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alteration in this direction will be in- necessary, and only kept up from a evitable, as no people who call them- sort of tradition. For example, most selves educated will ever consent to drawing-rooms are full of nick-nacks choose an occupation which entails that are not merely useless but absospending their lives day after day in lutely senseless. They are too confused washing up dishes at a scullery-sink. and crowded to be even ornamental; And they are right; which of us would but for all that their dusting occupies do this if we could possibly find any somebody for a considerable time daily. other employment?
Then there is the cleaning and polishIt is difficult to enter into each point ing of unnecessary silver, for, except of how every detail in a new system spoons and forks, nearly everything would work. But the most feasible would be better and cleaner made of idea seems that each employée should glass or earthenware, and these last be engaged for certain definite hours can be effectually cleaned in less than and work; and as it would doubtless a quarter of the time it takes to polish not infrequently occur that extra silver. It is well to keep distinctly in things were required to be done, they our minds, with reference to this subwould have to be paid for as extra, (orject, that the whole difficulty is incalover) time. However upsetting this may culably increased by the same feeling be to our present ideas, there seems of equality, though in a different quarreally no sound reason why those who ter, that has been referred to before, wish certain things done for them in and which permeates all classes. Thus their houses by other people should it happens that people with small inhave a power to demand work without comes who keep perhaps two, or perpayment which is neither thought of haps only one, servant, think it due to nor demanded in any other profession. themselves to live in precisely the The feudal system is now completely same manner as those who keep six or dead, and this question of servants is more. That is supposed to be the esits last lingering legacy. In by-gone sential mark of gentility. The style of times, in addition to the actual pay- living which is suited to the last menment, the employer afforded also a tioned, however, where the work is much needed protection, the value of much sub-divided and therefore not inwhch it would have been difficult to cessant, is obviously unsuited to the calculate; and in return the employed smaller establishments. In them it adalso gave time without any exact mits of neither peace nor rest for the reckoning of money-value. Now all servants, as to live up to the standard are equally protected by the law, and
required is a constant strain for them, housework must fall into the category until there is neither leisure, nor time of other trades, with a strict account to go out at all except on rare occaof its value in money.
For the same sions. And no matter what changes reason it would be desirable that the
are the ultimate outcome of the pressystem of board-wages should be
ent difficulty, where only a small esadopted wherever practicable. All
tablishment can be afforded, a much payments in kind are objectionable, simpler style of living will have to be and lead to a clashing of interests that
adopted. A display of metal under the tend to cause friction and ill-feeling on name of plate, and elaborate meals both sides.
with many dishes (which last cannot in There may be other alterations also. the nature of things be really well A large proportion of the work that cooked by those whose wages are not goes on in houses at present is quite un- comparatively high) are
in no way
really conducive either to happiness or age non-resident employées at once. comfort, and their abandonment there- There are some already in the shape of fore need hardly be a matter for lamen- waitresses and charwomen; but so tation; though of course they could be soon as the thing became at all gen. retained if people thought it worth eral a superior class of women would their while to pay for the extra work. be certain to take to the occupation, as
In these and other kindred ways the work itself is not unpleasant, much time could be saved, so that, though many dread the chance of unwhile employers would not require a congenial companionship if resident. larger staff, it would be possible for Many of the young women who now the house employées (or assistants) to try to get work as teachers, for which have nearly as much time to them- they are often unfit, would prefer selves as shop-assistants now have. It housework. It would be infinitely less would not be exactly the same hours, exhausting to the nerves, a frequent as they could not go off from mid-day cause of break-down among those who on Saturdays till the Sunday evening. teach, and most especially among those But in households where more than one who are not quite up to the work. On employée was engaged there would be the whole too, house-work would be the little difficulty in arranging that they better paid, as teachers are everywhere should have at least two afternoons a in excess of the demand. week to themselves, and alternate Whatever happens, there must in the Sundays from mid-day, so that it near future be a considerable change in would come to nearly the same thing. our social habits. It is not a question This (except in imagination, as being of whether
satisfied with something different to present custom,) things as they now are, or whether we would cause employers little real incon- wish for an alteration; the hard fact venience; as not only does it constantly stares us in the face that the means occur that all the members of the fam- of continuing as we now are are want. ily are out in the afternoon, but ow- ing, and the only thing left to us is the ing to the growing custom of one day consideration of what is possible to be a week being set apart for the lady of done in the circumstances. the house to receive visitors, it is be- Such changes as these would not coming more and more recognized that affect entertaining on a large scale, as only very intimate friends are expected this is already, at all events in towns, to call at other times. Providing after- much done by contract; but small hosnoon-tea for the members of the pitalities will be affected, though not family would hardly be beyond the more so than they will be when we are power of the one employée whose turn left without servants and with no hone it was to be in; indeed to judge by the of supplying their place. The question present mania for providing this repast of expense will also very soon become for themselves, as shown by ladies a serious matter. There is no cobe. travelling in railways, even at the risk sion among the present servants, but it of setting themselves and their fellow- cannot now be long before they dis. passengers on fire, there seems no par- cover, and especially before cooks disticular reason why they should not go cover, that they can command almost a step further and undertake it in their any wages they like to ask. And inown homes, if it so happened that they deed all round, as things are tending had only one regular employée.
