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DOMESTIC TOPICS.

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MISTRESSES AND SERVANTS.
(Continued from Page 136.)

IT CANNOT BE A MATTER FOR SURPRISE that the remarks of our valued correspondent," FORESTIERA," in connection with our own on this subject, should have brought us an overwhelming number of communications. The evil we attempted to fathom, and for which we could propose no efficient remedy, is acknowledged from one end of the country to the other We live-not for ourselves, but for our servants. We are at least, to a fearful extent, in their

power.

We took so complete a review of the relative position existing between the mistress and her servants in a former number of OUR JOURNAL, that we need not go over that ground again. The justness and fairness of our observations has been universally admitted; so that, if we were to give publicity to a tenth part of the letters received, it would burden our columns, without adding one new fact. Yet have we a pleasing duty to perform, and one for which we were not altogether unprepared. Among the mass of letters which have come to hand, are some which speak loudly, eloquently, kindly-aye, and not a few affectionately, of the domestics living in the families whose mistresses have addressed us.* Residing, for the most part, far away from great cities, and buried in the bosom of the country, people cannot understand what is said about the wickedness of servants generally. It appears incredible. This is a happy ignorance which we admire. It is most terrible, to be compelled to believe what daily comes under our eye. Human nature shudders at but we record facts as we find them. It is well known that an infected sheep will spread contagion through a whole flock. Equally true is it that evil-disposed servants, by constant contact, make each other as bad as it is possible to be. With rare exceptions, good and virtuous servants are unknown in great cities and their vicinities. As we have before said, there is a menial chain that binds them together; by the aid of which, as by an electric wire, they hold uninterrupted communication, and share largely in "family secrets" which never could become publicly known excepting through such a channel. We all know this but too well; and yet are totally unable prevent it. But to return.

As we have carried out the wishes of the writers, in this article, they will not feel aggrieved by their favors not appearing in print. We have let one speak for the rest.-ED. K. J.

The letters we allude to speak of domestics, male and female, who have lived in one and the same family for a period of years, numbering from five to forty. Their long service has made them (very properly) part and parcel of the household. They are treated not only with respect, but with kindness and consideration. Their morals are cared for, their health and comfort are studied, and their happiness is secured. The natural (let us harp upon this) consequence, is-that duty becomes pleasure. The master, mistress, and family are loved, not feared. There is but one interest in common. If the house were left in charge of domestics so treated, it would be perfectly safe. No anxiety need be occasioned even by a prolonged absence. All this is the necessary consequence of kindness.

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Among our correspondents is a lady, residing some 200 miles from London, who signs herself "a Clergyman's Wife." Her observations quite charm us; she regards the world as we do, made for the enjoyment of all. She is no advocate for undue freedoms; believing, as we do, that servants properly treated would know well how to behave themselves without requiring to be constantly reminded of it. The heart is what we want to work upon. That gained, every thing else becomes secondary.

We find in this letter of "a Clergyman's Wife" some very sensible remarks. She quite agrees with us as to the danger of contact" where a servant is radically bad. She also fairly assumes that " contact," where a servant is good, possesses equal power. "To the influence of our old and faithful servants," she says, "I attribute the comfort we have had in the younger ones. If the example thus set by the heads of the lower house be so far beneficial in its result, how much greater must the effect produced on the younger servants be, by their observation of the manners and example of their master and mistress?' This is sound argument. Again, "Do we not daily see the habits, thoughts, and feelings of the parlor reflected in the kitchen; also the gait, bearing, dress, &c. of the different members of the family? A friend of mine observes, that she can generally tell the reception that awaits her in the drawing-room of any family, by the domestics at the door." manner in which she is received by the There is something about this that pleases us vastly. We know it to be true. We have remarked it often.

Our correspondent goes into some detail on these subjects; and the more we follow her in her remarks, the more we admire the moral feeling that actuates all she says. She does not, as is the all-but-universal practice, look down with supreme contempt upon all who are of a rank inferior to her own.

