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Margaret Elizabeth Munson Sangster.

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IN ABSENCE.

Wherever you are, my darling.

On land or sea to-day.
I am wishing you near,
I am holding you dear,

I am thinking how I can pray

For a blessing upon your way.




^^luy<STRATED ty SlVDIESfrom LlFE
W/LL/y4M EUCKIN&H/^M DyERd



FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY
NE>A^ YORK. • CHICAGO • TOIbONTO





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Copyright, 1900, 190 1 by
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY



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To my friend

Elizabeth Storrs Mead,

whose gracious womanhood has

beautifully illustrated the rounded life,

this little book

is affectionately inscribed



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Studies from Life

Facing' Pages
In Absence Title

Reading to Father 29

The Day of the Rose 39

On the Links 46

Reverie 54

The Bride 93

We Three . 130

Aspiration 196

Resignation 205

Purity 228

In the Woods 248

Waiting ....253



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iBmaome tDomantjoob



Foreword




" O Lord and Master of us all,
Whate'er our name or sign,
We own Thy sway, we hear Thy call,
We test our lives by Thine."

HIS little book has been
written for women, witli
a wisli and hope that it
may prove suggestive and
helpful to the girl in her
teens, who faces so many
problems, and stands be-
fore an unknown future,
to the older woman bear-
ing the responsibilities of middle life, and to her
whose outlook is toward the setting sun. God is
so good to us all in these days of large movement
and increasing privilege, that more than ever be-
fore we owe to Him a debt of grateful love.

Our whole-hearted devotion is not too much
to offer Him. It is our highest honor that we
may work for God in this world of His, and
that every day may be a stepping stone toward
Heaven.

I have called the book" Winsome Womanhood"
because it is my firm belief that we are strongest
as we are gentlest, that the " loving are the dar-

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ing," and that the ideal Christian woman should
be especially serene, tender, and full of charm. In
the Twentieth Century, with Martha, she may be
enterprising, busy, and efficient, but with Mary
also, she shall find time to sit at the Master's
feet.

Never has there been a greater occasion for the
Christian woman to take a :firm stand for the
principles which she has avowed. Never in our
modern days, has society so insidiously opposed
the claims of simple Christianity. The opportu-
nity not only invites ; it is urgent and imperative,
and women cannot evade it. May all who read
these pages accept the Lord Christ as their
Master and Friend.




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II




Contents



^ Part One DAYBREAK ' ^

^ _ PAGE

The Girl of Fifteen » . . 17

II
A Daughter at Home 29

III
The Girl and Her Friends 39

IV
Her Innocent Pleasures 46

V
Her Books and Correspondence 54

VI
The Girl in Business 64

VII
When Her Prince Comes 79

VIII
Betrothed 88

IX
Her Wedding Day 93



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Contents



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^Part Two HIGH NOON ^-=-



^ PAGE



The Little Home for Two lo



The Family Purse 109

XII
Family Loyalty to God 114

XIII
Shall Both be Wage-Earners i 20

XIV
Motherhood 125

XV
As THE Children are About Her 130

XVI
Young People and the Church 136

XVII
Young People AND Society 142

xvni

rS Friends and Neighbors 148



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tDmsome ttJomanljDob 13

Contents

^Part Three EVENTIDE

XIX PAGE

Middle Life and Its Privileges 155

XX

Freedom of Movement 161

XXI
New Studies 166

XXII
Missionary Work ..., 172

XXIII
Leisure Days 180

XXIV
The Second Generation 183

XXV
The Woman's Club 188

XXVI
Filling THE Measure to the Brim . , , . 196



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14 Ulinsome iDomanl)oob

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Contents

;^ Par ^ Four THE ROUNDED LIFE X



XXVII
Consistency and Kindred Virtues . . . . 205

XXVIII
Life's Little Things 216

XXIX
Enthusiasm and Sympathy 228

XXX
Mistress and Maid 238

^ *- XXXI

This Beautiful World ...••••. 248

XXXII
Waiting for the Angels . , 253



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Whatever betide us, whatever befall,
Our Father -will guide us. He rules over all.
And nothing can happen, save as He shall send
A gift from His hand, as from friend unto
friend.

