And if sometimes she comes in in very wet garments and flounces down on one’s velvet-covered couch, why, she may be described as adding injury to insult.

It is really almost insulting to call on an off day, for it means either that one’s caller hopes to find one absent or else that she intends to monopolise one’s attention after having flagrantly disregarded one’s wishes.

Travelling sans conscience.

There are fine opportunities for the display of “no conscience” in travelling. It is so pleasant, for instance, to share a railway carriage with a person who insists on keeping the windows closed. And, without going into detail, I may refer to travellers by sea who make an inferno of the ladies’ cabin, when the weather is rough, simply for lack of consideration for others.

Some minor failings.

There are minor ways in which this form of thoughtlessness may be displayed. In doing up postal packets one may consider the postman, and refrain from tying up half a dozen newspapers in one bundle just for the sake of saving oneself the trouble of writing the address three or four times. In an omnibus it is unnecessary to point the stick of one’s umbrella outwards, so that every one who enters is in danger of falling over it. Yet many women do this. There are those, too, who lounge sideways in a crowded omnibus, while their neighbours are screwed up uncomfortably closely for lack of the inches that should be theirs, but which the lounger has appropriated.

Those poor servants!

And trades-people!

The unpunctual woman.

And who shall say that conscience is perfectly developed in the woman who keeps her coachman and footman waiting for hours in the cold of a winter’s night while she is warmly housed and indifferent? Or in her whose maid has to sit up for her till the small hours, and yet has to fetch her her cup of tea bright and early the next morning? And what shall be said of her who goes to her dressmaker and orders a gown at the very last moment? Where is her social conscience? Does she not know that weary girls who have worked hard all day must be kept late to complete her dress? Does she know? Does she care? And what of her who omits to pay her milliner, her dressmaker, her florist, and all others who supply her with the luxuries of life? Her conscience must be of the most diminutive order. In things great and small the lack of social conscience shows itself. As compared with a few particulars I have mentioned, the want of punctuality is a trifle, but it is sometimes productive of the most aggravating effects. And there are women who almost appear to take pains to be unpunctual, so invariably are they just too late for everything. What they cost their housemates in time and temper can never be computed. They are themselves serene. “I’m the most unpunctual of human beings,” one such will be heard to say. She keeps people fuming on a platform watching train after train start for Henley, Ascot, Sandown, or Hurlingham, and comes up smiling and saying, “I’m afraid all you dear people are very cross with me.” At mealtimes she is equally exasperating, but she never seems to be aware that her consistent unpunctuality makes her a terrible trial to all her acquaintances. She is destitute of social conscience. And I might cite a hundred other instances of this destitution were it necessary!

  By PanEris using Melati.

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