Station: [6] Bedroom

It's so snug in here. And such a delightful scent! I think they must have recently filled the ticks with fresh straw. A little nap, right this minute, would be pleasant. Nightcap on, and a nice warm bedpan, and I could sleep till morning. Oh, Hans, what I wouldn't give to be able to sleep late – just once! 

Honestly, Martha, if people could hear you say that. You should be embarrassed. What did my grandfather use to say? A hard-working housewife is the best money box

That really takes the cake! Let me tell you one thing, young man. In our house, I'm the first one who has to get up of a morning, before dawn. Then I light the fire in the kitchen, give the horse its hay, take care of the children and the old folks. By the age of 50, you're an old woman here, with all that work: cooking, washing, gardening and doing for others. I sit until the evening, embroidering and sewing for other people's trousseaus. And in the end, I haven't managed to put aside a penny for myself. Sometimes I dream of just learning a real trade, like dressmaking. Then I could sew for society ladies and go in and out of the villas where businessmen’s families live. But my Johann will never allow that. 

He’s right. Where would we end up, if wives start leaving the house to work. That will only cause trouble.

Oh, but I’m allowed to slave away at home, am I? Every time I read that pious little prayer, "Thy will be done", I get to wondering: the Lord’s will, or just my Johann’s?

Will you be silent! And consider yourself lucky you don't live in the Middle Ages. With an insolent tongue like yours, you’d have had to do penance. 

No Hans, a woman isn’t subject to her husband, and nor does she need  a guardian. After all, we’re not living in the Middle Ages. And believe me, the day will come when a woman will be able to decide for herself if she wants to have an occupation, even if it takes another century. Right. And now, I've got work to do. Let’s hope I can find some summer savory for my bean stew upstairs in the pantry.

Photo: © Fischer- und Webermuseum