Puslapio vaizdai

done with. Even a few years ago, I remember having great difficulty in a London hotel of the better sort (but very English and almost totally unfrequented by Americans) in getting the chambermaid to procure me a slop-jar. The hotel was much too British to run to numbers of private baths. Hence the crying need of a slop-jar. The maid finally stole one for me from a room across the corridor, and assured me that the gentleman from whom she stole would not miss it. Nothing would induce her to resume, in his behalf, the treasure. I am informed, by friends who have more British social experience than I, that slop-jars are not in the best English tradition-because, theoretically, in the opulent old-fashioned household, as soon as you have washed your hands, the water in which you washed them, the towel on which you wiped them, mysteriously and gracefully disappear. Perfection of service lies in having plenty of dexterous servants lying in wait to discover your needs; so many servants, and such well-trained ones, that you cannot wash your hands without their becoming aware of it and, with the least possible impinging on your notice, removing the traces of your ablutions. Perfection of service does not involve your emptying your own wash-basin, even into a slop-jar. Hence, no slop-jar.

Now there are very few of us who would take the trouble to invent a tiled bathroom if

our tubs were automatically fetched, filled, and removed for us, all at the proper instant; or if a hot-water can miraculously sprang into being as soon as the desire for hot water seized us. There is no labor-saving device so perfectly convenient as ringing a bell and having some one else do the thing for you with complete competence. It is by no means strange that well-to-do Europeans have been content to be supremely waited upon, instead of making practical tasks mechanically easier for themselves. The goddess of the labor-saving invention is the woman who does all, or a good share, of "her own work." Old-fashioned English and French houses are cold; but (climate apart) nothing like so cold as American houses would be if Americans depended on open fires. For in England or France there are ten people to make the fires, to one in America. We simply dare not-again, climate apartdepend, as our British cousins have been wont to, on open fires. The average household cannot afford the servants to do incessant firemaking all over the house.

So we have multiplied devices, from the modest kitchen cabinet up; because that majority which advertisers and inventors are always trying to reach does a lot of things for itself. Even those Americans who always have had, and perhaps still will have, plenty of servants, have indulged in these devices. For

pure philanthropy's sake? Well, I am afraid not quite. Rather, because the standard having been set by the mistress who is also the servant, the standard must be lived up to, or professional servants would complain. The interesting point is that in America the standard is set by the woman who does her own work or a part of it, or who may, at any given moment, have to occupy herself thus. We are, you see, a democracy beyond the democracies of other lands. For it is not simply a question of money; it is a question of our all being in the same boat.

I am not going into the servant question, for that is a question as trite as it is tragic. But, as we all know, even before the war it was growing acute. The best servants we had in the old days came from the countries where personal service was a tradition-chiefly from the territories of Great Britain. But northern Europe is ceasing to enter domestic service; rather, it seeks to employ. One has only to read the pathetic testimony in the daily press, in the "women's magazines," even sometimes in philanthropic periodicals. What they all say is that the only way you can keep your cook in your kitchen is to treat her as if she were the governess, or to give her factory hours and factory freedom-to put her on a level, that is, with the more independent worker. At that, they do not give us much hope of keeping her. But I



Y first caption was Democracy, Plumbing, and the War. That will hardly


do as a title, for it does not hint the heart of the matter; though the war has precipitated conditions which our special form of democracy has long been preparing us for, and plumbing is perhaps as symbolic as it is ubiquitous in the American domestic scene. All three, with all their implications, are factors, certainly, in our present problem of living, and if war has brought that problem to acuteness, democracy and plumbing (and what they may be taken to stand for) have made us ripe for upheaval. Edison and his like are as responsible, in their way, as Thomas Jefferson or William Haywood. All three have, without doubt, contributed to the present and future dilemma of educated people in moderate circumstances. War has, of necessity, turned moderate circumstances to actual poverty; but democracy and plumbing were already preparing the débâcle for this group. All of us-the educated classes as well as the uneducated—are guilty together, that is, of pampering ourselves with physical comforts; and democracy always makes for materialism, because the only kind of equality

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