Rhodesia wants women, needs women; in fact, women, and women only, can ensure its future prosperity.-"via Rhodesia."
A very important chapter in a book by Miss Charlotte Mansfield contains the passage quoted above. The many young Englishmen who are making their living in South Africa are in urgent need of womanly influence.
Miss Mansfield points out there are in the British Isles many hundreds of young women who have just sufficient capital to start them in colonial life, yet not enough to keep them comfortably and adequately amidst all the conventions and superfluities of our ultra-civilisation.
There are good chances for the small capitalist in Rhodesia, where the soil is fruitful, where flowers bloom with a luxuriance inconceivable in our northern climate, and where fruit-trees grow quickly and yield prodigally. The exhibitions held at the Westminster Horticultural Hall, London, prove how admirably adapted the climate is for the production of magnificent apples, pears, apricots, peaches, and grapes, an industry started by the far-seeing Cecil Rhodes.
Women of refinement would hesitate to go out to South Africa with the avowed intention of finding husbands, and it is women of education and culture who are needed there. This country affords almost the only instance where servants are not needed as emigrants so much as women of birth and education, to match the men of similar position who are greatly in need of home life and the comforts that women bring into the existence of the worker.
The New Era in the new era that is opening for women, and which will render the reign of King George V. notable for all time in the history of womanhood and her work in the world, it behoves members of our sex to take a broad view of life and its possibilities, to escape from the narrow grooves to which prejudice and lack of knowledge have confined them. "The world is all before them where to choose."
Englishwomen are proving themselves self-reliant, capable, virile in the sense of having cast the weaknesses of what has been regarded as typical femininity. Girls are no longer limp and dependent in character, but are sturdy, courageous, enterprising, ready to take up the responsibilities of life, and in dealing with them to grow in character and exert a finer influence than was possible when circumstances firmly limited their sphere of action.
The practical advice to women emigrants given in " Via Rhodesia " includes the information that land can be bought at £5 an acre near Umtali, near the railway, that a hut of moderate size would be £25, and that 150 feet of good iron fencing could be erected round it for about £9. Such occupations as fruit farming, poultry-farming, bee-keeping are suggested as likely to be lucrative. To the list may be added another profitable employment-jam-making.
Women could always think of other ways of making money. One who settled near Bulawayo three years ago soon made a reputation for delicious cakes and bonbons, and has built up a good business in that line. Another is starting a lemon farm, the soil being well adapted to the growth of the trees.
There is a well-organised branch of the . Young Women's Christian Association at Cape Town, where emigrants can have a bedroom and full board for five guineas a month, with the use of reading-room and other public rooms. A member of the staff meets all young women whose arrival has been indicated previously.
South Africa offers possibilities of successful work to thousands of the girls and women who are living in Britain, earning little wages because they are so numerous that when one drops out hundreds are ready to fill her place. And here, in contrast to our overcrowded conditions, are the great spaces on the veldt, ample opportunity for leading a happy, healthy, useful life, and for benefiting the race of pioneering Englishmen, who want the companionship that Nature intended them to have, that of healthy, happy women who understand and delight in the beneficent art of home-making.
In the absence of simple pleasures, of all that makes life worth living, such vices as drunkenness and gambling seize upon the lonely man. To save him is a task that appeals to the best and truest in woman's nature.