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Advice to Women - Preparation for Marriage

The controlled appetite, simple yet healthful dietetic habits, with respiratory activity, either in rest or exercise, are vital cosmetics. Women should dress rationally, letting every ounce of weight be sustained by the shoulders, and should be adorned, not made hideous, with modest apparel, for no woman is so strong that she can afford to sacrifice a tithe of her health to satisfy the most imperious demands of fashion. Faithful maintenance of bodily health is as much a woman's duty as to speak the truth.

Next to physical vigor comes the question of edu cation. A nation will stand or fall with its mothers and sisters, and we are glad to see them widely intel ligent, and strong in all integrity, so that they may cherish our homes, and the fathers and brothers to whom their earliest ministrations are to be given. This alone will prepare women to be wives; but in your practical training and intellectual culture, pre pare yourself to marry a poor young Mall and to seek life's best gifts together, for more than tl?ree fourths of our young women must marry young men who have little to begin with, but education, business training, and integrity, which should be the first requisites. This fact, and the truth that no one is exempt from reverses, should prompt every young woman to fit herself, whether sl?e marries or not, for any possible exigency which may arise. A practical home-training in the care of children in health or sickness, and in the conduct of a household, is needful for any young woman. But this is not enough; for every girl should be taught in some department of skilled labor, not only for the practical development of her powers of usefulness, but that she may be mea surably self-dependent in case of reverses. Millinery, dressmaking, a thorough training in vocal and instru mental music, a year or two of experience as book keeper or accountant, two years of training in one of our hospital schools for nurses, the Cr >rough master ing of one language, or tl?e principles of elocution, the per.ecting of a talent for sketching or painting, are departments of useful work for women.

Women in rural life can find appropriate occupa tion in improving the varieties of our wild berries and the edible plants, which should enter more large ly into our common dietetic regimen, the culture of the grape, the care of all small fruits, and much of the work in a greenhouse or apiary; and horti culture may be of great advantage to the physical health of girls and .women, and bring reasonable remuneration.

No matter how high the position socially which our daughters occupy, they need training in practical use of their faculties, as well as our sons. Physical

labor is essential to both, for without such personal experience our boys and girls are likely to become helpless dependents, instead of useful workers in life's great harvest-field. I can see no reason, if no higher duty claims her service, why a sister may not fill a clerkship beside her brother, at as a copyist for her father, or as his bookkeeper and trusted assist ant, or lift many a care from his shoulders, at least in the management of the home accounts.

Training others in the simpler details of nursing among the sick poor, after a personal practical train ing, is a work worthy a nobly born woman, — one not less useful or honorable than that of the physician himself; and in the large proportion of our homes everywhere, such teaching of mothers and daughters is much needed.

In one of the numbers of the London "Lancet," I noticed a grave objection to the admission of English young women to responsible positions in the dispens ing department of pharmaceutical establishments, because they were such inveterate talkers. Could not this redundant gift be turned to good account, both in England and in our own land, where there is so much teaching needed? It is the part of individ ual and national wisdom to utilize waste power, and surely there is no community or neighborhood which would not be improved by the teaching of a good true woman in all the better ways of living, physically and spiritually, which are a part of wo man's educational province. Here is a wide field for occupation, and I see no reason why women may not be aided and authorized in such work, by a thorough medical education. No woman for this reason would be a less useful teacher, matron, or care-taker of girls or lads in our reformatories or penitentiaries. I am sure such are needed in all our prisons for women, in the women's departments of insane asylums, in our retreats for degraded wo men, and in public hospitals. No woman after such experience would be less useful in her home as wife or mother.

The work of medical practice is a life-long service, involving the greatest trusts and demanding the best energies of those who assume its responsibil ities. I do not think this work compatible with the highest fulfilment of the duties of marriage and motherhood, but if intelligent and noble women lay aside all else, and devote themselves to the care of sick women and children, aiding in building hap pier homes and a higher state of society, all should bid them God speed.

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