Where two servants, housemaid and cook, are kept,
281. To get through the work in a regular and orderly manner, such as will give satisfaction to the mistress, it is necessary that the cook and housemaid should divide it judiciously between them, certain duties being taken entirely by the one, and certain other duties by the other ; so that when anything is to be done, it may always be definitely understood who is to do it.
283. They should both rise at six o'clock. On coming downstairs the cook should go to the kitchen and lower offices ; the housemaid to the sitting-rooms, to open all the shutters, and if the weather be fine, the windows of the various apartments.
And gets it ready for the family ; for this she brings upstairs a carpet-broom, dustpan, and some damp tea-leaves.
285. She should then first remove the fender and fire-irons, and roll up and remove the rug ; take off the tablecloth, shake and fold it ; also shake and fold any antimacassars that may be in the room, and place all together on the table, which she should cover with a dusting-sheet. She should also cover the sofa, if there be one in the room, and the easy chair, and place the other chairs one seat upon the other, and get all the furniture as much together and into the middle of the room as possible. She should then, having sprinkled the carpet all over with the tea-leaves--
Beginning at the door, going into all the corners ; when it is swept all round, moving the furniture and sweeping where that stood, and bringing all the dust to the hearthstone, where she should collect it in the dustpan and remove it.
286. She should then shut the door, and while the dust is settling sweep out the hall and down the doorsteps, using for this not the carpet-broom, but the common house-sweeping brush. She should also take out the hall mats and shake them.
287. She should then return to the breakfast-room, bringing with her the housemaid's box, well supplied with brushes, blacklead, emery paper, and leathers. The cinder-pail, a small pail of hot water, a house flannel, a piece of hearthstone, a large coarse cloth, and paper, firewood, coals and matches to light the fire. She should then first lay down the cloth before the fireplace to save the carpet--
289. Then blacklead the grate, laying on the black lead with a soft brush, rubbing it off vigorously with a harder one, and finishing it off with a polishing brush. Then rub with a leather all the polished steel portion of the grate, which should not be touched at all with the blacklead or brushes ; where any spots appear, rubbing first with the emery paper, and afterwards with the leather. The fender the same way ; any portion that is of polished steel being cleaned with emery paper and leather. The fire-irons always with emery paper and leather only.
Proceeding in exactly the same manner as the cook does with the kitchen fire (see page xlviii.) Then--
Washing it very thoroughly, rinsing it quite free from all dirt and black ; then, while wet, she should rub it will all over with the hearthstone, but in doing this she must be very careful to let none of the water or stone touch the grate, fender, or fire-irons.
292. In doing this, she should go over every article carefully, not flapping the duster about, but wiping the dust off with it. She should go over the backs and legs of the various pieces of furniture, and should lift every small article from chimney-piece and sideboard, and dust under them. She should also dust round the cornice of the room, dust the door and the window-panes, sills, and ledges.
295. Except in the case of very stout common leather boots, which some ladies use in the country in bad weather, or very old kid boots, ladies' boots must not be touched with blacking. If the soles are very muddy, they must be scraped round with an old knife, great care being taken not to touch the uppers, nor to do more to the soles then take the mud off, the leather itself must not be scraped. The mud off the uppers should be removed with a sponge dipped in milk. When boots are not actually muddy, the it will be sufficient to go round the edges of the soles with a very soft brush, and to wipe the uppers gently with a flannel. When kid boots become old and discoloured, the "Kid Reviver" that most bootmakers sell is better to use than common blacking. It is laid on with a sponge, and left to dry, no brushing or polishing is necessary. Their morning's " dirty work" being then concluded, the servants should go to their own room, wash their faces and hands, arrange their hair, and put on clean caps and aprons. Having washed her hands, the housemaid will then go upstairs and knock at the different chamber-doors to arouse the family, supplying each room with warm water, and leaving the boots and shoes aside the doors of their wearers. Then--
296. The laying of the breakfast-table will vary according to the number of the family. In the present instance we will suppose it to be four, therefore she will first collect on her tray and take upstairs--
In placing these on the tray, she should be careful to let the tablecloth and napkins intervene between the china and the other things. She should place the tray on the stand outside the parlour-door, putting it in a convenient position so that she can easily pass in and out. She should first spread the cloth, doing it very carefully so as to avoid creasing it, keeping it quite straight, and an equal length hanging down at each end and at the sides.
