Part 2 out of 2
let our of our lives. To what may we turn? Where may we go? We
turn to the social gathering.
BUT IT MUST BE PLANNED.
No social gathering can successfully run itself. See what forethought
and expenditure are given to make successful the "smoking-club," the
"wine-social," the "card and dancing parties," and the "theater." Not
one of these institutions thrive without thought and cost in their
management. Put the same thought and expense into the gathering
for social recreation, and you will find all of the merits of the
questionable institution and none of its demerits. No company has
larger capabilities than the mixed company at the social gathering.
Nor may any purpose be more perfectly served than the purpose of
true social recreation. Here we find those skilled in music, versed
in literature, adept at conversation; we find the practical joker, the
proficient at games, and last, but not least, those "born to serve"
tables. This variety of genius, of wit, of skill, of willingness to
serve, is laid at the altar of pleasure for the worthy purpose of making
new again the weary body, the languishing spirit, the lonely heart.
Let the right management and stimulus be given to this resourceful
company, and the hours will pass as moments, the surest sign of a
DINING, SOCIAL HOUR, GAMES.
No social recreation is complete without dining. And yet the least
important part of this meal should be the taking of food. It is a
serious fault with the modern social that too much attention is given
to the variety and quantity of food, and not enough to merriment in
taking it. To be successful, the social company should gather as
early as possible; the first hour-and-a-half should be given to greetings
and to social levity of the brightest and wittiest sort. If one has an
ache or a pain, a care or a loss, let it be forgotten now. It is weakness
and folly continually to be under any burden. Here every one should
take a genuine release from seriousness and earnestness in weighty
and responsible affairs. Let all, except the serving committee for
this evening, take part in this strictly social hour-and-a-half. When
the late-comers have arrived and have been introduced, and the people
have moved about and met one another, almost before the company
are aware of it they are invited by the serving committee to dine.
Usually all may not be served at once. Now that the company has
been thinned out, the older persons having gone to the tables, short,
spirited games should be introduced in which every person not at
luncheon, should be given a place and a part. At this juncture it is
not best to introduce sitting-games, such as checkers, authors, caroms,
or flinch, for the contestants might be called to take refreshments at
a critical moment in the contest. With a little attention to it, appropriate
games may be introduced here that need not interfere with luncheon.
Fully half an hour should be spent at each set of tables, where at the
close of the meal, some humorous subject or subjects should be
introduced and responded to be those best fitted for such a task.
Almost any person can say something bright as well as sensible, if he
will give a little attention to it beforehand. While the second and third
tables are being served, let those retiring contest at games of skill,
converse, or take up other appropriate entertainment directed by the
everywhere present entertainment committee. By this time half-past
ten or eleven o'clock, some who are old, or who have pressing duties
on the next day may want to retire. If the serving committee have been
skillful in adjusting the time spent at each table to the number of
tables, etc., by eleven o'clock the serving shall have been completed.
Now, the young in spirit, whether old or young, expect, and should have
an hour at the newest, liveliest, and most recreative games. No part of
the evening entertainment should be allowed to drag. To insure this a
frequent change of social games is needed.
AVOID LATE HOURS.
As late hours tend to produce irregularity in sleep, in meals, and in
work; and since the object of the social is recreation, the company
should retire about midnight. Oftentimes people stay and stay at
such a gathering, until the hostess, the entertaining committee, and
the people themselves are worn out. And yet, who is at fault? This
is a critical point in the modern popular social. How shall the company
disband in due season? In his "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,"
Oliver Wendell Holmes gives a suggestion on this point for the
private visitor, who does not know how to go. Says Holmes: "Do
n't you know how hard it is for some people to get out of a room
when their visit is really over? They want to be off, and you want
to have them off, but they do n't know how to manage it. One would
think they had been built in your parlor or study and were waiting to
be launched. I have contrived a sort of ceremonial inclined plane for
such visitors, which being lubricated with certain smooth phrases, I
back them down, metaphorically speaking, stern-foremost, into their
'native element,' the great ocean of outdoors." There are social companies
as hard to get rid of as this. They want to go, and every one wants them
to go, but just how to make the start, no one seems to know. Dr. Holmes
and his "inclined plane" may have been successful with the private caller,
but who will be the "contriver of a ceremonial," one sufficient to land the
social company into its "native element, the great ocean of outdoors?"
No, this most delicate of the problems involved in a successful modern
social must be left to a tactful hint from the entertainment committee,
and to the wise choice of a few recognized leaders in the company.
Special committees should have charge of the serving and of the
entertainment. As far as possible these should vary with each
successive social. It is an erroneous notion, prevalent in nearly
every community, that only "certain ones" can do this or that; the
consequence is that these "certain ones" do all the work, are deprived
of the true rest and relief which the social is meant to give, while
others who should take their turn, grow unappreciative, and weak in
their serving and entertaining ability.
THE AVERAGE SOCIAL A FAILURE.
As it is conducted to-day, the average social is a failure. Late at
arriving, want of introductions, lack of arranged entertainment, late
hours,--all go to weaken and to dull the average young person in
place of to cultivate his wits, his special genius at music, reading,
and conversation, and to recreate him in body, mind, and spirit. To
make a success of the social gathering some one must keep in mind
the personal convenience and happiness of every person present.
When this is done and the social gathering becomes notable for the
real pleasure that it gives, then we shall be able to drive out the
"questionable amusements," because we have taken nothing from
the person, and have given him new life and interest.
BONDS OF ATTACHMENT.
Each person is connected with every other person by some bond of
attachment. It may be by the steel bond of brotherhood, by the
silvern chain of religious fellowship, by the golden band of conjugal
affection, by the flaxen cord of parental or filial love, or by the silken
tie of friendship. One or more of these bonds of attachment may
encircle each person, and each bond has its varying strength, and is
capable of endless lengthening and contracting. Brotherhood is a
general term, and as it is used here, comprises the fellow-feeling that
one human being has for another, this is universal brotherhood.
Brotherhood comprises the fellow-feeling that attracts persons of the
same race, nation, or community, this is racial, national, or community
brotherhood; also, it comprises the fellow-feeling that exists between
persons of the same avocation, calling, or work, this is the brotherhood
of profession; it comprises the fellow-feeling that joins persons of the
same order or party, this is the brotherhood of order; it comprises the
fellow-feeling that joins brothers and sisters of the same home, this is
the brotherhood of family. Religious fellowship includes that spiritual
intercourse which is held between persons of the same religious faith
and practice. Conjugal affection comprises that feeling of mind and
heart which unites husband and wife. Filial and parental love exists
between parent and child. While friendship comprises that soul union
which exists between persons because of similar desires, tastes, and
sentiments. Each of these bonds of attachment has its characteristic
mark, its essential feature. The essential feature of universal brotherhood
is common origin, present struggle, and future hope; the essential feature
of racial, national, or community brotherhood is patriotism; the essential
feature of brotherhood of the order is mutual helpfulness; the essential
feature in brotherhood of the profession is common pursuit; in brotherhood
of the family, common parentage; in conjugal affection, attraction for
opposite sex; in parental and filial love, love of offspring and love of
parent; while in friendship the essential feature is harmony of natures.
WHAT IS FRIENDSHIP?
No human relationship can be more beautiful, nor more abiding than
true friendship. It is a spiritual thing, a communion of souls, virtuously
exercised. How one is impressed and pleased to see another horse just
like his own, to see another dog exactly resembling his own, to meet a
person who speaks, looks, and acts like some one he has known. It is
a surprise, mingled with mystery and delight. But with what increased
surprise and delight does one meet with a "person after his own heart."