now, the diminution in the number of In towns the alteration presents little women willing to do house-work will difficulty, and it is desirable to encour- cause wages to advance to such an ex
tent that we shall have to pay from £25 to £50 a year for any trained servant. It has already arrived at this in America and other countries, and the same cause will produce the same result here before long.
Many who may happen to read this paper will say that they would not care to have servants in their house who considered themselves ladies and therefore the equals of their employer, that they would expect to sit in the drawing-room, and so on. Nothing of the kind would follow. Shop-assistants do not expect the owner of the shop to invite them to dinner, nor do they treat the customers otherwise than with fitting deference; even governesses, who owing to birth and education are sometimes, so to say, superior to their employers, do not as a rule sit with the family unless asked to do so. And house-employées would perfectly also understand the situation.
Nothing could well be worse than our present position. We have to keep very unsatisfactory people in houses, and are constrained to keep silence lest we be left without a substitute, which if it continued too long would result in the rest of the servants giving warning, and finally in our being left to shift for ourselves. All this is fast becoming unbearable. The great difficulty lies in the transition; but it is to be hoped that some of the offices for the employment of women, or the registries, will take the matter up. It could only be done of course in houses where the establishment was being for some reason re-organized, as it would be awkward for both ployers and employed to begin the new order of things with the old order of servants. But though it would be a change, it would not be so drastic as employing Chinese or Indians, as has been suggested. To have one's entire household suddenly composed of men
(for the women of those countries do not take service except as nurses) would in truth be a complete revolution, to say nothing of the question of climate in the case of Indians. It seems unnecessary too, as there are plenty of English women who would like the work if the existing objections were removed; for we must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the work that our present servants object to, so much as the restrictions and loss of social prestige.
The removal of the objections should not be a matter of great difficulty for, after all we have only to consider what we should ourselves think tolerable if we had to turn to and earn our living; to consider how much confinement in the basement of a house we should like, without a few hours every day for air and exercise, and how many times a week we should want to go out to meet our friends and relations, and generally to make existence pleasant.
In the new order of things (that is coming surely whether we like it or not) we too shall be fully able to enjoy ourselves, but it will not be precisely in the same inconsiderate way as hitherto, for we have practically succeeded in keeping a certain proportion of our country-women in a state of quasi-slavery. This power is now fast drawing to a close, and we shall have to consider their wants and wishes as well as our Own. But we shall be none the worst for that, even if it results in our having to live in a simpler and less artificial manner. And if the knowledge is brought home to us that, though wealth gives a larger purchasing power, it does not justify its possessors in any interference with the privileges and happiness of their less wealthy fellow-citizens, the lesson will in every way be an advantage to the community.
