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dozen other silly shams, make, not a fine lady, but a May-day Queen; not an interesting heroine, but a flaunting columbine !
We can without impertinent interference—and there is such a thing as " impertinence" in mistresses.-encourage our maidens to dress at once prettily and neatly; to buy what is good and suit. able, rather than that which is gay and ilimsy; and we can give them some hints as to colours, and express our approbation of their appearance when it is really what it ought to be.
And that brings me to another point, which I hold to be of very great importance. Always praise your servants when you can. If there is ever so little improvement, either in themselves or in their work, let them know that you perceive and appreciate the effort. The principle of never overlooking a fault is a very common one; it would not be so hurtful-indeed, it would not be hurtful at all—if the same person were scrupulous never to overlook a merit. But those who are so prone to find fault, so keen-eyed to the defects of others, are generally very blind, and very loth to perceive that which deserves their commendation. A little genuine, hearty praise will sweeten a good deal of hard labour, and act as an impetus to further exertions. When a girl is told that she has done well, she will most likely wish to do better; and when better is attained, she will set herself to arrive at the very best. A persistent fault-finder will never have a really improving servant; and, probably, she will have great difficulty in keeping one who systematically speaks the truth ; for nothing is more detrimental to sincerity and candour than constant worry, incessant depreciation, and ceaseless chiding, with which is sure to be associated a good deal of injustice.
Never, if you can help it, appear to doubt a servant's word. If you treat girls as systematic liars, you will go far to make them such ; let them understand that you will rely upon their statements, unless they should unfortunately convince you of their own unworthiness. It is generally safer to treat people as better than they are. An imputed virtue may act as a stimulant ; a girl finding she has credit for such and such good qualities, may try to be really what she is only supposed to be. I do not think that good can ever result from making the worst of people, but I am quite sure that it may tend to moral apathy, and crush out aspirations after genuine excellence and actual worth. Remember if selfrespect is lost, all is lost ; no servant reduced to such an extremity can be otherwise than a failure, and that in the very worst sense of the word ; and a failure, too, for which you are chiefly responsible.
Let servants have their due share of recreation. All work and no play is as bad for Jenny as for Jack! The majority of female
domestics are girls from eighteen to twenty-five, and it is surely too much to require from them what you cannot expect from your own young daughters. After a day of hard work an evening of plain
. needlework is considered by some mistresses the only recreation in which it is expedient that a servant should indulge. In many families readings in the kitchen are frowned upon rather than encouraged, and with what result? Books—they are almost sure to be of no very good kind—are smuggled up into the bedrooms; 16v literature is secretly indulged in; sensational novels, in penny wimbers, are devoured, and they can be carried about in dresspockets, to the utter confusion of work upstairs or down. The housemaid sheds tears over the fate of Laurinda instead of making the beds, or sweeping under them; the cook spoils the roast while she loses herself in the catastrophe of some stilted tale of mystery and horror; and the parlourmaid smashes the china, intent on tracing the pedigree of John Thomas, footman and foundling, up to the ducal house of Grandtowers.
All this may be prevented by furnishing the kitchen with a proper library, and by allowing leisure time for honest and aboveboard reading. Now, a proper kitchen library will be very diffe. rently described by different people. Some mistresses would fill the shelves with tract magazines, pious memoirs, plain sermons, and "Bogatsky's Golden Treasury." Good reading enough in its way, no doubt, but not extremely interesting. Others, who go in
, for the education of the people, would recommend books “calculated to improve the mind”—travels, biographies, compendiums of bistory, and even a little schoolroom science. And this, too, is good, but almost too substantial for those who, having laid aside kard work, really require a little recreation. We must not forget that what is recreation to one person is actual toil and labour to another. The uninstructed mind, the untrained intellect, cannot possibly appreciate the beauties of a fine poem, the philosophy of an essay, or even the facts of history. There is no difficulty now in the matter of books themselves; there never was so much good cheap reading as at present; and for a very insignificant sum you may provide your servants with a suitable, cheerful, mixed literature, such as they can enjoy and appreciate, and such as will be really profitable. The "Cookery Book” and the “ Pilgrim's Progress” are very nice books, undoubtedly; but when the “glorious dreamer's" story has been read half-a-dozen times, and when the cookery book has received all due attention, they may surely have something fresh-something at once pleasant and useful, pure and piquante, not too heavy and not too light.
Said a lady to me, one day, “I like my girls to read aloud to each other in the evenings, when their work is done; one reads “Why,
and the other sews." “An excellent arrangement," I replied ;
I should like to say a few words on several other important sub-
“ Trouble is cansed by want of tbought
As well as want of beart."
