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market. Every man will want to be a clerk, and I just feel its influence sufficiently to make them deevery woman a governess. There can hardly be spise their employment. To take an Irish girl, who special intellectual work cut out to suit the million has just come across the Atlantic from the mud enfranchised servants. They must turn to other cabin of her father, and place her amid the furniforms of manual labor in fields, mines, ships, facto- ture of a handsome dwelling, with orders to clean ries, and workrooms, or whatever new lines of em- the same, and to use the crockery, glass, cutlery, ployment may open as time goes on. The question and kitchen utensils at discretion, must be a begin is, can we at all take it for granted that any such ning of troubles to the luckless mistress quite tragic labors will be better for their bodies or souls, their to contemplate. virtue or their happiness, than domestic service ? By the time the servant begins to understand the If we cannot endow all the million with enough use of the things about her, and to lose some of her wealth to enable them to live in idleness, shall we native practices of dirt and disorder, she will of better their condition by sending the coachman from course be ready to throw up her service, and rise to his box to a clerk's stool, and the housemaid from true democratic equality with her mistress. That her brooms to a factory loom ?
this is the commonest state of things in America, For servants' own sake, we confess we see much that good servants are all but unattainable there more to lose than gain by the abolition (or what is, at any price, and that the result is the dilemma beof course, the practicable scheme), the extensive tween the wretched life of a boarding-house or diminution of household labor. Good food, healthy eternal domestic worries and convulsions, is the imabode, ample warmth, work rarely excessive or dis- pression conveyed by every account we receive gusting, and often extremely moderate and pleas- | An American home in New York is the “ still vexed ant, — these, with a certain fixed stipend, propor- Bermoothes" of family existence. tionately extremely high, are constituents of com- Is this, we ask, an advance in civilization and the fort and security which he who is prepared to de- general welfare of the community? Where, in such spise must be little acquainted with the wants and a state of things, can be the order, peace, and gencares of the humbler classes of the community. tleness, the cleanliness and delicacy of service, with
But if servants have little to gain by translation out which fine furniture, fine dinners, and fine into the (supposed) more honorable professions, clothes are an abomination and a vulgarity? To what would be the result of sudden change to the see some coarse, rude “ Judy” or “ Biddy," or some rest of the community ? Nay, we may rather ask, frowsy German “Gretchen," moving among the what is the result already in America, of the preju- rooms we inhabit, and serving our food, would make dice which renders native Americans unwilling to us long for a “ lodge in some vast wilderness," and engage in service? Is the whole community ele- cresses and water. The sooner all our vaunted vated ? Are manners more suave and refined ? civilization be done away with, all our artistic furniAre houses more orderly, settled, and happy, and ture, rich stuffs, delicate dishes, and elegance of the domestic virtues more cultivated ?
glass and silver abolished, under such circumstances, In an amusing French story, Paris en Amérique, the better. Better a wooden platter and potatoes, an elaborate, but, as we understand, somewhat ex- where Biddy serves it, than a china plate and dindon aggerated description is given of the perfection to aux truffes, with her thumb in the margin. which, in default of servants, Americans of the Of course, there is this resource open to most wealthy classes have carried inventions for the families: the lady of the house and her daughters economy of household work. Fires are lighted by may perform the household work for themselves and the application of a match to a gas stove; bath-their male relations; and truly, under the régime of rooms, with due apparatus of pipes, supply all Irish emigrants, such a course would seem greatly needs of cleanliness; and dinners are served, not to be preferred, wherever health and strength might precisely as in the delightful fairy tale of the White permit. But report does not say that American Cat, by hands without bodies attached to them, but | ladies are showing any disposition to assume the at least with the smallest trouble, out of a pastry mop and dustpan, but rather to abandon in despair -cook's cart. It is quite imaginable that these inven- even their natural task of directing a household, and tions may be carried still further by and by. We to seek shelter in the harbor of a boarding-house may have patent self-making beds"; shutters that from the storms of private life. Are they to be open and close of their own accord at morning and | | blamed ? Ought women whose fortunes would nightfall; fountains which run hot tea and coffee ; easily permit of the maintenance of servants, and and in general, Charles Lamb's paradise : —
whose education has prepared them for a wholly
different part in the play of life, to drop their own " A land of pure delight,
refined pursuits, and spend their mornings cleaning Where omelettes grow on trees."