All men have recognized the strength and beauty of right self-love.
The second great law of Christ's kingdom is declared in terms of true
self-love. "Love thy neighbor as thyself." Every one loves himself,
because one's self is the truest and best of other lives filtered through
his own soul. When one finds in another that which perfectly answers
to his own soul-likings and longings, he has found another self, he has
found a friend. Friendship is the communion of such souls, although
they may be absent from one another. The highest friendship may grow
more perfectly when friends are separated, then it is unmixed with the
alloy of imperfect thought and action. Then it is nourished by the past,
for only the past buries all faults; it is encouraged by the future, for
only the future veils the awkwardness and shortcomings of the present.
The character of friendship is determined by the character of friends.
Negative personalities wanting in taste, conviction, and virtue produce
only a negative friendship. Intense personalities produce intense
friendships; noble personalities, noble friendships, and spiritual
personalities, spiritual friendship. In the true, spiritual sense, before
one can become a friend, he must become an individual. He must
stand for something in thought and purpose. If this is not true,
friendship becomes a flimsy affair. For souls to commune with one
another there must be harmony; unity, agreement of desires, sentiments,
and tastes. Not the harmony of indifference, nor a forced agreement, but
a beautiful and natural response of soul to soul. Such equipment for
friendship finds its basis only in individual character. Character is
conduct become habitual. If one spurns reason, and follows his impulse
and passion, he becomes unreliable, and does not know the issues of
his own heart and life. Who knows what such an one will do next? To
make it soar well or sail well, friendship must have ballast. This ballast
is worthy, individual character. It would be more exact to say there can
be no true friendship without individual character. Although many
elements constitute the character of the true friend, yet two elements are
essential--sincerity and tenderness. Sincerity is the soul of every virtue,
while true words, simple manners, and right actions make up the body.
If the soul of virtue is present one does not always demand the presence
of the body, but if the body of virtue is absent, one had better take a
search after the soul. If sincerity is unquestioned, words, manners,
actions have great liberty; but if words, manners and actions are
lacking in straight-forwardness, it is time to question sincerity. This
is true in all human affairs involving motive and conduct. Especially
is it true in friendship. Sincerity knows its own. By a glance it
penetrates the very heart of its true friend, and leaves translucent and
transparent its own. Sincerity gives steadfastness and constancy to
friendship. Insincerity mars and breaks friendship. Who has not
seen a soul spring into life through the love of a radiant friendship;
and then following a series of hollow pretenses, insincerities, that
friendship fails, and the beautiful creature stifles and dies. As one
tells us, "such a death is frightful, it is the asphyxia of the soul!" Then,
tenderness is an essential element in the character of a friend. Says
Emerson: "Notwithstanding all the selfishness that chills like east
winds the world, the whole human family is bathed with an element
of love, like a fine ether." With Emerson, we believe that every
person carries about with him a certain circle of sympathy within
which he, and at least one friend, may temper and sweeten life. Much
of the kindness of the world is simply breathed, and yet what an aroma
of good cheer it sheds in grateful lives. Tenderness possesses a
sensitiveness of sympathy to an extreme degree. It shrinks from the
sight of suffering. It treats others with "gentleness, delicacy, thought-
fulness, and care. It enters into feelings, anticipates wants, supplies the
smallest pleasure, and studies every comfort." Says one: "It belongs
to natures, refined as well as loving, and possesses that consideration of
which finer dispositions only are capable." Tenderness is a heart
quality. It is the luxury of a pure and intense friendship. It tempers one's
entire nature, making his whole being sympathetic with grace and favor.
It is manifest in the relaxing feature, in the penetrating glance, in the
mellowing voice, in the engracing manners, and in the complete
obliteration of time and distance, while with one's friend. We recall the
friendly visits spend with our friend, Lawrence W. Rowell, during his
medical course in Rush College, Chicago, while we were in attendance
at the Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois. Rowell was
intellectual, spirited, gifted in conversation, highly sympathetic, informed,
critical, yet charitable, a close student of human nature, a love of
philosophy, of musical temperament, of noble heart, of exalted purpose.
Our visits were kept up bimonthly throughout one year. We would spent
Saturday evening and Sunday together. Those visits revealed to me the
magnetism, intensity, and tenderness of a friend. Truly, with us time and
distance were almost completely obliterated from our consciousness. I
say distance, for we would walk together. Tenderness suits the amiable
and gentle in disposition, but it comes with a peculiar charm from the
austere nature. It is one of the stalwart virtues, and is often concealed
behind a crusty exterior. Severity and tenderness adorn the greatest lives.
THE TEST OF FRIENDSHIP.
What is the uncertain mark of a friend? Have I a friend? How many
friends have I? I can invoice my stock, my goods, my land, my money,
can I invoice my friends? One may not always know the actual worth
of a friend, but he knows who are his friends, quite as well as he knows
who are his nephews and cousins. "A friend is one whom you need and
who needs you." Has one a bit of good news, he flies to his friend, he
wants to share it. Has one a sorrow, he seeks his friend who will gladly
share that. Does one meet with a defeat or victory, instantly he thinks
of his friend and of how it will effect him. Friends need one another,
as truly as the child needs its mother, or the mother her child. Is one
tempted to commit a wrong in thought or action, his friend, though
absent, appears at his side and begs him not to do it. If one is in doubt
or uncertainty, he summons his friend, who become a patient reasoner,
and an impartial judge. Who does not find himself, daily, looking
through other people's glasses, weighing on other people's scales,
sounding other people's voices? It is a habit that friends have with
one another. You can not deprive friends of one another, any more
than you can lovers. Ah, true friends are lovers of the heaven-born
sort; for their agreement is grounded in nature. They are not chosen,
they are discovered. Or, as Emerson says, they are "self-elected."
"Friendship's an abstract of love's noble flame,
'Tis love refined, and purged from all its dross,
'Tis next to angel's love, if not the same,
As strong as passion in, though not so gross."
Thus writes Catherine Phillips.
FRUITS OF FRIENDSHIP.
True friendship gives ease to the heart, light to the mind, and aid to the
carrying out of one's life-purposes. First, ease to the heart. The presence
of a friend is a beam of genial sunshine which lights up the house by his
very appearance. He warms the atmosphere and dispels the gloom. The
presence of a true friend for a day, a night, a week, lifts one out of
himself, links him with new purposes, and immerses him in new joys.
Friends breathe free with one another. They inspire sighs of relief.
Embarrassment disappears; liberty reigns supreme. Hearts are like steam
boilers, occasionally, they must give vent to what is in them, or they will
burst. This is the true mission of friends, to become to one another
reserve reservoirs of "griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and
whatever lieth upon the heart to oppress it," or elate it. You recall those
familiar lines of Bacon: "This communicating of a man's self to his
friends works two contrary effects; for it redoubles joys and cutteth
griefs in halves; for there is no man that imparteth his joys to his friend,
but he joyeth the more; and no man that imparteth his griefs to his
friends, but he grieveth the less." The following selected lines, slightly
changed, set forth this first fruit of friendship.
"A true friend is an atmosphere
Warm with all inspirations dear,
Wherein we breathe the large free breath
Of life that hath no taint of death.
A true friend's an unconscious part
Of every true beat of our heart;
A strength, a growth, whence we derive
Soul-rest, that keeps the world alive."
