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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1966

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

of the wine to be laid in; "fine," bottle, cork, and seal it, and place it in the bins. Brewing, racking, and bottling malt liquors belong to his office, as well as their distribution. These and other drinkables are brought from the cellar every day by his own hands, except where an under-butler is kept; and a careful entry of every bottle used, entered in the cellar book.

THE FOOTMAN

The Single Footman.—In households where only one footman is kept, he has to do the work that in larger establishments is allotted to the first, second and third footmen with some little assistance from the butler if one is kept; but in many cases a parlour-maid lends him help in laying the cloth and waiting at table. His duties we give in detail, these being in effect those of the three named, and it will not be difficult to determine, where several footmen are kept, which portion of the duties belongs to each. In large households the head footman usually stays at home to answer the door to visitors, and the second footman goes out with the carriage.

Footman's Morning Duties.—He is expected to rise early in order to get through his early morning work before the family are stirring. Boots and shoes, knives and forks, should be cleaned, coal scuttles filled, lamps in use trimmed, then any gentleman's clothes that require it brushed, hot water taken up and baths prepared before he tidies himself, has his own breakfast, and lays that for the family. At breakfast the footman carries up the urn and places the chief dishes upon the table. If any waiting is required, he does it assisted by parlour-maid or house-maid. During the morning his time will be occupied in cleaning plate, windows, etc., according to the rules of the house in which he is engaged, and he will have to answer the front door and look after the sitting-room fires. After these duties will come laying the table for luncheon.

Afternoon Duties.—As at breakfast, where only one man-servant is kept, but little waiting is required at luncheon after the soup or hot dishes have been served. These taken away, the footman will have his own dinner. When the family have left the dining-room, the footman clears away, washes the glass used, and cleans the plate. He then prepares himself either to go out with the carriage or to answer the door to visitors, as the case may be. When required to go out with the carriage, it is the footman's duty to see that the inside is free from dust, and he should be ready to open and close the door after his mistress. In receiving messages at the carriage door he should turn his ear to the speaker, so as to comprehend what is said, in order that he may give his directions to the coachman clearly. When the house he is to call at is reached, he should knock and return to the carriage for orders. In closing the door upon the family, he should see that the handle is securely turned, and that no part of the ladies' dress is shut in.