Saturday Musings Spectator July 26 07, 1902
What is the world coming to? A great Canadian banking institution has issued a peremptory order that none of its clerks who are not in a receipt of $1,500 a year will be permitted to marry and remain in service of the bank. Other banks, we understand, allow marriage when the clerk gets $1,000 a year. And now comes the New York Central railway forbidding kissing in train sheds or stations, or on the platforms of cars. If the bank persists in its prohibitory law – and there are some laws that prohibit- what is to prevent other companies or institutions employing labor from forbidding their men to marry? Here is Hamilton, according to the last census. We have nearly 3,00 of surplus (ILLEGIBLE) anxiously awaiting the time when some bank clerk or other young man with even much less than a thousand dollars salary will come along and make formal proposals for a life partnership. Why should not bank clerks marry unless they are above the thousand dollar class? It is more than likely that the ancestors of a majority of them fell in love and married and lived on a salary not more than half that prescribed by the bank officials, and their future lives were prosperous and happy, even though they had to cut the corners pretty close in their younger days. The fathers and mothers of bank clerks, and of every other class of workmen, studied in the school of economy, and if they are living now, it is on Easy Street, where the cares and burdens of life rest lightly on their shoulders. The early settlers of Hamilton did not begin life on $1,000 a year, not even half that amount, yet they left a godly heritage to their children.
The chances are that some soured old dyspeptic was the author of that rule promulgated by the managers of the bank. He has no memory of the past, for his mind and soul have become so absorbed in money-making that he has forgotten the dear old mother who trained him in his youth, and the bright, young girl to whom he gave his hand and heart half a century ago. There was an apostle of old, named Paul, who delivered a pronouncement against marriage, but he had the good sense to qualify his objections. And even Paul could not stop his followers from mating, and it is doubtful if the order issued by the bank officials is going to reduce the demand for marriage licenses to any remarkable extent. In the name of the 3,000 surplus female population of Hamilton, the Spectator raises its voice in protest against any such prohibitory law. Prohibit bank clerks, and all other young men from playing the horses and betting on the rise or fall of stocks or produce; stop them from educating their appetites up to the high ball standard (ILLEGIBLE) from risking their salaries on a pair of fascinating jacks when there is a fat jackpot to be opened; prohibit these things, and the life of the young men will be brighter, but stop monkeying with marriage, which is the most sacred relation in life. Rather encourage young men to begin life in company with pure women, who will inspire them to higher ideas, than in the ordinary education acquired in bachelors’ clubs. It is the fast young clerks who make free use of the funds of the bank, not the man who are happily married and spend their evenings at home with their families. “Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.” And young fellows without home or family ties are more apt to be the ones led astray.
Fancy Senator Chauncey Depew, the head official of the New York Central road, sanctioning an order that prohibits kissing. The old fellow has lately renewed his youth by taking to himself a second Mrs. Depew, yet he would prevent tender osculations in the sheds or stations or on the platforms of the trains that are just ready to pull out. There is always the last moment when lovers separate, and what is more tempting than a pair of ruby lips? But we will not go into this subject for fear of being led to think unkindly of Chancey Depew, and the New York Central. Uncle Joe Wallace down at the Grand Trunk, or our own more youthful friend, Mr. Backus, at the T. H. & B. station, would never for a moment think of issuing such prohibitory orders. In fact, they rather enjoy the tender osculations they see almost every hour of the day.
Were it not for the reckless drivers of delivery wagons, the bicyclists who are wheeling against time, and the people who have appendicitis instead of the old-fashioned stomach ache that used to come in the green fruit season, the doctors and undertakers would have hard scratching to make a living in this healthy city, where the climate is always salubrious, and the health officers have nothing to do but draw their salaries. While all of Canada and part of the country south of us have been deluged with July rains, Hamilton has had just enough of the downpour to give its citizens a rest from watering flower gardens and lawns, and give the horses and drivers of water carts a holiday. The sun never ceases to shine upon this blessed city at the hours when sunshine is in order, and even though last month and this are memorable on the record books of the weather clerks, yet fans – the baseball kind – have not gone out of fashion nor has the improvident young man been compelled to keep his winter overcoat out of pawn. Happy Hamiltonians! Though ribald Toronto pencil pushers may throw stones at this city and say all manner of unkind about it, yet is there is such a place as heaven on this earth, it is located in the valley between our towering mountain and the cool waters of the bay. Still, with all our blessings, the police should put a stop to bicycle racing and the fast driving of delivery wagons in the streets. Give the doctors and the undertakers a chance to take a summer vacation.