Frances E. (Frances Elizabeth) Willard.

Occupations for women. A book of practical suggestions, for the material advancement, the mental and physical development, and the moral and spiritual uplift of women online

. (page 43 of 44)
Online LibraryFrances E. (Frances Elizabeth) WillardOccupations for women. A book of practical suggestions, for the material advancement, the mental and physical development, and the moral and spiritual uplift of women → online text (page 43 of 44)
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perfectly proportioned, entirely symmetrical; that every part bears its legitimate
relation to every other part; that it has wholeness, perfection. Growing in grace
is simply growing towards wdioleness, perfection. The demand for wholeness,
symmetr}-, grace, is a good thing for nations and individuals. Perfection is far
more likely to be attained when it is demanded. And since it is a command from
God and the dictate of common-sense that every one shall be his best and do his
best, we have a right to expect that ever}^ individual shall grow in grace, towards
symmetry, right relations of parts, wholeness.

Does some one say that material success is not especially to be coveted ? If,
ni}- dear girls, you declare that success in spiritual things, in one's efforts to be
white-hearted, nobled-souled, is far more to be desired than success in material
things, we shall surely agree; but it is to the white-hearted, clean-handed, noble-
souled that ' ' all things ' ' are to be " added. ' ' And wiiat is more natural and right
than that one with strong heart and clean brain, and a mind open to all the.
leadings of life, should be successful ? There is nothing praiseworthy-, nay, I
believe there is something blameworthy, in being poor w^hen one can worthil}' be
rich, or have a comfortable income. The atmosphere in which we live is a great
formative factor in our characters; and whatever ennobles and refines should be
highly prized and duly appreciated. Good surroundings help to make good souls,
and beautiful things give rise to beautiful thoughts. There is a gospel of things,
and it is a most potent gospel. " Whatever makes us happier makes us better,"
says George Eliot; and wdiatever keeps the mind at ease, whatever helps one to
make sad faces and gloomy places glad, must make him happier, and con-
sequently better. A competence helps towards the symmetry, the gracefulness,
the wholeness of life.

The point I want my girls to grasp is that nothing is rvell enotigh tintil it is
as icell as it can possibly be made; that one has not sufficiently grown in grace
until all the parts of life and character, the habits of mind and bod}', the princi-
ples and purposes, the language and the dress, have attained perfect relation to
each other, have grown into full sj^mmetry, entire gracefulness, perfect wholeness;
till everything which can contribute to the highest success of the spirit and the
body is theirs.

Right here I ^vant to say that a very little thing, so-called, will do away with
perfect S3mimetr3-, entire wholeness.


Some time ago a lady visited two other ladies. The visitor was amiable,
intelligent, kind-hearted, and good-natured. Her well-fitting garments were of
good material. Her gown, a glossy black silk, was well fitted to the age, position,
and style of the wearer; but alas for the fitness of things! the white basting-
threads had not been taken out of the sleeves. Somehow her friends could not
avoid a mental protest against that which marred the symmetrj^ the right
relations, the artistic wholeness of the attire. This protest was the outlook
towards, the yearning for, grace, perfection.

I have in mind a 3'oung woman possessessed of habits of industry and a
heart of gold, but whose gowns are habituall}' unmended, her boot buttons
missing or hanging by single threads, her hose undarned.

I am acquainted with another young woman who is upright, honest, faithful
in all transactions, neat in dress, but who uses ungrammatical and improper
language, thereby destroying the symmetr}-, the grace, the wholeness of her

I am sure that you girls wull agree with me that the lady in the black silk
should have made her gown symmetrical, graceful, whole, b}^ pulling out the
basting threads, that the first girl should have grown in grace by pulling out the
basting threads of untidiness, the second bj^ removing the basting threads of
ungrammatical language.

Does some dear, charitable girl declare that these are little things and should
be overlooked, since no essential of character is wanting? I should love the
kindness of this sweet soul, but I should ask her to consider with me two things.

