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must be done to make service a desirable employment; and it is for the masters and mistresses to do that thing. Higher wages alone will not do it, nor the “rocking chairs in the kitchen,” that have become such a by-word. It must be done by such a provision of substantial benefit, other than financial, to accrue to the servant through her very position of Servant, as will outweigh the real ills of that Social proscription which is usually assumed to be the head and front of the offending occupation.—Good Howsekeeping.
From the Atlantic Monthly. LIFE IN ST. PETERSBURG.
THE really mysterious element of life in St. Peters
burg is one that transcends Western experiences. Below the outward forms of things you enter an atmosphere in which thought seems limited by new laws. Out of novel habits, strange customs, hereditary legacies of the intellect in which you have had no share, the fancy makes a stair for its ascent into another planet. The differences you encounter everywhere are unlikenesses not between Aryan and Aryan, but between Europe and Asia on the one hand, between a new and an old civilization on the other. Readily would the native help you in your bewilderments, were it within his power, but the abnormal to you is the normal to him. You call upon him to look, and he sees nothing. Your spectres are his thin air, the novelties you italicize his daily commonplace. So that in time your surprise becomes less demonstrative, if not less acute. In time your diary is content to hold the mirror up to nature. “The municipal council,” for example, “has just fixed the price of bread for the next twelve months.” “The Golos punished for ‘improper tendencies’ by an order depriving it for six months of the right to publish advertisements.” “The authorities about to raise money by imposing a tax on all foreigners resident in St. Petersburg.” “Newspapers contain appeals on behalf of poor families in the capital.” “A well-known police official purchases the wife of a subordinate for ten thousand roubles.” “Newspaper
proprietor exiled to a northern province for having
published a cartoon representing, in a series of nine views, the torments of a dog attacked by a wasp, and finally forced to retire into kennel: the whole without head-line, but believed in official circles to be an allusion to the Tsar’s enforced retirement to Gatchina.” “Householders warned that the morrow is the “name-day of the empress, and that they must celebrate on the occasion,-that is to say, hang out banners and burn lamps, or pay a heavy penalty.” And thus it runs on, this record of events, a mere story of familiar experience to the native Russian, but to the foreigner a tale of doings in a world all other than his own. It may be well here to remind the reader that the habit of living in lodgings is general in St. Petersburg. So far as Russian life is a bivouac, the term “lodgings” is aptly used; etymologically, it corresponds with the English “house,” or “home,” and is therefore without the sense usually associated with it in the West. In the capital a man who lives in his
own house occupies little more than a corner of it, ro sleeps in a palace. Some of the richest families are content with lodgings, and but few of them need all the apartments which constitute a St. Petersburg flat. This is in itself suggestive of the scale upon which houses are built in the great Russian cities. But it is all too inadequate as preparation for the statement that a St. Petersburg lodging-house freQuently contains as many as a thousand rooms, with a population of from two to three thousand persons. The finest apartments are on the ground floor; the poorest are reached by ascent of from ten to twelve stories. A suite of six room suffices for the wealthiest lodgers who have no palace of their own. Two or three supply all the needs of the well-to-do tradesman and his family; the majority of professional men who are bachelors, nearly all teachers and students, and a large class of officials find themselves amply accommodated by a single apartment. The cost of lodgings depends, of course, upon such elements as situation, number and furnishing of rooms, height of flat and service. As a rule, it may be said that, taking into consideration the general purchasing power of the money expended,—a precaution consistently neglected in international comparisons of this kind,-house rent is somewhat higher in St. Petersburg than it is in Paris or London. I offer these details simply in order that the reader may be the better prepared for a singular custom to which I here invite his attention. Rent charges in Russia are invariably exacted “in advance,” even when a lodger surrounds himself with luggage valuable enough to yield the amount of a whole year's arrears. Upon personal property of this kind there can be legally no lien. The same Russian law which hampers foreigner and native alike with the police surveillance of passport regulations, seizing every opportunity to throw obstacles in the way of free movement, gives to a lodger the fullest right to carry off his luggage in the teeth of an irate landlord clamoring for the settlement of his unpaid bill. Any forcible detention of property in such cases is treated by the courts as a quasi-criminal offense. Let us, then, try to realize for a moment what life in St. Petersburg is, not to the easy-minded traveler, whose home is far away and who may leave Russia at any moment, but to the native resident, whose family ties and general interests—to say nothing of patriotism—bind him to the country even more firmly than he may chance to be attached to it by the arbitrariness of the police. The lodging-house, under circumstances like these, wears an aspect strikingly suggestive of the jail. Exigencies of state turn the communal dwelling-place and its picturesque survivals into an aggregation of cells, watched over by a house-porter in the pay of the police. This functionary is a very Heimdal in sharpness of senses: he hears the faintest sounds, and sees without any light whatever; while his omnipresence when not wanted is far more complete than any magic carpet of Arabian tale could make it. This personage it is who mounts guard at the porte-cochéreto watch entries and exits; it is he who sees that all new lodgers are promptly numbered and pigeon-holed at police head
