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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Politics and History

A Lady

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

“A LADY” – The word “lady” is an abbreviation of the Saxon Laffday, which signifies bread-giver. The mistress of a manor, at a time when affluent families resided constantly at their country mansions, was accustomed, once a week, of oftener, to distribute among the poor a quantity of bread. She bestowed the boon with her own hand, and made the hearts of the needy glad by the soft words and the gentle amenities which accompanied her benevolence. The widow and orphan “rose up and called her blessed” – the destitute and the afflicted recounted her praises – all classes of the poor embalmed her in their affections as the Laffday – the giver of bread and dispenser of comfort – a sort of ministering angel in a world of sorrow. Who is a lady now? Is it she who spends her days in self-indulgence, and her nights in dissipation and folly? It is she who rivals the gayety of the butterfly, but hates the industrious mum of the “busy bee?” Is it she who wastes on gaudy finery what would make many a widow’s heart sing with joy, and who, when the rags of the orphan flutter about her in the wind, sighs for a place of refuge, as it the pestilence were in the breeze? This may be “a Woman of fashion” and she may be as admired and ….

A Lady