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;"Bridget, do..! , and Bridget, get..! and Bridget go..! and Bridget, come..!" is all I hear the whole day long!

My real name is Siomah, but they won't bother to learn it.

Every Irish girl is "Bridget" to them.

It's sweep the rugs, wash the clothes, dust the tables, polish the silver, fill the lamps, help the cook, and clean the dishes. There's just no end of it, and then they'll say, "Bridget, hurry! And be more tidy about yourself. You look like you crawled from a gutter!" Well, I'd like to have the time just to clean my own bed! Thursday afternoons are supposedly my own time, but only if all their work is done, and at best there's barely time to clean my clothes and room.

My room is in the attic, far from heat in winter, but dreadful hot in summer. I rise each day before daybreak, and it's dark before I'm done. Sunday is no "Day of Rest", in fact it's worse for me. There's more food and fuss, and often guests to serve. Each new task I must learn alone, for they pay no one to teach me, but then demand perfection!

I envy the dogs. It seems unfair that they play and lay around while I work myself to the bone, and they're so much better treated. The master of the house is seldom here, and when he is, ignores me. But let me just once not have his cigars and brandy ready! They put on airs of royalty. Mistress finds me a lamentable, incapable of doing the least thing without her direction before, and correcting me after. Nothing is ever good enough. The young master is 12, two years younger than I, and he is disrespectful, rude and grabby. I try to avoid him, but he gets ever more persistent as he grows.

Still, I should not complain. Many have it worse. I have food, and a place to sleep. The delivery boys tell me I'm pretty, though they say the same to every maid. I save a pastry for the gardener's son, whose eyes are friendly. I do not know if shrubs and roses can support a wife and family, but the smell of manure is no worse than the stink of a mill.

See if they can find another maid as good, once I am gone!

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