spell; but I know that at other than Stewart's I see those very women, snub and brow-beat clerks, and put on astounding airs generally, as women will when let out on a shopping spree.—I see none of it there. Indeed, I sometimes think that if the great Stewart himself were bodily to order them out, they would neither mutter, nor peep mutinously; but turn about, like a flock of sheep, and obediently leap over the threshold. The amount of it is, Stewart is a sort of dry-goods "Rarey." Perhaps husbands wink at the thing and give the little dears coppers to spend there on purpose—I don't know.



OWHERE more than in New York does the contest between squalor and splendor so sharply present itself. This is the first reflection of the observing stranger who walks its streets. Particularly is this noticeable with regard to its women. Jostling on the same pavement with the dainty fashionist is the care-worn working-girl. Looking at both these women, the question arises, which lives the more miserable life—she whom the world styles "fortunate," whose husband belongs to three clubs, and whose only meal with his family is an occasional breakfast, from year's end to year's end; who is as much a stranger to his own children as to the reader; whose young son of seventeen has already a detective on his track employed by his father to ascertain where and how he spends his nights and his father's money; swift retribution for that father who finds food, raiment, shelter, equipages for his household; but love, sympathy, companionship—never? Or she—this other woman—with a heart quite as hungry and unappeased, who also faces day by day the same appalling question: Is this all life has for me?

A great book is yet unwritten about women. Michelet has aired his wax-doll theories regarding them. The defender of "woman's rights" has given us her views. Authors and authoresses of little, and big repute, have expressed themselves on this subject, and none of them as yet have begun to grasp it: men—because they lack spirituality, rightly and justly to interpret women; women—because they dare not, or will not, tell us that which most interests us to know. Who shall write this bold, frank, truthful book remains to be seen. Meanwhile woman's millennium is yet a great way off; and while it slowly progresses, conservatism and indifference gaze through their spectacles at the seething elements of to-day, and wonder "what ails all our women?"

Let me tell you what ails the working-girls. While yet your breakfast is progressing, and your toilet unmade, comes forth through Chatham Street and the Bowery, a long procession of them by twos and threes to their daily labor. Their breakfast, so called, has been hastily swallowed in a tenement house, where two of them share, in a small room, the same miserable bed. Of its quality you may better judge, when you know that each of these girls pays but three dollars a week for board, to the working man and his wife where they lodge.

The room they occupy is close and unventilated, with no accommodations for personal cleanliness, and so near to the little Flinegans that their Celtic night-cries are distinctly heard. They have risen unrefreshed, as a matter of course, and their ill-cooked breakfast does not mend the matter. They emerge from the doorway where their passage is obstructed by "nanny goats" and ragged children rooting together in the dirt, and pass out into the street. They shiver as the sharp wind of early morning strikes their temples. There is no look of youth on their faces; hard lines appear there. Their brows are knit; their eyes are sunken; their dress is flimsy, and foolish, and tawdry; always a hat, and feather or soiled artificial flower upon it; the hair dressed with an abortive attempt at style; a soiled petticoat; a greasy dress, a well-worn sacque or shawl, and a gilt breast-pin and earrings.

Now follow them to the large, black-looking building, where several hundred of them are manufacturing hoop-skirts. If you are a woman you have worn plenty; but you little thought what passed in the heads of these girls as their busy fingers glazed the wire, or prepared the spools for covering them, or secured the tapes which held them in their places. You could not stay five minutes in that room, where the noise of the machinery used is so deafening, that only by the motion of the lips could you comprehend a person speaking.

Five minutes! Why, these young creatures bear it, from seven in the morning till six in the evening; week after week, month after month, with only half an hour at midday to eat their dinner of a slice of bread and butter or an apple, which they usually eat in the building, some of them having come a long distance. As I said, the roar of machinery in that room is like the roar of Niagara. Observe them as you enter. Not one lifts her head. They might as well be machines, for any interest or curiosity they show, save always to know what o'clock it is. Pitiful! pitiful, you almost sob to yourself, as you look at these young girls. Young? Alas! it is only in years that they are young.

"Only three dollars a week do they earn," said I to a brawny woman in a tenement house near where some of them boarded. "Only three dollars a week, and all of that goes for their board. How, then, do they clothe themselves?" Hell has nothing more horrible than the cold, sneering indifference of her reply: "Ask the dry-goods men."

Perhaps you ask, why do not these girls go out to service? Surely it were better to live in a clean, nice house, in a healthy atmosphere, with respectable people, who might take other interest in them than to wring out the last particle of their available bodily strength. It were better surely to live in a house cheerful and bright, where merry voices were sometimes heard, and clean, wholesome food was given them. Why do they not? First, because, unhappily, they look down upon the position of a servant, even from their miserable stand-point. But chiefly, and mainly, because when six o'clock in the evening comes they are their own mistresses, without hinderance or questioning, till another day of labor begins. They do not sit in an under-ground kitchen, watching the bell-wire, and longing to see what is going on out of doors. More's the pity, that the street is their only refuge from the squalor and quarrelling and confusion of their tenement-house home. More's the pity, that as yet there are no sufficiently decent, cleanly boarding-houses, within their means, where their self-respect would not inevitably wither and die.

As it is, they stroll the streets; and who can blame them? There are gay lights, and fine shop-windows. It costs nothing to wish they could have all those fine things. They look longingly into the theatres, through whose doors happier girls of their own age pass, radiant and smiling, with their lovers. Glimpses of Paradise come through those doors as they gaze. Back comes the old torturing question: Must my young life always be toil? nothing but toil? They stroll on. Music and bright lights from the underground "Concert Saloons," where girls like themselves get fine dresses and good wages, and flattering words and smiles beside. Alas! the future is far away; the present only is tangible. Is it a wonder if they never go back to the dark, cheerless tenement-house, or to the "manufactory" which sets their poor, weary bodies aching, till they feel forsaken of God and man? Talk of virtue! Live this life of toil, and starvation, and friendlessness, and "unwomanly rags," and learn charity. Sometimes they rush for escape into ill-sorted marriages, with coarse rough fellows, and go back to the old tenement-house life again, with this difference, that their toil does not end at six o'clock, and that from this bargain there is no release but death.

But there are other establishments than those factories where working-girls are employed. There is "Madame ——, Modiste." Surely the girls working there must fare better. Madame pays six thousand dollars rent for the elegant mansion in that fashionable street, in the basement or attic of which they work. Madame cuts and makes dresses, but she takes in none of the materials for that purpose. Not she. She coolly tells you that she will make you a very nice plain black silk dress, and find everything, for two hundred dollars. This is modest, at a clear profit to herself of one hundred dollars on every such dress, particularly as she buys all her material by the wholesale, and pays her girls, at the highest rate of compensation, not more than six dollars a week. At this rate of small wages and big profits, you can well understand how she can afford not only to keep up this splendid establishment, but another still more magnificent for her own private residence in quite as fashionable a neighborhood. Another "modiste" who did "take in material for dresses," and—ladies also! was in the habit of telling the latter that thirty-two yards of any material was required where sixteen would have answered. The remaining yards were then in all cases thrown into a rag-pen; from which, through contract with a man in her employ, she furnished herself with all the crockery, china, glass, tin and iron ware needed in her household. This same modiste employed twenty-five girls at the starvation price of three dollars and a half a week. The room in which they worked was about nine feet square, with only one window in it, and whoso came early enough to secure a seat by that window saved her eyesight by the process. Three sewing-machines whirred constantly by day in this little room, which at night was used as a sleeping apartment. As the twenty-five working-girls were ushered in to their day's labor in the morning before that room was ventilated, you would not wonder that by four in the afternoon dark circles appeared under their eyes, and they stopped occasionally to press their hands upon their aching temples. Not often, but sometimes, when the pain and exhaustion became intolerable.

One of the twenty-five was an orphan girl named Lizzy, only fifteen years of age. Not even this daily martyrdom had quenched her abounding spirits, in that room where never a smile was seen on another face—where never a jest was ventured on, not even when Madame's back was turned. Always Lizzie's hair was nicely smoothed, and though the clean little creature went without her breakfast—for a deduction of wages was the penalty of being late—yet had she always on a clean dark calico dress, smoothed by her own deft little fingers. In that dismal, smileless room she was the only sunbeam. But one day the twenty-five were startled; their needles dropped from their fingers. Lizzie was worn out at last! Her pretty face blanched, and with a low baby cry she threw her arms over her face and sobbed: "Oh, I cannot bear this life—I cannot bear it any longer. George must come and take me away from this." That night she was privately married to "George," who was an employee on the railroad. The next day while on the train attending to his duties, he broke his arm, and neither of the bridal pair having any money, George was taken to the hospital. The little bride, with starvation before her, went back that day to Madame, and concealing the fact of her marriage, begged humbly to be taken back, apologizing for her conduct on the day before, on the plea that she had such a violent pain in her temples that she knew not what she said. As she was a handy little workwoman, her request was granted, and she worked there for several weeks, during her honeymoon, at the old rate of pay. The day George was pronounced well, she threw down her work, clapped her little palms together, and announced to the astonished twenty-five that they had a married woman among them, and that she should not return the next morning. Being the middle of the week, and not the end, she had to go without her wages for that week. Romance was not part or parcel of Madame's establishment. Her law was as the Medes and Persians, which changed not. Little Lizzie's future was no more to her than her past had been—no more than that of another young thing in that work-room, who begged a friend, each day, to bring her ever so little ardent spirits, at the half hour allotted to their miserable dinner, lest she should fail in strength to finish the day's work, upon which so much depended.

Oh! if the ladies who wore the gay robes manufactured in that room knew the tragedy of those young lives, would they not be to them like the penance robes of which we read, piercing, burning, torturing?

There is still another class of girls, who tend in the large shops in New York. Are they not better remunerated and lodged? We shall see. The additional dollar or two added to their wages is offset by the necessity of their being always nicely apparelled, and the necessity of a better lodging-house, and consequently a higher price for board, so that unless they are fortunate enough to have a parent's roof over their heads, they will not, except in rare cases, where there is a special gift as an accountant, or an artist-touch in the fingers, to twist a ribbon or frill a lace, be able to save any more than the class of which I have been speaking. They are allowed, however, by their employers, to purchase any article in the store at first cost, which is something in their favor.

But, you say, is there no bright side to this dark picture? Are there no cases in which these girls battle bravely with penury? I have one in my mind now; a girl, I should say a lady; one of nature's ladies, with a face as refined and delicate as that of any lady who bends over these pages; who has been through this harrowing experience of the working-girl, and after years of patience, virtuous toil, has no more at this day than when she began, i. e., her wages day by day. Of the wretched places she has called "home," I will not pain you by speaking. Of the rough words she has borne, that she was powerless, through her poverty, to resent. Of the long walks she has taken to obtain wages due, and failed to secure them at last. Of the weary, wakeful nights, and heart-breaking days, borne with a heroism and trust in God, that was truly sublime. Of the little remittances from time to time forwarded to old age and penury, in "the old country," when she herself was in want of comfortable clothing; when she herself had no shelter in case of sickness, save the hospital or the almshouse. Surely, such virtue and integrity, will have more enduring record than in these pages.

Humanity has not slept on this subject, though it has as yet accomplished little. A boarding-house has been established in New York for working-girls, excellent in its way, but intended mainly for those who "have seen better days," and not for the most needy class of which I have spoken. A noble institution, however, called "The Working Woman's Protective Union," has sprung up, for the benefit of this latter class, their object being to find places in the country, for such of these girls as will leave the overcrowded city, not as servants, but as operatives on sewing-machines, and to other similar revenues of employment. Their places are secured before they are sent. The person who engages them pays their expenses on leaving, and the consent of parents, or guardians, or friends, is always obtained before they leave. A room is to be connected with this institution, containing several sewing-machines, where gratuitous instruction will be furnished to those who desire it. A lawyer of New York has generously volunteered his services also, to collect the too tardy wages of these girls, due from flinty-hearted employers. Many of the girls who have applied here are under fifteen. At first, they utterly refused to go into the country, which to them was only another name for dullness; even preferring to wander up and down the streets of the city, half-fed and half-clothed, in search of employment, than to leave its dear kaleidoscope delights. But after a little, when letters came from some who had gone, describing in glowing terms, their pleasant homes; the wages that one could live and save money on; their kind treatment; the good, wholesome food and fresh air; their hearty, jolly country fun; and more than all, when it was announced that one of their number had actually married an ex-governor, the matter took another aspect. And, though all may not marry governors, and some may not marry at all; it still remains, that inducing them to go to the country is striking a brave blow at the root of the evil; for we all know, that human strength and human virtue have their limits; and the dreadful pressure of temptations and present ease, upon the discouragement, poverty and friendlessness of the working-girls of New York, must be gratifying to the devil. I do not hesitate to say, that there is no institution of the present day, more worthy to be sustained, or that more imperatively challenges the good works and good wishes of the benevolent, than "The New York Working Woman's Protective Union." May God speed it!



OU may think it a very simple thing to wash a baby. You may imagine that one feels quite calm and composed, while this operation is being faithfully and conscientiously performed. That shows how little you know. When I tell you that there are four distinct, delicate chins, to be dodgingly manipulated, between frantic little crying spells, and as many little rolls of fat on the back of the neck, that have to be searched out and bathed, with all the endearing baby-talk you can command, the while, as a blind to your merciless intentions; when I tell you that of all things, baby won't have her ears or nose meddled with, and that she resents any infringement on her toes with shrill outbreaks, and that it takes two people to open her chubby little fists, when water seeks to penetrate her palms. When I tell you the masterly strategy that has to be used to get one stiff, little, rebellious arm out of a cambric sleeve, and the frantic kickings which accompany any attempts to tie on her little red worsted-shoe; when I tell you that she objects altogether to be turned over on her stomach, in order to tie the strings of her frock, and that she is just as mad when you lay her on her back; when I inform you that she can stiffen herself out when she likes, so that you can't possibly make her sit down, and at another time will curl herself up in a circle, so that you can't possibly straighten her out; and when you enumerate the garments that have to be got off, and got on, before this process is finally concluded, and that it is to be done before a baking fire, without regard to the state of the thermometer, or the agonized dew on your brow; when I inform you that every now and then you must stop in the process, to see that she is not choking, or strangling, or that you have not dislocated any of her funny little legs, or arms, or injured her bobbing little head, you can form some idea of the relief when the last string is tied, and baby emerges from this, her daily misery, into a state of rosy, diamond-eyed, scarlet-lipped, content; looking sweet and fresh as a rosebud, and drowsing off in your arms with quivering white eyelids and pretty unknown murmurings of the little half-smiling lips, while the perfect little waxen hands lie idly by her side. Ah me! how shall one keep from spoiling a baby? Ah! how can one ever give brimming enough love-measure—to this—the motherless.



HERE is not a day of my life in which I am not vexed at the injustice done to children. A Sunday or two since, I went to church. In the pew directly in front of me sat a fine little lad, about twelve years old, unobtrusively taking notes of the sermon. By my side sat a man—gentleman, I suppose, he called himself—his coat, pants, boots, and linen were all right as far as I am any judge, and dress seems to be the test now-a-days—who occupied himself in leaning over the front of the pew, and reading what the boy was writing—evidently much to the discomfiture of the latter. Now I would like to ask, why that child's pencilled notes should not have been as safe from curious eyes as if he had been an adult? and what right that grown-up man had, to bother and annoy him, by impertinently peeping over his shoulder? and of what use is it to preach good manners to children, while nobody thinks it worth while to practice the same toward them? The other day I was sitting in a car, and a nice, well-behaved boy of ten years took his seat and paid his fare. Directly after, in came the conductor, and without a word of comment, coolly took him by the shoulder and placed him on his feet, and then motioned a lady to his vacant seat? Why not ask the child, at least? I have often been struck with the ready civility of boys in this respect, in public conveyances—but that is no reason why they should be imposed upon; the lady who took the seat might possibly have thanked a gentleman for yielding it to her, but she evidently did not think that good manners required she should thank the boy. Again—what right has a gentleman to take a blushing little girl of twelve or thirteen and seat her on his knee, when he happens to want her seat. I have seen timid, bashful girls, suffering crucifixion at the smiles called forth by this free and easy act; and sometimes actually turning away their faces to conceal tears of mortification; for there are little female children unspoiled even by the present bold system of childhood annihilation—little violets who seek the shade, and do not care to be handled and pulled about by every passer-by. Again—why will parents, or those who have the charge of children, make hypocrites of them by saying, Go kiss such and such a person? A kiss is a holy thing, or should be, and not to be lightly bestowed. At any rate, it never should be compulsorily given. Children have their likes and dislikes, and often much more rationally grounded than those of grown people, though they may not be able to syllable them. I never shall forget a snuffy old lady whom I used to be obliged, when a child, to kiss. I am not at all sure that my unconquerable aversion to every form of tobacco does not date from these repulsive and compulsory kisses. With what a lingering horror I approached her, and with what a shiver of disgust I retreated to scrub my lips with my pinafore, and shake my locks, lest peradventure a particle of snuff had lodged there. How I wondered what she would do in Heaven without that snuff-box, for she was a "church member," and my notions of Heaven could by no stretch of liberality admit such a nuisance; and how I inwardly vowed that if I ever grew to be a woman, and if I ever was married, and if I ever had a little girl, all of which were dead certainties in my childish future, I would never make her kiss a person unless she chose to do it, never—never—which article of my pinafore creed I do here publicly indorse with my matronly hand.

Again, what more abominable tyranny than to force a child to eat turnip, or cabbage, or fat meat or anything else for which it has an unconquerable and unexplainable disgust? I have seen children actually shudder and turn pale at being obliged to swallow such things. Pray, why should not their wishes in this respect be regarded as much as those of their seniors? Not that a child should eat everything which it craves indiscriminately, but it should never, in my opinion, be forced to swallow what is unpalatable, except in the case of medicine, about which parents tell such fibs—that it "tastes good," and all that—when they should say honestly, "It is very bad indeed, but you know you must take it, and the sooner it is over the better; now be brave and swallow it." I do protest too against forcing big boys to wear long curls down their backs after they are well into jackets, for the gratification of mamma's pride, who "can't bear to cut them off," not even though her boy skulks out of sight of every "fellow" he meets for fear of being called a "girl-boy;" or the practice making a boy of that age wear an apron, which the "fellows" are quite as apt to twit him about, or anything else which makes him look odd or ridiculous. There is no computing the suffering of children in these respects. I dare say many who read this will say, "But they should be taught not to mind such things," etc.; that's all very well to say, but suppose you try it yourself;—suppose you were compelled to walk into church on Sunday with a collar that covered your cheeks, and your great-grand-father's coat and vest on; to hear the suppressed titters, and be an object of remark every time you stirred; and you a man who hated notoriety, and felt like knocking everybody down who stared at you? How would that suit? Nothing like bringing a case home to yourself. Just sit down and recall your own childhood, and remember the big lumps in your little throat that seemed like to choke you, and the big tears of shame that came rolling down on your jacket, from some such cause, and don't go through the world striding with your grown-up boots on little children. They are not all angels, I know; some of them are malicious, and ugly, and selfish and disagreeable; and whose fault is it?—answer me that? Not one time in ten, the child's. You may be sure of it. God made it right, but there were bunglers who undertook a charge from which an angel might shrink.

