The Skilful Cook A Practical Manual of Modern Experience

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The importance of every woman having a thorough knowledge of domestic economy cannot be too strongly insisted on. The false refinement which, of late years, has considered an acquaintance with domestic matters to be only suitable for servants, has been fraught with the most disastrous consequences. This may seem strong language, but it is not too strong. All sanitary reformers know well enough that it is in the power of many women to prevent very many deaths, and an incalculable amount of misery and vice. Speaking of sanitary reform, the late Canon Kingsley says:—‘Women can do in that work what men cannot. The private correspondence of women, private conversation, private example of ladies, above all of married women, of mothers of families, may do what no legislation can.’ And again, in the same speech, delivered on behalf of the Ladies' Sanitary Association, he says:—‘Ah! would to God that some man had the pictorial eloquence to put before the mothers of England the mass of preventable agony of mind and body which exists in England, year after year: and would that some man had the logical eloquence to make them understand that it is in their power, in the power of the mothers and wives of the higher classes—I will not say to stop it all, God only knows that—but to stop, as I believe, three-fourths of it.’