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[117] its daily bread. Often she does this directly, as in case of the farmer's wife, who usually works as hard as her husband, and, indeed, in new communities, where domestics are hard to get, much harder. Even in this case it is almost always the husband who is the treasurer, who collects the money earned, and “gives” --or perhaps does not give it to his wife. But where her share is not so obvious, it is just as essential. Every woman who takes care of her own household lifts exactly that much off her husband's shoulders, and leaves him free to attend to the outside business of the firm, for which the money comes in. Alas! many a woman works herself to death before her husband discovers, by what it costs him to buy the services of housekeepers and nurses, that the mere material labor of his wife was worth a salary. He is happy if he does not see reason to think that if he had only “given” her the amount of that salary he might have saved her. After all, Whittier is mistaken; it is not “It might have been!” that are the saddest words. “ad I only known!” are a great deal sadder.

Some time or other, it may be, we shall discover the simple mathematical formula by which to adjust this matter of income. Meanwhile we must guess at it. It will be evident, on a little thought, that a married woman needs much more than an allowance for food and clothing — the food to be shared by

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J. G. Whittier (1)
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