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RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN AUSTRIA.I

SERVANTS AND THEIR CHARACTERS.

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SERVANTS AND THEIR CHARACTERS. Under the signature of "Truth" a lady writes the fol- lowing sensible letter to the London Times, on the greatest plagues in life "-servants:- The admirable leading article which appeared in the Times of yesterday on the subject of the too common practice of giving false characters to servants induces me to send to you for insertion in your columns a letter which I wrote a month ago, and the remarks in which suggested themselves to me in consequence of a letter published by you and signed "A Mistress of a Household." I shall therefore be glad if you will allow me the space, in the interests of society at large, to call attention to a subject of deep interestto4 all classes. I quite a<ree with "A Mistress of I Household" that servants now-a-days do not care either to obtain or to keep places where there are any restrictions as to dress, or as to hours for going out, or where regular attendance at church is required. TIISY MUST HAVE FINERY The love of dress and finery among servants is quite a mania. They will by preference go to places where the work is hard and the wages low, but where they are allowed to be out late and to dress in an unsuitable, and indeed, ridiculous manner. They care not how this mania is gratified. So long as the money can be had to be smart, it matters not how it is got. Often, of course, honesty sutlers, and when this happen, character is gone. When finery has been purchased, some opportunity for displaying it must be found, and I am quite sure of this, that many a poor girl who now receives shelter in one of the refuges Would never have had to seek such a home had it not been for love of dress and late hours. IS THIS TRUE? Another crying evil of the day with regard to servants is the system upon which the register-offices in general are conducted. Their ore object is to cause as many changes as possible in -very household. St-rv.mts who are comfortably s-ttled and quite satisfied with their places c nstantly receive letters from these office" to induce them to leave their present service. Tempting, offers of places with less work, higher wages, and more liberty are held out, the whole object; of these offices being to get the fee which servants as well a-* employers have to pay whenever a fresh engagement is made. There can be no doubt in the mind of any person of experience that servants are as a class sadly devoid of principle and religion, and there can be no reasonable hope of improvement so long as the present system of giving characters continues. From some cause or other, truth is in general the very last thing aimed at in these characters, so that ba.d servants have juBC as much encouragement as good ones. A SERVANTS' CLUB! And here I weuld point out oue most annoying con- sequence of this system which is, perhaps, not gene- rally known. There are established in London, I believe many servants' clubs, and these have arranged a system ot communication between servants which is perfectly marvellous. The name of any lady or gen- tleman who dares to speak the truth as to the faults of any servant is posted at these clubs, and to their houses no servant will on any account go. I have known two or three instances of persons who have acted with a determination to give in all enpfs truth- ful characters of their servants and who have had their names posted in this manner, and so great was the malice of servants with whom they had been obliged to part for misconduct which could not be con- cealed, that they were forced to live in hotels or to go abroad for a time until the subject had been for- gotten. A VERY SAD PICTURE I may also add that the ideas of servants with re- gard to honesty and truth are about as high as their standard of morality in other respects. How hard it is to make a servant see that it is just as dishonest to take 101b. of suet from the larder as to take 10s. from her master's purse.' How difficult to put an end to those habitual thefts which go on in all large esta- blishments under the name of perqui-ites." Such, sir, are some of the difficulties with which the heads of families are in the present day called upon to con. tend in the management of their servants. Surely, the wives aud mothers of England cannot be indif- ferent on such a sutject as this. Wherever distress or sorrow com. s, there they too are found, gent!e, sympathising, self-forgettin<. Surely, then, they cannot see unmoved this serious evil within their own doora. THE REMEDY PROPOSED. But I should not call attention to the faults of ser- vants and to the difficulty we all find in getting good ones if I had not some suggestions to make, founded on my own experience as mistress of a household, which would, I am convinced, if generally adopted, tend very much to the improvement of the existing state of things and to no class would the benefit be so great as to really respectable, upright servants. And firstly with regard to dress it is one of .the vices of the present day, and it is one of the favourite follies of women. Before any improvement can be expected in the dress of servants, mistresses must set them a better example than they now do. I am not one of those who think that a person with 50,0001. a year ought to dress in the same way as one with 5,0001. a year; still less do I think that any lady should dress as a housemaid ought to dress but what 1 do say is, that now-a-days the housemaid wants to dr-pss like her mistress, and the lady's-maid a great deal smarter than her mistress. I am sure that thousands who have fallen to the lowest depths of degradation (God help them) have made the first step on the road to ruin in order to obtain the means of gratifying this insane love of dress. Prevention is better than cure, and I am sure that there would be fewer refuges re- quired if ladies would dress less extravagantly them- selves, and at all events insist on plain, neat servant- like dress among their servants; but so long as ladies give up their whole time and t-nergries and health and money (talents for which we shall all have to render ac- count) to dress and parties of one kind or another, leaving their servants and children and houses to take care of themselves, so long there can be no improve- ment in those who ought to look up to us for an example. Combination makes strength, Servants know this. They will leave places to please each other. They will refuse places to please each other. They will see any wrong done to their employers sooner than tell of each other. At all events, however mistaken their views may be on other subjects, they are true to their Cla"8. Why cannot ladies be true to one another ? I fear the answer may be arrived at in a very few words-it would entail trouble. Under the existing state of things, none but those who have tried the plan of giving really true characters can be aware of the trouble and annoyance it entails, and nothing more clearly proves the fact of untrue characters being more usual than true ones than this-viz., that the giver of true nes becomes a marked person, just in the same way that the household where perquisites are not al- lowed, fine dress and late hours are forbidden, becomes among servants a place to be avoided, no matter how good the wages are, or how great the comforts of the place in other respects. Let these person and these houses no longer be the exception, but rather the rule, and let the ladies of England give up a little of the time h very little would uffice) now devoted to dress, and tne innumerable frivolous pursuits followed to fill up the hours which otherwise would be weary (but which nevertheless are hastening us all to eternity), and let them know a lIttle more of their own house- holds. Let them be true to each other. Let them, by setting an example of truth and honesty of purpose, encourage their servants in the paths of virtue. So will they best fulfil their mission upon earth so at the last may they hear their Lord and Master address to them those blessed words-" Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

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