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Lizzy Glenn or, The Trials of a Seamstress   By: (1809-1885)

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LIZZY GLENN:

OR, THE TRIALS OF A SEAMSTRESS.

BY

T.S. ARTHUR

AUTHOR OF "LOVE IN A COTTAGE," "LOVE IN HIGH LIFE," ETC.

"Work work work Till the brain begins to swim; Work work work Till the eyes are heavy and dim! Seam, and gusset, and band, Band, and gusset, and seam, Till over the buttons I fall asleep, And sew them on in a dream!"

Hood's Song of the Shirt.

Philadelphia:

1859

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. Lizzy Glenn Mrs. Gaston and her sick Child, CHAPTER II. How a Needlewoman Lives, CHAPTER III. Death of Mrs. Gaston's Child A Mother's anguish, CHAPTER IV. Lizzy Glenn arouses the interest of a Stranger, CHAPTER V. Some of the Troubles of a Needlewoman A Friend in Need, CHAPTER VI. Perkins' Narrative, CHAPTER VII. Henry Gaston leaves Home with Sharp, CHAPTER VIII. Henry Gaston's Treatment by Sharp, CHAPTER IX. Lizzy Glenn finds in Mrs. Gaston an old Friend, CHAPTER X. Lizzy Glenn's Narrative to Mrs. Gaston, CHAPTER XI. Perkins anxiously seeks Lizzy Glenn, CHAPTER XII. Perkins finds in Lizzy Glenn his long lost Eugenia,

THE FATHER'S DREAM, I'LL SEE ABOUT IT, HUMAN LIFE, THE SUM OF TRIFLES; OR, "A PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY GAINED,"

LIZZY GLENN;

OR, THE TRIALS OF A SEAMSTRESS.

CHAPTER I.

LIZZY GLENN MRS. GASTON AND HER SICK CHILD.

NEEDLE WORK, at best, yields but a small return. Yet how many thousands have no other resource in life, no other barrier thrown up between them and starvation! The manly stay upon which a woman has leaned suddenly fails, and she finds self support an imperative necessity; yet she has no skill, no strength, no developed resources. In all probability she is a mother. In this case she must not only stand alone, but sustain her helpless children. Since her earliest recollection, others have ministered to her wants and pleasures. From a father's hand, childhood and youth received their countless natural blessings; and brother or husband, in later years, has stood between her and the rough winds of a stormy world. All at once, like a bird reared, from a fledgling, in its cage, and then turned loose in dreary winter time, she finds herself in the world, unskilled in its ways, yet required to earn her bread or perish.

What can she do? In what art or profession has she been educated? The world demands service, and proffers its money for labor. But what has she learned? What work can she perform? She can sew. And is that all? Every woman we meet can ply the needle. Ah! as a seamstress, how poor the promise for her future. The labor market is crowded with serving women; and, as a consequence, the price of needle work more particularly that called plain needle work is depressed to mere starvation rates. In the more skilled branches, better returns are met; but even here few can endure prolonged application few can bend ten, twelve, or fifteen hours daily over their tasks, without fearful inroads upon health.

In the present time, a strong interest has been awakened on this subject. The cry of the poor seamstress has been heard; and the questions "How shall we help her?" "How shall we widen the circle of remunerative employments for women?" passes anxiously from lip to lip. To answer this question is not our present purpose. Others are earnestly seeking to work out the problem, and we must leave the solution with them. What we now design is to quicken their generous impulses. How more effectively can this be done than by a life picture of the poor needlewoman's trials and sufferings? And this we shall now proceed to give.

It was a cold, dark, drizzly day in the fall of 18 , that a young female entered a well arranged clothing store in Boston, and passed with hesitating steps up to where a man was standing behind one of the counters.

"Have you any work, sir?" she asked, in a low, timid voice.

The individual to whom this was addressed, a short, rough looking man, with a pair of large, black whiskers, eyed her for a moment with a bold stare, and then indicated, by half turning his head and nodding sideways toward the owner of the shop, who stood at a desk some distance back, that her application was to be made there... Continue reading book >>




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