Monday, November 18, 2013


What Would You Like to Do?

Catherine Helen Spence (1825-1910), Mr. Hogarth's Will (1865), Vol. I, Chap. I:
"A shop!" said Elsie, shuddering.

"Why not? One is more independent keeping a shop than in a governess's situation, and there my business knowledge would be of use. It is wrong and absurd to have a terror of a shop."

"I cannot help feeling a great repugnance to shopkeeping."

"Then would you rather be a governess, supposing you were capable?"

"Oh, Jane, that is such a hard life. I should be separated from you; and then one is worried by the children, and snubbed by the parents, sneered at by servants, and ignored by visitors."

"Then dressmaking? You work beautifully."

"The late hours, and the close rooms; do you think I could stand it?"

"I am a little afraid for you," said Jane, thoughtfully. "What would you like to do?"

"Why, I have never thought of doing anything but being with you, working a little, reading a little, going out a little, and having nobody over me but you, my own darling sister. It stuns me to be told that I must go to work for a livelihood."

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