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Title: What a Young Wife Ought to Know

Author: Emma F. Angell Drake

Release Date: June 26, 2018 [EBook #57406]

Language: English

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Pure Books on Avoided Subjects

Books for Men

By Sylvanus Stall, D. D.

Books for Women

By Mrs. Mary Wood-Allen, M. D.,
And Mrs. Emma F. A. Drake, M. D.


The books are issued in uniform size and but one style of binding, and sell in America at $1, in Great Britain at 4s., net, per copy, post free, whether sold singly or in sets.


2237 Land Title Building Philadelphia

7 Imperial Arcade, Ludgate Circus, London, E.C.

29-33 Richmond Street West Toronto, Ontario




Price $1.00 net
4s. net





Graduate of Boston University Medical College; formerly Physician and Principal of Mr. Moody’s School at Northfield, Mass.; Professor of Obstetrics at Denver Homœopathic Medical School and Hospital; Author of “What a Woman of 45 Ought to Know,” “Maternity Without Suffering.”

Philadelphia, Pa.: 2337 Land Title Building.


7, Imperial Arcade,
Ludgate Circus, E. C.

Wm. Briggs,
33 Richmond St., West.


Copyright, 1901, by SYLVANUS STALL

Copyright, 1902, by SYLVANUS STALL

Entered at Stationers’ Hall, London, England

Protected by International copyright in Great Britain and all her colonies, and, under the provisions of the Berne Convention, in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Tunis, Hayti, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, and Japan

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To the Young Wives Who Desire the Best
for Themselves, for their Husbands
and for their Offspring




To this generation as to no other, are we indebted for the awakening of woman. Not the awakening alone which has led her out of the old lines into nearly every avenue open to man in his pursuit of the necessities and luxuries of life; but that other and larger awakening which has set her down face to face with herself, and in her study of woman she has shown herself courageous.

Bravely acknowledging her own limitations, she has set herself the task of fortifying the weak points, curbing the more daring aspirations, and getting herself into trim, so to speak, that she may traverse the sea of life, without danger to herself, her cargo, or to any of the countless ships which follow in her wake, or that pass her in the day or the night.

Not all women have yet awakened, and for those who have eyes to see, and have seen, a great work is still waiting to be done. They must reach out and rouse their sisters. Will[8] they do it? With our young wives rests the weal or woe of the future generations. To them we say, “What of the future, and what sort of souls shall you give to it?”

Emma F. A. Drake.

Denver, Colorado,
United States of America.
February 1st, 1901.



Out of girlhood into wifehood.—The setting up of a new home.—Woman’s exalted place.—Earlier influences.—Importance of intelligence.—Woman fitted by creator for wifehood and motherhood.—The position of reproductive organs in the body.—Dangers of crowding contents of abdomen.—What all young wives need to know.—Premium previously set upon ignorance.—Heredity.—Failures and successes of our ancestors.—Faults and virtues transmitted through heredity, 21-35
Preparations for successful home-makers.—The importance of sensible dress.—An opportunity for reform.—The conditions of attractive dress.—A question of healthfulness.—What wives need to know concerning dress.—The kind to be avoided.—Injurious dress destroying the race.—The ailments caused by wrong dressing.—The corset curse.—A summary of the evils of dress, 37-46
Health insures happiness.—Be ambitious for health.—The scarcity of perfectly healthy women.—Fashion to the Rescue.—The boon of health.—Necessity of ventilation and fresh air.—Duties to the home.—The greatness of woman’s sphere.—In the society drift.—The extreme of wholly avoiding society.—Keeping in the middle of the road.—Pleasures and recreations taken together.—Taking time to keep young.—Mistakes which some husbands make.—Wrecks at the beginning of married life, 47-55
Higher standards are being set up in the choice of a husband.—Should be worthy of both love and respect.—Love likely to idealize the man.—The real characteristics necessary.—Deficiencies in character not to be supplied after marriage.—The right to demand purity.—Young men who “sow wild oats.”—Importance of good health.—Weaknesses and diseases which descend from parents to children.—The parents’ part in aiding to a wise choice.—The value of the physician’s counsel.—One capable of supporting wife and children.—A dutiful son makes a good husband.—Essential requisites enumerated.—The father reproduced in his children.—The equivalents which the wife should bring to her husband, 57-64
The young wife should seek to be her husband’s equal, but not his counterpart.—The recognized centre of the home.—Woman’s true greatness.—Man’s helpmeet.—Mrs. Gladstone’s part in her husband’s greatness.—Should attract her husband from the club to the home.—Continuing to be attractive in dress and manners.—Should accept both wifehood and motherhood.—Should keep pace with his mental growth.—Guarding against improper use of literary clubs, reading circles, etc.—Solomon’s picture of the model young wife.—A converted heathen’s estimate of his Christian wife, 65-72
Husband and wife ruined before their “crane is hung.”—The foolish and ruinous display at weddings.—An illustration given.—How wedding presents lead to debt and unhappiness.—Living does not need much machinery.—Mistake of copying after people of large wealth.—Wise choice of furniture.—The best adornments for the home.—The trousseaux of our foremothers.—The need of simplicity.—Artificialities that make a veil between our souls and God, 73-78
The subject approached with reluctance.—The marital state should be the most sacred of sanctuaries.—Wrongly interpreted it is the abode of darkness and sin.—Its influence for good or evil upon character.—Responsibility of mothers for the unhappy lives of their daughters.—Commercial marriages.—Marriage as it should be.—The husband’s danger from “aggressiveness.”—The wife should not provoke the wrongs she suffers.—Marital modesty.—Parenthood the justification of the marital act.—Reproduction the primal purpose.—Harmony of purpose and life.—Love’s highest plane.—The value of continence.—The right and wrong of marriage.—The relation during gestation.—Effects of relation during gestation illustrated.—The wrong-doings of good men.—The fruits of ignorance.—The better day coming, 79-96
Motherhood the glory of womanhood.—Maternity natural and productive of health.—Prevalence of knowledge of methods used to prevent conception.—Mothers should prepare their daughters for maternity.—Motherhood the sanction for wifehood.—Effect of fixed habits of mother upon offspring.—Adjustment of clothing to expectant motherhood.—Importance [13]of proper exercise.—The sitz bath.—Effects of environment upon the unborn.—Why Italian children resemble the madonnas.—The child the expression of the mother’s thoughts.—The five stages of prenatal culture stated and illustrated.—The mother of the Wesleys.—The child the heir and expression of the mother’s thought and life, 97-112
The command to “replenish the earth.”—Preparation for motherhood more written about than preparation for fatherhood.—Questions which would test the fitness of young men for marriage.—Parents should know the character of young men who desire their daughters in marriage.—Many young men of startling worth.—The improving of a good heritage.—Effects of bad morals and wayward habits.—Effects of tobacco and alcoholics.—How young women help to contribute bad habits in young men.—The years of rooting and weeding necessary.—Attaining the best.—The father reproduced in his children, 113-121
The alarming prevalence of this hideous sin.—How daughters are initiated.—How expectant mothers appeal to reputable physicians.—Young women should be taught to associate the idea of marriage with motherhood.—Destruction of own health and life go hand in [14]hand with prenatal murder.—Effect of such attempts upon the physical life and character.—Life from the moment of conception.—The injustice and cruel wrongs inflicted upon wives by uncontrolled passions of husbands.—Obligation of motherhood should be recognized.—Its blessings.—The duty of the physician as educator of public sentiment, 123-134
The duty of the present to future generations.—Darwin on heredity.—Nature inexorable.—The mother’s investment of moulding power.—The father’s important part in the transmission of heredity.—The parents workers together with God.—Parents must reap what they sow.—The law and the gospel of heredity contrasted.—The children of inebriates and others.—Lessons from reformatory institutions.—The outcast Margaret.—The mother of Samson.—How a child became an embodiment of “The Lady of the Lake.”—The woman who desired to be the mother of governors.—Importance of this study, 135-145
Pregnancy not an unnatural but a normal state.—Tendency to neglect hygienic rules.—Morning sickness.—How to correct it.—Important questions of diet.—Displaced uterus as cause of nausea.—Mental states.—Companionship.—Various [15]gastric troubles.—Insomnia.—Hysteria.—Constipation and how to correct it.—Longings.—Self-control.—With proper care, as a rule all goes well, 147-154
Minuteness of the germ of human life.—The embryo cell and its store of food.—Its journey to the uterus.—Meeting the spermatozoön, conception occurs.—The changes which take place in the uterus.—Life is present the moment conception takes place.—The mysterious development of the embryo.—The sin of tampering with the work of the infinite.—The various changes in the development of the embryo and fœtus set forth.—The changes that occur each month.—Parenthood the benediction of husband and wife, 155-162
The question that comes with fluttering signs of life.—Importance of wise choice of material and style of dress.—The blessedness of mother’s joy in preparing baby’s clothing.—The questions of dress important.—Formerly seemingly planned for discomfort.—The “binder” an instrument of torture.—Better methods now prevail.—The napkin.—How to establish regular habits for baby.—The pinning blanket.—The little shirt.—Baby’s earliest and best dress described.—The complete [16]wardrobe described.—The furnishings of the basket.—Things which are not to baby’s taste or comfort.—The later wardrobe, 163-171
Choice of physician and nurse of real consequence.—Choose a physician whom you can trust implicitly.—A cleanly man.—The wife should make the selection.—A Christian physician.—Choice of nurse.—Wife most capable of making choice.—Advice of the physician desirable.—She should be pleasing to the wife.—Cleanliness.—Gentleness.—A person of individuality.—Neatness in manner and clothing.—Should be intelligent.—Physician and nurse should work in sympathy.—A good cook.—Able to converse, but not a gossip.—Many such physicians and nurses, 173-177
Memory’s dissimilar pictures of birth-chamber scenes.—Newborn souls welcomed to mother’s arms and love.—The rebellious mother with empty heart and unwilling arms.—The older children reflect the spirit of the mother toward the newcomer.—Illustrations of conduct of intelligent children toward mother at birth period.—How to calculate date of confinement.—Birth chamber no terror for those who live hygienically.—Anæsthetics.—Their use explained.—Allaying anxiety.—Earliest [17]premonitions.—Preparation.—The three stages of labor.—Tying the cord.—The rest and joy that complete and crown labor, 179-187
Maternity should have the largest and brightest room in the house.—It is her coronation room.—Simplicity of labor with healthy women.—Science has reduced risk to the minimum.—The exaltation of motherhood.—The rest after labor.—How to prepare a bed for the parturient.—Deliverance of mother from friends and visitors.—Sanitary pads.—Regular nursing.—Undisturbed sleep.—No binder necessary for mother.—The care of the breasts.—Diet.—Sitting up.—Six or eight weeks needed to regain normal condition.—The use of the douche.—Sore nipples.—The bearing of children not to be dreaded.—The joy of motherhood, 189-200
The more thoughtful treatment of babies than formerly.—The first attention that baby needs.—Its oil bath.—The care of the eyes.—The care of the placentic cord.—Baby’s first bath.—Its covering after the bath.—The basket.—Regularity in nursing.—Waking at night.—Rocking to sleep.—Quantity of food.—The appointments of the nursery.—The mother [18]and the care of her own children.—To her children the mother should be the dearest creature in the world.—The babies born of love.—The babies born in bitterness.—The responsibilities and joys of motherhood, 201-212
Food, clothing and restraint not the mother’s full duty to her children.—Teach them self-knowledge.—Mother should give honest answers to honest inquiries.—Ignorance leads to vice, and vice to ruin.—When shall children be taught physical truths.—How to teach little children physical truth.—Questions of sex should be the most sacred things of their knowledge.—How to teach the children in this sacred way.—Mothers should teach their boys as well as the girls.—How boys grow away from their mothers.—How mothers may win and hold their boys.—An honest mother’s reward, 213-228
Little ailments.—Nursing babies affected by condition of mother.—Sleep and health.—The baby’s food.—Why babies are restless when nursed from the right breast.—Children’s symptoms often more grave than the ailment.—Illustrations.—Fevers and teething.—Vomiting.—The cause of rash.—Pallid children.—Chafing.—Babies do not cry without cause.—Need of water and fresh air.—Sleeping in open air.—Relief in constipation.—Important suggestions, 229-236
The mother’s preparation as guide and protector of her children.—Safeguards for tiny babyhood.—Cleanliness, regularity, chafing, pin worms, servants, nurse girls, etc., etc.—How to teach and guard them during childhood.—Safeguarding the children with knowledge.—Inborn curiosity concerning physical mysteries.—How to meet these questions.—Sleeping alone.—How to correct vice where it exists. The duty of physicians to the public.—Symptoms which call for parental watchfulness.—Results of secret vice.—Rewards of parental vigilance, 237-244
The training which develops talents.—When child-training should begin.—The training of her children the mother’s all-important calling.—The influence of the mother’s own character and life.—The children imitators of their parents.—Importance of earliest training.—Spoiled children.—Children’s rights.—The proper correction of children.—Broken promises and parental falsehoods.—Value of tact in parental discipline.—Value of parental sympathy.—The mother, herself, the best gift to her children.—The choice of books and stories.—The choice of companions for the children.—Toys, sports and amusements.—An appeal to mothers, 245-262
Our duty to nourish, strengthen and build up strong bodies.—Eradicating inherited infirmities.—Children inherit the permanent states of their parents.—The parents’ duty to those who are not well born.—What has been accomplished along these lines.—The relation of babies’ clothing and food to physical growth.—Unwise feeding.—The laws of nutrition.—The relation of food to national greatness.—A list of good foods.—The relation of exercise to appetite.—Comparative value of meat and vegetables.—Importance of rest and sleep.—Regular sleeping hours.—Schools and nervousness in children.—Many children are not properly nourished.—Food poorly prepared and poorly served.—The importance of hygienic cooking.—The cause of weak eyes in children.—Children and bare feet.—The dosing of children with nostrums.—The use of brandy and wine in cooking, 263-285
The awakening along new lines.—A better brand of mothers.—Books that will help along this line.—Mothers’ clubs as factors.—Their need in cities, villages, and rural communities.—A rich mine, 287-292



Out of Girlhood into Wifehood.—The Setting up of a New Home.—Woman’s Exalted Place.—Earlier Influences.—Importance of Intelligence.—Woman Fitted by Creator for Wifehood and Motherhood.—The Position of Reproductive Organs in the Body.—Dangers of Crowding Contents of Abdomen.—What all Young Wives Need to Know.—Premium Previously set upon Ignorance.—Heredity.—Failures and Successes of our Ancestors.—Faults and Virtues Transmitted through Heredity.

What a young wife ought to know is a large question, and one which we neither hope nor expect to answer fully in this little book, but if what we shall say shall set our girls to thinking a little more seriously and more exaltedly, of the great possibilities which await them: if it shall prepare them to enter the sacred realm of marriage with holier thoughts of the high duties they are assuming, we shall be content, feeling we have accomplished our purpose.

Out of girlhood into wifehood, seems a short step, but it is one fraught with grave[22] responsibilities. If all along your girlhood way, your aspirations have been high, and you have been living for the best, you are prepared for the new life and its duties; if, on the other hand, you have been drifting thoughtlessly, as so many girls are allowed to do, you will have little conception of what the future holds for you.

A new home at your touch is to be called into being; a new altar reared, upon which the sacrificial offerings shall be those of love, and confidence, and life, and mutual endeavor, and work, not for self, but for that other self whom you have chosen out of all the world to be the sharer of everything that life means and that you hold dear.

“And the Lord said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” And have you ever thought that in all these years we have made the mistake of writing these words together as one? We lose half of the designed meaning when we do this. “Meet means to have bestowed upon or sent to one: to have befall one, to have happen appropriately or deservedly. How full of meaning with this definition do the two words become. As if the Creator left the calling into life of woman, until he saw the great need, and then bestowed[23] her as a blessing upon man: that goodness was only accomplished when he made woman to be a helper to man.”

We are very sure that there was nothing in the creative thought, of degradation, in this giving of woman to man. Nothing of degradation in the thought of her sphere and work. It is a work distinct from that of man, and yet supplemental to it; in many ways unlike his and yet not inferior to it. It is a large half of the work of the great busy world—a work that is beautiful, noble, helpful, uplifting; and when done in the spirit of love and willingness that should always characterize it, it beautifies and ennobles the worker.

Dear young wives, begin your married lives with the thought that it is no mean place that you are called to fill, and make it your highest pleasure to fit yourselves for it worthily.

Some of you have come from homes of wealth, where you have been accustomed to have every wish gratified, often before it was expressed; and it may be that the one you have chosen will not be as able to gratify your wishes. Be very sure that in the light of his love and companionship you will not miss the abundance to which you have[24] hitherto been accustomed, and take great care that you keep fast hold of this thought, and work it out into reality daily, through your oneness with him, and your sweet, strong, self-assertive love. Together you can work up to the greater affluence in worldly things and grow the richer in character as you attain.

Others of you have come from homes where the necessities of life must be planned for carefully, and where luxuries were few. Perhaps the man who has chosen you for his mate, may rejoice that the hard work and careful planning to make the ends meet, which has been your lot hitherto, will no longer be necessary, for he will lift you to a home and position of plenty, and his heart delights in so doing. Take care, dear young wife, your lot will be beset with more difficulties than those spoken of above. The invitations to ease and prodigality, to which you have not been accustomed, but which seem so delightful now, will prove a snare to your higher womanhood and nobler self-contained independence of character, if you do not put your better self on guard; and all your strong lessons that were learned in your earlier life of patient endeavor will be forgotten in the new life of ease and pleasure.


Others of you will begin from the same level the united climb towards success, and your care will be, that you do not let into your hearts the dangerous guests, envy and greed. Either will spoil your home if entertained, and prevent your gathering the sweets of life by the way.

In the days which precede marriage, everything relating to it has been idealized, and the awaking to the knowledge that ideality and reality are two very different things, will come to you with a severe shock, unless you bring to the issue all the good common sense and womanliness you possess. The rose-color which everything assumed in courtship, is now toned down to a more sober hue, and it is yours to see that it becomes not too sombre; but rather mingle with it enough of the vermilion and the rose to brighten the entire day of married life, and glorify its sunset. After all, you have only reached the haven towards which your bark has been tending since your earliest recollection. Every day of your girlhood life has had in it some hope, some confident thought, some sweet vision, of the days when you would be a woman, and some one, the only one in all the world for you, would come a-wooing and prove to you surely that your life was planned[26] as the complement of his; that the home he intends to set up shall be perfect only when you consent to be its queen; that his life, in short, is only waiting for its fulfilment—which really means fillfullment when you shall come in to fill it full.

Should your love compel consent to this, and should you have courage, and unselfishness, and power, and real character, and self-abnegation, and hopefulness, and help-fullness, and uplifting patience, and hidden leadership sufficient, you will make of the two-in-one life a beautiful strength that shall bless the world.

Now you have come to the realization of these dreams, and never for a moment must your courage falter, never for a moment your ideals be lowered.

If perchance some of you have come to wifehood uninformed upon all the questions of girlhood and womanhood, which will prepare you for the sacred duties and responsibilities before you, it is not yet too late to learn; although this disadvantage confronts you, that very much must be crowded into a short space of time, and that many experiences will overtake you before you are prepared for them. Even at this do not be discouraged. Everything is possible to her who[27] wills, and if you will to prepare yourself better for wifehood and motherhood, even at so late a day, the way is open. By enquiry you will find many books to help you, and many motherly women, who, having learned in the dear school of experience, are fitted to teach you the pitfalls you must avoid, and encourage you with promises of success, if you are patient.

Perhaps some of you approach wifehood with a dread of its cares and duties. Wrongly taught, or wrongly thinking, you have a nameless dread that you cannot shake off, and it distresses you. There is nothing to alarm you. Physically, woman as created, answers the question of fitness for the work laid upon her.

Let us consider a little, her peculiar adaptation, and the suitability of each part to the purpose intended by the all-wise Creator.

The nervous system is a little more highly organized than in man; the heart and blood vessels adjusted to swifter work; the brain quicker; the muscles not so hard and tense. In place of the logical, she possesses the intuitive mind, which makes her capable of reaching a conclusion while man is thinking about it. She has less strength, but greater endurance; less daring in achievement, but[28] more patience; less forcefulness, but more quiet insistence; less practicality, but more of the æsthetic; less ambition to assume the great responsibilities of life, but more painstaking in the little and no less important things which go so far towards making the days sweet and peaceful. All these differences from man, her companion, but make her the more desirable and attractive.

Unlike man in her physical form, her departure from his type, was to fit her for motherhood. Narrower shouldered and less muscular, because not needing the brawn for lifting and laboring with her hands in the harder, coarser way; she is broader through the hips to give ample room for cradling her children.

The pelvis is the broad flat basin, at the lower part of the body, formed by the union of the two large bones, the ossa inominata, which bound it on either side and in front, and the sacrum and coccyx which complete it behind. The sacrum and coccyx are the nine lower vertebræ of the spinal column, five in the sacrum and four in the coccyx.

All the bones in the pelvis in woman are lighter and more delicate than in man—in whom they are designed mainly for strength—and the protuberances for the attachment[29] of muscles are less prominent, making a smoother inner surface in the pelvis of woman. Neither are the joints so inflexible as in man; that of the coccyx with the sacrum being quite movable, while the union of the two bones in front will permit slight separation during the act of childbirth.

Within this pelvis lie the internal generative organs, namely, the uterus, or womb, the ovaries and fallopian tubes, and beside these the rectum and bladder. The pelvis belongs to these organs and to these alone; but how often their sphere is trespassed upon by the crowding down of the organs above, is matter for grave consideration. To each of these organs is given space sufficient, if their room be not infringed upon by each other or by the abdominal viscera above.

First let us consider the unlawful demand made by one or the other organ within the pelvis for more space than rightfully belongs to it. Girls very often from want of thought, and from ignorance of the gravity of results which such carelessness may lead to, neglect the regular evacuation of the bladder and bowels, and the result is from the fulness of the bladder long continued, a pushing of the uterus backward which may, if the habit be kept up, result in permanent displacement.[30] On the other hand, from a neglect of the bowels, a full rectum may force the uterus forward and downward. If this carelessness is persisted in, a displacement becomes a permanent condition, and a consequent adhesion of the walls of the uterus to the neighboring organs often follows. This, as you can readily see, will make serious difficulty for the uterus when performing its functions in pregnancy, and brings on many nervous troubles which greatly affect the entire organism.

The womb too, by its false position, crowds the blood vessels of the pelvis, and thus interferes with the circulation of the pelvic organs and all parts below. Added to this it interferes with the portal circulation,—or circulation through the liver,—and thus disturbs the distribution of blood in the digestive organs, and all parts supplied by the blood-flow through the liver. For this reason, you can readily understand how many stomach troubles may be caused by wrong conditions in the pelvis.

As the bladder and rectum are capable of great distension, when full they allow little space for the womb. If when distended these organs always pushed the uterus upward, the displacement would cause less serious results; but on the contrary, from[31] the natural position of all the organs, when crowded, the tendency is downward; especially is this so as the result of a neglected and distended rectum, which causes the prolapse, or falling of the womb with all its attendant ills. And the evil does not always stop with this organ alone, but may lead to grave bladder difficulties, and to hemorrhoids and other rectal diseases.

The abdominal cavity, or space between the diaphragm above and the pelvis below, has also sufficient room for all the organs located in it, but this cavity too is abused, by faulty dressing, and not only are the contents of the abdomen compelled to suffer; but by their being crowded downward the contents of the pelvis are encroached upon, and the ills I have already alluded to in the pelvis are further aggravated.

So much for the knowledge of the physical needed by the young wife, and this is but a beginning. In a book of this compass scarcely more than hints can be given.

Every young woman before entering into marriage should have at least a fair knowledge of the following subjects.

1. The human organization, the various organs which compose it, and the functions of each.


2. The care requisite to the healthy maintenance of these organs, and the food required to nourish them.

3. How to dress so that organic functions may not be disturbed, and so that beauty and form may be preserved.

4. How to exercise so that muscles and nerves may be kept in vigor, and the blood in active circulation.

5. How much rest to take thoroughly to recuperate the wasted energies, and keep the spirits buoyant.

6. What to deny one’s self, that health may be preserved and the temper kept sweet.

7. As a part of the great human family, what is one’s responsibility to herself, to her family, to the best use of her time, and the generation which shall come after her?

8. Is reproduction a multiplying of one’s self; and if so, is she willing that herself, just as she is, should be reproduced.

9. What faults and failings has she, that she would not like to entail upon her offspring?

10. A thorough knowledge and understanding of the reproductive system.

11. Hereditary influences, and her moral responsibility in the inheritance of the generations to follow her.


To quote from Dr. Wm. Capp, “An appreciation of the situation cannot, however, be expected in the young who, in the surge of mental and bodily development, with its charming surprises of novelty, heedlessly float along in the present quite unconscious of future dangers, of which it is impossible for them to know, except they be warned by trusted guides.” He then adds, “The best social interests of the race are in the keeping of faithful mothers. Their education, both of intellect and heart, should be of the highest order.”

Instead of any inducement having been offered our young people for extending their knowledge of self, a premium has been put upon ignorance, and the result has been in many cases disastrous to both health and morals. The time is not far distant, we believe, when our young people will refuse any longer to be considered, in the knowledge of self, ignorantly pure. Ignorance is not purity, but is often the cause of the grossest impurity; while intelligent knowledge is productive of purity of the highest and noblest type.

Further if our young wives would know themselves, they must of necessity become acquainted with the peculiarities, physical[34] and mental, of father, mother, grandfather and grandmother. In other words, they must not only know themselves as they are, but the families from which they sprang; then will they know, measurably, the possibilities of their natures, and their limitations.

As well might the botanist talk of knowing the lovely American Beauty rose, when he had only studied its form and color, its budding and blossoming. He could tell you of its beauty, its fragrance, its colors and its season; but to know it perfectly, he must go patiently back, through every member of the rose family which has a share in its production; and study until he knows every strain which has combined to produce the beautiful harmonious entirety, which we find in this full red rose. So, my dears, go patiently back through the lines of your ancestry and learn your heritage—mental, moral and physical. Could you add to this knowledge the share that environment and education can rightly claim, and then deduce the possibilities which belong to such a life, you would be at the threshold of achievement, at the morning of a successful life, if you are ready to enthrone a consecrated will, and put real purpose into your life.

There is something, perhaps, in a family[35] tree that is desirable; but one to my liking must contain more than the names of the ancestors. Each must have his prominent characteristics attached, his failures and his successes, as necessary guides for his descendants. It might not in many instances engender family pride, while on the other hand, were these records possessed, they could certainly be made a great incentive to noble endeavor.

Is the human family of less consequence than the horse? It would be an interesting study and full of suggestiveness, to take down the books which contain the pedigree of our blooded horses, and note how sire and dam through generations, have transmitted their faults and virtues to their offspring. Further note how the possibilities of a colt are based upon the achievements of his progenitors. Alas! Man in his study and knowledge of the equine race has gotten far ahead of man in his study of the human family. I fancy that if a college for the training of fine horses were established, one of the chief things in the curriculum would be a knowledge of pedigree. And why? Because upon such knowledge is based the possibilities of the individual.




Preparations for Successful Home-Makers.—The Importance of Sensible Dress.—An Opportunity for Reform.—The Conditions of Attractive Dress.—A Question of Healthfulness.—What Wives Need to Know Concerning Dress.—The Kind to be Avoided.—Injurious Dress Destroying the Race.—The Ailments Caused by Wrong Dressing.—The Corset Curse.—A Summary of the Evils of Dress.

“Home’s not merely four square walls
Though with pictures hung and gilded,
Home is where affection calls,
Home’s a shrine the heart has builded.”

It has been argued by the over-fastidious, when these great questions relating to our being and well-being are discussed, that it is better for our daughters that they should not know what awaits them in marriage, “lest their heart fail them.” This cannot be best. Stepping into an unknown sphere with no definite knowledge of its demands and with no preparation to meet these demands, will only occasion disheartenment, if not downright[38] discontent, when the difficulties and responsibilities are met.

As well might a raw recruit enter the army with no knowledge of warfare and without having been drilled for service, and expect at once to become a successful commander. As well might one accept any other position of high trust in life, without knowing what fitness was demanded, and hence all unprepared for it, the only qualification of the one accepting the trust being respect for and confidence in the employer, and expect to render excellent service, as for a wife to enter unprepared upon her high duties. In either case, by dint of hard and unremitting work, a few might succeed, but the many would fail.

A revised proverb says, “Home was not built in a day.” To insure a successful home the home-maker must be a success, and to accomplish this there are years of thoughtful preparation necessary.

Marguerite Lindley says, “We cannot overdo the matter of discreetly rearing our girls. They are to be the wives and mothers of the next generation, and on them rests the matter of the prosperity of the nation. The world is to be largely influenced by their abilities and strength, and it rests with the[39] educators of to-day to prepare them for the great work that is before them. The keynote for harmony in mental and physical education has never yet been touched, and will not be until their physical well-being is made supreme, and the mental is based on its power.”

Jules Michelet, in his admirable book, L’Amour—admirable for the time and for the people for whom it was written—says, “It would seem that French mothers were determined to educate their daughters in all the non-essentials to wifehood and motherhood, while the things that pertained to their own well-being, and the well-being of home and family, were utterly neglected.” Again, he says, “Every mother practices a kind of self-delusion. She will say, most emphatically, ‘Oh, how I love my daughter,’ and yet what does she do for her? She does not prepare her for marriage either mentally or physically.”

When our daughters have had it burned in upon their inner consciousness that sensible dress and early hours, hygienic food and habitual outdoor exercise, will do for them and the succeeding generations what nothing else can do; and when our young men show their appreciation of these things, and commend[40] them in the highest terms possible, then will a better day dawn for the race, and a real start be made for the true betterment of mankind. Is it not true, that the majority of our young women emulate the fancies and customs upon which our young men put a premium? Here then is an opportunity for our wide-awake sons to set the pace in a reform that will tell more for the coming generations than they dream of. Says a late writer, “We may smile at but need not rebuke the instinct of the young girl to enhance by adornments her physical charms, which nature already has made more attractive than all things else to man. Woman’s innate solicitude is to please, but this is not best accomplished by artificial manners or external show.”

We see nothing wrong in adding to the first intent of dress—namely a covering—anything, yes everything which may make it attractive, so long as it does not detract from its healthfulness and comfort.

Is it not very strange that so many women of sense and wisdom, and breadth of culture far beyond the ordinary, will not hesitate to adopt and cling to customs of dress that are little less than barbarous. Does it not seem, that among the large majority of women in[41] civilized lands, the question is, when dress is considered, “Is it becoming?” or “Is it within the reach of my pocketbook?” while rarely is the consideration of healthfulness given any weight whatever. It is a lamentable truth, but we must acknowledge it if we are honest.

Dress is not alone a study in æsthetics, not alone a study in tastefulness, not alone a study of fancy or fashion; but first, last and always it should be a question of healthfulness; and then all of the æsthetic, all of the fashion and fancy you desire may be added to it, so long as they do not in any measure defeat its first purpose.

What do our young wives need to know concerning dress, that they may be better fitted for the responsibilities which await them? They need to know what is harmful in the present fashion, that they may in their larger wisdom, avoid it, and in its place adopt that which will insure health and happiness for themselves and their offspring.

To understand the dangers and institute the reforms necessary, they must know the anatomy and physiology of the female body, and what is necessary to keep each organ in perfect health. This in a general way they learn in their school life, as far as lungs,[42] heart and liver are concerned; but to go below the waist in knowledge, is considered indelicate in the extreme.

They must know that the corset, in their growing girlhood, prevents their proper development, and in their maturer years restricts them so that lungs, heart, and liver and abdominal organs can do but half their work, and that very poorly. They should be taught that allowing their clothes to hang from their hips is harmful in the extreme, and induces a multitude of ills that unfit them for maternity.

Let them think for a moment, that the corset when worn tight enough to insure the form which is considered correct, so narrows their lung capacity that they can but half inflate them, and so a double duty is thrown upon the heart in its effort to purify the blood, while an insufficient quantity of oxygen is given it for the purpose. When the lungs are inflated to their fullest capacity, there is only sufficient oxygen furnished to burn the waste material of the system which is thrown off through the blood. What then must be the result when a half, or a third of the lung capacity is used?

One physician has said: “Woman by her injurious style of dress is doing as much[43] to destroy the race as is man by alcoholism.” Another physician, Dr. Ellis, says, “The practice of tight lacing has done more within the last century towards the physical deterioration of civilized man, than has war, pestilence and famine combined.” Frances Willard said, “But woman’s everlasting befrilled, bedizened, and bedraggled style of dress, is to-day doing more harm to children unborn, born and dying, than all other causes that compel public attention.”

Again the corset when worn closely, or worn at all, we feel compelled to say,—because no woman who has worn a corset for years seems to be conscious that she is wearing it closely,—crowds the contents of the abdomen downward until these organs encroach upon the pelvic contents, and the uterus is displaced, and the long train of ills which inevitably follows such displacement comes as the penalty. Not always does the punishment come at once, but sooner or later it overtakes its victim, if not before the climacteric, surely, then, at the period of middle life.

Among the many ailments which come from displacements of the womb are constipation, imperfect circulation, stomach difficulties, broken down nerves, headaches, and[44] a generally weakened condition which totally unfits the sufferer for motherhood or for any other responsibility of life.

