The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Part 13 out of 18
healthful regimen practiced daily would double the daily pleasure of
living and add ten years to the span of life, nine out of ten would
neglect it. And (b) thoughtlessness through faulty education; the
primary function of mental culture being to teach people to think,
analyze, and solve the problems of life, and cultivate the memory; but
memory is too often given first place to the exclusion of the
others."--_A. O. H._
This is an excellent answer. There are others.--C. P. G.
THE EDITOR'S PROBLEM
To pay its running expenses this little magazine must have about three
thousand subscribers. It now has between eleven and twelve hundred.
We want, to make good measure, two thousand more. This is a bare
minimum, providing no salary to the editor. If enough people care for
the magazine to support it to that extent, the editor will do her work
for nothing--and be glad of the chance! If enough people care for it to
support her--she will be gladder.
Do you like the magazine, its spirit and purpose? Do you find genuine
interest and amusement in the novel--the short story? Do the articles
appeal to you? Do the sermons rouse thought and stir to action? Are
the problems treated such as you care to study? Does the poetry have
bones to it as well as feathers? Does it give you your dollar's worth
in the year? And do you want another dollar's worth?
Most of the people who take it like it very much. We are going to
print, a few at a time, some of the pleasant praises our readers send.
They are so cordial that we are moved to ask all those who do enjoy this
little monthly service of sermon and story, fun and fiction, poetry and
First, To renew their subscriptions.
Second, Each to get one new subscriber. (Maybe more!)
Third, To make Christmas presents of subscriptions, or of bound volumes
of the first year.
Books by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Sent postpaid by
THE CHARLTON COMPANY
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"Women and Economics" $1.50
Since John Stuart Mill's essay there has been no book dealing with the
whole position of women to approach it in originality of conception and
brilliancy of exposition.--_London Chronicle._
A remarkable book. A work on economics that has not a dull page--the
work of a woman about women that has not a flippant word.--_Boston
Will be widely read and discussed as the cleverest, fairest, most
forcible presentation of the view of the rapidly increasing group who
look with favor on the extension of industrial employment to
women.--_Political Science Quarterly._
"Concerning Children" $1.25
WANTED:--A philanthropist, to give a copy to every English-speaking
parent.--_The Times,_ New York.
Should be read by every mother in the land.--_The Press,_ New York.
Wholesomely disturbing book that deserves to be read for its own
"In This Our World" (Poems) $1.25
There is a joyous superabundance of life, of strength, of health, in
Mrs. Gilman's verse, which seems born of the glorious sunshine and rich
gardens of California.--_Washington Times._
The poet of women and for women, a new and prophetic voice in the world.
Montaigne would have rejoiced in her.--_Mexican Herald._
"The Yellow Wall Paper" $0.50
Worthy of a place beside some of the weird masterpieces of Hawthorne and
As a short story it stands among the most powerful produced in
"The Home" $1.00
Indeed, Mrs. Gilman has not intended her book so much as a treatise for
scholars as a surgical operation on the popular mind.--_The Critic,_ New
It is safe to say that no more stimulating arraignment has ever before
taken shape and that the argument of the book is noble, and, on the
whole, convincing.--_Congregationalist,_ Boston.
"Human Work" $1.00
Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman has been writing a new book, entitled
"Human Work." It is the best thing that Mrs. Gilman has done, and it is
meant to focus all of her previous work, so to speak.--_Tribune,_
In her latest volume, "Human Work," Charlotte Perkins Gilman places
herself among the foremost students and elucidators of the problem of
social economics.--"San Francisco Star._
It is impossible to overestimate the value of the insistence on the
social aspect of human affairs as Mrs. Gilman has outlined it.--_Public
"What Diantha Did" (A Novel) $1.00
"The Man Made World": or, "Our Androcentric Culture" $1.00
Orders taken for Bound Vols. THE FORERUNNER, $1.25
CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN'S MAGAZINE
CHARLTON CO., 67 WALL ST., NEW YORK
AS TO PURPOSE:
_What is The Forerunner?_ It is a monthly magazine, publishing stories
short and serial, article and essay; drama, verse, satire and sermon;
dialogue, fable and fantasy, comment and review. It is written entirely
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
_What is it For?_ It is to stimulate thought: to arouse hope, courage
and impatience; to offer practical suggestions and solutions, to voice
the strong assurance of better living, here, now, in our own hands to
_What is it about?_ It is about people, principles, and the questions
of every-day life; the personal and public problems of to-day. It gives
a clear, consistent view of human life and how to live it.
_Is it a Woman's magazine?_ It will treat all three phases of our
existence--male, female and human. It will discuss Man, in his true
place in life; Woman, the Unknown Power; the Child, the most important
_Is it a Socialist Magazine?_ It is a magazine for humanity, and
humanity is social. It holds that Socialism, the economic theory, is
part of our gradual Socialization, and that the duty of conscious
humanity is to promote Socialization.
_Why is it published?_ It is published to express ideas which need a
special medium; and in the belief that there are enough persons
interested in those ideas to justify the undertaking.
AS TO ADVERTISING:
We have long heard that "A pleased customer is the best advertiser."
The Forerunner offers to its advertisers and readers the benefit of this
authority. In its advertising department, under the above heading, will
be described articles personally known and used. So far as individual
experience and approval carry weight, and clear truthful description
command attention, the advertising pages of The Forerunner will be
useful to both dealer and buyer. If advertisers prefer to use their own
statements The Forerunner will publish them if it believes them to be
AS TO CONTENTS:
The main feature of the first year is a new book on a new subject with a
_"Our Androcentric Culture."_ this is a study of the historic effect on
normal human development of a too exclusively masculine civilization.
It shows what man, the male, has done to the world: and what woman, the
more human, may do to change it.
_"What Diantha Did."_ This is a serial novel. It shows the course of
true love running very crookedly--as it so often does--among the
obstructions and difficulties of the housekeeping problem--and solves
that problem. (NOT by co-operation.)
Among the short articles will appear:
"Private Morality and Public Immorality."
"The Beauty Women Have Lost"
"Our Overworked Instincts."
"The Nun in the Kitchen."
"Genius: Domestic and Maternal."
"A Small God and a Large Goddess."
"Animals in Cities."
"How We Waste Three-Fourths Of Our Money."
There will be short stories and other entertaining matter in each issue.
The department of "Personal Problems" does not discuss etiquette,
fashions or the removal of freckles. Foolish questions will not be
answered, unless at peril of the asker.
AS TO VALUE:
If you take this magazine one year you will have:
One complete novel . . . By C. P. Gilman
One new book . . . By C. P. Gilman
Twelve short stories . . . By C. P. Gilman
Twelve-and-more short articles . . . By C. P. Gilman
Twelve-and-more new poems . . . By C. P. Gilman
Twelve Short Sermons . . . By C. P. Gilman
Besides "Comment and Review" . . . By C. P. Gilman
"Personal Problems" . . . By C. P. Gilman
And many other things . . . By C. P. Gilman
DON'T YOU THINK IT'S WORTH A DOLLAR?
CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN'S MAGAZINE
CHARLTON CO., 67 WALL ST., NEW YORK
Please find enclosed $_____ as subscription to "The Forerunner" from
_____ 19___ to _____ 19___
A MONTHLY MAGAZINE
CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN
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.10 A COPY
Volume 1. No. 11
Copyright for 1910
C. P. Gilman
Your Unborn Grandchild is more real then your Buried Grandfather.
Let us then Obliterate Graveyards and Build Babygardens.
Marginal mile after mile of smooth-running granite embankment,
Washed by clean waters, clean seas and clean rivers embracing;
Pier upon pier lying wide for the ships of all seas to foregather,
Broad steps of marble, descending, for the people to enter the water,
White quays of marble, with music, and myriad pleasure-boats waiting;
Music of orchestras playing in blossoming parks by the river,
Playing on white-pillared piers where the lightfooted thousands are
Dancing at night in the breeze flowing fresh from the sea and the river;
Music of flute and guitar from the lovers afloat on the water,
Music of happy young voices far-flying across the bright ripples,
Bright with high-glittering ships and the low rosy lanterns of lovers,
Bright with the stars overhead and the stars of the city beside them,
Their city, the heaven they know, and love as they love one another.
MR. ROBERT GREY SR.
I thought I knew what trouble was when Jimmy went away. It was bad
enough when he was clerking in Barstow and I only saw him once a week;
but now he'd gone to sea.
He said he'd never earn much as a clerk, and he hated it too. He'd
saved every cent he could of his wages and taken a share in the Mary
Jenks, and I shouldn't see him again for a year maybe,--maybe more. She
was a sealer.
O dear! I'd have married him just as he was; but he said he couldn't
keep me yet, and if they had luck he'd make 400 per cent. on his savings
that voyage,--and it was all for me. My blessed Jimmy!
He hadn't been gone but a bare fortnight when "unmerciful disaster
followed fast and followed faster" on our poor heads. First father
broke his arm. There was the doctor to pay, and all that plaster cast
thing, and of course I had to do the milking and all the work. I didn't
mind that a bit. We hadn't any horse then, to take care of, and Rosy,
our cow, was a dear; gentle as a kitten, and sweet-breathed as a baby.