297. She should then place at the head of the table--the mistress's place--the teapot-stand. In front of that the cups and saucers, arranged in a double row, room being left between them and the edge of the table for the mistress's plate. Then the slop-basin at the left-hand side of the cups and saucers. The smaller plates should then be put round the table, one at each person's place, a napkin on each ; they should be near the edge, but not near enough to be in danger of falling off. One large and one small knife should be put at the right hand side of each plate, a fork at the left hand side. The small carving knife and fork should be put at the foot of the table--the master's place ; next his own knife and fork ; one pair of rests in front of them. The large carving knife and fork should be put on the sideboard with the other rests, the four large plates should be put there also. The cruet-stand should be placed in the centre of the table ; the bread-knife at one side, the butter-knife at the other ; one salt-cellar at the right-hand top corner, the other that the right-hand bottom corner ; the dessert-spoon should be placed on the plate with the marmalade or honey when it is taken from the cellaret. A table-mat should be placed before the master's place.
301. The milk and cream should be placed at the right-hand side of the breakfast-cups, where the sugar-basin will be placed also when it is taken from the cellaret. The bread should be at the side of the table where the bread-knife was placed, the butter where the butter-knife. The cold meat should be put on the sideboard.
303. She should first clean out of the fireplace the remains of the fire of the night before, then thoroughly brush all the range. For lighting the fire she will require some paper, a dozen sticks of firewood, a few lumps of round coal, some good cinders, and a few matches. She should first place the paper at the bottom of the grate, but to the front near the bars ; then most of the firewood, the sticks placed lengthwise, one end resting on the second bar, the other at the back of the bottom of the grate, leaving a little space between each. She should then strike a match and set fire to the paper, and as it blazes up, and the wood catches, she should put on the coals and cinders lightly, and the rest of the sticks among them. If the paper burns away before the sticks have caught, she should replace it with some more paper ; but when the sticks have caught with a few of the coals and cinders, then as the fire lights up it will not sink.
304. The fire being lighted, the cook should clear away all the ashes and cinders, rub up with a leather the bright parts of the range, and wash the hearth ; when washed quite clean, but while it is still wet, she should rub it with a piece of hearthstone to whiten it, and place the kettle, filled with water, on the fire to boil. She should then thoroughly dust the kitchen, and put everything straight and in order ; and having removed to the scullery the brushes, the leather, the blacklead, the pail, flannel, brick, and whatever else she may have used with the fireplace, she should--
305. For this she will require some blacking and three brushes--one hard, one soft, and one medium. She should first, with the hard brush, brush off the mud--but if the boots be very muddy she must scrape it off with an old knife round the edges of the soles, being very careful, however, not to touch the upper leather--then with the soft brush lay on the blacking, and when that has dried on the boot polish it off with the medium brush. Each of the brushes should be used for its own particular purpose only. The cook then washes her hands, and proceeds to the hall, where she fastens the front door open, removes all coats, hats, umbrellas, and sweeps down the hall, collecting all the dust and dirt into her pan with the banister broom. If the hall be dirty, she removes all marks with a piece of flannel wrung out in warm water and polishes with another piece dipped in milk. Twice a week the hall is washed down as follows:--
306. Thoroughly wash off the dirt with flannel and warm, not hot, water ; rub dry with a cloth as you go ; and when all is finished, rub lightly with the oilcloth restorer (page lxiv), or with new milk, and brighten it. By using the simple restorer, an oilcloth may be preserved for a dozen years "as good as new."
307. Having cleaned the hall, she will dust the chairs and hat-stand and pegs, and return the coats and hats to their places, receiving them from the housemaid, who will have brushed them carefully downstairs. The cook beats the mat in the garden or street, and returns it to its place. She will next--
308. Scrubbing-brush, clean warm water, flannel, and hearthstone. She should first scrub the steps down, then dry off with the flannel, and while wet rub in the hearthstone. Some steps are whitened by a composition of pipeclay and water made into a thin paste, and laid on with a brush. This is an admirable white, but has the disadvantages of marking dresses, &c.