First, are there any little things ? If we may not sa}^ every, we may say that
nearly every, small thing has a potential greatness. The telegrapher manipulates
the key with .short, deft touches, and the message which is to make millionaires
paupers and paupers millionaires, which is to carry grief too heavy to be borne, or
joy too great to be believed, speeds out into the world. A tiny button is pressed
with one finger, and the hitherto dark room becomes light as noonday. The
engineer draws back a small lever, and the train is put in rapid motion. A thing
is great or small according to the effect which it has in the world.

Secondly, I think my friend of the tender heart will agree with me that when
one lacks anytliing, be it great or small, which contributes to his success in life he
has not all the essentials. Unremoved basting threads, dangling .shoe buttons,
and untidy hose, mangled and barbarous language, may keep a girl from obtaining
a jxjsition, or deprive her of one which she holds; may di.sgust a good but
fa.stidious friend; and, lastly, and by far the most important, may have a deterio-
rating effect upon her own character.

Pull out your ba.sting threads, girls, grow in grace, and with all your getting



N summing up the achievements of women in this
latter part of the nineteenth century, we find that the
work covers almost every kind of work that there is
to be done in the world. To-day, thanks to the work
of our noble advance agents, the " pioneer women,"
there is no field that may not be entered and occupied
by the earnest, determined woman: but we should
also remember that every year demands that women
who enter into competition with men must be properh'
equipped. The girls of America are strong and fearless, brainy and healthy.
Only let them lay to heart the truth that the da}^ is fast passing when
the world will put up with poor work because it is work done by the
"weaker sex." Girls, don't give any ground for your brothers to quote
that miserable phrase; show them that women are in many respects the stronger
sex — strong in purpose, strong in endurance, strong to resist temptations of all
kinds, strong in serving the Lord by heart and deed.

How many young girls there are to-da}^ who are for the first time feeling
themselves a burden or a superfluous expense in their own homes, who are wearing
shabby clothes or perhaps neglecting ailing teeth rather than ask for the money to
remedy the evils. Most of these girls — j^es, all of them — are asking themselves
what they can do to earn their own money and relieve the family of their support.



What happy fancies the young girl has of being able to help pay the rent, to gel
■'a girl" for her tired mother, to pay for little sister's music lessons ! What
countless magnificent visions of benevolence inspire her !

But what is she going to work at ? some particular friend asks. She has had
no particular training for any one pursuit, and like ho.sts of other girls thinks thai
because she is willing and bright she will " get something " without much trouble.
She knows well enough that .she has no one great talent or gift that singles her out •
from thousands of others, and she also knows that she has no money to spend on
the acquirement of short-hand, a course in bookkeeping or on cooking lessons.
She must do something by which she can earn money from the start. An older
girl friend has been working a year or so with a dressmaker and is doing very
well, and advises her to tr}" it. She is perhaps a fairly good sewer, but still has
no enthusiasm for dressmaking. She is moreover sure, after thinking the situation
over hastily, that she would like to be a cashier, to handle money even though it
be not her own. In the course of time she gets a position as cashier, and is as
happy as can be for awhile, but her hours of work are long and her pay is small,
and in three months of it her enthusiasm is all gone; but still she goes on, for it
is all she can do.

Another girl is .sure that it is beautiful and noble to be a; .she feels that
she can be nothing, and perhaps before the first year of her training is over
she wishes that she had been something, anything, else. Yet she, too, goes on,
realizing the value of " experience. "

It does not follow that because one feels curiosity in regard to a certain pursuit
and a fanc>- to follow it that one was therefore born for that and will find one's
true and destined place in it. To be guided .solely by one's fancies is the greatest
folly. If you really have an idea that you would like to enter a certain calling i
and make it your life work, find out all you can about it, the preparation and >
the time required to attain proficiency, the average and the highest pay to be won i'
in it, the effect of such work upon the health, the hours of con.stant work involved.
All these and many more details should be ascertained and considered, and then it
is your duty to consider yourself in the light of your adaptability to the calling
you incline to. Are you willing to give months to the acquirement of a trade on
little or no wages, or years of mental drudgery in preparation for a profession ?
Are you strong enough bodily to .sit and .sew all day, week in and week out,
or to stand behind a counter through weary years, or to bang a typewriter a(/
fiucm witli never an aching back or a swimming head? Are you suffi-
ciently well educated and disciplined to make a creditable record in clerical
or journalistic lines? Are you endued with the phy.sical con.stitution, the
nervous energy, the patience, the capacity for unremitting toil, necessary for a
professional career ?



