And the “boots” is a character, too, unmixedly and interestingly English, in name, person, appearance, and position. In the first of these qualities he is unique, being called after the subject of his occupation. He is an important personage, and generally has his own bell in the dining-room, surmounted by his name, to be called for any service coming within his department. And this is quite a wide one, including a great variety of errandry and porterage, as well as polishing boots and shoes. He is very helpful in a great many different ways, and often very intelligent, and knows all about the streets, the railway trains, the omnibuses, cabs, etc., and will assist you in such matters with good grace and activity. He may have got in the way of putting the H before the eggs instead of the ham; but he is just as good for all that, and more interesting besides. So you do not grudge the 3d. you give him daily for his strictly professional services, or the extra 6d. he expects for carrying your carpet-bag or portmanteau to the railway-station.
Thus, although this feeing of servants may seem at first strange to an American traveller in England, and may occasion him some perplexity and even annoyance, he will soon become accustomed to it; and in making up the balance-sheet of the additional cost on one side and the additional comfort on the other which the system produces, he will come even to the mathematical conclusion, “if to equals you add equals, the sums will be equals.”
LIGHT OF HUMAN LIVES—PHOTOGRAPHS AND BIOGRAPHS—THE LATE JONAS WEBB, HIS LIFE, LABORS, AND MEMORY.
The next morning I resumed my walk and visited a locality bearing a name and association of world-wide celebrity and interest. It is the name of a small rural hamlet, hardly large enough to be called a village, and marked by no trait of nature or art to give it distinction.