Saturday, August 29, 2009

1. The old maxim, that "Knowledge is power," is a true one, but there is still a greater truth: "KNOWLEDGE IS SAFETY." Safety amid physical ills that beset mankind, and safety amid the moral pitfalls that surround so many young people, is the great crying demand of the age.

2. Criticism.—This work, though plain and to some extent startling, is chaste, practical and to the point, and will be a boon and a blessing to thousands who consult its pages. The world is full of ignorance, and the ignorant will always criticise, because they live to suffer ills, for they know no better. New light is fast falling upon the dark corners, and the eyes of many are being opened.

3. Researches of Science.—The researches of science in the past few years have thrown light on many facts relating to the physiology of man and woman, and the diseases to which they are subject, and consequently many reformations have taken place in the treatment and prevention of diseases peculiar to the sexes.

4. Lock and Key.—Any information bearing upon the diseases of mankind should not be kept under lock and key. The physician is frequently called upon to speak in plain language to his patients upon some private and startling disease contracted on account of ignorance. The better plan, however, is to so educate and enlighten old and young upon the important subjects of health, so that the necessity to call a physician may occur less frequently.

5. Progression.—A large, respectable, though diminishing class in every community, maintain that nothing that relates exclusively to either sex should become the subject of popular medical instruction. But such an opinion is radically wrong; ignorance is no more the mother of purity than it is of religion. Enlightenment can never work injustice to him who investigates.

6. An Example.—The men and women who study and practice medicine are not the worse, but the better for such knowledge; so it would be to the community in general if all would be properly instructed on the laws of health which relate to the sexes.

7. Crime and Degradation.—Had every person a sound understanding on the relation of the sexes, one of the most fertile sources of crime and degradation would be removed. Physicians know too well what sad consequences are constantly occurring from a lack of proper knowledge on these important subjects.

8. A Consistent Consideration.—Let the reader of this work study its pages carefully and be able to give safe counsel and advice to others, and remember that purity of purpose and purity of character are the brightest jewels in the crown of immortality.


1. The Beginning.—There is a charm in opening manhood which has commended itself to the imagination in every age. The undefined hopes and promises of the future—the dawning strength of intellect—the vigorous flow of passion—the very exchange of home ties and protected joys for free and manly pleasures, give to this period an interest and excitement unfelt, perhaps, at any other.

2. The Growth of Independence.—Hitherto life has been to boys, as to girls, a dependent existence—a sucker from the parent growth—a home discipline of authority and guidance and communicated impulse. But henceforth it is a transplanted growth of its own—a new and free power of activity in which the mainspring is no longer authority or law from without, but principle or opinion within. The shoot which has been nourished under the shelter of the parent stem, and bent according to its inclination, is transferred to the open world, where of its own impulse and character it must take root, and grow into strength, or sink into weakness and vice.

3. Home Ties.—The thought of home must excite a pang even in the first moments of freedom. Its glad shelter—its kindly guidance—its very restraints, how dear and tender must they seem in parting! How brightly must they shine in the retrospect as the youth turns from them to the hardened and unfamiliar face of the world! With what a sweet sadly-cheering pathos they must linger in the memory! And then what chance and hazard is there in his newly-gotten freedom! What instincts of warning in its very novelty and dim inexperience! What possibilities of failure as well as of success in the unknown future as it stretches before him!

4. Vice or Virtue.—Certainly there is a grave importance as well as a pleasant charm in the beginning of life. There is awe as well as excitement in it when rightly viewed. The possibilities that lie in it of noble or ignoble work—of happy self-sacrifice or ruinous self-indulgence—the capacities in the right use of which it may rise to heights of beautiful virtue, in the abuse of which it may sink to the depths of debasing vice—make the crisis one of fear as well as of hope, of sadness as well as of joy.

5. Success or Failure.—It is wistful as well as pleasing to think of the young passing year by year into the world, and engaging with its duties, its interests, and temptations. Of the throng that struggle at the gates of entrance, how many may reach their anticipated goal? Carry the mind forward a few years, and some have climbed the hills of difficulty and gained the eminence on which they wished to stand—some, although they may not have done this, have kept their truth unhurt, their integrity unspoiled; but others have turned back, or have perished by the way, or fallen in weakness of will, no more to rise again; victims or their own sin.

6. Warning.—As we place ourselves with the young at the opening gates of life, and think of the end from the beginning, it is a deep concern more than anything else that fills us. Words of earnest argument and warning counsel rather than of congratulation rise to our lips.

7. Mistakes are Often Fatal.—Begin well and the habit of doing well will become quite as easy as the habit of doing badly. "Well begun is half ended," says the proverb: "and a good beginning is half the battle." Many promising young men have irretrievably injured themselves by a first false step at the commencement of life; while others of much less promising talents, have succeeded simply by beginning well, and going onward. The good, practical beginning is to a certain extent, a pledge, a promise, and an assurance of the ultimate prosperous issue. There is many a poor creature, now crawling through life, miserable himself and the cause of sorrow to others, who might have lifted up his head and prospered, if, instead of merely satisfying himself with resolutions of well-doing, he had actually gone to work and made a good, practical beginning.

