ON WOMAN NOWADAYS

Woman nowadays. Poor dear! How she is abused, derided, called this,
that, and the other—but she goes steadily on her own way, and she is
forging ahead. This will be woman’s century.

Everything that is new, old age dubs “deterioration.” Because the
modern girl is not early Victorian, does not wear low dresses and satin
slippers by day, shriek at a mouse or faint, she is called “unwomanly.”
Surely this is ridiculous. She is stronger mentally and physically,
she is beginning to take her place in the world; and because in the
transition stage she has forgotten how to make cordials—which she
can buy so much cheaper at any Co-operative Stores—she is styled
“undomesticated.” Every age has its own manners, and customs and ideals.

No, no, you dear old people, don’t think her unsexed. Woman’s sphere
should be the home; but her horizon must be the world.

In one sense there is nothing new under the sun. In another everything
changes, is renewed continually, and should be new. Therefore, to call
re-arrangement deterioration is absurd. It is more often advancement.
We can no more go back than we can do without the telephone, telegraph,
or taxi-cab. We are all progressing, improving; the world is improving.
Read Society books of a couple of centuries back, and note the change.
Note the coarseness of Fielding or Smollett, and see the refinement of
to-day.

It is a very good world that we live in, but youth must not be
sacrificed to old age, any more than old age must be sacrificed to
youth. Both must stand alone.

All this hue and cry about women’s work is very ridiculous. Since the
world began women have worked. They have borne the greatest of all
burdens—child-bearing; and they have cooked and washed and mended and
made. They have ministered to the wants of man and home.

Worked? Why, of course they have worked, but they have not always
been paid. Now is their day. They are strong enough to demand the
recognition the world has been ungenerous enough to withhold.

Equality in all things for the sexes will make happier men and women,
happier homes, and a more prosperous nation.

All women cannot be bread-winners any more than all men can be
soldiers. Women are marching onward in every land, their advancement
and the progress of civilisation are synonymous terms to-day.

The greater the women, the greater the country.

It is ridiculous to say that women workers oust men. This is hardly
ever the case. In these days of endless change, when a machine is
frequently introduced that does the work of four or five men, labour is
constantly re-arranged. Then again, with increase of work, so there is
incessant all-round shifting of the distribution of employment. Women
do not take the place of men. They merely find their own footing in the
general change. There is a niche for everyone ready to fill it.

Yes, women do work, and women must work, although a vast amount of
misery might be, and ought to be, alleviated by their men-folk. The
present disastrous state of things is largely due to men not providing
for their wives or equipping their daughters to be wage-earners.

There are, of course, a few enthusiastic women who work for work’s
sake, but they take the bread out of no man’s mouth. These are the
writers of deep and profound books, who make as many shillings as they
spend pounds in collecting their material—women who love research work
in science; women who labour among the poor, organise clubs and homes,
and devote their lives to charity and good deeds; but the cases are
rare, almost _nil_, where women work for salary who do not need the
money. Those who do certainly take the bread from the mouths of men and
women alike; but the rich workers who accept pay are so few they do not
count.

Many women with small incomes seek to increase those incomes in order
to clothe their children, pay the butcher, or have more to spend
on little luxuries, but these, again, are a small class. The large
multitude of women who work are those who must do so, and they are the
ones who require help, for theirs is an uphill fight against great
odds. They have to contend with want of general education, want of
special training, want of physical strength, want of positions open to
women, when they enter the already overcrowded field of labour.

Women must work until men realise the responsibility of thrusting them
unequipped into the sea of life to sink or swim on the tide of chance.

How bravely women do it too. Aching hearts and throbbing brows are
forgotten in the fight for daily existence. Poor souls, how hard many
of them toil, how lonely are their lives, and what a struggle it is for
them to keep their heads above water. Many of them do so, however; and
to them all honour is due.

Men and women should never be pitted as rivals in anything. Each sex
has its own place to fill; but when the exigencies of fighting for
existence occur, men should nobly help the courageous woman worker over
the difficulties her men-folk have thoughtlessly placed before her.

I hate sex. Surely, in working, thinking, human beings—it does not
matter whether one wears petticoats or trousers—there should be no sex
as regards bread-earning. There are a million and a quarter too many
women in England, and the gates of independence and occupation must not
be shut in their faces. Personally, I should like boys and girls to be
equal in everything. Forget sex, bring them up together, educate them
together. Send them to public schools and Universities together, open
all the trades and professions to women the same as to men. Let them
stand shoulder to shoulder.

