What signifies your patience, if you can’t find it
when you want it?
—Poor Richard’s Almanac
My name is Patience, but I have little of that with all those in Boston who keep telling me what a bad girl I am. When I learned my letters, the very first sentence I could read proved a harsh and scolding one: In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.
In church of a Sunday when the parson preaches about the sins and failings of women, I would swear he gazes straight at me with a stern, disapproving look. And of course Mrs. Worth, to whom my father bound me as a servant when my mother died,...