Another evil in dress, which seems hard to overcome, is the heavy weight imposed upon the hips. This is, to-day, in a measure obviated by those who are able to wear the silk petticoats, and silk-lined skirts; for those who are not able to do this, the burden is a heavy one, unless great care is taken to lighten the dress as much as possible.

The well-made, corded and boneless waist, with shoulder straps, and supports for all the skirts, is the only reasonable thing; and this must be loose enough to allow the waist ample room for development. Think of sixty millions of corsets sold in a year in America,—one for nearly every man, woman and child in the land! Is it strange that our women are invalids, and the American race fast dying out? It is said that a French artist represented the devil in the dress and corset of a fashionable woman! A terrible commentary upon feminine folly.

Mrs. Ecob, in her book, The Well-dressed Woman, which every young wife should read, says: “The corset curse among women is more insidious than the drink curse among men. Total abstinence from both sins is the[45] only safe ground. A woman can no more be trusted with a corset, than a drunkard with a glass of whiskey.”

To sum up the evils of dress and suggest lines of study, is all we have room for in our short space.

1. Insufficient underwear.

2. The corset—which compresses the vital organs, overheats the region it covers, displaces the pelvic contents, serves as an excuse for hanging the clothes upon the hips, impedes the circulation of the blood in the extremities, lungs and brain, and robs the wearer of freedom and grace of movement; while it brings in the long line of ills which have doomed our American women to invalidism, and robbed their children, if they have any, of their lawful inheritance, good health.

3. Heavy and trailing skirts, which burden the wearers, and impede their motion.

4. Inequality of clothing, which covers the waist and abdomen, which should not be overheated, with from ten to fifteen thicknesses, while the shoulders and limbs are often covered with but one thickness, and that of cotton.

5. The high-heeled shoes which throw the body out of the natural poise, and so displace the womb.


6. The general lack of thought of what dress should be in order to give health and comfort to its wearers.

“Evil is wrought by want of thought
As well as by want of heart.”

Our young wives should know these evils, and institute a crusade against them, so strong and forcible, that intelligent common sense shall govern in dress, and health and happiness be the blessed results, in the home.



Health Insures Happiness.—Be Ambitious for Health.—The Scarcity of Perfectly Healthy Women.—Fashion to the Rescue.—The Boon of Health.—Necessity of Ventilation and Fresh Air.—Duties to the Home.—The Greatness of Woman’s Sphere.—In the Society Drift.—The Extreme of Wholly Avoiding Society.—Keeping in the Middle of the Road.—Pleasures and Recreations Taken Together.—Taking Time to Keep Young.—Mistakes Which Some Husbands Make.—Wrecks at the Beginning of Married Life.

To be a successful home-maker, the young wife must be well and know how to conserve her health. While the husband may be patience itself yet an invalid in the home, and that invalid the home-maker, is a serious drawback to happiness.

Sir James Paget, in a lecture on national health, says, “We want more ambition for health. I should like to see a personal ambition for health as keen as that for bravery, for beauty, or for success in our athletic games or field sports. I wish there were[48] such an ambition for the most perfect national health, as there is for national renown in war, in art, or in commerce.”

“All women ought to know that invalidism, speaking generally—there are, of course, exceptions to this rule,—is a carefully cultivated condition, quite as truly as the magnificent condition of the prize-fighter, the race-horse or the gymnast.”

It has become a rare thing, to-day, to find a woman who counts herself perfectly healthy. Is it possible that womankind has become so susceptible to influence, that she imagines herself ill when she is not? We are more or less creatures of imitation, and yield to the force of our surroundings without a murmur. More than this, we must admit that among the many a semi-invalidism is considered genteel and attractive. True, in the last few years we have made some effort to rise above this, and a few have succeeded.

Even Dame Fashion herself has started a line of reforms that we trust will continue popular, until they have become fixtures. Short skirts, heavy shoes, natural waists are sought by a fairly large number to-day; but we dare not prophesy what would be the result did another turn of the wheel of fashion[49] decree otherwise. The agitation must be increased until no backward step is possible along these lines, and until our daughters will desire comfort and healthfulness in dress, rather than fashion, and its frequent result, disease.

It is not enough that you as a wife, come to your marriage with good health, but that you do all in your power to conserve it in the days and months thereafter. It is safe to say, if from principle and wise judgment you learn in the new relations during the first year, how best to preserve and conserve your strength, you will carry this knowledge and practice with you through life.

First you must consider health a priceless boon, before you lose it.

In the new relations fix your habits of exercise and recreation carefully, and adhere to them. Learn how to rest, before you have reached the point nervously where rest is impossible. Do not presume too much upon your splendid health, and overdo daily. Stop before you have reached the limit of your strength.

If you have not learned about the necessity of good ventilation in the home, learn it at once, and let in daily the fresh, pure, life-giving sunshine and fresh air, room-fulls of it.[50] Do not be afraid of adding to the fuel bill, for warm air charged with poison will heat less easily than pure, cold air which invites the warmth. Have plenty of fresh air in your sleeping rooms, for it is quite necessary to your rising clear-brained and sweet-tempered; and never forget that you will be largely responsible for the mental and moral atmosphere of the home.

Be careful and guarded as to your society demands, lest they steal your time and strength, and you be unfitted for the real duties of your home. Home must hereafter always be to you first and foremost in your heart and duty, if you fill your position truly.

Be not misled by the false philosophy of the day, that tends in many instances to underrate the home and its high blessedness in the life of woman.

An Eastern proverb tells us that, “The house rests upon the mother.” Just as soon as you take upon yourself the vows that make you wife, you become the mother of a home. Whether children ever come to bless it or not, you are its mother. Yet few women appreciate the importance or power of this position. With the grain of truth there is in it, there is a great deal of wasteful talk about woman, and her narrow sphere. Even[51] though she be tied to the home and the little ones, yet her sphere is just as wide as she has a mind to make it. Four walls cannot shut in a large-hearted, loving woman. From the home blessed by her presence goes out a stream of mighty influence.

Put into a woman’s sphere all the depth and sweetness, and wisdom, and comfort, that the words, love, home, mother and children comprehend, and dare to call her sphere narrow if you will! To me it is so wide that I have seen few women who make themselves large enough to fill it, and these few are not found among those who talk of its narrowness and drudgery. The light of the home, the beacon for the husband, the teacher and guide for little feet, the sharer in all the secrets and joys, the consoler in all sorrows—how do the little annoyances and patience-trying cares dwindle into insignificance, when compared with these. What in public life can win her from a life like this, if she have it to do?

Thoughtlessly many young wives get into the society drift before they know it, and their best strength is wasted, and they are laying the foundations for a young old age. Nervously overwrought, hysteria comes in with its train of multitudinous ills, and destroys[52] both her comfort and that of the home.

On the other hand do not go to the opposite extreme, which many young people in the first days of their married happiness selfishly fall into, namely, avoiding society altogether. Once out of the pleasant, social round of friends it is hard to regain your lost footing, and you fret under it that your old friends are so cold and indifferent.

“Keep to the middle of the road,” in these things, and you will hold your youth and friends, and make a home that it is good to go into. As far as possible take your pleasures and recreations together. Plan for each other in this, and see how it keeps the sweetness in life.

A fresh, bright, young looking neighbor called on me a few days ago, and when, during our conversation, she spoke of her age as forty-two, I was amazed, and said: “I should never have thought you were more than thirty-five.”

“I have kept young,” she replied, “and I know how. If there has ever been pleasure taken in our family, it is always planned for when I can enjoy it. In the evening when the cares of the day are over, or when I can get away from the cares at other times.”[53] She has five splendid children, and the promise of a sixth. She does the larger part of her home work, and yet takes time to keep young.

It rests with you largely, young wives, during the first years of your lives together to fix the habits of our home in the duties of rest and recreation. Have firm principles about these matters and insist lovingly upon them.

And now a word upon a more delicate question, but one which has much to do with settling and perfecting all the others, or spoiling your happiness almost irremediably. Many a marriage which otherwise would have been happy, is wrecked in the first days of the honeymoon.

Frightened and timid, and filled with a vague unrest at the mysteries of marriage which await their revelation, you place your destiny in the keeping of your husband, for wedded happiness or wedded woe. Whispers and covert suggestions of the unwise ones about you, as they allude to the life you are coming to, have given you this unrest, and it remains for the husband, by his loving considerateness to win you away from fearfulness to a sure confidence in himself.

Many otherwise kind men have become possessed with the thought that every right is[54] theirs immediately; and in their inconsiderate, rapacious passion, in the speedy consummation of marriage, at whatever cost of pain or wounded feeling on the part of her whom they have taken to love and honor, they well nigh wreck the after happiness of both in the first days of their united lives.

Husband beware of the wrong of committing a veritable outrage upon the person of her whom God has given you as your companion, and suffering ever after the stings of remorse, that she never again can feel the same respect and love for you that she could, had you been more considerate of her feelings and desires.

It will be difficult for her to be persuaded that the animal nature does not control and dominate your love for her, rather than the higher instincts of the soul.

It would be far better for every prospective bride if she suspects that the man who is to be her husband has not been informed in these things in a wholesome way, either herself, or through the intervention of a friend to put into his hands books that will teach him wisely and well these things upon which so much of his happiness depends.

I wish it were binding upon every young man before he stands at the marriage altar,[55] to read carefully and painstakingly Dr. Stall’s books for young men and young husbands. With the earnest words and teachings of these books ringing in their hearts they could hardly live careless lives, or make the mistakes which, in ignorance of the great truths he inculcates, they might otherwise do.




Higher Standards are Being set up in the Choice of a Husband.—Should be Worthy of both Love and Respect.—Love Likely to Idealize the Man.—The Real Characteristics Necessary.—Deficiencies in Character not to be Supplied After Marriage.—The Right to Demand Purity.—Young Men Who “Sow Wild Oats.”—Importance of Good Health.—Weaknesses and Diseases Which Descend from Parents to Children.—The Parents’ Part in Aiding to a Wise Choice.—The Value of the Physician’s Counsel.—One Capable of Supporting Wife and Children.—A Dutiful Son Makes a Good Husband.—Essential Requisites Enumerated.—The Father Reproduced in His Children.—The Equivalents Which the Wife Should bring to her Husband.

“Each generation of young men and women comes to the formation of sex union with higher and higher demands for a true marriage, with ever growing needs for companionship. Each generation of men and women need and ask more of each other. A woman is no longer content to have a ‘kind husband’: a man is no longer content to have a patient Griselda.”—Charlotte Perkins Stetson.


“Who weds for love alone may not be wise:
Who weds without it angels must despise.
Love and respect together must combine,
To render marriage holy and divine:
And lack of either, sure as fate, destroys
Continuation of the nuptial joys,
And brings regret and gloomy discontent
To put to rout each tender sentiment.”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

What shall be the ruling characteristics of the man I shall marry? is the question that every young girl has answered long before she may be conscious of it herself. As one and another of her acquaintances marry, she mentally concludes that this and that trait which the new bridegroom possesses, would not do at all were she the bride. And so year after year the mental, moral, and physical make-up of the man she is to choose, grows into completeness, as this imaginary being is shaped to her liking.

James Lane Allen says truly, “Ideals are of two kinds. There are those that correspond to our highest sense of perfection. They express what we might be were life, the world, ourselves, all different and better. Such ideals are like lighthouses; but like lighthouses are not made to live in, but for beacons. Neither can we live in such ideals.[59] But there are ideals of another sort. It is these that are to burn for us, not like lighthouses in the distance, but like candles in our hands to light each step of the way.”

When you began to love you began to idealize the man you loved, and the danger is with most women, that the ideal is so near perfection that the reality brings to them a rude and dangerous awakening. Dangerous, because they allow the ideal to usurp the place which belongs to the real, and because all the way along they are comparing the real in lover and husband, with the ideal.

Therefore, dear, remember that you are human, and since the real, not the ideal matches your human nature, expect the man who chooses you, and whom you choose, to be human also.

But there are certain characteristics, certain soul-possessions, that every young woman, if she herself be really fitted for matrimony, has a right to expect; nay more, to demand, of the man she chooses. Discovering that these are lacking, let her not cheat herself with the belief that she can, after marriage, school him in these missing qualities until they are fixed traits, for the rule does not read that way. The time for easy implantation of fixed characteristics is[60] gone, and whatever is now taken on, is apt to set uneasily. What sins and gross faults are coaxed down after marriage are very apt to leave glaring scars, both in the husband’s character and in the wife’s soul.

The wife has a right to expect that the man she marries shall be as pure as herself, and she has a right to know it. How can she know it? If she cannot devise a way to know this for a certainty, as she values her happiness, let her take no step further. Better by far, single blessedness, than marriage with a moral leper.

That many of the young men who move in so-called first-class society, are moral lepers, is as true as lamentable. The complacency with which so many parents have said, with an assumed sigh, “Young men must sow their wild oats,” has prepared the soil for this waywardness to thrive in, and the condoning which such sins receive when found in young men, has cultivated the contagiousness until its prevalence is alarming in the extreme.

Let her beware that she choose not her husband, through sentiment alone. Sentiment is an unwise guide and always purblind.

Should health be a consideration in choosing[61] a husband? Most assuredly. Were the fortunes of none of the human family, save yourselves, affected by your choice, it would make less difference; but while with this generation lies in large measure the health and happiness of the next, the question of health in matrimony is one of great importance.

When it is no longer a disputed question that consumption, cancer, scrofula, insanity, and a host of lesser ills, are transmitted from generation to generation, any thoughtful young woman will consider her responsibility in the matter in question. If you have the spirit of the martyrs in you, and are prepared to give your life to nursing your husband and children, even this self-abnegation will not atone for the wrong of thrusting upon the world more degenerates.

You would need to trace the history of only one such family through a few generations, to note the mental, moral and physical degeneration, which results from the union of invalids. Even where but one of the parents is unhealthy, it is a sad part of the law of heredity, that the children more often follow the weaker parent, rather than the stronger.

Dr. Guernsey, a well-known medical writer, says: “Young men marrying with the[62] slightest taint of syphilis in the blood, will surely transmit the disease to their children. Beside this, thousands of abortions transpire every year from this cause alone, the poison being so destructive as to kill the child in-utero, before it is matured for birth; and even if the child is born alive, it is liable to break down with the most loathsome disorders, and to die during dentition. The few that survive this period are short-lived and unhealthy so long as they do live.”

Knowing this, is it not true that too much has been said derogatory to the parents having part in choosing their children’s companions in life? If in anything the parents’ opinion is of consequence, it is here where the life happiness and usefulness of their children are concerned. But the wisdom of the parents must be used in the early days of acquaintance, before the attachment has blossomed into sentimental love. Then the wisdom is interposed too late.

In discovering the character of your daughter’s associates, the family physician should be a valuable assistant. If he be a friend, as well as physician, he will gladly come to your aid.

“A striking indication of the spreading uneasiness, in regard to marriage, is given in[63] a bill recently introduced into the Ohio legislature, whereby it was proposed that all candidates for marital union should be required to undergo examination, and marriage be forbidden to such persons as shall be believed, through actual condition or hereditary tendencies, to be unfit for the function of parentage.”

Our daughters have a right to consider the prospect of a comfortable support. The man who has not already accumulated sufficient to support two, or who has not in his business relations a sure promise of such ability, has no right to ask any woman to join her fortunes with his. Love which will grow and strengthen in poverty, is beautiful in sentiment, but the poverty which nourishes such love is not the poverty which one marries into, but into which they are dragged by circumstances beyond the husband’s control.

It has been well said, that the young man who is a good son and brother will be a good husband; therefore it would be wise to accept an invitation to visit in the home of the one who seeks you as his mate. Mark well the consideration with which he treats his mother and sisters, his father and brothers, and judge whether it is assumed or natural. If he is one who demands much waiting upon[64] at home, be sure he will expect the same service of you; and if you are not prepared to give it, or are not perfectly sure you can reform him in this respect, call a halt, and give frankly your reasons for saying no to his proposal. The leisure for repentance is far more wisely chosen before, than after marriage.

Finally in the choice of a husband, the young woman should consider earnestly, whether she would like this man to be reproduced in her children. Whether he has the tenderness, the good judgment, the wise forethought, the patience, the forbearance, the authority, the nobility of character which will make him worthy the respect of wife and children.

Honor, truth, courage, daring,—properly restrained,—purity, strength, ability to plan and achieve; authority, not stubborn, but based upon ability and power; wise judgment, and the unobtrusive use of it, are the qualities which woman desires, and rightly in the man she loves. While, in return she must bring to him as crowning qualities, or she has not dealt fairly, honor for honor, truth for truth, courage for courage, endurance for strength—in short faculty for faculty, not always the same, but an equivalent.



The Young Wife Should Seek to be Her Husband’s Equal, but not His Counterpart.—The Recognized Centre of the Home.—Woman’s True Greatness.—Man’s Helpmeet.—Mrs. Gladstone’s Part in Her Husband’s Greatness.—Should Attract Her Husband from the Club to the Home.—Continuing to be Attractive in Dress and Manners.—Should Accept both Wifehood and Motherhood.—Should Keep Pace with His Mental Growth.—Guarding Against Improper Use of Literary Clubs, Reading Circles, etc.—Solomon’s Picture of the Model Young Wife.—A Converted Heathen’s Estimate of His Christian Wife.

“This is woman’s mission, more important than generation even—to renew the heart of man.—Protected and nourished by man, she in turn nourishes him with love.”—Jules Michelet.

“The primal marriage was founded on instinct—a purely animal attribute. As humanity developed and language grew, instinct became transformed into love. To-day with the great proportion of the human family, marriage has ceased to be a nature-guided[66] compact between the sexes, and has become a sordid money-soiled, commercial venture. Men and women are taught from infancy, that one of the chief aims of life is to marry ‘well,’ not ‘wisely.’”—John R. Stephenson.

What shall the young wife expect to be to her husband? First his equal, but not his counterpart; his complement, not his synonym. As long as the world stands, woman must have her definite and specific work in it. So long as the home exists woman will be its recognized centre.

A true woman would hardly care to exchange her delicate instinct, her deftness of finger, her versatile mind—which enables her to do the many little and great things in our everyday home-life equally well—her quick perception, her motherly all-aroundness, her sweet womanly loveliness, for any other marketable thing, or any other characteristic or capability attained by culture or training. A true woman is a woman, and she does not desire to be anything else, unless she can add it to her womanliness.

If by force of circumstances she be driven out into the world to buy or sell, to scheme or plan for self or family support, she need not lose her womanly tenderness and attractiveness, nor need she barter these for a right[67] to stand in any position which she can fill well and with propriety.

She must needs, as she contemplates marriage, expect to be to the man she chooses, all that he lacks to make the two-in-one life a completed whole. If she have not the courage to attempt, and the purpose to accomplish this, she has no business to consider for a moment the marriage proposition. While similarity of tastes has much to do with happy mating, complementary accomplishments have also a large share in the true union of two lives.

The woman must not only be desirous of knowing about her husband’s business, but should also seek to be capable of understanding and counselling in it. In perplexity, in trial, in prosperity, she should stand by his side, to advise, to comfort, to rejoice with him.

There is a great deal of suggestiveness and significance in the estimate the Maker put upon the first wife created; namely, “an helpmeet for him,” that is, “suitable for him.” Nothing less than this should every woman be, if she is to fulfill the highest purpose of marriage.

Some one has said, “The conspicuous fact in Mrs. Gladstone’s life, is that she was the[68] helper and fellow-worker with her husband. What he did was largely possible because she made it so. She not merely lightened his cares; she removed them. She was the first and greatest of those women, who in our times have identified their own career and fame with those of their husband’s. She showed that no career of the modern woman is more important than that of wifehood, motherhood, and the builder of a home: yet she proved that public life and civic service, can be made sweet and strong, only as the influence of a noble woman is permeating its spirit. Mr. Gladstone’s public life was celebrated for its purity and lofty quality, and in Mrs. Gladstone’s devotion and affection we can see the secret of this.”

Every young wife should be a good home-maker. An Eastern proverb says: “The wife is the household.” And the Japanese say, “The house rests upon the mother.” O woman! guard your treasure sacredly, this most priceless marriage gift, the title and blessing of home-keeper. She should make the home so attractive that no club can win him away from it in his leisure hours. She should make it, not only a haven of rest for him, but a place for delightful entertainment of his friends at all suitable times.[69] However, the thoughtful husband will not invite his friends to his home, as a rule, without a word sent to his wife, that she may make any little needed preparation, and so be her happiest self with the guests.

I remember the advice an aged minister gave to a bride on her wedding day. “My dear, be always so hospitable that no guest shall leave your home with other than feelings of delight.” She followed this advice to the letter and many times when busy with the cares of the home, she was interrupted by the advent of an unexpected guest, I have watched with interest the hearty welcome she gave them, and the real gladness she put into their lives by her true hospitality.

The young wife should take not less, but more pains to make herself as attractive after as before marriage. A soiled ribbon, an untidy toilet, may seem trifling things, but they tell much of the esteem in which she holds her husband and her home. Not less but more care is needed to retain the love and respect of the man of her choice, than to win it. The pretty dress, the color of the ribbon, the manner of dressing the hair, are not affected, but chosen deliberately because she knows they are pleasing to him.

She should be the willing mother of his[70] children. Marriage comprehends not only wifehood, but motherhood. To-day this is hardly believed by the many, and we may well mourn it as fatal, not only to the future of the American race, but to the best and highest interests of the home.

She should seek to keep pace with him in his mental growth, and never for a moment think that she is advancing his highest interests when she is denying herself that which would contribute to her development in order that he may advance. The marriage contract is not so one-sided a matter as this. Everything is for the interests of both, not one alone. There is something heroically pathetic in the story of Nasby’s Hannah Jane, but something perniciously unjust and blameworthy as well. Many a divorce has come from such blind neglect of self, that the interests of the husband may be advanced. “Incompatibility,” is the plea, a word full of tears, when discovered after years of married life.

The thoughtful husband will never allow such self-abnegation on the part of the wife. What he reads, she should read; and if she have not the time, he should read it aloud, while her hands are busy with the household cares. I remember well hearing Mrs. Livermore[71] say, that she had her husband to thank for much of her mental growth, and varied information. “He was determined,” she said, “that I should read everything that he read; and many times in our little parsonage in a western state, when I was busied about the work of the home, he would come out into the kitchen, heated as hot as the fiery furnace, and read to me the book he was enjoying.”

In the line of intellectual development there is a danger that must be guarded against. In this day of literary clubs and reading circles, the ambition to excel and keep pace with other women in mental culture, will prove a snare if not guarded against.

All that the wife can do in outside work, while not neglecting the higher duties of home and heart, will only freshen and brighten her for companionship, and give her glimpses, yes, extended views, of the world and its doings, that will serve to broaden her horizon, and bring her in closer touch with her husband in his wrestlings with the affairs of life.

The words of the wise man are not obsolete, and are as timely to-day as when written. “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart[72] of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness; she looketh to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excelleth them all.”

A converted heathen said of his wife, “I do thank God for my Christian wife. She has been such a help to me. I nearly always take her advice. In fact I may just as well tell you that I always take it, she is so wise.”



Husband and Wife Ruined before Their “Crane is Hung.”—The Foolish and Ruinous Display at Weddings.—An Illustration Given.—How Wedding Presents Lead to Debt and Unhappiness.—Living Does not Need much Machinery.—Mistake of Copying after People of Large Wealth.—Wise Choice of Furniture.—The best Adornments for the Home.—The Trousseaux of our Foremothers.—The Need of Simplicity.—Artificialities That make a Veil between our Souls and God.

“Be not vain, oh my soul, and suffer not the din of thy vanity to deafen the ears of thy heart.”—Augustine.

“It is possible so to complicate the machinery of living that the very life itself is crushed among the wheels. We may wrap ourselves so in comfort until our breath is smothered in the folds. The man whose wants are few is the man most likely to be found carrying a light heart.”—W. R. Huntington.

Many young married people are ruined before their “crane is hung.” Ruined through the false vanity engendered by the foolish display made in their attempt to follow[74] the fashion in the preparations for the wedding, and their start in life.

This could not be better illustrated than by an article in The Ladies’ Home Journal, which I quote in full. While this does not typify all grades of society, yet the same spirit of show and vanity permeates all.

“A little woman who lives in one of the interminable rows of cheap, turreted, showy houses, came to me a few days ago, pale with anxiety. ‘Kitty,’ she said, ‘is going to be married to young Holt, who is a salesman in one of the department stores, and I’m sure I don’t know how we are to raise money for a wedding breakfast and a full choir.’

“Kitty’s father is also a salesman on thirty dollars a week, and there are four other girls. Oh, the scrimping and saving that have gone on in that house to turn out Kitty and her sisters fashionably clothed. The cheap cuts of meat, the rancid butter, the beds without blankets, the stoves without coal, and the unpaid creditors, scowling out of every shop in the neighborhood when the old man passes by. He toils six days every week, early and late without complaining, and his wife spends his wages for, as she thinks, the best interests of his girls.

“‘White satin, even the sleaziest, has gone[75] up to a frightful price,’ she moaned, ‘and I dare not count what the wedding breakfast will cost.’

“When I asked why there must be a wedding breakfast and a full choir, she said, that every bride in their set had had both this summer, and what would the Holts think if Kitty came creeping like a pauper into their family? ‘The Holts,’ she assured me, ‘are high-flyers. No indeed: there shall be nothing half cut in any way about Kitty’s wedding.’

“The wedding breakfast is served and Kitty, (or Kathryn as she calls herself), is married in the white satin. She begins life in a showy, tiny house, chiefly furnished with her wedding presents. She has no comfortable underclothing or bedding, and not a dollar in her pocket. But Kathryn has her ‘receiving days,’ and is careful to order her cakes and café frappé from the caterer who is patronized by the millionaire who employs her husband.”

Not what would we like, and what can we afford? but, “What do other people do, and what would they think did we do otherwise?”—is the sentiment which controls the preparation of the young people, in all grades of society, in their beginning life together.[76] How refreshing to find occasionally a father and mother who care little what “they say,” and who equip their daughters as becomes their station in life, and their means, regardless of what others about them are doing.

Wedding presents are a happy reminder of a happy occasion, but they often prove a snare in the demand for surroundings that are beyond the means of the recipients. “These are such very pretty and nice things that we really must have pretty things to go with them,” is the thought of the young people, and in setting up much more is spent than they can afford, and they are handicapped by debt, and harassed by worry at the outset; and what should be the happiest and most care-free time of their life is spoiled by this hydra-headed intruder, debt.

It is but a repetition of the old story of the good woman, who must have a new pair of andirons. When they were set up in the best room in all their shiny newness, a new carpet was a thing of necessity. This was followed by new chairs to keep countenance with the carpet; then curtains, walls and all must be transformed and little wonder that the good man was appalled at the cost of one pair of inoffensive andirons.

“Living does not really need so much machinery,”[77] is a trite and true sentiment. Oh for a blessed contentment that will make us happy with that which we can with propriety have.

The trouble begins, but does not end, with the trousseau of the bride. If the means of both parties are moderate, why attempt to copy the style and quantity of those who are not obliged to count their dollars? A simple substantial outfit, with nothing that shall not be useful, and suited to the surroundings and station of the bride and groom, is an evidence of good sense and commendable taste.

Some one has said wisely, “There are no real distinctions among us, and there cannot be unless we change our republic into a monarchy. Rank is a real possession of the Englishmen, but we do not own it and never did, and in trying to set up a sham, pinchbeck imitation of it, we are losing the solid strength and repose and wealth out of our lives.”

When the bridal trousseau is wisely chosen, the home will be furnished with like taste and wisdom. The furniture that is really needed, and that of the best, dresses the house far more elegantly than can a vulgar profusion of showy articles. Tinsel bric-a-brac,[78] cheap cushions and tidies and bed-coverings proclaim the uncultured taste of the home-keeper. Strong honest denim is far more elegant than sleazy satin for sofa pillows, and has this virtue, that it can be easily made as good as new by washing. No hangings at all are better than cheap hangings at windows and doors, unless they are of an honest cheapness that soap and water will not spoil, but make as good as new.

Our foremothers came to their wedding day supplied with chests filled with plain durable linen, of their own weaving and fashioning, bed-linen and quilts and spreads in substantial profusion; but with little in the line of showy outside dress; and their whole after lives were but the expression of the wisdom and good judgment of their beginning.

“The crying need of many of us to-day, is not for more, but less. We have too much, so that our lives are robbed of all simplicity. We are choked by our possessions, as the Roman maiden by the golden bracelets for which she betrayed the city.

“Our artificialities make a veil between our souls and God. We have not mastered them, but they have mastered us.”



The Subject Approached With Reluctance.—The Marital State Should be the Most Sacred of Sanctuaries.—Wrongly Interpreted it is the Abode of Darkness and Sin.—Its Influence for Good or Evil upon Character.—Responsibility of Mothers for the Unhappy Lives of Their Daughters.—Commercial Marriages.—Marriage as it Should be.—The Husband’s Danger from “Aggressiveness.”—The Wife Should not Provoke the Wrongs She Suffers.—Marital Modesty.—Parenthood the Justification of the Marital Act.—Reproduction the Primal Purpose.—Harmony of Purpose and Life.—Love’s Highest Plane.—The Value of Continence.—The Right and Wrong of Marriage.—The Relation During Gestation.—Effects of Relation During Gestation Illustrated.—The Wrongdoings of Good Men.—The Fruits of Ignorance.—The Better Day Coming.

We approach this chapter with a degree of reluctance, because of the varying opinions entertained by many good people, and because of the false notions which have crept into the conception of its responsibilities, its duties, its privileges, its rights, and its wrongs.


When the marital state is entered in the spirit of Him who ordained it, no sanctuary is more sacred; when entered in the misconception of many men and women of modern times, no relation is more of the abode of darkness and sin.

Rightly interpreted, and its privileges not abused, its influence upon the individual and united lives, is second to none for the development of strong noble character. Wrongly interpreted, and its liberties used as a license for unbridled desire, while the great object for which the relation was instituted is not only not recognized, but by every means avoided and abused, it becomes a snare and degradation to the nobler instincts and aspirations, and lets in a legion of evil spirits which lead farther and farther away from truth and righteousness.

When the marriage state is entered with the fixed determination to avoid parenthood, while giving rein to lust, can we wonder at the looseness of character developed and the deadening of conscience to all sin? And what have been the causes which have led up to this state of things? False notions of life, low ideas of happiness, lack of individuality and self-assertion where principle is concerned, leaving God out of the question[81] of marriage, and vain, untaught mothers—these are the influences which have caused this state of things.

A late writer of a magazine article has said “If the recording angel is still keeping account of human things, there are crimes going on record constantly against women, and among the blackest of these are the millions of sins chalked down against mothers who are guilty of teaching this degrading error to their daughters, that the gewgaws of fashion, the luxury of a city home, is the price for their daughter’s body, soul, honor, health and happiness. Alas! the only happiness these modern girls, raised for the matrimonial market, know, is found in the few years of innocence while they are still in the nursery. And the remedy for this evil, is there none? There is none in law or virtue, for those who have sold their womanhood for a mess of pottage. But the young may be spared. Teach your daughters, mothers, that happiness and health for themselves, and strong bodies for their offspring, are what should be dearest to a woman; that they are more to be valued than all the riches of Golconda; that marriage should be guided by nature, not commercialism. And, young women, be true to yourselves. Seek happiness[82] and joy where they may be found. Be true to yourself, and loyal to your own womanhood. Don’t believe that love is old-fashioned or obsolete. It is eternal. It is nature’s finger pointing the way to marriage that will always be happy.”

No life can be imagined more miserable, when the first glamour is worn off, no matter how much of wealth and position and social standing is thrown in, than a loveless marriage. Every responsibility becomes a hard fact, every duty an unrequited labor, every privilege, at least to one of the contracting parties, an unwelcome and nauseous gratification, life itself a burden.

How different when love smooths the way, and finds excuse for every trifling inconsistency; when sorrows are shared, not doubled, when rights are respected, when home means wife, husband, children, happiness, with God over all.

But we will put aside all the sad pictures and think of marriage as it should be, and then measure its responsibilities. Hitherto you have, since your majority, in large measure sought your own pleasure; now you have the pleasure of another to seek; and you do it gladly. Not what is best for you alone, but what is best for you two united in[83] making a home, in adding to the strength of both in the united life.

Much has been said, in these later days, derogatory to the clause in our older marriage ceremonies which promises obedience. In true marriages there is no thought of obedience or disobedience. Each seeks willingly the opinions and wishes of the other, and, so far as possible and best, follows them; but there must be no arbitrary wilfulness on the part of either, and each must acknowledge the individuality of the other and respect the differences of opinion. A ready yielding of trifling differences is a small price to pay for conjugal harmony, and every time it is done it adds loveliness to the one who yields.

In a late number of The Ladies’ Home Journal, Mrs. Burton Kingsland says, “A readiness to give up in little things is the most tactful appeal possible for a return of courtesy, at other times when the matter may be of importance to us. It is a high attainment in politeness to allow others to be mistaken. Let a trifling misstatement pass unnoticed where no principle is involved, and when a mistake is past remedy, it is best to let the subject drop. The argument of the ‘I told you so’ character is always quite superfluous.”


In no relation of life is self-control so needed, in no relation can it be so subservient to our higher nature.