Many people thought that the heavens would descend if a woman became a
doctor. They were wrong. Women are doing well in medicine and surgery,
though they are still excluded from the Bar and the Church.

Yes, give girls just the same advantages as boys. Divide your incomes
equally amongst all your children when you die, irrespective of sex.
Give them equality in divorce. The world will be all the happier.

Women will find their own level—just as men do; they will make or mar
their own lives—just as men do. But let men cease shutting gates of
employment in their faces.

A nation’s power depends on the physical strength and character of its
women, and not on its army of men, or its statesmen.

How I envy men with professions. They come down to comfortable
breakfasts, without the least idea of what will be laid before them.
They enjoy it, have a look at the papers, perhaps a pipe, and then
they get into boots and top-coat, go off to their chambers, offices,
studios, or their consulting-rooms, as the case may be. They throw
themselves into their work, knowing that no interruptions will occur
during the whole course of the morning.

They enjoy their luncheon, which they have not had the worry of
ordering beforehand, and so by the time four, or five, or six o’clock
arrives they have done a good day’s work without annoyance from
outside. They have earned so much money, and not far off they see a
tangible reward. Lucky men!

How differently things go with a woman like myself, with a small
income, a house, servants, children, all as important as the daily
round of wage-earning. By the time one gets settled down to one’s desk
at nine-thirty or ten o’clock one has gone through the drudgery of it
all. The orders and wants of cook, housemaid, parlourmaid, and nurse
have all been attended to. The cheques for washing bills and grocers’
books have to be written, orders sent for coals, the soda-water
telephoned for, with all the endless round of wearying details which
every housekeeper knows. In the midst of one’s morning work, curtains
return from the cleaners, and have to be paid for at the door, or a man
comes to mend the bell, and one has to leave one’s desk to show him
exactly what is wrong. In fact, the interruptions are incessant even in
the best regulated households, and one has to bring one’s distracted
mind back from domestic details to write important letters or articles
for the Press.

A working woman’s life would be endurable were it not for the
interruptions.

Yes! I have lived the ordinary woman’s life and the professional
woman’s life as well, and I always say to myself that the professional
part is a mere bagatelle, because of the larger rewards, in comparison
with the ceaseless worries and endless interruptions that fall at the
feet of every housekeeper.

Men do not half enough appreciate the amount of work (becoming every
year more difficult), the extraordinary number of little details,
necessary to run even the simplest home.

When one covers one’s own furniture, embroiders one’s own cloths,
and trims one’s own hats into the bargain, the daily round becomes
complicated indeed.

I believe in clubs for women. It is so heavenly to get away from an
ordinary dinner. It is really a holiday to have a chop or a fried
sole, that one has not ordered hours beforehand. Besides, at the club
one sometimes learns new dishes, and certainly new ideas from the
newspapers and magazines, all of which one could not afford to take in
at home independently.

For the unmarried woman the club is absolutely indispensable. It gives
her a place where she can receive her friends, and let it be known
that women are more hospitable than men. They are poorer, but are more
generous in giving invitations to tea or a meal. Men’s clubs are full
of old women, and women’s clubs full of young men, nowadays.

A club is also a boon to the married woman, for there are days when
country relations arrive in town, when, for instance, the sweep has
been ordered at home; then the country or foreign friends can be taken
to the club, and need not know that their hostess’s small household
cannot tackle a luncheon because of the advent of the sweep.

I believe clubs encourage women to read, and I am sure that expands
their ideas and opens their minds. Women’s clubs are certainly an
advantage, and though I have been an original member of several, I
always float back to my first love, the Albemarle, where our marble
halls, once the Palace of the Bishop of Ely, receive both men and women
members.

I love my own sex. They are the guiding stars of the Universe, and the
modern girl tends to make the world much more interesting than it used
to be. Youth must spread its wings, and if it is sound youth it will be
gently guided by experience. Let the bird fly, or it will fret at the
bars of its cage, break its wings, and languish.

No one ever profited by the experience of another, any more than any
person inherited the learning of an ancestor. Alas and alack, we must
acquire both for ourselves.

To our mothers and grandmothers, with their sweet but secluded and
often sequestered lives, it would have seemed a deed of daring for
a woman to lecture the public. Would they have thought it—would our
grandfathers rather have held it “ladylike”?