And now I want to put in a plea for the children about story-reading. At a certain age, children of both sexes delight in stories. It is as natural, as it is for them to skip, run and jump, instead of walking at the staid pace of their grandparents. Now some parents, very well meaning ones too, think they do a wise thing when they deny this most innocent craving, any legitimate outlet. They wish to cultivate, they say, "a taste for solid reading." They might as well begin to feed a new-born baby on meat, lest nursing should vitiate its desire for it. The taste for meat will come when the child has teeth to chew it; so will the taste for "solid reading" as the mind matures—i. e., if it is not made to hate it, by having it forced violently upon its attention during the story-loving period. That "there is a time for all things," is truer of nothing more, than of this. Better far that parents should admit it, and wisely indulge it, than, by a too severe repression, give occasion for stealthy promiscuous reading.

How delicious in these days of hot-house-childhood it is to find a little one who can relish puss in the corner. To find one who does not at six years of age turn up its little nose at everything but "round dances," and a supper of "pâté de foie gras" and champagne. What a sorrowful sight are those blasé languid little things who are incapable of a new sensation before they are out of short clothes—to whom already there is no childhood left—who have turned their backs on that path of flowers to which they can never return, through long years of satiety and weariness. What shall compensate them for the dear, fresh, innocent, simple delights, which to children, naturally and simply brought up, are so attractive? We are all making grave mistakes about children. Those who unfortunately live always in a great city, are mostly the sufferers. Life there is such a maelstrom, swallowing up every hour so much that is lovely and beautiful. Fathers, and mothers, delegating so much of the care and oversight of them to those, whose paid service yields neither sympathy nor appreciation to the victims under their charge. Toy shops are ransacked, and small fortunes expended, to supply this lamentable deficiency; till the weary little one at six or seven has exhausted the stock, and sighs for "something new;" like a flirt who has put her slipper on a thousand hearts, or a man of the world, reduced by too much money and leisure, and too little brains, to caress the head of his cane, long, weary hours, staring out of his club window. I think this is very pitiful, both for the child and the man. Indeed it is children so brought up, who make such men, and women of a corresponding type. Life seems fast losing its simplicity merely for want of the brave courage to defy fashion's encroachments. "What will they think?" is at the bottom of it. Who among us has pluck enough to snap our fingers at that question, and face the formidable—"Did you ever?" which treads upon the heels of independent thought and action, even in a right and obviously sensible direction. Nor is it a question of sex. I find as much of this spirit, or the want of it, in one sex as in the other, and the children are the victims.

Now children naturally hate fine clothes and the restrictions upon freedom and enjoyment that they impose. Children naturally prefer live animals, to the pink dogs, and blue sheep, and green cows, presented in a wooden "Noah's Ark." Children naturally prefer a garden and a shovel, to a stereotyped lounge, with a silent cross nurse, over city pavements. Children should be put to bed by loving hands, and their eyes closed with a kiss, as our cherished dead pass into the land of silence. Children should leap into loving arms when they again open their eyes with the baptism of the fresh morning light.

Children should be kept in ignorance of nearly all that is now as familiar to their ears as their own names. But, alas! we all know how different things really are, and the result—is the children of to-day—children, with rare and blessed exceptions, only in name. Oh! the perpetual "nurse;" the perpetual nursery! The sad sight of the spirit-weary little child checked in its most innocent and healthy impulses; called "naughty," for being buoyant and merry, till sullenness and defiant mischief are the result. Oh, mother in the parlor, take off that silk dress which little feet may not climb upon, and take a seat in your own nursery, and give that little one the love, without which its whole sweet nature shall be turned into bitterness. Oh, father, at the sound of whose footstep that child must always "hush up" or beat a hasty retreat to parts unknown—how much, how very much you lose, when never that little face grows brighter that "papa has come home;" when, with your hands thrust into your coat-pocket, you lounge along toward your door, and never invite with your love that dear blessed little nose, to flatten itself against the window-pane, watching for "my papa."

My papa! Good heavens! what is it to be Senator, Member of Congress, President, King, to that? "My papa!" Man! what can you be thinking of, that the sweet, trustful, blessed ownership in those two little words, fails to move every drop of your blood? And what can the wide earth, with all its cheating promises, give you, in compensation for that which your short-sighted folly throws away? Oh, sometimes, stop and think of that.



T is very strange how differently people are affected by a great bereavement. One desires nothing so much as to flee as far as possible from any scene, or association, which shall recall the lost. Every relic he would banish forever from his presence. The spot where his dead was laid he would never revisit, and, if possible, never remember. When the anniversary of death occurs, no person should allude to it in his presence; he would himself prefer to glide obliviously over it. Another finds comfort and solace in the very opposite course. He desires nothing so much as that the little favorite home-surroundings of the dead should remain unchanged, as if the owner were still living. He would sit down among them, and recall by these silent mementoes every cherished look and tone; jealously recording every detail and circumstance, lest memory should prove unfaithful to her trust. Everything worn by the form now lifeless, would he have often before his eyes, touching their folds with caressing fingers. At the table and by the hearth, rising up and sitting down, going out and coming in, would he evoke the dear presence. He would pass through the streets where so often his dead have passed with him. The place of that friend's sepulture, is to him the place of all places where he would oftenest go. He plants there his favorite flowers, and woos for them the balmiest air and warmest sunshine. He reads over the name and date of birth and burial, each time as if they were not already indelibly engraven on his memory; and still, though months and years may have passed in this way, whenever he catches himself saying, "It was about the time when our John," or "our Mary, died," he will still shiver, as when the first time he had occasion to couple death with that household name.

Again: One person on the death of a friend, is punctiliously solicitous that no etiquette of mourning habiliments should be disregarded, to the remotest fraction of an inch as to quantity; and that the quality and fashioning of the same should be according to the strictest rules laid down by custom on such occasions; considering all variation from it, although demanded by health or comfort, as a disrespect to the dead.

Another is scarcely conscious that he wears these outward tokens; or, if so, knows little and cares less whether all the minutiæ of depth, width and blackness is punctiliously followed. Attention to these details seems to him a mockery, from which he turns impatiently away. The whole world seems to him already draped in sable; what matters, then, this intrusive pettiness? And that any one should measure the depth of his loss by the width of a hem or a veil, or the fashion of a hat, or the material of a garment, seems to him too monstrous an absurdity for credence. And when he hears the common expression that such a person is "in half mourning" it is so utterly repulsive to him, that he almost feels that he should honor the dead more by a total breach of the custom, than by its observance.

In truth, it may be a question whether a genuine grief can exist in the artificial atmosphere where these slavish mourning etiquettes are cultivated. The devil himself probably knew this; and contrived this ingenious way to turn the mass of mankind aside from sober reflection at a time when the march of life stands still.

When the bolt falls, which sooner or later strikes every man's house, how philosophically lookers-on reason about it. How practically unconscious are they, while gazing at the blood-besprinkled door-post of a neighbor, that the advancing finger of Destiny is already pointed at their own, as they plan for happy years to come the future of husband, wife, child, brother and sister, as if for them there was immunity from dissolution and disruption. No acceleration of pulse, no heart-quiver, when the funeral train passes by, or the sad face looks out from its frame of sable; for no sweet bright face is missing from their little band. No pained ear listens at their fireside for the light footfall that will never come. No street is avoided in their daily walks, which agonizingly suggests a floating form once watched and waited for there. Nor may the passing stranger, whose step and voice stir the troubled fountain of your tears, know by what personal magnetism he has evoked your dead, and chained you to linger, and look, and feed your excited fancy, till the impulse to throw yourself on that strange heart and weep, almost sweeps away cold propriety.

Ah! the difference, whether the hearse stands before one's own door, or one's neighbor's. And yet, how else could we all live on, playing at jack-straws, as we do, day after day, while a momentous future little by little unfolds itself? How else would one have courage to go on planting what another hand than his shall surely reap; and what pleasure would there be beneath the sun, if one sat crouching, and listening for the step of the executioner, or clasping wild arms of protection round the dear ones. Merciful indeed is it, that we can travel on in to-day's sunshine, trusting to our Guide to shelter us, when the storm shall gather and break over our heads.



WONDER how many girls tell their mothers everything? Not those "young ladies" who, going to and from school, smile, bow, and exchange notes and cartes de visite with young men, who are perfect strangers to them. I grant this may all be done thoughtlessly and innocently, for "fun," and without any wrong intention; but surely—surely—such young girls should be told that not in this spirit will it be received; and that to hold themselves in so cheap estimation, is certainly to invite insult, how disguised soever it may be in the form of compliment and flattery. Imagine a knot of young men making fun of you and your "picture;" speaking of you in a way that would make your cheeks burn with shame, could you hear it. All this, most credulous and romantic young ladies, they will do, although they gaze at your fresh young face admiringly, and send or give you charming verses and bouquets. No matter what "other girls do;" don't you do it. No matter how "ridiculous" it is that you have "never had an offer, although you were fifteen last spring;" there is time enough, and to spare, yet. Girls who, falling in love, insist on getting married when they are babies, will find that studying after marriage is tedious work. A premature, faded, vacant old age!—you surely cannot desire that. When is your mind to be informed, or to grow, if you place it in a hot-house, that only the flower of Love be forced into early bloom, to the dwarfing of every other faculty? And even should such a foolish school flirtation end in early marriage, how long, think you, before your husband would weary of a wife who only knew enough to talk about dress or dancing? How painful for you to be silent, through ignorance, should you chance to have intelligent guests at your house. How painful, when your only charm, youth and its prettiness, has faded, to find your husband gradually losing sight of you, as his mind expanded, and yours grew still narrower, with the inevitable cares, that only the brain of a sensible woman can keep from overwhelming her. How painful, as time passes on, and your children grow up about you, to hear them talk intelligently on subjects of which you scarcely know the names.

And this, remember, is taking the most favorable view of the result of school-girl flirtations. They may end far more disastrously, as many a foolish, wretched young girl could tell you.

But let us not talk of this. Your yearning for some one to love you, and you only, is natural and right; it is a great need of every woman's heart. But there is a time for everything; and it is wisdom before seeking this to wait. Your choice at fifteen would be very different from your choice at twenty. A man who would quite suit you then, would only disgust and weary you when you grew older. Till school-days are over, therefore, you can well afford to let love rest. Don't let the bloom and freshness of your heart be brushed off in silly flirtations. Study all you can and keep your health. Render yourself truly intelligent. And, above all, tell your mother everything. "Fun" in your dictionary would sometimes be indiscretion in hers. It will do you no harm to look and see. Never be ashamed to tell her, who should be your best friend and confidant, all you think and feel. She was once a girl herself; she had her dreams, and can understand it. Not having been always as wise as she is now, she can spare you many a pang of humiliation and regret if you will profit by her advice.

It is very sad that so many young girls will tell every person before "mother," that which is most important she should know. It is very sad that indifferent persons should know more about her own fair young daughter than she herself. Don't you think so? You find it quite easy to tell your mother that you want a new dress, or hat, or shawl; but you would be quite ashamed to say—Mother, I wish I had a lover. Why not? It is nothing at all to be ashamed of. It is a perfectly natural wish; and your mother was given you to tell you just that, and a great many other things, which would convince you, if you would listen to her, that it was best for you not to hurry into life's cares and responsibilities till your soul and body were fitted to carry you patiently, and hopefully through them.

Another thing I want to speak to you about: It is very common, at the present day, for young ladies to accept presents from gentlemen not related to them, or likely to become so—in fact, mere acquaintances. It was not so in my day; and with no partiality for old customs, merely because they are old customs, I confess an admiration for that feminine delicacy which shrinks from accepting favors from chance acquaintances of the day or hour. That all young men have not the true feelings of gentlemen, our young ladies need not be told; nor, that those most lavish with their presents, are often as little able to afford it, as they are able to refrain from boasting that these presents have been accepted when among their young male companions. The cheek of many an innocent but unguarded young girl, would crimson with mortification could she hear the remarks often made on this subject among young men. Don't do it, girls; don't accept any presents from a gentleman unless he is an accepted suitor, a relative, or some old, well-known friend of the family, who has proved his claim to be good for such a proof of your faith in him. This may be "old-fashioned" advice, and yet—you may live to thank me for it.

There is one point, my dears, upon which I pine for information. Many an anxious hour have I pondered on it. I never studied medicine, else I might not now be in the dark. I find no precedent for it in young people of past ages. It was not so with me, or any of my young female companions, most of whom, by the way, were boys. I cannot conjecture what sort of parents, the curiously-constituted young person to whom I refer, must have had. What time she cut her first tooth, or whether she cut it at all. Not to harass you with farther conjecture, I will come at once to the point. I allude to "the fair young creature of some seventeen summers," of whom we so often read. In mercy tell me,—does she—like the bear—suck her claws in some dark retreat in winter; or, having "no winter in her year," is her lamp of life suddenly and mercilessly blown out, not to be rekindled till it comes time for another of her "summers." I beg the philanthropist—I entreat the humanitarian, to make some inquiry into the circumstances of this abridged young creature, so long defrauded by unprincipled story and novel writers, of her inalienable woman's rights to winter in our midst.

Do you ever go home pondering over chance conversation heard in the street? "Don't you wish something would happen?" I heard a young girl say, yawning to her companion, as I passed her. My dear, thought I, rather bless Providence when nothing happens. However, she had many years yet to see, before she could take that adult view of things; the bread and butter period was beginning to get insipid, that was all; that passed, she fancied all would be blue sky and roses beyond. What "happens" to one's neighbor is too apt to be no concern of ours, 'tis true; but one must walk with closed eyes through the streets of a great city not to see constant "happenings." Yonder poor woman, followed by a shouting crew of boys, and struggling in the grasp of a policeman, her lips white with fear, what can have happened to her? And so surely as that knot of crape flutters from yonder door, there has "happened" in, over that threshold, a strange, unbidden guest, who would take no denial. And there is a true woman, her eyes bent earthward with unmerited shame, guiding home the staggering steps of him on whom she should have leaned. And farther on, a house-painter sits swinging aloft, brush in hand, humming daily at his work; a treacherous step, and he lies a mangled heap upon the pavement. Ah, who has the courage to tell the busy little wife at home what has "happened" to him? And yonder is a tearful mother kissing her soldier lad; you and she both know what has and may "happen" there, and as you look, your heart joins hers in that sorrowful blessing. And at yonder pier they are busy over a "body." That is all they know of him whose blue lips keep their own secret well. And peering through the bars of that locked cart, jolting over the stones, are eyes that looked innocently into the faces of fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, before this "happened." And so, thinking of all these things as I listened to that young girl, I said, Blessed is that day, when nothing "happens."

Often I get letters from young girls who are perfect strangers to me. The other day, one wrote me saying, "Fanny, suppose you give us a chapter on working all one's life, just for the sake of working; working all the time, just to keep soul and body together; without one friend; one sympathizing word;—honest hard work, I mean, and no thanks." This was my reply to her: perhaps some of you may feel like asking the same question, so you can consider it written also to you.

Well, my dear child, there are thousands who are compelled to do this, as there are thousands more who will do it, in time to come. This view of the case may not make you more contented with your lot, but I think our sufferings are sometimes intensified by imagining that nobody in the world ever had to endure the peculiar hardships which afflict our individual selves. You must remember that to this initiatory school of self-conquest the world owes many of its best and most gifted children. To learn to wait, to be willing to endure, is indeed the hardest of all earthly lessons. To wait athirst for sympathy; to wait for the tardy lifting of the iron hand of toil, which seems crushing out everything but the grinding care for daily bread is hard. I say seems crushing, for often it is only seeming. The seed that seems buried is only for a time hidden; some day when we least expect it, it gives to our gladdened sight verdure, blossom and fruitage. Persistent discontent is the rust of the soul. They have half won the battle who can work while they wait. Having measured one's capacities; having satisfied oneself that at present nothing better can be achieved; it is wise to do cheerfully with our might what our hands find to do, though with listening ear for the day of future deliverance. And it will surely come to such, though not, perhaps, just in the manner, or at the moment, their shortsightedness had marked out. A bird that ceaselessly beats its delicate wings against the bars of its cage must soon lie helpless. Better to nibble and sing, keeping a bright eye for a chance opening of the door out into the green fields and blue sky beyond. But this achieved, remember that the sky will not always be blue, nor the wind gentle; then, when the storm comes, comes again a struggle to get above the clouds, into another atmosphere.

Like the child who essays to walk—many a fall, many a bump, many a disappointment in grasping far-off objects that seemed near, or finding their shining but dimness when gained, must be ours; till, like it, we come, gladly, at last, weary with effort, to rest peacefully on the bosom of Love. So—when to Him who appointeth our lot, we can say trustingly, "Do what seemeth good in Thy sight;"—so, when the mad beating of our wings against the bars of a present necessity shall cease, and the lesson of self-conquest shall be achieved, then—is freedom and victory in sight!



OM Jones would like to be married. Tom does not quite relish the idea of a connubial idiot; and yet, for many reasons unnecessary to state, he does not desire a wife who knows much. He would like one who will be always on tiptoe to await his coming, and yet be perfectly satisfied, and good-humored, if after all her preparations, culinary and otherwise, he may conclude at all times, or at any time, to prefer other society to hers. He also desires his wife to be possessed of principle enough for both, because in his own case, principle would interfere with many of his little arrangements. He would like her always to be very nicely dressed, although his own boots and coats are innocent of a brush from year's end to year's end. He wishes her to speak low, and not speak much; because he has a great deal to say himself, and when he has roared it out, like the liberal, great Dr. Johnson, "he wishes the subject ended!" Tom wishes his wife possessed of military instincts, so that she may discipline her household; after that is done, he wishes to turn the key on these military instincts, lest they might be of use in some emergency necessary to her personal happiness. Tom wants a wife who loves more than she reasons, because he intends himself to pursue quite a contrary policy. Tom would like a wife who adjusts everything with a smile; although he may use his boots for other purposes than that of locomotion. She must have a pretty face, an easy temper, and an intellect the size of which would allow him to consider his own colossal. Any young lady very weak in the head, and strong in the nerves, and quite destitute of any disgusting little selfishnesses, may consider herself eligible, provided she has money; none others need apply.

Since the world began, there probably never was a marriage of which somebody did not "disapprove." That somebody, and everybody, including relatives, have a perfect right to an opinion on such a subject, nobody doubts. But how far you prove your greater love for "Tom," by whispering round "confidentially" your foreordained determination not to believe that "that woman" can ever make him happy, is a question. Poor fellow! and she of all people in the world; the very last woman you would have selected; which of course is sure to get to Tom's wife's ears, and produce a fine foundation for belief in the reality of your regard for him, and your good nature generally.