grates, and their afternoons in cooking dinners? It The processes of sweeping and scrubbing must, would be, to say the least, very bad economy of we fear, at least be reserved for the lady of the power, very much like employing Achievement to house, for self-cleaning doorsteps, self-dusting tables, drag a cart. Perhaps such of them as are tolerably and self-washing plates, are beyond our imagination strong might do the work well, and some sad, idle, But when this immense display of inventive genius and discontented ones might even be the better in is perfected, what may be the result, beyond those health and character for such discipline. When atrocious dipners out of tins, which he who has forced into it, in the colonies, or by change of cirdwelt in Rome and Florence has learned duly to cumstances at home, many a woman grows happier appreciate ? In soben earnest, every conceivable by becoming cook for her husband and nurse for her reduction of household work leaves a certain resi- children. But, where no such necessity exists, the due which must be done by human hands. The notion of making it a virtue for a lady to do servants' question is, whose hands are to do it? In America, work is absurd. It is to undo the civilization of so far as we can learn, it is performed chiefly by ages, which has gone to form, in body, mind, and Irish and German emigrants, who have not yet per- habits, that very beautiful thing, a highbred lady, fectly imbibed the native American prejudice, but We think a gentleman who adopts the profession of
driving a coach, or an Oxford scholar who herds | ture of the Mores, a natural feature of the household sheep in Australia, each of them somewhat thrown scene? away. The lady who takes to cooking and sweep-! But Shakespeare's Adam, and Scott's Caleb, and ing is surely not much less displaced. It is not that that dear old lady — nurse, housekeeper, and friend her place is honorable and that of the servant dis - are all, in these days, and probably always were, honorable: both are to be respected when properly at the best of times, somewhat exceptional characfilled; both are ridiculous when occupied by those ters. Even the golden age of service, whether in who cannot fill them.
| the sixteenth or eighteenth century, probably countThe lady alone can fill the lady's place; and to ed only a few hundreds who fully realized the type. send her out of it to take that of the servant, who There is small use in persisting in lamenting that cannot fill hers, is mere waste of social material, we cannot apply at a registry office, or advertise in of the most rare and precious of all social materials, the Times and Telegraph, for priceless devotion at - refinement, grace, and culture. Barbarian con- £ 20 a year, and unwearied attachment to be taken querors have commonly misused the temples and on trial for a month. palaces of higher races, cut up pictures into floor. The true old servant must ever be a slow-growing cloths, and burnt marble statues for lime. Should ilex, not to be transplanted, at most, more than that modern Alaric, the Working Man, be destined once or twice. He that would possess one must be to rule England hereafter, we trust his triumph will prepared with sundry virtues on his side, not pernot be celebrated by the dismissal of all the ladies haps more commonly displayed by masters, in these to the kitchen fire and the washtub.
days, than their correlatives by servants. But, we We have now, as we hope, shown pretty clearly, repeat, the ideal good old servant must always have first, that the idea that household service is degrad- been rare, and in the general discussion of service it ing is a stupid and groundless prejudice; second, is idle to stop to lament his threatened disappearthat, both in the interests of servants themselves ance. Our business is with ordinary servants and and of the general community, the maintenance of everyday masters and mistresses, neither gifted with service as a respectable profession is in the highest extraordinary fidelity and confidence, nor yet degree desirable. If these positions be demon- specially untrustworthy or unjust. Taking English strated, it follows that, instead of depreciating men and women such as we commonly find them, domestic service and forestalling a millennium of what is the actual relation between them, and what Every Man his own Coachman and every Lady ought it to be ? her own Housemaid, the duty of all who care for Probably, since the days of Sarah and Hagar, a the public good is to do everything in their power moiety of female conversation has turned on the to render service respectable and happy, and to respective demerits of mistresses and maids. Sarah make a determined stand against the prejudices has inveighed against the idleness and insolence of which are tending to lower it in the eyes of those Hagar, her vanities of attire, and her culpable enby whom it ought to be undertaken.
couragement of “ followers.” Hagar, in still plainer In the hope of offering some suggestions which terms, has harangued on the evil temper and stinmay tend towards such rehabilitation of this most giness of Sarah, her unreasonable decrees and exoruseful profession, we shall endeavor briefly to review bitant demands of work. Such wails are not of the present state in England of the relations of mas- yesterday, by any means. It does truly seem, bowter and servant, and then point out some ways in ever, that just now things are worse than usual. which they may be better established in accordance The argument so often brought forward against with the new framework of society. It will go hard facilitating divorce (namely, that, when people know if that mutual respect, which it is so greatly the they must live together, they put up with a great interest of both to maintain, cannot be preserved deal, and, at last, grow perfectly reconciled to each on the footing of free .contract as well as on that of other's defects) might be applied to the facilities now feudal dependence.
