of the difficulty incident to finding well-paid work does not come from our domestic servants. The Irish girl finds work from the day of her landing, and begins almost immediately to send remittances of money to her friends at home. The American girl, thrown upon her own resources, struggles miserably to keep soul and body together upon the scanty wages of the shop or the factory. Yet so decided is the disinclination to domestic service, the largest and most profitable field for women to work, that American women have virtually abandoned it. The Irish girls gradually absorb the same distaste, and are less available as they become Americanized. We already hear the suggestion in favor of the Chinese, that they are needed to supplant the Irish servants, as the Irish have taken the place of Americans.
Is not the cause of this dislike to be found in the servile nature of domestic service, which renders it necessary to bring in a constant succession of servile labor to fill it? Is it not just in proportion as women rise above the servile tone of feeling that they become restive in the position, and will sacrifice comfort and pecuniary advantage to escape from it? Almost every feature of domestic service partakes of this repellent character. On entering it, the woman, like the slave, drops the surname which marks her as a member of a family of a social connection, for the personal name which sinks her at once into a rank below that in which social connection is recognized. Reversing the natural order of things, the woman addresses the children and young men of the family by terms of respect implying superiority, while they address her by the familiar name implying inferiority. She abandons family life, having no daily intercourse with her relatives as do out-door workers living in their own homes. She loses her personal freedom, for she is always under the authority of her employer. She can never leave the house without permission; there is no hour of the day in which she is not at the bidding of her mistress; there is no time in her life, except the few stated seasons of absence, for which she may not be called to account. Though her accommodations are probably far better than she would have at home, their relative inferiority renders them less acceptable than the poorer quarters in which she shares freely the best there is to have. Every distinction of dress which is a badge of domestic service is universally felt to be derogatory. It is creditable to a man to refuse any domestic position that entails the wearing of a livery, while the uniform of even the lowest ranks of the public service—of the policeman or the postman—is assumed with satisfaction. The white cap and apron that become almost a uniform when worn by the graduates of the training-schools for nurses, as the mark of a superior class, are assumed with reluctance as an accompaniment of domestic service.
Precisely in the degree in which house-work has this character it is shunned. When American women do engage in domestic work out of their own families, it is not the easiest and best-paid positions which