Genre Satire. Page - 1
imp hadfurnished you"; Seneca, Controv. i, 2. Not until this traffic had becomeprofitable, did procurers and procuresses (for women also carried on thistrade) actually keep girls whom they bought as slaves: "naked she stoodon the shore, at the pleasure of the purchaser; every part of her bodywas examined and felt. Would you hear the result of the sale? Thepirate sold; the pandar bought, that he might employ her as aprostitute"; Seneca, Controv. lib. i, 2. It was also the duty of thevillicus, or cashier, to keep an account of what each girl earned: "giveme the brothel-keeper's accounts, the fee will suit" (Ibid.)
When an applicant registered with the aedile, she gave her correct name,her age, place of birth, and the pseudonym under which she intendedpracticing her calling. (Plautus, Poen.)
If the girl was young and apparently respectable, the official sought toinfluence her to change her mind; failing in this, he issued her alicense (licentia stupri), ascertained the price she intended
ou're saying, Jason?" asked his father sharply as he brought the little oil lamp from the sitting room into the kitchen. Mrs. Wilkins followed. This was a detestable job, the sorting of the donation debris, and was best gotten through with, at once. Jason, shading the candle light from his eyes, with one slender hand, looked at his father belligerently.
"I was saying," he said, "that it was too bad you don't have to wear some of the old rags sometimes, then you'd know how mother and I feel about donation parties."
There was absolute silence for a moment in the little kitchen. A late October cricket chirped somewhere.
Then, "O Jason!" gasped his mother.
The boy was only twelve, but he had been bred in a difficult school and was old for his years. He looked again at the heaps of cast-off clothing on the floor and his gorge rose within him.
"I tell you," he cried, before his father could speak, "that I'll never wear another donation party pair of pants. No, nor a shirt-tail shi
o fine enough: it is a hard matter to know the mistress from the maid by their dress; nay, very often the maid shall be much the finer of the two. Our woollen manufacture suffers much by this, for nothing but silks and satins will go down with our kitchen-wenches; to support which intolerable pride, they have insensibly raised their wages to such a height as was never known in any age or nation but this.
Let us trace this from the beginning, and suppose a person has a servant-maid sent him out of the country, at fifty shillings, or three pounds a year. The girl has scarce been a week, nay, a day in her service, but a committee of servant-wenches are appointed to examine her, who advise her to raise her wages, or give warning; to encourage her to which, the herb-woman, or chandler-woman, or some other old intelligencer, provides her a place of four or five pounds a year; this sets madam cock-a-hoop, and she thinks of nothing now but vails and high wages, and so gives warning from place to place, till sh
opportunity, and made the most of it. She had not contented herself with bowing to the inevitable, she had stretched out her hand to it, and forced herself to smile graciously at it, and her polite attentions had been reciprocated. Lady Shalem, without being a beauty or a wit, or a grand lady in the traditional sense of the word, was in a fair way to becoming a power in the land; others, more capable and with stronger claims to social recognition, would doubtless overshadow her and displace her in due course, but for the moment she was a person whose good graces counted for something, and Cicely was quite alive to the advantage of being in those good graces.
"It would be rather fun," she said, running over in her mind the possibilities of the suggested supper-party.
"It would be jolly useful," put in Ronnie eagerly; "you could get all sorts of interesting people together, and it would be an excellent advertisement for Gorla."
Ronnie approved of supper-parties on principle, but he was also
rted by some magic sleight into another world, in which he was to become at home. With eagerness he now fell upon every thing that he could get hold of respecting China, the Chinese, and Pekin; and having somewhere found the Chinese sounds described, he laboured to pronounce them according to the description, with a fine chanting voice; nay, he even endeavoured, by means of the paper-scissors, to give his handsome calimanco bed-gowns the Chinese cut as much as possible, that he might have the pleasure of walking the streets of Pekin in the fashion. Nothing else could excite his attention--to the great annoyance of his tutor, who just then wished to instil into him the history of the Hanseatic League, according to the express wish of Mr. Tyss; but the old gentleman found to his sorrow, that Peregrine was not to be brought out of Pekin, wherefore he brought Pekin out of the boy's chamber.
The elder Mr. Tyss had always considered it a bad omen that Peregrine, as a little child, should prefer counters to d
d has been living there these fourteen years past.'
'A Polish nobleman?' I asked.
'Nay, we breed no such men in Poland,' he answered.
'A Frenchman, then?' cried Duroc.
'They say that he came from France.'
'And with red hair?'
'As red as a fox.'
'Yes, yes, it is my man,' cried my companion, quivering all over in his excitement. 'It is the hand of Providence which has led me here. Who can say that there is not justice in this world? Come, Monsieur Gerard, for I must see the men safely quartered before I can attend to this private matter.'
He spurred on his horse, and ten minutes later we were at the door of the inn of Arensdorf, where his men were to find their quarters for the night.
Well, all this was no affair of mine, and I could not imagine what the meaning of it might be. Rossel was still far off, but I determined to ride on for a few hours and take my chance of some wayside barn in which I could find shelter for Rataplan and myself. I had mou
occasion for us to be afraid of an angel, and he liked us, anyway. He went on chatting as simply and unaffectedly as ever; and while he talked he made a crowd of little men and women the size of your finger, and they went diligently to work and cleared and leveled off a space a couple of yards square in the grass and began to build a cunning little castle in it, the women mixing the mortar and carrying it up the scaffoldings in pails on their heads, just as our work-women have always done, and the men laying the courses of masonry--five hundred of these toy people swarming briskly about and working diligently and wiping the sweat off their faces as natural as life. In the absorbing interest of watching those five hundred little people make the castle grow step by step and course by course, and take shape and symmetry, that feeling and awe soon passed away and we were quite comfortable and at home again. We asked if we might make some people, and he said yes, and told Seppi to make some cannon for the walls, a
ous mistake," he said. "I must try and set it right.Yet I don't know how to set about it either. I was going down to thevillage from the Vicarage just after dusk when I found a fellow in atrap who had got himself into broken water. One wheel had sunk into theedge of the ditch which had been hidden by the snow, and the whole thingwas high and dry, with a list to starboard enough to slide him out ofhis seat. I lent a hand, of course, and soon had the wheel in the roadagain. It was quite dark, and I fancy that the fellow thought that Iwas a bumpkin, for we did not exchange five words. As he drove off heshoved this into my hand. It is the merest chance that I did not chuckit away, for, feeling that it was a crumpled piece of paper, I imaginedthat it must be a tradesman's advertisement or something of the kind.However, as luck would have it, I put it in my pocket, and there I foundit when I looked for the dates of our cruise. Now you know as much ofthe matter as I do."
Brother and sister s
could be those voices? What human hands could have levelled that road and marshalled those lamps?
"The superstitious belief, common to miners, that gnomes or fiends dwell within the bowels of the earth, began to seize me. I shuddered at the thought of descending further and braving the inhabitants of this nether valley. Nor indeed could I have done so without ropes, as from the spot I had reached to the bottom of the chasm the sides of the rock sank down abrupt, smooth, and sheer. I retraced my steps with some difficulty. Now I have told you all."
"You will descend again?"
"I ought, yet I feel as if I durst not."
"A trusty companion halves the journey and doubles the courage. 8I will go with you. We will provide ourselves with ropes of suitable length and strength- and- pardon me- you must not drink more to-night. our hands and feet must be steady and firm tomorrow."
With the morning my friend'