Now as there were seldom, or never, two parties bound together in any relation of life, whether as business partners, pastor and people, teacher and pupil, master and subordinate, mistress and maid, who always moved along with perfect unanimity, it is hardly to be expected that the marriage of "Tom" and his wife will effect a total revolution for the better in human nature, any more than did your own marriage. Perhaps even Tom and his wife, though loving each other very much, may have a difference of opinion on some subject; but what is that to you? They don't need your guardianship or supervision in the matter. It is very curious that those persons who clamor most loudly when "Tom" marries without their consent and approbation, are, ten to one, those who have themselves married clandestinely, or otherwise offended against the rigid rule which they would apply in his particular case.

Broad philanthropists! Tom can surely be happy in no way but theirs. They love him so much better than "that woman" possibly can. Poor "Tom!" He looked so poorly last time they saw him. Her fault, of course. They knew it would be just so. Didn't they say so from the first? Poor Tom! such a sacrifice! It is unaccountable how he can like her. For the matter of that, they never will believe he does, (and they might add, he shan't if we can help it.) And so, when they see him, they inquire with a churchyard air, "Is he well?" "Is anything the matter?" "Ah, you needn't tell us; we know how it is; poor Tom—we know you try to bear up under it. Come and see us. We will love you. You never will find us changed."

No. That's the worst of it! No hope of their changing. Bless their souls! How lucky "Tom" has somebody to tell him what a "sacrifice he has made," or he never would find it out! Well, it is astonishing that such people don't see that this is the last way to convince any person with common sense, that they are better qualified to be installed guardians of "Tom's" happiness than "that woman."

It is very strange that men, as a general thing, should be proud of that, of which they should be ashamed, and ashamed of that, which ennobles them. Now, to my eye, a man never looks so grand, as when he bends his ear patiently and lovingly, to the lisping of a little child. I admire that man whom I see with a baby in his arms. I delight, on Sunday, when the nurses are set free, to see the fathers leading out their little ones in their best attire, and setting them right end up, about fifty times a minute. It is as good a means of grace as I am acquainted with. Now that a man should feel ashamed to be seen doing this, or think it necessary to apologize, even jocularly, when he meets a male friend, is to me one of the unaccountable things. It seems to me every way such a lovely, and good, and proper action in a father, that I can't help thinking that he who would feel otherwise, is of so coarse and ignoble a nature, as to be quite unworthy of respect. How many times I have turned to look at the clumsy smoothing of a child's dress, or settling of its hat, or bonnet, by the unpractised fingers of a proud father. And the clumsier he was about it, the better I have loved him for the pains he took. It is very beautiful to me, this self-abnegation, which creeps so gradually over a young father. He is himself so unconscious that he, who had for many years thought first and only of his own selfish ease and wants, is forgetting himself entirely whenever that little creature, with his eyes and its mother's lips, reaches out coaxing hands to go here or there, or to look at this or that pretty object. Ah, what but this heavenly love, could bridge over the anxious days and nights, of care and sickness, that these twain of one flesh are called to bear? My boy! My girl! There it is! Mine! Something to live for—something to work for—something to come home to; and that last is the summing up of the whole matter. "Now let us have a good love," said a little three-year older, as she clasped her chubby arms about her father's neck when he came in at night "Now let us have a good love." Do you suppose that man walked with slow and laggard steps from his store toward that bright face that had been peeping for an hour from the nursery window to watch his coming? Do you suppose when he got on all fours to "play elephant" with the child, that it even crossed his mind that he had worked very hard all that day, or that he was not at that minute "looking dignified?" Did he wish he had a "club" where he could get away from home evenings, or was that "good love" of the little creature on his back, with the laughing eyes and the pearly teeth, and the warm clasp about his neck, which she was squeezing to suffocation, sweeter and better than anything that this world could give?

Something to come home to! That is what saves a man. Somebody there to grieve if he is not true to himself. Somebody there to be sorry if he is troubled or sick. Somebody there, with fingers like sunbeams, gliding and brightening whatever they touch; and all for him. I look at the business men of New York, at nightfall, coming swarming "up town" from their stores and counting-rooms; and when I see them, as I often do, stop and buy one of those tiny bouquets as they go, I smile to myself; for although it is a little attention toward a wife, I know how happy that rose with its two geranium leaves, and its sprig of mignonette will make her. He thought of her coming home! Foolish, do you call it? Such folly makes all the difference between stepping off, scarcely conscious of the cares a woman carries, or staggering wearily along till she faints disheartened under their burthen. Something to go home to! That man felt it, and by ever so slight a token wished to recognize it. God bless him, I say, and all like him, who do not take home-comforts as stereotyped matters of course, and God bless the family estate; I can't see that anything better has been devised by the wiseacres who have experimented on the Almighty's plans. "There comes my father!" exclaims Johnny, bounding from out a group of "fellows" with whom he was playing ball; and sliding his little soiled fist in his, they go up the steps and into the house together; and again God bless them! I say there's one man who is all right at least. That boy has got him, safer than Fort Lafeyette.

If there is an experiment which is worse than any other for a young married couple to make, we believe it to be that of trying to make a home in a hotel. What possible chance has a young wife there to acquire domestic habits? To do anything, in short, but dress half a dozen times a day, and sit in the public parlor, or her own, to gossip with idle women or bandy compliments with idle men. And how—I ask any thinking person—can a young married woman be fitted for quiet home-cares and duties, after a year or two of such idleness and vacuity; Let no young husband expect any favorable result from such an experiment. Better a house with only one room, in a quiet place by yourselves—than such a hollow, shallow life as this. Many a husband has dated from it the loss of all quiet, home happiness; lucky for him, if no more. Go to housekeeping; unambitiously if need be—as the old folks did before you. But have a place sacred to yourselves—have a place which your children in after years will love to think of as home. Do it for their sakes if not for your own. No sight is sadder than that of a weary little one—wandering up and down the entries and halls of a large hotel, peeping into parlors, offices and bar-rooms—listening to what childhood should never hear, and with no alternative but the small, dreary nursery, whose only-window prospect, nine times in ten, is a stack of brick chimneys or a back-shed full of flapping clothes hung out to dry. A father should hesitate long before he dooms a young child to such a "home" as this.

As to women, men are apt to think, and fall into innumerable blunders by so thinking, that because they know one woman they know all; when, in fact, each woman is as much of a study as if he had never seen one of the sex. Bulwer doubts whether man ever thoroughly understood woman. Truly, how should he? when woman does not understand herself; nor can tell why she lives on patiently, hopefully, year after year, with a brute, whose favorite pastime consists in attempts to break her neck every time things go wrong with him, indoors or out. That the better educated husband murders with sharp words instead of sharp blows, makes it none the less murder. The only difference is in the duration of the misery, one being as deadly as the other. Who cares to understand how a woman with bruised heart and flesh can throw over both the charitable mantle that, "he wasn't himself;" and beg off the offender from merited punishment, public or private. Let us rather seek to understand how man, who should be so strong, should fall so immeasurably below his "weaker" self, in the difficult lesson of self-control and forgiveness of injuries.

Some men profess to dislike coquetry; if so, why do they encourage it? Why do they often leave a sensible, well-informed woman to play "wall-flower," while they talk nonsense to some brainless doll, who can only ogle, sigh and simper? It appears to us that men are to blame for most of the faults of women. We always regret to hear a man who has matrimonial views say of a girl, she don't know much, but she is amiable, has a pretty face, and after all, if I need society, it is easy enough to find it elsewhere. A man has no right to marry a woman with intentions so widely diverse from those he professes to entertain, when he vows to be a husband; he is responsibly blameworthy for the consequences that result from such an act; besides, it is a very mistaken notion some men seem to have, that a fool is easily managed; there is no description of animal so difficult to govern; what they lack in brains they are sure to make up in obstinacy, or a low kind of cunning. Then a pretty face cannot last forever, and the old age of a brainless beauty, we shudder to contemplate, even at a distance. Women aim to be what men oftenest like to see them; you may, therefore, easily gauge the masculine standard by the majority of women one daily meets. Heaven pity the exceptions! they must find their mates in another world than this.

One of the meanest things a young man can do, and it is not at all of uncommon occurrence, is to monopolize the time, and attention, of a young girl for a year, or more, without any definite object, and to the exclusion of other gentlemen, who, supposing him to have matrimonial intentions, absent themselves from her society. This selfish "dog-in-the-manger" way of proceeding should be discountenanced and forbidden, by all parents and guardians.

It prevents the reception of eligible offers of marriage, and fastens upon the young lady, when the acquaintance is finally dissolved, the unenviable and unmerited appellation of "flirt." Young man, let all your dealings with women, be frank, honest and noble. That many whose education and position in life are culpably criminal on these points, is no excuse for your short-comings. It adds a blacker dye to your meanness, that woman is often wronged through her holiest feelings. One rule is always safe: Treat every woman you meet, as you would wish another man to treat your innocent, confiding sister.

After all, how any young fellow can have the face to walk into your family, and deliberately ask for one of your daughters, astonishes me. That it is done every day, does not lessen my amazement at the sublime impudence of the thing. There you have been, sixteen, or seventeen, or eighteen years of her life, combing her hair, and washing her face for——him. It is lucky the thought never strikes you while you are doing it, that this is to be the end of it all. What if you were married yourself? that is no reason why she should be bewitched away into a separate establishment, just as you begin to lean upon her, and be proud of her; or, at least, it stands to reason, that after you have worried her through the measles, and chicken-pox, and scarlet-fever, and whooping-cough, and had her properly baptized and vaccinated, this young man might give you a short breathing-spell before she goes.

He seems to be of a different opinion; he not only insists upon taking her, but upon taking her immediately. He talks well about it—very well; you have no objection to him, not the least in the world except that. When the world is full of girls, why couldn't he have fixed his eye on the daughter of somebody else? There are some parents who are glad to be rid of their daughters. Blue eyes are as plenty as blueberries; why need it be this particular pair? Isn't she happy enough as she is? Don't she have meat and bread and clothes enough, to say nothing of love? What is the use of leaving a certainty for an uncertainty, when that certainty is a mother, and you can never have but one? You put all these questions to her, and she has the sauciness to ask, if that is the way you reasoned, when her father came for you. You disdain to answer, of course; it is a mean dodging of the question. But she gets round you for all that, and so does he too, though you try your best not to like him; and with a—"well, if I must, I must," you just order her wedding-clothes, muttering to yourself the while,—"dear—dear—what sort of a fist will that child make at the head of a house? how will she ever know what to do in this, that, or the other emergency"—she who is calling on "mother" fifty times a day to settle every trifling question? What folly for her to set up house for herself! How many mothers have had these foreboding thoughts over a daughter's wedding-clothes; and yet that daughter has met life, and its unexpected reverses, with a heroism and courage as undaunted as if every girlish tear had not been kissed away by lips, that alas! may be dust, when this baptism of womanhood comes upon her.

In my opinion, the "coming" woman's Alpha and Omega will not be matrimony. She will not of necessity sour into a pink-nosed old maid, or throw herself at any rickety old shell of humanity, whose clothes are as much out of repair as his morals. No, the future man will have to "step lively;" this wife is not to be had for the whistling. He will have a long canter round the pasture for her, and then she will leap the fence and leave him limping on the ground. Thick-soled boots and skating are coming in, and "nerves," novels and sentiment (by consequence) are going out. The coming woman, as I see her, is not to throw aside her needle; neither is she to sit embroidering worsted dogs and cats, or singing doubtful love ditties, and rolling up her eyes to "the chaste moon."

Heaven forbid she should stamp round with a cigar in her mouth, elbowing her neighbors, and puffing smoke in their faces; or stand on the free-love platform, public or privatecall it by what specious name you will—wooing men who, low as they may have sunk in their own self-respect, would die before they would introduce her to the unsullied sister who shared their cradle.

Heaven forbid the coming woman should not have warm blood in her veins, quick to rush to her cheek, or tingle at her fingers' ends when her heart is astir. No, the coming woman shall be no cold, angular, flat-chested, narrow-shouldered, sharp-visaged Betsey, but she shall be a bright-eyed, full-chested, broad-shouldered, large-souled, intellectual being; able to walk, able to eat, able to fulfill her maternal destiny, and able—if it so please God—to go to her grave happy, self-poised and serene, though unwedded.

We often think of the solitariness and isolation of the young man—a stranger in a crowded city; suddenly cut adrift, perhaps from loving home influences—finding an inexorable necessity in his nature for sympathy and companionship—returning at night, when his day's toil is done, to his dreary, cell-like room, or, if he go out, solicited by myriad treacherous voices to unlearn the holy lessons taught at his mother's knee—solicited to show his "manliness" by drinking with every acquaintance that chance or the devil may send. That youth must needs be strongly intrenched in the true idea of "manliness" not to waver and turn aside from his own independent course of well-doing. Alas! that to so many the fear of ridicule, or dread of "oddity," should have power to draw a veil over the swift and sure downfall of the drunkard or profligate. Alas! that the little word No should be so impossible of articulation—in a circle, too, whose sneering condemnation of it were not worth a thought, no matter how brilliantly the jest or the song may issue from lips foul with the sophistry of "free-love;" than which freedom nothing is more shackled with disgust and pain; for try as we will, God's image, though marred, shall never be wholly effaced: enough shall be left in every man's and woman's soul to protest against such desecration, though it voice itself, as it often does, in bitter denunciation of what the soul knows to be its only true happiness. The holy stars make no record of the gasping sigh, brief but intense, that their purity has evoked. The little bird trills out its matins, and vespers, all unconscious that their sweetness forces the unwelcome tear from some world-sated eye. Bless God, these moments will and do come to the most reckless—these swift heralds of our immortality—to be silenced never in this world; if disregarded, to be mourned over forever in the next; for the fiercest theologian's idea of "hell" can never, it seems to me, go beyond the consciousness of god-like powers wasted and debased—noble opportunities of benefiting our race defiling past the memory in mournful procession, and the sorrowing soul nerveless, powerless to bid them stay.

To every young man entering the lists against the vices of a crowded city, at such fearful odds, we would say: cultivate an acquaintance, as soon as possible, with some family, or families, whose healthful influence may be your talisman against evil associations, whose good opinion may give an impetus to your self-respect, and whose cheerful fireside may outshine the ignis-fatuus lights which dazzle but to mislead. To those who see difficulties or impossibilities in this, we would suggest the cultivation of a taste for reading, which surely may be compassed in a city, even by a young person of slender means. Good books are safe, pleasant and economical company. The time spent with them is an investment which will not fail to yield a satisfying interest for all future time. Let those who will—and their name, we fear, is legion—wreck health and reputation, for the lack of courage or desire to be true to their better feelings; let those who will, cover their inclination to do evil with the transparent excuse "that it is well to see life in all its phases." As well might a perfectly healthy person from mere curiosity breathe the tainted air of every pest-house in the country. No thanks are due to his fool-hardy temerity if he escape; "served him right!" would be the unanimous verdict of common sense if he should not.

To him who, eschewing such unwisdom, chooses to breathe a healthful, moral atmosphere, it may be a reflection worth having, that he will bring to his future home a constitution and principles as sound as those he so properly requires in the wife of his choice and the mother of his children; and I confess myself unable to see why this should be more necessary in the case of one parent than in that of the other. Such men, and such only, have a call to be husbands.



HAT constitutes a handsome man? Well—there must be enough of him; or, failing in that, but, come to think of it, he mustn't fail in that, because there can be no beauty without health, or at least, according to my way of thinking. In the second place, he must have a beard; whiskers—as the gods please, but a beard I insist upon, else one might as well look at a girl. Let his voice have a dash of Niagara, with the music of a baby's laugh in it. Let his smile be like the breaking forth of the sunshine on a spring morning. As to his figure, it should be strong enough to contend with a man, and slight enough to tremble in the presence of the woman he loves. Of course, if he is a well made man, it follows that he must be graceful, on the principle that perfect machinery always moves harmoniously; therefore you and himself and the milk pitcher, are safe elbow neighbors at the tea-table. This style of handsome man would no more think of carrying a cane, than he would use a parasol to keep the sun out of his eyes. He can wear gloves, or warm his hands in his breast pockets, as he pleases. He can even commit the suicidal-beauty-act of turning his outside coat-collar up over his ears of a stormy day, with perfect impunity;—the tailor didn't make him, and as to his hatter, if he depended on this handsome man's patronage of the "latest spring style," I fear he would die of hope deferred; and yet—by Apollo! what a bow he makes, and what an expressive adieu he can wave with his head! For all this he is not conceited—for he hath brains.

But your conventional "handsome man," of the barber's-window-wax-figure-head-pattern; with a pet lock in the middle of his forehead, an apple-sized head, and a raspberry moustache with six hairs in it; a pink spot in its cheek, and a little dot of a "goatee" on its cunning little chin; with pretty blinking little studs in its shirt bosom, and a neck-tie that looks as if he would faint were it tumbled, I'd as lief look at a poodle. I always feel a desire to nip it up with a pair of sugar-tongs, drop it gently into a bowl of cream, and strew pink rose-leaves over its little remains.

After all, when soul magnetizes soul, the question of beauty is a dead letter. Whom one loves is always handsome, the world's arbitrary rules notwithstanding; therefore when you say "what can the handsome Mr. Smith see to admire in that stick of a Miss Jones?" or, "what can the pretty Miss T. see to like in that homely Mr. Johns?" you simply talk nonsense—as you generally do, on such subjects. Still the parson gets his fees, and the census goes on all the same.

I wonder why people decry a masculine blush: I don't know. I immediately love the man who blushes. I am sure that he is unhackneyed; that he has not a set of meaningless, cut and dried compliments on hand, for every woman he meets; that he has not learned to sniff at sacred things, or prate transcendentally about "affinities" or any other corruption under a new-fangled name. I know that his love will be worth a pure woman's having; that he will not be ashamed of liking home, or his baby, or laughed out of staying in it in preference to any other place. I know that when he stops at a hotel, his first business will not be to hold a private conference with the cook, to tell him how he likes an omelette made. I know that in his conversation he will not pride himself upon the small fopperies of talk, in the way of pronunciation and newly coined words, to show how well he is posted up in dictionary matters. I know that he will not be closeted two thirds of his time with his tailor; or think it fine to be continually quoting some dead-and-gone book, known only to some resurrectionist of scarce authors. I know he will not sit in grimstarched statuesqueness in a car, when a woman old enough to be his mother, is standing wearily in front of him, swaying to and fro with the motion of the vehicle. In short, I know that he is not a petrifaction; that there's human nature in him, and plenty of it; that he is not like an animal under an exhausted receiver, having form only—in whom there is no spring, nor elasticity, nor breath of life.