Then, friendship sheds light in the mind. "He who has made the
acquisition of a judicious and sympathetic friend," says Robert Hall,
"may be said to have doubled his mental resources." No man is wise
enough to be his own counselor, for he inclineth too much to leniency
toward himself. "It is a well-known rule that flattery is food for the
fool." Therefore no man should be his own counselor since no one is
so apt to flatter another as he is himself. A wise man never flatters
himself, neither does a friend flatter. As a wise man sees his own
faults and seeks to correct them, so a true friend sees the faults of his
friend and labors faithfully to banish them. The one who flatters you
despises you, and degrades both you and himself. An enemy will tell
you the whole truth about yourself, especially your faults, and at times
that both weaken and hurt you. A friend will tell you the whole truth
about yourself, especially your neglected virtues, but at a time to both
strengthen and help you. The highest service a friend can render is
that of giving counsel. The highest honor one can bestow upon his
friend is to make him his counselor. It is no mark of weakness to rely
upon counsel. God, Himself, needed a counselor, so he chose His Son.
"His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the
Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." Isa. ix, 6. Counsel, says
Solomon, is the key to stability. "Every purpose is established by
Counsel." Prov. Xx, 18. Who despiseth counsel shall reap the reward
of folly. A friend is safe in counsel, according to his wisdom, for he
never seeks his own good, but the good of his friend. It is a saying, "If
some one asks you for advice, if you would be followed, first find out
what kind of advice is wanted, then give that." But this is not the way
of a friend. He has in mind the welfare of the friend and the cause his
friend serves. Honor does not require that one shall follow the advise
of his friend, rather liberty in this is a mark of freedom and trust
A friend aids one in the carrying out of his life purposes. Who is it
that helps one to places of honor and usefulness? It is his friend. Who
is it that recognizes one's true worth, extols his virtues, and gives tone
and quality to the diligent services of months and years? It is his
friend. Who is it, when one ends his life in the midst of an unfinished
book, or with loose ends of continued research in philosophy or science
all about him; who is it that gathers up these loose ends and puts in order
the unfinished work? It is his friend. Who is it that stands by the open
tomb of that fallen saint or hero and relates to the world his deeds of
sacrifice and courage which spurn others on to nobler living and thereby
perpetuates his goodness and valor? Who does this, if it is done? It is
his friend. A friend thus becomes not only a completion of one's soul
as he is by virtue of being a friend, but also he becomes a completion
of one's life. Then, one's relation to his fellowmen is a limited
relationship. He may speak, but upon certain subjects, on certain
occasions, and to certain persons. As Francis Bacon says, "A man can
not speak to his son but as a father; to his wife but as a husband; to his
enemy but upon terms; whereas a friend may speak as the case requires,
and not as it sorteth with the person....I have given the rule," says he,
"where a man can not fitly play his own part, if he have not a friend, he
may quit the stage."
HOW TO GET AND KEEP A FRIEND.
A real friend is discovered, or made. First, discovered. Two persons
notice an attraction for one another. They see that their desires are
similar, they have the same sentiments, they agree in tastes. A feeling
of attachment becomes conscious with each of them, slight association
fosters this feeling, it increases. New associations but reveal a broader
agreement, a closer union, a perfecter harmony. The signs of friendship
appear. Heart and mind of each respond to the other, they are friends.
This is the noblest friendship. It has its origin in nature. It is, as H. Clay
Trumbull says: "Love without compact or condition; it never pivots on
an equivalent return of service or of affection. Its whole sweep is away
from self and toward the loved one. Its desire is for the friend's welfare;
its joy is in the friend's prosperity; its sorrows and trials are in the
friend's misfortunes and griefs; its pride is in the friend's attainments
and successes; its constant purpose is in doing and enduring for the
Then, friends are made. Two persons do not especially attract one
another. But, through growth of character, modification of nature, or
change in desires, sentiments, and tastes, they become attracted to each
other. Or in spite of natural disagreements or differences, through the
force of circumstances they become welded together in friendship.
Montaigne describes such an attachment, in which the souls mix and
work themselves into one piece with so perfect a mixture that there is
no more sign of a seam by which they were first conjoined. Says
Wedded into our life is more to us
Than twice five thousand kinsman one in blood."
Such was the friendship of Ruth and Naomi. Orpha loved Naomi, kissed
her, and returned satisfied to her early home; but Ruth cleaved unto her,
"Entreat me not to leave thee,
And to return from following after thee:
For whither thou goest, I will go;
Where thou lodgest, I will lodge:
Thy people shall be my people,
And thy God my God:
Where thou diest, will I die,
And there will I be buried:
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If aught but death part thee and me."
The keeping of a friend like the keeping of a fortune, lies in the getting,
although in friendship much depends upon circumstances of association.
However subtle may be the circumstances which bring friends together,
or whatever natural agreement may exist between their natures, still
there is always a conscious choosing of friends. In this choosing lies the
secret of abiding friendship. Young says:
"First on thy friend deliberate with thyself;
Pause, ponder, sift: not eager in the choice,
Nor jealous of the chosen; fixing fix;
Judge before friendship, then confide till death."
Steadfastness and constancy such as this seldom loses a friend.
Last of all, abiding friendship is grounded in virtue. Says a famed
writer on Friendship: "There is a pernicious error in those who think
that a free indulgence in all lusts and sins is extended in friendship.
Friendship was given us by nature as the handmaid of virtues and not
as the companion of our vices. It is virtue, virtue I say . . . that both
wins friendship and preserves it." And closing his remarks on this
immortal subject, Cicero causes Laelius to say: "I exhort you to lay
the foundations of virtue, without which friendship can not exist, in
such a manner, that with this one exception, you may consider that
nothing in the world is more excellent than friendship."
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
We have set in order some facts, incidents, and lessons gathered from
a hasty trip to the old country during the summer of 1899. The journey
was made in company with Rev. C.F. Juvinall, for four years my room-
mate and fellow-student, and my estimable friend. On Wednesday,
June 21st, we sailed from Boston Harbor; reached Liverpool, England,
Saturday morning the 1st of July; visited this second town in the British
kingdom; stopped over at the old town of Chester; took a run out to
Hawarden Estate, the home of Gladstone; changed cars at Stratford-on-
Avon and visited the tomb of Shakespeare; staid a half day and a night
in the old university town of Oxford, and reached London on the evening
of July 4th. Having spent a week in London, we crossed the English
Channel to Paris; remained there two days, then made brief visits to the
battlefield of Waterloo, to Brussels, Amsterdam, Hull, Sheffield, Dublin,
and back to Liverpool. We sailed to Boston and returned to Chicago by
way of Montreal and Detroit, having spent forty-nine days--the
intensest and delightfullest of our lives. At first, we hesitated to treat
this subject from a point of view of personal experience, but since it
is our purpose to incite in others the love for and the right us of all
helpful resources of happiness and power, it seemed to us that we could
no better accomplish our purpose with respect to this subject than to
recount our own observations from this one limited, imperfect journey.
AN EYE-OPEN AND EAR-OPEN EXPERIENCE.
One is always at a disadvantage in relating the faults of others, for he
seems to himself and to his friends to be telling his own experience. We
were about to speak of the superficial way in which Americans travel.
One who has traveled much says that "the average company of American
tourists goes through the Art Galleries of Europe like a drove of cattle
through the lanes of a stock-market." Nor is it the art gallery and museum
alone that is done superficially. How many persons before entering
grand old Notre Dame, or the British Houses of Parliament, pause to
admire the elaborate and expansive beauty of the great archways and
outer walls? It is possible to live in this world, to travel around it, to
touch at every great port and city, and yet fail to see what is of value
or of interest. A man on our boat going to Liverpool, said that he had
traveled over the world, had been in London many a time, but had not
taken the pains to go into St. Paul's, nor to visit the Tower of London.