309. The scraper in country houses is taken indoors and cleaned, but when a fixture, as in London houses, the dirt must be removed daily, and the scraper washed and kept bright. After the steps, hall-door, &c., are cleaned--
310. When the kettle broils, she should move it aside, to make room for the pan or gridiron, still keeping it boiling, however. If she have an omelette to make, or fish, or cutlets to be prepared with eggs and breadcrumbs, they will have her first attention. If both fried fish and fried meat are wanted for breakfast, the fish should be done first, then covered close and kept warm while the meat is being cooked, not using the same pan. However, if the meat were only for one--such as a chop or a rasher of bacon--it might be done in a gridiron in front of the fire, while the fish or omelette was being fried on the top.
312. When the pan is removed from the fire, she should boil the eggs, first putting four egg-cups to warm ; she should also make the tea--if that be done in the kitchen ; if an urn is used, she should fill that and send it up to the breakfast-parlour by the housemaid, when the mistress will make it herself.
313. She will then place on a tray the hot dish, the eggs in the egg-cups on a dish with four egg-spoons, the toast and the teapot, and give it to the housemaid, who will take it to the breakfast-parlour.
to open all the windows and turn down the beds.
315. She should open out and separate all the bedclothes, placing them over the ends of the bedsteads and the backs of the chairs to air. Then, while the family are finishing breakfast, the servants should take theirs ; and both parlour and kitchen breakfast being concluded--
After which, she should bring up a hand-brush and dustpan, and sweep up the crumbs. She should also arrange the fire, sweep up the hearth, and put the chairs in their places. She will then--
316. For this she will require a pail of hot water, two tea-towels, and a coarse dish-cloth. These latter should be all quite clean and dry. She should first remove the tea-leaves from the teapot, and put them aside carefully for sweeping. She should then rinse out the teapot, if it be of metal, and put it aside to be rubbed up with the rest of the plate ; if it be china, it should be rinsed both outside and inside, and left to drain.
319. Then the knives. These should not be dipped entirely into the water. The blades should be held down in it for a short time ; the handles should not touch it at all. They should be immediately wiped in the coarse cloth, and laid aside to be cleaned.
320. She should then wipe thoroughly dry all the china and ware, using for the cups and saucers the tea-towels only ; but the dishes and plates must be wiped first with the coarse towel, and finished off afterwards with the finer one.
321. The silver should be washed in a separate bowl. It should be wiped thoroughly dry, and afterwards be rubbed up with a clean leather. The teapot, if of silver or Britannia metal, should be rubbed up also.
322. All the things being clean, they should be immediately put by--the china and ware in their appointed places on the dresser or in the cupboard, the knives in the knife-box, the silver in the silver-basket, the salt-cellars and cruet-stand wherever they are usually kept, but the sideboard cellaret is the best place. It is a good thing, also, to take the silver up and put it in the sideboard immediately. Then the pails should be emptied and wiped out, and the cloths rinsed and hung up to dry.
Whilst the cook has been removing the breakfast things and washing them up--
326. As she empties each vessel she should scald it out, then wipe it perfectly dry. She should empty the tin baths, wipe them very dry, and turn them up on end against the wall. Empty any water that may remain in the water-jugs, bottles, and tumblers, and rinse them out--the bottles and tumblers with tepid water. Rinse out and wipe the soap-dish and the brush-dish ; wipe down the tops of the stands, and replace all the things in their proper position. In doing this she must be very particular to use one of the cloths with the washing apparatus only. Having finished this work in one room, she should go to another, and so through them all. She should then take downstairs her slop-pail, water-can, cloths, and hot-water jugs and chamber candlesticks, and then, being joined by the cook, who will have washed her hands and put on a large clean apron for the purpose, they will--
327. Feather-beds and mattresses should be turned every day, the former, also, will require to be well beaten and shaken. They should first seize it firmly by the top corners, and shake the feathers to the bottom. Then take it by the bottom corners and shake the feathers to the top. Then shake them down equally through it all, taking care to break up any lumps. Then, when the feathers are evenly distributed throughout the whole, it should be smoothed down, and the mattress, if it be used, placed on gently and quite evenly.
