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agencies, operated without profit to agencies is now clearing for over sevtheir owners, might be permitted to enty agencies in New York City. Many continue if operated in close coöpera- able men in this country are already tion with the public system. But prac- sufficiently experienced in employmenttically all of them would go out of busi- office management and sufficiently conness as soon as a proper organization versant with the problems to be solved, of the market was established.
to undertake the installation of an The plans suggested are not theo- American system that will be an ideal retical. England has for years been for the world. operating a system of employment of- The war has revealed how acute is fices not materially different from the the need. The time is ripe. An aroused plan suggested. Ohio is to-day oper- public should demand a termination of ating a system of twenty-two offices the suicidal labor policies which have on similar principles. A clearing-house been ruining the efficiency of American for public non-commercial employment labor.
A LIGHT-BLUE STOCKING
BY A. EDWARD NEWTON
I have in mind should unite feminine I
charm with literary gift: she should be Some time, when seated in your li- a woman whom you would honestly brary, as it becomes too dark to read enjoy meeting and whom you would be and is yet too light, -to ring for can- glad to find yourself seated next to at dles, I was going to say, but nowadays dinner. we simply touch a button, — let your It may at once be admitted that as thoughts wander over the long list of a mother Mrs. Thrale was not a conwomen who have made for themselves spicuous success; but she was a woman a place in English literature, and see if of charm, with a sound mind in a sound you do not agree with me that the wo- body. Although she could be brilliant man you would like most to meet in the in conversation, she would let you take flesh, were it possible, would be Mrs. the lead if you were able to; but she Piozzi, born Hester Lynch Salusbury, was quite prepared to take it herself but best known to us as Mrs. Thrale. rather than let the conversation flag,
Let us argue the matter. It may at and she must have been a very excepfirst seem almost absurd to mention the tional woman to steady, as she did, a wife of the successful London brewer, somewhat roving husband, to call Dr. Henry Thrale, in a list which would in- Johnson to order, and upon occasion to clude the names of Fanny Burney, Jane reprove Burke, even while entertainAusten, George Eliot, the Brontës, and ing the most brilliant society of which Mrs. Browning; but the woman whom London at the period could boast.
At the time when we first make her to be called 'Mam y Cymry,' acquaintance, she was young and pret- Mother of Wales, and no doubt she ty, the mistress of a luxurious estab- deserved the appellation. lishment; and if she was not possessed With such marrying blood in her of literary gifts herself, it may fairly be veins, it is easily understood that, as said that she was the cause of litera- soon as Thrale's halter was off her ture in others.
neck, - this sporting phrase, I regret In these days, when women, having to say, is Dr. Johnson's, she should everything else, want the vote also (and think of marrying again; and that I would give it to them promptly and having the first time married to please end the discussion), it may be sug- her family, she should upon the second gested that to shine by a reflected light venture marry to please herself. But is to shine not at all. Frankly, Mrs. this paper is moving too rapidly - the
— Thrale owes her position in English lady is not yet born. letters, not to anything important that she herself did or was capable of doing,
II but to the eminence of those she gathered about her. But her position is not Hester Lynch Salusbury's birththe less secure: she was a charming place was Bodvel, in Wales, and the and fluffy person; and as firmly as I be- year, 1741. She was an only child, very lieve that women have come to stay, precocious, with a retentive memory. so firmly am I of the opinion that, in She soon became the plaything of the spite of all the well-meaning efforts of elderly people around her, who called some of their sex to prevent it, a cer- her 'Fiddle.' Her father had the reputain, and, thank God, sufficient num- tation of being a scamp, and it fell to ber of women will stay charming and her uncle's lot to direct, somewhat, her fluffy to the end of the chapter.