A wise man, a seer, is one who sees. It is possible to live in this world,
and not to leave one's own dooryard, and yet to possess the knowledge
of the world, and to tell others how to see. Louis Agassiz, the scientist,
was invited by a friend to spend the summer with him abroad. Mr.
Agassiz declined the gracious offer on the ground that he had just
Planned a summer's tour through his own back yard. What did Agassiz
find on that tour? Instruction for the children of many generations, a
treatise on animal life, and later a text-book of Zoology. Kant, the
philosopher, the greatest mind since Socrates, was never forty miles
from his birthplace. On the other hand, Grant Allen, author, scholar,
and traveler, says: "One year in the great university we call Europe,
will teach one more than three at Yale or Columbia. And what it
teaches one will be real, vivid, practical, abiding . . . ingrained in
the very fiber of one's brain and thought. . . . He will read deeper
meaning thenceforward in every picture, every building, every book,
every newspaper. . . . If you want to know the origin of the art of
building, the art of painting, the art of sculpture, as you find them
to-day in contemporary America, you must look them up in the
churches, and the galleries of early Europe. If you want to know
the origin of American institutions, American law, American thought,
and American language, you must go to England; you must go farther
still to France, Italy, Hellas, and the Orient. Our whole life is bound
up with Greece and Rome, with Egypt and Assyria." But whatever
advantage travel may afford for broad and intense study, whatever
be its superior processes of refinement and learning, yet it is well
to remember this, that at any place and at any time one may open
his eyes and his ears, his heart and his reason, and find more than
he is able to understand and a heart to feel! You can not limit God
to the land nor to the sea, to one country nor to one hemisphere.
Thus the kind of travel of which we speak is the eye-open and ear-
Let us note first, then, that travel is a study of history at the spot
where the event took place. The history of a nation is a record of
its great men. You tell a faithful story of Columbus, John Cabot,
and Henry Hudson; of Winthrop, John Smith, and Melendez; of
General Wolfe, General Washington, Patrick Henry, and Franklin;
of Jefferson, Adams, Jackson, and Webster; of Abraham Lincoln,
Wendell Phillips, John Brown, and General Grant; of John Sherman,
Grover Cleveland, and William McKinley, and you an up-to-date
history of the young American Republic, acknowledged by every
country to have the greatest future of all nations. So, if one reads
with understanding the inscriptions on the monuments of Gough,
O'Connell, and Parnell, he will get the story of the struggles of the
Irish. Enter London Tower, "the most historical spot in England,"
and recount the bloody tragedies of the English people since the
time of William the Conqueror, 1066 A.D. Here we have a "series
of equestrian figures in full equipment, as well as many figures on
foot, affording a faithful picture, in approximate chronological
order, of English war-array from the time of Edward I, 1272, down
to that of James II, 1688." In glass cases, and in forms of trophies
on the walls, we find arms and armor of the old Romans, of the
early Greeks, and Britons, and of the Anglo-Saxons. Maces and
axes, long and cross bows and leaden missile weapons and shields,
highly adorned with metal figures, all tend to make more vivid the
word-pictures of the historian." Of the small burial-ground in this
Tower, Macaulay writes: "In truth there is no sadder spot on earth
than this little cemetery. Death is there associated, not, as in
Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's, with genius and virtue, with
public veneration, and with imperishable renown; not, as in our
humblest churches and church-yards, with every thing that is most
endearing in social and domestic charities; but with whatever is
darkest in human nature and in human destiny, with the savage
triumph of implacable enemies, with the inconstancy, the ingratitude,
the cowardice of friends, with all the miseries of fallen greatness and
of blighted fame." We note a few names chiseled here: Sir Thomas
More, beheaded 1535; Anne Boleyn, beheaded in this tower, 1536;
Thomas Cromwell, beheaded, 1540; Margaret Pole, beheaded here,
1541; Queen Catharine Howard, beheaded, 1542; Lady Jane Grey
and her husband, beheaded here, 1544; Sir Thomas Overbudy,
poisoned in this tower, 1613. Since travel is a study of history at
the spot where the event took place, let us cross the rough and famed
English Channel to visit one of the many noted spots of France. We
select the site of the Hotel de Ville or the town-hall of Paris. "The
construction of the old hall was begun in 1533, and was over seventy
years in its completion. Additions were made, and the building was
reconstructed in 1841. This has been the usual rallying site of the
Democratic party for centuries. Here occurred the tragedy of St.
Bartholomew in 1572; here mob-posts, gallows, and guillotines
did the work of a despotic misrule until 1789. (As we left for
Brussels on the evening of the 13th of July, all Paris was gayly
decorated with red, white, and blue bunting, ready to celebrate the
event of July 14, 1789, the fall of the Bastile.) On this date, 110
years ago, the captors of the Bastile marched into this noted hall.
Three days later Louis XVI came here in procession from Versailles,
followed by a dense mob." Here Robespierre attempted suicide to
avoid arrest, when five battalions under Barras forced entrance to
assault the Commune party, of which Robespierre was head. Here,
in 1848, Louis Blanc proclaimed the institution of the Republic of
France. This was a central spot during the revolution of 1871. The
leaders of the Commune party place in this building barrels of
gunpowder, and heaps of combustibles steeped in petroleum, and on
May 25th they succeeded in destroying with it 600 human lives. A
new Hotel de Ville, one of the most magnificent buildings in Europe,
has replaced the old hall. This is open to visitors at all hours. To
study history at the spot where the event took place means work as
well as pleasure, so we took our luncheon and sleep in our car while
the train carried us to Brussels, and out to Braine-l'Alleud, where, on
the beautiful rolling plain of Belgium, June 18, 1805, Napoleon
Bonaparte met his Waterloo, and Wellington became England's idol.
A railway baggageman was on our train returning to his home in
Cleveland, Ohio. In conversation, he said: "I have been with this
company for twenty-two years; have drawn two dollars a day, 365
days in the year for that time, and I haven't a dollar in the world, but
one, and I gave it yesterday for a dog. But," said he, "I have a good
woman and the greatest little girl in the world, so I am happy." This
is one of a large class of persons who receive fair wages all their lives,
and yet die paupers, because they plan to spend all they make as they
go along. In conversation with a gruff, old Dutch conductor between
Albany and New York City, I ventured to ask him if he had ever
crossed the ocean. "No," he said, "nopody eber crosses de ocean, bud
emigrants, and beoble vat hab more muney dan prains."
Travel is a study of religious institutions. Among the most interesting
in Europe, that we visited, are Wesley's Chapel, Westminster Abbey,
St. Paul's Cathedral, and Notre Dame. The Church of Notre Dame,
situated in the heart of Paris on the bank of the Seine, was founded
1163 on the site of a church of the fourth century. The building has
been altered a number of times. In 1793 it was converted into a temple
of reason. The statue of the Virgin Mary was replaced by one of
Liberty. Busts of Robespierre, Voltaire, and Rosseau were erected.
This church was closed to worship 1794, but was reopened by Napoleon
1802. It was desecrated by the Communards 1811, when the building
was used as a military depot. The large nave, 417 feet long, 156 feet
wide, and 110 feet high, is the most interesting portion of this massive
structure. The vaulting of this great nave is supported by seventy-five
huge pillars. The pulpit is a masterpiece of modern wood-carving. The
choir and sanctuary are set off by costly railings, and are beautifully
adorned by reliefs in wood and stone. The organ, with 6,000 pipes, is
one of the finest in Europe. "The choir has a reputation for plain song."
