Servants are more likely to be praised into good conduct— than scolded out of bad — always commend them when they do right — to cherish the desire of pleasing in them, you must show them that you are pleased : —
“Be to their Faults a little blind,
And to their Virtues very kind.”
By such conduct, — ordinary Servants, will often be converted into Good ones ; —few so hardened, as not to feel gratified when they are kindly and liberally treated.
It is a good Maxim to select Servants not younger than Thirty, — before that age, however comfortable you may endeavour to make them, their want of experience, and the Hope of something still better— prevents their being satisfied with their present state.
After, they have had the benefit of experience, if they are tolerably comfortable, they will endeavour to deserve the smiles of even a moderately kind master, for Fear they may change for the worse. Life may indeed be very fairly divided into the seasons of Hope and Fear. In Youth, we hope everything may be right ; — in Age, we fear every thing will be wrong.
Do not discharge a good servant for a slight offence—
“Bear and forbear, thus preached the stoic eagles.
And in two words, include the sense of pages.”—Pope.
Human nature, is the same in all stations; — if you can convince your Servants, that you have a generous and considerate regard for their Health and Comfort — why should You imagine that They will be insensible to the good they receive?
A Benevolent old Gentlewoman told us that on Wednesdays and Saturdays she allowed her servants (three in number) half a Crown to purchase anything they pleased for Supper — that she was sure, that she saved much more than double that sum by the general Economy which this provision for their comfort induced her domestics to observe.
Impose no commands but what are reasonable, — nor reprove but with justice and temper — the best way to ensure which, is — never to Lecture them, till at least one day after they have offended you. If they have any particular hardship to endure in your service, — let them see that you are concerned for the necessity of imposing it.
If they are Sick,—remember you are their Patron as well as their Master, — not only remit their labour, but give them all the assistance of Food, Physic, and every comfort in your power. — Tender assiduity about an Invalid is half a Cure, — it is a balsam to the Mind, which has a most powerful effect on the Body, — soothes the sharpest Pains, and strengthens beyond the richest Cordial.
The following estimate of the Expenses of a Female Servant —was sent to us by an experienced Housekeeper— They are often expected to find their own Tea and Sugar, — which with sober servants is the most comfortable meal they have — and will require
Half a pound of Tea per month, per annum… £3:10:0
Half a pound of Sugar per week, per annum… £3:10:0
4 pair of Shoes, per annum… £0:18:0
2 pair of black worsted Stockings… £0:4:0
2 pair of white Cotton… £0:5:0
2 Gowns… £1:10:0
6 Aprons – 4 check, 2 white… £0:10:6
6 caps… £0:10:6
A bonnet, a Shawl or Cloak, Patterns, &c. Ribands, Handkerchiefs, Pins, Needles, Threads, Thimbles, Scissors, and other working tools, – Stays, Stay-tape, and Buckram, &c. &c… £2:0:0
Besides these, She has to make a shift and buy petticoats, pockets, and many other articles. We appeal to the neatest managing and most economical Housewife, to inform us how this can be done — and how much a poor Girl will have remaining to place her account in the Saving Bank, — for help in Sickness, — when Out of Place, — and for her support in Old Age. — Here, — is the source, — of the swarms of distressed Females which we daily meet in our streets.
- The Cook’s Oracle (1822)