330. Then the bolster. They should first hold it, one at each end, and shake it well ; then beat the feathers out equally through the whole, and if the strings or buttons of the case have come undone, re-fasten them.
333. Then the blankets, one by one. They should be put on--first, at the top, not coming up quite as high as the sheet. They should be spread gently down, taking care not to draw the sheet, and should be tucked in at the bottom of the bed.
337. It is not necessary to give a thorough sweeping to a bedroom every day. It is enough to lightly brush over the carpets with a hand-broom, collecting the dust as she goes in the dustpan ; but she should particularly do so under the beds, where fluff collects the most. Having swept one bedroom, she should now dust it and finish it off before going to another. She should dust every article in the room carefully. She should remove the looking-glass, bottles, boxes, &c., from the dressing-table, and dust it thoroughly ; and she should carefully dust the looking-glass and other things before replacing them. She should dust each of the chairs, the wardrobe, and chest of drawers, removing any article that may be on top of the latter, and dusting under them ; the same with the chimney-piece. She must also dust the door and the sills and ledges of the windows. She should then fill all the jugs and bottles with clean cold water, and, having shut all the bedroom doors, she should--
338. Which should be done with a hand-broom and dustpan, collecting the dust as she goes. When the stairs and closets are swept down she should dust down the banisters, rubbing the handrail well ; also the lobby windows, frames, sills, and ledges ; and the outside of all the doors, going thoroughly over all the panels.
340. This in a house with four bedrooms--two large and two small--would give one large bedroom to be done on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and the two small on Thursday. The housemaid would then have Friday for the drawing-room, and Saturday for plate-cleaning, lamp-cleaning, &c. If any washing be done at home, Monday is the best day for it, and no other extra work should be done on that day.
The slops will have been emptied, of course, but no other work done in it previously.
342. Having brought up a furniture dusting brush and a duster, she will begin by removing the bed, mattress, and palliasse from the bedstead. She will then dust the bedstead thoroughly, going into all the joints and crevices ; then brush the mattress. She will then remove the sheets and pillows and bolster-cases, and place them in the soiled-clothes basket, and having replaced the bed, mattresses, bolster, pillows, blankets, and counterpane on the bedstead, but without making the bed, she will cover all with a large dusting-sheet. She will then fold and pin up as high as she can the bed and window curtains, and remove the soiled muslin blinds and toilet cover, and place them in the soiled-clothes basket. She will then remove from the bedroom the towel-stand, all clothes that may be hanging on pegs, the looking-glass and all small ornamental articles from the dressing-table and chimneypiece. She will also roll up and remove the strips of carpeting and hearth-rug, the fender and fire-irons, and any small portable articles of furniture.
343. Then, having brought up a sweeping-brush, dustpan, and some damp tea-leaves, she will sweep the room, beginning at the door, going into all the corners, and bringing the dust to the hearthstone, from which she will collect and remove it. She should also remove the dustpan and sweeping-brush, and shut the room door.
344. Although on ordinary days the staircase is not swept down until all the bedrooms are done, on these "thorough cleaning" days it is best to do it immediately after this sweeping, because while the dust is settling there, nothing else can be done in the room.
347. She should then thoroughly dust the room, wiping every article of furniture carefully, wiping down the walls with a clean duster tied over a sweeping-brush, going all round the cornice and over the door. She should also dust the window-panes, sills, and ledges.
348. The dusting being done, she should take downstairs the housemaid's box, the sweeping-brush and dusters, the house-flannel and Bath brick, and bring up a large clean bowl, a can of hot water, a piece of soap, some washing soda, a piece of clean flannel, a sponge, a clean basin-cloth, and a clean linen glass-cloth.
349. She should then thoroughly wash, with soap, soda, and warm water, all the washing-table apparatus, and wipe them thoroughly dry ; the water-bottle and tumbler should be wiped with the glass-cloth. She should also wash down the marble top of the washstand with warm soap and water and the flannel.
