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period. The child is initiated and instructed in one of the fundamental principles of social science when he discovers that he cannot purchase a cake and also keep his pennythat he must forego the one or part with the other. As a corollary from the proposition, he then comprehends that, to keep his pennies, he must deny himself cakes; and thus, by involuntary deduction, he arrives at a fundamental principle of economy, viz. : self-denial in expenditures for personal gratification. The limit to which it is possible to carry this self-denial without injury to health, or diminution of power for production, is somewhat remarkable. The cost of what are absolute and actual necessaries of life is, in most countries, comparatively little-as is evidenced in cases where stern necessity affixes the bounds of possible expenditure. In France, for instance, there are tens of thousands of peasants and of operatives whose daily earnings do not exceed ten cents, and yet they contrive to live gayly on that
As a consequence, in no other country has the art of cookery made equal progress. In Paris, an enterprising woman, Madame Robert, furnishes a dinner daily to six thousand workmen for two pence each, her bill of fare being cabbage soup, a slice of boiled beef, a piece of bread, and a glass of wine. In our Southern States, the food of the chief laborers—the men who at one time produced an export value of over two hundred millions of dollars per annum in cotton, sugar, tobacco, and rice—did not probably cost their providers ten cents per day.
“ The full allowance for a laboring man and woman that toils all the hours of daylight in the field—is a peck and a half of corn meal, and three pounds of fat bacon. In the Cotton States, the average price of the corn is about seventy-five cents a bushel, and the price of bacon eight cents a pound. This would make the weck's rations cost fifty-six cents. At still higher rates it would not be a
dime a day-in many places, not half that. In many places, though, the negroes do not get half the above rations. We might still further illustrate the principle that the cost of the substances actually necessary for the support of life is small, by reference to the self-imposed abstinence of misers, and the compulsory abstinence of prisoners.
“ An item has been circulating in the newspapers, purporting to be the result of some experiments made in a prison, where it was found that ten persons gained four pounds of flesh each in two months, eating, for breakfast, eight ounces of oatmeal made into porridge, with a pint of buttermilk for dinner, three pounds of boiled potatoes, with salt; for supper, five ounces of oatmeal porridge, with one pint of buttermilk, which cost two pence three farthings per day. Ten others gained three and a half pounds of flesh, eating six pounds of boiled potatoes daily, taking nothing with them but salt. Ten others ate the same amount of porridge and buttermilk, with the potatoes, as the first ten, but for dinner had soup; they lost one and a quarter pounds of flesh each; and twenty, others who had less, diminished in size likewise. From this it would seem that potatoes are better diet than smaller quanties of animal food, at least for persons in confinement. The meat-eaters, if they had been allowed ordinary exercise, might have exhibited a very different result.
"A few years ago, a Yankee philosopher of the school of Diogenes, endeavored to ascertain, by actual experiment, how cheaply a man could live; and his experience he has recorded in a volume entitled “Walden; or life in the Woods.' Mr. Thoreau, the gentleman referred to, being possessed of a capital of $25, took possession of a few acres of land esteemed worthless, and proceeded to erect a cabin by his own labor. The result of his building operations he gives, as follows:
“I have thus a tight-shingled and plastered house, ten feet wide by fifteen feet long, and eight-feet posts, with a garret and closet, a large window on each side, two trap-doors, one door at the end, and a brick fire-place opposite. The exact cost of my house, paying the usual price for such materials as I used, but not counting the work, all of which was by myself, was as follows; and I give the details, because very few are able to tell exactly what their houses cost, and fewer still, if any, the separate cost of the various materials which compose them :
« These are all the materials, excepting the timber, stones, and sand, which I claimed by squatter's right. I have also a small wood-shed adjoining, made chiefly of the stuff which was left after building the house.
Obtaining his fuel in an adjacent wood, at the cost merely of gathering it, he details his house-keeping expenses as follows:
* * The expense of food for eight months, from July 4th to March 1st, the time when these estimates were madethough I lived there more than two years—not counting potatoes, a little green corn, and some peas, which I had raised, nor considering the value of what was on hand at last date, was
“It will thus be perceived that his food cost him in money about twenty-seven cents per week. For nearly two years after this, he states, that it consisted of rye and Indian meal (without yeast), potatoes, rice, a very little salt pork and molasses; and his drink was water. The cost of his clothing for eight months he estimates at $8.40, exclusive of washing and mending; and his other household expenses, oil, &c., at $2—-making his whole expenses for eight months less than $25. "I learned, from my two years' experience,' he says, "that it would cost incredibly little trouble to obtain one's necessary food even in this latitude; that a man may use as simple diet as the animals, and yet retain health and strength.
“Another consoling fact is presented in the fruitfulness of the earth, or in the amount of food that can be produced upon an acre. Nearly every one in our country can command the use of an acre of soil, and let us see how much it is within the bounds of physical possibility to make it produce. Simmonds, in his “Vegetable Kingdom,' remarks, with regard to the comparative productiveness of crops of human food, that one hundred bushels of Indian corn per acre is not an uncommon crop. One peck per week will not only sustain life, but give a man strength to labor, if the stomach is properly toned to the amount of food. This, then, would feed one man four hundred weeks, or almost eight years.
• Four hundred bushels of potatoes can also be raised upon an acre; this would be a bushel a week for the same length of time, and the actual weight of an acre of sweet potatoes is 21,344 pounds, which is not considered an extraordinary crop. This would feed a man (six pounds a day) for 3,557 days, or nine years and twothirds. To vary the diet, we will occasionally give rice, which has been grown at the rate of ninety-three bushels to the acre over an entire field. This, at forty-five pounds to the bushel, would be 1,185 pounds; or, at twenty-eight pounds to the bushel, when husked, 2,604 pounds; which, at two pounds a day, would feed a man 1,302 days, or more than three and a half years.'
“Such considerations as these are full of consolation to the aspiring, and of encouragement to the very poor. None need despair, and moreover, none need be dishonest. It is possible to accumulate capital, aye, to get the first thousand dollars, from an income not exceeding the most moderate earnings or wages. And let it be inscribed on the lintel of every dwelling on the desks in every countinghouse--on the pericardium of every heart-It is better to live on ten cents a day than to do a wrong for the sake of money.
“ Again, the economy that leads to wealth implies a judicious use and profitable investment of savings. A saving of even a small sum will amount, it is true, within the