A fool, hey? No, sir—not necessarily a fool neither. The fool is he who, not yet at life's meridian, has exhausted it and himself; who thinks every man "green" who has not taken his diploma in wickedness. For whom existence is as weary as a thrice-told tale. Who has crowded four-score years into twenty, or less; and has nothing left for it but to sneer at the healthy, simple, pure, fresh joys which may never come again to his vitiated palate.

Very likely you have met him: this blasé man, who, though yet at life's meridian, has squeezed life as dry as an orange. Who has seen everything, heard everything, ate everything, drank everything, traveled everywhere, but into his own heart, to see its utter selfishness. Who is willing, upon the whole, to tolerate his fellow-creatures, provided they don't speak to him when he wants to be silent, or annoy him by peculiarities of dress, manner and conversation. Who remains immovably grave when everybody else laughs, and smiles when everybody else looks grave; who lifts his eyebrows and shrugs his shoulders dissentingly, when people who have not like him "been abroad," applaud. Who talks knowingly and mystically of "art," and thinks it fine to showerbath everybody's enthusiasm with "to-l-e-r-a-b-l-e." Who goes to church occasionally, but owing to the prevalence of badly-fitting coats and vests in the assembly, is unable to attend to the service; who don't care much what a man's creed is, provided he only takes it mild. He likes to see a woman plump and well-made, but abhors the idea of her eating; likes to see her rosy, but can't abide an india-rubber on her foot, even in the most consumptive-breeding weather; thinks it would be well were she domestic when he considers his tea and coffee, but don't believe in aprons and calico. Thinks she should be religious, because it would be a check-rein upon her tongue when his liver is out of order; and keep her true to him when he leaves her with all her yearning affections, to take care of herself.

And so our blasé man yawns away existence, everything outward and inward tending only to the great central I, when life might be so glorious, so bright, would he only recognize the existence of others. For how much is that education valuable, the result of which is only this? For how much that refinement which lifts a man so high in the clouds, that no cry of humanity, be it ever so sharp and piercing, can reach him? I turn away from his face, on which ennui and selfishness have ploughed such furrows of discontent, to the laborer in his red flannel shirt-sleeves, who, returning at sunset, dinner-pail in hand, has well earned the right to clasp in his arms the little child who runs to meet him. He may be illiterate, he may be uneducated, but he is a man; and by that beautiful retributive law of our being, by which the most useful and unselfish shall be the healthiest, and happiest, he has his reward.



HE verdant have an idea, that literary people are always under the influence of "the divine afflatus;" but, like the curious female who gazed through the bars of the doomed man's cell to gloat over his situation, and was told by her victim, that, although the gallows was impending, "he couldn't cry all the time," they are doomed to disappointment.

When a literary person's exhaustive work is over, the last thing he wishes to do is to talk book. The last person he wishes to meet is another unfortunate, who also has been cudgelling his brains for ideas. The person whom he wishes to see most, if, indeed, he desire to see anybody, is one who will stir up his mentality least. The laurel-wreath, which the verdant suppose he settles carefully and becomingly on his head, before the looking-glass, ere he goes forth, he would be glad to toss into the first ash-barrel; and, so far from desiring to regulate his personal appearance, according to the programme marked out by the sentimental, he feels only an insane desire to be let severely alone, and "let Natur caper," if, indeed, she has not forgotten how.

He wants—this wise man—to hear some merry little child sing:

"Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock;
The clock struck one,
And down he ran:
Hickory, dickory, dock."

Or he wants to lean over a fence and see the turnips grow. It rests him to think that the fat, lazy pigs never think, but lie winking their pink eyes forever at the sun. In short, as I told you, he wants just the antipodes of himself.

The sentimental will perceive, from this, the small chance they stand for edification, or amusement, from "literary people" when off duty. Blithe ladies will see, how very jolly it must be to marry a poet or an author. But what shall we say of "the situation" when a literary man and a literary woman are yoked? When the world abroad demands the best of each, and nothing is left for home consumption? When, instead of writing sonnets to each other, and looking at the chaste moon in their leisure moments, as the sentimental have arranged it, they are too used up to do anything but gape? When a change of programme would not only be a blessing, but absolutely necessary, to stave off a Coroner's Inquest? When the sight of a book to either, is like water to a mad dog: particularly the sight of their own books, which represent such an amount of headache, and bother, and sleepless nights, to enable a critic to notice only a printer's mistake in a date, which is generally set down to the author's "want of knowledge of his subject?" When they wonder, in the rasped state of their nerves, what life is worth, if it is to be forever pitched up to that key? When they can't open their mouths on any subject, without perversely saying everything they don't mean, and nothing that they do?

Ah! then is the time for them to catch sight of that athlete—the day-laborer, in red flannel shirt-sleeves, whistling along home with his tools. Do you hear? Tools! Happy man! He won't have to manufacture his tools before he begins to-morrow's work. He can pound away all day, and sing the while, and no organ-grinder has power to drive him mad.

It is a difficult thing for literary people, as well as others, to tell the truth sometimes. Now here is a letter containing an article by which the writer hopes to make money; and of which my "candid opinion is asked, as soon as convenient."

Now in the first place, the article is most illegibly written; an objection sufficient to condemn it at once, with a hurried editor—and all editors are hurried—beside having always a bushel basket full of MSS. already in hand to look over. In the second place, the spelling is wofully at fault. In the third place, the punctuation is altogether missing. In the fourth place, if all these things were amended, the article itself is tame, common-place, and badly expressed. Now that is my "candid opinion" of it.

Still, I am not verdant enough to believe that the writer wished my "candid opinion" were it so condemnatory as this; and should I give it, there is great danger it would be misconstrued. The author, in his wounded self-love, might say, that, being a writer myself, I was not disposed to be impartial. Or he might go farther and say that I had probably forgotten the time when I commenced writing, and longed for an appreciative or encouraging word myself. Now this would pain me very much; it would also be very unjust; because when I began to write I called that person my best and truest friend who dared tell me when I was at fault in such matters. I have now in my remembrance a stranger, who often wrote me, regarding my articles, as they appeared from time to time; who criticised them unsparingly; finding fault in the plainest Saxon when he could not approve or praise. I thanked him then, I do so now; and was gratified at the singular interest he manifested in one unknown to him. I have never seen him all these years of my literary effort; but I know him to have been more truly my friend than they who would flatter me into believing better of what talent I may possess than it really merits.

This is the way I felt about friendly though unfavorable criticism. The question is, have I sufficient courage to risk being misunderstood, should I, in this instance, speak honestly and plainly. Or shall I write a very polite, non-committal answer, meaning anything, or nothing. Or shall I praise it unqualifiedly, and recommend the writer to persevere in a vocation in which I am sure he is certain to be doomed to disappointment; and all for the sake of being thought a generous, genial, kindly, sympathetic sort of person.

Which shall I do?

The writer would not like to descend from his pedestal, and hear that he must begin at the foot of the ladder, and first of all, learn to spell correctly, before he can write. And that after words, must come thoughts; and that after thoughts, must come the felicitous expression of thoughts. And that, after all that, he must then look about for a market for the same.

This, you see, is a tedious process to one who wants not only immediate but large pecuniary results, and evidently considers himself entitled to them, notwithstanding his deference to your "candid opinion."

But what a pleasure, when the person appealed to, can conscientiously say to a writer, that he has not over but under-rated his gifts! What a pleasure, if one's opinion can be of any value to him, to be able to speak encouragingly of the present, and hopefully for the future. And surely, he who has himself waded through this initiatory "Slough of Despond," and, by one chance in a thousand, landed safely on the other side, should be the last to beckon, or lure into it, those whose careless steps, struggle they ever so blindly, may never find sure or permanent foot-hold.

"What did I do, after all, about that letter?" Well, if you insist upon cornering me, it lies unanswered on my desk, this minute: a staring monument of the moral cowardice of Fanny Fern.



HIEF of all sublunary abominations is the slatternly woman. I blame no man for longing to rush from a house, the mistress of which, habitually, and from choice, pays him the poor compliment of pouring out his coffee in curl-papers, or tumbled hair, or dingy, collarless morning gown, and slip-shod feet. If there is a time when a pretty woman looks prettier than at any hour in the twenty-four, it is in a neat breakfast toilette, with her shining bands of hair, and nice breakfast robe, (calico, if you like, provided it fit well, and the color be well chosen); and if there is a time when a plain woman comes the nearest to being handsome, it is in this same lovable, domestic dress.

I will maintain that the coffee and eggs taste better, and that the husband goes more smilingly and hopefully to his day's task, after helping such a wife to bread and butter. I could never comprehend the female slattern—thank heaven there are few of them—or understand how a woman, though she had no eye to please but her own, should not be scrupulously neat in all the different strata of her apparel.

I repeat it, I blame no man from rushing in disgust from a house whose mistress is a slattern; who never pays her husband the compliment to look decent in her person or in her house, unless company is expected; who reserves her yawns and old dresses for her husband, and strikes an attitude for his male friends; whose pretty carpets are defaced with spots; whose chairs are half dusted; whose domestic dinners are uneatable; whose table-cloth, castors, and salt-cellars are seldom regenerated; and whose muslins look as if they had been dipped in saffron.

Not to speak of the wastefulness of this crying fault: bonnets, shawls and cloaks will not long retain their beauty if left on chairs or tables over night, instead of being carefully put away; bracelets and brooches are not improved by being trodden upon, or ribbons and laces by being hastily wisped into a corner. To such an extreme do I carry my horror of an untidy woman, that I would almost refuse to believe in the virtue of such an one. Not that I admire the woman who is always at her husband's heels with a brush and a dust-pan; who puts him under the harrow if he does not place his boots under the scraper before entering the parlor; who has fits if his coat is not hung up on the left side of the door instead of the right; who when he has but ten minutes to spare after breakfast to enjoy the morning paper, drives him out of his comfortable corner by the fire, to brush up a spoonful of ashes on the hearth; who is always "righting," as she calls it, his own particular den, which I am convinced all husbands must be allowed to enjoy, neck deep in confusion unmolested, if their wives wish the roof to stay on.

I once had the misfortune to live in the house with such a female, whose husband roosted half his in-door time on the top of the table, to keep clear of the mop. How her cap-strings flew through the doors; what galvanized broomsticks she wielded; how remorselessly she ferreted out closets, and disembowelled cupboards; how horribly she scraped glass and paint; and how anxious she looked to begin again when it was all done. How I slunk behind doors, and dodged behind screens, and jumped out of windows, to get out of the vixen's way; and how I sat swinging in the elm tree in the orchard at a safe distance till the whirlwind was past.

Heavens; how that india-rubber woman would go to baking after she had done cleaning, and to ironing after she had done baking, and to sewing after she had done both; how vindictively she twitched her needle through, as if she wished it were some live thing, that she might make it feel weariness and pain. How like whipped spaniels her children looked; and what a reverence they had for washing and ironing days; how remorselessly she scrubbed their noses up and down of a Sunday morning, and shoved them into their "meetin clothes," turning the pockets carefully inside out, to see that no stray bit of string, or carnal marble, or fish-hook remained, to alleviate the torture of the long-drawn seventeenthlies of the parson's impracticable discourse.

Still this female gave her husband light bread to eat; his coffee and tea were always strong and hot; he might have shaved himself by the polish of the parlor table; his buttons were on his shirts, and his stockings always mended; but the man—and he was human—might as well have laid his night-cap beside a sewing-machine. And oh, the weary details of roasting, baking and broiling to which he was compelled to listen and approve between the pauses. The messes, which in any other female hands but hers, would inevitably have stewed over or burnt up or evaporated. The treasure he had in her, culinarily and pecuniarily, though he didn't know it!

What I want to know is this:

Must a model housekeeper always have thin lips, thick ankles, a bolster-figure, and a fist like an overgrown beet? Need she take hold of her children as if total depravity were bristling out of every hair of their heads? Need the unhappy cat always take its tail under its arm and creep into the ash-hole whenever she looks at it? Is a sweet temper foreordained to be incompatible with sweet cupboards? Would it be unchristian to strangle such women with their own garters?

I pause for a reply.

I don't like to admit it, but there are two things a woman can't do. First, she can't sharpen a lead pencil. Give her one and see. Mark how jaggedly she hacks away every particle of wood from the lead, leaving a spike of the latter, which breaks as soon as you try to use it. You can almost forgive the male creature his compassionate contempt, as chucking her under the chin, he twitches it from her awkward little paw, and rounds, and tapers it off in the most ravishing manner, for durable use.  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

Last week a philanthropist (need I say a male philanthropist) knowing my weakness, presented me with a two-cent-sharp-pointed-lead-pencil. My dreams that night were peaceful. I awoke like a strong-minded woman to run a race. I sat down to my desk. I might have known it; "I never loved a tree or flower," etc. Some fiend had "borrowed" it. Oh the misery that may be contained in that word "borrowed." When you are in a hurry; when the "devil" is waiting in the basement, stamping his feet to get back to the printing-office; when you've nothing but a miserable little "chunky"-old-worn-out-stub of an inch long lead pencil to make your "stet"-s and "d"-s. Shade of Ben Franklin! shall I, before I "shuffle off this mortal coil"—though I don't know what that is,—ever own another two-cent sharp-pointed-lead-pencil?

I have said that there are two things a woman can't do. I have mentioned one. I wish to hear no argument on that point, because when I once make up my mind "all the king's men" can't change it. Well, then—Secondly: A woman can't do up a bundle. She takes a whole newspaper to wrap up a paper of pins, and a coil of rope to tie it, and then it comes unfastened. When I go shopping, which it is sometimes my hard lot to do, I look with the fascinated gaze of a bird in the neighborhood of a magnetic serpent, to watch clerks doing up bundles. How the paper falls into just the right creases! how deftly they turn it over, and tuck it under, and tie it up, and then throw it down on the counter, as if they had done the most common-place thing in the world, instead of a deed which might—and, faith, does—task the ingenuity of "angels!" It is perfectly astonishing! It repays me for all my botheration in matching this color and deciding on that, in hearing them call a piece of tape "a chaste article," and for sitting on those revolving stools fastened down so near the counter, that it takes a peculiarly constructed shopper to stay on one of them.

Thirdly—I might allude to the fact that women cannot carry an umbrella; or rather to the very peculiar manner in which they perform that duty; but I won't. I scorn to turn traitor to a sex who, whatever may be their faults,—are always loyal to each other.—So I shall not say, as I might otherwise have said, that when they unfurl the parachute alluded to, they put it right down over their noses,—take the middle of the sidewalk, raking off men's hats and woman's bonnets, as they go, and walking right into the breakfast of some unfortunate wight, with that total disregard of the consequent gasp, which to be understood must be felt, as the offender cocks up one corner of the parachute, and looks defiantly at the victim who has had the effrontery to come into the world and hazard the whalebone and handle of her "umberil!" No, I won't speak of anything of the kind; besides, has not a celebrated writer remarked, that when dear "woman is cross, it is only because she is sick?" Let us hope he is right. We all know that is not the cause of a MAN'S crossness. Give him his favorite dish, and you may dine off him afterward—if you want to.

Amiable creatures are the majority of women—to each other; charitable—above all things charitable! Always ready to acknowledge each other's beauty, or grace, or talent. Never sneer down a sister woman, or pay her a patronizing compliment with the finale of the inevitable—"but." Never run the cool, impertinent eye of calculation over her dress, noting the cost of each article, and summing up the amount in a contemptuous toss, whether it amounts to fifty cents or five hundred dollars, more likely when it is the latter! Never say to a gentleman who praises a lady, what a pity she squints! Never say of an authoress, oh yes—she has talent, but I prefer the domestic virtues; as if a combination of the two were necessarily impossible, or as if the speaker had the personal knowledge which qualified her to pronounce on that individual case.

Well-bred, too, are women to sister woman.—Never discuss the color of her hair, or the style of its arrangement, her smile, her gait, so that she can hear every word of it. Never take it for granted that she is making a dead-set at a man, to whom she is only replying—"Very well, I thank you, sir." Never sit in church and stare her out of countenance, while mentally taking her measure, or nudge some one to look at her, while recapitulating within ear-shot all the contemptible gossip which weak-minded, empty-headed women are so fond of retailing.

Now just let a dear woman visit you. Don't you know that her eyes are peering into every corner and crevice of your house all the while she is "dear"-ing and "sweet"-ing you? Don't you know that her lynx eyes are on the carpet for possible spots, or mismatched roses? Don't she touch her fingers to the furniture for stray particles of dust? Don't she hold her tumblers up to the light, and examine microscopically the quality of your table-cloths and napkins, and improvise an errand into your kitchen to inspect your culinary arrangements, to the infinite disgust of Bridget? Don't she follow you like a spectre all over the house, till you are as nervous as a cat in a cupboard? Don't she sit down opposite you for dreary hours, with folded hands, and that horse-leech—"now-talk-to-me" air—which quenches all your vitality—and sets you gaping, as inevitably as a minister's "seventeenthly."

Ah, the children! How could I forget the little children? I clasp the hand of universal woman on that; Heaven knows I don't want to misrepresent them. And after all, do I ever allow anybody to abuse them but me? Never!

There are many kinds of women. Of course I adore them all; but there is one who excites my unfeigned astonishment. I allude to the rabbit woman. She has four chins and twelve babies. She has two dresses—a loose calico wrapper for home wear, and a black silk for "meetin'." She eats tremendously, and never goes out; she calls her husband "Pa." She is quite content to roll leisurely from her rocking-chair in the nursery to the dining-room table, and thence back again, year in and year out. She knows nothing that is passing in the outside world, nor cares. She never touches a book or a newspaper, not even when she is rocking her baby to sleep, and might. She never troubles herself about Pa, so long as he don't get in her way, or sit on the twelve babies. She has a particular fondness for the child who cries the most, and won't go to sleep without a stick of candy in each fist. She has a voice like an auctioneer, and prefers cabbage to any vegetable extant.

"Pa" is devoted to her, i. e., he calls her My dear, and as soon as he enters the house, before hanging up his hat, kisses all the twelve children immediately, whether dirty or clean, and inquires tenderly after her health: keeps her stupid on a full diet, and flirts desperately, at a safe distance, behind her back.

Secondly, there is the prim woman, with her mouth always in a prepared state to whistle; who crosses over if she sees a man coming, and tosses up the end of her shawl when she sits down, lest she should crease it; who keeps her parasol in several layers of tissue-paper when not on duty: puts her two shoes on the window-sill "to air" every night, and suggests more indelicacy by constantly running away from it, then she could ever find by the most zealous search.

Thirdly, there is your butterfly woman, who, provided her wings are gay and gauzy, is not particular where she alights. Who cannot exist out of the sunbeams, and dreads a rainy day like an old gown. Who values her male acquaintance according to their capabilities for trotting her to balls, operas and parties, and giving her rings and bouquets. Who spoils all the good looks she has, trying to make herself "look better," and turns into a very ordinary caterpillar after marriage.

Fourthly, there is your library woman, steeped in folios; steeped in languages, both living and dead; steeped in ologies, steeped in politics; who walks round a baby as if it were a rattle-snake, and if she was born with a heart, never has found it out.

