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The Farm

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As the spring days approach and people begin to shake off their winter habits, the old question of where to go and what to do next, comes up in nearly every family circle and perplexes every one old enough to realize that his fortune is yet to be made. The mechante or day laborer wlio has struggled year after year in the city to support himself and family without laying up anything and with the constant dread of being thrown out of employment, wonders whether he had not better move into the country and try farming, while the farmer's son is as earnestly debating whether he sliould not abandon the 'dull life of the quite old homestead for the bustle and excitement of the city. The man in the East resolves to move to the West, and the man in the West resolves to return to the East. This general longing for a change, which seems to break out more uncontrollably at this season than at any other, is due less to any deiinite plan for bettering one's condition than to an inherent restlessness of disposition, a feeling that things are becoming insutt'erably monotonoua and a change of some soit is necessary. ]5ut whatever its causes or whether good or bad in its effects on Society, it wonld hardly be profltable to discuss. We simply accept the fact that whatever fortunes have been dealt out to men one year the next year is pretty sure to flnd them clamoring for a change of programme, and to those discontented spirits seeking a change of vocation we wish to present a few things to be considered. Mucli, of course, may be said for and against farm life, and whether it is especially suited to any man's tastes, capabilities or circumstances is a question he must consider and settle for himself. One man tries it and ihuls in it nothing but wearying and uninteresting toil, while another, under apparently the same conditions, becomes so attached to his yocation that he would not exchange it for any other calling on earth. One man enrichea lic -omes ímpoverished by the same procesa. Tlie question of whether farming pays, is not one of soils or seasöns or localities, though these are important. It is mainly a question of fitness on the part of the farmer for his chosen vocation, and noman sliould abandon any other calling which affords liim a reasonable competence, and engage in farming without thls special adaptability for the work. Ile must not shrink f rom se veré bodily toil nor sour over disappointments, for farming means both. ÏTeither must he repine over the privation from daily society, for farming means that also. However, these disadvantages are to be met with to a greater or less extent in almost every pursuit, in the case of the farmer, may be considerably alleviated. Labor, when not excessive, is not an evil, but a good, and we believe statistics show that the average duration of life among farmers is greater than that of any other class. Frosts, drojurtits, floods and insects are to be ted as a matter of course, and occasioiially crops fail over large districts, but the ibundance of one year generally compensates for the dearth of another, and the average returns for wisely-spent labor on the farm as elsewhere yield a fair interest on the investment. It is undoubtedly true as a popular writer has recently said: "No man who ever managed what might be called a farm judiciously and intelligently ever came to want; for the promise of the Scriptures that seedtime and harvest should never fail is unlimited. and applies to the world of to-day as wejl as it did to the immedi ate generatlon to whom it was addressed." As for the seclusion and isolation in which every farmer who devotes himself to his farm flnds himself placed, tliat is a disadvantage not to be overlooked. Men are social beings, and our fanning communities are so scattered and farmers so busy, especially in the summer season, that social gatherings ■ire, rare. The. home eircle, reflned and erijoyable as it is, is not enough. It does not satisfy the young men and women who too often picture the distant city, with its social gayeties, as a sort of paradise. This longing for the pleasures and excitements of society is stronger in the young than in the old, and is not given its due weight by parents who can't understand why the boys and girls are not contented on the farm. As a partial remedy the oldfasliioned singing school, the husking bee, the lyceum, the grange, the red ribbon or Good Templara iodge, or whatever occasion draws together the ynuiig men and women for the develment of mind and character and for social enjoyment, are to be welcomed and encouraged wherever and vvhenever they are possible or practicable. These with the books, newspapers and neighborly visits, always possible in the farmer's household, farm life may be made as enjoyable, as rich in that culture which makes good, usef ui and happy men and women as is afforded by any other pursuit.


Old News
Michigan Argus