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The ladies' home journal
Vol. XX, No. 7 (June, 1903)

Mabie, Mr.
Mr. Mabie's Literary talk to girls,   p. 15 PDF (953.8 KB)


Page 15

Ar.,,daie's Jit e rary gl5?V/4 tcil
"HAT shall I read?" is a much
more important question than
" What shall I wear? " but it
is to be feared that many girls think
otherwise. It is just as much one's duty
to be attractive as to be good, and dress
and manners are of much greater im-
portance than some people suppose.
\ We have not only to live in this world,
hut we have also to live with others.
I lalf the pleasure of living comes from
oir relations with others : from the
variety, interest, charm which they bring
us. It is one of our best pieces of good
fortune to live in a community in which
the people are intelligent, well-dressed,
courteous and interesting, and it is every
one's duty to help make such a com-
miunity by being intelligent, well dressed,
courteous and interesting. The man
who thinks be is showing superior strength of character
by being churlish simply reveals his ignorance.
The woman who discards taste in dress as an evidence
of frivolity, and makes herself conspicuous by reason of
the inappropriateness or ugliness of her dress, adver-
tises ier one-sided notion of a
woman's place and    work in
society. To dress intelligently
and attractively, so far as one's
means will permit, is just as much
a part of a rational and well-
rounded life as to be truthful and
honest. We owe to those who
live with us the courtesy of be-        It is hop
ing well dressed.
Reading as a Means of Attraction     book which
THERE is a sham Americanism          the girls of t
which is ostentatiously
slovenly as a sign of independ-
ence. No man or woman has
any right to be independent at        Miss Alcott's
the expense of others; and inde-
pendence never involves bad           Lamb's "Tale
taste in dress or manners. Real       Kingsley's ''G
Americanism is good sense, self-
restraint and consideration for
others. We cannot be too care-
ful to treat one another with the
utmost respect.
The instinct which makes a          "Modern Rea
girl wish to be beautiful and at-     Tennyson's "I
tractive is healthful, and ought      Longfellow's
to be guided and enforced by
education. The girl who does
not care whether she is agree-
able or not shows lack of good        Scott's Novels
sense. But no girl ought to be        Dickens's Nov
satisfied with making a pleasant      Jane Austen's
impression on the eye: she            Hawthorne's
ought to be not only agreeable
to look at but agreeable to talk
with as well. Her voice ought         George Eliot'
to) be low alnd modulated; she
()tigIt to have many kinds of
interest, and shle oughlt to hlave
a cultivatedcmiond. Charm  of
manner and of mind often bins
ill competition withl beauty unlaccompanied by cultiva-
tion; and it has tle great advanttage over beauty of
increasing as the years go by.
When a Woman's Beauty is Gone
B EAUTY often goes early in life, a
- more pathetic figures than the v
lost it and have nothing to put in its
girl lays up a store of attractions agaim
those with which she started may be
no better way of making one's self a
panion for others and for one's self
reading of good books. One of the fi
ever paid a woman was the
remark of anl eminent man
concerning   a well-known
woman of his time, that to
know her was a liberal educa-
tion. No woman can have the
quality of mind which makes
association with her not only
delightful, but stimulating and
educational, unless she iswell
read ; and the well-read woman
must read constantly and with
intelligence.
No Sex in Literature
M EN and women have the same
interests in life and ought
to read the same books. The
time has long gone by when
certain very conventional and
didactic, goody-goody books
were set apart for the '" edifica-
tion of the female mind." There
is no sex so far as the great ex-
periences of life are concerned,
and the greatest books are those
id there are few
'omen who have
place. The wise
nst the time when
lost, and there is
n agreeable com-
than by constant
nest compliments
which deal with these experiences. Many of these
books were written for men in the days before women
read as a class, but they belong as much to women as to
men, and no girl can afford to remain ignorant of them.
Shakespeare's Plays Performed Without Women
N O WOMAN appeared in any play of Shakespeare's
until many years after his death, and these plays
were presented at the start to audiences made up
largely of men ; but to-day it is probable that, in this
country at least, more women than men are studying
the plays, and the finest traditions of Shakespearean
acting have to do as much with great actresses as with
great actors. Formerly books were not only written for
men but by men; now they are written by women
in increasing numbers, and any list of the foremost
writers of the nineteenth century must contain the names
of Jane Austen, George Eliot, George Sand, Mrs.
Browning, Madame de Stael, and other notable women.
In American fiction especially women have done an
increasing amount of original work with a high degree
ot skill and ability. There is no division of literature
along sex lines, and no large group of books which
women ought to read simply because they are women.
BOOKS FOR GIRLS
ed that this list xwill be read in connection with the a
It is not intended to do more than suggest the kinda
