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dainty girl need wish for. Not but what they were only then worn by the geotry, there's many young persons now that but my good mother gave me, soon after I. enter • Master Harry's 'service so discon- went to the Hall, a pair of black mittens tented that they would look upon such she had knitted herself, so that I might money as poor pay and such food as poor look as nice as the rest on Sundays.". living; but tea was then 12s. per pound, “ Did you like your late mistress ?” I and seemed to me a delicacy only to be asked, taking up from the table a minia. drunk on great occasions or by great peo- ture of that lady done by Hargreaves some ple.”
sixty years ago. Although my cousin, Sir Henry Dalton, · Like?” was the answer. " A servant was considerably past fifty when this little didn't like her mistress in my time, but I conversation between Mrs. Whitaker and reverence her as the best lady I ever myself took place, he remained always in knew. Not but what she was a sweet, her eyes the boyish young squire of thirty pretty creature when I first saw her. She years ago; whilst his sisters, who had wore then her hair in lovely curls, had a grown-up daughters at their sides, never skin like alabaster and the most beautiful grew older in her thoughts, and were to soft gray eyes that I have ever seen. I her the “young ladies” of old days. Dur. can see her now as I saw her the first ing the many years of my acquaintance time she ever spoke to me, and it must with Mrs. Whitaker her toilets consisted have been about a fortnight after I came of but two in number - a little old-fash-to the Hall. She wore a dove-colored ed print gown, worn over balloon petti- grey gown and a large hat trimmed with coats of a past mode, for everyday or ostrich's feathers. So you are Mrs. common wear, and a stately black silk, the Wilmot's new little maid ?' she said ; to gift of my cousin's mother, in which she which I curtsied low, and replied that • I duly appeared on Sundays and on all fes- hoped I gave satisfaction. Whereupon tivities.
she said, “Be a good girl, my child, and I “What did you bring to the Hall by will be your friend.'” way of your trousseau ?" I once asked. Over seventy years must have elapsed
“ A small enough stock compared to since this little interview between Mrs. what there's many that bring here now,” Whitaker and her former mistress had was the reply. “But then," continued taken place, but my good old friend's eyes my old friend with bitterness, “there's no always filled with tears when she recalled distinguishing now between a serving this little incident of the past. wench and a lady of quality, excepting that The observation recorded of some one the real ladies nowadays dress in black who, whilst visiting Paris, was asked and suchlike dark color, whereas the idlewhat bad most struck her during her tour hussies put their wages on their backs in France, replied, "To hear little chil. and gallivant about in velvets and satins dren, not the height of my parasol, talk of red and blue. In my time it was a very French,” is not more naive than the ordidifferent thing. No under-servant ever nary incredulity entertained by the youth thought of wearing a plume in ber boonet of every generation as to the possibility of or a flower in her hat. The most that their grandfathers and grandmothers ever girls ever wore in our station was a knot having been young like themselves. In of ribbon; and as to jewellery, oh my!” the same way let it be said, to iny shame, and bere Mrs. Whitaker held up her I had always considered Mrs. Dalton as hands in pious horror, “why, such a thing an old lady entirely given up to the peras that would have been thought an insult formance of good works and acts of char. to their masters and mistresses. Now,"ity, but not as a blooming young creature she added sadly,"everything's sold in the in dove-colored silk with liquid gray eyes. shops cheap and bad," and it seemed to “ How did you busy yourself, Mrs. her as if the dignity and spleodor had Whitaker?" I asked. My inquiry elicited departed from velvet and satin. “When the following reply: I entered Master Harry's papa's service, “I got up at four o'clock and helped to I thought three print sprigged dresses light the fires in winter. People weren't enough for any decent.girl, and then I so lazy then as they are nowadays, and had four pair of good stockings; and I the finest lady would not then have thought know they were good, for I knitted them it a hardship to be up to her breakfast at myself," enunciated the old lady with eight o'clock. After I had seen to the pride; "and though my linen was only of fires I baked the rolls for the squire, as unbleached calico, still there was not a hole be always liked them crisp and hot. After in it anywhere to be found. As to gloves, I breakfast I peeled the potatoes, cleaned
the pans or the pewter with elder-leaves, unions' and 'strikes' and suchlike. Now and washed up the dishes. As Mrs. Wil. it's very different. The poor are educated mot was pleased to say, I 'was of good and are impudent to their betters, and understanding;' I soon learned from her disdain their fathers and mothers because how to bake the cakes for the parlor and they can't read the hard books that they bow to make the strange foreign dishes, can or write the fine letters that they can though for my part I always consider pen; whilst the rich complain of season. kickshaws and such like but poor, un. able weather, and go to foreign parts and wholesome food, and bad for remaining spend their good money away from home, long whiles on the stomach. In the after- and nobody takes a pride in England. noon I plied my needle, for Mistress Wil. The gentry buy everything now from mot gave to each of us a task to do, and France and America, to the ruin of the if I could get mine done in time I was farmers and to the abolition of the good allowed to help Molly, the dairymaid, to ale that stood once in silver tankards on drive in the cows and aid ber in milking every gentleman's table.” them."