351. Two leathers, two pails of cold water. Rub the windows up and down with a leather dipped in cold water, until all dirt, dust, and stains have disappeared, then, with a clean leather and fresh water, rub down one way only, and leave the glass to dry.
353. She should also wash the china plates and handles of the door, and any part of the paint that may be dirty ; but this, as also the paint of the window-sills and ledges, should be done with cold water and soap, and very carefully, or the paint will be injured.
356. Boards that are scoured regularly once every three weeks require nothing more than plenty of clean cold soft water and hard scrubbing with a good scrubbing-brush, to make and keep them a good colour ; but if they have been allowed to get very dirty, hot water, soda, and a little soap will be necessary. The housemaid should bring up a good large pail of water, a scrubbing-brush, and a clean house-flannel. She should began to scour at the end of the room farthest from the door and work towards it. She should first scrub well a portion as far as she can reach kneeling, using plenty of water ; then wipe it off dry with the flannel, move a little, and do the next portion ; but she should take care to leave not the smallest bit of board unscrubbed or less scrubbed than the rest. If she use soap she must be careful to wash it off will again with the flannel, else the boards will blacken. She should empty her pail and refill it with fresh water very frequently, it will save trouble in the end, for it is impossible to wash anything clean with dirty water.
357. As soon as the room is all scoured out the she should open the windows and the door to allow a thorough draught to pass through the room and dry it. In winter a fire should be lighted. But a bedroom should never be scoured in wet or even damp weather.
359. She will then bring back and lay down the carpets ; if possible they should first be shaken. Bring back the fender and fire-irons and all the furniture ornaments and clothes which she had removed, and rearrange them in their proper places. She should put up clean blinds, put on a clean toilet-cover, and polish the looking-glass ; then, having filled the jug and bottle with fresh cold water, the room will be quite finished.
First remove all furniture to the centre of the room, packing it up carefully, and placing all ornaments, pictures, &c., upon the centre table. Cover all with the dusting-sheets. Strew the carpet with well-washed tea-leaves, and sweep as directed on page liv ; dust walls and cornices with the brushes for that purpose ; then clean the grate, hearth, &c., mantlepiece, looking-glasses, and windows ; dust and replace the pictures, washing the frames with gin , and rubbing the cords well with a duster. Replace the furniture after well dusting and rubbing it with furniture-polish (page lxiii). Carefully wash or rub the ornaments, and replace them. A large room with much furniture can be cleaned in this manner in from three to four hours by two persons.
362. Thus, Mondays she too gives to the washing. Tuesday she washes the hall. Wednesday, thoroughly cleans the dining-room. Thursday, cleans the front kitchen and scours all the tins. Friday, the back kitchen and pantries ; and Saturday, the hall, the kitchen stairs, and basement passage. Steps every day.
(See page xlix.)
She should first roll up the rug and remove the fender and fire-irons. Then gather together the furniture in the middle of the room, the chairs turned one upon another, and cover them all with dusting-sheets. She should remove all the plate, &c., from the top of the sideboard, and either put it into the sideboard or remove it from the room. She should then, having first sprinkled the carpet with damp tea-leaves, sweep the room, beginning at the door, going into all the corners, and bringing the dust to the hearthstone, where she should collect it in the dustpan and remove it.
365. She should then clean the grate and hearthstone, bringing up for the purpose the housemaid's box, a pail of hot water, a house-flannel, and hearthstone. She should first lay down a coarse cloth over the carpet in front of the fireplace, and place her utensils upon it. If there are the remains of a fire in the grate, that must be first cleared away and placed in the cinder-box. She should then blacklead the grate, laying it on with a soft brush, rubbing it off with a harder, and finishing it with a polishing-brush. All the bright polished steel part should be rubbed with emery paper, and afterwards with a leather, as should also be the fire-irons and the steel portion of the fender. In washing the hearthstone she should be very careful not to let any of the water touch the grate ; if a fire is to be lighted, that should be done before the washing of the hearthstone.
