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Let us enter into an examination of the married life in the United States.
All the men in America are busy ; their whole time is engrossed by their accumulation of money ; they breakfast early and repair to their rizu, Gun stores or counting-houses ; the majority of them home to dinner, but eat at the nearest
reien tavern or oyster-cellar, for they generally live at a considerable distance from the business part of the town, and time is too precious to be thrown away. It would be supposed that they would be home to an early tea; many are, but the majority are not. After fagging, they require recreation, and the recreations of most Americans are politics and news, besides the chance of doing a little more business, all of which, with drink, are to be obtained at the bars of the principal commercial hotels in the city. The consequence is, that the major portion of them come home late, tired, and go to bed ; early the next
1 morning they are off to their business again. Here it is evident that the women do not have
much of their husband's society; nor do I consider this arising from any want of inclination on the part of the husbands, as there is an absolute necessity that they should work as hard as others if they wish to do well, and what one does, the other must do. Even frequenting the bar is almost a necessity, for it is there that they obtain all the information of the day. But the result is that the married women are left alone; their husbands are not their companions, and if they could be, still the majority of the husbands would not be suitable companions for the following reasons. An American starts into life at so early an age that what he has gained at school, with the exception of that portion brought into use from his business, is lost.
He has no time for reading, except the newspaper; all his thoughts and ideas are centred in his employment; he becomes perfect in that, acquires a great deal of practical knowledge useful for making money, but for little else. This he must do if he would succeed, and the major portion
confine themselves to such knowledge alone. But with the women it is different; their education is much more extended than that of the men, because they are more docile, and easier to control in their youth; and when they are married, although their duties are much more onerous than with us, still, during the long days and evenings, during which they wait for the return of their husbands, they have time to finish, I may say, their own educations and improve their minds by reading. The consequence of this, with other adjuncts, is, that their minds become, and really are, much more cultivated and refined than those of their husbands; and when the universal practice of using tobacco and drinking among the latter is borne in mind, it will be readily admitted that they are also much more refined in their persons.
These are the causes why the American women are so universally admired by the English and other nations, while they do not consider the inen as equal to them either in manners or personal appearance. Let it be borne in mind that I am now speaking of the majority, and that the exceptions are very numerous; for instance, you may except one whole profession, that of the lawyers, among whom you will find no want of gentlemen or men of highly cultivated minds; indeed, the same may be said with respect to most of the liberal professions, but only so because their profession allows that time for improving themselves which the American in
general, in his struggle on the race for wealth, cannot
afford to spare.
As I have before observed, the ambition of the American is from circumstances mostly directed to but one object—that of rapidly raising himself above his fellows by the accumulation of a fortune; to this one great desideratum all his energies are directed, all his thoughts are bent, and by it all his ideas are engrossed. When I first arrived in America, as I walked down Broadway, it appeared strange to me that there should be such a remarkable family likeness among the
people. Every man I met seemed to me by his features, to be a brother or a connection of the last man who had passed me; I could not at first comprehend this, but the mystery was soon revealed. It was that they were all intent and engrossed with the same object; all were, as they passed, calculating and reflecting ; this produced a similar contraction of the brow, knitting of the eye-brows, and compression of the lips—a simiJarity of feeling had produced a similarity of expression, from the same muscles being called into action. Even their hurried walk assisted the error ; it is a saying in the United States,
' " that a New York merchant always walks as if he had a good dinner before him, and a bailiff behind him," and the metaphor is not inapt.
Now, a man so wholly engrossed in business cannot be a very good companion if he were at home; his thoughts would be elsewhere, and therefore perhaps it is better that things should remain as they are. But the great evil arising from this is, that the children are left wholly to