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theatres, is convenient, but Kilburn is too far away. As for Hampstead, that relic of a more rustic past, neither town nor country, village nor suburb; with the town indeed tugging at its skirts, but the spirit of the country calm upon its brow, its feet shod in bricks and mortar, but its head bared yet to the sky-as for Hampstead, the rich who live there from choice may drive down in their carriages in half an hour to the north side of the park, in forty minutes to the south and rather enjoy the descent into the movement and traffic, and again the journey back from out the streets to the higher ground and the purer air. But those who for reasons of health or economy take up their abode there, I would advise to eat their dinner at home or with their next-door neighbours. Choose your house, therefore, with some regard to the street in which it stands, not on account of the social repute of that street, but of the practical advantages of its position. But position is not everything or nearly everything: the two things most important to health, and consequently to spirits, are light and air. So care should be taken to secure a house in not too narrow a street, and not too closely built up at the back, so that any sun that is going may have a chance of entering the rooms and cheering the inmates. To secure these advantages, it may be necessary to approach the outer edge of the radius, instead of keeping well within it, but they are so important as to make the increased distance from the centre well worth putting up with.
Having taken your house and put down 130l. out of your 8001. for rent, the next question is the question of servants. Two is the right number, a cook at 20l. a year, and a house-parlourmaid at 187. With two such servants, if they are well-meaning and fairly intelligent, a woman can have her house properly kept and her household conducted with order and daintiness, if she chooses, which means that she must be willing to supervise and interest herself in the details of the establishment. A cook at 201. is not a chef, but my experience is that you are pretty well as likely to get the makings of a cook for those wages as by giving more, unless you make a big jump up and arrive on another plane-the plane of the thirties. Besides, 201. is as much as our couple can afford, and a willing girl, if her mistress will look after her and train her, will be able to send up food wholesomely cooked, if not ingeniously varied or fancifully luxurious. And fancy cooking requires, moreover, besides experience and skill, a considerable consumption of eggs and butter, not to speak of less commonplace
ingredients, and, as we shall see presently, such consumption must be strictly limited. A house-parlourmaid, too, at 187. wages, will not be very experienced, and if she is left to do her work unaided and undirected, things will be apt to be what is best described as messy. But if a woman marries on 800l. a year, she ought not to be too proud or too indolent to lend a constant head and an occasional hand to the conduct of her house-nor her husband either for the matter of that. Thus he should be his own butler, and, besides taking charge of the cellar, should decant, if not the everyday claret or whisky, certainly any wine which he offers to his friends. The wife should dust the china and ornaments; it prevents breakages or if they occur, the breaker pays-and gives the servant more time to get through her morning's task of scrubbing, sweeping, silver cleaning, and the like. She will, of course, take the entire charge of her store and linen cupboards, will inspect every article when it comes back from the wash, and may well assist in the mending. By such co-operation, she not only encourages a servant to be interested in her work, but by giving her sufficient time to do it in the best way, can insist upon that best being done.
A word may not be amiss here as to the complaints one so often hears of the ingratitude displayed by servants for help given or consideration shown to them. It should be remembered in the first place that servants are not superior to the rest of humanity, and that gratitude is a rare virtue and generally short-lived. A servant-or anybody else-may feel grateful at the time of receiving a kindness, but you cannot expect him or her to go on feeling grateful for ever, which is, I gather, what people generally expect. Must we have full payment for every little kindness we do? For gratitude certainly is a payment, though the cheque by which it discharges its debt be crossed on the bank of our. vanity or self-complacency, instead of being paid direct to the account of our pocket or our personal trouble. Then consideration' means many things. It may mean a weak indulgence or a moral torpor, as well as a just regard for another's rights or difficulties, and a servant will never thank you for going without what you are too lazy or too cowardly to insist upon. I believe that what appeals to, what is most valued by, servants is justice, an attitude towards them and their failings, not determined by the caprice or mood of the moment, but by the merits of the case; a self-control on the part of
VOL. X.-NO. 60, N.S.
