She found she had once been a clear starcher, and was a tolerable plain work-woman; she resolved, therefore, to send her into the country, where she hoped to be able to get her some business, and knew that at least, she could help her, if unsuccessful, and see that her children were brought up to useful employments.
But promotion was waiting for him. He was a good worker. He would next go on the starcher, and later he would go into the loom room. There was nothing after that except increased efficiency. The machinery ran faster than when he had first gone to work, and his mind ran slower. He no longer dreamed at all, though his earlier years had been full of dreaming. Once he had been in love.
Sponge chiefly showed in promoting a resemblance between his neck-cloths and waistcoats. Thus, if he wore a cream-coloured cravat, he would have a buff-coloured waistcoat, if a striped waistcoat, then the starcher would be imbued with somewhat of the same colour and pattern. The ties of these varied with their texture.
He wore no gills; and his neatly tied starcher had a white ground with small black spots, about the size of currants. His single-breasted, cutaway coat was Oxford mixture, with a thin cord binding, and very natty light kerseymere mother-o'-pearl buttoned breeches, met a pair of bright, beautifully fitting, rose-tinted tops, that wrinkled most elegantly down to the Jersey-patterned spur.
Seats adjusted to the machines are provided for at the a. Collar ironer feeder. b. Collar ironer catcher. c. Collar dampener feeder. d. Collar dampener catcher. e. Collar straightener. f. Collar starcher feeder. g. Collar starcher catcher. h. Handkerchief flat-work feeder and catcher. i. Folders on small work. j. Collar shaper. k. Collar seam-dampener. l. Straight collar shaper.
When he was fourteen, he went to work on the starcher. It was a colossal event. Something had at last happened that could be remembered beyond a night's sleep or a week's pay-day. It marked an era. It was a machine Olympiad, a thing to date from. "When I went to work on the starcher," or, "after," or "before I went to work on the starcher," were sentences often on his lips.
A couple of dainty muslin dresses were draped over chairs, for Dyce was the finest clear starcher in Marlborough, and her kitchen was all too small to hold the products of her skill.
Maria's mother was a washerwoman who lived outside Coleby on the common, and gained her income by acting as laundress generally for all who would intrust her with their family linen; but she called herself in yellow letters on a brilliant scarlet ground a "clear starcher." During Maria's early life at home she had had much experience in the ways of washing. She knew the smell of boiled soap.
For this service the girl would get 10 cents a week from each of the women she did errands for. They did not the boss starcher explained to me with quiet elegance think of such a thing as drinking beer behind the boss's back, but they 'just didn't want him to know.
Her industry is upstairs and downstairs, like a drawer; and by her dry hand you may know she is a sore starcher. If she lie at her master's bed's feet, she is quit of the green sickness for ever, for she hath terrible dreams when she's awake, as if she were troubled with the nightmare.