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35
THE HOUSEKEEPER

herself with the necessary preparations for the next day's duties. Numberless small, but still important, arrangements will have to be made, so that everything may move smoothly. At times, perhaps, attention will have to be paid to the preparation of lump-sugar, spices, candied peel, the stoning of raisins, the washing, cleansing, and drying of currants, etc. The evening, too, is the best time for attending to household and cash accounts, and making memoranda of any articles she may require for her store-room or other departments.

Periodically, at some convenient time—for instance, quarterly or half-yearly—it is a good plan for the housekeeper to make an inventory of everything she has under her care, and compare this with the lists of a former period; she will then be able to furnish a statement, if necessary, of the articles which, from wear, breakage, loss, or other causes, it has been necessary to replace or replenish.

Responsibilities.—In concluding these remarks on the duties of the housekeeper, we will briefly refer to the very great responsibility which attaches to her position. Like "Caesar's wife," she should be "above suspicion," and her honesty and sobriety unquestionable; for there are many temptations to which she is exposed. From a physical point of view, a housekeeper should be healthy and strong, and be particularly clean in her person, and her hands, though they may show a slight degree of roughness, from the nature of some of her employments, still should have a nice appearance. In her dealings with the various tradesmen, and her behaviour to the domestics under her, the demeanour and conduct of the housekeeper should never diminish her authority or influence.

Seasons for different kinds of work.—It will be useful for the mistress and housekeeper to know the best seasons for various occupations connected with Household Management; and we, accordingly, subjoin a few hints which we think will prove valuable.

In the winter months, some of the servants have much more to do, in consequence of the necessity there is to attend to the necessary fires.

In the summer, and when the absence of fires gives the domestics more leisure, a little extra work can be easily performed.

Spring is the usual period set apart for house-cleaning, and removing all the dust and dirt which, notwithstanding all precautions, will accumulate during the winter months, from dust, smoke, gas, etc. This season is also well adapted for washing and bleaching linen, etc., as the weather not being then too hot for the exertions necessary in washing counterpanes, blankets, and heavy substances, the work is better and more easily done than in the greater heats of July. Winter curtains should be taken down, and replaced by the summer white ones; and furs and winter clothes also carefully laid by. The former should be well shaken and brushed, and then pinned upon paper or linen, with camphor to preserve them from moths. Spring cleaning must include the turning out of the all the nooks and corners of drawers, cupboards,