In the aggressive part of the human family,—aggressive in these relations,—there is great danger of allowing the lower nature to dominate the higher. Passion, when master, overrides all other considerations, and the selfishness, which is so dangerous a part of human nature, sees but one thing,—the accomplishment of desire. No thought of the possible results hinders him, and while nothing is hazarded on his part, everything on hers—even this for the moment is forgotten; and afterward he may well wonder how his better self was so lost to the tender sympathetic love and consideration in which he should always hold her.

Be guarded, O husband! It is woman’s nature to forgive, and when she loves, this impetuosity of passion uncontrolled, can be many times forgiven. Aye, even when too frequent maternity is thrust upon her; but there comes a time when love and forgiveness have reached their limit, and love struggles vainly to rise above disgust and loathing, but it can never again attain to anything but tolerance.

But the wife is not always guiltless, when[85] this sad state of things has resulted, in what should have been a happy married life. While the husband is the aggressive one, yet she may, by many little carelessnesses, and thoughtless acts, invite attentions which she afterward repels. The womanly modesty which characterized her girlhood, should always be preserved and observed; and this innate dignity, this strongly asserted individuality, will tide them gloriously over many hard places.

The custom in many English homes of each having a room, which is peculiarly one’s own, may seem to our freedom-loving natures, a cold custom; but is not this better when a proper self-control seems difficult, than a freedom which degenerates into license? True, the door between these two rooms should seldom be shut, but the fact that there are two rooms relieves of many temptations, and prevents the familiarity, which even in married life, breeds contempt.

There is a wise Eastern proverb which fits very beautifully here. “To satisfy the appetite is not always good. This will the beasts do whenever they find provender. Man alone can say to himself, thou shalt fast, because I have willed it. Appetite thus conquered, maketh man king over beasts; thus[86] is he set apart from them, and so do his thoughts soar above the earth, even unto the region of the heavens.”

Every young person should be taught before marriage, that the closest conjugal relation should never be allowed without a willingness on the part of both that pregnancy should follow. Of course this does not always follow; but allowed with the fear, the dread, the unwillingness that it may result, it becomes a positive sin. This may seem strong meat, which almost borders on fanaticism, to some; but we are sure when it is considered in the light of the primal object of the marriage relation, it will not be thought fanatical. The very fact that conception may result at any time, proves that the conjugal relation was not instituted primarily for the gratification of the lower nature, but for procreation.

I trust I will not be misunderstood, in my statements upon this subject, for in writing upon so delicate a theme as this it is very difficult to make one’s self understood by all. If all will read carefully the statement I have just made, I think they will have no great difficulty in seeing the ground I take, and which I believe is held by all fair-minded people, namely: That while God ordained[87] the marriage relation primarily, for the purpose of the perpetuity of the human race, as his first command to the pair in Eden would indicate, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Yet this is to be taken with all that is comprehended in the terms, home, husband, and wife.

Therefore when I say, that every young person should be taught before marriage, that the closest conjugal relation should never be allowed, without a willingness on the part of both that pregnancy should follow, I mean simply what I hope I shall make clear throughout my book; that there shall be no pandering to sexual indulgence, while there is unwillingness to bear as many children, as a proper manly and womanly Christian temperance in these things will allow.

To fix an absolute rule of practice in these things, and consider it binding upon all, would be going out of my province, and the province of this book. In this, each pair must be judges for themselves: but there needs must be, behind all their thoughts upon this subject, right conceptions upon the holy relation they have entered into.

With the above rule fixed, no other limitations, or restrictions need be made. Everything will adjust itself to this rule, and harmony[88] and mutual respect will be engendered.

Fix also the fact that the marriage relation is not one of license, but of liberty—liberty for both equally. Not liberty for one, and the grossest bondage for the other. Nowhere does the wife’s opinion deserve greater respect and tolerance than here. Nowhere should her negative be so willingly accepted.

There is a higher plane of loving and living than the sexual nature furnishes. This has, we doubt not, been proven to most married people during those weeks and months when continence has been necessary. Then why should this overmaster other and higher considerations?

That many marriages are little better than licensed prostitution, seems a hard thing to say; but when the lower nature is petted and indulged at the expense of the higher, it is a just thing to say, however harsh it may seem. In such cases the higher nature becomes more and more dwarfed, the animal nature more and more dominant. Let the husband learn the sweetness of conquest, in the love he bears his wife, in the tender consideration for her comfort and wishes.

There is a vast amount of vital force used in the production and expenditure of the[89] seminal fluid. Wasted as the incontinence of so many lives allows it to be, and prostituted to the simple gratification of fleshly desire, it weakens and depraves. Conserved as legitimate control demands it to be, it adds so much, and more to the mental and moral force of the man, because it lifts him to a higher plane of being, and gives to the mental and moral the vital force otherwise wasted.

Rightly conceived and lived, the marriage relation rounds out and completes character as nothing else can. It gives ample room for the cultivation of all the gifts and graces, it discourages selfishness, it mellows and softens and beautifies the individual, and gives a broader outlook on life. Wrongly conceived and lived, its results are the opposite. It narrows the life and takes all the sweetness out of it. And the products of loveless marriages, what of them? How can the children of such parents be other than disinherited from birth? Out of their lives has gone the sweetness and tender loveliness that comes of true mating, true living.

The world is full of dwarfed minds and bodies, dwarfed by their loveless and unwilling conception; paranoiacs, cranks, feeble-minded, idiotic, epileptic, diseased children,[90] for whom their parents are in great measure responsible. And this state of things will obtain just as long as marriage is made a marketable thing, and not the heart union of two lives.

I am well aware that many writers do not agree with me in these stronger sentiments, but studying the question in the light of creative purpose I feel certain the arguments in favor of unbridled license in these things cannot be justified.

Further, there are times when by common consent there should be no amorous approaches made to the wife, and when none should be invited. Study the question as I will, I can see no law or reason which justifies the husband in approaching the wife for the purpose of sexual gratification, at any time during pregnancy. It cannot but be a drain upon the strength of the wife, and certainly can have no wholesome influence upon the unborn child, and assuredly not upon the love and respect which the wife feels for the husband.

I cannot forbear quoting an “illustrative case” entire, from Dr. Holbrook’s book entitled, Stirpiculture: “How great is the influence on unborn offspring of the mother’s mental condition, as well as the effect over[91] them of pleasant surroundings, is shown by the following case. A young girl attracted attention by her beauty and by the superiority of the type she exhibited over that of either of her parents, and on her mother being spoken to on the subject she remarked: ‘In my early married life my husband and I learned how to live in holy relations, after God’s ordinance. My husband lovingly consented to let me live apart from him during the time I carried this little daughter under my heart, and also while I was nursing her. These were the happiest days of my life. Every day before my child was born, I could have hugged myself with delight at the prospect of becoming a mother. My husband and I were never so tenderly, so harmoniously, or so happily related to each other, and I never loved him more deeply than during those blessed months. I was surrounded by all beautiful things, and one picture of a lovely face was especially in my thought. My daughter looks more like that picture than she does like either of us. From the time she was born she was like an exquisite rosebud—the flower of pure, sanctified, happy love. She never cried at night, was never fretful or nervous, but was all smiles and winning baby ways, filling our hearts and[92] home with perpetual gladness. To this day, and she is now fourteen years old, I have never had the slightest difficulty in bringing her up. She turns naturally to the right, and I never knew her to be cross or impatient or hard to manage. She has given me only comfort; and I realize from an experience of just the opposite nature that the reason of all this is because my little girl had her birthright.’”

The future experience of this lady was however of a very different nature. She added: “A few years later I was again about to become a mother, but with what different feelings! My husband had become contaminated with the popular idea that even more frequent relations were permissible during pregnancy. I was powerless against this wicked sophistry, and was obliged to yield to his constant desires. But how I suffered and cried; how wretched I was; how nervous and almost despairing. Worst of all, I felt my love and trusting faith turning to dread and repulsion.

“My little boy, on whom my husband set high hopes, was born after nine of the most unhappy, distressing months of my life, a sickly, nervous, fretting child—myself in miniature—and after five years of life that[93] was predestined by all the circumstances to be just what it was, after giving us only anxiety and care, he died, leaving us sadder and wiser. I have demonstrated to my own abundant satisfaction that there is but one right, God-given way to beget and rear children, and I know that I am only one of many who can corroborate this testimony.”

Again Dr. Holbrook says: “We have evidence among primitive people that they understand the necessity of limiting offspring, and practice it in a perfectly healthful way. The natives in Uganda, a region in Central Africa, offer an illustration: ‘The women rarely have more than two or three children; the practice being that when a woman has borne a child she is to live apart from her husband for two years, at which age children are weaned.’ Seaman, speaking of the Fijians, says: ‘After childbirth, husband and wife keep apart three and even four years, so that no other baby may interfere with the time considered necessary for suckling children.’”

It occasionally happens that the wife during pregnancy is troubled with a passion far beyond what she has ever experienced at any other time. This in every instance is due to some unnatural condition, and should be considered[94] a disease, and for it the physician should be consulted.

The husband rightly rejoices in the name of protector of his wife, and how quick is he to resent any slight or fancied insult which may be offered her. Nowhere can he show more loyally his love and respect for her, than in the tender appreciation which he shows her in the control of her own person. Nay, more than yielding simply to her wishes, he should be the leader in these things if necessary, and guide her into the stronger way.

The sedentary life of many men renders them a prey to the gratification of their lower natures. To all such men exercise becomes a religious duty, and should be practiced most persistently until their physical natures are well tired, and the sexual nature will not then dominate the finer and nobler instincts of their being.

I was pained by the remark of a cultured lady, when speaking of continence in the married life, a few days ago in my office. She said: “Does it not seem a strange thing, doctor, that among those who seem most careless in these things, are many ministers and other good men from whom we should expect higher and nobler living.” I[95] could but assent to this, for doctors, unfortunately for their comfort, listen to many confessions of sadness and unrighteousness in marital relations, and some of them come from sources which the world would little dream of.

The lady added: “I have an intimate friend, a few years younger than myself, who married a minister, and one who stands high in the denomination of which he is a member. They have had seven children, almost as fast as it is possible to have them, and the wife is a broken-down woman, spiritless and unhappy, a common drudge at an age when she should be full of life and joy, were things as they should be. One remark shows the feeling which this state of affairs has engendered. When I asked her why her husband allowed such a state of things to exist, she said, ‘He doesn’t care,’ and she said it with such a dispirited and utterly discouraged air that my heart ached for her.”

When will a brighter day dawn for woman and for man in these things? When our young people are trained to see these great questions in the light of God’s purposes and have strength of character sufficient to make them conquerors over the false opinions of the world, the temptations of the flesh, and the wiles of the devil.


Ignorance and misconception are at the bottom of all that is wrong in the marital relation. No loving husband would for a moment allow himself to yield to the demands of his lower nature did he consider and appreciate rightly all that it meant to his wife, his unborn children and to the generations to come.

There is such an incompatibility in the life of the man of high and noble instincts, of generous nature, and lofty aspirations, in so pandering to the lustful, so making provisions for the flesh, and at such terrible cost to the one whom he should and does hold most dear!

Let us pray and work that a brighter day may dawn speedily, when the marital relation shall be freed from all that is gross and sensual, and shall be the synonym for purity, truth, and righteousness.

In the Greek, the word for man—and this is the generic term, comprehending woman—means a being with his face turned upward. When we are looking upward our lives will be all the time tending upward, and we shall draw our inspiration from Him who lives above and ever leads His children into paths of truth and purity.



Motherhood the Glory of Womanhood.—Maternity Natural and Productive of Health.—Prevalence of Knowledge of Methods Used to Prevent Conception.—Mothers Should Prepare Their Daughters for Maternity.—Motherhood the Sanction for Wifehood.—Effect of Fixed Habits of Mother upon Offspring.—Adjustment of Clothing to Expectant Motherhood.—Importance of Proper Exercise.—The Sitz Bath.—Threatened Miscarriages.—Effects of Environment upon the Unborn.—Why Italian Children Resemble the Madonnas.—The Child the Expression of the Mother’s Thoughts.—The Five Stages of Prenatal Culture Stated and Illustrated.—The Mother of the Wesleys.—The Child the Heir and Expression of the Mother’s Thought and Life.

“Oh in woman how
Mighty is the love of offspring: ere
Unto her wandering, untaught mind, unfolds
The mystery that is half divine, half human,
Of life, of birth, the love of unborn souls
Within her, and the mother yearning creeps
Through her warm heart, and stirs its hidden deeps
And grows and strengthens with each riper year.”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox.


“Motherhood is not a remote contingency, but the common duty and the common glory of womanhood.”

“They should know that the less children and the more servants in the home, the less health and happiness, other things being equal. It is natural for women to bear children, and unnatural to evade this function; the everlastingly recurrent congestion of the generative organs, month after month, year in and year out, without the rest of generation, promotes a true disease of these organs, and favors all the various growths which afflict so large a proportion of our women.”

With the prevailing ignorance, which has been the heritage of our daughters for so many generations, no thought of preparation for motherhood has exercised them. On the other hand, much the larger majority of our young women come to the marriage altar, far better informed in the methods of preventing conception, or producing abortion after conception has really taken place, than of any proper preparation for motherhood. Who are their teachers? Many who should blush with shame that they lend their influence to this nefarious business; this education in invalidism, murder and suicide. Many, who should be the teachers in truth and purity.[99] Mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, aunts, “friends,” young matrons, who have become adepts in the business, and whose punishment has not yet overtaken them—all these, and many more. Christians? Yes, professing Christians; but who would hardly like to have their advice in these things written along side of their confession of faith in the records of the church. They should remember that it is written in a larger book than that of a church, and written so large that all the world can read it by and by.

In the first steps of preparation for motherhood, the mother should be the teacher. That so few mothers are capable of teaching their daughters as they should, emphasizes the need of right teaching along these lines, and the necessity of plain talks with mothers and daughters.

From a recent paper I clipped the following: “There is a story going the rounds, that the last convention of the National Mothers’ Congress, was not entirely successful, owing to the fact, that only about one out of every ten delegates was even married. Since the object of the organization is the better care, discipline and rearing of the young, it has been determined that every delegate to the convention next month, must[100] show her right to be there. While many unmarried women are probably more capable of rearing children than many who are trying to, no exceptions will be made to the rule of making the organization exclusively for mothers and wives.”

To my mind the writer of this criticism has shown far less wisdom than those who appointed as delegates, unmarried women. What better preparation for motherhood, than listening to the wise discussions relative to the care and training of children? Hence the convention is conserving the wisest purpose when it admits as delegates the young and unmarried women. Had I the appointing power I would make at least half the delegates from this class.

All the way from childhood onward, the wise mother will be instilling truths into the minds of her daughters, that will be along the line of preparation for motherhood. The early teaching of truth, the early knowledge of self and sex relations, the right estimate of marriage, all these lessons are preparing the way for the later knowledge that precedes motherhood.

From the wedding day, the young matron should shape her life to the probable and desired contingency of conception and maternity.[101] Otherwise she has no right or title to wifehood.

While it has been proven that transient states of the parents have far less influence upon the offspring, than fixed habits of mind, yet much can be done by way of amending defects, and fixing admirable and desired traits in character, which before had been transient, and thus influencing with greater power the minds of the offspring.

Let this be always remembered that the stronger and more beautiful the mother becomes, the more lovely will be her children. Soul-gardeners should all mothers be in a peculiar sense, that the children which shall be given her, may have good soil in which to generate and grow during antenatal life.

No sacrifice should be considered too great for her to make, that this end may be conserved. As soon as she discovers herself pregnant, she should modify her clothing to the comfort and healthfulness of herself and baby. If she have already learned how to dress healthfully, she will need to make few changes in the early months. No weight of clothing should be allowed to rest upon the hips; everything must be supported from the shoulders. The skirt and waist can be fashioned in one garment, and so made that they[102] can be let out to accommodate themselves to the growing need. The dainty and pretty maternity gowns are everything that can be desired, and can be so diversified that they meet all the wants of taste and change. Patterns for these can be bought at any reliable pattern house, and the gown can be made as elaborate as fancy dictates.

The union suit of underclothing, the union skirt and waist combined, and the gown, are all that should be worn throughout the entire period. If more warmth is needed it should be given in the undergarments.

Exercise must be taken daily as a religious duty. The common work which is to be done about the home, is as good as any system of physical exercise which can be devised for development and healthfulness throughout pregnancy; however, other movements for the special strengthening of the muscles of the back and abdomen may be taken with profit.

Beginning with the fourth month sitz baths (a bath taken in a sitting posture with only the parts about the hips submerged) should be taken as often as twice weekly for the following three months, and after this to the close of the period, every night just before retiring. The water should be as hot as can well be[103] borne, and the bath continued for at least fifteen or twenty minutes, while a half hour can do no harm if it be enjoyed. Warm water should be added to keep the bath at an even temperature. Of course this should be taken in a warm room where there is no danger of a chill at the time or after.

With proper exercise and the baths, there will be no need of bandaging to hold up the pendant abdomen, for the strengthened muscles will do their work better than art can do it.

A word right here will not be out of place, upon the subject of threatened miscarriages. Young wives who are uninformed on these things will often be greatly troubled at symptoms which to them may seem alarming, which are not so at all, while on the other hand they may pass over too lightly other symptoms that are really grave in character.

At any time throughout the pregnancy a flow of blood, even if slight, must be considered grave enough to call for the counsel of the physician. Pains simulating menstrual pains, if at all aggravated must be looked after, and not be allowed to continue. Great care should always be taken at what would have been were she not pregnant, the regular[104] monthly period, as the greatest danger of miscarriage comes at these times. No undue exercise should be taken, but instead, all the work, recreation and exercise should be rather under the ordinary, at these periods.

If miscarriage threatens, the first symptom to cause alarm will be a flow of more or less amount, and, on the appearance of this the physician should be at once consulted. Following this there should be enforced rest, preferably in a reclining position, for several days, until all fears that there will be a return are allayed, then the usual cares must be resumed with caution.

To guard against threatened miscarriage any young wife need only observe the rules which govern right living and carefulness, and she need have no fear.

All this for preservation and care; now a further word.

It has been remarked by travellers in Italy, that many of the native children bear a striking resemblance to the pictures of the child Jesus, from the adoration which the mothers give the Madonnas. The same truth is here again taught, that we not only become like what we most love, and think most about, but that we may transmit this likeness to our little ones. O mothers! what an incentive[105] to high and noble thinking, and to worthy objects for our loves.

So far as inheritance goes this is too true, but there is another side which we must not fail to emphasize. Surroundings and education, with the grace of God, may do very much to eradicate harmful hereditary tendencies. Yet the truth remains that the prevailing tendencies of a life are inborn, and unless they are set in the right direction, we do battle against them at fearful odds, and with an expenditure of a vast amount of strength, that used otherwise would give us a long push in the successful journey of life.

Harriet Prescott Spofford has in her inimitable way put the truth of this mother inheritance in these words: “No intelligence, no cunning, no benevolence, could evade the inevitable. For what she was, that her child was. You do not gather figs from thistles. What she had made herself, she had made her child; what she had become that her child became also. In being born the child became all that.”

That we may train the more systematically our little unborn babes, it will be well for us to study the five stages of prenatal culture. In giving these stages, I would not have you understand that at no other time except at[106] these periods are the given characteristics of mind and body cultured and strengthened; but that in these special periods they receive their strongest impetus and determination. Throughout the entire ten lunar months should we foster and culture all the sweet graces, but especially in these times.

In the first two of the ten lunar months of pregnancy the physical nature of the little one is shaped. During this time the mother should pay especial attention to physical exercises which will add to her strength and insure vigorous health through the remaining months. In other words, she should fix her habits of exercise in this period and adhere to them as closely as possible throughout the entire ten months. As far as may be, put pleasure and diversion into your exercise.

Look at beautiful pictures, study perfect pieces of statuary, forbid as far as possible the contemplation of unsightly and imperfect models. Make your reading tend toward the same end and you will be rewarded with beautiful, vigorous children. If it be true, as we know it is, that the dog-fancier can produce you a dog at will, that will be marked as you order, why may not this same law be demonstrated in the human family? Remember the story of Jacob’s sheep and[107] the “pilled rods” for illustration in the animal kingdom.

During the third and fourth months the vital instincts are determined. Then the domestic and social affections and loves, love of home and family, are implanted. How very much the future mother may do by making the home at this time the fairest place on earth; and becoming so in love with it herself, that her child may forever in its after life repeat this affection.

“In the fifth and sixth months the observing, or perceptive powers are cultured and engrafted. Individuality, form, weight, color, calculation, time, tune, language and the five external senses.”

Surely, enough variety in study for this period. If you are not observing, learn to be, by persistent exercise; assert your individuality; study independence in thought and action; be self-reliant, self-contained. Study form and outline until you can take them in at a glance. If you have never cultivated an artistic taste do so at this time. If you have not the time, talent or money to learn to execute pictures yourself, you can at least study the beautiful things done by others, and can implant the love for these things, which may be highly developed in[108] your child. Many an ideal to which you have never been able to give expression will thus be wrought out in the most glowing imagery hereafter by your children. The things you have longed to be will find expression in their lives.

Many a poet, I believe, has been born of parents whose lives were poems, but who were never able to express a couplet in rhyme or meter. “Susanna Wesley, with the song of praise and the gospel of peace in her heart, bore and gave to the world two sons, whose spiritual achievement in song and sermon set in motion a wave of blessing that has carried peace to thousands of souls the world over, and will carry to the end of time. Herself no singer or preacher, but living the song and the sermon that found expression in her sons.”

Truly nowhere does seed-sowing bring a hundredfold more surely, than that implanted in the prenatal life of our babies.

“In the fourth stage we develop the constructive and beautifying powers; as constructiveness, ideality, sublimity, mirthfulness, imitation, suavity, etc.” How much, by giving during this period, these faculties in your own mind full play, and judicious cultivation, can you add of blessing and[109] happy helpfulness to the little life growing to maturity under your heart.

“The fifth and last stage of two months we may call the humanitarian and beneficent. In this period, the religious or worshipful aspirations, spiritual or upward looking powers, as hope, veneration, benevolence, charity, etc., etc., receive their impetus.”

How beautiful is the thought that in the last two months while waiting for the little one to come into her arms, the mother’s thoughts should be especially directed toward the highest and noblest possibilities of her nature, and that by so doing she may endow her child with these characteristics.

O mother, mother! As you learn these things, prove them in your own life; and then your work is only begun; for you are bound by all the ties of our common sisterhood to pass them on to mothers less favored than you, that they too may learn the possibilities bound up in motherhood.

A noble rule among the early Christians was this: “Whenever you learn a new and good thing, go and find some one that does not know it, and tell him of it.” A blessed rule for us as mothers to follow. We who have had some of the higher opportunities have a great responsibility resting upon us.


I found a few months ago, in one of our religious papers a little poem that appealed to me in its beauty and truthfulness. I cut it out and read it over many times until the words were learned. It is too true, I said to myself, but need it be so? No; it need not, if we reach out for the noblest within us and claim our privileges.

I caught up my pen and in the meter that had sung itself into my heart, I copied my own thoughts on the subject, and I will give them both to you.



“She is a little hindering thing,”
The mother said,
“I do not have an hour of peace
Till she’s in bed.
“She clings unto my hand and gown
And follows me
About the house from room to room,
Talks constantly.
“She is a bundle full of nerves,
And wilful ways.
She does not sleep full sound at night,
Scarce any, days.
“She doesn’t like to hear the wind,
The dark she fears,
And piteously she calls to me
To wipe her tears.
“She is a little hindering thing,”
The mother said,
“But still she is my wine of life,
My daily bread.”
The children what a load of care
Their coming brings:
But oh, the grief when God doth stoop
To give them wings.


The children: what if months before
We planned their lot,
And never in the passing weeks,
Their good forgot?
What if, as little garments grew
From busy hands,
We wrought with tender patient care
The soul’s white bands?
And what if we both willed and prayed
That baby’s life
Should be a better one than ours
’Mid toil and strife?
So filled the weeks while waiting them
With full content,
That sweetness, joy and bubbling life
Were to them lent?
I’m sure this song would then be changed
And read more sweet;
We’d sing it to the dancing time
Of baby feet.
She’s such a little gladsome thing
The mother’d say,
I cannot have an hour of joy
When she’s away.
She is a bundle full of rest
And joyous ways;
She sleeps so sweetly round at night,
And fills my days.
She doesn’t mind about the wind,
The dark ne’er fears,
She laughs and sings and cuddles down
With smiles not tears.
She’s such a little helping thing
The mother’d say;
And is my very wine of life
From day to day.
Such children: what a load of love
Their coming brings:
But oh the grief when parents fail
To give them wings.



The Command to “Replenish the Earth.”—Preparation for Motherhood More Written About than Preparation for Fatherhood.—Questions Which Would Test the Fitness of Young Men for Marriage.—Parents Should Know the Character of Young Men Who Desire Their Daughters in Marriage.—Many Young Men of Startling Worth.—The Improving of a Good Heritage.—Effects of Bad Morals and Wayward Habits.—Effects of Tobacco and Alcoholics.—How Young Women Help to Contribute Bad Habits in Young Men.—The Years of Rooting and Weeding Necessary.—Attaining the Best.—The Father Reproduced in His Children.

“Be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth.”

Webster defines “Replenish”: To stock abundantly, to make complete or perfect.

“It is a sad fact that many persons assume the responsibility of parents without any clear appreciation of its obligations. To provide a shelter from the storm, a proper amount of rations, and an irregular and spasmodic administration of discipline, chiefly[114] regulated by the nervous susceptibility of the parents, rather than by the deserts of the child, is their idea of parental duty.”

Far more has been written in these latter days concerning the preparation for motherhood, than the preparation for fatherhood. One would almost conclude that no especial fitting were needed to prepare young men to become parents. Because of the lack of strong public sentiment along these lines, the many sons come to marriage with no adequate idea of the duties and responsibilities before them, with no thought or knowledge of what they have, or should have, to give to the next generation.

Suppose a set of questions something like the following were handed to young men the week before their marriage, what think you would be their answers?

Do you bring to your bride the same purity that you expect from her?

What in your life and habits have you hidden, and would you still hide from her?

What mental reservation do you make in respect to your liberties after marriage, to indulge these habits?

What companions have you, whom you would not care to bring to your home or introduce to your wife?


What “wild oats” have you sown that have left their seeds in your constitution to be transmitted to your children, and they in turn to their children down through the generations?

How many hours of thought have you given to the wise, earnest fitting for good fatherhood?

Do you, in the sight of God, consider yourself fit to become the husband, which all this close relation involves, of a pure, sweet, true woman?

These questions are simple questions, and should in every allowable marriage, admit of but one answer. No father or mother should ever give their consent to companionship, much less to marriage of their daughters, with men whom they have any reason to suppose could not answer these questions unblushingly, and with honest eyes, in the presence of the woman they seek as wife.

Dear young woman, you should know, as you value your peace of mind, what the young man really is to whom you plight your troth. What he may seem to be to you, what you have idealized him to be, is not sufficient. You owe it to yourself and to your unborn children, to know what he really is; and if he resents the questioning[116] of your parents, say the “no,” now, rather than live it, in agony, all your after life.

Much that might have been said in this chapter I have already said in the chapter on the choice of a husband, and we will not repeat.

That there are many young men, noble, true, conscientious and pure in their sterling manhood we know; and for such as these the warnings in this chapter are not written. That there are parents who fully realize the necessity of training their children for parenthood, and have all the way along given line upon line, precept upon precept, toward this training, we all know; but that the number is not greater, we sadly deplore.

Young men need to realize that sowing wild oats will never bring a harvest of wheat; and that a bed of thistles will never yield a garland of flowers. Like will produce like, as long as the world stands, and we can never change it.

In preparation for fatherhood there is much that the best among young men would wish to change in their lives, and they have this to comfort them; that by painstaking perseverance any resolute person can do very much toward eradicating inborn tendencies, and hereditary evils. Poor soil well enriched[117] and carefully tended, watered with the dew of God’s grace, will bring a marvelous harvest of good things, and transform all future products; while the best of fields, with the wisest of care and tillage in the years past, may grow to weeds and wastefulness in this generation, if neglected. Therefore, while we have much to be grateful for in a good heritage, and that we have a name which, unlike poor little Patsy’s, will wash, yet too much dependence cannot be placed upon this. “Say not that ye have Abraham to your father; I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

Young man, what sort of soil are you preparing for the growth of the next generation, when you allow, for a little time even, looseness of morals and wayward habits? Late hours, tippling, mingling with the unclean, the coarse jest and the coarser practice following, are not good soil for the implantation later on of the higher virtues; the danger is, the desire for such implantation will be lost, or if it in a measure remains, the roots of the old weeds are there, and the soil is cursed with the noisome seeds which will spring up and choke the wheat. Mayhap both may grow together, and a harvest[118] of wheat and tares be gathered, but at what a cost of time and strength, that might have been used in better things.

The use of alcoholics and tobacco enfeeble the mind and constitution, and this enfeeblement accentuated is transmitted to the next generations. Many wives are struggling along in ill health that is directly traceable to the inhaling, night after night, of the breath of the husband, poisoned with nicotine. Many a little one is wailing through its infancy, and if it have strength sufficient, inherited from its remote ancestors, to pull it through, yet will it all its life suffer from its antenatal and postnatal poisoning; and the chances are that as soon as it is old enough it will take up the habit which is already acquired, to pass down along the line a more and more enfeebled heritage.

But the young are not all to blame, they have not been instructed. They have floated along, many times unmindful of the rapids they were nearing, and have not awakened until they were engulfed. And our daughters are not guiltless in this thing even. How many times when the escort asks, “Is tobacco offensive to you?” have our thoughtless girls answered, “Oh, no,” when at heart it was repulsive and sickening. By[119] and by, after months of endurance it becomes bearable, and they can make the reply with a degree of truthfulness; for tobacco, like sin,

“Is a monster of such frightful mien,
That to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft familiar with its face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

When our dear girls have strength of character sufficient to say in response to such a query, while lifting frank honest eyes: “Shall I answer your question honestly? then I must say, it is very offensive to me; for I know it does you harm, and I know as well that I cannot breathe the fumes of it even for an hour without physical harm to myself.”

There is not one young man in a hundred, who would not rejoice in the courage of such a girl, and ten chances to one, he would be telling his companions of the brave stand she had made, and exulting in it.

Young men of high attainment and noble purposes, there is still something for you to do, to transmit the best to your progeny. Make the noblest in you still nobler, root out the weeds, attain greater heights every year, seek nobler companionship among books and[120] men, choose for your mate the woman whose desires and ambitions are like your own, and your children will be a blessing to you and the world, and may well “rise up to call you blessed.”

To the other class of young men, we have only to say, there should be before them many years of rooting and weeding and killing out, and hard preparation, before they should dare ask any good women to be their wives. Aye, more, before they should even dare to ask a woman like themselves, for think of the double inheritance of such unfortunate children as might be theirs; and think again how the world is cursed with such disinherited humanity now.

The motto

“Without halting, without rest,
Pushing better up to best,”

should be the sentiment of every young man, in view of his preparation for fatherhood. It is a lamentable fact that children have as often reason to lament their parentage, as parents their wayward children. But it is probably a merciful thing that most children of this class never realize it—merciful at least for them and their parents, but not for the coming generations.


Remember you are to reproduce yourself, and in large measure what you are yourself that will your children be. Measure yourself carefully, take account of stock and see what there is that you would have different, what you would make better, what you would eradicate, what new qualities you would engraft. The little children, to be, in your home who are to call you father, are not only to copy you when they are large enough and wise enough in their love to wish to be like you; but they come into existence with inborn tendencies, that perforce make them like you, whether they will or not. Happy the parents whose children never regret their inheritances.

“It isn’t all in the bringing up,
Let folks say what they will,
You may silver polish a pewter cup,
But it will be pewter still.”




The Alarming Prevalence of This Hideous Sin.—How Daughters are Initiated.—How Expectant Mothers Appeal to Reputable Physicians.—Young Women Should be Taught to Associate the Idea of Marriage with Motherhood.—Destruction of own Health and Life go Hand in Hand with Prenatal Murder.—Effect of Such Attempts Upon the Physical Life and Character.—Life from the Moment of Conception.—The Injustice and Cruel Wrongs Inflicted upon Wives by Uncontrolled Passions of Husbands.—Obligation of Motherhood Should be Recognized.—Its Blessings.—The Duty of the Physician as Educator of Public Sentiment.

“The destruction of the end or purpose of an institution is virtually the destruction of the institution itself. I firmly believe that the greatest sin against God and the greatest crime against society in the nineteenth century, is the covert attack, which in one form or another, excused by one consideration or another, is being waged against God’s institution of marriage.”—Rev. Brevard D. Sinclair.

Do our young women consider and really understand the giant evil which walks our[124] streets sometimes covertly, sometimes so openly, that with eyes of discernment it can be easily detected? This terrible evil that has been so excused, so palliated that it stands out in the minds of many, dressed, not in its hideous garb of sin and shame, but tricked in taking dress and attractive coloring—so attractive that many of our matrons have pointed it out and introduced it to our fresh, beautiful daughters, and introduced them into its mysteries, and all the horrible sin this evil is heir to.

I speak of the shamefully prevalent evil of antenatal infanticide.