As

a responsible being, she evidently considers herself answerable for the well-being of her household. Hers is a labor of love as well as duty. She asks, very pertinently, "What qualities are most sought after, by mistresses wanting servants? Do they make any inquiry about their principles, or moral aptitude for the places they are required to fill? Do they not rather ask,-if they have been used to gentility (dreadful word!) nice appearance, and good manners? This generally, is all that is cared for." Our correspondent speaks the simple truth.

Our limited space forbids us to follow this amiable "Clergyman's Wife" through all her excellent reasonings. It is evident that her servants (seven in number), love and esteem her. She records many pleasing traits in their respective characters, that interest us greatly, and we are quite willing to believe that in this country there are, as she says, many families equally blessed with good servants. But, we ask, who and what made them good servants? Was it not all brought about by kindness and consideration on the part of the family? The letters now before us confirm the truth of our suspicion. If we would set a good example, most assuredly that example would be followed; and, as a necessary consequence, we should be beloved. "Beloved by a domestic! hear some say; "how truly horrible!" Is it indeed? We cannot see it.

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One thing our country friends must bear in mind-and that is, the immeasurable distance which is preserved in London between families and their domestics. With few exceptions, they are not considered as being worthy of notice. Beyond the prescribed duties they are called upon to perform, nothing more is expected from them. If they are ill, there is no sympathy; if they are in trouble, there is no aid. They are recognised as mere machines. They neither care for the family they live with, nor the family for them. Hence, the never-ceasing changes, which the frightfully long list of advertisements in the Times newspaper confirms daily. We frequently encounter some of these wandering adventurers, and wonder how and where they contrive to get places.

For ourself, we are quite one of the old school. We delight in being respected by all who are associated with us, either in high or low degree. We could not be happy, and see the latter unhappy. We could not abound, and let them want. We could not see them suffer from illness, and fail to inquire how they fared from day to day (high treason this!); neither could we

dare to spurn them as creatures beneath our notice. Oh, no! such disgusting, unjustifiable pride reigns not in our breast.

As regards our own observation, we know

and visit several families wherein servants have lived happily for nearly thirty years; and there is every prospect of their keeping their situations.* Their good-natured recognition of us is very gratifying. We read their thoughts in their happy, smiling countenances; and we take care to let them read ours. Much do we pity those, whose scorn and contempt trample under foot all these natural feelings. They are a numerous class truly; and no doubt they ridicule our vulgar notions. But the censure of such men is praise.

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We have now, with all consistent brevity, attempted to do honor to the exceptions that have been brought before us, with reference to domestic servants. We have received evidence that among the mass there are some excellent specimens of humanity. All honor be to them; and to the kind noble-hearted heads of families who have made them what they are, and who glory in setting their merits forth.

We may be severe, but let us ever be accounted just.

Li

*Our memory pleasingly supplies instances not a few, when, about twenty-five years since, things were much better ordered than they are now-ex. gr. Well do we remember walking over to breakfast (this we often did, for we were ever a very early riser) with a delightful family, at that time residing some ten miles from town. WHO was the first to anticipate our arrival? Polly." This kind-hearted domestic, when she opened the door to us, greeted us with a smile that we shall never forget. Had this been wanting, we positively should not have felt "happy." Polly had lived in this family many years; and she would most probably have died in their service, had not Cupid whispered in her ear (she was a pretty girl), nudged better than one." her elbow, and suggested that "two heads were which she would trip off to announce our arrival— The good-nature, too, with this was refreshing after a long walk. How dif ferent are modern observances! Matrimony, however, changed neither her affection for her dear mistress, sons, and daughters-nor did it abate, one jot, their kind concern for her welfare. On the contrary, she was allowed to visit the house as usual; and was always received with the frank welcome which true honesty and faithful zeal demand. This is one instance out of many which we feel pleased to record. It reflects honor on that "happy to follow "Polly's" example. family." It affords encouragement for others Kindness made

her a good servant; nor did she ever take advantage of the position she held in the household.

WHAT IS LOGIC?

instruments, and many more that are superfluous. LOGIC is a large drawer; containing some useful

But a wise man will look into it for two purposesto avail himself of those instruments that are really useful, and to admire the ingenuity with which those that are not so are assorted and arranged.

