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stitches; and I am just where I was before I threaded a needle the night before !
Now I appeal to any body—any woman with the least experience, if this is not all too bad ! And yet my husband insists that I have no need to be continually worrying myself with the needle. It is true that each of the children has four or five changes of clothes, which they might wear—but what is the use of their having things to “put right on—and tear right out!” I like to be prudent and saving. It was only the other day that Mr. Smith came in early, and found me busy; and commenced a regular oration. He said that every child in the house has a better wardrobe than he; and so he went on, and counted all off to me. He says—and men think they know so much—that if children have clothes they should wear them; and when they are worn out, provide more, and not try to keep as many half-worn suits in repair, as there are new suits in a queen's wardrobe. But he likes, as well as any man, to see his children look neat, whatever he may say. And yet he pretends that children should have clothes so made that they can convert themselves into horses, and treat each other to rides without rending to pieces! And he protests that it is all nonsense to undertake to keep children dressed in the fashion ! Truly I am tempted to say to the men as Job did to his friends: “No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you !"
Such plagues as they are sometimes ! But I could not help laughing after all, when, as I said before, he was lecturing me.
The table was
covered with work, done and in progress. He went on till out of breath. I answered:
“ Now you know the children have not a rag to their backs!"
“I should think not,” he said, drily, as he looked about him. “ The other morning finished up the rags on hand—but you are doing your best, with flimsy finery, to get up a new assortment.” “ Now, that is unkind in you, Mr. Smith,” said
, I, feeling hurt, and looking and speaking as I felt. Really unkind in you. I'm sure it's no pleasure for me to work, work, work, from morning till night, until I'm worn down and good for nothing. I wish my children to look decent at least; and to do this at as small cost to you as possible. You can't charge me with wasting your property, at least.”
There, there, dear! That will do. Say no more about it,” returned Mr. Smith, in a soothing voice. “I didn't mean to be unkind. Still, I do think that you are a little over-particular about the children's clothes, as I have said beforeover-particular in the matter of having things just so. Better, a great deal, I think, spare å few hours from extra work given to the clothing designed for their bodies, to that which is to array and beautify their minds.”
“Now, Mr. Smith !" I exclaimed, and then bending my face into my hands, gave way to involuntary tears.
That he should have said this !
The curiosity of our sex is proverbial. Proverbs are generally based upon experience, and this one, I am ready to admit, is not without a good foundation to rest upon. Our sex are curious; at least I am, and we are
, very apt to judge others by ourselves. I believe that I have never broken the seal nor peeped into a letter bearing the name of some other lady; but, then, I will own to having, on more occasions than one, felt an exceedingly strong desire to know the contents of certain epistles in the hands of certain of my friends.
The same feeling I have over and over again observed in my domestics, and, for this reason, have always been careful how I let my letters lie temptingly about. One chamber maid in my service, seemed to have a passion for reading other people's letters. More than once had I caught her rumaging in my drawers, or with some of my old letters in her hands; and I could not help remarking that most of the letters left at the door by the penny post, had, if they passed to me through her, a crumpled appearance. I suspected the cause of this, but did not detect my lady, until she had been some months in my family.