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vapouring self-conceit, have given me serious pause, to get them to carry that truth out practically- to fell out thus oddly: it is not often that Fate knocks own that they and their servants are of like passions at one's door with so seemingly ludicrous a summons. and feelings, capable of equal elevation or deterior
ation of character, and amenable to the same moral
laws-in fact, all “sisters' together, accountable both A WOMAN'S THOUGHTS ABOUT WOMEN.
to themselves and to the opposite sex for the influence FEMALE
they mutually exercise over one another, would, I Though female servants come under the category of fear, be held simply ridiculous. Sisters' indeed! handicraftswomen, yet they form a distinct class, very Certainly not, under any circumstances-except when important in itself, and essential to the welfare of the Death, the great Leveller, having permanently intercommunity.
posed, we may safely, over a few spadefuls of earth, A faithful servant-next best blessing, and next venture to acknowledge 'our dear sister here departed.' rarest, after a faithful friend !-who among us has I have gone up and down the world a good deal, yet not had, or wanted, such a one? Some inestimable I have scarcely found one household, rich or poor, follower of the family, who has known all the family hard or benevolent, Christian or worldly, aristocratic changes, sorrows, and joys, is always at hand to look or democratic, which, however good in outward pracafter the petty necessities and indescribably small tice, could be brought to own as a guiding principle, nothings which, in the aggregate, make up the sum of this, which is apparently the New Testament principle one's daily comfort; whom one can trust in sight and with regard to service and servants. out of sight-call upon for help in season and out of I neither seek to preach nor act equality ; of all season; rely on in absence, or sickness, or trouble, to shams, there is none so vain as the assertion of that keep the house going,' safe and right; and at all which does not, and cannot exist in this world, and times, and under all circumstances, depend upon for which the highest religious and social legislation never that conscientious fidelity of service which money can supposes possible. never purchase, nor repay.
For instance, my cook prepares and sends up dinner. And this, what domestic servants ought to be, might From long practice, she does it a hundred times better be, they are-alas, how seldom !
than I could do; nay, even takes a pleasure and pride Looking round on the various households we know, in it, for which I am truly thankful, and sincerely I fear we shall find that this relation of master (or indebted to her too; for a good cook is a household mistress) and servant-a relation so necessary, as to blessing, and no small contributor to health, temper, have been instituted from the foundation of the world, and enjoyment. Accordingly, I treat her with conand since so hallowed by both biblical and secular sideration, and even enter her domains with a certain chronicles, as to be, next to ties of blood and friend respectful awe. But I do not invite her to eat her ship, the most sacred bond that can exist between own dinner, or mingle in the society which to me is man and man-is, on the whole, the worst fulfilled of its most piquant sauce. She was not born to it, nor any under the sun.
brought up for it. Good old soul! she would gape Whose fault is this ?—the superior's, who, in the at the finest bon-mot, and doze over the most intelmarch of intellect and education around him, losing lectual conversation. She is better left in peace by somewhat the distinction of mere rank, yet tries to her kitchen-fire. enforce it by instituting external distinctions impos Also, though it is a real pleasure to me to watch my sible to be maintained between himself and his depend- neat parlour-maid in and out of the drawing-room, to ents ?-or the inferior's, who, sufficiently advanced to see by her bright intelligent face that she understands detect the weaknesses of the class above him, though much of whatever talk is going on, and may learn not to cure his own, abjures the blind reverence something by it too sometimes; still, I should never and obedience of ancient times, without attaining to think of asking her to take a seat among the guests. the higher spirit of this our day-when the law of Poor little lass ! she would be as unhappy and out of servitude has been remodelled, elevated, and conse- place here, as I should be in the noisy Christmas party crated by Christianity itself, in the person of its Divine below stairs, of which she is the very centre of attracFounder. 'He that is greatest among you, let him be your tion, getting more compliments and misletoe-kisses servant.'
than I ever got, or wished for, in my whole lifetime. This recognition of the sanctity of service, through And, by the same rule, though I like to see her the total and sublime equality on which, in one sense, prettily dressed, and never scruple to tell her when she are thus placed the server and the served, seems the sets my teeth on edge by a blue bow on a green-cotton point whereon all minor points ought to turn, and gown, I do not liold it necessary, when she helps me which, in the awful responsibility it imposes on both on with my silk one, to condole with her over the said parties, ought never to be absent from the mind of cotton, or to offer her the use of my toilet and my either; yet it is usually one of the very last things chaperonage at the conversazione to which I am going, likely to enter there.
