That women need as much and even more scientific and practical training for their appropriate business than men, arises from the fact that they must perform duties quite as difficult and important, and a much greater variety of them. A man usually selects only one branch of business for a profession, and, after his school education, secures an apprenticeship of years to perfect his practical skill; and thus a success is attained which would be impossible were he to practice various trades and professions.

Now let us notice what science and training are needed for the various and difficult duties that are demanded of woman in her ordinary relations as wife, mother, housekeeper, and the mistress of servants.

First, the department of a housekeeper demands some knowledge of all the arts and sciences connected with the proper construction of a family dwelling.

In communities destitute of intelligent artisans, a widow, or a woman whose husband has not time or ability to direct, on building a house, would need for guidance the leading principles of architecture, pneumatics, hydrostatics, calorification, and several other connected sciences, in order to secure architectural beauty, healthful heating and ventilation, and the economical and convenient arrangements for labor and comfort. A housekeeper properly instructed in these principles would know how to secure chimneys that will not smoke, the most economical furnaces and stoves, and those that will be sure to "draw." She would know how dampers and air-boxes should be placed and regulated, how to prevent or remedy gas escapes, leaking water-pipes, poisonous recession of sewers, slamming shutters, bells that will not ring, blinds that will not fasten, and doors that will not lock or catch. She will understand about ball-cocks, and high and low pressure on water-pipes and boilers, and many other mysteries which make a woman the helpless victim of plumbers and other jobbers often as blundering and ignorant as herself. She would know what kind of wood-work saves labor, how to prevent its shrinkage, when to use paint, and what kind is best, and many other details of knowledge needed in circumstances to which any daughter of wealth is liable: knowledge which could be gained with less time and labor than is now given in public schools to geometry and algebra.

On supposition of a yard and garden, with young boys and domestic animals under her care, she would need the first principles of landscape gardening, floriculture, horticulture, fruit culture, and agriculture; also, the fitting and furnishing of accommodations and provision for domestic animals. And to gain this knowledge would demand less time than young girls often give to picking pretty flowers to pieces and saying hard names over them, or storing them in herbariums never used. And yet botany might be so taught as to be practically useful.

Next, in selecting furniture, a woman so instructed would know when glue and nails are improperly used instead of the needed dovetailing and mortising. She would know when drawers, tables, and chairs were properly made, and when brooms, pots, saucepans, and coal-scuttles would last well and do proper service. She would know the best colors and materials for carpets, curtains, bed and house linen, and numerous other practical details as easily learned as the construction of "bivalves" and "multivalves," and other particulars in natural history now studied, and, being of no practical use, speedily forgotten.

Next, in the ornamentation of a house, she will need the general principles that guide in the making or selection of pictures, statuary, in drawing, painting, music, and all the fine arts that render a home so beautiful and attractive.

Next comes all involved in the cleansing, neatness, and order of houses filled with sofas, ottomans, curtains, pictures, musical instruments, and all the varied collection of beautiful and frail ornaments or curiosities so common. Every girl should be taught to know the right and the wrong way of protecting or cleansing every article, from the rich picture-frames and frescoes to the humblest crockery and stew-pan. And this would include much scientific knowledge as well as practical training.

Next comes the selection of healthful food, the proper care of it, and the most economical and suitable modes of cooking. Here are demanded the first principles of physiology, animal chemistry, and domestic hygiene, with the practical applications. Thus instructed, the housekeeper will know the good or bad condition of meats, milk, bread, butter, and all groceries. And a class could be taken to a market or grocery for illustration, as easily as to a museum or the field for illustrations of mineralogy or botany. All this should be done before a young girl has the heavy responsibilities of housekeeper, wife, mother, and nurse. The art of cookery, in all its departments, has received more attention than any other domestic duty in former days; but at the present time no systematic mode is devised for training a young girl to superintend and instruct servants in this complicated duty, on which the health and comfort of a family so much depend.

Next, in providing family clothing and in the care of household stuffs, she will know how to do and to teach in the best manner plain sewing, hemming, darning, mending, and the use of a sewing-machine, thus cultivating ingenuity, dexterity, and common sense in judging the best way of doing things and deciding what is worth doing and what is not. She will exercise good taste and good judgment in dress for herself and family, in the selection of materials, in the adaptation of colors and fashion to age, shape, and employments, and in the avoidance of unhealthful and absurd fashions; and she will have such knowledge of domestic chemistry as is needed in the cleansing, dyeing, and preservation of household clothing and stuffs.