Few counties in England have privilege of making cable ropes for the changed less, with the passing of time, Royal Navy long been repealed, but than pastoral Dorset with its southern its trade in rope-making has much defringe of coast and harbor. No great ca yed. movement of population, due to large From the last century bas come down industries, has ever broken in upon its the neat saying of a Dorchester doctor quiet, even life; and over large portions (Arbuthnot), who, when he found that of the county, unbroken rolling down- the abundant good health of his pa. land, pastured by flocks of innumer- tients proved a detriment to his earn. able sheep, seems more suggestive of a ing a living observed, “A physician can new and far-off land than of an old neither live nor die in Dorchester.” country. This easy, gentle life, know- Another Dorchester doctor (Cumming), ing no stress or strain from any large who died in 1788, with grim humor demassing of population intent upon mine sired that he might be laid as far as or mill, and with little of that vast possible from the church, "lest," as his wealth accruing to the favored few monument says, “he who studied while which huge industries bring, has left living to promote the health of his felthe monuments of the past, century low citizens, should prove detrimental after century, undestroyed by the new- to it when dead." ly created wealth of the present. Thus Early in this century there dwelt for in this slenderly peopled county the many years at Stinsford (one of the priceless records of the past abound, dower houses of the Ilchester family) from the massy earthworks of Roman, Lady Susan O'Brien, daughter of the Dane and Briton, to the glorious first Earl of Ilchester. She married Gothic of later centuries, exhibited in early in life, to her father's deep disthe wonderful wealth of manor gust, William O'Brien, a London achouses, which bedeck the breadth of tor, and the furious old Earl swore Dorset, Wolfeton and Ahelhampton, that he would never sit in the same
ngham's Melcombe and Parnham, room with his son-in-law. The passage Cranbourne and Woodsford Castle, of time softened the Earl's feelings, so Waterstone and Wynford Eagle-gems much so that he got O'Brien appointed only surpassed by the Minster of Receiver General to the Forces, and Wimborne and the stately Abbeys of gave him and his wife Stinsford House Ford, of Milton and of Sherborne. But to live in. But the old Earl kept to the immediate matter in hand is not his vow by sitting, when he made a to talk of the surviving glories of the brief visit to Stinsford, in one room past, as figured in material records, but with the folding doors open into the of some evanescent Dorset humor. next room, whence his son-in-law was
That the county has long enjoyed a permitted to hold conversation with reputation for humor is evidenced by him. old Fuller, who informs us that the A quaint little figure, living about Dorset saying “to be stabbed with a the same time, was the Rev. Nathaniel Bridport dagger" means "to be hanged Templeman, of Dorchester, with his or executed on the gallows." Unfortu- full curled wig, shovel hat, ruffles, nately for Bridport, not only has the buckles and square-cut clerical garb. be to, which gave it the exclusive “Parson Vatty," as the chirpy little
familiarly known, perched on a hassock, would peer on a Sunday just over the reading desk, and one morning, in his shrill little voice, said, “Are the churchwardens at church?” Repeating the inquiry, "No, sir!" came the answer.
“Fie upon 'em, fie upon 'em!" he replied, shaking his head vigorously. On the death of his wife he selected as his text with unconscious humor, “I am even as it were a sparrow that sitteth alone upon the house top." His successor, the Rev. Dr. Richman, was a man of powerful intellect and sincere piety. He had no great opinion of the religion and morality of George IV, and in the prayer for the High Court of Parliament, at the words "most religious and gracious king" he used to omit "most religious," but made up for the omission by give ing great emphasis to the word "gracious." On the Sunday following the death of the king he preached a sermon, in which he made no reference to his majesty's demise, though the text was understood by some to bear some reference to that event, for it "And the beggar died."
Another character was John Bristed, for many years rector of Winterborne Monkton. Little girls early in the century used to wear their hair cropped short like boys, but parted in the mid. dle. When the new fashion came into vogue, of letting little girls' hair grow into a crop of ringlets, Mr. Bristed could not endure the change, and after remonstrating to no purpose with the mothers of Monkton parish, be one morning locked the whole of the children into the school, and with his own hands shore them of all their locks. When living at Dorchester, where he retired to end his days, a nephew of his, Charles Astor Bristed, of New York, who wrote that capital account of Cambridge, “Five Years in an English University," came to visit his uncle in the autumn of 1846. The weather be
ing very wet, and Charles Astor Bristed suffering from ennui, one afternoon he placed his bed in the middle of the room and took to vaulting over it to and fro for exercise, nearly shaking the house down. His uncle, annoyed and indignant at his post-prandial nap being disturbed, sent his manservant up to "Master Charles" with the message, that “his uncle had invested all his money in a life annuity, and that he had better leave at once." In those days there was no coach to London until early the next morning, so Charles Astor Bristed bundled out with his belongings and spent the night under my father's roof, who met him once afterwards at Heidelberg and renewed their laugh over the irascible old uncle.
An unusual surname, but one well known in Dorset, is that of Homer. Curiously enough there is a hamlet in the county called Troytown, and not long ago one of the Homers lived there. Another respected member of the Homer family, a few years since, contested one of the county divisions, and Punch, struck by the classic name, made humorous references to the Homeric battle. A local story goes that this same Mr. Homer at a public gath. ering, feeling unwell, had suddenly to leave, when a local humorist remarked, "Homer's 'Odd, I see,' and another rejoined “Homer's 'Ill, I add.'”
One of the most delightful of men, alike able and witty was the late Canon Bingham, of Bingham's Melcombe-"Parson Tringham," as he flits across the page in the opening chapter of Thomas Hardy's “Tess of the D'Urbervilles.” The story is told of Canon Bingham's driving one day with other clergy to a clerical meeting, when the conversation turned upon the meaning of two places they were then nearing -Wool and Wareham. Canon Bingham being asked how he accounted for the origin of these names, said, "Don't