Mrs. Whitaker still continued in my “ Did you never have any play?” I cousin's employment, in the confidential asked.
capacity of housekeeper, several years “If you mean gallivanting about, my after she was eighty. She never seemed dear young lady," was the reply, " we cer- to feel old and never would allow that she tainly had none of that. It was not then was so. “When I get old,” she would considered necessary, in order to be hap. say, as a contingency which was not to be py, to gad about here, there, and every contemplated. She retained all her habits where. The servants at the Priory always of activity until the week before her death. had their proper feasts and festivals, ac. She never could be persuaded to take a cording to the seasons of the year. They seat in Lady Dalton's presence, as she had a goose twice a year, at Michaelmas alleged that it was discordant from her and on New Year's Day, a turkey and notions of propriety and etiquette, and plum-pudding at Christmas, not to speak that she never had addressed the gentry of a large cake on Twelfth Night, pan. so and never would. cakes on Shrove Tuesday, hot cross buns
a complete mistress of all and salted fish on Good Friday, and Easter household arts. Her preserves were exeggs op Easter Sunday. Then as to cellent, and her hams and bacon had quite divertisements, they always played at a little local celebrity amongst my cousin's snapdragon and burnt the Yule log at acquaintance. Christmas, and duly danced out the old Every year she sent to a peer (an old year, whilst we all drank from one bowl friend of hers) a ham, two jars of pickles, some sermity as the stable clock struck and a cake, always made with her own twelve. Then there was the barvest home, hands and according to a special recipe. when the squire gave a dinner to all the Enclosed in the bamper containing the farm laborers and a tea to all their wives, provisions was a letter addressed to Lord and everything was of the best; after S., beginning thus: “ • My Lord, dear which we all danced on the green, whilst Friend."
cle, James Tedloft, played us To Lady Dalton she invariably wrote tudes, and we danced such merry dances" Madam, dear Friend." This has always as ‘Haste to the wedding,” “Four haods appeared to me the most beautiful comacross and down the middle,' and we inencement of a letter from an old and always wound up with 'Sir Roger de attached servant, combining respect with Coverley' and three cheers for the squire affection. She always concluded her letand his good lady. And, my word, they ter by sending “her duty” and piously did dance then,” continued the old lady hoping that the blessing of God would with animation. “In those days every rest upon her master's family. lad and lass minded their steps, pointed Mrs. Whitaker was very tenacious of their toes, and kept time to ibe music. her authority and would not be gainsaid Now dancing is nothing but twirling in any household matters. An officious round, and not decent either to my mind. but well-meaning and zealous young cuEverything is changed, and not for the rate, who was much impressed by the better, I can assure you,” Mrs. Whitaker wickedness of the inhabitants of his new said with a sigh. "It was a good time parish, begged leave from Mrs. Whitaker when I was young, when the rich gave to come up to the Hall once a week and freely and the poor were thankful. We admonish and rebuke the servants there dido't hear then so much of “trades for their various sins. This proposition
she utterly declined. “It's your place, ter imagined than described when, on sir, to tell us of our sins on Sundays in reaching Calais, an enormous packing. church, and it's my place here on week- case was discovered amongst her luggage days in my own household.”
containing towels and soap, her lady's She also resented keenly any interfer. maid having been led to believe by Mrs. ence on my cousin's part in matters that Whitaker that such articles were not to she deemed her own special department. be procured in France. If her master or mistress ventured to sug. Happily her last illness was not attended gest a change, however small, it never met with much suffering and was of short with her approval, and she would always duration. On a Monday she got up, but say, “I couldn't do with that. No, dear for the first time for over seventy years sir," or "madam,” as the case might be, did not make her own bed. She came “I think I know better what's befitting a down-stairs, but was soon afterwards gentleman's household.”
seized with a shivering fit, and had to be She seldom would summon a doctor if carried up to her own room again, where the servants were ill, and only if seriously the old family doctor, an old personal
Many were her preparations and de- friend of bers, 'attended her. She fretted coctions for internal and external use. much at first at her enforced idleness and Her care of the house was excessive, at the notion that her keys would be which, be it said, she regarded far more handled and used by others. After a few as her own than the property of her mas- days she steadily grew weaker, but hapter or mistress. During their absence pily at the same time became reconciled from Malden Priory all the furniture was to her condition. She talked much of carefully encased in brown holland wrap. former days, of her father and mother, pers, and the china ornaments were all and of that period which was specially wrapped in silver paper, to prevent them dear to her, the early days of her service suffering from the injurious effects of at Malden Priory. Towards the close of dust or dirt. On their return it was her the third day she seemed to suffer greatly, delight to fill my cousin's Lowestoft cups but her end was mercifully painless. At with the gay blossoms of the everlasting, last she slept away into the other life, the and to replenish her delft jars with the change between life and death being most fragrant pot pourri. Her literature almost imperceptible. consisted of but two classes of books, the Thus ended, after a long career of useperusal of the Bible on Sundays and the fulness, of great fidelity, of daily fortitude investigation of the tradesmen's weekly and goodness, my dear old friend, about bills on week days.