education. Handed about from one reOn one subject only could Mrs. lation to another, she quickly adapted Thrale be tedious — her pedigree. I
her pedigree. I herself to her surroundings. Her mothhave it before me, written in her own er taught her French; a tutor, Latin; bold hand, and I confess that it seems Quin, the actor, taught her to recite. very exalted indeed. She would not Hogarth painted her portrait, and the have been herself had she not stopped grooms of her grandmother, whom she in transcribing it to relate how one visited occasionally, made of her an of her ancestors, Katherine Tudor de accomplished horsewoman. In those Berayne, cousin and ward of Queen days education for a woman was highly Elizabeth and a famous heiress, was irregular, but judging from the results asked in marriage by Maurice Wynne in the case of Mrs. Thrale and her of Gwydir as she was returning from friends, who shall say that it was inthe grave of her first husband, Sir John effective? Salusbury, only to be told that he was Study soon became little Hester's detoo late as she had already engaged light. At twelve years she wrote for herself to Sir Richard Clough. ‘But,' the newspapers; also she used to rise at added the lady, “if in the providence of four in the morning to study, which God I am unfortunate enough to sur
her mother would not have allowed had vive him, I consent to be the Lady of she known of it. I have a letter written Gwydir.' Nor does the tale end here,
many years afterwards in which she for she married yet another, and hav- says, ing sons by all four husbands, she came 'My mother always told me I had
ruined my figure and stopt my growth recognized as a mistake, it was believed by sitting too long at a writing desk, to be one which could be corrected. though she was ignorant how much Meanwhile Thrale was surprised to time I spent at it. Dear Madam, was find that his wife could think and talk my saucy answer,
that she had a mind of her own. * Tho' I could reach from Pole to Pole
The discovery dawned slowly upon And grasp the ocean with my span,
him, as did the idea that the pleasure of I would be measured by my Soul;
living in the country may be enhanced The mind's the standard of the man.'
by hospitality. Finally the doors of She is quoting Dr. Watts from mem- Streatham Park were thrown open. ory evidently, and improving, perhaps, For a time her husband's bachelor on the original.
friends and companions were the only But little girls grow up and husbands company. Included among these was must be found for them. Henry Thrale, one Arthur Murphy, who had been un the son of a rich Southwark brewer, maître de plaisir to Henry Thrale in was brought forward by her uncle, the gay days before his marriage, when while her father, protesting that he they had frequented the green rooms would not have his only child ex- and Ranelagh together. It was Murchanged for a barrel of 'bitter,' fell into phy who suggested that 'Dictionary a rage and died of an apoplexy. Her Johnson' might be secured to enliven a dot was provided by the uncle, her dinner-party, and thereupon followed mother did the courting, with little op- some discussion as to the excuse which position on the part of the lady and no should be given Johnson for inviting enthusiasm on the part of the suitor. him to the table of the rich brewer. It So, without love on either side, she be- was finally suggested that he be ining twenty-twoand her husband thirty- vited to meet a minor celebrity, James five, she became Mrs. Thrale.
Woodhouse, the shoemaker poet. More happiness came from this mar- Johnson rose to the bait, Johnson riage than might have been expected. rose easily to any bait which would proHenry Thrale, besides his suburban vide him a good dinner and lift him residence, Streatham, had two other out of himself, -and the dinner passed establishments - one adjoining the off successfully. Mrs. Thrale records brewery in Southwark, where he lived that they all liked each other so well in winter, and another, an unpreten- that a dinner was arranged for the fol
. tious villa at the seaside. He also main- lowing week, without the shoemaker, tained a stable of horses and a pack of who, having served his purpose, dishounds at Croydon; but, although a appears from the record. good horsewoman, Mrs. Thrale was And now, and for twenty years therenot permitted to join her husband in after, we find Johnson enjoying the his equestrian diversions; indeed, her hospitality of the Thrales, which openplace in her husband's establishment ed for him a new world. When he was was not unlike that of a woman in a taken ill, not long after the introducseraglio. She was allowed few pleas- tion, Mrs. Thrale called on him in his ures, and but one duty was impressed stuffy lodgings in a court off Fleet upon her, namely, that of supplying an Street, and suggested that the air of heir to the estate; to this duty she de- Streatham would be good for him. voted herself unremittingly.
Would he come to them? He would. In due time a child was born He was not the man to deny himself daughter; and while this was of course the care of a young, rich, and charming VOL. 121 - NO. 6
woman, who would feed him well, un- mous coterie which came to be known derstand him, and add to the joys of as the Blue Stockings? conversation. From that time on, But Johnson was the Thrales' first whether at their residence in Dead- lion and remained their greatest. He man's Place in Southwark, at Streat- first gave Streatham parties distincham, or at Brighton, even on their tion. The master of the house enjoyed journeys, the Thrales and Johnsons having the wits about him, but was were constantly together; and when not one himself. Johnson said of him he went on a journey alone, as some- that his mind struck the hours very times happened, he wrote long letters regularly but did not mark the min
. to his mistress or his master, as he af. utes.' It was his wife who, by her fectionately called his friends.
sprightliness, and by her wit and readiWho gained most by this intercourse? ness, kept the ball rolling, showing inJohnson summed up his obligations to finite tact and skill in drawing out one the lady in the famous letter written and, when necessary, repressing anjust before her second marriage, prob- other; asking — when the Doctor was ably the last he ever wrote her. 'I wish not speaking - for a flash of silence that God may grant you every blessing from the company that a newcomer
, that you may be happy in this world might be heard. ... and eternally happy in a better But I am anticipating. All this was state; and whatever I can contribute not yet. A salon such as she created at to your happiness I am ready to repay Streatham Park is not the work of a for that kindness which soothed twenty month or of a year. years of a life radically wretched.'