Wherever ire fare, and wherever we rest,
S Our Father is there, as the end of our quest ;

D And amid every turmoil, an infinite peace

' From the strife and the tumult, gives joyful

release.



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f^One



The Girl of
Fifteen





Where the brook and river meet."

T makes no little differ-
ence to the girl of fifteen
whether or not she is the
oldest daughter of her
parents, or occupies the
place in the middle of the
household where she
touches hands with the
young people who are
grown up and wdth the little ones below her, or
again, is the baby of the group. In the last posi-
tion, that of youngest daughter in a household of
several children, she is considered and treated as a
mere child, and petted as such, when, in the
reverse situation, many duties would fall to her
lot, and she would be regarded as almost a wo-
man. The middle daughter has certain advan-
tages, and certain handicaps which neither the
oldest nor the youngest girl in the family may
possess or disclaim. Unless her people are very
well-to-do, she must contentedly wear the left-
over garments of her sisters while Phyllis
at twenty and Dorothy at eighteen are busy in

17



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i8 tDinBome lDomanl)oo5

taking their college courses. She is only Jeanie,
who helps her mother at odd seasons with the
housekeeping, mends her father's gloves, plays
basket ball and tennis with her brothers, and re-
lieves the nurse of the care of the wee ones, on
the nurse's afternoon out. Only Jeanie, with her
hair still worn in its two braids and tied with a
ribbon at the ends, her bright eyes, her long limbs
yet pushing their way to her future height, her , ^

angularities, her eager impulsive disposition, and |

her frank liking for sports and sweets. She is
fifteen, and the middle girl, a sort of clasp of the
family.

But Phyllis and Dorothy in their respective
turns were fifteen too, and as the elder daughter
and the second daughter have had their share in
the mother's intimacy, and their novitiate as they
slipped out of childhood's land of dream and phan-
tasy into the realm of the practical which is
woman's kingdom. An elder daughter and sister
at fifteen, or an only child at fifteen, has her pe-
culiar and individual questions to settle, and her
environment is a matter of no slight importance.
What she is now, forecasts what she may be,
what indeed she will be twenty years hence, when
hfe with its broad opportunities and its insistent
obligations has made her its own.

She stands to-day where the little limpid brook
with its narrow silvery thread and flower-bordered
banks meets the brimming full-bosomed river, and
it is impossible not to love her, not to be wistful



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19



for her, not to pray for her, if one has in her own
heart the memory of the sweet days she Hved when
she was herself fifteen, and a daughter of some
happy home.

Winsome and clever, or thoughtful and brood-
ing, merry or quiet, according to her temperament,
the girl of fifteen is in some phases a problem to
her mother, and in many ways a puzzle to herself.
She is no longer a child to play freely with her
mates in the games which delighted her at ten,
and she is not yet a young woman, though she
may have womanly tastes and aspirations. On
certain subjects, as for instance her dress, her
amusements, her studies, she has very decided
views, and she is daily gaining in breadth and in-
dependence, though still under her mother's wing,
and accustomed to refer all questions at issue to
her for settlement as the final authority. Just now
she needs more than ever the mother's loving
guardianship, and the wuse mother keeps her
daughter very close to her side in confidential af-
fection, in daily intercourse, in the purest and most
intimate association. For the little woman is
passing through a transitional period in her de-
Ivelopment, and she can nowhere else be as safe and
as sheltered, as in the sweet seclusion of the home.
Should the mother decide to send her away to
school, then the choice should be a matter of care-
ful thought, and personal investigation, the at-
mosphere of the institution, the character of the
teachers, and the social plane of the pupils, being



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tDinsomc tt)0manl)DoJr



all passed under review. The associations formed
in school may be of life-long tenure, and it is well
that a young girl's friendships be made among
those who are the product of refined and Christian
homes.

