Let us enter into an agreement, you and I. Let us make the compact this very minute. Let us not wait until New-Year’s day to begin.
You know how the stiff binding of our New-Year’s book keeps the leaves we turn flying back into the old position again. We want to get our compact, or “new leaf” into the rut of habit before 1901 opens. Then we can the easier and better observe it. I think I heard you agree to the proposition, which is that for one year we will not in the presence of our family, especially the children, or in the presence of any one, whether friend, acquaintance or stranger, say aught of the drudgery of the farmer, the hard life he leads, and the poor business it is.
We will not bemoan the hard life we lead. We will not denounce the farming class as a set of fools.
We will earnestly endeavor, so far as in us lies, to perceive the beauties about us. We will, by every means in our power, beautify our premises.
We will study to reduce our expenses, not by denying ourselves the comforts of life, but by studying our business earnestly, endeavoring at all times to reduce the cost of production to the lowest possible point compatible with the best product we can produce.
We will strive to increase the fertility of our farms, the excellence of our products and the quality of the live stock on our farms.
We promise all this knowing that by doing so we will contribute to the welfare of ourselves, our family and man kind. I know that several thousand have entered into this compact with me, and I know that we will earnestly endeavor to keep it. We do this because we know we will be far better and happier if we do.