It is curious how one acquires a reputation without the least
foundation. For instance, I am always being asked to lecture; sometimes
it is at a People’s Palace, sometimes before a learned society, or
on behalf of various charities, or to address the blind, or deliver
educational discourses; and even the famous Major Pond of America once
tried to persuade me to go on a lecturing tour in the States.

Tempting as his money offer was, I dared not face that vast public.

This reputation is a chimera, for I have only lectured a few times in
my life; and these occasions have chiefly been at the People’s Palace
at Vauxhall, where an audience of two or three thousand persons,
paying from one penny to sixpence, eat oranges, smoke pipes, and
otherwise enjoy themselves after their manner, while the lecturer is
doing his (or her) best to amuse them. To keep these people out of the
public-houses and well occupied for an evening seems worth even the
pain and nervousness of standing alone on a stage, nearly as big as
that of Drury Lane, with footlights before, and a huge white curtain
for one’s slides behind.

The first time I ever spoke in public was at a large meeting (seven or
eight hundred) held in the St. Martin’s Town Hall, when at an hour or
two’s notice I took the place of the late Earl of Winchilsea, and, in
reply to his bidding by telegram, discoursed for fifteen minutes on
the position of women in Agriculture, a subject in which I was much
interested at the time. I spoke from notes only, having a horror of a
read paper, which is always exasperating or inaudible. Most speeches
are too low and too long. The fifteen minutes appeared to be nothing,
but the moments of waiting were torture until the first words had come
forth. When one’s knees shake, and one’s tongue seems to cleave to the
roof of the mouth, when the audience dances like myriads of fireflies
before one’s eyes, the misery is so awful that the result is not worth
the effort.

Women are often excellent speakers, both in matter and style, and those
who have an equal amount of practice are quite as good as the best men.
Nevertheless, after-dinner speaking is, alas, far more often boring
than entertaining, and one regrets a bell does not ring after five
minutes, as a gentle hint to sit down. The poor speaker seldom knows
when the right moment to end has arrived.

Everyone is shy about something. The rough-edged shyness of youth
wears away, but we each remain tender somewhere. Shyness overpowers me
when making a speech, or on hearing my name roared into a room full
of people. The first makes me sick, in spite of having addressed an
audience of three thousand people, which I find easier than thirty; the
second makes me wish to run away.

“I’m shy,” is the excuse of youth to cover rudeness. Gauche, awkward,
ill-mannered boys and girls call these delinquencies shyness. Being
shy, however, is no extenuation of being discourteous. It is merely
selfish self-conceit allowed to run rampant instead of being checked.
How much easier it is to form a bad impression than to destroy one.

We are all imperfect, but the only chance of bettering ourselves is to
realise the fact early and try self-reform.

I have been fighting faults all my life, and although I have overcome
some of them—and I shan’t tell you what they are—a vast crop still
remain to be mowed down by the scythe of Time.

The question of women and the suffrage is now so important that it is
impossible for any thinking man or woman not to have an opinion on
the subject. What a curious thing it is that Liberals who stand for
Progress fear this onward movement. Is it because they think women in
the main are conservative?

On the 6th of February, 1907, at the time when the Women Suffragists
were being marched in scores to prison, and big processions were
being organised, and endless fusses and excitements were in the air,
_Punch_ wrote an amusing article, sweeping away the House of Lords, and
substituting for it a _House of Ladies_.

My name happened to be among the half-dozen elected Peeresses, and a
funny crew we were. Miss Christabel Pankhurst was chosen because she
was then considered the only good-looking suffragette. Madame Zansig
because of her thought-reading propensities. Clara Butt because she
could reduce chaos to harmony, and so on.

Anyway, the article was commented on tremendously in the Press, and
was the subject of much amusement among my friends. It brought me many
quibs, telegrams, and telephones of congratulation on my elevation to
the Peerage.

The following letter is from a notable woman, written about two years
later:

“EDINBURGH,

“_November 26th, 1909_.

“MY DEAR MRS. ALEC TWEEDIE,

“I am very pleased to hear that you are disposed to take a more
active part than heretofore in demonstrating your support of
Women’s Suffrage. The London Society, of which Lady Frances Balfour
is the President, is non-party in character and is opposed to
stone-throwing, whip-lashing, and other methods of violence. The
London Society is one of more than a hundred Societies, which
together form the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies of
which I am President. I have asked Miss Strachey, the Secretary
of the London Society, to send you a membership form, and if you
approve of our methods and policy, we shall be most grateful if you
will join us. I am away here in Scotland for a round of meetings,
therefore please excuse a hasty line.