Take the profession of medicine and the huv. Many might follow almost any
oilier calling with better success. Remember that ability is not the only require-
iiiLiit for a good doctor; a peculiar and rare organization is demanded; scientific
luilliancy will not always take the place of tact and sincere and unfailing sym-
l>alhy. How about our lawyers? Unquestionably there is not more than a bare

existence for thousands of them, and many are forced to seek a living in other
lines. What of the mechanic ? Undoubtedly man}- a man would raise far better
crops than he does joists; probably a quarter of those who are laying poor brick-
work or bungling with carpenter's tools would make enviable records if they had
only found their proper places, Has every teacher, bookkeeper, clerk, found her


true place ? How few can be found to answer yes ! Yet all these thought in the!
beginning that they were choosing aright. They had to select some calling and
these api^eared to them the most attractive their imagination could picture.

The reason why so many young people feel discontented and out of place aftei^
a short period of work, is that in the begiiming they do not select the work that!
they are mentally and physically fitted for, but hastily conclude that because:
.some one they know or have heard of has succeeded in a certain line, that that
line is the very one for them. No mistake could be more disastrous.

In giving the advice to a young person ' ' follow your bent " we do not therefore
mean choose that calling which appears most attractive to you at a first considera-
tion, but that to which your best mental abilities, manual aptness and educational
attainments in conjunction lead. Probably we all know some who have been for-
tunate enough to fall into the niche they were made to fit. How happy they are
in it I The)' never have to conjecture if the}- might be doing something better for
a living. Occa.sional seasons of protracted hours of work do not seem irksome to
them; in fact every day seems too short in which to work out the ideas the>^

But in truth the majority of girls find it very difl&cult to decide what work
they can do best. There are hosts, for instance, who have been through a high
school and no further. That does not fit them for teaching or anything dis-
tinctively intellectual or professional, yet they are intelligent, well read, and do a
numl>er of things equally well. But they have never shown any one particular
ability, they did not Ix-long among those exceptional, abnormal creatures who from
the cradle evince a preference for large books, clas.sical music or curious insects,
rather than the ordinary delights of doU-dom, mud pastry, or running away.
Another stumbling block in the pernicious idea prevailing among our girls — girls
who have their livings to earn — that it is much more desirable to be a clerk, book-
keeper, saleswoman, dressmaker or milliner than to engage in any sort of domestic
work. Many young peojile hold a false and snobbish notion that manual work will
injure their s«)cial standing and lower them in the eyes of their neighbors. It is
.shameful and pitiful to see a girl who is alxirn cook or housekeeper wrestling with
phonographic characters or debits and credits. You remember what good old
George Herlxrrt said away back in the sixteenth century, wasn't it?

" Who .sweeps a room as by God's law,
Makes that and the action fine. ' '

There is only one way, after all. Find out what you are best fitted to do,
and then Ik-iuI all your energies to doing that thing. If you are .so situated that
you can not follow what you believe is your true career, do good-naturedly what-
ex'CT your hand finds, and study how best to get where you feel is your place. For



instance, if you feel that you must l)e a lawyer — that- in the law only ean you find
your best development — and are so situated that you cannot go to a law school, after
a college course, do just as so many noted men have done. Do what you must,
and study law by yourself, bearing all j-our energies toward that one point.
Remember how Abraham Lincoln began, how he worked against fearful odds
through fearful hardships and against almost impossible barriers. And what man
has done, girl can do.

Just so with other professions. If art beckons to you and you are obliged to
wait on customers in a shop, for instance, study art in your room evenings, go to
an evening school for drawing, read books on art, practice with your own pencil
and brush. Somehow and sometime you will make a career, if you but persevere.