Next comes all involved in the care of health. This again involves the first principles of animal and domestic chemistry, hydrostatics, pneumatics, caloric, light, electricity, and especially hygiene and therapeutics.- A housekeeper instructed in these will have pure water, pure air, much sunlight, beds and clothes well cleansed, every arrangement for cleanliness and comfort, and all that tends to prevent disease or retard its first approaches. And her knowledge and skill she will transmit to the children and servants under her care, while the dumb animals of her establishment will share in the blessings secured by her scientific knowledge and trained skill.

Next comes the care of family expenses in all departments of economy, and in which science and training are also demanded: to this add the enforcement of system and order, hospitalities to relatives, friends, and the homeless, the claims of society as to calls, social gatherings, the sick, the poor, benevolent associations, school and religious duties.

Not the least of the onerous duties of a housekeeper is the training and government of servants of all kinds of dispositions, habits, nationalities, and religions.

All these multiplied and diverse duties are demanded of every woman, whether married or single, who becomes mistress of a house.

The distinctive duties of wife and mother are such that both science and training are of the greatest consequence, and a dreadful amount of suffering has resulted from want of such proper instruction. One of the most important of these duties is the care of new-born infants and their mothers. Thousands of young infants perish and young mothers are made sufferers for life for want of science and training in the mothers and monthly nurses.

Then the helpers in the nursery have a daily control of the safety, health, temper, and morals of young children; and a conscientious, careful, affectionate woman, instructed in the care of health and remedies for sudden accidents, is a rare treasure. These arduous duties are now extensively given to the inexperienced and the ignorant. It is a mournful fact that more science and care are given by professional trainers to the offspring of horses, cows, sheep, and hogs, than to the larger portion of children of the American people. Thus comes the fact that the mortality of the human offspring greatly exceeds that of the lower animals.

The most difficult and important duties of a woman are those of an educator in the family and the school. In the nursery, children are taught the care of their bodies, the use of language, the nature and properties of the world around them, and many social and moral duties, all before books are used. Then it is a mother's duty to select the schoolteacher, and so to supervise, that health and intellectual training shall be duly secured. To this add the duties of training and controlling the helpers in the nursery and kitchen, and to a housekeeper and mother the duties of an educator stand first on the roll of responsibilities.

But the most weighty of all human responsibilities that rest upon every housekeeper, whether mother or only mistress of servants, are those which are consequent on the distinctive teachings of Jesus Christ; for, as the general rule, it is the mistress who is the chief minister of religion in the family state.

And this is the age above all the past, when all the foundations of religious faith are being undermined, and all the most important principles of morals assailed. What is the conscientious woman to do, when the truth and authority of the Bible, the doctrine of immortality after death, and even the existence of a God, are attacked, not only in newspapers and books, but even in respectable pulpit ministries? Surely, if she is to be prepared by culture, argument, and reflection for any of her many responsibilities, it is for those she is to bear as the religious educator of the family state. This topic will be referred to more definitely in the chapters on the Training of Children and Care of Servants, and in a note at the close of this volume.

It is for want of facilities for the proper scientific training of women for these multiform duties that they are so generally not educated to be healthy, or economical, or industrious, or properly qualified to be happy wives, or to train children and servants, or to preserve health in families and schools, or to practice a wise economy in the various departments of the family state. It is for want of such scientific training that the most important duties of the family, being disgraced and undervalued, are forsaken by the cultivated and refined, and, passing to the unskilled and vulgar, secure neither honorable social position nor liberal rewards. The poorest teacher of music, drawing, or French has higher position and reward than those who perform the most scientific, sacred, and difficult duties of the family state.

The true remedy for this state of things is to provide as liberally for the scientific training of woman for her profession as men have provided for theirs. A wide-spread attempt is organizing for the establishment of institutions to cover this very ground of educating woman for the specific duties of her profession. But there are many thousands who are already beyond the reach of such instruction, and thousands of others who could never avail themselves of it; and certain it is, that a gathering together, in a compact volume like the present one, of many facts and ideas bearing upon these all-important topics, will be of great advantage to readers, especially in remote districts, far from the conveniences of cities.

Needful Science And Training For The Family State 9