where, in the scores I meet, there may be scarcely any To tell Mrs Jones—who yesterday engaged her cook face more pleasant, more kindly, or more necessary Betty for fourteen pounds a year, having beaten her to me than her own. down from fourteen guineas by a compromise about Nevertheless, each is in her station. Providence the beer; and who, after various squabbles, finally fixed both where they are; and while they there turned out pretty Susan, the housemaid, into the remain, and, unless either individual is qualified to ghastly Vanity-fair of London, for gossiping on area change, neither has the smallest right to overstep steps with divers 'followers '-or the honourable Mrs the barrier between them-recognised, perhaps, better Browne Browne, who keeps Victorine sitting up till tacitly than openly by either— but never by any daylight just to undo her mistress's gown, and last ridiculous assumption of equality denied or set aside. week threatened, though she did not dare, to dismiss Yet one meeting-point there is-far below, or above, the fine upper-nurse, because, during the brief minute all external barriers — the common womanhood in or two after dessert, wlien Master Baby appeared, which all share. If anything were to happen to my mamma, who rarely sees him at any other time, and little maid--if I caught her crying over father's never meddles with his education, physical or moral, letter, or running in, laughing and rosy, after shutwas shocked to hear from his rosy lips a 'naughty ting the back gate on-somebody-I am afraid my word '--to say to these “ladies' that the women heart would warm to her just as much as, though I they employ are of the same feminine flesh and blood, never left my name at Buckingham Palace, it is prone would of course meet nominal assent. But to attempt to do to a certain Lady there, who takes early walks,
and goes rides with her little children-apparently a Remember, I am referring not to the lower degrees, better woman, wife, and mother than nine-tenths of but to the respectable among you—those wlio can her subjects. Yes; it is here, I think, the only true always command decent wages and good situations, equality lies—in this recognition of a common nature; so long as they are capable of taking them. Of the to the divinely appointed law of which all external meaner class, ignorant, stupid, drifted from household practice is to be referred. Would that both mistresses to household, from pure incapacity to do or to learn and servants could be brought to recognise this anything, or expelled disgracefully thence for want of equality-not as a mere sentimental theory, but as a (poor wretches, were they ever taught?) a sense of tangible fact, the foundation and starting-point of all the common moral necessities of society, which objects relations between them.
to the open breach of at least the sixth, seventh, It concerns maids just as much as mistresses; and to eighth, and ninth commandments—of these unhappy them I wish to speak, more especially as among them dregs of your sisterhood, I cannot now venture to this Journal circulates largely—at least, I have often speak. I speak of those, born of respectable parents, found it, hid in table-drawers, and streeling' about starting in service with good prospects, able, generally, dressers, or pored over of odd evenings when the kitchen to read and write, and gifted with sufficient education was tidy and work was done. All the better : no mental and intelligence to make them a blessing to themselves improvement that is compatible with the duties of his and all about them, if their intelligence were not so or her calling, ought to be forbidden any human being. often degraded into mere sharpness,' for want of that
I should like, first, to impress upon all women-quality-rare in all classes, but rarest in yoursservants how very much society depends upon them moral conscientiousness. for its wellbeing, physical and moral. I am not afraid Why is it that, especially in large towns, a 'clever' of thereby increasing their self-conceit: it is not servant is almost sure to turn out badly? Why do responsibility, but the want or loss of it, which mistresses complain that, while one can get a decent degrades character. To feel that you can be some- servant, a good-natured servant, a servant who does thing, or might be, is often the first step towards her work pretty well, with plenty of looking after,' a becoming it; and I hold it safest, on the whole, to conscientious servant is with difficulty, if at all, to be treat people as better than they are, if, perchance, found ? conscience may shame them into being what they By conscientious, I mean one who does her dutyare believed, than to check all hope, paralyse all that is, the general business of her calling-not merely aspiration, and irritate them, by the slow pressure for wages or a character, or even for the higher of contemptuous incredulity, into becoming actually motive of .pleasing missis,' but for the highest of all as bad as they are supposed to be. Thus, if the motives—because it is her duty. Because, to cook a young women to whom has fallen the lot of domestic dinner, with care and without waste; to keep a house service, of making homes comfortable, and especially clean and orderly in every corner, seen or not seen ; of taking care of children, could once be made to to be scrupulously honest and truthful, in the smallest feel their own importance as a class—their infinite as in the greatest things; to abstain from pert answers means of usefulness-I think it would stimulate in the parlour, .squabbles in the kitchen, and illthem into a far higher feeling of self-respect and natured tittle-tattle about her fellow-servants or the true respectability, and make them of double value family-concern not merely her position as a servant, to the community at large.