Fifthly, there is your female viper—your cat—your hyena. All claws, nails and tongue. Wiry, bloodless, snappy, narrow, vindictive; lapping up your life-blood with her slanders, and clawing out your warm, palpitating heart. Out on her!

Sixthly, there is your woman—pretty or plain, it matters not; lady-like by nature; intelligent, but not pedantic; modest, yet not prudish; strong-hearted, but not "strong-minded" (as that term is at present perverted); no "scholar," and yet well read; no butterfly, and yet bright and gay. Merry without noise, silent without stupidity, religious without fanaticism, capable of an opinion, and yet able to hold her tongue. If married, not of necessity sinking into a mere machine; if unmarried, occupying herself with other things than husband-hunting. Liking books, yet not despising needles and brooms; genial, unaffected, good-natured; with an active brain, and a live heart under lock and key. God bless her! wherever she is, for she redeems all the rest.

Do you suppose that the woman ever lived who would prefer single to married life had she ever met with a man whom she could really love? I have seen cold, intellectual women, apparently self-poised and self-sustained, gliding like the moon on their solitary path alone, diffusing light, perhaps, but no warmth; to the superficial observer looking as carelessly down upon joy as upon sorrow; but no power on earth could persuade me, that beneath that smooth ice there smouldered no volcano; no reasoning persuade me that those fingers would not rather have been twisting a baby's soft curls, than turning the leaves of musty folios; no negative shake of the head, or forced laugh, prevent my eyes from following with sorrowful looks the woman who was trying to make herself believe such a lie. Let her pile her books shelf upon shelf, and scribble till her pen, ink, paper, thoughts, eyes and candle give out;—and then let her turn round and face her woman's heart if she dare! I defy her to stop long enough to listen one half hour to its pleadings. I defy her to sit down in the still moonlight and look on, while old memories in mournful procession defile before her soul's mirror, without a smothered cry of anguish. I defy her to listen to the brook's ripple, the whispered leaf-music, or to look at the soft clouds, the quiet stars, the blossoming flowers, the little pairing birds as they build their nests—and above all, upon a mother with her babe's arms about her neck—without turning soul-sick away. She is not a woman if she can do otherwise. She is not a woman if she can be satisfied with clasping her own arms over a waist which belongs to nobody but herself. I declare her to be a machine—a stick—and carved in straight instead of undulating lines; she's an icicle—an ossification—a petrifaction—an abortion—a monster—let her keep her stony eyes and cold fingers off me; she has no place in this living, breathing, panting, loving world. Out upon her for a walking mummy—leave her to her hieroglyphics, which are beyond my understanding.

Pshaw—there are no such women; they are only making the best of what they can't help; they are eating their own hearts and make no sign dying. They ought all to be wives and mothers. Cats, poodle-dogs, parrots—plants, canaries and vestry meetings—are nothing to it. No woman ever has the faintest glimpse into heaven till she has nursed her own baby; in fact, I half doubt if she has earned a right to go there till she has legitimately had one.

Now were I an old maid—had no man endowed me with the names of wife and mother, I would not go round the world whining about it, either in prose or verse, any more than I would affect a stoicism, transparent to every beholder; I would just adopt the first fat baby I could find, though I had to work my fingers to the bone to keep its little mouth filled. I would have some motive to live—something to work for—something, in flesh and blood, which I could call my own:—some little live, warm thing to put my cheek against when my heart ached. Unprotected!—"A little child" with its pure presence, should be my protection. I wouldn't dry up and blow off like a useless leaf, with the warm, fragrant sunshine and blue sky about me, and my heart beating against my breast like a trip-hammer. My little room shouldn't be cheerless and voiceless. I wouldn't die till some little voice had called me "mother," though my blood did not flow in its rosy veins. I would have something to make sunshine in my heart and home; my nature shouldn't be like a tree growing close to a stone wall, only one half of which had a chance to develop, only one half of which caught the air and light and sunshine—no, I would tear myself up by the roots, and turn round and replant myself. Some bird should come, make its home with me, and sing for me; else what use were my sheltering leaves? Better the lightning should strike me, or the woodman's axe cut me down.

Men who have any physical defect, are apt to imagine that it will forever be a barrier between them and woman's love. There never was a greater mistake than this, as has been proved again and again in love's history. Not a hundred years since, nor a hundred miles distant, we heard of a young girl who had become strongly attached to a young man who was blind in one eye; and for that very reason! He was sensitive about his infirmity to that degree, that he shrank from general society, particularly that of ladies, whose presence seemed to make him morbidly miserable; so much had he exaggerated what he was quite unaware would call forth sympathy, instead of ridicule, from any true woman. The young girl, of whom we speak, knowing what we have related about him, though personally a stranger to the young man, had insensibly, through her pity, begun to love, and was then earnestly seeking some way in which, without compromising her modesty, she could encourage his notice of her. One thing you may always be sure of. No woman is in love with a man whom she freely praises, and of whom she oftenest speaks; but if there is one whom she never names, if she start and blush when others name him, if she can find no voice to answer the most common-place question he addresses her, if she avoid him, and will have none of him, if she pettishly find fault with him when he is commended to her notice by others, look sharp, for that is the man.



BELIEVE every one is of the opinion that children should be taught civility; but there is one way that they are tortured, in the zealous parental endeavor to teach them politeness, which seems to us deserving of the severest reprehension. Some person comes to the house, it may be a valued and worthy friend, who is unfortunately repulsive in appearance and manners. Mamma tells Johnny to "go kiss" the lady, or gentleman, as the case may be. Now Johnny, like other human beings, has his personal preferences, and in a case like this especially, prefers spontaneity. He may obey, it is true, but it is a question when a simple recognition would have answered, whether an act involving hypocrisy were not better omitted. I speak from experience, remembering well the horror with which I looked forward, in my childhood, to the periodical visits of a snuffy old person. I think my uncompromising hatred of tobacco in every form, dates back to those forced snuffy kisses, followed in many cases by actual nausea, and in all by a vigorous facial ablution on my part, after the repulsive ceremony. To this day, a colored silk handkerchief, of the antique pattern most affected by snuff-takers, affects me as does the sight of a red shawl, a belligerent rooster, or bull.

That horrible colored silk handkerchief! preferred to a white one, for a reason which makes one's flesh creep, and one's blood run cold, fumbled ever and anon from the stifling depths of a huge pocket, and flourished with its resurrectionized effluvia, under your disgusted and averted nose. Excuse my speaking with feeling, dear reader, for even in these later days have I sacrificed many a comfortable seat in a public conveyance that those infatuated lovers of the weed in every shape might have a wide berth for their noisome atmosphere. Now, to force a little child, fresh and sweet, with a breath like a bunch of spring violets, to contact with such impolite persons, for the sake of "politeness" seems to me an act of tyranny worthy of Nero.

Some mothers seem unwilling to recognize a child's individuality. "She is such a strange child—so different from other children," a mother remarked in my hearing, with a sigh of discontent; as if all children should be made after one model; as if one of the greatest charms of life were not individuality; as if one of the dearest, and weariest, and least improving, and most stagnating things in the world, were not a family or neighborhood which was only a mutual echo and re-echo.

"Different from other children!" Well—let her be different; you can't help it if you would—you ought not if you could. It is not your mission, or that of any parent, to crush out this or that faculty, or bias, which is God-implanted for wise purposes. You are only to modify and direct such by judicious counsel. A child who thinks for itself, prefers waiting upon itself, and is naturally self-sustained, is of course much more trouble than a heavy-headed child, who "stays put" wherever and however you choose to "dump" him down; but it is useless to ask which, with equally good training, will be the most efficient worker in the great life-field. Suppose he does question your opinions occasionally, don't be in a hurry to call it "impertinence;" don't be too lazy or too dignified to argue the matter with him; thank God rather, that his faculties are wide awake and active. Nor does it necessarily follow that such a child must be contumacious or disobedient. Such a nature, however, should be tenderly dealt with, Firm yet gentle words—never injustice or harsh usage. You may tell such a child to "hold its tongue" when it corners you in an argument, often, without any intentional disrespect, but you cannot prevent its thinking. It should not follow that a young person must, as a matter of course, though they mostly do, adopt the parental religious creed. Some parents I have known unwise enough to insist upon this. A forced faith for the wear and tear of life's trials, is but a broken reed to lean upon. On these subjects talk yourself; let your child talk, and then let him, like yourself, be free to think and choose, when this is done.

Out of twenty violets in a garden, you shall not find any two alike, but this does not displease you. One is a royal purple, another a light lilac; one flecked with little bright golden spots, another shaded off with different tints of the same violet color, with a delicacy no artist could improve. You plant them, and let them all grow and develop according to their nature, now and then plucking off a dead leaf, now loosening the earth about the roots, or watering or giving it shade or sunshine, as the case may be, but you don't try to erase the delicate tints upon its leaves and substitute others which you fancy are better. No human fingers could recreate what you would mar—you know that; so you bend over it lovingly, and let it nod to the breeze, and bend pliantly to the shower, or lift its sweet face, when the sun shines out, and through all its various changes you do not sigh for monotony. So, when I see a family of children, I like the mother's blue eyes reproduced, and the father's black eyes. I like the waving, sunny locks, and the light brown, and the raven; I like the peach-blossom skin, and the gipsy olive, round the same hearthstone, all rocked in the same cradle. Each is beautiful of its kind; the variety pleases me. Just so I like diversity in regard to temperament and mental faculties. Each have their merits; Heaven forbid they should be rolled and swathed up like mental mummies, bolt upright, rigid, and fearfully repeated; no collision of mind to strike out new ideas, no progress, no improvement. Surely this is not the age for that.

A public toast recently given runs thus; "Our parents: the only tenders who never misplaced a switch."

Now you may laugh at that—so did I—but where could you find a greater fib? Many a time and oft have parents laid the switch on their children's backs, when they should have applied it to their own; many a time has the lash which should have descended upon the back of the favorite, fallen upon his much abused brother's. There is nothing in creation which parents so often misplace as the switch; and it need not of necessity be a birchen rod or a ferule; there are switches which cut deeper than either, of which many a ruined man and woman can tell you.

I knew two children—one blundering, but honest, sincere, self-reliant, speaking the plain truth on all occasions without qualification, making his requests in few words, and smothering his disappointment as best he might when refused. The other, wily, diplomatic, Chesterfieldian, ever with a soft word on the tip of his tongue, to pave the way for the much desired boon, which was never refused, so winning, so courteous, so apparently respectful was the seeker. Follow these two children. See the latter in the play-ground, boasting to his young associates what he has got from the "old gentleman" or the "old lady," boasting what he will yet get—boasting that he knows how to do it; rehearsing to them the disgusting pantomime of the caress, the respectful, deferential attitude which he uses on such occasions. Follow the other to his little room at the top of the house; see him sitting in gloomy silence, too proud to weep, too proud to complain, brooding over the injustice done him—not hating the fraternal owner of the "coat of many colors," no thanks to those who gave them both birth, but looking into the far dim future with that wistful longing which comes of unloved, precocious childhood; sitting there—with his own hand turning the poisoned arrow round and round in the festering wound, incapable of extracting it, and yet knowing no balm to assuage its intolerable anguish.

Follow out their two histories. See the Chesterfieldian favorite sent to college; contracting long livery-stable, hotel, and tailors' bills, with a perfect reliance upon his diplomatic abilities to "set it all right with the old gentleman;" thanking him deceitfully for his unparalleled generosity to a son so unworthy; alluding delicately to his pride in him as a father, and trusting some day to make a proper return for all his goodness, etc., etc. See the "stupid boy" who is summarily set down to be wanting in cleverness, accepting in silence this verdict, and the consequent disposal of his time in some uncongenial, distasteful employment, till at last, wearied out by the silent drop that descends mercilessly and unremittingly, hour by hour, on his tortured soul, he rushes from the home which has been a home only in name, and wanders forth, with the gnawing pain in his heart for silent company. Merciful God! what is to keep him? His blood is young and warm, his heart throbbing wildly in his breast for what every human thing yearns for—sympathy—love!

Years pass on. The college boy returns with more knowledge of horses, wine and women, than of Greek, Latin and mathematics—returns to receive the congratulations of partial friends that he has passed off for pure gold the glittering brass of his showy superficiality. The truant's name is never mentioned, or if so, with the hope, not that he may be kept from evil, but "that he may not disgrace us." Meanwhile the wanderer lies languishing on a bed of sickness in a foreign country. Woman's heart is the same in all lands, when pity knocks at it, else had he closed his eyes in exile. Pity he had not—pity he returned to be asked, with cold tones and averted eyes, why he did not stay there. Pity that he could not smother that unconquerable longing which approaching death brings, to look our last upon our native land. Pity that the errors born of neglected childhood, and forsaken youth, should have been held up to him by the pharisaical hands which goaded him into them, even at the tomb's portal. Pity that sinful man may not be merciful as a holy, pitying God.

I ask you, and you, and you, who have woven the "coat of many colors" for some one of your household—you who, by your partiality and short-sightedness, are fostering the rank weeds, and trampling under foot the humble flowers—you who are bringing up children whose hearts shall one day be colder to each other than the dead in their graves—you upon whom shall be visited—alas! too late—every scalding tear of agony and disappointment from out young eyes, which should have beamed only with hope and gladness;—I ask every parent who is doing this, if he or she is willing that his or her child shall grow up by these means to lose his faith in man, and sadder still, in God?

I wonder is it foreordained that there shall be one child in every family whom "nobody can do anything with?" Who tears around the paternal pasture with its heels in the air, looking at rules, as a colt does at fences, as good things to jump over. We all know that the poor thing must be "broken in," and all its graceful curvetings sobered down to a monotonous jog-trot; that it must be taught to bear heavy burdens, and to toil up many a steep ascent at the touch of the spur; but who that has climbed the weary height does not pass the halter round the neck of the pretty creature with a half-sigh, that its happy day of careless freedom should be soon ended?

How it bounds away from you, making you almost glad that your attempt was a failure; how lovingly your eye follows it, as it makes the swift breathless circle, and stops at a safe distance to nod you defiance. Something of all this every loving parent has felt, while trying to reduce to order the child whom "nobody can do anything with."

Geography, grammar and history seem to be put into one ear, only to go out at the other. The multiplication table might as well be written in Arabic, for any idea it conveys, or lodges, if conveyed, in the poor thing's head. Temperate, torrid, and frigid zones may all be of a temperature, for all she can remember, and her mother might have been present at the creation of the world, or at the birth of the Author of it, for aught she can chronologically be brought to see.

But look! she is tired of play, and has taken up her pencil to draw; she has had no instruction; but peep over her shoulder and follow her pencil; there is the true artist touch in that little sketch, though she does not know it—a freedom, a boldness which teaching may regulate, never impart. Now she is tired of drawing, and takes up a volume of poems, far beyond the comprehension, one would think, of a child of her years, and though she often miscalls a word, and knows little and cares less about commas and semi-colons, yet not the finest touch of humor or pathos escapes her, and the poet would be lucky, were he always sure of so appreciative a reader. She might tell you that France was bounded south by the Gulf of Mexico, but you yourself could not criticise Dickens or Thackeray with more discrimination.

Down goes the book, and she is on the tips of her toes pirouetting. She has never seen a dancing-school, nor need she; perfectly modeled machinery cannot but move harmoniously; she does not know, as she floats about, that she is an animated poem. Now she is tired of dancing, and she throws herself into an old arm-chair, in an attitude an artist might copy, and commences to sing; she is ignorant of quavers, crotchets and semi-breves, of tenors, baritones and sopranos, and yet you, who have heard them with rapturous encores, stop to listen to her simple melody.

Now she is down in the kitchen playing cook; she turns a beef-steak as if she had been brought up in a restaurant, and washes dishes for fun, as if it had been always sober earnest; singing, dancing and drawing the cook's portrait at intervals, and all equally well done.

Now send that child to any school in the land, where "Moral Science" is hammered remorselessly and uselessly into curly heads, and she would be pronounced an incorrigible dunce. Idiotically stupid parrot-girls would ride over her shrinking, sensitive shame-facedness, rough-shod. She would be kept after school, kept in during recess, and have a discouraging list of bad recitation marks as long as Long Island; get a crooked spine, grow ashamed of throwing snow-balls, have a chronic headache, and an incurable disgust of teachers and schools, as well she might.

She is like a wild rose, creeping here, climbing there, blossoming where you least expect it, on some rough stone wall or gnarled trunk, at its own free, graceful will. You may dig it up and transplant it into your formal garden if you like, but you would never know it more for the luxuriant wild-rose, this "child whom nobody can do anything with."

Some who read this may ask, and properly, is such a child never to know the restraint of rule? I would be the last to answer in the negative, nor (and here it seems to me the great agony of outraged childhood comes in) would I have parents or teachers stretch or dwarf children of all sorts, sizes and capacities, on the same narrow Procrustean bed of scholastic or parental rule. No farmer plants his celery and potatoes in the same spot, and expects it to bear good fruit. Some vegetables he shields from the rude touch, the rough wind, the blazing sun; he knows that each requires different and appropriate nurture, according to its capacities. Should they who have the care of the immortal be less wise?

"You have too much imagination, you should try to crush it out," was said many years ago to the writer, in her school-days, by one who should have known that "He who seeth the end from the beginning," bestows no faculty to be "crushed out;" that this very faculty it is which has placed the writer, at this moment, beyond the necessity of singing, like so many of her sex, the weary "Song of the Shirt."

One request I would make of every mother. Make your "nursery" pleasant. Never mind about your "parlor," but is your nursery a cheerful place? Is there anything there upon the wall for little eyes to look at, and little minds to think about when they wake so early in the morning; or as they lounge about when a stormy day keeps them close prisoners? If not, see to it without delay. Don't say I "can't afford it;" one shilling—two shillings will do it; if you can spare a few shillings more, so much the better. You know the effect a bright, cheerful apartment has upon yourself, even with all your mature resources for thought and pleasure. Think then of the little children, reaching out their young thoughts, like vine tendrils, for something to twine about, something to lean on, something to grow to,—in fine, something to think and talk about. A blank, white wall is not suggestive or inspiriting. Give the little nursery prisoner something bright to look at. Can that be called "a trifle" which makes home attractive? We think not. Therefore we like flowering plants in windows. There are some houses which make us feel as though we were on friendly terms with the inmates, through these cheerful, mute tokens. Mute! did I say? Have our past lives been so barren of incident that the perfume of a flower never brought before us some bright face, or loved form, which has made life for us blessed? You must have felt it—and you and you; I am sure of it. Just such a rose as that you have "seen in her hair;" and you sit dreamily looking at it, as it sways gracefully on the stem; and you wonder what the dear child, so many hundred miles away, is thinking of now; and whether her full-blossomed life has fulfilled its budding promise. And that reminds you how the whirlpool of life's cares and duties has almost engulfed these sweet memories; and resolutely turning your back upon them all, you sit down and write a warm heart-letter, which comes to her in her distant home, like a white-winged dove at the window of a dreary winter day. And all this came of the little rose in your window; the old love wakened in your heart, and the gladness to hers!

