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[173] there much of it in the summer hotel, where the life of the hired men and girls is a thing by itself, and no sense of actual inferiority is pressed on them. Then there are many families where a tone of kindly friendliness prevails, and excludes all oppressive sense of social superiority; and if all families were like this, there would be much less scarcity of “living-out girls,” as they like to call themselves. But just in proportion as distinctions become marked and artificial, the dislike to anything that implies social superiority becomes greater. It is useless to tell those thus situated that labor is honorable, and household labor especially so; to say that a good servant ranks higher than a good factory land, and so on. The ladies who say this fail to convince others because they do not really convince themselves. That is the real difficulty.

The trouble is that these benevolent ladies themselves in their secret souls regard that member of a poor family who goes out to service as occupying a lower social plane than her sister who tends in a store or works in a shoe factory. It is the same with men. No novelist could ever put such a brand upon the whole class of farmers or mechanics as Thackeray puts upon his footmen. I remember an occasion, many years ago, when a whole suburban village was thrown into confusion because Mr.--'s man-servant was allowed to buy a ticket and dance

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W. M. Thackeray (1)
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