but her conduct and character as a human being, What do you go to service' for ?-wages of course: accountable to God as much as the greatest woman all you care for is how much money you can earn, and that ever was born. how easy a place you get for it. Character is likewise Oh, that's fine talking !' you may say; but what indispensable to you; so you seek out good families, can I do? what can be expected of me-only a poor and keep in them for a certain length of time. Mean servant ?' while, the most energetic and sensible among you try Only a poor servant! Only a person whom a whole to learn as much as lies in your way—but only as household is obliged to trust, more or less, with its a means of bettering yourselves. “To better yourself' comfort, order, property, respectability, peace, health is usually held a satisfactory reason for quitting the - I was going to add life; who, in times of sickness most satisfactory place and the kindest of mistresses. or trouble, knows more of its secrets than nearest
On the whole, the bond between you and 'missis’ is acquaintance; who is aware of all its domestic weaka mere bargain—a matter of pounds, shillings, and nesses, faults, and vexations ; to whom the skeleton' pence; you do just as much as she exacts, or as you said to be in every house must necessarily be a thing consider your wages justify her in expecting from you guessed at, if not only too familiar; on whom master, -not a particle more. As to rights, privileges, and mistress, children, and friend must be daily dependent perquisites, it is not unfrequently either a daily battle for numerous small comforts and attentions, scarcely or a sort of armed treaty between kitchen and parlour. known, perhaps, until they are missed. Only a poor The latter takes no interest in the former, except to servant! Why, no living creature has more opporsee that you do your work and keep your place; while | tunity of doing good or evil, and becoming to others you on your part, except for gossip or curiosity, are either a blessing or a curse, than a poor servant!' comfortably indifferent to the family. You leave or Not if she is a mere bird of passage, flitting from stay just as it suits them, or yourself, get through a roof to roof, indifferent to everything save what she prescribed round of work, are tolerably well-behaved, may pick up to feather her nest with by the way. civil, honest—at least in great matters—and tell no Not if she starts with the notion that missis' and lies, or only as many white ones as will answer your she are to be always at war, or on the alert against purposes. And so you go on, passing from 'place' mutual encroachments, anxious only which can get to 'place,' resting nowhere, responsible nowhere ; | the most out of the other. Not if she takes to fawning sometimes marrying, and dropping into a totally and flattering, humouring her mistress's weak points, different sphere, but oftener still continuing in the and laughing at her behind her back, betraying the
course from year to year, laying by little follies or misfortunes of one household into another; enough, either in wages or attachment; yet doing carrying on a regular system of double-faced hypocvery well, in your own sense, till sickness or old risy, and fancying she is getting her revenge, and age overtakes you, and then-where are you?
degrading her injurers, when, in fact, she more, much I have read somewhere that in our hospitals and more, degrades herself. lunatic asylums there is, next to governesses, no class These are the things which make servants despised; 80 numerous as that of female domestic servants. not because they are servants, but because the most
of them, if they assume any moral standard at all, the parlour, of many a cruel scene transacted there; hold one so far below that of the class above them, or of many an hour of mortal agony, bitter as death, that this class learns to regard and treat them as an yet sharpened by the full consciousness of youth and inferior order of beings.
life, spent in the pretty room, outside which she •What can you expect from a servant ?' said to me grumbles so, because miss will keep her door locked, a lady with whom I often used to argue the matter and it 'll be dinner-time afore ever a body can get a good and noble-minded woman, too, among whose the beds made!' few prejudices was this, fixed and immutable, against Servants should make allowance for these things, the whole race of domestics.