On a small elevation, in the center of London, stand the Cathedral of
St. Paul's, the most prominent building in the city. From remains found
here it is believed that a Christian Church occupied this spot in the times
of the Romans, and that it was rebuilt by King Ethelbert, 610 A.D. Three
hundred years later this building was burned, but soon it was rebuilt.
Again it was destroyed by fire, 1087, and a new edifice begun which was
200 years in completion. This church, old St. Paul's, was 590 feet long,
and had a leaden-covered, timber spire, 460 feet high. In 1445 this
spire was injured by lightning, and in 1561 the building was again burned.
Says Mr. Baedeker, whose guidebook is indispensable in the hands of a
traveler, "Near the cathedral stood the celebrated Cross of St. Paul, where
sermons were preached, papal bulls promulgated, heretics made to recant,
and witches to confess, and where the pope's condemnation of Luther was
proclaimed in the presence of Woolsey." Here is the burial place of a
long list of noted persons. Here occurred Wyckiff's citation for heresy,
1337; and here Tyndale's New Testament was burned, 1527. It was
opened for divine services, 1697, and was completed after thirteen years
of steady work, at a cost of three and a half millions of dollars. This sum
was raised by a tax on coal. The church is in the form of a Latin cross,
500 feet long, with the transept 250 feet in length. "The inner dome is
225 feet high, the outer, from the pavement to the top of the cross, is 364
feet. The dome is 102 feet in diameter, thirty-seven feet less than St.
Peter's. St. Paul's is the third largest church in Christendom, being
surpassed only by St. Peter's at Rome." Three services are held here
daily. The religion of Notre Dame is Roman Catholic, but that of St.
Paul's and Westminster is of the Church of England. What shall we say
of Westminster Abbey, the most impressive place of all our travel! As
my friend and I entered here and took our seats for divine worship,
preparatory to visiting her halls, and chapels, and tombs, I think I was
never more deeply impressed. I said to myself, "What does God mean
to allow me to worship here?" and I seemed to realize how little my
past life had been. I felt that circumstances and not I myself had
thrust this new privilege, and thereby new responsibility, upon me.
Westminster Abbey! A church for the living, a burial-place for the
honored dead; a monument to genius, labor, and virtue; England's
"temple of fame;" the most solemn spot in Europe, if not in the world!
Here lie authors, benefactors, and poets; statesmen, heroes, and rulers,
the best of English blood since Edward the Confessor, 1049 A.D. We
must now leave this sacred spot to visit, if possible for us, a more
sacred one, the birthplace of Methodism, or more accurately speaking,
in the words of Bishop Warren, the "cradle of Methodism."
On City Road, London, near Liverpool Street Station, is located the
house, chapel, burial-grounds, and tomb of John Wesley. Across the
street, in an old Nonconformist cemetery, are the graves of James
Watt, Daniel Defoe, and John Bunyan. Across the narrow street to
the north is the tabernacle of Whitefield. We learned that Friday,
July 7th, was reopening day for Wesley's Chapel. What a distinguished
body of persons we found at this meeting! Dr. Joseph Parker was the
speaker of the day. The Rev. Hugh Price Hughes, president of the
Conference, presided at the memorial services. Rev. Westerdale,
present pastor, successfully managed the program of the day, especially
the collections, for he met the expense of the rebuilding and past
indebtedness with the sum of over fifteen thousand dollars. He told
those discouraged ministers with big audiences to go and take courage
from what the mother-church, with her small number of poor
parishioners, had done. In the evening, Bishop Warren, on his return
to America, called in and gave an interesting talk. He was followed
by Fletcher Moulton, member of Parliament. You may not realize the
feeling of gratitude with which we took part in this eventful service of
praise, prayer, and rededication! On the next day we returned to see
the books, furniture, and apartments of Wesley, himself. We sat at his
writing desk, stood in his death-chamber, and lingered in the little room
where he used to retire at four in the morning for secret prayer. From
here he would go directly to his preaching service at five. Wesley put
God first in his life, this is why men honor him so much now that he
is gone. We took a farewell view of the audience-room from the very
pulpit into which Wesley ascended to preach his Good News of Christ.
From the several inscriptions on Wesley's tomb, we copied the following
one: "After having languished a few days, he at length finished his
course and life together. Gloriously triumphing over death, March the
2nd, Anno Domine, 1791, in the eighty-eight year of his age."
In Liverpool, on the day of our arrival, July 1st, an old, gray-haired man
was shining my shoes. He observed that I was from across the water,
and that an Englishman can readily tell a Yankee. He began to praise
America. He said that Uncle Sam was only a child yet, that America
was destined to be the greatest country in the world; that her trouble
with Spain was only a bickering; that the present engagement was only
his maiden warfare, and that he "walked along like a streak of lightning."
Saturday evening, July 8th, witnessed the greatest military parade in
London for thirty years. The Prince of Wales reviewed twenty-seven
thousand London volunteers. Early in the morning citizens from all
over England began to gather in front of the English barracks, and at
the east end of Hyde Park. By two o'clock in the afternoon hundreds
of thousands had packed the streets and dotted the parks and lawns,
until, in every direction one could witness a sea of faces. After the
royal and military procession began, the patient Johnnies, with their
sisters, sweethearts, wives, mothers, grandmothers, and great-grand-
mothers, stood for five hours to see it go by. The Englishman does
not tire when he is honoring his country. At the close of this parade
we dropped into a barbershop for a shave. The gentleman seemed to
understand that I was a long ways from home. "You fellows," I said,
"can tell us as far as you can see us." "Yes," said he, "by your shoes,
your hat, your coat, your tongue, and even by your face. We can tell
you by the way you spit. A spittoon here, pointing about ten feet away,
give a Yankee two trials, he will hit it every time."
Travel is a study of the genius of man as shown in architecture, in
sculpture, and in painting. Ninety-seven plans were submitted for
the Houses of Parliament, including Westminster Hall. That of Sir
Charles Barry was selected, and the present imposing structure was
built, covering eight acres, at a cost of $15,000,000. The style is
perpendicular (Gothic), with carvings, intricate in detail and highly
picturesque. The building faces the river with a 940 feet front, but
her three magnificent square-shaped towers rise over her street front.
The clock tower at the northwest corner is 318 feet high, the middle
tower is 300 feet, and the southwest, or Victorian tower, is 340 feet
high. The large clock with its four dials, each twenty-three feet in
diameter, requires five hours for winding the striking parts. The
striking bell of the clock tower is one of the largest known; it weighs
thirteen tons, and can be heard, in favorable weather, over the greater
portion of London. One never tires in looking at this noble building.
It is appropriately adorned inside and out with elaborate carvings,
statuary, and paintings. Here are located the Chamber of Peers, the
House of Commons, and numerous royal apartments, lavishly fitted
up to be in keeping with the office and dignity of the building.
Crystal Palace, situated about eight miles southeast of St. Paul's,
consists entirely of glass and iron. Its main hall, or nave, is 1,608
feet long, with great cross sections, two aisles, and numerous lateral
sections. The two water towers at the ends are each 282 feet high.