Quarters; he who keeps a record of the personal habits, companions, and resorts of every man, woman, and child under his charge; he, too, who reports regularly to the authorities any “suspicious circumstances” which may come under his notice. If a Christening, a wedding, or a funeral is to bring together a few friends, it is the house-porter who facilitates the intrusion of police spies, ready to snatch at any scrap of colloquial “sedition” capable of conVersion into roubles or advancement. If a students’ “literary evening” or social gathering is to be swelled into an assembly of conspirators seeking to undermine the foundations of law and order, it is again the house-porter who, figuratively speaking, supplies the gendarmes with their magnifying-glasses. And if Some unfortunate youth is to pay the penalty of his liberalism by being dragged from his bed at midnight to the fortress of Peter and Paul, nobody is more eager to lead the way to the sleeping suspect than this treacherous janitor of many households, nightly conSummating in the garb of the watch-dog his unholy Compact with the wolves. To go in constant fear of the paid denunciator; never to “talk politics” save with relatives, or intimates incapable of treachery; to have your local newspaper turned by the censor into a mere record of foreign events, and your foreign journal sub-edited for you by a policeman, who carefully clips from it or erases everything of “dangerous” tendency; not to know the moment when an enemy may thrust Some Seditious publication into your letter-box, and so time his disclosure to the police as to have you Surprised with the forbidden matter in your possession; to be kept by a silenced press in a state of complete ignorance as to serious events occurring around you; and to feel in regard to your own personal safety, and that of your family and friends, an uncertainty truly Oriental—all this is no more than a mere Suggestion of what life is to thousands of persons born to Russian citizenship in St. Petersburg. And When to the elements of the general discontent, to the bitter emptiness of existence, to the longing for a life of nobler activities, you add the pangs of poverty and the sense of personal wrong, it cannot seem Strange that in many of these lodging-houses sensitive humanity should find its last and only safeguard against voluntary extinction in the hopes, the idealism, and the self-sacrifice of a political religion.
ROM the illustrated paper in the Century, by S. G. W. Benjamin, our late minister to Persia, in the city of Teherān, we quote the following: “What implements they used in ancient times we know not ; but to-day the Persian artisan has neither rule, compass, nor spirit-level. He is commonly ignorant of the fact that the diameter is the third of the circumference; his gimlets and augers are prods turned by a bow-string; he has no hatchet, but only an adze, and no carpenter's bench. If he desires to plane a board, he puts it on the ground ; and if he would saw a block of wood, he squats on the ground himself and
holds it between his toes, drawing the saw towards himself. Wood is scarce, and with such tools hard to Work. If pillars are to be constructed, the trunks of poplars are raised and simply stripped of their branches and bark. They may be crooked, but that matters not; the master workman tells his subordinate to shape the timber into an elegant pillar with gatch. Depending only on his eye and the skill of his hand, this simple artisan applies the plasterround the trunk in the form of a fluted pillar, and crowns it with a graceful capital and cornice, showing a lively inventive fancy. If judged by the strict application of rule and compass, these decorations may sometimes deviate slightly from a straight line, but of the artistic beauty of the conception there can be no question. Walls and ceilings are tastefully decorated in like manner. Lightness combined with strength is often gained in Persia by building a wall of square sun-dried bricks, ingeniously arranged in hollow cubes as in a block-house. They are cemented together by a layer of cargel, or mortar mixed with straw, over which, in turn, follows a coat of white plaster. Where great strength is required the angles are fortified by a layer of burnt bricks. Such a wall will stand for ages. It is interesting to watch the builders at work. They wear long tunics, which are tucked into their girdles When working, displaying a length and muscular de
Velopment of limb I have never seen equaled elsewhere.
A LIVING BAROMETER.
IT is a well known fact that several of our smaller animals are so sensitive to changes from heat to cold, and from dry to moist, that they fortell those changes Some time in advance.
In the Smithsonian Institution’s list of animals valuable to man, the tree-toad is mentioned as an excellent weather prophet, and I can testify to its power of fortelling the change in the weather. I have in my possession a paper-weight in the form of a bronze frog supporting upon its back a glass tube with a bulb. at the bottom. Some months ago I was fortunate enough to catch a tree-toad, and having heard of his ability as a weather-prophet, I put him into my glass tube and made from matches a small ladder so that he could climb up or down within the tube. I soon found that the approach of a change in the weather was always noticed by the little prisoner, who climbed toward the top whenever the air grew moist or before rain, and as invariably descended toward the bottom of the tube in advance of the coming of dry weather.— C. F. H., in St. Nicholas.