But it put back all the farm work, of course; we couldn't hire, and
there wasn't enough to go shares on. Mother was pretty wretched, and no
And then Rosy was stolen! That did seem the last straw. As long as
Rosy was there and I could milk her, we shouldn't starve.
Poor father! There he sat, with that plaster arm in the sling--the
other one looking so discouraged and nerveless, and his head bowed on
his breast; the hand hanging, the strong busy fingers laxly open.
"I'll go and look," he said, starting up, "where's my hat?"
"It's no use looking, father," said I, "the halter's gone, there are big
footprints beside her hoof-marks out to the road, and then quite a
stamped place, and then wagon wheels and her nice little clean tracks
going off after the wagon. Plain stolen."
He sat down again and groaned.
"Thought I heard a wagon in the middle of the night," said mother,
weakly. Her face was flushed, and her eyes ran over. "I can't sleep
much you know. I ought to have spoken, but you need your sleep."
I ran to her and kissed her.
"Now mother dear! Don't you fret over it,--please don't! We'll find
Rosy. I'll get Mrs. Clark to 'phone for me at once."
"'Phone where?" said father. "It's no use 'phoning. Its those gypsies.
And they got to town hours ago--and Rosy's beef by this time." He set
his jaw hard; but there were tears in his eyes, too.
I was nearly distracted myself. "If only Jimmy were here," I said,
"he'd find her!"
"I don't doubt he'd make a try," said father, "but it's too late."
I ran over to Mrs. Clark, and we 'phoned to the police in Barstow, and
sure enough they found the hide and horns! It didn't do us any good.
They arrested some gypsies, but couldn't prove anything; shut one of 'em
up for vagrancy, too,--but that didn't do us any good, either. And if
they'd proved it and convicted him it wouldn't have brought back
Rosy,--or given us another cow.
Then mother got sick. It was pure discouragement as much as anything, I
think, and she missed Rosy's milk,--she used to half live on it. After
she was sick she missed it more, there were so few things she could
eat,--and not many of those I could get for her.
O how I did miss Jimmy! If he'd been there he'd have helped me to _see
over_ it all. "Sho!" he'd have said. "It's hard lines, little girl,
now; but bless you, a broken arm's only temporary; your father'll be as
good as ever soon. And your mother'll get well; she's a strong woman.
I never saw a stronger woman of her age. And as to the food--just claim
you're 'no breakfast' people, and believe in fasting for your health!"
That's the way Jimmy met things, and I tried to say it all to myself,
and keep my spirits up,--and theirs. But Jimmy was at sea.
Well, father couldn't work, it had to be his right arm, of course. And
mother couldn't work either; she was just helpless and miserable, and
the more she worried the sicker she got, and the sicker she got the more
she worried. My patience! How I did work! No time to read, no time to
study, no time to sew on any of the pretty white things I was gradually
accumulating. I got up before daylight, almost; kept the house as neat
as I could, and got breakfast, such as it was. Father could dress
himself after a fashion, and he could sit with mother when I was outside
working in the garden. I began that garden just as an experiment, the
day after father broke his arm. The outlay was only thirty cents for
lettuce and radish seed, but it took a lot of work.
Then there was mother to do for, and father to cheer up (which was
hardest of all), and dinner and supper to get,--and nothing to get them
The doctor didn't push us any, but father hates a debt as he hates
poison, and mother is a natural worrier. "She is killing herself with
worry," the doctor said; and he had no anti-toxin for that, apparently.
And then, as if that wasn't enough, that Mr. Robert Grey Sr. took
advantage of our misfortunes and began to make up to me again.
I never liked the old man since I was a little girl. He was always
picking me up and kissing me, when I didn't want to in the least. When
I got older he'd pinch my checks, and offer me a nickle if I'd kiss him.
Mother liked him, for he stood high in the church, and was a charitable
soul. Father liked him because he was successful--father always admired
successful men;--and Mr. Grey got his money honestly, too, father said.
He was a kind old soul. He offered to send me to college, and I was
awfully tempted; but father couldn't bear a money obligation,--and I
couldn't bear Mr. Grey.
There was a Robert Grey Jr., who was disagreeable enough; a thin,
pimply, sanctimonious young fellow, with a class of girls in
sunday-school. He was sickly enough, but Mr. Robert Grey Sr. was worse.
He sort of tottered and threw his feet about as he walked; and kind or
not kind, I couldn't bear him. But he came around now all the time.
He brought mother nice things to eat,--you can't refuse gifts to the
sick,--and they were awfully nice; he has a first class cook. And he
brought so much that there was enough for father too. We had to eat it
to save it, you see,--but I hated every mouthful. I lived on our
potatoes mostly, and they were poor enough--in June--and no milk to go
He came every day, bringing his basket of delicacies for mother, and
he'd chat awhile with her--she liked it; and he'd sit and talk with
father--he liked it; and then he'd hang around me--and I had to be civil
to him! But I did not like it a bit. I couldn't bear the old man with
his thin grey whiskers, and his watery gray eyes, and his big pink
mouth--color of an old hollyhock.
But he came and came, and nobody could fail to see what he wanted; but O
dear me! How I wished for Jimmy. My big, strong, brisk boy, with the
jolly laugh and the funny little swears that he invented himself! I
watched the shipping news, and waited and hoped; he might come back any
time now, if they'd had luck. But he didn't come. Mr. Robert Grey Sr.
was there every day--and Jimmy didn't come.
I tried not to cry. I needed all my strength and courage to keep some
heart in father and mother, and I tried always to remember what Jimmy
would have said; how he'd have faced it. "Don't be phazed by
_anything,_" he used to say. "Everything goes by--give it time. Don't
holler! Don't give a jam!" (People always looked so surprised when
Jimmy said "Jam!") "Just hang on and do the square thing. You're not
responsible for other people's sorrows. Hold up your own end."
Jimmy was splendid! He used to read to me about an old philosopher
called Euripides, and I got to appreciate him too. But when the papers
were full of "Storms at sea"--"Terrible weather in the
north"--"Gales"--"High winds"--"Losses in shipping"--it did seem as if I
couldn't bear it.
Then at last it came, in a terrible list of wrecks. The Mary
Jenks--lost, with all on board.
O what was the use of living! What did anything matter! Why couldn't I
die! Why couldn't I die!
But I didn't. My health was as good as ever; I could even sleep--when I
wasn't crying. Working hard out of doors and not eating very much makes
you sleep I guess, heart or no heart. And I had to keep on working; my
lettuce was up and coming on finely, rows upon rows of it, just as I had
planted it, two days apart. And the radishes too, they were eatable,
and we tried them.
But father laughed grimly at my small garden. "A lot of good that'll do
us, child!" he said. "O Jenny--there's more than that you can do for
your poor mother! I know you feel badly, and ordinarily I wouldn't say
a word, but--you see how it is."
I saw how it was well enough, but it seemed to me too horrible to think
of. To thrust that tottering old philanthropist right into my poor
bleeding heart! I couldn't bear it.
Mother never said a word. But she looked. She'd lie there with her big
hollow eyes following me around the room; and when I came to do anything
for her she'd look in my face so! It was more effective than all
father's talks. For father had made up his mind now, and urged me all
"We might as well face the facts, Jenny," he said. "James Young is
gone, and I'm sorry; and you are naturally broken-hearted. But even if
you were a widow I'd say the same thing. Here is this man who has been
good to you since you were a child; he will treat you well, you'll have
a home, you'll be provided for when he dies. I know you're not in love
with him. I don't expect it. He don't either. He has spoken to me.
He don't expect miracles. Here we are, absolutely living on his food!
It--it is _terrible_ to me, Jennie! But I couldn't refuse, for your
mother's sake. Now if I could pocket my pride for her sake, can't you
pocket your grief? You can't bring back the dead."
"O father, don't!" I said. "How can you talk so! O Jimmy! Jimmy!--If
you were here!"
"He isn't here--he never will be!" said father steadily. "But your
mother is here, and sick. Mr. Grey wants to send her to a
sanitarium--'as a friend.' I can't let him do that,--it would cost
hundreds of dollars. But--as a son-in-law I could."
Mother didn't say a thing--dear mother. But she looked at me.
They made me feel like a brute, between them; at least father did. He
kept right on talking.
"Mr. Grey is a good man," he said, "an unusually good man. If he was a
bad man I'd never say a word."
"He was when he was young, old Miss Green says," I answered.
"I am ashamed of you, Jennie," said father, "to listen to such
scandalous gossip! How--how unmaidenly of you! I dare say he was a
little wild,--forty years ago. Most young fellows are, and he was rich
and handsome. But he has been a shining light in this community for
forty years.--A good husband--a good father."
"What'd his wife die of?" I asked suddenly.
"An operation,--but he did everything for her. She had the best doctors
and nurses. She was a good deal of an invalid, I believe, after Robert
Jr. was born."
"He's not much!" said I.
"No, Robert Jr. has been a great disappointment to his father--the great
disappointment of his life, I may say; though he was very fond of his
wife. But he won't trouble you any, Jenny; his father is going to send
him to Europe for a long time--for his health. Now Jenny, all this is
ancient history. Here is a good kind man who loves you dearly, and
wants to marry you at once. If you do it you may save your mother's
life,--and set me on my feet again for what remains of mine. I never
said a word while you were engaged to Jimmy Young, but now it's a plain
That night Mr. Grey Sr. came as usual. He had sent round his car and
got mother to take a ride that afternoon. It did her good, too. And
when he came father went out and sat with her, and left me to him:--and
he asked me to marry him.