If you were at the World's Fair in Chicago, and visited the Transportation
Building, you may imagine something of the magnitude and beauty of
Crystal Palace, with her orchestra, concert hall, and opera-house; with
her fountains, library, and school of art; with her museums, gardens,
and arenas; with her parks, panoramas, and her numerous exhibits of
nature and art. Near the center of the palace "is the great Handel
Orchestra, which can accommodate 4,000 persons, and has a diameter
twice as great as the dome of St. Paul's. In the middle is the powerful
organ with 4,384 pipes, built at a cost of $30,000, and worked by
hydraulic machinery. An excellent orchestra plays here daily." The
concert-hall on the south side of the stage can accommodate an
audience of 4,000. An excellent orchestra plays here daily. "On each
side of the great nave are rows of courts, containing in chronological
order, copies of the architecture and sculpture of the most highly
civilized nations, from the earliest period to the present day." The
gardens of Crystal Palace cover two hundred acres, and are beautifully
laid out "with flowerbeds, shrubberies, fountains, cascades, and
statuary." "Two of the fountain basins have been converted into sport
arenas, each about eight and one-half acres in extent." Nine other
fountains, with electric light illuminations, play on fireworks nights
and on other special occasions. It is common for 15,000 visitors to
attend these Thursday night firework exhibits. Colored electric light
jets deck the fountains, flower-beds, and halls. Crystal Palace was
designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, and cost seven and a half million of
dollars. Well may it be called London's Paradise.
Shall we say that the greatest piece of constructive architecture of any
country is that of Eiffel Tower! Situated on the left bank of the Seine
River, it overlooks Paris and the country for fifty miles around.
In its construction, iron caissons were sunk to a depth of forty-six feet
on the river side, and twenty-nine and one-half on the other side. When
the water was forced out of these caissons by means of compressed air,
"concrete was poured in to form a bed for four massive foundation
piers of masonry, eighty-five feet thick, arranged in a square of 112
yards. Upon this base which covers about two and a half acres rises
the extraordinary, yet graceful structure of interlaced ironwork" to a
height of 984 feet. Eight hundred persons may be accommodated on
the top platform at once. It was completed within two years' time,
and is the highest monument in the world. Washington monument
ranks second, being 555 feet high. From the summit of Eiffel Tower
one may secure a good view of Paris, her public buildings, chief hills,
parks, and boulevards, monuments, and embankments. An imitation
of Trajan's column in Rome, is 142 feet in height, and thirteen feet in
diameter. It is constructed of masonry, encrusted with plates of bronze,
forming a spiral band nearly 300 yards in length, on which are represented
the "battle scenes of Napoleon during his campaign of 1805, and down to
the battle of Austerlitz. The figures are three feet in height and many of
them are portraits. The metal was obtained by melting down 1,200
Russian and Austrian cannons. At the top is a statue of Napoleon in his
Imperial robes. This column reflects the political history of France."
The design sculptor is Bergeret. For their antiquity the mummies and
statues in the Egyptian galleries of the British Museum are very
interesting. They embrace the period from 3600 years before Christ to
350 A.D. "The tomb of Napoleon by Visconte," and "the twelve colossal
victories surrounding the sarcophagus by Pradier," are among the finest
works of Parisian sculpture. The sarcophagus, thirteen feet long, six
and one-half feet high, consists of a single huge block of reddish-brown
granite, weighing upwards of sixty-seven tons, brought as a gift from
Finland at a cost of $700,000. The Louvre, Paris, contains one of the
finest art galleries in Europe, and with the Tuilleries, covers about eight
acres, "forming one of the most magnificent places in the world."
In our limited experience at travel we have yet to find a single object of
beauty or utility that is not the product of skill, of genius, of great labor.
Every monument bears testimony of struggle, of bloodshed, of hard-
earned victory; beneath every tomb that honor has erected rests the body
of incarnate intelligence, fidelity, and courage. In the shadow of every
great cathedral lies collected the moth and rust from the coppers of
myriad-handed toilers of five and ten centuries. The towers and domes
of London, and Paris, and Amsterdam, and Dublin are monuments to
the genius of the architect and to the faithfulness of the common toiler.
The parks and gardens tell of centuries of wise and faithful application
of the laws of growth, of symmetry, of design in form and color. The
historic chapels of worship and learning breathe the very incense of
devotion and reverence for truth; while the conservatories of sculpture
and painting preserve what is divinest in human experience. Age alone
can produce a great man or a great nation. Decades for the man and
centuries for the nation; these are the measuring periods for real
achievement. But all this is on the human side. Correggio and Titian
in painting; Bacon and Bailey in sculpture; Raphael and Michael Angelo
in sculpture and painting; and Sir Christopher Wren in architecture,--
the works of art of such as these elevate and purify one's thought and
feeling. But the profoundest impressions that come to one from travel,
come alone from the works of nature. The Crystal Palace in London
can not compare in glory with the crystal ripples of a mid-ocean scene.
The botannical gardens of the Tuilleries in Paris do not stir the soul as
does the splendor of the Welsh mountains. The rockery plants of Phoenix
Park, Dublin, are insignificant compared with growths of ferns and moss
On the rock ledges of Bray's Head, south of Dublin. No panorama that
man has painted can equal the scene of Waterloo battle-field, observed
from the earthen mound near the fatal ravine. So, we shall always find
it true, that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so the thoughts of
God are higher than the thoughts of man, and his ways than man's ways.
HOME AND THE HOME-MAKER.
WHAT IS HOME?
"RECENTLY a London magazine sent out 1,000 inquiries on the
question, "What is home?" In selecting the classes to respond to the
question it was particular to see that every one was represented. The
poorest and the richest were given an equal opportunity to express
their sentiment. Out of eight hundred replies received, seven gems
were selected as follows:
"Home--A world of strife shut out, a world of love shut in.
"Home--The place where the small are great and the great are
"Home--The father's kingdom, the mother's world, and the
"Home--The place where we grumble the most and are treated
"Home--The center of our affection, round which our heart's
best wishes twine.
"Home--The place where our stomachs get three square meals
daily and our hearts a thousand.
"Home--The only place on earth where the faults and failings
of humanity are hidden under the sweet mantle of charity."
Dr. Talmage defines home, as "a church within a church, a republic
within a republic, a world within a world." Dr. Banks writes, "It is
not granite walls, or gaudy furniture, or splendid books, or soft carpets,
or delicious viands that can make a home. All of these may be present,
and yet it be only a dungeon, if the great simplicities are not there."
"Home's not merely roof and room,
Needs it something to endear it.
Home is where the heart can bloom,
Where there's some kind heart to cheer it.
Home's not merely four square walls,
Though with pictures hung and gilded,
Home is where affection calls,
Filled with charms the heart hath builded.
Home! Go watch the faithful dove
Sailing 'neath the heavens above us,
Home is where there's one to love,
Home is where there's one to love us."
We believe the five sweetest words in the English language to the
largest number of persons--words which carry with them intrinsic
meaning and blessing are these: "Jesus," "Mother," "Music," "Heaven,"
"Home." "Twenty thousand people gathered in the old Castle Garden,
New York, to hear Jennie Lind sing. After singing some of the old
masters, she began to pour forth 'Home, Sweet Home.' The audience
could not stand it. An uproar of applause stopped the music. Tears
gushed from thousands like rain. The word 'home' touched the fiber
of every soul in that immense throng." In an early spring day, when
the warm sun began to invite one to bask in his rays, my wife, delicate
in health, lay drowsing on some boards near the house. The large
garden spot spread out to the rear of her; a beautiful grassy lawn
carpeted round a deserted house, granary, and shop-building in front of
her. She was living over her girlhood days. She thought she was in the
old home orchard, where she used to doze, dream, and play. The songs
of the birds seemed the same; the same gentle breezes played with her
hair; the same passers-by jogged along the roadside; the same family
horse nibbled the tender grass in the barnyard. How sad, and yet how
sweet are the memories of early days! The tender associations of home
never leave one, however roughly the coarse hand of time would tear
them away. It is because home means love that its associations and
ESSENTIALS TO A HAPPY HOME.