offered for changing domestic service. When it inShakespeare's Adam, in As You Like It, records volved a good deal of difficulty to travel about from both the ideal of the faithful old servant, and also place to place, or to hear of new servants or new the delusion of each successive generation, that such employments, both parties were more willing to ideal was real in the days of their fathers, and is bear with their respective grievances; and doubtonly vanishing in their time from the world. But less it often happened that the servant who would after three centuries, “ Adam” is not yet quite lost now be discharged in a month, or have thrown up to sight. Many of us have seen him pottering, on his service in disgust, lived on to become thoroughly sunny days, about the yards and gardens of some valuable and attached to his employer. Railways, old country place, beloved by master and mistress, registries, cheap newspaper advertisements, penny and " guide, philosopher, and friend” to the children posts, and county courts, have between them renwhose grandparents he served half a century ago. dered the change of service so perfectly easy, that Or, if we have not seen Adam, we have certainly the slightest cause of annoyance, or hope of imseen his female counterpart, that dear old Eve in proved position, is enough to provoke young and the black silk dress, the marvellous cap, and the naturally change-loving men and women to give up (alas! unauthentic) front of sandy curls, who show their places. A general game of puss-in-the-corner ered sweetmeats on our defenceless infancy, and is the result, — an amusement which, without any would freely have given us the little hoard of her other collateral mischief, is quite enough to render lifetime, had we needed it, in later years. How the house in which it is played unbearable. Of many things, I marvel, good friends in the great course, employers, though suffering most from such Republic over the water! - do you possess, more perpetual changes, come to expect their servants to lovable or respectable than one of these blessed old leave them continually, and exercise small forbearservants, whose lives are one long gentle tale of ance in dismissing them, on their side. Thus the Fidelity ? Surely something must be missing in the practice grows, till it is really hard to see where it great family group of human nature where no faith-will stop. We now find gervants proudly advertising ful old servant stands, as in Holbein's famous pic-six months' good character as a singular recom
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beginning to be matters of free contract, and the why the master should have the ordering of either laborer is understood to give as good as he gets; his purse or his soul. in other words, to be an independent contracting Contracts reduced to the minimum of interferparty. There is, according to the modern sense, no ence with the servant's liberty, accurately stated, obligation on the one side more than on the other; and strictly respected, would, we believe, in pronor does the contract, whatever it be, involve any cess of time, introduce a new spirit along with the
- the slightest - claims, beyond the specified work new relation between masters and servants, and on one side, and specified pay on the other. Ser- then might the second difficulty likewise be convice is precisely the form of labor most difficult to quered. Servants might learn to feel that honesty adjust under this new theory ; but adjusted it must and honor alike demand of them to perform, on be, if we are to establish it benceforth on any ground their sides, punctually the contract faithfully kept of justice and comfort.
by the master. To shirk work and do eyeservice, Two difficulties are in the way. Masters and to neglect a master's property committed to his (especially) mistresses, are slow to accept the theory charge, might be felt to be as base for the well-paid of contract, and are forever falling back upon servant as it would be for the master to give him claims to which it lends no sanction. Servants, on bad money for good service. A religion of faithful the other hand, having thoroughly renounced be- contracts might arise, and the idea of dishonesty in lief in the divine right of masters and mistresses, defrauding the other contracting party in labor forget that a freely made contract bears with it also might be esteemed as disgraceful as it is now felt to a stringent and sacred moral obligation. To bring be to defraud the servant in wages. The equality
things to a better issue than the present, both of our friends preach should surely exist here if any. [ these difficulties must be surmounted.
