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governors, that, if they had a complaint to make, or a cause to try, they could scarcely expect juftice. It was also alledged, that they terrified the children out of their wits, by telling frightful stories in the winter evenings. You might ineet with many of the established Servants who afferted, and even seemed to believe, that all who employed any other than themselves, were idiots or crack-brained, and destitute of common fenfe.
On the other hand, not a few of the established Servants were altogether indifferent how many others were hired, and how little work was left to themselves. They knew that their wages were well secured to them, which was the main chance; and they found rather more time and liberty to follow the bent of their inclinations. Perhaps they would have been better satisfied if the people had been content with what kind and quality of work they thought proper to do. But, as this was not to be expected, the hiring of others rendered all matters perfectly easy, and their lives were one continued scene of indolence or pleasure.
In the mean time, it was highly diverting to hear how they expressed themselves upon this subject, and with how much art and cunning they made a virtue of necessity. They used to extol their own candour and benevolence. · Gentle'men,' one of them would say, you fee with ( what discretion I use you. I am always glad to fee liberty prevail, and every man suffered to
do what feems proper to himself. I am well pleased, that you should hire as many Servants as you incline. I ask no more, than that I may have a clean neat bed-chamber, in a convenient part of the house, my wages well and
regularly paid, and a small bit of ground in ! the garden to bring up a few delicious herbs
and fruits for my own use. If these things are properly attended to, you shall find me a good man to live with ; I shall never interfere with your work in the least, or give you any manner
of trouble, even by making remarks upon it.' In such a case, it would happen now and then, that one of the family, touched a little with the absurdity of this phlegmatick speech, would anfwer, ' That very well he might make himself
easy, since, all the while, he was well fed and • clothed at their expence. This he would receive with silent contempt, and display the greatest satisfaction in his own composure of fpirit, and meekness of temper.
As for the remaining part of the nation, they reflected very little upon their condition, but took such Servants as were sent to them, and rubbed on as well as they could. Such quiet and paffive people were highly extolled by the Servants, who took all opportunities of declaring, that they were the only folid and rational perfons in the whole kingdom. These praises delighted them greatly; so that they lived as poor and as merry as beggars, who have nothing to hope, and nothing to fear.
'HUS I have given the reader an acccount
of this extraordinary class of men ; and I am certain, he must confess, there is something in their characters and conduct, proper to excite a mixture of laughter and indignation. It is alfo probable, that he feels a confiderable degree of sympathy with the deluded and oppreffed people, and is anxious to know, whether there appeared any prospect of deliverance. This was a question I often asked at my informer, who assured me that, from what he had heard and seen, there was not the most distant prospect of reformation by the Servants themselves. The honester fort were always borne down, traduced and slandered; and those of an opposite character had so long kept the management of the corporation in their hands, that they reckoned themselves fecure in their authority, and openly set at defiance both the people in general, and their fellow Servants.
There remained just a, glimpse of hope from one quarter, viz. the gentlemen who had been chosen to the office of helpers. They had at first contributed as much as any to the introduction of wrong measures; but, not being under the temptation of interest, they began to open their eyes at last. For some years they had been a confiderable restraint upon the violence of the Servants,
and had prevented them in several instances from degrading, stripping, and branding those who had incurred their difpleasure, by doing bufiness at unseasonable hours. They had also contributed to the disgrace and dismission of some drunken sots, and lascivious wretches, whom several of the leading Servants had a strong inclination to spare. From these circumstances, fome flattered themselves that a change might be brought about; and that though the Servants would never think of any reformation themselves, it would soon be . forced upon them by a foreign hand.'
After all, it was but very uncertain whether any material change would soon take place; and therefore, while we can only send that unhappy people our good wishes, we have reason to rejoice in our own good fortune, that we are perfectly free from impofitions of the fame or any similar kind.