University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Gender and Women's Studies Collection

Page View

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

Cox, Mrs. James Farley
The council chamber,   p. 18 PDF (933.3 KB)


Page 18

The Ladies' Home Journal for June 19 03
The Council Chamber
A SPECIAL TALK WITH GIRLS
By Mrs. James Farley Cox
HERE is something
quite delightful in
being allowed to
bring together the
young unmarried
umer.hers of our
C un 1i in this lovely month, so
full of suggestions of youth and
growth and energy. Do you
know  anything more charming
than this season?  Did you ever imagine a
sweeter, more inviting place in which to
meet than our Council Chamber?
The roses climbing up the veranda are so
graceful and vigorous and so full of buds!
Were the flowers opened they would be less
like you, dear young friends: a fully expanded
rose has always something maternal in the
full-blown beauty that discloses its rich heart.
Let us sit where this soft south wind can reach
us, and look out over the growing fields
and remember how perfectly they typify your
young lives. Everything is yet young except
the old trees, and even they are less notice-
able just now for their majesty than for their
tender new growth of bud and leaf, which
the parent-trunks delight to support.
There is not a single living thing in all that
wide expanse that rests from its endeavor to
fulfill some " God-given best," not a blade
nor a leaf that is not striving to perfect itself
and bring forth its fruit, each after its kind.
Even the evil things. the weeds and tares,
are struggling to absorb their share of all this
wealth of summer sunshine and attain per-
fection in their own way. Your young lives
stand toward God as do all these growing
things, and you will be known as they are
known: by your fruits.
Young Girls Have Come to Our Meetings
W HEN first I took my place in this fair
chamber I had not expected to see many
girlish faces. Young wives and young moth-
ers I had thought might have such burdens
increasing on their shoulders that they would
seek counsel and comfort among their older
sisters, but though I well know their trials I
had not anticipated the presence of young,
single women at our meetings. I am glad
you have come, and glad also that for this once
we have the Council Chamber to ourselves.
I doubt if you realize the difference in your
positions and those of your elders. It is "all
trouble together." perhaps you think, but the
outlook is very different. A good physician
in a home for aged men once said: " No one
will ever know what it means to always
minister to aged and broken lives. Other
medical men have the satisfaction of curing
their patients, while I can only aid my poor
old people to endure their troubles and help
them to go painlessly down to their graves." *
You all stand at the starting point, or not yet
half-way on the long journey, and hope and
power to begin again, and time in which to
attain, are all yours. To some of our mem-
bers I may be able to say no more than, " Let
me keep near you until your sun sets," but
to you, my dear young girls, I can say
cheerily: " Look up and not down; look for-
ward and not back: look out and not in; and
I nd a hand, to the joy of the world.
The Height of Human Attainment
D EAR girls. I grieve much for the way in
which some of you look at your work. It
- a very noble thing to work! Especially is it
a thiing to be proud of when someone you love
is the better for your labor. Confidences
given to me unveil not so much weariness as
deep dissatisfaction! " I am so tired of this
monotonous toil; I love everything beautiful,
and I long to travel and study and
improve myself. When I think
of the girls that are going abroad
this summer, with plenty of money
in their purses, and not a care ot
their minds, I feel as if I couion
not endure the weariness of
saleswoman's life, standing
the warm, bright months behiwnl,
counter."
The contrast is sharp-it seems
unjustly so as we look at it in the
light these words bring to bear on
the picture. We see the bright,
well-dressed traveler waving her
good-byes from the deck of a
stately steamer, and feel that she
is sailing away from all the
tedium and shadows lurking here.
But, unless God gives her some
rare opportunity which we do not
discover, in all her journeying
through pleasant lands, she will
never have the deep, high-minded
satisfaction that is felt by her
poorer sister when she lifts the
load of care from a mother's heart,
brightens a shadowed home where
death or disease is known, and
realizes that her weak, girlish hands have
achieved all the joy and comfort her dear
ones know.
I do not underrate the force of the natural
longing for freedom and light; I do not lose
sight of one trial, or weariness, or disappoint-
ment, but I say without reservation that the
smile of a grateful mother and the benedic-
