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CHAPTER I.

WILL THE COMING MAN MARRY?

OF

the decline of marriages there can be no

doubt. The fact has been corroborated by full and trustworthy statistics. There are today about four millions of men in the United States, past thirty years of age, who are not married, and the number of them is constantly on the increase. Why do not these young men marry? Will it become so in the future that comparatively few men will marry?

Independent careers are becoming more and more impossible to the young men in our land; women, too, are filling positions which men should occupy to make homes; the salaries of our young men even in good positions are low - good salaries running from $12.00 to $25.00 a week. How can a man support a wife on present day salary?

Marriage is being effectually discouraged by the constantly and greatly increasing cost of living, both in town and country.

Parents without fortunes support their daughters in luxury and girls expect to be thus cared for after marriage. It costs more to sustain such a girl than the average man can earn, and the time is coming when only the exceptionally fortunate man can marry.

The inordinate passion for dress is a terrific impediment to marriage. The love of refinement belongs to woman. Every woman should be solicitous to have her belongings well chosen and in good taste. But it is of excessive fashion as a foe of home-making that I write. Benedict Arnold proposed to sell his country to get money to keep up the extravagance of the home wardrobe. We have surrendered elegant simplicity for flaunting trappings. Common sense seems to have forsaken the good cause.

Gentleness and grace are ruled out for the rivalry of richest silks and satins accompanied with emblazed jewelry and gaudy display. This love of extravagant display is not to be charged against women any more than it is against men, yet the latter would soon yield to the force of a better example were the women to set it.

How can the wife whose husband has a limited income follow each new fashion, and who shall condemn the woman for dressing her very best? If young she helps to add to her charms by varying her attire, and when no longer young she must adopt with eagerness every kind of attire which will charm away that melancholy spectre which throws its shadow on the lookingglass — old age.

When men select women for wives in quiet homes where domestic graces prevail, the finery of the world will sink into insignificance. The most fascinating women are those who can enrich the every day movements of life. The time was when women of the very best society became their husbands' friends and companions, considered their interests identical and did not hold them as so much fair game for graft.

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