She must have all the resources of all the shops in her memory; must be learned in lace, competent in china, and an encyclopaedia as to rugs.
She must be an embodied Lilliputian Bazaar in regard to children's clothes and toys.
She must be as comprehensive in her aptitudes as Lord Beaconsfield's imaginary Israelite, who was prepared to trade for a pennyworth or for a million pounds sterling.
All with her is to be a business transaction; the laborer is worth his hire, but a part of her stock in trade — the only inexhaustible part-is a genial good-nature.
She simply undertakes to fit out the family with Christmas
presents, as the upholsterer fits it out with window-curtains
, on any scale that is desired.
You sketch out for her what you want, naming your general standard as to plan and price; she tells you what can be done upon that scale, and, if you wish, she makes the actual purchases.
Very likely she can make them at a price lower than you could; but that is a secondary matter.
We are not now planning to save money so much as time, strength, and the nervous system.
It is, of course, possible that all this agency might be filled by a man, but it is altogether better that it should be undertaken by a woman.
The purchasers will usually be women, even though a