8. Begin at the Right Place.—Too many are, however, impatient of results. They are not satisfied to begin where their fathers did, but where they left off. They think to enjoy the fruits of industry without working for them. They cannot wait for the results of labor and application, but forestall them by too early indulgence.


Perhaps nothing will so much hasten the time when body and mind will both be adequately cared for, as a diffusion of the belief that the preservation of health is a duty. Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality.

Men's habitual words and acts imply that they are at liberty to treat their bodies as they please. Disorder entailed by disobedience to nature's dictates they regard as grievances, not as the effects of a conduct more or less flagitious. Though the evil consequences inflicted on their descendents and on future generations are often as great as those caused by crime, they do not think themselves in any degree criminal.

It is true that in the case of drunkenness the viciousness of a bodily transgression is recognized; but none appear to infer that if this bodily transgression is vicious, so too is every bodily transgression. The fact is, all breaches of the law of health are physical sins.

When this is generally seen, then, and perhaps not till then, will the physical training of the young receive all the attention it deserves.

Purity of life and thought should be taught in the home. It is the only safeguard of the young. Let parents wake up on this important subject.



1. Who Shall Estimate the Cost.—Who shall estimate the cost of a priceless reputation—that impress which gives this human dross its currency—without which we stand despised, debased, depreciated? Who shall repair it injured? Who can redeem it lost? Oh, well and truly does the great philosopher of poetry esteem the world's wealth as "trash" in the comparison. Without it gold has no value; birth, no distinction; station, no dignity; beauty, no charm; age, no reverence; without it every treasure impoverishes, every grace deforms, every dignity degrades, and all the arts, the decorations and accomplishments of life stand, like the beacon-blaze upon a rock, warning the world that its approach is dangerous; that its contact is death.

2. The Wretch Without It.—The wretch without it is under eternal quarantine; no friend to greet; no home to harbor him, the voyage of his life becomes a joyless peril, and in the midst of all ambition can achieve, or avarice amass, or rapacity plunder, he tosses on the surge, a buoyant pestilence. But let me not degrade into selfishness of individual safety or individual exposure this individual principle; it testifies a higher, a more ennobling origin.

3. Its Divinity.—Oh, Divine, oh, delightful legacy of a spotless reputation: Rich is the inheritance it leaves; pious the example it testifies; pure, precious and imperishable, the hope which it inspires; can there be conceived a more atrocious injury than to filch from its possessor this inestimable benefit to rob society of its charm, and solitude of its solace; not only to out-law life, but attain death, converting the very grave, the refuge of the sufferer, into the gate of infamy and of shame.

4. Lost Character.—We can conceive few crimes beyond it. He who plunders my property takes from me that which can be repaired by time; but what period can repair a ruined reputation? He who maims my person effects that which medicine may remedy; but what herb has sovereignty over the wounds of slander? He who ridicules my poverty or reproaches my profession, upbraids me with that which industry may retrieve, and integrity may purify; but what riches shall redeem the bankrupt fame? What power shall blanch the sullied show of character? There can be no injury more deadly. There can be no crime more cruel. It is without remedy. It is without antidote. It is without evasion.


If you always live with those who are lame, you will learn to limp.—FROM THE LATIN.

If men wish to be held in esteem, they must associate with those who are estimable.—LA BRUYERE.

1. By What Men Are Known.—An author is known by his writings, a mother by her daughter, a fool by his words, and all men by their companions.

2. Formation of a Good Character.—Intercourse with persons of decided virtue and excellence is of great importance in the formation of a good character. The force of example is powerful; we are creatures of imitation, and, by a necessary influence, our tempers and habits are very much formed on the model of those with whom we familiarly associate. Better be alone than in bad company. Evil communications corrupt good manners. Ill qualities are catching as well as diseases; and the mind is at least as much, if not a great deal more, liable to infection, than the body. Go with mean people, and you think life is mean.

3. Good Example.—How natural is it for a child to look up to those around him for an example of imitation, and how readily does he copy all that he sees done, good or bad. The importance of a good example on which the young may exercise this powerful and active element of their nature, is a matter of the utmost moment.

4. A True Maxim.—It is a trite, but true maxim, that "a man is known by the company he keeps." He naturally assimilates by the force of imitation, to the habits and manners of those by whom he is surrounded. We know persons who walk much with the lame, who have learned to walk with a hitch or limp like their lame friends. Vice stalks in the streets unabashed, and children copy it.

5. Live with the Culpable.—Live with the culpable, and you will be very likely to die with the criminal. Bad company is like a nail driven into a post, which after the first or second blow, may be drawn out with little difficulty; but being once driven in up to the head, the pinchers cannot take hold to draw it out, which can only be done by the destruction of the wood. You may be ever so pure, you cannot associate with bad companions without falling into bad odor.