tion of a feeble father are worth all the
delights the world's treasury holds. Some-
times we are so eager for what we cannot
have that we lose sight of the beauty of what
we do possess. I know of homes in which
young women stand between want and mis-
fortune and the aged or the very young
whom these threaten, who are like angels of
deliverance and must indeed be dear in the
sight of God. And this, it seems to me, is the
height of human attainment.
A Girl's First Duty is to Her Home
HEAR no little of the longing for " a
career," the great desire for professional
success-to be a distinguished artist, to be a
skillful doctor, to be recognized as a scien-
tific and accomplished nurse: " If I could only
be released from my need to work for and
in my home I could do so much." There is
scarcely an ambition open to courageous
womanhood with which I do not earnestly
sympathize, though I may never have shared
the special ambitions which have the strongest
influence over the minds of the young
American girls of to-day, but these public
occupations, through which the recognition of
the world reaches a girl and brings her into
notice, are not the exclusive paths in which
she can attain real greatness. Nor are they
pleasant or always safe paths, and body and
mind and sometimes soul are sorely taxed.
There are lives, young yet and brimming
over with intelligent energy, that are in what
seems to them actual bondage to labor. So
many hours of toil away from home-so many
hours in household duty-scanty time for sleep
and bodily rest, and the days, the weeks, the
months are past! Even in extreme cases like
these, of which it is unlikely that many will
be apt to read my words, there are still left
opportunities of lifting the character by its
own unselfish faithfulness to a very noble
place. But I am more than anxious, very
earnestly eager, to speak encouragingly to
those who, being truly of the workers in God's
busy hive, yet are intended to take great hap-
piness in what they do and store much honey.
Making the Most Out of Life
FIND but a very small proportion of the
young working-women whom I know who
determine to make the most of their lives,
who plan systematic improvement of their
minds or deliberate on the most precious
things their evenings can procure for them.
I have been long and affectionately in contact
with many types of workers, and by far the
larger number of these seem to me too readily
willing to feel that they have no chance of
gaining more from life than their daily bread.
Every day I see very many young women
going back and forth as they pass from home
to shop, or office, or sewing-room, and I fol-
low them with my heart as well as my eyes.
Few look content and cheerful; fewer look
thoughtful and earnest, and their whole man-
ner and bearing disclose preoccupied minds,
hurrying bodies, and the evidences of a nerve
pressure which is very saddening.
Now, it is hard to me to speak with any
authoritative knowledge of how the mass of
these young workers look at their means of
livelihood, but of individuals I can speak
from their own testimony. I have met, to my
5'0
great comfort and pers.onal assistance, yon iie
women who showed in every detail of their
conduct that their work had passed beyond
the mere earning so many dollars in so many
hours, and had reached the point of view
which makes any work, any employment, a
means of elevation to the worker, of benefit
to the employer, and a gain to the world.
It may only be the selling of ribbons at a
counter in a shop where hundreds are em-
ployed, and yet that is an opportunity for
making the place attractive. " Do go to
--'s if you want ribbons: you will find such
a courteous saleswoman, with such good taste
and so patient about matching."  The firm is
in debt for a share of its prosperity to this
sweet-faced clerk who has made her wares
salable; the buyer is her debtor for relief from
perplexity and the weariness of further search;
the world is her debtor for making a pleasure
out of a troublesome, uninteresting purchase.
I have a special person in my mind as I
write these words, and I know that her weekly
wages mean to her only a small part of what
her work brings to her. Site knows that in
that confined little corner at the end of a long
counter site has been contributing good things
to all who have come in touch with her life.
The Girl Who Respects Her Work
CAN tell almost immediately when a bit of
typewriting is done for me whether a mere
wage-earner, one who sells her time at so
much an hour, has done my work, or whether
an operator who respects her occupation has
handled  the sheets.  Even a compositor's
proof tells its tale of the man's character.
A very favorite employment now is that of a
trained nurse.  I have received many requests
for advice about this profession-and there
is no vocation in which this   desire  and