I quote again from Mr. Sinclair. “A sin of such delicacy that people affect to be shocked when it is alluded to, and yet a sin which is practiced, applauded and commended so widely in private, that even the children are not ignorant of its prevalence among their elders. Indeed a sin, in which in many cases, daughters are deliberately nurtured and trained, so that when opportunity is presented for its practice the conscience is so stultified and suborned by long training and familiarity with its hellish and poisonous consequences, that it is committed without compunction.”

O mothers! with us rests in large measure[125] the righting of this terrible wrong. Are we aware ourselves of its loathsomeness, and are we prepared to pronounce against it everywhere where our voices can be heard? Shall we teach our daughters that the institution of marriage is for home and children, and that unless they are prepared to make the home and desire children, they are committing a grievous sin to enter its sacred portals?

Every reputable physician grows sick at heart many times, when he is approached by these untaught and unscrupulous young and older women, to ask him to be a party with them in the crime of murder, and possible suicide. “The sin is none the less heinous, and the crime none the less wicked when it is performed by those who affect ‘the best society,’ or who with unworthy hands take the bread and wine at the communion table of a dying Lord, who pronounced His blessing on the pure in heart.”

When an untaught young wife comes to us with a desire that she may be “helped out of her difficulty,” and then proceeds to tell us that she does not want children so early in her married life; that she wants to enjoy herself first for a while, or she wants to make a visit, or take a trip to Europe and cannot[126] be in that condition; and that she has tried all the simple means that she knows of, but has accomplished nothing; we sit down patiently and tell her from the beginning the sin and danger of it all; danger, not only to life, but also to all the higher instincts of our nature; for when one deliberately takes a life, the conscience is seared to all sin, and the pathway down to the lower depths is an easy one. I can assure you, this is no easy task, for we have the teaching of friends and relatives, yes, and I grieve to say, sometimes of mothers to undo! Oh the sorrow of it!

Young women, with you rests the hope of the world in the betterment of this sad state of things. Know that when you enter marriage with any other thought than that you will be the joyful mother of children, you commit a grievous sin. Know that any plan you may have made to obviate this, indefinitely, while allowing the close marriage relation to exist, is sinful and makes you partaker with abortionists, and those who would destroy the holy institution of home and fireside.

When women who have grown older in years and experience enter my office with their specious reasoning, women who have no excuse for not knowing the evil thing which[127] they are advocating, I feel like denouncing them before the world as the enemies of God and womankind. Oh the shame that woman who should be the helper and inspiration in all good things should so lend her hand and heart to evil!

But the sin does not always stop with the murder. Many times her own life is a sacrifice to her sin, or if not this, she is doomed to invalidism the remainder of her days. Truly, as Mr. Sinclair says, “Many a woman is buried with Christian burial, over whose grave ought to be placed a tombstone with this inscription: “Here lies a suicide, assisted to her grave by her murderers—her husband, her female counsellors, and the conscienceless physician.””

There is no excuse whatever for the crime of abortion. The arguments are many that are made to ease the conscience, or palliate the sin, but not one of them will hold, before a tribunal of honest clean thinking people, with God on the bench.

It is wicked, say they, to bring so many children into the world that cannot be well taken care of; “I really have not the strength to take care of any more;” and they go on in their sinful practice until health is destroyed or life sacrificed. “I do not[128] think that women should give their lives to bearing children, and have no time for mental improvement,” they say again, while they spend a great part of their time in devising means to prevent conception, or in worry, lest they may not succeed, while the little fragment of time and strength is given to the pursuit of “culture,” and at the age, when, had they borne their children and been joyful in training them, they would have been vigorous and strong for years of mental work and wide culture. At this very time because of what they have done they are pale broken-down women, with no strength or ambition left for nobler pursuits than groaning over their ill-health or seeking alleviation for their sufferings.

But their sin does not stop with themselves, but is written legibly upon the lives of the children, who, in spite of their earnest endeavor to the contrary, have stemmed the tide of evil, and come to maturity of term, if not of vigor.

A late writer in a Christian journal has said, “There are thousands of miserable objects in our insane asylums, hospitals, yea, in our jails, who may honestly complain, ‘from our mothers cometh our misery.’ The attempt to commit prenatal murder is frightfully[129] common—as all women and physicians know—and where it does not kill, malformations, idiocy, and distorted moral powers are too often the results. For no one ever breaks into ‘the house of life,’ and is innocent or unpunished. Prenatal murder and self-murder walk hand in hand, crying to heaven as loudly as did the blood of Abel. And should these women personally seem to escape, yet there will come a day when God will ask them one terrible question, ‘Where are the children that I gave you?’”

Again they say, “There is no harm until there is life.” The moment conception takes place, that moment there is life; and whether the crime be committed in six hours, six weeks or six months, the sin is in all cases of equal enormity. Murder is in the intent, not in the act alone. When you intend to rid yourself of the little life if possible, you have committed murder as surely as if the murdered child lay dead in your arms, or it may chance live to denounce you with its disinherited life, if not with its words.

But I would not denounce woman alone, for the wrong does not lie wholly with her. Dr. Holbrook in an article on sanitary parentage, says: “That which polite language veils under the designation ‘social[130] evil,’ and which desolates so many happy homes, and brings its quick harvest of misery, remorse, disease and death, chiefly lives because man does not know aright, does not truly reverence and honor woman, and keep in subjection that which may become one of the monster passions in his heart, and is thus continued from generation to generation.”

Often, we believe, are women driven to abortion, by maternity being thrust upon them, when they are already weakened by too frequent child-bearing.

A case of this kind came into my office a few days since. A bright, pretty little woman, scarcely more than a girl, sat down before me with the exclamation, “Doctor, I have missed my monthly period, and have come in to have you give me something to set me right.” “Are you married?” I questioned. “Yes,” she answered. “Do you not think that you may be pregnant?” I enquired. “Yes: I fear that I am,” she cried, with tears in her voice; “but I have one little one, not yet two years old, and a baby of eight months, and it does not seem that I can have another one now.” She was but twenty-two years old, and I could not help mentally calculating, what the number would be were she obliged to go on at this rate,[131] until the child-bearing age was passed. My heart ached for the child mother; but I could say to her only this: “My dear, do you think it would be better for you to endanger your health, and perhaps take your life, and leave your two babies without a mother, than to go on patiently and have this baby, and live to care for them all?”

I said to her, “Never allow yourself to think for a moment, of taking the life of a little unborn child; it is murder, dear, and nothing else. I know you have not thought of it in this light. Go home, talk it over with your husband candidly, tell him that you will never be guilty of the sin of abortion, no matter how many children you have. Insist upon the better way, namely, such continence in the marriage relation as shall not impose the burden of maternity upon you oftener than once in two or three years. Help him to see that the selfish gratification of his desires are hardly worth while when secured at such a cost to your health and comfort. Make him to see that the children that come from such self-indulgence cannot be the strong, vigorous and noble children they would be if generated under self-control. Occupy separate beds, and help him by every means in your power to attain self-control, and become master[132] of his passions, not their slave.” I do not know the outcome, but I feel certain that the little woman went home with something to think about, and I trust with profit.

Above all, my dear young wives, do not underestimate the mighty, unequalled power of the mother of several children. And know this, that no work is so productive of true culture, in your own life, as the proper bearing and rearing of children. Nothing so cultivates all the virtues that alone serve as the foundation of true education and wisdom. As your children grow you will be inspired to keep pace with them, and when they have gone out from the home nest, you will find ample time to read and study, and you will have the consciousness of a life well spent to urge you on.

I believe firmly, that for the best results, offspring should be limited, but limited in a legitimate way. When temperate lives are lived, not more than five or six children come into a home, and this is but a good family. Mothers of such families if they live within their means and “look well to the ways of their households,” are not fretted, broken down women, but hale and hearty, and as children mature are ready for years of strenuous living, and community service.


No thwarting of nature has any ground for excuse, and the so-called physician who peddles any theory or device for so doing has no right to the name, and has no recognition among the ranks of the reputable of the honored profession of medicine. His work is done in the dark and under the pledge of secrecy, and so he marks himself of the abode of Satan.

No honorable physician can say, “I have never lent myself as a party to this crime, hence my conscience is clear, my duty done.” No: your duty is not done. Physicians stand or should stand as the guardsmen of the unborn generations, and as educators of public opinion along these lines; and their pen, their voice and their practice should form a trinity of power against the inroads of this alarmingly threatening evil—threatening to the best instincts of the moral nature of our time; threatening to the future of our land, when we consider the very few children born into our better homes, while in the byways, among the lower classes, the little ones swarm in hot-beds of sin.

At least four children should be born and grow to maturity in every American home in our land, to keep good the present number of our people. The average is far below this,[134] and the result is that the American race is fast dying out.

We stand at the head of all the nations in the extent and enormity of this crime. Shall we not stand at the head in a true reformation?



The Duty of the Present to Future Generations.—Darwin on Heredity.—Nature Inexorable.—The Mother’s Investment of Moulding Power.—The Father’s Important Part in the Transmission of Heredity.—The Parents Workers Together with God.—Parents must Reap What They Sow.—The Law and the Gospel of Heredity Contrasted.—The Children of Inebriates and Others.—Lessons from Reformatory Institutions.—The Outcast Margaret.—The Mother of Samson.—How a Child Became an Embodiment of “The Lady of the Lake.”—The Woman Who Desired to be the Mother of Governors.—Importance of this Study.

“Often do the spirits of great events stride on before the events,
And in to-day already walks to-morrow.”
“It is not just as we take it,
This mystical life of ours,
Life’s harvest will yield as we make it
A harvest of thorns or of flowers.”

“Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.”


Francis Galton says: “I conclude that each generation has enormous powers over the natural gifts of those that follow, and maintain that it is a duty that we owe to humanity to investigate the range of that power, and to exercise it in a way that, without being unwise toward ourselves, shall be most advantageous to the future inhabitants of the earth.”

Mr. Darwin maintains in his theory of pangenesis, that the gemmules of innumerable qualities, derived from ancestral sources, circulate in the blood and propagate themselves generation after generation still in the state of gemmules, but fail in developing themselves into cells, because other antagonistic gemmules are prepotent and overmaster them, in the struggle for points of attachment. Hence there is a vastly larger number of capabilities in every human being than ever find expression, and for every patent element there are countless latent ones. The character of a man is wholly formed through these gemmules that have succeeded in attaching themselves, the remainder that have been overpowered by their antagonists count for nothing.

Again he says, “The average proportion of gemmules modified by individual variation[137] under various conditions preceding birth clearly admits of being determined by observation, for the children will in the average, inherit the gemmules in the same proportion that they existed in their parents. It follows that the human race has a large control over its future forms of activity, far more than an individual has over his own; since the freedom of individuals is narrowly restricted by the cost in energy of exercising their wills.”

We might go on indefinitely making quotations from undisputed authorities on this great science of heredity, for to-day it has become almost an exact science. In view of this the exclamation of a writer in the Science of Health is very pertinent. “Who shall deliver us from our ancestors? And if the fathers have eaten sour grapes, who on earth shall prevent the children’s teeth being set on edge? Not nature. She is inexorable. An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, is her law. But between the unbroken law and its entailed consequences stands the mother, invested with a power which makes her either a Nemesis or a redeemer. This is the unwritten law in every mother’s heart, and I believe that in all the ages there have been women who have hearkened unto its voice.[138] The son that Hannah prayed so earnestly for, and gave unto the Lord before his birth, inherited a soul that had been to school before it drew its first breath. Slaves suckle slaves; pure and enthusiastic women bring forth saints and heroes. All history attests the fact that great men had great mothers.”

That both in the law and the gospel of heredity, of the two parents, the mother has a far greater influence we believe firmly; yet this does not relieve the father from responsibility. The germ from him, which is “bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh,” contributed to the formation of the child in its beginning, must be of high nature and cultivation, seed from a noble sire, or the little life is dwarfed from the outset, and the mother must expend much precious time and strength in making good the terrible deficiencies which such a beginning entails, and then mourn that so much can never be overcome.

What our children become depends upon two conditions; what they are at birth, and what environment makes them. That the parents may make of their children almost what they will, that they are in a peculiar sense, workers together with God in the creative and formative periods, that they may by self-culture and painstaking reproduce a[139] generation superior to themselves, are all truths big with responsibility and meaning.

That we reap what we sow, is an inevitable law in the mental and moral as in the physical sphere. While there is this great and awful law, I am so thankful that we can emphasize the far greater and wider reaching gospel of heredity. Into this we can put all the sweet promises whose fulfillment is sure—if we are ever reaching up to the higher and nobler aspirations of our nature, and not degenerating to the lower tastes and inclinations.

For the law, we have, “visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” For the gospel, “And showing mercy unto thousands of (generations) of them that love Me and keep My commandments.”

For the law, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” For law and gospel both, “As is the mother so is her daughter.”

For gospel, “Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.” For law, the sad history of the children of inebriates, of tobacco users and of the insane; also the history of many children born in polygamous[140] Utah, of jealous mothers outraged at the loss or division of the love of their husbands. Ugly, misshapen children, mentally and morally. “Disinherited childhood,” is written upon every line of their distorted lives. Go with our missionary teachers and learn from the aching hearts of these mothers, the stories of anguish that in the passing stamped indelibly the characters of the little ones unborn; listen while they tell you that they know only too well, when their children were stamped with the vindictive revengeful spirits which so many of them manifest; or were bowed down with a burden of sorrow too heavy to be borne. Hear the story of one such little one that literally wept its short life away, without a cry, getting from its mother an inheritance of tears, shed in silence under a pride that forbade a moan.

Visit our almshouses and reformatories, our orphanages, our idiot asylums, and get a few of the histories of the little inmates; trace them back for three, four or five generations, and see how unmistakably woe has generated woe, crime begotten crime, and disease brought forth disease.

Let us study this, the dark side of the picture of heredity, and seriously ask ourselves if it isn’t time a new reform was instituted[141] and the heart of philanthropy set to beating in sympathy, not only with this great army of robbed, disinherited children, but as well with the yet unborn generations. The great work for them must be done now, not after they are ushered into a depraved, diseased existence.

“There is a story of one neglected little girl, poor Margaret, who never had a home, and who grew up a wretched outcast, living a life of sin and shame. After seventy-five years it was reckoned that her descendants numbered twelve hundred; two hundred and eighty of whom were paupers, and one hundred and forty habitual criminals, while most of the whole degraded family cursed the country with vice, crime, pauperism, and insanity.”

Finally for gospel, we have the indisputable fact that we may by prayerful thought and systematic study make our children what we will. Read the story of the angel’s appearance to the mother of Samson, when the child was promised, and remember his direction. “And Manoah said, How shall we order the child and how shall we do unto him? And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. She may not eat of anything that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine nor strong drink, nor eat any unclean[142] thing; all that I commanded her let her observe.” (Judges 13: 13, 14.)

A sweet story is told that illustrates the gospel side of heredity in a marvelous way. A traveller in the west came to the house of a settler in a remote frontier district, and asked for shelter for the night. The parents had come from the east in an early day, and were people of ordinary intelligence only. Among the children born to them in this western home were several sons, coarse, boorish, and altogether what their birth and environment would indicate. The traveller was struck with the remarkable beauty and refinement of one child, a daughter. So different was she from her brothers that he made bold to ask the mother, if she could explain why the daughter was so different from her brothers, and how in her surroundings she had developed such grace and beauty.

The mother looked up quickly with an intelligent smile, pleased that her child should receive such appreciation. “Yes, I can tell you, I think, why she differs so, and to me it is a strange thing and I have often wondered if I have thought aright. Several months before my child was born, one day there came to our cabin a colporteur with a variety of books for sale. I was not much of a[143] reader, but my life was a lonely one, shut out from all society as I was, with nothing of comfort or beauty about me. Only one of the books attracted my attention, a little blue-and-gold copy of Scott’s Lady of The Lake. It was illustrated, and as I turned it over in my hands, and caught now and then a word that explained an illustration, I was possessed with a desire to have the book. We were poor and I knew that my husband would not understand the wish I had to own it. I handed it back to the man and he went on his way. I could not get the thought of the book out of my mind, and did not sleep an hour that night. As soon as the first peep of day began to show itself, I rose and with the price of the book in my hand started for the nearest neighbor, the next cabin where I thought the book agent must have stopped for the night. I found him and got the book and came home. Through all the months before the little one came that book was my constant companion. I read it and reread it, until I knew much of it by heart. Every scene of the book was as vivid as a reality to me. When the daughter came she was the Lady of The Lake over again, and was always just what you see her now.”

Dr. Holbrook says, “Every child born[144] into the world is essentially an experiment; we cannot tell what its chief characteristics will be; these depend upon the potentialities stored up in the germ-plasm.” Then how much depends upon the parents, that the germ-plasm be of fine quality, and so insure fine products in their children. In his book on Stirpiculture, Dr. Holbrook says, “The common people often get at truths in a rude way long before the scientists do. Many parents tell us their children are strongly influenced by some particular occupation of the mother during pregnancy. So strong is this belief that many mothers are in our time trying to influence the characters of their unborn children by special modes of life, by cultivating music, or art, or science, in order to give the child a love for these pursuits.”

Apropos to this statement, we can attest many instances that have come under our immediate observation. Study and research along certain lines, and in special directions have brought the results desired, and the children have become what they were trained to be in intra-uterine life.

“What do you expect to do when you get to America?” asked a fellow-passenger of a woman who was crossing the Atlantic about a century ago. “Do? why raise governors[145] for them.” And she was as good as her word, for she became the mother of General John Sullivan, the chief magistrate of New Hampshire, and of James Sullivan, governor of Massachusetts. “She who thinks skim milk will transmit skim milk; she who thinks cream will transmit cream.” This woman thought cream and lived it and transmitted the best to her children.

Young women do not stop in your research with the few thoughts that can be given in a chapter like this, but go on in the study until you know what it has to teach you and what you may give to your unborn children, by painstaking study and culture of yourself. Begin by weeding out the habits and tendencies that you would not wish to transmit, and by cultivating the qualities and accomplishments, which you would delight to see repeated in your children.

Depend upon it the study and care will reward you bountifully, and you will do your part in furthering the knowledge of this great science, which means so much to the generations to come.

“A partnership with God is motherhood;
What strength, what purity, what self-control,
What love, what wisdom, should belong to her,
Who helps God fashion an immortal soul.”




Pregnancy not an Unnatural but a Normal State.—Tendency to Neglect Hygienic Rules.—Morning Sickness.—How to Correct it.—Important Questions of Diet.—Displaced Uterus as Cause of Nausea.—Mental States.—Companionship.—Various Gastric Troubles.—Insomnia.—Hysteria.—Constipation and How to Correct it.—Longings.—Self-control.—With Proper Care, as a Rule All Goes Well.

There are several distressing ailments which afflict the pregnant woman, and which are too often by the uninformed considered a necessity, hence nothing is done for them. Leavitt has said wisely, “The general health is already frequently disturbed, and the system in an enfeebled state, when pregnancy is established. The woman at once enters on the trying experiences of early gestation—attributing nearly all her symptoms to the physiological changes being wrought in her organism. Viewing them also as, in great measure essential features of her condition,[148] she is prone to neglect proper attention to hygienic rules.”

Another mistake is too frequently made by the women, and indulged by the physician, namely, considering the pregnant state a pathological, diseased, or unnatural condition, in every instance, while it should be in the majority of cases purely a physiological, natural and healthy condition. True, woman is not exempt during pregnancy from the various ills that assail her sex, and the human family as a whole; but that every ailment with which she is assailed should be attributed to her condition is a mistake, and a greater mistake is to neglect proper treatment for these ills.

The morning sickness is one of the most common and troublesome ailments of the parturient, and one which is most often neglected. But it is likewise one which can be controlled in the majority of instances. Do not neglect it, but see to it at once. Plenty of exercise in the open air, well-aired sleeping rooms, pleasant surroundings and suitable food go far to mitigate this ill, but the doctor will need to be consulted at times. The diet of women suffering from morning sickness, should be regulated, and nothing deleterious to her allowed. Often the aggravated ailment[149] can be traced to vagaries of appetite, which have been foolishly indulged, which corrected, and a reasonable diet substituted, will do much to aid the cure. Often a few mouthfuls of food or a cup of coffee taken in the morning before rising will prove of decided benefit, and should be tried before medicines are resorted to.

The false notion that the pregnant woman “must eat for two,” and so proceed to indulge her appetite to the utmost, should be corrected. The appetite should be kept under in pregnancy as carefully as at any other time, and rather than otherwise, more care be taken in the selection of food, and regularity of meals.

Leavitt recommends as articles specially suited to the earlier months of pregnancy, the following:—“Mutton-broth, chicken-broth, oysters, clams and fish. When they have heretofore agreed, the following may also be eaten: beef, mutton, chicken, game, eggs, stale bread, oat meal, rice, baked potatoes, spinach, macaroni, greens, celery, green peas, lettuce, asparagus, oranges, grapes, and stewed fruit. Desserts should in most instances be avoided.”

These do not of course include all the harmless articles, and a simple and comprehensive[150] rule is this: any article of food that is hygienic and does not disagree may be partaken of with impunity.

Sometimes the nausea may be due to other causes than those exciting simple nausea. If it is persistent and aggravated a displaced uterus may be the cause. This when corrected will effect a cure like magic.

In the later months of pregnancy the nausea, if any, is due to another cause than that which excites it in the earlier months. Compression and a changed character of the secretions, are the exciting causes at this time, yet even here attention to diet will do much toward correcting the distress. “At this period all articles of food which will increase the fermentative action, so easily set up, ought to be avoided. Such are mainly those containing starch, sugar and fat.”

The mental state of the woman needs careful attention as well as the physical. Among the early Greeks a pregnant woman was held so much in reverence that she was guarded almost sacredly, and shielded from all possible annoyances. No troublesome or unsightly thing was allowed in her presence, and she was surrounded with pleasing and delightful companions, pictures and occupations.[151] This might with profit be emulated by the people of to-day. An unpleasant companion in the home, a dull, monotonous, treadmill existence will often drive a pregnant woman to the verge of distraction; while on the other hand the thought that she is the subject of tender solicitude and care, that she is petted and indulged in her harmless desires, will make the period of pregnancy a long holiday.

Above all, keep all croaking companions away. You will find in every neighborhood, women who delight to give in detail all the terrible cases they have ever heard or imagined, and these are the women that you should shun, and in plain words, forbid the introduction of such topics if necessary.

Sometimes another distressing gastric disturbance, which may give much annoyance, is a want of appetite, or disgust for food. A change of scene or surroundings for a time, with an entire change of table, will often be all that is necessary to correct this. A visit to the mother or a dear friend, will relieve the monotony, and often give the change desired. This very often is the result of mental disturbance rather than physical, and so yields when the proper remedy, change, is prescribed and taken.


Acidity of the stomach and heartburn can be relieved with the appropriate remedy. “Temporary relief will often be afforded by a swallow of pure glycerine, or a half teaspoonful dose of aromatic spirits of ammonia.”

Neuralgia of the stomach calls for the doctor. Ptyalism, or an excessive flow of saliva; pruritus, or a distressing itching of the genitals or of the abdominal wall; face-ache or neuralgia of the fifth nerve, are all relieved only by the proper prescription from the physician.

Insomnia, which often proves very troublesome, can often be cured by more outdoor air, and diversion during the day, and a brisk walk in the good fresh evening air, followed by the sitz bath or bath taken in sitting posture, with only the parts about the hips submerged in hot water just before retiring; or a quick sponge bath, rather cool than warm, just before going to rest for the night will often act well as a sedative.

The urine in quality and quantity should be carefully looked after, and should be examined by the physician several times during the later months of pregnancy, that its condition may be known.

Hysteria may appear in some of its various forms, but when the cause, which is[153] more often than otherwise due to indigestion, excessive fatigue, loss of sleep, unpleasant surroundings or companions, “operating on a nervous system, very sensitive, and already a little out of tune”—when the cause is removed the hysteria will vanish.

Constipation, which in this state as in all others is more often than otherwise, simply a bad habit, proves at many times a great annoyance. Care from the very outset should be taken to keep the bowels open. Often all that is necessary, is proper attention to diet, exercise and good air. Diminished intestinal action is doubtless an exciting cause, and this can be met by greater activity on the part of the woman, and a selection of food that is easily digested and laxative in character. If constipation is neglected there may result an accumulation of feces or waste matter in the rectum and large intestine sometimes of great size, which may prove a great obstruction to labor, or even interrupt pregnancy prematurely. Fruits, graham bread, figs, stewed prunes, and liberal quantities of hot water sipped slowly, thirty or forty minutes before each meal, will often prove all the medicine needed.

The longings of pregnancy are a matter of notion and imagination run wild more often[154] than otherwise. A strong self-controlled woman is not troubled with any longings for things beyond her reach. Hence should she desire a thing that it will be difficult for her to get, let her exercise reason, and good judgment in the denial, and the longing will not trouble her.

Finally the woman during pregnancy should cultivate self-control, and be governed by common sense in every event. Let wisdom guide her in the habits of exercise, eating, occupation, society and recreation, and as a rule all will go well, and there will be no cause for worry throughout the entire term.



Minuteness of the Germ of Human Life.—The Embryo Cell and Its Store of Food.—Its Journey to the Uterus.—Meeting the Spermatozoön, Conception Occurs.—The Changes Which take Place in the Uterus.—Life is Present the Moment Conception takes Place.—The Mysterious Development of the Embryo.—The Sin of Tampering with the Work of the Infinite.—The Various Changes in the Development of the Embryo and Fœtus set Forth.—The Changes that Occur each Month.—Parenthood the Benediction of Husband and Wife.

How does the tiny speck, so tiny that it cannot be seen with the naked eye, only one hundred and twentieth of an inch in diameter, how does this tiny atom of matter, begin in its growth, continue and develop into the full grown child? This little germ or ovum, the part furnished by the mother, in the creation of a human being, contains the germinal vesicle, or embryo cell, and the stored up food for the early days of life after conception takes place. After the ovum leaves[156] the ovary, somewhere in its journey to the uterus or womb, it is met by the spermatozoön, or male element of conception, and by their mysterious union the new life is begun.

Coincident with the impregnation of the ovum, active changes are inaugurated in the uterus. The organ becomes more vascular, increases in size, its lining is thickened and softened, thus in all ways preparing a soft bed, or cradle, for the nesting time and growth of the little one entrusted to its care. During pregnancy the uterus enlarges from an area of sixteen square inches to three hundred and thirty-nine square inches in the fully developed state. After delivery it does not resume its former shape and size, but retains vestiges of the condition through which it has passed, its retained weight having increased fully an ounce and a half.

In some inconceivable way a notion has become prevalent, that there is no life in the embryo until motion is felt by the mother. How life enters then has been left by them an unexplained mystery. That this professed belief is but a device of Satan, to excuse the shameless taking of life in-utero, is the only method of accounting for its prevalence. Life, organized life, begins the very moment conception takes place, and is as surely life[157] as that which exists when the little active creature is placed in its mother’s arms.

After conception takes place, while yet the embryo is on the way to its nesting place, many and rapid changes take place. By a process of segmentation or division, the contents of the ovum are broken into innumerable granular cells, from which mass the whole organization of the embryo is gradually evolved.

How some of these cells are transformed into muscle, others into bone or cartilage or nerves, or brain, or connective tissue, when no difference can be distinguished in the various cells, is among the mysteries of life which science has not yet fathomed. That it does this we all know; how it does it belongs wholly within the knowledge of creative wisdom.

In tracing the steps of progress in the life of the embryo, which I shall soon give, let every young person who reads these pages learn once and forever, that when she is tempted to rid herself of the product of conception, even the next moment after conception has taken place, she is tempted to murder, as surely as though the child were in her arms, a living visible bit of humanity, and she were plotting to take its life. It is a terrible[158] thing to tamper with the work of the Infinite, and with nature’s inexorable laws, and punishment is sure to follow.

When the embryo has finished its journey, and has settled itself for a long stay of nine months, not of rest, but of ceaseless activity, of growth and development so marvelous and sure, it begins to draw its life from the uterus, for the stored up food in the ovum is already exhausted. At first it draws by absorption through the membrane enclosing it, then through the placenta or “afterbirth,” which is created as the medium of communication for the life-giving force, between mother and child.

Up to the close of the third month we call this little new life an embryo; after this time it is called a fœtus. For a full description of the embryo and fœtus, in the various stages of development, we copy from Leavitt’s Science and Art of Obstetrics.

The First Month.—The embryo in the first week of gestation, is a minute, gelatinous and semi-transparent mass, of a greyish color, presenting to the unaided eye no definite traces of either head or extremities. The entire ovum measures but one-fourth of an inch, and the embryo but one-twelfth; but during the next week they double in dimensions.[159] The coverings of the child are developed, and it is attached to the uterus, but does not yet draw its life from it. At the close of the month the ovum is about the size of a pigeon’s egg, and weighs about forty grains. The embryo is about three-fourths of an inch in extreme length, and about one-third of an inch in direct measurement as it is coiled up. The structures have so little bulk, that when ruptured they easily escape attention, in abortions, generally passing with a clot.

Second Month.—At eight weeks the ovum is about the size of a hen’s egg, and it weighs from one hundred and eighty to three hundred grains, and is about two-thirds of an inch in length from head to caudal curve. Its independent circulatory system is forming: indications of the external generative organs are visible: and ossification has begun in several parts of the body.

Third Month.—The embryo weighs from three hundred to four hundred grains, and measures from two and a half to three and a half inches in length. The forearm is well formed and the fingers are discernible. The umbilical or navel cord is about two and a half inches in length. The head is relatively large, the neck separates it from the[160] trunk, and the eyes are prominent. The chorion has lost most of its villi, and the placenta is formed. Points of ossification are present in most of the bones. Thin membranous nails appear on the fingers and toes. Sex may be determined by presence or absence of the uterus.

Fourth Month.—The fœtus weighs five or six ounces, and is about five inches long. Its sex is more distinct; movements are visible. The convolutions of the brain are beginning to form: ossification is extending: the placenta is increasing in size, and the cord is about twelve inches long. The head is one-fourth the length of the whole body. The sutures and fontanelles are widely separated. Hair begins to appear on the scalp. If born, the fœtus may live three or four hours.

Fifth Month.—Fœtal weight has increased to ten ounces, and length to about nine inches. The head is still relatively large. Fine hair, (lanugo) appears over the whole body. Fœtal movements can be felt by the mother. If born the fœtus can live but a few hours.

Sixth Month.—Weight about twenty-four ounces, length eleven inches. Fat is found in the subcutaneous cellular tissue. Hair is[161] darker and more abundant. The membrana pupillaris exists but the eyelids separate. If born at this time the fœtus breathes freely, but life is retained only a few hours, with rare exceptions.

Seventh Month.—Weight from three to four pounds, length fourteen to fifteen inches. The skin is wrinkled, of red color and covered with vernix caseosa. The pupillary membrane disappears. If younger than twenty-eight weeks it is not likely to live.

Eighth Month.—Weight from four to five pounds, length from sixteen to eighteen inches. Development is now rather in thickness than length. The nails are nearly perfect, and the lanugo is disappearing from the face. The navel is gradually approaching the centre of the body, until now it has nearly reached the median point. The cranial bones are easily molded under pressure, a point to be remembered as bearing on the question of induced labor in pelvic deformity.

Ninth Month—or at term.—At the end of pregnancy the fœtus weighs an average of six and a half or seven pounds, and measures about twenty inches in length. The average weight of mature males is greater than that of females. At birth the fœtus is covered with vernix caseosa, a whitish tenacious substance,[162] composed of a mixture of surface epithelium, down and the products of sebaceous glands. During intra-uterine life it serves as a protection for the skin against the amniotic fluid. It can be removed thoroughly only by preceding the use of water by a free use of oil.”

So the baby grows until it reaches intra-uterine maturity, and comes into our arms for cherishing. Pity, pity the little one that comes with no love to receive it, and pity more the mother of such a child. No woman has a right to marry, unless she desires offspring and is willing to fit herself for maternity. No man has a right to take upon himself the sacred vows that make him husband, unless he comprehends all that it means, and is measurably ready to meet its duties and responsibilities. With such preparation, and such understanding upon entering matrimony, we should see a nobler, stronger race of men and women in the coming generations.



The Question That Comes with Fluttering Signs of Life.—Importance of Wise Choice of Material and Style of Dress.—The Blessedness of Mother’s Joy in Preparing Baby’s Clothing.—The Questions of Dress Important.—Formerly Seemingly Planned for Discomfort.—The “Binder” an Instrument of Torture.—Better Methods now Prevail.—The Napkin.—How to Establish Regular Habits for Baby.—The Pinning Blanket.—The Little Shirt.—Baby’s Earliest and Best Dress Described.—The Complete Wardrobe Described.—The Furnishings of the Basket.—Things Which are not to Baby’s Taste or Comfort.—The Later Wardrobe.

“Wherewithal shall my baby be clothed?” is a question that comes to every expectant mother—if her heart be filled with love for it—when she feels the first fluttering signs of life that announce to her listening heart, “Mother, I’m coming;” and she delights to prepare for her little one the softest, daintiest, richest things that her purse and time will allow. If she is not always wise in her choice of material and trimming and[164] style of dress, it is because of ignorance, more often than otherwise. Sometimes, we fear from pride that her baby should make as fair a show in the flesh as the babies of her friends, regardless of healthfulness or suitableness.