Although home means love, yet love alone may not insure happiness.
In addition to love, without which a true home can not exist, we select
four essential requisites to make home life useful and happy. These
are intelligence, unselfishness, attractiveness, and religion.
First, Intelligence. Much of the misery of the world in individual and
family life is due to gross ignorance. Once the father of a family said
to me, "We did not get our mail to-day, I miss my reading." Knowing
the man we were surprised at such a remark, and ventured to ask him
what papers he took. A list of ten or a dozen papers was named. All
of them were newspapers. One was a general daily, two were local
dailies, and the rest were local weekly papers. No intelligent person
would have carried over three of those papers from the post-office.
This man spent hours upon a class of reading that should be finished
with a few minutes each day. In this same family the mother told me
that she had never rode on a railway train, and that she had never been
outside of her own county. This is an exceptional case, but it illustrates
how that ignorance makes thrift and happiness impossible in a home,
neither of which belong to this family. Here every law of health is
violated, foresight in providing for the physical comforts of the home
is wanting; little attention is given to the education of the children; no
sacrifices to-day enrich to-morrow; life is a humdrum, a routine, a
dread, with no exuberance, joy, or hope. In time, such a life leads to
failure and gloom, to secret, then to open vice, and to a final shipwreck
of the home and of the individual. In a similar yet in a less marked way,
the career of many a home is ended. No one may be directly to blame,
but want of common knowledge and common wit have set a limit
beyond which such a family may not go. The intelligent family has
some sort of a history which it is their privilege and duty to perpetuate.
Members of the intelligent family are moral sponsors for one another,
the mother for the daughters, the father for the sons, the brothers and
sisters for one another. They find their own best interests in the interests
of one another. The intelligent family is not superstitious. They act upon
the wisdom of the ancient poet, "every one is the architect of his own
fortune." They look to cause and condition for results. They spell "luck"
with a "p" before it. The intelligent farmer plants his crop in the ground,
rather than in the moon, and looks for his harvest to the seed and the
toil. The intelligent merchant locates his business on the street of largest
travel and makes the buying of his goods his best salesman. The intelligent
man of letters thrives at first by making friends of poverty and want, until
one day his genius places his name in the temple of honor. So it is with the
artist, the musician, the inventor, the architect. To be happy and useful
in one's lot, one must know something of the sphere in which he lives and
works, of its practical wisdom, and must be prepared to live, or glad to
die for the cause he serves. No indolent, superstitious, or ignorant family
need look for abiding happiness nor expect to be permanently useful.
Then unselfishness is essential to happy home life. It is a serious
matter for two persons, even when they are naturally mated, to
undertake to live together in peace and harmony. It is a more serious
matter when they are not naturally mated. It is more serious still
when children enter the home, for they bring with them conflicting
tendencies, dispositions, and wills. Often have we wondered how it
is that families get on as well together as they do when we have
considered, what natural differences exist between them, and what
little teaching and discipline have been used to harmonize these
differences. An harmonious home is truly begun in the parental
homes of the husband and wife. Two persons may be perfectly
suited to one another, and yet they may be selfish in wanting their
own way. As one grows up, if he is allowed to have his own way
regardless of the rights and privileges of others, he becomes a
selfish person, and his parents are to blame. A selfish person in the
home plans for his own comfort, decides and acts as he wishes, and
seeks to satisfy his own desires. He does not take into consideration
the plans, wishes, and desires of other members of the family. It is
understood that his authority is supreme. Not one member of the
family dreams of expressing dissent to his dominion. A so-called
peace of this sort is not uncommon among families. This supreme
authority may be vested in husband, or wife, or in one or all of the
children. A forced peace of this kind is worse than rebellion and is
as bad as open war. How can any persons be so presumptuous as to
think that any person, or a number of persons, exist solely for his
comfort and advantage! Let two such selfish persons get together,
a permanent riot is assured. Unselfishness in the home means
thoughtfulness, discipline, self-control. Each child is taught the
rights and privileges of others as well as his own. When two
unselfish persons join their lives there begins a holy and beautiful
rivalry in seeking the rights and privileges of one another. The very
atmosphere of such a home is deference, respect, and love. As the
stranger, the neighbor, the friend, comes and goes, he catches the
spirit of it and carries it with him into his own and other homes.
Children born into such a home early imbibe its spirit, and, O, the
inspiration one receives from going into that family circle! No
home-life can be an inspiration and a blessing where selfishness is
allowed to reign. Nor can it be useful and happy.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox describes a selfish, though a kind and loving
Our house is like a garden--
The children are the flowers,
The gardener should come, methinks,
And walk among his bowers.
So lock the door of worry,
And shut your cares away,
Not time of year, but love and cheer,
Will make a holiday.
Impossible! You women do not know,
The toil it takes to make a business grow:
I can not join you until very late,
So hurry home, nor let the dinner wait.
The feast will be like Hamlet,
Without the Hamlet part;
The home is but a house, dear,
Till you supply the heart.
The Christmas gift I long for
You need not toil to buy;
O, give me back one thing I lack:
The love-light in your eye.
Of course I love you, and the children, too.
Be sensible, my dear. It is for you
I work so had to make my business pay;
There, now, run home, enjoy your holiday.
THE WIFE, TURNING AWAY:
He does not mean to wound me,
I know his heart is kind,
Alas, that men can love us,
And be so blind--so blind!
A little time for pleasure,
A little time for play,
A word to prove the life of love
And frighten care away--
Though poor my lot, in some small cot,
That were a holiday.
To preserve the family circle, the home must be made attractive. No
amount of practical wisdom, of Puritanic piety, nor mere kindly
treatment will hold a family of children together until they are strong
enough to resist the temptations of the world. The home must be made
more attractive than the street or places of amusement. The average
boy or girl who loses interest in home and uses it chiefly as an eating
and sleeping place, does so with good reasons. Home has lost its
charm. No provision is made for his pastime and pleasure. Not
finding this at home he will go elsewhere in search of it. "An
unattractive home," says one, "is like the frame of a harp that stands
without strings. In form and outline, it suggests music, but no melody
arises from the empty spaces; and thus it is an unattractive home, is
dreary and dull." How may home be made attractive? We have
presupposed a certain amount of education and culture in the home
by maintaining for it intelligence and unselfishness. Any home that
is intelligent and unselfish is capable of being made attractive. In
the first place, in as far as it is practicable, each member of the family
should have a room of his own and be taught how to make it attractive.
Here, one will hang his first pictures, start his own library, provide a
writing desk, and learn to spend his spare moments. Recently we
visited a home in Chicago. The rooms are few in number and hired.
The family consists of father, mother, and three children, now grown.
During our short stay in the home I was invited into the boys' room.
