Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Servants of a Big House

The small household must choose servants according to convenience and requirements. Where there are three or four grown-up daughters and the home is a small one, one maid and one butler are sufficient. But in a very large house with numerous rooms, where many social functions are held and many house parties are given by the hostess a full corps of servants is required. Each one should have certain, definite tasks to perform every day. In the luxurious American home, seven servants are usually employed. They are a butler, a chauffeur, a parlor maid, a cook, a laundress, a nurse-maid and a chambermaid. A lady's maid and a valet are sometimes added. A footman, laundry-maid and scullery-maid are also added, sometimes, to the corps of servants. But this list may be increased or diminished according to the requirements of the individual family. For instance, a second-man may be placed under the direction of the butler; a gardener and his assistants may be charged with the care of the environs; while grooms may be employed to care for the horses in the stables. But usually these additional servants are the luxuries of the extremely wealthy and should hot be indulged in by those who cannot afford them. In the home where there are several men servants and several women servants, it is the best plan for the wife to supervise the duties and responsibilities of the women, leaving the men to be directed by her husband. It is important, though, for the mistress of the house not to give counter commands to servants who are under her husband's supervision, for this may cause a friction that is not conducive to the best service on the part of the help.

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