There is no doubt of the fact, that American housekeepers have far greater trials and difficulties to meet than those of any other nation. And it is probable that many of those who may read over the methods of thrift and economy adopted by some of the best housekeepers in our land, and detailed in this work, will with a sigh exclaim, that it is impossible for them even to attempt any such plans.

Others may be stimulated by the advice and examples presented, and may start off with much hope and courage, to carry out a plan of great excellence and appropriateness, and, after trying a while, will become discouraged by the thousand obstacles in their way, and give up in despair.

A still greater number will like their own way best, and think it is folly to attempt to change.

For those who wish they could become systematic, neat, and thorough housekeepers, and would like to follow out successfully the suggestions found in this work, and for those who have tried, or will try, and find themselves baffled and discouraged, these words of comfort are offered.

Perhaps you find yourself encompassed by such sort of trials as these: Your house is inconvenient, or destitute of those facilities for doing work well which you need, and you can not command the means to supply these deficiencies. Your domestics are so imperfectly qualified that they never can do any thing just right, unless you stand by and attend to every thing yourself, and you can not be present in parlor, nursery, and kitchen all at once. Perhaps you are frequently left without any cook, or without a chamber-maid, and sometimes without any hands but your own to do the work, and there is constant jostling and change from this cause. And perhaps you can not get supplies, either from garden or market, such as you need, and all your calculations fail in that direction.

And perhaps your children are sickly, and rob you of rest by night, or your health is so poor that you feel no energy or spirits to make exertions. And perhaps you never have had any training in domestic affairs, and can not understand how to work yourself, nor how to direct others. And when you go for aid to experienced housekeepers, or cookery-books, you are met by such sort of directions as these: "Take a pinch of this, and a little of that, and considerable of the other, and cook them till they are done about right." And when you can not succeed in following such indefinite instructions, you find your neighbors and husband wondering how it is that, when you have one, two, or three domestics, there should be so much difficulty about housekeeping, and such constant trouble, and miscalculation, and mistake. And then, perhaps, you lose your patience and your temper, and blame others, and others blame you, and so every thing seems to be in a snarl.

Now the first thing to be said for your comfort is, that you really have great trials to meet; trials that entitle you to pity and sympathy, while it is the fault of others more than your own that you are in this very painful and difficult situation. You have been as cruelly treated as the Israelites were by Pharaoh, when he demanded bricks without furnishing the means to make them.

You are like a young, inexperienced lad who is required to superintend all the complicated machinery of a manufactory which he never was trained to understand, and on penalty of losing reputation, health, and all he values most.

Neither your parents, teachers, or husband have trained you for the place you fill, nor furnished you with the knowledge or assistance needed to enable you to meet all the complicated and untried duties of your lot. A young woman who has never had the care of a child, never done housework, never learned the numberless processes that are indispensable to keep domestic affairs in regular order, never done any thing but attend to books, drawing, and music at school, and visiting and company after she left school - such an one is as unprepared to take charge of a nursery, kitchen, and family establishment, as she is to take charge of a man-of-war. And the chief blame rests with those who placed her so unprepared in such trying circumstances. Therefore, you have a right to feel that a large part of these evils are more your misfortune than your fault, and that they entitle you to sympathy rather than blame.

The next word of comfort is, the assurance that you can do every one of your duties, and do them well, and the following is the method by which you can do it. In the first place, make up your mind that it never is your duty to do any thing more than you can, or in any better manner than the best you can. And whenever you have done the best you can, you have done well; and it is all that man should require, and certainly all that your heavenly Father does require.

The next thing is, for you to make out an inventory of all the things that need to be done in your whole establishment. Then calculate what things you find you can not do, and strike them off the list, as what are not among your duties. Of those that remain, select a certain number that you think you can do exactly as they need to be done, and among these be sure that you put the making of good bread. This every housekeeper can do, if she will only determine to do it.

Make a selection of certain things that you will persevere in having done as well as they can be done, and let these be only so many as you feel sure you can succeed in attempting. Then make up your mind that all the rest must go along as they do, until you get more time, strength, and experience, to increase the list of things that you determine shall always be well done.

By this course you will have the comfort of feeling that in some respects you are as good a housekeeper as you can be, while there will be a cheering progress in gaining on all that portion of your affairs that are left at loose ends. You will be able to measure a gradual advance, and be encouraged by success. Many housekeepers fail entirely by expecting to do every thing well at first, when neither their knowledge or strength is adequate, and so they fail everywhere, and finally give up in despair.