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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 our 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 employers 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. seems unnecessary too, as there 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 these 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 changed less, with the passing of time, than pastoral Dorset with its southern fringe of coast and harbor. No great movement of population, due to large industries, has ever broken in upon its quiet, even life; and over large portions of the county, unbroken rolling downland, pastured by flocks of innumerable sheep, seems more suggestive of a new and far-off land than of an old country. This easy, gentle life, knowing no stress or strain from any large massing of population intent upon mine or mill, and with little of that vast wealth accruing to the favored few which huge industries bring, has left the monuments of the past, century after century, undestroyed by the newly created wealth of the present. Thus in this slenderly peopled county the priceless records of the past abound, from the massy earthworks of Roman, Dane and Briton, to the glorious Gothic of later centuries, exhibited in the wonderful wealth of manor houses, which bedeck the breadth of Dorset, Wolfeton and Ahelhampton, Bingham's Melcombe and Parnham, Cranbourne and Woodsford Castle, Waterstone and Wynford Eagle-gems only surpassed by the Minster of Wimborne and the stately Abbeys of Ford, of Milton and of Sherborne. But the immediate matter in hand is not to talk of the surviving glories of the past, as figured in material records, but of some evanescent Dorset humor.
That the county has long enjoyed a reputation for humor is evidenced by old Fuller, who informs us that the Dorset saying "to be stabbed with a Bridport dagger" means "to be hanged or executed on the gallows." Unfortu nately for Bridport, not only has the tete, which gave it the exclusive
privilege of making cable ropes for the Royal Navy long been repealed, but its trade in rope-making has much decayed.
From the last century has come down the neat saying of a Dorchester doctor (Arbuthnot), who, when he found that the abundant good health of his patients proved a detriment to his earning a living observed, “A physician can neither live nor die in Dorchester." Another Dorchester doctor (Cumming), who died in 1788, with grim humor desired that he might be laid as far as possible from the church, "lest," as his monument says, "he who studied while living to promote the health of his fellow citizens, should prove detrimental to it when dead."
Early in this century there dwelt for many years at Stinsford (one of the dower houses of the Ilchester family) Lady Susan O'Brien, daughter of the first Earl of Ilchester. She married early in life, to her father's deep disgust, William O'Brien, a London actor, and the furious old Earl swore that he would never sit in the same room with his son-in-law. The passage of time softened the Earl's feelings, so much so that he got O'Brien appointed Receiver General to the Forces, and gave him and his wife Stinsford House to live in. But the old Earl kept to his vow by sitting, when he made a brief visit to Stinsford, in one room with the folding doors open into the next room, whence his son-in-law was permitted to hold conversation with him.
A quaint little figure, living about the same time, was the Rev. Nathaniel Templeman, of Dorchester, with his full curled wig, shovel hat, ruffles, buckles and square-cut clerical garb. "Parson Natty," as the chirpy little
was familiarly known, perched on a hasṣock, 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 giving 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 was "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 middle. 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, he 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 beVOL. VIII. 438
ing very wet, and Charles 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 HoImeric 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,' 99 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
you know, this is a sheep county, and at Wool you wool the sheep, and at Wareham you wear 'em."
There was a story he used to tell of his driving on a cold winter's day into Dorchester, some ten miles distant from his home at Bingham's Melcombe, with the object of seeing a certain Mr. Davis on some pressing business, when the servant who answered his knock bluntly announced, to his dismay, that Mr. Davis was "not at home." "How provoking!" said the Canon; "I have driven ten miles in the snow on purpose to see him." "Oh!" said the maid, "if it's very pressing, I will go up and ask Mr. Davis when he will be at home."
"Wool" and "Wareham" are both stations on the South Western Railway, which enters the county near Wimborne, and runs by a singularly tortuous route to Dorchester and on to Weymouth. A local story, which gives emphasis to the sinuosity of the railway in these parts, relates how an engine-driver new to this portion of the line pulled up his train one dark night in the neighborhood of Broadstone as he saw a danger signal ahead. After waiting some time and whistling in vain, he set out on foot to see what the signal was, and then discovered it to be the danger lamp on the rear van of his own train.
A former vicar of Toller Porcorum, a small parish in West Dorset, was wont to relate how, failing one Sunday to bring home to the minds of his Sunday-school girls what they should understand by a "guardian angel," he asked them if they knew Mr. Shepherd-that being the name of the locally well-known railway-guard of the line that runs through Toller. Receiving an emphatic assent to this inquiry, and thinking the next step was assured, he said, "And what does Mr. Shepherd do?" The unexpected and somewhat personal reply was, "Please,
sir, he do see that you don't travel without a ticket."