6. Society of the Vulgar.—Do you love the society of the vulgar? Then you are already debased in your sentiments. Do you seek to be with the profane? In your heart you are like them. Are jesters and buffoons your choice friends? He who loves to laugh at folly is himself a fool. Do you love and seek the society of the wise and good? Is this your habit? Had you rather take the lowest seat among these than the highest seat among others? Then you have already learned to be good. You may not make very much progress, but even a good beginning is not to be despised.

7. Sinks of Pollution.—Strive for mental excellence, and strict integrity, and you never will be found in the sinks of pollution, and on the benches of retailers and gamblers. Once habituate yourself to a virtuous course, once secure a love of good society, and no punishment would be greater than by accident to be obliged for half a day to associate with the low and vulgar. Try to frequent the company of your betters.

8. Procure no Friend in Haste.—Nor, if once secured, in haste abandon them. Be slow in choosing an associate, and slower to change him; slight no man for poverty, nor esteem any one for his wealth. Good friends should not be easily forgotten, nor used as suits of apparel, which, when we have worn them threadbare, we cast them off, and call for new. When once you profess yourself a friend, endeaver to be always such. He can never have any true friends that will be often changing them.

9. Have the Courage to Cut the Most Agreeable Acquaintance.—Do this when you are convinced that he lacks principle; a friend should bear with a friend's infirmities, but not with his vices. He that does a base thing in zeal for his friend, burns the golden thread that ties their hearts together.


"Honor and profit do not always lie in the same sack."—GEORGE HERBERT.

"The government of one's self is the only true freedom for the individual."—FREDERICK PERTHES.

"It is length of patience, and endurance, and forbearance that so much of what is called good in mankind and womankind is shown."—ARTHUR HELPS.

1. Essence of Character.—Self-control is only courage under another form. It may also be regarded as the primary essence of character. It is in virtue of this quality that Shakespeare defines man as a being "looking before and after." It forms the chief distinction between man and the mere animal; and, indeed, there can be no true manhood without it.

2. Root of all the Virtues.—Self-control is at the root of all the virtues. Let a man give the reins to his impulses and passions, and from that moment he yields up his moral freedom. He is carried along the current of life, and becomes the slave of his strongest desire for the time being.

3. Resist Instinctive Impulse.—To be morally free—to be more than an animal—man must be able to resist instinctive impulse, and this can only be done by exercise of self-control. Thus it is this power which constitutes the real distinction between a physical and a moral life, and that forms the primary basis of individual character.

4. A Strong Man Ruleth His Own Spirit.—In the Bible praise is given, not to a strong man who "taketh a city," but to the stronger man who "ruleth his own spirit." This stronger man is he who, by discipline, exercises a constant control over his thoughts, his speech, and his acts. Nine-tenths of the vicious desires that degrade society, and which, when indulged, swell into the crimes that disgrace it, would shrink into insignificance before the advance of valiant self-discipline, self-respect, and self-control. By the watchful exercise of these virtues, purity of heart and mind become habitual, and the character is built up in chastity, virtue, and temperance.

5. The Best Support.—The best support of character will always be found in habit, which, according as the will is directed rightly or wrongly, as the case may be, will prove either a benignant ruler, or a cruel despot. We may be its willing subject on the one hand, or its servile slave on the other. It may help us on the road to good, or it may hurry us on the road to ruin.

6. The Ideal Man.—"In the supremacy of self-control," says Herbert Spencer, "consists one of the perfections of the ideal man. Not to be impulsive, not to be spurred hither and thither by each desire that in turn comes upper-most, but to be self-restrained, self-balanced, governed by the joint decision of the feelings in council assembled, before whom every action shall have been fully debated, and calmly determined—that it is which education, moral education at least, strives to produce."

7. The Best Regulated Home.—The best regulated home is always that in which the discipline is the most perfect, and yet where it is the least felt. Moral discipline acts with the force of a law of nature. Those subject to it yield themselves to it unconsciously; and though it shapes and forms the whole character, until the life becomes crystallized in habit, the influence thus exercised is for the most part unseen and almost unfelt.
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8. Practice Self-denial.—If a man would get through life honorably and peaceably, he must necessarily learn to practice self-denial in small things as well as in great. Men have to bear as well as to forbear. The temper has to be held in subjection to the judgment; and the little demons of ill-humor, petulance, and sarcasm, kept resolutely at a distance. If once they find an entrance to the mind, they are apt to return, and to establish for themselves a permanent occupation there.

9. Power of Words.—It is necessary to one's personal happiness, to exercise control over one's words as well as acts: for there are words that strike even harder than blows; and men may "speak daggers," though they use none. The stinging repartee that rises to the lips, and which, if uttered, might cover an adversary with confusion, how difficult it is to resist saying it! "Heaven, keep us," says Miss Bremer, in her 'Home', "from the destroying power of words! There are words that sever hearts more than sharp swords do; there are words the point of which sting the heart through the course of a whole life."