The walls are literally covered with original pencil designs, queer
calendars, odd pictures; the dresser and stand are lined with books
and magazines, with worn-out musical instruments, art gifts from
other members of the family, and ball-team pictures, while two lines
of gorgeous decorations stretch from wall to wall. This is still these
young men's little world, their interests have centered here. No less
than five kinds of musical instruments were visible in this home. The
walls of the living room and parlor are made beautiful with simple
tasteful pictures made by the daughter, whose natural gift in art was
early cultivated. The table, shelves, and mantelpiece are decorated
with china bowls, plates, and vases, simply, yet elegantly adorned.
This work was done by the daughter and mother. Not a large but a
choice collection of flowering plants relieved the bay window of its
emptiness. This is an attractive home. The children never have cared
to spend their evenings on the street nor at places of amusement. Games
of skill, innocent, instructive, and entertaining, may be used to make
home life more attractive. Only let the amusements of the home be
under the direction of father and mother, and be practiced by them.
Here is a chance to teach shrewdness, honor, interest, and by all means,
moderation. To overdo at games and amusements is more harmful
than to overwork.
Religion is essential to happy home life. A family may get on for a
time very smoothly without prayer, Bible study, faith in God, and
love for Jesus Christ; but no family life is completed without a storm,
many storms of some sort. Years may pass as on a quiet sea, but one
day at high noon, or, perhaps, in the silent, early hour, a small cloud
is seen in the distance; it comes nearer; the wind begins to blow, the
thunders peal, the lightnings flash, the old home, for so long an ark
of safety, is being tossed on the billowy waves. A testing time is at
hand. Mother is gone, or father has ventured too far and lost all; or
son has disgraced the family name; or daughter is in shame; or the
darling of the home is no more! It makes a vast difference who is at
the helm when the storms of home life rage. It is a mark of highest
wisdom to place the family ship under the world's best Captain, Jesus
Christ. He never lost a life. He alone can arrest the lightning, quiet
the waves, inspire confidence, and restore peace and good will in any
storm. But religion is not only useful in trouble, it is an ornament in
peace and prosperity, in the making and building of the home. Tempers
must be controlled, dispositions cultivated, conduct improved, hearts
softened, and minds purified and disciplined. To accomplish all of
this, no substitute can be made for the spirit and faith of Jesus Christ.
"'Dear Moss,' said the thatch on an old ruin, 'I am so worn, so patched,
so ragged, really I am quite unsightly. I wish you would come and
cheer me up a little. You will hide all my infirmities and defects; and,
through your loving sympathy no finger of contempt or dislike will be
pointed at me.' 'I come,' said the moss; and it crept up and around, and
in and out, till every flaw was hidden, and all was smooth and fair.
Presently the sun shone out, and the old thatch looked bright and fair,
a picture of rare beauty, in the golden rays. 'How beautiful the thatch
looks!' cried one who saw it. 'How beautiful the thatch looks!' said
another. 'Ah!' said the old thatch, 'rather let them say, 'How beautiful
is the loving moss!'" So it is with the religion of Christ, it adorns and
beautifies the life who really wears it; so that the plainness of that life
is covered, its ruggedness softened, and its "pain transformed into
profit and its loss into gain."
Charles M. Sheldon gives as an essential for a permanent republic, "A
true home life where father, mother, and children spend much time
together; where family worship is preserved; where honesty, purity,
and mutual affection are developed."
J.R. Miller beautifully sums up the secret of happy home-making in
one word--"Christ." Christ at the marriage altar; Christ on the bridal
journey; Christ when the new home is set up; Christ when the baby is
born; Christ when the baby dies; Christ in the pinching times; Christ
in the days of plenty; Christ in the nursery, in the kitchen, in the parlor;
Christ in the toil and in the rest; Christ all along the years; Christ when
the wedded pair walk toward the sunset gates; Christ in the sad hour
when the farewells are spoken, and one goes on before and the other
stays, bearing the unshared grief. Christ is the secret of happy home
Just as a surly husband, a dissipated father, or a reckless son may blight
a home and destroy its happiness, so may a thoughtful, virtuous, and
kind man in the home change its very atmosphere and help to make it
a heaven. As a home-maker man has the ruggeder part. It is his to
provide. The man who falls short of this in the home does not do his
part. No woman can respect a man much less love him, who places
her, her work, her life, her home, her world under constant embarrassment
by a scant and niggardly provision. She loses her ambition, ceases to
make her self and her home attractive; disorder, filth, unwholesome
food, lack of spirit on her part is the result. She can not be to him, most
of all, what he expects her to be, a companion, a counselor, a comfort--a
home-maker. Also, it is the part of the man in the home to shield the
woman from the heavier burdens and responsibilities. Let him count the
cost of his enterprises, secure himself against hazardous speculations,
and give his wife and children to realize that his shoulders, and not theirs,
are to bear the load of financial obligation and material support. This
leaves the woman with her finer instincts and sensibilities to make the
home the dearest spot on earth to husband, children, and to all who cross
her threshold. The house is her dominion. There she is queen. What a
tender and beautiful one she may become!
SOME PRACTICAL HINTS.
The true home-maker does not spend all of her time with her ducks,
chickens, pigs, and cows, nor yet with her neighbors, her club, nor her
Church. She finds some time to cultivate her intellectual nature and the
finer feelings of her children. She does not degenerate into a mere
household drudge. She is not the slave of her husband, but his companion.
If she has musical ability, she keeps up the practice of her music; if she
is inclined to literature, she reads some every day. Whether literary or
not, every woman should spend some time each day in reading that she
might keep abreast with the world, at least with her companion, in the
movements and thoughts of every-day life. The true home-maker plans
to have a few minutes each day which she calls her own, in which she
may do as she pleases regardless of call or duty, that she might relax
herself, remove the strain of intense effort, rest, give her nature its free
bent and inclination. It will pay her in every way. She will accomplish
more and better work in the busy hours. A spirit and a force will
characterize every effort. The women of to-day are overworked. They
can not do themselves, their families, not their homes the true spiritual
service that it is their part to do. Plan for a few minutes rest with the
daily routine of care. But how is one to do this with so many demands
made upon her? For she is expected to be seamstress, laundress, maid,
cook, hostess, a companion to her husband, a trainer of her children, a
social being, and a helper in the Church. If it is impossible or impracticable
for one to have a servant, she will find these few minutes for daily recreation
and study only in a wise choice of more important duties, and will allow the
less important ones to go undone. Many housewives could well afford
to keep a helper. It becomes a question which is of greater importance,
the life and health of the wife and mother, or the paltry wages of a servant?
We knew a family in Illinois who were quite able to keep help in the home,
but did not do so. The mother made a slave of herself, in a few years
broke in health, and left a large family of small children to struggle alone
in the world. The stepmother, who soon came into the home, could afford
one servant girl and part of the time two. This is a common experience in
ill-managed homes. Or this question arises, Which is of greater importance,
to make more money or to improve the moral tone of the home; to seek
to gratify the outer senses, or to seek to elevate the spiritual life of the
children and the parents? In pleading for rest and study for the mother in
the home we plead for the highest interests of the entire family. For how
can a wife be a companion to a husband when she is made irritable and
nervous from overwork and worry. How can she be a true mother to her
children and neglect their mental and spiritual growth?
Napoleon once said: "What France wants is good mothers, and you may
be sure then that France will have good sons." Thomas McCrie, an
eminent Scotch preacher, used to tell, with great feeling, of how his
mother, when he was starting out for school in the city, accompanied
him along the road a little way, and then leading him into the field where
she could be alone, prayed with him, that he might be kept from sin in
the city, and become a very useful man. That moment was the turning
point in his life. A few minutes a day spent with the eager, susceptible
child mind, will bring everlasting blessing upon the father and mother.