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Charity School for Servants.
· The girls' school, in the parish, was fallen into neglect; for though many would be subscribers, yet no one would look after it. I wish this was the case at Weston only: many schools have come to nothing, and many parishes are quite destitute of schools, because too many gentry neglect to make it a part of the duty of their grown-up daughters to inspect the instruction of the poor. It was not in Mr. Simpson's way to see if girls were taught to work. The best clergyman cannot do every thing. This is ladies' business. Mrs. Jones consulted her counsellor, Mrs. Betty, and they went every Friday to the school, where they invited mothers, as well as daughters, to come, and learn to cut out to the best advantage. Mrs. Jones had not been bred to these things; but by means of Mrs. Cowper's excellent cuttingout-book, she foon became mistress of the whole art. She not only had the girls
taught taught to make and mend, but to washi and iron too. She also allowed the mother or eldest daughter of every family to come once a week, and learn how to dress one cheap dish. One Friday, which was cooking-day, who should pass by but the Squire, with his gun and dogs. He looked into the school for the first time. 6 Well, madam,” said he, “ What “ good are you doing here? What are “ your girls learning and earning ? Where “ are your manufactures ? Where is your " spinning and your carding?”_“Sir” said she, “ this is a small parish, and you know " ours is not a manufacturing county; so " that when these girls are women, they " they will not be much employed in spin"ning. We must, in the kind of good " we attempt to do, consult the local ge“ nius of the place: I do not think it s will answer to introduce spinning, for " instance, in a country where it is quite "new. However, we teach them a little " of it, and still more of knitting, that
« they may be able to get up a small piece 6 of household linen once a year, and pro56 vide the family with stockings, by ema “ploying the odds and ends of their time « in these ways. But there is another “ manufacture, which I am carrying on, 6 and I know of none within my own 66 reach which is so valuable.” What “ can that be?” said the Squire.-" To “ make good wives for working men,” said she, “Is not mine an excellent staple 6 commodity? I am teaching these girls " the arts of industry and good managea s ment. It is little encouragement to an “ honest man to work hard all the week, “ if his wages are wasted by a flattern at 6 home. Most of these girls will probably “ become wives to the poor, or servants “ to the rich; to such the common arts 6 of life are of great value : now, as there " is little opportunity for learning these at “ the school-house, I intend to propose
6 that such gentry as have fober servants, . “ shall allow one of these girls to come -66 and work in their families one day in a
6 week, when the house-keeper, the cook, '«s the house-maid, or the laundry-maid, . “ shall be required to instruct them in
" their several departments. This I con6 ceive to be the best way of training good “ servants. They should serve this kind 6 of regular apprenticeship to various forts 6 of labour. Girls who come out of “charity-schools, where they have been 6 employed in knitting, sewing, and read“ ing, are not sufficiently prepared for “ hard and laborious employments. I do “ not in general approve of teaching cha“ rity children to write for the same reason. “I confine within very strict limits my “ plan of educating the poor. A thorough “ knowledge of religion, and of some of “ those coarser arcs of life by which the " community may be best benefited, in“ cludes the whole stock of instruction, “ which, unless in very extraordinary cases, 6. I would wish to bestow."
“What have you got on the fire, madam?” said the Squire; “for your pot really smells “ as favoury as if Sir John's French cook “ had filled it.”—“Sir,'' replied Mrs. Jones, “ I have lately got acquainted with Mrs. " White, who has given us an account of “ her cheap dishes, and nice cookery, in s one of the Cheap Repository little « books *. Mrs. Betty and I have made « all her dishes, and very good they are;
and we have got several others of our " own. Every Friday we come here and
dress one. These good women see how “it is done, and learn to dress it at their cown houses. I take home part for my "own dinner, and what is left I give to “ each in turn. I hope I have opened “ their eyes on a fad mistake they had got « into, that we think any thing is good “ enough for the poor. Now, I do not “ think any thing good enough for the “ poor which is not clean, wholesome,
* See the Way to Plenty, for a number of cheap Receipts. VOL. IV.