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[175] swept your room. Each of these reasons seemed rather flimsy, but not more so than the general feeling of which it is a part. To me it is all unmeaning; the only things really important are character, intelligence, and refinement; and nothing can be less important than the mere question what a person's employment is or has been, so it be honest.

Who sweeps a room, as for Thy laws
Makes that and the action fine.

But the point now of interest is to know what tie general impression is; and so long as the employers themselves regard household service as being socially lower than working at the needle or at the loom, how can they expect that the persons most concerned will fail to see it? If we regard all this as a prejudice, let us go to work to correct it. In the mean time we must remember that those who are in our employ are really taking themselves at our own valuation, and cannot consistently be censured. When your best handmaiden leaves your employ and accepts lower pay in a “box factory” or at some “straw-works,” remember that she may be doing it for precisely the same reason that Queen Victoria got herself declared “Empress of India” as well as Queen of England — in order that she might thenceforth have no social superior.

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