10. Character Exhibits Itself.—Character exhibits itself in self-control of speech as much as in anything else. The wise and forbearant man will restrain his desire to say a smart or severe thing at the expense of another's feeling; while the fool blurts out what he thinks, and will sacrifice his friend rather than his joke. "The mouth of a wise man," said Solomon, "is in his heart; the heart of a fool is in his mouth."

11. Burns.—No one knew the value of self-control better than the poet Burns, and no one could teach it more eloquently to others, but when it came to practice, Burns was as weak as the weakest. He could not deny himself the pleasure of uttering a harsh and clever sarcasm at another's expense. One of his biographers observed of him, that it was no extravagant arithmetic to say that for every ten jokes he made himself a hundred enemies. But this was not all. Poor Burns exercised no control over his appetites, but freely gave them the rein:

"Thus thoughtless follies laid him low,

And stained his name."

12. Sow Pollution.—Nor had he the self-denial to resist giving publicity to compositions originally intended for the delight of the tap-room, but which continued secretly to sow pollution broadcast in the minds of youth. Indeed, notwithstanding the many exquisite poems of this writer, it is not saying too much that his immoral writings have done far more harm than his purer writings have done good; and it would be better that all his writings should be destroyed and forgotten, provided his indecent songs could be destroyed with them.

13. Moral Principle.—Many of our young men lack moral principle. They cannot look upon a beautiful girl with a pure heart and pure thoughts. They have not manifested or practiced that self-control which develops true manhood and brings into subordination evil thoughts, evil passions, and evil practices. Men who have no self-control will find life a failure, both in a social and in a business sense. The world despises an insignificant person who lacks backbone and character. Stand upon your manhood and womanhood; honor your convictions, and dare to do right.

14. Strong Drink.—There is the habit of strong drink. It is only the lack of self-control that brings men into the depths of degradation; on account of the cup, the habit of taking drink occasionally in its milder forms—of playing with a small appetite that only needs sufficient playing with to make you a demon or a dolt. You think you are safe; I know you are not safe, if you drink at all; and when you get offended with the good friends that warn you of your danger, you are a fool. I know that the grave swallows daily, by scores, drunkards, every one of whom thought he was safe while he was forming his appetite. But this is old talk. A young man in this age who forms the habit of drinking, or puts himself in danger of forming the habit, is usually so weak that he does not realize the consequences.


It is almost as difficult to make a man unlearn his Errors as his Knowledge.—COLTON.

There are habits contracted by bad example, or bad management, before we have judgment to discern their approaches, or because the eye of Reason is laid asleep, or has not compass of view sufficient to look around on every quarter.—TUCKER.

1. Habit.—Our real strength in life depends upon habits formed in early life. The young man who sows his wild oats and indulges in the social cup, is fastening chains upon himself that never can be broken. The innocent youth by solitary practice of self-abuse will fasten upon himself a habit which will wreck his physical constitution and bring suffering and misery and ruin. Young man and young woman, beware of bad habits formed in early life.

2. A Bundle of Habits.—Man, it has been said, is a bundle of habits; and habit is second nature. Metastasio entertained so strong an opinion as to the power of repetition in act and thought, that he said, "All is habit in mankind, even virtue itself." Evil habits must be conquered, or they will conquer us and destroy our peace and happiness.

3. Vicious Habits.—Vicious habits, when opposed, offer the most vigorous resistence on the first attack. At each successive encounter this resistence grows fainter and fainter, until finally it ceases altogether and the victory is achieved. Habit is man's best friend and worst enemy; it can exalt him to the highest pinnacle of virtue, honor and happiness, or sink him to the lowest depths of vice, shame and misery.

4. Honesty, or Knavery.—We may form habits of honesty, or knavery; truth, or falsehood; of industry, or idleness; frugality, or extravagance; of patience, or impatience; self-denial, or self-indulgence; of kindness, cruelty, politeness, rudeness, prudence, perseverance, circumspection. In short, there, is not a virtue, nor a vice; not an act of body, nor of mind, to which we may not be chained down by this despotic power.

5. Begin well.—It is a great point for young men to begin well; for it is the beginning of life that that system of conduct is adopted which soon assumes the force of habit. Begin well, and the habit of doing well will become quite easy, as easy as the habit of doing badly. Pitch upon that course of life which is the most excellent, and habit will render it the most delightful.


1. The Longing for a Good Name.—The longing for a good name is one of those laws of nature that were passed for the soul and written down within to urge toward a life of action, and away from small or wicked action. So large is this passion that it is set forth in poetic thought, as having a temple grand as that of Jupiter or Minerva, and up whose marble steps all noble minds struggle—the temple of Fame.

2. Civilization.—Civilization is the ocean of which the millions of individuals are the rivers and torrents. These rivers and torrents swell with those rains of money and home and fame and happiness, and then fall and run almost dry, but the ocean of civilization has gathered up all these waters, and holds them in sparkling beauty for all subsequent use. Civilization is a fertile delta made by the drifting souls of men.

