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her employer as in service; under no other circumstances is an employer bound to be so careful in investigating the character of the person employed. Our children, at the most tender and impres-sionable age, are left almost exclusively to the care of servants; our food, on which so much of the health and happiness of our lives depend, is entirely at their mercy. We entrust them with everything we value most, with no better guarantee of their efficiency than the word or the letter of a complete stranger. In short, we expect a great deal from our servants, and it is reasonable to ask, What do we give in return, what have we ever done for a class on whom we areso dependent, what effort has been made to raise the tone of service, what inducements are offered to respectable young women to enter the ranks? None, or comparatively none! High wages do not prove a sufficient attraction; in no case is the remuneration high enough to secure a competence for old age without many, many years of toil; there are no fortunes to be made, no special advantages even to be gained by special skill or integrity. An extravagant, inefficient cook gets as well paid as a capable, economical one, specially among the middle classes, who cannot afford to pay for the very best service.

Most people will admit that average servants of late years have deteriorated, partly owing to the fact that they are drawn from an inferior class, and partly because in the terrible march of mind of the last twenty years they have been left behind, their position as a class absolutely ignored; though their failings are ever before us, nothing has been done for their improvement. In one respect the middle classes are unfortunate, they have to suffer for the faults of the upper classes; the kitchen-maid of Belgrave Square becomes very often the cook of a less aristocratic neighbourhood, and the wasteand extravagance permitted in the kitchen of a rich man is ruinous in the professional man's semi-detached villa, and the cook gets blamed for what after all is only the result of improper training. In short, at the present time servants are either badly trained or not trained at all, and therefore we want a Kitchen College.

In other words, we want a thoroughly organised and recognised! centre, school, college-the name is immaterial—where servants can. study and pass such an examination and gain such a certificate as will be a proof of skill and competence not only in one special' department, but of general capacity and respectability; that qualifi-cations should be given according to merit; and that the institution should be so managed that a woman would feel as proud of a degree from the College for Domestic Servants' as from any other college open to women. Cooks, housemaids, parlour-maids, and nurses have all well-defined duties, and a competitive examination is the best method of testing their skill. A nurse frequently knows less about children than any other living creature; she has the haziest ideas


about draughts, the most supreme contempt for ventilation, and firmly believes a baby never cries unless it is hungry, and forthwith gives the inevitable bottle, frustrating nature's efforts to exercise and expand the lungs. A general servant who can cook tolerably and knows a little about housework is the exception; as a rule, she is deplorably ignorant of both. Up to the present a good character has been the only guarantee of efficiency, but it is clear that it is by no means an infallible test; a servant that one mistress may have thought satisfactory may prove quite the reverse to another. But a trained and certificated servant, who knows her work and does it, would be in a position to ignore fault-finding, or, still more satisfactory, not deserve it, she would be less liable to dismissal for imaginary faults, and she would be to a great extent independent of 'characters.' As it is, the domestic servant is a sort of shuttlecock tossed from one mistress to another, leaving a different impression on the mind of each. short, the servant has no standing, no ideal of excellence, no ambition; her life is monotonous and often sordid in its details, her mental and social condition are both uncared for. Surely this ought not to be, and the wives, mothers, and daughters of England should consider it. We live with our servants as if they were aliens, and then wonder they do not serve us with love and gratitude.

It may be objected that training, general education, and the granting of degrees, would make a class already difficult to deal with still more so, and that servants would consider themselves the equals of their employers. I think the effect would be just the reverse: a sensible and liberal education would teach women not only what is due to themselves, but what is due to others; and a feeling of independence that the thorough knowledge of his business gives to every worker in every craft would make servants much less suspicious and less resentful. Honest service without servility, cheerful politeness without undue familiarity, cleanliness, economy, and truth, are what we most desire in our domestics; and without education and training how can we reasonably hope to get them? It may be argued against this college scheme, that the effort made years ago to induce better-class women to enter servitude under the name of 'ladyhelps proved a failure. A little reflection would have shown that it could not have proved anything else. The lady-help was an artificial growth, and could not possibly meet a real want. We do not want ladies to become servants, neither their habits nor instincts fit them for the occupation: pride and prejudice, sensitiveness, and I might add ignorance, are bad foundations; but it may not be too Utopian to hope that servants may become more like ladies, or at least that the ignorant, slip-shod, sullen slavey' who works without hope, and idles without enjoyment, may disappear from amongst us, and that the time is not far distant when a domestic

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servant can hear herself spoken of as such, if not with honest pride, at least without shame or discontent.