I would it were possible for every mother to prepare the first clothing of her coming little ones, all herself; for in such quiet times as women sit down to their needle alone, in the waiting hours, thoughts and plans and high ambitions for the little ones hold them fast, and the heart warms with each dainty stitch, while the mother love kindles and grows, and the castles are built and peopled with baby and its friends and lovers. Far more often than we think, the choicest, tenderest thoughts the woman is capable of, and the highest, noblest ambitions of what her baby shall be, and what she shall be to it, are sewed into the little garments, with her swiftly flying needle; and more than this, are woven into the very fibre and being of the little one.

The question of the baby’s dress is one of large importance, and one which in the past few years has received the attention which is its due. Formerly the comfort of the baby was little planned for; and more than that,[165] it almost seems, as we consider it to-day, that the clothing of the little one was planned for discomfort; as if a sacrificial thought must enter into its first experiences, to insure a proper amount of self-abnegation in later life. Now all this is changed and self-sacrifice and endurance are taught the baby in a more wholesome way.

That instrument of torture, the band, or more properly the “binder,” has been relegated to the shades by all sensible people, and the thought that the All-wise Creator planned and formed the human body so wisely that it needed none of man’s inventions to supplement His creative wisdom, is thoroughly believed by the many to-day; and the baby is given the freedom in dress that its growing body and active limbs demand.

First of all the diaper or napkin must be considered. The large, heavy cotton flannel diapers, which are used so widely to-day, deserve one criticism and caution. There is danger, if they are used in the earlier weeks that too much thickness will be folded down between the legs, and the hips be thrown out of the natural position, and thus an awkward, ungraceful gait follow. Something much softer and more yielding should be used at first and this danger will be obviated. A[166] heavy, firm cheesecloth I have found all that was necessary, and these should not be made more than eighteen inches square, for use in the early weeks. Ten or fifteen of these will be an ample supply, and they should never be dried without a good rinsing after each using. The cotton flannel squares can be used later, but always with care not to fold too much between the legs, and so crowd the soft yielding bones. On the other hand the mother must guard against pinning the napkin too tightly about the hips, for this draws the hips forward and the little one is in danger of becoming knock-kneed. These seem simple cautions, but many thoughtful women do not think of them.

The napkin can very soon be spared the soil of the baby’s regular movements, and only used as a guard against irregularities. The baby while yet very young can be accustomed to a regular morning movement, and can be held out while dressing, over the little chamber, and its bowels moved daily. Should there not be a degree of regularity about the time naturally, it can soon become accustomed to one, by aiding at a stated time, with a little soap suppository which should be moistened before being inserted in the rectum. This habit fixed and the greatest annoyance[167] in the care of the baby is done away with.

All that is required in a band, is a soft piece of flannel, six or eight inches wide, with the edge turned over, once only, on the right side, and catch-stitched down. These are to be worn only until the navel cord is detached and the stump healed, then what is worn over the shoulders and legs is sufficient for the abdomen, hence no band is needed for warmth.

Next in the Gertrude garments is the substitute for the pinning blanket, which is no pinning blanket at all, but a simple little garment, long-sleeved, high-necked, and cut in one piece, like the outer garment or slip. I would suggest but one change in this, and for what I consider a good and sufficient reason. If the little pinning-blanket, of the Gertrude pattern, is soiled, both that and all the outer garments must be removed when the change is made, which may be necessary more than once a day.

The soft wool shirts, that are found in all first-class stores, I always recommend, and to take the place of the skirt part of the little gabrielle described above, I fashion a pinning blanket as follows: Procure Shaker flannel—half wool and half cotton, as by this material[168] shrinkage is avoided—that is as nearly a yard square as possible, cut off one corner, making the bias edge of the triangular piece cut off about eighteen inches long; face the edge from which the corner has been cut, with a bias piece of the flannel an inch and a half wide, turning it over on the right side. Turn over the remaining sides of the blanket on the right side, cross-stitching it down neatly, and you have the little garment complete.

After you have put on the band, diaper and shirt, place the middle of the faced edge of the pinning blanket at the middle of the back of the shirt, at the waist line and secure it with a tiny safety pin; lap the two ends at the front and pin them, and then see how beautifully the two side corners lap over the feet, and the lower corner, when brought up and pinned loosely, that ample room be given the legs to stretch out and move about at will, encases the abdomen and legs of the baby in a smooth soft covering, guiltless of seam or gather. When this is soiled it is a small matter to change it compared with changing the skirt and slip of the Gertrude costume.

Over these for the first weeks all that is needed is a linen lawn slip, twenty-seven inches[169] in length from shoulders to bottom of hem, if it be summer, or a wrapper of French flannel or outing flannel if it be winter. Dressed in this simple and unencumbered manner, the little one will sleep and wake, and eat and sleep again, stretching itself in happy content, and growing as nature intended it should in unconstrained freedom.

Three each of shirts and bands, and a half dozen each of the little pinning blankets and slips, a dozen and a half of the small diapers, and one or two squares of flannel to wrap the baby in when taken from the bed, will furnish the baby’s wardrobe well and amply for the first few months.

During these first months a more elaborate wardrobe may be furnished, although it is far better to keep it in as simple and light clothing as possible for the time until the clothes are shortened, when it will be taken out more and will need a little more attention to its toilet. In place of the linen lawn slips a nice thing is slips made of china silk. These are easily laundered and are soft and a little nicer than the cotton dress.

For the basket where the baby, it is hoped, will spend most of its time for weeks, you should have a thick soft pad of cotton covered with cheese cloth and quilted, not tied,[170] loosely, to cover the pillow placed in the bottom of the basket; a square of flannel over this, if you desire, for a blanket, and a soft knotted comfort, with the knots outside, for the cover. The tiny pillow completes the furnishing for the sleeping basket. Put carefully away for remembrances all the handsomely embroidered pillow-slips, daintily trimmed with ruffles and ribbons, and the elaborate counterpanes of heavy piqué, made heavier with yards of hamburg trimming and ribbon. These will answer finely for heirlooms, but are not at all suited to either the baby’s taste or comfort.

The soft knitted socks will be needed for a winter baby, and perhaps for summer, if the baby is delicate, the feet moving about, will get cold easily. But far better than encumber the little one with clothing, warm the basket bed with a hot water bottle or two.

For the later wardrobe, little more will be needed than a slight modification of these already described. We should consider the baby’s comfort, first, last, and all the time. However proud we may be of it we should not allow ourselves to dress it for exhibition. The baby is the centre of attraction, not what it may be dressed in. A supply of the linen lawn or china silk slips, made larger but not[171] longer, two or three flannel skirts, fashioned without gathers at the waist, and attached to a thin muslin waist without sleeves; two or three cashmere or flannel jackets, for the little one is large enough to be out of its basket a part of the time, and needs a wrap that will not fall off easily, and leave it exposed. With this list you have all that is needed until the short clothes are provided; then a more generous supply will be needed, but never anything more elaborate.




Choice of Physician and Nurse of Real Consequence.—Choose a Physician Whom You can Trust Implicitly.—A Cleanly Man.—The Wife Should Make the Selection.—A Christian Physician.—Choice of Nurse.—Wife most Capable of Making Choice.—Advice of the Physician Desirable.—She Should be Pleasing to the Wife.—Cleanliness.—Gentleness.—A Person of Individuality.—Neatness in Manner and Clothing.—Should be Intelligent.—Physician and Nurse Should Work in Sympathy.—A Good Cook.—Able to Converse, but not a Gossip.—Many Such Physicians and Nurses.

The choice of a physician and nurse for the ordeal of maternity, is a matter of real consequence. It is not enough that you have a physician whom you have trusted in the common ailments of life, and perforce must have him now, lest he think it strange; the question is, do you desire him to minister to you at this time?

Choose a clean man or woman as you value your life and comfort. Choose one to whom you can pin your trust, and in whom you can[174] confide implicitly. Choose one who is above reproach, and can inspire you with courage and hopefulness. Choose a clean doctor physically. They who do not delight in clean linen, and clean hands, will hardly delight in cleanliness in their attentions to you.

Finally the wife should have the unbiased choice of the physician, unless there is some very good reason why she is not capable of a reasonable choice. Of course it is far better that the choice of one should be the choice of the other, and that there be perfect harmony between husband and wife in the choice made, both for their own peace of mind, and for the comfort of the physician. There are many cases on record of labor being delayed, and much discomfort being caused by disappointment in the physician desired.

Above all choose a Christian physician. The counsel of the Great Physician is never more needed than in birth travail, and it is comforting to feel that the human friend upon whom you depend, knows this power and helpfulness and can direct you to Him.

In the choice of a nurse as great care and consideration are needed. Do not depend upon the selection made by a friend; no one can choose for you. You alone are the one[175] concerned, and you alone are capable of making the choice. It is well to ask your physician to recommend a nurse, or more than one, and then ask for an interview, and mark well every point, before you make your choice. Remember you are to have her about you almost constantly for two or more weeks, and unless she is pleasing to you in the outset, depend upon it, she will almost inevitably become displeasing to you before her term of service is over.

She must be very cleanly in her person, and guilty of no idiosyncrasies in dress or manner; of gentle voice, quiet and subdued, clean of speech, and self-conscious enough to know her ability and prove it. She must have a strong individuality, and an authority second to none save the physician’s. She must not wear squeaky shoes, or wear rustling dresses, or bright colors, or jewelry or fancy trimmings of any sort. Quietness, unobtrusiveness, ladylikeness, and simplicity should characterize all her dress and manner and habits.

She need not be pretty, but she must have the attractiveness of a good face, and a kindly eye. The prettier, the more cultured and attractive, the more versatile, the better, for she has a critical trio, or perhaps quartet to[176] please, and must stand between her patient and all annoyances, between her patient and all pleasures and desires that might be harmful. She is to be the care-taker of mother and baby, and the court of appeal, of husband, mother and all other relatives. If she is vacillating and weak she can claim the respect of none of these. If she be loud and imperious in her authority, lacking the quiet dignity upon which real power is based, she will have little influence with either her patient or the family.

Further the physician and nurse must be in sympathy, or they cannot work together. The physician is the authority, and the nurse like Eve to Adam, an help meet for him. She is to have no authority independent of the physician, save in an emergency, when she must sometimes act without waiting to consult him. Again the nurse must know what to do and how to do it, without asking questions. She must see and do with a quiet easy air of generalship, that will make her patient wonder when so much gets done, and how it could be done with so little noise or friction.

The nurse must be an excellent, attractive and inviting cook. She must serve everything in a pleasing way, and not so great a[177] quantity but that her patient will wish there were more.

Finally she must not be a talker; she can read to you, converse with you, but never gossip. The more she knows of books and people the pleasanter her companionship.

Such doctors and such nurses, do you say, are hard to find? No, there are many of them, but I fear the search for them is not always made with wise discrimination. When such are sought for and demanded, they will come to the front.

I fear we have too often sought for what we thought was ability, but which rightly interpreted meant reputation, and too seldom for real worth. Ian MacLaren’s doctor of Drumtochty was not a man of wide or great reputation, but of unlimited painstaking and faithfulness. So are many of what the world calls common men. Not that this true greatness does not ever go with a wide reputation, but that it can as well be found with the common painstaking, less gifted practitioner, and we should not forget it.




Memory’s Dissimilar Pictures of Birth-Chamber Scenes.—Newborn Souls Welcomed to Mother’s Arms and Love.—The Rebellious Mother with Empty Heart and Unwilling Arms.—The Older Children Reflect the Spirit of the Mother toward the Newcomer.—Illustrations of Conduct of Intelligent Children toward Mother at Birth Period.—How to Calculate Date of Confinement.—Birth Chamber no Terror for Those who Live Hygienically.—Anæsthetics.—Their Use Explained.—Allaying Anxiety.—Earliest Premonitions.—Preparation.—The Three Stages of Labor.—Tying the Cord.—The Rest and Joy that Complete and Crown Labor.

Some of the darkest, and some of the brightest pictures of life, hung on the walls of memory, have been painted for me in the birth chamber. Bright when the little newborn soul is welcomed to a mother’s arms and love; love that is months long and deep. Dark when there has been a bitter rebellion that she must be a mother at all, and the little one comes into an empty heart and unwilling arms.


Another class of pictures comes to me; of the children trained by these mothers. The one class, children who are angry and rebellious that more little ones must come into the home, prepared to greet them with a hateful welcome, and looking upon their parents with a jealous distrust, thinking they must be in some way responsible for this unhappy state of affairs. Is it not true that such children are but the echo of their parents’ hearts? The other class of children, looking with love for the advent of the new brother or sister, cherishing it more and more every day, and giving their parents loving confidence.

Two of the bright pictures come to my mind. A little daughter who had been wisely taught where babies are first cradled, became in her seventh year a little woman in comfort and care-taking consideration of the dear mamma. “What can I do to help you, mamma, dear? and if you should be taken sick all alone here, you would call me and let me help you, wouldn’t you, mamma?” were questions often heard, and they sank freighted with comforting love, into the mother’s heart. This same daughter is now budding into womanhood and prepared to meet all its responsibilities and temptations,[181] and yet withal, modest and winning in her girlish, wise womanliness.

Another picture. I was called one night to attend a lady in her fifth confinement. The husband had come for me and leaving me at the door of his home had gone for the nurse. On entering, I found the only attendant of the mother, her twelve year old son. With her hands in his, and his face full of sympathy and anxiety for her suffering, he was giving her all the assistance that he could. Quiet and dignified he left the room as I entered, but not before I had read in his face the lesson that had sunk into his very soul; that mothers suffered for their children, and for this should have all the love and tender consideration they could give them. He was not an attractive boy, nor a tractable one, but the dear mother had taken the very safest means to hold him to herself, and a mother-anchored boy or girl will not go far wrong.

So much for some retrospects of the birth chamber, and now to the plain practical knowledge needed for those who are to experience its realities.

In reckoning the period of gestation the rule most easily followed is this. Add seven days to the date of the last menstruation, and[182] count ahead nine months, or backward three months, and you have the probable time of confinement. Should you pass this time you would probably go on for two weeks, as the most susceptible times for conception to take place are in the week following menstruation or a couple of days preceding the next period; which makes a difference of two weeks in the calculation.

If the bowels have been kept open by proper diet and care, and if the patient has kept up her daily exercise and baths, she will come to the birth chamber well prepared and it need have no terrors for her.

To-day when anæsthetics are given as a rule, not an exception, the chief bugbear of the parturient is lost or charmed away. It does not need that the anæsthetic be given to a surgical degree, but simply sufficient to take away the severity of the pain. I have found for the lying-in room the most satisfactory anæsthetic to be the one, two, three, mixture; by which I mean a mixture of alcohol, chloroform, and ether, in the proportion of one part of alcohol, two parts of chloroform, and three parts of ether. These parts may be varied however as the attending physician desires. It is not a quick anæsthetic, but serves every purpose needed, unless[183] full anæsthesia is sought. The patient can manage this herself, and it thus serves two purposes, giving her something beside her discomfort to think of, and taking away the pain so that there is little left to think about.

Take a light drinking glass, fill half full of absorbent cotton, and drop a few drops of the mixture upon it; at the beginning of a pain, or a little before, take a half dozen full breaths, and the pain is toned down to a very bearable thing. The patient can hold the glass, and there is no danger of her taking too much, as her hand will drop when she has enough to render her a little drowsy. This should rarely be given, until the second stage of labor begins, as it will sometimes retard if given in the first stage.

In the last few days before labor, there is often a nervous restlessness on the part of many women which can easily be appeased by the physician. A few questions, an examination if necessary, the quiet assurance that everything is all right, will do much to quiet the unrest. The home friends can likewise aid in this by judiciously suggesting changes, and recreation a little out of the ordinary, or a loved visitor will tide over the intervening days beautifully.


There are at times during the last few days, pains that simulate labor pains, and make the time drag heavily. Try and put by all thoughts of anxiety, as you will have warning sufficient to give you time for every needed preparation. Should your pains come with any degree of regularity, consult your physician about it, that he may be on his guard and prepared for a call at any moment. As soon as you have the premonition of regular pains, unless the bowels have moved freely already that day, they should be moved by a full enema or injection. During the waiting time occupy yourself as pleasantly as possible, keeping about the house or room, until obliged to take to the bed, as the time will seem shorter and you can aid much by keeping about on the feet. Be cheerful, courageous, and strong; remembering all the time that you are only fulfilling a natural law, and that the large majority of cases are simple and uncomplicated, and give no trouble whatever.

Let no one into the room who has not a cheery word to say and a bright face to give strength to the word. Long faces and solemnity are not wanted here, but joy and gladness that the mystery of birth, the coming into life of a new creation, is to be enacted, and[185] this her time of “deliverance” should be celebrated with joy.

Should any foolish one dare whisper, banish them at once, and see to it that they do not return. If you fear to offend, send them on some needed errand that will take several hours, and pray that it will all be over before they return to rejoice with you.

There are three well marked stages of labor. The first is perhaps to the novice the most tedious, as one cannot see the progress made, and there is a feeling that nothing is being accomplished. This first stage is what is familiarly called the getting-ready stage, that is, the opening of the mouth of the uterus, ready for the expulsion of the child. Many women keep about their work, paying but little attention to this stage, while a goodly number are unconscious of it entirely, the contractions taking place in so orderly a manner, that no pain is felt, or if any, very slight. At this stage if tedious, a good sitz bath will afford comfort, and aid in the regular contractions. Often most of the discomfort at this time is because of nervousness. Keep cool, jolly and cheerful and all will go well.

When there is a natural desire to bear down with a pain, the second or expulsive[186] stage has begun. Then you may administer your anæsthetic, giving as described above.

Often this stage is very short and easily borne, as the patient can note the progress made, and sees the end nearer. A recent patient who had had two children before, felt very little discomfort during the first stage, and recognizing the beginning of the second, remarked at the first pain, “That was not very hard, but think how many more there must be.” The next pain came, and she had hardly time to reach the bed, before the little one was ushered into existence. The chances are that if your dress has been hygienic, your exercise what it should have been, your baths kept up faithfully, that you will be one of those who will be surprised at the ease of your labor.

The second stage terminates with the birth of the child. A rest follows this of from a quarter to a half an hour, when follows the expulsion of the placenta, or afterbirth, which is the third stage.

A word here as to the best method of tying the placentic cord. A fancy obtains among a few physicians that the cord need not be tied, if the child is not severed from the mother until the cord has ceased to pulsate. However this may be, I am sure you will feel more[187] secure if the cord is well tied. The latest and most approved method and one which is surest to prevent hemorrhage, is this. Tie the placentic cord at a distance of about three inches from the body of the child, sever it just beyond the place where it is tied, then fold it back and with the same thread tie the placentic cord again an inch from the child, leaving the loop of cord as it is, until it dries and falls off. The fold and double tie make assurance doubly sure as far as hemorrhage is concerned.

The rest which follows the close of labor, rest of body and mind, can be understood only when experienced, no words can explain it. The labor is over, all that has been told you of terror and danger has not been yours, and the pain is all forgotten in the joy that a child is born, is yours, and you hug it to your heart for very joy. Cherish it, dear mother, rejoice in it, and train it to become a truly great child of a noble mother.




Maternity Should Have the Largest and Brightest Room in the House.—It is Her Coronation Room.—Simplicity of Labor with Healthy Women.—Science Has Reduced Risk to the Minimum.—The Exaltation of Motherhood.—The Rest after Labor.—How to Prepare a Bed for the Parturient.—Deliverance of Mother from Friends and Visitors.—Sanitary Pads.—Regular Nursing.—Undisturbed Sleep.—No Binder Necessary for Mother.—The Care of the Breasts.—Diet.—Sitting Up.—Six or Eight Weeks Needed to Regain Normal Condition.—The Use of the Douche.—Sore Nipples.—The Bearing of Children not to be Dreaded.—The Joy of Motherhood.

The room chosen for the lying-in should be as large and warm and sunshiny as any room in the house. It should be far enough from the living rooms to be quiet the greater part of the day, and yet not so far as to feel isolated. The centre of the home at this time is the little mother, and the room in which she rests after her perilsome journey is the throne room, where love and homage[190] crown her queen, and welcome right royally the little prince or princess, who has come to share her reign. Nothing unpleasant should be allowed to enter this room, for the happy and quick getting up of the patient depends much upon the smooth running of the home machinery. One hour of mental disturbance, may add days to the lying-in, and one discordant person can make more unrest and trouble than all the others combined can overcome. Therefore look well to the helpers in the home, that they be in harmony with the home-keeper.

Had we to deal with labor in its simplicity, as a physiological act, natural and uncomplicated with faulty living and semi-invalidism, the physician’s and attendant’s duties in the days following delivery, could be expressed in few words; but owing to the results of our boasted civilization and high pressure living, which too often in its mad rush has robbed womankind of the sturdy physique, and sound brawn and endurance so much needed in the everyday emergencies of life, she comes to the ordeal of maternity badly fitted for its strain, and with little or no reserve power, either to carry her through the hours of incomparable pain, or to aid in her restoration in the days following.[191] In other words, labor has come to be pathological or abnormal, instead of physiological or normal, in the majority of cases, and as such, the attendant cares have come to be correspondingly onerous.

That great changes have been made in the past thirty years since the promulgation of the germ theory of disease, in the management of the lying-in room is unquestioned. The patient is no longer left to the recuperative forces of nature alone, but is aided as well by every wise provision of art and science, and as a consequence the mortality rate of parturients has been reduced to a minimum.

But something more than getting the mother up is desired, namely, getting her up as well and strong as ever. Child-bearing should not deplete a woman’s strength, neither should it detract from her beauty and freshness, but should add charms, even as it adds to her mental and spiritual attractiveness by the sweet consciousness and dignity that she is a mother, and that henceforth a little soul looks to her for the interpretation of life’s meaning, and for the guiding of little feet along its devious paths. Oh mother, what a privilege; that you may shape this fair thing into a soul to your thought and God’s liking,[192] for His promises are sure along these lines. Listen! “Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.” As if the dear Lord were comforting His daughters in going out from the home nest, and the peculiar protecting care of the father, by reminding them that henceforth a sublimer thing awaited them than the protection of a father’s love; namely, themselves assuming the part of parent, enfolding and shaping in their love, the little lives, according to His will, into fair and noble souls that shall bless the world and make it richer for their living.

Immediately following delivery, the physician in charge should see that his patient is made comfortable. A rest of half an hour at least should be allowed her, while physician and nurse look after the little one. Then lacerations if any must be seen to—for they will occur occasionally even in the most skillfully conducted labors.

If the gown is turned up under the shoulders during delivery, and held securely in place with a safety pin, there will be no necessity for changing this, and a toilet of the bruised and sore parts will take but a few moments, and the mother will be ready for her long delightful rest.


It may not be out of place to give directions for making the bed preparatory to the confinement. There is a right way and a wrong way for doing even this. The bed should be made double. First over the mattress should be placed a square of rubber sheeting—or oilcloth if the rubber is not easily obtainable—large enough to cover the entire middle of the bed, and within eighteen inches of the head and foot. This should be securely fastened at the four corners with safety pins, and at the middle on each edge, to prevent wrinkling. Over this is placed a sheet covering the entire bed; over this a sheet folded lengthwise, then crosswise, to make a square; this is called the draw sheet, and must be fastened at the corners with safety pins. This is the first bed and that which is to remain after the toilet is made following delivery. Over this a third sheet is placed covering the entire bed, then another draw sheet fastened as the other. These last two are removed with small discomfort to the patient, after delivery, and a clean fresh bed remains.

An excellent thing to insure greater cleanliness, is to prepare a bag about two feet square, made of old cotton cloth, and filled to a thickness of three or four inches, with[194] wheat bran. This, if placed directly under the body will absorb all the discharges, and can be burned when removed, and thus much washing be saved.

Now the mother should be left several hours undisturbed; for she needs rest, and must have it. One rule should be made inviolable for every lying-in room; namely, no company should be allowed, other than the immediate family, until the patient is sitting up; then she will be strong enough to bear the “ohs” and “ahs” of admiration, and the wise and otherwise volumes of advice, upon the care and training of the little one, which will be gratuitously bestowed. The nurse will have no difficulty in carrying this out if she have the physician’s authority to support her. Many little mothers have been hindered in their recovery, and have finally gotten up weak and nervous, through the indiscretions of their thoughtless, if well-meaning friends. The heartfelt prayer of every parturient should be, “Lord, I am delivered of my child safely, now deliver me from my friends.”

Before confinement two dozen of napkins or pads should be prepared for the mother in the following manner. Get an ordinary grade of cheese cloth, and enclose in a square[195] of it folded corner-wise, a strip of medicated cotton six inches long. These can be used as napkins for the mother safely, as they are aseptic, and after they are soiled can be burned. These are comparatively inexpensive, as a pound of cotton will make the entire number.

If the confinement has been in every way a normal one, the care necessary will be easily given. To keep the baby quiet and contented, and from the beginning free from night nursing, that the mother may be insured a good period of rest, is one of the strongest aids to her speedy recovery. What I mean by freedom from night feeding is this. At ten o’clock the baby may be put to the breast, and then not again until four or five in the morning. That they can be thus taught, and that they will thrive under it, I have many times demonstrated; and that the mother will thrive is a foregone conclusion. This will be further discussed in the chapter on the care of the baby.

No binder for the mother is necessary, as I have in my own practice many times demonstrated. It seems to me a reflection on the creative work of the Maker. They are used and recommended ostensibly as a support, and to insure a good form after getting up;[196] while in reality they defeat the first purpose by crowding down the uterus instead of holding it in place; while the muscles of the abdomen are quite capable of contracting and insuring the former figure, without the use of a binder.

On the day following delivery the physician will see that the patient urinates freely, and the bowels, if they have been kept open before delivery, will need no attention until nature calls for an evacuation. A simple enema of warm water will be all that is needed to aid in this. Immediately after delivery, and after the toilet, to patients who can take it, I recommend a cup of hot milk, to others a cup of beef tea made from beef extract, if more acceptable than the milk.

Until the mother’s milk is established, the food should be light and simple, with not too much of liquid to stimulate too great a flow of milk. If the milk comes with a rush the breasts may be painfully distended, and more may be secreted than the baby will take. If so, all that will be needed is a gentle rubbing of the breasts from the circumference toward the nipple, with the fingers dipped in hot lard. The nurse if well chosen will be schooled in this, and only enough milk should be rubbed out to relieve the breasts, as very[197] soon the little one will need all that is secreted.

After the milk is established the diet can be more generous, and on the eighth day if all goes well, the little mother can sit up in bed to eat her meals; and after the tenth day she may have her wrapper on and slip out into a rocker for a few hours, but she should avoid walking about for some days yet. The reason for this carefulness? The uterus which has enlarged from a tiny organ, weighing a few ounces, to many times its original size and weight, cannot regain its original condition in a day. To quote from Leavitt again. “In normal cases complete involution, (i. e., reduction to normal size), is effected in six or eight weeks. The progress of uterine diminution is graphically shown by Heschl, from the weight of the organ at different periods. Immediately after delivery he found that it weighed twenty-two to twenty-four ounces; in one week it was reduced to nineteen to twenty-one ounces; at the end of the second week it weighed ten to eleven ounces; at the close of the third week it weighed five to seven ounces; and at eight weeks its weight was but a little in excess of that which preceded the first pregnancy.” All this methodical work of nature[198] may be greatly hindered by carelessness and by getting up too early, hence, “make haste slowly.”

The douche in the after care of the parturient has been variously discussed. A hot douche immediately following delivery, to cleanse thoroughly the uterus of any clots or bits of membrane that may be hiding there, is, we believe, productive of no harm, and may obviate much trouble thereafter. A daily douche of hot water containing a little calendula or listerine, is cleansing and is often very grateful to the patient, but is not, in the absence of unnatural conditions, a necessity. Nature undisturbed knows how to take care of the outlets, in cleansing and recuperation, if all has gone well. In many cases the douching is overdone, and is productive of weakness rather than strength.

Should the nipples give trouble, from sensitiveness or fissures, washing them off and dusting them with calendulated boracic acid, or simply bathing with calendula, may heal them very quickly. If this alone fails, before each nursing apply over the nipple a piece of gold-beater’s skin—which may be obtained of any reliable druggist—puncturing with several openings to allow the milk to pass through. Make a fresh application each[199] time, and by thus persistently keeping the lips of the child from the sensitive surfaces they are enabled to heal.

With all these careful directions, dear young mothers, do not be frightened into thinking that the bearing of children is something to be dreaded, and something which involves great danger. It is neither. The bearing of children was intended in our creation and is a natural, physiological process, and the All-wise Creator has amply fitted us for it. If we come to maternity unprepared, it must be because of ignorance on our part how to fit ourselves properly, or from unhygienic and harmful ways of living. Heed the laws of health, keep a sweet, trustful spirit, avoid excitement, consider yourself strong enough for the great office for which nature designed you, and you will be the “joyful mother of children.” Otherwise your joy will be mixed with fear and a thousand foolish worries, that totally unfit you for your high office.

Be happy that you are capable of becoming a mother, be happy when you have the promise, and be happiest of all when you hold your little one in your arms. Train them, all that are given you, to the fear of God, and for the good of mankind, and you will be a great woman, whether your name ever reaches beyond[200] your immediate neighborhood or not. It is a great thing to become a mother of children. To become God’s vicegerent in creating and training souls that may bring gladness and regeneration to the dark places of the earth. Mothers, mothers! rate your privileges high, and live and train to a glorious fulfillment of noble purposes these gifts from God.



The More Thoughtful Treatment of Babies Than Formerly.—The First Attention That Baby Needs.—Its Oil Bath.—The Care of the Eyes.—The Care of the Placentic Cord.—Baby’s First Bath.—Its Covering After the Bath.—The Basket.—Regularity in Nursing.—Waking at Night.—Rocking to Sleep.—Quantity of Food.—The Appointments of the Nursery.—The Mother and the Care of her own Children.—To her Children the Mother Should be the Dearest Creature in the World.—The Babies Born of Love.—The Babies Born in Bitterness.—The Responsibilities and Joys of Motherhood.

“It is a mother, said the Angel, who has already given her child the welcome that makes a joyous soul. He shall not miss her smile. He is what she is. He will need love since he will give so much, and she is all compact of love. She is one of the forces of life. To be the mate of such a woman, the father of such heirs, as she will give, is a fate a man might pray God for. Love has not grown stale with them, their children are the very blossoms of it. Her eyes are deeper pools of love each year.”—Frances Hodgson Burnett.


Time was when the little one and its comfort was not so thought of as it is to-day. It was not considered that the little one in its tedious journey had become tired and needed rest; or that its change of abodes and climates is so marked that the transition is not an easy one. It was plunged into a full bath, or exposed to the air, was sponged over, often with soap that was not too pure, and the only resulting virtue was the full expansion of lungs, because of the lusty crying from such rough handling.

To-day many physicians advocate wrapping the new baby in cotton batting, covering it quite closely, and laying it away in a warm corner for several hours, until it becomes in a measure adjusted to the change of residence. Then, instead of a thorough washing, it is treated to an oil bath before a warm fire, with only a small part of its body exposed at one time. Good clean lard is the best emollient, as it removes most easily the vernix caseosa with which the baby is more or less covered. By some sweet oil is preferred.

After the little one has had its rest, the nurse with her basket at hand, her oil on the hearth well warmed, is ready to give it its first dressing. Use a small piece of absorbent[203] cotton for the sponge to oil it with. Cover the head well with the oil and with a soft piece of old linen rub it off, and with it will come the cheesy substance called vernix caseosa, and leave the head clean. Do this with the entire body, little by little, taking great care that all the creases, which are numerous, shall be thoroughly clean and left well oiled, that no chafing may follow. For a week your baby will need no other than the oil bath daily, and the restfulness and comfort of the little one will be expressed in sleep, sleep, SLEEP. The full bath in water should be reached by degrees only; proceeding from a partial bath with sponge, to a full sponge bath; then as the baby grows stronger, put it into the tub. Approached in this way, few babies but will take their bath with delight, and look forward to it daily.

As soon as the baby is born, even before the cord is severed, the eyes of the little one should be washed thoroughly. With a soft bit of linen and a cup of warm water previously boiled, the eyes can be readily cleansed, and thus cared for, you will rarely have any trouble with the eyes thereafter. Keep them turned from the light while dressing, and at no time let a strong light fall upon the eyes.

In dressing the cord, wrap it in a bit of[204] absorbent cotton four inches square. Cut or tear a hole in the middle of this, draw the loop of cord through, wrap the cotton about it and turn it up and hold it in place with the band pinned only sufficiently close to hold the cord and its dressing in place. The cord will need no further attention until it has dried and dropped off, unless the band in slipping up pulls upon the dressing and irritates the little one. Dressed in this manner the navel heals smooth and clean, and will need nothing further than a dusting with calendulated boracic acid, should it not be perfectly dry when the cord drops.

An excellent blanket to receive the child from the bath is made of coarse Germantown yarn, knitted into a strip three-quarters of a yard wide, and a yard and a half in length. This is sufficiently large to wrap the baby well in until it is dry and ready to be dressed. Some prefer the receiving apron. This is made of coarse, heavy flannel, and worn by the nurse at the time of the bath. The baby is lifted from the tub, and wrapped in the apron as in the blanket.