and many more which they neither know nor under. What do I expect from a servant? Why, precisely stand. They should respect, not out of blind subserviwhat I exact from myselfthe same honesty of word ence, but mere common sense, the great difference and act, the same chastity and decency of behaviour, which their narrower education and mode of thought self-government in temper and speech, and propriety often places between them and the family, in its of dress and manner according to our respective pleasures, tastes, and necessities, and, above all, in its stations.
sufferings. This difference must exist: in the happiest Therefore, in any disputed point, I, as being pro- homes, cares and anxieties must be for ever arising, bably the more educated, older, if not wiser of the like sea-waves, to be breasted or avoided, or dashed two, feel bound as much as possible to put myself against and broken, as may be; and against these the in her place, to try and understand her feelings and servant must bear her part as well as the mistress. character, before I judge her, or legislate for her. I But it is, and ought to be, something to know how try in all things to set her an example to follow, often a word or look of respectful sympathy, a quiet rather than abuse her for faults and failings, which little attention, an unofficious observance of one's she has sense enough to see I am just as liable comfort in trifles, will, in times of trouble, go direct to as she. I would rather help her in the right way, to the mistress's heart, with a soothing influence of than drive her into it, whip in hand, and take another which the servant has not the slightest idea, and road myself. Reprove, I ought, and will, as often as which is never afterwards forgotten. "Better is a she requires it; but reproof is one thing, scolding friend that is near than a brother afar off;' and better, another: she should never see that I find fault merely many a time, is the silent kindness of some domestic, from bad temper, or for the pleasure (?) of scolding. who, from long familiarity, understands one's peculiAuthority I must have: it is for her good as well as arities, than the sympathy of many an outside friend, mine that there should be only one mistress in the who only rubs against one's angles, sharpened by sickhouse, to whom obedience must be implicitly rendered, ness or pain, and often, unintentionally, hurts more and whose domestic regulations will admit of no idle- by futile comforting than by total neglect. ness, carelessness, or irregularity ; but I would scorn A word on one branch of female service, undeniably to use my authority unjustly, or wantonly, or unkindly, the most important of all—the care and management simply for the sake of asserting it. If it is worth of children. anything in itself, she will soon learn that it is not to I have always, from fond experience, held that child be disputed.
to be the happiest who never had a nursery-maidAnd generally, rule, order, and even fair reproof, only a mother. But this lot is too felicitous to fall to are among the last things that servants complain of many, and perhaps, after all, would not be in reality Selfishness, stinginess, want of consideration for others, so Utopian as in idea—particularly to the mothers, are much oftener the fruitful source of all kinds of So let us grant hired nurses to be a natural necessity domestic rebellion, or the distrust which is worse than of civilisation, any open fight—the sense of gnawing injustice which Poor things--they certainly need consideration, for destroys all respect and attachment between 'upstairs' they have much to bear. Children are charming-in and downstairs.'
the abstract; but one sometimes sees the petted And yet the servant is often very unjust too. Cook, cherubs of the drawing-room the little fiends of the who has only to dress the dinner, and neither to work nursery, exhibiting, almost before they can speak, for it nor pay for it, turns up her nose at missis's passions which would tempt one to believe in original
meanness' and displeasure at waste or extravagance sin, did not education commence with existence. And, -cook, who, if any crash came, has only to look out whatever the mysterious law of sin may be that Adam for another place; while missis has her five children, made us liable for, it is possible to bring even infants whose little mouths must be filled, and little bodies under the dominion of that law of love-given by the must be clothed, and master,' whom it breaks her Second Adam-to Whom little children came. And heart to see coming in from the City, haggard, tired, how? By practising it ourselves. and cross-a crossness he cannot help, poor man!-or Ay; making allowance for the necessary shortsitting down with a pitiful patience, sick and sad, comings of all young things, just entered on the almost wishing, save for her and the children, that he experience of life, from kittens to boys, the former could lay his head on her shoulder and die! What being much the least troublesome of the two, I does cook in the kitchen, fat and comfortable, know never once knew or heard of a case of irredeemably of all these things—of the agonised struggle for posi- 'naughty' children, in regard to whom parents or tion and character—nay, mere bread—which makes nurses, or both, were not originally and principally to the days and nights of thousands of the professional blame. I never saw a fretful, sullen girl, who had classes one long battle for life?