Eloquent? If flowers are not eloquent, who or what is? Then, why are so many withered leaves put away with bright tresses and pressed passionately to lonely lips, whose quivering no eye sees save His "who wounds but to heal?" Eloquent? Could mines of gold buy them? This was twined in her bridal veil; that was laid upon her coffin-lid. No fingers but yours may touch the shrivelled treasures. For her sake you have placed their blossoming counterparts in your window. You shut your eyes when you go near them, that their perfume may seem her very breath.

Eloquent? Why does the old man stoop, and with trembling fingers pick the daisy or violet, and place them in his button-hole? Don't question him about it when strangers are by. It is the key to his whole life—that little flower.

"My mother liked primroses," the matron says to her little child; and so they blossom in her home as they did, many years ago, in the sunny nursery-window of her childhood. Ah, these "mothers!" whose "rights," guaranteed by the Great Law-giver, nor statute makers, nor statute breakers can weaken or set aside. Long years after they are dust, shall some little blossom they loved be placed in a bosom which yearns unceasingly, over and above every other human love, for her who gave it these warm pulsations. Blessed be these memorials of "the long ago!"

There is a class of mothers, easy mothers, who lose much time by not finding time for imperative duties. We wish it were possible to persuade some of them, who are otherwise most excellent mothers—how much trouble they would save themselves, by exercising a little firmness toward their young children. Of course it takes more time to contest a point with a child, than to yield it; and a busy mother not reflecting that this is not for once, but for thousands of future times, and to rid herself of importunity, says wearily—"yes—yes—you may do it;" when all the while she knows it to be wrong and most injurious to the child. Then there comes a time when she must say No! and the difficulty of enforcing it, at so late a period of indulgence, none can tell but "easy" mothers of self-willed children. For your own sakes, then, mothers, if you have not the future good of your children at heart; for your own sakes—and to save yourselves great trouble in the future, learn to say No—and take time to enforce it. Let everything else go, if necessary, because this contest must be fought out, successfully, with every separate child; and remember once fought it is done with forever. When we see mothers, day by day, worried—harassed, worn out by ceaseless teasings and importunities, all for want of a little firmness at the outset, we know not whether to be more sorry or angry.

Again: some mothers are so busy about the temporal wants of their children that they are wholly unacquainted with them spiritually. You are very careful of your daughter's dress; you attend personally to its purchase and fit. You go with her to see that her foot is nicely gaitered; and you give your milliner special instructions as to the make and becomingness of her bonnets; but do you ever ask yourself, what she is thinking about? In other words, do you know anything at all of her inner life? Many who are esteemed most excellent mothers, are as ignorant on this all-important point as if they had never looked upon their daughters' faces. They exact respectful obedience, and if the young creature yields it, and has no need of a physician's immediate services, they consider their duty done. Alas, what a fatal mistake! These are the mothers, who, never having invited the confidence of those young hearts, live to see it bestowed anywhere and everywhere but in accordance with their wishes. Is it, can it be enough to a mother worthy the name, to be satisfied that her daughter's physical wants are cared for? What of that yearning, hungry soul, that is casting about, here and there, for something to satisfy its questionings? Oh, give a thought sometimes to this. When she sits there by the fire, or by the window, musing, sit down by her, and love her thoughts out of her. Cast that fatal "dignity" or indifference to the winds, which has come between so many young creatures and the heart to which they should lie nearest in these important forming years. "Respect" is good in its place; but when it freezes up your daughter's soul-utterances; when it sends her for sympathy and companionship to chance guides, what then? A word, a loving, kind word, at the right moment! No mind can over-estimate its importance. Remember this, when you see the sad wrecks of womanhood about you; and amid the sweeping waves of life's cares and life's pleasures, what else soever you neglect, do not fail to know what that young daughter of yours is thinking about.

How strong sometimes is weakness! When a very young child loses its mother, before it has yet learned to syllable her name, we are generally struck with pity at what we call its "helpless condition;" and yet, after all, its apparent helplessness is at once its strength and shield; for is not every kind heart about it immediately drawn toward it in love and sympathy? Do not the touch of its soft hand, its pretty flitting smile, the "cuddlesome" leaning of the little head, the trustful innocence of its eyes, do more for it, than could all the eloquence of Demosthenes? I was struck with the truth of this not long since, upon going into a shop to make a purchase, where I found the young girl who usually waited there, with a little babe in charge, whose mother had just died. Looking about the shop, and remarking the many calls upon her time and attention, as she moved quickly around with this pretty little burden upon her arm, I said, this child must be a great care for you. Yes, said she; but oh, such a comfort, too. And so playing with the baby and talking the while, I learned that before its mother died, it was taken in every night for her to kiss it, before it was put to sleep. After the mother's funeral, as the young girl was passing through that room with it, the little creature stretched out its hands toward the empty bed for the accustomed kiss? Tears stood in her eyes, as she again kissed the baby. I knew now how it was that the "comfort" outweighed the "care." No voice from the spirit-land could so effectually and solemnly have bound up her future with that orphan baby as that mute reaching out of its loving arms to that empty bed. Now had that young girl a soul for labor; a motive for living. Now there was something to repay toil. Something for her to love—something to love her. Every customer who came in, was so much toward a subsistence for little Annie. Ah, the difference between plodding on for cold duty's sake, and working with one's heart in it! The little shop looked bright as heaven, that cold November afternoon, and I went out of it, wondering what people could mean when they spoke of "infant helplessness;" since all New York might have failed to do for that little one, what it had accomplished for itself by that one unconscious, touching little action.



OMEN boarders are often called troublesome; but it must be remembered that all a man wants of his room is to sleep and dress in, but it is a woman's home; and alas! often all she has. She would not be a woman did she not desire to make it tidy and habitable. This—her landlady contracts to do. The fruitless ringings for fresh-water, towels, coal, lights and a clean carpet—and she is not allowed to go down stairs after them herself—are not unknown to any woman who has worn life out in boarding-houses. It is not, as I remarked, in the nature of a woman to be comfortable in Babel; nor does its owner fancy a cloud of dust, raised in the middle of the day, upon her nicely smoothed hair, or clean collar, because the chambermaid has an appointment with John, the waiter, in the entry, or because she enjoys lolling out the front window on her elbows an hour in every room she is "righting," instead of attending promptly to her business, and getting through with it.

Now, man is by nature an unclean animal. I doubt if he would ever wash his face, were there no women about who would refuse to kiss him if he didn't. Well—he clears a hole in the middle of his room, and gets ready for breakfast; which he swallows, and then bolts through the front-door, (dining down town,) not to return again till evening. What possible difference, then, does it make to him, whether his bed be made, and his room swept at ten o'clock in the morning, or four in the afternoon? His home is in the restaurant, in the store, in the street, anywhere and everywhere, that temptation and inclination may lead him; four walls don't bound his vision. He can afford to be philosophical about brooms and dust-pans.

But let Biddy take them into his counting-room. Let him stand round on one leg while she—having moved his desk and displaced his ledgers and papers, preparatory to a sweep—runs out into the street half an hour, under pretence of getting a broom, to gossip with an acquaintance. Let him, getting impatient, sit down in the midst of the hub-bub, and drawing up his inkstand, commence writing. Let Biddie re-enter, just as he gets under way, with a frisk of that wretched, long-handled duster, which tosses on more dust than she ever takes off. Let him rise again and make way for her, and then—let her bob off again—after a little water, and stay another half hour,—and all the while the merciless clock ticking on, and the perspiration standing on his forehead at this unnecessary waste of his time and temper, and the work he hasn't done, and let Biddy repeat this in that counting-room, to that man, every morning in the year, (365 mornings). How long do you suppose he would stand that?

Well, that's just what women in boarding-houses have to put up with. That's why they are troublesome. That's why they can't help it. That's why landladies like men who live everywhere but in their rooms, and who, provided their mattress is not put in their washbowl, and the ends of their cigars are not broken by the landlady's little boy, give her carte blanche as to dirt and other luxuries.

On the other hand I acknowledge that a man-boarder eats four times as much as a woman, and often keeps his landlady waiting weeks to have her bill paid, if indeed he ever pays it. Then he tumbles up stairs at midnight in an oblivious condition, thumping against all the doors as he goes, frightening the single women into fits, and waking up hapless babies, to drain the last drop of the milk of motherly kindness? Then he brings his comrades home to dinner or to tea, and expects his poor struggling landlady to omit all mention of the same when she makes out her bill? Then, notwithstanding this, he sniffs at the eggs, cracks stale jokes on the chickens; rails at the beef, looks daggers into the coffee-cup, and holds his supercilious nose when the butter is too near; and by many other gentlemanly tokens shows the poor widow, whose husband once would not let the wind blow roughly on her, that he will grind her and her children down to the last fraction, that he may spend it on cigars and drinks, while the gray hairs gather thickly on her temples, and she goes to sleep every night with a "God help me," on her lips.

It is a self-evident fact, that all women are not ladies, in the best sense of the word; i. e. by virtue of behavior, not dress; no doubt landladies as well as others have often discovered this. It is very easy to tell "a lady" by the standard of behavior. Ten women shall get into an omnibus, and though we never saw one of them before, we shall select you the true lady. She does not titter when a gentleman, handing up her fare, knocks off his hat, or pitches it awry over his nose; nor does she receive her "change," after this inconvenient act of gallantry, in grim silence. She wears no flowered brocade there to be trodden under foot, nor ball-room jewelry, nor rose-tinted gloves; but the lace frill round her face is scrupulously fresh, and the strings under her chin have evidently been handled only by dainty fingers. She makes no parade of a watch, if she wears one; nor does she draw off her dark, neatly-fitting glove to display ostentatious rings. Still we notice, nestling in the straw beneath us, such a trig little boot, not paper-soled, but of an anti-consumption thickness; the bonnet upon her head is plain, simply trimmed, for your true lady never wears full-dress in an omnibus. She is quite as civil to the poorest as to the richest person who sits beside her, and equally regardful of their rights. If she attracts attention, it is by the unconscious grace of her person and manner, not by the ostentation of her dress. We are quite sorry when she pulls the strap and disappears. We saw a lady do a very pretty thing the other morning. Our omnibus was nearly full of ladies, going down town, when quite an elderly man slowly mounted the steps, and clambered in, taking a seat by the door. The lady next him, observing him take out his fare, smilingly extended her hand to the venerable man, passed the money up to the driver, and returned the change. It was a little thing, but, oh, how lovely! more particularly, as the old man's hat was shabby, his coat seedy, and he had every mark of poverty about him. That woman will make a good wife, said we, and we had half a mind to ask her address, for the benefit of some young man; only that we reflected that unless her virtues were backed by "a fortune," they might possibly go a-begging.

The "term" lady has been so misused, that I like better the old-fashioned term, woman. I sometimes think the influence of a good woman greater than that of a good man. There are so many avenues to the human heart left open to her gentle approach, which would be instantly barred up at the sound of rougher footsteps. One may tell anything to a good woman. In her presence pride sleeps or is disarmed. The old child-feeling comes back upon the world-weary man, and he knows not why he has reposed the unsought confidence which has so lightened his heart. Why he goes forth again ashamed that one so feeble is so much mightier. Why he could doubt and despair where she can trust and wait. Why he could fly from the foe for whose approach she so courageously tarries. Why he thinks of the dagger, or pistol, or poisoned cup, while she, accepting the fierce blast of misfortune, meekly bows her head till the whirlwind be overpast,—believing, hoping, knowing that God's bright smile of sunshine will break through at last.

The world-weary man looks on with wonder, reverencing yet not comprehending. How can he comprehend? He who stands in his pride, with his panting soul uncovered, in the scorching Zahara of Reason, and then complains that no dew falls, no showers descend, no buds, blossoms, or fruit cheer him. How can he who faces with folded arms and defiant attitude, comprehend the twining love-clasp and satisfied heart-rest which come only of love? Thank God, woman is not too proud to take what she so much needs. That she does not wait to comprehend the Infinite before she can love. That she does not plant her foot, and refuse to stir, till her guide tells her why he is leading her by this path instead of that; and though every foot-print be marked with her heart's blood, she does not relax her grasp or doubt his faith.

Well may her glance, her touch, the rustle of her garments even, have power to soothe and bless; well may the soft touch of such upon brows knotted with the world's strife bring coolness and peace. Oh, woman, be strong-minded as you will, if only you be pure and gentle-hearted.

While on the Woman Question I wish to say that my sympathies have always been strongly enlisted for female teachers. Of all who go fainting by the roadside of life, heart-sore and heart-weary, none are more utterly so than the majority of our female teachers. A male-teacher is, generally, able to overawe the misgoverned young girls committed to his charge; or, if he is not, his tougher organization precludes the possibility of that exquisite degree of torture which she endures from it. The female teacher must withdraw to her room when the day's toil is over, quivering often with nervous excitement, worn out, body and spirit, with the struggle for daily bread, hungering more for sympathy and a kind word than for that; taking to her dreams the rude superciliousness of pupils, spoiled to her hand; the only answer possible to whom has been the burning blush of degradation, the suppressed tear or sob.

I shall be told that there are teachers who abuse their trust—mercenary, ungrateful, impervious to any moral considerations. Of course, in all professions there are those who are better out than in it. Plenty who are trying to regulate delicate microscopic springs with an iron crowbar. Teaching is not exempt from its bunglers and charlatans; but, outside of this, there is the long, pale-cheeked procession of female teachers, stretching out feeble hands from the jostling crowd, trembling lest by some unintentional oversight of theirs they lose the approbation of employers, and with it their means of subsistence; bearing patiently the petty insults of willfulness, of selfishness, of arrogance, all uncomplainingly, day by day, week by week, month by month, as the slow years roll on; nor, is there any help for this, as many young people are at present educated; when a teacher, though often possessed of double the native refinement of the taught, is considered by them merely as an upper servant, to be quizzed, to be cheated, to be tormented, at every possible opportunity; and with all her earnest and conscientious endeavors, to be held responsible for the consequences of natural dullness and premeditated sloth; and all for the grudging permission to keep soul and body together. Many may think this an overdrawn picture. Would that it were!

Not long since, a young girl apologized to her private lady-teacher, for the necessary postponement of several lessons, on account of illness. With much feeling the teacher answered: "Do not mention it, I beg. That is nothing. That is unavoidable. Meantime, you are always respectful to me, always kind, always polite. You never hurt my feelings, mademoiselle. Some of my pupils are so rude, so insolent; it is very hard to teach such." Comment is unnecessary. How "hard" it must be for a gentle, refined and educated woman to endure these things, my readers can judge.

If any young girl should read this who has hitherto supposed that money gave her the power to treat with disrespect such a person; that money could remunerate her for the agony she made her endure, let her remember that money sometimes takes to itself wings, and that there may come a time when, seeking her daily bread, she too may hunger for the respectful appreciation she now so heedlessly withholds.

We believe it is generally admitted that a woman of even average acquirements can write a better letter than a man. We think there are two good reasons for this. First, they are not above narrating the little things which bring up a person or a scene more vividly to the mind than anything else. They write naturally, as they talk; while a man takes his pen too often in the mood in which he would mount a platform to address his "fellow-citizens," using big words, and stiltified language. Hence a man's letters are for the most part stiff and uninteresting. Commend us to a woman's letter when information about home matters, or any other matters, is really needed. In making these remarks, we do not forget a sentimental class of female letter-writers; they are the exceptions, and any one who has patience, may read their wordy, idea-less effusions. We cannot. Still every one of us must remember, when absent, letters from some female member of the family, which were worth more than all that the collected male intellect of the household could furnish. You, and you, and you—have them now we dare say, stained by time and perhaps tears, yet still precious above rubies.

There are sometimes women who develop a smart business capability worthy of a man; but as a general thing there are few people who speak approbatively of such a woman. No matter how isolated or destitute her condition, the majority would consider it more "feminine," would she unobtrusively gather up her thimble, and, retiring into some out-of-the-way-place, gradually scoop out her coffin with it, than to develop the smart turn for business which would lift her at once out of her troubles; and which, in a man so situated, would be applauded as exceedingly praiseworthy. The most curious part of it is, that they who are loudest in their abhorrence of this "unfeminine" trait, are they who are the most intolerant of dependent female relatives. "Anywhere out of the world," would be their reply, if applied to by the latter for a straw for the drowning. "Do something for yourself," is their advice in general terms; but, above all, you are to "do it quietly," unobtrusively; in other words, die as soon as you like on sixpence a day, but don't trouble us! Of such cold-blooded comfort, in sight of a new-made grave, might well be born "the smart business woman." And, in truth, so it often is. Hands that never toiled before, grow rough with labor; eyes that have been tearless for long, happy years, drop agony over the slow lagging hours; feet that have been tenderly led and cared for, stumble as best they may in the new, rough path of self-denial. But out of this bitterness groweth sweetness. No crust so tough as the grudged bread of dependence. Blessed be the "smart business woman" who, in a self-sustained crisis like this, after having through much tribulation reached the goal, is able to look back on the weary track and see the sweet flower of faith and trust in her kind still blooming.

A good honest soul once said that "all she wanted, when she got to Heaven, was to put on a clean apron and sit still." After all, the idea is more profound than funny. There are times in every housekeeper's life when this would be the embodiment of Paradise. When the head throbs with planning, contriving, and directing; when every bone aches in the attempt to carry the programme into successful execution; when, after having done one's best to draw to a focus all the infinitesimal cob-web threads of careful management, some new emergency is born of every last attempt, till every nerve and muscle cries out, with the old woman, for Heaven and a clean apron! Of course, after a period of carefree rest, this earth seems after all a very nice place to stay in; but while the fit lasts, no victim of unsuccessful love, or of sea-sickness, is more truly deserving of that which neither ever get—heartfelt pity. It is well that is not the prevailing feeling, else how could we all toil and moil, as we do, day after day, for six feet of earth to engulf it all at last! It is well that to painstaking mothers and delving fathers, earth seems so real. Were it not so, the wheels of this world would stick fast, of course.

The men would hang themselves because there are three hundred and sixty-five days in a year, and every morning of all these days, they must button their shirt-wristbands. The women would think of nine children and one at the breast, and every one to be worried through the measles, scarlet fever, chicken-pox, and whooping-cough; while Bridget and Betty would incontinently drown themselves at the never-ending succession of breakfasts, dinners and suppers, to be gobbled up by people constantly ringing the bell for "more." Heaven and a clean apron! the idea is delicious. Let us hope the old woman got it.