An enterprising Dorset curate, who was beating up subscriptions for his parish school, appealed to a somewhat wealthy member of his congregation, who was generally known to be unduly retentive of his money, for help, and, meeting with a blank refusal, asked him to contribute just sixpence. The reluctant contributor handed him sixpence, and, no doubt, thought the matter had pleasantly ended. About a month later the curate met him in the street, and, pulling out a parish report, said, "Oh! I thought you would like to see I have put down your sixpence all right amongst the donations." The sixpenny subscriber waxed very indignant, and said the curate had no right to publish it; but the curate stuck to it that he was in duty bound to do so. Thereupon the abashed contributor surrendered at discretion, and, handing over half a sovereign, begged the curate, in the softest manner, to insert ten shillings in front of the sixpence before he distributed the report, which he accordingly did.
Not very long ago, a gentleman of the name of Aldridge Devenish was the popular Mayor of Weymouth. Some new public buildings had been completed during his mayoralty, and at a council meeting held to make preparations for the ceremony of opening them, a town councillor indignantly asked "why the Mayor was to be favored by having his initials A. D. carved in large letters before the date of the year."
Dorset, as is well known, is a great country for hunting, and every squire and many a yeoman ride to hounds. Of the Dorset squire it has been wittily said that he begins life with twelve horses and one child, and ends it with twelve children and one horse. A saying which contains at least a modicum of truth. A story, showing true devo
tion to sport, is told of Press, the fine whip of the Blackmore Vale. One day he asked the M.F.H. for a day off, and inquiry being made as to why he wanted it, the reply was, that he was going to get married. The M.F.H. very naturally suggested that Press should take two or three days at least. But this he did not want at all; and when he was asked how he proposed to spend the one day he was proposing to set apart for his wedding the answer was that he intended "to take the missus out for a drive with the sick hounds." Sherborne lies in the Blackmore Vale, and from Sherborne to Shaftesbury is a distance of a little more than fifteen miles. A battery of artillery had to march from Sherborne to Salisbury a short while since, and, according to the regulations, the commanding officer might make use of the railway, if the distance to be traversed was more than fifteen miles. Inquiry showed that the distance was less, as the milestones only marked fourteen miles, so the battery went by road. The officer in command, being still in some doubt as to the true distance, took note of each milestone, and discovered that two of the milestones bore identical inscriptions, so that whereas the true distance was over fifteen miles, the milestones made it appear to be fourteen miles. As the duplication of two of the milestones had escaped notice for some sixty years, the discovery was provocative of many gibes. erring Shaftesbury milestone calls to mind the fierce thrust of Daniel O'Connell at the Times, when he said of that journal, that it was "like a misplaced milestone, which can never by any possibility speak the truth."
The barrister brother of a wellknown Dorset squire, for many a long year travelled the Western Circuit with exemplary regularity. Although clever and amusing enough in private life, he either made no efforts to ob
tain briefs, or was singularly unsuccessful in his efforts. The pleasant social life, the good company and the good stories, seemed sufficient to attract him to the circuit mess without the lure of guineas. At last, however, by some inscrutable fortune, a brief came to him, a brief to defend a somewhat notorious prisoner, and it was marked two guineas, the fee being subscribed by some friends of the offender. This piece of good fortune, as others would have thought it, evidently sat heavily upon the soul of this most estimable counseller. He did not seem himself at all. It was whispered about that B. had a brief, but did not know what to do with it. A day passed over and the case had not come on, but B. seemed to be more himself. Late in the day the prisoner was put in the dock and called on to plead. To the profound astonishment of the members of the bar, who were all looking out to see how B. would conduct the defence, the prisoner pleaded "guilty." B. muttered a few words in expiation of the culprit, the offender was sentenced, and the Court rose for the day. The secret leaked out a little later, that B., having been in an agony of mind at the prospect of having to defend the prisoner, had hit upon a brilliant device in order to extricate himself. He had sought an interview with the prisoner, and pointed out to him, that as he would probably be convicted it was far best for him to plead "guilty," so that the evidence might not be gone into, which course would enable him to get a lighter sentence, and to clench the matter had tipped the prisoner half a guinea out of his fee.
Canon Dayman, who for half a century was Rector of Shillingstone, published in early life a metrical and scholarly translation of the "Inferno," and in later years for a long period represented a portion of the diocese in the blissful realm of Convocation.