Therefore we want a Kitchen College for women, not a school of -cookery or a conglomeration of unorganised classes,' but a school of everything a servant ought to know; a school or college with exhibitions and scholarships and diplomas, with clever lecturers, and clear, simple text-books, and fees that will come within the means of women who have to work for their daily bread.

The starting and conducting of such a college ought to be woman's work; women suffer most from the ministrations of inefficient servants, women benefit most by the attention of good ones; and I have no doubt that there are in England women enough-generous, warm-hearted, thoughtful women-to found such an institution; women enough, from the very highest lady in the land, down to the poorest mother of a family, waited on by a nameless little maid-ofall-work from St. Luke's, to stretch out a helping hand to their sisters in service, and give them what every woman has a right to, the means of improving their social standing.

One word more, Kitchen College must be no charity. To make it a success, it must be as much a national institution as the University of Oxford; its degrees, certificates, and prizes must be worked for, fought for, and won, by the most deserving, not as an 'imperfect favour, but a perfect right.'





scape, both in the grander scale of oil-paintings and in the delicate and refined style of water-colours, taking the highest place. This is sufficiently told by the evidence of price, which is a sort of thermometer of public taste. Even in the days of Sir Joshua Reynolds, very fine landscapes by such masters as Claude, Poussin, Cuyp, Ruysdael, and Hobbema were to be bought for two or three hundred guineas, and the highest for a Claude was 520l. for that beautiful picture known as The Enchanted Castle,' in the sale of M. de Calonne's (the French Ambassador) collection in 1795 in London, and 500l. for the companion picture, described in the sale catalogue as 'equally beautiful,' but which has now not been identified. The prices, which evince a high estimate of Claude before the days of modern landscape, are positively insignificant compared to those paid at auction during the last twenty years for landscapes and sea-pieces by Turner, Constable, David Cox, Copley Fielding, William Collins, W. Muller, Stanfield, and Linnell. These go by thousands instead of hundreds of guineas. And Gainsborough comes into this honourable account now, though his landscapes while he painted them were thought little of; and he died leaving the passage and staircase of his rooms in Schomberg House, Pall Mall, encumbered with them. Yet have we not seen at Christie's his Market Cart' bought for the National Gallery so far back as 1828, at close upon 1,200l., and just twenty years ago his "Harvest Waggon' for 3,1471. 108.; in 1875 his 'Rustics on a Road' for 3,465., and in 1883 Peasants and Colliers going to Market,' 2,835l.? These are prices worthy of his genius. High prices for pictures by Crome, Patrick Nasmyth, George Vincent, Cotman, and others of the old school, might also be quoted. And still more forcibly to show the increased appreciation of landscape at the present time, there are not to be forgotten 'The Chill October' of Sir John Millais, which sold for 3,255l. in the Mendel sale, 1875, and in the present season, his 'Over the Hills and Far Away,' for 5,250l.

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But it is in the works of Turner, the great master over land and sea as a naturalistic and poetic painter, and in those of David Cox, less daring and ambitious in his flight, never heroic in his style, though with a charm of homely truth and rural beauty entirely his own, that we have to record the most remarkable rise in value. Turner, like most great painters of the past, died without ever enjoying the proud satisfaction of receiving these large prices for his pictures or of seeing them paid in public competition. Had he lived in these halcyon days he might have enjoyed both, though certainly he cared more for his art than for fame, and perhaps more

2 This celebrated picture (size 34 by 581), painted in 1664 for the Conestabile Colonna at Rome, afterwards passed into the collection of Mr. Walsh Porter, and was sold at Christie's in his sale for 9457., purchased by Mr. Wells of Redleaf, and sold in his collection in 1848, when it was bought by Lord Overstone, and remains in the fine collection of Lord Wantage at Carlton Gardens.

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