In an old nursery rhyme-book, which man}- of us women of to-day well
remember, " Songs for the Little Ones at Home," were the following lines. When
I was a little girl I scarcel}' saw the force of them; but the}- were easy reading
and easy to remember, and I used to repeat them so much that the\- have stayed
with me ever since. And in times of discouragement they still have a faculty of
" staying by." I can do no better than to leave them as a last word w-ith you,
first saj'ing, " Find your bent and then follow it.'' The lines are these:

" Go on, go on, go on, go on,
Go on, go on, go on.
Go on, go on, go on, go on.

Go on, go on, GO on."

INDCX - -^ i»


Ackertiiann, Miss Jessie E., round-the-world missionary, W. C. T. U., i8r

Albani, organist and pianist, 2i6

Aldrich, Miss Mildred, Boston Home Journal, 293

Alexander, Miss Grace J., assistant cashier of bank, ■ 160

Alleyne, Miss Minnie, painter of anatomical charts, 448

Anderson, Mary, actress, . 39, 302

Anthony, Susan B., advocate of woman's rights, 201, 447

Baldwin, Miss Maria (colored), principal of Agassiz Grammar School, Boston 378

Baker, Lady, a noted traveler, 325

Barker, IMrs. E. A., care-taker of city pets, and cat kennels 116

Barton, Clara, president of the Red Cross Society, 87, 201

Bates, Cynthia, inventor of healthful corset-waist, 81

Bates, Miss Charlotte, manufacturer of underwear, 357

Beach, Mrs. H. H. A., musical writer, 229

Beecher, Catherine, a pioneer in the education of women 189

Bickerdyke, ^Mother, a famous nurse during the Civil War, 388

Blackwell, Alice Stone, editor IVoinati's Journal, 152, 298

Blackell, Dr. Elizabeth, first graduate from medical college 189

Blackwell, Dr. Emily, second graduate from medical college, 189

Booth, ^lary, first editor of Harper's Bazaar, 294

Bradwell, Mrs. Myra, editor of the Court Register, . 373

Brackett, Anna C, principal of the St. Louis Normal School, 276

Bridgman, Laura, a noted blind woman, 313

Burnett, I\Irs. Frances Hodgson, author and dramatist, 307

Cameron, Mrs. Julia, portrait painter, 243

Carey, Annie Louise, vocalist, - . • . . 216

Chaliender, Miss Rena, in charge of a daily newspaper, 406

Chaminade, Mile., writer of songs and piano music, 229

Churchill, Lida A., writer of books 455

Churchill, Miss, owner and manager of a large dairy farm, 106

Cole, Catharine, a New Orleans newspaper woman, 291

Conway, Miss Katherine E. , associate editor of the PZ/o/, 298

Costa, INIrs. Mary, bank cashier, 161

Crane, Rev. Caroline Bartlett, pastor of a church in Kalamazoo 206

Croly, Mrs. J. C. (Jennie June), a pioneer newspaper woman, 126, 290

Crosby Fanny, a sweet blind singer, 311

Cushman, Charlotte, a celebrated actress, . 301

Dascomb, Mrs. Marianna, principal of the ladies' department, Oberlin College, 271

