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

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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Health in Youth—Late hours, irregular habits, want of attention to diet, are common causes with most young men, and these gradu­ally, but at first imperceptably, undermine the health and lay the foundation for various forms of disease in after life- It is a very dif­ficult thing to make young persons comprehend this. They fre­quently sit up late as twelve, one or two o'clock without experien­cing any ill effects; they go without a meal to-day, and to-morrow eat to repletion, with only temporary inconvenience. One night they will sleep three or four hours, the next nine or ten ; or one night, in their eagerness to get into some agreeable company, they will take no food at all; and the next will perhaps eat a hearty sup­per and perhaps go to bed upon it. These, with various other irreg­ularities are common to the majority of young men, and are, as just stated the cause of much bad health in mature life. Indeed, nearly all the shattered constitutions with which too many are cursed, are the result of a disregard to the plainest precepts of health in early life.
Words.Soft words soften the soul. Angry words are fuel to the flames of wrath and make it blaze more fiercely. Kind words make other people good natured. Cold words freeze people, and hot words scorch them, and bitter words make them bitter, and wrathful words make them wrathful. There is such a rush of all other kinds of words in our days that it seems desirable to give kind words a chance among them. There are vain words, and idle words, and hasty words, and spiteful words, and silly words, and empty words, &x\&profane words, and boisterous words, and warlike words. Kind words produce their own image in men's souls and a beautiful image it is. They smooth and quiet the hearer. They shame him out of his sour and morose, and unkind feelings. We have not yet begun to use kind words in such an abundance as they ought to be used.
A Wife's Power.—The power of a wife for good or evil is irre­sistible. Home must be the seat of happiness, and must it be forever unknown? A good wife is to a man wisdom, and courage, and strength and endurance. A bad one is confusion, weakness, discom­fiture and despair. No condition is seldom hopeless when the wife possesses firmness, discipline and economy. There is no out­ward prosperity which can counteract indolence, extravagance and folly at home. No spirit can long endure bad domestic influence.