If Mrs. Thrale had ever entertained On the other hand, the Thrales any illusions as to her husband's resecured what, perhaps unconsciously, gard for her, they must have received they most desired, social position and shock when she discovered, as she distinction. At Streatham they enter- soon did, that Mr. Thrale had previtained the best, if not perhaps the veryously offered his hand to several ladies, highest society of the time. Think for coupling with his proposal the fact that, a moment of the intimates of this in the event of its being accepted, he house, whose portraits, painted by would expect to live for a portion of Reynolds, hung in the library. There each year in his house adjoining the were my Lords Sandys and Westcote, brewery. The famous brewery is now college friends of Thrale; there were Barclay & Perkins's, and still stands Johnson and Goldsmith; Garrick and on its original site, where the Globe Burke; Burney, and Reynolds himself, Theatre once stood, not far from the and a number of others, all from the Surrey end of Southwark Bridge. A brush of the great master; and could more unattractive place of residence it we hear the voices which from time to would be hard to imagine, but for some time might have been heard in the fa- reason Mr. Thrale loved it. mous room, we should recognize Bos- On the other hand, Streatham was well and Piozzi, Baretti, and a host of delightful. It was a fine estate, some
a others; and would it be necessary for thing over an hour's drive from Fleet the servant to announce the entrance Street in the direction of Croydon. The of the great Mrs. Siddons, or Mrs. Gar- house, a mansion of white stucco, stood rick, or Fanny Burney, or Hannah in a park of more than a hundred acres, More, or Mrs. Montague, or any of the beautifully wooded. Drives and gravel
. other ladies who later formed that fa- walks gave easy access to all parts of
the grounds. There was a lake with a tion for him. With regard to his wife, drawbridge, and conservatories, and though little tender of her person, he is glass houses stocked with fine fruits. very partial to her understanding; but Grapes, peaches, and pineapples were he is obliging to nobody, and confers a grown in abundance, and Dr. Johnson, favor less pleasingly than many a man whose appetite was robust, was able for refuses one.' the first time in his life to indulge Elsewhere she refers to him as the himself in these things to his heart's handsomest man in London, by whom content.
she has had thirteen children, two sons In these delightful surroundings the and eleven daughters. Both sons and Thrales spent the greater part of each all but three of the daughters died year, and here assembled about them either in infancy or in early childhood. a coterie almost, if not quite, as distin- Constantly in that condition in which guished as that which made Holland ladies wish to be who love their lords, House famous half a century later. Mrs. Thrale, by her advice and efforts,
A few years ago Barrie wrote a de- once at least, saved her husband from lightful play – What Every Woman bankruptcy, and frequently from makKnows; and I hasten to say, for the ing a fool of himself. She grew to take benefit of those who have not seen this an intelligent interest in his business play, that what every woman knows affairs, urged him to enter Parliament, is how to manage a husband. In this successfully electioneered for him, and respect Mrs. Thrale had no superior. in return was treated with just that deMaking due allowance, the play sug
gree of affection that a man might show gests the relationship of the Thrales. to an incubator which, although someA cold, self-contained, and common- what erratic in its operations, might at place man is married to a sprightly and any time present him with a son. engaging wife. With her to aid him, he was able so to carry himself that people took him for a man of great ability; without her, he was utterly lost. To Such was the household of which Dr. give point to the play, the husband is Johnson became a member, and which, obliged to make this painful discovery. to all intents and purposes, became his Mrs. Thrale, mercifully, never permit- home. Retaining his lodgings in a court ted her husband to discover how com- off Fleet Street, he established in them monplace he was. Could he have looked what Mrs. Thrale called his menagerie in her diary, he might have read this of old women: dependents too poor and description of himself; and, had he read wretched to find asylum elsewhere. To it, he would probably have made no re- them he was at all times considerate, if mark. He spoke little.
not courteous. It was his custom to 'Mr. Thrale's sobriety, and the de- dine with them two or three times cency of his conversation, being wholly each week, thus insuring them an amfree from all oaths, ribaldry and pro- ple dinner; but the library at Streatfaneness, make him exceedingly com- ham was especially devoted to his servfortable to live with; while the easiness ice. When he could be induced to of his temper and slowness to take work on his Lives of the Poets it became offense add greatly to his value as a his study; but for the most part it was domestic man. Yet I think his serv- his arena, in which, in playful converse ants do not love him, and I am not or in violent discussion, he held his own sure that his children have much affec- against all comers.