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September ^ERGAVENNY.









[No title]

------------CARDIFF WATCH…




MEN M I LL 1 I\ J^ £ S,


MEN M I LL 1 I\ J^ £ S, (From the Leader.) IHE old dispute has been revived on the question ir'i6« ther men should serve in drapers or haberdashers' shops. It is easy to suggest what might be s^id on the negll- tive. The employment is unmanly, keeps women ont of work, stints the army, and degrades a class of fine young fellows who ought to be better employed than in the smiling service of ladies, unrolling ribands, and discuss- ing tints and tissues. There is a good deal of reason in the complaint, the overpowering answer being, how- re:.< th,at 71'1 kave it so, and are not to be con- tradicted. If Eagle and Elgar dismiss their voung men, ladies will go to Hatton and Tatton. Why? Because it is said, they like the idea of being waited upon by smart well-dressed, well-spoken, |allant assistants. Something resembling, in a distant, shadowy, intangible, unacknowledged way, flirtation is at the bottom of it. We beg pardon. We believe it is no such thing. Ladies long experienced in « shopping" will tell you that the o young men in drapers and silkmercers' shops are, as a class, more patient, polite, and imperturbably goodnatured than the young ladies behind the plate glass of the milliners' palaces. The longer your pretty Laura will sit at the counter tossing over shawls, robes, and lace, the pleasauter for the gendeman who has to keep up an agreeable, though deferential colloquy j and it is say- ing nothing harsh of the young lady ass: stant to observe that she does not see the thing quite in the same light. If she be meek and lowly by nature, she may suffer in silence; but if she has spirit, and sees that her customer is not only trifling, but (if a beauty) a "natural enemy" into the bargain, she may make a hostile sign, and snap at the dilatory lady. Whether this or something else be the cause, we believe that ladies in general will not contradict us when we say th it they find themselves more patiently and courteously served by men than by women. Then it is forgotten that service at a fashionable silk- mercer's or draper's is a heavy work. Take up a roll of long-cloth, or a bale of silk, spread out the pattern, re- turn it to its place on the shelf again, and do that for ten hours, keeping on your feet all Lhe time (with a brief interlude for dinner), and every now and then running up a staircase or ladder, and pushing between counters- and if you are Lucy you will wish you were George' while if you are George bu thankful you are not Lucy weak of limb and untrained to the incessant exertion Sometimes, of course, your day's business may be a L18uhtlr?g0;, butwedo find that linendrapers and haberdashers assistants grow naturally hearty upon their labour. Ask any one of them who has had a regular day s work, and he will tell you that nothing is more exhausting. The number of young girls employed I*11? 1. 1jlcrea9ed if a staff of porters were employed to fetch and carry but such a machinery would be dif- ficult to manage, and would, moreover, absorb the lnbour of a class from which recruits for the army might be expected much more reasonably than from among the ordinary shopmen. We do not meet many men in shops where lace, caps, and embroidery form the princi- pal stock. Wherever there are men, rely upon it there is man's work to do. Not entirely muslins and silks have to be arranged so as to flow down the assistant's form and exhibit their coquetries, ribbons have to be unrolled, fleecy and flaky dainties of dress have to be handled by Great Britons fit to fix bayonets; but supposing you turn the young men out of Regent-street, whither will they go? Not to the Horse Guards. You have a military system which is the horror of every class except the lowest. That must be reformed before any one will think it a degradation to be a silk-mercer's assistant, or an honour to be a private soldier.