The Venetian Nuns are the merriest in all Europe, and have a not much better Repute than the Monks, many of them being the Daughters of the Nobility, who dispose of 'em in this manner to save the Charges of keeping 'em at home. They wear no Veils; have their Necks uncovered; and receive the Addresses of Suitors at the Grates of their Parlours.
More than that earnestness and reality are classed together under the head of "bad form," the vital word grates on the emasculate brain of the society man, and he compensates himself for his inward consciousness of inferiority by assuming easy airs of insolence.
Was there fire in the room where she worked?" "Fire! No. We don't have grates or stoves in any of our rooms." "Oh; then there was a fire in the heater?" "We never make fire in the heater before November," answered Mrs. Lowe, with the manner of one who felt annoyed. Mrs. Wykoff mused for some moments.
Fire brasses or fireirons came into vogue with grates, although the sets now regarded as old fire brasses, some of which are very elaborate and massive, made at the beginning of the nineteenth century, were first used when fenders came into vogue; instead of being reared up alongside the fire-dogs in the chimney corner they rested on the fenders.
They traversed a banqueting-hall hung with portraits, to two or three of which the master of Earlsfont carelessly pointed, for his guest to be interested in them or not as he might please. A reception-hall flung folding-doors on a grand drawing-room, where the fires in the grates went through the ceremony of warming nobody, and made a show of keeping the house alive.
The principal articles cast were pots, kettles, and other "hollow ware," direct from the smelting-furnace; the rest of the metal was run into pigs. In course of time we find that other castings were turned out: a few grates, smoothing-irons, door-frames, weights, baking-plates, cart-bushes, iron pestles and mortars, and occasionally a tailor's goose.
When he was caught at last, pent in "stone walls and chains and iron grates," their grief was in proportion to his rare merits and his great fame. Butler says, that to his dungeon
The dear good old creature was always glad to revert to anything, and had she been systematically indulged, would doubtless in time have reflected that fingers were made before forks and have reverted accordingly. But in the affairs of the fire-place Mr. Thorne would not revert. Country gentlemen around him all had comfortable grates in their dining-rooms.
Edward Henry sincerely believed in light and heat; he was almost the only person in the Five Towns who did. In the Five Towns people have fires in their grates not to warm the room, but to make the room bright. Seemingly they use their pride to keep themselves warm.
But I do seriously mean that setting fires, cleaning grates, carrying coals, making beds, washing dishes, cooking, scrubbing floors, cleaning brass and silver, etc., etc. are things which the average man can do quite as well as the average woman. Why then should they all be piled upon the weary back of the woman?