Speaking of Bridget and Betty, let me ask the women who read this one question. How do you treat your household servants? "None of my business." But it is yours; and for fear you should forget it, I take the liberty to call your attention to it. Are they overworked? underpaid? indifferently fed? Do you ever give them a holiday? Do you ever lend them a book to read of a leisure evening? Do you ever give them a leisure evening? Do you care for them when they are sick? Do you remember that they, like yourself, have fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, toward whom a good word or kind action from you, might be the pivot upon which their whole life should turn, for good or evil, joy or sorrow? Perhaps some young girl among them, dependent and oppressed, despondent and discouraged, to whose side you might step, and to whose heart you might bring that delicious joy, the sense of protection, for the want of which so many despairing feet turn astray forever.

None of my business? Make it yours, then: for a woman's heart beats in your kitchen,—over your wash-tub,—over your ironing-table,—down in your cellar,—up in your garret. A kind word is such a little thing to you—so much to her. Your cup is so full to overflowing,—hers often so empty, so tasteless. And kindness so wings the feet of Duty. Think of it.

There is one thing that puzzles me about our women who live in the country; as a general thing they might as well, it seems to us, be without feet, for all the use they make of them, out of doors. We cannot but think they make a mistake in tackling up old Dobbin to convey them a mile, or a mile and a half, as the case may be, to the village store, for any little articles of home consumption. Why not array themselves in thick shoes fit for rough roads, and stir the blood by a little healthful exercise? We do not believe, how active soever their indoor occupations may be, that they can ever entirely supersede this necessity for out-door exercise. We have often marvelled, when chance has thrown us among them for a few days, at their slavish subserviency to horse-flesh on every trifling occasion. They seem to regard the city visitor's preference for walking, as a sort of lunacy, harmless perhaps, but pitiable. They see "no object," in going over the threshold "just for a walk." Well—every one to their taste—notwithstanding the currents of "fresh air" always to be had by every one who lives inside a country house, we would not, voluntarily, surrender the privilege of snuffing it outside, and snuffing it on foot, too. This is our advice to both the country and the city wife.

Wife! There are no four letters in the language expressive of so much that is holy and sweet. Wife! that is a word claimable only by one. A man can have but one wife, in a Christian community! That is her proud, undisputed, indisputable, title. Let her hold on to it.

The other day we overheard this exclamation. That his wife! and a long sigh, and ominous shake of the head followed it. The object of this commiseration had "a genius" for a husband. Crowds of worshippers had he—male and female, known and unknown, declared and silent. According to them, he never opened his mouth without scattering word-pearls. All were desirous to know him; some because they really admired his talent; many because it made them of consequence to be his friends. Presents of all kinds were laid at his feet and just enough enemies had he to convince the most skeptical that he had made a success in the world.

And that was his wife! Good gracious! That little, plain, unpretending, quiet body, with not even a "stylish" air to recommend her! It was awful. Why?—didn't she love him? Oh, yes; how could she help it? Was she not a good mother to his children? Oh, yes. Was she not a careful, orderly housekeeper? Oh, yes. Was she not sensible and well-informed, and able to take a creditable place as conversationalist at his table and fireside? Oh, yes all of that; but he should have had an elegant, talented, brilliant wife. No he shouldn't. He has just the wife he wants. A practical, common-sense woman, proud of her husband in her own demonstrative way. Smiling quietly at the world's estimate of the unostentatious virtues, which make his home a pattern of neatness, order and comfort. Smiling quietly, as the conscious possessor of his heart could afford to do, at the meddling short-sightedness which would displace her "brilliant, talented woman," whom ten to one, even had she good sense with her brilliancy he never would like half as well, because God has endowed few men with magnanimity enough to rejoice in those qualities which make a wife—like her husband—resourceful and self-reliant. No—no, my friends, let them alone. What affair is it of yours, if they themselves are content? Ah—but we won't believe they are content. We persist in pitying him. We could pick out twenty splendid women with whom he would be better mated. Very like—my dear madame;—and yourself, first of the twenty, no doubt! Pshaw! leave him with his patient, quiet, unobtrusive, sensible, good, little, homely wife. "A male genius"—my sentimental friend—likes a good dinner—plenty of kicking room—and a wife who, if she differs from him in opinion, won't say so.



TRUST that it involves no disloyalty to Queen Victoria to dislike Toronto; it is the last of her Majesty's dominions that I should select for a residence. Its tumble-down, dilapidated aspect, its almost total absence of adornment in architecture, or ornamentation in shrubbery, was, I confess, very repelling to me. One excepts, of course, what is called the "College Walk," leading to the fine new University buildings and grounds, consisting of an entire mile of handsome shade trees, but alas! a line-and-plummet, undeviating, straight mile, innocent of the faintest suspicion of a curve. Still, on the pleasant afternoon we walked there, we enjoyed it, as well as the sight of the crowd, dressed in holiday attire, sauntering past us. I saw no beauty in their faces, but a look of jolly health, which, to my eye, was quite as pleasing. The young girls, perhaps, looked a trifle too theatrical, in the little straw crowns of hats without brim, a large ostrich feather being curled over the forehead, instead. This head-dress, worn with quite ordinary dresses, seemed to me incongruous, and not in good taste; but one forgives much to a sunny, bright face, and this would be a very monotonous world, were all individuality destroyed. It struck me that there was an immense number of sixteen-year-old young girls in Toronto; perhaps their mothers and aunts don't go out, or they may be youthful mothers and aunts—who knows? It struck me, too, that the Torontonians enjoyed themselves; every face wearing a smiling, care-free expression, rare to meet in larger places; so, if they like their pigs to run loose in the street, who shall say them nay, provided they don't trip up the Prince of Wales?

It was funny to see the "beadle" standing in the cathedral porch on Sunday morning, with his scarlet cloth collar and pompous air. If he had the usual cocked hat belonging to his office, I didn't see it, but he found us a good seat, and I trust we prayed for "the Queen and Prince" after the minister, with as much zeal as any of her subjects. The church service was indeed the best part of the performance, the sermon being very harmless and rigidly respectable. Perhaps that was the reason my thoughts wandered to a lad of twelve or thirteen near by, who was starched up in a white cravat, and dressed like his grandfather. There were some stylish equipages round the church door as we came out, and many that were not stylish, but seemed comfortable enough for all that. If I thought Toronto rather a "slow" place, the fault may be in my quicksilver temperament, which sent me off by railroad through the backwoods to Detroit, after one day's sojourn in it. Ah! that I liked! Those grand old woods, those primeval trees, towering and stately as "cedars of Lebanon;" those log-huts with the bronzed mother standing in the door-way, and a group of rosy little children about her; the woodman near by, resting on his axe at the sound of the shrieking whistle, all unconscious how pretty a picture he and his were making. And so on, for miles and miles, through that bright day, we never wearied of gazing till the sun went down. When it rose again it found us in Detroit, and quite as comfortably settled as we could have been in the best hotel in New York. Breakfast, and then a carriage to see the place. Detroit will do. There are flowers in Detroit; there are pretty gardens and vine-festooned windows; they make good coffee in Detroit, and grow peaches, or at any rate sell them—which answered my purpose just as well. Some of the streets and buildings are very pretty. There are funny little market carts, similar to those one sees in Quebec, driven about by women who sell apples, beans and potatoes. There are plenty of stores there, and civil salesmen. One need not cut his throat in Detroit, said I, as we took a farewell glance from the deck of the propeller, on which we were to glide up Lake St. Clair. It seems so strange that people will go, year after year, through the tiresome monotony of watering-place life; the same unvarying, uninteresting round of dressing and dancing, when a tour of a week or more on our Northern Lakes would be so soul-satisfying and healthful. It must be that many of them only need reminding of its superior advantages, and the ease and comfort with which so many hundred miles may be traversed, to undertake it. But to enjoy it, it must be done on the right principle. If a woman, you are not to dress up, and, striking an attitude in the ladies' saloon, take out that everlasting crochet-work, with which so many women martyrize themselves and their friends, to pass the time. You are to array yourself in a rough-and-tumble-dress, with the plainest belongings; then you are prepared to scramble up on the upper deck, to promenade there and look about; or go into the wheel-house and ask questions of the jolly, gallant captain; or go "down below" and see emigrant life, among the steerage passengers; or, when the boat stops to take in coal or freight, to jump out on the landing, and make your way, through boxes and barrels, up into the town during the brief half-hour stay of the boat. You are to do anything of this kind that a modest, dignified, independent woman may always do, without regard to Mrs. Grundy, or her numerous descendants on sea and shore. That's the way to make the Northern Lake trip.

Eleven days without a newspaper! and yet we ate, and drank, and slept, and grew fat, as our boat carried us farther and farther from all knowledge of the "horrid disclosures," and "startling developments" of fast Gotham. We were blissfully ignorant how many men choked, poisoned, and were otherwise attentive to their wives, during those bright days when we sat on deck, basking in the sun, with our fascinated gaze fixed upon the bright foam-track, or upon the sea-gulls, that, with untiring wing, followed us hundreds of miles, now and then laving their snowy breasts in the blue waves; or, as we gladly welcomed the smaller, friendly birds, that flew into the cabin windows, and fluttered about the ceiling, as if glad to see new faces in their trackless homes. We were ignorant—and contented to be—during this tranquil period, of "mass-meetings," and "barbecues," and "pugilistic encounters," and scrambles for office, the baptismal name of which is "patriotism." Meanwhile the fresh wind blew on our bronzed faces, and we glided past lovely green islands, on which Autumn had hung out, here and there, her signal flag, warning us—spite of the pleasant breeze—not to linger too long where the fierce winds would soon come to lash the waves to more than old Ocean's fury. Who could dream it, "with the blue above and the blue below," and we so gently rocked and cradled? Who could believe it—that heavenly evening, when we watched the sun sink beneath the waves on one side of us, as the moon rose majestically out of them on the other, while before us the beautiful island of "The Great Spirit," was set like an emerald in the sapphire sea? Now and then an Indian in his fragile canoe, with a blanket for a sail, gave us rough welcome in passing. How could we realize on that balmy evening, that for eight months in the year, he saw those green pines covered with snow, or that he guided huge dogs to carry the mail, through paths accessible only to Indian feet, or that spring and autumn were there almost unknown, so rapidly did winter and summer, with their intense heat and cold, succeed each other. Entranced and spell-bound we asked, Can it ever be dreary here? Hark! to that sound of music, as another boat, homeward bound, plashes past us, with its living freight. One moment and away! Heaven send them safety! And now picturesque little huts are dotted in and out among the trees, along the line of shore, and the solemn mysteries of life and death go on there too. And now, as if every illuminated page in Nature's book were to be turned for us, flashes up the Aurora! in long, quivering lines of light,—rose-color and silver—till earth, sea and sky are ablaze with glory! Oh, let us go home and gather together all who love us, (this boat would more than hold them,) and let us always live on these waters, said I; such nice, quiet sleep in the cosy little state-rooms where one cannot lose anything, because there is no room to lose it; and then the pleasant surprise of the new landing-places with their Frenchy-Indian names, and the strange but friendly faces on the pier; the mines too, to explore in this rich country, often held by residents in the old world; oh, you may be sure, even without Broadway, there would be no lack of excitement on these Lakes, no more than there would be lack of culture, refinement and intelligence among their residents; for it must needs be men of mark who are the pioneers in these wildernesses; men who will stand strong as do its rocks, when the waves of discouragement dash against them, waiting the lull of winds and storms, for the fore-ordained sunshine of prosperity. There are women, too, here; not flounced and be-gemmed and useless, but bright-eyed and fair-browed, for all that, and loving appreciatively the wild, grand beauty of these lakes and woods, even when laggard Winter holds them ice-bound. Nor need the traveller be surprised, on stepping ashore, to find here a large, well-appointed hotel, with a bill of fare no epicure need despise, especially when the far-famed fish of these regions is set before him.

The Indian, when asked to work, points significantly, and with characteristic nonchalance, to the lake for his answer! Spite of the poets, I found no beauty among these people, save in the bright eyes of one little child, who was playing outside the door of a wigwam, on the shore of that lovely Sault River, so rich in its clustering islands, so beautiful with its foaming rapids; miniaturing those of Niagara. The Indians dart over and about these rapids in their egg-shell boats with startling fearlessness. I am sorry to inform you, by the way, that the "nymph-like Indian maid" wears a hoop! In this vicinity—for one instant—I wished that I were a squaw; particularly as she was a chief's widow, and was being rowed in a pretty canoe by fourteen Indians, whose voices "kept tune as their oars kept time." A nearer inspection of her opulent ladyship might have disinclined me to the exchange, but at that distance, as her picturesque little canoe safely coquetted with the foaming, sparkling rapids, her position seemed enchanting.

Homeward bound! and now we must leave all these beautiful scenes, and say Farewell to the kind faces which greeted us so many happy "good mornings" and "good nights." There are mementoes now before me: mignonnette from the bright-eyed girl of "Marquette;" specimens of "ore" from "the Doctor," of sterling value as himself; and recollections of at least one member of the press, glad, like ourselves, to escape from pen and ink. Ah! who has not hated to say Farewell?

"We must come again next summer," said we all—so said the Captain.

Ah! the poor Captain. My eyes fill—my heart aches, as if I had known him years, instead of those few bright, fairy days. Poor Captain Jack Wilson, with his handsome, sunshiny face, cheery voice, and manly ways! How little I thought there would be no "next summer" for him, when he so kindly helped me up on the hurricane deck, and into the cosy little pilot-house, to look about; who was always sending me word to come "forward," or "aft," because he knew I so much enjoyed seeing all beautiful things; who was all goodness, all kindness, and yet, in a few hours after we left him, found a grave in that cruel surf!

The afternoon of the day we had said our last "Good-bye" to him, on the Chicago pier; we had taken a carriage to drive round the city, and reined up at the "draw," for a boat to pass through. It was the "Lady Elgin," going forth to meet her doom! We kissed our hands gaily to her in the bright sunshine "for auld lang syne," and that night, as we slept safely in our beds at the hotel, that brave heart, with a wailing babe prest to it, had only that treacherous raft between him and eternity. The poor captain! How can we give him up? As his strong arm sustained the helpless on that fearful night, may God support his own gentle ones, or whom our hearts ache, in this their direst need.

I never fancied going up and down stairs, nor did I like to see only the ankles of the Chicago people on a level with the carriage windows, while riding through their streets. How any mortal gets about those breakneck localities in the evening, with the present insufficient means of illumination, (I except of course, the lighting of the principal thoroughfare,) I am at a loss to conjecture. I advise all young doctors to emigrate to Chicago; stumbling strangers at least must yield them a rich harvest. Having lightened my conscience on this point, I wish to add that I was delighted with Chicago; delighted with the fine architectural taste displayed in the new buildings already finished and in process of building. I very much admired one of the churches in Michigan Avenue, composed of variegated stone. Some of the private residences may safely challenge competition with any in New York, on the score of magnificence. The principal stores are narrow, but of an immense length, and full of choice goods; they only differ from ours of the same class, in the fact that a little of everything may be purchased in each one; instead of the usual "dry goods" limitation. Religion and tobacco seem to be the staple products of Chicago; the shops for the sale of the latter, having a wonderful prominence and attractiveness, and as to churches, their name is legion. The handsome mammoth hotel now being built, we only hoped might be monopolized by the landlord who made our stay so comfortable.

Notwithstanding a persistent rain, our ride through alternate woods and prairies, from Chicago to Cleveland was quite delightful. The luxuriance of vegetation was a constant source of pleasure to me. There were giant trees, festooned with wild vines, and beautiful spikes of purple and yellow flowers, tantalizing my itching fingers as we shot past; the cars always stopping, of course, where nothing but "Groceries" was to be seen, except in one instance, where "Groceries and Boarding" made a pleasing variety. Quantities of prairie-hens fluttered out of the long grass, as we passed, safe enough from any gunpowder tendencies of mine, while wonderfully prolific families of spotted pigs "took their time" to pay attention to our shrieking whistle. Abundance, indeed, seemed to be written on everything, even to the jetty coronal of hair on the head of a young, barefooted girl of eighteen, who, alas! was smoking a long-nine in the doorway of her log-hut. I dare say, though, that the poor thing did it in self-defence, as I am convinced all women in this country will be obliged to—sooner or later,—as men grow more and more selfish in regard to the tobacco-nuisance, the churches at present being the only place where one is sure of escaping it, and I am expecting every Sabbath to see the "curling incense" rise there.

Political meetings had been held that day, all along our route, and a great multitude of the unwashed, uncombed, and, for all I could see, unshirted men, entered the cars at the various stopping-places, shaking the rain from their manes like so many shaggy Newfoundlands; "fust-rate fellows"—fearful at spitting and the quill-toothpick exercise!—evidently unused to the curly specimen of female, judging by the looks of blank astonishment with which they regarded—open-mouthed—your humble servant. Of course, we did not see a "rolling prairie" on this route; however, as we had just done a little extra "rolling" on Lake Superior, perhaps it was as well deferred till another summer.

There is no person who has such rigid "go-to-meetin" ideas of propriety, according to her own formula of expounding it, as your countrywoman who seldom ventures beyond the smoke of her own chimney; I had the misfortune to shock one irretrievably by transferring from one of our scrambling way-station dinners an ear of corn, upon which to regale at my leisure in the cars. If eyes turned inside out, in holy horror could have moved me, then would that ear of corn never been eaten; but alas! I was both hungry and independent, and Mrs. Grundy could only turn her back and weep over one more unfortunate, lost to all sense of decorum. A little salt however, with one's corn, is not amiss; so I lived to chronicle it.

It would, and did, keep on raining till we reached Cleveland, at ten on Saturday evening. On the following Monday, unfortunately for belated travellers, was to take place the inauguration of the Perry monument, to which all the country for miles round were flocking, not to mention any number of military companies and strangers from a distance, bound on the same patriotic errand. Every hotel, and even private residences, were crammed to the last possible extent; this, of course, we did not know till our trunks were dumped on the wet sidewalk, and the hackman had made his grinning exit. Ladies, wet, hungry ladies, sat eying each other like vampires, (bless 'em!) in the hotel parlors, while despairing cavaliers, brothers, lovers and husbands, mopped their damp brows in the halls, after vain appeals to demented landlords, who had turned billiard tables into couches, and shutters into cots. These agonized fair ones, at each fresh disappointment, could only ejaculate, faintly, "Good gracious, what's to be done?" as they flattened their noses against the window-panes, and took one more look into the muddy streets; and another train yet to arrive at that late hour, with four hundred more moist, hungry wretches! Thanks, then, to the landlord, who immediately turned, for us, his own private parlor into a bed-room, and surrounded us with every possible comfort.