the mistress equal to that demanded from the maid. I have always thought it must be almost unbearably trying to stand still and be found fault with, without being allowed to answer back,' even if one were in the wrong; and if one were, perhaps, partially in the right, or had a fair excuse if not an adequate reason for one's shortcoming, how hard to be properly respectful! Justice is the crown of authority, and authority fitly exercised, that is to say firmly and with kindliness, will, in normal conditions, obtain from ordinary human nature a reasonably diligent and honest service. We will assume, then, that our couple have two respectable and well-meaning young women as servants, and that the wife has the will and capacity to aid and superintend their labours to the extent of giving them sufficient time to do their work well, and seeing that it is so done. We come now to the sum necessary for housekeeping expenses. In this I include food; household necessaries, such as lamp-oil, candles, soap, and the like; washing and window-cleaning. These expenses ought to be, and with careful management can be, covered by 4l. a week, and I would divide the items as follows:
Washing (including household linen and servants' washing)
0 3 0
3 18 4
Windows in London cannot be cleaned by the maids, except those in the basement, which ought to be kept clean by the cook. In the ordinary small London house of three stories there are fourteen windows (exclusive of the basement), three on each floor and two on the staircase; or fifteen, for on the top floor there is generally a room more than on the other floors, and the extra room means an extra window. Now dirty windows are an abomination of desolation, and the words are not used as a figure, but literally, for there is nothing gives a house a more desolate, uncared-for appearance than grimy or mud-flecked panes. Fourpence a window is the usual price for cleaning, and by having four windows cleaned each week, and the insides wiped over with
a duster when the rooms to which they severally belong are turned out, these eyes of the house can be kept decently clean and bright if not lustrously shining. The dining-room windows should be cleaned oftener than the others, as they are exposed to the mud-splashes from the street, and consequently get dirty sooner than those at the back or upper part of the house. The allowance for the tradesmen's books is not extravagant, especially the sum set down for groceries, as so much is included under this heading-matches, blacklead, polishing paste, firewood, and many other insignificant but money-costing articles, besides the items mentioned above in this connection, and the more prominent. necessaries of tea and coffee, sugar, jam, and cheese. Still, a household of four people, and more than four people, can be adequately provided for on 4/. a week, so I set down the housekeeping expenses at 2081. a year.
The rates and taxes, housekeeping, and servants being accounted for, we will pass on to the husband's side of the household, which means wine and tobacco. It is obvious that the less he drinks and the less he smokes, the better. I speak, of course, pecuniarily, the question of abstinence from any point of view other than that of the purse not being our concern. If he drinks claret, his wine bill cannot well come to less than 30l. in the year; but many of my men friends maintain that he ought to drink, not claret, but whisky, in the ordinary way, and one of them has furnished me with a list which I adopt and subjoin, and which reduces the sum by 101.
£ s. d.
As for smoking, a man who marries on 800l. a year must like a pipe or learn to like it. If he is but a moderate smoker, smokes tobacco at 6s. 6d. a pound, and allows himself 100 cigars and 200 or 300 cigarettes in the year, he will cover his expenses in this direction with 10l.
And now comes the question of clothes and pocket-money. The husband needs more pocket-money than the wife, and the wife needs more clothes than the husband. The latter, what with his omnibus or tube fare (for he probably will not have time,
let alone inclination, to walk both ways or all the way to and from his house to his office or chambers), his lunch, his cup of tea in the afternoon, and his Westminster' or Pall Mall,' will spend 28. or nearly 28. a day. The amount cannot be calculated at less, for even though he should save 2d. or 3d. a day, there is Sunday to be considered, and it will not be a blank day in expenditure if he goes to church and contributes to the collection or to his club and has tea or a brandy and soda. He must certainly have his 128. a week, and that means 30l. a year, or a little more--to be quite accurate, 31l. 48. Then he will spend 401. on clothes, so that his personal allowance cannot be less than 70%. The wife will require less pocket money; she must content herself with 201. a year, and out of that she must pay her club subscription, if she belongs to a club, her expenses of locomotion, and the cab fares to and from the dinner parties. Her dress, on the other hand, will cost more than her husband's, and we must allow her, I think, 50l., so that the sum employed by each in personal expenses is the same, that is to say, 70l. a year.
Then there is the doctor, and as under this heading we will include the dentist and the chemist's bill, we cannot set apart less than 301. Coal will come to 12l. in the year, and gas, or its equivalent, to 91.
Repairs are always a formidable item, and they are as persistent and as inevitable as fate. You always hope that there will not be much to do next year-a fond delusion, for next year invariably exacts as much as its predecessor, and occasionally more; for the kitchen boiler may burst, or snow comes through the roof, or the range goes wrong, and the recurring necessity of painting the house outside seems to arise so much oftener than it ought to. You must set aside, I think, taking one year with another, 50l. for repairs, and think yourself lucky if you are able to keep within that limit. In repairs I include cleaning, the cleaning of chintzes, curtains, and carpets; and the keeping up the supply of all that is needed for the house, such as linen, brooms and brushes, china, glass, &c. For once let the supply go down, and you will find it almost impossible to get it up again, unless somebody leaves you a legacy, and you will indeed be in the position of the cattle-farmer who, having gradually sold his stock and spent the proceeds on his pleasures instead of buying more beasts, found himself reduced to one cow (the which was barren), and remarked that farming did not pay. So it does not pay to