3. Fame.—The word "fame" never signifies simply notoriety. The meaning of the direct term may be seen from its negation or opposite, for only the meanest of men are called infamous. They are utterly without fame, utterly nameless; but if fame implied only notoriety, then infamous would possess no marked significance. Fame is an undertaker that pays but little attention to the living, but who bedizens the dead, furnishes out their funerals and follows them to the grave.

4. Life-Motive.—So in studying that life-motive which is called a "good name," we must ask the large human race to tell us the high merit of this spiritual longing. We must read the words of the sage, who said long centuries ago that "a good name was rather chosen than great riches." Other sages have said as much. Solon said that "He that will sell his good name will sell the State." Socrates said, "Fame is the perfume of heroic deeds." Our Shakespeare said, "He lives in fame who died in virtue's cause."

5. Influences of Our Age.—Our age is deeply influenced by the motives called property and home and pleasure, but it is a question whether the generation in action today and the generation on the threshold of this intense life are conscious fully of the worth of an honorable name.

6. Beauty of Character.—We do not know whether with us all a good name is less sweet than it was with our fathers, but this is painfully evident that our times do not sufficiently behold the beauty of character—their sense does not detect quickly enough or love deeply enough this aroma of heroic deeds.

7. Selling Out Their Reputation.—It is amazing what multitudes there are who are willing to sell out their reputation, and amazing at what a low price they will make the painful exchange. Some king remarked that he would not tell a lie for any reward less than an empire. It is not uncommon in our world for a man to sell out all his honor and hopes for a score or a half score of dollars.

8. Prisons Overflowing.—Our prisons are all full to overflowing of those who took no thought of honor. They have not waited for an empire to be offered them before they would violate the sacred rights of man, but many of them have even murdered for a cause that would not have justified even an exchange of words.

9. Integrity the Pride of the Government.—If integrity were made the pride of the government, the love of it would soon spring up among the people. If all fraudulent men should go straight to jail, pitilessly, and if all the most rigid characters were sought out for all political and commercial offices, there would soon come a popular honesty just as there has come a love of reading or of art. It is with character as with any new article—the difficulty lies in its first introduction.

10. A New Virtue.—May a new virtue come into favor, all our high rewards, those from the ballot-box, those from employers, the rewards of society, the rewards of the press, should be offered only to the worthy. A few years of rewarding the worthy would result in a wonderful zeal in the young to build up, not physical property, but mental and spiritual worth.

11. Blessing the Family Group.—No young man or young woman can by industry and care reach an eminence in study or art or character, without blessing the entire family group. We have all seen that the father and mother feel that all life's care and labor were at last perfectly rewarded in the success of their child. But had the child been reckless or indolent, all this domestic joy—the joy of a large group—would have been blighted forever.

12. An Honored Child.—There have been triumphs at old Rome, where victors marched along with many a chariot, many an elephant, and many spoils of the East; and in all times money has been lavished in the efforts of States to tell their pleasure in the name of some general; but more numerous and wide-spread and beyond expression, by chariot or cannon or drum, have been those triumphal hours, when some son or daughter has returned to the parental hearth beautiful in the wreaths of some confessed excellence, bearing a good name.

13. Rich Criminals.—We looked at the utter wretchedness of the men who threw away reputation, and would rather be rich criminals in exile than be loved friends and persons at home.

14. An Empty, or an Evil Name.—Young and old cannot afford to bear the burden of an empty or an evil name. A good name is a motive of life. It is a reason for that great encampment we call an existence. While you are building the home of to-morrow, build up also that kind of soul that can sleep sweetly on home's pillow, and can feel that God is not near as an avenger of wrong, but as the Father not only of the verdure and the seasons, but of you.


Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you, Many a Summer the grass has grown green,

Blossomed and faded, our faces between; Yet with strong yearning and passionate pain,

Long I to-night for your presence again. —Elizabeth Akers Allen.

A mother is a mother still, The holiest thing alive. —Coleridge.

There is none, In all this cold and hollow world, no fount Of deep, strong, deathless love, save that within mother's heart.

—Mrs. Hemans.

And all my mother came into mine eyes, And gave me up to tears. - Shakespeare.

1. Her influence.—It is true to nature, although it be expressed in a figurative form, that a mother is both the morning and the evening star of life. The light of her eye is always the first to rise, and often the last to set upon man's day of trial. She wields a power more decisive far than syllogisms in argument or courts of last appeal in authority.

2. Her Love.—Mother! ecstatic sound so twined round our hearts that they must cease to throb ere we forget it; 'tis our first love; 'tis part of religion. Nature has set the mother upon such a pinnacle that our infant eyes and arms are first uplifted to it; we cling to it in manhood; we almost worship it in old age.

3. Her Tenderness.—Alas! how little do we appreciate a mother's tenderness while living. How heedless are we in youth of all her anxieties and kindness! But when she is dead and gone, when the cares and coldness of the world come withering to our hearts, when we experience for ourselves how hard it is to find true sympathy, how few to love us, how few will befriend us in misfortune, then it is that we think of the mother we have lost.