“Yours sincerely,

“M. G. FAWCETT.”

Later I wrote a long article in the _Fortnightly Review_, entitled
“Women and Work,” on the strength of which I received the following
note from the pioneer of the movement:

“_June 1st, 1911._

“MY DEAR MRS. TWEEDIE,

“I am quite delighted by your article, and thank you very much for
sending it to me. It is a very valuable armoury of facts, which
will be of great value to our speakers and workers.

“Yours sincerely,

“M. G. FAWCETT.”

Every youthful person is a revolutionary at heart; anyway, I was, but
as years have mounted up, even my radical tendencies have diminished.
The real guides of a nation are the thinkers. Democracy must obey
leadership, and leadership is the outcome of brains and learning.
Here and there a great man rises from the millions; but the larger
percentage of great men are to be found in the aristocracy and upper
middle classes, not in the lower tenth, or even the lower middle class.
I am becoming more conservative with years. It seems so much more easy
to pull down than to build, and all this Socialistic cry is towards
pulling down, upsetting, upheaving, without the slightest idea how to
draw up a programme of reform or produce a single leader of worth.

It requires brains to appreciate brains. It requires talent to
understand talent. It requires knowledge and experience to value the
beautiful, and vast capacity to build, to organise, to make or to
govern.

Many women nowadays have the full courage of their opinions. They say
things and write things; lecture on them. But for myself—well, no!—not
yet quite.

Something awful would happen to me if I wrote _all_ the things I
think. To suggest one finds it actually sinful to incubate miserable
seedlings—the offspring of poverty, children conceived in drink,
immorality, insanity, epilepsy, children doomed from birth—brings
down denunciation. One hardly dare espouse such views, while it is
considered more good, more noble, more moral to foster a population
of degenerates than to prevent it. Our prisons are largely filled by
drink or insanity, but we feed and keep the creatures and send them
out to propagate their species, who in their turn fall upon the rates.
Degenerates should never be allowed to marry.

We court adultery by our Separation Acts, tie unfortunate men and
women to lunatics, instead of clearing the air by cheap divorce. We
positively suggest infidelity by not making equal laws for men and
women. We force women to work or starve, and then abuse them for
entering men’s professions; but we hardly dare speak or write openly on
these subjects, oh dear, no!

We see women neglecting their homes for bridge or men scattering their
wits by wrongful indulgences, and yet Society does not revolt. Still
we are waking up, and why? Simply because women are beginning to take
an interest in the big questions of life; and once they take a thing up
they generally manage to sift it to the bottom.

This is woman’s century. She is playing a bold game for the equality of
the sexes, but she will win; and the world will be the purer and better
for the part she plays.

Women don’t faint nowadays, and have vapours and migraine. They no
longer make jams or weep. They are up and doing. They do things instead
of talking of them. They are becoming the comrades of men. It is the
women of the twentieth century who are going to revise Society.

Lord Emmott, the late Deputy Speaker, was one day pretending to me that
all evil came through women.

“Look at the apple,” he cited.

“Oh, come now, that chestnut is _too_ old,” I replied.

“Old but nevertheless evergreen,” he answered promptly.

If men are creating unrest and Socialism, women are spurring their
sons to work and instilling into them morality. The immoral man will
find every decent door shut in his face before another century dawns,
just as the drunkard has been hounded from Society. Who would tolerate
drunkenness at a dinner-party to-day? Men and women both shrink from
it, and the same will be felt towards loose living. Women are free, no
longer the slaves of men, and they are exercising their freedom in the
purification of all things, ably helped by their comrades.

Women don’t grow old nowadays, they no longer put on caps when they
marry, or leave the nursery to become matrons. They develop younger,
marry later, are independent and self-respecting, and never grow old.

Old ladies and bonnets have gone out of fashion.

Dress—especially women’s dress—has in all ages and climes, so far back
as we can trace by rifling tombs, and studying picture-writings and
prehistoric carvings, formed subject of comment and satire, but also of
invariable interest.

What of the dress of womanhood in this opening century? On one point
all mankind cry out and many women join in the loud appeal. Here, so
please you, is an exordium that—one woman unit—fain would publish.