Now the little one is ready for its first suit, as described in the chapter on baby’s dress, and then to be put into its basket-bed for a long nap. The cradle-basket hardly needs[205] further description, but a few words define it. It is simply a well padded clothes-basket, and may be ornamented as much or as little as the fancy dictates. It serves as a snug nest for the little one, as deep in the folds of the soft blankets and dainty pads it is securely sheltered from any draft, and artificial warmth can be easily applied by hot water bottles at the sides and foot.

This basket should be its bed for months, or until it is outgrown. “But,” mothers sometimes say to me, “it is so difficult to reach over and get the baby for feeding in the night;” and I respond, “A well trained baby will have no night feeding.” Remember that more can be taught the little one in the first few weeks, than it can unlearn in the next few months without very diligent effort and patient persistence.

Should the little one make its advent in the night, it is more easily broken to good habits, than when it comes in the daytime. Why? Because it will sleep the remainder of the night and wake to be put to the breast some time during the day, and then again toward night, when it will be ready for another night of sleep. Of course this may seem a theoretical baby, and not at all real; and I will admit that some of these perverse little specimens[206] of humanity put to flight every theory that has been or can be made, while a few are models from the beginning.

If he does not like his surroundings, and refuses to be comforted, the night may have to be turned in to day for a short time, when gradually he must be gotten into line for sleeping at night, and having his wakeful time in the day. Fed at nine or ten at night, if he is properly adjusted, he will make no trouble until five or six in the morning. Should he nestle and fret, often a change in its position, a dry napkin, and a few drops of warm water, will send him off to sleep again for the remainder of the night.

That this can be done and the babies be heartier and stronger for it, I have proven with three of my very own, and many others under my care. That the mother will be stronger for having her night’s sleep uninterrupted goes without saying. Should the baby be troublesome at first and so get into bad habits, the sooner it is broken of them and gotten into right ways the better for the mother and child.

However much the mother may enjoy it, it is better for the little one not to be rocked to sleep. Fed and placed in its bed, it will soon fall asleep, and wake when its nap is[207] over to lie there in content, should it not be time for another meal.

The answer to the question, how often shall the child be fed, is, that it depends upon the baby. The rule, however, is once in two hours the first two months, then lengthen the time by half an hour, each month thereafter, until it gets down to four meals a day, which will be needed until it is a year old. Should it be so unfortunate as to be a bottle-fed baby, then the quantity must be regulated as well. Beginning with two ounces, gradually increase until the limit of six ounces has been reached.

This is the rule, we have said, but not quite all babies submit kindly to the rule. You may be obliged to begin with a meal once in an hour and a half, but if so, you can soon regulate it to the proper time, and all will be well. In talking with Dr. Shipman, who was at the head of a large foundlings’ home in Chicago, he said, “The first rule when a baby is brought in is to break it from night feeding, and we have little difficulty in doing this after the first two or three nights.” The trouble too often is, the parents need breaking in, before they can patiently and persistently train a child in the right way. Their own habits are not fixed and methodical,[208] and they find it difficult to train their children into right ways of living and doing.

The nursery should be a sunny, pleasant room, large and cheerful, for here much of the time of the mother will be spent, whether she be able to keep a nurse to share with her the care of the little one or not. No true mother gives over the entire care of her children to a nurse, however efficient and kindly and cultured and wise the nurse she may have, may be; but she will keep the oversight and spend hours daily with her little ones, in their care and supervision and tender mothering, which no one else can give the child which is part of her very self. Mother should be to them the dearest being in the world, and no one should be allowed to come nearer them than she, in her loving sympathetic devotion and care.

Through all the months of pregnancy, the thoughts of motherhood have been taking root in her heart (we wish we might say in every case, “watered by joy and gladness,” but not always is this so); sometimes the roots are set in bitterness, and the little soul growing to maturity under her heart, is absorbing the bitterness, to the sorrow and hurt of all its after life.

Of the first class Mrs. Burnett has given[209] us a lovely type. A mother is looking down into the face of her firstborn, and exclaims, “And this fair soul given to me from the outer bounds, we know not, and the little human body it wakened to life in; think you that Christ will help me to fold them in love, high and pure enough, and teach the human body to do honor to its soul? Surely that which He made in His own image, would not that it should despise itself and its own wonders, but do them reverence and rejoice in them nobly, honoring all their seasons and their changes. I pray for a great soul, and great wit, and great power to help this fair human thing to grow, and love and live.” Is it any wonder that she should say of such a mother, “’Twas not mere love she gave her offspring. She gave them of her constant thought, and of honor such as taught them reverence of themselves as of all other human things. She was the noblest creature that they knew; her beauty, her great unswerving love, her truth, were things bearing to their child eyes the unchangingness of God’s stars in heaven.”

Again Mrs. Spofford in her incomparable little prose-poem, The Nemesis of Motherhood, pictures one of the other mothers, a vacuous, trifling woman, who utters the soul-cry, when[210] she began to wake to her real self, as the little firstborn nestled in her bosom. “Do you suppose he knows I am his mother?” and the little head had snuggled into place. She gazed at him in a bewildered wonder; something seemed to be taking hold of her heartstrings. “Oh: this scrap of a creature was part of her life itself; she had made him; she had struck this spark of a soul into a being; the idea; the dear thing had a soul of course! And she fell to wondering what kind of a soul it was. What kind of a soul? Why didn’t people say the son was the avatar of the mother? A soul like hers to be sure. Heaven help her, what kind of a soul was hers? She saw herself. That was the kind of a soul she had, a little paltering, worthless one, and that was what she had given to her boy.”

Oh the sorrow of such motherhood! Sorrow for herself, more sorrow for her children, and most sorrow for the great wide world, into which her child has come to take a part—and which must of necessity be a sorrowful part, unless he be regenerated. And even then the superlative of sadness is this, that he is not all he might have been had his progenitors given him his lawful inheritance.

Mothers! mothers! choose and live for[211] the highest and noblest in yourselves, and for your children. Bless the world with your offspring. Crown them with your pure and noble life, and your memory shall be blessed.




Mother’s Sphere in the Home.—Mother as Maker of Sunshine.—Food, Clothing and Restraint not the Mother’s Full Duty to Her Children.—Teach Them Self-knowledge.—Mother Should Give Honest Answers to Honest Inquiries.—Ignorance Leads to Vice, and Vice to Ruin.—When Shall Children be Taught Physical Truths.—How to Teach Little Children Physical Truth.—Questions of Sex Should be the Most Sacred Things of Their Knowledge.—How to Teach the Children in This Sacred Way.—The Preparation for the Lesson.—Mothers Should Teach Their Boys as Well as the Girls.—How Boys Grow Away from Their Mothers.—How Mothers May Win and Hold Their Boys.—An Honest Mother’s Reward.—A Mother’s Power Over Her Children.

“The best teacher is a wise mother. She will thoroughly equip the child for the journey of life; she will place him on the right road, and she will fill his mind with such ideas of truth and justice as will enable him to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Thrice happy is the child who possesses such a mother. He may have other teachers in school and college, but none whose influence[214] is so far-reaching and lasting as hers.”—Thomas Hunter.

“As is the mother so is her daughter.”
“An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.”

A traveller and a native met upon the streets of Tokio, Japan. In the course of their conversation upon this wonderful land of the “Rising Sun,” the native exclaimed: “But have you seen It?”

“It,” repeated the traveller, “what do you mean by It?”

“Ah: you would not ask had you seen It.”

They met again a few weeks later, after the American had beheld the glories of the wonderful, indescribable “It” of Japan,—the Holy Mountain, the marvelous Fujiyama, which rises thousands of feet above the level plain, snow-capped, reflecting the rays of the sun in a thousand varied shades, alone, majestic, incomparable, in its grandeur and beauty.

Little wonder that the admiring natives call it the “It” of Japan. It might as truly, among its kind, be called the It of the world.

There were few words exchanged, but the native was satisfied. The It was understood and appreciated by the traveller.


Months after the Japanese visited America, and from the Pacific to the Atlantic was eagerly searching for anything that would compare in natural beauty, with this marvelous Holy Mountain of his own land. The Yosemite, the majestic Rockies, the National Park, Niagara, all were visited, but nowhere could he find the one thing worthy the name.

As he became known, the homes of America were thrown open to him. At last he awoke one day and exclaimed in his delight, “I have found it, the It of America, and it is greater than that of my beloved land. The It of America is her homes.”

To this beautiful figure I would add but one word. The It of the home is the mother. Shall I prove it from the lips of a child?

Willie, aged five, bounded into the house one day, exclaiming as he hung his hat in the hall, “This is my home.” A lady visitor said, “The house next door is just like this, Willie, suppose you go over there and hang your hat in the hall, that would be your home as much as this, wouldn’t it?”

“No ma’am,” said the little fellow. “Why not?” asked the lady. “’Cause my mother does not live there,” was the triumphant reply.

Truly the mother is the home, and as well,[216] although unconscious of it, she is the barometer of the home. “Mamma, what makes it look so dark, is it going to storm?” said my little one. “Why, darling, it isn’t dark,” I answered; “the sun shines beautifully.” He ran to the window and came back exclaiming, “Why so it does, mamma, but it seems so dark here. May I go out in the sunshine?”

And then I was startled with the knowledge that the little one was under the shadow of my face, for gloomy thoughts had held me all the morning, and I had given myself to their companionship. “Yes, my darling,” I said, “you may go out and mamma will go with you.”

When we came back laughing and cheery, my baby added unconsciously another rebuke, “How lovely the house is now, mamma, and how it makes you smile.”

Is it not lamentably true that the many mothers consider their work done when they have fed and clothed their children, and restrained them from the glaring evils of the day; and is it not as true that many of them have given little or no thought as to the best methods in which these three things shall be done? The question of preparation for maidenhood and boyhood, for manhood and[217] womanhood, is never considered for a moment. It has not dawned upon the many that they should teach their children that they are a small part, but nevertheless a very important part of the great living, thinking, striving world. That the next generation will be the better or the worse because they are a part of it. That they can fit themselves to be a blessing, or neglecting the fitting, make themselves a curse to the coming generation.

Teach them that before they can understand and help others, they must know themselves. Begin with their earliest instinctive questionings to answer truthfully, and glorify the thoughts that nature has implanted in every human heart, and that unless properly understood will become a snare and temptation to them. Many girls who have gone astray, or in some measure have become victims of their ignorance, have said to me in their remorse, “Oh, doctor, if my mother had only taught me these things, I should not have made the mistakes I have made. Why do mothers keep their girls in such ignorance?”

And many a mother, who has grown grey with the weight of care and years, after listening to a talk on maternal responsibilities,[218] has exclaimed, “If I had only known these things while training my children, what a difference it would have made with my boys and girls, and how much of sorrow and regret I could have spared them all these years. How much less of regret should I have had.”

I like to think that in great measure, the mother is responsible for what her children know and don’t know. Ah, but you say, how can a mother be responsible for teaching her children aright when she has not been so taught herself? Doesn’t this very question prove my statement? Because the mothers behind you have shirked their responsibility, have you a right to shirk yours? Remember what we have already quoted, “What we need most is a generation of educated mothers.” And by this word “educated” is not meant “college trained” alone, but thoughtful, earnest, wide-awake, self-cultured women as well, who have at heart the highest good of themselves as well as those who come after them; and who are willing to give time and careful painstaking thought and research to the care of the home and to the mental, moral and physical training of their children. To such mothers every question of the little ones comes as the divine[219] right exercised by the individual child, and as such receives proper attention and reply.

Never does such a mother turn her child away with the rebuke or fretful rejoinder, that she has no time for such questions. For what is a mother’s time given but to guide the feet of her babies into true paths; to be the answer book for all their puzzling problems? A true woman never compels her children to go elsewhere for the answers to questions which she herself should give. In answering be so truthful that they may never, even in thought, question your word. Blessed child of a more blessed mother, was the little girl, who when a mate questioned the truthfulness of a certain statement, excitedly replied, while her eyes flashed, “It is so, for my mamma said it was; and if my mamma said it was so, it is so if it isn’t so.”

When shall I begin to teach my children those things which pertain to their being and well-being, many mothers ask; and I would reply, just as soon as they begin to question. Not always will it be wise to answer their questions fully; but you may always, and should answer them as far as best, and then say, “That is all you can understand now, but as you grow older mamma will tell you more about it. Always come to me when[220] you want to know about these things, for God gave you your mamma purposely to teach you in the right way, and who ought to know as well as a mother what her children should know?” I am often asked, “Isn’t it unsafe to tell children all that they want to know? will they not talk of it when and where they should not?” No, not if you teach them aright. If you do not tell them, some one else will, and often in a way which you should blush to know about. Unless you answer them frankly and truthfully concerning these pertinent questions of their being, the entire realm of sex, of nativity, of fatherhood and motherhood, which should be among the most sacred things of their knowledge, will be associated in their minds with sin, darkness and unholiness.

One needs to think long, earnestly and prayerfully along these lines, before these lessons can be taught in all their sweetness and purity. We need to go patiently back and divest them of all their coarseness and sin, with which wrong teaching, or no teaching at all, has clothed them, and then, dressing them in their legitimate garments of whiteness and purity, tell them to our girls and boys, so that it will be no longer necessary to say to our young men and women,[221] “Know Thyself” for all shall know themselves, from the least to the greatest, and all that “self” stands for.

At the mother’s knee is the true primary school for these great questions to be learned, and happy the mother who can take her children through all the higher grades, until their education in these things is completed.

Every child is an animated interrogation point, and they have a right to be, for so they learn. Meet them with loving frankness and you will never need confess that you have lost the confidence of your children. They will turn to you as steel to a magnet, attracted by this loving bond of sympathy and truthfulness. “Mamma, where did I come from?” opens the way, dear mother, for the most beautiful truth you can teach your child, next to its new birth.

“But I don’t know how to teach it,” you say; then tell your little one, “that’s a long question, darling, and mamma must think out the simplest way to answer it, and in a few days I will tell you all about it.” Then away to your own room and down on your knees before God, until the subject is divested of every shadow of sin and darkness, and then in this pure light think for your life, and if you cannot formulate your thoughts as[222] you would, hurry at your first leisure to the wisest woman you know in these things and talk with her about it. It is so simple after all, and if told in a matter-of-fact way, with no hesitation or blushing, it will be so received by your child.

The simplest way is to teach them that the egg from which the little bird or downy chicken comes, is laid by the mamma bird or hen, and then she sits upon it to keep it warm, while it grows in the shell until it gets too large to stay there longer, when it bursts the bonds and comes out a downy, active little bird or chicken. “In much the same way, my darling, you grew; only instead of your being able to see the little egg, which was your beginning, it was kept warm and snug in a little room in mamma’s body, while you grew from a tiny speck of an egg, so small that you could not see it with the naked eye, into a fat, beautiful, rollicking baby; then you came out through a little door made purposely for it, and was nestled in mamma’s bosom forever after. I think it must be you are kept hidden away while you grow, because mammas are so busy, you might be forgotten if you were in any other nest, and you would get cold and die. As it is, mamma carries you wherever she goes,[223] and whatever she is doing; and you are always nestled snugly and warmly in the little cradle God made purposely for you, and where mamma can feel you moving about as you grow, for you are right under her heart.”

It will do them no harm to take them a little into the agony of the birth chamber; they will love and reverence you the more, and feel the closer bond. One dear boy on hearing the story of his birth, throwing his arms about his mother’s neck, while the tears streamed down his cheeks, exclaimed, “Oh, how boys ought to love their mothers.”

Tell the boys as well as the girls, dear mothers, and do not make the mistake so often made, in thinking it will do no good to talk to the boys. It will do all the good in the world, and they will bless your memory for it; aye, more, their wives and all good women will bless you as well. Just one illustration to prove my point, and to encourage mothers who have put off teaching their children later than they should.

A mother who had but one child, a son, who had grown to be fifteen, untaught in these things, as so many boys are, had grown away from his mother and sought companionship that was not all it should have been, outside the home. The mother in a heart to[224] heart talk with a friend, expressed her grief that she had lost the confidence of her boy. “He has grown away from me,” she said. “I see,” said the friend, “but why don’t you tell him your condition”—she was expecting then a little one—“and nine chances in ten you will win him back.” “Oh,” said the mother, “I could never talk with him of such things. What could I say?” “Don’t you suppose he knows already?” said the friend. “Yes, I am sure he does, for he seems shy and conscious when he looks at me.” “Then why be afraid to talk to him of it?”

Then followed a long earnest talk of what she had missed all these years in neglecting the teaching that the boy must and would have, and had probably gotten from those who had clothed it in impurity and shame, instead of purity and loveliness. And a promise was exacted that she would talk with her boy and tell him as only a mother can, of her condition, and of her sorrow that she had lost his full confidence, which she once had and delighted in so much.

But in her timidity the time passed and the confidence was not given until the very day of her confinement. The boy rushed into the house and found the mother alone in[225] the agony of labor, the father having gone for the physician and nurse.

“What is the matter, mamma? You are sick. Can’t I help you?” At the loving question the broken promise came to mind, and in the desperation born of her suffering, she resolved to tell him still. “Oh, son, darling, I’m going to have a baby;” she groaned in her agony. “Oh, mamma, why didn’t you tell me that you needed me?” he exclaimed, as he threw his arms around his mother’s neck. “I thought you didn’t want me to know, because you never talked to me about such things, but I wish you had.” And they were crying together, mother and son, thinking the same thoughts, all reserve broken down, loving in the same old way, and the lost confidence restored.

The questions relating to their being and to the mysteries of procreation are legitimate ones, and demand a patient hearing. They should be met with such pure candor, that they shall never in the minds of innocent childhood be clothed in a mystery which is too often interpreted as sin. Little wonder that untaught boys grow to be men that trample upon every holy instinct of womanhood, and set at naught the sacredness of maternity.


I have read somewhere of a great physician who gave finely illustrated lectures to women upon the subjects relating to maternity. One wise mother who had listened with wrapt interest to his talks, called at his office one day with her twin boys seven years old. “Doctor,” she said, “I would like you to show my boys the beautiful anatomical plates that you use in your lectures, and tell them about some of them.” “Certainly, madam,” he replied, “I will gladly do so.”

He turned them over one by one, answering an eager question here and there, put by the bright boys, until he came to one illustrating twin pregnancy, which he passed hastily over without giving an opportunity for sight or question. “Stop, doctor,” said the mother. “That is the very one I want my boys to see. I have promised them that as soon as they were old enough I would tell them all about the little room in mamma’s body where they grew for nine months before they came into her arms.”

The doctor was struck with confusion and could not utter a word. He who had stood before great audiences of adults and taught them unblushingly the secrets of being, was silent before innocent childhood. The mother was forced to be the teacher, when[227] she had looked to one wiser to enforce the lesson. Standing in the presence of the great doctor, she told them in pure sweet words the story of their prenatal life and of her motherhood, not forgetting to tell of the great pain which was all forgotten so soon in the gladness that her baby boys were born to her.

She finished, and there were tears upon the faces of all her listeners. “Oh, mamma, how good boys ought to be to their mothers,” said one of the twins; while the doctor exclaimed, “Madam, that was the finest lecture upon the subject to which I ever listened. Go on so teaching your boys and they will be men that the world will be proud of and greatly need.” This is the kind of seed-sowing which not only bears a rich harvest of purity and innocent knowledge, but as well keeps out the weeds of sin and impurity, which curiosity gratified by secret whisperings always sows.

“The true mother is a teacher whether she is conscious of it or not, and the true teacher uses the innate mother element—that which broods over the child and warms it into life—as much as she does her acquired knowledge.”

Just as surely as the child in prenatal life[228] drew his nourishment mental, moral, and physical, from the mother, so surely in postnatal life will he look to her for example, for strength, for encouragement in all virtues, for warning against pitfalls, for direction in all knowledge, for comfort in sorrow, for real heart’s-ease, for cheer and inspiration in the race of life. God pity and forgive the mother, who has no storehouse from which her children can draw their supplies of comfort and courage and rest.

I like to think of the wonderful Shepherd Psalm as a prototype of what God designs the parents to be to their children. Remember the ancient shepherd led his sheep; so should the mother, in obedience to God and her higher nature, in loveliness, in patience, in hope, in cheerfulness, in sweet charity, lead her little ones in the “Paths of righteousness.”



Little Ailments.—Nursing Babies Affected by Condition of Mother.—Sleep and Health.—The Baby’s Food.—Why Babies are Restless when Nursed from the Right Breast.—Children’s Symptoms often More Grave than the Ailment.—Illustrations.—Fevers and Teething.—Vomiting.—The Cause of Rash.—Pallid Children.—Chafing.—Babies do not Cry without Cause.—Need of Water and Fresh Air.—Sleeping in open Air.—Relief in Constipation.—Important Suggestions.

I speak of ailments of children not diseases, since this is in no sense a “Doctor Book.” In the common ailments every mother should be so well informed that she may not distress herself at a trifling indisposition, neither show no concern when marked symptoms of disease are present. There are many ailments to which the most healthy child is susceptible, and for which no alarm need be felt, as they are trifling and usually last but a few hours.

In nursing babies, the child is very apt to[230] be affected by the condition of the mother. If the mother is quiet, well balanced, free from worry, not subject to fits of anger, does not overdo, does not eat stimulating food, keeps early hours; in short is quiet, self-contained and healthful, the probability is that her children will be well, easily managed children. On the other hand, if she be easily disturbed, unbalanced, constantly going beyond her strength, eating forbidden things, keeping late hours, and thus using or rather wasting her energies, she has not the vital force to give to her children, and they suffer proportionately. Here again is exemplified the truth that what the mother is that will her child be.

Sitting down when tired and overheated or excited to nurse your little one, do not wonder if you have a cross, fretful, and many times, feverish child as the result. When under a fit of anger, the mother’s milk has many times produced in the child very alarming symptoms, and sometimes even caused death. This, in an exaggerated way, shows us what the effect is upon the delicate nervous temperament of the child, if the mother is not in healthful tone herself.

A healthy, well-trained baby, should in the first weeks, sleep twenty out of the twenty-four[231] hours. The sleep should be quiet and natural, and the baby will in the remaining four hours eat and stretch itself and grow.

Regularity of feeding in the first few weeks will not be as possible as later, for the little one will sleep over its feeding times. Do not imagine from this that when it does eat it should have a double quantity, for the stomach has not expanded in its sleep, and will hold no more than when fed each two hours. It is estimated that a newborn baby’s stomach will hold but three or four tablespoonfuls, and this should regulate the quantity of food at each feeding, if the baby is bottle fed. If a nursing baby, nature regulates the quantity, if regularity of habit is observed, as no more is secreted than is needed, as a rule.

In tiny babyhood the child’s liver is very large in proportion to its size, and the size of the other organs, hence it will sometimes make trouble when the child is nursed on the right side; as the weight of the liver pressing on the full stomach causes distress. When you observe that the child fusses after nursing the right breast, hold it as when nursing the left breast with the feet under the right arm, and when laying it down lay it on the right side, and you will relieve the difficulty.


Every mother should know that “in early childhood there is no relation between the intensity of the symptoms, and the material lesion, or derangement. The most intense fever with restlessness, cries and spasmodic movements, may disappear in twenty-four hours without leaving any traces. The intense nervous excitability in a robust child will often communicate a false appearance of gravity, to a trivial ailment.”

I quote from Eustace Smith, M.D., this comforting thought: “With regard to the temperature of children, it may be noted that we must not allow ourselves to be deceived by sudden and rapid rise of temperature into the belief that the patient must necessarily be suffering from serious disease. Very slight causes will in infants produce a remarkable increase of heat; and during natural dentition, just before the passage of the tooth through the gum, a temperature of one hundred and four or one hundred and five degrees Fahrenheit, even in the morning is not at all an uncommon circumstance. Besides, the normal temperature of young children is rather higher than that of the adult. In a perfectly healthy child of three or four years old the thermometer will often register a morning temperature of ninety-nine[233] and one-half. The pulse of infants can seldom be counted except during sleep.”

We must remember also that children breathe more quickly than adults. About thirty respirations a minute for children under two years, or nearly twice as many as in adult life. Also in a slight degree of indisposition the respirations may be quickened materially without cause for alarm.

The tongue, if white, usually indicates fever, dyspepsia and intestinal irritation. A red, dry, hot tongue points to inflammation of the mouth or stomach.

An intense fever may be occasioned in a child as the result of overfeeding or allowing indigestible things.

My experience has been that a child fed properly, and allowed to rest sufficiently, will have very slight or no difficulty when teething. I do not agree wholly with the author quoted in the foregoing as to the cause of the fever in teething. At this period of life the brain of the child is developing remarkably, and if the stomach is not doing its work properly, or if more is imposed upon it than should be, the result is an irritation of the brain, and the whole system, and consequent fever. When we consider that the brain of the child in proportion to the size of the[234] body, is as one to eight, while that of the adult is as one to forty or fifty, we can see how a little disturbance may affect the child at this time.

Vomiting, unless long continued, is of slight consequence in the baby; since it is usually relieving an overloaded stomach, or throwing up the food that has been churned unnaturally while the little one is tossed about by an overzealous relative. Rocking vigorously is not a good thing for the child, as it not only disturbs the stomach, but irritates the brain, from the jarring.

A rash may appear on the child and be of no more moment than to remind you that you are feeding it improperly, that its food is not agreeing with it, or that teeth are about to appear.

If the child is thin and pale and does not grow, it is not assimilating its food and the cause should be looked into at once. It may be that a change is desirable. In bottle-fed babies, there is not so much of variety in its food as in a nursing baby, because the mother’s change of food from day to day, varies the milk somewhat. Changing from one prepared food to another will often tide them over an indisposition, as nothing else will.

Chafing usually means that the little one[235] has not been dried well when changing the napkin, or allowed to go too long after the napkin is wet. Indigestion, and a consequent acidity of the discharges may cause excoriation of the skin, and this will need a change in the food or the proper medicine to correct.

A baby does not cry without cause. It may be spoiled into crying to be tended, but this is easily distinguished from a sick cry, or a fretted cry from discomfort.

A baby should have plenty of water and fresh air; two of the “freest” things and yet we stint the little one in them. It should be given water every day several times, and it often cries for want of it. It should be taken out into the fresh air every day when pleasant, and many times allowed to take its nap in the open air. One of the healthiest, most robust babies I ever knew, though beginning life as a little puny thing, was put into its little carriage and wrapped up warmly, and wheeled out on the front porch for its nap twice daily. A light cover was thrown over the head of the carriage to protect the child from draughts.

If the baby is bottle-fed and constipated, a small pinch of salt put into its food at each feeding will often effect a cure.


Dress your little one warmly enough but not too warm, keep it dry and comfortable, feed it properly, do not toss it about, or disturb its sleep, and you will be rewarded with a healthy and comfortable child that will daily be a greater and greater delight and blessing.



The Mother’s Preparation as Guide and Protector of Her Children.—Safeguards for Tiny Babyhood.—Cleanliness, Regularity, Chafing, Pin Worms, Servants, Nurse Girls, etc., etc.—How to Teach and Guard Them During Childhood.—Safeguarding the Children with Knowledge.—Inborn Curiosity Concerning Physical Mysteries.—How to Meet these Questions.—Sleeping Alone.—How to Correct Vice where it Exists.—The Duty of Physicians to the Public.—Symptoms which call for Parental Watchfulness.—Results of Secret Vice.—Rewards of Parental Vigilance.

How shall the mother prepare herself that she may be the guide and protector of her children past this dangerous shoal, is a question that exercises every true woman’s heart. In view of the myriads of temptations, we are led to exclaim here, as in the contemplation of many other difficulties in child training, “Who is sufficient for these things?”

The carefulness in guarding against the entrance of this evil should begin back in tiny babyhood. Perfect cleanliness, the[238] proper adjustment of the napkin, and great care in the baths, lest by roughness in washing an irritation be set up; all these things must be thought about and watched carefully. The food, regularity of habits, daily evacuation of the bowels, all have their share in keeping the child in a healthy condition that precludes the unnatural state which invites the habit.

A chafed condition of the skin, which causes itching and consequent rubbing of the parts, may be the beginning of the habit before the child is old enough to be reasoned with, or able to understand the wrong and danger involved.

In little girls pin worms, which work forward into the vagina, and cause an irritation, also a leucorrhœal discharge, even in babyhood, may so irritate that the habit is formed before the mother is aware of it. There have been instances of servant girls, who are left in the care of the little ones, or unscrupulous nurse girls, teaching the little ones the habit to keep them quiet, so that they need not be troubled with their care.

Mothers need to be Argus-eyed, to guard their babies from all the evils that beset them; and having carried them past babyhood into[239] inquiring childhood, nothing else is so potent in shielding them from the evil, as wholesome truth taught in a sweet motherly way. While yet very young, they can be taught that the organs are to be used by them only for throwing off the waste water of the system, but that they are so closely related to other parts of the body that handling them at all will hurt them and make them sick. Tell them that little children, sometimes when they do not know this, form the habit of handling themselves and as a result they become listless and sick, and many times idiotic and insane, or develop epileptic fits. This will so impress them that they will not fall easily into the bad way; for it is, more often than otherwise, an ignorant curiosity that leads them into the danger.

When mothers understand what a safeguard intelligent teaching of truth is to their children, they will prepare themselves for it, and will so keep their boys and girls in their confidence that they will have no secret from them. When they feel and know that they can come to mother with all their enquiries, and get honest recognition and teaching, they will not care to go elsewhere when curiosity is aroused and they desire knowledge on any point. This sweet confidence between[240] mother and child cannot be too carefully nurtured.

There is an inborn curiosity concerning the physical being and its mysteries, and the child has a right to be met fairly in its questionings, and to be properly taught at the outset. Do not begin, dear young mothers by turning your children away, no matter how pertinent the question; neither begin with a semi-falsehood, or what is little worse or misleading, an entire one. Your children will learn, and if you do not teach them, some one else less fitted will. As soon as they are old enough to take in at least a part of the great truth, tell them what those organs are for, and how sacredly they should guard them, if they expect to become fathers and mothers, that will be a blessing to the world.

Children very early begin to question and as early they should receive intelligent, honest answers to their enquiries. Oh! that the element of gross impurity were removed from the knowledge of the sexual nature; and it will be when mothers have rightly learned the truth themselves, and so teach it to their children.

You can all the way along, teach your children sufficient to gratify their legitimate[241] curiosity and serve as a safeguard against their tampering with their bodies in a way to do them harm. When you have taught them all you think they should know, if you have dealt with them in a frank way, and they have no reason to doubt your word, you will find them very easily satisfied with the remark, “This is all you can understand now, my dear, but as you get older and can understand better, come to mamma with all you want to know, and she will tell you.”

Fortify them also with this: “Never ask any of the boys and girls about these things, because there is a great deal said that is not true, and they will not tell you right, but come to mamma always, and this shall be our secret, that we will not tell any one else.” It is remarkable to see how this confidence generates pride in being able to have a secret with mamma and keeping it inviolate.

If there is the slightest tendency in your children to secret vice, do not allow them to sleep together in the same bed, as curiosity may lead them into danger. Keep them apart from other children, except as you are present with them, until you are sure they are old enough to be masters of themselves.

Should you discover in your children what might seem a tendency toward this evil you[242] can do much to eradicate it by attending strictly to hygienic rules. Keep from their food all that is stimulating, as coffee, pepper, spices, pickles, or condiments of any kind. Give them plain food at regular hours; and before retiring, to make sure of a refreshing night’s sleep, give them a quick sponge bath of salt and water, rubbing well after with a coarse towel. The water should be only tepid, and the subsequent rubbing vigorous. In the morning a shower bath of cool water will insure good circulation, and if followed by a brisk rubbing, will add strength and tone.

Children who incline to this weakness are listless and disinclined to exercise. They must be encouraged to take all the outdoor exercise that they need, and everything should be done to encourage them in it. Above all, do not treat your child, even if the habit is formed before you discover it, as if he were a criminal. He is unfortunate, and ignorant of the wrong or the danger he is in. Lead him kindly away from the temptation and into strength by patient, kindly love and watchfulness, added to your truthful teaching.

Children, until they are old enough to be trusted, should not be out from under their mother’s watchful eye, or the care of a wise[243] and trusted nurse, and never away with companions who are not known to be thoroughly trustworthy. When other children come to play with them they should not be left alone, but even their play should be directed, lest they get on dangerous ground.

Says Doctor Eldridge, in his book on Self Enervation, “An evil like this should receive far greater consideration at the hands of fathers and mothers, and even the medical man, than it hitherto has done. It is the solemn and imperative duty of every physician to warn parents of this danger to their offspring, and if possible to erect barriers against the tide of its destruction.”

Should you discover your child listless, and preferring solitude rather than companionship, averse to exercise, averted look, nervous, hypochondriacal, restless in sleep, constipated, pain in the back and lower extremities in the morning, appetite vacillating, hands cold and clammy; if you have not already been suspicious, watch carefully now, even though not half these symptoms are present. Another diagnostic symptom is this: The body emits a peculiar, disagreeable smell, and there is emaciation.

Some of the terrible results are epilepsy, idiocy, catalepsy and insanity. It has been discovered[244] that out of eight hundred and sixteen cases of insanity in the New York State Insane Asylum, there were one hundred and seven addicted to this practice.

From their babyhood, be watchful of your children’s companions; allow no sensational books to be read; be sure of your helpers in their care; know where they are at all hours of the day and night; be patient and prayerful in their training; teach them truth, and keep their confidence, and you will be rewarded with strong, pure boys and girls, who can look into your eyes candidly and say, “Mamma, I am free from this habit which leads to so much misery.”