He told me all the things he'd do for me--for mother--for father. He
said he shouldn't live very long anyway, and then I could be my own
mistress, with plenty of money. And I couldn't say a word, yes or no.
I sat there, playing with the edge of the lamp-mat--and thinking of
And then Mr. Robert Grey Sr. made a mistake. He got a hold of my hand
and fingered it. He came and took me in his arms--and kissed my mouth.
I jerked away from him--he almost fell over. "No! O NO!" I cried. "I
can't do it Mr. Grey. I simply _can't!"_
He turned the color of ashes.
"Why not?" he said.
"Because it isn't decent," said I firmly. "I can't bear to have you
touch me--never could. I will be a servant to you--I will work for
you--nurse you--but to be your wife!--I'm sorry Mr. Grey, but I can't do
I ran upstairs, and cried and cried; and I had reason to cry, for father
was a living thundercloud after that, and mother was worse; and they
wouldn't take any more of Mr. Grey's kindnesses, either of them.
My lettuce and radishes kept us alive until the potatoes were ripe. I
sold them, fresh every day. Walked three miles with a big basket full
every morning, to one of the summer hotels. It was awfully heavy,
especially when it rained. They didn't pay much, but it kept us--a
dollar a day, sometimes more.
Father got better in course of time, of course, and went to work on the
farm in a discouraged sort of way. But mother was worse, if anything.
She never blamed me--never said a word; but her eyes were a living
"Mother, dear," I begged her, "do forgive me! I'll work till I drop,
for you; I'll deny myself everything: I'll do most anything that's
decent and honest. But to marry a man you don't love is not honest; and
to marry an old invalid like that--it's not decent."
She just sighed--didn't say anything.
"Cheer up mother, do! Father's almost well; we can get through this
year somehow. Next year I can make enough to buy a cow, really."
But it wasn't more than a month from that time, I was sitting on the
door stone at twilight--thinking of Jimmy, of course--and--there _was_
Jimmy. I thought it was his ghost; but if it was it was a very
As to old Mr. Robert Grey, Sr., he persuaded little Grace Salters to
marry him; a pretty, foolish, plump little thing; and if you'll believe
it, she died within a year--she and her baby with her.
Well. If ever anybody was glad I was.
I don't mean glad she was dead, poor girl; but glad I didn't marry him,
and did marry Jimmy.
WHAT VIRTUES ARE MADE OF
"Making a virtue of necessity" we say, somewhat scornfully; and never
consider that all virtues are so made.
"The savage virtues" of endurance, patience, gratitude, hospitality, are
easily seen to be precisely the main necessities of savages. Their
daily hardships and occasional miseries were such that an extra store of
endurance was needed, and this they artificially cultivated by the
system of initiation by torture.
The Spartans used the same plan, training the young soldier to bear a
doubly heavy spear, that the real one might be light to his hand.
Patience was needed by the hunter, and still more by the laboring squaw;
gratitude sprang from the great need--and rarity--of mercy or service;
and hospitality is always found in proportion to the distance,
difficulty, and danger of traveling. Courage, as the preeminent virtue
of manhood, rose to this prominence later in history, under conditions
of constant warfare.
Where you have to meet danger, and your danger is best overcome by
courage, by that necessity courage becomes a virtue. It has not been
deemed a virtue in women, because it was not a necessity. They were not
allowed to face outer danger; and what dangers they had were best
escaped by avoidance and ingenuity. Amusingly enough, since the woman's
main danger came through her "natural protector"--man; and since her
skill and success in escaping from or overcoming him was naturally not
valued by him, much less considered a necessity; this power of evasion
and adaptation in woman has never been called a virtue. Yet it is just
as serviceable to her as courage to the man, and therefore as much a
Honesty is a modern virtue. It existed, without a name and without
praise, among savages; but its place among virtues comes with the period
of commercial life. Without some honesty, no commerce; it is absolutely
necessary to keep the world going; its absence in any degree is a social
injury; therefore we extol honesty and seek to punish dishonesty, as the
savage never thought of doing.
All men are not honest in this commercial period, nor were all men brave
in the period of warfare: but they all agree in praising the virtue most
needed at the time.
Truth, as a special virtue, is interesting to study. The feeling of
trust in the word of another is of great value, under some conditions.
Under what conditions? In slavery? No. Truthfulness is evidently not
advantageous to slaves, for they do not manifest, or even esteem that
Those same Spartans, to whom courage and endurance stood so high,
thought but little of truth and honesty, and taught their boys to steal.
In warfare trickery and robbery are part of the game.
Where do we find the "word of honour" most valued? Among gentlefolk and
nobles, and those who inherit their traditions and impulses. It is
conditioned upon freedom and power. You must trust a man's word--when
you have no other hold upon him!
Mercy, kindness, "humanity"--as we quite justifiably call it,--is a very
young virtue, growing with social growth. Cruelty was once the rule;
now the exception. The more inextricably our lives are interwoven in
the social fabric, the more we need the mutual love which is the natural
state of social beings; and this feeling becoming a necessity, it also
becomes a virtue. Similarly, as our lives depend on the presence and
service of other animals we need to be kind to them; and in our highest
development so far, kindness to animals has been elected virtue.
But of all virtues made of necessity, none is more glaringly in evidence
than the one we call "virtue" itself,--chastity. We call it "virtue"
because it is _the_ quality--and the only quality--which has been a
necessity to the possessor--woman. Her life depended absolutely on man.
He valued her in one relation, and in that relation demanded this one
thing;--that she serve him alone.
Because of this demand, to her an absolute necessity, we have developed
the virtue of chastity, and praised it above all others--in woman! But
in men it was not even considered a virtue, much less demanded and
Could anything be clearer proof that virtue was made of necessity?
What we need to study now is the chief necessity of modern life. When
we have found that out we shall be able to rearrange our scale of
ANIMALS IN CITIES
A city is a group residence for human beings. There is no room in it
for any animal but one--_Genus Homo._ At present we make a sort of
menagerie of it.
Genus Homo is the major factor, bus he shares his common home with many
other beasts, _genus equus,_ _genus canis,_ _genus felis,_ and members
of others whose Latin names are not so familiar.
The horse is most numerous. He is a clean animal, a good friend and
strong servant where animals belong--in the country. In the city he is
an enemy. His stable is a Depot for the Wholesale Distribution of
The services of the horse, and the tons upon tons of fertilizing
material produced by him, are financially valuable; but the injury from
many deaths, the yearly drain from long sickness, and all the doctors
and druggists bills, amounts to a far greater loss.
There is no horse work in a city that cannot be done by machine. The
carriage, wagon, truck and dray, can take his place as workers; and they
_breed no flies._
We are learning, learning fast, how large a proportion of diseases
spring from minute living things which get inside of us and play havoc
with our organism. And very lately we are learning further, that of all
the benevolent distributors of disease none are more swift and sure than
certain insects; insects which are born and bred in and upon the bodies
and excreta of animals.
It is true that our kitchen garbage furnishes another popular nursery
for flies, but the unclean stable is the other breeding place.
Next in number to the horse come the dog and cat. These creatures are
not healthy and not happy in a city. They cannot be kept there without
injury to them; and the injury is more than revenged upon their keepers.
The dog furnishes his quota of deaths from hydrophobia, as well as
plain "assault and battery;" he defiles our sidewalks, and the fruits
and vegetables exposed upon our sidewalks; he keeps us awake by his
forlorn howling; he has diseases of his own which we may receive from
him; and he has fleas.
The flea, as well as the fly, is a valiant and industrious purveyor of
disease. From beast to beast they hop, carrying their toxic germs with
them: and the dog, displeased with his persecutors, scratches them off
upon our carpets.
The same applies to cats. A cat in the country is clean and safe; a cat
in the city is neither--if it has any freedom. If a young kitten,
cleansed and flealess, were reared in a lofty apartment, it would be
clean, doubtless; but the usual cat is free on intersecting fences; and
in the contact of warfare, or of gentler feelings, the flea is free to
travel and exchange.
The rat and mouse come under the same condemnation; they have fleas.
They make dirt. They tend to increase and maintain our insect pests and
terrors. They penetrate to all unsavory places. They acquire disease
themselves, or carry the germs of it in their blood or on their fur.
Their parasites gather them up and give them to us. The rats will leave
a sinking ship, the fleas will leave a sinking rat, and among their
millions some of them come to us.
When we build cities clean and tight from basement to roof,--all
concrete, brick, stone, metal, and plaster; when the holes for pipes of
all sorts are scaled as they enter the home; when the kitchen is
eliminated by 90 per cent. and replaced by the food laboratories; when
no animal but man is allowed within city limits--and he is taught to
keep clean; we can then compare, for antiseptic cleanliness with a fine
hospital--and have few hospitals to compare with!
WHAT DIANTHA DID
THE POWER OF THE SCREW.
Your car is too big for one person to stir--
Your chauffeur is a little man, too;
Yet he lifts that machine, does the little chauffeur,
By the power of a gentle jackscrew.
For all her employees she demanded a ten-hour day, she worked fourteen;
rising at six and not getting to bed till eleven, when her charges were
all safely in their rooms for the night.