Da\-is, Mrs. Elizabeth Preston, mathematician, 318

Davis, Grace Weiser, a Methodist preacher, 205

DeKroyft, Mrs. Helen Aldrich, blind organist and author, 312

Diaz, Mrs. Abby INIorton, author and lecturer, 91

Dick, Mrs. Sarah Frances, bank cashier, 161



• • PAGE

Dickcnuaii. Miss Harriet, Corporation Department of Massachusetts, 364

nickinson. Miss Anna, dramatist, 306

DickinMMi, Mrs. Mary Ivowf, president of the National Council of Women 168

Dodj^e, Miss (irace, founder of working girls' clubs, 480

Ddgc. Mrs. Mary Mapes, editor of SL Nicholas, 296

Durgin, Harriet Thayer, artist, 424

Durgin, Lyle, artist, '. . 424

E<ldy. Mrs. Ella H., manufacturer of overgaiters and leggings, 358

Kthvard.s, Amelia B., Egyptologist 322

Field, Kate, special writer, correspondent, paragraphist and editor, 297

Fletcher, Miss .•Mice, ethnologist 319

Foster, Mrs. J. I-Ulen, Woman's National Republican Association of America, 196

Fountain, Lillie, deputy sheriff 363

Franklin, C.ertrude, church and concert singer, 221

French-Sheldon, Mrs. May, African traveler and explorer, 327

Gannon, Mary N., successful architect 366

Gifford. Mrs. Hattie M., insurance agent 166

Go<Kle, Mrs Cora Dow, a prosperous druggist, 402

Gordon, Miss .•\nna \., assi.stant secretary W. C. T. U., 181, 429

Grant, Miss .\. I'lorence, successful job printer, 408

Green, Miss Mary .A., member of bar of Massachusetts, . . 371

Greene, Catherine Littlefield, assisted in the invention of the cotton gin, 350

Grcenaway, Kale, painter of children's portraits, 83

Oriswold, HdilhJ., solicitor of patents, 453

Hamilton, Mrs. P'mma Colman, drain pipe, firebrick, tile, etc., 357

Hand, Miss .Mice J., a prosperous architect, 366

Hartt, Miss Irene, talks to girls, 131

Haskell, Mrs I-Ula Knowles, .Assistant Attorney-General of Montana, 375

HaHSc, Miss A<lelaide, librarian of the Interior Department, 319

Henienway, Mrs. Mary, founder of first public cooking .school, 340

Henrotin, Mrs. Ivllen Si., jjresidcnt (k-neral Federation of Women's Clubs, 16S

Hcrschfeld. I'raulein HeiiriettL-, the female dentist, 401

HofTinan, Mrs., famous for lier doughnuts, 38

Howe, Julia Ward, one of the nioneers of the W. C. T. U., .447

HughcH, Miss Alice, celebratea photographer, 2.44

Jrnkins. Miss Josephine, a clever Boston newspaperwoman, 55

Johnvjii. Miss Niltir, a young sculptor, 427

Johnston, Miss, photographer, 244

Jones, Mis.s Catherine Humes, collector for an illuminaling company, 52

Kelly, Sarah I)., scientific packer of goods 334

Kilgori-, Mrs. Carrie I'.urnham, first woman lawyer in Philadelphia, 373

Kv- ' -ii ^^trs. Nellie Russell, dealer in coal ;ind wood 357

K Carrie, manager of insur.ince comj)any, 165

K^ I'lorence, an .Mlegiieny County, I'a., constable 363

Klumpke, Mi<*H Dorothea, scienlist, 318

Knnjip, Adeline H. a S.UI I'rancisco newspaper woman, 291

KrnltH, Mrs. (ieorgia, successful milliner, 391

I.^chinund. Mrs. Ida Mfxire. ojK-ralor of .steamljoats and .saw-mills, 50

I>iCi>ste, Mrs, Carrie, real estate agent, . . 157

I.,anK, Margaret Kuthven, writer of music 230

lulls'-. Mary HIiuilK-tli, an elo«|uent speaker, . 2~l

1.^-a-. ill, Mrs. Mary Clement, round-the-world mis.sionary, W. C. T. U., ... . . . . i8r

Ix^M-r. MfH, Alice I'arker, member of the bar of California, 281, 372

\^n^!^, Mi.HH Lilian (colored ),, 381

INDEX. 503


IJiid, Jenny, a famous singer, 216

Ijvermore, Mary, an organizer of the American Woman Suffrage Association, , . 199, 444, 447