not been made so by selfishness and ill-humour on Also, the pretty housemaid, who has her regular the part of others, or by tantalising restrictions and work and periodical holiday, with her young man' compelled submission, hard enough at any age, but coming faithfully on Sundays, about whom, should he especially in childhood; or a passionate, revengeful turn out false, she rarely makes a fuss, but quickly boy, who ad not first ha the Cain-like spirit put takes up with another; she being essentially prac- into him by some taunting voice or uplifted hand tical, and mental suffering being happily out of her --not a baby-hand; teaching him that what others line. Little she guesses of all the conflicts, torments, did he might do, and that the blow he smarted from and endurances which fall to the lot of natures whom was exactly the same sort of pain, and dealt in the a different cultivation, if not a finer organisation, has same spirit, as that he delighted to inflict on nurse or rendered more alive to another sort of trouble-that brother, feeling out of his fierce little heart that this anguish of spirit which is worse than any bodily pain. was the sole consolation left him for his half-understood Little she knows, when she comes in singing to dust but intolerable wrongs.
Does ever any man or woman remember the feeling tomed to this law of love-love paramount and never of being whipped'-as a child-the fierce anger, the ceasing, clearly discernible in the midst of restraint, insupportable ignominy, the longing for revenge, which reproof, and even punishment-love that tries to be blotted out all thought of contrition for the fault in always as just as it is tender, and never exercises one rebellion against the punishment? With this recol- of its rights for its own pleasure and good, but for the lection on their own parts, I can hardly suppose any child's. To the nurse, unto whom it does not come by parents venturing to inflict it-certainly not allowing instinct, as it does to parents, the practice of it may its infliction by another under any circumstances be difficult-very difficult—but God forbid it should whatever. A nurse-maid or domestic of any sort, be impossible. once discovered to have lifted up her hand against a And what a reward there is in this, beyond any form child, ought to meet instant severe rebuke, and, on a of service-to a woman. Respect and gratitude of repetition of the offence, instant dismissal.
parents ; consideration from all in the house; affecA firm will the nurse must have—which the child tion, fresh, full, and free, and sweet as only a child's will obey, knowing it must be obeyed; but it should love can be. Trying as the nurse-maid's life is, countbe with her no less than with the parents, a loving less as are her vexations and pains, how many a will always. I will not suppose any young woman childless wife or solitary old-maid has envied her, so mean and cowardly as to wreak her whims and playing at romps for kisses, deafened with ever-soundtempers, or those of her mistress, on the helpless little ing rills of delicious laughter all day, and lying down sinner, who, however annoying, is after all such a very at night with a soft sleepy thing breathing at her small sinner. I cannot believe she will find it so very side, or wakened of a morning with two little arms hard to love the said sinner, who clings about her tight round her neck, smotheringly expressing a helplessly night and day, in the total dependence that wealth of love that kingdoms could not buy. of itself produces love. And surely, remembering her And when she grows an old woman, if, as often own childhood and its events—such nothings now, happens to domestic servants, she does not marry, but of such vast moment then, its unjust punislıments, remains in service all her life, it must be her own fault unremedied wrongs, and harshly exacted sacrifices if nurse's position is not an exceedingly happy and things which in their results may have affected her honoured one. Not perhaps, in our modern times, after temper for years, and even yet are unforgotten-she the fashion of her order in novels and plays—from will strive as much as possible to put herself in her Juliet's nurse downwards—but still abounding in comnursling's place, to look at the world from his point of fort and respect. Most likely, she still lives in the view, and never, as people often do, to expect from family-anyhow, it will be strange if her grown-up him a degree of perfection which one rarely finds even children'do not now and then come and see her, to in a grown person; above all, never to expect from gossip over those old times which, the further we leave him anything that she does not practise herself. them behind, grow the more precious. In time these
It will be seen that I hold this law of kindness as children's children—with their other parent, who knew the Alpha and Omega of education. I once asked not nurse, and whom nurse still views with rather one-in his own house a father in everything but the suspicious curiosity-come and chatter to her, eager name, his authority unquestioned, his least word held in to hear all about 'pa' or 'ma;' how 'ma' looked when reverence, his smallest wish obeyed—'How did you ever she was a little baby ; whether 'pa' was a good boy or manage to bring up these children?' He said: 'By love.' a naughty boy, some thirty odd years ago. And_a
That is the question. It is because people have so remarkable moral fact !-the chances are that 'pa' will little love in them, so little purity and truth, self- gravely confess to the latter; while old nurse, seeing control and self-denial, that they make such frightful all things through the softening glass of time, will errors in the bringing up of children. When I protest that neither he nor any of the children ever go from home to home of the middle classes, and gave her the least trouble since they were born! see the sort of rule or misrule there, the countless I have said a good deal, and yet it seems as if I had evil influences, physical and spiritual, against which almost left the subject where I found it, it is so wide. children have to struggle, I declare I often wonder Let me end it in words, which, coming into my mind that in the rising generation there are half-a-dozen now, transcend all mine, and yet, I trust, have been good men and women. And when I glance down the made the foundation of them, in which case I need Times column of Want Places,' and speculate how not fear. Words, open alike to master and servantfew of these nurses,' upper and under girls,' and studied by how few, yet in which lies the only law of
nursery-maids,' have the smallest knowledge of their life for all: responsibility, or care about fulfilling it, my wonder is Servants, obey in all things your masters according to that the new generation should grow up to manhood the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers ; but in and womanhood at all.
singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, This responsibility—if the nurse ever reflects on it do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing -how awful it is! To think that whatever the man that of the Lord ye shall receive the REWARD.' may become, learned and great, worldly or wicked, he is at present only the child, courting her smile and
BURLINGTON HOUSE_THE NEW HOME coming to her for kisses, or hiding from her frown and sobbing on her neck, 'I will be good, I will be good!'
OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY. That be she old or young, clever or ignorant, ugly or In 1780 the government allotted certain apartments in pretty, she has, next to the mother-sometimes before Somerset House for the use of the Royal Society. The the mother, though that is a sad thing to see—this architect, Sir William Chambers, had just completed all-powerful influence over him, stronger than any he his task; and the Society, entering into occupation of will afterwards allow or own. That it rests with her rooms with bare unplastered walls, fitted them up self how she uses it, whether wisely and tenderly, for with suitable book-cases for their valuable library, and the guidance and softening of his nature, or harshly arranged the largest as a meeting-room. It was their and capriciously, after a fashion which may harden sixth remove : twice the number which, according to and brutalise him, and make him virtually disbelieve the proverb, suffices for utter ruin. They, however, in love and goodness for the remainder of his existence. remained in occupation for seventy-six years, and
Truly, in this hard world, which they must only too flourished withal. Many a student, many a savant soon be thrust into, it is more essential even for boys and philosopher, remembers with something like affecthan girls that, in the dawn of life, while women solely tion, that third door on the left, under the gateway have the management of them, they should be accus- leading from the Strand. It has opened to admit men
whose names stand foremost in the scientific annals of On entering, you see a spacious court-yard, not very the present century. Heavy Sir Joseph Banks, carried well paved; at one end, a mansion built of stone, with in a chair by four strong men to preside at meetings of two wings; at the other, a crescent-formed colonnade, the Society; Davy, flushed with pride at having been cut in two by the main gateway. The principal front elected to succeed the heavy baronet as president; has a rustic basement, projecting ends, pilastered Wollaston, among distinguished men perhaps the columns in the centre, all finished above by an entabcleverest; and Herschel, Faraday, and many others lature and balustrade. As for the wings, they are living and dead. That memorable door no longer about as picturesque as bits of Gower Street would be opens to science; she has migrated with her votaries planted on the same spot; and if you are perfectly a mile further away from the city.
sane on matters of art, you will not find cause for any Some persons have thought that the Society was too very rapturous emotion, look to whatever side of the highly favoured by a grant of free quarters in the court-yard you may. palatial edifice. But though the rooms were free, The east wing is occupied by the London University; the windows were not, and window-tax was always the west wing—formerly the kitchen-has been conexacted and paid. Moreover, the Society have always verted into a hall of noble proportions, in which the been the scientific advisers of the government: when- Royal Society hold their evening meetings, and the ever an opinion has been asked, committees have been university their examinations and annual gatherings, appointed, who spared no pains to make their reply to confer degrees, and so forth. Government, too, worthy of the Society's reputation, and thereby of the have just had a fortnight's use of it, for examinations nation's—drawing up reports or giving the very best under the War Department. The main building is advice gratuitously. At present, besides giving gratui- the new home of three scientific societies: the Royal tous opinions, the Society undertake the administration and Linnæan on the first floor, which comprises the of L.1000 voted by parliament every year for the state apartments; the Chemical on the ground-floor. promotion of science.
