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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, September 6, 1890 by Various
page 2 of 41 (04%)
the calm and limited existence which their relations and the voice of
tradition assign to them. Most of them after they have passed through
the flashing brilliance of their first season, and the less radiant
glow of their second, are happy enough to spend the time that must
elapse ere the destined knight shall sound the trumpet of release
at the gates of the fortress, in an atmosphere of quiet domestic
usefulness. One becomes known to fame, and her friends, as being above
all others, "such a comfort to her mother." She interviews the cook,
she arranges the dinners, she devises light and favourite dishes
to blunt the edge of paternal irritability by tickling the paternal
palate, she writes out invitations, presides at the afternoon
tea-table, and, in short, takes upon herself many of those smaller
duties which are as last straws to the maternal back. Another becomes
the sworn friend and ally of her brothers, whom she assists in their
scrapes with a sympathy which is balm to the scraped soul, and with
a wisdom in counsel, which can only spring from a deep regret at not
having been herself born a boy, and capable of scrapes.


But there is often in families another and an Undomestic Daughter, who
aspires to be in all things unlike the usual run of common or domestic
daughters. From an early age she will have been noted in the family
circle for romantic tendencies, which are a mockery to her Philistine
brothers, and a reproach to her commonplace sisters. She will have
elevated her father to a lofty pinnacle of imaginative and immaculate
excellence, from which a tendency to shortness of temper in matters of
domestic finance resulting in petty squabbles with her mother, and an
irresistible desire for after-dinner somnolence, will have gradually
displaced him. One after another her brothers will have been to her
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