young girls will find profitable, and it includes only s
o-day are reading with interest.
FOR YOUNGER GIRLS
1 Little Women"
"An Old-Fashioned Girl"
s from Shakespeare"
reek Heroes"
he Water Babies"
Carroll's'- Alice in Wonderla
11   "Through the Look
Macdonald's ''The Princessa
" At the Back o
Wind "
FOR OLDER GIRLS
iders' Bible'"
Idylls of the King"
" Evangeline "
"Voices of the Night''
'Hiawatha''
els
Novels
' The Marble Faun"
''The House of the Seven
Gables "
s "Silas Marner''
1\ir. Howells's " The Lady of t
'A Chance Ac
-' Their Weddin
Miss Jewett's"AWhite Her
Stories"
Black's "A Princess of Thul
Kingsley's ''Westward Ho!'
Miss Mulock's "John Halifax
Blackmore's "Lorna Doone'
Stevenson's "Travels with a
Thackeray's "The Newcome
Mrs. Jameson's " Shakespeal
Books Especially Adapted to Young Girls
THERE are, however, books which are especially
adapted to young girls because they deal chiefly
with experiences which belong to girlhood and which
every girl understands. There are girls' books as there
are boys' books, because the occupations and interests
of boys and girls are widely different. When these
different kinds of interest are presented in the right way
they are of great value. " Two Years Before the
Mast " and " Treasure Island " are examples of books
which many girls enjoy, but which appeal directly and
in a more intimate way to boys. " Little Women "
and " Alice in Wonderland," on the other hand, are
47
examples of books which some boys
read with pleasure, but which belong
especially to girls. The value of a book
depends largely on the readiness of the
reader to understand it, and books which
are put into the hands of children ought
to be carefully selected with reference
to their adaptability to the mind of the
child at that particular period. There
are, for this reason, certain books which
younger girls ought to know at the right
time.
Books Designed for Older Girls
F OR the same reason there are certain
books with which older girls ought
to be familiar : books which deal prima-
rily with the experiences of such girls,
or which present types of wonanhood
which every girl ought to recognize and honor. There
are certain beautiful or noble or tragical women in liter-
ature whom every girl ought to know ; among them
Homer's Helen and Penelope; Dante's Beatrice
Shakespeare's Rosalind, Perdita, Imogen and (Cordelia
Scott's Rebecca; Dickens's
Agnes Coppet!rfield(; ''iackera' ~s
Becky Sharp. Helen Pendeniiis
andcathel Newcom; Balzac's
Eugnie Gradet ; Tennyson's
Enid ; Browning's sippa and
Pompilia.aProsenand"letryare
rich in the figures of women who
iccompanying embody the highest (qualities
of womanhood, or who there
and quality of        paossedl through its dleep~estex-
uch books as          periences and been oulded by
theqinto noble or ignoble
forms. To know these typical
women whose naes arc in tee
memory (of all men is no sniall
part of a wolliall's edlucation,
and                   and that knowledge calbe
ing-Glass            gained only by familiarity with
and Curdie''tAe best literature. To these
 the North          names must  e aded t e nanles
of those women who haveiioved
on a great stage or who have
lived tragic lives ilhistory.
This ieans tlat te girl no
wishes to understam e herself
the Aroostook '       must readt idely and wisely, for
quaintance '"         it is only as we become familiar
ig Journey''           with the rich experience that
ron and Other         comes to those who touch life
01 many sides that we come to
unedoerstanld tie possibilities of
ohr own latures.
x, Gentleman'            A Book of the Quiet Life
Donkey''0 TIlE books of thle Quiet Life
nanew volume has been amded
r's Heroines         byo the traslation of a group
of Professor Carl Hilty's essays
under the title  tHappiness
The author is a Swiss ; stu(ed
at four universities in Germany,
England and France; became a
teacher by profession, and has long held an important
professorship in the University of Bern. He has been
a member of the Swiss House of Representatives, and
has held the distinguished position of Rector of the
University with which he is associated. He has con-
tributed to contemporary literature a number of im-
portant studies on philosophical and political subjects;
and has given the world, from time to time (luring the
past ten years, the ripe fruit of his inner life in a series
of small books, of the first of which Professor Peabody,
of Harvard University, has made an admirable trans-
lation. The chapters which make up this volume
are devoted to such topics as " The Art of Work,"
Good Habits," " How to Fight the Battles of Life,"
" The Art of Having Time,"
"The Meaning of Life," and
" Happiness." It will be seen,
therefore, that this scholar and
thinker deals with some of the
problems wiich are presented
to us all ; and the scope of his
interests at once suggests that
he brings wide knowledge of
life to bear on these most
perplexing and] fundamental
*                   matters.
Professor Hilty writes with
perfect simplicity about the pro-
foundest matters, and his clear,
unerring good sense and prac-
tical judgment are on every
page. " Happiness " is a book
which should be read by those
who are making undue haste to
be rich, who are loading them-
selves with iaterial things, who
are rushing hither and thither
in a vain pursuit of rest; it is a
manual of intellectual peace, of
spiritual growth, of sound habits
and of fruitful living.
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