determination to uplift one's self by the per-
formance of duty is more capable of results,
nor any in which the first six hours in the
chamber of illness so easily unveils the
woman's nature.   The earnings are large-
well may they be, for the labor is a terrible
drain on vitality, and a tax on mind and heart
which no one can estimate until she has tried
it. But the comparatively extraordinary pay-
ment in money is but a trifle in the balance
which remains unestimated in their lives.
To these necessarily  young   workers-
maturity is not sought in them because of the
need for physical endurance-is given the
chance to be the handmaid of the succoring
angels whom we are told abide near those
who suffer; yet wherever you see a gathering
of nurses you will see the sharp contrast of
the calm, devoted, gentil-determined helper
of the suffering, and the thoughtless, impa-
tient, self-seeking employee who desires to
stand well with the doctors for the profit's
sake, and is feverishly anxious for recreation
and for the money which shall be spent in
dress suited only to the wealthy pleasure-
seekers of a society which tries to forget pain
and flees from trouble as from a pestilence.
A Word or Two About Dress
W HAT I long to inspire you with are the
possibilities open to you all, and to
entreat you to make use of them. Shall I
offend if I say a few words about fne clothes?
Oht, htow much they cost the majority of our
young working-women!
I unfortunately-I mean not from choice-
live in a large city.  I see feathers and laces
and embroideries and garments rich, or trying
to seem so, worn by graceful young women,
who are in circumstances narrow enough to
require them to run out to a neighboring shop
to buy a loaf of bread and a pound of butter.
Otn Sunday mornings I have often
seent these very things hugged up
against a jacket trimmed with
cwhite silk and gold braid!
To envy the rich-to long for a
ste of the refining and beautiful
rifreshments which weareinclined
to think belong to the wealthy only
- does not bring us one step nearer
the fulfillment of our desires.
In the rare instances where cruel
need requires that all must go to
shelter and support the nearest
and dearest, there yet remains a
noble life-none nobler, if taken
courageously-and the reward of
God's approval.   For a young,
unprotected girl to become the
protector of her home makes her
truly a heroine and gives her a
nobility higher than that given by
rank or inheritance.
Anonymous letters cannot be answered
in these columns. Mrs. Cox will gladly
answer here all who give their addresses
privately, or will answer by mail when
addressed and stanped envelopes are
furnished.
"Old Hickory"
PORCH SET
Beautiful ond .. ppro.I rite fr yoir veranda or
lawvn. It's econoiny to get Ol ifickory Furniture
because it is the best for comfort, durability and
style. Made entirely of tough vhite hickory with
bark left on. Strongly constructed and will stand
all kinds of veatier. 1We are making a
Special
Combination
Offer
OF THESE GOODS:
Chair, Rocker and Settee
$7.75
Chair and Rocket, $3.50
.SetteeadRocker, $6.25
Three Chairs, . $4.25
Three Rockers, . $5.40
775
Freight prepaid Eut
of Misiusippi River.
Here is the Full
Description of Set:
CHAIR-Spindle Back; Seat 18
inches wide, 16 inches deep; height,
over all, 3 feet 4 inches.
ROCKER - Same as Chair.
SETTEE -Spindle Back; Seat
36 inches long, 16 inches deep;
height, over all, 36 inches.
If your dealer will not supply you, wo  i I 1.
DON'T MISS THE ABOVE OFFER.
Look for our Trade-Mark.
Sent Free -48-pige illustrated catalogue, show-
ing iany other ptiters cwith prices. Write now.
The Old Hickory Chair Co.
445 Cherry Street         Martinsville, Ind.
 The O rj,.i t g inal  l1k  ry Furniture Munufcturrs.  See
sar adivertiseet in Aprit ant iMay iss  f tisi p u ti. a
A New                                tor stuffed
Recept Dates
COCOANUT DATEB
The dates must be seeed and
stufed 'with English 1Walnuts. Then
rIled  in 1-iled  fr ting  and then in
Dunhans
ThG  oucon d4Cnetteu          o
to a uif whintape our
WithugthereK         NOX'San
w n     lincae  preparatioNand
proteation  in the  packe
age. IThedlicate and rdlicios flavor is nat-
gift-wanderfullypreserve.
 re  booklet u"in t Desserts " is
full of EO atifully illustrated receipts.
Drop a postal-we ,ill sendl it free.
Dunha Mfg. Co., 406 N. Main St., St. Louis
This Coupon and 4 cefosentitles you
to a Full Pint Sample of
With the
Sample I      %G        L    TN
will includen
yFree BookletSFTENC
T  howig    .RKNOX
K2OX'SdGELA        TINE
ca e evdadif yu senditityurnm
15c. I  willaserdssoana  frlcerws
qDaIt   YDS pakgeouhfrtnae
catinbesee, i andt if yiouesnten i.
Knox's Gelatine
Tz' N
COSTS FIFTEEN CENTS
No other gelatine makes so much or tasteesno good"a Knox's
CHAS. B. KNOX
12 Railroad Avenue, Johnstown, N. Y.
Page 18


Go up to Top of Page