"At fifteen a young girl is full of enthusiasm.
She adores her favorite teacher ; she worships the
classmate who seems to her ideally beautiful and
faultless, she makes any sacrifice for her chum,
and chameleon-like, unless she be of very strongly
marked individuality, she takes on the color, ab-
sorbs the manner and reflects the opinions of her
companions.

She expresses herself in superlatives, and exag-
gerates both likes and dislikes. It is far more im-
portant that a girl at this formative stage of her
being shall be thrown with high-minded and gra-
cious-mannered persons, than that she shall be
thoroughly drilled in Latin and mathematics,
though this too is a worth while thing.

She resents the curb, and must be taught by ex-
ample rather than by dictation. Her physical life
is subject to well-known alternations and perils,
and if she is to become physically a strong, well-
poised woman, w'ith firm health and serene vigor,
she must now have the good food, the sound,
abundant sleep, and the wholesome out-door exer-
cise which build up the body, and make it the fit
instrument of a noble mind.

Looking forward is the natural employment of
this child- woman, who is not as yet sure of her-



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self, nor aware of her own powers. If she desire
the finest intellectual discipline available to-day,
she may be prepared for college at home or in a
good preparatory school, but she should not enter
college itself until she is at least eighteen years
old. No harm will be done her. but on the con-
trary a great and very positive good, if she drop
study of books for a year or more, at this stage
her progress and learn some lessons in prac-
tical housewifery, in the best school of domestic
economy in the whole world, a mother's own
kitchen and drawing-room.

A college graduate, however profound and bril-
liant, however fully furnished mentally, is hardly
fitted to be an all-around woman, whose lot it may
be either to marry a man of small means, or to ad-
minister the affairs of a millionaire's household,
unless she practically understands cooking, cater-
ing, and general home management. Nor may the
twentieth-century spinster dispense w'ith this ex-
cellent knowdedge, and particularly to-day when
the trend of young girls is away from house serv-
ice and toward factory and shop, there is a de-
mand for the fullest possible training of the mis-
tress, in order that her maids may remain in her
employ, and domestic service with its obvious ad-
vantages for women cease to be sliunned by wage-
earners.

Never will our girl of fifteen more readily and
more delightfully take the first steps in this de-
partment, than in an interval saved from school





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22



tDiuBome tDoman()ao&



at one end and college at the other, and utilized to
the best of attainments by an accomplished mother.

Fifteen takes its perplexities very seriously and
grieves without restraint over its sorrows. Never
was there a greater mistake than to suppose that
early girlhood is a season of unalloyed pleasure.
To many girls it is a time of restlessness, of quick-
sands and reefs, of romantic dreams which bring
only disappointments, and of poignant pain to sen-
sitive natures which are wounded because misun-
derstood.

The reserves of girlhood are an unfathomed sea.
For no reason which she can explain, the young
girl often withholds her thoughts and fancies from
her parents, and folds herself in secrecy, like a
rosebud not yet ready to bloom. It may be that
her mother, who is her natural confidante, has been
so busy and so cumbered with outside service in
the church, and in society, that she has lost her
hold upon her child, and when this occurs it is a
deplorable misfortune. For a daughter's first ref-
uge should be her mother, her next best shield her
father. Now and then it happens that a much
occupied father understands his little girl in a
subtle way, uncomprehended by her mother. Her
inexperience needs a guide, and she must be pi-
loted over and across the perils which lie between
her, and the happy days awaiting her farther
on. The two watchwords of her life are sympathy
and freedom, and she needs both in equal meas-
ure.



"17 (f



®l)e @irl of JTiftcen 23

Every young girl cannot arrange her life as she
desires. With severe endeavor and splendid self-
denial, some daughters of the mountain farm and
of r}ie city tenement secure a college education ;
but others must early begin to assist their families
by their own toil. In the great shops of our cities,
and in every factory town, scores and hundreds of
very young girls go to their daily avocations, and
bring home their weekly stipend to help clothe
and feed the younger children, and to ease the
load which hard-working parents carr}'. The ac-
cidents of circumstance do not materially affect the
character of the girl of fifteen, except that outside
life and hard work as a rule mature her early.