The Linnæans have also a room--for their museum The impulse given of late towards improvements in -on the ground floor ; other parts of the building the civil service, and an outcry for more room from are tenanted by the assistant-secretaries. All the the registrar-general, the Inland Revenue, and some expense of removal, of furnishing and fitting up the other departments, set the authorities thinking that rooms, and laying on gas, has been borne by the it would be desirable to take possession of all the several societies; house-room and water only being rooms occupied by scientific societies in Somerset given by the government. House, and convert them into offices.
The Royal The library and collections of the Linnæan Society Society had long been straitened for room for their make a better show than in their late quarters, the increasing library; hence, when my lords of the gloomy old house in Soho Square. The shabby-looking Treasury offered more spacious quarters in Burling- books which belonged to Linnæus himself, and the ton House, the offer was, after due consideration, ungraceful cases in which he kept his herbarium, are accepted. Three other societies refused the offer, and now preserved in a handsome glass-case in the Society's
sorry for it. We have, however, heard a principal room-what was formerly the great ball-room rumour that the house will be wanted some day for —along with their library and some other collections. Prince Alfred: if it be true, the societies will have to To the Linnæans, the removal is a great benefit; for undergo another removal.
the heavy sum which they have hitherto had to pay as We may here take the opportunity of correcting a rent, will now become available for the printing of misapprehension that prevails in some quarters-even Transactions, and the promotion of their special science in the House of Commons—as to the case of the generally. scientific societies and the government. The Royal The same may be said of the Chemical Society; Society, from their origin in the reign of Charles II., instead of paying rent, as they had to do in Cavendish have always been self-supporting: government has Square, they will now have a fund to defray the cost of never done more for them than to find house-room, patient researches and astonishing experiments. They and that only since 1780. The Society have neither have fitted up their meeting-room with the seats from been fostered nor enfeebled by votes of money from the Royal Society's meeting-room at Somerset House ; the public purse for their own uses ; they have always and talking of these seats, we are reminded of a little paid their way like honest savans, which is one of the matter of testimony in their history. On removing reasons why the significant F.R.S. has become the first them from the place where they had been fixed for so scientific distinction in the world. Of the annual grant many years, there was seen chalked on the floor underof L.1000, which was first voted seven years ago, neath: Billy Wilson, Richd. Sides, Silly Thos. Teal, and when Lord John Russell was minister, not one penny Robt. Thompson laid these seats in the year of our Lord has been applied by the Society to their own purposes. 1780. Henceforth, the three societies will meet on the They act but as stewards of the sums, apportioning same evening, Thursday, so that when business is them in such ways as will best advance the ends concluded, they may all come together in the Royal of science-helping earnest inquirers whose circum- Society's Lower Library for their cup of tea and stances are inadequate to the cost of experiments; at friendly gossip, and so establish a series of convertimes, printing valuable observations, which, but for sazioni from November to June. this aid, would have remained unpublished.
Besides the Lower Library above mentioned, the Royal But to come to the subject expressed in the title of Society have rearranged the chief portion of their the present paper. If you have ever sauntered west- library in six rooms on the first floor. You approach ward along Piccadilly, you will not have failed to by a broad stair, in a well-lighted hall, of which the notice a high sollen wall abutting on that pretentious walls and ceiling are decorated by pictures from the lounge-Burlington Arcade. It is relieved by three pencil of Sebastian Ricci. In the paintings on the gateways-two for show, one for use—which, up to walls, the figures are life-size: a goddess, probably within the past three years, were opened as seldom as Venus, drawn in a car by wonderful swimming-horses, a miser's strong box. But times have changed; the attended by gleesome maidens and flying boys on one middle gate now stands open—that is, from ten to four side; on the other, Diana and her nymphs bathing. on six days of the week-the three acres behind the The latter, which is painted with considerable freedom, wall, and the buildings thereupon, have become public inspired a mot worthy of preservation. A visitor property, and the public, taking advantage of the open happening to remark that he thought the canvas was gate, step in from time to time to see what has been loose, a learned professor who stood by, esteemed alike bought with their money.
for his ready wit and mastery of science, replied: 'I