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Liddon, otherwise a comparatively uncultured person, was an accomplished cook and domestic administrator; Jenny, the eldest daughter, in whom the qualities of both parents blended, got up early in the morning to buy provisions at the market, and did all the dressmaking for the family; Joe, a junior in his fathers office, paid something for his board, and otherwise kept and clothed himself; and Sarah, the youngest, who had a bent spine, was literary, like her father, in whose intellectual pursuits she had had the largest share, and morally indispensable, though not practically supporting, in the economy of the household.
...It would have been nice, after a days work?she looked persuadingly at Sarah?to have had tea in our own back parlour, all alone by ourselves, free and comfortable; and in the evening to have totted up our takings for the day?all cash, of course?and seen them getting steadily bigger and bigger; and by-and-by?because I know that, with a good start, I should have succeeded?to have become well enough off to sell out, and go to travel in Europe, and do things.
...Joey thought of an elegant little cousin up country, the daughter of a bank manager, who naturally turned up her nose at retail trade; and he said that, as the present head of the family?he was afraid Jenny was over-looking the fact that he held this position by divine right of sex?he should certainly withhold his sanction from any such absurd project, risk or no risk.
...And dont forget that you are only nineteen, while I am twenty-four, and mother is just twice as old as that; and that what little we have is hers; and that women in these days are as good as men, and much better than boys; and that you are expected to allow us to know what is best for a few years more.
...It was taken with the idea of a girl who would not receive money, and dared to risk her little conventional title to be a lady for the sake of making an honest living; his own business rectitude and high-mindedness qualified him to appreciate a woman of that sort?so different from the swarm of idle damsels with whom he was in daily contact, who lived for nothing but their own pleasures, and on anybody who would keep them, with no sense whatever of any responsibility in life, whose frivolities he was always denouncing, more or less, in a good-natured way, though his own dear wife was one of them.