Exposed to the rougher winds of fortune, to the
greater publicity, she is not to be the less shielded,
but rather the m.ore, by her parents and friends.
As a rule the mother of the young working girl
is alive to the need of caring for her during her
evenings and holidays, and all honor should be
given to women, themselves weary with long hours
of labor, who mother their young daughters as
sedulously as do mothers who move in a different
sphere, with homes of plenty, and the ease of a
long purse at command.

In a beautiful and loving sisterhood of service
the Young Woman's Christian Association
and the Friendly Guilds of the churches, the
Leagues and Endeavor Circles, and King's
Daughters' groups of Ten, look after and help up-
ward on her steep ascent, the youthful bread-



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iDmsome iDomanf)oob



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winner who has taken her place as a unit in the
great competitions of the labor market.

Nobody who has to do with a girl of fifteen,
but has observed her recklessness as to wraps, her
fondness for bonbons, her indifference to over-
shoes and thick boots. Hers is the bread and but-
ter age, when she scorns precautions and is averse
to the whole machinery of prudence. With a fatal
facility she picks up "and adopts the college slang
of her brothers, or the more objectionable catch-
words of the street. She needs constant reminders
of her duty to her mother-tongue even when her
home associations are ideal.

It is well for our young girl if she form the
habit of going every day by herself for a little
quiet time, of reading her Bible and praying in
the morning and at night. When a little girl she
said her prayers as she was taught. Now she
must enter the court of the Most High, and for
her own soul's sake, confess her sins, ask grace
to resist temptation and commune with her
Heavenly Father. No earthly love, no tenderness
of parent or wisdom of preceptor, can impart to
her at this time, the strength, the grace, and the
beauty, which will be hers, as she seeks the throne
of our ever blessed Immanuel and turns to Him
as Master and Friend. At fifteen she may well
begin, if she has not already done this, her out-
ward connection with the Church of Christ, en-
tering thus upon a service altogether free and her
bounden duty.




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A room of her very own, as tastefully appointed
and comfortably furnished as possible, should be
every young girl's retreat. Here she may enjoy
the half hours for devotion which tend to the
soul's growth, and may read and study and en-
tertain a girl friend, and be as independent of
the rest of the family as she pleases. In this, her
den, her nook, her bower, her special fancies may
be indulged, and her individuality find fit expres-
sion.

If a girl admit me to her room, I need no other
interpreter of her character. Her daintiness, her
delicacy, her fondness for art, her little fads and
caprices are here revealed. Does she care for ath-
letics, her room tells the story. Her mandolin
■pr banjo, her books on the swinging shelf, her
desk, her dressing-table e^xplain her, for wherever
we live we set our seal, and this unconsciously.
The untidy girl keeps her room in chaos and con-
fusion: it looks as if swept by a small cyclone.
The orderly and fastidious girl has a place for
each belonging and puts it there without effort
and without fuss. As for the room itself, it may
be plain to bareness^ or beautifully luxurious; a
cell, or a shrine it owes its grace or lack of charm
more to its occupant than to its paper and paint,
its bed and bureau, its rug and chairs.

When a mother cannot give her young daughter
a whole room for herself, she should at least con-
trive for her a little sanctuary, by means of
screens and curtains. Some one spot where she



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26 U)msome tDomanl)oo&

may rest the sole of her foot, should belong to the
young girl, if only a corner under the stairs, or a
good-sized closet with a window and door.

With its delicate papering of rose-pink or
robin's egg-blue, its furnishings in white, its rock-
ing chair, its table, its sheer muslin draperies, its
simple engravings on the wall, its cups and saucers
that she may give her chum a cup of tea or choc-
olate, the girl's room need cost little in money.
All the good things in this world do not depend
on gold and silver, nor need we resign our right
to beautiful surroundings because we must keep
a strict rein upon expenditure, and have an eye
to ways and means. Unless a young woman
learns early to make the most of her little in
hand, she will never be successful when she has
a large sum in her stewardship.