4. Her Controlling Power.—The mother can take man's whole nature under her control. She becomes what she has been called "The Divinity of Infancy." Her smile is its sunshine, her word its mildest law, until sin and the world have steeled the heart.

5. The Last Tie.—The young man who has forsaken the advice and influence of his mother has broken the last cable and severed the last tie that binds him to an honorable and upright life. He has forsaken his best friend, and every hope for his future welfare may be abandoned, for he is lost forever, if he is faithless to mother, he will have but little respect for wife and children.

6. Home Ties.—The young man or young woman who love their home and love their mother can be safely trusted under almost any and all circumstances, and their life will not be a blank, for they seek what is good. Their hearts will be ennobled, and God will bless them.


"The mill-streams that turn the clappers of the world arise in solitary places."—HELPS.

"Lord! with what care hast Thou begirt us round! Parents first season us. Then schoolmasters. Deliver us to laws. They send us bound to rules of reason."—GEORGE HERBERT.

1. School of Character.—Home is the first and most important school of character. It is there that every human being receives his best moral training, or his worst, for it is there that he imbibes those principles of conduct which endure through manhood, and cease only with life.

2. Home Makes the Man.—It is a common saying, "Manners make the man;" and there is a second, that "Mind makes the man;" but truer than either is a third, that "Home makes the man." For the home-training includes not only manners and mind, but character. It is mainly in the home that the heart is opened, the habits are formed, the intellect is awakened, and character moulded for good or for evil.

3. Govern Society.—From that source, be it pure or impure, issue the principles and maxims that govern society. Law itself is but the reflex of homes. The tiniest bits of opinion sown in the minds of children in private life afterwards issue forth to the world, and become its public opinion; for nations are gathered out of nurseries, and they who hold the leading-strings of children may even exercise a greater power than those who wield the reins of government.

4. The Child Is Father of the Man.—The child's character is the nucleus of the man's; all after-education is but superposition; the form of the crystal remains the same. Thus the saying of the poet holds true in a large degree, "The child is father of the man;" or as Milton puts it, "The childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day." Those impulses to conduct which last the longest and are rooted the deepest, always have their origin near our birth. It is then that the germs of virtues or vices, of feelings or sentiments, are first implanted which determine the character of life.

5. Nurseries.—Thus homes, which are nurseries of children who grow up into men and women, will be good or bad according to the power that governs them. Where the spirit of love and duty pervades the home, where head and heart bear rule wisely there, where the daily life is honest and virtuous, where the government is sensible, kind, and loving, then may we expect from such a home an issue of healthy, useful, and happy beings, capable as they gain the requisite strength, of following the footsteps of their parents, of walking uprightly, governing themselves wisely, and contributing to the welfare of those about them.

6. Ignorance, Coarseness, and Selfishness.—On the other hand, if surrounded by ignorance, coarseness, and selfishness, they will unconsciously assume the same character, and grow up to adult years rude, uncultivated, and all the more dangerous to society if placed amidst the manifold temptations of what is called civilized life. "Give your child to be educated by a slave," said an ancient Greek "and, instead of one slave, you will then have two."

7. Maternal Love.—Maternal love is the visible providence of our race. Its influence is constant and universal. It begins with the education of the human being at the outstart of life, and is prolonged by virtue of the powerful influence which every good mother exercises over her children through life. When launched into the world, each to take part in its labors, anxieties, and trials, they still turn to their mother for consolation, if not for counsel, in their time of trouble and difficulty. The pure and good thoughts she has implanted in their minds when children continue to grow up into good acts long after she is dead; and when there is nothing but a memory of her left, her children rise up and call her blessed.

8. Woman, above All Other Educators, educates humanly. Man is the brain, but woman is the heart of humanity; he its judgment, she its feeling; he its strength, she its grace, ornament and solace. Even the understanding of the best woman seems to work mainly through her affections. And thus, though man may direct the intellect, woman cultivates the feelings, which mainly determine the character. While he fills the memory, she occupies the heart. She makes us love what he can make us only believe, and it is chiefly through her that we are enabled to arrive at virtue.

9. The Poorest Dwelling, presided over by a virtuous, thrifty, cheerful, and cleanly woman may thus be the abode of comfort, virtue and happiness; it may be the scene of every enobling relation in family life; it may be endeared to man by many delightful associations; furnishing a sanctuary for the heart, a refuge from the storms of life, a sweet resting-place after labor, a consolation in misfortune, a pride in prosperity and a joy at all times.

10. The Good Home Is Thus the Best of Schools, not only in youth but in age. There young and old best learn cheerfulness, patience, self-control, and the spirit of service and of duty. The home is the true school of courtesy, of which woman is always the best practical instructor. "Without woman," says the Provencal proverb, "men were but ill-licked cubs." Philanthropy radiates from the home as from a center. "To love the little platoon we belong to in society," said Burke, "is the germ of all public affections." The wisest and best have not been ashamed to own it to be their greatest joy and happiness to sit "behind the heads of children" in the inviolable circle of home.


