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awakened, rushed forth into the fields and
stood helpless, beholding the flames devour
all they possessed. According to their belief,
fire had descended from heaven to punish the

Not long afterwards, a new village had
risen on the same spot by the munificence of
a stranger whose name was never known;
and all the inhabitants had reason to rejoice
over what had seemed at first an irreparable
disaster. As for Cathalla, strongly impressed
with the wickedness and avarice of the world,
he retired with his father to a lonely spot
with his strangely acquired wealth, and built
a house and devoted himself entirely to acts
of charity. When he told this story he
pretended that the conduct of the cousin of
Gamadel had so disgusted him with women,
that he had resolved never to marry; but
some believing, what may be true, that love
is a kind of madness, said that no other
woman could make him forget that one.
And after all, how many great passions would
be born in this world if only good women
were their object?


HAVING been from year to year an unmoved
spectator of the indignant face of, and an
amused listener to the lamentations over the
decay of vails to servants, made by the head
messenger of my office (I sit in the shadow
of Inigo's banqueting house), I have been
looking of late into a box I possess, of
anecdotes relating to English manners and
customs, to see what I can find on a subject,
the decay and almost entire abolition of which
elicits every Christmas sour looks and sour
words from the well-fed, well-lodged, and
not at all ill-salaried Ephraim Easeinsleep,
head messenger and ofticekeeper of one of
her Majesty's offices of state.

Amused with what I have found, I will
group together briefly, but accurately, all
that I know upon the subject. I will only
premise that vails to servants were of a like
nature with fees to officialslooked upon as
perquisites appertaining to wages and salaries;
and that it is only within the last few years'
that Christmas boxes to servants, and fees to
officers of state, have been, as far as the
public accounts are concerned, publicly
abolished and forbidden by the Lords
Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury. A few
perhaps remain, such as fees on venison
warrants, but their number must be very
few. Hence Ephraim's ill-humour.

I read (to use one of old Stow's expressions),
that the servants of our portrait
painters were the greatest exacters of vails.
Few sitters escaped. When Villiers, Duke of
Buckingham (the Buckingham who was
assassinated), sat to Mr. afterwards Sir Balthazar
Gerbier, the bearer of the Duke's privy purse,
Sir Sackville Crowe, was indignant at the
exactions made upon his master. Sir Sackville's
entry of the payments made on this occasion
will excite a smile:

Given to Mr. Gerbier's servants when his Lordship
sat there for his picture,—viz., to the two maids, £2;
to the two men that pretended to take pains about his
picture, £5. In all, £7.

The first painter in this country to forbid
the custom of giving vails to servants, was
that great pourtrayer of manners, William
Hogarth. When I sat to Hogarth," said
painstaking William Cole, "the custom of
giving vails to servants was not discontinued.
On taking leave of the painter at the door I
offered his servant a small gratuity, but the
man very politely refused it, telling me it
would be as much as the loss of his place if
his master knew it. This," adds Cole, " was
so uncommon and so liberal in a man of
Hogarth's profession at that time of day,
that it much struck me, as nothing of the
kind had happened to me before." It is told
of Sir Joshua Reynolds, that he gave his
servant six pounds annually of wages, and
offered him one hundred pounds a year for
the door! But Ralph knew better than to
go halves with his master in such a matter.

My next memorandum leads us to a
characteristic story of Sir Richard Steele, who
was always liberal and always poor. Steele
was at Blenheim at the performance of a
tragedy by Dryden. It was got up to amuse
the great Duke of Marlborough in his dotage,
and Steele sat next to the famous Hoadly,
then only Bishop of Bangor. The liveried
army alarmed Sir Richard. "Does your
lordship give money to all these fellows in
laced coats and ruffles?" asked the disconcerted
essayist and theatrical patentee. " No
doubt," replied the bishop. "I have not
enough," whispered the knight, and walked
on. Hoadly watched him, and heard him
accost the bevy of menials in the hall, telling
them that he had found them men of taste
and as such invited them all to Drury Lane
Theatreto any play they should bespeak.
My theatrical reading has not enabled me to
discover if Sir Richard was called upon to
make good the promise of his witty escape
from vails on this occasion.

The people who have been most indignant
against vails to servants have been the mean
and the necessitous. Of the latter class was
Richard Savage. His wants made him seek
access to the titled, and his poverty prohibited
him from acting up to the liveried
notion of the complete gentleman. He
complained in print. Queen Caroline allowed
Merlin's Cave and other tom-fooleries of the
kind, at Richmond, to be shown for money.
This was too much for Savage, who in a
poem "On Public Spirit with regard to
Public Works," inserted these lines:—

But what the flowering pride of gardens rare,
However royal, or however fair,
If gates, which to access should still give way,
Ope but, like Peter's Paradise, for pay?
If perquisited varlets frequent stand,
And each new walk must a new tax demand,