Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Tea-table Talk Jerome K. Jerome

Chapter III

Page 3 of 6

Table Of Contents: Tea-table Talk

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

A man's work 'tis till set of sun, But a woman's work is never done!

"My housekeeper came to me a few months ago," said the Woman of the World, "to tell me that my cook had given notice. 'I am sorry to hear it,' I answered; 'has she found a better place?' 'I am not so sure about that,' answered Markham; 'she's going as general servant.' 'As general servant!' I exclaimed. 'To old Hudson, at the coal wharf,' answered Markham. 'His wife died last year, if you remember. He's got seven children, poor man, and no one to look after them.' 'I suppose you mean,' I said, 'that she's marrying him.' 'Well, that's the way she puts it,' laughed Markham. 'What I tell her is, she's giving up a good home and fifty pounds a year, to be a general servant on nothing a week. But they never see it.'"

"I recollect her," answered the Minor Poet, "a somewhat depressing lady. Let me take another case. You possess a remarkably pretty housemaid--Edith, if I have it rightly."

"I have noticed her," remarked the Philosopher. "Her manners strike me as really quite exceptional."

"I never could stand any one about me with carroty hair," remarked the Girton Girl.

"I should hardly call it carroty," contended the Philosopher. "There is a golden tint of much richness underlying, when you look closely."

"She is a very good girl," agreed the Woman of the World; "but I am afraid I shall have to get rid of her. The other woman servants don't get on with her."

"Do you know whether she is engaged or not?" demanded the Minor Poet.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"At the present moment," answered the Woman of the World, "she is walking out, I believe, with the eldest son of the 'Blue Lion.' But she is never adverse to a change. If you are really in earnest about the matter--"

"I was not thinking of myself," said the Minor Poet. "But suppose some young gentleman of personal attractions equal to those of the 'Blue Lion,' or even not quite equal, possessed of two or three thousand a year, were to enter the lists, do you think the 'Blue Lion' would stand much chance?"

"Among the Upper Classes," continued the Minor Poet, "opportunity for observing female instinct hardly exists. The girl's choice is confined to lovers able to pay the price demanded, if not by the beloved herself, by those acting on her behalf. But would a daughter of the Working Classes ever hesitate, other things being equal, between Mayfair and Seven Dials?"

"Let me ask you one," chimed in the Girton Girl. "Would a bricklayer hesitate any longer between a duchess and a scullery- maid?"

"But duchesses don't fall in love with bricklayers," returned the Minor Poet. "Now, why not? The stockbroker flirts with the barmaid--cases have been known; often he marries her. Does the lady out shopping ever fall in love with the waiter at the bun-shop? Hardly ever. Lordlings marry ballet girls, but ladies rarely put their heart and fortune at the feet of the Lion Comique. Manly beauty and virtue are not confined to the House of Lords and its dependencies. How do you account for the fact that while it is common enough for the man to look beneath him, the woman will almost invariably prefer her social superior, and certainly never tolerate her inferior? Why should King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid appear to us a beautiful legend, while Queen Cophetua and the Tramp would be ridiculous?"

Page 3 of 6 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Tea-table Talk
Jerome K. Jerome

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004