men have their vacations, farmers have their hibernating season, many mechanics have a portion of the year when work is only too light-but this woman had really no period when the strain was in the least relaxed, except during Lent.
There were, to be sure, a few weeks of comparative leisure gained by going unusually early to her country-seat in spring or staying unusually late in autumn; but even these, for a mother whose daughters must have unimpeachable wardrobes, and for a house-keeper whose two or three mansions needed constantly to be kept in presentable order, could scarcely be given to anything like rest.
And as with this estimable lady, so with all “society women” who are heads of households.
They seem to me to be absolutely the hardest-worked women in the community; and I knew one of them who used to explain her repeated voyages to and from Europe
by declaring that the state-room
of an ocean steamer was literally the only place that could give her twenty-four hours of peace.
In all this complication of labor, it must be remembered, the American
woman of society is placed under greater hardship than any other; for she undertakes to do without machinery what the European
woman does with instrumentalities that have been perfected by years of use. Let any one read the descriptions given by travellers of the great country-houses in England
, or even read carefully