To use song as an expression of prayer and praise is an universal
of rendering homage, as David expressed it,“ with the best member that he had.” The truth of the sentiment no one disputes, and so strongly are writers on the subject of Church music impressed with the value of it, that they regard it as a solemn duty in commencing a course of instruction of others in this branch of the Divine art to impress the same truth on them also. With this end in view, the student is required to begin at the very earliest period in which mention of music is made in the sacred writings. Lest he should be sceptical of Divine authority for using it in the service of God, he is taken to Genesis itself.
“Oh, had I Jubal's lyre,
And Miriam's tuneful voice!” wrote the poet, and the hymnist longed for “David's harp of solemn sound.” When the Psalms are reached, a great field is opened to the student. That the Hebrew psalms were sung we cannot doubt, and that there was instrumental music we are also assured. Twenty thousand musicians taking part in the dedication of the Temple, showing what attention was given to music in those days, calls for research of no ordinary character. In what the music of that pericd consisted we are almost entirely ignorant. Free scope, therefore, exists for boundless speculation. The student may not take a single step in advance until all the theories respecting Hebrew music have been gone into. What it might have been, and what it might not have been; what was “ Neginoth ;” and what were the other instruments for which David wrote the Psalmsall this involves a digression into Greek music; and as hitherto all exact knowledge concerning it has been wrapt in mystery, imagination is not limited in conceiving it. The ancient musical scales must be dragged in at this stage of the course of instruction. Lydian, Phrygian, Dorian, and other methods, which are in themselves almost enough for the study of half a lifetime. Egyptian music will probably be glanced at; indeed, it is inevitable; and the Arabic scales cannot be omitted. The student may congratulate himself if he is allowed to proceed without going into Chinese musical history, from which, during the whole term of his natural life, he would be unable to escape. He does, however, rejoice, when in due course of time he finds he has reached the New Testament, but prematurely,for he is metalmost on the very thresh hold with the "Hallel,” the Passover hymn. It consisted of six of the psalms of David; therefore retrospection is only to be expected. He finds himself back in that temple music from which he fondly hoped he had finally escaped; and the influence which it is possible that the Assyrian captivity may have exercised upon the Hebrew musicians dwelling “ by the waters of Babylon” calls for grave consideration. To reach the Apostolic age, and consider the hymn singing so frequently
alluded to in the Acts of the Apostles, seems to the student to be progress at last. His first impression, on finding himself at the Christian era, is that our own time must be almost arrived at, 80 recent, compared with the other periods through which the indefatigable instructor has dragged him, does the first century appear to be.
But how little reason has the student for this hasty conclusion be soon learns. Plunged into the Church history of the next seven or eight centuries, he finds himself literally in the dark ages. At this stage symptoms of exhaustion make themselves felt, and considerable doubts steal over the mind of the much-enduring disciple whether, when all this knowledge has been acquired, it will repay him for his mental sufferings.
There are some things which every one in society is expected to know, and certain books which everyone is supposed to have read. To confess to ignorance of Shakespeare, to admit that he or she has never read “Paradise Lost,” or Macaulay's “ History,” or the "Spectator," or Dante, is not to be expected of poor, weak human nature. The ignorant wisely take refuge in silence when such subjects are on the tapis, and so avoid detection. But of all the subjects in the world of which the knowledge current is the haziest, it is that of Church history. The word “primitive Christianity," or "the Fathers," has an unctuous sound, which is generally acceptable to orthodox ears. To be talked to about the works of St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, or Chrysostom, implies a belief in the Christian knowledge of the person addressed, which is highly gratifying-almost the same thing as accrediting him with the very virtues of these worthies. In such a case people think it is safe to give a general assent to whatever is advanced, and so imply that they have a thorough acquaintance with such unexceptionable literature. This being the normal state of many a young student of Church music, the more he studies the less he seems to be learning. By the time that he has got through the criticisms on the hymns of some eight or ten centuries, he has become hopelessly confused. Worse still, he has become utterly indifferent. Whether Ambrose wrote the Te Deum or not, or what the Church owes to St. Augustine or Athanasius, or when Chrysostom or Cyril lived, or which of the Popes Gregory was called the Great, he neither knows nor cares. So far as the wearied student knows to the contrary, they might all have lived at one and the same time, and left behind them an equal amount of Chur music and literary bewilderment to all succeeding generations.
Commencing with the Reformation period, when English hymnology was first introduced, all retrospection involving troubles of this description might be avoided; but there are so many old