The sun shone out brilliantly on Monday upon the beautiful city of Cleveland, swarming with red coats, and rustics, and civilians, to see the statue, of which they may well be proud, both on account of its intrinsic merit, and because it is the work of a native artist. It stands conspicuously in "Olive Park," its fine proportions in beautiful relief against the dense foliage. We saw Cleveland in holiday attire, it is true, but apart from that it impressed me most agreeably, with its gigantic shade trees and pretty streets and gardens. It is said that women surrender their hearts easily to a military uniform. If so, it is because it stands to them as an indorsement of the wearer's bravery and chivalry, qualities in men which all women adore. I must confess, at any rate, to the pleasure of looking on a large, well-filled hall of red-coats, at dinner, in our hotel, the evening before we left. The "wait—a—a—h—s," to be sure, seemed of the flying-artillery order, but even they seemed to take a glorified pleasure in wearing out shoe-leather in such service! Truth to tell, the inevitable suit of solemn black worn by the universal American masculine in this country, is getting monotonous. I noticed, speaking of this, that every countryman who came to the show had caught the infection, and had apparelled himself in the same sacerdotal manner, although a suit of that color is not only uglier and more expensive than any other, but looks infinitely worse when dusty or worn. Who shall arise to deliver our American male population from this funereal frenzy.

If our entrance to Cleveland just before the Perry celebration was fraught with peril, our exit, on the day after, was a little more so. The wise ones foreseeing the rush, anticipated it; the unwise, among whom we were of course numbered, slept on it, and started on the following morning, just as if nothing had happened. As a natural consequence, when we reached the depot with our baggage there was scarcely even standing-room, either in the long train of cars just leaving, or in those preparing to do so. Now it is bad enough to get up and put on your clothes inside out by gas-light. It is still worse to eat, not because you have an appetite, but for fear you shall have, but after being "put through" this experience, and taking a last shivering farewell of the warm bed, where you should have "cuddled" for hours, to crawl into a dark car, in a dismal depot, and tumble over women who are already seated on portmanteaus on the car floor, and find barely a place to stand, why it——is trying? Not the whispered consolation—"wait till the light shines into the car, and you'll have a seat fast enough," (from a male friend, well versed in railroad travel, from a masculine point of view) consoled me for the weary five minutes I poised on one foot, at that early hour, with not a hook to hang my basket or my hopes on. Good fortune came at the end of that time, through annexation, in the shape of two more cars, into one of which I was hurried, with a haste more necessary than decorous. Ominous muttering of "half an hour behind time," met my ear, from male mal-contents. Happy in the possession of a seat at last, and thoroughly disgusted with such "hot haste" at daylight, I faintly remarked that I should be content, did they not pull my seat from under me, to sit there till doomsday. It is not the first time I've made a rash remark: nettle-rash this turned out! But how was I—a woman—to know that "half an hour behind time," meant "no right to the road?" that it meant subservience to freight trains and every other train, from seven o'clock that morning, to seven that blessed evening?—that it meant, we were to sit weary hours and half-hours at a time, in some Sahara of a country road, sucking our thumbs because there was nothing else to suck; the previous overcrowded train having, like locusts, devoured not "every green thing," alas! but every other munchable edible? How did I know that, to crown the horror, the rain would pour down in torrents at just those compulsory stopping times, thus cutting us off even from the poor consolation of stretching our limbs? How did I know, when I madly rejected transporting food from the hotel, that a branch of "rum-cherries" from the hill-side, would be my only bill of fare on that road? Ah, the babies on that train had the best of it, on the dinner question! I borrowed one, and played with it awhile, not with any cannibal ideas, though it was wonderfully plump. A strange gentleman who had strayed off into the woods while we were waiting, came in and graciously offered me "a posy for my baby;" I glanced at the mother; her eye was on me! so I replied as I took the posy, "It is not my baby, it is borrowed, sir;" which was a pity, for it really was a miraculous bit of baby-flesh!

Meantime, as there was no food for the body, and no prospect of any, till evening, I tried to improve my mind by listening to the conversation of two old farmers near, by which I learned how to choose "a caow;" and how, even with the greatest caution, the buyer may be awfully taken in on the milk question; also I learned "how to treat medder land," and "how to keep them skippers from getting into cheese;" after which, I heard the speaker's touching experience, in escaping, after many year's captivity, from the thraldom of king Tobacco—which came about in this wise: that "when his woman did him up a clean shirt, the bosom would allers be spiled after the first mouthful;" also "that his neighbors' wimmen-folks, didn't like to have their carpets spotted up, and were not overglad to see him come into their houses, on that account; and so it came that he got disgusted with himself, and giv it up altogether"; and "it was his opinion that it was all nonsense for any feller to say he couldn't break off, when the fact was that he wouldn't."

If I didn't pat the old farmer on the back, for the common sense of that remark, it was not because I didn't fully indorse it; nor did I fail to sympathize with his chagrin afterwards, when he remarked with a sigh, as he looked out of the car window, "it is such a pity my farm aint down this way. I might make my independent fortin now, selling small notions; for instance, look at them flowers in that gardin—it is astonishing how much money can be made now-a-days, just selling bokys." Our farmer was very human, too, for, just then, as we stopped for a minute, a young girl rushed up to the car-window to say a hurried "how d'ye do," to an old man. "That's a very nice gal, only to get a shake of the paw" said he, compassionately. Well, we worried through that long day as best we might, the poor children in the company half beside themselves with fatigue and hunger; and the men talking loudly about "swindling railroad companies," and threatening "to make a noise about it," when they reached their native Frog-town. After stopping about dark at a miserable place to get a miserable supper, we proceeded on the few remaining miles to Pittsburg. The glowing red lights of the great smelting furnaces, across the river, as we approached the city, looked very cheerful, through the fog, and gave promise of the warm reception of which we stood so greatly in need. Our troubles were over, as soon as we landed at the principal hotel, where solid, substantial comfort as well as luxury awaited us; in the shape of immense beds, with pillows whose sides did not cling together for want of feathers, as is too often the case in very pretentious hotels; in plenty of towels, in plenty of bed-clothes, and in a lookout from the window on the "levee" and across the river, upon the heights of Mount Washington, which we sleepily remarked we should be sure to explore the next morning. Fortified by a splendid night's rest, and a luxurious breakfast we did do it, spite of fog and threatening clouds. Up—up—up—till it seemed as if, like aerial voyagers, we were leaving the world behind us. But what a sight when we reached the summit! How like little birds' nests looked the houses dangerously nested beneath those rocky, perpendicular cliffs! Nor was "the solitary horseman" wanting, "winding round the brow of the hill," for there were houses and farms, and overhanging fruit-trees, and above all, a placard on a fence, with the announcement that the hours for this school for the young were from nine till twelve in the morning, and from two till four in the afternoon. Thank heaven! said I, that there is one place where health is considered of some importance in education. Seeing a coal mine near, my companion proposed we should penetrate a little way into its dark depths. A lad with a donkey-cart had just preceded us, with a small lamp fastened to his cap in front. He looked doubtfully at my feet, and mentioned the bugbear word "dirt." I replied by gathering my skirts in my hand, and following the donkey cart. Smutty enough we found the reeking pit, as we inhaled the stifling, close atmosphere. Its black sides seemed closing round me like a tomb, and when the last ray of daylight from the entrance had quite disappeared, and only the rumbling of the cart-wheels could be heard, like the roar of some wild beast, and only the glimmer of the miner's lamp could be seen, like the glare of its wild eyeball, all the woman came over me, and I begged humbly "to be taken out!" With what satisfaction I emerged into the daylight, and greeted the bright sun which just then shone out, and plucked from the overhanging mouth of the dark pit, which compassionate nature had draped fantastically with a wild vine, a pretty blossom, which looked so strangely beautiful there, some of my readers can imagine. With what zest I tried my limbs, scaled precipices, and jumped from cliff to cliff, to make sure of, and assert my vitality, both present and to come, in this breathing, living, sunshiny, above-ground world of flowers and fruits and blue sky, my astonished fellow traveller, who for the moment doubted my sanity, will bear witness.

And now, as to Pittsburgh itself, apart from its romantic bluffs and their surroundings, and out of its principal hotel, which is decidedly one of the best I ever entered, it is the dismalest, sootiest, forlornest of cities that I ever stumbled into. Let me do justice to the enormous peaches and very fine fruits found in its market-place. Let me do justice to the independence of a female we saw wending her way there, on horseback, with a basket on each side of the saddle, beside another on her arm, not to mention a big cotton umbrella and a horsewhip. We were to rise again, wretched fate! in the middle of that night, to proceed to Philadelphia, on our way home. On reaching my room, and glancing into my looking-glass, I perceived the necessity for the unusual outlay of towels in our bed-room; for what with the visit to the coal-pit, and general atmospheric sootiness of Pittsburgh, my most intimate friends would scarcely have recognized me through the black mask of my complexion. Let me, however, do Pittsburgh this justice: it is a most picturesque and interesting town, and well worth the intelligent, or even the curious, traveller's visit.

Oh, the unutterable dreariness of an hotel parlor at two o'clock in the morning, as you sleepily tumble down stairs at the call of the inexorable "waitah" to take the midnight train of cars. How your footsteps echo through the long, wide, empty halls, you thought so pleasant the evening previous, with their bright lights and flitting forms—tenanted now only by spectral rows of boots and shoes before the doors of still happy sleepers, or by the outline form of the swaggering Hercules who bears your trunk. Shiveringly you draw your blanket-shawl about your shoulders, and sink down on the drawing-room sofa, deferring till the last possible moment your egress into the foggy, out-door air. Julius Cæsar Agrippa enters the drawing room, and placing upon the cold silver salver a cold silver pitcher of ice-water, politely offers you a glass. Good heavens! your hair stands on end at the thought of it. "If it were hot coffee, now!" you faintly mutter at him, from beneath the folds of your woollen shawl. His repentant "Yes, ma'am, wish I had it for you," rouses you from the contemplation of your own pitiable situation, to ask the poor wretch (confidentially) if he has to stand there on one leg every midnight, in that way, contemplating cross travellers like yourself. Whereupon he tells you, with a furtive glance over his shoulder, that "it is every third night;" and just then you notice that a gentleman in the hall, with a valise attached, has just slipped something into Julius Cæsar's hand; and pretty soon you see another gentleman go and do likewise, and so, gradually, it gets through your curls that it mayn't be so bad after all, for this perquisited Julius Cæsar "to sit up every third night:" and humiliated at having been caught the forty-hundredth time throwing away your sympathy, you sheepishly obey the summons to "come," and forthwith pitch into the "Black Maria" that is waiting at the door to jolt your shivering bones to the depot. Everybody in it looks sullen, and everybody's shoulders seem to be buttoned on to their ears. Not even a grunt can be extorted from a mother's son of them, by the roughest pavement. Silent, stoical endurance is written on every Spartan! And so you are all emptied at last, pell-mell into the cars, after kicking at offered peanuts and cold, slimy oranges, and one by one, ties himself (you notice I use the masculine gender) into double knots on his respective seat.

Daylight creeps gradually on, after weary hours of twisting and turning. Your strange male vis-á-vis has overslept himself, and you have been, meanwhile, maliciously watching to enjoy his discomfited waking from that awkward posture, knowing, as you well do, that vanity has no sex. He starts, and takes a look at you; then he rubs his eyes—combs out the pet lock of hair on his forehead with his fingers, gives his disarranged moustache a scientific twist, straightens out a wrinkle on his coat, turns down the collar, which has all night harbored his nose, gets up and gently stamps his pants down over his boots, settles his hat at the accustomed knowing angle, draws on his gloves and looks at you, as if to say, Come now, you see I am not such a bad looking fellow, after all! Of course you don't notice the varlet; you are very busy just then with the "prospect."

Between our midnight leave of Pittsburg and daylight, I was conscious, as we darted through the fog, how much we were losing in the way of scenery. Oh, those sublime Alleghany Mountains, and that lovely Juniata winding round and through them. I have no words to express my sense of their beauty, and my unalloyed delight. I trust the coroner's inquest will be deferred on me till I drink that draught of pleasure again. Of course, through the narrow limits of the car window, and where one can only see one side of the way at a time, too, my tantalization was next door to lunacy. In vain I twisted my neck, and bobbed my bonnet, and, in child fashion grabbed at so much that I nearly lost all. Not all! for enough is left to dream over with closed eyes, when the dreary winter snows shall drive against the windows. Had I not been strictly enjoined by Mr. Fern never to jump a judgment, of a town, from a bird's-eye view out of a car window, I should quarrel with Harrisburg, situated in that gem of a valley, for resting so satisfied with nature's work, as to ignore any adornment of art, as well as with some other places near, and for the same reason. Come to think of it, I will assert my feminine right to declare that it is a shabby little town, and a disgrace to those kingly mountains, and Mr. Fern may like or dislike it.

Profiting by our experience of a day's compulsory fast from Cleveland to Pittsburg, we bargained with the head-waiter at the latter place, to fit us out with a lunch-basket, thus rendering us independent of the way-stations, where half the time is spent in fumbling out your money, and the rest in making change, the whistle sounding just as you get possession of your knife and fork. As hot tea and coffee are now sold on the platform, quite independent of the general scrambling feeding-room, if your luncheon-basket is furnished with a cup or mug to put it in, you may of course snap your fingers at fate. Railroad people and way station providers have jointly themselves to thank for being outwitted by the well-provided "luncheon-basket;" the convenience of which, especially where there are children in the party, and about one waiter in the feeding hall to two dozen people, and ten minutes to fight for food is plainly manifest; not to speak of the economy as it regards temper and digestion. Let me do justice, however, to one obscure way-station, where a friend and myself were the fortunate discoverers of a squirrel-pie, with which, alas! we had all too brief an acquaintance. A certain "Oliver Twist" near us, scenting the secret, called for "more;" whereupon the buxom young woman in attendance replied, "that she was sorry, but the squirl-pie was all out." It struck me that the word in would have been more significant, but I didn't mention it.

I don't think my worst enemy can say that I am often betrayed in showing politeness to females. I trust I know my own sex too well, so miserably to waste my time. Once, on my journey, I waived this well known article in my creed, in favor of an unprotected one who was seated next me at table. Every woman but herself, had one of the male species to stand between her and the—"how not to do it"—landlord and his satellites;—to have been more truthful I should have put this last word in the singular number. There was nothing preposessing about the woman; she was wiry and angular, and had a horrible trick of snuffing; perhaps it was all these that made me insane enough to pity her, as she sat there gazing into her empty plate, with a sort of dumb despair. What goodness may be enshrined in that repulsive face and form, I said to myself; how tenderly she may, in happier days, when younger and more attractive, have been watched and cared for; and how wretched to have only the memory of such things in this solitary place; so I just snatched some eggs that after unheard efforts to obtain, Mr. Fern had fondly hoped to regale himself upon, and offered them to her. Did that female thank me by a word, or even a glance? Ye gods? Didn't she take those eggs as if she had laid them herself? "Good enough for you Fanny," muttered I; "one would think you were old enough by this time, to know better." I didn't say any wicked words; it is not my way. Shortly after, the damsel who waited on us, and who employed the intervals when dishes were preparing in running up stairs to attend to her toilet:—First course being, no hoop, and bread-and-butter. Second course, crinoline and poached eggs. Third course, ear-rings and mutton-chop. Fourth course, ringlets and apple-pie;—this girl, I say, sat before me, at my own private, personal request, a plate of tea-biscuit. The unprotected female looked at them—so did I. Presently she poked me in the ribs and imperatively requested "them biscuit." Shade of Lindley Murray! you should have seen how civilly I informed her that they were destined for my luncheon-basket, but that doubtless the damsel in waiting would attend to any of her orders for food, as she had to mine. You should have seen the "unprotected female" at that moment. She was a panting, panther-like, gasping monument of philanthropy ill-directed.—Peace to her irate bones.

The butter, cheese, and other dairy (I wonder if the type-setters will print this daily) delicacies of Philadelphia, are no longer a matter of marvel to me, after travelling through Pennsylvania, and viewing its admirable farms, unencumbered by a weed or stone or thistle, and as far as foliage and fruit gave evidence, by any noxious vegetable insect; and enclosed by fences in perfect order and repair. Not an unsightly object about barn, house or garden; the very genius of thrift and neatness seemed pervading and presiding over all. It was indeed a delight to see them, although I was not unaware of the years of patient, careful tillage which had brought them to such a point of perfection. True—there might have been more flowers and vines, about their very neat dwellings, without endangering the Quaker's title to a seat among the blessed in a future state; for I never will believe that if He who made this bright world, approved of universal drab, he would have tinted the rose such a beautiful pink, or the morning-glory such a heavenly blue, or the grass such a cool, eye-satisfying-green; but for all that, were I queen of the country, the Quakers should believe and wear what they pleased, as I would myself.

We entered Philadelphia just at sunset, and rattled through Chestnut Street just as it was looking its brightest and best with its well-stocked shops, its belles and its beaux, and its bran-new Continental, where we longed to stop, had we not given our word to reach New York that night. I liked Philadelphia from the first moment I put my foot there, some years ago.

It always seemed so cosy, home-like,—and comfortable; one might, one thinks, be so domestic and sensible there, while in New York it is next to impossible to be sensible, with the very best intentions. So I left Philadelphia with real regret, thinking of friends to whom I would gladly have said, even a brief "how d'ye do." May I be allowed to ask who invented the torturing style of cars from Philadelphia to New York, with wooden panels where windows should be, and seats divided off into spaces, narrow as a bigot's creed? It may be all very well for spinsters and bachelors, but as I don't belong to either class, and as I like a shoulder to sleep on when I have travelled since the previous midnight, it was just simply infamous to shut me off, and bar me up from it by that ridiculous partition; in vain I bobbed my bonnet, and got a crick in my neck, trying to reach the shoulder to which I was legally entitled without a permit from any railroad company. In vain I doubled my travelling shawl and piled it on that shoulder, and tried to annex my head to it that way; in vain I rose in my might and looked viciously at the wooden pane which should have been a window, and whimpered out, "Oh I'm so tired!" in vain Mr. Fern and I corkscrewed ourselves into all sorts of shapes, and asked each other, with a grim attempt at jest, "if they called that an accommodation train." Thank heaven, said I, if we do live to reach New York, a hot supper and a warm welcome awaits us! And now, seated at ease in mine inn, I wish to wind up these articles with a whisper to landlords generally:

First:—Don't always fasten the looking-glass in a lady's bed-room in the very darkest corner, or attach it to some lumbering piece of furniture incapable of being moved, save by an earthquake.

Secondly:—Give ladies four bed-pillows instead of two, until geese yield more feathers.

Thirdly:—Banish forever, with other tortures of the Inquisition, that infernal "gong," (excuse the expression,) which has had so much to do in filling our Lunatic Asylums.


Transcriber's Notes

A few obvious misprints have been corrected, but in general the original spelling has been retained (for example, "of tourse," "beneneath," etc.). Inconsistent use of hyphens was also left unchanged.

Contents page: "MOURNING" p. 240; This was treated as a chapter in the text, but was missing from the Contents Page. It has been added. Other slight variations between the Contents list and Chapter headings were left as in the original.

P. 284, paragraph immediately before "Last week a philanthropist" ended with in-line asterisks and an extra blank line--the only case in this text, and not an apparent thought-break. I have included those asterisks and blank line as in the original for the reader's interpretation.