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twenty-one feet, as large a room as we are likely to require, for we never give balls, or very large parties. On the left hand of the hall are three bed-rooms, making four in all, for us. By “us,” I mean, without the servants, for they have their room close to the kitchen, and enter from it. You would like to see my kitchen. So
shall. Go through this door. Is not that a handsome storecloset ? Here is another door. And now we are in the kitchen. Everything is very neat and orderly, here is a proper scullery ; we have “lifts” to bring up coals, shafts to carry away dust and refuse. The kitchen is well ventilated. So is every room in my house, or in my “octave," as you wittily term it. Observe that my meat-safe projects from the outerwall, in order that a current of fresh air may
be always floating through it.
Don't we smell the cookery, having the kitchen on the same floor? No, not at all. The two doors, and the position of the rooms, shut off the kitchen from the eye, nose, and ears, as much as needed. Our servants have backstairs for themselves, so that they live as if in a distinct house.
You noticed our porter. Did not you think him a very respectable man? You cannot think what a convenience he is. To be sure, not so much of a con, venience as the foreign porter who does so much, and offers to do all kinds of possible and impossible things; both for "milord”
au premier, or the pretty little lace-worker au seizième. But then our tame Cerberus is new to the system; in time he will, doubtless, equal in utility his continental brother. Why do I call him a tame Čerberus ? Because he never needs a sop. He is paid for his attention to the tenants. He is also responsible for the cleanliness of our public staircase, keeps it lighted, guards the entrance and excludes whoever or whatever we please to proscribe. Just think what a nice arrangement it is when we leave town for
our summer holidays, to take one servant with us, send the other home to her mother, lock
up our house, and place the key in the porter's hands till we return. We are certain of finding everything safe and wellcared for when we come home. No visions of servants' parties, no calculations of board wages, disturb our summer-tour.
You think the rent high. Perhaps it is. £120 ayear is rather a large sum to pay for half a floor, and that a second one.
But then, that is all we have to pay; nothing for the porter, nothing for repairs, nothing for gas-light on the public staircase, no rates and taxes! It is very pleasant to have all house expenses in one sum. If you
do not think this “flat” system very economical, you must allow its extraordinary convenience. Besides, my' servants find out there is great economy in having all our rooms en suite. There are no stairs to be cleaned, and no stair-carpets to be worn out and replaced. Running up and down stairs, where many visitors come, is almost equivalent to the work of one servant.
you want a lower rent, you must go up to the fourth story. There you will pay £80 a-year. Nearer to the Abbey they are erecting houses on a similar plan, but of a cheaper character. I believe in them the rents will vary from £60.
But we have to pass strangers on our public staircase. Of course we have. So we have to do, in our public street. Why should we not look upon the staircase as the street ?
But then, you think, we must have different feelings when we thus pass strangers, from what we have in the streets. We know we are living in the same pile of buildings. You are right. There is a different feeling. I am very thankful to know there is. Why should we English people take so much pride in not knowing our immediate neighbours, when we really are of sociable habits ? This is mere
ventional pride, which may wear away as fast as it pleases.
But all sorts of people will thus be brought into intimacy. Not more than we please to have. Besides, there cannot be any great difference in rank in our house, where the lowest rent is £80 per annum. There is some guarantee of respectability. It will be interesting to observe if a number of persons, entirely assured of each other's honest and honourable standing in society, by the fact of their being occupants of dwellings under this novel system, will be drawn into an interchange of civilities, by their proximity the one to the other. Let us hope that they will be, and that our national reserve may thus be somewhat lessened.
But, as my husband was observing to me this morning, why should not still humbler classes have similar arrangements to ours ? Of course, I am aware of the Model Lodging Houses. But I mean something above them. Why should not handsome piles of buildings be erected in some cheap suburb, where a young clerk, or a young artist and his wife, could get a set of chambers for £20 or £30 a-year ? I am sure it would pay some capitalist to invest his money in a speculation of this kind. Then, instead of the poor little six-roomed houses, which strive to look genteel, but have such sad drawbacks in dampness, bad drainage, starting of unseasoned wood-work, peeling off of stucco, &c., we should see imposing ranges of buildings, built economically but solidly, and with all the resources of architecture and science brought to bear upon their internal comfort.
. And herein the family would have a sense of privacy, protection and economy, which they cannot now have in " Laura Grove," where their little smoky gardens are overlooked by their neighbours, and where taxcollectors of all names and hues seem always knocking at the door.
I am glad to hear you say that you are coming round to our opinion, with a trifling objection or two,
you cannot yet quite get over. Well, I shall be glad to know what objection you can find to Life in the Flats, but as you
have intruded long enough upon me–no intrusion, however, I beg you to believe-you will defer its mention to another time. Very well. Good morning, dear reader.
s. S. s.
THE BIBLE IN EVERY LAND,
TESTAMENTS FOR THE WOUNDED.
The Rev. I. Lowndes writes as follows:-“ We have at present in Malta a number of soldiers in the hospitals, who have come down wounded and sick from the seat of war. I have seen many of them ; and to hear the accounts they give of the horrors of the battle in which they were engaged, and look upon their poor mutilated frames, is heart-rending . A few of them are men whom we had supplied with New Testaments here before they went; others there are who received them in England; and some who had not obtained any; but most of them had, in the hurry of removing, or escaping from the field of battle with what help could be afforded them, left almost every thing they possessed behind them, and, among other things, their New Testaments. Such as had not brought them have now been supplied with them, and it was very pleasing to see with what gratitude they were received. I only met with one refusal in offering the word of God, and it was from a Roman Catholic, who did it in a very respectful
“Between the chaplain and myself ninety-two New Testaments have been distributed so far; and I sincerely pray that many may be led, by the reading of them, to look to Him who has promised that a time shall come when wars shall cease to the ends of the earth. Most of these poor men are disabled
for life, having lost arms or legs, or have wounds which render them unfit for further service, or for obtaining a living by labour; and some of them related very bitter stories of their own sufferings, and still more so of others who fell to rise no more. Yet one, who appeared to be likely to get well, when I asked him what he thought he should do, said he intended to continue his soldier's course, and I should suppose he would be ready enough to go to Sebastopol.”
BIBLES FOR THE JEWS.
Mr. Lowitz, who is employed by the British Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews at Gibraltar, had consigned to him a case of Scriptures when he passed by Malta ; and he has given us an account of the way in which they have been disposed of in the course of his labours amongst the Jews of Africa, some of which have been imported into the interior of Morocco. In his account he says—“. It is gratifying for me to notice the different spirit with which the Jews bought them in some of those places on my second visit, from what they did on my first, when their Rabbies had interdicted them, on the supposition that my Bibles contained many things favourable to our holy religion. However, after a deal of reasoning and remonstrance on my part, and due examination on theirs, these Rabbies recalled their edict, and pronounced my books sound and good in every respect. The Jews then readily bought them, though at a very reduced price. As for New Testaments, they can only be circulated gratis amongst them. In the main, I think it a matter of thankfulness to be permitted to disseminate the incorruptible seed of the word of life in that country without hinderance; and we look to God alone for His blessing and increase upon the seed thus sown in that and in every other Mabommedan land.”