1. To Be a Woman, in the truest and highest sense of the word is to be the best thing beneath the skies. To be a woman is something more than to live eighteen or twenty years; something more than to grow to the physical stature of women; something more than to wear flounces, exhibit dry goods, sport jewelry, catch the gaze of lewd-eyed men; something more than to be a belle, a wife, or a mother. Put all these qualifications together and they do but little toward making a true woman.
[pg 27, ToC]

2. Beauty and Style are not the surest passports to womanhood—some of the noblest specimens of womanhood that the world has ever seen have presented the plainest and most unprepossessing appearance. A woman's worth is to be estimated by the real goodness of her heart, the greatness of her soul, and the purity and sweetness of her character; and a woman with a kindly disposition and well-balanced temper is both lovely and attractive, be her face ever so plain, and her figure ever so homely; she makes the best of wives and the truest of mothers.

3. Beauty Is a Dangerous Gift.—It is even so. Like wealth, it has ruined its thousands. Thousands of the most beautiful women are destitute of common sense and common humanity. No gift from heaven is so general and so widely abused by woman as the gift of beauty. In about nine cases in ten it makes her silly, senseless, thoughtless, giddy, vain, proud, frivolous, selfish, low and mean. I think I have seen more girls spoiled by beauty than by any other one thing, "She is beautiful, and she knows it," is as much as to say that she is spoiled. A beautiful girl is very likely to believe she was made to be looked at; and so she sets herself up for a show at every window, in every door, on every corner of the street, in every company at which opportunity offers for an exhibition of herself.

4. Beware of Beautiful Women.—These facts have long since taught sensible men to beware of beautiful women—to sound them carefully before they give them their confidence. Beauty is shallow—only skin deep; fleeting—only for a few years' reign; dangerous—tempting to vanity and lightness of mind; deceitful—dazzling of ten to bewilder; weak—reigning only to ruin; gross—leading often to sensual pleasure. And yet we say it need not be so. Beauty is lovely and ought to be innocently possessed. It has charms which ought to be used for good purposes. It is a delightful gift, which ought to be received with gratitude and worn with grace and meekness. It should always minister to inward beauty. Every woman of beautiful form and features should cultivate a beautiful mind and heart.

5. Rival the Boys.—We want the girls to rival the boys in all that is good, and refined, and ennobling. We want them to rival the boys, as they well can, in learning, in understanding, in virtues; in all noble qualities of mind and heart, but not in any of those things that have caused them, justly or unjustly, to be described as savages. We want the girls to be gentle—not weak, but gentle, and kind and affectionate. We want to be sure, that wherever a girl is, there should be a sweet, subduing and harmonizing influence of purity, and truth, and love, pervading and hallowing, from center to circumference, the entire circle in which she moves. If the boys are savages, we want her to be their civilizer. We want her to tame them, to subdue their ferocity, to soften their manners, and to teach them all needful lessons of order, sobriety, and meekness, and patience and goodness.
[pg 28, ToC]

6. Kindness.—Kindness is the ornament of man—it is the chief glory of woman—it is, indeed, woman's true prerogative—her sceptre and her crown. It is the sword with which she conquers, and the charm with which she captivates.

7. Admired and Beloved.—Young lady, would you be admired and beloved? Would you be an ornament to your sex, and a blessing to your race? Cultivate this heavenly virtue. Wealth may surround you with its blandishments, and beauty, and learning, or talents, may give you admirers, but love and kindness alone can captivate the heart. Whether you live in a cottage or a palace, these graces can surround you with perpetual sunshine, making you, and all around you, happy.

8. Inward Grace.—Seek ye then, fair daughters, the possession of that inward grace, whose essence shall permeate and vitalize the affections, adorn the countenance make mellifluous the voice, and impart a hallowed beauty even to your motions. Not merely that you may be loved, would I urge this, but that you may, in truth, be lovely—that loveliness which fades not with time, nor is marred or alienated by disease, but which neither chance nor change can in any way despoil.

9. Silken Enticements of the Stranger.—We urge you, gentle maiden, to beware of the silken enticements of the stranger, until your love is confirmed by protracted acquaintance. Shun the idler, though his coffers overflow with pelf. Avoid the irreverent—the scoffer of hallowed things; and him who "looks upon the wine while it is red;" him too, "who hath a high look and a proud heart," and who "privily slandereth his neighbor." Do not heed the specious prattle about "first love," and so place, irrevocably, the seal upon your future destiny, before you have sounded, in silence and secrecy, the deep fountains of your own heart. Wait, rather, until your own character and that of him who would woo you, is more fully developed. Surely, if this "first love" cannot endure a short probation, fortified by "the pleasures of hope," how can it be expected to survive years of intimacy, scenes of trial, distracting cares, wasting sickness, and all the homely routine of practical life? Yet it is these that constitute life, and the love that cannot abide them is false and must die.