366. She should then remove all these utensils, and having provided herself with a clean duster and a cornice-broom, she should dust all the room carefully, wiping down the walls, going over all the cornices, and the doors, the window-panes, sills, and ledges. If there are any pictures in the rooms they should be dusted with a light feather-brush, as should the frame of the chimney-glass ; the plate should be polished with a clean dry linen cloth. She should then dust all the furniture, and replace the several articles in their proper positions.
367. Her morning's occupation of washing or house-cleaning being over, the cook will probably have to occupy herself with some work in the culinary department, the making of soup, or preparing sweet dishes for the late dinner ; or, if there be children in the family who dine early, she will have to get their dinner. At one o'clock, or half-past--
368. The children's dinner will be served at the same time. The things to be taken up will depend entirely on the nature of the meal, but for whatever is served there must be a sufficient supply of knives, forks, spoons, plates, glasses, &c., for the number of persons who are to partake of it. While the family are at luncheon the servants will take their dinner. The tray being removed--
proceeding the same as she did with the breakfast things, while the housemaid goes to her room, changes her morning print dress for a neat stuff, and puts on a clean white apron, cap, collar, and cuffs. She is then ready to open the door for visitors.
369. The afternoon the housemaid will employ, on some days, in starching, sprinkling, or ironing the fine things ; on others she may have some house needlework, such as hemming dusters and glass-cloths, or mending stockings, sheets, &c., to do.
370. Before or at four o'clock, the cook will have set about getting dinner ready. If the dinner-hour be half-past six or seven, five will be the time enough for the housemaid to begin her preparations.
371. She should first clean the knives ; this, if done in the patent knife cleaner, will be very little trouble, but they should be carefully dusted afterwards. She will then take up the stand, and place it in the hall in a convenient position, then collect on her tray all the things she will require for laying the table.
372. This will, of course, depend upon the nature of the meal and the number of persons to partake of it. Supposing, then, the dinner to consist of soup, fish, a roast joint, potatoes, vegetables, and a sweet dish, and, as at breakfast, four persons to sit down to table, she will require--
374. She should first spread the cloth, doing it very carefully so as not to crumple or wrinkle it ; it should be quite even, an equal length hanging down at the top and bottom of the table and at the sides.
375. She should then put round to each person's place one large, one small, and one fish knife ; then one large, one small, and one fish fork ; leaving a space between the knives and the forks for the plates, and the knives being at the right hand and the forks at the left of the space. Then the carving knives and forks at the master's place at the head of the table ; next his own knives and forks, the rests in front of them. Then a soup-spoon to each person next the knives ; the soup-ladle and gravy-spoon at the master's place, lengthwise in front of where the dishes will stand ; the fish-slice next to the carving-knives, and the four tablespoons crossways at the right-hand corners.
381. She should also place on the sideboard the bottled ale or stout, if any member of the family is in the habit of partaking of it ; and the corkscrew next. Also a jug of cold water, an empty jug for the table beer, if that be used, and a basin of sifted sugar.
382. If cheese be used, that should be placed on the sideboard, and butter on the butter-dish. For this four additional plates will be required, and four knives, which should the also placed on the sideboard.
383. If dessert is taken, that should be placed on the table down the centre, in which case the cruet-stand will be put on the sideboard. For dessert four dessert plates will be required, and four dessert knives and forks, which should be kept on the sideboard till wanted. The wine should be put on--the sherry at the right-hand top corner, the claret at the right-hand bottom corner, not near the edge of the table, but inside the spoons and salt-cellars.
386. To send a dinner to table all in nice order and thoroughly well cooked, depends not only on the cook's skill in preparing each particular dish nicely itself, but on her knowledge of how to prepare them all with regard to each other ; many people quite capable of frying a dish of fish, or roasting a joint very well, by themselves , would yet make a complete muddle of a dinner of four courses.
387. The first and most important thing is to set about it in time ; nothing can be properly done unless sufficient time is taken to do it in. The next is to understand what things in the dinner will bear to be cooked some little time before they are to be eaten without spoiling, and to get them ready first.