The Horse Trainer’s Method.—The Training Which Develops Talents.—When Child-training Should Begin.—The Training of Her Children the Mother’s All-important Calling.—The Influence of the Mother’s Own Character and Life.—The Children Imitators of their Parents.—Importance of Earliest Training.—Spoiled Children.—Children’s Rights.—The Proper Correction of Children.—Broken Promises and Parental Falsehoods.—Value of Tact in Parental Discipline.—Value of Parental Sympathy.—The Mother, Herself, the Best Gift to Her Children.—The Choice of Books and Stories.—The Choice of Companions for the Children.—Toys, Sports and Amusements.—An Appeal to Mothers.

Molding the Clay.

Within their tiny hands my children hold
A ball of yielding clay,
And, as they try some dainty form to mold,
I hear them softly say,
“What shall we make? an apple or a vase?
Some marbles, or a fan?”
One little boy, a smile upon his face,
Says, “I shall make a man.”
Straightway, with lengthened face, he, at his task,
Begins, and ’neath the hands
Unskilful, weak, and yet too proud to ask
For aid, a form expands,
Crude, and yet not too poor to show the man
Hid in the maker’s thought—
How different yet if some skilled artisan
The ball of clay had wrought.
To-day within my hands my children lie,
I shape them as I will,
And seek for aid from Him that is on high,
That He may with His skill
Teach my weak, willing hands to rightly mold
The clay that I have sought,
That in true forms of beauty may unfold
The Maker’s highest thought.

“I regretted that you had no child, because I thought your heart would not receive that education for heaven which the care of children alone can give. You are surprised perhaps, for you are thinking only of educating your child; but let me tell you that we parents are as much indebted to our children as they to us.”—Anna E. Porter.

“Who is sufficient for these things?”

In a recent magazine article, on the training of horses, I found the following: “The thoroughly competent trainer considers the colt’s individuality and breeding, for upon[247] these depend the measures to be taken to develop the animal into a race-horse. Every good or bad quality in a race-horse is inherited from sire or dam; courage, endurance, extreme speed, action, ability to carry weight, soundness or unsoundness, good or bad temper, all these are matters of inheritance, and must be carefully looked for by the trainer as he develops his horses. The trainer is constantly devising schemes to counteract the faults and to make the best use of the good points of his horses.

“The making of a thoroughbred race-horse cannot be called an exact science. It develops, however, an amount of patience, courage and self-denial that is rarely engendered in callings better understood and more highly esteemed by the general public. The trainer’s life is a hard one and vicarious in the extreme.”

It strikes me that in this we, as parents and teachers, have a grand suggestion in the right training of children. With us a vicarious life would count for the coming generations of the human family.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,” has been invested with a new meaning to me these past few years. It not only[248] means train him up in the correct moral way, reverencing things sacred, respecting father and mother, being a pleasing child, a good son, a law-abiding citizen, a blessing to home and society; but it means as well, train him up in the way he was intended to go, from the endowment of birth, heredity and education. In other words do not warp, from his birth, a mechanic by trying to make a minister of him. Do not try to crowd a farmer into a lawyer’s mold. Do not attempt to train into a carpenter one who is a born artist. Do not force your boys and girls through a literary college, if a bent in some particular direction inclines them toward a technical education. In short, “Train up a child in the way he should go,” as well as in the way he should go.

The mother of the Wesleys was once asked when she should begin to train the little three months’ old baby she held in her arms. “Begin?” she replied, “why I began three months ago.” Her answer was admirable, but she did not place the time sufficiently far back by many months. When our daughters are rightly trained, they will all the way along, from the time that marriage enters their minds, be consciously educating themselves for motherhood, and thus be in a large[249] measure training their little ones even before they are promised.

Does this seem too ideal to our young mothers, and not at all practical? It should not, and I believe will not when it is carefully considered. If any who reads these pages is already anticipating early motherhood they need not be discouraged, for every succeeding child should be better than the one before. Every lesson she learns in the care and training of the first children should but make her the stronger for the duties of future mothering. The trouble too often is that she allows her time and attention to be taken up with less important things, and the fixing of the earlier lessons and learning new and better ones are neglected. In other words, motherhood is not to-day considered her all-important calling, and the little ones suffer from the mothers having fallen too deeply in love with other and less noble things.

All will agree with me, when I say, that we can only with great difficulty train in our children, what we do not know as a part of ourselves. Are you calm and self-possessed? Then you can with little effort teach your children this valuable and telling characteristic. Are you governed by reason and judgment, not impulse? Then you can train[250] your child to this same strength. Are you of even temper? Then you will have little trouble with a stormy-tempered boy or girl. Are you charitable and careful in your speech, and kindly in your judgment of others? Your children are easily led in the same direction.

It is safe to say that only so far as we have travelled ourselves, can we lead our children. True we can point them onward, and tell them of the desirableness of that way to travel in, but their little feet are reluctant to try new paths, unless the parent has tried them before them.

The story of the little son who had without permission followed his father up a steep and dangerous mountain climb, and who at a particularly difficult point in the path, made his presence known, by calling out, “Step carefully, papa, for I am coming in your footsteps,” illustrates just what our example is to our children. Hence I say, Mrs. Wesley did not put the time of her beginning to train her baby, back far enough by many years. Every step in the onward path which she had made in all the years of her own training was but a page in the training she was to give her boys and girls in the after years. “As is the mother so is her daughter,”[251] is God’s truth, although it is many times hard to face.

We desire to train our children to our ideals, and they are ever reaching up to us as their ideals. True, this should spur us on to better things that our example shall be a more worthy copy, but we waste much precious time when we must go to school in mature life to learn the lessons that should have been fixed in our youth.

First, let us remember that a child can be taught more bad habits in its early months than years of training can undo. A methodical, well taught baby becomes a tractable child, as a rule; while a haphazard baby, humored in every whim, becomes a child and adult of the same demands. Have you not often met grown men and women that were just great overgrown spoiled babies? You can read the history of their training, or the lack of it, in their habits, their whims, and their selfishness, through the unmistakable lines these have written on their faces.

Again we must remember that children have rights that we are bound to respect; and unless we do respect them, we can hardly expect them to regard our rights. Another fact is this; that no two children can be trained alike. Each is a study by itself,[252] and each must be studied, if we desire to attain success in the individual case. But few absolute rules can be made; for there must ever be a certain degree of flexibility about every law laid down in the home.

A request is far better than a command, but from the parent it should be regarded with such respect that it equals a command. Also there is a wide difference between a criticism and a kindly correction of a fault. Criticism antagonizes, and arouses the anger of the child, though he may not be old enough to analyze his feelings, yet the spirit of rebellion is there, and leaves its unpleasant results. On the other hand the kindly correction, with love shining all through it, awakens a sorrow for the wrong, and a determination never to repeat it.

“Johnnie, what makes you do so? It does seem to me that you are always doing something you ought not to do.” See the angry flash in little Johnnie’s eye, and the sullen silence as he turns away, with resentment at the wrong done him, written all over his quivering form.

“Johnnie dear, mamma does not like to have her son do so, it is wrong and such things spoil boys and make them grow up in the wrong way. Think of it, son, and see if[253] you would like your life to go in the way that action would lead you.” A tender, sorrowful light comes into the little face and a regret for the sin is expressed and forgiveness sought.

The first manner of correction, if it can be called that, drives your little one away from you, while the second holds him to you, as a traveller is bound to a trusted guide in a dangerous way.

Oh! the sorrow of the falsehoods told to little ones, under the guise of threats that are never realized. In my hearing only a few days ago, in the space of half an hour, a mother told her child—a bright but of course spoiled little boy, not more than three years old, at least a half dozen deliberate falsehoods. I say deliberate, because she knew they were false, and the saddest of all was the fact that the child recognized the untruths as well, and was not moved by them an iota.

Nowhere is there so much tactful wisdom needed as in the mother’s dealings with her little ones. How many times we fail by too great zeal, how many times for not enough. Often, not to notice the little naughtinesses is the wisest thing, when these little wrongs are not positively sinful. Not noticing such[254] wrongs insures their being forgotten sooner, and oftentimes the children are simply imitating in a childish way what they have seen in their elders.

The following incident will illustrate the wisdom of not heeding. A little boy strutted up to his busy mother one day, and without a bit of prelude or postlude, said, “Gosh.” The wise mother took no notice, and again standing directly in front of her, and in a more emphatic tone, he repeated the coarse word. Still no rebuke from the mother and no reproving look even. As if bent on being heard and eliciting some rebuke which he evidently expected, he thrust his hands into his pockets, straightened up, and with a stamp of his tiny foot, said with double emphasis, “Gosh, mamma.” Then the undisturbed mother looked up with simply this, “Yes, my son, I heard.” He turned away crestfallen, but the coarse word was never repeated.

In contrast, another mother with less of wisdom and more of the overdone zeal, heard her little boy say, “Darn.” She called him to her and with a very solemn voice said, “What did I hear my little boy say? Didn’t I hear him say the naughty, NAUGHTY word, darn,” and her voice sank[255] to an awesome whisper. “Yes,” said the little fellow, with an air of important badness, “I said it.”

“Come here and let me look in your mouth,” said the mother. He opened his mouth with very little concern, and really seeming to enjoy it. “Oh-h-hh,” said the unwise mamma, “I see two little black devils.” “My-e-e-e,” said the little fellow; “Darn, darn, darn,”—and then the mouth flew open wider still. “How many devils are there now, mamma?” The mother’s answer is not recorded, but we trust she learned wisdom.

I have been exceedingly interested in noting what an ignorant horse-trainer can teach a wild, high-mettled colt. How does he do it? Not by whipping, not by thwarting and fretting, but by patient, persistent effort, and much study of the particular training each colt needs. He goes farther than this. He studies the pedigree that he may better know how to correct the faults of his pupils. Is it not worth while for a mother to take as much pains and carefulness for the well-being of her precious charges? “Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?” will be a question that mothers must meet, and must answer sorrowfully in[256] many cases. The answer might well be taken from the same book, “The Book,” in which the question is recorded. “As thy servant was busy here and there they were gone.”

Parents must keep in sympathy with their children to understand and lead them. The cares of business, the demands of society, clubs, etc., etc., will not excuse you. There can be no business, no demand upon your time that can begin to equal in importance the proper care of your children. They are your charge, and the responsibility can be relegated to none other.

I have read somewhere of a mother who by the rounds of social life, and all the cares incident to it, had given her children over to the care of a nurse, until she awoke one day to realize that she was almost a stranger to her own children, and that they seemed to care little for her, since they saw her so seldom. “This will never do,” said the thoroughly awakened mother. “These are my children, and as such, demand my care, and influence and love, which I shall henceforth give them without stint.” She began at once. Every engagement which interfered with the loving care of her little brood, was resolutely cancelled, while she gave herself to redeeming the time that she had wasted, and[257] to regaining her place in her children’s hearts which she had nearly lost. Was she successful, I imagine I hear you ask. Did ever a mother put her hand and her heart to the accomplishment of a noble purpose, and fail? Never. And she never will. Delightful trips were planned and carried out, all-day excursions, long walks, with a luncheon in some quiet place, away from the crowd. Books were read, lessons taught that sank, freighted with their wealth of wisdom, into the mother’s, as well as into the children’s hearts. Oh the joy of that delightful season! Nothing in all her life could bear any comparison with it. Should she give it up and again enter society, whose demands gave her little time for the pure pleasure she had enjoyed with her children? She would leave it for her babies to decide. As they gathered about her, she said, “My darlings, mamma has something she wishes you to settle for her. Shall we go on as we have been doing for the past happy months, or shall mamma take again her place in society as she did before she knew her dear babies as she does now?” “Oh, mamma, we can’t get along without you now, and you know you belong to us,” said the oldest one, and the sweet silence of the baby as she hugged[258] the dear lost and found mother, tightly about the neck, was all the answer she needed. “Now, mamma dear, would you have gone away from us again, if we had said so?” “No, darling, not even if you had said so, for then I should have seen all the greater need of staying with my own children until they loved me again. But I dared let you decide, for I knew what you would say. Bless my babies! These months have been the happiest of my life, and do you think I could leave you again? I can have as much as I need of society and still live with my babies.”

Every parent is bound to be interested in all that should legitimately interest their children. Books, games, little excursions, days off from business that the boys and girls may have their papas and mammas all to themselves, are important things which no wise father or mother will neglect to consider.

As they grow older the sympathy and love you show for them when you deliberately put aside your book, and read to them some childish story, or bit of adventure, will never be forgotten. No wise man or woman ever loses interest in children’s stories. If they are worth your children’s reading, they are worth your reading. It lies in the power of every parent to fashion their children’s taste[259] in literature. Choose wisely, for the matter is an important one. Do not make the mistake so often made of thinking that any child’s book is good enough for the children. This is not true. There is as wide a difference in children’s books as in books for adults. With all the delightful writers for the little ones, there is no need of reading trashy things to the children. Your children’s libraries will be an index of your literary taste, and your highest care for them. Books are companions, and should be chosen as wisely as you would choose their associates.

How in this day of public schools and free American loving democracy, can I choose my children’s companions? Ah; but you can, dear mother. Train them so wisely, get the love of all that is good so instilled into their beings, fix so surely the hatred of evil, that they will instinctively choose companions worthy of them. Be kind to all, but do not make close friends or companions of any but those who are good. Occasionally a wolf in sheep’s clothing will be met, and you will need great tact to lead your child to see the falseness of character, and to get away from it ere the influence has been hazardous.

Let me illustrate. A grown up boy fifteen or sixteen said one day to his mother,[260] “Mamma, some of the boys are going down to the Gardens to-night after school, and may I go with them?” “What is there to see and enjoy, son?” “Oh I hardly know, but the boys say there’s lots of fun.” The mother gave her consent, all the while knowing she would not have chosen the Gardens as a suitable place for her boy to find amusement. When he came home from school to leave his books, he found his mother all ready to go out. “Where are you going, mamma?” asked the boy. “I thought I would go with you, son, I have never been there and I thought I would like to enjoy it with you.” “But mamma, I don’t know as it is a good place for you to go to.” “Oh, don’t trouble about that, son, any place that you care to visit is suitable for your mother.”

She was dressed in her prettiest and most girlish dress, and outdid herself to be entertaining to her boy. She said nothing in criticism of the place, and went from one thing to another as the boy’s fancy dictated. In a covert glance she could see the disgust growing in her son’s face, as a coarse jest or a profane word came to them from the frequenters of the place, but never a word of fault-finding escaped her lips. Finally, thoroughly disgusted, her boy said, “Let’s go[261] home, mamma, I’m tired of this sort of stuff.” “Very well, son, if you wish,” said the little mother, but not one word of comment or criticism of the place or surroundings, for she saw that the lesson was learned. On the following day she had her reward. Her son with several of his companions were in the yard under the window where she sat in hearing. “Who was that girl you had with you at the Gardens yesterday?” said one of the boys. “It was my mother,” said her son. “Whew,” said the boy, “catch my mother to go to such a place!” Then the brave answer came from her boy, that brought tears of gladness to the mother’s eyes. “Well, I want to tell you right here, boys, you’ll never catch me going anywhere again where I can’t take my mother. Of course she knew what kind of a place it was and wanted me to see that it was no place for me if it were not for her, and I learned the lesson.” Oh the wisdom of such a mother: and the tactfulness.

When the children are young they should never be allowed away from home over night, and should have no visitors to spend the night with them. This cannot be too carefully guarded. Neither should they be allowed to play alone with companions[262] whom you do not know, or are not perfectly sure you can have full confidence in.

No playing out of doors after nightfall. More evil is learned in evening hours than is dreamed of. Have toys and amusements, and allow companions in the home, and your children will not care to leave it for the streets.

Be one with your children in their sports and games, and make yourself so companionable that they will choose you before all others.

All the way along know what your boys and girls are reading. It lies with you to form their tastes, and direct their choice.

Oh mothers, forbear to neglect this great and blessed responsibility, with which you are invested. No work in all the world can equal it in importance, none in the rich harvest which is the result of painstaking sowing. No cast-iron rules can be laid down, for no two children are alike. It is sufficient to say, “Mothers, be true to yourselves, and esteem the trust committed to you as sacred beyond measure; study to show yourselves approved ‘workmen that need not to be ashamed,’” and you will have reason to rejoice at the results of your labors. “Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.”



Our Duty to Nourish, Strengthen and Build up Strong Bodies.—Eradicating Inherited Infirmities.—Children Inherit the Permanent States of Their Parents.—The Parents’ Duty to Those Who are not Well Born.—What has Been Accomplished Along These Lines.—The Relation of Babies’ Clothing and Food to Physical Growth.—Unwise Feeding.—The Laws of Nutrition.—The Relation of Food to National Greatness.—The Danger of Overdressing.—Value of Sunshine and Air.—A list of Good Foods.—The Relation of Exercise to Appetite.—Comparative Value of Meat and Vegetables.—Importance of Rest and Sleep.—Regular Sleeping Hours.—Schools and Nervousness in Children.—Many Children are not Properly Nourished.—Food Poorly Prepared and Poorly Served.—The Importance of Hygienic Cooking.—The Cause of Weak Eyes in Children.—Children and Bare Feet.—The Dosing of Children With Nostrums.—The Use of Brandy and Wine in Cooking.

I think it was Dr. J. G. Holland who said, “We derive our best lessons, not from what people say to us, but from what their words make us say to ourselves.” In the wide subject which the heading of this chapter[264] opens, I can only hope to illustrate this truth. Perhaps by starting new lines of thought with some persons, and in others intensifying and making broader lines of thought already entered upon.

Said good George Müller, “My soul I commit to the care of God, following His laws; but my body He has given into my hands, to care for, nourish, and strengthen, that I may build it up into His image.” Could we remember oftener that it was meant to be after His likeness, and the temple for His indwelling, we should be less careless of the trust committed to us. And again, were we the only sufferers from the lack of care and neglect of our bodies, it would matter less, but we are sowing seed that will spring up and bear fruit, “some thirty, some sixty and some an hundredfold,” in the generations to come; and what also of the incalculable harm from our influence upon those about us?

Could we return to the old Spartan time when only the symmetrical, healthy and vigorous were allowed to marry and bear children, our task in body-building for the future would be less difficult; but we have the rubbish accumulated by the mistakes of the body-builders behind us, through the past[265] ages, to clear away as best we can, before we can properly enter upon our present task. As it is, the problem resolves itself into this—to make the most of the material in hand, in rooting out the bad, and culturing the good.

To begin well, the parents must bear in mind, before the baby’s beginning, that the life of the little one will be in great measure determined by what they are, not by what they may hope to be, though even this has its influence. It is a well-known fact in heredity that transient states of body and mind, are not those which are most often entailed upon offspring, but the permanent states and conditions. What the mother eats, what she thinks, what she enjoys, what habits she allows to control her, will shape largely the little life, and make her after task in body-building a difficult, or a comparatively easy one. Given a good foundation, and the superstructure which rises upon it will be solid and enduring, and as beautiful as the architect desires.

Suppose the little one is not well-born, it becomes the duty of the parents to choose its food, its dress, its plays, its surroundings, that they may make good as fast as possible, the defects known to exist in it. To do this[266] most effectively, they will need to counsel often with their medical adviser, and become themselves conversant with the laws of hygienic living.

That very much can be done along these lines is a well attested fact, and is beautifully illustrated in our Foundlings’ Homes, where little ones coming out of all sorts and conditions of society, and many of them with the worst possible heredity, are trained out of the evil ways toward which they incline physically, and into the upward way which makes the perfect man and woman. Therefore we have no reason to be discouraged, if we have not the most perfect model to begin with, but must instead do some molding and trimming off here and there before it stands forth the fair thing we desire.

The baby’s clothing has much to do with its proper development, as already indicated. The food for the best development of the physical nature has also been emphasized, but some further remarks will not be out of place. I pity the little one that is cheated out of its rightful heritage, its mother’s breast. This is a day of bottle-fed babies, to the sorrow of the babies, and the loss to the mother of many hours of sweet comfort comparable with nothing else she may ever[267] have, while the wee thing is taking its life from her breasts, and she is thinking high thoughts of its future and what she shall be to it. The mother who nurses her baby is much to blame, if she does not drink in the sweet lessons which come to her, of moral as well as physical dependence, while the little one hangs upon and nestles in her bosom; and she does not dream of what she misses, if she puts it off without a thought or a care of this, the sweet lessons of cuddling, nursing motherhood.

If the little thing must be bottle-fed, hold it in your arms, as nearly in its natural position as possible, and cuddle it, while you hide as far as may be the ugly, unsympathetic substitute, the nursing-bottle.

Ask many mothers how often they feed their babies, and they will tell you in the sentiment, if not the language of one who said, “Well, once in two or three hours usually, but when it has colic, or is restless it tugs away nearly all the time, day and night, until I am entirely worn out”—and I venture to say, the baby is in the same condition. The rule or no rule, with such mothers, is, when the baby cries feed it, when it frets, feed it; when it wakes, feed it; when it goes to sleep, feed it; when it[268] has colic, feed it more; and when it is really ailing, feed it all the time. How much? Why all it will hold, until it is full to overflowing, and then wonder what ails the baby. Wise mothers smile at the absurdity; but remember you are the enquiring ones who count ignorance in such things a shame, (as you should), and you are of the favored few, while the great army of mothers belong to the other class.

For quantity and quality of food for the baby, we refer the reader to the chapter on The Care of the Baby.

Properly fed and properly dressed babies will need little medicine, even a child born with an hereditary tendency to constipation, can be coaxed out of it by regularity of good habits, and food.

For older children and adult life the common sense and good judgment of the home-keeper must decide the quality of food best suited to their individual families. For a subject which demands so much common sense for all mankind, and wise thinking, less reasonable thought is spent upon it, than upon any other branch of science the world over. Says a late writer, “It is universally known as a fact, although not much considered, that bone and blood, brain and brawn, are[269] directly manufactured from food eaten. It is now beginning to be discovered that for centuries people have not eaten the right foods to make the best bodies. They have been ignorant of the physiological laws of nutrition, of the proper combinations and proportions of essential elements, of the vital importance attaching to such knowledge. They have cultivated artificial and abnormal tastes, sought momentary gratification in eating, and gradually demoralized their natural instincts.” There has been no study made of the development of nations as influenced by its food supply. It would give much food for thought, we have no doubt, and be a cause for surprise that the quality and quantity of food could make so much difference.

Dr. Henderson, in the Popular Science Monthly, says: “When you remember that we are dressed during the whole period of our social life, and that we eat three times every day, eleven hundred times a year, it is astonishing that these very human arts (dressing and eating) have not been brought to greater perfection. Women weep, work, and suffer the same to-day as at the dawn of the race, because they feed the young on forbidden fruit. So the children grow into men[270] and women with curved spines, unshapely, unsymmetrical forms, and damaged brains, to suffer all through life with ills of both body and mind.”

Dr. Dio Lewis was called at one time to see the child of a friend, who “Did not know what was the matter with the dear little girl.” Dr. Lewis looked her over carefully, and then astonished the mother with a request for an entire suit of the child’s clothing. When they were brought to him he took the little one with him, and followed by the curious mother, went out into the flower-garden. He chose for his object lesson, one of the most thrifty and beautiful of the many lovely rosebushes, and dressed it in the child’s clothes; much to the delight of the little girl.

“What are you doing that funny thing for, Dr. Lewis?” she asked. “Why I want to see whether this will grow as you do when it is dressed so finely in your clothes,” said the wise doctor. “Leave it just so until I come again day after to-morrow, and we shall see how it likes it.”

He came and of course found the thrifty bush withered and dying. “Why, what is the matter here?” said the doctor to the little one.


“Why don’t you see, doctor, you have shut out all the sunshine and air, and of course it could not stand it.”

“Of course not, my dear,” said Dr. Lewis, “and no more can you.” Turning to the astonished mother, he said, “Do you see, my friend, what you have been doing for your little girl, and do you now see what is the matter with her? The child can no more live without a proper amount of sunshine and air than can the rosebush. Take off half the clothes she has been wearing, put on lighter and looser things, give her a sun-bath daily in a warm room, and allow her only simple meals at regular hours, put her to bed at seven o’clock every night, and you will hardly know her in six months.”

The advice was followed and the child became healthy and vigorous.

The old text from “The Book,” “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he,” suggests another as true. As a man eateth so is he. “The man who swallows spices, condiments, pickles, or other irritating, hot substances, is almost certain to think irritating, hot thoughts, and to speak hot words.”

Plain, simple food, well cooked and daintily served, will be as happily received by our families, (if they have not been pampered[272] until their tastes are vitiated and bad habits formed), as the multitude of dishes which are called food, but have no right to the name, which are daily set before many growing boys and girls. The temptation into which many mothers fall of concocting, or allowing to be concocted, “fine” dishes with long sounding names, and which are good for little in nutrition, has much to do in creating depraved appetites which are averse to plain, substantial food, which really builds bodies that are worth the having.

We can sympathize heartily with the plain old farmer, whose lament is given in rhyme in a Southern medical journal:

“We have a lot of salad things, with dressing mayonnaise:
In place of oysters, blue points, fricaseed a dozen ways,
And orange roly-poly, float, and peach meringue, alas—
Enough to wreck a stomach that is made of plated brass:
The good old things have passed away in silent, sad retreat,
We’ve a lot of high-falutin things, but nothing much to eat.
And while I never say a word, and always pleasant look,
I have had sore dyspepsy since my daughter learned to cook.”


Well cooked vegetables, bread made from unbolted flour which contains all the nutritive properties, cereals cooked sufficiently, meat—not fried—once a day, plenty of fruit cooked and uncooked, milk and water, should be all that are allowed growing children; and if desserts are given at all, simple puddings, not pie, should be in the dietary.

A story is told of a mother who took her twelve-year-old boy to her physician, complaining that he would eat only those things that he should not have, and that he felt so poorly that she could not get him out to play. The wise doctor advised her to take him out for a ride of two miles each day, and compel him to run behind the carriage on the way home. His food should be bread and milk three times daily, allowing positively nothing else for a month. He should be put to bed every night at eight o’clock, and report to him in a month. A few bread pills completed the prescription. The result seemed marvelous to the mother, and the medicine was “wonderful.”

It is undoubtedly true that as a rule we eat too much, and are surely too much a meat-eating people for the best results. Meat once daily is by the best authorities on the subject, considered sufficient for our needs. It gives[274] nutritive elements in a more concentrated form, but in this very fact the danger lies.

It will be well for us to remember that food effects temperament decidedly, and we need only compare the different temperaments found in flesh eating and herb eating animals to learn the effect a generous meat diet has upon the human family.

I was interested in noticing the dietary of the world’s bicycle champion, for the longest six days’ ride yet made. It consisted of rice, oatmeal, barley, fruit, boiled milk, koumiss, coffee, and no meat. Arab porters, who carry great loads trotting from six in the morning until six in the evening, during one month of the year, are by their religion forbidden to partake of food between sunrise and sunset. Their morning meal is not mentioned, but at eventide they have a moderate meal of wheatmeal porridge mixed with large proportions of butter, or olive oil. “The French inspectors who are in charge of these gangs of porters, declare that during the month of fasting they do better work than at any other time because their strength is not needed for digestion.” These statements only prove to us, that as a people, we eat too much, and of too rich food, and such facts invite us to a plainer mode of living, if we[275] desire to conserve our strength and do our best for ourselves and mankind.

I have not touched upon the subject of rest which is an important one. Many children through lack of knowledge or carelessness are allowed to fall into pernicious habits concerning sleep. Oftentimes these bad habits are fixed in the child in its tiny babyhood, when mother or nurse wakes the little one for the benefit of admiring friends.

There should be a fixed retiring-hour for the children, and nothing should be allowed to interfere with it. Each child should have a bed by itself. Little thought is given to the detriment, morally and physically, of bed-fellows for children. We have touched upon the moral danger in another chapter, and speak here of the physical. Children of different temperaments draw much from each other of electrical and vital force, and nearly always to the detriment of both. In losing anything which properly belongs to it, the system has lost its poise, and must suffer from it proportionately. Children differ much in the quantity of covering required, hence cannot properly be put under the same amount without one or the other suffering. The tendency is to throw off the clothes, and colds result.


If you have had trouble with nervous fretfulness on the part of your children, especially in the morning, and they have been in the habit of sleeping together, separate them at once and note the results. One may be a very restless child, while the other is quiet, and the consequence is the sleep of both is made miserable.

From earliest childhood accustom your children to regular sleeping hours, and do not begin by speaking in whispers and walking on tiptoe when the baby is asleep. Accustom them to sleeping with all the ordinary work or pleasure going on in the ordinary way. Of course the child should be in a room by itself if possible, especially if there are other children about.

As a people we suffer from lack of sufficient rest. We stint ourselves here as nowhere else, and little wonder that we are a nervous, restless people, with worn-out energies in early life. Too many women come to maternity tired and worn, and the result is anything but promising for their children; the chances are that their children are born with a heritage of sleeplessness, and their care is a burden to their mothers and others.

There is something fine in our great public, free school system, but to me there is something[277] wofully pathetic also. When I find little tots, from the third grade on, nervous and anxious in the daily rush of lessons, fearing lest they will fall below the imposed standard, and so lose their grade, or be obliged to pass the dreaded examination; going about with fretted, careworn faces, I think it time to cry a halt. It is not the lessons they are crowded through, but the lessons they master that are going to be of value to them. Is there not a-crowding-them-all-into-the-same-mold, a-modeling-them-after-the-same-pattern danger, that takes largely from their individuality, and forbids the evolution of such geniuses as the past generations have known? No doubt we know more than our ancestors, but is it not a question whether we are wiser than they? For this state of things I do not attach blame to the teachers, the curricula of the schools are to blame. This is a part of the everlasting rush of the American race, and what is the remedy? All this nervous strain draws largely upon the physical nature of the child, and produces dwarfed bodies that are nerveless and tired, at the expense of crowded brains. When will our splendid educators see the wrong and devise a better way?

But not all the fault lies with the schools.[278] Many of our children are not properly fed and rested when they enter the schoolroom, and the consequence is poor work languidly done. To obviate this, our home-keepers should be truly good cooks, and by this I mean one who knows how to make an appetizing meal from very little, and that little plain. She should know how to cook the plain solid foods in such a manner that her family will call it a royal meal, and their health and physical vigor will prove it so. Like the mother in the little story, “Bread and Cheese and Kisses,” who, when the meal was particularly scant, would say, “well, dearies, we have only bread and cheese and kisses to-night,” whereupon the kisses would be so warm and full of love, and the love pats so tender, that the little ones would sit down with hearts full of content and rise with thanksgiving and gladness.

Do we half realize how very much the food we set before our families has to do with the contentment and temper of the home, and of the school and business life? A poorly prepared, and poorly served evening meal will send our children to a night of restless, dreamy, unrefreshing sleep, and an awakening in the morning, fretful, disordered and poorly prepared for the day. An unwisely[279] chosen breakfast, carelessly prepared, finishes the work, and our children enter the schoolrooms to endure the day as best they can, a burden to themselves and their teachers.

And right here, the mothers who have not ordered their children before birth may take comfort in the thought that they may still do much for their future by properly nourishing them. Any woman may live a great life in giving the attention she should to the hygiene of cooking for the home; for when she learns how much of knowledge is bound up in the chemistry of cooking, she will explore many fields in her research, and come out the winner in wide culture and loveliness. Much that is called cooking, is but the throwing together of the ingredients in the easiest manner possible, and often disguising the unpalatableness by spices and condiments.

The question of the weakness of our children’s eyes, has become a serious one. What is the cause and what the remedy? But a few words on the subject will suffice in a work like this. There are doubtless various causes, but among the most noticeable and most easily corrected are the following.

Improperly lighted schoolrooms, the windows being at the side and sometimes a part[280] of them at the front. The white walls, the reflected light from which is very trying to the eyes. The constant use of the eyes for near work, which school life demands, and after the five hours in school, the two, three and sometimes four or five hours work out of school, a part of which must be done by artificial light, and that often poor.

The almost constant adjustment of the eye for near vision, which there must be by the city dwellers, with the tall buildings shutting out the far-away look, which rests the eye, in allowing the muscles of accommodation to relax. The poor print of the cheaper class of books put upon the market. The inferior paper will not admit of a clear bold type, and there must be a constant effort of the eye to adjust itself to the conditions. Much can be done to avoid the dangers, by teaching the children to close the eyes and rest them for a moment or two, whenever they feel tired, or to look as far away as possible.

You have doubtless read of “the barefoot cures,” established in a few of our foreign cities, with one, I think, in our own land. The patients are required to go out in the dew-wet grass with bare feet, for a certain time every morning, and thus to draw strength and electricity from mother earth.[281] Could I accomplish it I would establish a barefoot cure in every home in the land. Isn’t it really more than three-fourths pride, that forbids our letting our little ones pull off their shoes and stockings, and revel for a time at least each day in the delicious freedom and coolness they could get from direct contact with mother earth?