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THE DRESSMAKERS OF LONDON.

THERE ARE but few of us who are unversed in the nature and occupation of this large class of industrious bees, who toil so in their badly ventilated hives to minister to the caprices of women of fashion. Neither are we ignorant of the low rate of remuneration they receive,nor of the indirect means whereby they are compelled to obtain a livelihoodmany of them having sick parents to support, and brothers and sisters looking up to them for bread. Of late this subject has been debated; but we fear little good has resulted from it. People of fashion have no heart, and would consider it infra dig. to lend an ear to cries of distress proceeding from a dressmaker-the vulgar wretch!

In our FIRST VOLUME, we quoted some remarks of the Countess of Blessington on the subject, which did honor to her heart and to her pen. But alas! her words, like ours, may be read by the votaries of fashion, and

that is all. They can make no impression on iron and stone. Let us, however, again listen to what the Countess has further to say about our dressmakers. OUR readers have hearts-so we'll e'en draw our bow at a venture:

What shall I say about our dressmakers and plain work-women? Do they not require some little fresh air to recruit their exhausted frames? Yes, they do; but they are of course denied it! Oh! would the high and noble dames, for the adornment of whose these persons poor creatures toil through the weary day, and not unfrequently through the long night, but reflect at how dear a price the graceful robe that displays the elegance of their forms so well, is obtained! They would then, let us hope, combine together, and resolve to use their all-powerful influence to change a system intro luced through the desire of meeting the unreasonable demands for dresses to be made up at notices too short to admit of their being finished, except by the sacrifice of the sleep of those who work at them. Could they behold the heavy eyes, the pallid cheeks, the attenuated frames, and care-worn brows of the poor workers on the robes to be made in a few hours, their consciences surely would be lightened of the weight of their having, for the gratification of their vanity, exacted that which could only be accomplished at so heavy a penalty to the maker.

All Englishwomen are not unfeeling-they are only sometimes forgetful. The fair creature whose delicate throat is encircled by Oriental pearls, thinks not of the risk of those who dive beneath the wave to seize the costly gems. Could she but witness the operation, how would she tremble! nay, we are not sure that even the warmest admirer of pearls would not thenceforth abjure them. So, when ladies see themselves attired in becoming robes, they reflect not on the weary hours of toil the manufacture of them has occasioned. If they did, and we earnestly hope they will, they would soon do all in their power to lighten the labor, and to ameliorate the condition, of the dressmaker.

The heart that uttered these sentiments was an amiable one. But it was a heart that knew little of human nature. Not even an angel from Heaven-unless commissioned by the God of angels, could ever work upon the better feelings of a woman of fashion. Why? Simply because they have no heart. They consider the world, and all that is in it, to be theirs by right; and no argument could loosen that idea.

EARLY RISING.

If you would be" happy," quit the pillow at day-break. Then, if ever, are the thoughts pure and holy; and the mind is open to soft, amiable impressions. The country is so calmly beautiful in the morning, that it seems rather to belong to the world of dreams which we have just quittedto be some paradise which suffering care cannot enter-than to form a portion of a busy and anxious world, in which even the very flowers must share in decay and death.

BEAUTY.

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UNDER THIS EXPRESSIVE TITLE has th author of "Silent Love"-the best of all loves-produced a poem." Clad in a neat and modest garb, it sings eloquently and sweetly of the goddess in whose praises we would all gladly join; for " Beauty" is every

where.

We imagine the author to be young. We will therefore kindly give him a passing hint, to revise carefully everything he commits to paper before it sees the light of day. At page 40, he speaks of Adam's helpmate, Eve, being "sculptured" by his Lord. This implies effort, and is therefore as incorrect as unpoetical. A slight revision will set this and other little matters straight in a future edition. We subjoin one or two random extracts.

ALL THINGS ARE BEAUTIFUL! 'Tis bliss to see
A living landscape with a canvass free!
No stinted laws, no trite artistic rule,
No science learnt in wisdom's wisest school;
God is the painter, rainbow-tints the hues
That give the lights and spread the distant
blues;
While towers and trees their perfect shadows
give,
And thus the dioramic pictures live!