They were all up at five-thirty or thereabouts, breakfasting at six, and
the girls off in time to reach their various places by seven. Their day
was from 7 A. M. to 8.30 P. M., with half an hour out, from 11.30 to
twelve, for their lunch; and three hours, between 2.20 and 5.30, for
their own time, including their tea. Then they worked again from 5.30
to 8.30, on the dinner and the dishes, and then they came home to a
pleasant nine o'clock supper, and had all hour to dance or rest before
the 10.30 bell for bed time.
Special friends and "cousins" often came home with them, and frequently
shared the supper--for a quarter--and the dance for nothing.
It was no light matter in the first place to keep twenty girls contented
with such a regime, and working with the steady excellence required, and
in the second place to keep twenty employers contented with them. There
were failures on both sides; half a dozen families gave up the plan, and
it took time to replace them; and three girls had to be asked to resign
before the year was over. But most of them had been in training in the
summer, and had listened for months to Diantha's earnest talks to the
clubs, with good results.
"Remember we are not doing this for ourselves alone," she would say to
them. "Our experiment is going to make this kind of work easier for all
home workers everywhere. You may not like it at first, but neither did
you like the old way. It will grow easier as we get used to it; and we
_must_ keep the rules, because we made them!"
She laboriously composed a neat little circular, distributed it widely,
and kept a pile in her lunch room for people to take.
It read thus:
Food and Service.
General Housework by the week . . . $10.00
General Housework by the day . . . $2.00
Ten hours work a day, and furnish their own food.
Additional labor by the hour . . . $ .20
Special service for entertainments, maids and waitresses, by the hour .
. . $ .25
Catering for entertainments.
Delicacies for invalids.
Lunches packed and delivered.
Caffeteria . . . 12 to 2
What annoyed the young manager most was the uncertainty and irregularity
involved in her work, the facts varying considerably from her
In the house all ran smoothly. Solemn Mrs. Thorvald did the laundry
work for thirty-five--by the aid of her husband and a big mangle for the
"flat work." The girls' washing was limited. "You have to be
reasonable about it," Diantha had explained to them. "Your fifty cents
covers a dozen pieces--no more. If you want more you have to pay more,
just as your employers do for your extra time."
This last often happened. No one on the face of it could ask more than
ten hours of the swift, steady work given by the girls at but a fraction
over 14 cents an hour. Yet many times the housekeeper was anxious for
more labor on special days; and the girls, unaccustomed to the three
free hours in the afternoon, were quite willing to furnish it, thus
adding somewhat to their cash returns.
They had a dressmaking class at the club afternoons, and as Union House
boasted a good sewing machine, many of them spent the free hours in
enlarging their wardrobes. Some amused themselves with light reading, a
few studied, others met and walked outside. The sense of honest leisure
grew upon them, with its broadening influence; and among her thirty
Diantha found four or five who were able and ambitious, and willing to
work heartily for the further development of the business.
Her two housemaids were specially selected. When the girls were out of
the house these two maids washed the breakfast dishes with marvelous
speed, and then helped Diantha prepare for the lunch. This was a large
undertaking, and all three of them, as well as Julianna and Hector
worked at it until some six or eight hundred sandwiches were ready, and
two or three hundred little cakes.
Diantha had her own lunch, and then sat at the receipt of custom during
the lunch hour, making change and ordering fresh supplies as fast as
The two housemaids had a long day, but so arranged that it made but ten
hours work, and they had much available time of their own. They had to
be at work at 5:30 to set the table for six o'clock breakfast, and then
they were at it steadily, with the dining rooms to "do," and the lunch
to get ready, until 11:30, when they had an hour to eat and rest. From
12:30 to 4 o'clock they were busy with the lunch cups, the bed-rooms,
and setting the table for dinner; but after that they had four hours to
themselves, until the nine o'clock supper was over, and once more they
washed dishes for half an hour. The caffeteria used only cups and
spoons; the sandwiches and cakes were served on paper plates.
In the hand-cart methods of small housekeeping it is impossible to exact
the swift precision of such work, but not in the standardized tasks and
regular hours of such an establishment as this.
Diantha religiously kept her hour at noon, and tried to keep the three
in the afternoon; but the employer and manager cannot take irresponsible
rest as can the employee. She felt like a most inexperienced captain on
a totally new species of ship, and her paper plans looked very weak
sometimes, as bills turned out to be larger than she had allowed for, or
her patronage unaccountably dwindled. But if the difficulties were
great, the girl's courage was greater. "It is simply a big piece of
work," she assured herself, "and may be a long one, but there never was
anything better worth doing. Every new business has difficulties, I
mustn't think of them. I must just push and push and push--a little
more every day."
And then she would draw on all her powers to reason with, laugh at, and
persuade some dissatisfied girl; or, hardest of all, to bring in a new
one to fill a vacancy.
She enjoyed the details of her lunch business, and studied it carefully;
planning for a restaurant a little later. Her bread was baked in long
cylindrical closed pans, and cut by machinery into thin even slices, not
a crust wasted; for they were ground into crumbs and used in the
The filling for her sandwiches was made from fish, flesh, and fowl; from
cheese and jelly and fruit and vegetables; and so named or numbered that
the general favorites were gradually determined.
Mr. Thaddler chatted with her over the counter, as far as she would
allow it, and discoursed more fully with his friends on the verandah.
"Porne," he said, "where'd that girl come from anyway? She's a genius,
that's what she is; a regular genius."
"She's all that," said Mr. Porne, "and a benefactor to humanity thrown
in. I wish she'd start her food delivery, though. I'm tired of those
two Swedes already. O--come from? Up in Jopalez, Inca County, I
"New England stock I bet," said Mr. Thaddler. "Its a damn shame the way
the women go on about her."
"Not all of them, surely," protested Mr. Porne.
"No, not all of 'em,--but enough of 'em to make mischief, you may be
sure. Women are the devil, sometimes."
Mr. Porne smiled without answer, and Mr. Thaddler went sulking away--a
bag of cakes bulging in his pocket.
The little wooden hotel in Jopalez boasted an extra visitor a few days
later. A big red faced man, who strolled about among the tradesmen,
tried the barber's shop, loafed in the post office, hired a rig and
traversed the length and breadth of the town, and who called on Mrs.
Warden, talking real estate with her most politely in spite of her
protestation and the scornful looks of the four daughters; who bought
tobacco and matches in the grocery store, and sat on the piazza thereof
to smoke, as did other gentlemen of leisure.
Ross Warden occasionally leaned at the door jamb, with folded arms. He
never could learn to be easily sociable with ranchmen and teamsters.
Serve them he must, but chat with them he need not. The stout gentleman
essayed some conversation, but did not get far. Ross was polite, but
far from encouraging, and presently went home to supper, leaving a
carrot-haired boy to wait upon his lingering customers.
"Nice young feller enough," said the stout gentleman to himself, "but
raised on ramrods. Never got 'em from those women folks of his, either.
He _has_ a row to hoe!" And he departed as he had come.
Mr. Eltwood turned out an unexpectedly useful friend to Diantha. He
steered club meetings and "sociables" into her large rooms, and as
people found how cheap and easy it was to give parties that way, they
continued the habit. He brought his doctor friends to sample the lunch,
and they tested the value of Diantha's invalid cookery, and were more
Hungry tourists were wholly without prejudice, and prized her lunches
for their own sake. They descended upon the caffeteria in chattering
swarms, some days, robbing the regular patrons of their food, and sent
sudden orders for picnic lunches that broke in upon the routine hours of
the place unmercifully.
But of all her patrons, the families of invalids appreciated Diantha's
work the most. Where a little shack or tent was all they could afford
to live in, or where the tiny cottage was more than filled with the
patient, attending relative, and nurse, this depot of supplies was a
A girl could be had for an hour or two; or two girls, together, with
amazing speed, could put a small house in dainty order while the sick
man lay in his hammock under the pepper trees; and be gone before he was
fretting for his bed again. They lived upon her lunches; and from them,
and other quarters, rose an increasing demand for regular cooked food.
"Why don't you go into it at once?" urged Mrs. Weatherstone.
"I want to establish the day service first," said Diantha. "It is a
pretty big business I find, and I do get tired sometimes. I can't
afford to slip up, you know. I mean to take it up next fall, though."
"All right. And look here; see that you begin in first rate shape.
I've got some ideas of my own about those food containers."
They discussed the matter more than once, Diantha most reluctant to take
any assistance; Mrs. Weatherstone determined that she should.
"I feel like a big investor already," she said. "I don't think even you
realize the _money_ there is in this thing! You are interested in
establishing the working girls, and saving money and time for the
housewives. I am interested in making money out of it--honestly! It
would be such a triumph!"
"You're very good--" Diantha hesitated.
"I'm not good. I'm most eagerly and selfishly interested. I've taken a
new lease of life since knowing you, Diantha Bell! You see my father
was a business man, and his father before him--I _like it._ There I
was, with lots of money, and not an interest in life! Now?--why,
there's no end to this thing, Diantha! It's one of the biggest
businesses on earth--if not _the_ biggest!"
"Yes--I know," the girl answered. "But its slow work. I feel the
weight of it more than I expected. There's every reason to succeed, but
there's the combined sentiment of the whole world to lift--it's as heavy
"Heavy! Of course it's heavy! The more fun to lift it! You'll do it,
Diantha, I know you will, with that steady, relentless push of yours.