where. Masters ought not to have the monopoly of In the first place, employers must strive to eradi- | fidelity to engagements. cate from their minds the whole patriarchal idea of It was Sanchez, the Jesuit casuist, we believe, who
service. It may have been beautiful, it may have taught that a servant was justified in secretly rob| been happier than any other; but it is past and bing his master of money or goods to the amount of
gone, and the sooner we bury it the better. A ser- the wages which, in his (the servant's) estimation, vant is not now or henceforth a retainer, a depend his services were worth. English Protestants hold ant, a menial who, in receiving from his master food up hands of horror at such a doctrine; but to rob and wages, becomes his temporary property, - a master of the labor he has paid for, does not seem somewhere between a child and a siave, — to be much better. Bourdaloue solemnly exhorts masters ordered in all things concerning, or not concerning, not to retain their poor servants' wages on false the master's service. He is simply a man who, in- pretences, or disiniss them without payment. The stead of contracting to build a wall or make a pair county courts soon settle such affairs in these of shoes, contracts to do certain indoor work, for days, and all the world cries shame on the diswhose performances it is generally desirable that he honest master. But the servant who, receiving his should eat and sleep under the employer's roof. No wages, does not give his work, escapes wellnigh obedience beyond the contract can be required of scot-free. him ; nor, on the other hand (and this is very need. In conclusion, we would offer one or two practical ful to mark), has the servant any claims against the suggestions as to the means by which the profession master beyond his stipulated contract of food and of domestic service might be improved. wages. The old idea of a claim to care in sickness, Of course we shall be expected, as the foremost of pension in old age, and general interest in the ser- such counsels, to recommend Education, the panacea vant's welfare, must be relinquished, along with the of all evil. The subject is far too large to be treated idea that the contract is anything besides a contract. here, and perhaps is not quite such plain sailing as Kindness and mutual good feeling may create anoth- we have been of late years accustomed to think. er and even more tender claim hereafter; but the Servants are ten times more educated now (in the mere fact of long service on the contract principle vulgar sense) than they were in tbe days to which involves no claim whatever. The way by which the very persons who advocate such education refer both parties should bring this modern system into as a sort of golden age of domestic virtue and felicfull action, is obviously this. Each contract of ser- ity. That all real cultivation of the human mind vice should be made, with elaborate rehearsal of all aids the recipient in every task thereafter undertathe work expected and payment and allowances to ken is not to be questioned. That a true moral edbe given. The practice of referring to "the usual ucation would be the highest possible preparative work," and the “ usual allowances” of each, service, for every course of life is still more certain. But to is precisely what perpetuates the grievance of con- how much of the schooling accessible to persons of founding old traditions and new contracts.
the class of servants are either of these propositions Every rule the master or mistress makes beyond applicable at present ? the work to be done should, above all, be distinctly "An unmistakable desideratum is, that a method laid down and made a part of the contract; and should be discovered by which the good characters common sense shows that such rules should be re- of servants may be made of greater value than at duced to the very lowest point compatible with the present. In a degree, the end might be gained by moral and sanitary interests of the family. It is the adoption of a practice long prevalent in Ireland, almost always these arbitrary rules, and not their whereby the higher class of Irish servants is kept up proper work, against which servants recalcitrate, at a very fair moral status. The employer, on disand have a right to do so, since, unless they contract charging a servant, is bound to give him a written to keep them, the master has no claim to exact obe-paper, with dates of admission and departure from dience to them. He may think them very desirable service, and such testimonial of character as he may for the seryant's own benefit; e.g. that he should see fit. The series of these papers, running through invest his wages in the savings' bank, or that he the years of service, or the significant absence of any should attend church. But the fact that the ser- of them which should account for the time, affords vant has contracted to clean his boots is no reason I a very valuable index of character. It is but just
that a man who can prove long years of good con- | upon the penitential stool, and the betraying roof duct should be able to contract for better place and made him acquainted with secrets anything but higher wage than another; and that a master should amusing: the scandal that ensued brought about the not be cheated into paying a worthless sot the price removal of the confessional to a more secret spot. of reliable good service. By such a system, also, This was not a case of mere echo; the sound was the great evil of constant migration of servants is actually brought to a focus at one particular spot, checked, since nobody would engage a servant who just as the image of a candle is projected upon a for five years of service produced twenty dischar-wall by a concave reflector or by a lens.
