Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

26 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT. The holiday season is naturally the time for a discussion as to the propriety and extent of the Ii tipping" system and this autumn the controversy has been revived with its old accus- tomed vigour. Dweliers in London, of course, have always the system before their eyes and, although in theory it is indefensible and even detestable, it has become so ingrained a habit that it would be more difficult to be dropped than continued. But even the Londoner iinds, when he goes away for a holiday, that the nuisance is increased, and this not because of any particular scruple in his mind as to the propriety of the practice, but as to the varying amounts he is expected to give. One of the newspaper correspondents who has been join- ing in the debate has admirably summed up this phase of the difficulty in the questions What is the correct tip to a keeper after you have been staying with friends for a few days' shooting ? Is it five pounds, a sovereign, or five shillings? How much may the butler reasonably expect What is the proper douceur for the porter at an hotel ? Ought the waiter to be satisfied with a shilling, or should we give him half-a-crown f" These, as he says, are problems which to most of us remain in unsatisfactory doubt all the vacation period, and it would be very agreeable if some competent authority made an attempt to settle them. The result at present is considerable waste, and even more dissatisfaction but one principle can fairly be laid down, and that is for the giver always to regard a tip as a favour and never as a right, and to regulate it in the main by the amount, alacrity, and amia- bility of the service rendered. The worst of it is, however, that a few rich snobs, for the sake of a momentary gratifica- tion of their desire to impress, are always ready to spoil the market in this particular. There is. however, the even more deleterious result of the whole system that the English taste for giving extravagant vails-to use the old but now obsolete word—has been carried to the Continent. A Frenchman or a Belgian may present a "tip," but it is always a modest one, and the waiter knows that he will get no more, and is content accordingly. But that same waiter, if he attends to an Englishman at the very next table, will expect -and will probably receive-twice or three times as high an amount, and he will indulge in a sulk if it be not forthcoming. The old tradi- tion that all English travellers on the Conti- nent are milords, and consequently rich, has to a large extent died out but the belief that they are especially liberal in the matter of M tips remains, and it very materially adds to the cost of even the most modest Continental journey. And yet it requires only some firm- ness to resist this particular form of extortion. There is a story of an old-fashioned country gentleman who gave a crown to a servant of the friend whom he was visiting. I never take silver, sir," observed the servant. And I," rejoined the gentleman, never give gold," and he reclaimed and kept the money. The bearings of this anecdote," as Captain Cuttle's sententious friend would have observed, 11 lie* in the application thereof," and the prudent should study it accordingly. There is one other grievance that always comes to the front in the holiday season, and especially in London, and that is as to the cost of cabs. It may be laid down as an axiom that the Cockney cabman who is contented with his legal fare has yet to be seen and probably there are very few among us who do not frequently run the risk of hurting the feelings of Mr. Herbert Spencer by paying sixpence over that amount. But the trouble, especially to visitors to the capital, is that it is not easy for them to discover the legal fare, and, therefore, a rule of thumb" has been laid down that, if one pays at the rate of a penny for every minute the cab is being driven, he will not go far wrong. Here again, however, an unscrupu- lous cabman can cheat, for some of the fra- ternity, it they think it is a stranger to town who is in the vehicle, drive with slow- ness, so as to make as many minutes as possible. The rule just given, therefore, has to be regarded simply as a general instruction, to be adhered to only when the cabman drives at a reasonable pace, and even then always with the remem- brance that the law allows him to charge two- pence for every package that is carried outside. In June or July of next year, according to present hopes and even expectations, the new trunk line between London and the Midlands and North of England will be open for pas- senger traffic. As it is only four years and a half since the scheme promoted by the Man- Chester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire—now tha Great Central — Railway Company received formal Parliamentary sanction, this must be considered to be extremely good work; but no one can wonder at the speedy progress which has been made who sees how St. John's-wood has been rapidly revolutionised within the past twelve or eighteen months. Every visitor to Lord's cricket-ground this summer will have nuticed the heavy works that have been accom- J plished, and will have learned with satisfaction that the covered way underneath has been satisfactorily, as well as punctually, made. It may be recalled that, when the scheme was before Parliament, fears were expressed in more than one quarter that the making of the new line would seriously interfere with Lord's but, so far from that having proved to be the case, the famous area has even been increased as the result of an arrangement with the Great Central Company. Now that the National Gallery of British Art at Millbank, presented by Mr. Henry Tate, has been opened to the public-it was formally in- augurated, of course, some weeks since by the Prince of Wales-attention is more than ever being called in the metropolis to the necessity for some means to be devised to render it more "asy of general access. It will be open free on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday yrom ten to six, and on Sundays during the lummer months from two to six, but a charge of sixpence will be made on Thursdays and Fridays, which are student*' days. This last provision is assuredly one of those matters concerning which one is entitled to say that they manage these things better in France. One can go into the Louvre on any day and see the students busily at work copying the greater pictures, and they are never disturbed by the passing public, any more than are their com- peers at the Musses of Brussels and Antwerp. But there is a tendency in this country to 4i coddle" our students, and, therefore, an admission fee is levied on certain days at the National Gallery and -its kindred institutions, while, upon a similar principle, and for the sup- posed sake of the student, Kew Gardens are closed to the public until noon. Perhaps if self-reliance were included as a subject in our students' curriculum, their knowledge neither of art nor science would suffer, while their present tendency to self-consciousness, and even sometimes self-suiffciency, would be diminished to their own and the general advantage. A question which is occupying the thoughts oi a great many cyclists and would-be cyclists just now is as to whether machines are likely to be cheaper next spring, and it is one to which, upon the whole, an affirmative answer iieeniS generally to be given. The wish, of rourse, may in a number of instances be father to the thought; but there appears little doubt that, owing not only to the growth of American competition, but to the over-production in our own country during the past few months, a stock is now on hand which cannot be expected to be disposed of at the high prices that have previously ruled. Let it be admitted at once that, in the normal course of trade, a really good machine cannot be sold at a low price, for it must not only be composed of thoroughly sound materials, but be put together by skilled and experienced workmen. There is, however, the other side of the picture, and that is that cycling is so much a matter of fashion that its more frivolous votaries do not want a machine which will last for ever, and that a low-priced one, which will ran a twelvemonth, is calculated to suit their requirements. R.

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