But the cooked food is going to be your biggest power, and you must let
me start it right. Now you listen to me, and make Mrs. Thaddler eat her
Mrs. Thaddler's words would have proved rather poisonous, if eaten. She
grew more antagonistic as the year advanced. Every fault that could be
found in the undertaking she pounced upon and enlarged; every doubt that
could be cast upon it she heavily piled up; and her opposition grew more
rancorous as Mr. Thaddler enlarged in her hearing upon the excellence of
Diantha's lunches and the wonders of her management.
"She's picked a bunch o' winners in those girls of hers," he declared to
his friends. "They set out in the morning looking like a flock of sweet
peas--in their pinks and whites and greens and vi'lets,--and do more
work in an hour than the average slavey can do in three, I'm told."
It was a pretty sight to see those girls start out. They had a sort of
uniform, as far as a neat gingham dress went, with elbow sleeves, white
ruffled, and a Dutch collar; a sort of cross between a nurses dress and
that of "La Chocolataire;" but colors were left to taste. Each carried
her apron and a cap that covered the hair while cooking and sweeping;
but nothing that suggested the black and white livery of the regulation
"This is a new stage of labor," their leader reminded them. "You are
not servants--you are employees. You wear a cap as an English carpenter
does--or a French cook,--and an apron because your work needs it. It is
not a ruffled label,--it's a business necessity. And each one of us
must do our best to make this new kind of work valued and respected."
It is no easy matter to overcome prejudices many centuries old, and meet
the criticism of women who have nothing to do but criticize. Those who
were "mistresses," and wanted "servants,"--someone to do their will at
any moment from early morning till late evening,--were not pleased with
the new way if they tried it; but the women who had interests of their
own to attend to; who merely wanted their homes kept clean, and the food
well cooked and served, were pleased. The speed, the accuracy, the
economy; the pleasant, quiet, assured manner of these skilled employees
was a very different thing from the old slipshod methods of the ordinary
So the work slowly prospered, while Diantha began to put in execution
the new plan she had been forced into.
While it matured, Mrs. Thaddler matured hers. With steady dropping she
had let fall far and wide her suspicions as to the character of Union
"It looks pretty queer to me!" she would say, confidentially, "All those
girls together, and no person to have any authority over them! Not a
married woman in the house but that washerwoman,--and her husband's a
"And again; You don't see how she does it? Neither do I! The expenses
must be tremendous--those girls pay next to nothing,--and all that broth
and brown bread flying about town! Pretty queer doings, I think!"
"The men seem to like that caffeteria, don't they?" urged one caller,
perhaps not unwilling to nestle Mrs. Thaddler, who flushed darkly as she
replied. "Yes, they do. Men usually like that sort of place."
"They like good food at low prices, if that's what you mean," her
"That's not all I mean--by a long way," said Mrs. Thaddler. She said so
much, and said it so ingeniously, that a dark rumor arose from nowhere,
and grew rapidly. Several families discharged their Union House girls.
Several girls complained that they were insultingly spoken to on the
street. Even the lunch patronage began to fall off.
Diantha was puzzled--a little alarmed. Her slow, steady lifting of the
prejudice against her was checked. She could not put her finger on the
enemy, yet felt one distinctly, and had her own suspicions. But she
also had her new move well arranged by this time.
Then a maliciously insinuating story of the place came out in a San
Francisco paper, and a flock of local reporters buzzed in to sample the
victim. They helped themselves to the luncheon, and liked it. but that
did not soften their pens. They talked with such of the girls as they
could get in touch with, and wrote such versions of these talks as
They called repeatedly at Union House, but Diantha refused to see them.
Finally she was visited by the Episcopalian clergyman. He had heard her
talk at the Club, was favorably impressed by the girl herself, and
honestly distressed by the dark stories he now heard about Union House.
"My dear young lady," he said, "I have called to see you in your own
interests. I do not, as you perhaps know, approve of your schemes. I
consider them--ah--subversive of the best interests of the home! But I
think you mean well, though mistakenly. Now I fear you are not aware
that this-ah--ill-considered undertaking of yours, is giving rise to
considerable adverse comment in the community. There is--ah--there is a
great deal being said about this business of yours which I am sure you
would regret if you knew it. Do you think it is wise; do you think it
is--ah--right, my dear Miss Bell, to attempt to carry on a--a place of
this sort, without the presence of a--of a Matron of assured standing?"
Diantha smiled rather coldly.
"May I trouble you to step into the back parlor, Dr. Aberthwaite," she
said; and then;
"May I have the pleasure of presenting to you Mrs. Henderson Bell--my
"Wasn't it great!" said Mrs. Weatherstone; "I was there you see,-- I'd
come to call on Mrs. Bell--she's a dear,--and in came Mrs. Thaddler--"
"O I know it was old Aberthwaite, but he represented Mrs. Thaddler and
her clique, and had come there to preach to Diantha about propriety--I
heard him,--and she brought him in and very politely introduced him to
her mother!--it was rich, Isabel."
"How did Diantha manage it?" asked her friend.
"She's been trying to arrange it for ever so long. Of course her father
objected--you'd know that. But there's a sister--not a bad sort, only
very limited; she's taken the old man to board, as it were, and I guess
the mother really set her foot down for once--said she had a right to
visit her own daughter!"
"It would seem so," Mrs. Porne agreed. "I _am_ so glad! It will be so
much easier for that brave little woman now."
Diantha held her mother in her arms the night she came, and cried tike a
"O mother _dear!_" she sobbed, "I'd no idea I should miss you so much.
O you blessed comfort!"
Her mother cried a bit too; she enjoyed this daughter more than either
of her older children, and missed her more. A mother loves all her
children, naturally; but a mother is also a person--and may, without
sin, have personal preferences.
She took hold of Diantha's tangled mass of papers with the eagerness of
a questing hound.
"You've got all the bills, of course," she demanded, with her anxious
"Every one," said the girl. "You taught me that much. What puzzles me
is to make things balance. I'm making more than I thought in some
lines, and less in others, and I can't make it come out straight."
"It won't, altogether, till the end of the year I dare say," said Mrs.
Bell, "but let's get clear as far as we can. In the first place we must
separate your business,--see how much each one pays."
"The first one I want to establish," said her daughter, "is the girl's
club. Not just this one, with me to run it. But to show that any group
of twenty or thirty girls could do this thing in any city. Of course
where rents and provisions were high they'd have to charge more. I want
to make an average showing somehow. Now can you disentangle the girl
part front the lunch part and the food part, mother dear, and make it
Mrs. Bell could and did; it gave her absolute delight to do it. She
set down the total of Diantha's expenses so far in the Service
Department, as follows:
Rent of Union House . . . $1,500
Rent of furniture . . . $300
One payment on furniture . . . $400
Fuel and lights, etc. . . . $352
Service of 5 at $10 a week each . . . $2,600
Food for thirty-seven . . . $3,848
Total . . . $9,000
"That covers everything but my board," said Mrs. Bell.
"Now your income is easy--35 x $4.50 equals $8,190. Take that from your
$9,000 and you are $810 behind."
"Yes, I know," said Diantha, eagerly, "but if it was merely a girl's
club home, the rent and fixtures would be much less. A home could be
built, with thirty bedrooms--and all necessary conveniences--for $7,000.
I've asked Mr. and Mrs. Porne about it; and the furnishing needn't cost
over $2,000 if it was very plain. Ten per cent. of that is a rent of
$900 you see."
"I see," said her mother. "Better say a thousand. I guess it could be
done for that."
So they set down rent, $1,000.
"There have to be five paid helpers in the house," Diantha went on, "the
cook, the laundress, the two maids, and the matron. She must buy and
manage. She could be one of their mothers or aunts."
Mrs. Bell smiled. "Do you really imagine, Diantha, that Mrs.
O'Shaughnessy or Mrs. Yon Yonson can manage a house like this as you
Diantha flushed a little. "No, mother, of course not. But I am keeping
very full reports of all the work. Just the schedule of labor--the
hours--the exact things done. One laundress, with machinery, can wash
for thirty-five, (its only six a day you see), and the amount is
regulated; about six dozen a day, and all the flat work mangled.
"In a Girl's Club alone the cook has all day off, as it were; she can do
the down stairs cleaning. And the two maids have only table service and
"Yes. But two girls together, who know how, can do a room in 8
minutes--easily. They are small and simple you see. Make the bed,
shake the mats, wipe the floors and windows,--you watch them!"
"I have watched them," the mother admitted. "They are as quick as--as
"Well," pursued Diantha, "they spend three hours on dishes and tables,
and seven on cleaning. The bedrooms take 280 minutes; that's nearly
five hours. The other two are for the bath rooms, halls, stairs,
downstairs windows, and so on. That's all right. Then I'm keeping the
menus--just what I furnish and what it costs. Anybody could order and
manage when it was all set down for her. And you see--as you have
figured it--they'd have over $500 leeway to buy the furniture if they
were allowed to."
"Yes," Mrs. Bell admitted, "_if_ the rent was what you allow, and _if_
they all work all the time!"
"That's the hitch, of course. But mother; the girls who don't have
steady jobs do work by the hour, and that brings in more, on the whole.