WOMEN OF ENGLAND,

Unselfishness is the keynote of the female race—at least men say
so—but what must they think of us to-day? They take a ticket for a
theatre, and a woman sits in front of them whose hat is so enormous
that they cannot see above it, and her feather or tulle boa is so
huge, they cannot see round it. That “lady” ought to have paid for
a dozen seats, for she impedes the view of a dozen longsuffering
beings. Many women take their hats off (how we bless them!),
others wear dainty little caps or small (not large) Alsatian bows;
but in shame be it said, there are still women at theatres and
concerts, or at such functions as the giving of the Freedom of the
City of London to Mr. Roosevelt, whose presence is the essence of
selfishness. Where is their unselfishness? Where their kindness of
heart? Where their sympathy for the rights of others, whether male
or female?

Women of England! when your head-gear inconveniences others, bare
your heads, I pray, before an Act of Parliament is passed like the
Sumptuary Laws of old, insisting that women shall not be a “public
nuisance.”

Concede to the wishes and convenience of others before you are
humiliated and made to do so by the law.

There is no doubt a woman should dress according to her station. If
she is the wife of an artisan, she should dress suitably; if the
daughter of a professional man, she should dress with care; and if
the wife of a millionaire, she might gown herself in such material
as will give the greatest amount of employment to the greatest
number of people.

Here is where French women excel. They are taught from childhood
to regard what is _convénable_, that is, suitable, not whether
velvet pleases their eyes better than serge. For years and years
every garment I put on was made at home. I did not actually make
it. I drew the design and did the trimming, while a dear old body
who worked for me for fifteen years did the sewing. We were rather
proud of ourselves, she and I, and when I saw a description of
one of her “creations” in some paper, I sent it to her, and she
chortled with joy. An occasional tailor-made from Bond Street did
the rest. Hats! Well, I can honestly say that it was twelve years
after my husband’s death that I bought my first ready-made hat. Up
to then I trimmed them myself.

This is not boasting. It is no credit to me that _le bon Dieu_ endowed
me with a few capabilities which circumstances allowed to be developed.

Few realise the necessity of thrift at home, and yet to women it should
be one of the first cares of life. There is often more waste in the
homes of the humble than in the mansions of the rich.

Nothing is more important than the subject of thrift. “Look after the
pence, the pounds will look after themselves” is an old truism, too
often neglected. How do people grow rich? There is only one way, and
that is to be thrifty and save. Never spend all your income, be it
big or little. The rainy day will come, the loss of money, or loss of
health, and its blow is softened immeasurably for those who have been
thrifty and have saved their little nest-egg.

Order and economy are absolutely necessary to a thrifty home. It is in
the class of establishment where things are done anyhow, and at any
time, that the most money is spent, and with the least result.

Thrift, be it understood, does not mean cheapness, far from it. It is
adaptability, carefulness over little things, the personal supervision
of details that make a thrifty home; and these are the things that
are so often neglected, and considered by the careless “not worth
troubling about.” They _are_ worth troubling about; everything is worth
troubling about, be it great or be it small, be it in the household, in
personal dress, in amusements, or the kitchen. All trifles are worth
considering, and are considered by the wise.

The only way to do housekeeping really well is to pay ready money for
everything. It is satisfactory in two ways. In the first place the
housekeeper knows exactly where she stands, what she has, and what she
can afford to spend. In the second place, it is very much cheaper—for
all articles, which are paid for by cash, are sold at a lower rate than
those for which the date of payment is problematical, and the risk of
non-payment sometimes great.

Happiness means possessing about double what you think you will spend.
Then, and then only, will you have a margin. For instance,
imagine a trip abroad will cost fifty pounds. Believe you have put down
every possible item for tickets, hotel bills, tips, and all the rest
of it; then _remember_ that you have forgotten extra cabs, theatres,
exhibitions, little presents, stamps, and all the thousand-and-one
things that come under “odds” or “petty cash,” and allow fifty pounds
for them; you will then be happy.

Ditto with a house or a dress. With all care work it out at
so-and-so, but these “_oddses_” will always creep in and double the
estimate—“_oddses_” are always more than items.

A twin to Thrift is Tidiness. And here we are not always equal to the
standard of our foremothers. “Oh, but life was so much more leisurely
then,” it may be replied. “They had heaps more time and less to do;
nowadays life is an everlasting rush.”