Echoes are reflections of sounds; a flat surface Again, an important object would be gained if like a blank wall is to sound what a looking-glas is servants could be made to view their profession, not to light. A sounding-board placed over a speaker's as a temporary one, but as a permanent employ- | head catches the sounds that would otherwise be ment, with proper prizes in view at fair intervals. dispersed in the space above him, and reflects them For this end we should urge the promise of a scale down upon the audience beneath. The voice is of wages rising through each of the earlier years of echoed, but we do not hear both the direct and reservice; then promotion to what may be termed flected sound because the interval between them is the position of a non-commissioned officer in the too short. The reflecting surface must be at some little domestic regiment ; finally, a treatment, in distance to allow an appreciable time to elapse for later life, of utmost consideration and friendship. the sound to travel to it and come back again to the No profession can flourish where there is nothing to ear. The travelling rate of sound in air is about look to of reward; and there are steps which (as 1,100 feet a second, and reflected sound travels at regards wages and promotion) might justly form a the same speed as direct; hence by noticing the time part of the original contract in every case.
| which elapses between a sound and its echo we Again, the training of young servants is a task may estimate how far off the echoing surface is sitwhich every lady who can afford it would do well uated. to undertake. The hope of future comfort lies in a Of remarkable echoes many are known. There supply of better taught and better feeling servants is the celebrated one in the Gap of Dunloe, where than now throng the bazaars and registry offices. the sounds are reflected again and again, so that
Youth is of itself a great advantage for a servant, when a trumpet is blown at the proper place the rebecause it makes the relation to the mistress, and turn notes reach the ear in succession after one, acceptance of directions from her, natural and easy. two, three, or more reflections from the adjacent To expect women older than ourselves to yield cliffs, and thus die away in the sweetest cadences. readily to our instructions is vain. No covenant Alpine travellers, too, tell of wonderful warblings can make it otherwise than irksome. Thus, an of echoes in the Swiss mountains. The rolling and older servant ought always to have advanced to the pealing of thunder is due to echoes of the primary position where interference is almost superfluous, clap, which are generated in the clouds. A curios and each lady's ambition should be to train one or echo occurs at the London Colosseum. Mr. Wheatmore girls in her house who may come in time to be stone found that a syllable pronounced close to the her confidential ministers.
upper part of the wall of this structure was repeatWere this done, were characters more regarded, ed a great many times. A single exclamation and appearance and cleverness less valued, were sounded like a peal of laughter, and the tearing of contracts closely made and strictly adhered to (es- a sheet of paper like the patter of hail. chewing all intrusion on the servant's proper lib-! We have said that sound travels through the air erty), we cannot but believe that the groanings at the rate of about 1,100 feet a second; but this audible at present in half the houses in England speed depends upon the elasticity and density of the might subside at last, and end in the pleasant purr air; and as the elasticity depends upon temperaof peace and satisfaction appropriate to the domes ture, it follows that sound travels differently, accordtic hearth.
ing as the weather is warm or cold. At freezing temperature its rate is 1,090 feet a second; at !"
Fahrenheit, it is 1,140 feet. So that sound travels CURIOSITIES OF SOUND.
slower in winter than in summer. Its velor To our limited understandings it sometimes seems through other substances than air is also very dir that Nature delights in curious freaks; but when ferent. Through hydrogen gas it is 4,160 feet we come to analyze her apparent vagaries they re- second, and through water a little greater than solve themselves into mere instances of the working this. Iron conveys it at nearly four times of simple laws. Imagine the whispered secrets of a speed. confessional being proclaimed to an unwilling hear In travelling through space, sound diminishes in er in a distant part of a cathedral. Such a thing intensity, and, like light and other actions, it once occurred in the cathedral of Girgenti, in Sicily. this in proportion to the square of the dist A visitor to the edifice accidentally came upon a spot traversed. A man two yards from a bell only be where he heard every word that a fair penitent was one fourth of the sound that reaches an ear dist uttering to a closeted priest, in a remote quarter of one yard. A man three yards off only catches on the building. Here was a seeming freak; but when ninth of it; another four yards distant a sixtee the case came to be examined, it was clear that the and so on. The reason of this rapid rate of din whispers were scattered over the curved roof, which, tion, and of this invariable proportion is oby acting like a concave reflector in the case of light, If a certain sound will fill a sphere one yard converged the sounds to a focus ; and so the mystery ameter with a certain intensity, that same sou revealed itself as an instance of the convergence of dispersed through a sphere six yards in dia sound. The eavesdropper used to delight in tak- and therefore spreading over thirty-six tin ing his friends to hear the revelations of the peni-much space, will be, as it were, diluted to stay tents; but one day he and they heard too much, for sixth of its strength. - unfortunate coincidence !- his own wife knelt. But this decrease only takes place in free alt.