If they are the right kind they can make good. If they find anyone who
don't keep her job--for good reasons--they can drop her."
"M'm!" said Mrs. Bell. "Well, it's an interesting experiment. But how
about you? So far you are $410 behind."
"Yes, because my rent's so big. But I cover that by letting the rooms,
Mrs. Bell considered the orders of this sort. "So far it averages about
$25.00 a week; that's doing well."
"It will be less in summer--much less," Diantha suggested. "Suppose you
call it an average of $15.00."
"Call it $10.00," said her mother ruthlessly. "At that it covers your
deficit and $110 over."
"Which isn't much to live on," Diantha agreed, "but then comes my
special catering, and the lunches."
Here they were quite at sea for a while. But as the months passed, and
the work steadily grew on their hands, Mrs. Bell became more and more
cheerful. She was up with the earliest, took entire charge of the
financial part of the concern, and at last Diantha was able to rest
fully in her afternoon hours. What delighted her most was to see her
mother thrive in the work. Her thin shoulders lifted a little as small
dragging tasks were forgotten and a large growing business substituted.
Her eyes grew bright again, she held her head as she did in her keen
girlhood, and her daughter felt fresh hope and power as she saw already
the benefit of the new method as affecting her nearest and dearest.
All Diantha's friends watched the spread of the work with keenly
sympathetic intent; but to Mrs. Weatherstone it became almost as
fascinating as to the girl herself.
"It's going to be one of the finest businesses in the world!" she said,
"And one of the largest and best paying. Now I'll have a surprise ready
for that girl in the spring, and another next year, if I'm not
There were long and vivid discussions of the matter between her and her
friends the Pornes, and Mrs. Porne spent more hours in her "drawing
room" than she had for years.
But while these unmentioned surprises were pending, Mrs. Weatherstone
departed to New York--to Europe; and was gone some months. In the
spring she returned, in April--which is late June in Orchardina. She
called upon Diantha and her mother at once, and opened her attack.
"I do hope, Mrs. Bell, that you'll back me up," she said. "You have the
better business head I think, in the financial line."
"She has," Diantha admitted. "She's ten times as good as I am at that;
but she's no more willing to carry obligation than I am, Mrs.
"Obligation is one thing--investment is another," said her guest. "I
live on my money--that is, on other people's work. I am a base
capitalist, and you seem to me good material to invest in. So--take it
or leave it--I've brought you an offer."
She then produced from her hand bag some papers, and, from her car
outside, a large object carefully boxed, about the size and shape of a
plate warmer. This being placed on the table before them, was
uncovered, and proved to be a food container of a new model.
"I had one made in Paris," she explained, "and the rest copied here to
save paying duty. Lift it!"
They lifted it in amazement--it was so light.
"Aluminum," she said, proudly, "Silver plated--new process! And bamboo
at the corners you see. All lined and interlined with asbestos, rubber
fittings for silver ware, plate racks, food compartments--see?"
She pulled out drawers, opened little doors, and rapidly laid out a
table service for five.
"It will hold food for five--the average family, you know. For larger
orders you'll have to send more. I had to make _some_ estimate."
"What lovely dishes!" said Diantha.
"Aren't they! Aluminum, silvered! If your washers are careful they
won't get dented, and you can't break 'em."
Mrs. Bell examined the case and all its fittings with eager attention.
"It's the prettiest thing I ever saw," she said. "Look, Diantha; here's
for soup, here's for water--or wine if you want, all your knives and
forks at the side, Japanese napkins up here. Its lovely, but--I should
Mrs. Weatherstone smiled. "I've had twenty-five of them made. They
cost, with the fittings, $100 apiece, $2,500. I will rent them to you,
Miss Bell, at a rate of 10 per cent. interest; only $250 a year!"
"It ought to take more," said Mrs. Bell, "there'll be breakage and
"You can't break them, I tell you," said the cheerful visitor, "and
dents can be smoothed out in any tin shop--you'll have to pay for
it;--will that satisfy you?"
Diantha was looking at her, her eyes deep with gratitude. "I--you know
what I think of you!" she said.
Mrs. Weatherstone laughed. "I'm not through yet," she said. "Look at
my next piece of impudence!" This was only on paper, but the pictures
were amply illuminating.
"I went to several factories," she gleefully explained, "here and
abroad. A Yankee firm built it. It's in my garage now!"
It was a light gasolene motor wagon, the body built like those
old-fashioned moving wagons which were also used for excursions, wherein
the floor of the vehicle was rather narrow, and set low, and the seats
ran lengthwise, widening out over the wheels; only here the wheels were
lower, and in the space under the seats ran a row of lockers opening
outside. Mrs. Weatherstone smiled triumphantly.
"Now, Diantha Bell," she said, "here's something you haven't thought of,
I do believe! This estimable vehicle will carry thirty people inside
easily," and she showed them how each side held twelve, and turn-up
seats accommodated six more; "and outside,"--she showed the lengthwise
picture--"it carries twenty-four containers. If you want to send all
your twenty-five at once, one can go here by the driver.
"Now then. This is not an obligation, Miss Bell, it is another valuable
investment. I'm having more made. I expect to have use for them in a
good many places. This cost pretty near $3,000, and you get it at the
same good interest, for $300 a year. What's more, if you are smart
enough--and I don't doubt you are,--you can buy the whole thing on
installments, same as you mean to with your furniture."
Diantha was dumb, but her mother wasn't. She thanked Mrs. Weatherstone
with a hearty appreciation of her opportune help, but no less of her
"Don't be a goose, Diantha," she said. "You will set up your food
business in first class style, and I think you can carry it
successfully. But Mrs. Weatherstone's right; she's got a new investment
here that'll pay her better than most others--and be a growing thing I
And still Diantha found it difficult to express her feelings. She had
lived under a good deal of strain for many months now, and this sudden
opening out of her plans was a heavenly help indeed.
Mrs. Weatherstone went around the table and sat by her. "Child," said
she, "you don't begin to realize what you've done for me--and for
Isobel--and for ever so many in this town, and all over the world. And
besides, don't you think anybody else can see your dream? We can't _do_
it as you can, but we can see what it's going to mean,--and we'll help
if we can. You wouldn't grudge us that, would you?"
As a result of all this the cooked food delivery service was opened at
"It is true that the tourists are gone, mostly," said Mrs. Weatherstone,
as she urged it, "but you see there are ever so many residents who have
more trouble with servants in summer than they do in winter, and hate to
have a fire in the house, too."
So Diantha's circulars had an addition, forthwith.
These were distributed among the Orchardinians, setting their tongues
wagging anew, as a fresh breeze stirs the eaves of the forest.
The stealthy inroads of lunches and evening refreshments had been
deprecated already; this new kind of servant who wasn't a servant, but
held her head up like anyone else ("They are as independent
as--as--'salesladies,'" said one critic), was also viewed with alarm;
but when even this domestic assistant was to be removed, and a square
case of food and dishes substituted, all Archaic Orchardina was
There were plenty of new minds in the place, however; enough to start
Diantha with seven full orders and five partial ones.
Her work at the club was now much easier, thanks to her mother's
assistance, to the smoother running of all the machinery with the
passing of time, and further to the fact that most of her girls were now
working at summer resorts, for shorter hours and higher wages. They
paid for their rooms at the club still, but the work of the house was so
much lightened that each of the employees was given two weeks of
vacation--on full pay.
The lunch department kept on a pretty regular basis from the patronage
of resident business men, and the young manager--in her ambitious
moments--planned for enlarging it in the winter. But during the summer
her whole energies went to perfecting the _menus_ and the service of her
Mrs. Porne was the very first to order. She had been waiting
impatiently for a chance to try the plan, and, with her husband, had the
firmest faith in Diantha's capacity to carry it through.
"We don't save much in money," she explained to the eager Mrs. Ree, who
hovered, fascinated, over the dangerous topic, "but we do in comfort, I
can tell you. You see I had two girls, paid them $12 a week; now I keep
just the one, for $6. My food and fuel for the four of us (I don't
count the babies either time--they remain as before), was all of $16,
often more. That made $28 a week. Now I pay for three meals a day,
delivered, for three of us, $15 a week--with the nurse's wages, $21.
Then I pay a laundress one day, $2, and her two meals, $.50, making
$23.50. Then I have two maids, for an hour a day, to clean; $.50 a day
for six days, $3, and one maid Sunday, $.25. $26.75 in all. So we only
_But!_ there's another room! We have the cook's room for an extra
guest; I use it most for a sewing room, though and the kitchen is a sort
of day nursery now. The house seems as big again!"
"But the food?" eagerly inquired Mrs. Ree. "Is it as good as your own?
Is it hot and tempting?"
Mrs. Ree was fascinated by the new heresy. As a staunch adherent of the
old Home and Culture Club, and its older ideals, she disapproved of the
undertaking, but her curiosity was keen about it.
Mrs. Porne smiled patiently. "You remember Diantha Bell's cooking I am
sure, Mrs. Ree," she said. "And Julianna used to cook for dinner
parties--when one could get her. My Swede was a very ordinary cook, as
most of these untrained girls are. Do take off your hat and have dinner
with us,--I'll show you," urged Mrs. Porne.