whom may be said, as of others in her Many were the times, when I have position : stayed on a visit with my cousins, that I have peeped in through Mrs. Whitaker's Let not ambition mock their useful toil, little sitting room window, overlooking the Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; old bowling-green in the Priory garden, The short and simple annals of the poor. and discovered my old friend immersed in the contemplation of the weekly bills. It may perhaps be said that old servants She conscientiously added up herself are difficult to deal with, over-sensitive, every one of their columns, and always and often obstinate in refusing to carry detected the slightest error, whilst her out any alteratinn or to allow any neces. method of bookkeeping and managing sary change; but the old saying must accounts was excellent. She disliked all be remenbered, “To no man a second foreigners, but her hatred of the French mother,” and so likewise none of us will bad all the intensity and freshness of find in the world the same devotion that 1815. Whenever my cousins returned is so often evinced by an old servant to from a tour on the Continent, she always bis master. Deep love and tender affecexpressed thankfulness for their preserva. tion, even if accompanied by what may tion, but hoped that, as they had been seem ridiculous and tiresome, form sweet spared this once, they would never tempt and lasting ties, and are debts that can Providence by going there again. The never be paid. old caricature in Punch of the two for. Even the delicate satire of Du Maurier, eigners looking at a wash handstand, and and the broader humor of Leech, have inquiring of each other “Vat is dat?” failed to exaggerate the follies of modern would have been in her eyes but sober servants and the foolish and fanciful reality. On Lady Dalton's first visit causes given by them for quitting the serabroad her husband's dismay may be bet. vice of their employers.
“To leave in order to get a change” is Surely the great Dutch painter dreamt become between masters and servants a of something pobler than scanty service regular, recognized reason.
or mere remuneration when he painted "I have no fault to find against you and his immortal canvases of Charles and his Lord G-,' a housemaid said to a friend old retainer or Strafford and his secretary. of mine a short time ago," but I want No true service can be performed without a change, and I don't like H-shire affection. What can be more pathetic or scenery or air."
beautiful than the story recorded of the Another friend of mine had a footman old Welsh woman who, after the fire at who left her " because," he said, "he Wynnstay in 1858, brought to Lady Wynn could no longer stay, as he regretted to her little board of savings, begging her find that his employer did not keep the to accept them towards the rebuilding of company that he had been accustomed the house?
Whilst modern servants are often much A scullery.maid that had been engaged to blame for giving but grudging service, for me begged to leave, as she declined and for taking but scanty care of the goods to take any orders from me, declaring that entrusted to their charge, it would not be she could only take orders from the per- fair to conclude without looking at the son who had engaged her.
other side of the medallion. A foreman in the employment of one of Masters no longer look upon their sermy friends allowed a great quantity of his vants as part of their family. Masters master's greenhouse glass to be broken and mistresses are often impatient and during a storm, “because,” he said, “it foolishly exacting, and expect impossibili. was not his place to close the windows, ties in the shape of “old heads on young and that he wasn't engaged to tell the shoulders.” They must not only be just, second man his business.'
but kind and indulgent, and not forget that A maid to whom I once offered a situ. youth is youth in every
class. ation declined it on the ground that she The severe old spinster who declares had once lived in a duke's family, and that she will allow no followers is unjust could not possibly sink lower than a vis. and unreasonable, for girls will be in love count's, or else, to use her own words, and have lovers all the world over. The "she would lose all self-respect," whilst a wise mistress of a household inquires into housemaid left me because she declared the character of the prétendant, and if that that she considered the menservants of is satisfactory allows the young people to the establishment too deficient in good meet each other. looks to keep company with. That the Ingratitude, it is to be feared, bas befeelings as regarded her bad been recipro- come much more common amongst mascal on the part of the male attendants Iters than it used to be. It was only the have always had my shrewd suspicions; other day that I heard a story of a country for nobody, save perhaps herself, would soi-disant gentleman who allowed bis old have described her as a beauty.
nurse, when she was crippled with rheu. It is easy to multiply such incidents, and matism, to spend her old age in the work. the above anecdotes will doubtless recall house; whilst a magnate who received a others of a similar character.
