Servants and Inferiors
Sir Peabody: Lady Befuddled, it is important that your son, along with all young men, learn early on to be satisfied with their stations in life. And if their station be high, to treat those below them with the utmost respect, as if they were equals. Contempt for social inferiors is a sign of ruinous indulgence.
Lady Befuddled: But Sir Peabody, if a man is below you, what reason is there to treat him with kindness. If he be a servant, he was born to wait on the gentry, not mingle with them. Such low people mean nothing to those of us who are well off.
Sir Peabody: I do not dispute that many of the well-off look upon the lower classes as nothings; however, whether they be or not, that is no reason to increase the difficulty of their lives. The lower classes are not subject to the liberties of the nobility and gentry and are not equipped with the authority to
dispute ill-treatments that fall upon them. Madame, I call your attention to The Servant's Friend10. I have seen many stories written on the ruinous ends of impertinent spoiled little boys and girls, who don't know how to treat their inferiors with kindness. This story, however, is of a different sort; it is the story of a young poor boy who must feel content with his life. He has no other choice; for if he fights against his grievances and those who harm him, he will only be sunk yet lower in his already poor and deprived state. Hopefully, Madame, in reading this story you will see that it is not just to treat one's inferiors with unkind words and deeds and will teach Thomas to think likewise. Part of being a part of the gentry is the awareness that all people serve a function in this world and all are needed. Those of true genteel character recognize this and hence, treat all in kindness, knowing that the world as we know it depends on the work of the people of each class and station.