"I--O I mustn't," fluttered the little woman. "They'll expect me at
home--and--surely your--supply--doesn't allow for guests?"
"We'll arrange all that by 'phone," her hostess explained; and she
promptly sent word to the Ree household, then called up Union House and
ordered one extra dinner.
"Is it--I'm dreadfully rude I know, but I'm _so_ interested! Is
Mrs. Porne smiled. "Haven't you seen the little circular? Here's one,
'Extra meals to regular patrons 25 cents.' And no more trouble to order
than to tell a maid."
Mrs. Ree had a lively sense of paltering with Satan as she sat down to
the Porne's dinner table. She had seen the delivery wagon drive to the
door, had heard the man deposit something heavy on the back porch, and
was now confronted by a butler's tray at Mrs. Porne's left, whereon
stood a neat square shining object with silvery panels and bamboo
"It's not at all bad looking, is it?" she ventured.
"Not bad enough to spoil one's appetite," Mr. Porne cheerily agreed.
"Open, Sesame! Now you know the worst."
Mrs. Porne opened it, and an inner front was shown, with various small
doors and drawers.
"Do you know what is in it?" asked the guest.
"No, thank goodness, I don't," replied her hostess. "If there's
anything tiresome it is to order meals and always know what's coming!
That's what men get so tired of at restaurants; what they hate so when
their wives ask them what they want for dinner. Now I can enjoy my
dinner at my own table, just as if I was a guest."
"It is--a tax--sometimes," Mrs. Ree admitted, adding hastily, "But one
is glad to do it--to make home attractive."
Mr. Porne's eyes sought his wife's, and love and contentment flashed
between them, as she quietly set upon the table three silvery plates.
"Not silver, surely!" said Mrs. Ree, lifting hers, "Oh, aluminum."
"Aluminum, silver plated," said Mr. Porne. "They've learned how to do
it at last. It's a problem of weight, you see, and breakage. Aluminum
isn't pretty, glass and silver are heavy, but we all love silver, and
there's a pleasant sense of gorgeousness in this outfit."
It did look rather impressive; silver tumblers, silver dishes, the whole
dainty service--and so surprisingly light.
"You see she knows that it is very important to please the eye as well
as the palate," said Mr. Porne. "Now speaking of palates, let us all
keep silent and taste this soup." They did keep silent in supreme
contentment while the soup lasted. Mrs. Ree laid down her spoon with
the air of one roused from a lovely dream.
"Why--why--it's like Paris," she said in an awed tone.
"Isn't it?" Mr. Porne agreed, "and not twice alike in a month, I think."
"Why, there aren't thirty kinds of soup, are there?" she urged.
"I never thought there were when we kept servants," said he. "Three was
about their limit, and greasy, at that."
Mrs. Porne slipped the soup plates back in their place and served the
"She does not give a fish course, does she?" Mrs. Ree observed.
"Not at the table d'hote price," Mrs. Porne answered. "We never
pretended to have a fish course ourselves--do you?" Mrs. Ree did not,
and eagerly disclaimed any desire for fish. The meat was roast beef,
thinly sliced, hot and juicy.
"Don't you miss the carving, Mr. Porne?" asked the visitor. "I do so
love to see a man at the head of his own table, carving."
"I do miss it, Mrs. Ree. I miss it every day of my life with devout
thankfulness. I never was a good carver, so it was no pleasure to me to
show off; and to tell you the truth, when I come to the table, I like to
eat--not saw wood." And Mr. Porne ate with every appearance of
"We never get roast beef like this I'm sure," Mrs. Ree admitted, "we
can't get it small enough for our family."
"And a little roast is always spoiled in the cooking. Yes this is far
better than we used to have," agreed her hostess.
Mrs. Ree enjoyed every mouthful of her meal. The soup was hot. The
salad was crisp and the ice cream hard. There was sponge cake, thick,
light, with sugar freckles on the dark crust. The coffee was perfect
and almost burned the tongue.
"I don't understand about the heat and cold," she said; and they showed
her the asbestos-lined compartments and perfectly fitting places for
each dish and plate. Everything went back out of sight; small leavings
in a special drawer, knives and forks held firmly by rubber fittings,
nothing that shook or rattled. And the case was set back by the door
where the man called for it at eight o'clock.
"She doesn't furnish table linen?"
"No, there are Japanese napkins at the top here. We like our own
napkins, and we didn't use a cloth, anyway."
"And how about silver?"
"We put ours away. This plated ware they furnish is perfectly good. We
could use ours of course if we wanted to wash it. Some do that and some
have their own case marked, and their own silver in it, but it's a good
deal of risk, I think, though they are extremely careful."
Mrs. Ree experienced peculiarly mixed feelings. As far as food went,
she had never eaten a better dinner. But her sense of Domestic
Aesthetics was jarred.
"It certainly tastes good," she said. "Delicious, in fact. I am
extremely obliged to you, Mrs. Porne, I'd no idea it could be sent so
far and be so good. And only five dollars a week, you say?"
"For each person, yes."
"I don't see how she does it. All those cases and dishes, and the
That was the universal comment in Orchardina circles as the months
passed and Union House continued in existence--"I don't see how she does
The Waiting-room. With row on row
Of silent strangers sitting idly there,
In a large place expressionless and bare,
Waiting for trains to take them other-where;
And worst for children, who don't even know
Where they're to go.
The Waiting-room. Dull pallid Patients here,
Stale magazines, cheap books, a dreary place;
Each Silent Stranger, with averted face,
Waiting for Some One Else to help his case;
and worst for children, wondering in fear
Who will appear.
WHILE THE KING SLEPT
He was a young king, but an old subject, for he had been born and raised
a subject, and became a king quite late in life, and unexpectedly.
When he was a subject he had admired and envied kings, and had often
said to himself "If I were a king I would do this--and this." And now
that he was a king he did those things. But the things he did were
those which came from the envy of subjects, not from the conscience of
He lived in freedom and ease and pleasure, for he did not know that
kings worked; much less how their work should be done. And whatever
displeased him he made laws against, that it should not be done; and
whatever pleased him he made laws for, that it should be done--for he
thought kings need but to say the word and their will was accomplished.
Then when the things were not done, when his laws were broken and
disregarded and made naught of, he did nothing; for he had not the pride
of kings, and knew only the outer showing of their power.
And in his court and his country there flourished Sly Thieves and Gay
Wantons and Bold Robbers; also Poisoners and Parasites and Impostors of
And when he was very angry he slew one and another; but there were many
of them, springing like toadstools, so that his land became a scorn to
He was sensitive and angry when the old kings of the old kingdoms
criticized his new kingdom. "They are envious of my new kingdom;" he
said; for he thought his kingdom was new, because he was new to it.
Then arose friends and counsellors, many and more, and they gave him
criticism and suggestion, blame, advice, and special instructions. Some
he denied and some he neglected and some he laughed at and some he would
And when the Sly Thieves and Gay Wantons and Bold Robbers and Poisoners
and Parasites and Imposters of every degree waxed fat before his eyes,
and made gorgeous processions with banners before him, he said, "How
prosperous my country is!"
Then his friends and counsellors showed him the prisons--overflowing;
and the hospitals--overflowing; and the asylums--overflowing; and the
schools--with not enough room for the children; and the churches--with
not enough children for the room; and the Crime Mill, into which babies
were poured by the hundreds every day, and out of which criminals were
poured by the hundreds every day; and the Disease Garden, where we raise
all diseases and distribute them gratis.
And he said "I am tired of looking at these things, and tired of hearing
about them. Why do you forever set before me that which is unpleasant?"
And they said "Because you are the king. If you choose you can turn the
empty churches into free schools, teaching Heaven Building. You can
gradually empty the hospitals and asylums and prisons, and destroy the
Crime Mill, and obliterate the Disease Garden."
But the king said "You are dreamers and mad enthusiasts. These things
are the order of nature and cannot be stopped. It was always so." For
the king had been a subject all his life, and was used to submission; he
knew not the work of kings, nor how to do it.
And the false counsellors and the false friends and all the lying
servants who stole from the kitchens and the chambers answered falsely
when he asked them, and said, "These evils are the order of nature.
Your kingdom is very prosperous."
And the Sly Thieves and the Gay Wantons and the Bold Robbers and the
Parasites and Poisoners and Impostors of every degree hung like leeches
on the kingdom and bled it at every pore.
But the king was weary and slept.
Then the friends and counsellors went to the Queen, and called on her to
learn Queen's work, and do it; for the King slept.
"It is King's work," she said, and strove to waken him with tales of
want and sorrow in his kingdom. But he sent her away, saying "I will
"It is Queen's work also," they said to her; and though she had been a
subject with her husband, she was more by nature a Queen. So she fell
to and learned Queen's work, and did it.
She had no patience with the Gay Wantons and Sly Thieves and Bold
Robbers; and the Poisoners and the Parasites and the Impostors of every
degree were a horror to her. The false friends she saw through, and the
lying servants she disbelieved.
Since the king would not, she would; and when at last he woke, behold,
the throne was a double one, and the kingdom smiled and rejoiced from
sea to sea.
Here is the House to hold me--cradle of all the race;
Here is my lord and my love, here are my children dear--
Here is the House enclosing, the dear-loved dwelling-place;
Why should I ever weary for aught that I find not here?
