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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1963

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DOMESTIC SERVANTS AND THEIR DUTIES

 

CHAPTER LXVIII

 

General Observations on Domestic Servants, and on the Duties of the Butler, Footman, Page, Coachman, Groom, Stable Boy, Chauffeur, Valet, Lady's-maid, Parlour-maid, Housemaid, General Servant, Dairy- maid, and Laundry-maid.

Masters and Mistresses.—It is said that good masters and mistresses make good servants, and this to a great extent is true. There are certainly some men and women whom it would be impossible to train into good servants, but the conduct of both master and mistress is seldom without its effect upon these dependents. The sensible master and the kind mistress know, that if servants depend on them for their means of living, in their turn they are dependent on their servants for very many of the comforts of life; and that, using a proper amount of care in choosing servants, treating them like reasonable beings, and making slight excuses for the shortcomings of human nature, they will be tolerably well served, and surround themselves with attached domestics.

Women Servants are specially likely to be influenced by their mistress's treatment of them. In many cases mistresses do not give their servants the help which it is their duty to afford. A timely hint, or even a few words of quiet reproof, may be lacking when needed, and still more so the kind words and the deserved praise for work well and carefully done. It is a fact that we must take some trouble with our servants. There is no necessity for a mistress to be continually fussing round and superintending her servants' work, but she must make sure that they do it thoroughly and well. Also she must take time and pains to show her domestics how she likes the work done.

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