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Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Some people seem to be afraid of Godliness. The successful farmer will give especial care to the wells and springs from which drinking water is to be used, also to prevent or control all chance of impure and contaminating air floating past the dwelling of his family. A man should also be able to lay aside his business when night comes. “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” So is good health. It is a priceless boon, and it is sinful as well as unwise not to foster it to the best of our ability.
GOOD JUDGMENT. I once knew a man who was a cripple, and yet, by the exercise of good judgment, together with some of the other good qualities which have been mentioned, he made farming pay, laid up money every year, and when he died left a respectable fortune. It is true that he had no family to support or educate ; but many of his cotemporaries, ablebodied men, who were not possessed of good judgment, failed of success, and their farms have long since passed into other hands. Good judgment is, indeed, a blessing to any one. It is what our grandfathers called common sense, misnomer, indeed, for they meant good sense, good judgment.
EXECUTIVE ABILITY. Without good executive ability, a man can do but little, even at farming. I like to see the farmer lead in his work ; but it makes me ache to see a man do most of the work himself, and pay two or three hired men to see him do it, yet such is frequently the case among industrious farmers. That is a happy faculty indeed, and is a part of one's executive ability, that enables him to so handle men as to get the greatest possible amount of work out of them. Every one of good executive ability will at once recognize the value of system, and will adopt it in his work so far as is practicable under his circumstances. Large establishments cannot be run without system ; small ones may, but not as profitably.
PowER TO SAY "No." The power to say no is a powerful weapon, and a valuable
one in the hands of those who use it wisely. How singular it is that so few people have it, or at least have it under the control of will. Some people say no simply because they are naturally ugly, and take that way to vent their spleen. Such people have no more control of the word, however, than do those who don't dare to use it for fear of offending somebody. No man is a success, in so far as self-mastery goes, who has not acquired the art of saying no at the right time, in the right place, and in the right manner; kindly but firmly, no. The inability to do this has brought ruin upon the household of many a well-meaning and in many other respects successful farmer. What a harvest lightningrod men, book agents, insurance agents, confidence men and sharpers of all grades have had throughout our rural districts. The power of saying no is valuable not only to be used against sharpers, but also against well-meaning calls for aid, for whatever object, whenever one is in a position where he cannot afford to give. It is no charity, neither is it religion, to steal money from creditors to give either for charitable or religious purposes. A farmer should also be so familiar with his affairs that he may know just how much he can afford to give. Few there are that cannot afford to give something. Too many either give just what they are asked to give, or else refuse altogether, thus wronging either themselves or their creditors on the one hand, or losing the benefits to be derived from the injunction that it is more blessed to give than to receive on the other.
Then, too, in the family itself, the art of saying no just right is a fine art. Upon the farm the wise as well as the husband should always know the condition of the finances. This is of more vital importance than many suspect. In regard to any matter which comes up that requires the expenditure of money, if judgment does not say yes, if there is the least doubt, a good rule is to say no. About ten times out of ten this will be right.
THE FAMILY RELATION. And God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” I have saved, as the last essential to success upon the farm, the family relation, — last but not least. Without the family New England farm life is no success. Whatever questions may have arisen in the past as to the profitableness of the business, no lament has ever gone forth as to the ability, the stamina and the character of the young men and women sent forth from New England farms. They are scattered over the world upon every land and in every clime, filling positions in life with credit to themselves and honor to their native land. They are the crowning glory of New England agriculture. Ask one of these to point to ideal happiness, and he will refer back to his early farm life, - his days in the public school, the old homestead, the unbroken semicircle, father, mother, brothers and sisters, — the ideal New England family, gathered before the old open fireplace. A distant look may take possession of his eye, and a tear drop may trickle down his cheek at the thought. Out of respect to that thought, let us leave him in his revery.
AGRICULTURAL EXHIBITIONS, 1891.
AMESBURY and SALISBURY at Amesbury, September 29 and 30.