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industry, persevering energy, and add to these a moral sense of its being his bounden duty to do all for his God, all for society, and all for himself that he can,--and by God's blessing that man will do all that human power can do. He may have more showy, more highly-gifted competitors, but he will distance them all, and (if it be the Divine will) will climb to the topmost branch of the social tree. Here I will suppose an objection to be started by one of my hearers. "Ah!" says one, “it is all very well to talk, but unfortunately I do not possess these qualities: what must I do?” I reply, “Get them—they are attainable. If you have them not, you may have them.” How does the blacksmith get his brawny arm ? How do you acquire the arts of reading, writing, arithmetic ? How do you learn a business, but by use and application? Given a fair share of mental and physical power, all other qualities necessary to success may be acquired. Are you wanting in industry? determine, and endeavour to act upon the determination, that you will not allow an idle hour; make the carrying out of your resolution a point of conscience and honour; bring yourself to look at the close of every day to see how often you have failed, and resolutely strive the next day to do better. Acting thus, the habit will soon be formed, and, as the saying is, “Use is second nature.” Are you wanting in perseverance and energy ?_bring your other faculties to help and stimulate this endeavour by reading the lives of great men, and their ultimate triumph over apparently insuperable difficuties, to rouse and fire your ambition and enthusiasm. Remember how Bruce, though dispirited by frequent defeat, was roused to make one more effort by seeing a spider, after twelve unsuccessful attempts, succeed in climbing a wall, and how by that one effort, upon the field at Bannockb n, he won the freedom of his country. So we might say of all other qualifications. They are, by a little time, and pains, and cultivation, to be acquired. Possessed of these qualifications, by God's blessing you must and will succeed. You may be without learning-it will be attained. You may be without friends, without instruments, without influence—you will make them. You may be at the bottom of the social ladder-I do not say you will reach the top, but I do say you will climb as high as God would have you, and as high as will be for your good.
THE WIFE AT HOME.
HE Divine origin and authority of the institution of
marriage is so freely conceded in all Christian countries, that any scriptural, moral, or social argument in its favour may be fairly considered superfluous. The position of the wife towards the husband is clearly laid down in the words “help meet for him ;” and it is a thoroughly legitimate subject of inquiry how far the object is accomplished, on the one hand by a strict attention to home duties, to the exclusion of external labour,—or by incorporating both in the daily life of our wifely population on the other. Before any positive argument can be urged as conclusive upon these points with the least chance of success, it is necessary that the objections which lie on the surface against non-external employment should be first considered ; and one, if not the most potent, of these is, that the small income of the working man's family renders it necessary that the wife should contribute by non-domestic labour towards it. Of course if every working man could earn enough to support and educate his family properly, and he was so disposed and knew how to use it, there would be an end of the matter ; but, unfortunately, such is not the case in perhaps a majority of our working class homes. There are two ways by which a working man may make himself partially independent. One is, by obtaining a large income ; and the other, by having but a small expenditure ; and it is here that the wife at home may be of essential service, if she is properly instructed and disposed. There is no greater evil in the homes of our working classes than the want of a proper knowledge of domestic economy, and the wise expenditure of family money. It is not necessary to personal comfort, either in body or mind, that any man should feed on the whitest of bread, or drink the strongest of beer : indeed, it is a fact established by chemical analysis, that the more bread is refined,
the more is it deprived of its sustaining power; and for the beer question, experience proves it is not at all necessaryits habitual use leads to its abuse, and its abuse is one of the most tremendous evils with which the reformers of society have to contend.
To begin at the beginning-let us look at the “wife at home" and the wife abroad, in the bodily management of children. The incomes of our agricultural working classes are far less than those engaged in manufacturing operations, and yet it is tolerably certain, that in the matter of physical comfort at home, the former have the advantage, other conditions being equal. If the wife is at home, she can personally take care not only of the younger but the youngest children; if she is abroad at the factory or elsewhere, she must pay, and does pay, in the manufacturing districts, some person or persons to do it for her: and here at once is lost a part of the wages she earns at her manufacturing employment. The wife at home will take better care of the children than can be obtained by any hireling service which she can purchase. There is no care like a mother's care for the health of children; "a stitch in time saves nine,” is as true of bodily health as it is of anything else. It is in the wife-away-from-home districts where the children are mostly poisoned with sleeping draughts to keep them quiet. Å remarkable instance of motherly care and motherly neglect, as they affect the health and lives of children, has been found in the history of Coventry during the last three or four
years. Prior to that time, the ribbon weaving of that city was in a flourishing state, and large numbers of women left home daily, to obtain ribbon-making wages. In the district from whence they came, the mortality of children was remarkably high, quite as great, if not greater, than any other part of the country. When the trade became bad, and the women were forced from want of employment to remain at home, the mortality fell to its natural level. The local registrar pointed out this fact in his report to headquarters, and it was accepted by statists as a solution of what before had been suspected, but not statistically proved.
