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[213] in botany, in sociology, in art; is an accomplished musician; has been three or four times to Europe; and, to crown all, has a husband and a baby. Yet if she has also, or thinks she has, a gift for acting, she wishes to train herself as an actress; and the newspapers at once proclaim the fact far and wide, and draw the moral that she is seeking to escape ennui. Ennui? but she never had a lazy moment since she was born; there never was a moment when she had not more resources for a day than the hours of the day could fill; the struggle was not to find employment, but to choose among a myriad employments. What she has to contend with is not an empty garden, but one with too rich and varied a growth; and while she is wearing herself out with this struggle, she is supposed to be suffering for want of something to do! For ennui is defined in the dictionaries as being “languor of mind resulting from lack of occupation.”

When we look further at it, one is tempted to doubt whether ennui is not, among us Americans, a tradition rather than a reality. Fortunately for the world, we know that certain sins die out as the world goes on; the fact of sin may remain, but the forms change. Ennui is not the vice of a new country, but

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