Here for the hours of the day and the hours of the night;
Bound with the bands of Duty, rivetted tight;
Duty older than Adam--Duty that saw
Acceptance utter and hopeless in the eyes of the serving squaw.
Food and the serving of food--that is my daylong care;
What and when we shall eat, what and how we shall wear;
Soiling and cleaning of things--that is my task in the main--
Soil them and clean them and soil them--soil them and clean them again.
To work at my trade by the dozen and never a trade to know;
To plan like a Chinese puzzle--fitting and changing so;
To think of a thousand details, each in a thousand ways;
For my own immediate people and a possible love and praise.
My mind is trodden in circles, tiresome, narrow and hard,
Useful, commonplace, private--simply a small back-yard;
And I the Mother of Nations!--Blind their struggle and vain!--
I cover the earth with my children--each with a housewife's brain.
OUR ANDROCENTRIC CULTURE; or, THE MAN-MADE WORLD
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT.
The human concept of Sin has had its uses no doubt; and our special
invention of a thing called Punishment has also served a purpose.
Social evolution has worked in many ways wastefully, and with
unnecessary pain, but it compares very favorably with natural evolution.
As we grow wiser; as our social consciousness develops, we are beginning
to improve on nature in more ways than one; a part of the same great
process, but of a more highly sublimated sort.
Nature shows a world of varied and changing environment. Into this
comes Life--flushing and spreading in every direction. A pretty hard
time Life has of it. In the first place it is dog eat dog in every
direction; the joy of the hunter and the most unjoyous fear of the
But quite outside of this essential danger, the environment waits, grim
and unappeasable, and continuously destroys the innocent myriads who
fail to meet the one requirement of life--Adaptation. So we must not be
too severe in self-condemnation when we see how foolish, cruel, crazily
wasteful, is our attitude toward crime and punishment.
We become socially conscious largely through pain, and as we begin to
see how much of the pain is wholly of our own causing we are overcome
with shame. But the right way for society to face its past is the same
as for the individual; to see where it was wrong and stop it--but to
waste no time and no emotion over past misdeeds.
What is our present state as to crime? It is pretty bad. Some say it
is worse than it used to be; others that it is better. At any rate it
is bad enough, and a disgrace to our civilization. We have murderers by
the thousand and thieves by the million, of all kinds and sizes; we have
what we tenderly call "immorality," from the "errors of youth" to the
sodden grossness of old age; married, single, and mixed. We have all
the old kinds of wickedness and a lot of new ones, until one marvels at
the purity and power of human nature, that it should carry so much
disease and still grow on to higher things.
Also we have punishment still with us; private and public; applied like
a rabbit's foot, with as little regard to its efficacy. Does a child
offend? Punish it! Does a woman offend? Punish her! Does a man
offend? Punish him! Does a group offend? Punish them!
"What for?" some one suddenly asks.
"To make them stop doing it!"
"But they have done it!"
"To make them not do it again, then."
"But they do do it again--and worse."
"To prevent other people's doing it, then."
"But it does not prevent them--the crime keeps on. What good is your
What is the application of punishment to crime? Its base, its
prehistoric base, is simple retaliation; and this is by no means wholly
male, let us freely admit. The instinct of resistance, of opposition,
of retaliation, lies deeper than life itself. Its underlying law is the
law of physics--action and reaction are equal. Life's expression of
this law is perfectly natural, but not always profitable. Hit your hand
on a stone wall, and the stone wall hits your hand. Very good; you
learn that stone walls are hard, and govern yourself accordingly.
Conscious young humanity observed and philosophized, congratulating
itself on its discernment. "A man hits me--I hit the man a little
harder--then he won't do it again." Unfortunately he did do it again--a
little harder still. The effort to hit harder carried on the action and
reaction till society, hitting hardest of all, set up a system of legal
punishment, of unlimited severity. It imprisoned, it mutilated, it
tortured, it killed; it destroyed whole families, and razed contumelious
cities to the ground.
Therefore all crime ceased, of course? No? But crime was mitigated,
surely! Perhaps. This we have proven at last; that crime does not
decrease in proportion to the severest punishment. Little by little we
have ceased to raze the cities, to wipe out the families, to cut off the
ears, to torture; and our imprisonment is changing from slow death and
insanity to a form of attempted improvement.
But punishment as a principle remains in good standing, and is still the
main reliance where it does the most harm--in the rearing of children.
"Spare the rod and spoil the child" remains in belief, unmodified by the
millions of children spoiled by the unspared rod.
The breeders of racehorses have learned better, but not the breeders of
children. Our trouble is simply the lack of intelligence. We face the
babyish error and the hideous crime in exactly the same attitude.
"This person has done something offensive."
Yes?--and one waits eagerly for the first question of the rational
mind--but does not hear it. One only hears "Punish him!"
What is the first question of the rational mind?
Human beings are not first causes. They do not evolve conduct out of
nothing. The child does this, the man does that, _because_ of
something; because of many things. If we do not like the way people
behave, and wish them to behave better, we should, if we are rational
beings, study the conditions that produce the conduct.
The connection between our archaic system of punishment and our
androcentric culture is two-fold. The impulse of resistance, while, as
we have seen, of the deepest natural origin, is expressed more strongly
in the male than in the female. The tendency to hit back and hit harder
has been fostered in him by sex-combat till it has become of great
intensity. The habit of authority too, as old as our history; and the
cumulative weight of all the religions and systems of law and
government, have furthermore built up and intensified the spirit of
retaliation and vengeance.
They have even deified this concept, in ancient religions, crediting to
God the evil passions of men. As the small boy recited; "Vengeance. A
mean desire to get even with your enemies: 'Vengeance is mine saith the
Lord'--'I will repay.'"
The Christian religion teaches better things; better than its expositors
and upholders have ever understood--much less practised.
The teaching of "Love your enemies, do good unto them that hate you, and
serve them that despitefully use you and persecute you," has too often
resulted, when practised at all, in a sentimental negation; a
pathetically useless attitude of non-resistance. You might as well base
a religion on a feather pillow!
The advice given was active; direct; concrete. "_Love!_" Love is not
non-resistance. "Do good!" Doing good is not non-resistance. "Serve!"
Service is not non-resistance.
Again we have an overwhelming proof of the far-reaching effects of our
androcentric culture. Consider it once more. Here is one by nature
combative and desirous, and not by nature intended to monopolize the
management of his species. He assumes to be not only the leader, but
the whole thing--to be humanity itself, and to see in woman as Grant
Allen so clearly put it "Not only not the race; she is not even half the
race, but a subspecies, told off for purposes of reproduction merely."
Under this monstrous assumption, his sex-attributes wholly identified
with his human attributes, and overshadowing them, he has imprinted on
every human institution the tastes and tendencies of the male. As a
male he fought, as a male human being he fought more, and deified
fighting; and in a culture based on desire and combat, loud with
strident self-expression, there could be but slow acceptance of the more
human methods urged by Christianity. "It is a religion for slaves and
women!" said the warrior of old. (Slaves and women were largely the
same thing.) "It is a religion for slaves and women" says the advocate
of the Superman.
Well? Who did the work of all the ancient world? Who raised the food
and garnered it and cooked it and served it? Who built the houses, the
temples, the acqueducts, the city wall? Who made the furniture, the
tools, the weapons, the utensils, the ornaments--made them strong and
beautiful and useful? Who kept the human race going, somehow, in spite
of the constant hideous waste of war, and slowly built up the real
industrial civilization behind that gory show?--Why just the slaves and
A religion which had attractions for the real human type is not
therefore to be utterly despised by the male.
In modern history we may watch with increasing ease the slow, sure
progress of our growing humanness beneath the weakening shell of an
all-male dominance. And in this field of what begins in the nurse as
"discipline," and ends on the scaffold as "punishment," we can clearly
see that blessed change.
What is the natural, the human attribute? What does this "Love," and
"Do good," and "Serve" mean? In the blundering old church, still
androcentric, there was a great to-do to carry out this doctrine, in
elaborate symbolism. A set of beggars and cripples, gathered for the
occasion, was exhibited, and kings and cardinals went solemnly through
the motions of serving them. As the English schoolboy phrased it,
"Thomas Becket washed the feet of leopards."
Service and love and doing good must always remain side issues in a male
world. Service and love and doing good are the spirit of motherhood,
and the essense of human life.
Human life is service, and is not combat. There you have the nature of
the change now upon us.
What has the male mind made of Christianity?
Desire--to save one's own soul. Combat--with the Devil.
Self-expression--the whole gorgeous outpouring of pageant and display,
from the jewels of the high priest's breastplate to the choir of
mutilated men to praise a male Deity no woman may so serve.
What kind of mind can imagine a kind of god who would like a eunuch
better than a woman?
For woman they made at last a place--the usual place--of renunciation,
sacrifice and service, the Sisters of Mercy and their kind; and in that
loving service the woman soul has been content, not yearning for
cardinal's cape or bishop's mitre.
All this is changing--changing fast. Everywhere the churches are
broadening out into more service, and the service broadening out beyond
a little group of widows and fatherless, of sick and in prison, to
embrace its true field--all human life. In this new attitude, how shall
we face the problems of crime?
Thus: "It is painfully apparent that a certain percentage of our people
do not function properly. They perform antisocial acts. Why? What is
the matter with them?"
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