It is a rush; but more haste, less speed, is still true. And tidiness
is a kind of book-keeping.

The economics of housekeeping mean everything in its place, and a
right place for everything, and that is the only possible method for
a busy woman. The more busy we become, the more methodical we must
be; professional women have no time to waste in looking for things.
Organisation saves hours of misery. Tidiness in the home and tidiness
in the person bring joy wherever found. Muddle is lack of organisation.

Trifles make up life, and a busy woman’s trifles keep her straight. She
can lay her hand on anything in the dark, or send someone to find it,
because she knows where she put it. The more engagements we have, the
more punctual we must be.

“You are always so busy, I wonder you find time to do things,”
exclaimed a friend who wanted a recipe for some Russian soup she had
just had at my table.

“It is because I am busy that I have time.”

“That is a paradox,” she replied.

“Paradoxes are often true,” was my rejoinder. “Busy people have method.”

Success is the result of grasping opportunities—being busy is the
achievement of method—being idle is the courtship of unhappiness and
the seducer of attainment. Time is a tremendously valuable
asset. In my busy life I have never allowed more than twenty minutes
to dress for a dinner, or ball, or for riding, and fifteen usually
suffice. When one changes dresses three or four times a day, as London
often necessitates, even that runs away with precious moments.

It is the duty of every married man to go carefully into his income,
see exactly how much he has, and after putting by a certain proportion
for the rainy day, decide how much he has to spend. Having decided
that, the best thing he can possibly do is to divide his income in
half. The first half let him keep for himself: he can pay the rent,
taxes, the children’s school bills, pay for the family outings, the
wine bill, the doctor and druggist, clothe himself, and have enough for
his personal expenses, and pay all outside things, such as gardeners
and chauffeurs. The other half of his income he should hand over to his
wife. She can keep the house, feed the family, pay the servants, and
the thousand-and-one little things that are ever necessary to run a
household, and pay her personal expenses. Everything, in fact, inside
the house. Once having definitely tackled the subject of money, and
arranged who is to pay for each particular item, the man should never
be asked what he has done with his money; neither should the woman be
teased, nagged at, worried, and harassed as to what she has done with
every penny of her share, how she expended it, and so on. Each should
trust the other implicitly in detail. Haggling over money has upset
more homes than infidelity.

The way to make a woman careful, methodical, and business-like is
to trust her. She may at first make a few mistakes over her banking
account, but she will buy her experience, and will be very foolish
if she does not make her pounds go as far as they should, and keep a
reserve in her pocket.

If more men only continued the little courtesies of the lover to the
wife, those sweet attentions that went so far to win the woman, then
all would go smoothly. Married life should be one long courtship.
Women appreciate appreciation. Alas, instead, matrimony is too often
a ceaseless wrangle. Men scold and women nag. Foolish both. I am no
man-hater, far, far from it. Men are delightful; but one inconsiderate
or cruel man can so easily wreck a home and bring misery on his wife
and family, and men are sometimes a little selfish. Aren’t they?

Hobbies are delightful—they make existence so much more interesting—a
collection of teapots or buttons, miniatures or pewter. It really
doesn’t much matter what it is, but it gives one pleasure to poke about
in old shops, in odd towns, and secure an occasional prize. Hobbying is
like fly-fishing. It takes a deal of patience; but it is worth the play
for the joy of landing the fish.

Hobbies, Max Nordau tells us, are a sign of weakness and degeneration,
even of madness. Our nicknacks, our love of red and yellow, and things
artistic, tend to show mental lowering.

All this applies to me. I must be far gone, and yet I am happier than
the hobbiless being, who to my mind is as depressing as a dose of
calomel.

Any collection of facts or fancies, while in itself an occupation,
eventually leads to something tangible. Life is so much more
entertaining and engrossing if we take the trouble to interest
ourselves in something or someone.

Surely, it is a good thing to encourage children from their earliest
days to be interested outside their own wee sphere; to teach them to
work and sew, make scrap-books for the hospitals, baskets or toys
for poorer and less fortunate children, even to learn geography from
stamps. It is in the nursery we acquire our first knowledge of life.
Occupations and hobbies should be fostered in the earliest years;
carpentry, wood-carving, metal-work all being taken up in turn by boys;
cooking, sewing, painting, by girls, as well as the thousand-and-one
useful works they can do in their own homes.

The business of idleness is appalling—the overwork of attainment is
worth the trouble.

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