Victorian London - Professions and Trades - Service Industry - Servants - Governess


For the sake of our accomplished countrywomen, we reprint the subjoined from the Times:- 
"WANTED, in Islington, a MORNING DAILY GOVERNESS, of lady-like manners, for three or four young female pupils, capable of imparting a sound English education, with French, music and singing, dancing and drawing, unassisted by Masters. She must be proficient in music and singing, and able to devote three entire morning hours only for five days in each week to her pupils. One resident in the district would be referred, but inferior talent need not apply. SALARY 2 A MONTH! Unexceptionable reference, will certainly be required. Address, pre-paid, to S.S., Mr. Compton's, grocer, &c., 2, Morgan's-place, Liverpool-road, Islington."
    Five days in the week for three morning hours! This then would be fifteen hours a week, even if hebdomadally reckoned, for ten shillings - and "no inferior talent need apply!" Let us calculate the work and profit of the daily governess.
    Then shillings per week for fifteen hours is eight-pence per hour. There are three or four pupils to be taught; let us take three. This will not be three-pence an hour for each pupil who is to learn for her papa's three-pence, the very soundest English education - French, singing, dancing and drawing! Now, allowing that the governess can obtain two other employers of equal liberality with "S.S.," she may  positively earn, for nine hours' labour per diem, thirty shillings a week! Is not this a prospect to tempt Minerva herself from the skies, to turn daily governess!
    We can imagine the governess of "no inferior talent" knocking at the door of "S.S." (Shabby Shabby, of Stony-Heart-Place, is his real address.) How Betty the housemaid, at eight pounds a-year, her board, tea and sugar, pities the elegant drudge as she lets her in! With that gratitude does Betty return to her scrubbing, and dropping upon her knees to her work, how fervently does she thank fate that she cannot impart a sound English education, - that she knows neither French,nor music nor singing, nor dancing nor drawing! She may from the slop-pail look down upon the daily governess, and, from the bottom of her soul, pity her!

Punch, Jul.-Dec. 1843