NEWS AND OTHER GLEANINGS,
—The will of W. H. Wanderbilt was offered for probate in New York on the 12th inst. It disposes of about $182,400,000. To the widow is left $200,000 a year, with power to dispose by will of $500,000 of the principal from which this income is derived. She also has the house and its art treasures for life. They go to the son George for life after her death, and after him absolutely to a grandson in the male line. To each of the four daughters is given the house in which she now lives. The eight children share the money and securities at the rate of$11,800,000 each, (about half being absolutely given them, and the other half only “for life”), except the two oldest sons, Cornelius and William K., who have each about fifty millions, absolutely, and $6,150,000 for life. Each child has the power to divide by will among his or her children the $6,150,000 left in trust for each. A million is given to Cornelius' son, William H., and there are contingent legacies to grandsons which go with the house and art gallery. The income of over half a million is left in annuities to relatives and others, $50,000 is given to other relatives and friends, $200,000 to Vanderbilt University, and $1,000,000 to public and charitable institutions. —In the U.S. Senate, on the 15th inst., Senator Jackson introduced a joint resolution proposing a constitutional amendment providing that the President and Vice-President shall be hereafter elected for a term of six years and that they shall be ineligible to a reëlection, and that the Vice-President shall be ineligible to the office of President after he shall have filled the same in case of a vacancy therein. —Thomas Stevens has reached Teheran, Persia, in his tour around the world on a bicycle, and proposes remaining there for the winter. A London Times despatch says Stevens caused much wonderment in the towns of Asia through which he passed, and adds: “In some places the people would not let him enter their villages or have any dealings with him; in others they stoned him, taking him to be Satan himself. The Shah has taken great interest in Stevens’ performances, and invited him to display his skill at one of the royal palaces in the neighborhood of Teheran.”
THE subscriptions to the Zoological Garden Fund have now reached about $15,000. NINE to fourteen inches of snow fell on the 12th and 13th instant, in Central and Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin and Michigan. THE total value of the exports of breadstuffs from the United States during the last eleven months was $119,639,121, against $133,451,866 during the corresponding period of last year. AT the municipal elections in Massachusetts, on the 15th inst., Worcester voted no license, a change from last year, (when it gave 2123 majority for license). Newburyport voted for license. THE death sentence of Annie Cutler, a colored girl who shot and killed her “lover,” in Philadelphia, was commuted by the Board of Pardons, of Pennsylvania, on the 15th inst., to an imprisonment for eight years, to be computed from the date of sentence and subject to such further deduction as she may be entitled to for good conduct during such period. The commutation for good conduct takes off twenty months of the sentence.
NOTICES. ***Haddonfield Quarterly Meoting's Temperance Committee has appointed a conference to be held in Friends’ Meeting-house, Moorestown, N, J., on First-day Twelfth month 20th, at 2.30 in the afternoon, All are cordially invited. JoHN M. LIPPINCOTT, Clerk,
FRIENDS''INTELLIGENCER AND JOURNAL.
THE attention of those already subscribers, and of all who are interested in the religious principles of the Society of Friends, or in its ethical and Social influences, is earnestly asked, at this time, to the importance of making a large increase, for the coming year, in the circulation of this journal. An enlarged circle of readers would give it a wider and greater usefulness; would enable its conductors to continue its improvement and development; and Would permit a modification of the price of subscription. The editors believe that the paper is worthy of an earnest effort in its behalf. They are able to say with Sincerity that in conducting it they have had these principles steadily in view: 1.—To represent and sustain the Christian principles professed by Friends; 2—To promote in every direction the practical application of the Christian ethics to the existing conditions of life; 3.—To afford to the membership of our body of Friends a fair expression of their views and opinions upon all topics suitable for treatment in such a periodical. In pursuing the objects thus outlined, we have printed within the last seven months, (since the union of the INTELLIGENCER with the Journal), not less than four hundred original articles, letters, reports, and communications, sent us by Friends and others interested in our Society, the authorship of these probably representing two hundred persons, resident in different parts of the field in which the paper circulates. All of these contributions received due consideration before their publication, our desire
being to print whatever was deserving, when space permitted,—but to omit whatever was not in the line of our work, or was not likely to be useful or edifying.
The proceedings of all our Yearly Meetings have been reported,—most of them with considerable detail, and many subordinate meetings, conferences, committees, etc., have been punctually noticed. In this department of its labor, as the medium of conveying to Friends information of the proceedings of the Society, the value of the INTELLIGENCER AND Journal must, we think, be conceded. The work of the body is thus made known to all, interest in it is maintained, and faithfulness to its principles is encouraged. To Friends who live in distant localities, and who feel themselves isolated and weak, the support given by the regular weekly visits of such a journal can scarcely be overestimated.
The editors look hopefully forward to a steady improvement in the paper, if a larger circulation can be obtained for it, and they confidently appeal to all who favor its aim and approve its character to give it an effective support at this time. They have fixed upon the following:
TERMS FOR 1886.
For a single copy, (as heretofore) $2.50 For a club of eight, (8), each, 2.25 For a club of twenty, (20) each, 2.00
Those willing to act as agents are invited to correspond with us, if in doubt upon any point, and information will be gladly afforded them. Specimen copies will be sent free to those who might subscribe, if names are furnished us. Now is the time to begin work.
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