The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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established in good family government and on sound principles, so that we may hope for the virtue and high culture of the generations to come.
The subject treated of is indeed an old one, but never more im­portant than in our day. It is an old but still a sweet saying that awakens a response in many hearts, H There is no place like home." However far our prodigal sons may wander, their hearts " untrav-elled w always turn to the home of the days of childhood's inno­cence with a warmth that nothing can altogether chill. There they feel sure of a welcome if all the world frowns upon them. They will not believe that the door of the home of their early childhood's holy hours can ever be shut against them. It is simply impossible to overstate the influence of a well-regulated home, nor is it easy to overestimate the influence of order, neatness and good cooking in making a happy home. Not a few of the ills that afflict both the body and the mind of mankind, and I must say also not a few of the sins and crimes of man, are fairly to be attributed to a disorderly, un­tidy home—to bad cooking and slovenly housekeeping. The good God does indeed give us plenty of food, but alas! many of our cooks are sent by the devil. It is marvellous that so simple an art as that of really good cooking and clean housekeeping is so little under­stood and practiced among us. We live by bread, but most usu­ally upon bread not half baked—just such as the prophet called Ephraim's cake—a cake not turned, burnt on one side and raw on the other, and the end thereof is moroseness—dyspepsia. If I were a Lycurgus I should not be content with compulsory education in letters, but should require our girls to take lessons in cooking and housekeeping before they graduate from our schools to become wives and mothers.
The world-famed Humboldt said, " The finest fruit earth holds up to its Maker is a finished man." The great Napoleon once said, " What France most needs is mothers/' Every state wants real, true, honest, honorable, finished men, and the first requisite for such men is healthy, well-finished wives—intelligent Christian mothers. France did need and does now need the right sort of mothers, but it is equally true of every other nation, and most of all is it true of Re­publican America, whose sovereign is the people themselves, and in our new states most of all, where society is in a forming condi­tion, and where the foundation-stone of the Church and State is the family. It is the Divine plan that society should grow out of the family. Every age and country is in proof that the home fireside is the greatest educational institution on earth. Its influence, more than any other, gives shape and coloring to the earthly and eternal destinies of mankind. In the nursery " the black spot" is to be wrung out of the human beast. At the family altar, hard by the