Writer's Life

The wife of novelist and critic William Dean Howells once enlisted the aid of a young maid. One day the new assistant -- having noticed her husband's constant presence in the home -- asked to speak with Mrs. Howells:

"You pay me four dollars a week, madam," she began. "I'm afraid I really can't afford to pay you more," Mrs. Howells interrupted apologetically. "Well, what I was wanting to say, madam," the girl continued, "is that I would be willing to take three until Mr. Howells lands a job."

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