388. And as the difficulty of cooking a dinner consists, not so much in the number of dishes as in the way they are to be cooked, if the cook be at all consulted by her mistress in the ordering of the dinner, she should take care, above all things, not to have several things to be cooked in the same manner, as, for instance, with soup and boiled fish not to have a boiled joint, and a boiled pudding ; or with fried fish, not to have fried cutlets and a fried omelette. With a small open range it is impossible to boil many things at once, and boiled things--particularly fish and puddings--spoil completely by being cooked sooner than required, if left in the water they get sodden, if dished they get flabby.
389. Supposing dinner to consist of soup, boiled fish requiring 20 minutes to cook, a piece of roast beef, a baked plum-pudding, potatoes and brocoli. The plum-pudding should be made in the morning ; the soup, except the thickening and adding of wine, sauce, &c., should also be made in the morning.
390. The beef should be put down in time to allow a quarter of an hour to every pound, and a quarter of an hour over ; if the dinner-time be half-past six she may calculate to have it done at a quarter to seven ; the fish she should calculate to have done at twenty-five minutes to seven ; the potatoes and brocoli should not be ready until the beef is to be served ; the soup may be drawn aside on the range to let the fish-kettle go on, but the potatoes and brocoli, when once they are put down and have begun to simmer, must be kept so or else they will be spoiled.
391. The soup should be served punctually at half-past six. The cook should previously have warmed four plates, she should also warm the soup-tureen by rinsing it out with boiling water ; and some toasted bread cut up into dice should be served with it if it be brown soup. In dishing it she should be very careful to pour it boldly from the digester into the tureen so that none may drip over the side of the tureen and carry blacks into it.
399. She should do all as quickly as possible, or but at the same time gently and carefully, not clashing the glasses together, placing the knives and forks together in the knife-box, piling the plates one over another, but never with the knives, forks, or spoons left between. When the things are all removed, she should sweep the crumbs from the tablecloth with a crumb-brush, and, as soon as the cloth is removed, she should rub the table quickly all over with a soft cloth.
404. The water should not be so hot for the knives. The blades should be held down in the water for a little time, the handles should not touch at all. They should be wiped very dry and perfectly free from grease, and then laid aside to be cleaned.
406. The silver will require hotter water. They should not be mixed with the glasses at all in the washing, as many of them will be greasy. They should be first wiped dry with a linen cloth, then rubbed with a leather.
For tea, coffee, or whatever else the family may be in the habit of taking in the evening. When removed, she will wash them up and put them all by in their places ; and then
Taking the slop-pail with her. She should empty all slops, close the bedroom windows (in winter these must be shut by three o'clock), and, when desired, the shutters, and draw the curtain. She should also let down the curtains of the beds, and neatly fold back the bedclothes from the bolster. In doing this, she should first draw up and fold back the portion of sheet that comes up higher than the rest of the clothes, then fold them all down together. She should also refill with clean cold water any of the water-bottles and jugs that may have been emptied during the day.
411. Before going to bed, the housemaid should bring up all the plate to her mistress, having counted to see if it be all right. If anything is short, an instant search should be made ; and, if not found, the mistress should be at once told of the missing article.
419. All attendance, except the waiting at breakfast, which the cook does while the housemaid is engaged with the bedrooms, falls to the housemaid. Answering door before twelve, the cook ; afterwards the housemaid.
424. The Washing.--This is divided ; generally the housemaid does all the finer things, the cook the coarser and heavier, the housemaid having all the starching and ironing. But if the cook were a very good ironer, it would be better for her to take that, and the housemaid to do more at the washtub. But it is almost impossible to lay down any definite rules for this department of work, as it must depend entirely on the extent of the washing done at home and the abilities of the servants. One general rule for all the work--both the cook and housemaid should be obliging to each other, and endeavour always to facilitate each other in their several duties. And though it is desirable that they adhere as much as possible each to her own department of work, yet neither should object, in case of her fellow servant being ill, or getting leave to go out, to perform her duties for her.
1 oz. white wax, 1 oz. Naples soap, 1 pint of turpentine,
1 pint of boiled soft water.
Melt ½ oz. of beeswax in a saucer of turpentine, rub the surface of the oilcloth all over with it, then rub with a dry cloth.
Sponge the surface with equal parts of gin-and-water ; then dust with powder blue, and rub off with an old silk handkerchief.