« VorigeDoorgaan »
&c. In these trades the fall has been from 1 fr. to 3 fr. per day; in others it has been but from 50 c. to 1 fr., and in some, but a small number it is true, no fall has taken place.
2. In general,* workmen labour all the week, and in some trades even half the Sunday. About one-eighth part of the whole may be excepted,—for those who have contracted the habit of making holidays of Sunday and Monday. The time of work is twelve hours per day for builders-such as masons, locksmiths, carpenters; in other trades thirteen hours, from which, however, two hours are to be deducted for meal times.
3. Masons and stone-cutters are the only trades that do not take apprentices at Paris: workmen of these classes coming from the country sufficiently acquainted with their business. All others receive apprentices.
4. Boys are put out as apprentices from the age of 12 to 14. In some trades they were formerly boarded in the master's house, but this system is almost abolished. The time of apprenticeship is three years in easy trades, and four years in those of greater difficulty; during this term the apprentice receives no pay.
5. Workmen generally expend all they earn. 6. We may safely affirm that hardly one-sixth of
* I believe the words 'in general' to be incorrect.
them are economical enough to put any thing into the savings' banks.
It may be reckoned that one half of the workmen belong to benefit societies; the members of these societies impose upon themselves a slight contribution of 1 fr. 50 c. per month; in return for which they, in case of sickness, receive medicines gratis, are attended, also gratuitously, by the physician employed by the society, and have an allowance of 2 fr. per day till their complete recovery.
These Societies are very numerous in Paris; the
* The following is the state and progress of these banks. The first institution of savings' banks was in 1818. They succeeded but very slowly; but are now spreading, and exist in Bordeaux, Douai, Dunkerque, Hâvre, Lyon, Luneville, Metz, Mulhausen, Nantes, Nîmes, Orléans, Paris, Rennes, Reims, Rouen, St. Etienne, Toulon, Toulouse, Tours, Troyes, and Versailles, and most of the other great towns seem inclined to adopt them.
most numerous does not contain more than 200 or 300 members; and, according to a statement drawn up by the Philanthropic Society, the poorest, even, has a fund of from 2,000 to 3,000 fr. placed either in the savings' bank, or at the Mont de Piété.
7. It is in general on each Saturday night that the workmen receive their pay: in a few trades only are they paid by the fortnight.
Paris, 28th February, 1832.—Food of the Workmen of Paris.
This may be arranged under four heads :1. The terrace-makers and labourers live very economically, not expending more than from 16 to 17 sous per day in the morning they repair to the low eating-houses, called Gargottes, where for 7 sous they get soup, and a plate of meat with vegetables; their custom is to breakfast on the soup and vegetables, and carry the meat away with them for their dinner.
Thus these 7 sous, two pounds of bread, 8 sous, and, perhaps, for wine, 2 sous, make 17 sous.
2. The masons, paviours, locksmiths, &c., do not exceed 20 or 21 sous; their only addition to the above being four or five sous for supper. 21 sous.
3. The other classes of trades shown upon the
list, such as carvers, saddlers, gilders, printers, mechanics, upholsterers, &c., spend from 25 to 27 sous; thus:
Soup and meat for breakfast
Wine at ditto
Two pounds of bread
Breakfast, estimated at
Dinner, at an ordinary, at per head
4. The fourth class may, perhaps, spend from 30 This class comprises the jewellers, en
to 36 sous.
gravers, watch-makers, tailors, &c.
LODGING. The workmen who have their own furniture may get apartments for from 40 fr. to 100 fr. per annum: they who hire furnished rooms, pay
For a whole room, twelve francs per month
For the half of a bed, five francs per month
CLOTHING. The expense for clothing cannot be precisely estimated, from the difference existing in the dress of the various classes of workmen. The masons, smiths, &c. who wear very coarse clothing, do not expend more than 100 or 120 fr. for dress, washing, shoes, &c.; while the jewellers, watchmakers, and engravers spend at least 300 fr., perhaps 350 fr., but not more.
AMUSEMENTS.-We shall not here speak of those thriftless men, who, on the Sunday and Monday, spend three fourths of their weekly earnings in intemperance, and who, to defray their daily expenses, contract debts they never pay, but of prudent men who base their expenses on their income.
Some of these content themselves with spending 25 to 30 sous in the houses of entertainment in the suburbs; others frequent the public balls of Paris, and spend in entrance money and refreshments from 40 sous to 3 fr., perhaps 3 fr. 56 c.; others go to the theatres, where the price of admittance to the pit varies with the different houses; there are some of 1 fr. 25 c., and others of 2 fr. 50 c.; we may add about 50 c. for unforeseen expenses, raising the whole to from 1 fr. 75 c. to 3 fr.
* All my inquiries and observations lead me to believe that these thriftless men, as Dr. Bowring calls them, form a considerable part of the Parisian workmen. But as I shall treat this subject at length elsewhere, I do not now enter upon it.