The Land of Contrasts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 289 pages of information about The Land of Contrasts.
gift.  The next important step brought her to New York, where she gained in a competitive examination the position of secretary in the office of the Street Cleaning Department.  Her linguistic accomplishments (for she had studied several foreign languages) stood her in good stead, and during the illness of her chief she practically managed the department and “bossed” fifteen hundred Italian labourers in their own tongue.  Miss Undereast carried on her musical studies far enough to be offered a position in an operatic company, while her linguistic studies qualified her for the post of United States Custom House Inspectress.  Latterly she has devoted her time mainly to journalism and literature, producing, inter alia, a guidebook to New York, a novel, and a volume of essays on social topics.  It is a little difficult to realise when talking with the accomplished and womanly litterateur that she has been in her day a slayer of Indians and “a mighty huntress before the Lord;” but both the facts and the opportunities underlying them testify in the most striking manner to the largeness of the sphere of action open to the puella Americana.

If American women have been well treated by their men-folk, they have nobly discharged their debt.  It is trite to refer to the numerous schemes of philanthropy in which American women have played so prominent a part, to allude to the fact that they have as a body used their leisure to cultivate those arts and graces of life which the preoccupation of man has led him too often to neglect.  This chapter may well close with the words of Professor Bryce:  “No country seems to owe more to its women than America does, nor to owe to them so much of what is best in its social institutions and in the beliefs that govern conduct.”


[8] Since writing the above I have learned that Mr. W.D.  Howells has written of “Daisy Miller” in a similar vein, speaking of her “indestructible innocence and her invulnerable new-worldliness.”  “It was so plain that Mr. James disliked her vulgar conditions that the very people to whom he revealed her essential sweetness and light were furious that he should have seemed not to see what existed through him.”


The American Child

The United States has sometimes been called the “Paradise of Women;” from the child’s point of view it might equally well he termed the “Paradise of Children,” though the thoughtful observer might be inclined to qualify the title by the prefix “Fool’s.”  Nowhere is the child so constantly in evidence; nowhere are his wishes so carefully consulted; nowhere is he allowed to make his mark so strongly on society in general.  The difference begins at the very moment of his birth, or indeed even sooner.  As much fuss is made over each young republican as if he were the heir to a long line of kings; his swaddling clothes might make

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The Land of Contrasts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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