1. Moral Effect.—It is in its moral effect on the mind and the heart of man, that the influence of woman is most powerful and important. In the diversity of tastes, habits, inclinations, and pursuits of the two sexes, is found a most beneficent provision for controlling the force and extravagance of human passion. The objects which most strongly seize and stimulate the mind of man, rarely act at the same time and with equal power on the mind of woman. She is naturally better, purer, and more chaste in thought and language.

2. Female Character.—But the influence of female character on the virtue of men, is not seen merely in restraining and softening the violence of human passion. To her is mainly committed the task of pouring into the opening mind of infancy its first impressions of duty, and of stamping on its susceptible heart the first image of its God. Who will not confess the influence of a mother in forming the heart of a child? What man is there who can not trace the origin of many of the best maxims of his life to the lips of her who gave him birth? How wide, how lasting, how sacred is that part of a woman's influence.

3. Virtue of a Community.—There is yet another by which woman may exert a powerful influence on the virtue of a community. It rests with her in a pre-eminent degree, to give tone and elevation to the moral character of the age, by deciding the degree of virtue that shall be necessary to afford a passport to her society. If all the favor of woman were given only to the good, if it were known that the charms and attractions of beauty and wisdom, and wit, were reserved only for the pure; if, in one word, something of a similar rigor were exerted to exclude the profligate and abandoned of society, as is shown to those, who have fallen from virtue,—how much would be done to re-enforce the motives to moral purity among us, and impress on the minds of all a reverence for the sanctity and obligations of virtue.

4. The Influence of Woman on the Moral Sentiments.—The influence of woman on the moral sentiments of society is intimately connected with her influence on its religious character; for religion and a pure and elevated morality must ever stand in the relation to each other of effect and cause. The heart of a woman is formed for the abode of sacred truth; and for the reasons alike honorable to her character and to that of society. From the nature of humanity this must be so, or the race would soon degenerate and moral contagion eat out the heart of society. The purity of home is the safeguard to American manhood.


"Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control,

These three alone lead life to sovereign power."—Tennyson

1. Words of the Great Teacher.—Mark the words of the Great Teacher: "If thy right hand or foot cause thee to fall, cut it off and cast it from thee. If thy right eye cause thee to fall, pluck it out. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed and halt, than having two eyes to be cast into hell-fire, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

2. A Melancholy Fact.—It is a melancholy fact in human experience, that the noblest gifts which men possess are constantly prostituted to other purposes than those for which they are designed. The most valuable and useful organs of the body are those which are capable of the greatest dishonor, abuse, and corruption. What a snare the wonderful organism of the eye may become, when used to read corrupt books, or to look upon licentious pictures, or vulgar theater scenes, or when used to meet the fascinating gaze of the harlot! What an instrument for depraving the whole man may be found in the matchless powers of the brain, the hand, the mouth, or the tongue! What potent instruments may these become in accomplishing the ruin of the whole being, for time and eternity!

3. Abstinence.—Some can testify with thankfulness that they never knew the sins of gambling, drunkenness, fornication, or adultery. In all these cases abstinence has been, and continues to be, liberty. Restraint is the noblest freedom. No man can affirm that self-denial ever injured him; on the contrary, self-restraint has been liberty, strength and blessing. Solemnly ask young men to remember this when temptation and passion strive as a floodtide to move them from the anchorage and peace of self-restraint. Beware of the deceitful stream of temporary gratification, whose eddying current drifts towards license, shame, disease and death. Remember how quickly moral power declines, how rapidly the edge of the fatal maelstrom is reached, how near the vortex, how terrible the penalty, how fearful the sentence of everlasting punishment!

4. Frank Discussion.—The time has arrived for a full and frank discussion of those things which affect the personal purity. Thousands are suffering to-day from various weaknesses, the causes of which they have never learned. Manly vigor is not increasing with that rapidity which a Christian age demands. Means of dissipation are on the increase. It is high time, therefore, that every lover of the race should call a halt, and inquire into the condition of things. Excessive modesty on this subject is not virtue. Timidity in presenting unpleasant but important truths has permitted untold damage in every age.

5. Man Is a Careless Being.—He is very much inclined to sinful things. He more often does that which is wrong than that which is right, because it is easier, and, for the moment, perhaps, more satisfying to the flesh. The Creator is often blamed for man's weaknesses and inconsistencies. This is wrong. God did not intend that we should be mere machines, but free moral agents. We are privileged to choose between good and evil. Hence, if we perseveringly choose the latter, and make a miserable failure of life, we should blame only ourselves.

6. The Pulpit.—Would that every pulpit in the land might join hands with the medical profession and cry out with no uncertain sound against the mighty evils herein stigmatized! It would work a revolution for which coming society could never cease to be grateful.

7. Strive to Attain a Higher Life.—Strive to attain unto a higher and better life. Beware of all excesses, of whatever nature, and guard your personal purity with sacred determination. Let every aspiration be upward, and be strong in every good, resolution. Seek the light, for in light there is life, while in darkness there is decay and death.