Lockwood, Mrs. Belva A., attorney and solicitor, ... 168, 373

Ivougee, Miss Amanda M., head of large rub1)er " gossamer " manufactory 356

IvOzier, Mrs. Clemence S., one of the first women to study medicine 194

Lytle, Miss L,utie, colored lawyer, . 380

McDonald, Miss Margaret, designer of paper dolls, 453

McGregor, Mrs. Edith, insurance agent, 166

McLean, Miss IMary, of the faculty of Standard University, 274

Marbury, Miss Elizabeth, theatrical manager, 449

Meade, Miss Jane, lecturer on American history and literature, 281

Merrill, Estelle M. H., a Boston newspaperwoman, 291

Metcalf, Miss Betsey, first manufacturer of straw bonnets, . . . , 351

Millard, Miss Clara, book hunter, ... . . . • • 33

Miller, Mrs. Annie Jenness, on life insurance, etc., 8r, 169

Miller, Mrs. Emily Huntington, dean of Woman's College, 169

Minot, Mrs. Harriet G., manufacturer of blankets, 356

Mitchell, Professor Maria, Vassar College faculty, 272, 317

Morton, Mrs. Martha, dramatist, 307

Mulligan, Mrs. Agnes Murphy, land appraiser and real estate agent, 156

Murray Maud, harpist, 233

Nichols, Carolines., leader of Fadette Orchestra, 234

Nightingale, Florence, 87

Osgood, Marion, leader of the Marion Osgood Orchestra, 234

Palmer, Alice Freeman, professor of history, Wellesley College, 274

Parker, Miss Marian S. , practical civil engineer, 368

Patti, Adelina, a famous cantatrice, 39, 216

Paul, Mrs. A. Emmagene, Chicago street-cleaning department, 360

Peabody, Miss Elizabeth, introduced the kindergarten into America, 346

Peavy, Mrs. A. J., Superintendent of Public Institutions for Colorado, 200

Pinault, Juliette, manicuring and hairdressing, 395

Pollock, Mrs., cobbler 51

Pratt, Mrs. Ella Farman, editor of Wide Awake, • .... 294

Randall, Dr. Lilian Craig, surgical hospital for women, 195

Ransom, Miss Emily A,, editor of insurance paper, 167

Reel, Miss Estelle M., Superintendent of Public Instruction, Wyoming, 200

Revert, Miss Jennie, veterinarian, ... 449

Ristori, Madame, a famous actress, 21

Rorer, Mrs. Sara, lecturer and instructor in cooking 344

Rose, Annie M., manager of advertising bureau 150

SaflFord, Rev. Miss, president of Iowa Unitarian Association, 204

Sanborn, Kate, farmer, .... :o5

Sanderson, Mrs. Mary E., treasurer W. C. T. U., 181

Sangster, Mrs. Margaret, editor Harper's Bazaar, 294

Shanivan, Mrs. Annie, engineer 51

Shaw, Rev. Anna Howard, M. D., 169

Shaw, Miss Harriet A., harpist, 233

Shaw, Mrs. Quinc}% established free kindergartens, 346

Shepard, Mrs. Martha Dana, music festival pianist, 225

Sherman, Marietta (Mrs. Raymond), musical director, 235

Slack, Miss Agnes E., secretary W. C. T. U., .... 181

Small, Miss Lilian, maritime signal service, 453

Smith, Mother, restaurant, 123

Smith, Sophia, founder of Smith College. 272

Somerset, Lady Henry, vice-president-at-large, W. C. T. U., 181




Spoffortl. Mrs. Harriet Prescott, on insurance, 168

Slarkwe.'ithcr, Mrs. Louisa, superintendent of women's insurance agencies, 166

Stein iiiv;cr, Miss Tliora, aulhorily on mammals 3ig

Slimscn, Miss Clara M., manufacturer of lumber and shingles, 47

Stokes, Mrs. Kmily, photographer, 244

Stone, Mrs. Lucy, advocate of. women's rights 142, 196

Stuart. Mrs. Ruth McKuery, on life insurance, 169

Sutlierland, Mrs. Kvelyn Greenleaf, dramatist, 307

Synionds, Miss lulilh, on telegraph and telephone girls, 132

TalxT, Mrs. Julia Marlowe, actress, 303

Tafl, Sarah A., farming and poultry culture, 106

Online LibraryFrances E. (Frances Elizabeth) WillardOccupations for women. A book of practical suggestions, for the material advancement, the mental and physical development, and the moral and spiritual uplift of women → online text (page 43 of 44)