Before death there is disease usually of long standing: here again the wife from home loses another portion of her wages in the purchase of quack medicines, or unqualified medical attendance, for her children. Passing from the bodies of the children to their clothing, we find that the
wife at home has time to make and repair it; the wife from home must pay to have all these things done for her: and here again is frittered away another portion of the wages which she has earned by labour external to the domestic circle. If children are not old enough to go to school, some person must be paid to take care of them ; and another deduction is made from the wife's wages for that purpose. If the children are of various ages, and the elder ones old enough to take care of the younger portion, then they are kept from school for that purpose, and a future crop of nondomestic wives secured for the next generation of married men. Thus the evil is continued from generation to generation, without hope of remedy. And what kind of care is that which the elder children give to the younger ones when there is no mother's eye to watch over them? It is the care (!) which brings filth and rags, domestic disorder and general demoralisation. As children increase in number and
in necessity for the wife and mother to be at home becomes more apparent, and the reasons already assigned apply with cumulative force. In no county in England is there so much absence from home as in Lancashire. There the bulk of the female population go to work at the factory at a very early age, and are brought up by mothers who were so employed before them; and there the waste and loss consequent upon the neglect of home duties and the want of home knowledge, swallows up family incomes in a way almost astounding to those not practically conversant with the subject. When the cotton famine of 1862 had thrown the greater part of the factory hands out of employment, the females were employed in sewing classes by relief committees, not for the purpose of gaining a profit upon their labour, but to usefully employ them in learning, what soon appeared for the first time, the art of making and mending their own inner clothing. All thought of employing them in what is fashionably called dressmaking, was soon found to be entirely out of the question. The girls and the women were found so generally ignorant of the sewing art, that the difficulty lay in the direction of knowing what to do with their work when it was done, rather than in finding them work to do. In fact, it was done so badly that they who had been accustomed to better work would not have it at any price, and it is a mystery to many what
has become of it even now. Whilst they were thus employed under competent superintendence, they made considerable progress, and although the allowance they received was not sufficient to replenish their clothing in that unthrifty style of which so many non-domestic females are so fond, there did not appear any considerable falling off in their clothing comforts, although they were but in the receipt of one-third of the wages of what were called good times. It must not here be understood, however, that if the wife is at home in her daily life, therefore all her daughters must be at home likewise. Perhaps that state of things is impossible, however desirable, whilst the present manufacturing system exists. But as Solomon says— “There is a time for all things.” The girl should not go out to work until she has had a fair share of schooling and domestic training; and when she “settles in life,” out of door work as a regular thing ought to cease and determine. It ought never to be had recourse to, except under special circumstances, and then only as a last resort, when other means have failed to obtain an adequate family income. When boys and girls are in their teens, they wear out more clothing than they do at any other period of their lives; and here it is the wife at home, as contra-distinguished from the wife abroad, may fully prove that money saved is money gained, by the timely repair of clothing which would otherwise soon become useless, and others have to be bought instead. The same argument holds good in its extended application in relation to food. Food bought, cooked, and consumed in a hurry, is the dearest food that can be bought for the purposes of nutrition. It produces indigestion and lowness of spirits—it creates an appetite for spirituous stimulants, justifying the remarks made in “Chambers' Journal,” some years ago, “that wherever there is a factory built, beer-shops and gin-shops are sure to spring up around it.” The factory bell is inexorable. It summonses father and son, mother and daughter, at the same time; its call cannot be neglected except at a money loss on the next pay day, with dismissal, in all but the best times of trade, looming in the distance. Therefore it is, that hastily-cooked food and hastily-consumed food, is the order of the day in the wife-from-home districts, and the chemist and the doctor alone reap any profits from the transaction. There