peerage from a grateful queen and coun. Of late there has been a strong attempt try for party services, on being told one on the part of the world to treat service day that he had shot one of the beaters, as a mere contract between employer and replied, “Oh, he must take all that in the employed. Certain things are to be done day's work,” and, although the man was for certain payments, as specified in an seriously injured, refused to make him any agreement, and beyond this no more is to monetary reparation., be expected on either side. But men and A woman well known in “society" once women are not machines, but breathe, and had in her service a kitchenmaid who love, and often act impetuously, and a was suffering from general debility of mere contract must always appear to any health. On a doctor seeing her he ordered man who has a spark of the divine fire in her a tumbler of new milk every morning. his nature as uochristian and immoral. To the surprise of the girl, who knew the There are more contingencies in life than stingy habits of her employer, his order can ever be foreseen. It is service with. was complied with ; but in a few months' out love or zeal that is really degrading time, when she was given notice to quit, and medial.
what was the poor girl's dismay to find Common as light is love,
that the cost of the milk had been de. And its familiar voice wearies not ever. ducted from her slender earnings !
Noblesse oblige used to be the old say. I eloquence, the power, or the necessary ing; Noblesse perinet is too often the modo talents that would enable them to add
their names to the list of fame; but to all Charities and acts of benevolence in it is possible, from the highest to the lowthese latter days of ours are done too est, to make their home circle bright or much by deputy, too little by personal dark, and to inspire those that immedisupervision. It is not enough for a rich ately surround them with respect and pan to open his pockets or draw a cheque. affection or contempt and dislike. The delicacy of personal care in cases of CATHERINE MILNES GASKELL. sickness and illness is what best knits class to class and draws best the sting from class distinctions.
In the Middle Ages there was a certain grandeur in the extreme humility which
From Merry England. induced ladies of the highest rank, in imi
NAPOLEON THE THIRD. tation of their Lord, to wash the feet of DOUBTFUL colonels of liberating Greek beggars. It would be folly so far now to armies and the men whose gold they get copy them in deed, but it is well to re. become rather significant as the earliest member that the great wave of Socialism, associates of a prince who had always a which bids fair to swamp society as now certain ignoble companionship at his side, constituted, can only be arrested by con- and under whose empire politics talked stant association of the upper and lower the cheaper kinds of rhetoric, and society classes and by acts of kindness and gener- the smarter kinds of slang. Louis was osity from those who possess the good just of age. “Nor would any one,” says things of this world.
Lord Malmesbury, “at that time have In illness or sickness, therefore, no care predicted his great and romantic career. is too great, or wasted if lavished upon He was a wild, harum-scarum youth, or any member of a household. No expense what the French call un crâne, riding at should be spared to show the servant that, full gallop down the streets to the peril while a master has the right to expect him of the public, fencing and pistol-shooting, to regard his interests in health, he feels and apparently without serious thoughts it his duty to take every opportunity of of any kind, although even then he was ministering to his servant's wants in sickpossessed with the conviction that he ness, old age, or trouble.
would some day rule France. We beEvery one must feel that were money is came friends, but at that time he evinced not sufficient payment for devoted atten. Do remarkable talent or any fixed idea tion and care in illness; for what can re- but the one I have mentioned. It grew munerate amply for long sleepless nights upon him with his growth, and increased or the wearisome irritability of a suffering daily until it ripened into a certainty. He patient? One of the weaknesses of the was a very good horseman, and proficient present day, to use a homely simile, is the at athletic games, being short but very desire of most people “to eat their cake active and muscular.
His face was grave and have it,” and servants are not excep- and dark, but redeemed by a singularly tions from this rule. Thus they aspire bright smile. Such was his personal apto all the laisser-aller of a democracy in pearance in 1829, at twenty.one years of good times and health, and to all the com- age. He used to have several old offi. forts and care of the feudal system in cers of his uncle, the emperor, about him, sickness or old age.
men who seemed to me to be ready for “No man is a hero to his valet" runs any adventure.” And when the future the bitter old proverb, but a nobler posi- emperor came to London it is at a doubt. tion than the reverse can hardly be iin- ful house like Lady Blessington's that agined.
we find him oftenest, and it was from A man who can remain unspoilt by the companions in exile discontents not applause of the world, by the enthusiasm bighly exalted above the politicians of and hero-worship of literary or political Leicester Square, that we had the most followers, who can still keep pure and abundant remembrances of this period in remain gentle and unselfish in the little his life. We find him indeed taking part things of daily life, who can pass through in the brilliant Eglinton Tournament, held the hard ordeal unscathed of worrying at the castle in Ayrshire in 1839, where, circumstances and petty annoyances, is, under the smiles of the lovely Lady Seya perhaps, the most beautiful character to mour, the young French prince with his be found on earth. To few are given the future minister, Persigny, rode at the side