Have any of you a child who has not teased to go barefooted, and why have you not allowed it? Do not, I pray you, cheat them out of this blissful freedom, and simple health-giving measure. Put your pride behind you. Venture the possibility that the foot may become a little larger, and let your boys and girls run barefooted for at least an hour or two each day, in the back yard, if you do not like their appearance in front, or in the park, if you have no back yards, and I venture to say you will have healthier, happier, heartier children than you have ever known. No matter how delicate they are, the more delicate the greater the need. By judicious management at the beginning, accustoming them to the change gradually and in the middle of the day, they will rarely take cold. After they have become habituated to it, you will also find that their usual colds will disappear.


Put the tiny babies out into the sand pile as soon as they can sit alone, take off their moccasins and stockings, and let their little feet come in contact with the warm sand and watch their delight.

And now I come to a common practice, which although thoughtlessly acquired is none the less pernicious, namely, the habit which many mothers have of dosing their children on all sorts of domestic nostrums, simply on the reputation that they are good for the ailments of childhood, with no idea of their fitness for the individual case, or for any case. The older I grow, and the more I learn about medicines, the more convinced I am that they are not to be tampered with. Could the composition of many of the so-called domestic remedies be known, mothers would stand appalled at their temerity in daring to administer them. We cannot measure the evil results of this indiscriminate dosing. Why are so many of these compounds put upon the market? Simply because people stand ready and willing to use them, and in doing so fancy they are sparing themselves a larger expense by way of a doctor’s fee.

You would hardly need to go into our uneducated homes to find results of antikamnia[283] (self-ministered) antipyrine, ananalgia, or some other of the long list of anti’s or their near relatives, the various headache powders, anti-constipation teas, pills, etc., etc., without end. This habit among women, together with the tobacco habit among men has wrecked many a little lifeboat before it weighed anchor, and many an older craft has gone to pieces on the rocks because of them.

And now a last word on another bit of seed-sowing that brings forth more than an hundredfold in harvest. Mothers, do you dream what you may be doing when you use brandy and wine in your cookery, or the beer that makes your welsh rarebit “so much better,” to use a quotation from one who uses it. Is it safe in these days of intemperance to create the taste for alcoholics in your children that in after years may demand the gratification which drags them down to death, and carries with them many others? Could we know the effects upon a transient guest often, we would wonder, how, for the sake of custom we had allowed ourselves to play with the poison that destroys all that is beautiful in many homes, and sends to death yearly a countless throng, that some of our children may help to swell, if we do not do our utmost to stay it.


I have tried in these few hints on body-building to show young mothers how much they can do, if they set about intelligently learning how to care for their children. Make the study a painstaking one, and you will bless your families by your research, and the world by the healthy men and women you send out.

A noble band of women, which is yearly increasing, have set themselves the task of instituting a new order of things, and the great problems of childhood, girlhood and boyhood, wifehood, motherhood, and fatherhood, are being studied with a will to master their mysteries, and endow the coming generation with a clearer knowledge of the causes which have led to much of the sin and sorrow in home and society. Mother’s meetings and Congresses witness the awakening of many along these lines and herald a brighter future for our grandchildren than our children have enjoyed; and that there is a call for such a book as this, evidences the recognition of the need for knowledge along these lines.

Some one has wisely said, “what we need most is a generation of educated mothers.” The few are aware of this and have long since passed into the higher grades of such an education; but for the many mothers who have[285] not yet entered the schools, such chapters as this are written. To keep abreast of the questionings of her children, to be thoroughly informed on all the subjects which touch their training and well-being is, next to her religion, the highest prerogative of woman to-day. For any mother to be so prepared that she can teach her children truth, and in such a wholesome way that it shall beautify their whole after lives, and keep them close to her in counsel, is a noble outlook for any woman. And what other right or privilege can be above this?

I am coming to think that a woman is living a great life, and doing a great service for humanity, who trains well one child—if this be all she should and can have—Godward and manward. True she may do this and do much else; but if she be a mother, all else she may do, neglecting this, can never bring to her or the world much blessing. All else she may do while fulfilling well this duty, will but make her the better mother and world-helper. No mother can divorce the home and fireside from her work and retain success and happiness.

J. C. Fernauld has said truly, “With every mother the relation of motherhood should be the controlling one, and in all[286] doubtful cases, mother duty should have the benefit of the doubt.” Charles H. Parkhurst says: “Society rises no higher than the mass, and the measure of the home is the mother. In the last analysis the world’s downward pressure is sustained by woman, and more than the public generally suspects, the man’s talent for achievement is supported by the wife’s or mother’s genius for quiet, patient, continuous endurance.”

“A nation rises no higher than its mothers.”

A beginning has been made in our schools toward a wider knowledge along the lines of being, which heralds the day when teachers who are intelligent in these matters shall prepare our young people for the responsibilities of life—then those whose home training has been neglected, shall not come out of our schools unprepared, but fitted to take their places as home-makers, as fathers and mothers who shall be capable of training their children in the wisest way.



The Awakening Along New Lines.—A Better Brand of Mothers.—Books that Will Help Along This Line.—Mothers’ Clubs as Factors.—Their Need in Cities, Villages, and Rural Communities.—A Rich Mine.

A book like this cannot enter into close details, or give minute directions; hence we have deemed it advisable to append a list of books and pamphlets which should be in every mother’s library. Were every young wife to make a painstaking study of books like these with the fixed intent of preparing herself for motherhood, what a millennial day would dawn for the race.

The following list (to which have been added a few others) I have copied from the library of a club of mothers, who have interested themselves in gathering the best they could find in the line of instruction and helpfulness to a wife and mother. This list may be further increased by many other helpful[288] books, but serves as a suggestive list for those who are not conversant with such literature:

The Children of The Future, $1.00
Nora Archibald Smith.
What is Worth While? .35
Anna Robertson Brown.
Power Through Repose, 1.00
Anna Payson Call.
The Republic of Childhood, (3 vols.) 3.00
Kate Douglass Wiggin.
A Mother’s Ideals, 1.50
Andrea Hofer Proudfoot.
A Study of Child Nature, 1.00
Elizabeth Harrison.
Child Culture, .30
Hannah Whitall Smith.
The Home Training of Children, .50
J. C. Fernauld.
Literary Landmarks, 1.25
Mary E. Burt.
Gentle Measures, 1.25
Jacob Abbott.
Mothers the True Reformers, .10
Mrs. W. L. W. Miller.
A Treatise on Prayer, .75
Rev. Edward Bickersteith.[289]
Home Making, 1.00
Loving My Neighbor, .35
The Golden Gate of Prayer, .75
Rev. J. R. Miller, D. D.
The Ministry of Intercession, .75
Rev. Andrew Murray.
Stepping Heavenward, .75
Mrs. E. Prentiss.
With God in The World, 1.00
Chas. H. Brent.
The Kingship of Self Control, .30
Wm. George Jordan.
From Girlhood to Motherhood, .30
Mary Lowe Dickinson.
Seed Thoughts for Mothers, .35
Mrs. Minnie E. Paul.
Bringing up Boys, .50
Kate Upson Clark.
What a Young Boy Ought to Know, 1.00
What a Young Man Ought to Know, 1.00
What a Young Husband Ought to Know, 1.00
What a Man of Forty-five Ought to Know, 1.00
Sylvanus Stall, D. D.
What a Young Girl Ought to Know, 1.00
What a Young Woman Ought to Know, 1.00
Mrs. Mary Wood-Allen, M. D.
Children, Their Models and Critics, .75
Auretta R. Aldrich.[290]
Children’s Rights, 1.00
Kate Douglass Wiggins.
Great Books as Life Teachers, 1.50
Newell Dwight Hillis.
Letters to Mothers, 1.50
Susan E. Blow.
Character, .75
Samuel Smiles.
A Holy Temple, .05
Rev. F. B. Meyer.
A Song of Life, 1.25
Life and Love, 1.25
Margaret Warner Morley.
Hints on Child Training, 1.25
H. Clay Trumbull, D. D.
Bits of Talks about Home Matters, 1.00
H. H.
The Study of Children, 1.00
Francis Warner.
The Evening and The Morning, 1.00
Rev. Armstrong Black.
Christian Nurture, 1.50
Horace Bushnell, D. D.
The Development of the Child, 1.25
Care of the Child in Health, 1.25
Nathan Oppenheim, M. D.
The Boy Problem, .75
Wm. Byron Forbush.[291]
Of Making One’s Self Beautiful, .50
Wm. C. Gannett.
Imago Christi, 1.50
Rev. Jas. Stalker, D. D.
Home Thoughts, 1.50
Maternal Responsibilities, .10
E. F. A. Drake, M. D.
From A Child’s Standpoint, 1.00
Florence Hull Winterburn.
Education, 1.00
Herbert Spencer.

Any of these books can be ordered through the Vir Publishing Company.

A score of copies of Mary Wood-Allen’s booklets have been sold among the members, and copies of The American Mother, The Mothers’ Journal, and Trained Motherhood are taken. This club meets once a month, and papers are read by the members, or by some invited guest. Physicians and ministers, school-teachers who have had success along certain lines; kindergartners, and lawyers have spoken to this company of women. Each year a printed program is issued, and the meetings are open to all who wish to attend, whether members or not. The discussions which have followed the papers, have[292] been interesting and profitable in the extreme. One or two are appointed to open the discussion, and questions are freely asked. This club is only three years old, but it would be impossible to measure its influence for good, and its suggestive helpfulness in the community. Would that there were a similar society of women in every city in our land. Yea, more, in every village and rural community. Literary clubs and classes have multiplied, all over our land, ad infinitum; and is it not time that mothers’ classes were more common and popular? Depend upon it, more pleasure and profit can be gotten out of such a class, than from any other proposed line of study. Why? Because it goes to the very root of things, and comes so near to the hearts of all that it can but create interest.

Woman has done much in literary study and improvement, but here is a mine that has not been worked as it should have been; and depend upon it, no richer field can be found in all the realm of art, science or literature.



2237 Land Title Building

7 Imperial Arcade, Ludgate Circus

29-33 Richmond Street West

Maternity Without Suffering


Condensed Table of Contents

Healthfulness of Child-Bearing—Wrong notion about child-bearing corrected—Dangerous subterfuges—Contrast between willing and unwilling mothers—Ennobling maternity—Causes of painful parturition—Suggestions for proper exercise—Errors in diet—A proper regimen—A contributing cause to pain—Is painless parturition possible?—Opinions of scientists and physicians—Reasons why some women have painless child-bearing—The author’s experience as a physician—The conditions necessary for painless maternity—Danger of extreme methods—Effects of bad advisers—Contributing factors of antenatal infanticide—Nothing to dread in normal childbirth—Extreme methods not necessary.

The Crime of Prenatal Murder—The day of reckoning—Words of warning—The mother’s accomplice—How often to have children—Dangerous practices—The necessity of knowledge—Importance of a proper state of mind during pregnancy—How to make one’s life noble—The first steps in meddlesome midwifery.

The Necessary Preparation for Motherhood—Exercise to be zealously sought—Home duties and domestic science—The best exercise—Some aids to physical development—Dress during pregnancy—The bath—Care of breasts and abdomen—Choice of physician and nurse—The husband’s part—Ailments of pregnancy—Troublesome ills—Morning sickness—Heartburn—Constipation—The prevention and treatment of piles—Other ills—Causes of nervous apprehension—Other mental conditions—Birthmarks—Threatened miscarriage.

Heredity, Predisposition and Environment—The mother’s influence on the destiny of her child—A profitable study—What a mother can do for her children—Reasons why later children are stronger and brighter.

The Lying-in Chamber—The room—The bed—The mother’s dress—The articles necessary—After the advent of the baby—Necessity of knowledge—The disturbing things—Signs of pregnancy and the birth—The rational or presumptive signs—The time in reckoning—The duration of pregnancy—Exceptional cases—The disturbing stage of labor—Valuable suggestions—Directions for the nurse—Propriety of anæsthetics—Baby’s wardrobe—Requisite articles—Directions for their making—Baby’s first trunk—First toilet—Baby’s first dressing—Ensuring a night’s rest—The cradle—Hours of eating and sleeping—Proper kind of food.

Price { 50 Cents } net, post free
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“What a Young Girl Ought to Know.”


Condensed Table of Contents


The origin of life—One plan in all forms of life—How plants grow from the seed—They feed on the soil, grow and mature—How the plant reproduces itself—The flower, the pollen, the pod, the seed—The office of bees and insects in fertilization.


Fishes and their young—The parent fishes and the baby fishes—The seeds of plants and eggs of fishes, birds and animals—How fishes never know their baby offspring—Warm blooded animals—Lessons from birds—Their nests, eggs and little ones.


Animals and their young—The place which God has prepared for their young—Beginning their independent life—Human babies the most helpless and dependent of all creatures—The relations of parent and child—The child a part of each parent—Heredity and its lessons.


The value of good health—The care of the body—The body a temple to be kept holy—Girls should receive their instruction from their mothers—The body the garment which the soul wears—Effects of thoughts upon life and character—Value of good companions, good books and good influences—What it is to become a woman.

Price { $1.00 } net, per copy
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“What a Young Girl Ought to Know.”


Francis E. Willard, LL.D.

“I do earnestly hope that this book, founded on a strictly scientific but not forgetting a strong ethical basis, may be well known and widely read by the dear girls in their teens and the young women in their homes.”

Mrs. Elizabeth B. Grannis

“These facts ought to be judiciously brought to the intelligence of every child whenever it asks questions concerning its own origin.”

Mrs. Harriet Lincoln Coolidge

“It is a book that mothers and daughters ought to own.”

Mrs. Katharine L. Stevenson

“The book is strong, direct, pure, as healthy as a breeze from the mountain-top.”

Mrs. Isabelle MacDonald Alden, “Pansy”

“It is just the book needed to teach what most people do not know how to teach, being scientific, simple and plain-spoken, yet delicate.”

Miss Grace H. Dodge

“I know of no one who writes or speaks on these great subjects with more womanly touch than Mrs. Wood-Allen, nor with deeper reverence. When I listen to her I feel that she has been inspired by a Higher Power.”

Ira D. Sankey

“Every mother in the land that has a daughter should secure for her a copy of ‘What a Young Girl Ought to Know.’ It will save the world untold sorrow.”

“What a Young Woman Ought to Know.”


Condensed Table of Contents



Woman’s worth—Importance of care of the body—How to obtain health—Waste and repair—Questions of food—Importance of rest in sleep—The office and importance of correct breathing—Injuries from tight clothing—Physical culture—Exercise and recreation—The value of the bath.



The endowment of new powers—The conferring of life—Brain building and character formation—Soul and self—Special physiology—Woman’s special bodily endowments—The crisis in the girl’s life—Ovulation and menstruation—Their significance—Causes and cures of disturbed physical conditions—Painful periods and displacements—Special care of health at special times—Many healthful suggestions suited to the physical needs of young women—Secret vice and its consequences—The relation of pure young women to young men—Friendships.


What is love—Should include mental conjugality, spiritual sympathy and physical attraction—Responsibility in marriage—Antecedents, talents and habits of young man—The law of heredity—Beneficial—Effects of stimulants upon offspring—Inherited effects of immorality—Good characteristics also transmitted—Requisites in a husband—Engagements—Benefits of, evils of—Holding to the highest ideals—Weddings—Gifts, tours and realities of life.

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“What a Young Woman Ought to Know.”


Lady Henry Somerset

“An extremely valuable book, and I wish that it may be widely circulated.”

Mrs. Laura Ormiston Chant

“The book ought to be in the hands of every girl on her fifteenth birthday, as a safe guide and teacher along the difficult path of womanhood.”

Margaret Warner Morley

“There is an awful need for the book, and it does what it has undertaken to do better than anything of the kind I ever read.”

Mrs. May Wright Sewall

“I am profoundly grateful that a subject of such information to young woman should be treated in a manner at once so noble and so delicate.”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“It is a grave mistake for parents to try to keep their children ignorant of the very questions on which they should have scientific information.”

Lillian M. N. Stevens

“There is a great need of carefully, delicately written books upon the subjects treated in this series. I am gratefully glad that the author has succeeded so well, and I trust great and enduring good will be the result.”

Mrs. Matilda B. Carse

“It is pure and instructive on the delicate subjects that mean so much to our daughters, to their future as home-keepers, wives and mothers, and to the future generations.”

“What a Woman of Forty-five Ought to Know”


Condensed Table of Contents


Why women are not prepared to meet the climacteric—The fear that unnerves many—Error of views concerning “Change of Life”—Correct teaching stated—Influence of medical literature—Three periods in a woman’s life—Relation of early habits to later aches and ills—The menopause—Conditions which influence the period of the climacteric—The age at which it usually appears—Effects of heredity—Childless women—Mothers of large families—Effects of different occupations—Excesses.


Mental states during menopause—Change in blood currents—Flushes, chilliness, dizziness, etc.—Nervous Symptoms—Disturbed mental and nervous equilibriums—Nature as woman’s helper—Troublesome ailments—Mental troubles considered—Suggested help—Cancer—Benefits named—Apprehensions dispelled—How to banish worry—Simplifying daily duty—An eminent physician’s prescription—A word to single women—Reluctance of unmarried women to meet the menopause—How to prolong one’s youth—Dress during this period—The mother “At Sea”—Guarding against becoming gloomy—Effects of patent medicine advertising—Drug fiends—Lustful indulgence.


Slights and inattentions keenly felt by her—Need of patience—A word of private counsel—Value of little attentions—Wife’s duty to her husband—Holding husband’s affections—Making home attractive—Unselfishness.


Influence of mind over body—The mind as a curative agent—How to rise out of depression—Mental philosophy and physical betterment—Relation of health to sight—Care of the teeth—The hair—Constipation—Self cure—Choice of foods—Exercise—Physical development—Exercise of mind and soul.

Price { $1.00 } net, post free.
4 s.

“What a Woman of Forty-five Ought to Know”


“Will dispell apprehensions aroused by groundless forebodings.”—Reformed Church Messenger.

“If the hygienic advice in this book is followed it will lengthen the lives of women and make their closing years the happiest and most useful of all.”—Herald and Presbyter.

“In no line of literature, perhaps, is such a book so much needed.”—New Haven Leader.

“Those who peruse the book only from prurient curiosity will be disappointed.”—Cleveland World.

“Should be read by every woman nearing and passing middle life.”—Pittsburg Gazette.

“Written in that wholesome sympathetic manner characteristic of all the books in the Self and Sex Series.”—Cleveland Daily World.

“Full of most admirable practical advice and it is written in a sympathetic manner which is the outcome of oneness of sex between the author and those whom she addresses.”—Syracuse Herald.

“There are some things that a woman of forty-five does not know—things which she regards with more or less terror in the expectation—which terror it is the object of Mrs. Drake to dispel.”—Rochester Herald.

“There is nothing in the book that could not be proclaimed from the house-tops, and there is everything in it that intelligent and thoughtful women should read and keep for their daughters to read when the proper time comes.”—Newark Daily Advertiser.

“What a Young Boy Ought to Know.”


Condensed Table of Contents


God’s purpose in endowing plants, animals and man with reproductive power—The question of the origin of life a natural and proper one—Difference between creating and making—How God now creates or reproduces the flowers, insects, fishes and animals—The mamma and papa plants and the baby plants—The mamma and papa nature in the stalk of corn—The two natures united in the same flower—Separated in other plants—The office of the wind and insects in fertilizing the flowers—The mamma and papa natures united in the same oyster—The life of the baby oyster—The two natures separated in the fishes—The eggs and the baby fishes—How seeds are made to grow and how eggs are hatched—The beautiful lives of parent birds—The bird’s nest, the eggs and the baby birds—Why the eggs of animals may not be exposed in a nest—The nest which God has prepared for them—The hatching of the egg or the birth of the animal—The creation of Adam and Eve—God created man with power similar to his creative power—The purity of parentage.


The manner in which the reproductive organs are injured in boys by abuse—Comparative anatomy, or points of resemblance between bodies of birds, animals and man—Man the only animal with a perfect hand—With the hand he constructs, builds and blesses—With the hand he smites, slays and injures others, and degrades himself.


The consequences in boys of the abuse of the reproductive organs—Need of proper information—The moral effects first to manifest themselves—How secret sin affects the character of boys—Effects upon the body and the nerves—Effects upon the brain and mind—The physical effects that follow.


How boys may preserve their bodies in purity and strength—Our duty to aid others to avoid pernicious habits, and to retain or regain their purity and strength.


How purity and strength may be measurably regained—The age of adolescence or puberty and its attendant changes—Its significance and its dangers.

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“What a Young Boy Ought to Know”

For Boys under Sixteen Years of Age


Theodore L. Cuyler, D.D.

“‘What a Young Boy Ought to Know’ ought to be in every home where there is a boy.”

Lady Henry Somerset

“Calculated to do an immense amount of good. I sincerely hope it may find its way to many homes.”

Joseph Cook, D.D., LL.D.

“It is everywhere suggestive, inspiring and strategic in a degree, as I think, not hitherto matched in literature of its class.”

Charles L. Thompson, D.D.

“Why was not this book written centuries ago?”

Anthony Comstock

“It lifts the mind and thoughts upon a high and lofty plane upon delicate subjects.”

Edward W. Bok

“It has appealed to me in a way which no other book of its kind has.”

Bishop John H. Vincent, D.D., LL.D.

“You have handled with great delicacy and wisdom an exceedingly difficult subject.”

John Willis Baer

“I feel confident that it can do great good, and I mean that my boys shall have the contents placed before them.”

Mrs. Mary A. Livermore, LL.D.

“Full of physiological truths, which all children ought to know, at a proper age; will be read by boys without awakening a prurient thought.”

Josiah Strong, D.D.

“A foolish and culpable silence on the part of most parents leaves their children to learn, too often from vicious companions, sacred truth in an unhallowed way.”

“What a Young Man Ought to Know.”


Condensed Table of Contents


The value of physical strength—The weak man handicapped—Threefold nature of man—Relation of the physical, intellectual and moral—Impair one, you injure all—The physical foundation—Man’s strong sexual nature—Sexuality strongly marked in all great men—Importance of manly mastery of sexual nature—Personal purity—Only one moral standard for men and women.


Inherited weakness—How overcome—Acquired weakness—How produced—The effects of secret vice—What should be done—Losses in sleep—When to consult a physician—Danger from quacks and charlatans—What are normal and abnormal losses—Medical authorities quoted—Subject illustrated—Important directions.


Alarming ignorance concerning the diseases which accompany vice—Why physicians do not acquaint their patients with the nature of these diseases—The prevalence—All forms of venereal diseases leave terrible results—Character and consequences of gonorrhœa—Later complications—Chordee, stricture, blindness, etc.—How healthy brides become early and permanent invalids—Chancroid and chancre—The primary, secondary and tertiary forms of syphilis—The beginning, progress and end—Can it ever be cured—May the man ever marry—Effects upon wife and children.


Their purpose and prostitution—Marriage a great blessing—Difference between creation and procreation—All life from the seed or the egg—The reproduction of plants, fishes, birds and animals contrasted—An interesting study.


Importance of a right relation to women—The nature of marriage—The friends and foes of marriage—Who should not marry—The selection of a wife—Some general rules—Importance of great caution—Causes of unhappiness in married life—Early and late marriages.


The choice of companions, books, pictures, amusements, recreations—Liquors and tobacco—Self-mastery—Right aim in life—Industry, early rising—The influence of an ennobling affection—Education—The Sabbath, the Church and the Bible.

Price { $1.00 } net, per copy, post free
4 s.

“What a Young Man Ought to Know.”

What Eminent People Say:

Francis E. Clark, D. D.

“Of exceeding value to every youth just entering upon manhood. It is written reverently but very plainly, and I believe will save a multitude of young men from evils unspeakable.”

John Clifford, D. D.

“One of the best books for dawning manhood that has fallen into my hands. It goes to the roots of human living. It is thoroughly manly. Dr. Stall has laid the rising generation under an immense obligation.”

J. Wilbur Chapman, D. D.

“I bear willing testimony that I believe this book ought to be in the hands of every young man in this country.”

Paul F. Munde, M. D., LL. D.

Professor of Gynæcology in the New York Polyclinic and at Dartmouth College, says:

“I most heartily commend not only the principle but the execution of what it aims to teach.”

Eugene H. Porter, M. D., LL. D.

President of the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of New York; Professor Materia Medica, New York Homeopathic Medical College, etc., says:

“We should especially commend the volume for its reliability in statement, and, as a medical man, I highly indorse the medical teachings of the book. It is trustworthy and sound. It is a work which should be in the hands of every young man.”

“What a Young Husband Ought to Know.”


Condensed Table of Contents



The true foundation for happiness in married life—Physical, intellectual and sexual differences between men and women—Each complemental to the other, and complete only when mated—The three theories regarding coition—The correct theory—The physical cost of procreation—Illustrated in insects, animals and man—What is excess—Effects of marital continence—The husband’s duty to his wife—Physical defects and deficiencies of husband or wife—Misery entailed by vice—Effects upon wife—Upon children—Purity and fidelity.




Marriage the most trying event in a woman’s life—Earliest mistake which most young husbands make—Few intelligent guardians of their brides—Threefold classification of women—Causes of differences.


Her manifold duties as wife, mother and housekeeper—God has fitted her for her sphere—The mother-nature—Barrenness and sterility—Physical, social, intellectual and moral benefits of motherhood and fatherhood—Aversion and evasion—God’s purpose in marriage—Limitation of offspring—Marital excess—The wrongs which wives suffer because of ignorant and unthinking husbands—Repellant periods in the life of woman.


Purposed and prepared parenthood—Conception—The marvels of fœtal life and growth—Changes during the months of gestation—The husband’s duty to wife and offspring—What the wife has a right to expect before and during confinement—Ignorant, unthinking and unsympathetic husbands—The child in the home—Real life and genuine happiness—The mother while nursing—Protection of child from impure nurses.



Heredity—Prenatal influences—Physical conditions prior to and at conception—Stirpiculture—Essentials of seed, soil and care—“Longings,” markings, etc.—Can sex of offspring be governed—Cause of idiocy—Blindness, etc.—The right to be well-born—Parental discipline during first two years—Duties during childhood—Nursery influences—Honest answers to honest inquiries—How to secure purity in thought and life of children.

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4 s.

“What a Young Husband Ought to Know”


Chas. M. Sheldon, D. D.

“I believe the book will do great good, and I hope its message may be used for the bettering of the homes of the world.”

Rev. F. B. Meyer, B. A.

“I greatly commend this series of manuals, which are written lucidly and purely, and will afford the necessary information without pandering to unholy and sensual passion.”

Hon. S. M. Jones

“I am glad to say that my study of it indicates that you have been led by a pure love for your kind to write one of the most helpful and valuable books that it has been my privilege to see in many days.”

Bishop John H. Vincent, D. D., LL. D.

“Straightforward, clean, kind, clear and convincing. A copy ought to go with every marriage certificate.”

Rev. Newell Dwight Hillis

“It is a wholesome and helpful contribution to a most difficult subject, and its reading will help to make the American home happier and more safely guarded.”

Rev. A. C. Dixon, D. D.

“I take pleasure in commending it to husbands, young and old. The vice of ignorance on these delicate but important subjects has done much to increase the business of divorce courts and wreck homes.”

Amos R. Wells

“The race would be infinitely stronger in body and soul if all husbands would obtain this book and follow its precepts.”

“What a Man of Forty-five Ought to Know.”


Condensed Table of Contents



Prevalent ignorance concerning physical changes in men of middle-life—Sad results of such ignorance—Reasons for change—Evidences of these changes—Husband and wife constitute a reproductive unit—The two natures responsive in activity and repose—Somewhat similar changes in both—The age at which climacteric or “change of life” occurs in men—Climacteric and adolescence contrasted—The testimony of medical men to the fact—Only young men need the testimonials of authorities—Old men know it—Compensations which follow the sexual hush—Physical and mental effects—Changes more gradual than in women—Many men intellectually at their best after sexual hush—To them time and experience open their richest treasures—Moderation in all things enjoined—Sexual moderation emphasized—Virility, how destroyed, how preserved—Effects of exercise, food, stimulants, sleep, employment, etc.—Functional disorders—Benefit of intelligence—Enlargement of the prostate gland—Manifestations, cause and precautionary measures—The marriage of men of middle life—Physical unfitness and effects—Rights of the unborn—The years beyond—The man at forty determines what the man at eighty shall be—Value of purpose to keep strong and bright—Examples.



Reproduction the primal purpose of marriage—Attractive and repellent periods in life of woman—Climacteric or change of life the most repellent period—Disappearance of menstruation only an outward manifestation—The phenomenon explained—Reasons for change made plain—Not a period of stress for all women—How to meet the menopause—Occupation, diet, fresh air, exercise, sleep, companionship, sexual repose, etc., etc.—Mortality and insanity greater among men—The aches and ills which attend the menopause—Aversion to husband, children and friends—Physical changes which attend and follow change of life in women—Modified sexual nature—Growths—Mental changes and conditions—Need of intelligence upon the part of husband and others.

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“What a Man of Forty-five Ought to Know”


“We do not hesitate to recommend.”—Experience.

“A reliable and instructive guide, in sexual matters and yet pure and chaste in style.”—Journal of Dermatology.

“Information of vital importance.”—Pittsburgh Christian Advocate.

“Written in an honest, frank, and fearless way.”—Christian Standard.

“It is a clean book which one should sit down to alone.”—The Evangelist.

“These books deserve to be circulated by the million.”—Leslie’s Weekly.

“To many men the guidance of this book will be a timely benediction.”—Chicago Appeal.

“The utterance of one who has an accurate knowledge of men.”—Brooklyn Citizen.

“It is a helpful book and in all important particulars sound in its medical statements.”—Baltimore Sun.

“This book is recommendable not only to the intelligent layman to read himself and hand to others, but also to the physician, who ought to welcome it as a means to refresh an important part of his physiologic knowledge.”—Alkaloidal Clinic.

“A man who is a fool at forty-five (and there are many of them) is pretty hard to manage. There are certain things which he ought to know without being told, but it is difficult to teach him these things. He needs reasoning with and plain talking to. This book does it in a healthy, elevating manner. These cases are often very troublesome to the physician. It would be well to have this book handy to lend to such patients. This course will help the physician to manage his patient and help the patient. This book will do much good. There has been a need for just such a work.”—Medical World.


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New Revised Edition

“Manhood’s Morning”


An Invaluable Book for Every Young Man

Chapter 1, Twelve Million Young Men. Chapter 2, The Best Years of Life. Chapter 3, What Some Young Men Have Done. Chapter 4, Wild Oats and Other Weeds. Chapter 5, Reason Why Young Men Go Wrong. Chapter 6, Paying the Piper. Chapter 7, Where Young Men Belong. Chapter 8, What Young Men Must Be. Chapter 9, What Young Men Must Do.


From Prof. Lyman B. Sperry, M.D., Lecturer and Author

“Every young man should read it yearly from the time he is fourteen till he is twenty-eight.”

Bishop J. H. Vincent, LL.D. Chancellor of Chautauqua University

“Every minister who deals with young men, and every young man who cares to avoid evil and loves righteousness should read the book.”

Frances E. Willard, President National W. C. T. U.

“We advise parents to send for a copy of this book to give as a present to their sons.”

T. J. Sanders, A.M., Ph.D., President Otterbein University, Ohio

“A remarkable series of Chapters to young men—stimulating and suggestive.”

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Five-Minute Object Sermons to Children

“Far better than Newton’s, the anecdotes and subjects of which have long since become common property. Many of the subjects are very fresh and telling.”—New York Evangelist.

Cloth, 253 pp. Price, $1.00, post free.

Talks to the King’s Children

“The Rev. Dr. Sylvanus Stall, is one of the best preachers for young people in the American pulpit. His ‘Five-Minute Object Sermons’ to children was an ideal book in its class. The present volume is a second series of the same kind, and will be found to have no less point and charm than the volume published two years ago.”—New York Independent.

Cloth, 249 pp. Price $1.00, post free.

Methods of Church Work

“It is stimulating, helpful, worth its weight in gold to any minister who wishes to accomplish anything for the kingdom of Christ.”—New York Christian Intelligencer.

Cloth, 304 pp. Price $1.50, post free.

Bible Selections for Daily Devotion.

The most spiritual and helpful portion of the entire Bible arranged in the order of the original text. Comprises about one-third of the whole Bible.

“That there has been a great falling off in the good old custom of daily family worship, there can be no doubt. Just how much of this deplorable condition is due to the difficulty of hastily selecting Scriptural passages suited to the service, it might be difficult to determine. But fully persuaded that this is an obstacle of considerable moment, Dr. Stall, after some three year’s work, has selected a series of 365 devotional readings from Genesis to Revelation.”—Christian Advocate, Pittsburg.

Cloth, 12mo., 686 pages. Price, $1.00, post free.

Pastor’s Pocket Record

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20 Departments. 200 pp., Levant morocco. Price, 50c.


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Articles appear in its columns from such well-known and distinguished authors as Josiah Strong, D. D., Jessie A. Ackerman, Martha B. Earle, J. R. Miller, D. D., Theodore Cuyler, D. D., Mrs. Mabel L. Conklin, Mrs. Margaret E. Sangster, Mrs. Dr. Mary Wood-Allen, Sharlott M. Hall, Mrs. Emma F. A. Drake, M. D., Margaret S. Hormel, Rev. C. W. Arnold, M. D., Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Canon E. Lyttleton, Washington Gladden, D. D., Sylvanus Stall, D. D., and many other noted writers.


640 Land Title Building,

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of What a Young Wife Ought to Know, by 
Emma F. Angell Drake


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