And this leads me to plead for my little Jeanie,
my Gladys, my May, my Rosamond, whatever
dear and lovely name this maid of fifteen sum-
mers bears, that she may have an allowance of
her own, as well as a room of her own. Her
little purse should have its regularly bestowed
sum, given her weekly, monthly, or quarterly,
% ^ and from it, she should pay her legitimate personal
expenses. Mothers sometimes give young girls
a sufficient amount, to buy their own wardrobes,
and to cover every item of their journeying to
and fro, of their luxuries and their charities.
Jeanie shoald keep accounts ; she should not run
in debt ; she should have a little margin ; she



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®l)c ©id of JTiftecu 27

should learn judicious saving, as well as careful
spending, and at fifteen, it should be her custom,
to lay aside a portion of her means for the Lord's
treasury.

One final word, A sensitive girl often suffers
from the teasing proclivities of her brothers, and
from the thoughtless despotism of her elder sis-
ters. She has her rights and her privileges, and
among them is immunity from needless jesting
and careless tyranny. Nor ought a young girl to
be reproved in public nor held up to ridicule, nor

|f|1 snubbed by any incivility. She is an unformed

\ being to some extent, and to mar her in the mak-

W ing is exceedingly short-sighted and unkind.

Exact from her the performance of her regular
daily duties, in the task-work of the school, and
in the routine of the home, but include her in the
simple household pleasures, and surround her with
the protection of considerate politeness. If she is
brusque, be the more delicately urbane. If she is
wilful, treat her with gentleness. If she is dis-
turbed and disquieted, find out the cause. Be true ^^ftf"
to her, and expect from her the truth. Teach her
to honor her body and to conserve her health.
And above all things else love her, and let her
feel herself beloved. And let this be her secret of
strength, that she is not her own but bought with
a price, even the precious blood of Christ, So
may she sing for Him, or work for Him, or live
for Him, because her life is His, and He abides
in her soul, as in a temple.



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iDineome lDomanl)ooi



Of Frances Ridley Havergal, at this beautiful
dawning of her life, a friend said^ " Her form
was graceful as a flower-stem ; her face as bright
as the flower itself. She flashed into the room,
carolling like a bird. Flashed! Yes, I say the
word advisedly, flashed in like a burst of sunshine,
like a hillside breeze, and stood before us, her fair
sunny curls falling round her shoulders, her bright
eyes dancing, and her fresh, sweet voice ringing
through the room. There was joy in her face,
joy in her words, joy in her ways."

So I would have my girl of fifteen make her
world the blidier, where the brook and the river
meet.



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READING TO FATHER.

%ead from the chapter she used to read,

Tiead in the self-same tone.
She loved, ere she heard the angel's call

zAnd left us here alone.
%ead, and the nearer we'll be to her,

Who is safe by the Saviour's throne.



iDteaome tDomant^aDir




^ Two



A Daughter
at Home




** A ROSEBUD SET WITH LITTLE WILFUL

THORNS '*

or every household in
the land has its darline
ministering daughter, but
no household is complete
without one. Into what
need of the hour does she
not fit, what longing of the
heart does she not fill, this
dear young thing who re-
peats in face and form the sweetness of the
mother's past, and in trick and gesture, pose and
accent, is a feminine copy of her father. The
princess royal wherever we find her is the girl
whose office it is to rule her circle of kinsfolk
by right of her soft invincibility, and to serve them
in virtue of her unwearied strength. All the love-
lier if she be gently insistent on her privileges, and
not too subdued and restrained, as the charm of
the rose is enhanced by its shielding briers, it is
permitted to the daughter of the house to have
in many minor details, her own way. If she de-

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30 iUuiBomc tOomanl)0o5

cree alterations they are made, if she desire in-
novations, her family sanctions them : it is Kathe-
rine, Marion, Lillie, Charlotte whose happy day
of queenly prerogatives has arrived, and her people
from the grandparents down are devoted and obe-
dient subjects.

The mother in her chair of state is not often
ready to abdicate merely because her little girl has
let down her frocks and put up her hair, because
she has laid by the severities of her college cap
and gown, and donned a young lady's attire in


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Online LibraryMargaret Elizabeth Munson SangsterWinsome womanhood → online text (page 1 of 14)