We wander 'mong the wild umbrageous woods,
Threading our path among their solitudes-
The grass beneath our feet is full of life;
Myriads of insects, in harmonious strife,
Fulfil their little errand on the earth
More punctually than man of lordly birth,
Rearing great cities with more care and skill
Than architect e'er did, or ever will!

We launch our yacht and sail the sparkling lake;
What varied feelings in our breasts awake!
The fluttering sails above, the waves below,
The heath-clad mountains moving as we go!
The fairy islands pebbled round and round,
Like little floating worlds of hallowed ground;
The sporting lambkins bleating on the hill,
And grandeur all around supinely still!

A ship, by gentle breezes onward led-
With all her snow-white canvass proudly
Gracefully bending on the swelling sea,
With pennon waving from her topmast free,
Is surely Beauty. As she glides along-
Perhaps we hear the stalwart sailor's song;
But while upon the beach we fondly stray,
Both song and vessel, dream-like, melt away!

What is more lovely than the babe at rest?
Lying in cherub-laughter, loosely dress'd,
Within its curtain'd cradle, fair and soft,
With little dimpled fingers spread aloft,
As if it stretched those rounded, dimpled arms,
Enraptured by some unseen angel's charms,
All yet unspotted by disease or care;-
Sweet Innocence! how beautiful and fair!

*

*

*

All things are beautiful! Children at play,
'Mid garden-grounds, where sparkling waters
stray;

Where bees and butterflies companions seem,
Sporting together in the summer beam ;
Laughing and leaping, under shady trees,
Or lying on the earth in full-length'd ease;
The stately bowers that decorate the ground!
Or chasing young companions round and round

Now turn we to the scenes in busy life-
Man elbowing man, amid the anxious strife;
The feverish eye, the half-exhausted frame,
In gathering gold, to earn a transient name;
This too, when age and riches bear them down;
O! why has man so avaricious grown?
E'en while they count their idol, beauteous gold!
Death calls and lays them senseless in the mould.

*

*

*

O, joyous childhood, unsuspicious, fair,
Stranger to ennui, heartlessness, and care:
What all the fears of life to such as thee?
The world is yet a marvellous mystery!
No vanish'd hopes, no wild, ambitious schemes;
No spectral horrors haunt thy midnight dreams;
No dread of waking, ere the dawn of day,
To grief, bereavements, troubles, or dismay !

A frequent question with us is, "How long is it ago? The reply should be, in many cases, "Oh, a long while; long enough for young men to grow old, and for old men to wither and rot. Some twenty years ago or more. Lack-a-day, how few twenties there are in life! Twenty and twenty are forty, and twenty are sixty; how few see the fourth twenty! Who sees the fifth?

The first begins in the infant, with a passion for milk-all mouth and no wit-and ends in the

spread-youth with a love for sweet ankles and for cherry lips; all hearts and no brains. The second starts on his course like a swallow catching insects, and ends like a slough-hound upon the track of a deer ambition flies before and distances him still, Then begins another twenty, with the hard brain, and the hard heart; your man of manifold experiences, who finds no pleasure in pippins, and is mailed against the dart of a dark eye. He must have solid goods, forsooth, and so chooses gold, which will not decay; but, good faith, it matters little whether it be the possession which decays, or the possessor,-whether the gilded coin rots, or the fingers that clutch it: the two part company all the same. Then comes the fourth twenty, often begun, and seldom ended; and we go creeping backward, as if we would fain run away

The moral of this book is excellent, and the author's aim deserves our warmest commendation. He would have all the world happy, and he has done his best to make them so.

"TIS TWENTY YEARS SINCE !

THERE ARE SOME quaint remarks in one of JAMES's novels, that please us vastly. There is so much truth in them!

Whilst speaking about dates and distances, he says:

from the other end of life; toys please us, straws offend us. we stumble at the same mole hills that tripped up our infancy.

Time rubs off from the score of memory what experience had written; and when the sorrowful soft gums have eaten their second pap, death takes us sleepy up, and puts us quietly to bed. It was twenty years ago, good youth, aye, that it was, and twenty years is one of those strange jumps that are more wisely taken backwards than forwards.

When we read the foregoing, and call to mind what we see passing around us day after day, we think gleefully of our early days, mournfully of our middle age, and thoughtfully of what lies before us. Life is a dream,-Death a reality.

THE PAINTER'S REVELATION.

the smile that bewilders you, and have power over the expression of a face, that, meet you where it will, laps you in Ely. sium!-Make me a painter, Pythagoras!

A lover's picture of his mistress, painted as she exists in his fancy, would never be recognised. He would make little of features and complexion. No, no-he has not been He has seen her as no an idolator for this. one else has seen her, with the illumination of love, which, once in her life, makes every woman under heaven an angel of light. He knows her heart, too-its gentleness, its fervor; and when she comes up in his imagination, it is not her visible form passing before his mind's eye, but the apparition of her invisible virtues, clothed in the tender recollections of their discovery and development. If he remembers her features at all, it is the changing color of her cheek, or the droop of her curved lashes, or the witchery of the smile that welcomed him. And even then he was intoxicated with her voice-always a sweet instrument when the heart plays upon it and his eyes were good for nothing. No -it is no matter what she may be to others fect being, and he would as soon paint St. -she appears to him to be a bright and per Cecilia with a wart, as his mistress with an

"I CANNOT

EXCLAIMED

PAINT IT!" DUNCAN WEIR, the artist, as he threw down his pencil in despair.

The portrait of a beautiful female rested on his easel. The head was turned as if to look into the painter's face, and an expres

sion of delicious confidence and love was
playing about the half-parted mouth. A
mass of luxuriant hair, stirred by the posi-imperfect feature.
tion, threw its shadow upon a shoulder that,
but for its transparency, you would have
given to Itys; and the light from which the
face turned away, fell on the polished throat
with the rich mellowness of a moon-beam.
She was a brunette-her hair of a glossy
black, and the blood melting through the
clear brown of her cheek, and sleeping in
her lip, like color in the edge of a rose.
The eye was unfinished. He could not paint
it. Her low, expressive forehead, and the
light pencil of her eyebrows, and the long,
melancholy lashes were all perfect; but he
had painted the eye a hundred times, and
a hundred times he had destroyed it, till at
the close of a long day, as his light failed
him, he threw down his pencil in despair,
and resting his head on his easel, gave
himself up to the contemplation of the
ideal picture of his fancy.

We wish all our readers had painted a portrait, the portrait of the face they best love to look on-it would be such a chance to thrill them with a description of the painter's feelings! There is nothing but the first timid kiss that has half its delirium. Why-think of it a moment! To sit for hours, gazing into the eyes you dream of! To be set to steal away the tint of the lip, and the glory of the brow you worship! To have beauty come and sit down before you, till its spirit is breathed into your fancy, and you can turn away and paint it! To call up, like a rash enchanter,

He

Duncan could not satisfy himself. painted with his heart on fire, and he threw by canvass after canvass till his room was like a gallery of angels. In perfect despair, at last, he sat down and made a deliberate copy of her features the exquisite picture of which we have spoken. Still the eye haunted him. He felt as if he would redeem all, if he could give it the expression with which it looked back some of his impassioned declarations. His skill however was, as yet, baffled; and it was at the close of the third day of unsuccesful effort, that he relinquished it in despair, and dropping his head upon his easel, abandoned himself to his imagination. . .

Duncan entered the gallery with Helen leaning on his arm. It was thronged with visitors. Groups were collected before the favored pictures, and the low hum of criticism rose confusedly, varied now and then by the exclamation of some enthusiastic spectator. In a conspicuous part of the room hung, "The Mute Reply, by Duncan Weir." A crowd had gathered before it, and were gazing on it with evident pleasure. Expres sions of surprise and admiration broke frequently from the group, and as they fell on the ear of Duncan, he felt an irresistible impulse to approach and look at his own picture. What is like the affection of a painter for the offspring of his genius! It seemed to him as if he had never before seen it. There it hung like a new picture, and

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